Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brother follow up

After many request this is my handsome brother, Albert. Thanks to comments from Fringes, he agreed to let me post a few pictures, being a typical male, he was motivated by women wanting to look at him.

He Loves/plays baseball and basketball, is 5ft10 (and a half), favorite color is blue. I will forward all email/comments to him after much scrutiny from Moi, of course.

Jali 's questions, my answers

I was over visiting Jali's house the other day and by doing so, I now have to answer some questions. It beats having to clean or do the dishes. (she's always excusing the mess over there.)

If you had unlimited time to do something you've been putting off, what would it be? I would paint my living room, get my hair dyed, get a manicure and pedicure, sleep for days, take a trip, build an ark (you did say unlimited time)

Name a celebrity crush. (c'mon, we won't judge you) Raul Julia, he's dead now but if you mean someone whose alive then at the moment no one. (but if Prince called and asked me to come over, I would)

How long can you go without sex? with or without a partner? an eternity, am so damn loyal that way.

What do you love most about yourself? My ability to always land on my feet no matter how often life kicks my ass. (as an added bonus, the thing I hate the most about myself is my hair)

How long have you been friends with your best friend? For so long that we can speak each other's unspoken language. For so long that, even when we aren't in touch for a while we can easily pick up where we left off.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Little Brother

Happy 15Th Birthday Little brother

I can remember picking you up at that dingy office and knowing life had changed. I was nervous, I never had a little brother and I had no experience with a 2 year old. But I knew the minute I saw your beautiful brown eyes, that I was in love. It didn't matter that you didn't walk, or talk and were so afraid. It didn't matter that the first 2 years of your life were dominated by a mother who preferred drugs more than her son, it didn't matter that you were so sickly and that your hair was the biggest ugliest Afro I had ever seen in my life. What mattered was that I had a little brother, and you now had a big sister. Through out the last 13 years, you have made up for lost time and become a wonderful young man. In keeping with our birthday tradition here is the list of all the things I still find amazing about you.
  • You are so funny. (You have a dry wit that I hope I had something to do with.)
  • You are compassionate and smart. I love discussing the woes of the world with you.
  • You are so damn good looking and you know it, which may not be a good thing but for now am letting it slide.
  • You seem to have already made peace with your scary start in life. That is so big, adults sometimes live their whole lives and never make peace with their past.
  • You openly share your emotions and thoughts with me. Am proud you feel that close to me to never hold back.
  • You are smart enough to know that skin color has never meant anything between us. Remember when some kids said I couldn't be your sister because you were black and I wasn't and you said our hearts were the same color and walked away. Amazing insight for a 6 year old.
  • You can be a pain in the ass, which I hear is typical of a teenager, so most times I let that slide too.
  • You are now way too tall and mature for a 15 year old. And although most people think you are 20, you are just 15. Enjoy it, you'll be 20 soon enough.
That's it, am not listing anything else because you already have a big enough ego. Right before my very eyes, you are becoming an amazing man. I am so proud of you. I absolutely love you.

(By the way, NO, I am not siding with you about getting an earring, and NO, I am not siding with you on getting a tattoo but YES, I'll do what I can to convince the folks about letting you get your hair braided)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

True Confessions

I am not really sure how this conversation started, or how I came up with the experiment but I still remember how it ended. While sitting on the stoop outside our apartment building in Brooklyn, the conversation turned to white bread. Yeah, white bread, the kind people eat, the kind most kids ate with bologna (not me but most kids). As kids do, everyone was comparing notes on white bread. I, being the smart ass kid I was, decided it was my job to explain to these poor souls how foolish they were. "White bread is bad" I yelled. "It has absolutely no nutritional value at all, you might as well eat your mattress. white bread=mattress". This tidbit of information was not greeted well. Everyone disagreed. What could I do?. Pushed against a wall, having to defend my stance on white bread. I got indignant, because that is what happens when you challenge my knowledge. "I'll prove it", said I, with a sly smirk. Thus began the ugliness, which leads to my confession.

Ramon ran home to get some white bread. While we waited for his return. I planned my experiment. Ramon returned with a whole bag of white bread. Grabbing one slice I started my walk to the empty lot next door. Everyone followed, I felt just like the pied piper. The empty lot next door was strewn with your usual garbage, as well as an old mattress, which I quickly reminded everyone tasted and had the same nutritional value of white bread. I paused, just in case anyone wanted to try some mattress, no one did. (I was grinning, imagine my luck, a mattress, right there, just waiting to become my prop.) Among the items and things in the empty lot were several stray cats. Friendly enough since they ate pretty well, given the amount of rats which also occupied the lot.

