My (Super) Hero

A few months ago, my son, Jonathan (16) breathlessly runs in.

"Mom, you've got to see this!" He then proceeds to show me the following movie trailer:

Explosions! People in peril! ! MARVEL SUPERHEROES ! ! (Win.Win.WIN!)

He knows (because I've told him repeatedly, as I have all four of my kids) that I was a nerdy comic-book-loving kid. That's right. Little known fun fact.

{WARNING: Over-sharing-Uber-nerd Alert!}

My dad used to take me to the local drugstore on weekends and let me pick out 3 or 4 comic books every week. It's how I learned to read in English. This probably flies in the face of all kinds of English as a second language research, but, whatever....

I would very carefully choose a variety of comic books, from the Harvey classics, like Richie Rich to the "teen" comedy, Archie (for the record, I was always very pro-Betty, but that's not important right now). I also really loved the action/adventure Marvel comics.

Thor was my favorite of the Avengers. Mostly because he said cool things like:  


Avengers-never be beaten

(By the way, the only time you should EVER use the Comic Sans font is in a comic book. There. I said it.)

Back to the Avengers. And specifically to Thor. The Mighty Thor. I loved Thor. He had the hammer. The cool Viking vibe. When I was in high school we were The Mighty Vikings. It like one big cosmic Thor Love-fest.

In fact, when Adam was three, I dressed him as Thor for Halloween. I did. I swear. (Excuse me while I go dig up some proof.....)


Adam as thor

Hey! Superheroes come in all sizes (and my son has since forgiven me). But that's not important right now.

As I got older, my comic book consumption diminished, but my love of all things Marvel did not. In the late 70's, I religiously watched Bill Bixby/Dr. Bruce Banner turn into Lou Ferrigno/The Incredible Hulk . (Who didn't?)

So back to Jonathan and The Avengers Movie Trailer....

  1. I am thrilled that my 16 year old and I have such awesome common ground.
  2. We are out-of-our-skin excited to see the film. In theaters everywhere on May 4th.


Were doubly excited that the makers of LEGO are also aboard the Avengers-train. Embrace the awesomeness:

AVS_LEGO Theatrical_A1

And so is Target. This is seriously the cutest ad ever. Watch. And love.

We are definitely going to be following the Awesomeness that is The Avengers on Facebook. And counting down to May 4th. (Thanks, Disney Pictures!)

I don't know about you, but in our family, nerdiness does not skip a generation.

Jonathan Captain America

So, any other uber-nerds out there? I know there are. Come on. Talk to me.

May the 4th Be With You

In 1977 when I was young and adorable (This is NOT a lie), a film was released that changed my personal perseption of movie making forever. (This is NOT a lie, either.)

It was only playing on a few screens and there was no advertising for it. It was completely word of mouth. We had friends who dragged us to this screening. Apparently everyone was dragging friends. The friends had no idea what the film was about and it was too hard to explain, so the dragging was happening en masse.

Star Wars. Episode IV. A New Hope.

We didn't call it that back then. We just called it Star Wars. I still am a bit unsure as to the number and official titles of the films, but that's not important right now.)

Happy Star Wars Day!

This is the kind of stuff we uber-geeks live for. May the 4th be with you! *salutes appropriately*

So today I'm in touch with my inner-Star-Wars-geek and I am all about The Force. Or in this case The Fourth. May the Fourth. May the Fourth Be With You. Get it?

Just for today I will endulge my inner-geek. And I'll post a few star wars related videos and links.

And even a photo of Darth Vader that I took on Hollywood Blvd. last week.

Yes. I caught him while he was texting. How cool is that?


Sweet, right?

Here's more Vader for your entertainment pleasure. Here's the one where he's being a jerk:

And here's the one where he's failing the tom-tom gps ad:

I could do this all day long.... (and maybe I will..)

Here's the Star Wars Help Desk...

And of course, the Darth Vader Volkswagen ad.

If you're Star Wars Uber-Geeks, (like we are) you must have a favorite line from the movie, like:

"That's no moon." or "The Sand People are easily startled but they'll soon be back, and in greater numbers." 

What's your favorite Star Wars quote? (Dig deep!) Please share it.

If you get stuck, cruise over to Wookipedia today and get your fair share of Star Wars trivia.

And, oh yes....May the 4th be with you.

(Thanks for playing with me.)  =D

V.Reader Techno-book Winner

Thank you all for your wonderful responses. As a serious bibliophile, I was thrilled to see so many of you share my same love for all things print. (Even the techno variety.)

As I read through your responses, I remembered so many books that I loved, too. Some of you who are younger reminded me of books I loved to read to my kids when they were little. (But that's not important right now.)

Seriously, though. Go back to the last post and read the responses. What a jog down Memory Lane.

I chose a winner by going to and typing in the number of responses. The random number generator gave me this...

Screen shot 2010-07-05 at 11.40.57 AM
Which makes the winner... the 7th person who commented....


Andrea said...

My favorite book was The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle


The very busy spider

Oooh! Good choice! I love The Very Busy Spider, too.

Congratulations, Andrea!

