Sunday, May 30, 2010

Passing By

Fridays are longer.
I was on the bus on my way to work; tired and a little sleepless but, if not happy, at least content.
I thought of friends and family, and books and life; I listened to the song playing, wondered realities and asked what-ifs. I wondered, but regretted not. What for? I was content.
The bus passed by the park - and I saw the benches and the grass and the bridge. I also saw the stairs I once sat on.
I thought of the girl that sat on the stairs of my past. She was but 20, and she cried over love's labour's lost.
She worried about many a thing, that girl. About college, and books, and having friends and being thought pretty. She worried about being liked, even though she was unaware of it. She read Jane Austen and worried about ending up not as Lizzy Bennet, but as Austen herself.
That girl, she only dressed in light, bright colors, and never wore black nor green. One made her look like an old movie, and the other like a lettuce. I'm too pale, she would say. No: light blue, and pink and lilac. Because she worried about looking like a flower.
She had quite the long hair, the girl in pink (sitting on the stairs), for she also worried about looking feminine, and was afraid of not being pretty. She dressed in pink and had a lilac flower in her raven-black hair. And she cried over a summer dress.
It was a light orange dress with white flowers. His jaw had dropped when he'd seen her wearing it, and it had taken him slightly longer than usual to say hello. She had smiled: she was pretty in his eyes.
But it didn't matter, he still preferred other flowers.
Going through the park that particular morning, she thought of the summer dress, which apparently hadn't made her look pretty enough, and she sat on the stairs. She cried and thought she'd never looked good in orange anyway. She wondered why she had to be pretty like other girls, when clearly she was not.
She hadn't been told, back then, that she had serious, silent beautiful eyes; she didn't know that she could look good in orange, and that colors do not define a flower. She hated mirrors.
The thing with the girl was that she thought she was already complete, that she was all grown-up. That the only thing she had to worry about now was her shell. And so she wore pink and a lilac flower. And everything was easier for her then, only, she didn't know that.

The park eventually disappeared, as the bus left it behind. And I wondered about that girl. Whatever had happened to her. Perhaps now she prefers dark colors - specially black, grey, purple and dark green; she may have realized by now that looks matter only to a certain extent, that there are many other important things to see to. That there's still a lot of room for growth. I have a pretty good hunch that now she's got short hair, and that she loves mirrors - cause she knows she's pretty, and even charming sometimes, and that it doesn't make the slightest difference.
She might even wear that summer dress again, someday.
I sighed. What a particularly long Friday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wishing I Could Bitch Slap All Of These Students

What I have the pleasure to present to my faithful readers today is a careful translation of something that's made us Brazilians LOL and LOAO for a couple of years now on the Internet: the stupidest answers given by the stupidest students ever on the national college entrance exam.
Their answers are in italic, their cringe-inducing mistakes in light blue (so that I don't have to spread [sic] throughout the entire post), and my comments are right below in bald. Enjoy!

Brazil has never had a female president, but many of the first-ladies were women.
(Many, but not all of them. The others were transsexuals.)

Vegetarian animals eat non-vegetarian ones.
(And I wonder what this little animal eats.)

Fidel Castro was the leader of the industrial revolution in 1917, which gave birth to communism in Russia.
(Tsk. Everyone knows that it was Mussolini, you silly, in 1990. Fidel was the one who destroyed the Berlin Wall - which divided China - in 1789)

Penha Church was built in the 16th sentury, but only in the 17th sentury was it taken to the top of Penha mountain.
(Well, obviously: it must take no less than a "sentury" to take a whole church from one place to another)
[Penha: a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro]

History divides itself in 4: Ancient, Medieval, Momentaneous and Future, which is the most studied nowadays.
("Momentaneous History". I like it! How fugacious! I wonder what Proust would say!)

The indians sacrificed the children born dead, killing them as soon as they were born.
(I wish this guy had been born an indian)

Bigamy was a kind of car for gladiators, pulled by two horses.
(Three horses, actually: you and your two wives)
[I must add, here, that the word for the gladiators' chariot is "biga" in Portuguese, hence the mistake. Still, quite different things! It still takes a complete dumbass to confuse these two!]

The pagans didn't like it when God tried to preach his dotrines, and had the idea of eliminating Him from Heaven. 
(You can never accuse the pagans of not dreaming big)

The capital of Argentina is Buenos Dias.
(During the day. At night, it's "Buenas Noches")

The birds have a tooth in their mouths called beak.
(Holy crap! This is nightmare fuel right here!)

