Thursday, June 25, 2009
by Emily Dickinson
Luck is not chance --
It's Toil --
Fortune's expensive smile
It's earned --
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned --
I've had a run of extremely good luck. But I was thinking about it, and really it's not so much luck as it is the return of the fruits of my labor. I work hard. I've earned it. But just in case Lady Luck is listening -- Thanks! (and of course when I say Lady Luck, you know I mean The Almighty).
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
OMG, people! I have been working on a translation job that is kicking my ass. Not that the content is that difficult, but the deadline is. Out of all of this the good thing is that I'm getting paid well for it, and I got a new job out of it. I'm not quitting my present one, just adding another little segment to my day. I'm really excited about it and have a very good feeling about my family's future.
I wanted to post a little something and I found some pictures of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland that will come out in 2010. Scaaaary! All in all I think it will freak the living bjesus out of everyone - I know I'm going to be pretty freaked out. As far as horror stories go, this is a bit better than most as it's a "magical" freak story...for children. Poor little buggers. Imagine reading (or watching) this story before bed. Sweet dreeeams (said in a sing-song creapy voice). But to be quite honest, Alice in Wonderland has always been a bit of nightmare story to me. I found these pics in the Huffington Post through the Lancome blog (Anne Hathaway is the face of Lancome's Magnifique fragrance) and think you will enjoy them:
Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter - creeeeeeepy:
Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen - this is the best she's ever looked, if you ask me:
Anne Hathaway as the White Queen - hypnotising. I think I may watch the movie just because of her. How beautifully surreal she looks! There's a peaceful, angelic, hypnotic quality to this look that I love. If I were into Halloween at all, or if I had any serious dress up parties to go to, I would go like this:
The makeup artists who developed the concept for each of the looks have got to be commended. I wouldn't be surprised if they win an Oscar for this. It's really amazing stuff, don't you think?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I am a lucky, lucky girl!
Bronzers are a wonderful addition to any girl's collection. They help give us that healthy sun-kissed look, they help even out skin tones and remove any sallowness, and let us not forget they are great for contouring. For a long time I've used Guerlain Terracotta, but that's going to change once I receive my super duper set. It looks like a wonderfully natural color and the brush is hypnotizing me. I have a thing for makeup brushes. I'll totally take pictures of my collection and talk about each one as well as a wish list.
OMG! I am so happy! I won! I won! I won!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Since I started this advice colum the letters have been coming in. Here's another one and it's good:
Dear Flower Power,
I feel you're the only one that can save me from my agony! Please help!!!
Well, my story starts like this: I've been dating for almost 7 months (hanging out for 2 months, plus officially dating for 5 months) and I really, deeply love him. I fell in love with a cute, intelligent, fun, nerdy guy... We get along very well. We talk to each other for hours sharing our different points of view, have great sex, watch our favorite shows on TV together, go out with friends, have romantic dinners out and at night we read our books holding hands like an old couple... This could be a fairy tale if it weren't for a matter of semantics... The dilemma: about 2 moths ago I finally got the courage to say The Words... We were laying down together, my head was in his chest and I could hear his heart beat. I looked into his beautiful green eyes and I felt that I could no longer hold this explosion of emotions that were inside of me... and then the words just came out of my mouth, I love you.... There! It was done! I just had to wait for the part where he says I love you too, right? But, instead of saying this, he smiled at me, held me close, and said that he liked me very much, that he wanted me to stay with him, that he missed me so much it hurt, that he felt that I was the women he wanted to build a life with - you know, have a family with and have his kids... However, he also said that he wasn't ready to say " I love you" back. He said that maybe he did love me, but that from the moment he say it out loud he would feel that he lost control... I cried so much, but I tried to understand. I tried to say to myself that it didn't matter. After all, it is just some words! As the song says. " I just need you to show that you love me then I will know"... And he does show with his actions!!! He cares and worries about me. He sends me an e-mail wishing me a good day at work everyday and when he leaves his work he calls me to wish me a good night and to say how much he misses me. He baby talks with me and invents names for our kisses (worm kisses and butterfly kisses - before you laugh, remember he is 95% nerd and he is a biologist, okay?). Recently, he gave me a card saying that I've been able to melt his stone heart... That gave me hope, but fear at the same time...
