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Monday, December 31, 2007stick to sir and m’am you’re better off that way
My parent’s generation of Nuyoricans is old school Latino. They were raised with the traditions and sense of moral etiquette of their immigrant parents that at times seems lost on Americanized Latinos and Americans. A common pet peeve among old school Latinos is having strangers address them as “mami” or “papi”.“Mami” and “papi” means mommy and daddy however among couples it is a common term of affection meaning “baby”. In our culture it is considered lecherous and disrespectful to have someone you are not in a relationship with address you with this term. However here in NY the words have become part of the urban slang and used freely by non-Latinos and let me tell you something old school Latinos are less than thrilled. Especially old timers like my grandfather…
My grandfather was just finishing his lunch at a local diner with my mother when the waiter approached my mother, “Mami do you want anything else?” My mother cringed and shook her head no while trying to catch her father’s eye. He was glaring at the waiter. Mom shifted in her seat. The waiter turned his attention towards her father, “Papi what about you? Would you like another cup of coffee with your dessert?” Mom reached out and put her hand on top of her father’s hoping to stop what she knew was coming. My grandfather looked at my mother, he was irked but he caught the hint. “No thank you. We’ll take the check as soon as you have a minute.” Several minutes later the waiter came back and handed the check to my grandfather, my grandfather handed him the amount of the check plus a generous tip because even though he had breached etiquette until then the service had been excellent. The waiter smiled at my grandfather, “Gracias papi!” Grandpa looked at him as if he wanted to kill him.
The waiter looked at my mom’s plate and saw she had not touched her apple pie, “Mami would you like me to wrap that up for you?” My mom shook her head no; her father stood up and leaned his mouth down towards the waiter’s ear so no one around them could hear what he was going to say.“Young man do not call my daughter Mami. It is very disrespectful for a man to call a woman mami, especially in front of her father. It implies you have been intimate with my daughter.” The waiter look dumbstruck, “I-I’m sorry papi I didn’t know. “My grandfather crossed his arms over his chest, leaned back and looked the waiter in the eye, “Can I ask you something?” he asked. The waiter smiled at my grandfather and said, “Sure papi.” “You’re NOT my son and I’ve never been into men so obviously you and I have never had sex. So why do you keep calling me papi?”The waiter all red faced apologized to my grandfather. My mother looked at him with pity in her eyes and then turned to her father, “Papi! Stop picking on the poor guy he doesn’t know.” The waiter nodded his head in agreement.
My grandfather looked at him and smiled putting his hand on the waiter’s shoulder, “If he’s going to act like he knows my language then he it’s good for him to learn what’s proper and what’s not. See she can call me papi, she’s my little girl. My wife when she was alive used to call me papi but she could do that because she was the love of my life. But you my man no way.” The waiter smiled at grandpa as mom shook her head, “Ay papi!” “No mija I tell him this for his own good heaven forbid he comes across one of those macho crazy Latinos and calls him “papi” or worse calls his woman “mami.” You know the drama that will be up in here?! What if your husband or one of your brothers was here and this man called you mami?” My mom contemplated what was said and then looked at the waiter, “Look from now on stick to sir and m’am you’re better off that way.” The waiter agreed.
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Friday, December 28, 2007Icing on The Cake
Santa Claus and the birthday Gods hooked me up lovely this year! A couple of gifts in particular just floored me...
After having a stroke several years ago mom lost the ability to grip a pen. Writing her own name was nearly impossible but she could deal with that. It was the inablilty to pick up her pencils to draw that hurt her the most. Imagine being an artist and losing the physical ability to express yourself and create when the urge hits? Over the years she has slowly shown progress regaining the movement in her hand enough to write again but the complicated hand coordination of drawing and painting eluded her. Several weeks ago I saw her art supplies strewn all over the dining room table but didn’t give much thought to it at the time, she probably gave them to my sister to draw with I thought to myself. Ever since the stroke the woman had pretty much ignored her art supplies. To her they’d become painful reminders of what she’d lost.
After I was done opening all of my presents mom approached with her gift. It was a custom made skin for my laptop from Schtickers It was positively beautiful! Entitled “The 7 Virtues” the center of it featured an angel with black wings on a tarot card with my name above her. Behind the tarot card were wedges of gold with one of the 7 virtues written across each one. The angel looked vaguely familiar then it hit me the angel resembled my mother. “Ma this is gorgeous! Where did you get it? The angel kind of looks like you.” Ma's eyes sparkled and she gave me a smile. For once she didn’t even bother to cover the smile with her hand, a habit she'd picked up after her stroke. She’s very self conscious about her post stroke smile. “The angel does not look like me, it looks like my mother. It’s your grandmother. I drew it.”
