Cosas buenas están supuestas a pasarme

English Version Click Here

En mi búsqueda de temas motivacionales in Internet me topé con el dicho “Cosas buenas están supuestas a pasarme”. Empecé a pensar un poco sobre eso y me pareció cierto; lo creí y lo acepté. ¿Comenzaron a pasarme cosas buenas? No. Di una mirada al pasado y descubrí que las cosas buenas vienen pasándome desde hace mucho. Y tomé la decisión de buscar y ver esas cosas buenas que me pasan.

Familia
Familia

El primer párrafo es más un resumen del punto que les quiero llevar. Déjame comenzar desde más atrás. Tuve una gran niñez. Tengo un hermano mayor que luce más joven que yo y una hermana menor que es igualita a mí (al menos eso dice la gente). Crecimos en una casa llena de amor, abrazos y una que otra pelea entre hermanos; nada fuera de lo normal. Tuve muchas amistades en la escuela y en el vecindario, y fui un niño muy feliz, en serio. Nunca sufrí de bullying en las escuela y cuando lo intentaban, siempre tenía un contestación inteligente para todo (aun lo hago y mucha gente lo odia).

Creciendo me di cuenta que la vida puede ser triste y en ocasiones injusta. Me daba cuenta cómo otras personas tenían sus vidas listas – o al menos eso parecía – y nada bueno me pasaba a mí o tardaba mucho tiempo en sucederme. Terminé la universidad y conocí a muchas personas en el camino, algunas de las cuales hoy son parte de mi familia. Aun así, pensaba que nunca me pasaban cosas buenas. La gente empezó a tener buenos trabajos, sus sueños comenzaban a hacerse realidad, y me sentía atascado; como si las oportunidades nunca tocaban mi puerta, se perdían de camino a mi casa.

Siempre he sido una persona positiva y un fiel creyente de que haciendo a la gente sonreír es una gran manera de calmar su dolor y de eliminar las penas. Eso ha funcionado para mí y al día de hoy sigue funcionando. Pero nunca estaba donde quería, donde se suponía que estuviera. Mientras crecía, nunca tuve un plan sobre dónde debía estar en mis 20s, 30s y así sucesivamente. Pero sabía lo que quería hacer y como no estaba haciéndolo me sentía que no había logrado nada.

Una cerveza por la amistad
Una cerveza por la amistad

Cerca de dos años atrás me di cuenta que lo había hecho todo al revés, y mis amigos y mi esposa – quizás sin saberlo – me ayudaron a darme cuenta. Por más de 10 años mantuve guardado un libreto para un stand-up comedy pero lo guardé porque la oportunidad para hacerlo nunca se me apreció. Estaba haciéndolo mal. Mis amigos me dieron el empujón y logré hacerlo. Finalmente estaba frente a un grupo de personas haciéndolos reír, reír mucho. Algo que siempre hago frente a mis amigos, finalmente lo hice frente a otros. Ahí me di cuenta que llevaba muchos años esperando que las cosas llegaran en lugar de salir a buscarlas.

(Mira el video aquí)

Comencé a ejercitarme y funcionó muy bien para mí. Mi confianza comenzó a crecer al igual que mi visión de vida. Miré al pasado y me di cuenta que muchísimas cosas buenas si me habían pasado; me habían estado pasando toda mi vida. Pero era yo quien me detenía a esperar que el sueño de mi vida apareciera de la nada, que tocara a mi puerta. Me di cuenta que todo lo que tenía en mi vida, bueno o malo, lo había conseguido con trabajo. Y realmente disfruté el camino hasta ahí. Claro que ser una persona positiva no me salvó de un divorcio ni de todas las cosas negativas que pasaron en mi vida. Pero ser positivo me ayudó a enfrentarlo todo y a lidiar con ellas en una mejor manera.

