Saturday, April 29, 2006

Live Blogging: Red Bulls @ Chivas USA

10.00pm - After last Saturday’s ass whipping I don’t know why the hell I’m going to live blog this evening’s game between the visiting Red Bulls (a.k.a. “we” or “us”) against Chivas USA (a.k.a. “goatfuckers”. I’ll explain why this name later), much less watch the game. But I still have some faith left so I will masochistically follow the game tonight.

Inasmuch as another front office official left earlier this week, coach Mo Johnston continues at the helm of our boys. In terms of players, there are a few setbacks such as the absence of Abbe Ibrahim due to visa issues, Jean Phillipe Peguero in order to attend a wedding, and Mike Magee to undergo surgery from the finger he seriously injured in last week’s loss. Amado Guevara claims that he will be back to his original, MVP form this week and he sure as hell better be. Furthermore, this game will be our first regular season match against ex-coach Bob Bradley since he was replaced by Johnston late last season and was hired by the goatfuckers.

Meanwhile, the goatfuckers are also suffering from some setbacks as most of their midfield is injured and they traded away veteran defender Ezra Hendrickson.

My somewhat uneducated prediction- all-in-all another dull affair. Guevera will score from a set piece and we will not blow the lead. 1-0 us.

Okay, let's hope for the best (and expect the worst).

10.02pm- MSG's pre-game just showed a set of Ante Razov's goals this season with the goatfuckers. I sense a bad omen.

10.08pm- The whistle's blown to start the game. We start in a 4-4-2 formation, unlike the 3 defenders we had last week. Almost forgot, this is the first game at the goatfuckers since we beat them 1-0 to qualify into the '05 playoffs.

10.10- Guevara floats a free kick that's easily captured by their goalie. So far my prediction's not coming true.

10.12- 5 minutes in and I'm already yelling at the TV as Buddle mishandles a stellar pass from our midfield.

10.14- MSG says that Peguero's absence is due to his sister's wedding. Congrats.

10.20- 13 minutes in; scoreless. Solid defense and very fluid movment between the midfielders and fowards. We just escaped a dangerous chance against us. Otherwise not bad so far.

10.26- We have to be careful with our offside trap as they've been caught 4 times in the first 17 minutes. Guevara looks much better and just took a shot on goal but has yet to have a strong impact so far. We look a lot stronger than last week.

10.29- Alert stop by Big Fat Tony (BFT) on a grazing center by the goatfuckers. Our counterattack almost worked with a stellar pass from Guevara spoiled on a tight angle by Buddle.

10.35- Jeebus! Mendoza just choked on an easy wide open opportunity from 3 yards out after a stellar center by Palencia. Then our grazing center into the box was missed by two marked layers. The goatfucker's counter and nearly score on a dangerous play. Finally some excitement to a tactical, albeit dull match.

10.36- Jeebus again! BFT saves a floater by Razov. Our defense is now swiss cheeze and rather fortunate we're still scoreless.

10.41- The goatfuckers' Paco Palencia's the highest paid player in MLS: $1.3 million. Guevera's not even in the top 5 of salaries. Fair or not? Hmmmm...

10.45- Oh jeez, Buddle's injured. The trainer's out to attend him. Seems like he's pulled his left hamstring, which has been a recurring problem throughout his career. Looks like he'll be subbed out the game. Not good at all.

10.49- Goatfuckers scrum in front of our goal but we clear it before they score. With 5 minutes left in the half it's still scoreless.
Buddle returns to the pitch but only lasts about 3 minutes before Magee and his injured finger comes into replace him.

10.56- Halftime. The situation with Buddle does not look promising, especially with such a depleted bench. One has to hope that his injury will not extend into our next game in 2 weeks. (May 13 in Jersey against lowly Chicago). Defense was somewhat leaky in the last 20 minutes and gave them extra space to move. Midfield is okay but needs to do a better job distributing to the fowards. Guevera's improved and has had more of a presence than last week. All-in-all, an average effort though the team will have to step up a bit in the next half.

11.27- Just returned from showering. 56th minute and still scoreless. Each team showing more strength on offense, and the game is more fluid and exciting.

