Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10 Ways to Move Without it Ending in Divorce

As everyone in the world knows, I'm in the middle of a move. Let me share some of the pearls of wisdom that this move has bestowed upon me.

1. Allow for coping techniques. We are all different and need to cope in different ways. If that means that Mr. Rant needs to aimlessly roam around the only available 4 feet of floor space in circles for about 8 minutes in a moment of being totally lost, so be it.

2. Do not complain about someone's smell unless you've smelt yourself first.

3. If someone is in charge of a task, do not micromanage them. I have to say I'm pretty damn good at this one. Mr. Rant, on the other hand, is the micromanaging queen of the world. It's a part of his charm.

4. Have sex. I don't care if it is on a box. Someone should get laid during a time like this.

5. Remember that a possible zombie invasion is not a good excuse for keeping old crap that needs to be thrown out.

6. Less girliness ladies! Men can hardly handle it on a normal day. It's more than enough to push them over the edge in the midst of choas. Now if that was what you were going for, bring on the pink!

7. If someone is on the phone with a company, do not attempt to find out what is happening and/or start having your own imaginary conversation with the idiot the other person is talking to. I, for one, can not help but do this. I infuriate Mr. Rant as I am always wrong about what is happening on the other end and get way too riled up. What can I say, it's part of my charm.

8. Should someone have a mini meltdown, stay calm. This is normal with moves. Hell, I just had one this morning.

9. If you are the one who had the meltdown, apologize immediately if not sooner. Said it already but sorry Mr. Rant!

10. If all hell breaks lose, build a box fort and have a picnic. Humor can get you though just about anything.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

VLOG: Chaos Personified

Sorry for the lame low sound. You can hear it better with headphones. I need to get myself a new webcam... 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

They Took My Couch

Mommy and newborn napping on the couch

You all know I'm moving. I have been annoying you with the details for months now. This evening it really hit that life is moving forward and time is passing.

I gave my couch to my maid. I'm sure all of you are thinking "And?" The thing is that it was mine and Mr. Rant's first big purchase together, apart from the first apartment we bought.

That sofa supported us through many stages of life. It was the fabulously comfortable pull out my first American visitors slept on during my pregnancy with The Chatterbox. It stayed a pull out bed in our tiny living room for the first 3 months of The Chatterbox's life as we used it as our daytime bed/nighttime nursing spot.

We moved it with us to our new bigger place. It became the playroom couch. It's where The Menace laid as I played with the toddler version of The Chatterbox. It was my parent's bed, as well as anyone else who stayed here. And it managed to stay the same obnoxiously bright orange throughout chocolate milk spills, tent making, playing, movie watching, and guests.

Seeing it taken apart and leaving my place made me nostalgic. I felt myself saying goodbye to a piece of furniture that reminded me of the new adult Rachel, the new Mom Rachel, and the I hate this big freaking orange sofa Rachel.

I saw my skinny and hardly pregnant butt de-virginizing it upon it's arrival to our place. I can still remember the comfort of sitting on that sofa, over the old futon that it replaced, as my ass widened and my belly grew. It was where I was laying when my breast milk came it. I'm pretty sure there's still some in the cushions as I was a milk cow. It was the first important piece of furniture The Chatterbox peed all over as an infant, but definitely not the last.

Seeing it leave my place made me realize how far I have come from the girl that bought it. It's hard to say goodbye to her as I am quite fond of her sassy ways. And while I am looking forward to having a real "adult" apartment with planned and matching furniture, I look back fondly on the process of the first time furnishing a home. There is so much pride in your pieced together room, an appreciation we have a tendency of losing over time. Things just become things that can easily be thrown away. But when you are starting out and struggling to piece together a life you see the character behind the story of each item. I am going to miss that.

I will be following this with a ridiculous montage of photos of said couch in respect to our daily life. Enjoy:

Baby Chatterbox with his pet spoon and couch. Yes, he had a pet spoon. 

Playing hairdresser/dress up with Mommy in front of couch

Annoying napping Tio (uncle) with a friend as he napped on couch

The Menace chilling with Batman in a tent made on couch 

Do you have/had a piece of furniture that holds memories like this? If so, do tell! 

