There is no present like the past. (July 7, 2013)


It comes to mind that knowledge, like everything else in life comes at a price…”

      Remember the times when you actually had to read to understand something? When you had to observe, use reason and actually think? I sure do. Visiting the library to get homework done, borrowing books and even going there at lunch hour. Ah, the good old days… no Google, no Bing, printers and specially no smart phones; only pure brain, eye and hand power. And even if it was forced, we had to read and write anyways.

      I remember when my father use to sit with me, my brother and sisters, and taught us how awesome the world was either by watching the Jacques Costeau’s documentary on the television or by reading and showing us an old collection he had of the National Geographic magazines and books. He use to ask questions depending on the documentary we’ve just saw, like; What did you understand? Or Explain the characteristics of the White Shark. And I recall going to the school’s library to feed my hunger for knowledge and be able to answer my fathers’s questions. 

      My dad knew so much that I believed he had some strange power. I remember that my elementary school’s history teacher was always amazed by how my homework was done. “Where do you get this information from?”, I remember Ms. Martinez asking once. “My father helps me”, I answered with pride and honor. “Well Juan, your father knows a lot”. Since that day, history became one of my favorite topics, if not the most.

      In those matters my father was a great example for my education. And for a man that never finished the ninth grade, I’d say he did a pretty darn job. And though not finishing school is something that I do not support, at least my dad had the chance to see the world as it is. Like him I learned that we must read, observe, and assess and test. And the most amazing thing is that we never payed a penny for such knowledge, and for learning… it was there for all of us, for free. And it still there.

and such a price is not necessarily payed with money.”

      Like my father, and many other role models in my life I came to believe that thinking, using our brain, is free, in the sense that we do not have to pay with money… but with time, attention, patience, dedication and consistency. The problem is, we are loosing that believe. 

      It is shameful to see how people, specially young ones, despising reading or even thinking. “I don’t like to read because I don’t like to think…”, I heard once. She finished saying, “Its too complicated. Besides if I need an answer for something in a hurry, I can look it up on my iPhone”. Can you believe that? She’s looking it up over her iPhone? How the hell is she going to learn something about something in a hurry? Now, bare with me for a moment so you don’t misunderstand my point.

      When we, yes We, the ones from the era when there was no use of technology to go to the library. When we had to look into two, three and sometimes even more books to find a subject; we were learning not just how to look for information. We also learned what was not our target subject, and all the things that our subject in question encompassed, it’s history, important persons, details and relevance in life. You see? There was no quick find, search tool or voice recognition, we had to work hard to get our much desired or requested knowledge. But the MOST AWESOME thing about that is that we did learn, so when we were asked either by our parents, teachers or friends WE ACTUALLY KNEW about the topic.

We pay with time, dedication, attention, consistency and with respect to it.”

      I am a huge believer that technology is here to help us advance in our evolutionary process but what I do not support is that people is using technology as their brains, conscience and even their sub-conscience. And most disruptive to my soul is that our kids are learning not to think. The technology wave that has facilitated our access to information has been misused and wrongly taught; and unfortunately, our kids think that because they can look up things on their smart-phones, laptops or tablets in a faster way than in the past, that such information is actually going to stick up in their brains, in a faster way.

      “Ok, perfect then, who was Eugenio Maria de Hostos?”, I challenged that the person who said that she could look up things in her iPhone, in a hurry. She looked troubled and at the same time she was smiling. I guess she was thinking, oh this is so simple, they use to talk about him a lot in school. She took her iPhone and talked to it, “Search, Eugenio Maria de Hostos”. Google came up and a vast sea of links appeared. She tabbed on the first link and read about three lines, and then gave me an answer. She told me, “He was a very important person in Puerto Rico”.

      I was amazed by her difficulty in only reading three lines, and when I asked her to tell me more about such an icon she got angry. “You know what, I don’t have to know everything. And that person was not important in life so I don’t have to know about him”. There I made one of my points for this writing. One does not learns something about something, or someone, in a hurry, it takes time, attention, dedication, and respect towards learning… to be intelligent. And common, i wasn’t that hard! They do talk a lot about Hostos at school, from elementary all the way to high school  We even have a holiday to his name.  It happens that she is one of those persons that uses their technology as brains and memory. 

