Long posts


But I will try and keep the frequent posting, I am liking this verbiage every couple of days, and boy does it have a good impact in my life. I feel when I write and make the words something visible, is easier to focus, to analyse and to stop the re-thinking which drives me insane sometimes.

So, these days I’ve been distracted with planning a lot and it is, as for most people who are the think-too-much breed, one of my favourite pastimes.  I’ve been lost on huge piles of magazines looking for words to use on collages I want to spread in the cave, saving tasty pretty looking food recipes I want to cook when we have friends over to visit, or simply feel like doing something special (that will be every weekend at least I hope), also cutting and pasting anything that catches my eyes, from little nick-knacks to huge pieces of furnitures, even if only to get ideas. We’ve been buying interior design magazines (one cheap and one expensive-ish a month) but all the other magazines were left by the entrance window seal by a kind neighbour Mr. J has  o:) All these things are going to a folder (just like I found out Lolla likes doing as well) and then we run through it at night and choose what is worth going and have a look at.

Some of the things are really disappointing when you go to see them “live” but they still pull us to the right stores and places to find pieces which still matches our tastes.

Togo Sofa, pretty and stylish. But expensive (£4500-6000) too hard and too low and not nice if you just want to sit up straight.

Rolf Benz Plura. Looks pretty and the flexible head and legs rests which become extended as you need are a good idea. But expensive (£10000+) and it is not comfortable at all. The fabric version we tested was "itchy" and it had the feeling of an aircraft seat.

So we may end up just choosing a normal traditional leather sofa…We’ll see. For now we have chosen our magnificent bed and mattress, we went for memory foam with sprung pockets which is best of both worlds. The bed is very Hotel-like but we absolutely lurrrrve hotels, so it is our dream bed which we wouldn’t find anything like it and we will stay with it for a long time so was worth splashing out.

One thing that is helping a lot is this 3D software where you do a floorplan and can play with colours and sizes and decide if everything will look good and pretty and, most importantly, fit before the house is even built. So I am spending a lot of time on it as well, specially at evenings when I get tired of the internet :-D

There are still a lot to choose, and to plan, and I am having a brilliant time doing so. It has taken my mind out of some nagging issues still happening with the old chapter of my life, and has been the best therapy to get me distracted and stressing.

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*So, Germany was 3rd place, and that was fair really. I think they played the least emotional but the most competent football, they should’ve been the winners, but football is not a fair game. Felt sad for Furlán, but he got the golden boots so all is fine!

*And Spain made justice by being champions. Holland played dirty from the start and they didn’t deserve to win by far. Spain played beautifully and cutie boy Torres got his medal so all was happy in think-too-much land.

*Summarizing: this World Cup was tainted by bad refereeing, unfair results, passionless football and the sound of vuvuzelas. But was decorated with pretty songs, wonderful smiles, and full-on play-with-our-hearts-in-our-sleeves players and managers (e.g. Maradona and Jochen Lowe). I never like seeing the sad loosers face, no matter who they were, or how badly they played. The commemorations weren’t that special apart from Ghana little dance. But isn’t that how all World Cups always go? :)

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Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Is this the United States Congress, or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?

First I have to say I am a big fan of Michal Moore. Being biased like he is, and exaggerated, and a bit out-of-the-point-of-what-we-are-talking-about-here like he is. He always brings me to tears, his movies for me are always a reality re-check. It is things we know are happening, it is in our faces every day of our mundane lives. Everyone knows is wrong, but do anyone do anything to change it? Hardly no one.

Maybe I’m just gullible, but this movie is friggin’ brilliant. Even if it just makes you think about what you believe is right in this world. What is important? What are the consequences of your acts to go up the ladder? How much is too much for someone to have? How can you do something to change things? And if you tried, would it matter?

Yes, it did brought me to tears again, seeing that even when good, honest, decent people get to power and try to make things change and the human condition better, the greedy and cowards still get their ways. Some(rare)times, there is a glimpse, even if tiny, of hope. But is it enough?

The movie looses its only star I took back when Michael goes to interview the Catholic Church about how “evil” capitalism system is. Really? Are we asking the same Church that was corrupt from its values killed in the name of gold and precious stones in the past? Priests talking about how Capitalism uses propaganda to ” to convince people who are victimized by this very system to support the system and see it as good.” ? Really, the Catholic Chruch, responsible for the cruzades?

