Infamous (Los Cuatro Amigos Saga)

In February of 2004 I wrote a post about my favorite restaurant being closed. Since then a lot has happened with the Chain. Back in those days they were just about to open a location close to where I work. Now they have another location really close to my house. I frequent both all the time. I forgot about the post, but I was reminded today.

About a month ago one of my coworkers asked me if they had a picture of me at Los Cuatro Amigos in Midland. I thought of their Birthday Wall, where they take pictures of people with a big “sombrero” and me never been there for a birthday. He insisted that my picture was behind the counter and I simply thought he was totally joking. I visited the restaurant since then but did not see a picture behind the counter, and looked at their birthday wall for someone that looked like me but nothing.

Today I went to the restaurant for dinner with my coworker and his wife. We had a great time having some good food. Then as we get ready to pay the guy behind the counter asked me if my last name was Guzman. He said that he did not even have to look at my credit card. I was a little puzzled, then he said that I had not been there in a while… I became even more confused about the situation until he brought up my website. You see, since then I have actually written a good review in Yahoo, but it seems like people looking online for the restaurant keep on finding the rant about me not being able to eat there anymore. I guess bad press at times is more powerful than good press. I wish the owner had contacted me earlier, from what he told me people constantly told him about the bad review.

The owner was very nice to me, and I offered to correct the post. It seems that my sources back then did not have the story straight about closing the restaurant health issues but for a code violation. In the end all the locations, Bay City, Saginaw and Midland are doing quite good. I enjoy the restaurant quite a bit and visit it quite often. The Midland location serves Milanesa, which is one of my favorite Mexican dishes. I just hope that they did not have a picture of me behind the counter with a price attached for the guy that gave the restaurant bad press. Who knows maybe now I will get to know the owner, his first name is actually my middle name.

Equilibrium (****)

Some of the best movies I have watched have been recommendations by friends. In some cases those films that did not have any commercial success but still become “cult” classics by simple word of mouth. My best example is the Boondock Saints, a movie that most people that watch it instantly love but was never released in the theaters (more here). I had not heard of Equilibrium until one of my motorcycle friends used a picture from the movie as his avatar. The picture was a guy in a very cool looking white suit holding two guns in an almost martial art like stance. I was intrigued and after asking my friend about it he said it was a must see.

Expectations were not super high, but I did want to see some awesome gunfights. I love John Woo kind of action, so I expected something similar. As the movie began, I started to realize that this was not your typical action flick; it had some images that set the tone for an almost political history channel documentary about the 20th century. Then without slowing the movie too much the the background story is presented. Then the action begins and makes you wish the gunfights would never stop.

The movie makes you think- something I love about any movie. I don’t want to give away too much, but lets just say that it deals with the promise of a perfect society. This futuristic theme has been explored in many movies, but I like the way Equilibrium did it because it really dug into the fundamental thing that makes us human.

The acting was very good. Of the roles that I have seen Christian Bale play, I would say this is the best. I think he did an ok job with Batman begins, but at times he was more of a supporting actor to Liam Neeson in any scene they were together. Bale leads in this movie and does it well. Another good actor is his son in the movie; Matthew Harbour does an excellent job with a character that would have been challenging to most adult actors.

This was not a huge budget movie, and I think most of the budget was spent on the gunfights. It was money well spent because they are all very engaging. The overall scenery works, but it is not a wow factor. The rest of the special effects are not the best, but they help tell the story. Overall the story and drama are the true center stone of the movie and make it work. I think everyone should watch it, and even though it is a little sci-fi don’t let that turn you off. Go rent this movie today you will not regret it.

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“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Yesterday marked the 68th anniversary of the NanJing massacre. If you never heard about it I am not surprised, since like so many other atrocities in human history this one has been attempted to be erased from history. There are people that believe that the Holocaust never happened, there are people that never heard of Pol Pot or The Killing Fields in Cambodia partly because it was people killing their own people. I am even guilty of not knowing what has happened even in our lifetime and Hotel Rwanda had to open my eyes to what had happened in that country.

Colombia also has its history and current state of violence. There was a period of time know as “La Violencia” when for 10 years the conservative and the liberal parties killed each other during the 40’s. After that the guerrilla’s started, which then spawned the paramilitaries and it just gets more complicated and entangled from there because the drug trade gets mixed in. The bottom line is that people are still killing each other for religious or political reasons, right now in a world that should by now become civilized.

I recently watched the movie Kingdom of Heaven. It was a good movie, but it was also very sad for me, the fight between the groups of people is still happening today for that piece of land that so many consider holy. Why can’t we take an idea from the fictional movie Highlander and never fight in “Holy Ground.”

I chose the quote today because it says a lot more than “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat It.” – by George Santayana. We hear this quote from a lot of our teachers and while they both have a very similar message I think Shaw says it a little better. Why do we refuse to see ourselves as part of the human race? Why don’t we understand that there is a big blanket that unites us, instead of finding so many things that separate us? Why must our quest for individuality be tainted by rejection of what we deem different? Lets hope we can start to learn from history and making the comparisons we need to with our world today, even though we have traded swords for guns we are still acting like barbarians.

Imagine – Imagínese

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”
-John Lennon

R.I.P John. (Version en Español)

The news this morning said a fan killed John Lennon. I don’t understand his death, John did not believe in killing. While his ideas were at times radical and unpopular, he had some great ideas. A man that believes that Peace and Love are eternal is ok in my book.

Peace is a concept at times misunderstood. Peace is not just the opposite of war, but also a state of being. Being in peace with myself is one of my goals, not an easy one but a goal nonetheless. My Mom always tells me to pray for peace, inner peace…

I have been called a dreamer a lot of times, some with a negative connotation attached to it. I love to dream, I love to hope, I love positive thinking and knowing that tomorrow will be another opportunity to make life better than today. Will I live to see world peace? I hope so.

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