CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{January 31, 2007}   My Office Drama

Recently a coworker announced she had accepted a position at another business. After the initial shock and disappointment, I began to put myself in her shoes and realized we couldn’t afford to pay her what she’s worth and she wasn’t in a position that would likely lead to a promotion.

Here’s the problem: After she gave her notice, our work relationship changed. We weren’t close friends, but as early arrivers to work, we had a pleasant ritual that consisted of small talk that ranged from personal things about ourselves or family or what we had for dinner the day before. However, lately in response to my unusual sense of humor, I’ve found her rolling her eyes and shaking her head with an expression that could only be read as, “what a jackass”. She used to laugh.

Also, I’ve found that little things about her are now irritating. For instance, she crosses her legs while sitting at the chair at her desk. Why can’t she put her feet on the floor like normal people? Another thing is the way she wears her hair. I used to think it unique, but now I find it child-like. I used to ask her if she wanted anything from downtown when I left the building on errands. Lately, I’ve found myself “forgetting” to ask.

After talking to others, I can’t decide if we are deliberately trying to piss the other off, because it’s easier to be mad at each other than to deal with the thought of our separation or if I’m somehow taking it personally that she’s leaving and retaliating.

I’d almost think I have a crush on her if it weren’t for the fact that she’s married and I’m gay.

Should I try to patch things up? Should I just let it go?

Big Al

(Photo of Big Al pulling his hair out due to his co-worker’s soon departure which is bringing true emotions to the surface from


{January 31, 2007}   Is Love Black or White?


I don’t know much about love. I don’t know much about it at all. I was raped a few years ago in The Hood and that’s the only reason why I’m not a virgin.

There’s a man who comes into the diner where I work and I like him. I may love him but I don’t know. We have gone out a few times. Once, he took me uptown and we ate at a fancy restaurant and afterwards we walked around a little bit downtown and he held my hand and I liked it. He is always nice to me, always gentle and kind.

Most of the time, we don’t have enough money to do anything, so we mostly just talk about stuff going on in The Hood and our desire to get out of it. We listen to music. We talk about books we like. We do this at my apartment or his.

He says he wants to make love to me. I can’t. The man I like is white and I’m black. Yes, white men do live in Over-the-Rhine.

My aunts and my sister don’t approve of him. They say there is no future with a white man. They say sooner or later he’ll wake up and see that he’s going out with a nigger. I don’t want to believe them.

Maybe love has to be black or white, but I don’t want to see the colors.

Karen @ The Hood

(Photo by tyleroot)

{January 30, 2007}   Oh, the Life of a Blogger

blogger.jpgIt has been suggested by a couple of well-meaning people that I take over Larry’s job as owner of this blog.

To this I reply: Thanks so much for thinking I’m up to the task; but no thanks, because I’m not.

I have the luxury of taking days and days to write a post. I can put as much or as little thought into the post as I like. And, guess what? I don’t get the number of responses that other posts generate.

What a lot of folks don’t realize is that it takes a lot of work to come up with a daily blog post, and even more work to watch diligently for people who would make the inappropriate response which must then be deleted.

I’m sending this to Larry in the hopes that he will put this up as an additional post today. I have no clue if he will, he certainly has a mind of his own; but I just needed to say what’s on my mind this afternoon.

Thanks for listening. And yes, Larry will be as surprised at the receipt of this little post as you are.


(Photo of Larry’s keyboard after he passed out and tipped over his bottle of vodka from

{January 30, 2007}   The Sitting Room


Maybe all men do it. I remember when I was little, my dad taking the Sunday paper into the bathroom with him and being gone for awhile – guess he was reading the paper while taking a you-know-what.

My boss at work is the same way. Around mid morning every morning, he takes a newspaper or magazine with them to the restroom and he’s gone for at least 20 minutes.

What’s he doing in there: #1 or #2? I don’t really want to know.

I’ve tried it a couple times, but the lighting in my bathroom at home is too poor to read. Besides, it’s uncomfortable – and I would never think to do it at work.

Other men do it there too. One guy took a newspaper in with him to read and didn’t come out for an hour. Another guy finally had to knock on the restroom door to see if he was all right. Turns out he fell asleep while reading a copy of Cin Weekly.


(Photo of Brandy sitting on the toilet and reading something more interesting than Cin Weekly was taken by Deviant Art or something like that)

{January 29, 2007}   Monday’s Lunch


• Five-way from Skyline.
• Four cheese coneys.
• Three Arby cheddar melts.
• Large curly fries.
• Two hot dogs from street vendor.
• Large diet Mountain Dew.

. . .and now what to have for dinner


Fat Man from Cincinnati

(Photo of disgusting Fat Man from Cincinnati:

{January 29, 2007}   I Want It Now

man-and-woman-cartoon.jpgI think I’m pretty good to my wife.

I always turn my paycheck over to her so she can keep track of the finances and pay the bills. I take out the trash. Sometimes I’ll go get her a beer when we’re watching television. I even mow the lawn in the spring and summer and will even rake some leaves in the fall. I’m a decent kind of guy. Do I want something in return? Yes.

What I want in return is sex. When I want it, I want it now. I think this is a man’s right.

If she has a headache, that’s just an excuse. Take off your clothes.

If she’s just not in the mood, well I am. Spread your legs.

If she’s made plans to go out with a girlfriend, call her up and say you’re going to be late. I need my release now.

If she’s on her period, oral sex will do. Get down there.

If she says no to any of this, pull up your dress, woman. You’re going to get a good spanking.

