Entertainment

The Year For Music

In the simple two months 2019 has been in session for, we have seen a release of albums and solos.

Just recently, Billie Eilish released her new song “wish you were gay”, a song about her pride being hurt by a man, and she wishes him to be gay so she could restore her broken pride.

Not to mention other albums such as Midnight by Set It Off and thank you, next by Ariana Grande. Other solo songs, such as Handmade Heaven and Superstar by Marina, who was originally named Marina and The Diamonds.

Besides all these songs and albums, 2019 has seen an influx of music, and the music has obviously changed. Comebacks from the Jonas Brothers and Marina are taking the music industry by storm, and Ariana is reinventing the music industry.

It’s also a miracle that these songs– being pumped out at these speeds –are actually catchy and good. Most songs released too quickly tend to be tacky, due to try to keep up with the competition, but most songs on the radio are actually pretty nice to listen to.

The main issue with music these days is what I like to call “overplayed sickness”, where the same song is played over and over on the same station. “Thank you, next” by Ariana Grande, along with “7 rings” and “break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored”.

These songs are good, and fun to listen to. They empower you, make you step to the beat, and make you feel powerful, but when the radio only seems to play that song every 10 minutes, it gets annoying.

Even a lot of a good thing can be damaging, and hearing too much of the same song can make people feel sick.

There is a list of other songs that are under-appreciated on YouTube that radio show hosts haven’t even bothered to broadcast. I have mentioned Marina several times in this blog post but her latest song “Superstar” is amazing, beautiful, and so nice to listen to.

2019 is the year for music, which means that elusive artists should be listened to, as well.

Entertainment

Baptiste: Overwatch’s New Addition

Blizzard, keeping to their tradition, has added another character after seemingly no time at all. It seems only a few weeks ago that Ashe was added.

Every three months, Blizzard adds a character to one of their most popular games: Overwatch. With Baptiste, the hero roster has increased to 30 characters in total.

With the addition of the new “Paris” map, Baptiste is a sign that Blizzard is trying to spice up their game. Jeff Kaplan, the founder of Overwatch, has even stated that there are more than eight characters in the making, and so far two have been released.

PC gamers already have access to the new character, leaving console gamers in the dust. It is still unaware when they will have access to the character.

Thankfully, many PC gamers have blessed console gamers by releasing review videos on YouTube.

Baptiste is a new addition to the support roster in the game, becoming the 7th or 8th healer of the game, and originating from Haiti.

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His backstory is intriguing, hopping from leading a selfish life to helping others. Before, Baptiste lived and did what he had to do to survive, but now he is dedicated himself to helping others.

Equipped with “exo boots”, Baptiste can execute insane heights if the player crouches and releases.

The hero has two shooting-types, similar to how heroes such as Zarya have primary and secondary fires. One of his fires shoots healing bullets, similar to Ana, at his allies.

From the many videos I have seen of people trying out his character, not only is his damage output very effective, but his reload time is almost nothing, accompanied by a decent sized round in his gun. I’m afraid this might see a nerf in later times.

“The biotic launcher [his weapon] has two firing modes. The left click shoots a three-round burst that damages the enemies,”, starts famous YouTuber AndrewJRT, further mentioning how it’s nostalgic to Halo.

“The right click launches these little floppers that heal your allies that are near it’s point of impact.”, he finishes.

Next is his ability “regenerative burst”, which is another healing ability he has, although it is not exactly a “burst” per se. When activated, the player heals themself and allies around them over time. Personally, I find this ability a bit too weak when it comes to healing but his secondary fire of healing projectiles do a lot of healing so perhaps it balances out.

Then comes an ability that is probably the reason why so many are going wild over Baptiste. This ability is called “immortality field”, where Baptiste puts down a device that levitates in the air, and allies inside that field are virtually immortal until the ability wears down.

The person inside the field can reach up to 40 health, and from there not take any more damage. This can not only save teammates from sudden ultimates, but it can also provide a sliver of time for healing if your team is looking bad.

The thing about this ability is that, like Sombra’s translocations, the device is destructible, so if the enemy team destroys the device, you and your team are vulnerable.

See the source image

Like I previously mentioned, the exo boots have virtually no cool down and allow the player to reach heights others might not.

