Banning Burkinis only further marginalizes women who are marginalized

ALERT THE PRESS

In an effort to protect  marginalized women from extremism, progressive country outlaws the only attire available to marginalized women seeking to broaden their experiences by swimming. The local law enforcement can now help these women acclimate to the progressive culture by forcing them to strip in public places, giving fines, and intimidating them off the beach and back into their limited marginalized existence.

That was satire by the way… But this unfortunately isn’t…

Armed police order Muslim woman to remove her burkini on packed Nice beach

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3754395/Wealthy-Algerian-promises-pay-penalty-Muslim-woman-fined-France-wearing-burkini.html#ixzz4IGHHXXmJ
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Patriarchy, Racism & Women

Patriarchy has many forms of expression, racism and sexism being one of them. The continued harassment, humiliations, persecution, of women is no less tied to racism than the murder of innocent men. EVERY patriarchal culture that places women in subordination of men creates more acutely affected women when that CULTURE is ITSELF the target of RACISM. The already confined women become not only the target of their male privileged society, but also that of the dominating people’s racism. This adds another layer of difficulties, issues, stressers, and devaluation to minority women’s lives.
Do you know who supports these black/brown/minority women? NO ONE.
Because not only does the dominating culture reject them, but so do SOME OF THEIR VERY OWN join in on the harassing behavior.
I can only imagine the comments from the extreme conservatives within their own communities attacking these women for even DARING to go out to a beach, for being defying enough to engaging in this questionable behavior, this beach going. How dare they even ATTEMPT to bathe in public waters for all to see.
 
Women being targeted by men.
Women being harassed from every corner of the earth.
Women being judged.
Women being hurt.
Women being humiliated.
 

This is patriarchy.

SYSTEMATIC aggression towards all women. Minority women being trampled in the name of a racism entangled with sexism and abuse of power and privilege.

The Burkini Explained

 

Want to know the reason behind a BURKINI? Maybe you should ask a Muslim Woman about that. Maybe you could even ask the creator… 
Aheda speaks to The Guardian saying…
I invented the burkini in early 2004, it was to give women freedom, not to take it away. My niece wanted to play netball but it was a bit of a struggle to get her in the team – she was wearing a hijab. My sister had to fight for her daughter to play, had to debate the issue and ask, why is this girl prevented from playing netball because of her modesty?
Once the girl was allowed to participate, it became obvious that she didn’t have any clothing for the spot. Aheda ended up designing the garment herself.
I remember when I first tested the burkini. First I tested it in my bathtub, I had to make sure it worked. Then I had to test it by diving in it, so I went to the local pool to test that the headband would stay put, so I went to Roselands Pool, and I remember that everyone was staring at me – what was I wearing? I went right to the end of the pool and got on the diving board and dived in. The headband stayed in place, and I thought, beauty! Perfect!
It was my first time swimming in public and it was absolutely beautiful. I remember the feeling so clearly. I felt freedom, I felt empowerment, I felt like I owned the pool. I walked to the end of that pool with my shoulders back.
You can find her Burkinis HERE.


What do DO something for the women being harassed by police?

Donate to help cover their Fines. Bee Tajudeen from Black Blossoms and Hareem Ghani are fundraising in aid of Muslim women fined for wearing the burkini – please donate and share the page.

Welcome to the Republican National Convention 2016!

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Welcome to the Republican National Convention 2016!

The craziest sh*t storm since last week’s news cycle, boy do we move on quickly. Say good bye to #BlackLivesMatter #PrayforNice and the #Brexit because it’s all about #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes now!

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What’s going on this week? Donald Trump becomes the official Republican nominee for President. Yay!

All those Donald Trump cartoons I had been making are hardly funny any longer, because here it is. Dystopian world here we come. Trump is the official candidate and it’s going to be him or Hillary. Yikes.

While many want to argue that there will be no difference if either one of these candidates makes it into the office. I beg to differ.  The problem I have with Trump is not only based on

  • his flip flopping terrifying policies on wars,
  • or his wall,
  • or his racists, sexists, and dehumanizing words towards anyone who is “other”,
  • or his nazi inspired policies about Muslims,
  • or his less than impressive business background as the basis for his campaign,
  • or his blatantly annoying demeanor…

No, no… None of those things are the main “problem” though I do find them all extremely problematic.

The PROBLEM is that DESPITE all this, people are supporting this man, openly, enthusiastically, without much more to say than… “He speaks his mind.”

No. What you mean is that he speaks YOUR MIND and you find nothing wrong with his rhetoric, because truly, they are your own or at least agreeable.


 

What does a Trump president sound like? Here ya go.

Watch some snippets from Trump and Pence interview on 60 minutes. You’ve been warned.

Ready? Set… GO!

No one is going to stop this circus? Seriously?!

I’m not even going to take the time to go into his recent VP choice, but in the mean time, you can go ahead and phone into the campaign headquarters with your Vagina’s status.


 

So let’s take a glimpse at the sort of events surrounding the RNC

 

White Supremacist Theory on Live National News

 

Read the transcript

PIERCE: Tell you what, in that hall today, that hall is wired. That hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people. Any sign of rebellion is going to get shouted down either kindly or roughly but that’s what’s going to happen.
KING: This whole business does get a little tired. I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization? [N.b.: The “other people” the panelists had just been talking about were black Americans and Mexicans.]
HAYES: Than white people?

KING: Than Western civilization itself. That’s rooted in western Europe, eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.

 

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Contributions of “Western Christian Society” Let me count the ways…
  • The crusades.
  • Genocide of millions of Native Americans.
  • Land theft and exploitation of natural resources.
  • Slavery.
  • Creation and use of nuclear weapons.
  • and IPhones… you’re welcome.

Neo-NAzi much?

My personal reaction?

wtf_o_1215252

 


 

Up Next: Mrs.Trump plagiarizes Michelle Obama

     

Thank goodness she’s a woman and instead we can have articles about how fab she looked in that dress! Lighten up people!

Of course a hilarious explosion of comments on twitter #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes

However I’m partial to this “Bring It On” bit. Millennials nostalgia!

Eventually the Trump campaign found someone to throw under the buss and take the blame.

Writer Meredith McIver apologizes for any trouble she may have caused…

“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”  CNN

So much for “I wrote it.”

 

But in all seriousness… Michelle Obama is pretty amazing. I can see why Melania Trump admires her.    


 

Unfortunately, all this noise over Melania Trump’s (I mean Michelle’s) Speech is great cover for the mood over in the RNC

 

The topic of choice was “Make America Safe Again” but maybe it should be “Make America Fear Again” as The Daily Show suggested

Fear seemed to be main subject aside from bashing Hillary Clinton. Trevor Noah highlights Trump’s ability to disguise the ugly with quirky media distractions.

This is Donald Trump style. What he does is ha always gives us so much fun crazy to talk about, that we miss the dangerous crazy. Trevor Noah – The Daily Show

He points out various speaker’s focus on fear: “Our enemies are plotting against us.” “Killing us and our allies!” “There is no place to escape to”. Watch the recap here.


 

 What else is being overshadowed?

 

  Women Being Physically Harassed and Threatened

Amy Davis describes how a man pressed his body against hers in an effort to make her uncomfortable enough to give up her turn at the mic. After a friend joined her for support, an official had to separate the man who continued to harass the women.

