Friday, December 31, 2010

El Rincon Borinquena Y su Musica Latina

It is said that "Listening and dancing to music can benefit people suffering from stress. The Latin music is part of the culture and heritage of the artist who interprets it and for those who listen to the Latin music, it races the heart beat and awakens in the blood the movement of dance.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra-Llego la Banda

To contact:


El Rincon Borinquena-Spicing It Up In Spanish Harlem

SPANISH HARLEM: (El Barrio) Also Called East Harlem: It clusters around the 110th street station of the Lexington Avenue subway. East Harlem covers the area between Fifth Avenue and the East River from 96th to 142nd Street. The bulk of the population in this area by the 1930s were circa 50,000 Puerto Ricans, though it is today becoming increasingly mixed. In "El Barrio", you will find a large variety of affordable international food and meat products. Restaurants and cafés offering such irresistible alluring aromas of numerous Spanish dishes draw much of their patronage from visitors to the area.

Puerto Rican Cuisine: Caliéntalo, menéalo, y échale pique. Taste the delicious Boricua flavor.

Bistec Encebollado

Elba's Arroz con Gandules Recipe

To contact:

Thoughts of an Italian Writer: Theatrical Company "Anormali da Palcoscenico "Stages Play "Inner Voices" (2)

(Continued from Page: 1)

To those who have devoted themselves to this theatrical work I would like to express my appreciation and give them my personal Edoardiano recollection. At Montalcino, province of Siena, on July 9 1983,with the conference show "“L’Attore e la Tradizione," this was the last time that Eduardo De Filippo made his theatrical appearance in public. I had the pleasure of assisting as a participant in the seminars of the "Festival Internazionale d'Arte Montalcino Teatro Stage'83" dedicated to the "Italian Theatrical Tradition," produced with the patronage of the Institute of Theater and Performance University of Rome, with Teachers Ferruccio Marotti and Paola Quarenghi, and the collaboration of the Tuscany Region, the Province of Siena, the Commune of Montalcino and the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.

In that moment I put aside a photograph in black and white and the dedication of the teacher "in memory" for me and for each of the handful of students from all over Italy, who came to perfect themselves in the art of the theater.

From the materials left in dowry with that unrepeatable experience, an excerpt is drawn: "Although young, we feel the strength to lift the world and turn it in our own way, yet doesn't it seem that the strength of billions of experiences made from others, is because men like us can help us? I believe so. However, I am convinced that even to refute and deny a past experience, this experience must be profound and even loved. If you use the life that continues the tradition in the right way, it can give us wings. Certainly if you stop in the past, it will develop into a negative fact, but if we use it as a springboard, then we will jump a lot higher than if we departed from the land." Word of Eduardo.
Dr. Antonio Castaldo
December 24, 2010

Thoughts of an Italian Writer: Theatrical Company "Anormali da Palcoscenico "Stages Play "Inner Voices" (1)

Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Sociologist and Journalist, Brusciano, Italy

The Theatrical company "Anormali da Palcoscenico, composed of theater nostalgia was founded in 2001," as stated in the brochure presentation, staged a play by Eduardo De Filippo (Napoli 24.5.1900-Roma 31.10.1984), "Inner Voices" (Le Voci di dentro) near the "Teatro Gloria" of Pomigliano d'Arco, last December 17. The group of young actors, led by Enzo Arena with sureness and creativity evoked the figure of the old actor-manager, with this work has reached the respectful purpose of presenting the twentieth production and introducing the company into its tenth year of activity. This reality arises from the theatrical formation, followed at the local secondary High School, under the workshop management of actor Nello Mascia and guidance of Prof. Vincenzo D'Onofrio president of the "Teatro Pubblico Campano. After that experience, the percipient boys and girls, barely reaching maturity average, decided to establish a theatrical group composed of 15 elements of Pomigliano d'Arco and the rural areas of the interior of the province of Naples.

De Filippo wrote " Inner Voices" (Le voci di dentro)" in 1948 and inserted it in the collection "Cantata dei Giorni Dispari." In this work, the reality dream of Alberto Saporito is represented, where evidence in his dream shows the murder of an acquaintance in his apartment building by members of the Cimmaruta family. Under the influence of the dream and confusing it with reality, he denounces the Cimmarutas to the police. The complaint involves the arrest of all of them who soon for lack of evidence, are released. The doubt that this was a dream which "seemed so real" begins gripping Saporito to the point of immense fear that there will be revenge done against him by the Cimmaruta family. In Saporito's home, there is a brother who tries to take advantage of the situation. With the imminent imprisonment of Alberto for libel and concealment of proof, he would be able to sell off what remains of the equipment of the old family business, especially that of the "holiday apparatus". There is also an uncle, who is in a continual state of aphasia, but in such a way the communicational fireworks code is only obvious to his nephew Alberto.

No longer restricted by Public Safety the Cimmarutas, aunt and nephew, house-maid and lady, including the head of household Pasquale, one by one, paraded in front of the Saportito home, to the astonishment of Alberto who listens to their mutual accusations. Everyone was pointing out that this so-called murder was revealing itself to be a product of an illusion in the mind of a certain author while sleeping.

In this chaotic situation, uncle Nicola recovers his speech for one moment to ask for the word "nu poco 'e pace" and died soon after on his stilts, disconnected from that world and the humanity in which he no longer recognized.

The same Alberto Saporito begins to sum up this unpleasant but significant experience addressing the Cimmarutas: "I have accused you and considering it possible, you have not rebelled. You have put a crime between the probable things of every day; a murder in the family budget! The estimate, don Pasqua', the estimate!... The mutual trust...without which you can get to the crime."

The individual consciousness, sometimes lightened by the vainly-colored suggestions of Zi Nicola, shaken now by a return to the reality of Alberto Saporito, is called to be bound by a renewed commitment to abandon the hypocrisy, malice, suspicion and dislike that often associated with apparent respectability.

The large friendly audience of the "Teatro Gloria" of Pomigliano d'Arco have appreciated the production of the "Anormali da Palcoscenico applauding generously. Therefore, I will give honorable mention to all those in the order of their presentation as listed in the official brochure, characters, performers, technicians and consultants: Donna Rose, the sister of Pasquale Cimmaruta, Milosa Luigi, Maria, the maid, Angela Di Maio; Michele, the porter, Fulvio Velotti; Matilde, wife of Pasquale Cimmaruta, Rossana Mennone; Pasquale Cimmaruta, Simone Borrelli; Carlo Saporito, fratello di Alberto, Sergio Cusano; Alberto Saporito, Enzo Arena; a sergeant, Vito Porricelli; Elvira, daughter of Pasquale Cimmaruta, Maria Merone; Luigi, Son of Pasquale Cimmaruta, Marco Di Vaio; Capa d'angelo, Pasquale Toscano; Zi Nicola, Angelo Capone; Teresa Amitrano, wife of Aniello, Maria Mosca; Aniello Amitrano, Marco La Montagna; Agent of P.S., Nicola Petruolo. Original music by Angelo Capone and Luigi Fusco; Art Consultency, Angelo Capone; Technical Advisors, Vito Porricelli and Nicola Petruolo; Assistant Director, Fulvio Velotti; Assistant director of scenery, Luigi Fusco. Directed by Enzo Arena. The theatrical performance was dedicated to Sebastiano Cerciello, called "Uncle Bruno, dialect poet of the phantasmagoric world of the Feast of the Gigli in Brusciano.

