Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
This is a new experience for me - Today I was at a laundromat drying my clothes.
Quite an adventure.
I had no idea what to do at first. Here I was, trying to read every sign and pretend I was in complete control of the situation.
Can you imagine the scene? - hope your dryer never breaks down on you.
It's negative Celsius outside, by the way. Just a little side note. NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NE-GA-TIVE! Hey! I'm from Brazil, remember! Negative Celsius is bad!
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I had seen children playing. And I even knew my husband had played it as a kid, but I had not the slightest idea what on earth that game was. to me it was just a bunch of little marbles being moved around. And fast. My goodness, those kids move those marbles around fast!
Anyway, one of my students became my teacher last week and taught me how to play the mancala and I am very happy about it. I love learning new thigns. Especially new games!
Monday, December 06, 2010
He will be on SNL this Saturday and I will try to go see him.
And no, I don't want to go see him just because I am desperately in love wit him. I probably would not go through the trouble of getting in SNL if I did not have a very specific goal in my mind. I want Paul to receive my book. The one I wrote about the time machine. "The Little Girl from Yesterday".
I don't care if I never talk to him, though I wold appreciate the chance. I want him to read my book. Come on, I have waited my whole entire life to get this book to him. Only now I felt I actually had the knowledge to translate it into English. Now that it's ready, it's time he gets a copy of it.
So I don't care if he doesn't talk to me. I just want him to read my book.
LOL! Any resemblance to Paperback Writer is a mere coincidence.
So I went to the store and checked out some models. I really wanted to buy the sunburst one, because being desperately in love with Paul McCartney - the other love of my life - I figured I'd get something that reminded me of him. Besides, the first guitar I ever saw in my life, in my church, was like that and I remember being mesmerized by the way the colors blended together. It was like... candy.
But then I thought, "No, I don't want to get something just to look like it's Paul McCartney's stuff. Besides, I am never going to be a hundredth of what he is, so... no. I actually want something that looks girly, like me. I wanted one that looked really made of pixie dust. However Dean guitars did not have any pixie-dusty stuff, and I really wanted the Dean. SO I got a red one. ... Yeah, girly enough. Cute like me. It reminds me of Kevin - my first car.
Once I knew what I wanted, I just waited fro Black Friday to come along and ordered it online. The discount? The discount was lousy. So much for waiting for Black Friday discounts. 15%. 15%??? What kind of a Black Friday sale gives you a mere 15-freaking-% discount? I don't know!!! Lousy. But I had to get my guitar on that day or I'd die!
No my guitar is here and I am trying to figure out how to learn it. I'm either a lousy learner or this guitar playing thing really is not the easiest thing in the world.
The tip of my fingers are hurting. My baby says that's how it's supposed to be. Man! I wish it was just like this - Get a guitar and Boom! Now you magically know how to play anything you want, starting with Puff the Magic Dragon, passing by Sandy & Junior, the king - Roberto - and ending with the Beatles.
Can't it just be that easy?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
And we did lots of crazy stuff together.
Some of them were caught on camera:
Us laying on the floor of the parking garage at the mall.
Us on the crosswalk “a la Abbey Road”. Just that we were dancing and jumping, instead of calmly crossing like John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Us swinging from the lamp post in front of McDonald's.
Us holding the covers of all our Beatles CDs.
Us throwing eggs on my head to celebrate my b-day.
Us sleeping over at my aunt's.
Us doing group hug.
Us at my wedding.
Lots of crazy stuff we did together were never caught on camera:
Us crying on each other's shoulder every time a boyfriend did not work out.
Us making plans to live together and eat Ramen Noodles for ever.
Us making plans of world domination.
Us yelling at each other for never getting a chance to say anything.
Us yelling at each other for being late for our meeting at the mall.
Us screaming at the TV while we watched an old Beatles TV show.
Us being loud and messy on the bus.
Us growing apart and growing closer again.
Us saying we were sorry.
Us telling secrets that we won't even tell our moms.
Us. Always Us.
I miss Us.
I miss having friends like Us.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
A book? I thought. Must not have? Must not have a book?
