Sorry everybody

October 19, 2013

I havent been on this site in years. My apologies but I have a new blog. Please check it out at…. http://nataliascelebrityletters.blogspot.com/

I will also have another blog up soon that will focus more on music reviews and yet another on myself personally all on blogger. Sorry wordpressers.

Let’s put this blog back into a positive light shall we?

September 24, 2010

Pics of Williamsburg always make me happy

So my last post was very anger filled. I will tell you in all honesty that blog took me over two weeks to post because I didnt want to do it. I just really felt that I HAD to. So only minutes after posting that blog, I feel the need to put some positivity back up in here!

Tons of stuff to make me happy. Wanna see ’em? Well check it out!:

1. I got a mac. The cd drive is already busted but I hooked up my external drive so its all gravy baby! I’m teaching myself some garageband and imovie. Jay’s gonna help me with the garageband stuff but its already helping me come up with melodies for songs. Despite the early drama (within a week of owning it, it started giving me crap but no worries now) I am still loving every minute of my mac.

2. With this mac, I got a new desk too! Its grey and glass. Bigger than my old one and ohhhhh boy is it sturdy! It rocks.

3. I got new pics within the last few months. My new friend Stephanie Sacchi is an awesome multi talented person who took some kick ass pics. Girl needs to get PAID for her work cuz it is worthy of some economic backing. Here is one pic she did of me:

Done right at Flushing Meadow Park by Stephanie Sacchi


I also got to pose for photographer Sheri Manson, http://sherimanson.com/ an no I am not posting that pic up here. Why? Well because… I …. posed…. NUDE!!!
Yup that’s right I all size 24/26 of me posed nude. I gotta say it felt great. It might have to do with the fact that I posed for a photographer who has been featured in Time Magazine and is an amazing photographer. It also has to do with the fact that its a woman. Now, no offense to men photographers, its not like I wont model for them, just not nude. I have certain fears about it. I dunno why, dont ask me. However being completely nude and carrying a conversation the whole time like nothing was odd about the situation felt so good. It really helped my self esteem too. Being a big girl, I always hate my body. I never think my naked body is attractive. I do look in the mirror thinking “well, I wouldnt want to fuck this”. I know its horrible HOWEVER its not like no one else has said that to themselves. Basically I never wanted to show anything because I never thought anyone would WANT to see it. I had that fear of someone looking and going “eww”. Now believe it or not… I kinda wanna show the pic to everyone haha. I mean Im not shy about it. A little timid but aside from me being completely naked, its a great picture. Sheri Manson really knows how to work with lighting and she made it art and I cant wait to work with her again.

4.) My job may FINALLY start paying me bi weekly instead of months at a time. This isnt definite of course but omg if it is, it will help out so much more.

5.) Money issues have been….improving. They arent brilliant but this time last year, we were broke. Mom was crying every night. I’ve been able to go to restaurants once in a while. We arent eating steaks every night but I love trying out new restaurants and we have been trying some great ones. the most expensive one we went to was two days ago and that was only cuz my sister is awesome and gave me a gift certificate that certainly made it easier to go. Thanks to her I also got to shop at my favorite store, Redress NYC. Got some cute shirts. Very happy. Will be going back soon.

6.) The JSE album is really close to being done. Its been a long time coming but I am determined to have a record release party when its done!

7.) I had given up on throwing parties cuz I felt that either no one wanted to deal with the hassle of coming out to Queens or no one really had fun. However I gave it another go a few weeks ago. Nothing major, just 3 or 4 friends and they all recommended I throw more get togethers so Im gonna! Im happy people actually want to spend time at my place.

8.) I ate alligator! It was awesome! Thats it!

9.) My friends rock. You all really do. We may have our flaws but I have felt nothing but positive energy from so many of you and I hope I can reciprocate.

I’m gonna sound off

September 24, 2010

MY TURN TO BITCH!

Ok so as of late I have had a lot of pretty cool things happen. I got a new desk that wont collapse on top of me, (woohoo!!) Annnnnnd…

I am typing this blog from my new iMac!!! Thats right folks! One of my major goals and dreams have happened. I can say that this year was my year. Sure not everything I wanted to happen, happened but I got some things accomplished and thats good enough for me. Besides, the year isnt over yet!

So, despite such great things, lately I have been just watching my facebook. I see friends and acquaintances post their status updates and I just shake my head. Not all of my friends but many people I know on facebook have just been very vocal about their opinions concerning politics, religion, race, etc. Dont get me wrong, its great to be vocal and here I am doing the same thing so I dont judge on that its just… I dunno, its all been so negative. Everyone is complaining about EVERYTHING.

Now I’m not blind. A lot of stuff has been happening lately that is worthy of many a complaint however, so many of these friends of mine have just blatantly stopped talking about themselves and just focus on what is pissing them off. I mean I do it too but I make sure I update about myself. I mean thats the purpose of facebook. To see how people are doing. How are YOU doing? Whats going on with YOU? I already know about the mosque, and the politics, and current events, I hear you but where the hell are YOU?

So just to get it out of the way, here’s my view on everything going on lately and yeah, Im highly aware many of my friends will be angry and Im sorry but fuck you, I dont agree with you and to be very honest it saddens me how many people I know are truly blinded by upbringing and brainwashing. Open your fucking eyes and do some fucking research before saying shit. You have no idea how stupid you sound some of you, seriously. I’m not a rocket scientist, in fact I am well aware that many of my friends think Im flakey and a bit naive but Im not a dumbass…. I am just taking the time out here on my blog to vent my own opinion on everything because I refuse to dwell on drama and have it especially attacked on facebook. These are just MY opinions and I rather post it here instead of getting backlash on facebook so… moving on.

1.) The mosque. Shut it. Just stop bitching about it. I’m done. I dont want to fucking hear anymore bullshit in regards to it. Their was a mosque within the area PRIOR to 9/11, and they are not building the mosque ON the site, its within a few blocks. Dont give me the “its an insult or its too soon” bullshit because you know what, muslims were killed at 9/11 too if they want to put up a mosque in downtown manhattan, let them. Get over it. There is a lot of fucked up shit going on in this country that we have no choice to put up with, that a community center that promotes awareness and religious tolerance is the LAST thing anyone should be bitching about. Have you seen yourselves on tv making asses out of yourselves, showing the world exactly how INtolerant you are? You’re making us look bad, we already have a lot to be embarrassed about dont add to it.

