Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I want to buy you a toe ring

My boyfriend Josh had been sick for several days and none of the over the counter medications he was popping seemed to be helping. The fact that he had unused sick days and personal days didn’t matter to his boss. The boss man was in a foul mood and totally unsympathetic to my boyfriend’s plight he refused to let him leave early to see a doctor. “ You should have taken care of this while you were on vacation!” was his response.

Who the hell can schedule illness and can they teach me ? Please let me know so I can set up my next bout with the flu for a time when I don’t have finals and papers that need to be done.

After work Josh headed straight to the emergency room of the hospital nearest to his job. He wasn’t even there for 5 minutes when the doctors decided that he needed to admitted. After pumping him full of drugs and pain medication they left him alone with his cell phone in a cubicle while they arranged a room for him. I was about to head out to the hospital when I got this call....

Caller: I want to buy you a toe ring.

I stared at the phone. Who the hell was this? Had some slurried voiced person found Josh’s cell phone in the hospital and decided to crank call his fav 5? Then slurried voice spoke again and I recognized it. It was Josh and he was high as a kite.

Josh: I want to buy you a toe ring.

Mia: (laughing) Ok

Josh: I want to buy you a toe ring.

Mia: Ok

Josh: You have pretty toes.

Mia: Okayyyyyyy

That comment reminded me of the time I went on a date with this guy who after noticing my sandal encased feet wanted to take me to home to lick ice cream off my toes, he even offered to let me pick the flavor.

Mia: You don’t have a foot fetish do you?

For a second I imagined my shoes slowly disappearing from my closet hidden away to be lovingly caressed in secret.

Josh: No you just have pretty toes. I want to buy you a toe ring.

Then I remembered he had a 104 point something fever plus was filled with enough pain meds to take down a horse. Stuff like that tends to make a person a tad loopy. Besided this was Josh we were talking about, 2 watered down drinks at the local bar and he’s roasted.

Josh: I want to buy you a toe ring.

I decided it wasn’t the time to tell him I owned several toe rings. He’d probably want me to model them at the hospital.

Mia: Okay

Josh: Mia?

Mia: Yes, Joshua?

Josh: You have pretty toes.

Mia: (sigh) Thank You.

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Posted by @ 1:30 PM
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Texan's Tale

Every now and then you come across a story so fantastic it’s hard to believe it’s true. This is one of them, a story so rich in imagery that it’s best told in a bar with music playing in the background and an ice cold corona in front of you. The owner of this story swears to all that is holy and semi-sacred that it’s true.

Many, many, many years ago when our troops were fighting in the jungles of an unpopular war a tall good looking man from Texas barely 20 years old went over to Mexico with a couple of friends for a night of drinking . They ended up in a bar in a little town not too far from Tijuana. The tall Texan caught the eye of one of the waitresses in the bar and when her shift was over she stayed on to talk with him. Even though she was a little older than him the Texan swore to his audience that she had been the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Everything was going well until her husband’s arrival.

The man came in mad as hell and stomped towards the bar. The bartender quickly pointed him in the direction of his wife and the Texan who were making their way back to their table from the dance floor. The angry husband immediately stepped in between the woman and the Texan and started yelling at his wife. At first the Texan couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He thought it was the effects of the liquor. The Texan estimated the angry husband to be around 4ft 6 inches tall. The husband shoved his hands into his pockets as he yelled at his wife causing his jacket to expose the leather belt he wore. The belt had 8 visible holsters and each of those holsters held a dagger. The Texan was sure that the belt held a few more holsters behind the midget’s back.

The Texan’s friends quickly gathered around him pulling him towards the door while the midget’s wife tried to cajole her husband towards the back.The Texan tried to calm the husband explaining in his gringo accented Spanish that there was nothing going on and invited the man to join them for a drink However the more the Texan spoke the angrier the midget got. As he watched the midget put his pudgy little hand on the handle of one of the daggers the idea that the midget might be part of knife throwing act in a local circus crossed the Texan’s mind. He barely had time to process the thought when the jealous husband flew at the Texan with a dagger in each hand. He slashed the Texan across his forearms and stomach. He lunged at the Texan and stabbed him in each thigh leaving a dagger stuck in one. When the Texan stepped back to pull out the dagger the midget came at him again with another. The Texan swore that the midget was aiming for his manhood.

As the Texan and his friends ran towards the door he heard the clatter of a dagger landing on the floor behind him. The midget was actually throwing daggers at the Texan. He had almost made it to his car when he felt a dagger dig into his calf. He stopped and turned around in disbelief. His friends already in the running car opened the passenger door and yelled at him to get in. As he jumped into the car a dagger flew by the Texan embedding itself in the passenger seat. The Texan then reached under the seat and pulled out a gun and began firing at the midget’s feet. When he realized he was being shot at the midget stopped dead in his tracks, he had run out of daggers and obviously hadn’t anticipated the possibility of a gun. The Texan squeezed off a couple of more shots as the car sped off into the night making its way towards the border.

