Mia: Shaken Not Stirred


The true life stories of a NYC female.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sam The Ghetto Snowman


I was snuggled deep under my duvet pre-dawn Friday morning when I was awakened by the sound of a snow plow making its’ way down my street. I got up to take a peek,snow and it was actually sticking the ground! Several hours and 9 inches of snow later all of the neighborhood kids were outside in full force playing in the snow. All but my little sister that is she was sick in bed with the flu and mom informed her that there would be no making of “Caity Angels” outside for her unless she wanted to risk catching pneumonia.



It was late afternoon my mom walked by Caity’s room and felt a blast of artic air. She was getting ready to reprimand Caity for having her window open when she let out a huge cackle. “Mia come see this!” “Caity what the hell is that?!” I asked. My little sister was sitting by her window holding a mini snow man in her hand made of snow collected from her window ledge. The snowman complete with Mohawk was wearing a bracelet as a chain around his neck. Caity looked towards us and made the introduction, “Oh this is Sam the Ghetto Snowman! Check out his bling bling… wha wha bee-otches… yeah boyyyyy!" I laughed as mom stepped up to Caity and felt her forehead. “Okay kiddo back into bed you go you’ve got a fever. I’m going to bring you some Tylenol in a minute.” “But ma I want to make Sam a skate board he needs some wheels!” Caity protested. “No Caity Sam is going to have to hoof it like everybody else today. You need to get back into bed.”

Before placing Sam outside on her window ledge Caity lovingly placed a kiss on his frosty cheek. “ Aiight homeboy the gargoyle has spoken. I shall check you out later.” Ma arched an eyebrow at her, shook her head and headed towards the kitchen muttering under her breath, “Oh hell no that little demon spawn did not just call me a gargoyle. You know I could’ve just had the two kids. I had the set already, boy and girl but noooo that damn man wanna be plying me with margaritas and impregnating me. Bastard.” she stopped midway to the kitchen and yelled out over her shoulder, “You know kid I should’ve named you Margarita!” Caity let out a laugh and leaned in towards me, “Mia that woman is crazy!” I nodded my head in agreement.

An hour later Caity was drifting off to sleep while looking at her snowman trying to convince mom to let her go outside, “but mommy I want to play in the snow.” she weakly whined as battled her drowiness. “I know baby but you can’t …not today” mom replied as she smoothed back Caity’s hair and kissed her on the forehead. “Sweet dreams munchkin, dream of snow.” “I love you mommy.” “I love you too Margarita.” Caity chuckled, “silly gargoyle.” and settled back onto her pillow. Mom stayed a few more minutes until Caity finally driftted off all the while watching over her with a smile on her face. She glanced at Sam the Ghetto Snowman the window ledge on her way out of the room and softly laughed.


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dancing Snob


My boyfriend Josh jokingly called me a dancing snob and though it shames me to admit it he’s right. You know that person in the club the one with the natural rhythm and moves, the one people stop to watch dance? I don’t mean to brag but uh well yeah that’s me, I’m that person. Whenever I hear music my blood heats up and I’ve got to dance, it’s like a primordial call that must be answered.

We were recently at a club and after watching me on the dance floor for awhile Josh decided that he was going to dance with me. I was shocked because he’d been so adamant about not liking to dance. I theorize that whenever people say they don’t like dancing it’s either because they can’t or they are just too intimated to give it a shot. One of my theories proved to be right that night.

Josh is many things; he’s cute, funny, generous, kind, sensitive, and caring. Truly God blessed the man with many gifts; unfortunately dancing was not one of them. The BF happens to be a big guy, football player big. In fact he is a former football player. When football player big collides on the dance floor with small female it’s not pretty, in fact it’s down right physically painful. The man had all the rhythm and grace of a cinder block. As soon as we started dancing I felt his mammoth foot crush mine. It was going down bad for yours truly. By the time the song was done I was in some serious pain. I was certain a few of my toes had been severed by his huge ass clod hoppers and were being kicked around the crowded dance floor. We took a break and when the next song started up he started dancing with me again

OUCH!..okay that’s enough… now you’re pissing me off… my toes are not like starfish limbs they can’t regenerate themselves. I thought to myself.

“Josh," I said "I love you for trying but you can’t dance. Dude you’re killing me here.” He laughed and said, “I told you I don’t like to dance!” “And now I know why!” I replied as Guay danced up to me. He inclined his head towards Guay and let her take over. As he made his way back to our table he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “I guess I’m going to have to take some dance lessons before we get married.” “ Lots and lots of lessons man lots and lots!” I replied with a wink as Guay and me started throwing down some serious moves and the crowd gathered around us yelling out their approval.





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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chloe The Fairy Of Love


I visited The Iron fairy Store yesterday. It’s a peaceful place there’s a bathtub in the middle of the room full of flowers, with water flowing in and on the walls, there are gargoyles spitting water from their mouths. It’s a beautiful store and because I happen to be into fairies I was in heaven. I was looking at one of the fairies on display when I was approached by one of the employees carrying a packet of “Iron Fairy Dust”, the dust is for the customers to make a wish on she explained. A happy bouncy girl who came across as being all hopped up on pixie sticks. She was cute as all hell flawless porcelain skin and a mop of bouncy red curls.Her voice was adorable high pitched and wispy it reminded me of a kid’s voice. She spoke in a breathless rush as if she were sprinkling the air with her words. Actually she kind of reminded me of a fairy all she needed was a pair of wings strapped to her back and she was good to go.

