Month: February 2013

  • Report # 976

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a great week so far. I haven’t done too much of anything over the last few days as I’ve just been running each day, getting something to eat, and watching tons of movies. I’ve seen the Amazing Spiderman, Red Riding Hood, The Loved Ones, Piranha at home, and I went to see Les Miserables in theatre on Monday.

    I never thought that it was a musical and I just thought it was going to be a story based on the book, but it was nothing but a very, very, very long musical, so I couldn’t really appreciate the movie too much. What can I say ? I’m just not a fan of musicals. If it’s like a live play I suppose it would be more entertaining, but I just can’t get into watching a musical at the movie theatre.

    After coming home and having a shower on Sunday, I headed out for lunch and went to VIPS shortly after. I just had some tortilla soup and a hawaiian hamburger… and a piece of chocolate cake too. I will go back again tomorrow as I will get a 50 % discount so it would be stupid to waste that. After watching the movie in the theatre on Monday I just had something to eat in the food court, fish and vegetables, so at least I ate somewhat healthy. Though the two donuts from Krispy Kreme probably canceled that out later !

    Yesterday was a very dull day as I just went for the run, walked up to Super Salads and spent the whole day at home. After spending these dull days I know that I’ve made the right decision to head home super soon. I’ll be ready to come back if I get the answer I want, and then I’d be working and have so much less free time, but for now it’s just plain boring.

    The guy who lives in the house here told me that he talked with his wife and they like having me here and I could pay just 1,000 pesos (80 dollars) a month to hold the place while I go back to Vancouver, and while I said I would think about it, I know that my mind is made up. Ultimately I have no idea how long it will take to have a resolution with the visa authorization, or even if I’ll get the answer I want. And on top of all that I would still want to find an apartment type place, so I just don’t have any plans to keep staying where I’m at.

    Today I just wanted to share a comment from Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. Here is the article by David Brown of yahoo sports:–mlb.html

    He signed a contract worth well over 150 million dollars over the next six years with this team during the summer so I mean this guy will not be short for cash for a while. Though with the stupid spending habits of a lot of these professional athletes really who knows !

    As the author of this article alludes to. in a lot of these contract negotiations, players will usually say how money is not the most important thing, and finding a place that will be a great fit for them and ultimately a place where they can win are primary, but in Mr. Greinke’s situation that doesn’t appear to be the case. Referring to the issue of money when he was looking for a team to sign with, Mr. Greinke had this to say:

    “It’s obviously the number one thing. I could play for the worst team if they paid the most. If the last place team offers $ 200 million and the first place team offers $ 10, I’m going to go for the $ 200 million no matter what team it was.”

    Now the writer makes the obvious point that no team offered Mr. Greinke the $ 10 a year or anything close to that. Obviously this guy would have made millions a year no matter what team he signed with, so on a number of levels his quote was incredibly stupid. I suppose we should commend Mr. Greinke for his honesty, at least he’s not coming out and lying that money is not important when it clearly is, but I have to wonder where his head is.

    I would think most professional athletes want to win, and they want to be a part of a winning team. As I said above, he would have made millions a year no matter what team signed him, and the difference between the offers on the table would not be that significant. There comes a point… how many more millions of dollars does this guy want ?

    Being on the worst team in the league would be pretty hard after a while I think for a lot of players. Making millions of dollars a year can’t take the sting out of losing so many games, or looking so bad in front of all of the people watching. And no doubt a great pitcher wouldn’t look so great on a team that was so bad. And while Mr. Greinke is a capable pitcher, he’s certainly yet to show that he’s an amazing pitcher. He’s had a couple of great seasons, but looking at his statistics and he hasn’t shown anything too amazing.

    Basically I think Mr. Greinke is just another example of an extremely greedy and selfish athlete, and reading his quote just makes it seem he’s not even playing for the right reasons. He doesn’t seem to care about winning too much, but about how much more money he can pocket. So I hope he fizzles out this season and fails to provide the Dodgers with a good return on their investment… it would just be fun to see someone of great selfishness fall flat on their face !

    For the next question:

    What do you think about the comments made by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke ?

    I will leave you all with some pictures from Houston. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Saturday, bye for now.

    Sources: Zack Greinke: ‘I could play for the worst team if they paid the most.’ By David Brown. Yahoo sports MLB. February 26, 2013.

  • Report # 975

    So I’ve decided to head home a little faster than originally planned. I was going to wait around here for another month or so, but after thinking about it, there really is no point. I’ve done everything that I could do here and all that is left to do for the visa authorization is to wait, so I have decided that I will not pay to stay another month here and I’ll head home sometime around the time that I’m paid up until to be here….. March 7.

    This will make sense as if I pay to stay here another month, up until April 7, it would just be a waste of money as there is nothing more I can do here, and besides if I get news about the visa authorization I would be flying home suddenly anyways. On top of all that, this is not a place that would be suitable to stay long term. If I’ll actually be living here and working here, it will make more sense to have an apartment type place instead of just renting out a room.

    Not only would it be too expensive to be eating out every single day in the restaurants, it wouldn’t really work for me staying here anways as it’s a shared bathroom and if the other guy would be getting ready for work every morning, and I work at around the same hours, it wouldn’t work out so well. It’s been a great place in terms of location and having laundry and internet, but for living here long term I will just need something a bit different. It might be challenging to find, but I will have to cross that bridge when and if it comes.

    My grandmother said I could use her air miles to fly home, but from what I’ve seen they don’t really have any options with air miles flying home from Mexico, so that might not work. It might be easiest to go to Mexico City as they always have direct flights to Vancouver from there and it would be a much nicer trip home than going through the US and another airport or two on the way back. So I’ll definitely have a bit of research to do in the next week as I’ll have to figure out when and how I’ll be getting home.

    It will be a bit bittersweet heading home. Obviously after being gone so long it will be great to see everyone and go to Tim Hortons again, but after putting so much time and effort into this working in Mexico thing, I really did want to have the authorization before coming home, and unless i happens sometime this coming week, I will be going home before hearing the news I wanted to hear. I suppose it really doesn’t matter as I wouldn’t be able to change anything, but I would really hate to fail after everything I’ve done. About all I can do now is just be patient and positive.

    I had a very lazy day on Thursday as I just walked up to Super Salads to pick up some lunch and then just stayed home the rest of the day. I watched the Pursuit of Happiness, which was cool as it was a movie I had wanted to see for a number of years but never had gotten the chance. I went for a quick walk in the evening to get some fresh air and that was really about it. On Friday I headed to Fundidora Park and went for my first run in 12 days. After spending a week in Texas and still getting over the flu, it had been a while since my last run.

    I still had a bit of a cough, but not bad enough to put off running for another day, so I forced myself to go and I think I did alright. I was a few minutes slower than usual, but that’s ok as I still ran the whole thing without stopping like usual. Afterwards I came home and had a shower and headed out to Cinépolis to see Beautiful Creatures which was another one of those fantasy romance action movies, but it was pretty cool.

