Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Memory

Friday, December 31, 2010 2
I ran across these pictures as I was clearing up hard drive space on the iMac.  As we're about to ring in 2011, here's a New Year's Eve moment some of you Virginia Beach friends might remember.

I'm thinking I was in the 8th or 9th grade when we had a New Year's Eve party at my folks' house in Salem Village.  Breakdancing was in full effect.  I was a member of the Fil-Am Rockers breakdancing group.  We were a very credible group that had bookings for performances and everything.  I remember performing at some of the hotels on the boardwalk, a couple of festivals and even doing a gig for a Senator.  Hey, he was a  State Senator but who's counting?  Most of the members were at the house that night..the night IT happened.  IT was Billy Cassity's incredible headspin:

Bill Shree executed the most awesome headspin ever on that memorable night.  I forget how many revolutions he made or how long he was in the air.  It must've been at least a half hour - in Inception time.  We were in shock as it happened and erupted in giddy screams of joy, laughter and congratulations after it happened.  It was as if we were watching Michelangelo laying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Thank you for that headspin Bill Shree - a humble Spaniard who delivered the morning newspaper to earn his wages (yes, a paper route) and drove an old monster Cadillac to school everyday that brazenly occupied three parking spots.  Bill would always live on in breakdancing lore because of his New Year's Eve accomplishment.

On the left is Ant Brown covering his eyes in disbelief.  Yes, it was comparable to looking directly at the sun.  That's Jaried Frogosa at the top left sporting the big 80's hair and the cutoff shirt to allow the ladies to see his guns.  You can't see it but I'm sure Jaried has a hairbrush in his rear pants pocket.  I'm on the right with my Ocean Pacific shirt, baggy pants and rad mullet.  Although my hairstyle says business in the front and party in the back, on that special evening, the hair balance of power was definitely on the party side.  There I am, arms extended and ready to sacrifice my body to protect one of my Dad's prized possessions - his big Sony stereo speakers.  I was prepared to get kicked in the head if it meant that Bill Shree's legs wouldn't come crashing down on Dad's speakers.  You would think that while wearing those parachute pants, Bill's legs would have a more controlled dismount, especially with the side zippers open to facilitate the aerodynamic characteristics of the pockets, helping to capture more air and control the deceleration velocity during the endgame of the headspin.  No such luck.

These two pictures belong in a time capsule.  Parachute pants, Members Only jacket, headspinning, hairstyles, fashion and teenage drama.  I wish the quality of the picture was better but what do you expect from a Kodak Disc camera.  Remember those beauties?  The photo even has my brother Beanie on the left with his Bruce Lee Kung Fu gear posing with his revenge fist.  Beanie has since changed his preference for martial arts.  He's very much into his Jujitsu now.  The teenage drama part - well, the girl up front is Jenny Chapman, one of my ex-girlfriends who started dating my good friend Ruben Soliman after we broke up.  Ruben is the guy sitting behind Jenny.  I should point out that Ruben's hair is both feathered and layered.  I didn't bat an eyelash at him dating my ex.  I just don't do grudges.  Still don't.  But now that I look back with more mature eyes, it might not have been the most comfortable evening for Jenny.  Maybe her expression in the picture says it all.  Ah, to be young again.

I just noticed my Mom's Lladro porcelain flowers on the lower left corner of the picture.  If Bill Shree had come crashing down on her Lladro, I would've been paying that off instead of saving up for my next Sergio Valente shirt.

I'm not sure what headspinning moment tonight's New Year's Eve party will bring.  But like many years ago, hanging out with good friends is always a good start.  That and making sure you don't break anything, from a headspin dismount or any other party action.  

Time to get ready for tonight's party.  Here's to 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1
We just got slapped in the face with the Christmas magic.  There was plenty of laughing and too much eating at the Cruz household this past Christmas as Carol and I were blessed to have my brothers and my sister bring their talents to Memphis this year for the holidays.  It was an awesome time that passed way too quickly.

