Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Back to the Restrictions

I have to comment on the last restriction:

"FULLY HOSTED" TRAVEL: Now barred. That category previously let U.S. citizens visit if they could prove they did not spend any money while in Cuba.

Is this the most ridiculous statement? How would you be able not to spend money in Cuba, if you're there visiting? Like my sister-in-law, Sandra, kindly put it, "Hechandote fresco." Now if anyone would happen to know how to go to Cuba and not spend any money, let me in on this secret.

Travel Restrictions

Here it goes my fellow Cubans, the new retrictions:

New U.S. rules take effect Wednesday for U.S. residents visiting and making cash remittances to Cuba:

CASH REMITTANCES: Up to $300 per quarter can be sent to relatives in Cuba, but now limited to immediate family: children, spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents, grandchildren. No longer allowed for cousins, aunts, uncles. No money may be sent to government or Communist Party officials.

VISITS TO CUBA: Travelers limited to 44 pounds in luggage and $300 in cash, down from previous $3,000. May spend only $50 a day in Cuba, down from $167. Visits limited to 14, compared to previous no limit.

PURCHASES: Travelers cannot bring back merchandise acquired in Cuba, except for informational materials such as books. Previous rules allowed $100 in total purchases for personal use.

EDUCATIONAL VISITS: Now must last at least 10 weeks, although college employees and graduate students doing independent research can stay shorter periods. High school students no longer allowed to study in Cuba.

"FULLY HOSTED" TRAVEL: Now barred. That category previously let U.S. citizens visit if they could prove they did not spend any money while in Cuba.

Nude Teen Camp

I stumbled upon an article that completely caught me by surprise. There is such a thing as nude teen camps. Now, the thought of nude teen camps has never crossed my mind. I know there are adult nude camps or getaways, whatever you want to call them. Hey, if Dan and I want to hang out with other fellow nudists that's our problem. But children from the ages of eleven through eighteen? HELLO?? Have parents forgotten how horny teenagers are? Does an eleven year old need to see an eighteen year old naked? How about the other way around?

Listen, I am very comfortable walking around naked (I know, most of you wouldn't be and you're all getting a visual). I don't have a problem with naked people, but I don't want to see kids naked. The best part of the article is that the ACLU is suing the federal government because there was a band placed against the White Tail Park for allowing naked kids. Aren't they busy doing other stuff?

The funniest part is that Rebecca Glenberg, one of the attorneys, states that the children are perfectly comfortable being around other naked kids, and they are highly supervised. Well of course they are highly supervised, they are naked! Leave it up to the ACLU to back this one up.

Spiderman 2

Last night, Dan and I went to see the midnight showing of Spiderman 2. I am so glad that I'm exhausted this morning! Wow, the movie was better than the first one. According to Dan, it tied in a lot of loose ends from the comic book end of it. For me, I just loved it. The movie had all the emotions in it. There were funny moments, sad ones, angry ones, and just plain old good ones. The graphics kicked ass!! Needless to say, go see it. If you don't see it, then you're just plain weird.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Coast Guard Reserves

So the other day, against Dan's wishes, I requested information about the Coast Guard Reserve. They're hiring in the local Miami area for Operation Specialists. It sounds like something I would definitely be interested in doing. The training is in California for 17 weeks (yikes!). So, if anybody knows anything about the Coast Guard Reserves, let me know. I probably won't do it because Dan thinks I'm going to drown, but I want some more info on it. Thanks!!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Latin America

"Latin America is Growing Impatient With Democracy" by Juan Forero, is an article that touches base on what I had previously posted in "Is Democracy in Danger?". The article does not state that our democracy is in danger, but it points out how Latin America is discontent with the democratic process. The common people are not benefiting from democracy because most of the politicians are corrupt. There is no trust between the people and the elected officials. Latin American people want an authoritarian government in charge. I figure they at least know what to expect from them.

As I mentioned before, the United States needs to pay attention to what is going on south of the border. The government is worried about terrorists abroad, but are not concerned with problems in our own hemisphere. It is very unfortunate this situation is brewing in Latin America. With all the intelligent people that make up these countries, they are not helping their own cause. Most of them, if they are lucky, come to the United States to make a better life for themselves, which you can't blame them. The others take advantage of the situation, and become corrupt. We'll see what comes out of this unrest.