    I had lunch at Wok afterwards, enjoying lots of good sushi, and then just headed home and had a relaxing evening. I ran again on Saturday morning, and once again came home, had a shower, and walked to the Galerias mall to go to Cinépolis and watch a movie. This time I watched the Silver Linings Playbook, and it was like a romantic comedy about two very screwed up people, so it was very interesting for me to see. It’s always nice to see people out there with more problems than myself…… ok I’m just kidding but it’s good to know I’m not alone with problems in this world.

    After the movie I just grabbed something to eat from Wendy’s, and then headed home. I really, really, really have to start eating healthier. All of my running may be able to hide my horrible eating habits, but I know it’s not doing my health any benefits, so that’s another reason why if and when I get work visa and get back here I find a place with kitchen and actually take time to make some food and eat more fruits and vegetables. I know I can do it, I just have to prove that I can in the future !

    In the evening I watched the James Bond movie The World is Not Enough. I had been thinking about it for some reason and thought that since I only saw the movie once back in 2000 it was time to see it again. I always say how I hate watching a movie a second time, but after so many years pass I actually like seeing a movie that I enjoyed years ago a second time, but it has to be a long time…. not necessarily 13 years, but probably closer to 10 than five !

    I’ve already been for my run this morning and I’ll probably just buy a paper and head to VIPS and have lunch in a bit to have a relaxing afternoon. Today actually marks my eighth anniversary here on Xanga, as I started my site on February 24, 2005. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed, and I was so young….. just 19. Now I’m 27 and feel so old…. how times change. If I was a politician I suppose this would be the time to end my term and walk away if I was to term limit myself, but there are no real rules on Xanga.

    I will have my 1,000 entry in less than three months so at the very least I have to hang on for that. I have mused in the past about maybe stopping sometime after my 1,000th entry, but I really don’t know. For eight years I’ve managed a perfect posting schedule, posting exactly every three days no matter what…. I don’t think too many people have been that strict and crazy with their blogs. Whether I’ve been in Canada, US, Mexico, depressed, super busy, without much motives to write…. I’ve still managed to keep up my streak, so that I am proud of.

    Of course nothing lasts forever though, so there will be a time this will come to end but I don’t know exactly when. I at least would say something in advance though…. not like those crazy people who just suddenly shut down their sites and disappear from the face of the earth. Nor would I shut this down and open up another one….. like some people have done….. well some people probably are on their third by now ! This is what I have had for eight years, and this is what I will continue to have, there will be no more after this that’s for sure !

    Anyways, thanks to everyone for reading and leaving such cool comments over the years, I do appreciate them ! For the next question:

    Have you ever thought about how long you plan on blogging for ? Is it something that you could see yourself doing for your whole life, or do you think there will be a time you are ready to move on from Xanga and blogging in general ?

    I will leave you all with some pictures I took from Austin Texas. Some of them are from the Texas capital building, and others are from the University of Texas campus. I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.

  • Report # 974

    Well here I am back at my place in Monterrey, México after spending a week in Texas. I’ve actually been back almost three days already, so the time continues to fly. I got into the airport in Monterrey after 6:00 pm and went through the custom’s people and called my friend Arturo letting me know that I was there. He told me he would be there in 45 minutes, which would be good timing as I still had to pick up my bag and go through another part of the security.

    I got through everything and waited over 45 minutes, but Arturo was still not there. He never really arrives when he says he does so I wasn’t too surprised. He did call me, well he lets the phone ring once and then I have to call him back, and he let me know the traffic was really bad and it would be another 20 minutes. It was a bit more than that, but finally he arrived and rang me one more time saying he couldn’t find me, but I wasn’t too far away… I could see him on his phone.

    On the way home Arturo did more of his usual antics trying to talk to women on the street, but of course he got no where with that. I just had to sit next to him and act embarrassed and that I had not part in it… which I didn’t ! We finally arrived at my place and I asked him how much I should give him for the gas and he said 100 pesos (like 8 dollars) It was cheaper than the 180 that a taxi cab would have charged me just to get me to the nearest metro station so I wasn’t going to complain !

    I was still feeling not too great as I still had my cough and runny stuffed up nose, so I didn’t stay up too late before going to bed. On Tuesday morning I woke up around 9:00 am and decided to go to the Galerias mall to go to Cinépolis and watch the new Die Hard movie, It’s a Good Day to Die Hard. As expected it had tons of explosions, and some plot twists, so overall it was a pretty good movie.

    Afterwards I had a couple of pieces of pizza and picked up some donuts from the Krispy Kreme store which had finally opened in that mall. Obviously a very poor day of eating, especially for someone still not over their flu… no wonder I didn’t feel so well later. The weather on Tuesday was perfect though. It was cloudy with a great breeze, and it didn’t feel cold and it didn’t feel hot…. it was perfect. On Wednesday I woke up at 9:00 am and in the afternoon I decided to go to Fundidora park and go for a walk.

    It was quite a bit hotter than the previous day, around 30 C (86 F) and with the sun out in full force I definitely felt it. I walked through the park and down one side of the Santa Lucía river walk and headed downtown to have lunch at VIPS. I had tortilla soup with a plate of fries and a piece of chicken and just sat and read the paper for a while. After lunch I headed out and walked towards the metro station, though I relaxed underneath a tree for almost an hour just enjoying the breeze.

    I stopped at Soriana on the way home to pick up a few things and then I just got home and watched a movie, An Unfinished Life. It was about a mother who got out of an abusive relationship and left with her daughter to stay with the grandfather, who was the father of the man she was married to who died in a car crash when she was driving. And the grandfather never really forgave the daughter in law for that. Especially with Morgan Freeman and his history with a bear !

    Today will be another day of just taking it easy. I’m still getting over that nasty flu that I had. The sore throat, headache and fever are long gone, but I still have a bit of a cough and my nose is a bit plugged up. Originally I wanted to run by today, but I think I’ll give my self a few more days to get back to basically 100 %. Now that I’m back here in Monterrey, I don’t plan on staying here for too much longer. I’m hopeful that I’ll get news about the visa authorization in the next few weeks, but if not, I don’t plan on sticking around and waiting forever.

    I think I’ll wait about another month, and if I don’t here anything, I will just head home anyways. This doesn’t change much as I would have to head home if I do get the news anyways. I just can’t sit here forever waiting and waiting and spending money and not really doing anything. I am certainly hoping it won’t come to that though and that I’ll receive some answer in these coming weeks, as the foreign relations department has had my paperwork since February 1.

