Sunday, January 28, 2007

Everybody is Free (to wear sunscreen)

I found this video whilst cleaning out old e-mails... I first heard it in highschool whilst studying Baz Luhrmann´s work. (Those who don´t know him really should, the man is a genius!)
I´ve heard it a couple of times over the years since then and it always seems to have the same effect on me: it pulls me to my feet when I feel that I can no longer stand on my own.
The last person to send me this video was a colleague who certainly has been there for me through all kind of weather... (Thank-You)... she sent it to me after I made one of those monumental mistakes that rips you apart to your foundations.
The beauty of starting from scratch is the oportunity to build a stronger structure...
Today I didn´t particularly need to hear the song, but i´ve kept it knowing that every now and then... I need to be reminded of Baz´s brilliant advice.
I posted it for anyone that may need it...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Justice for Daddy

You know the country you live in is wired wrong when a judge sentences a father to six years of prison for protecting his little girl from what would certainly be the tragedy of her life… who gives these kind of people the power of judgement? Not only should he be fired as well as publicly flogged for inhumanity and utter stupidity!

The little girl who is now six years old, was given to the couple to adopt and raise by her biological mother at three months of age. The biological mother, who at the time had no conditions in which to raise the child, when asked about the biological father responded that he wasn't the kind of man fit to raise a child. So much so, that only now… six years later, the biological father appears and not only does he want to claim the child he barely knows, he also insists on a handsome sum of money for all the “psychological damage” caused upon him.

Are you kidding me?!

Any idiot can see that the man is using a child for a fat cheque. As if the fact that he screwed the child’s biological mother gives him the right to paternity!
As much as this makes my blood boil; I can understand that there’ll always be some asshole willing to sell his mother (or in this case, his daughter) to make a quick buck but what I can't accept is that some low life idiot who's job is to protect the innocent, give the little girl's father (yes because in my books, it is the man who raises the child who has right to this title… any imbecile can donate sperm!) a six year sentence for kidnapping.
Kidnapping?!! You call protecting his family a crime?!!
Crime is ripping a child from the arms of the man she lovingly calls “daddy”.

While it’s true that destiny often showers colours upon the blind (or as they say in Portuguese, give nuts to those who have no teeth), it doesn't mean that just because a man donates his sperm or a woman donates her womb, that their DNA automatically gives them rights over a child.
The parent is the one that teaches them right from wrong; their ABC´s; carries them on their shoulder and takes them shopping.
The parent is the one that rubs their tummies when they're sick, tucks them in at night and knows where they're most ticklish, their favourite colour, their favourite toy…
A parent is the person who prefers to go to jail for six years rather than have his little girl be raised by some pompous ass who doesn't know the first thing about being a real father!

For those of you who’d like to lend a hand, click on the title of this entry or copy the following link into your internet browser:

So far, 10 000 people have already signed a petition for his freedom.

I'm in favour of castration! It should be illegal for some people to be allowed to reproduce!
"Father" and "Mother" are titles earned, not inherited.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Music in Motion Awareness!

If you own an I-Pod, an Mp3 player… in fact if you own any gadget that allows you to listen to music whilst in movement… this is particularly for you!

What better invention that the one that allows you to listen to your favourite music whilst getting to and from places?
In the train, metro or bus you block out the sound of the city with the rhythm that entertains your soul and sets your mood…
To many, it is the gift that keeps on giving…

HOWEVER! The following consequences must be taken into consideration!

Due to the fact that your ears are in tune with your tunes; you no longer hear the cars and people that pass you by. This includes sensing when someone is walking behind you.
Which means if any cute guys whistle or hoot at you, you're gonna miss the opportunity of meeting the man of your dreams!

And if this isn't a high enough risk; you also have a high probability of making a total ass of yourself!

Here I was walking home on an empty street when the Madonna’s “Sorry” took me over! The volume at which I was hearing the song made me lose conscience of the fact that I was singing.
If that weren’t bad enough, the quality of the sound was so that it felt perfectly natural to dance as if I were on a dancefloor and so in addition to my singing… I danced.

It would've all been good if I'd made it home without noticing the three fluorescent yellow vests applauding my performance.
I'm sure it gave the garbage man something very interesting to write in his blog about.

