Thursday, June 28, 2018

The World Cup as My Civic Duty

Even before I had children, I knew I'd like my kids to learn certain things in the old-fashioned way, before computers were part of our daily lives and did most everything.
I wanted my kids to learn things the way I learned and then use modern technology as a way to make them easier. As I watch my first World Cup as a mom, I can't help to think of the many lessons they could learn from it, like I did. Even a most important one to me - to be Brazilian.

I grew up Brazilian, in Brazil. As you can probably guess, this means I grew up sitting in front of the TV with my family and friends every 4 years and cheering for Brazil. But more than that! It means a lot of my life during those days was populated by World Cup imagery, props and themes. Which means that a lot of my learning was done with World Cup imagery, props and themes.

Take geography, for instance. I learned country names and flags thanks to the little plastic flags that Nestle put inside their power milk cans (very popular Brazilian pantry item). I remember sitting at the kitchen table after my grandma got home from the grocery store and searching for the new flag with the country name on it. England is the one I can still see in my mind.

When I was 10, I learned that Rome was the capital of Italy and that the country was shaped like a boot and the island of Sicily was the boot's soccer ball.

Oh, and Math. I learned a little of logic and probability at 10 years old figuring out the World Cup schedule. Sitting in front of an empty chart at the dining room table, I figured how to fill out the Round of 16, Quarter-Final, Semi-Final, and Final games slots. What would happen if any two teams were tied for points? I had to figure such things out if were to fill that chart with probabilities.

I also learned about lamination. ... Well, yeah, my World Cup game chart was too precious. Folding and refolding was taking a toll on it, and I could not let it fall apart, could I? I laminated the whole thing with scotch tape just to learn I could have some kind of clear sticky paper bought at the office supplies store... The more you know.

Then civics... I learned to sing the national anthem, and learned what each color and symbol in our flag meant, I learned which were the northern-most and southern-most places in Brazil, I learned that in the 60s, when Brazil and Pele enchanted the world, we had a population of 90 million. All of that thanks to World Cup jingles. And that being a patriot meant getting together in front of that TV, dressed in yellow and green, waving the flag, cheering, and doing fireworks at every goal we scored. (Yes, We. The Selection and us, the 12th player)

And of course, love. I learned Argentina's flag and color scheme all too well, as they were the ones that broke my heart for the first time.

Some language lessons as well. New vocab words, such as rivalry. Writing skills, such as irony. I still remember my tears dropping on the white and blue striped bed sheet, the same colors of the team that had just shattered my dream as a 10-year-old.

Today neither the World Cup nor Selection Brazil have the magical effect on me that it once did. Why? Oh, maybe because since 1998 I just stopped believing that the World Cup was a candid tournament in which teams play soccer to show who's best, and began to wonder if it is all a show put up to fulfill political-commercial agreements made behind closed doors.

Today the magic is gone. My heart doesn't beat faster when the ball rolls into the penalty box, my mind isn't taken by soccer every minute of the World Cup year, I don't go to bed and dream I am holding the cup. Not anymore. I know... it's sad.

But somehow I still find myself turning on the TV at the time of the game. It's a family and friends gettogether. More than that. It's a civic duty. Somehow it feels as my civic duty to sit in front of that TV for every Brazil game with family and friends, popcorn, cheese bread, and soda. And I hope my children will learn that too.

So Go, Brazil! To the Hexa!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Now I Know

So all this time I thought you were my friend.

Now I know you were really just showing off to a faceless, soul-less name on a screen. 

Just that you forgot that on the other side of that screen was a real person - flesh, blood, and a beating heart. Even worse - you actually knew me in real life. Even though you tried to convince yourself and me of the opposite, I wasn’t someone you met on social media. We were just using it to stay in touch ... or so I thought. 

But, hey, you don’t even remember who I am, do ya?

Now I know that you were actually just putting on a social media mask (a mask which you now claim to despise) to make you look good ... to me? Or to yourself? ... Not to me.

Now I know you never saw me as a person - much less as a friend. I was just a “distraction” from your “real life”. Your words, not mine. I am not sure what they mean. How could I not see that our friendship was "non-existent", because you need your friendships to be "authentic." What the hell do those words mean? 

