Monthly Archives: March 2012

I’m enjoying my rebound relationship at the moment.

Just wanted to share something I stumbled upon a few days ago. It’s a book series comparison of sorts that I thought was pretty nice. Now, it may not be true to everyone, and I haven’t had a chance to read all of the books it mentions, but I do like this.

Book Series

So far, the rebound has been pretty good. Not amazing, but pretty good. Pretty good is good, right? Right?

That last line about the ‘drunken one-night stand you prefer not to think about’ makes me laugh a little every time I read it.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll talk about the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy. No spoilers, no retelling the story, just my opinion.

Take care, and may the odds be ever in your favor. (Yeah, yeah, it’s from the rebound, you can judge me if you want.)

P.S.: I was going to write ‘my personal opinion’ but then I realized that if I’m already saying that the opinion is mine, it has to be personal, right? Well, I’m pretty sure this whole blog is all about my opinions anyway. It’s all about how I perceive things. With that said, if you do not agree with something in here, feel free to confront me about it. Leave me a comment with your opinion and we can discuss it. Just keep in mind that, although you can make me see things from a different perspective and even change my opinion, opinions are just that, just opinions, and I’m just voicing mine, nothing else.


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Of analogies and how to properly eat cabbages.

The other day Jenny posted another one of her conversations that made me want a Victor of my own. But, man, to be that lucky is not easy. It’s pretty hard to find someone who’ll help you find a cat named Bob Barker. Almost as hard as finding someone who’ll help you dig up your dead dog.

This time she was talking about eating shit-hoagies and other Victoralogies, which is so not what you’re thinking. They’re just Victor’s analogies. Or should we call them Victorisms? Well, if you know a Victor, ask him how he’d want it to be called and let me know. Now back to our story, the post had its share of grossness but also talked about cows eating cabbages. If you don’t know what that is, welcome to the club. I was pretty lost when I first saw it. But later Jenny tweeted about Victor finding an explanation for it on the internet, on a website called The Word Detective. Pretty sure that was how it happened. Not so sure anymore, since it’s been a few days, after all.

Anyway, because the post explaining it was long and I had no time at the moment, I just saved the link. Today I opened the link and skipped the first few paragraphs, because that’s the way to read a post explaining something, apparently. Because when you do this, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll get so confused by reading the middle paragraph that you’ll get lost, jump to the last paragraph, get even more lost, then you’ll decide to read the opening paragraph but won’t understand a thing, and you’ll finally leave the blog/site clueless as to why in the heck you even opened that in the first place. Or you’ll read a paragraph that will be intriguing enough to have you read the whole post. So here’s the paragraph I chose to read (from the middle, of course) about how the cow ate the cabbage:

A circus had arrived in a small town, and one morning one of the elephants managed to escape. The fugitive pachyderm made its way to the backyard garden of an elderly (and very near-sighted) woman, where it began hungrily uprooting her cabbages with its trunk and eating them. Alarmed by the apparition in her garden, the woman called the police, saying, “Sheriff, there’s a big cow in my garden pulling up my cabbages with its tail!” “What’s the cow doing with them?” he asked, to which the woman replied, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you!”

It made me snort, so I had to read the whole post. I just had to. I found the site to be pretty cool, and it talks about words and language in a humorous way, which is something I enjoy a lot. I’ll sure be checking out more of their stuff in the future.

Hey, look at me, just found another way to waste my time on the internet, because apparently sleep is so overrated. Although I do believe that time spent doing something that brings you pleasure cannot be classified as wasted time. It’s just that I wish I had more time to spend on the things I like.

P.S.: Went to look for the tweet, because I didn’t want to seem crazy and it was nothing like I said it was. Someone tweeted Jenny about her husband (not Jenny’s) finding the explanation for how the cow ate the cabbage and Jenny re-tweeted it. Not that this changes anything, really, but I just had to come clean and tell you that, although I lied up there I totally didn’t mean to. This is what happens when you don’t get your facts straight before you write about things.

P.S.#2: Yes, I do realize I could just go up there and change it and you’d never even find out about it, but what’s the fun in doing that?


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I’m an only child. With a few siblings on the side.

Are you an only child?

