Monday, April 30, 2007

The New Wonder

In case you haven't noticed, an important election is going on...

"Neuschwanstein Castle was built in a time when castles and fortresses were no longer strategically necessary. Instead, it was born of pure fantasy – a beautiful, romantic composition of towers and walls in the perfect setting of mountains and lakes. The combination of various architectural styles and intrinsic craftwork has inspired generations of adults and children alike.

In short - vote for Neuschwanstein Castle, because it is a great tribute to
- Fantasy & Imagination!!"

They forgot to mention this castle was also born from the Inspiration of homosexual love a German aristocrat felt for Richard Wagner and his hero, the swan knight Lohegrin. I have my vote. Do you?

Friday, April 27, 2007

The doctor appointment

Everything is more than fine. The neurosurgeon yesterday looked through all my tests, told me I'm new and ready to go back to my original life, this time watching my back for cars and bikes on the sidewalk!

According to him, the acute headache everyday when I wake up (the only less-than-perfect aspect left) is a "post-traumatic symptom" and will disappear anytime very soon. Funny thing is that he was in Madrid for his honeymoon about five years ago, and even gave me tips to enjoy the city better! :)

Cheers to my healing!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Born Again

Here I finally am to equalize everybody regarding the news that some got through my most wonderful friend Diane and some haven’t. Beware, this is gonna be long and profoundly drama-charged.

On April 17th, I went to the Spanish consulate here in Rio to double-check my papers and my situation for my flight to Madrid. Everything was fine, but my yogurt dome forgot on the public phone the most important document of my life—the invitation letter my European Enchanted Prince gave me for my birthday. As soon as I was on the bus back to the downtown area, I checked my backpack for the document and it wasn’t there. Because this is Rio and in Rio everything is seven times more difficult than any other wasteland in the world, I had to wait almost half an hour for the bus to go through one of these useless paradisiacal areas with everything—bodybuilders seminude, palm trees, favela-topped mountains, the dirty beach, architecture and everything else—except for a fucking bus stop to get out of that bus immediately and get another one back to the consulate area. So, I waited for half an hour to get downtown, then picked another bus and seized another half hour going through emotional hell as the stupid, useless bus was ducking its way through this fake plastic paradise.

When I got there, I couldn’t find the document at the public phone. Clearly somebody had found it first, and my prayers now were that it was somebody well intentioned. Maybe a tourist from São Paulo or a foreign country. Anybody who would either ship it back to me (it had my mother’s address on the envelope), or return to the mall’s administration. I checked in the shop I bought the phone card, and I hadn’t left it there. In the mall’s reception, I was told they would only have the news if it was delivered there the following day. Then I went to check at the bus stop. This is what I remember: flashing police car lights behind me, some guy yelling something and then the lights going out.

I woke up in the firemen’s car, with my clothes torn, my eyes dirty and unable to open, all reeking of urine. The firewoman saw I was awake, despite the inability to open my eyes, and asked how I was feeling. I asked where I was, and she asked me if I remembered what happened. I could see a flowershop in a glance, which I recognized as being in the area of the Spanish consulate in Rio, and then everything started coming back to me. The firepeople took me to a public hospital, and because this was Rio, I knew a public hospital would mean starvation, general civil war horrors all around me, and criminals and police shooting each other in the corridors. So I managed to quickly beg the firewoman to call my mom and tell her where I was and to come see me as soon as she could. She was really lovely. Fortunately, in Rio you can still count at least on the firepeople. On the way to the hospital, they told me the story, that I was ran over by a car, the driver didn’t stop to help me (which is mandatory in Brazilian law), and that some shop clerk in the area called them to come rescue me. Then, they dropped me in the hospital, where I was laid on an aluminum board, and left alone freezing in the strong air-conditioned place, with nothing but my urine-soaked underpants, my backpack in the middle of my bruised legs and my dirty eyes who very fortunately wouldn’t let me see people arriving all the time and from all sides with bullets in their bodies from the quotidian gun battles.

Some voice rose next to me, introduced itself as a policeman, and ordered me to sign a paper. I explained to him I couldn’t open my eyes, and asked if he would be kind enough to call a nurse to at least clean my eyes. But he was a Rio de Janeiro policeman, and of course, he wouldn’t do that. Two years living in São Paulo makes you start thinking like a gringo—that a policeperson would help you when you are in terrible need and impaired to help yourself, for instance. He raised the volume, lowered the pitch and sharpened the tone, saying he was in a hurry and that I had to sign the paper. “It is fast. Just a signature”. I managed to read that it was a form where I vowed to not incriminate the driver that ran over me. Then, after I signed, he disappeared, and an eternity later my family arrived.

My mother called for an ambulance to take me to a private hospital that my insurance would cover. While we were waiting for the ambulance I started vomiting dark, coagulated blood with a sick-looking light yellow ooze. I was happy. My body had immediately started healing. When the ambulance crew arrived, they refused to take me on the ambulance because I was vomiting blood. Now, there happened the biggest miracle so far, because I simply cannot understand how my docile father, my mother who has an emotional breakdown every five seconds and is unable to reason or to speak anywhere under B flat in the third scale above middle C and my sister who’s good only for fashion, beauty and nails together, all teamed up, but in a flash of grace in my life and sheer generosity from the Gods, they convinced the ambulance crew to transport me to the private hospital.

I arrived there, was washed and dressed in a gown, stayed in the ITU for two days, urinating in diapers, feeding on nothing but drugs and trying to sleep to the ever-beeping machines. But at least my eyes were clean, and I had a mattress under my flesh now—even a blanket over me! Then all of the very important prayers, flame-tending, drumming, songs, jokes and general positive vibes my very powerful friends started raising and sending me made all the difference. In two days I was not just out of the ITU, but also the bruises on my face had diminished almost completely! I was able to see again without getting my eyes wet, and the migraine was perfectly under control without too much painkillers.

