Friday, July 28, 2006

My secret companion!


I woke up this morning and knew that she was there, her presence a reminder of a night without much sleep. She held me all night long without a care, her touch and her caress penetrating more than skin deep.

She knows who is in my mind
and pushes me to forget,
she watches me closely in silence,
trying not to get upset.

She sits at the table and my cup of coffee she shares, Im nostalgically remembering who is that moment reserved for. She quietly sits in my car as I move forward, another day awaits lets see how good I fare.

All day I work and both are in my mind,
constant drifting not an end in sight.
Back in the car listening to the same songs,
a relationship I never wanted to last too long.

Its three o'clock in the morning,and I just cant sleep,
outside the rain is pouring,this is not where I want to be.
Its time to kick her out, this is getting lame. You all know my often secret companion,
loneliness is her name.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Miss Universe 2006!!

Is MISS Puerto Rico!!!

So I wrote in my post yesterday that I love espontaneous, emotional, human reactions. Take a look at the picture on the left.

While at work this morning, I went into the internet to seek out some information that I needed. When suddenly I was confronted by the news that the newly crowned Miss Universe, was none other than Miss Puerto Rico, Zuleyka (zoo-lay-ka) Rivera!

I Beamed! I quickly started to count; how many does that make? Are we the country with the most Miss Universes? I went to the Official Miss Universe web page to confirm that Puerto Rico has had 5 Miss Universe; second only to the US who has 7.

You see, Puerto Rico is an island of just 35 miles wide by 100 miles of length. I drive to work everyday, one way almost 40 miles. But within those small confines the potential for all people to be anything is just inmense. Puerto Rico is the country with the most boxing champions. And all the other sucesses that we have had should be the topic of another blog.

As I was driving home today, a spanish radio station was fielding calls regarding the pageant last night. Everyone calling in was saying that they were so happy with the selection. That Japan and Paraguay were beautiful; but that the puertorrican woman was a 'doll'. They talked about her beauty, her poise, her smile, her dress, her elegance, and how under all that there was a 'simpleness' to the woman. And that is what beauty means to me.

I was very happy listening to the people talk. I am very happy for her. I know how something like this makes people in the island very happy and united. I am very happy for them. God bless the little joys my island gives to me, and the beauty of its people!

Ps.. I plan to update this tomorrow, Tuesday, with the picture of the other 4 Miss Puerto Rico, who have become Miss Universe.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Things Im reminded of

Among the greatest things GOD created, there is Sunday. Remember, the day of rest? It doesn't matter whether the 7th day is Saturday or Sunday, I have grown accustomed to Sundays being the days just to hang out and rest.

With that in mind, I slept in today. My TV was programmed to automatically go on at 0930am so that I could watch the last leg of the Tour De France. Then I woke up, made breakfast, watch some more biking, watch some sport programs, the British Open, showered, went on my own bike ride, showered again, cooked, wrote this post already before blogger pull another one on me, so here I am re-writing.

Watching the tour reminded me that I LOVE PARIS! I think it is such a romantic place. So the french may be hard to get alone with, but still, their city is lovely. That is in the summer of 1995. It is one of my favorite pictures. I cannot believe I was able to go in the middle of traffic, jump up and kick my heels, and have the picture taken. Not with that police car next to me!

While watching the British Open, I was reminded of how much I love to watch a human having an emotional spontaneous reaction. After Tiger Woods finished his game today, he embraced his caddy and started crying. This is the first time Tiger wins a tournament and his dad is not present. His dad passed away 2 months ago. He was the one Tiger always walked to hug first after winning. Not only that but runner up, Chris DiMarco, pointed to the sky after finishing his round. DiMarco's mom, Norma, suddenly died on July 4th. When he started the tournament, he walked to his first hole to meet and greet the people that would accompany him that day; there was woman scorer assigned to his group, her name, Norma.