Ok, so why do call Chivas USA the “goatfuckers?” Several clubs from Latin American nations played in a tournament the Copa Merconorte which took place from 1998 to 2001. In the 2001 edition, some MLS teams were invited to it including our team, then known as the MetroStars. Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara (owners of Chivas USA) were supposed to come to the Meadowlands and play a group match against us approximately one month after 9/11 occurred. Citing “safety concerns” Chivas did not fly to the terrorist haven of East Rutherford, New Jersey and forfeited the match. Mind you, Guadalajara is not exactly known as the Garden of Eden against crime. Still, this act of unabashed cowardice led to their expulsion from the tournament. We fared slightly better though we got eliminated by eventual champions Millionarios from Colombia. That incident, coupled with the fact that Santa Fe got humiliated a few nights ago by Chivas in the Copa Libertadores, is why I kindly refer to Chivas USA as the “goatfuckers”.

11.35- Dangerous chance in the 67th minute by the goatfuckers as BFT does well to cut the angle on the shot. We've shown more order throughout the game and a far better output than last week. The defense has been strongly tested over the past few minutes, however.

11.44- 13 minutes left. Defense is allowing a little too much room for the goatfuckers to roam. Their ccounterattack has been good, yet enough to break the deadlock. We've had few offensive chances, but they've been good.

11.49- Djorkaeff just took a free kick and slmmed it into their wall. Neither side has taken advantage of free kick opportunities. Meanwhile, the offside flag is raised for the umpteenth time against the goatfuckers.

11.53- 4 minutes left. By the way, remember the spitting celebration by Eskandarian against us last week? MLS brass decided to fine him the princely sum of $250 for his antics. His goal celebration was touted on the league website almost all week and it provided more publicity to the league, but business is business no?

11.57- 2 minutes of injury time indicated by the ref.

11.59- Game over. 0-0 tie with the goatfuckers. Average effort all-around. It's a soccer axiom that a tie on the road is as valuable as a win at home, but the end result feels hollow due to the way the season has been. Next game's against Chicago at the swamp in 2 weeks.

Fuck this, I'm off to bed and watching the "TV Funhouse" special on SNL.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Yay for Summer Concerts!

Even though I will be very busy this summer typing and completing my thesis project, I do not plan to spend the entire time sweating my ass off in my room. Rather, I’ll sweat my ass off going to a number of free and not-so-free concerts around NYC. Here’s the list of those I hope to attend (note that dates with a question mark in front of them have yet to be officially confirmed though odds are they will take place):

Saturday May 6- Maria Rita @ Irving Plaza (I adore Maria Rita, but since tix are $35 I’ll try my luck with craigslist)

Saturday May 20- Sweet and Tender Hooligans @ Knitting Factory (Fantastic cover band of Morrissey on the evening of his birthday)

Saturday May 27- La Cumbiamba @ Tonic (Colombian folkloric group)

Saturday June 10- Dungen @ Irving Plaza (Swedish indie stuff. Quite catchy.)

Thursday June 15 - Saturday Looks Good To Me, Tiny Amps, Canada @ Northsix (60s-sounding pop by SLGTM).

Monday June 19- Mono @ Northsix (Japanese noise rock; worth the hearing loss).

?Sunday June 25- Feist, Jason Collet, Buck 65 @ Central Park Summerstage (Even if it’s free I’ll probably make a day trip out if it and get to the concert late just to listen to Feist).

Thursday June 29- Jose Gonzalez, Juana Molina, Psapp @ Bowery Ballroom ($20 for a night with three great singer/songwriters? Quite a bargain).

?Friday June 30- TV on the Radio, Matt Pond PA, Voxtrot @ Prospect Park (Love TV on the Radio’s cover of the Pixies’ “Mister Grieves”).

?Sunday July 2- Seu Jorge, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Cuba Band @ Central Park Summerstage (Sounds inviting, but I’ll probably skip it).

Monday July 3- Jose Gonzalez, Juana Molina, Psapp @ Bowery Ballroom (Though the commute is difficult, my favorite venue is Bowery Ballroom. Very wheelchair accessible, great view of the stage from the floor, and a smashing bar downstairs).

