This Week In Amazing: Booze Blogs, Airplanes, Crunchy Granola, and the Margaret Cho Powerhouse

I don’t know if it’s the new year, or if the planets have just been aligning in the right way, or if it’s all my positive thinking as of late, but 2012 is shaping up to be pretty grand. It’s been another busy busy week – hustling to find work and making time for the amazing people in my life.

It’s been a little extra boozy around here this week... On Tuesday, a friend of ours came in to town from Las Vegas and we all went out to one of our local haunts (Scully’s Tavern, as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – please try the Garlic Fries if you’re ever there!) for a few pints. Had to dedicate a cheers to our friend Germs, whose been sailing on the high seas with his new gig as an airbrush artist for Carnival Cruises (what an awesome gig to land!). Also joined Miss Emily Gingham for a few daytime cocktails at Chilis (note: we didn’t have the pizza shooters or extreme fajitas) during the week, and this was when we came up with our new brain child… or rather, booze child. See, Miss Emi and myself have some pretty extensive knowledge of the Miami bar scene. Plus, we love booze. So with that, we decided we’re starting up our very own blog about our misadventures with alcohol!

Our "contract," written appropriately on a bar napkin.

Emi's first contribution to the booze blog.

We’re still finalizing a name but we’ve got plenty of ideas for writing and artwork to go along with it. I’ll post a link up to it here once the site’s gone live. Seriously excited about giving ourselves another excuse to bar hop, hah.

Speaking of bars, I hung out with a friend a few nights ago who actually showed me a spot in Kendall I didn’t know about. If you’re a Kendall rat, you already know the Ale House, Flanigans, Gridiron, and the rest. However, tucked away inside of Tamiami Airport is a little insider secret called the Runway Cafe. A decent beer selection, plenty of Jamaican food, reggae and latin music, and most importantly – a seriously chill vibe are what make this one of my favorite new Miami finds. After a round of beers, my friend took me out on to the actual airport runway and showed me his plane (not a euphemism, I swear). It was my first time hanging out in a cessna and it made me think I should add “Get my pilot license” to my ever-growing bucket list. I can’t imagine how freeing it is to know that you got yourself up in the air! But one thing at a time… On a side note, my new friend is looking for someone to join him in some indoor rock climbing (something i’ve been wanting to try out for ages now), so watch out for some embarrassing posts about my fear of heights at the rock climb gym!

Of course, these kinds of activities will require a bit of money. And speaking of money, I started one of my gigs this week. It’s running the front desk of a dance school. Extremely part time, but a gigs a gig and right now I take what I can get. The job hunt is a slow and frustrating process, but I feel like it’s partly about the numbers and the rest is who you know. This is just one of many reasons why I love meeting people. I’m currently in the process of possibly obtaining another PT gig for a small software development/consulting firm. Regardless of whether I get the gig, I’ve already met some new folks and learned some interesting things as a result of the interview. My potential new employer asked me to come attend a tour of his home as part of a local permaculture class.

For those of us new to permaculture, let me guide you to a short wiki description:

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modeled on the relationships found in nature.It is based on the ecology of how things interrelate rather than on the strictly biological concerns that form the foundation of modern agriculture. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs; it’s a system of design where each element supports and feeds other elements, ultimately aiming at systems that are virtually self-sustaining and into which humans fit as an integral part.

So basically, it’s keeping in mind both multipurpose design and sustainability when creating living and farming spaces. There’s some great people and great ideas to be found in the Permaculture Miami group. They offer a 6-week course twice a year, so any local folks interested in this sort of thing should definitely join the Facebook group and sign up! In a simple tour, I learned about the importance of having lots of windows, how to make your home look bigger by design, how to use composting bathrooms, and how people use groundwater to keep their homes cool. There were so many different kinds of people in the group too: bankers and socialists, interior designers and dancers, all together because they want to see how they can build their own beautiful living spaces cheaply and as green as possible.

After the tour, I came home to two pretty great family-related moments… The first was a conversation with my grandmother, whom I hadn’t spoken to in about 2 years. In the past few years, there were a few falling-out moments with a lot of my family in Nicaragua and as a result, I’d basically been unable to speak with anyone over there in a long while. Finally getting to talk to my now 85-year-old grandmother, hearing her speak, still sharp as a whip, brought me a whole lot of joy and made me realize that I seriously need to book a flight over and visit my abuelita in Corinto. Life is much too short and in my life, there are few people I have ever felt loved by so unconditionally as her.

Chloe and Sophie know what's up.

My second family-related moment came when my nieces, the Wonder Twins, came home while I was having a nice 90’s dance party on the solo in my kitchen. As it turns out, Chloe and Sophie both share my great love of TLC and NKOTB and every other 90’s group with acronym names! I had a blast lecturing these almost 9-month-olds about never settling for “scrubs” and I even confessed my formerly undying love of Taylor Hanson.

Oh, yeah. I'd still hit it.

Yeah, I really can’t complain. It’s been another amazing week. As I type this, I’m also in the process of getting ready for a mini-vacation to West Palm Beach to hang out with a rad artist friend of mine. To say it’s going to be good times is most likely an understatement.

One last thing before I go… If you read anything this week, make sure to read Margaret Cho’s recent piece that up on Jezebel. The short of it is that she said everything that every woman (hell, every PERSON) has ever wanted to say to any asshole that decided it was their job to criticize another person’s body. Here’s an excerpt:

Some outside Facebook observer said that my “language” was too much and told me that I had “lost a fan” because she couldn’t condone my “language.” I am sorry for that, as I love my fans, and it sucks to lose one, but obviously she doesn’t understand that when you grow up the way that I did, with kids at school throwing rocks at my face because they hated it because it was so ugly to them and they wanted the blood from my wounds to cover it so it wouldn’t have to be seen and at summer camps stuffed dog shit in my sleeping bag because I was told time and again that I looked like shit — and that I had to empty myself in the dark forest and still sleep in smelling that shit all that night and for weeks after because my family was too poor to afford a new one — my “language” is on the strong side. I apologize for offending the former fan, but I am only myself. That is all I can be, and if I must apologize for that, I don’t mind. All I am trying to say is that no young girl should be told she is ugly. If she is, you kill her spirit, and she may grow up like me, and lose a fan.

Ms. Cho is gorgeous and for her to have the kind of strength to share this and to really lay into someone that deserved it makes me respect her a million times more. As someone who grew up at times completely hating what she looked like, I can completely relate to her anger and frustration, and also to what I bet was a nice catharsis when she finished writing all of this. Some people grow up oblivious to how cruel words can sometimes be, especially when you’re deemed as “different.” (How appropriate that TLC’s “Unpretty” just started playing as I write this?) I spent years wanting to get a nose job, a boob job, laser hair removal, and wanting to lose weight so I could fit in to the mold of what I thought was supposed to be beautiful. I grew up admiring my Barbie dolls and as a 10 year old was convinced that when I turned 23, I would magically go blonde, grow huge tits, have a tiny waist, and look like some imaginary Caucasian model version of myself. When I turned 13, I realize that would never happen, and real depression set in. Compile that with ignorant kids saying ignorant and hateful things, walking across a hallway in order to not have to walk near me, getting spit balls thrown at me, having people play mean tricks, and it’s no wonder that I had suicidal thoughts before I even got to high school. I’ll write more about this another time, but basically – Margaret Cho, thank you.

That’s it for this week in amazing. Time to prepare for the next one! Here’s a little outro music for your listening pleasure. It’s an oldie but a goodie:

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