Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Taking Life by the...Pillow?

Most of you who know me have been following my road to success watching me writhe in anticipation for the new job while I dragged you through every bloody detail. You saw me freak out before and after the interview, and you saw me lose my cotton pickin' mind when they had the randomly good sense to give me the job and a fat raise.

As I'm in the 3rd week of the new gig and nearing the end of the 1st semester of grad school....I've decided to take a look back at what I have. For so many years I was always looking ahead, never satisfied with what I had. I could never wait for the weeks to be over so I would be one step closer to getting whatever I was doing over with. Whether it was school, a job, Easter, whatever...my mind was always 3 steps ahead of my body.

Right now my current schedule consists of: working full-time, commuting 2 hours a day, going to school 2 days a week, spending whole weekends catching up on homework, and the most important thing- being married! The problem is, I haven't been able to really attend to my duties as a wife and homemaker because the other priorities won't wait. I hardly go to church anymore, and I can feel myself slipping away spiritually.

So I sat back, looked at what I have and decided to do something I never thought would cross my mind: LESS. I already have the dream job and my education helps me with work and I can apply what I learn at school to my job and vice versa, but who says I have to go as fast as possible? So I wrote out a new plan, and basically what I have decided is I can't waste these years wishing they would pass by. I have decided to consciously keep myself in the present and appreciate the suspension.

While I hate to be cliché, I thought I would take this time to truly be thankful at Thanksgiving. These years won't be here forever, and before I know it I will be getting Botox and going through menopause. I think God gives us things and he wants us to be satisfied with them for a little while. I have plenty of time to do the things I want to do and still enjoy my life. I only have half a house worth of furniture, no landscaping, and there are a million projects I haven't finished....I will finish school a year later than I planned and I will have kids when I have them, and that's just fine with me...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cold Weather Potpourri

Well it's that time of year again. The time of year when I'm not satisfied with a normal smelling home which for me is a melange of garlic, onions, candle wax and an occasional dishwasher detergent aroma. No, this is the time of year when I take everything I want to eat and I put it in a pot and boil it strictly for aromatic purposes. It's a lot cheaper than the $20 stuff you get at the store and it feels more wholesome because you made it. Here's my potpourri recipe for late fall:

Tremenda Trigueña's Organic Potpourri Recipe

Fill a sauce pan 3/4 full of cold tap water
Place on stove top over low heat
Crumbled cinnamon sticks (2 or 3)
A punch of cloves (not a pinch)
Orange peels (either fresh or the dehydrated ones you can buy in the spice section)
A dash of vanilla (either extract or whole if you have it)

Let simmer all day long, but make sure to watch the water level. DO NOT leave this on if you leave the house. Yes it's common sense, but you never know who reads this stuff....

***This mixture not only sends a delightful warmth through your home, it also gives off some humidity for those of us who get dry cracked skin in the winter months. May you all have a wonderful cold season!


For those of us who are never satisfied with our lives (and you know who you are) what is it really that could make us sit back, look at our lives and say:

"I want to sit down and appreciate what I have and not pursue much else at this point." ?

In search for this balance I decided to ask myself what my true values are. I don't feel I have been able to keep up with the responsibilities I have before me and before I can understand why, I need to understand what is important to me. I am going to start a series and please note that I am not putting them in any certain order. Depending on the time of year, month, day, etc. priorities may shift but my values will stay the same. At this time of year I tend to be a little more pensive, a little more self-evaluative. If this series in any way resonates with you, feel free to let me know....
I won't publish a part to the series every time I post, but there should be a value posted at least once a week...


Friday, November 11, 2005

A moment to breathe....

Thinking quickly on my feet this week. This is the corporate pace I had heard about but had never picked up until now. Running here and there across the world trying to make meetings that get cancelled or rescheduled left and right. Being directed to make things happen, know the information, and talk to the right people. Haven't had a decent lunch hour yet...but yesterday I took a moment to sit on the edge of the lake and just breathe in the cold air of late fall. I had a chance to reflect and actually look at the foliage, the beauty of all the money that has gone into making this place beautiful. Design is all around me...but if I don't pick my head up and take even 5 minutes to look at it; it will be gone. The leaves of fall are probably my favorite thing about any season. The brilliance and warmth that God paints beneath our skyline every year is better than any turkey, pumpkin pie, or Christmas lights downtown. Nothing is more motivating than crossing my two rivers in the morning watching the fog lap against the gentle currents below and the crimson, amber, and pewter harmonies of the trees reaching up to praise Him who lords over it all....

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Why are They Letting me do This?

I start the new gig tomorrow and I am writhing in anticipation. I had my first official meeting on Thursday with a group of people who are responsible for launching a new product and I am on the planning team. The product is so exclusive and secretive at this point, we are using code words to talk about it. As I sat there and took in all the information going around the table, I thought to myself: "why are they letting me in on this information?" For the first time in a long time I felt important and part of an exclusive group. I will be working on two projects simulaneously; one of which is to streamline the launch of a breakthrough product for my company. All of a sudden I am going from entering orders and sending allocation requests to being part of a highly visible, technologically innovative campaign. You know, you can wait for so long to be part of something and you can dream about it until it seems real, but when it actually happens you step back for a minute to see if you are really awake. Here's to dreams coming true and about to take off....Cheers.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Hijab Chic

By Asra Q. NomaniSlate (U.S.) (October 27, 2005)

“Full coverage,” not your typical fashion show prerequisite, was the theme at a “fashion seminar” recently hosted by Nordstrom at the tony Tysons Corner Center mall in McLean, Va. The show, called “Interpreting Hot Trends for Veiled and Conservative Women,” was perhaps the first high-fashion hijab event sponsored by corporate America. The target: well-heeled Muslim women living in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, where mansions and mosques are filled with rich Muslim immigrants, an increasing number of whom shop at Tysons Corner.
Retailers are specifically marketing to fashion-conscious Muslim women.

The Nordstrom show is part of a growing trend: Western retailers and designers are beginning to market directly to Muslim women. In 2000, for instance, European designers Yves Saint-Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier showed at the International Festival of African Fashion in Niger while ultraconservative Muslims paraded through the streets in protest of the “satanic” presentation. A 2004 Hermes ad featured two women with the dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin of many Middle Easterners and wearing the company’s iconic scarves wrapped around their heads in the Muslim style of hijab. (When asked, the Hermes advertising department would say only that its marketing pitch is “global.”) And a little over a week ago, French designer Judith Duriez, co-owner of the Dubai-based company Arabesque, debuted her fall 2005 collection of “sheilas” (veils) and “abayas” (gowns) for the cloaked Muslim woman. These fashions, traditional long black gowns (the color is one rule Duriez refuses to break), are enhanced by non-traditional accents such as mother-of-pearl trimmings and chiffon ribbons.

Retailers have likely caught on to the fact that conservative Muslim women are as interested in fashion as any other women and that, as a population numbering at least 500 million—an estimated half of which cover up regularly—they constitute a large, and potentially lucrative, untapped market. Indeed, to anyone who’s paying attention, it’s evident that Muslim women are going to great lengths (and in some cases spending a substantial amount of money) in an attempt to reconcile their religious mandate to dress modestly with their desire to look fashionable. Many women interpret the idea of “hijab”—the term comes from the Arabic word “hajaba,” which is translated as “to cover,” and is used generally to refer to modesty, and more specifically, to mean headscarves and formless gowns—quite liberally. They wear Diane Von Furstenberg mini-dresses over Levi jeans or rapper-style do-rags as headscarves. Other women don scarves by designers such as Christian Dior, Hermes, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. And even the traditional dress is no longer black and shapeless but comes in various cuts, colors, patterns, and textures: slim-cut, baggy, silk, chiffon, fringed, fur-cuffed, hand-painted, and even embroidered with rhinestones and feathers.

The trend would be just another marketing gimmick, except that the hijab is not merely an article of clothing, but a politically charged symbol. The hijab, as most people know by now, has become emblematic of an ideological and political movement that promotes a puritanical interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia. In this interpretation, it is “haram,” or illegal, for a women to reveal her arms, legs, or any bodily curves. In the most conservative circles, revealing the face, ankles, neckline, and hands is also verboten. (The Quran, while calling for modesty, does not mandate that women wear hair scarves or long gowns.)