?Tuesday July 4- Belle and Sebastian @ Battery Park (So let me get this straight: free concert with B & S followed by the Macy’s Fireworks celebration along the East River? Where do I sign!)

Saturday July 15- Siren Music Festival @ Coney Island (Every time I want to go to Siren something gets in the way, whther it be school, weather, or other intangibles. This year I hope it will be a much different story).

Saturday July 22- Elysian Fields @ Joe’s Pub (Dark, sinister, smooth music at around 10 at night. Perfect).

?Wednesday July 26- Fiona Apple & Damien Rice @ Central Park Summerstage (Though I love Apple’s music I just can’t wrap my mind around her performing outdoors when she would be far more appropriate in a small indoor venue. Tix are pricey at $50).

?Thursday August 3- New Pornographers, The Frames, Calexico @ Central Park Summerstage (I'm still sore over not seeing the New Pornographers at Webster Hall last year due to the venue’s inaccessibility. This shall be my redemption).

?Friday August 4- Los Amigos Invisibles @ Prospect Park ( When I was in Colombia during the winter break, I tried desperately to introduce different styles of music to my cousins and show them that there’s more to music than reggaeton and the slop on MTV. I introduced them to new sounds from Snowden, Garbage, My Bloody Valentine, The Go! Team, and Los Amigos Invisibles but they hated it all. Damn you Daddy Yankee and Black Eyed Peas!)

Monday August 7- Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Joe’s Pub (Mexican-born Dublin-based brother-sister duo that player a unique blend of acoustic guitar. It’s good, trust me).

?Thursday September 28- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Central Park Summerstage (The least favorite of the concert schedule since late September really isn’t “summer” and tix are about $33. Odds on favorite for “concert-I’ll-skip-unless-I-have-the-good-fortune-to-get-invited”).

This is a pretty long list, but I would’ve gone to some performances at Webster Hall by the Charlatans UK, The Walkmen and Os Mutantes. Unfortunately that venue is wheelchair inaccessible so I’ll miss what should be really good shows. Now if only Morrissey, the Pixies, and Controller.Controller would stop by NYC to make things interesting…

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Reflection on an Unfinished Job

On Tuesday I went to see my secondary thesis reader at NYU. Throughout the previous weekend I had been a nervous wreck in anticipation of what he would say, especially any critiques of my work.

“You are definitely on the right track” he says after reviewing my draft.

Relief. Lots of relief.

We go over several details of the draft and where I could improve on. Nothing too bad thankfully, but some major changes were needed. All-in-all a very productive hour with him analyzing, correcting, and figuring out what to do.

At the end, he drops a bombshell: “I expect your next draft in three weeks.”

Oh shit.

“Well…um…you see….I have about a week-and-a-half to get this all done.”

“I’m afraid that will be impossible.”

Oh shit (again).

He explains that the last thing I could afford to do is hand in a rushed job that would turn out to be incomplete. I need to be meticulous and analytical since the thesis is about a unique topic. My thesis has a lot of potential to be an extraordinary report so I should continue progressing the way that I have so far. He even offers himself as a thesis reader over the summer, a move that I’ve been told he rarely does.

I accept though I’m unsure of whether to smile or cry.

So much work, so much sacrifice, so much effort only to have to put it off yet again.

By the end of the day, though, I looked back at what he said; it was good work and it was going in the right direction. My dismay has turned into determination to get the job done right. Perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but maybe I could present the finished thesis at a conference or get it published. There’s no limit to how good this could be so I will give it my all.

Even if it means continuing to grow this itchy, hairy beard out.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Live blogging: Red Bulls v. DC

4.05- Good afternoon sports fans! Even though my arms are about to fall out of their respective sockets from typing my thesis, I'm going to live blog today's MLS game between the home team Red Bulls (a.k.a. "us" or "we") against the visitors from DC (a.k.a. "them" or whatever expletive comes to mind). The season's been three games long and we've only gotten three ties, including two from blown leads such as the season opener at DC. Earlier this week, our GM defected to LA and the team's in flux. The weather is dreary and chilly; hopefully this will not be an omen for us. Ok, the whistle's blown so let's hope for the best (i.e. not a loss or another blown draw).