To be continued: Page: 2

To contact: or

Excuse Me, Are You Visiting or Have You Moved In? The Freeloader Nightmare (3)

By Miriam B. Medina

Frankly, freeloaders are a menace to society. People that have freeloader problems rightly become depressed and angry. To make the situation worse, moochers often don't bathe, don't flush the toilet or wipe the seat when finished or don't wash their own clothes. What moochers do in fact is use the phone all night, leaving it off the hook when they're done. They leave the TV on all night and are loud while you try and get some sleep to avoid them. If subtle hints and veiled insinuation won't work, then throw all their belongings outside and change the locks. The following is my own handbook, listing problems with moochers and ways to deal with them.

Miriam's Handbook:

PROBLEM: A friend or loved one shows up uninvited, looking for sympathy and a place to stay.

SOLUTION: If someone shows up uninvited, you can tell the person in a courteous way that you were just leaving and don't have time to chit-chat. The strongest weapon that a freeloader has is using guilt to get what they want from you. Be prepared for this. Don't feel guilty. Always be leery of those who love to tag along but who always seem to forget to bring their wallet. Always mention before you go anywhere involving a cost, that if the other person has his or her wallet with them. Or you can simply say its best that you go Dutch. If the person then says they don't have any money, you tell them, 'I'm sorry I don't have enough, to pay for you too so we will have to skip it.'

PROBLEM: A friend or loved one always wants to visit you but doesn't invite you to visit them. Always try to interchange home visits.

SOLUTION: If someone was at your house this week watching the game and eating all your goodies and drinking your beer, then you recommend doing it at their house the following week. If they are uncooperative, don't bother with them. If they are taking advantage of you, begin to control your dealings with them or stop it altogether. You want to tell them that you are not a money tree nor are you their restaurant, hotel or maid service. You have to nip this behavior in the bud, because the longer you wait, the more tensed you will get, and the more difficult it will be to get rid of these people. Then it becomes squatter's rights. They have all the rights and you get squat.

PROBLEM: Your relative wants to stay with you until they get 'back on their feet.' If they live with you, you have to give them some time frame to get out of your house.

SOLUTION: One way to prevent moochers from staying in your home is to keep the fridge or the cabinets as bare as possible. Hide your supplies somewhere; give them a list of chores to do. If they complain then tell them to buy their own food or they can leave.

PROBLEM: You feel like a maid with all the mess left behind and get sick of things like your guest leaving dirty linens, damp towels on the bed or the bathroom counter.

SOLUTION: House-guests should clean up after themselves. If they are there for one week or so, then they should offer to take the host out to dinner for their trouble. If they plan to return, then tell them that you already have plans for that time and that no one will be home. Try to make your apology seem sincere and convincing as best as you can.

PROBLEM: Relatives will come to your house and stay as long as they want, in order to save on hotel expenses. So the longer they stay, the more resentment builds, which will eventually damage family relations.

SOLUTION: Relatives don't have the right to barge in because they are family, they must first call or write. If they happen to show up unexpectedly, then take them to a hotel or give them a ride to the nearest transportation. Do not let moochers have the run of the house; they need to help by cooking, doing their own laundry and throwing in some cash. They have no right to take advantage of you to save on expenses because somewhere up the family tree, you inherited some of their blood or your spouse did.

PROBLEM: The guests who won't leave when it's getting late.

SOLUTION: If you feel your eyelids are starting to get heavy or like you have a severe case of the hives, start yawning, scratch and get up quietly and in a polite way; mention that you had a lovely evening, that you must repeat the visit at ANOTHER, more convenient time. If you continue to stand, they will get up, at least you hope so, then start walking to the door. If they don't take the hint, then come right out and tell them that you have to go to work the next day and that you are tired and want to go to bed. My mother swears by the broom. She said when you wanted the company who were over-staying their welcome to leave turn the broom upside down by the door, and you will see that it works. Yeah, right mom, like in your dream, that's not going to happen.

PROBLEM: The friend or relative who always sponges money off of you and never pays it back or who considers you their personal, unpaid taxi service.

SOLUTION: Just say you don't mind taking them where they are going, but that you don't have gas in your car or money to pay for gas to get there and NEVER lend anyone who has stiffed you money twice.

Follow these simple tips and you'll soon be free of freeloaders. Good luck!

Miriam B. Medina is an Expert Author Platinum Level at

To contact:

Excuse Me, Are You Visiting or Have You Moved In? The Freeloader Nightmare (2)

By Miriam B. Medina
(Continue from page: 1)

The thing is, all of the moochers and freeloaders acted in the same rude, selfish manner. No one understood why I'd get irritated, working, sacrificing living space, cooking, doing all the shopping and being imposed upon for far too long. I suppose there's a moocher's guide out there that they all swear by.

The Moocher's Guidebook:

Law Number 1: Find a nice, giving, trusting friend or relative and arrange a "short" but indefinite visit.

Law Number 2: Convince these marks to become your personal ATM.

Law Number 3: Always manipulate others to get out of paying your fair share, stiff drinking buddies with the check, bum rides, sponge cigarettes, meals and so forth.

Law Number 4: Never, under any circumstances, clean up after yourself. This sets a dangerous precedent.

Law Number 5: Always raid any unattended refrigerator. Leave nothing.

Law Number 6: Never be courteous. Assume it is yours by natural law, consume and destroy.

Law Number 7: Have fun while the marks are working. What are vacations for?

Law Number 8: Make yourself scarce when chore time arises.

Frankly, freeloaders are a menace to society. People that have freeloader problems rightly become depressed and angry. To make the situation worse, moochers often don't bathe, don't flush the toilet or wipe the seat when finished or don't wash their own clothes. What moochers do in fact is use the phone all night, leaving it off the hook when they're done. They leave the TV on all night and are loud while you try and get some sleep to avoid them. If subtle hints and veiled insinuation won't work, then throw all their belongings outside and change the locks. The following is my own handbook, listing problems with moochers and ways to deal with them.