Funnies for Thanksgiving

Today is my favorite holiday in the states. I love me some Thanksgiving! Sadly I will not be celebrating this year because of the whole moving ordeal. But I have found some classic but still fun images for your enjoyment. Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grandmothers: The ambassadors of the World

Great Grandma Cleo Nice with her Great Grandson Chatterbox 

I just spoke with Mr. Rant's Grandmother. It's her birthday. 87 years young. We decided that she is much closer to 25 yrs old than 90.

The conversation reminded me of when I first moved here. I never felt weird attempting to talk to the Grandmothers, on either side. They know/knew zero English. Nothing. But they accepted me as one of their clan.

In all fairness, they were/are both used to taking in strays. Both have/had adopted many children and raised them as their own. It was common at the time. You have a sister, brother, or cousin of a sister or brother who not afford the newest and left them with these women to be raised well and with love.

My first visit to my husband's late Grandmother on his Mother's side was the most comforting thing for this new expat. I walked into her apartment, which smelled of home-cooked food, and she put her arms around me. Just that was enough. Whenever we were in the room together she had her little arm around my waist, as it had no hopes of reaching my shoulders. And she held me as if I was someone who had not been held by family, other than my husband, in a long time. You know what, I hadn't and it was exactly what I needed.

The Grandma on the Father's side declared to me that she is also my Grandmother. That, of course, came after thanking me for marrying her bachelor Grandson. It had been 5 years since his last relationship! Gasp! She was concerned that he would never settle down.

The funny thing was that I felt at home with them. They both, with all their sass, reminded me of my Grandmothers. They filled the hole, so surprisingly well, of my family. And surprisingly to me, the Queens of the family Monarchs made me feel so apart of a family that I wasn't sure would accept me.

To this day I look forward to family lunches just for this. Now I get to take my children, who quickly run around spastically like all children are known to do, and both women proclaim/proclaimed with pride "These boys feel at home here and they are!"

Two women from my husband's lineage gave this struggling expat a light in the dark at a time where I was afraid to be a woman, much less knowing how to be a wife. Their strength, stories, and ease with acceptance showed me a side to the chaotic Brazil that made me want to belong.

Not to mention the shock value of an 85 yr old telling you how important it is to give your husband sex when he wants to. Lion in the bedroom ladies!


Grandma Brings the Booty

Not that kind of booty people! That's my fabulous Mother you are thinking about! Anyway, not only is she playing Santa by hauling piles a crap to Brazil, she is also my guest post for the day. Read on and see where I get my sass from:


Heading for Rio for Christmas…Santa and his wife flying economy on American Airlines. I get two suitcases at 70 lbs each. Looking at the booty piled in the dining room I think I’m already screwed. I’ve been eyeing Santa’s suitcases…he can get all of his clothes in a carry-on. It’ll be hot…how much does he really need.

I have mad packing skills. I’ve hauled down a desktop computer, a Diaper Genie, Thanksgiving dinner minus the turkey, the entire toy aisle at Target, the candy section three aisles over, piles of little boy clothes and shoes, Bisquick, Campbells soup, A-1 sauce, shower heads, a million Zip Lock bags and a zillion disposable diapers…and a blow-up rubber ducky bath tub.

Ducky was the last item in the bag, smoothed out over the top of a box of Lego’s and a set of Tupperware, with his bill stuffed in a crevice on the side. I could hear him quacking as the suitcase rounded the corner on the conveyor belt. The TSA left me a note saying they had cut my TSA approved (they have a key) lock off and searched the suitcase…bet they were sorry. I think they took some of the peanut butter cups as compensation…

I have a growing list on the fridge and the doorbell just rang…UPS dropping off another box of must have toys and a few shirts Only Daughter found on line and had shipped here…I may have to pay for an extra suitcase.

Dear Mr. Rant…when you pick us up at the airport you may need an extra car….bring backup.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Apartment Has Perks!

We are so close to moving into our place that I can taste it! I went over to the new building today and randomly decided to video the common area so that you guys could see it. Check it out: 

See that guy at the end? He came back and started questioning me. He wanted to make sure I lived there, which would be hard to believe seeing that I got lost. All was worked out and he found this gringa speaking bumbling Portuguese innocent enough. That reminds me, I really need to start my life of crime... 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Have You Hugged Your Angry Translator Today?

Translations are not fun nor easy tasks. That goes doubly for anything official, scientific, or topic specific that even the well educated Brazilian specialist does not want to deal with.

When you order a translation the actual job you are paying for is for us to translate your words into functional words in English. I will tell you this though, regardless of what you are paying it just sometimes is kind of impossible.

