And Then There Were Two…(and a dog)

When we got married, we thought children would follow quickly. Unfortunately, our first attempt to produce an heir was not successful and the road to figure out if we could become parents naturally was so uphill, and expensive, we decided to take a breather and enjoy the view.

During this stop I decided we needed to reset the countdown clock and start over. We married each other to share our lives together, not to make them harder by depleting our resources chasing after an impossible dream. Surely enough technology will prove me wrong and at some point it will become totally possible but for now, we needed to face our reality and improve it. Once my husband agreed, we decided to buy and customize a brand new home to start anew.

Deciding how to proceed was a source of constant disagreement. We had hosted countless parties the first ten years of our life together that my husband thought we would be disloyal if we didn’t take into account entertaining in the design. Although I agreed that the space needed to be functional for guests, it felt pointless to resume that hosting duty because it didn’t really go with our new perspective. It was hard for both of us to accept that the new living space should be designed for just two people, who happen to entertain on occasion. This required less seating space, more foldable or expandable furniture and much less consideration for children as part of the decor.

In a way we had to change the style of the home to functionally classy from family fun oriented. As adults we will still have fun but we didn’t need to flaunt it. Our collection of knick knacks moved to the newly created library space, and the frames around the first floor gallery held geek ark pieces instead of posters and souvenir pictures from vacations past. We moved the frames that mattered to us upstairs so we can enjoy them daily. The videogames moved to a dedicated audio/visual suite that does not interfere with my sleep, and the front room fits the ping-pong table easily, when it isn’t doubling as the curtain/cover for the new sideyard french doors. It looks more like us now, the grown up versions anyway, but it still screams: “Cool!”.

There are many more things left to settle and decorate but now we know what works for just us and what doesn’t. The dog loves this new space and its humble beginnings. No more tension oozes from the wall. No more ghosts and broken dreams haunt it. The energy in the rooms buzzes and electrifies everything we do, brightening our existence. We know now that by focusing on ourselves the rest will come in time, with no need to rush into action. This is our haven, our piece of heaven, and we have to finish its design selfishly and guilt free.

In the end, we hope it all comes together. If it doesn’t that will work fine too. As Zach, our pit/lab mix, sleeps in the middle of the family room floor, I smile and pat myself in the back for having taken the chance to let go of what did not serve us. The landscaping and interior jobs may not all be completed but we are a step closer to the new us. Let’s chase the bigger dreams now peeps! The best is yet to come!

Good Bones (HGTV)

After binging on Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper and other demo and remodel shows, I stumbled upon this beauty. Set in the historic neighborhoods of Indianapolis, Mina, Karen and Tad renovate homes that are dilapidated and in rough shape to return them to their original glory. These Two Chicks and a Hammer, with their stupid demolition partner (Tad) pour their heart, soul, grit and creativity into each project. The family dynamics are fun to watch because their love for the work makes it a true joy to watch.

If I had known about this show earlier, I would have incorporated a few of their ideas into the new house. Their staging techniques bring industrial and Victorian styles into the modern times within a modest budget. All their projects seem to ooze a solemn yet vibrant energy that captivate the audience and the buyers alike. Mina’s expertise in home construction and design are awe inspiring and worthy of admiration. She, and her mom, prove women can change the world, one tool belt at a time. Hehe

This hands on, crafty crew will win over your heart and respect. They truly to their jobs for the challenge and not the money. If you build a high quality product and make a difference in the communities you touch, the cash will flow in eventually. Lovely attitude to have in these dark times. This family is proof that the welcoming vibe of the heartland is still alive and well. Their smiles and satisfied looks at the end of each remodel inspire me to do more at home and not sell myself short. True girl power.

Watch on demand now on HGTV.

Enjoy!

Of Nerdaphores and Slacktivism

Most of my friends are nerds and as such, we come up with  nerd wisdom all the time. To properly convey the message of our philosophical sessions, made up terminology is employed. [Side note: Our employer is infamous for making up jargon and acronyms that no human can decipher so it rubbed off on us peons too.] Many of the discussed subjects are so intriguing and unique we end up baptizing them with a word mass-up worthy of a Scrabble war.

Nerdaphore – short hand for nerdy metaphor – was coined by one of my colleagues after I mentioned to him that some people need to chop off sides of their family tree. In the discussion, phrases like “let me take over the com”, “open a hail channel” or “make it so No. 1” came up frequently. My coworkers draw blank stares when I use this terminology  and with reason: only a nerd would understand what I was referring to and find it amusing. Hehe It is so hard to turn out examples for this definition because I barely notice when I am getting nerdaphoric. My husband, sister and close friends understand me though. The family that geeks out together stays together.

