Sunday, February 26, 2006

Weekends; rest, home-work or catch-up!

This was a very good weekend! It was either because I took 2 days off during the week, or because I took 25 dress shirts to the laundry; shirts that now I don't have to wash, dry and iron. Funny thing is that most of them are labeled "care free", "wrinkle free", etc.. Yeah right!

What are weekends for? What did Loverboy mean when they sang 'everybody is working for the weekend'? I spend most of my weekends cleaning up the messes from the week. I am serious, if it is not one thing it is another. Is this the reason why I have to get married and have kids?; to divide up the chores? Who cleans their bathroom during the week? It has to be done on the weekends. And if not, I am doing things for the home, the car, or running errands. But what about relaxation? When does it take place? Do we have it wrong? I will be happier to work my 40 hours in 4 days and have 3 off. What happened to the work-life balance? Is out of whack, that's what happened. What am I doing wrong?

Thank God for weekends like this one! It started with an off site lunch on Friday, and then a quick and casual happy hour. I got up early yesterday, sat down at Starbucks with my paper, my coffee and my muffin; read the news, worked on my Sudoku, and watched people. My original post was going to be about my observations at Starbucks. I'll bring that out next week, as I am planning to do the same but take my laptop there and do a play-by-play. Maybe I'll sit one day at Starbucks, one day at Dunkin Donuts, and one day at Einstein Bagels. They are all in the same shopping plaza, and it is very interesting to watch the different 'markets' (clientele) these places cater to. What do you think?

I did a little cleaning around, some laundry, but not that much. I went shopping early, found a sale at Dillard's and whats most important, because it was early, my sizes were available! 50% off original prices plus another 30% off on that day!!! I bought 3 dress shirts for under the price of laundering the others. I was also able to stop by GNC and do something Ponce de Leon was not able to do while looking for the Fountain of Youth. I got little pills that should make my joints feel better, make my blood circulate, fight heart disease, help my digestive system, keeps tabs on my prostate, keep a healthy level of testosterone, and give my energy. Either these are very effective, or the word placebo is giving the word abracadabra a run for its money. And if you think abracadabra is just a song by the Steve Miller Band, you are also in need for these pills in addition to Ginko Balboa.

I went groceries shopping, and while there the smell of chicken wings once again did a pity number on me so I took them home. Blockbuster is right next door, so I rented a funny movie at around 6pm, which I did watch, and already returned today at 0930am. That my friends should be close to a Blockbuster-Guinness record.

This morning I woke up early again, and went and ran The Walk of Hope 5K which helps funding Breast Cancer research and education. While it was 70 degrees at 0715am with 90% humidity, there was a strong cool wind that made the day feel nice. And speaking of Breast Cancer, I learned this week that Sheryl Crow underwent minimally invasive surgery to treat Breast Cancer. Very recently we learned of the news that her relationship with cancer survivor great Lance Armstrong had ended. My calculations indicate that it was very probable that her diagnosis was done during their courtship; either that or news don't travel that fast. This makes me wonder about their interaction either way; if they broke up and the diagnosis was made, or if the diagnosis was made while they were breaking up. And following my already stated 'there are no coincidences' theory, I am wondering the impact Sheryl will now have on this cause, as Lance has had with his Lance Armstrong Foundation.

And how is this bit of news part of my weekend? By providing meaning to my life situations. This morning in the race a bunch of breast cancer survivors waited for us at the finish line with pom-poms, a smile and a cheer. A smile and cheer because they are alive. A testament to the $25.00 I take out of my pocket. Anyone of them could have been my mother; or your love one. And that brings a smile and a cheer to my heart.

So after the race I once again treated myself with Starbucks! Now I am watching my round of sport and political sunday shows, have my copies of the New York Times and Miami Herald next to me, and I am enjoying a soft cooling rain, perfect for a lazy Sunday, which I plan to have. Hopefully it will all be gone by this afternoon when I go to see the local showing of Cirque du Soleil's traveling show VAREKAI!

