*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.

*Best Value Crianzas​ under $15

In my opinion, Crianzas do not get as much love or recognition as they deserve, and yet they are some of the most incredibly well-made wines available in the market today.

They are a highly satisfying wine-drinking experience, and their value makes it even more appealing to the consumer.

Most winemakers take way too many liberties with their marketing and false advertising; however, Spanish winemakers fall under rigorous regulations when it comes to marketing on their labels. When you see a D.O. label (Denomination of Origin) on either a Crianza or Reserva bottle of wine, you can rest assure that it meets the requirements to be labeled as such.

Rioja winemakers take so much pride in their wines that they do not release their wines into the market until they are adequately aged and are ready to drink. This means that when you buy a bottle of Crianza with a D. O. on its label, you know for a fact that it has been aged at a minimum of one year in barrels and a few months in a bottle. So when you purchase a bottle of Crianza, you can be guaranteed that it is ready to drink from the moment you uncork it.

If you are not very familiar with Spanish wines, or perhaps you are a bit intimidated by them, you should take a chance and explore some of these affordable and approachable Crianzas mentioned here.

Here are some of my current favorite Crianzas. Every single one of these bottles is under $15 bucks, which are all readily available at most wine shops or liquor stores in the U.S.

Lopez De Haro-Crianza, 2013

LOPEZ DE HARO, Crianza-90% Tempranillo, 7% Garnacha, 3% Graciano (Rioja): I am a single varietal kind of guy, and I usually try to stay away from blends as much as I can, mainly Spanish red blends. However, this particular Crianza is one of the few exceptions to my no-blends rule. I have been a fan of this winemaker for a few years now; they make a charming 100% Tempranillo, as well as a few other exciting limited edition wines. This Crianza consistently appears on many wine lists throughout New York City restaurants, mostly at Spanish tapas restaurants.

Ripe red fruit on the nose, stable balance of tannins and acidity. Mid-long finish. Very pleasant to drink by itself, but you can always pair it with some prosciutto and Idiazabal cheese. I have never found it for less than $14.99, and it should not be more than $15.99.

Valde Lacierva-Crianza, 2015

VALDE LACIERVA, Crianza-100% Tempranillo (Rioja): This wine comes from Hispano Bodegas, which owns wineries in Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Rueda. They are fast becoming one of my favorite wine producers, and there is only a handful of places where I have been able to find bottles for sale, and when I do, I usually end up grabbing a few bottles at a time. You get a nice mix of dark and red fruit on the nose. A stable balance of acidity and tannins. Long smooth finish.

I love pairing this wine with some spicy soppressata; the spiciness accentuates the flavors and aromas of this Crianza. I also pair it with some Cabrales cheese. It is currently selling for $14.99, and it is well worth it, so do not hesitate to buy it.

El Coto-Crianza, 2015

EL COTO, Crianza-100 % Tempranillo (Rioja): This winemaker has been around since 1970. Their property Los Lamendros is now the largest vineyard within all denominations of origin in the Rioja wine region. They also produce a delicious, vibrant Rose and an amazing Garnacha aged in oak barrels. This particular bottle is a solid choice when it comes to affordable and approachable Spanish wines. You get red fruit on the nose, peppery and acidic (which is what I like in my reds), light tannins — a delicate balance of spice at the finish. Easy to drink on its own, right from the moment you uncork it, and it gets better after the second pour.

Pair it with some firm or medium-firm cheese made from sheep’s milk. Currently selling at $10.99 and under, but I have also found it at some wine shops for $14.99. Avoid paying more than $14.99 for it.

Montecillo-Crianza, 2015

MONTECILLO, Crianza-100% Tempranillo (Rioja): From Bodegas Montecillo. The third oldest winery in Rioja. They make all kinds of affordable and very approachable wines. They also have a vineyard in the Ribera del Duero region, but I have not seen any wines from that vineyard around in the states yet. The only ones that I have seen and tasted are their Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva, which are available at most Total Wine store locations that I have visited recently. This Crianza shown here in the picture is what I consider to be one of my “house wines” or one of my go-to wines — for those random nights at home when I want something consistent and not in the mood to overspend too much on a bottle. You get dark fruit on the nose, aromatic, oaky, medium-bodied, mid-long finish. Let it breathe for 20-30 minutes and enjoy it.

Pair it with some Mahon cheese or some campo de Montalban, along with some chorizo or jamón serrano. Excellent value at around $9-12 bucks. If you find it higher than $12.99, somebody is trying hard to rip you off. 

