Thursday, July 23, 2009

California Drivers, Behold!!!



Ok, I know this is gonna sound weird, but this is for me a huge accomplishment. Probably the greatest one in a very long time.

I am about to turn 28 and I just passed today on my driving test and got my very first driver's license. Ever. And yes, I live in California, to be more precise, Orange County.
How I was able to survive these past 2 and a half years in Orange County without a car, only I know.

Back in Brazil, or even in Portugal, either someone in my family or my friends would drive me around all the time. Worst case scenario, there was always public transportation, or taxi cabs in emergencies such as leaving a shopping center carrying lots of shopping bags.
Here in Orange County... I have no family, the few friends I have don't really live close by and as for public transportation... well, the closest bus stop to the house where I used to live was about 1 hour walking from home. And there was maybe 1 bus per hour with a very short and strange route. If you wanna take a cab from a shopping center or a mall, there are none outside. You have to have a number and get a real physical address so they will pick you up within the following 30 minutes.

Boyfriend and I bought an older Toyota Corolla 1 week after we got here, but even so, he had to drive me around everywhere... I hated waking him up to take me to work. Now I can just leave and let him sleep in. We'll have to juggle with one car only though, hopefully until the end of the year we'll have bought our second car.

The big deal here is that up until the beginning of this year, I was terrified of driving.
When boyfriend or my sister were driving, I'd sit in the passenger's seat and be a good co-pilot (at least I think so), and I can see everything around... but when I sat in the driver's seat... I just blocked. I could see nothing, I had no perspective. The car was such a huge intimidating monster.

Boyfriend started taking me out to drive in Brazil, but I only felt comfortable after a few weeks driving here.
I'm pretty confident driving now, considering my fear before... but it truly is a big relief to finally get a driver's license!

I'll probably write a post later about the exams, since they were very marking experiences. Await...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dreaming My Dreams

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...

I just got an e-mail with this picture. It was taken about 5-6 years ago by my ex at his former house, where he spent his College years. I love this picture... it kinda brings back nice memories, to see me laying there sleeping so peacefully with... my plush dolphin.

Yeah, this was the reason for a tease during many many years by my family, friends and (ex)boyfriend.
You see, since I was little I've had this thing for dolphins. I think they are such sweet creatures and I guess it's impossible not to love them. I confess, I even have the most clichè tattoo of my time: a dolphin in the groin.

Anyways, I think I was about 14 or so when I got this plush dolphin for my birthday from one of my best high-school friends. We named him "Golfo".
Since that day, I slept with him every single night. I could not cope with not sleeping with him, even when I went to my (ex)boyfriend's house.

The ex shares a house with friends, so his friends also used to tease me a lot because of Golfo. The ex and his friends would hide it around the house or throw it around and place it on a very high place where I couldn't reach (I'm 5 feet tall)...
When I lived with my parents, and also later when Mom came to town, she'd sneak out with Golfo and wash it and hang it under the brightest sun, so it would be dry by the time I went to bed. Mind you, she had to do this even when I was 24 years old.

And that was when we split. I was 24 years old, I was extremely late to take a flight to Madrid, I had just paid a TAXI to drive me from Malmö(Sweden) to the Copenhagen Airport(Denmark), and started running to the Iberia booth... only to find out I had just missed the flight.
The woman told me I could catch the same flight the next day, so I decided to leave all my bags in the airport lockers. Here's the conversation that followed this, between me and Dani (who accompanied me in this crazy rush):

Me: So where did you put Golfo?
Her: What do you mean where did I put him?
Me: Well, I don't have it...
Her: I don't either!
Me: ...


And I never even had the chance to say good-bye! :(
He was left alone in the trunk of a Swedish cab. We ran out to see if we could still find the taxi outside, but he was gone... we called the taxi company, but we weren't even sure if that was the right one.

I loved him dearly, and boyfriend even thought of buying me a new one this Christmas, but it's so hard to find a perfect replacement :(

Anyways, for more pics, click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Patch

So boyfriend is on the patch now.

He's been a smoker for a few years now and he has always found it very hard to quit. A couple of weeks ago I suggested he started using patches - at first he didn't even seem to be listening but then, one fine day, out of the blue he comes up to me and says "Let's go buy patches."

This is really nice for me. When I was visiting in Brazil, he was smoking about 1 1/2 boxes per day. That's just too much. And then there was the taste of cigarettes on each kiss, the breathing, the clothes...
After we arrived in the US, I told him he would have to reduce his intake drastically, and he was really good about it.

