I'm just Super Saiyan

No one tells me anything, just saiyan…


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My Cuban Mother

You know, I’ve been thinking, I’ve already kind of incorporated my mom in a few posts nowbut no one has seemed to mention if they could relate to her. Maybe I’m the only one who has experienced her type of mom-ing. My bad, mothering. But I’m not so convinced. I’m pretty sure your moms have done some similar stuff, you just haven’t told me yet. Granted, my mother is Cuban, so she obviously doesn’t represent all the moms out there. But, she’s the best and all your moms suck, dayuuuuuuuum. I’m just kidding, I’m sure your mothers are lovely women. Either way, I wanted to share some things that my mom does (or did), because I’m not convinced that she’s the only person that does these things.

Things my mom says.

(1) People are looking.

My mom likes to remind me when we are out in public that we are out in public. What I mean is, she constantly points out that anything I do in public is seen by other people. The phrase she likes to use is “people are looking.”

Example: “Dios Mio, you are not going to wear that in public, people will be looking.”

(2) Ticky ticky.

I’m not sure where this slang came from, but my mom refers to any auditory stimuli that she finds to be annoying as “ticky ticky.” This can be loud music, someone complaining, someone nagging, you get the idea. “What is that ticky ticky music?” “Ticky ticky, ticky ticky, simpres estas ticky ticking!” “I told your dad we should start exercising and he just starting going ticky ticky ticky ticky”

(3) Look at them! / Stop looking at them (no te miras)!

So, my mom has this habit of pointing people out out to me.  Her eyes will get big and then she’ll purse her lips and she’ll look directly at me, “Oh my goodness, look at that person.” I think anyone’s natural reaction would be to turn around and look at the person that she just pointed out. …I mean, she said “look” after all. But the second I turn my head, she gives a little slap on the hand. Clearly I wasn’t supposed to actually look at them.

(4) Spring chicken / Old bag.

My mom always refers to people’s age with regards to the phrase “spring chicken” – it doesn’t matter what the scenario. If they’re old, they’re not a spring chicken. If they’re young, they’re a spring chicken. When my mom refers to herself, she always calls herself an old bag. If she’s got some white hair roots coming in, she’ll say “Oh man, I need to dye my hair again, I look like an old bag.” When holding my hand, she’ll say “Look at my wrinkly hand, I look like an old bag!” And when I tell my mom to not slouch because she’s making her upper spine hunch, she’ll say “It’s too late, I’m already an old bag.”

(5) Hablan me en Espaniol.

So, whenever I’m out with my mom and I say something she thinks others will find offensive, she tells me (in Spanish) “tell me in Spanish.” The logic behind these statements is that she’s possibly avoiding being embarrassed by me by forcing me to not say my embarrassing words in English. When we moved back to America, this strategy did not help…because we lived in South Florida…and a lot of people speak Spanish. But she would still say it, as if the Spanish language were some secret code no one else understood – like Klingon or Elvish.  Sorry mom, people know Spanish. And I’m an embarrassing daughter. That’s just how the dice landed.

(6) No le dices eso.

So, at home, my mom curses up a storm. I do as well, but I tone it down in front of my mom because she apparently doesn’t like to hear me say curse words. In public, my mom never curses. So anytime I say something she doesn’t approve of, she says “no le dices eso” which translates to “don’t say that.” I learned a few years ago that this is not just limited to curse words, my mother hates it when I say the word “vagina”. Why vagina? I have no clue. I can scream penis at the top of my lungs and she’ll probably remind me that we’re in public and people are looking… but if I say the word vagina, all I get is “NO LE DICES ESO!!!!”

(7) Shit / Mierda / Caca.

My mom’s favorite curse word is shit. She’ll use it liberally in Spanish and English in a variety of phrases. I know where she gets this from, if you were lucky enough to have met my grandmother (her mother) while she was alive, you would have learned a slew of Spanish verbiage that you should probably not use in friendly conversation. My mother is also a fan of the non-profane version of the word shit, which is caca. I think most people know what caca is, if not, I’ll explain it as the equivalent to the English “poop” or “poo poo.”

Example 1: “It smells like caca in here.”

Example 2: “I’m your mother, you can tell me anything, I cleaned your caca when you were a baby.”

Translation, “Not sure if I smell crap or bad body odor

(8) But it’s not as good as my cooking.

My mom is an AMAZING cook. She’s learned recipes from all over the world thanks to her bank of global friends that she has accumulated. She can make food, from any culture, so well that you wouldn’t have been able to tell that a Cuban lady made it. So, naturally, she takes great pride in her cooking. Anytime we eat out at some restaurant, after we have eaten our meal, she will always ask us how we thought the food was…and then say “Yeah, I think mines is much better, right?” – granted, she’s always right. So, really, this is more of a statement than a question.

This also happens when we eat home cooked food of someone else, she will always ask us “You think my version is better, no?” I think the food she brings up the most, with regards to saying this phrase, are her rice and beans. There has been, nor will there ever be, a chef on this earth that can make rice and beans better than my mother’s rice and beans. It’s just not possible.

(9) Random Pop Culture references.

Whenever I’m talking to my mom she’ll randomly bring up something that is related to celebrities. We’ll be talking about something and then she’ll be like “did you hear that Angelina and Brad had twins?” or “La Kardashian muchacha is pregnant” or “Hanna Montana is always so naked now.” She especially likes to mention hairstyles of celebrities. “Did you see what Halle Berry did with her hair? It looks good.” Oh, mother… we were talking about your job, how did Halle Berry enter our conversation?

(10) Grandchildren.

My mom likes to causally drop phrases like “when you have grandchildren,” or “I want grandchildren.” I don’t think I need to explain this one, it’s pretty straight forward.

