Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 de Decembre

This week has been kind of a slow week. Christmas was a lot for me with Toni's family here for 3 days straight and then going to Mesquita the next day. I am not really learning to much Portuguese since I am not currently taking classes and I have been surrounded by Portuguese people. I am dying to speak english with someone. I haven't even had much of a chance to watch my american shows. We went shopping yesterday. Toni bought white shirts for me and him to wear to Revellon.

Last night Buyu ( real name is Andru, Toni's nephew, and I guess my nephew now ) came. He is staying with us for the holidays. Marcello and Marco arrive today. Last night I played PS3 with Buyu for 2 hours. We played Dead Space. Toni cleaned and made dinner. We had cows legs. It is better then is sounds. We also had rice and beans, of course. We then watched some of Ven Dancer. I forget the title in English but it is Antonia Banderas teaching dance to inner city youth. We went to bed realativly early.

When I woke up today it was raining which is not good for a huge beach party. First it rained for gay pride and now this! The interenet calls for rain tonight ( at a 60% chance ) so we will see. Tomorrow we are suppose to all go to Mesquita for a Churrasco. We will just have to wait to see for that too.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After...

Well Christmas is over. Me and Toni drank to much vodka last night while playing Uno with the kids. Me and Toni got into a little bit of a fight. Three days with two families and two dogs and a lot of drinking has taken a slight tole on my nerves. This morning the two families packed up there things and left. I know Toni was happy to spend the time with them.

His friends Helena has started therapy for her stomach cancer. He usually spends the holidays at her house. Unfortunately some money hungry Drivers ( motoristas ) have been hanging around her hoping to get some money. This has also driven a wedge between Helena and her daughter. Since she has been sick she has also gotten stranger so Toni is spending less time with her.

Today the weather is in the 90s. We both are tired and a little hung over so we are staying in. I talked to my friend Yeidy in New York. There it is freezing cold. Pretty soon 2009 will be at an end.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Natal











Well this is been my first Christmas in Rio. On the 23rd Toni's' brother came with his wife and three kids. The wife immediately started cooking with Toni. We had gone to the supermarket in the morning and bought a lot of food again. I tried to entertain the kids with Uno, a chess set and my Nintendo DS. Out of the three kids two are teenagers so they are easy to hang out with. The other brother is younger and more of a pest. He is two young for the games but wants to play so it is a little difficult. Me and Toni started drinking beer the first day but for Christmas eve switched to whiskey. Me and the kids still had to go to the supermarket a few times for assorted things. The supermarket on the day before Christmas was a mad house.

On Christmas eve Toni's' other brother visited with his wife and child. We had a big dinner with a turkey and a chicken. There was a lot of music and dancing. Feliz Natal to everybody!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost Christmas.







Yesterday was windy so we couldn't go to the beach. Instead we went to the pool for a couple hours. In the evening we went to the sambadomo ( the samba stadium ) to see the samba schools practise. Toni says that they will practise their parade every weekend until Carnival. All the people aren't there because a lot of foreigners come the week before and march in it. There are no costumes but everyone is wearing the T-shirts of their schools. There is a pretty full percussion section playing the schools samba. There are a few people in costume, but not many. There are a few trucks that drive where the floats will be. Even though it is only a rehearsal the grandstands are still full on spectators. I was standing along the parade route on the ground. I managed to get a water mug from Beija-flor. They also gave away programs with lyrics to all the new songs. Outside the grandstand was the usual stalls of beer sellers, hot dog vendors and churrasco vendors. I got the sausage I like and Toni got steak on a stick.
The next day was pretty warm so I made Toni take me to the beach. We haven't been in a couple weeks. The water was cold but enjoyable. We got seats with an umbrella. We also had about three beers each. Around 5pm we went to the Roxy theater to see Avator. If you ever go to Copacabana and want to see a movie the Roxy is a good choice. It is a historic building. It only has three screens but they are pretty good sized. You choose the seats you want when you buy the tickets. I got us two large cokes and popcorn ( Pipoca ) for 15 Reis. The movie was really good. The special effects were amazing. I could appreciate the theme of a man coming to a strange planet and falling in love with the indigenous people. After the movie we went Christmas shopping. The other day we had gone to a grocery store and bought a lot of the food we need. This time we went to some stores ( Lojas ) to buy presents. We went to Citycool to get some clothes for Toni's brothers family. He has some younger nephews and neices so we went to Loja Americana and got some toys ( Brincados ). We also got some other last minute things. What would Christmas be without a CD of Samba Christmas carols?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Supermarcado

Toni decided I should make lunch today. I went to the grocery store in the morning. There are some amusing differences. There is a little less choices in the USA. They do not have fresh milk at all....it's all boxes of Parmalat or powder. Forget Hamburger helper or macaroni and cheese. They don't eat baked beans. They don't have many items for foreign foods. There is no Mexican foods. They don't have peanut butter ( I did find some in Mundo Verde..which means Green World and they sell teas, candles, incense..that kind of thing ) They have a lot of good meat but a lot of it is loose...you pick out what you want and have it weighed. The same with fruit. The collection of fruits is really good and fruit juices. It is a little hard to find orange juice...it is more pineapple, passion fruit and peach. They have a lot of fresh cold cuts. They sell alcohol which is nice. I know they do in some parts of the USA but not all.

