Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If only and what if

Imette St. Guillen a graduate student, was found dead Saturday evening. The news didn’t start to filter around my school until yesterday. She was found dead in the East NY section of Brooklyn. Imette was only 24 years old, she would have been 25 this Thursday. According to the latest reports she was asphyxiated, and sexually assaulted. The police also believe that she was gang raped,and her body showed signs of torture. The animal that killed her chopped off her long hair, and stuffed a sock down her throat. He then wrapped her face in clear tape and dumped her nude body near a highway. The clear, plastic tape left her face frozen in an expression of horror that made her almost unrecognizable to her family, The coroners office says she appeared to be in excruciating pain when she died.

Ever since I heard the news I have felt an ache in my heart. This is a story made all the more painful because it is too close to home, she was a student at my school. It has brought tears to my eyes. I can imagine how scared she was. Many a time I have been a little shaken when coming home late at night. She was bar lounging with friends on a Friday night. How many times have my crew and I done the same exact thing? She was only a year older than me, studying the same major. We would have been graduating together. Although we didn’t share a class room we did share professors, a school and several neighborhoods. She lived in the neighborhood where I was born and raised, where my family still lives. She was hanging out with her friends in an area that my friends and I frequent, in a bar that my friends and I have been to. The only difference in our stories is that she was left behind by her friends. She wanted to chill longer to stay until closing time which was a half hour away. Her friends wanted to leave, so she stayed behind all alone. Her body was found in an area of Brooklyn where I have friends and family. My friends and I have a rule we adhere to when we go out. We arrive as a group we leave as a group, no one gets left behind. If someone wants to chill longer and the others want to leave, we stay, we compromise. No one is left behind. If someone meets a cute guy, hurry up and exchange numbers because I am not leaving you behind with him or alone with him no matter what you tell me. I don’t know him.

Because of the type of college we attend and our majors we as students are taught how to recognize and prevent crimes. We are taught how to spot the warning signs of a potential criminal in those we meet. As students of a school specializing in criminal justice and forensics we should be more aware and keep our guard up in everyday situations, more than the general public. We know what’s out there, we eat the statistics, the criminal profiles and case studies for breakfast. However no one ever thinks this is going to happen to them do they? As young people sometimes we think we are immortal, nothing can touch us we are invincible. Stuff like that happens to other people not us, never us we have a destiny to fulfill.

It was 3:30 am when Imette was last seen alive; she wanted to chill, her friends wanted to bounce. When you're depending on the subway to get you back home to the upper west side 3:30 am waiting for a ride home in that area is like a life time in hell. Catching a cab at that time is nothing short of a miracle. Once 4:00 am hits the subways are running on ultra slow, you can spend up to an hour waiting on the platform for a train.I know it's happened to me many a time. I can understand her friend’s reluctance at wanting to hang around the bar until 4:00 am. I imagine that now they wish they had hung out for the extra half hour even if it meant getting home around 6 am. My heart breaks for her family and friends, especially those who were with her on her last night. I imagine they are full of regrets, their dreams haunted with “what if” and“ if only”. There but for the grace of God goes many a young woman. There but for the grace of God go I.

Story Link:Beauty & The Beast


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Posted by @ 3:39 PM
9 comment from: Blogger christina/ohio, Blogger christina/ohio, Blogger Aisha, Blogger oleg, Blogger Jane, Blogger jen, Blogger Safiya, Blogger Mia, Blogger Steph,

Monday, February 27, 2006

Too much free time


Put laundry away
Watch Maury
Start research on Juvenile Delinquency paper
Chat with foreign pen pals on internet
Talk to Said on phone
•Crank call Reina using Napoleon Dynamite Sound Board

Too much free time on my hands is never a good thing. I found a Napoleon Dynamite Sound Board on Ebaumsworld.com perfect for crank calling people. My victim for today was Reina. She was the chosen one because everybody else was at school. The trick was to be fast.

Reina: Hello

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Hello

Reina: Hello

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Hello

It took all I had not to burst out laughing

Reina: Hello

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Hey

Reina: Hello, who is this?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Napoleon Dynamite

Reina: Who you want to speak to?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Is Pedro there?

Reina: I think you got the wrong number

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Dang

She hung up and I was forced to call her back. Frankly I was amazed she hadn’t figured out it was a crank call.

Reina: Hello

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Hello

Reina: Look buddy who is this?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Napoleon Dynamite

Reina: Listen buddy I’m at work right now!

clicked the next one by mistake

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: How’s your neck?

Reina: What you said?!

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: How’s it going?

Reina: Who you want to speak to?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Is Pedro there?

Reina: You got the wrong number

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Dang.

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Can you just come and get me?

Reina: What?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: Can you just come and get me?

Napoleon Dynamite Sound byte: I need you to give me a ride in an hour.

She hung on me again by this time I couldn’t hold the laughter in anymore. I just poured out of me I couldn’t breathe and started crying from laughing so hard. My mom looked at me like I was crazy and in between the fits of laughter I demonstrated what I had done. Pretty soon my mom and my uncle were laughing just as hard as I was. My laughing fiesta came to an end when I heard the familiar chirp of my Nextel, it was Reina. Oh crap she figured out it was me! I thought. Turns out she hadn’t. All she wanted to know was if I was going to go to class tonight. I’m going to keep this up and see how far I can take it before she figures out it’s me. I’m going to call her later on at home.


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Posted by @ 4:47 PM
16 comment from: Blogger Nabeel, Blogger Mia, Blogger Vanathi, Blogger Just me, Blogger Aisha, Blogger Charlotte, Blogger oleg, Blogger oleg, Blogger christina/ohio, Blogger Mia, Blogger oleg, Blogger Mia, Blogger oleg, Blogger Mia, Blogger oleg, Blogger Mia,

Just Shoot Me

I’ve been sick for the past week. I can’t seem to shake it off; the fever, the chills, the cough that makes my chest ache and the muscles in my arms burn and hurt. I’ve been so ill I actually stayed home Saturday night. Somewhere in a parallel universe the order of things have been shaken.

I look at food and my stomach does funny things. I can’t eat, just the thought of it makes me queasy. I’m supposed to be in bed, but it hurts just to lay there. Every time I toss and turn in my bed it feels as if I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson. My dear sainted mother even installed my wireless modem so that I could write, research, and chat from the comfort of my bed on my newly repaired laptop. My dad has made me drink so much tea I feel British.

Around an hour or so ago I decided under the influence of Nyquil that I couldn’t take it anymore I needed to sit in the living room. My siblings had gone to bed early since their winter break is officially over tomorrow morning. My parents were in their bedroom, mom was reading while daddy slept. I sat all alone in my favorite chair wrapped in my favorite quilt, the purple one with all the crazy colorful flowers on it. I was reading a book and reveling in the remarkable sound of silence enveloping my house. This is akin to a miracle because there is always something going on. I guess because these moments are so rare I love the sound of total silence in the house it is so peaceful, so serene.

All of a sudden the silence was broken by a trio of odd noises. I looked around the room trying to track the various sources of the noise. Adjusting my eyes to the dim light I tracked down one noise to Kane my dad’s dog he was all sprawled out on the love seat (Bad puppy! Bad puppy!) his paws up in the air snoring up a storm. The second noise was coming from Van Gogh my beautiful angora cat. He was laid out on the sofa looking at me purring his hairy tail off. I listened for the source of the third noise but couldn’t make out where it was coming from I just knew it was from somewhere around me. I went back to my book and as I turned the page there was that noise again then it hit me the noise was coming from me! It sounded like a 1000 year old man with a cold had taken up residence in my chest. I was wheezing! It was kind of funny actually, my chest was rumbling making vibrating noises every time I exhaled. I started coughing mom shoots out of her room as if her butt were on fire. She feels my forehead and says, “Come on little one it’s back to bed for you.” I try to protest, “Ma I’m 23 years old you don’t have to baby me.” but mom is serious she’s not having it. She raises her eyebrow at me and leads me back to my room.

I start coughing again and this time my dad gets up now he’s in my room as well. He feels my forehead and starts tucking me into bed. Eventually these people are going to have to accept that I am an adult. For now though I am simply amazed at the fact that they both run into my bedroom at the sound of me coughing. I watch them both hovering over me as if I was still a toddler and my heart just aches with love for them.

As a kid I was plagued with a lot of health problems due to my premature birth. My childhood memories are filled with hazy recollections of my parents always standing over my bed fussing over me at one time or another. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this sick. I wonder out loud about how I am going to drag my disease infested carcass to school. Pa says school is out of the question. I don’t argue with him I want him to go back to bed he has to get up at 3am to go to work, but I can’t miss school. We’re working on this research project in Group Dynamics and I’ve got the theory and hypothesis as well as my portion of the research questionnaire saved on my laptop. I’ve been working on this since Friday. So far I’m dealing with a group of people looking for an easy way out. This project doesn’t interest them but I feel that the data we get from this project will prove to be invaluable to all of us later on this term not to mention our individual grades are linked to this group project. I don’t want to give them an excuse to slack off since especially since they have made me their unofficial leader. Just shoot me and put me out of my misery por favor.