How long should I wait until he says The Words??? What if it takes 5 years??? What if he never says them??? Sometimes I wonder if in the place of his heart there is a block of ice that can never be thawed. What if in the end I realize that "Sheldon" is not able to love? (Sheldon is what a friend of my calls him due to his similarity with a character from the nerd show, Big Bang Theory) Of course he doesn't know about the storm that is going on in my head... I believe that it has to be something he feels and wants to say spontaneously. I don't want him to say it just to make me happy. In fact, I was less miserable because I figured at least he was being honest with me. I really love him, but I don't want to make a fool of myself... I just want to love and be loved in return, am I asking too much???
Monday, June 15, 2009
Here are some pictures from the makeup job I did a couple of weeks ago. Believe it or not, the makeup was really dramatic and a bit drag queen-y, but it looks totally cool here. Go figure. I did dramatic blue eyes with huge fake eyelashes, rosy cheeks and red lips. The idea was "circus chic", but in my opinion it was a bit overboard. Shows how much I know, because it looks great in the pics. See for yourself. Click on the picture to enlarge.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Here's a letter my awesome brother Dave sent me a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share it with you:
How are you? So I´ m going to confess that I finally took the time to read your blog, which was really awesome!! Our family has the eternal ability, among many others, to say incisive comments on literally every subject, so your blog couldn't be different.
I wanted to find a way to keep in touch with everyone and thought you could add a David comment on your blog once in a while. So while I was reading your beauty comments (which by the way has a picture of my sister Mary and some guy I hope has been doing no more than holding hands. I´m serious!!!), I couldn't help but comment on how badly people dress and make themselves up in the North of Brazil all the way down to Rio compared to the Southern part of the country.
I don´ t consider myself a metro-sexual because they do the whole plucking eye-brows and dying hair among other near gay activities, but I do consider myself an admirer of beauty and would like to share something that has been quite puzzling to me. When you see people dressed up in Rio it´s either a wedding party or an Evangelical church gathering (I said dressed up, not pretty). There is an obligation in most beach cities of Brazil for everyone to have a perfect body, and the idea is to show it off as much as possible, either at the beach, night clubs, changing rooms, public bathrooms, etc, but when people are not in g-strings or Speedos is when we start looking at people as a whole, and then things start getting sad.
When you check closely, (especially without drinking) the concept of beauty reaches a real dilemma: beautiful face and hair vs. hot body.
Living in the South for some time now, I've come to admire the woman's European style of beauty which has as it's main characteristics straight hair and smooth milky skin, mixed with a touch of well done make up and discrete but feminine clothes. This is what is seen here on a normal ordinary day at a bus stop or in a supermarket. You see college girls walking with high heels at 6am going to school and elderly women dressed like Queen Elizabeth shopping.
Boys here also take their time to gel up their hair, dress in expensive brand name clothes and indispensable accessories such as watches, sun glasses and jewelry. It may seem a little much and in some moments look like those cheesy movies where everyone was brain-washed to all look the same (Stepford anyone?), but you can't help but enjoy the agreeable environment with very little visual pollution and potential nightmares.
When I arrive in Rio every year I try to prepare myself during the previous few weeks for what my dear little peepers will be exposed to, but I always end up forgetting the seriousness of what I'm about to behold. The first thing you notice is girl's hair. Desert bushes and tumbleweed is an understatement! Even girls with potentially nice hair seem to make an effort to look like a cavewoman on a bad hair day. I imagine the 40 degree sun mixed with salt water and three dollar shampoos will do that to anyone's hair and skin.
I'm not some pervert with a hair fetish or anything like that, but hair makes a world of difference on girls, especially when the face is in need of an international extreme make over team's help, which is the next issue on my list. I think the exaggerated importance of a perfect body makes most people forget to look a little higher in the mirror, which in a way is good if you don't want the suicide rate to go through the roof.
So after a few days looking at these girl wannabes I always make the same last attempt to change my opinion of my hometown “beauties”; I go out at night. You would imagine two hours making themselves up and choosing clothes would make things a little better, but in fact it makes things even worse when you see the end result. They look exactly the same, just half naked again!! I guess instead of washing their fro and putting make up on, they go to the gym for another two or three hours to make sure their silhouette looks fit. So you look around and see guys drinking like there's no tomorrow, and after a few liters of vodka mixed with beer and whiskey, the most important thing becomes “anything”, and then everyone's happy.
So Flor, what I'm trying to say is that you have great taste for make up, hair styling etc, and you should really think of doing some charity work with 90% of the city's population to spread a little beauty to the needy women there. You, Mary and Brunie always look great, and that’s probably the reason all the guys wanna hold Mary's hand (grrrrr).