She explained that each of the 16 fairies in the store had their own stories and that there were good fairies and naughty fairies. Oh did she say naughty fairies? I should get one of those for Dannie. My friend mentioned to her that she had purchased Chloe the Fairy Of Love for her boyfriend. Her eyes opened up real wide and she got all excited, “That’s my fairy!” and proceeded to tell us all about Chloe and give us a little bit too much info about herself in the process, “I can relate to Chloe!” she said.

aww how cute, she can relate to a cast iron mythical being.

“Chloe is just like me she’s searching for the perfect love but she keeps meeting Mr. Wrong. She knows she’s not perfect but she just hopes someday someone will love her. She just keeps opening her heart to the wrong people.” It wasn’t so much what she was saying it was the tone she used, one of reverence and longing. I looked around the store.

WTF is in that fairy dust she’s holding anyway and how much of it has she inhaled?

I hoped my friend wasn’t fully paying attention to Chloe the Love Fairy’s story; because even though the name Chloe the Love Fairy sounded all cute and brought to mind images of a romantic novel set in a rich lush forest somewhere where the smell of flowers scented the air and unicorns roamed free the fact was that Chloe’s story was not a happy one. It was kind of depressing actually. It didn’t sound like something you should really be giving a guy. The more the girl talked the more animated she became bouncing her curls to and fro...

Yeah wings this chick could definitely use some wings.

I didn’t know whether to go “awww” or to back the hell away from her as she continued elaborating on her and Chloe’s feelings and quest for love projecting her own angst into the story. Instead I leaned back a little and felt my eyebrow arching and my eyes narrowing as she continued her spiel. Then it happened the voices in my head came out to play …the one’s that always get me into trouble...

Whoa there little perky one, I sense you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places. You’ve met a lot of Mr. Wrongs. It seems to me you and Chloe the Love Fairy have some issues going on there. Who knows I thought maybe Chloe is a little superficial ignoring the miners who adore her because she thinks there’s something better on the horizon. Maybe she’s waiting for Prince Charming to ride in on his white horse and claim her. I got news for you Chloe Prince Charming is way busy these days with Cinderella.

Just as I was about to blurt that out I felt a mental hand clamp over my hand, “No Mia, shhhhh don’t say it!” for once I listened to the voices. I stared at the girl and the cast iron fairy in front of me wanting to reach out and pat them both on their heads but I held back.
There there little Chloe don’t fret. Perhaps one day Mr. Right will come into the store one day and notice you here sitting on your display.

Just then a fresh batch of customers came into the store, “Oh new customers!” she squealed in delight. She flittered towards the new customers armed with her packet of fairy dust, “I gotta go now, bye!”

seriously that girl really should have a pair of wings strapped to her back with all that energy and enthusiasm.


I made my way to the stairs and looked back. The girl was looking at me. She gave me a huge smile and a little slow motion wave.

Aww look at her she’s so adorable waving like a little kid. I really do hope you find Mr. Right soon little fairy girl, I really do. Of course you’re going to need to get out of this store in the East Village to do that because all you’re going to meet in this store are little male fairies. Fairies by the name of Jorge, Ron, Bruce, and Francisco.

Inside my head my voices known as The Supremes: Conscious, Subconscious, and Superconscious giggled appreciatively and gave me a high five.






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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thanks Tom from a member of The Unholy Trinity



As a kid I had two best friends in junior high school Moe and Choo-Choo, much to the chagrin of school officials who at first thought they’d be a bad influence on me. No matter how hard they tried to keep us separated in school we always found a way to be together. Eventually they gave up trying when they realized that I was actually keeping the other two in line and focused in school. Their attendance and grades reflected my influence on them. However because we were always getting into some sort of minor trouble or other the teachers nicknamed us “The Unholy Trinity”.

We each had a role in the trinity. Choo-choo was the self assured cool beauty queen. She was stunningly beautiful,she knew it but wasn’t vain about it. Freakishly tall and wickedly talented Moe was a star basketball player, the shy jock. The role of the smart ass book worm, and tomboy was played by yours truly. For years we spent as much time as possible together. I was known as the official conscience of the trio a role I took seriously. Moe was just happy to follow where ever Choo-choo led, he was crazy about her and Choo-choo was just happy to follow me. The three of us loved each other very much and swore to always remain together for the rest of our lives.

The unholy trinity remained tight all through high school even when Choo’s parents divorced and she moved to another state. We wouldn’t see her as often as we’d wanted but she made sure to keep us involved in her life via monthly visits, weekly letters and phone calls. Then her mom remarried and things changed. Neither Choo nor her siblings got along with the new step-dad. The older ones ended up leaving home and Choo stayed behind but it was hell for her. She ran away from home a couple of times each time ending up at my house. In desperation her mom sent her away to Puerto Rico only to have the ever resourceful Choo-choo find her way back to my house. Mom suggested leaving Choo with us until she at least finished high school but her mom refused. Choo-choo ran away again shortly afterwards with some guy got knocked up and we lost touch after that. Her new family didn't approve of her old friends even though they's never met us. Her life took a series of twists and turns that led her far away from me and Moe.

