Welcome to the new era.

We interrupt our normal programming to announce that this blogger just become a US Citizen.

 

I landed in this country 10 years ago, with 1500 dollars to my name and an extraordinary  passion to win. At that point of my life, I didn’t belong anywhere. I hated living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro was never meant for me, and Fortaleza where my parents were living was a no go. I have tried before.

Home is where you heart is

When I arrived in Chicago, something hit different. I wanted to stay and grow roots for the first time in my life. Even during the worst moments, I could still see my future in it.  For the first time, I felt like I belong somewhere. I was not afraid of anything, I just wanted to make it work. As I walked around town, I learned really fast that in America, you HAVE to act like you belong. Just like Anna Delvey, in Inventing Anna, if you pretend hard enough that you belong, they will believe you do. That’s what I did.

I never scammed anybody, but when it comes to Fake till you make it, she got a point.

The minorities like me knows what I’m talking about.

Within 6 months living in Chicago, I had it all. But I also had something my country never gave to me.Confidence. This country is made by people that take chances, that kick the entry door. We suffer, we cry in silence, but we also brush off the dust, every day at dawn, and start over. The minorities like me, knows exactly how to get over situations fast, in order to survive. It’s a jungle out here.

You become a citizen as soon as you leave your country behind and make your way into this place. The rest is just formalities.

The reason why I wrote all that, it’s because I just got my citizenship. I love Disney movies and I recently watched Pinnochio. It resonated with me so much.

Husband said “Hold on, there is one string attached. Its your wedding ring”

Well my bad 🤣 I meant no strings with immigration.

There are no strings to hold me down. To make me fret or make me frown.

After 10 years of having nightmares about visiting my family in Brazil and couldn’t go back in the US, I’m finally out of the lions’ dent. No more wake up sweating in the middle of the night. I’m here to stay.  With all that being said, I will be focusing this blog in a less overdramatic line of writing.

September 2022
September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this blog has always been about my journey as an immigrant, which I will always be, I will continue to write about my experiences, but I will also be focusing in other projects. Now that the haze has lifted, I want to participate in some writing contests, with Coverfly, travel and dedicate more of my time to the youtube channel.

I’m moving forward to more of Film/producing/ editing line of work. Live out loud too will soon be Live out loud Too Productions. I waited for this moment for a long time. Three years to be exact. I like to think I just didn’t do it because I don’t have a garage. Or because of the Pandemic. I still don’t have a garage, but I will make it work.

Hopefully if you are still reading this, please my youtube channel! I’ve been posting shorts lately, as I couldn’t focus on writing or editing for the life of me. This is the latest short I posted!

 

“Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf*****.”

 

See you soon!

JS XXX

Leadville, Baby Doe Tabor and the Farewell trip with the camper

 

Please like and subscribe! ( yes, I became one of those obnoxious people 🧐)

Like everything else in my life, when I fix one thing, the other side of the rope gets loose, but this time there is no more stretching. It’s time to say goodbye to our beloved camper. What this truck camper symbolizes in my life here in America, has more to do with what I’ve been through than I would like to admit.

The truck was the first somewhat house security I had while living here. No matter what would happen, I knew I had my truck camper. We got it last year, on the Facebook marketplace, in need of a lot of repairs and we took care of it.

The truck camper and the lost arc.

A few weeks ago, the truck camper got stolen from our apartment complex, here in Denver, luckily we were able to get it back. The truck shut off in a gas station. Out of nowhere, my transformer was found and we towed back.

When we got it back, we had some more security repairs to add and then we decided to take it on a short trip to the mountains, not knowing that on the way back we would have to make a decision about it. Sell it, or fix it. Again.

Turquoise Lake? Not yet. First, Leadville.

Last Tuesday we hit the road on our way to Turquoise Lake, about 2 hours away from Denver. We packed everything on the camper and drove into the mountains with our huge truck.

The first shock was the price of gasoline. Since we drive a hybrid car and don’t go a far distance, we work close to the house and take public transportation, we don’t spend much. The price to fill up half of the tank here was about 93 dollars. Half tank.

But first, let me have breakfast.

As soon as we arrived in Leadville we started looking for a place to have breakfast, and we found a restaurant close to the street we parked, called Silver Llama. The cute artsy restaurant has some good and cheap food, with a self-serve coffee station and some art around the place for sale.