As most foreigners living in another country could tell you, not everything translates. That sometimes includes the style in which people from other countries write.

Is it our fault if you sound like an ass in English? And do you really have to be upset if our language lacks the grammatically correct amount of verys that you so desperate want? I may be a translator but I'm no magician. I can not always make that ridiculously sentimental Portuguese sentence as sappy in English. English just isn't as, let me say this nicely, floral as Portuguese.

And before you get all pissed off because I had an autocorrect mistake, look at what I did do well. That paragraph that was a six line comma splice nightmare in hell was translated into 4 or  5 beautiful sentences. Do I get credit for that? Noooooo.

So before you sit and bitch out your translator because you knew you meant fastest when you wrote it in Portuguese, remember that we know how fastest is supposed to be used.

Secondly, if we do make an error be kind. We are not machines. We are merely the foreigners you hired to guarantee that you don't get a Google translated paper. As with any humans, we can even make errors in revision. Of course they will never compare to the errors of Google Translate. Way to go there Google!

Therefore I remind you, don't forget to hug your angry translator. We do better work that way. 

Feel the Heat? It's coming...

Summer is coming and I love our routine. Contrary to popular belief, it's as if the arrival of the heat lowers your blood pressure. You get calm, relaxed, and open to just hanging around.

With kiddos the heat means we start early. Today we arrived at the beach at 815am for Chatterbox to play beach soccer with... gasp... a Flamengo tot team.  We can turn a cheek to the team cheating as it is for the greater good of our son's enjoyment. At least that is what I tell Mr Rant.

It really is wonderful to arrive super early to the sun and the sand. You get to suck in the non-burning rays, enjoy the view, and burn off a little of the Monday morning funk. It also means that popsicles at 1030am seem like a damn good idea, don't even get me started on coconut water.

And after all the early morning play it is so natural to chill out at home during the peak heat hours. We all shower off the beach, I start the Brazilian lunch preparations, and the kiddos play (get this) quietly.

The heat of the afternoon slides by and then you are ready to bust another move come 3 or 4pm when Satan has returned to his lair and taken some of the heat with him.

The weekends, when we regain custody of Mr. Rant, are even better. They mean very long mornings at the beach, lunch out at a typical Carioca restaurant, and then some mellow play at home or at a friend's place.

I must say, I love the summer months in Rio de Janeiro. It's when Cariocas let their full colors shine, or maybe it just feels that way since everyone is so tan and have drunken at least 2 beers.

What's your favorite thing about summer?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hoarder's Anonymous

We are preparing for our move to the smaller apartment. I'm really excited about living there, just not about getting all our crap out of here.

So now I have a math equation for you:

If a woman has managed to fit 400 square meters of utter crap into a 130 square meter apartment, how does she then manage to pack and contain all that in an 80 square metered apartment?

The Answer:

Throw crap out! We are having a cleaning, hoarder's anonymous, purging of the home all week long. This will be the time where I will open the junk draw and actually be honest with myself. There will never be a moment where I will really wish that I had kept the finger flashlights or those broken crayons. I am not going to miss the wrinkled pizza restaurant slips nor is there an actual emotional attachment to the ticket stubs from some bad random movie.

This stuff is going into... gasp... the recycling bin.

Now don't get too scared for me. I have already sent a Tupperware, large enough to fit Mr. Rant, full of his crap to the in-law's house. As they were the ones to encourage his collecting of CDs and comic books, they can house them.

It's 80 some odd square meters of living space which means there is only about 20 left for actual stuff.

And this isn't the real challenge. The real challenge will be me keeping that little place organized and free of clutter. I'm going to be honest, I am horribly lazy when it comes to organizing crap. I just can't be bothered, and I'm even a Virgo. So stuff that in your face astrologers. I prefer living in organized chaos.

But in the best interest of my children, I am going to reform.

So here goes the first week of the rest of my life cleaning up and organizing my crap. Maybe you should be scared for me...

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Nail Polish on Boys: Acceptable?

I painted my 2 year old son's nails pink. Fingers and toes baby. The little man saw Mommy decorating her fingers in the bright color and wanted it for himself. What two year old doesn't like bright colors painted somewhere on their body? 

Of course I am living in a machismo country, and an especially machismo city. You don't paint boys' finger nails. You don't give your boys baby dolls. And you definitely clarify that pink is a girls' color... if you are not me. 