The second term in the title took a longer time to develop because the concept wasn’t as clear to us when we started examining the situation in question. The team was discussing the dynamic of showing solidarity to a cause in an unethical or inconsistent manner. For example, people who buy a hybrid but power it using electricity generated by coal and have no clue or care about the hypocrisy of their actions. Creating awareness becomes a hollow gesture if your actions don’t follow through fully. Boycotting to seem cool or aware solves nothing and doesn nothing to further your cause. It seems a bit convenient that people appease themselves and others by giving themselves a pat in the back for caring as if that alone effected change. You won’t fool the likes of us though. 

Caring about many causes while financially or physically supporting none is what we decided to call into question. Activism requires you to leave the comforts of your home to fight injustice, oppression and/or poverty. We opted to thus name the act of supporting a cause from the comfort of your high horse, half hearted activism or slacktivism. The terminology manages to give credit to those furthering and giving light to a cause, albeit passively, with enough disdain and disgust. This let them know they should step up their game if they want to be considered true agents of change. Be the change you want to see in the world, affect and effect change regardless of the obstacles. No one can do it but ourselves.

There are so many more terms we have invented through the years but aside from adorkable and nerdom, not many have gone mainstream. If you have a term that needs clarification submit it via the comments section. Nerds are observant creatures that seek to gain insight from every experience and exchange they witness and we are more than happy to let you know when logic and reasoning have failed you. Talk to a geek or nerd today. They will gladly open your eyes to the inconsistencies in your life’s narrative. At the very least they will brighten it up with explanations in their made up language, or in Klingon. 🤓 hehe

Stay thirsty for knowledge, my friends.

Genius (NatGeo)

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds in physics. His unruly hair and grand ideas about the cosmos have changed the way we think about gravity, time and space. The eccentric character he possessed made him an icon in Switzerland, Germany and beyond, as he dared to challenge the Reich twice! Even after his discoveries were used to create the bombs that decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki he remained relevant and revered for his humanitarianism. A truly amazing man.

His life wasn’t all roses and accolades though, and NatGeo does a superb job at piecing together the life of this true genius. From his love live, marriages and children to his journey as a student and patent clerk, they bring his softer side to light despite the shortcomings if his arrogance and callousness. The parade of scientific contemporaries, the likes of Marie Curie and Planck, make the show a remarkable geek and nerdgasm. Imagine living in those times and knowing the people we now credit for Nobel worthy discoveries. Time machine anyone?

If you have a moment, consider binging on this extravagant yet realistic view inside the science that shaped the 20th century. We wouldn’t be here without the application of the work these fine scientists. Their lives are very much worth celebrating and honoring on the small screen. Truly an inspiration for all of us who endeavor to reach, literally, for the stars. The men and women behind the curtain are truly admirable and interesting. The patriotism and overwhelming uncertainty of the first half of the 1900s palpable as it was an honor to advance science and engineering to win and end wars. A different take on history, if there ever could be one.

Watch on demand on NatGeo.

Prost!

Doom (2016, PS4)

What if hell was real? Not an allegory or a place to purge your sins but an actual arena where you could fight your demons to the death? How much torture and pain could you endure as you battle the forces of evil? If these questions haunt you look no further than this game to find out all the answers.

From what my husband stated, his quest through the game was so hardcore that he wouldn’t recommend it to the faint of heart. The music, onslaught of enemies and play are very impressive, well worth its value. I couldn’t watch him play for long periods of time because the changes in point of view make me dizzy. Hehe

Give it a whirl if you have a chance.

Se me hace difícil hablar español, hasta que me encojonan…

Despúes de doce años viviendo y trabajando en Estados Unidos, se me hace cuesta arriba acordarme de que tengo una lengua materna. Aunque las oportunidades para sacar a pasear el español son muchas, siempre termino pensando y escribiendo en inglés debido a mi entorno. La mayoría de las veces puedo “switch” entre los dos idiomas sin problemas, luciendo mi mas perfecto Spanglish con aquellos que conocen ambos vocablos pero de vez en cuando se me tranca la máquina inglesa y se me va el hilo. En esos momentos me endiabla tener que parar a enebrar la aguja para poder seguir laborando. Ugh.

Definitivamente, se me hace más fácil discutir en español. Este idioma tiene infinitas maneras finas de enviar a la gente al carajo, con todo el respeto que se merecen.

Lo mas “cool” de que me “saquen por techo” es que las palabras que forman mis oraciones cobran vida, y se entienden, por el uso del Spanglish colonial. Cuando voy a llenar papeleo oficial en cualquier estado de la costa oeste. Si no logro encontrar una prueba contundente para que el gringo entienda que Puerto Rico es parte de Estados Unidos, hay una ventana que me da la oportunidad de hacerlo en español, con un alma benévola que entiende nuestra situación de colonia. No sé porqué la gente le tienen miedo a latinizar a “América” pues eso ya lo lograron los conquistadores. Me da pena que vean hablar otro idioma como un insulto a la gran nación Estado Unidense. Nadie es de aquí, excepto los indios, y su lengua no se asemeja a la anglosajona ni por pura coincidencia. 

