This is the place where I share my stories, experiences, discoveries, and joyful pleasures with you as I make my rambling course to enlightenment. I have many interests, including books, music, movies, board games, science, technology, roller coasters, football (the round ball one) especially Flamengo and BRASIL, basketball (#HeatNATION), and more. I also try to stay current about things going on in the world.
Once upon a time, I became a systems analyst for the now-defunct Banco Nacional. Dias, the R&D department manager, hired me, assigning me, the "resource", to a gringo-hating division manager. They asked me to validate a network system to be installed in over 400 branches, a deal worth millions, the saving grace for a company in São Paulo. Nobody explained I was supposed to rubber stamp it, or that the president's brother-in-law owned the company.
The system was a mess of obsolete microcomputers with shoddy networking capabilities. I broke the code in several hours, but writing the report was difficult. My savvy partner-in-crime, Ronaldo Pinto, helped with translation so the board could understand my hacking. To prove the system’s weakness, I transferred representative funds from and back into my personal account without creating transactions, but with documentation showing different balances. This is a bank’s nightmare scenario.
Ronaldo called me before work. “Don’t go to the office. Termination notices are on our desks.”
“What do we do?”
“Many people will be canned. We’ll survive if we don’t show up at our office.”
It was a big company. We toured other offices for weeks doing feasibility studies on nonsensical projects: a $300,000 laser printer for a department that prints a dozen annual reports, a backup system of 8-inch floppy discs, and a dual purpose video poker/automated teller machine (for employees). Idle time was spent in Gávea watching Flamengo games, Ipanema or Leblon soaking up voluptuous temptation, or the Tijuca rainforest getting stoned. We knew that it was borrowed time. Finally, bored, I returned to my desk to be fired.
They escorted me to Personnel. I argued, but I was just a case number. I was furious. I seethed. My laughter frightened them.
They paid three month’s salary plus a pension. It was the law, but it felt like hush money. I already had another job and should have forgiven them. I didn’t. Instead, every misfortune they later suffered brought me joy. It's ridiculous, but writing about it, even now, I'm frustrated. Ego I am.
Wazimbo's "Nwahulwana" Found this on a German site: Warum wanderst du von Bar zu Bar? (“Why do you wander from bar to bar?”) So, the first time I heard this I thought I recognized some Portuguese, but it’s illusory; the language is actually Ronga. I suppose it was just the echoes of Brazilian music. I found, though, a translation into Portuguese, which I will translate to English, but here’s the thing: this transcription of the words isn’t correct. Also, I’m almost certain I hear “vôce” which means “you” in the lyrics. First, “nwahulwana” itself is a soft expression for prostitute, hence “night bird” is the poetic meaning. I thought it was a love song. My wife thought it was a prayer (probably because of the way Wazimbo lifts his eyes to the sky when he sings “Maria”). So, it is something like this, but there are mistakes, because the lines don’t match up. Also, I wonder if he is singing “Nwahulwana” when the song starts - . It’s hard to know since I don’t
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood My rating: 5 of 5 stars Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is brilliant literary science fiction. I will discuss the literary aspects of it in a moment, but first it’s important to place it squarely in the domain of science fiction. First, under Darko Suvin's definition of sci fi, the question is whether there is cognitive strangeness and nova. They are very apparent, specifically the new assignment of gender roles, along with the reason they exist. The nova introduced are ecological disasters, an enormous rise in failure to Gileadeans to sexually reproduce, and the imposition of a fundamentalist government that divides women by their function, entirely controlling them. We know (again from the lecture) that Atwood was responding to societal changes, such as the rise of the Moral Majority, which lends a spooky plausibility to the strangeness, making it not so strange and that much scarier. Delany's definition is wider. He as
SCRIPT ABBREVIATIONS ELS extreme long shot MLS medium long shot LS long shot MS medium shot MCU medium close-up CU close-up ECU extreme close-up OS over-the-shoulder shot 2-S or 3-S two-shot or three-shot POV point of view shot ZI or ZO zoom in or zoom out INT interior EXT exterior SOT or SOF sound on tape or sound on film BG background SFX or F/X special effects (can be either sound or visual) VO voice-over OSV off-screen voice DIS dissolve MIC microphone VTR videotape Q cue (as in cue talent) ANNCR announcer SUPER superimposition