No Sex in the Champagne Room

Wait a second, is it March already? Where the bullocks did this year go? Anyway, so I´m on the hunt for a new place now and I´m quite excited about this. Let´s put it this way, there are many plans ahead and the rest of this year is going to be bloody awesome. Well, except for the fact that Ukraine is in a terrible political turmoil, Venezuela is experiencing an awful social revolution, the Mexican government intends to pass a law that will allow the authorities to block telecommunications in case of national security issues (aye, just like Egypt, Iran, or Syria), and somebody vomited on Lady Gaga for … let´s put it this way: art.

They say it looked a lot like this…

So, one quarter of the year gone already? And what have we learnt so far?

1.- Street food is an awesome sin

This is one my favourite “sports” since I moved to Mexico City, street food here is freaking glorious and without hesitation the best meals I ever had here were on the run.

From pambazos, to “tacos de canasta”, pork crackling quesadillas, or just corn in a cup (no girls); this city is the bomb when it comes to urban/informal gastronomy.

 

2.- It´s ok to protect human rights in other countries except yours

I´m talking to you “Murica”, don´t think we haven´t noticed the amount of people lined up for execution in your penitentiary centres. That´s right, there are several inmates that are there waiting for their lives to be “Terminated” by the American government without a proper trial. If you want to find out more, go to the Death Penalty Information Centre website, and see “who´s next”.

3.- Christmas decorations are fine on February but not March

I´m not going to go deeper on this subject, you know who you are, and no, it is not “ok” to leave them all the way until August and then say “well, Christmas is just around the corner, why bother”. Get those bloody cardboard boxes and put those obnoxious holiday annoyances away!

Neither saying “happy new year” after the second week of January.

4.- No matter what the stripper says, there´s no sex in the champagne room. 

Amazingly explained by Chris Rock on this great 90s hit:

Ps. Remember mates, learn the difference between positivism and optimism, they are not the same, and no, reading Paulo Coehlo isn´t cool either.

Ps2. Speaking of optimism, tend to hang out with happy and optimist fellas, learn from their ability to see the good things in life. Usually these people are empathetic, caring, good listeners and they share their happiness with those around them.

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The Personality of Your Face

I was having a  not so bitter conversation with my boss on our way to the office the other day, I stated that people´s personality could be predicted by their facial features. To this, she abruptly disagreed, and asked me for scientific prove to defend my point, I was tired and not really willing to take part on this discussion, so I promised myself I´ll clear this foggy theory with the appropriate (and convenient for me) amount of evidence.

This chart explains it all… well, not really, I just have a crush on both of them. (and Amy Adams, but that´s for another post)

According to the “Leading Personality” WordPress blog, the art or science behind facial reading is explained by physiognomy, really, it isn´t a term made up by me, look it up, don´t be a lazy chap. But wait a second, one thing is to read people´s faces and to imply how they will react to you or the environment, and another is to suggest that people with certain face features will be more oriented to some kind of political views, spiritual beliefs or just good or evil.

Well, go figure

First of all we need to identify the aspects that will help us to understand faces and personalities: one, the physical characteristics of your face (face shape, lips, eyebrows, nose, chin, etc); and the way that person reacts to certain situations, by this I mean how much this person expresses emotions through his face.

Pretty much

The main question is: can we tell the personality of somebody just by looking at his face? I reckon this is possible, and there are plenty of studies that state that according to your facial characteristics you are more probable to react in a specific way to some external stimulus (ha… stimulus)

Apparently, the way you look tells us a lot more about you than you think. Somehow certain facial characteristics, shared among certain groups, define the way they interact among themselves as well as their personalities. For example, if you have a round face you are more likely to be sensitive and caring (however, with strong sexual fantasies); what about the people with oblong faces? According to the Leading Personality blog, they are more likely to weighed along narcissism and problematic relationships; but be aware of those with a square face, although intelligent and decisive mind, they tend to be aggressive and of dominant nature.

I have another theory of my own, that the more we look like a certain historical or popular figure, we create an intangible and unconscious bond with how these individuals behaved/behave. So, if you look like Danny DeVito you might reflect some traces of his personality on the way you interact with others. But hey, that´s just me and this is totally bias; but, don´t be surprise if you have an aquiline nose shape and you have a strong commanding power, determination and pride.

Just remember he is famous and… well, you aren´t

They also mention something about hair type, but I´m bald, so you go and look it up yourself.

Ps. Find bellow this great ad aired by Telecom NZ almost three years ago, when XT technology didn´t work as promised, Paul Reynolds apologized in this 1 minute ad. In my opinion, the fact that this company faced the issue and apologized to its clients publicly and with great sense of humour must be followed by other transnationals around the world.

One Week Smartphone Free

You will be missed….