As for the picture… I decided that I've had enough publicity thanks to my I-Pod and took the opportunity on leaving a Valentine gift suggestion…
Hurry while stocks last! :P

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Wash

Photosource: Holly Spring

Today I walked around in circles in the park. Deciding that music would only emphasize my mood, I opted to merely listen to the birds and soak the warm winter’s sun whilst I searched for serenity and contemplated.
It's the hardest of human tasks to do.
Forget patience – with effort I can conjure patience…
Forgiving myself for being a total idiot… that's a whole other ball game!
Having my finger caught in the door… that's forgivable.
But having it caught in the door everyday, that's just plain stupidity.
How do you forgive that?!

I consider myself intelligent, enough so to keep from making certain mistakes…
And yet, I find that often I lack the strength to stop myself from making them.
It's like driving off a cliff at 220km/h… you see the edge and while your brain tells you to hit the brakes, something stronger (or weaker, this part is debatable) keeps your foot firmly flat on the accelerator.
How do you forgive that?!

I consider myself orientated, enough so that I have no reason to get lost in certain places…
But even so, there are times I can't fight the urge to walk into the dark and the unknown. On those times, I'll leave my map at home and throw all caution to the wind.
Worse than walking into the unknown is walking on the roads you've walked through before, knowing that they lead to a dead end and yet you walk hoping for a highway connection...
You walk… and walk… and find the same dead end that was there the last time you came this way.
How do you forgive that?!

I consider myself confident, enough so not to let other's opinions alter my opinion of myself and my journey…
However, there are those whose words seem to always get through my common sense’s filter right through to my heart where they find the power to botch up the whole system.
After you've mastered the art of not letting other's opinions get to you how is it that suddenly another person's thoughts or ideas suddenly lead you to believe that you're lost.
How do you forgive that?!

I'm the kind of girl who knows exactly what she wants, where she's going and how she's going to get there…
So why isn't that enough to keep me from wanting the things I can't have?
I'm not an unsatisfied person by nature, I'm easily contented with what I have so why are there things I can't stop from desiring?
How do you forgive that?!

Yesterday I went shopping with one of my best friends for a birthday gift. We decided on getting him something he could wear and so the search began…
T-shirts; Jerseys; Shirts… we went through everything until we both found a polo we both agreed on.
I hate shopping! But I love shopping for someone else… I loved picking up the different items of clothing and trying to picture that person in them.
At one point, I picked up soft light blue shirt that I could definitely picture myself being hugged by; but instead of picturing the birthday boy my imagination went to fetch someone with bigger arms… someone who has no business swimming in my mind.
It's a forgivable mistake…
But not after a certain amount of time has gone past.
How do you forgive yourself for being that weak?!

I wish I were stronger,
I wish I could stop myself from doing, saying, thinking, feeling all that I shouldn't but as a good friend reminded me recently: it takes time, a lot of it.
I wish I weren’t so impatient.
The human soul suffers so unnecessarily…

Lately I've been so proud of myself!
I've done all the things I said I would, I've found my spirit hiding in the depths in my soul and everyday I'm a happy person… the smile is genuine my friends, I'd say things honestly couldn't be realistically better…
I guess I'll just have to forgive myself for the stars I can't reach and live with the fact that I'll always be in love with them from a distance.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Let It Rip......

You meet the most intriguing characters whilst waiting for an elevator…
From the guy with “jeans and lip ring” to “the suit and tie”.
I personally prefer the guys with the piercings;
They generally let the ladies go in first and they greet you, often with a smile.
Whilst the latter have their noses way too high up to notice you beneath them.
Maybe it’s the altitude of working in the upper floors that gets to their brains; whatever it is, it seems to affect mostly anything that wears a suit.

I had just come back from my dinner hour when I happened to catch one of these sophisticated colleagues waiting for an elevator.
Wearing a beige suit and an annoyed expression on his face, he looked at his watch and then stood to attention with his hands folded in front of him whilst staring at the elevator.
When it finally arrived, he got in and then I got in.
He pressed on the 7th and I pressed on the 3rd and we both waited for the elevator to take us up.
It was just as the elevator began moving that it happened…
Without Warning…

The Art of a Fart…
The Loud are all talk and little or no potency…
The Silent are violent…
And the then there are those that sound as if they came out with gravy… Eww!

I suddenly found the positive side to a blocked nose!!!
For once I was happy for having the flu and I quickly erased the images of what his underwear might look like after what I’d just heard!
The other occupant of the elevator suddenly turned into a deep shade of red and without so much as blinking or looking my way said:
Due to fear of intoxication, I opted for nodding my head instead of opening my mouth and did my best not to breathe.