Finally is his ultimate, the “amplification matrix”. Similar to Ana’s “nano dart” and Mercy’s “damage stream”, the amplification matrix powers up the damage allies produce, along with the healing they also produce.

“The abilities are just seriously awesome,”, says “Weagel” from Your Overwatch, a YouTube channel dedicated to Overwatch news.

My main concern is yes, these abilities are very powerful, but the cooldowns on these abilities are a bit too harsh. Perhaps nerfing his abilities but reducing the cooldowns would be a better option for a character like him, who relies on his abilities.

Culture, My Works

#MeToo

A baby’s cries are heard in a hospital room in Phoenix, Arizona while the mother of the child lays stiffly on the bed. The woman, who has been in the care of  Hacienda Healthcare facility for 12 years, gave birth on December 29th, despite having been in a coma the whole time.

There is only one explanation for this odd series of events: this woman was sexually assaulted—and who knows how many times.

Recently, Nathan Sutherland was detained by the police after they conducted DNA tests and determined he was the baby’s father on Tuesday, January 22nd.

“The family obviously is outraged, traumatized and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter at Hacienda Healthcare,” said John Michaels, the family’s attorney, in an interview with CNN.

On the other side of the world, in Japan, the magazine company “Spa!” released a public apology for a recent article they released ranking universities based on how easy it is to get women to agree to have sexual relations with men, and even how easy it is to intoxicate the women to coerce them into having relations.

They were pushed to apologize by over 37,000 protestors who signed a petition started by Kazuna Yamamoto.

These two separate yet similar events both have roots in the most discussed topic of 2018: the #MeToo Movement.

Created by Tarana Burke and popularized by sexual abuse victims of Harvey Weinstein, the movement encourages people to come out about their sexual abuse stories and promotes the fair prosecution of their assaulters and rapists.

Ever since 2017, the #MeToo Movement has been a thriving movement for women, even having several famous figures support the movement of women’s rights. Prominent figures like Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, better known as Halsey, have spoken at rallies and on social media in support of the movement.

Christine Blasey Ford, an American psychologist, testified against her attempted rapist, now-Supreme-Court-justice Brett Kavanaugh, only to receive extreme backlash and have to do so several more times.   

“My greatest fears have been realized—and the reality has been far worse than what I expected,” said Ford in televised testimony against Kavanaugh. “My family and I have been the target of constant harassment and death threats. I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages… have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core.”

It isn’t just women that support the #MeToo Movement. Jensen Ackles, an actor on the hit show “Supernatural,” has also shown his support.

“For my wife, for my daughters, for all women…I stand with all of you. This has gotta change,” he said in a Twitter post.

It isn’t just Ackles. Dozens of Male celebrities across the globe have come out in solidarity and support for the #MeToo movement.

The #MeToo Movement has flourished and comforted people that have come out about their stories, but it seems it has only helped raise the number of victims coming out and has not lowered the number of sexual assaults.

In 2016, about 96,970 cases of rape were reported, as opposed to almost 100,000 cases were reported in 2017, according to a study done by Statista.

These numbers are huge compared to a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 1992-2000. Only 36% of rapes were reported, according to the organization, in those eight years.

Although these numbers are worrisome, it proves that the movement has encouraged women to report their incidents.

Deborah Tuerkheimer, a Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law, reported in 2017 that women face many issues when attempting to achieve justice for the wrongdoing inflicted on them. Police officers often act in disbelief towards rape allegations, and some courts hold bias against women.

“Although false reports of rape are uncommon, law enforcement officers tend to default to doubt when women allege sexual assault, resulting in curtailed investigations along with infrequent arrests and prosecutions,” writes Tuerkheimer in her book titled Incredible Women: Sexual Violence and the Credibility Discount.

This disbelief of rape victims falls under a term known as “rape culture.” Rape culture is a concept where rape and sexual assault is normalized in societies due to society’s attitude towards gender and sexuality.

According to the Women’s Center in Marshall University, behavior such as blaming the victim, making sexually explicit jokes, tolerating sexual harassment, assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped, and refusing to take rape accusations seriously all fall under rape culture.

