*Cronofobia En Fin de Año

Cronofobia: Miedo irracional y enfermizo al paso del tiempo que crea ansiedad a la persona que lo sufre.

Eso es exactamente lo que estoy sintiendo últimamente; una cronofobia aguda.

Me obsesiona el paso del tiempo, es una idea constante en mi cabeza. Según vas creciendo, cumpliendo años vas viendo el paso del tiempo como algo mas alarmante y al mismo tiempo como algo aterrodador….aunque es importante notar que no es un miedo a envejecer, para nada. Envejecer es un concepto que no me asusta, especialmente cuando considero tener una calidad de vida relativamente buena y mejor que antes. Mas bien es una cronofobia concentrada en el miedo de que se acabe el tiempo sin cumplir las cosas que quiero hacer. Especialmente en fechas como estas, en el mes de Noviembre que acaba de pasar observe el mes de mi nacimiento y en este mes de Diciembre observamos el fin de un año mas. El fin de otra decada, y el 2020 ya esta a la vuelta de esquina.

Pensar y tener planes a largo plazo puede ser un poco aterrador. Puedo decir que todavia no me ha llegado esa crisis existencial que suele ocurrir con tipos de mi edad, y aunque me concentro muchisimo revisando pasajes claves de mi pasado mas reciente, pasajes que me hacen recordar momentos criticos de mi vida. En 2010 cerré una etapa y abrí otra, decidi tomar otro rumbo, el cual ha sido un camino de casi diez años. Un día me desperté y me di cuenta que ya no me gustaba nada y necesitaba hacer cambios. Decidí cambiar el rumbo, cambiar mi estilo de vida y reinventarme.

Ese cambio de rumbo produjo momentos criticos en mi vida personal, y mas aun si hablamos de la muerte de mi madre en el 2016, que fue el punto mas bajo de toda mi existencia. Fueron momentos muy duros donde la tristeza, el duelo y la desolación clavaron su bandera en mi vida, y ahora mis días se componen de todos esos elementos, aunque en realidad es el duelo el que más pesa en esta balanza.

Despues de la muerte de mi madre mi vida cambió violentamente, de esa experiencia llegaron cambios que giraban alrededor de mi forma de vivir y ver la vida. Soy un poco alarmista cuando hablo de mi estado de animo, pero immediatamente después de su muerte empeze a ver la vida más cerca de la tristeza que de la alegría, y cuando empiezas a ver las cosas a tu alrededor así, te alarmas, y te pegas un susto de la mierda. Realmente nunca me imagine como seria mi vida sin mi madre. No estaba listo, ni preparado para a vivir sin ella. Es por eso que me pongo a reflexionar sobre mi vida, y el lugar emocional en donde me encuentro.

Esa es la razon principal por la cual la ansiedad logra tomar control de mi. Pensamientos acerca de mi mortalidad constantemente invaden mi mente y me obligan a reconocer que no se ha logrado absolutamente nada importante, y que mi vida actual esta incompleta. Recordar esos momentos horribles en el hospital viendo a mi madre dejar de existir lentamente y darme cuenta que nuestros sueños compartidos quedaron incompletos. Sentir la fragilidad de nuestra triste, corta y transitoria existencia. Todo eso es lo que me causa una intensa y poderosa cronofobia aguda.

No sé si lo que realmente necesitamos es que nos suceda algún tipo de tragedia fuerte para poner en orden nuestras prioridades. Pienso que las tragedias son las mejores fuentes de inspiración para el ser humano. Son pensamientos asi que me ponen un poco transcedental, pensar que el tiempo se acaba lentamente es agobiante. Y es asi que estoy aprendiendo a difrutar de momentos y cosas que antes no disfrutaba. Ahora encuentro lo bueno y lo hermoso en las cosas mas simples. Las cosas cotidianas del dia a dia me dan gusto, algo que antes no sabia apreciar. Ahora mi cabeza se encuentra amueblada de mejores ideas y tengo otras prioridades, y asi, en mi tristeza, en mi desolación, en mi duelo, siento que soy mucho mas feliz, por que se muy bien que ahora esos elementos son parte integral de mi vida y de mi identidad. Comprendo que he llegado a un punto en el que me siento super cómodo conmigo mismo, en el que siento que hay cuerda para rato. Por eso mismo ya no le doy importancia a cosas que antes robaban mi tiempo y energia y solo me concentro en lo que realmente me interesa y eso incluye a cosas del trabajo, amistades, familia etc. Si no agregan algo de valor e importancia a mi existencia o a mis planes, entonces no existe ningun lugar importante de relevancia en mi vida. 

Lo mas importante que estoy logrando en esta etapa actual es la reconciliación con mi pasado, reconciliandome con el paso del tiempo, las ocasiones perdidas y abrazando las segundas oportunidades que esta nueva etapa de mi vida me esta brindando. Quizás ese es el resultado de la intensidad de una vida vivida a full, llena de excesos, buenos y malos, y de la que afortunadamente estoy salíendo con buen pie. Se que debo darle tiempo al tiempo para cumplir con las cosas que quiero lograr, pero la ansiedad y el terror de que se me acabe el tiempo sin que mis planes vean la luz del dia me envuelve completamente.

Han pasado casi diez años desde que cambie el rumbo y desde entonces creo que mi calidad de vida ha mejorado bastante. Las resacas son contadas, me he vuelto mas analítico, mas ordenado. Tengo tantos planes y proyectos por realizar. Ahora que estoy dando mis primeros pasos en el mundo de los guiones, tarareando en las letras, convertiendome en un experto y conocedor de vinos y mezcales. Escribir algo en un formato más largo, meterme más en la música, el cine, el mundo creativo. Montar un bar, viajar por el mundo con mi mujer. Pensar que la vida se escapa, que el tiempo es limitado es súper agobiante. Es ahí cuando la cronofobia aparece y la ansiedad me envuelve. Pero la acepto y me acostumbro a vivir con ella, por que siento que está relacionada con el deseo de vivir la vida con intensidad,  y disfrutarla plenamente.