Ok, I said. What do I do with it? Put it away by the window together with everyone else's pocket books.
Well, a policy is a policy, those who have the power make them, those who have working brains obey them. So I put the book away.
And for the next 30 minutes I sat there suffering from some sort of withdrawal syndrome - no book to read, no phone to mess around with. What am I supposed to do? I felt weird. I felt empty. I felt as if those 30 minutes would never come back. And I was wasting them by doing nothing.
Weird do-nothing feeling! Not used to it.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Mom always told me, "I did not raise you for myself. I raised you to go out and see the world. I raised you to go after your dreams. I raised you to be free." So I guess she succeeded. I went out and saw the world. I followed my dreams. I didn't achieve everything I ever wanted, but I went after my dreams one by one with as much passion as I could, prioritizing the ones I thought were really important, leaving others in the back burner, I am still going after my dreams. The only part of that speech I could not accomplish was the "be free" part. I wake up every morning at 6 and go to work all day at a job I am not fond of. I left the job of my dreams to land something that would pay the bills and my dream vacations. Maybe I am free, just that I have to finance my own freedom. Mom also raised me to be responsible.
Why did I care so little about being with my family, while my peers were terrified about leaving home? Because mom told me too.
However today, as most of my peers are out in the world, with families of their own, and as they don't worry so much about being away from mom and dad anymore, why do I feel terribly homesick? Why do I miss mom and grandma and aunts more than anything? I do have a family of my own, as I have always dreamed of, ( no children, yet - I happen to value my freedom) but I wish, oh how I wish, I could just get in a car anytime and go see mommy, and just ask for a hug.
I had a nightmare last night. Mom and I were alone in a fancy house and someone bad tried to break in. I woke up crying, "Mom! Mommyyyy! Mo-o-o-o-ommm!" Mom came. We were at a pool house. With sliding window doors, and thick curtains. "It was just a bad dream. It's ok. Just make sure you lock the doors at night." That's when I woke up for real, and I was in my bed at Cross Street. With my husband's cat. My baby is away with his family. Just lock the doors, I remembered. Are the doors all locked? It's 12:30. Are the doors all locked? Well the doors to my floor are locked. What about the main doors to the house? I never lock them. Oh, my God, I never lock the main doors! And I am home alone! Of course I was still in a dream state. I ALWAYS lock the main doors. They are usually the only doors I lock. But in my half-awake half-asleep mind, I thought I never did. I tried called my baby, but he would not pick up the phone. He always says, "Wake me up if you have a nightmare." I tried.
I did not have a husband last night. I did not have Mommy last night. I was all alone... with my husband's cat to take care of.
Oh, you bet if someone broke into the house, the cat would be the last of my worries. I guess that shows I am not ready to be a mom.
But since my mind was half asleep, I closed my eyes again. Asked God to take care of me and my house, and went back to sleep.
I was with mommy, at the airport. And we spotted the one man I have loved since I was 10 years old. You guessed it! Paul McCartney! No fans. No crew. No band. No TV reporters. Just him. I'm sure he had his band with him. I am sure he was just wondering around the airport looking for something. I was hoping he was looking for me. But I knew he was not. There's a whole lot of things to do at an airport.
I was scared of talking to him and finding out he was not as nice as I always thought he'd be. But I went ahead anyway, and he was super nice. I asked for an autograph. "I can't talk right now. But give me 5 minutes and I will be back." And he was back! He gave me his autograph and I asked for a hug. A hug, of course. Would I have the nerve to ask for a hug in real life? Oh, I don't know. Maybe I will find it out someday. "Can I give you a hug?" it is the one thing I always ask him every time I have a dream in which he shows up. I was so mesmerized by having Paul right there that I could not talk about any subject for more than 5 seconds. It was like trying to fit everything you've always wanted to tell someone for the past 20 years in the few minutes you know you'll have that person with you. Then you'll never see him again.
"We're stuck here because our plane fell off the sky." "What?" Yup, I got his attention now. Just before he showed up, I saw a plane falling off the sky. I was the only one who had seen it and no one had paid attention to me until now. "Yes! I saw it! It was right over there! It just ...fell! Like this: voosh." He looked at where I was pointing as if what he had been thinking had started to make sense. Had he seen it too?