To be continued: The Freeloader's Nightmare Page: 3

To contact:

Excuse Me, Are You Visiting or Have You Moved In? The Freeloader Nightmare (1)

By Miriam B. Medina

Shanty towns or squatter communities known as "Hooverville's" during President Hoover's term as President (or back in the day as my son might say) began to sprout up all over the United States because of the fallout from the Great Depression. These ragtag "communities" were composed of people who had been evicted from their homes or their farms. These individuals, labeled hobos, were forced to live a degrading existence among grotesque piles of accumulated trash, made of discarded public scraps of food they had to eat or of various items of value that they could sell. The poor and disposed would cook their meager portions of food in tin cans over open fires, covering themselves with old newspapers while wearing Hoover shoes with holes in the soles. The only scenery was blurred by dust in the summer and mud in the winter as they inhaled the stench from all of the trash and the extremely unsanitary dilapidated outhouses. These poor Depression era hobos, though, are no comparison to today's modern freeloaders, lazy, selfish people who are calculating in their tactics, and who by no means suffer as much as those displaced victims of the Great Depression.

Yes we're suffering, and indeed the times, they are a changing, but eating banana peels and wearing newspapers is not the same as eating all of your family or friends potato chips while you watch a re-run of Friends on their cable TV. With today's economic crisis, many people have had to depend on family, friends and relatives to help them out until they get over their financial set back. However, the thing is, too many find this life of "luxury" very accommodating, and so they remain as permanent guests taking advantage of a loved one's hospitality. This is no new occurrence, it's just happening more often today thanks to our lovely crumbling economy, but I, for one, think free-loading is wrong, and it must be stopped. There's a difference between visiting a loved one and commandeering their home.

Here's, an example. Several years ago my husband and I moved to Florida. Every year we would come back to New Jersey to visit family and friends. Well, my husband was always inviting everyone to come down to Florida and stay at our house, so they didn't have to spend money on a hotel, forgetting that we were only renting a small 2 bedroom apartment. Naturally everyone jumped at the opportunity, including his drinking buddies, who came in a car loaded with suitcases and booze. I was working the graveyard shift at the Post Office and needed to sleep during the day. Well, one time, it seems that our bedroom was offered to his drinking buddy and his buddy's wife, while I had to make do crammed into my two little kids' room. These moochers came empty-handed and ate as there was no tomorrow. One week turned into two weeks, which looked as if it would be extending to more. I told my husband to kick them out which he refused to do saying that they were his guests, and that would be rude on his part. I was furious, working nights, and not getting proper sleep. During the day, they went down to the beach or explored the area, having a grand old time. The woman did nothing to help me. I couldn't take it anymore. I called around to hotels in the area and asked what their prices were, and when the couple returned that afternoon, I told them that they had to leave, it was two weeks already, and I needed my room back. The man said he was paying my husband $20.00 a week for the room, which was ridiculous... Imagine thinking that $20.00 a week was going to cover the cost of 3 square meals a day plus my room for two people. No way Jose, has he had to be out of his mind. Well I must say after they saw how mad I was, they got the message loud and clear immediately calling a nephew who lived in the area. That annoyed me even more, knowing that they had a nephew that lived nearby, and I had to be inconvenienced by this pair of moochers. So instead of going to a hotel where they had to pay, they ended up in their nephew's house. Good riddance, finally, but that still didn't stop the flow of guests coming and going and free-loading off of us. This created a lot of hostility between my husband and me. Finally, after 7 years of acting like a drunken bed and breakfast, we moved back to New Jersey. That stopped the family and friends from visiting.

To be Continued: Page:2 The Freeloader's Nightmare

To contact:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Human Connection, Part I: A Positive Approach Toward a Happier Existence (C)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continued from previous page)

And there are plenty of others. People who think like this waste their time and energy maligning other people. Nothing is gained by blaming others. Remember, the only one that is affected is the one who is doing the blaming and not the one being blamed.

Hard feelings and resentment will eat away at you like an ulcer, poisoning your mind, making you vulnerable to future mental disease and infection. These emotions hold you back from progress, preventing your creative energy from working through you. If you don't change those feelings, they will continue to exist as a constant soreness to your consciousness, hampering all of your efforts.

Another important factor in becoming a better, more special person is to face the truth about the cause of your pain, anger, resentment or jealousy, whether it is justified or not, then we must travel down the road that will lead us towards self-healing, substituting those emotions with positive feelings and mental attitudes that will improve our lives. One needs to acknowledge and accept responsibility for having contributed to the development of the situation and focus on the areas that need improvement to prevent any further damaging emotions from continuously cropping up where they don't belong.

A person can learn a lesson from this by learning to love, forgive and be compassionate towards themselves and others, thus creating balance and finding clarity in their life, as well as improving their human relationships.

"Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections." - Katherine Paterson

In part two of this series, we will identify ways to affect change now that we have identified our negative thoughts and feelings, so we can become the better, happier, more positive person that we all long to be.

To be continued: The Human Connection Part II: A Positive Outlook on Life

To contact:

The Human Connection, Part I: A Positive Approach Toward a Happier Existence (b)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Page: 1)

To connect is to "come into union or close relation, join or fit." In order to be a better, more special person, we need to reach into the depths of our mind and our heart so that we can discover what issues or conditions there are that we want to improve or change. In the process of truthfully analyzing ourselves, it would be best to write everything down that has been affecting us in a negative way, any and everything that stands between ourselves and having a better human connection.

Not only should we be aware of those issues, but we should be prepared to make the necessary changes in an effort to solve each and every one of them.

However, there are times when, long after we think we have left the past behind, we appear to be reacting emotionally to some situation now that reminds us of some terrible past trauma, or we stir up old feelings of rejection that we thought we had overcome long ago. It's easier to love those who love us, but not always easy to love or tolerate those who have done us significant harm. Nonetheless, whatever pain or distress we may have experienced in the past belongs to the past, so it should stay there. We need to learn from it and start thinking and acting in a positive way in regards to ourself, our relationships, and all that concerns us.

There are many individuals that harbor hurt, hatred, fear, resentment and jealousies against someone else's attempts at being successful. By doing this, we shift the blame for our own individual shortcomings, conflicts or disappointments, placing it squarely on the successful individual we are envious of.

We use excuses such as:

"It's his fault that I feel this way."

"I should have gotten that promotion instead of him."

"I've been working here longer than he has.

"I know she is a great person, but I can't help myself from disliking her for what she did to me."

"I could achieve more if it wasn't for him or her standing in my way."

"Who does he think he is."

"I hope he fails someday; that would show him not to be cocky in aiming so highly."

To be continued: The Human Connection Part I: (c)

To contact:

The Human Connection, Part I: A Positive Approach Toward a Happier Existence (a)

By Miriam B.Medina

In this article, part one of a two-part series, we will examine the opportunities that the New Year presents us, and will discuss ways we can take advantage of these opportunities in an effort to make ourselves happier, more positive, better people. But first we must identify our negative habits so that we can weed them out. According to the traditional Holiday schedule, spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations have been held in Times Square since 1907. Each and every year more than million revelers flood the area on December 31st, oblivious to the bitter cold as they watch and cheer the descent of the famous New Year's Ball. As the glittery orb starts its descent at 11:59 pm from atop the flagpole at One Times Square, the revelers unite in one voice, counting down the final seconds of the old year.

