Tag Archives: jesus mother of god i hate cats

Pastiche

1. My current apartment has a wall of windows and quite the view.

I happen to be living across the river from the Jockey Club these days, and it’s my fondest ambition to watch some horse races for free.  I just learned from my roommate that you can post bets online, and somehow that makes the whole situation just seem that much more chique.  As it is, I have seen no horse races, but I have witnessed many tiny little cars driving around the track–Lord knows why–and a village of tents being constructed.  The tents are for a music festival that will be happening next week: so the good news is that I will be taking in a concert by Garbage without paying anything.  Wins all around.  I’d still prefer a race though.

I also get quite a view of the local taxi, mall, and commuter train action.  My local grocery store is actually in the ground floor of a mall, which hasn’t yet ceased to blow my mind.  The mall also has multiple banks, a few salons, a movie theater, and a theater theater, as well as an Outback steakhouse and some other, actually reputable restaurants.  It’s like Little Worlds in there.

2. 

3. The other day as I was walking and looking around–something that I definitely don’t do enough, as I am usually concentrated on getting around the infuriating bunch of bejeaned (yep just made that one up) slow ladies in my way on the sidewalk, forchrissake–I realized that none of the buildings here have fire escapes.  Nowhere to sit at night in the winter with a glass of wine, nowhere to get into your apartment from if you forget your keys, and, now we’re getting to the point, no way to escape in an emergency.

São Paulo is the worst place to have an emergency of any type.  Somehow you can’t get anywhere in less than 40 minutes, even if it’s right next door.  When you are at the end of the last bit of rope, taxi drivers choose not to understand you that day, even though you know you’re saying everything correctly.  I walk down most of Rua Consolação to get to class twice a week, and rush hour traffic is just a given from 17h on.  I almost always see an ambulance stuck in traffic, siren plaintive, sort of an afterthought; cars don’t even try to move out of the way because there is nowhere to go.  I always wonder if there is a point in calling in a medical emergency between 5 and 8 pm if you’re in Centro or near the Marginal or far away or really anywhere at all.

I almost cut off a good chunk of my finger, and out of a profound lack of desire–call it an antidesire–to find a cab or get on the Metrô with blood gushing out of my finger, hand clutching a frozen beer can, and navigate a shitton of bureaucracy just to get a few stitches, I opted out and stayed on the couch.  I know I would have been waiting around for four hours or more before anything happened at the hospital.  Now I have what is shaping up to be an interesting parabolic scar.

If someone dies in an accident, the perícia will take six hours to get there, and they only come that fast because you know someone who knows someone.  I didn’t even see an ambulance, although logic tells me there was one at some point.

4. Here are some poems I’m enjoying these days.

5. And a song: 

6. And to top it all off, I have lost most or all desire to continue working at the place I’m working and doing the things I’m doing, but I haven’t lined up anything else yet.  Aaargh.  But that’s life yeah?

I have a few ideas and maybe a tentative option in another place and all I can think about is Getting Out of Dodge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and send productive thoughts my way, please, because I really need a swift kick in the ass as far as Applying Myself goes.  In caps because these things feel super theoretical to me right now.

I’m blaming it on the weather, which seems to also be having an identity crisis; summer is approaching, but it’s getting colder.  I, habitually associating October with chill and pumpkin and Bob Dylan, am incredibly confused by all this because theoretically I know that it’s supposed to be hot and humid but I am not-so-secretly longing for more sweater weather.  My more Brazilian side wonders if everyone isn’t in some sort of universal mild Astral Hell (everyone asks what your sign is here when you meet them), because it sure seems like it.

7. ‘Jesus mother of god i hate cats’ tag added to this post because it is and always will be true, and because I saw it just now and it made me smile.

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bullet points: free time edition

Kids, the title says it all, or most of it.

