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Monthly Archives: February 2012

It’s almost that time of the year again.

No, I’m not talking about Christmas, although that is another that-time-of-the-year-again type of thing. But that’s another story, better told at a different time. Probably closer to Christmas. Or maybe near Easter time. Let’s see how things go.

But no, right now the subject is not a holiday. It’s a more personal occasion, in which I celebrate how many moons ago I made my mom want to climb the walls in pain with no equipment other than her nails. Her words, not mine. She guarantees it was all worth it, although I still have my doubts. And if you’re my mom and you’re reading this, yeah, I know, you don’t need to tell me again. Love you, too.

Now, back to our story. So I came to this world many moons ago. Many, many moons ago. But since I’m not a piece of cheese neither a bottle of wine, I say let’s leave the numbers to the mathematicians. To me, what matters is that I am here. I’m breathing, I’m laughing, I’m alive.

And although life did not turn out the way I had planned, I still get excited to celebrate this not-so-important-to-anyone-but-me occasion. I still start making plans for it months in advance, which always made my mom laugh at me. She used to say I started planning my next birthday right after the previous birthday had ended. What can I say? I was usually still high from the previous celebration. High as in from happiness, since I’m talking about my childhood here. Focus, people. And people say I’m the one with ADD.

Anyway, what was I talking about again? Oh, yes, ADD. Terrible thing. It makes you forget what you’re talking about and start rambling about nothings, like squirrels or TV shows. By the way, I’m right now watching one of my favorite shows, at least at the moment. It cracks me up.

By the way, this post started more than an hour ago. But then I got distracted looking for an answer for something on the internet. Something I ended up deciding not to even include in this post. So, before you get bored and kill me, let me just end up by saying that I’m excited to turn another year older, although I do know I’m only older than I was a second ago.

P.S.: I will make a birthday post on my actual birthday. This is just what was going on in my mind at the moment. Then the ADD hit me and I got lost. But still, the intention is what counts.

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Let’s talk about names, shall we?

Not too long ago my friend went to get eggs or something and the receipt had “Hello, my name is Mayonnaise” as the attendant’s name. I’m not even making this up. It’s all true. So we started talking about how that poor girl, who has a mom who doesn’t understand how cruel other kids can be, should abbreviate her name, or change it completely. My friend suggested Mayo, but come on, it’s still the same thing, so I suggested May. But then I thought that May was way too normal, and that maybe she should use Naise. But then I thought that maybe the idea was to go with an edible name, so I suggested Pie, because who doesn’t like pie, right? So my friend said she’d go with Nutella. I thought it was perfect. It was exotic and sexy. I was even jealous that she was able to come up with such a good name and I couldn’t think of anything better than Pie. So I felt challenged, and started thinking of what kind of name I’d use.

I thought about a bunch of different options. First I wanted to go with something fruit-related, because why not? So I picked Peaches. But then I thought I have nothing in common with peaches, so I started thinking about berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, but that was way too weird, so I moved to pie flavors. Thought first of Apple Pie, but then I thought it sounded too much like Popeye, so I decided to veto my suggestion. Then I thought about Peach Cobbler, but that’s too close to Peaches and I had already decided nothing good could come from that, so veto! So then I moved to beer names, because, of course. But Heineken didn’t really sound like a good sexy name, sounded too authoritarian, and Scotch sounded too masculine, so I finally found it! Of course! It was as if it was right under my nose this whole time and I couldn’t see it. Like grandpa’s glasses. You know, grandpa’s always looking for his glasses and they are right under his nose the whole time.

And that’s how I decided that my name would be Amarula.

Amarula Cream

The nectar of the gods.

And here’s a picture of my friend’s receipt to show you I’m not making this all up.

Her mother clearly doesn’t understand how cruel the world can be.

Now, I imagine her mother loves her very much (and probably even more than she loves mayo or even ketchup), but she was not very clever. Come on, kids (an adults) can be pretty cruel with nicknames. I’ve suffered a lot in school and I have a very common, boring name. I can only imagine how much she had to endure. And I do admire her for not changing her name. Kudos, Mayonnaise. Embrace your uniqueness.

Disclaimer: No elephants were harmed in the making of this post. But some Amarula may or may not have been ingested. Just saying.

P.S.: I went on google to find a link for the whole grandpa’s glasses thing and google corrected me saying it’s supposed to be grandma’s glasses. I say it doesn’t matter whose glasses they are. They were right there the whole time!

 

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Words have the taste we give them.

