Archive for August, 2010

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!