Tuesday, October 25, 2005

being open about being lazy

So now that I am out in the open about how much I suck at blogging, I figure I will stop trying to be clever and sneaky and will just post the emails I write to friends/family as-is. No strings attached. A more honest, albeit half-assed blog. At least you'll know what's going on in my life. Here goes!

Hi all --

Apologies for my slackishness in writing group emails lately, but, ya know, merda happens. Sooooo since it's been like three years since I last wrote, I won't even attempt to update all of you on what I have done/seen/eaten lately, because I honestly can't remember. Life is such a whirlwind. Instead, I'll fill you in on some of the big things that have happened, IN CONVENiENT LIST FORMAT!!

1. I got a raise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now I am making enough to keep me out of favela range, but still not enough to pay for my sandal habit. regrettably, i have stopped shopping here altogether, not because I can't afford it (which I can't, duh), but because I absolutely hate it. See number 2, below.

2. I have developed Shopping Social Anxiety Disorder. you know those commercials for social anxiety disorder meds (anti-psychotics or whatever they are) that show some poor person paralyzed with fear and stress at the prospect of dealing with some basic social interaction? We all know the symptoms -- nausea, hot sweats, cold sweats, fingernail sensitivity. Well, i FINALLY understand what those people are going through because the malls here inspire in me an acute case social anxiety disorder. The problem is that in Brazil, all the salespeople work on commission and they mercilessly HARASS you, the shopper. It's not like in the US when you go into a department store and an overeager salesperson tries to sell you that waterproofing stuff for your shoes at the checkout --- NO. This is like, fullblown, all-or-nothing retail harassment. Here's how it goes -- you walk in to the store, and three girls immediately surround you. Even if you say you're just looking and avert your eyes, they trail you around the store, either wordlessly breathing down your neck or else offering sizes, colors, fabrics, etc., all of which are ugly and not what you want. Then, once you escape into the dressing room, they practically crawl under the door to see how you're doing, whilst plying you with piles of (unrequested) tackiness, usually t-shirts with nonsensical English phrases on them ("Be Princess -- Lover" or "Las Vegas Rock Down" or something equally inane). Oh it's awful, it stresses me out so much. Plus, there are stores (usually shoe and jewelry shops) where you aren't even allowed to get the merchandise yourself, you're forced to ask a salesperson to get it for you, even when the item you want to look at is cheap and ugly and not worth putting behind a protective glass barrier. ANYWAY, long story short, I hate shopping in Brazil, and I think I need to be heavily medicated to be able to do it without freaking out.

3. I have turned into a real clubber. Remember that movie club kids? yeah, me neither. Anyway, I have become really good at partying, my stamina is unbelievable. Coming home at 5 or 6 AM is now de rigeur (is that French?) for my weekends. I am very proud of myself, clearly. Plus, I have learned to steer clear of bad clubs like Lov.e that promote ear drum bleeding and only go for fun places with a reasonable Destiny's Child certainty. Oh and I made friends with this DJ who now emails me like every 13 hours to see how I am doing (ummmm), but maybe I can milk that somehow into him letting me into clubs for free. Or maybe I will just leave that alone.

4. Julia is coming down for 6 weeks!!!!!!!!!! so egg-citing I can't handle it. I already called the Che Lagahto and told them to reserve the tennis court and book us for a spa day WITH seaweed masks.

5. 'Rents are coming for Christmas. Yippee!

6. Guess that's about it. Work is same ol. Everything else is good. I am turning 23 in a few days, which is frightening.

beijos, Etefi

So that was my email. Not too much else to add. I suppose I could write about my weekend. Well let's see here. Friday was a thunderstorm so I stayed in and chatted with my parents on the phone. Saturday I bummed around during the day, and at night went to a club in Jardins called Nasty. And it wasn't just a clever name. At around 2 am when I realized my cute (absorbent) wedges were slowly soaking up a mixture of other people's beer, sweat and barf, I decided to call it a night and went home. Yucksters. Sunday I cooked, went grocery shopping, and went and saw the movie The Constant Gardner (o Jardineiro Fiel), with sad-eyed Ralph Fiennes. Wait, was it Ralph or the other one...? Which one was the Nazi in Schindler's list? There are two Fiennes, right? Anyway, this one was mournful with his sad eyes for the entire movie. The film was pretty good --- kinda long, kinda preachy, but I dug the beautiful Africa scenes and the plotline about evil pharmaceutical companies. I topped off my night with my normal dose of TV (Law and ORder SVU, Supernanny and Life as We Know It) and crosswords, and went to bed. My life is thrilling. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

day in the life

Oh man I am SOOOO bad at blogging. Part of it is laziness. Part of it is that all of the buttons are in Portuguese... "Salvar como rascunho," etc., and I am using that as an even lamer excuse. Sorry to disappoint. But let's be real... all this blog ever was was me cutting and pasting group emails that I wrote home to friends. My blog was a cheap impostor of a blog. But I will try to be better. Let's see, I can recap today, which was a Typically Brazilian day in the life...

7am: wake up. watch first 10 minutes of The Wonder Years (os anos increveis!!) on tv, which has become a cherished morning ritual
7:15 am: take a cab to the Academia Reebok...
7:30 am: lift weights (kinda), bike, look at the gente bonita barely breaking a sweat as they vigorously pose for each other in the mirrors
8:30 am: shower, fight for mirror space in the locker room
9:00 am: take cab to Petrobras offices of Sao Paulo, 30 min. away
9:05 am: hit up the Petrobras free cappuccino machine!! highlight of the day...
9:06 to 4 pm: do tedious work in Petrobras
4:oo to 4:25: wait for cab driver to show up... am disappointed that he actually looks mentally ill when he does finally appear, 25 minutes late, because it means i can't stay mad at him
5:00: arrive back at Clifford Chance to fill out forms to renew my visa
5:00 to 5:42: while waiting with dread for supervisor to give me work, do a little bit of blogging. ohhhh so bad. this is NOT going on my time sheet, by the way.

So yeah. that's that. Of course, life has generally been more exciting than that, especially on the weekends, but, you know, work is hell.

Ok, I think I have fulfilled my blogging obligation for the next month or so. Done and done!