The Rock House

This is a profile I wrote as an assignment paper for my English class last semester. I had a good time so I’ve decided to post it here, too.

Outside

Part of the indie culture in El Paso, Texas, has a few places to share their works; music, poetry, stories, and some good jokes are a few things shown at The Rock House. You can see it from a few blocks away. A small house connected with a long wall full of graffiti that yells art instead of gang activities. The smoke of some expecting cigars can be smelled, and the chimney being its counterpart invites all of these non-smokers. Really weird considering the stereotypes of these places.

From folk to rap. From poetry to comedy. The place was already opened by 8:30pm. Everyone had a nice welcome; open doors for everyone. Richie, one of the hosts and professor at El Paso Community College started: “This is an open-mic, a free event where you can just sign on the list if you want to participate, spread a word among poetry and music.” And yes, he recognized some coming faces, and said “What’s up!” to most of them. At first, you don’t think the place could be fully crowded. Compared to most ‘sophisticated’ places it may be true. However, the vibe was really natural; friends hanging out together, aligned in front of a scenario, talking, laughing, and remaining silent while some performers do their jobs showing talents.

It started with a few laughs. A stand-up comedy with a guy with a pony-tail and glasses. He received a positive clapping from the small crowd in front of him. Then, some drummers started bringing some rhythm to everyone. Who doesn’t love music? People were happy by listening to them. Both comedy and music warmed the crowd, just to give them something to start with.

A quieter guy brought a few papers. Some poetry written on every sheet. His words spread some thoughts and reflections of life. He made a fantastic work pulling people’s attention from the beginning to the end. You could hear some whispers of every poem; what was the meaning for each one. It would have been greater if each person shared their thoughts in front.

Some more comedy after poetry came. A brave kid cheered up the life reflective group in front of him. Small and innocent jokes draw smiles everywhere. A big clapping was heard at a distance. He left the scenario feeling happy because he have done it.

And one of the biggest highlights of the open-mic that night. Jorge Guzman. A man from Puerto Rico who shared a few folk classics with his accordion. Everyone just called him “the accordion man”, but no one will deny the magic that he made out of his fingers and the instrument together. More than one person just ran to the scenario just to have a closer recording of each song. And no one said a single word until he finished his performance. It was a huge disappointment that he didn’t last too long, or maybe time went really fast when he captured everyone’s love and attention. Who knows?

If you visit El Paso, Texas, make sure to visit The Rock House. 400 W Overland.

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Alien

Movie Poster

It all starts with a commercial spacecraft called the Nostromo, and its seven passengers. Mother awakens the crew when it receives a distress signal from an unknown planet. But, what they don’t know, is that the distress signal is nothing more than a call for a new danger; something really unexpected. The main protagonist, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), along with the other members, have to face something unwilling to reason. Alien starts as a science fiction movie. However, you’ll notice that after a part of the movie, it suddenly starts to change to horror. Though it never loses its sci-fi elements.

At first, you can see a relaxed atmosphere within the movie. Nothing is suspected, so the audience can actually feel what they do. A friendly talk with co-workers as if it was another normal day for anyone. The ambience in space is really well done. However, at this time you may notice is obviously part of the special effects instead of really feeling like you’re traveling out of the planet. The call they receive by Mother really starts changing the mood. What’s happening in that planet? Is it just a need for an evacuation? And, if it is the reason, what are they evacuating for?

The planet effects are different. It is really dark, and you as a spectator can notice that something’s wrong in that place… something really happened, and long ago. And that’s where the mood changes completely. No more friendly talk, everyone is worried about the circumstances. At any moment everything is going to get bad.

The other half part of the movie focuses in the ship. Nothing’s out there anymore. The real danger is inside and there’s no way they can escape from it since the ship has a schedule and speed limit. And claustrophobia, along with the danger that’s watching from the darkest corners of the ship make you feel tension as the crew members do.

From a sci-fi movie, it is really hard to make it feel like a horror movie; from the beginning you’re not expecting something normal from the galaxy out there. However, Alien is an exception from its time. The creature is so mysterious, is silent, and you never expect his moves until is too late to run or scream for help.

In the other hand, you wonder why they’re lacking for defense equipment. Flamethrowers are not even good enough for long distance encounters. Being out of space, traveling into the unknown should have been a good excuse to give the crew members a better equipment for them to work in case of something, like that creature they found. Of course, this is digging too much into a fictional movie.

