Wednesday, May 31, 2006

remember him?

The other at work we started singing his song..."yopururupu..." and of course "mi mami me dijo.." Amazing how one cartoon can get so into your mind that you never forget it.
And by the way, the name of the character whose song we can't get out of our head is Beaky Buzzard. There, you learned something new today.

reasons to rent a DVD tonight

On vacations

Tomorrow I am starting a short, four day vacation. I took some days off in March to go to San Francisco and Miami, but wanted to take a couple of more days off in summer.The rest I will be taking in October and November and then I will probably go to New York to visit a friend who will be studying there.

I'be always debated whether it is better to take a real long vacation ot to take a week here and a week there, or to take a couple of days here and a couple of days there. I guess unless you're going to Europe or somewhere far away, it is better to divide your vacation days. Sometimes four days off, provided you take a plane or stay at a hotel, is all you need to rest and enjoy.

The one thing I learned is never to take vacation and just stay in your home. They are a waste. You have to go somewhere. Doesn't have to be far away. Can be a beach place in the Island, but you need to see diferent things and see different people if you really want to feel refreshed and ready to face work again.

Anyway, today I will be really unproductive at work, I will be enjoying that wonderful feeling of drifting away while at work. It's really nice when you're at work, but your mind is already far away thinking about your vacation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

end of a sunny day

Beach Red

Yesterday was Memorial Day, the day we remember all those who fought and died in different wars. There was a war movie marathon on TCM, but I had seen most of those movies. So I bought a DVD at Borders of an obscure war movie from 1967 called "Beach Red" which I had read was very good, it was supposed to be a World War Two movie unlike any other. So I watched it last night. And it was really interesting. It's a very low budget movie, sometimes it looks kind of amateurish, but it has some good things. It gets into the character's minds so you know what they are thinking in the middle of war (family, sex, women). It also shows war from the point of view of the common Japanese soldier, showing they shared the same dreams and hopes. It was the first movie ever to do this.The ending is interestng, it tries to copy the famous butterfly scene from "All Quiet in the Western Front" and it works. All in all, a pretty interesting, offbeat movie that reminds you of the horror of being in the middle f battle and that no matter if you agree with the reasons for war, one must agree that the men and women who fight it, are courageous people indeed.

Monday, May 29, 2006

good question

When an evil masochist dies does he go to hell,
or would heaven be a better punishment?

Steven Wright

the greatest radio station in the world

If you're tired of local radio stations with their reggaeton and mindless pop, check out a radio station from Minnesota called "The Current". Imagine in the course of an hour, listening to Diana Krall, Cab Colloway, Pearl Jam, The Beatles and Celia Cruz. It's the most eclectic, coolest station. The DJ's are intelligent and fun. "The Morning Show" is a great way to start you day.

If you have the latest version of Itunes, check under Public stations. If not, Google "The Current mpr"'ll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Beach Appreciation Day

The other day I was watching this family from the States having the time of their life at the beach near Hosteria del Mar. And the obvious thought came to me, these people worked hard all year, saved their money so they could come here and spend some days in the sun. And here I am, being able to enjoy this all year long. Which made me think that that this must have been one of the reasons why I din't stay in Minnesota or Philadelphia when I finished college and grad school. The beach. The warm weather.

Which brings me to another thought, how much I take all this for granted. You see me and you can tell I have not been to the beach in a long time. And I live one block from it. But I guess that's the way everyone acts.
Well, today, it will be Beach Appreciation Day for me. I have my chair ready, my SPF15 (after a certain age, you buy it, trust me) and my bottle of water.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


"I have an inferiority complex.
But it's not a very good one."

Steven Wright

la doble tanda

Remember the double features at movie theaters? Going in at 2pm, leaving at 6pm. A complete afternoon at the movies for $2.00. I recall so may afternoons spent there.
At the Cortes, at the Riviera, the Grand, the Ambassador, the Rex. The unpredictability of the movies shown, an adventure movie with a drama. A comedy with a horror film. For some reason, the first movie shown was not the best one. You sat through it to get to the really good one. But then again, those were the days of "tandas corridas", when you could go in at any time and watch movies "mitad y mitad".

