Friday, 19 October 2007

...a mission given should always be a mission accomplished?


If you've liked City of God, you have to see the new brazilian movie Elite Squad (

My brother praised it to us, saying it was so good; people had bought the pirate DVDs in record rates even before the original movie was released on the cinemas. Best thing yet, was they still went to the cinema to watch the movie anyway, breaking new records!


This is a piece of great-almost-prefect movie. This humble blogger of yours always have something wrong to say about almost every movie she watches, but woah! - not this time.


It is a good feeling when you see someone trying to shout to the world what is going wrong.

Someone trying to shout, to provoke you, to shake you out of the normal inert ways we get used to, trying to play blind to so many things going wrong with humanity.


The story is basically about good cops against bad cops. Of course there'll be tension, and fight and violence. Don't forget, to be a movie about policemen, you gotta have the criminals.

I mostly liked the movie because it shows what happens when you get honest good-hearted people around those who are dirty and corrupt, the weak people who ended up giving up and taking the easy way to fortune and supposed success. But more than that, you see how easy it is for them to start thinking there is no other way than to give in, to become part of the system, to be enticed. Sometimes, better most of the times, one cannot see other way out than go to the path of corruption and bad ways.


And I am pretty sure politics in Brazil are the same, Either you're in for the dirty, or don't get involved at all. Having close people to me involved with that, it is hard for me to just swallow every little bit of things they do knowing it is wrong, the phrase 'if it is not me, it will be someone else' comes to mouth more than once. The occasional charity they do maybe make them sleep comfortably at night. And I truly believe this behaviour is what makes Brazil, a country which does have everything to be a great nation, stay behind.


But yes, I was talking about the movie… It is about the Elite Police Squad created to take thing seriously into they hands in Rio de Janeiro. As they say in the movie, when they get involved is to kill and not be killed.

Unfortunately, by what I can understand, people in Brazil misread the movie. They've made the guys on BOPE (the squad) heroes, because they killed and tortured in name of justice. They should not be praised because of that. That is wrong. It is to use the Salomon laws of an eye for eye and how do you prove yourself better than someone who does the same thing to you and you say is wrong? (same plot ad THE KINGDOM - another brilliant movie by the way).


They should be praised because they seem not to be corrupt, and because they did the job they took in hands, A mission given is a mission accomplished. No matter what.

We can't have the illusion of believing everything they tell us, I very much doubt they are oh so clean like in this movie.

No one and nothing is never 100% perfect or clean. I do believe majority of BOPE is clean, and I believe that's what people want to see.

Brazilian people lack care. From police, hospitals, schools, government. To see BOPE working their backsides off to protect what is right from wrong is a rush we usually don't feel.


The movie is great because it shows the two, three, four sides of the same story. It makes it totally believable, convincing, and intriguing. It gives people hope that in the middle of so many things going wrong, there is something good happening. The acting is out of this world, the directing had a major breakthrough.

There is no stereotype at all. There are good people turning bad and bad turning good. You gotta love when that happens in the movies.


The movie is a piece of great cinema because the script is well formed. The story is well told.

Some journalists said the movie is fascist because police kills criminals.

It goes beyond that in my opinion. The movie gives the hero role back where it belongs. Not in the hands of traffic gangs which give schools, hospitals and food to favela families an assume the government role in society. But to the police, to honest guys who love and believe in what they do. If killing and torture is part of it, it is a very bad, sad day for humankind, but it'd be naïve to think with sweet talk and imprisonment you'd get anything from boys who turn to be men who are more like animals.


Again, I don't believe in killing criminals. I believe in giving kids a chance in life. An equal chance to everyone. So they can make a choice. It is easy for medium/high/higher/sky-high classes to judge them and say they should all die. It is not that easy. Some boys will ever know life as it is seen from above alright. Bad thing it is above a morro*, looking down for policemen coming to get you.


The movie shows exactly that. In a stunning competent and truthfully way.

At least that is what I'd like to believe. And I bet the whole Brazilian nation would like as well.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

…BBC should stop taking people’s money?