After eating we walked around town for a little bit of history, but before I had to stop at a consignment store to get myself a light jacket because for some reason I always underestimate de cold temperatures in the mountains.

Leadville is about 10 thousand feet above sea level and at least 20 degrees colder than Denver. I was not ready.

My card for the youtube video made on Canva.

A few blocks further, we walked into a store to check some books and memorabilia, only to have the entire story of the town told to us, by a very nice lady, who I’m sure was the store owner.

She told us about the story of Baby Doe Tabor and her husband, who got rich with mining, while being a politician, and poor again when the silver was replaced by gold and lost all its value. She told us about the Saloon, built 100 years ago, which is still running.

The Silver Dollar Saloon is a treasure place itself.

There are pictures of famous and historic people, like the unsinkable Molly Brown and baseball players, a fully operating bar, and all the decorations from a long long time ago, including a phone booth. We made videos and you can check it out on our channel!

Everything in Leadville is historically dated to the mining and the gold rush in the late 1800.

After the trip, I rushed to buy the book about Baby Doe Tabor, and I wish I had read it before visiting. It only means I will have to come back for some more information.

The book is giving me a hype to write a script based on her story.  Hollywood released a movie based on the Tabor’s life in 1932 called Silver Dollar, so I guess it’s time for another one. Maybe thats my big break.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0023472/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_1 

After visiting the Saloon, we walked to the The Jewish temple and museum, with artifacts and more histories about the jewish community in town. I wanted to visit the mine museum, but we decided to leave it for next time, since the entire tour would take over an hour and needed to head to the camping site.

The camping site should be the next video I will be working on tis week. We are slowly learning how to film content to make it easier on the editing side.

It hasn’t been easy to tackle all this editing and posting, marketing and sharing, with a full time job. I’m exhausted, but I’m also driven by the need of being constantly busy with side projects.

One day at a time.

Next week also we are going to Las Vegas for a couple of days. I will make sure to film and post it on youtube.

See you next week, with another video and stories about the Baby Doe camping site!

Stay Healthy and Stay safe!

JS

XX

 

How to have a day job and still work on your dreams

Let’s be real, unless you are a trust fund kid or a 16 years old TikTok, dancing around for millions of people and getting loads of endorsements, you need a job. At least until your main plans take off the ground.

Unless you are wealthy, it’s a little hard to make it happen, and it’s ok.

If you inherited some money, or have money deposited in your account by a family member, so you can pursue your dreams, you are lucky. It’s easy to say “follow your dreams” when you are not exhausted after a full day of work. Real people have to have jobs and work on their dreams in the meantime.

There is no way I could simple abandoned my work, that pays for my house and utilities, to be broken again in my late 30’s in order to focus on my dream. I will have to do both. Is it working? Not yet, but at least with this job, I’m able to travel and get the content I need to put videos on my youtube channel. Getting the videos ready is a different stories. I’m getting better. At filming and editing, when I have time for it.

I’m super jealous of people that can juggle it all.

You can’t barely save the files and put it order. Sometimes you get paralyzed by fear of looking ridiculous in front of an audience, you don’t money for therapy yet, which you certainly probably need it with the internet trolls. Are you afraid of being ostracized by strangers? I’m 100% terrified of it.

How do you juggle your work life with your dream? I read in a book once that you should give one hours of your day for your projects. Its hard to get that when you give 9 hours away to a corporate job, because they have the tendency of draining your soul and your will to do anything else.

Anxiety cripples in.

We need planning. Planned content is the way to go. If you have an undiagnosed ADHD like me, and your brain works a million miles per hour, it might be hard to focus.Especially when you are at your day job, and you have ideas that you’d like to work on, instead of focusing on the job that pays you.

Your creativity is on the highest peak when you can’t do nothing with it.

People tell you to keep a little booklet with you at all times, to write ideas as they come to you. The muse plays me like a fiddle. Sometimes I’m talking to coworkers and I have a brilliant idea to write about something, and just like sand in my hands, it slowly vanishes away. Or When I sit at home, with a document open, just staring at a blank page.

I’ve seen people work on novels,  personal projects and make things work, while they have a 9 to 5 job. In my experience I’m still trying to make it happen. Do I lack confidence because I’m an immigrant or do I lack confidence because I don’t have any at all? There is something holding my feet and I would like to know what is it.  That’s why it’s hard to risk it all.

