a proud moment

Reza and I are on a cleaning rampage, preparing for the arrival of our family tomorrow afternoon. In an effort to get her in the helping spirits I put on a Disney themed channel on Pandora.

For one, she has been reading the song titles off to me with a lot more speed than usual. She turned a VERY aggressive corner with her reading and the scary part is we haven’t been practicing with her nearly as much as we should be, she is doing all this by herself.

But my moment of pride came when “Don’t Stop Believing” came on, as performed by the cast of Glee. For one, I hate that show and Reza has never been exposed to it or its abomination of covers.

Reza comes over to me and says, “Mom? Do you like this song?”
“Not really. Why? Do you?”
And in the most disgusted tone she says, “Good, cause I don’t either. I am gonna go give it the THUMBS DOWN!”

Oh and on that tip, these are the songs she has been requesting/singing on her own accord as of late…

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Def Leppard – Rocket
The Smiths – Panic

She also enjoys AC/DC’s “highway to hell”, Guns n’ Roses “welcome to the jungle” and “what else is there?” by Royksopp.

That’s my girl.

Reza documentation

Gomez isn’t the brightest kitty sometimes. This morning I was changing out the litter box and as I returned from taking the litter bag outside, I walked in to find Gomez pissing in the empty litter box. I’m not sure what it is about this cat but he cannot resist a clean box and always manages to run over and take a dump in it immediately after being changed.

Well, without fail he drops his deuce just as I poured in the litter to take care of his puddle.

In my frustration I proclaim…

“Gomez! You prick! I’m taking you off my friends list!”

Reza comes running out of her room and says, “Mom! I’ll show you who is on MY friends list” and this is what she showed me….

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Love this kid.

And Gomez? He’s actually smarter than he gives off. He got busted opening the drawer and running off with the bag of bonito flakes this morning. Well played Whiskerkton.

rock of ages

“Mija! Ya apaga esos greñudos!” (translation: “shut off those long hairs!”. It comes as no surprise when I say that I love rock bands, especially the ones that surfaced in the 80’s glam scene. I love me my hair bands and yes, I have no shame in admitting I still do. It drives Josh insane.

It all started when I was a wee chitlin of my teen years, living in Mexico and the only exposure to good music came from cable tv or from the other school weirdos. Back in the day, you know, when MTV actually played music videos, my sister and I became heavily exposed to the massive rock scene surging in the states. I remember there was one music store in Mazatlan that sold imports and I clearly recall spending my allowance on Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”. Little did I know that album was going to be the gateway drug that would eventually lead me to countless other bundles of awesome… Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Poison and Def Leppard, etc.

About a month ago we saw the Rock of Ages tour was booked at Revel: Lita Ford, Poison and Def Leppard. A trifecta of butt rock awesomeness is what that is.

Because tickets were a little steep and Josh does not believe in taking advantage of his employment there, we didn’t get tickets.

Enter Ana. She and Josh were friends before he and I even met and despite the fact we have lived in different places for quite some time, we have maintained a connection with her over the years. She is “that chick”, she eats, lives and breathes rock. Total embodiment. It just so happens that Ana is working crew with Poison for this tour. Not surprised.

I contacted her in an effort to see her since we live close and thought it would be cool to see her for lunch. I really try to see any of our friends that come near our hood. She was super busy with the band and really wasn’t going to have time to see us. Bummer! But then she said she could possibly guest list us for the show. All three of us.

5 pm rolled around and the text came. In like Flynn! So we hussied up, got in the car and hauled to Atlantic City stat! Yes, all three of us. We were stoked!

We met Ana at will call and I get our tickets only to also find backstage passes attached. There is nothing more priceless than seeing the faces of adults as I am slapping a backstage pass on our 5 year old. Comedy gold!

Reza had no idea what to expect, first real concert going experience and all. One thing I did know is we were all stoked, myself especially. Can you blame me? I finally get to see some of my childhood heroes.

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We walked in the middle of Lita Ford’s set in time to hear her do “close my eyes forever” and “kiss me deadly”. I gotta give her mad props. In a scene that was a complete sausage party she rolled in, held her own and owned it. She still does too! Credit where it’s due.

Poison came on shortly after. Lots of energy and fun to watch! You can really
tell Bret loves what he does and appreciates the fans. Rikki (the drummer) lost his father that day and despite that, he played the show. I can’t even imagine. Mad respect there.

Def Leppard came on around 10 and as you can imagine our carriage started turning into a pumpkin. They were dope, played lots of our favorites but we had to plan to leave mid set since Reza was toasting out.

I contacted Ana to see if we could see her once more before leaving. She met us at our seats and we walked out together. It turned out that C.C. (the guitarist from Poison) had his family in town along with his 5 year old son so Ana took Reza (and us) backstage to
meet him. The whole thing was fucking surreal! Here’s my 5 year old in the Poison dressing room. What the hell.

Let me tell you, people love seeing little kids at shows. Maybe it was just Reza? Who knows! But she got a lot of love and high fives from strangers. It totally added to the experience. “That. Was. AWESOME!!!!” she proclaimed as we walked out the door.

It was such a fun time. A night of butt rock heaven and honestly a dream
come true.

Thank you Ana! You rule so fucking hard! <3

she’s thrifty

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In this edition of my antique hunting I bring you vintage drink buddies. I always look for devils and black cat anything. It just so happened I found both in the same Ziploc bag. The cocktail world isn’t nearly as fun anymore. Look at them!

