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If you know me, then you know my story, or at least bits and pieces of it that I have allowed you to see. The other day something popped up on one of my many social media news feeds that inspired this post. I thought to myself, no matter where I go these days, I am a foreigner. It’s not really troublesome to me, but it’s unique and a bit interesting to say the least. Let me take you back.
I was born in Portugal in 1986. I lived there for the first four years of my life. The picture was taken in Portugal with my older brother, who looks like he’s sporting a semi-mullet in this. (Business in the FRONT, Party in the BACK!) When people ask me, I have to be honest and say that at this point in my life I don’t have that many recollections of my early childhood spent in that beautiful country. When I am actually physically there, I can sometimes sense something that I could never explain properly in words. All I know is that, this place where I have only spent a handful of days in, feels like home. The thing is that I also feel like a foreigner when I am there. I will come back to that soon.
So we moved to the USA, to New Jersey to be exact when I was four. We lived on a street that had tons of other Portuguese families and I very quickly made friends with the neighborhood kids. When I entered school, that was a different story. Halloween came around in Kindergarten, and my mom wasn’t all that sure what the hell Halloween was. I am sure someone gave her a half assed explanation, “It’s like carnival, but not.” Our neighbor kindly let me and my mom pick one of her kid’s old costumes, and what did we pick? A GOAT. We thought it was funny, to be honest, I STILL think it’s funny. It just made me stand out like the little weirdo. Another little foreign kid whose family misunderstood what an American tradition was about. Didn’t we know that I was supposed to be a little princess, or a fairy, or a combination of the two? Or a Ghost Fairy Princess!! Nah, I was a goat. This is just an example of how I always felt a little out of place in New Jersey. In NJ, I was the Portuguese girl. The one who’s family had a BBQ and there were sardines on the grill not burgers and hot dogs. When I went to Portugal I was the American girl because well I had an accent, now that I am living in Germany…I just confuse the shit out of people.
“Can I see your Passport?” Hands Portuguese Passport to them.
“I thought you were American.” I stare at them blinking slowly.
“Do you have an American Passport?” Sigh.
“NO. I am Portuguese. I Have a Portuguese Passport. I only had a green card in the USA but I handed that back. ” I explain.
“OH. It’s just that you sound American.” INSERT EYE ROLL
“Yes I spent most of my life there, but for all intents and purposes, I am Portuguese.”
I’ve had this conversation a few times, or some similar type of conversation about this here. Also there are those people who love to ask me this: “So how long are you here for?” ………… “I’ve been living here for five years.” ….”Are you staying?”…. I don’t know, CAN WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHERE I AM FROM AND WHERE THE FUCK I AM GOING?!
For most of my life I have been a foreigner. I was a foreigner in the USA, in Portugal I was the American,but now I am the German, in Germany I am the American…no the Portuguese…no wait where Am I from again?
It’s not that I am having some kind of Identity crisis, all my experiences are making me who I am. A Passport doesn’t define much of anything in my eyes other than who’s most likely to get frisked at immigration when traveling to the USA. Still sometimes I do have to sit and wonder who I am, or where am I from? I never really know how to answer that question anymore, and really wish people could ask me something else.
Always the foreigner.
and that’s okay.
Being a part of the book community has made me more aware of how the world around us is in the middle of an on coming shit storm. Not because of any drama, but because this community spends a lot of time reading, and spends a lot of time learning from one another, and also learning from the experiences of others. I have been learning a lot about the human condition, and just humanity in general. I have also learned how scared so many marginalized people are of Trump becoming president. I was very well aware of just how terrifying the prospect of a rotting pumpkin with guinea pig for hair would be as a leader of one of the biggest nations in the world, but as someone now living on the outside of the USA looking in, it didn’t fully hit me until I saw just how many different people, from so many different walks of life are actually fearing for their safety if this presidency becomes reality.
We have all heard the man speak. He can’t put a single coherent thought together to save his life. I wish I were exaggerating, but if his life literally depended on him saying something with a word from the national spelling bee and he couldn’t repeat the same thought within the same phrase either, he would die. His brain would explode from the strain. He spews massive amounts of HATE, and his entire campaign is built on fear mongering and bullshit. Yet I am not here to write about his supporters. No. I am here to discuss a different matter. His supporters say enough about themselves simply by being a Trump Supporter. It’s like wearing a permanent “I’m with stupid” t-shirt.