"White bread is so bad for you that it kills cats". There I said it, no turning back now. My friends, all anxiously awaiting the experiment stood silently around me. I bent down and offered my slice of white bread to the stray cats. One actually came over, sniffed the bread and then laid down at my feet. (He didn't want white bread when rats were so much tastier) I couldn't conduct my experiment if he didn't eat it, so I picked him up and decided to gently "force" the cat to eat the white bread. Now, if you remember from your childhood days of eating white bread, it does have a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth. Now imagine the roof of a cat's mouth, and then imagine that same cat being "fed" white bread by yours truly. The white bread stuck to the roof of his mouth, the cat freaked and everyone started to scream and then as quick as lightening ... the cat ran ... across the street ... without looking both ways ... he got hit by a car and killed. While everyone continued to scream, I exclaimed in my most scientific voice "see, white bread kills cats". White bread=mattress=dead cat.

The screaming, the crying and the screeching of tires brought out some parents, everyone screaming and pointing at me, I had killed a cat. I, still in science mode, declaring "it was the bread". The cat dead in the street. The travesty, the horror, it was ugly, dear friends. It took many years and some therapy but eventually after much re-telling most people just remember the car killed the cat. Interestingly enough, no kids ate white bread in my neighborhood for many years after that incident. I decided science wasn't my thing after just one experiment gone awry.

A word to the wise, never feed white bread to a cat. (and if you do, make sure he looks both ways before crossing the street.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Looking for work

I am sick with the most horrendous cold of my life. Granted any time I have a cold, it's the worse cold of my life, but this one really is the worse, ever. I can't breathe, my head hurts, my eyes are swollen, and my vision is blurred. I have purchased 5 different cold remedies. I am alternating taking one pill of each type every 4-6 hours, which may account for my current brain fog. So what, you say ... sympathy my friends, I want some damn sympathy. I should be in bed, keeping warm and lamenting my sure death but instead I am posting because I need to keep you visiting the asylum to check out what new witty tale or crazy rant I may have to share. Right now I have neither a tale nor a rant ... did I mention my brain fog? So when all else fails, post a list (blogger rule book #63) Here are jobs I may or may not have had:
  1. Circus acrobat
  2. Fast food french fry chef
  3. Therapist at a mental health clinic
  4. Grave digger
  5. Director of a residential program for developmentally delayed adults
  6. Travel agent
  7. Fashion guru
  8. Line worker at a toy factory
  9. Monkey trainer
  10. Clinician at a vocational program for the mentally ill
  11. Domestic goddess
  12. Bee keeper
  13. Bank teller
  14. Kabuki dancer
  15. Male stripper
In the comments section tell me which jobs you think I had, the winner gets to write my epitaph. (my brain fog is fading , time to pop a few more pills)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First Aid

I went to the VA hospital today to pay a bill. (I know, what is it with me and paying bills?) I was stopped at the entrance as is customary, and asked for my license or other proof that I was not a dangerous person looking to do harm to a federal building. After showing the policeman my ID and my lovely new outfit, I parked the car and started to walk towards the building.

There must have been an invisible crack/rock/large hole in the sidewalk or perhaps it was my sashaying way, whatever ... I fell. The policeman runs over to help. (Nothing like the sight of a man in uniform rushing to your rescue to make a girl ponder how much of an injury she can feign and still look cool.) He asks "Are you OK?", to which I respond "duh, no". My elbow is bleeding, my knee has a scrape. I ask for a first aid kit. To which the policeman replies "I don't have one". No worries, after all I am at the hospital.

I head into the hospital. My elbow is bleeding, my knee stings and I can feel my face start to grimace. (As one does as they are bleeding and stinging.) I walk to the emergency room waiting area. I find the triage nurse, who without even looking up, says "take a number". (what is it with this island and "take a number?"!) I point to my bleeding elbow as I tell her to just hand me the first aid kit, I'll take it from there. She says "we don't have a first aid kit". But it's a hospital, I mutter as I walk away.

Feeling totally ignored and still bleeding I head to the front desk, and ask for a first aid kit. The idiot helpful man says "we don't have a first aid kit". Trying hard to keep my cool, blood now running down my arm, I show him my injury, tell my story and beg for help. I don't want major surgery, all I want is something to wipe up the blood, something to kill all the dirty sidewalk germs (which I am convinced by now are festering in my elbow, as they work their way into my blood stream) and a band aid. The man tells me to go the waiting room, take a number and wait for a nurse to clean my injury. I am not about to face the triage nurse again. Nope, not me. (too much time has passed, am worried about the possible blood stains to my clothes.)