Moe went off to college a couple of years later and while at a dorm party spotted a photo of Choo-Choo on some guy’s wall.The story the guy told about the girl was not a very pretty and one but thanks to him we were able to reconnect with her over the phone only to lose touch too quickly. At the end of that semester Moe came back home different; he'd suffered some type of break down. Usually when he’d come back home for a visit his first stop was my house. This time he was back and I wasn’t even aware of it. One day as I spotted him with his mother. I ran towards him calling out his name. I was about to jump into his arms like I’d always done when I saw the look of utter confusion on his face. He stared at me as if he didn’t know who I was. There was absolutely no recognition in his eyes, “Moe?” I asked only to get a blank dull stare in return. His mom patted my hand and without a word led Moe away while my heart broke into a million tiny pieces.

A year later he showed up at my house. He was better and had become a born again Christian. He'd gotten married, held a good job and had just had a baby! He wanted to introduce me to his wife. It was really important to him that we like each other. I guess she didn’t pick up on that clue. Everything about me irked her especially the fact that I was a female. Even though her disapproval meant the end of our friendship Moe seemed happy and that’s all that mattered to me. Every now and then we'd see each other on the street. We always made small talk and promised to get together or call each other but we never did.

For years Choo-Choo was never far from my mind nor I from hers it seemed.Seven months ago she set up a myspace account and decided to search for me. She found a listing with a ton of Mia’s. Her fiancée was sure she’d never find me right away especially on her first try. She scrolled through the list but when she saw this one smart ass blurb with mystical looking cat playing cards she froze, jumping out of her seat she told her fiancée, “This is her! This is my Mia!” He walked over to her and looked at the blurb and asked, “How do you know that’s her? There’s no picture of her.” “ I know her and that’s so her! The icon, the quote it’s all her!” She clicked on it and was lead to my page when she saw my photo. She screamed in delight, “See I told you it was her!” As luck would have it I logged onto myspace account that evening. It had been months since I checked my mail there. The funny thing was that I had actually been thinking of Choo all day. My heart literally skipped a couple of beats when I saw the email from her. Minutes later we were on the phone talking as if years hadn’t gone by. The first thing her fiancée said to me was, “You know I’ve been with her for years now and not one day has gone by when she hasn’t brought up your name. Seriously not one day. She really loves you.”

She told me that after she'd also tracked Moe down hoping he'd have some information about me but was kind of shaken by the experience. “Mia what happened to him?” I explained to her what I knew and how our relationship had changed. We both agreed to let him find his way to us. If it's meant to be it will happen. We talk to each other a couple of times a week now and plan on getting together in a few weeks. She touched my heart the other day when she told asked, “We’re never going to lose touch again are we Mia?” “No, never again.” I replied. She sighed and said, “Man I missed you so much, you have no idea. My heart ached from the pain." “Same here Choo-choo.”

Moe ran into my little brother on the street last week and gave him his home number. “Give it to your sister, tell her to call me. I miss her.” Choo and I decided we’re going to wait for her to come down before we call him together. I had just gotten off the phone with Choo-choo this past Sunday and logged onto myspace. I had an email from a girl and it said, “Did you go to JHS 131?” This time it was our friend Melanie. I called Choo-choo back, “Hey do you remember a girl named Melanie?” “Hell yeah!” “ She tracked me down through myspace!” Choo-choo started laughing and said, “Maybe we should send Tom from myspace a thank you note!"


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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Pink Trench Coat Mafia


You know how it is you get a group of females around the table with a bottle of tequila between them and the conversation starts flowing in all directions dipping and twisting like the hills in Central Park. The Pink Trench Coat Mafia meeting was in session. How we exactly came to be known as The Pink Trench Coat Mafia was a mystery. None of us owned trench coats pink or otherwise and none of us had ties to the Cosa Nostra but it had been Linda’s joke one day and had taken a life of its own.

As we knocked back the tequila shots the talk turned to crime. Perhaps it was because at one time or another four of us had majored in some aspect of law enforcement or maybe it was because of something we’d seen on the news. Either way there we were talking about “what if”, each of us taking turns trying to get out of some situation Linda's diabolical mind devised for us. I swear that female has serial killer tendencies. Linda stared at me, “Ready Mia it’s your turn.” “Hit me with it!”I said as I leaned back in my chair.


“The scenario is simple you’re being held against your will in a crappy ass room somewhere and the cavalry is no where near to rescue you… Okay how would you get out?"

-Am I tied up or something?

-- Na the guy is so confident that there’s no way out he lets you walk around the room.

-what makes him so confident? ‘cause you know that can be used as a weapon against him too.

--Um let me think.

while Linda thought about it the rest of The Pink Trench Coat Mafia and I discussed self defense tactics.

--Ok I got it!

-Got what Linda?

--The reason he’s so confident.

-Well what is it?

--He’s had you there for over a month and swears you actually want to stay with him.

-Delusional son of a bitch ain’t he? That’ll be his down fall.

--How so?

-Well if he thinks I don’t want to leave he’ll let his guard down.

--Oh yeah I can see that.

-So uh no way out?

--Yeah no way out.

- Kitchen knife!

-- No weapons around or anything that could be used as a weapon by you. He’s the only one with a weapon, a gun.