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Posted by @ 1:48 AM
2 comment from: Blogger Jane, Blogger Just me,

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Boycott Crack

Forget about attacks on free speech, Danish cartoons, and the subsequent craziness and boycotts. We’ve got some more serious crap going on in the world.

You wanna make a difference in this world? Do you want to better this world all and not just a select few? We as human beings must set aside our differences and for the good of all storm the corporate head quarters of denim jean manufacturers and hold a CEO hostage until they meet our demands to stop making *&^%$! low rider jeans.

I for one am tired of innocently glancing over in class, restaurants, etc and getting an eye full of crack. Here’s a fashion tip if your low riders have back pockets those pockets are supposed to be on your ASS not behind your knees. For the love of GOD buy some jeans that fit!!!

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Posted by @ 1:29 PM
9 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Emory, Blogger Mia, Blogger Mia, Blogger alkitran,kolantro,pitopito at opyo, Blogger Emory, Blogger oleg, Blogger nasser, Blogger oleg,

Two little potatoes standing on the corner

Two little potatoes are standing on the street corner. One is a prostitute.
How can you tell which one is the prostitute?

Hold on......

You're gonna love it...

It's the one with the little sticker that says...

I - DA- HO

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Posted by @ 1:07 PM
3 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Mia, Blogger December,

Mia Cup

Angela got me this really cool cup with my name on it. Isn’t it adorable? It has kind of a cartoon quality about it and it just screams “Mia would love me!” I’m impressed because I’ve never come across anything with “Mia” on it unless I have it customized and there it was this adorable Mia cup on a store shelf waiting for Angela to discover it and bring it on home to me.

Speaking of my wonderful adorable friend Angela I am happy to report that she has finally climbed out of the abyss and is well on her way to healing. The past few weeks have been kind of tough on her she was forced to confront truths she hadn’t wanted to accept. When you’re in love it helps if the love you feel is returned from the heart and not faked just so they can continuously use you to make their situation in life better.

I’m very proud of how well she is handling this especially after so many months of getting depressed over this guy who by the way was not worth the gum stuck to the bottom of a subway seat. We were talking the other night and she told me,” I think I am going to be alright.” I swear to all that is semi sacred and kind of holy I just wanted to reach out and hug her. For once I didn’t want to throttle her. She finally got what I’ve been telling her all along…she didn’t need him to make her life complete and worthwhile.


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Posted by @ 12:55 AM
6 comment from: Blogger cinnimon_girl, Anonymous Anonymous, Blogger Aisha, Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Jane, Blogger Mia,

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Comfort Food

My brother and I were grocery shopping with mom the other day and as she reached for a box of my brother’s favorite pop tarts she mentioned that my generation of Latinos takes for granted the stuff we commonly eat today. When my grandparents were kids they longed for the likes of TV dinners, boxed macaroni and cheese, and canned foods. To them it was the food of a different culture; it was “gringo food”.

The women of our family fed their children as if they were going to be spending the day cutting sugar cane in the fields. A typical lunch consisted of the following; vianda (boiled root vegetables) and boiled codfish topped with slivers of onion drizzled with olive oil, a salad on the side, washed down with an ice cold Malta or if it was really hot a glass of mabi or jugo de jonjoli (sesame seed juice). If it was winter then you got sancocho or an asopao the contents of it varied from huge shrimp to chicken it depended on the day of the week. No meat or poultry was ever eaten on Fridays. Asopao is similar to gumbo and sancocho is a thick stew like soup.

One day while watching TV my mom became intrigued by something called a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. She made a mental note to herself to try it when she grew up. She had a list of things she wanted to try when she grew up and they all had to do with things she saw on television. Number one on her then list was to drop a pearl earring into a bottle of Prell Shampoo and see how long it took to reach the bottom. It had something to do with a commercial that just fascinated her. My mom finally got to taste peanut butter and jelly in 1970 after moving away from Brooklyn and her grandmother’s watchful eye. Her parents enrolled her in St. Paul’s Parochial school and somehow Sister Grace the principal of the school had convinced her mother La Negra to allow my mother to eat cafeteria food. Peanut Butter and Jelly had just been added to the lunch menu by the penguins, my mother was too thrilled. After my mother’s experience with peanut butter and jelly there was no stopping her; she was ready to get out there and experiment with the forbidden fruit, gringo cuisine. By allowing her to experiment with food of the gringo culture my grandparents unknowingly opened a door for my mother. As a Nuyorican kid (children born in NYC to Puerto Rican parents) growing up in the late 60’s my mother and her kind were walking a thin line between both cultures. They were Americanized enough to appreciate the humor of The Munsters and the music of The Rolling Stones but were still Latino enough to be fans of Iris Chacon, and La Lupe.

The funny thing is that the more my mother experienced American culture and food the more she appreciated her own culture and food, especially the love it was prepared with and the history behind it. She treasured the time spent in the kitchen with her grand mother. It was there while shelling gandules or watching as Rosa prepared pescasdo en escabechi that her grandmother taught her about their history. She learned of the Bedouin, Gypsy, Moor, and Taino ancestors that shared her bloodline. It was during those moments when she learned to grate the verdura for pasteles and grind garlic with the maseta and pilon (mortar and pestle) that she felt the most loved, the moments she felt closest to Rosa. Rosa would shower her with hugs and kisses while she attempted to master the recipes that had been in their family for countless generations.

My mother was the youngest of the female grandchildren at the time, her cousins now in their teens had gradually been Americanized and showed no interest in learning how to prepare the food of their culture. Unlike many of her cousins she never longed to be one of “them” she was happy with who she was, where she came from, she was proud of her history. With each dish she learned to prepare she learned more and more of her family’s history. As they would wait for the food to cook Rosa would place my mother on her lap in front of a Spanish newspaper and read to her. It was in this manner that my mother learned how to read and write in Spanish something her cousins had never shown interest in learning.

To this day even though she holds a soft spot in her heart for P& J sandwiches her all time favorite comfort food remains her Grandmother Rosa’s garlic & scallion soup which was made especially for her by my great-grandmother whenever was sick just as it had been made for Rosa by her great grandmother when she’d get sick. The soup was a chicken broth with minced garlic, scallions and toasted sesame seeds. It was served with a thick slice of my great grandmother’s well toasted garlic bread floating in the middle of the bowl.

I did an informal survey in the house as to what everyone’s favorite comfort foods were; we all included peanut butter on our list of comfort foods. However at the top of everyone’s list was one dish of comida criolla (Latino cooking) or another, all of them from recipes that had been passed down from my great grandmother to my mother. Somehow I think my great grandmother Rosa would be pleased if she knew this.


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Posted by @ 5:26 PM
2 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Emory,

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Happy Birthday!!

This is my uncle Junito aka Chino and today is his 30th birthday. He still looks like a kid. I love each of my uncles for different reasons. This is the uncle that refuses to accept that I’m an adult he still sees me as a toddler running around the house in diapers. Without a doubt next to me he has the sense of humor I have ever seen. Nothing is sacred for him everything is a potential joke target. He is also a masterful story teller; he’s been known to make people cry from laughing so hard.

He was kind of sad about turning 30 today you know getting older and all that stuff. My mom looked at him and said,” oh for the love of God turning 30 is way better than dying at 29.” He looked at her and said,” you know what you’re right” and launched into a hysterical story about the cable guy singing him “Happy Birthday” in an African dialect.

I know he’s going to have a great birthday today his “little brother” Uncle Abbie (28 ½) is taking him to dinner my mom was thrilled because it’s been awhile since (as she calls them) “mis nenes” (my little boys) have spent time alone together without the wives, kids and assorted pets running around.

Happy Birthday Uncle Chino…I love ya!

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Posted by @ 6:24 PM
5 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Jane, Blogger December, Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Mia,

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rose Colored Glasses...

It’s funny how you can see the same things day in day out and never really take notice of what you’re seeing. Then one day *poof* just like that it all changes. I was wearing my wonderful rose colored glasses yesterday when they abruptly fell to the floor and I was forced to see a shade of reality I never knew existed.