Nada más que decir
Nada más que decir

Mi punto es que las cosas buenas SI están supuestas a pasarte. Y te han estado pasando. Solo toma un momento y fíjate bien. Olvídate de lo que otros tienen y de esas oportunidades que nunca llegaron. Haz que la vida pase para ti. Si no hay una oportunidad para ti, ¡sal y haz que suceda! Si se cierra una puerta, asegúrate que la próxima vez la patees al entrar. No pierdas la fe en ti. Comienza haciendo esos pequeños cambios en ti y comienza a escuchar a las personas que te dicen que tienes verdadero potencial; al creer en lo que dicen te darás cuenta que tienen razón.

Puedes fracasar en aquello que no quieres,
así que por qué no arriesgarte a hacer lo que amas”.

Jim Carey

Recuerda que puedes seguirme en facebook.com/francolugooficial y en YouTube en youtube.com/c/FrancoLugoOficial. No olvides compartir este post.

My second time (is not about sex)

It’s me again. Last Saturday I went back to Celebrate Puerto Rico to try one more time to make people laugh. The first time was awesome (still not talking about sex, even though that was the case too). This time I chose to use less jokes and do more stories of me and my childhood.

image
A great place to be funny...

I had a problem with time. I had to the performance in no more than five minutes which added another pressure. The first time the time provided was the same, but I just rolled and did almost 13 minutes.
So you be the judge. Listen to it and laugh if you like it. Here is the link to the page. You can listen to it there, or you can download it for you to keep. My performance is at 57:10, but remember I’m not the only one there. So listen to all of it; you will enjoy it.

I did it!

I am back after just two weeks. I’m trying to have something to write every couple of weeks, and this time it worked. This time is to share some incredible news; something I’ve wanted to do for the last ten years. Finally, I did my Stand-up comedy routine.

Last Saturday (it all depends when you are reading this) I left the fear and the “what if” and I jumped to the stage and did my routine. Was I nervous? HELL YEAH! That made it even better when I was done. The feeling that I overcame that stupid fear, the taste of victory and the laughter of those people made it all better.

IMG_175917009450599I was ready for that night ten years ago. I even had something written, with punch lines and all. Fear walked with me all that time, but a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to break free. There is this place in Old San Juan call Celébrate Puerto Rico, and Saturday nights are open mic. I visited the place a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. A place for everyone, laid back, no dress code and all fun. I saw routines from other people, and even though some were not good for my taste, I was still fun. I decided then it was my time to try it. I did and I loved it.

Before the show, I was scared and nervous, but once Chente called my name, it was different. Up there I forgot about everything and focused on the routine. I was supposed to be there for only five minutes that ended up being 12. Lots of laughs, screams, and a big round of applause told me that I did a great job.

IMG_3414Many of friends were there. Some of those have known since forever that I was going to do fine when I decided to do it. I was glad they were there with me to share that moment. And the ones who could not make it, called me and sent me good vibes.

And after the show was done, it was fun times with my friends. We were almost kicked out of the place. But it was an amazing night with laughs and friends. I may do it again in a month or so.

IMG_3411Here is the link for the podcast. My intervention is on 22:30, but you are welcome to listen to the whole thing (It is in Spanish, so sorry for those of you who can’t understand it). There are great people doing what they like to do: making people laugh. Hope you like it, and if you need me in a party or show, just call my agent (which means I will talk to my wife about it and she will decide for me).

To my folks

It has been a long couple of weeks since I last wrote in my blog. I ran out of ideas, and the Island is going through some bad times, and it will get worse. With those previous posts you have learned a bit about me and my reality. But today, it will be different; I will not write about my Island, or the funny things that make us who we are. Today is about my folks. “Los viejos” that have been with me since I saw the light 30-something years ago.

My mother is awesome. She suffered in her childhood (something I will not discuss now) but she always has great memories of her and her family. I remember when I was a kid, I used to sit at the door step and she sat behind me and play with my hair. On Saturdays when we were kids, she used to clean the whole house while doing laundry, making lunch for us and getting ready for dinner. She even got the manguera (water hose) inside and started cleaning everything. “No se bajen de esa cama ni por nada del mundo”, she said when we decided to stay in.