Se que todavía me queda mucho camino por delante, y me doy cuenta que ya no hay vuelta atrás. Sobre todo siento que aun tengo una inquietud personal hacia lo desconocido, por explorar cosas nuevas y salir de mi zona de confort. Es una busqueda insaciable hacia nuevos retos. Me siento muy a gusto con mi situación actual, la cual coincide con una situación emocional y sentimental muy buena. Una situación sentimental sana y estable. Ya se acabaron los tiempos en los que huía de mi forma de ser; ahora me enfrento a mi realidad y me atrevo a elegir una vida, sin poner parches, aunque esto implique que de un momento a otro se cuele en mi mente la ansiedad y la cronofobia.

Happy New Year! Feliz Nueva decada.

*Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Movie Recap-Spoilers)

I needed a few days to reflect and collect all my thoughts regarding The Rise of Skywalker (TROS). It is a movie, you need to see more than once or twice to process it thoroughly, and sadly, I can summarize by saying that although it is not bad, it is definitely not good.

I still blame The Last Jedi (TLJ) for this mess of a movie, and the current emotional state of the hardcore Star Wars fandom. All I can say is that the Skywalker dynastic heritage and the messianic legacy of the first six films are wasted away in this new trilogy. The Script for The Rise of Skywalker relies heavily on legends and canon material, which was definitely a good idea, but it is not something the casual fan is familiar with. Which makes certain aspects of the storyline hard to understand, unless you are incredibly familiar with legends and canon material. Throughout most of this movie, there are so many twists and turns thrown at the audience in an overwhelming pace.

There is lousy editing, plot lines skipped, or past over. Darth Sidious, shows up alive right from the beginning of the film with a simple cliff notes explanation of how he is still alive; it felt weak and lazy storytelling. There is this long history of Star Wars villains being thrown down a shaft of some kind and somehow surviving the fall, case in point; Darth Maul. So, why didn’t they start there and explain what happened when Vader threw him down the shaft on episode V?. Maybe he opened a portal into a new realm or something along those lines.

Right from the opening text scroll, The Rise of Skywalker distances itself from The Last Jedi as much as possible. “The past must die” was essentially the central message of The Last Jedi, but the past is pretty much alive here, completely ignoring the entire premise of The Last Jedi, which was a F*&% You to Rian Johnson.

The parts I liked the most:

  • They did the best they could with Leia without relying too much on CGI.
  • Rose Tico not being in the movie long was a good thing. Her character annoyed the hell out of me. 
  • Lightspeed skipping was pretty awesome
  • Kylo putting his mask back together was necessary, and another significant F*&% You to Rian Johnson.
  • Lando returning was a good idea, but he should have been back earlier. Once word got around on Han’s death, that is where Lando should have made his return to the series, so basically, he should have returned on The Last Jedi
  • Flying Stormtroopers was a good thing.
  • General Hux being the spy and getting killed off, was the only way out for Hux, who had been reduced to an inconsequential and buffoon-like villain in The Last Jedi.
  • General Pryde was a great addition, and there seems to be a backstory between Pryde and Palpatine — maybe the novelization of the movie will explain further.
  • The story of the former Stormtroopers putting down their weapons as an act of defiance against tyranny was a great inclusion to the story.
  • Zorii Bliss seemed like a cool character but her backstory and past history with Poe did not advance forward and we are still in the dark about their relationship.
  • Epic lightsaber battle on top of the wreckage of the second death star. My favorite lightsaber battle of this trilogy.
  • Leia’s death was well executed. She dies holding Han’s medal. Very touching. 
  • Chewie’s emotional moment when he finds out Leia is dead was powerful.
  • Han solo showing up and having an emotional conversation with Ben similar to their conversation on The Force Awakens was very touching.
  • For the first time in this entire trilogy, we get to see the Luke Skywalker I wanted to see or a resemblance of the Luke I was hoping for in The Last Jedi. Here we see Luke as a force ghost, and as Rey throws her lightsaber into the fire, a hand catches it, and out of the fire, Luke emerges, saying: “A Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect.” Giving another severe F*&% You to Rian Johnson.
  • Here is where Luke begins to undo everything The Last Jedi did by admitting that he was wrong. Then we see an awesome flashback of Luke training Leia, where she outduels him and drops him on his back. Here Luke explains that at the end of Leia’s Jedi path, she sensed the death of her son, which prompts her to surrender her lightsaber to Luke and tells him that it will be picked up by another who will finish her journey. Luke digs out Leia’s lightsaber and gives it to Rey. This was the highlight of the movie for me. 
  • Luke then raises his old X-wing out of the water in a throwback manner similar to how Yoda raised the same X-wing in Empire Strikes Back. That scene was pure fan service, and I loved it. 
  • Kylo using Leia’s lightsaber to kill the Knights of Ren, was a cool, badass scene. 
  • As Rey reaches out while battling Palpatine and hears from every Jedi that ever existed was almost perfect, and we get to hear from Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, Luke, Leia, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin, Mace Windu. However, what I wanted was to see all those Jedi’s force ghosts appearing behind Rey as she defeats Palpatine. Well, that is how I would have written it. 
  • Ben Solo using his Force healing powers to bring Rey back to life, followed by an epic kiss, was magical. Ben smiling, redeeming himself, and then dying, while at the same time the bodies of Ben and Leia disintegrate into force ghosts was excellent. 
  • The shot of Endor and the Ewoks was cool. 
  • Maz Kanata giving Han’s medal to Chewie was another emotional fan service moment. 
  • Luke and Leia’s force ghost in Tattoine looking over Rey as she takes the Name Rey Skywalker was a transcendental moment for this trilogy.
  • Rey’s yellow lightsaber at the end is very significant. It is associated with an important school of thought within the Jedi order; The Sentinels
  • The twin sun setting was a perfect shot to bring this trilogy to a close.

