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Monday, August 29, 2011

Wacky weather (no offense Mother Nature)

LIC, Queens NY

Tuesday, August 23, 2011: NYC felt the effects an earthquake that hit Virginia. It was felt in DC, Boston, and North Carolina. I only felt a small tremble, but didn't think much of it until fire alarms went off during my work orientation. An announcement was made that NYC experienced a brief tremble from an earthquake.

E124 St, Harlem NY
 Wednesday, August 24, 2011: Heavy downpours hits NYC.  

 Saturday, August 27-Sunday, August 28, 2011: Hurricane Irene
Bed-Stuy, BK

Heavy rain, wind, and 24-hour news coverage all convinced people living in NYC that a hurricane is in effect. Irene made her presence known in the tri-state area including Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and majority of the east coast. Threat of coastal flooding, falling trees, and homes being destroyed, all resulted in emergency evacuations and public transportation to shut down. Areas such as Rockaway Beach, Queens, Coney Island, Brooklyn, and Battery Park, Manhattan (just to name a few) were in zone A, areas near the water. People living in those areas had to evacuate to avoid dangerous flooding. Shelters were provided for displaced families, including pets. Some people didn't evacuate and decided to wait out the storm. Luckily, in my area of Brooklyn, we only experienced some fallen trees and light debris.

I made a video of the aftermath of the hurricane in my neighborhood of Brooklyn. I call it "Let's take a walk Irene"

August Madness

You know the song, Summer Madness by Kool and the Gang? Well that’s how this month felt with the events that took place. I am happy to say that these events were positive, reflective, and somewhat life changing. After June 30th, everything that’s occurred was uplifting and joyful. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and appreciate everything and anything that came my way. Here’s an update:
Saturday, August 20, 2011: We meet again Greg Mocker
I attended the NY Funniest Reporter show at Comic Strip Live in NYC where my friend and PIX 11 news reporter, Greg Mocker, did a comedy routine. He and other reporters from CNN, FOX, and the NY Times did comedy for charity, and competed to win the NY Funniest Reporter title. All proceeds from the event went to the Humane Society. As an animal lover, I wanted to show my support, and be a cheerleader for my friend, Mocker. I had a chance to reunite with one of my high school friends, and met other fans of Mocker. As part of my Facebook group, The Mocker Trail Team, ladies who support Mocker are called Mockettes. We Mockettes not only represent Mocker, but are friends also. 
The show was great, I laughed a lot and enjoyed the company. Although Mocker did a great job and made us laugh, he didn’t win the competition. After the show, we Mockettes and my friend congratulated him for a job well done. In our book, Mocker is our winner! I was particularly honored to meet Greg’s family, as well as HLN’s reporter Jane Velez-Mitchell. She also did comedy and was very funny.  It was great seeing Mocker again; he is one of the coolest people I know. I’m happy to have met my fellow Mockettes and hangout afterwards with my friend. We had a chance to catch up after years of not seeing each other. It was a very nice Saturday night!

Tuesday, August 23rd-Friday, August 26, 2011: Time to make a difference
I am a NYC Civic Corps member, and I am ready “to use my blank for something good.” I particularly like our mission slogan because I believe we all can use our talents, skills, passions, etc, for something good. It not only feels good to be back into the workforce, but to be part of something that believes in making a difference. That’s what I’m about. This week was orientation week. On Tuesday, the Mayor visited us to express his appreciation for our service; we learned more about Civic Corps, our responsibilities, and expectations as Corps members. I had a chance to meet my team and team leader, as well as express my reason for joining such a great program. On Wednesday, my team and I explored Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and took note of its neighborhood, the people, and places of interest. I was a bit nervous since I’ve experienced prejudice there before. Luckily, the beautiful weather, and talking with my teammates helped ease my fears away. I bought some cookies at a Russian bakery which was cool and yummy too! Thursday, I visited a charter school in Harlem where I helped organize books for their school library. That was fun. I’m a library nut! Haha. By Friday, I was in Queens for the last day of orientation. I met more members, and listened to a great presentation from a former Americorps member, now social worker! I think I had the biggest smile when I saw that on the presentation packet we had. I want to be a social worker and obtain a Masters in Social Work (MSW) next year. I had the opportunity to speak with him after the presentation. Not only he’s a hugger, like me, but offered great advice on pursuing my professional and academic goals. Overall, this was a very informative and challenging week. I look forward to working at my host site next week, and make a difference in the community. There are lots to do but I feel ready “to use my blank for something good!”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Interview

