David Letterman’s Late Show has been doing a “less than stellar” show these days, and the ratings are showing it. Well, David, I hate to see a dirty old man being beaten by a man with a car fetish. Therefore, in light of recent events, I compiled a Top Ten List for you. Please credit me:
TOP TEN QUESTIONS JEFF ZUCKER WILL BE ASKED IN HIS NEXT PRESS CONFERENCE:
10. Are you going to grow a beard to cover your bald head?
9. Are you going to offer your services on Craigslist?
8. Are you sure your email wasn’t directed to the “People on Earth”?
7. Is is true that you cannot take the 4th hour of the Today Show with you?
6. Are you organizing your own “I’m with Zucker” rally?
5. Is your next gig a “Legally Prohibited from Being in Charge of Television Tour”?
4. Not a question, but a request. Please take Leno with you.
3. No number three. Writer was fired by Zucker 8 months ago.
2. Do you know you can’t come back in seven months?
Last night I went to the movies, and watched “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s has been a while since the last time I went to the theater (last two movies I saw on the big screen were “Toy Story 3” and “This Is It”). I don’t go to the movies as frequently as I did on college (almost every Tuesday, Student Night). Since I’m mostly a hermit these days, I watch most of the movies on DVD. However, yesterday I felt the urge to get out of my cave, and after a tour in Borders, we bought the tickets and went in. My sister Tere tweeted me that the movie was not so great, so I was not expecting much of it.
Less I expected that during two hours and a half, I was watching myself at the movie. Well, I think that’s not totally accurate. I’m not divorced, I’ve not traveled to India and Bali, I’m not Buddhist, and I’m prettier than Julia Roberts (Fuck you if you think differently. In my opinion, her face looks like a horse head). But I’ve been experiencing the soul searching her character experiences, a search for meaning, purpose and fulfillment. A search that, in my case, has taken, not one year, but 14 years. In that period I’ve been an engineer, an employee, a supervisor, an unemployed person, a daughter, a sister, a caretaker, a foster mom, the head of the family, a chemistry undergraduate student, a youth ministry counselor, a church volunteer, a Homeowners Board of Directors Secretary, an Independent Consultant for a direct sales company, an Administrative Assistant, a teacher, a spiritual coaching student, a theology student… and still I can’t find myself. What’s worse, I feel I have lost a lot of what I had: my faith, my health, even my soul. I jokingly think that my soul is somewhere in some Lost and Found box in one of the Disney Parks. I’ve must left it in some ride like I left my cell phone last year (and was lucky enough to get it back!). On the other hand, I feel ungrateful for this feeling of doom inside myself. I’ve been very blessed all my life, and the last 14 years have not been an exception. I’ve meet beautiful people and made great friends; I’ve had the opportunity to travel to multiple places; I’ve been blessed with two nieces and a godson; I’ve found a hobby that’s also a business and I enjoyed it. I made peace with my dad’s decisions when he split his relationship with Mom. I’ve learned a lot in multiple disciplines: from webpage creation to statistics to genetics to theology. I’ve been able to teach and counsel a lot of teens, somehow spreading the Word of the Lord. And, above all, I recognize that I’m loved by God, my family and my friends. There are lots of moments filled with happiness. This is the most frustrating part, because right now I know this is a fact, but somehow I’m not getting it. Is like a radio with no antenna. The signal is on and strong; the radio has power, but with no antenna, is all distorted. Therefore, the radio is being stored on a shelf in a dark closet. That’s what I’m doing right now. Hiding from life. So, regardless of its cheesy script, the movie was very revealing. It showed me that I have to retake the journey. No, I’m not converting to any Eastern religion, not I will be going to Italy to eat pasta (although I wish I could go to the Olive Garden more frequently). I have to get and reach out for help. I know what to do. I’m praying God gives me the strength to do it today. After all, if I found my cell phone, I’m sure I can get my soul back.
Six days ago, the world remembered the unfortunate terrorist attacks to the United States. Thousands of innocent lives were lost, and the world, as we knew it, will never be the same. Like everyone else, I remember the events, where I was and how I felt. Today I want to share my reflection of what I’ve learned and what is my opinion.
