Uno Cinco Ocho

Appetizer
Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?
My wife for sure, and not just because we love each other, or we are married, she is a great person to talk to. She is very understanding, extremely intelligent and can laugh at pretty much anything. She is probably the only person in the world that can make me crack up even if I am fuming mad about something. Thanks baby for making my dream come true :) I always knew that life was supposed to be happy.

Soup
If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?
Ficticious – Atlantis… actual, probably Babylonia before Alexander got there.

Salad
What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?
I think most sporting events that I have been to have been exciting in some way. I still have not been to a classic yet, but hopefully will.

Main Course
If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?
I would buy an island.

Dessert
What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?
I don`t think there is an ideal date, I think it is just a matter of when God wants it to happen. There are pros and cons to any time during life.

Please Friday Feasters, lets read at least one other post on the places we visit ;)

New Logtar Sponsored Meme

My last photo meme (the handwriting meme) was pretty successful, the Flickr group has over 1300 members, and many others have just done the meme on their own blogs.

After posting about coloring, I thought it would be a good idea to give others a little push to start coloring by making them take pictures of their artwork. This is not about artists displaying their art, but just normal people going back to their childhood and drawing and coloring. I think this will be a great thing. So go buy some coloring stuff or borrow some from your nearest child and doodle! More details to come soon.

Mental Domination

Everyone thinks that they are never manipulated. Without even realizing it, you might have bought a shirt just because you were influence by advertisement or went to a place for lunch just to keep up with the crowd. When in a relationship it is even harder to admit that you can be manipulated. When someone has done it to you it is very hard to accept even if inside you know it is happening. There is a defence mechanism in the brain that manipulators use against you, it is your desire to not believe you are being manipulated but doing things because you want to do them. There is a difference between doing something because you chose to do it and because you are coerced into doing it, but it is at times very subtle and hard to tell them apart.

Most people are not liars, they might not lie to others, but you might be surprised how much people lie to themselves. The dangerous slope gets more slippery when we are in a relationship and we start lying to others about how things are going. Manipulative people will destroy your support structure first, then slowly they will make themselves the only source of positive reinforcement. At first their negativity will show up only once in a while and it will be excused as something the person is trying to change. Slowly but surely a manipulator will start to show more and more negative behaviour and eventually the positive reinforcement only appears when the other person is ready to leave… eventually not even then, but our self esteem is so low at that point that it is almost impossible to leave.

Manipulators truly make you believe that they are not aware of their behaviour. Everyone has issues, and I am sure that we can all be unbalanced at times. Guilt and fear are great motivators, we all fall weak to them some times; manipulators are motivated by greed and jealousy. Most manipulators want to take up all of your time to serve their every need, and it is not about money, it is mostly emotional. The manipulator knows that their behaviour is eventually going to kill any good feeling that you have for them, so they start working on other feelings like guilt, which by the way it is something they do not feel.

So how did I end up with a manipulator?

Most manipulators are very good people for a while. Most look for people that have just ended a serious relationship and feel vulnerable. It is very hard not to get into a relationship after a divorce or ending a long term relationship. You are used to companionship and routine and you want to recapture that. Do not start a relationship unless you already know how to survive on your own. A person that is codependent to a manipulator is like a limping gazelle to a lion.

So how do you spot a manipulator?

If the person you are with displays jealousy towars your family, your friend, kids or pets it is a great indicator that they have a warped sense of ownership. If at any point the person turns something that they said as a compliment in the beginning of the relationship into something they see as a flaw. Any kind of emotional blackmail is a clear sing that someone is trying to manipulate you.

So how do you stop a manipulator?

I personally feel that people that are involved in relationships with manipulators are enablers. Some people can coexist in these kind of relationships, but I believe that the price you pay is too high. I think that a relationship with a manipulator cannot survive unless the person is willing to get professional help. The issue is that most manipulators are never going to admit they have a problem and will try to blame all the problems on someone else, their family, their environment, their partner. I believe the best step to take is to put distance between you and the manipulator and inform as many people as you can about the situation. Please tell your friends and family if you ever feel like you are in an abusive relationship. Get out of the situation as fast as you can and do not look back, because most manipulators keep on abusing the same person because they establish a pattern with that person. They feel if the person really cares, they should take the abuse and accept them for who they are.

* This post is for a good friend, who I believe is going through some tough times but is feeling like (he/she) is alone. I am here, you know how to get a hold of me.

** I am not currently in an abusive relationship, but I do speak most of the points from personal experience. I got out, so you can too!

Vick Pleads Guilty



Dog fighting is a cruel practise, and Michael Vick might lose 150 million for his association with it. I am not sure how much he is worth or if he will go to jail for 5 years and get a lifetime ban by the NFL. I am not sure if he really thought he was untouchable because of money or being an NFL star or because O.J. got away.