I was stunned, “Pa did you see this?!” My dad got up and put his hands on her shoulders laying a kiss on the top of her head. I scanned my memory trying to recall if I'd ever seen this sketch in my mother's portfolio. I was certain I would have remembered it if I had. The last thing she drew before her stroke was the fairy I have tattooed on my arm. This had to be new. “Is this from before the stroke?” She shook her head, “No. I drew it a couple of weeks ago just for you.” My dad beamed with pride. "It knocked me on my ass to see her drawing again. I've got the original in a frame at work." I took a deep breath I don’t cry easily but this was pushing me towards the edge. “Oh ma, thank you! Is your hand okay, does it hurt?” “Ay Mia it's fine!", she said "I had no problem with my hand at all! And look…” she held her left hand up and snapped her fingers. We all stared at her in disbelief; she hadn’t been able to snap her fingers since her stroke.
The look on my dad's face was priceless, “Do it again babe!” my father demanded as he turned her around to face him. She gladly obliged snapping her fingers several times in rapid succession."Way cool right?" “Since when have you been able to do this?” he asked. “Since about five minutes ago.” She answered. This time it was my dad that choked up. He grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips but before he could kiss it she snapped her fingers again and again in his face. He started laughing and said, "Enough woman!" and grabbed her pulling her in for a big hug.
Yup like I said Mia must have been a very good girl this year because Santa sure as heck blessed me this Christmas. The snapping fingers, the sketch by far those are my favorites. Everything else...icing on the cake.
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Friday, December 21, 2007My Favorite Childhood Memory of Christmas.
This is one of my favorite childhood memories and in what is becoming an annual tradition on this blog I am re-posting the story yet again. Maybe one day I'll have it printed out as a children's story for kids in the family....Enjoy I hope it helps take you back to the days when you believed....
It was the third week of December 1989; the city was brightly decorated in anticipation of the big day. I was six years old and in the 2nd grade when I first heard it. A horrible rumor was being circulated in the school yard. Up on the jungle gym there was a congregation of kids their eyes focused on one person, my best friend 8 year old Heidi. Heidi saw me at the bottom of the gym and called for me to come up. The kids were talking about Christmas and the rumor was that there was no such thing as Santa Claus! What blasphemy was this?!! There was dissention among the ranks in the playground of PS 145M!
It was a mixed bunch; some of the kids believed, some didn’t and others were on the fence. I had to admit the argument that the non-believers were making was a good one, but then again everybody knew that Santa was real I thought to myself. I mean for God`s sake, Santa had just been at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! My dad had stood out there for hours with me waiting for Santa to make his appearance. Dad worked long hours and treasured his one day off! He wasn`t about to waste his day off standing in the freezing cold drinking hot chocolate if Santa didn`t exist! The only reason we even went to the parade was to see Santa! His appearance there signaled the start of the holiday season and the beginning of the count down to Christmas and my birthday! During my early academic life I was always the youngest student in class, a result of having started kindergarten at the age of four. In addition I was usually the smallest as well and classmates tended to be over protective of me because of this. So on this day they had all gathered around a six year old Mia to let her know the deal. They didn`t want anyone making fun of me because I still believed in Santa. That moment forever changed my life.
When my dad picked me up from school that day I wasn`t my usual hyper self. I wasn`t interested in going across the street and visiting my grandpa at work before I headed home. I didn`t want to stop at the candy store and spend the dollar grandpa had slipped to me through the playground fence during recess. I showed no interest in all of the festive decorations on display throughtout the neighborhood. The four block walk home was a quick one for a change. "You feeling okay pumpkin head?" dad asked, I took a deep breath looking down at the sidewalk, I had an awful knot in the pit of my stomach. This was the moment of truth… "Papi today someone at school told me Santa Claus wasn’t real." He froze in his tracks and bent down to look at my sad face. Dad looked kind of sad himself. He knew I wasn’t ready to hear the truth," Santa is real", for a minute that was all I needed to hear.