The other day I saw a person insulting someone else just to get that someone else’s attention, and I thought, “Honey, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Then I thought that it was really silly, because flies like poop, not honey. Bees like honey, so it should be “you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” But that just sounded odd, because who wants to catch bees anyway? Unless you’re a honey-maker, then you’d want the bees to make honey, otherwise why would you want bees? Then I decided that since I had no idea why we even say that, I’d google the origin of this saying. Because, you know, nowadays, if you don’t know something, google it.

I found out that flies do like honey, they like sweet things. Never thought I’d have something in common with a fly, go figure. And apparently, even in the 1600s people were already using this saying, so it’s pretty old. So in order to avoid the annoying task of chasing flies, people would lure them with honey-traps. The idea would be that the fly would land on the honey and get stuck. It’s actually quite ingenious, if you think about it.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Trust me.

So I guess the initial idea does make sense, and she should have used honey – or politeness, in that case – and saved her sour words for a more appropriate occasion. If there’s ever an occasion where sour words are better than sweet ones. Unless it’s medicine. I think I remember something about a sour medicine. Or was it bitter? In any case, I’m pretty sure a spoon full of sugar would suffice in such case.

And just to clarify, I do think that sarcasm can always be used. Sarcasm can be polite. Right?

 

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The day a venti skinny peppermint mocha tried to kill me.

(The following actually happened on Nov 29, 2011, but I’m only now posting it here. I actually wrote it for a blog I share with a friend, but since I wanted to share it here also, and my friend is totally awesome, here it is. Enjoy it. Or skip it. Your call.)

A ton of tinny problems woke me up at 5 am this morning. Then they each took a turn, bugging me for answers. I had none. So I just kept rolling in bed till it was time to get up. They could keep me awake, but they would not force me out of bed before it was necessary.

Got dressed and ready really fast. Got the kids ready, gave them breakfast, and loaded the car. Since I didn’t have breakfast, I decided to stop at Starbucks for some coffee. And what did I order? Right, a venti skinny peppermint mocha. When the lady handed me the cup, I thought about asking for a stopper. But I didn’t want to be late to drop kids off at school, so I thought “what if it spills a little, big deal. It’s such a tinny little opening. What kind of damage could it cause?”

Don’t ever tempt faith by saying things like that. Ever!

Two blocks away I had to turn right, and as I turned, the cup decided to keep going straight, instead of turning with the car. The funny thing is that I saw the damn cup tilting, I saw the lid flying on top of my leg, and I saw the brown warm liquid flooding the driver’s seat. And as I saw it, I also felt it. FUCK, it was HOT! Hot, hot, hot! And I couldn’t do a damn thing about it! I kept my head cool and was able to keep driving without hitting anybody. I didn’t even realize I was whispering “fuck” repeatedly, till the toddler in the backseat caught my attention by saying “What happened? Are you okay?” He’s the sweetest little thing ever. And only because of him, I kept driving till I reached where we had to go. I had to unload the car with mocha-soaked pants and take him and his sister to their classroom. It was humiliating. And I thanked whatever god there was that I had decided to wear black pants, or everyone would be able to see the damage from far away.

They walked with the speed of a snail going to meet its faithful death. Today, of all days, some teacher from another room noticed they were twins and had to make a comment. And that made them stop. Today, of all days, I was not in the mood for that. I was already fuming. I did not need to have to deal with two little ones trying to climb on me because the stranger was talking to them. So I just bent down, holding the over-sized load of things we always have to carry with us, and begged them to just keep walking. They did. Bless their hearts. We reached the classroom and they started crying. They always cry when we get there. But they seem to have fun. I don’t know. But it always breaks my heart to leave them crying. I gave them the biggest of hugs and kissed the top of their heads. For a moment I even forgot about my coffee soaked pants and how crappy the day was going. And then they disappeared after the teacher in the classroom, looking for toys to play with.

Then I went back to Starbucks. Fuming.

When the lady saw me walk in, she came, all helpful, trying to take the cup and soaked papers from my hands. I asked for the manager and told her what happened. They were extremely nice and help me, bless their hearts, but I was still pretty upset about the whole thing. I didn’t scream at them or anything, just told them what happened. They gave me another drink and a number to call. They registered my case and will solve the car problem, because now the car smells like peppermint mocha. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s not my favorite either. I guess I should just be glad nothing more serious happened. No burns, no car accidents, no kids got hurt. I think that makes for a successful morning.

So today was the day a venti skinny peppermint mocha tried to kill me, but was only successful at scaring the crap out of me and getting my pants and my underwear soaking wet. I guess I won.

Take that, peppermint mocha!

P.S.: The kids are not mine, I was just taking care of them. I wish they were, though, ’cause they’re pretty awesome!

