Friday, March 26, 2021

Old Memories

I haven't wrote in a while, but again I feel the necessity as my others skills had come back, on a similar level  reading has been another that has come back at the same time as the one mentioned before as well illustration and continue pursuing my education which I start again in the next up coming week.

That little advertisement/ page holder is from an old book store in Cartagena - Colombia that was present when I used to live there, the name was Bitacora and everything that is left at least online is just an old Angelfire page that I opted to save because there aren't any visual media saved from 15 years ago online, and after the façade of the last location that I ever visited 14 years ago, is completely different and it seems that it closed a long time ago.

Bitacora was located in San Martin Avenue, on the last two incarnation that I remember, the two buildings are still there, and it was always close to the sea - it was a magical place for me, because I could escape whenever school was done for the day but also during the holidays since I was always happy back then being surrounded by books.

The place I always remember it that it was cold, the air conditioner was always on but it was pleasant - it had a rustic interior that give it some Caribean vibes but also a portal that was open for a world of magic in an enviroment that was already somewhat surreal, I always enjoyed going there because it was an experience for the senses but also an escape from the house and a moment where I could refresh from the heat and get a new book.

I didn't found a library when I move to the States that I enjoy myself but for a long time I was also trying to recover the pieces of who I was (in a value that could give something meaningful) to who I had grown in to, albeit now in a new city I had spotted several smaller libraries that are in a similar vibe as Bitacora and they inspire me to continue reading and buying books, but for 9 years I didn't read anything besides when I tried to go to school but not out of leisure or by interest without any responsibility.

I do not know what I am going to do with this blog or the others I have, I need to find more topics to write or essentially to write about nothing. I had recover my love for photography and illustration, but as well to improve my knowledge which were aspects of my core I didn't tackle for almost a decade because I couldn't relate to them or feel them as I used to. My motivation to do arts was related to my feelings of loneliness and desperation and having to find a new point that didn't involved sorrow or any other emotion but rather more related to my core.

The process of recovering was ardeous, I know I am more in touch with my emotions, to who I am without being part of a family but rather my own self, without any pretension that were influenced by someone else through the use of force. That little page holder from Bitacora brought me memories because after being shun by my parents and losing a lot of personal items a simple item in paper brought me joy when I found it again.

A simple item that made me realize, the happy places can change over time but the happiness comes within, and that was what Bitacora meant to me and still does, only that the physical place is not there anymore but it's within my memories. I am still thinking what I can do with my blogs, what direction I want to take them, my other products as well, I do not feel I lost the time where I wasn't active but rather it was a moment in time where I could take care of myself and let the creativity and my true art to flow without restrictions.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Case of Tiffany Louise Sessions - Missing: 2/9/89

 

At this moment is 11/25/2020 when I am writing this entry, and it's been 31 years, a little bit over 31 years since the disappearance of Tiffany Louise Sessions - much of the reason I been writing cold cases as Tiffany is because of an old interest when I was a working journalist that I wanted to help family close a chapter in their lives with the departure of a loved one.

I been reading the resources of her case for over 3 months, at least the public ones but I haven't try to request any police information on documents because there was enough coverage over the years about Tiffany's disappearance and honestly they say a lot. I am probably going to be writing more about the case within the next couple of weeks, because everything that leads and the scene of her "vanishing" is still standing up in Gainesville.


We have to set our timeframe to 1989, Gainesville wasn't fully developed yet there, still isn't because of the zoning laws regards the city but back then the complex that Tiffany was living with her roommate is still there, and comparing photos from the decade of the 80's and early 90's the area of her vanishing hasn't changed that much, even walking it it's essentially stuck in time minus a few new projects over the last 30 years.

On 1989 early 1990's Casablanca East Condominiums are hasn't changed, it was mostly on the east side and Williston Road wasn't as developed, but had houses around that you could walk and still see your neighbors around, the problem is the witness reports couldn't identify her whenever she was possibly abducted, and there is no information on the public records if she had notes about people blackmailing her or she was suspicious about being followed by anyone.

Reports say she left her personal belongings on the house, she mentioned she was going for her daily night walk to her roommate but after she never came back the alarms where sound; witness mentioned that a woman with the physical description of Tiffany was seen going in a car with some unidentified individuals but is a lose tie, now if we focus on Paul Eugene Rowles the convicted serial killer who kept a book of where he committed the murders it match with the disappearance of Tiffany as his second victim and that he was working as a construction worker in one of the projects not far away from her residence.