The changes of mood along the 117 minutes of the movie, make the environment very realistic within the genre, of course. The crew members are really human beings trapped. And you can see the fear, sweat, and tears flowing when they encounter that dangerous and mysterious being. A great combination of science fiction and horror was made into a movie with excellent direction by the hands of Ridley Scott.

The End With You

I’ve been listening to the same radio station all day, waiting for something new. I can’t deny when my favorite songs are being played I get really excited, but that’s not the point of my life. There’s something I’ve been looking for; the mystery of what could it be is the problem. Don’t we all have some kind of purpose? No one knows, and many just don’t care. I do, though, and waking up without knowledge of it really frustrates me. Maybe I’m just a useless person, like a huge percentage of Earth’s population –not counting the animals, they play an important part in nature–, if at least I’d be able to see my many possibilities. My job is so repetitive, I can’t barely pay my bills, and I lack of imagination to start anything by myself. Is it a person who am I looking for? I get bored real quick of my friends, how can I even think of a living human other than myself? Being alone is a gift; please, don’t try to tell me I’m wrong because I am not. The privilege of something like this, when just a bunch of people know your name or face is something difficult to gain. Try to play hero all the time, and everyone will forget everything about you within days. Oh, but don’t you dare to make one single mistake because your face will be stalled forever in someone else’s mind. So tell me how am I wrong by wanting to be alone all the time.

I got to admit, though; when the sunlight hid from us, since last year, I had met this woman, whom I’m not going to name now because it’s not important now. Everything has an end, and this ended after a few months. Allow me to explain myself before going further to that end. The sky has been clouded for some reason. Here, where I live, was not very common to get many clouds; it was always sunny and hot as hell. And now, we haven’t seen the sun in more than a year; I can’t deny it feels better like this, but it is also abnormal, and I don’t need to tell that we have more than an idiot screaming about Judgement Day. I guess this should have been expected, so I’m not angry, I just watch the news and let the world go whatever they want. We’ve just had clouds, anyways, Heaven is not falling, as far as I know.

Let’s talk about this woman, then. Her name doesn’t matter; she wasn’t very pretty but had her charm and brains. I met her a few days after the sky was covered, during a festival that was held at a college close to my house. I had nothing to do, they’ve had free food so nothing says ‘come here’ better than anything that is free. Honestly, I didn’t see anything that caught my interest; a few displays by design students stopped me for two or three minutes, and that was it. Not sure if anyone noticed my obvious lack of interest because no one tried to tell me anything about the other projects around the campus; they just passed me over. Then I saw a girl sitting by herself, eating a slice of pizza, watching our surroundings with a bored face. She seemed like me in terms of mood, I approached her. We had a long conversation, when I thought we would get bored from the first minutes. She gave me her number and I called her three days later to see if we could hang out. Honestly, I never had such fun in many years. We laughed at our jokes, we talked about a lot of different things. Our ideals are very different, but for some reason we managed to get along pretty well. Not going to waste my time telling you the obvious, we were meant to each other.

However, circumstances crossed out paths, and I’ve had to choose between my own safety and hers. Rioters started plaguing our streets as the Judgement Day comes by. Drops of water fell from the clouds, announcing heavy rain. Cultists and scared people tried to seek forgiveness; because you know, their actions are stronger than words until something they’re afraid of comes. Death or God Himself. Before that, those cultists called Christians are somewhat ‘lawful criminals’. The best ones point their fingers; the others make everything to take out the right to not believe in God. Some of them would even kill because everyone must feel the Almighty’s love.

That girl and I, we had something in common: both atheists, but we never told anyone if we weren’t asked, just to avoid any conflict. And that’s exactly what happened when that weird guy asked us if we are believers. He seemed like a nice guy who wanted to start a regular conversation about religion. I should’ve thought the situation was the worst to talk about it. We both said no, and his smile disappeared quickly. He left without a word, at first we said he must have been a weirdo… and we were right. One hour later, he came back with more followers with sticks and stones. We tried so hard to run away from them, but it looked like ignorance gave a lot of energy to their bodies.

