Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Calling of a Writer

Though no horns blare in the night, no sirens resonate through the streets and no smoke signals are spotted at a distance, there is an ever-present calling to write that I just can’t seem to ignore. And after a very intense experience, I realized that, if neglected, this vocation can go from a mild itch to a burning rash. At which point, I have to write… no, I mean: I HAVE TO WRITE! The urgency to fulfill this action basically doubles in size and becomes this living breathing thing that will not allow peace or rest until I have submitted – think of Predator, a literate one. Mind you, I have put up fights, resisted, and refused, but in the end it is a loosing battle.

Allow me to describe the sensations... At first, it is a measly suggestion, barely there. I think: Oh, I want to write this down. Almost indistinctly, there is a subtle transformation from proposal to insistence. It begins to feel pressing, a sort of pushy perseverance makes itself known. Kind of like if you had to go to the bathroom (without the haunting possibility of having an “accident”.) I consider: Oh, I should really write. And then, the feeling intensifies. It is no longer a pleasant inclination or an amusing hobby, now, it is a niggling urge to express. It beats relentlessly into my system until I feel: I have to write!

There is a bitter taste of dissatisfaction that disrupts my senses the longer I go without writing. So then comes the part I fold like a crappy hand of poker, just before I have an anxiety attack. Freed from the suffocating need to write I can now breathe in calm and exhale satisfaction. Writing is truly that powerful for me. It is more than gluing letters together to produce spelled-approved words to later be placed in an orderly fashion to make coherent sentence so that afterward it can complement an articulate paragraph. Writing is much more than a matter of literature and grammar - though just because I can string words together doesn’t mean I should wait for my Pulitzer in the mail.

For me, there is a cathartic effect. To write is to be free, able to make anything come alive through words and language. It is the endless possibilities of a written creation that draws me in, as well as the essential freedom to express. Without it, I simply wouldn’t feel right, there would be something wrong, something missing, and before long there would be something unrecognizable about myself. Why? Because, as confusing or senseless as this may sound, I have discovered that I am defined by my writing. I am who I want to be when I write.

So, in conclusion, is there really such a thing as a calling to write? I sure as hell think so. It is an impulse similar to that of a photographer wanting to capture a moment in time, and not just remember things as they once were. Writing gives voice without speech, it gives sight without illustrations, it gives liberty to experience without restriction... it simply gives a lot more than we can imagine.

By: V.S

Friday, November 13, 2009

Waiting for something more

It is my observation that many people place a lot of effort in planning, mapping out and designing what their lives will be like further down the road - probably encouraged by that classically worn-out question, where do you see yourself in five to ten years? Subconsciously or not, every day we are pressured into visualizing what our tomorrows will be like, and we’re lead to believe that the best is yet to come. But I think that when you spend the better part of your days waiting for something special to bring color into them, you may be giving up more than you realize. The present. There’s so much emphasis on building your future you can loose sight of what you have now. You can grow so serious stressing about how your life will be, that you overlook the very instant you find yourself in, and even forget to appreciate the simple things that make you smile. What ever happened to having a little fun? Or about laughing yourself silly? What about doing something you love?

You may not realize how often you’re just lingering, till the future comes to you. And do you really want to wait for the right time to live your life? Is there such a thing if not the now? You have to know, you have to be conscious, you have to realize that when you wake up in the morning, that is your chance, your time to do something great, something unique, something unforgettable with your life. Tomorrow is a God given courtesy, a gift many people don’t get a chance to experience. And those who do, have the opportunity to create something memorable with their time. So many hours are spent waiting for something wonderful to walk into your life, and the rest of the time is depleted worrying it’ll never get there. Why wait to be that special factor in your life? Why not seize the day? Why not this very moment? Why not?

Consider that for some, tomorrow is no longer an option. But for those who wait on tomorrow, one day, you just might look back and wish it were yesterday. If you don’t understand what I mean, ask yourself this question: “If you knew tomorrow would never come, what would you change in your life today?”

By: V.S

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good for the heart

You’ve got to live a little silly…

They say that laughter is the best medicine. Numerous studies have proven that laughing is a very healthy activity, similar to exercising. Meaning, you laugh, you burn some calories, stretch out a few muscles in your face and body, and boost your heart rate. This humorous remedy can also help prevent heart disease – or so they say. But why do I mention all these details? Well, I thought it fitting to provide a scientific perspective before I plead my case of living silly.

