Past Story Idea #1

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Reader, how are you?? Hope you had a good Tuesday. 

I had this idea for a story about this college kid who is traumatized by his upbringing and how it affects his aspirations. It’s probably been collecting dust at my desk for the past four years or so. Let me know if it’s any good!

“Wake up freshie, time for class.”

The flashback dreams are getting too vivid as my creative writing professor wakes me from slumber.

“Rick, man, you were talking in your sleep again,” bellows my friend Rob.

“If I only I could do that in the comfort of my dorm room,” I say, rubbing me eyes awake. “Just been having some real sentimental dreams lately.”

It’s been over a decade since my parents got divorced and yet it’s as if my mind has been pondering over it heavily recently. Perhaps it’s a reflex of some kind, like when covering a sneeze or catching something that’s about to fall on the floor. My inner subconscious is playing heavily with me today.

“Mr. Martinez, would you tell us what article you found Wednesday on a current event and how that applies to this course?”

Damn Ms. Yarnow isn’t playing today! First week back from Winter Break and she’s not letting up.

“Well, I found an article about the ongoing relations between Cuba and the United States. How it applies to the class and how you emphasize studying other cultures is that the writer’s examination pertains to the Cuban perspective. Their current lifestyle and their emotions about the current state of the Cuban government. The writer makes you feel like you are right there with him interviewing these people.”

I’m pretty sure I perfectly bs’d my way through that answer.

“Very good Mr. Martinez,” she exclaimed. “Now, if you may be so kind as to not daydream in my class every five seconds you may validate how intelligent you just sounded.”

I’m not going to lie, but the way she looked at me just then was kind of a turn on.

“Rick, did you see that.”

“Yes Rob, I saw. Let me try to stay out of trouble this semester though.”

Little did I know that trouble this semester was going to a bit more severe and come with an unrelenting fury: my past and hopeful future were going to collide head on.

______________________________________________________________________________

When you have a vision set in your head, it’s hard to shut it out. That dream or hopeful feeling is greater than any drug rush or carnal endeavor can supply.

I’ve had this dream of being a media personality for as long as I can remember. My early years were marked by shy but successful events but even when I was young I knew that I’d be known outside of my immediate circle, that others from New York to California and across the globe would know the name Rick Martinez.

I can still remember when I was seven years old, dressing up in a Superman costume for one of my dad’s home videos. He’d play this villain from some far away land set on vanquishing me with some tickles and take downs. He’d always let me win those “battles” and I’d milk it up for the camera. Those were some memories that I truly cherish growing up.

Both of my parents fed me unconditional love and were there for me whenever I needed them.

They were just never there for each other in their marriage.

There were times I was doing homework upstairs in my room and I couldn’t get through one math problem or writing assignment without hearing some form of an argument starting up downstairs.

One time I sat near the top of the stair, just hoping and praying for the latest verbal spat to be over, wondering why two people could detest one another so much.

When those home movies were being shot, that was probably one of the only times they could stand being in the same room together.

As the arguments continued to worsen I thought this was a cyclical pattern that would last an eternity, that this was my new normal…..

That’s about where I stopped four years ago. If you like the story so far let me know. Maybe I may finish it!

David R. Cabrera

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When Did You Start Growing Up?: It’s not that Depressing

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When Did You Start Growing Up?

Chapter 1: Wake up time, daughter

The bird chirping alarm is how daughter likes to wake herself up. It’s calming, soothing effect allows her to feel totally relaxed at 8 am in the morning on a Saturday.

She honestly thought she wouldn’t have to go the museum with Daddy today, but with Mommy off to the beauty salon for a 12-hour work day, quality time with him it is.

She’s at the point now where she isn’t wowed or amazed by anything in dusty old museums. Her current fascination is with hanging out with her friends and trying to make a name for herself in this world.

Her and Daddy used to go into DC to see the National History and Air and Space museums every other Saturday when she was little. Those trips have waned throughout the years and time has distanced the two of them.

Daughter wakes up to check her phone for any “Good Morning” texts.

No new messages are on there yet. Really, there’s only one text that she’s really waiting on.

As Daughter takes the covers off herself and throws her clothes on, she wonders if she can convince Daddy one more time that they should cancel this museum trip.

Chapter 2: Wake up time, daddy

Kirk Franklin’s “Looking for You” wakes Daddy up. He likes to feel inspired when he first opens his eyes no matter what day of the week it is.

