Goodbye 2018!

Here’s to all of you who fought the good fight in 2018, didn’t give up and came out victorious! Gather around guys.

Hey, hey my friends!

I’m sitting here on a Sunday night, listening to “live” music on YouTube of Bossa Nova Jazz because it make me feel like a grown up. Just kidding. I love jazz and especially Bossa Nova because your girl is a true Brazilian girl. Anyways, so I decided to give my two cents of my humble thoughts of this year and how it impacted me and how it will impact going into 2019.

I didn’t write too much this year because I had a lot going on and I’m still without a good video software that I like to edit any videos. I love making videos to post on my blog and also my job took a lot of my time, especially after I came home. Towards the end of the day, I basically konked out on my bed and fell asleep after making dinner. I just could not devote enough time to this blog. I felt bad, but I still love ya WordPress. You’re my first love.

So if you have read my blogs this year, you’ll know I had to deal with some serious issues like going to New Jersey to testify for a crime committed on me many years ago. It was a cold case that was reopened and I was the main witness. Emotionally, this year, at least the beginning was mostly me prepping emotionally to do something very hard and come face to face in court with this perpetrator. My emotions were mixed. I survived the ordeal and discovered I am a strong person and that I don’t give myself a lot of credit for a lot of things. I have confidence, it’s just giving myself due credit where it should be given. I don’t know if self-worth goes hand in hand with it.

I was able to continue going to work and doing well at it. In fact, I got “EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH” this past September. I felt honored and appreciated. My supervisor is amazing and has really been the kindness boss I’ve ever had. I’m really going to miss her.

But unfortunately, my knee issues was getting worse. I was getting injections in my lower back to help relieve some of the pain and numbness, but it only helped for a few days. Then I got an injection in my knee and it only helped for a week. This is only being done until I get to see a Orthopedist in a few months who will then actually “fix’ my knee issue. The pain management is all just basically a “band-aid” to help with the pain. I had to leave my job due to it affecting my driving and my job being 90 percent driving. My boss and friends all told me to just take care of my knee issue and make it a priority. It has been difficult since I’m an extremely independent and carefree person who is used to just getting up and going somewhere at free will. Now, it’s been harder. But it is what it is. I must relax my knee and stay put. Through all this, I’ve done my best to stay positive and see the brighter things about it. Which, I must admit has been very hard. Some days it’s very hard to walk because every step is painful when I put pressure on my knee as I walk. the waiting game is hard. I’m a bit impatient because it’s like I have things to do, places to see and places to explore, so this has been a bit of a damper to my spirit. I do have help and I’m glad I have friends who have come to my rescue.

I got a bit of a shock in early November. Initially, I had gotten a letter in August stating the perpetrator was going to stay in jail until next year and I was so relieved. However, due to him being in jail during the investigation and trial for two years, he maxed out. I got a letter stating he was coming out Dec. 4th. I was devastated and scared. I was mad and confused as to how he was able to come out a lot earlier. I focused on mostly my knee issues and I forgot to be scared like I had been thinking he’d try to hunt me down and do something, especially now where I feel so vulnerable and like a sitting duck. It’s the end of the year and nothing has happened and I’m safe. I will, however, buy one of those doorbell cameras that detects motion whenever someone comes near your door. It alerts your phone and you can see who is at your door or who was at your door when you’re not at home. I’m trying to not focus on my fears of what may happen and live my life and not have him on my mind. I hate living in fear and knowing he’s out can cause that. As it would any victim.

Not much else happened.

For the next year, 2019, I will be healing myself physically. This year was healing my mind, my emotions due to having to remember the past and telling complete strangers about it in court. It’s easy for me to write things such as my blog to you all because you’re part of my blogging journey, but to sit up there and tell very hurtful details of the crime to the jury was hard and opening up about such things was hard. I’m going to work on not worrying so much about the future.