What I mean by living silly is taking the time to unwind and expand your sense of humor by doing something out of the ordinary. Think of the things you’ve been tempted to do when no one is looking – the PG rated things, please. I believe doing something silly every now and again can really heighten your energy levels and remind you not to take yourself too seriously. Being unpredictably juvenile teaches you to laugh and take pleasure in the moment. You face situations with a more positive attitude and begin your day with a livelier spirit. It can be quite the liberating experience too, dropping the restrictive codes of conduct and acting stupid. But let me clarify, by stupid I don’t mean robbing a bank with your bare hands and making your escape on foot. I’m referring to having some safe fun here. Examples? Sure. Try these: Sing the national anthem at the top of your lungs in the shower; shake your trunk like you haven’t shaken it in years to “Play That Funky Music”; choose an accent to imitate and go to your nearest coffee shop to order a drink; use funny words, like turd, in your daily vocabulary; bark whenever someone says your name; etc.

I know life can come at you hard and I am conscious that there is a time to be serious… but then, every other instance is an opportunity to have fun. Living silly can be a rare pleasure worth savoring. At least, give it a try - you’d be surprised at how good it can feel to just laugh out at your own absurdities, and after that, all that’s left is for you to enjoy yourself.

By: V.S

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A new found sport

I would like to declare a new found sport. It is challenging to both the mind and the body, it is excruciating in its never-ending cycle, and it is an extremely tiring workout. Many people consider babysitting a mere job, but after three months of filling this occupation I have to say it is so much more. This type of “work” is both mentally and physically demanding. It requires constant energy and an overdose of patience.

If you aren’t ready to embrace all that babysitting entails, don’t worry, you will be forced to learn in a matter of time. You’ll jump into their scheduled needs in sync with the clock and, before you know it, you’re a genuine babysitter. It’ll all become so familiar that it’ll feel like instinct, when it’s time for which baby to eat, when it’s time to nap or when it’s time for a bottle. Though I believe that with practice comes experience, I also think not everyone is made to care for children. It’s a voluntary calling we either choose to deny or accept, but come hell or high water that child’s wellbeing is first place.

During my experience as a sitter, I learned that having my clothes stained was inevitable, that privacy was a fifty-fifty chance, that silence can be a beautiful thing, and that fifteen minutes to yourself is a blessing worth savoring. I also discovered, through my struggles to keep up with the children, that there is a combination of sports involved in babysitting. Such as:

Basketball: when it is time to feed the baby, you have to imagine the child’s mouth as a hoop while she/he does her/his best to guard you from making a point. Be warned that there will be unwarranted fouls and aggressive blocks. Consider yourself lucky if you manage to slam-dunk even once.

Fencing: you’ll have to be ready to duel to achieve your objective, and I’d advise to show little mercy because they will have none for you. Keep in mind these kids are ready to challenge you from breakfast till bedtime, so pace yourself.

Wrestling: you must outmaneuver your opponent, if they see an opening to get the upper hand, trust me, they will take it. You might be surprised at how strong a child can be and it won’t be pretty when you cry uncle first.

Track: you will have to run after them sooner or later, and when that time comes, you have to make sure you can at least keep up.

Chess: you have to outsmart your rival, for their safety and yours, and you have to keep a calm head on at all times or you risk loosing the game.

I do have to say, one of the most rewarding pleasures of babysitting is being able to return the children to their parents. Another satisfying recompense is bringing happiness to the kids, when you witness their uninhibited delight, their carefree laughter and the joy in their smiles, it all outweighs every shadow of discomfort you’ve ever been through. Even though babysitting is not a sport I’ll ever consider lightly again, I believe it’s a vocation worth doing right.

By: V.S

Monday, September 21, 2009


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My life in Utah… you read me right.

Why Utah, you may wonder. Well, let’s just say that inevitable circumstances refused to leave me any other options. I’ve been staying in Mormon Country for about two months now. Throughout my stay I’ve experience a strong enough mixture of influential feelings as to make me seem schizophrenic. Fortunately, I’ve alarmed no one. I arrived, relaxed and ready to face this sudden change of scenery. I was actually thankful for the backdrop-alteration; we all benefit from the little getaways that help us break away from our daily routines. Then, as the days wore on, I began to feel uncomfortable by the idleness in which my time was being spent. The reason for this, I believe, is because it is generally viewed as wasting time when you have so much of it at your disposal. And so, frustration bloomed ever so unattractively. There was a constant poke-poke in my mind, an annoying push to do more, to find something that others could call productive for me to do.

- Let me just interrupt myself with this observation: It can be pretty irritating to care about what others say or think, and to have that influence you in a negative way. I know.

