Friday, June 29, 2007

Road Trip


We are officially broke, we went to California at the beginning of the month, then "mi chica" had to go the following week, then we went to Rocky Point and this weekend here we go again. Our niece turned 18 and since she didn't have a "Quinceanera" party and since she graduated with honors she will have her celebration party tomorrow. So even if our van runs on the gas fumes and even though our pockets are pretty empty we are going. We always manage, this time won't be different.

This is road trip number... hell I lost count how many road trips we've taken this year.


Mr. Manuel from "Manuel's View" commented once that since we go so much to California why don't we just move there. Just so you all know, we lived in Southern California most of our lives and moved to Phoenix back in 1990. We love Phoenix and we intend to stay there. Some years we only go to California twice but for some reason this year has been full of celebrations that we can't miss and this is already our sixth or seventh time going there. Oh well, it's not like we don't enjoy it.

So this afternoon, as soon as I get home and pack we will hit the road, and again we will make this a flash trip and will be back by Sunday night.

Oh, and did I mention that I am going to Mexico City next week on a two week vacation, well that will be a whole different story so stay tuned.

In the meantime I wish you all a nice weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rocky Point Slide Show

Some of you always ask me to post more pictures from our trips. I have created a slide show from last weekend's outing to Rocky Point. It consists of 19 pictures and the style of slide show I picked will take a good 3 to 4 minutes to run all 19 images. So if you wish just CLICK HERE to start the show. If you visit, I hope you enjoy it.



CLICK HERE AND ENJOY

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rocky Point Outing

This post is a little longer that I'm used to but hey it's my story and I'm sticking to it. So, please read on.

It's pretty amazing, we left Phoenix at around 4:30 a.m. and 20 minutes later the sun was up, it wasn't quite 5:00 a.m. and we had absolutely no need for headlights which was fine with me because I could start taking pictures.

We stopped here and there, with two cars full of people it was to be expected but before we knew it we were staring at the ocean, I think it took us about four hours to get there, it was still early so most places were still closed. We started exploring and cruised through the new where a bunch of high end hotels/condominiums are being built. We stopped to eat in this small restaurant that served us the best fish, shrimp, and carne asada tacos. Ummmmm! tacos. I opted for the shrimp and carne asada tacos only but I heard that the fish tacos were way excellent too.


Me saying "I'm so cool you may call me
"JOE COOL"

I was told that you could rent houses there, "mi chica" mentioned this to the lady at the taco place and she directed us to this woman she knew that rented houses, unfortunately there were too many of us and she only had one small house available. So back we went on full stomachs and cruised back to where the action is, there were two very nice hotels a block away from the ocean, it was decided to go to the one that had a swimming pool. It was a very nice hotel but it is decorated with college students in mind, it had not one picture on the walls, no carpet, two beds which basically were two mattresses on a concrete block, and one sofa bed. A TV and small refrigerator and microwave completed the furnishing. Oh and the room was the biggest room I have ever stayed in.

Once we unpacked grown ups and kids alike agreed that the first thing to do was to go to the ocean. Here something amazing happened, as most of us sat where the water met the sand, my son in law decided to go in deep. It wasn't really deep but the waves although small were very powerful, there were four guys all swimming there looking like they were having fun, all of a sudden we started to see some commotion, what happened was that they tried to catch the waves to swim to shore but as soon as the wave passed the back tide pulled them back. When they realized that they were going no where and the shore near as it was might as well be at the end of the world the panic set in and they started to drown.

My son in law was still fighting his own battle, he is a good swimmer but then he caught the face of one of the older swimmers, he looked like he was in his early 30s and all he could make out is that the guy was saying "Help me, I can't swim". The relatives of these people were standing on the shore throwing a rope for them to grab, you have to remember in Mexico you don't see the red swimming suit girls or the Hasenholfs of "Bay Watch", there it's a swim at your own risk situation.


