Monday, December 31, 2007

Feels so right.

So the year is over, as we prepare to welcome a new year reflecting on what has transpired during 2007 is always good to see if we can better ourselves during 2008. I like to think that I learn from my mistakes so hopefully I won't let myself fall into the same traps that I may have fallen before.

The one constant every year has been the fact that "mi chica" is still with me through thick and thin, and that no matter what she continues to put up with me and all the mad sense that I make. I am sure that as I get older I get crankier. At least this is what my daughters and mi chica remind me often.

But at the end of the day I know that we are doing what we are supposed to do, we have three kids that love us and now six grand kids that adore us and you know what, if feels alright.

Visit me at Bix

Tonight we plan to get together at my sister house where we will wait for the new year to arrive. I am sure there will be plenty of food and probably drinks for those who drink. I just got too old for partying so block parties or huge outside new year celebrations have never been part of our agenda. I prefer to receive the year with those close to me but at the end of the night once again it's only "mi chica" and I.

So once again, it is my wish for all of you to have a Happy New Year, to receive it in any way that is enjoyable to you and to make the most of a celebration that won't come again until 2009.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nothing Really

Well what do you know, I got offered free tickets to go see the Cardinals play and I declined on the count that the game had already started and I had to still take a shower and get presentable. The stadium is only about 10 minutes away from me but I felt lazy to hustle. Anyway, we saw them on TV and they won. See, no matter what I am a Cardinal fan, they are my home town team and I support them, needles to say I am happy when they win and this was probably their best season in years.

However, I am going to take a minute to congratulate my dear friend Erin, her team went undefeated and I know she is partying her butt out. She is a fan and only God knows when she'll stop celebrating.

Mi chica open this bottle of wine and didn't even drink a glass, so I am going to finish it all by myself, I am almost done with it and don't even feel like I been drinking, I think just one more glass and it will be gone, so since I can't put the cork back on I think I'll just finish it.

Last night we rented some movies, as a rule we get an action flick and a chick flick to kindda balance things out, we rented Rocky Balboa and Songs & Lyrics. They were both OK movies, I knew they were not block busters or anything like that but mi chica and I were pretty surprised that they were actually both good. When I heard they were doing another Rocky movie I said "Why?" but the movie was actually a nice movie to watch with mi chica. At the end we both had sweaty hands during the fight, yeah right like if it was true. That's the power of movies.

Anyway, I am having a four day weekend because of the holidays and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. Rest, rest, and more rest is in my agenda.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas 2007

Hello my fellow bloggers, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of warmth and family unity as I believe should be. I had a wonderful time, my family gathered at my niece's house on Christmas eve and we all had a great time. There was plenty of food and presents for all.

The more is less mentality applied this year. We didn't go overboard with the presents, we had a simple gift exchange and of course the kids did get a plethora of things, the food was great and maybe more than we needed but at least we had a nice choice of dishes to eat. Plenty of deserts too.

After midnight, we all said good bye and as is a tradition of ours, my very immediate family came back home with us and spent another hour or two opening more presents, this time we usually reserve for the kids, they are the ones that have the most fun unwrapping gifts than anyone else. Us grown ups just sipped on coffee and watched them have their fun. After a couple of hours they all said goodbye and said that they would be back later for us to enjoy a Christmas dinner.

My sister in law and her family joined us later on and we all enjoyed a ham cooked by mi chica. Some of the guests brought deserts and and drinks and we all spent a nice afternoon together. To me being together as a family is what it's all about.

I remember growing up Christmas was not about gifts and Santa Claus, but about the celebration of Jesus Christ birth. We celebrated starting on December 16th with a nightly "posada" in which we would re-enact how Joseph and Mary went from door to door asking for a place to spend the night until finally they were given the barn to stay. This is a Mexican custom that I wouldn't doubt still exists today. After the re-enactment we would brake three or sometimes four pinatas that mostly had fruits inside and a few pieces of candy.

Fireworks are also popular during that time of the year, in Mexico everybody can buy and light up fireworks, they have from the mild firecrackers to the more sophisticated bombs. Dangerous, yes but a part of our custom just the same.

i really hope that your celebrations were just as fun and as good as ours was. Now we prepare to receive the new year. I really hope that 2008 is a better year for all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another You Another Me

Well it's still Friday and I am barely getting a chance to do my post for the day. It's Friday and I think I am going to use the new equipment Mr. Manuel gave me for Christmas. Karaoke was never this good. It is obvious that you don't know what I'm talking about but Mr. Manuel from Manuel's Views gave all his friends this virtual Christmas presents and the following is what he gave me.

