Thursday, December 5, 2019

An introspective look at my favorite color

This one is for all of my fellow Goth / Emo kids. We are MANY that is for sure.
I love the color black, all shades of it. My son from a young age made sure to tell me that black is the absence of color....yes Pedro, I am aware :)
For many years, my closet consisted of all shades of black with a few pops of color for good measure. The love affair started in middle school. I realized that when I wore black, I disappeared. It was magical. For someone like me who seemed to be the target for everyone's tricks, this was amazing! I mean when I wore polka dots and neon (this was the 80's after all) they picked me out of a crowd and teased me, making me the example of how far their cruelty could go. However, I soon noticed that when I wore all black they walked right by me.
Hmmm....maybe I was on to something. I began to wear black a lot more. And I wore my straight hair down and in my face. It was such a comfort to be able to blend into a wall, or a classroom. The other thing that came along with wearing black was that I felt powerful! I have no idea why or what created that feeling but boy did I run with it. When I wore black I held my head high, I looked people in the eye, I walked without fear. Suddenly, I began interacting more with my peers. This led to making friends with an unlikely bunch and we are still friends to this day.
Now, I ask did the color have some mystical power? Did it have some force over me to make me feel better about "me"? Or was it all in my head? I do not know the answer, but it felt great.
After I got into high school I took 3 years of classes with an amazing teacher named Ms. Joan Barker. She taught Marriage, Child, Family Development. She was everything to me. She was my teacher, my mentor, my rock. I had a tumultuous life at that time and she was there for me in class, out of class and a phone call away.
I took her course, by my Senior year I was advanced level. Seems that I was learning as much as I could about life, things that I was not being taught outside of class. Now, I did not listen to most of what I learned. I did not follow any warnings or guidelines....had to learn the hard way ( very much par for the course with me) but I did take away very important things and lessons that still carry me to this day.
In this class I learned something about wearing color. She would teach us about how we wore color and how others perceive it and even judge us by it. Every single time she spoke about black, she looked at me (insert eye roll here) I did learn that red was considered an aggressive, take charge color. If your colors were too bright, you are not taken seriously. And if your colors were too dark, you are not assertive enough. But what she did tell us about the color black was that we were hiding when we wore it (meaning head to toe) I always had to speak up and tell her that maybe we wanted to hide and she would admonish me in front of the class and tell me that I did not need to disappear and that I have a voice. I would argue back that I felt powerful and strong when I wore it, she would tell me that I was using it a false shield. Holy hell, I could not win that one, no matter how hard that I tried.
Back to the present, I still love black. I still wear it with my head held high. I still feel powerful and secure when I wear it. Did I realize that it was an escape for me back then, a way to hide from what life was throwing my way? You bet! Do I realize as I am older that we cannot escape, we cannot fade, we cannot be silent? Yes!
I wear black now because I love the color. I wear black because it goes with literally everything. I wear black because it is slimming. I wear black because it makes me happy. But most of all I wear black because it screams out to the inner Goth girl that I am still here, I survived and sometimes I still need to disappear and that is moderation of course.
So I ask you, what is your take on color? How do certain colors make you feel?
This has been a walk down a short memory lane. I leave you as always with peace, love and happiness <3

