An Open Letter To Ms. Leslie Jones

Dear Ms Jones,

You don’t know me. I’m just one of the countless nameless geeks and nerds of the world. I am also a woman. I am not white and I have no money.

That renders me pretty much voiceless in a world where only white males are heard; are listened to.

However I would like to write something, in the odd chance it ends up reaching you.

I was a teenager when the first Ghostbusters came out. I -like a million others- loved it. It became somewhat of a cult for me. Continue reading

Time Heals Everything, they say

So I believe it is time to write a post that has been in my head for almost a year but was too painful to put into words.

<background>

As some of you know, I had to stop dancing about a year ago, due to generalized intense joint pain.

For those of you new to my blog, I used to train, compete and perform with, teach, deejay and do social media for Swing Dynamite, a Swing Dance school in Ottawa. In fact, Ottawa’s only dedicated Swing Dance school.

Anyway, it was as if all my joints had suddenly decided to give up on me.

My ankles, my knees, my hips, my elbows, my wrists, my knuckles, my shoulders… even joints I didn’t know I had* hurt.

Not that I was any stranger to pain, mind you. Pain can even be considered my longest lasting friend, considering it started when I was 11 and I met my oldest friends when I was 12 back in 7th grade.

Every time I danced, I was in pain. Every time. But I also got a lot of joy out of it. The joy exceeded the pain by far so I danced.

However, it got to be that the pain over-weighted the joy so I had to stop. Continue reading

Braggin’ Mamma

I feel like bragging today.

Too much momma pride to let it pass. Besides, let’s face it. We ALL know who she got the looks from, right?

HAHAHAHAHA

Here she is in all her glory:

Glamour in the 30's

Glamour in the 30’s

She a total quadruple threat. She’s got the brains, she’s got the looks, she’s got the talent. She sings, she dances, she choreographs. In fact, she’s won many awards in all those three areas. And she’s an accomplished businesswoman! Click on the picture to see the rest of the photo shoot.

And now, champagne*!

Or a Muppets video to make you smile :)

Footnotes

* Another 20 extra brownie points if you got the movie reference

A Tribute To My Daughter

Not all my blog posts are tributes. I promise.  This is just a coincidence.

But the thing is, my daughter turned 24 yesterday.  In itself, it’s not really any kind of milestone.  It’s not the Sweet 16 or a quarter of a century but since last night I couldn’t sleep (the Clown‘s fault) I was reflecting on how wonderful my daughter is.  For the record, I do think that both my kids are wonderful but this particular post is about my daughter.

Warning: it gets very cheesy from here on.  It you despise cheesy, I recommend you stop reading right now.

My daughter is an amazing young woman.   Ha! Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe her.  At 24, she’s one of the top swing dancers in Canada.  She has so many medals, trophies and plaques, that our team members actually got her a trophy as an award for being awarded the most trophies ever.  Our team members have a very particular sense of humour.

One day, we got to the studio and we found our board changed into this!

 

But back to my daughter.  Not only she’s  a very accomplished dancer but also an award-winning choreographer and a great DJ.  She’s constantly invited to teach, judge and deejay at international events.

She’s also a badass business woman.  She was born an entrepreneur.   At the age of 6, she asked me if I could buy her a bag of assorted buttons and beads which she promptly proceeded to sell to her friends and classmates.  She invested the earnings in more buttons and beads and from that point on, she always had her own pocket money.  That year, she gave me the first ever present bought with her own money and man, was she ever proud of that.  Such a bright smile on her little, adorable face.

This is the present. The keychain ring is long gone

This is what she wrote inside: Mom, I just wanted to say I love you. Thanks for everything. Love you tons, Natalia

At 9 she moved on to friendship bracelets and by 12,  she had her own line of jewelry.  She also designed and made stationary and greeting cards that were very popular among her classmates.  As Swing Dynamite’s Artistic Director, she’s in charge of contracts and has made it possible for us to perform at places like the National Arts Centre, pretty much all the museums in town, the Fallsview casino… the list goes on.

On top of that, she sings beautifully and won several singing contests back when we lived in Colombia.  She also paints and does all sorts of artsy things.  She’s also in charge of costumes for all our teams and she manages to make everybody look like a million dollars on a budget.  It’s like the well of her talents is bottomless.