The Parts I disliked the most:

  • It was the right choice to bring Palpatine back, but his return should have been explained differently, worked slowly into the story. Palpatine’s contingency plan is part of the canon. There was a plan in place if somehow the rebel alliance were to succeed in defeating the empire. The canon and legends talk about Palpatine’s search for immortality, and his obsession with the unknown regions, his obsession with cloning, his obsession with essence transfer, and cloning himself. Cloning a force sensitive being is complicated and not a simple thing to accomplish. Also, let us remember his dark side pitch to Anakin about Darth Plagueis on Revenge of the Sith — so the pursuit of immortality has always been crucial to Palpatine’s plans. Also, the plothole of Palpatine’s family is abysmal. In Rian Johnson’s movie, Rey was a nobody. In The Rise of Skywalker she is a Palpatine. I am fine with this, but the explanation of her parents and Palpatine’s family is weak.
  • Palpatine used to have some of the best dialogue of the entire prequel sequels. Here, his dialogue is unremarkable. 
  • Snoke was a clone?. He was terrifying, intimidating, and now he is just reduced to a joke of a villain. JJ Abrams set up Snoke as the main villain, then Rian Johnson comes along and dumps on this villain and all the characters that Abrams created in The Force Awakens. This whole clone thing seemed like an easy way out of the Snoke storyline.  
  • The Knights of Ren did not get enough screentime to establish their backstory, or even care remotely about them.
  • Jedi hunter’s storyline and the importance of his ship needed to be better explained. The dagger with Sith writing storyline, which C-3PO cannot translate because it is against his programming, was time-consuming and pointless. 
  • Adam driver’s performance is the best part and the main driving force of all three sequel trilogy films. Kylo is the one true constant. When he dies at the same time as his mother, and then Rey resurrecting him with her healing powers was pretty neat. However, healing powers are something straight out of Star Wars lore, you read about them in the books and comics, and they are not explained in any of the movies. So then, the casual fan has no idea how she acquires this power. We, the audience, have no idea who trained her on how to use this technique. All of a sudden, she just knows it, and the audience is supposed to go along with it like dumb monkeys.
  • The suggestion that Finn is force sensitive was a big stretch, and a bad idea. 
  • Horses running on Star Destroyers were not a good idea.
  • Grandpa Palpatine’s plan to transfer his power/essence to Rey is convoluted.
  • In the final battle between Palpatine and Rey: when she is holding back Sith lightning, Palpatine tells her, “I am all the Sith that ever lived.” Then Rey pulls Luke’s lightsaber and says, “I am all the Jedi” while pushing Sith lightning back into Palpatine until his own Sith lightning its turned back into him (similar to how Mace Windu turned Sith lightning back into him on Revenge of the Sith). All of that was cool, but Palpatine melting down and blowing up, and presumably dead (for now…), was too fast, I wanted to see this iconic villain being defeated in more unambiguous way. 
  • The cryptic scene between Lando and Jannah, asking where she is from, and Lando saying, “let’s find out.” You cannot just leave it like that.
  • My other big issue is that we never got to see Anakin appear as a force ghost in any of the sequel movies. We were robbed as fans. We only got Yoda. No Obi Wan Kenobi, no Anakin. What a disgrace!!

The future of the Force:

On a technical level, movies like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker are excellent, but it is clear that Star Wars is no longer pushing cinema and sci-fi to the next level as it once did. 

This sequel trilogy serves as a perfect example of the importance of having a clearly defined outline before any hiring decisions are made. The outline of the story should have been agreed upon before hiring screenwriters, directors, and even before casting the movie. Especially, if you are making a trilogy, you should have a clear idea where the story is going and what the character arcs should be, and it is clear that this was not the case with this sequel trilogy. Lawrence Kasdan wrote Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, the Force Awakens, and Solo, so why couldn’t he write The Rise of Skywalker? Or at least have him involved somehow. Maybe Kasdan would have contributed to a more commonsensical storyline.

The Force Awakens was one of the most enjoyable movie-going experiences in my recent memory. I remember leaving the theatre happy and excited about the future of Star Wars. Then, fast forward a couple of years ahead, and I remember how confused I felt leaving the theatre after watching The Last Jedi. I was baffled, perplexed, taken aback. It left such a bad taste in my mouth that I immediately began revisiting some of my old Star Wars books. The ones no longer considered canon, and have been labeled as “legends,” like Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy and even Dark Lord by James Luceno, just to cleanse my palate. 

There was magic at the end of The Force Awakens—when Rey is holding Luke’s Lightsaber as Luke is just staring at her. It was the whole idea of Luke returning as the lead character in the upcoming movies. Luke returning as a Jedi master, seeing him display some of his Jedi powers one last time, maybe engage in one final lightsaber battle, not some hologram version of himself as we saw on The Last Jedi. And then, at some point, Luke would pass on the baton to another, maybe Rey or another character, who knows. All of that was pissed away on The Last Jedi. This is a clear example of why you need to have specific outlines for all the movies and characters already set up and agreed upon before any hiring decisions are made. In case another director or screenwriter takes over, the outlines are clearly stated and followed, with very little room to tweak things up. 