The husband was finally coming home; he had been away for a month on business over seas and it was his birthday as well. The wife asked the friend to accompany her to the airport to pick up her spouse. I was asked to make the trip to record his homecoming for posterity. At the airport I watched the wife as she fixed her hair, refreshed her make up. The friend noticed the large crowd and reached into her bag for a sheet of paper writing the husband’s name on it. “Here this will make it easier for him to spot you.” After an hour or so we spotted the husband they called out his name, the wife held up the sign with his name on it. When he saw them he smiled broadly running towards them. The friend stepped to the side wanting to give him plenty of room in which to get to his wife. Instead he grabbed the friend giving her a long and tight embrace. He held her close to him inhaling her perfume, as he stroked her long curly hair. Finally he stepped back and held her face lovingly in his hands, kissing her quickly on the lips. He then looked deeply into her eyes and told her he had missed her. The look on her face was one of embarrassment. As she freed herself from his embrace she grabbed his wife’s hand pulling her towards them. Only then did he turn around to the side and embrace his wife. I felt my rose colored glasses sliding off the bridge of my nose, I pushed them back.

Shortly after arriving to their house the relatives and friends started pouring in to celebrate his birthday/homecoming. The wife and friend made sure everyone was taken care of before heading into the kitchen to put the finishing touches on the evening’s meal. The friend sat at the counter pulling her waist length curly hair back into a ponytail as she got ready to make a salad. The wife stood over the stove stirring the sauce as they joked around about what had occurred at the airport. The husband entered the kitchen on his way out to smoke a cigarette. He stopped in front of the friend looked at her focusing his gaze on her hair. He swept back a stray ringlet that had escaped the ponytail. Before tucking it behind her ear he looked at the long curl feeling it in between his fingers, he kissed the ringlet and then kissed the friend on the forehead thanking her for being there and left. Again I felt my glasses sliding off, again I pushed them back.

Finally dinner was served and as they placed the last dish on the table the wife and friend sat down next to each other. The husband asked me to move over so he could sit next to the friend. I watched them all throughout dinner. He fed her food from his plate, from his fork. Her protests were of no use he insisted on feeding her. He would rip the garlic bread in half dipping it into the sauce on his plate bringing it to her lips for her to take a bite before biting into it himself. I noticed that whenever she put her glass of wine down after taking a sip he’d pick it up and drink from it as well always placing his mouth exactly in the same spot where her lips had been.
The friend was entertaining her tablemates with one of her funny stories. Everyone at the table laughed and as they applauded the story she waved her hands in front of her face with dramatic flourish as if she were taking a bow. The husband then took one of her hands into his own placing a kiss on it. He intertwined his fingers with hers holding her hand as he addressed questions about his trip from his guests. She slowly withdrew her hand from his and stood up clearing the dinner dishes. Why did those damn glasses keep sliding down?

When almost all of the guests had left the wife and friend sat back kicking off their shoes and got into a deep conversation. The wife put her head on the friends shoulder and the friend stroked her hair complementing her on every aspect of the meal. The husband walked in and sat next to the friend looking at her face for several seconds before caressing her cheek, declaring her to be beautiful. His friends agreed that indeed she was a beautiful woman. She arose from her seat and said it was time to clean the kitchen. As the wife stood up to help her, the friend put her hand on her shoulder telling her, “No you have been on your feet all day stay here with your guests and your husband I will take care of this.” The friend reached out for his tea cup as he handed it to her he looked at her and said, “Thank you my love.” I have heard him say this phrase to her thousands of times but today it sounded different. As I adjusted my rose colored glasses I swear I heard “I love you” in between the lines. The wife came into the kitchen to help. In reality she just wanted to get away from the remaining guests comprised mainly of his family, people that she is not too fond of.

As I helped put the dishes away they noticed the look on my face. The wife elbowed the friend and said, “Something is troubling her, I think I know what it is.” I said nothing I waited for some sort of explanation, something to make sense of what I was seeing, what I was sensing. The wife faced me and said, “Ours was an arranged marriage he does not love me nor do I love him. We are more like room mates than husband and wife. I am happiest when he is away. She is the one he loves. He has loved her from the first day he met her.” I focused my gaze on a cucumber that was on the counter. It’s amazing how many bumps a cucumber has…why is it so damn shiny? Do they put oil on it rub it with pledge or something? I know for a fact a cucumber is not that shiny when it’s growing in the ground. I really didn’t want to hear this. I looked up at the friend, “Before you ask, NO I don’t love him, not that way. I never knew he was in love with me until she told me. This is the reason I stay away for so long only coming around when he goes away on business.” How long have you known? “Longer than you’ve been alive child”, is the wife’s reply. I wave my hand in the air I don’t want to hear anymore. My rose colored glasses have fallen to the ground. I look at the floor hoping to find them and slip back onto my face but they are no where to be found. My heart breaks for both the husband and the wife.

Finally it is time for us to leave; the friend is giving me a lift home. The friends embrace and kiss each other as they head towards the door. The husband tells the wife he will walk the friend to her car. As we walk the block to the car he holds her hand and says nothing. We get to the car and he pulls her towards him holding her close again. He kisses her on her forehead and then kisses her hands; he asks when she is returning the friend answers, “Soon, I promise my friend, in the meantime you make sure to be good to your wife.” He tells her he loves her and hopes to see her again before his next trip. We back out of the parking space he stands to the side looking at her through the window he has the look of a man deeply in love. He waves goodbye and blows her a kiss. I had seen him do this many times through the years but today for some reason I saw it with different eyes, my veil was lifted. Had he always looked at her like this? Why had I never noticed it before? I didn’t want to see this, I rummaged around in my bag hoping to find another pair of rose colored glasses but there was none to be found all I found was a lousy stick of gum and some scattered tic tacs.


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Posted by @ 9:06 PM
8 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Emory, Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Mia, Blogger jen, Blogger Mia, Blogger Ritardo, Blogger Mia,

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Big Kiss Off

So we’re sitting in class the other day and one of the professors brings up the subject of adultery and the psychological effects of it. All of a sudden my friend’s hand shoots up in the air as if someone were offering free beer. She gave some speech about how if her future husband would cheat on her she’d kill him. I look away from her appalled by her hypocrisy. Karma is so gonna bite you on your ass…hell it’s going to such big old chunk out of your ass, it’s going to change your profile forever. Invest in some spackling and filler girl. She looks at me and I say nothing.

After class, the discussion of adultery was still going on between her and some of our friends. She turns and asks me for my opinion I raise my eyebrows, I got nothing to say. I’m not her mother she’s old enough to know the difference between right and wrong.
Once again she asks for my opinion.Why is this chick taunting me? Why does she want to hear my mouth? Aren’t I trying to play nice today? “ What do I think? I think that you’re the least qualified person to expound on the damaging effects of adultery to a wife. That’s what I think.” Crap I said that out loud. Just then she decided to give me attitude. I guess getting laid on a semi regular basis by a married man makes a person brave. Either that or she’d eaten her Wheaties that morning. She turned to me and with all the obnoxious attitude and disrespect she could muster, “You know what? I know you don’t like him and guess what I don’t give a fuck. I don’t give a fuck if you don’t like him.” I guess she repeated it for emphasis. Double crap I had so wanted to remain on my best behavior. I wanted to be all sugar and spice and now she messed it up.

I felt my ears warming up and the vein in my neck throbbing. Oh yeah, temperature is rising. My eyes got narrow and my voice fell an octave or so. It tends to deepen and get husky when I am angry… I don’t yell, I hate raising my voice…I leaned into her and said, “don’t get stupid with me because I swear to my mother I will slap the shit out of you right here in front of everyone.” She backed up and looked kind of scared. I’ve never talked to her like that; crap I’ve never talked to anyone like that. Everyone around us was stunned; you could’ve heard a pin drop. I turned around and walked away from her, disgusted with myself for losing my temper like that. They all scrambled to catch up with me. I didn’t trust myself to speak to her for a few minutes allowing my head to clear. I took a couple of cleansing breaths as I made my way to our next class. She tried to make nice with me by handing me a book she knew I’d wanted to read. When I finally trusted myself to speak I thanked her and said, “The reason I don’t like him is because you and I know the guy is married.”

She ignores what I tell her. Fluck it. It’s not my life…que se joda. She then tells me that she’s had a ravenous appetite lately, this is nothing new she’s always had a huge appetite. I know what she is hinting at and I wait for the other shoe to drop. She says that she’s been feeling nauseous lately as well. Shit here we go again. It’s all in her head but I decide to humor her. “You better get a pregnancy test then” I tell her. I do the math in my head our cycles are a day apart from each other we were on time last month. We’re not due yet. I ask her if she’s told him of her suspicions she says yes.
Now it all makes sense I’ve noticed he seems to be avoiding her. At work when she AIM’s him he says he’s busy and going to be away from his desk all day. That’s odd considering that his loser spends at least 7 hrs per day chatting to her from his computer at work. How can she not see he’s giving her the big kiss off? He tells her she should see other people as well… she tells him she is (liar). I tell her my boyfriend and I do not count as dating other people. I tell her she needs to be more careful, take precautions. I tell her look he made his girlfriend/wife what ever the hell she is to him get an abortion because he didn’t want to be a father…just keep your eyes open. She gets mad. I take a deep sigh and say, “Do what ever the hell you want to do. I don’t care. I’m not picking up the broken pieces of you anymore. I’m done.”and I meant it, I walk away from her .