To attend the fashion seminar, I had to go undercover in more ways than one. Nordstrom’s publicity department called the show a “private event” that was closed to the press. When I asked why, I was told the company hadn’t “media trained” its sales representatives. What if, God forbid, a Nordstrom saleswoman pitched a gauzy scarf that left a woman’s hair visible? I’m a Muslim woman, but I don’t cover my hair except when I go into mosques with a hoodie over my head in a look I call “ghetto hijab.” So, at the diner across the street, I draped a hot pink scarf from the Tie Rack over my head and covered my body in a flower-patterned Nine West trench coat—more Grace Kelly than hijabi Muslim, but it worked—and prepared to see what Nordstrom thought was in fashion for the veiled-and-shrouded set.

The morning of the event, about 100 women—their hair covered by scarves, their bodies cloaked in abayas or burqas, and at least two of them with their faces fully veiled—pulled into the Tysons Corner parking lot in Volvos, BMWs, and Lexus sedans. In liberal Muslim circles, these women are sometimes derisively called “hijabis.” The chicest among them—those who wear silk Hermes scarves and long Barneys jackets—are dubbed “fashionable fundies” (as in “fundamentalists”). The women call themselves “muhajabah,” or “women of hijab.”
Muslim women number at least 500 million—an estimated half of which cover up regularly—which means they constitute a large, and potentially lucrative, untapped market.

Of course, the most puritanical Muslims would say that hijab is not meant to be flashy. According to these men and women, it’s supposed to be the sartorial equivalent of a burlap sack, not a trimly tailored Anne Klein jacket. It’s supposed to be black, not trendy colors like fuchsia and teal. Preachers from New Jersey to California rail at the pulpit against women who put too much fashion in their hijab. To quote one rant on a conservative Muslim Web site: “Everyday we see our Muslim sisters proudly displaying names and initials on their clothing. … What are they advertising? CD, YSL, D&G,”—as in Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana—”How ironic that the most modest of dressing—the cloak and scarf—should become contaminated by advertising the names of some of the most shameless and perverted people in the world.”

But women will no doubt continue to thwart such dictates in a desire to look stylish while remaining pious. And it may be Muslims themselves, versed in the nuances and requirements of the hijab, who will be best equipped to introduce it to the world of high fashion. Next month, on Nov. 10, Femmes Arabes, a magazine for Arab women, will sponsor a fashion show in Montreal featuring caftans—long flowing garments popular among Muslim women in North Africa—designed by five Canadian designers and five Arab designers; it held a similar show last year. And Eve N Black, a Dubai-based boutique founded by Muslim fashion designer Mohammad Bahrami, sells abayas that cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 and are often displayed with matching shoes and purses. (If she spends $6,500 or more, a woman can get a copyright for her personal abaya design.)

If the Nordstrom event made one thing clear, it was that it’s not easy to combine high fashion with religion. While one woman walked away with a long orange duster sweater, women on both sides of the figurative catwalk were grumbling unhappily. A Moroccan woman found a black polka-dotted top inappropriate because of its “three-quarter-length sleeves.” Sleeves, according to the strictest standards of hijab, must extend to the wrists. A George Mason University law school student groused that a black Anne Klein skirt was “too short” because it hit the calves. A young scarved woman became frustrated that she wasn’t able to find “an A-line skirt without a slit.” And the Nordstrom cashiers mumbled to each other they weren’t ringing up enough sales. Indeed, the fashion seminar, to borrow a phrase from the fashion world, was a definite miss.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Who's the Boss?

Yes folks, I am tackling the age-old question that has been the cause of millions of divorces the topic of every other screaming match that plagues married couples everywhere:
"When both partners work equal hours, earn equal pay, and are equally as busy, whose job is it to keep the house clean?"
Now, the obvious answer to some people (who aren't married) is probably: "each person should share an equal role because we have gotten away from gender stereotypes and men should understand that women are just as capable of earning money as men are of performing domestic duties both inside and outside the house"
For those of you who agree with the above statement, good for you. You have successfully fallen asleep and entered the happy place I like to call...La La Land. For those of you who are married and don't pay a housekeeper to tidy up, how many times has this been an issue?
As a woman who is in the above situation, I am reminded on a regular basis that no matter how much I make, what kind of grades I bring home, and how well I am doing with the little time I do have that I'm just not measuring up because I haven't washed, folded, and put away every article of clothing in the house, there are dishes that need to be washed, and I have jewelry laying out on top of the dresser. My response is "things are different now, and I simply don't have the time or energy to keep the house ready for an unannounced Sunset Magazine photo shoot". This, of course, was solved ever so gently with the 3 words that should throw anyone into oblivion: "You don't try."
I suppose my question now is: "When will I be good enough?" When are men satisfied? Why is it that I should be satisfied and "just know" that my husband loves me and adores me just because he goes to work and comes home everyday (even though he has refused to verbalize it without provocation) but when I do the very same I have "forgotten I have a husband". I wonder what could remind me....anyone have any ideas? I suppose 3 phone calls a day, a weekly nosegay and original poetry on perfumed stationery? Maybe then I would remember! If any of you have some input I would LOVE to hear it. I got in this game SIX years ago and have been in a dead heat every since.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Birthday Hotties

My 29th B-day
Friday October 21st 8pm
-My House-
Can you say the hottest chicks in the world? (OK, maybe in the NW)
Don't nobody love us like we love us!

Friday, October 21, 2005

29 Años de Vida

Today I am 29, feelin' fine, not quite a dime, more like $9.99. (OK, my rap career is going nowhere)

I woke up this morning at 7am and started on some homework, but I couldn't concentrate. Today is the first day of my countdown to 30 and I had some serious life reflections to handle. I sat down and wrote a 5 year plan. Now that all my ducks are in a row I can actually look ahead into the future and plan my life. Not my career, not my education, but my life. I can realistically plan on when I want to have children; and for me that puts it at about 34.

When I started thinking about it, I realized I have a lot of very serious decisions to make about my health, my finances, my home, my reproductive future....and it made me cry.

While I don't want to bore you with the same old "I'm a career woman who is facing the societal pressures of whether to have a child or not" line, it became very real to me. 34 is not old, but it is much older than my friends who do have children. No, they are not pursuing masters degrees or six-figure salaries...but the thought of waiting all that time and possibly not being able to have them scares me. It wasn't until a year and a half ago that I decided I really wanted to have children one day. Before that, it was about 30% yes, 70% no. Now I would say it's 100% yes, just not right now.

I am happy with my choice to get ahead in life, but I really like babies too. I suppose 5 more years will fly by with all the things I am taking care of these days....Either way, God will take care of me as He always has.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Things I Liked, Things I Didn't

So I am on Fall break from school this week, so that means I just have to work 40 hours and go home as opposed to working 40 hours, rushing to school, drinking 7 cups of coffee a day, and freaking out because I have no idea what the prof is talking about.
Being on Fall break means I was able to do just about anything I wanted this weekend, which for me included:

1. Watching about 20 hours of makeover shows
2. Going to Target and buying some necessities like razors, multiple toothbrushes, and some new, grownup-looking dish towels
3. Throwing away at least 3-5 items of clothing after each makeover show
4. Vacuuming my WHOLE house (this happens a lot less that I would like it to, but please don't judge me for it)
5. Painting the 6 little patches in the bathroom so my husband can install the towel racks I bought 6 months ago
6. Driving to the river to stare at it and wonder how I am going to manage all the 10 million responsibilities I have taken on
7. Hanging out with the homegirls and the new baby nephew

*What I liked this weekend was when I went to Target I heard this little girl crying to her mom about how she "had too many toys" and she wanted to give them away to other kids who needed them more than she....not your everyday occurrence; kids can be great sometimes.

**What I didn't like was on one makeover show this young Marine's wife was getting a makeover because she had recently lost a lot of weight and he hadn't even commented on it. She hoped that "maybe with a makeover my husband will notice me"....What a friggin' a**hole. I actually cried thinking about all the work she put in to lose the weight and he doesn't even have the decency to support her or say anything. It took me back to some very hard times, but at least I am not a stay-at-home mom whose life revolves around her kids' and husband's well-being and approval.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005


A 72% raise.
72% of what I make right now will be added to my salary and that's what they're actually going to pay me. I am not sure that I have fully digested (and I'm sure I won't until I get my 1st check) what I found out yesterday. I honestly thought 50% at the most (that was a reasonable estimate) but they gave me more than I ever dreamed they would.
I have worked full time since I graduated from college (as many of us have) and I started thinking back to where I started out......