Moving on. I made little progress in discovering this fateful occupation that was supposed to employ so much of my time and dub me useful. So I was doomed to have a clear schedule and nothing but blue skies to console me… I think this would have been the perfect moment to slap myself on the forehead and write jackass on my chest in bright red. Let me just point out the situation to make it clear: at this point, I have no obligations that require indefinite attentiveness or any pressing matters to frustrate me or difficult situations to stress me out or make me age before my time… and I’m complaining that it’s just not right? What the hell is wrong with me, I suddenly wondered. I then realized a few things, such as: I have a pretty damn good life here. Who cares if it’s what people expected of me or not? It’s where I am now, regardless.

I’ve been blessed with what few are fortunate to receive: a break. I have time, valuable instances where I can really savor the essence of the day, where I can appreciate the hours between sunrise and sunset, where I can enjoy conversing with my relatives as I hardly got a chance to do before. How often does this happen after one’s teenage years? (If your family is filthy rich, then this question may not apply to you.) All in all, I think I’ve pissed away enough time worrying about what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m putting in my two weeks notice - I formally quit this business of tormenting myself with uncertain tomorrows. I’ve been given today, and it’s time I started to take pleasure in it without apologizing for it.

- Here’s a brief description of what Utah is like for me: Utah is quiet, pleasant and peaceful. It always gives me the chance to listen instead of talk, to consider instead of acting without thought, to value instead of behaving like some programmed robot. The tall surrounding mountains are a comforting sight. The streets are organized and clean. Unless your neighbor is the noisy type, few sounds interfere indoors after dark. There seems to be a fancy for ridiculously tall cars – I presume it’s because of the large amount of snow in the winter. There are a handful of fun activities you can occupy yourself with, you just have to dig deep and be willing to drive the necessary distance. The people are friendly. They do get traffic jams here too. And there are many hairdos that can have the same effect as a STOP sign. In general, there seems to be an air of simplicity and contentment that circle through the landscape, along with the dry desert winds and the bright hot sun.

By: V.S

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The pursuit of money

What is it about money that can produce a change so drastic, it’s like you were reborn into another life? What is it about money that can drive a person to leave everything they’ve ever known behind, for the deceiving promise of unknown riches? What is it about money that can move someone to betray their loved ones, in exchange for a number of thin green bills?

I’ve yet to figure it out. Can someone please explain it to me, this mad obsession for money? I have to believe that people have reasons, justifiable if only to them, for making a conscious choice to act on behalf of money. Whether their reasoning can excuse their behavior I wouldn’t be able to tell, considering every situation consists of different components, participants and motivations. However, in the occasion that a person is influenced to take action for self-indulgent motives, such as greediness or egocentricity, I cannot help but to disapprove… (and that’s putting it nicely).

So I ask again, what is it about money? Why don’t I take a guess? Perhaps it’s the way it makes us forget how short life is, so that we may feel as if we will live forever through our wealth… maybe it’s how money blinds us to the humility and kindness within ourselves and others, letting us believe that we deserve to be served and treated like royalty… but then there’s always the way money can help us take for granted those we love, so that we think that the world is replaceable as we continue to be empowered by the possession of material goods. I suppose the heart of the matter is that the shallow pursuit of money is not as upsetting as the absurd value we give to it; as if money were some kind of godly icon we are meant to praise. I find it – let me try and put this delicately - fu*^#ng ridiculous!!! For money to be held higher than the tears of a child, than the please of an innocent, than the love of a family member…

This is my perceptions on the matter: a person driven by greed will develop insatiability for more and more riches until it reaches a gluttonous stage. At which point, nothing is ever enough. This person is dissatisfied with what they have, so they search to possess what they don’t have. Always believing that by owning expensive possessions, this will grant them exclusivity and power. Unfortunately, this is true in many parts of the world: the ridiculously high esteemed value of money and possessions. But I can’t help to wonder what they are working to build with their kingdoms of riches? Do they wish to buy admiration; do they hope to be recognized by a cloth of superiority; do they want to be held by fame and worshiped by others?

I guess it’s hard for me to understand the greedy pursuit of money based on the fact that NO ONE CAN TAKE THEIR RICHES WITH THEM AFTER DEATH. Kings and pharaohs have tried yet none have succeeded. So, I guess there is just one last question to ask after the superficial quest for getting more money… is it worth it?

By: V.S

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trust what you believe

Today is a most astounding day. Michael Jackson has passed away. Born in 1958. He was 50 years old and known as the King of Pop.

