Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The living dead

There are many ways of dying. I’ve learned that soon enough as a child. When someone dies, you make your peace by mastering the idea of having our own time, our own cycle of life. Getting over the ones leaving voluntarily, by choice, by just walking out of your life is a little bit more complicated than that.

Keep living after death, soon the calm returns, melancholy remains, keeping them alive by usually remembering just the good times; we start turning them into heroes, supernatural beings, who are always by our side, watching our sleep, or so it seems. In our head they are perfect, nothing bad to recall, no horrible mistakes made all because they are not coming back.

The toughest to recover from are the ones alive and kicking, the tangible, audible, yet dearly departed ones. Looking for themselves, for their individuality, for their true self they left, unpredictable actions, morphing, making a new life. Leaving us in shards, emptiness and pain; trying to find comfort in a justifying lie or the bitter aftertaste of our sugar coated pride.

The stages of grief mutate when that presence re-appears every once in a while; in a comment, at a glance, in a picture seen by chance. They are still here, you know and feel. Yet not the same, not with you, not even near.

It is not easy to deal with the living dead. How to find peace and balance again? Time reveals: we screwed up by giving or asking for way too much; that protection was not needed on the contrary was bad, overwhelming, even castrating, nursing rotten feelings inside. Should we keep waiting for the right time for them to rectify? Do we really stand a chance or is just another lie? That love remains intact to eventually upraise. Is it really even possible to recover what has been broken inside?

November 2nd, day of the dead, reminiscence applies. Missing them, feeling them near and missing me with them as much. To the afterlife, to the new life, or wherever you guys are: I love you… in my own selfish way, in my own imperfect terms. The love remains, can you see the light?

...oh where are thou?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Paris, France - June - July 2011

Every city has its charm, poetry, indiference, magic, rythm. Paris in particular can be overwhelming especially if you feel lost. Walking, observing, focusing, all of the sudden they all came alive.. there were faces in every corner, in every step, looking at me, screaming their story; some of them hidden between lines and shadows,  other so obvious and vivid. It became an obsession... my personal hunt for friendly features...and then, I was found...
Square eyes
Big nose!

Straight face

Warm smile
Fun, Fun, Fun

Why so sad?

Sculped guardian

Evil with style

Shalk for a walk

Urban art

Doing the catwalk
The gassy one

Sad clown

Patched eye

Mouth wide shut

Tattoo on a wall



Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It is dark in here. The red-eye flight to Paris is nothing but a dead-calm container of snoring people and light flashes coming from the multiple mini-tv screens all along the aircraft. Here I am, trying to sleep but not finding a comfy pose - my legs are too short so they don’t fully touch the floor yet the seat is too narrow for me to do my typical pretzel twist. Looking thru the window I can’t see much but even a darker space with blood-red intermittent splashes coming from the wing. So I made up my mind, stood up to stretch and took my traveling pill’s case - an array of choices covered with inviting letters M,T,W,T,F,S,S …red, blue, round, oblong, tiny white… wait, tiny white? What is this pill? I don’t remember putting it in here, how come it has all the W space reserved for such a small pill; I should’ve known better not to take it, I should’ve gotten my regular P.M blue ones… yet I was drawn to it…I opened up, said AHH then took it with the last zip of water left behind.

Who gave me this remedy? What is it doing in my personal case? All those questions started to vanish while I was dozing in and out following the rhythmic turbine noise…eyes closed, deep black tunnel…eyes back open, navy blue upholstery from the back of the front seat…eyes closed, warm known feeling…eyes half open, blurry features of a familiar face…eyes closed…tight …wide shut…and gone.

Flashes of yellow -orangey spots were flying by… shivering feeling making my head turn from side to side… velvet clouds and me floating beneath…a car, looks like a Gremlin circa ‘78; children’s songs in Spanish surrounding the area – Mimoso Raton, Patas Verdes, Mafafa and Pistachon are singing their bubbly tunes from a morning Sunday show I loved – it is me and my little sister riding with mom who is driving us to our new city… music fading and the blurry face approaching… I can’t quite see, just feel… a cold wind is cutting by, distracting noise, and there they are…my childhood friends, playing, dancing, exchanging lunch with me, teachers and guitars, soccer team…then….gone. Train Pullman cabin, coloring books, snacks… sister, me and mom, traveling back… a tiny crowded house where feelings were insane, new city, new adventures, same uncertainty …same faded -looking face, showing up in every corner then slowly going away…again.