My son in law at this time had reached them and was trying to push them out, except they were totally panicking and almost drowned him, he was able to freed himself and somehow started pushing them one by one until the last one was out and safe, it took a great effort for him to swim against the back tide but finally him too reached safety, he did come out with a bunch of bloody cuts and sratches, but other than that he was OK. All I could see were people shaking his hand and thanking him. The 30 plus year old man was down on his knees for about 15 minutes.


My daughter Nikki running to greet her hero, notice the people in the back were the rescuees.


This all happened very fast, thank God there wasn't a tragedy, that for sure would have dampened the weekend, instead once we left the ocean and went back to the hotel's swimming pool and
there we spent the next three hours just relaxing by the swimming pool bar (yes the pool had a bar inside the water), sipping Coronas and eating chicken wings, nachos, and "quesadillas" and we had so much fun there that the earlier events thankfully just looked like a blurr.

In the afternoon we went down to "El Malecon" where we ate a hot (as in chilly hot) shrimp cocktail, and more "carne asada" tacos. After eating we went outside and stood by the ocean where we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen.



Needless to say most of us had the worst sun burns we have ever got, I know that the next day I looked like a lobster, that's how red I was, now as I'm writing this the pain has subsided but the itching continues. Oh but it was all worth it, it was a quick trip on a budget but it all worked out in the end.

Coming back as we were going to cross the border and the official asked us for our IDs yours truly for the second time pulled the visa debit bank card instead of the driver licence, the official told me that it would be acceptable only if it had lots of money... Yeah right!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lety la fea


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

La fea más bella was a Mexican telenovela produced by Televisa. It is the second Mexican version of the popular Colombian telenovela Betty la fea. La fea más bella stars popular actress/singer/comedian Angélica Vale and actor/singer Jaime Camil, with one of the most diverse and popular supporting casts ever assembled in Mexico, including Angélica María, José José, Sergio Mayer, Elizabeth Álvarez, Patricia Navidad and many others.

Telenovelas are wildly popular throughout the Spanish speaking world and their limited run series are very profitable. La fea más bella is the number one Univision TV program according to 2006 Nielsen ratings. It also beats out some American
programming in the 8 to 9 PM timeslot. For the week of Nov. 6-12, 2006, La fea más bella averaged approximately 5 million viewers each evening. It was ranked in the Nielsen Ratings's top 100 rated shows at numbers 79, 80, 82, 83 and 86. It is notable that this telenovela's Neilsen rated show, #80, on a Thursday night beat out the CW's Smallville which came in at #84 with 4.46 million viewers.




And tonight it comes to an end on a projected three hour finale. We will for sure miss this novela, only every once in a while such a clean family oriented fun show comes around. What are we going to do from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It's been said before that all good things must come to an end.

But we are not just going to sit at our homes and watch this episode, no, no, no, no, no. We are gathering at my mom's after work for some tacos, salsas, possibly frijoles and good ole hearty family unity. We all watch it and so I think events like this are a good excuse to be together, have good food and enjoy the last episode of a great show.


Lety la fea and Ugly Betty together

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Puerto Penasco


Picture borrowed from Rocky Point-Mexico.com


Although I have never been to Puerto Penasco a.k.a. Rocky Point in Sonora, Mexico the plan is to go there this weekend. My sister in law and "mi chica" planned the outing and as usual all the in-laws want to tag along.

The plan is to leave Phoenix very early on Saturday morning, I believe it's only a four hour drive but I could be wrong. It is roughly 220 miles give or take from our house. The drive there should be exciting as well. Once past Gila Bend the road will take you past the Berry Goldwater practice range for Luke Air Force Base. Then through the Ajo mountains. We will drive through the old mining town of Ajo. This is where we will probably gas up and buy the required Mexican Insurance. On with the journey, 40 more miles to the border, we will pass through the small town of Why, then through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I hear it's a very pretty drive. When reach and cross the border we will go through the town of Sonoyta and some 56 miles to Rocky Point.

