Sunday, February 17, 2008

Trump This

I have never been a fan of Donald Trump. His personality always strikes me as cheesy, aberrant at best and his hair, let's not even go there. But the Donald has finally done something I can applaud. I am even debating doing my happy naked dance because this impacts the economy here on my little island in a big positive way.

Donald Trump and our governor Anibal Acevedo Vila announced a partnership to build a $600 million golf complex on the island northern coast. The new "Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico" will be developed with a local construction company and will include 500 residences. The first 56 villas will be sold at prices starting at $1.4 million and will include access to a private jet, yacht and limousine service.

Developers will improve the golf course previously known as The Coco Beach Golf and Country Club in time to host the Puerto Rico Open, a PGA tour event.

What does this mean to Puerto Rico: JOBS, lot's of jobs, more tourism dollars, it impacts our shipping ports, air travel, and did I mention JOBS. More jobs. (a big deal since the pharmaceutical company's are leaving the island at a rapid pace).

So Mr. Trump, who cares that you always give me the hebbie jebbies. So what if you hair looks like it needs to find a better home. This Boricua is just thrilled to think our Puerto Rican economy is getting vitamin boost. Gracias for that.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Sometimes I come across an item that reminds me of an old childhood memory. I found this article about the book "Hungry Planet" by Peter Menzel. It's photos from all around the world of families surrounded by their weekly grocery purchases. It reminded of Brooklyn, nights eating white rice with a fried egg for dinner. And from the dark, deep, hidden place in my brain pan it reminded me of welfare food. The welfare food we would get as monthly staples. YUCK! Large cans of peanut butter, big one pound blocks of butter, powdered milk, powdered potato's and the ever scary extra large can of chipped beef. Chipped beef ... what the fuck, it looked ominous even in the can. (Perhaps that is where my distaste for beef comes from.) Now that I think about it, having white rice with a fried egg was actually tasty compared to chipped beef or worse, not eating at all.

The pictures from Menzel's book are an amazing glimpse into what people spend on food and what they buy. Family budgets ranging from $500.00 a week to $1.23 a week. Imagine $1.23 to feed your family. And I complain about the chipped beef of my childhood.

I am often surprised at the amount of food that goes to waste here on my island. Food grows on the side of the road all across this island. Food rots right where if grows. Yet people go hungry. I grow avocados, several types of bananas, pineapples, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, plantains, all sorts of root vegetables, mangoes, lemons, star fruit, sour sop, and papayas. I never let a visitor leave without giving them some fruit to go. I share with the neighbors. I bring extra fruit and veggies to the baseball park and let strangers take what they want. Seeing fresh fruit go to waste scares me.

I remember being hungry, and what it felt like to be a kid and watch others enjoy special treats, salivating and imagining what it must taste like, what it must feel like to go out and just buy whatever you felt like eating, whenever you felt like eating it. What freedom. Life being the incredible adventure that it is has allowed me to now be that person, you know the one that can buy what she wants when she wants. What freedom. I can choose to eat anything and pay whatever. Yet people go hungry and I sometimes feel guilty. Even more guilty now after reading "The Hungry Planet".
  • More than 840 million people in the world are malnourished — 799 million of them live in the developing world
  • More than 153 million of the world's malnourished people are children under the age of 5.
  • Six million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.
  • Malnutrition can severely affect a child's intellectual development. Malnourished children often have stunted growth and score significantly lower on math and language achievement tests than do well-nourished children.
  • Lack of dietary diversity and essential minerals and vitamins also contributes to increased child and adult mortality. Vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system, increasing the annual death toll from measles and other diseases by an estimated 1.3 million-2.5 million children.
  • While every country in the world has the potential of growing enough food to feed itself, 54 nations currently do not produce enough food to feed their populations, nor can they afford to import the necessary commodities to make up the gap. Most of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Most of the widespread hunger in a world of plenty results from grinding, deeply rooted poverty. In any given year, however, between 5 and 10 percent of the total can be traced to specific events: droughts or floods, armed conflict, political, social and economic disruptions.
So when you see me at Starbucks buying a venti iced caramel macchiato and complaining about the cost of imported extra virgin olive oil, feel free to tell me to shut the fuck up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Love day

What better way to celebrate Love day ... one of my parent's favorite love songs.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Coqui, Coqui

We are a two car family here at the asylum. A 1998 white station wagon and a 2005 XL7. We use to be a one car family when in 2005 a snake decided it wanted to live in the station wagon. Although we did mange to get the snake out, no one wanted to ride in the station wagon for fear of retaliation from the snake and it's brethren. So we did what any crazy sane human would do, we bought a new car.