I bought pork chops as well as pasta. I also got two bags of other assorted things we needed. When I got home Toni was making rice with beans. I made my things we had lunch around 2pm. Afterwords Toni went back to work with Marcelo and there client. It is Friday so I am not sure what we are doing this weekend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leblon











Today Toni had to work in Leblon and since I have never gone I decided to tag along. Marcelo showed up for breakfast. We had the normal. Eggs with a traditional Portuguese roll. Marcelo had bought a bread with ham and a soft cheese inside. We had coffee and peach juice. We took the taxi to Leblon. It isn't two far from our house. It is just south of Ipanema. It is on the far side of the lake that we drive around when we leave the tunnel. If you look at a map Ipaneman and Leblon both stretch along the beach from two different rock cropping. Behind them is the lake. The neighborhood surrounding the lake is called Lagoa ( which means lake ) On the the southwest side of the lake you can see the mountains of Cordova with the Christ statue on top. On the northwest is two more mountains. To get to Rio Compride you have to take two tunnels through two mountains.
Lagoa is a small neighborhood but very cute. It is very much like Ipanema. It is much smaller then Copacabana and cleaner too. It is a lot more residential and less touristy. The beach is the same though. I went two Lagoa Shopping which was a pretty modern mall. It was four stories. It had a movie theater. It had a pretty good food court. I walked around the neighborhood. I felt safe even though like every part of Rio you have to keep alert. I mailed my Christmas cards.
I met Toni and Marcelo after four hours. We did some errands ( went to the bank and went to the Loteria, or lottery, where strangely enough you can pay your bills ) We went to a restaurant and had a very Brazilian lunch. Fried pork, french fries and rice and beans with Chope ( draft beer ). We took another taxi home. Toni was tired. I watched TV and had a caparinha.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last week

Last week was a slow week. Toni worked most of the time. It also rained a lot. I spent most of the week home with the dogs. Kakao has had an eye infection. About four months ago she had trouble with her liver and almost died. Unfortunately she went blind in one eye. Because she doesn't blink or close her eye she is prone to infections. Monday we took her to the veterinarian. It was a small office off the Plaza de Rio Comprido. The doctor prescribed two different pills and three different eye drops. She only gets the pills once a day but the eye drops are given every four hours. I was hoping it would go away but it has been a week now. Her eye has swelled and it needs to be cleaned out daily.

Saturday we took the car and visited Tonis' father and his family. There was also another relative and his family. We had churrasco. Me and Toni also picked up three six packs. When we got there we started drinking of course. You probably think I am an alcoholic by now but when you are in a situation where you are the only American surrounded by foreign speaking people a little alcohol does not hurt. We drank a lot. Of course Toni took over the stereo and we listen to a lot of Vanessa de Mata. I went to bed before Toni and took a sleeping pill and an Aspirin. I was sharing a large bed with my Tonis nephew. It was a little hot because the town they live in his pretty far from the ocean. In land it is pretty warm.

We woke up late the next morning and drove back. The dogs were of course pretty upset that we left them alone all night. Toni had to go to Copacabana to do Helenias' hair. I was tired and stayed home. His two hours of work turned into all day. Rita Ribera called and wanted her make up done that night. I had nothing to eat so in the late afternoon I walked to the super marked in the plaza. During the week the plaza is pretty busy but on Sunday it is pretty dead. The supermarket was closing so I just grabbed some hot dogs ( Cachorros quente ) and bread ( pao ) for breakfast. I also got some soda ( Refrigerente ) and Ice cream ( Servete ). I got strawberry ( Morango ) because Toni is alergic to choclate. I got home and started ate. The I took the dogs for a walk because they were going crazy. When Toni got home we ate again. He had bought some things for the house. I watched The Mentaslist and Gossip girl on Warner Chanel. Afterwords Toni wanted to watch Flightplane ( Plano de Voo ) on Globo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Desfile de gays no Mesquita.











Sunday we were attending the first annual gay pride parade in Mesquita. We got up around noon and got everything ready. Since Toni was definitely drinking we were driving and taking the dogs with us. That way we could spent the night at Marcelos and Marcos house. We got there and no one was there to let us in. Toni jumped over the gate. The house itself was open. In Rio most all building have a gate of some kind guarding the building from the street. In Mesquita most houses had a court yard in the front that is protected by a wall. Marco did finally come when we were about to leave. There was a big party for the local soccer team in the town square. Everywhere people were dressed in Flamengo colors of red and black. All the bars were filled with guys drinking beer watching the game. We met everyone and started drinking beers. After a little over an hour Toni had to go to the bathroom so we walked back home. We also were hungry we had some rice and beans. The parade was starting soon and it was going right down Marcelo's street. We all walked down about seven blocks to where it was starting. The parade was basically four really big trucks with a lot of drag queens and go go boys. We continued drinking. The parade started and we walked down the street with everyone. The parade stopped outside of Marcelos house where there was a big stage. Everyone was drinking and eating Churrasco. I started with a sausage on a stick and then also had chicken and steak. We walked through the crowds several time. It was actually like gay pride anywhere in the world. Drag queens, guys with out shirts and Madonna and Brittany playing. There was lots of venders selling beer which is different then dry New York. Me and Toni ended up passing out around 4am. The next morning I had a pretty bad headache. Marco gave me some medicine and I finally felt better. Since we had the car we decided to go to the Supermarcado before we went home. Marco came with us. We got a cart full of food. Plus two bottle of wine, vodka and a bottle of casacha to make Caparinhas. We then loaded up the car and left.

