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Concerns of a first-time mom


This weekend my daughter turned two years old! (First two years: checked!) Two years go by very fast, specially when you are a parent. Being a parent is a very tricky business, you really don’t know how to deal with a lot of situations, and when you finally think you have figure it out, the baby grows, changes and you have to adapt to the new phases of his or her life. It is truly a rollercoaster of emotions, but it is also the most rewarding thing in the world. Today, however, I’m not going to write about how great (or not) it is to be a parent. Today, I want to write about two things that have been bugging my mind for a while. But first, I want to take a second to tell my brother that despite all the harsh criticisms he has made about my latest posts, I’m going to keep writing. I want him to know that I am a person with feelings, and that the only thing I want is for him to support me… (hahaha)

As I was saying, since I became a mother, two things about this world have been bothering me: Princesses and children’s food.

Princesses: The girls of our time are bombarded with princesses. From clothes, to toys, to books, everything you might need for your daughter, you can find it with a princess on it. Thank you so much The Walt Disney Company, because of your lack of responsibility with the world, the girls of today, will be the most needy and useless women of tomorrow. There is nothing a girl can learn from a princess. First of all, there are only around 5 or 9 real princesses in the world and they have lives full of privileges most girls will never have. Secondly, there is only one Kate Middleton in this world, and she was rich before meeting prince William, otherwise they would have probably never met. Basically 99.9% of the world’s female population, will never be a princess.

I don’t want my daughter to grow up, expecting a life full of luxury, palaces and princes. I want her to be passionate about life, to work hard for what she wants, and to build a life for herself. There is no bigger feeling of accomplishment, than the feeling of have done things by yourself. Princess are weak and focused on their physical appearance. They are always waiting for their prince to come and rescue them from any trouble. There is such disconnect between the princess life and the daily life, that it makes me wonder of the effect these kinds of messages will have on our daughters. Why should they wait for a prince charming to come along? Are there any princes toys in the boys section of the store? No one is teaching the men of tomorrow to behave like princes, that is why relationships are full of misunderstandings; the girl is waiting for a prince while the boy only wants to play with cars… I refuse to buy any princess souvenir for my daughter! I want her to be tough, independent, funny and smart, I want her to be the anti-princess………. more like a cow girl!

Children’s food: A while ago, we took a trip to Philadelphia. We love this city and we wanted my mom – who is visiting – to see it. We have heard of a museum for kids called “The Please Touch Museum”, and we wanted to take our daughter there. I have to say it; if I see an ad on Craig’s List, that says “Come and visit The Please Touch Museum” I’ would probably think it is a sick invitation from a pervert, but don’t worry, it is all legal and most importantly, it is children-safe and very cool! We had a great afternoon there, but when we went to the cafeteria, to order some food, I was disappointed to find out that the only things they would offer (in a CHILDREN’S MUSEUM) were hamburgers, hotdogs and pizzas. Really? A museum for kids and you can not think of a more healthy menu? How many kids eat there daily? I don’t even want to think about it. I’m so frustrated with the children’s menus at restaurants, that lately I’ve decided to order food for myself and give some of my meal to my daughter. it is a win-win situation; I eat less and she eats healthy. Seriously, I rather do this than give her greasy quesadillas, fries and ketchup. After all the research done on the effect things like high fructose corn syrup, hormones on animals, and hydrogenated oils, have on our bodies, it is sad to see that we are still feeding these things to our children. (or ar least offering them)

Thank you for reading my venting session, I really needed to get this out of my system!

Have a lovely day!

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11th Dimension


Happy Friday!

11th Dimension is a song by Julian Casablancas, lead vocalist and song writer of The Strokes. In 2009, Julian released a solo album titled “Phrazes for The Young” (2009); this album is strongly influenced by new wave and electronica and it is a big departure from the unique sound of The Strokes.

