Monday, January 31, 2011

Manic Mariachi

This afternoon on my difficult trek to class, something obscene happened. Now, I know I've only been a New Yorker for about two years. And I know at first I was amused when mariachis, singers, and breakdancers etc. did their ditty on the train. But after the first few months, it stopped being cute and turned obnoxious- no matter what mood I'm in.

Today I was reminded why I stopped finding subway entertainment well, entertaining. I was staring out the "window" listening to music when another fake-Mariachi trio hopped on board. See, authentic mariachi's are entertaining and a reflection of Mexican art. But these men who borrow Halloween costumes from their friends (or just throw on a cowboy hat) and play the same two songs that have the same guitar chords and wander around begging for money are far from genuine mementos of the Mexican culture.

And then. One of these little douchebags decided he had the right to stand in front of me gyrate his backside to my face. It wasn't cute, it wasn't funny but it sure was down right disrespectful. Especially with the other two nimrods smiling and making lewd facial expressions. These are the acts that I hate from anyone. Especially from individuals that further perpetuate the negative image illegal-immigrants have plastered across themselves in the US. (How do I know they were illegal? Well, let's just say my previous two-year relationship taught me a lot. Plus, they're so ignorant they think I don't speak or understand Spanish-or rather their "Chilango" because I'm White-skinned. But that's a whole other pickle)

This wasn't just disrespectful towards women. It was beyond objectification. Maybe even past social-class issues. This was a brutal combination of ignorance and power struggle.

I'm hoping venting here (and to the other 30 people I vividly explained it to) will let this release itself from my memory. These dodos are obviously not worth my stress.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday's (are not particularly a) Funday

If Sundays' could be ousted I would be happy(ier). But then that would make Saturday the new Sunday and then my dislike of the day would just transfer over. Sundays' have always been the looooooongest, sloooooowest day of the week for me. Likewise, if Facebook could be "permanently deactivated" I would be happy(ier). The movie was decent, the confessions it brought forth were interesting. But it is quickly becoming the denouncement of communication. Screen Actors Guild Awards, you are making this Sunday worth it thanks to your old Hollywood glamour pics. Oh, and for informing me that Christian Bale is Welsh! Where have I been?!

Instead of rambling on about dislikes and boring days, I'm countering the energy with pictures that make me happy.

Here's to positive reframing!

brothers from another mother

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"The fish are the last to discover the ocean"- Chinese Proverb

Oh those Chinese proverbs. So wise, yet to backwards. Saturday has come and gone and how did I spend it? Doing homework all day. The time has come where I couldn't deny the fact that classes started and needed to catch up on readings. 

The bad news is that I've barely caught up with readings for one class. The good news? Well, it's two-fold. First and foremost is the fact that I was able to muster up to motivation, or rather obligation, to begin said assignments. And once I began I was actually motivated to plow through it. And the surprising second? Well. For the first time during my experience at TC they a) assigned a textbook not written by faculty and b) picked an interesting one! The extent of my shock and wonder only grew as I instantly realized I was actually enjoying  studying! After all, multicultural counseling has quite literally been beaten to death in the program (and I won't explicitly say why...) And this was an issue that I was originally fascinated with- the reason I had even applied to TC! But this text was different: it was real. I felt as if the authors were really speaking about the issues as opposed to being worried about credibility and "publish or perish".

Anyway. At some point in the evening I had to eat and with an empty fridge I didn't have much to work with. I managed to whip up "Chicken Fried Rice" and some "Panettone Bread Pudding". I discovered the simplicity of making Chinese-style fried rice the other week when I realized all it really required was frying an egg into the rice. Ingenious... The bread pudding was something I had come across when planning our Christmas dinner. Since it was such a delicious hit the first time, I gave it a go before the bread went bad.

Panettone Bread Pudding
It came out a bit soggier than intended since I had to sub unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze for half and half. But still very, very tasty!


  • 1 loaf panettone, available in Italian specialty stores, cut in half (enough for about 5 cups, diced)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable cooking spray
1) Mix ingredients 2) Place in muffin tins/ baking pan 3) Make water-bath with a cookie sheet and place tin/pan on top 4) Bake at 475 for 12-17 minutes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"And just like that. I lost my head"

The snowball effect. I've learned about it hundreds of times. You know, you let one itsy-bitsy thing slide and before you know it you are knee-deep in a junk-food landslide.

At least my variation of it is.