2) Stop bitching about what a rotten job Obama is doing. Im not saying that cuz I still support the guy, I’m saying it because I got news for all of you: no matter who is in charge, you are not going to be happy. They all suck. Why? Because this country is under the misconception that the President has all the power. That is a lie. He appoints a cabinet to tell him what to do. Then he either agrees or disagrees. We all bitched about Bush, and yeah he sucked. Why? Because he couldnt even pretend that he knew wtf he was doing. Obama at least admits that he is a human being that is TRYING to do the best he can. Is he? Probably not, hes screwed up a lot but a lot of the stuff he has to deal with is stuff that Bush left for him to clean up. I know you guys who love Bush hate when people say that but babies, the bottom line, republicans and democrats BOTH fuck it up. What works? Who knows? We are all human expecting someone of a higher authority to save us from our problems meanwhile they live in it too. No one is going to fix all the worlds problems. Btw I love that they blame Obama for the oil spill. Really people? I had no idea as prerequisite for the job as President you need to know how to build oil rigs and figure out how to stop them should they have a spill. Look he isnt trying to fix things fast enough but he didnt CAUSE it. If you are going to blame anyone blame BP and then the government, and then those who depend on that oil, and then ourselves for not being more aware and willing to use alternative fuel techniques. Stop blaming and just figure out how we can fix things!

3) Read a fucking book!….. dont mean fiction although thats fine, but I mean read history books, books on true crime, books about countries and wars, and art and cultures. I just think if people read more instead of listen to the bullshit news that comes out the television then maybe people would be more rational about why things happen.

4) Genocide is real. Why am I saying that? Because I actually had an argument with someone who tried to tell me that the Armenian Genocide never happened. Look, when more than hundreds of people die and their culture is scarred for life with the memory of family members that suffered and died and their government either did nothing or were the cause, its a fucking genocide. Its not just a “tragedy”, it hurts people today, and to sit their and deny such a horrible thing is like saying “yeah i dont think your people suffered” and thats fucked up.

5) Stop fucking telling me to remember 9/11. How the hell do you expect me to forget? It is the most insulting thing to tell me because you actually think that it meant nothing to anyone except you and you know its not true. I am so tired of these public memorials. I know that sounds horrible but seriously how are the victims and families of them supposed to move on and overcome their sadness? Its bad enough that they are left with financial difficulties, raising children on their own, or whatever other obstacle that comes their way. They don’t need people telling them “Remember 9/11” If you forgot, you have senility, dementia, alzheimers, or brain damage. Even if you DONT remember that day, Im sure you have been informed enough to have an idea.

6) Leave Lady Gaga alone!!! LOL. Seriously. I dont care if you dont like her. I dont like half the shit you people listen to but I respect you enough to not talk too much shit. Yeah she brought former military personnel to the VMAs as a representation of those who were kicked out of the military due to don’t ask don’t tell. So what? Why does her opinion on the situation piss you off so much? Why the fuck do you care? Yeah of course its shameless, shes a mother fucking celebrity!! The gay community is her biggest following. I find it honorable and fucking awesome when a celeb respects the fans that got them where they are. Those former military personnel weren’t bound and dragged there. They went willingly. Just cuz you dont agree doesnt make Gaga someone that deserves to be shit on. Get over it.

7) Ok this is a biggie cuz I know many friends on facebook who are in the military. Let me say this, I applaud you. I respect you. I can never even attempt to assume to know the dramatic and traumatic events you went through. I will never pretend to know what you all go through, what your job entails, and everything that goes with it. Your job is great, your job is a job I would never be able to do. I am a pussy. I am a hands down, pussy. I bow to you all in reverence for what you do for this country. That being said, I really truly HATE violence. I get it, its part of your job. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. I have certain friends AND family members who have posted pics of themselves with their troop all giving the “rock on” horn sign with their fingers while they have their guns to the heads of muslims that are blindfolded. I dont fucking care if they are terrorists, or the devil incarnate. Its not something to be proud of. Im so sorry! You dont see cops arresting a serial killer with a shit eating grin do ya? There is nothing happy about getting someone who has done wrong. If I was in a room with someone who killed people I cared about, innocent victims, I wouldnt be smiling. I would be crying. I would be angry. I would have done the right thing and that requires no fun times. I shouldnt have to see you having fun doing a very serious and tragic job. Also, you can sit there and say its not right if someone in the military is sentenced to the crime of abuse of a muslim inmate or whatever. Its not about the abuse. You are in the military. The job that is known primarily for following orders, and doing everything by protocol. To abuse an inmate, whether they deserve it or not. Is wrong, plain and simple. I dont care if you think the crime isnt as bad as what terrorists do. It doesnt fucking matter. Its the law and its broken. Thats how we are taught and that is what is being punished. I would bust my ass to make sure that people saw me as the model military person. I would want to be the savior. I wouldnt want to do something to tarnish that view. How do you expect other nations to see us as a positive influence on any country if you insist on applauding the violence that I understand very well is necessary but still painful for others to see. We are not Neanderthals anymore. This isn’t Sparta. I know I am no authority but again, I have the right to my own opinion however ill informed you may assume it is. Its still mine. However I will never… stop supporting my troops. I think of you all everyday and always hope that you are all safe and to keep doing the job that a good military person is supposed to do. In my eyes, you all deserve purple hearts just for joining.

