Friday, September 29, 2006

Need to rant a bit now...

Sunday is general elections day in Brasil. As a Brazilian Citizen living abroad, I also need to vote here, in the Embassy of course. Just for President at least.

Every year those people from the Embassy send me an email confirming details for the day. Not this year though.

Since I like to have everything confirmed an so on, what did I do? First thing in the morning called them (yes, today). Follows the painful dialog:

Me - Good Morning (all in portuguese)... I would like to confirm about the elections on Sunday.

Satan's minion - What about the Elections?

Me - Ehr, hmmm... if they will happen, if they are confirmed?...

Satan's minion - Of course! Don't you see that everywhere in the newspapers and TV etc?

(Moment of silence, I was shocked... For Chrissake, I do live in Ireland now, not in Brasil! Which newspapers is he on about? Which TV? Sesame Street Expatriate News??? Just to confirm if everything was OK there, times, blah blah. The basics, really)...

Me, after-shock, intimidated- It's just because every year you send me an email to confirm and this year you did not, and I... I'd like to confirm that it's OK, just that.

Satan's minion, with a condescending tone of course - Yes, from 8am to 5pm.

Me - O-OK then. T-thanks...

Aaarrghh... I wish I haven't been so shocked or perplexed and replied accordingly at the time. I mean, treating him like a "fellow eejit", but I could not. Seriously, what could I expect? No wonder Brazilian civil servants have a bad reputation. They can be very, very obnoxious and have this icredible power to make you feel as if you were owing them a favour, or as if you were a helpless, pitiful, terminal moron. Mind you, not all of them are like this, of course. But there's something about having a bureaucratic sort of a "mystical aura" with some of them. As if you were just a pile of worthless dust in comparison, and they the Almighty-Chosen-Ones.

They certainly have no Customer Services training, or nothing of that sort. Because, we citizens are their Customers in the end, no?

I expected that, by living here, at least I would be spared that kind of awkward situation. But no. No. I also expected that, somehow, they would have become a tad more educated, polite, helpful. No again. It's all the same. All the bloody same!

And then, I need to vote for President. Who will probably be - again - the same one we have right now, the same one who apparently likes to send money (that Brasil, let's face it, doesn't even have), to terrorists (or so it's said). The same one that admires figures like Hugo Chávez. Nice, no??? See, things will never, ever change up there, and it's so sad. I would love to go back, but those things just freak me out. And all that ancient, almost chronical bureaucracy. I start to get stressed just to think about it. I feel really bad. It's not even the violence that scares me, but that kind of behaviour, which seems to be turning into a standard.

(By the way, is something like "free speech" still allowed? I hope so.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Facial Recognition Web Gimmick

Look at this thing. Facial recognition software. You upload your photo and they come up with your celebrity "look-alikes". Meh... Well... It's fun, because some of them may make sense. It seems to take into account the visible bone structure, which pretty much depends on your position in the original photo, or the angle it was taken from. I tried with several pics, here's an example (this pic from 2 or 3 years ago, full of makeup and different haircut):

MyHeritage - share black and white photos with facial recognition technology
Now, the one I could kind of agree there is Winona Ryder, for some people say they think of me when watching her in Coppola's Dracula, ha ha! But I think it's just because she loved a vampire and I have this attachment for horror films and stuff like that. And I would befriend a Vampire, if that was possible in real life, why not?

As for Michelle Branch - who the hell is she by the way? Anyway, we have the same hair colour at least, ha ha! Kate Bosworth?? Ah, yes, the white of the eyes this time, of course! Anna Paquin, I can see some similarity, especially when I was younger. Fernanda Tavares, well, she is Brazilian at least. However, she is a giant of a lady and has a nice tan, while I am just, ehrm, just pale mini-me...

Another celeb I get a lot is Rachel Weisz, and that fella, Orlando Bloom, as well as the guy that plays Ross Geller in Friends. Also, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist. However, if I look like any of these people at all, that would be for sure Paloma Picasso, or Lúcia Veríssimo (Brazilian actor/singer). There is no picture of them on that database though. I even was mistaken by Lúcia once in the streets by no one less than Leiloca, ex-Frenética-turned-astrologer (Brazilians will know what I mean here!), ha ha! Embarrassing, huh?