Life in the room was not heaven, but I at least was able to eat some actual food (no chocolate, though), and actually go to the loo. Never underestimate the power that going to the loo on their own feet has on people’s self-esteem, especially after two days in the diaper experience. By the weekend, I was totally renovated, ready to rock, pack up for Madrid, and sleep uninterruptedly for a whole night, without some nurse shaking me awake to drug me, check my pressure, my glucose or my temperature every two or three hours. I told the doctor I need to leave the hospital to continue improving, I explained her I was not able to sleep well, and that I was feeling already really good. I started telling everybody in the hospital jokes and stories, singing, and acting to show off health and perfect mental conditions.

I did have to go a little psychobitch on the doctor on at least one occasion, but I managed to leave the hospital yesterday, the 24th, with a promise I would come back tomorrow for a consultation with the neurosurgeon. Just to check.

I spent last afternoon and this morning catching up with my very important routines that I unfortunately had to halt over the past week due to total lack of privacy in the hospital room—namely Morning Pages, Reiki, writing, music and my Triple Soul work. I really am getting better, and now even faster. I am still not feeling on the top of my health yet, I do have some very faint headaches every now and then, and yesterday I had to take a painkiller to sleep—but I did sleep very well! The black eyes still feature a pale pink shade, and I have been spending a good deal of my time at the toilet. Check the before and after pictures in my photo album. There is still an edema in my frontal lobe, but the doctor said the brain would naturally absorb that over time, and that I should only watch out for sudden changes in my behaviour, sight problems, dizziness, forgetfulness and too much drowsiness. I was checking the Internet for permanent damage in frontal lobe, and here’s what I found on Wikipedia:

“The frontal lobes assist in planning, coordinating, controlling, and executing behavior. People that have damaged frontal lobes may experience problems with these aspects of cognitive function, being at times impulsive; impaired in their ability to plan and execute complex sequences of actions; perhaps persisting with one course of action or pattern of behavior when a change would be appropriate (perseveration).”

Impulsiveness, stubbornness, inability to plan. Sounds like if the damage is permanent I won’t be experiencing anything new. Tee hee.

The Bright Pink Bubble of Prayers all of you kept around me really shone in the hospital; the nurses were in awe at the speed of my recovery, my horrible bruises disappeared almost completely in almost no-time, and looking back at the really eyebrow-raising case that arrived in that hospital on the 17th, I can totally say I was born again. We should start working on that Bubble constantly, enlarging it more and more, to encompass the whole world. I am the living proof it works. So my biggest heartfelt thank-you goes out to all of you wonderful people. I love you all, and I hope in my new life I am able to shine this wonderful Bright Pink light everywhere I go.

Keep praying, drumming, flame-tending and emanating. You have the power to do any good you want.

Image: Bunny me, surrounded by the BPBP, by Diane, who besides being my favourite proofreader and the one I owe big time for keeping all bunnies, snakes and bitches informed of my conditions, is a great visual artist!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Landmark #2

Last night, during my last session with my vocal coach here in Sampa, I sang the High C. I’ve now proven I can do professional repertoire, and that is what I will be looking forward to in the new life that is waiting for me.

Image: My fellow South American tenor Juan Diego Florez breaking hearts at Teatro Real de Madrid.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Communities versus CEOs (or Us versus them zIdiots)

Over the past year I had an interesting experiment in community, which yesterday culminated in a particularly enlightening twist. It all began late 2005, with that same old Jan Gullet soap opera we’re probably all familiar with, when many of us moved to new personal-ads websites that took advantage of Tribe’s shipwreck. I for one tried two new websites, but the only one I decided to tolerate for over a year was the one an opportunist named Brian Johnson opened and shamelessly advertised on, recruiting new unpaid employees to his company. It was really doomed to be the same soap opera we had experienced back then—Brian even publicly introduced himself as the website’s CEO, even though I have really no idea what the fuck a community website would need a CEO for to this very day—, but I stood all the glitches, boredom, inactivity, rigid vertical hierarchy, cliquey mentality, and the personality cult around the CEO for a long, long time. By the middle of 2006, nobody even commented on my blog there anymore, or hardly any of the blogs I visited, and every week I’d get two or three new friendship requests from people who would log on to the website only once in their lifetimes. In that same year, on Johnson’s website, my privacy was violated, and I was exposed to an avalanche of daily spams, selling life coaching programmes (about two-thirds of the active members on that website were spammers, the other third was Johnson’s minions). I stood it all. No idea why, though. Now, yesterday, after much ado about my Easter Bunny blog entry (i.e, nothing), they simply deleted my whole account without notice, apologies or whatsoever.

Really, Jan Gullet knew better in his sorry days. When he was the CEO here on Tribe, he was personally attacked on a daily basis by the whole community. Like Johnson, Gullet was useless, yes, but Tribe’s ex-CEO was professional. Johnson was picky and resentful. Gullet shot the bizz in the brain, Johnson shot his own foot. Now, people are leaving his website in hordes and coming back to Tribe, after having invested over a year trying in vain to have a good time in a website that is only good for spreading around life coach offers. People that, like me, provided the website with contents, vibes, inspiration and what the CEO put for sale, but couldn’t offer—community. Why didn’t Johnson learn the lesson with Gullet that a community’s value is its people?

Nonetheless, this is a happy day, because we zRefugees are back here on Tribe for good, meeting and adding each other as friends—until the next CEO comes around to screw our fun and somebody else’s bizz.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

Wishin' you all the visit of a generous Bunny, with a nice carrot and a couple of eggs! Yum!