miércoles, septiembre 19, 2012

The WordPress Experiment

So I've been told by various folks, WordPress is among the best of the free blogging tools.  I'm not too clear on why that is, but I gather that it is a more "grown-up" blogging tool, more organized, more direct.  it could be that people take blogs on WordPress more seriously than those on Blogger.  I figure as much, because mention of Blogger in the content and web design workshops/seminars I've been attending lately is met with a frown, or at least an "oh, you're a beginner, right?" kind of look.

I'm experimenting with WordPress, and I'd be honored if you would visit, take a look, praise, hate, let me know how it feels, tell a friend, etc.

WordPress pros, so far: 

1.  Easy tagging and assigning categories.  
2.  Easy sharing (here's where I'm confused.  On my food blog, there are share options on the lower left hand corner of every blog post, Google+ being the most prominent (Blogger is a Google kid).  On this blog, however, the share options are on the upper left hand corner of the main page.  If you share from there, it will share the whole site as opposed to one post.  If you want to share the post only, you must click on the post title first.)
3.  Template is nice enough - it's more organized.  
4.  Best for long form blogs as opposed to photography or Pinterest-type blogs.
5.  Useful widgets.

The con:
1. Many templates cost $60-$100, and the free ones can only be customized to a small extent.  If you want to change fonts, that'll cost you, too.

I like to be able to play around with fonts and pictures and I can spend an awful lot of time on this.  WordPress will, most likely, force me to concentrate on content, which is not such a bad idea at this point.

Again, I'd love it if you'd visit and let me know what you think.  Any ideas on WordPress vs. other blogging tools would also be much appreciated.

Thanks, loves!!!

jueves, septiembre 13, 2012

A review of Junot Diaz's "This Is How You Lose Her"

Junot Diaz has always been a favorite author of mine, ever since college when he came to the Latin-American lit class I was taking in '98. By that time, I had already read Drown and was on my way to reading Negocios, the Spanish translation of Drown, expertly done by my lit. professor, Mr. Eduardo Lago (even the colloquialisms and the SHUCO-ness, the grit, the sarcasm, the naughtiness, came through, which I know, as an amateur translator myself, is supremely tough to accomplish).

Diaz's language, dialogue, place, every ounce of passion and work he puts into his writing, it is all fresh, and so it will be when I reread This Is How You Lose Her next year, and the next, and so on. It takes a very talented writer to give his readers a different glimpse of the same character, Yunior, who pops up everywhere, starting with Drown. Every time he shows up, you see a different side. He's an onion - every time you peel back a layer, you feel like crying a little. Notice here that Yunior's girls - his sucias - and his friends revolve around him, but the family stays the same, close to him, living in the back of his head - dando consejos (giving advice), for better or for worse, and sometimes ruling him. The mark of a great author is the characters he crafts, and Diaz is a writer who blows the best of them out of the water on that count.

Diaz has an amazing ability to evoke emotion like few others can - you pull for Yunior and his boys. You pray for Yunior's brother Rafa, yet, like their Mami, you are almost constantly disgusted with him at the same time.  So you pray for him then hold up your hand like you are going to smack him silly. You want to hug Yunior's girls, tell them you've been there, hold their hands, tell them that even the smartest women can be easily fooled by a charming man.  Yunior's mami....like many Latina wives and mothers, she makes suffering her claim to fame, sacrifice and guilt trips her job, but she has a sharp mind and is far from a hopeless case. You can never count her out. And Yunior's Papi, it's like Yunior said in Fiesta, 1980 (a story in Drown) - you just look at his belly button because you're scared to look him in the eye.

Yunior. Dios mio. You want to hug him. You see through the exterior and you want to tell him it's all OK, he can be real. You want to yell at him and knock some sense into him. Like one of his girls in Cheater's Guide to Love, the last story in This Is How You Lose Her, you love his mind, which is expert on almost everything - from words you have to look up that he casually slips into conversation/narration to sci-fi references you also have to Wikipedia. Yet you empathize with him. You throw up your hands because you wish he'd just come clean. And you want to be there when he does.