But then he really had to go. And so he did. "Nice meeting you." And only then I remembered, Your novel! Tell him about your novel! Oh, gee! Seriously? You could think of all mundane things in the world to spill out at Paul McCartney, except to tell him you wrote a novel? How stupid can you be? When will you have Paul McCartney's undivided attention again? Uh, never! Go after him! Run! And that's when I forgot I was a grown-up, I forgot Paul was walking around trying to be a normal person, I forgot Beatlemania was over and I ran and called out his name. Wow, I never knew calling out Paul McCartney's name would work out magic. Like magic, security people came up and made sure I did not get anywhere near him. "Wait! I wrote a novel about the Beatles. Can I send it to you? Will you read it?"
"Can you make it into a books on tape?"
"How about kindle?"
"I don't have one."
"Books on tape it is."
And then he really had to go.
So I took my plane home and in it I had a dream I really had a time machine and young Paul and a couple of my friends and I ended up in some early 20th century civilization and had to escape these evil people. Indiana Jones style. Now, yes, this was the young Paul from the Beatles years. However, he held a camcorder. A portable one. Like the one his son brought to Brazil in 1993.
We're struggling for our lives and you have a camcorder? Ok, help me up this rope first. You can film again as soon as you push be back to safety. He didn't look happy, almost as if saying, all you need me for is to keep you safe? What about my film? "Come on! We're running out of time!" Whatever, said the look in his face, if being safe is that important to you, I guess I will help. "Here, hold my camcorder, and I will push you up."
Yup, pretty surreal. Can you imagine someone going like, ok I know we're about to die, but, crap, let me get this on film! LOL! If anyone would do that it would probably be me!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Last night I had this dream that I got to meet Paul and Linda McCartney. That's a stupid dream because Linda passed away over 10 years ago. I was really upset when that happened. First I was sad for Paul and his family. He really loved her. Second I was upset because I really wanted to meet her (and him of course), some day. I just hope I get to meet him someday.
On a happier note, I really can't wait till I can start my guitar lessons. When the semester is over I will start. I can't start now because all of my nights are taken. Next semester I will save my Mondays for guitar lessons.
I am loving belly dancing lessons.
And I am having a blast with the drama club at school. The kids looooooove it. And I love leading them. It's my little way of keeping in touch with drama. I miss my drama team so much!
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Sign-up for clubs were today, and drama club was the among the most popular ones. It's really fun to see all those kids desperately trying to sign up for it. Some kids really want to make it to Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. I hope they do.
I mean, what are the chances that when they become famous they will say it on an interview, "I owe it all to my drama teacher, Mrs. Winters!" Nah, not happening. But I would be happy if one of my kids did achieve such dream.
I don't know if any one of them will be a famous actor or actress someday. But I do hope they have a good time in my club. I hope they enjoy bringing their characters to life. And I hope drama helps them in life, as much as it helped me.
The kids are excited. We're going to have a good year.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I can hardly wait for my b-day next year!
I will arrive in Salvador exactly on the 29th of June. I want a lot of St.John's food and a karaoke.
And then? Want more? My bffl Lua's bachelorette's party that we will plan nice and good.
Then we will have a friendship throw-back celebration time doing the exact same madness that we used to do when we were kids! We will make shirts with our names on them - the BLV shirts (Beta, Lua and Vika). We will drive the store owners mad by trying out all of their clothes and buying none. We will sit at the food court and make fun of funny looking people. We will be loud and obnoxious! Typical teenagers! But, hey, this is all about a throw-back, isn't it? Isn't it about celebrating the good'ol'times?
Then I will make shirts for my 2 brothers and I with the Jason Vorhees mask on them. A celebration of brother/sisterhood. And we will sit down and watch scary movies!
And then? Want more? There's more!!! There's the 15th b-day of my little bro JP.
What else? Then there's the knot-tying of my bffl Lua.
