Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Bohemian Bike Night?

Tonight was a prelude to tomorrow's Bohemian Night but it was also fused with Westgate Bike Night which makes me think that it's a small world, or at least a small town.

Last week I met Mary, the coordinator for the Bohemian Night and we are getting to know each other through the PoetAz page on Facebook which she maintains and through our blogs. So this afternoon I got a text from her where she said there were lots and lots of bikers where she was and asked if I was there. No, not yet is what I told myself as I was still performing market shopping duty with my mom.

Of course I was heading that way, tonight was the opening night for Westgate Bike Night and I even ditched choir practice to attend. I got there and found her along with two other friends I met last Friday (both of them great poets) enjoying some drinks at Margaritaville, I was asked to joined them and the next two hours were spent in conversation about music, poetry, and bike noise, lol. Yeap, the place was so packed that I didn't even make it in to park on the street but had to go and park along a lonely wall next to the "cops only" parking. lol I kinda hoped my bike would not be towed away from there and luckily it wasn't.

The more I talked to this ladies, the more I became excited about tomorrow's performance. Oh, by the way I am now listed in the program so I guess I can't back down now. I was thinking maybe I will do three songs and go find me a corner to hide afterwards but I was told to start thinking more like a five song set. So, a five song set it will be I guess.

Card for Friday performer's, I am excited now.

If my niece goes with me tomorrow I may pull her to give me some singing support, specially since our choir main guitar player will also be there. Oh, man this is sounding better and better by the minute. We will see.

Vicky (Poet), Mary (organizer and poet)and Blanca (poet and MC)

But more on the Bohemian Night tomorrow.

Well, for sure they were having a kick with all the bikes and bikers there, I certainly was too so let me share with you what I consider poetry of a different kind. Poetry on two wheels, loud, exciting, and beautiful.










Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Diego

It was early but I had to be there at 8:30 a.m. my new and expensive glasses were ready for pick up. On my way back I called my daughter and asked her if she was ready, well as usual she wasn't but this time she did not make me wait too long. The plan was for me to go down to the stereo shop to drop off my car as it was about to get it's brand new stereo and she would pick me up there. Then from there it was off to buy all the things we needed for Diego's eight birthday party.

So, last week I had a date with my Nikki and Laila and this Saturday was Michelle and Atalie. How can you go to the store on an empty stomach, that's right you can't so a stop at Denny's for an awesome stake skillet was in the agenda. Again I only left a fry and my skilled didn't even have fries in it. Ummm how did that happen? Atalie was so well behaved that our server even brought her goodies.

After a good hour or so we headed back to my house to start cooking but it had been invaded by not one or two nor three or four, five, six, seven or eight, or even nine, ten, elenven nor twelve yes thirteen of my fifteen grandkids were there plus two honorary grandkids as well. Oh boy, that was fun. I cooked the beans and my daughter did the hot dogs.

Little by little all the guests started arriving and all the kids played outside in the front yard. Unfortunately for me I got worried that the shop was scheduled to close in half an hour and they still had not called me about my car so my son and I headed that way and had to wait for it to be finished for close to an hour. By this time cake was cut, presents were opened and the party was pretty much over. For what I heard, Diego made out like a bandit.

As an added bonus for me more than him he spent the night and went to church with me the next morning. We normally leave an hour and a half before mass starts because we have to practice the songs we will be singing, he loves being there and is a member of the choir. He has yet to sing but he definitely moves his lips and lipsinc many of the songs. All the choir members love him as they have known him for a year now and before going in to church we sang him his Mananitas and Happy Birthday. He had a simple yet fantstic birhday party which he totally enjoyed.

video

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Noche Bohemia - Bohemian Night



"The concept of Bohemia is the coexistence, is to socialize with friends in an atmosphere of camaraderie, where music, songs, poems, anecdotes and all the spontaneity, are the main element."
"In a Bohemian all the guests can participate and be singing in the chorus, reciting or playing a musical instrument. And you do not know how to sing or play with virtuosity because"
"To be Bohemio just need to be in love, excited, passionate .... or deeply hurt"

Well I came home from work on Friday and after resting for a little bit I decided to get ready to attend my first ever Bohemian Night. I was told about this by a friend and co-member of our church choir, he told me that I would fit right in as I sing fairly decent and they are always looking for performers. Ummmmm, I got the idea right away that this is not karaoke so I was contacted by Mari the coordinator and she invited me to come in.