I never met Michael Jackson. I didn’t see him perform live. Not once did I get a chance to know what he was like as a person, and not an artist.

When a public figure of Jackson’s magnitude dies, it is a notion too hard to grasp at first. Who, one asks. Michael Jackson? Are you sure? One automatically assumes it could be a mistake or a hoax. We may deny it, but as the inevitable truth slowly begins to seep through, astonishment kicks in. Your mind pulls out a file on all you know about the singer - the images you’ve seen of him in pictures and concerts, the words you’ve heard spoken of him on the radio or T.V, the acts which have distinguished him in the past and in recent years. Suddenly, the face, voice and reputation begin to grow solid. Until the moment comes for you to decide what you do with the information you have. Do you mourn the sad passing of another talented singer? Do you shrug it off and say ‘well, we all gotta go some time’? Or… do you take the time to just appreciate what good Michael Jackson offered to the world?

I think of Michael Jackson as the man who sang about making the world a better place. I think of Michael Jackson as the man who made the world aware of the hunger, the poverty and the hurting of others. I think of Michael Jackson as the man who tried to make a difference in the world.

When the media gets wind of such a “big story”, it seems to me that a heartless procedure usually tends to take shape with instant flare. Michael Jackson, the artist, the singer, the legend is revealed and taken apart piece by piece, until one cannot recognize what was there to begin with. People question his work, his personal life, his words, his actions and everything in between. They inquire about all aspects of his life, they search for every last word accused against him and analyze what they presume were his reasons for behaving the way he did.

But I wonder… do they give respects to the life that is lost today, to the talent that is no more freely given to us except in recording, or to the man that revolutionized the world through his achievements? I know little about Michael Jackson and the man behind his public image (a vague impression sown together by the singer himself and the media). Yet I believe that through his artistic talents he communicated his gift of music, one so rare that it reached further corners of the world than ever before. He influenced the world with his beats, with his dancing, with his songs and with his voice. What’s more, he supported numerous charity organizations that have changed people’s lives. That’s more than a lot of us do in one lifespan.

But what about all the crimes charged against this particular singer?
I don’t know if the accusations against him are true.
I don’t know what would’ve happened if we had found out the truth.
I don’t know a lot of things about this artist/humanitarian’s life.

I do know, I will trust what I believe and not let others opinions rule my judgment.
I do know, that we may never know the truth behind such incriminations.
And I do know, Michael Jackson changed the world, even if it was a little bit, in his own way.

Thank you Michael Jackson, and rest in peace.

By: V.S

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Live everyday as if it were your last

Exasperating advice or inspiring words?

Live everyday as if it were your last… This quote has provoked a well of frustration for me since the first moment I read it. Why? Because if one were to try and follow this instruction they might realize… it’s easier said than done!!! To live each day the way you’d want to if it were your last; to experience all the wonders you’ve always imagined for yourself before leaving this world; to taste life itself the way you’ve dreamed it… it’s a lot to cram into a single day. I mean, since you’re supposed to live today as if it were your last then you have to find a way to fold all these ideas you want to experience into 24 hours. And then tomorrow, you get to stuff yet another set of plans and wishes into 24 hours. My point? It’s a lot harder than this quote implies.

I understand that these words are meant to be encouraging to those who read it. They are meant to inspire people into realizing that life is too short to waste on unimportant things. And it’s true. However, these words in particular are maddening to me. The first time I ever read this motivating message, I thought “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ll do!” But then as each day dawned in and dusked out, I found out how hard it was to actually live each day as if it were my last. I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to because I was restrained by my daily responsibilities, among other reasons. Whether it was studies, work, family, or financial issues, I could not jump on a cruise to Alaska, I could not go rock-climbing, I could not learn how to horseback ride, I could not travel to exciting destinations… I could not live everyday as if it were my last. And it was frustrating for me at that time.

So then, I’d find myself asking HOW? How do I live each day as if it were my last if I can’t afford it, if I can’t just pack up and leave, if I can’t ignore my current obligations, if I can’t can’t can’t? There was no inspiring quote to answer my question. But slowly, as each day continued to sunrise-in and sunset-out, I gained new perspectives that led me to recognize the importance of patience and encouraged me to widen my understanding. (This does not mean that I am immune to falling into the pit of despair every now and again).

Ultimately, I adjusted the saying (not officially though) to living each day without regrets. It provides a bit more peace to my mind and there is an absence of weighty pressure. It may not be very catchy, but I thought: “Yes, I can try and do that.” I can put my efforts into doing my best and making sure I don’t regret either my actions or my lack of action. If ever I do regret something, I believe I have two choices: learn to live with it or change it myself.

