Coffee & Rant

Life & Blog Update

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Hellooooooo my precious geeks!

I know it’s been awhile since I have updated this blog and I have reasons so let’s jump right into those.

LIFE:  In February I was working an internship for a mobile games company that shall remain nameless. They screwed me over a couple of times mainly the fact that I went in for a full time contract( interview process was all about full time ) but they only offered me an internship in the end paying me peanuts for 40 hours per week. (they did this to a few people) I ignored my gut instinct and took it anyway. In a way I am glad I did because I met some lovely people, and 3 out of the 5 co founders were professional and cool. Then they told me my work was great but that I was too straightforward. Yet they let my coworker go because she was too shy and quiet.

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Needless to say it aggravated me. Aggravation tends to push my anxiety sky high. I am glad that is over but felt the need to put it here because it needed to be said. The aggravation they made me feel exhausted my brain completely. I barely read any books during that time. It’s a company that I feel has a lot of potential, but only if they start to learn from their mistakes.

To the present:  I found such a wonderful company to work for. Not only have they been kind and understanding, they are not afraid to take criticism. I feel for companies to move forward, you need to listen to your employees, and have them listen to you. Mutual respect and Real genuine communication is what will allow everyone to succeed. I enjoy the work I am doing, and am looking forward to helping them move forward. My gut instinct says this is a good lot of people. I have been reading more, and I genuinely feel happy.

Writing: I changed some aspects of the novel I am writing so it’s been consuming quite a bit of my time. If you think writing a book is hard, wait till you have to edit it.

This Blog: For a while now, I have been a little unhappy with the way I do things here. I also feel I have outgrown the process of using WordPress.com and will be moving it over to .ORG. I want more control over my blog in many aspects that this WordPress doesn’t quite allow. It’s a good starting point for anyone who’s new to blogging, but I am confident now that I can move it. SO this means for the next couple of weeks you may once again not see much happening here. My apologies in advance, but my idea is to better this for myself and for everyone! So don’t go anywhere and please stay tuned!

NOTE: to those of you who are waiting for me to review your books, those reviews are coming, I PROMISE!!

See you soon GEEKS!!

 

Coffee & Rant

Always the Foreigner

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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.

486530_10150971845899142_1684528778_nI 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. goatWe 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. weirdThis 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?!

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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.

whoamI

Always the foreigner.

and that’s okay.

 

Geek Stuff, life, Uncategorized

Goals for 2017

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Most people have been busy making new years resolutions, but this isn’t about that. There are things I have been working on in the past few months that I want to continue. There are things I want to better and things I just want to move past. I think as humans we can choose to make a change at any point during the year, but there’s something about a new year that feels like life is handing us a clean slate.

Reading Goals

In 2016 I read a total of 102 books. It’s a nice number. My goal was to read 100 and I surpassed it by 2. It’s fine for me. This year I have a similar goal, and while I marked my goodreads reading challenge at 100 books once again, I am aiming towards 80-100. I keep the goodreads goal because it keeps track of other statistics, not because I want to read more than someone else. Reading has always been a passion for me, and I am not here to compete with anyone. Also I want to read different genres than what I typically read–my main love is fantasy novels. I also want to read more diversely. Two of my favorite books of 2016 The Hate U Give and American Street(which will release next month) are diverse and wonderful reads, so I want to continue on that path. I also want to read more history and nonfiction novels this year.

Writing Goals

I am still revising and adding to my first manuscript. I am okay with that. I don’t want to write crap into my second draft just to say I am writing. I am constantly making notes of what I want to add, and this year I want to officially finish it, and begin to seriously shop it around. I also have a short story contest I am entering, and I am prepared to do some wonderful research for my second book. Writing for me is a long term goal, something I want to spend my life doing, and as such I want to put in a lot more hours into it. I want my stories out there, not for fame, but because I think there are plenty of others who may actually connect with them.

Life Goals

There is a lesson I have learned through the years that not everyone is going to like you. You can be as sweet as a summer’s peach and someone will still try to find some kind of flaw within you. As such, I will continue to speak my mind whether people find it endearing or find that I am a massive bitch makes no difference to me. I was raised to speak up when I find that something is wrong, and how people take it and react to it says more about them than it does about me. I don’t need to be loved by all. I know very well who matters in my life.