    I’ve known for a long time that all I can do is wait, and of course there is nothing that myself or anyone else can do to speed up this whole process so I will continue to wait. If I don’t hear anything in the next month though, it will come to a point where I just won’t want to be here waiting anymore, so the plan will be to return home in a month, with news received or without news received. It will just be time to go home and see if I can do something there while I would continue to wait. However like I said, I’d really prefer to have answers before then !

    Speaking of answers, I’m sure that is what a lot of people would like to have in terms of the story of South African olympian Oscar Pistorius. For those of you who don’t know, a lot of people were truly fascinated by this individual in the 2012 summer games in London because not only was he running on two prosthetic legs, not only in the paralympics, but in the olympics themselves with all of the able-bodied athletes.

    This was a big story at the time and a lot of people were super impressed with this individual. I can imagine he picked up at least a few endorsement deals in the following months since the olympics. Flash forward six months later, and now the life of Oscar Pistorius is in an entirely different point…. he is facing murder charges in the death of his girlfriend at his home in South Africa.

    I was shocked when I first heard the news and from what I read it just sounded like he and her had an argument and he lost his temper and shot her. Upon further reading, Mr. Pistorius is claiming that he heard noises and he thought there was a burglar in his house. Now from what I have read there have been serious problems with this case in terms of some of the evidence that has been gathered and heard, and even the detective is facing his own criminal investigation, forcing a new person to be chosen to look into this case.

    It’s always amazing how what are supposedly supposed to be professional departments operating with such problems. However it’s important not to get away from what happened here….. Oscar Pistorius clearly killed his girlfriend. Now maybe what he says about thinking there was a burglar in the house is 100 % true… it very well could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that he took the decision to grab a gun and pull the trigger. Shouldn’t he have been at least talking first to find out who was in that bathroom ?

    So in my opinion, accident or not, Oscar Pistorius clearly was responsible for his actions, and he should be punished for her death. At the end of the day if someone dies in a situation like this, someone still has to pay the price for it especially with it happening under such stupid and negligent actions. It’s just such an unfortunate thing to have happen after all of the great news people got out of reading of Mr. Pistorius and his accomplishments during the summer.

    Now we certainly can’t all rush to judge him here, but I just wouldn’t be able to understand how any court could just let this guy free without any jail time. Even if his story is 100 % true, his girlfriend is still dead and that’s 100 % his fault. As far as I’m concerned he should be in jail no matter how the case ends up, but the only thing needed to be decided is whether the guy just did something completely idiotic that led to the death of his girlfriend, or if he actually did murder her. That will be for the courts to decide, but in either situation he’s guilty of something and it’s a true shame he has put himself in this situation.

    This could be just another example of how there are so many people in this world who have guns that really shouldn’t. They clearly don’t think before using them and with a fire first, think later attitude, someone will always end up getting hurt. And in this case someone has lost their life, so murder or not, the woman is dead and now Oscar Pistorius will have to live with that for the rest of his life. For the next question:

    What do you think about the Oscar Pistorius story ? Should he be arrested and be forced to spend time in jail even if he is not found guilty of murder, why or why not ?

    I will leave you all with my final set of pictures from Dallas. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday, bye for now.

    Sources: Oscar Pistorius case: Lead detective removed from case after announcing he is facing attempted murder charges. By: Peoshni Govender. Reuters. February 21, 2013. Oscar Pistorius wikipedia.

  • Report # 973

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had an awesome weekend. I am typing this up from the San Antonio airport as I wait to check-in and fly back to Monterrey for a while, though I hope it won’t be too long as I want to be able to receive the visa authorization very soon and fly back home for a month or so. It’s just after 12:00 pm here and the airline doesn’t open up it’s check-in counter until exactly two hours before the flight, which would be 1:50 pm, so I have some time to spare.

    I woke up this morning at 9:00 am and had a shower and packed up all my things and then walked to the bus station to take one bus downtown and then another bus to get to the airport. It’s definitely soooo much cheaper than having to take a taxi. My friend Arturo will be able to pick me up tonight so that will be great as well. I enjoyed my last few days in Texas the best I could considering I was feeling super sick. The worst was on Thursday night when my fever was so bad and my head was thumping so much and I had trouble breathing.

    I ended up taking a taxi early Friday morning in Houston to a hotel and getting into bed around 4:00 am and sleeping until 12:00 pm. I had a shower and got ready to meet a friend, Catalina who I had known for a while. She was from El Salvador originally but has lived in Houston for many years. She came to the hotel and picked me up and we headed downtown to Hermann Park which was a very nice place by the zoo with some great views of the city and lakes as well.

    It was funny seeing a sign saying that fishing was prohibited for anyone older than 12 and younger than 65… I can imagine some police officer asking a 13 year old kid or some 64 year old man to see there ID ! I was still not feeling that great, but my fever had gone away and I was definitely feeling better than I was the previous night. After touring through the park and some nearby streets we took the metro downtown and walked through some streets for a while.

    My favourite part was a building where we were able to go up to the 60th floor and enjoy a view of the enjoy city and landscape in the distance…. it was very cool. At this time I was starting to feel very cold so I sat in front of the sun shining through the windows in the skyscraper. It wasn’t that it was cold, it was probably around 20 C (68 F) but with the chilly wind outside and with the fact I was sick, I was feeling super cold very easily.

    After spending sometime in the tower we headed down and walked back to the car. My friend drove me to a Walgreens and I was able to buy some more pills to help with my flu. We drove around afterwards looking for a place to eat, but the first place we went to was so busy they had a line-up well out the door. I was just too sick and too cold to have to wait outside. We went to a place called Mambo’s Seafood. It was like a Mexican place, and every single person in the restaurant was latino.

    There was actually a black girl who was a waitress, but even she spoke spanish, so I guess she must be from the Dominican Republic or Colombia… either that or just be an african american person that studied spanish ! The food was very good, though it certainly wasn’t authentic Mexican food. The rice was about the same as the rice that accompanies chinese food, and instead of tortilla chips they had crackers. The seafood was very good and everything in general was.

    However I ate only like 10 % of my plate as I just was not hungry at all. At this point my fever had returned and I was absolutely freezing. We headed back to the car and my friend turned on the heat and I definitely appreciated that. I knew I just had to get back to the hotel and rest. My friend dropped me back at the hotel and I thanked her for spending the day with me. It just sucks that I felt so poorly, but there was nothing I could do about that. I got into bed just after 8:30 pm and despite waking up almost every single hour, I didn’t get out of bed until 10:00 am the next morning.

    My fever was gone once again by Saturday morning and I took the bus and metro to downtown Houston. Unfortunately the Greyhound station in Houston doesn’t have a place to look after bags, so I had to carry around my bag the whole day….. at least it has wheels. I just walked around the downtown streets for a few hours and took some pictures.

    It was actually the NBA allstar weekend in Houston so lots of people were there for that… even people with religious pamphlets trying to tie the allstar game into the two teams of Light and Dark (God vs. Satan) I swear some of these church’s come up with the strangest analogies ! I had lunch at a deli downtown, just having a soup and a sandwich, and when it got dark I headed to a Starbucks for a couple of hours until it closed.