The whole thing is hypocritical. For those making the movie and us watching as well. Aren’t we all moved by the same desires of making fortune? Is it a question of how much of a fortune is acceptable or not? As I said this movie is  one to tie your head in a knot and question the kinda of life you want to live behind, so it is not for the faint hearted.

Another problem with the movie is that once again, it will be only watched and have an affect on people who is already convinced by the theories Michael Moore presents us. It is not going to reach people who REALLY needed to, and even if does, it will rarely convince them they are wrong, or make them change their attitudes.

*And just by coincidence, my friend Bianca posted this animation by David Harvey which explains all Michael Moore does in 2 hours in 11 minutes. See it!

I chose not to annoy my friends who don’t care, or even hate, football on Twitter or Facebook so I am keeping my comments there to a minimal. Instead, I will be making notes and leaving the registration about this World Cup here instead :)  And in four years, when I want to remember how this world Cup went, it will even more the easier (isn’t it scary to think about what is going to happen in 4 years, where we will be, and how things will have changed?)

Day 1

The first day was divided between me working on documents I had to read, review and approve, but an easy day meant I could have the TV on the background. Unfortunately, the Opening Ceremony was transmitted by ITV, which is the popular cheap network here in UK. They are more interested in making money from adverts than worried about us watching the programs. Of course, they kept cutting the ceremony out to show more adverts. I missed a big chunk of the whole thing (including the ending) and that annoyed me already, but still, was able to see some of it:

– I loved the way they used women of all sizes, colours and ages. It was emotional to see their smiles and the happiness was contagious!
– The ceremony itself was not that expensive looking. It was simple, humble, but very effective. I thought that was brilliant and goes to show the world you don’t need to spend a HUGE UGLY amount of money to put up a spectacle. And of course, being South Africa, is only appropriate they shouldn’t spend that much money anyway!
– The music was fine. I was very happy for Khaled being called to sing, he has been one of my favourite for ages!
– I think everyone was working from home though. The VPN kept going down and I had to reconnect every 2 minutes! /:)
Day 2
We went to Miss Lazy‘s place! Had a nose around, ate some food, squished Baby C and had a lovely time with all the troupe. Didn’t get much of the games between all the gossip and girlie talks, but being around people who like football is always good, even if I was the only one taking the rules seriously and making a fuss when they broke it!
When we were back I went for my training run, and because of that I missed the first 6 minutes of the England game, but found out I wasn’t the only one who missed the quickest goal so far. ITV messed up the transmission again and started the England game late for the HD channel and everyone who was watching on it missed it too!!

Day 3
Lazy Sunday for a change. Snoozing off until 11:30, having pancakes with football, then more football! What a perfect Sunday with Mr J. We pass most of the time discussing the rules, how they should change and getting annoyed at players for not doing things *is so obvious* for us.

…And the quick notes until now…

– Some WC adverts are so annoying! But some are quite brilliant. I like the Nike, Carlsberg, The Guardian and The Times better. Will try and post them here at later date if/when they become available on You Tube or somewhere else.
– Gotta love the banners the supporters are showing! One said “I am = here” and another said “*Someone* ate my cheeseburger”(was too quick to see who it was)
– The horns (vuvuzelas) are pure evil. I absolute have a phobia of buzzing noises and the vuvuzelas verge the unbearable for me. Not to mention the fact they simply kill the beautiful noise of supporters chanting, singing, playing drums, clapping. It should be banned, now!
– Loved the way the South African team came in dancing and singing. Let the goosebumps begin!

– Lurve the Mexican Shirt, so far, is my favourite (even if it looks like a bunch of referees on the pitch), and the chapolins in the country supporters, it is of my favourite childhood memories!
– Like the girls as mascots, remember they used to have only boys before?
– Malouda out of the first France game for fighting on the team meeting the night before is atrocious, shouldn’t they be becoming one big group? No wonder they just drew!
– The socks of Uruguay‘s goalkeeper reminded me of the times when I used to wear pyjamas under the school uniform, all clogged up and messy. I wonder how many socks he was really wearing!
– The grabbing (of shirts and bodies) are annoying me a bit this year. Football is supposed to be a clean game, where you show the ability with your feet (hel-low! hence the name of the game) not your hands.
– The new ball has been playing havoc with the goallies poor things. Yesterday was England’s fate, today was Algeria’s. I’ve been a keeper myself when I was a child and I don’t blame them at all.