Kera Birkeland is another female who was followed to the bathroom where she was threatened as she stepped out.  “You should die” she reports Trump supporters telling her. But considering how Trump Talks about women, I can see why his supporters would take his advice…

“You have to treat them (women) like **** “

 

 

I’ll let Jennifer Lawrence speak for me…


 

But let’s end this on a more positive note.

 

In a stunning show of art, photographer Spencer Tunick organized a protest outside the RNC involving 100 nude women.

 

The photograph involved 100 nude women holding large mirror discs, reflecting the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of “Mother Nature” into and onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland. The philosophy of the artwork relates to the idea of the sacred feminine. By holding mirrors, we hope to suggest that women are a reflection and embodiment of nature, the sun, the sky and the land. We want to express the belief that we will rely upon the strength, intuition and wisdom of progressive and enlightened women to find our place in nature and to regain the balance within it. The mirrors communicate that we are a reflection of ourselves, each other, and of, the world that surrounds us. The woman becomes the future and the future becomes the woman. Spectrumptunickcleaveland.com

 

Reflecting love and light in these times is a true act of super natural powers. The Goddess is obviously with them.  And that should have you covered on the RNC for the last few days.

Did I miss anything?


 

UPDATE

Ted Cruz Breaks the ranks and publicly opposes Trump! Is there still hope yet for reason in the Republican Party?

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Be still and listen

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My world is changing very quickly.

The movers came this past week and our house is now empty. We’re in the process of picking out our new home. We’re trying to piece together our future while at the same time reminiscing on the past few years… And the present… The present hurts.

The present is making time to see friends before we leave.

The present is deciding how and when to say goodbye.

The present is not wanting to say goodbye but also not wanting to miss out on the last few days being within a drive’s distance of some of the lovely humans that have made themselves part of my world.

I was sitting inside when I heard the cries of my little girl outside. She was riding her bike with one of our neighbors and her mom. I ran out thinking she had fallen. But then I learned that the reason was not a physical hurt…

My sweet daughter and her friend had tried to visit D, another neighborhood friend, and she was gone. Painters were working on her house. The reality of leaving finally hit my little one like walking straight into a brick wall. She wasn’t ready.

All I could think about was how grateful I was to the voices that guide me. Just a couple of days ago the the girls were playing in the sprinklers. I was totally relaxed, just wathicng them giggle and run and skip. Not a care in the world. But suddenly I felt myself being pushed. “It’s such a beautiful evening” I heard myself think. “Lili, you should take photos.” I didn’t want to get up, but I did. Without a second thought, I rushed home, grabbed the camera, and took photos. The sun rewarded me with a gorgeous golden hour of precious warm sunshine.

To my happy surprise, before the evening was over, D showed up to play, too. I kept looking at this one spot in the drive way, such pretty light… This was “the spot”. I insisted on a group photo reminding myself that we were leaving soon, if there’s a time to insist, it was today.

I know why I got up for those photos. Why I insisted. In the quiet pleasure of being immersed in playtime, I heard the calling.

Today, take the photos today.

As it turns out, it really was the last time our girls would play together… Innocently… Without goodbyes… Without knowing it would soon end… Without realizing their precious time in each others company would be over… Even we, the mothers, didn’t know… We just smiled and waved and said, “We still have a little time.”

But we didn’t…


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Magic isn’t that hard to find.

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It’s everywhere.

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In the little things.

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In the little people.

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Be still and listen.

You will hear the calling.

You might witness magic.

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But only if you’re looking for it.

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What the heck is happening in Puerto Rico you ask? Let me tell you.

I am absolutely disgusted that #PROMESA has been passed in the Senate.
From the moment I saw this bill mentioned on a main stream media outlet, I knew there was something sinister pushing this bill into being.
A bi-partisan effort championed by the Republican Party to “save” Puerto Rico from it’s debt crisis. If this doesn’t sound fishy to you, IT SHOULD.
This law came to be because of the deep pockets and political string pulling of the vultures funds ready to collect their money.
  1. #PROMESA creates a FISCAL CONTROL BOARD of 7 unelected congress appointed officials who will have full control of the island to settle it’s 70 billion in debt (Much of which has already been deem illegal).
  2. As the law is written (and it was REFUSED to be revised or amended before voting) the control board will have the power to dismiss ANY elected political official not cooperating with the board.
  3. It will give the governor the power to reduce the minimum wage to $4.24.
  4. It will force the Puerto Rican government, already in crisis, to pay the bill for the board to the tune of $370 million dollars.
  5. The board gets to receive gifts freely.
  6. The board gets to decide its own salary.
  7. The board will be free to manage Puerto Rico’s natural resources.
  8. The individuals in the board will be free of all and any consequences and will not be held accountable to ANYONE for their work.

Read the Full Text of the bill HERE.

The people of Puerto Rico are being squeezed and manipulated by a corrupt government flip flopping at every turn to appease the all mighty colonizer. Our very own Governor, after making a plea for other solutions, turned on his people and went to Washington to advocate for the Fiscal Board.
WHO IS LEFT STANDING FOR THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO?
What the hell is happening in Puerto Rico?
Let me enlighten you with this brief description of the American Colonial Experience. An experimental ground zero for war machines and medical experimentation. Video from UN Decolonization Commettee in the UN June 20th. Read the details of the meeting HERE.
VIDEO
Just this week the government is attempting to approve fly over NALED PESTICIDE spraying over the island. A product that has NEVER been used in such a way and is DEADLY to bees, animals and PEOPLE. The use of which was only halted after the agricultural community managed to rally themselves to protest the action which could have started as soon as this past Wednesday.
My husband serves this country with PRIDE and DIGNITY.
He puts his LIFE on the line for our home to be treated like GARBAGE. I can’t believe this our experience as “American Citizens”.
I am SICK AND TIRED of everyone standing around “hoping for the best”.
GO EDUCATE YOURSELF.
THIS SYSTEM IS NOT IN PLACE TO HELP YOU.
THIS IS A COLONY, A TERRITORY BEING EXPLOITED FOR ALL ITS NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOR FORCE FROM THE MOMENT IT WAS INVADED.
Articles regarding #PROMESA and it’s true nature
What are its powers? It will unilaterally “re-structure the workforce of the Commonwealth government” , freeze public pensions and ensure “the payment of debt obligations.”
NY Daily News

The PROMESA Authority will be the governor, banker, judge, jury, and pawnbroker of Puerto Rico. It will manage the entire Puerto Rican economy, and be accountable to no one on the island. It will tell the Puerto Rican government when to jump, and how high. It will issue debt, spend the money in any manner it sees fit, and leave Puerto Ricans to pay the bill.

This is our ‘Commonwealth’: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords and clerked by politicians.
It will do nothing about the Jones Act, the loss of pensions, the privatization of public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico—its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water supply.

This is where our Commonwealth relationship to the United States has gotten us: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords, fought over by lawyers, and clerked by politicians. A dictatorship in the Caribbean, owned and operated from Wall Street, and disguised as a “management assistance authority.”

The Nation

PROMESA proposes the establishment of an Oversight Board with seven members appointed by the United States President, who will be granted totalitarian control over Puerto Rico’s finances in order to restructure the Puerto Rican debt, which equals to: “Fuck you pay me”. Section #4 of the bill says, “The provisions of this Act shall prevail over any general or specific provisions of territory law, State law, or regulation that is inconsistent with this Act.”