Atheism is an anonymous religion practiced in hiding. In Nero's time, the atheist Romans got together to pray in the Christian catatombs.
(If Roman atheists's gradmothers were like mine, no wonder they were anonymous. And in hiding. God knows I still hide from my grandma! Do they have an acronym or something? Like AA: Atheists Anonymous. Do you have to be Roman to join?)

The egiptians developped the art of the mummies so that the dead could live more.
(This guy should "developp" his brain.)

The optic nerve sends luminous ideas to the brain.
(And this guy definitely doesn't have the optic nerve.)

Human Geography studies the man we live in.
(It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.!!!)

The northeast of Brazil is rarely irrigated by the rain of frequent floods.
(Wait, what?) 

There are more than 100,000 paved railways in the EUA.
(Can I go back in time and NOT read that?!)

The stars exist to enlighten the night, and there are no stars during the day because the sun would burn them.
(I gotta tell you: I loved this one. Talk about a poet in the making!)

The do Minican Republic and Aiti are countries in Central America Island.
(Newspaper ad: "Desperately need a ge Ographic Atlas. Must come with a dick Tionary")

Hormones are the sexual cells of male men.
(And the sexual cells of female men are called "heteromones")

The earth is one of the most well-known and populated planets in the world. Other less demographic planets are: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Moon and other four that I knew but as I forgot their names and it's time to finish the test, you won't wait for me to remember, will you ma'am? But I hope you won't give me a bad grade because of that, because everyone forgets their memory at home eventually, don't they?
(I even cried reading this one: this was so very Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind! Everyone should, indeed, leave their memories at home, at least once in their lives. This is beautiful. Another poet in the making, no doubt!)

How dare anyone say the future of this nation is in the hands of today's youth? Heaven forbid.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Celebrating Nerddom

I usually prefer to take some time between posts - let the new one around for a while, settling down, giving more people a chance to read it before I move on. Specially when I really like the post - yesterday's post being an example. I really really liked it, so my intention was to let it be, and not post anything till the weekend or something.

BUT: today's a special day, and it is my duty to dedicate a post to it. Today, my fellow bloggers, was International Geek Pride Day. Yup, that's right; we ARE a minority, and we ARE discriminated by jocks and cheerleaders everywhere! Thus, we DESERVE a Pride Day, just like everyone!
(Ok, in all fairness, we don't have that whole "jocks & cheerleaders x geeks & generally unpopular kids" in our schools here in Brazil... besides, I've always behaved and dressed like a normal human being, unlike many fellow nerds, so I've never been discriminated against. But you got the idea).
And not only that: today's also Universal Towel Day, a tribute paid to the one and only Douglas Adams, the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and its trilogy of five books.
Also: today's the Glorious 25th of May, in honor of Terry Pratchett, author of Discworld.
And, the icing on the cake, it's Star Wars Day in Los Angeles.
This, my friends, is a great day to Nerddom.
I couldn't do much to honor so many great things at once, but I did carry my towel around in my bag, as a good hitchhiker should!
(No, I did not flaunt it around or anything - what for? I'm a nerd, not a complete nutjob. It was simply in my bag, you know, just in case. You should always have your towel on you. Always. And, above all, DON'T PANIC.)

 My extremely girlish towel, the 3rd volume of Douglas Adams trilogy (of 5 books) and my purse, which was forced to carry them throughout the day.

And in honor of this great great day, I leave here the image below, made up of some nerd references: RPG, animes, comic books, movies, tv shows, sci-fi books, cartoons. They're all here either cause they were essential to my personal growth as a nerd (Marvel heroes, for example), or because I recognize their huge legacy to nerds everywhere (like Star Trek, which I actually despise, but cannot deny to be a big asset to Nerddom).
Hope you guys have had a wonderful Geek Day - whether thou be geeks or not! And if thou art not, why not come to the Dark Side of the Force? Give that some thought: we're fun people to be with (and many nerds are in desperate need of a social life!).

Nerd Sites I strongly recommend visiting: (for those who speak Portuguese)

Quoting Favorites V (or: on Silence)

Mia: Don't you hate that?
Vincent: What?
Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?
Vincent: I don't know. That's a good question.
Mia: That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

This is my favorite quote from one of my favorite movies ever: Pulp Fiction, directed by Tarantino in 94. (Not that Pulp Fiction needs any kind of introduction.)
It ocurred to me while I was spending the weekend with my dad; I dearly love talking to him, he's the reason why I'm so much of myself after all. But I also love sharing silences with him.
While he read his book, I wrote my dissertation; he listened to the radio, and I read my book; he read his book, and I watched tv. And throughout all of that, very few words were indeed exchanged. Always right next to each other, and mostly silent. Comfortably. Spending time together, both in his conception and in mine, does not mean doing the same goddamn thing together. We watched a couple of movies and a soccer match (our team lost, and we bonded in our pain...); we had our meals together, played around with the dog, discussed about some books and I taught him how to use the torrent system (my dad's a computer freak, so benig able to teach him anything at all is a victory).
But all of those activities were intertwined with blissful silence.

When people are comfortable with each other, they do not, I think, feel the need of yaking time away; there's no need to fill in the silences with empty words. 

A workmate of mine always starts talking when everybody else is quiet. Well, not talking: uttering words. Sometimes he tries to strike up a conversation about meaningless topics ("Did you see Brad and Angelina are splitting up?"). Sometimes, he'll actually go as far as saying "Oh guys just SAY something, I hate silence!". It used to bother me a little; then, I was secretly amused by it. Now I just feel sorry for him: it must be horrible not knowing how to shut up.

Hamlet's dying words: he begs his friend Horatio not to kill himself, but to live on and tell his story; announces Fortinbras as the heir to the crown of Denmark; and then, of course: 

The rest is silence.
(Hamlet, Act V, Scene II)

Though I'm aware of the traditional interpretations of this last line, I sometimes wonder just how tired the Dane prince was of all the action, and specially, of all the talking (I mean, have you read his "To be or not to be" monologue? He must've been really tired after that one). That being so, silence would've been a more than welcome rest to the poor guy. 'Tis the kind of rest that I, being a chatterbox myself, am very fond of.

Silence is special. Silence tells you just how strong your bonds with the other really are. Words lie, while silence never does.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Being Extra Careful!!!

Before using any kind of product, we ought to make sure we read the instructions and warnings very carefully - or we may be seriously misled!

After a lengthly instruction on how to heat the bottle:
Hungry Jack Lite Syrup
(If it isn't, it means you're not even capable of heating a bottle, you dumbass, so read the instructions again.)

This is NOT a life saving device!!!
Life saving device
(It's a life puzzling device.)

Warning: May cause drowsiness
Nytol Sleep Aid
(But it's an outside chance, really, so don't worry about it.)

Warning: Cape does not enable user to fly.
Unknown Batman Costume
(Of course it doesn't: since when does Batman fly?! Every child knows that. Man, you suck.)

Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
Child-Sized Superman Costume
(Ok, now we're talking! Still: the cape does not enable Superman to fly either. These guys should read a comic book or something.)

Warning: For indoor or outdoor use only.
Unknown Christmas Lights
(Beware: do NOT use these in third dimensions!)

Warning: Do not attempt to swallow.

Unknown Mattress
(You gotta chew it 36 times first and THEN swallow.)

To open: 
1. Tear off perforated sides A & B 
2. Pull off at arrow. 
Blockbuster Giftcard
(How baffling! God forbid I should ever get one of these for my birthday.)


Do not use as an ice cream topping.
Unknown Hair Coloring
(Unknown Ice Cream Topping warning: "Do not use as hair coloring")

Caution: Contents may catch fire.
Unknown Matches
(In case it doesn't, rub two stones together, causing friction, until they catch fire. Then, light the matches.)

State Prison: Do Not Stop for Hitchhikers
Interstate 10, Near Phoenix, AZ
(People of little faith, jeez...)

Warning to tourists: don’t laugh at the natives.
Highway 26, Idaho Falls, Idaho
(Who the hell are these jackass tourists?!) 

The sign reads, “Ignore this sign”.
Unknown Location
(I sure will!)

Some assembly required.
Unknown 500-piece puzzle
(Only some. You gotta assemble the castle pieces, but you needn't assemble the garden ones.)

Description reads “WARNING – May cause cancer in California”
(That explains Christina Applegate. I do wish she had read the instructions.)


Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.
Swedish Chainsaw
(I'm rendered speechless.)

Taken from:
(Yes, there are many more where these came from! I strongly recommend checking the site, cool indeed!)

Monday, May 10, 2010


That I Would Be Good
by Alanis Morissette 

That I would be good, even if I did nothing
That I would be good, even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good, if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good, even if I gained ten pounds

That I would be fine,  even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good, if I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great, if I was no longer queen
That I would be grand, if I was not all-knowing

That I would be loved, even when I numb myself
That I would be good,even when I'm overwhelmed
That I would be loved, even when I was fuming
That I would be good, even if I was clinging

That I would be good, even if I lost sanity
That I would be good, whether with or without you.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


When I first saw this pic, the Coke I was drinking almost came out of my nose. I mean, seriously, WTF?!

"Oh my God, where do I go, where do I go?! Ahhhhhh!!"

However, a second look at it changed my mind: this pic is brilliant.
This is exactly how I've been feeling for the past... hmmm... 24 years. And 9 months and 13 days.

Well, guess I'm just a terrible driver. It's like I can only see one kind of traffic light in front of me.

And I never know whether to speed up or slow down. 

But this is probably due to the fact that, most of the time, I'm worried about what the other drivers will think if I do this or that. If I'll get in their way or something; whether they'll call me names.

The day I simply think about what I wanna do (without harming the other drivers, evidently), I'll drive better.
Perhaps I'll even have the courage to turn on the radio while driving.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Saving My Day

Really, it did. These news completely saved my day. Not that I was having a particularly rough day or anything, far from it. But this, wow, this is just heartwarming.
It made me cry my eyes out; my heart swelled with pride in being a nerd, and my faith in random acts of kindness was completely restored.

This is important. This is the kind of thing that really matters.

Thank you, Seattle. Thank you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


For those of you who still don't know it, I'm a hopeless nerd. I love Star Wars (and hate Start Trek. A true geek must choose!), comic books, mangas, cartoons, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and RPG; I think that Batman can totally hand Superman his own ass (a geek must take a stand on that), that Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was the best franchise of them all, and that the new Marvel movies - leading to what will definitely be an awesome Avengers movie - totally rock. 
There was a small event (an understatement of mine) going on in the Marvel Universe a couple of years ago, called The Civil War: should heroes reveal their secret identities before society or not? In the middle of it, Spider-Man unmasked himself, revealing to be Peter Parker in a press conference.

I thought to myself "shit!". It's a pretty... err... "un-turn-back-able" move, if I may say so. (Not to Marvel, of course, they just erased the whole damn thing by having Peter make a deal with Mephisto, but let's not get into that). A ballsy move. I mean, to come forward before every single one you know and reveal yourself to be, well, yourself, sure takes a lot of guts. How often does one take off his mask and stand before us, stark naked? (Metaphorically speaking, please. I'm a family girl.)
I know I hardly ever do.

Unfortunately, living in society can be a test of will; it demands constant adaptation, chameleon-like skills, prudence and flexibility. Try to balance it all with honesty, and you're in for a challenge.
Something that many have come to agree is that society life demands masks. You've got one for every person you encounter, one for every situation.
For my boss, I'm the helpful responsible li'l one; for (most of) my work mates, I'm the funny li'l one - sometimes downright sarcastic, sometimes plain goofy and clumsy; for some of my friends, I'm the erudite; for others, I'm the clownish geek li'l one (always the li'l one, mind. This is what I get from being less than 5'2"); for my dad, I'm his lazy-but-brilliant daughter (and, I have to add, only daughter, so that was an easy one, really). Mom thought there was just no stopping me - while my aunt spends a lot of her time trying to convince me that I won't get to the places I want. My bro thinks I'm one of the few he can rely upon, and my grandma shall never know I'm an atheist, despite my Catholic upbringing (that would be the biggest disappointment of this 82 year-old lady's life, no need for that). What about the parts they don't see?
How many of them get the big picture? How much of their big picture do I get?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way: there's an incredibly small amount of people with whom one actually feels comfortable enough to be oneself - as a whole. No masks, no facets; only nakedness. (Again, metaphorically.) 
One of my best friends, M.H., says that I'm a "social cripple". Yeah, I know: ouch. He and I, we haven't eaten a ton of salt together yet (proverb: to really know one, you must eat a ton of salt together) - but he guesses everything he hasn't seen. He's got a pretty good hunch of where the good, the bad and the ugly lie, and thus, is never surprised by anything I say or do. Such a lack of reaction, such a lack of judgement, it makes me feel home. There's only him and a couple more of people around whom I simply sit back and relax. People who think the whole is much better than the mere sum of the parts, and with whom I have no masks - only entirety.
As for the rest of humanity, they have the bad habit of forming mental pictures before they actually do get to know one, of having certain expectations, certain standards to which one's gotta live up to. Hence, we mask the part that would not survive the test. This is just so fucked up. Is it too childish to say that I hate adapting? (Yes, it is. What? Uh?)
I'm still plucking up the courage to leave home withouth the crutches and, you know, just walk on.

(P.S.: As GoogleTalk would say: ...aaaaaaaaand we're back! Still not as often as I'd like, though, due to my tight schedules - got my master's dissertation to hand in in a month. Still, better than completely gone!)