 

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How about if I put myself first for a change?

I need to stop trying to please everyone. It’s not healthy and it’s killing me. I’m often tired of trying to juggle things and leaving what I want last, just because there are lots of things I have to do for others, things I’m supposed to do, things others want done, and those other things always seem more important than my own things.

There’s always someone who wants or needs something. And this something has to be done. They may say “no rush, don’t worry” but you know, in the back of your mind, that you won’t be able to relax till it’s done. You know you have to do it, because that’s how things are. In the end, you’re your worst enemy. You put yourself in that position. How many times in a month do you let that happen? How many times in a week? Or in a day?

Well, enough of that!

I’m tired. I’m pretty much exhausted of not having time for myself. So for the next few hours I’ll turn my computer off, I’ll put my cell phone away, and I’ll concentrate on me. I’m going to take a long shower, put something nice on, something that will make me feel good about myself, and I’ll work on my story. I’ll write till my fingers can’t write another word. Then I’ll eat something yummy and maybe watch a movie to relax.

That’s it, today is Me Day. Now, go do something fun or good with only yourself in mind.

Happy Me Day, everyone!

 
 

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Let’s all be furiously happy!

I’ve been addicted to The Bloggess for quite some time now. Her blog is an inspiration to me. She taught me to always do something to make myself furiously happy, no matter what kind of bullshit is going on in my life. Life is full of disappointments but you know what? This is my life, and since I only have one of those (at least so far no one was able to prove me wrong), I’m going to enjoy it!

She taught me that I should scream “Wolverines!” more often, that I should wear a wolf skin to the movies, buy a giant metal chicken instead of towels, and that I should always tweet the zombie apocalypse. She also taught me to look for a cat named Bob Barker, and to get to know the saga of James Garfield. And most importantly, that we should all find a Red Dress and be Furiously Happy!

Sorry about the thousands of references, but it would be boring if I were to explain about them all. You can click on the links and get to know about all of them through the words of their creator, Jenny, the Bloggess.

As for me, I know that life is not, and never was, perfect or easy, and it did not turn out exactly as I had expected to. But I can, and I will, choose to be furiously happy! Always!

 

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Freed Birds

Sometimes I think people don’t realize how rude or even offensive their comments can be. I’m all for freedom of speech, but insulting someone? Why? What good does that do to you? Does it make you feel better about yourself if the other is inferior to you, is that it? I don’t get it.

Today I saw someone insulting someone’s work, someone they don’t even know. I often see things like that, people insulting others because of their choices, either personal choices or work-related ones. I know, you’re entitled to your opinion and all, and you want to use the internet to express that. It’s all fine. But just think about how you’re saying it, how you’re wording your thoughts. Think about how that person would feel reading what you just wrote. Think about how you would feel if someone were to do the same to you. Put yourself in that person’s shoes. In fact, it’s well known that we should never judge someone till we have walked at least a mile in their shoes. At least then you’d know they are far away and shoeless, so you have an advantage right there.

Now, jokes aside, I, for example, grew up in the backstage area of theaters, and was even in a few plays myself, and I do know that it takes a whole team to put together a play. It’s not the work of one single individual, and sometimes it does not work as you’re expecting it to. Sometimes, as an actor, you do your best but it’s not enough. You have to follow what the director tells you to and the directions on your script, and you may not agree with it all, but you do your best. And sometimes your best is just not enough. But you do it anyway. I don’t know one actor who was not, at some point or another, disappointed or even embarrassed to do something. But they did it anyway, because that’s their job, and because not all are pretty flowers and sometimes we have to do something unpleasant in order to get to where we want to get. No job is perfect. No one is perfect. And we don’t always make the right choices, at least under someone else’s eyes.

But what I think people people don’t realize is that a blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword. Words hurt. A lot. And unless you have no flaws yourself, do not go throwing rocks at someone else, because you, too, live in a glass house.

I’ve recently got a new tattoo inspired by a poem I memorized when I was a child by a Brazilian poet named Helena Kolody. She’s no longer alive, but she was when I was a child and she lived in the same city I lived in. The poem goes like this:

Pássaros Libertos

Palavras são pássaros.

Voaram!

Não nos pertencem mais.

Helena Kolody

And here’s the translated poem:

Freed Birds

Words are birds.

Flew away!

Do not belong to us anymore.

– Helena Kolody (translated by Carol Vidal)

I always liked this poem. It reminds me of how powerful our words can be and how powerless we are after we let them go, after we free them, after we give them life. Our words, once spoken, can’t be taken back.

Choose your words carefully, because they can come back to bite you in the ass one day.

 

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