Dec 30, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Another year is almost over, another year in this country, struggling to belong, struggling to get my affairs in order, struggling to organize my life, to start the life I want, struggling to find enough money to pay for some things, struggling to find a way to go to school (etc)

And in the middle of all that I am so happy. I am happy because I am healthy and in love, surrounded by family and full of friends. I am thin (yay diet), I am happy with myself, happy with my family, happy with the visitors I got from Colombia, my aunt and cousin whom I hadn’t seen in a decade.

I never thought eight years ago that there would come a time when Christmas wouldn’t depress me, when New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be a time to cry. Yet here I am, looking forward to tomorrow (and the insane skinny white dress I am wearing) but also looking forward to the bittersweet feeling when is midnight and I find myself still here for one more year.

While it sounds scary, the truth is that way of thinking has made me enjoy life and what it brings in a way that only uncertainty can. I feel so blessed (ugh for the nonbeliever in me) and so lucky I feel like I am bragging.

I will get teary eyed tomorrow. Teary eyed for that land that I truly belong to and I haven’t stepped on in a decade, I would get sad because its music stir my souls and makes my heart ache, I will be sad because I will remember all those other years when I was younger and sharing with other people I haven’t seen in so long and probably will never see again. I will cry for those moments lost, for those moments I didn’t appreciate because I didn’t know where never coming back. And still I will smile, smile for the plentiful in front of me, for the beautiful luck I have, for the overwhelming abundance of beautifulness that is my life.

This time, I celebrate New Year’s not only with my sister and brother, mother and husband, sister and brother in laws but also with my aunt and my cousin. I wonder if anyone but someone who has been separated from family can understand how monumental this moment is, how special it was seeing each other after so long, how touching it was that time and distance never made us strangers.

So, happy New Year readers, whoever you are. Enjoy your day, near you family, wife, husband, partner, friend, cat, dog, and TV set, whoever and whatever you have in your life that makes you happy. Think of the year ahead and expect the best.

Smile, laugh, love, live.

Nov 1, 2010


Yesterday I heard back from my lawyer. I was hoping this whole process would take at most six months and that after half a year I would be flying to Europe to go to Ireland to see the Cliffs of Mohr and the land of Oscar Wilde, or England to visit Platform 9 ¾ or Hawaii to see the sunrise on top of a dormant volcano, or hell Indiana to see my in-laws but as things stand I can’t even legally drive to buy some chimichangas at the Don Ramon Restaurant down the street.

Yours truly has to wait for at least six months for a judge to decide to reopen my case, six months for some overworked middle age man/woman with too much on his plate to care about me, to look at the black and white “facts” and decide if they reopen my case and let me prove to them that DH and I are REALLY married, six months for some stranger who doesn’t know me at all to decide if I am worthy of staying here. I guess in paper I sound good, I have paid my taxes, and I haven’t committed any felonies or misdemeanors or broken ANY law. I speak the language, I have gone native. But until everything is finally done I will not feel at ease. My future rests in (on) the desk of someone stranger who doesn’t know anything about me, or what I’ve been through, or what I have brought and could still bring to this country, my future lays in the hand of someone who doesn’t know my awesomeness. It’s a scary thought to be just one more random, anonymous spic.

Since I refuse to remain quiet about all the hullaballoo that’s going on in the U.S. ever since I stopped writing here I am, back to this beautiful place where I can be myself and express my idea and have total strangers tell me what they think. I’m sorry but the U.S. is going nuts! And it all seemed to explode the moment I said I was going to shut up! Cruel, simply cruel to have such juicy crazies to bite on and find myself with no teeth.

I hope I haven’t lost some of you, those precious few who take some moments out of your lives to listen (read) my drivel and who are not by blood or law, related to me. If I haven't completely lost you, then please stick around because some of my not so smart, sometimes funny rhetoric is back.

Oh if only they (IRS, ICE, UCIS, etc, same entity different acronyms) knew just how native I have gone I think they would let me stay. I am a woman without land, an immigrant without a country. I belong nowhere. I know I have a flare for dramatics but people when I tell you I have no land I mean I have NO LAND. I am an effing pariah!

It’s kind of sad to find oneself at Bruzz Room, they whitest place you could go to, to see the Rays lose like little bitches to the Rangers and find yourself surrounded by Colombians watching a friendly game of football (soccer for those of you who think Football means pigskin and shoulder pads) and have them call you a race traitor because you are not watching the football game but are watching baseball. Baseball? How dare I? Not even Hispanic baseball like the Caribbean Series but American “World” Series Baseball. The offspring of my offspring will feel the shame this ancestor brought upon them.