Promptly at the stroke of midnight, the New Year is welcomed in with the traditional singing of Auld Lang Sine as it is played amidst the revelers joyful, ear-splitting shrieks of Happy New Year, horns blow, there is plenty of hugging, kissing, crying amidst a sea of confetti. If you were ever there to witness the spectacle and partake of the joy in person, you would cling to the memory of the greatest human link you ever saw for as long as your heart beats.

The commencement of a new year not only brings hope to the minds of the people, but most of all, it gives us motivation and a desire to welcome opportunity and a fresh start, pushing us to become better and happier human beings.

This year, in order to embark on this new journey of hope and inspiration, if we wish to complete our "transformation" and claim the happiness we desire at the end of the path, we must start off on the right foot, heading towards improving our human connections as we try to become an exceptional person. To do this, we must start off by removing the cobwebs which have been left by our old negative beliefs. Next we must conquer feelings that may have been carried over from 2010, starting with a clean, positive slate in 2011. We need to create a new vision of ourselves, otherwise we will only repeat today the mistakes that we made yesterday. We will remain the same person we were before, the person that we want to change.

To be continued: The Human Connection, Part I (b)

To contact:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hello World: Gay Pride versus The Closet (3)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Page: 2)

As President Grover Cleveland once famously said: "There is no calamity which a great nation can invite which equals that which follows a supine submission to wrong and injustice and the consequent loss of national self-respect and honor, beneath which are shielded and defended a people's safety and greatness."

We must maintain our greatness and truthfully accept and respect everyone equally. A country founded on “Freedom and justice for all” nearly 250 years ago must finally grow up, face itself, and aspire to the greatness the forefathers once intended for us. Gay. Gray. Black. Green. White. It doesn't matter.

We're all people.

And we all should be treated that way. The thing is, as advanced as humanity is, as free and democratic and evolved as America has become, we shouldn't be having arguments over or still be trying to figure out how to treat gay rights. Because whether a person is a gay man or a lesbian or whatever, they're a human being, and they, like anyone else, should simply be afforded human rights.

It's high time we put bias and bigotry in the closet, and allowed every one to simply be who they are, allow them to live as they choose, so long as they do not hurt, harm or violate another human being's rights.

That, is the real American Way, so that is the way that we as Americans need to act. Otherwise, this isn't the land of the free and the home of the brave, it's the land of what's acceptable to some, and the home that persecutes the brave for standing up for the rights they so naturally deserve, and somehow, I don't think that's what the forefathers had in mind when they declared freedom for all of us and later framed the Constitution to protect those freedoms.

Personally, I want to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and in that America, nobody should be forced to live in a closet. It's just, so... Un-American!

Please leave your comments.

Miriam B. Medina is an expert author at EzineArticles Platinum level.

To contact: or

Hello World: Gay Pride versus The Closet (2)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Page: 1)

“By 1915, one participant in this new gay world was referring to it as “a community distinctly organized.” For the most part hidden from view because of social hostility, an urban gay subculture had come into existence by the 1920s and 1930s.”

It stayed like that for awhile, communities forming, until shortly after World War II when many homosexuals tired of hiding and began to publicly come out of the closet. Many gays remained in their home towns rather than moving to find these sub cultures, deciding to start one of their own whether their friends and family lived nearby or not. Across the nation in the 1940's, many cities saw the first gay bars pop up. Of course, there were ramifications, bigots, threats, violence, many gays were ostracized, Known homosexuals began getting fired from government jobs by the mid '50's. Eisenhower, the President, had to issue an executive order to stop homosexuals from being fired from government jobs, though the bigotry continued, and many were forced to hide their true identities. While it might be “illegal” to fire them, the FBI began running surveillance on known homosexuals.'

By the 1960's, as with the rest of society, many oppressed people began to fight back, and in 1969 in Greenwich Village, what became known as the Stonewall Riot became a rallying cry for many homosexuals, as narrow minded police were harassing a number of known gay bars. Here is an account from the New York Times.

"HUNDREDS OF YOUNG MEN WENT ON A RAMPAGE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, shortly after 3 A.M. yesterday after a force of plain-clothes men raided a bar that the police said was well known for its homo-sexual clientele.Thirteen persons were arrested and four policemen injured.”

It was a travesty and many homosexuals were tired of being pushed around. They decided to unite in many cases and fight for the rights America owed them. By 1973, over 70 gay and lesbian organizations existed in the United States, organizing to fight for common rights they deserved but were not afforded, today these unions number by the thousands..

Since that time in the early '70's, all states have decriminalized homosexual behavior, and Federal agency and local police harassment has been largely held in check. But here we sit wrestling with the question of gay rights still, 100 years removed from the turn of the twentieth century, many homosexuals forced to stay in the closet, to hide their identity to avoid public ridicule and humiliation, rejection from family and friends. They can still lose their jobs for silly reasons, reasons a heterosexual would not be dismissed for. They still get bashed, beaten up and tormented in many instances.

Most don't want to stay in the closet, they just don't know how to come out, and the longer they hide their true nature, the harder it is to come out. Even family members turn on homosexuals. Oh, most family members just put up with it, like they have a diseased or deranged child, but they don't truly want to believe it or accept it. I can only imagine the despair homosexuals must feel when revealing themselves to their parents. Like they've let their family down for simply being who they are or for falling in love. It's appalling.

To be continued: Hello World: Gay Pride versus The Closet (3)

Miriam B. Medina is an EzineArticle Expert Author at Platinum level

To contact: or

Hello World: Gay Pride versus The Closet (1)