And, as if that was not enough, I will wander around the wonderful Northeastern beaches with the fam.
Come, come, June! You're a good month!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! TODAY IS YOUR DAY! WHAT A VERY SPECIAL DAY!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I miss my friends.
Monday, September 06, 2010
But I don't call him much. I rarely talk to him. We don't have much in common. We don't even have much for a history together. Good memories are few, very few. Bad memories abound.
This is the guy who wanted to cheat his way out of paying child support by lying in court about his job situation, the guy who was never a part of my life for 12 years and suddenly tried to tell me my skirt was too short (!), the guy who claimed he had no money to help me out because he had a baby with another woman, the guy who said he had no money to come to my wedding - the wedding of his only daughter!
I don't have much to say to this guy. He never got really involved in my life, I never got really involved in his. Thanks to him I never knew what having a father was like. I will never know what having a father is like.
However now this man is dying of cancer. And I have no idea what to do. I know I should have called him more. But I never knew what to say.
About 2 months ago I found out he was going in for a second surgery. I called him on that day. I called him just to say I would be praying for him. What else could I say? I love you? I don't. I don't love him. I don't even know him. But he is my father. And something tells me I must check on him.
Does his poor job as a father excuse me to do a poor job as a daughter? And do I think he does not look back in his life an regret the ways he failed? Or do I think I am the only person on earth who is not destitute of the capacity of repenting or even regretting poor choices?
So I asked my middle brother Leo to keep me posted. And Leo kept me posted: "Everything went well." Then:"He is still in pain." Then:"He is coming back for another exam." ANd just last week: "The doctors said there's nothing else they can do. They will be just treating the pain."
And that's how I found out - My father is dying of cancer. This man I hardly know. This man for whom I have no feelings - good or bad. This man is my father. And he is dying of cancer. And whatever I don't do now, I will never have a second chance to make up for it.
I don't know what to do. And I don't know why I am crying now.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saudade is a bittersweet word. Saudade is a feeling, but it is translated as a verb: missing something.
But saudade is much more than that. Saudade is more than just missing something. It is more than mere nostalgia. Saudade is the emptiness filling a place that once was full. It is the bitterness left in the place of something sweet. It is the burning feeling in which your heart sinks when you no longer have that which if you did would make the feeling go away. Saudade says that something has made me happy, but now it's gone. Saudade says I want back near my eyes that which has never left my heart. Saudade is the one word I can tell my family that will be enough for them to understand I love them.
I miss my family.
Every time I go places we went together,
Every time I do things we did together,
I miss my family.
Sometimes I'm just doing something they taught me,
Sometimes I'm just doing something I know they would like to do too.
I really miss my family.
And whenever I think I never know when I will ever see them again,
I miss them even more.
And whenever I think I never know IF I will ever see them again,
I miss them so much that it hurts.
Every time we say goodbye I always wonder,
"Is this the last time?"
And I just wish I could find the words to let them know
That everything I am today,
I owe to them.
And that they mean the world to me.
I just really miss my family.
So it's not like I don't believe in things. I just don't believe in things enough to put my life in the line for it. And here I am married to an American patriot who will not think twice to participate in a rally.
Destiny does play pranks on us.
Here I am at the Restoring Honor rally. A rally dedicated to bring the USA back to its founding values. Working hard, families helping families, that kinds of stuff.
This Glenn Beck is some guy in our generation, in our time, who is calling for a restoration. Every generation needs someone like that. It's happened before.
Why won't that happen in my country? Why don't we have any one standing out for such values? Where has my country gone wrong? The country I love? Let's say from the beginning something has gone wrong. I am not sure where.
Maybe that's why in my country too many people were raised to be like me? "Stay out of those crowds. It's just not worth it." We were raised to preserve our own lives. At the cost of our country's welfare. Because it is not worth fighting a lost cause. Why do we think that way? I don't know. Could have to do with the religion we profess? Could it have to do with the kind of people that first went there? Could it have something to do with the kind of help we never got from those American founding fathers - who never really supported the Brazilian Revolution when we asked for help? Yeah, you tend not to believe the values of a person who says something is good for them, but could care less about you.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
As a matter of fact the colonies didn't all speak one language. Aren't we forgetting our colonial past when we demand that there is a national official language?
