Thursday, November 17, 2011

Admitting Guilty Pleasures II

Their time is long long gone, along with my teenage years. Those bands started falling apart, and each of the singers went after their solo careers (or NASA careers – yes, I'm looking at you, Lance Bass. What the hell were you thinking? NASA, seriously?! Yeah, right, you can sing Bye bye bye to that).
They all sang pretty well and the music in itself was always either rather groovy or quite pretty. But C'MON, have you listened to the lyrics?
The Backstreet Boys' I want It That Way: “You are my fire, the one desire, believe when I say, I want it that way”.
We've Got It Goin' On? “Jam on cause Backstreet's got it, come on now everybody we've got it goin' on”.
Incomplete: “Empty spaces fill me up with holes, distant faces with no place left to go”. How clever!
'N Sync's I Need Love: “I need love, you need love, we all really need love. All I want, all I need, we all really need love”.
Tearing Up My Heart: “It's tearing up my heart when I'm with you, but when we are apart, I feel it too, and no matter what I do I feel the pain, with or without you.” #U2feelings?
5ive's Everybody Get Up: “Everybody get up, singing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 will make you get down now!” Yeah sure, whatever British dudes.
And don't even get me started on Westlife.
No matter how well they sing those songs, the lyrics always remind me of a wine tasting session: whiny and cheesy. Those songs only talk about three things: a) a girl the singer loves but can't have – she's either friend-zoned him, or she's dating some jackass; b) a girl who left him cause of some stupid mistake he made, and now the singer's begging her to come back; c) a girl he used to love and now hates cause she left him (usually for some other guy with more money).
However, there's a reason why I know their lyrics well enough to write them down without having to google them. I still have all of them in my iPod, and yes, I still listen to them. Just yesterday I was cleaning up while singing It's Gonna Be Me. I like to listen to those horribly tacky songs, and I like to sing along, and make faces while at it.
In my iPod, all of those boy band songs are in a folder called “Things I'm not proud of”. But they're all there. And when the Backstreet Boys came to Brazil last year, I went to their show. Proudly. Or almost.
Also: I still have a HUGE crush on Justin Timberlake. Britney seriously lost the best catch in Hollywood. 

VanessaHudgens HAS to be one of the most annoying actresses I've ever seen. Her pretty face is too small, her voice is too pitchy, and everything she says sounds annoyingly self-righteous. Besides, her character in the movie, Gabriella, is ridiculously exasperating: she's pretty, she's part of the scholastic decathlon team, she can sing well, she's incapable of harming anyone, or saying anything mean, she's C'MON! If there's one thing Hollywood producers, executives and screen writers have yet to learn is this: perfect protagonists are impossible to empathize with. We like to see flawed characters, characters that mirror ourselves. Which is why most people end up rooting for the villain or the underdog rather than the hero/heroine of the story. A thoroughly nice beautiful girl that can do everything perfectly is definitely not the mirror of the average Jane.
Same thing goes for Zac Efron's character, Troy: he's abusively handsome, a nice son, a nice friend, a nice student, a nice boyfriend, the complete jock, captain of the basketball team, he can sing well, AND he's got loads of charisma (something Vanessa Hudgens definitely lacks). Again, not your average Joe.
The premise of the movie is also kind of stupid: Troy and Gabriella's friends have a hard time understanding that they have other interests? They can't accept the fact that those kids might be interested in something else other than playing basketball/studying Math? What kind of world is that where people can only like and be good at one thing??
And yet, I've seen the three movies, I've got the complete soundtrack in my iPod, and I can sing almost every song. And I have a blast every time I watch the movies/listen to the songs. A few things that occur to me in my defense: 1. Zac Efron is really handsome and charismatic; 2. the songs are nice to sing along; 3. the “villains” are funny as hell; 4. it's better for a child or a teenager to be watching this than some movie full of violence and sex. Am I right?