Jake is a firm believer in Mr. C. but the pre-teens, CJ and Jena have their doubts.  They were overheard discussing the finer points of Santa Claus' supposed existence well into Christmas eve.  At any rate, they sure did rip through the wrapping paper Christmas morning like they were true believers of jolly old Saint Nick.  

Jena is sporting her Christmas gifts from the Bass Pro Shop.  A big fishing fan, she's a girl after my own heart.  Even in the cold weather, she wanted to get out and do some fishing here in Tennessee.  She's not afraid of worms or the other slimy stuff that confounds other little princesses.  Her purse is still not a purse.  She refers to it as "that thing that holds many items."

Always a popular gift - CHC.  Cold hard cash.


I surprised Carol with a Swarovski crystal piece of four birds on a perch.  When we were living in Miami, these wild parrots would come hang out in our backyard and make all sorts of cool noises.  We have a small collection of Swarovski crystals as keepsakes from the various places the Navy has brought us.

Although Memphis didn't have to cancel any football games because of inclement weather, we did get a light dusting of snow on Christmas day.  Here we are reveling in our pseudo White Christmas, flip flops and all. 

My sister Darby drove up from Houston, Texas.  We're all smiles even though both of our football teams - the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins blew leads and are knocked out of the playoffs.  Beanie and Lee's team, the Dallas Cowboys, didn't fare any better.  Not a good football weekend for us but a very good family weekend.  

Here's Carol checking out one of her favorite Christmas presents - the Dyson Animal vacuum.  Oh yeah, I'm romantic like that.  I'm thinking Carol's got a future as a Price is Right girl.

I was amazed and disgusted at the same time after seeing what a couple of sweeps of this vacuum picked up.  We were lying around in that?

Flannigan and Serena got along better as time passed but not to the point where we could let them hang out freely at the same time.  It was like keeping the prison yard bullies away from each other.  Bummer cause I know Flannigan had plans to hump many of our family guests.  

Anytime the Cruz's get together, we plan on adding a few LBs.  Alan grilled a turkey, Darb cooked Mom's famous pineapple ham, Beanie roasted two lechons and of course Carol made some nice desserts including her carrot cake and dump cake.  Plenty more too.  As we say in post all-you-can-eat-buffet debriefings, "we hit it... and we hit it hard."  Pictured here is Darby's ropa vieja and empenadas.  So dang good.  And fat free too.  Darb has definitely expanded her cooking prowess during her time in the Lone Star state.

Jena picking at the pork lechon like the Dad picking at the turkey from "A Christmas Story."

There's nothing like eating, laughing and just enjoying the company of loved ones.  I know family can be difficult at times, especially during the holidays, but I'm blessed to have low maintenance, fun loving family members.  We were bummed as everyone had to head back home.  Jake exemplified our collective mood as he put out the big fat sad lip on the day that his cousins had to depart.  Heck, I'll take the big fat sad lip any day if it means getting to hang with my bros and my sis - even if just for a little bit.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Video

Sunday, December 19, 2010 0
Check out the video CJ made.  Bring back the big hair bands!  Merry Christmas everyone!

CJ's Holiday Video

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bad Markers

Saturday, December 11, 2010 0
I'm not fully sold on the name of this product.  From the reviews I got from CJ and Jake, this marker set was not a blast:

CJ's criticism was a little more bold than mine:

Although Dustin Hoffman parlayed his use of this simple word when describing K-mart in the movie, "Rainman" to a best actor award, I wasn't crazy about the boys' liberal use of "sucks."  But in this case, I think it was appropriate.

Now I'll be the first to admit that Jake can be rough with any coloring products - crayons, markers, paint, chalk, yogurt, jello, etc, but it seemed like no time at all before these marker tips frayed and were practically useless.  Anyway, we decided to make this whole experience a parenting moment and show the boys that you can do something about poor quality.  We wrote a letter to the company.  Lo and behold, they mailed us a brand new set of markers.  The boys were impressed.  Good on you, Color Loco.

Hopefully this blog post didn't su... never mind.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random Thoughts #1

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 0
I've got the best Mom anyone could ask for.  Happy Birthday Mom.  I love you.