Jose gets the most expensive gift on the list. This is the ultimate karaoke machine with video, speakers, etc. It truly is a unique and awesome machine and he can practice his love of singing whenever he wants.

So as you can see someone out there appreciates my singing. lol They say that it's the thought that counts, and Mr. Manuel went overboard with the virtual present. I appreciate it a lot.

So this week I am not going to post a song about giving, but this one is about love. It's a country ballad but I didn't make it sound too country, I lack the Southern accent that country music is known for and then I inject my Mexican accent and the end result sometimes is not what you may expect. This one has a soft rock ballad sound to it. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Vote for me on!

And just as I did last week I am featuring another good friend of mine that I met over at bix. When it comes to the classic country songs this man can sing them as good if not better than many of the artists that sing them on the radio. There is no doubt that there is a lot of undiscovered talent out there. We all know that in order to make it there's got to be a complete package. Now thanks to bix and other similar web sites we are finding these great performers that in my book are second to none.

Here is my friend Duke or Sir Duke as we now call him with a rendition of the Christmas Classic Mele Kalikimaka. I hope you all enjoy this one too.

Vote for me on!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Is Almost Over

And just when you already accepted the fact that Christmas will be a little on the poor side, God comes along and once again showers us with unexpected funds that will allow us to give a little more than hugs and good wishes.

Yeah, my employer gives us bonuses every year, actually twice a year but this Christmas he outdid himself with the amount. So... yes, all the kids get presents and even an adult or two will get a gift too. We have a saying that goes "God squeezes but does not choke" and that is so true, in the end things always fall right into place.

My dentist won't get a present from me but will get a healthy amount from my bonuses, grrrrr. But hey, it has to be done. Again one of those things that were not in the plans for this year may also come true. I call it divine intervention.

Well, 2007 is almost in the books and as we get ready to receive the new year, we make plans to see how we can make the coming year better than this one. We are survivors, and we survived but would like for next year to go a hell of a lot more smoothly. We'll just have to wait and see.

And yet, there is so much to be thankful for that I won't even attempt to put a list out. Our family continues to be united, and healthy. That right there is the best thing that can happen to us. Food, wow, that's another thing I've been lucky about this year, I continue to eat the best home cooked meals that my mom and "mi chica" prepare for me, yes I need to diet but it's too hard with such great cooking.

How I wish everyone would have it as good as I do, and yet there are many families with their loved ones overseas, many moms, dads, daughters, sons, relatives, won't have a loved one that is serving in the armed forces, to all of them I wish the best that Christmas has to offer, I don't forget about them as I realize how lucky I am to have all my loved ones so close to me.

So to all of you my relatives and friends I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love ya all.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ducky's Birthday

On Sunday we celebrated my grand son's third birthday. It was a gloomy and cold afternoon but we didn't let that get us down. Yeah, the weather finally cooled down from a month ago. We've had a little rain but luckily for us the rain stayed away.

It's amazing how fast kids grow up, they do it fast and they do it without our consent, just a blink of an eye and they are walking, going to school, and reading, writing, and a plethora of other things. "Ducky" as we call him is growing into a great little kid, full of life and energy but with a small attention span. He'll greet you, say yeah, and then leave.

As always, most of the family was there to be with him. The kids played on a trampoline while the grownups enjoyed some hamburgers with all the fixings and some soft drinks. Cake time came and then the opening of the presents. "Ducky" made out like a bandit, as he got a bunch of clothes. I hear from my daughters that this is a very good thing.

"Ducky's" birthday is only a week before Christmas, so depending on how my daughter plays it, it could be a good or a bad thing. The only thing I told them once is that I didn't want to have his birthday consolidated with Christmas.

All in all, we had a great time but still the celebrations have not ended yet. My niece was born the day after Christmas, so we may still have a little party to go to next week.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Angels Among Us

So it's Friday once again and this only means that in my new format it's karaoke day. I continue to have so much fun "karaoking" on line that I decided to use my blog to highlight some of my songs and I'll be bringing guest singers too. It's time to change the format a little and try something new. I figure if I have to blog about it I won't stray to far from blogging.