This year I want to connect with a painter I admire. Not in a romantic way, but in a way saying how much I admire his artwork and ask if we could become bestfriends tell him about my life in Brazil. i just think it’s pretty unique he comes from a completely different world from mine and we are so opposite in our childhood upbringing, but we still have a lot in common with art, interest in nature and space. It’s like meeting your favorite author, or singer…. mine just happens to be a painter living in France out in the country. I think a nice letter, some photographs I’ve taken of Colorado and a Colorado shirt would make a nice gift to send him. I should throw in some Rocky Mountain Chocolates. I’ll keep you guys updated on this. I could also just say hello on messenger since he is on my friends list on his personal FB page. He has a public FB too, but I am one of the few on his personal FB page. I’m old fashioned, so a nice letter and a package will suffice for now. When a blogger connects with her favorite artist in France. Sounds like an adventure even Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex in the City) would want to read about.

I’m feeling positive of the next year. I truly am. My son will be going to college in 2020 instead of 2019, so he’ll be still around to help me out and go on adventures with me. He’ll also be driving in a few months, so that makes me anxious, but I trust him. I know he’ll be a great driver. The thought of how much longer we’ll stay in Colorado continues to haunt me. I love upstate New York and would readily retire there, but who knows. Life has a funny way of changing things around. A few days ago, I asked my son, “What would you think if we just moved to China for a year or six months while I taught English as a second language?”. He just smiled and nodded. I’ve always wanted my son to live overseas to experience life, but he’s already been to 6 different countries, so he has some handle of what life is like in other countries.

Thank you for sticking by me this year. Thank you and welcome to my new subscribers! At one point, I thought this will be my final and last blog ever on WordPress, but not this year. I’m not finished yet. Maybe I never will. I’ll be home warm and watching the ball drop in New York City on tv as my son will be with his friends watching fireworks here. What are your plans?

This has gotten too long, but that’s just an update. Here’s to the New Year folks. I’ll do my best to write more and post blogs of weird and strange places like I used to. See you next year!!

xoxo

Midnight in Paris (2011) Movie Review

midnight-in-paris-locandina-trailer

A special movie for a special day.

Cast: Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter named Gil who yearns to live in the 1920s in Paris. He finds himself back in time in that era every midnight. Rachel McAdams plays Inez, Gil’s fiancé, who doesn’t believe him and who does not share the same passion as Gil in wanting to live in Paris. Gil and Inez are both in Paris with her family due to her father’s new work related opportunity. When he travels back in time, one of the first writers he meets is F.Scott Fitzgerald played by the very talented Tom Hiddleston. Not to be outshined, Alison Pill played the ever charming Zelda Fitzgerald, who I personally think did a fine job portraying her. Corey Stoll played Ernest Hemingway who appeared to be ready to fight with anyone at a moments notice. Kathy Bates played Gertrude Stein, who was friends with Picasso who was played by Marcial Di Fonzo Bo. Marion Cotillard played the French muse whom Picasso was inspired by and who happened to run off with Hemingway at one point in the film. Adrien Brody played one of my favorite artists named Salvador Dali.

Basic movie facts: This movie was written and directed by Woody Allen. There is a part where Gil is talking to Bunuel about a movie idea which he’ll make in the future-that movie ended up being called El ángel exterminador aka The Exterminating Angel. This film was actually made by Bunuel in 1962.

Pros: Where do I begin with all the pros? If you’re an artist who is really into some of the greatest artists who ever lived or a literary buff who enjoyed reading the great classics, then this movie is for you. Sure, not everyone liked this movie or are familiar with the greats who appeared in the film, but that’s ok. The first time I watched this movie, I was overjoyed in seeing Picasso “come to life” and Salvador Dali-both these artists were great friends with another artist/sculpture whom I admire, Edward James. I even blogged about him and his Garden of Dreams. You can check it out here. Edward James and his Garden of Dreams. This movie is basically a gathering of famous artists and authors who all come together in this bar, if there ever was a fantasy of that happening. Apparently, Woody Allen beat everyone else to that, hence the birth of this film. Woody Allen brought into this film a cast of very talented actors and actresses to portray some of the greatest artists who ever lived. Another pro is that this film is filmed in Paris. I’m a big fan of movies filmed anywhere in France.