When he was done telling his story everyone laughed. The Texan insisted that it had never been his intention to hurt the little guy he just wanted to put the fear of Jesus in the midget’s ass. The idea of a dagger throwing Mexican midget cracked every body up but no one really believed the story. They all thought it was the tall tale of a restaurant owner entertaining his guests at the bar until their table was ready. No one believed him until the Texan rolled up his sleeves and pulled up his shirt. His forearms, lower chest, and abdomen were covered with scars that looked like slash marks. He raised his pants leg and flashed the stab mark on his calf. “What happened to the midget and his wife?” the audience asked.“ I married her after she left him.” he said and he pointed to the beautiful older woman behind the cash register talking with customers.

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Posted by @ 11:09 PM
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Friday, August 17, 2007


Sunday morning my brother was awakened by a phone call. His childhood friend had been murdered on the subway . The kid was 19 years old on his way home from a party . An argument between two groups of guys had broken out at the party and continued when one group of guys followed the other onto the subway. According to witnesses on the train the 19 year old tried to act as a peace maker between the two groups telling them both to “chill out.” One of the guys all of 16 years old had a gun and opened fire in the subway car. Several were injured but only the peace maker was killed. Now a pregnant mother mourns the death of her only son and friends struggled to comprehend the reason for it all.

In the days that have followed my brother has been upset by the fact that the local media keeps bringing up the victim’s past as if it had any relevance to what happened on the train that night. The kid had a rap sheet. It wasn’t anything major by ‘hood standards. He didn’t rob, beat, or kill someone. He was caught with some marijuana on him at the age of 16. Big whoop. I try to explain to him that we as people will always be defined by the actions of our past...it doesn’t matter if you jump in a river and save a bus load of kids if you’ve ever been arrested that will be brought up when the story is reported...”Ex-con becomes a do-gooder!” would be the headline.

I can not say that I really knew him the way my brother did. Until the media mentioned it I never even knew he’d been arrested . I knew him in passing as the charismatic kid who was working hard at achieving the goals he’d set for himself. I knew him as the kid with the infectious smile and the great laugh. Oh man he loved to laugh. I searched my brain for memories of him and in each and everyone of them he was always laughing or smiling. His was one of the many teen faces that breeze in and out of my house on a daily basis. He was one of the many friends my brother has that kiss my mom when they come in and call her “ma”. When he entered my house he’d remove his hat and make sure that anyone who had accompanied him did the same. His name was Rayquon Story and he was my brother’s friend.

I last saw him in June the day of the Puerto Rican Day parade. My little sister was excited about going to the parade by herself with some friends. It was a rite of passage for her. Mom and I were apprehensive about her going to the parade without us but this was a big milestone for her. Rayquon was going to the parade as well and sensing our nervousness about letting her go the young man with the beautiful smile assured us well out of my little sister’s ear shot that there was no need to worry he’d be keeping an eye on her. He was going to be far enough for her to think she was on her own but close enough that if she needed him he’d be able to reach her before she even realized she needed back up.

His name was Rayquon Story and he was a gift to this world for the 19 years he graced it. He was loved by his mother and cherished by his friends. He was thoughtful, respectful, affectionate and polite. Years from now when his life is forgotten by all except those who loved him I’ll remember him as someone who looked out for my little sister. I’ll remember the sound of Rayquon and my brother's laughter as they played video games in the living room a plate full of cookies, a huge bag of chips and a jug of iced tea at their feet to hold them off until dinner was ready. I’ll also remember that he died trying to be part of the solution when it would have been so much easier for him to just walk away and mind his business. Most of all I’ll remember his smile.

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Posted by @ 12:57 AM
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Sunday, August 12, 2007

I hate scented candles.

Okay kids listen up next time your mother / room mate/ significant other tells you that cleaning up your room won’t hurt you, you have my permission to print this story up and wave it under their noses....

I’d just finished packing for a weekend trip I was taking when I decided to clean my room. I don’t know why the room wasn’t dirty I’d just cleaned a couple of days before but thanks to the construction work being done across the street my room looked like it hadn’t been dusted in weeks and you know how it is you do one thing and it leads to another. After dusting, vacuuming, mopping, changing my bed linen, cleaning the air conditioner vents with a q-tip, and washing the air conditioner filer I went in search of a long match to light one of my scented candles. I located the matches in the dining room and had just lit the candle when I noticed a long piece of the match had burnt off and was now inside of the glass jar. I tried shaking the thing out but it had embedded itself in the melting wax and was giving off a burnt wood smell. It was driving me crazy that piece of wooden match in my candle.