I decide that I should keep my distance at least for a few days. I need a break from her. I hate stupid heffas. Usually we talk to each other several times a day. I ignore her calls. She tells Angela that I am mad at her and she is afraid to approach me. Angela’s words soften me up and I call her… “Look im not mad at you, just the situation you’re putting yourself in. I worry about you.” She replies, “I love you , I love you to death, I’ve missed you, it’s been hell without you baby.” I look at my phone cracking up and say “Reina wtf is up with that? What are we a couple now? You wanna go have make up sex now?” We both start laughing and our conversation turns to homework.

The next day is Valentines Day; she rushes out of class to check her email. He hasn’t e-mailed her. I see her in the library waiting online for him she AIMS him he asks how she’s doing; she wishes him a happy Valentine’s Day and reminds of him of their plans. He tells her he’s sorry but he forgot they were supposed to be hanging out that night. He’s made other plans. Her face betrays her emotions, I wish I could feel sorry for her but I can’t. She should’ve known he’s going to spend the day with his wifey and not her, common sense. She tells him her pregnancy tests was negative and he says “whew thank God, okay take care of yourself.” That’s his signature line now when they end their conversations. Conversations she initiates. Before whenever they’d end a conversation he’d tell her talk to you late baby. I care for you. Now it’s take care of yourself. Take the hint girl, take the hint. You’re being dismissed.

She asks me what my plans are and I inform her Jason and I are having dinner. She says nothing. I know she wants me to chill with her and ordinarily I’d invite her to tag along with me and Jason and then her and I can spend the evening declaring that all men are bastards and Jason can defend his sex. I decided not to. I think she needs to spend the time alone and absorb what’s going on. I try again to feel bad for her and I can’t.


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Posted by @ 10:57 AM
6 comment from: Blogger jen, Blogger Aisha, Blogger Just me, Blogger Mia, Blogger Jane, Blogger Emory,

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thank you...

It occurs to me that since Valentine’s Day is set aside for current loves, then the day after Valentine’s Day should be set aside to honor former loves. So after spending a very enjoyable valentines day with my current love it seems to me that today’s the perfect day to recollect former loves. My love life hasn’t been all sunshine and lollipops, along the way I’ve had my ego bruised and my heart broken a few times. It also shames me to admit that I have been guilty of breaking a few hearts too.

I’ve been blessed with the love of some good, kind, decent men. Each of them encouraged my dreams and had faith in me when I may have been doubting myself. Then of course I’ve had that one guy that to this day I say to myself WTF was I thinking? Now I wince at the mention of his name and just to have to laugh at myself for having gone there but we did have some great times together and grew up together. I don’t regret any of the relationships I’ve had, from each of them I took something, each one was a learning experience and helped to make me the woman who is sitting at this keyboard today, each relationship was a gift.

Patrick taught me how to deliver the perfect kiss and how to travel the “world” via mass transit system, fix my computer and that I had the ability to make a grown man blush just by looking at him. He also taught me that despite what my people said ex boyfriends can be your best friends.

Joaquin gave me an appreciation for Mexican art, Martha & The Vandellas, Low riders and fine ass Chicanos serenading me on moonlit nights. Chris taught me about tattoos and where in the Bronx to get the best tats (Michelangelo’s). Kenneth taught me if it walks like duck, and quacks like a duck it’s pretty much certain that 99.9 percent of the time it is a friggin’ duck. Jose taught me all about Mexican tequila, mariachi music, Vicente Fernandez and introduced me to my dog Kane. Chino whom I was on and off with for five years taught me the complete works of Tupac and Jay-Z which impressed the hell out of thugs when ever I chilled at a house jam. He also taught me the difference between blueberry, chocolate and mango-pina weed. Most of all he taught me about the way a man’s mind works.

So to all my past loves, thank you for having loved me.

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Posted by @ 10:11 AM
3 comment from: Blogger Jane, Blogger Aisha, Blogger Emory,

Monday, February 13, 2006

Bang Bang Cheney Shot Him Down

Our beloved assistant leader Dick Cheney shot his friend Whittington while allegedly “quail hunting. WTF is Cheney with his heart condition doing hunting? You know there are one of two scenarios that can be going on here… work with me on this people allow your mind to take the journey with me…

1) Remember those killings President Bush says he’s authorized to do? You know the ones where he swears up and down that he has the power to order anyone inside of the USA killed without the consent of a judge, a court ruling etc. You remember he made the claim on “let’s play dictator” day. That was the day he was obviously wearing too tight underwear and the circulation was being cut to his brain. Anyway so I was thinking maybe Cheney figured he’d get a head start especially now that some photo of Bush and Abramoff is making the news. I’m just saying maybe Cheney was thinking about some stuff got a lil confused and mistook Whittington for Abramoff Osama and bang bang he shot him down. Bang bang Whittington hit the ground. Bang bang that awful sound…Bang bang Cheney shot him down.

2)Cheney and his “friend” (wink wink) have had a “Broke Back Mountain” thing going on all of these years and Cheney flipped the hell out when his partner threatened to go to the press. In a fit of desperation Cheney aims his gun at his love never intending for it to go off he only wanted to scare the dude but his vision was clouded by his tears and the gun went off accidentally and bang bang he shot him down. Bang bang Whittington hit the ground. Bang bang that awful sound…bang bang Cheney shot his baby down.

Anyway those are the two plausible scenarios that are going through my head. Yeah I know I can take Cheney at his word and believe that the whole thing was an accident. However I’d like to point out that nothing is ever quite on the up and up as far as this administration is concerned. So how do we know this was really an “accident” eh? I’m just saying….

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Posted by @ 2:41 PM
5 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger oleg, Blogger Emory, Blogger Ritardo,

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Living in a snow globe...

In the predawn hours I was awakened by thunder and lightning. The lightning was so close to my home it lit up the entire house. I sat up in bed to listen to the thunder and made my way to the window camera in hand hoping to get some nice shots of the lightning when I threw open the window I found that I couldn’t see a darned thing. The snow was falling in sheets from the sky. I had awakened to find I was living in a snow globe.

So far we’ve gotten 2 feet but with the heavy winds the snow drifts are much higher in areas like ours. It looks like we’re going to be breaking some sort of record by tonight. It’s quite beautiful actually the streets are deserted of traffic and people. The nearest train station is a mile away it’s empty the trains around here run on elevated tracks so when a storm like this hits there’s no service to this part of the Bronx. I look out the window towards the river and the Statue of Liberty and can’t even see them. The sky is beautiful, the air smells so clean. The snow flakes are obese, as if they’ve been locked away in some little corner of winter that stubbornly refused to come out this season until now. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t snowed like this in such a long time but damn those flakes look ultra bright as if they’ve gone through a wash cycle with some Clorox.

My dad attempted to walk Kane this morning. As soon as they got outside Kane looked at my father as if to say, “Wtf William you must be tripping! This ain’t for me mijo you better go upstairs and get that ½ breed Chow/St.Bernard mix Cleo out here, she can handle this. This shit ain’t for me papa!” he timidly walked a few feet and sank in the snow, only his head was visible above the snow. He quickly pulled my dad back into the building. I had looked forward to going out to Central Park and getting some shots of the kids playing in the snow, people skiing down the streets. It’s not happening, I am snow bound. I kinda like, it sipping on hot chocolate looking at my latest shipment of Netflix movies…maybe I’ll watch Pinjar again snuggled up on the sofa with my favorite purple quilt. My little brother Stevie oops my bad he’s 16 now and wants to be called Steven, so let me start over. My little brother Steven has been called by his friend’s grandmother to come over and shovel her walkway. She offers to pay him and he says he can’t accept her money however for anyone else his shovel is for hire. Me thinks StevieSteven is going to be in a higher income bracket by day’s end. The phone rang as I was halfway through this post it seems the romantic Dr. Zhivago like atmosphere of the snow in Central Park has inspired my dad’s youngest brother Uncle Mike (32), he finally proposed to his girl friend Rosie. My dad is whoop whooping around the house. My mom says praise be somebody she may actually get a nephew/niece from him before I make her a grandmother…lol I’m looking out the window as I type this out. I think I will throw some layers on and go outside and enjoy the snow.


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Posted by @ 1:54 PM
3 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Emory, Blogger Mia,

It's Snowing!

We’re being hit by a blizzard. It started snowing this afternoon and if you believe the weather dude we’re supposed to get 3 inches per hour and it’s going to snow until Tuesday. Which means I am so srew hoo hoo hoo hooed. My ‘hood because we’re in the boon docks we’re always the last to get dug out. As a matter of fact it just hit me it’s been a few hours since a bus has headed this way. Personally I love the snow, and if you ask me it’s about damn time winter reared it’s head in these parts. I’m looking forward to going out tomorrow and getting some shots of the snow. In the meantime this is the view from my kitchen window… let it snow , let it snow, let it snow.