And tomorrow, I will be a much happier person on my way to work. And this is what weekends should be about.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A muse-in my self!

Its hump Wednesday and for some reason I have all these thoughts in mind..

I have been thinking about something my friend Mary wrote to me regarding her thoughts on reading my blog; she felt that reading it may be voyeuristic since she knows me. What an interesting concept? Does most of the people that read our blogs are strangers? Could we be able to write everything we wanted to if we knew that everyone that read it knew us?

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What is it about the Olympics games, whether summer or winter, that makes us watch? I swear I was not going to watch ANY this year. Well, I must note that the three girls representing the USA in women figure skating are adorable! Emily Hughes just like her sister Sarah has this beaming smile. I have seen Kimmie Meissner in a couple of interviews and her personality equals a lifetime of gold medals. And I remember how sassy I found Sasha Cohen the first time I saw her skate 4 years ago, and she is just getting more entertaining. In the short program she looked like the little ballerina I have seen in women's jewelry boxes. The great thing about these girls is to watch the joy with which they perform. Can you imagine yourself that joyful at work? What the heck am I doing watching this anyway?

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Did you feel the same way as I did when you found out that 8 co-workers of a ham processing plant won the record setting 365million dollars Powerball prize? I was ecstatic! What can one person do with 365million? Buy a couple of pro-sport teams? 22 million for each one of them is great! I need to find out what products I might consume from this Conagra plant if any; I am betting that the quality might go down in the next few weeks.

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Martha Stewart and Donald Trump in a feud? Can we please bring back Celebrity Death Match? Can we have them compete in the next survivor? Put them in some isolated island, make them go fishing, sleep in tents, etc ,etc. Is it a publicity stunt or can their egos be so big that they can't be on the same planet without this happening?

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Now, without trying to be labeled red or blue, allow me to convey my next point.

If I had a friend who was overweight and dieting, I would not take them to a buffet gathering. If I had a blog about God, I would not ask atheist for suggestions. None of the above guarantee negative actions. My friend might not be bothered by the abundance of food, and the atheist might give me some pointers without any confrontation; the point is that there are things that are not good ideas. It is better to stay away from them. Period!

Allowing a company from the UAE to watch over our ports, with all the pros and cons, is just not a good idea; period. And claiming not to know about it is another bad idea.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I Confess, I am a NASCAR fan!!

WAIT!! Do not change blogs so fast just because I like NASCAR!


I do not know how it started, but now I find myself 'sort of fix' to the tv watching cars go around in a loop, and listening to those flawless, powerful engines make their beautiful noise; YES beautiful, because if you have ever heard a bad engine sound, you can appreciate one where all it parts are working together. Or better yet, 'firing on all cylinders'! It is a great time for me to iron as it gives me the perfect combination of staying at one place, but at least doing something.

Maybe its the plethora of paints and color schemes in all 43 cars. Maybe its all the logos and advertisement; Miller Lite, Coors, UPS, FEDEX, Target, Viagra! Perhaps I am amazed at how a car can have a chassis adjustment, have all 4 tires changed, and being fuel in about 15 seconds, when it takes me half a day to a full day! Not only that, but how is it that one car can be faster than another car? Might be as simple as one of those small logo stickers out of place. On the other hand is amazing watching how any car can be slower at the beginning but yet be adjusted all through out a race to the point where it is the best car. That plus 500 miles of driving and cars within inches of each other at speeds of 180 mph +!

And what about the physics of car racing? If you draft, meaning get as close to the bumper of the car in front of you, you can actually make both cars go faster because it divides the friction of the air, and reduces the drag. The fastest car could be passed really easily if it does not have a 'friend' 'bum-drafting' from behind. And this theory makes for lost of stratergies and lots of strange bedfellows! Now, imagine what happens when a few cars get in a line one behind the other, the 'line' becomes a freight train! Do you understand now why birds fly in formation?