Friday, June 25, 2004


Here's a favorite topic for the ladies. I found inexpensive make-up!! The brand is "Prestige." Now, I'm not sure where exactly it's available. All I have to say about it's cheap and very nice. So far, I've bought two lipsticks and one lipgloss. The only thing that might turn some of you off about the lipgloss is that it is thick. That doesn't bother me. I like it because I realize when it's not on. The lipstick I bought today cost $3.89--the color: pebble. So I suggest to you ladies to go on and try it out. If you don't like it, well at least you didn't spend $10-$20 on it. Here's their website: Prestige

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I made it!

My stomach ache went away and I eventually stumbled into work. As usual, the music was blasting away. And of course, I have to be the big nerd and ask to lower the volume. Two of my coworkers spent the day trying to cheer me up. I asked them if I look that miserable and they laughed. I must have that "I'm going to beat the shit out of everyone look." Those of you that know me well, know exactly what look that is. I have the day off tomorrow, which is great! Unfortunately, I work Saturday. I keep on wondering how many more paychecks I'm going to hang out for. The fact of the matter is that I can't be bitching so much. This job has taken us out of the hole, and I'm very grateful for it. So, I'll wait until something else shows up. I just hope I don't loose my cool before that happens. Patience is a virtue, right?


So as many of you know, I hate my job. I actually have to be there within an hour. Just to let you know how I feel right now, I have a stomach ache. Always happens before I leave to work or when I get there. I need help in this department because I'm not going to make it. I rather wait tables on annoying people for the rest of my life than going back to work there. Well, I let you know if I get written up or fired.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Game Boy

This is the kind of girl I am:

GAME BOY - Born to Play
A GAME-BOY. Youre like a tomboy without the love of
sports. Reality sucks, but as long as you have
your electronics you feel you can cope. Time
goes unnoticed when youre locked in your room
hooked up to your Nintendo, rocking to your
favourite collection of guitar-driven

Your virtues: Intelligence, sense-of-humour,

Your flaws: Inability to cope with real life,
action-freak spirit, reclusive nature.

Your Personality type is the only type that would
like this cool online gothic Game:

What kind of girl are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Dwindling Population

I was reading through the New York Times, and found an interesting article about the world's low birthrate. It's a long article, but I had to read through it since I always thought we were over producing. The only places I ever heard of having a low birthrate was Spain and Japan. Other than that, I figured we'd begin bumping into each other pretty soon. If you are one of those people that are considering not having children (like Dan and I are), maybe this will give you a different perspective on the matter. The Global Baby Bust

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Paul Johnson

I have to get this off my chest. I was surfing through the net and found pictures of the beheading of Paul Johnson. Now, I'm not going to say what website I found it on. I'm a moron for actually clicking on the link. It specifically said it had pictures of the beheading. Listen, everyone is entitled to post whatever they want, but sometimes people just go too far. Frankly, I shouldn't have gone to this website. What was I thinking of? Anyway, I saw it and I'm disturbed. And I'm not disturbed because it's a picture of a dead person. I've seen pictures that are worse than that when I had to go to prison for my History of Punishment class. It just disturbs me because Paul Johnson was an innocent man. He didn't deserve this!!!! Unfortunately, I don't think this type of terror is going to stop.

I also just read that Kim Sun-il was beheaded, today. Don't these animals realize that no one is going to negotiate with them? I'd be shocked if their tactics would actually work. I wonder if they realize that things are going to get worse for them. This is will enrage normal people like you and me that are already pissed off about what's going on. I know some of you disagree with the war, and I have no problem with that. But actions like these always make me want to join the military and stand up for people like Paul Johnson, Nick Berg, and Kim Sun-il, who just go to work to make a living. Do you know they wrapped Kim Sun-il's body with explosives? ( They have no respect for death. You have to be some sick son-of-a-bitch to do something like that.

I'm going to stop writing about this because my blood is boiling. With all the coffee I had today (plus the diet pepsi I'm drinking now), I'm not going to get any sleep. I have a long day tomorrow (8:30-7:00), and I need to calm down.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Is Democracy in Danger?

Let me give you a preview on this article I wrote. Remember how I said in my first entry that I have a lot of good ideas, but I seldom write them down? Well, one night I was having a discussion with Dan about our place in the world. I brought up a couple of points that he liked, and told me to write them down. He wanted to publish it on his blog. It took me a couple of days to write, and I never gave it to him. So, I decided to jot it down here. This is my take on what's going on around us that doesn't seem to be getting much press, but I find troubling. Here it goes:

Spain just elected one, and so did Austria. What am I talking about? Socialists governments. The world seems more chaotic now since the United States has thrown itself into the wildfire. But the question is what's really brewing into the background? It's not what the US is doing abroad; it's the actions other governments are taking against the US that are not being noticed.

