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Me Too

5 Oct

It’s been about a year now that the #MeToo movement has been going strong. In case you have been living under a rock, this movement is against sexual harassment and sexual assault. It’s used by mostly women (some men) in solidarity, sharing their stories of violation and some even exposing those who have wronged them.

When I first learned about his movement I didn’t know what to make of it. Part of me was happy to see this all happen, but part of me was almost scared and I didn’t know why. The more I read of brave women coming forward with their horror stories, the more thought I gave to the things that had happened to me in my life. And the deeper I dug into my own closet, the more I came to realize just how deep and dark that closet really was.

I came to learn more about my self and how I tick in this past year thanks to #MeToo. I realized that I was suppressing a lot of incidents and didn’t quite know how to face them. But in the end, I realized it all boiled down to one thing; Shame.

I have been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault and yes, rape. The harassment I didn’t seem to care too much about because growing up in South Florida, you honestly couldn’t step outside of your house without having someone cat call you in your own damn driveway. And it’s so sad that so many women, like myself, had become numb to it. The fact that sexual harassment was our norm is absolutely tragic.

As for the sexual assaults, I have had quite a few. I’ve experience it from both strangers and acquaintances alike. And the rape, well, once by someone I thought was my friend and the other by a man I was on a second date with. And it really wasn’t until recently that I came to terms with the fact that these two incidences were indeed rape. Mainly because both times I gave my consent, but not because I wanted to; I was afraid what would happen if I had insisted on the “No”. Because I knew that even if I had continued to say no, they would have had me anyway. Because it was better in my mind to just close my eyes and allow them to go through the motions than to experience the outright terror of the alternative.

But as a young woman in my early to mid twenties, still thinking rape was so black and white I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that it was what actually happened. I went through a mixture of feelings like denial, shame and even blaming myself for allowing me to be in those situations. You know, the lovely shit the patriarchy like to drill into the heads of females since birth! So I did what I thought was best; I placed these memories inside of a little box and push them deep inside my brain as best I could so as to forget.

There really is so much more to my story, but telling it in its entirety could really fill a book and I still, at this age and phase of my life, am not fully ready to disclose those details to anyone. But I will say that seeing other women step up for themselves has really inspired me. It has moved me in such a way to step outside of the patriarchal box I was living in for so long ad saying “Fuck you!” I’ve never been a feminist, ever, but these days I feel like I just might be on my way. I feel a lot more strongly about women’s rights and the straight up shit treatment we receive when it comes to sexual abuse.

I indeed have been part of the problem for so long and have been guilty of all kinds of horrible things like unfairly judging, slut and body shaming, and heck, even envy. But I have chosen to deprogram myself and I’m trying to live a better, more mindful life. I now feel a sense of solidarity with my fellow women and really want to work towards helping lift them up. That’s why #MeToo is so important. If there is one thing every single one of us women have in common, it is that at one point or another in our lives, we have experience something that allows us to say “Me too”. And we cannot let the movement die. We need to let everyone know that the time for bullshit is over. That we will no longer allow them to shame us into silence and that we matter. That we will raise our daughters to be strong where we were once weak, and to fight like there will be no tomorrow because #MeToo should end with us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this ever so personal post and feel free to share your own story in the comments! And if you don’t already, don’t forget to follow my blog on the upper right side of the page 🙂

With love,
Emily

Beep Beep!

13 May

I’ve always complained about driving in Miami.  It’s as if everyone on the road went to the very same “Drive Like a Dick” traffic school in order to get their licenses;  Taking red lights, no regard or respect for blinkers and violently cutting people off is the absolute norm within the city.  Don’t even let me get into what’s normal practice on the highways!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently moved out to Atlanta, GA.  Before coming out here a lot of people warned me about the traffic, saying it was going to be worse than Miami and bla bla bla.  Well, let me tell ya somethin’!  Those bozos were all wrong!

Yes, at “Rush Hour” times there is indeed a lot of traffic, however, for the most part, everyone here knows how to drive!  The speed lane is exactly that; where people drive if they want to go a little faster; As soon as you get a little too close to the person in front of you, they move off to the right and let you keep going.  And guess what?!  People here use and understand blinkers!  By George! I never thought I’d see the day where someone would actually slow down for me on the highway and let me get in front of them for simply putting on my blinker.  It feels like I’ve died and gone to Highway Heaven!

The only thing I have to give Miami the one up on is in the way they set up their streets; by numbers and cardinal directions.  Out in Atlanta everything is by name and there is no such thing as alphabetical order!  And they love to reuse names like Peachtree and Cobb and put them at completely different points of the city so that they can totally confuse you and make you think you know where you’re going, but you actually don’t.  Thank goodness for Google Maps!  I’d be stuck in a ditch without it!  But I’d gladly take using a GPS in a city with nice drivers over knowing where I’m going in the crap streets of Miami, any day!