Luke remains at the very center of the Star Wars fandom, and all those adventures and missions in between the years of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens are a goldmine for future Disney+ TV shows. If Disney wants tor redeemed themselves with the hardcore fan base, then focusing on Luke and the Skywalker bloodline is where the future of Star Wars should be. The same thing should occur with Vader and all those years in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. They are all just sci-fi space adventure movies, simple as that. Jon Favreau and his Mandalorian series arrived precisely at the right time. In this show, we can see and sense the respect and affection Favreau and his team have for Star Wars, which is not what the people involved in the sequel trilogy conveyed, most notably in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The sooner we put this sequel trilogy behind us and bring onboard TRUE Star Wars fanatics into upcoming projects, the better chance Disney has to salvage whatever is left of the fan base.

Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿

*NFL WEEK 16 (2019 Season)

This game went into overtime, all tied up at 35-35, but we could not stop the Giants from moving the ball down the field on their first possession in overtime to score the game-winning TD. It was a fitting end for two Irrelevant teams playing for nothing in December. Both fan bases should feel hopeful by all the flashes of talent and potential greatness these two teams have shown off in the last few weeks, including this game. I get the sense that next season the balance of power in the NFC East will shift from Cowboys-Eagles to Giants-Redskins, based on what I have seen this whole season. Some football pundits were calling this game the “Chase Young bowl,” meaning that one of these two teams could end up with a better draft spot to select the highest rated defensive end coming out of college.

NY Giants 41-Redskins 35

Adrian Peterson passed another record and is now fourth in the all-time rushing touchdown list. Haskins was playing very well before getting banged up and taken out of the game. He looked strong and decisive, completing his first nine passes. Steve Sims has emerged as another downfield threat to complement McLaurin, who is closing into 1,000 yards receiving for the season. This core of young offensive weapons is something to feel hopeful going into next season. Our defense is what I’m mostly concerned about. There is way too much talent, loaded with first and second-rounders to be this ineffective. Massive changes are coming to the defense, including a change in defensive coordinator. Next Sunday is our final game of the season against our blood rival Dallas. Nothing would be more gratifying than to finish the season with a victory over the Cowboys and put an end to their playoff hopes.

My overall disposition regarding my Redskins: BEAT DALLAS!!

And now for the rest of the league:

Eagles 17- Cowboys 9: All Dallas had to do in this game was win and the NFC East division was theirs, but the overrated Cowboys once again fell short as they usually do. And now the Eagles have a shot at winning the division next week against the Giants.

Packers 23-Vikings 10: Green Bay won the NFC North title, and the Vikings clinched a playoff spot due to the Rams’ loss to the 49ers. Minnesota needs Dalvin cook to be a 100% for the Vikings to be a real threat in the post-season.

49ers 34-Rams 31: This game was huge for both teams, the Rams losing eliminated them from playoff contention and the 49ers are now set up for a monster game against the Seahawks next week to determine playoff home-field advantage and a first-round bye. The Rams were at the Super Bowl last season and now, they are not even a wildcard team, significant adjustments coming next season for the Rams.

Ravens 31-Browns 15: Baltimore clinches the top seed in the AFC with this victory over the over-hyped Browns, which means the road to the Super Bowl will go through the Ravens. The Browns will need to clean house next season, starting with the Head Coach.

Patriots 24-Bills 17: Tom Brady is officially a game manager now, while New England’s defense does all the heavy lifting. Patriots are now the AFC East champions, but they have to win next week against Miami to clinch a first-round bye. The Bills have secured a wildcard playoff spot.

Jets 16-Steelers 10: The Jets had a statement game against Pittsburgh, where they show what kind of team they could be next season. I think they are only a few pieces away from contending in the AFC East. The Steelers have a tough road ahead next week against the Ravens, who are resting their starters. They have to beat Baltimore and hope for the Texans to beat the Titans to make the playoffs.

Raiders 24-Chargers 17: Surprisingly, the Raiders are still alive for the playoffs by beating the Chargers, but it won’t be easy, first they need to beat Denver next week and hope for the Titans, Steelers, and Jaguars to lose. Very unlikely that all those things will come together.

Texans 23-Buccaneers 20: Houston clinches the AFC South division title, while the Bucs have a lot of questions to answer regarding the future of James Winston.

Saints 38-Titans 28: New Orleans is rolling into the playoffs with lots of momentum and are still chasing a first-round bye and home-field advantage through out the playoffs. The Titans have to beat the Texans next week to get into the playoffs. Regardless of what happens, Ryan Tannehill has secured himself as the long-term answer at quarterback for Tennessee.

Falcons 24- Jaguars 12: Atlanta is finishing strong after a 1-7 start this season, they are trying to save Dan Quinn’s job, but it might be a little too late for that. The Jaguars are a hot mess and coaching changes and maybe even drafting a QB is in the future for Jacksonville,

Cardinals 27-Seahawks 13: Kyler Murray is a legit threat for years to come in the NFC West. The Seahawks look depleted going into the playoffs. They just re-signed Marshawn Lynch out of semi-retirement to boost their running game.

Dolphins 38-Bengals 35: This game went into overtime, and it was a wild game for two teams who are in the middle of a rebuilding process. The Bengals secured the number one pick in next year’s draft.

Broncos 27-Lions 17: Drew Lock played great against a pretty good and underrated Lions defense, but Denver might need to look into next year’s draft to hopefully find the franchise QB they’ve been searching since Payton Manning retired.

Chiefs 26-Bears 3: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are getting into a steady rhythm heading into the playoffs, while the Bears will need to make some drastic adjustments during the offseason.

Colts 38-Panthers 6: Firing Ron Rivera has not translated into victories for Carolina. They are in actuality a lot worse without him, and next season will be very interesting to see what happens with Cam Newton and the direction this Panthers team heads into, especially with a new coaching staff. The Colts need to figure out a way to lure Andrew Luck out of retirement next season.

