Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not yet

Have I mentioned the crazy shit my husband has to put up with from me? Yes, well good because I can jump straight in to this post.

I was originally going to write about the food crisis I have been going through this week but as I wrote it, it became more about my grandmother. How does this have to do with my saintly husband? Let me start at the beginning, kind of.

My food crisis started with my crazy ass friends on Facebook, I know a) I have friends and b) they are crazier than me! They were talking about food and someone mentioned Stella D'Oro and I immediately had a craving to find the breakfast treats that my grandmother used to buy. I remember how she would sit and eat them, drinking her coffee from her lavender mug which was her favorite.

She has been gone almost 8 years. I lost my grandfather when I was very young and they were the only set of grandparents I knew. Still doesn't tie in with the husband bit, its coming.

I couldn't find the Stella D'Oro, and it upset me. I felt like I was denied this connection with her. I had been thinking of her since Valentine’s Day. That night my husband and I had gone out to dinner. In the booth beside us an older couple was having dinner and the husband had arranged for a barbershop quartet to come in and sing to his wife. They were wonderful. I couldn't tell you the songs they sang but one, when their voices began to sing "Let me call you sweetheart I'm in love with you" the tears came without warning. My husband just looked at me. All I could do was try to explain, while trying not to make audible crying noises, of how my Nonnie loved this song and would sing it, the emotion had grabbed me so intensely. I could hear her voice singing it in her apartment. I was using a napkin to hide my face hoping not to draw attention to myself, which probably drew more attention to me. My husband smiled and understood even though I was so embarrassed and felt terrible that I had ruined our dinner by bursting out into tears. It took me the rest of dinner to regroup. The song played over and over, her voice filling my head.

She had lost my grandfather when she was in her early 60's and I would ask her if she was anxious to see him. She always said, "Not yet." When I heard that song I pictured them, together, like when I was younger. Ever since my heart has ached to see them; to hear them scold me in Portuguese not to eat out of the peanut butter jar with a spoon; to play cards with them; to get hugs and kisses and to be told how much I am loved and how proud they are of me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just keep swimming (or partying in this case)

Day three at South by Southwest was another day of interesting panels. Although I was learning more about the inner workings of the business, the feeling that this is a business built on connections was not lost on me. Everyone saw my blue badge and once they learned I didn't have a film they weren't interested in knowing who I was and making that connection.

As someone who has worked in the private sector I believe everyone you meet can lead to a business relationship at some point. Also, a rule that Wil Wheaton likes to remind everyone of, don't be a dick. The day went on and I tried not to get discouraged and decided I would attend one of the official parties instead of hanging out at the local places. It was time to step up my exposure. I had come a long way and alone and if I was going to network this was the next step I needed to take; besides it was free food and drinks.

This plan proved to be brilliant.

It wasn't that I rubbed shoulders with big names; I mean I did that, but I made connections and had fun. Being a naturally shy person this was a test to see if I could overcome that natural anxiety of approaching people in crowds and start conversations. I was meeting people from overseas, NY and LA. I met the team from the documentary Brooklyn Castle (you can follow them on twitter @Brooklyn_Castle), which I had been hoping to see since I looked through my brochure, and talked with them most of the night. I also met some other business people and the great thing about the night was they were so willing to give me advice as well as just talk.

Sometimes you have to keep pushing and if one strategy isn't working you need to be flexible. I didn't want to hit the official parties at first because I had made assumptions about them, also that I didn't belong at them. Too, bad I had the worst hangover the next morning.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What am I doing here?

It is the question everyone faces at some point in their lives. I faced it the second day at SXSW. The panels were great and I had my first mentor session, or seven minutes in heaven. I don't want to name drop so I won't tell you who I met with but I admit I was not prepared going in or knowing what to expect. I think the mentor wasn't expecting someone so 'new' to be sitting across from them either.

It wasn't until that evening that it hit me. That day I had been approached by people all who had seen my blue badge and all the conversations went like this:

Them: You are here for film (They looked at my badge and name and introduced themselves)
Me: Yes (I don't look at their badge because it is rude)
Them: You have a film here?
Me: No (I smile because I now know what is going to happen and try to engage them in conversation)
Them: What do you do?
Me: Nothing I get paid for yet (self-deprecating humor always works)
Them: (end of conversation)

It was a huge disappointment because I was not there for free drinks and free food. I went alone so day two was spent standing by myself in the convention center soaking it all in and seeing the worst of people and their self-serving interests. It was the side of business and entertainment you hope isn't true but know is there; those that will climb over the backs of others using the knife they have shoved in to help themselves up. It was a low point. 

On the advice of a blog I read before going I decided to skip the official parties and head to a local bar hoping to find a friendlier SXSW crowd but ended up handing out with locals all night. That experience could be a blog of its own. They were lovely and I did enjoy myself but, there is always a but, we ran through the topic of kids and their honeymoon...oh, it is why the French hate Americans. 

Luckily, I pulled myself together on day three.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I fangirled all over myself

I'm going to hell.

