QotD: Naughty or Nice? Complete badass.

Have you ever secretly unwrapped a gift before the big day? 
Submitted by Red Pen.

When I was just a little thing, I used to think that it was so cool to be able to sneak in and out of places and no one ever knew that I was or had been there.  As the perfect cat burglar, I was the queen of finding out what we were getting for Christmas long before Christmas morning. 

My parents either weren't the best at hiding presents or they just flat out didn't try to hide them which is more likely considering the other things that they never tried to hide.  So every year, the presents were in the back corner of my dad's bedroom closet and every year, on a Sunday night, when my parents were at the bowling alley, the recon mission began.

League play started at 7 and the lanes were about 10 minutes away, therefore my mom and dad left at about 6:30.  (I didn't find out until later that there were pre-bowling preparations such as getting coffee/beer/chicken wings/etc.  Besides that, my dad was VERY against shoing up on CP time.)  For an agonizing 30 minutes, my brother and I sat around the house, just waiting for the clock to strike 7, for the pins to start falling, for the tape to be slowly and carefully peeled back.

At the stroke of 7, we entered the sacred closet.  We both took a mental picture of how the presents were placed in the closet so we could return them in the exact same manner.  One by one, we would take them out of the closet.  My brother, always more excited about Christmas than I was, he always got better gifts, but I digress, would pick out a couple things that he just HAD TO KNOW about what was in the box.  With my super steady 11 year old hand, I would carefully peel back the tape without ripping any paper and unwrap the box enough so that we could see the treasure inside.  After all was said and done, I would carefully rewrap everything and place it back into the closet.  After a while, I had gotten so good at it, that even if I ripped the paper a little, I could put it back exactly where it was and place another piece of tape on top so that it looked like nothing ever happened.

All that practice growing up and nowhere to apply it in the real, grownup world since being a cat burglar might pay the bills, but there's no health insurance.  Now that I have a daughter of my own, I don't even put the presents under the tree until Christmas eve and we keep our bedroom door locked.  :-) 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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Speaking English in Miami

It's lunchtime.  I brought my lunch today but every once in a while, I just need to step outside of the office.  For a little while, I want to not breathe the recycled, recirculated, germ-laden air in our office.  I want to see the sun, feel a breeze.  (I work in the South Beach area, which means I'm breathing the urine-scented, probably even MORE germ-laden air, but I digress.)

I step outside into the nice warm air that is a million times warmer than the refrigerated air that is pumped into our office via a vent directly over my head.  I contemplate crossing the street but I don't want to walk to the corner and a Miami Beach officer just pulled up and it would be just my luck that he'd harass me for jaywalking.  (On a side note, do police still do that?)

SIDEBAR: If you haven't had the pleasure, opportunity, bad luck to venture down Washington Ave during the day, here's what you're missing:  real homeless people asking for money, pseudo-homeless people asking for money (the fake ones are way too clean and tend to have new sneakers on), sorry to be so un-PC, but crazy people, talking to themselves and bumming smokes, driving on the sidewalk (bikes, boards, skates), walking in the streets, and about every half block, someone trying to give you a flyer for something be it a club, religion, new music, whatever.  Get on a plane!  This can't stay here forever!

I think that I've made it through steps 1 through 6 and am about to take step 7 outside the building when I am approached by a flyer guy.  It went a little something like this:

FG: Aaaaaay, mami, you peaki pani?

Translation: Pardon me miss, do you speak Spanish?

Me: rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (while squeezing my eyes shut and shaking my head like a dog that just got sprayed with the hose)

FG: Uhhhh.  (walks away quickly)

I am one of the few people in Miami that doesn't speak Spanish, apparently.  Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against the language or the people.  I lived in Mexico for almost 2 years (and yes, I still don't speak Spanish) and the love of my life is of Cuban decent.  It's such a melting pot here, but I can't quite understand why people automatically think that I speak Spanish.  Granted, I don't look like Buffy from the country club (African-American, loc-ed hair, sadly, no ghetto booty — why am I the only black girl on earth with no ass??), but why not shoot for English first?  Honestly, if I'm in Mexico, I shoot for Spanish when I ask questions.  In France, I'd give French a shot, but give up quickly and head on home for some Freedom Fries from McDonalds.  So why, in the US, can we not go for English first? 

By the way, it isn't just Spanish that people assume I speak.  I think that I get mistaken for Dominican and that's where it comes from, but I also get mistaken for Haitian because often enough, someone will start going on in Creole until I start giving them the dog spray.

I'm not going the way of the lunatic from Colorado who thinks that Miami is a "third world country", far from it.  I hope.  I certainly don't want to be seen as "that girl".  I just want people to respect our country and our language just like they would any other country or its language.  Is that so wrong?  Talk amongst yourselves.

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QotD: My Favorite Holiday Traditions

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
Submitted by sami711.

When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was a special night.  Not only was it one more sleep until the shredding of the wrapping paper, not only was it (still is) my brother's birthday, but it was a time when we cleared off the kitchen table, laid newspaper down over it, and ate fondue and crab legs until we exploded.

My dad would get out the huge boiler and just cook and cook and cook.  Sometimes the neighbors would come over, sometimes my godparents would come over.  But no matter who was there, the tree was always up, the bubble lights were on, the bird ornament was chirping, and The Temptations were there on the record player (yes, old school) singing us Christmas carols. 

