Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shrinking Me

This personal blogging thing is new to me and its about to get a whole lot newer. I've been blogging for years about politics and perhaps occasionally wrote about something different. And this blog started off with me just posting silly stuff I found on the internet but now it seems to be adding another dimension.

Most people in my personal life know that a significant major change has happened to me over the last 14 months. But I've rarely discussed it in the blog-la-sphere. But here's a shot.

Since early August of last year, I've lost nearly 180 pounds. I have shrunk tremendously and its radically altered my life. I have a ways to go but its a day at a time and yes I feel amazing while also scared, confused and more.

As time goes on I will share more with you about it and how I did it. Of course I will be more than happy to help anyone else facing their personal battle with the bulge. I've also finally added an exercise program to my repetroire and if anything blogging about that will keep me on it (as you will expect me to right?).

Te Amo

Though I am pure gabacho through and through (at least as far as I know), I grew up in el barrio surrounded by Latino culture that I ultimately fell in love with.

Having some experience with being a romantic, its my firm view that love can be expressed far more beautifully in the Spanish language. Indeed, its my Anglo-Germanic ancestors who are primarily responsible for most of the hang-ups we have about sex, feelings, emotions, etc. Latin culture - whether its Americano, Espana, Italia or even the good old French know how to celebrate love and life.

How I long for the opportunity to someday express the words te amo to my soulmate - whether she understands the language or not. And to dance on a balcony after a candlelit wine filled dinner to the tune below.

Its commercial pop and from a movie to boot, but I think La Bella Maria de mi Alma (AKA Beautiful Maria of My Soul) is one of the most romantic songs ever served up by Hollywood. From the 1992 movie The Mambo Kings (based on the FAR better Oscar Hijuelos book The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love) starring Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante as musician Cuban brothers who run afoul of the Havana underworld and are forced to migrate to New York in the early 1950s.

The song is the love anthem of the film and was nominated for an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe. It details the angst of Banderas' Nestor Castillo who pines for his beloved Maria whom he was forced to leave behind in Cuba.

The song was performed in the film by both Banderas and Castillo but the solo soundtrack version by Banderas is the best. The legendary group Los Lobos recorded a funky English language version for the album but though the performance is awesome (including a haunting flute solo in the bridge that takes the place of the big band sound in the version en espanol), the lyrics themselves are really lacking in the English translation.

Below are the lyrics in both Spanish and English as well as some all three versions of the song via YouTube.

The Spanish lyrics (sung by Antonio Banderas):

Si deseo sonreir
Pienso solamente en ti
En la magia de tu amor
En tu piel en tu sabor

En la isla del dolor
Recuerdo tu calor
Desearia morir
Cerca de ti

Un ardiente corazon
Colorea mi pasion
Deseando compartir
El sentir de este vivir

En las olas de este mar
Sueno en la eternidad
Con cada luna vendras
Con la merea te iras

En un caracol
Pienso oir tu voz
La bella Maria de mi amor

Aunque estemos separados
En un sueno angelicar
Si llego de nuevo amar
No hay razon, proque cambiar

Temo yo permancer
Sin ti en la eternidad
Lejos nos puedon separar
Jamas pudiera olvidar
Tu risa celestial
Tus besos, tu calor
La bella Maria de mi amor

Si no te vuelva a ver
No dejaras de ser
La bella Maria de mi amor.

English performed by Los Lobos:

In the sunlight of your smile
In the summer of our life
In the magic of love
Storms above scattered away

Lovers dreaming in the night
Reaching for Paradise
But as the dark shadows fade
Love slips away

On an empty stretch of beach Mambo Kings - Singing and Dancing
In the pattern of the waves
Drawing pictures with my hand
In the sand, I see your face

Skipping pebbles on the sea
Wishing for Paradise
Sand castles crumble below
The restless tides ebb and flow
Listening to a shell
Hoping for your voice
Beautiful Maria of my soul

Though we'll always be apart
Locked forever in a dream
If I ever love again
Even then, nothing will change

And the taste of you remains
Clinging to Paradise
But as the distance from you grows
All that my heart ever knows
Hunger for your kiss
Longing for your touch
Beautiful Maria of my soul

Filling all my nights
Haunting all my days
Beautiful Maria of my soul.

Bilingual version from the film (sorry the dialogue is not in English - but the song remains in English and Spanish).

Sometimes I wish I grew up about 25 years earlier...

But then I would be really old now. From "A Summer Place" 1960, one of the coolest romantic movies ever.

One of the most hauntingly beautiful songs ever

From 1959 - Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk." You may never know or remember the name of this song, but you'll know it when you hear it.

The video and audio quality of this clip is not that great, its obviously a copy of a copy of a tape of a live television performance. But of anything on YouTube, its the most authentic.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nuts To This!

The goal of this Japanese game show is to perfectly recite a tongue twister - if you don't? You get a good whack in the family jewels from below. Ouch!

Not quite sure what you win though.

The Cuppy Cake Girl Grows Up

Way before YouTube and not long after Al Gore invented the Internet (I thought you said no politics?) this video of three year old Amy Castle singing "The Cuppy Cake Song" made the rounds first on CD and then online. The song was written and the video produced by Amy's parents in 1994. It's been remade over and over by dozens of kids whose parents hoped to achieve the same level of notoriety for their tyke.

Amy later went on to become an actress, playing Ally McBeal as a child and later a recurring role on Lizzie McGuire for which she won a Young Artist Award.

