Guest Post: NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket Challenge Contest

wp-1488056548199.jpg

Hi everyone! My blogging buddy Tracy from A Joyful Process did a guest post on our upcoming NCAA men’s basketball bracket challenge. If you’d like participate, please e-mail him at  twayne@joyfulprocess.blog for more info. The deadline to participate is Wednesday, March 15. I hope to see you participate with us! Even if you don’t care about men’s college basketball, you’re still welcome to join! All you have to do is pick the teams you’ll think will win out of 60-some teams and a couple of other details. Please feel free to spread the word on WP and/or social media. The more, the merrier! 

***

First, let me thank Lisa A. at the Life Of An El Paso Woman blog for allowing me the opportunity to guest post once again.  

Over at my blog, A Joyful Process, I write a lot about music. In addition to my love of music is my love of sports. In another life, I was a sports blogger, and wrote about the sports that I love to watch and the teams I root for.  I like watching baseball, football (college and pro), soccer, the Summer Olympics and basketball (NBA and NCAA, men’s and women’s).  

One of the high holy days on a sports fan calendar is the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. I often refer to this time of year as a time when I catch the “hoop flu.” It has been given that name because I usually take time off to watch the opening round games on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament. So before you ask, I will be out of the office on March 16 and 17 to watch as many games as I can. Last year on the opening Thursday I spent 9 hours at a sports bar with friends watching the games. I’m not sure whether I’ll be doing that again this year, but there’s still time for me to decide if I want to or not. 

One of the fun things that I do while watching the tournament is follow my picks on the tournament bracket. Before the games begin, I try to pick the perfect bracket—meaning I try to pick the winners for all the games of the tournament. For years, I used to set up contests at my job among the employees to see who could pick the best tournament bracket. With the advent of the internet, this can all be done online at any number of sites, or you can get software to do the job for you. Last year, I set up a bracket contest between myself and my gracious hostess, and it was a lot of fun as we talked smack to each other while the games were going on. I’ll just say that I won that contest. 

This year, we would like to open the contest to any bloggers who wish to participate. I will set up a group bracket game at ESPN for any bloggers who wish to participate. Please contact me at twayne@joyfulprocess.blog for details on how to join in the fun. If you’ve ever done a bracket challenge, or participated in an office pool for the NCAA Tournament, it is a very similar contest. You will have to make picks of all tournament games before noon on Thursday, March 16, 2017 (the First Four games on March 14 and 15 do not count as part of the tournament). Hope to hear from many of you soon!

 

 

My Two-Year Blogiversary!

wp-1487947709785.jpg

Hi everyone! Today is a really exciting day! Life of an El Paso Woman is 2 years old today! It’s been said that several blogs only make it to one or two years! To be honest, I didn’t think I’d still be blogging! I thought I’d eventually get bored and quit after a couple of months. Although there’s been times when I feel like that, I know I’d miss you and blogging too much. I’ve had a great time meeting writers and readers from around the world (I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few in person), writing about music and other interests, being invited to local events, writing here and there for a little bit of money, starting my women’s fiction novel and organizing the first U.S. blogging event in Chicago! I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my posts and being supportive! I also want to thank each and every one of you who follows me on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Believe me, I know how valuable your time is. It means a lot when you take some time out of your busy day to read the blog and leave comments. Thanks again everyone! Here’s to many more years of blogging! Salud and cheers!

wp-1487957873780.jpg

wp-1487957994275.jpg

Photos from Pexels, Google Search

Friday Song 2-24-17

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! I hope you had a good week! It was a pretty busy and hectic week here! This weekend and next week will also be pretty busy! I might take a little break next week. I’ll be sure to let you know if it happens. I usually like to have a fast paced song on Fridays but…this Friday is an exception. I’m in the mood to listen to some relaxing music! Today I’m taking you back to 2000 with Sting and Cheb Mami’s “Desert Rose.” Can you believe this song is sort of an inspiration for my book? I’ll tell you why later 😉

Although Sting continues to make music and perform at 65, you don’t really hear about Cheb Mami these days. Algerian-born singer Mami began creating music in the mid 1980’s in Paris. When he and his music became successful, he began touring worldwide. Unfortunately, Mami has had some very rough years after “Desert Rose.” According to Wikipedia, he was found guilty of drugging and forcing his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion in 2005. He served five years in a Paris prison. In 2015, he was ordered to pay 200,000 euros (a little over $211,000 in U.S. dollars) to Cheb Rabah for plagiarizing some of his songs. Cheb Rabah also became the co-author of “Desert Rose.” Who knows if we’ll ever hear of Cheb Mami or his music anymore? It’s very unfortunate all of that happened! Have a great weekend, everyone and I’ll see you soon!    