Harassment towards women is also common feature of rape culture. Men rolling down their windows and wolf-whistling at women on the street or unwanted advances at a party can be both terrifying and offensive for victims.

“…These millions of survivors and allies don’t raise their collective voices to educate America about our culture of rape because of fear. Rape culture is a real and serious issue, and we need to talk about it,” says Zerlina Maxwell, a writer for Time Magazine and a survivor of sexual assault, in her article “Rape Culture Is Real”.

Maxwell, along with other sources, pushes this point further by stating that more than 95% of rapists never spend a day in jail for their crimes.

The #MeToo movement has sparked a fire, and now many more women are reporting their experiences. Many criticize the movement, but it is followed by several men and women who fight for equality and the end of rape culture.

Despite the effects that have already been seen, many wonder if this will be enough and if the community will need to take more steps forward in order to quell the issue.


March is the month to celebrate the strong, powerful women in our lives. Take some time to help out the women in your lives by walking her home, helping your mom clean the house, visit your grandmother.

Entertainment

Midnight Album Review

See the source image

The date is February 1st, 2019 and the long-awaited, highly promoted album “Midnight” by Set It Off is suitably released on midnight.

Thousands of fans who have been following the band, and even pre-ordering the album, were introduced to 15 new songs after almost three years of not releasing any new music. Before its release, though, fans were teased with five songs that would be included in the album: For You Forever, Midnight Thoughts, Lonely Dance, Killer In The Mirror, and Dancing With The Devil.

Originating in our home state Florida, Set It Off is an American rock band that gained a large following thanks to their vocalist Cody Carson creating a YouTube account named after their band. The members include Cody Carson, Zach Dewall, Dan Claremont, and Max Danziger.

Once their popularity soared, they signed with Equal Vision Records and ever since then, they have become one of the most iconic rock bands out there.

With the help of Equal Vision, Set It Off has landed in several Billboard charts, such as landing the No. 19 on the Billboard Independent chart, according to the record company itself. A different record company by the name of Fearless Records helped them produce and release their most recent album, though.

Listening to the first five songs provided from the album, one would guess that the rest of the album is similar to their other pieces of work.

The band is known to dabble in rock and variations of punk rock, and these songs hint at this music style, but once the listener has access to the rest of the album, it’s not what one would expect.

Most of the songs sound more pop than rock, although it still has some hints of it. It seems that as the years go on, they lose their sense of rock and start to pick up pop.
We see this variation in older albums, such as a more heavy rock “Horrible Kids” compared to a softer “Upside Down”. Perhaps it was the unexpected aspect of pop that would lead to disappointment.

Set It Off has created a legacy of hard rock and intense instrumentals so this change may disappoint many who favored their rock/punk era. The five songs provided before the official release did, in fact, make the album seem to have a rock feel to it.

 

The album was overall different and new, which matches the changing musical tastes of America. Midnight Thoughts, Go To Bed Angry, Unopened Windows, Stitch Me Up, and others provided a change of pace, especially Unopened Windows.
Their lyrics have become more poetic, and the album touches on more serious topics such as mental health, depression, and anxiety in some songs.

These songs are more slow-paced than most of their music, and Unopened Windows has a totally different instrumental. Highlighted by an amazing piano and band accompanying the beautiful lyrics, the song provides a somber twist to the album. Other songs keep to their rock aesthetic, though, such as Hourglass and Criminal Minds.

Like many their artists, this album had some references to other albums and songs they’ve produced. For example, No Disrespect seems like a different perspective of their song “NME” from the album Duality. That song, along with others, reminded me of some of their other works such as “Sleep When I’m Dead” from Cinematics and “Why Worry” from Duality. The idea and title for “Criminal Minds” is a reminder of their old song “Partners in Crime” from their album Cinematics.

This album also did something that they didn’t do in others, and this is to include other artists to sing in their songs. In “Go To Bed Angry”, it features The WayFarers, an Australian folk band.

In another song called “Happy All The Time”, Skyler Acord, an alternative singer, offers back up vocals. The final song of the album, “I Want You (Gone)” features Matt Appleton, a member of a ska punk band called Reel Big Fish.

Most of the songs from the album were arguably fun to listen to, and the lyrics often can hit close to home. Their music videos also are entertaining yet simple, which captures the attention of viewers, but the album also had some downs.