Assuming Paul also roamed the area on his car, he probably studied Tiffany habits before aiming at her, same with the area in case he need it to dispose a body, Paul died in 2013 and I believe the police is correct and he is the main suspect, the problem is none of the neighbors could confirm the car as well the people inside, and there is difficulty to see any cars that Paul owned versus to whatever the testimony of the witness said. I don't think Tiffany left her life because there were family issues or she had any other issues, her background itself seem stable enough and she was career oriented.

The main point is to know how far away within the roads of 1989 Paul Eugene Rowles took Tiffany away, and if he knew exactly where alligators sat or in what reserve he could dispose her body without leaving any evidence especially because Gainesville is not a big city per se, but it had plenty of places to dispose a body and leave no trace.

There is Millhopper's, Micanopy, Waldo, the north side of Gainesville on MLK which is still roughly undeveloped, and around all of these places there are gators on the waters, I don't think at this moment there is a body that can be recovered because is long gone, same as the belongings of Tiffany they could had been dropped, stole by people who were cleaning the road and found a Rolex but who knows? The case still doesn't connect with the evidence or testimonies at least what is found on the public records.  

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES Version 31 years Later Review

I had played this game on a few occasions, but thanks to the wonders of ROMS, I been rediscovering a lot of the old games I used to play back in the early 90's and late 80's, Also as time passed by I been rediscovering the joys of my talents and hobbies, and starting to illustrate and one my loves had been video gaming because it was a form of escape but also entertainment.

I loved TMNT as many kids in the 80's and 90's did; my first exposition wasn't the cartoon itself but rather on a corner store o tienda del barrio, the owner had in the table the first two issues of the original comic and I was mesmerized, because the 6 years old me loved the super action and gore inside the issues - about a year later I saw the cartoon and even if it was different it got my attention.

You have to think those days we didn't had Internet at all, the only medium of information we had were related to Club Nintendo and any other PC Magazine; but one day when I went to a play date on the house of a friend, he suddenly had this game of the Turtles and I was fascinated because it was the first time I saw one in my life, and it wasn't until age 35 that I would play for the first time the og arcade game, and still the love of the franchise makes me smile.

The game wasn't like the cartoon, it was more close to the comic books than anything and as the comic books the game is brutal, for 3 decades I been thinking how the developers (Konami) could do something as difficult within only 2 Megabyte cartridge - opposite to today as the ending of 2020 where games go up to 20 Gigs and more, a lot of them don't contain the level of difficulty that this game has, this is as precursor of Dark Souls on is own splendor.

You as a gamer have to think that now we have a system or forgiveness within gaming, that let players go unscathed or at least learn form the mistakes, that system wasn't on early gaming, I guess the first time ever was with the Konami Code which is a beautiful accident, but let the players enjoy the gaming by "cheating' and probably the best way to enjoy this game is with save states, you could say it doesn't have the same satisfaction as defeating on an honest way but some games they don't really need to play to suffer, but play to see the little tricks the developers used to make it difficult whenever the resources where scarce.

The Hudson River level is the most popular one, but overall the entire game is difficult, and is difficult not only because of the level designs but rather on how wonky the time reaction on the controllers was, you could die so easily by hitting by accident the pad and swimming against the electric weeds but also any jump could kill you, the enemies respawn quickly just like Ghouls N' Goblins and you couldn't breath.

It's a nightmare to play it but it's incredible because it has a lot to offer and tells a story whenever the consoles were still young and developing in to bigger games but it contains a story and it doesn't flank with the pace.


The music is vastly different in the game from the television, but also it match more the tone of the comics rather than the happy setting that the cartoon offered for 7 seasons before it turned more grim - there is also something more charming within on how dark this game soundtrack is because you can feel the frustration within the levels but also it encompass the grim vision of Eastman and Laird work with the early comic books of the Turtles.

I am trying to situate how this game being one of the first marked a generation, but at the same time it's a product of is time - there was no other reference for the Turtles back then before the sequels that adapted a lot of the visuals from the cartoon and became more funky and playable rather than the first home console game.

The curiosity with this release it was that inside the game we have the Turtles with their respecting Tokustasu in which it marks somewhat their personalities but leadership, albeit on the box it goes with the red bandanas for all of them, but the most weirdest thing was the localization in Japan where they turned April in to Splinter's daughter.

