A woman with a strong heart and an old mind. Born in 1955, Jacinta Vargus is 62 years old with an extremely intriguing story under her belt.
She walked into the dimly lit room, looking fairly curious- her eyes lighting up at the sight of me.
“You’re giving me such a professional look, it makes me feel important” She chuckled slightly, correcting her posture and giving a look that implied professionalism.
To start off simply, how old are you?
Her eyes rolled in slight annoyance at the all too personal question, acting as though she wouldn’t prefer to acknowledge her age.
“I’m 62, Zoey, born in 1955. You know that…”
Well, I have to start off with the norm I guess. You’re born, you grew up…
Her killer gaze softened, suddenly looking understanding.
“I guess you’re right. I should’ve expected it- it is an interview after all”
Where were you born exactly? Can you describe it?
A sudden longing overcame her composure, her eyes seeming to be somewhere else as she spoke.
“ Faial Island, Portugal. And it’s… Well…” She snapped out of her ‘recalling of memories’ moment and cleared her throat before saying.
“Type it into google, it’s a beautiful place.” she then smiled
I will, thank you. So, when did you leave Portugal?
She answered without hesitation.
“In 1965, when I was ten years old”
If you don’t mind me asking, why did you leave?
Tensing up at the question, she ran a wrinkled hand through her hair and sighed.
“The volcano destroyed many lands.” Her answer was quick and short, as if she wanted to get on with the next question as soon as possible.
What was it like? Living in portugal?
Her nervousness floated away, it quickly being replaced with an obvious satisfaction at the memories. She grinned slightly.
“We were all very unified. We all relied on each other without worry, everyone in the community was very close.”
You told me you had quite a few siblings, what was that like?
She chuckled, and widened her droopy eyes as if she was re-living the stress.
“Yes, I had seven siblings and it was very very hectic”
Well, what was your relationship like with them? Did you all get along?
.She looked at me, seeming a little confused as to how I did understand something that seemed extremely basic to her.
“You have your brother and sister, you’d know that I had to get along with them. We lived in a very small house, and had to share one bathroom. Seven kids, two adults and one bathroom? It would’ve been hell if we didn’t get along.”
That does make perfect sense. Where did everyone sleep?
She moved a stray hair from her face,looking thoughtful.
“Well, usually we all slept in one room, and we would take turns on who got to sleep on the tiny couch in the living room. But more often than not, we slept on the floor.”
And what was your mom’s name? Your dad’s?
She smiled like she was longing for time past.
“My mother’s name was Anna Lorenzo Silvero and my father’s name was Frank Francisco Vargos. They pronounced it like ‘Franceesco’”
Who was your favorite sibling? Why?
“Adelia, my sister. Remember, Aunty Dee Dee? She was always my favorite, and she still is. We’ve always been the closest out of all seven of us, and we’ve been through everything together. She’s my best friend, we call each other every day- she lives in California now.”
There seems to be quite a few positive memories, so what is your fondest memory of portugal before the volcano?
She shifted in her seat, looking more comfortable than she had when the volcano was last mentioned.
“Of course there were fond memories, it was my home. My fondest memory of portugal was when me and Adelia would sit on on the porch while my mom hung the sheets dry and we waited for dad to come home from fishing.”
Did the community react badly to the volcano?
Her face slowly became sorrowful.
“From what I remember, there wasn’t really enough time to worry about whether or not they were scared. You had to pack up your things and go, it wasn’t a matter of thinking it was more a matter of finding a way off the island. We were all going to be immigrants and kennedy had just opened up the borders to us because it was a tragedy”
How did you feel? From what you can remember?
Her eyebrows furrowed in thoughtful agitation.
“I was very scared, but I’m sure my parents were all the more worried than I was. I was scared because I was confused and they were scared because they had to ensure they were getting seven kids out of the house and enough valuables for us to survive in a completely different country. As I said, there wasn’t much time to think, it was a pack the minimal and go sort of ordeal.”