You know you could never live the way some of those characters do, or in the places they live, yet people stronger than you do it every day. When you have hope and faith, so do they. There is a common thread that unites everyone that you don't know about or even willfully ignore until you read Diaz's work.

And then the sadness when the book ends, even though you know you'll see it again, is palpable. ~~sigh~~

I've read a few of the stories in This Is How You Lose Her in the New Yorker during the past few years. The ripped-out pages I saved in a portfolio just in case I never saw those stories published again. But even though those magazine pages, for the most part, contain the same words as the corresponding stories in the book, it's like the stories were brand new. Again, blows everyone away on sheer ability.

And Diaz, you want to tell him, "You did good, hombre. You did real good."

Editor's note: I made sure to buy my copy of this book at Posman Books in New York City, a small bookstore with three locations throughout the city. Please remember to buy your books at independent bookstores.

domingo, septiembre 02, 2012

Friends....How Many of Us Have Them? Part II

Ever since my most horrible year, 2010, I have been on a journey of self-discovery, if you will.  I call it, finally growing the hell up.  It takes hard times to re-evaluate your life, put things in perspective, etc.  Figuring out what and who you should keep in your life because they help and/or inspire and don't hurt or bring you down.  That includes friends.  I think of that song "Friends" by Whodini, an eighties rap group, one of the originals.  It's more about lovers, but the lyrics apply to friendships as well:

"It couldn't last long because it started out strong
But I guess we went about the whole thing wrong
Cause out of nowhere it just came to an end....."

I decided to write this post as therapy, because there's one friendship of mine that ended recently, rather abruptly though I guess I could see it coming, and as I'll mention later, sort of, I tend to turn things over and over in my mind for a long while until I can organize my thoughts and get some closure.

This is my attempt at organization.

I joined Yelp in February 2007, and by March, had amassed a group of friends that I thought I'd have for a very long time.  By that summer, we all hung out on a regular basis.  As someone who was well-liked but never really popular in school, for the next year and change, I would feel like I was finally getting to sit at the cool kids table.  Great feeling.  As an only child, I have always made deep connections with my friends, and these people, I considered them the family I chose.

"T" was the one that I spent the most time with and had the most fun with.  We talked into the wee hours of the morning about everything.  We went everywhere together.  We exchanged gifts a lot of the time for no reason other than we loved each other.  We were like sisters.

The decline of that friendship, well, you could say it started in the fall of 2010.  What happened?

I can't tell you what a bad year 2010 was.  It started off with my cat's death.  About 3 weeks later, daddy followed, of course much more devastating than the cat, although that was painful too.  You may have read my posts about that, and I haven't fully recovered yet.  Day by day.

Then in October, along with a lot of other people our "group" was friendly with, we said goodbye to our brother, RA, who died of cancer.  I haven't really recovered from that one, either.

In any case, that year I managed to buy an apartment, a two bedroom co-op in Queens.  Of course, I talked about the process with my friends.  One friend, JM, told me to clam up about it.  Buying your own home or having any kind of extraordinarily good fortune often inspired jealousy among those you least expected.  I waved that advice away as his usual paranoia - who on earth would take advantage or be jealous of me??  Especially after the year I'd had...

About a month or so before I closed on my place, T asked if she could be my roomie and stay in the second bedroom in my new house.  She had had to move around a lot for a long time.  By this time, she had gotten an awesome boyfriend, for which I was very happy - to me, she really deserved it.  I thought she also needed the stability of a set place to live, so I said yes without hesitation.  It took me a while to tell my mom, but that's another story....  T got mad at me for that, and I had to talk her down from her anger, as I did a few times when she got annoyed with me.  Looking back, at that time, I thought I needed her, and I wanted her company in the house.

We moved in together that June.  We unpacked boxes together.  I add here that she even helped me pack up my stuff in the old house to be moved.  We planned out where furniture would go.  We organized kitchen cabinets.