::End Rant::

Hoops is no slam dunk

22 Apr

I originally wrote this review on Yelp and gave them one star:

I wanted to like Hoops soooooo bad, but it just didn’t happen!

I went to Hoops for the first time with a few of my coworkers last Thursday to have some food and drinks before the Heat game.  My first impression of this sports bar/restaurant on a decor standpoint was fantastic.  On just this alone the potential was magnificent, but then I ordered a drink.  I asked the Server for a Patron Margarita with sugar on the rim instead of salt, but when my drink came and I placed my poor lips against that glass for a sip, my mouth was invaded by an army of disgusting red salt that almost knocked me off of my chair.

I didn’t get upset because I understand that mistakes can happen, but did inform the Server of the error.  She was very apologetic and told me “Don’t worry, I’ll have them remake it.”  I thought that was nice and eagerly awaited my replacement drink, but little did I know that it was going to come back worse than before.  Not only was there still salt on the rim the second time, but they didn’t remake  my drink!  They just poured it into the new glass, transferring the red salt with the drink mixture, turning my once yellow margarita into a pink salty nightmare.

Again, I kept my cool and smiled as I asked the Server to please have my drink redone and to just forget about the sugar all together.  Again she was very apologetic and actually brought it back right on the THIRD try.

My story doesn’t end here though. I actually ordered food; or at least I attempted to.  I asked the Server for a burger with just cheese, bacon and lettuce.  I specifically told her I didn’t want onion, tomato or pickles on there, but figured if it made it onto my burger I would just pull that stuff off myself; No biggie right?

Well, when my burger came it did not have bacon and the cheese was melted OVER the onions and tomatoes so I could not pull them off without loosing all of my glorious cheese.  Once again I let the server know, and once again she was apologetic and took it back to the kitchen. Ten minutes later she comes back with my burger.  At this point I’m so damn hungry I didn’t really look carefully before I cut it in half and was about to put it in my mouth.  But right before I bit into it, I noticed that it did not have cheese, and that’s when I had finally had it!

How is it possible for an establishment to screw up my order so many times?!  There were errors on the bartender’s side, the kitchen’s side and mostly at fault here was the server for not double checking my stuff before bringing it out to me!

I ended up sending my food back and telling her to take it off of my bill.  My coworker shared her turkey club with me, which thanks to her and her alone is the only reason why I didn’t starve that night.

I really don’t think I will be returning to Hoops, which is a big shame because it had so much potential.  The only reason why I’m OK with giving this place one star is because it really was a beautiful venue.  Like I said before, I really wanted to like this place, but they failed me miserably.

Until we meet again…

1 Apr

On March 10th, my cousin, Carlos Reyes lost his life at the young age of  28 in a tragic motorcycle accident.  People tend to automatically assume when there’s an accident involving a motorcycle that the cyclist is the one at fault, but this was not the case.  Carlos was swindled out of his life by a reckless driver in a car whose poor judgement also claimed the life of the passenger in the car (the driver’s wife) and still has the driver in a coma.

There are no words to properly justify the devastation this tragedy has caused our families.  Though Carlos was not at fault, there was a second innocent life lost in all of this and there is another family that is suffering the same pain we are.

Growing up, though I loved all of my cousins, I was always closest to Carlos and his brother Nick.  The two of them have always been my loves; I adore them and the ground they walk on; I always have.  They were my first friends and to this day, though at times we may be distant, we’d still do anything for each other.

Loosing Carlos has got to be the single most hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience in this life.  I always knew that I loved him, but I never realized just how much.  His departure had completely broken my heart, shattered my hopes and had left me with the deepest emptiness in my soul that I honestly lost all desire to continue.  Billie Holiday said it best in Gloomy Sunday, “Angles have no thoughts of ever returning you. Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?”  It wasn’t just my personal pain that made me feel this way.  It was having to see the pain in Nick, our grandmother and the rest of the cousins that was even more difficult.  And the worst of all, the thought of what was to happen to his son, Carlos Jr.

But after every storm there comes the sun.  I could never in a million years say that I am glad that Carlos lost his life; I would gladly give up my own for his return, but I can honestly say that I am grateful for the gifts he gave me when he left.  I’ve come to realize the things that truly matter in this life.  I had been given tiny glimpses of them before, through the loss of other loved ones, but never like this.  The person who I was up until the 10th, is not the person I am now.  And a family that was once segregated has now been reunited.