By Miriam B. Medina Here we sit on the verge of 2011 in modern day America. Nearly 11 years after the World was supposed to shut down because of Y2k (whoops, bit of a mistake on that one). Over 32 years after Neil Armstrong took that small step for a man that might still be the largest step mankind has ever taken. Over 233 years since the forefathers declared this great land a free nation. Yet we still have a problem figuring out how gay people should be treated in the military. Many homosexuals still feel they are forced to hide their true nature for fear of ridicule, of losing their job or of being treated unfairly. Perhaps it's time we took another big step in the history of mankind. Perhaps it's time we put the issue of gay rights to rest, once and for all. What is all the fuss about, anyway? How a person chooses to live? Where do we as a nation draw the line over what we regulate in private people's lives? How is it one person can find something offensive, or a small group of people, and they get to decide what everyone else can or cannot do? I, for one, loathe liver and onions. I know many who feel the same way. Perhaps we should start a coalition to ban the sale of beef liver. The stuff stinks. I mean, it smells really bad and I don't like it so, though it might be good for someone else and though it doesn't hurt me, it needs to be stopped. Yes, yes, yes. I'll go on talk shows and talk about how bad it is for the cows. I'll work to have beef liver removed from restaurants and supermarkets. Some will complain. Probably a lot of middle aged and elderly people, I doubt many youngsters will complain (though the pro liver and onions society will find a token youth to claim they like liver and onions, but I'm sure I can find enough liver hating youngsters to berate the nerd and make his life miserable so he has to hide his disgusting yearnings). Yes indeed, I can see it now. In the end, I won't be able to eliminate the disgusting, stomach turning entree, but I can harass enough people and cause enough fuss to make people hide when they indulge in the mud colored beef product. We'll end up settling on the matter, probably through an arbitrator. They can eat their grubby looking, foul smelling dish in secret but not in public so I don't have to smell it or think that it even exists. Sounds quite silly doesn't it? How did we get here? Why is America still treating the issue of gay rights like it's the red headed step child of culture? How, in this day and age, an era more diverse than ever before, is bias and bigotry still so alive and well when it comes to the gay community? If we go back about a hundred years and trace the history of gay rights and the gay movement to find equality, perhaps we will find some answers so that we can figure this problem out once and for all, for the culture of gays forming “societies” so they could relax, away from public ridicule and scorn, really first came about on a wide scale in the early 20th century.. To be continued: Hello World: Gay Pride vs The Closet (2)

To contact: or .

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Table of Contents (2)
A.) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) Italian Harlem(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State
(G.) Tenement Living: Social Issues Of Urban Life
(Poverty, Crime&Vice, Homelessness, Group Conflicts, Diseases, Gays&Lesbians: Gender Identity, Domestic Violence, Drug&Alcohol Abuse, Police Brutality )
Table of Contents (3)
(H.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

Table of Contents (4)
(I.) Jewish Knowledge (J.) Self-Improvement (K.) Historical Facts On England & United States

Table of Contents (5)
(L.) Miscellaneous (M.) Timetables (N.) Ethnic Groups (O.) Legal Talk(P.) Entertainment: Backward Glances (Q.) Immigration

Table of Contents (6)
(R.) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.(S.) Worship

Table of Contents (7)
(T.) A Little Taste of History, (U.) U.S. History-Transportation, (V) U.S. History-Panics, Economic Depressions, Business Matters

Table of Contents (8)
(W) El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: )
This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.

Table of Contents (9)
(X) So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term in Office....? (The Series)

Table of Contents (10a) In Italian
(Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events: Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Journalist

Table of Contents (10b) English Section
(Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events: Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Journalist

Table of Contents (11)
(Z) The Italian Niche
Table of Contents (12a)
Pensieri di uno scrittore italiano: dott. Antonio Castaldo
Table of Contents (12b)
Thoughts of an Italian Writer : Dr. Antonio Castaldo
Table of Contents (13)
I) "El Rincón Borinqueña"

Table of Contents (14)
II) Arts and Entertainment

Table of Contents (15)
III) Architecture
Table of Contents (16)
IV Education
Table of Contents (17)
V Wisdom: Thoughts From the Indian Masters
Table of Contents (18)
VI Understanding Music
Table of Contents (19)
VII Creative Writing

Table of Contents (20)
VII New York City Neighborhoods

Table of Contents (21)
IX Memories (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Personal)
(Feel free to express your comments or ask questions regarding: "" which will be reviewed before posting. Thank You..

************ .
Contact: or miriam@thehistorybox

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why Do All Good Things Come To An End? (4)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continued from Page: 3)

Whatever pain and suffering that you may have experienced in the past belongs to the past. If it continues to exist now, it is because you keep inflicting it upon yourself repeatedly, refusing to let go of the memory. As long as you go on thinking wrongly about yourself and about life, the same difficulties will continue to harass you. The more the injured party focuses on his or her negative emotions, rehashing all past hurts, pain and feelings, especially when trust is shattered, the more likely it is to turn into an obsession, disturbing that person's sleep and daily activities, causing adverse health conditions as well, and may cause serious problems with how they interact with people. We all know that there are things in a relationship that can be changed, but there are other things that the injured person is unable to forgive.

When it comes to having a partner who takes advantage of communicative verbal abuse and violence, which may end in tragedy, there can't be anything good eventually coming from that relationship. If your partner does not want to admit that he or she has serious issues and needs professional help in this situation, then I strongly urge, for safety, that you disassociate yourself from the relationship, because things will get worse. If you remain in the relationship because you think you can change your abusive partner into a better human being, forget about it. It doesn't matter how many apologies, I love you's and crocodile tears they may shed, it's all an act. If you believe in this fairy tale, then you are placing your life at risk The abuser will not do anything to change, or see themselves being at fault unless they truly make efforts to do so. The abuser doesn't like this to happen because it relinquishes his or her control, which the individual needs to thrive on. It gives the abuser absolute pleasure to see you squirm. So wake up and smell the coffee, because this is as good as it will ever get. Trust me, I should know because, at one time, I was a silent victim for years, one who suffered emotional, psychological and physical abuse at the hands of my alcoholic husband. He was my fatal attraction. It was fear that kept me in that situation, and fear that finally got me out of it. Believe me, you are not alone. Contact the Domestic Violence shelter in your area, and get them involved, they know what to do and how to get you safely away from circumstances you are in.

If you are in a relationship that is worth saving, and if both of you are willing to work at it with a genuine enthusiasm and strong commitment, then I say good luck and best of success to you.

Nonetheless, if after all efforts have been made and love is actually lost between both partners, prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for the possibility that the relationship cannot be saved and move on with your life.

So if, you're discontented with the world you have created for yourself, then start thinking and acting in a positive way about yourself, your relationships, and all that concerns you. In doing this, you will create a new mold from which to create a new series of events that will be more to your liking and will help you in the pursuit of happiness. Amazingly, in the process, one might even meet and fall in love with someone who will help you to become more fulfilled and more deeply loved. The main challenge is overcoming the feeling that we are "at the mercy of Fate" as the saying goes, "Que sera sera...what will be will be". This feeling clouds any possibilities for a better future. We can offset this concept by establishing an effective frame of mind. Self-direction is what motivates us to pick up the pieces and start again. "In order, for you to achieve whatever you set out to do, you must believe in whatever you want to obtain, accept its feasibility and confidently expect it to be realized." These truths can be applied to every area of your life, whether they be your health, home, career, or relationships. By maintaining a positive mental attitude, you will enhance your thoughts and your imagination. Allowing you to see beyond your needs, circumstances, or conditions that surround you. This will eventually allow you to turn anxiety into courage and confidence, regard to calmness, and despair to faith and hope.

So Why Do All Good Things Eventually Come To An End? I think we already know the answer to that question. Don't we?

Some things just weren't very good to begin with, and we need to learn from each challenge and move on.