As it turned out, she didn't need a place to live.  She stayed over a lot at her boyfriend's place, which of course was cool with me.  She still paid "rent", so that she used my house as a storage place for her stuff was not a problem at first.  As time wore on, however, and I had to see her stuff kept in a messy pile in that room first thing when I came home, it got annoying.  But instead of telling her that, I told her she could pay me a lot less rent since she didn't actually live there.  She laughed when I told her that.  In hindsight, that reaction should have set off some alarm.  But I didn't want to piss her off and I would much rather have lived with someone else's mess in my house than dissatisfy her.

When my mom visited, she would tell me that T's stuff, which included dirty clothes, was stinking up my house.  That she used my house as her storage lot was disrespectful.  I could see that, but I dismissed my mother's words anyway.

As the summer wore on, T would tell me that person X talked shit about me, that person Y was upset with me, and that person Z said I had changed into "a negative person" (person Z recently, and vehemently, denied this - I didn't and don't believe her).  She told me this because, as she said, she was "my true friend."  But all that did was make me question myself.  I am a big people pleaser.  I hate it when people are angry with me.  The first thing I do is try and figure out what is so wrong with me that anyone would be mad at me.

My mom visited again at the end of the summer, and as we stood in my second bedroom and she lectured me about standing up for myself with T, I broke down in tears and told her what T told me about my "friends" and whined and asked her "what's wroooong with meeee????"

It turned out that my "issues" with persons X and Y didn't even exist.  Person Z, I'm not sure, but I didn't really care, and what Z did or didn't say upset me because if anyone had a right to be negative once in a while, it was me.

When RA died, JM, friends with both of us, out of grief and worry, told T to be careful with her health (she had been diagnosed with diabetes, she told us, that past January).  Granted, he said it in a harsh way, along the lines of "if you don't take care of yourself, you might be next."  Not at all a tactful way to express worry.  He said that same thing to me (I have insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes).  But I knew where those words came from, so I excused the poor choice and took it as a sign of his affection for me.  T did not, and "broke up" with him immediately.  As a matter of fact, when she called to tell me RA had passed, one of the first things she said was not to tell JM.  Ding ding ding - warning sign.  Not heeded.  As for JM, I'm still good friends with him.  I actually pled with T not to be so mad at him, which maybe I shouldn't have done - I should have stayed out of it, and I think I became guilty by association at that point.  But if there's one thing T taught me, you should always stand up for your friends.  She would also add that I didn't stand up for her enough.

Things went downhill from there.  We hung out less and less.  She made friends that I didn't particularly care for, but, that was her choice and it had nothing to do with me.  I finally got the courage to ask her to get her stuff out of my house, but that didn't happen until 4 or so months after she had moved in with her boyfriend.  If I hadn't said anything, her stuff would still be in a pile in my house.  It took me another 6 or so months to finally throw away the stuff she left behind that she obviously didn't want.

I should add that I missed her last birthday, I suppose a cardinal sin in girl world.  I got a deal with a friend for a zip-line outing in the Poconos that fell exactly on T's birthday.  She had a night out in K-town the night before, and then a more intimate dinner the day of her birthday.  I told her that I couldn't make it to the night out because I had to get up very early in the morning to leave for the outing.  She said that was fine.  The dinner was specially organized by her, to the letter, as she usually organizes things.  The chef at the restaurant prepared a special menu, so people needed to RSVP.  I said yes.  As it turned out, we got back about 2 hours late from zip-lining.  Since we were not allowed cell phones on the outing, I couldn't text T until we got on the bus, but I did so as soon as I could get to my phone.  I explained why I was late, but T was already pissed.  At this point, instead of talking her down from her anger at me, as usual, I decided, the hell with it.  I apologized profusely, and that's all I could really do.  I was tired of going out of my way to make sure I stayed in her good graces.  We didn't speak after that.

