Mia: Shaken Not Stirred


The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A couple of 9 yr olds talking...


There’s a 9 year old boy that lives in my building by the name of Damien. His dad and my uncle have known each other since they were teens and when they had their sons a month apart they hoped the boys would grow up together and be the friends like their fathers. The problem is that Damien is a very competitive little boy. If my 9 year old cousin has a cookie Damien wants a bigger cookie… he competes with Pico in everything from the clothes they wear to academics. Last night Damien came over to play and as Pico and he were standing next to each other he sized Pico up….

Damien: Pico you are so short. Look I’m way bigger than you!

It’s true Damien is big for his age but then again everyone in his family is over 6ft tall. My little cousin looked up at Damien and shrugged his shoulders. For the next few minutes Damien taunted Pico about his height. Pico just ignored him. Damien then went on to something else…

Damien: My father’s car is bigger than your fathers!

Pico: So? That just means he wastes more gas.

Damien was getting angry that Pico wasn’t getting into the competition game and tried another angle…

Damien: As a matter of fact everything I got is better than yours!

Pico: That’s not true.

Damien: Name one thing you got that’s better than mine!

Just then my mom walked in through the door and interrupted their discussion. Pico ran to her and threw his arms around her.

Pico: Titi! How was your day?

Mom: It was good my little man except that I really missed you today. How was school?

My mom then sat down and held her nephew in her lap. They chatted about his day and his homework for awhile. Every now and then my mom would give my cousin a little kiss on his cheek or tickle him. Pico climbed off of mom's lap and sat next to Damien...

Pico: I know one thing I have that is better than yours.

Damien: What?

He looked at my mom and pointed at her.

Pico: My titi…she’s prettier and nicer than yours.

Damien looked at my mom for a few seconds and then looked back at Pico.

Damien: Aigght son I’ll give you that one.


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Monday, November 27, 2006

Rough Night


They all agreed it had been a rough night. “I’m re-living someone else’s life.” He said holding his head in his hands...

He got the call just as he was arriving home from work. His ex had tried to kill herself in front of her children. In a fit of anger and desperation after an argument with her teenaged son she had swallowed a handful of her anti-depressant pills. She was having a bad week she'd broken up with him during one of her manic swings. She regretted it the moment he left. All week long the woman had been leaving him apologetic messages on his phone. Messages that went ignored. He felt it best to wait until he cooled off before talking to her. He would not be going back. She could keep the apartment and all of his stuff as well. He tried his best but he could not live with her mental illness, he was tired. In hindsight he was grateful for the break up; he had wanted to leave a long time ago. The only reason he stuck around at all was because of his child. She used their baby as a weapon against him; he decided to let the courts sort it all out since she was impossible to reason with.

“Help, Help me!” she yelled into his phone. She instructed him to come and pick up their daughter. She had messed up and was sure the baby was going to be taken away from her. The family was called in and strategy was being discussed among the brothers as if they were going to war. Their older sister told them to let her handle it. She called the woman and as soon as the woman heard her voice she began to cry. When it was over the sister turned to her brother and said,” she and the baby will be spending the weekends with us from now on. She needs someone to take care of her.” One of the brothers objected to having her in the house because of the way she had treated their younger brother. The sister held her hand up signaling the fact that the woman’s presence in their home was not negotiable, “we’re going to do this for the baby. The woman is mentally ill we’ve got to try to help her as best we can.”

Again her brother repeated the line, “I am re- living my father’s life.” He spoke of his mother’s mental illness and how hard it was on his father when they were growing up. His sister sighed and said, “well the baby has all of us and we’ll make sure her life goes smoother than ours.” He got up and walked towards his sister, “Our life was smooth thanks to you. The sister looked at him and held her hand up hoping that the conversation would end there. She was not up to reliving her mother’s mental illness, the suicide attempts, the manic mood swings. Her teenaged self running barefoot with her 3 younger brothers across the roof tops of East Harlem trying to prevent children’s services from getting their hands on the boys after being warned by a neighbor on the 1st floor that the social worker and police were making their way to her 5th floor walk up apartment to take the kids.