Last week I was reminded that there are no substitutes for good manners and common courtesy. While I might not be the President of the US, and the leader of the free world, I hold up some basic things taught to me as a child, and as a young man that provide me with a great sense of personal value. While I may not agree with George W. Bush politically, I realized that in a two political-party system not always will I feel represented. But what happened this week in St Petersburg during the G8 meeting was not a good representation of american manners.

Maybe my problem with him is more as a person than a public officer. About two weeks ago, he was trying to be cutsy and make fun of a reporter who was wearing sunglasses in the lawn of the White House, on a cloudy day. The reporter is legally blind and needs to wear the glasses. While telling Tony Blair his view on the crisis in Lebanon, Bush was eating and talking with his mouth full. This I saw on the news. While the story was the personal view being given and the use of the word 'shit', only news-magazine program focused on the fact. To me it was amazing!

But just when I tought that was bad, the next day, while he was leaving the meeting, he decided to stop and give a friendly back rub to the German chancellor. In this picture you can see as the chancellor feels the initial contact and shrugs her shoulders! Can you imagine some guy you dont know doing this to you? This is pretty much basis for sexual harrasment in corporate america. I find this so out of place. Somewhere Barbara and Laura were having a fit! Or so I hope!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Audio HNT

So HNT is here. I have not posted one and chances are very good I wont.

But, yes I succumb also, and after a few requests, and a little "wheeling and dealing" here I am exposing not only more of my voice, but a also a few of my 'poetic thoughts'.

In doing this I was reminded of a young person in love, writing things like this on cards to the one(s) I wanted to woe. There are some things like this written in a pad, written for my last love. Maybe I'll share, and maybe I wont. But in telling you this I expose another side of me.

No clicking needed for this HNT. Sorry for the cell audio inefficieny!

With all my humility and not even waiting or wanting to hear a nice comment, I hope you like it!

~T
this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What are (Old) Friends for?

What are (old) friends for?

Last Monday, I received a call from a friend from college telling me he was in town. He was what someone would refer to as 'my cat'. That's what we were. Two cool cats. His dad has not being doing well, so he came to see him. With all the conmotion going on at work last week, I remembered I told him I would call back to do something; on Thursday. I sent him a text; "If U dont hear from me 2morow after 2p call me".

Friday, I picked him up and we went for Mexican. I was looking forward to have what I thought was "mixed fajitas" the last time I was there. Whats the big deal about mixed fajitas? Besides chicken and steak, these also had "Chorizo" (spanish sausage). One of the best dishes I have ever had. I realized that the last time I was there my date ordered. And I was able to tell on Friday she had ordered a special dish made for two. So it was regular combo fajitas for me.

A good thing about having an old friend is knowing some of the things they live and die for. "Care for something to drink" - the waiter asked. "Sure, I'll have your best kind of frozen margarita, and for him Diet sprite; I think." "Yes, diet sprite", he replied. It has been over 22 years now. Even though, I could not remember the brand of his old car in college who he used to call "Darling Nikki". That I remembered, but I was informed that he had a 67 Volvo, despite my memory of an old BMW.

We talked about many things you don't talk about with other friends. My friend is of haitian descent. Growing up in Chicago his favorite 'type' of girls were spanish. Unlike me at the time. His predilection has not changed. A song by Marc Anthony was playing and he asked me if I liked him. I told him I like his music, but I totally disliked him and his wife (Jennifer Lopez). So he told me he disliked her too. I was like, 'wait a second, you were the one that pointed her out to me when she was doing the Selena movie'. He did not remember. So we get into conversations like who do you like? Selma Hayak or Penelope Cruz? He likes Selma. Penelope Cruz or Paz Vega ("Spanglish")? He likes Paz Vega.

He did not remember that one time I asked him to do something very mean for me, to the girl that was double timing me at the time. He advised, 'thats like playing God'. But he did it anyways, and up to this date, while I regret the pain I caused, I think good came out of it. However, he did remember how I went days without talking to him when he 'hooked up' with a girl I liked in college. We lived in the same dorm, and I had asked him to take her out since I was going to be busy. The next morning, using my friendly skills, I convinced the desk receptionist to check for me the departure time of the girl, and I was told she was still checked in. I was so upset. But, I was out hooking up with someone else, and throughout the years that was a turning point for me to later convince myself that whatever is good for the goose...