Whenever people ask me that my first reaction is to say yes, but then I catch myself wondering, “Am I?” I mean, I grew up as an only child. My mom says she got it right the first time and didn’t feel like she had to try for a better one, I say she was traumatized and didn’t want to risk getting another one like me. But I’m pretty sure it’s because my parents got divorced when I was too little and didn’t have time to have another one. Then my mom began her life as a struggling single mom and that took so much of her time and energy she didn’t even dream about having another baby.

My dad, on the other hand, didn’t feel the same pressure and soon found my stepmother and they started having kids. They have five boys, so I guess I technically have five half-brothers. Well, six, if you count the one my dad had in between my mom and his new wife. So six half-brothers, or three whole brothers, math-wise. But since I didn’t really see them much growing up, I always considered myself an only child.

I had friends and cousins to play with, and a mom who always allowed me to go to their houses or have them come to ours, so I had plenty of opportunities to play with others. But nothing compares to playing by yourself. I had endless hours to play by myself, just me and my wild imagination, and I always loved it. I did ask my mom for a little sister from time to time, but honestly, I loved being an only child. Plus I had this very close friends who was like a sister to me. Really. We even got into fights all the time, like sisters do. The only difference is that we’d punch each other instead of just pulling hair like most girls do. But that’s a story for another time.

Although I do think playing with other kids is awesome and necessary, I think every child should have the opportunity to have some alone playtime. It’s great! When you play by yourself you do whatever you want. No one says no, no one thinks your idea is not good, and no one tells you what you should or should not do or say. Seriously, I always hated when a friend would say “Now you say this.” It made me want to say, “You know what? You don’t tell me what to say, I decide what I say.” But only I was too shy and would never dare to say that. Anyway, when you play alone, you decide everything. And that requires a lot of imagination and creativity.

I often see children now saying they are bored when they don’t have people to play with, or saying they can’t play something because they don’t have one specific thing, and I don’t think I ever thought that when I was a child. I always found something to do, and if I didn’t have exactly what I wanted, I’d just imagine I did, or get something else and pretend it was what I needed. I learned to use my imagination in my favor.

I think every child needs some alone playtime as much as they need to play with others. Because when you play alone you have the opportunity to explore your creativity and imagination, and you discover you can be very resourceful.


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Hair is just that, just hair.

I’ve shaved my hair a total of three times so far. I was never completely bald, but my hair was about half-inch long. Or short. Whatever you prefer. But it was really short.

First time I shaved my head I was in high school. Probably not the best time of your life to change so drastically and do something so different from the norm. Or it can be the best time ever. Shaving my head gave me confidence and made me look at myself and see I was actually not that bad. I went from the quiet girl who barely talked above a whisper to the girl with a shaved head, wearing earrings all the time, daring to put on a short skirt, showing some cleavage and venturing with hair color. That’s when I started dying my hair red. At first it was just a tone of red, just to warm the color up a bit, but hair coloring is like a drug, and suddenly I saw myself wanting more and more till I got to the apple red I love so much.

Second time I shave my head it was to support a friend as well as to defy those who think they have more power than what they actually have. My friend wanted to shave her head, and because she knew I had shaved mine, she asked me to go with her. I did. She looked great and she was really excited. We talked about how people at work would react and parted ways. So when I got to work that night and saw her hiding, covering her head with a scarf, I was shocked. The thing was that our boss had told her to cover it up or she would be fired. The next day I had a surprise for him and I couldn’t wait for him to get there. I had shaved my head. When he got there I held my head up and said “So, do you like it, or do you want me to cover it up?” I knew I had the biggest smirk on my face, and I couldn’t care less. He knew he couldn’t scare me as he could scare her, so he did nothing. And from that day on she could just walk around proud of her shaved head.

The third time it was just because. Woke up missing my shaved head and decided I wanted it again. It feels really nice, soft, and it’s so much easier to wash and dry your hair when you have almost nothing. The problem is when it’s starting to grow, because not only you have to get haircuts very often, you also have to style it daily. Long hair is easier, since you can just put it up on a ponytail and that’s it.

But all in all, hair is just that, just hair. We can change its length, change its color, make it curlier or straighten it. We can do it all. And if we get a haircut we’re not happy with, we can just wait, it will grow back. Or if we’re feeling really bold, we can shave it all. It feels great.

Dare. Be bold or italic. Never regular.


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Blindness, by José Saramago

Blindness‘ original Portuguese title is Ensaio sobre a Cegueira (literal translation: Essay on Blindness). Written by Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago, it’s one of his most famous novels. It was later adapted into a movie of the same name by Fernando Meirelles.

