Tuesday, October 31, 2006

cause I'm in a.....I'm in a......

a New York State of Mind.......

5 favorite Halloween movies

1. Night of the Living Dead-the original black and white version.
2. Horror of Dracula- Christopher Lee is the best Dracula
3. Black Sunday-spooky black and white Italian movie
4. The Haunting-the original black and white, no CGI version
5. Eyes without a Face-dreamy, spooky movie that stays with you.

Monday, October 30, 2006

starry night

I have always been fascinated by this painting by Van Gogh. There is so much beauty, sorrow in it. There is also something so moving about it. It's what one would paint at 3am one dark night of the soul.

Maybe its also because of the old Don McLean song about it. It's kind of corny, but it sums up the whole feeling of the painting.

I just learned surfing the net that it is on exhibition at the MOMA in New York. Five blocks from my hotel. Five. I can't wait.


Today I actually fell asleep at the beach, listening to the waves.
Am I that relaxed? Am I that tired?
Am I such an idiot asking msyself why?
All that matters is that it happened.
And it was good.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Yesterday afternoon I saw this through my window. A terrific sunset. And I just had to take a photo of it. We miss so many of them because of work etc. So here's one I wanted to keep.

Friday, October 27, 2006


My vacations have started. I will spending a couple of days hitting the beach here
and then to the Big Apple, which I haven't visited in 15 years(!).

Actually I was going to go to NYC tomorrow but there's a major, major storm hitting the city this weekend, the people at WABC TV are telling folks to stay indoors. So I figured that, well, maybe it's not such a hot time to go there.

and yet life is good

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink

I'm so tired I don't know what to do
I'm so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you'd do

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid get.

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind

"I'm so Tired" by Lennon-McCartney

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


On Sunday... low in the mid 30's...fuck. I used to be so tough in cold weather. A high near 40F would be almost t-shirt weather. But that was so long ago in Minnesota. Now I have become a tropical kind of person...60F is cold...50F is really cold...mid 30's???
bring on the thermal underwear.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Which Paris do you think about first?

Today someone at work sent me by e-mail an item about something called the "Paris Syndrome" about how people from a client oriented culture like Japan have problems adapting to life in a client "can go to hell" culture like the one in Paris, France.

The thing is that when I read the headline I inmediately thought it had something to do with Paris Hilton. And everyone that she sent it to thought the same thing. So, yes, we have reached the point when Paris Hilton has more "top of mind" awareness than Paris, France.

ramdom thoughts from a tired mind

Today I couldn't write a complete sentence at work without struggling.
I'm tired, I'm beat, my mind is drifting.
When I get home I don't watch tv, but mostly listen to music.
I bought the latest Rod Stewart CD and it full of great old rock songs
And here's an oldie by Bob Dylan that I've been listening to a lot from that CD. George Harrison covered it in "All Things Must Pass" but he was probably thinking about God when he sang it.


If not for you
Babe, I couldn't even find the door
I couldn't even see the floor
I'd be sad and blue, if not for you

If not for you
Babe, the night would see me wide awake
The day would surely have to break
It would not be new, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I'd be nowhere at all
I'd be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn't hear a robin sing
I just wouldn't have a clue, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I'd be nowhere at all
I'd be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn't hear a robin sing
I just wouldn't have a clue, if not for you

If not for you

Anyway, that's that.

Monday, October 23, 2006

some thoughts about vacations

Last year I did something that I will never do again. I took a two week vacation and did not go somewhere outside the island. I went to the beach, to the movies, spent some pretty cool mornings browsing through books at Borders. But I went back to work and it didn't feel like I had taken a vacation. I was rested, but I did not have that feeling of "I had a great time, but I am glad to be back to work."

Then this year I went to Miami and California for a couple of weeks and I realized how important it is to catch a plane and go somewhere. It doesn't have to be a place far away. It can be a short trip to a Caribbean island. And it doesn't have to be for a long time. It can be just for a couple of days. But one notices the difference.

Maybe its just the feeling of seeing a new place, seeing people you have never seen before. Maybe it's the realizing the diversity of cultures (and culture) that is out there but that we miss because we live on a small island. Or maybe, it is something as simple as the great feeling of waking up late in another city and just ordering room service and realizing that, indeed, one is on vacation.

So in a few days, I am taking a week off. And, for a second. I thought of staying around here. But no, I am leaving, just for a couple of days. Enough time to make me realize that I am really on vacation.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Flags of our Fathers

I've been reading this great book that has been made into a movie (it started playing stateside, but not here) about the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. It's a great book because it explores so much about the nature of war. The human cost, the heroism, the friendships and all the damage, physical and mental, that it inflicts on soldiers.
It follows the life of the six soldiers who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. Three of them died in subsequent battles. But the other three were paraded around the country, raising support for the war. One of them enjoyed the short lived celebrity but became bitter with life. Another, a Native American called Ira Hayes, drowned his wounds with alcohol and died 10 years after Iwo Jima. The other, the father of the author of the book, refused to ever talked about what happened on that island.