Later on I spoke to my older cousin Jessica on the phone about it she told me the rumors were true. She had a bunch of gifts under her tree at that very moment! I looked over to our tree, there was nothing underneath it, except my big ol’ tuxedo cat “Sam Sam the Meow Meow Man”. Jessie instructed me to check the closets. Nothing there except clothes. She told me to check under the beds, all I found was a few dust bunnies and my new Safari Barbie that had been missing since the night before. It now was handicapped Barbie, my dog “Letty” had chewed the hand off. I hung up the phone and went over to my mom to show her my Barbie.
My parents were checking my uncle`s homework when I approached them. Mom took one look at my Barbie and began wrapping her arm in the white plumber’s tape she got from my dad. It looked like Barbie was wearing a cast… ”you can pretend that she was hurt on safari and your doctor Barbie fixed her arm.” I leaned into my mother twirling one of her long auburn ringlets in between my fingers, "Mami, Some kids at school told me today that Santa Claus is not real." My dad looked at me and said, "Again with this Mia, who told you this?" "Heidi", I replied. "Well she`s a freaking liar! I never liked that little girl. You can tell she`s a liar, she`s got them little beady eyes." “And Jessie, pa she told me that TiTi Letty is the one that buys the gifts. They got them under the tree now." My dad ran his fingers through his hair in exasperation."Mia, I hate to tell you this but your cousin is a liar, she`s always lied. Her first words were a lie. She can’t help it; she takes after her father’s family!" Mom looked at my dad and started laughing, "Honey let me handle this." "No Maggie! How the hell is that girl gonna tell la nena that Santa isn`t real? Just because he doesn’t visit her house doesn’t mean he doesn`t exist in ours." I could tell my dad was upset, my mom and my uncles were laughing. Whenever my dad gets angry the most outrageous things spill out his mouth and my mom can’t help cracking up. Mom looked into my eyes and asked, "Well pumpkin what do you believe, here in your heart?" I told her I didn`t know and gave her the speech the kids had given me about parents buying the gifts and the Santas in the malls all being fake. Mom took a minute and then asked me to make a list of the things I had been told, she assured me there was an explanation for it all... and she did explain it all.
She told me that Santa was indeed real but that when a child stopped believing in him he stopped visiting that child`s house. He was then taken off of Santa`s toy list and it was up to the parent to purchase the kid`s gift. That`s what had happened to my cousin Jessie and some of the kids at school. My mom pointed out the fact that we never had presents under our tree prior to Christmas morning; yet when we awoke on Christmas there`d be so many gifts piled around the tree we were lucky to see the tree. This was true, I had never come across any gifts hidden in our closets and my mom didn`t keep any areas of our apartment off limits to us. Oh yeah and the elf dust, all of our Christmas presents always had silver and gold glitter sprinkled over them. My parents used to tell us that the elves did this to make sure no one sneaked under the tree before the sun arose on Christmas morning and opened the gifts without the whole family being there. If you tried to open a gift the elf dust would be disturbed and the gift inside would disappear without a trace. She asked me. “Mia do we ever go out without you kids?” “ No mami.” I replied. “ How would we shop, you guys are always with us? Do you think we go out and get all those gifts on Christmas Eve? We`re here with you or at grandmas on Christmas Eve." Hmm she`s right, I thought. How on earth would they get all that stuff on Christmas Eve without us knowing? My mom also brought up the fact that even though we never wrote Christmas letters we always had just what we wanted underneath the tree on Christmas morning.
Every year my parents would take us to Rockefeller Center late at night a week after the tree was lit and my dad would put each of us as close to the tree as possible. We would whisper our Christmas wishes to the tree. Mom explained that our wishes traveled to the North Pole in the air and hung over Santa’s workshop like snow flakes until the elves copied them down on paper then they'd be blown away by the wind and disappear in a brilliant shimmer.
As for the Santas in the malls they were fake but for a good reason they were raising money for charity. Only the Santa that appeared at the end of the Macys parade was real and the only reason he was there was to remind the children of the world that he really did exist. And what about the letter Santa left us every Christmas on the plate where the cookies we baked him had been? That wasn`t my parents handwriting, it was really fancy lettering! My father had the handwriting of a serial killer and my mom couldn`t do anything that fancy in gold letters! Plus it was written in GOLD! Where on earth would my mom get a pen with gold ink?! We weren’t millionaires you know. Oh yeah and the alfalfa and water we left out for the reindeers was always gone, just a few stems here and there strewn across the fire escape remained as evidence that the reindeers had been chowing down while Santa attended to business in our apartment. Everything my mom said made sense. My God this woman was fantastic! Not only did she have the power to fix my Safari Barbie but she was the smartest woman on earth! Hands down and I was lucky to have her as my mom! As my mom explained my doubts away I looked at my uncles for reassurance. My mom’s younger brothers, 11, and 12 were the closet thing I had to big brothers. They were like Gods to me. My parents took over the job of raising them after the unexpected death of my grandmother when I was 2. My uncle Abbie had been staring at me the whole time my mom was talking to me. When I was done it was he who said, "Mia, Santa’s real. Chino and me saw him once when we were little." My uncle Chino quickly nodded his agreement. The next day at school I told my friends everything my mom had told me and they were shocked, some wouldn`t believe me no matter what I said.