One of the things that took us by surprise when we first came to UK was the fact we have to pay to watch television. The wicked TV License (worth £135.50 per year) was introduced when BBC was first crated. The government didn't want to cover the costs of setting up such huge network, and so said the people had to pay for it if they wanted to have TV.

I think it was a fair enough proposition.

But nowadays?

I believe there's no reason to keep this going. The fact they've now announced thousands of job being lost, and more repeats being aired, I think is all a big joke.

They pay millions and millions to personalities to present their shows (i.e. Jonathan Ross, Chris Moyles, Graham Norton, etc…) and these guys are not even that popular!!

The whole problem is you've gotta pay no matter if you choose to watch BBC or not. So there is no choice, and in my view this should be unlawful as it is a monopoly for the TV market.

Other channels get their money on the usual way of making new/crisp good programmes (oh well, ok, not always good) and getting revenue from advertising slots, so what is BBC different? I don't want to pay £135,50 just for the luxury to have 4 channels with no advert on them! That is ludicrous.


If BBC was putting the money to good use, that'd be one thing. But all can see happening is programmes getting repeated over and over again (like it happened with A pint of lager and packet of crips before), the same things with the usual multimillionaire staff going on (which we hardly watch anyways) and my money going to their pockets.


Sadly, honest people are left now unemployed once again and we are left with programmes hardly watched.


I signed the petition to end BBCs feast, maybe if all this huge fortune is taken from them they'll start doing something that matters. It's the least I can do.


If you want to join the campaign ->

Friday, 12 October 2007

...peace and trees should not compete?

Now, can anyone explain to me what Al Gore, and the environment has to do with bringing peace into the world?,,30200-1288130,00.html

I understand the environment is an issue, but such long-time impact, shouldn't we all be trying to make life bearable and learning how to live with each other? Isn't that what PEACE is all about?
How can these Nobel judges ignore there is a war of some sort  going on almost every country of the world? I doubt between 50 applicants, there wasn't anyone making their bit to make the world a better place.

We need to learn how to live with each other. How to tolerate and accept differences. Racial, religious, economical. We need to learh how to help ourselves.

More than using my simple words, I'll take George Carlins ones, the guy is a pure genious!

"We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?"

 "Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?"

 Here is the full text, just magical ->

This looks like an attempt to once again turn the focus on americans and how they always supposedly always save the day. And because they messed up big time with the problems that really matter, lets give them an effing Peace Nobel Prize for saving some trees!

I am both shocked and disgusted. Al Gore and company will get US$ 1.000.000,00 along with the prize, and for what? Maybe buy some trees, trying to compensate all this CO2 we've been using mindlessly. Then we will have another thousand years of human people on Earth. Probably killing eacher, fighting for money and power. Because instead of learning how to be togheter, we learnt how to not print an e-mail, or turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

… procrastination is a needed sin?


(quoting Procrastination is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task to a later time.

More than just that, I believe procrastination is the art of finding other things to do when you are completely and utterly sure you'd better be doing something else.

Then, you find excuse why you should put the first task "on-hold" until you sort the secondary one first.

-- Is when you put secondary things you have to do before the priority ones --


Yes, I agree with theories which say procrastination leaves you more anxious, and gives you an increased sense of self-worth. Is like all these things you have to do, makes you who you are, makes the time fly.

What good would it'd be if you finished all your tasks and then, there is nothing else to look forward to?

"The better you are, the better you better be" (David Allen).

People will always look at you sitting there with a smirk on your face, and what will happen? They'll find more stuff for you to sort out. It's not like if I done my job properly I'll have the rest of the day to take a bath, or watch as much daytime television as I like, or go shopping. No way, you gotta stay in their eye range, so they see you're there, typing something, probably taking ages to do something which would take only some hours, minutes, even seconds to sort out.

Don't get me wrong. I do take my job very seriously. And I even quite like it. But I have learnt from the very early stage of my professional life, this is the way to get this done and even get appraised for it.


