¡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!

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PUÑETA: Special Edition Post

We do it better
We do it better

If you have been following the World Baseball Classic, most likely you have seen this word in a big banner in the crowd. What does it mean, how is it pronounced? Today, we have answers!

The word Puñeta, according to the diccionary is… I have no idea and I don’t want to look for it. The fact is that the word is mostly used by Boricuas and its meaning is “to masturbate”. But, as I have said before, one thing is Spanish and a totally different one is Boricua Spanish. I will not talk about sex here, don’t worry parents out there!
We use the word in different situations and moments. Let’s say you work with a hammer. You start hitting the nail and all of a sudden, the hammer decides to hit your finger. Some people may scream, some others may say “Daaaaaaamn”, or many Boricuas can choose to use “Coño!”. But if it really hurts, a big “Puñeta” is always necessary. In this case is like a pain reliever kind of thing.

But it can be used in other situations too. We all have a friend who we have not seen in quite some time. One day you walk by the street minding your business and you see this friend. You are filled with emotion, really happy and surprised to see him. You walk to him, embrace your friend with a big hug and you say: Puñeta, que bueno verte brother! (So damn good to see you, man!) You see, in this case the word is used to express a good or happy emotion. I was buying candy for my son the other day at school and a lollipop costs 25 cents. A quarter for a lollipop??!!!!!?? Puñeta, pero que caro está eso! (Damn that is expensive!). When you are surprised about someone trying to rip you off, Puñeta is the word to use.

PUÑETA
PUÑETA

But why did we see it in the baseball game last Monday? Is it a Boricua word for Strike three? Is it the Boricua word for “We need a better pitcher”. No my young apprentice. Puñeta in sports is a scream of war, a “Geronimo” for…whoever uses Geronimo (I don’t know, I have never used it). For us, means “WE DID IT”, “IN YOUR FACE”… On September 1999, while Felix Trinidad and Oscar de la Hoya were waiting for the final decision on their fight, everyone in Puerto Rico was in the edge of their seats. When Trinidad heard he was declared the winner, he did not scream “Thank you”, or “I knew it”. He screamed a big and clear “PUÑEEEEETAAAAA!!!!!” In a baseball game some time ago, Edgar Martinez, future Hall of Famer, hit a home run, on his way to first base, he did not shout “That was a good hit”. He screamed PUÑEEEETAAAAAA!!!!!! And when Denisse Quiñones won the Miss Universe pageant, she should have scream Puñeta too (Shame on you)!

So that’s what happened last Sunday in the game. We were winning, we were going to the finals, we were screaming PUÑETA! Tonight we will use the word again; without fear, with pride. What does it mean, you ask? In tonights game, it means a Nation is ready for a win. How do you pronounce it? With you heart full of pride. Until next week, cójanlo suave, puñeta!

UPDATE: Puerto Rico lost the game with a 3 – 0 score. We can still use the word “Puñeta” in this case. Today it means sadness, pain. “Puñeta, perdimos! (Damn, we lost!) But still you got to learn what the word means and when to use it. Also, the championship stayed on this side of the Planet, on the Caribbean. Great job to my Dominican friends! Until next week…