-God that sucks.

I leaned forward to let one of the girls squeeze by me. She was returning from the juke box. The opening whispers of "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" vibrated across the room. I rolled my eyes at her and let out a groan. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled, “Aw come on it’s theme music!” With the exception of Linda we all started bouncing our heads and singing along to the music. Linda tapped her shot glass on the table to get our attention.

-Yo Mia focus over here!

-Fine, fine. Where were we?

--It’s one room. No kitchen. No bathroom. Nothing, just this one room.

-No bathroom?

--Nope, you have to use this 5 gallon plastic container as your bathroom.

-Ewwww. So what’s the layout of the room?

-- No windows. Only one way out through the door

- So I’m in a stink ass room. Wonderful.

-Okay what is in the room?

--Sofa to sleep and sit on, television and pc to keep you occupied. Oh and a chair. No internet.

-What no internet?! I can’t even blog! Oh hell no!

--You’re stupid you know that don’t you?

-You know Linda you have a bit of a mean streak in you. Ever thought about some therapy?

she rolled her eyes at me and smiled.

-So that’s it?

-- Yeah

-Diablo talk about sparse. Oh wait he’s gotta eat at least what about drinking glasses, dishes, forks?

--No

-No what? He doesn’t eat?

--Na all the food is take out. All the food is take out styrofoam containers, styro cups, and plastic sporks.

-What is he planning to kill me with concern for the environment, or is it my food allergies?

the rest of The Pink Trench Coat Mafia went to work on a plan. I remained silent and listened to all the scenarios for possible escape being floated around.

“Ah easy hit the mofo with the chair when his back is turned!” one of the girls shouted over the music. “Na” Linda said, “You can’t. Everything is bolted to the floor. The TV and pc are bolted to the wall unit and desk. The chair is bolted, the sofa is bolted.””What kind of shit is that Linda?” one of the girls asked. “It’s my scenario I plot it the way I want to.” “What kind of computer lap top or desk top?” I asked. “Desk top.” “Okay”

the table fell silent everyone was obviously running the scenario through their heads trying to figure a way out of it. I reached for the bottle and poured myself a shot. Licking the space between my thumb and index finger I sprinkled some salt on it then threw back a shot of tequila. It made my throat feel warm. I quickly sucked on the lime wedge I was holding. My eyes squinted and I ran my tongue over my lips tasting the lime on them. I was ready for business now and it came out in one breathless statement running together like the world’s longest sentence….

-Pick up the bucket fling the stuff in it in his face run to the pc pull out the cord from the monitor use it to whip him in the face. Aim for his eyes. If you’re lucky you can put one of them out. Keep whipping him in the eye area and the bridge of his nose. When he tries to grab you give kick him the nuts. That should bring him down. Once he’s on the floor take his gun from him. If he gives you too much of a hassle use your forearm right across his nose or his throat. Take the gun shoot him in the knee caps and in the wrists if you can spare the bullets. Then drag him to the sofa. Wrap the cord around his neck, there should be some slack in it. Tie it as tight as you can to the bolted sofa leg. Then search him for the keys, unlock the door and walk out. Oh yeah kick him one more time in the nuts for good measure.

I sat back in my chair kind of satisfied with myself. The girls looked at me nodded in unison agreeing that it might work. Linda ordered a round of Coronas and then turned to me.

--Shit Mia what the hell was that?! I never even thought of that. The computer cord?!

I shrugged my shoulders

-Like my uncle says even a feather can be a lethal weapon in the right hands.

--Let me guess Tank said that.

Six years older than me Tank is my mom’s brother but because we were raised together he’s more like my older brother. His name suits him. The man is lethal looking, even his stares are intimidating people have a tendency to get out of his way when they see him coming. In his line of work it’s important you know how to defend yourself and never show fear. Ever. Tank made it his business to teach my siblings and me self-defense as soon as we were able to take a punch without running to mommy. In my case I was 13.

-You got it.

The beers arrived and following Linda’s lead we raised our bottles in the air, “To Tank, he’s taught you well little grass hopper!” “To Tank!” The Pink Trench Coat Mafia shouted in unison.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Toca Piano


It was freezing, the kind of arctic cold that chafes you right through your jeans.
The bus was late and because of that there was a larger than average crowd. Everyone piled on the bus not wanting to be left behind on the school campus, grateful to be out of the cold. The driver pressed whatever it is he needed to press to get the doors closed but it was a no go. The doors refused to close.
After several attempts and colorful curses he got off the bus and tried to fix the problem from the outside. He managed to get them closed manually but when he tried to open them to get in the bus they refused to budge. He tried his keys several times but the doors refused to obey and adding insult to injury some of the passengers started to laugh when they realized he was locked out of the bus. Several of the passengers tried to pry the door open from the inside to no avail. Nobody was laughing now, especially the driver. Finally the he kicked the bus and walked off into the night without a word. Necks strained watching him walk away. Our asses were stuck like sardines in a can. The bus was totally silent for a few seconds until cell phones were whipped out in a mass calling frenzy. Thirty minutes went by and there was no sign of the driver.