Point # 1: Hate and intolerance is what brought us here; not some faith. As a Catholic, I admit that our Church has championed the biggest efforts of intolerance and indoctrination “in the name of God”. Therefore, I, as an active member of it, I make sure I don’t replicate hate and intolerance, and I make my best effort to be tolerant, to promote dialogue, and to spread love. I’ve had beautiful opportunities to do it, and I thank God for them. That’s why I so sadly look at people that stand again Islam, as if Muslims were the devil. I’ve have studied the Islam a little bit as part of my theology classes, and is a beautiful religion that teaches total obedience to God. Ha! I wish all Christians accept that level of commitment. Deranged terrorists are not the same as Muslim. It is totally ironic that the descendants of those that escaped religious prosecution in their countries and came to “The Land of the Free” now preach a gospel of hate and intolerance based on a different creed.
Point # 2: With liberties, there come responsibilities. Land of the Free is not the land of the free for all. We all have the right of free speech, but you have to accept the consequences of your words and actions. Your rights cannot attempt against the right of others.
Point # 3: Many critique the treatment of women in Muslim countries. Well, let me tell you: not so much different from how women are treated in America. Outrageous? No. Think about it. Sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, sexual discrimination, glass ceilings… Maybe I don’t have to wear a burqa, but I might be discriminated, abused and exploited, and all of these are culturally acceptable in America.
In conclusion: think before talking, and talk before acting. We cannot preach “all men are created equal” without meaning it. All men and women; all religious creeds and no religious creed; all races and ethnic origin; we are all equal. We must respect, tolerate, and coexist together. There should be no space for hate, as only acceptance, affection and love should direct our lives, our words and our acts.
I love to watch cooking shows. I’m a diehard fan of the Food Network, and I could watch it all day, if not for the complaints of my sisters. In my defense, I have to say that I’ve learned a bit about cooking techniques that I have adapted to my cooking (when I actually cook).
Apart from most Food Network programs, my other favorite cooking related show is Top Chef (Bravo). I’ve been hooked to this program since the middle of Season 1, (I learned about it a little bit late). Top Chef is a reality competition show (actually one of the few reality TV that I watch) where more than a dozen chefs from all around the country (and some foreign chefs too) compete for a load of money and the bragging rights of being named “Top Chef”. Panel of judges are composed by Chef Tom Colicchio (the man is sexy and can cook!) and Padma Lakshmi (the gal must be crazy because she was married to Salman Rushdie) and various foodies and guest chefs. Chefs usually face two challenges: a Quickfire Challenge and an Elimination Challenge. They are now in their seventh season, which started in Washington DC (with the corny tagline Hail to the Chef) and celebrated the final in Singapore.
I’m not really fond of this season. So far, the decisions made by the judges have been clearly debated by the public in several forums. It is not unfamiliar to Top Chef fans, since every season there is always one or two eliminations that the audience scream “WHAT THE HELL ARE THE JUDGES THINKING?” There are some factors to take in consideration: we haven’t tasted the food; the judges don’t take character and behavior in consideration (except when Cliff was disqualified for trying to shave Marcel’s head), and the producers clearly give their two cents (or using a more adequate idiom “meter la cuchara”- to put their spoon in) in the eliminations for dramatic purposes. We are still steaming about Tre’s elimination in Season 3 (my favorite to win); the selection of Leah over Jamie just for the romantic interest on Season 5, and we are still figuring out how the hell Lisa made it to the finalists in Season 4 (even Colicchio expressed his disagreement with the elimination of Dale, in an episode where he wasn’t present). Until now, there was only one “WTF” moment per season… and then Season 7 happens. The early elimination of the best performers Kenny and Tiffany have provoked the rage of Top Chef fans, even accusing the program of racism. Even this great fan blog gave up on this season. On the other hand, it is clear that the judges will have a hard time selecting the winner because the three finalists are doing an excellent job.
I cannot talk about Top Chef without confessing I have a crush with Richard Blais, contestant of season 4. Season 4 is my favorite season of Top Chef, not only for his talented contestants, but because the season finale was filmed in Puerto Rico and featured Puerto Rican cuisine. Richard won my heart not only with his great skills as a chef, but also by his kind manners, his relaxed attitude and that faux Mohawk. He also embraced Puerto Rican cuisine in his unique way, preparing pork basted in “malta”, among other delicacies. He didn’t win the title of Top Chef, but he has been very successful launching several restaurants and as a spokesperson of Sous Vide Supreme. Of the few things I regret is not visiting his restaurant Flip Burger in Atlanta, when we visited last year (HOW COULD I MISSED THAT?) Unfortunately for me, Richard is happily married, and has a beautiful girl.
