Happy Holidays!

Well, I think so at least.

I still wonder what holidays I should be happy about. Why are they merry? People run around and buy things and clog up the streets and get into accidents. They eat a lot and blame the season for their weight gain instead of self control, not that I’m that good eating the cookies and snacks I see around me. I wonder what christmas is like playing beach volleyball in non-cold or snowy places.

I hear people talk about not wanting to celebrate christmas because they aren’t christian/religious, not that most people that celebrate seem to be truly practicing anyway, and say they are celebrating the holiday season. Um… what holiday season is it with chanukah or christmas or (insert religious time). The only thing I’ve heard about this season that might actually be worth it in making sense is celebrating the solstice. That’s actually something more real to me. The sun is there, yup. Saw it myself. And now I’m blind.

I was reading on CNN about church goers that were upset when the priest said santa wasn’t real and all those kids heard it. Heaven help that people that choose to go to church actually hear about church things. I must admit myself that I can’t remember which book Saint Nick is (mistletoe, ‘Christmas’ trees, egg nog, etc) located in. Old or new testament…hmm…. Good thing I don’t believe. Makes it easier to poke fun.

Santa has almost been deified. I’m told people want to celebrate the gift giving of the holidays.

How about NOT buying new and possibly expensive things or replacements for things that are still working and using that money to actually buy important things like Food for people that don’t have dinner let alone worrying about the extra calories being put on during the holiday season. When you go out to dinner and the meal is huge, before you start even eating, cut out the part you don’t think you’ll finish and instead of taking it home, have it put in a togo container and give it to someone you see, if you’re in a place where there are homeless around.

Toys for kids are nifty and all but again, those minor things like warm clothes might be appreciated by others as well. Now, in general you spend your money as you please. It’s yours. I just call bullshit when it’s done in the ‘christmas spirit’. If christ was in a grave, he’d be rolling in it. I suppose actually you can roll easier in the above ground cave he was supposed to be in as a jew.

Stop using these months as excuses. It should be beneath you as a human. You eat crap because you shove it in your face. You buy or get things you probably don’t really need or want. You honor a fat man in a red suit and kids get to believe they will get something, probably even if they were bad, because it was the season for it. You need shoes and we have the money, sure, let’s get a pair of sturdy non-namebrand but quality shoes that fit and that you’ll grow out of in 6 months. You need something for your actual sport, fine, splurge on the quality.

If you want to play the game of christmas as a religious time, pull out that wristband of WWJD and actually think about it. He’d probably not but the stuff to begin with and anything he got, he’d give it away.

If you want to play the commercialism season, the stores are open for your creditcards. You can try and buy/rent all the love you want in your life. You can be the best friend your child needs, instead of the parent showing them a truer world that is fantastic on its own without needing to be dressed up.

Have a good day, whatever the day and have a merry bah humbug.


Cuba Day 9

Day 9 – Last Day in Cuba


The dinner went smooth even if I got soaked through in the rain getting to the restaurant. My choice. I could have waited for an umbrella. The tenderloin wasn’t bad, just not flavorful. They asked for feedback at the restaurant so I told them that I wasn’t impressed by the majority of the meal. Lisa, a member in our group, is also a singer and sang a song with the band. It’s on video as soon as I realized what was happening. After dinner we had drinks at the bar in the hotel then I finished some packing and went to bed.

Regular breakfast and bus loading. We passed through town to get to the airport. It was pretty quick to go through immigration. Some people were denied their Cuban stamps in their passports. I found someone that then talked to a supervisor that said they would get someone out to stamp them. I think we were stonewalled but Daniel stepped in and with far better and smoother spanish than mine was able to keep the ball rolling. The woman from immigration, the person that was the same official for all the people that didn’t get their stamps, eventually came out. She said that they all said they didn’t want the stamp. Oh well. They got their stamps in the end which is what matters. Boarding is starting and we will soon be off.