And while I was prepared for some comments, I didn't realize that EVERYONE in this city would notice his tiny nails. 

On our way home from the park, three street girls of about 12 years old stopped me to ask if I had anything I could give them. Since we had walked I really didn't and I told them sorry. We all chatted for a minute about how it is getting cold, I made a mental note to bring out a blanket to give the next time, and we went to enter our building. That's when I heard the:

"Tia?" It means Aunt and is a common way kids refer to unknown women here for some reason. 

I turned to listen and all the girls were giggling. The oldest asked "Did YOU paint his nails pink?!" I said yes I did and the Menace, hearing the conversation, turned to proudly show them his nails. "But he's a boy!" 

Apparently the machismo societal standards are enforced even by those that very society rejects. Go figure. 

Would you paint your toddler's son's nails if he asked?

Hot Brazilians for your Friday!

Excuse me Arthur Sales, did you need help with that itch...?  Arthur hails from Sao Paulo and was actually studying to be a lawyer when a friend convinced him to check out modeling. 

Yes Raica Oliveira, I usually sit around looking this hot in my underwear too. I swear! Interesting facts about this gorgeous woman: She is from Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro and was discovered by the same person who discovered Gisele Bundchen!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life Isn't Always Easy in Paradise

My life as an expat was the topic of conversation with numerous people today. While I realize I have a positive spin to the blog, I want to clarify something.

Being an expat is hard. While I may seem on top of it now, it would have been a very different blog if I had started writing my first few years.

I had many many days where I hated everything Brazilian. I could not imagine living here. I could never imagine actually having conversation in a language other than my own. I didn't know if it would ever be possible for me to understand the crazy way Brazilians think (and by crazy I mean different, or that is how I finally understand it to be.)

And most people will say things along the line of: You live in such a great place! It's so exotic! How could you complain?

Let me break it down for you. Have you tried to do the day to day annoying bullshit in a second language, not to mention in a bureaucratic maze that even Houdini would have a hard time getting himself out of?

I will never forget telling a friend I was jealous of her living in Spain. How amazing it must be to wake up there every day. She looked at me and said "You know, once you settle, regardless of where, it turns into daily life." Such true words that my little 20 yr old soul couldn't grasp.

The thing is that it is not easy to find your place anywhere. The complexities can seem insurmountable when you can't figure out which freaking sign means starting point.

As for me, I was the biggest and most horrible of the whiny baby expats in the world when I first got here. I can even prove it. At the end of my 3 week intensive Portuguese course at PUC the teacher broke us into groups and asked us to make skits about our fellow classmates. I was in one of the skits... whining and complaining. It was one of the most embarrassing and honest moments of my life. I sat there with the "Oh Shit that is SO me" look on my face. I was that girl.

I couldn't dig a hole and die there because, let's be honest, the cat was out of the bag. Time to either go home or make a change.

I'm happy I got it thrown in my face because I was being a big old baby. It forced me to take a painful look in the mirror. Time to suck it up. I had a choice, either I was going to let Rio de Janeiro bitch slap me around or I was going to stand up to the bully. Funny thing was that when I went to stand up I realized that I was the one I had to stand up to. Perspective is a bitch like that.

It was hard at first but I grew up with Rio de Janeiro. Now we are brothers from another Mother.

In the end it is your life and your choice. You don't ever have to be anywhere you don't want to be, and that doesn't necessarily mean moving. You can change where you are just by adjusting your head.

And now that I have fully made all of you throw up in your mouth a little bit with my corniness, I leave you with this note: Life can still be a bitch even when it's surrounded by caipirinhas and palm trees. I just decided one day to focus on the palms instead of the bitch while drinking the caipirinha. 

Morning Scare: Wordless Wednesday

A scarily little amount of coffee

This just may work....

A little weak and not the ideal amount for 4 adults. Thank goodness for the tiny Brazilian coffee cups

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Annual Argument

Mr. Rant and I have our annual argument today. It comes about at some kind of family lunch or event. It is always centered on our children and it is fully due to cultural differences.

I don't know why I let it get to me still. It really is just the culmination of a bunch of tiny little things over a lunch or a family weekend that seem to push me over the edge.