(11) Pointing out men to me.

Whenever my sees an attractive male in the wild, my mom feels the need to point them out to me. Possibly the most embarrassing time my mom pointed out a male suitor was when we were in the emergency room of a hospital. I was waiting to be examined by a physician and when he stepped into the room my mom lit up like a Christmas three. He did his business, examining my naked body, and then left to go do doctor-ish things. The second he left my mom asked me if I was attracted to him, if I would consider dating him, if I noticed that he wasn’t wearing a ring – because she did. She went on, pointed out that he’s a doctor so he’s smart and bla bla bla. I just kind of stared at her and said “that guy just non-sexually examined my vagina.” “Hija, no le dices eso!”

My mom engaged in an embarrassing dialogue with him when he returned. “Are you single?”  …

(12) Soap Operas and Singing Competitions.

When I was growing up, I remember my mother was an avid fan of 60 minutes. She loved that, and Star Trek. But when we moved back to the States, she was spending more time with my grandmother (her mother) and alllllll they would watch were telanovelas. Telanovelas are Hispanic soap operas. Fun fact, my grandmother learned how to understand English by watching day-time soaps like All my Children and General Hospital. A few years later, Spanish channels became accessible to Americans and my grandmother never looked back – it was all telanovals from there on out. My mom was easily sucked into this as well.

Now a days my mom and dad are HUGE on singing competition shows, you know – American Idol, The Voice, X-factor, America’s Got Talent – that kind of stuff. I have to be rather conscious of the time of day that I choose to call her, because if its during one of her singing competitions, she reschedules my call to a later date. The same applies to my father.

(13) I wiped your butt and bathed you.

My mom used to give me gratuitous amounts of kisses, that was the best. I loved it when my mom would smother me with kisses. Except when she did this in front of other people. Somehow she’d always be able to turn the embarrassment issue into a lack of love…I never quite understood it. The phrase she loved to use was “I wiped your butt when you were in diapers” – which is a great phrase to inflict even more embarrassment when in front of people.

Dialogue of an incident that occurred when I was a little kid:

  • My mom: Dame un besito”
  • Me as a kid: “Mom, People are looking!”
  • My mom: “Oh, so now you can’t kiss your mother? What will people think. A daughter that won’t give her mother kisses…”
  • Me as a kid: “BUT MAH”
  • My mom: “Give your mother a kiss, she wiped your butt when you were in diapers”
  • Me as a kid: *reluctantly kisses mother*

My mother was also always quick to remind me that she bathed me as a child, and thus has seen me naked. Thanks mom. This comes up most often when we went shopping. Whenever I went to a changing room, my mother insisted that she join me. She would turn around when she saw that I didn’t approve of her on-looking, but she just HAD to mention how it was no big deal, cause she gave me baby baths.

  • My mom: “Okay, I’ll turn around, but just remember, I washed you when you were a little baby! I’ve seen your boyo and everything!”
  • Teenage me: “OMG MAH, STAHP!”

(14) Chancleta.

So, when I was younger, my parents were big on’ teaching me the idea of repercussions. Nothing could strike fear into our hearts than the threat of la chancleta. “Chancleta” in Spanish just means shoe or sandle. According to Urban Dictionary, other mothers have also used la chancleta for disciplinary purposes. Really, we were so afraid of the threat of la Chancleta that just the SIGHT of it being held by our mother was enough to make us regurgitate a thousand apologies for whatever we did or run for the nearest hiding spot.

(15) People are dying in X country.

My mom, despite all that I have listed, is a saint. I swear, she is the nicest woman you will ever meet. Her dream, which she is living out today, was to be a teacher because she loves children and treats each one like her own (minus the whole chancleta thing). When I see my mother teaching children, it’s like everything in the world makes sense. It’s just meant to be. Which is probably why she took it upon herself to remind my brother and I, every chance she got, that there were people or children dying in X, Y or Z country.

This was most often was brought up during meal time. My mother watched us like a hawk at the kitchen table, waiting patiently to witness our last spoon full of food enter our mouth holes. And if we didn’t finish, she would be quick to remind us of the poor, starving children in Africa who are dying because they don’t have food – so those rice and beans better make their way to our gastric juices. Or the thirsty people from India who have limited access to clean water – so we better drink all of our milk. We watched a “60 minutes” news piece (Holy Neptune’s Daughters, my mother loved the shit out of 60 minutes…) where women in central African countries weren’t receiving any education. “See? You better study, because there are people in the middle of Africa who can’t even go to school!” You get the idea.

I was a very considerate little kid, so this kind of thing sort of spiraled out of control for me. I remember watching an environmental awareness video in school one time, where a little fishie was literally gasping for oxygen and it was all because some asshole kid kept the faucet on while he was brushing his teeth. From then on, I’d remind anyone during sleep overs, birthday parties, or even strangers who were washing their hands “You better conserve water, you could be killing fishies in the sea!”

So, thank you mom, for instilling in me a fear of wasting ANYTHING and an inescapable guilt when I do.

I didn’t proof read this post very much, cause I’m sleepy. So I hope it doesn’t suck. To all the grammar Nazis out there, my bad.

Happy new year by the way. Fuck you 2013! 2014, where have you been all my life?


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Accidental Penis

For those who don’t know, I started my new job a while ago. I decided to take the night shift because I was always interested in it as a student…so I wanted to explore and see if it was something I would enjoy as an employee.

Welp, one thing is for certain…my sleeping pattern is completely fucked up. This became blatantly obvious to me just a few moments ago.

So, I was typing up an essay for an online class I’m taking; the post was about hematology. Specifically, the subject was about Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT).

As I typed and typed and hit “submit” into the online forum discussion…I realized I had typed, about eleven times, Heparin Induced ThrombocytoPENIS.