The book also explores the horrendous odds of surviving these soldiers faced. And the terror of the day before the landing. It's impossible to imagine a scenario like that, looking around realizing more than half of your fellow soldiers would die the next day and wondering whether you were going to be one of the lucky ones.

After reading this book I am really looking forward to seeing Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed film.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Definition of insanity



“The best answer to anger is silence.”

Monday, October 16, 2006

Goodbye Tower Records

I remember the first time I visited a Tower Records store. It was during a trip I made with my father to San Francisco. I was a San Juan teenager used to struggling to find a rock record at local stores. I remember going to La Gran Discoteca in la Calle Cerra and asking for an Elvis Costello record and seeing the face of the guy that worked there wondering what the hell I was talking about. And that was THE record store here.

So imagine my amazement when I first entered that Tower Records store and saw thousands and thousands of records. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was the most wonderful place on earth. I remember what I bought that day: a UK edition of The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" that contained a small booklet with photos. I also bought a classic single The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations". It was the disco era of the 70's but I was hooked on 60's rock. Here was a place where I felt at home. A place where I was not an outsider. Yes, Tower Records understood me.

I visited San Francisco several times and would always visit that store near Fisherman's Wharf. I had visited other record megastores during those years , but there was something cool and no-nonsense about Tower Records. There was a California laid back feeling to it, there was a certain honesty to them.

So I was saddened to read that Tower Records is closing all its stores. They couldn't face competition from Best Buy and Amazon and decided to call it quits.

So goodbye, wonderful, magical Tower Records. The teenager in me will always remember you.

Prairie Home Companion

Lola Johnson: This isn't really going to be your last show, is it?
Garrison Keillor: Every show is your last show. That's my philosophy.
Rhonda Johnson: Thank you, Plato

Last night I saw one of the best films of the year. A Prairie Home Companion. A movie based on the folksy National Public Radio Show about the mythical Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. I've never been a fan of the radio show, but the movie is really good. It's about a group of people doing a live radio variety, the kind that has disappeared in this age of "everything is Top 40" radio. The group knows it is the last show they will be doing because the theater will be torn down and the radio station sold to a Texas company.

This movie is really funny, sad and full of wonderful music. It features amazing performances by Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Woddy Harrelson and Lindsay Lohan. It is directed by Robert Altman (MASH).

This is the kind of movie you may think you may not like. But believe me, this is the kind of film that makes you feel good about life without being corny about it.

And don't miss the behind the scenes documentary when writer Garrison Keillor talks about happiness: "Happiness is about the details. About the small things. About the specific. Gloominess is about the general."


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Zen TV

This is one cool concept. Discovery HD channel features a one hour show in which you see a sunrise somewhere on the planet. It could be California, an island in the Pacific, somewhere in Norway. And with the HD picture quality it really looks like you are there. In the background you only hear the sounds of nature.

Sit back, hear some music on you IPod and watch this for an hour and you have the most relaxing experience of your life. I'm serious. It is television as Zen Art.


Bono and Bobby Shriver have created this idea of Product Red. Some of the biggest companies in the world (Gap, Motorola, Apple, Armani) have created Red Products. Buy them and you help provide AIDS medicine for people in Africa. A simple idea.

And one has to congratulate Bono. Instead of being another celebrity cry baby and blaming everything on Bush or capitalism, he has made the system work for the good of people. Instead of complaining about Bush, he met with him in Air Force One and ended up getting millions in relief. Instead of blaming the consumer culture for the evils of the world, he made the consumer culture become an ally for a great cause.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The movies go to war

I was a History major in college, with a concentration on 20th Century American History. So World War II is something that I studied intensively. And one of the most interesting things about that war was how mass media became a player in the war. Actors such as Charlie Chaplin and Carole Lombard would sell war bonds and movie studios would create films that would motivate people into feeling "pro-war". Some may call them propaganda, but that's not something I want to discuss here.

I basically want to talk about this movie I saw On Turner Classic Movies. It's the story(fictional) about nurses during the beginning of the war in the Pacific. It's a well written, entertaining movie with great performances by Paulette Goddard, Claudette Cobert and Veronica Lake, but sometimes out of the blue a character would start giving a speech about freedom and sacrifice. A speech that makes no sense in the middle of a pretty realistic movie. Which makes it a fascinating period piece. One can imagine being in a movie theater in 1943 watching this movie and feeling comforted by the idea that the war was right.

