Friday, February 27, 2009

I Remember Abuelita

I remember abuelita like it was yesterday
I remember her dark complexion, soft skin and long gray indian-like hair
I remember, on her visits to New York, that at about 9 p.m. abuelita would say, " ya es tarde, estos muchachos deben estar en la cama"
I remember abuelita always wore the long jibara dresses
I remember my mother telling me, "tu abuela, nunca tomo una bebida y nunca ha fumado"
I remember abuelita, standing at the front of the old wooden "casita" she called home, awaiting our arrival
I remember abuelita grinding fresh coffee beans for that pot of coffee
I remember abuelita like it was yesterday

Aleja Cruz Lima
2/27/1899- 1/85

My grandmother was born and raised in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She lived there her entire life until her passing. Although she passed away when I was a teenager, I remember her as if it were only yesterday. All the fond memories of her will forever be a part of my life.

'Bendicion Abuela'

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's in it for ME ?

Now that the stimulus bill is passed and signed the question that is being asked is ,"what's in it for me?". In order for this stimulus package to work the old way of thinking has to change from me to we.

For far too long the "me" frame of thought has been the way and I believe that is what got us to where we are today. We, as a country, have to make sacrifices. From the corporate fat cat to the wall street honcho thinking about their next bonus to the little guy looking for that next pay raise, it is time for some real sacrifices to be made. It has been said time and time again, Wall Street and the corporate honchos have to trim down on their enormous bonuses, but it has to really happen. The burden cannot fall entirely on the little guy who is already scraping by and trying to makes ends meet. Americans of all social classes have to look beyond the "what's in it for me" mindset.

Getting out of this recession is not the sole job of President Obama. He is setting the ball into motion in an attempt to get us out of this but it is up to us to continue keeping that ball rolling. Then and only then can we begin to see change happen.

Tonight, President Obama will address the nation, it is an opportunity for all of us to stop, listen and think about what we can do as a nation to help in this recovery.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In The Bronx

(Librado Romero/The New York Times)

Finding a little of Puerto Rico shouldn't be that difficult when in the Bronx. The boroughs leader, Adolfo Carrion Jr., wants several local "casitas" declared city landmarks. This would definitely be a nice parting gift as he leaves for his new position in the Obama Administration. These "casitas" are definitely are part of Puerto Rican culture that have been around for a long time and bring the feel of home for many who have left the island.

Read the full article at The New York Times by C.J. Hughes: In Bronx, Little Houses That Evoke Puerto Rico .

(Librado Romero/The New York Times)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thank You to Fellow Bloggers

As I sit back and reflect on the past few weeks since I started this blog I realize I have learned quite a bit.While there is still a great deal to learn along the way I have to thank fellow bloggers for the information they post.

Just today, I read Cumba Media's -The Collaboration of Willie Colón/Rubén Blades at Fania Records and I was motivated to dust off my Fania Records cd's. Over at Velez's View - New York Post Cartoon Crosses Racial Line I find we share a common dislike of the New York Post. Morena's Bohio -The Way of the Corporate Fat Cat got me thinking about recent job losses that a couple of family member's have suffered in Puerto Rico. Today at Sofrito For Your Soul - An Educational Pledge by Alberto O. Cappas touched home since I have teenagers of my own. Oh,..and a shout back at you (I was born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn). It is with this wealth of information that I move forward in this blogosphere.

Again , thanks to all who have provided a link or follow this blog and I will continue to do the same.

Gracias, mi gente.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poor Taste

It is definitely in poor taste. I am referring to the cartoonist drawing that appeared in the New York Post, on Wednesday, and that is currently the reason for protests outside New York Post's Manhattan Offices. The drawing depicts two white cops, one with a smoking gun, standing over a bullet riddled chimpanzee and in a caption stating "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill".

While the New York Post editor defends the paper for printing the drawing one has to wonder "what were they thinking" ( I don't think they were). I don't know about any one else but when I see the words stimulus package/bill I think President Obama. While not appropriate at any other time, the drawing appears during Black History Month and one page after a photo of the President signing the stimulus bill. We are all clearly aware that there is the long repulsive racist association between chimps, apes and monkeys with African Americans. The Conneticut tragedy, where the woman was attacked by a chimpanzee, in itself is nothing to poke fun at.

Let's face it, what the Post and the artist, Sean Delonas, should do is admit and apologize. As for the's not worth posting.

The following will link you to an article by Devlin Barret, Associated Press Writer, Titled Holder: US is nation of cowards on racial matters.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joe Cuba

Who is Joe Cuba? He is Gilberto Calderon...He is “The Father of the Latin Boogaloo ".

Joe Cuba passed away yesterday. The tributes are out there and I'm sure there are many more to come so I'll keep it short. I would like to leave by paying my respects to the family, friends and many fans out there. He will be greatly missed but we will for ever have his music.

video courtesy of neels39 on YouTube
image couertesy of

Friday, February 13, 2009

Breaking News

CNN reports .... SENATE GIVES FINAL APPROVAL TO $ 787 BILLION STIMULUS PACKAGE. Stay up to date. This recession has affected us all in one way or another.