So much for posting every day during Lent but it's ok because God understands. He and I had a heart-to-heart on my drive down to Austin (it was a long drive I had to think of ways to entertain myself) I had things to do, places to be and parties...oh the parties. After taking the last three days to recover from SXSW and process all that happened while I was down in there I'm ready to share the good, bad and awkward with all of you.

Day 1:

Getting my badge

Ok, it wasn't snowing but it was pouring rain. I thought Texas was in a drought! I didn't bring a jacket so I was cold and wet and standing in this massive line being herded through while hoping to make my first scheduled panel. After an hour and a half I realized I would miss that panel and adjusted. People had started drinking in line and I could already tell this was going to be a college like atmosphere.

Personal highlights of the day were geek to the core. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Harry Potter fan and the webmistress of TheLeakyCauldron.org was doing a panel and then signing her book (Harry, A History which I am still reading). I couldn't go to the panel (don't get me started on Interactive vs Film badges) so I raced to her signing after my lone panel to have her sign her book for me and I was in true fangirl mode. I wouldn't shut up; I kept talking and talking. She was so sweet and even tried to talk with me but I think I cut her off because I was so excited. She is the manifestation of something that until that moment was intangible. I didn't bore her with my story of how my oldest son and I went to midnight release parties for the books and then when films came out we had a standing date to see them opening weekend. When the last film came out, my son now 17, you know him as Child A, went to our first midnight opening. It was a bittersweet moment for me because this was our tradition. Something special we had together. Something I hope he remembers as fondly as I will. All TheLeakyCauldron.org and Leakycon attendees have these stories about what the series meant to them and without these connections for the fandoms we would be lost. They brought the fans together and do great work for charity along the way. It meant so much to meet her, more than the five minutes I spent rambling on and on could convey. She is inspiring. Melissa couldn't have been more polite, even when I cut her off while I was my usual awkward mess.

Next up was the first of two films I would get to see while at SXSW. I decided to go see The Cabin in the Woods which is a movie that was written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. My sole motivation to see this was because Bradley Whitford was in this movie. If you don't know who he is then I have nothing more to say to you, be gone. I stood in line, in the rain, and was lucky enough to get one of the last few seats. Just before the movie started Bradley Whitford came walking down the aisle...he was there...I was in the same theater as Josh Lyman. No, I didn't start screaming I love you Josh and no I didn't go all paparazzi and take a picture because I can act like a normal person. Which reminds me I didn't ask Melissa for a picture either, I just don't do that.

So here is the thing about me and Joss Whedon. I am not a fan. I have really thought about this; I've done actual soul searching about why I can't get on the Joss Whedon bandwagon. I have tried to watch, not really, but his concepts are so out of the box that I can't get it and it makes me not want to watch the show. Firefly, Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse; they just drive me insane. I hate the feeling like there is something I am not understanding, or that I am not cool. I am a smart person dammit! While talking with a tech guy one night at SXSW about this he asked if it was just that I didn't like Sci-Fi but that isn't it which led to a great discussion about Sci-Fi movies and books and how it helps him in the tech field inspire new ideas. Talk about things going over my head.

You have to be open to meet all kinds of people at SXSW and to be reminded of the times in school of why you were the unpopular girl because you didn't think Ralph Macchio was dreamy.

Come back tomorrow for Day 2: What Am I Doing Here?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Remember what I said about kids throwing rocks, I am not a kid so watch your back!

  1. Only slept four hours last night.
  2. Child "C" came home in tears because he is being bullied on the bus and I am just finding out about it today. If I had the energy I would tell you the horrible things the kids said about my child and all of us. Needless to say the words mother-f was used often.
  3. Child "D" brought home a pink slip and those aren't good. He was tickling some kid's butt in line at recess. Okay what the hell does that mean? He is in Kindergarten but, as my mother-in-law would say, golly shits! Which talk am I supposed to have with him?

TrĂªs greves, eu estou fora

Esta noite blogue ruim.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Parents, don't let your kids throw rocks!

It is 9 o'clock and I haven't written my blog for the day. Didn't I say I would stop writing them at night? At least I haven't been drinking...much. I have a good reason for this being late, no really! I was at the Laundromat today because my dryer is broken. I was writing a boring (let's just keep that boring part between us) recount of what happened while I was folding my clothes in the hopes of making it a mediocre anecdote. AMC saved my ass because The Walking Dead came on and now I'm compelled to vent.

All I ever need to know about parenting I learned from this show. When the zombie invasion comes I will know what to do and if my kids survive (I figure at least one should make it out of the four, he runs really fast) I will make sure they don't do stupid shit like wandering in the woods. I know that it is much like parenting nowadays where parents don't pay attention to their kids screaming up and down the aisles but with brain eating undead people lurking about you would think maybe things would change. 

If for some reason I am the only one to make it through the initial un-death toll and meet up with a group of survivors that has kids in it I know to stay the hell away because they are nothing but trouble. They steal your weapons then lose your weapons then antagonize the enemy. All I could think of was:

I was waiting for:

This show disproves "It takes a village to raise a child" because there is a village and not one of them is keeping that boy from being a douche.  It's called reading a book or other non-psycho activities, kid.

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