Meanwhile, every time I posted something on Facebook alluding to "toxic friends", T would assume I meant her.  I didn't, because after everything I didn't think of her that way.  In December 2011, I replied to a mutual friend's posting about friends who would tell you that others disliked you under the guise of their love for you.  T assumed I meant her.  I didn't, though she had done that to me, but I still didn't think of her that way.  Even though our friendship was already fading out, I didn't want to anger her outright.  Well, she got pissed anyway and defriended me.  Remembering that still makes me giggle.  What a thing is social media.... I still think of her and try to figure out what exactly went wrong, hence this post.  How did I make her so angry with me?  I should be angry with her.  I should have talked to her at the risk of angering her.  But I didn't.  Did she ever talk to me about those FB posts that were allegedly about her?  Not really.  Did she ever say outright that she was mad at me?  Never.  Apologize?  Pfft...no way.  She just let go.  And this post is my way of doing the same....

She did text me for my birthday this year, saying that even though we didn't talk, she still remembered my birthday (maybe she wanted a medal, or maybe this was payback for me missing her birthday), and that she hoped that we could reconnect.  I responded thanking her for the wishes and that I hoped she was happy and healthy.  I was being sincere.  Yet when I saw her at the waxing place I go to and she works at, I said hello and was ready to hug it out, but she just said "Hiiiiii" in a non-chalant tone, then immediately made herself scarce.

This is the part where I shake my head and throw up my hands.

martes, julio 17, 2012

New York's newest epidemic

We've been seeing it all over the news and on community online forums. There is an epidemic hitting the streets. Women are being groped and/or assaulted in what seems like record numbers. But if you ask Bloomberg and Kelly, New York is the safest big city in the country. So how is it that we know what's going on and they are blissfully ignorant and unwilling to do anything about it?

My theory: the victims are women. If there were female serial gropers riding by on their bikes trying to get a handful of whatever guy is on the sidewalk, I am willing to bet it would get a response from NYPD immediately. But in Astoria, where I live, this summer as well as last, there are several gropers attacking women who go ignored by our infamous 114th precinct (infamous for doing the bare minimum).

Most recently, I heard, on the community blog Why Leave Astoria, that just the other night, a girl was assaulted walking from her friend's apartment to hers, just 4 blocks away. The attacker rode by on his bike, grabbed her, penetrated her with his finger, then rode off. Apparently, the victim called the police when she got home and the response from the glorious police of the 114th was less than appropriate given the crime committed.

She was on her phone and likely unaware that the attacker was riding up behind her or in front of her. He was apparently on the street and came at her from in between parked cars. Which she probably didn't notice. Her attacker was described as "Latino". That's it. Short, tall, fat, skinny, we don't know.

As I said, this was not the first time something like this had happened in Astoria, a very family-oriented and "safe" neighborhood. Last summer, one or two gropers in Astoria were caught - just not by the cops. One was caught by a good Samaritan just after he was ballsy enough to attack a woman while she shopped on Steinway Street, a main thoroughfare, with her child. Some guy hanging out nearby saw what happened, went after the attacker and caught him, a Latino about an inch taller than me (I'm 5'1").

I can get scrappy when the occasion calls for it, so my first reaction when I saw the attacker's picture was "why hasn't he gotten his ass beat before this????" I once got my ass grabbed by some Mexican kid not much taller than me as I was walking home a few years ago in Sunnyside, not far from Astoria. I turned around and decked him. So to me, why a woman can't take it upon herself to do this, for her own sake, is a tad unbelievable. But not everyone has those kinds of reflexes, nor are they comfortable doing what I did. I have to understand that.

It seems to me, from what I have read, that women who are attacked are usually by themselves, sometimes inebriated, sometimes just walking home from the subway. They are usually in some way unaware of their surroundings. They are walking with their heads down. They are on the phone. They are listening to their iPods. There is nothing wrong with what they are doing, per se. But we women need to know that we are being watched.

It may sound silly, but before JA came around, I would walk while carrying my keys in what I like to call "Wolverine Style", two keys sticking out from between my fingers. I can also remember, more than a few times, walking home alone in the dark, being drunk enough not to be able to recall how I got myself from the cab that left me outside my building to my apartment.