“Ay ya basta nene, enough.” She sighed and suddenly found herself being bear hugged by the two boys now men old enough to remember it all. The older one spoke, “we remember you know we both do. Thank you.” “Yeah well if you boys are so grateful how about you clean up the kitchen for me tonight? ”

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Peace One Man at a Time


You know that cool house the one where all the neighborhood kids love to hang out in? That’s my house. It’s always been that way for as long as I can remember. On any given evening my house looks like The United Nations with 7 or more kids from different ethnic backgrounds taking over the living room for a couple of hours.

It was the day before Thanksgiving and the TV repair man had come over to fix the living room TV which had been moved to the dining room to make it easier for the repair guy. Mom set him up with a cup of coffee, a plate full of cheese and crackers and left him to his work. Several minutes later she came back into the dining room carrying 15 lbs of potatoes that needed to be peeled for my father’s Thanksgiving potato salad. Immediately a couple of kids came over to my mom and asked if she needed help. Despite mom declining their offer they returned with knives and began peeling potatoes.

The TV repair man looked at all the kids surrounding my mom, he took notice of their different ethnicity, and skin colors especially in comparison to my fair skinned mom. The guy waited a minute and his curiosity obviously piqued by the fact that the kids called mom “Ma” asked her, “You’re husband is Puerto Rican right?” “Yeah he is why do you ask?” “These kids they all look so different. They can’t all be from the same man.” Mom took a deep sigh and put down her knife…” Well you know how everyone talks about wanting world peace? I’m actually doing something about it. I’m trying to bring peace into this world one man at a time.” She pointed to the kids, “I’ve already got the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia covered. Next month I’m working on South America.”

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Role Playing in Class


I was sitting in short term counseling class minding my own business soaking up precious rays of knowledge when my professor called on me for a role playing exercise. I was to play the client and my class mate was to play shrink. I had to create a scenario on the spot there was no time to prepare….

Mia: I’m here because I’m having problems with my boyfriend. I haven’t see him in a month. I know he has a very demanding job so I need help coping with his absence.

Girl: I see well how long you have been together?

Mia: A month.

Girl: I don’t understand he’s been your boyfriend for a month but you haven’t seen him in a month? How did you meet this guy?

Mia: I met him through the internet. We physically met only once.

Girl: You only had one date?

rolling my eyes

Mia: Well yeah if you want to get all technical about it.

The class began to giggle. The professor laughed and put his hand to his head.


Girl: You don’t think that’s kind of fast to jump into a relationship?


Mia: What you mean? He’s my soul mate! Didn’t you hear me say he said he wanted me to be his girlfriend? I can take a hint I know when a man is feeling me. Besides he told me so. He told me he was feeling me. He even toasted me with a cosmopolitan and said, “to new beginnings.” I mean yeah I know a guy drinking a cosmopolitan is kind of gay if you get my drift but I was willing to over look that. After all he wanted to be my man.

Girl: And you got all of this from a first date?

Mia: Na man he also made his myspace page private after started chatting you know like he didn’t want any other females to check out his profile.

Girl: Why was that?


Mia:Well that meant that he had already found the one so why keep on looking. I’m his soul mate.

Girl: But you haven’t heard from him in a month…

Mia: He’s just been busy.

Girl: Please go on

Mia: So um yeah so like after chatting on the internet like forever we went on this date and totally hit it off. He said he wanted me to be his girlfriend. He invited me back to his house to watch a movie and then um like you know nature took its’ course.


Girl: You had sexual relations with him?

Mia: Ohhh no don’t say it that. It sounds kind of dirty. Um no we made pa-shee-nit love.

Girl: So you made love after the first date, don’t you think that’s kind of fast?

Mia: Are you calling me a slut?

I narrowed my eyes and changed the tone of my voice to indignant…and daintily threw my hands to my chest….The class and the professor broke out in laughter…despite the fact that the professor warned anyone about laughing while I role played…he remembered the last time I role played the class wouldn’t stop laughing and didn’t want a repeat of it.


Girl: No no I’m not calling you a slut. Have you tried calling him to discuss what is going on?


