This is the first New Year’s eve I ever spend away from my lovely home town of San Luis Potosi. It is sort of a big deal but also very appropriate for this year where so much chapters where closed and many more have started. Growing up has many facets which are rarely aligned, they are like sliding paralel windows we all cope with at some point or the other throughout our lives.
Its funny how I dont feel nostalgia anymore for being in ‘pueblo quieto’ (nickname I give to my home town). I just feel gratitude and pride of the times and people I shared such important formative years. Back then there was hardly any indication my life would end up where I am today, at this point. Today most of the people I’ve grown up with are on very set paths, looking to get married, having children and all that stuff I was hard wired to live up to and long for.
Not to say that I dont think about that but its not anymore part of a set path or a milestone I long for. I now know that no single act or series of acts guide us to enlightenment or happiness. Its the sum of our past what makes us happy. Appreciating that is a much more delicate art that it might seem.
This year I dealt head on with an affliction that has shadowed me for a long time. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed of it. Sometimes people feel uneasy when I speak of it; Anxiety. The breakthrough was not about knowing its something I cant control or something that is not my fault but accepting it as apart of me and learning to live and cope with it is what has made the most difference.
This has also been the year of friends! I have met such amazing people and have worked with such amazing people is hard not to gloat. Not only at my amazing work but on my social life Ive been fortunate to get close with people of different places and cultures. I’ve learned from them and hope the’ve learned something from me. I will non mention a single one because I might fail to mention all. I hope next year and in years to come I continue to know this amazing humans and toast for their good fortune and reminisce over a drink or two or more!
Finally this has been a year of interesting adventures in the life of a want-to-be entrepreneur. I’ve learned so much from mentors and colleagues! I have been able to confirm my aspirations of making a dent I the future of my country by helping out as much as I can in mentoring and evangelizing about a culture of innovation with socially responsible. I care about that ALOT!
My family is a family of exagerators. I think its funny the world did not end (of course). But I cant help it remember my mom always telling me ‘no es el fin del mundo’ whenever something bad happen. I remember thinking how stupid that was and also having nightmare of the apocalypse. Times have been mostly awesome this year, not with the appropriate amount of drama (its in my blood) but I sure not se a reason why I should complain. I have nothing but gratitude for life’s blessings so far.
I dont write as much cheesy stuff as I used to but I felt this year I should try to do it mostly for me. I should come back and read this post in the future and very much remember the significance of this, the year the world didn’t end.
I went to the first Guerra family reunion in many many years. Last one I barely even remember. I knew I had a very interesting family just from what my mom told me and very old books and things in my house which gave me and hints here and there but this weekend I was able to tie more knots of my awesome ancestry.
It was crazy, I am still trying to process all that information. We have a very interesting family history full of stories that go back to the 1500’s when my past relatives came from Asturias (Northern Spain) to the new world to seek fortune in Mexico. There are haciendas, revolutions, adventures, entrepreneurship, travel and crazy love stories all over. All that is in my genes! (Sorry, no pirates or ninjas)
My family has a thing about keeping things ‘close’. They had an excuse, well two. One was that there was not that many people to go around and the and the other was that Guerra women were just to hot to let go :P As they (my relatives say) used to say ‘Lets just keep it in the family, its easier’.
There where well over 300 people coming from my great grandfather’s two marriages. There where at least 10 or 20 different bloodlines (family trees) present and some of them where just plain weird and tangled from the aforementioned lust for own blood. There is even a bloodline that its name is Guerra Guerra! (To my american friends: That means that two direct relatives with the same last name formed a family and therefore their children’s last name is Guerra Guerra :D).
My grandfather had to wives also, he married my grandmother at 70ish after he widowed and had two girls who where younger than many of his grand children. I am the youngest grandchild in that bloodline! Many of my first cousins are older than my mom and I am sure I have more than a few great nephews and nieces … Very interesting fact: My grand mother was my grandfathers great niece :P
I never considered that I was part of one of those big happy families. For the most part my experience has been of a small close family. I realize I come from a crazy family and it does not surprise me at all. Its hard to realize how close to my blood this family is and how far we are appart just from how life is and the paths we take.
I am glad y am part of an unconventional happy family spawning back generations I cant even begin to imagine!
Here is a picture of how i look like. Under the bandage are a bunch of cables that…
are connected to this thing that records my brain waves for 3 days.
Every once in a while things happen that make you reflect upon many things on your life. For the past year and a half I have been living an adventure few people get to live. Even fewer people from my country get to work in Silicon Valley and be amongst the few that really work in shaping the future of the web, social media, commerce, mobile etc.
Going with the pack has never been much my deal. I sometimes feel too much like a regular dude but hanging out with ‘the crazies’, ‘the entrepreneurs’, ‘the hipsters’ and ‘the geniuses’ kinda skews the parameter of what is normal and what is great.
Moving to a new and exiting place away from all the conforts and familiar environments can certainly cause a lot of stress and anxiety. It is not easy but I have enjoyed every second of it. I hardly think that is a reason for the scary and intense anxiety I experience on occasions because I live for such emotions. It feels more like an intense self awareness that traps me when I want to move fast and control a situation for no apparent reason. Its a recursive, self fulfilling prophecy I impose myself to which I say to my self.