    After 10:00 pm, I walked to the Greyhound station and sat in the cafeteria for a while and uploaded some pictures. I had a long time to wait as my bus to San Antonio didn’t leave until 3:15 am. I wasn’t able to sleep at all on the three hour and 15 minute bus ride, though I kept my eyes closed the whole way. When I got into San Antonio at 6:30 am, I spent an hour and a half in a Starbucks, and then I found the bus to take to get to my hotel.

    I had to walk a ways but when I got there it was only after 10:00 am, so I had to pay five dollars extra to be able to check in at that hour instead of waiting until noon. It was the cheapest hotel I had stayed in… 45 dollars, and you get what you pay for. This place had a terrible internet connection that hardly worked at all, and they didn’t have any shampoo, and there was even a small cockroach in a drawer with a bible.

    I had a quick shower and took a bus downtown and walked around for a while and had lunch at Denny’s. Ordering a Grandslam breakfast, 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 eggs and hashbrowns was not a great idea. I figured since I had eaten basically nothing in the past two days I deserved a big meal, but I wasn’t thinking about how much fat was in that dish and I didn’t feel all that great later. I spent the afternoon walking along the riverwalk in San Antonio.

    I found out why the riverwalk in San Antonio is green and why in Monterrey it’s a crystal clear blue colour. Because in Monterrey it’s man made and in San Antonio, it’s a real river I believe. The riverwalk goes far past downtown and leads into trails for walkers, joggers, and cyclists that go well  beyond where I was able to walk to. At around 3:15 pm, I decided it was time to head back downtown and head home. I got back downtown by just after 4:00 pm, took a bus, and got back to the hotel by 4:30 pm.

    At this point I just had no energy left and I could hardly keep my eyes open. I decided to take a nap for 2.5 hours and then stay up for a while before going to bed for the night. I went to bed at 5:00 pm and set the alarm, or so I thought, for 7:30 pm. It turns out I didn’t turn it on, and I didn’t wake up until 9:00 pm. I stayed up for almost two hours when the internet stopped working so I just decided to go back to bed. I woke up lots throughout the night, though I stayed in bed until 9:00 am this morning.

    So aside from being sick I’ve enjoyed my time in Texas a lot. I’ve got to see the four largest cities, meet some people I never thought I’d get to see, and get lots of wonderful pictures. I’m just so sick of being sick so I just want to get back to normal and be healthy again. I have to wash my jacket and all my clothes as it just feels like I’m walking around sick. I would like to be able to start running again seeing as I haven’t gone in 8 days, though I think it might take me a couple of days before I’m ready for that again.

    Anyways, that’s all I have for today, for the next question:

    Are you able to sleep on buses or planes ?

    It’s too slow to upload pictures here so I will have to wait until Thursday to upload some more. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday, bye for now.

  • Report # 972

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a great week. I’m super tired after some very long days, so it’s kind of nice I just have a few days left of this crazy city exploring adventure. My trip to Dallas got off to a soaking wet start as I was trying to find the hotel that I looked up online. I got off the bus at the right place but went on the wrong street so finally just went to a hotel that was there.

    They surprisingly were fully booked on a Tuesday morning in February, but the guy there was very helpful, and he actually called the Best Western Hotel that I wanted and had a driver take me over there. I arrived and quickly checked in and had a shower as I was in a super hurry to get to the IHOP to see my friend. Ximena from Ecuador. I arrived at around 10:30, after running for a ways and she was inside waiting so it was great that things worked out. We had breakfast and then walked to the house she was staying and her friend drove us to the bus station to go downtown.

    We didn’t really have much of a plan, just to walk through all the streets there and explore everything we could. It was nice walking in the fresh 11 C (52 F) air, especially after the super hot weather that Monterrey was having… though I will admit we were both freezing at night when the temperature really dropped. We went to the JFK memorial, some city plazas, parks, a cool church, and the Dallas World Aquarium. The Aquarium was huge and it was definitely worth visiting.

    A tourist officer on a bike helped us out in the evening when we were trying to find the Chipotle restaurant, and he actually gave us a city map, which was super helpful. We both had taken pictures of a map on a sign post for our reference, so we were able to navigate the city pretty well. We got back to the bus station after dinner and took the bus home at 9:33 pm, and my friend’s friend picked us up and even drove me back to the hotel, which I was super thankful for.

    I said good-bye to my friend knowing that I probably wouldn’t see her for a long, long, long time, but really it was only rare coincidences that brought us together in Dallas to start with, so it was very cool to meet her… the first person from Ecuador that I met in my life. I went to bed before 2:00 am and slept a good eight hours, so I was refreshed for the next day, Wednesday. Basically I took the bus downtown and tried to visit the few places that we hadn’t managed to see on Tuesday.

    I have to admit that we did an amazing job seeing the city and there were only a couple of things that I saw that we could have seen on Tuesday, such as the Pioneer Plaza and the Dallas City Hall. The other places I went to, Old City Dallas Heritage Park, and White Rock Lake were much further outside the city. I took a bus to go to White Rock Lake, which was a big area of water with tons of cyclists, runners, and people walking around the super long trail that seemed to go all around the lake.

    I walked around a good part of the lake and then headed home as I wanted to be back a little bit earlier that night.I had things to do to get ready for my next couple of days, so unfortunately I didn’t get into bed until around 1:30 am, having to get up at 7:30 am yesterday morning to catch my bus to Austin at 10:15 am. The bus got into Austin around 1:30 pm, and unfortunately the only thing I forgot to check, was the location of the Austin greyhound station.

    Unlike San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, the Austin Greyhound station was not right downtown and I just assumed it was. Fortunately I was able to check my bags in while I explored the city, and I found a bus that went right downtown close by so it wasn’t a big deal. Austin was super sunny and much warmer than Dallas, probably around 21 C. (70 F) Unfortunately I was starting to feel lousy as I was coughing and feeling very tired. I knew I was a bit sick in the morning, but little did I know how worse it was going to get.

    Seeing as I didn’t have too much time in Austin and that I really wasn’t feeling that well, I basically just walked through some downtown streets, toured the Texas capital building, and made a quick trip through the University of Texas Austin campus. It was cool seeing the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library as well….. I never had seen one of those before. After touring the campus and some of the buildings, I took the bus back to nearby the Greyhound station and just had something to eat at IHOP as there wasn’t much else there.

    At this point I was really feeling lousy, my fever was worsening and my head was thumping, and my breathing wasn’t even normal. I almost decided not to take the bus, but I didn’t want to screw up my plans, so I toughed it out and got on the Greyhound bus at 10:00 pm, for the three hours trip to Houston. I have a hotel reservation here, but it’s not until tomorrow so I think I’m going to have to make one for tonight as its 2:00 am here and I didn’t realize that the reservation isn’t until 3:00 pm !