Suddenly a man I recognized as a professor pushed his way to the front of the bus with a Swiss army knife in his hand. He slid his hand around a panel to the left of the steering wheel before he found what he wanted. Less than a minute later not only did he have the bus doors opened but he managed to get it running and turned on the heat on for us. The passengers went wild. As he went past me I touched his arm and asked, “Professor how did you do that?!” He wiggled his fingers in the air as if he were playing a piano and leaned to whisper in my ear,”Nena once upon a misspent youth I was a toca piano.” and then straightened up. “A what?” I asked. “You’re Boriqua right?” “Yeah” “Ask your mother she’ll know what that is.” He winked at me and put his index finger against his lips as if letting me know this bit of info was just between us the only Latinos on the bus. The bus driver arrived several minutes later with a crow bar in his hand. He stopped in front of the bus and looked amazed. He took his seat and before driving off said to no one in particular, “I don’t even want to know.”

I called mom as I walked home, “Woman what the heck is a toca piano?” My mom started laughing, “Wow that’s old school! I haven’t heard in a long time!” “Doesn’t it mean piano player ma?” “Well yeah, but if you do the hand movement it’s street slang for a thief, car thief mostly.” I explained to her what had happened. “When he said it did he do a hand movement to go along with it?” “Yeah ma he did.” “Well sweetie it seems your professor has had an interesting life!”

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Your Own Valentine


It’s valentines day the time of year when people are either loving the one that they’re with or wishing for love. I was thinking wouldn’t it be great if today of all days we took the time to express our love for ourselves. Seriously how many of us love ourselves? I mean truly love our selves and I don’t mean in that “touch yourself” kind of way although if that’s your bag don’t let me bring you down ain’t nothing wrong with a that just make sure you’re hands are washed before you touch me.

My mind works in mysterious ways so bear with me… I honestly believe that everyone’s first love should be themselves. I mean how can we truly love others if we never learn to love ourselves? Oh sure we have the love of self preservation but how many of us truly love ourselves? We live our lives never loving ourselves as much as we love others and that’s a damn shame.

There have been many times in my life that I haven’t been too fond of myself finding 101 one things about myself to be insecure about. Insecurities that can just wear a person down. I can’t front many times my insecurities almost prevented me from doing things… about but always in the back of my head there’d be that voice…yeah my mother’s nagging the heck out of me…”There’s no one else like you… you’re a gift to this world… " yadda yadda.. always pushing me out into the world. I guess somewhere along the line the woman’s words sunk in and now I’m at a point in my life where without meaning to be arrogant I can honestly say I love myself. Things that made me insecure years ago now cause me roll my eyes into my head and shake my head back and forth in disbelief when I think about them.

Isn’t it odd how it’s always easier to find something in someone else to admire, to compliment them about than it is to find something in yourself? My wish for today is that we each look at ourselves in the mirror and find something to compliment ourselves on , something to love about ourselves. Come on give it a shot it’s not so hard just put your inhibitions to the side and do it. Be your own valentine.

Earth Wind and Fire: Would You Mind

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

String Cheese, Twizzlers and Legos


How I got roped into playing with Polly-O String Cheese, Twizzlers, and Legos on a Saturday night I’ll never know. It started out innocent enough. I was approached about being a note taker for a learning disabled student. The proposition was simple enough all I had to do was sit in on one of her classes and take notes for her. At the end of the day I’d email those notes out to her, nothing more, but she became so comfortable with me that one class turned to three; note taking turned into the occasional home work help and now it was morphing into tutoring.


My friends were less than thrilled that I couldn’t go out with them. They’d wanted to go back to the bar we’d been to last week and stalk hook up with the Inuit we’d met the week before. “Bring her with you!” they whined. “Can’t she’s got too much homework and a bio exam to study for." “What are you her mother?!” I shook my head, “You don’t need me there. He digs females with brains. Just go around reciting Einstein’s theory of relativity." One of my friends snorted at that. Rather than take my advice they decided to drop the bar plans, deciding that without me there it wouldn’t be fun. Then the BF called, “Why is she still there?” “Because the fates planned it that way.” “Suppose we had plans?" he whined. “Didn’t I tell you during the week that I’d be working with her today?” “Yeah you did. “So what’s the problem?” I knew what the problem was. His mom had arrived unannounced from PA for the weekend the night before and I’d been too busy with my research to go visit her. It was now 11 pm and the tutoring session was still going on and given the fact that I had a paper due in a few days Sunday wasn’t looking too good either. “Look I’m sorry I can’t stop in to see your mom, but you and I know the visit wouldn't be a quick thing and I need to get my work done.” “Well I thought you’d be done by now.” “I’m not going to rush her.” “All I’m saying is what if we had plans today?” “But we didn’t. So relax.” I shot back.

I returned to the tutoring. No matter how many times we went over the notes she wasn’t really grasping the bio lesson. Then all of a sudden I got an idea and this is why I was sitting at my dining room table using Polly-O String Cheese, Twizzlers, and Legos as visual aids as I explained the workings of cells, DNA structure, genetics, and the immune system to my friend. As I went through each explanation using my props I saw a light go on in her head. Excitedly she’d yell out,”Oh I got it! I got it!”

When the session was over I quizzed her and she’d gotten everything right. She was beaming, seriously her face was glowing. The look on her face meant more to me than anything in this world. No amount time of spent with my friends or BF could’ve equaled the natural high I felt at that moment plus the Twizzlers satisfied my sweet tooth.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

WARNING: This person has been known to have flashes of brilliance.



