I’m Paz and I, like you, cannot be accurately summated onto a page anymore than in a glance. I write in hyperbole, preferably with words, but I sometimes use idiosyncratic symbols and doodles in a troubadour fashion. I also make melodies with notes, edit videos with software, shoot with lenses and illustrate with graphite/ink or vectors/pixels.

If I could sum up what I’ve written so far in just one phrase, it would be this: Two parts comedy, one part tragedy, and one and a half parts nonsense. (I don’t know where the last half part went.)

But if you want to know more about me, there’s a list for you below ’cause I LOVE making lists!

Oh and here’s a portrait my brother drew. He did it in about ten seconds. It’s far more accurate than any self portrait I can ever do, but rightfully so because he’s a far superior visual artist than me.

paz portrait

Portrait of me sans my glasses and piercings circa. 2006. A la naturelle. By my bro. (eyes to head ratio is actual size)

Five Fun Facts and More Info About the Blog

Fact #1.

I was born in the beautiful Colombia right smack in the mid-80s. This Colombia has nothing to do with British Columbia or any other Columbia. Sorry, I had to. You wouldn’t believe how many times people get that mixed up when I tell them.  You may only know of Colombia (and I hope that’s not the case) because during the mid-80s the words Colombian cartels, cocaine, crack and war on drugs were in conjunction, and my pretty little motherland probably became a common household name up here in the States. Thank you Nixon! Thank you Reagan (you too Nancy)! Thank you FARC, DEA, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional de la República de Colombia, FBI, CIA, military industrial complex! And thank you Pablo Escobar! You’ve all made Colombia even more famous for her beauty *cough*.

Fact #2.

I migrated–or rather was uprooted–to the States in 1990 when I was a few weeks shy of turning five.

Fact #3.

I’m undocumented, the only undocumented one left in my family of four. Let me phrase it in the more commonly used, horribly overused misnomer: I’m currently the only “illegal” in my family. Yes, I’m a non-Mexican “illegal” but a hispanic “illegal” nonetheless. Ugh, I hope that’s the last time I’ll be using the term here. Oh, and I’m livin’ in Texas. Yipi ki yay! (By the way, I’m extremely sarcastic, so much so that I even cringe at the things I say.)

Fact #4.

I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Type III (OI) which is more commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease/Lobstein syndrome (I prefer Brittle Bones condition or just brittle bones) and, as a result I’ve broken over a hundred bones and am three feet short. I also use a wheelchair though I do walk a little. So, when I refer to OI in this blog, I’m not saying “hi” in a ska-skankin manner. Oi! Oi! <— That’s skanking.

Fact #5.

OI is a rare genetic condition. Anywhere between one in 15,00 to 70,000 births result in a baby with OI. Anyway, the scarcity of OI specialists (virtually none) in Colombia at the time I was a toddler led my dad to a desperate decision: He convinced my mom to leave all of her family behind, he packed our bags, left his photography business behind, flew to the U.S. consul in Bogóta, miraculously was approved for ALL four VISAS and subsequently moved us to Houston, Texas—where the largest medical center in the world is housed—and, where I’ve been living since.

Fact #6.

I struggle with “mild” or “soft” manic-depression. However, when it comes to bipolar, “mild” need not be taken lightly. Just trust me for one sec; there’s nothing mild or soft about it.

I was diagnosed with bipolar NOS and then bipolar II in 2008. Since then, other psychiatrists have differed in opinion and slapped me with more or less Dx’s for other affective disorders sometimes compounded with “situational depression” which is a kind way of saying, “yeah, your head’s a little fucked, but part of that adds to the fact that you’ve been drawn some really shitty hands every now and again”. And isn’t that what manic-depression is thought to be already, a genetic predisposition with (possible) environmental triggers?

Mainly though, psychiatrists have just slapped me with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major/clinical depression from what I see. So, who knows how many more acronyms this mind holds. This mind–our minds–are all too complex and subjective to merely slap a DSM label on.

I have a distaste for psychiatry. It’s wobbly science. And I have an even bigger distaste for Big Pharma and its relationship with the APA. I find psychology pretty tasty though.