Mia: I call him every day but it goes straight to voice mail. I know he’s really busy at work and can’t take my calls and by the time he gets out well you know it’s late. I figure he doesn’t want to call me that late out of consideration for my schedule. I go by his job every day to try to catch a glimpse of him so we can talk but like I said he has a really demanding job. I pause to take a breath and think about what I’m saying… that’s not stalking is it?

The class starts laughing again the “counselor” tried to keep a straight face and picked up her pencil to take some notes.


Girl: What’s his name?


Mia: Why? What you want to know that stuff for? You gonna call the police on me?

Girl: No! Have you ever thought about dating someone else?


I look up at the ceiling as if I were seeing something.


Mia: Why ? He’s my soul mate! He’s a Scorpio and I’m a Capricorn! It’s written in the stars! We were meant to be so why would I want to date anyone else when my soul mate is right there?


Just then we were stopped by the professor the class was over. He said he really didn’t want to stop the session it was one of the funniest role playing sessions over. He then looked over at me and laughing said, “Oh man it’s always the quiet ones that come up with the freakiest role playing!” “Oh yeah us quiet ones must let the freak flag fly every now and then.” I replied.

The sad thing is that the role I chose was actually a composite of several experiences I have witnessed friends go through.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Subway Encounter


My father was riding the subway into work and looked up several times from his newspaper to see a man staring at him. He sized the man up; he was around the same age as my father (45), his clothes were worn, his hair and beard in need of grooming. While he wasn’t dirty or smelly it was obvious he had seen better days and was homeless. There was something oddly familiar about the man. When the man noticed my father was staring back at him he looked down as if he were ashamed. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he had seen this guy somewhere before.

As the train pulled into my father’s stop he got up and approached the homeless man. He smiled at the man and held out his hand, “Good Morning my name is William. The man said nothing and as they shook hands my father pressed a ten dollar bill into the man’s hand. “Take care of yourself man.” and stepped off the train. Just as the subway doors closed the homeless man stood up and said, “Thank you Johnny.” He felt as if someone had punched him in the gut and stared at the train as it pulled out of the station. Johnny was my father’s childhood nickname.

Suddenly he knew why the man had seemed familiar. They had been childhood friends. The man’s name was Michael and within their clique Mike was known as the brain. He was an honor student with dreams of being a doctor. Dad recalled their childhood and the outrageous pranks their group pulled off together. The one that made them legends within the halls of their school took place during their senior year. It is one that the senior classes still try to top to this day. The one where they carried off Brother Richard's 1973 Volkswagen Beetle in the middle of the night and parked it several blocks away from their parochial school making the poor Jesuit monk think his car had been stolen.

Dad couldn’t get over what he had seen on the train and it affected him all day. He even called his parents out in Florida and told them what he has seen hoping that they might know the whereabouts of Mike's family. Dad has been unable to get his encounter with Mike on the subway out of his head. When he spoke to my mom about it his eyes filled with tears. He is worried about his old friend. He is now determined to find Michael again and to help him. My father has an intimidating presence, only those of us that know him are aware of the sensitive man that lies behind those beautiful green eyes.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

God Listens To Me!


I often write about the “only in New York” incidents that I witness during the course of my daily life. Last night’s heavy rain gave birth to yet another one of those classic moments. I was on my way to the subway battling the heavy wind which was making a shambles out of nearly every umbrella in came in contact with. People were running across the street towards the subway in a futile attempt to escape the sheets of water falling over the city.

A man ran past me trying to shield himself from the water with a piece of cardboard. I guess he and God must be having some issues because he seemed to be taking the storm as a personal sign… “Every time I damn God it rains! He listens to meeeeee!” he screeched as he ran by me. I turned my head, stared after him and said, “What the hell was that?” Just in case I had missed anything the guy standing next to me hit life's cosmic re-wind button and without missing a beat did a dead on imitation of the man. I just dissolved into a fit of giggles. Who needs TiVo when you have fellow New Yorkers? Man you just gotta love New York especially during moments like that.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Perceptions


It’s fascinating how a group of people can look at the same exact thing and come away with different perceptions….

