Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New York New York Baby

A city where towering skyscrapers stand atop shorter towering skyscrapers, where the wails of ambulances are a lullaby in the night, where traffic jams and honking horns serve as background music, and where the risk of crossing the street is as sharp as disarming a hotwired explosive. Concrete facing concrete feeds this metropolitan maze from daybreak till nightfall, well, that, and an immense source of electricity burning through every inhabitant window. The streets pulse with life at all hours, the people migrate from one corner of the city to the other with purposeful strides, the scent of food, car fumes and the occasional anonymous urine lingers in the air, and the night sky is foggy with unclear grayness. A careful count of the stars one night in New York added up to an astounding number…four. But out of all the moving sights witnessed, which wasn’t all the city had to offer I can assure, not watching the sunset was one of my favorites. Let me clarify. I was not facing the sun as it was setting on this clear sunny day, I was however paying careful attention as the bright shining colors of red and orange reflected off of the soaring structures. A view from the outside granted an appreciative sight of the tall and sleek buildings and the burning colors of sunset glistening off the windows. Shades of pink dimmed slowly, melting away from the edifices, announcing the arrival of night. A close second to this memorable recollection, was the sight of a dog turning the street into a convenient latrine, probably because of the near rarity of finding a single patch of grass (unless you’re close to a church or in Central Park).

All in all? A surprisingly beautiful city with a certain je ne sais quoi to it, apart from the suffocating claustrophobia of crowded restaurants, bars, elevators, stores, etc.; the clogging excess of cars; and the nail-biting taxi rides that can serve as worthy opponents to Nascar drivers.

By: V.S

Friday, April 24, 2009

Loose yourself under the touch of antiquity...

Why are we here?

This may seem like one of those questions that have no right or wrong answer because everyone has their own opinion of what the true response could be. Well, it is that kind of question. I imagine at one time or another you’ve asked yourself: Why are we here… in this world… on this Earth… what is our purpose… what are we meant for? Among other wondering-soul-searching inquiries. Normally, this initial question would inspire my usual reply: “There are just some questions that are better left unasked, and this is one of them”.

But today, I feel like sharing my opinion. So, if someone was to ask me this question, I’d say… we are here because we were given the opportunity to experience life. We are here to learn how to live as best we can through what each of us considers good and bad. Each day, we are given the chance to discover, question, teach, explore, survive… we just seem to overlook these prospects as they blur into our daily-rushed-routine. I am aware however, that some of us aren’t born with such favorable circumstances. There are a lot of us that face a very grave existence. Seriously. I’m talking about the kind of brutal reality where the word happiness signifies a quick death. So how could I possibly describe life as if it were a coloring book we’ve yet to get a hold of and fill with color? Well, I believe that no matter what hardships you encounter, it is important, essential even, to do everything in your power to overcome them. Do your best for yourself, those you love and others within your ability to help. Forge on into the fading sunlight, through the dark and muddled night, and straight into the misty wake of dawn. Why? Because it’s all worth it in the end - to know you lived to see, breath, taste, hear, feel, and experience a better tomorrow. Would you like to look back on your life and know you took on those fears, tragedies, uncertainties, pain and other obstacles… and conquered, fighting on to experience the fulfillment of your dreams, goals, happiness and hopes? Yeah, so would I.

I believe that all the long time efforts and tiring struggles to make these things happen, make up a sweet rewarding victory. So, as the French would say: Bon courage!

By: V.S

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Come walk through the streets of Vieux Nice...

Monday, April 13, 2009

P.D.A: Public Display of Affection - From "Oh how romantic" to "Holy Cow, isn’t that illegal in this state!?"

Imagine your grandmother stumbling across a couple displaying their affection publicly, as in swapping body heat and making saliva donations to one another like their lives depended on it… would your grandmother a) sigh wistfully and say Oh how romantic, b) cry indecent exposure at the top of her lungs before finding the nearest policeman, or c) join the party? If your answer is C, please do not post a comment explaining why.

If someone were to ask me “how do I know when it’s too much affection”? Well, if the scenario is easily confused with rape… that could be a telling sign. Or if the couple seems to have converted to cannibalism, turning viciously on each other like hungry prey… well, I’d say save yourself. I’m willing to admit that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have an open relationship with the one you’re with. And there is nothing but the law stopping you from committing whichever public acts you wish to. But there’s just something not quite right about people wanting to make their very own rated R film in the public eye. Besides, Moms and Dads everywhere are going to have a lot of explaining to do if their kids see such a proud yet inappropriate display of affection by others.