  • Graduated from college
  • Moved home
  • Planned a huge Greekarican wedding in 3 months
  • Got married
  • Lived in a renovated chicken coop for $280/month
  • Worked as an On-Call Crisis Residential Counselor at the local juvenile detention center


  • Moved to ActionJacksonville, North Carolina
  • Spent a year in the military projects
  • Got hired as an insurance agent
  • Got sexually harassed as an insurance agent (by my boss)
  • Failed miserably as an insurance agent
  • Got fired
  • 2 weeks later went back to my true love of fixing kids whose parents screwed them up


  • Moved back to the NW
  • Lived in a couple decent apartment complexes
  • Worked in an alternative high school fighting ornery kids who didn't like outsiders
  • Grant was up for previous job, position ended
  • Went to work in another alternative school, this time with respectful kids who loved learning


  • Got promoted to coordinate a career and higher ed prep program for great public school kids


  • Went to Miami in the midst of a serious life crisis
  • Saw the whole world in front of me and for the first time; knew it could be mine
  • Came home, started business classes-loved them!
  • Worked a day job, bartended on the weekends, and went to school
  • Got tired of that really quickly


  • Got hired with the company of my dreams
  • Took the GMAT, applied to grad school


  • Bought my first house
  • Got into grad school
  • Got hired for the job of my dreams
  • Cannot believe how incredibly blessed I have been.....

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Alright Rocko!

Everyone said I would do it but I wasn't sure. Everyone believed in me, but I had a shadow of doubt looming over my head. The day after my interview I could actually hear the devil laughing at me...
But Friday morning, Friday morning a little past 9am I went to check my phone messages and I had 2 voice mails and a page from the Recruiter. I didn't even take the time to swallow the lump in my throat before I dialed her number. Thank God she answered right away and:

R: "Are you sitting down?"

TT: "No, but I will"

R: "It's you"

TT: "Shutup."

R: "No, it's you TT"

TT: "Are you serious?"

R: "Yes. They were very impressed with both candidates but your work experience and knowledge of the Latino market really impressed them. It's ok, you can cry!"

TT: *pause* "I'm just trying to breathe"

R: "Well I'm really glad I was the one who got to make this phone call"

TT: "Me too!"

R: "So the next steps: the hiring manager will make a call to your supervisor next week to determine when's the best time for you to start, then she will be calling you with an offer. Since this is a promotion from A to B tier, there are some things we will have to do to get your salary to up to where we want to you start you, but I think you will be very pleased with our offer"

TT: "Sounds good!"

R: "Congratulations"

TT: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!"

I have finally arrived. All my hard work, night sweats, caffeine-induced hallucinations, accounting exams, crazy phone calls to Miami, acceptance to grad school, and late nights rumbeando finally paid off. This year has been one of the most landmark years of my life, and all before my 29th birthday.

  • February I bought my first house
  • March I was accepted to the #1 MBA program of my choice
  • October I was hired for the job of my dreams

Can I be stopped? At this point I don't think anyone can plant a seed of doubt in my head. All the people who looked at me like a call girl "trying to get into acting" when I told them I was "trying to get into Marketing at Company X".....they will surely gawk in amazement when they find out that I have.

So here's how it works: for the next 2 years I will be rotating to a different Marketing department every 4 months. I will be assigned a project and I will have to come up with a solution. A business problem? For me? Nooo.... ;) I am so insanely excited I cannot wait to start. No more: "Hey Tremenda, can you enter this order for me? My system is down. (i.e., I don't feel like it)" or "Can you cancel 62% of every 3rd line on this order?" or "I'm sorry you (or your team) won't be invited to the sales meeting this time, you're just not important enough!"

Now it will be: "Tremenda, we've got a hell of a problem and we know you're the only one who can solve it. Here's a box of donuts and a year's worth of coffee. -Go." and "Great job Tremenda. The advertising campaign you put together just made us 26.3 million dollars. As a reward, you will be having dinner with the CEO to discuss your vision for the Latino market. Whaddya say?"

Jeez, I tell ya I will really miss being everybody's b*tch in Customer Service, but now I will be a high-heel wearin', Versace tote carryin' PAID b*tch.

Life is good, people. Very, very good.

Monday, October 3, 2005

School Supplies are in Full Bloom...

It's only October 3rd and I had to wear my wool coat today, it's freezing! I have to say, I am relieved that Fall is here this fast. It is my favorite time of year for several reasons, but here are the primaries:

1. Fall Fashion (need I say more?)
2. I was born in October (Accepting presents all month long)
3. Maple leaves make me nostalgic
4. I get to buy new clothes (refer to #1)
5. An excuse to stay inside the house and not feel guilty about not "enjoying the weather"
6. Anything to do in the warm weather in Oregon involves rock climbing, hiking, parachuting, or going without civilization for several days...and there is no beach here worth talking about.
7. I like wool more than linen
8. I can use the gas fireplace in my new house!
9. It gets dark at 7:30 so I have an excuse to be in bed by 8
10. I have never gotten over the school year cycle. My New Year starts in September, not January.

I am actually in school this year, so I am feeling in synch with the universe...or at least the big yellow school buses.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Stuck in a Rut

Estimados Señores:
Working on some high-level marketing homework and at the point of desperation. I am fearing inadequacy in the worst way and I know that's the last thing that will help me to finish this thing. I've had about 6 cups of coffee today and it's wearing off...Another cup might just blow a fuse and that would not be good. I have to meet with a colleague tomorrow at noon to exchange and review each other's projects. I have a feeling mine will pale in comparison and I won't get an A on this portion....why the hell wasn't I this anal in undergrad???

P'al carajito me voy, me voy, me vooooyyy....
In other news, my other half just informed me that he will be applying to go to Kuwait to train Iraqi police officers for 6 MONTHS. Just freakin' peachy with créme fraiche. Coñazo del diablo con legiones de demonios...Of course nothing is set in stone, but do I really need this stress? I will have to keep myself VERY busy during that time to keep my mind off of oh I don't know, DESTITUTE SOLITUDE?
More random ramblings...feeling insecure about my writing. I guess I'm not producing the level of quality I used to since people who once read my blog faithfully don't anymore...but I suppose my focus has shifted and I really don't pay much attention to theirs so it works out in the end.
Found a suit for the interview on Wednesday. A grey wool Caslon (Nordstrom brand) pant suit-trouser leg which is currently being altered for perfection. Looking forward to getting this interview over and done with. I will, of course, study and rehearse until my eyes bleed.
As long as the hemorrhaging stops by 4pm on Wednesday I'll nail it.
I probably need to eat something right now, I think the malnutrition is going to my head, or not...OK. Done. Now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Quantitative Thinking for Dummies

As I come to the end of the 1st month as an MBA student, I am really starting to understand where I come up short and what I need to work on. I got an OK score on the GMAT- enough to get me into the school of my choice but nothing to brag about. The problem is I was highly skewed on my skill sets. Let's put it this way: on the verbal section I was in the 82nd percentile, on the quantitative I was in the 25th. Now, as I am tackling subjects such as Operations Management, the quantitative skills are sorely lacking and I am scrambling to figure out how to be a math whiz before the final in December. From a conceptual standpoint, math is not that difficult for me. The problem is I don't automatically think in quantitative terms, and it is a huge problem. I found a book online that people have raved about in the reviews, but it is backordered to late November. I need to be smart now. It is totally apparent to me that quantitative thinking is one of if not the most important skill in the business world, I just need to learn how to translate information into those terms.

My passion is marketing. Even though on the outside marketing looks like pretty colors, glossy magazine spreads, and catchy jingles, there are numbers behind each and every one of those components. Research is something I devour, but being able to solve business problems with an equal balance of soft and hard data is a little more challenging to me. I am going to do whatever I need to do to learn the skills I need including reading books outside the assigned class materials just so I can catch up.

I am competitive, but internally more than externally so. I didn't care or try as much as I should have in undergrad so I am making up for it now..... I hate to admit it, but I have a lot to prove to myself and the rest of the world. Will anyone really take that much notice when I accomplish these things? Probably not, but I will tell you that I heard some information yesterday that reminded me of my potential success. The President of U.S. Operations at my company started out in my position (Quasi-Peon). He is also an Italian-American, which if for nothing else makes me proud of my heritage and shows me that even we wops can make a (legitimately) decent life for ourselves.

As far as the job front goes, remember the project I was doing for the dream job I applied for in JUNE? Well, I finally got an interview and it's scheduled for next Wednesday. I will be swinging by Ann Taylor Loft this evening to purchase a new suit and Aldo to get some classy professional shoes. The recruiter said they loved my project, and I am only competing with ONE other candidate who just happens to external. Survey says: odds are in my favor as an internal candidate. Now hold on a minute there, I didn't say I had the interview dialed...but I do have the questions and I will be studying everything I can like a maniac until 4 pm next week. I've said it before and I'll say it again, success is right around the corner and it is going to taste like a cold Malta India on a hot summer day. Keep me in your prayers folks, I need all the love I can get!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fulanito- ¡Presente!