At the end of the day, whichever quote you choose to live by, whatever helps you get you through your day and grants you peace of mind… I suppose the important is that you live your life to the fullest, appreciating each step that takes you through it.

By: V.S

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is it my imagination or is this creepy?

I need a second opinion. Or as many as I can get. In fact, let’s make a vote. I’ll tell you a story, and you can let me know what you think.

I went to the movie theater today. I thought it was a good time to watch the movie X-men Origins: Wolverine. As I arrived to the movie hall, I realized the mistake I made. Wrong timing. I’d forgotten how much I despise going to the theater at a particular time where every seat is dominated by a vicious spectator determined to guard every precious piece of his chair – as if they could take the damn seat home with them at the end of the movie. Needless to say, it was crowded. And nobody wanted to give up the empty seat next to them. Until eventually, I had to divide myself from my party so we could actually be seated through the forsaken movie. I was a row behind my group. Alone. Lost in a sea of strangers hungry for entertainment. I held my own though – I even managed to look dignified, sitting with a party of one. The previews for new movies began. I really like those. I hate food commercials (especially Burger King’s). I keep reminding myself it’s not nice to wish for the annoying people smiling and waving a whopper on the screen to choke, simply because it could briefly amuse me. I tell myself this repeatedly. It wasn’t until the movie was about to begin that the creepy moment struck unsuspectingly. The man seated next to me - as in, the chair right next to my own (please keep in mind, these seats are not that wide, unfortunately) makes a comment about the recent preview on the screen. I mumble something unimportant. In return, he asks me for my name. I think to myself (since I consider myself a nice person, usually) he’s just being friendly. So I provide my name. He states his own and offers me a handshake. Ookaaayy. Nothing to worry about yet, right? Then he asks where do I live? Huh? I say I’m from that same town. He asks from where exactly? And I think: are these not similar questions to what a psycho killer might ask? I answer that I live close by – trying to be vague and uninformative, while appearing completely distracted and uninterested in socializing further with him. Then, he inquires if I came to the movie alone? Once again, I think to say: why do you ask, creep? So you can stab me as soon as I exit this movie theater!? I do not say this however. But I do manage to slide my butt as far away from that guy as possible, nearly onto the other gentleman’s lap seated on my other side. I reply to his ‘are you alone’ question with a: of course I’m not alone! Yet I made no further clarification on my lonesome situation or how many people would come to my aid in a heartbeat - hoping he would think that every single annoying spectator in that cinema was my friend. And then, finally the movie began, at which point I was practically sitting on the edge of my chair. If I succeeded in looking any more enthralled by the screen, I would have been climbing it with my bare hands in my hurry to get away from Mr. Creeper. My eyes never left the movie, but my hands were ready to strike in my defense. I had already improvised a plan of attack. If this weirdo so much as sneezed, I’d pluck his eyes out. Just like Uma Thurman did in the film Kill Bill Vol. 2. And at the end, once the movie finished, I knew Mr. Creepy was going to try and address me again. I jumped the gun… No, I didn’t pluck out his eye balls. I just managed to escape and reunite with my group safe and sound. Although I stayed sharp as I made my way toward the exit and through the parking lot.

So… what do you think? Is it me, or is this experience just plain creepy?

By: V.S

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Sister's Birthday

To my big sister, each day you shine brighter,
meeting challenges you brush aside with your patience and love
trying to keep track of your roles in life

you are a daughter, though you've grown tall and long,
it is not your height that has made you my big sister
Other than the order of our births, it is your willingness to give, love and trust

you are an aunt, though you gained this title second to your third role,
you care for Angelito as if he were your own

you are a mother, though it is a gift to be thus awarded,
it is no easy feat to endure and overcome
yet still have enough left to comfort and love

you may be all of these things, but no matter the time and distance,
not even the years we page through
Or even facing the unexpected
you will always be...