Throughout the years, we sort of have kept in touch. We shared a love for the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan, so I could always count on a call from him during championship time. This year, when the Miami Heat won the championship, I sent him a text lauding 'our boy from Marquette' and MVP Dwyane Wade. Whenever our favorite musician, Prince goes on tour, we touch base to see if we can get together and see him. Last year, he happened to be in town when this happened, and by coincidence called me on that day. He was quick to jump on a bus and come and meet me, and buy a last minute ticket to the concert.

So what are old friends for? They are a landmark to let us know where we have been, where we are, how much or little we have changed. He told me I looked good, and coming from him, a freelance photographer, and unlike everyone else, I take it face value. And he made me realized that at this point of my life I might be a little jaded, and he urged me to keep dreaming. But then again, my all time favorite song is the "Logical Song" by Supertramp, which starts with the words, "when I was young It seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful and magical". And ends by asking "wont you please tell me who I am?".

That is what old friends are for.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SDH!


To Someone Special

No more birthday cards that will end up in a trash can. I do not comform to norms, and when it comes to you, I am always looking to do something different. So this one is for you.

You are:
Compassionate
Giving
Caring
Passionate
Affectionate
Romantic
Warm hearted
Gentle
Thoughtful
Humble
Classy
Cheerful
Funny & Sassy
Inventive
Driven
Strong and gracious
Quiet and Reverent
And, OH YES, you are so Beautiful And Blessed!!

You are all these things and more. I thank GOD for you in my life. I am a firm believer that people are placed in our lives for a reason and while we may question the “whys” and the “why nots” I will never question this opportunity granted to me by God.

Without much effort, and maybe without knowing it, You’ve provided a sense of stability and comfort. You’ve shown me who you really are while helping me uncover who I really am too. You have provided clarity and focus when I needed it. You provided shelter and hope for a broken heart. You became my lighthouse when the storms were rolling in. You've provided comfort on crazy days, and when all the world was basking in the glow of the sun, you somehow made my days even brighter. With you, there was always a soft place to land, and with you I could always be completely me without fear of judgment or retribution. You were there for me – and even when I felt no one else cared, you had a quiet way of lifting my spirits, making me smile, and allowing me to feel like someone cared at least a little. You became someone I cherish and you are simply amazing in my eyes.

Today is your Birthday, and you are far away. Further away than you ever were. It is also the month which reminds me of you happening in my life. I hope in some way you can truly comprehend what you mean to me. Your life is or was truly a blessing. But that is now your choice. I write this is in green as green is the color of hope. Please remember that you are a gift and a blessing for anyone you meet, and as such, you always deserve the utmost respect.

I will always love you as a person! I will always love you as a woman! But most of all, I LOVE you as a friend. I wrote you once that you will be 80, and I will still be saying Happy Birthday, no matter where you were.

Happy Birthday S!
Love Always, T

Monday, July 10, 2006

Long Distance Dedication


Do not ask me why? Just don't. Let's leave it like that. But when I was much younger I just love listening to America's Top Forty, especially Casey's long distance dedication. Worst yet, I can still imitate it to a tee.

Recently, while chatting with a friend about a situation she is in, I was reminded of those days listening to the stories over the radio and the songs that follow. And upon her request to place the following song on my blog, I decided, why not?, let's bring to blogland the Long Distance Dedication. The following is a recreation.

Dear Tony;

I have been conflicted lately because I have been wondering whether I should leave all I have, in search of my dreams. I actually have achieved many of the things I wanted as a woman; I have a great career, which I love and am good at, I earn good money, and have all these other things, except for a family. I am afraid that if I stay here I might never find him, and miss my chance on a family.

