Colombian Independence

We are 10* 1 year away from the 200th anniversary of Colombia’s independence from Spain today. Simón Bolívar became the first president of Colombia in 1819, but Independence was declared July 20th 1810.* Today Colombians all over the world remember the reason our flag has 3 stripes. The first one, yellow represent all the natural resources and rich soil or our nation. The second, blue represents the two oceans that our nation touches. The last one is the red, which represents all the blood that was shed and is still being shed in the name of freedom.

*Correction – Thanks to Mafe.

As proud as I am of becoming an American by obtaining citizenship, I am of having been born in such a beautiful land as Colombia. I am proud of where I came from and try to show that Colombians are more than violent drug lords, which are a minority that has left a mark in our country’s image.

Today I want to share some facts with you about the land that I grew up on.

Colombia is FIRST on the world
Emeralds
Flowers
And Coffee Quality

Varieties if Palm trees
Anfibians (583 species)
Bamboo production
Orquids (3500 species)
and Tropical Birds (1815 species)

Colombia is SECOND:
In Coffee production (Brazil is actually first)
In Exporting agricultural products to the USA
Butierflies (300 families y 14000 species)

And that is not all:
It has the closest snow covered mountain to the sea (Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta).
As well as one of the biggest bio diversities in the world.

But its most important resource is its people, hard working, craving peace and wants to make not just a better country but a better world.

Happy Independence Day Colombia!

I LOVE TOFU

Darn it freaking tree huggers! you sent a double agent to make me fall in love with her and she is slowly converting me to being one of you. Minus the tree hugging of course, I will go as far as to talk to plants but not get physical.

I first heard the term pescatarian from Daniel, and have since met a couple of them. These creatures don’t eat “carne” only fish. I have no problem giving up my consumption of beef, pork or chicken, but I do like fish. Sushi is yummy, shrimp (or Shramp its Southern and slightly looser cousin) is one of one of my favorite sea kittens to eat and I am not doing this for peta, but for the good of the planet… and mostly my arteries.

I think what has also helped is being around so many vegetarians lately. That and the availability of great Asian food here in town has made it simple to eat without meat and still be satisfied. I used to be someone who’s meal did not look right if it did not a have some kind of meat on it. I still think that most salads are rabbit food, but places like Spin Pizza with their awesome salads have made me see it a lot different. I love spinach based salads more than lettuce for sure.

My family has a history of heart problems. I have already taken cholesterol lowering medicine and well, animal fat is going to do some serious harm unless I consume lots less. The other reason is that there are people starving in the world and food that could be feeding them is going to feed cows to be consumed by humans at a pretty alarming rate. Also meat is so low quality in most places in the US that it does not even taste like real meat. I had to get used to the taste of meat here in the US when I moved up from Colombia, and it still does not taste quite right most of the time.

So lately I’ve been trying new meals that have no meat. What pushed me over the edge was the stir fry that my wife made yesterday with tofu (OMGBBQ). I am lucky that I married someone that can cook better than I do! it was freaking delicious. I have also had some awesome tofu on my miso soup and the fried tofu with awesome sauce from Blue Koi. I almost bought tofurkey sausage yesterday while visiting “the evil” wholefoods. (that is for another post)

I am not going to be super strict, I will have meat when it is the only thing available or when I crave it. I will still eat steak at my family’s BBQs. However, I do plan on lowering the amount of meat intake in my diet. I already have lowered my meat intake considerably over the past month. I honestly feel better about it in many levels. The key to making changes on your diet is to commit to a full life style change. And I am very excited to go in this direction.

He is just not that into you

While this could be a movie review, its not going to be. I will quickly tell you that the movie is pretty good even though it is mostly from a very female perspective of things. The acting was as great as the ensemble cast, and it seems like (I never read the book) they did a good job interweaving several stories that were independent short ones in the book. A pretty great date movie if you ask me.

Bea and I talked a lot during this movie. We have both been in bad relationships and have learned lots from them. I don’t consider myself a relationship expert because I know what to do in a relationship, however, I do think I am above average in that department because I have learned what not to do.

I am a very frank person. As I get older I see how the world as a whole does not work on direct communication but rather lots of “spare feelings” and “political correctness.” Why is telling the truth such a hard thing? Why is over analyzing a situation or trying to guess what someone is thinking the norm?

Human beings are very complex, even the people that claim to be simple people. Motives are not always nefarious, and good intentions can have adverse consequences. I personally used to fall prey of thinking everything that happened around me had something to do with me, or take too many things personal. I still take a lot of pride on my work and relationships, but have learned that if someone’s issues or unhappiness are in some way caused by me, they will let me know. At least I expect them to tell me.

When it comes to relationships between couples a lot of this issues societies have with truth are amplified. I know couples that don’t talk about intimacy at all, even if there are issues. Money, religion, morals are all conversations that people should have while dating, but a lot of people wait until they are emotionally invested before finding out what someone thinks before they claim to “love” this person in that level.

One of my favorite conversations to have with people and I think everyone that plans to get married should have with their significant other is, “if you won the lottery right now, what would you do?”

People’s answers vary, some people want to be very self indulgent and travel (count me in), other want to pay off the debt of everyone around them (I’m right there too), some say charity because it is the right thing (I believe in good causes, but this one for me is more about involvement than money), most would help their family and friends. While this is not the ultimate gauge for anything, it does give you an idea of what the person would do… it would also tell you if they have completely opposite views on money than you. How your finances are handled plays a huge role in your relationship, and trust me when I say that if you don’t see eye to eye there will be issues.

It still surprises me that so many people never say what they really mean, but rather what they think the other person wants to hear. It makes having relationships that much harder and I think without any real reason for it. The movie makes it seem a little like woman are more at fault for creating alternate realities where the guys are just clueless drones that need to be figured out, but when a man does not communicate their intentions or feelings there is a lot of room for interpretation. So mean what you say, and say it often, specially if it is that you love those around you :) like it should be!

Have an excellent week everyone!

12:34:56 7-8-09

Because I am geeky enough to find this amusing. I should make a post about numerology one of these days!

The next fun time will be 04:05:06 07-08-09

Patriotic

Someone I used to know that was also an immigrant was surprised that I stood up and paid respect to the “Star Spangled Banner” during the beginning of a sporting event. This happened way before I became an American, and to this day I am amazed that someone would not want to pay respect to a national anthem, let alone the one for the country in who’s soil you are standing.

You can call me corny, but I get misty eyed when I listen to the Colombian national anthem. I don’t get to listen to it as much anymore, I would listen to it almost every single day growing up. In Colombian, TV channels will play the national anthem at the beginning and end cycle of their broadcast, if they go 24 hours, at midnight it gets played. Who knows, maybe something like that would help people teach the words to the beautiful poem that is the anthem here. I am right there with my buddy Chimpotle on being pissed off at people wanting it removed from sporting events.

It was great to learn the history of the US anthem, I first read about it in detail in High School and then a little more preparing for the citizenship exam. For the people that don’t know it he it is. (taken from The National Anthem Project)

Words by Francis Scott Key, Music by John Stafford Smith

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep.
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the Star-Spangled Banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the Star-Spangled Banner, in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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