Enjoy,

Ukulele Songs


On May 31st of 2011, Eddie Vedder released his second solo album titled “Ukulele Songs”. At first I thought this was a really bad idea and that Eddie was basically….crazy. The reason why I was so skeptic is because the ukulele is a very tricky instrument. It’s sound is simple and plain, and it doesn’t have the dimensionality and layers of sounds a guitar can offer. I don’t have anything against the ukulele, but the thought of listening to 16 songs with just that instrument made me hesitant and, I have to admit it, I doubted Eddie’s ability to pull it off. However, after reading a couple of reviews and preparing myself mentally for a disappointment, I decided to get the album. The fist time I listened to “Ukulele Songs” I was very bored and couldn’t listen to more than 3 songs; I didn’t like it at all. However, the sound got stuck in my head and after a couple of hours, I started to listen to it again. Today, I have to say that I love the album, and that Eddie Vedder is a genius. The songs are beautiful, and even though his amazing voice is only accompanied by a simple ukulele, he was able to create an album with an impressive variety of sounds and rhythms. Bravo Eddie! My daughter loves it too, today she said, “More Ukulele”.

These are my favorite songs from “Ukulele Songs”:

This week I have been obsessed with Eddie Vedder. I must say, however, I wasn’t that interested in his work with Pearl Jam, but in his solo albums and collaborations with other artist. His first solo album, “Into de Wild” (soundtrack, 2007) is fantastic! To me, Eddie is at his best, when he does collaborations with other artists. Lucky me, he has contributed to many albums by other artists and has done guest appearances at shows and festivals. These are my favorite songs:

Enjoy,

And a Classic!

Mi Friend Ricardo D, who is an Eddie Vedder nerd, has made some fantastic recommendations for this post! Enjoy,

New York, Seinfeld and Us


A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided that it was time for a family trip. Before having our daughter we used to take small trips to nearby cities; it was something we really liked to do. After the birth of our daughter this tradition had to be put on hold — for obvious reasons. The pressure of becoming a parent plus the eternal feeling of not knowing what you are doing, don’t leave space for leisure. However, after almost two years, we decided that it was time to become over our fears and embark on a weekend trip. That is how we decided to pack our bags and travel to our favorite city in the US: New York.

New York is an amazing city, there are no words to describe its beauty, energy and uniqueness. There is nothing like NY, it is a city with so many layers that has inspired architects, musicians, film makers, artist and every person that visits and resides in it. As an urban designer, when ever I go, I can’t stop myself from looking, observing and making mental notes of New York’s buildings, streets, plazas and parks. Every neighborhood, and every corner is unique. Every restaurant, bar and shop is special and I love the fact that New York is a place full of surprises. Every time we go, it’s a different experience, and this time, traveling with our baby, was not an exception.

Our plan for this trip was to walk around the city and find places that our daughter would enjoy. We decided to go Park-hopping! (You see, when you get older you have to replace the bars for the parks – that is just how it is). While we were there, we went to Rockefeller Plaza, Briant Park (my favorite park in the world), Madison Square, Union Square, Washington Park, The High Line, etc. We visited every mayor park in Manhattan and walked though almost every neighborhood. It was a great trip, one of those you will always remember, and the best part was that our daughter behaved great and enjoyed it as much as we did.

Before going on our trip, I was sure that while walking though New York, I would be compelled to write about music inspired in this amazing city, however, as my husband, and I started walking though the city, the only thing that kept coming to our minds were Seinfeld episodes. My husband and I are big Seinfeld fans, we have watch almost every episode and we just love it! In my opinion, there is nothing like Seinfeld, I haven’t run into a show that even gets close to deliver smart and funny dialogues like Seinfeld does.

In this trip, I realized that Seinfeld in not “a show about nothing”, to me it is a show about life, but mostly it is a show about life in New York. Many of the episodes are based on events or places in NY such as The New York Public Library, Central Park, The Yankees, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, etc. To me, NY is another characters in the story (This is ironic, since most of the show was filmed in LA). Anyways, Today, I decided I won’t be posting music, today, I want to make a tribute to one of the best shows in TV history and share with you some clippers of episodes that came to our minds while walking through New York,

Enjoy!

My favorite Seinfeld character is Elaine, these are my favorite scenes

I’m Always in Love


Happy Friday!

To be honest, I’m having a hard time keeping with the “Post a Week Challenge”, therefore this post will be short and sweet.

I have been listening to Wilco for a while, but the truth is that I have never been into their music -that much. This week, I discovered their album “Summerteeth” (1999) and I must say, I’m really enjoying it.

Here is one of my favorite tracks of this album,

Enjoy!

The National – One more time!