    So after typing this up I guess I’ll take a taxi and see if I can check-in a day early and get some sleep as I really need a good night’s sleep. Thankfully the store here in the Houston Greyhound sold fever/pain aspirins and I’m definitely feeling better now. I’ll probably take one more before bed to get this fever out of my system. I have a friend here in Houston that I’ll be spending some time with so that will be fun. It’s always great to see people that earlier there didn’t seem to be a real chance of seeing them.

    Everything has been pretty good in Texas, though sometimes the people on the streets downtown are a bit frustrating, always someone wanting money ! One guy even told me how he was working at the American Airlines Arena but he hadn’t received his first cheque yet and if I could help him out…. he even showed me his ID and photo !It’s common unfortunately, big cities often have major problems with homelessness.  It was cool going through the University at Austin though and seeing all of the diversity, I hadn’t seen that much diversity in a long time.

    After halfway through my Texas trip I’m definitely tired of all the moving around and while I’ve enjoyed seeing these places so much, I’m definitely ready to get back to staying in one place every night and not moving around every other day. And more than that I’m just ready to get the visa authorization over with and start working…. I know I can’t go on forever without working !

    So my last couple of days here in Texas and on Monday I will fly back to Monterrey and continue to wait the visa process. Anyways I have to get this posted and get out of here, so for the next question:

    When you are sick do you try and get better without taking pills, or will you take aspirins in order to feel better ?

    I will leave you all with some pictures from Dallas. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Monday, bye for now.

  • Report # 971

    I’m in San Antonio ! It’s exciting to be here and to see a new city and a new state and to have my first real trip to the US since I was here in July of 2010 when I visited eastern Washington State and parts of Idaho. My last couple of days in Monterrey were pretty relaxing. After typing my last entry up at Starbucks, I made an order from Super Salads and picked it up and walked home.

    On Sunday I ran at Fundidora Park for the last time in a while and came home and washed up. In the afternoon I headed downtown and went to VIPS and read the paper for a couple of hours and had a great lunch. It was a super hot day, around 32 C (90 F) but it felt really nice ! On the way home I stopped at Interplaza and printed off my bus and plane tickets and took the metro and headed home and gave my grandmother a call as I hadn’t talked to her for almost a month.

    I talked to my parents a few days ago as well so I’ve talked to basically all of my family members in the last 10 days. I got up at 9:00 am yesterday morning and had a shower, packed my bags, and looked up some places to see in Dallas. It will be a challenge trying to see everything using public transit, but a lot of places are close together downtown, so I’m sure I’ll get to see quite a bit. I’ll get to spend today with my friend from Ecuador, while tomorrow I’ll have the whole day alone.

    I got out of the house just after 10:30 am and walked up to the Metro station with my bag and took the station to the end of the line so I would be a little closer to the airport, not having to pay the taxi driver so much. I still had to pay him 180 pesos (over 14 dollars) but better than having to pay 250 pesos like I did in previous years. Maybe when I fly back to Monterrey I will see if my friend Arturo can pick me up, but he might have classes so I’m not too sure.

    The line-up at the airline bag check was next to nothing, though the employees really were on my visa to see if I had over-stayed my 180 days. I told them I had already calculated my stay, but one guy said that not all months have 30 days… which I obviously knew ! The other employee at the counter took out his cell phone and wrote down each month of days on a paper and did the math.

    He didn’t count the first day I arrived, so he got 175 days, and I had calculated earlier 176 days, so either way giving me a few extra days. It was kind of frustrating seeing them go so in detail to see if I had over-stayed my time, but I guess it’s their job and if someone overstays, they have to pay a fine, so it would be their job to catch those people. I had lots of extra time so I had lunch at Carls Jr. before heading through the security dates.

    I used the internet for a while to pass the time and boarded the plane sometime after 2:30 pm. I wanted to quickly grab a frappuichino but the guy at the gate told me I couldn’t bring them on the plane, so that idea went out the window. It was just an hour flight to San Antonio, Texas, though it took quite a while to get off the plane, as the lady driving the walkway to connect to the plane to get off had trouble lining it up.

    It didn’t take too long to get my bag and get through customs, in fact the guy just asked me what was inside my bag and that was it. I have to say it was clearly evident that I got treated differently than the Mexicans entering the country. The Mexicans had to scan their fingers and have their pictures taken and I didn’t have to do any of that. I guess being Canadian helps sometimes, though personally I think everyone should be treated the same no matter where they are from.

    Afterwards I took out some money from an ATM, bought a pack of M&Ms to get some change and then took the bus outside of the airport all of the way downtown to the Greyhound Station. It was great that I had done the research the day before and finding out about the bus, paying only $ 1.10… a taxi would have been sooooo expensive.

    After arriving at the Greyhound station I was able to check-in my bag and leave it at the station so I wouldn’t have to lug it around all day. It was after 5:30 pm so it was starting to get dark, but I decided to go on a picture taking spree. I was amazed how much cooler it was in San Antonio than in Monterrey. When I left Monterrey it was sunny and around 28 C (82 F), though San Antonio was having a cool and cloudy day, and it was only around 14 C (58 F).

    It was nice to have a cool and cloudy evening to walk around and take pictures. I actually walked around the downtown area pretty well, walking for over three hours, and taking hundreds of pictures. San Antonio is a very beautiful city and my first impression is that it’s a great place with a nice Mexican flavour to it.Downtown there are churchs that look like some of the churches in Mexico, many Spanish names, Mexican restaurants, and even a branch of the Mexican university UNAM and a Mexican cultural centre.

    So while the downtown has the Mexican influence, the neighbourhoods and streets, houses and lawns seem to be a lot more like the places in Canada than Mexico. I saw a bit of the San Antonio riverwalk, and I really wanted to see this because I have spent so many days running along the riverwalk in Monterrey, which was based off the one in San Antonio. The riverwalk in San Antonio is larger, and goes in more directions than the one in Monterrey, and the trees along the riverwalk are definitely larger in San Antonio, though the big difference I saw was the colour of the water.

    In Monterrey the water is crystal clear blue, though in San Antonio it has the dark green colour. Maybe they dont’ put chlorine in it like they do in Monterrey, or maybe the difference in the climate, but the colours are certainly way different. That being said, both riverwalks are beautiful in their own ways.

    I was really impressed with how many photos I was able to take, and getting lots of walking exercise, especially as I won’t be running at all this week. And it was great to see so much of downtown San Antonio just on this one evening that I was here and getting lots of night pictures. One guy in a plaza said to me “Sir, can I ask you a question ? Why are you taking pictures of statues ? Do you even know what that statue is for ?

