Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My very first Battle of the Bands -- Jersey Girl

I've been a fan of BoTB for a very, very long time... and finally decided to join in. I'm sure this one has been done before--how could it not?--but I couldn't find it in the BoTB files. And it's a favorite of mine. (Well, one of them is.)

I give you:

 ~ Jersey Girl ~


got no time for the corner boys, down in the street makin' all that noise,don't want no whores on eighth avenue, cause tonight i'm gonna be with you.
cause tonight i'm gonna take that ride, across the river to the jersey side,take my baby to the carnival, and i'll take you on all the rides, sing sha lala la la la sha la la la.
down the shore everything's alright, you with your baby on a saturday night,don't you know that all my dreams come true, when i'm walkin' down the streetwith you, sing sha la la la la la sha la la la.
you know she thrills me with all her charms, when i'm wrapped up in mybaby's arms, my little angel gives me everything, i know someday that she'llwear my ring.
so don't bother me cause i got no time, i'm on my way to see that girl ofmine, nothin' else matters in this whole wide world, when you're in love witha jersey girl, sing sha la la la la la la.
and i call your name, i can't sleep at night, sha la la la la la la.
(Lyrics source) 


I got no time for the corner boys Down in the street making all that noise Or the girls out on the avenue 'Cause tonight I want to be with you 
Tonight I'm gonna take that ride Across the river to the Jersey side Take my baby to the carnival And I'll take her on all the rides 
'Cause down the shore everything's all right You and your baby on a Saturday night You know all my dreams come true When I'm walking down the street with you 
Sha la la la la la la Sha la la la la la la la la Sha la la la la la la la Sha la la la I'm in love with a Jersey girl 
You know she thrills me with all her charms When I'm wrapped up in my baby's arms My little girl gives me everything I know that some day she'll wear my ring 
So don't bother me man I ain't got no time I'm on my way to see that girl of mine 'Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world When you're in love with a Jersey girl 
Sha la la la la la la Sha la la la la la la la la Sha la la la la la la la Sha la la la I'm in love with a Jersey girl 
I see you on the street and you look so tired I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired When I come by to take you out to eat you're lyin' all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep 
Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on We're gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom?s I know a place where the dancing?s free Now baby won't you come with me 
'Cause down the shore everything's all right You and your baby on a Saturday night Nothing matters in this whole wide world When you're in love with a Jersey girl
(Lyrics source)

Which version gives you the tingles, whether by association or musical achievement? Vote in the comments! I'd love to know what you think. (Results will be announced on July 7th.)

Loving the BoTB? So many other awesome face-offs out there! Find the full list at Stephen T. McCarthy's blog--and vote on his own face-off: Tito Puentes vs. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, a tough, tough choice.

See you at the other BoTB blogs!

Oh, and P.S. -- Since it's my first BoTB post ever, if you have any suggestions or tips to make it better next time, please do share :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What's taking so freakin' long??? (Part I)

Writing--no, scratch that; publishing is not for the impatient. And I am the mother of impatience. Which is why I'm kind of amazed that I haven't thrown a hissy fit yet. (Yet, I emphasize.)

No, actually I know exactly why I haven't. It's because I'm so damn busy. I don't have time to be impatient. As a matter of fact, days are going by like sand through toes at the surfline. Like, for instance, it's Tuesday already and--what do you mean Thursday? I NEED MY WEDNESDAY BACK!

I mean, how hard can it be? THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS had already been published in Pure Slush's 2014 A Year In Stories. Well, sort of. Last year, when Truth Serum Press (sister press of Pure Slush) agreed to publish it as a standalone book, we felt there was a piece missing from the original 12 stories, so--okay, I wrote a 13th story. Which turned out a tad longer than expected. And took longer, too, to finish. (I sweated blood on that one.)

But aside from that, I thought it was a matter of some small (fine, smallish) revisions. You know, quirky wording that somehow escaped both my and the editor's eagle eyes the first few times. And then there were the places where, due to the word count limit for the originals, I cut character arcs short or held back on information that actually did move the story forward. So these things had to be remedied for the standalone version. And then revised. And re-revised. And re-re-re...

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Miracle of Small Things -- #AtoZChallenge Giveaway Results!