So procrastinating! Gosh, I am so good at it, I even start procrastinating on the post talking about it! – I love the way it works.

Work 2 minutes, procrastinate another 5.

-          Write a post for you blog (after all everyone is counting you your news girl, you can't let them wait!),

-          read a post from another blog (you need to know how your friends are!),

-          check what is on ebay (god forbid you miss a bargain!),

-          read an email (you need to know if it is something urgent there, you never know),

-          get up get your water (you have to drink 2 litres a day, can you believe it?)

-          check the news (you need to be up to speed with the world, what if the manager asks what I think about the Burma situation or the bottled PM?)

-          check the gossip (what if the boss asks me who I want to win in Big brother)

-          check the weather (will I need my brolly or not?)

-          and…

-          so…

-          on..


Maybe procrastination is the crutch for lazy people. Running from the obligations because they are too boring or too important, instead of getting rid of them at once.

Maybe it's just a way to put fun in your life, make it more interesting, making the life at  IT office look as if is oh so exciting and terribly busy, then, you have everything done, at last.


But be aware! Don't fall into the trap of actually forgetting about your priorities. Otherwise it'll be hell to pay. There is a guy here who is always being told off by the boss. He is the one who spends 7 of the 8 office hours on discussion forums, talking chit chat with people and always ALWAYS forgetting he has a job to do. Tip of the day: Never get to much of a procrastination dose. It can be fatal!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

...fate is a b1tch?

Ok, here is the deal.

Once again I see myself on one of those moments where I have to choose my future and what to do with it. Once again it is work related.

I purely hate these times. Honestly.

I hate the fact the future is in my hands and I'll be the only one to be blamed if anything goes wrong. I am one of those people who hates change even if it is the slightest one. If I have to move the furniture around, I'll take weeks deciding and building up courage to do so. If I have to change paths on the way home – to change the routine, you know – it'll take a good reason to convince me. That's how pathetic and systematic I am. I am rarely enthusiastic by any change in my life, from ordering a new sandwich at Burger King to buying a new house.

One of my mottos is "Everything will be alright at the right time" (maybe a bit lost in translation). This summarizes how I'd love to leave everything to fate and destiny to decide my life. I'd be happy for it to tell me what to do and when to do stuff*.

But nooo…. It doesn't work like that. How does it work?

You have to make up your mind about things. You have to toss and turn in bed, and discuss with hubby for long almost 3 hours, you have to seek affirmation from your friends you are doing the right thing. And after you finally thank-god-I-couldn't-stand-another-minute-listening-to-you-rumbling-about-it make up your mind, you end up doubting very much so you are taking the right decision.

So in my opinion fate is a b1tch. Not only that, it is a lazy prankish b1tch. Because it is supposed to lead our lives in a way we can refuse to run its course. And yet again it gives you so many choices to make you believe you're deciding things yourself ** What a joke!! J


*This is just a figure of speech. Of course I wouldn't want to have my life controlled. But having a crystal ball showing the future and what it could hold for me if I took either side, that'd help a LOT, wouldn't it?

 **This is one of my everlasting conflicts between concepts of freewill, destiny/fate and God being omniscient.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

…freedom of speech rules?

One of the things I like the most about blogging, is the fact I can share my opinions with people sometimes I don't even know face-to-face. Discussing different point-of-views without getting in a war would be the start line of my so-planned-never-gonna-happen revolution :) Making people see each one is different to each other and trying to accept (accept, and not simply tolerate) them …

But then again, this is subject for another post.

What I want to do now is to reply some of the very rare comments I get on this blog.

As the comments link have been disabled by the company I work for, this is the best way to share my views on your opinion ;)


On the subject of the Mocoto restaurant, which was opened by a Brazilian and closed 5 months ago, I am glad to see people agree with me. Apart from the fact I don't know who said £5million was spent; it is not hard to imagine that was the real figure at the end. Qris made a very valid point when saying this smelt like a money laundering scheme. We from Brazil know that unfortunately our people have a way to make everything turn into our advantage. It is something hard to explain, it's like a cultural thing when most of the time you try to bend the law and the rules in favour of oneself. Of course I am not saying everyone does it on a large scale, but everyone has done it before one way or another (throw the first stone the brazilian who didn't, lol). So, this is a very real and possible thing which could have happened, and I tell you one thing, the odds are against the guy being an innocent incompetent restaurateur.