Quizás el que desea quedarse ignorante no entiende el valor de conocer mas de una manera de comunicarse, o no tienen la pasión necesaria para sobrevivir un argumento con una mujer u hombre de herencia cultural hispana. Por eso prefieren que todo sea en English. Igual les ganamos el argumento, la desventaja definitivamente la tiene la casa por ni siquiera entender que el que aprende inglés lo ha estudiado y tiene mejor vocabulario que el average Joe.

Hablar español es una bendición. Como es el tercer o cuarto idioma mas comúnmente aprendido (materna o de segunda lengua, Wikipedia), se escucha y lee a través del globo terráqueo. Los imperialistas y exploradores de España se encargaron de dejar su marca cultural hasta en el medio del Amazonas y no es difícil toparse con alguien que sepa castellano, en especial cuando se es Puertorriqueño. Estan hasta en la luna. Quizás por eso es más genuino el gesto de molestarme en Boricua. Nadie se mete con uno después de reconocer nuestro acento. La furia de los descendientes de Agüeybaná es legendaria.

Mandar a la gente al infierno en inglés no suena tan devastador como los chancletasos de una madre.

Ya quisiera yo poder argumentar con todos estos energúmenos en la oficina y la calle cualquier tema en mi primer y mas querido idioma. Mi computadora se conoce mis plegarias y ruegos en español ya, pero pues no tengo la dicha de que me conteste pa atrás. No tiene un Siri. 😂 Decirle a alguien “idiot” o “a-hole” no es igual ni se siente tan satisfactorio como decirles pendejos o huele estacas. Los viles mamaos se salen con la suya ¡Coño, ugh! A la larga “dropping the mic” nunca reemplazará un buen ¡Puñeta! 

Extraño la raza…

I remember when… (A Poem dedicated to the 80s)

I remember when NASCAR didn’t have Truck Races,
Dale Earnhardt was still Intimidating,
Jeff Gordon had Rainbow Warriors,
And Jimmy Johnson had no championships.

I remember when dial up modem tones were a sign of opulence and progress,
When printers were dot matrix
And 3 1/2″ floppy disks were new.
When people had to use a CD from AOL to “download” the internet into their computer (because it didn’t come with a web browser).

I remember when you had to call collect,
And left a message as your name to save the recipient charges,
Waiting next to a payphone for a call back,
Because my parents were running late to pick me up from school.
Their secretary would patch me through to their desks to remind them it was time to clock out and enjoy me.

I remember when videogame characters died after three lives,
The levels got harder as the story progressed,
And you had to take turns to play Super Mario Bros.
We dreamed of the day we could have 3+ players on the same screen.

I remember Jem, The Thundercats, She-Ra, The Jetsons,
Silverhawks, Rainbow Brite and the Care Bears.

I remember LPs, 8 tracks, CRTs,
Pentium computers and RPGs with no walkthroughs.

I remember the world before cell phones and Harry Potter,
When Star Wars and Star Trek were all there was,
And when the world wasn’t a click away.

There are so many memories as a child of the 80s,
Too many to write and ignore.
If I ever could get my hands on a time machine I’d revisit those simpler days,
And the youth that saw technology explode!

Proud to remember it,
Prouder to have lived it all.

If I Write A Book, Will People Will Read It?

It’s 11:22pm on a Sunday night and my brain keeps wondering why I shouldn’t do it. I’ve been writing a blog for two years and my friends keep telling me I should pen a few books based on all of my ordeals. The weddings, the new house, the failed DIY and the miscarriage, heck even the layoff, are full of funny anecdotes and incredible twists and outcomes. Even if I don’t think my life is entertaining someone else might find it hilarious. Who knows, maybe they have similar stories and will be relieved they weren’t the only ones to live to tell the tale.

The lack of confidence in my own skills is alarming. Fifteen year old me would have sold at least 20 copies of her books by now. Not a huge number but it is more than 0, and she wouldn’t have thought her friends would be too busy to read it either. In essence, and with the popularity of ebooks, creating a masterpiece wouldn’t be so hard. I’m sure my English major friends would be more than happy to help me polish the content for a reasonable fee or for a free stash of books. Lol

Hmmm…

Why am I over thinking this? Fear of success? Friends will take anecdotes too seriously or personally? Will my choices come under attack? Bad press? Insufferable book tours and crowds? Losing proposition? Too much competition? Debt? Printing contracts? Hard work? I should do whatever feels right and then ask for forgiveness. Once people do unto you as you have done unto others, you see the benefits of sharing the knowledge. No one has ever written about the cowards and the lazy. To the victor the spoils, no?

I need to conquer my low self-esteem issues and start writing. Let the universe sort it all out. Push comes to shove it sells! And then I will need to write some more. Hehe

Cheers! 🍻

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