So, it finally happened, I lost my smartphone, it was a beautiful Galaxy SIII, black, smooth, great definition, sharp texture, nice form, amazing. Now all this is gone, it ran away from my masculine Mexican hands yesterday in the afternoon. I rang myself, no answer, after twenty minutes somebody has turned it off, or maybe it turned off by itself, not wanting to hear from me anymore.

Or maybe it couldn´t stand all those “Artsy” selfies

My mobile decided to leave me, maybe it was a lot going on among us, it decided that there were many things he didn´t want to know about me nor my mates´lives.

Was it my lame taste in music, perhaps? My tacky memes that my mates were sending me and I was forwarding to other mates? The way I prostituted my life by posting pointless and ridicules updates on Facebook or uninteresting tweets on Twitter? I will never know. 

In the meantime I´ll carry this…

 

 

It just abandoned me, we never got the chance to talk about our differences, or how it felt about me throwing it harshly to the nearest couch when arriving home. We never had a reconfiguration of its OS, or a decent update for the latest version Samsung was freaking asking all the time for me to do, or some added value applications uploaded to it.

It was great while it lasted, we went places and shared our greatest moments together with my mates; well, now that I think about it, I never paired it with another similar device for the exchange of suggestive files or juicy documents, that might have been one of the reasons it left.

I´m not crying (click on the pic for the video)

“Smartphones are like people, they hang out with you for a while, learn what´s interesting about you, share some valuable information upon request, but one day, they just leave you without notice, taking all your private information and great memories. I guess they just want to see other people, and never call you back.” – Leviticus 12, 31-35

Ps. Oh, the title of this post, due to my current circumstances I´ve decided to take one week off from this amazing technology.

Ps2. Tech withdrawal is a bitch!

Veganism for Carnivores

I know, most people who´ve met me are fully aware of all my nasty jokes and remarks against vegetarians and their eating habits, but until we find a cure for that we shall respect and tolerate their munching disorders. What you might not know is that I love veggies and I became a vegetarian myself a long time ago for a wee period of time, when I was in Europe (damn you, Europe!).

This happened to me mainly for economic reasons, a Mexican in France finds it really hard to afford a good steak or even chicken (sacre bleu), so I turned my cravings to couscous, potatoes, pasta, lentils, beans, veggies in general and cheese. During this phase, I didn´t only learn to put more veggies or only veggies into my diet, I also got to improve my cooking skills as I wasn´t relying much on meat to enhance the flavour of my dishes (I´m sorry, bacon, but it happened, ps, I love you).

Later in life I lived in New Zealand with a vegetarian for almost three years, so whenever I was cooking for the flatmates I had to consider a vegetarian version of my dish for her. At the beginning this was sort of new, but not obnoxious at all, as she liked my food and really appreciated our effort to treat her veganishly well.

Did you see how yummy that broccoli looks? Nah? I didn´t either.

If you are a hard-core carnivore, who believes that salad and veggies just look cool as decorations on the side of a T-Bone or thick Sirloin (medium rare, please, never order a good steak “well done”), well let me tell you that you are totally missing out.

Nothing compares to munching from a good tray of grilled veggies (courchetes, pre boiled kumaras and potatoes, red onions and red peppers, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, in the oven at 200° for 45 minutes, done), or a refreshing couscous/chickpeas/fresh-coriander and lime juice salad, or a beautifully fluffy quiche (seriously, have you tried my red pepper quiche? Go ahead).

So next time you are assuming that a vegan diet lacks nutrients, proteins or flavour, well, don´t be such a “Murican” and give it a try, you won´t regret it.

Ps. And you vegans, don´t be such smart arses about your veganism thingy going on, we get it, you don´t eat meat, you don´t have to rub it on our faces every time we take you out for lunch.

Ps 2. … until we find a cure…

Pulpo Sarandeado

You do remember I come from the Gulf of Mexico, right? A beautiful place in this amazing country full with great people and amazing seafood, that’s Tampico my mates. It was here where I learnt how to cook most of my seafood recipes. The following recipe is quite simple, so don’t be shy, get your supermarket list and get ready for a weekend feast.

Pulpo Sarandeado or Well Grilled Octopus

Ingredients

  • 1 good size octopus (an octopus of a good size will weight 1kg) 
  • Bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Half a red onion
  • Fresh coriander
  • 3 litres of water
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 50 grs of butter
  • 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

How to cook this freaking invertebrate, mate:

Put the water to boil, add the bay leaves and 1 garlic clove, then, grab the octopus (a clean one, ask the fisherman to clean it for you, no ink though), and put in the boiling water. Leave it there for a good 1.5 hour or until it is “al dente”.