Update 4/25/2012: I just found out I’d been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) comorbid with major depressive disorder (MDD) by the therapist I’d been seeing for over a year until today. I think this is the most accurate Dx yet. Ha. More acronyms to throw up in the air. Here’s where I wrote about it.

Fact #7.

Sometimes, in my most delusional mental states, I actually think I’m an artist. I prefer heartist: lover+artist.

Fact #8.

I’m a failed musician who’s fallen in love with other failed musicians (not a good combo). I started playing the piano when I was seven or eight, quit when I was ten, started up again my second year of college when I was doing an audio engineering/music production program, but I haven’t seriously played in over two years. I did pick up the ukulele this past summer and am in love again.

Fact #9.

I’m addicted to cheese and coffee, among other things. The coffee part isn’t very good for my anxiety though, but it’s a bit of a good thing, especially for depressive hazes.

Ok, so that wasn’t exactly five facts. Got carried away, but hey, they were at least fun right? Somewhat? And at least I kept it under ten if you don’t count the facts within the facts and subtract the quasi facts. Well shit, that’s way more than I initially meant to let you know.

The MMM?

The Melancholically Manic Mouse is the side of me that I find difficult to reveal or even talk about. Ergo one day, I said “fine” to the nagging critter and opened up a WordPress account. I revived the pet name my dad had for me as a child–“mi ratón,” “mi ratoncito,” meaning my “little mouse” –and here I am .

In short, this is the space for that rodent to roam freely. There will be artsy stuff like doodles and mediocre poems (hopefully), but I don’t intend to make this a dedicated art blog. It’s not quite a journal either, I hope not, but I know I can rant. And it’s not completely a humor blog because I’d probably only be funny one out of ten times. It’s not completely a mental health blog either.

BUT, but… You will probably find a collection of crass, self-depreciating jokes and anecdotes/memoirs about my struggles with mental health issues; being the height of a four year old; breaking dozens upon dozens of bones from doing backflips onto my wheelchair and whatnot; living with hearing loss (that’s a new one); being an “activist,” or at least that’s what I hear my comrades call me these days; being the stereotypical “starving artist,” and all the other wonderful fucked-up-inhumane-bullshit adversities that come with being an undocumented immigrant living (and dying) in the U.S.A.

I don’t wanna take myself too seriously.

And I want avoid too much polemic on this blog because I have other places to write my leftist, radical diatribes and socio-political ideals.

Ah fuck it, I have too many thoughts on issues so take this as a heads up–they will occasionally trickle on here. I’ll do my best to keep it to a minimum even though I’ve been politicized and cannot be stopped!

I’m a work in progress, much like this blog, and hopefully, I’ll be able to uncover something about living and the human condition in the process.



© copyright 2011 Licensed to PAZ through the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. PAZ owns all sketches/doodles, photos and words unless otherwise mentioned. 


71 Responses to “About”

  1. anabanana said

    I’m excited to finally see this happen! Can’t wait to read more entries :]

    • P.A.Z. said

      Miss Ana! I really appreciate you taking a look. You were one of my encouragers. So now I feel obliged AND obligated to blow your mind.

      (Don’t believe the hype.) :p

  2. You make me laugh, you make me wince, you make me keep reading! I love anything that engages me, look forward to reading more.

    • P.A.Z. said

      I’m glad to have made you laugh. It’s my hope that if anyone reads this blog they at least get some chuckles out of it–out of the funny situations life presents us with–and maybe even more than that. To me, humour has always had a healing quality. Anyway, really glad I found you with the photography tags!

  3. Look forward to reading more from you PAZ.

  4. Dear PAZ,
    I have fallen in love with your venomous bee monkey. He has sad eyes that make me want to take him home and give him a Cumberland sausage.
    Lots of love,
    Dotty xxx

    P.S. I also have tinnitus. The noises in our heads ARE real after all. 🙂

    • P.A.Z. said

      Dear Dotty,

      My monkey-bee is very flattered. She would probably love the Cumberland sausage, and I would consider letting you have her. 🙂 Despite her appearance, she’s a fairly docile creature (unless she finds out that she’s been copied without attribution).