Sweet baby Neptune. What have I done?

Now, before anyone panics…because I fucking did… there is in fact an “edit” button for certain discussion postings.

Best. Invention. Ever.

So, it’s fixed now. But for a good five minutes I really thought I had just submitted a graded assignment with the word penis eleven times in it. I probably would have looked like the least mature nursing student of all time.

In my defense…the S key is right there next to the damn A key on the stupid keyboard!!!!!!! And my lack of sleep didn’t help me catch the error because I may have half-assed the proof reading. Also, don’t judge me, I’m sure I’m not the only person who copy/pastes long words so that they don’t have to type them over and over again…

Since I’m still in the process of changing allllll my daaaamn pictures from photobucket to flickr (why do I post so fucking much? Seriously… its only been three months since I started this blog thing), I haven’t had the time to make a proper post. I’d like to offer you another picture of a pokemon (ditto this time) eating a burger.

Also, here’s a great song (that’s stuck in my head) that I wish to entertain you with.

This one keeps popping up in my head too:

Okay, back to work. I’ll have a fresh, new, actual post soon [hopefully].


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EVILLLLLL

So, something evil happened today…PHOTOBUCKET DECIDED TO TAKE A GLORIOUS SHIT ON MY PICTURES.

I know this is not something that people would consider evil. But it is.

According to dictionary type folks, evil is being morally bad, causing injury or harm to someone, or marked by bad luck or events.

Photobucket has harmed me…by fucking with my hobby. Well, fuck you photobucket.

I’ve been on my feet, running around at work, I come home, and behold – no pictures on my blog! I work night-shift tonight…so I don’t have time to get mad at photobucket.

When someone gives you evil lemons, throw that shit out cause that lemonade is gonna be hella bad luck. Instead, find some solutions to your lemonade problem, like…FLICKR.

Yep, so, bare (or bear) with me as I switch over to the picture beast known as Flickr. Some pictures may not be fully visible at the moment…I want you to just pretend its the funniest picture you’ve ever seen in you life. Lean back in your chair, laugh your ass off, tip your hat to your computer screen, and go about your internet browsing.

I will slave away fixing this issue…slowly. Mostly cause it sounds like work. And I’m not into working right now…like…for my hobby…cause I’m already doing that in the reals.

- SSM.


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Napkin Hoarding Syndrome

Everyone knows about the cat-lady stereotype. The one where a woman just hoards cats because…well…cats are cool.

Well, I’m about to tell you about the Napkin lady…or Napkin Hoarding Syndrome (NHS).

See, napkin hoarding syndrome is a disease (this is probably not a disease) and it has no cure (probably has no cure because it is not a disease). But it affects thousands of women every year (false statistic, it’s just me).

I suffer from NHS.

I don’t remember when NHS started, but I can tell you factors that lead me to developing NHS.

As a child, I had horrible allergies. Like, horrible, dreadful, super inconvenient allergies. Since I had such severe allergies, to basically everything, my nose was very sensitive. The slightest exposure to one of my allergens caused an almost instantaneous runny nose. I don’t know how many kids you enjoy interacting with whose nose holes are constantly dripping liquids, but I can tell you that I personally avoid these kinds of children.

So, in an attempt to maintain human social interactions with people, I constantly carried tissues in my pocket. This way, I could flip out my fibrous saviors and stuff them up my nose to plug up my nasal faucets.

As I became a young adult, I no longer had access to free tissues from my parents…I had to buy them. Now, I can tell you’re thinking to yourself, “tissues are cheap, so what’s the big deal?” – I’ll tell you what the big deal is. You can get free napkins from any food-producing business!

And free is always better than not free.

Thus, my love affair with napkins and hoarding them began.

Anytime I would visit a restaurant, I would take a handful of napkins and stuff them into my purse. If I ordered fast food, I would keep the extra napkins that came in the bag.

There are several different types of napkins, all with varying quality.

Let me break it down for you.

1) Cardboard – napkins that feel like cardboard are of the worst quality. They feel like sandpaper on your nose, you’re lucky if you don’t scrape off the entire superficial layer of your skin. Granted, napkins were never meant to be used for nose-blowing…but I mean, when in Rome McDonalds, do as Ronald would do.

2) Recycled – fibrous, but manageable. Also environmentally friendly, so, how can you hate it? These can be found everywhere, and they are generally the most abundant in my purse collection. They’re also surprisingly absorbent.

3) Thickened – thick napkins usually have fancy embossed decorations. As the title suggests, they are thicker and usually sturdier as well. I call these “old reliable,” because no matter what the issue, these work just as good as tissues (see what I did there?).

4) Royal – I’ve only seen these in high-scale restaurants, you know, the ones where the bathrooms have marble floors and there’s like a person sitting there for any bathroom assistance – usually waiting to help you out for a tip (thanks, but no thanks, I’ve got this lady). This is like the holy grail of napkin quality, it doesn’t get any better than this. They’re basically linen, like, I’m pretty sure some of those napkins come with a 600 cotton thread count. I’d sleep like a baby on a bed covered in Royal napkins.

Now, I go through phases of purse full-ness, meaning there will be times when there are only three napkins in my purse and then there will be times when there are thirty napkins in my purse. I usually hoard them until I use the majority of my stash, unless something happens – like I stored food in my purse and now all my napkins have crumbs in them. Then I discard them…but I’m quick to restock.

There is a silver-lining to my NHS, and that is when my napkins make me a hero.

Hero? Yes, hero.

I am a swift spill-solver. Spiderman has his spidey-sense, and I have my Spill-sense. When my spill-sense tingles, I know that there is a spill near by. I quickly take out my utility belt napkins and attack the culprit before it spreads over materials that could be damaged. Like a fucking ninja.

