My Hero

December 31, 2012

Lil Blue and I were having an intense discussion recently (translation: I was arguing with an 11 year old). He insisted he is going to be a super hero when he gets older. I figured he’s 11, so it’s time to talk about the difference between real heros and fictional ones.

After he realized that I wasn’t just being a mean mommy who wants to crush his dreams, he asked me who my heros are. After thinking for a minute, I decided he’s old enough for me to give him specific answers rather than the usual “firefighters-doctors-teachers” answer I usually give.

I told him my first hero is my mother. Of course, Lil Blue thought it was because she took care of me and all that. But I told him no, that’s not why. It’s because she never gives up. Despite all the hardships life has thrown at her, she found the courage to pursue happiness. I’ve seen her unhappy, but i’ve never seen her wallow in self pity. “You pick yourself up and keep going,” that’s how she raised us, and she leads by example. That’s why my mom is my hero.

Next on the list are Sister and Brother Blue, because they know, as I do, how to survive in this sometimes craptastic life. The secret for us is laughter. They’re able to find humor in the littlest things. Sometimes people find it inappropriate, but it really isn’t. It’s a coping mechanism. And they are able to make others see the funny side of things. That’s a valuable asset for a friend to have.

Last, but never least, is Mr. Blue Collar. Lil Blue looked at me like I had 4 heads when I told him that. I explained that his father wakes up every morning and goes to a job he hates just to provide us with food and shelter. And even though he hates the place he works, he does an excellent job. He doesn’t let his current career situation stop him from pursuing other opportunities that will make life better for all of us. He doesn’t let his past or the fact that his childhood was crappy stand in the way of him being a good partner and father. Instead of using it as an excuse, he uses it as an example of who he doesn’t want to be. He stands up for what’s right no matter what, even if it means defending a person he can’t stand. And, despite his gruff exterior and having had to live through a very tough childhood, he is one of the kindest people I have ever known.

I told Lil Blue that the people I admire most are the ones who are able to make the best of shitty situations. The ones who stand up for what’s right for everyone, not just themselves. That, to me, is heroic.

I hope you all have a great new year. I won’t say I wish you no struggles, because it’s unrealistic. I will say I wish your struggles to be small enough for you to bear. And I promise you that, though it might only be in spirit, I will always try to bear some of your burdens with you.


Read The BQ Brew!

December 5, 2012

My very awesome friend Manny Jalonschi is kicking ass and taking names! Well…not physically because he’s non-violent and a pacifist, but with WORDS!

He’s started his own online publication, The BQ Brew. I’ll let him explain why he decided to take on such an important project:

As a kid, I constantly traveled between the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. In fact I grew up in Ridgewood, a border community right between Brooklyn and Queens, amidst mamaliga, dancehall, salsa, botanicas, croatian bakeries and pick up basketball games where most of the people on the court didn’t speak english as a first language. Like millions of other New Yorkers in the East Boroughs I’ve seen our stories, our perspectives, the flavors of our life, put on the backburner, our culture treated as “less-than” and too often our people treated as “second-class New Yorkers.”

In short, I started this paper because there’s no longform critical analysis newspaper that tackles the issues unique to the East Boroughs as a whole. We’re a distinct entity of about 4.7 million New Yorkers between Brooklyn and Queens, and our perspectives either get lost in micro-local reporting or subsumed to in the reporting cycle emanating from Manhattan-centric media. There’s dozens of wonderful blogs, and a handful of truly excellent local weeklies and alternative papers, but we lack our own “drill-down” newspapers that get deep enough to make that micro-macro connection with the trends, stories and people that evolve and drive our two boroughs forward.

I KNOW! How great does that sound? I can honestly say I would read this even if I wasn’t friends with Manny. And not just because he’s letting me contribute (shameless self promotion, FTW). The information and analysis has been phenomenal so far, as is the quality of the writers – with the exception of my amateur ass of course.

So, to recap, reasons you should read The BQ Brew:
1- it seeks to provide quality, in depth analysis of issues unique to Brooklyn and Queens as a whole,
2- Manny has a passion for quality journalism that is evident in all of work, this included,
3- he’s letting me contribute :D,
4- I think the Brew will capture the different flavors of our B/Q culture and communities, and
5- because I SAID you should, and really isn’t that all the reason you need?


Sister Blue Deserves Secular Sainthood

December 3, 2012

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I believe I’ve mentioned before that my twin, Sister Blue, moved to Florida a number of years ago. Lately she’s been calling or texting me a few times a week. Is it because she misses me so terribly? Nope. It’s to share with me the nuggets of pure genius that her coworkers share with her on a daily basis.

Even if you don’t watch the news and only glance at the headlines on the front pages of newspapers, you’ll still know that Floridians are the sanest, smartest people around. So it should come as no surprise to you that Sister Blue’s coworkers CLEARLY deserve to be considered for membership to Mensa.

Here are some examples of the brilliance:
•Is the National Anthem the same as the ‘Star Spangled Banner’?
•What’s the difference between USA & America?
•Ventriliquism is like when they move that thing in their throat it’s like an alien. You know, a UFO.
•I love this weather. It’s cold but the air is…you know…wet.
•Where’s GunPoint?
Sister Blue: what do you mean?
They’re saying everyone’s being held up at GunPoint. Where is that?

Someone contact the MacArthur Foundation because these people deserve ALL the genius grants!

Sister Blue would like you to know that when she suggests her coworkers google their very important questions, they inform her that one cannot trust the information one finds on the internet. She’d also like to answer the question she knows is foremost in your minds: yes, her coworkers are avid Fox’News’ viewers.