It seems obvious to me that the government needs an official language, but imposing it on the people seems pretty unconstitutional.
Why don't the constitution defenders make no case against such a thing? Maybe because it goes against their own interests and agenda?
It's naive to think that people defending the constitution don't have an agenda, and that they will not immediately drop any trace of morals and constitution abiding ideas in order to pass their own agenda. Everyone, every sinner on the face of the Earth has an agenda, and it's just a matter of time till you find it.
Do you think I don't have one? Think again. We all do. You do too.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Why should you take away from free man the right to decide the destiny of his nation based on the fact that he does not own land or has a job or pay taxes?
Is it reasonable that a thinking free citizen be taken away the right to choose his lands magistrates?
It sounds like a plan. An evil plan. A plan to keep the have-not ones out of political power.
The argument that citizens who don't pay should not be allowed to choose the people who will govern over them, because they will don't care what those people will do with the money of those who pay assumes that people can't think of what's best for society, they can ONLY think of how to find ways to rob them.
And even if that be true to many, even the majority of those. Do we take the rights of free citizens who can think what's best for society, just because we fear that there will be those who can't?
Do we not know that anywhere, under any regulations, evil selfish people will be bad and find ways to take advantage of the system? Are we going to take things away from the good people so that the bad ones won't have it? Sensibly you will have to say, no! You make it easy for the good people, and go after the bad ones.
Every man, every citizen who owes nothing to the law must be able to have a voice in saying who he wants determining the destiny of his nation. Regardless of race, social class, religion, or wealth.
Slavery was never intended to be a lifetime condition until Europeans enslaved Africans in the American continent. Slavery was never so inhuman until it got to the American continent.
As for inhuman conditions, the slave ships packed as many people could fit in a small space, with no regards for personal hygiene or the need to breath. Probably so that they could bring as many of them as possible to sell for a profit. Sell for a profit - nothing wrong with that. We're in business to make money, right?
One of the must famous Brazilian poets, known as the Poet of the Slaves, wrote about the horrifying conditions of the slave ships. Slaves in Africa were used to being enslaved, it was part of life. They were not used to the inhuman conditions and treatment until they stepped into the slave ship. What's wrong with wanting a profit, you still ask?
As for lifetime slavery, the African people were not used to the idea of lifetime slavery either. African royalties could be made slaves and then be set free again. As it had happened in so many other cultures throughout history. Slaves in the British colonies actually used to have the right to buy their freedom... some of them owned land and even had servants of their own...for a little while.
But then the law changed:
-Slaves had to be African or Indians
-Slaves could never be set free.
-Africans had no right to own land. The ones that did had their land repossessed.
Why? Why did the government make these laws thwarting the rights of human beings just because they were different?
-There was an economical need for it. The landowners needed more workers and the free ones wouldn't do the hard work needed. Without those slaves the plantation would fail, the economy would crash, the society would flunk. There was a pressing need for stricter slave laws. The economy needed. Yes! Indeed! Would want business to fail for lack of workers?
Nothing wrong with wanting people to work to keep the economy flowing well.
In the name of keeping the economy afloat we should pass laws that disregard the rights of certain people, namely the ones who don't have, so that other people, namely the ones who have, can keep things going. What's wrong with that, you still ask?
These are all very practical ideas from a timely perspective.
Are they honorable ideas from a timeless perspective?
As a Christian, we must understand that God values humans. And as the crown of creation, we are endowed with human dignity that another human does not have the right to take away in the name of profit or progress.
What about us? Look at the things you believe in. But really look at them. At their core.
The things we believe today, the things we fight for today, the things we bless today, do they have very sound practicalities that will be best for the well functioning of the society as we know it? Are they logical and good to the free market we so cherish?
However will they stand the timeless test of honoring human dignity?
500 years from now, when Christian kids think of the things we stood for in a society that will not mean much for them then, will they think of us as awful people who did everything it took for society to thrive? Or as people who were more concerned about the absolute value of a human being?