The more I see the game and research about it, I think it was misunderstood at his moment because of the mixed reviews, but at the same time I think the game itself was one of the first games produced and developed by Konami whenever franchises were relative an unexplored territory on the video game real and is interesting because if it wasn't for games like TMNT that were a peak of his time and X-Men just to name two we wouldn't have too much of third party intellectual properties that were developed on other mediums before going to video games of being developed exclusively for the consoles instead of bringing an adaptation.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Patricia Teherán El Legado de las Mujeres en El Vallenato

En los últimos años empecé una idea de buscar y hacer referencia a artistas Colombianos que han sido olvidados o que han muerto, pero especialmente artistas del Departamento de Bolívar, es algo que va con mi melancolía pero al mismo tiempo ha salido de una duda por parte de uno de mis primos por el lado Lequerica en el que me menciono algo que yo sabía de antemano "en Colombia y la Costa no hay plata para la cultura al menos que sea perreo" y este primo mío está en lo cierto.

 

En un enfoque del entretenimiento popular, según tengo entendido ha variado más al Reggaetón y al trap allá en Colombia, solo me entero de las tendencias debido al Internet y la televisión, pero siempre el nombre de Patricia Teherán Romero me queda en la cabeza porque en la corta carrera al igual que su vida dejo un impacto popular que no ha podido ser replicado en el mundo del Vallenato.

 

Patricia Teherán nació en Cartagena, y en este momento del 2020 ya son 25 años de su muerte, las canciones que grabo con las Musas del Vallenato y posteriormente con las Diosas del Vallenato siguen sonando ocasionalmente en la radio, Patricia fue una casualidad, un hallazgo de la acordeonera Chela Ceballos (1965-2016) que de por si en ese entonces el Vallenato era más que todo ejercido por los hombres y fue la que enseño a Teherán a mejorar su voz con el proyecto de las Musas del Vallenato.

 

Chela grabo 9 álbumes a lo largo de su carrera, pero con Patricia grabaron solo 3 y el proyecto de las Musas fue lo que llevo a Patricia a la fama, y hay que ver otra cosa adicional en esa época Diomedes y el Binomio eran los consentidos de la escena musical Colombiana, pero con la ascensión de las Musas se empezó a ver una variación que será de un solo momento en la historia de la música Colombiana porque no se ha repetido ya que no ha habido otra mujer que tuviera la cobertura de Patricia en su corta carrera en el mundo del vallenato.

 

Trato de no pensar que el legado de la música en Colombia está en declive y ligada netamente con la cultura popular, pero al mismo tiempo el Vallenato fue lo que domino la música popular, ni Aterciopelados y Juanes estaban tanto en la radio como eran los artistas del Vallenato y especialmente el Binomio de Oro, lo que me hace preguntar si honestamente ¿en Colombia hay algún tipo de legado y formación musical que no sea ligada con tendencias comercialistas?

 

Pienso en Karol G y Yuranis Leon que han tenido algo de notoriedad en los últimos 3 años pero honestamente no estan en el mismo género musical, aunque se puede inferir que están en un nivel similar ya que pueden influenciar las nuevas generaciones y crear un impacto, pero el problema es que en el pop y la champeta hay mujeres y no son géneros musicales dominados exclusivamente por hombres.

 

El éxito que tuvieron Las Diosas del Vallenato fue algo impresionante, pero al mismo tiempo agridulce ya que no duraría más de 4 años, Patricia firmo varios contratos donde actuaria en el Carnaval de Barranquilla, dio entrevistas, pero no se realizó, ya que falleció en un accidente automovilístico rumbo a Cartagena, lo más desgarrador del accidente fue que la preocupación de Patricia era quien iba a cuidar a su hijo.

 

Actualmente el hijo de Patricia es un DJ y es conocido como Alex Teherán, que creció con sus abuelos maternos que lo adoptaron y registraron como su hijo, Alex menciona que nunca conoció a su familia paterna (La de Rodrigo Castillo) ya que fue asesinado a los pocos años del fallecimiento de Patricia. La importancia de la mujeres en el género musical del Vallenato en los 90 y especialmente Patricia fue un punto de referencia en el cual abrió camino a otras artistas 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Importance of The Legend of Korra and She-Ra

Audiovisual representation on children shows is always important, I have to say you know who you are when you are younger, sometimes it can take longer to realize who you are but at the moment you do, you know it's fine to be queer, is part of your identity and you are your own special creation and that's something no one can't take away from you.

