The First Round of Grammy Performers have been announced

It’s that time of year again. The Grammy Awards are just around the corner and some of the performers have been announced. Music’s biggest night always puts out some of the most memorable musical performances of the year and this award show will be no different.

Not so surprisingly, Cardi B herself will take the stage for her 2nd year in a row. 2018 was a huge year for her both personally and professionally. She had number 1 hits with ‘Girls Like You’ and the Latin banger “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny. She is nominated for 5 Grammys including Album of the Year. Which song will she perform this year? We can only wait and see.

Another big star performing for his first time is Canadian Shawn Mendes. He is nominated for 2 awards including Song of the Year for his stadium tune “In My Blood”.

Country duo Dan and Shay who are nominated for their country hit “Tequila” will also be taking the stage as well as Post Malone and Album of the Year nominees Kacey Musgraves and Janelle Monet.

The Grammys are a time for a celebration of the year’s music. It can sometimes get political, controversial and debatable but it’s always a night to remember.

Make sure you catch Alicia Keys hosting the Grammys on February 10th and keep an eye out for more performers being announced soon!

You can never have too many friends

Friends come from so many places. It’s always great to keep in touch with people you meet and get along with so well. Last night, I had dinner with some friends who are visiting from Ottawa and throughout the food and drinks, it made me think how great it is to have such an array of people you know across the country or even the world! Growing up in Vancouver, I always felt safe with having a small group of friends that I was comfortable with. As I grew and entered the so-called “real world” it opened my eyes to so many new people, new cultures and new experiences.

It’s good to be open to new people. There are times you meet people that you click with so well on a friendship level and its great. I honestly think meeting people in your adult life can create an even stronger bond than those who you’ve known since forever. As adults, our personalities are more or less fully formed so the people we gravitate towards will only add to our lives.

As I was saying, I spent some time with my friends who were visiting and its awesome to catch up and have friends everywhere. I’m telling you, keep in touch with people you meet! It’ll give you more connections and places to visit!

The role of Maria in West Side Story has officially been cast!

It’s official! The lead role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s adaption of “West Side Story” has gone to a Latina! Colombian-American Rachel Zegler has been chosen to play this coveted role in her first ever professional acting role. This is huge news for a movie of this calibre, for many reasons. We always need more representation for visible minorities so the fact that an unknown actress who is LatinX has been chosen as the lead is another step in the right direction.

This can also be seen as a sort of redemption for iconic Puerto Rican EGOT winner Rita Moreno. Moreno was shunned of the role of Maria in the 1961 version for the late Natalie Wood, who was white playing her in brownface. As a LatinX person, I appreciate Steven Spielberg using his privilege to showcase my people in the roles that were written for them. Without Hollywood directors like him making big leaps like this, we would not be able to get anywhere. In a time where actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Emma Stone are taking roles written for people of colour, every single aspect of representation matter.

I really hope that this movie can give little LatinX children the hope that they too one can see themselves on the big screen.

It’s always nice to look back

These past few days on social media have been interesting, to say the least. Have you all seen this puberty challenge all over Twitter and Instagram? It’s really something else. Basically, people are posting pictures of their ‘glow up’ from 2009 to 2019. I know on my timelines, most people were maybe in their mid-teens to mid-’20s 10 years ago, therefore many looks drastically different!

Now although this challenge is all in good fun and all about nostalgia, I think we can even think about it on a bit of a deeper level. 10 years ago, all of us were not the same people we are today. Each of us has experienced growth, pain, new lessons and so much more. It’s pretty great to see so many of us succeeding in small and big ways 10 years after the fact! I don’t feel that I’m the same person I was just 6 months ago so imagine how so many of us feel about ourselves 10 years ago!

When I look back at life 10 years ago, it’s crazy! Because day by day, it doesn’t really seem like things change all that much but when you put it on a timeline like that, you can feel very proud of the person you’ve become! Even what you like to do is different! In 2009, I was 13-14, barely starting high school. I wouldn’t be able to imagine that 10 years later my life would be so different!

