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!

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.

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…

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! 🍻

What I Do Is Not Up To You

Diana turns to Steve and exclaims: “What I do is not up to you”. This phrase has been around for a long time and it defines Wonder Woman perfectly. She doesn’t need anyone to tell her what she can and cannot do, and most importantly, is an independent agent who is capable of brokering her own decisions and will. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to viewers and fans that this Amazon is a strong and resilient individual that will stop at nothing to pursue justice, doing was is right and not what is easy.

My husband got me a shirt with this slogan (link from The Tee Warehouse) after I won the “we are moving to a custom brand new house a few blocks away” argument because he realized there was no stopping me when my made was made up. I’m sure many spouses can relate to this dynamic, especially when their partner is headstrong and entrepreneurial. Backing down is never an option for me, and I attempt to achieve a win-win every time I am up against a situation in which many people would yield or compromise. This gift conveys how much he appreciates my will power and since he ordered it, by mistake, in a guy’s size he gets to see me wear it to bed or around the house although he keeps insisting I could wear it outside.

Vanity, thy name is MrsEnginerd. LOL

Women are told every day that they can’t do what they do or know what they know. In business and in society, their decisions are questioned, scrutinized and taken lightly. Congress is making bills to legislate over their rights to reproductive coverage and/or abortion because “their virtue must be protected”. Ladies can’t state that they like the pleasures of the flesh or the satisfaction of a career without being accused of being sluts or selfish, and even worse, inconsiderate of their husband’s and family’s needs. Heck, their hard work is devalued so much that they even get paid less because their performance in many fields is considered to be inferior to men. Sexism is alive and well folks; we need to make an effort to eradicate it.

If you have little girls or young women in your family, or love a very wonderful and impressive woman, take this message to heart. What they do is not up to you and furthermore, does not represent you. The men and women in their lives must support and build up their confidence and pride so they can reach their goals and enjoy their very well deserved achievements and accolades. Don’t sell yourself and themselves short. With an open mind and a courageous heart we can all live up to our full potential. My grandparents believed in my mom and she retired as a Colonel or Full Bird from the Army. I have a Masters and BS in Engineering. Someday my daughters, adoptive or by proxy, will be able to go to Mars and beyond. We need more Wonder Women in our lives. Let’s build a better future together!

Hooahh!😎💪🏅

Blah Blah Blah

Many people assume bloggers are these hedonistic, selfish creatures that must write about themselves, some times in the third person, to feel validated by the world. Opinions are doled out freely and without restraint so we all end up bombarded with knowledge that we may not want nor have a healthy means to process. Writing can be a cathartic experience for those who seek absolution; to those who need to find solidarity inside the masses to protect their sanity. We aren’t the only ones going through XYZ nor the only people in the room who love/hate/study/feel/think this way, no?

In my case, I would like to consider this blog as archeological and anthropological data that could be used by scholars, erudites and future nerds to have a glimpse into the ghosts of geeks past. By the time this blog turns 10, the worldwide political and social climates may be very different from today’s, better or worse depending on the circumstances. With Trump as the POTUS from 2017 to 2020, the public and historians of the times will have a hard time pinning down the exact damage done. Reality TV at its best, but with nuclear warfare codes and real life spies.

Who knows! By 2025 studios may even be rebooting Wonder Woman or Harry Potter and we will all be left in shock when they announce the casting. Heck, the DC cinematic universe could have surpassed Marvel’s success. *Gasp* For sure, Han Solo will not have been uniquely portrayed by Harrison Ford since Disney is screenwriting his origin story trilogy as we speak. Who will be the next Tom Cruise? The next Brad Pitt? The possibilities are endless.

Just like Randy Pausch aspired to create a living breathing record of himself for his children, I am creating a treasure chest of experiences and photographs that could be used and shared by generations to come. My immediate family will have a record of who I was and how I presented myself to the world, especially if they ever need to justify or communicate my state of mind. Reading back on some early pages, I can already see improvements to my personality and writing. Expressing myself helps me grow and conduct introspective experience the readers can benefit from. We are not in this hurling rock full of magma in a vacuum. Sharing is caring!

I take my role as a historian very seriously. I weigh opinions and encourage commentary. The discussions may not lead, unequivocally, to the points I find important but they always teach me about my peers and their views based on their analysis of the human experience. Dissent is normal and expected, and whenever possible it is addressed with an open mind and aplomb. (Unless I am overly passionate about the subject, I tend to be rational.) The exchange is the outcome; the metaphorical journey we need to enjoy instead of focusing on the destination.

Feel free to open your own lines of dialogue and write your own thoughts on the web. History is dictated by the victors. Hopefully we are not abusing our share of the responsibility of documenting the past and present for future generations. Fortune favors the bold though, and the pen may still be mightier than the sword so take back control of the narrative. Lead the way and make sure to remove any unnecessary bias and remain faithful to the story. 

The truth is out there.

There Is More To Life Than A Good Origin Story 

We are born. We die. What happens in between is a magical, mysterious, and emotional rollercoaster ride. Sadly, many believe their origin story seals their fate, that they have no choice but to be a victim of their circumstances. The decisions our parents and ancestor made shaped our arrival but these choices and their outcomes should not cloud our future and the opportunities presented to us. It is up to us to challenge our environment and ourselves to become better than the sum of their parts in our story. We have to grow, mature and improve regardless of our hard or easy starts in life.

