Rick Rossin’ it at the Dog Run

For those unfamiliar w/ RIck Ross and his *revelation* read this first.

A few days ago I take Milo to the dog run at Von King Park about 4 blocks away from my neighborhood. Milo and I are ‘regulars’ at the run whenever he’s at my house and we’re friendly with quite a few of the dogs and their humans there. It’s typically a peaceful place for the dogs to meet n’ greet. To me the run serves is a great effort by old and new residents of the ‘Stuy to make the park a little more fun and safe for the community and our pets. We fought hard for the run to exist and got it. Not even Fort Greene or Clinton Hill aka the more gentrified ‘hoods have a run.

Sometimes, though, and I mean SOMEtimes there are still remnants of the big, bad Do or Die even at the dog run.

I was there this past Wednesday evening and Milo had been happily running around playing chase when I hear a scuffle between two dogs. I was sitting on a far bench so I didn’t see what exactly happened. Scuffles are nothing new and are usually settled quickly. Then I hear the kids on the sidewalk talking – “Oooh! That man had a gun! They should go fight the dogs and earn a bit of money!” *record skips* And this is where I look into the camera like Ferris – “WTF!?” I grab Milo as the owner of this very nice and big, St. Bernard/Lab mix named Lily, grabs her and jets. Dogs sense when the energy is off and Milo starts to feed into it to play the mediator which could lead to him getting hurt, so I said “OK! Time to jet!” and left swiftly.

The following day I go to the run and these two sweet Am-Staff terriers start begging for my water jug. I give them and the other dogs water and as soon as I step off the bench the female AmStaff bites the top off my jug and goes at it. I laugh and as I go to pet her, I notice she’s underfed. Rib cage jutting out, scars on her lips indicating that she’s been fighting, etc. *Insert another WTF!* moment here. The other owners casually say to the AmStaff owners to water their dogs as they see her knock over the jug and go at it. I look over to the owners and just notice something was a little off. They weren’t too concerned about their dogs getting overly playful or rough. In fact they were laughing when another dog would check their dogs.

Fastforward to yesterday I am at the dog run Friday morning and Milo is happily playing with this Chow mix named Daisy and another puppy a little younger than him named Duke. Daisy’s owner asks me if I heard of the guy w/ a gun. And I explained to him that I didn’t stay long to actually see the gun, but heard the kids mention it. We talk about how inappropriate that is, etc. and how Coby’s owner (dog who got gun pointed at him) should file a complaint. Turns out dude w/ gun is a CO so he is licensed to carry a live piece. However, HOWEVER, this does not give you license to point it at a dog EVER. Nothing ever justifies that. Rick Rossin’ it at the dog run. People are insane. I also ask if they noticed the two Am Staffs who are underfed (Daisy was there too) and explained to them that I noticed the dogs were really skinny, scarred (yes SCARS) and malnourished when I gave them water.

It saddens me to this day that people treat their pets like trash that can be thrown out and easily replaced. It is even more alarming that anybody would point a gun at a dog and think that’s kosher. I was tempted to call 311 or the ASPCA on the owners of the AmStaffs but I don’t know where they live.

I will continue to take Milo to the run because it makes him happy and gives him a lot of exercise he needs, but will definitely be more careful and observant of which dogs are there.

On a nicer day...

On a nicer day...

Brooklyn Keeps On Takin’ It: The Afro-Punk Block Party

I’ve been going to quite a few events this summer and almost all of them have been $Free.99. The quality of these events have been out of this world. As many of you know – I have wide open ears when it comes to music. Afropunk is a fun event because you get a little bit of everything – rock, hip hop, punk and soul. As with any outdoor BK event, you’re bound to run into everybody.

From fellow Pinays like Fly Lady Di:

Or R&B/Soul divas like Ms. N’dea Davenport. I admit to cheesin’ it up when I met her and telling her that I have every album and play at least one Brand New Heavies song during my set (no joke).

