Manje Manje

While food shopping a saw this beautiful red/purple cabbage and immediate thought how pretty rice dyed this color would be.

  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 2 cups of rice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp of Adobo
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Cinnamon stick
  1. In large pot, heat some oil then add in garlic, salt, adobo, and cinnamon sticks. Cook the garlic until it’s lightly brown. Photobucket
  2. Cut the cabbage into strips then add to the pot. Fry for 5 minutes, then add in 3 cups of water.PhotobucketPhotobucket
  3. Boil the cabbage until it’s soft (but not mushy). Make sure to retain at least 3 cups of water in the pot (I usually take note of where the hater hits the pot prior to boiling). Before you add the rice, squeeze the juice of half the lime into the pot. The alkalinity of the tap water will turn the liquid into a bluish color…

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Manje Manje

What you will need.

  • 2 lbs of shrimp
  • 1 lime
  • 1 TBS of Vinegar
  • 1/2 Onion
  • Thyme
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • 4 Cups of rice
  • 1 Cup of frozen peas
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • Adobo
  • Dragon breath seasoning or any Spicy habanero sauce
  • salt
  • Tri Ti
  • 3 TBS of Epise
  • 1 Maggi cube
  • 2 tsp of adobo
  • 1 tsp of sea salt

Shrimp preparation

  • Clean the shrimp making sure to remove the spine and shell
  • Gently scrub the shrimp with 1/2 of the lime, then rinse
  • Add two TBS of epise, 1 TBS of vinegar to the shrimp and allow to marinate for 1 hour. (I prepare the rice while the shrimp is marinating)Photobucket

To prepare the rice.

  • in a deep pot heat two TBS of olive oil
  • Add 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped/crushed (I used a garlic press to crush them) and 1 tsp of salt.
  • Allow the garlic to…

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10 yrs later

10 yrs later (need to work on it later)

…from 2 foot nothing, now she’s 5 foot 2
and she swears she’s calling the shots,
I find myself reminiscing about the only changes she ever wanted
was her diapers not her clothes,
not the makeup or the shoes,
the only lift she ever wanted was right into my arms,
to complain about barbies,
tired of walking and conveniently take a nap…

she stops now for a quick cheek kisses,
followed by the hand gesture now all too familiar…
horizontal right hand forward and palm to the sky.

For my credit card, she may as well have pointed her index,
cock back the hammer and demanded it.
for the keys, she may as well stolen my heartbeat,
as tonight threatens to be
a stay up all night kinda worried night
that i’d spend acting like i’m working but really just worrying.
(right about now, I regret not implanting the homing device —
easy GPS SaT finder but Noooo!!! I caved in to the over protective nagging wife speeches)

Back then, she only wanted my keys cuz it was shiny,
made a bit too much noise, and she could throw it in hopes that i would retrieve it,
and then would throw it some more.

as we fade through time,
she would grab the keys and impatiently wait for me to get ready
and for us to roll out…

Now

the keys are merely a means to an ends as she anticipate driving off for a movie night,
but who’s she kidding,
the only movie tonight is deathly romantic and stars her and that boy,
(and I’m not being paranoid about her having sex, and but God forbid that she would)
I just know that she is at that age that she probably could,
so to prevent my own hypertension, I’d try not to stress it…

and finally snap out of it,
catches her by door,
call her by her full name,
as the person that steps back in, reminds me of that 2 foot nothing baby girl…

with her sarcastic, “yeah!!!”
I spare her the speech and pull out the handkerchief…

With one wipe, I’d reduce her eyeliner,
“Sorry i can’t protect you from everything, and wipe away every tear. I do this so the world can see your determined vision”
with the second wipe, I’d tone down the cheek blush,
“I do this to reduce the layer that blocks your natural radiance when you smile”
with the third wipe, I’d reduce the lip gloss…
“honestly, I wipe away the make up for the world to see how beautiful you are,
and for me, cause who you are, is who I’ve always loved from day 1
and that girl, will always be number 1 to me”

I figure that day would come
that’s why it pays to keep Hakim on the security payroll.
Hey…. Its worth a shot!!!

