No More Skirting the Issue: The Ride for Roswell Skirt Giveaway

Remember my Ride for Roswell?  Oh, that little 20-mile bike ride for cancer research fundraising?  The ride for which I trained with a shaky first ride and with a few rides full of panache and cycle style?

For which rain did not cooperate sometimes and for which I rode ghetto-unfabulous with a posse of my badass sisters for backup and commiseration?

For which I ate like a beast (sometimes during the actual bike rides)?

Baby Bel and I chomping on hot dogs

And which, of course, I rode with the coolest people on earth–my sisters and friends, not to mention all 8,000 other awesome Ride for Roswell participants?

As official a team photo as we could manage!

The unofficial shot--sisters scream silly Spanish swearwords, as per tradition

Yes, well…  All of that happened almost a month ago and I have been shamelessly neglectful in holding the Ride for Roswell Skirt Giveaway, due to some circumstances within my control (too much household craziness, chasing down some post-ride donations and pledges) and some outside of it (family issues, work craziness, flight delays, etc).

But no more!

I decided to go about this in a thoroughly unscientific way because math hurts my head on a Sunday night (as for the flash, the camera manual for my new DSLR also hurts my head on a Sunday, hence the glare–I’ll learn soon, I promise).  Each donor was allocated a number, which was entered once for every five dollars they donated:

How very scientific!

The numbers were folded up into itty bitty little squares and tossed in a most appropriate vessel–my scratched saucepan:

I know--it's time to replace this with better Teflon

Wherein they were tossed and shaken all about:

Boom shakalaka shake...

Shake it like a pan full of popcorn (go on, sing it to the tune of Outkast's "Hey Ya")

Then stirred for good measure:

The oatmeal spoon sees some night action, ooh la la

Before a winning number was pulled out:

The spoon is as impartial as I am!

Under the watchful eye of Umbi, who was monitoring proceedings for fairness and procedural propriety:

I swear his eyes are under there--and they're SERIOUSLY watchful...

And the winner is…. Kendra!

Woot woot!

Congratulations to the lovely Kendra!  I’ll be getting in touch to get measurements and ask for color/print preferences, etcetera.

I would also like to thank EVERYONE who donated and everyone who wished me well or even gave me and my silly team a thought on Ride for Roswell day.  We couldn’t have done this without you and I can’t wait to do it again next year–33 miles, here I come!

Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone, But…

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but… I think I am a (gulp) clean eater. (And still chillin’ like a villain in Buffalo–I head back to my tropical home tomorrow, fingers crossed.  Just an aside.)

I’m really not the kind of person to categorize what I eat and how.  Yeah, I was vegetarian for three years, but yeah, I gave it up for pork chops in baked beans and chorizo–all in the same day.  I also eat vegan at home 90% of the time, but that’s down to lactose intolerance.  Present me with a steak (or better yet, a piece of pork–I am, after all, a good Puerto Rican girl!) and watch me be your best friend for the rest of the day.

However, a friend was asking me the other day how I eat since I decided to give healthy eating a go (and my old size too-big-for-my-frame pants a miss).  To be honest, I struggled to answer.  The best I could do was, “Well, I don’t eat as much bread as I used to, and I eat lots of vegetables, and… Uh, I don’t know.”

And then she said it:  “So, mostly clean eating!”

And she was right.  Since I’ve replaced the bulk of my intake of bread and rice and pasta with more complex carbohydrates, I’ve felt a million times better.  Ramen noodles and cookies do not make this girl run fast or want to don a bikini (or a carnival costume).  I started to eat less processed food about a year ago now and,  after the initial adjustment–and a vast improvement in my vegetable prep skills–and planning, I just don’t give it a second thought.  Wanna watch me snooze the afternoon away?  Give me a plateful of rice and beans and meaty stew and some plantains and you might just get your wish, now that said meal is no longer a lunch mainstay.

However, I’m not about to start waving a banner about clean eating (because what’s clean for me may still be too processed for others) or categorize myself as such.  I WILL eat hot dogs at family cookouts and I will most certainly partake of my mom’s lemon cake.  If I do this every day, though, I’ll probably spend more time clutching at my disgruntled stomach than telling you about how tasty that hot dog and that cake were.

So yes, my habits have changed.  And, despite my best efforts to eat the way that I eat back in Trinidad while I’ve been in Buffalo, there has been entirely too much of… well, a sweet here and a bagel there and a sandwich with chips at lunch.  This is not about weight (in fact, my clothes are looser since I arrived here six weeks ago)–it’s about bloat in my belly and bounce in my step and a beastly craving for toast at all hours once the two-toasts-for-breakfast line is breached.