So I got there at around 7:30 pm and the place was empty, ummm I went in anyway and introduced myself, she in turned gave me a hug and introduced me to her husband and the few other people there, right away I felt totally welcomed there. She apologised cause nobody had showed up yet and I told her not to worry as I was not in a hurry to leave.

Sitting here with singer and song writer Guillermo Saenz.

In the next half hour the place, a local Salvatorian restaurant started to fill up to capacity and at around 8:00 pm the first performances started. So each performer in the card scheduled to appear does a set of four to five songs. Now these guys not only can sing but played their guitars like nobodies business which in contrast with me not only I don't play or sing as good as they do but I can't memorize lyrics which means I will rely on reading them.

So, I did stick it out and stayed there until the end, it was a night of hugs and hand shakes, these people really are a tight group and they all respect and like each other. It was a night of different nationalities coming together, there were people from all over South America and the love for each other's nationalities was evident.

There are singers, and there were also poets, so there were many poetry sets as well. Perhaps I will also write some of my wannabe rhymes and one day read them there.

So I was asked to come back and sing for them next Friday and I agreed, arggg that will be definitely different, I will arm myself with my music tracks and my trusty lyrics and hopefully I won't crash and burn.

I will let you know how that will pan out.

Images "borrowed" from Poemary of PoetAZ.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tidbits Time

OK so Arizona or Phoenix Arizona to be exact is getting weird, first it was like really cold and then a couple of weeks later it wasn't then last week it was hot so I wore shorts all week long, then this morning was not cold at all and yet there was ice on the roof tops. I am so confused, what's next rain during the summer, oh wait that already happens.

Awww Jama and Diego, his angel up in heaven.

Well regardless of the weather this next Saturday we will be celebrating Diego's eight birthday, yeap you heard right, my little man is turning ocho. I know of an angel up in heaven celebrating with him from way up there. I really do believe that just in case you are wondering.

So he will have an intimate family get together complete with cake, hot dogs, and I am thinking "frijolitos puercos" which I am planning on cooking myself. Ummm that will definitely be a first but I think I can pull it off. It will be here at the house and he says he is really happy. Well, this little dude deserves all the happiness and more.

Grampa and Diego.

On another note, I have been invited to a "Noche Bohemia" at a local restaurant and I think it will be fun to attend. It's a combination of poetry and singing with live music, not as in full musical groups but more like a guitar or two here and there. It should be very interesting and totally different from karaoke. So I'll let you guys know how that pans out.

OK, I don't have enough tidbits so I will cut it short right here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Little Joe's" First Birthday Party

Here's grandpa with the baby of the hour.

Woke up early on Sunday and got ready for church, showered and got dressed only to find out that the shirt which I had carefully ironed the night before would not button up around my neck. So, instead of a shirt and tie I just took a v-neck t-shirt, ummm and I think I pulled it off cause it didn't look too bad.

I am usually done at church by 1:30 p.m. which on this particular Sunday just gave me enough time to go back home and change into something more comfortable to go the the park where my grandson Ramon was having his 1st birthday celebrated. Ummm let me add that the weather was perfect for a day at the park, no sun meant no heat, but not cold or windy or rainy at all. It was just a perfect day for a most awesome birthday party for a most awesome boy.

The music was provided by my son's Bose I-Pod docking station which sounds totally awesome. My younger daughter Nikki said she wants one and had a conversation with my son that went like this:




















Nikki: Juan my birthday is coming I so want one of this.
Juan: Tell Jen, she bought this one for me
Nikki: No, I am telling you, you are my big brother
Juan: That's right and big brothers are for protecting, not buying
LOL - I wonder if I had hear the end of that conversation.

So, we went to the same park we went to last week so it was a lot of the same except this time to celebrate a birthday and of course there were many more people, so with that said I will share a bunch of the pictures I took.

Enjoy!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Ramon
Happy birthday to you
and many more...

Awww here I am with two of my favorite nieces.

It's obvious that the cup cakes were a hit.

Is there any doubt the princesa loves me.

Yes, I live on Sesame Street and these three are my muppets.

Oscars!

Elmo: Hey, do you know what we are doing here.
Cookie Monster: I think we are the guests of honor.

And here is "Little Joe" with the guy I call "The other grandpa".

What do you mean "Which one is the cookie monster". Isn't it obvious?

Mis princesas!

Three amigos! Ehrrr I mean cousins.

Ummm I could be eating a raspado, instead I sit here looking dorky with my eyes closed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday (Remixed)


Today was one of those days where I wake up and have the need to tackle the world. My life is far from complicated but if you know me then you know I love to procrastinate and obviously I had a few things that needed doing but were undone. So got up, had some wake me up coffee took a shower and then I was out and about.

