Another 25 Things about Me that You Might Not Know

Last week I stumbled upon a post of mine from 2014 entitled “25 (More) Things about Me that You Might Not Know.” I gave it – and the original post from the year before – a fresh read, and decided that this blog needs another post on the same topic. After all, a lot (or not much at all, depending on your outlook) has happened since 2014. Oh, one more thing: I’m keeping politics out of it!

Another 25 Things about Me:

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End of Days: Election 2016

trump-v-clinton

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is just one day away and it has come down to a knock-down, drag-out between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. One candidate is intelligent and experienced, but also corrupt and incapable of relating to the working class. The other candidate is a liar, a braggart, a failed businessman, a racist, and a sexual predator.

Good times.

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Top Ten Life Lessons for My Younger Self

16th Street Mall 13

Roughly half of my blog posts these past few months have been top ten lists.  Alas, here is one more.

I woke up this morning* at the not-so-ripe age of 41, and to a plethora of Facebook greetings from friends near and far.  Social media has its ups and downs, but I must confess: it always makes me smile to receive birthday greetings via Instant Message, Tweet, or Wall Tag.

*Written one week ago but not published until 5/21 because of computer problems.  Meh.

FB birthday greetings notwithstanding, this hasn’t been much of a birthday.  Efforts by coworkers to invite me over for a night of card playing and beer drinking failed, through no fault of their own.  And I have been feeling under the weather ever since I awoke this morning to the fetid aroma of dog farts.  “What is wrong with me?” I thought, and then the answer dawned on me: I’m 41.  Holy crap.

Where does the time go?  It seems like only yesterday that I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, driving cross-country with my friend Chuck and stopping off in Denver, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon en route.  But that life-changing relocation happened in 2000!  Likewise, I can hardly believe it’s been six years since I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.  For that matter, I can barely fathom that it’s already been two years since I moved to Tennessee from Mexico City with my tail between my legs.

I never really “got it” whenever I’d meet someone who entered a depression upon turning 30 and still being childless or single.  But my first day of my 41st trip around the sun has been something of an eye-opener.  I am tired, and I have seldom felt less certain about my place in the world than I do at this moment.  If this is just, as the saying goes, the first year of the rest of my life, then I should relish it.  But can someone pass the back pills first?  😉

Here, with a hearty dose of humor packed between the dollops of honesty, are the top ten life lessons for my younger self:

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The Three-Ring (Electoral) Circus of 2016

logos

It is the last day of January as I write this, and in just over nine months, Americans will be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.  I am referring, of course, to the fact that the three-ring electoral circus of 2016 will finally be over.

The race kicked off almost a year ago with just one candidate for each party: Ted Cruz for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.  The early bird gets the worm, as the saying goes, and both Cruz and Clinton have remained at or near the top of the polls ever since announcing their respective candidacies.  Soon afterwards, however, the doors to the clown car opened up and ever more campaign rivals emerged.  Some had more political experience than others, a few even managed to not come across as batshit crazy (at least not for a little while), but in general, the who’s who of candidates is a veritable potpourri of cray.

The 2016 Iowa Caucus is tomorrow, so let’s review, tongue firmly in cheek:

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Reflections from the Street Corner (It’s Not What You Think)

I have a job!  I decided to join the ranks of the employed, and found part-time work as a marketer for the local franchise of a national income tax firm (think H&R Block).  While on the job, I occasionally canvas local neighborhoods and business with pamphlets and other leave-behinds, but mostly I am a costumed “waver” who stands at the street corner, holding signs and waving at passersby whilst dancing a jig or shaking my booty.  The goal is to get people to smile, honk, or wave back (and maybe visit our shop to have their taxes done).  Here’s a pic of Yours Truly in company colors.  How do I look?

Liberty Tax 1

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One Last Pop Culture Musing for the Year

I won’t be posting a “Top Ten Movies of 2014” entry, unlike last year.  I simply didn’t see enough films to create a fair list.  Instead of going to the cinema, I’ve spent many late nights these last few months watching late night television.  I’ll channel surf during commercials (no TiVo in this household), but usually settle on The Colbert Report, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Saturday Night Live.  All three shows have had newsworthy moments of late, and I wanted to share those moments with you.