The sensation of falling is so real, the sudden fast sequence of images, rushing down like heavy rain… there goes graduation, high school friends, rejection, insecurity, seasoned by accomplishments, high heels, eighties’ hair… next to me there is an angel, my perfect match, catching me softly…only to let me fall again… this time was even harder, deeper and deeper in to the darkest place until a ray of light just bright enough to see that my angel was still there, with broken wings, yet wide open to catch me again.

Revolving doors inside my brain, messing with me… phantoms appearing then shading, pushing , grabbing and confusing , the already unbalanced, vulnerable me... sweating and screaming then a sudden shake – “ Miss, are you alright? Do you need some water? We are about to land”… and so I woke up, looking around: same aircraft, same passengers but a good couple of thousand miles away.

While gathering my personal belongings to get off the plain, my pill case fell so I reached down to get it. M, T,W,T,F,S,S letters all in blue over transparent plastic flip caps… multi-colored pills making the sound of a therapeutic maraca... I giggled… while staring at W… only to notice…the space…was not …empty… little white pill …was…still…there.


They say dreams are our sub conscience way to tell you something, a window to your fears, desires or pending stuff looking for closure. If dreams are messages, our brain is one tough, mercy-less messenger.

Truth is, we can’t deny our past. As dumb as it sounds, let’s face it: the past in fact, happened. You can’t just let go. As much as you try your memories to go away, they find their way to comeback, they are free, lingering in every detail … that’s the mistake: trying to “let go”. After much consideration, I truly believe we should do the opposite - the trick is to lock them, keep them in a safe place where only you (or at least the conscient you) are the master and key keeper, the real owner.

Memories and experiences made you what you are. Good, tough, bad or worse, they can’t disappear; they can’t be changed (as much as you try). But you can control them, keep them deep inside. Sort them by category then lock them, lock them hard. Allowing them to visit…but only when you want.

…Locked in: The past

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Could the real good reason please rise?

It is Sunday September 4th, 2011, 4 PM in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I am spending my long weekend, working. It is kind of crisp outside but hot as hell in the office; a mild sore throat and the feeling of “it is Sunday, shutdown and leave” is overwhelming.

It has been more than two months since last time I posted in my blog or read yours. TWO MONTHS!! Amazing how time flies and takes toll where you least expect it. It is hard to start after such long absence, especially difficult to decide what to write and which story is the proper one for a good comeback, knowing that, must likely and with perfect sense, I’ve lost you all.

So, instead of starting with a random pick of my weird deep stories, life lesson, travel anecdote, or funny remark (but saving them for later), I’ve decided to start by explaining, as good as I can, the reasons behind my lack of commitment to write…but it is up to you to tell, which ones, if any, are real!

What could have happened in the life of a regular Josephine for the last two months? What in my world could be so overwhelming, powerful and reasonable enough to encourage the natural born procrastinator in me?

Stay tuned for more…






Saturday, June 25, 2011

Searching for monsters

Paris, France Saturday June 25th, 2011

It started with the cutest remark: ”…they went there, Nina, to Paris, the monsters are there”. I giggled. My niece knew where I was traveling to when I told her my next destination (she even said “are you going there again?”) it was impressive. “When is day time here it is night time there for you, Nina”…she is smart and has my kind of memory for details.

Monsters then I were sent to find. At first I thought of looking for a poster, a post card or any cut out with the green and blue characters from Monsters, Inc. Perhaps pull an Amelie and take a picture with the Eiffel tower behind. It has been almost a week since I arrived to Paris and every day I take a walk back and forth the same streets, all by myself after finishing work. The sun sets quite late this time of the year here, so I get to enjoy the nice weather and sunny evenings for a little longer.

No signs of monsters though. They are not easy to find. Streets are crowded with multinational visitors as well as multi-layered locals, all somehow captivated by the city, the shops, the scents and the looks – brasseries, pubs, cafes all full. Trendy cigar smoking Parisians sporting their snobby pouts and tiny glasses of wine. Ultra skinny model-like youngsters, filling up ashtrays with yellow cigarette butts, drinking funny looking spirits, speaking rapidly but no food on their plates.