The point Beatrice does is worth repeating here:

"Consider that a man spends a million to make another million - and then another and another. Consider that some at least of those millions find their way back into the economy of his country - and ask yourself if after all the people of that country will not somehow be the better for it?"

I've read an article on a Times (or was it the independent?) weekend magazine which said this guy came from a very rich family – old money then – and he was already a very successful and respected entrepreneur in Brazil before opening Mocoto here. The fact is we know none of this money would have found its way back to Brazil. Maybe it is hard for you to grasp that concept, because English people are more…how can I put it politely …? English people are more correct. In 90% of the case with brazilian rich people their money is nowhere near a brazilian bank account or funding good causes (unless they get tax relief). They are in swiss banks, one of those banks the brazilian government will never find out about and come knocking on the door asking for the tax on it to be paid. Unfortunately that is the true, and the hopes of what you're saying would happen actually coming to reality are very slim. Maybe they broke here because once in their lives they had to pay their dues and not try and swerve from the laws. Believe you me, I wish this could be true =(


On the topic about the movies cliché about stunning girl gets together with geek boy, Luciana you are spot on with your comment. That's what I try to explain to Joe all the time. There's even something else. How could we ever compete with photoshop and special effects? So, he'll have to settle down for little old me, porky and all =)


On the hook about beauty, comes my post about my diet. Luciana, I gained more than 10 Kg after I came to UK, believe it or not. I always loose weight before going to Brasil, around 5-6Kg, so what you see is actually just 4Kg more than when you saw me on the civil wedding ceremony 5 years ago =) My 2008 resolution will be to maintain my body weight and try to make it even better throughout the year and not only when I go to Brasil. This way I can enjoy feeling good about myself all the time and not feel the pressure when the time for the trip has come. I need to remember more how I am feeling now when I come back. Qris has commented here and she knows how hard it is to cope with everything. I believe what we ex-pats think, is if isn't enough to be away from home, from our family and closest friends (although now I have 2 beatiful and special friends here – they know who they are ^_^), we already have to cope with the terrible winter and cold miserable summer, why should we have to put up with starving and cutting down the foods we love? Chocolate, pasta, cheese, fried and frozen garbage are always the best ones to give us comfort. But I guess the point here is concentrate on what is good happening around us. We do have a good job (unlikely so many illegal Brazilians living here), we have good people around us here as well, the transport works, the quality of life is a galaxy away from the one we get in Brazil. We have to be stronger than our body and conquest its cravings. There's a phrase a friend told me which sums it all. There is nothing more delicious than being gorgeous (well, I took the liberty to replace thin by gorgeous here). With this in mind, I am finding a new will power. This should be a mantra thought to girls everywhere. Hope it helps you as well Qris. To Beatrice I can say I am facing this with no pressures at all. Is not like I am starving or not eating what I like. I have a treat per day and I think that is what makes most difference. Instead of having a chocolate bar, I stick to 2 squares. No more chips on lunch time (when I'd have them everyday before), but I have a nice salad or a healthy sandwich, most of the time I am bringing a packed lunch I made myself. I am very lucky because I love my fruit and veggie! I am also exercising at least 3 times a week, even if it is just for 20 minutes or so.

Overall, thanks girls for whishing me so well. The last update is I lost almost 2Kgs (4lbs) in 2 ½ weeks, and that includes the trip to Paris, crepes and ice cream then. Is not enough for people to notice the change but I am on the right track (I hope!)


On the last topic – not a very popular one, lol – about Formula one, Luciana – at the last paragraph I meant I am terrible at lying and I think I don't have the gene the good liars/cheaters have =) So every time I lie, everyone knows about it because is written on my face!