Miriam B. Medina is an expert Author at Platinum Level at

To contact:

Why Do All Good Things Come To An End? (3)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Page: 2)

This behavior affects a person's self-worth. And what is "Self-worth?" This is the value that one assigns to oneself. It's also one's favorable opinion of oneself that is not contingent on financial assets, academic achievements, status quo or physical attractiveness. It's a moral compass point you use to navigate your life, and once it's knocked askew, it's hard to find your emotional bearings and to regain confidence in what you are doing and where you are going. It makes it hard to navigate your daily life, and it's scary. Everyone is certainly worthy. It is a remarkable gift that we are born with that can't be taken from us but can be overlooked every so often. A harmful relationship can make anyone feel that this is not true.

There is a difference between self-esteem and self-worth. Self-esteem fluctuates depending on what is happening to you at the time. If you are successful or content, you feel great, proudly walking around with your chest pumped out, but if you have failed, then you feel terrible, walking around with a bowed head and droopy shoulders. In order to love others, we must accept our value and love ourselves. It doesn't matter what we may have accomplished in life, and it doesn't matter what others think of us, we should above all love ourselves unconditionally.

Therefore, everything that happens to us through our own emotions, actions and thoughts are of considerable importance in playing a role in the growth and development of a relationship. In plain words, we are entirely responsible for whatever we think, say and do. We can choose to be happy or desire to be miserable. And by ignoring this, we can make ourselves incapable of love, and incapable of making our partner happy.

So whenever something seems to be bothering you with respect to your partner or the relationship, discuss it until it is favorably resolved. When you make known your emotional wants and needs to your partner, try to avoid whining and self-pitying drama, because this method doesn't improve the situation at hand. Be straightforward in your communication by explaining calmly and rationally what you feel and how you are distressed or outraged by the way the relationship seems to be going. On the other hand, you need to be responsive to your partner's feelings. Perhaps there will be some truths about yourself that you might not want to hear. If you sincerely wish for the relationship to survive, then accept your share of the blame and don't place it only on your mate because it's convenient for you. It's important to know each other's style of communicating so that there are no misunderstandings, which, therefore, will ultimately strengthen the ongoing relationship.

If communicating directly with your partner doesn't get you anywhere, then you may need professional help to assist you when addressing the issues at hand. This will allow you to achieve a better level of mutual understanding and communication between the both of you. One should seek treatment that focuses on the emotions, which will help reduce relationship related stress and psychological symptoms. When a person believes in their worthlessness, then they put themselves in a state of feeling helpless and are afraid.. By openly talking about the pain, hurt and emotions that have been buried deep inside, you are taking a step toward emotional healing and self-worth improvement. The process of evaluation and dealing with emotions will help you achieve that level of forgiveness of self, and will ultimately lead to forgiveness toward the partner who has hurt you. Therapy, anger management groups, and support groups, and most of all, if you are a believer, a trust in God can help alleviate chronic anger, instilling hope for a better future. Hope is a divine gift from God. As the injured party comes to terms with himself or herself and is released from negative and painful feelings, the injured partner begins to grow emotionally stronger.

To be continued: Page: 4

To contact:

Why Do All Good Things Come To An End? (2)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Page: 1)

In my opinion, the most crucial factor to consider in a relationship is communication, but it's not the only one. The way we relate to others can either contribute to ruining or to intensifying the partnership. I will only mention a few factors that I believe may largely affect the relationship that can help make it turn sour.

A) Lack of Communication

This is where one partner is reserved in expressing his or her emotional needs and becomes bored with the relationship or just plain stops listening. Sometimes one partner may have high expectations in the relationship, assuming that they will be met, which puts the other person in a compromising position off the bat because he or she doesn't know what to say or how to meet those expectations since they were never made known to him or her during the course of the beginning of the relationship. So in effect, the man or woman is stressed out from the unknown imposed demands and eventually withdraws his or her own emotional support, leaving the other quite disappointed.

Then we have the person who is narcissistic; the one who believes that the world revolves only around him or her, and since the matter at hand doesn't concern him or her, he or she becomes oblivious to his mate's wants and needs. Eventually silence and the withdrawal of emotional support creates an invisible wall between both partners, making it difficult to have a close, intimate relationship. The longer this emotional abandonment lasts, the greater are the damaging effects which chip away at the individual's feelings of self-worth, thus adding to that person's insecurities.

B) Communicative Verbal Abuse and Violence

This is where the "Honeymoon Bliss" relationship turns into a "Fatal Attraction". Negative communication is expressed through physical, emotional and verbal abuse, given with intent to rule, until the other person feels helpless and yields. The partner, by attacking the self-worth and independence of his or her mate through criticism, belittlement, embarrassment, mind games, ridicule and interrogation, maintains a sense of righteousness and strict control. This allows him or her to continue to bully the other in a harmful way, as if the other partner deserves the abuse. The victim becomes the partner's possession, to be done with as he or she pleases. Communicative violence plays a pivotal role in the destruction of a relationship. The pattern of attack may begin with emotional and verbal abuse, but often escalates from mental pushing and shoving to an absolute, powerful expression of physical strength. For those that have the good fortune to live, battered and bruised, emotionally scarred, they undergo a shocking and disturbing future. Most victims are reluctant to speak out as they suffer their eternal shame, feeling helpless, humiliated and desperate, isolated and alone, they maintain their suffering in silence. Often, they turn to alcohol, drugs or self-mutilation, and may even contemplate suicide.

To be continued: Page: 3

To contact:

Why Do All Good Things Come To An End?

By Miriam B. Medina

This is a popular "doomsday" expression which is most commonly utilized by people when they lose something that was once beneficial to them, such as material possessions, careers, or other pertinent matters.

"Why me?

But is it just you? Or is it everybody? Trust me when I say, we all struggle with adversity. Life is an ongoing torrent of ups and downs. It's when we're down the most though, that we feel so alone, that we feel like bad things always happen to us, that we feel we are targeted and picked on by some unseen hand that controls a destiny doomed to fail.

However this feeling has also been experienced by individuals that have gone through a period of physical and emotional abandonment from their partners during or after a relationship. As to what extent a person would agree or disagree or settle with this 'why me' statement depends on his or her ongoing assessment of causes, effects and viable solution methods to the problem at hand.

I would like to share my insights on this type of attitude in regards to relationships.

Whether the relationship is between a married couple, lovers or friends, there always seems to be a sub-conscious fear of the possibility of being abandoned. This abandonment not only refers to the physical aspect, but emotionally as well... Emotional abandonment can be explained as the removal of feelings and emotional support.

Looking back at a previous relationship, you wonder how did something that was so incredible, something that started out so beautifully turn out so badly after time. What happened. And if this has happened more than once to you, as it does to most people, in marches the 'why me' mentality, taking over your tattered psyche, taking command and beating your numb feelings into shape so you can function, teaching you to blame instead of to learn, heal and fix.