The double feature I always remember was one of "Yellow Submarine" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". A car that could fly, the Beatles...what more can a little kid hope for? Some time ago I bought both movies on DVD and watched them back to back. It was not the same as watching them so many years ago, but for a moment there, you know, maybe it was.

Friday, May 26, 2006

about long weekends

Finally. After two months, a long weekend. Last year we had about 11 long weekends, this year the place where I work gave us four. So we've come to appreciate and value each one. Which brings me to the point of this post. Why does everyone leaves crowded San Juan on long weekends to go to beaches elsewhere on the island? Your are leaving the crowded city for a crowded beach. The same traffic jams, the same looking for parking nightmare you face in the Metro Area is simply transferred to another location.

Anyway, I'm glad people do that. Because I stay back in San Juan and face a nice empty beach, I go to restaurants and there's no waiting, I go to Plaza and it's very relaxed.
There's almost no traffic and there's parking everywhere. I love long weekends in the city.

bet you didn't see this one coming

Wow. I saw this item today in the San Juan Star and couldn't believe it. Bananarama is back! Admit it, you sort of liked them. "Cruel Summer", the cover of "Na Na Na Na" and the sexy "Venus" video which must have been the most overplayed video in MTV history(not that I was complaining)
Well, they are back as a duo! One of them married a millionaire or something and skipped the whole comeback attempt.

So all of you who still listen to Phil Collins and Duran Duran and other 80's groups, your favorite girl group is back. A concert at the Choliseo can't be far behind.

By the way, I rather listen to Bananarama than to Phil Collins and Duran Duran, but that's the subject of a future "music I hate"post.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud

"We all want love, but when we find it, we pull back. It scares us."

I bought this DVD a while and had never gotten around to watching it, which I did last night. And am I glad I did! This is a wonderful, special movie about love unexpressed.
It is full of small moments, of things said and unsaid and of the strange ways of fate and love. It features some amazing performances by Emmanuelle Beart and Michel Serrrault. Their moments together are full of warmth but with an underlying tension. The scene where he sits by her bed while she sleeps is one of the most beautiful, tender movie moments I have seen in a long time. A true gem.

at ocean park

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


"Ask nothing. Expect nothing. Accept everything."
Anthony Hopkins,when asked his philosophy of life.

George Carlin quotes

Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?

When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

in praise of summer

It's close to that time of the year. When my relatives in Majorca, Spain take two months off to go to Porto Colom. They go to the beach, they go fishing, they go to the cafes and talk all afternoon. They enjoy every day. And they live to be 95 without major health problems.

Over here, we have lost that enjoyment of the summer. Sure, we get some weekends off in July and get into trafic jams and go to a crowded beach somewhere. We get drunk and believe we had a great time. But we don't really enjoy the slow pace and the magic of summer.

People search for the secret of longevity and peace in religion, Paolo Coehlo books, vitamins, herbs and crackpot diets. When maybe the secret of that bliss we all seek lies in taking two months off and simply watching the ocean.

when movies made you uncomfortable

I've noticed some things about movies today. They all want to reassure you things are fine. They all go soft and cuddly on you. No matter how mean they get, in the end they wimp out. They don't go out of their way to challenge you.

Travel back to the 1970's when movies wanted to make you uncomfortable. They wanted you to think. They wanted you to look away. They wanted you to know that sometimes the hero doesn't get the girl. The hero dies. The hero is a psycho. There are no heroes. The world is fucked up and anyone who tires to change that ends up doing more harm than good.

You see these movies( Taxi Driver, Chinatown) and you don't know where they're going. There an unpredictability to them that makes for great viewing.

There's nothing wrong with seeing predictable, feel good movies. I love them as well. In fact, my favorite film ever "Local Hero" is a life affirming movie. But sometimes it's good to see the other side, the queasy, creepy, uncomfortable one.