I know I said I was going to post a picture of the Fulanito concert, and here it is! From left to right: Pickles, La Otra Ajena, Edwin, Me, Dose, and Jay "El Boricua" half-pictured. (That's the quality you get from a drunk Venezuelan photographer/security guard). Had a great time kickin' it backstage with the crew...not an everyday occurrence here on the Oregon Trail! Looking forward to getting them out here for a corporate event next year, we'll see! Well, at least I felt like a movie star for a few hours....let's hope for more of this in the future.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Because I'm a Marketing Nerd....


• “Between 2000 and 2001, half of all new consumers in America were Hispanic.” 1

• "Miami is quickly becoming the biggest offshore center for private banking and real estate. Historic low interest rates and perceived stock market instability have further pushed high net-worth South Americans, fleeing political strife, to put their money not just in Miami bank accounts, but increasingly in residential and commercial real estate..." 2

• “Dollars spent by advertisers in the Hispanic market may be more profitable than dollars spent in the general market…” 3

• The US Hispanic market is richer than any Spanish-speaking country in the world, with purchasing power of $580 billion. 4

• Hispanics are an attractive marketing audience because they tend to spend more of their disposable income on goods and services than non-Hispanics. 5

• For US Hispanics, advertising in Spanish is five times more persuasive than advertising in English. 6

• Hispanic household income has doubled during the past decade and US Hispanics consume more products per household than non-Hispanics. 7 Top categories include: automotive, telephone, cellular, food & beverage, personal care, and apparel. 8

• Hispanics read magazines at the same rate and for the same amount of time as non-Hispanics (between 66% and 68%). They are the group most likely to read print media. 9

• “Hispanic magazines in the U.S. are gaining ground. In 2003, advertising revenue surged by 23.7% and the number of ad pages increased 6.5%... according to Hispanic Magazine Monitor...” 10 far outpacing growth of general marketpublications. 11

• "The number of Hispanic households earning more than $100,000 a year grew 126 percent between 1991 and 2000,compared to 77 percent for the general American population.” 12

HISPANIC PURCHASING POWER1 Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), “The Right Spend II”2 Charles Davis, Private Banker International, July 2002 US Hispanic Market3 USA Today4 The Selig Center, Terry College of Business, April 20025 Magnet White Paper “Marketing to the U.S. Hispanic Population, Part I: An Overview”6 Roslow Research Group, “Advertising Effectiveness Among Hispanics”7 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Customer Expenditure Survey8 The Hispanic Consumer Market Report, DRI/McGraw-Hill9 Strategy Research Corporation, 2002 US Hispanic Market10 Hispanic Market Weekly, January 19, 200411 Media Economics Group12 HispanicOnline.com, “Affluent Hispanics” Jul 11, 2003
- Subha B arry, Multicultural and Diversified Business Development Group , Merrill Lynch

404 Washington Avenue, Suite 650 • Miami Beach, Florida 33139 • Tel: 305.532.2544 Fax: 305.531.2132

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Los Angeles' Hip-Hop Summit Tells Young Adults To 'Get Their Money Right'

Tuesday - September 20, 2005By: Jay Casteel

On Saturday (September 17), the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) held their Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit, where they urged young adults to "Get Your Money Right," via a discussion with a celebrity panel -- the main topic being financial empowerment.Hosted by Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President/CEO of HSAN, the Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit was free to the public and included the likes of Xzibit, the D.O.C., Jalissa of BET's "106 and Park" and Sheehan from "Def Poetry Jam" to help do away with poverty by educating young adults about managing their finances and the importance of maintaining their assets."We're not only trying to inspire some people today, but hopefully motivate some of our young brothers and sisters on the right financial path," Dr. Benjamin Chavis said to reporters at Saturday's Summit. "If we want to talk about ending poverty, to end poverty, you have to get your finances right, get your money right and get your mind right."A big supporter and title sponsor of the Hip-Hop Summit over the past month has been Chrysler Financial. For the first time, one of the world's leading financial institutions has partnered with the HSAN to help young people build a solid financial future. Russell Simmons, Chairman of HSAN and William F. Jones, Jr., Vice President of Chrysler Financial have pledged to work together to coordinate this national campaign under the theme "Get Your Money Right.""We're Chrysler Financial and when you talk about the theme of Financial Empowerment that's what we're all about," Chrysler Financial Vice President's William F. Jones, Jr. told BallerStatus.net."We want to help people realize their dreams. And it’s so important for young people to understand the importance of starting out right, keeping their money right and taking care of business. That's what's gonna help them realize their dreams down the road."The Los Angeles Hip-Hop Summit was the seventh and final Summit of the tour, and is part of an unprecedented national campaign to raise awareness among millions of young adults 18-35 about the importance of financial literacy.Before any of the celebrity panel could talk about the topic at hand, up-and-coming R&B group, One, performed acapella before an LA crowd, after which, Dr. Chavis took stage to begin the program's agenda: financial literacy, basic banking, repairing and understanding credit scores, asset and wealth management, auto financing, home ownership and entrepreneurship."Money is easy to get, but it's harder to keep," Xzibit said before those in attendance at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater. "It's important to get your economics right because we live in a society that thrives on the money that we make and the taxes that we pay. So, if you can't take care of yourself financially, you can't take care of nobody around you. That's how important it is for your very life to have your money right. Everything that we do revolves around dollars and cents. So, if you don't have that correct, you won't be able to survive in this society."Others such as the D.O.C. and Dro (Russell Simmons' first artist under his Russell Simmons Music Group label) spoke about their own life experiences and how it related to being in control of your financial status.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Una Musulmana Gana el Concurso de Miss Inglaterra

En el mundo de la ironía, Hammasa Kohistani, una musulmana nacida en Uzbekistán, de apenas 18 años y participante como Miss Maya, fue la ganadora del concurso de belleza en el Reino Unido, obteniendo la corona de Miss Inglaterra sobre otras 39 oponentes.
Kohistani, cuya familia vivió en Afganistán tras ser desplazados por la guerra, es la primer chica musulmana en ostentar el máximo título de belleza en Inglaterra. Hammasa Kohistani participará en el Miss Mundo en el mes de Diciembre, concurso que se realizará en China.

Moraleja: La belleza no sabe de religión
En el concurso de belleza que se llevó a cabo en el Teatro Olimpia de Londres, cuatro de las cinco finalistas eran musulmanas. Incluso, en días previos al evento se mencionó a Miss Nottingham, Sarah Mendley, como una de las favoritas a la corona, sin embargo, la actual reina resultó superior."Estoy haciendo historia y estoy contenta por eso. Espero no ser la última", fueron las primeras palabras de Hammasa Kohistani externando el orgullo de su origen musulman frente a la prensa inglesa.Vestida en un traje de noche de seda color marfil, vestido que diseñó su madre, Hammasa Kohistani de 18 años externó su alegría de haber ganado la corona."Cuando anunciaron que había ganado, no escuché bien. Pensé que no era yo y me tomó un segundo sincronizarme", dijo la también modelo.La morena que habla seis idiomas, incluyendo Ruso, Persa y Francés, ya ha recibido ofertas para aparecer en una película del llamado "Bollywood". Entre las participantes que derrotó Kohistani, se encontraba otra participante musulmana, Sarah Mendley, 23, quien era la representante de Nottingham. Miss Mendly de origen iraquí, fue señalada como favorita para ganar el Miss Inglaterra, pero también fue criticada por un instituto islámico de Liverpool, mismo que pidió que abandonara el concurso debido a que las participantes portaban vestidos escandalosos.Ahora, la ganadora Hammasa Kohistani deberá prepararse para el siguiente concurso de belleza Miss Mundo, a celebrarse en diciembre en China.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Signs of Intelligent Life Might Exist on the Anti-Bush Front

I caught this article today on AdAge.com , it is one of the first anti-Bush articles I can truly relate to. I was a little miffed about the "You're doing a great job Brownie" remark as well. I understand that it was not solely a state or federal problem, but to tell FEMA they were any more than steaming piles of bureaucratic horse sh**, is horrific at best.