4.09- Just showed coach Mo Johnston on TV. I really hope the higher-ups keep him as coach as he's done a decent job. Sure they could bring in Donadoni or Meekens, but Johnston's good at rallying the boys and at strategizing. (Okay, that sounded odd. Just trust me, Mo's fine for the job).

4.10- Wow, just found out that we got Peguero (Haitian international) in a trade last night. Fuck, I ought to read the boards at more often.

4.15- Easy save by Big Fat Tony off Eskandarian. So far little chances by either side. Kinda dull, but it's only the 9th minute.

4.17- Defensive miscue almost cost us as
Big Fat Tony comes up with a big save. Big Fat Tony's was critical in helping us shutout New England two weeks ago and in avoiding a humilating loss last week at Real Salt Lake. We've yet to have a shot on goal.

4.20- Foul on Eskandarian. Ensuing free kick no a problem for Big Fat Tony (herafter referred to as BFT). Though I ode DC, it's nice to see Eskandarian back for them. He's a great young play who's a solid asset for the national squad. Dare I say he's a better young talent than Adu?

4.25- We finally have a solid chance on goal, but they clear it away. 19th minute; no score. Great shot of the Empire Soccer Club supporting our boys.

4.28- Nice chance on an outlet pass to Henderson but thier goalie smothers it. Our offense has done very little. Djorkaeff and Guevera's done nothing so far.

4.31- Silly point, but I don't like the side piping on either of the team's jerseys. Yeah Adidas is the new jersey sponsor for MLS, but they don't have to put lines all over the friggin' place on the unis.

4.38- 31st minute and still scoreless. DC has controlled play so far getting most of the offensive chances. They've had several shots on goal with only one or two dangerous chances. We're stifled by their defense and midfield. Have to be wary of fouling them too much. One of our boys has already been carded.

4.42- Buddle's down on the grass...err...I mean "FieldTurf". A little shaken, but not too bad.

4.44- "A pretty lousy game to be out of doors" says the announcer on ESPN. In more ways than one besides the weather.

4.47- 1-0 them in the 41st minute. Eskandarian scores off an AWFUL attempt by Wynne to clear the ball out of the penalty box, then celebrates by going to their bench to drink a can of Red Bull and spitting it out. Class act all the way. Meanwhile, we've had a non-exsistant offense, mediocre midfield and defense. I believe we've gone nearly 15 minutes without a shot on goal. Absolutely crappy way to head into halftime.

4.52- Halftime whistle blown. Magee just had a good opportunity snuffed out by their goalie diving in and covering the ball. Looks like he's really hurt his finger on that attempt, possibly dislocated. The perfect ending to a dull, listless, and bad first half for us.

5.07- Mo's job as coach is d-o-n-e unless he pulls off the greatest locker room speech of all time during the interval. The situation with Magee doesn't make things any better. We need to pick up the pace along the midfield (wake up Guevara!) and Djorkaeff needs to do more than foul DC players. Otherwise, I'm shocked Eskandarian's celebration did not earn him a yellow card or even a warning from the officals. Silly and unneccessary from a player of his caliber.

5.08- 2nd half begins with some discussion of
Eskandarian's celebration; called it a "Terrell Owens-like stunt." Asshole.

5.09- "Where is everybody!" First time I scream at the TV bemoaning Wynne being left on his own on an offensive chance.

5.13- Heated discussion at the BigSoccer boards- was
Eskandarian's celebration "unsportsmanlike" or "funny". The game itself continues to be boring as hell, though we've stepped up a bit on the attack.

5.21- Djorkaeff finally stops fouling others and gets fouled himslf about 22-24 yards away from goal. His shot hits the wall, however, so the misery continues as we head into a half-hour left in the game.

5.22- "Fuck, fuck, fuck" I yell at the television as
Eskandarian scores again. Purgatory, absolute purgatory.

5.26- After two out of three games where we blew leads and had to conform with ties, we're going to have to do the opposite in the reamining 28 minutes and comeback from a 2-goal defecit. This is turning into yet another looooooong season.