    I told him I was going to read, and then he said “Well is that what you do ? Go around taking pictures of statues ? I don’t really like people like that so I headed in the opposite direction… there are always weird people in downtown areas. I will have a full day here in the city before I return to Monterrey, so I will definitely get to see more.

    I stopped in at Starbucks and had a Mocha Frappuichino and an over-priced sandwich and used the internet for a while, though now there is internet in the Greyhound station. Greyhound has definitely improved since the last time I used them in 2009. So now I’m basically just relaxing and waiting for the bus to Dallas which leaves at 2:30 am. I purposely booked my bus super late so I could sleep on the bus and not have to pay for a hotel.

    I will get in to Dallas just before 8:00 am and quickly head to a hotel, have a shower, and head to IHOP to meet my Ecuadorian friend. It will be an exciting day. It was great to be able to have internet access at Starbucks and in the Greyhound station. I’ve got all of my 233 San Antonio photos uploaded to Facebook and I’ve got this typed so it’s time to get going as the bus will be leaving in less than 30 minutes and I’ll have to get to sleep. Anyways, for the next question:

    When was your last trip ? Where did you go ?

    I will leave you all with some of the pictures that I took from San Antonio. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Friday, bye for now.

  • Report # 970

    So this will be my last entry here from Monterrey for a while. My internet connection wasn’t working this afternoon and I wanted to get this typed up so I just decided to walk up to Starbucks and get this done. On Wednesday afternoon I booked my ticket to go to San Antonio. Even though there were still a few days that I could have received news regarding my visa authorization, I new that the flight I wanted wasn’t going to be there forever and I had to get it at the price it was at while I had the chance.

    I paid 182 dollars for a round-trip Monterrey to San Antonio flight and I will head to San Antonio on Monday the 11th and come back on Monday the 18th. Seeing as I’ve never really had a chance to explore Texas I will try and spend a few days in Dallas and Houston as well. In fact I will try and take a Greyhound Bus to Dallas shortly after arriving into San Antonio as I will have a friend to visit there who will just be there for one day.

    So basically my plan with all this is to exit Mexico before my 180 days are up and spend a week in Texas and then fly back to Mexico and continue to wait for the visa authorization, flying back to Vancouver immediately when I have it. I am looking forward to exploring some new places that I’ve never been before, but I am really hoping that I get some more news soon as I am more than ready to begin working… six months of vacation is too much !

    On Wednesday I went for a run in the afternoon and afterwards came home and had a shower and walked up to Galerias and had lunch in the food court before walking over to the other mall, Plaza Real, and having a frappuichino from the Italian Coffee Company. In the evening I had a craving for some tacos so I picked up two of those from the local taco place and that was about it. I ran again on Thursday morning and decided to head to the Planetarium.

    I looked up the bus routes online and found a bus that goes directly to the Planetarium, but after waiting and waiting, it just didn’t come. I wasn’t going to wait forever so I just took another bus and walked for about 45 minutes after and made it there. It was so hot this week as the days were around 30 C (86 F) and I definitely felt the hot sun. I purchased a ticket to see a movie about life in the Arctic, but it didn’t start until 4:00, so I had over an hour to explore the Planetarium.

    The first floor had all of this cool science stuff, while the second floor was a temporary display with Alice and Wonderland themed things…. it was definitely more for kids. The third floor was all about the human body and how it functions and what makes everyone unique, and the forth floor was closed for setting up the next display. The fifth floor was some Mexican history exhibition, but I didn’t have time to see that as the movie was going to start.

    It was a 40 minute IMAX movie about the animals who live in the Arctic, their lives, and how they’ve been affected by climate change. Normally I’d say that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but seriously, the people who think climate change is 100 % false are just completely blind and they are just choosing to be ignorant to what is a major global issue. Some people just need to open their eyes and enlighten themselves a little more.

    The movie was voiced by Meryl Streep, well the original in English, but I saw it in Spanish so someone else did the voicing. Then again I never would have known Meryl Streep did the voicing if it didn’t actually say her name; it’s not like I’m an expert on how everyone sounds ! After the movie I headed out and walked back the way I came and had a Tilapia dinner at IHOP before picking up a Blizzard at DQ in San Agustin and heading home.

    I had ran and walked a lot that day and I was pretty exhausted by the time I got back home a little after 7:00 pm. I ran on Friday morning and came home and had a shower and walked to Cinépolis after to see Flight, a great Denzel Washington movie where he plays a pilot who miraculously landed a doomed plane saving almost everyone on board, though with his drinking problem, a whole story is made out of the movie….. very great film !

    I had lunch and read the paper at Wok, having some miso soup and sushi before walking home. Friday was actually the one break from the heat, as the city actually got a decent rain and it was only around 20 C (68 F) Today it’s back up to 25 C (77 F) and from what I’ve seen tomorrow is going to be another hot day. It will be a bit cooler in Texas, especially in Dallas, so I’ll get to cool down for a week. I can’t complain about this heat though, I’m still able to go for my run everyday and it’s not all humid and sticky so it’s been decent.

    I was cleaning up my place this morning so it’s all clean and tidy before I leave and I went for a run and came home and had a shower and saw that my internet wasn’t working so that’s why I’m at Starbucks. I’ve already downed a Venti mocha frappuichino and they definitely aren’t great for thirst ! At least I finally had some fruit as I ate a whole cup of Grapefruit, and I really needed that.

    So in this next day I’m just going to take it easy and look up things to do in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston and I’ll be heading out on Monday afternoon. Now I just want to go back to the Artic movie I saw for a bit:


    The movie was incredible with the scenery and the story about how these animals live in the arctic and how it really is there home. A vast portion of the Arctic lies in the Northern part of Canada and sadly if I was to guess, I’d say far less than 10 % of Canadians have ever been… myself included. The movie definitely showed the true beauty of the Arctic paradise and really showed the challenges the animals who live there face in their land, greatly affected by climate change. Polar Bears were the main stars of the film and they are such fascinating animals.

    Luckily there are companies and organizations such as the WWF and Coca Cola who have given money to help protect the Polar Bear, and even have included them on their cans at times. It was funny reading that some people had thought the Polar Bear edition cans were diet coke and it created some problems with customers, but a lot of money was raised to help the Polar Bears so I think that’s wonderful.

    Of course Polar Bears are only one of the types of animals living in the arctic as there are seals (which Polar Bears love to eat) Walruses, Caribou and a variety of birds. And all of these animals should be treated equally and given the chances to thrive. While some people may not care so much about these animals that live so far away from the majority of the people in the world, I think at the end of the day we all have to understand we live on this one planet and all the animals no matter where they live should be a priority to be protected.

    I’d love to go to the Arctic one day to see all of these amazing animals and enjoy the Northern Lights and take part in this paradise, and while I definitely have no plans of going anytime soon, it would be a super special adventure to take one day. Anyways, for the next question:

    Is the protection of animals around the world something that is important to you, why or why not ? What are your thoughts on climate change ?