For the past two weeks I have been working A LOT! Thanks God it is all over, and now I can go back to my normal life. People deal with stress in different ways, some get very irritable, some very quite, I think I just like to put my headphones on and listen to music. It is the only way I can focus and “relax” – or at least deal with the craziness. It is funny, when I ran into old projects, I can remember the music I was listening to, while working on them. However, for the last couple of months, every time I’m under pressure, my music selection always goes back to The National.

I really love their music! (This is the third time I write about them) Matt Berninger’s voice is amazing and the piano and guitar melodies are fantastic. Their songs change my mood right away… Since I started this last project, I started to search through their albums and ran into a new single they released on March 11 of this year. Exile Vilify is a song created for the video game Portal 2. I don’t know much about video games, the last time I played Nintendo was when Mario Bros came out, many years ago. For those interested in video games, this is what I found about Portal 2:

Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform video game developed by Valve Corporation. It primarily comprises of a series of puzzles that are solved by teleporting the player’s character and simple objects using the “portal gun”, a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The game’s unique physics allow momentum to be retained through portals, requiring creative use of portals to maneuver through the test chambers.

As I said before, I don’t know much about video games…..

Enjoy

While looking though The National’s albums, I also ran into an extended version of their album High Violet, This version has life performances and alternate versions of several songs,

My favorite song these days from this album is Anyone’s Ghost

1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal_2

Lupe Fiasco, Girl Talk and The Strokes!


 A couple of years ago, I set up a very high goal for myself; I decided that I would go to a concert at least once a year.   This year, the concert season started early;  last Sunday I went to the Sweetlife Festival in Columbia MD.  It was an all-day concert, with groups such as Ra Ra Riot, Crystal Castles, Walk the Moon and many other bands.  My friend and I were mostly interested  in the last three shows of the night; Lupe Fiasco, Girl Talk and The Strokes.  You see, as you get older, there is so much your body can take, and being aware of that,  we decided to prioritize and just watch the groups we really wanted to see.  I think we made the right decision, it would have probably been too much for us if we had gone to the concert from beginning to end.  It was funny though,  by the time we got there, eveybody was… lets say, VERY HAPPY!  We had a great time, every show was better than what I expected and to me there is nothing like a life performance from a group you really admire.  Life music is the best way of experience music.

These are some of the songs I enjoyed the most at the concert:

LUPE FIASCO
Lupe Fiasco is an American rapper from Chicago.  Before the concert, I had listen to a couple of his songs, but I wasn’t very familiar with his music.  A Couple of weeks ago, I downloaded his latest album “Lasers” and I must say I really enjoyed it.  However my favorite song at the concert was Daydreamin‘.  This song was originally recorded in 1968 by the Belgian Band Wallace Collection.  The most famous  version of this song is Draydream in Blue  by the english duo  I Monster (They are fantastic!).  At almost exactly the same time  I Monster was releasing Daydream in Blue, The Beta Band were just about to release their single Squares from their album Hot Shots II.  Squares has the same lyrics and melody as the song from 1968.   Realizing the clash with I Monster, The Beta Band decided to pull the single and released Broke from the same album instead. Lupe Fiascos’s version can be found in the album “Food & Liquor” (2006).

Other favorite songs from Lupe Fiasco:

GIRL TALK
I haven’t heard of Girl Talk until my friend told me about him.  I wasn’t very interested in his music but I have to admit his performance was fantastic, we really enjoyed it!  Girl Talk (Gregg Michael Gillis), is famous for producing mashup-style remixes, where he often uses a dozen or more unauthorized samples from different songs to create a new song.  The New York Times Magazine has called his music “a lawsuit waiting to happen”1.   Aside from the controversy, his mixes are fantastic!

http://www.youtube.com/user/FeedTheAnimals?blend=2&ob=5

THE STROKES
This was my favorite performance of the night!!! I can’t get over Julian Casablancas voice!  I have been a fan of  the Strokes for a while; their first album “Is This It”(2001) is one of my favorite albums of all times, if you have a chance, I really recommend listening to it.  Their new album “Angles” released on March of 2011 is also fantastic!.  The Strokes have been one of the most important alternative rock bands of 00′. Their distinctive sound has been compared to The Doors and  other bands of the 70’s.  As I said before, their performance was amazing, good sound and lighting and even though Casablancas wasn’t very engaging, the songs, guitars and his voice were enough for me.

These were my favorite songs, Enjoy!

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_Talk_(musician)

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