8) Ok, from the military to the other gamut. Vegans. LOL. Shut the fuck up. I am not talking about vegetarians or NICE vegans. I am talking about REAL vegans. I got something to say to you people. Leave me the fuck alone and get off your high fiber horse! You know I respect you for going the route of not eating meat or dairy. I get there are many things you refuse to eat and thats fine. However why must you INSIST on making me feel bad for NOT being a vegan? Why must you HATE on anyone who ISNT a vegan? I’ve been at parties where there were vegans and they actually would look at everyone and make the smelling onions face. (You know that face, where the upper lip is curled to the side and the rest of the mouth is in a grimace? … Got the visual?…. Ok good) Just judging everyone for eating things that they wouldnt. Trying to tell me to not eat turkey on Thanksgiving. (Yeah I’m talking to you, Fiona Apple!). Oh and stopping a concert early because you smell a bbq in the distance and therefore smell meat cooking and then announce to the audience “I hope to God it’s human” (Yeah, I’m talking to you too Morrissey!!!). Really? You would stop a concert jerkoff knowing people paid good money to see you because other people are living normal lives in the distance and doing something you just dont approve of? I love your music Morrissey but you truly are a dick. Vegans you also lead me to those who may not even be vegan but just live the lifestyles of organic food only, stop buying corporate, uh… wearing reusable tampons, the diva cup, not shaving, anti vanity. Look. The bottom line is this: If you live a life where you do these things, more power to you. I applaud you living your life the way YOU want to. So therefore, dont persecute me for not living it like YOU. I like to shave, I dont even wear regular tampons, Im stick to maxi pads thank you very much! I love pernil and any meat that exists, I fucking ate alligator this past weekend and it was heavenly! I also dig shopping at whole foods and costco so sue me!

9)Ok another touchy subject. I have many friends who are parents. God bless ya! I’m too selfish to be one. Its too much work and I want to do things for me not a kid. Sorry. But I love looking at pictures of your children, Im sure they are lovely and when I can I try to comment. No issue with pics of kids in general. HOWEVER, if you are a parent who puts your child’s picture as your OWN for YOUR profile pic AAAAAAAANNNND that is ALL you have for pics of you… for shame. Look every once in a blue moon making a pic of your child as your profile pic, i get it. You love your kid. Its your flesh and blood therefore its a part of YOU. So yeah seeing a pic of your kid as your profile pic once in a while is awesome. However, I did NOT add your CHILD as a friend on facebook, I chose YOU. I mean, do you realize that strangers can see your child’s pic when they do searches even if you make your profile private? Why would you do that? Its a risk I would never take with my child. Plus I have issues with allowing any child under the age of 16 on facebook. These days with cyber bullying and what not its just not the safest thing in the world. Yes put up an album DEVOTED to your children so your friends and family can see them but its not you. Its kinda creepy. You are you, so BE you and put up a pic of yourself… this leads me to….

10) Seriously, why get a facebook if you refuse to post a pic of yourself or talk to people on it. Do you think youre ugly? Are you really that self conscious? If you are then you need to see a therapist. Its not hard. Friends can tag pics THEY put up of you and you can make it your profile pic. If I havent seen you in forever, I wanna know what you look like now. I cant hug you via the internet and see you. Cut me some slack! I got my pic up the least you can do is put yours up. If your excuse is you dont know how, you have friends dammit OR you have kids. FOUR year olds can post pics up for crying out loud let one of THEM do it. If you cant make that effort I dont understand why you bother having a facebook, social networking sites are NOT important. If your life is THAT hectic that you cant take 5 minutes to post a pic then you dont need to be on facebook.

So… I know this is just me being judgmental and overly opinionated but… thats the whole point. THIS is what I have been seeing on facebook for MONTHS now. Would you want to see this every time you logged into facebook?

Friends, please, take a rest. Talk about yourself every once in a while. Think about things that are positive. Try posting something good not just for the reader but for yourself. There has to be something to update on your status thats positive even if its something simple like “I got up today and am breathing” it will make me smile. It will make your friends smile too cuz that means you are still you and you exist.

I hope my opinions dont insult too many people. Its not my intention to hurt anyone. It was just my intention of venting my own frustrations so you wouldnt have to deal with it on a regular basis on dear old Facebook!

Don’t get people sometimes

August 21, 2010

La la la I can't hear you Natalia, you do not exist.

I admittedly have issues with being ignored. Its something I need to get over and learn to accept that not everyone in the world would want to pay attention to me or like me for that matter. Fine. I can try to accept that.

That being said, I noticed lately since being back, I have been pretty much ignored by specific people who will not be named.

Something happened while I was gone. I wont name the person or his family but this person has a problem. Hes had it for a while. I care about him deeply and wish him the best. I want to see this person make a full recovery from his demons however he needs to man up and take responsibility for his actions. However while I want him to do so, he is unattainable in a rehab center and therefore I can not contact him in regards to him paying for damages.

I tried contacting a family member who happens to be a friend of mine on facebook. Now dont misunderstand, Im highly aware that a “friend” on facebook is not necessarily a FRIEND friend. More like a connection that was a positive one that you would like to maintain knowledge of. Understood. However, if I contact you pertaining to someone we both know and even emphasize if you are to have nothing to do with this persons issue to please just let me know and I shall move on, I would assume you who claim to be highly intelligent would use said intelligence and tell me so. I dont really get the whole ignoring the message and ignoring my extremely sincere and apologetic IM chat. If you dont like me, have issues with me, or dont want to have anything to do with me then for the love of God and all that is holy do us both a favor and take me off your friends list!!!

There is this ritual I do once a month or few months. I go through my friends list. When I see someone that I have attempted to talk to that has never once returned a comment, said hello, or acknowledged my existence. I take them off. If they are someone I clearly feel disrespected by and they have no care in the world for my well being, they get taken off too. If you added me months ago and have yet to say hi, you are gone too.

Its rarely anything personal. I have taken people off that I never speak to and then when I do so get a message of “Hey! why did you take me off? Did I offend you? What the hell?”

No sir/madam, you did not offend me, you just never acknowledged me. I just assume either you forgot I was on your friends list, or you are too busy to read your facebook so whats the point? I take no offense to you and please take no offense to me for taking you off. If you in fact do sincerely want to be my friend on facebook and this is just your means of keeping tabs then by all means say so and I normally do my best to keep those people on my friends list because I know they check in but just dont talk.

