Sunday, October 20, 2013

No Sleep Till Boston

I think I’m just about back on track now. I went to bed early last night—well, actually I didn’t, but I took it easy. Worked on a psychology paper for a bit, then fell asleep watching the Red Sox get lucky. I peeled myself off the couch sometime around 1:45am, staggered to bed, and finished off a solid night’s sleep. 

I’ve been feeling a step or two behind ever since my adventures in New York City last weekend. The trip was well worth it, but not something I could pull off too often. The Big City was calling me for a few reasons, but the biggest one is that my beloved godsister was getting married!  And yes, no matter what autocorrect may try to tell you, there is such a thing as a godsister—especially when you spent every formative summer playing Marco Polo, catching potentially-rabid mice, and sustaining various cuts and scrapes, mostly at the hands of your older siblings. But the wedding wasn’t until Saturday, so let me back up.

Last Friday at noon—literally, at 12:00 pm—I darted out of my statistics class* and headed down to South Station to catch my Greyhound Bus. Now, the last time I had caught a Greyhound I swore it would be the last time. That was probably ten years ago, but now I’m back on the student budget, so after swallowing plane tickets to Los Angeles and Virginia Beach for recent weddings, I decided to keep it crusty this time. The trip was hassle-free—no gang-fights or clogged toilets—but it was a little longer than advertised. Technically, they didn’t lie. It took the advertised four hours to get to New York City. But then it took another two hours to get from Harlem to the Bus Terminal in Midtown. Apparently there’s traffic in Manhattan on Friday evenings. So, I missed the first half of the USA v Jamaica game, but got to Jack Demsey's just in time to enjoy two goals and the victory along with Javi Mi Llave and the New York City Chapter of the American Outlaws.

Once the game was over, we headed back to Bushwick for the real party. There was only way to hold a Costeño reunion—una rumba hasta amanecer! We even had a real live Costeña in the building, direct from Barranquilla... Que mas, Luz?!* Other than the the birthday boy and birthday girl, the real guest of honor was Drake Kitty**. What uuuuuuuuuuup, Wudduuuuuuuuuuup?

Luckily, the wedding was not in the morning, so I had time to recover and make my way to Manhattan for the festivities on Saturday. I killed a couple of hours looking to purchase a tie that did not cost more than my Greyhound ticket, and finally found one at Topman on Canal Street. Then I caught up with my brothers at their hotel room where we finished putting ourselves together.

The wedding was absolutely maaaaahvelous. A view of the city skyline from the Tribeca Rooftop, followed by ridiculous quantities of ridiculously tasty food and a few Manhattans (I thought that was appropriate)... all in the company of my family and extended family from around the country. The first after-party featured a surprise reunion with a few Oakland heads from the elementary school days. We capped it all of with waffles, fried chicken and eggs benedict sometime around 7:00am. By that time my brothers and I had just about maxed out on each other's company—we love each other, but in controlled doses. We found our way back to the hotel, and I crashed on the floor for a couple hours while my phone charged—honestly, I wasn’t quite ready for the trip back to Brooklyn.

Friday and Saturday were so epic that I spent most of Sunday and Monday holed up in Javi’s apartment, slurping down Ramen, getting caught up on my non-academic reading, and watching movies on my laptop. The Prestige was badass and Tron: Legacy was fun, but Blindness is a very mediocre adaptation of an awesome book.

Like I said, I’ve almost fully recovered from last weekend, but I’m still carrying a little sniffle and I can’t feel my right pinky toe. What does that mean? Well, at least midterms are almost over. Just one more psychology paper to go.

Pura Vida,


* This class has a fancy, interesting-sounding name, but I was lied to. It STATISTICS!!! I do enjoy it, especially when my professor gets worked about about social issues and starts saying things like "Holy Crow!"

** Javi and I do not qualify, despite living a year on the Colombian coast. He is Cachaco-American and I am just Regular Black.

*** Drake Kitty is the brilliant creation of Javi's roommates, Eve and Luz Mary. They hold the copyright on this hilarious image and should get all the credit when Drake Kitty goes viral.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Light Fare

The other day my friend Raquel called me about for going a few weeks without updating my blog. I’ll tell you all the same thing that I told her... “DONTELLMEHOWTOLIVEMELIFE!!!” Actually, that’s not what I said at all... I just like to yell that every now and then. Makes me feel grown. So, why haven’t I posted in the last few weeks? It’s certainly not because I had nothing to say—you know me better than that by now. 

The truth is, somewhere along the way, I was taught the value of discretion. It’s one of the things about this blog that I’m most proud of, other than the fact that you’re reading it. I have no problem getting down and dirty and bearing my all soul for the world to read. That’s what makes the whole process so healthy for me. But nobody else volunteered to star in my journal, so I stay away from putting people out there.

When I first started this blog, I was squatting as a guest in my friend’s house on Guahan. Then it was New Zealand. Then it was Johannesburg. There’s something sacred about the home, something that makes you think twice about turning certain moments into blog fodder. Once I joined the Peace Corps, this approach to blogging went from optional to mandatory government policy. Did you ever notice how I never mentioned the names of the neighborhoods where I lived? You also won’t find a lot of last names or home addresses on this blog. If you do, send me a message to let me know, and I’ll fix that ASAP.

In the last two weeks I’ve had a lot on my mind—nothing tragic, but plenty heavy. To make a long story medium, I’m not writing about it. Next time you see me, buy me a beer and we can talk for as long as you keep them coming. I’m good at that.

So, instead of spilling the beans, I’ve decided to keep it light. And, as the title of this post suggests, I'm still writing about something that matters to me—good food. The last week of my life was bookended by two special meals, with a special little friend. 

Some of you may remember this adorable child (or a younger version of her) from a post I wrote in August 2010. Here I am, three years later, back in Sue’s house, hanging out with her daughter. No fresh passion fruit this time, or Sunday afternoon visits from the Queen, but it was still a good time. Part of my house- and adolescent-sitting duties have included getting this child fed. We started off the week with a tomato, basil, mozzarella, garlic linguine, which apparently was not poisonous. 

Despite surviving my first meal, she skipped out on my next masterpiece... what can I say? You can bring a horse to homemade tacos, but you can't—wait... never mind.

On Saturday we splurged with a visit to Orinoco Kitchen that changed my life almost as much as Google Scholar*... chuleta de puerco**... let’s just say that Venezuelan cuisine is a lot more savory than the Venezuelan political climate. I’m seriously considering going back there just to harass the chefs. I need to know how they made that cauliflower taste like it wasn’t cauliflower. Amazing.

Pura Vida,


* Grad School Humor

** Pork chop

P.S. Just in case this post gave you the false impression that I've been living in crisis for the past two weeks, here are a few pictures of me doing me and loving it!

Kappa Chi Nupes in Virginia Beach, VA

Wu-Tang Wednesdays @ Tommy Doyle's

Pre-game preparations for Harvard v Brown Football Game @ Daedalus