      It comes out that Eugenio Maria de Hostos was a Journalist, Novelist, Juror, Philosopher and Teacher whose sole dream was to achieve the independence of his country (and where I am from) Puerto Rico. He founded newspapers and magazines in Latin America, and was recognized for his great contribution and advocacy towards women formal education. The first train that crossed the Andes in Argentina carries his name. He was one of the three biggest educator in Latin America at his time and formed what is known as Filosofia Educativa Hostosiana (Hostosian Educational Philosophy). Now days his name is not just important in Puerto Rico and through Latin America, but even in North America, where many schools has adopted his educational system. And the list keeps going. Was he important or what? But this is just an example. Obviously not everyone HAVE to know about Hostos but if you were a student at any school in Puerto Rico, even with little attention you’d remember at least something. No need for Siri. 

      Because of such a bad use of our access to information many people have fallen into a comfort zone. Now it is not necessary to read, to study things through, to think (Well it still is and it has and, will always be). The mentality, as I have seen is that, knowledge will now arrive via Siri, Google, Email, or out of the thin air at a low cost of whatever your ISP charges. One can see kids wanting to know about things but not willing pay for it. I have even seen kids getting angry at their parents because they’ve asked about something and they have been told to read. “If you read and then have doubts, only then, I will help you understand”, I always tell my 12 year old stepson. “But I will not read for you, nor think for you. Pay for your knowledge. Learn to learn”. And it is hard, even when all the tools are right in our hands.

      It seems that not just children but may people have adopted what I call a Mental Search Engine Optimization System or MSEOS in which they just look at what is attractive to them and discard everything else, what makes then consciously ignorant to everything else. “Ignorance is almost a crime, because it supposes an infraction to our social and moral laws”, said Hostos once. And it is up to us, that came from the past to shape the future, to teach our kids that easy access to information does not means that information will come easy into us. That the use of technology, though providing an advance and a priceless tool for us to find what we are looking for, it must be used with responsibility. No matter how fast or easy we get to find information these days, we still have to pay for our knowledge.

      In the past, because such MSEOS did not exist, one had to go through all the information available, providing us knowledge not just regarding the information we were looking for, but other relevant and not so relevant topics. One became knowledgeable, even an example to others. I can recall many comments from closed ones on how bright and wise I am, as if I had some kind of strange power (just as I saw my father). But the truth is that there is no such thing as a strange power. I just payed for my knowledge. I have payed with attention, time, consistency and most of all respect to it… the old way. Lets embrace the past so we have a better future.

It comes to mind that knowledge, like everything else in life comes at a price, and such a price is not necessarily payed with money. We pay with time, dedication, attention, consistency and with respect to it. We pay with responsibility.”

What dreams may come!

davinci1Remember that movie where Robin Williams died and went to a place where everything was colorful? Yup that one. The one with the suicidal wife. In the movie, when he imagined something, he could see it, do it, or even save it. So imagine that you had a dream about having sex with your high school crush, and she or he is still as hot as she or he use to be, or at least as you use to see her or him.

As you may have experienced before, dreams and reality are a world apart and at the same time we tend confuse one and another. So yes dreams may come reality.

The thing is… even when being a dreamer allows you to achieve, create, and sometimes make dream reality… even when “the world belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams“, and I believe that too by the way, one has to be careful.

You see, as in the movie, Robin Williams’s wife had other dreams of her own and those dreams were pretty close to drag Robin to their domain, causing him to become part other dreams that are not his. Yes I know, and you might say that in the end Robin won, but is not always that way.

So anyway, my point is… you have to be careful with what dreams may come. You must understand that others have dreams of their own… And that their dreams do not necessarily have to go along with yours. That not everybody have to like, support or even understand them. That people is not obligated to help you achieve them, as they might be to focused or busy achieving theirs.

So my friend…dream and let others dream, but above all, dream but keep your eyes open to reality. Sweet dreams!

El dolor por placer, y el placer por el dolor.