Yeah all these details go into my facebook list. Now as for people like her, I just dont get it. Why keep around people you clearly dont like? Have you no idea how insulting it is, to ask someone a favor and be ignored. I would prefer a sorry I cant help you or a blatant “Im not getting involved” instead of a cold shoulder. Seriously take me off your friends list if you dont give a shit.

People, you would rid yourself of so much stress if you just were honest and took off people you really didnt like as friends on your fb. If it means them contacting you asking wtf is going on, then deal with it and tell them why you deleted them. If they dont like your answer, guess who’s issue it is, theres not yours.

Im giving it one more week and I can see a good 20 people getting taken off. Thats just for starters. I have like 300 friends. Some of which are networking people and such but many are people I do talk to and contact me. Yeah, Velvet D’Amour the plus sized diva, Stephen Suede Baum from Project Runway, and Justin Tranter from Semi Precious Weapons (to name a few) have at least responded to a comment or two. Meanwhile people who I actually knew for years are on here and dont give me the time of day. Yeah time to clean out the attic.

Puerto Rico Vacation – The Final Chapter

August 20, 2010

Old San Juan

So there are two days left to this vacation… lets get them started

Day 7: Friday August 13th

Yeah, it was Friday the THIRTEENTH. Brilliant. Well this was our last day of actually accomplishing anything. So we went to the barrio to say our goodbyes. We stopped by Tito’s OTB and he told us he has someone that can fix up his house and fix some leaks and stuff that are a consistent problem. That made me feel a bit better. My mom’s cousin Maggie unexpectedly showed up so we got to say goodbye to her and her husband as well. We got to my great grandpa’s and stayed a while. We wanted to leave because at this point there were tons of fireants in his place and we were being bitten a lot. So we stayed as long as we could and made sure he understood we were going back up to NY. He understood and he was ok. As we were walking out the door though he started crying. It was so sad. Mainly because he wasnt truly sad. They were tears of joy. He told us how happy he was to know that he had so many people come to check up on him no matter how hard it is for them to go to see him. He loved that he was loved. He was scared though. He admitted that even though he was happy that we got to see him, he truly wishes that he will be alive long enough for us to see him next year. He really doesnt think he will be here that long. I know, really depressing but its what happened. The bus ride back was really sad. Mom felt horrible. She didnt want to leave him. We never want to leave him. We wish we could bring him up here but he cant and he refuses. Mom doesnt want to lose him. I mean, 98 years is a long time to be on this earth. I have a fear of death and I wish we were all immortal but at that age if someone is ready to go she needs to respect and be thankful that hes been around as long as he has been. Mom was silent the entire bus ride back.
We went straight to Old San Juan (of course) and bought whatever souvenirs (not many) that we needed to buy and decided we should try the trolley. There is a trolley that goes all around Old San Juan. Two actually. We went to ask where we could get it and we find out its free! Aint that something??? All these years we’ve trekked Old San Juan and felt like we were missing certain areas because we would get tired and we never took the trolley because we thought it was really expensive. I mean its a touristy thing to do and if any of you take those double decker buses here in NYC its like 40 bucks! So how awesome is that?? We figured look its a steep ass walk all the way up to where El Morro is (or at least the view of it is) so why not take the trolley up? So we take the trolley. Welll the good news is that the trolley is awesome. Apparently those who take it either work in the area or live there so whenever someone gets on everyone cheers or welcomes them happily. They are very sweet and if you are a new person they are still really nice. It was a very family feel on that trolley and I loved every minute of it!
The bad news is that we got on the wrong trolley lol. We ended up back where we were cuz it goes around hahaa. Its ok though we were in an air conditioned trolley and got to sit down for a little bit so we had enough energy to walk up the long hill. It was not bad at all. We stopped a few times and when we got up there, omg soooo worth it. The view is breathtaking. You see El Morro, the water, and you are so high up you just have awesome views. I bet the people who live in those little townhouse type places love every minute of waking up. From there we took more pics and ate at El Patio de Sam restaurant. Its a staple. Mom and Dad used to go there all the time when they were living down there. The navymen would go there as well and she knew the owner and her friend Lydia worked there. So she has a lot of history with the place. Mom was feeling a little better and we got some great food. From there we went back to the hotel and packed.

Day 8: Saturday August 14th

Our stay in PR that day went quickly. We got up, got ready, finished packing, went to breakfast, then got a cab to the airport. Check-in, security (they confiscated my deodorant, i forgot it was an aerosol can dammit) and wait to get on the plane went very quickly. We got on and took off.
Guys from the moment of take off there was turbulence. Where my flight to PR made me believe I was getting over my fear of flying, this flight brought it back. Within one minute of being in the air, the plane did this quick and deep dip in the air to the point that a few people gasped and held on for dear life. From that point on I was a total mess. I was practically digging my nails into the chair. I did my best to stay distracted. Watched tv, had my ipod on, read the recipe book I bought Christie, and copied down recipes into my notebook. It was a rocky flight. I was not happy. When we finally got to JFK I was sooooooooooooo happy to be off the plane.
My uncle and godfather were waiting for us at baggage claim. They looked wrecked. My uncle just looked tired and old. My godfather looked very sick. I told them that taking a cab wouldnt have been a problem but they insisted and they looked like it was too much for them. Thankfully my godfather didnt give us grief this time around. He was very quiet most of the time. We got home and a smile came across my face when Jay was there waiting. I was so happy he was there. Then of course he told me stuff I wasnt happy to hear.
I told him it was fine to have people over. I even knew one particular person would be there. I was aware of this persons issues but I figured “hey he knows better and there shouldnt be a problem”. Well, said person went to the apartment very drunk, chipped a piece of the table that has my grandma’s picture on it which is like a mini shrine. On top of that, my mom buys those toilet seats that are like 50 bucks where its got shells on them or some other fancy design, well he broke it to the point that you could actually cut your ass if you sat on it!. Jay looked devastated and soo sorry but the fact of the matter is, I knew this person was capable and if we were there, it probably would have happened anyways. What gets me, is that he tried to hide that it happened. Hes indisposed at the moment but I expect him to pay for it. Hes a good friend and I truly care about him but he needs to be a big boy now and take responsibility for his actions. Be a man and fix shit you fuck up. He left Jay to tell me what happened and yet hes the one that fucked up. Really angry at him but I still consider him a good friend. I wish him the best and truly hope he gets the help he needs but yeah, fix my shit dammit! LOL.