My professor wanted to know what made me decide to pursue a degree in social work after having earned a BA in Forensic Psychology.

- With a degree in social work in addition to my psych degree I’d be able to help many more people as opposed to just being a forensic psychologist.

- No! No! I want to know what drew you to psychology and social work. What ignited your passion!

- Hitler, Anne Frank, and intolerance.

she looked confused.
- What?

- Well…Hitler is the perfect example of what intolerance leads to. Anne Frank was the antithesis of that. She was proof that even in the face of adversity the human spirit is resilient. I want to nurture that spirit in people help them over come their adversities. After all each person is a universe, if you can save one person you save a universe.

she looked at me as if she were seeing me with new eyes.

- Oh my God Mia, that was brilliant!

I shyly smiled at her and felt myself blushing….

- Well uh yeah, thank you.

Every now and then during class I’d catch her looking at me as if I had a third head or something. Maybe I should wear a sticker on my ass that says: WARNING: THIS PERSON HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE. FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 4 FEET FROM THE SUBJECT.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

A Pack Of Cigarettes


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a major sting operation in my area this past weekend. As a result a shit load of vendors had their tobacco licenses revoked and their cigarette inventory confiscated. So at least for know my neighborhood is a smoke free zone.

I was on my way to school when a friend of a friend stopped me for a favor.She was having a nicotine fit and didn’t have her state ID on her. She asked if I could go into the store and buy her a pack of cigarettes. I’m not a smoker but since my Uncle Hassan and cousin Mahmoud came of out their mama’s womb with a zippo lighter in hand and a chest buster (cigarette) dangling off their lips I know how cranky smokers get when they don’t have their fix which is why I agreed to help my fellow student out.

The store was relatively empty and the music was blasting buddah bar music.The general ambiance of the place was cheerful until I opened my mouth. I placed my ID on the counter and handed the man behind the counter a ten dollar bill. “ A pack of Marlboro’s please.” He quickly shut off the stereo and gave me a dirty look and then he sneered at me. “We don’t sell cigarettes no more!” he yelled at me in a thick Arab accent and slammed the ten dollar bill back on the counter. I followed his eyes as they darted to the empty cigarette display case and then slapped my hand down on the counter just as hard and grabbed the money and my ID. I sneered back at him and using the same tone he used with me said, “Grrrrrrr Grrrrrrrr!” as I headed out of the store I burst out laughing. Poor man must have thought I was crazy.

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Posted by @ 12:09 AM
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fun In The Desert


Years ago my senior class took a week long trip to Virginia. Unfortunately we picked a crappy time to do it. The weather was horrible making it impossible to enjoy all of the planned out door activities. However kids being kids we found stuff to do keep us busy aka driving our chaperones crazy. One day our coach over heard a couple of the kids complaining about the trip. I was coming down the hallway bouncing a ball on my racket when the coach approached me and asked if I was having a good time on the trip. When I nodded my head my coach sighed patted my arm and affectionately said,“Mia you would have fun in the desert.”

A couple of days ago someone else made the very same remark about me only they didn’t say it with the same warmth my old high school coach had. The remark took me back to time I had spent in the Sahara and Sinai deserts.

I remembered racing through the desert at top speed on the back of a dune buggy while holding on tightly to my cousin. The look of sheer horror on my uncle’s face when we hit a bump and I nearly flew off the buggy. I remembered meeting a tribe of Berbers and their curiosity about me. When someone from our group mentioned to them that my mother was of Berber descent they welcomed me into the camp as if I were long lost family. I remembered the Berber women and children lining up to shyly inspect my tattoos and piercings. I remembered the women fluttering around me fixing my hair applying kohl eye liner to my eyes and wrapping my head in a head scarf to protect me from the sun. I remembered them embracing me tightly when it was time for me to leave and piling gifts on me. I remembered having dinner by the camp fire under the stars and then later on laying in the sand star gazing. I remembered staring out over the desert and getting goose bumps when I contemplated all of the history that had taken place there. My memories of the desert were all good memories.

Eventhough the remark had been meant as an insult I laughed in the person’s face and said,“You know what I’ve actually done that.” “Done what?” she asked.“Had fun in the desert.” I replied. The look on her face was price less.

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Posted by @ 9:23 AM
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For Dannie:Wig Wam Bam


Guay and I were standing outside a bar Saturday night celebrating her birthday. Well actually the celebration was inside, we were outside because Guay needed a cigarette. Next to us also feeding the need for nicotine was a man surrounded by several women, all of them looking at him as if he were the last low-cal cookie at a weight watcher’s meeting.

He was gorgeous and he knew it. Every now and then he glanced our way and gave us a smile trying to get us to join him and his harem in conversation. One of the women asked where he was from. “I’m from Alaska. I’m an Eskimo.” He replied as he looked at me. I looked at him and studied his features. “You’re an Inuit?” I asked.
His eyes opened wide in surprise and a huge smile crossed his face, “Oh shit!” He came over and stood in front of me. “How did you know that? No one ever knows that!” I looked up at him and smiled, “Hey man I’m down with the brown.” He shook his head and laughed. “ Actually I’m mixed. My father is ½ Puerto Rican, ½ Inuit. My mother is a full blooded Inuit though.” Now it was my turn to be shocked.“Holy monkey! It's true! Puerto Ricans are like God! They’re everywhere!” “Puerto Rican are you serious? ” “Yeah.” Guay looked at him and declared that on him it the mixture of Puerto Rican blood and Inuit looked good. Mentally I had to agree with her.