Dear M;

The magic of music its found on its universality. The lyrics can mean so much to so many. I am not sure if you have heard the song "Drops of Jupiter" from TRAIN, but it might speak to you as everyone needs to go "keep their feet on the ground, while keep shooting for the stars". You need to go on your journey, and when you are done, whether you find what you want or not, you will be changed by that trip. And for you as many others, they should be allowed the opportunity and freedom to find themselves, by those who love them. M, here is you long distance dedication;

(you might have to click twice on the play button; the second time after the promo that comes up at the beginning)






Lyrics
Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's time to change, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Now that she's back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey, hey

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
I'm afraid that she might think of me as plain ol' Jane
Told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly so he never did land

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance, five hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

Tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

And did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day

And did you fall from a shooting star...
Fall from a shooting star...

And are you lonely by yourself out there...


On a personal note, this song has become one of my all time favorites; not only its lyrics, its universality, but also its music. Many times I have "imitated" Patrick Monahan (lead singer) singing these lyrics out loud from my heart. And separate from this dedication, it makes me think, boys, You need to let your women go look for who they are; if not you, have nothing but a pet, and that I hope that on her frequent flights to the atmosphere she realizes the best coffee that she ever had and me.

Also, on a writer's note, this might be a love song, but, I will fail you if I do not tell you that this song was inspired after the author's mom passed of cancer. If you lost a loved one, you wish they come back to you someway, somehow, maybe in a dream. This song was written after one of those nights. Now go and check those lyrics again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

2006 WORLD CUP FINALS!!

...................................

FRANCE ..........VS. .......ITALY

It does not get any SEXIER than this match folks!

Can you think of any other two most romantic, culture ladden, and full of beautiful people, countries that can meet in the finals of the 2006 World Cup Finals?

Arc d'Triomphe vs. Colosseum

Pastry vs. Pasta.
Champagne vs. Asti Aspumante
French Bread vs Italian Bread
French Dressing vs Italian Dressing

Je t´aime vs. Ti amo (I love you)
vous êtes beau vs siete bei (you are beautiful)

French Cheeses (Brie,Blue Cheese,Roquefort,Munster) vs. Italian Cheeses (parmessan, mozzarella,riccotta, provolone).

FRENCH COFFEE VS ITALIAN COFFEE (you can kill me right here!)

'Un baiser' on a boat down the Seine vs. 'un bacio' on a gondola in Venice ( a kiss)

I do not have a favorite here. Let's call it a tie, let's all go to BERLIN, let the beer flow, and have a big party! That is my vote!

But seriously, if anything I have to say that this is an exquisite final for an otherwise ho-hum cup. And that I wish that the only one player that has excited me with his play in this cup wins it on his last game of his career; Zinedine Zidane

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blah blah

Just as I was getting ready to blog last night, someone reminded me of my struggles as a puertorican boy coming to the states to go to college. They found it funny. So here I am sharing with you this miracle of growth.

I was a good student all thru high school. Ok.. so I had all A's. But I was not a geek. Well, only until 4th grade. In Puerto Rico, being a territory of the US, it is mandatory that you take an English class all twelve years. So just like you, I had to read things like "Jane Eyre", "Little Women", "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Catcher in the Rye", "1984", "Animal Farm", etc, etc. This little obligation however, did not necessarily produce too many fluent English speakers. However, when I graduated from junior high and then high school, to my surprise, I had the highest average grade in English. so I knew I could do better then the next person.

Although I was born in New York, I was two and a half years old when my puertorrican parents moved back. Each summer I would spend a few weekends with my cousins from New York, who would come to visit anually like clockwork. They spoke more Spanish to me than I spoke English to them. However, I was in front row for every single argument they had in English. I guess it was with them that I grew partial to the american music. And for whatever reason, my father's newspaper subscription was to the only english written daily-journal in the island, The San Juan Star. If anything, I owe most of my ability to speak english to the papers, and to the old K-Tel records.