Other than that I was still super happy to be home and I still am. I do miss PR already though. I am so excited. I have a lot to think about and a lot to do.

I know this much. Before next August, I would like to spend a month in PR in Old San Juan. I figure I would stay there an entire month but I would have friends stay for like a week at a time. I mean the dumpy hotel we stayed at was 125 a night, and I would just charge friends like 200 bucks for the entire week. That way most friends who wanna come down can and it would be fun! I would also be doing research on opening a venue though and visiting family. There would be a lot going on.

Like I said a lot to think about. I came back with a mission and I intend on accomplishing a lot before going down there for good.

Puerto Rico Vacation… Part 2

August 18, 2010

Coast of Old San Juan and La Perla close to El Morro

So where was I? Oh yes, I was on Day 3 so lets move on….

Day 4: Tuesday August 10th

Well, mom went on her own to the Barrio to visit my great grandpa. After the day before I needed a break. There is only so much you can take of an old man who wont stop talking craziness, is messy, and forgets who you are. He has no problem remembering mom and mom thought it best I get used to just being on my own in PR even if it was only for a day or two (ends up only for a day but we’ll get back to that).
While mom went to the barrio, I headed to the beach up the block from where we were staying! Woohoo! Yes! I actually went to the beach! I not only went there, I had a bathing suit on! (Finally), rented a chaise for 5 bucks, and went into the water deep enough to go under a few times. Yup! All by myself! Like a big girl! I also videotaped myself ranting but it didnt come out (boo). After that, I noticed the sun was disappearing so I headed back to the hotel, showered, got changed, and noticed it started to pour so I just chilled and watched tv for about a half hour. It cleared up long enough for me to go get a bus and head on out to Old San Juan just to walk around, see some vacant buildings, and NOT be a tourist. It was awesome!!! It DOWNPOURED! LIKE MAJOR. You had to see all the tourists just SCRAMBLING for places to hide and stores to duck into. I was in one when it happened and these two ladies from Seattle were like “Oh my God it rains a lot where we are from but NEVER like this” The only people who were out there were people who lived there so what to do but go out in the rain. It felt great. I mean I dont think you guys understand how Old San Juan streets are. They are extremely narrow and filled with people. So imagine the ease I felt walking down these empty streets with my umbrella. I could go slow, stop and windowshop, read menus, and continue on my way. Tourists would look at me like I was crazy. Locals would see me and just instantly ask me questions in spanish. Granted, you are in Puerto Rico but people mainly speak english in most places and when they see me I am instantly a gringa so when they started doing that it made me feel good. They automatically assumed I was from there and it made me smile. Being on my own felt fabulous. It was the best I felt my entire trip!
Mom met up with me in Old San Juan after having a grueling day with my grandpa. The cathedral was actually open so we went to church then went to Starbucks… cuz well, ya gotta! The Starbucks in PR is nice and since my mom wasnt feeling well and hates Starbucks coffee, I introduced her to Chai and she fucking LOVES it now. Mom had a rough day with my great grandpa. He was disoriented and argued with her about where he was going, insisting that she was wrong meanwhile he was the one that forgot where he lived lol. We go a late lunch at La Bombonera which is an extremely old diner in Old San Juan and very famous. We split a Cuban sandwhich, had their famous Orange Juice (its really good) and after walking around a bit we went back to the Condado and ate… pizza. Yeah I know “What? You have all that great PR food and you chose Pizza?!?!” Well yes, because Danny’s on Ashford Avenue sells some awesome yummy pizza. A personal pizza can fill up two people. If you ever find yourself in the Condado area, I highly suggest it.

Day 5: Wednesday August 11

Well it was supposed to be my other day on my own but mom got so sick with vertigo from running around with my great grandpa that she needed a day off from him too. We ended up going to Rio Piedras cuz my mom insisted that stuff was cheaper there.
Well we get there and its ok. I mean had I needed to buy anything in the area it would have been awesome but I bought what I needed to for the most part except sneakers. Flip flops were not cutting it in PR with all the walking. So I needed me some sneakers as did mom. Its a cool place to shop and yes it is cheaper but if you guys are familiar with shopping in areas of NY like Jamaica Avenue, Fulton Street, and Fordham Rd by the Grand Concourse you know how it is. Fairly ghetto but the people are nice and you get some great deals. Sadly no sneakers so we ended up going back to the mall.
Yeah all of our endeavors to seek out a unique yet affordable place to get awesome sneakers led us to freaggin Pay Less Shoes. Go figure. We bought our stuff and then took a cab Old San Juan for dinner. We ended up in Hard Rock Cafe.
Now I know what youre thinking. “UGH Natalia seriously?!? Out of all the restaurants around there, thats what you chose?” Yes! And Im sooooo glad I did cuz I met some awesome people that truly validated my goal in opening a venue in PR. I went in and the guy who seated us was really cool. It was early enough that there were hardly any people in there so he ended up actually sitting with us for a little while and I dunno how it came up but I mentioned wanting to open a rock venue there and his eyes lit up! He proceeded to tell me that almost everyone who works there is either in a band or works with musicians. He told me the woman in charge of merchandise there would love to talk to me and sure enough within 5 minutes he brought her over and we talked for a good 20 minutes about what i need to do who to trust and what the music scene is like in PR. The bottom line is: There is a demand for a venue like mine and I should put it in Old San Juan since thats where most artists live. I was very excited. I had a great dinner and went to sleep happy and soundly.