I don’t remember ever rushing out of an elevator so quickly!
Taking a deep breath of fresh air conditioned air; I grabbed on to my stomach and laughed uncontrollably until I finally managed to get a hold on myself.

On the bright side…
The myth that guys with suits are uptight asses isn't entirely true…
For it has been proven that they aren’t so uptight to enable the release of gas…
To those who wear suit and ties, I’m sure I convey the feelings of all when I humbly ask that when you do feel the need… the rumble in the tummy… or a gasbomb threat… Please use the stairs.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Photosource: Unknown

Once again women show that they’re better at it than men! When it comes to fishing, women do it successfully without even having to use a rod!
These fisherladies are everywhere and if you’re not careful, you’ll end giving them more than you bargained for.
Today I was attacked from three different angles and had I been distracted, I would’ve slipped right into their nets!
How do they do it?
Strategic questions!!!
They can be formulated in a million different ways but they´ll come out sounding as mild interest; one of those oh-by-the-way, as-a-matter-of-fact curiosities.
I personally enjoy dodging these questions until desperation makes the person ask me out straight what they want to know.

“So lately have you heard from…”
“Your skin is looking healthy, any particular reason or beauty secret you want to share…”
“Have you ever gone out for drinks with…”

When the answer to these questions don’t particularly matter much to you, it’s easy to smile slyly and ask “Why do you want to know”
But when they run cold down your spine, you abstain from such a phrase which you know will either make your lip tremble or come out defensively.
In such cases, I face the music with one word answers whilst strategically placing my concentration somewhere else.
(If they think you’re not listening, they tend to go away)

I’ll admit, as a woman I’ve learnt the tact necessary to find things out diplomatically but as an Arian I lack the patience it takes and I prefer bluntly asking what I want to know.
I may not catch the little fishies, but it sure puts me in contact with big sharks!

Monday, January 15, 2007

In Tones of Grey...

Photosource: Sunshine

There's a picture in your head, a place in you mind where you go to when outside everything is falling apart and you beseech the calm within.
To me it’s the “blue”
Blue Ocean… Blue Skies… Warm Sun
The minute I imagine it, I immediately start feeling the sun's warmth from within and I calm down in a deep breath.
There are technical terms for this practice; some call it finding your centre or your equilibrium… I call it my haven. It's where I find my inner peace and the serenity I need to make and take decisions that are not always clear.
Being a stubborn and passionate Arian, I have the tendency to boil over pretty quickly and make rash and impulsive decisions. Therefore this method has been something I've had to perfect over the years…
At times I substituted the image in my mind with other places I treasure and the people I care about, sometimes the first thought in my head would be “What would dad do…”, “What would James tell me…”
These versions didn't always work and I realized at some point that nothing works better to soothe me down than:
Blue Ocean… Blue Skies… Warm Sun.

On my way to Oeiras yesterday, I dug my nose out my book as we began to pass the coastline to the point where I could see the ocean.
It was Dark… It was Grey… It was Miserable…
And yet, I was surprised that even so, it didn't dampen my spirit.
On arrival, I still had some time to kill before meeting up with my friend and so I found my way to the beach and walked up to the Marina.
Sitting on a rock I contemplated the old saying:
“It can't be sunny all the time”
And even so… My spirit wasn't dampened.
The music coming through my earphones wasn't exactly the most cheerful; it spoke of heartbreak and moving on…
And yet… My heart didn't bleed.
In fact, I was reminded that there's nothing more infectious than a smile…
I was rewarded with the most amazing smiles from those who passed me by.

Closing my eyes to take a deep breath, I found that I already was at my most centered and found it strange that it was so even though I was surrounded by grey skies.
I began thinking that the strength in my method had very little to do with my favourite colour and more to do with the place I seek it:
The Majestic Ocean… The Infinite Sky…
I was almost certain of my theory until I saw a cat on the rocks.
Pitch black, it hopped gracefully from one rock to another.
Grabbing my camera, I couldn't resist chasing it for a photo…

I smiled and returned to my rock where a fisherman was packing up his backpack.
“Is it your cat?” I asked him.
He shook his head and told me that it was a stray, part of the scenery.
Damn! I knew this meant that if I tried to pet it, it would run away.
As if reading my mind, the fishermen suggested that I go try pet it and so thinking I can nothing to lose and only minor scratches to gain… I slowly gained ground.
Wouldn't you know it!
Not only did she let me pet her, but she purred and rubbed herself on my legs.
There's a lesson to be learnt in this… and this is what I came up with:

No matter how dark and gloomy the skies might be, how rough the ocean can get; the cat knows that behind the grey clouds is a blue sky that soothes the ocean and brings about beautiful days…
The cat knows that there's fish in the ocean and that one of them will fill his stomach, she must just voyage the rocks and find her opportunity.
Sometimes there are people that keep her company, other times she's alone.
She finds her strength and reason to live in knowing that there will always come beautiful days… food in her stomach… and someone to love her.

And that's the secret to life…
To know that there is colour even when it’s covered in tones of grey…
And to find your strength in knowing that no matter how dark things get, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel… always better days waiting… and that no matter the weather, there's always a reason to smile…

As my friend approached me and greeted me with a heartfelt embrace, I realized that I had all the reasons I need to Smile.
No matter the weather, my spirit will always find itself in:
Blue Ocean… Blue Skies… Warm Sun.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Carla What?!!!

Photosource: Unknown

I didn’t particularly like my name as a kid.
In Portuguese every third female is called Carla (every second is Maria!) and if you take out the “N” in Ornelas… and you strategically put in a “H”… let's just say I'm glad I don't have big ears or I'd never hear the end of it!

In English, I can't say that my name was too successful either. No one ever pronounced my surname properly (The different versions tried were dreadful, especially when heard in a crowded room). And my name sounds like one of the parts to a piece of clothing.

With time however… I learned to like my name and these days, I couldn't be prouder of it, I can't imagine being called by any other name but my own (No marriage for me thanks, unless the guy is willing to add my Surname to his, I ain´t adding no more names after the Ornelas!). Until very recently I thought my name was unique to the point that I'd never have to worry about finding another Carla Ornelas in the phonebook let alone on the company e-mail list…

Keeping this in mind, my first reaction to an e-mail from a Carla Ornelas was: “Which ape brain friend of mine thought this one up!... One banana for creativity, one whole whooping for monkeying around!”
Deciding to play along… I replied expecting to catch out the jellyfish…

Wouldn't you guess… it was no prank!

We're not the same age…
We don't share the same star sign…
We don't even live on the same continent…
But we have the same names… except for the middle (Sofia not Maria though some like to call me by that sometimes…)
As fate would have it, we're both fabricated from the same little island...
Alberto João once said that there are more Madeirans living outside of Madeira than in, so much so that it produced two Carla Ornelas!!!!

How did we find each other?... Google! (Isn't it just your favourite search engine of all time!)
Type in your name and see where it takes you, I was surprised that my blog’s profile was the very first link found.
I guess I owe you all a thank-you for that!

Blimey! Ain´t that just one of life's coincidences!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Revenge is Sweet...

Alright! I'll admit… I asked for it! (Doesn't mean I regret all my past actions and this certainly means I plan on getting even!)

Accepting all and any ideas for future reference…

Happy New Year

Photosource: Miguel Nobrega

As I watched the figment that you see above you, it occurred to me once again that I have the power to make of my year what I so choose and so…

This I've decided to throw my patience to the winds and be the bitch that lies within me… friends will feel no difference but those asking for whooping will feel it!

After the fireworks and the raisons (Which I nearly choked on), I got my arse kicked at Pictionary. (You try draw a madhouse without words or gestures! The best I could do was a house with a stickman next to it and loose screws over his head) I’m accepting tips and suggestions for a better performance next year.

It was around 2am when I got dressed up, put on my high heels and make-up and went *jolling until 9am!!!

*South African slang for partying!

If my start to the New Year is any indication of how the rest of the year will be like, then I'm going to have a brilliant year where I meet funny characters, a couple of good looking guys and get to dance on top of bars (What?! Don't tell me you've never tried it!). Best of all, it means I'll get to see beautiful sunrises and spend time with the people I care about and that care about me.

2007 promises to be a hell of lot better than 2006!!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Never Give Up

Being the prudent person that I am, I like to have all my bases covered so that I'm not caught off guard or unawares.
I make it my mission to predict every possible effect that a certain action or conversation may or may not have on a person.
I've become so good at it that I'm rarely surprised by people's reactions.

But every now and then… I'm flabbergasted.