Christmas Eve finally arrived, by the time we finished baking cookies for Santa it was time for bed of course I didn`t fall asleep right away on Christmas Eve. We always had a sleep over in my uncles’ room. Uncle Abbie would let me crash on his bed and he’d sleep in a folding cot next to me for that one night. We stayed up watching Christmas movies every now and then changing the channel to check in channel 4`s Santa tracker. Slowly we all passed out one by one. I drifted off to sleep a little happier that night secure in the knowledge that Santa was real. I was in a deep sleep when I felt my mom nudging me to wake up, she whispered, "Mia! Mia!" My eyes seemed glued shut and I struggled to open them and to wake my ears up to make out what ma was saying, “Shhhhh Mia come here, Santa was here! Shhhh nena be quiet you`ll wake the others.” As I got up from my bed I noticed I was covered in elf dust! I looked on the floor and there was elf dust every where! Around my bed, my uncle’s cot, my baby brother’s crib, and it led to the living room! I woke up my uncles and we went out to the living room to investigate. As usual there were lots of presents under the tree all covered in elf dust. I ran to the biggest one addressed to me and my mom reminded me that the sun wasn`t up yet. The presents were still protected by the elves spell and dust so I couldn`t open one up yet. One of my uncle’s pointed to the plate that had been filled with cookies when we went to bed. On the plate there was a letter from Santa, in it he wished me a happy birthday and thanked me for believing in him when all my friends had stopped, and there were Polaroid pictures! Pictures of Santa in my house! Pictures of him standing over me and my uncles, even holding my baby brother! There were pictures of him coming into my house through my fire escape! Oh my gosh Santa was real and I had proof!!! After our vacation was over I went back to school with proof in hand that Santa was real. All the kids were amazed at my pictures. I think that year a few retained their faith and others regained it. I know that it kept me believing for a few more years.
Now I look at the pictures and I laugh, I can see that one of my uncles was pretending to be asleep and was smiling as Santa stood over him. I now can recognize my dad`s black work boots tucked into his Santa pants. I laugh now that as a six year old I didn`t know my mom was a master in the art of calligraphy or that she had several gold ink pens purchased from Golden’s Art Supply store a few blocks from where we lived. It was she who wrote Santa’s thank you notes every year! Now that we are all adults the job of keeping Santa alive for the new generation has been passed down to us. I’m the one who eats the cookies and writes Santa’s “Thank You” letter leaving it on the plate next to the half empty glass of milk. My uncle Chino is the one who empties the dried alfalfa out into the garbage and pours the water down the sink. We don’t have a fire escape anymore so he strews the stems in front of the door and leaves a trail leading to the exit that leads onto the roof. Uncle Abbie is the one who sprinkles magical elf dust on the gifts and tells my little cousins his son among them, the story of how Santa came to visit us on 109th street after I almost stopped believing in him. After he’s done telling the story he always shows the pictures and the kids are always amazed. Those photos have become a family legend now; they are kept in a locked box and only taken out on Christmas Eve.
Those pictures have served us well; they kept me and my siblings innocent just for a little longer than usual. They’ve kept our little ones believing when others have tried to get them to take a step away from their childhood before they were ready to. I don`t think my parents realized the magic they were creating when they snapped those pictures. I`m grateful for it, because as a result I still believe in the magic and spirit of Christmas, after all we have picture proof that Santa exists.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007As ready as I’ll ever be for this exam.
In a couple of hours I’ll be taking the mother of all finals. I can’t afford to get anything less than a B in order to maintain my GPA and remain in this advanced program. For the past two weeks I have sacrificed everything including sleep for this exam.