He’s jumping out the bed like he just won the lottery. He reminds himself that he doesn’t have to go into the office today to tail with his over-bearing boss and that makes him feel even more juiced for the day.

He hasn’t told his wife that lately most of the days that he works he dreams that he could be anywhere else, doing anything else besides stare at a screen for 6 hours a day.

Daddy does wish that she could’ve came with him and daughter today to the museum but understands that she’s passionate about that salon and really feels like she has found one of her niches in life.

He sends her a “Good Morning” text knowing that she’ll respond shortly and then go ghost on him for the next five hours.

Daddy’s thinks he could make some eggs and French toast for breakfast but knows that his cooking skills are still a work in progress after all these years and just continues to get ready in his room.

He hears some stirring from Daughter’s room and finally gets himself together to meet her for breakfast downstairs.

Chapter 3: Breakfast w/ Daddy & Daughter

Cereal is on today’s breakfast menu, and by cereal: Fruit Loops. Daddy’s little girl is growing but she still loves herself some Loops and the old man will make sure that his girl isn’t alone in eating her colorful breakfast.

Daughter tries to get Daddy to change his mind about going to the museums and instead going to the mall with her so she can get a new outfit.

Any time the conversation veers towards the mall, Daddy knows he’s going to have a massive credit card bill to pay and he’d like to hold off on paying Bank of America any more money.

He looks at his little girl and still imagines her pestering him with questions about what they would see at the museum, wondering if they could stay at the museum the whole day.

Daddy can’t bring himself to take off his blinders and realize his daughter is going to leave him and go off on her own adventures. If only for one day, things could back to the way that they were.

Daughter has her phone right next to her still waiting on that text.

The phone buzzes and a smile crossed her face. The text says, “Good Morning beautiful, ready for our day in DC together?”

She looks down at the text again and then at Daddy. “Definitely,” she replies to the text. “Just have to hang out with my dad for a little bit at the museum.”

“You guys going right now?” Daughter’s “friend” replies.

“Yes, he’s getting all nostalgic about me growing up and wants to relieve different parts of my childhood.”

No response from her “friend” just yet.

Daddy rises from his chair and tells Daughter it’s time to get in the car.

Chapter 4: Drive to the Museum

Daughter looks down at her phone as she and Daddy are finally in DC.

“I can kind of relate to the whole nostalgia thing,” the text read. “My dad told me last week that he catches me doing things I did when I was a kid; still sees the little boy I used to be. I’ll be by the Mall around 11 so we can get some brunch.”

She smiles and locks her phone.

Daddy is focused on the Waze directions trying to place him in an affordable parking garage near National Mall.

He tells Daughter to look out the window at the National Black History Museum. Daddy got tickets to go next weekend and he knows she’s been dying to go.

He doesn’t tell her though, he’ll probably break the news to her on the drive home later.

Daddy finds the parking garage and away he and Daughter go to their first stop: The National History Museum.

Chapter 5: Daddy and Daughter at the Museum

When they first get into the museum, a large elephant greets Daddy and Daughter.

They smile because the first time they came here when Daughter was 5, she immediately went up and tried to climb it. Security came swiftly but Daddy was there to save the day.

As they walk through the museum now, Daddy sees that Daughter really doesn’t have any interest in any of the exhibits.

She looks as if she’s just skating through trying to bide time.

Daddy wonders if they should just head over to Air and Space but Daughter says that she’s fine.

It’s 10:55 and she knows she’ll be getting that next text she’s been waiting for all morning.

At this point, time is getting away from the two of them and before they know it, 11:00 am hits.

Daughter looks down at her phone but there is no service.

She tells Daddy that yes, maybe they should head over to Air and Space.

As they make their way outside, Daughter sees him and immediately begins running.

Chapter 6: Daddy meets Robert

Daddy starts to run after her wondering where his little girl is going off to. As he starts to get close to Daughter, he sees the young man.

Daddy sees him and Daughter embrace with a hug and a kiss.

A kiss?

“Daddy, this is Robert.”

Daddy immediately shakes the young man’s hand.

“Hey Bill, good to finally meet you.”

“You too Robert,” Bill said.

Bill immediately looks at his daughter and she is smiling from ear to ear.

“I met your wife the few times I’ve been over the house. She told me you have a thing for museums. Maybe I can go with you and Nala one of these weekends before we go back to school.”

Bill had talked to his wife every night about Nala and not once was Robert mentioned.

“Young man, to be honest, this is the first time I’ve heard of you.”