LAN-Crianza, 2015

LAN, Crianza-96% Tempranillo, 4% Mazuelo (Rioja): Produced by Bodegas LAN, which stands for La Rioja (L.), Alava (A.), Navarra (N.). LAN has consistently scored high in the top 100 list of W.S., with 7 of their wines making a list, which is great and all, but this particular Crianza is one of my all-time favorite easy-drinking, comfort wines. There was a time when I lived in the D.C. area where my local corner grocery store always had this Crianza in stock in their limited wine selection section (I think I was the only one buying it consistently). Hints of vanilla, some cherry on the nose, oaky and leathery. Long pleasant finish.

I pair it with any firm cheese, but manchego, it is probably my favorite pairing. It is currently selling for $14.99, which is a fair price for it, but I have also found it for $11.99 in some stores.

*FROM BOOK TO TV: ADAPTED WORKS OF FICTION

As I continue to work on my screenwriting journey, as well as learning the craft of creating spec scripts for TV, I can see clearly how hard it is to adapt books into movies or TV shows. It’s a tough and arduous endeavor, and often times somewhat polarizing, especially when it comes to beloved works of fiction. I recently finished watching Good Omens on Prime, and If you haven’t heard anything about it, it is a limited TV series adaptation of a book collaboration between Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, also titled Good Omens, which was released way back in 1990. This book has been a bestseller ever since it was first released and it’s one of those sci/fi fantasy books that continues to enjoy a solid die-hard cult following base.

The book is still available in print, so you should be able to easily find it in-stock at your local bookstore without having to special order it. If you can’t find it and have to special order it, then your local bookstore probably sucks.

img_1780-1For some strange reason, this limited series is not generating as much buzz like other TV shows, and it seems to me that the most faithful and hardcore book fans of Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett were the ones who immediately binged on the show as soon as it was made available to stream. But regardless of the limited buzz, this show is considered to be one of the most successful shows on Amazon original series lineup and fans of the book have given this TV adaptation high praise as it compares to the original text. Which is a direct contradiction to the other adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s book American Gods (Streaming on Starz). From the things I’ve seen and read online, it seems like this  American Gods TV version has generated some negative feedback when compared to the actual book. Good Omens is such a fun, well-executed show and casting Michael Sheen as Aziraphale and David Tennant as Crowley was pure genius. Their performances are excellent. There is even talk about expanding from the book and developing a second season. Which will be great, if only Neil Gaiman would continue to write future episodes and produce the show.

img_1781American Gods season 1 was pretty entertaining. I enjoyed it, but it is evident that there was plenty of material left out of the book, and season 2 is already available to stream, but I haven’t seen it yet, (will probably watch it in the next few weeks). I must confess that I have not read Good Omens or American Gods, but I know many people in my immediate surroundings who have read them both and they all share their discontent for American Gods TV adaptation and their praise for the Good Omens TV adaptation. The performance by Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday on American Gods has been praised as the best thing from the show. I think he did a fantastic job with the part. But I also feel that there were other excellent performances to highlight like Pablo Schrieber as Mad Sweeney and Emily Browning as Laura Moon, and I think most of the cast did a solid job as well. So even though the first two seasons of American Gods have received mixed reviews (mostly from people who love the book), the show still ends up working well, and I found it to be visually very extravagant and beautiful. It is definitely worth watching.

6521ab92-1068-4821-881d-8fa5d0e1fc06Game of Thrones and Good Omens are an interesting example of how a previously released work of fiction can be successfully adapted from book form into a successful TV series as close to its original form as possible. Specifically Game of Thrones season one through five. Those seasons were very close to the books, with some omissions here and there, most notably the emergence of Lady Stoneheart assuming the leadership of the Brotherhood without Banners. I wished that particular storyline would’ve found its way into the show somewhere, somehow. Mainly since seasons three, four and five were based on the books A Feast for Crows  (Book Four) and A Dance with Dragons (Book Five) which is very interesting because both books share the same timeline. From season six through eight (Final season), everything is NOT based on the actual books. So once book number six (Winds of Winter) and book seven (A Promise of Spring) are both completed and released that is when we will finally be able to put everything together and compare the TV show next to the books accurately. 

