Category: Personal


Anime.

Best defined, Anime is animation that comes from Japan. I first learned of Anime because of a friend from junior high school. We had met on 7th grade and became friends easily, something that has been difficult for me my whole life, even today as an adult.

My friend, who’s been living in New York for the past 3 years and who I miss so much, wouldn’t leave me alone until I watched every Anime she had seen and others she hadn’t. We started with Pokemon, Dragon Ball, Rurouni Kenshin (my all time favorite) and Ranma 1/2. We would rent them, watch them on cable tv and download them from the internet.

Now I own over 20 complete Anime series and still look for more. I enjoy them better in Japanese with English subtitles, that’s how I’ve learned to recognize some words.

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I’m not going to talk about that the end of the world as we know it is coming to an end, blah, blah, blah. So don’t worry. I’m going to talk about me and my upcoming graduation.

Finally! I’m graduating this June from El Colegio; after six long, long years. I even get somewhat nostalgic at the thought. This will be the End of my college studies and the Start of my life as a graduated student searching for employment in what I studied. Wish me luck, please.

I haven’t made many friends, but I’ve had fun these past six years, even though I haven’t seen any of my high school friends that study at El Colegio. I’ve enjoyed most of the classes, with Math being the only exception. I liked taking Chemistry, Biology and Physics, bust mostly I enjoyed Humanities, Social Sciences, English and Spanish. I have to attribute my enjoyment of the classes, firstly, to the professors and, secondly, to my classmates.

I  preferred taking classes late in the afternoon through the evening, instead of early in the morning. Not because I like to sleep in late; and believe when I tell you that everyday I wake up at no later than 7 am, even on Sundays; but because late afternoon and evening life on campus is nicer. With less people around campus in the afternoon the atmosphere is calm and serene. It also gave me time to do things I had to do and enough time to get prepared for college, because I like to take my time in getting ready, like most women.

So, I’m saying good-bye to El Colegio with a sad smile, because on the one hand I’m happy to finish college and happy to end with Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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e stress on studying and doing projects. On the other hand it kind of makes me sad to leave a place where I learned so much and enjoyed so much.

Life beyond death?

What is death? Death is the end of life, the full cessation of vital functions in a biological organism. This is the definition of a dictionary. My definition of death is this “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” the apostle Pablo said this in Philippians 1:21. Some people say, and I agree with them, that there is only one thing for certain in life, and that is death. All living things eventually die.

Socrates said “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” I agree with this. Death is unknown, whether there is life or not beyond death is an individual belief. I think that people fear death because they are too attached to the things they have in this world and then they neglect the spiritual things and miracles that they might have witnessed, like I have. When I was a child I thought that the most important thing was money and toys. I was always worrying about my things, that no one touched them without my permission. As I was growing I learned that the material things that I had weren’t the most important thing, but my family and friends. Sadly I learned this the hard way. One of my grandfathers died when I was almost five years old and I loved him dearly

I treasure the most what says in Philippians 1:21 because I truly believe this. I believe what the teachings of the Pentecostals teach in church that there is life beyond death. Not because I was raised to believe it, but because I have witnessed some miracles that had made me believe in this. To mention only one miracle, I’ll mention myself. My mother told me once that when I was about six months old I became sick, I lost a lot of weight, was dehydrated and was very pale. I was hospitalized for three days when the doctors told my mother to call the family so they could see me one last time, because they wern’t sure how much longer I could survive. That same day my mom went to the hospital’s chapel and prayed to God. She said that she told Him that if he wanted he could take me, but if it was in his grace to let me live she would lead me in his path. Doctors said it was a miracle that I survived and became healthy in a few days later. And my mom wasn’t a Christian by that time. I have heard doctors say “I can’t do anything more. Only God can help you.” or something like this. The most amazing thing for me about this is that most of those doctors aren’t God believers.

For people to know and choose to believe, or not, if there is life or not beyond death we, the Pentecostals, go with the commandment where Jesus tells us to “Go around the world and preach the evangelism to everyone.” (Marcus 16:15). All around the Bible the prophets, apostles, Jesus and God tell us to preach God’s message of salvation, which means that there is life beyond death. We try to give and present them with facts and proof. Some people believe in what we say, others don’t, but we don’t force them like some other religions.

I write this not to make the reader believe because I want them to believe, but as a part of what I’ve lived and believe. I have written part of what I believe of what is death and what I think is beyond death. I want to finish this saying that God never fails, we might think that he does, but I have witnessed that he never fails or comes late. I believe that God has a purpose for everyone, it is in us to accept it or not.