It took a robbery in Nicaragua and JA to make me realize, I have to take care of myself before I expect anyone to take care of me. Crimes are awful and traumatic. They are also not always just a result of bad luck, and there are preventative measures that can be taken. The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and to not let your guard down.

In Nicaragua, some guy (probably a desperate teenager, poor and high on glue fumes) broke into the room my mother and I were staying in in San Juan del Sur. There were parties all over town, so random guys ambling through the streets was not abnormal. We were traveling with family, driving SUVs with diplomatic tags. We would take our iPhones and iPads downtown to get the only wi-fi signal available. Of course, we were being watched. When we went to sleep, my mother locked the door to our room. But we ran out of TP, and I had to go down to the kitchen to get a new roll. Chances are I was being watched then too. I went back to the room. I let my guard down. I didn't lock the door. An hour later, a guy came into our room, took my mother's bag and jewelry and took my bag and was rifling through the night table drawer right next to me when I woke up and chased him out of the room and away from the house. He unfortunately ran off with everything. If I hadn't done that, the guy would have broken into my mom's friend's room next door, and her door was unlocked too. My luck was horrible that night, but I also didn't lock the door. Me, who has three locks on my apartment door and is anal about locking the windows before I go to bed or leave the house. I don't blame myself for the robbery, but I know I could have prevented it.

Now, I'll take a cab home if I'm coming back from a party or from dinner, no matter how much I've had to drink. If I am coming home late on the subway, I'll ask JA to pick me up at the station. If he can't make it, I take a cab. To me, it is the safe thing to do.

I have a huge problem with the fact that a lot of women have no interest in hearing how to protect themselves. They want to feel free to be women, dress the way they want, act the way they want. I get it, and I agree that they should be able to do that. But that's not the world we live in. Some women who are victims of sexually motivated attacks would much rather complain about lack of police protection than learn to take precautions so that they never get attacked again. I applaud women who carry mase, whistles, baseball bats, learn self-defense, are otherwise bad-ass, or simply know to scream loudly when an attacker approaches them or they feel uncomfortable. It's better to hurt someone else who is attacking you than just get attacked.

The other epidemic sweeping our city is theft of iStuff on the subway, iPhones in particular. This one is easier, because it's the product they want, not you. If some asshole demands it from you, may as well hand it over, as much as it hurts. Even better, though, carry it in your bag and listen that way, or just put it away altogether. Never have it out in your hand - it honestly looks like you WANT to hand it off to someone.

What sucks about life in the city is that you don't get to be carefree. You just don't. There is a thing called street smarts, and they sadly do not teach it in schools. It doesn't matter that you know Shakespeare or the process of osmosis or binary numbers inside out. OK it does matter in general, but not when some guy's jumping out at you from behind a bush on a dimly lit street and you've had a few too many PBRs. If you've had a few too many PBRs, what are you doing out by yourself anyway?

lunes, junio 25, 2012

Say hello to my new blog!!!

I invite you to visit La Mariposa Eats, my new food blog, in which I eat (and sometimes cook) my way around the city, various settings around the country and a few countries around the world.  I started it a couple of weeks ago and have only posted two three entries so far, so please feel free to write and let me know how I'm doing.

Bon appetit, buen provecho and buon appetito always, my darlings!!!

sábado, junio 23, 2012

Goodnight, Little Man

JP is my cat. I know a lot of people don't think much of a cat. They wouldn't consider him a friend of value, or someone - something - deserving of love and care, or at least as important as a human. But to a girl, very much single (up until recently) and living alone in the city, JP was a best little friend, a source of laughter, constant company and a shoulder to cry on. However funny or insane that sounds, well, I really don't care.

At the end of May, I saw that JP's cheek was swollen. JA told me that the swelling had started a week or so before (I'd been visiting mom). So we took him to the vet as soon as time and wallet allowed, and Dr. said JP had an abscess on his tooth, and the offender needed to come out ASAP. After a week of antibiotics, JA took JP to the vet a week ago to have the thing removed.

