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Archive for the ‘Memoirs’ Category

Panamanians and Club Vanity

I used to go out with a girl who, even though she looked like those poster girls who are all looks and no brains, is a real gem to be with. My time with her showed me, though, that Panama’s clubbing culture is as shallow as Lorenzo Lamas. This girl is beautiful, the sort of […]

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2000 to 2010: A Decade of Creativity, Debauchery and Self-Discovery

Over the past few weeks I have found myself in a rather introspective mood; the bloody remains of 2009 already becoming the birthplace of one “twenty ten,” I felt nostalgia’s hand slap me from both palm and back… both a year’s and decade’s end. As it is with every end of every journey, most of us look back at the road traveled with the hope of feeling like it was worth trekking despite its ups and downs and this year it was no different. In fact, for me it held double importance as the last year of this decade was, in many forms, a trial by fire for me. Once I had come to terms to that I unexpectedly went back to how things were ten years prior exercising my Eagle Eye and, lo and behold, the changes from how things were to how things are now are absolutely drastic.

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A Life on Mars is my Gateway to Catharsis

To put it in lamest terms, lately I’ve found myself with an acute lack of inspiration to write anything worth reading. Looking back at it, I could attribute this resignation with being tired from taking care of Porto and all the wonderful things he does, or recent work troubles, or somewhat personal issues; maybe it’s all of the above. Of course, since it’s in my nature as a writer to be an observer of human behavior, I find myself more interested in how other people’s actions (or lack thereof) affect me. If you’re looking for an informative piece on Panama or Panamanians and how they operate, I guess you’ll find something worth taking with you in this piece. If you want to read the musings of a jaded columnist with some snark and hilariously bitter social commentary, you’ll get a kick out of this joint. If you’re looking for news, get the fuck out of my porch.

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The Power of the Vote

The concept of voting for governments started out being all-powerful and integral to a healthy society. There’s an inherent trust in the people, granted by themselves, to know what’s best for them. It’s very meta, and perfect since there really is no omnipotent sheep herder to tell us what to do; most of the world has grown enough to make such pivotal decisions on their own. It seems to me that throughout the decades, centuries even, leaving us to our own devices in a social system that encourages self-growth without a ceiling, policed by ourselves, has made this fairly-simple system a convulsed affair.

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Panamanians and the Public Transportation System

I was driving down towards my home one fateful Saturday night when I unexpectedly got into a car crash. Luckily no one got hurt and all damages were cosmetic, but the crash triggered a series of events that ultimately left me without a car for a number of weeks, having to rely on the Panamanian public transport system to take me places. Considering I left cabs and buses when I started driving about half a decade ago, this new status quo had some degree of culture shock packed within it. What follows is a reprise of the trials and tribulations of getting around in Panama City when you’re on nothing more than your own two feet with chump change to get you in the occasional bus or a cab, and the pros/cons of the current system. The funky colors and highly inaccurate likenesses painted on their emergency doors are about all that’s attractive about them, and cabs can come in all shapes, sizes, creeds and levels of danger. To say I will enjoy the catharsis this piece will bring is a gross understatement.

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And Now, a Gut-Wrenching Juan Carlos Navarro Advertisement for Panama’s PRD Primary

This is the set-up: a man that’s known both online and off as Rob Rivera is lying down in bed thinking about the things people like Rob Rivera think about when they’re lying in bed (answer: chocolate) perusing the TV channels of his basic cable service. Mind you, my TV set has been busted for months.

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Ismael Ortiz and the Beijing Olympics

Ismael, or “The Ish” as he’s commonly known as in Drury University, made the minimum qualifying time of 23.00 seconds in Men’s 50m Freestyle at the Coppa Italia celebrated on mid-July in Chile. The minimum qualifying time requested by the International Swimming Federation FINA (Federación Internacional de Natación) is of 23:13 seconds as B Mark, so he should be well and clear to represent Panama in the 50m Freestyle competition in Beijing. So, what’s the problem? The Panamanian Olympic Comittee is being a silly bitch, that’s what.

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Pepina y Torton

There’s been a sort of resurgence as of late of one of the most beloved acts from the 80’s that I would like to comment on. Pepina and Tortón, for any person who was born in the mid-70’s to 80’s, will instantly bring up feelings of nostalgia and warm remembrance of simpler times, times when all we had to worry about was to get good grades in school, eat our vegetables and make sure our sock colors matched when we put them on.

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Señor Loop – MCMLXXXII

Their first record in over four years, Panama-based alternative rock band Señor Loop returns with a rock-solid album full of emotion, force and resolution wrapped in an onslaught of sonic resolve: “MCMLXXXII” is the name of said album, and to listen to is is to walk down a landscape of Panamanian history’s past, present and future, woven together with sounds that entice and hypnotize. “MCMLXXXII” is, on almost every level, an evolutionary progression from the band’s previous album, “Madretambor.”

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Lucha Xtrema Nacional (LXN)

Like a folded chair to the face, sometimes things blindside us and knock us off our shoes when we least expect it. Many of us enjoy the thrill of a pleasant surprise, but in this day and age of the Internet where we can know everything everybody is doing every second of the day, spoil […]

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Rock Cafe and the Tacos of Calle Uruguay

Oftentimes I find myself in the unenviable position that forces me to make a choice in regards to post-drinking eatables, and since I’m not one to be rolling in excess the options before me can be somewhat limiting at, say, 2AM. I recently found myself in that particular crossroads: I was at one of my […]

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Street Fighter: The Movie

Neither I nor the world was ready for what was unleashed upon the earth on December 23rd, 1994. An avid fan of games as you can probably tell, a young lad named Robert was psyched when one of his favorite games at the time was getting a movie adaptation. As it was, I was an […]

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Panama, El Dorado and the Dorado Drivethru Market

The Dorado Shopping Mall (known in Spanish at Supercentro El Dorado) was the first of its kind in the country when it first opened in the late 70’s. From what my elders have told me, the whole Dorado district was a first for the country; constructed around the first avenue that would connect the entire […]

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“Trunks,” the Leftover Kid

It was Sunday night, and we were lounging about after a boxload of pizza and oversized drinks. We were waiting for 10:30 to come since that would be the moment we could walk into the dark movie theater and check out the latest exploits of detective John McClane in “Live Free or Die Hard.” The […]

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Extreme Planet

Extreme Planet helped me appreciate movies and grow up as a cinema fan, but like everything you grow out of there comes a moment where you are forced to move on, because as much as you’ve matured and demand a better movie-going experience, this place has stayed true to its beginnings established when I first […]

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