But even so... hours after he had his last cigarette, I could still smell it, and it was unpleasant. Specially for an ex-smoker (me).

So now I'm very proud to say: BOYFRIEND'S BEEN CLEAN FOR 5 DAYS AND COUNTING! :)
He says the patches are helping him a lot, he does not feel the cig cravings anymore, he feels his breathing is better, his skin looks better and even his alcohol tolerance is better! lol.

If you're trying to quit or know anyone trying... remember the patch!

Friday, July 17, 2009

7 Sides Of My Heart

I was tagged to do this by Manju at LittleM-o-holic. I think it might be a bit hard, but here comes:

"with as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: a picture, a poem, a song (or piece of music), a phrase (or quote), an item of clothing, a place, and (just for fun) a Disney princess. if you want to join in, tag 6 more blogs."



1. A picture
Boyfriend probably doesn't like this one, but I do. It would be hard to think of just one picture, even because I would like to have pictures of my babies here too. Anyways, this was a very nice weekend, we were in Brazil and went over to my Uncle's ranch in a small village in the uplands of Sao Paulo. It was the first time boyfriend traveled with me to meet relatives, so it was important to me :)

2. A poem
My favorite poet(ess) is a Portuguese woman who lived in the early years of the 20th century. I will write here one of my favorite poems, I wrote this once on a letter to my best friend... it's kind of a poem about unconditional and endless love :) So... if anyone understands Portuguese... enjoy!

FANATISMO

Minh'alma, de sonhar-te, anda perdida
Meus olhos andam cegos de te ver!
Não és sequer razão do meu viver,
Pois que tu és já toda a minha vida!

Não vejo nada assim enlouquecida...
Passo no mundo, meu Amor, a ler
No misterioso livro do teu ser
A mesma história tantas vezes lida!

"Tudo no mundo é frágil, tudo passa..."
Quando me dizem isto, toda a graça
Duma boca divina fala em mim!

E, olhos postos em ti, digo de rastros:
"Ah! Podem voar mundos, morrer astros,
Que tu és como Deus: Princípio e Fim!"


3. A song
That one is easy... "In My Life", but I like the version by Johnny Cash. It gives me chills... and it describes me pretty well.


4. A phrase/quote
This one is not one of those deep, meaningful ones but I like it:
"The secret for staying young is living an honest life, eat slowly and lie about your age."


5. An item of clothing
This is a weird one...
But anyways... I used to have some clothes with sentimental value... yes, that's right. I don't know if that is weird or not, but I did, or still do. I have a very colorful scarf by Benneton that I got for my birthday in my early teens... I love it and it still looks brand new. And I also have this little wool coat that my great-grandma knitted for me when I was about 10. It was very large at the time, and since I didn't grow too much, it still fits me. It looks very old, but I won't throw it away for anything in this world.
Other than that, I like dresses. And whatever I don't need to wear a bra with, specially during Summer time. I also like skirts. Last Christmas boyfriend gave me this Ralph Lauren skirt I had been flirting with for a while.

6. A place
Lisbon.
That's where I grew up, where I spend very important years in my life, where I can find my parents, childhood friends, where I have my own special shelters and hiding spots... I wouldn't like to live there again though. I took this picture last time I was there, in 2005. It was a very memorable Summer for me.

7. A Disney Princess
Hahaha this is definitely the weirdest thing ever.
I think my favorite one is Rose, Sleepy Beauty. I had the VHS when I was little, I used to watch it over and over everyday. I knew all the lines by heart and all. I also like Mulan, and I guess feature wise, I look more like Mulan too haha.


Ok, so here was my little list... I was supposed to tag 6 people, but I will just leave it here and if you like it and want to do it too, just let me know so I can check it out, ok?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(Re)Connecting...

... is always good to.

I was very happy to hear from my ex this weekend, he lives in Brazil and says he wants to come see me here in the US.
That will be very nice, specially since this guy was a very important person for my maturing and we have always connected really well.

After we broke up, we remained friends... until the maniac girlfriend of his started throwing tantrums because she was ridiculously jealous of me. Or insecure about their relationship, probably. I really don't understand all the jealousy. It is healthy to be jealous sometimes, but you gotta know where to draw the line. The ex and I had to go on a little hiatus and didn't talk for a while. Whatever it is that happened between him and the other girl, mustn't have worked since as soon as they broke up, he looked me up.

