Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Cat and Snowboarding

It's been a while since my last post... didn't really know what to write. I've been spending most of my time with Christian - which I love and I wish Kristen spent as much time as I do with him. He is a pretty awesome kid and thank God he's been super healthy so far.

Let's see... what's been going on...

I never posted this video I made of when I found out I was going to be a dad. I was so excited that I made an announcement video:

I've been getting fat... yup... time to hit the gym:

I had Lasik surgery in September and now my vision is 20-10. Waaaaaay better than expected.
This year I've been into playing poker online and with friends... good times.
Speaking of friends, my buddy Ed is going to El Salvador on a Peace Corps assignment for over 2 years... that f***er is leaving me!

My best friend Aaron turned 40 this past October... Oh, he old... I'm almost there.
To celebrate his b-day I made a little video of things he's done since he was born. I wrote the lyrics based on stuff he did/happened to him in chronological order. My singing is awful but I tried:

Back in the day my buddy Aaron and I had a band, "Big MF". We wrote and recorded some songs together but we never released them.
In November we released 2 albums (English and Spanish versions) on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon and all the other major online music retailers.
Christian is on the CD cover. He's not crying, he's rocking out ;)

This Christmas I have a lot to be thankful for so, here is another cheesy video:

My awesome wife gave me a 15" MacBook Pro laptop for Christmas, loaded with upgrades and everything. A VERY COOL present. I've been wanting that laptop for a VERY long time. Her parents gave me a six-pack pass to Mountain High to go snowboarding... Man, I am spoiled! Christian is too, he got lots of presents for his first Christmas.

Every morning when Christian wakes up, he looks at me and/or his mom and gets this genuinely happy, huge smile as if he hasn't seen us in months... It's my favorite time of the day. He seems to be a very happy kid and I hope he stays that way. I LOVE THAT LITTLE DUDE!
He laughs when I beatbox and bangs his arms on his belly trying to keep up with the beat.
He started eating solids on Christmas Day and loves Gerber organic pea puree.
He loves watching football. We've been watching the Smurfs and the World Series of Poker together... fun times.
I've become a pro at changing diapers.

I remember watching the "Top Cat" cartoon as a kid... maybe Christian will like it too.

Finally got to spend some quality time with the wife... watched The Fighter. Damn good movie.

Still trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents... I'm up to twenty-nine cents... will keep on trying.

Food for thought:
Great song "Patience" by Damian Marley & Nas:

The very awesome lyrics:
Some of the smartest dummies
Can’t read the language of Egyptian mummies.
They fly to the moon
But can’t find food for the starving tummies.
Pay no mind to the youths
Cause it’s not like the future depends on it,
But save the animals in the zoo
Cause the chimpanzee will make them big money.

This is how the media pillages
On the TV the picture is savages in villages.
And the scientist still can’t explain the pyramids.

Evangelists making a living on the videos of ribs of the little kids
Stereotyping the image of the images
And this is what the image is.

You buy khaki pants
And all of a sudden you're Indiana Jones
And then thief out gold and thief out the scrolls and even the buried bones.
Some of the worst paparazzis I’ve ever seen and I ever known
Put the worst on display so the world can see
And that’s all they will ever show.

So the ones in the west
Will never move east
And feel like they could be at home.
They get tricked by the beast
But where are they going to flee when the monster is fully grown?
Solomonic linage where they still can’t defeat and them coulda never clone
My spiritual DNA is printed in my soul and I will forever Own Lord.

We're born not knowing, are we born knowing all?
We're growing wiser, are we just growing tall?
Can you read thoughts? Can you read palms?
Can you predict the future? Can you see storms coming?

The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off
Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh.
The average man can’t prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of
And still won’t research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of.

Scholars teach in Universities and claim that they’re smart and cunning
Tell them to find a cure when we sneeze and that’s when their nose start running.
And the rich get stitched up, when we get cut
Man will heal dem broken bones in the bush with the wed mud.

Can you read signs? Can you read stars?
Can you make peace? Can you fight war?
Can you milk cows, even though you drive cars? huh?
Can you survive, Against All Odds, Now?

Sabali. Patience is worth everything.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It was a good day

Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God,
I don't know but today seems kind of odd...

On Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 at 5:37pm Christian Joe Saldana was born: 8 lbs 4oz and 19.5 inches.
Christian's amniotic fluid was low so the doctor scheduled a C-section on Kristen for 5pm. A few minutes before 5:00 we were waiting for the doctor to arrive when suddenly an earthquake which turned out to be a 5.4. NOW TALK ABOUT A BIG ENTRANCE!!!
I had mentioned to Kristen that the song "For Once In My Life" should be our family song since I feel the lyrics really express how I feel about my new family. Well, Kristen was walked into the operating room and guess which song was playing on the radio? Yup, I know... she immediately teared up - she felt that it was perfect that that song was playing when she walked in the room where we would actually become a family of three. I was terrified when I saw her on the operating table but at the same time super excited for what was coming up.
Christian was born and it's amazing how I feel. I can't even describe it. It's the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. I've spent the last two weeks home with Christian and Kristen and we have been trying to adjust. Christian is on European time so we are trying to get him turned around.