Before Carlos’ passing, I had only a handful of cousins and one Uncle left and now I have over 13 cousins, and after 14 years of my Aunt Raisa’s passing (Carlos & Nick’s mother) I have Aunts and I have Uncles; all that I knew when I was a young child, but never as a teenager or adult.  And now that I have them in my life again, you better believe that I’m never letting go.

The love and support that I have been able to give and receive from my immediate family and the newly discovered one is the only thing that has gotten me through this as sanely as I have.  We didn’t even know it, but we needed each other and for this, I thank Carlos from the bottom of my heart.

I’m well aware of the saying, “Time heals all wounds,” and maybe it’s so, but Carlos is not someone I will ever forget.  It’s still almost unreal to believe he’s not here anymore, but like Pink says in Who Knew?, “I’ll keep you locked in my head until we meet again.”

Thank you for everything Carlos. I love you, now and forever.

Carlos Rey Reyes
1.6.84 – 3.10.12

Blog on Pause!

3 Feb

Hey guys,

I just wanted to send a quick message out to my readers and let you know that I am going to have to take a mini blogging break.  It seems I have spread myself too thin between work (which has been more demanding than ever), taking 3 classes and all of my other responsibilities.

However, here’s some exciting news! Once I’m done with my classes I will be launching a second blog all about food! I figured it makes more sense to have food and life completely separate.

I’ve got BIG plans for the food blog though, so sit tight! I can’t wait to share it with you!

See you all again in a month or so 🙂

-Emily

South Florida Food Trucks; The Best of the Best

17 Jan

Anyone that knows absolutely anything about me knows that I am a foodie.  I’m not just any foodie though, I am a Food Truck fanatic!  You can often find me in the parking lot of a Church (though I’m not religious), park (though I’m not in any sports team) or auto mall (though I’m not in the market for a new car) all in the name of the mighty food lords.

That being said, I have put together a list of a few of my personal favorite food trucks (judging from the ones I have eaten from so far) and what menu items have justified me driving sometimes over 40 miles just to have them.

B.C. Tacos: The Gatherer

Many-a-nights have I dreamt of a cave man feeding me tacos atop a pile of metal and rubber.  B.C. Tacos is indeed to blame for this horrible yet awkwardly sexy fantasy of mine.  You have your choice of soft or hard shell, stuffed fried avocado, lettuce, mozzarella cheese and topped with chipotle mayo.  Though quite simple, The Gatherer is no such thing to the palate.  Do not attempt tasting such magnificence unless you are 100% ready to commit yourself to a foodlationship.

Slow Food Truck: The Green Burger

Slow food is amazing, but even better when it’s served quickly without sacrificing an ounce of quality and flavor.  The food I’ve had from Slow Food Truck is beyond Nomtastic, but I have to say that I particularly love their Green Burger.  What’s a Green Burger you ask?  Well, it’s nothing more than lean ground beef cooked to your liking, topped with bacon, avocado, grilled queso fresco, mixed greens and a cilantro-lime aioli, all housed in a wheat bun.  To die for?  You better believe it!

The Flying Saucer: El Cubanito Sliders

The Flying Saucer had to have been named in reaction to their El Cubanito Sliders because these babies are out of this world!  The sliders are topped with Swiss cheese, chorizo, potato sticks, and their Guavalicious sauce.  All this glory served on mini potato rolls.  I could be having the worst day, but my mood shifts and my happiness levels instantly shoot through the roof whenever I see this truck in a lineup.

Porkalicious: Loaded Baked Potato Cakes

This truck’s name pretty much says it all and being the bacon lover that I am, my heart skipped a beat the first time I saw it.  Though seemingly harmless, these Loaded Baked Potato Cakes can really pack a punch of incredible flavor.  Potato patties with bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions, breaded with Panko and served with a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.  I don’t quite know what other way to describe it to you than by using another made up adjective like “fantastical.”  Porkalicious rocks my world!

CoolHaus: Dirty Mint Ice Cream

And of course, what better way to end a meal than with dessert?  One of my absolute favorite flavor pairings is mint and chocolate, so of course Coolhaus’ Dirty Mint is what I’ve grown more than fond of.  Now, this mint chocolate ice cream is quite different from all the rest.  It’s gourmet and made with real mint leaves.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before!  But that’s not all!  It comes sandwiched in your cookie of choice and handed to you in an edible potato paper.  Who needs a man when you’ve got Coolhaus?!  Am I right?!

 

If you’re an owner or employee of a South Florida food truck and do not see yours listed above, it does not mean that I don’t like your food. It simply means that I have either yet to try yours out or you fell victim to me having to cut this list short for the sake of the average person’s attention span.