Today was the Daytona 500. Congratulations go to the 48 car! And that's lingo in NASCAR; you can refer to the cars, teams, driver, by just the number. Jimmy Johnson has been one of the most consistent drivers in the last couple of seasons. Sort of odd is the fact that this car is partly owned by another race car driver; running the 24 DuPont Car, Jeff Gordon. Jeff won the Daytona 500 last year! Jeff and Jimmy are mostly favored by fans that have discover NASCAR in the last few years. While fans who have been watching for a while support drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr (Budweiser #8 car) obviously for representing his father, Dale Earnhardt who won the championship cup in 7 different years. I do favor the 24/48. But, unlike many "junior" fans, I do not dislike him. I do not really dislike any of the drivers. Well, maybe with the exception of the guy that drives the Home Depot #20 car, who seems to me like the original 'anger management' client. Tony Stewart won the championship cup last year, and was milder than usual.Even likeable. However, in today's race he was back to form forcing one car onto the grass, and leaving his paint on two more.
NASCAR got to a good start, and I can not wait to follow more races throughout the year. Why you might ask? I have got no clue. All I know is that this puertorrican boy, who graduated from college, and is a business professional is hooked!! This is just to say that any prejudices you might have about NASCAR are not generally supported. Like the commercial says, 'This is not your dad's Chevy"!

Friday, February 17, 2006

To blog or not to blog...

Who would tell me that writing in my blog was going to become my most relaxing activity!! I forget about the world! I enjoy looking for the pictures.. let my thoughts flow...

Especially after the last 72 hrs. Gee, my last two days at work have been non-stop. I had about 20 mins of lunch yesterday. I come home so tired that fall in a deep sleep the minute I sit in my sofa.

Have you ever being caught in the balancing act of work? How it is always easier to be 'scolded' for the small thing you did not do, rather than being recognized for the big part you were doing? Attention all line supervisors or managers, out there, be on the lookout for the good things, and praise people for them. Otherwise, if you have not been shadowing this employee all day, you run the risk of rubbing salt on a wound! Then rather than being just the boss, you become a very unlikable person.

But it is finally Friday, and the weekend is here!! Accompanied by a holiday on Monday!! I do not want to think anything about work all weekend long! And here I am blogging. Venting out. Letting all that tiresome energy rest in the abstract concept of cyberspace.

And what other choices are there on a Friday? I am too tired to go out. The Winter Olympics is not doing it for me. Maybe with the exception of Snowboard Cross and showboating young athletes on the verge of winning gold medals, and failing due to their exhuberance. Then, there is Cinemax late at night.. nah.. not for me. At least not tonight. So, I am relaxing by blogging.

And of course, I am going to also take time to read all those wonderful blogs out there that I like. Some of them I hate not being able to read more often; as when I come back to them I have fallen so behind! In the meantime, let me leave you with a couple of trivia questions, and i trust you dont look it up in the internet, but rather give it a good gues-timate; how much does skin alone weight? And how much area could it cover?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY !


Happy Valentine's Day to all my female readers!! Isn't this great? I do not have to drive to Hallmark for this! And speaking of Hallmark, let me make this 'valentine' official;

Roses R red, violets R blue, Im sending my love, 2 readers like U!

Ha, I am just your regular Robert Frost!

This must be the most stressful holiday! YES, more than Christmas! Most of the time this holiday can become "Single Awareness Day"; celebrated of course with Ben and Jerry. But, who wants that? I'd rather celebrate with Robert Mondavi or maybe even Jose Cuervo! Well.. really Margarita is who I am interested in, and not Jose.

Every year I dread this day! For three reasons; I think that it is a nice, romantic day to go out, but with who and where? Number two; If I have taken care of those two issues, then I am worrying about making sure that the night does not get ruined by anything! And third, I hate facing my feelings if I get to be home by myself! Darn... and I am a man!! Who came up with this holiday anyway? It was great in school; construction paper, scissors, Elmer's Glue and check yes or no!

