Thursday, February 3, 2011

You Horny Bloggers, You!

It's official, my blog is a hotspot for the pervs! It probably doesn't help that I use the words "Horny" and "Suck" in many of my blog posts, but what can you do? A while back I posted about my recent discovery that us bloggers can see what keywords people are typing in that lead to our blogs. I will not retype the words, in fear of attracting any more of you fetish-folk, but it's here:

Feeling Frisky?

For the first time since posting this I checked my keyword links again and the pé chupadores (yes, I made that word up....that's the beauty of Portuguese...and yes, I am avoiding using the actual keyword) have BLOWN UP MY STATS PAGE! There are all kinds of freaky keyword, things I've never even thought of doing to feet pés.

So, I guess I'll just have to accept it. I've found my niche and it's writing posts for pé pervs. I guess it could be worse.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Making a Change

I'm living a backwards life, and I'm sure anyone living in a foreign country can relate to some extent. When I'm living in Rio, all I can think about is how much I miss Mexican food, my family, my friends, cold nights, ugg boots, good tv etc. But when I'm in my little town of Ojai, all I can think about is how much I miss açaí, my namo, buses, the beach, chopp, Portuguese, etc.

So I've decided to intervene. I am so lucky to have not one, but two amazing homes, in beautiful cities, and I am wasting it by not "living in the now". The weekend trip to Santa Cruz was sort of my wake up call and since coming home, I've made two big steps towards taking advantage of my great life in Ojai.

I think the basis of these changes should be taking advantage of things I can do here, that I am not able to do in Brazil. The first thing that comes to mind is FOOD (how obvious!). Instead of binge eating Mexican food for the next 6 months (the past month and a half was excessive enough), I've decided to return to my vegan ways. It's day #2 and it's going great.

It's funny, I've been vegan once before in my life and I find that the decision is met with a lot of hostility. Some people get personally offended when others choose this "lifestyle". So for any haters out there, I carefully watch what nutrients I get and YES it is possible to get B12 without consuming animal products. I realize that being a vegan is something I could never do in Brazil (I can't even imagine trying to explain to the sogra why I can't eat anything she cooks, nor would I dare to do so...)

My second big step was joining a yoga studio in town. There are yoga studios in Rio, so I guess this isn't 100% unique to california, but none that are this cheap and taught in English. I'm pretty excited about this change in attitude and choice to be more positive about my living arrangements, lets see how long it lasts!

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Touch of Brazil

I'm back from my trip to Santa Cruz and it was A-mazing! It was beyond fun seeing all of my friends from college, and I am already obsessing over our next reunion...which I think will take place somewhere in the mountains of Ojai. Stay tuned.

The morning before we left, we decided to eat breakfast at a Santa Cruz hotspot "Cafe Brasil". It is a tiny little restaurant painted yellow and green, with (some) Brazilian waitresses and a menu full of "Brazilian" foods. It was one of my favorite restaurants when I moved to Santa Cruz, long before speaking Portuguese or traveling to Rio.

The wait to get in was long (almost two hours!) but I was hungover, and you know what that means: AÇAÍ!!!! I know I claimed to have quit açaí but I was on vacation, it was just once, blah blah blah.

This is a picture I snapped of an Amerileira Açaí. It's yummy, don't get me wrong...but it's like eating taco bell after living in the Mexico for a year.

The breakfast foods are not like anything I have ever seen in Brazil, but maybe it's just not a regional dish. The Avocado a Cavalo is one of the most popular dishes with two poached eggs over a baguette with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. The Orfeu Negro is the same but smothered in black beans.

I left a little note in Portuguese for the waitress (I couldn't pass up the opportunity to show off a little) and tipped her an additional 2 reais (that I had sitting in my wallet). All in all, a great trip that perfectly blended the visiting of old friends with a touch of my beloved Brazil!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Bilingual Boo

I've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year and a half, and he hasn't yet been to the US to meet all of my friends and family. My mom and sister came to Brazil and met him, as well as my best friend, but other than that, he's relatively unknown to all that are close to me (aside from the random skype "hellos").

One of the most common questions that people ask me when they find out that I have a Brazilian boyfriend is what language we speak when we are together. (That and "Can you do an impression of his accent?") I never really know how to answer the question because I never pay attention to the language we are speaking.

When we first started dating, he always had to bug me to speak Portuguese. I was living with all Americans and it was difficult for me to make my brain switch into Portuguese know, when you sort of just spout something out like "fala aí mermão"...and have no idea where you learned it or what it means, but you know it makes sense in context.

However, now that we are both comfortable with each other's languages (more or less) our conversations are all over the place. He will say something in English and I will respond in English with a couple Portuguese words mixed in and he will respond in Portuguese...blah blah blah back and forth with neither of us noticing how weird it must sound to anyone listening in. (I mean, half the time my parents think I'm speaking French when I speak Portuguese...damn Carioca accent!)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's exciting. All those years of Portuguese classes, and homework and presentations and tests...and all I had to do was get a boyfriend. I should of known that's where I would find the motivation!

P.S. I have told myself that I am going to write more often (I sort of fell off the bandwagon this month), but I am going to be in Santa Cruz (the one in California, not in Brazil) this weekend to visit a friend (my gatinha's other mommy) and baby gatinha!!!! Yay!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Freelance Translator

For expats moving to Brazil, the go-to profession is usually teaching private English lessons. This is a great option and one that will probably see a much greater demand with the World Cup and the Olympics right around the corner. When I went to Brazil, I didn't get into teaching English because I had already arranged a job as a part-time in-house translator for a Travel and Tourism company.