She raised two guys and a baby girl (my sister). When I look back, I can’t imagine how she managed to keep her sanity when she had a 13 year old boy, a 12 year old funny and handsome kid (me), and a 9 year old baby. I mean, I have an 8 year older and a 2 year old kid, and sometimes I want to run out screaming (my mom used to say the same thing, to the point that we knew when she was going to say it. It was not that funny back then).

She woke up around 5:30 am. She turned on the coffee pot, walked to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. Then she walked to our room around 6:00, me and my brother shared a room forever, to wake us up. She then walked to the kitchen to get her coffee and made another stop by our room. She started breakfast and then woke up my sister. She screamed at my brother and me on her way back, and we got up. We got our breakfast; we started getting ready for school while she started the morning fight with my sister over her hairdo. When my sister got older, I mean 19 or so, she was brushing my mother’s hair one day and just hit her with the brush, just for payback! She felt relieved to do that, because every morning in my house was fight day over a hairdo. I wish I could go back. The she would send us to school and get ready to go to work. And the next day, everything started all over again.wpid-IMG_21911577428628.jpeg

Many women did the same thing, and still do today, but that is still something hard to do. She didn’t even have time for herself, and I never heard her say she wanted time for herself. I guess we were everything for her, her routine, her sanity and craziness at the same time. I am a good father today in part for what she taught me back then, and for what she keeps teaching me every day. She even notices when I’m not doing great and gets so happy when I’m my usual self.

My father has always been there for us. He had a rougher childhood than my mother, but a whole lot of stories that make my day. He alwasys have been the funny one for me. My mom is crazy, she is, but my father usually takes it up a notch. They have been a wonderful team.

I don’t remember as a kid a fight or bad argument between them. I discovered later that those did happen, but we were lucky enough to never hear them. One of my greatest memories as a kid with my father is when he used to slide his belt through the bathroom door while I was sitting inside. I started screaming liked there was no tomorrow. My mom used to scream at him: “Déjalo quieto Juan, no lo molestes!” Or times when we used to sit in the couch and out of nowhere he started tickling me. And every time I sat with him just for the fun of it.

His work demanded a lot of time from him, and the time he spent on the road was a lot. So he was not there in the morning process I explained before, or if he was, he was sleeping because of the schedule he had. But we got to see him every day.

When we started growing up, I used to go with him and help him in anything he needed. And that time I really enjoyed because he taught me a lot, and many stories and sayings I know now, where born there. I met a lot of people, old and young, when I was with him, and when he had the idea of having a Laundromat, I was there every afternoon and every Saturday taking care of the business (place my mom did not like too much). It was a good time.

When I was 17, my dad had an argument with my sister, then with me and my mom, and one thing led to another, and he ended leaving the house. I get teary eyes just writing about this, since I never showed like it really mattered to me. My brother was already in college and my sister was about to finish middle school. It was a really hard time for us. We made up a couple of weeks after that, but he was not living at home anymore. So I had to make sure to spend time with him.

Years passed, fun continued and after the three of us moved out of the house, my folks decided to get back together. We were happy and kinda surprised, but since both of them are crazy, it made sense.

These memories are some I share with my brother and sister. I know they must have some of their own, but at the moment the three of us are now, I know we rather keep the happy ones. We are who we are, fun, weird and crazy, because of what they taught us. I sometimes take time to listen to myself speaking and I can see a lot of them in me. I guess that’s the point in being a son to such wonderful parents.