Day 6: Thuresday August 12

Ok we had our break and went back to the barrio. We go back to the senior center and he wasnt there. So we went to his place. There he was, shirtless as usual and sitting in the patio. Gummy smile and all haha. We hang out and talk for a while and I keep on hearing this weird noise. I look around, see nothing. Go about my business. I open up his fridge to get a bottle of water out. Hear the noise again. What the hell? Then I see the black dog come from outside into the house and I think to myself “Gee, her tummy is smaller than last time”. I see her run underneath the table and I realize “Oh shit. She had her puppies and they are UNDERNEATH THE TABLE!” I tell my great grandpa and he smiles cuz he had no idea (he cant hear or see very well) so he was happy cuz he wanted to sell them. I tell him he cant sell them right away because they were just born and need to be nursed by their mother for at least 2 to 3 weeks and thats still risky. I dont think he got me but I know he cant do anything yet. We didnt know what to do so we just left them there and kept on giving the momma dog water and a little food. It was hard to feed her though because shes so scared of people that if you throw her some food she runs from it. It took seeing the daddy eat from my hand to realize i was trying to give her something good. Even then she would snatch it and run away. I tried to get close to see the puppies but she would growl something fierce so we realized we needed to stay away. I THINK there were about 5 in the litter but dont quote me on that lol. Too cute from what I could see. Awww.
After going there we went back to the hotel and then decided to FINALLY check out Isla Verde. You know my uncle kept on insisting that Isla Verde was a good place to go and even wanted us to stay in a hotel there. I really didnt think it was a good idea and Im glad I stuck to my instincts. Its not easy to get to and we are not familiar with the area so to get to the barrio was going to be confusing for us.
OMG guys, Isla Verde was so fucking boring! Its pretty, got nice hotels, condos, and clean streets. The restaurants are few. They are normally in the hotels and expensive, like steak houses and japanese places. We saw one Puerto Rican diner and we ate there mainly cuz we had no other option. There were soooo many strip malls and most of them had fast food, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Long John Silvers, Dennys, and omg one of the few MacDonalds in PR, it was ridiculous. I dont get why its become the new place to be cuz it sucks ass! Now granted the diner we ended up eating in had some AWESOME mofongo mmmmm and the people were nice but to go out to Isla Verde for that really wasnt worth it. What we DID go out there for though was Pio Bello Gelato and sadly it was NOT what we expected.
The Pio Bello we were used to was a place that was devoted to different sundaes and desserts devoted to gelato. Mom and I would always get this one tropical one where it was two scoops of vanilla gelato with fresh bananas, oranges, papaya, pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc. So yummy and they would have the different options of sundaes up on the wall and you would pick whichever one you wanted and if you also wanted food, they even had a menu of sandwiches and stuff but that was secondary. Well, this was not what it used to be. There was just a freezer with some flavors of gelato and if you sat down you were sitting down for food. On the menu there was not one mention of gelato. It broke our heart. We got a scoop each of some gelato. It was alright but not what we wanted. Defeated, we left and vowed never to go back. The bright side was that we now knew what we were missing and were right in our perception of Isla Verde. Its a great place if you are a resident of PR over the age of 65. However mom is 68 and she hated it so I guess its up to you lol.

Im gonna end it hear and write part 3 when I have the energy!

Puerto Rico Part 1:…..

August 16, 2010

Day One: Saturday August 7th

Took the flight to PR from NYC. Was nervous as always. Not a fan of flying and it didnt help that there was a tropical depression around Bermuda which was where the plane was to pass over so our pilot changed the route. Trust me, in the end it was an awesome idea, the plane had extremely minor turbulence, but he had to sign a whole mess of papers which made us over an hour delayed. It was worth it, I wasnt as scared as I normally was for a flight.
Once we got off the flight, we got our bags and took a cab. We ended up sharing it with two girls who were heading to Isla Verde and staying at El San Juan Hotel and Casino. Meanwhile we were going to the Comfort Inn by the Lagoon in the Condado area. On our way to their hotel we got a nice view of Isla Verde. Very pretty. Beautiful resort looking area. We also noticed there was Piu Bello Gelato! You dont understand, mom and I loved that place for years in our visits to PR. The sad thing is that last year we noticed the one we frequented was gone in the Condado area so we were very sad. When we saw this one, we were overjoyed! We knew one day during our trip we had to venture out to Isla Verde and have some. More on that later…
Meanwhile we get to the girls’ hotel. Oh my God! So so so posh! Its owned by the same company who run the Waldorff Astoria in NYC so of course its over the top with huge fountains, sculptures, etc. Then, we head on out to OUR hotel….this was probably a mistake. I think we should have been dropped off first lol.
Our hotel in comparison is a DUMP! Don’t get me wrong, it was doable but ugh, where there was posh and classy at one hotel there was chipped paint, wobbly banisters, scary elevators that wouldnt land level on the floor, and bitchy male concierge who didnt want to do their job. The room was insanely small. The two paintings on our walls were cool and the bed the first few nights were comfy but there is such a thing as tooooo soft. After a while my back was killing me. The continental breakfast was a joke. We saw the woman running it try to hide what she was doing. Mixing the tropicana orange juice from a carton with water. Blegh! The food was making us sick so we ended up just buying breakfast elsewhere. Oh and where it said in the brochure that internet access was available, there should have been at least a fine print. Normally when you advertise that it suggests that its included. It wasnt. 3 bucks for a half hour. Losers! The only cool thing was that the people who clean were extremely sweet as were the female concierge workers who were there during the day. It was doable for a week but I truly hope to never go back there.
Once we unpacked we went to Fuddruckers for dinner. It was yummeh!