She couldn’t run more. Even the rainy weather got us tired. I wanted to look for her, unfortunately, my life was in danger, too. I left her for the cultists to make their horrible deeds, while I watched from afar, hidden in an alley as the sticks and stones teared up her skin and crushed bones to death. The only thing I am grateful for is that her screams didn’t last long. Guess I can say she didn’t suffer much.

What made me really angry, though, is when the rain stopped. They looked up at the sky, as if it was a miracle given to those assholes for getting rid of a non-believer. They hugged each other, laughing, and taking hands thanking Him for something meant to happen from the beginning. It was only rain, not Judgement Day. As long as the clouds remain covering the sun, this is going to get worse.

Now, I didn’t get close to her body after the cultists left. I can’t deny that I made something coward. I got feelings for her, but my need for survival is bigger than any sentimentalism, and I… or we all shouldn’t be ashamed of. I just wonder if it doesn’t make me be on the same level as them. I am sorry Judgement Day really came for you.

Listen to the Night

In the darkest hour I wished to be a part of the night ride. Only the breeze of air that goes carrying the ghosts of history around the world, watching over us, whispering silent words from meaningful events that had been ignored. Listened carefully, I’ve felt the calling of the old beasts while my last dream became a nightmare as I woke up. Tears of happiness became screams of agony; real life attacked with all its strength. No compassion from it. Needless to say, I feel weak against it, I had never been taught how to defend myself. A thousand versions of the past left me confused when I tried to follow a figure. My present is blank, and my arms don’t carry any weapon to become one figure myself.

Every night I walk the street, trying to avoid human contact as much as I can. There’s no reason to look at someone else’s eyes, and hear them say words contradicted by their souls and bodies. I’d wish I could just erase my language, every single word I know. I and my emotions would be one with Earth, and more specific, the night. After 12:00am the truth shows itself: no one is looking, you can’t be judged, and people are so drunk they can’t even lie without revealing past guilt in the process. Everything is covered by its true color, adorned with a few neon lights that try really hard to bring the lies the sun carry when it shows up.

I can’t recall my first revelation. My mind was set on friendship and family; both put a happy mask on me, just to cover what I’ve been feeling all my life. I smiled, I remember, but it was just muscle. They go away soon, no matter how they tell you how close they are. Give your best, people forget really soon, unless you make a single mistake. Family love is just a mere compromise, similar to buying something expensive and you don’t want to let it go because the you paid a lot for it but not for its meaning or usefulness. I am the only one paying attention to those ancient ghosts. I am writing some of their words in which I agree. Bodies were buried or burned to ashes, but their silent presence will remain on Earth until she decides when to stop living. When she’s had enough of human presence and start again, or just gone forever.

If something happens when my time is up, I’d like to give some advice: listen carefully at night. As foolish as this sounds, silence carries the truth of everything. I am not allowed to speak any more because spreading the word will only distort language if it’s told by us. Pay attention to the environment, don’t be afraid of darkness, and more important, learn from them; they try to warn us from what’s coming very soon, the old beasts.

Spanish Announcement… in English

I mentioned on Let’s Talk About Me that my native language is Spanish, yes, but I forgot to mention that I have two published indie books on Amazon dot com. Well, just one, I removed the first one since I plan to start writing in this language from now on. However, one of many things I learned thanks to good people and facts, is that we should complete all the circles we draw; if you start something, at least finish it. If you fail, you can learn from it and do something different, that’s progress. Many scientists have done a lot for humanity with trial and error. That applies of course to arts, and many other things in life.

This is why I decided to start my last work in Spanish. Something happened with my previous short stories, characters, and places I created… when I formatted my old laptop (I deserve a punch). Fortunately for me, a very small fragment of those Spanish old stories were saved in one of my drives. Is not much, it is really a small part of it, but I can actually start working with it.

All my work was removed and that’s why I gave up the idea of my novel. Now, I have found part of it, even a fragment, will help me to put an end to that circle, start writing, and do my best to publish my first and last novel in Spanish. And the same with all my projects, such as this blog, my music, and my books in English once I get more experience with this language.

By the way, my indie book available is called Un Camino a Seguir, and it’s a collection of my old short stories.

Thank you for reading!

Inspiration? How Do I Eat That?