On July 7th, 2010 the world changed...
I gotta say it was a good day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

For Once In My Life

Wow... on our way to the hospital in a few. Next time I write on this blog I'll be a father. I'm really scared, nervous, excited, worried, scared, I have no idea what to do or how to react. I hope he is healthy... and smart... and handsome... and funny... and creative... and lucky... and nice, passionate, awesome... yeah, awesome will do :) I just want him to be happy and healthy. I've been listening to this song by Stevie Wonder and I feel it really tells how I feel about my new family:

For once in my life I have someone who needs me
Someone I've needed so long
For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me
And somehow I know I'll be strong

For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of
Long before I knew
Someone warm like you
Would make my dreams come true

For once in my life I won't let sorrow hurt me
Not like it hurt me before
For once, I have something I know won't desert me
I'm not alone anymore

For once, I can say, this is mine, you can't take it
As long as I know I have love, I can make it
For once in my life, I have someone who needs me

These are Christian's first two pictures:

Here we go...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Brazil, World Cup, Kung Fu and Summertime.

I've been neglecting my blog... too busy or too lazy, maybe a bit of both. being a chef - changing a whole menu and training an all-new staff -, editing a video due this week, the wedding coming up in 5 days, a baby coming up in 3 weeks and the World Cup is kind of keeping me too busy.

I'm struggling with my weight, I really want to start working out and eating better. My work schedule kind of makes it hard... excuses, excuses.

I put together Christian's dresser, rite of passage type feeling. I felt a little bit proud... I installed the baby car seat in my car this weekend, what a weird, pretty cool feeling. Never thought that would happen :)

My fiance is pretty awesome, she got me a really cool present - a steady-cam stick - for Father's day, even though I'm not a father yet.

I wanna get back to doing Tai Chi. I hope my kid likes martial arts, it'd be really cool to do Kung Fu with him.

Mexico plays tomorrow and the US on Wednesday in the World Cup, I hope they win.

It's getting harder for me to go to sleep... I just don't want to and I don't know why. I guess I feel like I need to do more even though I'm super tired.

I caught myself listening to Janis Joplin's Summertime... weird.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baby car seats, restaurant business and becoming a family man... scary stuff. Rock Me Amadeus!

Wow... it just hit me: In about three weeks I'll be a married man. In about five I'll be a father. I need another beer!
I wont deny it, I'm a little scared... heck, I'm really scared! Mostly because I wanna be a good father and a good husband... Do I even know how to do that? Where is the reboot button? What if it doesn't work or I'm a shitty dad? Can I undo it and restart it? I'm scared... really scared. yet, I'm really excited about this new life that's coming to rule mine. I guess I can do it like pretty much everything else in my life: just bullshit my way through it... I just don't want to be a loser dad. I really don't. I hope Kristen and Christian put up with me :)
I had a successful day at work today. New restaurant, new menu, new crew and people loved the food. I overheard a couple of waitresses talking to each other: "Have you tried any of the new food? It's SOOOOO good!" They didn't even know I was there and it felt good to hear that - My head swell a little bit :)
Today is my nephew's birthday. He's 20 now. A really nice kid but kind of naive.
My Sunday's softball team made it to the playoffs. Pretty happy about that.

Kristen took a picture of me hitting a home run.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

General Theory of Relativity and gangsta rap

I got home tonight after a long, busy, but somewhat mellow day at my consultant chef job. On the way home talked to my buddy Ed on the phone about how we sometimes - not often, but every once in a while - envy the other's life. Meaning, sometimes I'd like to go home and just relax and do nothing, no responsibilities and he'd like to come home to someone and have family hang outs, etc... but only sometimes.
Anyway, I got home, have a lot of work to do (video editing) but somehow I found myself immersed in reading about Albert Einstein on wikipedia (one of my favorite websites, by the way). I had a lot of work yet I couldn't stop reading about his theories and his life... pretty interesting stuff.
I missed my fiance today... Kristen's belly is getting big and Christian is moving a lot. Pretty awesome stuff. I kiss her belly and talk to it like I'm a crazy person. I repeat the same things over and over again in hopes that when he's born, I'll say the same things and he'll feel comfortable with me... who knows... I'm hopeful... maybe I'm just weird.
Today at work it kind of hit me, I am a professional chef... I always felt like I was full of shit, like some day they will find out that I'm a fake, a phony, a failure, a fluke, that I don't know shit, that I'm just pulling it out of my behind. But today I felt like I knew my sh-tuff. And the general manager other managers, cooks and personnel really listened to me, looked to me for advise and followed up... I felt like my words meant something... weird... funny... awesome.

