Punishment for not knowing music…

by on Apr.11, 2012, under Creativity, Family, Musings


A little taste of what goes on at the Saldivar household…

So I’m sitting with Liz on the sofa watching the DVR’d Glee episode when they mention, Simon La Bon.

Yes…I watch Glee…

I innocently look over at my adoring wife and ask, “Who’s Simon La Bon?”

In less than 5 seconds the following events occur:

  • I see the magnificently beautiful brow on my wife furrow…
  • Then she snaps her head to me – eyes locked on her target…
  • I catch a blur of motion as I vaguely register the sight of her “Moma Backhand” racing towards me…
  • My smile doesn’t even have the chance to change to a frown before stars explode in front of me followed by blackness…

Don’t know how long I was down (7…8…9!) but as my vision cleared Liz was standing over me asking why I didn’t know who the lead singer was from DURAN DURAN! 

Shaking off the cobwebs and mumbling, “Em Oka’d, Em Ok..” I get back on the sofa and listen to her half-hearty apologize for clocking me…

“…I just can’t BAH-LEAVE you didn’t know who that was!” Said my musical genius. Then she smiled and jumped to another story…

“You know who’s getting back together? La Franzzz! Remember them?”

Before a sound escapes my lips, I instinctively raised two clenched fists to my face…classic boxer defense strategy…

“Remember protect yourself at all times…” the referee said.

“Uhm….who?” Ready to bop and weave…


Suddenly this smoke filled boxing ring is smaller, my vision begins to blur, I realized I was going down for the count from a barrage of rabbit punches followed by a vicious upper cut…

  • “It was the local 80’s band you and I went to see at the rodeo ON OUR FIRST DATE!”
  • “You took me to the rodeo”
  • “It was freezing cold”
  • “I didn’t want to get on that flying saucer ride but you made me”
  • “Then I got sick”

I start smiling and unconsciously lower my hands as I recount the true story of our first date…oh so many many years ago (25?).

I do remember…

Liz smiles and when she moved closer to snuggle, I flinch – thinking she lured me in by giving me a false sense of security, I was waiting for the upper cut.

But she didn’t…and just smiles as she hugs me.

Over 25 years with this woman and she still has this power over me.

…and okay, all of this is true EXCEPT –  I’m not a battered husband…but I did flinch.


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First paycheck – another rite of passage for a young man

by on Feb.27, 2012, under Creativity, Family, Musings

Big day at the Saldivar household. Joaquin got his first paycheck today.

Today was like most days, I picked up Joaquin after school and then we had to dart over to Emma’s school to get her since Liz was going to be late. On the way home we chatted about homework, the coming week’s activities, who would be making dinner, Joaquin stated he finally figured out Geometry while Emmy sang to Adele on the radio.

As we pulled into the driveway, Joaquin mentioned that his friend (who also got hired at Fiesta Texas) had already gotten paid so Joaquin wanted to know how to check his account we had just recently set up. I told him when Mom gets home, we’d figure it out. For now, he was to go bring in the trash cans, get his homework done before he had to go to his Confirmation Class meeting at church tonight.

Joaquin pulled his backpack over his shoulder and lumbered off while I made my way to the mail box. As I scanned the mail,

“Junk…Junk…Bill…Fiesta Texas Check addressed to Joaquin…”

I looked over at my son pulling both cans, one in each outstretched arm behind him, towing them like Conan the Barbarian would two stubborn horses across a river, fighting him all the way…but nonetheless he managed to pull those steeds (cans) to their proper resting place beside the house.

“Look what you got…” I waved the white business envelope in the air to him. He came over with this big toothy smilie and grabbed the paycheck. We all walked in and he opened it.

(continue reading…)

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The journey ends…

by on Aug.29, 2011, under Creativity, Family, Musings, Sports

Time for my son to give up his football career.

…yes, another sappy story from a proud Dad but, there is a nice highlight reel below. 🙂

Joaquin received a 2nd concussion three weeks ago, and after undergoing a battery of tests that rivaled those seen in the movie, The Right Stuff, we as a family decided it was time to end his football playing days.