Reenactment:

More realistic reenactment:

Actually, I’m sure on-lookers must think I’m some kind of napkin-dealer…

Spills and nose-blowing are the only reasons why I keep a stack of napkins in my car. I cannot tell you the number of times I spill something in my car. It’s like the universe gets offended by my ability to drink things, so it curses me when my car goes over speed bumps or badly-paved roads.

The other time that I look like a hero with my napkins is when someone needs paper and there’s none around.

I just pop open my purse and hand a napkin over.

NAPKIN RESCUE, SCENARIO 1:

NAPKIN RESCUE SCENARIO 2:

And when I am done helping those in need…

Sometimes I’m my own hero… like, for example, when I enter a bathroom and I see that there is no toilet paper.

Having no toilet paper in a bathroom is quite possibly the most annoying thing ever… it leaves you totally helpless.

But I digress.

My NHS does get pretty out of control when I’m too busy to clean out my purse… they have a tenancy to spill out onto the floor. It kind of makes me look like I’m trying to keep track of where I’m going by leaving myself napkin clues. It also makes me unintentionally litter.

At home, I may put some napkins in my kitchen, but they always somehow make their way into my room…so then I’ve got napkins all over my already messy bedroom.

The point when I have to start throwing things away is when I wake up to the sight of a napkin on my pillow…

I know I have made progress with my disease…but it’s still got a strong grip on me. any time I get rid of napkins…a strong, burning urge to attain more floods through my body.

One day, when there is no more pollen, freshly cut grass, dogs, cats, dust, or allergens in general, I will finally be free of NHS. Until then…my purse will forever be twice as large thanks to my fluffy paper friends.


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TEDxFIU 2013 – Exploring FIU

This is my follow up post to my TEDxFIU 2013 – Reimagine Possible post.

Some more pictures (in a slideshow) of TEDxFIU have been posted, for those interested. Also FIU’s Flicker has behind the scenes, and the event itself.

TEDxFIU was so insanely fun that I have to dedicate two posts to it! Consider this to be a more behind the scenes kind of deal, well…behind the scenes from my perspective. I’d like to share with you my adventure around the FIU campus as well as the cool stuff before and after the TEDxFIU event!

I spent the morning of TED wandering around the FIU library…because libraries are my favorite places. Here’s me, killing time, and snapping photos of the library.

The computer lab on the second floor has a sea of touch screen desk top computers – which I have never seen or used before, this is me and my first time using one – so of course I go straight to MS Paint! I’m a huge dork.

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TEDxFIU 2013 – Reimagine Possible

So, this week was the week that TEDxFIU happened November 7th in the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, and it was so BEAST.

Those who have been following the blog will recall my excitement of both attaining a ticket to the sold-out main venue as well as how excited I was when I found out who the speakers were.

Here are some pictures that I took of some speakers and thoughts I had about their presentations (I’m doing them in order of their listing on the TEDxFIU blog, not necessarily in the order they spoke):

Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester – Musician / Composer

Kevin is an FIU alumni and talked about how music opened several doors for him, specifically with his band the Black Violin. He grew up with band mate Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste in South Florida. You should listen to some of the stuff they have, here’s one of the songs that they played for us at the TEDxFIU talk, it’s called Brandenburg. The band has gotten several amazing opportunities to play their music which is a fusion of hip hop and classical violin/viola.

They played this past January at the President’s Inaugural Ball (freaking awesome) and slew of other places. They have collaborated with Fort Minor, Fat Joe, Akon, the Wu-Tang Clan, P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, The Eagles, Lupe Fiasco,  John Legend, Rick Ross and Nas. They even dabbled in Broadway. So talented. It was great hearing Kev talk about what inspires him and what he hopes to inspire in others.

Mike Heithaus and James Fourqurean – Shark Expert and Marine Ecologist (respectively)

Mike Heithaus presenting, live, underwater in the FIU Aquarius Reef Base.
Image Credit – TEDxFIU Twitter

This was a really great presentation. FIU’s Jim Fourqurean explained the FIU Aquarius Reef Base – the first of its kind, in the world! It is the first and only under water research lab. Fourqurean is the director of Marine Education and Research Initiative for the Florida Keys.

Photo Credit – FIU

The underwater lab is also livable! Its 63 feet under water and contains a habitat that scientists can hang out and sleep while doing research and all sorts of marine biology investigations.  There was even a NASA training mission that took place utilizing the underwater sea station, named “Sea Test II,” so amazing! There are more astronauts than there are seanauts – think about it!

Photo Credit – FIU

While living underwater the scientists are required to undergo 17 hours of decompression to counter balance their body’s nitrogen reserves; making the trip back to the surface possible without body pressure issues. During the second half of the TED presentation, we were introduced to Mike Heithaus, who is the director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society at FIU. He’s also a big deal worldwide because of his research background and shark research. Did I mention that he presented, live, from the actual underwater site? Because he did. Pretty bad ass. He explained the facility a bit more and left us with an exciting view of the future.

Aileen Marty – Biowarfare Expert

Dr. Aileen M. Marty has a long and very impressive resume. She’s a professor at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, a pathologist with a certificate in forensic medicine, a Navy vet who specialized in tropical medicine, infectious disease pathology, disaster medicine, and in the science, medical response and policy involving weapons of mass destruction. Oh and she is also trained in strategic studies, diplomacy, joint military operations and the art of war. “Marty is one of only 403 people listed in the international roster as a member of the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction” (TEDxFIU). 

Yeah, she’s kind of a big deal. People know her. She gave a great talk about biowarefare weapons – focusing on their history, current usage and alternative usages.

