A blog puts it right on the Duck Dynasty controversy

I was getting tired of all the press surrounding the Duck Dynasty controversy. No one in the media was saying what really needed to be said until  I read this blog. I believe everyone has the right to say what they want but I also feel that one needs to be very careful in how it is put especially when one is employed and a public figure. Read this blog and see if you agree… or not.

Read: Duck Dynasty and Slavery.

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Must watch shows on Netflix

I love Netflix. It’s one of those inventions I wish I could have come up with. And it’s rather convenient when you don’t have cable or a job! So this past year I had a lot free time to discover shows on Netflix. Shows that I probably would have never consider tuning in to. With all this free time on my hand, I used my time wisely and caught up on many great shows on Netflix.

So as the year ends and many critics put out their lists of the best shows of the year, I am doing the same. Unlike the Walking Dead or American Horror Story, which are shows I cannot miss on a weekly basis on cable network, I based my list solely on shows I discovered on Netflix. Yes, most of these shows have been on for a while but like I said I just discovered them this year and binged on watching episode after episode. I got hooked. And for me to get hooked on a show it has to be written well, smart, funny, intriguing or original.

Without further rambling, here is my list:

Orange is the New Black (1 season)

Netflix has stepped it up with its original content and giving networks a run for their money. And OITNB, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her experience in a women’s prison, was my top show. This show has an edge over other prison dramas since it was based on real life experience. You can’t get more original than that, and it has one of the most diverse casts I’ve seen in a while. It had a nice blend of comedy and drama and each character explored had a great back story that made you either care or hate like Crazy Eyes or Pennsatucky. Besides surviving prison, Piper also deals with her love triangle between her fiancée and her former girlfriend, who is shacked up in the same prison.

Scandal (Seasons 1-2)

Every critic had been raving about Scandal since it debuted in 2012. For that reason, I was avoiding it. But I took a chance in catching the first 2 seasons, and oh boy I could not stop watching this political thriller! This show has so many twists if you step away for one minute, you’ll miss out on a huge revelation about one of the characters. Kerry Washington kills it as Olivia Pope. She’s smart and incredibly resourceful and her gladiator team only makes you wish you worked at a crisis management firm like hers. Plus her love triangle with the President of the U.S is so delicious. It’s like eating ice scream on a hot summer day.

Lost Girl (seasons 1-3)

This Canadian SyFy show about a supernatural, bisexual succubus, who sucks the life out of her victims, was hard to swallow at first. But what drew me in was the smart dialogue and the Canadian and American pop culture references. The friendship between Bo, the succubus, and her best friend, Kenzi, a human, is warm and one of only a few shows that has female friendship at its core. This show is the Canadian version of Buffy with a Scooby gang to go with it but not as fun as the slayer. And also, this show has sex in every episode.

Parks and Recreation (Seasons 1-5)

Clearly one of the best comedies out there right now. Amy Poelher’s Leslie Snope, the perky bureaucrat in the parks department of the fictional Pawnee, is sweet and you root for her because she commits to her beliefs and never loses hopes in her uninterested staffers in the parks department. Nick Offerman is hilarious as Ron Swanson, the anti-government libertarian, and you kind of wish you could eat stake and grow a mustache like him. In the five seasons, you see Leslie hilariously fight to build a park and to win a seat in the Pawnee City Council.

Shameless (UK version, seasons 1-9)

This British import is like the title says, shameless. The show centers on Frank Gallagher, the job-challenged, alcoholic father, and his children and the neighbors of Chatsworth Estate.  This dramedy brilliantly portrays what people living in poverty sometimes have to do to survive – from drug use, familial responsibilities, prostitution, and child abuse. Yet it does so in a way that you care for the characters. It doesn’t try to preach about these issues but rather shows you how shameless it can sometimes be to survive. This show has a wicked British sense of humor that is sometimes shocking but always fun and heartfelt.