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)

R.I.P. to The Colbert Report.  This biting satire of conservative talk shows won several awards, and deserved each and every one.  The one-two punch of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report gave savvy newshounds – particularly those with a liberal bias – much to savor with fresh episodes four days/week.  Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert earned big, brilliant laughs as “Stephen Colbert,” a pompous, dim-witted neo-Conservative.  I put his name in quotes because – if you haven’t seen the show or you never got the joke – the real Colbert is actually a well-read, progressive liberal of great intelligence.

His character was retired nine days ago after a terrific ten-year run.  No doubt Comedy Central wanted him to stay, but how could he turn down an offer to take over for Late Show host David Letterman?  It’s still uncertain when he will take over Letterman’s reigns, but what is certain is that Colbert will hit the comedic ball out of the late night park for CBS.

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25 (MORE) Things about Me that You Might Not Know

Roughly one year ago, I authored a post called “25 Things about Me that You Might Not Know.”  The initial idea for the post was in response to a silly Facebook challenge going viral at the time.  In the spirit of good fun, here are 25 MORE things about me that you might not know.  (The key, I think, to a fun and revealing challenge is to answer honestly.)

GSMNP 137 - Chimney Tops summit

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The Concept of “Ahorita”

If you spend any significant amount of time in Mexico City – or even just a single day, for that matter – you’ll almost certainly hear the phrase “ahorita” being uttered.  It doesn’t exist in most Spanish-language dictionaries, so what does it mean exactly?

A Brief Spanish Lesson

Roughly translated, ahorita means “in just a moment from now.”  The root word, ahora, means “now.”  The “-ita” suffix is a diminutive, which “lessens” the meaning.  Mexican Spanish is filled with these diminutivo nouns, adverbs, and adjectives.  For example, beso is a noun meaning, “the kiss” or “a kiss,” depending on the article preceding it.  Besito is a diminutive noun meaning, “the small kiss” or “a small kiss.”  Similarly, momento means “moment,” as in Un momento, por favor, which means “One moment, please.”  Mexicans prefer to say “Un momentito, por favor,” which means “One small moment, please.”

The augmentative – opposite – of diminutives are also common in Spanish, usually in an “-ote” (masculine) or “-ota” (feminine) form.  If beso is “kiss” and besito is “small kiss,” then besote is “big kiss.”

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Gringo Nacho Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre 2 - from cell phone

Last weekend I scratched off one item from my Mexico City “bucket list.” I was somewhat curious about lucha libre wrestling. If you don’t know, it is a stylized version of “WWE” wrestling and is popular in Mexico, Japan, and predominantly-Hispanic regions of the U.S. In lucha libre, wrestlers commonly wear masks. Years ago, the masks were simple, one-or-two-color affairs worn basically to help spectators identify who was who. “Blue Demon” wore a light blue mask and faced off against “El Santo” (“The Saint”), who wore a white mask. Culturally, the masks caught on, and today are worn not just by the wrestlers but by their fans as well. Many masks remain simple in design, yet others are more ornate, and can resemble serpents, gods, or other mythical warrior figures, often borrowed from Aztec culture.

Research revealed that matches take place every Friday night at the Arena México, and I figured it could be a fun Friday event if I could gather a few friends. My buddy Mario – a life-long Chilango who, like me, had never been to a match – was up for it, and we were joined by my friend Sofía as well as by three of her friends. We consulted an arena map before buying, and the prices seemed reasonable for all but the most expensive of tiers. We chose a section slightly right-of-center, and on match night, I couldn’t believe how close the seats really were. A bargain!

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25 Things about Me that You Might Not Know

A fun game has been going around Facebook.  Someone will post several factoids about themselves, ideally tidbits that most of their FB friends don’t know.  Anyone who “likes” the post will then be given a number, for example “7,” and that person in turn is supposed to list seven factoids about themselves.  At first I just read, but when I, without thinking, clicked “like” on a couple of lists, I was given the numbers “13” and “8”.  I slept on it, and the next day posted a list of 13 factoids about myself (I went with the larger of the two numbers).

Ciudad Perdida 49

At first it was hard – as a blogger I automatically lose some degree of privacy – but it ultimately was a fun exercise.  I thought I’d re-post my 13 factoids below, plus another 12, to come up with a better-sounding “25.”  Don’t worry – if you “like” this blog posting on FB I won’t give you a number.  I do, however, hope you’ll comment about any particular factoids that surprise you.  My hobbies are as diverse as my friends, so if it all sounds like a bunch of random potpourri, well…that’s kinda the point.  🙂

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