Archive for the ‘mi gringa’ Category

The past 2 years, my wife, Tracy, has gotten invitations to various events through blogging. Some I have gone to with her and some I haven’t. The most recent event was the Blogalicious conference this past weekend.

Tracy has always been pretty publicly open about my dislike of these kinds of things.

In the past our fights for and against events were basically like this:

Me: You’re being selfish for wanting to go off on your own.
Her: You’re being selfish for not letting me go off on my own.

I’m starting to accept that maybe we both have a point.

While I didn’t go to the actual Blogalicious conference, I had the opportunity to meet many of Tracy’s “bloguera” friends this past weekend. I could see within minutes that Tracy was part of a group of good people who care for her very much. I’ve never been a fan of male/female friendships, (it’s culturally hard-wired, sorry) – but I really came to admire and like some of Tracy’s friends. I was surprised by how much they know about me even though I know that Tracy blogs about me. Some have read this blog. Some congratulated me on going back to school. Others congratulated me on marrying Tracy, (ya sé que me gané la lotería con ella.) Some extended sympathy for the situation with my mother. Some asked me friendly and interesting questions.

It made me feel good but also it made me realize an area of my life that is missing something. My best friend is in El Salvador and I would consider other men I’ve met through work to be just acquaintances … Now that my mother isn’t part of my life and I have limited family I speak with, I’m understanding more the importance of friendship and having a community of people to understand, support and encourage you. It’s difficult to come to that conclusion since I’m not very social, (online or in real life), and not likely to seek it out.

While I was coming to understand Tracy’s need for these kind of events better, she somehow was also coming to understand things from my perspective. She told me that “finding balance” and “priorities” were major topics of conversation with her blogging friends. These topics are so hot that one of the conference sessions was about the same issue. We had long discussions about everything she had on her mind. Apparently it made her think a lot about these issues in our life together. I can already see some positive changes she’s made. She isn’t checking her phone as much, for one thing.

I don’t know what this means for us on this issue in the future. Maybe I will never like her going to events and maybe she will always love going, but I think balance and understanding are what we’re both working towards.

Image source: Digitalnative


Fútbol + Memories

Posted: June 21, 2011 in El Salvador, memories, mi gringa, personal

It had been almost 20 years since I had seen my country’s fútbol team, La Selecta, play in person. This past Sunday, after being here in the United States all these years, I had the opportunity to see them play against Panama in a Gold Cup quarterfinal match.

Before we even went into the stadium, even in the Metro on the way to the game and the parking lot before it, I felt happy to be surrounded by so many Salvadorans.

The first game was U.S. vs. Jamaica. I sang along to the anthem of my adopted country, the homeland of my wife and my children, The Star Spangled Banner, (well, I tried but I honestly still can’t get all the words right. Do people who speak English as their first language know what “ramparts” are?) I felt proud to see other Salvadorans waving the U.S. flag and happy when the United States won.

For the second game, as I sang along to El Himno Nacional de El Salvador, I had a flood of memories. I thought back to all the games I went to in El Salvador with my friends over the years and though I felt nostalgic for my homeland, I felt happy at the same time.

We lost the game, which was disappointing, but I’m still proud of my country’s efforts, and prouder still to be part of the crowd that was lucky enough to cheer them on.

While we waited for the Metro train to go home, my wife, Tracy, interviewed me – so, I’ll share that with you.

P.S. – Tracy always taught me that if I don’t know a word, look it up. English lesson of the day from

Ramparts – a broad elevation or mound of earth raised as a fortification around a place and usually capped with a stone or earth parapet.

Taco Hell

Posted: June 7, 2011 in food, gringolandia, humor, mi gringa

The other day we grocery shopping too late in the evening and I didn’t want to wait for my wife, Tracy, to cook dinner so I suggested we stop and buy something to take home.

Somehow we ended up at a Taco Bell, (or “Taco hell” as Tracy calls it), even though we haven’t eaten there for years – and with good reason – we don’t really like the food.

I pulled up to the drive-thru and, what sounded like a teenage boy, asked to take my order. I gave my order but he asked me to repeat it twice. It became apparent that he couldn’t understand my accent. Suddenly a female voice came over the speaker and asked for my order. I repeated it, and this woman seemed to understand my accent better so I was able to pull up to the window.

My wife and oldest son had been giggling almost the whole time while I tried to order, and I got kind of irritated.

“Don’t laugh at me, please,” I said, while waiting for them to hand the food to us.
“But why did you say ‘Nachos Bell Grande’ like a white person?” she asked, laughing even harder.

I didn’t realize I had, but I guess I did so the Taco Bell employees would understand me.

“I don’t like when you laugh at me,” I said, trying not to lose my temper after I paid and we were on our way home.

“I’m not laughing at you,” she said, “Don’t you realize how funny this is? You’re a native Spanish speaker from Latin America ordering fake Latin American food from gringos, and you had to mispronounce Spanish so they would understand you!”

I still don’t really understand why it was so funny. Maybe it’s American humor? … And I got sick from the Chicken Baja Gorditas. At least now I remember why I don’t like Taco Bell.