How to beat the rejection blues

 

Anyone who has been unemployed for a while knows the ups and downs of, well, being unemployed. You get excited when you get an interview and you get disappointed when you get emails saying you are not qualified for job. While we may spend hours searching for jobs and doing research and feeling good about the job prospects we are making, there is nothing worse than to get a rejection. Just last week I had an interview. I prepared and studied for it. The interview went great in my mind; however, the outcome was a lot different. A few days later I got a call from the HR department saying I would not be moving forward to the second interview portion.

I was gracious to the HR person and thanked her for the time and consideration. As I was hearing her speak and as I nodded to her telling me I wasn’t moving forward, rejection ran from my head to my foot. It took over my body. I could feel it numbing my soul. I could feel it sucking out my happiness. It was Friday and I had been feeling great about the interview and was hoping I would proceed to a second. She kept going on about how great I was and how it was ‘unfortunate’ I was not moving forward.

So what do you do after getting rejected for a job? I did what you are not supposed to do. I felt like crap. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and I felt like giving up. After one too many rejections sometimes you just want to give up and feel sorry for yourself. And as sad it is to admit it, I felt sorry for myself. All I wanted to do was to have a few drinks and fill my sadness with alcohol. It was my way to escape and dodge a rejection. Of course you can’t dodge a rejection and it was a blow to my confidence. I took it to heart. I mean we are getting judged on how we present ourselves so we take it personal – at least I do. Since I did what you are not supposed to do after a job rejection, here are few tips from job experts I found on the internet.

Stay positive

Although this may seem hard at first, remaining positive is key. One expert at Guardianjobs.com wrote “… keep your mind focused on other opportunities and continue to present yourself to the best of your ability. If you find you are facing continuous rejection then use it as a means for developing resilience.” I couldn’t agree more. The market is tough and not letting your ego bruise will be undoubtedly increase the chances of finding the perfect job.

Write a thank you letter

You may want to flip off the HR person for giving you the bad news but just remember it wasn’t them. What you should do is write a letter to the person who interviewed you thanking them for the opportunity. It is a good way to stay on the good side. One never knows what could happen and they could keep your resume for future jobs. Also, if you want to get some feedback on the reason why you didn’t get the position, this is the perfect opportunity to ask.

Improve your interview skills

I thought I had done great; however, I don’t know what the manager read as I was responding to her questions. USA Today wrote “Walk away from rejection with understanding so that you won’t make the same mistakes again and you can better focus in on what you need to alter or adjust to make you more of a stellar interviewee and a more relevant candidate.”

Don’t give up

This last one might be the most important. You may want to throw in the towel after a few rejections and stop looking for a job altogether. But this could hinder your job prospect and miss out on other job opportunities. Stay focused on what is important and that is finding a job that fits you.

So my fellow job-rejected unemployed compadres, stay positive and don’t give up!

More blogs and literature for the Latino LGTB community

When I started my blog a few weeks ago, I wanted to write about many different topics. One of those topics I wanted to approach was to write about the gay Latino/Hispanic community. I am a gay Latino and figured I would find other blogs dealing with such a topic. However, when I searched for “Gay Latino,” no blogs appeared. I was a little surprised that WordPress had no blogs dealing with such an issue. There were plenty of blogs when I searched “gay life” or “gay men” or other LGBT issues but zero blogs relating to this topic.

The lack of blogs got me thinking. I am gay and Latino and, well, maybe I should try to focus a part of my blog to this. A recent report by the William’s Institute stated there were 1.4 million Latino/a adults who consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) in the U.S.  This number is huge and not considering the many more closeted Latino LGBT not represented in this report.  As many know, the Latino/Hispanic community is not as accepting or as open to the LGBT community.  There are many issues such as religion, family and culture that are very prominent in the Latino/Hispanic community that sometimes hinders the progress of the Latino LGBT.