Please send me an email with the subject line: MARTA, I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG!

Include your full name and snail mail address so I can forward to the great folks at VTech so they can send you this fine product. 

For those of you who didn't win, you may consider picking one up at Target. Your munchkin will thank you. =D

"When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does."
                                        ~from the movie, You've Got Mail

Reading in the 21st Century - A Very Cool Giveaway

We are voracious readers in our family.

Seriously voracious.

As I write this, four out of five of the people living in this house right now have a book in hand. I am personally in love with the Kindle for iPhone app, but that's not important right now.

So I was delighted when the makers of the new V.Reader for kids by VTech asked if I would review their product.

(In the interest of complete disclosure, I was given a V.Reader by VTech for my review. I was allowed to keep the product, but the opinion I am sharing remains my own. Well, with some on...)

I got the V.Reader, turned it on, pressed the buttons, heard the story. I thought how incredibly cute it was and how I wished it had been available when my kids (who are now teenagers) were young. I totally would have purchased this product. So, my personal opinion was that I loved it.

An animated storybook? What's not to love?

But I knew I needed to get a real expert in here.

Ben with Vreader
Here's my grand-nephew, Ben, who just turned five. His mom (my niece, Helen) has been reading to him since he was a baby. He loves books. 

"Here, Ben, try this."

He quickly typed in his name: B-E-N. Chose an avatar. A robot (Duh!). And it took him no time at all to figure out how to turn the "pages" on his "book."

Page turner 

He became immediately engrossed in the story and was quickly asking for more. "What else can I do? Are there more stories?"

Vreader story 

The V.Reader is available at Target stores and so are the other book titles. (On hearing there was a new Toy Story 3, my niece left here and headed right over to Target to pick that one up.)

The final verdict according to my in-house expert and the general consensus from everyone here, the V.Reader is "Awesome!"

Here comes the very cool part....

VTech has generously offered to send out a V.Reader to one lucky MBFCF reader. (I know. Shut up!)

So, let's do a comment giveaway. (How much do I love this?)

Go to the comment section of this post and tell me ....what was YOUR favorite book as a child?

I'll choose a winner on Monday, July 5th at 11:00 am Pacific Time.

Mine was The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss.  (That explains so much, doesn't it?) =D

How To Throw a Virtual Birthday Party

My daughter, Amy Kikita, spends a lot of time online.

Today is her birthday (27) and I wanted to do something special to celebrate. "No time," she said. "I have a ton of work to catch up on."

Bday cake face
Fair enough. I guess it's good that she has a work ethic at all....

But I also know that in between uploading and downloading and keywords and doing the online internet marketing stuff she does, she also checks her Facebook Page.

*insert lightbulb over head here*

I got excited when her other Facebook friends agreed to play along. 

So, this is an example of what she found when she logged on this morning.

Photo on 2010-06-16 at 00.35 

I think we made history today. This is the Very First Virtual Birthday Party I've ever thrown.

Thanks everyone for participating (I will keep loading photos through the day if you want to send them to me or post on Facebook).

So, Happy Birthday, Amy Kikita! Enjoy your party!

Bday chel

Bday bat

Bday er 

Bday mat

Bday mai 

Bday chan

Bday val

Bday ody

Bday mu

Bday mp

Bday mario

Bday mic

Bday lucy


Bday j&V 

Bday man

Bday jack


Bday fab 

Bday mar

Bday bran


Bday kel 

Bday johnny


Bday sean 

Bday am

Bday abe 


Bday mela

Bday ben

Bday josh

Bday liam

Bday jesus 

Bday jo

Bday gene 

Bday jon

Lourdes cupcake 

Bday pen  Chelsey
  Sue B
 Heather  Scott


Amanda and co  


Birthday sundae

For the record, I'd like to mention that the clean-up after this party is a snap! =D


Where are you now, Gaspar, Melchor, & Baltazar?

Back in the day, (that would be Cuba, 1961. After Castro, but before he canceled Christmas) my family, like most other Cubans (and Puerto Ricans and others of Hispanic descent) celebrated El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos on January 6th.

The Day of the Three Kings.

The evening of January 5th, we kids would get ourselves to bed early and look forward to the magic that awaited us the next morning. You see, it was not Santa Claus who brought us gifts, it was these three.

I still remember the haul we would awaken to on January 6th (Feast of the Epiphany, established by the Catholic Church).

And these guys were KINGS. And there were THREE of them. And they had CAMELS! Which meant they could carry that much more loot. (Shut up. I know it's shallow. I was five, okay?)

We knew them by name and sang of songs of fervent praise to them, too. We loved those three: "Gaspar y Melchor y el Rey Baltazar..."

(Read more about the history and story of the 3 Kings here.)

In early in 1961, when we left Cuba, The Three Kings apparently didn't get the memo that we had changed our address and were never to be seen or heard from again in my family. (*deep childlike sigh*)

Santa Claus took over the present delivery and I guess it seemed simpler to my parents to just embrace the Christmas traditions in this country. Although, for years, we still gave credit to "Los Reyes" for bringing our presents.