5.30- Changed the channel for a second to see the Rangers-Devils score. Rangers down 6-1 with less than 5 minutes to go. Great, just friggin' great.

5.34- BFT mistimes a 35-yard blast and now we're down 3-0. 22 minutes left and it isn't looking any better than before. So long Mo, nice to know you. This is going to be a very looooooong season.

5.38- "They're not playing up to their potential" says play-by-play commentator Eric Wynalda.
No offense, but no shit Sherlock.

5.44- Buddle gets carded shortly after
Eskandarian is substituted. Eskandarian is just interviewed about the infamous celebration and admits that they would've done it in the season opener but nobody on the bench had a can of Red Bull. I swear, the shit just doesn't stop.

5.50- Djorkaeff just scored in the 87th minute. Small solace.

5.51- They scored less than a minute after
Djorkaeff. Solace erased.

5.55- Game over. Absolutely awful and disgraceful effort. We shouldn't have bothered to show up, it was that bad. Definitely the worst game of the season. I can put up with losing, but not the horrible effort demonstrated on the field today. If anything positive can come about this, is a change in the coaching and front office. (The writing's on the wall for Mo; he's gone after today). The way things are going, however, it will be like a sign at the season opener at DC: "New name, same lame"

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tidbits: “Good Looking Man About Town” Edition

-I’ve been on a bit of a good streak doing this thesis report inasmuch as I’ve yet to type up most of it. Still, like some athletes, I feel that any major changes to my routine will jinx me for the worst. In my case, I have gone nearly 7 months without a haircut and nearly a month without shaving. Hence I look like an ugly cross between a Uruguayan soccer player and Brazil’s president. Not a pretty sight.

-After all the crap that’s happened to me over the past year, I should be better accustomed to taking negative things in stride and not stressing over trivialities. Instead, I find myself screaming like a banshee and having a massive shit fit over the team-formerly-known-as-the-MetroStars blowing yet another lead and having to conform to a tie. When will I ever learn?

-On a far more positive note, this past Saturday was Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball. As a former Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) Scholar, I have had the great honor and privilege to meet and speak with both Rachel and Sharon Robinson. They are two of the kindest and most wonderful people I know, and they have done very well to keep Jackie’s legacy alive through the efforts of the JRF. Nearly 300 bright, exceptional, and fabulous students are currently going to college around the U.S. with help from JRF. I am enormously proud to be part of such a benevolent and outstanding organization.

-Lastly, there are very few songs that have the ability to stop me in my tracks a la Carl Farbman from “Seinfeld” and compel me to focus all my energy on listening and savoring every note of its melody. For me that song has been “Star Witness” by Neko Case. I am an absolute sucker for female musicians, especially in a genre that I would normally ignore like country music. (Maybe I am nit-picky but I will not call Case’s music “alt-country;” that name seems a wee bit too contrived). Although the blogosphere has gone crazy over Case, I cannot help but join the movement; better late than never, I suppose.

Anyway, here’s a link to a bunch of mp3s from a concert Case performed earlier this month where she sings numerous songs including “Star Witness” from a concert appearance earlier this month: "
Neko Case: "All Songs Considered" Live Set, Washington D.C.'s 9.30 Club, As Originally Webcast On The National Public Radio (, April 9, 2006"

As a bonus, here’s an mp3 from The New Pornographers, a band out of Canada that Case sings with and that is pure power pop goodness: “Mass Romantic”.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Still ill.

Still tired.

Still forging ahead.

Still hoping for the best.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?

I’ve been sick all day long. My allergies have gotten the best of me and I’ve barely gotten any work done today. Worse, I was forced to cancel today's appointment with my primary thesis advisor. I should’ve been at his office now listening to his suggestions and critiques. Instead, I’m stuck at home desperately trying to figure out how I will play catch up and have it all done by the time I meet with my secondary thesis advisor on Tuesday.

Aside from panicking, I’ve been doing some light reading and listening to an old mainstay: The Smiths. I’ve been listening to some of their very popular tunes like “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and “There is a Light that Never Goes Out,” but also “Unlovable,” “Death at One’s Elbow,” and “Oscillate Wildly.” (Even though “Oscillate Wildly” is an instrumental, it sounds very similar to Soda Stereo’s “Tratame Suavemente” doesn’t it?)