I want to talk about the matter where plenty of educated people are making this about how awful Hilary would be as president as well. I will be the first to say that I am not a huge fan of hers, but I will also say that she will be better for the country and THE WORLD than Trump will ever be. Trump has a temper of a petulant child. When someone angers him in anyway he automatically goes on the offensive. He loves to call people losers and pick apart their appearance especially if they’re women. He has a long list of failed businesses and an even longer list of several offenses against workers, women, and minorities. Educated people are sitting around sipping their bullshit tea talking about how Clinton took money from Saudi Arabia, they act like this money was wired into her personal account and she used it to pimp out her campaign like some modern day cackling witch. Some simple research will tell you that yes, Saudi Arabia donated millions to the clinton foundation, but this was years ago, when Clinton was secretary of state and had ZERO role in the foundation during that time. If she had so much to hide, why would she allow the list of donations to be made public? Have you seen Trump’s tax information yet? That’s because he has something to hide, in fact I am sure he has plenty of somethings to hide.
I am tired of seeing people shit on Hilary. Especially people who have never lived in the USA, will never live in the USA, and practically have zero ties to the country itself. As informed as you think you are, you have zeroed in on bullshit, or even zeroed in on details about Clinton to create a virtual witch hunt. Put your animosity aside for a second, and go around looking at how SCARED so many families are of Trump becoming president. Look at his supporters–They are the same people who watch the news about another innocent black man being shot dead in the streets and look for excuses for the cops abysmal behavior. His supporters are predominantly white, racist, and angry. I keep reading the fear from so many people and think to myself “how can anyone focus on “evil” Hilary, and not see the true evil before them?” People are SCARED, and your little witch hunt of Hilary is ignoring all the marginalized voices who will become silenced even more if the world allows a man like Trump to become president.
So Facebook keyboard warriors listen up! You are spending a lot of time tearing down Hilary any time someone criticizes Trump. You spend a lot of time trying to bring forth a sense of justification of your hatred for Hilary, ignoring the fear that is trickling down deep into people’s very souls if Trump wins. By doing so, you are becoming PART of the problem. If you’re reading this and feeling that sense of anger that only comes from feeling guilty, my advice to you is to reassess the bullshit you are blinded by and the bullshit you are putting forth. You are just as harmful as the trump supporters and their massive amounts of hate and ignorance.
PLEASE NOTE! This is MY OPINION! You know how you’re entitled to go around spewing all of your nonsense everywhere? I am entitled to come to my blog and put forth my views. My comments are moderated and hateful and uneducated nonsense will never see the light of day. Same goes for anyone who’s going to comment on my fb link with their own brand of hate and ignorance. I will delete anything you say. Not because I am only looking for praise, but because I refuse to argue with anyone who doesn’t want to see how hurtful a Trump presidency would be for so many people. I fear for friends, and their families. If you don’t get that, I have nothing to say to you.
Night Film is a tough review to do without spoiling anything at all, but I AM KEEPING THIS spoiler free. It will be vague, and mysterious…kind of like this book.
Night Film Summary:
Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.
On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.
For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.
The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.
ONCE WE FACE OUR DEEPEST FEARS, WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE?
Night Film Review:
I will say this, this book had certain points and aspects that had me turning on every light around me when moving about the house at night. The characters were really interesting, especially Ashley, even though the whole mystery is around her and why she appears to have committed suicide. I read this book fairly quickly, or at least as quick as I could considering I had a lot on my plate. So you are going to wonder a little bit why my rating isn’t higher.
Well the truth is, while this book was creepy and I kept turning the pages wondering what was really going on, it also felt like it was over done. The book is quite long, and I think if I got to the end it was this glorifying “holy yes!! this is amazing!” I wouldn’t have minded all the filler moments in the book, but the ending pretty much ruined the book for me. It felt to me like Marisha Pessl also had no idea how to end it. It sort of flip flops a bit there. If you want a clear and concise ending, you may want to steer clear of this book. I kind of wish I had known that before diving in, but then again I still don’t actually regret reading this.
If you love mystery with a hint of horror I definitely recommend this book, but be aware that the ending may infuriate you. The writing was good, and it will keep you hooked.
I gave Night Film 3 out of 5 Metal horns!!
WARNING…I Am going to say FUCK…A LOT. Deal with it. Or stay blissfully ignorant, until your own government voted in by old farts hits you with a bag of dicks. If you’re looking for eloquent, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”
I am not the most political person. I pay attention, I read up, but I can’t sit here and say I am well informed on absolutely everything. This post though, is going to focus more on the fact that the old generations who have literally FUCKED our futures already, are furthering the path to destruction.
These strong feelings have been brewing since Trump announced he was running for president. Since all these right wing parties started gaining traction in the EU, with mass shootings rising and republicans still stating “we are keeping our boom boom sticks” and now with the UK voting to leave the EU.
In the words of some stranger on the internet…WHAT IS THIS FUCKERY?! Your old asses need to sit down have some prune juice and get this ignorant shit out of your systems! It turns out, all the young people who you assume are only taking selfies, and fucking each other with selfie sticks, are actually very much aware of the real world repercussions of a massive decision like leaving the EU, the majority of young voters voted for remain.