Black on Black by Lawrence Gonzalez

Prelude:

“… Because engraved in your heart are the memories,
of someone you never really known,
someone that can’t be replaced”

_______________________________

Black on Black

[She packs his bags
as she cries from the distance that time creates]

“This time is the last time”, she wonders
As he headed out.
Just indirect words,
So he rushes to put his shoes on with no laces.
Grapples away from his own shirt,

the person that she couldn't be

a mile in his shoes

She cannot hold him in her arms anymore,
She must have understood by now, that she wasn’t to be.
Wasn’t able to provide that of which she couldn’t be
And wrestled with the idea that she wasn’t enough.
And maybe she was selfish,
But this … wasn’t enough
wasn’t as she envisioned her storybook
so she guilt her heart.
As he rushes away.

Passed the bedroom
He chased the hope that he could keep up with reality.
He stumbles, trips over his own shoes,
Hands out.
— Only to break his fall.

He stood,
Alerted to the instant reaction that followed
And composes his emotional will.
“No tears”. he thought even if the shock never sets in,
No man ever cries from a fall,
No matter how hard, he ponders as he tilts up…

He now stands far enough to see his face.
Waits for approval, so he reaches,
Extending both arms.

This was the only sure way to see his face,
The only way to bring him closer…
that even if he was gone for one minute,
He would miss him…

Engraved in his heart are memories of someone he couldn’t replace,
The face of the man he always knew…

The pen-inked strange marking on his neck were still there,
His eyes were still there…
Set down, he would follow his shadow in awe and admiration,
As each stride grew longer, he would rush to follow…
If he closes his eyes he could here the petter patter of his steps,
Some smooth, others more deliberate,
If he’d cover his ears, he would still make out the syllables,
Even if it was just
“Sup lil’ man”
And he didn’t have to understand it,
But with a smile he would mimic what he knew as love.

No alphabet of degrees really mattered,
No PhD, No Master, no AA, no BS,
Just the reality that he could create clouds with a puff,
Inhales as his hands flickered embers that never hit the ground.

“He could make metal animals stop with red lights,
carried things two times his own weight”

on the shoulders of a giant. Ladies do the world a favor and pick the dude that is going to be a father, not absentee and you will start changing the world.

BLACK on black clothes with a smell that was unmistakable.

That he would wish every day would be just like today,
That he would tried to outrun, that he would catch him by the waist and shake him…
Throw him in the air and catch him…

And he knew just what to do at every moment,
Never grew tired, never cried,
And that every five days, he could see him again,
And every day would be just like this….

He would wish that everyday,
That he would stay,
Wake up and see his face again with her…
And that everyday would be just like today but better.

————-
written by inspiration. Every time i pass by he walks with his son, a goon in black on black. Could of been anyone but he chose to be a father. That maybe one day, his son would grow to appreciate the man he was. Not a lot of cash but a lot of heart. For guys like me who grow up without one, maybe that’s how it would of felt to have a father.

Act of Valor

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

3 shots and a Funeral

Prelude:
“It could be 0 or 100, my brothers are always with me… even in the darkest hour, even if its just one, My brothers are forever with me.”
————————————————————————————

The Funeral

-Day of-
… only described as a momentary stillness. If you listen closely you can hear the recoil, the slight tug of the gas chamber as it pushes back against the butt stock, nestled snug on your shoulder, braced only by the tension of your arm…
it goes…
CLICK…
then
POW!!!…
-1 Day Prior-

 