I waltz/do my best knee stinging sashaying right into the emergency room, by-passing the waiting room and triage nurse. Once inside, doctors and nurses are busy taking care of sick veterans laying on hospital beds. All sorts of machines are hissing and beeping. There are real sick people in there. I stand right in the middle of an aisle and demand a first aid kit. No one even looks my way. Being the observant person I am (even in trying times), I notice that to my right is one of those carts that obviously has medical supplies. Since no one is paying attention to me, I decide to help myself and grab all the necessary supplies (gauze, antibiotic cream, band aids, antiseptic spray and a box of purple rubber gloves, those always come in handy). Armed with my newly made first aid kit, I say goodbye to a doctor walking past me, he says "have a nice day". I administered first aid to my own damn injuries, pay the bill and drive home.

Moral of this story ... it is possible to walk into a federal building, bleeding, wearing a great new outfit, help yourself to a box of purple rubber gloves and no one notices.
Feel free to fill in your own moral to the story in the comments section.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Fish Tale

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of going fishing. We would wake up at the ungodly hour of 4 AM. My mom would already have our lunches ready. The same fabulously exotic bag lunch. A welfare cheese sandwich and water, YUM. My dad had our fishing gear all set. Also very exotic, instead of the traditional fishing poles we used soda cans found in the empty lot next door. The night before the trip was spent bending those soda cans just right, you had to get the right angle in order to attach the fishing line so it wouldn't come off.

We had to take 2 trains to get from Brooklyn to Broad Channel, where we fished. This was the worse part of the whole adventure. As a kid I had motion sickness, (to this day I still can't read in a moving vehicle without feeling queasy) which meant that we had to get on/off the trains several times before reaching our destination, so I could hurl and regain my will to live. I hated that train ride but I loved fishing.

We would get to Broad Channel just as the sun was coming up. Broad Channel was a beach, used mostly for fishing not sunbathing. We would find our special rock area and set up camp. My dad and I would walk over to Smitty's Bait and Tackle. Smitty looked like your classic old fisherman, leathery sun burnt skin. He must have been hundreds of years old. That's how I remember him, but then again childhood memories are not always based on fact. His shop rented row boats and of course, sold bait and tackle. He was a sweet man, who knew all his customers by what bait they bought. He always gave us extra blood worms for free. Which he let me pick out, I loved him for that.
Back at our fishing spot, I always offered to help cut up the blood worms. It was a few years before my family realized that I wasn't doing this to be helpful. It was because I had discovered early on that the head of the bloodworm was the strongest and stayed on the hook the longest. So while everyone else ran out of bait, I still kept fishing, being the only family member to still have bait left.

We went to Broad Channel several times during the summer. Once Smitty asked my dad why we fished from the shore and never got a row boat. As my dad explained how getting to the shore was a financial feat (my parents didn't pay some bill, gave up lunch money or sold an organ). Smitty gave us a rowboat for free that day. Damn, I loved that ancient man.

Fishing on the ocean in a row boat was incredible, we were giddy with excitement. We also caught the most fish ever. Casting from the shore using a soda can fishing pole was a task which required specific precise skills. From the row boat you just dropped your line off the side and soon there was that tug, followed by pulling in your prize. We caught Porgies, eels, flounder and some really ugly angler type fish. ( that was the only fish we ever threw back).

Back at shore at the end of the day we cleaned our catch and sometimes cooked our fish right there. (obviously this was back when people didn't worry about fish having high doses of Mercury, or other horrible contaminates) Then came that damn train ride home. Despite how sick I got on the train, nothing diminished the wonder of my day spent at Broad Channel. (even as I begged my parents to put me out of my misery)

As an adult, I now understand the full extent of the sacrifice my parents made to expose me to new adventures despite our poverty. To this day the sight of an ocean brings me joy. The chance to go fishing fills me with excitement. (I can bait a hook and clean/fillet fish like no body's business) And alas the sight or sound of a train, makes me break out in a sweat.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One of these things is not like the other.

These women, all tried out to be Denver Broncos Cheerleaders. (I am not making this up.) Not everyone made it. Can you guess who?

I admire the desire of the woman with the black top and "larger" build and I want:

  1. Whatever drugs she is taking.
  2. To purchase the "magic" mirror she obviously uses, if when she woke up that morning she really thought she looked like all the other women trying out.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Jenny from the block - Boricua?