Originally, during the "honeymoon" period of a relationship, there is a tendency to put one's best foot forward, going to a great extent to conceal the flaws in one's personality and to avoid any anomalous behavior. Sentiments and feelings of sweetness, understanding, affection, caring and compassion are frankly shared, as the couples go through their initial phases of bedazzled bliss, oblivious to each other's negative qualities.

However, once the novelty and excitement of those fleeting ecstatic moments' passes and one is caught up in daily routine and responsibilities of life, reality begins to sink in for the partner. Instead of seeing the wonderful idiosyncrasies of their mate, a person becomes painfully disillusioned by his or her imperfections. The once embraced rosy picturesque dream of "Happily Ever After" is no longer possible, and that partner's disenchantment becomes unbearable. He or she sees the disentanglement of the relationship as it slowly unravels, from the honeymoon period happiness to years of misery, emotional damage and suffering.

To be continued: Page: 2

Miriam B. Medina is an expert Author at Platinum Level at

To contact:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Chaotic Life of a Creative Writer Amidst Pooch Pals, Puppy Poop and Book Clutter (4)

By Miriam Medina

So now my living room and my dining room have become my office as well as a writing area, since no one comes to visit. I leave the mess right where it is. Every so often my son passes by, always adding his two cents: "Hey mom, when are you going to organize this mess?" I answer "It IS organized and don't touch a thing. I know exactly where everything is..." Someday I promise myself that I will get to cleaning it. Does that have a familiar ring? It's incredible how in so much chaos one can still be organized. Right? So I have an option to clean up the clutter, or as a last resort, I can always end up like this:

There was once a writer named Mimi, who lived in a house far too narrow.
Her books and her papers filling rooms everywhere,
Her two little dogs, her inseparable shadows, trailing behind her as she moved here and there.

She griped and she grumbled, as she tripped and she stumbled,
Over more and more books left the night before by her chair.
The huge paper mess, covering all of her desk, scarcely left her enough space anywhere.

The only place available was her dining room table,
Where she could write for as long as she cared
On the counter sat still, a pile of unpaid bills, which drove her to the point of despair.

She looked all around, and saw there was so much that she needed and hoped someday to repair.
The dogs began barking, as they heard someone loudly knocking,
The scowl on her face would say to whoever it was: "Vendor Beware."
Damn! The landlord again, collecting the rent, giving him a check and a prayer.
This is the final straw, complaining as she closed the door,
I've had more of this clutter and mess than should be my share to bear.
Piña Collada in hand, she decided to take a stand,
Smoothing tight rollers into her dark brown hair.
A doormat I'm not: So to hell with everyone, I'm leaving this mess and who cares.

Cocker spaniel and poodle trailing behind her, she ran as fast as she could
With bag in hand, she raced down the stairs...
Into the car, spinning wheels on tar, she never was seen or heard of again anywhere.

Oh well. Wishful thinking. T.J. Is whizzing on my leg. The books are surrounding Buddy ominously. I think they're ready to attack. Fred is at my front door holding a shoe. Wow, does he look ticked. The chilli and my stomach are locked in mortal battle, and I'm losing regardless of who wins. The phone is ringing off the hook (probably some bill collector angry about a bill buried in the post it mural on my desk). And to top it off, It's still poring outside. Forget writing. Forget work. Forget organizing. I'm going back to bed.

Maybe I'll read a book.

Miriam B. Medina is an expert author at Platinum Level at

To contact:

The Chaotic Life of a Creative Writer Amidst Pooch Pals, Puppy Poop and Book Clutter (3

By Miriam Medina

(Continue from Page: 2)

Now for my book and paper clutter, both the bane of my existence and my pride and joy. I love books, but I hate the clutter. Since my living room is large, I have six tall bookcases where the books are neatly stacked, plus boxes filled with more books and nowhere to put them. I already have two tall bookcases in my bedroom. I love to read, especially when it comes to the Victorian Era. I am surrounded by a literary blanket of books, all within reach, which seems to keep eating away at my work area, like a Pac-Man full of power pellets munching on blue ghosts. My work space is losing this game. apartment is starting to look like a library with heart disease, it's arteries clogged with a messy build up of cluttered papers, books and book cases.

I wonder why I am still saving the boxes from those books that were shipped to me several months ago. Maybe I subconsciously plan on moving when the books take over my apartment, finally consuming all of my remaining living space. GAME OVER. I can see the conversation with my realtor now:

Realtor (puzzled look on his face): But Ma'am, you already have one apartment. They're expensive in New York. Pray tell, what do you need two for?

Me: For my books.

Realtor (puzzled look on his contorted face): Come again?

Me: My books are growing in numbers like rabbits on Viagra. They're spreading like a virus. I think they are plotting to take over the World.

Realtor (puzzled look on his contorted face as he slowly creeps backwards towards the door): Uhm... Kay? I just remembered, I have another appointment to show a house in Jersey, I better get going.

Me: Hey, leave me your card will you, I'm going to need more apartments soon, those books are spreading fast. Maybe I better not give them my new address, eh?

I'm sooooo grateful for my post-em notes, though, and they are all over the desk and tray table, reminding me of what to do or where I left off. Where was I? Oh yeah, sometimes my desk looks like a landing field for post-em notes. Every day I struggle with the burden of navigating paperwork clutter, since I am constantly writing. Sometimes my bills get trapped in the clutter, and only when late charges are added do I dare try to locate them. Bill collectors don't like the "my paper clutter ate my bill" excuse.

To be continued: (4)

To contact:

The Chaotic Life of a Creative Writer Amidst Pooch Pals, Puppy Poop and Book Clutter (2)

By Miriam Medina

(Continue from Page: 1)

Holy cow, now the dogs are whining again. Did they get chilli at Wendy's last night too?

NOTE TO SELF: Hide extra car keys and debit cards from T.J. As he appears to have figured out how to work a drive-thru. Also, buy small pink sweater and matching bow.

I think one of them has the runs. I hope they don't start barking or they'll wake up the neighbors.!!@#$%^&*. Geez, what a horrible stink. Ewwwwww! Is that you Buddy, you too, passing gas? Gawd, that's strong enough to wake people up on the fourth floor. I can hear Fred coughing through the walls now. I'm truly sorry, Fred, for the double whammy today. Look at the time, I'll never get anything done, forget the writing, I've already lost my motivation.