2 PM on a Friday, this is going to be a clear weekend, no time schedule, no real motivation to do homework, and maybe the HCC Kompa party at midnight, and the phone rings… its kinda like that mission impossible moment, minus the cool eery voice on the other line, minus the lengthy dialogue, minus the theme song. its a mission, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy figuring out what Bullshit task, that the blood sucking bitch known as the Corps had in store for me…
but it hits, short handed and more volunteered for the task then asked, I was drafted for the impossible, the Funeral aka the F-Bomb… Far as I understood it, from the mere mention of the word, someone would ring us up, and in hours we’d had to have wheels rolling.
Yeah you seen it on TV, in the movies, and just about every memorial day on repeat, but this was real. Only two questions to solidify, “Lance Corporal Gonzalez, Do you have your dress blues?”, “Are they ready to go?”
Its $500.00 out of my own hard earned money so yes, I got my pair, Navy blue trousers, White Cap, Black Blazer, Red insignia, some shiny stuff and Michael Jackson gloves, yep I got them.
Nuff said, come in at 1000 hours kick off at 1200 hours be there 30 minutes prior (which meant 30 minutes prior to that just for spite). with that the phone hung up and my weekend went from easy to scramble. Got to Run beg for the express more expensive dry cleaning… Next the Haircut rushed so you might as well cancel the party as well, and that cute date, well she’ll be just that just another cute face for some lucky someone… what suck is that Heroes don’t have the time to chit chat. We only save damsels anything else requires too much of too little of our time.
-Day of-
0900 hours — looks like a race to see who can get the doors open first, half unhappily alive, at this point we’re just happy to be home, living in the land of acronyms, running in with my PTs to my HTC in hopes that my 1st Sergeant, doesn’t catch me without my shaving reg. (and yeah I was in it for 7 yrs and it still makes no sense, most of the time)
Three new guys, fresh rookies and Staff SGT Faulk appears: you couldn’t have ask for a more stressful and intense teacher. His ideal of relaxing in a pool in 16 ft, with no swim experience, was to yell at you and tell you how NOT calm you are. screaming anything from you suck!!, you are a waste!!!, you might as well drown!!!, and any demoralizing statement to show how proud he was of you. (yep that’s how we show love)
Lined up he inspects us, passed the uniformed he sees it, doubt, uncertainty, and bewilderment (obvious there has to be someone more qualified).
“What we have here is simple, I’ll teach you for ten minutes, you will learning in 15 min, you will practice for 5 min and we will be on the road in the next 15 following”
Marine Corps Problem solving 101, never state the obvious,  of course you didn’t know, but you would learned, of course you were not prepared but even if its one or 100, you will never let down your brothers even the one that lays buried on this day. You are not allowed failure. So we learned, master in minutes the impossible and we stop, final words,
“they will all be watching you, READY…. STEP There aren’t any do overs, READY…. FACE!!! you only get one crack at it” READY…. SHOOT!!!
Three guys and three shots, fires off right about 45 degrees right outside the church doors, its what we call all money, paying the ultimate respect to the family of the fallen, a brother we never really knew… intense, the crowd braced for the presentation as the trumpet sounds… in the church, its awe and pin drops, this is something you will rarely see twice… so don’t blink, you might want to catch this… each movement has to be precise, and each in unison with your two brothers. first move, breathe…
… only described as a momentary stillness. If you listen closely you can hear the recoil, the slight tug of the gas chamber as it pushes back against the butt stock, nestled snug on your shoulder, braced only by the tension of your arm…
it goes…
CLICK…
then
POW!!!…
Three shots in near perfect unison, echoes in the pulpit and there, its as if it pierces her heart, she cries, tears braced only by the honor paid in tribute of her son. this first shot was to let Heaven know that a friend was coming.
READY…. SHOOT!!!
My hand slipped missed racking the bullet, but mimicked the motion and as a shell ejects yet again, she grips as her heart, tugging on what’s left of her soul, one of the most powerful scenes you can ever experience. ** He refuses to leave her.
READY…. SHOOT!!!
and there… Perfection, three shots which sound like one, cues Staff SGT Davis entrance, as he marches and kneels before her. In presentation of the flag, our final honor to the fallen, a brother, a father, a son, a friend, a Marine… Holds what’s left of her composure, as the spirit leaves church, hugs his brothers as his memories go back to that faithful night in Parris Island.
RIP Forever even if its one or 100… My Brother Forever.