I learned a lot about Sarin – the chemical agent that was used in Syria; a horrible and inconceivable attack on civilians. That chemical agent is so potent that just a small amount, less than a teaspoon, leads to the death of 50% who are exposed. As unfathomable as that is, the Botulinum toxin known as Agent X, is actually 100,000 times more potent than Sarin. And guess what, Agent X is used cosmetically – as Botox. Dr. Marty discussed how it is her job to ensure that these agents are not being used maliciously, though several are illegal in a variety of countries.

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The Majestic Pizza Table

Friends, I want to ask you all to go back in time with me. But not too far back…I’m talking probably early 1990s…can’t believe its already been 20 years. I’m asking you to go back in time with me because I had a dream the other night…a dream that reminded me of something I thought had been long forgotten. But really, it can never be forgotten…because it was possibly the most important piece of plastic to have ever graced my hands.

This is the story, of the Majestic Pizza Table.

When I was a little lad, I had a very misinformed idea of what a healthy meal was.

In my head, I thought cheese was the only type of dairy, and thus essential to my diet. I thought bread was an all encompassing food that had to be a part of every meal because it was the largest section of the food pyramid.

Fruits and veggies were my least favorite, and apparently optional, because I would avoid them and still be alive. And, according to my father, protein was the single most important element in the cosmos. My dad would often say things like, “Protein is what makes you strong.”  Or “Always put protein on your plate.” And the questionable, “if you forget to eat, just have some protein at least.”

When my brother and I couldn’t finish all the food on our plates my mom would mention something about African kids dying while we wasted food and my dad would bargain with us. “If you can’t finish that’s okay, as long as you eat all the protein.”

Anyway, the reason I’m sharing this with you is to give you some context as to why pizza became my all time favorite food as a child. Pizza had everything. Pizza had cheese (dairy), sauce (tomatoes are veggies), tasty crust (bread), and you could add all sorts of toppings (pepperoni, chicken, beef – protein). In my child-brain pizza was a super food. So when any food decision-making opportunity was presented to me, I would ALWAYS say “pizza.”

You see, my lovely sunflowers, there was something else that came with pizza. Pizza came with a gift. A gift that was always guaranteed to accompany every pizza box. That gift…was the Majestic Pizza Table.

Friends, do you remember that glorious moment, when you opened the pizza box? Your mouth slobbering like a waterfall at the mere scent of it, your pupils dilated as your hands touched the box, your fingers fumbling around as the hot pizza crust burned your finger tips – you knew that shit would burn your mouth but you didn’t care! YOU NEEDED TO PUT IT INSIDE YOU.

And as you munched, and your taste buds dissolved, you laid your eyes on the glorious white plastic, sitting patiently in the center of your pizza box.

There she was. She had been waiting for you. The mini plastic table, with three peg legs and circular top.

The whole reason she existed was to ensure that your pizza wouldn’t be stuck to the roof of the cardboard box. So selfless. The patron saint of pizza boxes.

She was there to make your life easy and wonderful. She understood how much you needed this moment to be perfect. No one could understand you more…than that tiny piece of white plastic.

It has been said that, in the ancient world, that there was a whole civilization that worshiped the Pizza Table. The disciples of the Pizza Table spent hours crafting its likeness from raw minerals, giving it cheese offerings, and immortalizing it through song. Legend says, the people of the Pizza Table were wiped out of existence when its leader, Little Foot, claimed dinosaurs to be the true rulers of the realm.

Pizza Table cursed the land and a giant asteroid destroyed all who were unworthy.

Okay, that’s a lie. I made that up. I’m sorry. I forgot what I was talking about… I’m pretty sure I used to get Land Before Time toys form Pizza Hut and that was my brain’s attempt to remind me of that fact in an imaginative way. Actually, imagination is kind of my point.

You see, the Majestic Pizza Table knew no bounds when it came to imagination.

I was a little kid, staring at this weird Pizza Table, asking my mother if I could keep it because I had plans. GLORIOUS PLANS.

You see, the Pizza Table was perfect for playing games with. I could make my brother’s legos stand around it and talk about world domination.

I could make it a stepping stool for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so that they would be able to reach the exact height necessary to deliver a flying kick strong enough to destroy the evil Barbie empress.

The Majestic Pizza Table was a meeting place for my Troll dolls as they plotted against the evil Cabbage Patch dictator. (I played the shit out of the board game Treasure Trolls)

The Pizza Table was the only holding device able to protect the glowing Gem of Time from evil doers, something that PJ Sparkles had spent her whole life defending against the diabolical galactic Polly Pocket federation.

What ended up happening over time was that we kept ordering more and more pizzas. Which meant that I had more and more majestic Pizza Tables. They started to change slightly in design. Some had four peg legs instead of three, some had thicker plastic, some thinner plastic. But one thing was certain;  my majestic Pizza Table army was an unstoppable force. Or, so I thought…

At one point, there was an impressively large pile of these Pizza Tables in the corner of my room. My mother was not pleased.

She made me get rid of my Pizza Table collection. All of them. I could not come up with an excuse that was good enough for her. My mother told me that I was getting too old for those kinds of toys, and then stuffed away my precious plastic friends into a garbage bag. I had no choice but to watch the disposal of my Pizza Tables, because adults ruled the world. But I held onto hope, hope that I could secretly steal a Pizza Table the next time we ordered-in pizza. Not too long after, the time had come, I watched (with great stealth) from the hallway as my father payed the delivery man.

I followed him to the kitchen, as he opened the box. I only had a few seconds until he made the announcement that the pizza was here and my mother and brother would show up in the kitchen. So I popped up from my hiding spot and yelled for my father, “POPIE, THERE’S A SCARY SPIDER IN THE HALLWAY, KILL IT!”

As he groaned and made his way to the hallway, I dashed by him and bee-lined to the kitchen table. I jumped up to a chair, and got ready to claim my prize.

