Archive for 2012

In Defense of Stay At Home Parents

The fact that things in this world, and specifically in this nation, are getting worse is no surprise to anyone. Moral bankruptcy is not an epidemic on the fringes anymore, but it is a prevalent disease in our society. Not only are our moral values distorted as a whole, but our views on what's important are completely twisted.

The general feeling toward stay at home parents is that they somehow gave up on life. "You stay at home with your kids? What happened to you?" That seems to be the sentiment, although for the most part those people don't have the guts to at least say it outright.

It seems that "getting ahead" and a "career" are more important than raising your children. How many countless of men and women neglect time with their family in order to get a promotion, or in order to make that extra grand?

I'm not saying that careers and dreams are inherently bad, but I am saying that if you put those things ahead of your family, they can become a bad thing.

In today's society, the men and women who are considered to be successful are those who have a "career." Those who have chosen to stay at home and raise their children are considered to be a abomination.

But in the end, what is truly going to matter? Children grow very quickly. When you are in your deathbed, looking back at life, what will you wish you had done more of? I never heard of anyone wishing they had spend more time at the office, or wishing they had scheduled one more meeting. No, in the end, selfishness and greed won't matter. In the end, what will truly matter is the time you shared with your loved ones.

Investing your life in the lives of your children and spouse is one of the most blessed things you could ever do. Our society may value money and careers the most, but experience teaches us that what life values most is time well-invested.

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What really happened to the Mayan calendar...

For all of you thinking the world is going to end on December 21 because of what the Mayan calendar supposedly predicts, here's what truly happened.

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The Blind Tiger

A couple of days ago, Elena and I went to the Blind Tiger. No, this wasn't a safari expedition. The Blind Tiger is a restaurant/brewery in Topeka. I must say that the waiting area is not inspiring, but once my name was called and we entered the dining area, I really liked what I saw. The lighting was perfect, not too bright to blind you (like the poor tiger), but not too dim that you couldn't see your plate. The atmosphere, as a whole, was welcoming. The place was completely packed.

Unfortunately, they sat us next to a raucous group of middle age ladies who were louder than my entire Cuban family (and that's saying something). They were loud, obnoxious and used crude language throughout the night. Our waitress was apologetic, but powerless. After about a half hour, maybe a bit more, they finally left and I could actually carry a conversation with my wife that didn't involve yelling.

Did I mention they have a brewery? I had the best beer I have ever tasted in my life. I don't know if they bottle and sell it, but if they don't, they should totally do it. I would buy dozens. It was that good. The food was good, too. But the beer, the Capital City Kolsch was amazing. The beer won the 2012 Gold Medal, and I'm sure it could win more Like I told Elena that night, if Michael Phelps was a beer, it would be this one. Just give the beer all the gold medals already.

Powerful stuff

Always a good time!

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Upcoming Movies I Want to See (December)

December 14

"The Hobbit"

Need I say more?

December 21

"Zero Dark Thirty"

If you ever never saw "The Hurt Locker," then stop what you are doing and go rent it. If you have, then you'll be happy to know that Kathryn Bigelow's next film is about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Bigelow and her writers met with CIA and Department of Defense officials, so this movie is going to reveal things none of us know. It will be awesome!

December 28

"Les Misérables"

This comes out on my birthday and I'm really excited to see it! Elena said we'll go see it then as a treat to me!

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New writing venture

Hello! I've started a new writing venture! It's a mystery/adventure novel and what's best is that you can read a chapter every week, for free. Check it out!

Link 1:

Link 2:

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Le Big Mac

Yes, her accent is pretty funny, but the video is pretty cool. You know you have always wondered why the Big Mac on the pictures look better than the ones you get at the store.

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Twilight (and false ideas of what love is)

We all know that Hollywood and trashy books over-romanticize love and relationships. Many people (read, mostly teenage girls) see this "perfect" guy in the big screen, who always does the right thing and who always says the right thing and then wonder why their significant other can't compare. Sorry girls, but there's a reason why they call all this fiction. But then, every once in a while, a book or a movie comes along that just takes things to a whole other level of ridiculousness. Yes, I'm talking about the Twilight saga.

This whole series just takes romanticism into the realms of creepy and disturbing. And why are girls swooning over this? A few examples, but oh, there are so many.

#1-Edward watches Bella sleep

Hey, remember that guy in your science class? Yeah, well every night after you fall asleep  he sneaks into your room and watches you sleep. Now how in the world is that romantic? A real, reasonable person would react by calling the cops and screaming off the top of their lungs. If you are one of those girls who for some reason (read, mental disorder) found this romantic, let me know and I'll hire some guy to sneak into your room and watch you sleep. You let me know if you find it romantic then.

#2-A 20 year-old falls in love with a baby

Yup, you read that right. After a very disturbing pregnancy and an even more disturbing birth (more on that later), Jacob, the werewolf, sees Renesmee for the first time and "imprints" on her. In other words, he has the hots for a newborn baby. If that's not pedophilia, then I don't know what is. "Hey guys, don't worry, I'll take care of your little girl..." If I was a reasonable adult in the Twilight universe, I would have gone straight for the silver bullets.

#3-The world's most painful C-Section

If you think your birth story sucked, then you have no idea what pain is. While the aforementioned Renesmee is still in the womb, she pretty much tries to kill her mother. Bella is in terrible pain and she's dying. The baby needs to come out, so what does Edward do? Well, what any rational man would do, he performs an emergency C-Section with HIS TEETH. You read that last statement correctly. If Stephenie Meyer wasn't a Mormon, I would say she was on crack when she wrote this.


Ladies (and some gentlemen) please, don't get sucked in by all these false notions of what love is. Love is not a stalker, or a pedophile, and definitely not someone who bites your skin off. True love is much more beautiful and complex than what the movies portray. Want to know what true love is like? Open your Bible once in a while and you'll find the answer.

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On defense of artists

The world has changed. Thanks to the invention of computers and the web, came the creation of blogs. Anyone is the world is capable of having their own blog and sharing their thoughts with the world. Overall, I think this is a great thing. The more people talking, the more chances of us understanding each other. However, my problem arises when some of these "bloggers" somehow become famous, get their blogs turned into books and call themselves authors. Granted, there are some very talented people who started as bloggers and now have become book authors, but the majority are not.

Writers are artists and art is not something you can mass produce. No one can teach you to be an artist. Sure, you can hone your skills, you can learn techniques, but the innate spark that made you want to create has to be there first. There must be something inside of you that completely obsesses you, something that says, "If I don't write, I can't make sense of things. There's something missing." It is that spark, that joy that you feel when you put down words on a paper, or a computer screen that allows you to improve and get better.

