Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Poema a un Gato

Poema a un Gato
Por: Gustavo Calvo

Entre las sombras anda,
y a plena luz del día está tirado en la cama,
grita como un rey,
pero exige como si fuera una reina.
Se mueve despacio, y como si estuviera volando;
para luego caer encima del teclado.
Se rasca el culo contra la pared,
parece más un mico que cayó en una red,
Se esconde por debajo de un zapato,
y espera salir de la nada como un payaso en una cartón.
Entre estornudos, y la cola por mi nariz, ese animal peludo ni pide perdón,

y mas que se le da por tirarse tres volatines antes de perderse abajo del sillón.

The Different Layers of the Closet

The metaphor of being trapped someplace, can scare anyone. The ego can be your own worst enemy, as well the fear of rejection.

Sometimes we hesitate about ourselves, we lack of the locus of control to keep fighting forward, we simply leave everything behind.

The closet can be a very lonely, no matter if it's surrounded by people, at the end those people are just layers of clothing that sometimes just cover the loneliness.

The step that many of you, us, we, have to take out to be happy always comes with a price. The fear of rejection, that many doesn't want to face in their lifetime because they don't want to lose something.

It's what we can call, based on an anime named Fullmetal Alchemist The Law of Equivalent Exchange which in other words means, every action creates a rebound.

The fear of losing your family, the fear of losing the little you have, it can develop a toxic relation with everything that surrounds you, and comes the idea of what to do to being happy.?

There are many doors to open, many layers and outfits you can try before discovering, which one fits you the best. There are many combinations you can try, sometimes some people won't find them, won't even see it, and will go on the streets pretending.

Some of the layers, come with the stigma, they are being broken and the paradigms of discrimination towards what you wear, that reflect your personalities are being accepted, that the world is not filled with white and black outfits but there is a bunch of colors in the spectrum.

Some people will never realize the words "self-acceptation", they will live in the shadows. Maybe is the fear of risk also,? rejection is also a part, but also is self-realization.

How do you know your own self.? That is a question, that beyond the cheap internet phrases from Paulo Coelho and some other self help authors, it goes into a metaphysical level, it can be answered just by the act of living and learning.

Just live and get out from your comfort zone, without doing anything stupid. Know a little bit of other realities than yours, learn what is happening in the community, even so read a book or travel around your city. You will live a little bit more just by knowing, and when you know what is happening around you, then you will know what is happening to you, and discover a solution to your inner questions.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The LGTBQ Chronicles: Five Questions With Musician Brett Gleason

Brett Gleason by Doug Seymour 'Starry Night'
There is some mystique behind his deep voice and enchanting persona. His blue eyes and stage presence can mesmerize every individual that is on the audience; but his songs, his lyrics are what can catch many people attention to Brett Gleason.

Originally from Brooklyn, Gleason discovered his love for music at a young age; a speech impediment caused him to spend his free time involved with music and books. His style is eclectic, as he mixes between an electronic presence as well acoustic piano song.   

There is a complex individual beyond the stage, a sensitive artist that is in touch with his emotions, his own personal history and the history of the community; such, as growing up with bipolar disorder; coping up with his identity as a gay man, and a singer songwriter that is willing to defy every label and create his own. 

With his self-titled debut album, there is an image of a really promising indie artist; with a fresh musical proposal that reflects his own struggles and growth as a person and a musician. 

One of the nicest aspects about the internet, is that the users can find a wide array of interesting proposals; as well support independent musicians, that are trying to be known to a public that are eager for a new musical proposal; and what better way to see their work, such as Brett's around Youtube and finding their songs through iTunes as well other electronic media.

How you discovered that you wanted to follow a path in music.?

BG.  I grew up with a bad speech impediment so I got involved in solo activities at a young age, lots of sports and arts – I was a gymnast,a writer and played multiple instruments. As I grew older and began to experience more intense emotions, I started to employ these skills to help clarify and master my feelings. At 13 I started writing songs and knew this was going to be my life.

As I read on The Huffington Post, you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder when you were 19 years old, as well as the time you started to become sexually active. How have those experiences, molded you in the path to find your identity as a musician but as well as a person?

BG.  Being bipolar and gay have further solidified my status as an outsider which I think is useful for an artist.  It’s given me an opportunity to see things from a very different perspective as well as freed me to pursue my artistic pursuits.  I think I’d feel a lot more pressure to find a steady job, marry and have kids if I weren’t a gay man with a history of mental illness, as things stand I’m free to create my own divergent path and follow my own crazy dreams.

How do you describe your music.? Who where your influences.? And, what do you think about labels many people place over artists, such as avant-garde or queer.? Do you see yourself with or without any of these labels.

BG:  I create a kind of fusion of alt electro rock with a piano based singer/songwriter sensibility.  I grew up listening to large, epic rock groups like The Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails but also solo artists like Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and Elliot Smith.  I like to write songs that can be translated both as a full rock band sound as well as solo with just me at the piano.  Like most labels, genres do more to exclude than to inform.  My goal is to reject them all.

How was the process of releasing your eponymous debut album.? Taking in consideration that sometimes people as well the industry markets the work towards more of the life and image of the artist, than the work itself.

