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Posts from — August 2009

Eulogy of the “adopted” nephew

Four generations of Rincon del Angel

Left to right: Mamina (my great grandma), abuelo Sergio, me on his lap, my mom

A couple of days ago, my grandpa died, my abuelo Sergio. I have been thinking what I could possibly say or write about him. Abuelo Sergio was the most stable male presence in my life. Seeing him and his wife always made me think that marriage can work, that you can be sickeningly in love with someone after 20-odd and 30-odd years. He represented everything that was good, manly, and loving in my eyes. He always smelled of shaving cream and tobacco, he always had a poem to make you laugh, a word to heal a wound. He is and always will be one of my favorite people in this world, closer to my heart than I could possibly express.

I wasn’t able to attend his funeral or be there with my family. I wish I could have been there – but I was through their many texts and emails and calls. And since I wasn’t able to be there, my mom shared something with me that brought tears to my eyes, to the eyes of those who were there and of those who have since read it as well. They are the words of someone who was a friend and became family. This is my translation.

It would be inappropriate to say “good afternoon” on this occasion, so I will simply say hello to you all on this, the afternoon on which we accompany Sergio and his family. I have the pleasure of already knowing most of you; however, out of respect for those of you I have not met, my name is Jemil. I am a friend, co-worker and adopted nephew of Silvina and Sergio. I would like to share with you my personal experience with this great man, as I’m sure that many of us have had feelings and impressions similar to those I am about to describe to you.

I met Sergio almost ten years ago, and I must admit that we both began with a left foot. Somehow, we both clashed during our first impression and our initial relationship was more diplomatic than sincere. It wasn’t until a little over three years ago when we had the chance to spend time together and get to know each other better. This time, the relationship was so positive that he adopted me as a nephew and I adopted him as my uncle. Today I have the good fortune and the sorrow of saying goodbye to him. Sorrow is what my selfish side feels- I wish he could be with us much longer; however, my human side feels lucky, as it understands that this great person was prisoner in a body that was sick and weary and needed to be free.

A man of more than a thousand words, wise counselor and friend, passionate about his tastes and pleasures, he was an encyclopedia of poetry and an atlas of our Mexico. It was a pleasure to sit next to him and hear his describe the destinations and roads he traveled for so many years. He painted an image with such vivid details that I could swear I visited some of those places. There was never a conversation that didn’t make its way, however briefly, to the subject of gastronomy; I have never eaten a panucho, but [thanks to him] I know what one tastes like! And, as always, after food, a good conversation about politics was never too far away. He had a special humorous view and precision on the subject; many times I thought he should have been a political analyst. But his heart… his heart was in bullfighting, an authentic connoisseur of the world of tauromachy. We he spoke of bulls and bullfighters, plazas and Spanish-style bullfighting, of those he once witnessed, he would express a passion that I have not often seen.

The most admirable thing about my uncle Sergio was how he lived his life, because there is no one who shows more love for life than he who uses it and takes full advantage of it to love, learn and share. With this exemplary will he fought against his cancer for over eight years. Beyond the pain and discomfort, he would ferociously go to work and it was impossible to dissuade him.

On this day, after so much time, his body gave up, tired after such a long voyage, and decided that it was time to turn the light off and go to sleep in order to be able to retake that path that we all will one day follow. But it is only his body that we will no longer see among us, because a person like him leaves a mark on everyone of us lucky enough to cross his path. His memory and the many things we learned from him will live forever in our minds and hearts.

Sergio, rest in peace. Here you lived a great life, and where you are going, an even better one is waiting.”

Te quiero, pinche puto pendejo. A huevooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

August 26, 2009   7 Comments

Bookworming it.

Once upon a time, I was a bookworm. Do y’all (and by “y’all” I mean those of you in my generation or nearabouts) remember when elementary schools had the Pizza Hut Book It promotion/project? You’d read a book, fill out a book report, turn it in to your teacher, and get a star for it. In my class, no one ever beat me. And by never beat me, I mean I was literally something like a hundred books ahead of the rest of the class. Reading was my favorite thing to do in the world. Probably even more than playing Barbies.

I remember turning in about five book reports one Monday morning in second grade and having Ms. Bar-witch (OK, her real name was Ms. Barwick) lift an eyebrow at me.

“You really read all these books?”


“We’ll see about that.”