I picked up the candle and crooked my pinky finger hoping to catch the offending match with my nail. Slowly I slid the match up the jar using my nail. As it got to the rim I pulled my arm up a little bending it at the elbow pulling up. That’s when it happened I felt a pain so sharp it made me yell out. I nearly dropped the candle. The pain shot through my the base of my neck and made its way down to my left butt cheek. I saw lots of popping white hot flashes. Oh man this was bad. I thought I saw Jesus Christ run by in his Fruit of The Looms briefs..the pain was that bad.It felt like a spasm. I couldn’t move. Hell it was a spasm. My butt cheek was bouncing and flexing on its own. The pain shot into my lower back specifically into my tail bone area. I felt as if my legs couldn't support my weight. As my legs buckled under me I held onto the dining room chair.My mother ran over to me and supported me as walked to my room, “you probably pulled something.” she said. Now how the hell is it possible to pull something while dragging something out of a candle with your pinky? I can twist and turn on the dance floor and nothing yet I try to pull a match out of a candle and get all twisted out? WTF kind of crap is that?!

Inside my room I tried "manning up" and working the pain out...ummm big mistake it just made it worse. I sat down for a couple of minutes waiting for the pain to pass. When I tried to get up I found that I couldn’t. It seemed my legs were having an argument with my brain. My brain gave the order to move and my legs responded with, Oh hell no we won’t go!” and to make sure that the rest of me got the message a blinding pain shot through my body. I waited a bit and then tried again this time I was able to move but not without yelling, “shit shit freaking shit” and looking like I was handicapped. Whatever it was I pinched had pretty much affected the lower left side of my body. Needless to say my weekend trip was cancelled. I’ve spent it pretty much high as a kite thanks to some pain killers. Whatever it was I pinched it’s still pinched and I’m walking like Frankenstein. I hate scented candles. I swear this kind of stuff only happens to me.

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Posted by @ 6:27 PM
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Families: A complicated part of life

Families are a complicated part of life. They can be both a source of joy and a source of a pain. The funny thing is you’d think that sharing the same DNA would make things easier but it really doesn’t instead it adds to the angst that sometimes life can be.

Mom’s family is mellow. Their love for each other is so unconditional that they can find something to love and brag about even in the family fuck-ups.They adhere to the musketeer way of thinking, “ All for one; one for all!”

Then there’s my father’s family. Both of his grandfathers were married twice and for the most part it’s like a Machiavellian soap opera. You’d swear they were all in line to inherit a kingdom or something. Allegiances have been forged and grudges have been nurtured for generations even though no one can remember their exact origin. The point is that the grudge exists therefore it must be honored and fed. They’ve divided themselves along the lines of who was birthed by who. According to their way of thinking even though we share the same surname, the same great-grandfather and some DNA strands there is no place on the family tree for me because our great-grandmothers were different. WTF? Welcome to the hot mess that is my father’s family. That type of stuff doesn’t come into play in my mom’s family. In her family there’s no such thing as half-siblings it’s straight up siblings and it doesn’t matter if the sibling is a result of a 2nd marriage or an affair...la sangre llama (blood calls out).

Unfortunately some things just don’t translate well into English but trust me when I say that in Spanish that quote sounds awesome.

I thought my great-aunt Marti and my grandfather had transcended all of that family drama, I was wrong. As kids they’d been close and unlike their other siblings they remained close well into adulthood. Years ago my paternal grandparents jumped on a spur of the moment purchased a house in Florida. In a matter of months they were gone despite the fact that no one had gotten used to the idea of them leaving. At the time my great-aunt Marti was going through some divorce drama. More than anything Marti needed her big brother to stick around. My grandfather was totally oblivious to what his sister needed. His decision to leave forever changed their relationship.For a long time they didn’t speak to each other. My grandfather was completely ignorant of the reason for the change in his sister all he knew was that he was hurt. A handsome man he is..an intuitive man he is not. It fell on my mother to explain to her father-in-law why his sister was upset.

Recently my grandparents were here on vacation. My mom was on her way to see my grandparents when she noticed my grandfather standing in the middle of the block looking towards Broadway. She came up behind him and hugged him,”Whatcha doing out here all alone old man?” My grandpa turned around and gave my mom a kiss, “ I was looking for Marti. I know she takes the 2 train home from work so I figure she has to walk this way to get to her house from the train.” “Hmmm what if she takes the cross town bus?” “Na na man she hates the bus. She takes the train I know my sister.”