Monday, May 22, 2006

now this would have been a good movie

In 1965 the book "The Passover Plot" came along with a truly original story of Jesus. Forget "The Da Vinci Code" this book was the one to surely raise the ire of all religious groups.
Here's the premise:(from Wikipedia)

According to this book Jesus had planned everything precisely: so that he would not be on the cross for more than a few hours before the Sabbath arrived when it was required that Jews be taken down; that one of his supporters, who was on hand, would give him some water to quench his thirst that was laced with a drug to make him unconscious; and that Joseph of Arimathea, a well-connected supporter, would get him released off the cross while still alive (but appearing dead) so that he could be nursed back to health in the tomb under the safety of the Sabbath.

The plan, however, went wrong on the cross when Jesus was unexpectedly and fatally wounded by the spearing in his side at the hands of one of the Roman guards. Those few supporters who were in on his plan, tried desperately to revive him, but to no avail, and he died during the next 24 hours in the tomb. His disappearance from the tomb is explained as partly innocent bungling by his supporters, partly fear of discovery at having disturbed the dead and partly fear of disclosing the elaborate plan.

The apostles, distraught at having lost their beloved spritual leader, guide and friend, truly believed it was he who subsequently appearanced to them, even when they did not recognize him.

After first laying out the storyline and outcome of Jesus's life in the first half of the book, along with supportive arguments, Schonfield devotes the second half of the book to a more in-depth exposé of the concepts and arguments used to support his conclusions. Schonfield also discusses how Jesus's original message and purpose may have become transformed during the century after his death.
I'm surprised this book has not resurfaced these days. Maybe it's because we live in such PC times that no publishing house would touch it. Wimps.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Miracle in the Andes

The first book I remember reading as a boy was Pier Paul Read's "Alive". I must have been 10 years old and I recall reading the book in record time. I was fascinated by the story of the rugby team whose plane crashed in The Andes and were forced to eat human flesh in order to survive. As a kid I saw the book as a mind blowing adventure while barely grasping the ethical dilemmas involved.

I read the book again maybe 20 years later and realized what an amazing story it really is. It's human survival at it most basic form. It became more than an adventure story. I tried to imagine how it must have been like for these men up there. And I imagined how one's life had to be changed forever by that experience. After all, once you have gone through something like that, what problem in your everyday life could ever affect you? In fact there are so many layers and philosophical aspects to the story that they impossible to sum up in a few paragraphs.

Now 30 years after "Alive" one of the survivors Nando Parrado tells his story. I can't wait to get the book. I was reading a review and it says that whereas "Alive" simply told what happened, "Miracle in the Andes" tells us what was going on in the minds of these young men as they were going through the ordeal. And the book also covers the aftermath of the event. How everyone's life was changed.

I want to get this book.

Nando Parrado, interestingly enough, became an advertising man, a Creative
Director, I think. Can you imagine telling him the world is going to end if a copy is not on time?

the last romantic?

I've sometimes wondered whether musicians who write love songs actually believe in what they are writing or if they are cynically writing lyrics to sell CD's. After all, the idea of a perfect love is something the public wants to hear and is a good way to make some good money.

I don't know about other musicians, but this week the question of whether Paul McCartney believes in love was answered. The writer of love songs as "I Will", "Yesterday" and others believes in love. He married for a second time to a younger woman and did not set up a pre-nuptial agreement because "it was not romantic".

And now as he is about to divorce his wife, he's bound to lose a quarter of his fortune because of that decision. 300 million dollars lost to romance! Ouch!!!

