This isn't goodbye, this isn't so long
its an "Ill see you later," an "ill hold you again"
the love of a father, the pain of a son
the loss of a friend, the grieving within
not able to speak, I'm at a loss for words
its been some time now, just barley feeling the loss
I got tatted for you, on my right arm I'm wearing a cross

I miss you so much, its hard to imagine
that you wont see me grow, my kids you wont hold
my wife you won't know, ill grow old without my old man to hold and to love

Remember when I was your little boy?
your everything, your pride and joy?
how often you held me, how often I cried
how often you left me, how often you lied

All is forgiven, all is behind
all is well now, I have peace of mind
The Lord took it from me, both the pain and the joy
The Pain being the past, the Joy being you Dad
I pray that my last gift to you was accepted
taken and put to work.

Ill see you again, Ill hold you once more
But not yet, not yet.


Stranded and Grounded

From up here everything looks so small, its almost as if you can hold everything in eye sight in the palm of your hand. Its amazing how minuscule one can feel when you see everything around you, the majesty of this world is amazing and a bit much to take in at times. But at this moment I was just at ease because after waiting in a plain for 3 hours for it to take off I was grateful to be on my way home from what seemed like a nightmare situation.

You see after being 5 minutes "late" for check in, we missed our flight home from our vacation in Orlando. We were instead put on a flight that was grounded for 3 whole hours due to thunderstorms, and while we waited we were tortured with the acting chops of Mr. Demi Moore himself. At times I was waiting for the crew members of his show "Punk'd" to show up with cameras as I reacted with amazement, shocked by the outlandish antics of Ashton's amazingly "creative" brain. But after the end credits of Valentines Day rolled I realized that Ashton wasn't going to Punk me today, maybe next time.

My sister and her husband were going to pick us up from the airport now and at last I was able to relax a bit. I just liad my head back and rested my eyes for a bit, but my mind was racing, I couldn't stop thinking that something else was going to happen, but honestly what else can happen after something like this right?

As we landed in Atlanta, we learned that our next flight was boarding and we had to make our way from where were all the way across the airport, in length terms we had to run about half a mile dragging our bags, before realizing that the flight was going to leave us if we didn't speed things up. We stopped right in time to catch the subway that took us to the other side of the terminal. In there I was looking at the time realizing we only had a few minutes left. The tram came to a stop and we busted out of there, running as fast I could hauling all the bags and my wife running ahead of me with the tickets in hand trying to secure our spot in the plane.

Right in the nick of time we made our way to our gate with about 2 people in front of us. Again I was able to take a breath, and thank God for helping us so far, but to my surprise our struggles weren't over just yet. I got a call from my sister, with a bit of hesitation I answered the phone. She told me that they weren't going to be able to pick us up because her husband had to work in only a few hours (he worked the graveyard shift) so we, once again were up a creek without a paddle.

No longer caught off guard by bad news we were trying to wrap our head around this new problem that was in front of us. My wife called her sister to see if she could pick us up but her voice mail is all we got. I had no one else to call, every one of my siblings was dead asleep and not in a position to assist. As we finally landed in Salt Lake City, it was about 12:30 am now, we thought about taking a taxi back home. We made our way to the exit and asked a cab driver what the cost of a taxi would be from there to Pleasant Grove. The answer hit us hard, picture a deer caught in the headlights kind of look. "An estimate?" he asked "about 80 or 90 give or take" "Dollars?!" I answered with fright in my voice, and yes he meant dollars, pesos, dinero, cheese, cash flow, chedda, mula, bills, how ever you want to call it he meant just that.

Once again defeated and baffled by our current dilemma, we asked ourselves what more can we do. I suggested renting a card but that would put us back money wise. Jenny called her sister one more time and this time she struck gold, she answered the phone, but to our disappointment she said she couldn't because she was with her boyfriend. With our options slimming down by the second I was getting very angry, I definitely wasn't thinking straight but as always my wife was the one with the brains. She took my phone and looked down the contact list and began to dial numbers. A few calls later she look up at me giving me the thumbs up signal. At last someone was coming through for us, but who?

The time was now 1:30 am and I was sitting down waiting and recapping the day's events. It was a bit soothing to think that after all that we had been through so far we were only 40 minutes away from home, no matter how dark and crappy it seemed it always got better. It was now 2 am and I got a call from our Knight in Shinning Armor. "Whats up Foo!" he said as I answered the phone and its s all I needed to hear to know who it was. My big loving father figure Andres, as loyal as any best friend could ever be, there he was with his wife. When no one was able or willing to pick us up we had to relay on a friend who was harder to get hold of than the president, but somehow he was here ready to take us home.