... my first partner in crime
the Pumba to my Timone
the Robin to my Batman
the Spongebob to my Patrick

Always my big sister

Happy Birthday, I love you - Je t'aime - Ti amo - Te amo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: V.S

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can you see the sky up high,
with clouds scattered across?
Can you see the river flow down
the middle, full and plush?
Can you see the mountains
embracing all around?
Though shapes and colors may vary
Nature stands out proudly

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New York New York Baby

A city where towering skyscrapers stand atop shorter towering skyscrapers, where the wails of ambulances are a lullaby in the night, where traffic jams and honking horns serve as background music, and where the risk of crossing the street is as sharp as disarming a hotwired explosive. Concrete facing concrete feeds this metropolitan maze from daybreak till nightfall, well, that, and an immense source of electricity burning through every inhabitant window. The streets pulse with life at all hours, the people migrate from one corner of the city to the other with purposeful strides, the scent of food, car fumes and the occasional anonymous urine lingers in the air, and the night sky is foggy with unclear grayness. A careful count of the stars one night in New York added up to an astounding number…four. But out of all the moving sights witnessed, which wasn’t all the city had to offer I can assure, not watching the sunset was one of my favorites. Let me clarify. I was not facing the sun as it was setting on this clear sunny day, I was however paying careful attention as the bright shining colors of red and orange reflected off of the soaring structures. A view from the outside granted an appreciative sight of the tall and sleek buildings and the burning colors of sunset glistening off the windows. Shades of pink dimmed slowly, melting away from the edifices, announcing the arrival of night. A close second to this memorable recollection, was the sight of a dog turning the street into a convenient latrine, probably because of the near rarity of finding a single patch of grass (unless you’re close to a church or in Central Park).

All in all? A surprisingly beautiful city with a certain je ne sais quoi to it, apart from the suffocating claustrophobia of crowded restaurants, bars, elevators, stores, etc.; the clogging excess of cars; and the nail-biting taxi rides that can serve as worthy opponents to Nascar drivers.

By: V.S

Friday, April 24, 2009

Loose yourself under the touch of antiquity...

Why are we here?

This may seem like one of those questions that have no right or wrong answer because everyone has their own opinion of what the true response could be. Well, it is that kind of question. I imagine at one time or another you’ve asked yourself: Why are we here… in this world… on this Earth… what is our purpose… what are we meant for? Among other wondering-soul-searching inquiries. Normally, this initial question would inspire my usual reply: “There are just some questions that are better left unasked, and this is one of them”.

But today, I feel like sharing my opinion. So, if someone was to ask me this question, I’d say… we are here because we were given the opportunity to experience life. We are here to learn how to live as best we can through what each of us considers good and bad. Each day, we are given the chance to discover, question, teach, explore, survive… we just seem to overlook these prospects as they blur into our daily-rushed-routine. I am aware however, that some of us aren’t born with such favorable circumstances. There are a lot of us that face a very grave existence. Seriously. I’m talking about the kind of brutal reality where the word happiness signifies a quick death. So how could I possibly describe life as if it were a coloring book we’ve yet to get a hold of and fill with color? Well, I believe that no matter what hardships you encounter, it is important, essential even, to do everything in your power to overcome them. Do your best for yourself, those you love and others within your ability to help. Forge on into the fading sunlight, through the dark and muddled night, and straight into the misty wake of dawn. Why? Because it’s all worth it in the end - to know you lived to see, breath, taste, hear, feel, and experience a better tomorrow. Would you like to look back on your life and know you took on those fears, tragedies, uncertainties, pain and other obstacles… and conquered, fighting on to experience the fulfillment of your dreams, goals, happiness and hopes? Yeah, so would I.

I believe that all the long time efforts and tiring struggles to make these things happen, make up a sweet rewarding victory. So, as the French would say: Bon courage!

By: V.S

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Come walk through the streets of Vieux Nice...

Monday, April 13, 2009

P.D.A: Public Display of Affection - From "Oh how romantic" to "Holy Cow, isn’t that illegal in this state!?"

Imagine your grandmother stumbling across a couple displaying their affection publicly, as in swapping body heat and making saliva donations to one another like their lives depended on it… would your grandmother a) sigh wistfully and say Oh how romantic, b) cry indecent exposure at the top of her lungs before finding the nearest policeman, or c) join the party? If your answer is C, please do not post a comment explaining why.

If someone were to ask me “how do I know when it’s too much affection”? Well, if the scenario is easily confused with rape… that could be a telling sign. Or if the couple seems to have converted to cannibalism, turning viciously on each other like hungry prey… well, I’d say save yourself. I’m willing to admit that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have an open relationship with the one you’re with. And there is nothing but the law stopping you from committing whichever public acts you wish to. But there’s just something not quite right about people wanting to make their very own rated R film in the public eye. Besides, Moms and Dads everywhere are going to have a lot of explaining to do if their kids see such a proud yet inappropriate display of affection by others.