#RomanticTuesday, #Loveuary 2-21-17

Hi everyone and happy Romantic Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start! Although I planned on featuring this timeless classic sometime in the near future… Chevvy from Chevvy’s Studio inspired me to do it sooner rather than later. A couple of weeks ago, she mentioned another version of this song by Kenny G in the comments section. I didn’t know he had his own version of At Last too! If you missed that post, you can check it out here. If you like different genres of music, poetry and nice photography, please check out and/or follow Chevvy’s blog if  you aren’t already. Since I think this song also ties in perfectly with Ritu’s Loveuary challenge, I’m including it there too. I’m using At Last for Ritu’s prompt, never ending love.

At Last was written in 1941 by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical, “Sun Valley Serenade.” Glenn Miller and his orchestra performed the song for the movie. Until recently, I always thought Etta James was the first person to sing it! She didn’t cover At Last until 1960. James’ version of At Last reached number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the time. I think it should’ve at least been in the top 10! Her version was inducted into the 1999 Grammy Hall of Fame. Several artists have covered the song throughout the years. Pop singer Christina Aguilera covered At Last at James’ funeral in 2012. I included a couple of my favorite versions. Which is your favorite? Please feel free to leave them in the comments. Have a great day, everyone and I’ll see you soon!

wp-1485930164613.jpg

   

Steve-O Live in El Paso

Hi everyone! Me and my boyfriend had the opportunity to see Steve-O last weekend at the El Paso Comic Strip. Steve-O was a big star on MTV’s Jackass, a reality TV show from the 90’s and early 2000’s. He and his co-stars performed many outrageous tricks and pranks. A couple of movies based on the TV show were made in the early 2000’s. Steve-O’s done some wild, crazy and disgusting sh*t in his life. Steve-O’s lived an interesting life. It’s a miracle he’s still alive at 42 years old! Steve-O talked about the times he was arrested. He was arrested for stapling his male private parts to himself. When he was in Sweden some years back, he swallowed a condom filled with marijuana. Luckily, he didn’t choke and he eventually recovered the marijuana. After all that, he ended up smoking the marijuana. Steve-O also talked about getting high with celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Mike Tyson and Kid Rock. He eventually hit rock bottom with legal issues and drugs so he went to rehab. Guess who he saw when he was in rehab? Mike Tyson! We had the opportunity to see Mike Tyson talk about his crazy life a couple of years ago. Stevo-O has been drug free for about three years now. He also performed a couple of tricks while he was on stage. He got naked and was able to hide his male genitalia between his legs. Ha ha ha! Although he didn’t let us take photos while he was performing, he let us take a selfie with him after the show. I included one of the photos he took of me and him. Me and my boyfriend had a great time! My boyfriend bought his memoir for me. He signed it: Steve-O loves Lisa 😀 Besides Steve-O, two local comedians opened up for him. The comedians included George White and Anthony Perez. Both of these comedians joked about their lives, culture and living in El Paso. They were pretty hilarious! 

 

wp-1487346811038.jpg
Steve- O and Me!

          

 

 

Friday Song 2-17-17

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! I hope your week was good! I haven’t been around as much because I’ve been working on a project outside of blogging. Today I’m including a song by one of my favorite singers, Luis Miguel. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you might recall previous posts I’ve written about him. I’m going to tie this post with Ritu’s #Loveuary challenge. I’m using her prompt, celeb crush. When I was younger, I practically worshipped Luis Miguel and his music. Today I’m including Luis Miguel’s song, Sueña (to dream or hope) from 1996. The song was featured in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack in Spanish. It was also on his 11th album, Nada es Igual (Nothing is the Same). My sister used Sueña in one of her slow dances at her wedding a couple of years ago. I recommended the song to her. Here are a couple of paragraphs I wrote about Luis Miguel last year, along with Sueña‘s lyrics in English. The lyrics in Spanish are included in the video. Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll see you soon!
***

One of my favorite artists and entertainers growing up was Luis Miguel. I’m still a fan but I’m not obsessed with him anymore. I had a huge crush on him as a child and teenager. My bedroom walls were literally covered with posters of him. I had every single one of his CD’s and concert DVD’s. I even had t-shirts with his face on them!