My day job gives me a sense of belonging.

The hotel I’m working is giving me the opportunity to stay in hotels from the same brand for a cheaper price. It’s a great discount on food outlets, spa services and parking. After 15 years working in hospitality, I finally think I made the right choice. They encourage you to travel and to take time off. The hotel also has a good care of your mental health, as they give you counseling and apps that you can use to take care of yourself.

Your Day job have a purpose in your life.

It can’t only be pay the bills. It has to be a step forward into your goals on a daily basis. You can’t also put a deadline in it. We all have different paces, and different timing, don’t overwork yourself, because when you get to where you want to be, exhaustion it’s the next exit.

Keep working and try to find small joy in simple things.

My job allows me to travel and stay in beautiful properties with a high discount. That also allows me to film my trips and post it on my upcoming youtube channel. What does your day job bring you, while you are working on something that you really want to? Some people like to make music, some people like to make art, and some like me loves writing. How can you take a moment of your day to feel accomplished with your art?

We just got out of a two year pandemic, where most of us had the chance to work from home. Most of us also had the time to focus on our craft. I never wrote so much as the time I was stuck at home.

You were not expected to improve during the pandemic, but some of us needed that time for ourselves.

Travel Vlogger

My blog had 50 something posts on 2020, which is a miracle, because I don’t have the time I need to create content, neither do I think that people actually read it.But I keep going, with my day job and my dream of being a writer. Which I’m already, I just don’t get paid for it. It’s my art.

My latest creation is this :

New Logo

What is your art?  how do you manage to have a day job and follow your dream? Please let me know in the comments!

 

 

24 hours in Vail, Colorado!

Back in Vail for 24 hours! What to do for fun and where to eat for a cheaper price!

It was windy. A cold, strong breeze, with leaves flying in a spiral.  Last time in Vail for this witch was 13 years ago. Social media was still on its first steps, there was not immediate sharing, only enjoying.It was the first time in my life that I felt truly happy. Until the day the hotel I was doing my internship told us we, all the student visas holders, would have to leave by the end of the season, in April. With that being said, we will not be able to renew the visa for the summer season, like planned. It was a the ice bucket challenge. But not for good cause.

Like the Coldplay song Viva La Vida says:

“One minute I held the key. Next the walls were closed on me And discovered that my castles stand Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand”.

Every time I hear this song, I’m immediately transported back to those days.

One minute I was hopping around town, filled with happiness, going to coffeeshops and bars, the next minute my castle crumbles and I’m packing my bags back to my parents house in Brazil, with a canceled visa. Only to be back 13 years later, married, with a decent job, that allows me to stay in nice hotels and with a document that allows me to stay forever, and not be shipped back home due to any financial crisis. Anyway! The mini trip was great!

Vail 13 years later! What changed? I changed!

We rent a car on Turo, which is similar app to Airbnb, but only for cars. They have all kinds of luxury cars that you can rent, but also cheaper options like the one we got. The reason why we had to rent a car, its because with the Colorado laws, you have to have a 4X4 car to go up the mountains.

Our ballerina CT Lexus would not be up to the game. It would literally flip around like its on a try out for a Broadway show. We would also face the possibility to get fined up to a thousand dollars, it was better and safer to spend about 100. We ended up getting a SUV type of Mercedes, quiet and steady. The trip was about to get real!

Vail is only 1 hour and 40 minutes away from Denver.It is a very beautiful scenery, as you get lost in the white snow covered Aspen trees. Every few miles you can spot a ski resort along the road. I did our check in online and a few minutes later they texted us telling our room was ready.

The Grand Hyatt Vail Resort is stunning! Our room faced the mountains and had a couch. Once again they had robes, or this time 1 robe. I had to share with Josh for the photos, as he embark in my madness and partake the in my adventures. The hotel is big with 3 restaurants, a spa, plenty of outside area. For our surprise the hot-tub and the pool were open. We didn’t have bathing suits. I think it was the voice of reason saving us from a pneumonia. I will be back when its warmer.

Food! 

There is a way to eat cheaper while in Vail and I can prove it. As I was a local many years ago, I kept myself away from those fancy restaurants, that wants to charge you a huge amount of money for the name of the chef. I’m still a local in my heart and looked for places I used to eat when I lived there. One of them is called Route 6.