*NFL WEEK 15 (2019 Season)

Eagles 37-Redskins 27

Haskins had his best game of the season. His pocket presence is strong. The stats of this game show the gradual progress that we expected to see from him, and the chemistry between McLaurin and Haskins is something special. Steven Sims is getting more involved in the offense, which is a good thing. I can only imagine how things could’ve been if we had Trent Williams at left tackle, a healthy offensive line, Derrius Guice, Cris Thompson, both healthy for the whole season. Plus Jordan Reed or Vernon Davis as offensive weapons, then we are talking about a completely different offense, a more explosive offense. Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature, and at 34 years old, he still is running hard and breaking records. We need to keep him for next season. Losing this game sucked, but it was definitely a moral victory for this team struggling to establish some type of momentum going into the offseason. 

Urban Meyer was at the owner’s box for this game seating and chatting up with Alex Smith, who was his former QB at Utah. Meyer also coached Haskins and McLaurin at Ohio State, so his presence at the game raised a lot of questions from all the talking heads in sports media. Meyer made a comment a few weeks ago saying that the Cowboys Head Coaching job would be a ‘no brainer’ if it became available. I get the sense Urban Meyer is setting himself up for a bidding war for his coaching services. I’ve never been high on hiring college coaches regardless of their credentials. The NFL is an entirely different animal than the college game. College coaches struggle in the pros, names like Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, and Bobby Petrino, to name a few. And let us not forget about the Steve Spurrier experiment, which left such a nasty taste in my mouth that I would prefer to never ever go back into the college ranks for a coach. But Snyder has a thing for trying to lure big-name celebrity coaches. Hopefully, this would not be the case. First, we need to address our GM situation and give Bruce Allen his walking papers. No coach will find success with the Redskins as long as Bruce Allen remains around. 

My overall disposition regarding my Redskins: FIRE BRUCE ALLEN!!

And now for the rest of the league….. 

Cowboys 44-Rams 21: This was one of the biggest choke jobs of the season. The Rams made Dallas look like the Ravens or Chiefs. The Rams’ playoff chances are now slipping away. 

Giants 36-Dolphins 20: Eli won big on his final home game for the Giants, and proved my point that he can still start in this league. Hopefully, he’ll go play for a contender next season. 

Ravens 42-Jets 21: Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s record. Baltimore is now 12-2, making them the most dangerous team in the league. The Jets have to put this whole season under review and make some drastic changes, they have way too much talent to be this ineffective. 

Patriots 34-Bengals 13: New England was supposed to win this game, but this game was overshadowed by the controversy regarding the videotaping of the Bengals sideline the previous week. The Belicheaters is the only team regularly accused of shady tactics. This controversy will go on into the offseason. 

Cardinals 38-Browns 24: The hype machine surrounding Cleveland has imploded right before our eyes. They sold fool’s gold to the public. The issues plaguing the Browns go beyond the coaching staff. Arizona and Kyler Murray are showing flashes of their potential. Next season is going to be very interesting to see how this team progresses. 

Bills 17-Steelers 10: Buffalo has clinched a playoff spot. This team is a very dangerous team for any opponent they face on the playoffs. The Steelers will need to win out and get some help to claim a wild card spot. 

Falcons 29-49ers 22: Jimmy G goes from terrific one week to mediocre the following week. The Falcons are playing hard for their coach, but it might be a little too late to save his job. 

Vikings 39-Chargers 10: Minnesota is still one game behind Green Bay for the Division. Monday night’s game against the packers will be huge for both teams. 

Jaguars 20-Raiders 16: Gardner Minshew pulled two TDs out his hat of tricks to take the lead and win this game. This was the final game in Oakland for the Raiders before moving to Vegas next season. 

Saints 34-Colts 7: New Orleans and Drew Brees are rolling into the playoffs red hot. The Colts started the season at 5-2, and they have only one single victory since then. Andrew Luck’s name started trending high during Monday Night’s game. 

Chiefs 23-Broncos 3: Travis Kelce was the standout player of this game-breaking Tight End records. The Broncos are a disaster, and perhaps Drew Lock is not the QB answer that Denver was hoping for. 

Texans 24-Titans 21: This was a very close game, and although the Titans lost, they are still within reach of the playoffs, while the Texans are getting closer to clinch the AFC South. 

Seahawks 30-Panthers 24: Carolina looks worse without Ron Rivera. It’s safe to say that the entire coaching staff will probably be gone after this season. The Seahawks have officially clinched a playoff spot and are the number one seed currently in the NFC. 

Packers 21-Bears 13: Huge win for Green Bay setting up the stage for Monday Night Football showdown against the Vikings. The Bears are now officially eliminated from playoff contention. 

Buccaneers 38-Lions 17: James Winston threw 4 TDs and had over 400 yards passing in back to back games. He leads the league in interceptions, but he is fun to watch. The Lions got behind early and could never get back into traction.

*Andres Calamaro-Cargar La Suerte (Album Recap)

The title of this album references bullfighting, which means to charge closer towards the bull. Bullfighting is something Calamaro is very passionate about, and his support for the ancient bloodsport is blunt and unapologetic.