Anyway, this is a fine movie. It plays ocassionally on TCM.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

and in spite of it all, life is good

bullshit detector

I knew it from the first moment. It was all bullshit. It's interesting how the years can make one spot bullshit right away. It was a bluff move. And all the signs were there, really. If you looked closely. The thing is that a lot of stress and anguish came out of it. It was tough. But deep inside I knew it was bullshit. But one had to pretend it wasn't so. Because it was the thing that had to be done. But, anyway,
I was right. I'm not happy that I was. But...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In praise of Jackie Guerrido

When people criticize Univision for being a dangerous cultural influence on our island, I say to them: "Jackie Guerrido". Can she be a bad influence?
I daresay no.

Because no one can tell us the weather like her, even though her body seems to cover huge parts of the Unites States map. I'm normally never interested on the weather in Montana, but when she tells us about it, I CARE. Yes, I want to know the weather in Casper, Wyoming, dammit.Fargo, North Dakota or is that South Dakota? Yes, I want to know. I really want to know.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006



by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Monday, October 09, 2006

my faith in humanity is restored

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Martin Scorsese's mob saga "The Departed" debuted as the weekend's top movie with $27 million, muscling out the horror prequel "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning."

It was a record opening for Scorsese, whose previous best was $10.3 million with 1991's "Cape Fear." Scorsese's films usually debut in narrower release and gradually roll out to more theaters, but Warner Bros. decided to launch "The Departed" in wide release of 3,017 cinemas.


A few weeks ago I was changing channels, still on basic cable when I suddenly ran into a sex scene where a couple was enjoying some doggie style action. I inmediately stopped changing channels and realized I was watching FX, a regular cable network. And the program was Nip/Tuck, a show I had heard friends talk about, but had never seen. Well, I watched the show and now I'm hooked on it. This is the most fucked up show on television with characters doing the most outrageous things you can imagine. And it doesn't preach or cop out with a moralistic lesson. It is great, adult fun!!!
I couldn't watch last night's episode, but I recorded it so I can watch it tonight.
And quite frankly I can't wait.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lawrence of Arabia

This was the Best Picture winner of 1962. The movie that made Steven Spielberg want to become a director. I finally saw it yesterday. And I can understand all the great reviews and popularity that this movie generated. It is an outstading movie. A rare epic that is also the intimate story of a man. One really strange. An Englishman who was able to pull together opoosing Arab tribes and make them fight the Turks during World War I. In a way, he was partly responsible for making all these tribes call themselves "Arabs". It is also the story of a compassionate, secretive,inmensely egostistical man.

The movie also features a "who's who" of British actors of that era. Puerto Rican actor Jose Ferrer is here too in a small but scene stealing role.

You will never see the desert photographed quite this way. This is a movie that must be watched in a big tv.

And the music! Maurice Jarre's score is a true gem.

All in all, a movie worth seeing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Strawberry Fields" is 40

One of the great songs John Lennon wrote with the Beatles is 40 years old today. In it he paid homage to a school for orphans in his native Liverpool. But somehow it is much more. When I first heard it, I imagine the most amazing beautiful place in the world. A place of dreams and imagination beyond belief.

Incredibly enough, and this tells you how amazing The Beatles were, this song is a B-side single! The A side was Penny Lane, a great one by Paul. And in a way, that single defined what fans (perhaps incorrectly) thought of each one. John, the one with the weirder songs, Paul with the melodic sound. And which song you like best (Strawberry Fields or Penny Lane) kind of defines which composer you like best.

I can't make up my mind which one I like best. "Strawberry Fields" takes me to another world, to a wonderful peace of mind. Hearing "Penny Lane" makes me glad I'm alive.

Happy 40th to both!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Showtime is the new HBO

There was a time when HBO was the edgy, daring premium channel. No more. Now Showtime is the best premiun channel by far. Just look at this amazing new series called "Dexter" a series about a serial killer who works for the Miami Police Deparment catching serial killers. The catch he is a serial killer too. Another catch, he only kills criminals.
This is a cool and strangely funny show.

Showtime also has shows like "Weeds", "Bullshit!", "The L Word" who really push the envelope in terms of content. And with Showtime,you get "Flix" a channel that shows Truffaut movies and gems from the 1960's and 1970's.

I think there's a Free Showtime Preview this weekend, catch these shows!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

something I read last night

-A veces, las cosas más reales sólo suceden en la imaginación-dijo ella-.
Sólo recordamos lo que nunca sucedió.

Sometimes the most real things only happen in our imagination-she said-
We only remember things that never happenned.

from the book "Marina"

Monday, October 02, 2006


I have been reading this book by Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafon, the writer of the amazing bestseling novel La Sombra del Viento. I'm half way through and it's quite an intriguing book about teenage love and a house full of memories and perhaps something darker. The thing is I know something dreadful is going to happen to the characters, but I don't know what it is yet. Which is the beauty of a book like this. Of course, I won't reveal the secret here when I get to it.
Anyway...quite a cool book, up until now.
I found it at Borders at Plaza.