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Popularity Rant

Lately, this has been invading my mind and I see no other way out of it other than to throw it out into the universe. Maybe it is the creative market being invaded by people who have no soul, no passion or love for what they are creating. Maybe it is my impending 30 year class reunion. Or maybe it is people who come out of the woodwork who never gave a fuck about me, trying to give a fuck now. Maybe it is fake ass people flooding social media.
I believe that I may have written about this before but always nice to revisit those issues that still gnaw away at's me, I am people
The popularity syndrome is as old as time ( I believe anyway) and it has never faltered. Each decade, each generation has had their own form of it
It seems more rampant now since technology has brought forth the monster known as social media, the demon that we all love to hate
I have always hated the concept of popularity yet I always wanted to be accepted. I despised the "popular" kids just as they despised me (the misfit)
Now, do not get me wrong I had some great friends and I got along with everyone. I was not confrontational and I was sweet. I was a pushover and tried so hard to be cool but yet, still stay weird. It was a weird internal battle that always raged within me. I was weird and I embraced it, I actually never thought that there was anything wrong with me until I got to middle school. 7th grade changed my mind about people 100%
See, I was a product of a divorced home so I shuttled back and forth between parents. That took on a whole new level of chaos when my Dad moved to Pennsylvania. I had to leave my hometown and my dear friends behind. I was to spend my 7th grade year with him. I go to the Junior High there and they give me an academic test before enrolling me. After my testing they tell me that I am in the top percentile. I am like "uhm okay, can I just get this school thing over with" (Remember, I am now the dreaded new kid)
So in this school they divide kids based on their test scores. We had 7 sections of a seventh grade class, broken down like 7-1, 7-2 and so on. So, 7-1 and 7-2 were the cream of the crop, 7-3 through 7-5 were high to mid range, 7-6 and 7-7 were the "troubled kids" or learning impaired kids.
I was kind of in a shock, where I went to school in California we just went to school man, we all learned and those of us who could not grasp it, got tutoring or one on one time with a teacher or teachers aide. My 12 year old brain was trying to grasp this concept even after school began. I tested above average so I was put in the mid high range. And here was to be my first lessons in popularity.
I was in the "goody two shoes" group (as people so lovingly called us) however, I did not quite fit in. See, I was poor so I was not like "them" and they made sure that I knew it. They did not talk to me as we sat at our segregated lunch tables. We had to sit within our numbered groups. My fellow classmates were not very friendly, with me anyway. They ignored me and looked at me like I had a disease. It was lonely at that table.If we had friends in other groups (which I did), we were not allowed to sit with them.....tell me the logic in that.
Longest story short, this was my first lesson in not belonging or in not being popular enough to be around or even speak to certain people.
Now, I get back into my current popularity theme.
Being a poet, an artist, a musician or a creative leads us into another form of popularity. This is much like High School where you have the beautiful ones, the rich ones, the narcissistic ones, the humble ones, the viruses and the lot. Social media while it may be a necessary evil to some, can also do so much damage. We find ourselves in comparison mode many times "look how many likes they have, look how many followers they have, look at how perfect their lives are....and the list goes on. The bullies have snide remarks or degrading comments for others that they see below their standards. The insecure ones wallow in despair over not being good enough. The secure ones are looked at as trying to be all that....and again, the list goes on.
I have tried to fit in most of my life, tried to be cool, tried to be nice, tried to be mean, tried to be beautiful and popular. All that I ever wanted really was someone, anyone to accept me as I am. Weird, cold, funny, loving, sarcastic, creative, sappy, loud, unrefined and just plain Ti. The girl who just wanted to be something important in this big, wide World. To leave my mark and make an impression on the Universe. We all can say at one point, "if I knew then, what I know now I would have done so much better"
But you know what? I would not change it for the world. I grew up with so many different experiences, but they are my experiences. I was able to experience life on so many levels and it truly made me who I am today. I accept myself! I love myself! I am (dare I say) proud of myself! And I have left my mark on this world by bringing two amazing children into this world who are my best creation by far.
I guess the reason for this long winded( unapologetically long winded )rant is do not pay attention to the popular kids. Be you!
Be magnificently you! Create how you want, create what you want! Stop trying to be something or someone that you are not. Those that matter are paying attention and really, that is the best kind of attention. To hell with the naysayers! To hell with the "cool" kids! To hell with the "in" crowd! To hell with the people who tell you to try something different so you get accepted! Fuck that! Do it your way. In the end you may or may not make it big but you know what? You will make it on your terms, how you are meant to make it. Follow your dreams no matter what they tell you. And never, ever change who you are to conform to someone else's standards of greatness! Fuck that! Fuck them!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Time For Change, Time For Speaking Up, Time For Speaking Out!

I just feel the need at this point to share my feelings. I just need to write this out. I just need to share this with the World.