I don’t see the life of an NFL player as a privilege, they get beat every single Sunday with the possibility of losing a limb or brain function int he future. People talk about how much money they make, but how much would you want for your legs? How much would you want for your body to be abused every Sunday?

I am sure that Vick is not the only player involved in some illegal activity. Money tends to corrupt people or attract the bad element into your life. I don`t know if Vick got into the dog fighting world thanks to a friend, or if he was the big time player the media wants him to be.

The other issue is that with dog fighting comes gambling which is also a very serious problem for any professional sports star. This week I saw a report on dog fighting that said that it is something that is not going away any time soon specially in the south. If they get a dog that does not have killer instinct and might not fight to the death, it is killed by them. It really saddens me that not only do these people breed dogs for fighting, but they steal household pets to teach their dogs to kill. It rips my heart out to think that any dog that is taken away from these monsters is going to be put down. Those dogs are at that point considered a threat to society by the law.

I have argued with people that pit bulls are a dangerous breed because of what they have been breed to do. Like a retriever has been breed to have sharp vision and sense of smell to retrieve game while hunting, pit bulls have been breed to be aggressive to other animals. I know that many people will be against my view, specially those close to a pit bull, but I don’t think these dogs are safe. I think these dogs are victims of humans that have turned them into dogs that kill instinctively.

I don`t feel bad for Vick if he goes to jail for something so brutal, but I do feel bad for all the dogs that don’t even have a chance to live a happy life.

Limosnero y con garrote?

Beggar with a stick?

Even though I am perfectly capable of defending myself I do not like to fight people. Martial arts have helped me realize that real power comes not from becoming stronger but from knowing how to control your strength. It has been a while since I even considered using force, but a beggar today almost made me react with violence.

After having a wonderful lunch with some friends at the Colombian restaurant some of us decided to head downtown KCMO to take some pictures. The day was gorgeous, warm but with a wonderful breeze. The buildings looked awesome because of the clear sky above. We were joking around, having a great time when someone approached us.

I am used to beggars. I spent six months working downtown Chicago and during that time encountered many. Only once before had I had any issues with a bum. One night out with some of my motorcycle friends did a beggar actually tried to start something. He was not very bright, six guys with their motorcycles to protect from being tipped over by an excited beggar, yea, that could have turned pretty ugly. However, that day one of my friends decided to just talk the guy out of harassing us for money and actually ended up getting a free pen from the guy. Not sure if it was my friend’s talk or that he saw that more and more dudes were getting off their motorcycles and surrounding him.

I have the feeling that the guy that approached us was more of a mugger than a beggar, but he just did not get the chance. He was working with at least two other people but I did not know that when he first approached us. As he approached us he made his first mistake, he insulted the Cubs by saying that I should burn my T-shirt. I know that beggars that really want your sympathy are going to lie and say they love your team no matter what shirt you have on. That made my brain go into alert mode, this might not just be a beggar but someone trying to maybe grab our camera and run for it. If he would have known that both of the guys there had just played soccer earlier during the day and we were spent maybe he would have tried.

He asked for 90 cents but his story for needing it was just to discombobulated to even remember. I said we had no cash, which was true, and proceeded to tell him sorry. I was with 3 other people, two of them being woman. I am very protective and I was ready to push him away if he tried to touch any of us. Lucky for him, he decided to keep walking. The other guy with us is 6’2″ and can bench press my weight with no problem. I kept an eye on the guy as he walked away and we continued our walk. I started to look around to see if there was other people but the street was pretty empty. During our time downtown we had see a couple of cops on segways but they were not on sight now.

While I was looking around me the guy had just scored a dollar from someone else he asked for money. At that point he has no reason to comeback with us if basic math is part of his begging logic. Then I notice the two other people working with him. There is a girl sitting on some steps outside of one of the buildings and a younger kid. I eventually see them all talking.

We had already decided to go home to catch a TV show and we started to head for the car. I kept on checking the street and seeing what was going on all around. I was very surprised when I saw the guy following and picking up his speed. I told the group to keep going and move. We were one street away from the car and the guy was going to catch up right as we crossed the street.

I stayed two steps behind and waited for him. I was ready to hurt the guy at this point. I knew that the people I was with would have enough time to get to the car if I held the guy there. Lucky he did not come near me but he did ask for 64 cents. I told him you already got a dollar so just move along. He mumbled something under his breath and I yelled, just leave us alone.

I crossed the street and waited for everyone to get in the car while I waited on the corner making sure nobody was coming our way. I got into the car and we took off.

I had people that I felt needed to be protected and I was ready to do so. I know that it is not the smartest thing to confront people like that, but I was left with no choice having no money to give. I was ready to inflict harm on someone else and I do not like that feeling. Even thought I knew what I was going to have to do, I was not looking forward to it. I am glad that guy decided just to keep on going instead of starting some kind of confrontation.

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