Nevertheless, the creation of an apparatus like PROMESA should not be a surprise. The United States Congress had total control over the insular government of Puerto Rico, ever since the Foraker Act was approved in 1900. It wasn’t until the creation of the Free Associated State Constitution (ELA) in 1952, that Puerto Ricans were granted the right to elect their own governor and handle the internal administration of the country. Still when the United States Congress approved this, they sustained the capacity of imposing legislation over Puerto Rico’s Government and retaining ultimate power over all of Puerto Rico’s affairs.

Today is a historical moment: we are seeing how the United States Congress is making use of that supremacy they secured more than half a Century ago. The consequences are still to be seen. Some people talk about an ongoing humanitarian crisis, but the real humanitarian crisis is going to come when seven business men come to Puerto Rico to elaborate an economic plan as they get drunk on Barrilito in the beach of the San Juan Hotel.

Huffington Post

 

That leaves Congress’ solution: a bill called PROMESA that allows an unelected fiscal oversight board with no ties to Puerto Rico to effectively colonize the commonwealth, taking what’s left of its sovereignty and dictating the island’s political and economic future.

Business Insider

It will do nothing about Jones Act reform, Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief, privatization of the island’s public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico — its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water authority. It will issue debt, spend the funds as it sees fit, and leave Puerto Rico to pay the bill.

This is where our “Commonwealth” relationship has gotten us: a dictatorship in the Caribbean, created in Washington, operated from Wall Street, all disguised as a “management assistance authority.”

Latino Rebels

Suggested Reading

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A Denis

war

 

 

Despierta Boricua

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Ya no me importa. Ya no me puedo callar mas la boca. Voy a escribir sobre mi apollo de la INDEPENDECIA y SOBERANIA de BORIKEN, PUERTO RICO
Aqui mis emociones reaccionan a la #PROMESA ley que destrulle el concepto de Estado Libre Asociado y nuevamente impone el estatus colonial a la isla.
GRITO YO!
Es que no se como se lo agunantan.
No les da rabia?
No les da verguenza?
Que carajos es esta mierda?
Para que una constitucion?!
Para que votar?!
Para que carajos ser cuidadanos y morir por un gobierno que no le importamos un bledo?
 
DESPIERTA BORICUA.
 
Te fumigan las tierras y envenenan la comida.
Te tiran bombas.
Te mantan los lideres.
Te encarcelan los patriotas y le ponen carpetas.
Te gobiernan con corruptos y policos vendidos.
 
No te da rabia?!
Como te aguntas este bochorno?
 
Ya basta de colonias de los 1500s
 
Desde las rebeliones indigenas.
Al gritO de Ladres.
Al Maestro y su revulucion en los 50’s.
Y hoy que?!
Se dieron por vencidos ya?
Te vendieron lo suficiente?
Ya te lo quiraon todo?
 
Mierda es!
DESPIERTA BORICUA!
 
Aqui todavia hay pratia.
 
Donde esta el GRITO?
Done esta!?
 
Yo lo busco!
 
GRITO YO!
 
DESPIERTA BORICUA!

Military Spouse Sh*t Sandwich { Military Life }

Cussing Ahead. You’ve been warned.

I am a stressed out military spouse.

We’re moving soon, and my stress level is threatening my sanity. Writing is one of my coping mechanism, read more on Moving and Losing your Village. It doesn’t take much to see that my ability to “roll with the punches” is starting to wear out. We’re about half way into my spouse’s military career and I’m about ready to call it quits.

I don’t want to move.

I don’t want to deal with deployments.

I don’t want to continue to be a unemployed because of constant change of situation.

I don’t want to live across the globe from friends and family and support.

I don’t want my kids to grow up without a steady home.

I don’t want to investigate into every public school, private school, homeschooling option because we’re moving and our house location depends on this.

I don’t want to say goodbye to my best friends.

I don’t want to move into a new house only to hate it 6 months down the road.

I don’t want to move into a new neighborhood to hate it 6 months down the road.

I don’t want my kids to forget their first language because we’re stranded in a country that doesn’t speak it.

I don’t want apply for jobs I have no idea if I will be able to keep if a sudden change comes our way.

I don’t want to start new projects that need a lot of time and energy because I know I will have to eventually pack them up and leave them unfinished.

I don’t want to be a house wife that sucks at keeping up with her house.

HOWEVER

I don’t want to have a pity party because holy shit how fucking entitled am I.

I have a lovely home, filled with crap I can afford to buy.

My children are beautiful and healthy.

My husband is incredibly patient and loving.

I have friends.

I have family.

They might not be close all the time, but they are there, cheering me on.

My fridge is full.

I have access to medicine and care if I seek it.

My children are safe, my home is safe.

Who the fuck said that I could “have it all” or that I deserve to have it all.

No one.

NO ONE.

I’m sitting here having an identity crisis because the world is telling me that being some mediocre stay at home mom isn’t enough to be happy, it isn’t enough to feel accomplished, it isn’t enough to feel proud.

Well fuck that.

I have accomplished plenty. I have plenty.

I have more than most. MUCH more than most.

Fuck off with your ridiculous WANT IT ALL bullshit. I don’t need to stress about that garbage because it’s not even real.

DO YOU HEAR ME, BRAIN?!

IT IS NOT REAL!

I AM enough.

I HAVE enough.

And sure, there is plenty of stress on my plate, but good lord, OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES, so much to be grateful for.

I’m getting sucked into this culture of more more MORE and forgetting I ALREADY HAVE MORE.

This is all a bunch of bullshit stress caused by some culture built on greed and entitlement, a culture that promotes individuality to the point of isolation, that promotes hate to the point of self loathing, that promotes monetary success to the point of degrading service and self sacrifice.

FUCK THAT NOISE.

You know what’s happening this weekend? Memorial Day.

Sitting here stressing over the little things when I have brothers and sisters crying over a grave.

I will pick myself up, take my military spouse shit sandwich and eat it. And I will be fucking grateful for my shit sandwich, which is a hell of a lot better shit sandwich than a whole lot of other folks around the globe, near and far.

It’s called PERSPECTIVE. Wake up. Stop crying. Put on your big girl panties on and move the fuck along, Lili.

 

shit

OK THEN.

Glad I got that off my chest. PEACE.
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Clarification, in the case that any is needed… I wrote this piece to myself, for myself. Please don’t assume that *I* assume that a change in perspective is going to alleviate depression, anxiety, or any other mental health disorder, that’s just stupid. Take your fucked up notions of “just stop thinking about it” as appropriate advice for anyone suffering through mental health issues somewhere else. We good? Ok. Bye.

Saying Goodbye to My Village: How Becoming a Parent Sucked the Joy of Out of PCS Season { Military Life }

Once upon a time, what feels like a lifetime ago, this was an exciting time.

A time to imagine a new beginning, a new start, a new place to call our own. It was just the two of us, a couple of star crossed lovers taking on the world. Living in a new place, a new house, meeting new people and seeing new places. It all brought great excitement and anticipation. It was a fun time, PCS season… The excitement of orders being around the corner,  finally learning where we were headed and rushing off to google the local area and possible houses and neighborhoods. Packing it all up, shoving ourselves into a car, and driving off into the sunset. Then arriving to our new home and exploring restaurants, and walking down town… Oh what an adventure. It was really fun…

But that time has long passed it seems. Because at our last dutty station, something new happened. We started a family. And that was our new adventure. Or new tiny family member brought us so much joy and happiness that it’s difficult to imagine a life before her smiling face, and soon we were engulfed into the life of mom and dad.