If you don’t ask they just don’t care if you are standing there politely, waiting patiently for a table to be assigned. Finally they push you to a confined place as if being one plus NONE is some kind of defect. For everything else I am so self assured, why is it then that I feel so intimidated by these arrogant Parisians looking down at you? Why do I feel so exposed eating alone in this city? I’ve done bigger things all by myself, much daring than ordering an entrée.

There and then I realized that my search was over… I’d found the monsters all around me – the ones with sharp brown teeth and smelly breath, others with no eyes (or pretending not to see), many with big mouths laughing and chatting in French, laughing at me.

But the worst of the creatures, the scariest and meanest, is the monster inside me. The one that makes me feel small and uncomfortable in my own skin.

The day after, I decided to face the damned creature to tell it straight: stop it! I am in PARIS! It is NOT sad and I am NOT a looser for going out solo…

…so, I am writing this thoughts with my glass of champagne, front row table, spreading butter on my bread at the Louvre Brasserie*, pushing down my inner monster, the sabotage master, cruel judgmental, overwhelming and intimidating evil being…and you know what? It does feel rather great.

To my dear wise day you will come along to one of my trips, but as always, you are here with me.

*Brasserie du Louvre
Place du Palais Royal 75001
Paris - Ph. 01 44 58 37 16

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The bone collection

Image Source:
 May 30, 2011 flying from Houston to Sao Paulo

Who doesn’t know Lady Gaga? She is in every radio, Ipod, in ads, magazines, TV shows, anyway, everywhere. Her music may be pop and not ultra special, but nonetheless as catchy as it is commercial. Her looks? Well… let’s just state she is not the usual standard. You either love her or hate her, but she is definitively not indifferent to the general public.

I was getting cozy for my 12 hour-flight last Monday with my new book and my fabulous fashion magazine (“picture” shopping Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Dior and Louboutine’s) which was featuring, well, you know, the one and only MotherMonster: Lady G, as the flaming cover. The image impacted me – not only the super black long overall, hyper high platform heels, extremely thick black eyeliner and pinkish long hair all twisted in a weird pose, but she was sporting… new bones.

Assorted flesh-covered pointy bones around her cheek bones, forehead and across her shoulders; they didn’t look prosthetic, they were not the Halloween scary over the top props, somehow they looked natural - ok maybe not that natural… but real. After surfing thru the colorful pages invaded by brands, there it was: Gaga’s interview and more pictures.

I have to admit, the girl didn’t sound staged – she has very particular ideas and points of view as well as some self confidence and poise that is almost tangible. Eccentric, radical, extreme, energetic, are just a few words that came to my mind while reading the bit. Of course the “bone” collection question popped, for which her answer was something like “these are my bones…they have always been in me… just waiting for the right moment to show up”. I had to read back… I had to think hard. By the time I finished reading my mind was in a strange mood, almost meditative (crazy, uh?). It was just not possible for somebody, even for a famous pop culture icon to be that crazy, that stupid, and that pretentious. Again, she doesn’t give me the impression of a shallow marketing- created puppet with no purpose – her words, attitude and artistic style have to be something more.

Whether the bones are implants or surgical transformation of her own bone structure, it is not relevant. The bones are making a statement: if plastic surgery is acceptable to make cookie-cutter noses, lips and cheek bones, it is also fine to apply it for something else. I get that, no big deal. Did I like it? Not really, but who cares. She is not making a revelation on what true beauty should be, nor is she trying to set a trend. Then, why was I so impacted? Why was I not able to stop thinking about it while looking thru a tiny window 33,000 ft above ground?

…these are my bones… they have always been in me… just waiting for the right moment to show up…

It was the wife in love fighting day by day to keep a marriage together, tolerating more than one can get, accepting excuses as promises that soon everything will be the way it should be… and then one day this hidden warrior grows a backbone and says “no more” …bringing things to an end.
It is the men always in charge, always on top of his game, perfectionist and even arrogant if you like, with un-accepted flaws and many sins…finally having the guts to recognize and face his errors… asking for a second chance to make it right, to make it better.

It is the nerve of some people, to pretend everything is fine; to act like is just normal and perfectly right to misbehave, to ruin somebody else’s life.

Is the people we love, that special someone teaching us how to survive, how to be better, how to grow up, how to forgive, how to recover and start from scratch…when they spread their angel wings to fly up to the sky.

