Archive for August, 2012

I’m Free!

My students just canceled. The weekend has begun.


Everybody knows that TGIF means Thank God It’s Friday, but does it?

Not for sharks it doesn’t.

Juniperus Procubens (Tuia Jacaré)

I have a bonsai tree.

I have never had a bonsai tree before.

I have contemplated being the owner of a bonsai tree, but never went further than thinking about it. Tonight at class my student showed me a bonsai tree.

So cute!

It’s now mine and is sitting in my lounge.

Now I have to learn to care, feed and prune my little pet.

I love plants, and while I am not an admirer of flowery plants, I love greenery. Maybe I am entering a new phase in life, who knows?

Now I have a whole day to do nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s always coffee to be drunk. I have had three mugs already, and I am about to have a fourth. Then, of course, there is blogging. Now most people think that blogging is nothing, so for them I am doing nothing today; but then there are those who think that blogging is generally making some kind of contribution, so for those people, I’ll be sweating my little cotton socks off. I should also consider the dishes, then lunch.

I have a ton of meat left from the BBQ on Wednesday, so seeing as I can’t refreeze it, it has to be used so I will have another BBQ at the botequim about beer o’clock.

Now I have a large ginger feline type creature clawing at my thighs, I am thankful I haven’t removed my jeans yet. Lixo is telling me it’s breakfast time… again. He’s already had his breakfast, but he’s also always ready for a second helping, he is after all a growing boy. His girlfriend has also been around looking for ‘family benefit’; I told her to bugger off and wait until she has a family, not just a belly of paws and claws.

Now, where’s that coffee I was talking about?

It won’t appear magically, I’ll have to go on an expedition to the darkest reaches of my kitchen and make it.

I Still Smell

Yes, despite a shower and several hours passing, I still smell like a BBQ. I tried my cheap deodorant and that just made me smell like a cheap BBQ. You can read about my cheap deodorant here, I made some surprising discoveries about it.

Early part of the BBQ

My birthday BBQ was a success, started at 3pm, finished cooking some pork ribs for the local kids at 10pm. I got home at 11.30, which is way past my normal bedtime. I drank lots of beer, smoked far too much, talked a lot and generally had a good time. I had a lot more meat than was needed, so much was left over that I may do it again on Friday.

I went to pay my bill at the bar and Reimundo charged me for the bag of charcoal; I asked about the beer, that was when he told me one of my students had picked up the tab. Sometimes, despite frustrations with them, I do really like my students.

My alarm went off at 5.30am, I wasn’t pleased. I didn’t really want to get up and go to work. My mind was fuzzy, not from the beer, but the lack of sleep. I had to force myself into action, whereas I normally spring nimbly stagger lamely, but willingly out of bed.

I had fish & chips for lunch and then it was nap time. I have not long woken, and now I have about a half hour before I am off to class again.

So, I will see if I can squeeze another post or two out.


Won Hung Lo

Just a quick post today, refer to yesterday’s post for the reason why.

I have just returned from the supermarket buying dead animal parts for the BBQ this afternoon.

I find it easier to put a dead cow on the BBQ, the live ones tend to get a bit irritated.

Oh, yes, the title. No, we are not talking about the venerable Chinese gentleman, but rather my underpants. I walked to the supermarket, halfway there it began to drizzle.

By the time I got there, I was feeling uncomfortable, wet too, but uncomfortable in another area.

Now that I am home again, and have explored the reason for my discomfort, I discovered that the gusset in my underpants had decided to part company. So I just spent the best part of an hour walking around the supermarket with my nether parts lower than usual. I felt a bit like Prince Harry showing off the Crown Jewels even though people couldn’t see them.

Now, I am off on an expedition to find the bottom of the kitchen sink. I know roughly where it is and by doing the dishes, I should expose it. Then I have to thaw things, make some garlic butter and marinate the aforementioned dead animal parts. I am not serving bulls testes as I hoped. I did ask at the supermarket butchery department if they had any, boy but did the guy give me a strange look. I wonder why? I had so hoped to make this BBQ memorable for the fregües (regulars) at the botequim.