Finally we were going home, after hours of uncertainty and frustration we were for sure going to make it to our warm and cozy bed. Talking to Andres about his lack of pick-up-the-phone-skills, he told us that he always leaves his phone on vibrate so that people wont bug him in the middle of the night, but for some reason this night he felt impressed to leave the ringer on, and by his bed. So when Jenny called him he picked up, which is not normal for him, and specially not that late at night. About 35 minutes later we were home, thanks to my gentle giant.


45 minutes before take off

There we were, enjoying a nice Cuban sandwich in Orlando Florida. Getting ready to go back home to Utah, back to the cold and crappy weather. It had been a great week, full of fun and joy with each other, and now it was on to the real world, no more Disney world, no more sandy beaches, no more sunny drenched days sweating just by doing nothing, oh no we were going back to our reality which was Pleasant Grove Utah and not Kissimmee Florida.
Our last day in paradise was nice, we got ready and packed. Checked out of our temporary home called the Ramada Inn, and on our way we were, ready to spend our last few hours here before boarding time came. We wanted to eat out one last time and enjoy this day as much as possible, so we drove around near the Airport's proximity to make sure we would be back just in time for our flight. We tussled around as to where to eat, and after a few failed attempts at eating in the fancy likes of TGI Fridays we settled for a Cuban restaurant called Mi Tierra.
Jenny chowed down that Cuban sandwich in matter of minutes with a bit of my help, and off we were to the airport. Our rental car a 2010 Nissan Cube was filled to the top when we got it and as it stated in the guidelines we needed to return it with the same amount of gas as when we first got it. On our way to the airport I noticed the the needle that read the amount of gas was slowly dipping bellow the F, so I drove to the nearest gas station. I topped it off and off we went again.
I was a bit worried that we wouldn't make our flight but we still had plenty of time, or so I thought. We pulled up to the car garage of the Orlando International Airport and parked, grabbed our bags and bid farewell to our trusty white Cube. There we were hauling our bags through the huge masses of people piling all over getting ready to leave, some with tears and hugs others with "Ill see you later" goodbyes. Finally we got to our flight check in line, and just in time, with maybe a minute or two to spare.
It was our turn to check in, and I handed the guy behind the counter our itinerary and I loaded the bags on the scale. The guy looks up at us a and says "So are you guys running late?" to what I said "No were not, why do you say that?" "Well" he said with a tone one would only have right before bad news were about to be given, "there is no way you are going to make this flight."
"Excuse me?!" I said with a tone of disbelief "how is that possible? our flight is not leaving for another 30 minutes" to what he said "Well sir you are right but we still need to get these bags checked in and with the time frame that you have left us there is no way we can get you there in time, I'm sorry."
I could not believe my ears, it was like the beginning of a bad family comedy movie, you know the kind that has the main characters stranded in an airport thousands of miles from their destination or home and they have to drive cross country and go through hell to get back. A few days later, and after several near death experiences that one would probably never encounter in their whole lifetime (like fighting a dear, or falling off a cliff in your car and only having the tiers and doors fall off like in "Are we there yet?") and more in love than before they left because along the way they fight and hate one another, only to fall madly and deeply in love all over again because of all the "I almost lost you moments" they finally make it home with nothing but the clothes on their back with a bloody lip and torn and dirty shirts-kind of movie? well this was beginning to feel like the start of one of those movies, we were in for a long, long day.

"its 45 minutes before take off sir. We ask all of our passengers to check in no later than 40 minutes before take off. Its posted all over the airport." "Does it look like we have been vacationing in the airport to you?" I barked back at him with the tone of frustration lingering in my voice. "We need to get in that plane, I don't care what we or you need to do, we need to get back home for work." There was a bit of desperation now and I was not happy and if I wasn't happy, my wife was furious. The guy behind the counter was typing like crazy, going back and forward, talking to people trying to get something worked out but it just wasn't working out. Finally he got his manager after several verbal threats made by my wife, but his manager had no better news for us than what the other guy had already told us. We weren't making that flight, and it was more obvious now that the time came for the flight to take off.
There we were stranded in Orlando, needing to get back home. The manager did however work things out as to placing us in another flight, one that would leave in about an hour, but it would have to stop in Atlanta and then from there we would board another flight to Salt Lake. In all we would be getting home at about 11 pm that night when we should have been home around 6 pm. It was about 1 pm and after all the drama and frustration I finally got my wife to calm down. Sitting now waiting for the flight to board. We boarded the plane at about 2:30 pm and it was all over, we were heading home, well it seems that we were fooled once again.
Siting in our seats, giving thanks that the nightmare was finally over, we held hands and tried to make the best of what was given. It was raining now, the summers in Orlando are wet and humid, giving way to the tropical storms or Hurricane seasons of the summer. "This is your captain speaking, welcome aboard, I have a bit of bad news" Oh no you don't, you just can't. "Seems like we are being grounded until further notice, lighting storms are keeping us here for a few folks, as soon as we have more information we will update you, thanks again for choosing us." I wasn't happy, this just kept getting worse, and to top it all off our ride wasn't going to be able to pick us up. My sister in law had committed to pick us up but now with the delay she wasn't going to be able to do it, so I called my sister and had her do it for us. "Ill call you as soon as we land in Atlanta" I said to her.
Over and over we got the same lame news from our captain, we were to remain grounded until the weather cleared. To ease all of the angry passengers they gave drinks and peanuts away, as well as some infligh entertainment to delight our pupils they made us watch "Valentines Day" a romantic comedy that was mediocre at best, with a huge bill of stars. It was now about 5:30 pm, we had been sitting in the same spot for 3 hours, and finally it came, the news we were all praying for "we are clear for take off."