This post is just a THANK YOU to those two human beings who raised us. I know it was not easy for them; sometimes there was no money in the house to pay the bills but we always had food to eat and a bed to sleep in. I wish I can be half as good a father to my kids as they were to me. Half good is awesome anyway.13966_369542725446_8151787_n

Special Edition Post: Puerto Rico Shake

I have been out thinking about what to write for the past couple of weeks. Write something else about Christmas in Puerto Rico, maybe some family stuff; I was not sure about something that would make people read my post. But I got a signal dressed as an earthquake.

temblor_10Last Monday, January 13, at 12:01 a.m. – the first minute of the day – Puerto Rico shook, and according to the Richter scale, it did for 6.4 degrees. How long was that shaking for? I don’t have any idea, and I don’t really care. It was terrible, and to make matters worse, there was another one. The second one was as bad as the first, and people freaked out. Why did we freak out? Because it was scary. Why did we freak out as we did as still talking about it today, and tomorrow? Because we are Boricuas! And to say it in a different slang, because we roll like that!!!

brian-griffin-family-guy_0
He was brought back. Don’t worry fans!

For us Boricuas this is something huge. Huge like an impeachment (long word?), huge like Batman getting a beating from Robin, huge like the dog that died in Family Guy. I mean, it’s HUGE. We have survived hurricanes, to the point where we laugh when we see people in the United States running like crazy to protect their houses in a simple mini storm. A hurricane for us is like a present in Christmas season for kids, we get them every single year. But the earth shaking like that!?!?!? That’s a different story.

Nobody can get ready for an earthquake. I mean, we don’t know when there arriving or where are they coming from; there is no way to know what to expect from them. Can we have a plan to deal with it when the occasion arrives? Yes, we can, but then again we are Boricuas. We tend to leave stuff to the last minute, and in the case of a shaking from hell, the last minute is when we are in the middle of it.

iPhoneThe reaction on the god forshaking (get it?) day was amazing. Social networks had the busiest day ever. People wrote the same thing for the first couple of minutes after the shake: “did the earth just shake?”, “Ay santo, esta mierda tembló (Oh Lord, this shit just shook)!” One of my friends even asked a neighbor if she was ok. I mean, can you walk out and ask face to face? You need to take your phone and start writing? But after a couple of minutes, the funny people got on board too: “After shake party at my house”, “Please God, don’t let my beer bottle be broken!”, and stuff like that.

And God comes back into our lives. People start praying more and asking for blessings and thanking God for keeping us away from harm. And other people get mad because those Christians only remember God when something happens, and the atheists get mad because there is no God and we should not be thanking something that does not exist and never will. It’s a funny thing to read!!! Even the news channels have the topic for a couple of days and we get brochures and emails on how to deal with an earthquake in our respective jobs.

imagesCABX3KAY
Yes, Mr. Heisenberg, the earth was shaking!

Personally, I did not feel the shake. I was watching Breaking Bad, at it was a good episode that required all my attention. But I was working three years ago when on Christmas Eve the earth decided to shake. That was really scary for me and all of my co-workers. And we spoke about it for days, and now that this new one happened, we bring it back. We all remember where we were on 9-11, and everyone in Puerto Rico remembers where they were during this last shake.

My family and I, and I know it’s the same for many families in the Island, will work on an emergency plan so in the future this kind of thing don’t get us con los calzones abajo (without our pants). It is something we all have to do because we have to be ready for this kind of surprise. And things work better when we plan ahead. But we can’t deny it has been a couple of crazy days and all this shaking talk. The only shake we should be doing is the one in Harlem. Until next time, cójanlo suave!

P.S. Here is a link of a news station in Perú that reported the earthquake in their morning show. The visuals they used is not from Puerto Rico. In fact, it’s from an earthquake that happened a couple of years ago somewhere else. They even say the visuals are from what happened. I guess my country is not the only one full of crazy people!

Navidad musical

Christmas time is here, and as you know I would say, Puerto Rico is the best place to be during the holidays, or if you are not in the Island, find a Boricua and I guarantee you will have the best season of your life. Today’s blog is a must-read. And if you click on the links in red, you will also listen to great Christmas music from Borinquen. Many of these songs you will hear during our Christmas season that extends until early February (yes, I wrote February!).

Christmas for Boricuas begins in November and depending on how broke and sad we are, we start earlier. This year, 2013 (because I don’t know when you are reading this post) we started early. We celebrate Thanksgiving, then Christmas, New Years, Three Kings and Octavitas, which is eight days after January 6 (Three Kings Day). If you make the math, everything should be done around January 15, but we like having longer parties; no need to rush the end of a good time. We have the longest Christmas Season in the World (just take my word for it).