It will be nice to lay in the sand by the ocean, and to be able to eat genuine Mexican tacos, and the now famous Shrimp Tacos. Hopefully we will be able to find a bar that has karaoke, that should be fun for a night out. Bottom line is, I love impromptu trips like this one and when the whole family comes along the fun just multiplies.

There will probably be plenty of pictures when I come back on Sunday so I'll be posting them on both my blogs, so make sure you come back and visit to see them.

They Certainly Can



I am an avid "American Idol" fan and really love that show but when AI is over my second favorite show comes to life. "So You Think You Can Dance" has everything I like to see in a show and then some.

I just finished watching today's show and let me tell ya, I am not ready to let any of the dancers go, so I will leave it first up to you my friends vote and vote until their fingers don't want to dial anymore and then it will all be in the hands of the judges.

Compared to last season where some of the participants right away set themselves apart form the rest, this year I think is so much more balanced, and today was proof of that. If it was up to me to choose who will be leaving us today I would have to say Cedric from the guys and it would be a toss up between Jaimie or Shauna. But thankfully for them it won't be up to me, aren't they lucky?

I really enjoy the intensity of the competition, the choreography so far has been great and it is only going to get better as the eliminations progress.

If you are not watching it, you are missing on a great, great show.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father's Day

Father's Day came and went, and thanks to my family specially to "mi chica" I had a great time. We stayed home and invited my sister in law, my son, and my father in law along with their respective families. My two daughters and their husbands live with me for now so the whole family was there. Our girls treated us to some great food including my sister in laws awesome "enchiladas". "Mi chica" made some rice, beans and salsas to go with the meat, and even though I don't normally drink, I treated myself to a few cold ones. Can you say salud?


I am blessed to have in laws that like me (at least I think they do). Not too long ago I forgot my key at home and on a Friday afternoon everyone decided to go out so I was locked out of my house for roughly an hour and half.


Also, some of you may remember the time I broke down and I was incommunicado since I don't carry a cell phone, (hate the little buggers). Well that came to an end this past Sunday as my sons in law felt that I need to join the 21st century crowd and own one. So, they bought me the new Samsung T219 from T-Mobile and will pay for my monthly bill. No fancy frills on this one, just text and long distance service came with it. No camera, TV, I Pod, computer, navigation system, or salt and pepper shakers in it. Simplicity at it's best. What? what is my number, hell if I know, which is fine with me since I will probably never call myself.

The rest of the afternoon we spent it outside swimming, the temperature here in Phoenix has been around 110 degrees for the past week so the swimming pool is the place to be.

So I just want' to thank "Mi chica", my kids, my in laws, my grandkids, and the many blogger friends that wished me a Happy Father's Day, thanks to you all I did have a great memorable time.

Oh and since now I have a phone, am I on your Fav 5 yet?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Something New

SOMETHING NEW

So Diego my 4-year old grandson rushes into the living room looking for his mom.

Diego - Mom!
Mom - Yes Diego.
Diego - Come with me quick.

He takes her into the restroom where the smell is not pleasant at all. Diego points to the toilet and asks.

Diego - Is that diarrhea?
Mom - (Covering her nose and laughing at the same time) Yes it is, now flush it quick.

Kids, they learn something new every day.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

1-Year Anniversary


Last year I used to visit the American Idol page every week so that I could read the show reviews and to find out what the contestants would be singing the following week. Soon I got tired because the writer doing the review pretty much wrote the same thing every week so I googled American Idol and one of the returns I got was DJ Slim's American Idolbloglive.com, I immediately got hooked. DJ slim would write the previous show play by play almost verbatim and his comments were those of a fan and not of a writer.