Route 6 is a dinner in Eagle Vail, nothing extraordinary, but good for a reasonable breakfast meal. I got a breakfast sandwich and Josh got a steak. He didn’t like it, but also, who order steak in a side road dinner? Well, Josh does. I always set lower expectations, and at Route 6 I knew what to expect.  Meal number 1.

In the afternoon, while walking around the Vail Village, Josh got hungry again and I decided to join him. We stop at the bottom of the mountain restaurant, to have some beers and tacos. Well, I had the beer. I asked about the people coming down the slopes, only to find out that the mountain was closed due to a power outage, around 12pm. The time the witch arrived in town. Surprised yet?

At night, after walking around town and trying to take a nap, we decided to eat again. Now it was time for dinner. I didn’t want to go out again, so we ate at the hotel bar, we shared half chicken with gnocchi and wine. Plus dessert.  The hotel restaurant only open the dining room Fridays to Sundays and I though this was a great idea. They should do that at my work place.

Fun!

Around Vail you have some sub-divisions like Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Minturn and Gypsum. People usually live on Eagle-Vail, Avon and Edwards and work in Vail. Very rich people lives in Vail. The working peasants hide in smaller, more affordable places.

In the morning after breakfast at Route 6, we drove over to the apartment complex I used to live. I didn’t realize how much I had to walk to take the bus, in the cold and snow, everyday. It is a long way!

It was great to revisit and I bet the prices now are way higher than 1200 a month with utilities. The complex had a painting job and I saw some people that looked like J1 visa holders living there, like I was once. The pain of carrying your laundry basket in the cold is real.

From that memory lane, we moved to another. We stopped at Avon, to walk around and see the little town center. In my mind the supermarket was in a different direction and this time I didn’t want to cross the train tracks to go to Starbucks, like I used to. The witch is old and tired.

I wanted to go to Beaver Creek, but the wind was too strong to get the gondola up, and get the bus that take us there. Walking around was painful, as a dust particule hit josh’s eyes and he immediately freaked out. Let’s go buy sunglasses then.

Later on we took the hotel shuttle to walk around the Vail Village. Most of the bars I used to hang out are still there, including the one where me and my friend had a blast time and Jesus was the for the resident DJ for the party. Vendetta’s was the place and Joana was the queen (as I like to portrait myself in my mind)

I took more photos, tested my new phone lenses, at least tried,  my hands were cold because I forgot my gloves. The streets were empty, only a few people walking around, as the season was coming to an end.

After Dinner, we went to bed at 9pm, after all, it was my day off and I wanted to sleep on the nice bed as much as I could. Early morning the next day, I took some time to take some photos with the hotel robe, which I believe is going to become a thing, because you just look fancy in it.

We check-out at the hotel and once again, stopped at Vail Village to pick up a coffee and muffin  at Loaded Joe’s for the trip back, but we only had 10 minutes, because we didn’t want to pay for parking. Couldn’t even tell the barista about the time I lived in town, as I told everyone else I encountered.

It was a great short trip! I can’t wait to be back, with more time and a bathing suit packed next time! Now let me go edit the videos to post on youtube, as the channel is coming together! I have way more to show on videos!

Stay Healthy, Stay Sane!

JS XXX

 

ReInventing Joana – The most VIP trip ever.

I was walking around in on of those high end boutique streets in Soho and a few steps in front of me, a lady with a trend coat, talking with someone on her phone.

It was a loud conversation, and for what I understood, she was mad with an employee of her company, like the girl did something absurd and she, the boss, wasn’t going to tolerate such mistake.

I walked a few steps behind her and notice that her New Yorker attitude was saying a lot about how we present ourselves to others. Maybe thats why the fraudulent Anna Delvey got so far with her scheme in the city. They love everything that shines.

Fake till you make it.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, in the big city, especially a city like New York, you have to stand taller than others. We’ve seen so many movies about a girl who was treated like trash, changed her attitude and her looks and grab the society by the hair.

One of my favorite movies “The Devil Wears Prada” talks about this city dynamic. I’m convinced that behaving like that  actually works here in America. Unapologetic.

I forgot to use my Anna Delvey Accent. It was not VIP, Vivian.

Whenever I travel, I like to walk around in different streets, to make me feel like I’m a local, like I actually belong to the place I’m visiting. I’m not against visiting touristic spots, like libraries, museums and historic sites, but I’m not dedicating my precious time to see what I can see in any youtube channel, for an entire day.