So here are some more hints that things have gone from sweet or cute, to “time for you two to get a room”:
- If you witness a willing victim getting a tonsil-inspection by a second participant’s tongue, even though he/she is clearly unlicensed.
- If you can’t tell whether it is two separate people who happen to be REALLY close together, or just one person.
- If your eyes roll out of your head or if you go instantly blind because a pair of shameless exhibitionists decided to play Swallow Your Partner in public.
- If you suddenly wonder if there is such a thing as P.D.A Extreme Challenge

By: V.S (inspired by Prof.essa.T)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Glamorous Hollywood Life Style: Is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Early on in my life I decided that I wouldn’t want to live a life in the spotlight. For whatever brief time I had entertained the idea of being a rockstar or celebrity, it was quickly extinguished as a few facts came into focus: many talented celebs end up falling prey to drug addiction or go through a downfall phase (also known as what the hell was she/he thinking!) or have their most intimate moments splattered all over a magazine cover, among other such thespian instances.
Now, if you’re thinking you don’t have to be a superstar to go through some of these hardships, you’re right. I suppose a very big difference though is that your picture and your addiction or depression, or whichever difficulty you are trying to handle in your life, is being zoomed in and diced into tiny pieces to be ruthlessly judged and poked at. Then of course those pieces are blown up, a snappy comment is slapped beside it before the “scoop” is copied into a magazine, newspaper or webpage, and the remains are scattered into the four winds to be published in every way known to mankind where anyone from here to Zimbabwe can find out about it. In a way, a celebrity is a lot like a window-display (without the ridiculous salary). You are out there for the public eye to look and criticize, they can admire, they can disapprove, and they can even try to walk up to the window for closer inspection. They may want to know everything about you, from the size of your crib, to what you like to snack on after sex.
I will refrain from describing all the many brutal consequences brought on by committing the monumental, unforgiving, crime of gaining a single hint of a pound – in fact, if you even whisper the word, or read it out loud, you are at risk of being banished from the celeb-world; only after you are mocked, kicked into the dirt, and left for depressed or on heavy medication. When you’re in such a position, where your every waking breath is being recorded, your every step hunted down by a pack of vicious creatures named Paparazzi (not a synonym of warm and cuddly), your every picture is compared to thousands of other celebs and rated on a stylish scale, your… okay you get the picture… well, then I have to believe you have your hands somewhere between full and straining against the overflow of your life style. But suddenly this Hollywood spotlight doesn’t seem so glamorous after all – of course that’s just my opinion.

By the way, if you could care less about all this drivel I’ve just described above, then maybe the Hollywood-life style is for you after all.

By: V.S

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thongs: What are they good for?

Honestly, what are thongs good for? I find myself genuinely disturbed by the purpose of this style of underwear. My initial reaction was something like a child being handed a medium-sized rock, after turning it over a few times and realizing it doesn’t have any buttons, the child asks “What do I do with it?” This is my perplexity with thongs. I want to specify that I have nothing against anyone who chooses to wear these string-held contraptions. And I’ll admit that I am aware that a thong can serve some ulterior purpose such as provocative lingerie or as fitting underwear for particular women’s outfits (or so I’m told), or even perhaps to acquire some form of attention or admiration from others. But at the end of the day a thong, to me, means having a permanent wedgie intentionally crammed up your butt for as long as one wears it. Now, it may seem like I’m kidding here but let’s look at the definition of wedgie, shall we? According to Wikipedia (even if it is not a totally reliable source, bear with me), a wedgie means having one's underwear or other garments "wedged" between the buttocks. Does this not bare a surprising resemblance to what a thong does? I’d say so. So let us be completely honest with ourselves the next time we decide to don on a thong or look at one or admire one or whatever, that in its truest most basic nature it is a barely-there piece of butt-floss.

By: V.S

How an uncertain mind works

First, your mind is usually a very skeptical and at times pessimistic entity in itself. I say this because it constantly questions everything you do, the reasons why you're doing it and, lastly, it instills enough doubt for you to rethink your actions. It has the power to make you uncertain and act upon that uncertainty. Then, a second wave of questions rush through your system. And in response, you pull up a wall of reassurances: "Of course I did my best", "Yes I know what I'm doing" , "I did read the instructions, okay?", etc. Its a risky battlefield where you have to watch your step or you just might be targeted. Your mind also seems to be in close alliance with the Energizer Bunny, since it keeps going and going and going... it seems to be processing thoughts even in your sleep. As if it purposely disguised the OFF button so you wouldn't recognize it and press it. So, you find yourself arguing with this logical or illogical snobbish mind. Darn thing thinks it knows it all, including what's best for you. But it does have it's weaknesses - you just have to find them. For example, an uncertain mind is actually easily distracted. So you might get lucky and avoid any harsh interrogations by simply focusing all your attention on that pretty bird flying by. These minds work differently depending on the individual and the level of independence their minds insist upon. But a common hobby for an uncetain mind is to wonder. About everything! About anything! With or without a valuable enough reason to justify the initial investigation. So, is there a cure? Can we stop it? Or are we doomed to have internal arguments with our stubborn minds for an indefinite amount of time? Well... unless its causing you harm, I don't see it as an illness to cure. It might be a curse at times, but in my own experience you learn something very valuable from it: how to develop winning arguments that'll make even the most ruthless lawyer proud.