In addition to working with the company, I spent hours a day trying to establish myself as a freelance translator. Now, about 6 months later, I am starting to see my efforts pay off and I can really see a profitable and fulfilling career in my future. The hardest part of becoming a freelance translator is figuring out where to start. I though I would offer some of my advice and explain how I got started, for anyone who is interested in a possible career as a translator.

1) Know two (or more) languages. This is pretty obvious, but absolutely necessary. Although my Portuguese is not fluent, it is advanced enough to understand fully 99% of what I read. (For that last 1% I email the boyfriend!) Also, with any translation project you will always translate into your native language. So for me, I translate from the "Source language" (Portuguese) to my "native language" (English).

2) Do cheap or volunteer translations. My first "job" as a translator was proofreading subtitles for an independent film. It was volunteer. I then signed up with This company offers quick translations for companies that need expedited services. They only pay .05USD per source word (words in the original document) and .09USD per source word for expert translation (legal and technical documents). I get most of my experience and income from this site.

3) I got a wide range of translation experience through the site onehourtranslation, and I built up my resume with translation projects of legal documents, magazine articles, twitter, texts, emails, food packaging, CVs, forex, diplomas, transcripts etc... I finally had a full enough resume to feel confident sending my resume to translation agencies. I started sending my resume to 3 agencies per day, all of which I found online.
***Remember, even if you work with Port>Eng, agencies in countries other than the US/UK and Brazil/Portugal need freelance translators too.

4) Choosing a price is difficult for me. I am still shooting pretty low because of my lack of experience, but I have been able to raise my price since I started. Most companies will pay per source word, and I end up making about $20/hour-$40/hour depending on the content of the translation.

The great thing about sending your resume into so many different companies is that you will be stored in their database. Now, I receive random emails from companies that I don't even remember contacting. Work seems to be popping up all over the place now and I'm actually having to turn some people down.

The downside to translating for agencies across the world, is that if they scam you, there is not much you can do about it, except to blast them on your I am about to do:

ASHIS SHAH from language world. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!! If you get a project from this man, RUN AWAY!! May the bad karma you have acquired lead your business to failure and financial ruin. He will arrange a translation, and once you have turned it in, he will tell you that he assigned it to another translator because you didn't respond soon enough. He will blame the different time zones on the miscommunication. Then, when you turn in an agreed upon translation, he will ignore you and never pay you. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!

If you have any questions about starting as a freelance translator, feel free to write me. I'm no expert, but I'm learning a little more each day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chinese Butt Massage

After my nice relaxing CRAZY vacation in San Diego and Los Angeles, I came home and was invited by my mom to go to the local SPA. My mom is one of those people who wins every raffle she enters...and unfortunately, it only works for raffles (I've bought her quite a few lottery tickets. No luck there.)

So, she won a day for two at The Oaks Spa in Ojai. It's a pretty nice place, but the lady who owns it (and has paintings of herself plastered everywhere) needs to hire a decorator. I felt a little bit like I was visiting my grandma, minus the pee smell (sorry g-ma, but we both know it's true!)

The highlight of the day was the Rope Yoga. No one showed up to the class except my mom and I, and 2 hours later, covered in bruises, we figured out why. Here is a little picture of what Rope Yoga looks like:
The class was actually incredibly fun and I seem to me (surprisingly) really good at it. If anyone has the opportunity to take one of these classes I highly recommend it. Just don't get naked around any strangers during the week look pretty battered afterwards.

In the evening, my mom and I snuck out of the SPA to go get some cheap massages from the Chinese massage place down the street. (it took every ounce of self control I have to not text my dad and tell him to have a pizza waiting when I got home...steamed veggies and rice with noooooo salt is even more bland than it sounds).

This place charges $35 for a 1 hour massage (30 minute body/30 minute feet). I would go every day if I was more confident they wouldn't break my spine. It's one of those places where you write down a number corresponding to how bad you want to be hurting the next day. I chose 3, my mom chose 5 (out of 7). My mom stopped by the bathroom, and I mistakenly wandered into her massage room, her HELL HOLE OF TORTURE!!!

Despite having a grown Asian man mount me while digging his bony little Asian elbow into my kidney, I also had my skull dislocated from my spine, little fingers wiggling around in my ear, and a good hard spanking. Yes, that's right. A spanking. He lifted my leg and proceeded to smack my ass.

Now I've been dating a Brazilian for some time now. If there is something you learn by dating a Brazilian, it's how to take a good butt beating...but this was intense. Who knew the Chinese had it in them?

Friday, January 14, 2011


I think it is time for a vacation. I realize how silly this sounds coming from Rio de Janeiro, then southern California hippy-haven Ojai, but it's true. I'm a little burnt out on this small town (and living at my parents house again), so I'm packing up and heading out.

First destination: Los Angeles!!! Although I have lived about an hour and half from Los Angeles for most of my life, I have never actually visited Los Angeles (unless I was hopping on a plane). I have a friend who goes to grad school at USC and we are going to stay with her for a night.

Second destination: Sunny San Diego (the whale's vagina, anchorman fans? anyone?)! It's my friends birthday and I think a girl's night is the perfect way to take me out of this funk i'm living in.

Pray for a sunny weekend, because this albino girl is going on her third straight no-summer, which means I am translucent like a little know, that kind where you can see their inner-workings? If I let this go any longer, people will actually be able to see me digesting food through my abdomen....

And with that lovely visual...I'm off!
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