Game of Thrones gave me a unique perspective into the polarizing world of adapted works of literature. Game of Thrones was a TV series that generated so much feedback and chatter, were faithful fans who worship and canonize all of the five books of A Song of Ice and Fire were always quick to point out any inaccuracies within the storylines in the TV version. Usually right after a new episode would air I would check the Twitter trends and read all the banter going back and forth between the hardcore fans and the casual fans who did not read all the books but loved the show fanatically nonetheless. There was always criticism of the show, although the criticism was often positive, but yet, there was still plenty of unsatisfied Game of Thrones fanatics who did not take too kindly to any little deviation from the written works of George R. R. Martin. The fact of the matter is that both the books and the TV show have generated a worldwide cult following phenomenon, making it the most popular show in the world, which is something extremely remarkable.

img_1784I also recently finished watching season one of  A Discovery of Witches (BBC America/AMC) which is an adaptation of the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The show was pretty entertaining and fun to watch because when you blend vampires, witches, and demons into one storyline, it should make for one hell of an entertaining show, but the demons were somewhat cast aside and did not have a prominent role in the show (wanted to see more of them). I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Twilight series throughout most of the eight episodes of this show. This is another adaptation where the book is being consolidated into a cliff notes version of the story, and I feel that in this particular adaptation, the story did not have to be watered down or consolidated. There is plenty of time in eight episodes to bring a cohesive story together without compromising the source material or perhaps even make it a ten-episode season. In any case, I still enjoy the show and can’t wait for season 2.

img_1775When it comes to future adaptations of beloved works of literature, the possibilities are endless. There was the successful adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects on HBO, which is another example of an efficient and deliberate way on how to adapt a book into a TV series without taking too much away from the original source material. The Outlander series is also a fan favorite, which is an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s book series also titled Outlander. We also have Alan Moore’s Watchmen coming soon to HBO. Hulu is developing Anne Rices Vampire Chronicles into a TV series, which is precisely the proper way to present this type of material to an audience. The complex world that Lestat and the other characters of the vampire chronicles occupy needs to be presented in an extended TV format. I know Anne, and Christopher Rice are 100% involved in the creative process, from casting to developing the storyline, and I know Anne is a huge fan of British TV shows like Downtown Abbey and others, so I feel like this show will be epic. I’m a big fan of the first three books of the vampire chronicles, so I’m beyond excited, to say the least. Also, let’s not forget those Game of Thrones prequels being developed, oh…and there are the future adaptations of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time sci/fi series coming soon to Prime (I think).

All of those current adaptations serve, and future adaptations will serve as an excellent source for aspiring screenwriters, it is a unique way for someone like me who is taking his first steps into the screenwriting process to use as a tool and reference. I would love one day to have a crack at adapting a book into a movie or TV show, but in the meantime, I have to continue watching, reading and most importantly…writing.

This is truly the golden age of television.

BOB LAZAR: AREA 51 Documentary

img_1121I liked it, and I didn’t. But overall, I was not very impressed by this new Bob Lazar: Area 51 documentary, Directed by Jeremy Corbell (streaming now on NETFLIX). It didn’t do much for me, and in a way, I felt like Steven Greer’s UNACKNOWLEDGED (2017, also streaming now on NETFLIX) was way more entertaining and thought-provoking than Jeremy Corbell’s documentary, where he made a solid attempt to reframe the Lazar story by adding a more personal structure to the documentary. Showing Lazar at work, at home, also adding his wife and friends to the story. We also get Mickey Rourke as a narrator, adding an air of a Hollywood top billing celebrity to the credits.

 

img_1123At the end of the day, It doesn’t really matter if you believe in Lazar’s story or not, it doesn’t really matter if you believe in UFOs. It matters how the story and the material are presented to the viewer, which I felt like it was presented somewhat poorly. Although there are some exciting and entertaining moments throughout the documentary, it still fails to bring the story together within the world of UFOLOGY and to connect Lazar’s story with the current impact of the Ancient Aliens TV show in modern popular culture.

Bob Lazar and the director of this documentary (Jeremy Corbell) went to the Joe Rogan Experience studio and recorded a podcast, which was longer than the actual documentary, and to some degree a lot more entertaining. Perhaps the most exciting thing I took away after listening to the podcast was the revelation that some of the “crafts” at area 51 actually came from Archeological digs (according to what Lazar was told). 

Now that is one powerful revelation and a revelation that comes with some serious implications that could put our entire understanding of ancient civilizations upside down (if you believe in Lazar’s story). The idea that most of those crafts were obtained from archeological digs and not recovered from some UFO crash is mind-blowing, to say the least.

Could it be possible that ancient cultures had developed this kind of technology?

Could previous civilizations had at some point reached a higher level of technology, even higher than our own current technological abilities?

Or perhaps there was some type of mass extinction event that suddenly wiped out those civilizations which caused those crafts to be left behind and as time went by they got buried away along with the ruins of those past civilizations, only to be discovered by modern humans within the last century?