To be continued...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Admitting Guilty Pleasures

The other day I was watching TV – and feeling terribly ashamed of myself.
We all like stuff that friends and significant others think silly: I've already dated a guy who thought Agatha Christie was everything that is wrong in Literature; a friend of mine hates Nirvana; my boyfriend won't even go near a Disney movie.
Nevertheless, I love Agatha Christie, Nirvana is my favorite band, and I watch Disney movies all the time. Because while those people might not like that stuff, I do. I think Agatha Christie created great stories and wrote them well; Nirvana composed awesome songs, and the band played them all really well (well, perhaps not live); and Disney movies are amazingly well-made. I'm not ashamed to say I like those things. It's simply a case of “different strokes for different folks”, and that's fine.
But then, we all have our guilty pleasures. Something we know it's bad – badly written, or composed, or filmed or thought of, or whatever – but still enjoy. Stuff we rarely admit we like, that we might even trash in front of our friends!, but that we also secretly enjoy, no matter how ridiculous it is.
Thus, I've gathered here a list with my guilty pleasures. I thought of listing 10 of them, like most lists do – but then, I don't play by the rules. I'm a maverick. Hence, I'll be treating you to a list of my 7 guiltiest pleasures.
It might also be due to the fact that I simply couldn't think of 10 things. Anyway:

When the TV series was announced, all those years ago, I thought to myself: “I see. Another series about ridiculously rich teens, who have no sense of reality whatsoever, and make big dramas out of nothing. Just like Beverly Hills 90210 and The O.C.
I was not disappointed. It was everything I expected – nay, hoped it would be: beautiful 25-year-olds playing high-school teens, money all around, houses I'll never have, overpriced clothes and DRAMA. I was instantly addicted to it.
However, there's a HUGE difference between allowing yourself to watch a TV show on cable (you pay for the cable tv, and the show comes with the package, what can you do?) and going to a bookstore, finding the book, willingly taking it to the cashier, and paying money for it. I took that book with me wherever I went, and did not put it down till I was finished.
But, truth be told, I was extremely ashamed of opening it near people I knew! From the heights of my literary knowledge, I look down on stuff like that. It's instinctive: I know I'm supposed to despise such things. But... all that drama! It's so enticing! How could I not be attracted to it?!
Notwithstanding the siren's spell, I've managed to read it only once, and not look for the sequels. Phew! Crisis averted!

6. Reality Shows
I know, I know: they ARE everything that is wrong with television nowadays. Still, there's a reason why they're successful: people love watching other human beings stuck in awful situations, and making drama where there's none. Which is why most people enjoy a god old soap opera. And a reality show is even better than a soap opera, because it's got real people in it! O.o
I actually refuse to watch shows like Big Brother and Survivor. I think there's no good reason to put yourself through all those indignities. Oh, money? Is that what you're after? Then go get yourself a job, like the rest of us. 
As for dating shows, like The Bachelor... well, here's where things get shady for me. I entirely disapprove of both the premise and the execution of it – but still catch myself watching it from time to time.
But THEN, we have things like American Idol, The X Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, Runway Project, The Glee Project, etc. etc. etc. Shows on which people gotta have real talent in order to win. I can totally get behind that. It's entertaining for us, and good for them (I guess). And I do love a good singing competition! (Though now that Simon and Paula have left American Idol, there's no reason to keep watching it. The thing now is The X Factor, am I right?). Top Chef is also really interesting – but I don't keep track of it: it makes me hungry. And even though I don't watch Glee either, I LOVED The Glee Project! And those girls on America's Next Top Model are too good to miss: they CRY when they get a haircut! They actually think they've lost their identities! They're like “I don't know who I am anymore...”! Still, the photo shoot sessions are great to watch, and the pictures are beautiful.
And the dearest show in my heart: So You Think You Can Dance. God, how I love that show. Can't wait for next year.
But yeah, it's hard to tell that to most of my friends... I usually get laughed at. [sighs]

I used to love Grey's Anatomy (I'm very partial to hospital dramas as well), and Katherine Heigl's character was my favorite. Then, she started appearing on romantic comedies, and I thought “hey, great! Lemme watch that one, what's the tagline?... Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Huh. Ok, let's see”. The fact that standing by her side was James Marsden, aka Cyclops, aka the prince from Enchanted, aka one of my biggest crushes ever, was another reason to watch said film. "From the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada" didn't hurt either.
Is it original? No. Does it convey any special message? Nah. Is the acting particularly mind-blowing? Nope. And nowadays, I don't even like Katherin Heigl that much, she's turned out to be somewhat of an insensitive bitch who chooses to play the same role in different films – most of them, soul-crushing bad films.
But I can't stop watching “27 Dresses”! Damn it!
Maybe it's James Marsden, I don't know. He sure makes everything better just by existing and looking the way he does. And when he moves, my heart totally skips a beat.
But the thing is: whenever I'm switching channels, and I stumble on 27 Dresses, I stop to watch it. Until the freaking end. Because it's 27 Dresses. I've got the DVD, but I'm gonna watch it on tv anyway.
But if you're a friend of mine and ask me what I think about the movie, I'll tell you right away: “God, does that movie suck or what?!”.