Where did you go after that?
“We came to california, it was very different than portugal and I didn’t speak very good english. To say I was nervous would’ve been an understatement. The people in california were so much more materialistic than the people in portugal, I didn’t really know how to react. Then I met your mother’s dad and we had your mom.”
How do you feel now? Living in somewhere different than both California and Portugal?
She looked conflicted
“It does have its perks, but I can’t deny that I’d like to go back home one day.”
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
She smiled the sweetest smile I’d seen since the beginning of the interview.
“I love you baby.”
Coffee Shop One: Sugar House Coffee
If you’re looking for a coffee shop with vegan options, an excellent environment and one that screams ‘hipster’, this is the coffee shop for you!
Sugar House Coffee’s environment is phenomenal, as expected for a coffee shop in the heart of Salt lake. The people working there were unbelievably kind and relatable, making it fairly easy to
communicate and feel comfortable.
Considering the type of people in the area of Sugarhouse, I expected quite a bit of eco-friendly encounters which is exactly what I was presented with. The first thing I noticed was the abundance of vegan options on the food menu, a majority of the options were either completely vegan, or had side text stating that there was a vegan option for most of the food that wasn’t specifically labeled as such.
Next, there were plant based straws, and ceramic bowls and plates (reusable)! It was obvious that there was a lot of effort put into making sure the shop was significantly more eco friendly than the next.
Due to this easy going environment, it encouraged me to order more than just a drink- to see if the food (and drink) happened to be just as good as the ‘feel’ of the place.
For a drink, I had ordered a Golden Graham Latte, which had included chai, white chocolate and brown sugar that I had expected to be sweet considering the ingredients but was actually quite bland. All of the flavors were sort of dulled in a way, which made it harder to finish due to the unclashing flavors.
Though, the Acai bowl I had ordered was a replacement for the lack of sweet flavor and was completely savory. It was sweet, smooth and the granola was a perfect touch to the whole thing.
Overall, I loved Sugar House Coffee, the impression of the shop is lovely, and the food is delicious. Though, the coffee didn’t suit my fancy much.
Coffee Shop Two: The Honeysuckle Coffee Co.
If you’re looking for a mellow environment with an extremely modern design, this is the coffee shop for you.
Honeysuckle Coffee was extremely different from Sugar House, making it quite easy to compare the two. Contrary to Sugar house, there were very few people at Honeysuckle and it was fairly quiet creating a very cramped feeling. The lighting was quite harsh, and there wasn’t a whole lot of color making it hard to feel as comfortable as I could have.
Unlike Sugar House Coffee, it wasn’t eco friendly, there was a lot of plastic packaging and there weren’t straw free lids.
Though the people were kind and comforting which made it a lot easier to feel at ease in this particular coffee shop. They were very explanatory, as I had a lot of questions about the menu this was particularly helpful in deciding what to order.
I wasn’t expecting very much from the coffee, or the scone I had ordered but I was very pleasantly
I had ordered a black pepper latte which was absolutely delicious, it was perfectly sweet and bland at the same time. It was so so smooth and left a wonderful aftertaste. When the latte was paired with the pumpkin scone it was so delicious it made my tongue tingle, the scone was slightly dry which worked perfectly with the not too overbearing taste of the latte.
Overall, I was very very pleased with the quality of the food and drink, it was enough to disregard the atmosphere of the place and I would most definitely go again
Coffee Shop Three: The Bean Yard Coffee House
If you’re the type of person who likes savory coffee rather than sweet coffee, this is the place for you.
The Bean Yard was also much different than Sugar House Coffee, but not too much different than Honeysuckle. The room was large, and once again there weren’t many people, but it wasn’t cold or hostile in the least. It was also a more modern coffee shop, with less bright color and more grey, beige and blue colors.
The Bean Yard wasn’t eco friendly either, there were no vegan options and once again- quite a bit of plastic and no strawless lids.