    I hope that everyone has an awesome weekend. Take care and I’ll talk to you all from Dallas on Tuesday, bye for now.

    sources: Daily Coca-Cola ditches holiday-special snow white can and brings back red again after frosty reception by customers mistaking it for Diet Coke. By Daily Mail reporter. December 2, 2011.

  • Report # 969

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a fantastic week so far. On Sunday morning I went for a run and for the third day in a row I went to Cinépolis to see a movie. This time I went to see Alex Cross, which was about a detective trying to solve a case involving a very professional assassin… I always enjoy those types of movies. Afterwards I stopped at Subway and that was about it for the weekend.

    On Monday I was going to go to the Planetarium here with a friend, but on Sunday evening she informed me that she had to work on the holiday. (Monday was the day of the constitution here) This ruined my chance of ending my streak of not seeing anyone for two weeks, so I had to make some other plans. I decided I would go to La Estanzuela, which is a very beautiful park a bit out of the way in the southern reaches of the city.

    The problem was that it would be a little difficult to get there without a car and some people had told me it’s not the safest place in the world to go to. In fact I was even told that if someone was me they wouldn’t go at all. They said the park itself was not dangerous but it was the route to the park and there had been gang people who would steal cars and kidnap people or stuff like that. I figured though since I’d be going before noon on a super sunny and warm holiday, that it couldn’t really be that dangerous, so I decided to take my chances.

    I took the metro train downtown and I caught a bus to take me across the river and to the Valle Oriente mall. There I found a taxi and I paid just over 80 pesos (over 6 dollars) for him to take me to the park. It wasn’t as far away to go or super high up in the mountains like Chipinque, so it ended up being cheaper. The entrance fee was only 5 pesos, (like 40 cents) so I was super impressed with that. I arrived at the park just after 12:00 pm and I started walking and it was just like I imagined.

    There were lots of other people and families there, so it was a pretty safe day to be there. While the road to get there was rocky and somewhat secluded I didn’t feel unsafe on that road either. After hearing the park was jut 3 km I thought I would be in and out in just over and hour, as I was just taking pictures alongside a stream where there were many tall trees, paths and some bridges, but little did I know I would arrive at a part that got super steep and I really got a workout.

    Luckily after scaling some very steep and difficult hills there were some pools of very fresh water with little waterfalls as well, so I was able to drink and cool off. There were even some people swimming, and while it was a pretty warm day, around 30 C (86 F) the water was super cold and refreshing. After drinking and washing my face I continued walking for another 40 minutes or so and I finally reached the end of the line where there was a larger waterfall and cliff part with people having lunch.

    There was one lookout with a great view of the mountains though that part was earlier and here it was just to enjoy another small waterfall. I rested for a few minutes and then made my way back. I didn’t take as many pictures on my return trip as I did heading up so I got back pretty quickly, arriving at the around at around 3:45 pm. I asked the guy working the gates if there were taxis there and he told me no, but said that it was just a half hour walking down, so I decided just to walk down.

    I did the same with Chipinque, and that was a lot longer of a walk, so this would be easy. I got all the way through the park and to the HEB plaza where I was able to take a taxi to San Agustin. I had some lasagna to eat at Focaccia and then afterwards I picked up some donuts from Krispy Kreme and I took the bus and the metro train home. It was a super exhausting day and I definitely slept well that night. I went for a run yesterday morning and as I was walking to the metro station after my run, I got a text from a friend saying that she would be at Las Galerias and that if I had nothing better to do I could meet her there.

    I headed home and had a shower and walked to the mall and called her when I was in the Liverpool store, though she ended up being right in front of me which was very surprising seeing as she could have been anywhere in the whole mall. It was actually her 27th birthday so I said Happy Birthday and we went to the movie theatre to see Broken City. It was a pretty good movie though I hadn’t thought about seeing it before. I didn’t plan on seeing any more movies until Friday, so that idea went out the window, but I definitely won’t be going today or tomorrow to the movie theatre.

    Afterwards I just got something to eat from Carl’s Jr. and we sat and talked for two hours and so before we headed outside and she took the bus home. It was good to see someone for the first time in too long and we might do something on Friday as well. I still want to go to the Planetarium but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow, today will be a nice and relaxing day.

    I try and read the news online to keep up with what is happening with at home and I stumbled upon some news that Best Buy has closed 15 stores across Canada and as a result over 900 employees have lost their jobs. Here are two articles about this story if anyone wants to read in fuller detail:

    Now this sort of thing tragically happens at times. Sometimes stores just aren’t making money and they just haven’t been able to turn things around and they will have to close it’s door eventually. So clearly Best Buy decided it will be better to close the 15 stores that are really struggling and focus it’s efforts on conserving and strengthening the remaining stores. And while it’s super sad that so many capable people lost their jobs, the thing that really got to me was reading about how it was done.

    I read online that many people showed up for work only to find out that the store was closed. So obviously this was not some plan that was thought up for a while, the stores more or less just closed doors very suddenly. Maybe in some cases this sort of closure is necessary, but with a multi-billion dollar corporation like Best Buy, I really don’t think that was the case. They should have been able to see the trends and if they really didn’t think things would improve, they should have given all of those employees a couple of months of notice.

    And in the worst case scenario that a few months ago they didn’t think about shutting down any stores and it really was a sudden decision, in my opinion they still should have given the employees at least the standard two weeks notice. From what I read though, the people at the Best Buy office were not too cold hearted though and they did offer the laid off employees salary for eight weeks in addition to one week extra based on how many years the people have been with the company.

    So while I think the company could have definitely handed the situation better in terms of advising the employees, eight weeks is basically two months and that is plenty of time for those employees to find another job. So if I put myself in the employees shoes, if I was working there for a year and a half and showed up to work to find out I had no more job anymore, it would be disappointing if it was a job I really enjoyed, but if not, I would certainly not complain with getting paid for 9 weeks.

    It would actually create the ideal situation to look for a new job. I’d have so much time to search every single day and I wouldn’t have to worry about finding something right away as I’d have two months of salary coming. Of course the other side of it is for the people who truly loved working there and maybe for some of them it would be hard to find another job, but I really would think most of them would be able to find something soon.

    So overall Best Buy certainly could have given some notice about their store closure plans, and it’s unfortunate the only way employees found out is by going to work and seeing that the stores were closed, but I don’t think anyone can complain with receiving a paid salary for basically two months… it certainly is fair. For the next question:

    Did Best Buy handle this situation in the right way ? How would you have handled the situation ?

    I will leave you all with pictures that I took from my trip to La Estanzuela. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Saturday, bye for now.

    Sources: Nanaimo Best Buy employees arrive at work to find doors closed. By Ben Ingram, Nanaimo Daily News. February 1, 2013. Best Buy scales back as tablets take over and Target looms. By Marina Strauss. January 31, 2013.