My dream job.

I believe that everyperson that wants to work wants to do it with what their passionate about. Sadly, I’ve encountered many people who don’t like their current jobs, but they do it because the pay is good. I’ve also encountered people who are doing something they’re not passionate about, because when they started to do what they enjoyed it didn’t went well for them.

Take my sister and her husband, for example. She’s studied to be an elementary school teacher, she enjoys it by the way, and her husband studied to be an art teacher, who also enjoys it. What they also enjoy is the business they started together. He is very skillfull in the plastic arts, with almost every material. He takes solid colored shirts, polos, baseball caps, totes, and more and paints them with his created design, mostly around Christian and Puerto Rican themes. My sister does something similar, but with the computer. They really like that, and hope to open a store.

Now, my dream job would be to become an activity planner with my own bakery. I love planning parties and activities. I planned my mother’s wedding, with my stepfather of course, I even did the cake; I planned my sister’s baby shower, my own wedding, a family reunion of my family. All family activities, but it doesn’t end there. People who know have asked me for help and even payed me for my efforts. I have also done the activity’s cake.

I would be so happy to do my own business and that it becomes succesful, of course. So, I’m doing everything in my power to make my dream job a reality.

How movies helped me.

I don’t want to brag, but I speak English almost to a 100% fluently. Many people have asked me if English is my first language and if I’ve lived in the United States for at least a year. The answer to both questions is no. I learned watching movies.

As any other child, the thing I wanted to do most was watching television. I couldn’t get enough Disney movies or cartoons. Watching so many movies is how I learned to fluently speak English. Really, I did! Watching them in English with Spanish subtitles helped me a lot, adding English class in school of course. My mother says that I was always interested in the language and tried my hardest to learn it really well. I never had special classes on learning a new language, the movies just helped me.

It is the same with Japanese. I don’t speak Japanese as I’d like, but I recognize many words when I hear them. It is thanks to Anime, Japanese animation. My best firned from junior high school introduced me to the world of Anime with Pokemon. She was such a fan of Pokemon that she even had a book with the Pokemons and a very detailed information on them. She wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d memorized them in the orther presented in the book. Fortunately the book was up to 151 Pokemons, now it’s like over 600.

Becuase I liked Anime I learned to enjoy best watching movies or tv shows in their original language with subtitles in Spanish, except movies that are originally in English or, of course, Spanish.

The glue in my family.

In November 2, 2010 my sister called me and gave the news that she was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband had found out that same day and couldn’t wait to see the family in person to tell them the news. What surprised me the most was was that my sister was 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant already and she didn’t knew it. She said that she never suspected it because her period is always irregular. But the last few weeks, before getting the official news, she suspected something and decided to go to a laboratory for a blood test. According to the gynecologist, she was due for around May 15.

Ever since both families, hers and her husband’s, knew of the pregnancy, we’ve been calling each other coordinating who will give the parents-to-be what. We’ve been also preparing the baby shower separating expenses. I’ve had  lot of fun, specially talking to my father who lives in Orlando, we’ve talked more in the past few months than in the last twenty years. Even family who I’ve seen only once in my life have been calling me to ask about my sister and what she needs.

On Thursday March 24 my sister went to her gynecologist’s office because she had been feeling ill the past couple of days and she couldn’t see at all. Her doctor said that she had to go directly to the hospital because her blood pressure was at 170/80. In the hospitals doctors said she had preeclampsia. At approximately 5:00 pm she was taken into the surgery room for an emergency c-section and around 6:00 pm her baby was out into this world and was taken immediately to the child intesive care unit. The baby girl’s weight was 4 pounds with 5 ounces and she measured 18 inches long. Nurses hooked the baby to an oxygen machine because she was born eight weeks premature. After surgery my sister was kept in a dark room for a day and a half because her blood pressure wouldn’t go down. On Saturday she was taken to a room and thankfully she was released on Monday.

Unfortunately, the baby will stay in the hospital for at least a month or until she gains more weight. The baby was fed only water for two days with a serum, making her weight only 3 pounds and 2 ounces. She’s so fragile looking, her skin is so wrinkled and seems so loose. Although her cry is strong for being premature, the doctor said the baby had to stay because she lost weight not because she was sick. That’s a relief for the family.

Beatriz Aleksandra Torres Maldonado, what a mouthful, right? This is how my sister and brother-in-law named their firstborn daughter, my niece.