Cons: If you are not familiar with some of the characters, it won’t mean as much to you in that regards. I had no idea who Gertrude Stein was, so I was more focused on Kathy Bates (who portrayed her) as an actress and that creepy movie she was in. I noticed Rachel McAdams really enjoyed “poofing” up her hair in several scenes. It was slightly distracting, but she’s so amazing and talented, it’s not really a con.

Cinematography: Director of Photographer was Darius Khondji who did a beautiful job in capturing the charm of Paris. It was fun to see some well known locations from another movie “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”.

Music score: I have the entire music score in my little ipod. The first time I watched this film, I was mesmerized by what I saw and this only happened because of the music. Listening to the music as the main character was so magical, I just had to bring it into my own life to add some magic. It has worked. The soundtrack to the film accompanies me as I wash dishes, get ready in the morning, make my coffee, cook, clean up etc. I feel as thought I am living somewhere in Paris in the comfort of my home. I absolutely love it. So when I watched it the 3rd time two nights ago, all the songs were already so familiar than what they were when I first watched this movie the first two times. Two of my favorite songs in the movie are called “Je Suis Seul Ce Soir” and “Recado”. I usually listen to them every morning when I’m getting ready for work. Recado, for some reason, reminds me of a sunny morning in Rio with my buttered bread and coffee waiting for me out in the patio overlooking Copacabana Beach. I usually dance around the kitchen with Recado, but you’ll never catch me dancing if you are with me. Ok. Maybe. Music is such a huge part of my everyday life. It just brightens my mood and makes my morning magical. All these songs make me so happy and I just can’t stop smiling when I hear these songs.

Favorite quote: “Paul: Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”

I think having nostalgia for the past can be good to a certain point. A healthy way of dealing with that would be to incorporate some of the nostalgia to present time and mix it up with modern everyday life. If you believe that cooking from the 1800’s was amazing and that people ate healthier that way, then go out and buy a cookbook from the 1800s and make food from that era for your everyday life. I happen to love music from the 1920-1940 time and I play this kind of music whenever I can. I don’t sit and think about going back in time to France in the 1920’s all the time, but I bring it to present time to enjoy with the comforts of my technology at my fingertips.

Audience reaction: I loved this movie so much I now own it. For more than one reason, lol.

Relatability: For the past few movie reviews, I seem to be relating more with the male characters for some reason. I think that’s kind of funny in a way. I’m sure if I went to Paris, I would absolutely fall in love with the city and wonder what life would be like in the 1920’s. I happen to love walking in the rain like Gil. This is basically because there were times I had no choice but to walk in the pouring rain down in Brazil almost every single day. Rain does make a city even more beautiful, especially after it has stopped raining with the sunshine making everything shine with a certain freshness lingering in the air. Today is special because it’s my birthday. It was not hard deciding which movie to review for today. If you’re clever, you’ll realize there is a connection from the past few movies to this one. One clue: T. H.

Exploring the world of Hyper Photos!

Hey guys!

How’s your weekend so far? I am so tired after a very busy and tedious week of completing deadlines of enormous paperwork. The holiday weekend came just in time!

So, I came across this awesome web site of a photo technique called Hyper Photo (or Hyper Realism) which depicts a world within what seems like a one dimensional picture. The photographer for this website is a French artist called Jean Francois Rauzier and his pictures are created in such a way that when you open the picture up to a full screen, you can zoom in and out of the picture. Once you zoom in, you have to keep zooming into what you want to see. There is so much detail and little secret hideaways that it can take a good time of your evening just exploring every nook and cranny. JF Rauzier has many pictures of almost fantasy lands and worlds on his website that you can explore. It would take me a whole week and several hours on each one to explore the small details. The fun part is zooming in on a tiny part of the photograph and then zooming out to go explore another area of the photograph. A typical one-dimensional photograph, once you zoom in, the pixels keep getting bigger and you can’t see much. With JF Rauzier’s pictures, the more you zoom in, the clearer the picture becomes. Of course, you can go only so far. I was able to zoom into Nadine Gordimer’s gold ring on her finger in the Bibliotheque picture. I’m still exploring that particular picture. Cour de Marbre was the first picture I explored and probably my favorite so far. These pictures are so fascinating, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s quite fun to explore on a Friday night.