So I think you all should go look at pictures of yourselves in 2009 and remind yourselves that you’re doing pretty good today.

Top 5 Vancouver Coffee Shops

Vancouver is full of great things. Great food, great views and pretty great weather in comparison to the rest of Canada. You know what else Vancouver is great for? Their endless amounts of coffee! Now I’m not just talking about your usual Starbucks or Blenz, instead, today I will let you know about 5 great coffee shops to have a cute study date or regular date!

1) Prado
Prado is a chain coffee shop in Vancouver. With many locations across the city, you can always find one to step foot into! Their coffee is top notch and the locations are all aesthetically pleasing. I’d recommend checking out the locations on Fraser Street and in Gastown especially!

2) Aperture
Aperture has 2 locations in Vancouver. One on Main Street/King Edward and one on West Broadway. I highly recommend trying their Americano as their espresso is some of the best in the city. Aperture is a good place to study as it is super quiet and large!

3) Waves
Waves Coffee is one of the larger chains on this list but still worth the acknowledgement. The location on Howe and Smithe is probably the one that I would check out. I love that Waves is super ready to go but their coffee doesn’t suffer. They also have pretty great pastries to snack on if you’re looking for something to eat. Highly recommend!

4) Breka Coffee
What can I say about Breka Bakery! It’s probably my favourite on this list. Open 24 hours 365 days a year, you can find anything and everything you want here! Their hot chocolate is to die for and all their cakes are amazing! Check out their locations on Fraser Street and E 49th, Davie and Howe and in Kitsilano on West 4th!

5) Trees Coffee
I actually discovered trees coffee over the summer, and I can only say positive things! Their drip coffee is pretty good and the fact that they roast it right then and it is amazing! Highly recommend trying their cheesecake if you’re there. It’s one of my personal favourites!

These are just my personal top 5 favourite coffee shops in Vancouver. Check them out but also don’t hinder yourselves from others you discover!

So much Fake News

Fake news is everywhere. Certain people promote that everything the media says is fake news. Now personally, if one does their research, they will see that not everything is fake news. With that being said, I saw this article a few days ago about how the majority of people who believe in fake news sites on social media are baby boomers.

I wholeheartedly believe that this is true. Whenever I see a fake news site on Facebook and I look at the comments, the majority of people who are commenting about how everything the article is saying is real are older people. It’s funny because I know that many people say that the generation who is most out of the loop are millennials, but are we really? I rarely see millennials believe everything they read. They tend to more research before jumping to any conclusions.

Even my mom, a little Latina woman believes a lot of what she sees on Facebook. Granted it is mostly in Spanish but it’s still fake news. She sends me countless things about what so and so did or what a weird study shows and wholeheartedly believes it. It’s so hard to explain to her that the site she sent me is a fake news site and the story isn’t real. Why won’t these people budge with their thoughts? It’s funny.

Now yes, it is funny but if there are things that are more on the serious side, then fake news can be dangerous. I don’t want older people believing everything and anything. I would want them to do their own research but for some reason, they don’t want to.

What can you do I guess?

Is it time for R Kelly to face the music?

Looks like it might be R Kelly’s time to face the music. Following the Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R Kelly’ over the weekend it seems as if finally, people are taking these allegations seriously. Allegations stemming 20+ years.

The sad reality is that many people have struggled with the R Kelly allegations because of him being a “musical genius” and his collaborations with many famous artists. I have to admit, for a while even I struggled with this. Once I did my own research about all the allegations from his illegal marriage to late R&B sensation Aaliyah to his child pornography case up until the recent sex cult case, it became clear to me that in order to sleep well at night, I have to stop supporting R Kelly altogether. If I listen to any song by him today, I get extremely uncomfortable because of the meaning behind it.

Another aspect of this whole situation is that after years of ignoring these women, they are finally being heard. But why were these women ignored for so long? The sad reality is that being a black woman in the United States makes you one of the least privileged people in society. Less privilege involves less initiative to look into these allegations by prosecutors. In today’s social media age hopefully, more and more voices are heard so justice can be served. Its Twitter and shows like The Real Daytime that show these women’s stories.