My fellow students and I have no clue as to what the exam will cover because my professor threw a temper tantrum in class when contradicted on her claim that she had handed out review sheets. She insisted that she had given them to us the week before and when the students insisted she hadn’t she went ballistic. It’s understandable to argue when a couple of students claim they never got the review packet but it’s time to think back when an entire class is telling you they never received the material. Because she was angry she refused to tell us what areas the exam was going to cover. All she told us was that the 3 hour exam would consist of 100 questions none of them multiple choice and no vocabulary bank and just to make sure the party was extra funky we had to write two essays as part of the exam and no she would not clue us in as to the topics.
Unlike the rest of the class I was ready for her. I’ve had teachers like her before. She starts out with one lesson and then goes totally off topic. That’s where my laptop comes in; whenever she’d go off topic I’d google whatever she was talking about in class and add it to my notes. Let’s put it this way if during a lesson on Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development she discussed Freud's love of vanilla ice cream on his apple strudel I included it in my notes complete with recipe for said strudel.
After an incident centering on the first paper I wrote for her class I knew I had to be on high alert with this woman. The paper was on Cerebral Palsy something I have extensive experience with so for me at least it was a pretty simple paper. Several days after handing it in she handed the paper back to me ungraded and accused me of plagiarizing the paper. She even suggested that I rewrite it. I was livid;I dared her to prove that my paper was plagiarized. I told her that from the time I handed in the paper to the time she returned the paper to me she'd had enough time to prove her claim. She backed down and took the paper back. Later on it was brought to my attention by a staff member that the professor was biased towards inner school students. I hate to use the biased excuse but you start to get the hint when you're treated way different than the rest of the class. Her assumption that as an inner city high school grad I'd lack the skills to write a paper really irked me. Even as a kid fresh out of my ghetto high school working on my associate’s degree I was still turning out A+ papers on a consistent basis.
She returned my paper giving me a “B” trust me people I am my own harshest critic and that paper was not "B" material. Several of the other students some of them already working in the field read the paper and were outraged. They felt that my paper had been graded spitefully and that it deserved at least an "A". The professor again requested that I re-write the paper and I refused as a matter of principal.Days later she gave us an exam meant to test our writing skills anything less than a six indicated the need for tutoring. She gave us our results the following week and seemed to choke on her words when she told me I had scored 11 out of 12, needed no tutoring and was an excellent writer. I looked at her and said, “Eleven? I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry to catch the last bus out of here otherwise I’d gotten a twelve.” The look on her face said it all she wasn't too fond of me. My next paper was a “B” as well but I’m not going to argue that grade. The fact was that I bullshitted through it. Honestly I didn’t know the material I'd missed several days of class due to illness and had gotten the notes from a classmate the night before the paper was due. I was happy with the “B”.
I’m sitting here writing as a release, taking a break from studying feeling anxious but resigned, trying to hold onto my cool and not let the pressure get to me. I've always thrived under pressure. All through my academic career I have had to prove myself over and over again to teachers filled with ignorance, still clinging to their stereotypical beliefs when it comes to my people. I’m getting to be a pro at it. Freak it I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for this exam. When I called my aunt Nora earlier and jokingly asked that she whip out her prayer rug and pray for me her mom Leila pointed out that today is the first day of Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice ) "Only good things can happen to you today Mia" she said. She reminded me that the prayers of an entire family containing Muslims, Christians,and Buddhists are following me, so my ass should have ample coverage.
I figure God, Allah , Yahweh, Jehovah, Bob, whatever name the head cheese prefers is looking out for me otherwise I wouldn’t have made it this far in my life. I’m not doing too bad when you consider I came into this world on Christmas day 3 months premature weighing 2 lbs and was never expected to live. Like I said I have always thrived under pressure.
Heaven by Derek Miller:: CD Title: Music Is The Medicine (2002)
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Monday, December 17, 2007And So The Search Continues...
My parents have been house hunting and everyone has an opinion as to where we should move to. Dad’s flexible and mom wants to remain in The Bronx because my grandfather lives only 20 minutes away from us and she doesn’t want to be far from him or as she put it to my uncle Hassan when kept nagging her about moving to Brooklyn near him and my Aunt Nora, “If my dad wants to stop in for a meal or just to talk I don’t want him to have to get on a highway and fight traffic to get to me.”