J.Lo is no longer J.Lo. Talk about big news. (bullshit)

In an interview with Britain's The Guardian Newspaper, J.Lo said "I'm not J. Lo, no more. That's all gone with the ridiculous stories of tantrums and Egyptian sheets. That's all my past. I'm Jennifer Lopez. I think as a woman, I've finally grown more sure of who I am." BULLSHIT! She has finally decided she made enough money off white America and is moving on to Latin America. So she needs to emphasize the Lopez name.

She goes on to say "It does seem ironic that it has taken me more than a decade to basically get back to who I am. I am incredibly proud of my culture and I think I am a woman who is totally defined by my culture. My temperament, my body shape, the way I am, is all very much Puerto Rican." BULLSHIT! Ironic? is she kidding? She recorded a Spanish language album and she became Puerto Rican. OK, I'll give her some credit, she is right, her body shape is Puerto Rican. A woman "proud of and defined by her Puerto Rican culture", what the fuck is she talking about? I don't recall her Puerto Rican pride helping anyone on the island. I don't recall seeing/hearing of her involvement in Vieques. She only recently learned to speak Spanish and judging by local news, she "no habla" too well. I am sure she isn't at home making arroz y habichulas con chuletas and watching Sabado Gigante with Marc Anthony.

She made an autograph signing stop in the Bronx. ( for the new album, of course) The record shop was F.Y.E. This supports the Latin Community how? What, she couldn't find a Latin owned record shop in the Bronx? What the fuck. She is dropping Spanish names like crazy, all of a sudden, other famous people with Latin names are/were/ her idols and role models.

OK, so I have never been a fan of J.Lo. (can you tell) I have nothing against anyone who makes load and loads of money. She sings, dances, acts ,and is an entrepreneur. Living the American dream and all that. I applaud those things. What I take great offense to is using the "culture ethnic" card to sell records. Prior to this new album, I don't remember J.Lo sharing her joy at being Puerto Rican. Until now, have you read any interviews where she raved about our culture, our people, our food, or our island? (I haven't, then again I may not be totally up on all there is to know about her) The woman's self discovery came just in time for the release of her Spanish album. coincidence? I think not.

I am not sure what "block" Jenny is from but I am sure, she is not from my block. In another interview she states "I didn't know I lived in a bad neighborhood, until I dated a cop at age 19. He told me of the high crime in my neighborhood. To me it was just home." I ask you, how does one grew up in a bad neighborhood and not know it? The Brooklyn of my childhood was home to me too, but I sure as hell knew it was bad. (the gun shots were a give away). She needs to sell a record and her marketing ploy is to be Puerto Rican. I am not buying it. I don't care how Puerto Rican she claims to be, as far as I am concerned the only thing Puerto Rican about her is Marc Anthony. And I'm not sure that's enough.

To be "Boricua" (Boricua= term of endearment used among Puerto Ricans to adress each other, derived from the Taino name for the island of Puerto Rico, Boriquen.) one must know about our rich history. One must understand our culture and it's roots. One must relate to the diversity of our music, and our people. Boricua is in your soul, your blood. You don't become Boricua, you are born that way. Jennifer Lopez is Puerto Rican by default, her parents were born here. She can claim to be a Latina all she wants but she is no BORICUA pa' que lo sepas.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Perhaps I Need Therapy

Things that freak me out:

  1. Bugs that are faster than a speedy bullet and can jump tall buildings in a single bound.
  2. Women who are a size 18 but dress in a size 4.
  3. Menu items that include the innards of animals, some things just shouldn't be eaten.
  4. Incessant negativity.
  5. People that never swear. It's just fucking wrong.
  6. Deep end of pools, I must touch bottom and have my head above water, always.
  7. Biting into something and hearing a "crunch", when I know there should NOT be a crunch.
  8. Being slimed, keep your viscous liquid matter to yourself.
  9. Men that are useless, stupid and controlling.
  10. Having matched sets of socks going into the dryer and an uneven set coming out.
  11. Fake dairy products, all real dairy products go in the fridge not the cupboard shelf.
  12. Cheap liquor, if I wanted to drink gasoline, I'd buy gasoline.
  13. Gumby but not Pokey.
  14. Babies that drool, wear diapers and can't speak coherently.
  15. Rolling over onto the "wet" spot.
  16. wintergreen or black licorice, what the hell kind of flavors are those?
  17. Hens that chase you down until they peck you repeatedly, then cluck happily.
I'm too freaked out to go on. What freaks you out?

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