Blindness tells the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of “white blindness” that affects nearly everyone in an unnamed city. The government, in an attempt to contain the contagion, places those affected by it in quarantine. What follows are the consequences to not only those affected by this new blindness, but to society as a whole.

Like other books by Saramago, it contains many long, breathless sentences. The only punctuation marks used are commas and periods, and the lack of exclamation or interrogation marks can take some getting used to. It also lacks quotation marks for its dialogues. The dialogue is characterized by commas followed by capital letters. The characters are referred to by their position or some other characteristic (“the doctor’s wife,” “man with black eye patch”) rather than by their names.

I’ve read the book twice already, first in Portuguese then in English, and I know I’ll read it again at some point in my life. I think the author does a wonderful job at writing the scenes in a way you can actually visualize what is happening. The scenes are not always pleasant, but are written in such an interesting way I couldn’t put the book down. It’s a book that makes you think about ethics, about human rights, about how we, as a society, behave in extreme situations, and about man’s will to survive against all odds. I definitely recommend this book.

A few quotes from the book:

“Why did we become blind, I don’t know, perhaps one day we’ll find out, Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

“You never know beforehand what people are capable of, you have to wait, give it time, it’s time that rules, time is our gambling partner on the other side of the table and it holds all the cards of the deck in its hand, we have to guess the winning cards of life, our lives.”

“Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are.”

“(…) if, before every action, we were to begin by weighing up the consequences, thinking about them in earnest, first the immediate consequences, then the probable, then the possible, then the imaginable ones, we should never move beyond the point where our first thought brought us to a halt. The good and evil resulting from our words and deeds go on apportioning themselves, one assumes in a reasonably uniform and balanced way, throughout all the days to follow, including those endless days, when we shall not be here to find out, to congratulate ourselves or ask for pardon, indeed there are those who claim that this is the much-talked-of immortality (…)”


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Reading keeps me sane.

Decided to keep a log of my readings on Goodreads. I set up my profile a while ago, but completely forgot about it. Now I’m finally using it. I’m still going slow, adding friends and books little by little. Just found out how to mark how many pages I’ve read so far. Score! It was right there and I didn’t even notice it. Apparently I’m not very observant.

Anyway, feel free to add me there and to suggest books you’ve enjoyed. I’m always looking for new recommendations. I’ll try to add a few recommendations of books I’ve read here on my blog. Maybe once a week? Maybe once a month? Probably once a “when-I-remember/feel-like-it/have-time-to.” Don’t panic, I will write them, just not on a schedule. Quality is always more important than quantity, right?

Anyway, I’ll post the first one thins week. Probably. Who knows?

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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Books Keep Me Alive, Little Notes


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The ever-growing “to read” pile.

From a very early age she already knew she loved books. She loved being read to and, later on, reading them on her own. The stories were magical to her, carrying her to a different universe, where nothing else existed but that moment.

She was always eager to go to a library or even a bookstore. They both had their charm to her. The bookstore with its impeccable books, with intact covers and unmarked pages, was a land of temptations. Unless your pockets were willing to cooperate, it was the land of wish-lists and quiet sighs. The library however, was a completely different land. It was the land of endless possibilities, with shelves upon shelves of enticing worlds to be discovered, to be conquered. Each book would whisper her name, urging her to reach for them, daring her to take a risk on a new adventure. And once she had started her adventure, time would cease to exist.

But she grew up, like all of us do, and life showed her that time was real and not always cooperative. She spent less and less time with her beloved books. She had responsibilities, deadlines, bills to pay. But she still tried to keep her love affair with literature. She enjoyed visiting the library and leaving the place with more than her hands could carry. She kept buying more and more books, adding them to her “to read” pile. She couldn’t resist it. She knew she wouldn’t possibly read all of them, there was not enough time, but she kept telling herself “one day” and the pile kept on growing.

The pile grew so big it had to be divided into separate smaller piles. And the piles started spreading around her house. There were piles in the living room, in the bedroom, in the dining room, even in the kitchen and in the bathroom. Everywhere you went there was a pile of books. They were all over her place.

At night, laying in bed, she could hear them, the books. She could hear them whispering to one another. She knew what they were doing. They were plotting; plotting a way to get her back. They were calling her name and urging her to go back to being the little girl who denied time and was not afraid of where they were taking her.