The other day my mom asked my dad to pick something up from the store for her but she couldn’t remember the name of the product. So she told him, “It’s in a pyramid shaped box.” My dad thought he had located the product and called mom, “honey is it a box that’s shaped like a sandwich bag?” She stopped to think for a minute “No babe it’s a pyramid shaped box” “Well all I see here is a sandwich bag shaped box.” She thought about it again and asked, “Does it have a Caribbean color scheme to it?” “Well yeah it’s kind of colorful but it’s not pyramid shaped.” “Freak it bring it on home. It sounds like we’re talking about the same thing.” When dad got home he placed the box on the table in front of my mom, “Is this what you wanted?” “Yeah that’s it! The pyramid shaped box!” “Sandwich bag!” he called out as he headed out the door.

My mom looked at the box for a few seconds and then said, “You know I can see what he means about it looking like a sandwich bag, it looks like one of those brown paper bags we used to carry our lunch in when we were kids.” I looked at the box, “It looks like a house to me.” My mom looked at the box again and said, "Damn I can see that too...it's amazing how something so simple as a box can be so many different things.It's all how one perceives it." She then began a discussion with me on how that moment pertained to life in general. She’s done that all of my life taken small every day moments and turned them into philosophical discussions and life lessons. It’s very important to her that her kids look at things from all different angles and keep an open mind not just accept or fall into one rigid way of thinking or has she likes to put it, “one kid's peanut butter and jelly is another man’s gourmet meal.”

The lesson on personal perception sprang to life during one of my counseling classes. We were watching a videotape on different therapy styles and the way therapists interacted with their patients. When the tape was done we had a discussion on our perception of the therapist. The professor an African- American woman found the male African-American therapist’s style to be seductive. She spoke about his body language his slow deliberate movements the way he sat his eye contact with the patient and his low reassuring voice. The students agreed with her but I’m not too sure if they really did agree with her or were just being “yes” men. I didn’t see that and said so. I saw the therapist as being nonchalant in an attempt to make his patient comfortable. Like. “You know it’s not a big deal that you’re here. Don’t stress it, people come to therapy every day. We’re just two people having a conversation. ” type of thing.

Then this Indian girl spoke up she didn’t agree with the professor or with me. She had her own spin on things. She said that the therapist looked as if he wanted to rape the patient. Rape the patient? WTF?! Did we watch the same video? I didn’t see that. No one saw that. The girl tried to explain her point of view. The second the words left her mouth you could hear the sound of people turning in their seats to look at her. The professor looked shocked and angry. Several African American girls in the class yelled out, “WHAT?!!oh hell no!” I covered my hands with my face….”Oh shit this girl is not going to make it out of here alive. ” I don’t know how she came to the conclusion that the therapist wanted to rape his patient but I’m pretty sure her perception was tinged with a bit of racism but then again that’s just my own perception of it.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Beauty Queen & The College Chick



I got a text message from a friend, “Bitches think they won’t get slapped.” Wtf?! What is that all about? Why the ghettofied threat? Who’s a bitch and why are slaps being bandied about? I had just gotten the burning question out of my mind when my friend called and asked me to Google a former Miss Colombia that attends our school. Huh? Why am I googling a beauty queen? Is this school related? Is she a case study in a mental disorder afflicting beauty queens or is this the bitch that is going to be slapped? If so why is she being slapped and what makes her a bitch? I was lost.

I was into my third chorus of “Kyle’s Mom” when my friend called me again this time with the complete story… The beauty queen had called the college chick fat and now the chick was mega heated. I just had to burst out laughing, which in hindsight I guess was not the smartest thing to do. It just added fuel to the fire…

My friend was having some French fries in the cafeteria and somehow the conversation turned to the subject of weight. She is tall and a size 14 but it’s a solid 14 and on her it looks good. As she munched on her fries she lamented per usual on how fat she is. Usually when she does I’ll be there and say to her “Oh stop it you are not fat." Only I wasn’t there that day so it didn’t go down too well for my friend. Instead of giving her ego a boost the beauty queen who is a size 4 agreed my friend was fat and then added, “Don’t you just hate when people walk up to you in the street and tell you that you’re fat?” Personally I took it as the beauty queen being sarcastic with my friend and not as a personal insult. My friend however did not share my view. Oh no the svelte beauty queen went there.