Normally, I'm practically a vegetarian. A far, far departure from my childhood roots of eating steak as much as twice a day thanks to my Argentinian family. I don't even like the term vegetarian- it's too loaded. What I am is a super-conscious consumer. You know, "beyond organic-slow food movement" kind. When you personally know your farmer or at the very list make your purchases at the co-op and farmer's market.

But Jonathan is not as particular. My boy can go on junk-food frenzies that put teenagers to shame. And somehow, between his recent brown-bagged take-out orders and my slight-depression at not being able to properly walk has left me well-acquainted with said establishments. And I don't like it.

Tonight, as I was delighting in a crunchy french fry, my deep-fried sense of consciousness bubbled to a greasy awareness. I suddenly realized I was going to explode as I had to unbutton my pant. Of course I've been so sluggish the past week- when said binge began! Duh!

And so tonight it ended. And I will return to my previous sense of mindfulness. Soul meets body.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow days equal party days!

(the Empire State building can usually be seen in the distance)

Maybe it's my naivete, but I don't understand why everyone keeps getting so hissy-fissy about the recent snow storms. Sure it's a pain to plow and is pretty nasty after the first day. But when it's falling it's as if this inexplicable sense of sereneness envelopes the surrounding environment. Everything is swept into the swirl of snowflakes swimming through the air.

The day I get angry about snow storms is the day I lose my Peter Pan syndrome.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"If you stay in one place long enough, you'll never go anywhere"

Let me start off by saying I am a bonafide sucker for LOLcats. They genuinely make me LOL, even if they're not particularly fantastically witty. Plus, I am a cat-lady and looking at cute kittens is a guaranteed serotonin booster.

But this is how I feel. It has been snowing and raining ALL day and supposedly there is a wintry mix now. Practically all of the schools in the tri-state area were either canceled or granted early dismissal. You would think that university classes would too, right?! That's probably just my own wishful thinking.

My indirect point is this: I need to relocate my motivational metabolism. I seem to have adapted the selfish philosophy, "I do what I want, when I want!". Obviously, not a good motto to live by nor very realistic. I need to figure out a reasonable drive to spark my initiative, surge my crusade. But what? I thought I knew what I wanted- for now, the short-term future. But apparently it isn't enough anymore. I'm here at the end of the line wondering what now. What will make me feel relatively happy and comfortable?

Definitely not trekking to class with this mess outside. That is for sure.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter lovin' had me a blast

Teacher's College, September 2009
Ooooooooooh the first day of class is always difficult for me. Especially the incredible efforts I endure to physically make it there. I love learning but most of the time class is a drag. Especially when it's practically repeating textbooks and previous lectures verbatim.

And now it seems senoritis has me barely rolling on the ball. Especially because now, mere weeks away, I'm debating changing my professional track from mental health counselor to school counselor. (Job stability & security? Loan payoff? Government benefits? Summer vacation off?!?) Tomorrow I meet with my advisor to have the tense discussion. (You're just deciding this now?!? Why didn't you think of this before? You'll have to stay an extra year to do in-school fieldwork etcetcetc)

I am literally, no figuratively, no literally (Date Night reference) so sleepy all I want to type is, "siiiiiiiiiiigh." Whine whine whine. Today is the only day I'm letting myself complain about this. Let's see how long I can keep it up! (When I say today, I'm including tomorrow seeing how that is meeting-day. Preemptive whining is allowed for foreshadowed meeting!)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Women have a shoes"- SATC 6x10

"Transit epiphanies" East Village, Spring 2010
We have a right to indulge in our Self. I'm not sure if its the fact that this city is full of fabulousness. Or the sneaky, seductive advertising. But I've learned to treat myself whether to lunch alone or a delicious massage- and enjoy it.

It's been a long sleepless night full of Sex and the City and late-night epiphanies. If there is anything this show is good for it's rejoicing women with a healthy balance of independence and some old-fashion "women just want to be rescued" flair.

Strength fused vulnerability.

"And it's New York! Everybody's insane!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"What now? Now I just live...and enjoy"

I'm not going to lie. Blogging is not as easy as I had imagined it to be. The actual writing aspect and posting daily isn't too bad. It's the networking, reaching out, making other blog-friends that takes the effort. I'm not usually one to go out of my way to do such things, but in the blog-world it seems you have to.

In reality, this is parallel to where I am in life now. An almost-professional, looking for contacts, looking for possibilities. Considering becoming a Certified Life Coach which is ALL about networking. No one ever warned me that it really is all about who you know, or at least I didn't take them seriously. And here, now in bloggy-world and the real-world I need to up the ante. Somehow.