Yes, human beings have absolute values. And this is the real test for any new laws or lack thereof: Do consider, above all else, human dignity, regardless of color, race, social class, age, born or unborn status?
Do we put practical above honorable?
I don't care how good or bad something will do for society or for the economy. If our thinking can not stand the human dignity test, it will not be justified in history. It will not be justified before God.
How do you want to be remembered 200, 300, 500 years from now? How do you want to stand before God in no more than 100 years from now?
Disclaimer: I am not writing against any specific practices or ideas in here. I am just asking you to question your beliefs - your beliefs, not those of others in the present or in history - and see if they pass the test that God would probably use.
There was no way I could recover the combination, because it was not written anywhere. I had to try one by one.
The lock was cylindrical, with a 6-6-6-6 style. There are 6 options for each of the 4 positions. 6 to the 4th power, that is 6x6x6x6 = 1,296 possibilities.
I tried 1,186 of the possible combinations.
(6x6x6) x5 = 1080
(6x6) x2 = 72
(6) x5 = 30
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The land the Jewish took from the Palestinians, who did the Palestinians take it from?
The land that now belongs to Italy, who did the Roman Empire take from?
The land that now belongs to England, who did the anglo-saxons take it from?
The land that the Portuguese took from the Tupis and Guaranis, did it belong to Tupis or Guaranis? ... they couldn't seem to agree on that.
Maybe we should all just go home to some little town in main land Europe. Would that solve the world's land problems?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
Maybe, just maybe, we should let history be. The land you are born in is your homeland, I don't care who it used to belong to - it is what it is.
Brazil originally belonged to Tupi-Guarani Indians. It belongs to me and my people now. It's the only homeland we will ever know.
Monday, August 09, 2010
I am so afraid of what my picture in my new green card will look like. It did not look good on the computer screen. I was not about to make a fool out of myself and ask the officer to take another one.
I am now really mad I did not ask him to do that!
Today I met an old school mate whom I had not seen since 8th grade.
I thought I had lost him forever. I had looked for him a couple of times before. I wondered, "how can any one fall of the face of the earth like that?"
This time I lucked out.
Facebook is a beautiful thing!
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Did the immigrants wanted to leave their lands?
I don't think so. I think they loved it and were proud of it. This is just my thinking.
"If Brazil is so great, why did you come here?" People at the New Haven church used to ask me.
Why did I leave the land I was proud of? Because the land I love could not offer me decent living conditions.
Immigrants usually come here because their conditions force them to make the tough choice of leaving their land.
Religious persecution, famine, war, political persecution, dire financial situations. People come with millions of hopes of finding freedom, work and peace in a new land. A land of dreams. A land of liberty. They are happy to have found the new hope. But are they happy to leave behind everything they loved, their climate, their culture, their foods, sometimes even loved ones?
I think the answer is no. And that's why I think there is no such a thing as giving up your culture. There is no such a thing as forgetting where you came from. Unless you are so scared of showing who you are, unless you're traumatized and believing that who you are is responsible for the mess that led you here, you will want to keep the things that made you who you are. Even if for a while you don't realize that. Even if there are not many of those things that are cherished. You can renounce your history.
I am not defending that cultures should not mingle and melt, but that immigrants have the right to keep them. Keeping one's culture is what makes America so rich.
The mingling and the melting will happen naturally. Immigrants want to learn about their new home. Part of them wants to be like the people in the new place. Especially as far as the new generations are concerned. The second generation of immigrants are the true bi-cultural ones. They will naturally deal with their parents culture and their country's culture and mix them up in one thing. And hopefully keep enough of their home culture to keep this country ever richer.
disclaimer: this is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of every immigrant.
Sometimes I wish I did not have a life to take care of. I wish money was not an issue, I wish bills did not come every month. I wish I could put life on hold to travel on foot across the American continent, like the indians might have done.
Sometimes I just wish I could have lived every time of human history just to do these things I can only imagine and read about. Sometimes reading about things is just not enough. I really wish my time-machine was real and it took me places and times and allowed me to live a little of other lives.