The beauty queen violated one of the commandments of the sisterhood. Thoust shall not call the fat chick fat if thoust are thin.“But why are you so mad? You’re always saying your fat and she agreed with you so what’s the problem?” “I am not fat! She called me fat!” “She didn't call you fat she just agreed with you so what’s the big deal?" She then went off on a cuss word filled tirade. "Relax it's not that serious.", I said. "Aren't you always saying that you’re fat?” “I am not fat though!” “Uh huh…so then why are you always saying that your fat if you feel you're not?"

She was fuming. I tried to reason with her, “Look to a size 4 chick you are fat. “But I am not fat!” “Yes I understand that, but still I see no reason to get mad when you’re always calling yourself fat anyway and she was just agreeing with you.” “ But I am not fat!” “ahhhh I sense a pattern here. Okay we got that already so if you know you’re not fat why are you always saying it?” “ For validation! Okay are you happy? I admit it I do it for validation!” “Well next time you wanna feel validated about your weight don’t do it around a size 4!”



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Thursday, November 09, 2006

One of life’s many mysteries


This is something that totally amazes me, one of life's many mysteries as my mother is fond of saying. File it under things that makes you scratch your head and say wtf? My mother is a light sleeper. A feather gently cascading on plush carpeting will wake the woman up from the deepest of slumbers. I call it "mommy hearing". I guess it comes from years of being a mom and listening for:

::1:: Babies fussing in the pre-dawn hours

::2::Toddlers climbing out of their beds

::3:: Grade schoolers “quietly” cooking in the kitchen

::4:: Teenagers trying to sneak into the house past their curfew

::5:: Drunken college students coming home at the break of dawn bearing stolen fruit.

My pops on the other hand can sleep through anything which explains why has never been put on curfew patrol. The man has been known to fall asleep standing up. He’s even been known to sleep with his eyes open; something that scared the shit out of my mom when they first got married. The other night we had a slight plumbing emergency and mom asked me to wake dad up and let him know what was going on. “Don’t jostle him you’ll scare him and he throws punches!”, she called out to me as I entered their bedroom. I stood over my father and in my best indoor voice began the call to revelry…

“Pa” I said, and got no response from him. “Pa….Paaaaa…Papi !” I hissed.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Uh huh…better try it in English now.

“Dad… oh dad… daddy…psssst daddy… hey father…oh father of mine…. Dad…daddy-o…daddy-kinte…dada…da-ha-ha-deeeee daddyyyyyy….pssssttt…hey daddy amin dada.”

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Pssstttttttt pa, papi” “Hey mister… pssstttt father.”

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Hey you!"

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Mira tu senor, psssttt papi, padre, father, dad, daddy, husband of Magda. Father of Steven, Caity and Mia, owner of Kane…child of William senior and Fefi. Psstttt William…Willie, Bill, Pa!...Kane is eating your slippers! Pa we can’t find Kane! Wild pitbull on the loose!....Dad? Pizz-ops?"

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Time to call in for back up “Ma he’s not waking up!” “What do you mean he’s not waking up? Is he breathing?!” giggling “Yeah ma, he’s snoring.” “Hold on I’m coming. He does this all the time.” “Yeah ma you know this. I don’t know why you sent me to wake him. It never works.” “Hope springs eternal nena…carajo... I'm a freaking optimist, sue me.”

Ma stood at the door to their room I tried again, “Papi”

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

She raised her hand for me to stop, “watch this.” she didn’t even make an attempt to cross over to their bed she stood right there at on the threshold. In a gentle voice barely above a freaking whisper she said, “Honey, babe…?” and just like Dracula rising from his coffin at the hint of night my father shot straight up in bed. “Yea baby wassup?!” he said rubbing the sleep from his eyes and smiling at my mom. I was stupefied! She explained the problem to him and he quickly got out of bed tousling my hair as he walked by me, “Hey boogie you just got home?” “Pa I’ve been trying to wake you for the longest!” “Oh I’m sorry boogie I didn’t hear you.” I looked at my mom, “Woman how the hell?” she shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know kid let’s chalk it up to one of life’s many mysteries.”