Sabado na boda







Saturday we woke up late again. We had to rush to get over to Helena's house. Toni was doing the make-up for Heleni ( Heleni is Helena's granddaughter and is also named Helena so Heleni is a nickname so we don't get confused. ) A couple that work for Helena were getting married and had kindly invited us to the wedding. The only bad thing was that is was being held an our outside of Rio. Thus Toni was driving the four of us. We got there and Toni started on her hair. I don't think she loved it because she was screaming in Portuguese at her. He but it up and curled it. She said she looked like Amy whinehouse. I would not go that far.
The place was not easy to find. It took Toni four or five calls and we had to ask directions from people on the street until we found it. The place was not to bad. It had a patio and trees with lights. We had not eaten so I was starving. After waiting an hour they served baskets of Salgados. Salgados is the generic work for salty snacks. In this case it was empadas, ( small round empanadas ) cheese balls, shrimp balls and a breaded cheese banana snack. There was also a lot of people serving pitchers of different sodas. I found out the couple were strict Christians. This was my first Brazilian party were the place wasn't filled with beer. The snacks were great except they served us like 8 more baskets. There was also a table of chocolates, three tortes and of course a huge wedding cake.
The place filled up with people. They had a orchestra of high school kids who started playing. Heleni was a bride grooms so she left to walk in with her date. We took pictures as the bride came in and then sat down. The bride and groom were at a gazebo in the back area. There wasn't room for everyone so I sat at the table. The micro-phone went in and out so I didn't get the whole sermon but he seemed to like to yell. When it was done we took photos. At his wedding everyone got to take a photo of the bride and groom. Me and Heleni got chocolates. Toni was ready to leave so we didn't wait for them to cut the cakes.

When we got home Toni was starving. We went to the sushi restaurant by Lagoa lake that we had been to several times with Helena. In fact, when we got there Helena was there with her friends the motoristas ( drivers...they drive cars for a living.) We had two draft beers with them and then they left. Me and Toni stayed and ordered a steak with a fried egg on top. It also came with rice and french fries. Jean Willis called while we were eating and wanted us to meet him in Lapa. Lapa is the neighborhood close to Centro, or downtown. It is famous for the arches that carry a train at the top that goes from Centro to the other neighborhood Santa Teresa. We went to this gay club called Estrella club ( star club ). When we arrived the street was filled with young cute guys smoking. We had to pay 50 reias to get in, but then it was all you could drink soda and beer. The club had three floors. The first floor had TV's playing videos. The second floor had Karaoke and the top floor was the dance floor. We drank beer until Jean came. Then we went upstairs. I was already tired from the long day so I was getting pretty tired. I was also getting pretty drunk. We stayed for a little over an hour. We went upstairs and danced a bit. The Jean and Toni sang a song each in the Karaoke floor. We Finaly left for home around 4am.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chuvia no sexta ( Rain on Friday )

Last night our friend Luecia came over. We open wine and put on a Brazilian video of samba and bassa nova singers. Toni made sliced sausages and cheese for a snack. I don't know how long we stayed up but there was 4 empty wine bottles and we went through 4 videos ...the last one being of last years carnival. Toni call Luecia a taxi.
Friday Toni got up before me and got ready for his client. She arrived with Marcelo while I was still in bed. Around 11 I got up and made breakfast for myself. It was raining. No beach or pool for me. The dogs were also unhappy because there was no walk outside today. Toni went to Copacabana to do Apracidas hair. He also had a English test. Afterwords he was doing dreds for this singer, Dylon Filipe. It was a pretty slow day for me. I watched some tv and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing Playstation 3. Chris, and old friend from NY but who is married in lives in Germany, called in the afternoon. It was nice to talk to him. It was very nice to speak English again. Afterwords I studied Portuguese. I really need to sell my apartment so I have money to get a tutor.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Decembre

Monday Toni had a client in Barra de Tijuca. I had never been so I went with him. Barra has a great beach but I get bored in the beach alone. Since Barra has one of the biggest malls in South America I went there. It was a huge two floor mall. I felt like I was in North America. I had lunch at McDonald's ( I have not had fast food in two months!) I found a great store for Cd's, movies and video games. I spent over five hours there so I now know the mall quite well. When Toni got off work he came and met me. We had three beers and then had dinner at an Italian restaurant. They have a great modern cinema with 18 screens. We saw a Trilha ( which means the past, but i think the movie is called the getaway in English. ) The movie was just OK but it is nice to have a date night. After works we took a taxi back which cost around 4o reais.

Tuesday me and Toni went to Copacabana. Toni did not have to work. Since I finally had a cpf number he wanted to go to the bank to arrange our joint account. He wanted to just add me to his account. They had told us that with a cpf and a passport it would not be a problem. When we got there we found out that I could only be added if I was a citizen. It makes perfect sense that to be a citizen they want me to live here for a year and have a joint account with Toni, but then non of the banks will give me an account. We went to HSBC which is where I have an account. Since my account is in the US if does not help me open an account in Brasil. They said to contact my branch in New York and have them contact Brasil. This sounds like a huge run around to me. Toni was a little depressed after that. We though it would be simple but like everything else it is not. Toni talked on the phone at the beach and I went into the water. Today the water was dirty. Not only was there some trash but the water was green with kelp. We also drank some beers. Down the cityscape by Ipanema I noticed black billowing smoke. The man that sold us beers said that there are a lot of banditos ( thieves )in copacabana today and that we should be careful. We went home. We cleaned the house a little and drank Whiskey and red bull. Amy Whinehouse came over for a little bit.