They had very little on the menu and the names were very extravagant making it hard to decide, so I hadn’t expected much but when I had ordered my Charcoal latte I was surprised once again.
The coffee wasn’t too sweet but had a nice sugary touch to it. The activated charcoal in the latte was a plus as well, due to its many benefits.
Overall I liked this place, and I would go again.
1. Approved offshore oil wells in the Arctic “An oil spill in the arctic would be impossible to clean up and the region is already stressed by climate change” – National Geographic “Environmentalists are concerned that the the region’s harsh climate and threatened wildlife make the project a risky gamble” – National Geographic
2. Has Press Conference Meltdown “Trump runs through a list of Republicans he suggested lost their races because they didn’t sufficiently ‘embrace’ him” – The Week “Saying these candidates decided ‘for their own reasons’ to distance themselves and lost for it” – The Week
3. Trump drops of the “Mother Of All Bombs” targeting Militants in Afghanistan. “When the so-called Mother of All Bombs was first tested, in 2003, the largest conventional weapon in the United States arsenal set off a mushroom cloud visible for twenty miles. The potential damage from the twenty-two-thousand-pound bomb was so vast that the Pentagon ordered a legal review to insure that the device wouldn’t be deemed an indiscriminate killer under the Law of Armed Conflict, the body of law that regulates behavior during wartime.” – The New Yorker “There are few places where the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast, as the bomb is officially known, can be used, because of the breadth of its impact and the danger it poses to civilians.” – The New Yorker
4. Claims NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization: A treaty designed to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through military means. It is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European Countries) is no longer “Obsolete” “Mr Trump has repeatedly questioned Nato’s purpose, while complaining that the US pays an unfair share of membership” – BBC “In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said he would not label China a currency manipulator, despite having repeatedly pledged to do so on his first day in office.” – BBC
5. Claimed Barack Obama wiretapped phones in the Trump tower before elections “In March 2017, President Trump earned Four Pinocchios for relying on sketchy media reports to claim that former president Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, his 2016 campaign headquarters.” – The Washington Post “Officials provided five articles, and only one reported that a foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court order was granted in October to examine possible activity between two Russian banks and a computer server in the Trump Tower. The report did not say that Obama requested the order, nor that it resulted in the tapping of Trump’s phone lines in Trump Tower.”
– The Washington Post
6. Trump revokes guidelines allowing trans students to use bathrooms of their choice “It also covered a host of other issues, such as the importance of addressing transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns and schools’ responsibility to prevent harassment and bullying of transgender children.” – Reuters “During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump said transgender students should be allowed to use whichever bathroom “they feel is appropriate”. But he reversed his stance after facing Republican criticism.” – BBC
7. Claims millions of illegal immigrants cast fraud votes during the election “Voter fraud is extremely rare. A researcher at Loyola University in Los Angeles reviewed a billion ballots and found 31 cases of voter impersonation, while an Arizona State University study found 10 cases in a review of a decade of ballots. Government investigations have similarly found few cases to prosecute, with just a handful of convictions nationwide. In rulings against state voter ID laws, courts have routinely cited a lack of evidence.” – NBC News “The president’s own attorneys have argued against the reality of voter fraud, too.“All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake,” his lawyers wrote in a court filing posted by The Washington Post that opposed a recount effort.” – NBC News
8. Trump reinstates global gag rule banning US funding for international organizations that perform abortions “In just one year, health care workers say the policy has had disastrous effect; as expected, clinics are shutting down, unsafe abortions are predicted to rise sharply and families are losing critical services across the globe.” – Time “Not good, especially for women in the developing world. As has happened each time the policy was put back into effect, the diversion of aid has shuttered clinics servicing some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Closures have been particularly devastating in parts of Africa where clinics run by non-governmental organizations are the primary source of women’s health care. Many of these centers offer HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, maternal health, and counseling on sexual violence like rape and female genital mutilation.” – Time
What inspires your art?