Many Latinos fear coming out because family, more than often, is one the most important parts of their lives. To not have your family’s support while you are being honest is devastating and this applies not just to Latinos but to anyone coming out; however, in the Latino community, the family bond seems to be greater.  I know this fear because when I came out to my six siblings I feared losing my family. I feared not having their support. It was a risk I took and I am grateful for them supporting me. However, this isn’t always the case.

Machismo also seems to dominate the Latino culture which draws many setbacks to the coming out process. For men, being gay is considered reducing your masculinity. You are no longer the man you were before. Unfortunately, many Latin American countries carry this stigma. I could go on discussing this but for now mentioning these issues will allow me to bring them up later in different blogs.

Part of what I want to do with my blog is to talk about all these topics that seem to plague the Latino LGTB community. I just touched on a few issues but there are many more that can be discussed and having an ongoing dialogue is important so that it opens the door to more blogs. I am not saying there aren’t blogs out there regarding this issue.  One of the best-known bloggers discussing such topics is Andres Duque, a Colombian American gay rights activist. In his blog, Blabbeando, he discusses many LGTB issues such as politics and life issues from around the world.

What I hope to accomplish is to continue to speak about issues that are important the Latino LGTB community so there is more literature out there for the community and invite others to share their stories and experience through this medium.

 

California’s Summers

Here is another poem that was inspired many years ago by the work my family and I did. It’s called “California Summers”

California’s summers

Summer is here and fruit has ripened

Covered trees with sugar toppings

In Califas richest valley

 

Ranchers seek for desperate migrant

Workers seeking easy money

Moving ladders, dragging sacks of

Peaches or buckets full of cherries

 

These illegal migrant workers

Stay all day below the scorching

Sun and can’t complain about their

Wage that’s short of equal pay

 

Are we more attracted to people of the same race or culture?

Since I started to get back into the dating scene, I get asked quite often what my ‘type’ is. I usually have never really considered myself as having a ‘type’. But as I began to look at men, I started to notice I was attracted to a certain ‘type.’ I noticed I was mostly attracted to men who had Latin features: the tan-like skin, the dark hair, the brown eyes, and the sexy accent. I would almost melt when I ran into one of them…I said almost! It’s like if I had some sort of weakness, a kryptonite of sorts, that impaired by vision, and I could only see them and no one else. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very attractive Anglo men and men from all parts of the world, but when it comes to the Latin men, my eyes become dreamy, and I’m like a Japanese school girl giggling with her hands covering her mouth, bating her eyes. I can’t resist them.

Me

Me

I am also a Latin man; however, I have none of those features which I have described. I look Anglo and often am mistaken for one. I have colored eyes, light brown hair, never tan and have my very American accent despite growing up in Mexico. I do not find myself attractive at all! But recently, after dating a Latin man, not of the same Latin culture, who turned out to be a complete douche for lack of a better word, I have vowed, to much laughter of my friends, to date outside of the ‘box’ as the cliché goes. I have stepped away from my comfort zone and began to look at other non-Latin guys. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated attractive men regardless of culture but I have always been drawn to Latin men. Besides the features I’ve mentioned thus far, I think a big and probably more important reason for my attraction has been the connection I have made with them. It has more to do with how I connected with them on a cultural level and not just the mere physical attraction of those dark eyes that I can let my mind wonder for hours…There are certain cultural values such as family, religion and speaking the language, which has made the attraction and connection deeper.

As I’ve tried to date more non-Latin men, I’ve noticed that I don’t connect with them on those same levels as I did with the Latin men. The attraction is there. A guy with a cute smile is a guy with a cute smile. There is no denying that. But when it comes to connecting on the same cultural aspects, I find it that as much as I would like to share certain stories about my family or even to try to speak in Spanish, their interpretation or understanding of these things are based on stereotypical knowledge of how the Latin culture is characterized and perceived in society. Even after explaining why family and certain things of my culture are important, I felt the connection was mostly on the surface. For me, speaking in Spanish feels homey; it feels warm. When I speak Spanish, it feels like I am back at home and not being able to say ‘te amo’ and not have it reciprocated in the same language, it feels alien. Or even the simple things like not being able to joke around in Spanish with someone you care about, it feels like something is missing.