As I was checking a delivery for the restaurant from Goldberg & Solovy, their delivery guy was talking to me about how proud he was on how accurate he is with his orders - and he is by the way. He mentioned he is from Compton and his cousin (?) was in Eazy E's last music video and his grandma lives next door to DJ Quik's mom. Next thing you know, we are talking about growing up, gangsta rap, DJ Quik, NWA, Ice Cube, Snoop, Dr. Dre and Luke Skywalker and about how knew most of them in person... Good times.
As I was teaching one of the cooks, the delivery guy came back, shook my hand and said he'll get me backstage tickets for the next time Quik's in town... What an awesome guy... made my day and took me back to the old days.

Back in the day when I was young,
I'm not a kid anymore, but some days
I really wish I was a kid again...

Ok, gotta go back to edit video.

A picture of me from a magazine and a picture of Kristen visiting me at work.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I want another beer...

Today Kristen - my fiance - woke me up too darn early (8:17 am to be exact). Yes, that's too early for me. Pretty much everybody tells me I better sleep now before I the baby comes. We went to Cheesecake Factory right by the beach - what can I say, we were hungry... just kidding, checking it out for the wedding location next year. It was cool but nothing to write home about.

Worked at Cabo today - I'm working as a consultant chef for the SoCal restaurant chain, fixing up their menu and training the cooks and kitchen managers. I've been doing it for about a month and a half, lots of hours but it's okay. A little frustrating at times but so far it's going okay. The cooks did well today, I was glad.

Aaron - my best friend and movie business partner - sent me Final Cut Studio 3. I installed it yesterday. I felt like a kid at a candy store... good stuff.

Kristen went to First Look to get some footage from when I proposed and got a 3D sonogram of the baby... he kind of looks like me... poor kid... a fellow coworker said "he looks like you, but don't worry, he'll get better looking with time" lol.

I'm tired but feeling somewhat happy today... my neck hurts, don't know why.

I gotta say it was a good day...

A picture of Christian and a random picture I found on my Mac.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Thinking of a master plan
'Cos ain't nothing but sweat inside my hands.
So I dig into my pockets, all my money is spent
So I dig deeper, still coming up with lint.
So I start my mission - leave my residence
Thinking how could I get some dead presidents
I need money, I used to be a stick-up kid
So I think of all the devious things I did.
I used to roll up, this is a hold up, ain't nuthin funny
Stop smiling, be still, don't nuthin move but the money.
But now I learned to earn 'cos I'm righteous
I feel great! so maybe I might just
Search for a 9 to 5, if I strive
Then maybe I'll stay alive
So I walk up the street whistling this
Feeling out of place 'cos, man, do I miss
A pen and a paper, a stereo, a tape of
Me and Eric B, and a nice big plate of
Fish, which is my favorite dish
But without no money it's still a wish.
'Cos I don't like to dream about getting paid
So I dig into the books of the rhymes that I made
To now test to see if I got pull
Hit the studio, cos I'm paid in full.

Really awesome lyrics by Rakim...

So I started a new blog just to vent. I wanted to call it THINKING OF A MASTER PLAN but it was taken. Then I decided to call it GOING FOR BROKE... also taken. So it's called SNOWBOARD141, my yahoo ID.

First of all, I'm 35 years old, still trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents - so far I'm up to 25 cents. Not bad but still a few cents short... and a day late...

So I knocked up my girlfriend - now fiance - I think it happened this one night after we had dinner at her parents house, we went for Starbucks coffee and then on to a movie. On our way to the movie theatre, we knew we were way too early so we decided to kill some time in a parking lot... well... she's due on July 13, my actual birthday... Imagine that... It's a boy... His name is Christian. Totally unexpected but a life saver and we are looking forward to meeting him. He is also coming on the Year of the Tiger, same as me. Imagine how happy I was - after the initial shock of course - when I found out he was going to be a Tiger, a Cancer and his due date is July 13, just like me.. poor kid I thought... just kidding. The selfish side of me thought "WOW! How cool is that?!" Totally unplanned, unexpected, yet so perfect.... wow.

Anyway, it's been a tough ride - my whole life - but a lot of fun. Wouldn't change a thing. I've had some hiccups but who hasn't, right? It's a new beginning and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. One of my favorite sayings is "Life is tough so you gotta be tougher", I take it as "life sucks, deal with it, have fun and enjoy it, you only get to do it once". Luckily I've been surrounded by some pretty awesome people in the past and the present - some not so much. Life is what you make of it, ain't that right?