7 days, 7 photos – Day 5

“Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.” Thanks, Sandra, for the challenge 🙂. Today, I’d like to nominate Ritu, of But I Smile Anyway. The other entries: 7 days, 7 photos – Day 1 7 days, 7 photos – Day 2 7 days, 7 photos…

Always Enough Happy to Tell You Something Good, Guaranteed

I can make my famous brown and white sugar pancakes by heart now. I save time. And a great way to avoid leaving out key ingredients – such as baking soda – or doubling key ingredients – such as baking soda. I’ve flipped these classics – this same recipe – for years, probably since the…

Where We’d Take an Alien, in 6 Words

When I was a kid, I wanted to be friends with Elliott. He’s the boy who befriended E.T. in the movie. He just seemed like the kind of kid I would like to hang out with. Looking back, I believe I probably admired his loyalty and courage in all that happened when E.T. came to…

#AtoZChallenge: F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort

Some days, a dude’s gotta eat. You know what I’m saying? You just can’t wait to get home, soak in a hot shower, pull on some Avengers pajama pants and eat. Not just anything. Not a fist full of Saltines or – yuck – kale chips. You need scrumptious, on a day getting your arse…

How This Latino Thing Has Become an American Thing

Sometimes, my Latino shows up in droves. I felt all Brown Power after a weekend spent doing things a Latino guy should know how to do: Extracting a headlight casing from a junkyard Pontiac, and, less than 24 hours later, planting a magnolia tree. Dang, I told a friend. I feel Hispanic. She cringed. You’re not supposed to say…

Time to Take a Stand on this whole Kneel Down Thing

Dear Mr. Kaepernick, First, I’m a little late to this party, I admit. If you could see my inbox, you’d understand. I also could use a haircut. But who am I telling? This letter, though, has little to do with my hair and unanswered emails. It has everything to do with the movement you’ve begun, by…

Guest Post: Olympian Leo Manzano, on The American Dream

Seems like there’s lot of hurdles in these upcoming Summer Games. Only some are on the track. Headlines about doping, violence, killer mosquitoes and more steal the Olympic glare from the attraction we tune in for most: The competitors. To me, the Olympics has always been a treasure chest of stories, just waiting. Today’s guest…

Photo a Day Challenge: June 18 – Pink (Plus a Monday Music Blog Hop)

My kids have developed an aversion to pink. It’s partially because the entire toy section seems to be divided along pink vs. camo lines. My girls bring ferocity, in a pretty way. That’s the best way to describe it. Not hair-bow pretty, but just enough eye makeup, usually painted fingernails pretty. Yet, they come to…

#AtoZChallenge: P is for Pacheco (Plus Random Thoughts on Names)

My name and I made one bettor some green one Super Bowl Sunday. I worked at the Hilton for Super Bowl XLII, between the yet unbeaten New England Patriots and New York Giants in 2008. A boisterous man, upon check-in, clapped his meaty hands together – Gator style, although I don’t know where he matriculated…

#AtoZChallenge: O is for Owning the Night (or at Least the Skillet)

A man can accomplish much in life with basic life gear. Cover him with a ball cap from his beloved baseball team. Anoint him with a distinctive after shave. Place him behind the wheel of an automobile he’ll name, shine, neglect, restore, and trust to transport those he loves and carry him to buy corn…

A Late-Starting Latino Guide to Las Posadas

This, we know: I’m kind of lousy at being Latino. It’s okay. I can order food in a Mexican restaurant (unless the server asks questions.) I can blurt just enough on the soccer pitch to appear coherent. And my fluency doesn’t count in one particular room of the house: The kitchen. I can make my…