Bill looks over at his daughter again and she hasn’t taken her eyes off this boy not once.

From the looks of the two of them, Robert and Nala have probably been together for 6 months or so. Bill still couldn’t believe Nala never mentioned him. He thought that if the young man gets along with his wife, that was good enough for him.

“Listen, Robert why don’t you and my daughter spend some alone time together. She obviously wants to spend the day with you. Maybe get some brunch. She’s only had Fruit Loops to eat.”

Bill looks at Nala and she does a quick side fist pump.

“Bill, I was actually thinking about asking you to do that,” Robert said. “I apologize for this being our first time meeting each other. We’ll definitely be seeing more of each other.”

Bill shook Robert’s hand and just as he was about to say bye to Nala, he motioned her over.

“You really like this guy huh,” he said.

“Daddy, I really feel like we were meant to be together,” Nala said.

“I’ll be the judge of that. I don’t like being told things last minute, but it does seem like you guys genuinely care for one another. Just guard your heart.”

Nala places her hand over heart instinctually. She goes and gives Bill a kiss on the cheek and runs off to join Robert for lunch.

Chapter 7: Robert and Nala’s Secret

As she walks down the Mall with Robert hand in hand, she starts to get warm.

“Why don’t you take your jacket off babe,” Robert says. “Your dad is way back there and he won’t be able to see.”

Nala has been wearing her baggy clothing more than usual lately to ensure Bill wouldn’t ask any questions.

As she takes off the jacket, her belly can’t be hidden much longer.

When she found out she was pregnant, Nala knew her father would flip so she told her mother.

There, she found a comforting voice and support and her mother asked Nala to bring Robert to the house.

Robert made quite the impression on her mother and she knew that even though it was unplanned, that her little family was coming together.

She and Robert finally made it the restaurant, sat down and immediately started discussing possible baby names.

Chapter 8: When Did You Start Growing Up?

Nala and Robert were long gone but Bill was still standing outside The National History Museum.

He was still analyzing meeting one of his daughter’s boyfriend.

Matter of fact, he believed that Robert was Nala’s first boyfriend.

Where had the time gone?

The first time his daughter told him she had a crush, when she was 5, Bill immediately felt both excited and terrified.

He was excited that she had developed those feelings but afraid that she would get her little heart broken.

Sure enough, Nala ended up breaking that little boy’s heart over a doughnut.

Long story short, during lunch at their elementary school, Nala wanted a piece of the little boy’s doughnut because he was her girlfriend. The boy said no and Nala told him that they were no longer seeing each other.

Bill wondered if the same type of scenario would happen here.

15 years later, probably not.

She’s obviously not that same little girl any more. She might end up marrying this guy.

Someday, he wondered, he may end up taking his grandchildren to the museum and tell them stories about their mother exploring exhibit after exhibit.

For now, though, he was going to go back into the museum and as he entered, he thought about his daughter again and wondered: “When Did You Start Growing Up?”

My Christmas Wish Has Already Been Granted

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Merry Christmas Eve/Happy Holidays everyone! May you all enjoy your quality time with family and loved ones.

The title of this post is “My Christmas Wish Has Already Been Granted” because my wish came true over a year ago.

I had just started dating Wifey When She Sleeps and Eats, let’s say for about three months. She had already told me about her daughter and I even FaceTimed Izzy a couple of times. (Oh the days Izzy used to call me “Dawid.”)

Even through those initial phone conversations with Izzy I could tell she was just a special little girl. Even then she was just brimming with personality and love and believe me both of those things (mainly the personality) haven’t waned over the past year and have only continued to blossom.

Way before I started dating Wifey, probably back when I was 10 years old, I always imagined having a child. Thinking about what kind of father I would be, what kind of faces my child would be giving when they look up at me, smothering them with hugs and kisses. I’ve just always romanticized being a father and having a family of my own. I even wanted my first child to be a girl.

I want to say it was a couple of days after Izzy’s birthday, a gorgeous day at that, when I got to meet her in person.

I met Wifey and her at the playground by the Rio Washingtonian Center.

Nothing but blue skies and the screaming of kids in the distance as I was walking over to meet them.

When I got there, I immediately saw Wifey crouched down looking up a slide waiting for someone to come down. As soon as Wifey backed up that’s when I saw her.

Gosh Izzy was so tiny. Little hands, little feet, chubby cheeks. I don’t know what it was but I got immediately transfixed by her.