After almost a month of going into that site daily, I made some friends there including these two ladies, Angie of "Ficken Chingers" and TRL or Terilynn of "Terilynn". When they mentioned that they had their own blogs as well as being moderators for DJ Slim's blog, I didn't want to sound ignorant so I didn't ask them what exactly was a blog so again I just googled it and Blogger was the first response. I signed up and wrote my first post,and second post. By the way Angie and Terilynn are on my blogroll and will remain there until either of us decides to stop blogging, they are like my blog godmothers.

That was a year ago today. Who would have thought that I would continue to write, I really thought that after a week or so the blog would wind up in blog heaven or wherever it is blogs go when they die or are abandoned.

It was obvious that my blog had a faithful reader, me. Angie mentioned that "Blog Explosion" was on of her favorite sites and gave me the link, actually I just clicked on the BE button on her blog and soon became a member too.

Once on BE I met my first reader "The Battle Rock Spot" and we immediately became friends, to this day we still visit each other's blogs almost daily. My second blogger friend was "Bozzette", and then after a month of stalking me as an easy target for the BOTBs Erin of "It's my life" now known as EC of "Whatever Blows My Skirt" also admitted that she had been enjoying some of my posts. That's how my friend base started at BE.


My blogger friends and family


Blog Explosion has definitely been the engine I have used for exposure. Sure there are others but I think the coolest people are on BE. New friends were made, "Mushy" of "Mushy's Moochings" became some of my best and most influential blogging friends, it seemed that different as we are we also had a lot in common. I consider it a pleasure and an honor to be his friend. If you want a good read and haven't been to his blog, I highly recommend it.

Tara of "Soul Blessings" and Carol of "The Turning Point" also found their way into my blogroll, both of them found me and now I am happy to say we are really good blog friends too.

So I survived the first year and I hope to continue to stick around for as long as I can. My plan and or goal for the second year is to get more friends that actually visit the blog because they want to as opposed to clicking on me to get a vote, all your comments and suggestions for what you would like to see will be greatly appreciated.

So to all my readers, family and friends, thank you for the support you have given me throughout the first year, hope you all keep coming back.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Quinceanera



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The invitation didn't say anything about a ceremony so we assumed that there was none. After staying up until 3:00 a.m. "mi chica" woke up early to go those girly things they always do when we go to California, (nails, pedicure, etc. etc.). She decided to call her brother to let him know we were there and she casually asked how come there was no ceremony. "There is a ceremony, didn't I tell you? It's only for the family and very close friends and it's at 1:00 p.m." he said.


Well by this time that only gave us about an hour to get showered, dressed and to drive to "El Santuario de la Virgen de Guadalupe" in East L.A. Luckily traffic was not too bad, we were only a little bit late and only missed the first five minutes of the ceremony.

"El Santuraio de la Virgen de Guadalupe" is a beautiful but very tiny church that sits on top of a hill and can be seen as you drive the Pomona Fwy. going east. The whole inside of the temple is hand

painted, murals adorn the walls and ceiling, and a lot of gold paint was used to highlight every inch of the temple. The ceremony was very nice and went on for nearly an hour.

Once outside it was photo session time, we all took turns posing with the "Quinceañera". She was so beautiful looking like a little princess in her white dress.


We went back to my brother in law's house to rest as the reception was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. In the meantime we decided to go visit my sister. She just bought a house in La Puente and we wanted to go see it.

We made it to Quiet Cannon for the reception at around 6:30 p.m. After a very nice dinner and some 15 glasses of this delicious fruit punch they had we finally started dancing. At first I thought all we would get to see were these kids dancing their tribal dances all night long but the DJ had a surprise in store for us as he mixed the music very well and played just about every genre of music that we grew up with. To say he took us down memory
lane is an understatement. The young crowd didn't seem to mind as they did not discriminated against any of the music and just kept dancing, which in turn made it for one of the most fun parties we have been to lately.

Very happy and a few pounds lighter we finally went back to my in laws house for a well deserved and by then long overdue rest.