The next day Toni had to work early in Ipanema. I went online, walked the dogs and cleaned the house. When Toni came home for lunch he told me that yesterday the smoke was from a bus burning. The drug lords in the two favelas in Copacabana were angry about the police presence in their neighborhood so they had some kid run on an empty bus and leave a bomb. Now there are police all over Copacabana. Me and Toni went to the pool for about an hour. It was a little obnoxious because there was like nine kids from the neighborhood splashing and screaming. Afterwords we went upstairs and I helped Toni study. He has an English test on Friday.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sabado e Domingo

Saturday we woke up late. I helped Toni study for his english test that afternoon. I ended up studing with him for 2 or 3 hours. Amy whinehouse called and invited us to his boyfriends birthday party. It was a churrasco on a roof top in Copacabana. We ended up rushing to take the dogs out and finding a cab. He took me to the party because it was only a couple blocks to his school. I sat with Amy and her friends. Her friends were nice but kind of the old gay troll set. One of the guys, julian, did speak english. His friend spoke broken english. They both kind of flirted with me as the night went on. I am married and they were pretty unattractive so it was a little uncomfortable. A lot of beer either made the situation better or worse. Tonis' class is three hours so I was pretty drunk by the time he came. I did find out that Amys' boyfriend actualy is not his boyfriend and in fact likes girls. It seems the whole relationship is in Amys' mind. Around midnight the party moved to the beach. There was a lot of beer so me and Toni grabbed two bags full of beer and ice. When we reached the beach we couldn't find anyone from the party so we took a taxi home instead. I put away the 12 beers we had obtained. We watched tv. I had one more beer then I was gone. Toni ended up staying late drinking 4 beers and playing video games.
Sunday I got up around 10am. Toni ended up sleeping till 2am. I watched the Big Bang theory and The new adventures of the old Christine on Warner channel. I then played my new favorite video game. Dead Space. When Toni got up we watched a little tv and then made plans to go out for lunch. Not what I would call a productive weekend but interesting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

5 Things I have noticed about food in Brasil

1 Most of the Pizza that I have eaten here comes without tomato sauce...just dough, cheese and toppings.

2 Rice and beans in Brasil is different because the beans have sausage or pork loin added.

3 In brasil they love to cook with pressure cookers. Most Americans are afraid of pressure cookers because they think they will explode.

4 Juices such as apple and grape juice are different here. In Brasil the juice is thicker and cloudy. The taste for both are good though.

5 After being here I have eaten chicken hearts and cow legs...two things I never tried in the U.S.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving







Novembre. This week has been hot. Monday we went back to Mesquita again. It was a birthday party for a friend of Toni's' family. He said it was a 70s party. I went online and showed him what the 70s meant in the us. We put on our best disco clothes. Paisley shirts with chains underneath. Tight pants that are loose at the bottom. Amy winehouse ( not his real name ) picked us up in his truck. We each grabbed a beer for the drive, except for Amy ( se voce beber nao dirigir ). Toni was of course wrong about the theme...it was the 50s. Thank god we didn't dress like hippies. It was a little surreal being at a Brazilian sock-hop. The food was good, and there was a lot of beer. We ended up staying till a little after 1am. As we headed towards Rio we were short on gas. Unfortunately this is not the united states so most of the gas stations were closed. We finally reached one and they were out of gas. As we were leaving some police pulled us over. The one policemen was polite but still....I am not use to being pulled over for doing nothing more then trying to get gas. Amy had left his drivers license expire so after 20 minutes and a passed 20 reais bill we were on our way. When we got home I was a little grumpy. Toni and me had a little argument and then to make matters were my camera was missing. I spent an hour looking for it ...and then finaly went to bed late into the morning. Tuesday Toni did not have work. I was still upset about the camera and he was upset with me. We went to the pool for awhile. Later he talked to Amy and she found my camera in her truck. Toni got over being angry with me and we made up. The next day Toni worked and Amy brought me my camera. After work we went to Rita Riberas' house. She was the samba singer we saw a couple weeks ago. She lives with her sister. She also has some daughters and a friend of her daughter that is visiting from France. Toni was sort of working too. He plucked all of there eyebrows. I drank beer and watched. Later Jean Willis came over too. After he wanted us to go to Galeria but Toni was tired. We ended up going home. I had another beer and a half and watched Desperate Housewives. The next day was Thanksgiving. Toni was suppose to work at 10 but we ended up waking up around noon. His work was in Barra de Tajuca which is like 45 minutes away. I made breakfast. Marcelo came over and they left. I tried to call my family but had no luck. I ended up going to the pool to spend my Thanksgiving holiday. Maybe I will try and have turkey for dinner but it is doubtful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

5 things I have noticed about Brasil.

5 things that are different here in Brasil then the United States.

1 They love to pay in instalments. In all the electronic and furniture stores you can pay in installments or one time ( em vista ) Even for small items like a blender or fan both options are given.

2 It is very rude to slam car doors. Especially when taking a Taxi. They prefer you close it firmly but softly.

3 Men greet women with two kisses. One on the left cheek then on the right. Men give each other a firm handshake and if they are close a one handed hug.

4 They love to dance and sing. At any moment a group of people can start singing or dancing to any popular song.

5 They love futebol ( Soccer ) and when the favorite team makes a goal you can here the cheers all through the city.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mesquita 2

This weekend we went to Mesquita again. It was Jennifer's birthday. Toni is Jennifer's padrinho or godfather. Marcelo is her other godfather. Jennifer's mother use to be a lesbian but now she lives with Jennifer's father. I guess they don't have a lot of money because Toni and Marcelo were hosting her party. Jennifer is probably around 8 so the theme of the party was Barbie. We also bought her a beach barbie. Marcelo bought her ballet Barbie. Toni decided to drive. He was also going to be working during the day. Almohado, Toni's friend in Copacabana, was coming with us. He and his Aunt, who lives in Mesquita, were going to a wedding. Toni was doing her make up. We loaded everything in the car including the two dogs. We all drove there. We dropped everything off at Marcelos. We then went to Almohados Aunts house. It was in the afternoon and very hot. She served us cold beers and a baked cracker biscuit with cheese. Toni worked on her hair and makeup and I watched season 5 Project Runway. We finished around 5pm and I was a little tipsy. We went and picked up the cake and returned to Marcelos.