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Posted by @ 2:06 AM
2 comment from: Blogger Nabeel, Blogger Mia,

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My Grandma

I wanted to tell my grandmother’s story but it became apparent it was just too long to post here. I didn’t want to leave anything out because she led a remarkable life. She was the friend, confidant, and co-conspirator of many who helped shape modern day Boriqua history. She went through so much, and yet never lost her capacity to love or forgive. The woman is still a legend in her community. Everything that is good and admirable about my mother, my outlook on life and the direction I have chosen for my life all can be traced back to this woman, she was the one that planted the seeds. She gave my mother a childhood filled with of love and learning. She taught my mother by example.
She taught her to be open-minded and accept people on their merits. She taught her to think for herself never to be a follower but most of all she taught her that we are responsible for those who cannot take care of themselves. These lessons have been passed on to my siblings and I. Twenty years after her death she continues to inspire.

My grandmother was a lesbian. Feeling safe in a family brimming with lesbians my grandmother aka La Negra decided to “come out” in her 14th summer. While her mother had been accepting of her lesbian nieces she was not so open minded when it came to her own child. I guess it’s different when it your child that is gay as opposed to your sister’s. Back in the day homosexuality was not only considered a sin against God but it was also seen as a mental illness. After a lot of family drama over her being gay La Negra attempted suicide she was hospitalized and misdiagnosed as being schizophrenic decades later the doctors would say she was actually suffering from Bipolar Personality Disorder. There is some debate in the family as to if she was mentally ill all along or if she became mentally ill after going through so much crap in her life.

At 15 she had her first child my mother followed by my uncle a year later. She had her children taken away from her and was never able to regain custody of them. The kicker was that it was her own mother and sister who took away her kids. Was she abusive towards her kids? No. Was she neglectful of her kids? No. Did her children ever witness her in a compromising position? No. So why on earth her children would be taken away why would the legal system declare her an unfit mother? She was declared unfit primarily because she was a lesbian and secondly because she was mentally ill. The loss of her children would push her over the edge and once more she attempted to kill herself. She made 10 deep cuts several inches in width on each of her arms starting at the wrist and ending at her forearms. She was found close to death and spent at least another year locked up in a mental facility.

Luckily for La Negra she had a friend in the father of her children and he was able to regain custody of their daughter from La Negra’s sister by appealing to her husband’s sympathies. Regaining custody of the boy from his grandmother would take years. By the time they got him back the damage had been done his mind had been turned against his mother. This was accomplished by the daily pouring of verbal poison into the son’s ear. My mother was raised differently, she was often told by her father just how much she was loved by her mother. He never spoke badly of his wife instead he held her up to his daughter as an example of a righteous woman. Throughout my mother’s childhood my grandmother never lived more than a few blocks away and saw my mother everyday and was free to come and go with her daughter as she pleased. The world La Negra introduced her daughter to was amazing and remained a life long influence.

There were many dark moments during La Negra’s life before being reunited with her daughter. During these moments La Negra was lifted and held to the light by her adopted family within the gay community. They were the ones who gave her the courage to fight to go on and live. La Negra would go on to finish college and through that become active in politics, gay issues and the feminist movement. She was involved with The Young Lords a group of Boriqua college student so instrumental in bringing about positive changes and rights for the Boriqua community in this country. She was involved in the anti-war movement feeling it personally after having lost her beloved older brother in Vietnam. She was not an arm chair liberal, she just didn’t talk about society’s ills she went out there and tried to solve them.

When AIDS was still new and labeled as God’s retribution for the “sins” of homosexuals by the ignorant, when people weren’t even sure how it was spread La Negra was out there tending to those dying from the disease. While nurses were wearing gloves and masks to deal with these patients. La Negra would walk into the room unprotected and hold these people in her arms. She’d caress them and kiss them and for many it would be the first time since showing the symptoms of the disease that they had been physically touched by a human that was not a doctor. She never allowed anyone to die alone, unattended to. She’d sit for hours, days holding their hands talking to them until they left this world.

When the homeless problem began growing in New York long before the politicians recognized or did something about it she was out there doing something about it. She was trying to keep them fed in a time when they weren’t many soup kitchens available. She’d get restaurants in the community to donate food to the local soup kitchen. On Sundays when the soup kitchen was closed she’d spend the day cooking enough food literally for an army. She’d pack the food into containers load them up into her car and go into the park to where she knew the homeless slept delivering food to them. If she saw a homeless person on the street with out a warm coat she’d literally take the coat off her back and give it to them. My mother has often said that her mother never made it through the winter without having to replace her coat and boots several times because she always was giving her stuff away. Sadly my grandmother passed away at the too young age of 37. There was still so much she wanted to do. I can only imagine the changes she would have made in this world. In reading this over I realize there is no way I can do justice to her memory in this one post. She was simply amazing, she was kicked and beaten down in life only to get up and make it a better place for the disenfranchised.

As with tragic event in my family there is always an element of comedy involved. La Negra often joked that that day she died she didn’t want anyone to go to any trouble. She’d say “just put me in a hefty bag and when the sanitation truck rolls by just throw me in. Make sure someone’s playing some music and dance for me cause I’m going to be watching I want no tears just music and dancing.” On the day of her funeral it started snowing as her casket was carried out of the church. Once everyone was situated in their cars and ready to go the hearse wouldn’t start up. Someone joked La Negra doesn’t want to go! As they waited for a replacement hearse to arrive a sanitation truck rolled up in front of the hearse. There was a huge traffic jam so it was just stuck there waiting for the traffic to clear up. Just then one of the cars stuck in the traffic jam started blasting one of La Negra’s favorite songs from legendary salsa singer Hector Lavoe, a friend of La Negra’s.

The moment was not lost on my parents and La Negra’s friends sitting in the limo. Their eyes darted back and forth between the hearse, the garbage truck and the car that was blasting the music. One by one they all started chucking La Negra’s partner of 20 years looked up and said, “We get it Negra we get it” and got out of the limo pulling my parents out with her and they just started dancing in the street. In a matter of seconds all of her friends seemed to get it. The sidewalk in front of the front of Holy Name Church on 96th and Amsterdam was filled with dancing Boriquas. La Negra’s sisters sat in their cars stupefied. They thought everyone had lost their minds. My mother who had spoken sparingly to her mother’s family through out the entire funeral approached her aunt’s car holding out her hand in peace, “Auntie come dance with me. It’s what my mother would have wanted. She forgave you and now it is my turn to forgive you” her aunt didn’t get out to dance, she never did have any rhythm but she did smile. As soon as the song stopped and the traffic jam cleared up the hearse started up and everyone ran back to their cars trading stories about La Negra.


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Posted by @ 12:31 PM
4 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Just me, Blogger Jane, Blogger Mia,

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

OOps my bad...

Have you ever had one of those moments that are so embarrassing you wanna slap you’re forehead and go “DOY!” I had just gotten off the bus and was walking towards the subway on my way to school. I was around the area where my friend Patrick lives. I see a guy in front of me he looked just like Patrick. I grabbed him and say heyyyyy I know you! Figuring I’d scare him. I’m saying how many pink cheeked blonde blue eyed tall Irish guys wearing a black Woolrich in the Bronx can there be? Honestly! Well ha ha on me turns out there is more than one. The guy was not Patrick. I repeat the guy was not Patrick. Ever seen a tan chick turn red? Ohhh man I could feel the blood rushing to my face (shakes head back and forth). They guy turned and looked at me like WTF?! Poor dude probably thought I was gonna rob him or something. Imagine you’re deep into the music on your iPod and some loca grabs you? Especially in that neighborhood that is not exactly white man central. After his heart traveled up from his butt back into his chest he gave me a smile. It didn’t help I was massively embarrassed I ran up the stairs onto the subway platform at break neck speed.


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Posted by @ 7:36 PM
4 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Aisha, Blogger Emory, Blogger Mia,

Monday, February 06, 2006

Broke Back Mountain , Sprained Ankle Hill

I watched Broke Back Mountain with my mother yesterday. When the movie was over I cried hysterically for about five minutes. Once upon a time I could sit through a tear jerker and not shed a solitary tear. As I get older I realize I have become an emotional wussy. Without giving too much of the movie away, the movie affected my mother because it mirrored in essence the tragedy of my grandmother’s life. The movie inspired my mother to talk about her own mother in great depth. I was blown away by the conversation and the revelations:

Mia: I just don’t get it ma Ennis’s attitude you know he loved Jack.

Mom: Nena it wasn’t that easy for a person to come out back then, shit it’s hard for a person to come out now!