2016 marked the year I broke down and got the real help I needed for my mental health. It has been making a world of difference in my life, and I will continue on this journey to bettering myself. Mental Illness is not a joke, a punch line, or something to be ashamed about. If you are struggling, take care of yourself properly. As frustrating as it may seem at times, good mental health requires medication many times, and THAT IS OKAY! It also requires a push from within, and sometimes that’s the hardest part to find. Just do it for yourself, and you will see a world of difference.

Work wise, I want to find a place that respects me and gives me a real chance to prove myself. The most frustrating thing in the world is knowing you can work well at something and not being given a chance to show it. I have plans…and I will see them through this year.

I hope 2017 brings all of you love, health, and some hope. I feel like we all need a little dose of hope after 2016. Put family and friends first. One day you will regret it if you push everyone aside. Life is short and should be spent giving love an comfort, Not Hate.

Hugs and Peace for all.

life

The Snakes Start to Sing – Trump Wins,We Lose

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I wasn’t going to write this. I have been voicing my opinions on most social media platforms for the past few days. This isn’t exactly new for me, I am heavily opinionated and unapologetic. If you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to listen to or read my opinions.

The past two days I have seen some despicable and terrifying behavior. Trump won the election, and predictably people are scared. Because of this blog I interact online with the book community, this book community tends to be young. They are confused and scared, and I have been loud and vocal about my support for them because they need it. It’s day two and people all over the United States are being very openly harassed and treated poorly by those who think that Trump winning the election equates to them being allowed to do whatever the hell they want. They are running around using the N word like it’s candy in their mouths, and they’re grabbing the hijab off of young muslim girls because “they can” now. Or so they think.

This is what Trump’s hate rhetoric has brought forth. I am not an idiot nor am I blind. Racism has always been around. We are talking about a nation that murdered their way to owning its land, a nation of slavery that moved into an unjust system that keeps minorities down, and a nation where the education still sugar coats thanksgiving and glosses over every single one of its ugly truths. Racism has always been there, But Trump’s win has given every white male and female, every racist scumbag, every white person who’s ever said the phrase, “Not to sound racist or anything but…” a green light to think that they can go out now and openly just be racist and act on those ugly feelings however they want. Acts of harassment and violence are sprouting all over the country.

This angers me beyond words, beyond anything I could eloquently convey on this silly blog of mine. So maybe I have to do it in a less than eloquent way.

STOP telling people to calm down, and that everything will be okay. Right now, and with the acts of harassment popping up all over, nothing is okay. My heart aches for those who are now afraid to step out of their houses. With every tweet I see in this young community of someone feeling lost, alone, and sad I feel 1000 pangs of sadness for them, and then it quickly turns into rage towards those that have made them feel this way. NO ONE should feel unsafe in their home or in their own country.

Then I go onto my personal Facebook page and that rage consumes my very soul. Unhealthy? Maybe, but I can’t help it. People are that fucking stupid. I will make it clear that I have no one who supports trump on my friends list. I ended a 15 year friendship with a trump supporter months ago and I have zero regrets. But some people seem to like making jokes at the expense of others, and some like to just continuously tell people to calm down. To them I say, SHUT THE FUCK UP! You’re either wrapped up in your own ass to figure out how truly disgusting people are being at this very moment or you’re old and completely out of touch with the world today. Either way, I won’t stand for the bullshit anymore. Not that I ever did.