To be continued...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sharing Your Life (or: On The Small Things)

M.H.: "And how's the married life?"
Me: "Going great, thanks!"
M.H.: "Have you quarreled yet?"
Me: "Yes, of course."
M.H.: "Good. Had you said you hadn't, I wouldn't believe it."

I lived with my parents, with my grandma, with my dad and stepmother, my grandma again, by myself, with Roomie, and now with my boyfriend. The last one is definitely a different experience.

I've learned I'm a hard one to please. Examples:
I'm very disorganized, and usually leave half of my wardrobe either on the bed or on a chair before going to work in the morning. I was worried he might complain - but he couldn't care in the slightest. This is both a relief and infuriating. "Good, I'm glad he doesn't mind... phew! (...) How on Earth can he not care? This is outrageous, it should bother him!"

He's at the computer doing something, and I get annoyed that he doesn't suggest we do something together. And whenever I'm at the computer and he talks to me or suggests we do something, I get annoyed too: "Can't he see I'm busy? If I wanted to do something else I'd say so!"

When he doesn't do the dishes, I complain. And when he does see to the dishes, I sigh, irritated: "Well, he's done the dishes, so now I have to sweep, can't guilt trip him into doing it. Great, thanks a lot."

I'm nothing if not unfair. 

He doesn't do everything I want him to, when I want him to - I'm an only child, it's really hard to cope with that! However, even though I have several shortcomings, he puts up with all of them, and I'm never afraid he might like me less if I do something wrong. I'm VERY cranky, but still he likes me. It's nothing short of a miracle. 

True, many small things annoy me. I always stumble upon his shoes, in the middle of the bedroom; the soda is always out of the refrigerator, and he never remembers to fill the water jug; the pizza cardboard box will remain on the stove for days, unless I do something about it. 
But my clothes are all over the bedroom, I spend too much money buying books, and I leave my laundry completely up to him. And I PMS. Every goddamn month. 
Still, do you hear him complaining? Neither do I. 

Quarreling is normal - but it's important not to quarrel over that which is insignifcant. Raising hell because one of you forgot to take the trash out is insane.
If you don't let small things slide, you'll never be able to deal with the big ones. So whenever I go to the bathroom, I simply lower the toilet seat and screw the toothpaste cap back on, without a word or an annoyed frown. When he goes to the bathroom, he sweeps my ubiquitous hair off the floor. When there's a glass on the table, we take it to the sink, and it doesn't matter who left it there. We simply wash it and move on. 
I think I'm on to something here. 

Friday, August 19, 2011


*pokes her head through the door*
...Hello? Anybody there?

5 months of no writing; I feel rusty.

A friend of mine once told me that true artists are at their best when miserable; once their misfortunes reach an end and they're happy again, like Jane Austen heroines, Inspiration eludes them. Could it be true?

I realize I'm flattering myself, implying that I'm a “true artist”. Were I more realistic, I'd just admit I'm not this generation's Kundera or Salinger or Wilde – I'm not even the next Helen Fielding. I'm just an average girl (woman?) with Internet access at home.
Still, if I don't flatter myself, who will?
And I like to think my writing better than Stephenie Meyer's.

Moving on: maybe my friend's a cynic, I don't know. But I do know that it does make an awful lot of sense, from my point of view. And perhaps it doesn't have to apply solely to true artists; perhaps the same goes for average people with Internet access.

Well, I'm happy. Life has turned around in the most unexpected ways since March, and I didn't see it coming – not even when it was less than a foot away.
Not that I was unhappy before, far from it, my life was already pretty good. I just wasn't this happy.
And in being this happy, I, sorry to say, forgot all about this blog.