Not everyone who learns how to write their name, or a blog is truly a writer. Talent is key. But there's also that unnameable quality, that thing that you can't really articulate but that you feel whenever you read something that is truly amazing. Sure, yeah, there's the language, the idea, the characters, the plot, but there's something else, something that makes it a work of art, something that escapes definition and just is.

For instance, the same could be said about photography. Thanks to smart phones and cheap digital cameras, everyone thinks they are a photographer. There's nothing wrong about taking pictures of your family and your friends and make memories, but the problem comes when some of those people think, "I have a camera, so that means I'm a photographer, let me make a watermark." Sorry, but that's now how it works. If you don't have that innate talent, that unique voice, then it doesn't matter how many lenses you got, you are terrible, or in vernacular, you still suck. Lenses and good cameras will only get you so far. Like I said, unless you have that yearning passion, that obsession and the innate talent, then you may be popular, you may even be rich, but you're not an artist, not in the true sense of the word, not in the way that matters.

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Upcoming Movies I Want to See (November)

These are all upcoming movies in November that I want to see (hopefully in theathers). Enjoy the trailers and maybe see you at the movies!

November 2


This has Denzel Washington in it. Simply one of the best actors alive. Enough said.

November 9

"007 - Skyfall."

Javier Bardem as a villain? He's another wonderful actor, plus the action in any Bond movie is pretty great.

November 16


I'm super excited to see this movie. The cast is amazing and of course, Steven Spielberg directing makes it even more fantastic!

November 23

"Silver Linings Playbook"

This movie seems interesting, funny and inspiring! Great actors, including Katniss Everdeen, I mean Jennifer Lawrence.


This just seems like such an interesting movie! Alfred Hitchcock changed the history of cinema, so I'm very curious about his life story and this movie covers part of it.

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We Are Only Here for a Little While

I write to make sense of things.

We live under the illusion that every single one of us will live to be a hundred and die in our sleep, after having said our goodbyes and making peace with the world. At times, we get glimpses of this fallacy and it feels like a bolt of lightning reanimated our sleeping minds. Twelve years ago, on October 1st, I received one of those wake up calls when the car I was traveling in crashed against another one, launching me against the windshield, losing layers of skin on my forehead and losing my teenage sense of invincibility. After the accident, life became immediate, with words such as "friends" and "family" taking on a deeper meaning, like roots in an ancient tree.

Then a couple of days ago, also on October 1st, a cousin of mine passed away in an accident. He was only 43. He leaves a young daughter behind, a little girl who will no longer be kissed or hugged by her dad. He leaves behind a family who loved him. Tragedies such as this one serve to remind us of how fragile life is. They serve to remind us that we... "do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14)

We are just here for a little while. When you stress out so much about money and bills that you lose sleep, remember that we are only here for a little while. When you work so hard that you neglect time with your family, remember that we are only here for a little while. When you live your life not thinking about eternity, remember that we are only here for a little while. Life is short; eternity is forever.

I don't know what my cousin Javier's standing with Jesus Christ was. I hadn't talked to him in a little while, and especially not about deep things such as faith. He was certainly aware of my beliefs and we did talk about it in the past. Only God knows what happens in the final seconds of one's life on earth, only He is merciful enough to receive someone's repentance and accept him into His kingdom. If death is like a dream, then we all know that a few seconds dreaming seem like a 100 waking hours, certainly enough time to make amends. But I don't know these things with certainty, for this is a mystery. I can only speak of God's grace and mercy.

My cousin Javier was like any of us, he had flaws and virtues. What I remember most about him was his excitement when discussing a topic he was interested in, how he would open his eyes wide, arch his body back and then lean forward and gently touch you in the arm. He had a bigger-than-life personality that demanded notice when entering the room. Many times, when I was driving around cars that would often refuse to run, he would pick me up in his tow truck, saving me stress and money. But what many people didn't know about him was that he was a cinephile. The man loved and knew his film history. Thanks to him, I learned to love film, to see it as an art form. I learned about Fellini, Godard, Rossellini and many others. I always looked forward to new recommendations from him and then telling him my experiences watching those films.

One of his favorite films, which later became one of mine, was 8 1/2 by Federico Fellini. The movie is about a director facing a deadline to finish a movie, while at the same time juggling his personal life. Fact and fiction blur together in this wonderful film, where at the end, the protagonist's movie remains unfinished. Unfinished, that's the best word to describe Javier's life. He was too young and had still too much to accomplish.

We are only here for a little while.


Harry Potter Home

If you haven't read the books, or at least seen the movies, then you won't get this reference. But the other day, Ellie was on the changing table while Elena was changing her.

"Such pretty eyes!" Elena said, smiling at Ellie.

I got closer to Ellie, held back laughter and said.

"You have your mother's eyes."

Elena instantly knew the Harry Potter reference and we both started laughing. I love my home.

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Library Book Sale

So Elena and I went to the library book sale, put on by the Friends of the Library, and it was quite spectacular. There were thousands of books to choose from, which was definitely overwhelming, but in a good way.

There's always a rush when going to the book sale. There's this side of me that wants to get there before anyone else does, to get the "best book" before that person in front of me does. It's a fun challenge, a competition of sorts that I'm sure many others participate in silence, as well. They also had baked goods for sale and naturally we also made a stop by that section.

It was great to see people of all ages, including our little Ellie, mesmerized by the energy of all the book lovers. I can't wait for the book sale already! I wish there was another one soon.

In the end, we acquired over 20 books and one way or another, I will make time to read them all.

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The Proposal

Yesterday Elena and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. We had a wonderful time and I can't wait to spend 60+ anniversaries together. She is my best friend and the love of my life.Since I don't have the old blog active anymore, here's The Proposal

A single comment on a blog changed my life forever. Almost 5 months later, I'm engaged to the woman of my dreams, the woman I always prayed for. We have only seen each other in person for about 13 days, but we knew early on that we would get married, that we were meant to be together.

"When you know, you know." People always told me that, and now, when it happened to me, I know that this is true. The proposal itself took some weeks of preparations. All the details had to be right. Elena loves riding bikes, going on scavenger hunts and adventures, and she has a love for gnomes. A perfect proposal to my love had to include all these things. Also, for every clue she got right in the scavenger hunt, she would get small prizes, leading to finding the gnome, and the main surprise; the ring. So, I bought small prizes to give her, plus I practiced getting down on one knee a couple of times.

The clues had a riddle and pictures (that I took a week
earlier) to guide her along the way. It was a challenge and a risk to plan such a thing in a place where she had never been before, but my love is a smart girl. The pages were burned along the edges to recreate an ancient map, because that's how gnomes do it.

The hunt

At first, she had to locate the seventh tree to the east, there she would find the first clue. There was a small shovel and with it she would dig to find the clue from Gnomie (the gnome). I asked her to turn around, close her eyes and count to five. Then I gave her a kiss as the first prize.