The problem is we have yet to find a house big enough for all of us in The Bronx in an area my parents like. All of the homes ma’s liked are out of town. She got a listing yesterday with a photo of the house. It was perfect for us and in a small town I am really fond of. The town has that 1950’s apple pie feel to it. Unfortunately my ex boyfriend’s grandmother lives there and last I heard so was he. This would be the ex that my mother refers to as “He Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned.” The time spent with him was a learning experience I never want to repeat. After our break up he would call me occasionally when he was troubled just to talk and other times just to fill me in on who he was dating. Even though I had made it clear to him from the get that there would never be reconciliation between us I never felt comfortable telling him that I was seeing someone. I thought he clearly understood that, I was wrong. A couple of months ago he called wanting to fix me up with a friend of his or so he claimed. I figured okay if he wants to fix me up with a friend of his then he must have moved on and now it’s okay to tell him about my BF. Man oh man was I wrong! He told me off, called me every name in the book and even invented a few of his own. Whoa baby he was vile. I can only imagine what he would have said if I had told him I was actually engaged. I shudder to think. Yikes! Luckily he took what I said to heart and never called me again.
Anyway so it turns out that the house my mom wanted to purchase was actually in the town he was living in. “Oh man Mia this is perfect! I love it! Check out the picture!” I looked at the photo, “That’s nice ma and the town is wonderful! He Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned lives there.” “Oh shit Mia.” “What ma?” “I wonder if the house comes with an order of protection?” she asked and then went into a routine about us not being able to live there because the ex was vindictive enough to show up at our house in the middle of the night and pelt us with rocks. We looked at each other and started laughing and then got we got real quiet. I could tell we each had crazy ex bf scenarios running through our heads. Scenarios that the ex is quite capable of if he knew I was in the vicinity… and so the search continues...
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4 comment from: Mia, christina/ohio, DannieS72, Gin,
Saturday, December 15, 2007Free Bird
When I study my focus is so intense I block out everything going on around me with the exception of music. The BF and I have very different tastes in music he’s a lil’ bit county and I’m a little bit (actually alot)alternative rock & roll. I was working on my notes when the BF decided to test the speakers he’d just hooked up in my room. He was using his own play list and although his selection wasn’t too bad it wasn’t inspiring the much needed adrenaline to help me finish writing out the last few paragraphs on the paradoxes of obesity and malnutrition among the poor in this country.
Then THE song came on. As soon as the opening chords came blasting out of my speakers in window rattling volume my head snapped up and a smile slowly spread over my face. “FREE BIRD!!” I yelled out at the top of my lungs and jumped up pumping my fist in the air. Then I started singing along,"If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me? For I must be travelling on, now, 'Cause there's too many places I've got to see...." Between you and me I scared the hell out of the BF. He thought I finally wigged out under the pressure of finals. He just didn't know about my history with that song.
You know how there’s always that one song that makes you lose your friggin’ marbles? For me that song is Free Bird. My boyfriend never knew this about me. So when he witnessed it he looked at me as if I were several kinds of stupid for a brief second . Then the look on his face changed to one of total adoration as he realized it was one of his songs that had made me flip out. I could tell that at that precise moment he fell a little more in love with me. Maybe next week I’ll clue him in that I’m into NASCAR too.
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Friday, December 14, 2007Christmas Belle
I heard all this commotion going on in the living room and raced in to check it out. At first I couldn’t tell what the source was until one of the glass ornaments fell off the tree and shattered. My cat Belle was napping in the tree nestled in between the branches in the middle of the tree. I'm thinking a certain lil' kitty is laying in wait for Santa.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007Welcome "Z" !
On Friday December 7th 2007 at 6:57 pm in an emergency c-section Zayed Hassan Amin the fetus formerly known as “Waldo” made his debut into the world by way of Brooklyn, NY. My cousin arrived bearing gifts; with his very first cry he brought the feeling of hope, the dream of possibilities and the realization that inherent good exists in this world. We are truly blessed by his arrival.
Welcome to the world “Z”, I barely know you and already have lost my heart to you.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007Finals
It's finals week that means that I get very little sleep. Energy bars, strong coffee and fluorescent high lighters become my best friends. Much like the yeti and el chupa cabra reported sightings of me outside of my room during finals week are very rare and always greeted with a healthy amount of smart ass comments. It wouldn't be my family if it were any other way. My sister Caity came across me last night leaving the kitchen and she called out to my parents in next room...
Caity: Madre, padre grab the camera and come quick I have spotted the elusive Mia!
Dad: -Quick child save yourself ! Throw a moon pie at its’ feet and run!
Little smart ass did the sign of the cross
Mom: -Madre de Dios! Don’t look into its eyes. It will turn you to stone!
Mia: -Lady that’s Medusa.
Mom: -Same thing.
Dad: -Obviously you haven’t looked in a mirror.
