Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall time!

So my bellydance show is over, and Sunday, El Hombre and I decided to take advantage of the fall weather by scoping out Halloween stores and pumpkin patches.

Like I said, fall is one of my favorite seasons, and I love shopping for pumpkins. Not only are the colors the best, but nothing takes you back to your childhood like the excitement of Halloween, pumpkin carving and candy. We elected to stop by the Big Brothers Big Sisters lot on US 1 and 27th. I personally like shopping there because at least I know my purchase is supporting a non-profit as opposed to some skeezy company.
Anyways, that lot has a huge selection of pumpkins, dried corn, gourds, weird squashes and hay. We didn't purchase any big pumpkins, but we did pick up a few things. We were there among a sprinkle of people, mainly young families picking out their pumpkins and taking family pictures (my cordial southern side actually volunteered to take family pictures.) And of course I took pics:
(scope out the pants, btw)
my creation from our purchases.

In regards to Halloween stores, your best bet is the Spirit Halloween store in South Miami. They also have one in Coconut Grove, but it's nowhere near as big, nor as spooky. There's also a random Halloween store on Sunset and 117th, in the same complex as TJ Maxx. We have been scoping out the different places for outside decorations. As for costumes, ours will be homemade, and I bought everything at Flamingo Plaza. Super excited to make myself all creepy and weird looking!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Teen Violence

***Warning: This post may contain language that is considered offensive by some***

Is anyone else as highly disturbed by the extent of violent acts going on in our community as I am? Over the past couple of years, we have seen some really nasty incidents pop up, all over South Florida. From girls mercilessly beating another girl unconscious, the cat killer, the kid getting stabbed at Coral Gables High and now these kids who set another one on fire. Seriously, what the fuck is going on? Where are the parents, guardians, etc?

I know that many get offended when you trace these things back to the parents. They try to blame music, tv, movies, video games, whatever. But really? Who lets the kids have all these things? Where do they get the money to buy them? And what does it say about the family values, if a kid is so easily influenced by these things? Because I can tell you I have watched alot of violent movies, listened to some angry music and played video games. Both now and when I was a teenager, and I never thought it was acceptable to set another kid on fire. So I call bullshit on that argument. Sorry. Deal with it.

Now what I truly see to be the problem is lack of role models. Have you seen who your kids idolize? Miley Cyrus dances on strip poles at the teen choice awards, and all these pop singers talk about women as if they are nothing more than a two-bit whore. Do you really want your children to think that's acceptable? And I am talking about kids as young as 4 or 5. They may not really understand what it means now, but those catchy lyrics and dance moves will stay with them longer than you realize.

What are the schools doing to help? Well unfortunately with all the cuts they have been making, I am sure it's not so easy to mediate all these problems. And with continuous cuts that nonprofits are taking from donations and grants, those organizations that serve the at-risk kids are having to cut services and make their circle of service much, much smaller.

So what can you do? Well, other than accept that it is entirely possible that one of these terrible and disgusting acts of violence could be committed against your child, by your child, or witnessed by your child is the first step. The second is get involved. I have many friends and acquaintances who already do this with their child. Eventually their kids may be faced with a bad situation, but they will have the foundations to know right from wrong. If you see that your child has trouble adjusting, find out why. If they have alot of energy or build anger easily, for God's sake, put them in some sort of sport where they work it out in a disciplined environment.

If you don't have kids, but you have a little bit of free time, find out how you can get involved in these community organizations that serve at-risk communities. From Big Brothers Big Sisters to Girl Scouts, there are plenty of opportunities to mentor kids, serve as a role-model and help them build self esteem. Or find an organization who's mission you support and give them a donation.

It's getting pretty scary out there, and unless South Florida wants to start losing tourism again, over the fears of violence that we faced in the late 80s, early 90s, everyone has to step up to help make a difference. We have no other choice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Haunted

Hello my lovely readers! I have been away for a bit, for a variety of reasons. As you can infer from previous posts, one reason is that I have been sick. The other reason is I have been extremely busy!

One thing that's kept me very busy is dance rehearsals. See, I have been practicing and practicing with others from the Lotus Dance Studio for a show called The Haunted. We have poured countless dance hours over many many weekends to create a dark, ghostly, beautiful haunted show.

So if you want to support local dancers and get a strong and spooky show, come out!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sick in South Florida

So yesterday I got kicked out of work, actually escorted out. No, I didn't get fired, no worries there! I had a little cough, congestion and they knew that El Hombre has had flu for the past several days. At first I thought it was funny until it started to hit, and I mean it hit. Fever, chills, congestion, exhaustion, the whole nine yards.

So what did I do? Duh! Chicken soup. All my friends know that I love soup, I can eat it at any point of the day, no matter how hot or cold it is. And I am a big believer that chicken soup is the best thing when you are sick, partially because it's comfort food, and partially because it has protein and veggies and you get fluids at the same time. So what does this have to do with anything? Well, for years I have been extolling my love for Cuban chicken soup. As soon as I don't feel well, you can usually bet that I'm going to whatever Cuban restaurant that's closest to get it.

But now things have changed. There's a restaurant on Sunset and 102nd Ave called Don Burrito. It's a Mexican restaurant (NOT Tex Mex) and their soup is delicious, hearty and comforting. Unlike Cuban chicken soup, it doesn't have noodles, and the broth is more clear and less salty. It's got huge pieces of chicken, mixed with carrots, diced tomato and onion and big chunks of avocado. It's served alongside a small bowl of rice with diced mixed veggies, which I usually dump straight into the soup to add to the texture. And of course it comes with a side of lime to squeeze into it.

The service is usually a bit slow, but it's totally worth it. So if you find yourself hit with a nasty cold or flu, or you just are a little obsessed with soup, OR you just want to find a new Mexican restaurant you should check it out!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October South Fla!

One of my favorite times of year :) I hear there is something spooky happening at Vizcaya towards the end of the month. I am going to check it out.