My main inspirations are movies and TV shows that set an example of cool character design, concepts, etc. Music also helps me come up with things to draw- if I want to draw something scary, usually I’ll listen to dark music, and etc.
Why do you do art?
Because I really identify with my art. Drawing is just a part of who I am, as cheesy as it sounds- it’s what I want to do for a living, and I really enjoy it. It also connects me to other people in real life and online. I have met many of my close friends through sharing my art with the world.
What’s your most important art tool?
My most important art tool would have to be my pencils. Obviously I love to make art with color and variety, but if I needed one thing, it’d have to be a pencil. It’s a basic but important tool for art. In terms of elements, composition is really important to me.
Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
Probably painting or digital art. I really enjoy painting because of all of the layering and planning that goes into it, and because the outcome is very rewarding. I also like drawing in digital media’s because I can be super experimental without wasting my supplies, and it’s also very useful for roughly sketching out ideas.
Is there an artwork here you are most proud of? Why?
There are a few acrylic paintings I’m proud of because I put a lot of work into them, but overall, there’s nothing that really comes to mind. It doesn’t help that I’m also self critical, so I’m not usually proud of the art I’m make.
How do you know when a work is finished?
When I’m too lazy or tired to finish it, or when I like at it I feel satisfied. If there’s no mistakes that need fixing or obvious problems with it, and I’m satisfied, then it’s done.
When you look at your art in the process of creating it, do you usually like or dislike the rough draft?
I usually like the rough drafts because it’s the very beginning of a piece. I like to compare the rough drafts to the end result and see what things I kept and changed, as well as how the original sketch helped the final piece overall.
Do You plan to go into an art career? If so, what does your art career look like?
Yes. I would love to go into concept and character design, preferably at a videogame studio. Not many people realize that video games can be such a good way to express art and ideas, and a lot of artistic work goes into them, as well as technical work.
What people are there to support your artistic goals?
My dad, my friends, and my followers/friends online. Basically my whole family is pretty down with me being an artist.
What is your artistic dream? Would you like to eventually sell your art for money?
I would love to be able to do freelance art and commissions- I’m actually pretty close to that point, and I’ve already sold some of my art. My artistic dream is to be able to make a living out of what I enjoy, and for people to enjoy and seek out my artwork.
Do you think there should be more of an incentive to teach art in schools?
Yes. Art is pretty important and a lot of people don’t realize it. Even basic drawing is a good skill to have. There should also be more funding for art in school cause like… the budget is really low.
What do you think is the most important element in creating a piece, mentality wise?
Being able to follow through with a piece, and to be willing to change what needs to be changed, or even start over and keep adding to it until it’s finished. It can be hard to want to keep working on a drawing or painting when you keep messing up, and sometimes you just need to suck it up and start over.
What do you think artists nowadays lack?
Marketing skills. If you can’t sell yourself and your artwork, people aren’t going to pay a lot of attention to you. Artists need to put themselves out there and draw attention to themselves and their work.
Do you have an artists who inspires you, if so who? Why?
A lot of my art inspirations come from social media. There is such a huge variety of people on the internet who share their artwork, and a lot of it is really good. @badturqouise on Instagram is probably one of my biggest inspirations because his style is very original and pleasing to the eye. He’s very good with color and anatomy as well, which are things I’d like to work on myself.
What does music do to your “art creating” experience? Is there a specific song that helps you get in the mood?
I always listen to music because it fuels my inspiration. It’s hard for me to draw without something to listen to. Even if it’s just background noise, it’s easier to draw to it. Literally every song on my Spotify playlist gets me in the mood to make art.
Where do you your artistic ideas develop? Your room? Your car? Or can it be anywhere?
Usually in my room and in the middle of the night. Sometimes I’ll just be doing something completely random or I’ll be at school, and I’ll suddenly get a really cool idea that I want to expand on.