Saturday, January 12, 2008


Ellen says that today we were lazy. Whatever. She’s the one that ate almost the whole pan of brownies.

Maybe I should start from the beginning, and point out that this is a Saturday, that Ellen has a hacking, evil, phlegmy-old-man cough that she got from, surprise!, a phlegm encrusted old man the other day in Copacabana, who was spreading lung disease with the most rancid cigarette smoke in existence. (I’m sure that brand is outlawed in Singapore.) Poor Ellen. First I got sick. The kind of low-grade illness that doesn’t make the going to the doctor cut, because I don’t trust Brazilian R$20 a visit doctors all that much, and because I have too much pride to go to the doctor and tell them that I just feel tired. And maybe a little nauseated. It’s not worth it, even if I’m dragging through the city with monster black circles around my eyes and dragging steps. I blamed Ellen for it:

J: I’m tired. It’s all your fault.
E: Me? Why? I didn’t do anything. You’re just lazy.
J: Exhaustion Ellen…
E: But I’m not exhausted…
J: O of course not! You’re like Typhoid Mary…

But yesterday, she made no complaint about taking the escalator up from the Metro, and when we got to the house, I ran to the bedroom to change my clothes, as I was going to be late for my class. When I walked back through the living room three minutes later, what do I see but Ellen, sprawled out on the floor, asleep. I asked if she wanted anything and there was no response. Apparently, she heard me, but was TOO TIRED FOR THE WORDS TO COME OUT. Vindication.

But she's better now. And so am I, though that might be due to the fact that on Sunday night, my dear sister wrote in the church's prayer book the following words:

(or something to that effect. In English.)

Then she told my friend, the goofball who encouraged her to deface the serious prayer book, that my sickness was an STD. She's got an odd sense of humor. It's a good thing Rodrigo doesn't speak much English!

Today we washed dishes and laundry and went grocery shopping. We also tried unsuccessfully to move my couch into the living room (somehow, the heat induced me into thinking that the couch would make it through this time...even though the doorframe is 2 inches too tight). We grabbed a stack of old magazines, alternately reading and ripping out pages. I now know that if you're having relationship troubles, Fitness assures me that counseling isn't necessary. Maybe just some "good old manners" will do the trick. Didn't know that you're supposed to think about another person's feelings and say thank you once in a while? Now you do. Also, there are maneless lions, and people who sew up mane-d stuffed fake lions to see what the maneless ones will do to them. (They sniff them, then knock them over. Bullies.) High foreheads and bumpy noses are "in."

The ripped-out pages became 3 collages. They were supposed to be four, but after the third one was completed, I think my creativity died, and it looked like a color-blind ape had put it together. I'm hoping to find something to use to frame these, as they make me happy just looking at them. Hint to people that send me care packages:

1. I like magazines!

2. I also like care packages! I get jealous; our Servant Teams are forever getting gifts. In fact, yesterday, at our staff meeting, we divided the spoils of a couple boxes that didn't make it until after they went home...4 containers of peanut butter, Crystal Light, Reeses Pieces, two bags of Skittles, more chocolate, dried fruit and nut mixes (some four bags), toys, a box of cereal, four J. Crew catalogs, and oh so much more. Thanks, last Servant Team! P.S., we actually have access to Tang and Nutella and dried fruit in Brazil. But cereal is always appreciated, as was the Harper's Bazaar that came along. Which brings me to #3:

3. I love magazines! Especially the high fashion ones, like Vogue and Harpers, in which the articles written with great, refined snobbery are outranked five to one by luxe ads featuring impossibly thin women wearing impossibly fantastic and out of this world clothes. The textures are incredible and do so much for my imagination and occasional art work. Plus, someday if I suddenly wake up learning how to sew, I plan on living in ball gowns. And hats. With feathers, which I'll wear while sipping my tea in my secret garden on some enchanted Caribbean island. Right. I allow myself this fantasy; I have never been much for reality. I live to walk around with my head in the clouds!

Oh, but the pictures. The first is just assembly, the last three are the finished products...

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