September 12, 2005
By Simon Dumenco

The last couple of weeks we’ve been learning some truly awful, unbearable lessons. But one of the lessons has been perversely prosaic: PR only goes so far. Not only have we been parsing anew the limits of public relations, but the limits of people who have become perilously, mindlessly dependent on PR in place of action. Their leadership limits, their moral limits.
When George Bush made his first, belated stop in New Orleans, touching down at the city’s airport, he actually viewed his visit as an appropriate occasion for a little light comedy. Here’s the official White House transcript: “I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans. (Applause.) I believe the town where I used to come, from Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself -- occasionally too much (Laughter.) -- will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to. That’s what I believe. I believe the great state of Louisiana will get its feet back and become a vital contributor to the country.”
It was, of course, just the latest highlight in his career as chief marketing officer for the Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld neo-con agenda. It’s a job that entails always sticking to a breezy, upbeat storyline.
It’s no surprise that Bush took this PR-trumps-action tack for Katrina. For much of his five years in office, he’s seen that putting a faux-cheerful, faux-hopeful spin on even the worst calamities (see also: the war in Iraq) meant that a cheerful, hopeful spin would automatically float to the top of the memepool, at least momentarily. If he kept repeating these faux-cheerful, faux-hopeful things ad nauseum, he’d have a great shot of at least partially obscuring all the actual rotting nastiness lurking below the surface.
Of course, the problem post-Katrina is that, unlike Iraq -- where journalists are no longer in the thick of things (with most abandoning the idea of embedded reporting) -- New Orleans had real journalists showing us the reality behind the rhetoric. And enough of them were sufficiently appalled at the government inaction that they basically ended up begging the feds, on the air, to come to the rescue. (Of course, that didn’t stop FEMA from issuing an absurd directive last week that journalists avoid showing dead bodies during the recovery process. Anybody who’d seen Oprah Winfrey’s Sept. 6 show, which offered devastating close-ups of victims’ bodies being left to rot, will feel outrage at the agency’s hapless, belated attempt at covering up just how murderous its glacial response was.)
On the very day the levees were about to give way in New Orleans, the buzz in medialand was about a Miami Herald article linked on Jim Romenesko’s media site. Romenesko summed it up thusly: “Is journalism in danger of losing its young idealists to PR? Edward Wasserman says young people want to do something ‘active’ -- to make things happen instead of reacting to events the way they do in newsrooms. ‘Students come back from summer PR internships with exciting tales of scanning the next day’s papers for stories they helped bring about,’ he wrote."
That’s where our heads have been in this country, and that’s where the president’s head is: PR is considered action, while actual action is an afterthought. Which is why Bush was able to publicly say to FEMA Director Michael Brown, with a straight face, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Whereas Bush & Co. have mostly been able to explain away troop shortages and strategic errors in Iraq (by simply denying shortages and errors), the troop shortages in New Orleans -- and the calamitous lack of federal strategy and response -- could not be dismissed by the president’s cheerful quips.
Still, all he knew to do was keep up the PR talk, as if leadership were made up solely of spin as opposed to, say, actually leading. And so he continued with the PR-ification of life post-Katrina, uttering this gem from Mobile, Ala.: “Out of the rubbles (sic) of Trent Lott’s house -- he’s lost his entire house -- there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.”
Sure, as Nicholas D. Kristof noted in The New York Times, the deeper scandals are New Orleans’ grinding poverty, and the fact that nationally “the number of poor people has now risen 17% under Mr. Bush,” after having declined sharply under Clinton Administration.
But from the Bush P.O.V., there’s a simple solution for that hateful reality: Sell ‘em something else. Here’s the pitch: close your eyes and imagine Lott, in an SUV, driving to the nearest Home Depot to pick up some TimberTech all-weather composite decking. It’ll be grey. With white railings. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t you, too, like to sit on a porch like that?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

¡Dame el Pollito!

So I put my husband on a plane bound for the Dominican Republic this morning.... the eagle has landed. Now, as much as I adore and cherish my finer half, I must say I am looking forward to a little R&R around the house. I came home and immediately threw 7 pieces of chicken coated with Adobo Goya (con pimienta) to sauteé in extra virgin olive oil for about 5-10 minutes on high heat. I then added sweet onions (cut the whole onion in half then start slicing from the right side so you get something that looks like crescent moons), crushed garlic cloves, and black pepper. I let that sizzle for a few minutes then I add fresh diced tomatoes, 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes (no extra spices included) fresh minced cilantro, white vinegar, ginger powder, and a splash of white wine. To that I added 2 packets of Sazón Goya (con culantro y achiote) and let it boil boisterously for about 10 minutes. I then turn down the heat to simmer and cook the chicken until the meat is almost falling off the bone. I will serve it with yellow rice and a cabbage salad, estilo Dominicano. If I had platanos I would cook those as well, prefiero los maduros quemaditos... (Take that any way you want)
I will leave you with that for now, but know that this evening I will be living like a movie star...yes folks, I will be kickin' it with one of the biggest names in Latin hip-hop/merengue right now...Fulanito. I'll be reporting back tomorrow with pictures, stories, and mucho fanaticismo....(don't ask me if that's a real word, you got the vibe I'm puttin' down, ¿no?)
Ciao for now mis queridos, I will keep you updated on the mayhem I get into this weekend...

Friday, September 9, 2005

A Democrat With Class...

"When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world."
-Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address

Notice he says win the war. Not pull out because of protesters, not cater to the whim of every conspiracy theorist who fancies him/herself a film maker, not pull out because France doesn't like us anymore (oh right, they never did). He also said secure the peace. Now, this doesn't sound like a hot-aired windbag to me. It sounds like he actually understands that a.) war is sometimes necessary and b.) when in war, a country needn't be cuddlycozysnugglebunnies with the enemy so they won't "hate us". Respect does not necessarily come from doing things the way others want you to. Respect comes with consistency, demonstrated respect, and showing you know right from wrong.

Think of the hardest teacher/professor you ever had. Now think about all the rotten things you said about him/her. Think about all the times you cursed and cried because it was just "too hard". Fast forward to today. What lessons did you learn from that person? Do you appreciate the work ethic you earned in that class? How about the pride you felt if your hard work paid off and you actually got a good grade? Well that's war folks. It's not easy, it's not glamorous, and it sure as hell seems like the worst thing we could ever do as a country, but a few million people around the world have been liberated, slavery has been abolished, and fascist dictators have been dethroned as a result.

I am not implying that every war is justified. I am not saying that innocent people don't die. You might say "well if one innocent person dies, that's too many". So they can die at the hands of a megalomaniac, but if they die because their OWN people put them in harm's way and they make it look like we, with plasma-dripping fangs went in and annihilated thousands of civilians as an act of genocide, it's ok? I don't think Saddam Hussein is the only dangerous leader in the world. I do think that the people who use that as a reason to get out of Iraq (if we can't end world injustice simultaneously, then why bother?) would cry bloody massacre if we put the termination of every crazed world leader on our agenda.

I want us to win the war and bring our men and women back just as much as the next red-blooded American, but I do not believe we should pull out without finishing what was started. We need to be honest with ourselves about why we're there, and truly find a way to reach the common goal which is to get in, get out, and bring our people home.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

I Only Roll With the Best!

Not to toot our curvacious horns...but we are a fabulous lot! :)

Aquí Estoy con mi Mafia Cubana

Posin' in the Beer Garden of Salsa en la Calle '05 Portland, OR. Yes, we have a Latino community here, and those brothas are CUBAN. Para que lo sepan....

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Fruitless Efforts

I have been back and forth all this week and last week with different political ranters, activists, citizens, near defectors, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, and the like. I have given myself an ulcer everytime I open up a blog truly wanting to find some tangible, rational, analytical posts. I have found a few, but the ones with absolutely nothing but a bunch of hysterical hot air have really gotten under my skin. I have tried to expose erred logic, blatant propaganda, resistance to change, and ignorance of information. In every case, the hysteria became more chaotic and someone even said "Bush wanted people to die"...and they were serious. I am not sure where all this mania is coming from, even though I know what they would say. I don't think our President is perfect, I don't think he has done everything right, but the demonization of George Bush by not only the radical Left but moderates as well has become absolutely intolerable. I have realized that it is like unleashing a stampede of banshees to suggest support for our President. I realized that people who have an irreconcilable agenda in mind will stop at nothing-including lying to prove their point. Will I vote Republican in the next election? Not sure. Why? Because I have no idea who is going to run. For all the people who thought I "blindly" voted for Bush, here's a clue: I had never voted for the president before because I had never wanted someone to win as badly as I did in 2004. I have never openly supported a presidential candidate in my life, but after seeing Bush's simple, yet sincere efforts to lead our country, he made an ally with me. Now I know I will receive hell in a handbasket for suggesting he doesn't eat his young, but what I have come to realize is I don't care. We will never agree, and I honestly can't wait until this term is over so they will shut the HELL up. I have never wanted to silence people as much as I do now. These are people who claim to want "peace" in the world, but their utter HATRED for one man, their propensity to blame him no matter what he does is totally repugnant. I can't change them, though. I truly hope that the hatred they hold in their hearts is healed by a spiritual intervention but I know that even if Bush was tortured, raped, thrown into a pit of piranhas and skinned alive, they would still not be satisfied. If he cured world hunger, freed all political prisoners, saved the whales, sewed up the ozone, donated a lung to a child in need, he would still be seen as a demoniac with a trumped-up self interest. I'm tired, I'm done, and I am losing respect for their lack of intellectual discourse.