But friends, I had a really rotten day the other day.  I wanted to murder someone, or myself, because of a number of reasons (including the ever-present condition of not being able to find the damn colon on my keyboard, so pretend there’s a colon here) heat wave, lack of aircon, close living quarters, cats, having no control over my lunches (ie, rice and beans during a heat wave), the fact that Brasilian salad isn’t salad but rather old undressed lettuce and anemic tomatoes, the other fact that I was getting inquisitioned and side-eyed for taking second helpings of ‘salad’ instead of rice and beans at lunch.  Etc. etc. etc.  It was all too much for a girl to bear.

However, I don’t stay unhappy for long, and the heat wave brove, so I am back my usual jovial self.  Here’s some things that have been on my mind now that I am feeling less aggravated(COLON)

  • Found a Brasilian to listen to Television and watch L’Age d’Or with!  Didn’t expect that I would succeed in finding someone here with the same random tastes I have.  So–hooray.
  • The country’s obsession with panettone.  Granted, this is getting less pronounced the further away we get from Christmas, but it’s still baffling to me.  It’s a Christmas bread, but it’s really just everywhere around here.  Panettone, in all the grocery stores!  Panettone, in a themed subway shop of its very own!  Panettone, on all the tables and in all the kitchen of random people I visit!  Just when I thought that maybe I was making too much of a big deal about this, I sat back and started watching novela the other week.  One scene was in a kitchen.  PANETTONE ON THE KITCHEN TABLE!  Yes, Big Panettone has a firm stranglehold on Brasil–to the point where they are winning big product placement in Globo Novelas.  Or so I imagine.  I asked Ma why everyone liked panettone around here, and she seemed super nonplussed.  ‘Maybe because it’s really easy to make?’ she ventured.  But panettone is actually sort of a pain in the ass to make.  ‘Oh, then I don’t know.’  So…yeah.
  • I think some dude in a car called me rapaz the other day when I crossed the street, which sort of translates to ‘boy’ or ‘bro’ or something–but definitely masculine.  Then again, it could have been a figment of my imagination.  In other news, this other dude sat down next to me on a bench while I was waiting for the bus today coming home from work–I almost never get to just flop down because I’m always running to catch the bus so I was really looking forward to enjoying my time just staring around–and started, I don’t even know, hitting on me. His main objective was impaired by the vital fact that I could barely understand him, though.  He kept insisting I was Italian or something, and he was super inquisitive, so I just asked questions back.  ‘What?’  ‘What do you think?’  ‘Why Italian?’  But mainly I just gave him really confused and annoyed looks because I was tired and he was sitting really close and I had no interest in telling him anything.  He kept telling me to go somewhere across the street with him.  Nothing doing, dude.  I may look Italian (?) but I’m not stupid.
  • I have found heaven, and heaven is in Centro, past baixo Augusta coming from Paulista way, in Bar Estadao.  It’s called pernil, and it’s sort of a pig leg thing.  Do yourself a favor and look at the pictures of this food marvel.  The best news for me–and for everyone in the world, really–is that this place has been open for ages and also never closes.  So (hint hint) if you come and visit me, I will take you there, possibly multiple times.  Many thanks to my aforementioned Television-listening, surrealist-film-watching, Brasilian-author-recommending friend Gera for taking me there for the first time.  I wanted to take a picture of this pork (!)-farofa (!)-rice-potatoey goodness, but I was too busy eating.
  • On that note, I very well may (fingers crossed) be moving out this week to somewhere that’s not an hour away from work in good traffic.  Don’t get me wrong–an hour’s commute is actually a short commute here, and it’s not the worst.  I work in the evenings though, and so I have to leave before rush hour even starts, which results in a lot of wasted time in a lot of random cafes, waiting around for classes to start.  My hopefully future roommate is training to be a helicopter pilot and has an insanely smooth voice.  He’s a friend of my friend’s best friend, which is how these things work.
  • I’ve been trying to speak a lot more Portuguese with a lot more people.  This means…talking with random security guys at banks (key phrase Eu nao sou recepcionista! = I am not a receptionist!), getting to know the people who work in the reception of my building (key phrase Se Deus quiser = if God wills it), and basically bumbling around asking people to repeat things and smiling sheepishly.  People like Gera and my future roomie, who don’t really speak much English with me, are forcing me to get more agile with the language, and to pick up more slang.  My favorites are(COLON) sei la (which I’m not sure actually literally makes sense in Portuguese, but it means ‘I don’t know’), tipo (which means ‘type’–used like we use ‘like’), and negocio (which means ‘business,’ and people use it if they are searching for a word they don’t know or can’t remember).
  • This week in funny building names I bring you…Edificio Royal Place.
  • Lastly, I have a theory.  Allison, you’ll be thrilled.  Here goes.  The older Brasilian men get, the more they look like Jorge Ben Jor.  If anyone wanted to assassinate the great legend himself, I posit, it would be extremely difficult because, well, I have personally seen about a billion old men on the sidewalk who could work as his body double.  No joke.  Jorge Ben Jor at my bus stop, Jorge Ben Jor in a wheelchair chilling on Paulista, whatever.  It’s definitely JBJ, too–he has that just generic enough look.  You would never see a billion older men running around looking like Gilberto Gil, for example.  (See reference pictures.)  So anyway, that’s something I keep noticing around these parts.  The closer to God, the closer to Jorge Ben Jor.

