Monday, July 20, 2009

Cheeks Not So Extra Large

Earlier today I had an 'aww' moment with my little sister. Well, perhaps not so much with as because of her. I don't think she even realized it'd been a tender moment. But that's not really the case. I was about to jump into the shower when I realized I'd forgotten to bring in my hairbursh. No, I don't shower with my hairbrush but I do brush my hair pre-shower. It helps with the tangles. Try it; you'll thank me.

Anyway, Small Fry brings me the brush and as I'm grabbing it through the crack of the door I say 'thanks a bunch kid!' Small Fry (who is actually 20 and quite a young lady) does her cute 'wink-side head nod thing. It sounds awkward but it's this really cute thing she's been doing since she was 4. Or 5. She was young. So her little wink-nod thing is adorable. She'll wink gracefully with her left eye, simultaneously tilts her head to the left and smile all along. It's actually a very swift motion; lasts about a second. She's been doing this for years but less and less as she gets older. It made me a say an internal 'aww' because it reminds me so much of her days of accomplishing 'big girl' things or saying she was feeling better (even though she had tubes coming out of her nose and was laying on her hospital bed) or collaborating with me on a small white lie to my mom. Always the same cute face with extra-large cheeks and poofy, frizzy, ridiculously curly hair.

When she did it today I saw how different her face is and how much she's really grown up. I know, I know growing up is what's supposed to happen but this was a quick, in-your-face reminder. She was still cute and her little gesture was still precocious but her cheeks aren't extra-large anymore and her hair isn't so poofy or frizzy anymore. It's been straightened and has side-swept bangs. I've seen all of these changes happen and I've seen her grow up (sometimes painfully; more so for me, my mom and other sister) and it's still floors me. Is this what having kids is like? No wonder mom's cry at the smallest, sometimes stupidest, things!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A soiree for me!

Last night I was lucky enough to celebrate my 28th birthday with a rather large and eclectic (trust me on this one) group of friends. One of the things that made this group interesting was that it consisted of friends from pretty much every phase of my life. All I needed to complete every phase was Claudia, Brigette and the girls from the station. Either way I was quite a fun time. Initially we were at the YardHouse which is a fun place with over 100 beers on tap (I know! That's what I said!) but when we were told it was a THREE hour wait for dinner (it was 8 p.m. at that point) we realized that was not going to work. But as we waited for everyone to get there it felt like a Greek/College reunion. I saw people I had not seen in years, no exaggeration. A majority of the run-ins were great because I was genuinely happy to see them (aka Nicole :)) and others were just odd (we'll leave this one nameless). And I'd like to give a shout-out to the pomegranate mojito: you were delish!

So we walked over to MamaJuana's Cafe (used to be Chispa) and were seated immediately. We all fit on one table and were assisted almost immediately. Too bad our server was suffering from a major case of PMS. He took forever with the drinks, forgot to take the order of half of the table, and rolled his eyes (I'm not even kidding) when we asked if splitting the checks was possible. The food, when it finally got to the table, was so yummy! Their white sangria and MamaJuana house drink were very good too. I personally preferred the white sangria; it was subtle and fresh. The night was pretty funny and I was very relieved that there were no awkward silent moments or pettiness with anyone. I should probably mention that I loathe awkward silent moments and that's one of the reasons why I'm not a fan of mixing friends from different social groups (work friends v. college friends v. childhood friends, etc.). Why I thought inviting a lifetime's worth of friends to my soiree last night was a good idea I don't know. But I'm SO glad that it all worked out. I think everyone was pretty happy with the night and I'm going to push the envelope on this one and say that some people walked away happy that they met or had a chance to get to know each other a bit better.