For sentimental reasons I would still take the station wagon for short scenic drives, but I always went alone because everyone feared that snakes were still in residence. I almost plunged off a cliff to my fiery death on a few occasions when I thought I felt something cold and wiggly lick my leg, (but that's a whole other story) still I felt the car should be taken out for a spin once in a while. That's just how I am, loyal.

One afternoon while washing/cleaning the station wagon we found several coqui's had made their home in side the car. We don't fear coqui's as much as snakes so we gingerly managed to catch them and set them free. (you can learn more about coqui's here) On a few other occasions another snake was found, a few more coqui and a spider, a big hairy tarantula, so now the car just sits, parked for all eternity. I draw the line at sharing a car with tarantulas. The station wagon has been given up to the reptiles and arachnids that have taken it hostage.

The car sat there for several months until recently. I decided it was just wrong to let the creepy crawlers win. I must take it back. I am woman, hear me roar, I ain't afraid of a few creepy crawlies. I washed the outside of the car and then mustered up the courage to tackle the inside, this is what I found : the coqui that once was.

Now I'm thinking we are a one car family. The station wagon will soon sport a "for sale" sign. Something about dead coqui's just gives me the creeps. Are there dead snakes in there? What about the spiders? What if some of these creatures are alive and well, feasting on the creatures weaker than them? Do you think I need to disclose any of this to the new buyer? Or should I just giggle as they drive away, knowing that at any moment they may feel something cold and wiggly licking their leg?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Oh Brother!

I have a fabulous 15 year old brother. OK, the truth is that sometimes he is fabulous and sometimes he is the spawn of Satan. But I guess that is what 15 year old boys are suppose to be like. He is madly in love these days which means he spends all his free time on his cell phone talking or sending text messages to some girl named Jorely. He is a funny, athletic, smart young man but as a consequence of being a teenager he is at times completely self absorbed. It's all about him, how he looks, how cool he is and of course how fashionable he is. He's a clothes horse and his love of shoes almost rivals mine, almost. He is also into colognes, I swear some mornings a cloud of his latest scent enters the room before he does!

In his attempt to set him self apart from all the other spawns of Satan young teenage men showing interest in young teenage girls, he got a star... a big star shaved into the side of his head. Now I don't remember what it was like to be 15, but I think I would have probably been impressed with a boy who shaved a star on the side of his head, then again maybe not.But wait, there's more, no one told me when I signed on for the "get a free brother" thing at social services that in accepting that cute little 2 year old, every year he would continue to grow and age and I would live through it all with him. Damn. I am now reliving high school crushes, broken hearts, homework hell, sex talks and more sex talks. I find myself saying things like "yes, I suppose getting a star shaved on the side of your head is impressive to a 15 year girl". "yes, I think you look great in those new jeans and no, you can never have enough converse sneakers". "yes, always, always wear condoms, boy's who don't are stupid". "Please delete that marijuana leaf picture from your cell phone". "No, I will not talk to your parents about letting you go spend the night at some persons house who we don't know, even if you claim they are really nice people, Ted Bundy was nice too and look how that turned out". "yes, trigonometry sucks but you still need to do your homework". " No, I am not going to buy you another pair of shoes, even if you need them to match the new shirt and jeans I bought you last week". The list just goes on and on.

No one told me having a little brother would keep me awake nights, drive me to drink, make me swear more than usual, laugh hysterically, fill up with pride at his accomplishments, marvel at the human he is becoming, love him unconditionally and smile when I look at pictures of his "star".

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