Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guess who's back?!

(alternate title "POA 2010 GYST Project Status")

Inter just won the first GreNal of 2010. 1x0.

I need music.

Ok. I am ever-so-comfortably chillaxing on my bed this Sunday evening. I have my MacBook on my lap and we're getting a little better acquainted.

Despite my fears of going through a technological enhancement process completamente em português, this week I successfully ordered (by phone), had installed, and went through the troubleshooting stages of my new, super-speedy DSL and telefone fixo (landline). Cool. Eventually I got my router up and running too, so now I'm completely sem fio--wireless, baby, yeah! As a bonus, I discovered that I no longer need my headset for Skype, leaving me untethered and cheerful.

Moreover, I had a delightfully fulfilling weekend outside the house too. A little swimming and a little walking to round out my first week of post-Chicago-shennanigans, self-imposed-pseudo-detox program. I got a little color on my skin. I drank a lot of water and only a couple beers. I discovered melão pele de sapo, or frog skin melon.

It's much smaller than a watermelon and, despite appearance, much different on the inside.

Breakfast! Summer coffee (i.e., cold) in my new french press and the honeydew-like-but-way-juicier frog skin melon. 
Que delicia!

In similar investigative journalism, before I left for Chicago I purchased these strange things...

Tomatillo (left) and mangostin (right).
Speaking of exterior texture, the tomatillo, also called tomate japonês, is tougher than any tomato I've seen. It's more like a mango, but not so leathery.

The skin is bitter! Better, I report, to eat it like a kiwi, scooping out the insides with a spoon.

Actually, since the fleshy bit was neither sweet nor bitter, neither bland nor overpowering, and ultimately, not like any "child of these two parents" comparison I can imagine, it's probably advisable to research and find a recipe that tells you how to eat them.

Look though! the seeds were heart shaped - how cute!

I found the mangostin vastly more interesting. Incidentally, I think it's a good thing I've not been cast on some remote island or dropped in some jungle, because my utter lack of inhibition in ingesting bizarre finds would likely put my life in great peril. Feeling invincible because I purchased these in the supermarket, though, I sliced forth without hesitation.

The protective, quarter-inch thick rind is, I was dismayed to learn, very bitter to lick. Inside I found this slippery, mushy, delicate white stuff that falls out in segments that resemble garlic cloves. The taste is very mild. Watery, with an oh-so-subtle hint of sweetness. I didn't eat the seeds. I have no idea what to do with this strange fruit either, but it was fun to experiment.

I digress. I had forgotten how delightfully peaceful Porto Alegre's Centro can be in the midst of summer. Virtually everyone of means goes to the beach, and I love it.

I got a much needed beauty treatment yesterday and learned some good slang in the process. (I shouldn't even tell this story because it's, ahem, personal--but whatever.) I learned that when the wax lady takes almost everything before you realize what's happening, it's called "bigode do Hitler," or "Hitler's Mustache". A rather inappropriate designation, I feel, as he's far from deserving such an honor.

I spent most of the afternoon dutifully studying Portuguese at Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana, where a disillusioned bat kept flying circles in the lofty space overhead. How did I notice him? Because, in his frenzy to get outta dodge, he was dropping turds on me. (I just presume it was a him--I mean, that's just unladylike.)

Lastly, I had a mini-eureka. I'm a compulsive list-maker. I have notes everywhere. Sometimes I will write the same To-Do items in numerous places. It's very OCD of me, certainly, but somehow it helps me keep everything straight and get things done. I was thinking about replacing the fine artwork (cough) on my "living room" (cough) wall with a whiteboard, when I suddenly remembered that I could write on glass with dry erase markers. Did I mention that I have a mirrored wall? Yes, I have a mirrored wall for which adjectives escape me, yet somehow reminds me of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.

Writing on the walls. Fun!

Tomorrow begins a new week in the zestful pursuit of my goals and beckoning of the unknown.
Vamos lá!


*GYST: an acronym coined by my friend Gina, to encapsulate the spirit of the new year... Get Your Sssstuff Together.