Let's take a closer look, into our own hemisphere. "Fifty-five percent of people polled in Latin America would support the replacement of democratic government with an authoritarian one." (Hoge, Warren NYT) That's alarming! How come our efforts to spread democracy hasn't entirely caught on? Well, I could give you a history lesson on how the Spaniards' legacy has left Latin America unstable, but the great power of the north has not been that helpful, either.

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are also a factor in Latin America. Their presence gives other Latin American countries a different outlook on how governments could be run. The idea of spreading a revolution that the peasantry has control of is very enticing. Especially, to a population where the illiteracy rate is extremely high. This gives them a sense of control that they normally would not have.

Let's take a look at Chile. It is hated among Latin American countries, especially Bolivia. These two countries have a history together of when they fought a war back in 1879. Bolivia lost land as a result of this war, and has since despised Chile. Another reason Chile is despised is because it is a "hypercapitalist state at a time when Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Uruguay are all moving leftward and questioning free trade and open markets." (Rohter, Larry NYT) As the New York Times article points out, Chile is isolated among its neighbors and looking beyond its borders for economic stability and growth.

Another article I found from the BBC about Chile states that Chile is looking at Indonesia to import natural gas. This is because Argentina has cut exports to Chile up to twenty percent, according to the BBC. This not all that is going on, "the Bolivian government signed a export gas deal with Argentina, but it prohibits Bolivian gas being resold to Chile." (BBC News)

It seems to me that Chile is being targeted for following the democratic ideal. Latin American countries have always mistrusted each other and this has kept them from expanding economically. Now what appears to be happening is that they're unifying, but directly against what Chile stands for. This is a dangerous situation that the US should start worrying about. Another troubling aspect is the guerilla tactics that these countries are accustomed to fighting, which are the same tactics Al-Qaida and Islamic extremists are experts at.

Let's look at the other side of the globe. Spain elects a socialist government and decides to remove its troops from the Iraq war. This is definitely an act of rebellion against the US. They are now so dead against anything the US is involved in that they are refusing to send troops back into Iraq even if the United Nation orders it. Austria is another country that just elected a socialist government. I also do not have to mention the French. Everyone knows how they feel about the US. The anti-American sentiment is increasingly expanding, and we should begin to examine it closer. Between the Islamic extremists and socialist governments, we have a potential situation that could threaten our freedom.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Rush Street

So last night, Dan and I went to a bar called Rush Street in Ft. Lauderdale. It is by Las Olas Blvd, which is a strip that leads to the beach lined up with bars and stores. We met up with Dan's coworker, Tiannie and her boyfriend Leo. We had an awesome time. In fact, the last time Dan and I got home at 5:30 in the morning was last year on Dan's last shift at work. Anyway, I have to say that Tiannie and Leo are great people and fun to hang out with. We even went to a diner after the bar (ahhhhhh...memories). If I ever find a decent job after I get fired from the one I have now, I want to move up to that area. It's not far from where Dan works. Also, we don't have to worry about driving too far. Where we are living now, if we decided to go to South Beach, we would end up driving close to 40 minutes. Yeah, we need to move closer to civilization.


To all you fathers out there, I want to wish you the very best. I hope you spend a fun filled day with your little ones and wives. Fathers don't receive as much credit as mothers do. They deserve a day that's all about them!! Happy Fathers' Day!!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2004


So most of you know what I do for a living (if that's what you want to call it). Basically, I spend the whole day talking on the phone. Not only do I spend the day chatting away, but I do with my fellow Hispanics or Latinos (whatever your preference is). The trend I've noticed that Hispanics do is divulge all of their life secrets to you. Now, I've never had a job where Americans start telling you personal details. Occasionally, I do take English calls, but they are straight to the point.

I had a woman tell me once that a close friend of hers saw Fidel Castro talk to a half-man, half-horse type of creature. She said it was the Devil, himself. Castro made a pact with the Devil and that's why so many Cubans die on their way over to the US. Castro offers their souls to him. The most incredible part of this story is, she wasn't Cuban!!!! Now, she told me this story so that I could then tell others, and let the world know the truth. I kept my part of the bargain. Hey, Hispanics keep their word. You know, she may be telling the truth. I'm no one to judge anyone's beliefs. Yeah, she kept me on the phone for about 15 minutes.