Ma just said the words ‘cheeseburger with cheddar’ and now I have saudades.

You’ve been speaking a lot of Portuguese when…

  • you are typing a phrase and it comes out “connotations coloquial” instead of “colloquial connotations.”
  • you realise when your boss makes a comic aside about difficulties that Brasilians have learning English, that you, too, tend to erroneously say “polemic” when you mean “controversial.”

In other news, I have a few free days (read, one full day) in between now and when I start my job teaching English as a foreign language.  I still have to get my CPF and buy some professional clothes (because, contrary to whomever the hell inhabited my body when I packed to come here, flip flops and tank tops do not professional attire constitute) –> (and ohmigodyouguys, work clothes here are called roupas sociais, or “social clothes” hahahaaaaa).  So anyway, I have a few thoughts for the next bullet point roundup, but those will have to wait.

(P.S. The ‘jesus mother of god i hate cats’ tag will always be relevant. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.  And I hate dogs that act like cats and lick cats and then sit on my pillow WHYYYYYY.)

State of the MC, December 18 edition

Feathers in my cap:

  • Bar crawls in East Atlanta Village.
  • 3 am trips to the Majestic; omelets and grits.
  • Inheriting a multitude of Neil Young and James Taylor records.
  • My pachinko machine!
  • Reconnecting with old friends (also, high school reunion coming up!).
  • Videodrome
  • Having coffee with excellent people.
  • The excuse to speak Portuguese on the regular.
  • House parties at my house.
  • My alter ego, Chameleon (pronounced Cha-mah-lee-on), inspired by the crackhead who hit on me at Green’s Liquor at 11 am on a Saturday morning.  Hey baby, you be lookin’ real fine tonight if you know what ah’m sayin.
  • The guy at Hoa Binh who always tries to get me to buy 5 pounds of pork, plus duck and chicken, when I’m stopping in for my weekly char siu fix.

Black Eyes:

  • I hate cats.  I hate cats who open my door when I leave the house and chew up my digital camera.  I hate cats that eat my delicious char siu when I set down the takeout box to get up and get water.  I hate cats that come over and sit on my nice, clean blanket with the express purpose of scratching themselves and getting their nasty cat hair all over my possessions because they know I’m allergic.  I hate cats that chew on makeup brushes that I bought because the cat had ruined my makeup brush.
  • Yeah.
  • Not having enough time to see everyone I want to see.
  • Professors who don’t respond to your multiple requests for letters of recommendation even though they’d previously offered to write some.