I had a bad feeling from the beginning. JP is almost 12 years old. He had diabetes last year, and earlier this year, he had swollen intestines, for which he took steroids for a month. He's lost a lot of weight, and now he's at about 7 and a half pounds. I wasn't even sure he'd wake up from the anesthesia.

The vet called to let me know that the swelling was a result of a tumor, and that the tooth had practically fallen out on its own, pushed out by the growth. He took tissue for biopsy, and Monday he called to let me know that JP has a very aggressive and particularly nasty form of bone cancer. We could do chemo, but the prognosis was bad, and I wouldn't put my little hombre through radiation anyway.

We will put him down tomorrow at noon.

We will finish giving JP the meds he got last week, so that at least he might not be in too much pain. We will treat him like a little king, and there has been no saying "no" to him this week. I asked JA to feed JP whenever his little heart desires, and I'll make sure his bed and toys are clean.

I will always remember my little hombre as I first met him, hiding in his foster mom's closet. I will remember him sleeping in his bed with my stuffed piggie, "making a donut", as JA said, or "making biscuits" on the pig before he laid down to sleep. Lying on the rug taking some sun. Hanging out in the bath tub. Looking out the window at the squirrels and birds that made him crazy. Watching tv with me with his paws on the remote, not letting me change the channel. Ducking his head under the book I was reading, obligating me to pay attention to him. Standing up to ask for food. How he loved everyone who loved him.

What a smart and well-behaved little man he's been.

I will miss you, baby.

jueves, abril 26, 2012

Supermodel Makes "skinny" comment, angers women and media

A familiar situation, to be sure, and one that I am so tired of reading about.  The women that are parrotting this information also, for the most part, live on diets of tofu, diet coke and cigarettes, along with the occasional cube of cheese and whatever amount of alcohol gets placed in front of them.

Some of them have been caught on film and in pictures doing lines of coke.

Who are we going to believe?

Supermodel Makes "skinny" comment, angers women and media

miércoles, abril 11, 2012

Zimmerman to be Charged in Martin Case

Very good news in the Trayvon Martin case.  Needless to say, but I'm saying it anyway, this should have been one of the first things done in this case.  Why we still have to wait so long for simple justice is beyond me.  Why we still have to wait so long for justice in a plainly racially-motivated crime is deplorable.

Note also that Zimmerman's lawyers quit the case because they can't get a hold of their client, and because he's been creeping around doing things without their advice or knowledge.  No wonder Zonner looked so terribly and pathetically unprepared for his appearance on MSNBC last month.  Wait til you read why....

Zimmerman to be Charged in Martin Case

viernes, marzo 30, 2012

The Pope's visit to Cuba: Some things will not change

The Pope's recent visit to Cuba only highlighted the lack of freedom in the country.  Read all about it here:

The Pope's visit to Cuba: Some things will not change

The One about the Ex.

I have no idea who reads my blog anymore.  I had a small following when I started, but I neglected my little blog for so long, I think they all went away.

I don't think my Ex, or my Current, as it were, reads my blog either.  So he can't object to the story I am about to tell.

JA came back into my life towards the end of last September.  We'd been in touch on FB and by phone, and I thought since he was all the way in New Orleans, there was no danger of my getting all hung up on him again.

To make a long story short, we saw each other on and off during my college years, and once I graduated, we tried to parlay good sex into a loving relationship.  Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  We did have some really great times and we did love each other, but we also brought out the worst in each other.  He didn't really know how to be with someone who loved him, and I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't want to be with me 24/7 if he loved me so much (I acted accordingly).  I nagged constantly and generally made an ass of myself.

So when JA told me he was coming up to NYC and needed a place to crash, I hesitated.  Then at the last minute, I told him he could stay with me.  Then I let him sleep in my bed.  I'm smacking my forehead as I write this.....

A week turned into a month, and so on and so forth.  Living with him was great, and it still is, and now I often can't imagine living without him.

I resisted all I love you's and any tender feelings that might have evolved between us for fear of whatever happened the last time around, over 10 years ago.  One night I came home from work to find him in the kitchen making dinner.