After a few listening sessions, I can say that Cargar la Suerte is a solid, pretty good but not great rock en Español album. It is a guitar-focused and well-balanced album, similar to previous Calamaro Albums. However, he is not trying something different here. He is staying within his musical lane, which works perfect for him, and it is what Calamaro fans have come to expect. Lyrically is where I take issue with this record. Calamaro has a history of writing lyrics focusing mostly on Argentinian culture and politics, which is difficult to follow if you are not intimately familiar with Argentinian issues, even some of the language and slang choices are not used or understood outside of Argentina. Bunbury and Sabina, for example, are two Spaniards who make use of their extensive vocabulary in most of their lyrics, and still, their message is understood and easy to follow; they avoid falling into opaque and incomprehensible language. Therein lies the difference in the mainstream international appeal of artists like Bunbury and Sabina, where Calamaro, on the other hand, has a limited and off-center appeal in markets outside of Argentina and Spain.

This album won the Latin Grammy for Best Pop/Rock Album of the year, which I do not believe it deserved, and it also won Best Rock Song for Verdades Afiladas, which it also did not deserve. Look, in the past, Calamaro made three incredible records, three records that I consider to be very important, essential and iconic Rock en Español albums; Alta Suciedad (1997), Honestidad Brutal(1999) and El Salmon (2000). Everything else that he has made since has been from pretty good to mediocre. For Example, El Cantante (2004), a non-rock en Español album made up of classic covers of iconic Latin songs and three original tracks. It was a very refreshing departure from his previous albums, I bought El Cantante on CD when it was first released, and I continue to enjoy it ’till this day. Lengua Popular (2007), was a huge commercial success and it was lyrically the closest thing to his earlier work. On the Rock (2010) was another ambitious undertaking where he collaborated with a bunch of different artists like Bunbury, Calle 13, Diego El Cigala to name a few, and even dived into more popular Latin rhythms like cumbia and even some reggaeton. Nevertheless, it was not a remarkable achievement, and it fell flat compared to previous releases. Bohemio (2013) was a forgettable and lazy album. Romaphonic Sessions (Volumen 11, 2016), was a stripped-down studio album recording where Calamaro is only accompanied by a piano, performing a mix of covers and a few of his own, it was an interesting experiment but inconsequential.

Cargar la Suerte Track List:

Track 1-Verdades Afiladas: This track was the first single, and it sounds like a classic Calamaro tune, the closest thing in this album to his previous work. And the lyrics have a quick references to older hits like Te Quiero Igual (Honestidad brutal, ’99) and Las Oportunidades (El Cantante, ’04).
Track 2- Transito Lento: The Saxophone stands out beautifully on this track. Waiting around patiently to travel from place to place and the life of the traveling musician is the main message here. Solid track.
Track 3-Cuarteles de Invierno: The theme here is about returning to Argentina during the cold winter, full of songs and full of nostalgia. It’s a very gratifying rock ballad.
Track 4-Diego Armando Canciones: This song is a mellow and measured ballad. A reflection of how Calamaro currently sees himself as a musician and as a human being. While at the same time addressing some of his detractors.
Track 5-Las Rimas: The most daring track of this album, where Calamaro Raps, rants and rages. Although this is a rap song, there are no hip-hop beats here, its electric guitar-driven, and it works nicely.
Track 6-Siete Vidas: This is one of the best tracks of this album. Fast-paced, up-tempo, a throwback to Calamaro of years past.
Track 7-Mi Ranchera: A passionate and emotional ballad.
Track 8-Falso LV: Fake Louis Vuitton is what the title of this track means. References all the fake rockeros out there, and the hypocrisy of our times. This is a song that would’ve fit perfectly on either Honestidad Brutal or Alta Suciedad.
Track 9- My Mafia: An acoustic and personal ballad, a heart to heart to the value of friendships.
Track 10-Adan Rechaza: Another fast-paced, up-tempo electric guitar-driven track. Very much in the spirit of Calamaro’s older work. It is a manifesto to living his life on his terms even after his death in the afterlife.
Track 11-Egoistas: Pop-rock en Español at its finest.
Track 12-Voy a Volver: It’s a beautiful ballad. The promise of an eventual return home. The idea of leaving things behind, seeing the world and learning along the way how to return home. There is a hidden instrumental track a few seconds after track 12 ends……

All in all, this is a good rock en Español album. It is not an instant classic as Calamaro’s previous work from the ‘90s and early 2000s, but it is still a solid achievement. Nevertheless, considering the standard Calamaro set for himself over twenty years ago, Cargar la Suerte was not deserving of a Latin Grammy for Best Pop/Rock Album of the year. The Latin Grammy Academy has a long history of bestowing this award to the biggest name in the list of nominees regardless of the quality of the work. In the previous award ceremony (2017), Juanes was awarded the Best Pop/Rock Album for Mis Planes Son Amarte, which was a joke of an album, but Juanes was the most popular name within all the nominees. In 2016 Los Fabulosos Cadillacs won in the same category, and it was far from their best work, but once again, they were the most prominent name within the list of nominees. There is a vast disconnect between the people in charge of selecting the nominees and the people voting for the winner.

Calamaro fancies himself as the Rock en Español’s version of Bob Dylan, which he is not. The closest thing we have in Spanish Rock to Dylan is Joaquin Sabina. My issues with Calamaro as of late is that as an icon of Rock en Español, he tends to take himself way too seriously sometimes, calling himself a rockstar every chance he gets, and of course, he is a rockstar. However, on the other hand, you have rockeros like Enrique Bunbury and Mikel Erentxun who do not have to go around shouting to the wind about being a rockstar, and they both embody the rockstar persona without any self-promoting antics. Bunbury and Erentxun keep on making records that sound and feel different from their previous work; they are continually pushing the boundaries, while Calamaro continues on repeating the same formula over and over again, erecting altars to his long-past glory days, and Cargar la suerte is a clear reflection of all of his past work and all of his past glory; A good album but not a great one.