Estamos locos o qué? Existen dos fuerzas que provocan el cambio en nosotros o que hacen que nos quedemos en las mismas, estas son Placer y Dolor, y por más que muchos lo nieguen la realidad es que a todos nos gusta un poco de ambas. Bueno, a quién no le gusta el placer? Pero qué pasa con el dolor? Me pasa por la cabeza, que nos gusta y que se joda lo demás…

Como cuando nos comemos una pinta entera de mantecado y nos decimos a nosotros mismos, “hay que se joda, me la como completa aunque me den diarreas” o cuando nos damos una jartera de cerveza y pizza y al otro dia lidiamos con las consecuencias…

Y aunque nos decimos a nosotros mismos que no nos comemos esa pinta de mantecado más nunca, o que esa jartera de cerveza fue algo de una sola vez… lo volvemos a hacer una y otra vez.

Nos gusta el placer aunque este nos traiga dolor.

A Tini problem. Martini I mean.

Once I heard a macho say that a man who drinks any drink that ends up in “tini” is no man. That “those kinds of drinks” are for girls or gays. To what I replied (in my mind), “Man, what a tini idiot he is”.

Well let me give you an example fellow readers. JAMES BOND who is the characterization of all the fantasies that almost all men want to be, you know, things like traveling a lot / living in the edge / having sex with women from around the world / dressing fucking awesome / being a super secret not so secret agent / presenting himself last name first / having an almost infinite supply of cool moves / having a pretty cool British accent / with amazing fighting skills… drinks martinis. In fact, martini is his signature and favorite drink.

On top of that, I drink martinis. Well I am starting but still. And I like’em dirty, apple, watermelon, vesper, and any other tini that there is, and I don’t consider myself gay. In fact, that is pure bullshit, I don’t consider that there are drinks for girls or men, or gay, or straight. If you like it just drink it.

Can you imagine a drink just for men? Well, I don’t know you, but I love a woman who drinks whisky. Ufff.

Recently I made a martini with liche, an exotic fruit. It’s like a testicle white ball that taste really good but is creamy. Huh, does it makes me an exotic gay guy who likes creamy white balls?

Come on, it’s a martini. Just a regular unisex drink. A martini. Drink responsibly!

Let La Marea take me away.

I was walking and contemplating the beach. It was dark, I smelled salt, and there were tourists. My almost toned arms captivated the attention of some young tourist girls, and all of a sudden an elder woman of penetrating sight looked at me, and I looked at her. She pointed at me and opened her mouth, as if she was gonna tell me something. Then a noise came from behind me and that elder woman of golden hair yelled, “Ruuuuuuuuun, there comes La Mareaaaaaaa. Take coveeeeeer”, and while she was screaming a big tide came and took us all. I didn’t noticed all the tumbles and turns I did inside that big wave, but what I remember is that all of a sudden I found myself in the nicest place on earth, if it was still earth.

The Police was playing on the jukebox, a sound of cooks cooking was able to fuse with the music and turned into a symphony of pure lust and food porn. I raised my sight to the entrance of that magical place and noticed that the two young and beautiful were there. They smiled at me, and one of the murmured to the other (I could hear) “Wow, suddenly I don’t just like Puerto Rico, but the local guys too.” I smiled and then changed sights to the kitchen. Honestly, I was more interested on what was happening in the hot line than in the entrance.

A guy came to me with with a menu and said, “Bienvenido a La Marea. El especial del día es…”. And while he talked and prayed his menu, I couldn’t resist the idea of eating something wonderful. “Ok, bring me a whiskey with coconut water and a pork tenderloin with sauteed vegetables.”, without letting him finish. He brought the glass of golden happiness with coconut and I just sat back and relaxed.

I enjoyed the view, the drink and the music, and the food came I enjoyed it too. I don’t know what happened there but I got lost in the translation. Maybe it was the food, the music, the wink from that beautiful lady or the salty beach smell. I didn’t want to go back to reality, I just wanted to hang out a little bit longer. I wanted to call home and ask my family to come, and just stay there forever, you know live in shorts, sandals and sunglasses… tanned and all. And while sitting there and enjoying a creme brulee for desert that elder woman screamed La Marea once again.

A big wave came and whipped us all again. Next thing I know I was walking back to my little room, thinking about my job and stuff. I got to the room and went to bed. And while I was sleeping I could hear La Marea coming and going.

A matter of fat!