So here are some more hints that things have gone from sweet or cute, to “time for you two to get a room”:
- If you witness a willing victim getting a tonsil-inspection by a second participant’s tongue, even though he/she is clearly unlicensed.
- If you can’t tell whether it is two separate people who happen to be REALLY close together, or just one person.
- If your eyes roll out of your head or if you go instantly blind because a pair of shameless exhibitionists decided to play Swallow Your Partner in public.
- If you suddenly wonder if there is such a thing as P.D.A Extreme Challenge

By: V.S (inspired by Prof.essa.T)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Glamorous Hollywood Life Style: Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Early on in my life I decided that I wouldn’t want to live a life in the spotlight. For whatever brief time I had entertained the idea of being a rockstar or celebrity, it was quickly extinguished as a few facts came into focus: many talented celebs end up falling prey to drug addiction or go through a downfall phase (also known as what the hell was she/he thinking!) or have their most intimate moments splattered all over a magazine cover, among other such thespian instances.
Now, if you’re thinking you don’t have to be a superstar to go through some of these hardships, you’re right. I suppose a very big difference though is that your picture and your addiction or depression, or whichever difficulty you are trying to handle in your life, is being zoomed in and diced into tiny pieces to be ruthlessly judged and poked at. Then of course those pieces are blown up, a snappy comment is slapped beside it before the “scoop” is copied into a magazine, newspaper or webpage, and the remains are scattered into the four winds to be published in every way known to mankind where anyone from here to Zimbabwe can find out about it. In a way, a celebrity is a lot like a window-display (without the ridiculous salary). You are out there for the public eye to look and criticize, they can admire, they can disapprove, and they can even try to walk up to the window for closer inspection. They may want to know everything about you, from the size of your crib, to what you like to snack on after sex.
I will refrain from describing all the many brutal consequences brought on by committing the monumental, unforgiving, crime of gaining a single hint of a pound – in fact, if you even whisper the word, or read it out loud, you are at risk of being banished from the celeb-world; only after you are mocked, kicked into the dirt, and left for depressed or on heavy medication. When you’re in such a position, where your every waking breath is being recorded, your every step hunted down by a pack of vicious creatures named Paparazzi (not a synonym of warm and cuddly), your every picture is compared to thousands of other celebs and rated on a stylish scale, your… okay you get the picture… well, then I have to believe you have your hands somewhere between full and straining against the overflow of your life style. But suddenly this Hollywood spotlight doesn’t seem so glamorous after all – of course that’s just my opinion.

By the way, if you could care less about all this drivel I’ve just described above, then maybe the Hollywood-life style is for you after all.

By: V.S

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thongs: What are they good for?

Honestly, what are thongs good for? I find myself genuinely disturbed by the purpose of this style of underwear. My initial reaction was something like a child being handed a medium-sized rock, after turning it over a few times and realizing it doesn’t have any buttons, the child asks “What do I do with it?” This is my perplexity with thongs. I want to specify that I have nothing against anyone who chooses to wear these string-held contraptions. And I’ll admit that I am aware that a thong can serve some ulterior purpose such as provocative lingerie or as fitting underwear for particular women’s outfits (or so I’m told), or even perhaps to acquire some form of attention or admiration from others. But at the end of the day a thong, to me, means having a permanent wedgie intentionally crammed up your butt for as long as one wears it. Now, it may seem like I’m kidding here but let’s look at the definition of wedgie, shall we? According to Wikipedia (even if it is not a totally reliable source, bear with me), a wedgie means having one's underwear or other garments "wedged" between the buttocks. Does this not bare a surprising resemblance to what a thong does? I’d say so. So let us be completely honest with ourselves the next time we decide to don on a thong or look at one or admire one or whatever, that in its truest most basic nature it is a barely-there piece of butt-floss.

