Mar 30, 2011

WTF or Aww? You decide

When I was trying to come up with a title for this post there was nothing else in my mind but WTF. I was trying my best to come up with something witty and funny and short that would embody the feeling of the post, but there is nothing in my mind except for a glaring WHAT THE FUCK. That’s it, nothing more.

DH, sent me this link this morning:

I think he secretly enjoys finding weird shit that happens in either Venezuela or Colombia so he can ask me about it and feel like he married some exotic woman from a crazy faraway land.

When I read the article my first reaction was “ew” and laugh hysterically because as surprising and bizarre and unexplainable the situation was, it still completely plausible. Part of me wasn’t really that shocked. What does that say about me and about my people in Colombia? I am not sure.

If you have problems opening the link, let me summarize what the article is about:

Seventeen year old Christopher (DH is surely disappointed by the “regular” name) was gunned down in his neighborhood while he was playing football (soccer for my gringo friends) and his friends, took his body (coffin and all) from the funeral home and “paraded” it to a game in the stadium for the team he rooted for. Christopher belonged to a fan club of the Cucuta Deportivo team known as the Barra del Indio (a “barra” is a group of fans) and it was friends in that group that took him to the game. So his body could witness the victory? Not really since after further research I found out the teams tied and since there was a cadaver in the stadium the score stopped being so important to those who were there.

Interestingly enough the “barras” are not allowed in the stadium because they are the Colombian version of Hooligans. They break shit; they get into fights, shoot people when their team loses, etc. This time, however, the barra was allowed into the stadium. Apparently all they had to do all along to gain entrance was to bring a body.

I can only imagine how the conversation went at the entrance of the stadium…

What explanation can there really be for this? Was it the grief? Was it the last wish of the deceased? Or are my people simply nuts?

I am going to go with a little bit of all three.

I am sure for the average American bringing a body to a stadium is just crazy, hell it sounds crazy to me and I am Colombian! But I guess is the Colombian in me, that isn’t totally taken over by American pragmatism, which can pause for a moment and find the situation almost poetic. When one stops to think about it, if they knew the guy, if the friends knew how much he loved soccer, and he died playing soccer, what a better way to honor his memory than to bring his body to the stadium? I am sure nobody would’ve batted an eye if it had been ashes. I think the most shocking part; the part difficult to get over the part that made me go “ew” is that his whole body, bullet riddled and all, ready to be buried was there, inside that coffin, being carted around by his friends like a Colombian version of a Weekend at Bernies.

What if he had fallen out? Did they stop to think about the consequences? Did they take a moment to consider the logistics of it all? I doubt it. Latin Americans are not really worried about such things. Where was his family? His mother? What were they thinking?

Don’t even get me started on how the sheer tragedy of the death of a seventeen year old is being overlooked because his body being paraded in a stadium makes a better story. Sadly deaths like those are oh so common in that and many other areas of my country.

I guess there is enough Hispanic romanticism and impracticality in me to read the article, and after getting over the shock, find the situation epically poetic.

In the end I am nothing if not pragmatic, not because of my time in the U.S. but because that is my number one personality trait. And the pragmatic part of me, cannot say anything else, but WTF?

Here’s a little video for those inclined to watch it live.

Mar 25, 2011

And here we go again

My immigration woes continue. My lawyer, who for once is getting off his ass to do something, is having a hard time getting the people from the district where my paperwork is to get off their ass and do their job. Apparently governmental offices are full of bureaucratic clerks on a power trip (imagine my shock!) that refuse to bother the bureaucratic immigration officers who are supposed to be reviewing my case and giving me an interview date.

Apparently the branch where my case currently sits is the most problematic in the State of Florida, which doesn’t really surprise me, all those yuppie Polo playing rich people of Palm Beach country is probably trying to keep us spics from getting papers. Who would mow their lawns and keep their horses brushed and pretty all for less than the minimal wage?

Oh the bitterness!

I don’t really think that is the reason, but I do not know what the reason is. My ex-coworker, friend and blog follower called me after reading my last post, to infuse me with a little bit of hope, to lift my spirits and to ask me not to feel discouraged. It took her, after all, six years to get paperwork done. And she is Canadian! I rest my case. I will be waiting for my papers until my grandchildren are fighting about whose turn it is to take care of bitchy grandma.

In a few weeks I will be here for 9 years. April 28th will be me anniversary of arriving to the country. Nine years here, it seems like it was yesterday when I was miserable and feeling alone, hating my life, this country, the reasons that brought me here, the weather, the language, the fact that I was no longer a spoiled little girl with a cute a car and going to college but a McDonald’s crew member whose bike cost $39.99 at Wal-Mart.

I don’t regret any decision made, maybe I shouldn’t have dated a guy I thought was gay for as long as I did and maybe I should’ve not used my credit card as if it was daddy’s money, and maybe just maybe I should’ve married my husband as soon as I met him just to work this out faster instead of marrying him after I was sure that he was the right man for me. I cannot regret moving here, I cannot regret marrying for love instead of marrying for papers. I cannot regret doing the right things and doing them the right away. What I regret is that bad behavior seems to be rewarded and people who actually follow due process are left waiting for what will never come, closure, solution, papers! I could’ve married ages ago and be legal right now, instead I decided that as archaic as I consider the institution of marriage, I didn’t want to exchange vows based on a lie. I didn’t want to be a divorcee by my early twenties. If I ever made the decision to marry I didn’t want it to be for mercenary reasons. Look at what that got me.

Well…I guess it got me a good husband. That I want to hurt sometimes but that loves me and my family and my evil cat, and my silly dog.

So fuck you! Branch of INS that is five minutes from my house and that refuses to give me the time of day. Take as long as you fucking want to, sit on my case until the end of times if you would like, because I am not going anywhere.