I don’t know why so much complaining abou fat. You see, some of the most delicious food around the world contain at least some fat, and some of them are just fat. And the most incredible thing is that, in the countries where they eat that much fat people is not fat. Do you follow? Now, think of bacon. Those beautiful white lines that fuse into the cured meat, and people love it. Many countries have their own version; Bacon in the US, Serrano in Spain, and Proscuitto in Italy, and in Latin America we call it sabor. At least I do. So as you can see people love fat, and still, some are so freaking hypocrites that they deny it, but then you see them at the brunch buffet eating not just bacon but bread and butter, ham, sausages and as many other fat loaded foods and they enjoy it.

I have known people who prey themselves as healthy eaters but when they do their yearly little trip to Europe they indulge themselves with foie gras, which is just… Yes you guesd it, FAT.

I believe that the problem with fat is bad advertising. Being a salesman and having an M.B.A in International Marketing I can see where things go wrong, as far as advertising concern. First of all we must, yes MUST, stop calling obese people by the name of Fat. We must eliminate that anchor. Even though that is what they have inside, it is just not fair to compare something so rich in flavor and powerful with a person. Second… Haven’t you noticed that in countries such as the great US of A the problem began when they started promoting refined things that they call food? And third… Obviously people, obviously, everything in excess is bad for your health.

I don’t know you but for me there is nothing more beautiful and soul healthy than having fried eggs and bacon for breakfast. If you haven’t tasted it I encourage you to try it, and you’ll know happiness. And what about pork shops? Who does not love them? And what do you say about lard? Ahhhh man, so much flavor.

Let me tell you something my friend. Try adding fat to your diet and you’ll see that your life will be happier. After all… It is just a matter of fat.

Note: This note is not intended to encourage people to get obese, but to enjoy food at its maximum capacity. If you see that you are getting obese do the obvious. Eat a balance diet and workout.

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Inteligente Primitivo.

En un mundo en el que casi todo es electrónico, android o iOS, en donde para ir de compras primero se mira en el smartphone a ver cuales son los especiales para así entonces tomar una decisión, muchos se han convertido en inteligentes primitivos.

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Somos inteligentes en lo electrónico, en saber utilizar las aplicaciones actuales y hasta utilizarlas para nuestro trabajo, pero somos primitivos en el trato personal. Ya no hablamos con el que se nos sienta al lado, sino con el que esta a través de la pantalla. Ya no decimos “dame una llamada y hablamos” sino que decimos “tirarme un text”.

En la prehistoria, muchos caían por precipicios ya que no tenían la capacidad de discriminar profundidad ni el ambiente que los rodeaba. Ahora lo mismo se da con personas cayendo por puentes, siendo atropellados, o atropellando a otros gracias a su inteligencia androide/iOS.

Siendo vendedor y viajando mucho he aprendido que la manera mas fácil y humana de conectarme con alguien que esta lejos es una llamada telefónica. Más aun me he dado cuenta que cada vez más y más se pierde esa costumbre en muchos que conozco. Estos prefieren enviar un mensaje por Whats App y dejar a la interpretación de la otra parte el mensaje.

He sabido de parejas que estando juntos, uno al lado del otro, se dicen “te amo” a través de mensajería de texto, perdiendo así la oportunidad de hacerle sentir a su otra parte la verdadera sensación de dicha frase.

Somos muy inteligentes al enseñarle a nuestros hijos que jugar videojuegos esta cool, pero no les enseñamos lo súper cool que es leer.

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Esa es mi hija.

Yo creo que entes de seguir adelante en ese caminos androis/iOS debemos regresar al pasado y reestructurar nuestra manera de pensar y vivir. La tecnología siempre va a cambiar y a evolucionar, y a proveer formas de trabajar mas fácil, pero debemos tener la capacidad de pensar que fácil no es sinónimo de mejor, que poder enviar un mensaje de texto mientras conducimos nonos hace mas ágiles, que el hecho de que sepamos utilizar todas las aplicaciones que hay no nos hace mas competentes. Debemos tener la capacidad de comprender que decirle a nuestra pareja ” te amo” a través de un mensaje de texto jamás va a tener la misma emisión y sensación y cosquillas que mirarla a los ojos y decirlo con la boca.

Es imperativo para la evolución sana de nuestra sociedad poder entender que un androide/iPhone jamás suplantara ni debe suplantar a un humano. De esa única manera seremos seres inteligentes y no inteligentes primitivos.