We all morph… we can be monsters…act…react…be victims…sinners or martyrs… with the right timing and the suitable outlet…we can all be good or bad.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life according to me, lesson 35

Perfection is just an image in our head usually imposed by others that can change and mutate on daily basis... at the end, is what we decide and truly accept to be perfect what matters.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter thought

In my next life I wanna be the Easter bunny...  is fluffy (not fat), eats tons of chocolate without remorse, is super cute and soft, everybody loves it, wears pink with style and works ONE DAY PER YEAR!!!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lost in Brazil...found by a sister.

Sao Paulo, Brazil April 10, 2011
For the last 10 days I have been working non-stop in Brazil...and by non-stop I really mean it - Saturdays, Sundays, midnights, all-nighters, the works. The hardest part is not the stress, the tiredness, lack of sleep or scattered meals... the hardest part is realizing all the things I've been missing for 10 days...from my weekends at home, waking up to a fresh mug of coffee, Murphy jumping up to bed and hubby by my side to my cousins singing with me out loud, laughing, planning, dreaming.
The feeling of control over my time and actions, lost. Routine dictated by the endless tasks, trial and error, pressure added by impossible's like I've been living in a non-stop deja waking up in the middle of The Groundhog Day movie.

And yet today, I found the nicest surprise:  a fellow blogger passed on a blogger's award...The Sisters of the Quill award...I am touched. She passed this award to (and I quote) "deserving writers, to women whose talent needs to be recognized"  - I feel commited to keep up the huge faith my dear Sioux has on my amateur writing...thank you very much!

The proclamation is to spread the sisterhood! I would like to pass it over to five fantastic writers that always impress me, inspire me, move me and create a connection with their words, heart and soul:

Green Monkey Tales  to her wit and sensibility
F8hasit to her poignant realism and brave heart
My Daily Spirit  to her poetry, romanticism, faith in life.
Everyday Goddess  to her tales, stories and fantastic imagination
Becky Povich to her humor, energy, good her generous soul.

Pass it on!!!

"...Because it is in writing where I found my is in reading where my soul reflects." OJG

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hibernate/ /Restart

Every time I feel like writing, there is an impulse stopping me by.

Procrastination is taking over my usual flow of inspiration

My source of stories locked somehow.

I have so many things to share… my latest journeys, dreams accomplished

People met, places visited, baseball and much more plans.

What to do when work is taking most of your usual enjoyable time?

Worst part is work used to be a pleasure…but is starting to feel like too much.

How to react when you need to take a break from taking breaks?

Where to start to force your brain to think again in full paragraphs

In rhythmic sentences and simple lines, or at least in short sarcastic remarks.

My eyes are tired…my body aches. It has been a little bit too much.

Excuse myself for this humble attempt to write, to write again

But here I am at least just trying, to break my dry spell for a day.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Congratulations to all my genre partners…

Partners in sex, fashion, Rock&Roll
 Tenacity (but not stubbornness)
 Goodwill (but never foolishness)
 Pride (but not haughtiness)
 Virtue (but not sanctity)
 Beauty (sometimes subtle others overwhelming but always powerful)
 Intelligence (many times underestimated therefore evident).

If God wouldn’t have created us, Walt Disney would have invented us!!

·         Felicidades a todas mis congeneres de sexo,moda,rock&roll, tactica, estrategia, capacidad histrionica, gracia, tenacidad(que no necedad), buena voluntad(que no pendejez), soberbia(que no altivez), virtud(que no santidad), belleza(a veces sutil, otras desbordante pero todas contundente), inteligencia(tantas veces menospreciada y por lo mismo evidenciada).Si Dios no nos hubiera inventado, nos habria creado Walt Disney!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life according to me, lesson 34

The difference between falling and flying is just a matter of perspective and attitude.'s been a while since my last post... it's been a while since my last comment on your blogs... it's been a while since I felt so drowned by the endless duties of working life ...for that I do apologize.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

People are strange...

Paris, France, January 30, 2011 - Père Lachaise Cemetery

 People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down

When you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name

When you’re strange…
When you’re strange…
When you’re strange


Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens claws.
Jim Morrison

Friday, January 28, 2011

January Je t’aime

I’ve been distracted from my blog, kind of absent from my usual reading and not leaving many comments lately (my sincere apologies to my dear blogger friends). The truth is, it has been an amazing start of the year, a 2011 that is already feeling like flying by.