Part of it comes from lack of patience in being online. I've never been much of a surfer, and now I'm paddling into the big Internet-ocean. Part of it is because I start classes on Monday and I always kind of shut down right before they begin. I tell myself I need to mentally prepare for all the writing and reading. My last semester as a graduate student (Hallelujah!)

The question is, where can I begin?

Key West, May 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happiness is:

Sometimes, happiness must take us by surprise to remind us:
"Smile", East Village,
Spring 2010

Other times, denying impending responsibility is necessary:
"Denial", East Village, Spring 2010

Usually, it involves your oldest friends:
"Old dogs", Soraya's 22nd, May 2009
And for a few lucky ones, it involves The Unbearable Lightness of Being:
"Taxi Romance", NYC, June 2009
Happiness, involves theme songs to get through the days:

 But ultimately,

SMILE ! + <3 = :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Practice makes perfect?

Families, however defined, have their own traditions. Yes, I really just imparted that pioneering dollop of wisdom on this I'm-too-tired-to-blog post. Tired from what? When I can't or rather should be avoiding walking around or doing anything because the body part I had to injure is one of the most necessary and obsessively used thanks to our most basic human evolutionary pattern. But I guess that argument could be battled with any aspect of physical anatomy. Because of course when something doesn't work right is when we (as in the human condition) all of a sudden believe it to me of utmost importance.

Anyway. I spent the day winter-cleaning. We've only been in this apartment for six months but a ridiculous amount of junk has appeared. (More like Jon's purchasing-tendencies-that-end-up-in-a-corner-ignored-and-dusty.)  Regardless, it does not feng-shui! (And yes, I used that as a verb) Plus, I'm still trying to make room for Andrea to move in (read: sleep), somewhere.

And in lieu of letting my potato's go bad, I whipped up the classic Hispanic meal: tortilla. No, not a wrap or anything involving Tex-Mex cuisine. A tortilla is essentially the marriage of a quiche and a big, thick omelet primarily consisting of eggs and potatoes while anything else can also be thrown in to your taste. And it's also the kind of plate that you know, your mom will always be the best at because of love and practice and patience and seasoning and what not. In this scrappy plate I also threw in boneless-skinless hormone-free etcetc chicken breast as well as some veggie mix I had lying around.

This was actually the first time I ever attempted to make it though I've eaten since a chittl'n. Lessons learned: use a smaller pan so a) it's short & stout, not wide & thin and b) easier to flip over. Taste-wise? Well, besides that corner chipped off in the bottom Jon gobbled it all up. So safe-to-say it was not a bad first attempt. Hip-hip hooray!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Joy de Vivre

A good friend once advised me that life is not worth living if you cannot indulge in comida deliciosa.  My newfound  joy de vivre. This insight helped reality check me from silly body insecurities in my early college years.

While I'm not the type to fret over the appearance of a plate. Nor be particularly anal about how perfect it looks in pictures. This evening I flirted with my oven. After a rigorous day of physical therapy, cleaning, and being generally tired of not being able to do anything due to said injury, I baked. Double-time. And while baking isn't my forte due to above disregard for perfection regarding appearance, measurements, order of ingredients etc., I did it anyway!

With a little ingenuity, I turned this:
into this:
Bailey's Pumpkin Muffins
Instead of milk, I opted for Bailey's and added some cinnamon. I topped off the first couple with whipped cream and chocolate pieces. But they melted. Because I am also the type of cook that does not wait until the food has cooled down to eat slash "decorate" it.

And of course, I dabbled with one of my all time favorite foods:
3-cheese pie!
I used a basic dough recipe, Trader Joe's Tomato Basil sauce, shredded some reduced-fat smoked gouda (even the reduced version is amazingly delicious), Dubliner cheese (swiss & cheddar's brood), and Parmigiano Regiano.

Bad pictures be damned. It was all delicioso!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What do you need most in your life?

Security. Reassurance. Love. Comfort. Health. Change. Stability.

All of which compose Maslow's basic needs. If I was asked this maybe last year, I would have prioritized adventure first and foremost. But with circumstances how they are in my family, my impending graduation, beginning my professional job-hunt, and paying off those daunting student loans, responsibility has begrudgingly taken precedents over fun.

But honestly, right now I'm starting to believe what I really need most in my life is the confidence to make grown-up decisions. Do I want to stay in NYC or leave? Do I still want my PhD? Do I even want to stay in this field? Do I want to face reality and start paying things off, or should I run to Europe and become a fugitive!