Originally it was going to be a bottle of water, a Florida brand, but we had to drink that earlier because, well, we were thirsty. This clue, then led her down a unpaved road. There was a picture of Gnomie standing on it. A nice walk down the path took her to where the second clue was. It was hidden behind some bushes, next to a clearing by the lake. My love found it quickly and was excited for the next clue. The prize: She turned around, closed her eyes, counted to seven and then I gave her a copy of the movie Amelie. One of her favorites, which she didn't have.

The third clue was a bit tricky, for it was glued to a half-foam ball and was floating on the water, right next to a beware of the alligator sign. No worries, I haven't seen a gator there for years and the clue was right by the shore. For the prize, she turned around, closed her eyes and counted to ten, then I gave her an invitation to dinner with me (not Gnomie) at a fancy restaurant.

The third clue spoke of transportation to arrive at the final destination. My love thought it meant driving in my car. However, right next to where we were standing, there were two bicycles beneath the "Beware of Alligator" sign. To Elena's amazement, I unlocked the lock, and we rode down a beautiful trail that led to a beach. It is an amazing sight. At one point you are in what seems to be a jungle with a very narrow paved road, but once the trail ends, the sun light greets you with the sight of the bay and a beach.

At last, we arrived at the final destination. There was a beach chair with a towel covering something. Elena, my love, looked around for Gnomie and found him hidden in a small palm tree. Once she found him, I asked her to turn around and to count to 12, so that she could receive her final prize. At 12 seconds, she turned back around, opened her eyes and saw me down on one knee with an engagement ring. "Will you marry me?" I asked.

She said yes.

We celebrated by uncovering the wine and two glasses that were hidden beneath the beach towel. It was a beautiful moment. I will never forget it. I still can't believe I'm engaged! I have waited all my life for someone like her! Elena and I are not perfect people, but we serve a perfect God rich in mercy and grace. I had no idea that by clicking on her blog, I would be marrying her in the fall of this year. The hardest part is being apart until we get married. Fortunately, as I mentioned, the wedding is going to be very soon. And God will continue to show us His grace and mercy because of His goodness.

Our lives feel like a movie. And maybe they are. Maybe this is all a movie with many plot twists and characters and God as the director. I believe ours is a wonderful romance film written and directed by Love Himself. With every passing day Elena and I love each other more and more. Isn't that how love is supposed to be? Isn't love supposed to be an immeasurable thing? Who says there is a limit? Does God have a limit? Isn't God love?

Love, love and love. Love Doesn't Let Go.

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A word on Libraries

Libraries are one of my favorite places on earth. I worked for the Miami-Dade Public Library System for nearly five years. Being around so many books and movies and other resources, was just wonderful, especially since I love to write. Writing a book on the ancient Maya? You can find resources at the library. Want to find that documentary your professor required, you are likely to find it at the library.

The Topeka and Shawnee Library does not disappoint. I'm usually there at least twice a week. Erin at the Reference Desk can vouch for that.

It's funny though, as much as I enjoy reading and writing, I never went to a library until I started to work there. When I was a little boy, in Cuba, my mother would take me to a bookstore a couple of blocks away from our house. There is where I fell in love with adventure stories, like Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, or his lesser known The Mysterious Island. But, alas, I never set foot in a library, except for the one at my high school, but that was just to print a homework assignment.

I don't know why it took me so long to go to a library, but once I did, I have enjoyed every moment, even its colorful cast of characters, which seem to show up no matter where a library is located. If you have children, don't wait too long to introduce them to the magic of books and libraries. I know Elena and I won't.

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Fall crazy

School just started, which means that I am a full-time student, full-time employee, full-time husband and full-time father. Condolence cards will be accepted. No, but really, it will be a very busy fall.

Fortunately, I know that my lovely wife is willing and able to help me in anything I need. I will certainly strive to get good grades (hopefully all As), and you can be sure that I will document my achievements and frustrations.

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Funky Friday #6

Charlie the Unicorn goes to Candy Mountain

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Sitcoms and our lives

Elena and I watch a lot of sitcoms. Whenever we find a good one, we just go through all the seasons quickly and love every minute of it. Some of them, we've seen many times, so naturally we can quote certain parts by heart.

But the best part of all this is when we apply those quotes to certain things happening in our daily lives. Since we know what we are referring to, we always get the joke and everything works out well. However, sometimes I find myself using those quotes around people who have no idea what I'm talking about.

What do I mean? Watch this clip from The Office below. Jim is sarcastically describing his first date expectations with Pam:

So, naturally, whenever something happens that doesn't quite meet our expectations, Elena and I often say, "some manure, just less." Now, imagine saying that to a co-worker who has no idea what you're talking about (been there, done that).

Then, there's this clip where Ted Mosby (from How I Met Your Mother) breaks up with Natalie by saying, "Listen, you're awesome..." The way he says it, it's just classic. So that's another thing Elena and I say around each other often.


This next one is one that we only use at home, meaning that I have never used it outside of our home, and you'll probably see why. Phoebe (from FRIENDS) sounds pretty cool with her deep voice and says this:

But for some reason, Elena and I always thought she said, "Goodbye my babies," which is what we say sometimes joking around when one of us leaves the home to run an errand. It works even better now that Ellie is here!


These are just some of the quotes we say, so in case you hear me refer to anything on this list, then at least you'll be in on the joke, too.

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An answer to the New York Times

There's a recent New York Times article that deals with the big networks struggling to appeal to Hispanics. In the article, the networks wonder why they haven't been able to reach the Hispanic demographic. The answer? It's simple, really.

Stop using so many stereotypes.

Not everyone of Hispanic descent is a maid or is clueless about life. There are plenty of professionals, inventors and even millionaires whose last name ends with a "Z." If you truly want to market and appeal to the growing demographic, then don't rely on clichés, but get to know your audience. How you do that? There are many ways, but one of them is to hire Hispanic writers (me, for example).

Find real stories to tell, stories that involve our culture and heritage. From my own experience, I have many stories of leaving Cuba and the shock of learning a new language and the abundance of capitalism. Still, today, there are plenty of things that happen in my daily life that could be part of a sitcom (just ask my wife). And like me, there are millions of us.

For a classic example of a great understanding of the culture (this is a Miami-Cuban sitcom), watch this clip from Que Pasa Usa? Oh, and my birthday is in December, in case any of you wants to get me the complete season.

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Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

Since Netflix is a service that is used through computers and Blu Ray players, I assume that your customer demographic is mostly cool, young hipsters. If that's the case, then why is your movie selection 95% old-garbage?

I love old movies, but good ones, classic ones, not what you have on there. I pay a monthly fee in hopes of watching decent movies, but after hours of browsing thousands of titles, there's maybe only 5 movies that were released in the last year. I could probably film myself browsing for movies and that would probably be more entertaining than half of your selection. I'm sure that many some people would actually prefer to watch that.