See this isn’t just a UK problem though. These older generations are forcing their opinions into a world they most likely won’t even be a part of. This Xenophobia is spreading like wild fire. I remember being in department stores or supermarkets with my mother in the USA and speaking Portuguese to her, and some old fart had the nuts to tell me to go back to Mexico. SIR, here’s a fucking map and a dollar, go buy a fucking clue. I see it sometimes in the faces of older people here in Germany when I say something to my Boyfriend in English. That look that says “You’re in MY country. You are taking OUR jobs. Go Back to where you came from.” But, I feel at HOME in Germany, my job requires an understanding of English beyond “My name is Hans. I come from Germany” so I was probably better suited for it than most German natives, but to go back to where I came from wouldn’t really be a problem, but currently my life is here, and your xenophobic ass will have to deal with it.
The fear I have for this UK exit from the EU, is that it is currently setting the stage for more old angry white racist assholes in the Land of the “free” to vote for Trump. These things are opening pandora’s box, and the entire world is going to start feeling the repercussions of these decisions made by old generations that probably won’t live long enough to even deal with any of it. It’s all about GIVE ME MY GUNS, and THEM GAYS SHOULDN’T MARRY, and DON’T LET THE MEXICANS IN…
The UK had similar situations. They felt that members of other EU nations were taking their jobs, they thought they were paying too much into the EU, they wanted independence, and now the POUND is worth less than my monopoly money, and you have lost Billions in a matter of hours because your old brain was hoping for the old days of the UK just being the UK and not having to follow any of these silly EU rules. BUT if trade will continue to happen…then you will have to follow the rules anyway you dumb fucks!
I am just skimming through the summary of what’s a War and Peace sized novel. I could blurt out all kinds of profanity at how stupid I find the older generations who vote for this mind numbing bullshit. I am pretty sure it is 2016…almost 90% sure of that at the moment.
Well now that the pound is worth dust and lint, I guess when I visit the Harry Potter studio tour, I will be paying peanuts. so … thank you?
Sigh, the world is on fire, and we are all trying to piss on it to put it out.
The future is looking grim…
I wanted to share some random writings with you, so I will start Short Story Sunday. Which may be a bi-weekly thing rather than a weekly thing. This particular short story will be shared in small bursts, till we finally reach the end. Please note that anything I post here is a work in progress, and has gone through ZERO editing. I just wanted to be able to share some of my writing. Not everything I write is fantasy or historical fiction, and this is a prime example. This one has some dark humor in it, but it is definitely going to twist at some of your emotions. This is a work of fiction. Enjoy!
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
©2016 Joana Simoes. All Rights Reserved
Part One: A Party You Say?
It’s been a month since I have stepped outside of my apartment. I want to say it’s a choice, and plenty of people would argue that it is– my mother tells me I am overreacting all the time. I have gotten fully dressed and ready to step outside a grand total of 8 times. Winter coat on, scarf at the ready, I place my hand on the doorknob and start the pep talks.
“Come on Zara, you are just going to the grocery store for eggs and milk.”
“Come on Zara, you just need to step out for some fresh air.”
“Come on Zara, go to the bookstore! YOU LOVE THE FUCKING BOOK STORE!”
I take a few deep breaths, turn the doorknob,and as I do so, sweat begins to drip down my forehead, down my neck, and pools on the small of my back. I slam my back against the apartment door. “Not today!” I yell, and walk down our short hallway, back into my bedroom, and straight back into my pajamas. Just so you know, I am not always like this. I can leave the apartment on good days, but for the past month it has just been a never-ending chain of bad days. Sometimes those bad days are really awful and for the past month even on Okay days I have just been too exhausted to go anywhere.
I live with my best friend Patrick. He takes care of the grocery shopping when I get like this. We moved to Portland from Pennsylvania about 6 years ago. Sharing an apartment seemed like the best bet to save money, plus I don’t think Pat and I know how to function anymore without the other one around. From the outside looking in, people assume we are a couple or really weird siblings that moved straight from the womb to an apartment in Portland. We are not, and have never had any sexual entanglements. I have barely dated, and he’s brought home a couple of girls. They always wake up the next morning, run into the weird chick wearing the batman pajamas eating oatmeal from a disney princess bowl, and are never seen again. Whatever a great wingman is, I am the opposite of that.
Patrick is patient, and the past month a lot has fallen to him. He doesn’t complain, but I apologize profusely a million times a day anyway.
About a month ago I was invited by one of the many downstairs neighbors to a party. Figuring that everyone there was going to be between the ages of 18 and 25, I asked Pat to come with me. Technically I gave him no choice, I’m awful like that. I always tell him I am way past my partying stage and he reminds me that I never went through a party stage. Usually Patrick is the one that gets all the invites, and he will always casually drop by, while I stay upstairs watching tv. This time I got caught in the crosshairs of a conversation in the laundry room. As I threw my laundry into the dryer, a girl of about 22 with shoulder length blonde dreadlocks turned to me and invited me to her party.