Joe Sets the Record Straight

I know I said I wasn't going to post anything about Hurrican Katrina anymore, but for those of you who are tired of the federal blame game we are playing on the news, please see below.
***You should also check out Joke's rebuttal to those who believe this storm was sent by Bush and his Klan of henchmen.

September 2, 2005 4:26 p.m. ET
A national disgrace (Joe Scarborough)
BILOXI, Mississippi — New Orleans is the city that America has seemingly forgotten and its politicians have let down in its greatest hour of need. And here in Biloxi, a place where, when we traveled around, we couldn't find enough federal agents, enough state agents, enough emergency personnel around to even begin to take care of those young children and elderly adults that are still without food, still without water, still without the most basic of necessities. I have got to tell you, I have been involved in a lot of hurricane relief before, and what I have been seeing these past few days is nothing short of a national disgrace. Those storms started hitting on Sunday, and yet, four full days later, still, we just aren't seeing emergency relief agents on the ground, in the neighborhoods that have been affected the most. There's video that we have been taking all throughout the day of people that simply aren't getting water. They are not getting food. They are not getting the basic necessities. It's a disgrace here. But if you think it's a disgrace here, the situation in New Orleans is beyond description. The Associated Press reported yesterday, “storm victims raped and beaten inside the convention center; 88 officers also beaten back by angry mobs.”The scene in New Orleans keeps getting more apocalyptic by the day, and many Americans on both political sides of the American scene are wondering where Washington politicians and where Louisiana politicians are. As we have said before, the Senate has approved a $10.5 billion relief bill for this devastated area. It's time for that aid to get down here. Also, the House is about to convene, and I am sure they will pass it unanimously. The president will sign it. And, hopefully, that money in Washington, D.C., 1,500 miles away, will make its way down here. As a former Congressman, I understand how difficult some of these situations are. But don't you believe in the coming days that this storm caught people by surprise. We knew in Pensacola, Florida, that this was going to be a killer storm. It was going to be a Category 4. We were saying on Friday, it would be a historic storm. So, any politician in Louisiana, Alabama, or Mississippi that tells you they were surprised, they don't deserve your trust or your vote next time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

¡Déjate el Abuso Peluso!

¡Buen Día a Todos!
Hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day. This will be my last entry regarding Hurricane Katrina for awhile. As most of you, I have been obsessing about what's going on down there, and instead of talking about it I am just going to continue to DO what I can to help. When the smoke has cleared, we can start talking about politics. To be honest, I am tired of talking and tired of people's lack of respect and class. However, one person (a celebrity even) who has impressed me is Miss Macy Gray. She has displayed grace, class, humanity, and the common sense to look beyond whatever she is feeling right now and got to work for the people. Let's give this woman her props everyone; she is a shining beacon among a lot of darkness right now.

Singer Macy Gray Volunteers at Astrodome

The Associated Press© 2005

It wasn't for a concert. R&B singer Macy Gray came to town specifically to help refugees from the flooding in New Orleans.

"I just really wanted to help out," Gray said after spending Saturday handing out clothes and toiletries in the Astrodome. "I think the most important thing to them is their futures. They are here, and they have gotten out of that disaster but it is, like, now what? Because they can't live like that forever."

About 18,500 survivors were housed in the Astrodome and an adjacent meeting hall. More than 120,000 refugees were in 97 shelters in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and dozens of smaller cities across the vast state, Gov. Rick Perry's office said, with another 100,000 in hotels and motels. Uncounted more were in churches or private homes.

"It is crazy when you don't know what is going to happen to you the next day and suddenly that is what their lives are like," Gray said of the refugees.

The Grammy winner said she was able to lift the refugees' spirits and many were excited to see her.

"It is very humbling, but I loved every second of it," Gray said. "It was really gratifying and I had a great time."

With more than 220,000 hurricane refugees camped out in Texas and more coming, Perry warned Saturday that his enormous state was running out of room.

"Texas is committed to doing everything it can to help our neighbors from Louisiana, but we want to make certain that we can provide them with the medical care, food, shelter, safety, education and other services they need to start getting their lives back together," Perry said in a statement. "Local officials are beginning to notify us that they are quickly approaching capacity in the number of evacuees they believe they can assist."

Buses continued to arrive at the Astrodome, where many were redirected to other evacuation centers after people were processed and evaluated for medical conditions. (AP)

Friday, September 2, 2005

New Orleans Hip Hop Community Pulls Together

They're the type of brothas you see on BET spittin' lyrics through platinum-trenched mouths surrounded by bikini-clad bunnies shakin' their goods to a Dirty South twang. To many young people they seems untouchable, stellar even... but Master P. and Juvenile have been affected by Hurricane Katrina and are pulling together to help out their community. They have both lost their homes, and Master P. has not heard from his father or his sister-in-law. He has organized a relief effort called Team Rescue One. If you would like to make a donation to this fund to help the New Orleans community through one of their own, please call 888.886.7377

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Stop the Nonsense: Get on Your Knees

So like most of you, I have been reading coverage of the Hurricane Katrina distaster in Louisiana and Mississippi this week and I don't have words for the heartbreak and desperation I see through my far-from-the-anguish-eyes.

I have seen the biased coverage comparing the "looting" (black folks) and the "finding" (white folks) of food and other goods, I have heard everything from "it wouldn't have been this disastrous if Bush would have ________ blah, blah, blah....

People, when are we going to sit down and shut up for a minute? When are we going to realize that at a time like this the only thing that will have a serious impact is our prayers? Yes, send money to charities, take in your homeless family members and friends, volunteer if you can, but even if you do all those things, take time out to pray.

God sent the rain, and God will dry it up, but all our hot air won't do a thing.

Take time, in silence, to get on your knees and pray. Forgive our brothers and sisters for their acts of desperation (right, wrong, and indifferent) and instead ask God to provide for them and keep them safe.

I've said too much already, God bless our people in need.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

College Girl Gone Wild!

So I did it. Last night I attended my first MBA course, Operations Management. The class, although at first glance sounds like a snorefest, was actually pretty interesting. My current position as Senior Account Services Representative (frilly name for Customer Service Rep) actually has a lot of operational components which related back to the class material.
Everything was going fine until I was reminded I am one of few grad students who goes to night class and the vast majority of people who attend this university are gorgeous undergrads between the ages of 18-24....I didn't work yesterday and my hairdryer broke so even though I have this fantastic new haircut, I looked like a street urchin who couldn't afford Supercuts. I also wore a frumpy outfit that didn't match because I took a nap right before class and basically stumbled around to get ready....I didn't think it would matter since my undergrad years were spent in a public university with people who looked like this:

Well, last night I went to the cafeteria on a break and took a look around...was I in college or a modeling agency? I swear even the register girl was gorgeous! I had the unfortunate experience of having to follow this girl from the cafeteria back to the hall where my class was:

Seriously! The only difference was she had curly hair...I was mortified! I know I'm not in a fashion show, but what is going on? Whoever said all the young girls are getting fatter hasn't been to a private Catholic university lately...Everything is higher caliber. The food, (healthy chicken wraps made to order, bow tie pasta with a veggie marinara sauce that actually had some flavor) the classrooms (flat screen monitors at every desk) the students were confident, savvy, and didn't try to take up time by talking about unrelated nonsense. This may just be typical of most graduate environments, but for this former public school student, this is a whole new world...I actually got giddy learning about operations...what is that?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

My Creed Part II: The Double-edged Sword

I've also seen - and I wish I hadn't - that the revolution, when it's carried out seriously and succeeds, brings forms of injustice and oppression even more abominable than the current ones. I've seen those new forms of injustice and oppression in the eyes and the words of the most sincere, hardest working, most loyal revolutionary leaders. They feel themselves messianic saviors, avatars of history; they think they know my interests, my wishes, my needs, better than I do; they don't consult me or listen to me; they've struck off on their own as my representatives, as vanguards in my struggle; they are paternalist tutors; they pre-configure today that future olympus where they will make all decisions for my well-being and my progress; they'll make the decisions and they'll impose them on me in my name, through fire and blood in my name.

