Got Lent?

Growing up a follower of Cathol, gave me a super power, I have guilt radar. Humans use guilt as a currency as much as they use sex. I wish I was completely immune to it, but all superpowers have to have a flaw right?

Today is Fat Tuesday, not really conducive to my new health kick, but being away from Chicago will keep me away from all the polish bakery goods that would spell doom for my cholesterol. However, our friends are bringing a little Creole into our lives and cooking gumbo! yes I GUMBO!

Lent is about to begin and I still have not decided what to give up. I thought about giving up sodas all together, but its not really much of a sacrifice anymore. I could give up coffee or caffeine also, and while that would be more difficult, it might have some side effects that I am not willing to put up with. Giving up carbs would probably be awesome for my diet, but in the past the Atkins diet introduced me to migraines.

So what should I give up for Lent?

Weight Loss Challenge Six

It was nice to find the old table and see that at one point I was actually 262! I am now at 246, but still have a lot of weight I want to lose.

My Mom gave me and Bea both killer haircuts, and also a healthy tip. She has been drinking this vegetable/fruit smoothie that looks kind of green but does not taste have bad. I have been doing it for a couple of days and I already feel better. It cleans your system, but it is not a flush type of clean.

But now onto the challenge. We have had up to 6 people doing it before. It lasts eight weeks. There are no real prizes unless someone wants to donate something, but we do it for health and fun. To sign up is simple, just send me an e-mail (logtar@gmail.com) and I will add you to the list. Every Monday send me your weight… if you have a blog, I will link from the challenge page.

Funny enough, Jeff started one today also! maybe he and his buddies will join this one and keep track of it here!

I am not white?

Believe it or not, I grew up thinking I was.

In Colombia children learn that there are three main races: black, white and native. The combination of those creates races like “mulato” or “creole”. When identifying with a race back then, I looked at my family and my blond hair and light eyes, and thought of myself as white. However, the whole label thing was never important and it did not come into play every single day of my life. I would like to think that I was not a minority when I would not think of people as colors. I did not know one of my parents was somewhat racist until much later in life, and I lived here in the U.S.

My rude awakening to race issues came on the first day I was in the US. I was sitting down by some members of my family, and was told that I should not socialize with pretty much anyone. Do not trust anybody, not even people from your own race… I was like what? wait? what race? slow down? How do I know how a Puerto Rican is different from a Mexican? And what the heck is Latin? I thought that was a dead language.

In just hours from leaving a bunch of friends and family back at the airport, people that were bawling their eyes out because I was leaving–some even that I did not know then I would get to see again–my world view had to change. Not only did I have to very quickly learn that wearing the wrong color at school will mean I would get beat up, but also that someone speaking the same language as me was not trust worthy. The only positive thing that came out of all that was that I tried to learn English as quickly as possible.

In some instances my family was right. The school that I went to was full of gangs. Mexicans hated me without even knowing me. I quickly learned the difference between a “Chicano” and a “Chilango.” I quickly learned that half of my vocabulary was to lay dormant because the Spanish most people spoke was limited. Most of the Spanish speakers I know were told by their parents to learn English, and their mother language was pretty much lost.

I still have a hard time fitting with the concept of being part of a race. I am very proud of being Colombian, but as far as being Latino, it is an identity that is hard to fully embrace, let alone define. I made friends in high school based on personalities and not colors. Working at McD’s I made friends with co-workers regardless of race. I am not fluent in “Vato” anymore, but could probably still pick it up. But thanks to my high school experience I know the differences between the Mexican and Puerto Rican dialects very well.

There is a movie coming out soon that looks spectacular. It has action, violence, a love story. However, when my wife saw the trailer she pointed something out that I did not think about. “This is why people think of Latinos as all being a bunch of thugs.” In a way I have to agree, because so much of what people know about my “race” is because of movies. Some might think that not being able to identify myself with my race makes me lack identity… but I would disagree by saying this. The color of my skin is not something that defines who I am. While I do not ignore the baggage that comes with being a foreigner or from a different color, I try to live my life as a human being that interacts with others at that level and hopes that I am being judged by who I am and not by the label this particular society tries to put on me.

Delurk New Theme?

I changed the theme, the other one I loved but it was getting old. Removed some old links and added some new ones.

Now, the real reason for the change is to delurk!

I’ve been told by Nuke that I am accomplishing one of my blog’s goals, making people think, but that I am failing at the other one, making people participate in the discussion … more on that some other time.

I’ll make this one easy. If you comment on this post, you will get a link. Unless you are a spammer or something of that nature. Your comment should answer one of the following questions, or all if you chose.

* How many hours do you sleep on an average night?
* What is your latest internet find that you find useful?
* What is your favorite animal?
* What subject should I post about next?

Good or Bad by Nature

Instinct is the one thing that humans mostly fall prey to. While we might all want to think of ourselves in control, instincts can take control.

I personally think that monogamous relationships are not for everyone, and have always respected the friends that openly do not want to settle down. They know that the instinct to be with several people is stronger than their desire to be part of what society sees as normal when it comes to relationships.

I also have found that when you do commit to a relationship, the easiest way not to cheat is to not put yourself in situations where you are going to. While you can stop it from happening, instinct can take over and you are left with lots to deal with.

I don’t like watching movies that are about cheating, however this weekend my wife wanted to see The Bridges of Madison County. For some reason I thought it was a sports movie, but in the end I was glad I watched it. Even though the movie was about cheating it was also a love story.

For those of you that have not see this movie, it is basically the story of a housewife that even thought not unhappy seems to be in a very dull marriage. After her death, her kids have to go through her state and find out an untold story about their mother’s life. While the rest of the family is out of town, the Mom meets a man that makes her feel alive again and they have a very short affair that seems to change the rest of their lives. The main character sacrifices love, maybe even true love, for her family and her sense of responsibility.

Even thought she cheated, the movie does not make her out to be the villain. Even at the end, her kids seem to be ok with everything that happened. Is she a good person because she followed her brain instead of her heart, of a bad person because she cheated on her husband?

I have been thinking about people’s nature recently. I don’t think that people are good or bad by nature, but at times I am not entirely certain. Is the capability for deceit a learned behavior or something innate?

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