Valentine’s Day

I’m not really a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s not because I’ve never had anyone on the day or anything. I tend to find myself occupied on February 14th most of the time. This year is my second time around with Nic. Here’s the card I made her.

Really, of all the puns, I had to choose this one.
Really, of all the puns, I had to choose this one.

This reminds me of one of my first encounters with Valentine’s Day. It was 1st grade. So, like 1992. I was the only Latino kid in class, and for some reason the teacher called me Dagoberto instead of Dago. I liked Dago/Daguito better. On February 14th, all the kids did their usual thing. We all exchanged Valentine’s Day cards with our classmates’ names on them. Here’s one for Erin, Whitney, etc. I got a bunch in my little brown paper bag I had decorated, and I was ready to go home and survey my keep.

I got home and emptied the contents of my brown bag onto the kitchen table. My parents and I started going through all of the Valentine’s. For the most part, everyone nails it. Name is right. The cards either hold candy or are accompanied by candy. There might be a heartfelt message inside like, “Hapy velentines dey Dago.” The real honest stuff.

I get to one of the last ones. I turn it over, and on the front, it says, “To: Dago-bruto. From: Demon Girl Who Just Ruined Everything.”

I tried to hide it from my parents because I knew they would make fun of me (that’s my relationship with my parents and why I absolutely cannot stop laughing at things). My Dad snatched it out of my hand and read it out loud. “Dago… bruto? Mira, Judy. DAGO-BRUTO!” Cue the five minutes of tear-inducing laughter from my parents and me sitting in my chair arms crossed with tears in my eyes from embarrassment.

For those of you who don’t know, bruto means “gross” or “crude” in Spanish — “stupid” even if you say it in the right context. Of course, I wasn’t the slightest bit gross at 6. I was a genteel, Southern gentleman, like I am today. Nothing’s changed. My parents couldn’t believe the mix up. The girl who wrote it obviously didn’t mean any harm. She didn’t speak Spanish, but to this day, I am still reminded of and referred to as DAGO-BRUTO when I mess up.

So, thanks little girl. You ruined my life and Valentine’s day.


Shifting Allegiances

Thug Move: Dropping Jessica Simpson like a bad habit. That's how we go out Billy.

2010 marked the beginning of a new period for me.  Whenever someone asks me what my favorite band is I have begun saying Between the Buried and Me instead of The Smashing Pumpkins.  I don’t know how this happened.  It was as surprising to me as it was to my friends.  For the longest time you could set your watch to my response to that question.

No more.

It’s not like The Smashing Pumpkins fell out of favor with me.  I will forever be grateful for their catalogue between Gish and Machina.  I don’t think I could even fathom another squad of musicians I would rather pick to have been my first concert ever.  Imagine 2000.  Now imagine the bands playing then… ok, you see my point.  The Smashing Pumpkins were/are the shit, but I’ve gotten over them.  Maybe it’s the hours I spent perfecting the solo on “Hummer”.  Perhaps it was the need to listen to Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on repeat as I slept as a kid.  Whatever the reason, I’m over a lot of their stuff.  I used to be able to listen to them non-stop since I was about 12.  No more.

Now, it’s Between the Buried and Me’s turn.  I’ve begun learning some of their songs.  Their technique is amazing.  I’ve seen them three times (the same number of times I’ve seen the Pumpkins), and loved every minute of it.  In my eyes, they are perfect.

What do I even need a favorite band for anyway?  It really means nothing.  Between the Buried and Me doesn’t encompass everything I listen to in the slightest.  From Jim Hall to Public Enemy to Knapsack, I listen to some of the most random music, but why do I insist on cornering myself?  It seems like such an adolescent, closed-minded thing to do.  Until I can fully break this habit, Between the Buried and Me are my favorite band.

It seems in adolescence, you treat your cultural items, commodities, as trinkets that identify you. I listen to X so I am Y, and by virtue of that I am fucking legit.  As quickly as trends change, society tends to mandate that your tastes should as well.  You accumulate more and more trinkets and forget the old.  You never look back, and when many people do it’s for irony’s sake.  The older you become the more you buy into this system or the more you grow wary of identifying yourself thematically for other people.  I run into a lot of people that have achieved the former.  There are others that have not.  I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between. Until then:


PS: The band I’ve seen the most is Coheed and Cambria. Me thinks it’s at about 5 times, 6 in April.