And every party is better with the proper music. From décimas to Salsa and Merengue, old and new, we have them all. Here is a list of songs and a little bit of explanation to all of them.

  • How about a wing?
    How about a wing?

    Dame la mano paloma (Give me your hand pigeon) – If you read the title it makes no sense since pigeons have no hands, but that’s not the point. The song goes: Dame la mano paloma, para subir a tu nido, que me han dicho que estás sola y a acompañarte he venido. After that part of the song, people can add their own rhymes. For example: El día que me dijiste, que ya tú no me querías (repeat twice), hasta la perra de casa me miraba y se reía (The day you told me you did not love me anymore, even the dog looked at me and laughed). Then you go back to the chorus and so on. You will hear this in EVERY Christmas party where Boricuas are gathered.

  • La bomba. The song goes: La bomba ay que rica es. Le sube el ritmo por los pies. Mulato saca tu trigueña, pa’ que bailes bomba, bomba puertorriqueña. ¡BOMBA! (La Bomba is really good, the rhythm goes up your feet. Mulato, get your lady, so you can dance the Bomba, Puerto Rican Bomba). Then someone says a Bomba like: Una vieja y un viejito se fueron a coger gandules, y estuvieron en la brega sábado, domingo y lunes. ¡BOMBA! (An old guy and an old lady left to get green peas and they stayed on it Saturday, Sunday and Monday). Then the chorus goes again, and so on.
  • Chuito_el_de_Bayamon_-_El_buen_Borincano_-_1976Jíbaro music. In this category we have people like Chuíto el de Bayamón and Andrés Jiménez. The last one is my father’s favorite. The style of music is unique; just a guitar, a cuatro some maracas and a lot of music. The lyrics go from the simple life in the country side to other things in life and Christmas. And the Le lo Lai is always there too. Listen to this song from Andrés Jiménez and you will understand what I’m talking about. 
  • Salsa music. Salsa is one of our most beloved music. Some say it started in Cuba, some others say it was in New York, but everyone agrees a Boricua was behind it. For decades we have enjoyed the music and Christmas time brings new songs to the genre. One of my favorite is Héctor Lavoe. I’m not a huge fan of his regular salsa, but from Christmas season he is really good. This link has the full production Asalto Navideño from back when Christopher Columbus arrived to Puerto Rico.
  • Some Christmases ago...
    Some Christmases ago…

    El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico – the best salsa group in my book. For over 50 years (which means 51) they have sang and made many people around the globe dance and enjoy. They have a couple of hits for Chirstmas season. La fiesta de Pilito, No hay cama pa’ tanta gente, and El Arbolito. They even have TV specials and LP productions just for Christmas season (for those of you who don’t know what an LP is, look it up, and learn some history). And every Chirstmas I dance along with my father to their amazing music.thCA02O2O2

  • Danny Rivera and Vicente Caratini. When I was growing up and my mom played this music, we knew Christmas was officially started. That meant a lot of singing, a lot of eating and some tembleque for the whole neighborhood. El cardenalito is one of my favorite because I sang it in one school play in fourth grade and it means fun time in my mother’s house. It turns on the Christmas switch!

There are many more songs to enjoy Christmas with and I know all of you have a special one, or one you remember for one reason or another. Maybe your drunken uncle played the song even during the summer, or your sister tried to sing the lyrics but was never able to. Now, as an adult and a father I try to do the same thing in my house, so the new part of the family and my sons learn to enjoy the time and have fun memories to write about.

Let me know what song is good for you, or share a bomba with me (any bomba is a good bomba). Write it in the comment section so everyone can see it. Next time, I may talk about Christmas presents, then and now. Until then, cójanlo suave!

¡A las millas (Really Fast)!

Welcome back to another edition of my blog (that’s the best intro I could come up with). Finally Christmas season is here, and with it more and more fun stuff to do, which for us Boricuas is a lot. But in this specific post I decided to discuss something else.

