Archive for July 2012

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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