The months of April and May were extremely eventful. The kind of stuff that happened are those that wake you out of the doldrom of everyday life. The reason I started this blog was to capture the thoughts of the moment in journal form; to put into print all those things that one experiences and share them with others. So on June 5th, I started this blog when I read my Chilean cousin's blog, and said, 'That does it! From now on, I'm going to write down every experience I have that prompts me to introspective thought, or that challenges the way I think.
Well, since I started this blog, nothing's really happened (Sorry Patty that my life wasn't interesting enough this week to blog about!!!)
Anyway, here in a nutshell is what went on in April and May.
First, I went to see The Lost City the new film by Andy Garcia. The movie is set in Havana, Cuba at the birth of Fidel's revolution. I thought the film was awesome, because it was very honest and truthful in telling a story of a Cuban family and what that opportunistic self-serving prick did to destroy it, as he did to so many families. Basically the movie inspired me to remember the sacrifices that our family made to get out of that mad-house before the stuff really hit the fan. Since then the movie has sparked a lot of conversation among friends and family. Mr. Garcia made a film that managed to tick-off people on both sides, so I guess that means that there was a lot of truth in it.
Second, I got to communicate with a REAL-LIFE HOLLYWOOD ACTOR (yes Patty! This part's for you!)
Actually, I was able to get in touch with Mr. Victor Rivas, who played one of the characters in the film. Mr. Rivas has been in several films, and I always thought he looked Cuban. When I saw him in this film and read his bio, I found his website and wrote to him, just to let him know I appreciated the film (which was a labor of love considering how little money was spent on the film, which also starred Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray, who don't come cheap I imagine). To my surprise, Mr. Rivas was a gentleman and wrote back, basically thanking me for my kind words and telling me that the movie was getting hammered by the critics, mostly for the portrayal of Che Guevara in the film (which in my opinion, Mr. Garcia held back. They made Che look like the murderer that he was, but again, brilliantly stayed away from making the movie too one-sided.) So that was cool to hear back from a Hollywood guy.
Then, probably the most emotional part of those 2 months occurred... Fefe, one of my aunts, passed away. Fefe (Josefa) was my grandmother's sister, and she was one of the sweetest, tender-hearted people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Fefe went to join her husband Milagros who had passed around 1 month prior. It was an amazing thing to be there at the funeral with my family, seeing old photos of Fefe and Milagros, and the rest of the extended family throughout the years. At the cemetery, one final service was held in the mausoleum, where many of our relatives are buried together. Being there and recalling the amazing lives of these people, including Joseito, Angie (who at her young age brought so much inspiration, despite her early death) Milagros, Orlando, now Fefe, and of course the matriarch, Abuela, was an experience that I won't soon forget. When the service was over and Fefe was laid to rest, we walked out. My mother approached me to introduce me to a cute little old lady, who was really happy to see me. I wasn't sure why she was so happy, until my mother later explained that the lady always remembers my date of birth, because that was the day that she got her first job here in the USA! I thought that was cool.
Later that day, the family (the ones who attended the funeral that day) got together for lunch at Versailles Cuban Restaurant. And I don't mean my parents, sisters, and my wife. I mean tia-abuelas, cousins, aunts, uncles... IT WAS AWESOME! Awesome, because we so rarely get to spend time with the family.
The following weekend, we went into Cuban-overdrive, when we attended Cuba Nostalgia, a yearly event that occurs the weekend of May 20th, with all things Cuba BC (or BP, before prick). We had a great time, experiencing the nostalgia of a place I've only known through what my parents and grand-parents have told me. We found some great art, music and literature. We also found out that there are many organizations out there, doing there best to not let any of us forget where we came from.
One weekend later, we went on a week-long vacation at Anna Maria Island (my favorite Florida beach location) with my parents and had a great time. Yeah, I had to do some work while I was there, but it was a nice change of pace from Miami. My dad took the picture you see above, of me and Racky Kayaking into the sunset. Soon after this picture was taken, I got to chase some dolphins on the kayak!
When I start the blog? Nothing. But, that's what happened pre-blog. Right now, I'm tired and need to go to bed.