The Show

For all you Yankees fans out there, and you know who you are, that think the upcoming World Series will be anti-climatic, I just want to remind you that the Marlins weren’t supposed to make it to the playoffs. They also weren’t supposed to beat the Giants in the first round. They surely weren’t expected to get passed those oh so lovable Cubs. The Marlins have proven themselves time and again that they are a very good baseball team.

The World Series will be a battle of the best team money can buy against a team that just doesn’t give up. So, if you Yankistas care to make a small wager on the outcome, I’m all ears.

Oh, and, once upon a time, the Yankees were Fidel Castro’s favorite team. I’m sure he’ll be rooting for you all.

I Feel Special…

The months of anticipation. The special vocabulary diet. The waiting and waiting and baiting. Months of blogging Lamas classes. I feel like a brand new daddy. I’m swelling with pride. Yes! It’s true!

I’ve had my first and very own troll! I’ll name him gvant2000. His measurements at birth were 64.12.96.42. I can’t wait until he becomes literate so I can make Spanish his first language.

I will not, however, be breastfeeding.

UPDATE: My widdle trolly wolly has now been added to the banned IP crib along with the penis enlargement and other spam. He is now in company befitting his stature.

What it’s like to be Cuban…

I’m sitting at home watching the Yankees-Sox game yesterday when I happen to glance out the front window. There’s a black car stopped on the street right where my driveway is. So I stand up for a better view. A girl is standing by the open trunk, early twenties, with a little kid about 7 or 8 next to her.

Damn. She probably has a flat, I say to myself. Now I’m gonna have to help her and miss the rest of the game.

I go outside, sure enough, flat tire. There’s a guy kneeling down by the passenger front tire, struggling. He looks about mid-twenties, kinda buff. He’s strong enough to change a tire, I say to myself again. Now I can finish watching the game. I go inside, pop open a beer and sit down in front of the TV.

Twenty minutes goes by, I look outside again and the guy is still there. Damn.

I go back outside ask the guy if he needs any help in English. He tries to respond in broken, very broken, English. I get to the car and I realize the guy doesn’t know what the heck he’s doing.

Oye,” I say in Cuban. “You put the jack upside down.”

He looks a little ashamed. “I’ve never changed a tire before,” he says.

The girl chimes in,”He just came from Cuba 3 months ago.”

“I’ve never had to change a tire before,” he says. “I’m from Marianao, not many cars there.”

I go to my truck, get the cross iron and try to help the guy take the lug nuts off but some idiot mechanic has used regular nuts to hold the aluminum rims. They were fused. So I go to my shed, turn on the compressor, run air hose to the car, and start to fill his tire. It starts hissing. Damn.

I call and borrow a flat kit from my neighbor. The kind that has a waxed chordlike thing that you insert into this big needle that then gets inserted into the hole in the tire and quickly pulled, thus leaving the wax patch in. I set it up and the guy tells me that I’ve done too much already, that he’ll stab it into the hole in the tire. No problem, I think, as this guy is about twice my size, and fit.

He tries punching the thing in for 5 minutes and nada.

I tell him to take a break, that I was gonna try it figuring I could give him a rest while I futily try to poke the tire. I grab the thing and give it a push and it goes right in.

The guy gives out a little laugh and says “Eso es porque tu te criastes con carne de res. (That’s because you were raised eating beef.)”

Huh?

“We never got any beef in Marianao,” he says, “I’ve only been eating meat for three months.”

“Latino”

I hate the word “latino.” I am not sure where this connotation originated exactly, but whenever I hear it, I feel stereotyped. This term takes every Spanish speaking culture and lumps them together as one. The problem lies in the fact that all of us “latinos” do not speak the same dialect. There are dialectical terms in, for example, Mexico that a Cuban would not know, and vice versa. Our cultures aren’t the same, so why should we all be classified as such?

Of What If’s

I happened to be at my parent’s house when President Bush gave his speech on Cuba from the Rose Garden. I’d just turned on the afternoon news and they were running a segment on the upcoming speech. Dad said Bush was about to talk about Cuba and the embargo.

“No way, dad,” I said. “Its too soon still, maybe closer to the election.” I thought he was hoping the president would talk about Cuba. I mean, I’m a blogger, I’m supposed to know what’s going on. Especially when it comes to Cuba and the politics.

Turns out dad was right.

So we sat there and listened to the speech in English. I didn’t put the Spanish language station on as it’s hard for me to follow in two languages. I could see dad staring intently at the TV, listening to the words in his second language, trying to understand, to translate everything the president of his country was saying.

Then it struck me: What is going through his mind at this very moment? What is he thinking?

Was he remembering Cuba? In his mind, was he a little kid again, running around el Puerto where he grew up? Was he fishing with his dad? Maybe he was recalling the day he met my mother? And how he would go around town with mom on the handlebars of his bike?

Could it have been the day my sister was born, the first baby of the family? Or maybe it was my first birthday? Or a day at the beach with the entire family?
Maybe he was remembering everything he left behind. His mother. His sister which he’d promised he’d see again.

Could he have been experiencing once again that brief glimmer of hope, now in his 70’s, that he had lived through so many times before? That “maybe now is the time” prevalent when you are a Cuban exile?

Somewhere in his mind, was there the memory precise moment he arrived here? A man in the middle of his life, arriving in a new country with only the clothes on his back and his terrified wife and daughter clinging to his arms? His young son crying at the top of his lungs?

Maybe he was thinking about what his life could have been without there ever being a Fidel Castro.

I won’t ever know. But maybe I am just like him. I too wonder what my life would have been like growing up in a free Cuba. Who would I be?

All I really know is that I want to know the place where I was born. I want to see the place where my dad and mom came into this world. I want to breathe it, smell it, taste it. I wanna see where they met, where they married. Where I lived. I want to climb the same trees my dad climbed when he was a boy. I want to fish where he fished, drink where he drank, walk where he walked.

But most of all I want him to stop feeling that pain of what if’s. I want him to live long enough to see that day when his son can go freely to that little town in Cuba. I want him here long enough to hear me tell him the story of my experience. I want him to know how I felt that day, the one where I went to meet my grandfather for the first time, and laid a flower at his grave.

Cuba Sera Pronto Libre

President George W. Bush has just spoken from El Jardin De las Rosas on the Castro/Cuba issue and I am elated. Before an audience of invited guests and Cuban-Americans, the President ensured that he will do everything to not only maintain the embargo, but to police it.

My favorite line?

The enemy of every dictator is truth.

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NO MORE MONEY TO CUBA.

NO MORE TRAVEL TO CUBA ON VACATIONS.

NO MORE ILLICIT ECONOMIC GAINS FROM AMERICANS THROUGH THIRD PARTY COUNTRIES DEALING WITH CUBA.

I fucking LOVE IT.

I kept waiting for him to to say Fuck Fidel.

The Dems should definitely just not even bother trying to carry Florida next year.

Blogger’s Block

I had a writing teacher tell me once there’s no such thing as writer’s block. Said it was just an excuse for lazy writers.

Well, I’ve been sitting in front of this damn pc with the MT page up and ready for input and I can’t find a friggin thing in this brain of mine to blog.

I am experiencing Blogger’s Block?.

Theres a shitload of things I want to say. Tons of topics out there that need to be addressed, commented on and brought to light. But. I. Just. Can’t. Find. The. Damn. Words.

Arrrrgggg. How unbelievably frustrating. Please, someone, come to my rescue. Im drowning in unposted commentary.