What about our TV shows, you may say? Sure, I give you that. Your selection of TV shows is pretty good, however, many times you have one season of a show that had about seve or eight released. Why would you even do that? Why get someone hooked on a show and then only offer one or two seasons? That's just cruel and unusual. And if you do add a season, it takes you two or three years.

Be aware that you have competition. There's Hulu Plus! Unfortunately for me, my Blu Ray player is not compatible, so I can't watch it on the big screen. However, the minute I buy a new player, or Hulu expands its collection of acceptable devices, you will most certainly lose a customer. Unless you improve your selection, in which case, you may or may not lose a customer.


A. Customer

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I Will Find You...Strange Creature

There's some strange creature living inside our walls. I don't know what it is exactly, but at times, you can hear some sort of rustle sound. The problem is that I can't figure out what it is, or how to get it out of there, or how to kill it. This is happening in our bedroom, and it's been happening since very early on.

It doesn't happen every day, but that strange creature loves to move around in the middle of the night. It's very annoying and at times it takes me a while to go to sleep because of it. I'm afraid it's going to open a hole in the wall and surprise me in the middle of the night, or that it'll hit the wall so hard that one of the hanging ornaments is going to fall on my head.

This sounds like some crazy Edgar Allan Poe story, but it's the truth. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. In the meantime, I have enlisted the help of Liam Neeson.

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Heard at the Sanchez Home #2

Once again, Elena and I are at the dinner table while little Ellie sits on her car seat. (She would usually sit in her regular play chair, but she...had an accident on it.) While we are talking, Ellie starts blowing raspberries and makes a really loud noise.

Elena: That was a loud noise little girl! Well, you are half Cuban after all.
Me: That is very true.

Yes, Cubans are loud by nature. If someone from a different culture were to walk in at a Cuban home during dinner, or a party, or just a family hanging out in the living room, that person would think that there was an argument going on. But no, that's just the way we talk, loud and using our hands a lot.

When Ellie goes down to sleep, I have to keep my Cuban meter at a low level. It's a challenge, my friends.

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Funky Friday #3

A classic viral video. (Did I just say that?) Happy friday everyone!

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Heard at the Sanchez Home

Elena and I have very interesting conversations at the dinner table. Our dinner conversations mostly take place when we are not eating in a hurry because of little Ellie freaking out. In the moments when she is calm and happy, we dine and we converse. This is from a recent conversation.

Me: Remember that time we went to Echo Cliff Park?
Elena: Yeah, I remember. That was really fun.
Me: Yeah, it really was. And hey, remember all those hippies with their hula hoops? That was weird.
Elena: What can I say, hippies love to hula.
(loads of laughter)
Me: That should be a shirt!

Well, now it is a shirt. I really love that woman! (So yeah, support the Sanchez family and your inner hippie and buy the shirt!)

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The Best of Not In Cuba Anymore

Alright, so we are about halfway done with 2012 (time has gone by fast!), so I figured it would be a good time to present you with the the top 10 posts, thus far. These are the most popular entries, the ones you have read the most. So enjoy them again, or if this your first time reading them, then enjoy!

10 - Cubanisms # 2. The second installment of Cubanisms have favorite Cuban sayings, such as: "Pa' Su Escopeta! which literally means "To His Rifle!"

9 - The Jim Halpert. How I can relate to Jim Halpert from The Office.

8 - The Smartest Baby in the World. Ellie Marie may eventually one day be CEO of Facebook, or better yet, her own company.

7 - Kwikshop Gangsters. Kwikshops in Topeka are a dangerous place...

6 - We Are Not All Mexican. Just because I speak Spanish, it doesn't mean I'm from Mexico.

5 - My Marriage, Saint Thomas and Project Runway. The honeymoon in Saint Thomas was truly magical, and so was Project Runway...

4 - Bobo. This may be the name of a family restaurant in Topeka, but in Cuban, this means something else entirely

3 - Thanksgiving & San Givi. A Cuban Thanksgiving usually involves rice, beans and a whole lot of dancing.

2 - Cubanisms # 1. The one that started it all. Still a very popular post!

1 -Shunga vs Chonga. Still the most popular post and one of the funniest ones!

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Funky Friday #2

This video is so cheesy and bad, that it ends up being good. It's Friday!!

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On Becoming Ninjas

My wife Elena has written frequently in her blog about how hard it is to get Ellie to sleep. Besides the fact that she refuses to go to sleep earlier than midnight, there are other roadblocks in the way to her sleep, i.e., our sanity.

The main one being our floor. Oh, when we first saw the house we fell in love with the wooden floor. It seemed stylish and hip with an hint of antique. The main section, from the living room to the bedroom, is completely wood and we loved it. But that was before we knew better, that was before Ellie. Apparently, there's no padding (or some other technical term) and the floor creaks loudly with every step. This is a problem, especially when we get Ellie to sleep and we have to cross that great divide between the living room and bedroom. Many times, after a long struggle to get her to sleep, in our way to the bedroom, we take a step and she wakes up. The creaking is really loud and annoying. Therefore, we have been forced to become ninjas. Every step we take is calculated and mapped out.

Since Elena spends all her day with Ellie, she naturally found a route where the floor creaks less. This path is still loud, but it definitely is better. For your entertainment, and just in case you ever visit our house, I have created a map of sorts:

That is the preferred path, the one of a ninja, if you will. It took many nights of trial and error, and even today, too much weight placed on a step can mean chaos. But try we must. And since we are in the topic of ninjas, you should buy this shirt to help a family in need (mine that is).

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Free Cubanisms eBook!

I just created a free eBook filled with your favorite Cubanisms from the blog, plus a few more new entries! I'm sure this is the first of many to come, and it is completely free! Just download the PDF and that's it. You got Cubanisms on the go now!

you can also click here to get it

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Funky Friday

Hello everyone. First, I want to bring the word "funky" back. I think it is pretty great and rarely used. Second, I introduce to you a new feature on the blog! Every friday I will post a funny or interesting viral video. Some are old (like the one below) but still pretty fantastic. Check it out!

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The Smartest Baby in the World

Ellie Marie is a beautiful and wonderful baby. However, taking care of her is a full-time job plus overtime. There is barely time to do anything. For example, I love to read. Right now, I have about 10 books that I want to read. They are just staring at me from the shelf, taunting me even.

The other day, while I was having some play time with Ellie, I thought of something. Don't kids like being read to? Well, I grabbed the Steve Jobs biography I've been meaning to read and starting reading it to her. It was a win-win. We got to spend time together and I was reading a book I liked. It lasted about 20 minutes, which is like a hundred years in baby world. It was great.

Looking at my shelf, I have books on Public Relations and Marketing, Graphic Design and CSS. Going a this pace, by the time Ellie is 10 years old she might become a genius marketer, technological innovator and savvy web designer.