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Wave of Nostalgia


June 2000 I walked out of the building year book and diploma in hand. I looked at the purple wrought iron fence we had painted the month before. It had seemed like a great idea to paint the fence the school colors of purple and white. Now it wasn’t so cute. Oh well next year’s senior class would take care of it. I walked towards my house my back to the school and then suddenly turned around just to get one last look at the place. I half-waved at it, happy to be free of it at last. I never envisioned myself actually going back to it for any reason. A few of my friends went back to visit from time to time but I never felt the urge to do so. I’m not that nostalgic.

October 2006 I am back. Parent-teacher conference day and mom dragged me with her. The school still smelled the same of hot dogs and sauerkraut. I wondered is that a perfume all schools have? Do they pump it in throught the heating system? Does it have the power to hypnotize? All of a sudden it was like I was traveling back in time. I remembered walking the halls to class waving to this one, smiling at that one, hustling from the first to the fourth floor trying to make it to global history before the late bell rang and I got locked out of class. WTF was that? Was that a wave of nostalgia smacking me on my ass? Cut it out those school girl days are long over.

We made our way to the auditorium to pick up my sibling’s report cards... “You look familiar, what grade are you in?” “I’m not a student here.” “But you were once weren’t you?” “Yes ma’m I graduated in 2000.” “Uh huh yes that why you look familiar!” “You were on the tennis team weren’t you?” “Yes m’am” “The girl that always played her matches in jeans and Timberland boots! You always refused to wear the skirt” “Yes that was me.” “My goodness you were good! That serve! Oh yes I do recall that serve! You wrote that beautiful poem on abuse for the paper too. It was in the year book. We still have it in a frame in the senior office you know.” “Wow I didn’t know that. Yeah that was me.”

Report cards in hand we made our way around the school, I didn’t expect to come across any of my old teachers. I’d heard that the majority of our teachers retired when the class of 2000 graduated, we wore them out. Just then life threw a little something my way. An old woman passed me in the hallway. There was something familiar about her. A minute later it hit me I knew that lady! “That was Miss Stricks!” I yelled out to my mother. My heart danced the rhumba in my chest. I had been crazy about that teacher. Oh man Miss Stricks the head of the English department! She was always encouraging me to pursue a writing career. She was the first person ever to tell me I had writing talent. It was because of her that I have continued to write. I wanted to thank her for all she did for me while I was a student. I walked back but she was gone. I stopped by the English department but she wasn’t in her office.

An hour or so later we were down to the last teacher on our list…”Mia can you guess who is Caity’s English teacher?” “No.” “It’s Miss Stricks!” We had just stepped into the room and I‘d caught a glimpse of Miss Stricks when my phone rang. I had to take the call it was important. I went outside into the hall. Inside mom and Miss Stricks spoke about Caitlin and her potential as a writer. Then she leaned in and asked my mom, “The girl that was with you looks very familiar. Was she ever a student here?” “Yes…that’s my daughter Mia…. “Mia? OH MY GOD!! I knew it was her!” she then ran out of her office and into the hallway to greet me. “Mia!” First thing she did was ask what I’d been up to since graduating. She beamed with pride and seemed on the verge of tears when I told her about my psychology degree, the Peace Corp and my future plans. “Oh my you’re a missionary! There was always something about you. I could tell back then." We walked arm in arm then she stopped suddenly and gave me a big hug. She then made me promise to come back to Stevenson, “It’s very important for these kids to see one of their own succeed in life Mia. Promise me you’ll come back here for the kids. Give them at least a year of your life."

Just then my sister’s music teacher came by and Miss Stricks introduced us. The music teacher echoed Miss Stricks words. A passing early childhood development teacher stopped to look at me.“You look familiar. I know you!” She had never been my teacher but she had been a friend’s. I often waited outside of her class for my friend. She remembered me, my sense of humor she often heard the jokes I cracked with my friend outside her door. I never thought of myself as a memorable student. I was shy so I never ever spoke in class. I kept my head down; handed my work in on time I just wanted to make it out of high school with my sanity intact and a diploma. I didn’t do anything to really call attention to myself inside the class room. My lone distinction when I was a student there was the fact that I had an eyebrow ring. No one else in the school had one body piercing wasn’t a fad with ghetto kids yet.