At a company Christmas dinner, I asked my old boss if it there was a possibility that I could return to my old job.
Within year in which I barely earned enough to eat and pay the rents, I was left with very little life beyond working, eating and sleeping (it gives me plenty time to write blogs but very little inspiration to invest into them).
And so… feeling weak and homesick… I asked to come home.
My boss smiled, told me that there was always that possibility and told me to come see him the following week.

Resigned that I would be coming home, I expected my meeting with him to be one in which we discussed the conditions on which I'd be coming back…
I expected gloating, the seriousness…
Anything but the words I ended up hearing…

Unpredictable but not stupid, I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that I wanted to return to Madeira.
I felt divided…
On one hand I like Lisbon, I didn't want to give up on my goals and I wanted to keep on fighting…
On the other hand, I miss Madeira madly; I miss my family, my friends and quality of life that Lisbon can't offer someone who doesn't have money to spend.
My friends have all been supportive.
There are those who thought that coming back was the right thing to do, while others believed it to be a big mistake.
I so value the support my friends give me, you know they're your true friends when the last words you hear from their mouths are:
“No matter what you decide, I'll support you.”
Sometimes it scares me the faith that my friends have in me… at times I don't have half as much faith in myself, this was one of those times.
Right to the moment where I asked my ex-boss to return, I myself wasn't certain that I was making the right decision.
But I asked him anyway knowing that regardless of being right or wrong the decision needed to be made and it was mine for the making.

I waited for the “are you sure this is what you want?”
Or the “There's no turning back after this decision.”
And even the “I told you so”
What I got was far from my wildest expectations…

I sat in awe as my ex-boss named all the reasons why he would not assist in my giving up on my life's project.
“You set out for Lisbon with goals and you're not giving up on them”
He managed to put into perspective all the reasons why I left for Lisbon in the first place and honoured me with the highest compliment I could ever hope from him:
He called me competent… too capable to just give up.
Taking his time, my ex-boss helped me find solutions to the difficulties I have in Lisbon; even offering to speak to my current boss in attempt to help earn me a raise, an offer I kindly refused but took to heart for the grand gesture that it was.
Filled with mixed emotions, I was angry that he wouldn't take me back and at the same time grateful that he wouldn't let me give up.

I feel rescued.
For the first time in my life someone grabbed me by the shoulders and firmly declared:
“I won't let you give up!”

He’ll never know just how much that means to me.

Maybe it'll just be another year before I ask him once again to let me come home; at least I know that I won't be filled with regret if after that someone asks me:
“Did you give it you all?”

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Until the Curtain Closes...

Photosource: unknown

There's something common in all of Shakespeare´s pieces: Love, Hate, Passion… and someone who screws it all up…
It's as if Shakespeare knew that fate has a sick sense of humour and that we are but pawns and puppets part of someone else's destiny.

I used to believe that all his work was nothing short of a brilliant result of a fertile imagination but I've come to realize the genius behind his work in nothing short than a mirror of someone's reality…
And reality, as I recently read, hold no author's rights.
It belongs to all and none and therefore it is what we choose to make of it.
If it doesn't happen to you, it will happen to someone you know… it'll happen because it can and it will and it’s all part of the big scheme written by an author whose face no one ever saw.

What most intrigued me about Shakespeare’s plays were the Love Triangles… you know… Viola falls for Orsino that's in love with Olivia that's head over heels for Cesário who in fact is really Viola...
In the end when the curtain falls, Olivia ends off with Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother who was thought of as dead and Viola is freed from pretending to be a man and earns Orsino´s heart.
Perhaps the fact that Twelfth Night is the only of Shakespeare´s plays that ends off well is because in life, the story rarely ends well. Love Triangles are unlikely to have happy endings… someone, and often all… get hurt.

To care for someone that cares for someone else… it’s like chasing a runaway train.
But don't look to Master Shakespeare for advice; lest you have a twin of yourself, the story will only end in tears…

Someone suggested substitution as a solution:
To forget one, you substitute with the other.
It works… for some people…
Other people feel the sweet taste of regret when they kiss the lips of the substitute just to open their eyes and see the face of the original copy…
It's enough to drive you to drink!
It's a sobering experience.

There are no-win situations and heartbreaks that just have to be felt and endured… for inexplicable, undeniable and uncontrollable feelings… there's always time and distance.
When you don't know what to say or what do to…
Smile and curtsy until the curtain closes.

Happy New Year!