But, to my dismay, I did not see a beautiful white pizza table in the center of the pizza pie. I lifted the hot pizza and looked under it. I searched the corners of the box, I scanned the ground in the off-chance that it may have fallen. I even turned to the trashcan and looked inside, hoping that perhaps my father had disposed of it when he opened the box.

Nothing. Not even a scrap of evidence as to where it could have gone.

My dad came back, with my mother and brother behind him, he placed his hands on my shoulders and told me he couldn’t find the spider, but that if it returned to let him know. I nodded but said nothing. I held back the tears of disappointment. We all ate the pizza and the box was disposed of.

I didn’t sleep that night.

Maybe someone had forgotten to put one in? Maybe it was a new chef (I thought everyone who made food was a highly talented chef when I was little). Maybe the new guy didn’t know the pizza table protocol.

I reassured myself that the next pizza box would have one, so I just had to be patient. But, sure enough, the next pizza box arrived a week later. Nothing. The box after that…nothing.

Box after box arrived to our house, and I realized… the majestic pizza table was no more. Discontinued like a defective children’s toy. It would never return to my hands or my imagination. It was gone forever.

To this day, I still haven’t encountered another majestic Pizza Table.

I mean, I’m sure they were bad for the environment, with all that plastic. Maybe they became obsolete when pizza companies developed sturdier pizza box designs. Or maybe the pizza chefs devised a new cheese formula that prevented it from being stuck to the pizza box.

Whatever the reason, mankind’s love affair with Pizza Tables had come to an end. It felt like I had lost a best friend.

As I mentioned before, I had a dream the other day, where my majestic Pizza Tables had been returned to me, and I dance around in my room, rejoicing with my stuffed animals and toys. I awoke and knew that I had to discuss its legacy with you all.

So this post is my homage to the Majestic Pizza Table. You may be gone, but in my heart, you will never be forgotten.


72 Comments

Ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone

First things first…

GREAT SONS OF NEPTUNE, TODAY IS HALLOWEEN!
I HOPE YOU GUYS HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!

I’M A PICHU - THAT’S A POKEMON, ITS LIKE A PIKACHU, EXCEPT LESS EVOLVED. DON’T READ TOO FAR INTO THAT…
Do you get the “Super Saiyan Michu” lame joke now?

If my blog were passing out treats this year, I’d pass out some old-school pokemon trading cards. Way cooler than pennies but slightly less cooler than dark chocolate milky way bars… In the morning you’d have have something to enjoy that was non-edible while you try to nurture your candy-hang-over or actual hang-over. I think its a pretty descent treat.

Allllright, moving along!

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone

And she’s always gone too loooooong,

Anytime she goes away.

Sorry, that song immediately pops in my head when I think of the word “sunshine.”

So recently I got tag-teamed by Sheen Meem and Christina for the Sunshine Award. Thank you ladies!

I’m supposed to share 10 things about myself. But after listening to Bill Withers belt that sweet, melancholy beast of a song, I feel like I should share things that I miss.

1) Libraries. 

Growing up, I loved spending my days inside my school’s library for recess. They had these awesome beanie bag chairs between each isle of books. It was the best. I’d grab two or three books, sit down and nibble on my lunch while indulging in some light reading. Libraries in the states aren’t quite the same. The public libraries I have been to were alright but basically ghost towns. The university libraries have the opposite problem, lots of people and not a lot of pleasure reading selection. I have become accustomed to university libraries though, as they do provide an adequate space for studying.

Children book series: (2) Goosebumps, (3) Animorphs.

So I was super into the Goosebumps and Animorphs book series. I had a bunch of the books myself, but I’d also always read copies of the ones I didn’t own at the library or borrow them from friends. Those were the best. I mentioned before that I don’t really understand why I love to be scared, but Goosebumps would keep me up at night…not just because I was afraid of what was on the page, but also because I couldn’t put it down. Animorphs was so cool, especially the way that the publisher made the corners of the pages morph from the animal to the person. GENIUS. That alone held my attention for several minutes, it was hypnotizing.

5) Borders.

Fast forward to adult-ish-hood, the library was quickly replaced with Borders – a magical store whose sole purpose was to bring me joy and happiness. I know I previously mentioned how much I missed Borders…but I don’t think you understand. I MISS Borders HARD. I used to go there on a daily basis when I moved away. It was great. The music wasn’t too loud in the store, there were plenty of seats and plugs for laptops, the cafe was reasonably priced  - this place was gold.  I was there so often that people knew me by name. I can’t even begin to estimate how many hours I spent at Borders. And then, it went out of business. My favorite store, gone forever.

6) Guild Wars.

There was a time when I lived for this game man, like, it was just the most fun I could ever have. This time of year I reminisce of how Lions Arch used to get all dressed up for Halloween, or  the arrival of Mad King Thorn, however you want to see it. I logged in just to see the decor today. Kamadan still has people running around, which is cool to see.

7) Guild Families/Buddies

What I mean by guild families is that I miss being in a tight knit guild. Guilds that are both relaxed and like a band of brothers are really hard to find. I’ve only come across about four in the entirety of my gaming experience. One of which I mentioned before, Us Are Not [leet] – they were a really special group of people, love them to death. But since GW2 came out I haven’t really found myself all that into the game, and thus, not that close to any guilds. Being a part of a guild is a lot of fun when the chemistry is right. Now I skype with a few friends here and there, but nothing beats the banter you have with guild mates in guild chat or a voice IP program (ventrillo, teamspeak, etc…).

8) Halloween

I know I wrote about this before, but I fucking love Halloween. I just get really upset that costumes aren’t as exciting as they used to be back in the day and now I don’t know enough people where I live to really enjoy going out and drinking in costume. Kinda sucks.