It's something about the nose and chin, that are quite strong features of mine, it seems (in the sense of "big": prominent chin, and significantly developed nose). At least I did not get Dumbo... Well, I also do not absolutely look like an anteater, of course.

Speaking of which (I mean, Dumbo, not my nose - or ears for that matter) I decided to try it with pics of animals, just to see what would happen. You never know! Well, I should know... I got error messages, needless to say. I tried Cookie's pic (my Siberian Husky, now deceased, boo-hooo...), for I used to think she looked like me (that's serious, not joking, we had the same brown eyes). The system could not read it.

What was I expecting when entering Cookie (a dog) into that FR thingy? I expected that she would get the same celebrity look-alikes as me, of course! Since the site does not allow me to compare, say, my picture to a friend's, for example, but just User against Celebrities I decided to try that "common celebrity matches" technique! Clever or what? It didn't work though.

Yeah, I know, call me silly or a big eejit even, but wouldn't you try??? I know, you probably would not tell anyone about it, he he... But I have nooooo secrets...

(I should try with some nice pictures of chimps, maybe?)

Which Negima Character Are You?

Ken Akamatsu strikes again! And here are the results for my Negima personality test! I think it's very appropriate! Nodoka-chan is the librarian of Mahora Academy... Mark and I are reading this manga at the moment and it's quite funny and cute, I'm loving it!

Which Negima Character are you?

Woot! You're mostly like Nodoka. You are very quiet and intelligent. You hang out with a small cluster of friends that understand you, but getting to know new people can make you nervous. You don't talk to many other people besides friends and family. You love to read books and can be very responsible.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Friday, September 15, 2006

YSL Signes d'Orient Palette

I bought the new Yves Saint-Laurent palette Signes d'Orient last weekend, while in the House of Fraser.

I would give it a 8/10 rating.

It can be used on both eyes and face and it's composed of 3 colours: 2 lighter shades (baby pink and light beige with shimmers) and a lovely neutral brown, also a bit sparkly (golden flecks).

I don't think the brown could be used on the face as a blusher - but then again, maybe a darker complexion could do it - but it works beautifully as a contouring ayeshadow on the lashline and crease. It is very pigmented, that's why I think it would not work as a blusher, since it may look "streaky" on the face.

The lighter shades are great as both face highlighters and eyeshadow, providing a good base for darker shades and giving a nice glow when set over the brow bone. It is a great palette for everyday use, since it's neutral and subtle, very understated, easy to apply. I love it. Also, the embossed Chinese design on the pan is a must, however you feel a bit sad when you use it for the 1st time and realise it's not going to be there forever!

There are two things I don't like about it though:

- The golden shiny case with the YSL logo in matte gold looks pretty but is a magnet for fingerprints and other stains and marks. I really have this problem with the YSL golden cases and, moreover, they tend to oxidise over time;

- As it commonly happens with multi-task makeup palettes, it comes with a velvet black pouch (again, a magnet for fluff and dust-bunnies) and two applicators, being one for blusher (a small brush) and the other for eyeshadow (a double ended sponge applicator). These are useless. The brush is kinda cute but tiny (maybe it would work better as a shader?) and the spongy thing is flimsy and, again, tiny. Why they do still insist in pushing us those things, I don't know. Except for the Japanese compacts, which come with the best applicators, the compacts in general (European brands) come with these little useless contraptions that add to nothing in the end. I believe nowadays people have real brushes to apply makeup (I do, at least!): a nice fluffy brush for blush and a variety of different brushes for eyeshadow and liner - either from Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown, or whatever! But quality brushes, and not doll-house artifacts!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shiseido Beautiful Ad

This ad is just perfect. I think the model is Itoh Misaki. The ad for Shiseido's Skincare products, which simply are the best. Music and photography are perfect. The whole ad is a real gem and makes you want to try all their products. I especially love the part with the oritzuru (paper cranes), it's so colourful and delicate...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"To be a man..." (Shin-chan's wisdom)

Ha ha, I think this boy is genius! OK, not the most politically correct, maybe... But, who cares??? Just love, love, love Shin-chan...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I want a dog like this to be my pet-driver...

Ha ha! This is so cool! I could not believe when I read this on the web today: this woman in Mongolia crashed while teaching her dog how to drive! How crazy! How cute! How...