Never mind that I grew up in Venezuela and baseball is the national pass time. Never mind that in Colombia, Football not Baseball is the national pass time. Are you following my conundrum here? No matter who I root for, no matter who I follow it will be the wrong choice. You were raised in Venezuela, you should follow baseball. Your family and you are all from Colombia: Viva el Pibe y la seleccion. I am living in the U.S. I am supposed to embrace the culture: Bring on the cheese hats, the foam fingers, the expensive cheap beer and all the sports that come with it.

Next year in April I will celebrate my ninth year in the U.S. Six more years than I ever lived in Colombia, more than half the time I spent in Venezuela. How can I have ANY identity at all? I am forgetting some of my Spanish. I no longer read books in my first language. I have almost forgotten who I was back then... I was so young and so damn stupid when I came into this country. I was nineteen but in reality I was younger. I was pampered and silly and spoiled and I did all my growing up here. I became a woman here. Let’s enjoy this Lifefime moment.

This is home. I love Colombia. I love Venezuela. I will never, ever forget that I am a part that, that I came from spicy looks, cumbia smelling heat, coffee smelling sounds and tall those discombobulated senses that make one a Latino. I, however, am becoming something else.

I am not sure if I am happy about it. I am not sure I can belong here. I want to stick seventeen people in a small car before I go to a party (that stereotype is so true) I want to teach my kids (If I have any) to dance as soon as they can walk. I want to eat pig blood and rice and not find it icky (I so do) I want to drink aguardiente and dance gaitas in December. I want to be everything that my race, breed, culture, background demands of me but I can’t. I am a hybrid. I am a mutt within a mutt.

Not to sound all existentialist, but where the fuck do I belong?

Jun 22, 2010


To those of us following the wildfire-like spreading of the Arizona immigration law, or similar laws inspired by it, it is discouraging to see that now a small town in Nebraska is trying to flush out its illegal immigrants. The funny (not funny ha-ha) is that Freemont, Nebraska doesn’t have an illegal immigration issue. They don’t even have an unemployment problem since their unemployment rate is 5 points below the country’s average.

So what exactly is the reasoning behind that law being applied in Freemont? They aren’t overrun by them so what exactly is the point of bullying out a group of people who are minding their own business? They aren’t stealing any jobs, and they aren’t creating any violence, they are not a nuisance, or dependent upon the state since as illegal cannot claim any help, so what is the beef to put it bluntly?

I haven’t written in a while. I guess the fact that there is nothing nice to say dries out my creative juices. All I hear is the oil spill and the racist immigration law who keeps popping up everywhere, mutating like all diseases into something more and something worse.

I was in bed the other day and I realized that this blog and some of the things in it might be interpreted in a way that could be detrimental to my case. I am married to a wonderful man, have a wonderful family, an amazing dog, a beautiful cat, a great life. I don’t want to risk all that I have accomplished because of some things I said through here.

It seems like a good idea to pause, to wait until I am not just one more of those unwanted individuals that they are trying to get rid of. Once I am here as a resident, once I become visible again then I can speak come back here and do what I love, talk shit and tell you what I think.

Right now I am just one more nameless face. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will be so much more.

I wonder if once I am a resident and later a citizen I will stop caring about those who aren’t because the issue doesn’t touch me anymore. I hope not. I hope I always care enough.

So, farewell for now. I will be back soon!

May 21, 2010


It never ceases to amaze me just how incredibly inappropriate Hispanic people are, sometimes I forget or simply don’t notice because I am so used to it, but there is nothing like having dinner with a bunch of Colombians, Venezuelans, Chileans and Mexicans for the combination to be too much for all our dirty tendencies.

DH and I were enjoying a delicious night of BBQ and Karaoke, or maybe I should say I was being tortured by the smell of delicious cow murder while he ate (5 months 21 days of vegetarianism and counting!) when the hosts of our dinner started passing along an array of penis shaped paraphernalia. From an eight inch penis-shaped flute (you blow at the head of course) very accurate with balls and all and another one of a mustachioed guy seating on a toilet with his pants around his ankle and with a ecstatic look on his face while his hand wrapped around an engorged penis that was bigger than he was. Don’t ask me why a host would do that. Is one of those Hispanic mysteries nobody has an answer to, right up there with what’s in a morcilla (no longer a mystery and wish I never knew) and why we can’t help it but be loud.

