Bossa nova confessions

– I always liked people who knew about music.
– Oh, yes?
– Yes. Maybe because all the guys in my high school would talk about bands, and players, and all the stories and details, and I used to think “Wow. That’s cool. I can’t do that, but that’s cool”.
– So you like people who know classic rock?
– Yep.
– What’s that?
– That what?
– The radio. Who’s the band?
– Led Zeppelin.
– See? I know nothing!
– That’s Led Zeppeling! They were an important band! Robert Plant, Jimmy Page…
– That’s the thing, I know names, I know they were important, I just haven’t been exposed, I don’t know how they sound.
– What? You didn’t have Led Zeppelin in Brazil?
– Yes, bobo, we had Led Zeppelin in Brazil, but I was too busy listening to Tom Jobim. Besides, we didn’t listen to music in my house, and I didn’t hang out with friends to listen to music.
– Oooh… too nerdy?
– Yes… And besides, my girl friends didn’t listen to classic rock.
– Oh, no? What did they do?
– We gossiped and shared secrets about boys who listened to classic rock.
– Was that a secret?
– Well, it was a secret that we liked them…

Turns out I still like boys who like classic rock, the same ones and new ones, and turns out some of them like Jobim too. They play the drums, they compose music, they like Hermeto, they collect records, they play Miles at the best times. Now ain’t I lucky?

– Do you urubu?


Even before I had a name and mounds of websites explaining it, I have been obsessing about the simple stuff. This year was all about simplyfing, simplicity, and so on.
Call it what you want, environmentalism, cheapness, reducing modern life stress…
Oh well, the holidays are coming. Despite the fact that I never celebrated Thanksgiving (or Halloween, for that matter), and that I’m away from my family (for the 6th straight year), I like the holidays. But I’m not looking forward to running around, singing carols, shopping, cooking, eating, getting fat, getting crazy, getting stuff.
Part of the problem is that I am not making money enough to shower my friends with gifts, but also I worked very hard on decluttering my house all year long to get caught in the whole thing.
I don’t know if I’m being too radical, but I’m not alone: turns out I found some friends who are gonna advocate for Other websites (thanks, God) also have the same drift: buynothingchristmas and hundreddollarholidays.
So I’m seriously thinking about going tree-hugger on my friends and kinda preaching about my philosophy on acceptable gifts – I still like gifts, mind you.
This is a summary of whatever the radically simple people out there might suggest you give this Christmas and that I’m taking for my birthday (wink, wink) since I’ll have a kick-ass party at Franklin’s.

No-gift gifts


The moderates start the list with buyables, but they should be fair trade and everything, or consumables, like tea or coffee or chocolate, hmmmm, chocolate! Oh, and Vertigo has nice books always on sale – this is a little off-topic, but I just like them, they are a nice neighborhood store.


yours – Yes, I want your stuff. If you don’t use it and think I’ll like it, tell me why and I’ll be happy to have something to remember you by.
thrift – Instead of buying something new, buy something at valuevillage or a garage sale, I’ll still appreciate it as long as it doesn’t smell musty (and it usually doesn’t if it is a thrift store, they are careful about this stuff). A book (with a nice dedication, please) or a cd (cd exchange, right next to the gyro place) are good choices.
swap – I’m thinking about holding a swap party to exchange odds and ends (not as gifts, just as a recycling effort). There’s always an outgrown sweater, the odd china, I don’t know. Ellen, help me here.

home made

I don’t really like the idea of going Martha on holidays, because it only adds to the end-of-year stress. Who wants to slave over arts and crafts if – let’s be sincere – they are not gonna look that great afterwards? Unless, of course, it’s something you do well and easily, like a compilation of your favorite songs or a notebook with recipes so easy even I can cook (there’s a challenge!) or printed pictures of all the parties we went to this last year…


teach – C’mon, teach me, tiger. There are so many things I can’t do: sing, cook, do laundry…
be my slave – Offer to cook for me, fix my computer or drive me around. I promise I won’t be too demanding. And it doesn’t have to be now, during the holidays.
quality time – Let’s spend some time together… No, really, let’s have dinner somewhere, go walking, talk, have tea.


photos – Print me pictures. Add funny captions.
cds – Compile those tunes. No pagode, pleeeease.
performance – Sing for me! Write me a card!
artwork – But no breakables.
displays of affection – Give me a hug, for God’s sake!!! It doesn’t sound like it, but I’m pretty easy to please…

To be framed and cherished until 2010.

It’s a postcard-sized, peach-colored piece of paper I got in the mail today. It says:

November 3, 2005

Dear Resident:

As requested, your address was removed from our list on 10/1/05&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp.

It takes 6-8 weeks for this process to become effective as ADVO pre-prints its mailing labels in advance. Your delete status will remain effective for a period of five years. You will need to contact us again by 8/1/10&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp to reapply your removal request for an additional five years.

[paragraph about how I’m missing out by not receiving their offers and that other companies may mail me with other catalogues too]

[paragraph with the address to write to if I opted out by mistake. ha!]

This is the awesome prize I get from the afternoon of boredom when I excluded my address from those pesky grocery ads that come with the missing child thing. I used Shopwise‘s parent company customer support. I also tried to stop ValPack, I don’t know how that went. (btw: they are lying, they don’t really need your email.) I also stopped all other catalogues by going to the dma website and mailing them (oh, yes, they charge you to do it via web). I know it really seems to the untrained eye that I have nothing to do or am an annoy-ing/ed grandma, but I really hate the ritual of going straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin. Let’s hope they keep their word and leave me junk free until 2010. Or the next valued resident.

UPDATE: I got the missing child slip from ShopWise and NO GROCERY ADVERTISEMENT!!! Ohhhhhh…
UPDATE2: For a more complete guide to opting out, check the Center for Democracy & Technology guide

Ô joga fora no lixo!

Via 43 folders:

You have way too much crap.
I’m just guessing. Guessing that right now, in your life, in your closets and in your garage and in your car trunk and in your brain and even in your desk drawer you have way, way too much stuff, far more than any one person or single family needs and, oh my God, have you even seen your closet lately?

If there’s one upside to these [decluttering] shows (superficially, at least), it’s how it might, just might, slowly dawn on a few viewers that more does not equal better, that excess crap actually equals undue stress and nausea and burden, and that, in truth, the more junk you have, the tackier it looks. Hey, anything’s possible.

It is one of the healthiest things you can do. Honest psychologists and good spiritual healers often advise patients with overactive minds and squirrel-like attention spans and problems focusing and problems sleeping, they will tell them not to pop some Ritalin or merely take an herbal tincture and eat more leafy greens, but to go home right now and, yes, clean out your closets. Clear out your clutter. Strip it all to the beautiful essentials and then keep it that way.

Os grifos são meus e ninguém tasca.

I knew him before fame…

David Eisner, a blogger and software developer at the University of Maryland’s Computer Aided Life Cycle Engineering Center, believes the record label’s actions will ultimately backfire and drive otherwise legitimate customers to download pirated music from the online file-sharing networks.

"The people they’re trying to stop from stealing their music are always going to find a way around these types of technologies," Eisner said. "Sony is just hurting people who obtain their products legally, and many of these same people are now going to think twice about doing so."