"I think I'm in love with you," he said.

"AGAIN?  Awww crap."


He is a much better cook than I am, and I confess that I've hardly touched my Cuisinart/Calphalon cookware since he first arrived.

He takes out the laundry and the dry cleaning when it needs to be done.  He grocery shops when I can't or am just not interested in doing so.  He does me other favors, too, like taking packages to the post office when I have my time taken up with work (I'd get so much more done if I didn't have to spend my days at the office).

If I have an extra-curricular activity that brings me home when it is already dark, JA will pick me up at the subway and walk me home.  This is invaluable: after I was robbed while staying in a vacation house in Nicaragua with my mother and other family, I am forever looking over my shoulder for anyone who might be following me.

Yeah, he does everything for me.  Damn near everything.

I can't lie, some days it is much easier to be single.  I know for sure no one is going to be home when I get there, so I don't have to hope JA is home when I get there.  I don't have to wonder when he is coming home if he goes out.  At those times, our relationship is hard for me.

But most of the time, he is with me.  He says that he often refuses invitations to hang out with his friends to be with me, and likewise for me.  "Your friends miss you," he told me the other night.  It's true, I suppose. But JA is my best friend, and I almost hate to admit that I'd much rather hang out with him sometimes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I love him.  Ugh.  Three weeks ago, around my birthday, I just threw up my hands and gave up the resistance.  I just needed time to know that we weren't going in the same direction as last time around.  I can't tell the future, but for now, I'm pretty damn happy.  Imagine that.

Diplomatic Immunity Is Over

I really don't know what to make of this, other than the obvious: NYPD does indeed use "Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect", as they advertise on the side of their squad cars, but they do not practice this with black people, or, as we saw with my previous article "Even Hipsters Get the Blues", anybody who looks "different".  With respect to the "looks" comment, just what city do the cops think they're living in?

A lot of people I know hate on diplomats, and that's usually sandwiched in between their contempt for the UN.  Whenever the subject of diplomatic immunity comes up, they again target their anger over it at the UN, as if the UN gave out those privileges.  They don't.  Diplomatic immunity exists within and without the UN and for all diplomats the world over.

The other day, an ambassador from a small, Caribbean country was accosted by a police officer as he returned to his office after lunch.  Read all about it by following the link below.  What do you think this is about?  Is it simply a case of the cop seeing something wrong and reacting to it, or is it something more?

Diplomatic Immunity Is Over

miércoles, marzo 28, 2012

Even Hipsters Get the Blues

I honestly had no idea hipsters had any problems save for where to go to brunch/how to spend trust fund and trying to avoid that pesky happiness.  Turns out they mke up a significant number of NYPD stop-and-frisks.  Read on.....

Even Hipsters Get the Blues

lunes, marzo 26, 2012

Zimmerman Claims Martin Beat Him

A month after the shooting, this is Zimmerman's story.  I can't lie.  I'm getting worried.  Don't forget: we live in a world where a woman kills her child, goes off and parties, then goes free for it.

Zimmerman Claims Martin Beat Him

Joe Oliver, Family Friend, Defends Martin Shooter

Is George Zimmerman really remorseful about shooting Trayvon Martin?

Read my article below about a family friend who claims Zimmerman has been crying for days.  Uncontrollably.  This is supposed to mean he's sorry, right?

Ok, yeah, but:

1. He followed Trayvon even after 911 dispatch told him to stop.
2. According to Trayvon's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him when he was shot, Zimmerman asked him, "What are you doing around here?"
3. Zimmerman made no effort to help Trayvon, no CPR, nothing.
4.  He smugly told cops that it was "self-defense".  Only in Florida can you just say that and go free, AND keep your gun.  This kind of thing is the South's downfall.

So, does Zimmerman really seem that remorseful?

Joe Oliver, Family Friend, Defends Martin Shooter

jueves, marzo 01, 2012

World Bank Reports Reduction in Global Poverty

Take a walk through Midtown Manhattan and you might not believe this. But these are interesting times for Asia and Africa. While Africa is building itself back from war and civil unrest, Asia is experiencing an unprecedented economic growth.

