Friday, December 30, 2011



SALLY: “I’m sorry Harry, I know it’s New Year’s Eve, I know you’re feeling lonely, but you just can’t show up here, tell me you love me and expect that to make everything alright. It doesn’t work this way.”
HARRY: “Well, how does it work?”
SALLY:  “I don’t know but not like this.”
HARRY: “Well, how about this way. I love that you get cold when it’s seventy one degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich, I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts, I love that after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the life to start as soon as possible.”

                                                                           —When Harry met Sally, 1989, Rob Reiner.

FOR those, like Yours Truly, who live in the stretch zone, New Year’s resolutions are a total waste of time. I’m constantly collecting information that commands my attention. I process what it means and what to do with it, and then I organize the results. Some requires an immediate action, so I do. Not next year, nor even next day, but NOW. Other demands time for a better understanding. So when the right moment comes, I put the plan into action.

Throwing away the resolutions, I think it would be more useful to reflect on the things I’ve learned in 2011.

So here we go. 10 things learned in 2011.

1.- OVERDOSE OF PATIENCE. Two people1, who don’t know each other, have told me that I’m very patient. I looked up the word in the dictionary, “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.”
I learned that my fortitude and calm attitude stems from my level of awareness. The more aware I am, the more patient I am.

2.- TO PROVE I'M TRUSTWORTHY. When the other day someone, who had asked me references five months ago, told me, “I don’t need anything; I trust you,” I learned that it’s not enough to know I’m a trustworthy person. I must prove that.

3.- SOME PEOPLE CAN KILL THEIR PARENTS FOR MONEY. Literally. In the movie Wall Street, Lou Mannheim tells Bud Fox “The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don’t want to do.” It’s right for those who have no values (or money is their first value.)
This year I suffered a betrayal. First, my heart missed a beat, then I felt vulnerable, and a wave of sadness came over me. I learned that one can wear a mask for a while, but the mask will fall sooner or later. And the best way to cope with it is to leave, silently, closing the door behind you.

4.- TRUST LIFE. You know what they say, ‘When one door closes, another door opens.” I totally disagree.
In fact, when one door closes, more doors follow suit. And it happens up to the point of wanting to throw in the towel. You think it’s unbearable and unfair. But there’s a turning point when you surrender to whatever comes to you. You stop fighting, and just surrender to it. In that moment, a little window opens and a fresh air helps you to breathe. Life is testing our will all the time. I learned to trust Life.

5.- ALLOW MYSELF TO MAKE MISTAKES. I usually share my thoughts with my mentor. Not long ago, my mentor gave me this priceless advice: Allow yourself to make mistakes.
I don’t pretend to be perfect. However, I like to challenge myself. I am a risk-taker. I learned that making mistakes comes along with taking risks. Only risk-takers make mistakes. Through mistakes, one can learn. And ultimately only risk-takers win.

6.- RELATIONSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT2. When you’ve been on your own for very long time, you can bear loneliness quite well. In fact, you can even love that loneliness. But as, Sigmund Freud said once, “Love and work are the cornerstones of humanness.” Now I understand love as an intimate union where two people are true to their own path and surrender to their relationship giving to each other and expanding their ability to love unconditionally. And I humbly learned that I had not been ready for a deeply loving relationship till now. 

7.- CREATIVE FREEDOM. Recently I’ve been asked how my experience as a self-published author has been so far. I learned creativity requires total freedom. It starts with a message that comes from my inner being and I surrender to it. Then I wonder. I explore. I discover. I create. And I offer my creation. The purity of creation stems from total freedom.

8.- WILD DOGS BARKING IN OUR CELLARS3. We all have wild dogs barking in our cellars. Some of us have confronted them. Others fear to do that, and they hide them. So the thing is, at the least expected moment, they can bark at others. I come into terms that writing is all about exposure, but I won’t fall into that trap. Most likely because I can’t bark.

9.- KEEP FOLLOWING MY HEART. Call it craziness, call it bravery, but I have no alternative. I learned that only a fulfilled life is a live lived. I want to keep having a big smile on my face.

10.- KEEP LEARNING. MOST IMPORTANT. If you ask me to choose one thing I learned (or I’m learning year after year), I would choose "to keep learning." Never stop learning.

Happy 2012 to everyone!

1 I gratefully accept to receive feedback from others. I can learn a lot about myself.

2 The blog post # 15 “A dinner, a flamenco show, and Love in Paris” also posted on other forums has been the best hit of all times. The result of the opinion poll about if women should ask men out for the first date, indicates that the vast majority voted “No, men should make the first move.” ‘Thanks all for sharing!