Take today for instance. My Mother-in-law was kind enough to take it upon herself to make my boys' plates at lunch. I have no idea why it rubbed me the wrong way because what she was doing was her being helpful. But I have just never warmed to the idea of my children equally belonging to everyone in the family. It annoyed me to see her automatically determining what they would eat and not at all consulting me. At the same time, we live here. She is with the boys all the time. It's not like their habits are a mystery to her. Just the same, I felt that burning annoyed feeling when she cut up pork on Chatterbox's plate, the exact meat I had just finished saying that I do not think is good to eat. Side note, I think pork (minus sausage because there's no real meat in it anyway) is a dirty meat. I do not purchase or serve it to my family.

So that was the first annoyance, and I'll admit that it was something I should be over by now as it has been the story of my life here. No one died. Chatterbox was happy eating it. Not a biggie...

Then the Menace decided he wanted to roam around the restaurant. I'm not too anal about this but I do expect my kid to finish eating before they start running amok. But today there was a little girl sitting behind us and the family thought it was adorable that the Menace wanted to talk to her. I was thoroughly annoyed because we are working on exactly this with the Menace, sitting down to eat and then getting up. I'm being a hardass as he has been being a pain in the ass.

Was this respected? Nope. And since I was already cranky I did actually put my foot down. I told them no, the Menace got a talking to, and he actually cried. I thought I was going to get stoned right there in the restaurant. Holy crap I held my almost 3 yr old accountable and he did not like it. How dare I! I obviously should have been like the woman with the 4 yr old girl who had to keep calling her back to the table to spoon a mouthful in before she ran off again.

The Menace and the family ended up winning that one as it had jumped into the impossible battle.
But I informed him, if you don't sit to eat you don't get ice cream afterward. He accepted that, played with the girl, and ran back to grab bits of food off his plate occasionally.

And it is just this that I find so frustrating. I know we are at a restaurant with the family but why because we are with them do I lose rule over my own children?! How is that? Of course I am the only one bothered by it as the Grandparents take control and my kids obviously choose the way which means they get to do whatever the hell they want.

Anyway, we finally left the restaurant and headed out for ice cream. The in-laws didn't think that I was going to stick with the rules. They actually called the Menace over to get ice cream. I didn't let it happen and the Menace accepted it. He saw Chatterbox with his and when he asked for some I asked him "Did we sit and eat our lunch?" He smiled, said no, and went on with his life.

That is just the thing, culturally Brazilians are not as rigid with their kids as some of us Americans are. Sleep routines, bedtimes, consequences, or standard rules are not part of the day. Just like the rest of life, in Rio de Janeiro at least, they just go with the flow. You know what, it works for them. I see parents spoon feeding  7 yr olds at restaurants or small children out until midnight during the week and everyone seems ok with it. I have Moms tell me that their children will only eat sausage and thus that is what they feed them, everyday. Fair enough. To each their own. They obviously didn't grow up in my home where I quickly learned what "putting your foot down" means.

But as someone who is so not like that, it drives me insane. I can be pretty damn flexible with my kids but I draw the line at running after them to eat. I can not stand listening to people trying to convince kids to please do something. No, you do it or you don't get to do this. If you are fine with that then great. If not, do what you are supposed to. There is room for discussion but not everything is a discussion. I'm sorry but I just don't have the time nor the energy for it.

And it drives me insane to feel like someone is undermining my parenting because they feel that they can handle it better, as if they are coming in to save the children and smooth things over. Back off dude. I am the Mother.

At the same time, it is never going to change. In Brazil the Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, close friends etc have a certain amount of authority with your kids. In some ways it is great, in others it is extremely annoying. The key though, it is not done maliciously. No one is trying to actually undermine me or anything like that. In their way they are helping. They are being involved as all good Brazilian family members are. I can totally appreciate the positive and helpful place it comes from. I know my in-laws and the rest of the family adore me and my kids. We are their family. Though sometimes the American in me wants to throw a stinking fit and cry.

Oh wait, I did that this afternoon. I guess you can check that off the to do list. ;)

Freaking cultural differences! Which ones have you experienced? 

Chorinho in Plaza General Glicerio

In true lazy holiday form, I have a video for you today. In all honesty, it's of one of my absolute favorite things in Rio de Janeiro. Every Saturday there is a farmers market in General Glicerio in Laranjeiras. At that market they have live Chorinho. It is awesome to do a little browsing, eat a wonderful pastel, and then have a cold beer (or caipirinha) and watch some classic Carioca  entertainment. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hot or Too Skinny?

