Showing posts from 2011

Oops! Did I offend you with my Halloween?

In this age of political correctness, it’s hard not to offend someone. Almost every day you read about some actor, public figure or politician who said or did something that “offended” some group (some of these are more radical and aggressive in their response than others). A few years ago a friend of mine sent me an e-mail, copying our circle of common acquaintances, about the Christian vision of Halloween as a Satanic celebration, and why, according to them, decorating your house for the holiday is a way of inviting evil into your home. Whoo, boy, do we decorate our house. Halloween has always been a big deal for me, and that message I received was questioning that (in a friendly way, I have to admit). I did not feel offended or attacked in the least (frankly, I couldn’t care less). I’m always open to all points of view… however it did make me curious. Years ago I did my research about the origins of Halloween and discovered it’s a mish-mash of various beliefs a

You never know... memories of Ice.

This will be a quickie, but I really wanted to write about this. A few years ago, between 1997 and 2001, I worked for a small advertising agency called González de la Vega & Associates. It was so small, my work was not limited by my title of Associate Creative Director (i.e. they had me multi-tasking without paying me more, but I didn’t really mind). One of my roles was drawing cartoon characters for different brands and miscellaneous advertising materials. Back then we had the Fiesta Ice account (the kind you buy in bags at convenience stores and gas stations). I drew a very sketchy ice cube character which fortunately was immediately approved. From that, as part of the campaign, I drew various different poses and situations which, to my surprise, are still present on their packaging, POS and distribution refrigerated trucks. I visited their website  a couple of weeks ago and found some familiar faces there… the characters have lost their outline quality when they animated t

A Career is a Terrible Thing to Waste...

Here’s my 5 cents of cheap career advice. The other day some friends and I were discussing professional opportunities, choices, plans, decisions... Some people think it’s better to focus on the here and now, after all, no one knows if and what opportunities may arise in the future. They believe they have to do their best at what they currently do and then things will eventually sort themselves out for them. I believe that’s leaving too much to chance. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Luke Skywalkers- “ All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was… ” as Yoda so succinctly put it. These are the ones who start a new job thinking about what other position they covet and what other companies may be interested in them, without truly devoting themselves to their current chores.  I’m more of a Qui-Gon-Jin person: Obi-Wan : … Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future. Qui-Gon Jinn : But not at the expense of the m

Frak, Starbuck’s dead!

And I’m not talking about the coffee chain. It’s taken me years, literally, to catch up with one of the best, critically acclaimed sci-fi dramas of the last few years: the Battlestar Galactica (BSG) TV series that ran from 2004 to 2009. Great stuff. But watching it this way got me into thinking about the way we enjoy our personal entertainment and how its social impact has changed over the years. A long time ago, say, from the ‘50’s through the ‘70’s, there was a limited number of TV channels. So-called movie “events” were scarce (three or four really big ones a year, at the most). Your individuality was defined by the kind of books and magazines you read, and probably the theater plays you saw and night clubs you attended. But mass media was a social thing. Almost EVERYONE knew what had happened on the highest rated drama the night before, had heard the same local news, or had seen the same sporting event. A really big theatrical release guaranteed almost everyone had seen it and d

I Confess!

Now that Rise of the Planet of the Apes (#Apeswillrise / #elplanetasimios) released over the weekend in the US and will be opening on September 2 nd in Mexico, I’ve had the chance to discuss it with people in general with very positive results (everyone who’s seen it agrees it’s a great surprise and that it surpassed or at least reached their expectations… which is amazing considering how high these were). But I also realized that it is most un-cool to say you remotely liked Tim Burton’s 2001 re-imagining. Well, I confess I liked it. So sue me. But I’m a huge fan of the franchise, I grew up with it, I’m also a big Tim Burton fan, and I thought he did a very interesting take on the ape mythology. Rick Baker’s makeup was great (yeah, NOW we can do believable CGI apes, but that was still not the case back in ’01) and the ending was a brave attempt to update the original’s. I appreciated all of that. There, I said it. And now, to top that one off, here I will proceed to declare my lik

Back to School…

Today I got invited to speak in front of the kids at the place where I attended my first two years of grade school: the Simon Bolivar Institute. It all came about because it turns out my youngest boy’s teacher at another school is the daughter of my own 1 st grade teacher. It’s a small world (after all!) Stand me in front of 400 movie theater managers and put on me an X-Men First Class Professor Xavier’s light-up helmet (yep, true anecdote, worthy of another blog by itself), and I’ve got no problem. But talking in front of children… that’s a whole different ball game. I remember a few months back when I had to attend my own kid’s school to tell a Halloween story and sing songs to his class. Now THAT’s a tough audience to keep entertained for 45 minutes. Whoever knows me, knows I’m not comfortable writing down speeches. I don’t usually put down on paper what I’m going to say, I just subconsciously make notes in my head and then let inspiration take over as I go along. Makes it easier

I Want to Believe…

After a long, long time, I've decided to start blogging again. And for no particular reason, I decided to begin with this recent anecdote. Anyone who knows me knows I love supernatural themes and horror stories. Since I was a teenager, I’ve searched for opportunities to experience strange occurrences, without success. When I lived in Miami for six months in the early 2000’s I had an experience anyone else would have attributed to restless spirits, but which I am fully convinced was the result of a very stressful period in my life. We were renting an apartment in Fountainebleu Boulevard and I recall going to bed and hearing a woman’s voice calling my name from the bedroom door, and one night when I lay facing the night table, I felt what I thought was my wife embracing me from behind. Only the embrace suddenly turned into very violent heaving and shoving (and it was not my wife, believe me!). Both times I rationalized I must have been suffering from stress and was probably half a