Okay, back to work but not without linking to these two Smiths-related videos I found on YouTube a few weeks ago:

The first ninety seconds of “Viva Morrissey”- a documentary on Morrissey’s devoted fan base amongst Latino youths in Los Angeles. (Nearly chose to write about this as my thesis).

The Smiths performing “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” during a 1986 concert in their native Manchester.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I left around dawn this morning to go to NYU and conduct some last-minute thesis research. As I strolled around campus, there seemed to be an eerie quiet that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It seemed like yesterday that the semester started with the usual hullabaloo and activity indicative of NYU. Now it's quiet, more subdued. I couldn't help but think at how odd it was feeling, but it's probably just the fact that I'm rarely on campus and I spend weeks on end reading, writing and typing from home.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with one of my thesis readers, so I definitely want to make sure I don't hand in a crappy report. I have about two weeks left to finish it and have it approved by both my readers and I definitely want to keep any errors to a minimum.

Commencement is one day short of a month away. I can't imagine at how the day will be and in the end how relieved I will feel to put over three years of hardship behind me. It has not been all bad, particularly putting into account those that have helped me and seen me improve on so many levels. Yet I seriously doubt I'll leave NYU on the happiest of terms with the warmest of memories.

In the meantime, I will have to be content with the only loud noises around- the many thoughts and ideas that run around in my mind. At least they make more sense than pondering about the silence around campus.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Green Stuff

When I was an undergrad in Miami, I had a huge crush on this girl I first met a student club meeting. The obsession I had for her intensified when I moved into the dorms shortly after we met and she became my neighbor. I actually thought I had a chance to be a couple with her and to reverse the horrible fortune I had with the fairer sex. I was willing to do anything to be on her good side and most of the time we got along very well.

One day we had a deep discussion on our respective ethnic backgrounds. We were both of Colombian heritage so we discussed about issues like our families and experiences with them. As we were talking about food, she surprised me by admitting that she was a strict vegetarian and hated having to eat meat when visitng her family over there in order to please them. I didn’t mind at all, but since I wanted to have every advantage possible to win her heart I decided to try to become a vegetarian. No meat, no way, no how. I was to quit cold turkey (no pun intended) and I honestly believed that this would be one of the best moves I could make.

With little fanfare I decided to start my metamorphosis from carnivorous fatty to hipster-thin vegetarian. Day 1 went by rather well. Breakfast was always meatless for me; I skipped lunch, and had a hearty salad for dinner. “Not bad,” I thought.

Day 2 was a little more unusual in that I felt a little weaker than the day before, yet I attributed that to too much exercising in the gym rather than my changed diet. Bagel in the morning, plenty of water throughout the day, and another hearty salad for dinner. I cheated a bit by eating an after-dinner cookie, but I rationalized that at least it wasn’t bacon or steak.

Day 3 was a carbon copy of day 1, except for soup at dinner. No gym, but I was still feeling rather weak. And quite lazy, too.

That evening I could not sleep.

I was rolling around in bed thinking about every thought conceivable interspersed with pangs for eating meat. Nothing could dissuade my lust for meat that night. I tried to think of the inhumane factory-like conditions some animals are kept under. I tried to think of my health and how much it would improve by going meatless. I even tried to think about how she would view me in a better light by having the mental and physical strength to ignore all meat. I eventually got out of bed at 11am after spending what seemed like an eternity with my rambling, incoherent thoughts.

“To hell with it.”

I quickly got up, got dressed, and took the five minute walk to the student union building. Although it was a Saturday and most of the food court was closed, I knew that there was at least one restaurant open. It was the only place that would help me break the streak without any guilt, and with complete joy. It would be a carnivorous delight.

Pollo Tropical.

I raced to my dorm holding my order like it was my last meal. Opened the door, shut the blinds, and plowed through what had been the best meal I ate in weeks. One whole chicken, some rolls oozing with chicken juice and several small orders of platano, beans, and rice later I was a very content person.

“To hell with her.” She was an easy scapegoat, though I was the one at fault for trying to transform myself into something I was not.