Mr Rant and I were out and about when we saw an attractive woman. I went into full woman flattery, the kind that always makes men wonder if we women aren't truly bi instead of just appreciating the beauty of one of own, when he voiced his disagreement.


The woman was hot! She was thin, dressed well, very pretty face, and even had great hair. What was wrong? In Mr. Rant's opinion, she was too thin.

Here's the thing, she wasn't that thin. She wasn't even close to scary skinny. She was just, in fact, thin. Though to him she could have looked healthy. In actuality, she didn't look unhealthy. I didn't even have the urge to stuff a couple of pieces of bread down her throat nor make a bitchy comment about her diet (or lack there of).

It made me wonder...

While thinness is glorified in most 1st world countries, Brazil still has a healthy appreciation for a good sized ass, full legs and a softer stomach. I will never forget a similar discussion at Ipanema beach, circa 2003, during my first visit.

My brother-in-law and Mr. Rant were checking out this chick. She was hot but, as I pointed out, she had a soft stomach. There was a pooch. How could she be a 10 with a pooch? There answer still makes me smile: "it means she likes beer. That's a good thing."

I must say, I like this attitude. The first time I bitched to Mr. Rant about my cellulite he looked at me confused. "All women have cellulite."

Obviously that comment bit him in the ass but he followed it up in an ok way. He said something along the lines of: women are softer than men. They are supposed to be. All of you have cellulite, unless you are anal retentive with workout and diet, and who wants to be in a relationship with that girl?

He then followed it up with the required husband response of "You are hot! I love your ass." How can you be mad at that.

So while Brazilians, Cariocas especially, are known for their obsessive beauty, they also respect that women come in all shapes and sizes. As one Brazilian male friend said in response to hearing that a mutual friend was embarrassed about the fabulous size of her ass:

"I want to play her like a Cello!"

I must say, let's spread this kind of thinking around a bit more!

Do you have a preference when it comes to women or do you just love us all?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Colombian President Wants Cocaine Legalized?!

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has called for an international rethink of drug regulations. His line of thinking is fairly obvious in my point of view:

"take away the violent profit that comes with drug trafficking... If that means legalising, and the world thinks that's the solution, I will welcome it. I'm not against it."

Here's the thing though, he's also talking about drugs like cocaine. Let's be honest, if cocaine is legalized, the world will become Colombia's bitch. They will live in a world of "champagne wishes and white powered dreams" while the people of our countries end up paying absurd amounts of money to get their noses put back together.

I, for one, have always been for the legalization of marijuana. First off, while not being the big crash crop for dealers it would hurt them enough. Plus I believe that limiting contact between teenagers who want a couple of joints and dealers who could possibly suggest trying something more fun like E wouldn't be a bad idea. Hell, on top of it the government could make a pretty penny! Let every single government tax the crap out of it and make it the new cash crop.

I must also say that my favorite part of the article was this quote from President  Juan Manuel Santos:

"For example, I would never legalise very hard drugs like morphine or heroin because they are suicidal drugs. I might consider legalizing cocaine if there is a world consensus, because it has affected us most here in Colombia. I don't know what is more harmful, cocaine or marijuana. That's a health discussion. But again, only if there is a consensus."

You don't know which is more harmful, cocaine or marijuana? Really?

I think Mr. President is seeing the potential of that white powder of his turning into gold. I hate to say it but I will be buying an island to live on if Cocaine becomes legal. That shit is hardcore. There will be some definite backlashes of violence if it becomes easier to buy. Sorry but some things are meant to be overpriced and sold in tiny little baggies like in the movies.

Weed however, the more you do the more docile you become. It's like making a cigarette form of Valium available to the public.

I suppose it is a debate of the big brother. Does big brother get to decided everything, somethings, or nothing? All and all I'd have to say I side with the Dutch. Soft drugs are kosher if controlled in a good manner and hard drugs a no no.

A suggestion to you President  Juan Manuel Santos, don't push your luck. You'll be lucky to get the majority of 1st world countries in favor of weed. There's no chance in hell for your cocaine. Pick your battles. Don't worry though, I'm sure all the big players from around the world will keep buying it from you anyway.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cow Art in Rio de Janeiro

Once again Rio de Janiero has been taken over by cows. No this is not a comment toward the growing prevalence of obesity in Brazil. There literally are cows all over the city.