Last November 19, a new study surfaced stating that kids today are slower than kids were 30 years ago. I will discuss the real reason on why that is happening. Not the scientific reasons behind it that, even though they are really important, they are not explained in the reality of a Boricua (that would be me).

Trompo
Trompo

I grew up in a neighborhood full of kids. Weekends were awesome when I was growing up and I lived next to a basketball court and a big play ground, huge. After school we were playing outside and on weekends we started riding our bikes early in the morning or maybe played basketball, baseball, tag, hide and seek, trompo, gallito,or anything that would keep me away from my school books. There lies the first reason why kids today are slower; we used to play outside. That is a universal reason because technology 20 years ago was not even close to what it is today. So how does being a Boricua make that any different from another person that is not blessed with being Boricua?

My point of view in that specific topic is unique to us Boricuas, or so I like to think. When I was growing up, on Saturday mornings when the summer sun was hitting my neighborhood, I don’t remember my mom getting some sunscreen for us before we went out to play. I do remember her telling us to be careful and to drop by every now and then to get some water and stay hydrated. Today, kids get sick if they go out and play under the sun and they can even Google all the bad things that sun can do for you.

We used to ride our bikes all around the neighborhood, uphill and then down just for fun. We took a break from riding the bike when we found a ball (volleyball, basketball, baseball) and we switched to that game. Then we took a break to go back to riding the bike.

thCAWKQ762As a kid, playing outside, we were able to hear and see the rain coming. So imagine a bunch of kids playing basketball and all of a sudden one of them just stopped playing, looked to the one side of the court and screamed “RAAAAAAAINNN”. We all dropped everything and started running. If you we usually a slow runner, on that specific moment you were Flash, and so was everyone else. Kids today get the weather information and rather stay indoors playing or watching TV.

thCALKX0EAThe same thing happened when we were playing baseball. There was always one of us who hit a home run but the ball got into the house of the worst person in the neighborhood: that lady who hates kids, and games, and fun (kind of like in The Sandlot movie). When the ball was in the air, and we knew it was going to that house, we all screamed: “NOOOOOOOOO. IT’S IN HER HOUSE, RUUUUUUNNNN!!!!!” and we were gone. Nowadays kids play baseball in baseball parks in their communities far from the fun of batting to someone else’s house, far from the adrenaline rush you get when you were the one batting or when you are the one who has to go to the old lady’s house and kindly ask for the ball back when you think she will hurt you. That type of fun is gone.

Speed is also developed when your mom calls you by your full name when you are playing outside. Usually it was around the third time she called you, but you decided to ignore the first two. Even your friends tell you that your mom is calling you, but you don’t care. Here is the way it was for me:

– “Frankie ven, hora de subir (Frankie, time to get inside).”

– Me: Waved my hand like saying “Gimme a minute”.

Five minutes or less later:

– “Frankie te dije que vinieras hace rato. AVANZA! (I told you to get in here. HURRY UP!)”

– Me: On my way mom. We are almost done.

thCA8VUP3JAnother five minutes or less later:

– JOSÉ FRANCISCOOOOOO!!!!!!!

– Me: Started running like the World was coming to an end. Two seconds later, I was home.

That does not happen anymore. I mean, I call my kid by his full name but it is when he did something wrong in the house so he does not have to run.

Technology has speed things up in terms of learning and developing, but outdoor sports have decreased (totally my opinion). And it is not the kids fault, it’s ours as parents. Sometime we want to give them everything we didn’t have but forget to give them everything we did have.

Don’t forget to comment about your experiences. For example, falling when you rode your bike and had to run home to tell your mother half of the skin from your knee is in the pavement, because we did not wear any safety stuff. You know, stuff like that you want to comment, you are more than welcome. Next time I will talk about the Christmas time for Boricuas, music edition. If you have any ideas I could use, email me at enlopositivo@gmail.com. Until next time, cójanlo suave!