Mia: But come on Ma…

Mom: Come on nothing you don’t realize back then homosexuality was seen a depravity, a form of mental illness…my poor mother went through so much crap, she had to live the life others wanted for her not the one she was born to live.

she covered her face at the memory of her mom and when she took her hand down her eyes were brimming with tears…I could tell my mom was going to talk about her mother’s lesbianism in a way she had never spoken before

Mom: Do you know that the last time I spoke to my aunt Mina for some reason the conversation turned to the issue of gays adopting children and how people in Florida are against it. She actually had the nerve to tell me that she respects gays and lesbians. I wanted to reach out over the phone and throttle her! This from a woman who made my mother’s life a living hell because of her sexual orientation. Who from an early aged tried to poison my mind and succeeded in poisoning your Uncle Joey’s mind against our mother. I reminded her of all the crap she had put my mom through and she ignored me. All she said was Maggie you’re mother was such a beautiful woman no man or woman could ever resist her. She would walk down the street and heads would turn, men would stop in their tracks, cars would slow down to watch her walk by. She was simply gorgeous her beauty was only matched by the kind generous heart she had. What the hell man as if her praising my mother’s beauty was going to erase all the pain she had caused her. I found it funny how now she had nice things to say about my mother. Meanwhile she did everything she could to take us away from my mother because of her preference.

My mother was raised by her father. I never really understood how that came to be and was hoping that today she would tell me. I never understood why my mother had this aunt who adored her yet my mother avoided her like the plague. My mom just looked towards the wall at her mothers picture and started softly crying

Mia: So ma tell me so I can understand the deal with you and that side of the family.

Mom: (sigh) I guess…it was never a secret just something I never discussed because it hurt a lot….it’s not Broke Back Mountain it’s sort of Sprained Ankle Hill.

Sprained Ankle Hill is the name my mother gave to a humongous hill in Spanish Harlem on Lexington Ave. Many a person has been known to sprain their ankles on this hill when the streets ice up during the winter. The bottom of the hill starts at 100 street and the top ends at 103 St., as child my mother and her mom would ride their bikes down the hill screaming their lungs out.

During the next few days I will be posting my grandmother’s story in installments. It’s just too much for one sitting. I hope you’ll enjoy it and more importantly learn something from it.

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Posted by @ 5:38 PM
2 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Champ - Love Hound,

Tagged by Aisha

I’ve been tagged by Aisha for another one of her cool meme’s… YOU’RE IT!

Four Jobs I’ve Had in My Life...
1. Photographer
2. Restaurant Hostess
3. Sales Associate @ Shoemart (located in all K-mart stores)
4. Baby Sitter. 14 yrs old. ( I took care of my cousin after school for 9 hrs pr day, 6 days a week starting when he was 3 months old until he was 4 and started pre-k)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have
1. My Fair Lady
2. My Immortal Beloved
3. Amadeus
4. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Four Three Places I Have Lived…I’ve never lived out side of New York
1. The Bronx
2. Manhattan
3. Brooklyn

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch
1. Law & Order
2. Will & Grace
3. Scrubs
4. Weeds

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
1. Egypt
2. Michigan
3. Virginia
4. Florida

Four Books I Love
1. Requiem For A Dream
2. Beloved
3. Their Eyes Were Watching God
4. Anything by Jane Austin and The Bronte sisters

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. My “candy worthy” blog line up.
2. course websites
3. Face Book
4. The Superficial.com

Four Favorite Foods
1. Chocolate
2. Bagels w/ cream cheese
3. Chicken Ceasar Salad
4. Falafels

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
1. Puerto Rico
2. Spain
3. Africa
4. The UK

Four People Whom I Tag Next…
1. Jane
2. Jen
3. Emory
4. I don’t have a huge audience here so I’ll tag whomever wants to be part of it!


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Posted by @ 2:22 PM
3 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Charlotte, Blogger Emory,

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Don Cristobal

Several notable people have passed away recently and the world has mourned them. Here in The Bronx someone passed away and only those in my small world cared. He wasn’t well known outside of his community but like the famous that’ve passed on this past week his life touched many. His name was Cristobal Sandoval, he was my neighbor. Don Cristobal was of a rare breed, an old world gentleman; he stood up when a woman entered the room and tipped his hat when he saw you on the street. He was a decorated WWII veteran; born in Puerto Rico he settled in New York after serving in the military. Even though he was well into his 80’s he was robust, full of grace and stamina. He was a credit to the old school Boriqua. He was a beautiful man or perhaps it was the beauty of his soul that was reflected on his face. He was a kind hearted man with a wonderful sense of humor who drew you in with his smile and his warm gentle manner.

My first memory of him was when I was 10 and had just moved to The Bronx. He shook my hand as he introduced himself to me, he promised that I would be making new friends here and then made a quarter appear from behind my ear. His son didn’t approve of the fact that his dad had taken the job as our day security guard just to fight the boredom of retirement. Don Cristobal was in excellent health. He looked to be 30 years younger than he actually was; he walked several miles a day and would run up the 14 flights of our complex several times a day when doing his rounds.

During his tenure as our security guard there were about 70 kids living in the complex and he knew all of our names, to whom we belonged to and even memorized our birthdays. Don Cristobal was kind of like everyone’s surrogate grand dad. Whenever our birthdays rolled around we’d find a birthday card with a lil’ something in our mailboxes from him. He celebrated our milestones with us and we all loved him the more for it. The little ones of the building always hugged him on the way out to school. The older ones like me were too cool for that so we’d always wave good-bye and in Boriqua tradition yell out “Bendicion!” (Blessing) and as he waved back to us he’d yell back the traditional blessing, “Que dios me lo bendiga y la Virgen Maria me los favorescas” (May God bless you and the Virgin Mary favor you.) Everyone loved Don Cristobal , especially my generation who had grown up with him watching over us.

One of the things about Don Cristobal that stuck with me was a song he always sang while making his rounds. Every time I’ve heard this song in the presence of an elderly Puerto Rican the reaction is always the same, they get this far away look in their eyes and sing along with heartfelt emotion. The song “En Mi Viejo San Juan” tells the story of a man who left Puerto Rico for a strange new land but cannot forget his beloved island. As he lies dying of old age his last thoughts are of Puerto Rico. He regrets not having been able to return to his island the place where he says he left his heart. His dying words are are “El tiempo paso and el destino burlo mi terible nostalgia y no puede volver al San Juan que yo ame, pedasito de patria… mi cabello blanquio y mi vida se va… ya la muete me llama y no puede volver al San Juan que yo ame, Puerto Rico del alma…. adios Borinquen querida , adios mi diosa del mar, me voy pero un dia volvere a buscar mi querer, a sonar otra vez en mi viejo San Juan.

Translation: Time passed and destiny mocked my longing . I was unable to return to San Juan the one I loved, my small piece of homeland. My hair has turned white and my life is slipping away, death is calling to me and I can not return to the San Juan I loved, Puerto Rico of my heart…. Good bye beloved Borinquen, good -bye my goddess of the sea, I am leaving, but one day I will return to find my love, to dream again in my old San Juan.

Don Cristobal was married to his childhood sweetheart Dona Mercedes. Despite being married for over 50 years you could tell by the way that they looked at each other that their love was alive and kicking. Every Friday he’d enter the building with a huge bouquet of flowers and a box of candy for “my best girl” When her son would drive her home from errands Don Cristobal would meet her curbside and gently take her out of the car, kissing her hand before placing his arm around her. A couple of years ago he started becoming forgetful. My dad found him a few times up the block unable to remember where he lived. This is when he retired for good. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and last year when he started getting really bad the decision was made by his son to place him in a nursing home. Mercedes never left his side, every morning at 7am someone from the building would drive her to the nursing home and she’d spend the entire day with him. She never missed a day not even when he couldn’t remember who she was anymore.

I arrived home a couple of days ago to find a notice posted in the lobby that he had died. A group of us “kids” now all in our 20’s read it in disbelief. None of us could believe he was gone. As I made my way to the elevator I felt a lump rise in my throat, my hand rising to my eyes trying to stop the tears that were building up and making my eyes sting. By the time I got into the elevator it was futile the tears couldn’t be stopped.

After having been waked in NY for three days Don Cristobal ‘s body was taken to the airport yesterday, he was finally going home to his beloved island. Mercedes squeezed my hand in amazement when she saw the number of people who had shown up to escort him to the airport. It seems the entire neighborhood showed up. We had about 50 cars/vans packed with people, on each car flew a Puerto Rican flag and an American flag handed out by the local veterans club. As we got ready to pull out several cop cars from the local precinct showed up to escort us to the airport. I don’t know who arranged that but it was a fitting tribute. We circled the neighborhood in a last good-bye and people stood on the side walks some placed their hands over their hearts others saluted as we drove by.

As we made our way to the airport a gentle rain began to fall. There’s a legend in my family that says whenever a good person dies the angels weep with joy when the person is admitted into heaven and embraced by God. The tears fall to earth as a signal to the deceased ones families letting them know that their loved one is back with his heavenly father. As the rain fell on me I looked up towards the sky and blew a kiss towards the clouds. We were all blessed to have known Don Lt. Cristobal Sandoval. Que Dios te bendiga y la Virgen Maria te favoresca .

