a blog with cultural bulimia.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Last post from Belo Horizonte.
For now.

From flickr, originally uploaded by filipebr.

It rained in my computer last Sunday. It rains everyday in BH and I should know better than leave the windows open. Life is so much harder without easy access to the Internet...

If you did not get the hint from my previous posts, I´ve decided to go back to NY. As a matter of fact I´ll be there on Thursday night.

I feel excited and extremely anxious. And it shouldn´t be different.

Last time I packed and left Brazil, I was only 25. Of course this time is different: I won´t be illegal, I speak the language and I know some wonderful people that are giving me moral support. But I´m older. Less flexible. Not as strong, healthwise.

I´m excited and very anxious. And it couldn´t be otherwise.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Image by froodmat. In the background one of my favorite buildings in Belo Horizonte, designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

The difference between gay marriage and polygamy.

Open the door to gay marriage, [conservatives] warn, and group marriage will be next.
Great article from Slate: Don't Do Unto Others.
"Traditional marriage is defined as the union of (1) two people of (2) opposite gender," he observes. "If, as advocates of gay marriage insist, the gender requirement is nothing but prejudice, exclusion and an arbitrary denial of one's autonomous choices," then "on what grounds do they insist upon the traditional, arbitrary and exclusionary number of two?"

Here's the answer. The number isn't two. It's one. You commit to one person, and that person commits wholly to you. Second, the number isn't arbitrary. It's based on human nature. Specifically, on jealousy.
"Fidelity isn't natural, but jealousy is. Hence the one-spouse rule. One isn't the number of people you want to sleep with. It's the number of people you want your spouse to sleep with."
"Gays who seek to marry want the same thing. They're not looking for the right to sleep around. They already have that. It's called dating. A friend once explained to me why gay men have sex on the first date: Nobody says no. Your partner, being of the same sex, is as eager as you are to get it on. But he's also as eager as you are to get it on with somebody else. And if you really like him, you don't want that. You want him all to yourself. That's why marriage, not polygamy, is in your nature, and in our future."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Belo Horizonte's Grand Central.

Like at Bryant Park in NY, this is where they set up tents for shows during Fashion Week here.

Pic from Erika Palomino.


"I have to believe that I am beautiful because if I don't I will die. How I lived when I was convinced I was ugly: I starved myself, and fucking fucked as many people as possible- "This body is not going to last!"-but when I was fat again I was still doing it with anyone who was even vaguely interested because I thought I had to. I didn’t know I had the right to turn them down. It was my duty as an 'ugly' girl and I should be grateful for whatever I could get. All you had to do was ask me. It was like being a prostitute but I never made anything. I just wore myself down. With bad bad sex." Margaret Cho

Hello. I'm here.

"One of the most delicious things about the profoundly parasitical world of blogs is that you don't have to have anything much to say. Or you just have to have a little tiny thing to say. You just might want to say hello. I'm here. And by the way. On the other hand. Nevertheless. Did you see this? Whatever. A blog is sort of like an exhale. What you hope is that whatever you're saying is true for about as long as you're saying it. Even if it's not much." Nora Ephron

Thursday, March 23, 2006

More trees, Belo Horizonte.

Av. Bernardo Monteiro in Belo Horizonte. BH is known in Brazil as "the garden city" because of the amount of trees in its streets. BTW, why is Jersey called the garden state?

Spike Lee or Do The Right Thing.

"Interesting that when it came to choose and leave, that's the image you use to conclude your stay in BH"

"It's sad you didn't fix any roots here. And like, the picture, you are fractured..."

"its all about "ROOTS". where are yours? (I know)"

from the comments in my previous post.
Am I that simple?

Could it be that I just took a picture of a tree I see everyday and, for aesthetic reasons, decided to split it into 3 different pics, without any deeper meaning attached to it?

The fact is I have not set any deep roots here but making the decision to return to NY has been hard, because it involves hurting people I love.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

There is a tree in my street that I love.

Assorted stuff, where you can tell how bored I am...

Liza @ Larry King via fourfour: "Because this one-minute-37-second video is composed of 18 different clips, there's a lot of context raping. Her reactions and outbursts might not make sense, but don't worry -- they didn't really in the first place."

ART BUCHWALD is dying: "Ordinarily, people don't talk about death. Yet it's very much a part of our lives. I'm in a hospice and seem to have a lot of time to talk about it. My friends and I discuss what death is and where we're supposed to go after it happens."

A GUEST BLOGGER, and an Unwritten Law : "So was born Clooneygate".

STUDY finds evidence that talk shows make elderly people stupid...

HOW do dust bunnies form? (Am I eclectic or what?)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Brazilian region you've never heard of. Unless you read my blog.

"Minas Gerais, the Brazilian region you've never heard of, is the topic of an exhibition at the IDB Cultural Center. Though not far from Rio and São Paulo, the area is surrounded by mountains that helped incubate early strains of Portuguese baroque." WaPo
A Beautiful Horizon: The Arts of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Saturday, March 18, 2006

"I hated my life
but my father loved it."

Tombstone suggestion by Mr. DF.

Ambien made me do it.

"New Yorkers have been calling their doctors and nutritionists this week to see whether they should switch hypnotics, now that Minnesota researchers have suggested that Ambien may be creating a new form of ravenous sleeper cells, an alarming development given that some people had actually been taking Ambien to avoid the urge to stay up and raid the fridge."

Maureen Dowd

"But real life once more outstrips satire, as the military in Iraq conducts Ambien air assaults. The president and some Pentagon officials have no memory of authorizing the strikes, and the generals in Iraq have no memory that they've already used these tactics without lasting success."


“Would you say that you are a procrastinator?”

“Can I answer that one later?”


Love & Luck.

Heart of love, originally uploaded by Dappers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fooled you.

9 women are filing a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission because they were lead to believe that Clay Aiken was straight.

Singer wasn't straight with us, says a Clay Aiken former fan.

You are all loosers because:
a. you like CA's music.
b. you probably wanted to have sex with him.
c. you are upset because he is gay.

"It is obvious now that the private Clay is very different from the manufactured, packaged Clay that was marketed to us … This is tantamount to a manufacturer concealing information about a defective product."

Manufactured? An 'Amercan Idol'? No way...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Meat and flip-flops.

The basics, Rio de Janeiro.

The old question.

"Comments should be disabled 90% of the time."

"Most blogs allow comments. There’s no doubt about it; having comments enabled is likely to increase the popularity of your blog.

But that, in and of itself, is not a good justification. It assumes that popularity is desirable. The truth is that, when it comes to personal publishing, it’s not the amount of people who visit that count, it’s who those people are why they’re visiting that’s important.

Comments are a shortcut to a Pyrrhic victory of popularity at the cost of having your pages cluttered with pointless remarks (by pointless, I don’t just mean the negative stuff: “me too!” and “great post!” achieve as little as “you suck!”). If popularity is your aim, it’s better in the long run to claw your way towards that goal on the strength of your writing or design skills.

But comments can add value. They are particularly useful on sites that have a narrow, focused scope. The focused nature of the subject matter ensures that visitors share a common interest — otherwise, they wouldn’t be there.

The more general a site’s focus, the less chance there is of it receiving quality comments."
MARISA MONTE (my favorite female brazilian artist) is releasing not one but two (independent from each other: one samba and one pop) new albuns today, 5 years after her last release. Estadã

TEENAGE 'BUDDHA' MISSING: "A teenage boy in Nepal whose followers believe he is the reincarnation of Buddha is missing after 10 months of meditation. (He) has been sitting cross-legged and motionless with eyes closed in a niche among the roots of a tree in the jungle since May 17, 2005, according to his associates, who claim he has had no food or water during that period."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

You can see Copacabana...

...from Mr. Brazil's apartment, where we stayed in Rio.

Oh, but it is a joke. A sad one.

"This is isn't a joke or a parody commercial. It's just insane. Robinson is running for Congress in North Carolina and he uses the Twilight Zone theme to attack gays, judges, African Americans and just about anything or anyone else you can think of." Crooks and Liars

Friday, March 10, 2006

With Gaspar and Alex in Rio.

Unnecessary statement: I love and I miss NY. And I'm getting to the end of my rope - I can't sit in my apartment any longer and watch life go by. I'm scared but it's necessary.

Do you think it will be warmer by April already?

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Cantagalo, shanty town with some of the best views in the world. From up there you can see both Ipanema and Copacabana.

Rio is probably the most beautiful city in the world. Geographically. The city squeezes itself between rainforest covered mountains and gorgeous beaches. From a distance, it's breathtaking.

But, like a Monet painting, when you look closer things start to change. The poverty is overwhelming. The slums (favelas) perched on the mountains, are only picturesque from the safety provided by distance. There is a haven self-contained between the beach and about 3 blocks in: beautiful buildings and people. It's the sanitized, postal-card Rio.

In the meantime, life keeps hanging from the hills.

Dana Reeve.

Deaths in Reeve family shake us to the core: "Transcendent lesson? The word that occurred to me can't be reproduced here.

My feelings, of course, weren't really about Dana Reeve, or her son. They were about my need to believe against all the evidence to the contrary that life is fair."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Cagarras Islands.

The Cagarras Islands are an uninhabited archipelago located across from Ipanema Beach.

Bad good memories.

I've been having a lot of time to think about the past and the memories are troubling me: a few of them are too sad because they remind me of the bad parts of my past, but most of them are too sad because they remind me of the good parts.

Thinking about when things weren't so dull depresses me in a way that nothing else does.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Back from Rio.

Celebrating Jimmy's 40th birthday at Porcão.

Well, it took me a little longer than expected to leave Rio.

Carnaval was fun, perfect weather, good friends. I spent every day at the beach - I mean the whole day. We would stay until the night lights were turned on - and the place would still be crowded. Went to a couple of parties but mostly it was just 'laissez-faire'.

Spending quality time with friends from the U.S. - and having to answer to 'when are you going back?' more often than I care to - makes it very hard for me to justify delaying the inevitable.

They are back!

Brokeback Mountain in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

Tom Cruise on Oprah - As It Should've Been.

"VH1 posted a mash-up of Tom Cruise’s infamous appearance on ‘Oprah’ with her evisceration of James Frey."