Many of the songs, although fun to listen to, were mediocre in comparison to their old works. After so much hype on social media platforms such as Twitter, to be greeted by songs like this is saddening. Not to mention that these new songs lack what their old songs had. They just don’t have the old effect of their old works.

Their old music made a person want to headbang to the heavy rock, but this album sounds like something a person would listen to while doing some other task.

The album can be described as boring compared to their other works, but no one can deny that Cody and the others have become more poetic with their work. They have become more comfortable with what they write and with their mental state.

A fan can only wait and see what else this rock band release if they will even be considered a rock band in the future.

Entertainment

Top 10 Female Game Characters

In today’s society, toxic masculinity is a somewhat plague many women experience today, especially in the gaming community.

Even though women make up 49% of the gaming community, many still face discrimination among the men of the gaming community.

Being told they are fake fans to being told to “go back to the kitchen”, that’s just a taste of what women might experience in this “family”.

I myself have experience some toxicity in the community. I was called offensive slurs while gaming one time and that will forever be stuck in my mind.

With all this toxicity, the gaming community can get suffocating. We women need some sort of representation in this world of terror.

With the rise of feminist ideals and equality, women have received more role models in games and other sources.

This article lists the top 10 female game characters, in no particular order, and according to my opinion.

Starting my list off is Clementine, from The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead follows a version of the world where zombies have taken over and everyone must fend for themselves.

In the first game, Clementine is an eight-year-old girl found by the player. At the end of the game, though, the player dies and Clementine takes over and becomes a playable character. We then play the rest of the series through her eyes.

Clementine is arguably one of the best female characters because at only eight years old, she is looked upon by her group members to do tasks others won’t dare to do. She holds a leadership position in her group, and keeps her group together through the toughest times.

She, at such a young age, is surrounded by death, battles, disease, and so many more troubling issues. By going through these issues, she shows us her strength and her bravery, along with her resilience.

She is certainly a character many little girls can look up to.

Next is Max, from the video game Life is Strange. Life is Strange follows the life of college student Max, who finds out she has the power to control time.

The options the player chooses in the game are irreversible and have a butterfly effect, leading Max in twists and turns. She faces life, death, and has to deal with having the world at her hands.

She spends the entire length of the video game protecting her best friend Chloe, doing anything to save her from disasters, even going far enough to reverse time.

She faces corruption at her college campus, and inner battles with her friends, her enemies, and herself.

Her capability to handle the immensely powerful ability she has is jaw-dropping. Not to mention the love and care she holds for her dear friend Chloe is inspiring and it makes hearts go soft at their relationship.

Third on the list is Sam from Until Dawn. Until Dawn is a horror game, where eight young adults are stuck in the woods, desperately attempting to escape the hands of a vicious, ruthless character.

Characters in the game describe Sam as a vegan, a pacifist, cool and spunky, and so many other nice traits. She has strict morals and ethics, but she isn’t afraid at being herself, which is already admirable in itself.

She is diligent, considerate, and adventurous, all perfect traits for the perfect female heroine in video games. Not only that, but she is also very beautiful, which ties the knot on the gift box. She cares deeply about her friends and hates fighting, but will defend her friends until her last breath, which will come in handy when running away from the killer in the woods.

While stuck in the woods, being hunted by a psychotic killer, Sam is put into horrid, embarrassing situations that others would rather kill than be put in. She stays calm and level-headed throughout the whole ordeal, which is a trait needed in such a dangerous situation.

More importantly, even though she has all these good traits, she is still human. Ever since her two best friends Hannah and Beth disappeared, she has blamed herself for their deaths and has felt guilty ever since. Her never-changing positive attitude and her optimistic outlook on surviving against the killer would make anyone fall in love with her.

Then comes Parasoul, from Skullgirls. Skullgirls is a fighter-style type game, where players can collect fighters and moves from boxes the game gifts then every few hours.

Parasoul is one of the playable characters in the game. Her original look includes red hair and lipstick, a black dress, and her ironic black parasol.

Parasoul is the daughter of the previous Skullgirl, a woman turned evil by her selfish wants and desires. Having to go against her own mother and take her down, Parasoul has severe luggage treading behind her.