Sorry for the delay, y'all... You'd think after 3 -- or is it 4? -- years of A-to-Z-ing I'd have learned not to underestimate the post-April burnout, but every year it's the same. Come May, I'm a useless blogger. (More than usual, I mean.)

I did, finally, get around to collecting the names of those who guessed right first in the Papiamentu guessing game, and writing those names on itty bitty pieces of paper...

The nine participating names, the twelve itty bitty pieces of paper
(Debbie, Bob, and Sabina had two correct guesses each, so they participated twice)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

X + Y + Z -- Three (Last) Quirks of #Curaçao (#AtoZChallenge 2015)


In Curaçao, crossings are one of the many quirks used to trap us foreigners into hilarious clueless entertainment for locals.

Roundabout in Otrobanda
There's your normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill roundabout or traffic circle. We all know the rules for that: if you're in the circle, you have preference. If you're outside the circle, you yield.

And then there's the plénchi di tráfiko.

Part of the reason this post is so late is because I couldn't
get a good image of a plénchi di tráfiko. Sorry. But this sign
is just before one of the island's most well-transited plénchi di tráfiko:
the one on the way to Banda Abou and Westpunt and the most gorgeous
beaches you've seen in your life.
To me, it looks for all the world like a roundabout -- sure, a bit irregular, like not the perfect circle roundabouts tend to be, but a roundabout nonetheless. A circular intersection. And so, as I enter into one, I yield.

And get honked all the way to Banda Abou.

In a plénchi di tráfiko it's traffic from the right that has preference. So as I enter I have preference, but then I must yield to the next intersecting road -- because it's coming from my right.

(It took me a good two years to learn that, because there are no signs.)

Yu di Kòrsou
Literally: young (as in "child") of Curaçao

Yu di Kòrsou, shortened to YDK, has become ubiquitous.
"United we stand," reads the caption.
Yu di Kòrsou is what Curaçao natives call themselves -- not Curaçaoans, not Antilleans. But one can become a yu di Kòrsou, too, and not necessarily by a change in citizenship. When someone displays behavior that's unique to Curaçao -- using, for instance, the expressions in this A-to-Z series -- or when someone has lived in Curaçao for a long time, or even if they haven't but exhibit obvious and extreme love for the island and its food and customs... Yep. All of these are qualifications for being a yu di Kòrsou.

But the opposite is also true. If you're critical of the lifestyle, if you don't like Curaçao food, if you're no fan of Carnaval or Sèu or the tumba festival or if you don't like tambú, or if you just think differently -- what some would call out of the box -- then it doesn't matter if you were born in Curaçao and have lived all your life here. You'll still find yourself seldom being referred to as a yu di Kòrsou. Especially if you're white. And if your skin is dark, then you'll more often hear the pariah term of black macamba (wigger, but in reverse).

And last but certainly not least:

English: hangover

Perhaps the most important addition to your vocabulary if you ever visit Curaçao ;)

This is it, the end of the #AtoZChallenge. I've had a blast researching for these posts, and I hope you've enjoyed them -- and, besides learning some funky expressions, gained a bit of insight to this cultural melting-pot of an island I've chosen to call home. It's been a pleasure to share Curaçao with you.

Te aki ratu, dushi hende!

Okay, we'll use that phrase as the last bonus question of the series. No hints... well, just one. In English, the equivalent is often paired with alligator :)

(Find updates on the giveaway here, and come back on May 8th for the announcement of the three winners of THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS, a collection of short stories set in Curaçao.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weg'i Domino & Wara Wara -- Quirks of #Curaçao (#AtoZChallenge 2015)

The sharp crack of tiles against wood -- domino tiles, that is -- is a trademark sound of Curaçao streets. At every bus stop and taxi depot, at every snék (when the bachata music isn't too loud--and sometimes even then). Crack! Crack! Crack-CRACK-crack! They follow one another at impossible speed, as if the game is about who slaps them down faster.

And, in a way, I suppose it is.

One of these taxi drivers at the Otrobanda depot gave me
a curt nod as I held up my camera in a non-verbal question.
I snapped away for a good three minutes, but none of them ever looked
my way again.

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