The neighbors are still at home as are my godparents.  My brother's in NC, my mom's in north FL, I'm in south FL, and my dad's gone on to a better place.  We won't be together this year but I hope that everyone will still take a moment and think about the days gone by, the good times that we had.  That's what it's really all about.  Being with your family and making memories and traditions to pass along through the generations.  Miss you dad.

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Ladies room etiquette

Why is it that we, the fairer sex, are such disgusting pigs when it comes to public restrooms?  What exactly happens when the doorknob is turned/door is pushed open?  Every female out there cannot be such a pig, even when hammered in Coconut Grove on a Saturday night.  I think I will take this opportunity to re-state some ground rules.

Office etiquette

Now, I can't speak for every office building in the country, state, city, or even county, but I think that if we followed some simple rules, we could all benefit.

Using our office as an example, we have three stalls in the ladies room (on our floor).  Two small stalls and one larger, handicapped-accessible stall on the far end.  I know who works here and I also know that we do not currently have anyone on this floor, or in this building that has use for the far stall.  This stall is the furthest from the door (which doesn't really make sense to make the handicapped ladies go further to use the facilities) and therefore should be used for those times when you really have no other choice but to, ahem, drop a deuce at work.  If we all followed this unwritten rule, no one would get slapped in the nose with a turd when walking into one of the smaller stalls.  At least if you go into the large stall, you can brace yourself for the potential smell.  Ladies.  Please.  Poo in the far stall.  It could be your own nose you save.

PS.  Having 7 to 10 cups of coffee a day does NOT help the situation.

Bar/Restaurant/Club etiquette

Okay girls, I know that you're out partying and having a grand old time, but when it comes time to break the seal, think about the rest of the party-goers, huh?

    • Please don't pee on the seat!  If we bitch at our boyfriends/husbands/little brothers/fathers not to do it, then why do we ignore our own rules?!?!  I know, I know, sometimes it just gets out of hand.
        • Sidebar – Gentlemen, yes, we shave/wax our tender nibbles for you, but know that pubic hair has a purpose and that purpose is to guide pee to the bowl without having it splash on our thighs, calfs, toilet seats.  So, feel lucky if your lady goes through that crap just for you.
    • If you do pee on the seat, wipe it off you drunk, lazy wench!  First and foremost, I can aim with the best of them, so you won't EVER see me put my ass on a public toilet seat.  If by chance I miss though, I am always certain to clean up after myself.  There is nothing more disgusting than going into a bathroom and seeing pee on the seat.  After all, it may be your head and face that will end up awfully close to that seat after that 20th shot of tequila that you shouldn't have had.
    • Keep your feminine hygeine products where they belong!  You know what I mean.  Get it in the garbage can.  Why are women so damn nasty?

That's my rant for the day.  Keep it clean ladies.

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DDT!

No, not the chemical, the wrestling move.

My job used to be very physical.  I taught little kiddies (and big kiddies too) how to fly through the air with the greatest of ease with the least amount of pain possible.  Don't get me wrong.  It isn't painful if you just listen to what you're told, so don't use this as an excuse to not try it out.  I used to be pretty buff.  I handed out tickets to the gun show every time I pointed.  I didn't get hurt often, but when I did, I reverted to just being a girl.

In an attempt to keep the peace in a class (on the ground) and to make sure that everyone got a turn, I assisted a little girl (who was not so little) on the static trapeze.  Said child had a tendency to not listen.  Of course, she slipped right off of the trapeze.  It isn't high.  It was about 4 feet.  Because it was my job, I saved her from splitting her skull and spilling brains all over my mat.  Unfortunately, in the process, the child decided to freak out while almost in my arms and somehow managed to bend my thumb backwards…to about my elbow. 

I refrained from throwing her as far as I could onto her head.  I placed her gently on the floor, feet first even, and then snuck into the back where I could curse this child and her firstborn.  I don't know if you've ever been on a trapeze, but suffice it to say that YOU NEED BOTH THUMBS!  A part of my job included putting on several shows a week, many of which involved me using my thumbs so this little booger machine put a hurting on me.

Skip ahead about two days.  All of the shows for the week have been completed and it's time to go out and party Carlos n' Charlies style.  The alcohol was flowing rather freely, as it did on most nights there.  I'll be the first to admit that I had my fair share (and your fair share, and hers, and his), so I was feeling no pain.  Until…

Brynn (a girl I worked with) decided that it was a good time to have a little fight.  I'd venture to say that Brynn and I were the toughest girls around at that time and there was a play fight or two just to see who was tougher.  We both knew it was jokes, never took it seriously or personal.  Mind you, I was more than half in the bag, but I think it went a little something like this:

B approached me in the manner of play fighting.  I responded.  All was fun and games.  B happened to grab the hand with the bent-back thumb and bent it back again.  At this point, everything ceased to exist except the pain in my thumb.  I now know what is meant by blind rage.  Everything literally went white and all I could focus on was retaliation.  Unfortunately, B just didn't know what she did.  Before Carlos, Charlie, our co-workers, and half of Ixtapa, I blindly grabbed her head and I gave her a DDT.  On the floor.  The dirty, dirty floor.  At Carlos n' Charlies.

Have you ever been in a nightclub and it just got quiet?  I have. 

Brynn was twitching just a bit as she lay on the floor.  People just stood looking from her to me and back again.  Don't worry, she was only slightly stunned.  She got up, brushed herself off, and we kept drinking.  This is the stuff that legends are made of.  I spent another 4 months in that place and it took at least 2 before people stopped talking about the time Sunshine DDT'ed Brynn in CnCs.  Ahh, good times. 

Miss ya Brynn!!

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