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See this? This popped up on my Facebook. Don’t know the original source, and I don’t care. The person who shared this wrote “Kinda true” so sir, how about you take a fucking seat so I can teach you a quick lesson. The above statement reads like the typical white excuse for horrible incidents. It’s the victim blaming bullshit that most white males nod their heads to while they jack off in their mother’s basement. “Political correctness hysteria” reads like nazi propaganda when you say it out loud. Because no, not every single joke uttered is racist, but yes plenty cross the line. If people don’t want to have something be “hysterical” at the expense of their race or religion, then it’s not fucking funny, and people don’t have to laugh at your shit. “Innocent flirt” hello their Mr.DickandBalls, you don’t get to fucking talk. You don’t have to constantly look over your shoulder when you’re out. Or when you kindly say “No thank you” to your “innocent flirtation” and the guy starts harassing you even further, or in one instance talks about how big his dick is and How I will enjoy it. So FUCK YOU and your innocent flirt. News flash Dick with ears, a culture is not a costume. If Native American’s don’t want you walking into a frat house with a native headdress while you slosh beer all over yourself and woop and hollar then they have every fucking right to call you out on it. Don’t blame the victim you giant piece of shit. That’s not how this fucking works.

You can freely say this shit and act like “no big deal” “jokes on you” because of your excessive white male privilege, but I am going to call you out on it and not give a flying fuck what you think. It’s not going to make you change because people like this basically think the world is too uptight. No, the world is just tired of being harassed, bullied, stepped on, raped, and murdered by white overly privileged shit for brains like you.

I have reached a point where I would rather burn bridges, than continue to hold back and set myself on fire just to make sure you’re warm.

I will keep being a caring, selfless, LOUD FEMINIST BITCH, and you can learn or you can fuck right off.

To those of you who feel scared and alone and need someone to talk to. I am here. Email, twitter, whatever…you can reach out to me.

LOVE & PEACE

Joana a.k.a. Metal and the Geek

writing

Unwelcome Feelings

Anxiety

I don’t jump into my personal life on here too much and I am not really going to change that aspect, but I am going to give you a glimpse into what feelings have come over me within the past month (more or less). This is MY place to come and write whatever I want to write. If I were to sum it up, I would say that I am exhausted. And yes I am well aware that I am not the only person on this earth who feels tired. I know that plenty of people are going through worse, but at this very moment, I can only talk about my feelings and my story. As much awareness as I have of the struggles other people are facing, I cannot be their voice and tell their stories properly. I can only tell my story, and so let us begin.

Since the beginning of June I have been ill. If you are a reader of this blog then you are well aware of my problems with anxiety and depression. THIS though was a physical illness. I had a horrible ear infection that turned into an even worse throat infection, that just spiraled out of control. 3 doctors visits and a specialist later and I am told that my sinus on the left side is being a bitch( in medical terms of course) and that I have bronchitis. He prescribes me an inhaler; if only all those asshole middle schoolers could see me now! Anyway, luckily after a month of feeling sick and tired, I am getting better. My anxiety is high and all, but I am pushing through.

But this past week, I have come face to face with some feelings that I have not felt in a while. I encountered a xenophobe and I feel that because of the fact that I am white, it’s why it took so long for someone to get offended by my presence here in Germany, and yet someone did. But yesterday something BIGGER occurred, and I don’t feel like rehashing the details, but it made me realize that the entire time I have been here some people close to me and my boyfriend have been faking their open arm attitude towards me. While I observed a couple of instances of this, I tried to push them down, but yesterday sadly they became quite clear to me. They had their walls, fences, and masks up this entire time.

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So where does one go from here? Well I feel a sense of sadness, and I know I am not the only one. The thing is, I have this really strong support system around me. My boyfriend, My best friend Anna, and MY FAMILY are holding me up. That is all I need. I would like an apology, but if that never comes then let me explain something about who I am. I have been through some rough moments in my life, and you disliking me for the simple fact that I am not German doesn’t even rank high on my list of “shitty moments”. You want to be a horrible person, by all means be one, but you won’t be one towards me. You walk around like you have the smell of shit constantly wafting into your nose when I am around, and I am over it. I have never in my life allowed people to walk all over me, and I won’t start now. I have enough to worry about, without also having to worry about assholes. so on that note…

shoveit

 

life

The Hardest Mountain I Will Ever Climb

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I cannot speak for anyone else. This is my story, and as such it will probably be difficult for others to understand. I decided to write this because all day I have felt really excruciatingly tired. About half an hour ago, I felt the back of my neck feel like it was underneath an open flame, I started to sweat profusely and suddenly I felt like my chest was caving in like this is it, this is certainly the time I go. I know what’s happening with the subtle signals my body begins to give me, but it has never made it any easier. I had another panic attack. In fact I am still coming down from it, my eyes still slightly blurry from the sobbing that ensues. First and foremost, I am not writing this for pity. I just needed to write it down. I follow Jenny Lawson and her two books have inspired me to share an aspect of myself that most people are aware of but that they probably don’t quite understand.