We then started decorating which consisted in hanging Barbie cutouts and blowing and hanging pink balloons. About 15 people showed up. Toni ended up being the DJ with my Ipod. Children's parties are pretty much the same as any party. The adults drink lots of beer and talk. There was a churrasco with lots of meat. Everyone stayed up past midnight. Unfortunately Jennifer's family got the blow up bed so me and Toni slept on the floor. We had a blanket but the floors are all tile and pretty hard.

In the morning we woke up and had coffee. Then shortly after we stared drinking beer again. They have a shower in the back patio so if it got to hot you could put on a bathing suet and take a quick shower. It was all pretty ghetto but effective. Luckily Toni decided we would go back after lunch. We ate fried fish and rice. We then drove back. Since it was so hot we decided to go to the beach. Toni's friends Rita Ribera and Jean Willis were already there. We went home and then took a taxi there. The water felt great. The waves were big but not as bad as they can get. I went in the water four times. I did get a little burned but it was my own fault for not sitting under a umbrella. It was late enough in the day I didn't think it would be bad. In the evening we went home because Toni has to work early Monday. He made chicken with pasta. I got an email from my sister and realized thanksgiving was in a week. Toni wants to get our Christmas tree next week. I can't believe the holidays are almost here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A month in Brasil.

Well the 11th was a full month that I have been in Brasil. The 15th was my return trip that of course I traded in for a credit. I have accomplished a lot in some ways but have not accomplished much in others. I am here. Me and Toni do seem to be getting along great. Even though everything of course is not perfect it is going very smoothly. We are still very close. I spend more time with him then with anyone.

In other respects we still have a lot to do for me to stay in this country and get a visa. I also still have a long time to go before I can work. Of course I am worried about when my New York apartment will sell. I have to be careful with money here which isn't easy when you are in a relationship.

Sunday we got back and it was hot. I wanted to use the pool but couldn't. Toni promised me to go to the beach Monday. It was a little overcast but i made him take me anyway. He went to visit Helena for an hour while I went to the beach. He then met me there. The ocean was surprisingly nice. The waves were small and the water was warm. Afterwords I paid a dollar to take a warm shower and change. We went to a restaurant that had a buffet for $13 reais. Afterwords we went to the cinema to see 2012. It wasn't a great movie but It was so nice to see any movie. It was in English with subtitles. Toni got a little emotional because the movie shows a lot of death and destruction. It also shows the Cristo statue crumbling. The cariocas love there Cristo statue. Sitting here for those two hours I felt like I could be in the USA. I like that they have assigned seats but It is a little annoying when 20 minutes into the movie someone is sitting in some old ladies seat and the usher has to come and fix it.

After the movie we went home. We haven't drunk it a few days which is new for us. We still ended up staying up till 2am playing video games. In the morning we had to wake up early when Tonis' client called. We rushed around making breakfast and cleaning the house. The client was only here for an hour though. Toni has another client in the evening so we cleaned and watched TV during the day. I wanted to swim but the pool was still closed. Outside was sunny but a little windy. I am staying home tonight but I think I will want to drink.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mesquita
















Saturday Me and Toni woke up late. Toni was working with one of his regular clients, Claudia. Marcelo showed up with her while Toni was out walking the dogs. I was still in my robe. They brought breakfast which was nice. Marcelo had brought bread, ham and a large chicken empanada. I made coffee and serve pineapple juice. While They worked I went to the pool but I wasn't able to use it. They were having a kids party at the chussacaria ( BBQ pit ) and I did not feel like hearing all those children scream. I came back to the apartment. Cleaned up. Played Playstation 3. After Toni was done working he cleaned the house too.

Afterwords we went to go visit Helena. Her doctor in Sao Paulo had recently diagnosed her with cancer. When we got there she was asleep so Toni helped her granddaughter, who is also named Helena, get ready for a party. This took about an Hour. Afterwords we went upstairs and spend about 15 minutes with Helena. She looked tired but other then that she was doing well.

Our plans for the night were to go to Mesquita and see Beija Flur. For those who don't know, the carnival parade is made up of samba escolas. Even thought they are called escolas ( schools ) they are actually community centers from towns and areas around Rio de Janerio. These schools get ready for carnival all year. First a concept is chosen. Then floats, costumes and music is made. In November the songs hit the radio. In November also you can start buying the costumes if you want to march in the parade. That night a few of the drummers and dancers were performing in Mesquita. Beija flor ( Humming bird ) is actually located the next town over in Necropolis. We went to a large community center which was filled with locals. It basically felt like a third world homecoming dance to me. They were playing kind of bad 70's music when we got there. A band then performed. We were there with Marco, Marcelo, Penha ( marcelos' sister that had the Halloween Party. Turigo, marcelos nephew, was also there with his girlfriend. We started drinking beer. We hadn't had time for much dinner so I was pretty tired. Beija-flur did not come on stage till about 2am. I had a little talk with Toni about money. I am concerned that I still don't have a closing date on my apartment in New York. If it doesn't sell in a month or two I might have to come back to New York to take care of it. We spent the rest of the night dancing samba. There was only a small group of drummer but even with that the music thundered around us. You can just imagine what a 100 drummers sounds like at carnival. When the night was over we thought about going home, but it is an hour and a half trip. We ended up sleeping in Marcelos bedroom floor on a blow up mattress. It was fine, I was exhausted. In the morning I had a terrible headache. I tried to eat and almost vomited. Marcelo gave me some strange medicine though and I felt better. Marco had made ham and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I ended up eating two. Toni told me we were taking a bus back so we walked to the main square. I felt very strange being in the middle of Masquita in the morning. I grew up in a small town, but it was nothing like this. There are mountains all around. Young men drive buy on Motorcycles. Wild dogs roam around looking for food. A skinny boy was playing in the park. It was hot and the sun shone down on everything. Most of the men who walked in the street where shirtless. Finally the bus came. It didn't go directly to Rio Comprido but close enough that we could take an a taxi home.
When I got home I was looking forward to a dip in the pool. Of course the condo women said that Rio is conserving water so the showers were turned off. Everyone has to take a shower before you get into the pool. Because of this the pool was closed. It seems like using our pool is not easy. Toni promised me we would go the beach tomorrow. Upstairs Toni made pasta for lunch/ dinner. The rest of the night we watched TV.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