I don't pretend to be a good singer but believe it or not my singing has improved since I joined. One of the nice things about doing this is that I get to try different genres of music, versatility is the name of the game. I'll do country, soul, R&B, rock, it doesn't matter every thing goes.

Vote for me on!

This is "Teddy Bear" by Red Sovine
Sung by my friend Sonny Daze

Today "mi chica" and I will be going to my company's Christmas party. It's somewhere in Scottsdale is some fancy resort so out goes the suit and white shirt with tie. Our Christmas party is usually a good one, we will have the chance of winning one of two trips. One to Hawaii and the second a Seven day Mexican Riviera Cruise. I have been at this company 17 years and have never won, most winners have only been there over a year. New employees with less than a year are not eligible for this trips.

So wish me luck, maybe this will be the year... not!

In the spirit of Christmas and giving and angels and goodwill, I will once again post a song I did called "Angels Among Us" by Alabama. And the second will be a poem done by a bix friend of mine by the name of Sonny. He recited a poem entitled "Teddy Bear". This is a tear jerker and he did such a great job on it that I asked him if I could post it here.

Let me know if you like it, and if you don't let me know too. It's all good, we take good and bad criticism.

I hope you enjoy these.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Star of Wonder

And so on a rainy afternoon we headed towards Phoenix First to watch the "Star of Wonder Celebration of Christmas". It was a free show that was well worth the trip.

The orchestra and choir were fabulous and the singing and acting was top notch too. It was a very elaborate show that had a little bit of every thing. From flying beds to flying kids and flying angels. The had a couple of "Cirque du Soleil" type performers doing aerial acrobatics. A laser show, parading animals, a children choir. It was non-stop action.

The best part was that the kids enjoyed the show. Diego kept screaming every time a camel, or zebra, or tiger, and even an elephant came across the stage. We chose to sit up in the upper tier so that the kids could see the whole thing. Not the best seats for us grown ups but for the kids it was the perfect place. There's nothing better than enjoying Christmas through the kids eyes.

I want to thank the Paiz' since they are the ones that invited us and got us the free tickets. It's always nice to do something as a family and these type of outings usually provide just that, an opportunity to make happy memories with the kids.

This was definitely a good way to start Christmas. I have some pictures but won't be able to post them until Thursday night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Prepring for Christmas

Once again Christmas is here. I can tell by the way the house has been decorated. "Mi chica" and my daughter spend part of their Saturday cleaning and putting up the decorations. The Christmas tree went up after Thanksgiving Day but rest of the decorations were just put up over the weekend.

The weather has finally dropped, actually we have been having rainy days and those
trusty jackets are out in full force. And to think just two weeks ago we were still wearing shorts and Ts. I still long for a white Christmas although after hearing the complaints from the ones that do have one I think we are better off with a summery kind of Christmas.

We got tickets for the all new ">Star of Wonder celebration of Christmas, the show was for Sunday at 7:00 p.m. We wanted to leave about an hour early but my sister in law told us we would not make it in so we missed it. Well, it seems we'll get a second chance, we now have tickets for tomorrow.

The Star of Wonder celebration of Christmas is a Broadway style musical featuring: Silk artist, 40 foot singing Christmas tree, a cast of hundreds, a full orchestra & choir, living nativity scene, a toy parade, flying angels, exotic animals and much more. It promises to be a great show. We should have a great time. We will leave early enough as to get good seats.

I will try to get some pictures, if I get anything good I'll be sure to post them.

There is a sock hung for each member of my family, and to think it all started with just two, but wait, isn't that how things started in the first place.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Plan

Some of you may remember my post from a couple months ago entitled "Where's the money?", well the time to put the plan into effect is almost here. As the holidays were upon us we didn't want to do anything just yet but as soon as the year begins we are going full force with a plan that will get our finances back in shape.

Yes, "mi chica" got caught up in the middle of the mortgage disaster and subsequently lost her job. Her too is not in a hurry to go back to work, but hopefully as soon as the year begins that will also change.

The first thing we are going to do is put our lovely house for sale. We've had the fortune of living in this beautiful new home in a great neighborhood for the past seven years. Both our daughters were in their teens then and in high school. As both of them are now married and with kids and about to start making their own way "mi chica" and I are left with this big house that we can no longer afford. Selling it is about the best thing we can do.

We then have the option of turning the money around and buying a smaller older house just for us two, or option two move in with my mom for a short period of time. We stay with her three days out of the week anyway and she lives alone so this could be a win, win situation. Paying storage for our things and paying her rent will still leave us with a healthy monthly savings.