Even so, she holds extreme power in the Skullgirls world, especially in the mafia and several gangs.

Her character itself is overall an extremely powerful and useful character. She is not only fun to play but she is useful in battles. I definitely recommend giving her character a try, if you’re lucky enough to win her in a box.

Our fifth female character is Senua, from Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Hellblade follows Senua, a woman that suffers from extreme schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. The story is held in BC times, where Norwegian tribes thrived, along with the beliefs of Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian gods.

The game overall is horrifying, and the aura is spine-chilling. Senua goes on a dangerous adventure to save her husband’s soul from the Underworld. The game is made up of exploration, puzzle solving, and battles.

The thing is: if you die one too many times, the game will reset. Senua was cursed with a disease that, with the more times the player dies, the more the disease spreads.

As she fights against minions and vicious monsters sent by gods trying to keep her from achieving her goal, she faces doubts, schizophrenic episodes, hallucinations, and other factors. The game’s purpose isn’t to show her adventure in saving her husband, it shows a woman’s struggle with mental illnesses.

It’s best you play the game with headphones on. The creepy aura best stands out that way.

Next comes Sadie Adler, a character from Red Dead Redemption 2. Red Dead Redemption 2 follows Arthur Morgan and his crew trying to live their in the Wild West as life develops around them, while trying to fight and strive against her enemies, the O’Driscolls.

Sadie Adler is one of the many poor victims of the O’Driscolls. She is found by Arthur Morgan and others in the first Chapter of the video game after the enemy gang killed her husband and burned her house down.

The Van der Linde gang take her in as their own and she sticks by the women in the gang. The player at first may think she’s just a one-off character, a person that will not matter in the end, she makes a comeback. A strong one.

She becomes part of the gang and makes her mark in the group. She even saddles up and helps Arthur and the boys in their missions, such as robbing trains or other factors.

She has to deal with the death of her husband in a world where toxic masculinity was at its finest. Believed to be a sad, pitiful character, Adler rises up and proves all stereotypes wrong.

Then comes Aveline de Grandpré from the famous, or more infamous game, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation.

Liberation is known amongst the gaming community as a flop. Many who wasted their money on the game were disappointed by the overall outcome of it.

Although there was one good side to the game, and that was Grandpré.

The game takes place around the 1700’s, following the main character in a battle of censorship and hackers. As the player goes on, secrets are uncovered and the story unwinds.

Aveline fits so well into the story, I would arguably say that she is the best thing the game has to offer. She is a black woman with a seductive French accent living her own life, not letting any white man tell her what to do or how to act.

She frees imprisoned slaves and fights alongside the player, even when the game attempts to portray the assassins in a bad light.

She provides the light the game didn’t offer to many gamers who decided to pick the game up.

Our eight best female video game character is Chun-li, from the iconic game Street Fighter. The game, similar to Skullgirls, is a fighter style game released in the late 1980s. She made her first appearance though, in Street Fighter: The World Warrior in 1991.

She is iconic in so many ways. Not only is she astonishing, beautiful, and overall pleasing to look at, but she was the first ever female to be featured in a game of her type.

She falls under the category “Lawful good”. She is a serious character, with a duty to protect others while following the law. She is Chinese and she is proud of her culture, as shown by her outfit, although it has been modified and somewhat sexualized.

She is strongly dedicated in protecting the innocent and her bravery and loyalty even rivals her fathers.

What makes her even better is that she’s human, just like all her fans. Often times, her emotions get the best of her, even though she swears they won’t.

Not all people are perfect, and she is proof of this fact.

Next comes Bayonetta, from the video game by the same name. Bayonetta is a hack and slash video game, similar to Devil May Cry. The goal is to defeat enemies with amazing powers and abilities from Bayonetta, the main character.

Although Bayonetta suffers from extreme oversexualization, that doesn’t disqualify her form falling into the top 10 list. She has amazing powers and abilities, including magical hair that summons minions to do their bidding. That’s already cool in itself.

Bayonetta awakes from a 500 year slumber and must go through the game rediscovering herself and finding out what induced her long slumber.

A powerful female character, she must also take care of a younger, somewhat mini version of herself.