Valentine's Day is definitely different for a woman and a man. Did you know that last year, 85% of the Valentine's cards were purchased by woman? And of course, in big generalization terms, most of the time the two sexes approach it very differently. And do not even dare to argue this point with me. See, I am a man; one that unlike many other men enjoys a great restaurant, a nice wine, a new dessert, a coffee and nice music. In other words, I am a romantic and enjoy that part of it. But many times in my life, this has been a day when I figured if I did everything right, I would get lucky at the end of the night. I am too matured for that stress now. Besides, the wine does not expect anything more afterwards.

This reminds me of one Valentine's Day I was without a date; and so was one of the lease officers in the apartment building complex I used to live in. She said so as we ran into each other as she was getting in her car to leave work. I always found her cute, but for some reason I did not want to go out with her. I guess because she worked and lived where I lived; a little too much. So I asked her out right there and then. I had been thinking all day of not having a date, so when the opportunity presented itself, I went for it. Nothing but a blunt booty call in the middle of an afternoon. It worked out for both of us.

Then again, I have other great memories of Valentine's. While vacationing in Puerto Vallarta in 1988, I met this one girl; probably the best good looking girl visiting the city (trust me I looked). Much quieter than the friends she was with but friendlier, and very classy. The third day of been there was February 14th. I asked her to go to dinner with me. Le Bistro was the name of this very romantic, cozy place. Jazz music playing, its table in an open patio with water fountains, it was exquisite! I could not believe that I had asked out this very good looking, quiet woman; that she said yes, and better yet, we kept it a secret from our travel companions and we went alone. We ended up in town, sitting on an old mural in from of the ocean with lots of stars, kissing.. feeling the breeze caressing us. Later on taking a night swim at the hotel pool.. However, our plans ran short, when we tried to get back to one of our rooms; they were all already taken!!! Ok, so the stairwell might have not been the most romantic place but every sentence needs a period; or better yet, an exclamation point!! Or two!

This year would be another lonely Valentine's Day for me, as well for many other people out there. But remember, 'better alone, than in bad company'. So make my Valentine's night, as well as the night of those who will be reading this, a better one by telling me your good memories, your bad memories, or what do you think of Valentine's. In the meantime, to those who are very special to me, the ones who have touched me in a special way, or shared special moments with me, to all my special friends, here I am wishing you love, and a Happy Valentine's Day! And for all the women reading this, enjoy James Blunt chart topping hit "You are beautiful".

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"I have a dream"

Wow, it is only Wednesday, and I think I have already worked my 40 hours for the week! Well, let me push myself to note an important event that took place this week.

On August 28th, 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King jr. delivered his famous "I have a Dream" speech, across from the "Reflecting Pool" in Washington D.C. To me, this is probably the most influential, and best speech delivered by anyone in this nation, and maybe the world. Not only from the ideas it contained, but from the way it was written and delivered.

Many of us remember some of the lines included within the "I Have a Dream" rhetoric. Mainly;

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

But many of us do not remember some of the other great 'soundbites' or pathos from the speech;

"In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned."

This week, the nation paid their respect to the late Coretta Scott King in a beautiful ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia; city that once banned Ray Charles from performing there. The widow of the civil liberties movement leader, in her own 'passive' way kept 'the dream alive'. I am happy to report that 40 years later, America is fulfilling that 'promisory note'. Not completely; but definitely, this week the nation 'judged' Coretta Scott King based solely on the content of her character, and not the color of her skin.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

You would have been 65 today, and instead is 2 days shy of 21 months since you passed away. I would have been in Puerto Rico this morning watching TV, getting my bags ready to leave home, sad to not be able to spend more time with you and Dad, but understanding the uniqueness of our lives. And at the end, thats the way you wanted it anyways; for me to make my own life. We would have had some kind of party last night. And you would have been so happy! Being your 'life of the party' self. Many times in my life I have wished I would have been as happy-go-lucky as you were, and not take things too seriously. That was the basis of our last argument. I did take upon your emotional side and days like today remind me there is a hole in my heart.

