Share Your World – 10/02/2017

If you were given the opportunity to ride in a helicopter would you go? I have had that opportunity five or six times. In all occasions these rides were part of official visits by the President or Vice-Presidents of the international organization I worked for. It is very cool to fly in a helicopter and I didn’t find it scary at all. One of the flights included getting very close to a mountain and moving upwards a bit abruptly, which felt a little weird. But I understand that was not a near-accident. Just the way helicopters move. 🙂 Anyway, I’ll do it again any time, except in bad weather conditions or over a forest, under any weather condition!

What are some of your favorite type of proteins to eat? (meat, seafood, eggs, soy, cheese, nuts) I am not a big meat eater and I can’t stand soy in any form. I love seafood and eat it all the time. Cheese, eggs and nuts are also very appealing to me and I eat them quite regularly. So I guess that makes me a big protein fan, right?

What would be your preference, awake before dawn, at dawn, or awake before noon? In a perfect world, a perfect me would love to be awake before dawn. Imagine all the great shots I could take of the sunrise, of empty streets and empty tourist sites! But in the real world, the real me prefers to be awake before noon. Only when I am jet lagged I manage to be up before or at dawn. And even then I tend to stay in bed trying to sleep again! Most times, depending on the day, I sleep until 8:30 or 10:00am. I’m not proud of that, but night owls need their Zs. Here’s rare shot taken before sunrise, while having severe jet lag in Italy.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. In the continuing tragic reality of life in the US, I managed to find some inspiration in seeing people come together to help each other in Puerto Rico, after hurricane Maria almost completely destroyed the island. All that while the leader of the country had fits of rage on Twitter over football players kneeling during the national anthem. Today I am also inspired seeing images of huge lines of people ready to donate blood in Las Vegas, after the latest insane, mass shooting.

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Share Your World – September 25, 2017

What is your favorite outdoor activity? My favorite outdoor activity is walking. Not hiking, or anything too demanding. Just walking. Luckily, this goes very well with my favorite  thing in the world, which is photography. In comfortable shoes I can walk for hours on end. That’s what we do when we travel. Walking, feeling the soul of cities, watching and photographing people, beautiful places, unusual and even weird things. Let me do that, and I am a happy woman. 🙂

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger? It really depends. If I know where I’m going or am driving around familiar places, I like to drive. If it’s unfamiliar territory, I am more than happy to take the passenger seat. You see, I’m a good driver, but I have no sense of direction. I don’t know North from South and I can’t read maps. It’s that bad! Even with GPS I’m afraid I may get lost. And since we moved to L.A. I have become even more disoriented. It’s a huge city and people here like to give cardinal and ordinal directions. Everything is North or South of something, or East of West of whatever… I already have trouble figuring out those. Imagine my confusion when they throw in Northeast, Northwest, Southwest and Southeast. I usually hear those instructions with a blank stare and a nervous smile. And thinking: Uber!

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be? For me alone, nothing. But for me and others, I wish: 1. that my brother, who was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer, and just had one of his kidneys removed, can have a full recovery and regain his wonderful sense of humor, which seems lost ever since his ordeal started; 2. that my country, Brazil, sees better days ahead, with less corruption, less violence, more economic prosperity, and goes back to being the old beautiful, fun country with the happiest and friendliest people in the world; and 3. I wish Donald Trump is impeached before the end of his term, and never, ever again holds any position of power or influence in his life.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Nothing inspired me last week. If anything, I felt extremely sad and disillusioned to live in a country led by a narcissistic ignoramus, who is sucking the life out of most Americans with his ignorance, lack of empathy, and irresponsible actions… Sorry to end in such a negative note. It’s our reality.

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Share Your World – 09/18/2017

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about … Visual arts. My husband and I are frequent museum goers and I have taken art courses in the past, so I know enough to recognize the works of great painters, sculptors, and photographers when I see them. But I’d like to learn more about the various art movements in various periods in history, and the influential groups of artists that shaped those movements. There have been 50+ art movements in history. Next week I’m starting an art history class at UCLA and I’m very excited about it.

On a vacation, what you would require in any place that you sleep? A VERY comfortable bed, with a great mattress and quality linen preferably. Of course I don’t expect to find that everywhere. That’s why we never stay in family or friend’s homes when we travel. Most people’s guest rooms don’t have great beds, nor should they have any obligation to provide that. Since I am a firm believer in the phrase “You get what you pay for,” I’d rather know what I’m getting, even if it has a cost.