Watch out Zuckerberg!

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I want your old Apple computers

Don't let my unreliable Acer fool you, I am a big Apple fanatic. I always have been. For the record, I do own an Apple computer, an older Powerbook G4. Anyway, I'm asking for your help. Many times, you, or someone in your family comes across an old computer that you don't need any more.

Well, if you find an Apple computer in grandma's garage, especially an older one, would you please consider donating it to me? I would like to start collecting them, especially the older ones, just out of pure interest and conservation. So any Apple computer, whether 10 or 20 years old would work.


You can reach me here at:

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Annoying Facebook status updates

As a writer, I can appreciate the crafting of a clever Facebook status update, or just a sweet note to a loved one. On the other hand, I can also easily spot things that annoy me. So, this is my list of the most annoying Facebook status updates:

-The Facebook Texter: When you are texting, or using Twitter, you may get away with shortening words, but there's no reason to do that in Facebook. How lazy do you have to be? Why write something like this:

"Got 2 go 2night and set the rec0rd str8, cuz thing are b@d"

That's just crazy talk. Use real words.

-The Emoticon Slave: This person also suffers from what is known as "too many symbols" disease. When you check the news feed, you instantly recognize them by all the symbols and emoticons used, whether they make sense or not. For instance:

"Had a great time :) @:/ <--- :) <3"

Seriously? You went through all those emotions in a few seconds? Either you are seriously manic or perhaps you can pack more human emotions in a sentence than an entire Shakespearean tragedy. If the latter is the case, then I tip my hat to you.

-The Egocentric: Usually, capitals letters are used to denote some important change in the text, such as telling someone to STOP. However, there are some people who apparently think everything they write is important, so all their status updates look like this:


Please, STOP IT.

-The Super Happy: This person uses exclamation points for everything they write. Apparently, everything is urgent, no matter how mundane it is.

"I took a shower!!!!!! And it was nice!!!!!!! !!!!! Yeah!!"
Hopefully this was not your first shower in 35 years.

-The Chain Messenger: Remember how much you used to hate those chain emails back in the day? The ones that said something like, "If you love babies, forward this email to 10 friends and you'll have a baby by next week." Now, obviously, everyone loves babies, but forwarding an email is not going to prove that.

Nowadays, in Facebook, people say things such as, "Hit 'Like' if you love your friends!" Well, listen, obviously I love my friends because I haven't deleted you after the hundredth dumb Facebook chain letter you have posted. But please, quit it.

Did I miss any? And if you happen to be on this list, I still love you my friend, despite how much I dislike your status updates.

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We are not all Mexican

There seems to be a misconception, or just plain ignorance, where people think I'm Mexican because I'm Hispanic. (I took the ignorance route, rather than just old fashioned racism to give them the benefit of the doubt.)

Newsflash! Not all Hispanics are Mexicans! I know, I know, maybe you were out sick for the entire year when they taught geography in middle school, but there's a whole world of Spanish-speaking nations out there. About the only thing my Mexican brethren and Cubans have in common is the language. Our foods, music, customs and even holidays are different.

I'm sorry that the education system has failed you miserably, so let's learn some things:

As you can see, Cuba is an island, the biggest in the Caribbean and is not even connected to Mexico. The United States on the other hand, is connected to Mexico, but you don't see everyone calling themselves Mexicans.

Yes, many of us may have darker skin (not all, actually) and may speak English with an accent (not all, again), but if you got to know us as individuals, you'll discover an immensely rich and amazing cultural history. I am Cuban and very proud of it, and all my other Hispanic brethren are proud of their nationalities as well. To finalize, I'll leave you with a small list of other Hispanic nations. And who says you can't learn something through a blog?

Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico

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The Cuban Way

When my mom was here, she went with Elena, Ellie and me to a friend's house. It was an early fourth of July celebration where many people were gathered. We parked the car, gathered all our belongings (which have quadrupled since the birth of Ellie) and we started walking toward the house. Before we reached the entrance, one of the many guests approached us to meet Ellie and my mom.

My mom went to greet her the way all Cubans are used to, with a kiss on the right cheek. Awkward doesn't even begin to describe it. "Mom," I said, "no one does that here. Just shake their hands."

"How strange," she mused. I used to think that way too, when I had just gotten here, but now I'm used to the way things are done. But I do still miss the Cuban way.

For the record, men don't kiss men on the cheek (unless you are father and son, or siblings), but women greet each other this way, and men greet women this way. It doesn't matter if you have known each other your whole life, or just met, this is the way we say hello and goodbye. It is polite and totally acceptable. And not just Cubans do this, but nearly, if not all, Hispanics. For instance, some months ago Elena and I were in Walmart and ran into a friend of hers and her husband. They are from Peru, and guess how she greeted us? With a kiss on the cheek. Guess how her husband greeted Elena? With a kiss on the cheek. It all felt like it was the most natural thing in the world.

What do you say everyone? Want to start this trend in Topeka?

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The British Invasion, or my 'first' 4th of July

July 6-

This was my first fourth of July living in America. Well, not really, but as you know by now Miami is sort of an extension of Cuba. We like fireworks over there, but not to the extent and obsession of my Kansas neighbors.

Over here, it seems that people have been using fireworks since Valentine's Day. A couple of nights ago I woke up terrified to the sound of what sounded like a cannon. "The British are coming!" was my first thought. But I quickly realized that my neighbors decided to defy the authorities and set off fireworks well past midnight.

My mom was also here for the 4th, so she also had a glimpse of the fireworks obsession. Almost every time she heard a loud explosion she asked, "What is that?" or "Are those shots?"

While I can't say for sure that no one pointed their guns to the air and let a couple of bullets test gravity, I assured her that it was only fireworks. But I wasn't going to let my neighbors have all the fun. Earlier in the day, Elena and I bought some fireworks off some tent with a giant balloon-gorilla on it. I know, the previous sentence sounds like the premise for a bad horror movie, but it's the truth. However, after I got going, the fireworks became addicting and soon my supply was dwindling. My sister in law, Rebekah, drove me to another tent in Gage, called Big Daddy, where I bought some more fireworks. I then realized that I became as obsessed with setting things on fire as my law-defiant neighbors.

My wonderful and creative wife came up with this:

Well, I chose the word "love," but this was her experiment with the camera/shutter speed, etc. It turned out great, didn't it?

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Happy birthday my love!

My love, you are the most wonderful woman any man could ask for. All the languages in the world don't have enough words to describe what you mean to me. You are a great friend, a wonderful wife and an amazing mother. I wish you a happy birthday and can't wait to spend it with you!

Te amo!

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Elena's Photography Ad

It really helps to have Photoshop at home. I was able to design this simple (but hopefully effective) ad for Elena's photography page.