She was way smaller than all the other kids there but she was just moving around them like they were nothing on the way back up the steps to the slide.

I went up to greet Wifey while Izzy was playing and after about 10 minutes of Izzy just throwing her little body all over the playground it was over.

“Izzy, come here. Time to go,” Wifey said.

In my mind, I was thinking: Here we go. 

Wifey picks her up and I try to introduce myself but Izzy hides her head underneath Wifey’s shoulder shielding herself from me.

Good start David, good start. 

After leaving the playground we walk around a little bit and I try to talk to Izzy. Nada, no acknowledgement from her.

We make our way to Potbelly to get some milkshakes (which are pretty good by the way). We get two milkshakes, one for me and one for Wifey and Izzy to share.

Wifey was crushing her milkshake as we’re leaving to sit outside and as I’m holding the door for Izzy she asks to see my milkshake.

She’s talking to me and wants MY milkshake?

So I give her the milkshake and as we make our way to a table, the child immediately begins to drink MY milkshake.

Again, not Mommy’s milkshake. Dawid’s milkshake.

I’m looking at Wifey like, did she just steal my milkshake and she just laughs.

I ended up having to share Wifey’s milkshake with her. I don’t know what exactly prompted Izzy to commit milkshake theft but ever since that day I’ve been in love with that little girl.

Sure we’ve had our challenges and name changes over the past year (me going from Dawid to David to Dada) but I’ll do it all over again if it means having her and her mother in my life.

So when I think about what I want for Christmas, I don’t want anything. I already have my little family that I’ve always wanted: my Wifey and the little girl that stole my milkshake and my heart.

Starting Up Again, Kinda

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November 2018.

I haven’t written an article or anything above 500 characters since I graduated college over four years ago.

That’s actually an exaggeration. I did have sports blogging gigs for about the first five months after I graduated college but I just stopped writing. I didn’t even know this WordPress page I created in college was still up.

It’s not like I gave up on a dream of sports journalism or any type of writing position. I honestly did not have the desire to pursue one because growing up, I honestly didn’t think to dream for anything big. I just lived in the moment.

From elementary school up until my college graduation, I was running on autopilot. I have great parents (and step parents) that supported me and made me feel like I didn’t have to overly worry about my future.

I would come home from school through my adolescence and college and retire to my bedroom/basement to either play video games or read. I didn’t dream about how my professional career would unfold. I never really had those conversations with my parents and it wasn’t their job to ask me what I wanted to do with my professional life.

I remember writing birthday cards and random notes for my parents and friends and they would tell me I had a gift but that’s just personal compliments. I just thought they were being nice to me. Especially growing up with a speech disability and being self-conscious about it, writing was and has always been something that I can use to express what I’m feeling and feel somewhat intelligent.

I always had the innate gift to write but I just never thought to transition this skill into a paying career. 

All I know is that as I lay in this bed writing all this, it just feels like riding a bike (even though I never really learned how to ride one). There’s just a comfort doing something that comes naturally to you and that excites you.

I need to remember that sentence when it comes time to talk to my daughter about career choices in about 10 years. I’ll be almost 40 by then, wow! 

Matter of fact, I think I’m going to keep blogging. Should you ignore this post and think this is random nonsense, that’s fine with me. Should you read this random nonsense and actually want to read some more, that’s fine with me too.

Here’s to me writing again, kinda.

David R. Cabrera

Patriots vs. Redskins: Quick Takeaways

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After five years of waiting and waiting (more like not feeling the need to go to a game) I attended a Redskins game, albeit their preseason opener against the New England Patriots August 7.

To my disappointment I didn’t get to see Tom Brady in action against a rejuvenated Redskins defense and Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson run with Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ first team offense.

Nonetheless there was a lot to take from this game, a 23-6 victory for the Redskins.

1. RG3 a work in progress on pocket awareness

For his strong words this offseason about how he became famous because of his arm instead of his legs, Robert Griffin III still looked like a young, uncomfortable quarterback under center. On the second play of the game, he had newcomer Andre Roberts running unguarded across the middle of the field but decided to check it down to tight end Logan Paulsen for a four yard play. He never really looked past his first read, mainly running back Roy Helu Jr.,  the other times he threw on the 12 play drive, which ended in a Kai Forbath field goal. Hopefully having Garcon and Jackson back for the next game will give RG3 a little peace of mind.

