Happy Veterans Day, fellow Veterans!!

_GERII, PVT_USMC on 17OCT2014 (age 18)-1Happy Veterans Day – first to my wonderful son Gerald II, who recently graduated from U.S. Marine Corps basic training in San Diego last month (October) and who, after having spent some time home, is now en route back to California for infantry training where he’ll be for the next two months or so.  Currently, he plans to shift over to a USMC Reserve unit shortly after training so that he can attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. There he’ll study medicine (cardiology) before going on to Marine officer training. Am I a proud dad or what? I already miss my boy! Anyway, I’m working on a blog article that discusses my visit to San Diego last month to witness his graduation ceremony from USMC recruit training.Today is my son’s first Veterans Day!
Semper fidelis to you, my wonderful son – and to all other new Marines!
AND…semper fi and a belated Happy 239th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps (November 10th)! I’ll always fondly recall the wonderful times I had serving  – and having some great off-duty fun – with the Marines who were assigned to my ship and naval fleet units during the Persian Gulf War era under Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. What an awesome bunch of guys – and women too!

Happy Veterans Day - finally to all veterans who honorably served before, with and along side me and to most especially to those who are serving in various locations in America and throughout the globe right now! I am blessed, honored and privileged to be a member of the most unique fraternity on this earth: the United States Armed Forces!
It is the VeteranKeepin’ It…REAL!

Election 2014: A Message to the Whiners…

Shut the fuck up (RFXP)

I’ll make this completely simple:
Election 2014: It’s over. Finally!
Now shut the fuck up and quit whining about it! It’s American democracy at work, people. It’s also LIFE – where some win and some lose. Get over it and do better next time around!

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*SIDE NOTE: I’ll probably get harshly criticized for using a Black man in this blog article (how dare I) due to the implications it might send about some Black people and their attitudes about the American political process. Many of those implications would be on point – although the picture is meant to represent ALL people – regardless of ethnicity, who whine about election results. Yes muthafuckers, I did it intentionally…and no apologies will be given!

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Fuck This Shit!

Fuck This Shit -wth middle finger (Robz Edit)*Sigh* I often think back to how much simpler and happier my life and mental attitude was before I ever got involved in social media networks like fuckin’ Facebook. I swear, sometimes it’s just not worth my mental energy and time in dealing with some of the people there. I feel like withdrawing from and/or shutting down everything I either started or had become involved with there.
Fuck it all.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

KIR: Writing and Depression

Note: This article was written July 31, 2014. It partly explains my then month-long absence from writing to this blog. It’s now been three months and some days since. In addition to what you read here, I want readers to know that I simply got interested and busy with doing other things – including directing some much-needed attention towards developing my seven-month old not-safe-for-work (NSFW) Tumblr blog featuring male erotica. This article is the first posted on Keepin’ It Real since June 26th, 2014.  With its publishing I suppose it’s safe to assume that…I’m back.
Now on to what I was feeling three months ago.

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I looked at my blog drafts folder a few minutes ago. I found that there were more than 200 drafts of unfinished documents I created this year alone; all work where I’d start writing about certain things but for some reason at the last-minute, simply lost interest in finishing – or if an article was finished, I decided not to publish on my blogs.While I have told myself that I’m writing mainly for my benefit, a huge part of that simply is not true. I do indeed write blog articles, Facebook and Twitter post to inform and educate others who may not know RobFather-Xcertain things and/or to bring awareness to or about certain things. Still, it does not hide the feeling I so often get that few to almost no one really cares to read whatever it was or is I have to say; to say nothing of the fact that a number of those unfinished and unpublished documents were what some would call (and often complained) as being “too long” or “too lengthy” to read. My two-part blog article, “The Freedom of Nudity” for example, took months for me to decide to publish after I’d written and edited it. Today, according to my blog service, that article – written in mid-year 2012 but published in March 2013, is one of many of my blog articles that continues to receive a lot of hits at this blog.