(Image source)

Some may think it’s weird for me to participate in Spanish Friday since Spanish is my native language, but grammar and spelling have never been my thing, so this will be good practice. Here we go.

by Flickr users: Maguis & DavidPor los que no saben el dueño de la tienda latina que siempre visitabamos empezo a darles muchos piropos a mi esposa, hasta que terminamos un poco incomodos. Ahora ya no vamos a esa tienda. La otra semana fuimos a una nueva tienda latina y no van a creer pero la misma cosa paso. Cuando estabamos en la caja por pagar, el cajero vio a mi esposa mirando unos dulces. Con una sonrisa dijo “Tomalo, es gratis para tí. ”

Me puse un poquitito celoso pero la verdad es que estoy aprendiendo a no tomarlo en serio. Es mejor en cierta manera que mi esposa recibe dulces gratis en todas partes porque así no tengo que comprarlos.

English Translation:

For those who don’t know, the store owner of the Latino market we often visited was always flirting with my wife until we came to a point where we felt sort of uncomfortable. Now we do not go to that store. The other week we went to a new Latino market and you will not believe this, but the same thing happened. When we were at the cash register to pay the cashier, he saw my wife looking at some candy. With a smile he said “Take it. For you, it’s free.”

I got a little bit jealous but the truth is that I’m learning not to take it too seriously. It’s better in some ways that my wife gets free candy everywhere we go, because then I don’t have to buy it.

Image source: Maguis & David

The other day I enrolled in my first American college class. The class is a 10 week course starting in September which results in a certificate in Dental Assisting. I still have to do the financial aid paperwork, but so far, I’m at least signed up. It’s not like I always dreamed of being a Dental Assistant and I don’t even know if I will seek a career in dentistry, but the schedule and price seem doable. I actually always wanted to be a doctor, but this is close enough. The important thing I think is to remove self-doubt about whether I can understand and pass a class taught in English.

I feel nervous but excited at the same time. When Tracy went with me to sign up for the class she started laughing. I asked why and she said, “Remember the elf on Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer?” … I had no idea what she was talking about until she showed me this video. I guess I am like Hermie the elf.

Tengo Tu Love

Posted: May 25, 2011 in amor, marriage, memories, mi gringa, music, personal

Thirteen years ago, I met a girl, a gringa, and knew immediately that she was the one for me. Tracy wasn’t so sure, but I was. On our first date we spent the whole day together, doing regular date-like things. (I spent my whole paycheck on her!) – but towards the end of the evening we took a walk around a lake. At some point we stopped and sat together. I took her in my arms and sang to her. The song I sang, became our song. Tracy says she didn’t even understand the words back then, but of course I did – and I knew the song was more than perfect for us.

“Yo te encontrare
No habra sitio en el mundo
Donde te escondan te hallare
Yo te encontrare
Porque eres mi destino
Aunque seas la aguja en el pajar
Yo te encontrare”
-Ricardo Arjona/Te Encontrare

The other day I heard a new song. No song will ever replace “our song” – but I’d like to add this one along with it.

Tengo Tu Love / Sie7e

No tengo un celular con diamantes
De muchos kilates pa’ impresionar,
Pero tengo una buena conversación,
Con la que te enamoro más y más!
No tengo un Jet Privado
Que compré con una Black Card
Pero tengo una guagua vieja
Con la que siempre vamos a pasear.

No tengo ropa de Versace,
Ni musculatura dura para enseñar,
Pero tengo un par de brazos desnudos
Que muy fuerte te van abrazar.

No soy como Mariah Carey
Con un jacuzzi lleno de agua Evian,
Pero tengo una chozita en la playa
Pa’ que te bañes con aguita de mar.

Ricky tiene cara linda,
Enrique Iglesias los millones
Aventura las mansiones

Yo tengo tu amor,
I got your love,
Yo tengo tu amor
Yo tengo tu love (x2)

El tiempo vale más que un Rolex
El amor más que un table dance.
El amigo más que un peso en el bolsillo
Como el que tú acabas de gastar.

Hablar vale más que un iPhone
Y más cuando alguien te quiere escuchar.
Saber vale más que el diploma
Como el que tú acabas de enmarcar.

El compromiso vale más que el anillo
No hay palabra si no hay corazón
El silencio vale más que un grito
Cuando el grito no es por amor.

Tu mirada vale más que el oro
Enseñarte vale más que un tabú
Y aunque pueda tenerlo todo, todo,
Nunca hay nada si me faltas tú

Chayanne baila bien bonito,
Fonsi canta afinaito
Juanes los grammys latinos

Yo tengo tu amor,
I got your love,
I got tu amor!
Yo tengo tu love! (x2)

No estoy entre los más bellos
De People en Español
Pero tu mirada me dice
Que soy el Brad Pitt de tu corazón, jaa!

Lady Gaga gana en Twitter
Y también en el facebook,
Justin Bieber en YouTube


Yo tengo tu amor,
I got your love,
I got tu amor
Yo tengo tu love (x4)

I decided to participate in a meme where you post your cell phone photos on Tuesdays because it will be an easy way to practice taking pictures and sharing them. Here we go.

We went walking this weekend on this old railroad bridge over the Potomac River.

Of course we had to do our weekly shopping. We shop at Wally World because as Tracy says, “We’re poor.” Here are some nice patriotic shirts.


Like me, they were made in El Salvador.

We also stopped at a car dealership because a car caught my eye driving by.

While Tracy was off looking at a Camaro, I was looking at this one. My mother peeked in the window of the car and complained that it only seats two.