Amy's now 17 and is still making music videos. But more importantly she's landed the biggest role of her career as a recurring character on the hit soap opera Passions. She's not singing about cupcakes anymore as seen below.

What Is Lorem Ipsum?

I had to use a little of it to get the blog birthed.

What is it?

Lorem ipsum. According to Wikipedia "lorem ipsum is standard placeholder text used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as font, typography, and layout."

The text comes from Cicero's "De finibus bonorum et malorum" though no one really knows where it first came from. It doesn't really mean anything and is geared to approximate the distribution of English letters.

However the literal translation of the standard ipsum is:

"Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?"

Ipsum to you too!

Lorem Part Deux

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas pellentesque est ut diam. Duis et velit vel magna posuere porttitor. Sed vulputate. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Pellentesque consequat lorem vitae nibh. Morbi euismod. Donec luctus faucibus massa. Sed adipiscing nisi molestie dolor. Curabitur erat metus, eleifend volutpat, sagittis eu, sodales vehicula, tortor. Suspendisse pede ligula, molestie ut, eleifend in, euismod ut, velit. Integer dolor turpis, congue in, rutrum in, nonummy ut, elit.

Vivamus nisi elit, tincidunt nec, mollis eget, accumsan vitae, nibh. Quisque sodales, nunc in placerat eleifend, eros lacus vehicula odio, et aliquet augue tortor at libero. Mauris id risus. Praesent elementum dui non lorem. Quisque sollicitudin augue eget lacus. Nam lacus erat, consequat bibendum, euismod vel, faucibus id, dui. Vivamus quam ligula, commodo id, ultrices at, posuere eget, ipsum. Nunc pretium consectetuer nulla. Duis ligula. Nam dapibus semper lorem. Curabitur eu lectus quis augue commodo ullamcorper. Sed quis libero. Etiam vitae arcu. Fusce volutpat risus eu turpis bibendum ultrices. Nullam feugiat faucibus justo. Suspendisse potenti. Fusce posuere risus nec erat pellentesque sollicitudin.

Oh My The Lorem Is Back

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Mauris varius, arcu et malesuada suscipit, lacus massa tincidunt risus, quis placerat mauris enim sed ligula. Morbi pellentesque. Morbi elementum mauris eu nisl fermentum vulputate. Nullam ut dui eget tellus congue sodales. Etiam tincidunt sagittis neque. Mauris magna mauris, auctor in, porta in, viverra vel, nisi. Maecenas mi. In nunc dui, interdum ut, nonummy ut, auctor sit amet, purus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce non dolor. Nullam dictum elit in velit. Etiam tempus nibh eu leo. Nunc nisi. Cras convallis, tortor et aliquet fermentum, pede pede adipiscing leo, sed facilisis orci justo eget tortor. Proin at tellus sodales elit sollicitudin pulvinar. Nulla ut elit.

Praesent volutpat. Morbi aliquam malesuada diam. Pellentesque at felis non sem molestie nonummy. Curabitur porttitor sem vitae ante scelerisque varius. Nunc feugiat. Fusce varius tellus nec metus. Suspendisse in nulla. Sed lorem urna, fermentum et, semper sed, vulputate quis, felis. Nulla tincidunt, quam in aliquet pretium, tortor dolor mollis sem, nec pellentesque sem nulla ut elit. Morbi lectus lorem, suscipit id, semper mollis, vestibulum eget, odio. Cras laoreet elit vitae augue. Cras ut ante sit amet dolor egestas vehicula. Proin ullamcorper laoreet sem. Aenean augue. Vestibulum pulvinar suscipit tellus. Aliquam magna eros, consectetuer at, tristique quis, aliquam nec, augue. Nam rhoncus scelerisque orci. Ut eget quam vitae nisi tincidunt ornare.

Sed ac nisl sit amet ante tincidunt rutrum. Pellentesque porttitor nisl. Nunc mollis gravida nisi. Quisque vulputate, quam a suscipit elementum, odio erat vehicula nisl, vitae pretium velit arcu eget mauris. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Pellentesque placerat faucibus urna. Sed mollis. Sed ultricies sem et enim. Proin pede dui, auctor et, feugiat a, egestas sed, leo. Donec libero turpis, venenatis vel, convallis vel, congue eget, tortor. Ut laoreet.

Duis sit amet magna ut orci commodo condimentum. Fusce pellentesque egestas mauris. Nulla elit mauris, dictum at, hendrerit eleifend, ultrices a, nibh. Vestibulum luctus tincidunt est. Sed porttitor. Nulla eleifend, ante dictum dignissim tempor, libero ante venenatis quam, eu aliquam sem purus sit amet magna. Mauris vel mauris. Sed cursus dictum magna. Nullam posuere pharetra tellus. Nullam neque massa, posuere et, tristique vel, aliquam eu, nibh. Donec facilisis purus. Morbi ullamcorper quam. Suspendisse velit. Nunc ultricies accumsan sapien.

Ut velit est, volutpat quis, pulvinar a, cursus ac, lacus. Fusce elit dui, viverra a, sollicitudin condimentum, auctor sed, leo. Phasellus aliquam. Nulla purus lacus, facilisis vel, aliquet sit amet, elementum non, libero. Nunc consectetuer porta eros. Mauris imperdiet ornare dolor. Fusce diam. Fusce et sem eget nibh mattis luctus. Mauris ligula. Nullam aliquam sollicitudin sem. Cras iaculis enim at urna. Suspendisse lacinia dolor sit amet mauris. Maecenas sit amet ante non justo aliquet dictum. Mauris ultricies risus ut dolor.