Sometimes it is really hard to start with some artistic project. Music, literature, photography, and others. I had a really hard time when I recently started with my writing. Every single story came at the worst moment; when I TRY to sleep, or when I am walking alone the streets at night (call me crazy, sometimes I do that). It wouldn’t be a problem if my stories remained intact the next day, and when I return home. No, they vanish completely, and it’s hard to remember a small part of what the story supposed to be. With everything gone, I had to find another source of inspiration. However, with daylight, people outside, and “happiness” spreading around, it’s hard to concentrate. I tried my best to ignore everything and start creating a short story; a universe in my head and new life outside real life. Real life kind of sucks, by the way.

Lucky me, I’ve always had something that made me escape from everything after work: Music. I love music, but there’s a small flaw when I try to write something while music is loud. Lyrics. The melody of my favorite songs are good to hear while I write, until the artist starts singing. Don’t take me wrong, of course I love to hear them singing, but when I am trying to write, and all the words mix together is really annoying.

Variety is something you find everywhere, you just need to take a look outside your borders and there’s a whole different perspective. I’ve found video game soundtracks. I love video games as much as I love my other hobbies, but I never had paid attention to its music until my kind of games became more story-focused. Role-playing games, adventure, and others turned out to be so special to me because there are many good stories within, and the soundtracks are excellent for any kind of mood.

I’d like to share a few favorite songs from video games, and even if you’re not into games like me, I am sure some of the songs will be interesting for you. I am not posting any link, though, since most of them are being posted by users on YouTube and they don’t own the rights for the songs. I’d feel bad if I do it. The only thing I’m going to say here is that you should look for all the Shin Megami Tensei soundtrack series; you may find something really interesting for your writing. Who knows?

  • The Fear of God (Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey)
  • Opening (Persona 2: Eternal Punishment)
  • 2D Field (Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers)
  • Large Map ~ Real Universe (Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne)
  • The Battle for Everyone’s Souls (Persona 3)
  • Seven Sisters High School A (Persona 2: Innocent Sin)

And a many more.

Just to be clear, the intention here was not to talk about video games, I’ll save that for another post. This is to talk about my own way to get inspiration. Feel free to tell me how you get yours! It’d be interesting to read from others.

Let’s Talk About Me

Give me a couple of minutes to talk about me. I don’t think this is my last post about myself, but bear with me and you’ll notice that, like you, I am a human being too. My weirdness comes from many places; many worlds scattered within different parallel universes that belong to a certain individual I call…

Just forgot, I just wanted to talk about me, and I’m still wasting our times thinking about fiction and fantasy. Long story short, everything comes from books I’ve read, video games I’ve played, and shapes in the sky and dirt. Maybe this is not weird at all, many people probably do that but they don’t want to admit it. Society doesn’t want weird people in the end. Society only wants you to obey and follow rules that weren’t even written in laws. Dress like this, do that and kneel down before a company until you retire. I’m not here to judge, we all need jobs to pay our bills, right? Then, they say we bite the hand that feeds us if we complain just a bit, but from my point of view, we employees feed the company. You may correct me if I am wrong if you please.

Nice, I talked about me a little. However, there’s more I need… want to tell you: my name is Jesus, just like this page says. Nice to meet you all. I started this blog just for fun and tell some stories and random stuff that had been stuck in my head for a while. For now, I don’t have the resources to make illustrations for each story, and drawing is not one of my talents. Also, I remember that a few years ago, I had a blog in Spanish, my native language. Now that I am a student in the United States of America, I decided to start all over again; try to do everything and learn English in so many ways. It’s just my second year, and I still suffer when I try to communicate with non-Spanish speakers, and it gets worse when I get nervous for any reason. Put me in front of a class or a bunch of people if you want me to die scared. This is the funny part, though, I’m majoring music, fall ’15 is my second semester and obviously I’ll have to play in front of people. With an extra push and many eyes forcing me to do it, I am going to overcome that fear. In the meantime, some of my classmates may laugh, and that’ll be okay. A new experience to be added in my invisible diary.

This is short, and that’s all I wanted to talk about for now. I may not make any sense, combining different topics in some post called” Let’s Talk About Me”. Don’t judge me, I just wanted to introduce myself to you, person who found my blog and took a few minutes to read my stuff. I thank you, kindly.

I don’t know, like I’ve said, this is just and introduction. Other day I might tell you another uninteresting fact.