While I made do with rice, and salad and bread and all those around me feasted on the mouthwatering victims of murder I thought about how weird it was for people to bring out those pieces of porny, tacky sexual art. Then I realized I have lost my edge. I have been surrounded by that inappropriate shit all my life and never before made me blink an eye.

I remember having lunch at my aunt’s house in Colombia and across her dinner table she had a painting of a woman who seems to be either touching herself or someone else is touching her, and another of two lovers that seem to have escaped from a porn version of Cirque du Soleil. The thing is the strokes of the brush in the paintings are so delicate and sometimes not quite there and you never know if you are really seeing what you think you are seeing or if it is in fact blatantly sexual art.

The result is that you spent the 45 minutes of dinner at times staring at the painting and other’s trying not to stare while you pretend to be eating and incredibly uncomfortable that your hosts and owners of the painting is your family and the figure sticks hanging in the wall are getting it on and feeling oddly hot and bothered at THE MOST inappropriate time. That same family member also served their morning coffee on boob-shaped cups and you had to drink from the nipple, which I didn’t really considered weird when I was growing up but now that I have been here for 8 years I find rather odd. The prudishness here is contagious!

As I passed along the clay guy with the huge schlong and manic look in his eyes to DH I expected him to be somewhat chagrined at what I viewed as another weird thing we do that he has to get used to and I laughed and said: “I can’t imagine passing this along at dinner with your family” since his family is fairly conservative. I expected him to laugh and enjoy the “art” I didn’t expect for him to ask loudly and in front of all the natural born hecklers I hang out with (who by the way are all over 40, married and with children) for me to blow on the head of the “flute” and make some music. Neither did I expect him to say “You have more practice than me” in front of all of them (my mom included) when I told him “Why don’t You blow?”.

All I can conclude in that he has been thoroughly and completely corrupted and that he will no longer be embarrassed by anything.

Which considering my family and friends it’s a blessing.

May 20, 2010


I knew it would eventually make it here to Florida but I was silly enough to hope it would take longer or maybe wouldn’t make it here at all. Intolerance, ignorance and dislike though are like a pestilence and like any fetid disease it spreads faster than wildfire.

I was watching Jeopardy! last night cheering on Vijay to make it for the final Tournament of Champions when during a commercial the face of Republican Rick Scott took over the screen. I didn’t know what the commercial was about because the miracle of the DVR allows us to fast forward through all those pesky commercials but something in his face made me ask DH to stop and rewind. The commercial starts with Mr. Scott showing a clip of a joke made by President Obama and saying “President Obama thinks our immigration problem is funny” and off it goes to manipulate the viewer by saying that it’s simply logical for the police to be allowed to enforced the law.

What Mr. Scott doesn’t waste time saying and explaining to his possible constituents is that there is a reason why Federal Laws are not enforced by state police. If illegal immigrants, regardless of their origin, do not feel safe to approach the police they can become victims of violent crimes without the possibility of ever being protected because of a fear of being deported. What about that illegal immigrant who is a witness of a crime and won’t testify because his fear of being deported keeps him from approaching a cop with information?

That is only ONE of the many reasons why Federal Laws are not to be enforced by state police. I am sure most people don’t think of this detail. Most people would look at Mr. Scoot bald and shiny head and think just like him. See a trustworthy individual who is worried about the safety of its fellow Americans since according to him we immigrants “endanger” you citizens. I don't really grasp how innocent, little me can endanger anyone.

I was a little alarmed before but now I am really starting to worry. I am not completely out of the woods since my process has not been finalized. Do I want to stay in a country that is so set against me? I wish I could say I can consider Canada but I don’t want to leave. I love it here. Unrequited love is painful but I still love it. I am comfortable here. I like this country and I like its people (not liking some of them at the moment though). I don’t want to have to start from scratch once more. I like Canadians but even though some of them don't like me, I really do like my Gringos.

My loyalties are already so divided. I am a woman with no land and no matter where I go I will always be a foreigner. If I go back to my native Colombia I would be considered Venezuelan because of my accent. If I go back to Venezuela they would consider me Colombian because of my nationality. Now I speak English and live in the U.S. but the U.S. doesn’t want me. If I go to Canada what would that make me? A Colombian national who grew up in Venezuela, married in the U.S. and will move to Canada.


I have been reduced to a sound. "Ugh" That’s all I can say about this.