Just that you were real to me. You were kind of a big deal to me. Because you were the first real friend I made in a long time. When you told me about your goals, your values, your family - I cheered for you. When I thought you were hurting, I wanted to help and listened to your complaints. When several times you promised a gettogether with our families, I believed you. Why shouldn’t I? And I believed you cared to know about my life, my husband’s ideals, my babies’ stories.

It isn’t personal, you said. Well, see: Quitting a job isn’t personal. Not talking to a stranger isn’t personal. 

However, telling someone who trusted when you said “we’re friends” that such friendship never existed... that, my dear, is far from “not personal”. 

Questioning what my “intentions” are is pretty darn personal. 

And (the icing on the cake) describing a friendship (which from the very start and all the way through was meant to be extended to our kids and spouses, as we both planned many many times) as “a married woman pursuing another woman’s man” is very much personal ... and cruel. Who the hell are you? "People change"? Really?


You told me you’re usually the one getting hurt by others. Well, when I told you I was hurting, you pushed me away and did not want to talk to me. So congratulations! This time it was you who got someone hurt. Hope you’re proud of yourself.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

no one dies a day before

This is for those who are afraid to fly. No one dies the day before, gang. This stewardess died today, aged 66. in 1972 she was the only survivor of a plane that exploded mid-air. She was thrown thousands of feet and landed on a snowy hill. ONLY. SURVIVOR.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/world/europe/vesna-vulovic-died-flight-attendant-in-plunge.html?partner=msft_msn&_r=0


Sunday, November 06, 2016

burning books

Heinrich Heine, a German-Jewish poet, wrote: "Where one burns books, one will, in the end, burn people." This poet lived from 1797 to 1856. Was he prophesying? It took 8 years from the burning of books (1933) to the burning of people (1941) in Nazi Germany.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Right before school starts

Well, that's it for me. That time of year when I wake up to the harsh reality that I am not a full time homemaker. The word of the day today is carpe diem. 
It's been such an exciting summer.
I've learned so much. There's so much more to learn. The rooster killing was the height of my summer. I NEVER thought I had it in me. Me - born and raised city girl.
I wish hubby could afford for me to stay home full time. 

Out, baby!

Please, no one tell me what's worse than being pregnant bc if there is such a thing, I don't want to know!

Little known fact:
The third trimester of pregnancy lasts 12 months. 
As for the last month, it comes up to 365 days. 

I'm at that point in the pregnancy where I begin to tell the baby, "Listen, kiddo, here's the tough truth - it's one person, one body. Non-paying renters not welcome."

On the other hand - I can't stop being amazed. 

That two people can simply grow another life is something I can't get over.

 There's nothing to it. Sex, a fun little thing every couple knows about. 

Next thing you know, there's a new life. 

Three weeks after conception, there's a tiny beating heart. That's a week after a girl misses her period. And that little thing will develop into something cute and cuddly we all know as babies. ... Well, ok, they're not cute and cuddly when they're first born. They have that knee face and that weird look that says, "ok... What the hell just happened here?" 
.... Sorry, I know, babies don't swear. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Head cut off

Life's been so hectic that just yesterday when I walked by the chicken coup I heard one of them come up with this gem, "I'm so tired of running around like Virginia with her head cut off."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Before you have kids

So before you have little mobile babies in the house, you simply don't understand certain things. For example, I thought I was having a baby, not a home inspector. 
Alexandra gets into everything she opens every drawer she touches everything she puts everything in her mouth. A couple of nights ago she was looking under the carpets! I had no idea it to get so dirty under my carpets!
I also had no idea how many places in my house had spider webs. Well, they don't anymore. I vacuum early and often now. 
Holy cow, I thought I was a clean housewife. 
Also, where was my mind when I refused a baby gate "because I already have plenty"? There's no such a thing as plenty baby gates!!!!
I'm noticing I have no idea were baby safety locks. I always wondered why the heck people need baby safety locks why can't you just keep an eye on the baby? Well, newsflash, there's no such a thing as keeping an eye when the baby when the baby is mobile. No safety locks are enough.