This latest injury has affected his balance a bit. The doctors can tell because when they ask him to place his feet together, cross his arms across his chest and close his eyes…he sways a little.

Hell…I do as well…but that’s another story.

On the plus side, they have given Joaquin some mental and balance exercises to do in order to get better but for now, football is out. It’s been tough on Joaquin since he stated he didn’t want to quit what he started, but he understands. Right now the focus is to get mended and stay focused on his studies.

I never played organized sports in school, my mom was always worried I’d get hurt.

So most of what I’ve learned about football is through the experiences of my son. Playing team sports was always somewhat of a social event for my son.

He’d show up for practice/game and his teammates would yell, “Waaahh-keeeen!” Or “Hey WACK!” He’d flash that big toothy smile of his and leave my side to dash to his buddies.

He loved playing with his teammates.

“Wack” was the beloved moniker bestowed upon him by a caring coach from his baseball playing days. “C’mon Wack! WACK that ball!” So it just stuck.

His first year in football, he was one of a handful of 6th graders that made the Blessed Sacrament Catholic school football team. It was rough playing much larger 7th and 8th graders but he persevered. He’s not the fastest player but took direction well from his coaches and even played through his scoliosis to become a leader and valuable player in 8th grade.

Jeez, he just sprouted during 7th and 8th grade…

Although he played his freshman year at Antonian Preparatory College high school, both Liz and I could tell that he was not going to play football much longer. He was ready to move onto other things but he knew not to quit once he started the program. He had already engrained himself on the JV team since he’d attended all of the summer practices and even took his pictures but this injury has changed all that. He can’t even help his teammates on the field as a manager because he has to heal. His Doctor and Physical Therapist just don’t want to take any chances…and neither do we.

I won’t be creating a sports calendar for him (still doing it for my daughter Emmy) and no video or photos — but I thought I would put this short video together of my son, highlighting his short football career. Watching the video, it amazes me how much he has progressed and what he has yet to accomplish.

This video is more for me than for you, my “Papa.” My endearment for him.



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This is our stop…

by on Aug.16, 2011, under Family, God is testing me, Musings, Sports

Been a pretty hectic summer with a sophomore and 6th grader entering school this week.

Joaquin has moved beyond “fish status” and now on his 2nd day as a sophomore at Antonian College preparatory school. He is also now a member of JV football squad and even took his pictures (click here for images)  but that may change.

Yesterday I picked up Emmy from Volleyball tryouts at Blessed Sacrament Catholic school, then we swung around to Antonian to pick up Joaquin from football practice. As Emmy and I waited in the truck, we saw him down on the field but with his helmet off. He stood to the side with another player while the special teams group ran some drills. As soon as they broke practice I moved my truck over to the gym to wait for him.

After about 10mins, I received a phone call from Joaquin.

“Dad, are you here?”
“Yes Mijo, I’m by the gym.”
“Okay, I’ll come get you, the trainer wants to talk with you. I think I got another concussion.”

Again the bowling ball drops into my lap.

(continue reading…)

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Nana : Patron Saint of VIA buses

by on Jun.13, 2011, under Creativity, Family, Humor, Musings

Recent events inspired me to write and create a small tribute to my Mom.

This is the 2nd week my 15yr old son has been taking the bus home from Summer Weight/Conditioning camp for football at his school. The four week camp started the week of June 6th and is from 7am to about 9:30am.

Liz gets him there at 7am but since its tough for either of us to leave mid-morning to go get him and take him home, we opted for Joaquin to take the bus home.

When we told Joaquin of the plan, he calmly replied, “Okay, Nana taught me how to ride the bus.”

See, his Nana (God rest her soul) used the San Antonio VIA bus system as her primary method of transportation. My Mom was very proud to state she could get anywhere “en el bos.”

To downtown to pay bills, make a deposit, run errands and even attend special events. Even though most of the time we’d go get her – if we couldn’t, she’d take the bus. She was the master of bus routes and schedules.

There were very few places my Mom couldn’t get to via…VIA. (continue reading…)

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