Apr 29, 2010


Ok, so I am exaggerating and being inflammatory and biased. That’s the beauty of blogs; I don’t have to curve my opinions because it is MY blog. (It’s my party and I cry if I want to). It’s a shame really what is happening in Arizona; I had it in my head to visit every state in this country since I can’t travel outside yet and I thought since the U.S. is so big, varied and beautiful there is still plenty for me to see here without feeling bad that I can’t travel outside yet. So far I’ve been in Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, D.C., South Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut and of course Florida.

When the concealed weapon law passed in Arizona (allowed in bars and all that) I decided on the spot to forget about visiting the state. I don’t want to be in a place that allows such a lethal combination as guns and alcohol and now that I am one of those bothering spics they want to get rid of I decided, for my safety, to stay away from there. I fit, after all, the description of what they are trying to purge the state of. There goes my visit to the Grand Canyon!

I understand some of the reasoning behind people that are against illegal immigration. You cannot go to Law School for two years and not learn a little to see the two sides of every argument. I understand when “they” say that immigrants should learn English. I completely agree with that statement (but then again I speak it so it may be easy for me to say so), I think that since we decided to come to this country then we have to go native, as they say. We have to try to, not forget where we come from, but definitely try to embrace some of the things that this country offers. We should all make an effort to speak the language. This country offers free ESOL classes (I know because I took them) and they don’t ask you for papers to take ESOL classes why not make an effort and try to learn?

I understand that, what I don’t understand is the vitriol that comes from the people that hate us. It is a little scary to be honest, I have never been in the receiving end of such intense dislike. When I read the comments of users in the online news I feel…I don’t know how to explain it, it’s not fear, or maybe not just fear, but a combination of fear and confusion. Confusion because I don’t see myself as an usurper, I don’t see myself as a burden to this country, I don’t see myself depleting the coffers or using welfare or crowding the ER and leaving unpaid bills. I don’t see myself as an obstacle to progress. I’ve paid my taxes, I pay my bills, I work hard, I contribute and all that I’ve done with the government doing its best to kick me out.

I don’t think people here understand really what it means to be an immigrant. I think they think we want to feel unwanted or that we simply don’t care and that we come here like leeches to suck the U.S dry and take advantage. That is never the case. I think most of them forget where they come from since the U.S. Is first and foremost a country built BY immigrants starting with those first immigrants that came here aboard the Mayflower.

We come here because there is no future where we come from, because we want to work and make money, because we want a roof over our heads and food on our table. We come here because there is no other choice. Why else would we come to a place that doesn’t want us? To a place where we have to learn a new language and struggle through cultural differences? Why else would we leave everything we love and know behind if it wasn’t because we want to work for something better?

To those who say we steal their jobs, I ask, which job am I taking from you? and shouldn’t it behoove you to wonder why they prefer to hire me over you? What am I bringing to the table that you aren’t?

To those who say I’ve caused gang troubles. I am not even going to bother addressing that one, the big cities in the U.S. have always had gang problems and it’s not exclusively a problem caused by immigrants and I am the furthest thing from a homie as you can get.

To those who say I am living on welfare, I have never EVER in the 8 years I’ve been in this country received help from the government. I've worked for everything I have and own and no-fucking-body is going to come and tell me it was a handout.

To those who say we increase the crime rates in areas, all I can say is I don’t even jaywalk and have never broken a law in this country or any other.

What exactly is it that they dislike about me? They don’t know me, they don’t know what kind of person I am, what my goals and dreams are, if I am good or lazy, or hard working and bad. Do they dislike my skin color? Or is it my accent or maybe my customes? Or is it simply the fact that I am here breathing their air, regardless of the reasons, regardless of how hard I work? Is it easier for them to pile me up with a group of people instead of think of us as individuals? With different stories, different reasons, different backgrounds, different personalities, different needs? I guess is easier for them to think of us as a whole group of people instead of thinking of of each of us as a person.

Would it matter if I was blond? Would they even notice I am here if I was a redhead? Or black? Is it my stature and my brown skin that makes me unwanted? Are Irish immigrants in Arizona also unwanted? Canadians? Brittish? Or just the little brown ones? Just the ones of us that look like spics? What about Asians?
I can’t say how sad it was to read that news yesterday on the day of my 8th anniversary of coming to this country.

Is it going to make a difference in my future what happens in Arizona? Who knows, maybe if the law isn’t considered unconstitutional then others might try to pass similar laws in other states and it would spread like a disease and it might eventually touch me.

I guess all we can do is wait and see.