First stop the dealer ship, car was due for service, even though I got there fairly early, a little bit past nine the service shop was already busy, took less than an hour but the all you can drink free cappuccino machine provided me with two more tasty cups of coffee.

Second stop was Costco, allergy season is here and in full bloom so I had to stock up on allergy pills, Costco has some that are very inexpensive and effective. Can't just go to Costco and not walk around the whole place, so I did and practice the art of free sampling. Then I went across the way to Best Buys to scope a car stereo that I have been interested in but found out that the prices were way higher than the last time I went there.

Then back home to get some paperwork I forgot and then off to COX Communications to take care of some issues. That took a while but finally got taken care of. So now off to water mart to get some water and then off to see if there are any good movies for sale at the closing neighborhood Blockbuster.

Back home and hungry I decide to see if my daughter would cook for me. That was not to be as her fridge apparently was as empty as mine so we did the next best thing and we headed for Applebee's. Ummm that turned out to be quite a good idea. I had a stake and shrimp skillet that was mighty tasty, my daughter had pasta. lol




















Off to Kohl's for some birthday present shopping, and then finally back home again. By this time I was ready to take a nap as I had been out all day. Oh no my day is not over yet but I think I will take a little break.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

As I Sit Here and Reflect

What makes life interesting? To me it's very simple the gift of waking up in the morning to tackle the challenges of a new day. While life could be a routine sometimes thinking outside the box and getting off the safety net just adds more excitement. I really think life is really interesting and so worth living. You all know that I was made aware of how fragile life can be and yet the realization that life goes on gives me the strength to carry on.

Then just when I start getting too comfortable with life as it is being dealt to I get another eye opener that puts things in perspective. Watching the news and seeing the devastation in Japan makes me appreciate the life God is allowing me to live, it makes me realize how blessed I am to have the best family a man can ask for, to enjoy the things I have achieved, and to be able to thank God for another day just before I go to bed.

I watch the news in the safety of my home and can't even begin to imagine how thousands of people are suffering right now, how many broken families, how many broken souls, how many broken dreams, how many broken faiths, I sit here writing and saying I am blessed, and thousands over there are probably asking "Why me? God".

Yet, for us it's business as usual, it's a life goes on routine, it's a take care of business or it will take care of you, it's a wake up and smell the coffee. It could happen to us at any time so please take a look, an indepth hard look at yourself and make some changes gradually as needed. If at all it may make you feel better.

Prayers go to our brothers and sisters in Japan, and to those doing their best to assist in rescue searches and whatever else is needed there. If you so feel inclined to do the same keep them in your prayers too.

Monday, March 14, 2011

At The Park on a Sunday Afternoon



I have been and probably still am at a loss for words, events, and basically topics to blog about. Luckily this was a good weekend for me. I spent my Friday afternoon cleaning house, I had been neglecting it lately and even though I don't get it dirty it does get dusty all on its own.

Saturday I woke up early as I had an appointment to go order my new glasses. I did but little suckers left me almost $350.00 in the hole, oh it started higher than that but being the negotiator that I am I brought it down considerably. Still quite a hefty price for two little pieces of glass attached to some metal not thicker than a wire.

I came back home with the intention of washing my car but guess what? This is Phoenix and it was hot. I did wash it but had to wait until past 5:00 o'clock. As I normally do every Saturday I stayed home watching TV and saving my throat for Sunday. I learned my lesson as I went out a couple of times only to not be able to sing on Sunday, and as luck would have it I had solos to perform. Now I prefer to stay home although I may go out on occasion.

My telephone's alarm wakes me up at 7:30 AM every Sunday. I like to get up and make me a coffee to wake up. I check my emails and facebook while I drink it and then it's shower time as I like to get to church promptly at 9:30 AM. Even tho our mass is at 11:30 we normally use one hour to practice our songs and to warm up our voices.

Well, we were asked to please cover for the 1:30 mass too so we did. My daughter left me a message that they were all going to a park to have a family barbecue and asked if I wanted to join. I told them that after the 1:30 PM mass I would be there.

When I got to the park the food was almost ready, all my grand kids and honorary grand kids were there too, the only one missing was my son whom stayed home sick. We had such a good time, the weather was perfect, the kids were all running all over the playground and having a good time. They all looked so cute with their red chicks as one by one run to me to say "hi grandpa" and to give me a kiss.

I so needed such a day, a day with my kids, my grand kids, my nephews, my family.