While putting her story together, she forms bonds with other characters, such as Enzo.

Bayonetta is a perfect example that women could dress however they want and still be treated with respect, and that is a message today’s society desperately needs.

Finally, Princess Zelda, an iconic character from the iconic video game, Legend of Zelda. Legend of Zelda is an action adventure video game that is praised and adored in the video game franchise.

Princess Zelda is one of the main characters of the game, but she holds deep importance. Why else would the game be named after her? While the game follows Link, some of his missions may include saving Princess Zelda from imminent danger or problems she’s put herself into.

The game attempts to portray her as a a damsel in distress, but many can see she is far from that. She goes on dangerous missions in several disguises to help her people and others.

She is kind, benevolent, and is wise beyond measure. She is selfless and will hold up her responsibilities above herself and her life. She is even forgiving, as shown when she forgives her enemies for inflicting harm on her.

No wonder so many people love her. Not only does she come from an iconic background, but she is a character that is worth looking up to herself.

In today’s day and age, video games are a popular hobby, and many young girls are picking up this hobby. It’s nice to see so many female characters that girls can play and look up to at the same time.

My Works

Mother

The cries of a baby boy are heard in the small apartment nestled in between carbon copies of it. My grandmother rushes by my mom, grabbing her attention in a split second. Trailing curiously behind her, she then sees my grandma cradling her little brother— and my uncle—in her arms. He had somehow tossed himself out of his crib and fell straight on his head, causing a big chichon to form on his little forehead.

This was the start of the trouble my uncle caused. Born and raised in the barrio of Cuba, he was a troublemaker at heart. Although he was always sick, too. Stirring up trouble, yet falling apart at the same time. “You’re exactly like your uncle.”, my mother says. And she’s right.

When they were little— around four and eight years old —my mother was playing house with her little brother. She was putting diapers on him, don’t ask me why, with a pin. In Cuba, diapers didn’t work the way they do here, she had to use a pin to keep the diaper together. My uncle’s bright mind found another pin and the pin found its way into an outlet, with him holding it. You can probably guess what happened next. She tried pulling his hands off the pin but she also was electrocuted. They learned never to mess with outlets the hard way.

He was a hurricane on the boiling concrete streets. My mother tells me the story of the time he conveniently—or inconveniently, depending on who you are— found a carton of eggs and decided he knew what to do with them. From his room on the fourth floor of the apartment building, he tossed the eggs into open windows, which just so happened to be open windows of a hospital. Elderly people received the shock of their lives that day. He also decided to drop some eggs onto the heads of some passerby’s on the streets and passengers on buses. He was around his mid-teens when that occurred. His father had to rush over to defend him from red-faced Cuban men.

My mother also tells me of the time when he was three or four years old. My uncle decided to go for a ride while my granddad was distracted. The thing is that he didn’t know how to drive at that time; he was three. He stole my grandfather’s keys and snatched up his red impala. While riding it, he went down a steep road at breakneck speeds; he had no clue how to stop the car. My grandfather had to force open the door and hop in and stop the car himself. He did that all while the car was still running down the mountain.

My poor mother had to deal with taking care of her little brother while her mother worked jobs to take care of them. She wouldn’t come home until around midnight, so my mother had to grow up fast. She had to learn how to cook, how to clean, and she studied and studied and studied.

My grandmother tells me that every time she wanted to study, she would connect a lamp to the outlet in the tiny closet in her room, push aside their clothes, and hide in their to get away from the trouble-maker that was her brother.

Her life began in quite an interesting note. Before the previously mentioned apartment, when they lived in a different apartment in the vedado, a poor old woman was killed. The neighborhood wasn’t exactly the best, one could say.

Her family liked to visit her grandparents’ house in the two months of vacation from school. Her and about eight cousins would gather together and pick mangos and bathe in the river and catch tadpoles. At night they would hunt fireflies and put them in bottles so that they would look like lamps. My uncle would catch spiders, sometimes even tarantulas. He would even catch lizards and put them on each finger and earlobe. What an odd fashion. They would play games like “El Burrito 21” and “El Chucho Escondido”.