Men. They say women are complicated, but who understands men???

Anyways... it will be nice having him around :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

10 Random Facts

Finally!

I was tagged by the Toothfairy to write this, it took me a while but here it comes:

1. I procrastinate. As you may have noticed. And that goes for pretty much EVERYTHING. Activities, chores, plans, dreams... It's a terrible flaw and I hate it, and I really want to change it... but I procrastinate the change too. This post is a good example of this, another good example is my bedroom. I took a picture of it on the same day I moved, to show it to my family in Brazil. I said "it's messy cause we just moved in, but I'll send you the pics once we get it totally furnished and cleaned up!" - that was over 2 months ago.

2. I talk too much. Boyfriend complains a lot about this, he keeps telling me I need not to fill the silent gaps, but I do, I really do. People say I'm my mom's daughter, cause she talks a lot too. And so does my grandma. My sister is said to be the quiet girl in the family, but boyfriend complains that she talks too much too. Both my dad and my bro are very quiet, they stick to the basics. But my other grandma - dad's mom - says he's the blabber in the family. I guess all my uncles on that side of the family are mute.

3. I used to be a lot better with my writing than I am today. Writing used to be a therapy, I had journals, I wrote letters, I wrote articles and chronicles... When I took my CPE exam from Cambridge, I got "Exceptional Writing Skills". I wished I practiced more.

4. This blog is actually over 7 years old. It has had several different (and totally unrelated) layouts and titles. I hid the older posts, because some people like to spy on me (I think I'll write a post about them one of these days). I started writing this originally in Portuguese, and it was kind of like... unread letters to my high school sweet heart. Pathetic, huh?

5. I really wanted to live in Sweden. I was talking on MSN to my friend, she wrote "I wanna move to Sweden!!! Let's move to Sweden!" - My dad was sitting right next to me, I said "Dad, I think I'm gonna move to Sweden." He said "ok" and 3 months later my friend and I were having the best 3 months in our lives. I only stayed for 3 months due to visa status, she is there until today. None of us would like to live in Sweden now.

6. My coming to the USA was a trajectory's accident. I was aiming for Sweden, as I said before. I had been waiting for my new visa to arrive for over 6 months, it was getting me stressed and annoyed and unemployed. So I had a job offer here in the States, I thought I'd come since I had the visa already... just until my Swedish visa came out. As you may have noticed, I changed my mind.

7. My family is pretty international. I live in the US, my sister lives in Brazil, my parents and my brother live in Portugal. I used to date this guy in Sweden, now I live with boyfriend, who just came from Brazil. His sister lives in Taiwan.

8. For some reason, I was always a "popular" girl. Since I was a little kid. In school, I was always part of the "coolest gangs". I somehow hung out with many different gangs - pretty much 99% of the school knew me, that kind of pissed my BFF off, she was a bit possessive when it came to Elize time. When I grew up and moved to Brazil, not much changed. I used to go out a lot, had VIP passes to all parties and concerts... When I went back to Portugal, I was the new gang's sweetheart Brazilian hottie, they'd commute for 1h/day to pick me up and drop me off every single day. That whole popularity thing changed after I moved to the US.

9. My life used to be a lot more interesting. And I realize that in moments like these, when I have to say something and I can't think of anything. My life used to be pretty exciting, and everyone used to say they wished they had my life... now my life is just boring. I'm like a housewife with 5 kids.

10. I cry over spilled milk. It is very likely that, as soon as I hit "publish", I'll think of 25 better things I could have written, and I didn't.


Oh! I forgot something *kinda* important.
I have to tag 10 bloggers:

1. Segue a Linha
2. Noah Alexandre Chen
3. LitteM-o-holic
4. loveisdead
5. sweets and hearts
6. lifeis
7. glamour sacrifice
8. Her name is Noelle
9. Nipplelicious
10.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

(Wo)man VS Machine

So boyfriend has a new toy...

His old laptop was falling apart - literally -, the screen was breaking from the body of the laptop and it was hanging from the right side, besides it was quite impossible to use more than one application at a time - not to mention the memory of a pea.

So after a lot of anticipation (a couple of days), we finally bought his new toy. It was actually a present from his dad, kind of.

It's a really nice computer (although I don't think I could go back to using Windows), but there's a place where I draw the line, and that place is right there, where he stops paying attention to me and telling me to shut up so he can play with the new gadget.