My initial thought was “No, I don’t want to go to your patchouli infested apartment where you will serve tofu and vegan brownies and talk about that month you spent in India, appropriating another culture. I’ve seen you in that Sari bitch!” But I am good enough at filtering my thoughts and making them less rude quite quickly. I also had just spent 30 seconds staring at the shell bead hanging off of one of her dreadlocks, and needed to say something and get out of there.
“Uhhh, Sure.” I stammered.
I sped down the hall and straight into the elevators. I hit the button for the 7th Floor, and hit the close door button knowing it is not actually going to make the door close any faster. When I reached the 7th floor I practically ran to our apartment.
Patrick was in the living room on his laptop as I step inside and he looks at me quizzically.
“Why are you out of breath?” he asked.
“That blonde girl with dreads just invited me to a party.” I say in between huffs and puffs. Shit I really should work out more.
“I think her name is Mandy, or Amanda.” Patrick said this like it mattered.
“Of course it is.” I reply.
“I’m guessing you said no?”
“I said sure, which I mean, kind of leaves it open to interpretation.”
“No it doesn’t Zara.”
“Sure it does. For instance, ‘Sure, but I would rather pull my teeth through my ass.’ or ‘Sure, but I have to wash my hair that night, try it some time.” I explained.
Patrick laughs as he continued to type on his laptop and then said, “Only you would think that ‘sure’ is open to interpretation.”
“So we have to go to this thing?”
Hope you enjoyed the very short first part to this story! Leave some comments down below and let me know what you think! Happy Sunday!
On this installment of my coffee & rant posts, I talk about snobs. You know who I am talking about. The people who think their choices in what they eat, drink, read, and listen to, are better than your choices. You know one. You possibly know a bunch of them. Well I am here to say: STOP BEING A SNOB!
NOTE: This indeed is a rant. I drop F bombs a few times, if you’re pure like a unicorn and can’t take it, Walk away now.
Here’s why I get irritated by the snobbery from people. What someone chooses to do with their free time, and frankly their god damn digestive system, has ZERO effect on your life. Honestly I know you can come back and say well “the mass consumption of this, that and the other is ruining…” Shut the fuck up. I will reiterate this for you, it has ZERO effect on your life. Take coffee drinking for instance, yes I have found many other places I enjoy more than Starbucks here, but once in a while if I want to walk into Starbucks and drink a frothy drink with 1000 calories, how is that any of your business? I am not chaining you down and making YOU drink it am I? But NOOOOO, the coffee snob is going to come in and rant “How can you drink that? I only drink coffee beans that have been partially digested by an Asian Palm Civet.”
I have dealt with snobs a lot, because the Metal community tends to have a lot of them. Only their underground bands that no one listens to are real metal, and your love for (Insert Moderately Popular Band Name Here) makes you a poser. I already did an entire post about people whining about a band not being metal enough, so I won’t bitch about it right now, but again, What I listen to, isn’t going to make your world stop turning. Your heart isn’t going to stop, you won’t hear it if you don’t want to, so let me listen to whatever the hell I want, and you listen to your underground bands, but stop judging me for this shit. Stop judging people in general.
Which brings me to the book community. I actually really love this community because they are way less judgmental about what people choose to read, but the readers who are outside of this online book community tend to piss me off. Especially the adults. So the fuck what if I read Young Adult Books, Kids books, or anything else that you seem to deem unworthy? When people complain about popular novels…I’m sorry, did we have a freaky friday moment, and suddenly everything I read is being absorbed by your brain? NO? Then, silence! I will admit that I turned into a slight snob about people reading 50 Shades of Grey, but at the end of the day read whatever the hell you want. I read comic books too, and I am sure there are plenty of people who find that juvenile and stupid. Well good for you that you don’t know how to have fun, but I enjoy it immensely. I get it, you’re a pseudo intellectual who only reads classic novels written by dead white guys, but I don’t care what you read, just don’t try to pin point me as an idiot because I like to read many different things. Don’t think because I have a mass amount of Harry Potter books and collectibles that I am somehow less intelligent than you. I can tie my shoes and count to three, go fuck yourself. I work hard, so if I want I will play hard. That has no lasting effect on your life, other than those five minutes that you get worked up over what I am doing, but that’s on you. I will continue to do whatever I want.
I get it, you snobs love to feel special, smart, and unique. You love to think so highly of yourselves that you can’t take the time to just let people simply enjoy the things they love. Well continue on your pretentious little lonely path, I will be over here, having fun.
My coffee is cold, see ya later!!