I wouldn't know where to begin if I tried.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
by Jenjinha at 03:15
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Winter isn't hitting me as hard (yet) as I expected it to. I fell right back into the swing of my old job, though I sense that I have a better attitude than I remember. Maybe because I'm more relaxed in general, maybe because the work is fleeting; either way I'm enjoying it.
I was surprised at how much information (passwords, procedures, phone numbers, etc.) bubbled up from the depths of my mind on Monday, my first day back to The Cube. And what I didn't remember on a conscious level, my weird robotic hand seems to recall for me. Today, I paused by the photocopier, thinking, "hmm, what was that employee number I used to enter to make this thing do its magic?" My digits responded automatically to the thought, keying in the requisite digits! Holy smokes, que estranho!
Yesterday I was treated by my old boss--"Chief", or "Denny", as I playfully refer to him--to lunch. Chief happens to occupy a high position on my list of most-respected people, and I am far from alone in that assessment. We had a really dynamic conversation, from matters of the heart to those of the world, as usual. It has been so fun to reconnect with all the people, colleagues and otherwise, from my other life, that even the cold weather isn't troubling me as much as I suspected it would.
The only thing that has me completely discombobulated is the southerly slant to the sun's trajectory. My inner GPS, my only real innate talent, is completely out-of-whack. Somehow, even though I'm in a city I recently knew like the back of my hand, North has becomes South. [Which creates an interesting side-ponder: how do all those migratory birds manage to keep it all straight?]
But the Southerners shouldn't worry. I'll find my way back soon enough.
Beijos pelo mundo inteiro,
by Jenjinha at 17:01
Friday, December 11, 2009
I don't mean the Canadian holiday. I mean my good kiwi friend, Victoria.
I'm going to miss her real party to celebrate the completion of her MBA (studying international business in Portuguese, while holding down two full time jobs, gasp!), but we had a pre-party, if you will, last month.
I am so proud of my friend. She is strong and ambitious, and will truly be a force to be reckoned with as she moves forward with her career.
Long distance-wishing you a great celebration.
by Jenjinha at 15:00
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I woke up at seven this morning, which is absurd. With the unplanned extra time and the bright blue sky, I moved like a tornado, scrubbing every surface of my apartment. (Luckily the place is small.) I even hand-washed the summery clothes I'll leave behind. At least my apartment should be wonderful and welcoming to return to.
[Don't buy cheap paper towels.]
It feels very strange, after a year and nearly nine months, and about a million changes--expected and unexpected--to be en route to Chicago: back to a skyline, but no visible stars; sideways to a corporate routine for a reminder of another reality; and forward to the cusp of 2010, in both of my worlds and accompanied by both of my personas.
Should be pretty cool; the forecast says that some seriously shocking temperatures will greet me. On the up side, so will my Dad.
Hello Sweet Home Chicago--and Tchau (for now) Porto Alegre!
Loquinha com certeza
P.S. The other working title for this post was "Mother's Little Helper"...because Engov We Trust. Why don't we have this little miracle hangover remedy in the US? I've armed myself with a supply. Let the reunions and holiday festivities begin!
by Jenjinha at 18:00
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Way back in 2005, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to procure an Internacional jersey for a creative project I was working on to surprise my then-boyfriend. I was living 6,000 miles away and didn't speak a word of Portuguese, so it was much more challenging than your standard shirt-shopping expedition.
Aided (or, perhaps, injured) by Google Translator, I engaged in "dialogue" with a sales rep named Eliane, which continued, little by little, over the course of about a month. We became kind of close, actually, as we gestured virtually (using clip art and pictures) to try and communicate.
At the closing of one email she wrote, "Roxo e doente!" According to Google, she had become "purple and sick" and I was taken aback in horror and concern for my new amiga. I sent a caring and sympathetic message...or at least, I tried to. She responded the following day in, what I suspect was, post-rolling-on-floor-risos (laughter).
I came to learn, much later, that "roxo e doente" is a phrase that Colorados (Inter fans) use to express their passion for the team.
Later today, rain or shine, I'll be at Estádio Beira-Rio to cheer on my darlings for the last game of the 2009 Brasileirão, and the last game of the teams' Centenário, or 100th Anniversary.
We had a great start to this season, a rough middle, and have come very close to claiming the national title this year. [There's a huge national controversy swirling this week over the likely sabotage predicted for later today by rival club Grêmio]. Our likely finish as "vice liderança" will still give good cause for a happy post-game celebration at the sold-out stadium.
Canta forte, minha galera!
Loquinha "purple and sick"
As letras da musica "Minha Camisa Vermelha"
Inter, estaremos contigo... / Inter, we are with you...
Tu és minha paixão! / You are my passion!
Não importa o que digam / It doesn't matter what 'they' say
Sempre levarei comigo / I always carry with me
Minha camisa vermelha... / My red jersey
e a cachaça na mão / and a cachaça in my hand
O Gigante me espera... / [the stadium] awaits me...
Para começar a festa! / To begin the celebration!
Xalaialaiaa, Xalaialaiaa, Xalaialaiaa! / Sha la ya la ya (3x)
Você me deixa doidão! / You make me [a nutter]!
Xalaialaiaa, Xalaialaiaa, Xalaialaiaa! / Sha la ya la ya (3x)
Inter do meu coração! / Inter, of my heart.
The weather was befitting: a perfect storm--Inter fighting for the championship that was in the hands of their rival.
The team arrived at the stadium right after I did. As you can see, the scene was energetic!
Canta, galera!Inter did their part--winning 4x1 against Santo André. Unfortunately, so did Grêmio--losing to Flamengo 2x1. Sem problema, sou orgulho de ser colorada! (No problem, I'm proud to be an Inter fan!)
Oh, the neighbor kids (a girl of about 11 and a boy of about 9--each of whom possesses a talent for malabarismos [fancy footwork]) are colorados too. Sometimes they make me laugh as I spy on their backyard soccer games and their mock "announcing" of the plays in the most recent game. Today, though, the girl is wearing a Flamengo jersey. Awww, man. Que triste!
by Jenjinha at 09:06
Friday, December 4, 2009
These are (some of) the people in my neighborhood.
[in my neighborhood, in my neigh-bor-ho-od!]
This is Paulo. He (apparently) owns a small parking lot next to my apartment and splits the 24/7 operation with his son. Paulo is from the interior, or countryside, and as such, his accent is so thick and so laden with colloquial speech that I can hardly ever understand more than 25% of what he's telling me. I pretend to get more, and I sometimes go sit on his extra stool, pet his adopted stray dog Pretinha, and try to communicate as best I can. He and his son are very pleasant, and it's nice to know that they are always there--keeping a finger on the pulse of the 'hood and looking out for me like little guardians.
This is the owner of the mini-mercado around the corner. I forgot his name, and feel too silly to ask him again after all this time. We wave to each other every day as I pass, occasionally indulging in a little chat about our team's recent performance. Sometimes when I walk by looking tired or hungover, he teases me about it--in a half-fatherly, half-friendly way.
Marcelo? I am terrible with names! This, though, is 1/2 owner of the little café I frequent most often. His girlfriend is the other half and we are always swapping stories, jokes, cultural insights, etc. He's posing with the special mug they have acquired to accommodate my special needs.
This is just a smattering, but there are lots of people that I enjoy greeting almost daily. I feel like they each look out for me and that feels really nice.
by Jenjinha at 15:09