Okay I’ll admit when I go into serious studying mode I’m not looking my best. I haven’t left my room in three days except to grab some food, bathe and use the bathroom and that’s just a few feet away from my bedroom. Okay, okay so pink kitty cat pj pants and my favorite hole riddled Elmo t-shirt aren’t the height of fashion. So what if my curly hair is looking kind of Sideshow Bobish. No one said studying for finals had to be pretty.
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Sunday, December 09, 2007Soccer Moms In The Mosh Pit
Years from now if I develop lung cancer due to second hand smoke it will be traced back to the concert I was at last week. Every time the band finished a song the lead singer would light up a cigarette. After every single freaking song. And since I was just a few feet away from him the smoke was curling up all around me french kissing my mouth and weaving it's way around my hair, skin, into my nostrils and my lungs. I'm guessing that by the time the concert was over he and I went through an entire pack. By the time I left the place my mouth tasted like an ash try. Not that I go around licking ash trays but you get the idea. Let's just hope they were low tar.
Last week I went to see HIM. My friend Guay has loved them ever since high school so I got her some tickets as a surprise and promised I’d go with her. I had a hard time getting into the concert because of what was going on around me. The employees at the arena were young urban peeps who looked like they were more into Jay-Z than HIM; let’s just say that when the opening band took the stage and began their set the look on the staff’s faces said it all. They would have rather been working any other concert but the one at hand. It was precious.
The concert really was a rated R event and 13 year olds (and younger) had no business there. Guay and I were kind of shocked to see that these kids some barely out of elementary school were into HIM as well. It seems to me that kids today are are going EMO and Goth younger and younger these days.
Usually Guay and I will go all off at a concert dancing like Whirling Deverishes but it’s kind of hard to get into the groove of things when your back is being watched by soccer moms in the mosh pit. Soccer moms in the mosh pit people! How did I know they were soccer moms? They wore the soccer mom uniform down to the haircut and stood with their arms crossed against their chests a few even had their fingers plugging their ears. Of course me being me my smart ass auto pilot kicked in full force, let’s just say the soccer moms were less than pleased with me. I’m sure my mom will be getting a note from then any day now demanding I be put in time out.
“What the hell yo are The Wiggles playing here tonight? Why are all these kids up in here? Don’t these parents know this isn’t a place for kids? ” I said observing the soccer mom with her arms folded across her chest a couple of feet away from me just before some kid accidently body slammed into her causing her to stagger back a bit. At the sight of that Guay and I started laughing. I know for a fact I was annoying the heck out of her because after that every time she got jostled by a kid I’d crack jokes on her. “First of all my mother would never be here but Guay can you imagine ma here in a mosh pit?” “Oh hell no ma would be in here throwing punches if somebody slammed her. Shit they’d be taking the person out on a stretcher!”,she added as she imitated ma throwing punches. The soccer mom glared at us, I smiled at her and Guay continued talking, “There’s no need for them “Guay said nodding her head to the smattering of soccer moms standing off the side to us, “to be down in the mosh pit if they must bring their kids here they can sit up there and see all the action down here.”, she said pointing the row of seats above us. “Na Guay this is closer in case the kid gets a boo-boo and needs a band aid or gets dehydrated and requires a juice box from the mom’s fanny pack.”
Look I’m a really big proponent of families doing things together but I think at some point a line has to be drawn. If parental supervision is needed in order for your kid to go to a concert then your kid has no business being there. Seriously you know your kid better than anyone else and if you can’t trust him to behave out in public when you’re not around then keep his ass locked up in your house until the necessary social skills required to be let out in public without the parental units are finally developed. But then again it’s not just the kids some of the parents there just made me cringe with the crap they were encouraging and letting their little spawns of Satan get away with. Let's just say it makes me look at parents and young teens in a whole different light. I was really disappointed with the parents.