By: V.S

Instructions on how to smile

Before there is any misunderstanding, let me clarify that I do not believe smiling comes with a step-by-step manual, like how to work house appliances. I’m sure people may think they need no instructions on how to smile. They’re probably right. There is no right or wrong way to smile. I’m not suggesting there is. I simply believe that smiling can be an experience to savor, an act to delight in and enjoy. It can be so much more than a sign of amusement, when you feel that uplifting transformation change your facial expression. You become aware of the curl of your lips, the softening in your cheeks, and a sweet lighthearted feeling in your chest. A smile can be an automatic reflex - you do it involuntarily to be polite, to salute a passing neighbor, to keep from scowling at your boss, to appear approachable to others, etc. But take a moment here to really feel what its like to smile. First, relax - you don’t just want to flash your canines to prove it’s easy. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Really. (These instructions will still be here when you open them). Now, start small: slightly curl one side of your mouth. Just a little. Now hold it… doesn’t it feel wrong not to curl the other side too? So go ahead. SMILE. Feel your lips broaden, your cheeks pull high and your eyebrows lower over your eyes. It’s a good feeling. And the second you become aware of that feeling, then you can enjoy the act of smiling. Regardless if others may think it’s a little creepy to smile without a justifiable reason. You don’t need any other reason than because you want to and you enjoy it. I think its one way you learn to feel good about yourself, smiling for you. So, take pleasure in that warm light happy feeling, and brighten your own day from the inside out.

By: V.S

Delicious Rain

The rain here in Puerto Rico is as unpredictable as our driving skills. It chooses when to fall, where to go and how long it will stay there. At times, pouring down for days with little rest. In other occasions, the rain simply intervenes once within a day, to remind us that it is never too far. Listening to the weather channel does little to prepare us for its descent. The weather team may announce that tomorrow it will rain ALL DAY. Yet the rain makes itself scarce; instead, leaving plenty of room for the sun to shine and replace it. So then the weather team, undiscouraged, declares that it shall be sunny and hot all week. And then, of course, the rain moves in, showering the unsuspecting and umbrella-less mortals. But even amidst the heavy rain pounding on the streets and homes and skulls of all without shelter, it is inevitable to recognize that there is something very special about this rain, as it plummets at will over this island. There is a natural force at work as it materializes, gathering clouds and wind and a telling stillness before the scent of rain emerges – unmistakable, with the hint of humidity and sweet fresh air. When the heavens finally release this dam of vibrant energy, it is both frightening and awe inspiring. The rain is a living, breathing, touching, swirling storm of unpredictability as it inhales our essences, fears and sins, exhaling our cleansed spirit, hopes and priorities.
This rain is feral when it comes to guarding its freedom, yet deceivingly gentle with its soothing sounds, and cooling breeze caressing across your skin, and in its first shy tentative drops, and the cold cleansing feel of water in the palm of your hand… It is the wild untamable taste of rain that is so delicious as it sets us free, encouraging us to leave behind all feeble worries. It calls to us, heightening our senses, pulling and tugging at our wilder basic natures, drawing out our true desires and forgotten hopes: to be as unpredictable as this delicious rain.

By: V.S

Time to take a stand

No more
I shall allow no more

No shameful taunts of past mistakes
No thoughts of destruction
No self hating grudges

No more
I shall allow no more

No pitying condolences
No patronizing pats on the head
No self accepting helplessness

No more
I shall allow no more

No ancient heartbreaks poisoning with regret
No grueling dismantlement of dreams and desires
No self inflicting damages with the force to set afire

No more
I shall allow no more

From now on, there shall be hope in my thoughts
Confidence in my words
And self love in my heart

NO MORE pain
I SHALL ALLOW NO MORE suffering to cripple me and my search to live free of despair

By: V.S