Jake's announcement to his kindergarten class today:  "Everyone, I have a loose tooth today.  You must all leave me alone."

Tennessee gets a lot colder than I thought it would.

On my recent visit to Korea, I was reminded that kim chi in a jar is not as good as fresh kim chi.

I consider it a success when my work email inbox is below 200 emails.  Not much success lately.

The Miami Dolphins may not win the Superbowl this year.

Navy moves are never easy.

Who knew that Santa Claus made a regular stop at Bass Pro Shops?

Hand models are creepy people.  See video if you don't believe me:

Until next time...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

North Korea

Saturday, December 4, 2010 0

Tensions are high between North and South Korea right now.  To get a better understanding of the mind of the leader of North Korea, click on the link to check out a provocative introspective of Kim Jong Il:

Kim Jong Il Looking at Things

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Iron Bowl

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 1
College football in the south is a religion.  The annual Iron Bowl (Alabama versus Auburn) is absolute fanaticism.  For non-southerners, I won't try to attempt to explain the ferocity and emotion that this game evokes from drawlers in Opelika and Montgomery and twangers from Tuscaloosa and Greenbow.  This one is deep in tradition and history, boasting some great players in this game - Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Bo Jackson and Bill Newton to name a few.

What do you mean you've never heard of Bill Newton?  Yeah, me neither.  But like I said, lots of history with this game.  38 years ago in the Iron Bowl where Auburn was staring down the barrel of a sure defeat, Bill Newton, a walk-on linebacker for the Auburn Tigers, blocked two consecutive punts in the final six minutes of that 1972 game to defeat the #2 ranked team in the nation.  Both blocked punts were returned for touchdowns.  Final score:  Auburn 17, Alabama 16.  Allow me to use my vast math skills to tell you that the only offense produced by Auburn that day was a measly field goal.  Didn't matter.  They still got the W.

But that was 1972 and this is 2010.  Surely this Newton phenomenon only happens once in a blue moon - or a blue and orange moon I guess.  I had the pleasure of experiencing the 2010 version of the Iron Bowl in the company of Carol's family in the great state of Alabama during this past Thanksgiving weekend.  They're all huge Crimson Tide fans.  I can only think of one member of Carol's family that's an Auburn fan.  To ensure this rebel's safety, I won't divulge her name in this post.

Many Bama fans will tell you that if the University of Alabama loses every game of the season but beats the War Eagles of Auburn, it's still a successful season.  For those that watched the game, you can probably guess that the first half was all smiles.  The Tide was definitely rolling.  Who knew that the missed opportunities would come back to haunt them in such a big way.  The second half didn't go so well.  It's not every day that a Nick Saban led defense blows a 24 point lead.

I have a theory on the loss.  I saw an interview with Coach Saban.  He was talking about how all the players would go to some of the coaches or players' homes for a big Thanksgiving meal.  Shoot.  That's the problem right there.  The turkey tryptophan knocked out the players in the second half.  I saw how the Oregon head coach had his team wait until after their game against Arizona before dining on their Thanksgiving meal.  Just saying.  Next year Saban - no turkey for the players!

So here's Carol and her cousin Angela giving the "voodoo hands" to the television while Auburn has the ball.  It was a pretty funny sight watching the entire room wiggle their hands towards the TV like they're flicking boogers.  I think this jinxing tactic actually worked for a couple of plays.

The more voodoo hands, the better.  I believe in this particular instance, the hands caused a much needed sack on Auburn quarterback, Cam Newton.

With Alabama's starting quarterback and star wide receiver out for the last part of the game, things looked bleak in the fourth quarter.  Unfortunately, Cam Newton and his "play for pay" drama was too much for even the voodoo hands to overcome.  It was a somber mood following the Alabama loss.  Well, at least there were Thanksgiving leftovers and the accompanying tryptophan to knock us out of our misery after the game.  

So who could've predicted that 38 years later, another Newton phenomenon would occur in this most fabled of games?  I guess it was time for another blue and orange moon.  There's always next year.  Roll Tide!

◄Design by Pocket, BlogBulk Blogger Templates. Blog Templates created by Web Hosting