Hopefully, we can continue to have these stories told and R Kelly can be brought to justice.

Bird Box interpretations

Bird Box has been out for a few weeks now and as a cultural movement, theories and underlying meanings have begun popping up on the internet. Some of the most interesting and intriguing ones involve immigration and mental illness.

Immigration has always been a hot issue, especially in the United States. In the Trump age, it seems as if the news on immigration is always a top topic on the news, social media and in everyday lives. Even right now, the government shutdown is because of a wall that is supposed to help keep immigrants out of the USA. In Bird Box, Sandra Bullock’s character tries to remove herself from the toxic situation in her home in order to save her children from the monster. Immigrant families trying to either cross the US/Mexico border or coming by ship to the USA are literally running away from their own ‘monster’. That monster is gang violence, sexism, persecution or so much more. Malorie is doing all she can to get her children to safety. Many people fail to see that many illegal immigrants’ last option is to try anyway to bring their children to safety. Safety to them is asylum in the USA.

There are so many other interpretations of Bird Box from the monster being a personification of mental illness to many others. In my opinion, I like that the movie has gotten so much buzz and people have analyzed it so much. It just gives more life to what people are thinking and what affects them.

How a drunken night reminded me there are still kind people in this world

This past Saturday night, my boyfriend and I decided to go out and celebrate both the new year and the fact that he is back in Vancouver after 3 weeks in Calgary visiting his family. 2 Latino’s out on the town usually means a lot of alcohol. We decided on going down on Main to The Shameful Tiki Room. After having to wait for a little while and just hanging around, we got our seat and the night began. The drinks were flowing one after the other until the night started becoming more and more blurry. Once 12:40 AM hit and final call were announced, we decided on one more drink before we headed out. That drink was gone in seconds and out the door, we went.

After wandering around the street for hours, these 2 young drunk gay boys usually enjoy ending their night with a poutine or 2. The only possible option for us was Lucy’s diner. Once that poutine was placed in front of us, we devoured it like animals. Of course, we wanted another one, so we asked for another one. Here’s the gag, our waitress tells us that a woman who happened to be walking outside saw us eating that poutine and decided to come inside and pay it for us. We don’t know who she was as we didn’t see anyone walk in. Obviously, at the time I was intoxicated and didn’t fully comprehend what had just happened but the next day when I was more or less sober, it made me think that still are people in this world who are kind. Whoever that woman was, did not need to do that for us, but she did.

So, to the anonymous woman walking down Main Street and E 12th Ave in Vancouver at around 3:00 AM on Saturday, January 6th. I really appreciate you. Thank you.

 

Should Ellen have pardoned Kevin Hart?

Another day, another controversy. This time around, it involves one of TV’s most beloved talk show hosts, Ellen Degeneres. This past Friday, Ellen had former 2019 Oscar host Kevin Hart on her show. During the interview, Hart once again tried to explain and justify his actions following the revelation of homophobic tweets that he tweeted 8 to 10 years ago. Ellen took it upon herself to pardon Kevin Hart for his past actions and even tried to persuade him to rethink his stance on hosting the 2019 Oscars.

While from the surface this all sounds like it was a great thing for both Hart and the LGBTQ+ community, what we as consumers of entertainment and social media have to understand is that Degeneres did not have a right to pardon Hart. Yes, Ellen is a prominent lesbian and member of the community, but she is not the member that these tweets were directed to. Kevin Hart’s tweets targeted black gay men and because of this, Degeneres pardoning him on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community is completely disrespectful.

Homophobia is very prevalent in the black community. Black gay men are some of the most underrepresented people within the LGBTQ+ community. They often deal with the lack of acceptance and violence more than other members of the community. Kevin Hart, a prominent black male celebrity promoted these acts that black gay men have had to struggle to overcome. If Kevin wants to give a genuine apology for these tweets, he needs to give it to someone like Don Lemon, a black gay man who more than likely has experienced his fair share of homophobia from the black community.

Let’s hope people can learn from this controversy and create a conversation about the homophobia that exists within groups in the LGBTQ+ community.