Especially because I don’t have much time when I travel, so I have to be smart with my choices. When I go to DisneyWorld, I know I will spend half of my day in a line, for a five minute ride, but when I go to New York, I have to be precise which neighborhood I want to visit, instead of waiting at a line to see the Statue of Liberty and waste my entire day.

Feeling like I truly belong, at the train station, I was looking around to figure out which letter train I would take to West Village, when a girl in need of information approached me.

She asked me if that train was going to a certain place. I baffled and try to tell her, I didn’t know either, but yeah sure, the train was going to that place. The poor girl is probably still lost in the city. I turned around and asked the lady working at the train station, who gave me the same answer I gave the girl “Yeah, sure, it goes there”.

Wants to feel like a true New Yorker? Give people misinformation about the subway system. It’s too complicated even for locals to understand.

People from the hotel, in other hand, were all very nice to me. Maybe because I work for the same company, or maybe because they were highly trained to be nice. I stayed at The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel and got upgraded for a suite.

The hotel was a truly VIP experience *read it in Anna’s voice* .
 Inside  The Beekman- A Thompson Hotel

The hotel is located in Lower Manhattan, close to World Trade Center memorial site and the Brooklyn Bridge is a walking distance. Staying at the hotel feels like you were transported to a 1920’s site, in the prohibition era. The restaurant looks like a Speakeasy and the vintage decoration gives you the feeling os travel in time.

The room had dim lights  and every time I left the room and came back, I had turned down service. When I came back at night, I noticed my curtains were closed. The bed was made, some water bottles were left by bedside table, with a room service menu on the top of the pillow, in case I wanted to order something for breakfast. I made some videos and I should post it soon.

I was really considering staying at the hotel and resting, instead of walking 12 hours a day. But I choose the second option. Getting lost in the city it’s my kind of trip. 

Friends Apartment Building – Manhattan

Next day, after breakfast in the hotel, I was ready to tackle the city. I wanted to visit the Friends Apartment building, so I took the train, got out in the wrong station and walked. And walked some more. The Goggle maps confusing me and my sense of direction, so it took me a little longer to find it, but I did.

The building is very crammed inside of a neighborhood, with a few cute restaurants and other apartments. From there, I walked to Soho, to visit some stores and see the lady yelling at the phone about her employee.

 

A very walkable city

In terms of food, I didn’t want to spend much. Once again, I look for local shops and not Tourist Trap restaurants. When I arrived on Monday, I walked to Chinatown to meet my friend and had some Dim Sum,  we shared and it was ideal to not spend much.

The next day, I had breakfast the hotel, it was about 25 dollars and if you are not starving, you can always share some items, if you traveling with someone. Josh didn’t go with me, because he had to work and I was only going for 2.5 days.

Find cute local shops and not Tourist Traps.

During my walk in Soho, later on, I stopped to eat a sandwich and a smoothie, in a very small and cute cafe. Joe and the Juice is a perfect spot for a quick bite.   https://www.joejuice.com/  Prices are reasonable and you don’t feel like breaking the bank. Again, don’t fall for tourist traps restaurants.

Moving on to Times Square, this time by train, I was amused by how busy that place is. I went to the Disney Store, M&M’s and kept walking to Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue. Later on, I went to K-town to eat at a Korean Food Court, that my friend who is a local in New York City, knows about.

Again, I had a Korean seafood soup for dinner and a soda that it costed about 13 dollars. Next day, the day I was coming back home I walked to Eataly, close to the hotel and got some pizza slice with a soda before traveling, also pretty cheap.

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”

New York is an expensive city, if you want to do expensive stuff. Things aimed to tourists are really overpriced and it makes it look like you have to be rich to be in a place like that. Yes, I got the hotel for a cheaper price, but even when I didn’t, 15 years ago, I stayed in a hostel sharing the room with 12 other girls and ate the same way I did on this trip. It’s about connecting with the local culture.

Apart from eating cheap food, I wanted to walk around high brand stores, see how people behave on a daily basis and have some fun. It’s easy to understand why to succeed in this city, you have to be a bit rough and put on a show. It’s the vibe of the city. Play pretend. Act like you belong among them and you will see how it work.

We are coming back to the city in May and I’m taking Josh this time. I can’t wait to show him around and show him the city dynamic, while getting mad at the train.

 

 

 

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