Off-topic one – Beatrice, I am sure once I finish the novel I'll miss it. I am trying to read it as it was the blog when we have to wait to see what happens, and its trilling. Hope you keep your second blog and keep writing and visiting other blogs. You are a very special blogger around, it'd be a shame to loose you…

Monday, 17 September 2007

…giving something a second change is rewarding?

So, hubby and I went to Paris this last weekend. And O-M-G, how I loved it!!


First time round, some 5 years ago, we went on a bus trip which left London on Friday morning and came back Sunday eve. It was cold out there, and we had to keep up with the bus dropping us off and picking us up, so time was strict. We also went to the Paris Motor show and Versailles Palace. Those were great, but meant we rushed through Paris, seeing only the major places, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph and Montparnasse. And, as we didn't get out of the bus that much, we missed out the interaction with the locals.


But this time round, it was brilliant! A weather with a temperature of 23-25oC meant it was perfect. The Hotel we stayed in was simple, but clean, with friendly staff and oh so close from the city centre! Twenty minutes walking and we would be at the Opera or the Louvre! The city had such nice air, everyone was cheering for the Rugby and it was just beautiful!

No queues at the Louvre or to see Mona Lisa meant I had surreal moment there. Just going up the stairs on the way to see Da Vinci's most famous work, I had this feeling of having a dream, you know when you can't believe you're somewhere you'd never think you'd be in a million years? But there I was, seeing her. Bigger than I though and trying to see if her eyes followed me across the room (yes, they DID!). La Madeleine was spectacular, a very special visit. You don't expect to see an actual church inside the Parthenon-like building. But it was a beautiful church, and the service was in English so we even started for a bit. We also went to the Opera, yes, that's right, this is the one which inspired the Phantom of the Opera musical. Unfortunately, due to a special event they weren't letting us go inside further than the first set of steps, but it looked spectacular! Concorde Place was where they beheaded people during the revolution and jut taking the left we went through the Jardin des Tuileries – both are beautiful and peaceful spots, you'd never guess they would be places where such atrocities happened. We also walked through the City Centre and went to see the NotreDame, which we didn't have time to go in last time, and this time missed the opening of stairs to go up by a few minutes =( Finished by 7:30PM and we were so tired (remember we walked all day long, after waking up at 4:00AM to get the train) we just didn't have the energy to go out have dinner. All we wanted was to sleep and relax.


Sunday, we began at 10:30AM with The Rodin Museum and Garden; we were struck by seeing the sculptures "live" there on our reach and some we could even touch! I remember going to see Rodin in the Tate in Sao Paulo and was such a huge queue we gave up =( But now looking at his works on the place they were conceived topped it all! From there, we went to Eiffel Tour, sitting on the grass gave us the most serene feeling! The Sun shining on us, oh what more can you asks for? We tried to go up the Tower, but as the top level was closed we decided to leave that for a next visit. From there a lengthy walk to the Arc de Triumph, but this time we went the whole way up to the top. The views were breathtaking and priceless – luckily it was for free as it was a national day =)
Coming down, we walked the Champs-Elysées, stopping to see the sunglasses shops, although we only took the names of sunglasses we liked so we can buy it cheaper somewhere else. And then, it was a Metro to the Sacré Coeur, where it was another treat for the eyes. The place where this cathedral sits is amazing, so French-like and where you don't feel the city rush one bit! It was worth all the hills we had to go up. Last stop from the trip was Moulin Rouge, and it was kinda funny all these tourists going to see it, because it is on a red-light district but when you get to the venue all you can think of is the glamorous of the movie (even though you haven't seen it is an unavoidable scene which springs to mind).
We really needed this perfect lovely weekend after this year busy time with guests and messed up routine. We were both in a good mood, and enjoyed everything on this trip. Only thing which spoiled it a bit was the fact we didn't feel inspired by any restaurant to go in and eat. Most of them were overpriced, and didn't offer French traditional food =( So we just enjoyed the crepes and croissants, lol. The locals were friendly and helpful, so much different feel than the first time round. Now I can say I'd happily live in Paris for a bit if I ever had to.