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The book for intellectual misfits.

A few years ago I felt like a fish out of water. I mean, it’s pretty different to live in a city with a little over 170,000 people when you were born and raised in a city with a population of 1.75 million people. I felt like I didn’t really belong and was having a hard time. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was wrong, it just was.

One day, after learning that I was (again) falling behind on my assignments (one of the benefits of being a procrastinator) I said, “Oh, great. Should I kill myself now or later?” You wouldn’t believe the face my college professor gave me. He asked me if I was serious and I just know he was considering calling a counselor or a psychologist or something. Come on, people. I was obviously kidding. If I wanted to kill myself I wouldn’t announce it, I’d just do it. When you announce it you risk people coming and saving you before you get a chance of actually killing yourself.

But, he was worried. I was the odd girl with the apple red hair that obviously came from a box, not natural at all. I wish, though. By the way, I had never thought my hair was so different before, but after my new hairdresser (look at me, it even sounds like I go to the salon all that much) told me I was bold to choose such a vibrant color, and a friend chasing me around the corridors of a college building saying she knew it was me because nobody else has this hair color, I started paying more attention. Around here I am different. Still not sure I like that very much, but oh well.

Anyway, those little things, plus a thousand others, made me see I was too different from the people around me. Maybe I had chosen the wrong place to live. Maybe I was just too odd. And that made me sad. It made me miss home and all I knew. Made me wonder if I had made the right decision moving so far away to a place where I knew nothing and no one. It made me miss my friends, the people who understood my sense of humor. Made me want to move back to my country.

Because of that I ended up spend a lot more time on the internet. And that’s when I found a website written by someone who’s also not all that normal. Someone who also has a weird sense of humor and who is, sometimes, misinterpreted by strangers. And that has made all the difference.

Now I know that I’m not the only one. There are others out there who feel like fish out of water sometimes. Others who have a great, although often misinterpreted, sense of humor. And they all get together on the internet. The internet allows you to get in touch with people like you. Because no matter where they physically live, they all live just a click away.

And now this person who writes the blog that helped me see a world of people as crazy as me, is publishing a book. As soon as I found out I pre-ordered the book, of course. Who wouldn’t want to read a book written by a insanely amazing mind? A person with such a crazy sense of humor? So, here’s the video about her book:

Can it be April yet?


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Cheers to the ones who will always matter.

When I was little I had a friend who had this my turn/your turn deal. She’d call you, then wait for you to call. She’d never call you twice in a row. According to her, if you didn’t care enough to return the favor, why would she bother trying? To her a friendship was only worth it if it was balanced, and that meant she would not be the only one doing things for others.

Being someone who’s constantly trying to please other people, I didn’t quite understand her harsh ways right away. I’d forget to call back (but just because I’m forgetful, not because I meant to hurt her) and she would not call me for days. I got better at calling her, although I still loath calling people on the phone. My phone carrier’s probably not happy about that, but what can I do? I am who I am.

Anyway, now I understand my friend a lot better. If a person doesn’t care enough to try to reach you from time to time, why should you care and try to reach that person? The phone ring both ways, so don’t complain I’m not calling you if you’re not calling me either. I’ve decided I’ll only care about those who care about me. After all, if someone from my past is no longer in my life, there must be a reason for that.

By the way, that friend from my childhood is still one of my best friends. We’ve been friends since 1988. We’ve been friends through some pretty rough times and shared amazing moments together. We’re apart now, living in different countries, but when we get together it’s as great as it always was. Or even better, since now we have tons of memories to occupy our conversations and make us laugh.

I guess there comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will. So cherish the good friends. The ones that come and never leave.The ones that are, somehow, always there.


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For life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word.

The other day I was talking to a friend and somehow we got to the topic of suffering, and how some say that in order to be a poet one has to suffer, and then she said “Don’t we all? We all suffer.”

Yes, we all do. We all have our share of pain and suffering in the world, we all have our problems, and we all have choices we can make. We can either let our problems trample us to death, or we can learn to shake them off and keep going. We can choose to let ourselves drown in a sea of problems or we can learn to swim.

Life is full of half full/half empty type of situations. Be a glass half full kind of person.

You know what they say, some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle, and this will help things turn out for the best. And… always look on the bright side of life.

So just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing. And always look on the bright side of life.


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