Posted in Life, Music. 1 Comment »

Dustin’ off the vinyl w/ Brina Payne, Brainchild & Waajeed!

flyer by yours truly

flyer by yours truly

I wrote a letter…


I received a generic email from the Obama campaign to write about why I voted for him. I got into it and imagined myself on the podium introducing at a rally. Here is what came out:

My parents came to this country from the Philippines in 1979 and have always been Democrats. They firmly believe that this party has their best interests at heart – economic policy, social justice, and education.When it was my turn to register at the age of 18, I initially registered as an Independent. I was disillusioned by the two party machine and believed at one point Republicans or Democrats did not take a firm stand on the issues that mattered to me the most. These issues are similar to the ones my parents value – right to a good education, social justice, economy, immigration, and the war in Iraq.After 4 years of President Bush, I changed my registration from Independent to Democrat in 2004. I decided that in order for there to be any change – I had to work with the two party system. A system that, while flawed, is one that is the most established in this country. I learned from my work as a student activist and social worker that sometimes I gotta work with a flawed system to effect change. On February 5, 2008 – I proudly cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama. After 8 years of economic/political turmoil in this country, I believe that Senator Obama can help put us on the right path of healing. My parents and siblings – longtime supporters of President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton – voted for him too. My family believes that this country needs a change so drastic that it spans the spectrum of political ideology and history. And it touches every single person living here – from the brownstones of Bedford-Stuyvesant to the Alaskan coast.The time for change is now.Obama ’08! 

I Ain’t Rich, B*TCH!

Such is life that in 2008 a social worker w/ a Master’s degree is paid $42,288. Yes, that social worker be me.  Um, and please note that is gross income.  Granted, I am thankful for my job and I know that I am more fortunate than many others, but some days I do wish I hit the jackpot or something.  Because let’s face it in order to earn this salary I pulled out loans that were worth nearly the same amount! Regrets? No. Never. But the reality has hit and I had to respond accordingly.I will soon be working extra fee for service hours at an outpatient clinic on Friday evenings and Saturdays. The bonuses include: extra income to off-set the burn of loan repayment and more experience. Moreover, I gain some peace of mind. I hate stressing out about money and I would rather be smart about it now, than pay for it later.

Posted in Life. 3 Comments »

New arrival…

Princess & the pups

Some of you may have noticed this picture in my facebook and myspace pics. This is a pic of Princess, Joe’s sister’s  (Remy) yorkie, and her puppies. She had them last week – a litter of 6. A few months ago I was told of Princess’ pregnancy and that Remy was planning to give the away to family.  I immediately told Joe to sign me up on that list! I’d been wanting a dog for a LOOONG time, but decided that I wouldn’t get one until I am more settled. I survived my first year at work and Joe has a better job and is planning to move closer to the neighborhood – so it seemed that now would be the perfect time.  Furthermore, puppies are expensive (even if I adopted), so the prospect of getting one was still a long way away until these li’l darlin’s came along. They have to be with Princess for about 8-9 weeks. So I will take one home in the Spring. The weather will be a little warmer for puppy training. 😉

Posted in Doggie doo, Life. Tags: . 5 Comments »

Jumpin’ into the New Year!

The Santos Family Jump! (I'm in the orange coat)

I’ve been back home in BK for about a week now after enjoying the holiday break with family. As always with every large family – you get a little bit of everything.  My sister and I started our vacation by visiting our nephew in New Jersey. He was born in late November and this was our first time seeing him.  Mind you, I’ve had nieces and nephews for a while now, but being around him is different because most of my other cousins w/ kids are much older.  Seeing my cousin who is my age have a baby made me realize even more that new chapters are being written by me and others in my generation.  
Me & Dylan
My focus right now is my career, saving money, and spending time with who I love most – my family, Joey, and my friends.  All this is not necessarily for bigger and better things – but to simply find a negotiable balance and to plan for the future. Surprisingly the desire to have a family of my own is more prevalent than it was before, mostly because I see me and my cousins moving into this phase in our lives, but I know it will take time and planning.  No need to rush or worry about when it will happen, especially since I am with somebody who wants all those things too.
 My nephew Ethan singing at my grandfather's grave Christmas Day
My parents’ generation are also moving into another phase.  Although I think my parents are still young and have 1 chick in the nest, they are already starting to talk about retirement and asking me and my sister to make sure we are financially stable so that we can help them with our youngest sister when she goes to college.  They are also starting to see their parents pass away.  My dad’s side of the family experienced their first major death, my grandfather’s, in April and then my grandfather’s brother on January 2nd of this year (my sis and I saw him while we were there). While it was odd not seeing him during Christmas, I’m coming to accept that my grandparents aren’t going to be around forever and I greatly appreciate the fact that I had them for as long as I did.
With all this in mind – 2007 was an eventful year.  From birth to death and everything in-between.  I don’t like to predict what 2008 may bring, but I know I will do my best to enjoy each and every moment.