Now I'm just as big of a fan of seeing this cow art as the rest of you. Who doesn't find fiberglass cow figures enjoyable, especially when decorated in way that is representational of your city? The thing that I find so curious is how this cow phenomenon started in the first place.

A little history: the concept of the "cow parade" started in Zürich, Switzerland by artistic director Walter Knapp. Of course Knapp used Lions instead of cows, making it more of a large pussy parade but potato potato.

Peter Hanig was the one to bring this art to the US. Maybe he was being backed by beef corporations or something but he went with the cow. Personally, I find it a better choice. The cow suits the US.

As for Brazil, I think they could have done something more Brazilian. What about large roosters? I see those little bastards all over the place. It had actually inspired me, at one point, to dream about buying a gun to shoot the gang of them that lived on the hill behind my apartment.

They could also have done the Mico Monkey (a small monkey extremely common in Rio de Janeiro). Obviously it lacks the impressive size of a cow but they could make up for it with clever placement. It could almost be a Where's Waldo of Rio but with fiberglass monkeys! Of course needing to search for them would negate the entire point of this project in the first place.

So cows it is.

I would, however, like to congratulate the artists. Good work there! The cows I have seen have been both impressive and entertaining. There is nothing my boys like more than to see a mythical creature  sitting in front of our neighborhood gas station. By the way, my children are cities boys. Their interaction with wildlife comes in the form of calling a cab.

On a side note: I am totally buying these special edition cowavaianas

So what do you think of the cow parade project?

Thanks to Jim for the post idea! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pothead Students Protest

So 3 kids were caught smoking weed on campus at USP (University of Sao Paulo). The cop on duty arrested them.

Apparently a group of their friends staged a sit-in until they were released. From what I hear the sit-in group was kicked out yesterday.

Seriously? Seriously?! If a couple of my friends were caught smoking weed on campus I would swing by the prison, take a picture, and post it on Facebook making fun of them for being stupid.

Oh Brazilian students, if you want to be taken seriously don't protest the arrest of dumbass friends who decide to use illegal substances on the campus of a public university (or any university for that matter), especially when there are officers patrolling.

Go to school and learn and then get baked at home like all the semi-intelligent stoners!

For more info check out this article:

My Day at the Beach: Wordless Wednesday

Mr. and Mrs. Rant


 Showers on the beach are fun

 And so are buckets

 Mr. Rant finally gets to relax

 As do the kids

City beach

Our posse

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Social Media Friendships: No Nudity Required

My stalker proof picture

Who says you can't make real friends on social media? Is it you over there? Or you? Well I am here to tell you that you are all full of crap. I have made a real deal friend using solely social media and she didn't even ask me to send naked photos!

Before we start this debate I am going to ask you what a friend is to you? Well I'm pretty easy. My friendship can be bought by way of Mexican spice packets. Ok, not just that. We would ideally enjoy each other's company (virutally or not), be able to banter and actually carry on a conversation (yes under 140 characters can count as a conversation), have my back (as I do yours), and send me Mexican spice packets.

So here's how it played out. I came home after an EXTREMELY long day of motherhood, work, and general life to a package. A package? Really...  It was a small nicely wrapped box and my heart sang out. It had to be from Stay at Home Babe

Someone does not go light on the tape

No that is not her actual name and yes I do know it. Not only did I not have to send her naked pictures, I also know her name. Sorry but I had to earn that information and so do you. 

Anyway, I was bitching on Twitter, as it is a hobby of mine, about running out of Mexican food spice packets that I use to make my wannabe Mexican food here in Brazil. It was the cry that was heard around Twitter and Stay at Home Babe (@stayathomebabe) came to my rescue.

This fine lady, a fellow American with a strong love of all things spicy, sent me spice packets from England! By the way Old El Paso, if she can find these pockets of fajita gold there why in the hell don't you sell them here?!

As I slowly pulled out the packets imagining all the yummy spicy goodness in my future I found another surprise. A token if you will. An awesome gift just for me! The perfect thing to go with my new apartment and something that actually made me get all sentimental.

It was this key chain:

Wow, someone practically on the other side of the world did all this just for me, just to make me happy. She went out of her way to pick something up that I was homesick for. On top of that she gave me something that I will make me smile every single time I see it on my keys. Something that will remind me that I am lucky enough to call such a sweet person a friend.

Thank you Stay at Home Babe! You are the best 21st century pen pal. I really hope to meet you in person one day. (Please note that I meant that in the least stalkerish way possible)

Best Goals of 1982!