Realizing that life is precious has me feeling some sort of way. Realizing that we are not promised tomorrow but more than that we are not promised the next minute. I have seen too many of my friends, loved ones, neighbors and community members die due to violence, illness and accidents. Obviously we cannot prevent accidents or some illness but we can prevent violent endings. It lies in OUR hands. The sooner that we realize that we do not have to give in to the AGENDA, the better for humanity.
You NEVER know when life can end. You NEVER know if this is the last time that you can say I love you to someone, or to hold your child or to comfort your friend.
Our current state is in disarray, I mean let's face it though, it has been since the Europeans settled here and changed this land. Coming in and destroying land, oppressing the people, creating greed and terror.
No different than today right?
The current government has created a hailstorm of hatred by not denouncing it. They just go along with it. Our president (the actor) has played both sides of the fence. In one breath he denounces killing and racism and blah blah blah and then in his next public outing he cheers while people chant "send her back"
If our "leaders" act like masochistic, racist, hateful bullies then that in turn gives people the green light to act the same way. You see when a person who is in charge condones certain behaviors, then the people will act in accordance. Think about this for one moment. As a parent, my children viewed me as "in charge" I cuss, alot. So, my children saw that all through their lives. So, in turn they cuss. I ate junk food, they ate junk food. I stayed up late, they stayed up late. No boundaries were set. Do you see my point?
I am so very tired of reading about more killing, more desecration, more destruction and more tearing down of our families. I am tired of seeing my communities ripped apart by separation. I am tired of seeing our people being killed. I am tired of seeing my neighbors taken away from their families while they are working jobs that most Americans would NEVER do! I am tired of our communities being divided due to racism. I am tired of our family units being destroyed. I am just TIRED!!
It is time for all people to stand up and fight against the powers trying to divide us! It is time for all races to unite and stand against the powers trying to make us hate one another. It is time for us to unite as ONE people to defy the powers that want to destroy us! Before this gets worse than it is and believe me it CAN and WILL get worse! Denial brought forth by people in power and media outlets who deny that racism is not a problem, are feeding fuel to an already large fire. This is eerily similar to those that denied that the Holocaust was not real. This is eerily similar to those that downplayed how bad Slavery was. This is eerily similar to those that IGNORED what was happening during the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Genocide is upon us. Look at the 10 stages:

What are the 10 stages of genocide?
Stages 1, 2, 3: Classification, symbolization and discrimination
Stage 4: Dehumanization
Stage 5: Organization
Stage 6: Polarization
Stage 7: Preparation
Stage 8: Persecution
Stage 9: Extermination
Stage 10: Denial

We have people in power telling us through media that Racism is not a problem. That hatred is not being condoned. I call BULLSHIT. It is evident in how many mass shootings are being carried out by white men who just so happen to have hateful rhetoric in notebooks and computers in their homes. Who are able to purchase semi automatic weapons but then they are supposedly mentally ill. Mental illness is not an excuse to commit murder. And mental illness is not something to throw out there as an excuse to get away with committing murder. On the other hand we have people of color being shot for having a phone, for tying their shoes, for having a busted tail light, for raising their voices??!! Where are our voices for the voiceless?! Where are our power in numbers?! We need to speak up, speak out and stand up for our rights...the rights of humanity as a whole! We need to come together now more than ever and FIGHT BACK!
Believe me, I was educated on social issues at a young age. And I still take the time to educate myself because there are so many things that I do not know. I took the time to read about Slavery, The Holocaust, Civil Wars (both foreign and domestic), Civil Rights and Genocides through out the ages. I was a child at the age of 8 reading about Civil Rights while my friends laughed at me. My parents talked to us openly and without a filter on what really happened and how they had friends of all colors and had to hide it from their families. Can you imagine that? Can you put yourself in that position where someone would beat your ass if you brought home someone of color?! I cannot imagine that life and nor do I want to. My children are of mixed race and I never would want to experience hatred directed at them.
I am speaking out, I am speaking up and I am speaking loudly! I want to have a voice for the voiceless. I want to have an opinion for those who are too afraid to say theirs. I want to stand together with my community and stand alongside them in their fight. We NEED to stop what is happening in our country. We NEED to become accountable for OUR actions. We NEED to speak up! Period!!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Melancholy Musings Very Personal, Very Brief Year in Review

2018 was a helluva year! I don't do all of the "New Year Resolutions" but I will say that I will strive to grow, better myself, heal myself, love myself, love others, forgive, face fears and live life fully.
In one year I accomplished so much. In one years time I was able to face fears, write, forgive, make amends, move forward, love, practice patience a little more (this one is a challenge sometimes), make friends, walk away from toxic people and continue on a path to clear my spirit.
I produced 5 Zines, I participated (and sold a piece) in an art gallery show, I participated in First Friday events, I participated in Second Friday events, I participated in Art Festivals and a Zine Festival, I got stickers printed of my art and my photography, I produced Photo books and some included my poetry.
I supported my artist friends, I supported my DJ friends, I supported my foodie friends, I supported small business and local business, I supported my creatives out there by shouting their names from the rooftops, sharing their work with others or purchasing something from them.
I could never have accomplished as much as I did without those who have supported me and cheered me on. I am humbled by the people both near and far, close and distant strangers who always have a kind word or who are willing to help me along this journey. I appreciate you all.
I want to shout out to my daughter Briahna who is my biggest supporter, my rock, my side kick, my helper, my confidante, my counselor, my advisor, my daughter....without her I would be pretty lonely. She is a great help and a great spirit and silly as all hell, which makes me laugh even when I want to cry. Thank you Bri <3. I have made some amazing friends along the way and learned to appreciate them much more with each passing moment. I have strengthened bonds with those I hold dear and learned to appreciate what I have and who I have in my life more and more each day. I just want to say that anything is possible as long as you believe that you can do it. Anything is possible with hard work, determination and positive thought. This next year I will work towards what works for me, what feeds my soul. I will write more, no doubt about that. I will capture more beautiful moments. I will surround myself with nature and let that heal me. I will strengthen bonds and love fierce. The biggest goal that I have at this moment is to write a book. I do not know the subject, I do not know the size. That is what I see for this year thus far. Here is to living life, here is to loving life and here is to being true to you. Shout out to all of my friends and family for hanging around for another year and here is to many more! Peace, Love and Happiness....always!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What Does Community Mean to You? I Can Tell You What It Means To Me

First let us begin with the definition of "Community"
The definition of community is: feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals
What does community mean to you?
To me, I am not sure how to define community. But, I can tell you what it means to me.
Community to me is a common ground between many different people from all walks of life to provide and thrive in the most positive way possible. Now, this can be through art, music, events, volunteering, cooking, dancing, farmers markets, family yard sales, church events, care packages and so much more. I am part of a great community of people. We come from all walks of life, all backgrounds. We bond over a multitude of things, and introduce one another to things that some of us have limited knowledge on. I believe that this is what builds a strong community. Everyone brings something to the table and we are willing to teach each other and work together towards the bigger picture.
I have been blessed with having friends in many different areas and therefore it has opened me up to a whole new world. It has also given me many chances to be involved in events that I otherwise would have never been involved with.
I have artist friends that are sketch artists, painters, muralists, graffiti artists, digital artists, fine art students and so much more. I will give you a few examples of the art "community". Most recently, I attended an event thrown by Furious Styles Crew for their 25th Anniversary and a local group called Urban Soul. They put on a week long party that ended on the ASU campus in Tempe. There were dancers, artists, DJ's, spoken word, Zines and so much more! I was so impressed with people from all walks of life coming together for a positive, uplifting experience. The music kept everyone moving and grooving. The art was amazing and let me tell you, watching spray can art unfold at the hands of a talented artist is truly an amazing experience. I love to watch the fluid movement as the aerosol hits the canvas, I love to see the spray in the air as they test the tips, I love to watch the colors blend right before my eyes like magic. I hold these artists in such a high regard as they have amazing skills and vision and bring it together in harmony to paint a picture with so much meaning.
I have many friends who are DJ's. I am always in awe of their ability to flawlessly blend music from all different genres together in a marriage of sounds. I find myself getting lost within the melody and I begin to forget about all my worries. I hold them in such a high regard and love all of them for the different styles that they bring to the table.
I have writer friends that blow my mind with their word play abilities. I can be transformed into another world in one sentence. Some of them do spoken word and others just put pen to surface. Words excite me, they always have. The power in words is unmatched in my opinion. People do not realize the strength in words. What is spoken can never be taken back that it why we have must watch what we say and with what emotion. I can get lost in words like nothing else.
I have friends who work magic with food and drinks. The way that they make flavors blend together in a juice to make your taste buds scream out in joy. The way they blend herbs and fresh vegetables together for a sauce to top a street taco blows my mind. The ability to make a cupcake that melts in my mouth and seems like there is nothing sinful about it.
All of this means "community" to me.
I am proud of each and every one of the people in my world for chasing their dreams, showing up and putting in effort.People who come together from all walks of life to bring a smile to someones face. To strengthen our community one moment at a time. Maybe changing a life or two. I love you all, it is impossible for me to name everyone but those that know, know. Much appreciation and love to all of you. I leave you with a million pictures to see just a glimpse of the greatness that I am surrounded by.
I leave you with peace, love and happiness.