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Jul. 19th, 2013

dolce

When you get the answer to that question

I was born in the beginning of school year. When I was little, kids were taught to read and write at age six. Therefore, I was expected to pick a career at the age of seventeen.

Now, let me tell you what I knew at 17: that I didn't like Chemestry, Maths and, most importantly, Physics. Not only I don't like it, but Physics doesn't like me back.

I still think it's insane to expect a 17 or 18 yeared-old to know what they actually want to do with the rest of their lives. Some are very lucky and have known it since their toddler days (yes, I've met one of those). Some will say "I've always known it was it" about all the seven different careers they pick during their senior year (yes, I met this one too - although the number is merely for dramatic effect).

If you've been reading long enough or know me, you're familiar with the rest of the story: I have a Bachelor degree on an area that I do not work and picked in 30 minutes while my mother was in the shower. (Mom and I still debate on which version is more accurate, mine or hers. Of course I believe mine is.)

One would expect that 9 years after that one moment I sat in the exact spot I'm sitting now, I would have had the answer to "what am I going to do with my life?" for quite some time. Yes and no.

Yes, for years I've known what my true love is. No, I wasn't sure if that is what I should do. Until last night. So it's actually been less than 24 hours from the moment I officially had the answer to the question I've been asked multiple times since I was sixteen. (People start asking when you're half-way through High School. Once you're a senior, it only becomes more frequent.)

So, I am officially a writer, a dancer and a teacher.
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Jun. 21st, 2013

woody

Last night

There were demonstrations last night and many of them - Rio's included - ended in violence.

It seems to me the police tactics last night was to scare us. They've succeeded in that and more. There were tear gas bombs being thrown in front of hospitals, demonstrators were chased, shot at (rubber bullets aren't lethal, but they are harmful), pepper-sprayed... The usual deal.

Police surrounded the Philosophy and Humane Sciences Institute (IFCS) and National Law School (FDN), both part of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ - one of the most prestigious public universities in my state). Bar (OAB) volunteer lawyers were sent to negociate and get the students out safely.

We don't want violence, but there are rioters taking advantage of the number of people on the street (1 million last night). Police is responding with extreme force. Special Ops (BOPE) was on the street last night. I should point out their logo is a skull with a knife and they're the people called to chase drug lords away from slums - did you see "Tropa de Elite"? That's our Special Ops.

The results are: an angry, scared and worried population.

Angry because of the violent attempt to suffocate the movement. Scared because of the violence on both sides. Worried because of the potential escalating violence, lack of immediate solutions to this issue and fearful of possible bad outcomes.

It's worth remembering that just last century, Brazil was a dictatorship twice - from 1937 to 45 and then 1964 to 85. Most of the revolutions I've studied in History class were nothing more than an overthrown of the current government - 1889, 1930, 1937, 1964. (Keep in mind Brazil became and independent country in 1822.)

Authorities have yet to give public statements of everything.

I swallow hard, fearful for the future of my country and holding on to a faithful, almighty God.

Jun. 19th, 2013

dolce

#VemPraRua (Come to the street)

One of the issues in Brazil is corruption. Because it's not bad enough politicians take public money for themselves and don't really get punished, they want to make sure it'll be legally impossible to investigate them. If there's no investigation, no other action against it can be taken.

We're having demonstrations this week to say we're against the law they want to pass. Join us!

Jun. 18th, 2013

fan-freaking-tastic

The Giant has woken up

All over the country, there are demonstrations.

It started with the raise on public transportation fare. Prices go up, quality doesn't. So, we're all fed up with that.

The problem isn't just public transport (expensive, inefficient, crowded). Infra-structure, super-structure, education, health, security, ... you name it, there's serious need for improvement.

I am proud of my fellow countrymen for standing up and saying "this is not okay, it has to change".

As the harshtags on Tumblr and Twitter are in Port, I thought it'd be nice to know what we mean. (I'm using the separated words)

vem pra rua - come to the street for the demos

vem pra janela - if you can't come to the street, come to the window to support us

protestobr / protestosp / protestorj - protests at (location here)

verás que um filho teu não foge à luta - a verse from the National Anthem. It means [Brazil] will see that none of her children runs away from a fight

When you see one of those (there are others) harshtags, know that Brazilians everywhere are standing up for a better country.

Jun. 15th, 2013

rapunzel

Hair

At some point last year, I decided to grow my hair so I could donate it for kids who need wigs.

It's a bit more complicated than just "don't get it cut" because there has to be some length and, as I have to keep some of it on my own head, it kinda needs to be reaching the small of my back. Also, it shouldn't have a lot of chemical treatments on (in? I hate prepositions) the hair.

I hadn't really told people about my plan, I've had long hair for years, I have a lot of hair. Grams used to joke I had enough for two people.

I hadn't realized how long my hair is until my grandfather commented on it. I mean, when your grandfather mentions it, must be something, right? It still needs to be longer before I get it cut.

But here's the actual problem: one of the things I've always been insecure is my hair. Almost black, not as defined as I wished, voluminous... It's not princess hair. So once in a while, there's this little voice saying 'who would want this hair?'

In spite of the insecurity, I'm still trying to keep the chemicals to a minimum and waiting for some extra inches.

Jun. 9th, 2013

lily

I think I'm a desperate housewife

Admittedly, I slept in. After a week of less hours of sleep than usual (and needed) it was predictable.

Basically all I did today was bake brownies and make chocolate fudge and wash all the dishes resulting from my kitchen adventures and lunch. There were lots of dishes.

It's fairly common around here to have maids. Ours has been with us for 12 years. She's a friend to me, a daughter to my grams. So when she said last week there's too much work for her, my first though was the list of everything I could do to help her because I don't want her to leave.

I have two jobs, one upset boss, a plan to go back to the gym, a test to go back to uni, an elderly grampy to assist and a career move to plan and execute.

Where will I find the time to do that? I have no idea.

Jun. 8th, 2013

woody

Cooking, Dad and me

My dad is probably one of the healthiest people I know and with good reason - he's careful. He exercises and watches his diet.

So when it comes to one of our great loves (other than History) dessert, he tries to keep it somewhat light.

Dad adds water and powder choc to make sauce for ice cream. Me? I use heavy cream.

Last time we had lunch together I told about the new cookies I'd learnt to bake (snickerdoodles) and his answer was:

"That's great! But don't teach me. I had to throw away the brownie recipe you gave me."

Crazy as it may seem, that was a compliment. He baked the brownie once and he thought it was so easy and tasty he had to get rid of the temptation.

Jun. 6th, 2013

keep trying

(no subject)

I swear I'm not trying to turn this into the saddest LJ, but I've never been good at lying.

I'm fine most of the time. Or, at least, acting fine. I laugh and smile on cue, I went back to wearing make-up (although not every day)...

But I was told this yesterday "yeah, you've lost your grandmother, but how long will that be an excuse?"

Dude, I lost one of my mothers two months ago! Yes, I said mother. She raised me, we've been together nearly everyday for the biggest portion of my life, I miss her like crazy and I avoid seeing photos of her because it still hurts.

And that's how you phrase it? An excuse? Admittedly, I haven't been doing the best at my jobs. I'm trying to manage things and, to be frank, I feel like I'm failing most of them.

I like my students and this helps, but if I could pause certain things right now, I would.

Jun. 4th, 2013

lydia

Translating

When I has to write down a career plan, in my senior semester of uni, I wrote I wanted to be a translator and teach on the side for stability's sake.

I like routine. I specially like having a paycheck with a foreseeable number on it.

However, up to some level, translation depends on luck. You send editors your CV and ask for a test. I never even got a reply to my test requests, so I turned to teaching.

I like dealing with students, I love that moment you see how far they've come. But There are a number of things about teaching that are discouraging.

Ever since the kickstarter for Lizzie Bennet and the announce of DVDs, I've been thinking how awesome it'd be to work on translation for subtitles.

As they've been tweeting about it, asking for a number of different languages, I replied and some emails later, here I am - working with others on the subtitles for the DVDs. Most if the episodes have been translated, so all I did tonight was edit.

It's nearly five in the morning and I've spent all night working.

I haven't been this happy about work in a really long time.

Jun. 3rd, 2013

ashley

Family and Packing

So far, this year has been basically about my family. However, what amazes me is that regardless of how much things may change - and, believe me, they do - , there are these things that will always be the same.

Years ago, my mother visited London and overpacked. Having to drag that heavy suitcase up and down the stairs on subway stations scarred her for life when it comes to packing. So she always tries to travel light (accordingly light, of course).

As the plan for the weekend was four days visiting relatives out of town, she packed a bag. With exactly the amount of clothes she'd wear on those days.

Me? I four tops, two sweaters (one warmer), a pair of boots, one skirt, two pairs of pantyhose, about five different pairs of earrings and the essentials. Plus what I was wearing already (top, sweater, jeans and boots). I always try to have an extra top, just in case.

It wouldn't fit one of the bags, so I got a small-ish suitcase. As expected, my mother said I was overpacking, it was only four days, I wouldn't need all of that. (Turns out, I didn't wear two of the tops I had brought, but only because I bought a cute dress and wore it instead.)

On the last day, we stopped by a book store. Mom bought a small pile of books. They were fairly thin books, but it gets a little heavy once you pile them up.

Just try to guess where those books were packed on our return. ... Exactly, in my suitcase. Because they'd be heavy in her bag.

So, while Mom travels light, I pack considering emergencies and what she'll buy and stuff into my luggage.

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