The teachers ganged up on me.Come back we need you here. You'll be an inspiration to these kids. Their dedication touched me. With retirement almost upon them they are still looking out for future students. I promised them I‘d return as a counselor once my tenure in the Peace Corp was up. I’d give back a couple of years to the school the nurtured my dreams. I thought about their words. I owe this school something; I owe my community, my people. Stevenson is one of the worst high schools in NYC. It has a 38.6% graduation rate and less than half of that go on to college. WTF? Nostalgia has come knock knocking on my door again?!

I know I have to return there I owe that much to the teachers that guided me towards the path that I am now on. Granted there were a few teachers there that were scared of us and were quick to dismiss us as cogs in the machine of negative stereotypes. In their eyes we were already failures, they really didn’t care if we made it out with a diploma or not. Thankfully they were out numbered by the ones like Miss Stricks, the ones that did care. Crud there goes that wave of nostalgia slapping me silly again.

Song of The Day…To Sir With Love by Lulu


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Posted by @ 11:33 AM
10 comment from: Blogger Ritardo, Blogger don_veto, Blogger Leilouta, Blogger Mia, Blogger Cheeky, Blogger Mia, Blogger DannieS72, Blogger Emory, Blogger Sudiegirl, Blogger Mia,


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I almost wished I had been Indian


I’ve been having my eyebrows threaded in this place for months now and decided to try out the manicure services. I sat down and as the manicurist took my hand in hers she gave me a warm smile then started speaking in Hindi to me. Well a t least I think it was Hindi it could’ve been Urdu as well, either way I didn’t understand the language.

When I didn’t respond to what she was saying twice she looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and asked if I was Indian. I told her I was Puerto Rican and her face seemed to cloud over as if she didn’t believe me. I assured her again that I indeed was Puerto Rican and she smiled again at me but her smile wasn’t as warm as before when she thought I was Indian. The door closed the moment had passed. I was no longer being invited to share her world. I guess I disappointed her. Just for that moment I almost wished I had been Indian.

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Posted by @ 2:18 AM
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Origami bird


I had been having a pretty fantastic week but of course given my streak lately I wouldn’t be Mia if I did not have at least one embarrassing moment to report….

The professor was talking about how research has proven that men are easier to hypnotize than women. Without even thinking about it I muttered under my breath, “that’s because they are idiots.” No one was meant to hear that. In fact the only person that heard was Angela who was sitting right next to me but that’s because she has bionic ears. As soon as she heard what I said she let out a big laugh. The thing is Angie doesn’t just laugh it’s more like a combo cackle-giggle-wtf was that? Laugh. The professor stopped his lecture and looked at Angie and asked her what was so funny. Now she could’ve said. "Nothing" or kept her mouth shut but nooo she didn’t, instead she gleefully repeated my comment and made sure to give me credit for it. Remind me never to commit a crime in Angie’s presence the girl will drop dime on me in a millisecond, God bless her soul.

The moment she spoke everyone gasped and then there was deadly silence. All air was sucked out of the room. Time seemed to be affected. Like a fight scene out of The Matrix, everything seemed to slow down. I swear I could see myself leaving my body and flying through the air my hands raised in a martial arts position, the “Oh hell no this bitch didn’t” claw. I envisioned myself rendering Angie mute with one swift judo chop to the throat. I heard a few people mutter that they couldn’t believe she had just done that. No one could believe she shouted me out least of all me. My head dropped and my hands went to my face. Then the class began to laugh, the professor fumed, Angie smiled, I turned beet red and even went deaf for a quick second. The professor’s eyes were locked on mine when he said, “Can we get back to the intellectual conversation? Since I am a man it will take me longer to process it.”

The professor was not a happy man. If looks could kill I would’ve been laying on the floor sporting a toe tag.I shifted in my seat. For the rest of the class I was treated to a series of not so nice looks from him. I alternated between thinking I really should carry some duct tape around for my mouth to that the whole situation was hysterical. I thought about wanting to rip Angie’s vocal cords out and make an origami bird out of them and send it sailing out an open window.

