Wednesday, November 24, 2010

As I approach the end of 2010....

I haven't been keeping up with this blog as much as I had hoped or would like but to be honest I just haven't had a moment where I felt inspired to write a fucking amazing post. I've been inspired to write one, just not a good one. I think this one will turn out okay though. This post is mostly to get a few things off my chest.

2010 hasn't been one of my favorites. In February I was laid-off from a job that I loved more than I realized (actually I think I just loved my co-workers), this semester was fucking horrible for me academic wise, had a friend of over 10 years gossip about me with the intent of damaging my reputation (fucking bitch tried to make me look like her), I had surgery during Spring Break, ended what could have been a decent friendship with an acquaintance I met 5 years ago, didn't get to go to Brazil in June like I had expected (and told everyone I was), felt depressed over the summer, have more follow up procedures related to my surgery (non-life threatening), I probably won't be able to apply for grad school until next year (a year later than I had planned), and I still don't have the support I want from my parents (my dad especially) to pursue my dream of being a psychologist (some day I want to be Dr. FunkyMunkyNaT)! There were also a few other personal negative experiences but since they involve people other than myself I feel this blog is not an appropriate place to disclose them.

But at the same time I can't say that 2010 has been the worst year of my life. My aunt wants me to be the Godmother to my new baby cousin, I finally graduated with 2 undergraduate degrees, my dad bought me a MacBook Pro as a graduation gift (I fucking love this thing!!!), developed new friendships with Brazilians that have recently moved to Houston (and are from the same cities my family is from), became closer to my friend Sarah (her father is a childhood friend of my dad's!), finally had a problem fixed that I've suffered from since I was 12, ending the friendship with the Gossip Bitch opened other doors, went on a small road trip to Alabama for a wedding where I met amazing people I had only heard of, stopped in New Orleans for a night on the way there, got a picture wearing my "Alabama Leprechaun" shirt under the "Welcome to Alabama" sign, enjoyed some world cup games, read books I didn't have time to read during college, met a friend for the first time after only speaking online these last 5 years, lost my fear of driving around Houston without another person with me in the car, learned my way around Houston a lot more, got involved in an exciting project with a friend, visited Washington, D.C., met some cool new people in D.C., saw Daniel Tosh live with my youngest brother (it was his first time at a live show), met Richard Dawkins (and got his autograph on a copy of his most recent book that I got for free), 12 days later drove to Austin by myself and met Sam Harris (I got him to autograph 2 books and spoke with him), gained some spiritual enlightenment (at least I think I was enlightened! =P), and I started volunteering at the Houston SPCA (quite an amazing feeling)! And one of those personal experiences is getting fixed. =)

Whew. I tried to mention everything in chronological order and looking at this year so far by dividing it into bad/good is helpful for me. I believe it's unhealthy to not recognize the bad in life and that there is opportunity in every downfall. I don't believe that everything happens for a reason but I do believe that we can find meaning in everything that happens. I just needed to take a step back and analyze my experiences so far.

And in the spirit of the holiday, I am most thankful for the life that I live even though it almost never goes the way that I originally plan. =)

Happy Thanksgiving!


No, I did NOT purchase the hat in the picture. ;)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Meeting My Academic Heroes: Dawkins & Harris

This has been the most amazing month of 2010 for me. On 2 separate occasions, and only 12 days apart, I met both Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris! Both of these men have had a gargantuan impact on my life and helped set me on a path of spiritual enlightenment (a path that I'm still traveling on and have a long distance to go before reaching the end). Theimportant thing is that their words have helped set me on what I feel is the correct spiritual path. Yes, it is possible to be spiritually enlightened as an atheist but I'll address that on another blog.

I met Richard Dawkins on October 5, 2010. A guy on my friend's list from Facebook posted a link to purchase tickets to hear him speak. I could not believe that THE Richard Dawkins was going to be in Houston to speak and would be signing books afterwards. Everyone attending was even given a free paperback copy of his most recent book The Greatest Show on Earth. My seat was not that great but I was able to hear him perfectly and just being there was enough for me. I was so excited that I did not even hear the first half of his talk because I was just so star struck. =P Ridiculous I know, but his book The God Delusion completely changed my worldview for the better. Anyway, when I finally got my opportunity to meet him I was so nervous that the only phrases able to escape my mouth were "uh, hi! Can a take a picture? Thank you!" and he appeared to just glance up, smile, and look back down to sign. I was towards the end of the line and the event ended up selling out so I knew he was exhausted from signing so many books (many people brought their own copies of his other works to be signed). I didn't even think of bringing my own copy of the God Delusion for him to sign but I got a free copy of his most recent work and got it signed!

As for Sam Harris, I met him October 17, 2010 in Austin at the Texas Book Festival! It was so great to be able to listen to him live and when I went to to get his autograph he actually looked at me and said, "Hello, how are you?" I was so shocked and, like with Dawkins, incredibly starstruck! I was able to reply and say "Fine, thank you. How are you?" and rambled about how happy I was that he was there and that I got to listen to him live. He responded kindly and politely and I cannot for the life of me recall his exact words because I sounded like an idiot, was embarrassed for not being able to speak coherently, and so happy to meet one of my greatest heroes. He seems to be an unbelievably compassionate and kind human being and his books, debates, and talks inspire me. If ever I have an opportunity like this again I will definitely take advantage of it.