What is your greatest extravagance?  Unless it’s a short (1-3 hours) flight, I only travel in business or first class. I need to be able to stretch my legs and my back or else I’ll will be a mess when I arrive at my destination. I’ll be awake all night if it’s an overnight flight, and my neck and back will be in terrible shape. Luckily, we travel frequently and accumulate lots of airline miles, which allows us to get upgrades almost every time. It’s really worth it.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Nothing happened to inspire me this past week, but I saw a quote that I really like. It is attributed to Nelson Mandela and it says: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Amen to that!

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Share Your World – 09/11/2017

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free. I guess I’d take it now and invested it well because who knows what will happen in a year? I could win millions in a lottery before that and those $250,000 would mean very little then. Or I could die before that and some lucky person would inherit it all, assuming it were transferable. But what I should really tell you is that I don’t believe in money miracles, let alone tax free! 🙂

Is it more important to love or be loved? I admit I’m a bit weird, but I don’t feel the need to be loved. I welcome it, of course, and I’m happy to know that I am loved by at least some people around me. But I don’t need it as much as some people do. Instead, I feel much more satisfied giving my affection to those who need it and who I truly love. Giving is always much more fulfilling to me than taking.

List things that represent abundance to you. We all know that material things don’t necessary bring happiness, though they may help a little in some cases. So I think abundance is: having a good education; having a job that you enjoy; having a solid relationship, be it in a marriage or not; having a loving family and some loyal friends; being able to travel and see the world; being healthy and mentally strong; and having a financial situation that allows you to live comfortably well into your later years of life. This to me is abundance and I’m happy to say I have it. Don’t need anything else.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. As always, I am inspired by the way people come together in times of disaster to help each other. We saw that this past week as people helped each other through the ordeal of hurricane Irma. The work of first responders also always inspires me. They are the most selfless people on earth. This weekend we saw them in action again. They are awesome and a true inspiration to me. That’s why today I dedicated my 365 project post to the 9/11 first responders.

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Share Your World – August 7, 2017

What was the last URL that you bookmarked or saved? Coincidentally, the last thing I saved was about photography! It was a link to “The Most Influential Images of All Time.” Wonderful photographs that I want to look at over and over again.

Do you believe in the afterlife?  Reincarnation? No, not really… But if I were to come back, I’d want to come back as a man, so I wouldn’t have to endure some things that only women have to endure (you all know what they are), plus I wouldn’t be discriminated for my gender; would be paid the right/fair salary for my work; would not have to blow-dry my hair every time I washed it; could be ready in 20 minutes; could wear the same suit several times and nobody would notice or mind… And so on and so forth… 😀 Sorry, was that too much of a feminist statement? No offense, guys. Really.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels? I used to write poems in my teenage years. They were not bad… If I were to become a writer, I would definitely write short stories because they’d go well with my short attention span. 🙂

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.  Unfortunately, this past week was filled with things that didn’t inspire me at all… Sad political news from Brazil, terrible news from Venezuela, Trump in the USA, and, to top it all, I managed to catch a cold that I’m still fighting as I pack for a long trip to Brazil tomorrow.

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Share Your World – July 31, 2017

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: wear glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected? I have been wearing contact lenses for many years. I still wear glasses at home early in the morning and at night to give my eyes a break. I think contacts are great. I adjusted very easily and can’t imagine what it would be like to wear glasses all the time.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? I am definitely a dog person. My family had three dogs when I was growing up: two German Shepherds and an adorable mutt, who was my most beloved companion for years. We had a lovely Cocker Spaniel in D.C., who unfortunately died very young, and now we are “grandparents” to our daughter’s wonderful Cockapoo, Kaya, who is a total delight. I’ve never had cats and haven’t been around them much. I don’t dislike them, though. They have interesting personalities and can be lots of fun, but their aloofness would not go well with my idea of a pet. I wouldn’t know how to deal with it. So, dogs it is! This is Kaya:

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?  Being in Southern California, one of the items would have to be a pool. When we were house hunting in L.A. we couldn’t find a house that met all our needs and had a pool, so we decided that wasn’t a priority, although it would’ve been great to have a pool with year-round sunshine… The second wish would be that the house or condo be on the ocean front. We are just a 10-minute ride from Santa Monica Beach but I’d love to live on Ocean Ave. with a view of Santa Monica Bay. The other day we were walking on Ocean Ave. and I noticed there is a Senior Living Facility there, so I told my husband that perhaps we should plan to move there when the time comes… 😀 😀

The third wish, and don’t laugh please, would be to install those Japanese toilet seats that do everything for you, clean themselves, even play music while in use, in all the bathrooms in the house. 😀 😀 😀 That’s actually not a wish at all, but I couldn’t think of anything else so, why not that? I hear it’s one of the craziest experiences people have in Japan. 🙂

What inspired you this past week?  First, let me clarify that I am not an American citizen, so I don’t vote and don’t belong to any party. But I pay a lot of taxes as a permanent resident and thus have great interest in what the government does or doesn’t do for its citizens and residents. Last week I was very inspired by what three Republican Senators did when they voted against a bill that would take away health care from millions of Americans. It was especially inspiring that two of them were women –Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski– who held on to their convictions and their constituents best interest, in spite of enormous pressure from the party to vote yes. The third was Senator John McCain, who went back to DC only 10 days after having brain surgery to extract a malignant tumor just to participate in the vote. He not only voted against the bill, but also gave a strong speech urging members of Congress to work together, across party lines, for the good of the American people. He proved himself to be a real maverick and a man of principles. His vote was essential to defeat the bill. Kudos to the three of them!!


The images above are from the Internet. From left to right, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Susan Collins, and Senator John McCain.

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Share Your World – July 24, 2017

List some of your favorites types of teas.  I’m not much of a tea drinker. I am a Brazilian living in the USA so that means coffee all the way! But I do like some teas and occasionally I feel like having a nice cup of tea. Especially if I am sick or in London, one of my favorite cities in the world. I enjoy herbal teas like Camomile, Peppermint, and Raspberry Leaves. But when in London, my favorite tea is High Tea!! 🙂 And with that, I usually have Black Tea with milk, just like the Queen has hers, I suppose…

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be? If we’re talking about today, it would have to be SLOW because it’s been a very slow and uneventful day.

What are a couple of things people could do for you on a really bad day that would really help you? Probably respect my feelings and move on. But depending on what’s making my day bad, just listening to me vent would be very helpful, or giving me a nice hug and introducing some humor into the conversation.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do? Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed. I would be either a Tennis pro, or a professional Volleyball player. I played both sports through my 30s, but never seriously. Tennis was a problem because I get easily distracted and any noise, movement, airplanes or butterflies flying by could break my concentration. Needless to say, I lost a lot! I was pretty good in Volleyball but at only 5’4”, I was an eternal setter. That’s an important position because you set the ball for the attackers so you are the equivalent of a quarterback in American football (minus the prestige). However, anyone who plays volleyball knows that the hitters and spikers have all the fun. They make most of the points! So, in my dreams I’d be a Wing Spiker for the Brazilian National Volleyball Team. 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I can’t remember last week, so I’m pretty sure I have nothing special to be grateful for, except being alive and well. This week will probably be just as uneventful. And that is fine.

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Share Your World – July 3, 2017

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other? I can’t stand bland or bitter food. Other than that, I’m open to all kinds of things. I like sweet and sour, because I have a sweet tooth! I love spicy food, except those that leave your whole mouth numb. But while I appreciate well seasoned food, I don’t need my daily meals to have special herbs and spices. HOWEVER, salt and pepper, in reasonable quantities, are an absolute must. Non-negotiable. A friend once told me that when she eliminated salt from her diet, after a few days she was able to appreciate the real taste of various foods, which was “awesome.” Well, I tried that once and decided that I wouldn’t be able to do it long enough to reach that point of awesomeness…

Where do you hide junk when people come over? My house is not so messy that I need to hide junk from visitors. But the eventual stuff that might be lying around would probably be shoved in some closet or something like that if there was no time to tidy up.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life? That would have to be exercise. As much as I like the idea of exercising daily, I often have a hundred and one reasons to skip it. I enjoy walking and do it as often as possible, but that’s obviously not enough…