On Sunday we went back to my sister's for dinner. She cooked this pork ribs in a green chili that was very tasty, we burned the pictures from the weekend on a couple of discs, we karaoked some more and finally at around 7:00 p.m. we hit the road back to Phoenix.

Even though this was a very short trip, we really had a great time. But no matter how fun, nothing beats coming back home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Friday's Outing

So, we left for West Covina at around 3:00 p.m. on Friday. My daughter and sister in law left at least two hours ahead of us. When we called them the first time they were by Blythe, we were just leaving Quartzite so we knew then that we were only about 45 minutes behind them.

We continued to drive and when we got to Cabazon (Right outside of Palm Springs) we caught up with them. They got off to take pictures with the life size dinosaurs that have been living there for quite a long time now. Some of you may recognize them from the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure".


After swapping some passengers and now two vehicles strong we continued with our trip. I drove the first two hours but normally "mi chica" is the designated driver, so I sat in the back seat enjoying a movie, this time I watched "Tokyo Drift" from the Fast and the Furious series. It was a good movie to watch while on the road.

We finally got to my brother in laws house at abut 9:00 p.m. We had planned to go with my sister to a restaurant called "Casa Cabral" for karaoke so we immediately called her and told her to be ready. So in a few minutes I was escorted by "mi chica", my two daughters, and sisters in law and headed for the restaurant.

There is something we must do more than once when we visit and that is to go to this small taco place called "Rambo's Tacos", trust me they have some of the best tasting tacos around, of course my brother in law and family don't care much for them but then again they live a block away from the place. We life some 425 miles away so yeap, it usually Rambo's Tacos all weekend long, we looooooove it.

So with a few minutes delay and a full stomach we finally headed for City of Commerce and Casa Cabral. We got there at around 10:30 p.m. immediately after they announced we were there, yeah they were waiting for us and greeted us very nicely. After a couple of voice tuners a.k.a. Bud lights I put my name down for a song. "Loco" by Alejandro Fernandez was the song of choice, I think I did great based on the clap meter and standing ovation that I received, OK it was either that or the Bud lights made me hallucinate. But hey when Alejandro sings in his concerts bras start flying and landing on the stage, so what does Alejandro have that I don't other than charm, a great voice, and lots of money.


I was about to leave the stage, shaking legs and all when the MC held me and said, since you came from so far we won't make you wait, here sing another song. I was just too happy to comply with my newly found fans. This time I chose a Jose Jose tune, not onlyis he my "tocayo" (meaning we have the same name) but I can really sing his songs, Jose Jose is one of the best crooners Mexico has, now he is old and with no voice but we still love him.

We drank some more and danced a good portion of the night, my sister in law was so tired (after dancing about two songs) she said she was going to be in pain and unable to lift her arms past her chest the next morning. Cunis, can we say out of shape?

"Mi chica" also had a funny story from our outing, but since it's her story I'll let her blog about it... What? -- Hell will freeze over before she blogs! Well then, so much for that story.

Two of my most loyal fans: My sister Chely, and "Mi Chica"
It's obvious I can only bring smiles to their lovely faces.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quinceanera


And yet one more celebration. This time we will be going to California for my niece's "Quinceanera". As you may or may not know for us a "Quinceanera" is just as elaborate as a wedding. My niece will have the party at a pretty fancy place called "Quiet Cannon Restaurant" in Montebello.

We intend to leave for L.A. right after work on Friday afternoon, it's only a 5-hour drive so we should be there early. The plan is to get there early enough to go to a place my sister goes to karaoke, I hear it's pretty fun so we decided to give it a shot.

Because where I work we deal with schools and government and because the end of this month is end of fiscal year for them I can't take any days off, so we will have to go and come back real quick, but we are becoming expert at these type of flash trips.

Something about road trips that just relaxes me, oh and "mi chica" is normally the designated driver so I just sit in the back seat and maybe catch a movie or two. Our trips are pretty much routine, we already know where we will stop and where we will gas up. We like to make the most out of the outing.