Is difficult for me to believe that an alien civilization visited us in ancient times and left behind their crafts and all their advanced technology. Unless they came to stay, brought their technology with them, and never left. Only to be wiped out along with those ancient civilizations at some point. Maybe Graham Hancock’s theory about how humans are a “species with amnesia” is right on the money, perhaps we have lost our own sense of history, our true ancient history, and at some point in our distant past, we were a highly advanced species. A species that had an advanced understanding of physics. Maybe that explains many of the pre-diluvian tales of pre-Columbian cultures throughout the Americas and other parts of the world.

This documentary never addresses the real questions regarding Lazar’s story, it just tries to vindicate the parts that have been proven true, and some parts feel somewhat circumstantial. Element 115 still remains a mystery. Lazar refused to discuss on the screen whether he sneaked some of element 115 out of Area 51, which is a claim he made sometime back in the ’80s. So I guess if you are not familiar with Lazar story, you will find a lot of value in this documentary, but in case you are very familiar with his story, this documentary feels like we are just catching up with Bob after all these years. Like we are seeing how he still manages to live a ‘normal’ life, while still maintaining firm with his claims and story. But the main thing I found fascinating was Lazar’s comments on the Rogan podcast. When Rogan asked him if he had any idea where those crafts come from, Lazar replied that they came from an archeological dig.

Bob Lazar: “it’s not just old, it’s ancient.”

 

 

img_1121

​*BODEGAS MUGA

I am very much of the idea that everyone should enjoy wine in their own way. Wine can be an easily pretentious topic, and it should not be. It angers me when it does. The allure and idea of experiencing different varietals from different regions are fascinating to me; that is why it is essential to be open and to continually be experiencing new wines from different wine producers and diverse wine regions.  Your wine preferences should always be about your tastes, regardless of what is deemed trendy or cool.

It is just as simple as that.

I subscribe to the philosophy that wines should always be at least two things: Affordable and Approachable. Meaning that you should never have to overspend for a bottle of wine, the value should always be somewhere between $10.00 to $35.00 bucks, and you should be able to easily find fantastic wines from excellent winemakers at around $10.00-$15.00 regardless of your wine preferences and without breaking your budget.

img_9365-1Tempranillo grapes and Garnacha grapes are two of my favorite varietals, and you can often find me drinking Tempranillo from Rioja or Ribera del Duero wine regions. I have a deep fondness for wines from those particular regions, and just like I stated earlier, wine preferences are a very subjective topic. I tend to gravitate towards the non-nobility family of wines (Merlot, Syrah, Pinot noir, Cabernet, etc.). Those types of wines bore me, and I usually steer away from them. When I look at a wine list from a restaurant, I like to see a list of diverse and complex wines. It is a huge turn off for me when I see a wine list at a bar or restaurant with only wines from what is considered the nobility of wine varietals, which tells me that their wine selection is lazy and has no personality.

The particular wine I want to share with you today is a 2014 Reserva (aged for two years and spent one year on Oak barrel).  It is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. You can taste dark and red berries on the nose, smokey, oaky, vibrant ruby colors. Medium to full-bodied, and a beautiful long finish. If you can still find a Muga Reserva from 2011, do yourself a favor and buy it. When it comes to my favorite wines, those bottles that I tend to consider as my favorite comfort wines, you will always find somewhere at the very top of my list wines from Bodegas Muga.

A few interesting things about this family-owned winery: They have been around since 1932. They are the only cellar in Spain with a maestro Cubero (master cooper) and three in-house barrel-makers, which gives their wine a unique and fascinating characteristic.

img_5916

Their wines are grown in five distinct vineyards throughout La Rioja region, most notably their vineyard in Sajazarra. It is located near the highest altitude of La Rioja, which gives their wines more significant aging potential. They produce many exciting wines, like, Muga white (90% Viura, 10% Garnacha Blanca), Torre Muga (75% Tempranillo, 15% Manzuelo, 10% Graciano) and they even produce a deliciously refreshing Rose, for those hot summer days.

img_9365So, give wines from Bodegas Muga a try; I suggest their Red Reserva. You can pair it with some Jamon Serrano, Prosciutto, Soppressata, and any nice stinky cheese. I prefer goat cheese or even some Manchego, Mahon, or Idiazabal cheese. It also goes well with some steak, ribs, pork, and lamb.

Everyone’s palate is different, so enjoy this or any other wine for that matter as you please, and pair it with whatever foods you think compliments your taste best. However you decide to enjoy your wine, always remember that a wine bottle is more than just fermented grape. A bottle of wine captures the substance and the spirit from the actual harvest of a grape varietal; it also captures the place, the culture, and the soil from where it was grown, as well as the passion of the people who harvested and produced it. Salud!

img_9401

%d bloggers like this: