a blog with cultural bulimia.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Let me count the ways...

...I miss New York:

for places like Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction Restaurant, a "Judeo-Latino brasserie."
I arrive 10/11 and will stay for a week. Gustavo has already confirmed SNAXX for friday (14th). Mr. DF has agreed on venturing to Mo's on the East Village. Paul's Beer Blast on Sunday, of course. Any other ideas??


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Hero.

Don Adams, who played Maxwell Smart in the 1960's sitcom 'Get Smart,' combining clipped, decisive diction with appalling, hilarious ineptitude, died on Sunday at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 82. New York Times
In my brazilian childhood I watched 'Get Smart' daily, faithfully. It was my favorite show, even though I might have been too young (and in the wrong country) to understand its "satiric jabs at an increasingly questioned status quo". Max was the opposite of 007 and, because of that, more attainable as a hero. And maybe a sign of the personality that was being shaped...
But Smart's charm lay in his utter humanness, the opposite of Bond's preposterous competence. In an interview with The Saturday Evening Post in 1966, Mr. Adams analyzed Smart: "He's not superhuman. But he believes in what he does and he wants to do his best." NYT
A scene I will never forget: It takes place between Maxwell Smart and Agent 99. She was captured by Kaos and is hanging up side down. He has just found her and cheerfully says: "Oh, hi 66!"

Bush' science.

President Bush is being briefed by Rumsfeld who tells him 3 Brazilian soldiers have been killed. Bush pauses for a minute and asks nervously:

"How many is a brazillion?"

Forwarded by my X-L.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the meantime, in Brazil...

 Brazil House Speaker Resigns Amid Charges

"The speaker of Brazil's lower house resigned Wednesday amid charges he extorted bribes from a local businessman, the latest casualty of corruption scandals that have rocked Brazil's government.

By stepping down, Rep. Severino Cavalcanti, 74, avoids the risk of impeachment, which would make him ineligible to run for public office for eight years."

Brazil's No. 3 politician resigns: "Severino Cavalcanti, a key government ally, was the most senior politician to fall during a wider scandal over vote-buying and illegal funding by the ruling Workers' Party.

His departure could expose President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to impeachment demands if the opposition takes his post."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Real New Yorkers.

From the New York Magazine Look Book:
Bobby Vita, Electrical Contractor

 What do you do, Bobby?
I’m from Queens. Astoria. I own my own electrical company.

What are you wearing today?
My sunglasses are Prada. The track suit’s Armani.

It says Puma.
It’s Armani.

And how about that jewelry?
You mean my Rolex? I like class and style, I like to look good.

Where did you get it all?
Down in the district. The diamond district.

Have you always bought yourself jewelry?
Yeah. My whole life.

Is there anyone whose style you admire?
Versace. Al Pacino. Bobby De Niro.

Where’d you get that tan?
In Florida. Hollywood. I went twice already this month. I have a condo down there. I like to go lay in the sun, go out for fish.

Do you ever wear sunblock?
Absolutely not.

What product do you use in your hair?
I’m growing my hair, honey. I use gel.

What’s the last movie you saw?
A porno. Caught From Behind.

What do you do in your spare time?
You want to know what I do in my spare time, honey? I express my feelings with all sorts of women. I go to Yankees games. I hang out. I go have dinner. I go have lunch. Union dinners, union lunches.

What do you think of that inflatable rat the unions use?
I think it’s terrible. They’re legitimate gangsters.

Does that make it hard to get work done?
Not for me, but it could definitely get complicated for others.

Why not for you?
You’ve seen the pictures.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Museu, Belo Horizonte.


By Paul Rudnick in The New Yorker.

Day No. 6:

“Today I’m really going out there,” said the Lord God. “And I know it won’t be popular at first, and you’re all gonna be saying, ‘Earth to Lord God,’ but in a few million years it’s going to be timeless. I’m going to design a man.”

And everyone looked upon the man that the Lord God designed.

“It has your eyes,” Zeus told the Lord God.

“Does it stack?” inquired Allah.

"It has a naïve, folk-artsy, I-made-it-myself vibe,” said Buddha. The Inca sun god, however, only scoffed. "Been there. Evolution,” he said. “It’s called a shaved monkey."

"I like it," protested Buddha. "But it can’t work a strapless dress." Everyone agreed on this point, so the Lord God announced, "Well, what if I give it nice round breasts and lose the penis?"

"Yes,” the gods said immediately.

"Now it’s intelligent,” said Aphrodite."

Monday, September 19, 2005


I will be under the knife tomorrow: anything for perfection.

Brasil, 2005: it's the same hospital where I was born - the maternity was converted into a plastic surgery center.

I'm only fixing the hole left by the tracheostomy - the other scars I'm leaving untouched - I always wanted to have one.

Pop Monday.

'Confessions on a Dancefloor' cover artwork revealed.

My favorite Emmy Winners: 'Lost' (best drama) and Blythe Danner in "Huff" (Supporting Actress In A Drama). "Also, this was maybe the worst Emmys ever, both telecast and winners wise. Gothamist is trying to figure out why this year's show sucked so much".

Are you for or against the semicolon? via AS.

"TimesSelect: It’s like they want to fail."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

NYT Op-Eds.

The first thing I read every morning are the NYT Editorials. But that will have to change, beggining monday, when the newspaper, in a non-sense attitude, will start charging for Internet access to it. The Times will begin charging $49.95 a year to people who don't get the paper delivered at home for access to their columnists. Non-sense, as A.S. puts it: "Newspapers tend to want to increase their influence, not actively restrain it. Maybe there's a financial rationale that I don't know about. But the NYT's ad revenues online are soaring. Why cut off the flow?"

Bellow, two excerpts from today's paper:
On Thursday night, Mr. Bush wanted to appear casually in charge as he waged his own Battle of New Orleans in Jackson Square. Instead, he looked as if he'd been dropped off by his folks in front of a eerie, blue-hued castle at Disney World. (Must be Sleeping Beauty's Castle, given the somnambulant pace of W.'s response to Katrina.) [Maureen Dowd]
As a Republican leader explained in justifying his vote switch: 'Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry who could not before.' A Democrat attributed his change of heart to the beneficial effects he saw 'when I looked in the eyes of the children living with these couples.' Gay marriage, it turned out, is good for family values." [The Normality of Gay Marriages]

Welcome reminder.

Email from my friend Mr. GZ:

"Reading your BLOG: by trying to find "a positive balance" through everything you have been through - while if it were me, I'd want it all explained as well - just know that:
  1. You are loved - even 8,000 miles (?) away

  2. You are alive and well (and relatively unscathed from the whole incident...

  3. you have a loving family...

  4. you don't live in New Orleans or the Gulf Coast

  5. you are not in IRAQ (on either end of the war...)

  6. and you have 40+ more years in front of you to make a difference (teaching from the past 40 years of your life) - what a gift!!!
Take care and get out there and start sharing with others the kind of love you shared with us here in NYC!!!"

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ex-gay penguin.

"The media called them gay penguins. We referred to them as a same-sex couple. But they're no longer together."

 Remember Roy and Silo, the two famous gay penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo? According to the Chicago Tribune they are no longer a pair. Silo has gone straight.

"Roy and Silo were together for six years and brought up a baby penguin. But now Silo has a girlfriend. Roy is hanging. I'm completely distraught." [Andrew Sullivan]

WE are completely distraught!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Gisele Bündchen's latest ad campaign in Brazil for a sandal that bears her name is a beautiful movie that shows her naked body being slowly covered by an evolving tattoo with brazilian motifs.

 Bush Writes a Note.
He thinks he may need a bathroom break? We had no idea he knew those words. Consider the difference they make: “I think Saddam may have bought yellowcake in Niger.” “I think this may be a turning point in the war.” “Brownie, I think you may be doing a heck of a job. (Or maybe not.)”

But no. In all those other cases, he was certain. It’s only about his own bowels he has doubts. Weird." [Gawker]
Two concerts I'm looking forward to: Moby in Belo Horizonte and M.I.A. in Rio.

I really want one: "Once again, Apple has mastered a lesson that its rivals seem unable to absorb: that the three most important features in a personal music player are style, style and style."

"Shaq assists as police arrest man accused of assaulting gay couple". [USA TODAY]

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Admirable Friends.

"As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, 'This is half of the holy life, lord: having admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues.'

'Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Having admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path." [Samyutta Nikaya XLV.2]

A Healthier Amazon Jungle.

"Large swaths of the jungle are still disappearing, mainly set on fire by soybean farmers and ranchers looking for land to raise cattle. Last year was the worst for Amazon deforestation in a decade.

The health of the Amazon is a global concern because the forest soaks up greenhouse gases, which lessens global warming. Deforestation means the Amazon could eventually become too small to produce the rain that it needs to survive." [New York Times]

Thursday, September 08, 2005

She is a Carioca.

 It's friday, it's been a rough week, let's go for something light.

Some Bossa Nova, shall we?

Listen here, song by Tom Jobim, English version by Celso Fonseca.
Ela é carioca, she's a carioca
Just see the way she walks
Nobody else can be what she is to me
I look and what do I see
When I look deep in her eyes

I can see the sea
A forgoten road
The caressing skies
Incidental: "Celso Fonseca's solo career is better late than never". [The Boston Globe]

"'I come from a very sunny place in the tropics, so even if it sounds sad, it's still joyful music,' he says."

Pointless barking.

 Some bloggers are up in arms because the links to their blogs were dropped out of a very popular blog's blogroll. They were dropped 2 months ago for reasons that were personal to the blogger, kept completely private and the fact was only noticed now by the "victms"... who decided, themselves, to bring it public in their own blogs. Censorship? Gatekeeping? Mean girls?

It is your blog, your links. It is so completely tasteless to complain about being de-linked, it makes me laugh.

I think these complaints are just a way to inflate (create) controversy and generate traffic - bringing attention to themselves.


"The idea of placing the toilets next to the kitchen to suppress the smell was often used by the Portuguese when they built their mansions during the colonial era in Brazil." [Reuters]

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Brazilian independence Day.

Dom Pedro I of Brazil, as portrayed by an actor.

And brazilians scream: "We are no clowns. We want the truth".

"Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave."

Whatever via k.

The Larger Shame.

After 9/11, U.S. born citizens were surprised to find out the rest of the world did not necessarily worshiped them.

After Katrina, U.S. born citizens were surprised to find out they had poor people living among them.
But Hurricane Katrina also underscores a much larger problem: the growing number of Americans trapped in a never-ending cyclone of poverty. And while it may be too early to apportion blame definitively for the mishandling of the hurricane, even President Bush's own administration acknowledges that America's poverty is worsening on his watch. [Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times]

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It has been 1 year.

Sometimes you just have to stop and bitch about the roses.

September 6th, 2004 I was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital. My life has changed dramatically since then and it is still changing.

I live in Brazil now, Belo Horizonte, the place where I was born. After 18 years in New York, getting used to it is hard. But after 18 years in New York, I bet Paris would be hard. There are it's compensations. This weekend, for example, I saw my 5yo niece's first ballet recital. Priceless, as the ad goes.

The possibility of a clean start is the motivation to be here. But I miss the friends I left behind more than I miss the city itself.

It seems amazing to me but I am still recovering (physically) 6 months after I left the hospital. I'm much better now, I have enough energy to start looking for a job - which I am. But I still cannot run, for example. Or go out dancing, like I used to love to. I still have a lingering cough. I just did a bronchoscopy to find out if I had any scars in my trachea left from the machines that could be causing it but all's alright inside there. Most likely it's damage in my lungs left from years of snorting stuff. Doctors can't tell me if it will go away.

I can't accept that all events are predetermined and inevitable. I hate fatalist sayings such as "you have a new lease on life", "there are no accidents".

I am still trying to come up with a positive balance from all this.
 Pop Culture Junkies is back!

"Barbara Bush has her Marie Antoinette moment: 'Everyone wants to move to Texas'" via A.S.

The NYTimes Magazine has an interesting article on Antony and the Johnsons, with some Audio Clips:

'Fistful of Love' (High | Low)

'Twilight' (High | Low)

'Hope There's Someone' (High | Low)

'You Are My Sister' (duet with Boy George) (High | Low)

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Day On.

"It may be time to recycle the idea of Labor Day. Instead of a day off, perhaps it should become a day that is devoted to national service." [New York Times]

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Meme is the new chain letter.

I was tagged for a Meme challenge by Eric. I usually ignore memes but since I love music, here it goes:

List ten songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to.

Here they are in no special order:
  • Marianne Faithfull - Sleep

  • Damien Rice - Cannonball

  • Eldissa - Stayin' Alive

  • Eurythmics - Would I Lie to You?

  • First Choice - Let No Man Putasunder

  • Les Nubians - Tabou

  • Lou Reed - Satellite Of Love

  • M.I.A. - Bucky Done Gun

  • Seu Jorge - São Gonça

  • Marcelo D2 - A Maldição do Samba
And, considere yourself tagged:
Boozhy, Bonhomme Soleil, Joe. My. God., Kitchen Scratchings and Robocub.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


 Marianne Faithfull

It is safe to sleep alone
In a place no one knows
And to seek life under stones
In a place water flows.
It is best to find in sleep
The missing pieces that you lost
Best that you refuse to weep
Ash to ash, dust to dust.
It is strange to sleep alone
In a place no one knows
Strange to shelter under stones
In a place water flows.
It is safe to walk with me
Where you can read the sky and stars,
Safe to walk upon the sea
In my sleep we can go far.
It is safe to sleep alone
In a place no one knows
And to shelter under stones
In a place water flows.
It is strange to sleep alone
In a place no one goes,
Strange to seek life under stones.
In my sleep no one knows.

Friday, September 02, 2005


"This has morphed from a natural disaster into a social meltdown. The Lousiana governor seems overwhelmed (Barbour seems much more effective); New Orlean's civic authorities seem non-existent (and bear responsibility for the insufficient preparation for this potential and widely predicted nightmare); and the president's response has been decidedly weak. His call to restrain from using gas was, well, Carteresque. It seems to me inconceivable that we cannot impose basic law and order in a major American city five days after a hurricane has hit. This is a very basic governmental responsibility and all I can say is that I see no evidence of competence or effectiveness so far. FEMA had no solid evacuation plan? The feds had no plans to maintain order in such a situation? The explosion of complete lawlessness is beginning to make Haiti look like a pleasant place to live. This is America? Where order is so distant that snipers can prevent the evacuation of a hospital? The fundamental reason for my inability to support a second Bush term was his demonstrated incompetence in performing the basic functions of government. It seems to me that the people of New Orleans are now as much a victim of this as the people of Iraq. I guess we can merely be thankful that Rumsfeld hasn't yet appeared to say 'Stuff happens.' Yes, it does. When your government seems unable to do the most basic things required of it." [Andrew Sullivan]

I love 'the movies'.

I watch them, I read about them, I look forward to them.

So I wondered why I had never heard of THE SKELETON KEY. It has Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, Peter Sarsgaard and John Hurt in it.

AND... it doesn't matter. When I see movies like this I question how fully aware were the actors when they commited to it. A LOT of money was spent. Or wasted.

It is a horror movie but the most disturbing scenes, to me, right now, were those of (beautiful) New Orleans and it's (placid) watery surroundings.
One of the most enjoyably inane movies of the season, this faux Southern Gothic offers an embarrassment of geek pleasures: Kate Hudson running around in a T-shirt and underwear, a scenery-chewing villain, intimations of unspeakable evil, slamming doors and equally slamming edits and an introductory course in hoodoo, a folk religion born in the South. All this and Gena Rowlands, Peter Sarsgaard and John Hurt, too, a divine troika who look perfectly content to be neck-deep in so much Spanish moss and hooey. [New York Times]

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A fad is a fad. Get over it.

The Mohawk Becomes, Well, Cute: "Mohawks were once a signifier of aggression, a visually intimidating extension of the human backbone, or so Celtic warriors believed. They yanked out the hair along the sides of their heads to appear scary to the Romans, who thought they were barbaric. The Mohawk owes its very name to a hardy American Indian tribe who plucked their hair into a strip in times of war. But the battle is over."