tres meninas do brasil




Yesterday we got up early and went to the airport. My return ticket to New York is for Sunday. We talked to a Tam representative on the phone yesterday who said we could get a credit. We went to the regional airport which is smaller and closer to us because it is located in Flamengo. We found the right counter. Then we waited ...and waited...and waited. There was only five people in front of us...but only a couple representatives that took around 20 minutes per client. We finaly got there. I wasn't expecting much. As I figured there was a $120 fee and taxes were not subject to returns. The total credit for future air travel was $150 us or $256 reais. The bad part is that it could only be used at the TAM counter. I have looked online and the TAM prices are considerable higher if you don't go thru a travel website.

When we were done we rushed to Copacabana. Toni was late to work with Aparcida. I walked around Copa. When I met Toni and we went to some payment center to take care of his bills. We then had a beer on the beach. I had brought my swimsuit so I stayed and swan while Toni left for an hour to go to his English school. Toni took all my things since it is not safe to leave them on the beach. I was having a good time until some American swam up and started talking to me. He was nice at first. He was Portuguese but grew up in Florida and lived 13 years in Boston. Then he told me his family had lost all their money in the realty market. He came down here and lived in Sao Paulo for a year and a half. He then came to Rio and lost his documents in a youth hostel. Now he was homeless and living on the beach and wanted me to buy him a burger. Unfortunately for him I did not have any money. I made an excuse and left. It was around time so I waited for Toni who was half an hour late. Luckily I was on the beach and had nothing so nobody bothered me. When Toni did show up we went to the Supermarket. We took a Taxi home which took forever for the traffic.

Toni had been invited to a concert by his friend Rita Ribeiro. She had done a samba CD with two other singers, Jussara Silveira and Teresa Cristina. It was a large hall with little round tables with four chairs each. We sat with two women. We had not had time to have dinner so we ordered a chicken platter and 10 beers. The concert was two hours. We stared drinking. Toni is a fan so he sang all the words along with the music. The concert was very nice. Of course I was a little tipsytowards the end. After the concert we went backstage and bought a CD that all three singers signed. Of course they all had trouble spelling my name. Afterwords we met Jean and his friends. We went to a bar nearby but it was too crowded so me and Toni ended up just going home. After so much beers I was ready to go to sleep.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BLACKOUT

Tuesday night we got into a Taxi and went to visit our friend Guilherme. Guilherme is a make up artist. He has know Toni for awhile. He is short, pale skin with dark hair and eyes. He lives in Tijuco. It was a pretty active and urban area but a little far from Copacabana. His apartment was really nice though. It was on the corner of the fourth floor with two walls of windows facing the busy street. It had high ceiling and recessed lighting. The kitchen and bathroom were pretty modern and he has two large bedrooms. We talked for awhile and then walked to the metro. We were going to Copacabana to meet our other friend Jean Willis and then on to Le Boy bar.

Le Boy bar is usually Karaoke night but unfortunately there was a birthday party there. Toni wanted to stay and watch the drag show anyway. We stood in the back and ordered Whisky and Red bulls. Jean and Guilherme got bored and went next door to La Girl. The show was ok. There was a few songs in English. Of course one of the girls did THAT song from Dreamgirls. There was a cute guy that did a strip tease in the middle. He got totally naked and just kept his hand over his thing. After the show we went to La Girl which is by the same owner but is geared more to the lesbians, which you probably figured from the name. There was a lot of guys there so I guess it's pretty mixed. Guilherme and Jean were hanging out in the front by the bathrooms. Toni paid for 4 beers at the door. One of the things you find in South America is you pay for drinks in one place and then order them at the bar with the receipt. We went to the bar at the back and got our drinks. When we came back Guilherme was making out with a pretty hot guy. I guess these two are kind of players. We stayed for awhile and left around 2 am. We were driving in the direction towards home and I noticed two police cars and another car pulled over. Well our Taxi driver who I guess thought we were shady pulled over. Lucky us got to be checked for drugs. The one police man started putting his hands in my pockets. I really didn't care because obviously I was caring a brick of coke on me. Toni said they are only suppose to pat you down so he started arguing with them. The guy was pretty thorough. He checked my socks, in my boots and in my wallet. When we got inside Toni started complaining to the Taxi driver because we could have avoided the whole ordeal.

The next day Toni had to work in Copacabana. I went to and walked around for about three house. I walked up the beach and around to some shops. Toni called about 1:30 and I went to his clients house for lunch. It was rice with a chicken Burgundy sauce. For dessert a caramelized banana with ice cream. After lunch they finished the ladies hair and we took a bus back home.

That night we were watching TV. I was waiting for my TV show to be on at 11pm. It was Fringe on the Warner channel. Of course half and hour till me show all the lights go out. We looked outside and all the lights were out in the neighborhood. Toni called Marcelo and found out the lights were out in Mesquita two. We started drinking beer and playing Chess by candlelight. I beat Toni 3 out of 4 times but he did really good for a new player. At around 1am we went to bed. Thank god it was not too hot. At around 5 am the bedroom light came on. I woke Toni up and we checked everything.

In the morning I made breakfast for Toni. I made Coffee. I made breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese and Ham. I served it on the traditional Portuguese roll. I also made toast and Jam.
After we ate we took a taxi to the main post office. We had discovered that my one box had arrived but they had opened it and decided that I needed to pay duty. We paid the $100 Reais and took everything home. At least nothing was broken and only one little item was missing.

