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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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    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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    Sliding into home (part 2)

    Part 2 insinuates a continuation from the first part, but that is not what this is.

    I grew up in the late 70s – early 80s, child of sports fans.  Many a summer evening was spent in Three Rivers Stadium watching the Pirates beat up on whomever was in town.  As such, we knew of the greats (at least Pittsburgh greats) Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, and later the outfield to die for of Bonilla, Bonds, and Van Slyke. 

    My brother, try though he might, could never quite keep Stargell and Parker straight and would end up yelling "Willie Parker!" as he slid into any base.  (Who knew he was calling out to a current Steeler?)  In case you weren't alive then, little kids shorts then looked something like this:

    Maybe a little more loose in the leg, but you can get the idea.  At any rate, the three musketeers were doing their daily musketeer things like running around, yelling, jumping off of the highest thing possible, etc.  We were headed to the bottom of the hill when my brother took it upon himself to scream out "Willie Parker!" and perform his best slide into home.  Herein lies the problem.  You see, this quiet and gentle boy just didn't happen to put on any underwear on this particular day and as he slid down the hill with one leg outstretched in the classic slide position, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a small brown penis, oh dear oh dear.

    Yup, it popped right out.  I don't remember exactly, but I'm gonna guess he was about 6 at the time, 7 at the oldest.  Young enough for him not to be embarrassed (at least until he reads this post) and young enough for us not to make a big deal of it.  But, out and out hysterical every time I think about it now.  We continued on with our day as if nothing ever happened because, to us, nothing did happen.  Do you know why?  Because the family jewels are sacred!

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