In memory of Lt. C. Sandoval :

En Mi Viejo San Juan::Daniel Santos

Cast Post


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Posted by @ 1:28 PM
3 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger Emory, Blogger Mia,

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Kevin Federline recently released a HORRIBLE rap CD here is a clip of The Conan O’Brian show on which James Lipton recited the lyrics of a K-Fed tune called PopoZao. I Love this!!

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Posted by @ 1:06 PM
2 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Jane,

Friday, February 03, 2006

Whipped Cream, chocolate syrup and a g-string...

Whipped Cream, chocolate syrup and a g-string... sounds like a play date in certain parts of my city. However for me it was another interesting job offer. It just seems to be my week for job offers. It seems this guy saw my resume and took note of the fact that I’ve studied photography ever since I was a little Mia. Check out the e-mail he sent me. I swear on all that is holy that except for removing his name and e-mail address this is the actual e-mail he sent me:

------Original Message-------

From: xxxxxxxxxx
Date: 02/02/06 21:16:18
To: TwinkletoezMia@aim.com
Subject: Photography position

Would you consider a part time photography job? I need to have amateur digital photos taken of myself from fully clothed to g-string to nude for a website I am building.

I am a 30 year old single white male who lives on the UWS of Manhattan.

There would be no sex involved but I would ask for your assistance with some shots such as applying whipped cream or chocolate syrup from bottles.

Please let me know if you are interested. Hope to hear from you.

Okay now folks I ask you would YOU take this job? For once I was at a loss for words I had no idea how to respond to this. It just doesn’t ring true, digital cameras over SLR cameras? Get outta here! I just can’t picture myself spreading whipped cream and chocolate syrup on a guy’s tush.


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Posted by @ 1:45 AM
5 comment from: Blogger Ritardo, Blogger Aisha, Blogger cinnimon_girl, Blogger Jane, Blogger Emory,

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Life's Blessings...

I’ve decided that today is one of those days when I must count my blessings, thank the “head cheese” and revel in my karma. Come with me on this people, let us count our blessings together. Life is beautiful people, life is beautiful. Here we are in the 2nd month of 2006, and so far I’ve kept all of my new year’s resolutions including not becoming a crack head or killing my heffas. I’ve been blessed with many things in life, a great family, good health, nice teeth and the gift of comic relief in my friendships, my computer and job offerings. Here’s my list for today…

Reina: is still dating the guy with the live-in girl. She finally admitted to lying to me about his alleged break up with the girl after I gave her my “I don’t care” speech. I am now more convinced than ever that the live- in girl friend is his wife. I’m not saying a damn thing because somehow I don’t think it would matter. For some odd reason he seems to want my approval towards this relationship. I don’t know why because when I was introduced to him I gave him a big “whatever dude” along with the evil eye before hopping onto the subway. I was anything but nice.

Angela: is still undecided if she is going back to her loser boyfriend. Frankly she is starting to scare me. I get the feeling if a guy ever wanted to leave his chick he’d need a restraining order. We were talking about school the other day and out of no where she hits me with, “You know it just occurred to me that when I was born Nelson (loser bf) wasn’t even conceived yet!” My reaction was “WTF?!!” I didn’t see that coming.

My Computer: Just before Christmas my dad’s dog Kane (see above) now known as “Friggin’ bastard dog from the bowels of hell” managed to squeeze himself under my desk and sent my lap top crashing to the floor. The end result was a couple of artistic looking cracks in my screen. Oh yeah man I love that dog, I don’t regret rescuing him from that drug dealer who was using him as bait for other pit bulls in fight training not for one minute. Well at least that’s what I tell myself these days.

:: [We interrupt this post to give you the low down on Mia’s history with Dell and her laptop]:: As soon as I purchased my computer I started having problems with it and not minor little crap either. Personally I feel some crystal meth addict out in Malaysia built the sucker on a Friday while in a hurry to go score some crystal. Because his mind was on the meth he took longer than usual assembling my computer. This in turn caused him to miss meeting his dealer outside in front of his job at the appointed time therefore he didn’t get to score. Angered by this he put a curse on my laptop before it was shipped out to me. I can’t explain the drama I had with the darned thing any other way. The lap top was spending more time at Dell’s repair center than it was in my home. After 11 months of this Dell decided just to give me a new one. However what the sneaky bastards didn’t tell me was that they had applied the warranty of the meth-head laptop which was just about to expire to the new one. :: [Now back to the post]::

I called Dell to get the damaged screen replaced (see above) and was informed that my screen was not covered under the insurance. WTF!? The Dell dude said that if my laptop had a ceiling fall on it or been dropped into a bucket of water it would have been covered. But for now I was assed out, the kicker was that the screen cost $478.00 and because the warranty had expired they couldn’t install even if I paid for it to be done. However they’d be more than happy to instruct me how to do it over the phone. Needless to say I passed on the offer. Let’s be real here people between the screen and the cost of shipping I would’ve spent a little over $500.00 and that’s a lot of dinero for a struggling (violins please) student. That equals about 2 textbooks, a couple of pencils with the fuzzy tops I love so much and a cup of hot chocolate from Mike the street vendor. I searched the internet high and low for replacement screen only to be disappointed. I admit I had given up and was about to call Dell and cave in. Just then mom found a place in Jersey that charged only $260.00 for the screen and labor. I was saved! I spoke to Ravi the owner of the place:

Mia: Ravi I love you man! I swear I do!

Ravi: (laughter) You say that now but will you still love me when I am old and losing my hair?

Mia: Probably not Ravi. But why dwell on the future? Let us live now in the present and know that you have my love for the moment.

Ravi liked my sense of humor so much (yeah people that’s the way I talk in real life) he’s not charging me for the shipping. Life is good people, life is good.

Potential Board of Education job: A while back I wrote about a non-profit organization I want to set up for kids about to be aged out of the foster care system when I am done with school. Through a recent acquaintance of my mother’s I have a hook up with the NYC Board of Education. The lady is a counselor for school aged kids being released from jail and going back into the school system, which is basically what I wanted to do with my psychology degree before I got the idea for the non-profit. I wanted to work with incarcerated kids. She offered to recommend me for a position with the Board of Education. This is perfect for me because the job will finance grad school for me, which is a huge load off of my mind. Especially since The House has cut financial aid to students. Whewww now I won’t have to consider that job as a pole dancer at the local strip club that I was offered as a way to finance the rest of my education.

Job offers: I’ve gotten some interesting job offers out of the blue lately…
1) Teaching English for the summer in Taiwan. Shouldn’t I at least know some Taiwanese?

2) Production Assistant for a film maker. This would be great for a film major. I’m a psych major, nope not for me.

3) Bus Driver: The #36 bus driver the other night thought I was (his words) “a fine lookin’ juicy 23 year old”.He felt that I would be an excellent addition to the brotherhood of mass transit workers and he even offered to let me drive the bus on the last part of the route so I could get a feel for it. Uh huh, I passed on that one.

4) Head Ho': My all time favorite job offer made by Big Daddy Mandingo, the multi-lingual pimp. I was offered the position of “Head ho’ on a very profitable corner of "the point". He even offered a dental plan. I got to keep mine as long as I didn't hold out on him.

I leave it now in your hands…count your blessings and remember life is beautiful!

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Posted by @ 6:17 PM
4 comment from: Blogger Aisha, Blogger Mia, Blogger Obese Girl, Blogger Charlotte,

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Monkey Face...

My grandfather is just too much. When my mom was growing up he was the strict over protective father to her and Uncle Joey. However being a grandfather seems to have mellowed him out, my cousins and I have gotten away with things our folks could have only dreamed of. Even if he doesn’t approve of something we’ve done (my 5 tattoos and various piercings) he says nothing to us instead he waits and lectures our parents.

I thought I was past the age where grandpa still thought of me as a baby. Man was I wrong! I guess the tip off should have been that he still calls me “the baby” despite me being 23 and the eldest of the grandkids. The other day he called my mom and proceeded to give her a gentle lecture regarding me. When my mom hung up the phone she was laughing …

Mom: That was papi on the phone. I’m supposed to talk to you about something so listen up.

Mia: Why what happened?

Mom: It seems papi saw you walking with Jason on the block the other night.

Mia: Oh yeah last week Jason walked me to the bus stop.

Mom: um what time was this again?

Mia: 11:30 at night ma

She tried to stifle her laughter but just couldn’t do it. Finally she let loose and a stream of giggles flew from her lips.

Mom: Ohhhh man well check this out your abuelo said that that is no time for you to be riding the bus home. He says to remember that you’re a young attractive girl and that they are a lot of perverts out at night and something can happen to you on the ride home.

