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....

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Future President and VP of the USA

Remeber these faces above....you are looking at the future leaders of America. A couple weeks ago I wrote our party creed for which we don't have a name, but we have a belief system. Please read our primary statement to the world and our dream. There will be more to come, but La Tremenda Trigueña (on the left) and La Tejana Total will one day be runnin' things. Traditional values with progressive social policy... ¡Qué vivan TNT!

Monday, August 1, 2005

How You Life Your Life

You have a good sense of self control and hate to show weakness.

You are always tactful and diplomatic. You let people down gently.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences.

You have one big dream in your life, and you never lose sight of it.