When I landed in Milwaukee, WI, to attend my beloved Marquette University, I knew I could communicate, but with an obvious accent and a penchant to literally translate things from Spanish to English, along with the construction of the sentences (the grammar has a different order) I was not necessarily Mr. Confident.

That freshman year was brutal! I was the imported bird from the tropics; say "pretty bird".

It all started the very first day in my dorm, as the fifth floor residents of McCormick Hall met for the very first time ; all seventy some of us. We needed to get up, say your name, where you were from, etc, etc. It was my turn. I was so scared you could barely hear my voice; "Hi I am Tony Melendez, I am from Puerto Rico..." The Resident Advisor, noticing my uncomfortability jumped in to make me feel at ease. "Tony I hear Puerto Rico is beautiful, out there in the caribbean." And so the brutality started. "Yes! Puerto Rico is BERRY BERRY beautiful. There are plenty of BITCHES. Everywhere you look there is a BERRY beautiful BITCH!" I could see the faces lost in confussion. I thought they could not understand me, but that was easy, they should have been able to. I tried to make it clear; "So yes, you can go an lay on a BITCH everyday". It is my understanding there was a sismic movement recorded in Milwaukee that day.

Not having had enough, some of these freshman college students, during the "Animal House" era, felt compelled to further meet the Chico Escuela of the group. I tried to hide to no avail in my room; where not only they found me, but my roommate displayed me. I was getting a little fed up with the craziness. At one point, someone spilled beer on my bed, and I found the opportunity to lay down some respect. Or so I thought. "Dam-it, my SHITS are wet. These are me new SHITS. My mother bought me the new SHITS for school." A smaller sismic tremor was recorded.

And so it went throughout my years of college. I have only found closure and redemption since George W Bush was elected. Other "Tonyisms"?

"So Tony, what are the colors on a traffic light"
"Easy: Red, green and Jello!"
"And this year you are a Freshman, then you will be a sophomore, and then?"
" A yunior of course"

On the way to class, yelling; "Hold that BATOR"
In the morning; "Im going to take a bath" (translated from the spanish to bathe)
- My roommate: "Tony, women take baths, men shower."
"Ok, good. Then I am going to take a CHOWER".

Nowadays, if one of these pronounciations makes their way out of my mouth, I chuckle!



Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Spending the weekend

There are days, and then, there are days. I am taking this week off. So, there won't be many people around my life to share some of the things that were out of the normal this weekend, or tickled me in some way. So that leaves you.

I had been yearning all weekend to go for a long bike ride; twenty five - thirty miles. Saturday and Sunday were rainy days, so I had to put the brakes on that idea. Monday was a beautiful day, so after watching the Tour de France early in the morning, I was eager to go. I donned my Discovery Channel Cycling jersey, grabbed my helmet, a couple of 20 ounces-bottles of Powerade, top off my tires with air, and off I went. I usually go to the ATM only once a week, on Sundays, to take out my budgeted money; I had not gone so I took all of $11.00 I had with me. A mile away from home I figured I had left my cellular but I was not coming back home for it.

Six miles into my ride I noticed I was pedaling harder and not moving faster. I knew exactly what was wrong; my back tire was losing air. There was a gas station a mile away, so there was nothing much to worry about. However, the tire popped. No air was going to fix that. I had to walk back. I had no phone to call someone for a ride. Thank God there is a bike shop on the route I had taken. It was approximately 3 1/2 miles away. If you have walked a mile at a normal pace, it usually takes between 12 and 15 minutes. The shoes I wore were made for biking, not walking. By the time I got to the shop my left leg was killing me. "How much for a new tire?" - I asked. "With the tube and mounting your kind of tire would be $35.00". Well, I only had $11.00. Enough to buy water, put air in my tires, and buy a new tube, but not a new tire. The guys at the store know us riders. They fixed my tire and just told me to come back later.