You get used to calculating in your head where the ball should go, and when it does something different, unless you are extraordinary (like the South African goallie was) there is a slim change you’d catch the change of direction in time.Not sure why this fancy thing about changing the ball shape and weight and not letting the players get used to it beforehand.
– Do miss the short shorts from the 80s (although the tight shirts are making up for it, not sure how they are managing to breathe in it) and the Swedish Gods. But let Spain come =P~ and there has been some cuteness around already ;)
– Ghana rude manager *grinded my gears* to push the Happy Chappy who came for a hug was plain wrong!

That’s it for now, more to come. There are still a LOT to come! :-D

I never much liked my birthdays. I like other people’s, planning it, celebrating it with them and all.
But I always felt awkward about my birthday.
It starts with the fact I share my birthday with my sister. She is 2 years older than me, but we share the day. Both Gemini, both with a bolt (or more) loose in our heads. Because my brother’s bday is less than a month away, we always shared birthdays parties. And I say “parties” because that’s when my dad’s parent would come and see us and have cake :)

They lived in the countryside (about 2,5 hrs away) and that was the annual visit we would have. It was exciting times, and I loved seeing them, but it wasn’t the big do children in Brazil were used to. It was a very small affair, just in the flat, the 11 of us, cake, great pressies and playing about. But it was like a “collective” birthday for the three of us. Which I really enjoyed, and have only fond memories of.

When we were 9, 11 and 13, my parents hired the venue space in the building to throw us a big party. We had children play’s actors, they hired professional entertainers, we had a huge cake and treats. The party was full with my sister’s and brother’s friends, but hardly any of my friends came. I lost one of the games, and remember crying lots because of that. What I remember the better was the look on mum’s and dad’s eyes happy they were giving us a party we never had, and I feel so good they were so happy and satisfied I now can look back and see that’s what was worth it. We had to eat the tons of pop (Sprite and guaraná) and hot dogs left over from the party on the following days, and the combination always remind me of that party now :)

When I turned 16(as sis was turning 18) we decided to go out partying in a club. Again, just one of my friends (which is still one of my closest ones) turned up, sis had a boyfriend and he went with her with another friend, but other than that no one else turned up, despite the fact we distributed more than 50 invitations around the High School. I am still extremely thankful for my friend who went to the party, and that’s what I carry with me from that night, that she would be with me no matter what, when or where!

After that, for a while, I didn’t really celebrated birthdays in a big way. I think the fact it was always weird time for me, feeling the centre of attention is not my forte, and I think in some level, I was afraid of getting turned down again. So the following birthdays were only family, a birthday cake and feeling loved by people around me without worrying about organizing meet-ups or anything of the like :)

When I moved to the UK, 8 years ago, I completely abandoned the idea of having parties. We would travel, or go for a meal, or just stay in home and watch a movie. In 2008, when my life was having a “U” turn, I had a surprise party, and I was suprised really! With the party and with all my friends being there (first time it happened ever!) They were all there with me, having a nice time, and the love was flowing about the place.

Since then, I now face my fears, my weirdness, and I organize at least 3 dates my friends can choose to go and see me.

Last year was the big 30’s (a special milestone here in UK) and I had a nightout in Southampton seeing Mr J playing guitar, I had a meal @ Outback, lunch with about 25 people from work, and a girlie night with the girls. Tomorrow, I have 14 people confirmed for a lunch meal @ a Italian place, and had 2 girlie meetings organized (one of them may be cancelled though because girls can’t make it, LOL)…

I am starting to like the fact my friends like being there, coming all the way from wherever-they-are just to give me a hug, a smile, and wish me well. To celebrate a new year in my life. And the fact my birthday falls on a bank holiday weekend in UK makes the sacrifice even the bigger.

Internet can be a pain in the ar*e sometimes, but all the Congratulations via Facebook, Twitter, e-mails, MSN makes anyone’s day and I have to confess it warms my heart.

Mr. J is wonderful about it as well. He is always in a great mood about birthdays (same with Christmas) and always spoils me rotten when my birthday is coming. Banners, Ballons, the lot!

