Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fun with English

I am sorrowfully behind on posting. There's no immediate remedy in sight, as my dear friend Maureen is coming to stay with me for a few days, beginning tomorrow--her birthday.

Please enjoy this anecdote until I am ready to catch up on pictures and stories.

Tonight I had my first class with, Luciano, a young lawyer. His speaking was pretty solid, but still in the proper, academic-English phase. During the last few minutes of our session, he began asking me questions. The standard "what are you doing here?" type of interview--the responses to which I could regurgitate in my sleep in either language. I have condensed the 4-year history of what led me to March 25, 2008 into a 4-minute tale, for just this sort of occasion.

When I mentioned my 4th and 5th trips to Brazil (those which were reconnaissance, ahem, sans ex), Luciano interrupted: "Didn't he go to see you in the States?"
I paused for eye contact and, seeing the incredulousness in Luciano's face, I chuckled and replied, "No. Yeah, I know. Right?" Quick as lightning Luciano interjected:
"What a douchebag!"

I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Even though it's a bit more disclosure than I prefer to post, as a rule, it deserves to be documented here, so that I never forget my student's perfectly timed and delivered, wholly accurate, and entertaining summation. I couldn't have said it better myself, Luciano.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good news

Third time's the charm.


The first two official attempts at converting my provisional visa to a permanent one were unsuccessful. (Ahh, bureaucracy.) Though the next in my series of Polícia Federal appointments wasn't scheduled until the end of May, I pleaded for mercy yesterday morning. Ask and you shall receive. The Great Paper Chase 2011, it seems, is over--documents delivered.

My Dad's 60th birthday is next week.

At six o'clock this morning, local time, I landed in Chicago to surprise him. He wasn't shocked (after all, he knows me and my tricks pretty well), but he was surprised, and happy.


We're spending today goofing off, err, working at his office.


I am so much my father's daughter.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Small world

I've been trying to get a São Paulo Happy Hour group going for a while. I started one on Facebook back in January but it's been a slow-bloomer, and I migrated it to Google Groups a couple weeks ago, foreseeing deactivation of my Facebook account. (I have too little discipline, I decided, and needed to remove some of my too-easy time-wasters.) Just before I said tchau to Facebook, Suzann reached out. She found the group and, subsequently, my page which listed Crystal Lake as my hometown. She shot me an excited email--she is from neighboring Cary, Illinois. I was stunned because I haven't even met anyone from Chicago here in Brazil, let alone someone so close to my suburban roots. What's more, she informed, there are two other women here who grew up in Crystal Lake, and are roughly the same age.

Naturally we had to meet. Today, Megan hosted Patricia, Suzann, and I for a spectacular feast at her cute apartment on the uber-chic Oscar Freire. What a hostess! She had prepared quite a spread for us to nosh on; almond-stuffed apricots and walnut-stuffed-dates, smoked provolone, a cold asparagus soup, pear and gorgonzola salad, and panquecas de carne with tomato sauce. With wine, of course, and for dessert, Suzann made chocolate chip cookies (the real deal, ya'll) and Patricia brought gourmet brigadeiro. Oh, and there was entertainment! Megan's two-year-old sweet pea, Sophia, put on a little dance performance in the cutest little dress I've seen on a tot in years. So sweet!

After snapping this shot of the first course...


...I set my camera on the table in front of me, to document my new friends and the fine dining. But the conversation was so familiar, quick, and enjoyable that I realized, walking home four hours later, I had forgotten to take pictures! No problem, though, as I know there will be other times. In fact we have already set a date to go have facials!

Another small-world moment this week...

A couple years ago, I discovered this video on YouTube. In my book, it's right up there with "David After Dentist". Even better actually, because I can watch Strange Kid over and over, and I smile every time. As I noted on Facebook last year, I feel some sort of recognition with the boy, a sense of kindred spirit, when I watch it and it makes me feel happy. That kind of feel-good never goes out of style.

To say that I'm not alone in this would be a huge understatement. It seems this kid has rocketed to stardom. Check out this article, spotted in the Chicago Tribune yesterday. And funny enough, he lives a stone's throw from my Dad. I recognized the condominium from his Tribune interview video.

A comfortingly small world indeed.