The problematic goes on how the evolution of representation in cartoons came to be, because the prime time media set stereotypes on the community, i.e. SOAP and Billy Crystal back in 1977 and in 43 years we finally got two action oriented shows, that is child friendly and sport in a positive matter relationship between same sex individuals but also on how straight characters interact with the queer setting and the results are fantastic because it expose a positive light in which civilization didn't collapsed because two characters are in love are the same sex and even so shows trans and non binary characters as well.

The two shows I am mentioning are the Legend of Korra and She-Ra & Princesses of Power importance relays on how much a positive impact can be generated in the youth but also adults who watch these shows and feel represented by.

These two shows especially within women demographics are a ground breaking point, because on prime time media there hasn't been something as that before but with the reboot of She-Ra, it took everything tgo a whole new level because everything on the show is just phenomenal within the the LGBTQ+ but also it empowers women with strong role model and breaks the dynamics that an action show can be lead by a women and deal also with complex topics that mirror our world versus the animated universe.

Let's think towards the 80's and 90's cartoons all of them followed the same precepts on tropes: there were no relationships or little relationships at all, there was no queer representation, there was only good guys versus bad guys and that was essentially it, adding occasional musical numbers, David the Gnome was probably an exception back in the day and still because there aren't shows were the main character is an elder individual and there is a teaching about respecting nature,

If you are straight and cis, you probably will think that we don't need to put identity politics in cartoons, reality is you had swalled bullshit propaganda that deny identities of people like me, we were there in the 80's , 90's and is refreshing to see something that is so different from the same shows and formulas that were exposed back in the 80's, 80's and 2000's. Yes, there were shows as Mission Hill and somewhat The Simpsons who showed same sex couples, but on my memory it was Mission Hill with Gus and Wally that on an honest level show a functional elderly gay couple who weren't a pastiche of what is to be in a same sex relationship.

It's incredible to think that only in a lapse of 20 year queer characters are the ones being the leads on shows and Korra even being the lead her orientation wasn't openly spoke or shown, but even with Korra there was a four year gap to have a full representation within She-Ra; you are maybe thinking about Marceline and Princess Bubblegum? Even if they were there they were side characters, which happens with Steven Universe, it was Steven the main character and even if there was a deep background towards the Crystal Gems they were relegated on the background much of the time.

Which is why She-Ra is important, because it gives representation to the youth (as well the adults) that they aren't alone and there is a vocabulary to what they are feeling, but also within these two shows they set an example that action shows can be led by women but with She-Ra was it exceptional is since episode one there is a clear representation of the dynamics within lesbian, pansexual, bisexual, asexual female characters in the show and that hasn't been seen in any other cartoon.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Metro Con and How you Can Grow Beyond your Founder

Opening Ceremonies 2019
This weekend would had been Metro Con last year, but Metro Con this year would had been held on the 11th to the 14th of July but due COVID-19 the event got cancelled and even if it was a low punch, we understand the circumstances and there is always one in the future that I can always go.

Metro Con for me is my first convention ever, I went to the conventions when I was 32 years old, I went because a former friend who knew I followed certain Youtuber, so she asked me to go with her and I said OK, I was mesmerized by the convention as it was my first event ever but that's a story for another day.

Aggretsuko Cosplayers
I find the story of Metro Con fascinating because there are plenty of activities, great cosplayers, the vendor's hall is a little bit small and the merchandise is not that varied but still you can find cute things and there is not a big artist alley but the soul of the convention are the cosplayers. A lot of the people that go are super creative with their cosplays, and is just fascinating to take photos but also to see what the cosplayers will do every year.

Continuing with the convention cases, this example goes with the San Japan case I exposed not long ago in which the founder got involved in a problem because he got exposed saying racist commentaries about guests followed by an empty excuse on Facebook in which he said he only followed whatever the attendees want.

The aspect on this case is what Metro Con did to linger out of the founder's image after he got arrested for statutory rape on 2009, which several reports indicated that over the years he was in to predatory practices before being arrested and subjected to register as such.

Looking at old articles, one from Anime News Network when the problem happened, the current CEO and Owner Alex Craddock "Roy Harms is our CEO, and a very close friend of mine. I trust him with my life, my dreams, and my 4-year-old child, and so would anyone else that has ever met the man." He continues,

"An arrest does not mean a conviction to or admittance of the crime being charged. In this particular situation there is one thing required for an arrest to be made, and that is a claim."