So, with time, I am leaving that shy scared Birthday girl behind. And growing into someone who is learning how to enjoy this moment, when everyone is happy she made into another year. Happier, stronger, more confident. And that can accept even if people don’t turn up, it is worthy celebrating and making a big fuss of it!

The whole debate about being skinny, “voluptuous” (pretty name for those who are a little overweight) or fat does my nerves in. Even the media can’t decide what they want. Take the case of Mischa Barton. One day she is too skinny the other she is too fat (note is is from the same *tabloid-not-even-good-for-toilet* paper).

Take the case of all of them. The message is always mixed, there is only a very thin line were the celebrities are allowed to stay before they slash them in hopes of selling more, of making money, feeding this need consumers have to know how bad a life even people with money, fame and everything you could ever ask for ended up having. But that is for another post.

You get, for example, the two sides of the bad scale, in my view.

1) Children as young as 3, already worried about being fat

2) or people wanting protection because they are fat.

Now let’s talk about the first. Who can blame children for being paranoid with their weight? We know children copy what they see. If they are surrounded by images of women in skimpy clothes showing their bodies, (have you had a look lately on how actors and musicians and the majority of people on TV looks like?) their mums and friends, their teachers, their neighbours…everyone talking about how they need to loose weight, what latest diet they’ve done, the overdoing at the gym, how are they supposed to grow up thinking about their own bodies? How are they in their small teeny mind that absorbs everything, not have a self conscious image of themselves and wanting to be just like them?

I have several friends who starve. They literally starve to get to the weight they think is good. They become so thin and don’t realize they are already on a healthy weight and keep on loosing. They fall sick, but they won’t give up the diet (or non-diet, and some will maybe not even eat) the gym, the paranoia.

They go to anorexia state. And how to tell them they’ve gone or are going too far, that they look beautiful already (or they did look beautiful before getting too skinny) and they not think you are just jealous of how pretty they look, of their willpower to resist food? Do not even get me started on the catabolization issue, when they are actually loosing muscle tissue instead of fat. Friends who are FRIENDS will understand, but you could end up hurting feelings as well, but sometimes tough love is called for and maybe the only way to save their lives and sanity.

About the later, don’t get me wrong, but ALL people should be protected from violence, and they are. Here in UK they take violence very seriously and people go to prison for assault (or G.B.H. as they call it in the papers), that’s why I think this noise they made in the press is not justified.

And to be honest, being overweight is one thing and hardly anyone will point, bully or prejudice anyone for being just overweight. Is the obese people who get it. And they shouldn’t get it. No one should. Everyone to its own.

What makes me annoyed is that they shouldn’t be treated as a cute puppy who doesn’t know what is doing either. Be the ones shy on the corner, or the ones who are are bubbly and “happy with who they are”.

We do have some singers and comedians who are obese and say they should be used as role models because they aren’t skinny. No they shouldn’t!

Obesity is as unhealthy as anorexia. It need to be treated and controlled. It needs psychological attention.

I know is hard. I have been on the nearly extreme of the two sides for years as a lot of us are. But never because I thought I looked wrong.

I had pre-anorexia when I was a teenager under the stress of the new high school hard studying regime. Luckily enough mum picked it and made me put weight during my summer holidays or she would pull me out of the school I loved. After I move out from Brazil, I started eating to fill the homesick void, I’ve put on more than 20Kgs. I was a pre-obese. And didn’t realize. So I lost weight. A lot. Mum picked it up again. Said I was getting the “skull face” again as she calls it. So I put on a bit more weight and slowed down the fitness regime.

Now I am somewhere I like myself. I want to stay on these 5Kgs braket, a bit more, a bit less, but not much under or over.

Like mum always said, shouldn’t be about the way you or others look. It should be about being andbeing healthy and having a healthy BMI. And eating healthly and exercizing towards it. (Mum never put us in front of the TV that had bad role models on – it was always educative TV and nice books and researching and studying and learning… What a great mum I have!)

That should make you satisfied and happy with yourself. But as long as it doesn’t harm your health. And then you’ll be able to be satisfied and happy for longer ;)

So that’s why I won’t starve, ever. I won’t give up the pleasures of good food – life is too short. But if I eat sensible quantities and exercise regularly, I think is the best I’ve felt and been, so why change something that works?

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