9) Roommates

I don’t miss all of my roommates…really I just miss living with Kimbohydrates and having Kosmonat bunk in our apartment livingroom. They’re my two favorite-est people in the world and I don’t get to see them nearly as often enough these days.

 

10) Art Basel

I really love going to art galleries, I don’t care who the artist is – it can be a student gallery, famous dude, indie dude, historical dude, I don’t care. I love them. One specific art show that happens in Miami annually is called Art Basel. I haven’t gone in so many years because it costs money and its in Miami. But I miss it like crazy. There aren’t that many galleries where I live now, which is upsetting. Also the art scene in Miami has exploded hardcore in recent years, of course with my luck, this happened after I moved. At least I got to enjoy the times I went to Miami Art Walk.

That’s enough about me. It’s time to play tag. I chose to tag the following ten peers (who I love to pieces) to also receive this Sunshine Award!

(1) Aussa Lorens of Hacker Ninja Hooker Spy
(2) Kippfu of A’A in Paradise
(3) EJ of Whimsical Eclecticist
(4) Marry of Viver Para Contar
(5) Annie of Sweet Wild Flower
(6) Rebecca Ann of RebeccaAnnEm
(7) Melissa of The Fashion Huntress
(8) Bee of Queen of Sprouts
(9) Zoe of Zuts
(10) Chris Evans (yeah, that’s his real name, lol) of Geek Blogger UK


32 Comments

My first time doing “public speaking”

I‘ve been prompted to discuss my first time doing something. Immediately what came to mind was my first time doing public speaking.

When I was a little kid I was beyond shy. I like invented shy. If you weren’t a family member of mine, I’d be the quietest child you had ever met. I’m not sure why I was like this, but my shyness often took a back seat to my urinary tract.

Anytime we would be doing an activity in class I’d go about my business until I had to do my business – get what I’m saying? I had no problem approaching my teachers one-on-one to let them know that things were stirring down below. I’d be excused to go to the bathroom and come back and it was no big deal.

But one day, in the middle of some lecture the teacher was giving, the urge to use the bathroom hit me like a sack of bricks to the face. It was so sudden that, without thinking, I jumped up from my seat and raised my hand.

At this point, I am more aware of my bladder than I am of what I’m doing. I know that asking to go to the bathroom (the whole “May I” instead of “Can I” question correction thing was so annoying, you remember that?) was a question; and when you asked questions you had to raise your hand.

But then my self-awareness came flooding back to me like a monsoon. From every direction of my peripheral vision, I could see the eyes of my classmates all looking right at me as I opened my mouth. Beady little eyes, eyes full of judgment and giving me their undivided attention.

I had a panic attack, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. The question I wanted to ask had vanished from my vocabulary. My palms got all sweaty, my lips were quivering and mumbling “uhh, umm, uhh” – it was disastrous.  Then, my teacher finally takes notice of the only kid raising her hand and singles me out in front of the class.

I could just feel the eyes getting bigger and closer, everyone’s eyes just pointed directly at me. It was the worst feeling of all time. My knees were buckling and I was on the verge of losing my bladder juices on my jeans out of pure fear instead of need.  What had I done? Everyone must be expecting me to say a question related to what my teacher had been lecturing about! I was just gonna ask to go to the bathroom! It would look like I hadn’t even been paying attention!

I could picture the sequence of events so perfectly in my head. Everyone would watch me as  I walked to the door. They would whisper amongst themselves about how long I was in the bathroom for. Crack jokes about my bowel movements. They’d all stare at me as I walked back into the room, sitting in my chair. Maybe one of them would lean towards me and whisper “pee-pee” or “poopy head” – OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE? THIS IS A FIRST GRADER’S NIGHTMARE.

So because my body was pumping full of adrenaline, and because my vocabulary had gone out the window (along with my sense of security), I just blurted out the most coherent thing I could think of.

I think I caught my teacher off guard, because she just sort of stared at me. And I was just kind of staring at her with my arms up in the air. So there was this good minute or two of us just staring at each other, saying nothing. The kids around me didn’t say anything either. It was just a weird moment in time when I think everyone was trying to process what just happened.

After blinking a few times, my teacher just kind of asked me to sit down and told me that the next time I raise my hand I should ask something that has more relevance to the topic at hand or productively facilitates learning, or something that makes sense even.

I felt so exposed. I huddled into a little ball in the middle of the eyeball sea. Everyone had continued to stare at me even when I sat back down. My plan to distract attention away from me had clearly backfired.

As I kept huddled in that little shy and embarrassed ball I was quickly reminded of the reason I rose my hand in the first place. The adrenaline was washing away and the blood rushed back to my vital organs and my bladder went back to returning signals of urgency to my brain.  I still needed to pee, bad. But I held it in, ignoring the painful bladder, because I dared not raise my hand again.

This, my friends, is the first time I can remember being absolutely terrified of speaking in front of others. Hence why I refer to to this as my first time public speaking.

This fear would continue to carry over into actual public speaking situations, such as (but not limited to) reciting lines at children’s plays, presenting a project to the class, reading aloud in class, or being called upon the teacher when no one volunteers and being expected to answer their question.

For the longest time I would despise public speaking, without fully understanding why. I just understood that people would stare, people would talk, and people would judge.


21 Comments

BEAST MODE ACAPELLA

Alright guys, I’m about to share something with you that only a hand full of people know about myself. That’s right, and after I discuss this with you, I’d kindly ask you to burn this post and never speak of it again. Sharing embarrassing secrets makes us basically best friends…  Mmm, I feel so close to you right now.

So while I was driving back up to my apartment, after visiting family down south, I happened upon a crazy driver along the highway.