When it is ready, put aside, and dry it with a paper towel. Then, in a large frying pan add the butter, oil, red onion, chopped garlic clove, and stir the ingredients until they look just right. With the stove on high flame, add the octopus, and effing yeah! Stir it around the hot pan; you want that soft meat to get a good brown crisp, at least on the tentacles. The butter and the olive oil go fantastic with this recipe; the butter will give the meat a nice and golden finish by the way. Alright, so you got that sweet meat crispy and soft at the same time? It is time to add the chickpeas, diced tomatoes and the fresh coriander. Stir for a while until the ingredients are well cooked. Now plate  that wee bastard and enjoy!

Some guacamole on the side doesn´t sound at all...

Some guacamole on the side doesn´t sound bad at all…

Pulpo Sarandeado goes great with a good white wine, I recommend a Pinot Gris from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. But hey, that’s me.

Ps1. Want more cool recipes? Well, look at this link and let me know what would you like me to post in terms of food http://instagram.com/notluisperez

Ps2. I know, we are all waiting for the United States´strike on Syria, I have my reasons to believe that they´ve delayed the attack due more to the fact that they haven´t found the country on the map rather than the opposition of Russia. But hey, that´s just me underestimating “Murica´s” public education system.

Aye, right there…

Human Rights and Tolerance

We recently were invited to visit the Museum of Memory and Tolerance located in Mexico City. I’ve passed by this museum several times during my long (very long) walks in the city, and never had the time to make the queue (sometimes, on Sundays, the line will go all the way out to the street). Thanks to my job, my colleagues and I got the chance to a fast-track visit.

At first we had a brief on how human rights are in the world today. The situation isn’t really promising regardless of its improvements. Human trafficking, children mortality, immigration, refugees, discrimination, political persecution, violence against women, are still showing signs of “there’s still a lot to do”.

As a human rights enthusiast and an international relations “connoisseur” I found this talk quite enlightening.

Right after, a tour guide, (who did an amazing job, by the  way), showed us around the museum, which is divided in two main sections: Memory and Tolerance. When we stepped in the first section it was very clear where this was going, to show us the darkest hours in recent human history. It did centered on the extermination of minorities during WWII, specifically on the genocide against the Jew community. I assume this is because the event is one of the most documented in modern history and this community has the financial means to dig into history and find out what happened to their relatives during this tragedy.

The tour guide took us to the Hutus and Tutsis genocide in the early 90’s, the Vietnamese regime that killed thousands and the civil war in Guatemala which murdered over 100,000 people. She explained the situation of the Kurds, a nation that lives in four different countries. It is very shocking indeed, not for the fainted heart, nor the naive the mind, for some it is hard to understand that these things happened, and are still happening.

I’d like to thank the Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia, not for showing us around, but to defend so fiercely what they do, and the message that they send to our community just by its own existence in the centre of the city. A message of tolerance, respect and that these atrocities must be fought every day. Not because they “happened” doesn’t mean they aren’t happening anymore.

IMG_20130706_091443[1]

Ps. If you want to find out more information about the museum, follow them on Twitter: @MuseoMyT, and its website, http://www.myt.org.mx/

Ps2. When was the last time you walked barefoot on the streets? Mine was last Friday, on a rainy night.

Ps3. Wait, I have twitter too! @notluisperez, go there for a wee laugh.

Dessine-moi un Mouton

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Today is the 70th Anniversary of “Le Petit Prince”, my favourite book ever.

No, not that one...

No, not that one…

Why do I love this book? Simple, it reminds me that we must keep our imagination alive, that becoming an adult doesn´t mean that our dreams die with this new stage of life, and that we need to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer.

This book was written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) in 1943. The author, Antoine, was a French aristocrat, poet and aviator. It was voted the best French book of the 20th century.

Le Petit Prince is also, well, can be sense as a tale of loneliness, love, friendship, adventure and kindness. It revolves on the stories and sayings of a young prince fallen to earth. The Little Prince criticizes Saint-Exupéry for his lack of disposition to enjoy life, his lack of effort to imagine beyond what he knows and believe what he hasn´t seen with his own eyes.

The book has amazing quotes, these are some of my favourites:

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

“It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

Everywhere I´ve traveled I´ve taken my copy of Le Petit Prince, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in French, sometimes in English. It joins me in my adventures, so I never forget that I´m here to live life, to risk, to imagine, and live by the premise:  “No one is ever satisfied where he is”.

dzn_Le-Petit-Prince-Nursery-School-by-Carlos-Barba-211

The Little Prince is part of our cultural heritage, you must read it and read it again. It is never the same, it changes with you, it grows up, and makes you put things into perspective. We are here to question our lack of creativeness and selfishness. Le Petit Prince will live in our hearts forever, because deep inside we all want someone to draw us a wee sheep.

Ps1. You can read the original version of this masterpiece in the following link: Le Petit Prince 

Bed, Bath and… Iceland

Iceland, what do you know about Iceland? I’ve been curious about this country ever since I went to Europe on 2004 for the first time.