As it so turns out, the life of mom and dad is quite different from the life of husband and wife.

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

 

Going from relatively carefree, well rested adults, to responsible fairly tired parents made us (in time) realize how important your support system is. As the main caregiver for our daughter, I happily and loyally went from the library, to baby music classes, to play dates each and every day. Enjoying the company of several new mothers I met along the way. I didn’t know it then, but these women were the glue that were keeping me together. Their friendship and support gave me a sensation of safety and security in motherhood that I took for granted.

Not only that, but we also happened to be a very short flight away from our island home, Puerto Rico. Both my husband’s and my own family could visit us comfortably and often. What a lovely (and comfortable!) support system it was.

When PCS season came about, those feelings of excitement were there once again. I had no reason to feel any differently at that point, moving had always been fun. But as we packed up our new family to move half way across the globe I didn’t realize that I couldn’t pack with me the glue that had been holding me up, my support system, my village.

There were many difficult goodbyes, but none so painful than saying goodbye to our dear friends Kelly and Little Miss O. I met Kelly the first day I left the house with Little Lue by myself to do a “mommy and baby” thing. I needed to get out of the house, I needed to DO something, and somehow ended up at the local library for a Mommy and Me Story Time. And there was Kelly with Little Miss O, just like us, fresh new moms, it took but a minute to realize we would be friends.

I met so many of the dearest and most wonderful moms that very day.

I had no idea how special those days would be, but they will live forever in my heart. My first village. I can’t count the coffee dates or play dates, there were too many.

When it was time to move, I couldn’t pack up my village, I had to leave that behind… When we moved to Germany I knew what I had to do. I needed to find a new park, a new coffee date, a new village. For whatever delusional reason, I thought this would be easy… It wasn’t.

Germany would prove to be cold, and wet, and unwelcoming to summer creatures such as ourselves. Both my husband and I felt ourselves being drained of energy and joy from the lack of sunshine and warmth. It would take us well over a year to fall into a routine that worked for everyone and just as long to meet new friends and reach a level of trust and comfort that brings that sense of safety and community.

It’s been 3 years since our move, and I just barely feel like I’ve scraped together my new village, and now, I have to say good bye. I have to leave them behind and start over, and sadly, they might have to start over too. Because that’s the other thing, not only did I loose my village, but so did the friends who were left behind. For those left behind it’s one less person who will show up at your door on the bad days, one less person who will meet you at the park and hang out for hours of play, one less person who will be your company for lunch with crazy loud kids in toe, one less person to call when you just need an adult conversation after endless days of house work and wiping dirty bottoms.

These friends are literally gold.

They’re the reason happy moms exists, and the reason not so happy moms make it to the next day.

The thought of moving, and living without a village… yet again… for who knows how long… has taken all the joy and adventure our of PCS season. I don’t want to say goodbye again. I don’t want to start over again.

As incredibly wonderful as family life is, it is immensely more wonderful when you have a BIG family. A family of friends and neighbors and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins. A family to share the fun times with and the not so fun times with. A family that helps each other and cares for each other. A family you can call on when the days are long and both mom and dad are too tired to put on a smile at the end of the day.

As a military family, we are first robed of the family we left back home, of our mothers and grandmothers and brothers and sisters who would have been there as our primary aid. And with the constant flow of the community we are also often robbed of the support of our dearest friends, who come into your life like a bast of love and warmth and fun and joy, and then they go… Leaving a gigantic crater where their wonderful company used to be.

It seems that this PCS season, I have accumulated quite a few more craters, and my heart is starting to look a bit like swiss cheese…

Despite my desire to move to a warmer, more welcoming climate, I have carved out my village here in Germany. Knowing now what life is like without a village, even if only temporarily, I know that leaving Germany will be no less painful than leaving Key West.

Still deep in the trenches of parenting young children, I need my village… a lot.

We will pack up our lives once again, only this time I’m well aware of what I cannot take with me. I cannot pack up my village, I will have to create a new one. Knowing this, I start to brace myself for a few months of lonely long days. Of awkward park days of recognizing no faces or names. Of sipping coffee alone with my rambunctious littles. Of joining groups and meet ups and not knowing why I’m there. Of putting on a friendly face while my insides are filled with anxiety and exhaustion. Of saying hello and yes to every new opportunity because trying is better than not trying. Of clinging to dear life to my marriage, because even on the worse days, my spouse is my only support and friend.  

I beg my husband for patience.

 

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

For a few months, I wont have the relaxing and re-energizing effects that my village brings. I will become a cranky, tired, and stressed out version of myself. I will be anxious and lonely and extremely needy of kind words and understanding. I won’t have much energy for smiling at the end of the day…

But maybe between a cuddle at the end of the day, and our daughter’s smiling faces, and hopefully some warmer, sunnier weather… maybe I’ll make it thought this PCS season and saying goodbye to another village, and maybe, just maybe, be able to enjoy some of the adventure of starting something new.

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Disney Land Paris { Travel }

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Yes, we made it to Disney Land Paris. I won’t lie, I thought we would skip this one after doing so much Disney when we were staying in Tampa, but as we planned my family’s last visit to Germany for Little Lue’s recital among other things we figured, what the heck, let’s do it. It’s only a few hours away!

So off we went! Here we are at a pit stop in a yellow field :)

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We picked the Explorers Hotel because it was part of the Disney bus system. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I must say it was super nice and fun for the girls! I would definitely recommend it for those with littles in toe, it was super nice to have an indoor park next to a bar and totally decent pizza. But fair warning, the included breakfast was lame. So it gets 4 out of 5 stars from me!

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Because we left at 6am, it was only noon when we got to the hotel… so off to the bus!

Day 1

I think Disney Paris is pretty. Not sure how to explain it, maybe it’s because it’s less about the attractions and more focused on the experience, but I found the park to be really well made visually. It was also SO EMPTY compared to the Orlando parks, we barely made any lines. It was SUPER nice and enjoyable.

Recommendations?

  • Don’t miss the dragon underneath the castle! My 4yo thought it was a REAL dragon, it’s that cool.
  • Best place to eat was Restaurant des Stars in the Disney Studio side. REAL FOOD, SCORE!
  • Don’t miss the Ratatouillie ride, it really is neat.
  • Alice’s Maze thing is awesome.
  • Space Mountain is a REAL roller coaster. OMG I am SO SORRY DAD for getting you on that thing. WHOOPS!

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Day 2

Face paint and rain!

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But a little rain never stopped us!

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Day 3

Had lunch at Remy’s 😀 The restaurant was fun, but my 4yo had a few strong words for the chef, who was clearly NOT Remy based on the Ratatouillie they serve her! Little Lue could give Hugo a run for his money in the food critique business haha.

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Watched the parade!
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And followed it out the park!

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Day 4

Last day in Paris… so where else would be go?!

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Found some cool lady street art, a lovers tree, and just a quick walk through the streets before driving home. Leave it to us to visit France and spend a total of 3 hours in Paris, HA!