I also scored a Ouija board for $5 on the same trip. Not sure what I am going to do with two Ouija boards but I couldn’t let it sit there at that price.

It has been a while since I’ve been antiquing… Need to tap that vein soon.

beans + g do the apple

A breath of fresh air arrived last week when Griselda came into town. She was recently accepted into a masters art program at NYU for the Summer and I suggested she come here for a few days and then we would head up to NYC to get her settled in her dorm.

Up until last week, I have not had any female friends come see me since Tania back in October. Not to slight on my boys cause I love my boys just as much but damn if this girl didn’t need some estrogen around.

We did a lot of hanging around the house, went to Philly to walk around, cooked and lots of general catching up. Unfortunately we got hit with Summer in full force and we were melting our asses off while in Philly one day. We purposely went from shop to shop just to get some AC. Luckily we don’t paint on our eyebrows cause they would easily have fallen right off.

She really seemed to enjoy the slow paced Jersey life we have here, our home and yard. Unfortunately the mosquitoes loved her just as much. Poor girl got eaten alive.

Saturday morning rolled around and Josh was awesome enough to hold up the fort so I can go with Grisleda to NYC solo. He dropped us off at the train station and off we went!

We ended up staying in this tiny hotel near SoHo and we were not complaining that the room was the size of a broom closet. It had AC, a clean bed and a bathroom. That’s all we gave a shit about and honestly, finding anything under $150 a night in a decent area is a christmas miracle so we were not about to bitch. We only needed it for a night anyway.

Once we got checked in we dragged our starving asses over to Little Italy which was conveniently within walking distance. Lunch was delicious! Although, we consumed enough garlic that left our breath strong enough to kill a small village. I have been to NYC twice before this but the vibe in Soho and Little Italy was so much cooler than over in Midtown. Lots of quaint shops, eye candy, cool architecture. This is the NYC I have truly wanted to see.

We were seriously possessed by the walking demons because we walked all over the lower half of the island that day. That pesto gnocchi we split was coming off ten fold cause over the course of the trip we walked a metric fuck ton. I am STILL sore from it. I don’t even feel bad about the sweets and snacks I had cause I can guarantee those calories got burned off. We hit Soho, China Town, Little Italy and eventually made our way to the Financial District to go check out the World Trade Center site.

Apparently you need passes to get into the memorial site and we didn’t know. We were not about to walk back 7 blocks to get them either so we just walked around and saw what we could. You cannot really grasp the true magnitude of what happened there unless you see it in person. It’s massive. Having been to Hiroshima, I was prepared for the sadness but what I wasn’t prepared for was the commercialization of the 9/11 tragedy. I didn’t like the gift shop and merchandise available for sale. It really cheapened the whole thing for me. Hiroshima left me weeping like a god damned baby, and you cannot compare oranges and apples, but seeing the 9/11 site was numbing. The vibe is eerie and the air is heavy. Pools were built where the North and South towers once stood, it was the right thing to do and it’s nice to see buildings going back up at Ground Zero.

We walked over to the waterfront to get a peek of Liberty Island and we eventually called it, hopped in a cab and went back to the hotel to lounge around. Tired didn’t even begin to describe us.

Not sure how we mustered the energy to go back out but around 8 pm we walked up to Greenwich to scope the area where her dorms were and several hours of walking later we made a pit stop at some seedy pub and rolled in around 12:30 a.m.

NYC is a magnificent city. It lives, thrives and there is so much to take in. It can be absolutely overwhelming though and definitely not for everyone. I could see how people like Vivienne are so inspired by the land and cityscapes (girl is fucking talented, check out her photography!). If I lived there I would probably get sick of the tourists and the massive amounts of trash everywhere. Here’s this historic, beautiful neighborhood and there are empty soda bottles all over the damn place. But the street art, culture and creative energy that flows there is like no other. I about wet myself when we drove by the Retna mural.

Times Square gives me anxiety cause it is just so… American. Think of Hollywood Blvd having sex with Las Vegas. Times Square is their love child. Commercial, loud, a total cesspool and the only reason I went there was cause I went to the Sanrio store to get Reza a gift cause she was so sad when we left. Unless you love that kitschy, gringo tourist kind of shit, avoid Times Square like the noid. And be prepared to be taken for a ride by some cab driver. Smarmy fucker thought we didn’t know he was taking us for a ride. No tip for you Dr. Jones.

The following day we got Griselda checked into her dorm, walked around Union Square and the East Village cause we had every intention to see the Obscura store aka the store from the Oddities show. Sadly Ryan was not there for more eye candy. The store itself is small but it is excellently curated with kooky whatnot that I would absolutely buy if I had the room and capital to do so. Pricing is *very* inflated in comparison to the prices I see at the antique dealing in NJ. If you really want to get something there, be prepared or you will be saddened and end up leaving with a t-shirt, if that.

I eventually had to make way back to Penn Station and on a train home. Josh had some existential crisis at work that needed him so he picked me up and off he went to Atlantic City. Saw very little of him but I needed this past weekend like whoa. Seeing new places with good friends is the best, even moreso when they are on the same page as you. No one likes traveling with high maintenance whiners after all.

We had the best time! And yes, my feet and knees still feel utterly destroyed from all the walking but it was absolutely worth it.

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I should have but sometimes you just have to put the camera down and take it all in. Savoring the moment always trumps capturing it as far as I am concerned.

Til next time Manzana Grande!

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the rest of the photos can be viewed over on my flickr