From organizing and hosting a bridal shower to my dear cousin on the very same day we’ve lost my beloved pet and loyal friend Verdell (speaking of contrasting feelings and emotions), to attending, enjoying and be part of one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever been (only comparable to my other cousin’s wedding, the sister of the bride, so I guess good taste, style and hospitality run in the family), all garnished by the fact that I have been working non-stop and was called back to a project I thought was over for me. But you know what the real cherry on top of things was? One week ago, I was offered to cover a 10 day job… in Paris.

…oh yes… in PARIS. It was totally surprising, unplanned and one of those things you know were meant to be: the timing was right, air fares were available within the approved price range and, my husband was willing and available to go with me! It doesn’t get better than that!

So here I am, in one of the most amazing cities in the world, working but also enjoying each night with my perfect travel companion. The weather is extremely cold, yet is not raining or snowing which makes it manageable. Last night we bundled-up and took the RER train to the Louvre…we had not enough time to actually get in, but just the fact of seeing the majestic building illuminated, quiet, superb and above all, un-crowded, made the moment an overwhelming experience. The infamous glass pyramid is surrounded by triangular -shaped water mirrors (not fountains) …the view from the entrance was too much to be described. I felt like crying. We are going back today, this time for real!

It was time for dinner so we looked for a nice cozy place and found just the perfect little restaurant. It was not the typical brasserie or café, but more like a bistro-lounge with that quaint atmosphere only an old building can give. The place was decorated in black-indigo blue and white, candle lights on each black table, walls were painted with unique murals and decorative wall hangings were pretty much merged with tasteful painted details (picture this: a polar bear head framed by black paint simulating dripping blood… a black tree painted on the wall along with a few blue birds caged by antique wooden picture frames…black stilettos nailed up to act as coat racks). The menu was eclectic and the wine list limited but super affordable. We ordered a nice bottle of red (French of course!) and started with homemade foie gras topped with sea salt and a very special rhubarb relish. Hubby got the 7-hour lamb (slow cooked to perfection and served in round medallions of tender juicy meat) with wild mushroom lasagna as a side dish. I ordered the sea bass “a la plancha” grilled with the skin for an enhanced flavor and seasoned with turmeric on top of the creamiest mashed potatoes and turnip sauce…it was to die for!

Our server completed the magic by speaking Spanish with the cutest Spanish accent and a French kick; he was amazingly attentive and generous! The golden seal was of course, dessert: freshly baked waffle with hazelnut ice cream and nutella washed down by a glass of Remi Martin cognac and a sip (yes, a sip was all I could take) of a typical French homemade fruit liquor (vin de fruit), prune I believe, so strong that made my sinuses clear and my ears warm!

Milleneufcentsoixantedixneuf (nineteen seventy nine ) is the name of this jewel, named after the birth year of one of the owners, which objective is to dine and entertain the young adults (30-40’s) with a special environment, delicious modern food, after work drinks and, what do you know, after midnight, it turns in to a hip night club!! We didn’t stay long enough to experience the full concept, but left with the sweet after taste of discovering the right place to spend a cold winter night in the city of lights, holding hands and walking to take the train back to our hotel, finishing the day with a smile and the last trace of jet lag, tired but accomplished… getting ready for more, because the week has just started!

49 RUE BERGER/75001/PARIS/0140410878

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Requiem for a friend...a Magpie Tale

Sad notes floating around, dark elegant tones

Long chords…vibrating and profound.

Steps sounding firmly yet fading, walking away

Along with the wet shadow of our tears,

A bitter feeling of emptiness only filled by

The intensity of your memory left behind.

You decided when…you determined how

Your spirit was grand, hence your departure

honoring your character and equally grand

No suffering…no need for goodbyes.

Crossing other fields now you are

With that legendary attitude

The head up, your sway and style.

Marking other yards…touching other hearts.

Don’t be afraid, never look back…do not hesitate

Little by little we are going to be fine.

This is the end of your time with us

But certainly not your end…just a new start.

This is a Magpie tale - Mag 48 - for other Magpie tales click  Magpie Tales

For my one and only Verdell, our beloved friend for almost 12 years. May 10, 1999 - January 13, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life according to me, lesson 33

When in doubt between making money or enjoying it, always choose to enjoy; have fun while making a living, embrace the process of living your life…money is certainly needed but not necessary.