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Back home we had but one last thing to do… My parents wanted to celebrate the Tiny One’s 2nd Birth Day! It’s not for another few days, but obviously, that made no difference. <3

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Hope you enjoyed the photos :)

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Little Lue on Stage <3

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It’s May and that means it’s DANCE RECITAL TIME! Little Lue was SO excited to get her costume, practice her moves, and finally see what it was like to be on a real stage putting up a show!
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Somehow I got roped into volunteering to watch her class for the LONG wait, but at least I got all the action shots, yeah?

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After much coloring, tutu bathroom breaks, and not so patient waiting, this 3 and 4 year old class was finally called up!2016-05-15_0002

And then it was SHOW TIME! Let’s just say it was quite enjoyable, ha!

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After the show we had to wait some more for the GRAND FINALLY, which was pretty dificult to explain to tiny dances, but we made it!

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I think my favorite part was snapping this photo of my favorite (and probably everyone else’s) dance teacher, Miss Kate <3 She’s so amazing, and has taught both Little Lue and now our Tinniest Dancer. You might recall her from this post. 

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They were so damn cute <3

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Thanks for reading :)
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Shooting with Eva & Mom2mom

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of sneaking into Eva Creel Photography‘s fundraiser shoot for Mom2mom and taking some of the “action shots”. I have been taking a little vacation from shooting for others but what a joy it is to BE at a shoot, and not actually work it, but still get to take fun photos and enjoy sharing them with the photographer.

This was a particularly fun concept, we went to Kullman’s a local American Dinner (yes, in Germany HA!) and shot breastfeeding mommies drinking milkshakes! Does this sound familiar?

It probably SHOULD! Remember this fun project? Yup, look who’s sporting her awesome top! Love it!

You can get the #milkshakeboobs top HERE!

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And how about some props for this photographer turned mom for doing some double duty on the shoot! I tell you, all the moms I know are some badass watch-me-do-it-with-a-kid-strapped-on kind of awesome.

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After she was done, we couldn’t NOT take some fabulous shots of this hot photog/model… Eva can strike a pose on a DIME. WOO! She will put your selfie action to shame.

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Thanks for the fun, Eva! Always good company :)

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Here’s a link to the rest of the photos in case you need to see MORE!

Until next time readers!

P.S. Here’s that link one last time for the #milkshakeboobs breastfeeding T’s!!

P.P.S. Kullman’s has DELICIOUS pancakes, you should go.

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Colonialism and Racisim are at the Heart of the Puerto Rico Dept Crisis

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Perhaps you enjoyed reading my most recent post about John Oliver and the Puerto Rico Dept Crisis… As much as I love Oliver, it was one of those moments where you still feel the sting of colonialism. When even the more liberal wings of the media, the so called “fake” news that appeal to the younger generation… Even they… are promoting a colonial rule over the territories of Puerto Rico.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been crying out for Puerto Rico for weeks, trying to compel as many eye balls as humanly possible to the island “100 Miles Across”, but what he knows, what we all know, is that CONGRESS WILL NOT ACT.

Let’s be real here, this is an election year… and the front runner of the Republican Party is Donald Trump. His disregard, disrespect, and blatant racist comments about the inhabitants of the Southern American Continent, blacks, women, the disabled, you name it, are what have propelled him to his front runner position. What does this tell you about the American psyche at this point in time?

Are we living in a post-racial America?

Hardly.

Racial push back movements like #BlackLivesMatter have been sweeping the nation over the last few years and now we have Donald Trump doubling down on hate politics, stiring up racial tensions. Bernie Sanders has been the underground counter force running a campaign of love and mutual understanding, but you can guess how much media time he’s been getting… Then you have Hillary… She’s just sitting there and watching us burn to the ground while her way into the White House is handed to her on the backs of the democratic “Anything but Trump” voters.

Amidst this turmoil, here is Puerto Rico. A “Common Weath” tearritory of the USA that many Americans don’t know, don’t understand, and is in the middle of an unprecedented economic, health, and soon to be political crisis. The territory is waiting for congress to show its face.

Political crisis you ask?

The Governor of Puerto Rico knows well what is coming, we all know what is coming. Puerto Rico cannot pay back it’s creditors. Puerto Rico WILL NOT pay back it’s creditors if that means leaving people without basic human services. Puerto Rico has done everything, EVERYTHING it can currently do to remedy the crisis, it is now time for the USA to act. But how can it? Election year, racial tensions, divided congress, and Puerto Rico has no voting rights. Puerto Ricans on the island literally have ZERO REPRESENTATION in the only governmental entity that can act on its behalf. No Senator or Representative is going to put out their neck for Puerto Rico in election year. Not one. Bills being drafted by those who care enough to put them forth will NEVER come to pass. NEVER. Why? Because there are no votes to win, no points to gain, nothing.

Puerto Ricans are literally waiting on a MIRACLE for some compassion to sweep through the Congress and magically address the issue.

And if by some act of god they did address the issue, what is the media putting forth? HR4900. The local government and Puerto Rico is STRONGLY against such a measure because it would be a literal manifestation of the island’s colonial reality. A reminder of the sham that is our elected government. A reminder of lie that is the “Common Wealth” of Puerto Rico.

USA, your colony is showing.

The Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico took this moment to remind us of the bond Puerto Ricans have made in blood with the United States of America when its local population was made citizens and then promptly summoned to serve in American wars. What unites the USA and PR is a common citizenship and a belief in democracy. A belief of a government by the people, for the people…

Lets be clear, the local Puerto Rican government has made many mistakes, many horrible financial decisions, and irreparable damage to the local economy and governmental system. But let us not forget what that system was built on, COLONIAL RULE.

The only governmental system that has been in place on the island the ONLY form of government this land has ever known, aside form the pre-Colombian days, was that of a COLONIAL RULER over the island. A system built on racism, on slavery, on CORRUPTION. Governmental systems were put in place by the Spaniards to divide the land, collect its gold, enslave the local population, and harvest its land for sugar and coffee. This is the system that was taken over by the USA.

A system designed to squeeze the people below and bring riches to those at the top.

With a background like that, is it ANY SURPRISE that when Puerto Rico was given “Common Wealth” status and started creating its “autonomous” government that this “new”  system would be riddled with corruption?

Is it any surprise that it WASN’T to be a government by the people, FOR the people and that it’s loyalty to the all mighty dollar would be written into its very constitution?

Is it any surprise that instead of incorporating Puerto Rico into the USA as a state, the decision was made to put a band-aid over the colonial status, call it a “common wealth”?

Any surprise at all that Puerto Rico would continue to be a territory used as an experimental bomb range for pharmaceuticals companies and the military?

Are we truly surprised that the new rulers were to be corporate interests and investors of new and previously established powers on the island?

Is it truly so impossible to conceive that politicians on the island would serve as mere puppets of these new powers? Truly?

And Nationalism?

Is it ANY surprise that there was literally ZERO support for Independence and island autonomy when the Nationalist movement on the island was SQUASHED into oblivion BEFORE we even HAD a constitution?

Is it any surprise that Independence, self government and autonomy are foreign concepts on the island when the remaining supporters of the Nationalist movement were jailed, labeled communist and terrorist, followed, fired and/or thrown in jail?

And we are now expected to shake it all off  and take responsibility for our country and its political choices?  When our patriots, our leaders, our true supporters were murdered, persecuted and tortured with radiation?