      And I’ve actually heard soft, creepy things beside the tinnitus but that has only been on a blue moon every five years or so. It’s actually been six years since I started noticing the tinnitus–around the time I noticed my hearing loss–and am barely habituating. Maddening little thing.

      Hope you’re also habituating.

  5. Dear PAZ,
    I don’t think I’m capable of looking after her, I couldn’t even get her sex correct so I think I’ll just visit her often and bring her a Cumberland sausage when I do.

    No, I’m not really used to the noises yet, it’s been about 8 months since it all began. I also have Hyperacusis and it’s very disconcerting and sometimes very, very scary – if I wasn’t already mad as a box of frogs I soon would be with this. Ah, what a life, eh?

    Love Dotty xxx

    • P.A.Z. said

      Aww. Sorry about that Dottie. It is a pain in the ass. I also have hyperacusis, but the audiologist I saw last year didn’t want to hear me out (no pun intended). That’s what drove me away from music these last three years.

      It’s like I can’t hear jack but then the volume goes up and I can’t stand it. The hell, right? Anyway, try some white noise. It may help a little. Here’s a good white noise generator i used to listen to


      And yes, what a life, phuckin A!

      Monkey-bee would love you

  6. Dear PAZ,
    Thanks for the noise generator, I’m playing it now. I’m going to put a link on my blog so I can get to it easily. Thank you.
    Love Dotty xxx
    P.S. I’m glad Monkey-bee would love me. I love her very much.

    • P.A.Z. said

      Dotty, I’m glad the white noise helps. It no longer helps me so much. I have to turn it three fourths of the way up to hear it…

      And Monkey-bee’s sad eyes were glowing when you sent your love.

  7. Ah Ratoncita mia, te amo muchisimo kvar–eh? Oh, sorry, my Espanyol is peppered with Hebrew and vice versa. There was a very kind Argentino in the shuk (marketplace) in Jerusalem who could also speak Spebrish. Besides him, I got a lot of squints and “eh?????”s. Ah the life of an immigrant.

    I have always had reasons to love Colombians. Most of them have had to do with velvet brown eyes, purring Castellano, quick, brilliant minds, a penchant for the absurd, and cumbia.

    And you, Ratoncita with the unfortunate gift of OI and other pesky tribulations, clearly possess the native fire and brilliance of your people, and on top of that, your own beauty, talents and drive.

    I am so glad that you made me aware that you are in my universe! I’m eager to gobble up all that you write.

    • P.A.Z. said

      Laura/Dr. Shulman, estoy como se dice en inglés… flattered. I truly am blushing here. I don’t know what to reply except I already am, so a warm thank you. Thank you for the kind words, for reading my words and for your appreciation of Colombians and our absurdities (now that you mention it, I remember literary magical realism did originate in Latin America). And our cumbia, it really is among the best the latin world has to offer. I prefer ballenato though, 60s salsa (none of that new stuff) and our soft, soothing, sad folklore. But I’m a kid of the 90s, so as you may expect, I grew up more into the grunge rock. In many ways, I was a punk and a bit of a metalhead and a little bit of everything in between. I just love music, which has been a gift and a curse in recent years.

      It’s also funny that you say my OI is a gift because sometimes I do consider it to be one. I no longer think it’s a coincidence that most kids I’ve met with OI possess a certain brilliance. And the immigrant life really does add a touch of strangeness to this already absurd life. Hebrew is such a beautiful sounding language. How I’d love to visit Jerusalem someday and hope for peace there.

      I look forward to reading more from you as well as sharing thoughts on this little thing called madness (I’ve already taken a peek at your blog).

      But for now I think it’ll be a while until I write here since I have lots to take care of/catch up with, and, typing with one hand is like running with a crutch. I broke my left arm being silly on Superbowl Sunday. Two trips to the ER in one week is a recent record.

      An just a question, were you a pediatrician? Or rather, what type of medicine did you practice?

      Warmest regards.

      • Oy, I’m so sorry to hear that you broke your poor paw!!!! Yes, I was a pediatrician. That is the only thing I could be because I am so very silly. In what other specialty would your patients ask you questions like, “what is my belly button for?” (Answer: so you won’t fly around the room backwards!!!) So of course I love Latin American literature, the more surreal the better. And thank you for your prayers for peace in Jerusalem. If you have any possible way of getting yourself there, it is a place where absolutely everyone should go, at least once in a lifetime. Anyone who needs healing, all the more so. Although I think we would have to put you in a suit of armor, because one of the annoyances of Jerusalem is that everyone pushes and shoves all the time!