To Be Continued.....


Dream Big

Dreams:The succession of images, sounds or emotions that the mind experiences during sleep.

When you hear the words "Dream Big" what comes to mind? My guess is that for most people this sparks thoughts of lots of money, a huge house and expensive toys. And why not? its totally normal to think of a lavish lifestyle. I would also dare to guess that most of us will never see that kind of life. Does that make us less than those who can live that way? No it does not. One can also make the argument that money doesn't determine happiness, or does it?

For many years I have been thinking about my future, and the older I get the harder it gets to come to terms that I might never have the McMansion, or the sports car of my dreams. But does this make me a lesser person? or does it diminish my accomplishments so far in life? again the answer is a big fat No.

My happiness is not determined by how much my bank account has, or how big my TV is, or how many shoes I have, but by what I have been able to accomplish so far in my life. Lately I can feel myself growing as a man, as a husband and future father. The choices I am making now are literally affecting the future of our unborn children.

You see in high school I was for the lack of a better word an Underachiever. Not because I was dumb or had some sort of learning disorder, but because I didn't care about my education. How could I? an illegal immigrant teenager, who as I put it best "will one day own the airways, and MTV's convented VMA award," care so much for an education. That just wasn't my cup of tea per say. High school was more of a popularity contest for me and my pals. When in class I was more worried about who I would bump in to in the hallway and what the girls would think of my outfit that day, I was more focused on things that did not matter one bit, but try to tell a teenager who's hormones are in full rage that School wasn't a place to hook up but a place to learn and get prepared for whats ahead of you.

Late in to my senior year I was falling behind and little by little the thought of graduating was slowly fading away, and not just for me but for many others in school. I guess I should have payed more attention in class, but it was too late now. I was passing the majority of my classes with low C's and high D's, and somehow (by the grace of God is my best guess) I was able to pass all my classes. I walked with my classmates, I was able to get a diploma, I was able to show my family that I wasn't a compete failure, and most of all I was able to show myself that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Given that I didn't pass with honors but I passed none the less.

So now here we are, 9 years later and I am finally in good shape to start college, a long time, I know. But late is better than never right? I think I have found a career that makes me tick, something that actually gets me excited, not just something to do for the rest of my life, but something that I am mediocre at. If you haven't been following my blog then you probably have no Idea what makes me tickle inside, well that is a passion for writing. I honestly and truly think that I can have a career in journalism.

Is this my version of "Dream Big?" maybe, I just can't come to terms or grasp the fact that I can actually be good enough at something that I can get payed for and make a caereer from it, this sort of stuff dosen't happen to me and others like me, we usually end up working for a factory and or a call center (and not that those are bad jobs, any job is a good job, but its not something that you are trully sold on or happy doing, its something that gets you and your family through. This is not what I want, I want the oportunity to do something I love untill I retire. I am dreaming big, for once I can see my future as I want it, a family man with a great wife and amazing kids, doing what he loves, not just for himself but for them.


My Battle for the J's II: Blood, Tears and Dreams

After tasting defeat it took me a few hours to regain my composure, I was determined to get those shoes at any cost, even if that meant fighting for them.

Saturday morning came and I was fast on my feet, driving on the I-15 with only one thought in mind, to be the first to own a pair of those beautiful shoes. I got to the mall at 6:00 am only to realize that I wasn't the only one there, I was one of many to be there ready to fight it out, ready to die for what I wanted and desired, my Retro 11's. I wasn't about to go down without a fight. Oh no, not this man. Not today baby!

"LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!" is all I heard in my head, I ran towards the crowded hallways of mad men fighting for a spot in line, only 12 pair and I was going to go home with a pair, oh yes I was! by golly I was ready to die. I caught one trying to body slam someone so I took him out with a chair I got from the food court, as this happened I felt the sting of a fist connecting to the back of my head, I dropped flat on my face, glass braking all around me, body's dropping like flies all around, blood stains all over the shiny Mall floor, I started to give up but something inside of me kept pushing me to get up. "Get up you fool, you are almost there, only 3 more hours and you will have them, GET UP!" I felt renewed so I pushed my self to get up and as I was beginning to get back on my feet I took one on the Kisser, left hook, right hook, uppercut to the gut and I was flat out. So much for fighting for what I wanted, well maybe next time.

"NOOOOOOO!!!!!!" I woke up screaming, sweating and on the verge of tears. Oh my gosh it was only a dream! I looked at my phone and it was 5:50 am, I still had time to do this. I was fast on my feet, driving on the I-15 with only one thought in mind, to be the first to own a pair of those beautiful shoes, but this time no fighting. I drove up to the mall around 6:20 am and I walked in expecting an angry mob of people waiting, fighting each other for a spot but I was wrong, only 7 other people where there waiting. Some sleeping on the floor waiting for the doors to open. I quickly made friends with one of the guys there and we talked about life and Jordan shoes.

Soon enough the store opened its doors, only letting 2 people in at a time. I was next and I was able to get in and get my hands on those lovely white shoes. I never knew people went through so much to get shoes but I think its well worth the battle. It was a new experience that I would put myself through again. Talking to the first guy in line I realized how deep and committed these people are, he worked at this Foot Locker and the night before was his turn to stay late and close. After his shift was over he did what any Jordan hungry person would do. He stayed the night in the mall. He hid himself from the security guards inside the T-Mobile kiosk, waiting for that clock to display 6:00 am, and once it did he jumped up and lined up.

The things people do for shoes, crazy people. I would never do that.... OK I would, sue me!

My Battle for the J's

"One of our representatives will be with you in a moment" Those are the dreaded words I was trying to avoid all night but somehow I found myself in that predicament and I could do nothing to change it.

Let me take you back, way back. The year was 1996, Tupac was still the King of Rap but his murder was close at hand. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Steelers to win their 5Th Superbowl, and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals. This is the year I feel in love.... the memory of that shoe is still crisp in my mind, its shiny patent leather mid and toe box was just breath taking. The Air Jordan 11's where the thing of legends, not even the Barkley's came close to these baby's. Everyone I knew was sporting these shoes as soon as they became available, everyone except me. I remember walking around school and thinking "Man I wish we had the money to get them" but the truth was that those shoes where way out of our price budget, so Hand-Me-Downs would have to do, that or Payless shoes or better yet salvation army.

OK flash forward to present time, as I stated before, the Jordan 11's became the stuff of legend and are now one of the most sought after shoes out there, but like Disney classics they are only released every now and then, and after they sell out they are locked away for a long time. Its like seeing a Unicorn, trying to find these shoes in stores.

Thursday of last week I was browsing through my facebook account and I noticed something that made me stop abruptly what I was doing. In Bold letters their post read "Who's going to cop their 11 Retro's this Saturday May 1st?" I almost pooped myself when I saw that pots along with a picture of the shoe I have wanted since I was 13 years old. I had recently told my wife that if they ever re-released that shoe, I would go in debt for them and I wasn't kidding.

On Friday they would be released online and through Eastbay, right at 12:00 am EST so 10:00 pm my time, not a minute early. The actual shoe would be available at only 2 stores in Utah, the Foot Locker at the Valley Fair Mall in West Valley and at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, and each store only had 12 pairs each, one of each size, from 8 to 13. Lovely! Here was the chance to fulfill one of my childhood dreams and yet it felt so far of a chance to achieve that it made me sad. I decided that I was going to call Eastbay and order my shoe that way, because I was not about to go fight for a spot at a mall waiting for hours before they opened the doors..... right?

April 30Th 2010, 9:55 pm: I was on the phone waiting to talk to a customer service rep for Eastbay, credit card on hand ready to go, I had my game face on and there was nothing going to stop me form getting this shoe, NOTHING!!

April 30Th 2010, 10:00 pm: I was still on hold listening to that annoying recorded message "One of our representatives will be with you in a moment" and my hands where sweating with anticipation.

April 30Th 2010, 10:10 pm: I was still on hold, the phone was hot now from being held so tight to my ear, just waiting for that Darn rep to answer the call, but nothing.