A tandem swing? What a great invention. lol

Awww my daughters and daughter in law, or in other words my older generation babies.

My nephew Chris and his little baby Joseph, or as I call him "mi tocayito".

Me playing with my little princess Atalie.

Our chef cooking the beans, chicken, etc., but what? No salsa! Who dropped the ball?

Ummm, que rico!

How Fast They Grow... Part 2

And here is the second set of five.

Juan Jr.
Better known as "Juanito"

This is the drama king of the family. Him I could not touch or carry in my arms for the whole first year. He was just a baby while one Christmas Eve I took him from his mom's arms to carry him and he started crying so much they had to go to a room and stay with him for the next 45 minutes or so. After that I was afraid to carry him. Then little by little he started coming to me all on his own. Now it's no problem, he'll come to grandpa and say hi.

Arielle.

In contrast to Juanito, this one became possessive of me. No one, and I mean absolutely no one could hug me without her screaming her little head off. For the first two years of her life and before she would talk this little one could scream in such a high pitch way that it would actually hurt your ears. Anybody even getting close to me and she would actually scream so hard that you really had to think twice before getting anywhere near me. Now when she talks about me she refers to of me as her greatest grandpa, but better yet her #1 grandpa.

Now we come to the trio that joined us last year. Mi chica knew these three were coming but didn't get the chance to see them here. Story goes as told by my daughters that as an angel she had them with her and played with them before sending them over to us. You know what, I believe that to be true.
Ramon.

In about a week, this little one is having his first birthday party already. One year old, so hard to believe. I guess to other people he does not look like a Ramon. They call him Raymon until my daughter in law corrects them and tells them that it is actually a Ramon. I think she is even learning to roll her R's. lol Me, I prefer to call him by his second name, and what is that you ask? Why it is Jose of course. I dubbed this little one "Little Joe", and I believe I am the only one that calls him that.

Atalie.

Alayna and Arielle are the dad's image but OMG when I saw this one for the first time a few minutes after she was born, it took me back to the day her mom was born and I thought it was history repeating itself. To this day I still say this one is all Michelle. She is tiny and very smart, started seating by herself when she was like seven months and standing by herself at around the same time. One more month and a few days and she too will be a year old. This is a super well behaved little girl that prefers freedom to roam around than to be held in anybodies arms.

Laila.

And here she is ladies and gentlemen, this is the baby of the Melo clan, the youngest of the ten and the one will be spoiled rotten by most, specially her mom. lol Pay attention to her mouth. Do you see it? Well, she inherited my mouth and I couldn't be happier. She laughs when I talk to her and always answers me which is funny cause I don't see her that often. She gives me the impression that she knows exactly who I am. I just love her.

So there they are, all ten of them, the sunshine of my life. Now you know why I keep saying that I am so blessed. Yes, God has been good to me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How Fast They Grow... Part 1

A Day at the Park with my kids and grand kids.

Tallynna.

And here is living proof that they in fact grow too fast. Not too long this princess wouldn't want to be torn from grandpa's arms. Now she has reached the double digits, not the teens yet, thank God, but 10 years is nothing to sneeze about. She is my oldest granddaughter, and we have a special bond. I love her to infinity and beyond.

Brianna.

This one is right behind her sister as this year she will also turn 10 years old. When we (Sylvia and I) received the news that this little one was on the way we were supper happy, the best news we had received in a very long time. We remember that for the first year there would not be an outing to any store where mi chica wouldn't come back with a new outfit for her. This one holds a special place in my heart and always will.

Diego.

Only one way to describe this one. "To know him is to love him" this little man is way beyond his years, the oldest of four and the only boy he takes care of the three sisters that succeed him and has fun while doing it. At seven (almost eight) years old he can handle them and always makes sure that they have what they need. No secret that grandpa and grandma love this one in a truly special way. Yes he was the sunshine in mi chica's life.

Loyiel Jr.
Better known as "Ducky"

I can't really find the words to describe this one because there are just way too many. The first Duckworth baby needed a suiting nickname and it was unanimously agreed that it would be "Ducky". The duck is just a most lovable kid, nothing faces him and don't try to engage him into any serious conversation because you probably lost him at hello. He has a short attention span for grown ups, playing and having fun is more of a top priority. Can't help but to love this one as he truly is a bundle of joy.

Alayna.

Better known as "La Princesa" she just radiates beauty and love. However, this one really got into it with mi chica you would have thought they were equals in the way they fought. I think they had the same personality thus clashing big time. And yet they loved each other so very much. Me? She is just my Princesa and she loves me very much.
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