Mar 22, 2011


I wish there were happier news to read than Libya being bombed, the food in Japan being full of radiation, Knut the polar bear’s sudden death or the fact that Charlie Sheen’s show has sold out in all cities.

But alas! Here were are, almost done with March and bad news keep pouring in. DH and I had a wonderful weekend, however, celebrating two years together of legally bumping uglies, I kid, we celebrated two years of our love…sigh. We have been together for four years and it feels like it was just yesterday when he told me I had cankles and we exchanged phone numbers. Romance was in the air that night.

We had a fun day of sun at the beach where we baked like lobsters and the water was perfect for the visiting Canadians (a balmy 65) and the sharks kept us out of the water for most of the day (not kidding). I am, thankfully back to being an attractive toasty color and not the yellow pastiness I have been sporting for the better part of a year. We also went to a comedy show where we laughed until we cried and came out, amazingly, with a sense of having learned something.

If any of you, my few faithful readers, has the opportunity of seeing Christopher Titus standup comedy, seize that chance and have a blast. If you aren’t easily offended that is. The man is a genius and so full of energy one is left reeling and hurting in the abdominal area. I felt like I did 100 abs after we came out of the show and for that alone I like Mr. Titus.

Sunday, we went to see the Marlins kick some spring-training ass belonging to the Mets and then back home to pass out from sun poisoning and happy we had each other to rub cold aloe on our leathery backs. Basis for an awesome marriage right there!

Two days have passed since the sixty days cut off for us to receive the letter giving us a date for our interview. I found it kind of fateful that the cut-off date was the date of our anniversary. Dreams of Hawaii drift faster and faster away, but what is there to do but wait? I never believed I was going to be able to go, but I am sure when they all board the plane that will take them to paradise I will be home, beating my head against the wall and being a bitch to all around me. I actually feel more badly for DH who will feel too guilty to go without me (by that I mean I will kill him if he leaves and goes without me).

This shit (I am tired of calling it a “situation” or “my circumstances”) has turned me into someone who I am not really proud of, an angry (angrier) person, a bitter woman with no hopes left about her future and what it will bring. I have come to resent all the people I know that get to travel. I have never been an envious person.

Envy is in fact, the only cardinal sin (greed, vanity, lust, wrath, sloth, gluttony and envy for those non Christian friends) that I have no understanding of. I understand feeling and committing all the other ones, but envy has always been in my opinion the worst of those sins to commit. It seems so petty and dangerous, so ugly a feeling. The fact that I am rolling in envy, swimming in it, every time I see some friend’s picture on Facebook in Italy, or France, or London, makes me ashamed of myself. Hell I am okay with being a greedy, glutton, vain, prideful, lustful, lazy bitch, but I will not be an envious one!

So, DH is going to abuse our lawyer a little bit today and find out why he isn’t doing his job, why we are still waiting, why we haven’t been interviewed, why I am seating here with nothing to show, legally speaking, after two years of marriage.

I can’t wait for this shit to be over, so dear husband and I can take a deep breath and plan for the future, move from Florida, buy a house with a yard, get another dog, travel the world, etc.

In the meantime I will remind myself that I am alive and well, healthy, hot and in love so there is nothing for me to really complain about. I am not Knut, I am not in Libya, or in Japan or related in any way to Charlie Sheen. That is truly something to be thankful for.

Mar 15, 2011


I knew today will be the day for a positive post. I knew I would see the blessings around me and realize that yes! there are things in my life that I am not happy with (e.g. my work, the state I live in, the length of my legs and the fact that no matter how much I try my immigration process is not moving smoothly at all).

I just didn’t know it would take seeing a building being torn from its foundation by raging water to realize my complains, my grievances, my silly problems are nothing, absolutely nothing compared to what’s going on in Japan, or Libya.

I have been a little selfish, I must confess. But in my defense if you were me, with a decade of trying and not succeeding you would be feeling a little miffed yourself. Isn’t that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Perspective is a funny thing, it can bitch slap you in the face with a “get over yourself” or it can come subtly and sweetly like a pat in the head from another source. The video of Japan was the bitch slap. The pat came in the form of my smart and beautiful cousin, who like me had to struggle to get her paperwork done. It took her sweat, tears and heartache but she had it done. She is now a doctor at John Hopkins Hospital after having to start her medical degree from scratch.

What do I have to complain when an entire country is going through the threat of nuclear radiation exposure? Stupid me.

It’s very humbling when something like this happens and one is faced with just how inconsequential we are, how small our problems are. In the great scheme things is humbling to recognize our own insignificance.

I was glad to see that for the first time the thread wasn’t full of vile or spewing with hatred. All the people commenting were full of hope and good thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement:

“…Its times like this we should all realize were humans, and act like it. Not making racist comments to any race/religion. But to wish this group of people well, health, and a bright future. It doesn't matter whether you are Japanese, Jewish, Persian, African, or European. In times like this everyone needs to help each other out”

“…How pitifully small we are compared to nature. How ridiculous our puny and futile feuds when compared with forces like this”

“…After 9/11, the French president declared, 'today we are all American.' Today, we are all Japanese”

“…be well people of Japan”

“…God help those people who are suffering from this disaster, shelter them, feed them, and guide them and look after them they are your children. Also those who you have taken away from this world may their soul rest in peace and open the door of heaven to them. God bless all those who are living in Japan. Our prayer is always with them”

Someone named Kooties also posted this:

“…I feel so ashamed for complaining about the minuscule hardships in my life; God please help the people of Japan! I thank you for my life and everything that you've allowed me to have while I'm on This earth”

There is hope for humanity after all.

So, let’s pray to each of our Gods, whatever they may be, in thanks for simply being alive and in behalf of our brothers and sisters in Japan who so need us.