Click on two of my favorite photographs I’ve explored and it will take you to JF Rauzier’s website where you can zoom in and out of his pictures. You have to put them on “full screen” to be able to zoom in and out of the picture.

FYI: I’m not sure if it is just my computer, but the pictures take a minute or two to load up. Don’t leave the page, the picture will eventually appear on his website and you can go on and explore.

BIBLIOTHEQUE

COUR DE MARBRE

Photo credit: Jean Francois Rauzier
Official Website: JF Rauzier

I could talk forever with you

My dear friend,

For some reason, the art of conversation came up in my mind during a very busy day. I guess I was thinking about it because I’ve had to make several phone calls today and trying to reach certain people, dealing with other professionals. One lady was especially rude and irritating to me over the phone, but I ignored her rudeness and let her spew whatever was in her head. I just asked her a simple question and she started to interrogate me over the phone. Even though she was rude, I artfully dodged her attitude and not let it bother me (it bothered me after I hung up with her) during our conversation. I could have gotten irritated myself (my goodness, it was morning), but I just pretended to let her act like she knew everything. I figured that if I said, “Oh yeh, you’re right, absolutely” she’d stop and calm down a bit. I ended the conversation with a chirpy thank you and said goodbye. Much to my amazement, she was polite and calm than when she began with.

Luckily, with my job I’ve had to deal with every kind of personality on this planet (mostly). The hardest ones to conversate with are the people who talk loud and nonstop. I can’t get a word in (I wait to see if they actually take a breath, some don’t, they must have gills or something). Then they look at me and wonder why I’m quiet and “shy”. I’m not shy by all means, but when someone is talking loudly and nonstop, I hope and try to speed in a verb or word during a microsecond of their break.

My favorite types of conversations (and often challenging) are people who are shy. Often it begins with me basically talking to myself as they sit there real quiet. Then I somehow ask them an open end question such as, “What was your favorite vacation spot and why did you like it?”. Ha, they can’t answer that with a “yes” or “no”. Once they answer, I then pick out a particular word from what they said and ask them about that. If they continue being shy, I then move on to my next phase of finding out what is their hobby or interest. Believe me, one time I thought I had gone through every hobby in the world to find out this one person’s interest. I’m persistant, so eventually I found out (20 minutes later of guessing and silence). Once you pinpoint someone’s interest or passion, suddenly they open up. Even if it’s about molecular DNA of a bottom feeder specie, just keep asking them about it. Experts say to immitate the body language of the person you are talking to to make them feel comfortable. They say leaning forward and having good eye contact is good (not a gawking or a lovestruck look- those creep me out).

I consider myself a good conversationalist even when I’m having a bad day. I find it very rude to be rude to people when I’m having a bad day; besides what did they do to be at the end of my wrath? Politeness goes a long way baby! But being realistic, there are days when I just want to listen.

Here is a clip of one of my favorite movies in the world. I have loved this movie since the first time I watched it. The entire movie is just two people conversating and getting to know each other. This is such a poetic movie. I love the dialogue between the two characters, the same rhythm of their words and sentences, the relaxed tone of voice and the simplicity of the entire movie. I feel a connection with Celine. I feel as though we think a lot alike about views of life in both movies. Have you ever met someone like this? Someone who just had a natural way of talking, or told you their dreams or didn’t feel shy about expressing their feelings? Whatever the experience you had, would you write a book about it? I would.