Sometimes I’m encouraged to write and publish to the world. Other times I’d write a nice piece about something then just say to myself, “Fuck it”. Who the fuck is gonna read all of this – let alone bother to appreciate it?” It’s often that attitude for why I don’t blog as often as a blogger “should” or is “expected” to blog. It’s also why sometimes I post “lengthy” things on my Facebook page, although I fully realize that many people on Facebook do not like reading anything which has more than three to four sentences. I call those people “lazy and discriminatory readers”. For example, on Facebook I’ve found that if certain things related to something sexual does not stand out or if I don’t post a picture to help attract the attention of a particular audience then some people will see my article or post but won’t bother to read it, read all of it or at the very least, give it a “like”. A “like” can say or mean that they at least agree right make the post, if not with my courage and willingness to express whatever is on my mind, even if they disagree with point of view. Whether I have a Facebook or blog published article, often the evidence of people not reading my work is determined by the type of follow-up questions someone asks or comments they give about topic I wrote about. Sofa-thinking-2 (rz)One can always tell if a person was paying attention to what they were reading or listening to by the response they give to certain things. As such, I can’t be easily fooled when someone tells me they’ve read my work then that same person asks me some silly question about that which was clearly discussed in the article. I also don’t appreciate when someone makes some disparaging remark about the subject matter of my article, as if perhaps expecting me to either recant my opinions or change my point of view to suit their own. Those things irritate me and it’s why I’m happy to have full control over whether to allow comments to be published on anything I write on my blogs.Much of what I write ends up becoming an exercise in writing. I’m often afraid that expressing myself in written form can be a waste of time and effort. Writing is therapeutic for my depression issues and helps offset those bad feelings when I sense a depression bout might be coming. To everyone who has read this far, thanks for reading. I’m good…at least for now. I’ll review what I have saved in that folder. I’ve got a shitload of started and unfinished/unpublished work in a folder from years 2013 and 2012 too but I’ll look at those later.

Depression Mood -
Right now [July 31] I am in one of my depression moods. Succinctly put, depression is a non-discriminatory mental illness disability. It comes in many forms and affects a number of people in various ways for various reasons. People should never assume that someone is imagining things when they say they are depressed. That person just might be! You also should never tell someone who admits to being depressed or whom you know is a sufferer of depression and going through a bout, that “things will get better” or “it” will get better”. BM Thinking-1No matter how good your intentions, you would sound ignorant and appear to be less helpful and insensitive to that person’s situation. For some depression sufferers, a little alone time and/or quiet is very helpful; I know that sort of thing often works for me. Patience, understanding and offers of support to do certain things are also helpful to some depression sufferers, as are conversations sprinkled with humor that bring about laughter or some memory of a pleasant and fun moment. Remember: these are just a few suggestions that can help someone suffering from some form of depression; they are not mentioned here as workable guarantees for every person in every situation.

I happen to be one of the so-called “fortunate” persons who suffers from a certain form of  depression. As healthy and strong as I so often appear and sound, I too have weaknesses. More Black men need to talk about their mental, emotional and physical weaknesses because odd as it may seem, talking about such weakness is or can also be therapeutic; it can help make that man a mentally and emotionally stronger person. I wish women understood that. Fuck…I wish more men understood it! I have suffered with intermittent depression issues since childhood. Fuck it...not feeling it day (2)For years after first being diagnosed – up until about six years ago, I lied about it and had kept it well-hidden from nearly everyone who wasn’t my doctor: family members, my spouse at the time – before, during and after our marriage, my son and a number of others whom I considered to have a genuine care for me.Today’s [July 31] bout will pass away from me soon, because you see, there are certain things I’ve since learn to do to combat my form of depression. It keeps me from always taking medication. In fact, over the last 12 or so months, I’ve intentionally avoided taking meds for depression because sometimes, strange as it sounds to you non-depression sufferers, I want to ride this out. I don’t want to become dependent on medication. It’s hard to explain and it would take much longer than this article to break it down for you. Just trust me; I got a handle on this monster; I know what I need to do to help myself. Writing is one of the therapeutic things I do…and stated earlier, I do a lot of that! Talking to myself is another. Listening to music and doing certain humorous things that make me or others laugh has also been highly effective. I’ve told people that I’m not always a serious fuck; I maintain a healthy balance of humor and seriousness. Too bad many don’t believe me for if they did I think I’d be emotionally closer to relatives, have a lot more friends – and perhaps a few more lovers, too.