I'm forgetting the swimsuit fashion show that took place at the end of dinner! Oh wait, it kinda sucked (the models, not the suits. Those were pre-tee cute!); nevermind. To close this off on a good note, here is one of my fave pictures from the night. Mazel tov!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Two Cents on the David & Sean Goldman Case

I was reading an article on a few minutes ago that made me shake my head. The article is an update on the case of an American child who is currently under the custody of his Brazilian step-father even though his biological American father is alive and has, for years, been fighting for the boy's custody. I first heard about the David (dad) & Sean (son) Goldman case while I watched an episode of Dateline earlier this year (read the transcript here). The story is heartbreaking and has its share of unexpected twists. Here is a man who seems to have it all; a beautiful, loving wife, a healthy baby boy, a great house, a job as a model and a happy marriage. One day, without notice or warning signs, he receives a phone call from his wife (who had gone on vacation with the baby) that he will never see either of them again. Confused? Me too. To add to this the wife dies while undergoing a medical procedure. Even so the child remains with the step-father, João Paulo Lins e Silva. All the while David Goldman has hired an attorney, followed legal protocol on international child abduction and continuously fought for the return of his son. The case has at this point gone before a couple of judges and all have ruled in favor of the step-father (who is, apparently, from an influential Brazilian family. Hmm...). Years later, Sean is still in Brazil even though there have been judges who have ruled that Sean belongs with his father. Sadly, each of these rulings has been met with a counter-ruling in different courts; including the most recent ruling in favor of David.

It sounds like an intricate case but, at least to me, this case is of a very simple nature: the child belongs with his biological father. Yes, I know that perhaps not all biological parents are exemplary (or adequate in some cases) but given the fact this this particular father has no record of violence, fraud, or any other criminal activity and has pretty much given up everything to get his son back, one has to wonder what is going on with the Brazilian courts. Sure the step-father is wealthy and can care for the boy but his place is with his biologicial father; the father who has not given up his fight or hope that his son return home. Wealth should not play a role in this or any other family case. A parent's ability to dutifully do what's is best for his child has to amount to something. I would perhaps be swayed from my position if David Goldman were an addict of any sort, a felon, a pedophile, or had other issuses/circumstances that prohibited him from being able to provide the best care and environment for Sean. To date, there has been no evidence or suggestion of such situations.

This case reminds me of the Eilan Gonzalez case. The similarities are clear: a boy is alive, his mother has passed away and the biological father is alive, and seeking the return of the son, in the birthplace of the child. The differences are also evident: Sean's step-father is not a direct relative; Elian's cousin is an extended biological relative; The Hague Convention applies to the Sean Goldman case and not to the Elian case. International politics played a vital role in the Elian case and though Secretary of Sate Hilary Clinton has been in talks with Brazilian officials, politics don't have the same role in the Goldmdan case. Despite all of the differences and similarities I still believe that Sean should and needs to be permanently reunited with his father. I held the same position with the Elian case. I think I was one of the few people in Miami who openly felt that way (especially considering the Cuban political/socio-economic conditions). I can't say Elian's life or opportunities are better in Cuba but Mr. Gonzalez is entitled to raise his son and should be responsible for the boy's upbringing. Elian is equally entitled to a life with his father. Since Elian had a 'close and continuous realtionship with his father' it seems only fitting to let them continue on that path. Do I think Elian would have had a better life in the US? Sure, most immigrants do have a better life in the US. I think, however, it is important to let a father or mother, especailly one who is able, willing, enthusiastic, and ready to raise and care for his/her child. It is erroneous and sad that João Paulo Lins e Silva and Brazil's convoluted court system have prevented David and Sean Goldman from having a close and continuous relationship or any relationship for that matter.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Now I know why Pres. Obama likes Five Guys

Universe, I am very sore. Sitting down is an aching position. Standing is also painful. The process of getting up or sitting down: worse than the previous two positions. My muscles are having spasms, my arms are sore even then I'm not using them. It's been a rough day; especially when I have to go up and down and back up and back down the stair case 5 or 6 times a day. Totally uncalled for. I'm hoping that the soreness is only a short-term thing.