Mr. Rant was totally into this youtube video of the top 11 goals of Brazil's 1982 team. I'm not going to pretend to even know what that team was about because I was 2 years old at the time. But enjoy!!

Pretty Damn impressive though! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How To Beach Like a Carioca

My Little Carioca cooling off with an ice cream

Summer is approaching here in Rio de Janeiro and I am going to tell all you non-Cariocas how to do the Rio de Janeiro beach the right way. Don't worry, follow my 10 easy steps and you'll blend right in... kind of.

1. Be Non-Committal when initially approached by the guys working at the barracas (tents) on the beach. Play it cool. Find where you want to sit and then get your chair. That will save you the unwanted drama of territories and tents. Trust me, even I fall into this one occasionally.

2. No Towels! Actually this should be no towels and buy at least one Brazilian canga BEFORE getting to the beach. You can buy this sheet like items all over the place. That way you don't scream "I'm a Gringo with hotel towels please overcharge me." Of course they are going to overcharge you anyway but at least it will be reasonably. Also the cangas do not collect sand like towels. Trust me.

3. SUNSCREEN! Cariocas use sunscreen, at least some degree of it. I was taught by Mr. Rants family to put sunscreen on before I left the apartment. Of course they all put it on there but let's just say that my skin is a tad bit more likely to burn...

4. Early Morning or Late afternoon. If you are not a seasoned beach goer with a strong tan and religious sunscreen use, do not try to sit in the sun at noon during Rio de Janeiro's summer. It's not going to turn out well. If you are there take advantage of the cheap sun umbrellas rented by the barracas. Hide out until the peak passes. My Mother-in-law used to send me under the umbrella around 1130am, kind of like a sun time out. I will thank her for it when I don't get skin cancer.

5. Remember Raccoon Eyes. We all look good in sunglasses but not when it still looks like we are wearing them when we take them off. Sunscreen, hat, and remove them at some point to even out your tan.

6. Beach food: Don't eat the shrimp. They look pretty but they have been cruising around in the sun for hours. Go for something a little safer like an esfiha, biscuito globos, or a hot dog.

7. Pick up your trash! It's our beach so please take care of it. There are trash cans by the guys renting chairs. There's no reason why everyone can't put their trash in a baggie and throw it away in a trash can on their way out. While you are at it please tell a Carioca. They are horrible at keeping their own beaches clean!

8. Buy a bikini in Rio de Janeiro. I don't care about your size or shape, you will only stick out if you wear one of those saggie butt British or American bikinis. Do yourself a favor and suck up your pride. Buy the bikini! Trust me, the moment you get to the beach you will realize you actually blend in more and your butt looks 300 times better! And you curvy girls please remember that Brazilian LOVE that! Show it off!

9. Be careful going into the ocean. Cariocas make swimming in the rough Rio de Janeiro waters look easy. It isn't. This goes double when you are kind of drunk off of Brazilian beer and have to pee. Don't let the urgency make you do something stupid. Nobody wants to be that guy that has to be rescued by the helicopter with ocean basket.

10. Have fun! Cariocas have a saying: There's nothing a good day at the beach can't cure. It's true! They know how to do the beach in Rio de Janeiro and if you have a chance to go with some natives please do! 

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Sleepover

Nothing shows you the difference in parenting other people have like keeping their children for a sleepover.

This weekend we have been the lucky keepers of Little Princess. Little Princess comes from a co-sleeping household. The only co-sleeping my kids get at this point is that period of time between them sneaking into my bed and the first time they kick me in their sleep.

I set up a bed in my boys' room. All three kids sleeping in one room means there was no way she could  get lonely, right? Wrong.

The first "Rachel!" in the middle of the night was greeted with immediate cuddles until she fell back into Little Princess dreamland.

The second "Rachel!" was met with confusion as just 20 minutes before I had soothed her to sleep with my mad parenting skills.

A third and forth Rachel...

The fifth one was met with my normal middle of the night Mommy. "What do you need sweetie?"

She turned to me and said "Rachel, I just can't do this. I can't sleep this long. I have been sleeping forever."

It was 3am. There was far too much sanity and 4 yr old logic coming at me for that early in the morning.

I gave in and laid with her on the twin mattress, again, but this time to stay. She let out the cutest little sigh, patted my arm and went to sleep.

The force is strong in that one.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post on All Things Fadra's page.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.