Full BBQ report tomorrow…


Closer to Extinction

An aurock

Aurochs are extinct.

They are sort of an old species of hairy cow.

Tomorrow, I take a step closer to extinction.

Yes, it is my birthday. Having completed 61 years of my allotted span of X years.

Death is not a case of if, but rather when. It is the only guarantee that we have in life, we just don’t know the ‘when’ factor.

Would it help to know the ‘when’?

I think not.

Would it be nice to live forever?

I think not.

One of Sean Connery’s very early films, way before 007, Zardos, in which people live forever and yearn for death as a freedom from the desperate boredom of forever. It certainly portrays forever as not being much fun.

I am posting this today, because I will not be blogging much tomorrow. I am instead having a BBQ at the botequim (neighbourhood bar) next door. There will be a lot of cooking and BBQs involve a certain level of  ‘social lubrication.’ By the end of the evening I should be suitably lubricated. I won’t get drunk; that is for fools. I stopped getting drunk many years ago when I realised that I wasn’t actually a fool… most of the time. We all have lapses.


Sunday Travel Tales

Some thoughts on Cusco

I quickly discovered that I could get my shoes shined by an urchin about twenty times a day, whether they needed it or not, I could buy postcards from a gaily costumed Qechua girls by the thousand, or have my photo taken ad nauseum with equally costumed families, who plied the streets with their similarly decorated animals.

I came to realise, Cusco existed today for the tourist and those who preyed on them to eke out an existance. At first it was unnerving to be attacked so ferociously by these Lilliputian street sellers. The local city guards tried in vain to shoo these kids from the plaza, but as they cleared one side, the kids invaded the other, and so it became a neverending game of hide ‘n’ seek. The kids were the clear winners, leaving the guards exasperated by the end of the day.

NB: An excerpt from an English grammar book I am writing. Yes, it is advanced English, very advanced.

Shocked, Absolutely Shocked!

The week has slid by, and I never even noticed. Didn’t even have time to say TGIF.

Whooooosh! It went.

Now it’s Saturday, I am four days shy of becoming 61. Quite looking forward to that. I have a BBQ planned at the botequim, it’s the rest of the year that bothers me.

It’s been an exciting week; we all had an unexpected glimpse of the Crown Jewels. Personally, I wasn’t impressed. His mother’s bling has much more sparkle. But it made for an exciting little interlude, one of those rare occasions when the press has the chance to make you forget about the things that really count.

Lixo has been sowing his wild oats all week. Now his little girlfriend is visiting him at home and wants ‘family support.’ He is not impressed; he even kicked her off my our his bed this morning. This morning she found his breakfast and he sat there watching her eat it, then looked up at me with a ‘WTF?’ expression on his furry face.

The entrance to Katsuo

I treated myself to sushi on Thursday at Katsuo.

The food was great, a good chance to try out the new gnashers; worked fine except for the lula empanad0 (battered squid ring), that was real crunchy.

I paid the bill and the waiter came and asked if I wanted anything else, another beer perhaps. I asked for a sonrisal (Brazilian alka seltzer), sem colarinho (no head).

It’s a pity that sushi is so expensive. If it were cheaper, I’d eat it once a week instead of once a month.

Still having our dry spell. Heard last night that Rio has never had such a warm winter, now tell me there aren’t climatic changes. Humidity today expected to be 30%, which is still good reason for beer o’clock later. Too early just now, I haven’t even thought about lunch yet.

Must away, blogging to be done. I’m more than halfway there.


Another Monday

There, it’s official!

It’s Monday, stamped and sealed to prove it.

20 minutes later

Monday has officially started. My afternoon student just canceled.

Another slapdash lunch. I decided to defrost the fridge in preparation for my supermarket foray tomorrow. So what was in the fridge went into the pan. Big fish fillet, two smoked hamburger patties, two franks, a real bachelor lunch. Opened my customary bottle of Chateau de Tap to wash it all down.

Still getting used to my ‘new’ teeth. They do make eating more comfortable. Discovered the secret of getting them in; place roughly in the mouth and bite, they just slip into place. Getting them out is a little more detailed. Life is a learning circle.