BG: Making my debut record was a long process. I played all the instruments except for drums and produced all the songs myself. I did however do a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the record which brought some great people on board to inspire and motivate me along the way.  Using my name and face to represent the record make it a very personal process but also a very transparent one. My name, my face and music – those can all speak for themselves and they speak candidly.

What is your opinion toward the use of social media,  in order to position not only a product but the artist himself.?

BG: To be honest it’s hard to have a position on social media as I haven’t known any other way to connect with fans and release music. Whereas maybe ten years ago, recording a record was a really private process it’s now something that you live tweet, share early mixes from and document publicly on a daily basis.  I used to think this was a shame but now I see how you can use this as a way to not only get feedback along the way but to feel more connected throughout what can be a very isolating experience for a solo artist.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Because of Winn-Dixie and The Problematic Positioning the Retail Chain Has Found in Florida

Sometimes competency the main problem can be redefining the public perception of the supermarket, so it can compete on a more efficient way and differentiate itself from the competition.

That's the problem Winn-Dixie is facing; what to do,? how to attract customers,? and how to make people shot in the stores.?

The answer relies on the combination of lower prices, good customer services among all the employees and giving the customers good amount of food by profiting from the margins of the deli and the bakery items.

Winn-Dixie is not Publix and less Walmart, is just another long line of supermarkets who try to position themselves in the Central Florida grounds and fail really badly, albeit it's not going to follow the step of Sweetbay but that doesn't mean the supermarket is not impervious to bankruptcy as with his "previous incarnations."

Price wise, the store is expensive and even with coupons is not necessarily friendly with the customers. People complain that other stores are expensive until they find themselves in Winn-Dixie without a Winn-Dixie card and paying full prices of every single item they buy, unless a cashier or manager inform them that they need a card in order to get the savings such as the BOGOS or the 2 for US$5 sales.

The image of the store never projects fluidity, as the aisles they don't follow an "organic" sequence, where you can find certain juices in one aisle, such as their private brand; then on another aisle you find more juices mixed with some other items, and then a few aisles ahead you find soda, and more aisles ahead you find water along some other shopping goods.

Is as the aisles were designed to confuse, or in a lesser case to convince the customers of buying more by getting them lost. On certain neighborhoods, the store maintenance doesn't look clean, and the aisles and bathrooms they look dirty, which that is an uninviting factor to the guests who shop there.

On a image level, the corporation is trying their best to match their competition by mimicking certain aspects of Publix in terms of an image outcome, but watching some of their employees not having a clean image the customers can get a negative perception that there isn't friendliness, or from a retail point of view a customer satisfaction perspective as well a lower volume and more discontinued items, which means people will go to the competition.

Winn-Dixie parent company Bi-Lo Holdings took over SweetBay stores last April, in a US$265 million deal, where they purchased 165 fives stores from Delhaize America. While there is some speculation that the interim move into re-branding the brand as it can compete with some more upbeat stores; as well to lower the item prices, it is a move that in what has gone in the of the year nothing has happened and the prices are still high as they were.

Not only with the prices as it was mentioned previously, but they have to restructure their external communication system in order to reach more customers, because right is failing to attract new people.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Retro Game Reviews: Roller Coaster Tycoon 3

There is something nice and wonderful about the Roller Coaster Tycoon games; the third installment is not bad, it had some difficulties towards the graphic rendering due the low processors on many computers, but there is something nice about the third installment, even if the creator Chris Sawyer only acted as a consultant.

There is something magical about roller coasters, as well quite of a nightmare for many people as the simple idea of being in the top and the thrown into an out of control but controlled ride, through a series of steel mazes and loops can terrorize or delight someone.

The beauty about Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 lays that it let the user to be submerged into the theme park environment, as well to ride the rides; two elements that were completely absent in the first two installments, as well there is no more isometrically view.

The idea of the game look so ambitious but yet so enjoyable, as it can appeal perfectly to theme park enthusiast and is a game that everyone in the family can play without any inconvenience.

Watching the Rhinos 
RCT3 has two expansion Soaked and Wild, where the player can add water park elements as well a zoo into his theme parks. The game itself, could be a nice idea to incorporate into the Oculus system as it can let the players to traverse and explore unique environments and theme parks.

The idea of RCT3 as a virtual reality game seems to be coherent, as is one of those games that the player can interact perfectly and there are no doses of ultra-violence with the exception of the occasional accidents, if you want to have an understanding of VR systems, this entry by Cloudwards is really easy to digest and can give you a better understanding how these systems work.

The game interface is really easy to understand, and is quite intuitive, as the main screen menus are divided into a series of balloons, where the balloons can be clicked in order to access a description of the scenario as well a few images.

Each scenarios is divided into three sections: Apprentice, Entrepreneur and Tycoon; where the level of difficulty improves but is not impossible to win.

The game offers a wide variety of roller coasters and rides that you can find in actual theme parks; as well it lets the players to create their coasters.

The game can be found in Steam, or if you are lucky enough in Amazon, to find an original copy of this game. You will have hours of fun; but there are some negative aspects as they were with the first games, the game can turn repetitive as well monotone after a few scenarios but yet is still a nice sandbox game, that it can be enjoyed little by little.