I sometimes still feel that when I have panic attacks in front of strangers that they are thinking “Oh god look at this drama queen!” I gotta say that I have even gotten it from people I know, so I can’t exactly expect strangers to understand. I honestly wish I was that good at acting. Sobbing on cue seems like something that could get me an oscar. Unfortunately, I cannot control it.

How do I explain it to you? Well for one, it feels like my mind is a giant mess of wires. You know you probably have a box somewhere with a bunch of different kinds of wires that have different purposes, but they are currently tangled together into a giant useless blob. Well, my anxiety/depression issues are me spending entire days trying to untangle those wires. I could be laying around looking extremely lazy, but the reality in my head is much much different. There I am, day in and day out trying to untangle the wires, and when the end of the day comes along, I feel exhausted. For an outsider it looks like I have done nothing at all, but now you know what it looks like. It is a frustrating situation.

The thing is, I don’t want to stop. The only time it really affected my work, was when I was given Vicodin for pain and it sent my brain chemistry into a frenzy. I was away from work for a week, and I think that might have been my worst moment. Currently, I am dealing with some serious anxiety. I feel okay, and then I don’t, and when I don’t that is when I have a hard time focusing on anything other than those damn wires. I think what helps me is that I genuinely love my job, I also know that I have understanding coworkers. School is getting tougher, but that is to be expected, and I am pushing through, and getting pretty good grades. I think of those things, and there’s always this slight moment of clarity as I panic, where I KNOW I am going to be okay. I just wish that would compute for more than a split second. I think what I really need is to be honest with myself, and get new meds. When someone has a physical ailment no one even blinks when they take medication. So I think I need to be good to myself and just go and figure out what’s best for me.

I decided to share this because like Jenny Lawson, I have decided to be Furiously Happy. Even through this struggle, I tell myself every single day “You are, and will continue to be Furiously Happy” yes, panic attacks are scary, but I am stronger every time I go through it.If you’re reading this and are having a rough time as well, just know there is no shame in asking for help. Go to a professional, and really get the help you need and deserve. Be furiously happy, because we are all climbing this mountain together.

life

The Art of Missing Out

I originally wrote this back in November while in Portugal. I decided it needed to be placed up here on my main blog. Check it out. 

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me in Portugal

I have spent most of my life outside of the land I was born in. At first not by choice and then it was a decision I made.

Sitting here at 2:00am back in Portugal. I felt the need to write something that maybe no one understands. I left when I was four, but I think I forgot my soul here. Children are forgetful, and I left a piece of myself here.

I lived in New Jersey most of my life. It was never home to me. People always laugh when I say that because when I speak English I sound American. When I Speak Portuguese I sound American. When I speak German, yes I sound American. But I am not. I never became a citizen. It was not home. Sure I made wonderful friends. I wouldn’t change a thing about that, but I’ve felt lost for a lot longer than I realized and I’ve missed out on a life I will never know because it was never meant for me to meet.

I’ve missed out on a lot of things. I have watched young cousins grow up in splashes of time. Older relatives faces tell stories that I was never a part of. Does this make me sad? Well I think there’s a bit of sadness there sure. I would trade some aspects of my past to be able to have more memories with a lot of people. Then I look at how my life has worked out and how I’m currently sitting here again, and while I call Germany home, because it is my home, my soul may always live here in Portugal.

It’s an art really, to come back and each time feel like I’m meeting some people for the first time every time. But they’re so deeply embedded into my heart either way. Now as I watch my nephew beginning to grow here into someone who I am so proud of, my little niece who smiles more than any baby I’ve ever seen, I think about all the things I will be missing out on and how that breaks my heart.

Then I think about how much closer they are now, how much closer I am to the place where my soul lives. And there’s a joy there. One I am looking forward to exploring. It’s an art. The Art of Missing out.