Lixo has been busy. There’ a little girl kitty over the back fence and she’s in season. My big fat ginger tomcat has been crying like a baby  for the last two nights. Today, he is exhausted; must be very tiring making little kitties. He’s catnapped all morning

I think, I will have a nap too, but not for the same reasons… pity.

Everybody needs something to believe in, so, I believe I will have a nap.

That will compensate for being at the keyboard at 4am.  I have only one more post to write and that is on Fizz, I haven’t decided what I will write yet, I am waiting for inspiration to leap up and strike me.


Sunday Travel Tales

Often a single photo can become a tale, such is the case with today’s photo.

Just in Amazonas from Rio Branco

I had spent a week in Boca do Acre, Amazonas.

It’s not far from Rio Branco, the capital of Acre, the westernmost state in Brazil.

Boca do Acre is literally the ‘mouth of the Acre River,’ the confluence of the Rio Acre where it empties into the Rio Purus.

It’s a rustic wild-westy type town catering for trips into the southern area of Amazonas.

Not really a lot to write home about at all, unless…

This happens.

The bus slid sideways in the mud and off the road


On the return journey it had been raining heavily and turned the ‘highway’ into a see of mud. The bus began to slide sideways, there was no stopping it and the back wheels slid off the road into the swamp.

It could have been a lot worse, at least we stayed upright.

Five cold boring hours later, we were rescued by another bus from Rio Branco, to continue our journey.

Just one f those little incidents that help spell the word adventure.

Boca do Acre, the confluence of the Rio Acre and Rio Purus

You Can’t Disturb Me!

See, I’m already disturbed.

Today is Saturday, it must be, because every calendar I have read today tells me it is.

The sun is shining, it has the prospects of being a beautiful day with the promise of 30°C (about 86°F), which means great beer drinking weather.

Yesterday I had my partial plate fitted, it’s not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. It still isn’t supporting the wiggly tooth, that comes next Friday, but it has filled in a couple of gaps and makes eating a little easier.

I brought new socks yesterday too; real socks, not the stupid little socks I got by mistake.

I have decided the world is a circus…

Because it’s full of freakin’ clowns. The latest clowns to enter the arena are the Russians with their stupidity over Pussy Riot and banning Gay Pride parades for 100 years. Then there’s the American clowns, Swedish clowns and the British clowns doing their slapstick routine over Julian Assange’s asylum. The Israeli clowns are ready to blow the lid off the Middle East abetted by the American clowns. The Australian clowns have shot themselves in the foot over the colour of the ‘plain packs’ for cigarettes, they chose the most masculine colour around, olive green; nothing exudes masculinity like military association. The Iranian clowns entered the stage telling the world to sod off with their humanitarian earthquake aid, then back peddled. The American clowns are sulking, because their new toy didn’t work… again.

Yes, the world is a circus. A sorry sad state of affairs, it’s no wonder that I am disturbed already.

Anyway, on with the business of being Saturday.


Stupid Little Socks

Stupid little socks

Yes, stupid. I have never seen them before I came to Brazil. Sockettes, they’re like normal socks, but only come to the ankle instead of comfortably up the leg a little. Stupid little, damned uncomfortable things.

Last time out shopping I got caught unawares, and didn’t realise until I had opened the pack that they were stupid little socks.

Caveat emptor… Let the buyer beware

I am of an age (rapidly approaching 61, 12 days to go) when I like ‘normal’. Yes, I know it’s difficult to define normal, but I mean, I like things as I have known them. I don’t like change. In this case, I like socks to be socks, not poncy little stupid socks. Am I asking too much?

All week, I have been stewing on this post. It was supposed to be Monday’s, then all of a sudden it was Tuesday. Then that disappeared, followed by Wednesday and Thursday. Yes, they just disappeared… into the abyss of time gone. Went!

Today, I have early lesson, then the dentist. After that, I should go and pay the rent, but that hasn’t been decided yet. It depends on whether I like the new geography of my buccal cavity being helped or hindered by a partial plate.

I should move along, things to do before I go. Things like put my pants on…




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