  8. PAZ said

    “So you won’t fly around the room backwards” That is so cute! I’m also very silly. And I can’t take things seriously for too long. I think it’s a defense mechanism. I’ll get my suite and armor ready for when I’m free to legally travel outside of the States (although I see no hope for that at the moment)…

    Hope you’re well!

  9. bipolarmuse said

    So glad you found me. I am very much looking forward to reading more about you and your blog. ♥

  10. You’re something else. And yes, you are sarcastic but it’s all good. 🙂

    • PAZ said

      Thank you. 🙂 I’m not nearly as sarcastic in real life. I’ve been learning to bite my tongue over the years (sometimes have to go for the lip too). You’re a gifted, graceful writer. I could tell when I read just one of the excerpts. And the Ricky thing had me chuckling.

  11. saradraws said

    I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into here, but I think I’m gonna like it.

    • PAZ said

      I’ll take that as a compliment… hehe. Thanks?

      I also thought the same thing when I started this blog.

      Love that avatar pic!

  12. Hansi said

    Hey…thanks for subscribing.

  13. Paz,
    thanks for subbing, i shall try to amuse, inform, and sometimes anger…and, in general, make an idiot out of myself. continue…

  14. Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂

    I have a friend who is from Columbia-Columbia like you. I think he’s legal, though. But I feel privileged that I know where that is when apparently so many others do not…

    • PAZ said

      Yes, been meaning to ask. Is that Colombian guy nice? I’m guessing he is since you talk to him. But I’m just overly cautious with Colombian men for some reason.

      I feel privileged that you feel privileged. And I love books; i hoard them, so I enjoyed reading about your books.

  15. Millie Ho said

    You’re a mosaic of all things I like.

  16. bpshielsy said

    Hi, I’ll look forward to reading your stuff. You ‘About’ page was an interesting read.

    I really enjoy coming across people from different backgrounds.

  17. bpshielsy said

    Ha ha its a great song, no?

  18. Thanks for being so brave. There’s lots of us in the same/similar/same same but different/completely different/recognisable state of mind/body/spirit… whatever! General boat sinking is a comfort for all… also… hope that we are not alone, and that there is a way of voicing out and living out our fears. No matter how ridiculous they may seem from the outside. Even to ourselves. Stay as amazing and brave as you are. And thanks.

  19. My 37 year old daughter is terminally ill and I am blogging her final journey. She was born with OI with the added “benefit” of having horrific tissue issues. She has had 80 odd abdominal surgeries after a blotched back operation. Good luck with your journey.

    • PAZ said

      Hi Tersia!
      I’m sorry about your daughter. It’s so unfortunate. Ughh… Life.

      I appreciate you sharing this. Send my regards to her. It can be tough and she’s a brave soul for going through all that. I had a blotched jaw surgery two years ago. I’m now having to get the plate removed from my jaw because it is sticking out of my skin in the back of my mouth–not pretty.

      Send my regards to her! Best wishes.

  20. Hi, I sincerely enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Lovely Blog award. http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/lovely-blog-award/

    • PAZ said

      Thank you so much Katie! 🙂 I’m so glad I found your blog. I know how it is living with a connective tissue disorder and with BPD, so it has been comforting to read your blog. Again, thank you!
      Best xo

  21. Victoria said

    PAZ, this is a majour understatement, please forgive me;
    YOU Rock!!! So glad to have found you and your amazing blog. (Or, put another way: you are amazing, and your blog.)

    And, GRAZIE!

    • PAZ said

      Forgive you?! How could I not thank you. I’m extremely flattered that you’d say that. I am kinda crazie. hehe. We all have a little of the crazy in us, I just got filled with a bunch. xo

  22. Hello you! I was just starting to get worried when you sent out your latest post, so I’m very glad to know you’re still alive and kicking!