By: V.S

How an uncertain mind works

First, your mind is usually a very skeptical and at times pessimistic entity in itself. I say this because it constantly questions everything you do, the reasons why you're doing it and, lastly, it instills enough doubt for you to rethink your actions. It has the power to make you uncertain and act upon that uncertainty. Then, a second wave of questions rush through your system. And in response, you pull up a wall of reassurances: "Of course I did my best", "Yes I know what I'm doing" , "I did read the instructions, okay?", etc. Its a risky battlefield where you have to watch your step or you just might be targeted. Your mind also seems to be in close alliance with the Energizer Bunny, since it keeps going and going and going... it seems to be processing thoughts even in your sleep. As if it purposely disguised the OFF button so you wouldn't recognize it and press it. So, you find yourself arguing with this logical or illogical snobbish mind. Darn thing thinks it knows it all, including what's best for you. But it does have it's weaknesses - you just have to find them. For example, an uncertain mind is actually easily distracted. So you might get lucky and avoid any harsh interrogations by simply focusing all your attention on that pretty bird flying by. These minds work differently depending on the individual and the level of independence their minds insist upon. But a common hobby for an uncetain mind is to wonder. About everything! About anything! With or without a valuable enough reason to justify the initial investigation. So, is there a cure? Can we stop it? Or are we doomed to have internal arguments with our stubborn minds for an indefinite amount of time? Well... unless its causing you harm, I don't see it as an illness to cure. It might be a curse at times, but in my own experience you learn something very valuable from it: how to develop winning arguments that'll make even the most ruthless lawyer proud.

By: V.S

Instructions on how to smile

Before there is any misunderstanding, let me clarify that I do not believe smiling comes with a step-by-step manual, like how to work house appliances. I’m sure people may think they need no instructions on how to smile. They’re probably right. There is no right or wrong way to smile. I’m not suggesting there is. I simply believe that smiling can be an experience to savor, an act to delight in and enjoy. It can be so much more than a sign of amusement, when you feel that uplifting transformation change your facial expression. You become aware of the curl of your lips, the softening in your cheeks, and a sweet lighthearted feeling in your chest. A smile can be an automatic reflex - you do it involuntarily to be polite, to salute a passing neighbor, to keep from scowling at your boss, to appear approachable to others, etc. But take a moment here to really feel what its like to smile. First, relax - you don’t just want to flash your canines to prove it’s easy. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Really. (These instructions will still be here when you open them). Now, start small: slightly curl one side of your mouth. Just a little. Now hold it… doesn’t it feel wrong not to curl the other side too? So go ahead. SMILE. Feel your lips broaden, your cheeks pull high and your eyebrows lower over your eyes. It’s a good feeling. And the second you become aware of that feeling, then you can enjoy the act of smiling. Regardless if others may think it’s a little creepy to smile without a justifiable reason. You don’t need any other reason than because you want to and you enjoy it. I think its one way you learn to feel good about yourself, smiling for you. So, take pleasure in that warm light happy feeling, and brighten your own day from the inside out.

By: V.S

Delicious Rain

The rain here in Puerto Rico is as unpredictable as our driving skills. It chooses when to fall, where to go and how long it will stay there. At times, pouring down for days with little rest. In other occasions, the rain simply intervenes once within a day, to remind us that it is never too far. Listening to the weather channel does little to prepare us for its descent. The weather team may announce that tomorrow it will rain ALL DAY. Yet the rain makes itself scarce; instead, leaving plenty of room for the sun to shine and replace it. So then the weather team, undiscouraged, declares that it shall be sunny and hot all week. And then, of course, the rain moves in, showering the unsuspecting and umbrella-less mortals. But even amidst the heavy rain pounding on the streets and homes and skulls of all without shelter, it is inevitable to recognize that there is something very special about this rain, as it plummets at will over this island. There is a natural force at work as it materializes, gathering clouds and wind and a telling stillness before the scent of rain emerges – unmistakable, with the hint of humidity and sweet fresh air. When the heavens finally release this dam of vibrant energy, it is both frightening and awe inspiring. The rain is a living, breathing, touching, swirling storm of unpredictability as it inhales our essences, fears and sins, exhaling our cleansed spirit, hopes and priorities.
This rain is feral when it comes to guarding its freedom, yet deceivingly gentle with its soothing sounds, and cooling breeze caressing across your skin, and in its first shy tentative drops, and the cold cleansing feel of water in the palm of your hand… It is the wild untamable taste of rain that is so delicious as it sets us free, encouraging us to leave behind all feeble worries. It calls to us, heightening our senses, pulling and tugging at our wilder basic natures, drawing out our true desires and forgotten hopes: to be as unpredictable as this delicious rain.

By: V.S

Time to take a stand

No more
I shall allow no more

No shameful taunts of past mistakes
No thoughts of destruction
No self hating grudges

No more
I shall allow no more

No pitying condolences
No patronizing pats on the head
No self accepting helplessness

No more
I shall allow no more

No ancient heartbreaks poisoning with regret
No grueling dismantlement of dreams and desires
No self inflicting damages with the force to set afire

No more
I shall allow no more

From now on, there shall be hope in my thoughts
Confidence in my words
And self love in my heart

NO MORE pain
I SHALL ALLOW NO MORE suffering to cripple me and my search to live free of despair

By: V.S