If all there was to Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince or Clark Kent was their origin story, we wouldn’t have Batman, Wonder Woman nor Superman to save the day. Even though their pain, birth and uncertainty about their lives motivated them to seek the truth, justice and inner strength, they refused to be defined by their grief and apprehension. As they evolved so did their understanding of the world, giving them an opportunity to make a difference and become advocates for those who had no one else to rely on. These heroes were blessed to have protectors and guides that helped them become greater than their parents’ legacy and expectations for their well being so they felt the need to return the favor in an extraordinary fashion.

Dwelling on the past can be beneficial as long as we fully comprehend the lessons and experiences that made us who we are. To move forward, we have to cleanse our subconscious mind from the biases, rules and limitations put upon ourselves by either society, our upbringing, religious organizations or those we consider authority figures/worthy of emulation. Our mistakes do not define us, and it is up to us to get back on the proverbial horse and joust once more until we emerge victorious. Without a goal in mind we cannot achieve. Good self-esteem and image depend on our ability to feel and believe that we are worthy of love, success and glory after we sacrifice, work hard and execute on careful and effective planning. Letting go of the past comes with great introspection and responsibility: We will gain the power to become who we must be to make our own fate.

No love story is truly original even though they can be unique. In the same fashion we must understand that our story may not be original but it is unique because it affects us. We are balls of clay, molded for a purpose, once we have to assign ourselves and execute to become genuinely successful. Death may define us, and time will determine if we lived up to our potential. In the meantime, we must continue to stretch our horizons and see beyond our current situation and predicaments to find the hope necessary to leave an everlasting legacy. Children, inventions, new tech or scientific breakthroughs; literature, poetry, art; whatever our impact quantifies and qualifies itself we have to be willing to step up and perform.

Take a chance on yourself and remove your own mental roadblocks from your way. We can be our own worst enemy and a new appreciation of your origin story may help you jettison unnecessary regret, resentment and anxiety. We are all heroes in our own right. Be brave and bold enough to redefine your own story.

Skipping Meat Challenge: Lessons Learned

After six weeks of switching out meat for healthier options, I reintegrated meat back into every meal. The results were good at first but after day three, I could tell the “meat once a day” rule had its value and benefits. Some of the pounds were coming back, which was not a welcomed change, and I seemed to be hungry all the time. The pseudo ovo/lacto vegetarian diet was working out a lot better than anticipated as it gave me way more energy and less lethargic moments after mealtime. I kept falling asleep after super/dinner which solidified my suspicions that eating hamburgers and fries wasn’t going to satisfy me as they once did, causing more problems than they were worth.

Overall, I learned that I wasn’t consuming enough caffeine or good sugars which meant my metabolism was slow and overwhelmed. Cutting carbs helped only when the rest of th nutrients were up to standards, so be careful on how you do so or you’ll end up binging on chips and breads. The body definitely tells you what it needs and wants so pay attention to the cravings and drink lots of water. Most of my failures were due to the fact that my body needed water not food to be satiated. Adding exercise is another key element to feeling powerful under this diet and I got a lot of it while unpacking the move. Now, I need a new excuse to be less of a couch potato especially on rainy days…

We’ll see how I get this ship back on track. Considering Blue Apron has vegetarian offerings, I have no excuses. 🙂

Unboxing the Past, Resetting the Future 

The worst part of moving to a new home when you are in your 30s is letting go of the stuff 20 year old you bought with those first paychecks. Most if the items are still in good condition but you don’t really need them anymore. Some were gifts from people you adore but have outgrown, and/or remnants of the business you left unfinished. Pajamas and knick knacks from Xmas past, the many baby shower and wedding giveaways that weren’t meant to last a decade or two, they all cluttered the new space in a way that was unexpected. Suddenly the meaning behind the keepsake changed; divorces, deaths and moves redefined the life you had planned and gave birth to the life you are now living.

Downsizing the beer and wine bottle collection to relevant pieces was both hard and strange. Surrendering a part of history because it was documented elsewhere was new and difficult. MrEnginerd and I take pictures of everything and document any changes that we observe. Our memory boxes and external hard drive are full of tickets, invitations, cards and mementos of the last 16 years together. It is almost as if we wanted to make sure these waypoints in the timeline were preserved. That there was evidence of the places and experiences we have had, especially those that involved others’ happiness. A few boxes of pure joy and/or deep grief and sadness. We even had a few articles from when we were going to become parents. (See Wrestling Infertility for more details on that journey.)

This new house was meant to be a fresh start. The walls are covered with the items that represent this new incarnation of ourselves. We let go of the old, the worn out and the unnecessary to open up room for whatever the next decades bring to us or take us. If you are one of our friends and are wondering if we kept memories related to you around you are either missing the point of a cleanse or may need some affirmation that we still care. (We do.) After 30 weddings, 50+ showers of all kind and our own milestones, you learn what to keep and from whom. Carrying the weight of remembering all these events was a burden we choose to lighten. We don’t expect people to have our big happy smiling faces on their walls anymore, unless you are our grandparents. 😀 The next time you walk into our house, virtually or otherwise, I hope you can appreciate the evolutionary leap forward we took. These are the wiser, stronger and more sophisticated versions of us. (And hopefully more entertaining and less boring.)
Once the garage sales and such are completed, we will deal with whatever refuses to leave us. Maybe those items will give us a new direction or remind us of roads we left unexplored. Maybe they will become someone else’s bounty when we drop them off at the donation bin. Life defines us in ways we may never comprehend. For now, we will do our best to define our path despite all the unwanted challenges. I sincerely hope the best is yet to come.

Cheers!

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