I had the opportunity to see him perform twice in El Paso. He’s been coming to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez in recent years. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go anymore because the ticket prices are outrageous. Luis Miguel sings various styles of music like romantic ballads, pop and mariachi. Some of his songs have a jazzy sound while others include an entire orchestra. A few of his songs are redone classic Mexican ballads. He even sang a duet with Frank Sinatra called Come Fly with Me. Mariachi bands are a huge part of Mexican-American culture. If Mariachis are present, you know it’s for an important event. Mariachis are sometimes present at huge birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings and even funerals. Mariachis also serenade on Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. You can check out the rest of last year’s post here.

Dream
He dreams
with tomorrow
a new world
must come
Having faith
is very possible
if you are
determined
dreams
that there are no borders
and love without barriers
do not look back
She lives
with emotion
to feel again, to live
peace
Sow
your way
a new destination
and the sun will shine
where
souls unite in light of
goodness and love
reborn
and the day we find
that dream will change
no one will destroy
your soul truth
Have faith
is very possible
if you are
determined
Sueña
with a different world
where every day
the sun will shine
where
souls unite in light of
goodness and love
reborn
dream, dream you …
He dreams
wp-1485930164613.jpg

#Loveuary (Love Letter) #RomanticTuesday 2-14-17

Beautiful El Paso sunset by Andre

Hi everyone! Happy Romantic Tuesday and Valentine’s Day! Instead of music or another type of romantic post, I decided to write a love letter to my boyfriend. I’m following one of Ritu’s Loveuary prompts, love letter. Have a great day, everyone! I hope you’re spending today (and everyday) with the people you love the most.

***

❤ Andre ❤ My Love ,

Ever since we spoke for the first time in February 2013, I felt like we immediately connected. I felt like I could talk to you about anything. I felt like I could actually be myself around you. After a couple of months, we decided to make our relationship official in April 2013. It hasn’t always been easy but here we are together on Valentine’s Day 2017. What relationship worth fighting for is ever perfect? None come to mind for me.

If someone asked me what I love about you the most, the list would be long. A couple of things at the top of the list would be your laugh and when your eyes turn a beautiful shade of sky blue. Your eyes look brighter when just the right amount of sunlight hits them. I enjoy the times we’ve spent together in bed talking about our day and everything else in between. Even though it took me awhile to get used to it, I like that we can sometimes just sit down together in silence and be OK with it. There isn’t anyone else I’d rather share a large pepperoni with green chile pizza with. And yes…this type of pizza can only be from Dion’s. I also love that you’re really smart. You’re very book and common sense smart. It’s actually really hard to find someone with both of those qualities. I also like that you have a sweet tooth and you’re male, meaning we can also share some cupcakes or cookies together! We’ve made so many beautiful memories in almost four years of being together. You are my lover and best friend. You are more than just a boyfriend to me. We’ve stuck together through some really hard times in our lives. Luckily, they’ve all stayed behind us. I’m thankful for every minute I get to spend with you. Thank you for also encouraging me to keep writing. Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick. I’m sorry about the times we fought and couldn’t stand each other. 

One of my favorite vacations we’ve taken so far was to San Francisco in June 2016. We shared so many laughs and good times while we were there. We experienced so many beautiful things. Taking a walk through Downtown San Francisco with you was an amazing experience in itself. We had the opportunity to try all kinds of different foods together. I’m excited to make more memories with you on our upcoming trip around Texas. I’m also excited about our future together. I know our relationship isn’t perfect but I think we can make it work until we’re old and crazy (crazier). 2017 already feels like it’s going to be a good year for us. Even if it doesn’t always seem like it, I love you with everything in me and I always will. You will always have my love, heart and support. I am on your team. One day you are going to be a great nurse and father. I’m sure things will even get better with you and my son. Sending you lots of love always.

wp-1486494352088.jpg
OLD SCHOOL PIC ANDRE MADE in 2013 😀

 

Love always,

Lisa

     wp-1485930164613.jpg

Saturday Song 2-11-17, #Loveuary Challenge (Cupid)

wp-1485930164613.jpg

Hi everyone and happy Saturday! I hope you’re having a good weekend! This week has been SUPER busy and hectic because I’ve been writing a lot! Believe me, I’m not complaining at all! Thanks to my aunt, I’ll be attending a writing workshop on Sunday with author Denise Chávez. I’m super excited to learn from one of the best Mexican-American authors. I learned about her and her books in my Chicano literature class at New Mexico State around 2002. I’m thinking of doing a post about her and her book store in the next few days. I’m also working on a couple of other writing projects for next month! 