3 Most likely it was coined by Friedrich Nietzsche.

Copyright © 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 23, 2011



Merry christmas baby
Babe you sure did treat me nice
Yeah! merry merry merry christmas baby
Babe you sure did treat me nice
Gave me a diamond ring for christmas
And now I’m living in paradise

Oh! I’m feeling mighty fine this morning
I’ve got good music on my radio
Hey baby, I’m feeling mighty fine
I’ve got good music on my radio
I would love to hug and kiss you baby
While you’re standing beneath the mistletoe

Santa came down the chimney
About half past three
He got all of these presents that you’ll use
See, I’ll help you put on these

Merry merry merry christmas baby
Oh! you sure been good to me
I haven’t had a drink this evenin’ baby
But I’m all lit up like a christmas tree

Hey! merry merry merry christmas baby
I’ve got good music on my radio
I said, merry merry merry christmas baby
I’ve got good music on my radio
I would love to hug and kiss you baby
While you’re standing beneath the mistletoe

Friday, December 16, 2011



ELISE: Invite me to dinner, Frank.
ELISE: [gives him a look]
FRANK TAYLOR: Would you like to have dinner?
ELISE: Women don’t like questions.
FRANK TAYLOR: Join me for dinner.
ELISE: Too demanding.
FRANK TAYLOR: Join me for dinner?
ELISE: Another question.
FRANK TAYLOR: [thinks for a moment] I’m having dinner, if you’d care to join me.
ELISE: [smiles at him]

                                             —The Tourist, 2010, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

DATING is fun, yet asking out can be treacherous.

One thing is still not crystal clear to me. When a woman likes a man, should she ask him out for the first date? Or is this man’s job? I consider it would be great if either man or woman could make the first move—nothing to do with claiming for equal rights1, though—,  simply just going with the flow. You like him, so you ask him out. What’s the big deal?

Nevertheless, as a close friend likes to remind me once and again, “If a man likes you, he will definitely make the move, and sooner rather than later.” I kinda give her the reason. After all, my experience sustains the affirmation that men love hunting, like our primitive ancestors. Period.

This summer, over mojitos, I discussed this topic with some friends of mine. I remember I raised this controversial question: What if I go to that table, you see that good-looking guy, and I give my personal card to him?

Alas, my Dedicated Readers, women doing that can be taken as aggressive, desperate, and masculine. So that man would have looked at me, saying “Oh man, another desperate woman” or would have taken my number, rubbing his hands and shouting (or singing) Waiting for tonight!

So what are the non-written but almost mandatory rules for women? Kids, listen well, never ask a man out for the first date, but use feminine wiles—namely, eye contact and the whitest and sweetest smile as a sign for him to ask you out.

I wonder if men disagree with this rule.

I think I need to do an experiment. Wait. Let me recall my experiences.

Okay, here we go.

Once I asked a man to meet me for a coffee. Result: he never replied to me. Ha! You see? Okay, I did not ask him for a date. Just to know him better sipping some coffee. The thing is, I will never know whether he was shocked by a woman taking the plunge—C’mon, an inoffensive coffee!—, or he was embarrassed to answer with a resounding No! What’s the big deal? It was just a coffee, for Heaven’s sake!

On the other hand, I’ve been asked out recently (I swear I didn’t use any of the above feminine wiles) and the result was quite interesting. Some men don’t take no for an answer. Actually, it is an exciting challenge for them.

One guy invited me for dinner—the classic guy. Let me tell you, when I politely declined his offer, he said: “No??? And if I ever see you again?” That was quite dramatic but he made me laugh. So I said: “Okay, if tomorrow never comes, I’ll see what I can do.” Another one asked me to join him to see a flamenco show—the trendy guy. The elevator’s door opened and closed, following with the ring, while the poor man tried to convince me to join him for the event. And another one, grabbing my hand, and with that cute French accent told me: “If you want love, you should come to Paris”—the romantic guy.

Yes, Rick, we’ll always have Paris.

1 Two weeks ago, some male friends were seated comfortably on a couch while I was seated on an uncomfortable chair. One of them told me, “Don’t you women claim equal rights?!” Damn it! It was easier to live in the 18th century!

Copyright © 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 9, 2011



HR. DIRECTOR: So, why don’t you tell me, in your own words, who exactly is Annie Braddock?
ANNIE BRADDOCK: Wow, that’s…That’s certainly an easy enough question. Mm-hm. Annie Braddock is a kind… well… I am…
ANNIE BRADDOCK: Well, you see…Mm-hm. I have absolutely no idea.
HR. DIRECTOR: Excuse me.
ANNIE BRADDOCK: Who is Annie Braddock? It wasn’t exactly a tricky question. Yet somehow I couldn’t formulate a response. Of course I knew all the basic facts… the date of birth, home town, socioeconomic makeup. But I didn’t really know who I was, where I fit in, who I was gonna be. I was suddenly terrified I’d never find the answer.

                         —The Nanny Diaries, 2007, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

WHEN F.C. Barcelona plays against Real Madrid, there’s not only a game at a stake.

We smell politics, economics—although Galactics1 failed to win any trophy—culture, tradition, blood, etc. That’s why the winner is not only a winner of the game, but the winner beyond the game.

These teams are going to play tomorrow, and leaving aside fanaticism, as Margaret Thatcher once said referring to the soccer hooligans in the 1980s “A disgrace to civilized society,” I got to thinking that some people use their belonging to a certain soccer club as a powerful way to identify themselves. Even becoming stronger than religion. Or I should say, they belong to another sort of cult.

