The race of my child

I wish this topic was a lot less complicated. Race relations in the US are already a multi-layer mess full of landmines. Add to that the fact that I have a hard time trying to fit into that complicated structure of labels and you have yourself a very difficult conversation that I will someday have to have with my child.

Daddy, what am I?

Start by the fact that I had to be told I was not white as soon as I moved to the US. That said (and it is probably a good idea for you to read that post) I don’t have identity problems. I have problems fitting into American society labels, but I am very proud of my heritage. Not just as Colombian but every day I learn more and more about what it is to be Latino in the US.

If I had to have the conversation with my daughter today I would probably start by saying, you are half American and Half Colombian. I think nationality is a good way to start the conversation. It will continue with, you were born in Kansas City but your Mom was born in Denver and I was born in Cali, Colombia. I will eventually get to the ugly labeling of human beings part, but I want her to first think of people as a complex set of experiences and not just the color of their skin.

Race has been on the news a lot lately. Ferguson is now something cemented in our brains as a negative from both points of view. You can’t win that argument with people that are polarized by it. Then you have an NAACP advocate identifying as black when she was really white. I feel she has been treated unfairly because she should be judged more for the work she does rather than what she identifies as. Eminem did not get rejected by Dr Dre when he found out he was white.

Today another incident is being labeled as a “hate crime.” 9 people are dead supposedly because of the color of their skin. We call it a tragedy, but in reality it is something that should simply not happen anymore in a modern society. We watch Game of Thrones and at times think of that world as barbaric. In reality we are really not that far away from that world where people kill in the name of an affiliation.

I have no clue how much discrimination my daughter will have to face. I don’t want to make her afraid of other people or think of the “race card” as something real. I am curious as to what other parents of mixed background or with mixed children think.

Happy New Year 2015

I cannot believe that I have not written in here for so many months. This was probably one of the only places that used to keep me sane. I am almost ashamed to admit that I was a little scared of the internet for a while. I hated the feeling of exposure when it came to my feelings being here. Everything that you put out there is there for the scrutiny of everyone. While this has been true from the beginning and there are many posts here that could probably be taken the wrong way I decided to keep the blog up and continue writing.

The domain and hosting lapsed right around the holidays and it did not feel like I was losing much. That was probably the hardest thing to accept, that even though a big piece of me is here; not touching it for a while had made it almost that old diary that you bump into when cleaning the attic.

First I have to give thanks. 2014 was a fantastic year. It was a year of learning, experiencing and in many ways shedding old skin. The way a snake sheds its skin can be kind of repulsive, if you have the chance to see one at a pet store you might agree with me. However that is probably the most accurate way to describe the feeling of this year that was transitional in many ways.

I had given up on the thought of being a parent for many reasons. As I approach 40 I thought the window had closed…and then BAM, you are going to be a father. Not only that but you are going to marry someone that is a fantastic as your dreams have always made that person to be in your head.

I had tried to hang on to a lot of things this year, but it was really more about letting go. I let go of a lot of thoughts, I let go of a lot of behaviors and feedback loops, I let go of a lot of “friends.” I seriously never realized how much effort I was putting into relationships that did not matter to them as much as they did to me. It has only been recently when I have felt reciprocity in many relationships that I saw the wasted effort.

That said, I did make a lot of relationships stronger this year. I am surprised by how strong some of those are and were all along. I have a fantastic family and some exceptional friends that are moving my life forward in many special ways.

Overall this coming year will be about being more present. You cannot bank on an unrealized future or dwell on a past that can’t be changed. All that matters is now, today, and taking steps forward. I had missed on expressing a lot of things for the sake of not revealing to much. I want to get back to writing and taking pictures and riding my motorcycle more. Concentrate on living in the now and experiencing things. Funny thing is that now that I have a wife and a kid on the way everyone thinks that I will not be able to do those things more… in reality I feel that by having them in my life, everything has come into focus and I see a lot of things more clearly now. It is important to be true to self to be able to be a part of someone else’s life.

Packaged Deal

This outlet seems to has falter in the last year or so for me. I used to organize my thoughts here quite a bit and it made it interesting when other people were somehow inspired or pissed off by what my inner monologue sometimes came up with. Life changes thought, and the last year saw a lot of changes for me. The most significant to me was the death of someone really close to me which shook me… a lot… a lot more than I sometimes let on. I know how irrational it can sound, but sometimes when my leg falls to sleep for sitting in a weird position on the couch it brings terrible thoughts of ALS and paralysis… i know, irrational, but stills scary.

While a lot in my life has changed, a lot has stayed pretty much the same. I think I have changed a lot more than life around me. Even though I have spent my life preaching about opening your eyes about what is right in front of you, at times I was just as delusional as everyone else seemed. So yea, it still me, still the same rambles, still hoping it makes you think when you read what the weird voices in my head say.

I am still thinking that this place might have run its course and it might be just left to be an old book that I come back and read. Even though some entries are still living and getting comments, overall I don’t create content here like I used to. Some days I want to change that, some others it feels like the medium is tainted like photography still is to me in some levels. Something that you do for fun, should be enjoyed.