  • Report # 968

    Well I’m up at just before 10:00 am today, though I just completed what was by far my longest sleep of 2013, and maybe in the last few years. I was in bed just before 10:00 pm…. basically sleeping 12 hours. I was super tired after only sleeping around six hours the other night, but I didn’t imagine I would have slept so many last night. The internet wasn’t working so well last night and I was feeling tired and depressed so I just slept !

    After running on Thursday afternoon I came home and had a shower and then went out and had lunch at VIPS. I got a discount card for February so it was worth going again. Basically a person could go there five times a month and always receive at least 20 % off so it’s definitely a great place to go. On Thursday evening I went through the movie collection that the guy has here and I watched My Sassy Girl, which was a silly romantic comedy from about five years ago.

    I ran again on Friday and came home and had a shower and then I headed to the Galerias mall to go to Cinépolis and watch Bullet to the Head. Basically it was a Sylvestor Stallone action movie with tons of violence, so while it won’t be winning any awards, it was at least entertaining. Afterwards I had lunch at Wok and read the paper for about and hour. I decided to pick up an ice cream cone before leaving but the line was so long I waited for over half an hour.

    In the evening I checked the migration site to see if there was any updates on my case and it said that for February 1 my documents had been passed on to the foreign affairs people, three weeks after the company had delivered my documents and my case was assigned. So while nothing has been solved yet, at least more progress was made. If I don’t have an answer by Friday evening I guess I’ll be making a trip to Texas for a few days as I won’t be able to stay in the country for more than 180 days without leaving.

    If I’m out of here by this day next week, I’d be gone in about 175 days, so it would be a perfect day to pack up. I have found out that I have a friend from Ecuador who will be in Texas around that time as well, so I would be able to spend a day or two with her in Dallas. From what I’ve seen it would be cheapest to fly to San Antonio and then I could take a bus to Dallas. I’d like to see Houston too, but I really can’t be spending too much money, so I have to do a little more research.

    After spending maybe five days in Texas I would fly back to Monterrey and wait here until I receive the authorization, and then I would fly back to Vancouver and do what I have to do there to finish the process and get the visa. I would fly directly back to Vancouver if I had answers by Friday evening, but with Monday being a holiday, and there only being four more business days, I really don’t think that will be possible unfortunately.

    I didn’t run yesterday as I wanted to give myself a break after running for a week straight, but after eating all that I did yesterday I am wishing I did run. After typing this entry up and commenting everyone I definitely will be running. I talked to my grandmother and aunt by Skype for about an hour yesterday morning and then I just had a shower and relaxed for a bit before walking up to the mall and seeing Mama. It was a horror movie by Guillermo Del Toro though it was so weird it didn’t really appeal much to me.

    I bought a few things from HEB after and then made an order and walked up to Super Salads to pick it up. It must have been the two chocolate bars I had after the tortilla soup and sandwhich, but of course I didn’t feel too great after. It’s the same story with me all the time. I eat too much garbage and don’t feel so great, and then run in the morning and feel energized and great again. Even if I can just cut out those chocolate bars I think I’d be feeling a lot better !

    I watched another one of the movies here yesterday night, Shrooms, and it was just so silly. It was just another one of those movies with American tourists who go to another country, this time Ireland and do stupid things….. this time trying wild mushrooms to give themselves hallucinations. Of course there is some crazy person out in the forest killing everyone so that sort of makes everyone else think they have gone crazy.

    This reminds me of simular movies such as where the tourists go to Brazil, and they go on a tour bus only to find out that it’s a trap and they get kidnapped and some crazy doctor wants to cut them up to steal their organs. Or the Ruins where some tourists find an ancient Mayan ruin in Mexico and they all get killed, or of course Hostel where they are in Slovakia I believe. I wonder how many people take these movies seriously and don’t go to these places because of what they saw !

    Basically after the movie ended I talked to some people on the computer for a while and then decided to just sleep and that’s how I got my 12 hour slumber, waking up twice, at 3:00 am and 8:00 am. So now that I’m fully re-energized, I will be getting to bed at a decent hour tonight and getting up around 10:00 tomorrow. I read an article the other day about a former cheerleader for the Baltimore  Ravens. She says she was not allowed to take part in the Superbowl because she gained under 2 pounds.

    At first I thought that was absolutely outrageous and who cares if someone puts on what amounts to be almost nothing, but I was reading some of the comments left by some of the people, and one of them made a very interesting point. Someone pointed out that cheerleaders are basically hired for how they look, so they are fired for how they look as well. While this seems extremely harsh, I do think that is true and that any cheerleader not knowing that beforehand would be very naive.

    Obviously there is great talent involved in cheerleading as well, that I am 100 % sure of, so it has to do with more than just how some girl looks, but from what I’ve read, a lot of the football teams take the weight of a cheerleader very seriously and they have a perfect weight area for each member, and if someone goes over their perfect weight or under their perfect weight, they will have problems. Still I think the rules should be lightened up a little bit, I mean none of the tens of thousands of people in the stands is going to notice or really care if a cheerleader weights even two pounds more or less.

    This sort of story sends a real bad message to people, especially women, and that is what I’m worried about here. I’ve wrote before about the modeling industry and how I think it’s responsible for the deaths of not only some of its models, but people trying to emulate them, and a story like this really strikes the same chord. No one should be made to feel like garbage just for putting on a pound or two, and that’s what is really wrong about this story.

    While the cheerleader herself I’m sure knew of the strict rules before signing on, it’s the message that it sends to so many more women out there that I believe is very disappointing. The Baltimore Ravens should change their decision and allow this girl to be a part of the cheerleading squad for today’s game, by not doing so they are really not setting a good example for women and that is something the whole team should be concerned about.

    Now I was going to end it there, but I might as well be fair and criticize the San Francisco 49ers as well. From what I have read some players denied taking part in a video for anti-bullying against gay young people, and of course there were comments from one player about how he couldn’t accept having a gay player on his team. I’ve been to San Francisco before, and I can’t imagine this news and these comments go well.

    San Francisco is a very modern and diverse city that really appreciates and respects gay people and their rights. So the 49ers football team really have shot themselves in the foot with these news articles that have come out in the past week. While I hardly doubt this will stop the majority of people from cheering for them whole hardheartedly during the Super Bowl, I would think At least from what I have heard the player has apologized for his comments and will begin making it up to the LGBT community in the near future.

    So there I’ve scolded both teams so now they can get on and play their Super Bowl and just get the season over for once and for all. I will say that San Francisco will win by a touchdown ! For the next question:

    What do you think about the comments and news regarding the model with the Baltimore Ravens and the LGBT issues involving the San Francisco 49ers ?

    I will leave you all with some photos from Paseo Santa Lucía. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.