Acentos 0007: ¡Pura vida!

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So if you asked me, I would have to say my favorite sister is Heather.  She went to Costa Rica last summer to brush up on her Spanish, and she came back la Reina de la Playa, the queen of the beach.

Click here to hear it:  

In this podcast (which is all in Spanish, by the way, so you can measure her progress from before she left) Heather tells us the top 5 things she learned during her summer in Costa Rica.  There’s a bonus at the end, where she talks about some of the food she ate.

Big props to my friend Tito Huapaya of Lima, Perú; who graciously provides the production music in this podcast. Check him out at for your own production music needs!

Acentos 0006: Hit Him!

My friend Jordan stopped by the studio today to do an interview about his life in martial arts. After 18 years of training, he’s decided it’s time for him to pass on his knowledge and become a teacher here in Seattle.

Click here to listen:

In this podcast, Jordan tells stories about learning control, discovering humility, and the pride a teacher feels when a student surpasses you.

Thanks as always to my friend Tito Huapaya of Lima, Perú; who graciously provides the production music in this podcast. Please check him out at for your own production music needs!

UPDATE:  Jordan wrote a guest post over at Dance World Takeover that uses his martial arts expertise to explain a new past time of his:  swingdancing.

Acentos 0005: Danny has Principles

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Click PLAY to hear this podcast!

I’ve been going to the Mandarin Gate for karaoke with my friends for over a decade now.  I’m not sure who, why, or how we discovered it, but I’m glad we did.

Recently I asked Danny the Karaoke Host to come to Studio Siesta for an interview and to my surprise, he was happy to.  I thought he’d share some funny karaoke stories.

Here’s the thing; Danny is a great karaoke host.  He intros your song, he announces who’s on deck, he’ll jump in on auxiliary vocals and harmonies, he calls for another round of applause when you’re done.  He doesn’t sing while he’s hosting; he keeps the rotation fast and fair, and he has a reputation for not accepting bribes for rotation jumps.

In fact, here’s what the Jeff Roman of the Seattle Weekly has to say about Danny…

Danny, the karaoke host, is as efficient as they come; and on top of that, he’s a saint. As the night went on, I tested him in ways that would normally upset & frustrate a KJ to the point of getting immediately axed from the rotation. I jumped in on a duet that I didn’t sign up for; I asked how long until I was up next; and twice I asked him to change out my selection for one I liked better–and he did it without giving me the slightest bit of attitude. Most importantly, he kept the singers and songs moving along. All told, I got up four times, and it took me less than an hour to get up between each performance.

Danny’s good.

I asked him to come and do the interview about karaoke stories, and he says, sure, I’ll do that.  When he showed up, he had a lot on his mind, and the interview went in a direction I didn’t expect.  Sure there are a couple karaoke stories, and that was cool.  But what Danny brought to the interview was an intentionality I wasn’t expecting; there’s a very concrete set of principles that informs the way Danny hosts karaoke.  He’s kind of a karaoke samurai.

Hope you all enjoy the interview:  

Thanks as always to Tito of, who so graciously provides the production music for this podcast.

Acentos 0004: Stories from Santo Tomás

In this episode, my mama joins me in Studio Siesta to tell some childhood stories about growing up in her colorful hometown of Santo Tomás, La Unión.  She tells stories about getting sent to the store (for bagoong, among other things), pooping goats, and three stories about my Uncle Johnny when they were cute little Pangasinan-speaking kids.  You’ll hear about the corn, the dime, and the guavas.

Click here to listen!

Thanks as always to my friend Tito from for graciously providing the theme and background music!

(Somewhere around here there’s a family portrait of my mama, less than four years old, holding a puppy, and my Uncle Johnny in a cowboy costume… I can’t find it.  I blame my sister…)

UPDATE:  Found the picture!  Left to right:  Uncle Johnny (cowboy costume), Auntie Minda, Tatang Ismaël, my mama (center), Nanang Paula, Auntie Josefina, Auntie Rosaling (with the puppy).

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Erin Lives Another Day! Acentos 0003

Click here for Acentos 0003:  Erin Lives Another Day!

In this episode, my once-and-future Spanish teaching colleague comes into Studio Siesta to tell us about her brush with death.

Many thanks as always to Tito at in Lima, Perú for graciously and generously providing theme and background music.  You know, Erin is on her way to Lima this summer, you and Tito should totally meet and eat ceviche!

New Podcast: Acentos

So I built a podcast studio in my guest room.

As promised, the first podcast from Studio Siesta is called Acentos.  It’s going to be an intermittent series of interviews of family and friends, just telling stories and entertaining ourselves.  Mainly I want to remember how people sound.  I’m an auditory person that way.

The first episode, Acentos 0001, is recorded entirely in Spanish; my sister Heather is the guest.  She is about to take a big trip to Central America for the summer, and she wanted to do before-and-after recordings to hear how her Spanish improves.  In this first episode, she talks about her upcoming trip.  Also, we do a couple of picklebacks to christen the studio and the series.  It’s been a good long while since Heather got back from Salamanca, speaking Spanish full time… so her Spanish might sound a little rusty in this episode.  We’ll see how she sounds once she gets back from Costa Rica.

The second episode, Acentos 0002, is recorded in English.  Heather is back as my guest, and in this one we’re playing Two Truths And A Lie.  See if you can guess which stories are lies!

The next episode?  Not sure yet.  I’ll let you know.  Remind me to get some art for these posts, and to take a picture with my guests in the future.

Special thanks go to my friend Tito at, who graciously provided the theme and background music that covers our hisses and pops!  Tito is based in Lima, Peru; I worked with him closely when I was in New York City.