Day 2: Sunday August 8th

Woke up and went directly to the Barrio. I mean, hello, its the main reason we went out to PR in the first place, to visit my great grandpa Nando! The buses are 75 cents which is cool but if you miss one, you have to wait a “half hour”. I put it in quotes because even though thats what they say, its really depending on the drivers and the drivers are fairly lazy. They arent paid enough to care that you got places to go, you’re elderly, disabled, or pregnant. They will go when they are good and ready and for 75 cents you should stop complaining and shut your piehole! So we do! And you know what? Its all gravy baby because the ride is fun and the drivers are generally extremely friendly and helpful if youre lost. Plus the people who take the bus with you are also really friendly so you strike up some awesome conversations.
We get off at Villa Palmeras to go to the cemetery to see our family’s plot. Morbid? Perhaps. Tradition? Absolutely! My moms grandparents and my grandmother are buried there. Ya gotta pay your respects and plus its a really cool looking, ancient, somewhat disturbing, yet really pretty place. We pay our respects and then walk down to this corner luncheonette type place. Get a glass of Mavi (type of root based drink that tastes like apple cider kinda sorta) and a pastelillo (fried empanada type thing stuffed with meat). From there we go and visit my moms cousin Tito at his OTB place and then off to visit my great grandpa!
OMG they painted the shack! Its this bright blue color. Not my color choice but hey anything is an improvement! We were so glad to see the changes and there were many! We shout out to him and hes thrilled to see us! This huge gummy smile (lol he has no teeth left) and out from behind him run out these two doggies. A male chihuahua/jack russell mix and a pregnant black mutt. Mom got nervous but once he opened the door they both went running away which made my mom happy lol. When we get in its shockingly clean! You dont understand, I normally will only go as far as the patio because the smell of urine is disgusting and the two broken chairs he owned were filthy. This time around, he had new furniture covered in plastic and the floors were cleaned, most of the crap was gone, new fridge, and it wasnt as smelly. It wasnt spotless. It wasnt totally clean and still kinda grungy but in comparison, I was able to sit down in a cushioned seat (granted covered in plastic) and spend some time in there. As for my great grandpa, his hearing is worse, his dementia is worth, he has no teeth but he seems FINE!!! He was happy, he was talking (diarrhea of the mouth) and he was strong. He even gained a small amount of weight. Thankfully Maria (the one woman from the senior center) goes to bring him food, clean, etc. So that has helped immensely. She even got him a hair cut and it looks great. We stayed a while, chatted, and then headed on out to Old San Juan.
Mom wanted to go to church (it was Sunday afterall) so we intended to go to San Juan Cathedral. Well when we got there it was closed!! On a SUNDAY! Mom was really shocked and angry but the San Christo Chapel was open so she got to pray there. We walked around and then went to the Princess Plaza for the Sunday Music Festival. Basically every Sunday live music is performed. Generally salsa and merengue and the elderly for the most part go with their fold out chairs and stay the day. We ate dinner, had some mojitos, and then met up with my moms cousin Maggie and her husband Ferndando. We hung out till nightfall and mom had a lot of fun reminiscing with her cousin. They then took us back to the hotel. Mom decided to go to the casino for a bit and I stayed at the hotel. Yeah mom went out late at night. When does she EVER do that? LOL.

Day 3: Monday August 9th
Back in the Barrio. Went to the Senior Center and see my grandpa just gumming his way through lunch haha. He was happy to see us and we met up with Maria who has been helping us with him. We then went to buy him items he needed. A thermos since he cant make coffee for himself and groceries. When I got back to his place… he didnt remember me!! LOL. He wouldnt open the door for me my mom did. When he asked me who I was I went “Grandpa, its ME!!” and he went “Oh shit I didnt recognize you!” lol. Ohhh grandpa and your crazy dementia!!! LOL
After that we went and did some laundry for him but when we were done and were bringing it back… he was gone! He went back to the senior center so we just opened the door, dropped off his laundry and headed to the bus stop so we can go to the mall. Btw guys, it rained EVERY day we were there! It was cool though because PR rain is AWESOME. Its nice and sunny, then it gets cloudy, POURS, stops and its like nothing happened. Well while waiting for the bus it POURED and it took forever for the bus to show up. The cool thing was we met a cool mom and teen daughter from Lima, Peru who were also staying in the Condado area. While on the bus ride we decided to meet up toward the end of the night to share a cab back to the area. Woohoo saved money!.
The mall itself is always fun and we always get great stuff. I was extremely happy to see that they opened a Torrid in the mall. Woohoo!!! I bought at Mariannes though cuz its cheaper. I also got the new Miguel Bose cd, Cardio and its awesome as always. From there we met up with the ladies (btw the mom had a horrible collagen disaster, think of Pete Burnes from Dead or Alive, like a truly disfigured lip which was sad cuz she was a beautiful woman otherwise). We shared a cab back and sadly I realized not only did we not get their names, we never exchanged info. We just enjoyed each others company so much it was so comfortable we didnt think of even doing that because it was like talking to a family member we knew for years. Sometimes it just happens that way. Yet another beautiful day over.

Ok Ive been writing this for a while so I say, part 1…. DONE!

I’m back from PR with LOADS to say

August 16, 2010

One of the many awesome streets of Old San Juan

Yeah, totally have loads to say however I know it would take forever in a day. Therefore, documentation of my journey will be written in parts. Day one is about 2 pages long, Day 2 is a long one as well. Therefore putting it in parts will be the best idea.

Its 530 in the a freaggin m and I can not bring myself to do it now so you will just have to wait until later after I actually get a decent amount of sleep.

Happy to be home but already wishing I was in PR again!

We dont treat ’em right here!

July 5, 2010

You know events that have happened within the past hour or two have lead me to speak out for the elderly.

There is this old man that lives in our building. Jewish American guy, really talks a lot and loud but he’s a sweet man who has recently had trouble staying upright. I’ve seen the guy fall like 3 times and nothing would trigger it. It happens sometimes. Anyways, he was a good guy, you can tell he was one of those 40 year old hippies in the 60s he would talk about doing sit ins and protests with his son against the Vietnam War. His son passed away from something I cant recall before I was even born. I think 1973 or something. Anyways he’s always been alone. His only real friend was the security guard downstairs. The security guard liked him because, well, if anyone has been in my building the security guard really isnt a security guard. Its just a dude that sits in the lobby and …. thats it so the old man would keep him company. They were friends.

Well, mom said hi to the security guard about 3 days ago and the security guard asked if she had seen him. He hadnt seen him for 3 days. Its not like him he was worried. Mom recommended to him to go up and check. He’s not allowed. She recommended calling the cops. He can’t do that either. I knew that. Its happened before. Security called the cops when a woman wasnt answering her door and he got fired because hes supposed to go through the main office first and THEY are supposed to call the police. So I recommended he do that, so he and mom went to the office. The guy in the office said that he cant break in but he would call.