We’re expected to take control and responsibility of a government that was NEVER ours to begin with?

Despite his ACTIVE and CONTINUED ROLE in this atrocious mess, I commend Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla for not sugar coating the reality that is today’s status quo and why Puerto Rico CAN NOT and WILL NOT pay it’s creditors before attending to the basic services and needs of its people.

This is Puerto Rico’s last card on the table. Refusing to pay.

500 years of colonialism is here to collect it’s dept…

Why is Puerto Rico’s present situation so ugly? Well look at where it’s coming from.

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

This isn’t about destroying the system, this isn’t about independence. This is about acknowledging the realities of Puerto Rico’s complicated colonial history that is STILL at play today. This is about realizing that these problems have 500 years in the making. It’s about understanding our past so that we can better understand the present.

Thanks for reading.

Yours truly,

From someone tired of waiting, tired of political corruption, tired of second class citizenship, tired of the lies, tired of this bull crap, tired of colonialism, tired dysfunctional governments,  just tired…

 

 

 

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How JOHN OLIVER got it ALL WRONG in his Puerto Rico Segment & Lin-Manuel Miranda ROCKED IT

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If you have anything to do with Puerto Rico it is quite conceivable that you were crying tears of horror, frustration and possibly joy when you saw John Oliver’s incredible 20 minute segment on the Dept Crisis in Puerto Rico. He takes a very complicated issue and manages to summarize the complete and out right catastrophe that is the island’s $70 billion in public dept in a cohesive comic relief.

Puerto Rico’s government has done it ALL, and I mean ALL. Mass governmental lay offs, school closures, pricing hikes in every single public service, heightened sales taxes to 11.5%, and the people are getting SQUEEZED left and right!

Economic crisis is quickly turning into a HEALTH CRISIS because as people are leaving the island, so are the DOCTORS. John says the statistic is one per day, and it’s easy to see WHY!

He brings up the Zika Virus as some sort of super scary horror story, guess what? Zika is coming in on top of dealing with Chinkungunya the last few years. Oh and don’t forget Dengue! Puerto Rico is currently a mosquito DEATH TRAP.

Health authorities estimate that Puerto Rico, which has over 500 confirmed cases of Zika so far, could have hundreds of thousands of infected people. Currently there are over 40 pregnant women in the country who are infected, and that number is expected to rise. No babies have been born with microcephaly so far, but the connection was recently declared definitive. The territory also has a major mosquito problem. More than 80% of adults in Puerto Rico have been infected with dengue, and about a quarter of adults became infected with chikungunya in less than a year.

TIME

But you know, we have BIGGER PROBLEMS than mosquitos killing us, because the ACTUAL problem is that our hospitals are running on FUMES. Oliver managed to bring attention  to all the tax exemptions happening on the island for business but, unfortunately, IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. There are also exemptions to crucial hospital funding that only apply to Puerto Rico.

The cruel reality is that Puerto Ricans on the island are treated as second class citizens. Their hospitals are getting HALF the funding that their main land brothers and sisters are getting while paying THE SAME amount in tax contributions. And because the local constitution government is committed to paying CREDITORS before it pays out it’s public services, DOCTORS ARE NOT GETTING PAYED for accepting government funded insurance. OF COURSE THEY ARE LEAVING THE ISLAND they are literally working FOR FREE and PRAYING a check comes in the mail!

About 60 percent of people living in Puerto Rico receive Medicare or Medicaid, though the territory receives less than half the federal healthcare dollars of any state.

Without more funding to help sustain the programs, the letter warns it will become even harder for people to receive healthcare in Puerto Rico.

The Hill

So where does John Oliver go HORRIBLY WRONG in his segment?

He brings up THIS BILL by Republican Wisconsin House Representative Sean Duffy as the “Solution” to the crisis and temporary “relief” to the island.

Let me share the top 3 problems of this 122 page bill, HR4900.

1 It creates a Presidential Appointed Boards of 7 individuals who will be running the entire country and it’s fiscal budget. Completely bypassing the ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT and instead essentially substituting it with a 7 person non-elected board appointed by a president Puerto Ricans DID NOT elect, and PUT IN ACTION by a congress with no Puerto Rican voting representative. We are talking about 3.5 million American Citizens under Government Appointed Federal Rule. But no, Puerto Rico isn’t a “colony”.

Text of Bill

“The President shall appoint the individual members of the Oversight Board, of which two individuals should be selected from a list of individuals submitted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; two should be selected from a list submitted by the Majority Leader of the Senate; one should be selected from a list submitted by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; and one should be selected from a list submitted by the Minority Leader of the Senate. Of the two individuals to be selected from a list of individuals submitted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one shall maintain a primary residence in the territory or have a primary place of business in the territory.”

Oh good! Look at that, at least SOMEONE will have a BUSINESS on the island. Sufficient local representation there.

2 This Committee conveniently will be allowed to ACCEPT ANY KIND OF “GIFT“.

Text of Bill

The Oversight Board may accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Oversight Board. Gifts, bequests, or devises of money and proceeds from sales of other property received as gifts, bequests, or devises shall be deposited in such account as the Oversight Board may establish and shall be available for disbursement upon order of the Chair, consistent with the Oversight Board’s bylaws, or rules and procedures. All gifts, bequests or devises and the identities of the donors shall be publicly disclosed by the Oversight Board within 30 days of receipt.”

Well… AT LEAST there’s public disclosure… Nice… No worries, there will be no bribery, none.

3 It REDUCES the current $7.25 minimum wage to $4.25. THANK YOU FOR THAT! It’s not like we need a living wage during a severe financial strain…

Text of Bill

“Governor of Puerto Rico, subject to the approval of the Financial Oversight and Management Board established pursuant to section 101 of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, may designate a time period not to exceed five years during which employers in Puerto Rico may pay employees who are initially employed after the date of enactment of such Act a wage which is not less than $4.25 an hour.”

5 years… Did you read that part too? 5 YEARS!

To summarize… This bill is absolute GARBAGE!

WTF JOHN OLIVER?!

What on EARTH happened to your disgust for COLONIAL RULE?! Did anyone on the show even BOTHER to research OTHER possible current bills on the floor? Because I sure did!

Democrat Senior Senator Robert “Bob” Mendez is working his butt off writing bills with the actual local population’s well being in mind.

BILLS such as THIS ONE S2675 that advocate for reasonable RELIEF for the island’s HEALTH CRISIS. This bill would actually bring in the NECESSARY healthcare funding that Puerto Rican citizens have been so far negated on the island.

Or perhaps John Oliver could have promoted THIS BILL S2676.  It sets up a similar government board, but this time… wait for it… The BOARD HAS ACTUAL ELECTED OFFICIALS INCLUDING THOSE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT! Shocking stuff… I know!

This board would consist of: 9 members: 2 members shall be appointed by the President,

2 members shall be appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico,

1 member shall be appointed by the chief justice of Puerto Rico,

and 4 members shall be appointed by the legislature of Puerto Rico. 

Additionally no less than 6 members must be RESIDENTS of Puerto Rico.

Also, none of this “gift” accepting bull crap!

Text of Bill

“Each member of the Board shall serve without compensation.”

Government officials working for their pay… INSANE!

My point is this.