I'm a believer in the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy. I know that is how I've managed to get to where I am now. So I should trust my gut and hold on. But before, there weren't so many responsibilities attached to decisions. No strings, just leaps of faith I was naive enough to ignore the possible detriments of any decision.

Is there every a way to know you are making the better-for-you-decision? (Right decisions are subjective after all). Maybe it's just a matter of adaptation.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tantrums, Etc.

Is is possible to "fight fair"? Sure, you can follow guidelines from Dr. Phil, but when does a discussion involving conflicts qualify as an argument? And even if you "fight fairly", is it possible to resolve anything without some sense of disillusion?

Somewhere between childhood and adolescence, I developed a powerful tool when dealing with people: I had the knack for cutting into someone at their weakest points. It wasn't something I purposely cultivated, but I had the tendency to bring it out when things weren't going my way. (Brat!)

Thankfully I've come to realize that it is not the a decent way to interact with people. And I've made ridiculous improvement in avoiding hurting others with said tactic. But sometimes (bordering on rarely), it still comes out. I lash out. And I hold on to that sense of power for a good minute. Until I realize what I've done. And apologize. And realize that I've lashed out usually because of my own issues.

Growing up doesn't follow a linear path. Zig-zagging back and forth with perennial vigor. Overcoming personal demons is a stellar task enough. And I'm starting to wonder whether being in a relationship helps alleviate their symptomatic flair-ups. Thankfully, I'm with someone who is patient enough to retreat until the riot is over and avoid an uncalled for parade of negativity.

Here's to never losing my personality, but learning how to temper my temper!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NYC's Bipolarities

Today I had the opportunity to drive around the city on a very tiring, very strenuous adventure to Ikea. It was a surprising experience . I've come to realize that driving around makes the city seem much more humbling, less majestic. As if the buildings no longer hold an invisible, oppressive power over you. It felt as if I was an equal with the towering cement instead of just a small passerby commuting on feet, somewhere between hilly sidewalks and sewer systems.

Over the past year and a half, I've developed the habit of rarely looking up. Partly due to a fear of being pooh-ed on. Partly to make sure I do not trip on things or bump into others on busy corners where we move like a school of fish. Partly because looking up makes me feel so minuscule in this skyscraper city. Manhattan is only 13 miles long! 2 miles wide! Cultivating over a million residents! Thinking of these numbers makes me feel meek, like a tiny plastic person in a architectural model. More so like a flurrying dot in a snow-globe: where the whole world is constantly looking in at finances, trends, and culture. Shaking it up to stir a commotion occasionally rattling those within.

And sometimes, I'm Gulliver as a giant walking above fellow city-dwellers. On manic days, this overwhelming sense of extraordinary accomplishment cascades throughout my body from head to toe. I glide across the sidewalks, swiftly dancing in between pedestrians. I look up, I face forward and confidently strut the city I had always dreamed of. Thinking I've made it. High off of city life.
View from the top of Empire State Building, March 2010
Subway rats  (UnionSq), Spring 2010

Friday, January 14, 2011

What made you decide to start a blog?

Why not? I seem to have lost my sense of creativity since starting TC & moving to NYC. Pretty ironic considering this is a creative mecca. I used to spend hours creating, doing... causing. Idealistic, but who doesn't come here to act out their big dreams.

I figured forcing myself to at least write here would get the juices flowing (I strongly dislike that saying- what juices?!). At the very least feel like I am doing something productive for myself. Not my school, not my career. Not even my future really.

Here's to re-finding my voice. And my Self.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kiddie corner

One of my resolutions was to get back in touch with my crafty side. I decided I needed to spend less face time with my computer and invest back into my imagination. 
Last week I took a class at Butterlane cupcakes in the East Village and  accomplished the above thanks to skilled bakers. I can own a mean grill, but I like to stay far far away from baking thanks to my lack of patience of putting ingredients in a certain order and what not. You can tell this lot is mine because of the lack of tact in icing. Who cares how perfectly it's iced on when it still tastes delicious!

And this doodle? This was an attempt at hand-sewing a "technology-case" for Soraya. Apparently, it actually fits and has yet to fall apart!

Here's to good ole' fashion arts & crafts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

“If you don't believe in ghosts, you've never been to a family reunion.” (Ashleigh Brilliant)

"Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back.”
~ Mignon McLaughlin

“Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go by any rules. They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

(enough said.)