At last, the dogs are taken care of. Looks as if everyone is settled down for a while, no more poop concerns, at least for the time being. I want my inspiration back. Let me give the dogs their usual cookie treats so they don't bother me anymore and I can start writing. Satisfied with their doggy biscuits, Buddy climbs up to his usual spot on the sofa while T.J. curls up by my feet. You know, I can't help but love my dogs. Buddy is twelve years old and loves slobbering all over my face. Yuck! The only problem with this is that he has foul breath that could knock your socks off. I've seen him wilt flowers with one blast. Sometimes I wonder if he eats his own poop. I guess one could say that Buddy has a high IQ, since he understands the difference between handing you his right paw and his left paw, but sometimes both paws knock you over, especially when he wants something to eat. He is deaf, which makes me immensely sad, yet he is such an extraordinarily sweet and gentle dog. He is the only dog that I know with sleep apnea. He always gives me that sad sack look when I am eating something so I end up sharing it with him. If he doesn't snore, I get nervous because he lies so still. I have to go over and shake him. Sad to say, arthritis is already starting to affect his hips. He wobbles when he walks. There are times when I feel terrible watching him move with arthritic pain. The sofa is his favorite spot, and each day he appears to have greater difficulty jumping up on it. For whatever little time that I may have left with the old fella, I want to make him as comfortable as I can.

Now for the villain of the day, my T.J., who I sometimes call slippery Louie because he is so fast. He's the insecure one, and every so often he shows aggressive behavior to both me and Buddy, even after being neutered. He'll lick the skin off your face, but can be quite unpredictable, so I handle him with kid gloves. While Buddy is low-keyed and easy-going, T.J. is hyper. He's eight years old. Though T.J. Loves Buddy, he also intimidates him. He is a bully, and if Buddy gets anywhere near him while he is eating, he will bite him, so I always keep them apart at mealtime. They are also inseparable. I call them my pair of bookends. T.J. sleeps on one side of the sofa while Buddy sleeps on the other side. When one starts scratching, the other one follows. Overall Buddy and T.J. both bring joy to my life. They are both so funny and a terrific comfort to me. If I tell T.J. he is going to take a bath, the little shrimp starts howling up a storm like I'm torturing him, while Buddy does the Saint Vitus dance, jerking around like a break dancer with a bad case of hives. For all of us who have pets, whether they be dogs, cats, or any other, they are tremendously valuable to our lives. They give us an inner sense of joy and happiness. If you watch them, pets are actually exceptional, and they are always doing silly things that make their owners laugh.

Pets are also beneficial to both our mental and physical health. It is a known medical fact "that people who constantly maintain angry and hostile attitudes have greater possibilities of suffering heart attacks as well as those living under stressful and anxious lifestyles where their coronary arteries can become blocked." Let's not forget that people who are "habitually depressed also have a two times greater chance of heart disease." However, since pets do make their owners laugh a lot, it not only loosens your face muscles, it also helps lower your blood pressure, which will contribute to a healthier existence. So I appreciate the annoying interruptions even when I am writing. I also can't wait to laugh uproariously at T.J. as the angry little bugger models a foo-foo pink sweater and bow.

To be continued: (3)

To contact:

The Chaotic Life of a Creative Writer Amidst Pooch Pals, Puppy Poop and Book Clutter (1)

By Miriam Medina

Hello, it's 4 am again, my usual wake-up time. Believe it or not, this is the best part of my day, a time when I'm able to be creative. I didn't sleep too well last night. I guess I was thinking too much of what I was supposed to write about today before I went to work. Maybe It was something I ate? Oh I know, it must have been that chili I got from Wendy's. I love chilli beans, but it can lead to a lot of gas and indigestion. Oops, it smells like one of the dogs needs to go outside. Most likely its T.J., he gets excited when I wake up. The pleasure of seeing me has both my dogs going in circles, running towards the door. After several years of having dogs, my nose has become an expert in regards to their gas smell I can proudly and sadly say that I can identify which one is ready to go. I better hurry up before T.J., my mean, ferocious, spiteful miniature poodle (yes, a poodle can be ferocious, you'd be angry if you were a guy and everybody thought you should wear pink sweaters too) pisses on my leg or craps on the floor. I call him the "Crapper," because he walks and craps at the same time.

Is that normal?

Once in a while he has an accident in the house. Or maybe I should call it on purpose, because I think he does it to spite me. As soon as I see him starting to bend over, I run for a plastic bag, throwing myself into a prostrate position trying to catch it like a catcher with a baseball glove, but he doesn't stay still long enough in one place to discard it.!!@#$%^&*. So there I sit, lying on the floor with the bag in my extended hand and my face only a couple of inches away from his fresh pile. Yay T.J., you hit a home run. Good job boy. Maybe I will make you wear a pink sweater from now on, with a bow on your head to boot.'s only 4 a.m., T.J., give me a break, let me get a cup of coffee at least. Why can't you be like Buddy?' Please hold on to it little fella, at least until I open the door. For Pete's sake, it's pouring outside, now what do I do? The designated dog walking area is located across the street, this is where every one is supposed to go, but for today, since no one is around Fugheddaboudit! Good thing my apartment is on the ground floor with a large grassy area in front. That's why I bought an extended leash. Hell I'm not going to go there in my nightgown, holding an umbrella with a flashlight and a pooper-scooper in my hand. It's bad enough I have to follow the little bastard around the house with a bag like a deranged baseball catcher chasing a bunt. I'll be drenched while I wait, and my shoes will get water-logged. So who's going to know, anyway, only my neighbor, Fred, who has the habit of walking across the lawn on the way to his car?

Sorry Fred, I sincerely hope you and your shoes have a pleasant day, and don't forget to wipe your feet before entering the car. Thank God, the deed is done, maybe it's OK to sit down now and have my coffee, so I can get into my writing before I go to work. I looked at the clock and noticed that it was already 5 a.m. and I can't believe that I wasted a whole hour already on crap, literally. Still half asleep, I brewed a fresh pot of coffee. As usual, my faithful notepad and pen lie nearby with the book I was researching last night, so I could jot down my notes and thoughts while I sipped my coffee. Holy cow, this is strong.... with all this agitation, I must have slipped in an extra spoonful. Even though I know the coffee will give me heartburn, I need a pick up so I can shock my mind to fully wake-up and write. I'll deal with the heartburn. I shouldn't complain, one must be grateful for the small things in life... heartburn and all.

Okay, now my ritual of consuming vitamins and medication is finished, which seems to increase every time I go for my usual examination at the doctors. I take so many pills I look like a chipmunk hoarding enough nuts in my mouth to make it through the winter each morning. I think I would feel incomplete if I didn't have a prescription or blood work paper in my hand each time I left the doctor's office.

I'm finally awake and on my computer, ready to work for an hour or two on my usual three page essays, or on my latest article "Romancing the Age... etc., etc." I'm wondering where my keyboard is. I'm sure it had to be here on my desk before I went to bed. Ahhh! There it is, buried under the pile of paperwork. Uh, oh, I think the Chili beans are working on me. I guess I won't need Metamucil today. It must have been the coffee that stirred me up. Wow, what a relief. Now if, I could just find my earphones so I can listen to my new age music. Oops, there, it is, on the floor. So glad I didn't step on them.

To be continued: (2)

To contact: