Category Archives: Thoughts

What I’m listening to right now

I don’t often write these kind of basic, “snippet of my life” posts but I’m feeling kind of inspired to do so today so why not. The following are Youtube links to the five hottest songs on the Monzón Billboard 100.

Continue reading What I’m listening to right now

Healthy anger (“Frustrations” Part Four)

This post is the fourth and final in a series called “Frustrations,” an unplugged retelling of some of the difficult circumstances I’ve endured in the past year or so. 

I’m taking steps back. Actually, they’re steps forward, but they harken back to the qualities of life I once enjoyed and now yearn for endlessly. I can’t wait to see what comes of it all.

Continue reading Healthy anger (“Frustrations” Part Four)

Getting back to basics (“Frustrations” Part Three)

This post is the third in a new series called “Frustrations,” an unplugged retelling of some of the difficult circumstances I’ve endured in the past year or so. 

It took me a long time to regain control and find myself where I am now – a crossroads between wallowing in the memories of what used to be and perpetually trying to clear the fog and see what lies ahead.

The warehouse job eventually ran its course, but on the way there, am endless stream of tears kept me from seeing the valuable skills I was learning. I picked up accounting and sales skills and experience that many of my peers now envy (or so I think). I made a lasting impression – albeit lackluster by my own standards – on a group of people that still call on me to this day when they need help running the business.

Where was I? Crying over her? Asking myself why that damn job didn’t work out? Reeling in the memories of days where the hardest task was figuring out what her and I were going to eat for dinner? You betcha!

Continue reading Getting back to basics (“Frustrations” Part Three)

Annoyingly 20/20 (“Frustrations” Part Two)

This post is the second in a new series called “Frustrations,” an unplugged retelling of some of the difficult circumstances I’ve endured in the past year or so. 

‘Twas the first weeks of December, and a phenomenon which may very sadly and unfortunately never repeat itself again took place – my grandparents traveled more than 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina to come see me and my family in Miami.

Well, they traveled by plane but hell; it’s still a stretch.

Continue reading Annoyingly 20/20 (“Frustrations” Part Two)

In praise of the internal combustion engine

I recently took a flight to Houston with my best friend to visit his girlfriend, who’s been living there for nearly a year and is anticipating their moving in together. The trip was fine and dandy, but on the way there, I was treated to a free and endlessly looping preview of a show called Diesel Brothers, where a very skilled group of mechanics wrench on lifted diesel pickup trucks and test them on dynamometers, take them to a test track and more.

I was fascinated. Not by the wisdom these guys possess, not by the size of the trucks and not by the power under their hoods. Rather, I was fascinated by the fact that these guys spend hours and days and weeks and months rubbing their temples and cursing at the machines in their garage in an everlasting pursuit of … speed? profit? a solution to encroaching boredom?

I’ve owned scooters and cars and other types of motor vehicles before, and I too am guilty of having attempted to wrench on them before. Sometimes I did so out of necessity – something was broken and I didn’t have money to take it into a repair shop – while other times I wanted to push the limits of whatever vehicle I was messing around with it.

Some of those attempts were fruitful but most were not. Anytime I tried to do something against the manufacturers’ recommendations – by fitting an exhaust that shouldn’t be fitted or by removing a cover that shouldn’t be removed – I was met with anything but a smoother ride.

How dare I challenge the genius of hundreds or thousands of inventors, mechanics, engineers and thinkers that populate the factories and design labs of vehicle manufacturers by thinking I’ve got a better idea than them on how to do something?

Check out the views you’re missing out on by choosing to not mess around with small motors!

Of course, I’m no mechanic. The guys on Diesel Brothers sure know a thousand times more about motor vehicles than I do. But the frustration they undergo mimics the one I went through during these half-baked repair and modification attempts.

So in the end, we’re both on the same boat. When their trucks’ transmission fails or suspension cracks, they’re rubbing their foreheads and exasperating heavily just the same way I did.

I’ve since stopped messing around with those things and figured I’m better off leaving it to the professionals. After all, what’s the point of modifying a motorcycle or car or truck to stand taller, drive faster or make more noise? What a waste of time.

One thing’s for sure – the modern internal combustion engine is a common factor between all those possibilities. There’s something uncannily exciting, it seems, about a relentlessly cycling piece of aluminum filled with gasoline and power steering fluid and air that can quite literally be the foundation for an hour-long TV series about a group of young guys talking shop about the damn thing.

Forget women, forget sex, forget alcohol, forget video games and forget sports. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can rile a man up so much as to work on and later enjoy – or be frustrated by – the raw power that an internal combustion engine can develop. It’s quite interesting, and quite senseless.

Aghast at the time wasted on these things.

Yes, that’s right, senseless. On a show like Diesel Brothers, the feats being accomplished are not spectacular. The trucks are lifted as high as the level of pollution their engines emit, and I find it to be all for naught. The pursuit of speed? Of profit? A solution to encroaching boredom?

They do occasionally turn a profit off of the trucks, and that may be lauded as the brothers’ most redeeming accomplishment. To “work” on “improving” beat-up trucks by elevating them to unnecessary heights and making money off of it is really quite genius, but the senselessness of the whole affair – removing money as a valuable commodity – remains.