There ARE other options being put forth, why on EARTH would John Oliver give HR4900 ANY sort of attention as a possible solution for Puerto Rico’s crisis when there are 2 OTHER active bills that don’t immediately turn to colonial rule to fix the issue! We are better than this! John Oliver, YOU are better than this!

What a shame it is that Senator Robert “Bob” Mendez’s bills are being ignored (these bills have COSPONSORS FROM SEVERAL STATES by the way!) and instead we’re looking at House Representative Sean Duffy’s ridiculous colonial rule over Puerto Rico and it’s AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Now, my commentary aside… THANK YOU, JOHN OLIVER!

Thank you for taking up the issue of Puerto Rico to the main media. Your voice helps bring attention to a crisis that is in danger of being swept under the rug. The 3.5 million American Citizens on the Island are begging for mercy from the colonial rule that arrived to our shores 500 years ago with Columbus. 100 years ago the USA took the rains and continued to treat the island as a territory and tax heaven instead of the home of 3.5 million individuals who are currently at the mercy of a congress they did not elect, and a president they did not have the privilege to vote for.

But in the name of Democracy and all the Ideals we hold dear as Americans, HR4900 cannot come to pass! I urge anyone who who holds this island in their heart to instead give Senator Bob the support he needs to get our island out of this crisis without being stripped of it’s dignity.

And as for Lin-Manuel Miranda… No words… How about an encore! Just brilliant!

Thanks for reading.

Yours truly,

A very disgruntled Boricua.

DESPIERTA BORICUA!

Boricua Despierta. #crisisisland #boricuaartist #boriken #boricua #boa #womensart #goddessenergy #speak #awake #doodleart #taino #mythology #ancientknowledge #goddessart

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on


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Maastricht, Amstel Gold & Fabio Felline { Travel }

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We were visiting the Netherlands this weekend and I figured it was a good time to share some photos from the travels!

The husband was participating in the Amstel Gold Ride on Saturday so we arrived on Friday afternoon. The Netherlands is officially one of our favorite places to visit because truly where else can you stay in a castle? Yes, that’s right, a castle. Go check it out!

Here are some images from that same visit to Utrecht during the start of the Tour de France last year. I really loved that trip! Netherlands is basically bicycle heaven, so we find it really fun! Remember my old bike? Goodness I miss her, RIP Key West Bakfiets!

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So after having such a lovely experience last time, I knew this would probably be enjoyable too.

We were greeted by friendly local drug dealers, so we knew we were in the right place, HA!

After we wondered into the city, we realized our hotel was facing one of the main plazas in the city. Which was pretty neat! The place was a restaurant (score!) and then the upper floors of the building where the hotel.

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They had cake here that was to die for. Seriously so good!

Friday we wandered about during the evening so that I could have some sort of an idea for the area. It was a pretty city, but I still think Utrecht was prettier. Little Lue said it looked like San Juan. Overall a nice place to hang out in.

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But evidently it was way more fun at night, because there was a serious party going on both Friday and Saturday night… that we could hear… All. Night. Long.

You’ve been warned, if you’re looking for sleep, pick a different place to stay! LOL

Saturday, husband was off riding and I went shopping with the girls. Insane, I know. I did get some cute things for us though, success!

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

After that it was time for a rest, so the littlest one took a nap and Little Lue enjoyed some Dutch speaking cartoons while mommy had some time to play with her pens…   

Elevate. Rise. Make magic. #womensart #goddessenergy #elevate #rise #makemagic #artistaboricua #boricuaartist #illustrator #mujer #energiafemenina #crisisisland #maastricht #travelingartist A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

Eventually daddy joins us… HOORAY! HE DID IT! we mostly stay close to the hotel… and had more cake…

The next morning we were in for a fun surprise! Turns out the professional Amstel Gold Race was staring in that very plaza!  So our morning turned into a cycling teams parade.

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We decided to sit somewhere, grab some coffee and chill while we enjoyed the scene…

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But we have children… so you know how long that lasted… Even with Trek Team Cowbells…

Husband pointed out that the pros were easy to spot. Tennis shoes, and no helmets. (They we’re sighing “the board”, whatever that means.) So I tried to catch anyone riding by… and I did…

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Turns out this is Fabio Felline who would go on to fall off his bike in some sort of freak accident and break his skull, all before the race even started. Ouch. Sorry Fabio! Hope you are recuperating!  (You can tell it’s him by the number on the bike, here’s a better photo.)

And for all those who must have video…


After the girls made it clear that they did not in fact want to sit in the cold in a giant crowd staring at bikes and people, we decided to head back to the hotel, grab our stuff and zig zag through the streets to the parking lot where out car waited.

It was pretty fun to see the race start, even if we didn’t actually get to SEE the race start! Such is life!

More photos from the day, here. Until next time :)

 

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My First Watercolor Burst Attempt

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So I was browsing watercolor techniques last night because I really want to get into that more. I love how “quick” watercolor fills pages and how much you can play with the color tones and intencities even with a very simple pallet.

Well… last night I *tired* to water color this drawing but it didn’t work out because I was not using watercolor paper… whoops…

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

Ready to Learn!

So Today I wanted to try again. I based this particular exercise on Watercolor Burst technique. This tutorial resonated with me. I liked the lettering (even if she uses a stamp) and rainbow colors. It looked fairly simple to follow along, so why not. I can do that!  

Ready for Color!

 

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

I’ve been working really hard on developing a lettering style that I like and feels natural to me. Starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of it, however I still do pencil first, then marker, then add in thickness in diff areas. Today I used my Neuland Fine One Brush Tipped Outliner because I was feeling artsy.

After I finished my lettering I started feeling pretty adventurous and decided to Periscope (live video) my attempt. So if you would like to watch me painting, here is the Katch Me video (that’s where you can find all my old Periscope videos)!  I used my Moleskine watercolor journal and my Koi Field Sketch Set.

Here’s my painting! I think it looks alright. I bet it will be even nicer once it’s fully dry :)

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Hope that was fun to watch!

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Let’s get in FORMATION, ladies. Beyonce Celebrates WOC

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The Video

What happened after New Orleans?

I’ve seen some interesting conversations circulating Beyonce’s new music video “Formation”. The video was released a day before her performance at the Supper Bowl. And while I confess a slight obsession when “Single Ladies”  when it came out, I wouldn’t call myself a big Beyoncé fan. But the controversy sparked my attention so I decided to check it out.

I come to slay.

Turns out I freaking loved every minute of this video.

I often complain about the lack of real conversations in the media. This was refreshing to say the least.

First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate the amazing job they did presenting a realistic, stylish, sexy, modern, and totally badass presentation of black culture. Not the ridiculous gangster images plastered all over the media, you know, the overly sexualized drug crazed dribble. This was a bit of real talk on black culture and actual issues. Thank you for that.

Secondly, I’m digging her call to action to ALL WOMEN to get in formation. To get up, get together, and fix this shit. Because let’s face it, if anything is going to change around here, it very likely needs a woman’s touch to get it done. Some serious girl power, and can I just say THNAK YOU for having some many amazing ladies rocking their natural hair? Yeah, crazy awesome.

Ok Ladies, now let’s get in formation.

What People Are Saying

I’ve come across a few articles about the song and video… Such a great discussion peace:

We needed to hear this.

But this song and video are not solely for those who left and those who remained, for our babies, and for our men. This is for the black Southern woman, too. Beyoncé calls the ancestors with the drums, embodies them in high-waisted, gorgeous dresses, fans our Creole foremothers to life with bunches of lace. She flashes forward to the future and invokes the daughters in the church, worshipping in their hats and starched dresses by reflecting their beauty right back to God. She invokes the daughters who usher the dead’s souls while shimmying down the second line. Invokes the daughters who frame the gorgeous shock of their black faces with pastel mermaid weave and wigs.

Let ’em talk, she says. It don’t matter. What matters is me singing, us dancing, us standing and rising and ascending through it all. They might not understand all this beauty now, but I’m going to make ’em see, baby.

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But I think this is possibly my favorite quote… addressing all those who “don’t get it”.

Beyoncé, I hope you’re bathing in a marble tub full of white tears this morning.

BITTER GERTRUDE

Doodle Time

So as I get sucked into the video and reading the articles I decide I really need to do something with this energy, so what do I do? Draw of course.

I did a little Periscope video of me working on my dawning, but unfortunately it got cut off before I could finish it… so I later popped in again to show the finished piece.

So here’s the video of tracing her after I finished the pencil sketch. Something fun to watch if you enjoy watching people draw.

And this is what the sketch looked after that:

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

  I decided to add some shading and kind of spice her up after. Once she was done I shared her in another short video here.   Here’s what she looks like all done 😉

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

But obviously I couldn’t stop there… You know I had to digitalize her and color her in!

Yeah… she’s pretty fab.

Thanks for the inspiration, B. Nice video, keep it up.

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Giving Barbie’s Make Over a HUGE High Five!

A Barbie Girl

Here’s the truth, as a child of the 90s. I loved Barbie. I had a large pink trunk in my room… It was filled with Barbies. I would spend entire summers with my cousin (who lived a few houses down) and my neighborhood girl friends…  playing with Barbies. We had all the clothes, all the dolls, we had the houses, the furniture, the cars, the horses, everything you could possibly think of. Between all of us, we possibly had the entire Barbie line up. And we played with those dolls, hard. We even made movies with the dolls! Barbie was possibly the most used toy in my childhood. She was a huge part of my childhood. There’s no denying that.

A quick Google Search got me reminiscing with this post. Come on, that mermaid was badass!

And the Kelly with the toilet? Classic…

Reevaluating Barbie as a Mother

Time goes on and out of that group of friends, I am, so far, the only one with children. And I happen to have 2 daughters. Despite the wonderfully fond memories of playing with Barbie dolls, I had refused to purchase a single Barbie doll for them. I practically banned them from my home. The only ones sneaking into my toy bins were gifted, and even those were few.

You see, as the vail of innocence starts to lift. You begin to look at your childhood in new light. You look at your toys and pastimes from the perspective of an adult. When the time comes and you have your own children to raise and mold, you wonder what things are best not to be repeated.

The classic Barbie doll was not the ideal toy I wanted for my daughters. Not only has her face been recently plastered with excessive make up and ever skimpier out fits (a doll trend I will never understand). But the doll itself brought many questions.

Barbie had become unanimous with the “ideal figure” for women and the impossible beauty standards girls are being raised with. Barbie was tall, with extra long legs, has perky breast, a tiny waste, impossibly tiny feet which are shaped for only healed shoes, she even has perfect abs, completely with slight muscle definition.

That Time Barbie Looked Different

Needless to say that critical eyes saw only one thing. A doll that was shattering self esteem and fueling self questioning, doubt and shame for young girls. Not only that, but the lack in of ethnic diversity was also blatant. As a girl growing up in Puerto Rico, I can assure you, no one I knew looked remotely like the classic white, blue eyed, blond Barbie. I remember when a new line of Barbie, featuring a brunette and a black doll with an afro came out. I wanted the doll with the afro. I remember getting some odd looks at my request, sparking a deep introspection on racism when I later looked back upon those reactions. But regrdless, I was gifted the black doll, and I thought she was the most beautiful doll in my collection. I’m not entirely certain why I felt this way. After all I was tan, but not black, I had messy somewhat curly hair, but not an afro. So why the sense of joy and connection with this doll?

She was different. Even my young eyes could see it. She was nothing like all the other dolls I had seen before. She wasn’t an after thought type doll. She was well designed, with super cute clothes and accessories. She didn’t feel like “just Barbie’s friend” but a really cool individual in it of herself. After a frustrating search online, I finally found the doll…

Her name was Nichelle, and the was a Generation Girl.

 

Anyone Remember this?

Or maybe this?

It was 1999 and I was 11 years old… This would be the last time “doll play” would really be a thing and this doll was certainly one of the last “toys” I would as my parents for.

Come on… She’s amazing! Look at that face!!

A Little Sprinkled on Ethnic Diversity Isn’t Enough

But after I “grew up” and left all my toys behind, a deep sense of frustration with Barbie took hold. I resented them. The representation of the female body was simply too distorted for me to tolerate and the limited diversity in general was annoying at best. That frustration grew into rejection, and as my oldest daughter became more ready for Barbie dolls I found myself strongly avoiding them regardless.

Then this commercial came out…

Sure… It was a great sentiment. And I felt good watching it and seeing where the company was trying to go. But it wasn’t enough for me. It was still the same doll, pushing the same distorted female body. I shrugged it off as marketing and moved along.

Was Barbie in Mid Transformation?

One day… I was browsing the doll isle and one particular face caught my eye. I had never seen this Barbie Doll before… But this was in fact, Nikki, Barbie’s Official Black Friend. Her face mold had been updated in 2010. While the doll has obviously been in circulation for a while it wasn’t until recently that I have seen her popping up… And to my great surprise, I immediately grabbed her and payed for my first Barbie doll. Once again, I couldn’t resist the new (to me), unique, and authentic looking face mold.

So yes, yes I know, this doll is old news to pretty much everyone except me (2010? that’s… 6 years now.. WOW) But it did strike me as an effort to offer some variety in the face of Barbie and not just some “special collection” but its main line.

 

Barbie Finally Evolves

But nothing could bring me so much excitement as this week’s announcement of the NEW Barbies! Which are already available for purchase. I won’t lie. I saw this video and I could hardly believe it.

Here she is, the long awaited REALISTIC LOOKING Barbie. The classic doll line is finally expanding to include more than one body type and jumping on the body positive bandwagon. And while the cynics will point out that they “had no other option” I don’t see any other mayor companies selling Curvy dolls.

I would love to see the original Barbie doll adapted to more modern times, maybe re examine those proportions just a tag, huh? But in the mean time, I’m celebrating the new dolls.

So cheers, Barbie! You’ve earned a place in my shopping cart. And just in time as my oldest is about the turn 5, and she really does enjoy the 12inch doll size. Petite Barbie?! Oh yesssss…

The Evolution of BarbieEin Blick hinter die Kulissen, um die Quelle unserer Inspiration und das Team, dem dies zu verdanken ist, kennenzulernen. Weitere Informationen unter Barbie.com. #TheDollEvolves #BarbieEvolution

Posted by Barbie on Thursday, January 28, 2016

 

Introducing the new Barbie Fashionistas Line! Now available in Curvy, Petite, Tall & Original. Order Yours Now Exclusively through Mattel!

Hope you enjoyed reading!

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