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Category Archives: Going Down Memory Lane

Letting go

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Just let go…

Why is it so hard to let go of things from our past? And why is it that the hardest things to let go are the ones that hurt us the most? Why can’t we not let go of good things instead? I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I sure wish I did.

Things from our past, especially the painful ones, seem to stay with us longer, and letting go of them seems too hard at times. I don’t get why my brain chooses to remember the painful things. Maybe it’s a lesson I’m supposed to learn. Maybe it’s so I won’t make the same mistakes in the future. Maybe it’s so I learn not to let people treat me the same way ever again. But in the end, the reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is the way we feel when we think about those things.

But now I think I may be learning to let go of some of those things. At least the last time I talked about them, they didn’t hurt the same. It still hurt a little, but not nearly as much. I’m starting to think those things are not influencing me as much. Am I growing up? Or is just that I’ve decided that I won’t let that pain dictates my future?

Hard to say. But whatever it is, I woke up feeling much happier about that.

Photo credit: Sophia “release” by David Hayward. And by the way, if you click on this link you’ll see what the artist wrote about the drawing and it goes pretty well with this post.

 

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Harry Potter in 99 seconds

Another video by Jon Cozart, but this time he’s singing about Harry Potter. And no, I don’t know the kid. Just happened to see one of his videos and thought I’d share them with you.

The best thing in this video, in my opinion, is the way he ends the song. I’ve read all the books and I’ve seen all the movies, but I do know of people who have yet to read and/or watch them (I know, it comes as a shock to me, too).

 

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Here’s what happened after all their dreams came true

Just saw this today and couldn’t resist. I had to post it.

This video, made by the talented Jon Cozart, went viral, with almost 8 million views already. Whether or not you agree with the political views expressed in the song, it’s hard not to be impressed by what he’s doing.

Warning: Not for children! At least not for little ones. After all, he starts by saying, “If you’ve ever wondered why Disney’s tales all end in lies, here’s what happened after all their dreams came true.”

 

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How to defeat your enemies

T-Boy (he likes dinosaurs, that’s why I call him that) was watching a TV show yesterday called Ninjago. Since I don’t know what the show is I should do some research to first get to know the show and then do a brief explanation here, but that would take time. Instead, you’re left with my version of the show: it’s about legos, and they are ninjas, and one of them is the master and the others are learning from the master. That’s it. Kind of a teenage mutant ninja turtles but with less turtles and less pizza.

Anyway, I didn’t really sit there to watch the show, but the little bit I heard was about the ninjas trying to answer some riddle from the master. They’d come with a solution and it was always wrong (of course). Instead of watching the show I tried to distract T-Boy. I was not very successful at that, so I agreed to let him watch the last 5 minutes of the show in peace. He was really invested in it.

At the end the master tells his lego-ninjas: “The secret to defeat your enemies is to become their friend.” T-Boy’s expression was priceless, combined with an “Ah” that I’m sure meant what an interesting concept! Maybe I’ll try that next time. And that’s when I was reminded that as much as we may not like the idea of children watching TV shows all the time, if chosen wisely, they can help us teach them valuable lessons. Not that Ninjago is the best show ever (please, I’ve only watched a few minutes of one show) or that I’m advocating that children should watch more TV (I certainly am not saying that), but there is a team of people working behind TV shows and they do (in some cases) try to send good messages to the children.

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Did you watch Dungeons & Dragons? Boy, that was a fun show!

I remember when I was a child and all the TV shows I used to watch. And boy, did I watch TV! The TV was always on. Always. I watched Thundercats, Dungeons & Dragons, Tom & Jerry, Flintstones, Jetsons, Smurfs, Snorks, and so many others. I remember I used to love play-dough as well, and I’d make things from TV shows for my playmobil, like a tiny shell with tiny colored pencils inside. Well, of course it was tiny, have you seen the size of a playmobil’s hand?

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I had this! This exact one!

Oh, boy, what a sweet childhood I had. Maybe it’s time to get the box of play-dough out. Maybe I’ll make something the legos can use…

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Remember the Snorks?

 

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Easter with a touch of childhood memories.

When I was little Easter was a fun time. I remember following the Easter bunny’s paw prints around the house to find the place where he (you can’t call him it) had hidden my basket. The basket would always have a big chocolate egg. And by that I mean one of those:

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Just a few examples of Easter eggs.