That is: until a chance remark by my great friend M.H. made me think; that remark, along with one of his own posts on his blog, and a comment by my other great friend Rick provided me with writing material.
Maybe I'd hit a writer's block because I was happy; maybe I'd hit a writer's block but didn't care about it cause I was happy. Maybe I was happy because I'd hit a writer's block. How many more combinations of “I'd hit a writer's block” and “I was happy” are there? Can I say “I'd hit a writer's block” and “I was happy” three times fast?, I can't; in my defense, English is not my mother language.

The word we're all looking for now is: anyway.
Anyway, I now know what I want to say here, and I shall soon say it. Not right now, though, cause this preamble is far too long already.
But I've found my will to ramble about life again – whilst being happy, which I had not thought possible.
Alas! I may not be a true artist after all!

*shrugs and closes the door*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wearing Black (or: I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Danced That Way)

She’s the one they think of. She’s the real one. Her suffering is always remembered, whereas mine is ignored at best.
It doesn’t occur to anyone that I simply did what I was told to by my father.
He came home one day and announced we were going to the ball at the castle. My heart was in my throat: there had been no balls in my life thus far. He took me to the court and paraded me around, proud, while everyone else admired me.
And suddenly, the crowd gave way to the most handsome young man I'd ever seen. And he looked at me with ardor and passion in his eyes. 
We danced all night, and I saw nothing but  his smile. All around us, I could hear the whispered comments: look how well she dances, how bewitching, how gracious. Never had I been that happy. At the end of the ball, he announced to all the guests we were to be married. Married!
But then, just then, he glanced at the window, and what he saw there made him freeze; I looked: a gorgeous white swan was there, visibly in agony. He let go of my hand and hurried outside, leaving all of us at a loss as to what to do. And as the crowd dispersed, I caught a glimpse of my reflexion in the mirror.
But the girl staring back at me was not myself - but her.
I realized he had mistaken me for her - the one he truly loved. The white swan. All along, he'd smiled at her, promised her eternal love.
My father wasn't around anymore either, so I went home all by myself. And from my window, I saw them meeting once again. I also saw them throw themselves in the lake.
And up to this day I remain by the window, looking. Looking, in the hope my eyes have misled me, that perhaps he's not in the botom of that lake. In the hope that he may knock on my door, promising to love me.
They cry for her, and no tears are shed for the girl in black that remained behind.
The girl in black is but an impostor. Who cares whether she, too, loved?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Seeing a girl

What do you see when she passes you by?

Do you see a girl with skinny arms, forever brushing aside the mane of dark hair that insists on falling over her eyes?
Do you see a girl in a floral dress, reading a book, waiting for you on that bench?
Do you see a girl in a hurry to get to work on time, even though she doesn't really give a crap?
Do you see a girl? Do you see a woman?
Do you see a girl who speaks the same language you do? Or one who speaks in tongues? Is she from Babel, perhaps?
Do you think she belongs?
Does she disturb you? Do you see a chameleon?
Do you simply see a girl who's sitting on the seat you should be sitting?
Do you wonder whether she prefers writing letters to e-mails? Whether she's a cat or a dog person?
Do you see a broken heart?
Has it ever occurred to you to just ask?
Or does she merely... pass you by?

And none of us actually leave any footprints on the sand.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I found myself staring at it on the subway.
How can something so insanely meaningless be attributed such importance?
Are my priorities wrong? Should I... reset them, mayhap?
The world seems to be in an endless rave, while I waltz with myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


"All romantics meet the same fate someday: cynical and drunk, and boring someone in some dark café."

I still remember that time. These bottles piled up in front of me, they stop me from seeing everyone else at the other tables – but they cannot stop me from seeing his ghost. The ghost of his presence and his words.

I’d left the party earlier than I’d planned: I was bored. And as I went by the bar I heard someone calling my my name; there he was, almost buried amongst all the bottles. With a cigarette in his hand, he waved for me to come in.
As I sat down he smiled his half-smile at me, which, coming from him, was basically royal favor.
“Where are you coming from at such a late hour, young lady?” he asked, ironical as always.
“From a party” I answered, grabbing the only bottle with something left in it.
“And it’s already over? What a pathetic party!”
I laughed: “It’s not over, I just… left. I was bored there.”  He looked at me wide-eyed, faking a surprise I knew he was far from feeling – he was the very epitome of blasé.  
“Bored? At a party? It is so hard to entertain our youth nowadays!”
I laughed once again, indulgent: that huge number of bottles had obviously not affected his unpleasant sense of humor. I didn’t mind it.
“It’s not my kind of party, that’s all." 
“Well, I don’t know… people were only interested in sleeping around, and… it’s all so cheap.”
“And are you a virgin?” he asked, indifferent.
“What makes you think you can ask me that question?” I replied, calmly.
“The fact that I know you’re not, young lady.”
He smiled – a smile herald of uncomfortable and questionable truths he was so fond of. Without saying another word to me, he called over the waitress and asked for two more beers.

While we waited, he remained in silence. He was content with examining me from the other side of the table, smoking his cigarette as if he were not aware of doing it at all. I felt awkward, naked even. He was not only staring, he was x-raying my every thought.
The beers, at last. He opened one and gave it to me with these words:
“So: I have a romantic in front of me, huh?”
I was surprised: “What makes you say that?” I asked slowly, drinking my beer and not at all sure I wanted to hear the answer. But my wanting an answer or not wouldn’t make much of a difference. I went on: “Just cause I’m not fond of sleeping around?”
“No, not at all! I’d never say you’re a romantic because of that. I’d say you’re frigid.”
I choked on my beer. He ignored it and continued.
“But your sex life does not interest me. I say you’re a romantic not because of your actions, but because of your convictions. You’re quick in labeling: sleep around, cheap… labels, just labels.”
“You’re saying I judge other people?”
“You judge yourself. Not by what you do, but by what you don’t do.”
Check. I didn’t have an immediate answer for that, and silence fell upon us. Finally:
“Are you my analyst now?”
“Were I an analyst, I’d abstain myself from giving you my opinions. You clearly know nothing about analysis. You should study more instead of going to parties.” He finished, letting his eyes wander around the bar.
If his goal was annoying me – of which I was almost sure – he was getting dangerously close to it.
“What’s your point anyway?”
He deigned to look at me once more. “I thought it was clear. You’re a romantic. There.”
I sighed. Did I want to continue that conversation? He knew he wanted to: “You’re not a virgin, but you firmly believe sex should exist only between two people who love each other. Right? You never say so, but that’s what you think.”
I looked back at him.
“What if it is?”
“No need to defend yourself, I’m not attacking you!” He opened up his arms, in a defenseless gesture. I said nothing. “That’s the worst kind of romanticism: idealized and coward. The worst because it’s the hardest to get rid of. It’s more deeply rooted in our nature than anything else – just like our cowardice.” He gestured vaguely with one hand, while the other raked his dark hair.
I still said nothing, looking back at him with hostile eyes to which he paid no attention.
“It  eventually ends up like this: cynicism and intoxication, boring someone else in some dark café. It’s our fate.”
“You put yourself in this group?”
“I’m here, aren’t I?”
“Is it all still because of her?”
He didn’t answer; I knew I’d gone where I shouldn’t have, and I regretted it instantly: his face twisted for a split second in an expression of the deepest pain - but before I could even process that, he was back to his usual indifference:
“You know it’s true. You may laugh, you may think you’re immune… you’re not. Take a look at your eyes, those dreamy little eyes of yours. They dream of roses and kisses by the moonlight. Lies, little girl, lies… pretty, but still lies… when are you gonna realize that?”
Silence. He’d said everything he wanted to, and I was still trying to cope. He was beyond drunk – but did that make his speech any less true?

Dawn was making its way into the world already, and there were only the two of us in the bar. There was still a song playing – something melancholy and depressing, and he hummed along, while the waitress was already cleaning everything up.
I finally attacked: “You haven’t really changed, you know, and you’re not as bitter as you think. You just… like to romanticize your own pain. You think your eyes have tombs in them, but truly, listen to what you’re humming right now: a love song. When are you gonna get back on your feet, anyway? It’s about time.”
He stared at me, bewildered. Bull’s eye, and we both knew it. I was triumphant, he hadn’t expected a counter-attack. Finally, as if reading my thoughts, he answered, clearly amused:
“Checkmate. Fine then. You can take my king, young lady, but someday you’ll realize the moral victory is mine.”
I laughed out loud: “Aren’t you a sore loser!... You may not agree with me right now, and that’s okay – but there’s no greater feat that falling and standing up once again… young man! ” I finished, parodying him.
He bowed his head, in an ironical deference.

That was the last time I saw him. After some time, we were told he’d gone abroad. And when he came back, a year later, he was married. Married! They say his wife’s adorable, they’ve even been seen skating together on the lake. They’ve got all the comforts of a modern house, such as a dishwasher and a coffee percolator. His bar-pilgrimage days are over: he drinks at home now, by his wife’s side. They drink, watch tv with the lights on and are happy together. Some say they wanna have a kid.
The bar’s about to close. The waitress is once more cleaning everything up, just like that other night seven years ago. She may be a different waitress, but I wouldn’t know. There’s no one on the other side of the table, and I wouldn’t have it any other way: I don’t want anyone coming over, I’ve got nothing to talk about, to anyone. He was right. In my innocence, I took his king, without realizing the board and the pieces were his. All I’ve got left is the romantic legacy: hiding behind a dozen bottles, in a dark café.
Someday, I shall pass it to someone else, and fly away from my cocoon. But until then, only the darkness of a bar.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Going nowhere

Humanity, you never had it from the beginning.
(Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, "Those Sons of Bitches", C. Bukowski)

The doors open, and I'm shoved in along with everyone else and by everyone else. The metallic voice announces where we are and where we're going - as if it really knew. 
I look around me, wondering what all of us are thinking. What worries us, and what crosses our minds so early in the morning. I wonder if we think at all.
I get violently elbowed in the back - a huge woman, who doesn't even look back. I shrug, and try to disappear in the crowd. I don't wanna be seen, heard or noticed in any sort of way. I hate crowds, they make me feel lonely, like I'm at war.
I don't wanna be touched either, but that's a much harder task to accomplish. Thousands of hands touch mine as they all slide either up or down the pole, grabbing it desperately - as though it were their only salvation. As though it were the only safe port, and we were all drowning. 
Perhaps we are.
I look at a hand right in front of me, and then its arm, shoulder, chest, neck, face, hair, feet, my feet, my own self again. I see other hands, other chests, other faces, other feet. They're alll the same, despite their trying to be so unique.
Some of them are tall and unbelievably fat, with breasts drooping over their bellies, bellies drooping over crotches, crotches drooping over nothing, and their clothes don't manage to cover it all. All that saggy skin, and I'm forced to look at it.
Others are incredibly thin, it's like there's too little skin for too many pointy bones, and their clothes hang loosely on them. Like new clothes on a hanger at the store. 
Some wear thick glasses, while others don't - even though they visibly squint in order to see anything.
And I think to myself "what an appalling world." Our only beauty resides in our being pathetic.
We never did stand a chance, did we? We get on that thing, and we don't even know where we're going.
And the doors closed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Going Back (or: Moving On)

I'd never truly believed that one could go back to being friends with an ex. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to believe it, but there was no evidence that such a thing had ever been possible. Or even desirable.