April 30Th 2010, 10:13 pm: "Thank you for calling Eastbay this is (I don't remember her name so lets call her Tiff) Tiff how can I help you?" with excitement I said "I need to place an order please!" I was just thrilled that I was about the get the most import shoe I would ever own, "OK, can I please get the product number of the item sir" to what I said with a confident tone "Why sure" after I gave her the number she said the following "I'm sorry, sir but that item is completely sold out" WHAT?!!! you can't do this to me, you just can't!!!! Why?!!! with a deflated tone I responded "Are you serious?" to what she said "Yes sir I am." I just ended the call, I couldn't take the disappointment, and the pain it caused me to hear those words.

What to do? should I go to the mall at 6 am to see if I can get a pair? No! that's dumb, I don't do that kind of thing, but this was different, this was for the Retro 11's. I should do this! right?.....

To Be Continued......


Taco Wars: The Evil HIM

My wife had been craving Mexican food, and around the corner of the Provo Mall there is a new place called Taco Riendo (laughing Taco... yeah I don't get it either), we had been there once before and fell in love with the food there. Big portions, real good taste and the customer service was good, no complaints. But all that was about to change in a big way. We get there and order, my wife got the same plate she had last time, The Carne Asada Platter which comes with rice, beans, tortillas, guacamole and some sour cream and lettuce to make tacos with. I had the Asada Quesadilla and 2 tacos, the total damage was at about 18 dollars. Not bad for all the food we were about to take down right?

After a few we get our food and my wife just stares at her plate in disappointment and anger. She gets up and goes to talk to the cashier about it and she is told "Ill let HIM know." She comes back and sits down a bit irritated, to this point I haven't really noticed what the big deal is, until she pointed it out. The piece of Asada (Asada is a type of meat, for all my White Folks) is supposed to be big, and fresh, instead she got 3 pieces of old crusty looking meat. About a hand full of Beans with cheese on them and the same size portion of rice, and a mountain of Lettuce and Guacamole. My girl wasn't having it, not one bit so she needed me to take care of it. With hunger still there and a bit of a head ache I get up to talk to the cashier.

She looks at me and says "I will let HIM know," Him who?, who is this HIM she keeps mentioning? I ask for a manager, to what she said "I am the manager but don't worry the owner is here, Ill let HIM know (ahhh so that's who HIM is) and Ill come back." I was pleased with that expecting the owner to come back to talk to us and make us happy right? right?........

The young lady comes back to our table and informs us that the Owner (HIM) told her to tell us that these are the portions they are giving out now, the reason we had such big portions last time was because the old cook was giving out bigger portions, so In other words we got lucky last time. At this point I wasn't having it, I was angry so asked the young lady to have HIM come back and talk to us. About a minute passed and here HIM comes....... I was ready for a duel.

The following is a reenactment of what took place that fateful night at Taco Riendo (this whole conversation was in Spanish):

HIM: How can I help you? ME: My wife and I came here before and had the same platter and it was way bigger last time and the meat was fresh, this one isn't. HIM: Well the reason is because our old cook was giving out way too big of portions and she is no longer here, now I'm in the back making sure all is well portioned. ME: Well we just payed 10 dollars for this plate and I honestly do not think that this amount and quality of meat is worth that much money, she has more lettuce than anything man! HIM: Well if you go somewhere else they are charging you about 13 dollars for that same plate, plus I pay about 3 dollars and 90 cents per lbs for the meat, that's not good for me to do, to just give away huge portions of food. ME: Well I didn't go elsewhere, I came here and I need you to do something about this plate.
What would you like me to do?
ME: I need a new plate for my wife, more meat and rice and beans, less toppings.
HIM: Well if you want a new plate your going to have to pay for it. (Time out.... can you believe the nerve on this fool?! OK Continue)

ME: I'm not paying for another plate man, and I'm also not going to have my wife eat this crap, I need another plate of food for her.
HIM: And what am I supposed to do with this food?
ME: I don't care!
HIM: I can't do that, you need to pay for another plate then. ME: I'm not doing that! either that or I need my money back! (He looked at me with a long frustrated pause, he inhaled)
HIM: OK, give them their money back

He stormed to the back to continue riping people off with small portions of dry old meat. We didn't even touch our food, I was shaking from anger. We walk up to the cashier and got our cash back. Before I left I noticed everyone there was looking at us, I told the cashier "This is horrible customer service, we are not coming back. Tell HIM I said that." Taco Bell was where we ended up eating that night, and as my brother said: "A Cheaper and Better Meal" He was right.