Toni warmed up left over from the night before and we went to the pool. On the way there I noticed that if you look over from the parking lot you can see the Christ statue on the mountain. The pool was great. There was only a father and son there. I am practising swimming under water more. After watching Poseidon with Toni I have decided if I am ever in a sinking ship situation I better be able to hold my breath. Toni told me that the blackout had affected 18 states of Brazil. Two of them being all of Rio and Sao Paulo. I was glad it was over.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mercado

Today we woke up a little late. Toni had a client coming in to do mega hair which is about a 5 hour process. It takes two people so his hair partner Marcelo came. It was his regular client, Claudia. Toni asked me to make lunch. I went down to the Mercado, supermarket, and got my cart. Everything was going pretty smooth until I went to pick my can of tomato sauce. The cans are different there. They are closed with air pressure so to open it you peel off a rubber stick off the top just comes off. Unfortunately I went to shake one to see if it was sauce or stewed tomatoes and the lid flew off making a huge mess of the whole wall, my cart and my feet. Not wanting to explain what happened in Portuguese I did the most naturally thing...i fled. I went to the nest aisle. Kind of tried to wipe my feet off. I had to ditch the cart and get a new one. I don't know why these things happened to me. The only saving grace is I was along...otherwise I am sure this would be a great story for Toni to tell his friends. The crazy American that made a mess of the supermarket. I paid and left as quickly as I could. At home I made the sauce and the spaghetti. I think it was a success but Toni might of only have been being nice to me.

Hot days in Brasil

The other day we were planning on going to the beach but then the lady that runs the condo called and said we could finally use the Pool. The condo is at the bottom of a hill. Right behind is two levels of parking. The pool sits on the third level and then above the pool is a fenced in soccer field. We walked up to the pool. It's a pretty large square pool with a separate children's area. There is a young pool guy who is in charge of the pool. The pool is open 9am to 5pm everyday but Sundays. The only thing is like I've said you need an authoriztion card so any would be vistors that come to stay with us will not be able to use it. There were a few other neighbors there. This seems like probably were we will get to know our neighbors.

Friday and Saturday Marco and Marcelo were coming to stay with us. Marco and Marcelo are Toni's old roommates and Marcelo is his hair cutting partner. We went to Copacabana Friday during the day. We finally applied for my CDF at a post office. We had gone to a bank twice to apply so It was funny that in the end all we had to do was go wait in line at the post office. Also the lawyer had said it would cost $250 but at the post office we only paid $5.50. Afterwords we did some more errands and then walked to the beach. After the beach we went to some stores and finaly bought a Air Conditioner and a fan. The past night had been really hot so this was a necessity. When we got home we had to rush because we were all going to dinner with Helena. We changed quickly and then went to Bate-papo. Helena had surgery the next day so she only drank one glass of wine and water. Me and Toni started drinking pretty strongly with Caparinhas and then two whiskey and red bulls. The night was a little shorter then normal so we went to Ipanema to a restaurant and had a little food and beer.

Marco had to work at home, in Mesquita, the next day. The three of us went to Copacabana and met Helena, Daughter of Antonia. We all went to the beach. We have been going to the southern end of the beach where the waves are a little less strong. Unfortunately there is also more garbage too. Toni had to leave at 4pm for his 3 hours English class. Helena left also. Me and Marcelo stayed at the beach for awhile and then we walked up the beach boardwalk. The boardwalk is a pretty active place. There are a lot of little resturants as well was venders selling everything from draft beer, Churros, popcorn, corn on the cob and hot dogs. There are also men selling beach towels, shirts, hats, towls and hand crafts. The sidewalk is pretty wide and there is also a lane for people to run, ride bicycles or skates. We met Toni after class and went to the supermarket for more beer and food. That evening we had drinks with cheese. crackers and some other light snacks. Luezia came over too. We watched all our videos ...Vaneessa da Mata, Tribalistas, Whitney Houston ( Toni's choice not mine ) and Madonna ( My choice not Toni's )

Sunday We all went to the beach again. It had been hot the last few days so the beach was the best place to be. We all went into the water a lot. At first we were at Arpoador. The beach was smaller but packed. Marco and Marcelo went to the water. Me and Toni were sitting there when all of the sudden a wave of people came running from the direction of the water. People were yelling and running like crazy. I thought there must be like a tidal wave or a shark sighting. Toni and me grabbed our stuff and ran to the boardwalk. Some tourists came up to me for an explanation but I had no Idea. Some people said it was a Bariga, which means belly in Portuguese. Toni then explained it is also slang for street fight. Marcel and Marco came up to us and we walked down to the gay area of the beach in Ipanema. At least the gays never have street fights. More people came to join us during the day. Andres and his family who were relatives of Marcelo. Jean Willis, Toni's friend, showed up with two of his friends. Me and Toni had fun in the water. Since the area was gay we could hug and kiss and not worry about strange looks. After the beach we walked to Copacabana and went to one of the restaurant on Atlantic avenue. We ordered Churrasco for all of us. When we got home I was exhausted. I was also sun burnt on my shoulder. I happily went to bed early.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Quem sou eu.

I have been writing this blog for a couple weeks now. I have been keeping it pretty light. It still seems like I am on vacation. It's been almost a month though and the vacation part is starting to come to an end. I have started falling into some routines. I get up early before Toni and start breakfest. I am getting use to not working even though strangly enough I do miss it. I miss the gym, even though I hate the gym. There are somethings here that are great and somethings I miss about New York. The bad part is that even when you aren't in New York you see it on TV a lot. I am constantly reminded of the cityby a gossip girl episode oryLaw and Order. New york is great. Rio is great too.