Can you believe I actually had to sleep by myself last night? He crawled into bed at who knows what time (not even he knows), and this morning he wouldn't wake up. He had to drive me to work, when we got there, I left the car, and 1 hour later he comes in and goes "how long was I out?"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Growing Up In The 80's

I don't want to write another mega post on MJ, although I still have thoughts about him - in fact, I was telling my friend earlier today, I might be obsessing over his death. But let's not talk about him dead.

I thought it'd be nice to just remember some moments in my life in which MJ was somehow involved. And it pretty much started since I was born.

My mom is the oldest of 5. The 2 youngest aunts were teenagers when I was born, so I remember spending lots of time in my grandma's, and my aunts listening to music on the radio while cleaning the house. Thriller and Billie Jean were obvious hits, as well as Ricky Astley and Crowded House, among others.

When the second youngest Aunt got married, I used to sleep over a lot. They got my grandparents old house as a wedding gift, so we just kept hanging out there. I remember staying up late with Aunt and Uncle watching movies like "Clash of the Titans" and being totally ok with it (except for the Medusa part, I had nightmares with her), but everytime I watched the videoclip for "Thriller" I'd get totally freaked out.

In late childhood and early teenagehood I started with the boyband fever. So pretty much all I cared about was NKOTB, then Take That, then ultimately, the BSB.
But in between, I did listen to a lot of "Bad", "Dangerous" and "Black or White", that video clip was amazing, I recorded it on VCR and I could watch it and rewind it and watch it again for hours, just to see Macaulay Culkin and those morphing faces. It really was amazing.

I also remember as a kid wishing I'd be invited to the Ranch. I'd think "Aren't those kids lucky? Not only do they get to spend some vacation time in an amazing place with lots of luxury, but they do it with Michael Jackson!"
At the time, I thought only star kids would go (like Culkin), and I knew I'd never ever be picked.

In Portugal there was a tv show on channel 1 at lunch time that showed video clips. I watched it every single day before going to school, it was right after Tom Sawyer. It was kinda like a top ten chart, but the weirdest thing is, they played old songs all the time. So for a really long time, every single day I would watch the clip to "Billie Jean" while I was having lunch. That was right before they released "Black or White", by the way.

There was this girl in my class, her name was Ines. While me and pretty much all the other girls my age were digging the boy bands, she was a huge fan of Madonna and Michael Jackson. I thought that was very odd, but I owe it partially to her for having these 2 pop icons very present in my teenage years. She even taught me some of the choreography, but I'm just too uncoordinated to do it.
The other person I owe this to is a guy called Tiago. He wasn't in my class, but he was one of the school's hottie and a very good friend of mine. And also my highschool sweetheart's best friend.

Ever since I was a kid, I heard all sorts of rumors about MJ. He slept in a bubble whatever, he bleached his skin, he had a pact with whoever, he was an alien, he was immortal, yatta yatta yatta. Even today I hear absurd things about him. I read on a website that he was seen alive in London, and there was a "picture" to prove it. And another site said he was seen crossing the border to Mexico a few moments before they announced him dead.

Just like it happened with Elvis, he's the King, people are in denial and there will be all sorts of theories about this, for years to come.

When I was about 15, a friend of my brother's - who was actually a friend of the whole family -, commited suicide. I was the one who got the call about it, and I was the one who had to tell my brother about it. He got pissed, he called me a liar, among other more unpleasant things. He called our friend's house and no one answered, so he decided to go there personally and prove me wrong.

I knew there was no reason for someone to call me lying about it, but I was still waiting for my brother to come back and prove me wrong.
I waited and waited... I decided to turn on the tv to get distracted, I liked the German music channel Viva.
There are 2 videoclips that remind me of this moment. The moment my brother arrived, devastated, and I knew time had stopped, I could describe every detail in the room in those long silent minutes... and in the background, Michael and Janet singing. I do love this clip, but it does bring me sad memories.

As for his trial days... I was on a long vacation in Portugal, at my parents house. SNL was all about MJ and his trial at that time.
I used to watch it and I thought it was an OK show... until there was one sketch about Michael leaving Neverland or something like that... can't really remember, I remember they put a fake Michael inside a fence and they had helicopters over him... it was just a very distasteful sketch in my opinion, in light of the events at that time. That was the last time I ever watched SNL.

And I remember talking to my sister online one day, and she'd tell me "Why can't they leave him alone? He's innocent! Leave him alone!"

So yeah, let's just leave him alone... if that was at all possible.

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