Therefore, today’s lunch was a welcome respite from all things wheaty and meaty (and believe me, I’ll take belly blahness for my mom’s and Baby Bel’s cooking any day).  I found myself home alone and with poblano peppers and soft corn tortillas.  Need I tell you what comes next?

Tacos with black beans and green salsa!  Full of vegetable and bean goodness and enough spice that my eye stung like crazy when I accidentally touched it after chopping the pepper.  I present you with today’s saviors, courtesy of Wegmans and Goya:

(I should have shares in Goya.  I probably also should have shares in that most awesome supermarket chain that is Wegmans–but I worked there through college and though it was bearable enough, I’ll give it a pass.)

Into said tortillas (which were warmed on the stove until they were hot and starting to crisp on the sides) went black beans, a handful of lettuce, tomatoes, poblano peppers, a sprinkle of red onion, and a good dose of Wegmans green salsa.  They tasted the way heaven must taste, spicy and crunchy and just oniony enough that I tasted the onion but wouldn’t knock a passerby out from onion breath.

I Tweeted yesterday that the reason I must have missed my flight was to finally watch a movie in peace with my mother.  Don’t tell her, but I think these tacos were the real reason I had to miss my flight.  Karma owed me these suckaz, plain and simple.

In Which I Show You That I’ve Been Wearing Clothes

I have been very remiss in posting outfits during my time in Buffalo.  This morning, I realized that you might even think I’ve been running around in  my altogether–or in clothes for running and Zumba and riding a bicycle.  Frankly, there’s been very little evidence of sartorial sass around here lately, never mind sewing antics (what’s a sewing machine again?).

Well, I can assure you that I have not broken any public decency laws, as I have been FULLY clothed this entire time in Buffalo (except for a bikini sighting at Stonybrook and its beautiful gorges last weekend).  And, not only have I been fully clothed, I’ve also been making the most of having access to the closets of others, namely Baby Bel’s closet.

(Now handing camera over to Baby Bel, who will give picture-taking a worthy shot despite some rather creative, or sloppy, cropping tendencies.)

Exhibit A:

The provenance of this dress is unknown, except for the fact that it came from Baby Bel’s closet.  I think a friend gave it to her, and since it no longer has tags, I don’t have a clue as to the brand.  Or the size.  Or why it is so damn cute and I had never spotted it and thieved it from her before.

Exhibit B:

This dress was found in Baby Bel’s closet.  She acquired it in a nefarious trade with Little A, in which Little A wrangled a much more expensive item of clothing (what it was, I have no idea) in exchange for this dress, which originally came from Target.  I don’t care about the politics and trade negotiations and settlements that went into the agreement; I’m just glad I get to wear it when I visit in the summer.

The funny thing about having sisters–apart from being a collective toilet-paper-sucking unit–is that we all shop at pretty much the same stores .  If Target and Old Navy were as marketing-savvy as they should be, they’d ship us a truckload of their best items each season and have no need for any marketing campaign beyond that.

However, though we often end up buying the same items (and I mean the exact same items!) we manage to wear them differently.  Little A wears her bright tank tops slouchy and oversized; Baby Bel might wear the same one, fitted and layered; Minxy will wear hers fitted and with jeans; and mine will be fitted and tucked into a colorful skirt.  Clothes around this house get as much mileage as I’ve put in on Caribbean Airlines in the last two years.

Sadly, it’s just not the same with shoes.  We wear different sizes (ranging from teeny with Minxy to respectable non-Bigfoot with Baby Bel) and have widely different views on which shoes are “comfortable” and which ones pose the risk of a broken ankle or falling into a manhole.  Case in point:  Little A insisted that I wear a pair of her very high, very strappy, very platformy, very mean-bitch shoes out for dinner a few weeks ago.  In the ten minutes that I wore them and contemplated leaving the house in them, I managed to trip down the stairs, drop a contact lens, snag my dress on the shoe, and create scuffmarks on my mother’s kitchen floor.  You all know what happened after that:  I changed into flats and she rubbed my heel-sporting ineptitude in my face by teetering to and from the restaurant.  Oh, the indignity of it all.

So you may be seeing less of my own clothes and more of theirs in the coming days.  I’ve got just a few days left here, and I’m planning on squeezing out the very best from their closets.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll rock their clothes so well that they’ll feel generous and make a donation to a sister in want.  Here’s to hoping!