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Posted by @ 8:56 AM
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Mom


My mother is known for her quick wit. She’s one of those people who always has the perfect response no matter what you throw at her. Her delivery is flawless, her timing impeccable and her facial expressions sublime. Sometimes it’s not even what she says it’s just the way she says it. I thought I’d give you guys a sample of her most memorable lines this week….


Monday: I was stressing a research paper I had to turn in later that day. My mom read it over and pronounced it brilliant and then for good measure gave me one of her pep talks. By the time she was done I felt as if I could conquer the world.

Mia: Ma I wish you had a magic wand.

My theory behind this was that she has such a way with people it would be great if she had a magic wand to wave over the world and make it better.

Mom: Whooo thank God I don’t. Catch me on a bad day and there will be a mess of people with exploding diarrhea all over Washington!


Tuesday (Halloween): It’s almost 4 am my dad is getting ready to leave for work. My dad wakes my mom up to kiss her good-bye.…

Dad: Babe so what are you going to be for this Halloween?

Mom: Cranky woman whose husband woke her up.

Dad: Oh I thought you were going to be a cranky OLD woman.

Mom: Nope you’re father’s got that covered. Since when is the old man into cross dressing?



Wednesday : It was almost time for dad to leave for work again. This time Ma was awake they were in the kitchen talking. My dad opened the fridge and caught a whiff from the slightly opened baggie cucumber/melon tobacco I keep in the fridge for the shisha.

Dad : Baby I think something has gone bad in the fridge.

Mom : she sniffed the air I don’t smell anything.

Dad : You know you can’t smell anything with that little thing you call a nose.

Mom : Honey you're not smelling anything in our fridge. What you're actually smelling is Yakov making Borcsh in Russia. Not that i'm saying you have a big nose or anything like that.



Thursday: Dad decided to pull a prank on mom. He turned the bedroom light off and hid behind the door. When mom walked into the room he jumped out at her. Ma must have jumped several feet in the air. She looked as if she were about to cry. He had really scared her and immediately felt bad about it…sort of. He reached out for mom and started hugging her rocking her back and forth kissing her on the top of her head.

Dad :I’m so sorry babe. Are you mad at me?

Mom : Oh no, not at all sweetheart but as soon as I find someone willing to sell me some arsenic no questions asked we’ll be discussing this stunt of yours again.

she then gave him “the look”(see photo at beginning of post) …this look has been known to freeze us kids in our tracks

Friday : My parents are chilling in the living room talking . One of their best friends my aunt Letty is in town for the weekend and wants to see them. My mother is a little anxious. Her friend hasn’t seen her since she had the stroke. My mother’s face is partially paralyzed. Her slightly crooked smile is the only visible evidence of her stroke. She’s very, very self-conscious about the way her smile looks now and puts her hand over her mouth when she smiles.

Dad: You know you’re still beautiful. The stroke didn’t take that away from you. Even if I wasn’t married to you I’d still feel that way. The older you get the prettier you are.

Mom: Really? By the time I reach 90 I should be drop dead gorgeous!

Dad: You already are.

My mom just stared at him for a second and snuggled up to him. Her nose got kind of pink a signal of impending tears in our house.

Mom: Aw shit!

Dad: You okay boogie?

Mom: I hope I can get my money back on the arsenic I brought this morning.

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Posted by @ 4:56 PM
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Papillona Sky: Post.A.No.Secret Tag::November Edition



In the midst of exams and putting together research papers a new month snuck up on me. Around here the beginning of a new month can mean only one thing….

Time for Papillona Sky’s monthly Post. A. No. Secret. Tag.

Here’s the run down:
1. Post it on your blog or just Email it to Papillona Sky.

2. Link it to POST.A.NO.SECRET your blog.

3. Revealing your identity is optional. Be careful not to share any information you wouldn't want the world to see.


This is my POST.A.NO.SECRET contribution for November and it’s got theme music to boot. Enjoy.


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Posted by @ 11:37 AM
4 comment from: Blogger The Krispy Dixie, Blogger Emory, Blogger DannieS72, Blogger Papillona ®,