John may have written "All You Need is Love" but I guess Paul was the one who believed the words. Let's only hope he does not meet Anna Nicole Smith one of these days.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


You know Hollywood studios are run by morons for morons when you see a movie as wonderful as this go unnoticed. While Warner Brothers was unleashing "Dukes of Hazzard" and "House of Wax" they only gave a limited release to this amazing movie. Directed by Caroll Ballard (The Black Stallion) this movie about the relationship between a boy and a cheetah is a gem .It is full of breathtaking African scenery, memorable scenes and much more. It's also about family, friendship, trust and the fact that life is change. This is a children's film that adults can also love. Some critics have called it a masterpiece, others have called it the best movie of 2005. They could be right. Seek it out.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

yes, it sucks

They're right

Yes, "fuck them" seems to be the unanimous decision.
They are people too worthless to deserve another word or another thought.

New World

What to make of Terence Mallick movies? He made "The Thin Red Line" a WWII movie that was a combination of meditation and war movie. It was poetic, was full of amazing imagery and amzing moments, including an unforgettable scene of a soldier receiving a "Dear John" letter form his girlfriend that is truly heartbreaking. But the movie was kind of pretentious and boring. Well, this one is the same way. There's much poetry in this movie about the story of John Smith and Pocahontas. There's amazing imagery. In fact, a critic said that you could freeze any moment in this movie and you could frame it and hang it on the wall as a work of art. But then it also pretentious and boring full of voiceovers mumbled by Colin Farrell. So what do I feel about it? Mixed feelings. One of those movies that is more interesting to watch than entertaining. One of those movies you have to be in the mood for.But one of those movies with scenes that stay with you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

watching the bad guys win

These days I have to live with that. And watch them go on after their victory. And watch them celebrate and congratulate each other. Watch them suck each other's dicks, seeing their mission accomplished. And I have to go on. Going through my day to day.
They come over and say hello. I have to say hello to them. Hiding what I feel. But not letting them think I'm one of them. I am not one of them.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

why I love am radio

When I was a little kid this old lady had a minivan and she would take us to school. She always had am radio on, news and all that. I used to think that am news radio was for old people. When I was a teenager, am radio was for listening to Radio Rock. News am radio was for really old people.

I've been listening to news am lately. Maybe because I'm older. But the reasons are quite diverse. No radio station plays music I like. Radio Universidad plays jazz and classical, but I rather listen to that at home, not while I'm driving.
But mostly I listen to am news radio because it's an amazing world. A world that is ignored by the elite bullshit print media such as EL Nuevo Dia, El Vocero and Primera Hora, although I wonder if the latter qualifies as a newspaper.

AM news radio is news for the people, by the people. People get involved. They call in with iteresting opinions, ridiculous opinions, but they are honest and it's good to hear things that have not gone through the Ferre-Rangel censorship machine. In fact, callers are usually the same ones all the time, so you, in a sense, get the news from "reporteros de la calle". Real people. Not assholes like Rafael Lenin and company.

If you're PNP you have your stations and programs. If you're PDP you have yours. If you're PIP you also have your call in shows. It's the most democratic medium in Puerto Rico. It's a throwback to true democracy, when in ancient times people would get together and discuss politics. Yes, Plato would have been a regular caller.

Am radio. Tune in today.

wish I could put his picture here because he fits every definition and synonym

n 1: (obscene) insulting terms of address for people who are
stupid or irritating or ridiculous [syn: bastard, cocksucker,
dickhead, shit, mother fucker, motherfucker, prick,
son of a bitch, SOB]

Monday, May 15, 2006

the story of marie and julien

There are slow moving movies and then there is this. By the way, I love slow moving films. I love all the Eric Rohmer French talkfests. But tbis one was not only slow moving, but pretentious. It forgets that movies, no matter how artsy, have to entertain.They have to make us care. This movie is about two people in a house. The man is a clock repairman so he spends the whole movie repairing this one clock. (symbolism?).The woman spends the whole movie arranging the old house and placing things in suitcases, even though sheis going nowhere (symbolism?). Well, I musy admit I only saw about an hour and a half of this 2.5 hour snoozefest. Not even Emmanuelle Beart could keep me awake. In fact I had the best night of sleep in quite a while after watching this. So maybe there is a point to this movie.

a perfect morning

Sunday, May 14, 2006


a journal

The other day I found a journal I had written six years ago. There were only 10 entries. In them I described in detail what I had done. There were a few deep thoughts. They were also facts, almost journalistic in tone, of what I had done those particular days. It was a strange window to the person that I was then, and made me realize what things me had changed, which ones had remained the same.