I also don’t think a man thinks like a woman who wants a little romance before getting down to it. Getting down to it – the sex – is what it’s all about. Real men don’t beat around the bush.



{January 28, 2007}   What are Dreams, Really?


I’ve had all manner of dreams about my son since he passed (and one I believe was precognitive before he passed). There are some dreams that I can tell are created just because of my longing for him, but then there are others that have a very different quality to them.

In November, I had a dream wherein I knew Luke was trying to call me. As I answered the phone, I realized all of a sudden that, “No! He can’t be calling me because he is dead!” And with that thought, I pushed him away and couldn’t deal with interacting with him even in this dream.

There were a couple of other dreams like this – dreams in which I knew he was trying to communicate with me, but I’d freak out and push him away each time.

Again the quality of these kinds of dreams is different. I actually believe he is trying to reach me in these dreams.

In the week before Christmas I had a very strong dream. I was in a hospital (not as a patient) and my daughter, my mother, and miscellaneous other people were trying to tell me that Luke was not dead. It had all been a mistake. He was certainly hurt, but not dead.

I was trying to wrap my head around this (in the dream) and caught a glimpse of him in the hallway with my ex-husband, but they hurried away as if Luke had a doctor appointment.

This recurred several times, with me just catching a glimpse of him. A couple of these chance meetings found him looking longingly after me. Finally, he was about to disappear with his father yet again when I actually stamped my foot and said, “Come here, please!” out of extreme frustration.

He came to stand in front of me. He looked sheepish. I started crying and he looked away, he couldn’t stand the hurt he’d given me.

And the dream faded away.

Now, I’m either a genius at concocting a dream where I could finally allow Luke to come to me. Or else, he was the genius in somehow allowing me to know he wasn’t really dead, because only then could I allow him to come to me. Whatever.

At any rate, in my belief system, Luke is not dead at all. We are only separated and this still hurts beyond belief. But I know that our spirits will be rejoined somehow, someday.

I know, that for people with a completely different belief system, the idea that I entertain – that the dead can communicate through dreams – is pretty far fetched.

I’m just curious, what is the general consensus out there? Do any of you believe that dreams are sometimes more than mere dreams?



{January 27, 2007}   “More Than a Feeling”


I have a love/hate relationship with Bogart’s. I think it’s one of the most uncomfortable places to see a live show and the help is sometimes rude, but if it ever closed up on ShortVine, I know I’d be depressed. I’ve seen a lot of really good performances there.


August, 1976: I took my date to Bogert’s to see this little known heavy metal rock group called Boston. I can’t remember why we went, probably just something to do.

We were blown away, had never heard rock music like this – so space age. They were good live – really tight. The next day, my date bought me the album. I played it over and over.

A little over a year later, my date became my wife. We have two wonderful children together. Alright, the marriage failed after 17 years – no perfect ending here, but we’re still good friends. I see my adult kids all the time and I still got that album!

I know this wasn’t recorded live at Bogart’s but it’s the same year – 1976. Check out one of my favorite Boston tunes, “More Than a Feeling.”

Larry Gross

(Photo of Bogarts: Photo of Boston album cover:














The following is a comment that co-publisher and editor at CityBeat, John Fox made on the “Kim Taylor Has Arrived” post. At the risk of sucking up, I thought it was important enough to make as it’s own post.

Sorry to interrupt Living Out Loud for a brief fact check, but CityBeat covered Kim Taylor’s “new” CD more than four months ago — check Mike Breen’s lengthy discussion of it in Spill It from the issue of Sept. 6, 2006:

And to set a different record straight, our friend Jean has never contacted me about the “vile and disgusting” posts on this blog. No phone calls, no emails. I don’t want anyone here to get the impression I’m being bombarded with complaints that I’m either blowing off or tucking away in a secret “Fire Larry Gross” file. Jean, if you’d like to discuss the content of this blog with me, drop me a note at

But to save you time, here’s my answer: No, I don’t approve each and every post on Living Out Loud before it’s published. I don’t approve any posts here or on CityBeat’s two other blogs. Other people are in charge of that; Larry has the responsibility here. I trust Larry. He knows that a variety of opinions and topics are what bring all of you back to this blog. He knows better than anyone if LOL starts to drift into being too much about office sex or too much about people and their cats. It’s all about the mix. It’s not about micro-managing.

A final point: I hear you guys about needing to improve our Arts & Music blog. We’re working on it. We have coverage from the Sundance Film Festival right now, and Mike is stepping up his music posts. Still not where we want it to be, but I appreciate your interest and encouragement. Just realize that maybe the reason we don’t write about a particular local CD is because we wrote about it four months ago.

Thanks for listening. The rest of you can contact me too any time you want — that email address isn’t just for Jean.

Thanks for the comment, John, appreciate it (God, he really does read this thing. Does he know about the post with the sheep?)

Larry Gross


{January 26, 2007}   Say Hello, You Grumpy Old Dog


I live around University Hospital and always take the 39 bus into work. I catch it a little after seven and I usually get the same bus driver.

Now I’m not a morning person, but I do say good morning when I get on the bus. Not this guy. He’s looking straight ahead like I’m not even there with this attitude look on this face. He’s a grumpy old dog and I’m trying to be polite here.

Most of the other drivers are courteous but it’s really apparent this guy hates doing what he’s doing. Lately, I’ve just stopped trying to be nice. I get on and off without saying a word to the grump. Sometimes I feel like telling him he’s a jackass.

If you’re going to deal with the public, at least pretend to put on a happy face.



et cetera