I have been wondering how it seems like my life has had more hardships since you have been gone. Or is it that, like the sun, you exercised some powerful gravity in my life that kept me in a better orbit, or made the other things seem insignificant. The same goes for dad. Although I have to say I never thought he would be washing clothes, ironing, cleaning and cooking as good as he has been doing. I know you have had a hand on that; as I have felt it the times I have cooked something I have never cooked before, but it comes out tasting alsmost as good as yours.

I do not know what compells me to share such a private sentiment in this public forum. Maybe because as I wrote in an earlier post, blogs are the journals of adults. Maybe because this is the only way I can make myself sit down and run through a gamut of thoughts and let them all out in an orderly way. A form of meditation? I also contemplated posting your picture. The beautiful picture taken just two weeks before your death, which reminds me that the cancer that took you away, was never able to make you sick until those last 24 hours. But, for now, I guess that is just mine.

While I have this strong spiritual side and faith, I feel cheated. And honestly, I am not sure if you hear me or see me. I only hope so. But for the years that you gave to me, thank you! I still celebrate and give thanks for the day you were born.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Super Bowl of Ramblings


In honor to Super Bowl weekend, please allow me to fumble.. ahem.. I mean ramble.

Pre-game show
I am throwing FLAGS for unsportsmanlike conduct to BLOGGER who made my life miserable last night. After writing this post, it kicked it out of bounds, so far, I had to re-do it.

First Quarter
How in the world do we become such a party society that we can make an excuse out of a 'football game' to party? What was the question of the week? - Are you going to any Super Bowl parties? Yeah! In my couch! Gee, is not as if the Valentines' Day pressure wasn't upon me already. I do not remember a Super Bowl party I attended where I actually watched the game.

The first Super Bowl I remember was in 1976, Super Bowl X. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17, at the Orange Bowl in Miami. Oddly enough, 30 years later I live in Miami, work for a company based in Dallas, I just realized the numbers 21 and 17 have been my favorites throughout my life, and not so coincidental, when I played Pee Wee football, I wore 88 because of my favorite player Lynn Swan. So with that being said, GO STEELERS ! And while Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA, good luck Seahawks.

Second Quarter
I was eating dinner at a restaurant next to my office. A man circa 60 years old wore what it seemed to be an expensive wind breaker that read Steelers, and with the appropriate colors. I thought to myself, to what point do we feel we need to show the world who are we rooting for in a football game?. Hey, I root for my mutual funds; all year long. They provide me some tangible returns, something a pro-team doesn't, but I don't wear a sweatshirt that reads RPMGX or FDIVX.

Same thing goes for bets; do you have any money on anyone? YUP! TRowe and Fidelity. Are we all of the sudden supposed to be gamblers and play Kenny Rogers during Super Bowl weekend?

They usually have an all-timers game in baseball. Why not in football? I would love to see Terry Bradshaw playing quarterback today, handing off to Franco, and passing to Swan. It would be hysterical. They would be in slow motion.

Half Time
IS there any doubt which half time PRESENTATION has been the best? In case you missed it, picture says a thousand words!

I have been thinking all week, who has the best burger; Chilli's, Fridays or Benningans?

Third quarter
Where and how did I learned how to love thunderstorms? It seems that whatever mood you are in, whether making love, loopy or sad, or blogging, a good thunderstorm enhances the situation. Am I whacked, or does anyone else likes thunderstorms? Here is a picture of condition in South Florida, last night as I did the original post.

How sad it is when we have close friends who are going through a rough time and we are helpless about it, or don't even know what to say. Especially, when we have had a small hardship in our friendship, which seems to keep us from just treating each other as we used to.

Fourth Quarter
And speaking of friends, have you ever received a drunk call from a friend? They usually come at night. How come no one can call me drunk in the middle of the day and make laugh when I need it the most? Well, it was nice to get up the next day, and hear in my voice mail the same drunk voice saying "You are such an amazing Friend; DO you know that?" --- sometimes I do .. lately I need to hear it more often. But speaking of these calls, I have been
remembering the ones that I have gotten throughtout the years, and the ones that
I have made. How about you? Care to share any nice drunken call story?

Ok, after further review there is no conclusive evidence that this post needs to be reversed. The post stands as it was written.