It’s been a long time

Hahaha I’m sitting here wondering where to start and truth is I can’t think. The mind is blurry and unfocused. It happens when you have too much work or too little though in this case it’s certainly a result of too much. That sentence was way too long. Yes, yes…I should get on to important things like where I’ve been hiding. Sort of all over the internet actually, under various names and colorful masks. It feels strange to return to the website but let’s just say a new friend gave me a bit of a mental push.

What have I been up to? Writing, writing, writing and creating – living in the worlds in my head. I’m in the process of editing two books (novels) and writing a third. I wish I could tell you more about it but I am keeping them a secret for now. Hopefully you will find out soon enough.

My life. Magic. Need I say more? I am truly glad to be on this earth. I am doing all the things that I want to do and for once there are no obstacles, no mental blocks. I know what I have to do and I’m getting it done. Feels great. I hired a personal trainer who’s been kicking my ass into shape and shedding some pounds.

Rob and I will be in Europe for two weeks. We’ll be visiting Asissi, Lourdes, Dubrovnik and Rome. It’s a tour with the very well known inspirational author Wayne Dyer that visits miraculous places. After we’ll be spending 5 glorious days in the outskirts of Rome. I got us a room in Villa Grazioli which is a Renaissance palazzo owned by a Cardinal. At $145 a night it is the deal of the century and all of you know how much I love a good travel deal.

Can’t say I got a bargain on the airfare. High season to Europe was very expensive and Alitalia customer service has really screwed us so we’re still trying to figure out our tickets. Both our names were misspelled at some point and my credit card got charged like  three times.

I’ve gotten knee deep into physics books of late as a result of writing my sci-fi novel and it’s been a very interesting journey. One book in particular has really blown my mind in terms of asserting things I sort of always believed in but had no words for. Turns out there is an entire branch of physics dedicated to it. The theory is called Holographic Paradigm and the book is called the Holographic Universe.

The Universe as a Hologram
by Michael Talbot

In 1982 a remarkable event took place.At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect’s name, though there are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science. Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates Einstein’s long-held tenet that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect’s findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations. University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes Aspect’s findings imply that objective reality does not exist, that despite its apparent solidity the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to meet Andrei in NYC. We headed to the Met and talked for some time about web design and all kinds of stuff. Contrary to the image and the stereotype, I found Andrei to be refreshing and down to earth. We got on like we knew each other forever, it was pretty awesome. There was no awkwardness. He’s smart and funny and someone I am looking forward to getting to know.

This Saturday I am headed to the Dances of Vice Masquerade in Morningside Castle in the city. I have a crazy outfit and a new top hat so that should be fabulous fun! Last event I attended was the Steampunk Ball back like two years ago. I love dressing up and the drama of a bygone era so this should be something to remember.

:P It’s warm and beautiful and the snow is gone! Time to enjoy the sun, let down the hair and soak it all up. I will be back soon, I promise.

Where I Come From

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be able to write freely. Hell, my name is it’s own domain name. There is something to be said about my parent’s ingenuity, they did a good job naming me. There are only a couple of other people online that share my first name. I have been “blogging” since before the term existed.

The term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblogwe blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. I have been keeping an online journal since 1996.

Some would say old skool from the days when having a PC meant you had to build it and then write your own drivers. Even now I smile every time I hear a modem screech. I taught myself everything I know about computers and technology. The first computer I ever laid eyes on was an Apple IIe. I was dazzled by hours spent programming lines and lines of code just so I could see a flashlight flash once or twice on screen using LOGO. It was love at first sight.

I grew up in the back woods of rural Cuba running around naked or riding bareback on a horse. We had three TV channels all of which were jam packed with black and white propaganda and Russian claymation. We planted all of our food, milked cows and eating meat meant you had to kill the animal with your bare hands. It was an idyllic existence for the most part thanks to my parents who did their best to insulate me from the brain-washing clutches of communism. “You are an individual,” was drilled into my brain at a very early age by a concerned father who was hell bent on escaping the system. The last thing he needed was his little girl becoming “a daughter of the revolution.”

I grew up without the buzzing influx of American pop culture. My only exposure came during weekends when my dad would take me to see a movie in Habana or when the weather cooperated to bring us glimpses of the Incredible Hulk on our scratchy television. I didn’t listen to radio or music, I grew up in a void. Instead my head was filled with the valorous tales of the Olympian gods, tales of imps and witches, fantasy and science fiction. My dad spent hours reading to me and telling me stories, camping, pointing out stars, teaching me how to bike, skate, play baseball and cliff dive. I was a total tom boy. All of my cousins were male and my dad raised me to compete, to thrive, to know deep down I could be the best. This was invaluable.

My imagination flourished. I didn’t need fancy toys and all the expensive things kids grow up with. I didn’t have toys growing up I had to craft them and find ways of entertaining myself. We made bows and arrows, darts, traps. I would run around in the orchards imagining I could talk to the plants. I think I still can. I never played with dolls, never had the urge to play house or be a “mommy.” I was a wild creature, a warrior galloping on her horse. I’d pick wild flowers and swim in the river. I was free.

