Thursday, September 27, 2012


Girl! The day I met you, you were just a child
Now you come to me, out of the blue,
Beautiful, turned into a woman

Girl! How could I love you now ...
I held you in my arms, little girl
I sang for you to sleep ...
I sang for you to sleep ...

Remember an ugly girl
So shy, bare feet on the ground
Today so malicious
She keeps secrets in her heart
Secrets in her heart! ...

Girl! So many times I've made her cry
Finding amusing whenever she said:
"When I grow up I will
Marry you "
How could I love you now ...

I've carried you in my arms, girl
I sang for you to sleep ...

I sang for you to sleep ...
I sang for you to sleep ...
I sang for you to sleep ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

minimum payment

My credit card's jut sent me this month's bill. Nothing beyond the ordinary. There it was my expenses, my reimbursements (for a purchase done and returned to the store 10 minutes later - because I found cheaper stuff at the store nearby), payment date and minimum payment. Yes, of course, the famous minimum payment! That more palatable amount you can pay each month without affecting your credit history.
It was this minimum payment that caught my attention.
The minimum payment, mind you, is $ 2.52
$ 2.52 ....
Shoot!! Can you imagine that? Paying $ 2.52 per month for a credit card bill? I guess this is meant to be funny.

Say I never use that card again. Also say that no interest incurs on my outstanding balance each month. Wanna guess when - just a wild guess, no need  to count ... just guess how long it would take me to finish paying my bill if, every month, I made that minimum payment!

Boy, I could not resist. I sat down and added the blessed numbers. Wanna know it? Dying to know? Well then prepare your funeral. Here's the answer:

64 years!! Yes, my friend, this bill gave the Paul McCartney song "When I'm 64" a whole and enlightening new meaning ...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

that smell coming from the kitchen

There's a sweet, sweet smell coming from the kitchen, and it is making me sad. It is a wonderful smell. It's not my cooking, but it is wonderful nonetheless.
It makes me sad because it brings back the memories of a time that's all gone.
My husband just bought this liquid potpourri that smells like apple cinnamon. The thing mixes with the smell of fresh bananas and bring me back the memories of boiled plantains.
Boiled plantains means breakfast at grandma. And breakfast at grandma's means my life in Brazil.
Days like today, when I have to stand outside at 7 am in a bitter cold of 41 degrees, make wonder why did I trade my always warm hometown for this ever cold place. What was I thinking? Days like today make me wonder if I am ever going to be warm again.
"Oh, how I miss the dawn of my life, my treasured childhood, that years bring back no more."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Seven years as a Shepherd

Seven years as a Shepherd
Sonnet by Luis de Camoes (free translation by Vika Winters)

Seven years as shepherd Jacob served
Laban, father of Rachel, beautiful mountain girl;
but he did not served the father, he served her
and she was the only pay he desired

The days, in the hope of one day,
he passed, contenting himself with only seeing her;
But the father, using stealth,
instead of Rachel, gave him Leah.

Seeing the sad shepherd, that, by deceit,
he had been denied his shepherd girl,
as if he had not deserved her,

promptly serving another seven years,
said: I'd serve even more, if it weren't
for such great love, so short a life.

don't look American

We went to the Big E for an un-stressing session, much needed after this long, complicated week. We arrived in the middle of a parade and some people were walking around giving out American flags. They offered Dean one. OK... and me?
No, of course they did not offer me an American flag! I don't look American, do I?
Well, obviously not. Since the flag guy walked right by me, without even wondering whether or not I might want a flag.
No one thinks I am American.
But no one ever even suspects I am Brazilian.
Should I mention the amount of people that come to me speaking Spanish as if it was the most natural thing in the world to assume I can reply?
At the subway station, at the Mexican restaurant, at the train station, at Walmart, at the airport ... you name it. Some Spanish-speaker is bound to come to me and try striking a conversation as if it were an obvious, unquestionable fact that I am one of them.
Everyone looks at me and immediately thinks, "Mexican!" "Puerto Rican!" "Hispanic of some sort!"and opens his Spanish dam on me.
Why does it not occur to anyone that I might be from Brazil?
You know, Brazil! That ridiculously huge spot that takes over the majority of the South American map. Right! It's not just a black hole! It's an actual country. I could be from there. Does it not occur to anyone? Oh, of course not. After all, we are only the 5th largest country in the world.
Why does it not occur to anyone that I might be Brazilian and actually speak Portuguese?
Don't take me wrong. I am proud of my language skills. And I love to show off and let people know that I can speak 4 languages.
But I do have a problem with the assumption. Don't assume I can speak your language. That's when I'll try my best ignorant Brazilian accent and go like "No hablo español!"

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The humming bird

A long time ago, there was a fire in the forest. All the animals in the forest started running away. In the middle of all this mess, while lions, leopards, monkeys, birds, giraffes, elephants, bears and armadillos ran for their lives, a little humming bird traveled back and forth.
The little humming bird would fly all the way to a brook, get a drop of water in his beak, then fly all the way back to the fire and drop the water on it. He did that again and again.
One of the animals, noticing the attitude of the humming bird, laughed at him, and asked, “What are you doing, humming bird? Don't you see you'll never put out this fire all by yourself?”
The humming bird replied, “I am doing my part.”

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Eighty years young and a tragic end

She was a young lady of eighty years. She had so many stories to tell ... if she could talk. But she did not speak. She did not know how. She told her story in her wrinkles and her size. The task of speaking was left to others. And one thing she did better than anyone - she was always there for all of us - calm, imponent, shady - as a mother looking after her children wisely. How many times we've ignore her. How many times have we thought she would always be there. Under sun and rain, wind and snow.

Until, one day, they came after her. It was a Tuesday. And when I left for work, she was still there.

And on that day they came. Mercilessly, they toppled her. She said nothing. She did not ask for help. She could not. She did not know how. She was silent ... until her death.

When I came home that day, I saw her no more. She was gone. Gone was her trunk, her branches, her leaves. Gone. Never to return. Only the stump still reminded us that she had existed. For eighty years she existed. And, unannounced, she left us. Without even giving me a chance to say goodbye.

Who was she? Eighty years ago, it was planted by our neighbor and his first-grade classmates in front of the school where they went. A tribute to their retiring principal. For eighty years this tribute grew and gave us all shadow and protection. ... Until the day that unscrupulous people came to destroy it. Without mercy. Without even the right to do so.

Underneath its roots, protecting a secret, a time capsule. A capsule we all still hope to find, and finally provide her this final honor - At least the dignity of having the secret entrusted to her, and held until death, rescued into the world.

To me, I can only say what I wasn't allowed to before: Goodbye.