I am strangle getting use to being with someone in such close proximity. Keep in mind that I have never dated anyone seriously. Not been in any serious relationships in years. Now I am married and with Toni pretty much all the time. It seems to be working out good. He is still very happy I am here. He is patient and kind. He likes to take care of me. We are still very much in the honeymoon part of the relationship though.

I have to say I am slowly getting use to the intimacy of us. I am kind of a prude, Ohio upbringing. Toni pretty much walks around the apartment in silk boxers and leaves the bathroom door open when he goes to the bathroom. I guess this all part of marriage..hum?

We stayed in the house all day and cleaned. Hear that all you people that think this is one big vacation. Toni has to work early in Barra de Tajuca tomorrow. He is coming back in the afternoon. The women that owns are apartment has invited us to the beach with her. I guess we are going. Marcelo and marco are coming over Saturday to spend time with us. We all will probably all go to the beach Sunday. I do love the beach. It does make everything better.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A bite in the hand


Toni slept in till noon today. I got up around 10 and watched tv. This has become my habit since Toni seems to need more sleep and I like the quality time watching tv and petting the dogs. When Toni got up he made us cheeseburgers for breakfest. After we took the dogs out and got ready to leave. We decided to run errans in Copacabana. First we went to the bank. I have been trying to get my CPF. A few days ago a lady said that Toni just needed something with a proof of his address. After talking to two people we found out that this was not the case. We would have to call our lawyer later in the week. Next we went to a doctor to have our skin checked out so we can use the condos' pool. We had wanted Toni's' friend to do it but it never panned out. This took about a second for him to look us over. Ask our names. Finally print out a paper. Next we went to Loja American because i only had t-shirts and I was getting the feeling some tank tops might come in handy. I found three. Toni picked out some boxers. I found another swim suit. We then left and went to the supermarket. We were only going for beer and bread but ended up with a cart full of other things. We jumped in a taxi but headed toward Rio Comprido right at rush hour. It took us half and hour to get home. Toni gave the doctors papers to the condo lady and she said we could use the pool the next day. Hurray. Toni started to make dinner and I played Silent Hill on Playstation. One of Toni's' clients showed up and he did her hair. While I was sitting there playing I felt a sharp pain in my hand. I looked down and a bee had stung me. I had never had a bee come into a fourth floor apartment before. This had never happened in New York anyway. Toni helped me get the stinger out and poor alcohol. I then had to play with ice wrapped on my one hand. Toni had another client came. Well at least he is working.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gay Pride Rio and All saints day.
















Sunday was Gay Pride in Rio. Toni had to do some make-up so I was suppose to go with Marco and Marcelo. They canceled because they decided to do Churrasco in Mesquita instead. When Toni woke up Sunday he was really hung over from the night before. I made us breakfast and made him drink water and aspirin. We took a Taxi in the afternoon to Copacabana Palace, probably the most famous hotel in Rio. Toni left me to do the makeup. I walked to the parade which runs up Atlantic Avenue. This is the main street along the beach and usually any major parade goes along this route. Unfortunately it was a rainy day. Fortunately unlike New York alcohol is readily available ...from vendors selling beers to men walking around with bottles of whiskey selling shots. There is also a lot more skin with guys running around in just speedos. I walked around for awhile and then got bored. I bought 3 beers for 5 reais which is a pretty good deal. The crowd was in a good mood, even though the weather was bad, everyone was still pretty happy and drunk. I went to wait for Toni but he was late. The parade started which was really people dancing down the street and several large trucks with guys dancing on them. Finally Toni came around 2 hours late. He said he ended up doing 5 girls make-up instead of 1. We went over to Helena then because Antonias' daughter was going to a wedding and needed her hair done. That took about an hour then we went to a restaurant by the beach. There were still a lot of people out. Toni says usually there is a drag show on the beach. I was tired though and we didn't see one so we ended up going home. Well after a few beers anyway.

The next day was all saints day. We took a Taxi to a church and lite candles for all the dead souls. Afterwords we went to Ipanema beach. Since it was a holiday the beach was pretty packed. We went to the gay section so there were a lot of hot guys in speedos. Toni saw some friends and his friend, Whom we call Amy whinehouse, was there. We drank beers and talked. I went into the ocean a lot. It was a pretty hot day and the water felt great. It was still cold getting in but once you got used to it, it was great. There was a lot of other people in the water too. Toni came swimming with me which he had only done one other time last February. After the beach we had dinner in one of our favorite restaurants in Ipanema. Afterword we returned home. I was ready to wash off the sand and relax with Toni watching television.

HALLOWEEN











Saturday was Halloween in Rio. It is not to big of a deal here. I didn't see anyone dressed up in the streets or anything. We were invited to a birthday party for Marcelos sister, Pehna. It was in Mesquita so unfortunately we had to travel an hour and a half away. That afternoon Toni had to go to his English classes so afterwords we bought Beer at the supermarket and took a Taxi home. We quickly got dressed. I though we would wear normal clothes but Toni wanted to dress up. Since this was extremely last minute we just threw on some black slightly goth things that we could then say we were vampires. Lucia came over and the three of us took a taxi. The trip is a little expensive but we all wanted to drink and we did not want to spend the night. We got there in the evening and started drinking beer. Family members and neighbors came over. It was the usual loud samba and dance music. There was a lot of snack food. Everybody was very nice. I am starting to speak a little more but in a loud crowded party it can be a bit hard. Toni got upset because he though I was checking out this young neighbor. Leave it to Toni to be jealous of a boy from Mosquita. Around Three in the morning the Taxi came to pick us back up. I was pretty tired in the backseat so I just looked out the window most of the way home.