Sorry Santa! =(

And because I often wax nostalgic and I'm a little distracted and creative, I started wondering what it would look like if the Magi still delivered gifts to us on the morning of the Epiphany.

I think it might look something like this:

Happy Three Kings Day, Everyone! =D

(H/T Melek. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!)

Mac Scarecrow Syndrome or If I Only Had an iBrain

I am a lover of all things Apple.

Ever since I first worked on a little Mac Plus back in the 80's, I have been hooked.

Right now I work on a Power Mac G5. A big and powerful beast of a tower with an external hard drive that has 1 terabyte of memory. (Okay, so I'm not exactly sure what a terabyte actually is, I just know it's a lot.)

I love my Mac. It speaks my artsy-right-brain language.

So imagine my absolute delight when my fabulous husband decided to buy me an iPhone 3GS last week. (Insert angelic chorus here.)

Oh sure, I got a lot of grief from the various members of my big, fat, Cuban family who all work for Verizon, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have been very happy and extremely satisfied with Verizon and my little LG phone, but that's not important right now.

But just look at this beauty:


And the apps! (That's techno-jargon for applications or "stuff it can do." You're welcome.)

It syncs up to my iTunes and has an iPod feature which lets me play all 2000+ songs from my music library. Or I can watch tv, or YouTube videos. This feature makes me totally happy.


The GPS feature tells me where I am at all times and gives me directions to where I want to be all from typing in a keyword.


Isn't that amazing?

I can surf the web and read my favorite blogs. =D (Either vertically....)


Or horizontally... (just by turning it in the palm of my hand! I know. Shut up!)

Blog 2 

I can even post to my Facebook page or Twitter account from my new iPhone.


And I can play skee ball! (You know how much I love skee ball....) It makes the wooden rolling ball sounds and everything!! (<--- Yes, so much excitement, I needed two exclamation points!)

Skee ball 

And of course, I can text, and take photos and video....


I have already learned so many tricks on how to use it thanks to my BFF, Pam who has been coaching me from afar. (Thanks, Pam!)

And I'm a quick learner, too. Even if I do say so myself. 

I love this phone so much I want to marry it! (I know. Some serious gushing going on here.)

In fact, so far, I've only encountered one teensy, oh-so-minimal glitch with this fabulous techno-marvel which I have aptly named Marta's Magical iPhone.

And I noticed it when I got my first... incoming call.

And, umm.... I didn't know how to answer it. (I know. Shut up.*blushes*)

But did I mention it takes great pictures? =D


(Thanks, Carrie, for not hanging up.)

For all the world to see

First of all, thanks to all of my blog readers/friends/family for the wonderful anniversary wishes.

Eric and I are truly blessed to have you all in our lives. (Our cyber-lives?)

I love being able to just write from my heart about whatever is going on in our world. That you guys find it entertaining is just icing on the triple layer cake that is my life. =D

So I was thinking earlier (as I uploaded a bunch of pictures of Eric and me up on Facebook) how our lives are pretty much on display and then, well, I started feeling a little vulnerable.

Moments later I received an email from MBFCF reader, Daisy A. with this attached....

Gallery fam
Wow. There we are. On display.

It completely took my breath away.

I don't know what app she used to do this, but isn't it just too amazing and coincidental?

It instantly made me feel better about what I do.

In fact, it made me feel kind of accidentally cool. ;-)

(Thanks, Daisy! Te la comiste!)

How to Cha-Cha

You know those uber-dorky people who have a dictionary and an atlas sitting near the dinner table so that they can look stuff up when they start arguing during dinner about ways to pronounce words, or the capital of someplace, or what exactly a rhombus is?

We are those people.


By the way... In geometry a rhombus or rhomb is a quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length. The rhombus is often called a diamond, after the diamonds suit in playing cards.

Yes. Us uber-dorks argue about this kind of stuff. And I'm Cuban, so arguing is like breathing to me. ;-)

When I was growing up it was that same way. The dictionary and the atlas were staples of our meals much like black beans and rice. We eat this stuff up!

But now that we are post-modernists living in the 21st century, we've added the cell phone, which is usually off-limits during meals, but that's not important right now, because now there is Cha-Cha.

And Cha-Cha knows EVERYTHING.

How it works: You text 242242 and ask your question. ChaCha texts back the answer super quickly.

In the past couple of days Cha-Cha has given us the following information:

(I was having a disagreement on the costuming for our upcoming Bye, Bye Birdie show with someone when they suggested the girls wear poodle skirts and I argued <there I go again!> that poodle skirts were pretty much gone by the time the Ed Sullivan show was happening. I was right. =D)
The Ed Sullivan Show aired from 1959 to 1967. Ed Sullivan died in October of 1974. Thanks for ChaCha'ing!

And we also learned this fun fact as I argued (of course I did!) that Alice Cooper was not his real name...
Alice Cooper had his name legallly changed from Vincent Damon Furnier in 1975. ChaCha!

So, we're arguing and ChaCha'ing and arguing and ChaCha'ing and I'm thinking..

"What could be more Cuban? Arguing and ChaCha-ing!" .... My dad would have LOVED this! =D