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Communicating at the Sanchez home

Last night, I held Ellie in my arms as I watched Elena and mom communicate. Usually, I'm the one translating back and forth. After a while though, I get it all mixed up and speak to my mom in English and Elena in Spanish. But last night was different.

I asked my mom to speak only in English and Elena only in Spanish. It was really great! Of course, I had to step in here and there, but for the most part, both of them did a great job. It was a very fun night and a great way for them to talk more, and learn too.

As far as Ellie goes, she still speaks in her baby language, which is not always easy to figure it out. I'm getting better though.

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Can you feel the Heat?

Being from Cuba, people assume automatically that baseball is my favorite sport. Although I can play a mean second base, my favorite sport is actually basketball. I fell in love with basketball months after arriving to the United States and my favorite team since then has been the Miami Heat.

I remember Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning, and Dan Majerle and P.J. Brown, all making basketball history with their plays. Of course, back then, Michael Jordan and the Bulls ruled the Eastern Conference and it was almost a guarantee that they would win. And yet, unlike many bandwagon fans, I always remained loyal to the Heat, even as they faced against one of the best players of all time.

When the Heat won the 2006 NBA Finals, I was overjoyed. They had a wonderful team and deserved to win. Dwyane Wade was terrific then. Likewise, I was heartbroken last year when they lost against the Dallas Mavericks (who they beat in 2006).

Now this year, they are in the finals again. How many teams can say that? This team is more complete than the one in 2006, and they definitely play better together. Wade is not as young as he was, but he can still make plays. And Lebron James? Well, he's already considered to be one of the greatest players of all time and he still has a long way to go. All he is missing is that trophy and he wants it more than anyone else in the league.

I'm rooting for the Heat to win it all this year and I believe they can do it!

UPDATE: They did it! The Miami Heat are the 2012 Champions!!!!

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What they don't tell you in birthing class

"If a baby were president, there would be no taxes, there would be no war. There would be no government and... things could get terrible. And actually probably it would be a better screenplay idea than a serious suggestion." - Michael Scott (from The Office)

Our house has become Babies R Us. Seriously, what they don't tell you in birthing class is that once the baby is born, or even a few months before, your house becomes baby central. In our living room, there's the swing, baby blankets, a boppy, diapers, wipes and a pacifier hiding somewhere. If you walk to the dining room, you'll find the car seat, along with the diaper bag barely crossing the border between living room and dining room. In our room, there's the pack and play, which she absolutely despises, and a new bed called "Rock and Play," which she actually loves to sleep in. Then of course, there's her nursery, which is baby universe. And lastly, there's the baby tub still sitting in our bath tub earlier after giving Ellie a bath.

She has taken over, and although our lives feel as messy as our house right now, Ellie is fantastic. She is the greatest baby ever and she should be president, if she wants to. First law? A national poop holiday. Hmm...maybe it's even time now...

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A brief update

Well, as you probably know by now, Ellie Marie Sánchez was born on May 1st. She is gorgeous, which means she fortunately looks a lot like her mother. We are both very happy, but equally tired. We haven't slept a good amount of hours since she was born. I know that it gets easier, because everyone tells us that, but we are still waiting.

Meanwhile, we do enjoy her. She is lovely. I'm very thankful to God for my two beautiful girls, Elena and Ellie, whom I love very, very much!

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Cubanisms #4

Cubanisms just make the world a better place. Here are some more!

"Camina con los codos"
Lit: He walks with his elbows
Trans: He's a cheap guy

"Juntos pero no revueltos"
Lit: Together but not scrambled
Trans: Although we are together in this situation, we are still very different

"Me embarcaste"
Lit: You shipped me off
Trans: You stood me up

"Que te compre quien no te conozca"
Lit: Let him who doesn't know you, buy you
Trans: I don't trust you

"Hay moros en la costa"
Lit: There are moors on the coast
Trans: We've got company

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Another tale of Google fail

I love Google. I do (please don't ruin my search engine ranking). In fact, whenever anyone has a question about anything, I just say in a solemn way, as if I was knighting someone, "Google it." Would you like to know how many ants are there in the world? Or would you like to know how much is two plus two? Well, sir, or madam, I would tell you to Google it.

Google has this cool new feature where you can actually speak into your computer's mic and Google will search for you. No need to type. Unfortunately, this is where the failure came in. For fun (not for vanity) I said, "Israel Sanchez," but instead of my name coming out in the search bar, this is what I got:

-los angeles
-is well thank you

Now that is a fail. Oh, Google, if only you could understand me.

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The Jim Halpert

I work at the Capitol in Topeka (not the Hunger Games evil place), so every day I walk the hallways where attorneys, legislators, senators and others members of our local government roam. My momma didn't raise no fool, so every time I pass by someone down a hall and make eye contact, I nod. This is polite and also nice. I think sometimes my nods end up looking like Jim Halpert's from The Office. So imagine me doing that nod and half a smile every single day, perhaps dozens of times.

Well, a couple of weeks after working there, Elena, my self and another couple went out to a restaurant to have dinner. As soon as I walked in the door, an older gentleman looked at me, so what did I do? I did the Jim Halpert. My brain was so hardwired to do this nod that I just did it to a random person who was just curious to see who had entered. The guy didn't nod back, but just gave me a puzzled look and then looked somewhere else.

Has something similar happened to you?

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A most pleasant surprise

(Note, I am not using anyone's name because I don't know if they would like me too.)

On Friday morning, my boss alerts everyone of us proofers.

"Everyone! Let's go to the conference room!"

We were all wondering what was going on. Usually, our meetings are short and right then and there in our office. Why use the conference room? My boss, laughed and said, "we'll see which one of you gets to stay or not."

Then my supervisor, not to be confused with my main boss, said, "You ever seen The Hunger Games? It will be like that." And she laughed.

"Oh, no, I forgot my bow and arrow," I said, jokingly, of course.

Once we all made it to the conference room, I was one of the last ones to walk in. There, sitting around the table, was almost the entire staff of the Revisor of Statutes. Unanimously they all yelled, "Surprise!" I was confused. Who was the surprise directed at? There was a huge cake and presents, and even one present in a Victoria's Secret bag. I thought that maybe the attorneys really appreciate the work us proofreaders do.

"This is for you, Israel," someone said.

"For me? Why?" I asked, still confused.

"For your baby," another person said.

Then I realized that all the gifts were for baby girl. It was kind of like having my own baby shower. It was great. Oh, about the Victoria's Secret bag, the lady just didn't have any more gift bags. This was also the subject of many jokes at the conference room.

I was really overwhelmed and shocked. There were a bunch of diapers and clothes and even a stuffed sheep that makes soothing sounds. I didn't expect to receive so much love from all these people, whom most of them I only say "hello" and "good morning" too. It was a really beautiful experience, one that I'll never forget. Oh, and they also gave me a very, very generous gift card. I only realized how much it was when I got home. Had I noticed at the office I would have fainted of excitement.