I’d like to feature South Florida food trucks on a monthly basis. What dish are you most popular for? I’d love to try it and share it with the world!  Send me a message at emilysixxrants@gmail.com if you’d like to be featured in a future entry.

It is my goal to try at least one item off of every South Florida food truck’s menu. This won’t be an easy task, meaning that I will actually have to put my gym membership to use, nor will it be cheap, but I believe each truck deserves a fair chance at impressing these magnificent taste buds!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure to subscribe so you’re always up to date with my foodventures!

-Emily Sixx

Reflecting on 2011

29 Dec

My dear blog, I have not forgotten about you!  I’ve just been so disgustingly busy this past month and have not had time to sit down and really put my heart into anything.  I literally started getting withdrawals and figured enough was enough!  It’s time to post again!

So, with New Years Eve coming up in just a few days, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting upon this past year.  I can honestly say that this year has been, hands down, the most emotional and financially challenging year of my life, yet somehow at the same time been the most exciting and gratifying one.

2011 started off with escaping the woes of unemployment and landing a great job at an entertainment firm.  I had no experience in that industry, but have learned a lot over time and feel more and more confident with each passing day.  I work with some of the most amazing people I know (each in their own right) and have learned so much from every one of them.  I have nothing but respect and admiration for them, and I’m not easily impressed or moved by anyone!

This year I was able to go to Key West and Orlando twice.  I went to Key West  for my Birthday in April and again for the Poker Run in September.  The Orlando trips were in October for Halloween Horror Nights and then at the beginning of this month for my company’s End of Year Retreat.  All four trips were pretty damn awesome, I must say!

On both trips to Key West, I made new friends and got to spend a lot of time out on the water.  The first trip out on the boat was just for fun and relaxation, but the second was for sport (Fishing for Dolphin (Mahi)).  And on both trips, I almost drowned!  True Story!

Both Orlando trips were a lot more relaxed than the trips to the Keys, but they were still a great time;  Particularly the company retreat.  We hit up both Universal and Islands of Adventure and had a great dinner at Emeril’s.  I also got to know my coworkers on a more personal level and feel like our bond has grown stronger and are now an even better team than before.

But along with all the awesomeness comes the bad.  My mom spent a good six months out of the year very sick with a mystery illness that no doctor was able to figure out.  In the end, she just rode it out until it just magically went away.  Thanks to that condition though, she lost her job and things became very difficult for us at home.

During this time I found myself in a relationship with a guy who I thought I was in love with.  Charming, attractive, and a chef, so the foodie in me was thrilled!  Things were great at first, but that quickly faded.  I will make a long story short and cut to the chase; Things did not end pretty because he had betrayed me and of course I walked out with only my clothes, pots and pans, my cat and a pretty hefty I.O.U from the dick.

At first I allowed myself to be overwhelmed with how horrible my situation was, but quickly snapped out of it.  I knew quite well that there are a lot of people out there who have had it way worse than me and were still able to rise up on top.  So, what did I do?  I started focusing my energy on things that I knew I needed to take care of and on things that made ME happy:

Writing – I started writing more and have received so much recognition for it in the last three months that I am literally speechless.  I’ve acquired a large following and I am so grateful for that.

Quitting Smoking – It’s been a little over three months now since I quit.  I do have the occasional cigarette while out drinking with other smokers, but that’s as far as it goes.  I have not bought a pack since mid September and I don’t plan on ever doing so again.

Diet and Exercise – After mustering a lot of courage I managed to change my diet and force myself to join a boot camp.  All in all I lost a total of 17lbs.

Work – I have put more focus into work than on anything else and I am seeing the results of that come back to me three-fold.  All I will say is that I LOVE the company I work for and look forward to the adventures and experience this next year will bring us!

I almost feel like a Phoenix, rising up from the ashes.  Where once I was completely lost, scared, and insecure with my hands and heart completely empty I am now focused, brave, secure and full of love.  I feel as if I’ve accomplished more in these last three months than I had in the entire year.

For the first time in my 26 years, I will finally be moving into a place of my own (Pathetic, I know).  Now I be able to say that I am living on my own and that I was able to do it all by myself.  And since I’m starting from scratch, I am buying all new furniture and decorating the place how I want and looking forward to showing it off via photo-overload!

In the end, as I had mentioned before, this year may have been incredibly challenging, but it has also been quite good to me.  I have learned more about myself than ever before and now know what I can be capable of manifesting and accomplishing if I just put my mind and heart into it.

Here’s to 2011!  Thank you for the lessons and the good times!  I welcome 2012 with open arms and wish the best for everyone!

Happy New Year!
-Emily