Its ok to slow down!
Looking at this from the bright side. I now feel I can wear an Afro wig and feel less self conscious than right now :P I hope the next post is about my pictures with an afro!
“The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life—including my mother, sister and girlfriend—and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender.”—
This post does not contain a recipe on to cook picadillo or burritos. Or does it? Just keep reading!
Ever since I arrived to San Francisco I became obsessed with Picadillo. I have no idea why but it was the first thing I cooked for myself when I first arrived. Back then I was couch surfing, craigslisting, airbnbing, etc. Finding a place to live in this city is f*cking hard (twss*)! My first ever roomate besides my brother was Kiran. She was an awesome host and I was so grateful that she let me stay for almost a month in her place. I wanted to do something nice for her so I offered to cook something from Mexico that was not the typical mexican food found here.
San Francisco is such a diverse and intense city. The restaurant and food scene is very hard to explain, besides saying that its a foodie’s paradise you pretty much have to experience it as a local or with a local. Mexican food in San Francisco is mostly Tex-Mex but its really mostly burritos.
San Franciscans seem to be a race of gringo’s that value a lot practical and effective ways of delivering food to their faces but, they always have to do things better or in some exotic or innovative way. The San Franciscan burrito is a massive cilinder shaped things the size of a new born baby (twss*) that is filled with all sorts of stuff. So far I’ve seen burritos that contain: Rice, beans, ground beef, any other meat available in a taqueria, sour cream, guacamole, kimchi, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, sweet and sour pork, grilled veggies, tempura, tuna, deep fried shirmp, fresh veggies, crab and maaaaaany more!!!
The tortilla used for burritos is about 10” in diameter (twss*). It is enough surface to make an extra strength diaper, hence the baby reference earlier. Also there are places like Sushirito that replace the tortilla with a thin layer of rice over seaweed like a regular sushi rol. To the point, the portions are huge, no human should eat that much yet people always end up nom noming their deliciousness wrapped in tinfoil.
Back to the picadillo. I wanted to share a typical home cooked meal from my childhood. Picadillo is actually a cuban recipe but its as mexican to me as mezcal and corruption. That first attempt went fine considering I did it all by memory. I had never cooked it by myself but I used to help in the kitchen and vaguely remembered the ingredients. It was not impressive but a week later I made chilaquiles which she loved because she loves spicy food and everything was back in balance. I had paid my karma with chilaquiles, not with picadillo.
After that I kept trying to cook the perfect picadillo and failed all the times. I mean it was never bad but it wasn’t great. Once I made a thing that looked much more like Chilli (another gringo concoction) that had beans and was so spicy I almost could not eat it… I had lost hope.
Here comes the good part of the story. San Francisco has this awesome culture around consuming local organic produce. There is a really awesome ecosystem of farmers markets that provide high quality organic food to the city. People here are very weary of what they put in their mouths and farmers and food producers are always getting better at their craft. What I mean to say is that culture seeps into the general population and now everyone seems to be more aware of the quality of food. Where do flavors come from and what are the seasonal veggies and spices that work. Menus have the ingredients and the sources of the products used in the restaurant. Every water knows exactly how things are prepared and how fresh things are. All of this sounds super pretentious but its not. It is a culture that every city should have.
I think that this influence makes you value food much more and once you value something you make a craft out of it. So I decided to try it one last time. I got all the ingredients I thought I needed but I ended up using others. It took time and dedication but food should take time and dedication to make. It is basically our energy and a precious commodity, we should respect it much more.
This time around I played with other flavors and spices I wouldn’t dare to use or know how to use before. I used cloves, thyme, cinnamon and spices I rarely even thought about. I used capers I had in the pantry for months and I tried to follow an actual recipe from the internet but as always changing a bunch of things because I hate to follow recipes line by line.
The result was a beautiful mix of delightful organic local food, flavor, aroma, colors and spices much like what San Francisco is to me.
There are less and less creative minds dedicated to science and math. I dont claim to know the reason or if this is actually true but I bet that a big reason for it is the fear of creative minds to live a “flat, broken down life”. While I do care a lot about the arts and humanities I feel kinda sad that there are not a lot of super star scientists or engineers but the ones that make a lot of money. There used to be a deep respect for people that did science and engineering, now there is only the widespread marginalization of these people into groups. We call them geeks, nerds and because people dont care to ask or at least try to relate. If non technical people would ask more, technical people would be better at explaining what they do. Getting back to the point, creative minds usually are creative in the arts and sciences. I cant help imagine if there where more creative smart people that preferred the sciences over the arts that this world would be a much better place. What if Lana del Rey had decided to go into science to cure cancer? I would miss her incredible hotness on the media thats for sure. Would that lead to a flat broken down life?Would the world be better without cancer? I dont know, but I still blame Lana del Rey!
We made a mistake. Over the last couple of days users brought to light an issue concerning how we handle your personal information on Path, specifically the transmission and storage of your phone contacts.
As our mission is to build the world’s first personal network, a trusted place for you to…