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Cuba Day 8

Day 8


The last day in Cuba. The injured person wasn’t as injured thankfully. We are heading to the literacy museum. Afterwards to an artist’s house that does tiles, then cooking demonstration during lunch, then either/and children’s afterschool program. There will be an open market with local goods for some retail therapy for those that need it.


She looks like a student just about anywhere

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Cuba Day 7

Day 7


Camilo Garcia Lopez-Trigo – exdiplomat – camiloglt@outlook.com – twitter@camiloglt

He gave us a talk on US-Cuba relations from the Cuban perspective.

Flashback: Floridita was a fast dinner and slow. It took a while to get the food and then had to eat very quickly so we could make it to the buena vista show. Picked up the tab for Daniel. Everyone wanted to pitch in and I started collecting money but without exact change I couldn’t keep track and I stopped trying, gave back the money and just took care of it. Eventually the taxi came and we got to the show. The Daquiri at floridita was better. I shared the torneados tenderloins ‘papa’ style (hemingway style) with ebru. Good filet mignon and onion soup. The show (flashforward in the past) was good. Great sound and voices. There are two original members left of the original buena vista club. They did a great job. Just wish there was more time for group dancing and more people to dance with that I knew.
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Cuba Day 6

Day 6


Federer won match point against Waiwrinka… I mean the drive to Havana was uneventful. We stopped for lunch as usual. After threatening our own revolution, we won just enough time to dip our feet into the water before getting back on the bus. A long drive but smooth to the Hotel National. Nice room even if it is smoky. For some reason the smoky room is bugging my lungs but not when I tried the cigar. Walt Disney stayed in our room, the sign says so. A walk around town showed basic large city crap: dirty smelly noisy. I started to hold my things closer to my body. Very unlike Cienfuegos. There is a shield wall (or sea wall or something like that name) where apparently prostitutes hang out at night. They are young girls and boys and homosexuals to make some money. Some of them might be people with regular government jobs that need extra money. Continue reading

Cuba Day 5

Day 5


After the symphony we went to our dinner outside similar to what I’ve been having so far. The band asked me (pulled me) to play the drums. I’m not sure if it was because I was at the table next to them and tapping on the table, because I was a tourist, or random. Of course I am nowhere near as good as Pablo. I’m happy at least I kept a rhythm. Pablo, Margo, Ebru and I went up some narrow stairs to see a view from the top of a building. I tried smoking more of the Cuban but it went out again. It’s also starting to fall apart. People make smoking look so easy. We turned in early. This morning was finishing packing to have the bags ready for pickup by 7am then off to breakfast. We walked after to a local store where the people use their ration booklets. Now we are headed to the bag of pigs museum. Continue reading

Cuba Day 4

Day 4


Spent time after dinner putting pictures on the mini to look at. So many bad ones. Took the bus to dinner but we could have walked and some of us did so coming back. I also tried smoking a cigar on the way back. It went out before I finished. I don’t know much about smoking it seems. I also wasn’t coughing for long. The weather is great in the evening. Continue reading

Cuba Day 3

Day 3


Beautiful morning. Of course lots of pictures. The breakfast was international buffet style. Wanted an omelet but it was runny even after asking to cook it longer. The weather is beautiful this morning. We are heading to the gardens. There is some kind of conference going on there.

Good morning Cienfuegos!

No matter where one goes, a good sunrise is a good sunrise.


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Cuba Trip: Days 1 and 2

Prenotes: The majority of my written journal from the Cuba trip was typed word for word. There were some additions based on a few photos that were taken as pictures and prompts when there wasn’t time to write. I will be continuing to work on these entries and cleaning up the posts, predominantly in format and structure. The content is not expected to change… much. I hope anyone that was on this trip will feel free to comment and include their own information/thoughts. 

There were way too many pictures taken, as always. These can be found at: www.flickr.com/santasfallenangel/sets and in the Cuba folder.

As I was finishing my work on this trip and dividing it into entries, I finally got the news about of the opening of relations between the US and Cuba. History has a way of following us into the future.

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