-J.M. Briceño Guerrero

Reading this struck a nerve. I realize this quote can be used to defend the anti-war movement in the U.S. today, and the anti-communist movement across the world. This is how the anti-Bushites see Bush- as a messianic, paternalistic, self-created hero who is acting against the will of the people. This is also how the anti-castristas see Castro- as someone who claims to work in the best interest of his people, and yet when he kills them it is because of "counter-revolutionary activities" and the like...
Over coffee and a German breakfast yesterday, my best friend and I discussed our lack of a political box to fit in. She is a liberal, having grown up in a home with a single mother who put herself through college and grad school while raising two kids in the poorest section of their hometown. Her mother opened the first clinic in the area to serve Spanish-speaking women; out of a broom closet in the projects. My best friend and I often have opposing viewpoints as we had different upbringings, yet in many ways we had similar experiences. She brought up a point- that although she fits much neater into the liberal box than I do into either, she can't stand the paternalism of the liberal movement which is exactly why I can't stand their platform OR the manifestation of their policies.
I believe in self-preservation, but I also believe in government economic stimulus. I understand the economy goes through cycles that not even Alan Greenspan can control, but I also understand that not everyone benefits from those cycles and oftentimes regardless of education and class people find themselves unemployed and unemployable. During the recession in 2001 my husband worked at the Employment Department for the VA. He met with top-level executives who were without work and were overqualified for the jobs that were available. These were people with MBAs, PhDs, etc. who were making 6 figures one week, and the next week trying to figure out how they were going to pay off the debt they owed on their boats, cars, and houses on the river.
What I found interesting was the quickness with which the liberals pointed the finger at George Bush, blaming him for the economic downfall. Since then, there has been a subculture of "blame politics" that, in my opinion, has spun dangerously out of control. This is the economic and political shift that could be the start of a revolution of sorts. As the communist growth in Latin America is now trying to tap into our nation's poor, (Hugo Chavez promising cheap gas in the 'hood, Castro sending African-Americans to medical school in Cuba) there are multitudes who will jump on the train without questioning the source of his newfound "benevolence". It is ironic to me that if it were the other way around, if it were George Bush promising something...people would be screaming bloody murder without batting a lash. It amazes me that with all the anti-Bush stickers, rhetoric, TV shows, politicians, anti-war protesters, (on Bush's PROPERTY no less) we don't have any political prisoners to show for it. Yet countries that violate human rights on their own soil day after day, we embrace their paternalistic policies like kids in a candy store.
It is not my goal to change everyone's politics to match my own. It is my goal to challenge everyone to THINK CRITICALLY. Don't take anything for face value, regardless of the side you are on. Don't believe numbers, statistics, etc. just because they make you comfortable. Don't automatically believe what you hear on TV, the radio, the internet, or anywhere else lest you research it first. Everyone thinks they are the ones with the "real scoop" the "hidden numbers" if you will. Know this- everyone has something to sell, but before you take out your checkbook, look them in the eye and ask yourself if they deserve your time, money, efforts....

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Am I Boring Everyone?

Well I take off for a little vacation and come back to write some posts (sometimes multiple in one day) and NO ONE has said anything....Am I boring? I better get some ideas and FAST!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Partial Transcripts: Pat Robertson

Read the below post to get a new swing on the Pat Robertson controversy. Do I think he's a crazy old coot? Yes. Does what he say make sense? Yep! I know that we can't officially go out and blast some pseudo-dictator, but it DOES make sense. However, the pre-existing paranoia in Latin America would send an army of communists into a whole new meaning of the word "terrorism". It would be a lot harder to distinguish the enemy in this country then, let me tell you.

Partial Transcripts: Pat Robertson

Your Man Can Stand Behind YOU Too...

I was browsing the Miami Herald online this morning and found this picture of Celia Cruz and her wonderful husband Pedro. Celia has long been one of my heroines, a woman who shone brighter than her husband and yet he faithfully stood behind her and supported her all the way. In a country where women are gaining more opportunities to run things (as Pink, the first magazine for professional women details) we have pioneers like Celia to thank for paving the way. As I start my MBA program on Monday, I too will be on the track to professional and personal greatness. With hard work, faith in God and acknowledgment of my own potential, I hope to be a Celia one day. I have a husband who probably struggles with the fact that I may make more money than he does in a few years...I understand the male pride thing, and I understand the instinctual source of it since men have traditionally been the breadwinners in society. However, I refuse to shelter the world from my light or deny that I will box my way through the nay-sayers, shortcomings, or disappointments on my way to that pie in the sky. I grew up watching the Jeffersons and Good Times for crying out loud!

"Movin' on up to the east side, to that deluxe apartment in the sky-hy-hy, moo-hovin' on up, to the east side, we finally got a piece of the pie"

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Watching Sopranos Causes Violence Against Animals

I came home Sunday after a week and a half to find about 20 flies sleazing around my kitchen downstairs...I was mortified. I tore through the kitchen searching for the rotten meat/rubbish culprit (wondering what the hell my husband had been doing or not doing while I was gone) and I couldn't find a thing! I made a sorry attempt to drown them in "ant and roach repellent", but was disappointed to discover it doesn't work on flies.
Last night I came home, cooked some Thai peanut noodle concoction, watched the Sopranos, went downstairs and went to town on those stupid flies. I don't know if it was the Vietnamese Sriracha chili sauce on my noodles, or the guilty pleasure of mafia violence on cable, but I rolled up some junk mail coupons and just started smashing, obliterating, violating every single damn fly in that house. I was screaming, slicing, triple dragon-chopping those poor bug-eyed buzzards to death and you know what? It felt damn good.

Oh yeah, and I bought a silk jacket with rabbit fur trim for $30 at Burlington Coat Factory while I was on vacation. I already have a one-liner ready for any PETA folks that want to hassle me: "I'm not worried about the fur under your arms, so don't worry about the fur on my jacket!"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mortality on the Mayflower

Greetings all! I've been gone for about a week and a half, but between traveling across the country, getting lost in a couple different time warps, and facing 3 generations of mortality- it felt like a month....In that week and a half I saw both sides of my extended family, finished my huge project for work, attended my ex-boyfriend's father's funeral, received a new nephew into the world, had a best friend suffer a miscarriage, and went to my 10 year high school reunion. I am at a loss for a complete toll this chain of events has had on me, but let me start with the Mayflower nursing home on the Cape...

I hadn't seen my paternal grandparents in over a year and a half. The last time I saw them Christmas of '03 they were together in an assisted living apartment. My grandfather wasn't doing well, but he never really has. It is amazing how slow and gradual his descent into aging has been. I have feared he would die for the past 10 years, but he has prolonged his life with all the surgeries and 24 hour care he has received. My grandmother was fine but she was losing her memory. She needed her Honduran CNA/assistant who she calls "Angie" to get her in and out of bed, bathe her, dress her, and clean her house.
I walked into the nursing home on August 12th, 2005 to find seated relics eagerly awaiting their beloved families to walk through the door. So many of them have trouble with their memory and they mix up the days they think their children or grandchildren are coming and they are devastated when they don't show up.
My grandparents are of the few couples that actually live at the nursing home. There were tables upon tables of single women widowed or otherwise in the lunchroom. I wonder how they feel when they find out my grandparents don't even stay in the same room because as my grammy put it "Your grandfather and I separated because I'm tired of being treated like a 2 year old!"....Amazing what you stand up for the first time after 60 years of marriage.
What really hit me was when I went to the exercise class (wheelchair aerobics). I sat and watched my grammy struggle with the stroke-induced paralysis on her left side as she tried to do all the exercises but mostly she just counted really loudly along with the physical therapist. They did this exercise called "Row the Boat" in which a woman to the side of my grammy with an 80th birthday balloon floating above her wheelchair sang "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, I'm about to scream!"
Of the three days I spent with my grandparents I think my grandmother asked me when I was going to have kids about 20 times. I kept repeating "I can't now Grammy, I'm starting my MBA program in a couple weeks" to which she replied "Well, I just hope you don't get endometriosis!" Yeah, me neither....
My grandfather on the other hand has lost a lot of control in his hands as Parkinson's continues to ravage his mental and physical faculties. One minute he's bragging about the Red Sox in being in 1st place, the next minute he's pondering reincarnation. "When you die I don't think you really die, I think you just keep going going going going going going going (rapid hand movement signifying continuation) and you come back as a better person!" I am convinced that Parkinson's has a prophetic effect on the elderly in whom it manifests itself. I am pretty sure my grandfather wishes he could come back a better person, a kinder person to my grandmother, a warmer father to his son.
I got a couple candid shots of him shakingly taking his medicine or sitting in his bed watching the Sox pre-game coverage. I really thought I would get a better chance to talk with him or say goodbye, but when I was getting ready to leave he had to call a nurse to change him and I was rushed out of the room. I was on my way to Lowell, so I knew it was the last time I would see him. As I pulled the curtain aside to say goodbye he gave me a "power to the people" fist as if to pass on his blessings and good fortune, to cheer me on in life, to champion me. As the only grandchild on that side of the family it means a lot to both of us that I was able to see them before they pass on....My grandfather will be 90 years old on November 7th.
....To be continued