*NFL WEEK 14 (2019 Season)

My Redskins chance to run the table and win out ended on a failed two-point conversion play with about a minute left in the fourth quarter. All in all, I like how this team is showing guts and is playing better to finish up the season strong. Bill Callahan has gotten this roster playing tough. Dwayne Haskins got banged up but ended up finishing up the game. Terry McLaurin had a one-handed highlight TD catch in the fourth quarter. Derrius Guice was hit in the knee at the end of a run and got pulled out of the game (looks like he will be out for the rest of the season), this sucks, because he seemed to be getting on rhythm before getting hurt. 

Redskins 15-Packers 20.

We are fortunate to have Adrian Peterson in our line up. He has been the most dependable and consistent running back for the last two seasons. Cris Thompson, Bryce Love, and Guice have not been healthy, and Smallwood is not explosive enough to be a constant running threat. Peterson fits our offense, fits what Callahan likes to run. It is a no brainer that we need to bring him back next season. The foundation of our running game starts with AP, and Guice is the future of it. There are a bunch of online rumors circulating about the potential firing of Bruce Allen soon, and I hope those rumors turn into reality, and it is not just wishful thinking. There is also lots of potential Head Coaching rumors flying around online, linking some names to the Redskins, names like Ron Rivera (former Panthers HC), David Shaw (current HC at Stanford University), Eric Bieniemy (current Chiefs Offensive coordinator), Mike Tomlin (current Steelers HC), to name a few. I am not overly excited about any of those names, although Ron Rivera would be an interesting proposition, but more on him and this possibility when the season ends. 

My Current overall disposition regarding my Redskins: Waiting for Bruce Allen to be Fired. 

And now for the rest of the league…

Cowboys 24-Bears 31: Mitch Trubisky had himself his best game ever. He made some fantastic plays against this overrated Dallas team and kept their playoff hopes alive. All the talk about moving on from Trubisky has been silenced for at least a week until this Sunday when they play the Packers, which I believe they can win. For the Cowboys to win the division and make the playoffs, they have to win out and hope for the Eagles to lose along the way. Nothing will bring me more joy than seeing the Cowboys eliminated from playoff contention and having another miserable offseason. 

Eagles 23-Giants 17: Zach Ertz caught the game-winning game TD in overtime to save the Eagles season. The Giants looked more competitive with Eli Manning at QB, which reinforces my idea that Eli will be starting elsewhere for a contender next season. 

Ravens 24-Bills 17: Second straight week Lamar Jackson has faced two excellent defenses (49ers last week, Buffalo this week), and although his numbers do not show much, he still managed to defeat two pretty good teams. It is important to note that Baltimore has only two losses, and they came early in the season (week 3 against the Chiefs and week 4 against the Browns), they have not lost since week 4. All of a sudden, the Ravens appear to be the most dangerous team in the NFL. The Bills lost another close game, bringing their record to 9-4, and just one game behind the Belicheaters. Hopefully, they will get on a winning roll and take division title from the Patriots. 

Chiefs 23-Patriots 16: Kansas City needed this win badly. They have three winnable games at the tail end of the regular season schedule to get into a winning streak heading into the playoffs. New England continues to struggle against dual-threat Quarterbacks; they have lost to Lamar Jackson, Deseaun Watson, and now Pat Mahomes. They struggled early in the season against Josh Allen, and they still have to play him again in a few weeks, which could potentially determine the Division winner. Brady is in dire need of more talented receivers; all he is got is Edelman, and it is not enough. 

Titans 42-Raiders 21: Ryan Tannehill has led the Titans out of the abyss into playoff contention while the Raiders’ playoff run is essentially over. Nevertheless, the Raiders should feel encouraged going into the off-season. Nobody expected them to be contending this late in the season, and they surprise all the sports media talking heads.

Rams 28-Seahawks 12: Sean McVay started rerunning Gurley, and all of a sudden, the Rams are back in the mix of things and looking like a dangerous offense. Seattle’s impressive five-game winning streak came to an end, but the next two games appear to be winnable, leading up to their final game of the season against the 49ers. This NFC West division is red hot. 

Vikings 20-Lions 7: Bounce back victory for the Vikings, which puts them at one game behind from the Packers. I have a feeling the Vikings will win out and host a Playoff game. The Lions show some promise earlier in the season, but they have now lost six games in a row. Matt Patricia’s seat is getting hot.

49ers 48-Saints 46: Best game of the football weekend and maybe the whole season. San Francisco won the game by a field goal with only a few seconds left in the game. It was Jimmy G’s best performance this year, and George Kittle had a monster highlight catch. I have a feeling these two teams will meet again in the playoffs. 

Jets 22-Dolphins 20: This was a field goal game, about 9 field goals between both teams. The jets scored a couple of TDs to make the difference in this game. 

Chargers 45-Jaguars 10: Nick Foles has been benched for the remainder of the season in favor of Gardner Minshew and it has made no difference, the Jaguars are awful, and it has nothing to do with the QB. The Chargers ended their three-game losing streak, but the playoffs are no longer a possibility. They need to finish up the season strong. 

Falcons 40-Panthers 20: Ron Rivera was fired last week. Panther’s new owner wants to get a head start on finding a new Head coach. This new owner did not hire Rivera and reportedly wants to hire his own “type” of coach (whatever that means). Apparently, Rivera being the winningest coach in Panthers history, a two-time NFL coach of the year, plus three NFC South titles and a Super Bowl appearance. All of that was not what this new owner deemed acceptable. Atlanta is trying to finish the season on a positive note and save Dan Quinn’s job. 

Browns 27-Bengals 19: The Browns are trying to finish up the season winning out but with no chance at the playoffs, making them the biggest disappointment of the season. Baker Mayfield is not what the hype machine told us he was supposed to be. The Bengals have only 1 victory for the whole season, and as of this week, they are officially the worst team in the NFL. 