On a different note, I finally tried Five Guy Burger and Fries. And I emphasize the 'finally' as I typically do not wait this long to try a new burger spot. I love--LOVE--burgers; especially cheeseburgers. So, today, after my face appointment I went to Five Guys and ordered me a cheeseburger with grilled mushrooms and onions and cajun fries. It sounded like the perfect meal. I waited for five people to get their burgers and then they called my number and I picked up my burger. I opened that sucker up and took a bite. It was delicious! I now understand why President Obama took a break from his day to grab these burgers for he and his staff. Good call Pres!

Back to the burger. The mushrooms were not soggy, the bun was not mushy, the lettuce and tomatoes were crisp and the meat, oh the meat! It was juicy and tender and well cooked. This is important to me as the last time I wanted to have a burger (at the Hard Rock Cafe, no less) it was pretty much bleeding when I had asked for it to be well done. Nothing kills my appetite like bleeding meat. Gag!

But anyway, the burger was simply delicious. My arteries were probably not very happy with me but my mouth and stomach were most certainly smiling. I didn't eat the fries (except for a few) becuase the burger was rather big and fulfilling. The fries were also very good. That Cajun seasoning is keeper. I hope you also try Five Guys; I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yo-ga, yo-ga, yo-ga!

Today I went to my first yoga class. An official yoga class at an official studio. Now I know I'm not the most fit person in the world but it was quite a workout--even for a beginner's class. But I loved it! Ann Margaret, my instructor, was so patient and funny and she had this great character about her. She gave us a little background info/history as she taught us the poses. She'd watch us and fix our poses. It was kinda like being in kindergarten without the ABCs and the cookies. And let's face it, everyone loved kindergarten.

Walking into the class, like walking into any classroom on the first day of school, was a little bit weird becuase it's 10 strangers sitting on mats, on the floor very close together. I wasn't too crazy about the class at this point becuase I really dislike--utterly dislike--body odor. Thankfully, I didn't come across any BO tonight. *Side note: It is not recommended to eat 2 hours before the class because (and I quote) "we don't want a fart storm in the middle of class." Yeah, I had to stifle my laughter when the receptionist said that.* Throughout the exercises I began to really let loose. My back felt soft, I was really aware of my breathing, my shoulders were soooo relaxed. It was pretty amazing. Until the inversion pose. Basically your feet(from bum to heels) are up against the wall. This is a heating pose which means that it increases your body temperature. Now, by that point it was pretty warm in the room. And I, personally, was feeling a little sweaty. Well, Ann Margaret was not lying when she said body temperature would increase. It was a rise in temperature that was so subtle that when it finally hit me, it felt like I was standing in front of a furnace. A BIG furnace! What redeemed the inversion pose was the way in which you bring your legs down; you bring them down slowly, knees together, bend them and twist them to either side of the body. My back cracked in places I didn't know it could crack. I felt like a million bucks. Still do, actually. :)

I think what I liked most about the yoga class was the concentration on myself. Everything was about me. My arms, my breathing, my relaxation. Sounds a little selfish right now but it felt great! I'll have to practice these poses so that I don't feel like a tool when I go back next week. Not gonna lie, I'm totally looking forward to next week.

Right now, however, I'm looking forward to jumping in bed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In love!

Have I mentioned how in love I am with my new laptop? No? Well, I absolutely love the little bugger! It is everything I wanted. And then some. Yeah, that good. Because I carry this little contraption everywhere I'll be posting more often--yay! Not that I didn't have access to the internet or a computer or the internet prior to this laptop buuuuuut this just makes it easier since I won't have to jot things down and later forget to post. Because, essentially, that's what happened.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Zach Morris here

Text Messages received (and sent) last night:

1st text: "Millenium Falcon, come in...this is chewy" - 1:18 a.m.
Me: Huh?

2nd text: "Zach Morris, is this you? - 1:22 a.m.
Me: Who is this?

3rd text: Kelly Kapowski - 1:27 a.m.

Does this mean that Kelly Kapowski is chewy? Hmm...