Thanks for listening.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

National HIV Testing Day (2014)

Status is everything, June27 banner (re)June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.
Ok. Now there is one very important question you should ask yourself:
“When was the last time I was tested for HIV or for any other sexually transmitted disease/infection?”

I am posting the link to an article I wrote last year (2013) on National HIV Testing Day. (Click on mentions of the word “article” to read the post.) The same information therein is the same … except for one update: I got tested for HIV last month (May) and I’m again happy to report that the results of the test were negative.

Since my retirement from the military more than a decade ago, I make it a point to get tested annually for HIV in my birthday month; that way I never forget to get tested! Readers of this blog should note that in the article there is a link they should click which upon entry of their zip code they will be shown the nearest HIV and STD testing sites in their area.

I strongly encourage each person reading this blog to GO GET TESTED if they have either never been tested or have not been tested within the past year – regardless of their frequency of sexual activity – or lack thereof, over the past twelve months or so. HIV can show its effects at different times in a person life depending on that person’s physiology. In other words, just because you did not have sex in the past year does not mean that you did not get infected at some point before that. My article briefly mentions home HIV testing kits that one can buy however for many people, money is a problem. I’m not sure if one’s medical insurance will cover the cost of HIV home testing kits. Check with your insurance provider on that. NHTD-Take the Test Take ControlThe only concern I have with a person testing at home is about that person’s psychological reaction to the results of a positive test result. There is also the possibility of a person who does not carefully follow the enclosed instructions of the home HIV test kit somehow administering the test incorrectly which could yield an inaccurate test result. Many home testing kits may be “error proof” but people tend to read and perceive certain things differently. If a person is under duress or harbors some degree of fear of what might be learned from giving him/herself such a test, that person’s reading comprehension might be affected. To alleviate all that, I strongly suggest going to a free medical clinic and getting a FREE test – as noted in my article. Most clinics are now able to give you the test results in the same day. Test results are confidential. Another reason to consider going to a clinic over taking the home HIV test is that you can ask follow-up questions and address personal concerns to a doctor or nurse. However, if you opt to buy a home HIV testing kit then please – take your time and read the enclosed test administering instructions very carefully!!

Whenever it comes to personal health I often tell people – particularly men but most especially BLACK men – since statistically many men do not like to visit the doctor, that NO QUESTION OR CONCERN IS STUPID, DUMB OR ODD. I tell them that if it pops in your head PUT ASIDE PRIDE and EMBARRASSMENT and MAKE THAT QUESTION/CONCERN KNOWN to the physician or nurse practitioner trained in that area to address those questions and concerns. People can save themselves a host of worry and assumptions about their health condition when they speak up. Furthermore, if anyone has a doubt about what they have been told by their physician they should simply ask for a second opinion. Usually when it comes to HIV and/or STD testing the result is accurate and no immediate second testing is needed. However nothing prevents a person from requesting a second test or going to another clinic to get retested. That decision is up to the individual.

Bottom line readers: You must be satisfied and understand the results of any medical test that’s been given. You should carefully listen to and consider the advice of your doctor or nurse regarding preventive measures for your continued good health or regarding future care for health that has been compromised.

Read more in my articles National HIV Testing Day and this article from 2012 which sheds some awareness about the high rate of Black men being infected by HIV. Click here for links to websites that provide more information about HIV/AIDS and other STDs and about testing of HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

One last thing: My man Octavius Williams over at Cypher Avenue.com wrote an excellent article you all should read called: National HIV Testing Day: Who Cares? (click the title to access) The brother was on point! Too bad both his and perhaps my message are being ignored – or will be ignored by so many people – particularly by those who are already infected with HIV who should be helping to promote this day/event AND by others who have NEVER BEEN TESTED for HIV, by those who are AFRAID TO BE TESTED or worse, by those who HAVE NO PLANS to ever get tested! It’s very sad that each year, more and more people care less about things/events like this as more and more people get infected with such a terrible disease or some other STD.

Status is Everything (2)

Now go get tested. That’s right: “Take the test, take control!”

Keepin’ It…REAL!