Buccaneers 38- Colts 35: This was a back and forth entertaining game. James Winston is an interception machine, but he also throws lots of TDs, which makes Tampa Bay fun to watch. The Colts have lost two in a row and are self-destructing, putting themselves out of the playoff race. 

Steelers 23-Cardinals 17: The Steelers’ playoff hopes are still alive, and the next few weeks will be crucial for their playoff chances. Kyler Murray has made me a believer, and I like the progress this Arizona team is making under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury. 

Broncos 38-Texans 24: Drew Lock might be the answer at QB Denver has been looking for since Payton Manning retired. The Texans got caught napping and got blown out early in the game — lousy loss for Houston. 

*NFL Week 13 (2019 Season)

Redskins 29- Panthers 21

My Redskins won their second straight game. They were down 14-0 in the first quarter and then, they woke up and ran through the Panther’s defense. The combination of Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson was too much for Carolina to handle. It was the two-punch running back combo I was hoping for at the start of the season. Haskins is showing signs of moderate improvement as a quarterback. He has a big arm which you can tell without a doubt by just watching those throws he makes. At 3-9 for the season, the Redskins have a chance to make things interesting in the NFC East. If they can pull off a 7-9 record for the season, then you can start making a serious argument for Bill Callahan to remain as the Head Coach for next season. Maybe he is the right coach for this particular group of players. However, only if we go on winning streak.

My current disposition regarding my Redskins: RUN THE TABLE!!

And now for the rest of the league……

Bills 26-Cowboys 15: Dallas is exactly what I said they were on week 1, and they are slowly coming apart week to week. However, they are still pretty much alive to win the division since the Eagles are just stinking it up and cannot seem to get anything going. The Bills are going to make things very interesting for the Patriots towards the end of the season, but next week they face Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, which will be one of those must-watch games this Sunday. 

Dolphins 37-Eagles 31: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Carson Wentz had almost identical stats in this game throwing for over 300 yards each, they both had 3 TDs and 1 interception. Notwithstanding, Miami was a lot more creative offensively than Philly, and it made a huge difference. The Eagles are imploding and losing a grip for the Division title. 

Packers 31-Giants 13: For weeks, I been saying that Danny Dimes is not the answer at QB for NY; Pat Shurmur is not the answer at Head Coach. They are not using Barkley effectively. Eli Manning will be starting for a contender next season, and the Giants will still be rebuilding. The Packers are still on top of the NFC North, but the Vikings are hot on their tails.

Bears 24-Lions 20: Trubisky had his best game this year or probably ever. Chicago is mathematically still alive for a playoff spot. The Lions were leading for most of the game, and they just let this game slipped away — another heartbreaking loss for Detroit. I am just hoping the Bears have another great game next week against the Cowboys.

Baltimore 20-49ers 17: These teams are by far the best two teams in the NFL. They are both Super Bowl favorites, although San Francisco’s path to the big game will be a lot tougher than Baltimore’s. 

Rams 34-Cardinals 7: The Rams put up 34 answered points going into the 4th quarter, and that tells you the whole story. Goff was pretty effective in one of his best games of this season. Todd Gurley ran like the old Todd Gurley of last season. If the Rams can sustain this momentum, then they will be able to make a run at the playoffs. 

Chiefs 40-Raiders 9: The stats show the Raiders being better than what the final score shows, but the Chiefs needed this win badly, and now they have something to build upon towards next week’s showdown with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Oakland is still chasing a wildcard spot, but things are getting complicated.

Texans 28-Patriots 22: Tom Brady looks like he is just about done as a capable quarterback. New England struggles against dual-threat quarterbacks and cannot figure out a way to contain them. They only have Edelman as a serious threat, and Ben Watson cannot stay healthy. The Texans are on top of their division, but the Colts and Titans are trying to close the gap with only three weeks left in the season. 

Seahawks 37-Vikings 30: Seattle capitalized on every single mistake the Vikings made. Losing Dalvin cook made a considerable difference for Minnesota’s offense. This win puts the Seahawks on top of the NFC West. The Vikings are still pretty much in the playoff hunt. 

Bengals 22-Jets 6: Cincinnati finally won their first game of the season on a huge upset. The jets got caught napping, and got beaten soundly. 

Steelers 20- Browns 13: Baker Mayfield and the overrated Browns will not make the playoffs, and they are now officially the most disappointing team of this NFL season, but not to me, I predicted their fall from grace back in week 1. The Steelers are making a run at a wildcard spot, and I do not think they will be able to catch up to the Ravens. 

Saints 26-Falcons 18: New Orleans has pretty much this division locked down, and they will be a tough team for anybody to play against them in the playoffs. The Falcons are going to start rebuilding next season with most likely a new Head Coach. 

Titans 31-Colts 17: Ryan Tannehill is cementing himself as Tennesse’s answer at Quarterback, and Marcus Mariota will get a chance to start over somewhere else. IT was a game the Colts could not afford to lose to have a shot at their division title, they are now two games behind Houston, and it will take something extraordinary for them to pull it off. 

Buccaneers 28-Jaguars 11: Nick Foles got benched in this game for Gardner Minshew and still did not make any difference. The Jaguars are having issues in both offense and defense, and I do not think the Quarterback is the actual problem here, but the QB is always an easy scapegoat. Tampa Bay’s season is almost over, and they are just trying to win enough games to build towards next season. James Winston’s future in Tampa is in question. 

Broncos 23-Chargers 20: Another last second heartbreaking loss for the Chargers. Phillip Rivers has a hall of fame career and needs to leave the Chargers and play for a contender next season. Denver may have something special with this young Quarterback Drew Lock. Next week Denver plays the Texans, which will be a good test for Lock.