It was great. It was a beautiful moment of grace. Thanks everyone!

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Kwikshop Gangsters

A Kwik Shop in Topeka is a dangerous place to be. I had no idea of this until recently. One evening, Elena and I decided to get some night treats, so we stopped at a Kwik shop on our way home. It was a scary place. It seemed that the entire "hood" was having a celebration at their local corner shop. I'm not scared easily, but when there are 15 or more crazy-looking people all around you, one must be vigilant.

I quickly grabbed what I was buying and kept looking at the car making sure Elena was okay. No one should die over a Kit Kat.
But lately I realized that the ghettoness doesn't only take place at night at the Kwik Shop. The gheto-meter has been elevated to even the day time. I've seen chongas (white chongas) stopping for gas, cranking up their music, hoping to get noticed. And just the other day, when we had to stop for gas or the car would die, I saw a guy that looked exactly like Flavor Flav. It really doesn't get more ghetto than that. You have surpassed my expectations, Topeka.

A final note: Please, if you are white, pick up your pants. You are no one's homie or dawg. No one thinks you look cool and certainly nobody thinks you're menacing. If anything you look like one of the Backstreet Boys gone astray. Please, mature.

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AT&T U-verse is evil personified

So one fine night I decide to call AT&T U-verse and solicit their Internet services. It was the worse mistake of my life. First off, I could barely understand the operators. Please, stop outsourcing call centers to other countries. The unemployment rate is very high in this country and Americans need those jobs. Second, I could hardly understand what they were saying, which was very frustrating.

Apparently, the previous tenant has not disconnected her account with U-verse on my new house, or she probably stopped paying. When I explained to the operator that such person did not live here anymore, well, she told me to get permission from the landlord to cancel her service. I explained that it was the landlord who actually told me to call Uverse, but she wouldn't have any of it. She just wanted me to call them back saying that I had spoken to him, although I told her again that I had.

Anyway, I hang up, call back ,and of course, I get another person. This guy's accent was better, but after holding for 10 minutes, he said he couldn't help and put me on with "a specialist." She was special alright. Her accent was pretty terrible, and when I asked to repeat herself (which I did many times) she seemed to get frustrated.

Me: So, what you are saying is that in order for me to get service, I have to...
Operator: (cutting me off)I'm going to put you on hold sir.
Me: ...get the last, wait...

Hold music plays

(5 minutes later)

Operator: Hi customer, sir. I'm going to reprocess your order.
Me: Okay, what does that mean?

Hold music plays

(5 minutes later)

Operator: Sir?
Me: Yeah?
Operator: We can't do anything about it. You have to call back tomorrow, talk to another department.

After all this, she gives me a different 1-800 number. Then she proceeds to give me the name and phone number of the previous tenant. I didn't ask for this information and it doesn't even seem legal that she would disclose this. What did she want me to do? Call the previous tenant and ask her why is she making my life miserable by not disconnecting her service? Anyhow, she tried spelling the previous tenant last name for me, and that was very frustrating.

Operator: (cannot make out letter) as in "prein"
Me: As in what?
Operator: (cannot make out letter) as in "prein"
Me: Do you mean, "p" as in "police?"
Operator: Yes, yes, police.

So, after 45 minutes and talking to three different people all they managed was to irritate me. Nothing was resolved. Elena looked at me and saw both my ears red. At this point, I was so bothered that I was laughing. I needed to laugh.

Elena: This is not good for your Latino blood pressure.
Me: Tell me about it!

Please, whatever you do, do not help this company. We are calling a different Internet Service Provider soon. Any suggestions?

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Google Translate Fail

My mom doesn't speak English. She can understand certain words and even speak some of them, but she is nowhere near fluent.

Recently, Elena and I moved to a lovely new house. Since we wanted to share our happiness with others, we put some pictures up on Facebook. One of the comments came from Rosalie, my mother-in-law. She said that the house looked "charming," which it truly is. It's a charming little house that exudes character. Anyway, what my mom does, and I think this is real 'charming' of her, she uses Google translate to make sense of some of the comments in English.

In this particular occasion, she translated the word "charming" and she was immediately alarmed. She sent me a message and asked me why my mother-in-law thought that our new house was bewitched.

I had some explaining to do. Thanks Google!

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Speaking of Ño...

Hey everyone! I just started a store where you can buy all things Cuban-American! For example, you can buy the shirt below. Don't say no to drugs, because if you really want to stand your ground, you must say ño.
Check out more stuff right here

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The power of Ño

There's a Cuban word that is pretty widely used by all 13 million (and counting) of us. However, children are not supposed to be using it. It is not a curse word, but it is one of those that is borderline. I mean, in other countries it may be a curse word, depends on who you ask. But at least the short version of the word, the one we use mostly, is totally fine everywhere. The abbreviation, or short version is: Ño.

When someone does something amazing, we say ño!

When someone does something awful, we say ño!

When someone is bothering us, we say ño, no jodas más! (ño, stop messing around!)

As you can see, Cubans say ño for almost any occasion in life. Almost every moment is a ño moment. That previous sentence sounds like a phrase I should trademark. Anyhow, I don't say ño all the time, but my grandfather is the King of Ño. He pretty much uses that word at least a hundred times a day. He never allows an opportunity to slip by without using the word. Maybe that's whom I first heard it from, but who really knows?

The picture above belongs to a store in the city of Hialeah. The city of Hialeah is composed of mostly Cubans, so I wasn't surprised when one morning I was driving around the area and saw the Ñooo Que Barato store. "Que Barato" means, "how cheap." I've never been inside the store, something that I regret now, but I know that you can find almost anything in there. Think of it like a Cuban dollar store, where everything is so cheap, and hopefully so good, that when you leave, there's only one thing you can say, Ñooooo!

Now, when you finish reading this post, and you plan on telling your friends, I hope you end up telling them, "Ño what a great story!"

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Rice: A true love story

Rice (or arroz), ah, what a wonderful thing. Being Cuban means that you love rice. If there was a way that it would be safe for newborns to have rice, I'm sure that I would have had some 10 minutes after birth. We like our rice white and dry, or at least I like it dry. I can't stand moist rice. To me, moist rice is quite the abomination.

Anyway, I can pretty much eat rice with anything, and I probably have. When living in Miami, my wife freaked out one night when my aunt served us rice and meatballs for dinner. Yes, rice and meatballs. It was delicious. I've also had rice with spam, rice with vienna sausage, and pretty much with anything that is meat, or resembles meat. What is spam anyway?