A problem with that statement, is that people seems to had forgotten about it, but even so Alex kept part of the promise that he made in the public statement 11 years ago and made the event family friendly over the years, and there hasn't been any sights of Roy inside Metro Con but that doesn't mean he still active.

Another problem and Alex statement is that Roy was convicted but not incarcerated, a quick search on the Florida Database he is still there, he got registered and he still subject to visitations from the county, but the problem is that even with visitation Roy was still present outside of Metro Con, such as 2017 in Holiday Matsuri and Omni Expo around 2016, even his Linkdn profile marks him as active on public events as a Trade Show Consultant which is somewhat hypocritical that he has still somewhat of a controlled access to a computer but there is no way to find if he is active on social media, but even a small search around Twiiter pop results about his doings being a sexual predator.


Now, what really happened that people essentially forgot about this scandal? The answer is no, people who are familiar with the development of Metro Con and have been going through the years they still speak about this incident, and people who are newer but get well positioned within the convention scene they also know it, I learned from a friend who has been going there from 12 years and it chilled my spine because is somewhat of an open secret.

But, the operations and how the event is promoted has essentially distanced from the era of Roy Harms, which from the information I had found under the tutelage of Alex has been positive and more fan oriented events had been placed inside the convention, but also they had brought people that are meaningful and varied within the guest spectrum over the years up to the point that as time pass by, there is not too much mentioning of Roy Harms at all that he was ever the person who founded Metro Con.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Short Letter to Someone I Admired

Hello Person I Admired;

I rewrote the original one at least 5 times, I ended up placing on my drafts again, I decided to go for a new shorter one. I wish you the best, I am not angry at you or any others, I do not harbor any hard feelings except for disappointment because my pleas were ignored to the people who made my online time a living hell, I know your brother wants to talk to me, but my heart after two years of other people being toxic to me it really gave me a sour taste and I honestly don't know if I can talk to him on any time soon or anyone else for now, I had enough bullying from too many people and abuse that I can't simply to listen yet, to listen to a speech someone close to you also gave me "but we can be friends, all of us, this is the place for the ones who are out", my heart is broken but if you reads this, I am OK, just OK and nothing else.

No, we all can't be friends, there are plenty of people who hate me for who I am and they let me know I am a worthless as a piece of shit daily.

I already unsub you, cancelled my Patreon (it was a dollar at the end but it was something), placed all the merch I got in the closet so is far away from me, requested friends in common to unfriend me and I explained the reasons, same I essentially unsub from everything related to you within friends and family content, is been 72 hours and I haven't received any message which has been the longest some of the anonymous accounts had been sending me, I already deleted them because honestly there is no more pain I can take from the one I been getting in person by racist and homophobic individuals as well the one I had to endure online for the last 2 years.

They won, whoever is behind, whoever are behind those accounts that harassed me and other people, they won; I am gone. It was a good 11+ years, but as any fandom I guess it was my time to say farewell.

I am still going to Metro on 2021, but I am not going to be near your events or near you, you won't even know I am there, same with my panels, my co-host already agree she will speak for me if they get approved and I will be wearing masks, and any dialogue from my side will be pre-recorded. Also I deleted your number out of respect of privacy and I hope you have deleted everything from my side, I was a lucky fan who lasted a long time and probably a pen pal.

I rewrote this letter at least seven times in the last five days, I hold no hard feelings as I said before, just myself being human, I know you won't read this letter because I am just a number of the 1.3 million people who follow you, I said goodbye on one of your videos as I knew you weren't going to reply on any other way or reply at all, but I wanted to make it more honestly that's why I wrote here.

You are wondering why I didn't saved any screen caps or conversation, or accounts? Because at the end is not worth especially when some people were toxic on plain sight. I am not going to write anything else, I am happy that I was able to say farewell more properly to people I was friends with opposite when I left Colombia.

To your brother, he is a gentle soul, and seems to be a decent person, same as your mother.

I know you won't read this, but I wish you the best Person I Admired, I hope your original album does well, as well the adoption process, I hope there is peace and that there is always love and Metal forever. I am not writing anything else, they won and I am happy as I said before to be able to say farewell. I hope one day our paths cross in a better light.

2 Corinthians 13:11, Farewell
Gustavo