My mom is all for it, and so are we. I think we can in turn find a smaller home that we really like and that is more affordable without being forced to make a decision on buying something we don't like or want just because we are in need.

So, the wheels are in motion, it won't be easy as we have to invest some money on the house before we can sell it but the payoff should be good enough. Yes, this is not the best time to sell but if we don't sell now it may get even worse a few months from now as the value of houses continues to drop.

I love this house and will miss it, but all good things come to an end and this will mark the end of this era in our lives. As "mi chica" and I get older we need to start making a plan that makes sense and that will work for us moving forward.

I will keep you apdated as the plan is put in motion.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What If She Is An Angel

Hola my friends, I've been taking vacation time from work, I have also been staying with my mom (no Internet there)plus the every day things we must do and that all adds up to me posting less here, add to this bix and yeap I have been a busy body.

Well just a few more days for Christmas, we continue to plan on a poor Christmas present wise, but a rich Christmas in family warmth. Today as I took a day off I put the Christmas lights at my mom's house and she was so happy, that in itself made my day. She fed us and gave us rice pudding before we could come home. We almost spent the whole week there because on Monday we did the novela finale, and we normally go to stay with her Tuesdays, Wednesdays and half of Thursdays.

Today is Friday and I go back to work only becaue I'll have two people out and I need to cover for them, but it's nice to know that the weekend is just a few hours away.

We are not having anything close to a white Christmas, it's still sunny and altough not hot anymore it's not cold either, the weather is very fair and people can still wear short if they want to. So if you are having a white Chritmas already will you send me some pictures.

I will post another song I did at over at bix, in keeping with the Christmas spirit this song talks about giving and angels, what can be better than that. I hope you like it. I figure since I'm spending so much time over at bix I might as well share with you. I welcome your comments good or bad.

Have a great weekend.

Vote for me on!

What if She's an Angel
Tommy Shane Steiner
Sung by: Joe Cool

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Destilando Amor Finale

Well leave it to me to come up with a great excuse to get the family together and have some good food. Being Hispanic and having so many women around me I have to get hooked with the Mexican Tele-novelas, my mom watches them and since we spend almost three days at her house we have no choice (actually we do but...)to sit with her and watch them until we are hooked.

So, last night on a 2 and a half hour finale, the telenovela "Destilando Amor" came to it's end. That's the beauty of Mexican telenovelas, they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. My mom and sisters were asking me if I were going to have a novela finale party? "Of course" was my reply. "Mi chica" and I stopped at the super marked and bough "Carnitas y Buche" already cooked so nobody at home would have to. My mom refried the beans and made a salsa and that was all we needed. Needless to say we were stuffed.

My sister brought the Mexican sweet bread and a pineapple cake for the "cafesito" later on.

It never fails that with so many of us supposedly watching the finale we miss a lot because of the endless conversations, so we got smart this time and recorded it too, we actually had to go back to the recording to catch a few missed scenes.

All in all we had a great time, it really doesn't take much for us to be happy, just the good company together as a family and the tasty food, what more can anyone ask for.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pretty Paper

Hello friends and family, this the time of the year where goodwill and good tidings abound, and while many of us are blessed to have food on our tables and a roof over our heads, there are those less fortunate that don't have it that easy.

You don't need to spend huge amounts of cash for this, but if you join the many group efforts at work, or church, or clubs, before you realize there is a good amount of food and supplies collected as well as toys for those children that otherwise wouldn't get a present of Christmas day.

This year has been tough for us, some of you may remember my post about two months ago called "Where's the money", well "mi chica" did lose her job as a loan officer and to this day is still unemployed. But even now, we are still blessed because we have a family and we have each other. We are waiting for the new year to come to start putting our plan in effect. We decided to let the status quo for the remaining of the year.

And so, here we are. December is here and with it the madness of the commercialisation, but also there are plenty of good things that remind us what the season is all about. Each individual family may celebrate different, while some may not even celebrate at all but it's up to you and me to make this Christmas all it can be, yes the presents and the abundance of food is always nice but don't forget the goodwill towards your fellow man.

I decided to share this song Roy Orbison / Willie Nelson sing that talks about this issue. Fair warning this is computer karaoke with just a lap top and a mic, so don't expect much, besides my singing still sucks, but I think it's getting better though. lol So enjoy... or not, it's up to you.

Vote for me on!

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