Me too, me too! I want a dog who knows how to drive, because I don't! See, instead of having the dog in a leash, it could drive me around in a car! Brilliant! Well, that lady in Mongolia, she surely knows how to drive; maybe the only problem here is that she is not a very good trainer, mhwahahahaaa!

(Aw dear... This made my day... What's next??)

If we only knew the breed, huh? Perhaps a Labrador or an Alsatian would have scored better, no?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Little things (and changes)

Here are some little things I love:

- The murmur of the wind through the trees (not tempest-woooooooohhhh but rather nice-afternoon-tsch-tsch-tsch, which means rather "breeze" than "wind" maybe!);
- Sunset lights;
- Cool temperatures (16-17 degrees);
- Wind chimes (goes well with the nice-afternoon-tsch-tsch-tsch, like a complimetary pling-pling-pling) ;
- Ramen noodles;
- Summer snails, always being very careful not to thread on the little things, since they look so cute and, ehr, relaxed!

(It 's being like this today! Had noodles at lunch time - and the other stuff!)

Today there was the official announcement in SITA that our office in Dublin will close. We will be made redundant. Last day is November 30th. I must say I feel quite relieved that they actually (and finally) announced it in a proper way, because we knew - non-officially - for some weeks already and oh boy, that was torture!

I must also say that I don't like changes and risks, but in some case a big shake may be very welcome - as a way of not remaining stagnated, accommodated, or frozen in a space and time cocoon.

In my case I must think about what I really want to do, since I am not very sure yet of that! I have been working for these companies for quite some time and never really stopped very much to think if that's what I really wanted: Pan American (2 years), American Express (9 and 1/2 years), SITA (6 years). And there you have 18 years of my life, gone without me being sure if that was worth the effort.

Some things I would like to do:

- Maybe work as a contractor;
- Have time to do some courses on Graphic design applications;
- Definitely go to a good HTML course;
- XML maybe (as well);
- Japanese course maybe (very tempting);
- Sit down and re-start drawing;
- Finally get/renew my Gym membership and start exercising again to see if I get more energetic and bring some movement to these limbs;
- Read, read, read;
- Start selling stuff on EBay as well.

The breeze is still "breezing". I feel relaxed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Country Roads (from "Whisper of the Heart")

This was found on Youtube and taken from Hayao Miyazaki's "Whisper of the Heart" (aka Mimi wo Sumaseba), one of my favourite movies. I have the soundtrack and just love the Japanese version of "Country Roads" when Shizuku starts singing it, so shyly at the beginning and then becoming more and more confident.

The English lyrics can be be seen in the video above, but here are the Romaji lyrics if you wish to karaoke!

Kantori Roodo (Country Roads)

Kantorii Roodo, kono michi
Zutto yukeba
Ano machi ni tsuduite ru
Ki ga suru Kantorii Roodo

Hitori botchi, osorezu ni
Ikiyou to yume mite ta
Samishisa oshikomete
Tsuyoi jibun wo mamotte ikou

Kantorii Roodo, kono michi...

Arukidukare tatazumu to
Ukande kuru furusatou no machi
Oka wo maku saka no michi
Sonna boku wo shikatte iru

Kantorii Roodo, kono michi...

Donna kujikesou na toki datte
Kesshite namida ha misenaide
Kokoro nashi ka hochou ga hayaku natte iku
omoide kesu tame

Kantorii Roodo, kono michi
Furusato he tsuduite mo
Boku ha, ikanai sa
Ikenai Kantorii Roodo

Kantorii Roodo, ashita ha
Itsu mo no boku sa
Kaeritai, kaerenai
Sayonara, Kantorii Roodo

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mousehunt tonight!

Mousehunt was the super-funny film we watched tonight. It was not our first time watching it of course, but it's so cute and so funny, that I can really watch it over and over again. Mark did not watch it until the end though. He likes a lot of films, but he does not quite appreciate watching them lots and lots of times. Unlike me, he he!

Amazingly versatile Christopher Walken plays a very good character here: Caesar, the wacky exterminator, who tries to end our adorable mouse's career in the old house.

So, that was what we saw tonight. I expect to watch something else tomorrow, after we come back from Dundrum for some shopping. Meanwhile I will be going to bed now and try and have a nice sleep. Last night it was quite bad, for I had a terrible migraine and could only get some sleep around 5am... And of course I slept for most of the day today, such a waste!