“Ah I see...so you've called her and let her know you were here?” mom asked. Granpa shook his head “No. I left my phone book at home and I can’t remember the number!” replied my grandfather. “Oh yeah that’s right she changed her number. Willie was looking for her number last night but we couldn’t find the book he wrote her number in.” Mom rubbed my grandfather’s arm and raised his wrist to look at his watch. It was 6:30 pm my dad would be arriving soon. ”Have you been here long?” she asked . “A couple of hours” he answered, “I figure she gets out of work at 4 and by the time she gets here it’s like 5.” “You know Bill she lives right up the hill...we can walk up there now and see if she’s home.” “No no I want to give her time to get home.”, my grandfather sputtered.

“Did she even know you were coming to NY?” mom wondered out loud. “Yeah I told her when I would be here and that we’d be staying at our old apartment.” he replied but still mom wasn’t too sure. She found it hard to believe that he'd been here for several days and his sister hadn’t stopped in to see him. Mom looped her arm in his and guided him towards the apartment building, “It’s like Africa out here old man let’s go upstairs into the nice air conditioned apartment and have something to drink. We can harass who ever is upstairs for awhile and when Willie gets in from work I’ll tell him to take the walk with you to Marti’s house...okay?” “Maggie I’m not too sure about the building number it’s been years since I went to her house. The look on his face was apprehensive.

“Don’t stress it we know the building.” mom said, “Shit I can never forget the building! My aunt lived there.", and pointing to her two front teeth said, "see these teeth? I lost them there playing freeze tag. One of the kids pushed me into the lamp post in front of the building face first! Lucky for me they were my baby teeth.” As they made their way into the lobby he leaned in to whisper a secret that not even my grandma knew, “Maggie I’ve been coming down every day at 6 in the morning hoping to catch her on her way to work.” The thought that he’d been waiting outside during the blistering heat wave hoping to “bump” into his sister broke my mother’s heart. Mom touched his face and added,"There's hope for you yet old man."

When my father they took the walk to my great-aunt’s apartment and were greeted by the new tenant. It seemed my grandfather’s sister had moved and left no forwarding address. The look on my grandfather’s face was heart wrenching. Mom suggested calling his sister when they got back to Florida the next day but he said, “No this is obviously the way she wants it. I haven’t done anything to her." My mom put rested her head on grandpa's and said, "Be the bigger person Bill give your sister a call." Her advice fell on deaf ears my grandpa is stubborn.

That's the problem with my paternal family,they have too much pride. It is their down fall. Their pride is useless, foolish and obstinate. No one is ever willing to take the first step, to bend or yield, or to forgive even for the love of each other.

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Posted by @ 5:03 PM
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hell left the back door open

I hate when hell leaves the back door open. It’s been disgustingly hot and humid for the past week. Heat like this is a breeding ground for a cornucopia of bad fashion decisions. It was Friday we were in day I dunno what of the heat wave and the strain of the heat was showing on everyone’s face. All eyes seemed to be focused on the darkening sky. The weatherman had been predicting cooling thunderstorms all week and it looked as if they were finally headed our way. A flash of lightning and then a gentle rain begins to fall and in the distance the rumbling of thunder could be heard. The rain makes more people than usual head into the subway. It’s the height of rush hour and the train is so crowded that if someone fainted they’d have no room to land. It’s a bad day to ride the subway and an even worse day to be wearing a tube top.

The ride is bumpier than usual it seems that the train tracks are protesting the weight of the train by trying to push us off them every time we make our way over another section of track. The train suddenly lurches forward causing a business man to lose his grip on the pole he’d been holding onto. Instinctively he reaches out to grab something to keep himself from falling back onto the people standing behind him. Unluckily for the young woman in front of him he grabbed her tube top pulling it down exposing her boobs to the entire Bronx bound # 6 train. He turned bright red and quickly apologized to the woman. I’m sure part of him was scared witless that the pretty Latina would turn around and beat him down beyond recognition. She pulled up her top and covered “the girls” with the speed of light while the majority of the people around her pretended not to notice even though a few chuckles here and there rippled among the crowd. She looked around the car giving those who dared stare at her the evil eye and quickly went back to reading the latest Harry Potter book.

The majority of passengers made their way off at the next stop and the young woman slid into the nearest available seat. When the doors closed she looked up and caught the eye of an older grand motherly looking woman sitting across from her . The older woman arched her eyebrows and raised her finger in the air at the young woman and with her thick Spanish accent offered the young woman some advice in the form of gentle scolding.... “ That is why you’re supposed to wear a bra at all times. I know for a fact that they sell bras for those tube tops, next time invest in one. Yes it is hot pero no pa tanto para estar casi desunda en la calle ( it’s not for all that to be practically naked on the streets ) Ustedes la junventud de hoy no tienen verguenza, no usan la cabeza (the youth of today has no shame, they don’t use their heads).” The young lady said nothing she quickly lowered her head her and pretended to read. Her eyes filled to the brim with tears threatening to splash down on her book at any moment.

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Posted by @ 4:33 PM
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