She was full-on jamming out to a Britney Spears song, like, JAMMING. Straight up going no-hands-on-the-steering-wheel-I-may-die-call-the-cops-I-don’t-give-a-fuck jamming. I call this kind of reckless singing: Beast-Mode-Acapella (BMA).

Basically, in that exact moment, that random lady was Britney Spears, and she was flipping out all the dance moves she could in the confined space of her motor vehicle.

When I realize that someone is going BMA, I get irritated that they’re jeopardizing the safety of the people around them. I may curse, flip the bird, or honk at them, but the one thing I never do…is judge them.

“Wait, you can’t judge the lady swerving into every lane while shrieking incoherent words?” I hear you ask. Yes, I have no fucking grounds to start judging that lady. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to speed ahead of her and make sure I stay at a safe distance, but that’s only because I understand the great, involuntary power of BMA. You can’t control that shit. When BMA takes you over, all bets are off.

You see friends, there was a time when I would make the great trip from central to southern Florida basically every two weeks. It was a happier time, I had money left over from a few months earlier when I held two jobs concurrently, and my posse was still located in the same area; which made the trip to see friends a sort of one-stop kind of thing. The only problem is that the drive really killed me. Depending on the location of where I would be staying, the drive down south could be anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. I don’t mind making a trip that long maybe once every couple of months, perhaps even every month, but multiple times a month??? Let’s just say it takes boredom to a whole other level.

So, I decided that I should take advantage of the fact that the CD player in my car could hold more than one CD and indulge myself in some new music. Back in the day, the place I used to hang out the most was Borders (a super cool bookstore-cafe-awesome-adventure-building). I had a membership card so I got some coupons all the time to get discounts on CDs. One day, after I had gotten sick of my self-made mixes, I thought I would be a rebel and buy a couple of CDs from Borders at random (I live life on the edge). So I literally walked into Borders, went straight to the bargain CD bin, dug my hands into the mountain of plastic cases and pulled out two CDs. I was excited to listen to my random findings.

Turns out the two CDs I chose were the greatest hits of Cheap Trick (which featured some live tracks, pretty cool) and a Sarah McLachlan Remix CD from 2001.

So, I’m cultured enough to know who Sarah McLachlan is – some of you may recall she did a bunch of advertisements for animal adoption recently. You know, the ones that make you question the type of person you are for not saving every sad kitten or battered puppy? Spoilers, you are a fucking terrible person. As depressed as you are when you watch that commercial, you can’t deny the sweet, sweet serenading voice that Sarah McLachlan has man…its like…undeniable.

The thing that made me question my purchase was that this CD remix was from 2001. So I’m thinking…this is like…a weird, cheesy techno compilation of Sarah McLachlan’s stuff that I could find on those old-school Dance Dance Revolution arcade machines; you know what I mean?

But it was too late to panic, I had to be down south in a few hours. All I could do at that point was cross my fingers and hope the CD didn’t suck.

The second I loaded that bad boy up, something started happening… The song “Fear” came on. I had started the domino effect that leads up to a full-on BMA.

Phase 1: Introduction.

It starts simple enough, you’re just kind of listening to the music. You might not catch all the lyrics, you may even completely space out. You’re just kind of shaking the hand of this song, getting to know them a bit better. Nothing out of the ordinary per say.

Phase 2: Infiltration.

Things are picking up, you’re getting the beats of the song all up in your car. Yeah, you like those beats. Not bad for a techno song. You’re paying a bit more attention to the lyrics, you may even be bouncing your head along to the rhythm. This is the song’s attempt to give you a false sense of security. You my friend, just let your guard down and personally escorted that slimy mother fucking song worm right into your brain. But you’re having such a good time you don’t even know what just happened.

Phase 3: Infestation.

The damage is done, you can’t go back now. That base is sick and already getting stuck in your head. Those beats got you moving your whole body. You are clinging on to every song lyric, those words were written for you man! This is the infestation of the song. It has tricked you into thinking it knows you on a deeper level, you guys have chemistry, you go way back – this is the one that got away. This is your lover. You got to move your body, you got to seduce that lover back into your life. You can’t stop now. You wouldn’t even if you had the option. This is your life now.

Phase 4: BEAST MODE ACAPELLA.

I AM SARAH MCLACHLAN. LISTEN TO MY FALSETTO MAN, I AM A GIFT TO MANKIND. I SHOULD BE FILLING UP STADIUMS WITH THIS VOICE. HOW DO I NOT HAVE A GRAMMY IN MY HANDS RIGHT NOW? AM I DRIVING? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. LISTEN TO ME. THIS VOICE CAN SOLVE WORLD HUNGER. OR AT THE VERY LEAST PROPEL A ROCKET INTO SPACE. MY VOCAL CORDS HAVE THE POWER OF A THOUSAND SUNS.

Do you see how dangerous this shit is? I could have caused an accident. That’s 4 minutes and 46 seconds of pure, reckless singing.

I swear, this doesn’t happen to me every time I hear a song. I’ve listened to so many freaking songs on my travels from north to south… but this is the only one that makes me go BMA. This song did something to me, and no matter how many times I hear it, it is still as powerful as the first time it seduced me. Self control doesn’t exist with this song. I have to flail my arms to my terrible, improvised choreography and scream bloody murder to reach the high notes that only I can hear.

This is why I can’t judge that girl I saw today, driving like a maniac. Because the second that Brittney Spears song ended…she grabbed her steering wheel and went about her business as usual. Like nothing had ever happened. The song still possesses her, but it won’t come out until the next incantation.

So about that thing that I mentioned earlier, the one about the secret and the burning and the stuff… yeah. If you guys ever mention to anyone that I listen to Sarah McLauchlan techno music, I will disown you and deny this entire thing.

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