I rode home again, grab my ATM card, and rode back to the store. An extra 5 miles, plus the wasted time. Don't worry, I grabbed my cellular this time. I got to the store, paid, and got ready to go again. After making my stop at the strip mall's exit, I got off the saddle to start pedaling fast and make up for the time I have lost. "POP"!!! There goes the new tire! I got off the bike, look, and there it was, a nail. A huge nail! I have not gotten a nail on my bike in over ten years. I walked back to the store. Only a few hundred feet away this time. As I opened the door they looked at me like I was crazy. At least I am sure from now on they will be able to give me credit since now they reaaaallly know me.

That night I talked to my dad on the phone for over 50 minutes. He doesn't like to talk that long, but he was in a good mood and was telling me all these stories. At the end I asked him if he had any stories left, he asked me why, and I told him that I had not been able to tell him mine; "Ohhh.. yes, you were going on a bike ride.. what happened?" I was thinking, lord I hope I do not get like that too early in life. Two minutes after hanging up he calls back. "What did you forget?" - I asked. He was dying laughing; "Nothing; I just wanted to tell you that I have been sitting here trying to shut off the TV with my cellular!!. Have you ever done anything like that?'.

"Well Dad, since you are asking, this morning while brewing coffee, I poured milk in my coffee cup and warmed it up in the microwave like I do everyday. After grabbing some OJ, I returned the container to the refrigerator. It usually goes next to the milk container, which, unlike every other morning was not there. After going crazy looking for the milk container, I found out I had stored it inside the microwave."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fourth of July Weekend

Its the 4th of July Weekend!

First of all let me say that I found so many pretty waving flags, but none of them worked when I uploaded to blogger. Blogger, that is unpatriotic!! I need a computer geekete to help me figure this out.


I apologize for not saying HAPPY 4th of July, but I have always found that to be stupid! Happy Mother's Day, Happy Father's Day, Happy New Year... those I can personalize. Happy Fourth?? Happy Memorial Day?


It is my opinion that it is a great blessing to live in this nation. On the other hand, let me take advantage to say that what makes this nation GREAT is the ability to question authority and discern, the ability to embrace others and the freedom of living your life without government intervention. Defending our freedom means anything that might put in danger any of these principles.

Now, I have never had the opportunity to be in Boston, on the banks of the Charles River watching the fireworks over the river, listening to the Boston Pops played live in the adjacent open amphitheater, but they usually show it on TV. Don't miss it. That is definitely something on my list of things to do. The other, watch the fireworks over the Hudson River in New York City. I remember one unforgettable night while in college in Milwaukee, with the fireworks over Lake Michigan, that was beautiful. I cannot think of any other better places, but if you do please let me know.

It is a sad thing that this holiday falls on a Tuesday and it will be weird for many to celebrate. I one for welcome the time off. And while I was planning a little trip, the reality is that I now prefer to stay home and catch up with my life. A little R & R, a little organizing. Stay up last night catching up with some blogs, doing some reading and research and just playing. Woke up late today, caught the 1130am replay of the first stage of the Tour de France, watched some good soccer on TV, laid out by the pool on a beautiful day, went to the Supermarket to shop for some groceries, cleaned out the fridge making it look sparkling, prepared myself a very nice dinner, and I am finally seating here, blogging and watching NASCAR with a Corona in my hand. Boy can I hear flutes in my ear playing the tune of "Yankee Doodle", and an image from a Bugs Bunny cartoon where he was playing that flute and that tune.

Once I am done here, I will check my Ebay purchases, will go up and change my sheets, and I will work a little bit more on my novel. And tomorrow?? Well, it is supposed to rain, and I am hoping that it starts early in the morning so that I can stay in bed late again, not necessarily sleeping but enjoying it. Most definitely wishing there was someone there with me. Yes, if you go on a date with me or plan to hook up you better be prepared to stay. Sex without the side dish is like eating the entree and not having the wine, the appetizer, the salad, the dessert and the night cap.

NOW that is a Happy Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy yours! Would you like to help me celebrate? And like my featured video says, "HAVE A NICE DAY"!