Holy. Fucking. Shit. I met both Dawkins AND Harris 12 DAYS APART!!!!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Found in Translation

Today I finished my first translation piece!

A brief background of how I got into the translating business:
For those who do not know I am trilingual. My family is originally from Brazil and we moved to the United States when I was 2 1/2 years old so I was raised learning English at school and speaking Portuguese at home. In high school I took 4 years of Spanish which allowed me to add a 3rd language to my resume! In college I majored in psychology, a field that I am passionate about. Fast forward to this summer, a friend of mine who is a Brazilian psychologist had an idea of starting a website in English. With my degree in psychology and fluency in Portuguese she felt that I would be perfect to work with her on this project. Yesterday she sent me my first task and today I completed it! It was exciting and very enjoyable.

I really liked translating, it was mentally stimulating, like exercise for my brain! I am seriously considering doing this more. I did a little bit of research on it and it's common for people to do it part time. The only thing is that I would need to brush up on my Spanish since there's a higher demand for that over Portuguese. I scored a 5 out of 5 on the Spanish AP and received 13 hours of foreign language credit so I didn't need to take any foreign language for my degrees so it has been awhile since I've fully put my Spanish to work. I think a brush up would be very beneficial and worth it. =)

The project itself is also very exciting. I got in contact with an acquaintance of mine who is a web developer and he is currently in the process of creating the site. The topic is unbelievably interesting and something that my friend, Ludmila, is passionate and knowledgable about. I am so glad to be a part of it and I look forward to giving more details on the project as it develops and eventually sharing the site when it is finished.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Amazingly Awesome Advice

*Picture I took of the elevator buttons at an old hotel I was staying at in New Orleans*

A friend of mine on my Facebook posted a link to this article:

"On Perfect Timing: When Things Aren’t Happening Fast Enough"

Pretty much it's about being patient and enjoying the moment instead of worrying about the future or time not moving fast enough which is exactly how I've been feeling for the last 2 years of my life. I didn't graduate college in 4 years (it was 6), I didn't have a job when I got out (still don't), I'm not in grad school, I still live with my parents, and I haven't traveled as much as I would have liked. Before I was in college I expected that by age 24 I would be in graduate school preparing for the career of my dreams. I've never had any expectations about marriage or children because I've always felt that that is something which I have little control over, something that I never felt I could ever really plan until I was in the right moment to consider it. My career, however, and other aspects of my life I thought I at least had moderate control over.

As much as it's said I don't believe people actually grasp the concept that their lives are not (and never will be) fully in there control. People who are happy with their lives aren't content because things just fell in their laps, they're happy because they took advantages of the opportunities they were surrounded by. Yes, some people have it easier than others but they still had to do something in order to arrive at their happy place. It's like that old joke where the person prays constantly to a deity asking to win the lottery. When they ask why their prayers for instant, work-free wealth aren't answered, the deity replies, "You need to buy a lottery ticket."

The "Perfect Timing..." article isn't something new, I've heard/read that type of advice before but it had been awhile and I really needed it now more than ever. Reading it was like a brief second of meditation and enlightenment. I feel less frustrated and more motivated.

My current prayers are to be more fit, learn more, read more books, and graduate school. My lottery tickets are exercising,working with a friend on a website, picking up my unread books, and studying for the GRE.


I've been listening to Arcade Fire's new album "Suburbs" while writing and thinking about this blog. I felt it fit in great with how I was feeling. It's a great album for those into indie rock and only $3.99 on's digital downloads section! =D

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is my first time....

......posting a blog on here! This past week I've felt inspired by a blog on here that a friend of mine has and felt compelled to start my own. Last week I also gave thought to a couple of topics and had an urge to write about them so starting this blog feels like a great idea for me. I had an old one that I started when I was in high school but it turned into something very private and I don't update it often. I hope to turn this one into something more public and interesting (very few high schoolers have interesting thoughts, I was not one of them =P).

Now I'm a recent double-majored college graduate with no job and living with my parents (I hope to change both situations very soon). Being unemployed has left me with no money and lots of time. This seems like a good moment to start a blog. What I hope to get out of this blog is a record of my current self. Despite the silly and frequently immature posts of my high school days I really enjoy sifting backwards and reading. I've always enjoyed looking back at old diaries and journals I kept in elementary and middle school and looking at how I've changed mentally and emotionally and I'm sure that when I'm in my 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond I'll really enjoy being able to do the same with entries in my 20s and onward. Another thing I hope to get out of this new blog is to connect with a few persons. I've done so on my old blog and have always found it unbelievably enriching connecting with others even if it's just through one, 2, or more thoughts.

Well, I think that's a decent first time-introductory blog.



Icee excites me! (Picture taken Mar 2010) I thought I'd post a mature picture in honor of my new "mature" blog! =P