Luv you tons,
I am seriously loving my new purple nail polish. My dear sister Brunie sent it to me. We swap stuff every once in a while. This time I sent her a pair of purple gummy Havaianas and she sent me this nail polish as well as some books I had purchased online and sent to her. It's fun this way. American nail polishes are much better because they're 3free, and this is so important for optimum nail health. This particular color is OPI Purple with a Purpose. It's a wicked Amethist with a bit of a shimmer.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Hey, I told you it was lame.
As many of you know I am a super perfume fanatic. I love to wear all sorts of different perfumes and change them with every season, time of day, occasion, clothes I'm wearing or mood. I read a number of perfume blogs, forums and news sites every day with my morning Earl Grey and I have to say, I can't think of a better way to prepare myself for whatever may come my way. Reading something of interest really lifts one's spirit and helps to set the mood for the day's chores, etc.
Today we were talking about the smells of our childhood summers. It's interesting because our olfactory memory is really a very strong thing and could be used as a tool to help us recall situations, events and moments we would otherwise have forgotten. There are people that I remember instantly when I smell lavender. There are houses I lived in that I remember for different reasons when I smell horses, or dirt roads, cut grass - you name it. There is a friend of mine (more like a former friend because we never talk or travel in the same circles) and in my day to day she comes to mind because I use lavender disinfectants, cleaning supplies and colognes (I really love lavender), and whenever I would go to her place, it always smelled of lavender. It was a very distinct lavender (she always bought the same brand of cologne from Paris and sprayed it on herself, her kids and her house). Whenever I get a whiff of lavender I think of her.
When we were kids we used to run around and do no good for all of summer. We were such rascals. We wore our bathing suits all day long whether wet or dry because we were in and out of the pool constantly so there was really no need to change. We would climb guava trees and eat the guavas right there while we dangled from the tree's branches. Mangoes, mangoes, lots of mangoes. We would eat them throughout the day. They were sticky, sweet and super messy. The juice would drip all over our faces and arms and run down our elbows. Since we were in bathing suits anyway it didn't matter.
There was this one place we lived in that had a sugar cane plantation. We would harvest our own sugarcane and we all knew how to peel it (thinking back on that now I think it was really dangerous because we had to have machetes and they were sharp and enormous and we were really young). We would chew and suck on the sugar cane until it was powder and then start again. We ran around a lot. We would roll around in the grass and then freak out because we were all itchy. Jumping in the pool to wash off the irritation from the grass was a common occurrence. We would get sunburned and over the course of the summer months would start looking really brown and some of us black even, with a hint of red.
I would destroy my hair with all the chlorine and then douse it in wasteful amounts of cheap conditioner. We never had much mosquito repellent so we used those coils that smoke the mosquitoes out. Remember those? They were cheap and plentiful and they were everywhere. Whenever we had any ailment whatsoever, we would get dowsed in Pasta d'Agua (a zinc like paste) and prayer.
We had to go inside to eat lunch and for quiet time. Every day, no matter what, we had to spend 2 hours after lunch reading and having quiet time. This was planned in this way - after lunch and for 2 hours - because if we went into the pool or ran around before our stomachs were given 2 whole hours to digest our lunch, we would get a cramp and die. If you went into the pool 1hr and 15min after lunch, you were basically a gonner - or so our parents wanted us to believe. Were you told that lie as well? I remember sitting there reading and counting the seconds so that when 2 hours had passed I could run outside and fly a kite, swim, climb a tree or what have you.
It was tons of fun living in big houses as kids and using the entire property (and then some) for our shenanigans. We didn't watch TV, have computers or anything electronic come to think of it. But we made it, we had a blast and we created lifelong memories of fun in the sun.
So, to sum it all up, the smells of my childhood summers were: mangoes, guavas and guava trees, sugar cane, oranges, chlorine, grass, mosquito coils and Pasta d'Agua. What are yours?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Do you remember when I posted this letter from a friend of mine (which as it turned out is from a friend of hers)? Well, here is my answer:
Do you love your friends? Do you like and respect them at all? Then let me ask you this, if you do respect them, then why don't you listen to them. You ask them for advice, you talk to them about your issues, they've seen you through your worst moments and still want to hang out with you - why do you disregard what they say?
If there's one thing I hate it's stupidity and it seems to me you are showing more than a little of its symptoms. You say he lied and cheated on you. You say you fought excessively. You say your friends hate him because he isn't good for you, has caused you pain and wasted your time. What exactly are you doing even taking his calls?
Let me tell you a true story: Once upon a time in this awesome but doomed kingdom everyone was celebrating something pagan when a hand came out of nowhere and wrote in blood on the wall, " Mene, mene tekel upharsin" meaning that God had numbered their days and brought the kingdom to an end. No one listened and what do you think happened? Do you think they lived happily ever after with their Boo? No. All hell came crashing down on their heads.
It's all fun and games until someone ends up with a forbidden fruit in their mouth, given to them by a snake, and end up being kicked out of the Paradise to wander the earth in ugly clothing and bad hair, painfully giving birth to murderous children. That's another little nugget from Bible times that you would do well to read again.
It seems like you had a good thing going with your New Flame and it would be really sad to end a good thing just to see how the bad thing is going to work out. We've all seen this movie and we know how it ends. It ends with you falling flat on your face and crawling back to the friends you didn't listen to with your tail between your legs, begging them to comfort you and tell you you're not as much of a fool as you and the entire universe know you are.
You're not the only one who pays for your mistakes, you know. Your friends do too. They have to listen to you whine and sob whenever things don't end well. So, if you can see the writing on the wall, and so can your friends, then please don't be like those stupid girls in horror movies who walk outside by themselves in their PJ's and then surprise, surprise, get hacked to bits.
You deserve better than him. Just say no. He sounds like an addictive poison and looking in my crystal ball I can tell you right now that no good can come of this. Your friends know what they're talking about. You have a very probable future with a great, successful, rich, sweet man who adores you, treats you like a princess and hasn't cheated on you or caused you pain. DO NOT LET GO OF HIM! Burn Old Flame's number and never look back. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Help! I need some advice!
My long-term boyfriend is spending two weeks in London and an old flame called me up yesterday. Said he's in town and could we meet up? I figured it could do no harm and agreed to meet up for coffee. I just got home from what turned into a four-and-a-half hour dive into the past and now feel so mixed up!
Old Flame was my first love and we dated off and on for almost four years, had happy moments and awful moments (he cheated on me repeatedly), fought excessively, made up often enough, and well, I know we weren't a bank-commercial couple, but oh, FlowerPower, we were so in love and like the song says, I feel he'll always be my Boo!
My closest friends hate him, they say he did nothing but make me miserable for three years and screw up my idea of a healthy relationship for even longer, that I wasted far too many tears and far too much time on him. They nicknamed him LCB for Lying, Cheating Bastard (I think that's overly mean) and told me I shouldn't meet up with him or ever speak to him again.
But well, it's been almost 6 years since I've seen him, and I was curious as to how I'd feel meeting up with him again. Maybe it was all the caffeine, I don't know, but he looked so good today, way better looking than I remember him being and he was so sweet, so 'awww'.
I swear he was the one who steered the conversation to reminiscing on our mutual past. I had no intention of going there at all, but we ended up talking about the old days when we were together and towards the end, he got sort of emotional, almost teary, saying that what we'd had was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, that it was special and still very much alive to him and would there be any chance of ever picking up where we left off?
I know I love my boyfriend, we've been dating for over 3 years now and he's truly wonderful - successful, intelligent, rich, adores me, has never cheated, etc, etc - and my friends are betting we'll be engaged before the end of the year. I can actually see a home, baby, 2 dogs and a future with my boyfriend...
It's just, after coffee with Old Flame, I can't help but wonder if there's a chance that he's my other half, that we could be happy together, that now he's changed and will be totally devoted to me. I know we used to fight a lot but isn't it that a sign of passion? Being crazy jealous and flirting with everyone around because caring so much for one person scares you silly?
I need to sort this out cuz I'm worried that if my boyfriend does propose this year, I'll be torn and won't be able to give him a clear answer...
Thursday, June 4, 2009
by Khalil Gibran
And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?
The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."
The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."
In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."
All these things have you said of beauty.
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
You know what movies I really, truly hate? The ones where the entire story hangs on the fact that one stupid idiot did something stupidly idiotic. Let me explain. You know the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom and Eva Green. Well, in the movie the entire war would have been averted if Orlando had married the princess. Here's where the stupidity actually kicks in. She was promised to be married to a demon man who was going to tear apart the kingdom, but she was in love with Orlando, and he with her. So the king (the only really cool guy in the movie who is dying of leprosy, I think, so he wears a nifty iron mask) asks Orlando to marry the beautiful princess and save her from a horrid marriage and as an added bonus, save the entire kingdom as well.
He says no. He not only says no, he throws a fit for some weird reason and gets all rebellious and refuses - REFUSES - to marry her. Because of his doody-head actions, the kingdom ends up in war, and everything goes up in flames, it's basically Armageddon come early and the lovely Ava Green is forced to shave her head.
There's another movie that comes to mind when thinking of situations born about by brain vomit and that is "Jurassic Park III". Julianne Moore and her ridiculous whiny-mouth decide to go traipsing off into the dinosaur and danger filled jungles - ON HER OWN - forcing the sarcastic, witty and totally cowardly Jeff Goldblum to chase after her. This puts his life in danger, not to mention the unfortunate souls who join him on his fated quest. I almost forgot a sweet little nugget, his ridiculous daughter stows away on his plane and almost gets herself and everyone else killed as well. If that weren't enough, Julianne's actions, ridiculous as they are, were not able put a damper on Jeff's affections and they together again in the end. Can somebody explain how stupidty in any form is attactive?
There's no way to enjoy a major or minor motion picture when you can't get past the lack of intelligence and good sense on the part of the main characters (or ones who effect the main character's actions and decisions). It boils down to weakness and feeble-mindedness and is hardly the starting point for diversion. If the movies in question were comedies, one could almost understand the idea behind the laps of judgement, but given the fact that the films in question were nowhere near comedies, there really is no explanation and definitely no excuse for such asinine story lines.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
My post today is going to be short and sweet since I don't have loads of time. I have to work a regular 8 hr shift, as well as make lunch, oversee the kids studies and prep them for their tests. Then during the time that I would normally post I will do my nails so that I don't look down at my hands and cry (or mini vomit - either way it's unacceptable).
Anyway, I came across this interesting photographic study of people's refrigerators. What would your fridge say about you if someone were to walk in unannounced and open the fridge door? Well, click on this link to see the "You Are What You Eat" picture show.
Tata for now...
Monday, June 1, 2009
This weekend was a great success. I was able to do everything I wanted to a bit more. On Saturday Tati and I had tea together at a cute coffee shop and it was so pleasant I wish we did it every week. I saw a couple of fun movies with Thing 1 and Thing 2, cut their hair and made some special lunches and snacks with them. For dinner Friday night we had sausage sandwiches from Casa do Alemao as well as their famous croquettes. It was so very delish I can hardly describe it here, but I'll try. The sausages are made by them and they're spectacular. The bread is super soft and fluffy. The croquettes were wonderfully cruchy on the outside and soft on the inside. We had chicken and meat croquettes. I found out later that they also had cod croquettes, so I guess we'll try them next time. The thing about eating there is that it's cheaper than McDonald's and a gazillion times better. I don't think that comparison is fair considering these are artesenally made yummies while McD's are just a bunch of processed garbage with some salt sprinkled on top to make it taste ok.
On Saturday after going shopping with Meury, Gui and Tati we went to a pizzeria where we ate a fabulous aubergine pizza. OMG! If you live in the area you must try it. The restaurant is on Via Nove and is called Cugine. The atmosphere there is pleasant and inviting, service is stellar and the food is perfect. To top it all off, it is an inexpensive place to go. That combination is killer no matter where you go or who you are.
Instead of having dinner with Meury and Gui on Saturday night - as originally planned - we had lunch on Sunday. Perfection. The meat was juicy and pink without all the dripping blood so normally associated with pink meat, the bernaise was divine and the potatoes crunchy. The salad was perfectly cooked and dressed and the wine was exquisite. Here's what our menu looked like:
Starter: Mushroom bruschetta with fried quail egg on top
Entree: Contra file (very nice steak meat left in one whole piece and then thinly sliced after it was cooked and rested), bernaise sauce, potatoes royale, green bean and grape tomato salad with pickled onion and vinagrette
Dessert: Cheesecake (I know you're thinking "You just had that last week", but really, once you've eaten it you'll know that we can't possibly have it often enough even if it is once a week)
Samurai-Jack ate the entire meal with us, the only thing he didn't do was drink wine. I'm pleased to see that he has such a sophisticated palette. He loved the mushrooms and everything. Miojoboy on the other hand had hamburgers. Whatever.
Tata for now mes amis...