Dreaming of Mont Saint Michel in France

My dear friend,

Can you believe I have never heard of Mont Saint Michel in France? I seriously never heard of it. Am I the only one in the world who hasn’t? I’m sure a majority of Europeans have heard of it, but I never have. I was looking at some photos and saw a photo and thought, “Does that place really exist?” It literally looks like it came from a childhood fairy tale storybook. The grandeur of the building and details of the little shops and alleys inside are enough to make me want to buy a ticket to go to France next year for vacation, just to see this amazing and mystical place called Mont Saint Michel. You must know I am and always have been fascinated by buildings, especially castles. If I had a little kingdom, I’d want it to look just like this one, not too big and not too small (ok, it is a little small), surrounded by water.

Doesn’t it look like an interesting place to explore? This is definately one place I want to add to my bucket list of places I want to visit someday. I’d also like to visit the small villages of France too.

As a photographer, you see something like this and it just takes your breath away. It’s that amazing to the mind. At least to mine. I love to write, so right away my mind is going crazy of what a story I could come up with just by looking at this medieval village. I’m a huge medieval fan and right now I’m reading a book “TimeLine” (I’m almost finished it) which takes place in the medieval era; I think that’s why I am so fascinated by this place. All the nooks and crannies in the stone walls and alleys-they have so much history to them. Many centuries ago, people dressed in medieval garb walked those same stairways holding baskets of food and fruits….the market was alive with chatter…..women shared secret gossips to each other….. Can you imagin being born there? And knowing that this little stone medieval village was all you knew? Can you imagin being a girl or guy and having internet access on your laptop in your home there (there are only 30 residents that live there) and you meet someone online somewhere in the world…and you show them a picture of your hometown (a village)? How cool would that be? I am falling in love with this place more and more. I’ve changed my mind about staying at a hotel off the island. I want to actually stay at one of the hotels there and spends days roaming the little village. I am beyond myself right now–get me the first ticket to France right now! I’m inspired. My  next song will be inspired by this place. When I have more time, I’ll get it done and showcase it.

 

For more information, please check out the link in the video or the one below in this blog.

This video below gives you more detail of what it looks like inside. This is such a magical little place. I must visit!

http://www.au-mont-saint-michel.com/en/mont_st_michel.htm

Also, if you are a Lord of the Rings trilogy fan such as myself, in “The Return of the King”, you will see that the city Minas Tirith was based upon Mont St Michel. Knowing this now, makes me incredibly happy!

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http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/mont-st-michel

JavaGirl

Two countries and 1 roll of film.

I had found this story when it first came out, very fascinating a few months ago. I love taking photographs and am always inspired by looking at photographs of other photographers. So, when I heard about this mystery, I wondered what or how it would end. I find it quite interesting that it sort of coincides with the whole American man, French woman thing I was talking about in yesterdays blog post with some movie clips of “Before Sunrise” with Ethan Hawke and French actress Julie Delpy.

Let me begin. The story first begins with a man from New York City. His name is Todd Bieber. One day….while cross country skiing, Todd came across a film canister. What wonderful photographs could this little canister hold? A fellow New Yorker? Pictures of children? Pets? He developed the film and discovered what they were. Here is his story. All video credits go to ToddBieber on YouTube. You can go there to watch all his videos.

Todd still wasn’t having any luck, so he made another video telling people about his continued quest to find the mysterious photographer. Here is the second part.

Several months later, the mystery was solved. If Todd didn’t have a girlfriend already, this would have made a pretty good Hollywood story with some embellishment of course. I think for Todd, the whole quest was a journey of self discovery, meeting new friends from a far away land and finally meeting the owner of the photographs. Here is the last part of the story.

After watching this video, it got me thinking. Whatever happened to MY pictures I lost from my digital camera that I lost in New York City? It was 4 years ago with my silver Olympus digital camera. I had some really good photos in there. One was of the art structure across “Radio City Hall” with a little brown haired boy in it. Another was of my friend Maria. I searched and searched…trying to see if anyone had found my camera with my photos in it. I believe it even had the picture of Adam ( my date who stood at the corner in NYC in the pouring rain waiting for me). I have several pictures of Adam from another camera, but I think I had other ones of him on there. I searched all over the internet to see if anyone posted something saying they found a camera, but no luck. I guess the person who took or found my camera was not adventureous enough to search the owner like Todd did.