    I put up the Blog For Mental Health 2013 post on Canvas, and I pledged everyone involved, including you, Ms. Mouse! So I am giving you official notification of that.

    I hope things are going well with you. I miss you since I’ve been off of fb, but it’s better for me this way. So I am sending you, the Mouse, and even all the Pretty Little Demons my love (just tell the last they better not get any ideas).

    • PAZ said

      If it’s better to be off FB, it’s good you’re off. I feel ya there. I re-activated my FB but don’t get on it much these days. Plus, I’ve been a busy bee! I’ll be starting a job soon! Yeah, I got the work approval from immigration. I will tell them.

      Been meaning to say hi to you too but I’m terrible with emails and keeping in touch sometimes…

      Much love, mouse love and all kinds of love xoxoxxx

  23. Wait… wouldn’t it be “mi ratoncita”?

    Finally got around reading your about section. I’m impressed. Why are you still illegal? Is it because your condition?

    • PAZ said

      Claro que si mujer! I am still “illegal” (it should be said differently) because the U.S. immigration system is trapping, convoluted, unjust, complex, discriminatory, discretionary, arbitrary, etc. jaja. You get the picture.

      Basically, I’m fucked but not as much as before because Obama signed that DACA act and I now have a work permit at least! My brother married, so he became a U.S. citizen. He petitioned my parents for permanent legal residency but can’t petition me for 14 or so years ’cause I’m an adult sister and class b relative and all this other stuff.

      Oh man, I’ve been meaning to write more posts about the whys and the journey.

      Gracias por leer querida compa de Canvas!

      • Caramba…. peluda la cosa.

        Immigration systems are never fair or even sensible. I guess it’s not so bad here in Canada but it is still very annoying. A friend of mine married a Mexican guy and after 5 years of marriage, she still hasn’t been able to bring him here.

        When I applied for citizenship, both my kids were minors but the process took so long, my daughter turned 18 and was kicked out of the process. As a result me and my son are citizens but my daughter is only a permanent resident. Stupid!

        • PAZ said

          Bien peluda! Yo que soy la que tiene tantas condiciones soy la que quede afuera y ya llevo casi toda mi vida aquí! No conosco a mis primitos.

          Espero que le salga algo a tu hija. Bien, pero bien peluda!

          • Si me imagino. Tiene que ser muy dificil estar en esa situacion. Yo no se que haria sin mi health card. Aqui como todo en la salud esta incluido. Yo no he tenido que pagar un peso por ninguna de las cirugias ni por la psicoterapia.

            Y bueno, mi hija no esta tan mal. Como residente permanente igual lo unico que no puede es votar. Pero su health card si la tiene. Y ya lo demas pues es que ella aplique a su ciudadania. Pero no ha querido pagar la plata la sinverguenza 😛

  24. Sian Mann said

    Yep! I can tell I am going to like this blog!

  25. ExEB said

    As far as visual artist go.I lapped-up reading through the words you used and could thus-way visualize a whole heap,with great ease.

    Mighty inspirational stuff MMM

    • PAZ said

      Woah, thanks. I’ve almost forgotten how much I have poured out through this blog.

      What kind of art do you make? I originally intended this to be an illustrative blog (like a comic) but it took me places. 🙂

      • ExEB said

        Well iv’e been known to carve wood or bone or stone or brass.Have also carved leather and even pressed out copper foil too. My trade is landscaping. Although i’m only self-taught at that. So as-such i really don’t have any sort of “professional qualification” in this trade. All i have, is a sort of “natural-creative-sense” .Which then allows me to envisage stuff within my mind. An the hands to create and reproduce it.

        But when i read about what you had wrote,when saying that “Sometimes, in my most delusional mental states, I actually think I’m an artist.”

        Well i just really wanted to point out that i do see you as a great artist. An artist that paint’s so vividly with words you use.

        Some people have that special gift. They write about stuff.

        And the reader (such as myself) can then easily “visualize” it.

        Someone like myself can create a wood carving with my hand. That someone can then visualize ,”by eye”

        Where as a person who “paints with words”. Uses something extra special. To create and produce a “mental image” on paper.. That someone such as myself can then actually begin to see , without even seeing.

        I feel that truly does take a mighty special gift .

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