And she proceeded to quiz me. She finally realized there was no bluff to call when I went into the complexities of the relationships among the characters and which ones I identified with and why I liked each particular author and remembered that once you get me talking, good luck shutting me up, waved a hand at me and dismissed me. She never doubted that I’d done the reading again.

The past couple of years, my bookworming has mostly died. I would occasionally pick up a book, devour it in a day or two, and then move on to something else.

Until the advent of Twilight… which will be another post in and of itself, because I’m pretty confused as to why I like that series if I’m hating it the entire time I’m reading it. But I digress. I have read the second and third books in the series each in one six hour sitting. I had forgotten how much I loved just curling up on the couch and immersing myself in someone else’s world and getting carried away in their imagery and becoming acquainted with people I will never meet.

It may just be one of my favorite things in the world. :)

Thank heavens for used book stores, though, or this addiction/passion would be too painfully expensive to sustain. We went to the Melbourne Flea Market’s used book store today as well as the one in downtown Melbourne. (The guy that works there may just be my favorite bookstore/librarian ever.) My loot:

  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
  • Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  • Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Bluebeard, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Jailbird, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Solar Lottery, by Philip K. Dick
  • Valis, by Philip K. Dick
  • A Maze of Death, by Philip K. Dick
  • Dr. Bloodmoney, by Philip K. Dick
  • Radio Free Albemuth, by Philip K. Dick

See a pattern there? Heh. Our bookcases are mostly filled with other Vonnegut and Dick books, as well as a healthy collection of books by Ray Bradbury. I’m in love. However, I tried to tell myself that for every one or two fiction books I read, I’ll try to fit in a non-fiction one. Suggestions are welcome!

This post had no real point other than to share my book excitement. Aaand trying to post more frequently.

August 22, 2009   13 Comments

Update – Part I

A lot has happened over the past couple of months…

First, George’s car completely died. OK, George would argue with that. It still runs, but the second you turn it on, you (and anyone within a mile radius) are completely enshrouded in a cloud of white smoke. We still have it in the garage, hoping to fix it up a bit so someone will still want to buy it for more than just scrap. But we had to get a new car. Or, two, rather. 😀

Sexy.Dangerous GTI edition

He made me do it.

Meet Al and Betty. George says he’s not naming his car Al, but seeing as how it’s been a month and a half and he hasn’t named it yet, I am naming them both myself. Al is a Golf GTI and Betty is a kinda pimped out Jetta. We got a pretty sweet loan with the KSCFCU, and they should be paid off in no time. We’re not the biggest fans of loans (neither of us has a credit card) but we needed wheels.

The sad part is… I can’t technically drive mine. My Mexi license is expired (renewing it in a couple weeks) and I am not allowed to get a US license until my paperwork is done. FAB. But at least now, the very SECOND my papers are through, I will be able to get a job and drive to it. But, yay! Cars!

By the way, we found both cars on eBay Motors. George’s ended up costing 2K-3K less than that turbo is actually worth just because it has a couple of interior imperfections. Mine cost the BlueBook value; however, the BB value doesn’t include all the things it has, like leather interior, sunroof, sound system with amplifier, heated seats (yes, we live in Florida, yes, I still freeze here), etc. Not too bad!

August 18, 2009   7 Comments

I am made of win.

With George at work all day and me unemployed until USCIS determines I am persona grata, I spend a lot of time home alone. Being home alone contributes to prancing around nekkid after taking a shower, looking for what clothes to wear and such. This is a safe activity, as our curtains and blinds are always drawn before I take a shower…

Lately, George and I have been sleeping in one of the guest rooms. It’s darker in there and the guest beds are more to our liking than the bed in the master bedroom… so I forgot to keep the blinds closed in our master bedroom.

Today I was walking out of the closet, hair wrapped up in a towel-turban, to search for clothes in our bedroom. I was backlit — the bright, fluorescent closet light on behind me. And right as I walk out, what are the odds? Our neighbor pulls into his driveway. Said driveway has a straight view into our bedroom window.

Fabulous. I ducked out of sight, all embarrassed and ran to whine to George about it on gchat. He laughed and said, “Maybe he didn’t see you!” Yeah, I was bathed in bright lights and the window was right in front of me… but he didn’t see. hahaha

I have, however, learned my lesson: next time, wave vigorously. If the neighbor replies with a wave, he definitely saw me. If not, then I’m in the clear! (What, did you think the lesson would be to not walk around nekkid? As if!)

August 17, 2009   3 Comments