You can find them everywhere in Brazil (yes, I grew up there) and you find them hanging from the ceiling (or a support over your head) in grocery stores. All you have to do is pick the one (or ones) you want and grab them as if you were getting fruit from a tree.

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Easter eggs are expensive, but walking into a supermarket and see all the eggs hanging above your head is priceless.

And if you have never seen the inside of one, they look kind of like this:

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This is a homemade one. Yes, you can get homemade ones and they are simply delicious!

Of course the contents of the eggs differ from one egg to the next, but they are all hollow with candies (and sometimes also toys) inside. The chocolate on the outside of the egg also changes, matching the candy they are based on (some have peanuts mixed with the chocolate, some are white chocolate, etc.).

But they were not the only thing in my basket. There were also smaller eggs and a chocolate bunny. I always got a chocolate bunny. Maybe because when I was little someone stole my bunny, a chocolate one, so my mom decided to give me one every year to compensate. Who knows, the point is, it was magical.

But one thing was even more magical. The decorated egg shells. My mom would start collecting eggshells weeks (maybe months) before Easter  It was a tough job to get them ready. She’d break just a little piece at the bottom of the eggshell, just enough to get the egg out. Then she’d wash the eggshells, let them dry, and store them in an egg carton. Later she’d make sugar peanuts (or Easter peanuts, as we’d call them) and put them inside the eggshells. She’d use a tiny cupcake liner to cover the whole and keep the peanuts inside. Then she’d decorate the shells using watercolors and a paintbrush.

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My mom’s ones had cupcake liners under them instead of egg holders, but they looked just like these ones.

Can we just take a moment to admire the artwork on those? I have to say I admire my mom’s dedication in using a tiny paintbrush to make the tiny details on the eggs. Nowadays with sharpies it would be a much easier job. Yay for that, right?

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Here you can see the peanuts inside and the cupcake liners.

And now I’m a bit nostalgic. Gee, I wonder why, right?

How was Easter for you growing up? What things are part of your fondest memories?

Oh, yeah, and HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE! Hope the Easter bunny leaves you a bunch of good moments to turn into sweet memories one day.

 

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Why do we write a blog?

Why are blogs so appealing? Why is it so great to write about personal things when we know strangers will read? Why is it so important for us to share private, sometimes even embarrassing thoughts with people we’ve never met before? Do we do it so we won’t feel so alone in the world? Do we do it for the satisfaction of knowing someone else out there can relate to it and that can make us feel less abnormal?

A year ago I started writing in this blog and I honestly hoped I wouldn’t quit. It wasn’t my first blog and I was afraid it would end up forgotten just as the other ones did. So far so good, but it isn’t over yet. It never will be, right? To avoid wanting to quit I did take some precautions. I decided it wouldn’t be too personal, that I wouldn’t reveal too much, and that I would keep it separate from my real life. But what does that all mean? To be honest, that’s up for interpretation.

If you pay attention to what a person writes (or rather to what that person decides to write or not to write) you end up knowing more about that person than you can even imagine. You, all of you, have access to more about my life than people who’ve known me in person for years! You may not realize that but you do. You can imagine how I’d react in a situation or try to imagine what I would or would not say about a certain subject. The fact that you may not know my age or my last name or what I look like does not mean a thing. Or perhaps you’re one of the few ones who do know me in person, in which case, hi! It’s great to see you here!

But I think that more than anything I wanted this space to be a place where I could say (or write) what I wanted without having to worry about who is reading it or whether or not they’d judge me for what I’m writing here. We end up meeting a lot of people we have to deal with in real life and sometimes we don’t have a choice whether or not to let them be a part of it. But in here, online, we have the privilege of not having to do that. If you come here and read my blog is because you want to, not because you have to do it. I probably won’t even know you were here anyway. Well, unless you like a post or leave a comment, of course. And by the way, comments and likes are always welcomed. 😉

Anyway, I just wanted to say it’s been a great journey and I appreciate every single one of your likes and comments. You all make me feel like I belong, like I’m not the only one, and like I’m actually part of a group I truly enjoy being part of. Thank you.

Thank You

 

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Have you heard of Sartalics?

Not too long ago I was complaining about the difficulties of conveying sarcasm in writing. Now I find out three interns are attempting to solve this problem with Sartalics! Sartalics is a reverse italics font, which is just like italics but leaning left instead of right.