He laughed again and moved closer to me “Seriously how do you know about Inuits?” he asked.“My mother has Native American friends.I read. I watch documentaries. My next guess would've been Yupik.” He smiled again and said, "Oh shit." “Oh my God you’re an Indian, like Geronimo?” one of the women standing beside him asked. “No. he’s not an Indian like Geronimo. Geronimo was an Apache. This guy is an Inuit like Pitseolak Ashoona ” His jaw dropped and he stared at me. “You know who Pitseolak Ashoona is?” “Yeah I read Pictures of My Life years ago." The woman rolled her eyes at me and repeated her question to him. He turned to look at her and said, “Yeah, Native American all the way.”“Oh how nice” she cooed arching her back causing her large chest to look larger. He turned from her and focused his attention back on us and leaned down near my ear.“White women are impressed when they find out I’m Native American. It gets me laid… a lot.” I looked at the women staring at him, “No shit. I can see that. It's cause you’re exotic looking.” “Yeah” Guay added as she playfully shimmied over to him and took her place beside him,“Ohhh let me stand over here next to Mr. Exotic looking. Maybe he'll rub off on me.” Oh yeah Guay was a little tipsy.

He touched the scarf I was wearing around my neck, “This is really nice,the colors complement you.” “Thank you, I’ll tell Dannie you approve.” “Dannie?” “Yeah she’s a friend. An amazing woman part NA who seems to have a knack for knowing what I like.” I pulled at my scarf to emphasis my point.The action of the scarf being fanned caused the scent of my body spray to kick up.“Umm you smell wonderful." “Again we have Dannie to thank” He eyed my scarf again, “Seriously it looks good on you.” "Seriously thank you." Guay chimed in , “Well you know us tanned skinned people can pull shit off like that." He smiled at Guay and gave her a high five. He took a step back and shook his head. “Shit! I can’t believe know what an Inuit is! This is fucking awesome!” he said as he ran his hand through his hair.“What are you?” he asked. “We’re Puerto Rican.” He stared at us for a second, “Taino right?” “My friend Guay here is more Taino than anything.” He looked at her, “Yeah I can see it.And you?” “I am so mixed it ain’t funny but I have some Taino in me as well.” He dipped his head low to look into my eyes “You know that makes us cousins. We share DNA. Taino’s and Native Americans are cousins to each other.” “Oh yeah I read about that study a few years ago.” He smiled at me again and held out his hand, “Hey there cousin, my name is Charlie.” I took his hand, “Hey there Cousin Charlie my name’s Mia and this is your cousin Guay.” He laughed and shook Guay’s hand, “Nice to meet you Cousin Guay.”

The women standing to the side of us looked at him as if they were waiting on him to rejoin them and when he showed no sign of rejoining them they glared at me and Guay. The woman called out to him, “Charlie?” He shot an annoyed look at her as he lit another cigarette, “You know Charlie that’s type rude. What would your mama say treating your friend like that, especially in the middle of a family reunion?” His whole body shook from laughter. “She’s not my friend Mia. I just met her she bummed a light off of me." I arched my eyebrow at him and he gave me a sheepish smile. He turned to the woman and said, “Hey I’m just going to hang back here for a few. I’ll see you inside later okay?” The woman nodded and flicked her cigarette onto the pavement. She didn't appear to be a happy camper.

“So what are you doing here?” He asked. I gestured towards Guay as she lit up another cigarette as well. “Working on getting lung cancer due to second hand smoke.” He laughed and put out the cigarette he was smoking. “Actually we're celebrating Guay’s birthday.” “Happy Birthday! How old?” “25”. “What about you Mia how old are you?” “I’m 25 Cousin Charlie.” "Wow you look younger.” “She gets that a lot” Guay offered. “ People think she’s a kid because she’s so damn short." He offered me some solace, “Well you know Mia they say good things come in small packages." “True that,"I replied, “but I’m pretty sure a short person coined that phrase Charlie.”

The three of us talked of things both light and heavy for awhile. In between jokes and laughs he gave us the condensed version of his life story 31 years old, photographer, single, father of four. "Mia I've got to admit you've impressed me." "Really, why?” “Well for a bunch of reasons. The fact that you’re so intelligent for one.Plus there's still that whole Inuit thing blowing my mind.” “Ahh Cousin Charlie you are too easily impressed I fear.” I teased. He smiled at me and rubbed at the back of his neck. “I see you’re a bit of a smart ass.” “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Guay chimed in. I smiled at her and gave an exaggerated sigh, “It’s a gift Charlie. Lord knows I’ve tried to return it but since I lost the receipt God refuses to take it back.” Charlie let out a huge laugh shoved his hands in his pockets and fidgeted a little like he was smacked by the god of shyness all of a sudden. “So uh Mia are you here alone?” “So uh Charlie no I am not. Guay and I are here with some friends and my boy friend." He frowned for a second and the pulled his hands out of his pockets and lit up another cigarette. “Your boyfriend let you come out here by yourself?” he asked as if he was amazed by that.“I’m not out here by myself Charlie I’m with Guay.” “I’d never let you out of my sight if you were with me.” Guay took care of the come back for me. “Oh well then you’d lose her for sure dude. The quickest way to lose Mia is to try to hold onto her too tightly” Guay informed him.“Free spirit huh Mia?” “Something like that.” "Cool." "Well at least I think so Charlie."