Monday, January 10, 2011


Dear Body,

Hey you. I know we have spent 23 (almost 24) long, crazy years together but I would really appreciate it if we could stick it out for maybe another 40-50 more. Yes, the past few months have been hard on us. Food poisoning, flu after flu after non-stop flu and countless sore throats. And now? Now that I've been trying to be physically fit and active you go ahead and tear a ligament slash sprain yourself? I know this one was thanks to my personal silliness. I mean after all, what dodo thinks that just because I am inside with my Wii Fit equates to not wearing shoes when running? But I'm trying to take better care of you to be strong! And it is awfully difficult when you keep collapsing one way or another.

So here is to a speedy yet healthy recovery. Here is to trying to regain that exercise momentum once we are healed! Here is to a stronger and better you!

Yours truly

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I had a lover's quarrel with the world. (R. Frost)

may my heart always be open to little... (19) by E. E. Cummings

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

you shall above all things... (22) by E. E. Cummings

you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you're young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man's
flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

that you should ever think,may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
called progress,and negation's dead undoom.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

Friday, January 07, 2011

On the road again

Borrowing Jack Kerouac's method from On the Road, write a fictional story in the form of a long letter to a friend. Choose someone you know well, but also be sure to choose a person who has no knowledge of the setting or plot of your story (so you don't take any details for granted).

The other day I was offered a seemingly perfect job opportunity. Catch is, it's back in Pennsylvania. Not that there is anything distinctively wrong with good ole PA, but if you remember anything at all, I'm sure you'll remember the three years I spent in misery back there. Ignorance, blind arrogance, and sheer loneliness until I met up with my friend, red wine. 

At this point, I seem to have forgotten the majority of tragic events I participated in back there out of necessity for my own well-being. Though every so often you seem to remind me of the sheer desperation I lived through. So here I am, making list after list of pros & cons about what to do. I won't bore you with the intricacies of this versus that.

My biggest indecision comes from whether I'm brave enough to delve back into an environment that still holds a haunting memory over me. Should I give up the big city that I've always dreamed about to move back to a podunk lifestyle? If I did, would that mean I've given up this dream? Or is it that I lived it enough to experience something else (and relatively stable).

Not much of an exciting story, but in it's essence it is the story of my life. This versus that: past versus present and fear versus opportunity.......

Yours Truly,

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Share a story

Once upon a time, during those formative high-school years, I used to spend afternoons wandering around Downtown (Miami) and Bayside. Exploring delicious hole-in-the-wall food spots full of (probably my all time) favorite snack empanadas, pastellitos de guayaba, croquetas....etc. Well, one day my best friends Soraya & Claudia joined me for this journey. After wandering around the pseudo-beach set at Bayside, some shopping, and indulging in above delicacies we headed back on the Metro to catch the ever slow and never on time Kat bus home.

By the time we got to the Dadeland North station we were all exhausted in that obnoxious hyper way. Coming down the ridiculously long escalator I spotted our bus at the curb almost ready to pull out. Not wanting to wait 30 minutes for the next one, I decided to make a run for it so I could tell the driver to hold on for my friends to jump in.

Or at least that was the plan. I made it to those rude, squeaky accordion doors trying to step inside and the next thing I know I felt my neck smooshed in between said doors. The driver hadn't seen me and closed them! I panicked realizing that my lollipop head was inside the bus while the rest of my body was outside the doors, thinking he was going to start driving off and leave me beheaded. I must have made some kind of loud, squawking sound because he looked over me, yelled some pretty harsh words, and opened the doors.

Of course, Soraya & Claudia had fell to the floor laughing hysterically. Who wouldn't? I had sacrificed my glorious, gigantic head to avoid waiting around forever for them (or maybe my own bratty wants).

Sadly (or rather comically), this would be far from the last time I had some ridiculous episode happen to me on Miami's public transportation system.

Beach baby turned eskimo

One of the many positives about winter in the city is having coats as buffers between the surprisingly unsubtle erection in front of you and other unwanted textures/ scents frozen out of consciousness

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What do you like most about mornings?

Stillness in movements,
Warming up while the world sleeps,

(haiku for you!)

Thanks, Flaming Lips!

Realize the world keeps spinning round.

six words

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

(my life in) Six-word memoirs

Breathe in. Stop thinking. Breathe out.

six words

Something with which you struggle

"Saving time and planning for a future that arrived yesterday but also never comes, 
we lose acres of the present" 

  • Letting go (of?)
  • Realizing it's impossible to have it all.

"Is it possible that we've become so spoiled with choices we can't even choose one"

Sunday, January 02, 2011