Being the great wife that she is, Elena makes sure I get my fix of rice at least once a week. This is a challenge because our rice cooker has a mind of its own. At times, just a few minutes after plugging it in, it stops cooking. No cooking means no rice, and no rice means you have to call FEMA and the FBI because there will be an emergency up in this place!

A typical, fast and easy lunch would be rice and scrambled eggs. Whenever Elena runs out of options, she knows that rice and scrambled eggs will always satisfy my hunger. It's a Cuban default meal. You can always rely on it being good. Now, if you add some black beans in the mix, then you have a party. But black beans deserve a whole entry just for themselves. Suffice to say that if you are planning to have us over for dinner, you can make some rice and scrambled eggs. And, if you are really adventurous, then you can try making some black beans a la cubana.

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Cubanisms # 3

Hi there friends, your favorite Spanish lessons are back! In no time, you'll be speaking Cuban!

Lit* means literals

Trans* means transalation

"Aquí hay gato encerrado"
Lit: There's a cat locked in here
Trans: There's something mysterious going on here

"Tu eres más rollo que película"
Lit: You are more reel than film
Trans: Said to a person who talks a lot, but doesn't act on things

"Le patina el coco"
Lit: His coconut skates
Trans: He's crazy

"Voló como Matías Perez"
Lit: He flew like Matias Perez
Trans: That person disappeared. Haven't seen him in a long time.

"Ese tipo es un filtro"
Lit: That guy is a filter
Trans: He's really smart

"Pasar el Niágara en bicicleta"

Lit: To travel the Niagara falls on a bicycle"

Trans: Said when doing something difficult, or during tough times

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Adventures outside the job

So, I finally have a job! Thanks to all those who responded to my earlier blog spot asking for help (read Micah), but thank God that I finally have an income and can support my family. Where do I work, you may ask? Well, I work at the Revisor of Statutes at the Capitol building in Topeka. Who would have thought that a boy from Cuba would end up working in the State Capitol of a city I hadn't even thought of until I met Elena? That's life for you.

Anyway, I do enjoy my job very much and I like the people I work with. Basically, I proofread bills and amendments all day long, but I'm not supposed to talk to anyone about what I read in there. The first rule of the Revisor of Statutes is you do not talk about the Revisor of Statutes. In fact, I've already said too much.

What I really want to talk about is my travails outside of work. First of all, one morning I woke up and there was snow everywhere. According to my fellow Topekans, "it was nothing, barely an inch." To me, however, that inch of snow looked like an avalanche had come to destroy all that's good and lovely in this world. I also had the pleasure, please note the sarcasm, of scraping the ice off of all the windows in my entire car. On my first attemp to open the door, it wouldn't even move, that's how frozen it was.

On another frozen day, after I got to work, we got word that the entire staff lot, where I had just parked my icy car, had been shut down. There were bomb squad vehicles and everything. The word out on the town was that a suspicious truck had been found. At first, the reports claimed that they had found IED's, but days later, they turned out to be illegal fireworks. Either way, it was a scary situation. Fortunately, no one got hurt by a premature Fourth of July celebration.

I'm looking forward to better weather days, where I can go out with having to wear five layers of clothing, and where my car hasn't been covered by the North Pole.

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Cubanisms #2

Friends, once again I'm here to update you on the wonderful world of Cubanisms. If you take notes and pay attention, your next trip to Miami will be very succesful. Dale!*

*Lit: means literal
*Trans: means translation

"Pa' su escopeta!"
Lit: To his rifle!
Trans: Wow!

"Mete tremenda muela"
Lit: He puts a lot of molars
Trans: He speaks a lot

"Es un bárbaro!"
Lit: He's a barbarian!
Trans: He's an expert!

"Voy a jugar bombero"
Lit: I'm going to play firefighter
Trans: I'm going to take a shower

"Te la comiste"
Lit: You ate it
Trans: You did something amazing

"Me la pusiste en China"
Lit: You put it in China
Trans: You have made things hard for me

*Dale is not someone's name, but it's a Cuban expression that means something like "Let's go!"

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We Will, We Will Shock You!

There's a conspiracy going on and I'm the victim of this global devilish plan. Here's the thing, whenever I get out of my car and I proceed to close the door, I get shocked. I'm not talking about a minor discharge of static energy, but a strong and annoying one. It has happened so often that I'm literally afraid to touch the door handle when I leave the car. What I do now is to carefully get out of the car and close the door by pushing on the window. Glass is fine, thank you very much. What this means for you is that if I'm riding in your car, there will be smudges on the window after we finish hanging out.

This used to happen in Miami, but it has gotten really bad here in Topeka. If only it was my car, then I wouldn't complain as much. But whenever I leave the car and let's say want to go inside the bank or Wendy's, well, those door handles also shock me. What I do sometimes is to pull on my coat's sleeves when I open a door and that absorbs some of the shock, but it still gets me. Lately, Elena has been kind enough to almost open every door for me. This of course makes me look like a jerk to the rest of the world when they see that I don't open the door for my pregant wife. Oh, but they just don't know the pain, the fear.

Like I mentioned, it was bad in Miami, but it's definitely more severe over here. Things that have happened to me:

  • When I turned off a light switch in the basement, there was a loud sound like lightning had struck me.

  • When getting off the couch to grab my computer, I was zapped by my crappy Acer PC.

  • At the bank's drive thru, my ear slightly touched the door frame and I saw a number of colors and stars.

  • Once, and this happened in Miami, my cousin Yinet barely touched me and a bright and visible spark almost ignited her hand.

  • I had a pair of pants that if when wearing them I touched the side of my car, I got shocked badly. My brother inherited those now.

As you can see, there's a conspiracy going on. Wherever I go, I can almost hear a gentle song in the air that says, "We Will, We Will Shock You!" And I don't like it a bit.

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It's funny that one single word can mean so many things to different people. All my Topeka friends see the word "bobo," and think of the family restaurant. But all my Cuban people in Miami see the word "bobo" and think of someone who is slow or dumb.

The first time I drove by "Bobo's" I burst out laughing. Elena was confused, thinking I had become schizophrenic or something for just laughing out of nowhere. But then I explained to her that if for example, someone did something really dumb, I would say in Spanish, "Que clase de bobo!"

This translates to "What a dummy!" when talking about a loved one, or "What and idiot!" when talking about someone you don't particularly like.

So there you have it, whenever I drive by Bobo's I'm always going to chuckle, but don't worry, I'm not going crazy.

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My Topeka friends I need your help

As all of you know, I recently just moved here, so there's a lot of different things going on. But right now I need your help in finding a job. Preferably an office job. Although a dream job would be writing or even translating. Hablo y escribo muy bien el español. But yes, an office job would be fantastic. I would really appreciate your help.

You can reach me here:

Or just leave me a comment. Thanks!

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Last Thanksgiving, or now two years ago

This is what I'm used to and miss, lots of noise, lots of people. Good times!

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