She’s so responsible too.  I remember when she first came to Canada.  She turned 17 shortly after arriving and I was a bit worried that she might be a somewhat overwhelmed by the whole immigrant thing.  After all, she had left life-long friends and family behind.  One Friday, we were hanging out in the living room and my son asked her about a party one of her classmates was throwing at his place.  I immediately started to encourage her to go.   I said something to the effect of “you’re young, you should be out having fun with people your age instead of watching TV with me”.  She looked at me and very calmly replied: “All they do at those parties is get drunk and/or get stoned.  I don’t like to do either so what’s the point of me going?.  I managed a smile (cause really, what do you say to that?).  And then I thought to myself, I think I manage to do a good job as a mother, after all.

And if all that mind-blowing-ness wasn’t enough, she’s drop dead gorgeous

Mischievous

 And fun

However, don’t cross her, she can also get vicious if needed

 But most importantly and above of all, she has a heart of gold.  She’s a very caring, loving person, the kind that will always go the extra mile to help a friend in need.  She’s also the best daughter a mother can have.  Hands down!  We’re best friends.  We’re pals.  We’re partners in crime.  We take care of each other and we have a lot of fun while we’re at it.

So, beautiful daughter of mine, this is a tribute to you.  Never was there a mother more proud of her daughter than me.  I just wish my mother could have had the chance to see you being born, to see you grow up, to witness what a wonderful young woman you’ve become.  She would be very proud too!

A Tribute To Clown On Fire

It’s 4:07 am and I can’t sleep because I’m thinking of Clown On Fire‘s Blog.   OK, That’s not the reason why I can’t sleep but I’m still thinking about Clown On Fire’s Blog awesomeness.   So, naturally, I decided to grab my laptop (because that’s what you do when you can’t sleep, right?) and write this tribute.   It first went like this:

Dear Clown On Fire,

I HATE YOU!

Yours,

SSG

Then I realized that my declaration of undying love for his blog could potentially be misunderstood.  So I wrote this:

Dear Clown On Fire,

I HATE YOU!

The more I read your fracktastically inspirational blog, the less I’m inclined to blog myself.   How can I ever achieve your degree of [opens a new tab with an online thesaurus] awesomeness awe-inspiring-ness.  I’m screwed for life.  I can foresee more therapy in the near future.

Besides, must you be so ridiculously hilarious? I can’t afford to pay the exponentially increasing dry-cleaning bill any longer.

This is me, after reading a COF’s post

Although I have to say the nice gentleman at the dry cleaners is willing to give me a discount for 1. buying in bulk bringing tons of clothes every week and 2. The stains being all coffee and all so they only need to use one type of cleaner.

But I digress.  Ooooooh shiny!…

Hmmm, that was fun! wait, where was I?

Right.

COF, how I hate Thee? let me count the ways.  Or some stuff like that.

Sincerely yours,

SSG

Then I thought that was a bit too much so I decided to tone it down.  After all, some people are uncomfortable with public declarations of undying love.

So I settled for this:

Dear Clown On Fire,

I HATE YOU!

Yours,

SSG

There! I said it.

The most beautiful person I have known

I stumbled upon this quote today. Some of you may have heard it before. It was the first time for me and it hit home so hard, I wanna share it with you:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Then, I wanted to add a picture but that wasn’t an easy task. A search for “beauty” and “beautiful” didn’t precisely show what I wanted. Then, it occurred to me that Colombian women know a lot about defeat and suffering. About struggle and loss. And yet they are compassionate, gentle and deep loving. So I googled “Colombian women” and in spite of almost getting lost in the sea of pictures of Sofia Vergara, I found this one.

Colombian Women Against Violence

                                                Beautiful Colombian women

The resemblance between the woman on the left and my mother is uncanny. Even as I type this words, I am so deeply moved by it that I feel both like laughing and crying at the same time. My mother definitely knew about all those things. She was the sweetest, most gentle person I’ve ever known. If only I could tell you about the sacrifices she made, about the way she touched the lives of those around her regardless how how hard her life was…. And she hard an incredibly hard life, from the minute she was born. A life that was lost to domestic violence at 34 years old. Something Colombian women know very well too.

Yes, my mother is the most beautiful person I have known.