There was a couple standing in front of me in the middle of the mosh pit madness making out. I couldn’t tell what sex they were but for the sake of this post let’s make them a hetero couple. The kids were no more than 13 years old and not only were they swapping spit as if they were dehydrated and they had to share one sip of Gatorade but they were groping each other as well. Guay had to physically restrain me from pulling their little pimply faces apart and lecturing them although she couldn’t prevent me from nudging them with my shoulder. I stared down what I assume was the girl and told her, “Yo kid shouldn’t you be at home watching Hannah Montana or High School Musical?” Then there was a girl who looked no older than 15 and was practically naked. Her outfit screamed Gothic hooker. The outfit was too revealing for anyone not dancing for money on a stage with a pole in the middle of it. The front was cut down to her tummy revealing what I assume was supposed to be cleavage, there was no back to the outfit just a bunch of “strings” crossing back and forth. Her long cigarette skirt was cut up to her panty line and she had on so much make up she looked as if Jackson Pollock had used her face as a canvas. Now imagine that look on a body still in the throes of development not having shed their baby fat yet or developed curves. She was tugging at her blouse trying to make it go lower and asked her parents how she looked. The dad actually said, “You look hot honey but then again you always look hot in whatever you wear.” The mom just smiled and nodded her head up and down like a demented bobble head. I wanted to punch both of them in the face.
I’m not even going to get into the amount of teens I saw getting drunk on the beer their parents had purchased for them at the concession stand. I hope their pay back was a back seat full of vomit on the drive back home. What is it with some parents today why are they in such a hurry to help their kids grow up so fast? Can't they just say no or is it that they are reliving their teen years via their kids? Minus the angst of course.
Wings of Butterfly -HIM
Buried Alive By Love- HIM
Right Here In My Arms -HIM
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Wednesday, December 05, 2007Christmas Spirit
Earlier today I was speaking to a Muslim friend out in England and he was telling me how sad the holiday season was making him.He had dated a Christian woman for years and while he’d been with her he had learned to love and embrace the Christmas spirit. While he didn’t embrace the religious aspect of it he totally gotten into the whole hark the herald, joy to the world, love thy fellow man, tree trimming, decorating, partying, egg nogging, figgy pudding, gift giving sprit of it all. They'd broken up two years ago and while he didn’t miss her he did miss taking part in all of the holiday hoopla with her friends and family since his friends and family don't "do" Christmas.
Friend:Mia now instead of making me happy Christmas makes me sad. It makes me feel like I am missing out on something.
Mia: Stop being so greedy. You just had a holiday. Ramadan and Eid were not too long ago. You don’t see me getting all bummed out on your holiday and bringing your ass down. I get into the whole Ramadan groove along with my Muslim relatives without converting. I'm not a Christian and I embrace Christmas, heck I bear hug it!
Friend: Yes but for you it's different. It's your birthday so of course you get all into Christmas!
Mia: True. But even if it weren't my birthday I'd still be into it. Dude the feel of the air is different,people are different. Can't you feel the change in the aura of everything around you? How can you help but not be infected with the spirit of it all? Just embrace the love it symbolizes the good will to men and all that other fun stuff.
I'm not sure if he got what I was trying to tell him. My friend this song is for you …. Hope you get the spirit back or at least have a laugh. You don't need to be a Christian to catch the fever of it all...
The Drunken 12 days of Christmas.mp3
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Monday, December 03, 2007I think I'll take the stairs from now on
I stepped into the elevator and caught the tail end of a conversation my neighbor was having on her cell phone with her son. She looked really annoyed and sounded really exasperated.
Woman: It’s your son, he's hungry. He wants pizza.
Man: Pizza? Is there any in the house?
Woman: No and heaven forbid he should make himself something to eat. Heaven forbid he should actually look in the fridge and pull something out to cook because he's hungry. Heaven forbid I not be there to feed him. Twenty –eight years old and he’s helpless.
The husband started chuckling but the wife seemed to find no humor in the situation.
Woman: Don’t laugh he actually had the nerve to ask me to pick him up a slice while we’re out. Lazy bastard can’t even walk up the block to get himself something to eat. I swear, that boy needs a woman.
The husband didn’t say anything to her instead he just smiled. A heartbeat went by before she turned to look at me. I mean really look at me. She looked me up and down even looked at me from behind like she was checking me out to see what I was working with. I’m surprised she didn’t ask to check out my teeth. Satisfied with what she saw she addressed me…
Woman: Hey how old are you now?
Woman: Would you like to meet my son? He’s 28 and really handsome.
Woman: Do you have a boy friend?
Mia: I’m engaged.
Woman: He is really handsome.
Mia: So is my boyfriend.
Woman: Really handsome.
Her husband then decided to speak up…
Man: You know you can meet him and see if he’s your type. No harm in meeting him.
Mia: Like I said I’m engaged.
Man: You sure you’re not interested?
Mia: Na I don’t think my boyfriend is into the polyamorous life style but thank you anyway.
I don't know what's going on with me and elevators lately. I think I'll take the stairs from now on.
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