A few months later on Valentine’s Day she told me that she had a boyfriend who lived near Fort Lauderdale. They had been together for six years and she was madly in love with him. Shortly after I confessed to her my desire for her. We remained close friends until I graduated. Afterwards, I returned to New York and we wrote to each other every so often. I have not heard from her since last November.

She never knew of my attempt at vegetarianism, and I would never tell her of this.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to eat a turkey sandwich.

Friday, April 07, 2006

April 10th : Day of Action for Immigrants’ Rights

There will be many events taking place around the U.S. this Monday as part of a “national day of action” for immigration reform. For instance, in NYC there will be a rally at City Hall between 3pm and 7pm, and a march will take place in Miami around Government Center in the afternoon.

For other info on the immigration debate, please feel free to peruse these posts submitted to The Latin Americanist: April 10th, Border Film Project, L.A. rally last month.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I have had very little luck with the opposite sex.

I don’t blame them for viewing me solely as a friend or for just not having enough interest in me as a boyfriend.

Moreover, I accept the limitations which serve as a turn-off to women: impatience, hoarse voice, shyness, tendency to be introverted.

Yet that doesn’t allay the fact that I’ve gone approximately 8 years without being in a serious relationship. (And yes, I am counting silly high school puppy love as “serious”).

A couple of weeks ago I planned to go out and attend a seminar at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. I made sure to reserve the Access-A-Ride the day before to be picked up at 1:00. Foolishly enough, I overslept the night before and woke up at shortly after noon. Running like a maniac, I put on a ratty old sweater and stained jeans, neglected to shave and gel my hair, gargled with a touch of Scope and even forgot to put on deodorant. I had 20 minutes to get about an hour's worth of things done. In short, I was one sad, fugly, heinous mess.

After a quick medical appointment near Union Square I headed towards the Center. Hungry as hell I tried to find a restaurant in the area of City Hall. I settled on a small, nondescript pizza joint and wolfed down a chicken parmagiana calzone. Filling as it was, my breath reeked of garlic. Not smart.

Eventually, I enter the auditorium and I’m getting situated. Taking a quick glance towards the entrance I spot an attractive young lady.

“She’s cute; I wish I weren’t such a mess I could approach her” I say.

She then approaches me, greets me by name, and gives me a huge hug and kiss. I have no clue who this person was ‘til we start talking.

It was Venegas.

Venegas was a grad student I knew at NYU. We shared a few classes and she graduated last spring. I hadn’t seen her I nearly a year.

And I had a thing for her, though she never knew it. Not only was she cute, but she also was incredibly bright, worldly, and just a pleasure to be around. She reminded me a lot of “la vecina”, but Venegas was far more humble.

So here we meet again; her radiant and absolutely lovely, me looking like shit.

We talked for quite a while after the seminar, we leave together and I even walk her towards the subway station. It was nice, though the next time we met, which was last week, she seemed kind of aloof. Just my luck.

Then earlier today I was working on my thesis. I took a brief break and as I browsed through Gothamist, Cris IM’d me.

Cris was my high school crush. I went head over heels for her and dedicated far too much of my time senior year towards trying to conquer her. It was for naught as she fell for one of my classmates. After I graduated we lost touch for several years until last spring when we met purely by chance at NYU. She had just started grad school there. She gave me her phone number, but my timidity got the best of me and I never called her. Yet I still had a soft spot for her.

Cris and I spoke for about an hour via IM. It was a fun discussion where we talked about school, life, high school, so many things. I was about to tell her how I still longed for her. How I wish we could give being a couple a chance. How it would be nice to go out for dinner and a movie after the semester is done.

“Oh, by the way. Haven’t I told you I’m engaged?”

She goes on to explain how she started dating one of her classmates shortly after I graduated high school. They had been off-and-on for about 7 years, but they were confident enough to take the plunge together. They plan on getting married next May. Her fiancé and I never really got along, but I had no enmity towards him. Still the thought of her engagement shocked me profoundly.

“Congrats Cris! I wish you both the very best.”

And I meant that even though I was hurt inside.

Because in the end it’s my limitations that have been my worse enemy. Fate works that way and I accept it.