My Bucket List

By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Mark Victore Hanson

 

“So much to do, so little time.” I know that many people think like this sometimes and they do only a fraction of what they really want to do. In part is because they don’t organize the things they really want to do, like in a bucket list. Here’s mine, not in a specific order:

  1. Become a great activity planner, with my own business.
  2. Open a cake shop, as another business.
  3. Read as many books as I can.
  4. Live in any other town, in Puerto Rico, than Guanica.
  5. Be a more open person.
  6. Travel the world, or as many places as I can, specially Europe.
  7. Perfect my drawing skills.
  8. Learn Japanese, French, Russian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Egyptian and Hebrew.
  9. Perfect my German.
  10. Become a chef, for my own pleasure, not as a job.
  11. Be able to become a foster parent.
  12. Adopt at least one child.
  13. Visit every town in Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, and enjoy the town, not just pass through it.
  14. Be a Social Worker.
  15. Make my family tree as far back as possible.
  16. Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy.
  17. Visit a Renaissance fair.
  18. Ride in a hot air baloon.
  19. See the pyramids in Giza, Egypt.
  20. Witness the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
  21. Ride an elephant.
  22. Witness a meteor shower.
  23. Visit the Great Wall of China.
  24. Attend the Carnival in Venice.
  25. Grow my own flower garden and vegetable garden.
  26. Solve the Rubik’s Cube.
  27. Take care of a bonsai tree.

So, what do you think? Have I inspired you to make your bucket list? By the way, this isn’t the complete list, I’ll add more things as I think of them.

     I’m the second granddaughter on my mother’s side of the family and was the favorite of my mother’s father, my maternal grandfather. I remember that he’d play with me all the time and wouldn’t ground me, even if I deserved it. In my eyes, when I was a shrimp of a girl, I thought that his house was humongous. I’d take the bedroom’s size to my advantage, in which I’d hide and my grandfather would go looking for me. I remember so little of him, but what I remember are happy memories and fond feelings when we were together, save one.

     It was a day when I was almost half a decade old, the weather was breeze fully warm and the sky was clear. The sun was high up in the sky, nothing blocked it, but the bulky canopy of the trees in the backyard provided day-long shade and the breeze made them dance a slow rhythm sensual to the eye. Inside the house, I was playing hide and seek with my grandfather. I was hiding inside one of the closets of the house. It was pitch dark and full to the maximum capacity, but there was a small peeking hole in the side of the door frame through which some brightness entered.

     “I’m looking for a little princess, who has emerald eyes and chocolate hair. Where could she be?” I heard my amused grandfather through the clothes in the closet.

     “Maybe she’s here. Nope. Maybe here.”

     I heard he was getting close to my hiding place and couldn’t control the giggles that escaped through my lips.

     “Was that her? It sounded like she’s in the closet. Let me see.”

     With a breath drawn in sharply, my heart stopped and I knew I had blown my cover. I was about to be discovered, but nothing happened. Did he go to another closet? I decided to peek, but to see well I had to get out of the closet, so I did. I pushed my way through the clothes and the darkness into freedom.

     “Boo!!!”

     “Aaahh. Grandpa, why did you do that?”

     “I was just playing with you, sweetheart.” He picked me up and gave me a bear hug.

     “Ok. Now you hide.” I told him.

     “Maybe later. Grandpa is tired and needs his rest. Ok?”

     “But what will I do? I’m bored.” I wailed.

     “Go look for grandma. I think she’s baking cookies.”

     “Ok. Sweet dreams.” I gave in quickly at the mention of cookies. So, I kissed his forehead as he lie down in his favorite armchair in his bedroom, his throne as he called it, and made my way to the kitchen.

     Instead of going to the kitchen from the inside of the house through the long, dark and solitary corridor, I went out the back door. I decided to play along the way. Although we lived in town we had such a big backyard and grandma always had chickens. The backyard had very big grey rocks and many plantain trees.

     “This is Deborah calling base. Come in base.” I spoke to Home Base in Earth; I was an explorer in an alien planet.

     “Come in Deborah.”

     “What are my orders, base?

     “Find rare items and bring them back.”

     “Roger.”

     I followed base’s orders and surveyed my surroundings. I moved rocks and debris, and found a most rare item base would be interested in. I picked it up and analyzed it. It was shiny made of metal and wood. The metal end had pointy teeth like a saw, it wasn’t sharp but I decided to hold it by the wooden end. It was actually a kitchen knife.