Which brings me back to packaged deals. I am told constantly that I deal too much in absolutes. I am aware of this deficiency on my way of thinking. People are not computers, or math equations… even if they do behave as such sometimes. At least that is how I understand some of them. I try, really I do, but seldom do people really tell you what they are really thinking or feeling, and often times people don’t even know how to put into words what they are feeling either.

Friends and groups of friends always come with some added benefits. Sometimes it is that some of them get you access to cool underground parties or a shorter line at the DMV. Other times those same groups of people come with a price, the person that makes everyone uncomfortable but nobody calls out. I always see those as packaged deals, you kind of have to take the good with the bad and just ignore the losses. I know that applies with not just groups, couples, etc but also with people.

Do you take all the good of a person and try to ignore some of the bad, or most of it? Is the friendship really worth it? Is the time investment something that truly will benefit you in the end.

I spent a good part of the first decade in this century figuring out that cutting people that are destructive in your life need to go. They are a waste of energy. What happens when those people come in a package though? What is then the deal breaker? When does a second chance come into place?

Confusing, I know. Maybe that is why I need to write more again. It seems like my brain is quite a mess at the moment. Funny thing is that it isn’t. I am at a very peaceful time at the moment. It is not void of issues and problems like life is, but I am ok with them and with the plans I have in place to move forward. However, the “nice” person in me feels like I should always reach out and give second chances in situations and not call things done. Maybe that is the part of being human that I am so uncomfortable with. You know the pan handle is hot, you know that you should get the oven mitt before you touch it, but how much can a little test touch can hurt?

First Ramble of 2013

– I need to invent a device that lets me post via brain waves… I thought I had already posted this year!
– I went on a cruise and I did not die.
– I am also not deathly ill now… maybe the last time was food poisoning?
– Maybe the seabands do really work.
– Maybe I do have a little of vertigo but more used to it.
– Hoping it stays this way.
– Still torn about the whole cruise thing. The big things that annoyed me before about it are still there.
– The people that serve you there are so underpaid.
– It was nice to have some candid conversations with some of them, truly nice people.
– Cozumel might be my favorite place in the planet now.
– Ceviche might be my hands down favorite food ever too.
– Pescaterian thoughts are swimming in my head.
– People’s bad attitude are something I really want to stay away from in 2013.
– I will be in Chicago soon! WOOT.
– I love having cops for neighbors.
– Nice knowing someone looks over your lootz.
– The more I have to talk about and say, the less I seem to post.
– I really don’t like not feeling like this is a true outlet anymore.
– I might have to start painting.
– Reading abstract art might not be as fun.
– Self censorship.
– Flu sucks… but I am kind of glad that we had it before vacation.
– Sad so many of my friends are suffering through it.
– Sand beaches or Sand! Bitches!

Bottle opener

Almost a month without a rant

– I think this is one of the longest Chester that I have gone without posting.
– Funny thing is that I have tons to talk about, just waiting for the right time.
– Politics is really amazing me right now, from the blind sheep to the flip flopping.
– The nurse spends enough time in a hospital each week to have two family members hospitalized right now, just does not seem fair.
– I hate hospitals already, even more so when they make me sick.
– My immune system still kicks ass, but this weird bug/cold/flu thing lingers enough to make me want to go to the doctor.
– Working on a project for TCCC or The Coca Cola Company.
– It sounds funny when a Colombian says that he has to work some more hours to make that Coke money.
– The irony of inside jokes… I guess.
– Some days I feel like unleashing the inner douche-bag full force on some people.
– There are too many bullies in the world.
– Passive aggressive bullies are the worst.
– You know the ones that don’t get at you directly but try to do it through third parties.
– Come right at me fools, you might get the full douche bag treatment.
– Nuke and I decided that douche bag was ok to use.
– Daniel’s kids are growing up so quick its making me feel old.
– So is my niece, she just turned 12.
– She probably does not know that I got my first tattoo after she was born and it always reminds me of her.
– If you take your under 12 year old kids to a rated R movie, you are a douche bag.
– If you then leave the kids unattended in a movie that just showed sex and guts all over to take a phone call outside the theater, you are a bigger douche bag.
– People like that make me long for totalitarian regimes that will control who and who cannot procreate.
– Sarcasm, is it still lost on most people.
– Humor and wit alone do not make sarcasm funny, the other person has to laugh or get it… otherwise you are just a douche bag.
– We have become regulars at a coffee shop locally… I knew not because of Yelp but because I was greeted by a high five coming in.
– Why can’t the Vietnamese place be open on Sundays?
– Facebook might really change the way we look at relationships completely.
– Its like having TMZ follow just your friends.
– I still use it as my food porn repository.
– I have been thinking about unleashing politics rants… then again, I lost lots of friends the last election.
– I was glad to lose them though.
– Have you seen the Newsroom yet? Sure its fantasy, but it gives me hope that the real republicans are hiding somewhere looking for a way out of the hostage situation their party turned into.
– I am not cool enough to call myself an independent.
– I used to consider myself a republican and a JR Senator from IL changed that in 06.
– I also share views with this rant from The Newsroom, said it back on 08.