There was this other woman that kept me on the phone talking to me about how she doesn't want to talk to her family because they don't let her live her life. She went on to tell me how she use to be beautiful when she was young. When she lived with her sister (this is where the story just becomes weird) and her sister's husband, her sister use to make sure she was still a virgin. Now, I'm going to spare you the details because unless you're a psychiatrist, you shouldn't have to hear this. That was another 16 minutes.

The best story so far, is my suicidal lady. The woman is freaking out about God knows what. I can't remember. She kept on telling me that she wanted to get hit by a bus or jump out the window. Now, here I am thinking that this woman may be screaming out for help. So I keep her on the phone. She tells me she's nervous and took pills to calm down because of her bill. Don't people know they could always make payment arrangements? Anyways, then I realized that she was just crazy. After I fixed whatever the problem was, her voice became very calm. She began to tell me that I was infertile. She claims that I've been trying to get pregnant and that my heart had been broken. Now, I realized that she's nuts. I tell her that I have not been trying to get pregnant. In fact, I wasn't even married. Of course like all Hispanics, she asked if I was a virgin. My immediate answer was that I was and that's why I wasn't trying to get pregnant. She apologized and the conversation ended. That was another 16 minutes.

So as you see, Hispanics like talking on the phone. It amazes me all the dirty little secrets I hear. I can't explain it. I wish they could hear themselves talk. Would they continue on with their stories? Probably. Anyone who talks to a total stranger about their problems, when they are trying to resolve a billing problem is a little freaky. I apologize to those of you that do this. Remember next time you're on the phone with someone you don't know personally, don't tell them anything personal. They don't care!!!!! Trust me.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Cuba Travel?

Should it be limited or left alone? That is the question. For many Cubans traveling to Cuba is a necessity to connect with relatives they can't see on a daily basis. It's not an easy subject to discuss. For instance, my father left Cuba in 1971. He was never able to bury his father or mother, and hasn't seen his brother either. My father has also been very weary of traveling to the disenchanted island. Our lives on this planet aren't very long compared to how long Earth has been around. Should families be restricted on seeing relatives because we don't agree with Cuba's policies? There are very good arguments on both sides. Restricting travel limits the amount of US dollars Castro receives and also it will hurt the Cuban people. Should it be restricted now? How long does Castro have to live? Well, according to his doctors he will live until 140 (right!!). I mean did the doctor tell Castro this with a straight face? Ridiculous!!!!! Anyway, here's the link to the article: Cuba

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Civil War Widow

Ok, this is another weird article I found. We still have Civil War widows alive!!!!! Maudie Celia Acklin married William M. Cantrell in 1934. She was 19 and he was 87. He died three years later. If anyone remembers their history (you all should!!), the Civil War began in 1861 (I think that's the correct year). Granted this woman was 19 in 1934, which makes this story a bit more bizarre. Then again that was way back then. I guess it was common to marry someone 68 yrs younger than you. Well, here's the link to the article: Civil War


So, this is a pretty interesting article I found on the New York Times. Atoms can now be transported!! Wow, that's cool!! We might be like Star Trek one day (although, in the article, it states that it would be virtually impossible to do). Now, I'm not a scientist, and I may be entirely incorrect, but aren't we selling ourselves short by saying it's impossible? One hundred years ago, the thought of anything remotely close of the technology we have now was not even fathomed. Since the industrial revolution, our civilization has advanced so rapidly that it has never been seen before. We can't sell ourselves short on this. Maybe it's farfetched, but you know there is someone out there trying to figure this one out. Here's a link to that article: Teleport

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Hello Everyone

So, I'm trying this blog thing out. I'm always voicing my opinion (backed by facts) and I never write anything down. What a waste!!!! I also have many good ideas, but by the time it's all said and done I forget what my point was. As an old boss of mine put, "She has conversations in her head and blurts it out, except we never know what she's saying to herself." That's basically what I'm all about. Anyone who knows me well, knows they have to figure out what I sometimes say. Anyway, I'm going to try to keep this updated and I'll write whatever is on my mind. I probably will have a lot of free time since I'm about to loose my job (that's another story).