     With it my role changed and I became a pirate battling other pirates with my sword to protect my ship. Swords clanked and pirates were yelling at each other, while I moved around defending myself from other pirates. I was panting and moving around protecting my crew and ship. Suddenly a big shadow came upon me. It was like it became night all of a sudden, but I realized it was a big white monster that came from the sea above me.

     “Take that you monster.” I pierced the monster’s flesh. It floated away in a flash and with its disappearance I showed who was boss. The pirates cowered before me and retreated, making me victorious.

     I went inside the ship to asses the damages. I opened the door of the kitchen and noticed that nothing was damaged. There was no one to be seen around, but I noticed that on top of the stove someone was cooking something, or maybe, a witch was brewing a potion. I instantly knew that I couldn’t taste it for I would die a horrible death. I looked around for a bench to reach the potion and throw it.

     “What are you doing, Deborah?” my grandfather surprised me.

     “Oh, you’re awake. I was playing make believe.”

     “I’m awake because you’re grandma woke me up because she couldn’t find you. You know you have to tell us where you are at all times.” He wasn’t yelling at me, but I knew he was worried.

     “I’m sorry.”  

     “It’s ok, but next–” He stopped abruptly when he noticed what I had in my hand. “Give me that.”

     “No. It’s my sword.” So I ran and tried to hide, but I wasn’t fast enough. My grandfather cornered me in the sofa and tried to take the knife from me. I struggled with him and suddenly the knife was out of my hand. Immediately I felt a warm liquid running down my hand. It was blood, but who’s?

     “What’s going on? DAD! What happened to your hand?” My mom arrived from work.

     “Deborah was playing with this knife and I took it by the blade, but she yanked it away from my hand and sliced it, but I’m ok. Don’t worry.”

     “No dad. That looks horrible. Mom, take care of the girls while I take dad to a doctor.”

     “Mommy, is Grandpa going to be ok?” Tears were streaming from my eyes.

     “Don’t worry, baby. I’m just taking him so they can clean the wound.” Out the door they disappeared.

     “I’m sorry.” I sobbed to the emptiness they left behind.

     The next day when I saw my grandfather, I ran towards him apologizing and saying that I would never play with sharp objects again. Over the next months I noticed that my grandfather became weaker and sleepier than before. He started going to the doctor very often, until he was admitted to the hospital. Before he went to stay in the hospital he talked to me and my sister, hugging us and telling us how much he loved us. Crying I told him I didn’t wanted him to go to the hospital because I couldn’t go visit him there. He gave us one last hug and went his way to the hospital. That was the last time I saw him.

     My grandfather never left the hospital. He died just before he began his seventieth decade. I blamed and punished myself for his death because of the incident with the knife. An incident provoked by a disobedient child, who wanted to do as she pleased. Many times throughout the first year of grandpa’s death, I’d go to his big forest green armchair, which the smell it had of tobacco began fading, and curl in it crying my eyes out. In one occasion that I was in his armchair, my mother witnessed me talking to the armchair apologizing and crying for having ended his life. She rapidly advanced towards me, hugged and smooched me, and began to explain what really happened. My grandfather died out of a combination of a heart condition with diabetes. Knowing this didn’t make me forget my gloominess and feel overjoyed without guilt, just a tiny bit better because I knew I hadn’t really killed my grandfather.

My name’s meaning and origin

This is what I found on my name, in the website thinkbabynames.com, doing a Google search.

  1. Deborah is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin menaing bee.
  2. In the Bible, Deborah was a prophetess who guided the Israelite forces under Barak to victory over the Canaanites led by Sisera.
  3. Deborah was a popular name in USA in the 50s, making it the second most popular name.

In spite of this, I got my name from ex-Miss Universe Deborah Carthy-Deu (1985), who won the title two years before I was born. My father gave me the name, first, because my mom got to name my older sister; and second, because he was infatuated with her, making jokes about her being his girlfirend.

Well, right at this moment I’m thinking that people should question themselves often and stop once in a while. By doing this we can stop our crazy life and think what is it that we’re doing or going to do. Let’s stop being robots living in autopilot, because everyday we do the same thing, and let’s be humans again reducing our speed and analyzing our course in the day. As a personal note on this subject, I’m a person that when I’m driving to college sometimes I ask myself how did I get here [a point in between my house and college]. In those times I feel that my car was on autopilot and it drove by itself, and instead on admiring my surroundings I go daydreaming. So, I realize that I live in a monotonous agenda.