But what made reading the journal fascinating was that I was able to relive those small moments that happened in those ten days. Details that my mind had forgotten or had placed them in that cloudy place where all the insignificant events and ordinary days go. It made me realize that we remember completely only a few days in our life. The rest are forgotten or become really hazy and distant. Unless, of course, you write about them. Which I did for ten days.

Friday, May 12, 2006



well the week is almost over and the stress is gone. Hopefully, today, the day after, things get back to normal. There is plenty to do and, in a way, what happened is very normal in this line of work. Been through it many times. And I'm sure I'll go through it again. I hope not,though. Anyway, that's that.


Only the French could take a premise like this and build a love story around it.
A middle age woman (Fanny Ardant) realizes her husband (Gerard Depardieu) is being unfaithful. So she hires a stripper-prostitute(most beautiful woman in the world Emmanuelle Beart) to seduce him and begin and affair. After each sexual encounter, she meets with the prostitute and the hooker tells her explicitly about what she did with her husband. Wife and hooker begin creating a strange bond. This is an interesting movie, nothing great, but certainly unusual. And in the midst of something so sordid, there is a certain humanity and even sweetness. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I am becoming a fan of this tv series. I've always been a sucker for hospital dramas. When I was in graduate school I would never miss "St.Elsewhere." But this series is different. It features one of the most amazing characters on tv. Dr. House, a bitter, funny, sarcastic physician who treats everyone like shit. But you like the guy. He's the bastard we wish we could be if we had the guts. He's the nasty person we all carry inside let loose. The stories are good too and feature the strangest diseases you can think about. For my money this is better than all the critically acclaimed HBO shows that try so hard to be different. Tuesdays at 9.

changing my tune

OK. So I got a bit melodramatic yesterday with my posts. But I guess that's the way I felt. So fuck it. And anyway, I kind of like what I wrote. And I meant it. By the way, I did listen to "Hey Jude".
Today I feel different as I have my morning coffee and write. And I think that maybe
another Beatle tune applies to my mood..hmmm..."Let it Be"???? no...too serious.
I think it's more like "Ob-la-di,ob-la-da/ life goes on bra/la la how the life goes on"
Yes, that's it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Why I will listen to it tonight

Hey, Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey, Jude, don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better.

And any time you feel the pain, hey, Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
Well don't you know that its a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

Hey, Jude! Don't let me down
You have found her, now go and get her
Remember, to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better.

So let it out and let it in, hey, Jude, begin
You're waiting for someone to perform with
And don't you know that it's just you, hey, Jude,
You'll do, the movement you need is on your shoulder

Hey, Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Woody Allen once said that when he felt sad or in stress, he would watch Marx Brothers movies. And I can understand that feeling. When things are strange, when uncertainty hits, one needs a place, a movie, a song to go to that will give you comfort.

In these days, when things in my life could change in an instant, I know where I am going.To a song. To a tune that has always been there for me. Through good times and especially bad times. A song that talks to me about letting go, about not worrying so much and take a bad situation and turn it into something better. I can find no book, no poem, no movie that can do that to me as perfectly as "Hey Jude". Maybe it's the simpleness of the lyrics, maybe it's the sad but at the same time joyful melody.

Tonight I'll go home and hear it again. And, for a while, everything will be alright.
And I will see that there's no sense in carrying the world on my shoulder. And I will sing along with the "na, na, na" section. And I will thank Paul McCartney for writing it. And I will be happy as hell.