To make their campaign known, the interns are gathering a Twitter mob of 10,000 people to simultaneously tweet at tech giants Yahoo, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Tumblr, YouTube and Apple. The tweet “@(company name and person in charge of decisions at said company) needs a sarcasm font style option way more than another layout update! #nosarcasm.” will be sent automatically when the campaign hits 10,000 participants. Last I saw, the Sartalics twitter account had 2,304 followers already.

Let’s all join the twitterblitz for Sartalics!

 

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Animated Short Films: Geri’s Game

Do you remember the first animated short film you’ve ever seen? I do. Mine was Geri’s Game, an animated short film made by Pixar in 1997, written and directed by Jan Pinkava. It was the first Pixar short created after the 1989 Knick Knack. The film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1998.

After that one I’ve seen lots of animated short films but that one was always on my top 5. Maybe because it was my very first one. Or maybe just because it’s good. Period.

Do you remember your first animated short film?

 

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Reading, cooking and playing pranks, that’s what vacations are all about.

Right now I’m enjoying some vacation time, and that means visiting my home country, my family, my friends, and my cats. My days are filled with reading some new stories and re-reading old ones, cooking with mom a few of my favorite dishes, and obeying my cats wishes of when and for how long to pet them.

But that’s another story. Let’s go back to cooking. The other day we were able to verify my grandma’s been senile for a very long time. We were using a handwritten recipe book my grandma wrote for me a few years ago. It’s full of dead people’s recipes. Well, my grandma wouldn’t say it like that, but let’s face it, most of our ancestors are no longer breathing.

Anyway, although I love my grandma’s effort in putting all the recipes together for me, I do have to question her at times. I think she forgets I’m not really that used to being in the kitchen and am not sure how to caramelize a pan with no ingredients listed or steps to follow (I do know now and I have to say it’s easier than it sounds).

But some of her recipes are also missing a few basic steps, probably because they were too obvious for her. She doesn’t tell you to bake things, for instance. How long and at what temperature to bake something? Oh, please, of course she doesn’t tell you that! How dare you ask!

Now, the best part was to throw away a whole batch of cream because it was not thickening, just to realize soon afterwards that we were supposed to add the egg yolks before, not after cooking the cream as specified in my grandma’s recipe.

Another important lesson I learned that day: do not try to be funny when your mother asks you if you know how to do something. She starts getting upset, you can’t stop laughing, then you try to make another joke and end up laughing and crying uncontrollably in front of the freezer.

Good times. Good times indeed.

Do you think that’s why she decided to wake me up from a nap using a spray bottle? Nah, of course not. She wouldn’t be seeking revenge, right? Right?

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Something white, something new, and a puzzle.

I like traditions. They are things that were established long before you (or even by you) that repeat themselves in some sort of pattern (every year, every month, every whenever I want to). They gives us some sense of belonging, some sense of being.

My new year’s eve tradition is to wear something white and something new. They can be the same things, the same article of clothing, but they must be present. Usually (but not always) my underwear is brand new. The white part is to call for peace in the year that comes. You can also wear other colors: red for passion, pink for love, yellow for gold/money, etc. But the white for peace is necessary, at least for me.

Something else I like to do at this time of the year is a puzzle. I like to start putting the puzzle together on the 31st of December and finishing it on the first day of the new year. I don’t know why (and I do not do this every year) but I just love it.

This year (after quite a few skipping this particular tradition of mine) I decided to put together my old 1008-piece puzzle.

December 31st. Hello, old friend.

December 31st. Hello, old friend.

It was great finding each little piece, trying them to see if they fit, looking for a particular one shaped just in the right way. There’s something about putting together a puzzle you already know that I can’t quite describe. It’s like revisiting an old friend after a long time apart. It’s familiar and comforting and full of memories.

And here is the finished puzzle, now with only 1007 pieces since my cousin lost one over a decade ago when I let him borrow it.

January 1st. Can you see the missing piece?

January 1st. Can you see the missing piece?

But it’s not about finishing the puzzle, it’s the journey, it’s the time spent putting the pieces together. It’s feeling like a child again, with not a worry in your mind but the thought of finding that tiny piece to fit the space. It’s touching the space where a missing piece should be and remembering you should never let your cousin borrow things with tiny pieces again. It’s touching every single piece put together and smiling.

 

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