Latino Heat Out. Who is your Favorite?

For Jim. USA. A-OK.


Hulk Hogan got punched in the face by Ric Flair [who I effing love! WHOO!] the other day at some fake-ass press conference.  I wasn’t really interested, and the fake blood didn’t do much except give me hope that Hogan’s face was actually marred.

Professional wrestling is falling off.  I’ve noticed there hasn’t been much buzz about the “sport”.  Unless you call Escape to Witch Mountain wrestling-related buzz.  Was “The Rock” really that important?  Did the name change to WWE kill the WWF?  I wasn’t a conoisseur, but I miss the WWF.

Weren’t people more comfortable knowing that most rednecks/teenagers would be indoors on Monday nights?  Football takes care of most mouth breathers itself, but wrestling was an added comfort blanket to do your grocery shopping on Monday nights or to take a nice walk without the fear of being harassed by people wearing cammo or those who still listen to ICP.


When asked what professional wrestler you would be, who would you choose?

Most people will naturally assume that I’m going to pick Eddie Guerrero.  Not for racist reasons, people know I’m a sucker for mullets from south of the border.  But, Eddie Guerrero’s character was too “vato” for me sometimes.  I’m not a Chicano.  I can’t relate to someone who’s supposed to like Impalas and say “carnal” in a non-ironic way.  Also, Eddie got big outside of the optimum age in which someone falls in love with the WWF, 6 – 12.  Oddly enough, he got huge during the Era of Latin Fever circa 1999-2002. That era was great.  Latinos could do no wrong.  They pumped out dance hits and were free to cross the border.  Not anymore.  I miss you, Ricky.

I grew up watching Sting, Golddust (looks like Eminem on ecstasy), The Ultimate Warrior, etc.  I liked the Undertaker a lot. :D

In fact, I always identified with the unlikeliest guy, Hacksaw Jim Duggan.  He was the guy who finished people off with his 2 x 4.  He held the American flag HIGH AND PROUD! HE WAS THE FUCKING MAN!  You knew his “thumbs-up” and salute meant something.

Not only was he an agent in the ueber-American machismo which ruled entertainment in the 1980s and 1990s, he was everything Ronald Reagan and Herbert Hoover wanted wrapped in one neat bearded package.  He was the rugged individualist that could build a house in two days alone.  He loved his country, kicked ass, “hiyo”-ed like a hammerhead, hated immigrants and probably voted Republican.

I always saw Hacksaw as the manifestation of wrestling’s audience.  I could see some schmo from West Virginia getting into the ring and acting exactly the same.  He allowed us into the arena of people like Brett “The Hitman” Hart, who was so “mod” that he wore “Jubilee” style sun glasses throughout his career.  He wrangled with Randy Savage –“Macho Man”!  But, Jim was just Jim.  He was some lovable lug, with a beer belly and a penchant for carpentry and carpentry material.

I was like Jim growing up.  I loved the United States so much .  My parents hadn’t broken me in, yet.  I loved carpentry.  I feel I’m naturally slated for that.  And, I loved underdogs.  I felt like one.  He was one.  He never really won anything.  But, he was always in the mix.

It was nice to see some out-of-shape guy go to work on people who clearly cared too much about their bodies.  He was All-American.  I wanted to be All-American.  He was essentially, Jim Duggan the Cable Guy starring in Delta Farce.  Much like Larry the Cable Guy, Jim wasn’t so over the top to begin with.  He was run of the mill guy within some lame-o tag team, but he, and the WWF, quickly realized that he needed to do more.  He needed to get himself out there and push for the minds of people who just loved America and hated muscles.

In a sense, I miss the WWE.  I don’t ever catch it.  I might see a re-run in Spanish on Telelmundo, but I never actively seek it out.  Football and soccer have overtaken my spectator sports life.  It seems like MMA is taking its market share recently.  It’s so brutal.  You can’t help but watch.  The one thing that the WWE will always have over UFC or WEC is that these guys have personality.  They have pizazz.  They have the acting bug, but also have the faces and bodies of henchmen.  They are fun to listen and watch.  Listen to Kimbo Slice speak and tell me you’re not terrified that he might be in your city soon.  Listen to Triple H speak and you might want to sit down and have a beer with him.  As menacing as he might try to seem, he’s just putting on an act.  He’s wearing a suit.  Shit, he can’t be serious.

I just wrote a post about fucking wresting…

I can’t be serious,