Let’s do a mental exercise. Drop your diplomas, your job, your native language, your friends, your possessions, your belonging to any professional/personal/Bildelberg club, and move to a foreign country and start over. How would you define yourself then?

Think about that for a second.

Isn’t that the perfect chance to create ourselves anew?! We can become the creators of our lives! Isn’t that exciting?!

In Otto Rank2’s view, a developing person strives for individuation3, growth, and fulfillment of his or her potential.

But why does this freedom terrify?

Yes, my Dear Readers, it does because there’s a cost. The daunting side on this fully immersion into Life is that most likely we will encounter life anxiety, a frightening loneliness, a feeling of vulnerability, a loss of basic connection, and a bunch of mediocre people who will make the whole thing even more excruciating by telling you that “You can’t.4

Scary, huh?

For some people, this life anxiety becomes unbearable, so they take another road. They go backward and find comfort in merger—“belonging to” or “merging into.” Even accepting that losing their unique self and the feeling of stagnation will rise to a major issue: Death. 

1 Expensive, world-famous Real Madrid football players that were picked according to their reputation.
2 An Austrian psychoanalyst and Sigmund Freud’s close colleague.
3 In analytical psychology, individuation is a process through which a person becomes his/her “true self.” I would say, in my own experience, the awakening transformation ignites that process.
4 If they think they can’t, how the hell you can?

Copyright © 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 2, 2011



ODA MAE BROWN: I know you don’t think I’m giving 4 million dollars to a bunch of nuns.
SAM: Think of it this way, you’ll go to Heaven.
ODA MAE BROWN: I don’t want to go to Heaven. I want to go to the bank and cash a GODDAMN CHECK!
                 —Ghost, 1990, Jerry Zucker.

BLOGGING can seriously harm your health.

A week ago I got a new follower on my twitter…

Malibu’s Psychic to the Stars.
Powerful advisor to recent U.S. Presidents, Fortune 500 CEOs, and Celebs.
All matters of personal and career excellence.

…and suspiciously (or not so) it disappeared several days later.

Do I believe in psychics? For one, I say No. Yet the ad made me ponder, aside from wondering which actions might have been commanded from a psychic on behalf of a US President[1], why irrational beliefs are formed and reinforced in our brains.

Let’s have a look at some shocking statistics[2]:

82% believe in God
            76% believe in Miracles
            75% believe in Heaven         
            73% believe in Jesus is God or the Son of God
            72% believe in Angels
            71% believe in Survival of the soul after death
            70% believe in The resurrection of Jesus Christ
            61% believe in Hell
            61% believe in The virgin birth of Jesus
            60% believe in The devil
            45% believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution
            42% believe in Ghosts
            40% believe in Creationism
            32% believe in UFOs
            26% believe in Astrology
            23% believe in Witches
            20% believe in Reincarnation
I’m saying shocking because Americans believe more in the paranormal than Darwin’s theory of evolution. Now I understand why paranormal novels are all the rage. Should I switch to that genre?!

The nub of the issue lies on the difference of what I want to believe based on emotions/needs and what I should believe based on solid evidences. For instance, if you can’t bear your loneliness and a psychic assures you that you are going to meet a tall dark stranger next week, you want to believe that charlatan. If you are diagnosed with a mortal disease, you want to believe in God to soften the pain of mortality through some vision of everlasting life and, although atheist, you might start praying to God, the son of God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Mother of God! And I wonder: Where are the solid evidences? The emotions—basically, fear to the unknown—will swept us not to wonder, just to believe. We will smooth the path and walk through it finding the most convenient and useful explanation.

Under the calm waters, I wonder how in the Age of Science, we, humans, are not prone to search for answers[3] that come with evidences (or that will come most likely in the future). It’s understandable, nevertheless, that throughout the centuries the fear-stricken primitive minds believed in deities and superstitions. But in the 21st century?!

Most likely the issue has to do with the education, cultural and social environment, and ultimately the level of personal awareness, which will drive us to either look for the answers or to make ourselves comfortable in what’s given to us[4]—even with the peril of absorbing mistaken paradigms. Lots of layabouts make a fortune trying to relief that fear temporarily. We call them psychics, spiritualists, mediators of God, or other cunning people.[5]

Over the years, I switched jackets from believer to skeptic, realizing that as far as we know something, we drop believing in it. We don’t need to believe in the truth. We know the truth.

[1] Come on! Don’t tell me the Malibu’s psychic forced Mr. Clinton to lie to American people about his affair with Miss Lewinsky.
[2] Opinion poll of 2,303 adult Americans. “Harris Poll reveals what people do and do not believe,” Harris, 2009.
[3] Yes, there are still many unresolved questions, as for instance, in Kant’s words “The starry heavens above and the moral law within.”
[4] Nobody taught us how science works but what science has discovered. I guess it has to do with the parrot-like teaching method. Sigh.
[5] I have read that Joan of Arc was declared to be a witch and burned alive by a pope, and three hundred years later, she would be declared to be a saint by another pope. There’s one solid evidence here: FEAR (to lose clientele).

Copyright © 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN  STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.