2. Defense looks strong-for now

Having said that, it’s a little different playing against Ryan Mallett than it is a three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. Mallett was erratic at times and made some ill-advised throws. Those were issues mostly brought upon by the Redskins front four, along with linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. Kerrigan was a force in the run game and on his sack of Mallett, Orakpo absolutely bull dozed left tackle Nate Solder. Both players already are benefiting from defense coordinator Jim Haslett’s freer scheme. The secondary didn’t give up a ton of big plays, but it’s still early. More impressed with the line pressure than coverage play.

3. Ryan Grant can get open

All that was said about rookie wide receiver Ryan Grant (Tulane) leading up to this game was true. Guy looked smooth coming out of routes and almost every pass play that I saw, he was open or had considerable separation on a defensive back. Can see that he is still building a rapport with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in particular. Cousins had two consecutive opportunities to hit Grant for a touchdown on the Redskins’ last possession of the first half but failed to even get the ball near him. As the weeks progress, look for Grant to get more opportunities (hopefully) with the first team.

4. Third running back spot competition getting very interesting early on

We all know that Helu Jr. is the backup to started Alfred Morris and judging by his performance against the Pats, his job is safe for now. Coming in, all eyes were on second year man Chris Thompson and his versatility. He didn’t disappoint as he had some nice runs in between the tackles and showed his catching ability outside the backfield. Undrafted free agent Silas Redd was strong as well, breaking off some nice runs in between the tackles and showing a bit of shiftiness as he broke upfield on a couple of runs. The guy who impressed me the most though was Lache Seastrunk. So much burst goes into his runs. Didn’t really bust it inside the tackles that much but his ability to juke defenders on the outside and still gain positive yardage made up for that. Reminded my friend Matt of LeSean “Shady” McCoy. Can’t say I don’t agree with him. Stay tuned.

5. I’m only drinking water during games

I’m sorry, $9.50 for a beer and $12 for a fries and chicken tender combo?? C’mon FedEx, we know you can do better than that. Luckily I wasn’t really craving a Coors or a Miller Light.

 

Coming soon

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I know I haven’t posted anything in like a month, but graduation and a tremendous life transition can take your mind off blogging a little bit.

I’ll be posting something later on this week, so be on the look out for it!!

-D.R.C.

P.S. It’ll most likely be on my trip to Italy last month

Personal Branding Links

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/dcabrera490

Tumblr: http://dcabrera490.tumblr.com/

Klout: http://klout.com/#/DCabrera490

Wix: http://dcabrera1.wix.com/drcabrera1#

Delicious: https://www.delicious.com/dcabrera490

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/#dcabrera490

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cabreraaaad/

VisualizeMe: http://vizualize.me/DCabrera

Bit.ly: https://bitly.com/u/o_1u3j3qkrd9

Creating good content for your site

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One of the topics for my seminar class this week was creating good content for your site.

Creating good content depends on who your audience is.

If your audience has varied interests, you can play around with what you want for your site.

If they have selective interests, maybe two or three things they are interested in, then you have to narrow your focus. You have to figure out how much you post about each subject. Which one holds more interest with your audience, which one holds the least amount of interest.

I came across this site that helps you figure that out and much more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223752

Give it a read and apply it to your site.

You never know who is reading!

 

Wizards a game away

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With my roommate hogging the TV playing Call of Duty, I really haven’t been able to watch the Washington Wizards’ first round series against the Chicago Bulls.

Highlights on ESPN.com and NBA.com have helped ease the pain a little.

Sunday April 27 was Game 4 in the series and once again, I was nowhere near a TV watching the game.

I was covering a doubleheader of the Delmarva Shorebirds and I didn’t get done until 7:30 that night.

Watching the highlights on ESPN.com, you could tell the Wizards were playing inspired basketball. They started the game up 14-0 on the Bulls for goodness sake!

Trevor Ariza was hitting 3 after 3…Mr A3za as he is going to be affectionately known in D.C. for the rest of his life had it going all game long.

John Wall was pushing up the ball almost at will.

Bradley Beal was getting through the lane and making pull up jumpers like it was practice.

The Bulls just looked helpless. They did cut the lead to 6 at one point in the first half, but the Wizards were able to take it to another level and keep them at arms length for the rest of the game.

This has been a competitive series thus far so the Bulls still have a chance come Tuesday night (April 29).

But to get dismantled like that in a game they needed to even the series going back to Chicago does not bode well for them.

Wizards will close it out, in exhilarating and min-heart attack fashion, in Game 5.