One of my favorite pop music artists is the Spanish group Mecano, composed by the composers, musicians and brothers José María and Nacho Cano, and the female singer Ana Torroja. The band started when they were very young, at the beginning of the 80’s decade, as part of a cultural revolution occurring in Spain called “La Movida Madrileña”. Their initial songs were light and funny, and their music progressed, covering in their songs topics as varied as love, urban legends, Salvador Dalí, AIDS, broken hearts… Jose María and Nacho are both excellent composers, each with a different style; and Ana has one of the most delightful voices I’ve ever heard. One of the interesting facts about Mecano music is that the lyrics are written from a masculine point of view, and then interpreted by her beautiful and sweet feminine voice. Although their music is in Spanish, they recorded some songs in English, French and Italian.
I learned about Mecano from by best friend Ricky in my first years of college, and their music became sort of the soundtrack of my life at that moment. I laughed and I cried to their songs, and I was incredibly lucky to attend the two concerts they offered in Puerto Rico in 1989 and 1992. Both moments are part of the collection of memories of my life, not just because of the concert, but all the circumstanced surrounding both events…
The band broke up in 1993, coinciding with my parents breakup and the later move of Ricky to Florida. That milestone was sort of the end of my “young years” and the beginning of my adult life. By the way, each group member continued with their individual artistic careers, only meeting twice in 1998 and 2009 to release commemorative CDs. Among other things, Ana has recorded with Spanish idol Miguel Bosé; and Nacho Cano composed a musical based on the songs of the group. I have to point out that some of my favorite songs of my absolutely favorite composer Chayanne has been composed by Nacho Cano.
Today is September 7, and I’m feeling a little nostalgic because Siete de Septiembre is one of their last hits… a song that talks about passion in a couple’s broken relationship when their anniversary approaches, which is, of course, September 7. I feel that the song is a little bit reflect of the relationship between the group members too, and a warning of not falling into routine, to maintain the passion, keeping up the flame and not doing things “just because”.
I’ll go now celebrate Mecano playing their CDs (and yes, I don’t own an MP3 player, so shoot me).
Most people make Bucket Lists, that is, lists of things that they want to do before they “kick the bucket”. Today, I want to share a different list. Is a list of unique and extraordinary things I’ve done in my life that I can throw in the “memory bucket” (lame, but bear with me, please). Here it is:
Been a Godmother
Eaten Ice Cream at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower
Danced with a world-famous pop-singer in my Quinceañero
Had my photograph published in a newspaper in a scientific article
Eaten a placebo pill made for dogs
Being pulled out from a malfunctioning roller coaster
Ridden a snowmobile across a frozen lake
Skied down a slope
Used the restrooms at Buckingham Palace
Posed as extra in a movie
Assisted in a bulldog artificial insemination
Lectured as an instructor in a college
Been in the top of the Sears Tower when it still was the world’s tallest building
Interviewed for a program in the public local station
Ridden an elephant
Some boring, some awesome… but each one has been an experience that I consider a blessing. I’m saving each moment inside my “memory bucket”. Note to self: time to start a new scrapbook…
I’m a virgin… at this blogging thing. I have always enjoyed writing. Recently I found all my college diaries (Active ingredient: 95% the whines of a broken heart), and I thought: Why I am not writing now? The answer: because I’m an undisciplined lazy ass. I believe I can contribute to society with my great ideas… or at least I can save money telling people I don’t know (and probably will never meet IRL) what I should be telling a psychotherapist.
Since English is my second language, you’ll probably find a few… several… a lot of grammatical errors. Don’t try to correct me! If you are a card-holding member of the grammar police, then don’t read it unless you can control the urge to think I’m an ignorant asshole. By the way, grammar police, are you bilingual? Because I AM.
And you may ask: Why use English? Well, first of all to practice it. Secondly because the probable reading audience is bigger. Finally, because if you are reading this, it is most probable that you don’t know me IRL and I don’t have to apologize to you for my immature idiotic posts. However, from time to time, you will have bits in Spanish. For example, the title of this post. If you look up “bregando” in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, you’ll find that its definition is “working hard to overcome difficulties”. So far, this tumblr. thing is not as easy as it promotes. Unless I’m an idiot, I find it difficult to edit the layout, and I can’t find the “tumblr. for Dummies” link. Since I haven’t figured out the comments section, I apologize if you are not able to comment. I’ll keep “bregando”.
One final thought: what you read is what I am. I like to be authentic. I hate hypocrisy and being unsincere. If I offend anyone with my opinions, I’m sorry, but remember that I am entitled to my opinions. On the other hand, I like to be kind and polite, so remember that when sharing your opinion. I would love to hear from you… if I can finally figure it out. I’ll keep “bregando” to make it happen.