Hopefully I will have some pictures to share with you when I come back.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Snivel and sniveling

My best score ever!



And then I go and loose the next 18 or so in a row.

Way to go Joe Cool!

OK, I'm done sniveling

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home! Dear nephew of mine
Let life's lessons guide you now
Look for your strengths, make them anew
And realize your strength is now with you
It's called you family
But I'm sure you knew

If wasted time then
Yields you a better future
Then I thank God now
For I know your mom's prayers
Were answered and your son's love nurtured.

Look around you
Open your eyes
Give us the chance
To show you how
Ask us questions
Come for help
And don't falter
When temptation is there.

Your little boy has waited
Do not fail him now
And show him that daddy
Came home to him now

Today we are happy
Today we rejoice
Today we all tell you
that you are welcome home.

Love you mijo,
Por vida

Cruising

I could not wait for Friday night to come. I used to go to school and then to my part time job cleaning lighting fixtures at a lighting store in Hollywood, it was pretty routine but Friday night was special.

First back in the good ol' days we used to get paid weekly, non of this by-monthly pay schedule we now have. So Friday night right after punching out the first order of business was to go cash that baby (the paycheck) and then hit the car wash.

I bought my first car when I was 17 years old and my first bike when I was 18. My car was a 1971 Chevy Impala, with a 400 engine, it was the smoothest and fastest car I have ever owned, yes even faster than my current Mustang. My bike was a candy apple red 1980 Kawasaki KZ400.

So back to Friday night, what made it so special was that it was cruising night. I grew up cruising. Every Friday night we would go down to Whittier Blvd., in East Los Angeles and cruise from Eastern Avenue to Atlantic Boulevard and back. Whittier blvd. held a special charm for us Latinos. It was the place for "La Raza" to have fun while showing off the cool cars which in East L.A. were mostly of the "lowrider" kind.

My bike also saw many cruising nights, it was funner to go in the bike because in California we got to white line (riding between cars) which made it possible for us to cruise up and down at least two times but sometimes three times through the boulevard. A normal amount of time to cruise the 1-mile stretch would be about an hour to an hour and a half.

Of all the cruising spots Whittier Blvd. was the epitome of what cruising was all about. Its mystique and history were second to none and it took a special kind of person to cruise up and down the boulevard.

For a more diverse kind of cruising also on Friday night we would go to Hollywood Blvd. There you would find from lowriders to hot-rods, to bikers, to crotch rockets all cruising from the exit of the Hollywood freeway on Hollywood Blvd, all the way up to La Brea Blvd. Hollywood Blvd. could be experienced both on foot as well as driving, to this day I believe it's still a fun place to visit.

Van Nuys Blvd, on Saturday's offered a different kind of cruising. Van Nuys was to the Anglo population what Whittier was to the Latinos, and Hot Rods were the predominant car of choice there.

There were lesser known places such as Pacific Avenue in Huntington Park, or going to "Angelo's Burgers" on Beach Blvd. in Anaheim, and I can say I cruised them all.

In the mid 80's I joined a mini truck club and we would cruise "Puente Hills Mall" every Friday night as well, those were my last cruising days. Eventually one by one all the cruising spots were closed by the police, barricades would be placed on Whittier Blvd from Eastern to Atlantic between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and Hollywood tried doing the same, except the chamber of commerce complained as many businesses relied on traffic that only goes to Hollywood at night. So cruising was allowed there, but cop cars were placed in every intersection.

I used to be pulled over by the Sheriffs almost once a week on my mini truck. My mini truck was borderline on everything but was not illegal, so once a week they would pull me over but also once a week I would drive free of citations, needless to say "mi chica" hated my mini truck with a passion.

So there you have it, for many years cruising was a big part of my weekends and I truly hate the fact that none of my kids got to experience one of the best American weekend pastimes.
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