One of the weirdest feelings is waiting for something over which you have no control. This week me and many people I know are going through that. We are just waiting, going through our daily routine and waiting for the decision to be handed down. Like some sort of reality show. One tries to think about other things. One escapes into movies, music, books, friends, family. One pretends everything will be the same. But there's this small feeling,like a little grain of sand in your eye that doesn't bothers you too much, but bothers you enough: this feeling that says "it will not be the same."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

the power of the thong

The other day there was a near riot at work when a woman visited the office. What made this woman so special? Well..she sat down and when she did you could see her thong underwear and half her fact you could see almost all her buttocks. Every guy in the office was suddenly walking by her to take a look. She must have noticed something was happening ("why is every guy walking by me? why do I feel a cold air draft on my ass?"), but she simply continued talking as if nothing was happening.
Which made for a pretty amazing situation. Adult men acting like naughty little kids trying to get a glimpse of an ass. All of them stopping work to do talk about the woman and calling others in the office to tell them to check the woman out.
Which brings me to the idea of the amazing power women have over men. Call it the power of the ass. They provide one glimpse of their body and men all go crazy, irational, almost stupid. In a situation like that a woman can ask anything and men will oblige. We are powerless. We are not in control of our lives. We are women's puppets. We succumb to the power of the thong.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

old movies

One of my passions is watching old movies. I was thinking why this is so. And I may have found the answer. From the 1930's all the way to the mid 1970's, movies were made for adults. Movies made for teenagers were only a small niche covered by smaller movie studios. So when you see movies on cable channels such as Turner Classic Movies you are watching works that wanted to bring adults to movie theaters. That explains the great, witty scripts and sophisticated attitude.
This all changed in the late 1970's when "Star Wars" became a hit and suddenly all movies seemed to be aimed at 12 year old boys. Luckily we can still enjoy the old classics on TCM and see all those amazing scripts and wonderful movies that didn't rely on fart jokes to provide entertainment.


I've been thinking too much recently. Which is never a good thing. So this morning I decided to simply take a walk without any real destination. It may sound silly, but a simple thing like that can clear your mind. Anyway, I took my digital camera along and saw this.

Friday, May 05, 2006


These days I'm planning my June vacations. And I want to catch plane and go somewhere. After my San Francisco-Miami vacation, I decided that I will always travel during my vacation days. No more staying around here and going to the beach. The relaxation quotient is much more powerful when you go to a different place and see different people. The point of a vacation is to get away.

I'm considering going to New York and then Miami. New York, because I have a friend from graduate school there and it will be great to see him after so many years. But there's a possibility he won't be in the city so everything becomes kind of tentative. I could go to NYC alone but it won't be that much fun. Hopefully he'll tell me whether he will be there these days. If he won't, well, I may have to make some vacation changes.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
Edward Albee

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A hairy debate

The other day a workmate was operated and they needed to shave off his pubic hair. He mentioned this to some guys at work and they were all surprised that he had to go through the removal procedure since all of them regularly shaved their body hair. So a debate began that yielded a 60-40 shaved-unshaved ratio.
It was the weirdest debate.
So I was wondering...what is the way for a guy to go? shaved? trimmed? or pubes gone wild? Opinions are welcome!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Under the Covers

Once in a while one finds a really cool CD. And this is one of them. It's a collection of covers by Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs. It's a reminder of the power, melody and great feeling of 1960's music. These are songs about love, longing, fun and everything that makes life worth living. Songs that remind you of a time when pop music was melodic and had the power to help you through the day. Nobody seems to be making this kind of music anymore, but it's good to know someone is still recording it.


1. I See The Rain (The Marmalade) 2. And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles) 3. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) 4. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? (Fairport Convention) 5. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young And Crazy Horse) 6. Alone Again Or (Love) 7. Warmth Of The Sun (The Beach Boys) 8. Different Drum (The Stone Poneys) 9. The Kids Are Alright (The Who) 10. Sunday Morning (The Velvet Underground) 11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young And Crazy Horse) 12. Care Of Cell ..44 (The Zombies) 13. Monday Monday (The Mamas And The Papas) 14. She May Call You Up Tonight (The Left Banke) 15. Run To Me (The Bee Gees)