We hung out for a few more minutes and even though I was enjoying myself I had to bounce. I held up my hand and said, “Well Cousin Charlie it was really nice meeting you. Say hi to the family for me. I better go back in before my boyfriend thinks I ran off on him." “Yeah me too.” “Oh your boyfriend is inside too?” “Funny, very funny.” He shot back at me as he followed us back inside. Before we parted ways inside of the bar he gave me what we Latinos call a baja panti (underwear remover) smile which I was sure had seduced many a female, and said,“It was such a pleasure meeting you ladies. Mia, I’m still shocked by the way.” “It’s okay Cousin Charlie much like a hang over it takes time to get over it. Take a couple of aspirin you’ll be fine in the morning.” I replied. He laughed again and nodded his head. “Hey Mia if you’re ever in Alaska…” “Yeah, yeah I’ll stop in and see my cute little Eskimo” I joked quoting the lyrics to a favorite song. I guess he got the reference because he laughed. I waved goodbye to him and headed in the direction of our table.

When were out of ear shot Guay looked back at him and said, “You could’ve had that! He was so interested in you. He was dying to ask you for your number! " I arched my eye brow at her and pointed ahead. “And what was I going to do with that Guay?I have a boyfriend." “Yeah well you better tell Cousin Charlie that because he’s staring at you again.” I looked over to where Charlie was with his friends; sure enough he was looking at me again. He must have said something to his friends because they all turned around to look at me and raised their beers in unison as if in a toast. I smiled at them and then looked away. Someone was calling my name. I had been spotted by our crew.“How cool is it that we learned something tonight?” I asked Guay as we made our way to our table.“What was that?” “Duh Guay, that Puerto Ricans are like every where! Last week I met an Australian-Puerto Rican and now we met an Inuit who’s got some Boricua in him too.” “Well it looks like he’s going to have some white in him tonight!" I laughed as the woman from outside walked past us making a beeline straight to Charlie.

“Yo Guay how sick is it that the wig wam bam song just popped into my head?” I adjusted the beautiful dress scarf around my neck and thought of my friend Dannie as I got ready to serenade Guay. I mentally sent Dannie a message, “This one’s for you hermana.” Knowing that like Dannie Guay has never been able to resist the lure of the infectious song I began… “Hey Guay did you know that Hiawatha didn't bother too much 'Bout Minnie Ha-Ha and her tender touch Till she took him to the silver stream?” “No! No! Please Mia No! For the love of God No! Stop!” I wiggled my eyebrows at her and began dancing 1960's style. “Oh gawd stop Mia! I’m never going to get that song out of my head now!” she shouted before she joined in on my dance and started singing with me. “Wig-wam bam, gonna make you my man, Wam bam bam, gonna get you if I can….”

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Posted by @ 11:19 AM
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Monday, February 04, 2008

Some Advice


I was reveling in the warmth and goodness of my café con leche when a friend approached me about some relationship problems he was having with his girlfriend. He had cheated and lied and got caught. He couldn’t understand why she couldn’t forgive him when he was truly sorry. After listening to him for awhile I put my hand on his shoulder and delivered my verdict. “The problem here is not your girlfriend the problem is you. You’re a lying pig. Nobody likes being lied to especially on a consistent basis. What the hell are you a politician in training?” The look on his face was priceless; I took a bite out of my croissant, sipped some coffee and waited for his response.

He was shocked and offended I know this because he told me so. “Look man if you don’t want to hear the truth then I’m the wrong person to talk to. The fact is that when it comes to females you are the worst. You have no respect for their feelings. I’m not saying you’re a bad person; you just need to grow up. Your problem has always been that you let your penis do the thinking for you.”

I could tell that at that moment I was not one of his favorite people. “So what do I do now?” he asked. “Duh! Talk to her and be honest with her! ” “Okay” “Oh and more thing, do it in person none of this text messaging, over the phone, or emailing crap. Talk to her like a man face to face.” He excused himself to call her to let he know he was coming over to talk. As I walked past him I heard him arguing with her, “But I’ve always told you the truth except when I was lying!”

Maybe I should’ve thrown in some pointers as to what to say along with my advice.

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Posted by @ 11:53 PM
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Friday, February 01, 2008

This Doesn’t Count As A Valentine’s Day Gift


My dad returned from the dentist this afternoon after having a molar pulled. It was a first for him he’s never had tooth pulled before. He handed the tooth to my mother and as she took the little plastic zip lock bag from him she asked,“What’s this?” “The dentist gave me my tooth when he was done.”

She examined the contents of the bag and said, “Yup that’s a tooth alright."Why did he give this to you?" “I have no clue babe but what’s mines is yours so there you go.” She stared at the tooth for a minute and then handed it back to him, “I hope you realize this doesn’t count as a Valentine’s Day gift.”

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Posted by @ 4:03 PM
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