El Chiste de la Semana

Un cubano residente en la isla caribeña, le manda el siguiente telegrama a un familiar en Miami:
"Pronto estaré contigo. Te llamaré por teléfono; la balsa estará lista en unos días. -Juan"

Al día siguiente recibe respuesta telegráfica desde Miami:
"¡No te atrevas!El Estrecho de la Florida es peligrosísimo. Cientos mueren en camino.Ahora el Gobierno Americano está devolviendo a los balseros. La Florida está muy mala. Acabamos de tener cuatro huracanes en menos de un mes, hay mucho desempleo... mucho crimen. Ahora mismo estoy mirando desde el balcón de mi penthouse en Miami Beach, que en la playa un perro estámordiendo a un negro. -René"

Esa misma noche recibe otro cable de Cuba:
"Me atreveré. Más peligroso es estar aquí esperando una muerte segura. En este instante estoy mirando desde mi barbacoa, que en la calle un negro está mordiendo a un perro. Voy aver si me deja un pedazo."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Fulana de Tal...

So it's done. Project is finished, FedExed and delivered yesterday at 10:20 am PST. I am in Massachusetts right now visiting my family. I went to Cape Cod last Thursday and came up to Lowell on Sunday night. I have been hanging out with Yia Yia and my cousins, it has been great to see my family. Sometimes I wish I lived here, I have always had a weird thing about not having grown up around my extended family....I guess I felt like a part of me was missing back west...
So here's to the title of this entry. Since I sent this project off, I have realized a few things. I am currently an unkown nobody, a "what's her name?" if you will. I am proud of the work I did, and I am praying it will get me noticed in some way, but I realized that in the grand scheme of things I am pretty insignificant. I suppose that's OK, I am not looking for great fame, but it's just so funny that in the end no matter what we do for work and how much we put into it, we truly remain relatively nondescript in the big picture.
On the other hand, I cannot wait until next week! I will find out then if I get an interview, and I am so excited!!! I have a good feeling I will, since the last time I checked I was only one of 2 internal people who made it to the phone screen. I don't know if the other internal person made it, but we'll see!
In other news, I have my 10 year high school reunion this weekend...kind of anxious. I haven't seen some of these people since graduation and I am curious to see what they all look like and what they've done with their lives! Too bad I couldn't waltz in with my fancy new job title in hand but I suppose it'll keep me humble for now. Saw the list of folks and the high school boyfriend has a "maybe" next to his name. I saw him a few years ago at Christmas, we went out to lunch. He is in the Airforce still and I'm thinking he will make a career out of it, he never has been too much of a motivated character. I, on the other hand am not in the greatest shape but I don't plan on wearing a bikini to this thing either! Let's just hope this zit clears up before Friday....Happy Wednesday all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dios me bendice más que merezco....

You guys, I can't even articulate how blessed I am this week. No, I haven't gotten the job yet, but I have gotten SO much help from people that has really saved me time. From the wonderful people in the city of Miami, to the co-worker (una angelita de los cielos de verdad) who has basically supplied me with the statistical information, budget outline, and presentation framework, to my sister who is designing all the artwork on this project, to my pops who is an organizational genius, God bless you all. I had to keep myself from shedding tears of gratitude at work because I could barely believe what has happened today...I have to go back to work, but just know that things are good for me..very, very good.
Agios o Theos, Agios Ischiros, Agios Athanatos e lei son i mas....Amin

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Lost in the Salsa...

Me in Miami Beach, June 2003, 6 am (I spent the night on the beach como una turista ignorante y loca, pero sobrevivi!) I have never felt so alive than when I was in Miami...

So I am sitting here trying to start this project and I have been on the phone all day with Miami people. Everyone from Power 96 DJs to Fulanito's agent to the City of Miami Beach's special events dept. Why you ask? Because I am doing a hypothetical project for a job interview and I have to put together an integrated marketing plan for an event in Miami. When the job recruiter told me what the project was, I almost came out of my skin. Miami is my favorite city in the U.S., it embodies everything I love. The rich ethnic etouffé, the electric pianos over congas, the tangas, the mansions, the power...I love it all. I feel like God is bringing so many things into my path, I can hardly believe it. The job title has changed now, it's not Marketing Specialist anymore. It will be "Assistant Brand Manager"...SEXY...If I have the word manager in my title I might just grow a pair of new tetas to wear when I want to floss...I'm telling you, this project might give me the edge I'm looking for. My creativity, my vision, my writing, my energy- all wrapped up into one. I am just trusting God that He will do what He needs to do and hopefully I'm part of that plan.
I will tell you though, at this point in my life I feel UNSTOPPABLE. I dare anyone to tell me different. Here I go people, watch out!

Thursday, August 4, 2005

“What is an American?”

*This is from the Universal Spectator by George Moneo, contributor to BabalúBlog among others.
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
Original content Copyright © 1991–2005 The Universal Spectator All Rights Reserved Fair Use Notice

Adidas buys Reebok!

El Guapote de Abert Pujols ¡Qué Dominicanazo!

Look here and see how Nike will have it's work cut out...we can do it though! One quote that kills me is:

"This is really exciting; it is the first time in that Adidas really has a shot to seriously challenge Nike, which is weak right now from management problems," said Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO of marketing strategy company Vivaldi Partners.

What the hell? What management problems? We just acquired one of the best CEOs in the country, (Bill Pérez) who is a mastermind at international branding...I have no doubt in Nike's ability to stay at the top. A little competition is healthy, it keeps us on our toes, always evolving, always innovating.

¡Ya no más!

Please read George Moneo's Declaration of Independence for the longsuffering people of Cuba. He has truly written a beautiful piece and inspired the minds and wills of those who fight injustice and the degradation through our intellect and prose. Thanks for this George, por que ya no más soportamos las tonterías del tírano de Castro.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

I'm buying this one folks...

I friggin' love this shirt. If you could see the hoard of clueless mofos out here who think they are starting the next Stalinist movement with their Che t-shirts, wallets, key chains, etc....what are we in now, Spaceballs? "Moichandising, moichandising!" I know, why don't we get Castro toilet paper so we can show him how we really feel? "Gracias por dejarme cagar en tu cara comandante" catchy, ¿no?

Castro's Got a Backup Plan...The WORLD!

Here's the Axis of Evil...Venezuela's already on board with Castro sending his doctors to the impoverished pueblos. Cuba, however is suffering for Castro's selfish political exchanges of oil and doctors. Venezuela doesn't need Cuba's doctors, they need to provide better medical care within their own system and not turn their own doctors out on the street. Hugo Chávez could have the same benefits if he took some of that oil money for his own people. If Castro wins over South and Central America, we are in for a big surprise....

Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. Rodriguez

I'm Back!

Hey All, sorry for the leave of absence and lame-o blog things/quiz results for the past week. Things have been hectic! So an update on the job front: I got past the phone screen and have been asked to complete a project that will determine if I get an interview. I probably shouldn't say what it is, but what I can say is they might be rigging this thing for me to win it! I will tell you more as I start the project.

In other news, I will be leaving next Thursday for the east coast to see my grandparents. Can't wait! It will be a little depressing as my dad's parents are both in a nursing home now and this will be the first time I will see them there. My mom's mom is a stubborn Greek and refuses to get heart surgery to "jump start" her heart (wasn't that a song in the 80s?). I'm sure I will be blogging from the airports, so be on the lookout!

Been reading Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana by Ann Louise Bardach. As some have said, it's a little boring, but information I have never explored. I am new to the Cuba study, so some of this may be old hat to you all but it's helping me to understand a lot of things about Miami politics.

I still haven't gotten any votes for president yet! :) Looking forward to hearing from you all....