Well nothing ever happened however living on the 9th floor, I started smelling this faint smell. I thought it was the garbage room so I dismissed it. I got home last night and by the time the elevator was hitting the 7th floor I smelled it again. When I got off on my floor, it smelled HORRIBLE. I checked the garbage room, it was clean. I got into my apartment, thankfully it didnt smell in there. Mom opened the door this morning and it smelled really bad. Mom went downstairs and told the security guard and he got nervous. He came up to our floor, and smelled it. He said Oh my God what is that. We have to go up to the 14th floor. Mom and him went up to the 14th floor, a few minutes later, mom came down and threw up. She said it smelled 10x times worse and coudlnt stay up there. Mom said he was calling the cops. I told her she needed to go back up cuz I knew they were gonna ask questions, instead she went to the lobby to wait for them. The cops broke down the door and there he was on the floor, between his bed and the window. He was dead for days.

Here’s what I don’t get. He is NOT the only person who lives on the 14th Floor. If we smelled a faint nasty smell on the 9TH floor DAYS ago. How the hell did NO ONE on the 14th Floor say anything? Mom said she told the lady at the lotto place she frequents about what happened and she said she saw him on Wednesday. He went there, played the lotto, bought a cup of coffee and that was it. So since Wednesday he was lying on the floor in his bedroom. The cops yelled at the security guard for not saying anything but mom said she defended him and told the cops that they BOTH told the office manager about it as he was told to do and they did nothing. So the cops are now there with him, trying to find family.

You know, in many countries, when a family member gets old you take care of them. There is a sense of respect and hommage paid. Like a thank you for your contribution to this world the least we can do is see if you are ok. For some reason this country really doesnt do that. I hate that my great grandpa is by himself in Puerto Rico but I am blessed to know that people check on him every day and if something goes wrong we get a phone call. Thats the LEAST that should be done.

Look I know the elderly can be mean spirited at times, and just annoying. It doesn’t mean that they should be neglected. There are tons of agencies and stuff but it has to come out of their social security and what not and after all their years on this earth people should just make the effort to see how they are once a day just out the goodness of their heart. In many countries, this would be an utter outrage. I get it that he had no family. I get it. It happens. However in certain places, when there is an elderly person in a small town, the town itself will have people go and see how they are, bring them food, check to see if they are ok, etc. It just seems like it doesnt happen here unless there is money involved. Everyone in the building knew him, a lot of people thought he was annoying. I know for a fact that the security guard didnt just ask US about him, because he knows the other people who live on the 14th floor. Yet no one checked. At least mom and I tried to get the office to do something and they didnt lift a fucking finger! That HAS to be wrong.

People, respect your elders. Sure there are some that you would rather stay clear from but just think of it as your good deed for the day. Many are worthy of more than just a hello. I know one of my biggest fears is dying without anyone around. It breaks my heart to know that there was a chance that he would have been alive if someone went to help him. The cop said it could have just been a heart attack or something and could have been saved if someone checked on him. Of course he doesn’t know exactly what happened but still it is a possibility and that breaks my heart.

You know what’s awesome?

June 15, 2010

You know what I find really awesome? Its one of many things but what really makes me happy lately are smiles. I know, it sounds stupid but its true. When you are smiled at, it just makes you feel a little better. Even when you are feeling like crap and everything is going wrong, when someone smiles at you, you truly have no other option but to smile back.

I mean, ok, TECHNICALLY, you dont HAVE to. However if you dont you make the person feel awkward or bad or insult them and they’ve done nothing but be nice enough to smile at you so why on earth wouldn’t you? So you do it and you know what? It makes you feel a lot better.

I have been feeling so BLAH lately. Not truly depressed but just have tons on my mind and I guess just a bit overwhelmed. There isnt much lately that I feel fabulous about.

Don’t misunderstand, I have high hopes and truly have been hopeful, inspired, determined, and damn proud of myself for having that and feeling that. However I dunno, I guess I just dont feel so accomplished lately. Im holding myself back I suppose.

At any rate it leaves this blah feeling inside. I walk down the street by myself, feeling lonely, and I look up and get a random smile. It makes my day.

Well… my few minutes or hour.

It just makes me feel better because one of the things I dont believe people realize about being overweight is what we perceive or feel from other people. I think everyone assumes the dread that we have is to be made fun of. That our daily routine includes chastisement because as children that is in fact what we get from our fellow classmates who see us everyday.

When you are a grown up, yeah it does happen but not as often. What do we really get dealt with? Invisibility. Utter disregard and invisibility.

What was once chastisement has become non existence. When you are big and you are in a bar, you dont get the remarks or the staring. You actually get flat out ignored. When walking down the street people generally just look the other way and say nothing to you. You are not worthy of attention.

I know some people like that but as someone who is an entertainer, yeah it bugs me. So when I am walking down the street or on the train or the bus and someone just smiles at me and goes about their business they are not just passing off a minimal facial expression. They are saying “Hello, I see you, have a nice day” and they go about their business. I am worthy of a smile. I am worthy of acknowledgment. Its a great feeling.

The other thing that happens with a smile is you feel motivated to do it yourself. Once Im smiled at, I can guarantee that Im smiling at other people throughout the day and there are a few others who will smile back thus extending that good feeling.

And that good feeling I get, I spread to others so its like paying it forward. Its pretty awesome.

Its weird too, when I go down to PR and people do it much more frequently than here in the insane city that is NYC at first you question it. “Do I know them?”, “is there something on my face?”, “are they flirting with me?”. No that’s just how they go about their day.

Not to mention the fact that they will also say “Hello”, and “Have a Nice Day”. (In Spanish of course), men give up their seats on buses just out of custom and what not. When that happens, you cant help but be in a good mood.

I know its not just in PR it happens in the South too. Im sure it happens in other places more often as well however here in NYC not often enough.

However, in the meantime, while I inhabit this kick ass city, I will cherish each smile I get since I am fully aware how hard they are to come by.

Smile New York!!!!