Saturday, November 29, 2014

The still immortal Chespirito: Roberto Gómez Bolaños dies at 85

Comedic genius? Absolutely. Perhaps, second only to the legendary Cantinflas. A renaissance man? You judge: Roberto Gómez Bolaños was quite an accomplished screenwriter, actor, comedian, film director, television director, playwright, songwriter, and author. Nicknamed "Chespirito" an easier-to-pronounce modification of "Shakespearesito" (Little Shakespeare), Bolaños, for me, achieved the seemingly impossible task of eternal youth on screen. When so many actors resort to botox and other "physical modifications," Chespirito was all about the delivery. He remained convincingly young and energetic in many of the roles he played: Chapulín Colorado (a sheepish superhero), el Chavo del Ocho (a little orphan boy who lived in a barrel), Chompilas (an incompetent but endearing petty burglar). His mannerisms and physical comedy made you forget there was a grown man behind the characters he played even though he did little to conceal the growing wrinkles, laugh lines and facial creases. In this regard, he was and will always be like no other. In this regard, he, his work and his legacy will remain immortal. "¡Síganme los buenos!" - one of his many, many catchphrases: "Good people, follow me!" Even though this report is in Spanish, you can still get a glimpse of Chespirito's brilliance in his physical comedy:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Exhilarated in Ecuador: The Photos

These photos somewhat correspond with my travel piece about our recent vacation to Ecuador, published in The Washington Post, titled, "Exhilarated in Ecuador, with time on his side" on Nov. 23. It's an article about how cathartic and liberating travel can be when you stop vacationing in a rush and slow down to take it all in. In my case, it even made me a better parent. Enjoy.

Weekly Music Recommendation: King Krule

Someone’s finally done it or at least no one's done it so convincingly: this self-appointed Brit monarch mixes elements of jazz and punk (and hip-hop and electronica) with a stiff-upper lip sneer. Anarchy in the U.K., indeed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Haochi Waves release "Peggy"

Miami art rockers Haochi Waves released their second album "Peggy." It's available now. In full disclosure, my brother Juan Oña is the drummer and his wife and my sister-in-law Farina Mackliff is the bassist, along with their friend Didi Aragon on guitar. So I really can't praise it or slam it. Listen at your own peril, but know if you download the album, you're supporting hard-working musicians trying to make a few bucks to support their passion. Here's a youtube clip of the title track:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Music Recommendation: Leonard Cohen

What God’s voice would sound like IF he were a man… A cavernous baritone able to rattle mineral deposits off stalactites and stalagmites. At 80, he’s never sounded better on his new album “Popular Problems.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekly Music Recommendation: Benjamin Booker

Though his blend of hyperkinetic blues and soul is more Sex Pistols than “Blind” Willie Johnson, he’s equally indebted to both. Based in New Orleans, Booker’s hurry-up guitar offense is giving a city already known for its rich musical heritage something else to call its own.

Back after a four-year blogging hiatus

After a few years off to get this "parenting thing" under control, and although I'm not entirely sure I'll ever really have it nailed down, I figured Aylin, 4, and Emilio, 2, are predictable enough now that I can now take on this extracurricular activity with my wife Deniz not being too mad at me. That said, here are the little culprits and two pretty damn good (and cute) reasons to put your life on hold:
I did manage to publish an article about trying to raise Aylin to be be trilingual, which brings me to another point. I'm expanding the focus of this blog to also cover travel and being a parent.