Mia: Ma grandpa lives like what a 15 minute bus ride away from here? Jason didn’t leave until I was on the bus and hello the bus leaves me right across the street from our house!

Mom: Yeah but papi was concerned. He says the streets are dark at that time of the night and that you have to walk up that humongous hill and they aren’t a lot of houses in that area just the school and the church and that area is deserted at that time of night.

At this point I had to laugh along with my mother.

Mia: Ma the police precinct is a block away, it’s a safe area.

Mom: Look I know this, but he worries about you and I promised I would talk to you about it. Unless, you’d prefer him to do it?

Mia: No, no that’s okay woman (laughing) next time I‘ll bounce earlier so he doesn’t worry. Grandpa is a trip, was he always like this?

Mom: You kidding? You guys have it good, too good in fact. When I was a teen once the sun went down I had better be on the front porch sitting with my grandma and my great aunt Eva or there would be hell to pay!!

Mia: Grandpa would beat you?

Mom: Worse than that, he’d give me a lecture! Papi never spanked us when we were growing up. A beating was preferable to a lecture; those suckers could last up to an hour! He’d pace the room up and down sometimes saying nothing for the longest and then when he’d finally open his mouth it was as if he had verbal diarrhea and would not stop until his anger had passed.

Mia: Seriously?

Mom: Yeah. I mean don’t get me wrong he threatened to beat us all the time. He’d say things like “I’m watching you, I’ve got an eye on you and I’m making a list and when I get you I’m going to go through my list and make sure you repay every debt on that list.”
But Joey and I knew damn well papi wasn’t going to hit us no matter how mad we made him, it wasn’t in him. My father used to keep a tight reign on us, me in particular. I wasn’t allowed to do half the things your uncle Joey was allowed to do. I was raised old school Spaniard style girly.

Mia: Awwww mami.

Mom: De verdad mama . That’s nothing baby girl you should have seen what happened this one time when I was about 16 and had my first boyfriend. Ay dios mio!

Mia: Grandpa knew?

Mom: Estas Loca?! Papi would have shipped me out to a convent! The only one that knew was my grandmother’s sister Titi Eva.

Mia: Was he cute? Details ma details!

Mom: His name was Wesley Ventamiglia and he was sublime; he was 6 ft 6 built like a tank, a quarterback if I remember correctly. He was on the same football team as your uncle, a tremendous athlete. He had long jet black hair, pea pod green eyes and the deepest dimples, like your uncle Gil.

Mia: He sounds like he was a hottie.

Mom: Yeah he was actually. He always had girls chasing after him.

Mia: You too?

Mom: Actually no, I never paid him any attention I figured he was just a dumb ass jock. I’d always catch him watching me when I was skateboarding around or when I was playing handball. When he found out I was Joey’s sister he pestered your uncle to introduce him to me.

Mia: Awww que lindo ma! So how did you guys hook up?

Mom: Perseverance on his part. Well you know how they say you can’t judge a book by its’ cover? In his case it was true. He was quite the intellectual and we had a lot of the same interests. He was a really sweet kid, very romantic; he was always dedicating songs to me, reading me poetry, and writing me poems. Oh yeah and picking bouquets of flowers for me from his grandmother’s garden.

Mia: Awwwww que sweet! What else ma?

Mom: What you mean what else? Oh well he was the first boy to ever kiss me.

Mia: He was?! I thought papi was the first!

She arched her eyebrow in her patented “be for real” look, sending me into a fit of laughter

Mom: Nope he was the first.

Mia: Do you remember it ma?

Mom: A derf nena don’t you remember yours?

Mia: Yes m’am Patrick , back of a cab on our way home from the movies. We had just seen Rush Hour, the first one and ” Can I Get a Fuck You” was playing on the car stereo.

Mom: Lovely, nothing screams romance like Jay Z.

Mia: So aren’t you gonna tell me about the kiss?

Mom: Oh okay. Well it was the first day of summer and he had been kicking it to me since the fall. On that day we had taken a really long walk and on the way back home he worked up the nerve to hold my hand. We’d stopped at Cousin Lucy’s house on an errand for my grandmother before heading home. I had climbed the steps to her stoop and was at eye level with Wes. I was about to go in when I turned to look at him that’s when he put his hand on my waist pulled me towards him and kissed me. I remember hearing music. Somewhere in the distance through an open window I heard a song it was “Theme from a Summer Place” playing. The streets were kind of empty so the song seemed to echo off the building walls. It was perfect just as we stopped kissing the song ended and I heard the DJ say “That was Percy Faith on WABC

Mia: Whoa mommy! Sounds like a movie.

Mom: Yeah it does. The setting sun was casting shadows on the houses and I just basically floated on air from there. For the rest of the evening I was in la la land.
The next day he asked me out.

Mia: So how did you get away with it with out grandpa finding out?

Mom: Divine intervention and a kick ass soap opera on channel 47. Papi’s cousin Lucy hated walking her dog during the evening because it interrupted her novela. So she asked my dad if it would be okay if Joey and I walked the dog for her every night, she even offered to pay us. It worked out perfectly we walked the dog and I let Joey keep the 5 bucks she paid us. Wes, Joey and I would meet around the corner from my house in front of Lucy’s house and take the poor mutt on a 2 mile walk every night. We always stopped at “our spot” in front of this beautiful synagogue to rest when we were about a mile away from the house. Wes would give Joey a dollar to go get himself a slice of pizza and that way we were alone for a little while.

Mia: Did you ever get busted?

Mom: Not for nine months not until March … one night the temperature dropped drastically and it began raining heavily. My dad worried about me being out in the rain because I had just gotten over a really bad cold and went out looking for me intending to drive me, Joey and the dog back home. We were almost home when my dad spotted Wes bending down to kiss me good bye. All hell broke loose, my dad jumped out the car and punched him in the face and started kicking his ass in the street. He didn’t realize Wes was just a kid. I had to pull my dad off of Wesley and explain the situation to my father. My dad was pissed, he told Wes I was too young to have a boyfriend and that he was not to see me anymore. When we got home I got the only lecture! I got grounded for three months and Joey got grounded for a month for failing in his brotherly duties.

Mia: Drama, so then what happened?

Mom: Papi apologized to Wes and his family. His family wasn’t too thrilled to find out that I was Puerto Rican. They’d seen me a few times and assumed I was Italian as well. The nicest thing they had to say about me was that it was a shame what had happened because I was such a pretty little spic.

Mia: Are you serious?

Mom: Yeah honey you’ve got to realize the relations between Puerto Ricans and Italians in this city weren’t always the greatest.

Mia: You wouldn’t know it by the amount of Puerto Rican/Italian kids I go to school with now. Once upon a time they dissed us and now they want to kiss us.

Mom: So true.

Mia: What happened after that?

Mom: I didn’t talk to my dad for about a week. Finally Titi Eva stepped in as a mediator. I was given more freedom and allowed to date as long as I had a chaperone. But to tell you the truth for a while I was too embarrassed to face Wesley again. He refused to give up and kept contacting me everyday for about a month. We started dating again after my punishment ended but his family gave him a lot of grief about me. They just couldn’t accept that I was Puerto Rican and I didn’t want to cause any more problems for him with them, so I ended it. A few months later dad brought a bigger house on the other side of the Bronx and we moved and I never saw Wesley again.

Mia: That’s it?

Mom: Yeah.

Mia: Damn ma that’s kind of depressing, you sure know how to tell an uplifting story.

Mom: Hey on a good note I met your dad a few years later and his parents loved me! No you want to hear depressing? You’ve got to be on your way home before 11 pm when you visit your grandfather’s block… ha ha !

Mia: That was cold woman real cold. So when do you think grandpa will see me as a grown up?

Mom: Never. Child please I am 43 years old, the man still calls me “la nena” (little girl) and treats me as if I were a kid. Did you not catch him last week at dinner cutting my steak for me ? When was the last time you ever saw him cut Joey’s food?

Mia: Never.

Mom: and I’d like to point out thank you very much that I am a year older than Joey.

Just then my dad passed by and yelled his two cents in from the kitchen

Dad: Mia ask your mother what’s dad’s pet name for her.

Mom: Shhhhhhh William! Mind your business!

Mia: Well ma what is it?

Mom: I can’t remember.

Dad: It’s MONKEY FACE, he calls her monkey face!

Mom: Yeah he does, now you know my darkest secret, my father calls me Monkey Face . Oh pero wait a minute what is it he calls you nena? Hmmmm?

Mia: I don’t know what you’re talking about lady.

Dad: He calls her Miss Fluffy, hon!

Maybe one day I’ll tell you guys about my grandpa. Like I said he is too much.


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Posted by @ 3:32 PM
5 comment from: Blogger Champ - Love Hound, Blogger cinnimon_girl, Blogger December, Blogger Mia, Blogger December,