And then there was K. We'd been good high-school friends for almost 2 years, and he asked me out on our prom night. Cute, right?! I'd had a crush on him for some time, so I immediately said yes.
He was a great boyfriend, and our relationship lasted for exactly a year. It ended mutually, discreetly, and with no drama whatsoever. We'd simply... grown apart. And I forgot all about it in a month or so. Since then, we seldom talked, and led completely different lives.
But 2007 came; I was having some problems (of my own creation, I might add), and no one to actually talk to. So I decided, one fine day, to go for a walk. And before I realized, I was passing right in front of K's building. 
I stopped, hesitated for a split second, and went in. After ringing my fingers into numbness, he finally answered the door in his pj's, his cute little ugly face and hair all over the place.
"Sleeping?" Not really a question, he's got this uncanny ability of sleeping till 4pm.
"Yeah... come on in." He didn't seem surprised to see me there, 3 years later.
He turned on the TV and went back to bed, while I sunk in his armchair.
"Tell me."
I did. I talked for an hour or so; when I finished, he just shrugged and replied I was an idiot. I agreed, and he offered me lunch. Not sure ramen qualifies as lunch, but that's beside the point. We watched MTV for a really long time, even though it was utterly idiotic and uninteresting; in the evening, some friends called him.
"Up for a night out?" "Sure thing", I said.
I had fun like I hadn't had for a really long time, and I even stayed up all night talking with everybody - something I'm usually incapable of doing (I generally stop functioning at 2am). He told me all about the girl he'd been pining for, and I gave him whatever advice I could.
At 5am we found ourselves sitting on a bench at the beach, in complete silence, watching the pink sky make way for the sun. 
At last, I broke the silence: "Thank you, K."
"Nah, don't mention it."
He gave me his bed to sleep in, while he took the couch. In the morning, I did the dishes he'd neglected the day before. After that, we started haging out quite often - till we both began working our asses off, and time was a luxury we couldn't afford anymore. But that mattered not: the damage was undone, and we were friends again.
He's now married to this really nice girl; they moved to the other side of town, so we rarely get to see them. But I can always count on them for my birthday parties.
This whole story kinda restored my faith in Time. It doesn't heal all wounds, but it does make you see that some wounds are but superficial scrapes.
And I have yet to see a more beautiful sunrise than that.

That's not really the sunrise I mentioned, but I had to have something!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Saving Ferris

I found out a couple of days ago my 16-year-old cousin had never watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Dude. What are they TEACHING these kids nowadays??? He'd never even heard of it! Nor had he heard of Breakfast Club! I suddenly realized there must be thousands of teenagers out there who have no idea who John Hughes was! (May his soul rest in peace) How's that even possible?
So, I told him he was gonna download the movie for us to watch - and so he did. And there was no better way to start 2011!

(Not to mention that someone had to teach my poor cousin how to skip school.)

Ferris has got to be the most adorable rogue ever. He decides to ditch school (which, honestly, is a lesser evil, specially when you're just about to graduage), lies to his more than caring and trusting parents, lies to a schoolful of people, getting them all worried about his health, "steals" his best friend's father's beloved car - and almost drives said best friend into complete insanity in the process - lies about who he is and threatens a maitre d' into getting them a table, and disturbs half the neighborhood in his attempt to get home before his sister.
And yet, you can't help but love him.
He's adored by everyone; even his ever spiteful sister bends to his charm in the end - even if it is rather the work of Charlie Sheen's charm at the police station!

What is it about the Ferris Bueller's of the world?

If you're not Ferris, you need to be friends with one. I knew one while growing up - still do, actually. He remains one of my best friends to this day, and calls me"sister". He was the boy next door, and I'd be way too boring a person if it weren't for him.
Everyone in the neighborhood loved him - except, of course, for the Ed Rooneys and Jean Buellers of life, who couldn't come to terms with the fact that he is likeable the way they'll never be; that people are drawn to him and naturally follow him; that he is one of the few who know how to truly appreciate what life gives you.
And when he got into into my school, everyone loved him as well (that kinda made me cool by association, by the way), including teachers and janitors, and doormen and the cafeteria ladies. He just has something that no one can resist.

My Ferris Bueller taught me how to climb trees, ride a skateboard, play volleyball and cards; he showed me how to better read people, and how not to take shit from anyone; he introduced me to rock n' roll, and cried when I moved out of town.
But most importantly, he was the first one to ever tell me to loosen up. 

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

When you do remember to look around and loosen up, you become a whole different person.

Yeah, it's important not to ditch school, and it's not nice to lie to people who care about you. But it is important to stop and look around, to live it up. Sometimes, we need to take that Ferrari out of the garage. We need to say we're Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago, and stick to it no matter what! We should sing in the shower, and we should go to a museum and see priceless works of art.

Otherwise, we might end up being the hypochondriac guy, stuck in the bedroom, afraid of life itself. The "young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today ".

Or much worse: you could end up being the guy making the roll call - "Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?..." - and lecturing about boring stuff to uninterested students - "Anyone?... Anyone?...".

So my advice for 2011, and for the years to come: even if you don't know what you're gonna do with your life, just take part in that parade, grab the mike and sing "Twist and Shout" as loud as you can. Odds are everyone will burst into song with ya!


("You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go.")