She tries to conjure up more games but her memory is foggy. She can describe them, though, in perfect detail, along with the songs that accompanied them. They would play balls, hide-and-seek, and if they would misbehave her grandmother would hit them with “escoba amarga”, a plant she would personally and rip out from the earth by the roots. She now curses and swears it hurt worse than anything imaginable. Being a kid in Cuba was exciting as ever.

Dealing with eight kids was horrible, she testifies for her uncle, so the adults had to come up with ways to wrangle up the kids. She tells me that her uncle would put on a white sheet, take out his dentures, and use a flashlight for special effects. He would pretend to be the “Checherecu”, a mythical devil. Her uncle was so devilish that he one day he told my uncle that if he wanted to look like his big sister, he had to shave his head and lay under the sun until he was tan. My uncle didn’t look Cuban at all. Perfect green eyes, milky white skin, but he wanted to look like his big sister. Of course he fell for it. He was so pale people called him “pomito de leche”.

As she tells me her life story while cooking a meal for my sister and I, she goes blank. Her elementary and middle school years weren’t as eventful as others, or at least not as eventful as her little brother’s. “I wanted to study either medicine or law”, she states in Spanish.

Once she finished high school, though, she began working to help her mother while her father stayed at home and did nothing. She resorted to study at night to achieve her dreams of being a lawyer. She gave up on her dream, though, due to one harsh fact: those who would study law and medicine could not escape to a better place; she had to stay in Cuba if she did chase after that wish.

She then became a copy editor for the National Center for Medical Science Information and even edited a book for the center titled “Doping”, a book focused on how many in sports-centered careers often rely on dopamine for performance-enhancement. She also worked on many other science-based magazines. “I tried to bring them here, remember? But they wouldn’t let me”, my mother reminds my grandmother, with a sigh of nostalgia.

She flew from Cuba to Florida in 1999 and worked at a Sedanos and “La Ideal Baby Store” for a short period of time. She also worked in a jewelry factory named “Maipo” for about four years until she became pregnant with me.

Before she was pregnant, though, she suffered from a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is medical term for a mini-stroke. That incident made her so anxious and affected her immune system so much that she contracted psoriasis.

She went to various doctors, and they all gave her different medications, but none worked. It was bad, horrible, ugly. While she suffered through it all, she was working at the jewelry factory and study English at Miami-Dade College; she didn’t know a lick of English when she stepped foot on the new soil of America. The doctors told her that balancing both school and a job was too stressing. She had to give one up.

Either give up your one source of making money to be able to eat and a have a roof over your head, or give up the opportunity to have more careers open up in the future. She didn’t want to give up school. She wanted to continue to study. Soon enough, she became pregnant with me.

Once they found out, it was like magic. She was cured of all her issues. Her psoriasis, her mini-strokes, everything. My existence was also the reason my grandmother gave up smoking. My mother warned her that if she smoked, she couldn’t carry me and just like that, she stopped. I was their little miracle.


This was a four page piece I did for my English class based off my mother’s life and how it lead up to mine. I really loved it so i decided to share it with you all. Thank you for reading!

Culture, Entertainment

Wynwood Art Museum

Yesterday, two close friends and I attended the Wynwood Art Museum Exhibit. We were able to get access to VIP tickets because my best friend’s father has a friend who took part in it. We explored all the art, they had fun together in the streets of Wynwood. These were some of my favorite works from the exhibit.

This Italian artist was meaning to portray childhood and how it’s one of the best moments of our lives in her work. 

 

This Cuban artist uses art to portray how Cuba has been seen in the media in other countries, versus the poverty and communism the country still suffers from.
Similar to the previous picture, the picture represents immigration and how Americanization has affected media presentation of Cuba and its struggles.  
This Frida relates to a statue made by the same artist and it represents how Frida always win and how her ideas will always triumph and spread over oppressive ideals.
“In Case of Brokeness, break glass”, where the title speaks for itself.
Similar to the previous piece of work, this work references how many run to drugs to hide their emotions and nullify their emotions and worries.

This is a picture of a genderqueer person who has never felt confident about themselves and their body until their loved one offered to give them a photo shoot. 

My theory is that this woman is bisexual and just got over a man and a very bad relationship, and began dating a lesbian. By doing this, she is receiving judgment from the lesbian because she isn’t LGBT in her eyes.