This is a "good news, bad news" scenario.

World Bank Reports Reduction in Global Poverty

miércoles, febrero 29, 2012

Occupy London movement part of the story of a city

Occupy London may have gotten evicted from their main camp at St. Paul's cathedral, but they will be remembered. No matter what we think of these Occupy movements (and it's not like me to keep my opinion to myself), they have made history and deserve to be commemorated.

Beatles Childhood Homes Are UK National Treasures

As usual, the UK beats the hell out of us, in both fabulous chocolate and music appreciation.

lunes, febrero 27, 2012

White House Funds Muslim Surveillance Programs

When I saw Road to Guantanamo, I was horrified to learn what my money helps fund. Sad to see nothing has changed.

miércoles, febrero 22, 2012

Republican Governor's Hairstylist Refuses Client

Isn't it a rule of thumb that you do not mess with your hairdresser? Where would we be without gay folks?

jueves, febrero 02, 2012

Do Conservatives and Racists Suffer from Lower I.Q.'s?

In moments of outrage, I would tend to say YES. But let's be fair: William F. Buckley and Ann Coulter. Both conservatives. The former, quite intelligent, admirable and rational. The latter, batshit crazy stupid. Discuss.....

Do Conservatives and Racists Suffer from Lower I.Q.'s?

lunes, enero 30, 2012

Twelve Arrested in OWS New York March

I'm still on the fence about the OWS movement. That Nate Kleinman from Philadelphia will run for Congress gives me some hope. But I'm adamant about supporting the protesters' right to do what they are doing without being bothered by police.

Twelve Arrested in OWS New York March

sábado, enero 28, 2012

Three New York city cultural institutions closing soon

I used to buy my vinyl at Bleecker Bob's, and Holiday and Southpaw were on my to-do list. It seems I waited too long.

Usually, when you hear of neighborhood's changing or of new buildings going up, it's welcome news. In New York City, it isn't anymore. If a Starbuck's or other chain of significance comes to a neighborhood, it is met with a groan.

miércoles, enero 25, 2012

Trying something different this year

On this, the 2nd anniversary of daddy's death, 2 years and 2 days since I last saw him, and 2 years 25 days since I last spoke to him, I am trying something different.

Last year on this day, I took off from work.  I wasn't sure whether I would be a wreck or not.  I was.  I went to mass, then promptly returned to my darkened bedroom with a bottle of scotch.  I did cry a little.  And I drank almost the whole bottle of scotch.  I kind of made sure I would be a wreck.  They say you can call things to you.  I realized soon after that day that it's true.  If you plan out a day to be miserable, God's gonna make sure you're miserable.

This year, I am at work.  In fact, I am "working" as I write this.  I'm going to a waxing appointment after work and then home to dinner with a loved one.  I have stopped calling him.  Yeah, business as usual.  Daddy would've wanted me to "quit dawdling" and stop whining and get with the program, so here you go, dad.

I bet he is having a steak dinner with a bloody Mary while watching a tango show.  I would love to join him.

I haven't eaten a good piece of red meat in months.

"Why in the hell would you do that to yourself???"

I don't know, daddy.  I don't know.

Connecticut Mayor Seeks to Help Latinos by Eating Tacos?

This really happened. In 2012. In the United States.

>>smacks forehead<<

martes, enero 24, 2012

Philadelphia's Nate Kleinman First OWS Congressional Candidate

Could Nate be OWS's congressional mole? Whatever happens, I am very glad to see that someone in the movement is stepping up to foment real change from the inside.

domingo, enero 15, 2012

Otto Perez Molina: Guatemala inaugurates a new president

Guatemala deserves a fair chance at a better country, safe and secure for its citizens. Let's hope for the best.

miércoles, enero 11, 2012

Bloomberg nixes idea to limit alcohol sales

Thank God! This man must be stopped. The public's health, or lack thereof, is not for the government to regulate just because parents stopped doing their jobs with their kids.