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?  Oh, boy! I’m glad this is not a real choice I need to make because, other than maybe a Clown act, I don’t have any skills that would allow me to perform a circus act. So maybe I could be part of some talentless act, like being an assistant to the magician, or holding balloons somewhere… Speaking of the circus, something tells me this form of entertainment is on its way out. Good for the animals!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was fun as we hosted a good friend visiting from Brazil and were able to catch up on many things and people we haven’t seen in a while. This week, there’s 4th of July, but we’ve decided not to celebrate it with barbecues or any special food because we’re both on a serious diet. May God help us all! 🙂

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Share You World – June 19, 2017

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?  Definitely Twitter. I find it annoying and weird. Can’t understand how people like it. Of all social media platforms Twitter is the most conducive to aggression and vitriol. There’s so much aggression and mean-spiritedness happening on Twitter, sometimes I wish it would just disappear. And now that the US has a Tweeter-in-Chief instead of a President, I dislike it even more. Anyway, I am a Facebook user and I have my blogs (one is actually quite abandoned) and that’s how I communicate with the world. I can live without Twitter, Instagram, and the rest.

What quirky things do people do where you are from?  I live in Los Angeles and, as the whole world knows, Angelenos drive a lot and traffic is their main concern. People here are constantly looking for ways to beat traffic, looking for shortcuts that will get them to their destination faster, and talk about it all the time. Drivers can get very aggressive whenever something slows things down. They honk and exchange “pleasantries” quite often. I always say that Angelenos are very nice people who turn into monsters during rush hour. 🙂 Another quirk of Angelenos is their inability to handle rain. Meteorologists here talk about 2 inches of rain the same way their East Coast peers talk about 5 feet of snow. It’s hilarious. And since it rains so little here, people don’t have umbrellas or raincoats, and can’t drive in the rain. So any little rain causes panic, car accidents and gridlock on the roads. That’s LA…

What are some things you wish you could unlearn?  I can’t think of anything I wish to unlearn. On the contrary, I can think of many, many things I wish I had learned, like play the piano and the cello; speak French and Italian; drawing and painting; and many more. Hopefully I can still learn some of these…

Who is someone that you miss having in your life?  I don’t miss one person in particular, but I miss having family around. I’m lucky we live close to our daughter in Santa Monica, but all my family is in Brazil and sometimes I wish I had them here. Well, not *all* of them… 😉

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful things have been quiet and the weather has been beautiful. It will change as a heatwave is approaching. This week we are hosting a good friend from Brazil who is visiting LA. We haven’t seen him in almost ten years and it will be fun catching up.

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Share Your World – June 12, 2017

Time to share a bit of my world with Cee

What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine? I like to take classes, especially of Art History and Photography. Consequently, I go to art exhibitions and visit museums quite often, and roam around a lot taking photos for my classes or for my own projects, like the 365 project.

What would you do if you won the lottery? I honestly don’t have a plan because I really don’t believe that will ever happen. I never play but my husband does when he remembers. But, if I won the lottery, I’d like to think I would not change much about my life and rather do something meaningful with the money, like creating a foundation with educational purposes or something geared to children. And, of course, help our daughter become financially secure and free to choose what to do in her life without needing to have a job just because it pays. I’d also help anyone in our families who might need it.

What makes you laugh the most? I love to laugh, I love comedy, I’m a bit of a clown myself. I like funny people, with a witty sense of humor and just talking with people like that makes me laugh and feel happy. A guilty pleasure: those crazy cat videos and GIFs we find on the Internet make me laugh every time and I just love them.  Please don’t tell anyone…

What is your biggest pet peeve with modern technology? Where do I start? Perhaps the fact that it takes me a while to master these gadgets and when I’m finally feeling comfortable with them, they change stuff and I’m at a loss again. I have also become very wary of smart phones. I think they are spying devices that serve the interests of Google, Apple, Facebook, and the like. The fact that they are tracking our every move online, collecting our data and selling it to their sponsors is quite unsettling. I try not to think about it too much… I still like my iPhone, though… But I hate Siri, never talk to her, refuse to ask her questions and the few times I did, just for fun, she gave me stupid answers because she misunderstood me. Blame it on my Brazilian accent… 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that I was able to keep my diet and even lose some pounds in spite of skipping exercise altogether…  This week promises to be quiet and I just look forward to a nice family lunch at a fun place on Father’s Day. I am still not sure I’ll get him a gift because technically I don’t have to since I’m not his daughter… 🙂