As the process to leave Cuba ramped up my idyllic world was turned upside down as a dark wave of stress washed over all of our interactions. I spent time in a concentration camp (Mariel) waiting for a boat that never came. I got terribly sick. I will never forget the stench as crowded bathrooms overflowed to the lawn, as people clamored to pack the boats that would leave to Florida. I was half awake. My father was desperate and in the end he was told he could not take me. If he wanted to go he’d have to leave me behind, I was the daughter of the revolution. Dismayed we returned home. I was glad.

Eventually (and this is a long story perhaps for another day) we got visas. The military flooded our house and took all of our belongings. We were humiliated and called worms for leaving la patria (the motherland). I remember distinctly the day the car rolled out of our farm, the look of fear and pain in my grandmother’s face. My grandparents were left behind.

We landed in the US on January 22, 1984 during a terrible blizzard. I was nine. In two hours my life, the life I had known, was changed forever. I didn’t know the language, had no friends and was relegated to a tiny room. I had effectively lost my freedom. I didn’t realize then that I had gained freedom too, I missed my home, the verdant fields, the sunny climes, the ocean.

I wore hand me down clothing. I was a stranger in a strange land. A circle in a square world of rules and regulations, crime, rudeness. Everyone in school called me names and I couldn’t defend myself. I became angry, depressed. My dad was working three jobs and he barely spent time with me any longer. My mom became pregnant with my brother. Stress built up in the household until it was akin to a pound of rabid dogs. I escaped into my own world, the world I had so carefully crafted when I was younger. I held onto it fiercely; the magic.

I learned English in three months. I have always been bright. I threw myself into my studies as I saw this as the only way to rise above the noise and the imbeciles I called classmates. I didn’t develop good friends until high school. It soon became clear I had creative gifts, writing, poetry, art. I dove into them. I kept reading, researching, building myself up intellectually. I was fascinated with knowledge and I soaked it up effortlessly. I was becoming a geek.

In high school I discovered D&D and it changed my life. I met people who were creative like me, on the fringe like me who sat around and told fantastic tales. I fell in love with the game. It was through D&D that I met every single man I have ever gone out with. I find this fact amusing. Role playing filled the part of me that sought to escape. My natural ability to visualize making it that much more compelling.

It is no wonder then that I fell in love with gaming. I gobbled up all kinds of games from arcade Street Fighter where I could be the dexterous Vega to Shogun the board game. Along with gaming came an interest in computing. Unlike the other kids I didn’t have a computer until my last year in high school (1993). I wrote my assignments time and time again to correct mistakes. We were poor and couldn’t justify a word processor.

The Packard Bell arrived and I was stoked. It was Christmas. That day changed my existence as I dove completely into it. I connected with technology with a passion unsurpassed by anything else. I have no idea why but I found the whole thing fascinating. I soon downloaded and installed graphics software and took my art digital. I taught myself Aldus Photostyler, Illustrator and later Photoshop. I learned HTML, played games and stayed up all night on the PC. My parents were furious.

The love affair never ended. I dove deeper and deeper. I joined BBS’s, read Wired, subscribed to Byte and 2600. I taught myself more and more design. I learned to upgrade, write drivers, build PC’s. I went to computer shows. I found myself connecting with gamers and geeks. I found I loved technology. When I got a 14.4K modem I nearly wet my pants. Wow.

I launched my first online site in 1996. Been publishing on the web since. I went to college for film but eventually got a job doing design. It was my calling even though I was self taught. I needed to continue being creative.

So many years later, here I am still online except I’ve needed to hide for a while.

Going Down

Steel upon steel, a terrible clanging in my ears,
The blood that rushes, drawing near
This horrid symphony, a maelstrom of fear,
Strands that stretch, that flow, from fingertips,
Of brilliant white, curving endlessly, coiling and snapping
Vines of pure energy

I fall, I twirl, from these great heights
An acrobat in wingless flight
Your gentle grace recaptures me,
Brings me gently to my feet
No harm done, nothing broken,
There are words best left unspoken

There are lessons I’ve yet to learn, I can’t have it all
Limitations make me bold, but all that glitters is not gold
And so I bow, I take a stand, I smile, I wist, top hat in hand
This is not the place for me, spare me the reverie
The contemplations of a peaceful soul
Give me the storm, the twisted anger of the forlorn
Come away! Right this way!

To the very top, to lofty heights I will mislead you
A seventh heaven, a paradise of bliss, a kiss before
We leap in this abyss, flying higher, higher, soaring
To the sun, a joyous dance, this is it, take a chance

We climb, we climb in the blinding warm-filled light,
Thriving, swirling with delight, shunning lessons,
Fears, inhibitions and insecurities held so dear
As we sadly watch our wax wings melt and disappear

Dripping, sinking, drop by drop
We’re losing speed and falling fast
We flew too high, we burned too bright
And will not win against the Light!

I fall, I twirl, from these great heights
An acrobat in wingless flight
Hoping
Dreaming
For the cold embrace
Of Night

A Certain Lady

I took these images just messing around. I do a lot of self portraiture I think because it helps me look inside sometimes. We can be so focused on things outside of ourselves that at times it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of living. I started doing self portraits when I realized I wanted to know myself better. It’s been a very interesting journey and a lot of times I see a stranger staring back–an interesting stranger but also a very vulnerable one. Self portraiture in my opinion gives you strength.