Please have a seat.
Tell me about yourself
I see.
How many years experience do you have?
Why do you want to apply for this position?
You do realize this is a demanding job.
Yes, but it will require a lot of time and skill.
What’s your educational background?
Hmm. You only have high school?
Well we prefer at least some college.
What are your skills?
I see.
Can you at least type 60 wpm?
No. Well what about the internet?
Some experience. Hmm.
Where are you from?
We have to ask for background purposes.
Don’t worry; it won’t hinder you in any way.
Okay. Okay.
How old are you?
I should ask that. It’s necessary.
How is it necessary? Simple. This is America, we have standards here.
Okay, no need to get upset.
So as you know this is a full time job. We pay minimum wage and offer no benefits.
Of course we promote our workers. After six months you will get $8.00 an hour.
Good English is necessary. Do you understand English?
Yeah? You don’t sound like it considering you’re not from here.
Okay. Do you have any questions for me?
No? Okay then. I will call and let you know what I decide.
Thanks for coming in.

Author's Note: This is all too familiar for immigrants applying for jobs, and has to endure this kind of interviewing. Its unfortunate there’s so much ignorance in the world that some people can’t look beyond the cultural background of an individual, and instead focus on their qualifications.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Magnificent Sun

As you probably already know, I love the sun. I enjoy its many forms and how it compliments the sky, especially if there are clouds around. Here are some pictures I took so far this summer. The sun is simply magnificent!

The sun hides

 Shines bright

Warms the Earth



Soothes the spirit

Follows Me

I don't care

I don’t care
If you stare
At my flaws
You can’t seem to ignore

I don’t care
That I’m called a bear
Strong statue, proud
Of the clothes I wear
I don’t care
If my words pierce
Through the person
I used to kiss

I don’t care
If I’m talked about
“Sticks and stones”
I shout out

I don’t care
That I’m called a geek
Reflection, self-discovery
Life learning is what I seek

I don’t care
If I never become rich
My confidence alone
Makes the phony clinch

I no longer care
If my words offend
Haters who don’t comprehend
The message I send

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My life in art form...the first half

On this gloomy Sunday, I was home bored. So I've decided to do some art work and be creative. I love taking pictures (that's no secret, just read this blog! haha) and have so many...too many to post! I wanted to do a mini collage of pictures that symbolized who I am personally and professionally. This is just half of it because there's so much more to share. I love how my life has been so far...I hope the next collage will be more exciting, wacky, and unpredictable. We'll see.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dara Day 2: Freshness

The past two days were very reflective and refreshing. I had 2 Dara Days. A few months ago, I wrote about Dara Day, a day I dedicate to myself and do things that make me happy. This time I had a chance to go by the waterfront, and a park I love to visit. I get to be one with nature, and be one with myself. Lately, I've been desiring to be alone; try to put things in perspective and regain my confidence, happiness, and sense of self. I wrote in my notebook as I overlooked the water's current, I daydreamed while light rain fell on my head, I baked under the sun, and smelled the grass while admiring the park's hilly structure. I prayed, meditated, wrote some more, sipped on ice coffee, and listened to my iPod. I imagined and came up with new ideas. I relived childhood memories.

I desire freshness. I not only want to feel new, but be around newness. I feel there's been a heaviness laying on my heart for so long, so many things I experienced, felt, and cried over; it's been too much. I've been physically and emotionally beaten, left alone to deal and pick up the pieces. It's been difficult. I desire love, the kind of love that's unconditional. I want to be appreciated, embraced, and wanted. I haven't gotten that in a very long time. I want new conversation, the kind that's not one-sided. I want to do new activities, try different things with different people. Learn. I want to feel safe around others, not worrying when envy is going to rear its ugly head. Change has to happen and I believe it will sooner than I think. I have faith.

I love the water because it keeps going. Despite nature's changes, it continues to flow. I admire that. I want to continue to flow no matter how many changes occur in my life. No matter how much hurt or sadness I face, or how many times I'm heartbroken, I want to flow on. These Dara Days were more peaceful and relaxing than the first one. They focused on my inner-self and where I go from here. Time will tell. Stay tuned, I know I will.

Update on the DOT proposed 34th Street Select Bus Service (SBS)

On March 31st, I attended a public hearing about the Department of Transportation's plans to create a select bus service (SBS) along the very busy 34th street. There were many concerns from residents who lived in the area, as well as, suggestions to improving the current bus route and time schedule. In a July newsletter, the DOT outlined their work of SBS using the suggestions and comments from the public. They will have another public hearing in the Fall to discuss the next steps of this project.

You can download the DOT newsletter here:

Here's my report about the DOT and 34th Street SBS public hearing: