Monthly Archives: October 2014

In case you were wondering what my soul looks like…

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Last week was Victoria Isabel’s birthday, yes, my daughter turned 5. Why do I feel compelled to tell you all this fact? I feel like all of you should meet my daughter, I feel like she would offer all of you some sort of lesson. I feel like she’d make your day better, offer some perspective, the light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah, I know she’s 5. How could a 5 year old possibly do this for strangers? She does it every day, with each interaction. I’ve seen grown men melt over her smile and little old ladies giggle at her hair and the way she speaks to people. I’ve also seen this every day, in my home, with each conversation I have with her. There is no such thing as a day of random, pointless conversation between us. Everything we talk about has meaning, has depth, has a purpose. Now, I know many of you parents out there think your children are amazing, adorable, geniuses, blah blah blah blah, and it might very well be true. My child is incredible, my child is adorable, my child is intelligent; however, I am very realistic. I grew up in a family who will tell you if your child is ugly, or clumsy, or an asshole. My judgement is not shadowed by the fact that I squeezed this child out and have been raising her ever since, I fully understand that just because my child is amazing right now, doesn’t mean that she will be stupendous forever. Children become pre-teens who become assholes who become adults who may or may not grow out of being assholes.

All I know is that my daughter is remarkable right now.

Reasons Why I Adore Victoria

1. She’s mine.

2. She’s animated.

3. She’s kind.

4. I never cry in front of my daughter, I don’t want her to feel the way I do when I cry and she’s very good at absorbing other people’s emotions. One day, she caught me crying…Sobbing actually. She walked over to me slowly, eyes deep with concern, grabbed my face in her small hands and said, “what’s wrong mae? You’re too pretty to cry. Okay okay listen, how about I clean up all my toys and we can watch one of YOUR movies? It’s okay mae, I’m your best friend remember?”.

5. She has beautiful, strawberry blonde hair. It’s so long and full and although the curls have died down a bit, it’s still as bouncy as it was a year ago.

6. She has gorgeous blue eyes. They’re not the same shade of blue as mine, but as my father’s. She never forgets to exclaim “my eyes are blue like grandpa’s!”.

7. She always, aaaaalways has my back. She is my sidekick and don’t you ever forget it.

8. Jokingly I always say “Victoria get outttaaaa here with that nonsense!”. She usually can take the joke but today (literally today) she says “Moooooom! I live here, this is my home, I don’t wana get outta here! You’re my buddy remember? I don’t wana leave”. I said, “Oh, honey it was just a joke! Mae says it all the time!”. “Mae, sometimes I don’t feel like joking!”

9. She has an amazing sense of humor, and is witty as all get out!

10. The way she says “yes/no ma’am/sir” in Portuguese. She’s incredibly respectful and knows how to treat her elders just as I was taught growing up.

11. The fact that she speaks Portuguese fluently and can communicate with my grandmother flawlessly.

12. How dainty she is and how she carries that characteristic in everything she does.

13. I love how the only way to wake her up so that she isn’t annoyed is with music or singing to her.

14. Our shared love of music.

15. Her brutal honesty.

16. “Mae, what are you wearing? You’re wearing that to work? Why?”

“Yes, I am Victoria Isabel, why?”

 “Nothing.”

*changes clothing*

“Oh my gosh mom, now you’re so fashion! That jacket and the heels, wow mae, super super fashion!”

17. Her unforgiving laugh when I tickle her or say something ridiculous.

18. The fact that she understands her father is away “working” and how she is completely content with just having me around. She doesn’t even ask for him and that makes me feel like I’m doing something right, that I’m making her feel comfortable and happy.

19. How appreciative she is of anything and everything she’s given. Whether it’s an orange or a new bicycle, she’s just as excited to receive either one.

20. The unconditional love she gives, even if she doesn’t have to, because she’s loved no matter what.

21. This past weekend we went to a wedding and she was the life of the party during the reception. She joined every group of adults and danced with everyone! It was as if I wasn’t even there, so I sat back and watched. I’ve never watched someone so small command the attention of so many adults with nothing but dance moves haha

22. When she asks me to marry her because she heard that you should always marry the person you love the most, but of course, only after she marries daddy haha

23. When she asks me how was work and she actually wants to know how it was. She asks about my meetings, my contracts, even my boss!

24. Her eagerness to share her thoughts, ideas, and experiences with me. That in itself is a blessing.

25. How amazing her memory is and how she repeats every single thing she hears. This may be a curse to some parents but personally I think it’s hilarious. You cannot say ANYTHING in front of her without her repeating it to someone else in the family. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

The above merely graze the surface of who Victoria Isabel is and how important she is to me. There are billions of reasons why I love this little gem and with each passing day, my list grows longer. She’s my best friend.

 

 

You should meet her.

Meu Fado Meu

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               Fado. Most Portuguese people know what this genre of music is, they’ve heard it in their grandmother’s kitchen, or at a festa. You either adore it or you hate it and find it extremely boring. This genre of music can be identified from miles away by the Portuguese people, but do we all know what it means? Do we all know what this timeless word means? Fate. Destiny. Love. Loss. Experience. Hope. Saudade. It has been traced as far back as the 1820’s in places like Alfama and Bairro Alto in Portugal. However, I believe it’s been around longer than that. There is normally only one singer called a Fadista and two instruments: the classical guitar and the Portuguese guitar. Now, various artists have added different components to accompany both of these instruments, however they’re still alive and well in Fado. The Portuguese guitar is my favorite instrument, so beautiful and flawless.

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Fado is, without question, my absolute favorite genre of music. I hope to one day open up a Fado House as they have in Portugal, here in California so that Americans can really embrace the essence of the art. It’ll be just like a Fado house in the streets of Portugal; dim lighting, coffee, desserts, dinner, alcohol, and amazing artists. I imagine having an open mic night for local fadistas everywhere, every week. It’s going to happen people, I can see it!

The 19th century’s most renowned Fadista was Maria Severa but Amália Rodrigues is who fore-fronted the popularization of the genre worldwide and is known as Rainha do Fado (Queen of Fado). She is who really paved the way for all modern singers.

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Now we have fadistas such as Mariza, Ana Moura, Katia Gueirrero, Dulce Pontes and let’s not forget the men Camane, Ricardo Ribeiro and Calros do Carmo. All amazing artists, all inspired by the late Amalia Rodrigues.

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Now back to the word saudade as mentioned before. Although there are explanations and meanings of the word plastered all over the internet, I believe that this word does not have a specific meaning. It’s a feeling that is far too complicated to define, a feeling of absence, longing, and emptiness. A feeling that whatever it is you are seeking and longing will never return. Lost lovers. Lost family. A love that remains forever in our hearts even after that person has left us indefinitely. A bittersweet, overwhelming feeling of anger, happiness, sadness, all rolled into one. This word doesn’t even have a direct translation to the English language. Sure, you can translate “tenho saudade de você” to “I miss you”, but it is not the same thing. It isn’t even close. This word is so powerful to the Portuguese and Brazilian people that there is an entire day dedicated to this word alone! You can even have saudade for someone who is standing right next to you. Maybe you’ve drifted apart, or maybe that person has changed and detached themselves from you. Whatever it is, there is no word in any other language that can describe it quite like this word.

I recommend, to any of you that have never listened to Fado before, to take some time to listen to at least one song. The following are some of my favorites:

Mariza – Primavera (Live) <My favorite version

Ana Moura – Fado Menor (Live) <Also, my favorite version

Amália Rodrigues – Primavera <Just so you can compare old school to new.

Dulce Pontes- Canção do Mar

Katia Guerreiro – Amor de Mel Amor de Fel

These are only a few of the great Fados out there and I don’t pretend to be an expert on Fado, but I am passionate about it.

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The Dating Chronicles Part 3

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I’ve decided to start a project. I made a fake profile to test my theories on men and how damn ridiculous they are (women can be too, but of course, I don’t date those). I know this seems a little pathetic and unorthodox but let me just reassure all of you that my conversations with each person during this project lasted no longer than a day or so. I made sure of this so that no one’s feelings were compromised.

Her name is Amy. Her profile states that she likes hiking, softball, and long walks on the beach (oh you know I had to). She has beautiful, big, blue eyes, brown hair, she’s thin, and her family is from the Ukraine. Amy is a bartender as well as a front desk agent and she has a bachelor’s degree in who knows what, but who cares because not a single one of them asked. Amy has no children, no pets, and she’s oh so close to her cousin. Oh, I failed to mention, Amy only likes chubbier men and it is clearly stated on her profile.

Before you begin to comment on how horrible I am for such trickery, please understand my intentions. The sole purpose for this project was to see how men react to bigger women as opposed to how they react to thinner women via dating sites (which reflects how they behave in real life). To make things interesting, Amy is a woman who doesn’t talk much but is brutally honest. I compared the activity on Amy’s page to my own page for three whole days. Of course, I kept in mind that everyone has their preferences and no all men like bigger women just like not all men like smaller women.

The moment Amy popped onto this dating website she received 45 messages within the first 20 minutes. Over a 3 day period she probably received at least 100 messages each day. The correspondence normally started out pretty standard – Hi, how are you? You’re hot. So beautiful. My name is so-and-so. – and so on. 

As I sifted through the messages I began to see a lot of the following:

You really like big guys? That’s hard to fathom.

You’re the most interesting person on here for that very fact.

How can someone like you like a bigger guy? I mean come on…You’re gorgeous.

Hiking? Well fat people don’t hike, maybe you should find someone who’s fit like I am so that I can help you if you fall during your hike. 

My response always followed along the lines of “we all have our preferences, and that is my preference. You wouldn’t date a bigger girl right?”.

Which would be followed with:

No, I suppose you’re right, I definitely would never date a bigger girl. 

Well, that’s not the point, you’re not fat are you? Exactly. 

Come on, just give me a chance, you know a fat man isn’t right for you. 

Then I’d get the defensive:

EXCUSE ME?! MY MEEMAW IS A BIG LADY I DO NOT DESCRIMINATE!

I refuse to let you think I’m shallow, I dated a big girl once. 

My sister is big, okay? 

My personal profile, on the other hand, will receive maybe 6 messages a day which is perfect for me. I felt Amy’s activity was a little too overwhelming for my liking. Introductory messages were also about the same for me as they were for her. The conversations ran a little deeper but would die off after a day or so. On this particular site, it informs you if others have looked at your profile and I began to notice that the men who messaged Amy, also looked on my profile but passed me up as I am not up to par. I made sure that Amy and I were from the same area so that we would interact with the same mix of men. I then began to notice that some of the men who were messaging Amy were also messaging me, but in completely different ways.

Amy’s Profile (Prospect A)

Hey, how are you gorgeous?

*no answer*

Oh come on, I’d really like to get to know you.

Give me a chance.

Your’e beautiful.

Let’s go to Disneyland (not kidding).

My Profile (Prospect A)

Hey, how are you beautiful?

*no answer*

I guess I’m not your type. You really shouldn’t have standards you know.

Amy’s Profile (Prospect B)

Hey gorgeous, how are you sweetheart? (elch)

I’m doing fine, thanks, and yourself?

I’m great, wow you’re just so amazingly beautiful I can’t believe it. Please let me go out with you. I’ll gain 20 lbs come on seriously. I’m eating a cheeseburger right now, no lie.

Yeah, sorry you’re definitely not my type.

Oh come on that’s ridiculous, I work out every single day!

*no answer*

Amy.

Hey, seriously, what will it take?

My Profile (Prospect B)

Hey how are you ?

I’m doing fine, thanks, and yourself?

I’m good, not really looking for a relationship you know. Just looking for friends. What do you do for fun?

*no answer*

Okay well bye.

I found that the men on Amy’s page tried much harder to gain her respect or to even gain a response. There were times when Amy would respond rudely to the comments about dating bigger men and the men would apologize and ask for another chance. Amy even got into an argument with one prospect because he just couldn’t seem to wrap his empty head around the fact that she prefers larger, lovable, men. He refused to accept it, began telling her how ignorant she was and what a waste of a cute body she was.

Besides these results being comical, they’re extremely sad. It was a heart wrenching experience, witnessing people body shaming over someone’s preference.

You have no idea where someone has been or where they’re headed. You might be talking to a woman who was much bigger and is on her journey to being smaller. You might be talking to someone with health issues and who find it difficult to lose weight. You might be talking to someone who just lost a loved one and has fallen into a deep deep depression. You might even be talking to someone who might be able to out-hike you. She might be more confident than any woman you’ve ever met.

If she’s too thin, you have no idea if she has issues gaining weight. She might like being that thin, she might eat like a horse, she might be the most out of shape human being you’ve ever encountered. She might be muscular and insecure.

Most of the profiles had headlines like “Women are cruel” “Nice guys finish last” “Sweet man with a big heart”  “Are there any good ones left?”. What they mean is “I’m shallow and all the Hooters girls I date don’t like me” “Are there any good THIN women left” “Why don’t the gym junkies like me?!” “Man with a big ego here”.

Needless to say Amy is long gone but still kept in the minds of those online dummies.

Everyone has their flaws, always keep this in mind.

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The Dating Chronicles Part 2

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Vincenzo.

Vince was Sicilian, handsome, well built, and charming. This is the most recent dating experience I’ve had, and the most comical. We had never met but even through text he kept me interested. We decided to talk over the phone one night and had a 3 hour conversation. Those of you who know me know that I absolutely despise talking on the phone, even though my job requires this of me every single day. We talked about everything, our pasts, our future, what we were currently doing and why we were single. He kept up with my out of this world sense of humor and respected the fact that I had a daughter and I wouldn’t be able to actually meet up with him for at least a couple of weeks.

At 2:00 am we decided that sleeping would probably be a good idea especially since he had to be up at 4:00 am so we said good night and hung up. Suddenly, I had this annoying feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something wasn’t right about him, there were too many empty spaces in his timeline and he was far too eager to meet me. Surely, I can’t be that intriguing.

I decided to investigate, as any woman would and should. I had asked for his last name during our conversation and the dummy actually gave it to me, red flag #1. He spoke about his father’s troubled past and his own troubled past but wouldn’t go into detail over the phone, red flag #2. He was married for 2 months and his wife decided to leave him because she’s an “entitled brat”, red flag #3. I looked him up on Facebook and saw a display that was a picture of him, a woman, and a beautiful little blonde child.

Hmmm, these can’t be current. Men are horrible at updating their profiles, September? We’re in September. She’s tagged in these pictures, let me see what’s on her profile. Women are much better at this. Similar picture. 

At 2:10 am I realized that I seem like a horrible stalker but had every right to be. This man has a family, a child, a beautiful girlfriend or wife. What is he thinking?! So what do I do? I add her. I figured I’d make him sweat a little if he sees the new addition to her friend’s list on his feed.

I went to bed and when I woke up I received a good morning text from Mr. Good Ol’ Vincenzo. I immediately asked him how he could do something so horrendous to his family and why he would lie. Do you know what this sorry excuse for scum said to me? He’s just not interested in her anymore. He just can’t stand how dependent she is and they’ve only been together since May. He never expected to run into someone as amazing as I am *barf* and how the child isn’t even his anyway. If he did this to her why on God’s green earth wouldn’t he do that to me? My vagina isn’t golden people! I decided to lecture him and tell him to piss off. He apologized over and over again and hoped that we could, at the very least, still be friends. This coward was going to just move onto the next woman who gave him a second glance instead of breaking things off with someone he’s obviously not in love with.

When I get to work I receive a phone call from a number I don’t recognize, I never answer these calls, but something told me to answer. Well I’ll be DAMNED if it isn’t his girlfriend. Well hellloooo there! Yes, I am the woman who almost, potentially, could have turned out to be your home wrecker. Yes, I know Vince. Yes we were texting last night. Oh he was on your couch? Well did he go home afterwards? Oh, I only ask because we spoke for 3 hours last night. Yes, I found out he has a girlfriend and I confronted him this morning. He says he’s over you. He says you’re too dependent. Oh you drove him home last night? Wait….He doesn’t have a car? Ew. Well I’m sorry, I’ve only known him for a few days. You met him online too? Aint that a bitch. Good luck, I hope he realizes what an idiot he is. It’s okay, it’s only been a few months, you can’t possibly be that attached. Oh yes, I saw the family photos. Okay, well I need to get back to work now. Again, good luck. *click*

I text Vince to tell him that his girlfriend now knows and he’s a dummy; to my relief the manboy never text me back again. Days later I decide to check on his profile, yep family photos still up. I decide to check on hers, and the bitch deleted me from Facebook! I really thought we bonded over this experience, I thought we’d be total besties! Guess who’s still madly in love with Mr. Wanabe Sicilian Vincenzo? Yep! Still together. Women…Then you ask why men treat you like shit! You ask why you’re never respected or why your significant other just can’t get his shit together. Shit like this grinds my gears but alas…It’s no longer my business.

Boy did I dodge a bullet.

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