Armstrong is Da Man

I grew up watching cycling on TV, Colombia had always had very good cyclist especially up in the mountains. With limited TV choices, back then only 2 channels, it was easy to get sucked up by the hype of cheering for the Colombian team. I understand the sport and well El Tour de Francia has been something I have known about since back then.

I am somewhat of a bandwagon jumper when it comes to Lance. I started really reading about him after the whole armband craze for his live strong foundation. Then I started hearing about all the bad stuff fans of the sport would do to him. Spit on him was one of the tame things they would do. It almost made me feel sick that people could be that vicious, but I have grown up knowing what fans and rivalries can mean specially being a soccer fan.

Today we know that Armstrong has won his seventh tour de France, and well as an American I celebrate this victory, but the world needs to recognize that this human being was so committed to achieving a goal that he needs to be called a hero. Not because he won seven times, not because he suffered and recuperated from cancer, but because of the work he is doing both in charity and awareness. He encompasses what the word perseverance really should mean. Congratulations Lance.

On a related but only by name crack up at this, there is a website ( about a guy from Utah that wants a date, the funny thing is that it is actually real and not gag.

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Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince (****)

HP&HBP or book 6 is not going to take the spot as my favorite in the series from book 3 Prisoner of Azkaban. What it did do is got me back into the series. After reading book 5 I was dissapointed with Rowling. I thought how can you take away someone else from Harry when he is already in so much need of a family. Book 6 did just the same, but I get it this time. I see that Harry is going to have to grow up no only dealing with loss but learning how to follow his own path while appreciating the semblance of family that he does have.

Family is one of the most important things in my life. I cannot imagine growing up without my parents and still being able to experience love the way Harry experiences it. He has had to deal with a lot up to this book and HP&HBP gave him even more to deal with. I did expect him to completely give up hope, but instead he is now a man on a mission.

The book followed the Potter formula of recounting a life in a school year of the kids. As the series progresses there are more and more details being revealed about Voldemort and where he came from, this book was dubbed the Lilly Potter book, but I believe that we learned a lot more about Voldemort. It was not because it was all new information but because it all started to get tied together making a chronological recount of how he-who-must-not-be-named became what he is now.

I have never read a book that can talk about so much magic and incredible things yet carrying a very palpable message, love is the most powerful magic of all. This message makes me even more proud to read a series that a lot of adults might dismiss as kids books.

If you have not read the Harry Potter series, I think it is time you do… if book 5 left you a little empty and feeling like the rest of the series had no meaning anymore, forget about that and read book 6.

***Spoilers*** (Do not read beyond if you have not read all the books including 6)
Read more Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince (****)

Spanglish (****)

It was very refreshing to see that Adam Sandler was playing a different character than his usual goofball type. He was sporting goofy hair but besides that I think the character was original and down to earth in a very caring kind of way. This movie was done beautifully and it truly succeeded in showing the struggle of two cultures trying to come together. Spanglish explored many aspects of the inner workings of the social melting that a growing Latino population in the US is going through. While the culture focused as its title suggest the fusing of Spanish and English, it does a lot more. Most importantly and where the movie really shined was in showing that while two cultures can be worlds a part, the basic core values of love and respect are beyond language barriers.

The movie was written by James L. Brooks who did an spectacular job at entertaining while opening a little window to the character’s life and idiosyncrasies. He is a well known producer of both TV and movies, from the Simpsons, which btw are going to step into the big screen on 2008, to movies like As Good as It Gets and Jerry Maguire. I say the guy has a good sense of comedy.

The cast did an excellent job all around. I cannot think of any of the characters that lacked in any way, if anything they all did a job that helped each other’s performances. Paz Vega played the struggling immigrant and overprotective Hispanic mother convincible. Tea Leoni and her neurotic flare was hilarious, she made you almost want to yell at the screen “would you shut up already.” Shelbie Bruce who played Christina, not dominated both languages but in a very difficult scene where she had to be the interpreter of no only words but emotions in a serious exchange between Sandler and Vega. It was awesome to see such a young child do a very difficult scene seem not just credible but natural… what is more important the scene cracked me up.

This movie is for everyone, and it is a very good family movie with messages in tolerance, love and unity. Go rent it and laugh in both Spanish and English.

buy at

I got tagged by Michael…

Ten years ago: I had just moved from Colombia to Chicago and did not know how to speak a lick of English.

Five years ago: My parents got divorced and one of the most difficult times in my life began.

One year ago: I was an extremely confused person… But I am here now and it is a lot better .

Yesterday: I got up, tried to exercise but all I did was some curls and run up the stairs a couple of times. Got to work and was buried all day, got home and had a wonderful evening, little monopoly, finished a very good film (a very long engagement) and spent a wonderful night with Cielo.

Today: Had another busy day at work, had Chinese for lunch and planning on watching the movie the Jacket.

Tomorrow: Is Friday and cleaning for the BBQ will probably commence, don’t have any set plans for the weekend besides Cielo’s family reunion.

5 snacks I enjoy: Not much of a snacker but, bocadillos (guava based soft Colombian candy), Caramel chews, Salted Peanuts, Rice Krispies Treats.

5 bands that I know the lyrics of most of their songs: Mana, Maroon 5, Velvet Revolver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000: I think about this one a little bit too much. First I would start planning the ultimate dream wedding for Cielo by renting an actual castle, then I would create the invitation plan for having every single once of my guest come along for the wedding with all expenses paid. Then I would have a remodeler come and make our current house our dream house. Then I will buy properties in Chicago, Colombia, Florida, and several in Europe making the biggest one in the place Cielo chooses. Then I will buy 5 motorcycles and 3 new cars and travel the world for the next couple of years before starting my businesses. With this much money I’d forget how to count.

5 locations I’d like to runaway to: Chicago, Cali, Ireland, New Zealand, Barcelona.

5 bad habits I have: Smoking, drinking tons of Pop, eating junk, leaving drawers open at the house (I am the resident ghost), staying up too late.

5 things I like doing: Watching TV & Movies, reading, cooking, dancing, martial arts.

5 things I would never wear: Speedos, completely red shirt, pink, anything with a GBPackers logo.

5 TV shows I like: 4400, Smallville, Justice League Unlimited, True Life, MotoGp Races.

5 movies I like: Blade, The Matrix, Boondock Saints, Rounders, X-men

5 famous people I’d like to meet: Hunter S Thompson, Johnny Depp, J.K. Rowling, Big Orance Michael, Valentino Rossi.

5 biggest joys at the moment: Tyler being excited about reading, Cielo, Colombian treats that my cousin left behind, HP and the HBP, Going to the movies.

5 favorite toys: My cell phone, my home puter, my DVD players, my GB, my PS2.

5 people to tag: I am gonna go with Cielo, April, Mo, Marchal and MikeP. But anyone else who wants to play, please go ahead.