Puerto Rican Globetrotter

While Puerto Rico is not necessarily known for basketball...the proof is out there that Puerto Ricans continue to do great things. Here are a couple of articles on Orlando "El Gato" Melendez :
Hot to Trot
Puss in hoops

Orlando is the second latino to join the world famous Harlem Globetrotters after Orlando "The Hurricane" Antigua.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Employers Challenging Benefits

As if things aren't bad enough, a report By Peter Whoriskey at the Washington Post, employers are challenging unemployment claims in increasing numbers. This has created an industry of companies that help employers keep the unemployed from getting benefits. Fortunately, for those seeking benefits, the success rate for employers has remained stable........

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

El Himno de Puerto Rico has an interesting history. From its early beginning as a danza to an anthem. Enjoy...

La Borinquena

Lyrics: Manuel Fernández Juncos (1846-1928)

La tierra de Borinquén
donde he nacido yo,
es un jardín florido
de mágico fulgor.

Un cielo siempre nítido
le sirve de dosel
y dan arrullos plácidos
las olas a sus pies.

Cuando a sus playas llegó Colón;
Exclamó lleno de admiración;
"Oh!, oh!, oh!, esta es la linda
tierra que busco yo".

Es Borinquén la hija,
la hija del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol.


The land of Borinquen
where I have been born.
It is a florid garden
of magical brilliance.

A sky always clean
serves as a canopy.
And placid lullabies are given
by the waves at her feet.

When at her beaches Columbus arrived,
he exclaimed full of admiration:
Oh! Oh! Oh!
This is the beautiful land, that I seek.

It is Borinquen the daughter,
the daughter of the sea and the sun.
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun!

Translation by Samuel Quiros
As printed @

And the Winner is...............

While I am not a big fan of award shows I thought it would be appropriate to at least see what was going on with the latin side of the Grammy Awards (I know it happened a couple of days ago). And the winner is :
Best Latin Pop Album
(Vocal or Instrumental)

La Vida...Es Un Ratico
[Universal Music Latino]

Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

[EMI Music]

Best Latin Urban Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Los Extraterrestres
Wisin y Yandel
[Machete Music]

Best Tropical Latin Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Señor Bachata
José Feliciano
[Universal Music Latino]

Best Regional Mexican Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Amor, Dolor Y Lágrimas: Música Ranchera
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano
[Smithsonian Folkways Recordings]

Canciones De Amor
Mariachi Divas
[Shea Records/East Side Records]

Best Tejano Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Viva La Revolucion
Ruben Ramos & The Mexican Revolution
[Revolution Records]

Best Norteño Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Los Tigres Del Norte

Best Banda Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

No Es De Madera
Joan Sebástian
[Musart/Balboa Records]

Thursday, February 5, 2009

McCain: "NO"

So, here I am online reading the latest updated news on the stimulus package . The article mentions Senator John McCain of Arizona and I start to thinking, " NO , I am not a supporter of his."

I thought I'd mention this only because I have spent a good part of my life in the military and in a previous news report it was made to seem as if everyone in the military supported him. I honestly don't believe that because he served in the military himself; that would make him a good candidate for president. Anyway, enough on that, I am more interested on the stimulus package update.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And in Washington......

There seems to be quite a bit going on in Washington this week from President Obama stating "I scewed up" to all the buzz over the stimulus package.

What has surprised me the most is that both Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer have both asked to be removed from consideration. Is this a sign of a few politicians finally realizing and admitting to their wrong doing? Well, much still remains to be seen and heard.

The stimulus package has all the buzz surrounding it as it makes its rounds through the Senate where Republicans seem to be the ones with a grasp on it. What still remains to be seen are the changes to come to the package and if any real stimulus will come out it.


Today's latest news, so far, is a cap on executive pay to $500,000 for those receiving federal bailout money. Finally, as it seems that Wall Street, Citigroup and others just don't get it or care enough about the current state of our economy. A change in attitude is gravely needed. Kudos to President Obama on that move.

Democrats show their strength as House passes kids' health bill -

Eugenio Maria de Hostos

I wanted to make note that on January 12 there was another official holiday in Puerto Rico. Celebrated on the second Monday in January, it is the Birthday of Eugenio María de Hostos (in spanish - Natalicio de Eugenio María de Hostos). Born in Mayagüez on January 11, 1839, he was an educator, writer and patriot who dedicated his life to the fight for Puerto Rican independence.
One of many great figures in Puerto Rican history to be proud of and celebrated. In the future, I will hopefully add more information about Eugenio María de Hostos and other notable Puerto Ricans that we should know more about and be proud of. With all the attention surrounding President Obama as the first black president there is no better time than now to share all the contributions Puerto Ricans have made and are making.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So Many Thoughts

I am currently working on my next blog posting and realize that there is so much in my head. I have decided to start taking more notes and to gather my thoughts more often. The brain is one heck of a huge storage cabinet but mine is unorganized at this time. Neverthless, I will continue the thought process and make the attempt to organize my storage cabinet. Wish me luck.