Today I’m following Ritu’s Loveuary prompt, Cupid. I’m including a few of my favorite songs with the word Cupid in them. Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you have any favorite songs for Valentine’s Day (with or without the word Cupid)? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments. I’ll have a Romantic Tuesday/Loveuary post for you. Have a great weekend, everyone! Take care and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

This one is more of a guilty pleasure song but I still like it. LOL.

Still jammin’ to this one in 2017!

This one takes me back to my high school days. Smashing Pumpkins’ “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” was (and probably still is) one of my all-time favorite albums.

A true classic!

I found this one YouTube and I REALLY like it! She has an amazing voice!

Some honorable mentions: Amy Winehouse’s Cupid, Sam Cooke’s Cupid, Teena Marie’s Cupid is a Real Straight Shooter.  

Guest writer: Lisa Amaya – An El Paso Woman

A HUGE thank you goes out to Sue for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog. Comments for this post will be closed in my blog. Please visit Sue’s blog if you’d like to leave a comment.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

el-paso-2El Paso. Image: Pixabay

Hi everyone! Before I go any further, I want to thank Sue for allowing me to write a guest post for her blog. I appreciate this wonderful opportunity. For those who don’t know of me or my blog, I’m Lisa Amaya from Life of an El Paso Woman. I’m a 30-something mom to my 11-year-old son, Jacob. I’ve been writing stories and poetry since I was 6 years old. I’ve written for different newspapers, magazines and online publications for about 10 years. Aside from my blog, I’m currently a contributor to What’s Up Weekly in El Paso, Texas. I interview musicians and celebrities from around the world for this publication. I also attend movie premieres, concerts, festivals, museum exhibits and other fun events.

el-pasoEl Paso. Image: Pixabay

My first book is currently in the works. I hope to finish it by late 2017 or early 2018. The story takes place in El Paso. It’s about…

View original post 717 more words

#Loveuary Challenge (Friends) 2-9-17

Hi everyone and happy Thursday! This week has been really busy! Today I’m including part of a repost I did last year. It’s about one of my good friends and a girls night out we had. I’m using Ritu’s friends prompt. Me and my good friend met when we were 12 years old. We were 6th graders at William D. Slider Middle School in east El Paso. We began to have classes together in 7th and 8th grade. Classes with my friend were always a great time! We were always laughing and picking on boys. The teacher would sometimes ask us to be quiet. Before there was texting, we always wrote each other letters almost everyday. I’d write about the boys I liked, what I was doing on the weekend, etc. Not only did we write letters but we also talked on the phone almost everyday. It’s crazy that she’s been my friend for about 23 years now! No matter how much our lives change, we always keep in touch. We’ve been to each other’s get togethers, baby showers, weddings, etc.  She’s one of those friends you can call or text anytime of the day or night, even if it’s just to say hi. Over the years, I’ve had so many friends come and go. Luckily, she hasn’t been one of them. Speaking of girls night out…we have one planned for tonight and I couldn’t be more excited! Have a great day, everyone and I’ll see you soon!  

***

download.jpg

Hi everyone! I hope your day was great! My day was very long today!

I had a nice dinner with a very old friend of mine this evening. Eating tacos and catching up on life are always fun things to do with special people in my life. I’ve been friends with her since we were in sixth grade, so about 22 years now! We’ve seen each other grow up, go through a lot, etc. Like a lot of us, she’s been through some hard times but she’s now doing great for herself. She’s in a loving relationship and works as a counselor for children and adults. She’s one of those friends you might not talk to for months but nothing changes. When I finally sit down to talk with her, it’s as if we just spoke last week. It’s rare to find and keep friends like that in your life. We talked about her relationship, what’s been going on in my life, etc. I’m not sure when we’ll get together again but it’s always a great time! I’ve cherished her friendship throughout the years. She always knows when and how to say the right things to me. She doesn’t sugar coat anything I tell her either.

To this day, I still remember several of the memories we’ve shared throughout the years. Some of the memories include: passing notes in class, talking on the phone for hours, the day she married and divorced one of my friends, hanging out in the middle school cafeteria, talking about cute boys in our classes, laughing and talking too much in algebra and English, the time we liked the same boy (it’s not as bad as you think, he’s very much in love with his boyfriend these days) the day she graduated from college with her bachelors then masters, the times she’s cooked for me at her house, watching one of our favorite shows, House, the list goes on and on! I’m sure we’ll continue to be friends until we’re REALLY old! We don’t get to hang out that much because she works a lot. We both know we can text or call one another anytime. I also relearned a great lesson this week. There are still nice people around us at all times! I’m beginning to believe most people are actually nice!

Photo from Google Search/Simple Reminders

wp-1485930164613.jpg