As I go out on these dates, I often find myself wondering if they feel the same way about me. Even with my very Anglo features, I am not Anglo and I am very proud of my Latin heritage. But maybe they also feel the same way and even possibly think I don’t understand or connect with them on the same level as someone coming from the same or similar background to theirs. I find it beautiful when two people from different cultures have a connection that stretches beyond race. But at the same time we are all human and sometimes where we come from plays a factor on whom we chose to be with.

Don’t commit these sins while unemployed

So it’s been two months since I have been unemployed again this year. First off, I was not fired nor did I quit my job, as I currently work on a per case basis and since there hasn’t been a new case, I have had no work. Back in 2012 I was laid off and it took me a year to find the job that I am currently employed at. But in that year I did many things a person unemployed should not do. I had never been unemployed before so the first few weeks and months were heaven! I was relaxing and enjoying my free time, but after a while, it became really comfortable to wake up late and watch TV all night. So below I wrote some of my deadly sins of what I did while unemployed on a repeated basis. I hope this serves a good purpose to some other poor soul who is currently unemployed not to make the same mistakes.

What NOT to do:

  1. Watch Netflix – You have all this free time to catch up on movies and TV shows. Why not, right? Wrong! I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent watching things on Netflix, some can say I could have this as a full-time job, possibly even a career if I could. However, this will not pay my bills. I will add that did I find some interesting shows to watch that otherwise I would never had given a chance to.
  2. Use the Internet – Unless you are using to look for jobs or searching for tips on how to better your career, the internet can suck up a lot of time being useless. Especially getting caught up on YouTube with videos like Ylvis’ “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” – Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! Yes, a deadly sin. I don’t know how many times I saw this video instead of being productive.
  3. Sleeping – Of course sleeping is good. It’s great for the health and there are many benefits from getting a good night’s rest; however, getting up around noon and going to bed at 1 in the morning because you were doing the above two activities is not the best way to spend your ‘free’ time.
  4. Eating – Stop it! With all this extra time and if you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you are bound to be at home more which means easy access to the refrigerator.  I do not know how much weight I gained, and frankly, I rather not find out. I noticed that although I wasn’t going out to eat because, you know, unemployed and all, I was finding that my pants were fitting tighter and that my shirts were shrinking. I found myself snacking quite a bit because I was bored and the food was there and so was Netflix and YouTube.
  5. Look at your phone every 2 minutes – At first it’s all innocent because you want to make sure  you don’t miss a call from a perspective employer but after no calls, you start to play around with your smart phone, taking selfies, or looking at apps, or sending text messages to all your friends who are working and can’t return messages promptly, or checking to see who likes your very humorous status on Facebook. After a while it becomes obsessive and all you do is look at your phone.  And this leads to the next sin.
  6. Play Candy Crush Saga – Or any other game for that matter. I was addicted in passing every level of Candy Crush until I ended up realizing that I was becoming increasingly angry when I couldn’t pass a level. I would tell myself, “One more life and then I’ll get back to job hunting…” Well one life turned into an hour or so of asking people for more life and waiting for more life to reappear. No bueno my fellow unemployed peeps. You must delete the app pronto!
  7. Getting depressed – This last one is the most important one for it encompasses all of the above. You start feeling sorry for yourself because you have no job, your girlfriend/boyfriend dumped for lack of a job. It starts becoming stressful trying to pay your bills. And with all the resumes you are sending out and no return calls from prospective employers, you begin to wonder whether or not you are any good anymore. So to avoid thinking about all these things, you begin to watch Netflix, mess around the Internet, sleep and eat more, look at your phone which results in playing games.

As a fellow sinner, please avoid these 7 deadly sins of being unemployed. What sins have you committed while being unemployed?