Where elves, gnomes and faires live

Located far up north of the Atlantic Ocean, the land of Bjork, hákarl (cured shark), geothermal energy, imprisoned bankers and conscious society is really something else. It is in my top 5 countries to visit in the next two years. Funny as it might sound, Iceland was mentioned, most of the time, while I was living in New Zealand by some of my friends in the American continent. They thought I was living there and not in Middle Earth.

Iceland is a Nordic European island country, it only has 320,000 inhabitants in 103,000 square kilometres and its capital is Reykjavík. They Speak Icelandic, which is descended from Old Norse, that’ll be fun to learn. But, what do these people eat?

Wait until you read what this is…

They eat a lot of cured meat, mostly lamb and fish, uh, including black pudding (awesome). Two dishes seem pretty interesting, the cured shark or hákarl and the Þorramatur (which consists of meat and fish cured in a traditional manner). Oh, bare in mind that the cured shark is … actually fermented shark that is left to dry for 5 months!

The other reason I’d like to go to Iceland is to see the Northern Lights. Even though I don’t seem enthusiastic about this natural beauty, I do want to witness this before I die.

What are you waiting for?

Have you ever travelled there? Is it awesome as they say? Is it true that they have the coolest mayor in the world, Jon Gnarr?

Ps. Please, please, read this article regarding Iceland’s on going revolution against their bankers and the international financial system: “Other Countries Bailout Bankers, Iceland Jails Them” by Hiram Crespo

Ps2. One of the safest, friendliest and most awesome places in the world is worth visiting. So, what are you waiting for?

 

2013 Resolutions … or Whatever

I know, it’s a cliché to write a list of those things you want to accomplish as soon as we start a new year. A friend of mine just reminded me of this “tradition” yesterday, and I thought to my self “myself, let’s do this year’s resolutions”.

So, here I go:

  1. Start and finish this 2013 resolutions list. 
  2. Get a new and better job in my area of expertise.
  3. Finish and publish a book.
  4. Become debt free by the end of the year.
  5. Take cooking lessons.
  6. Weight 77 kg (These were intense holidays, kidding you not)
  7. Live in a new city.
  8. Have everything ready to go back to Middle Earth by the end of the year.
  9. Learn to play the guitar (buying a guitar, by the way)
  10. Get braces
  11. Buy a house and settle down… mmm on a second thought, let’s leave that for the next year.

Pretty  much, let’s see how it goes, I’ll try to keep you posted. And I promise that I will post the recipe for tamales and pozole in my next entry.

Happy 2013, stay cool and remember: nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Ps. WTF is Geordie Shore?? Are you bloody kidding me?

Ps2. Did you know that Australia has the largest population of wild camels in the world?

The Facebook Paradox

I woke up to some disturbing news in the local paper this morning. Apparently, a teenager was expelled from school because of something she posted on facebook. “What did that bitch do to you?’ she asked to her friend, allegedly referring to one of the school teachers. The dean saw this on the student’s account and let the director and school teacher know about it. She was expelled without a warning, nor suspension and without following the norms and policies from the Public Education System.

https://i1.wp.com/www.socialmediaseo.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/girl-elbows-removed-facebook.jpg

That’s exactly what I thought!

When the director was approached by the media, the student’s mum and the municipality’s Human Rights and Education Office, she refused to re-admit the student regardless of the copious amount of documents and legal instructions presented by the ‘defendants’.

I found this really disturbing as it made me wonder if other individuals might react the same way as the school director did. In case you or I posted something personal on facebook or other social media account, with a general meaning, not illegal but somehow teasing the potential audience, would it have consequences in the real world? You know, like that girl who posted a picture of herself in a bathtub and facebook thought her elbows were the nipples of her disturbingly massive breasts.

Or if I post “Israel has the right to invade Palestine!” and maybe my job opportunities in a Human Rights Office will vanish if the director disagrees with this opinion (and I mean, who wouldn’t disagree? ).

Source: Any comparison from a 1946 history book and today's CNN reports

Source: Any comparison from a 1946 history book and today’s CNN reports

As far as I’m not downloading or distributing child pornography, reselling weapons or drugs, organizing Justin Bieber concerts, or posting pictures of videos of cute cats doing cute stuff (really? Why do we keep worshipping this phenomenon on the internet?) I think we shall be given the benefit of the doubt by our co-workers, employers and colleagues.

The question is: Do my different professional and social circles (I’m not referring to Google+, nobody goes there) have the right to apply sanctions that will deteriorate my quality of life because of something I posted on facebook or any other social media site?

Ps1. Let Palestine become a sovereign state!

Ps2. Here’s the link to a video of two cute cats doing cute stuff.

Ps3. Remember, this happened in a school in Mexico, but we are all humans and this behaviour can be found in any society to a certain extent.