Saturday, October 31, 2009

Take That...And Sleep On It!

Today's Halloween but you wouldn't really know it here in Rio. Outside of an occasional young woman on the street with a witches costume (well really a hat), that's about as much as I've seen. I think the day here is called Day of the Witches, or the more Catholic tradition is called the The Day of the's more like our Memorial Day, but they go to the cemeteries and light candles for the dead, and weep and wail. It's an interesting phenomenom.


I decided to move into a three bedroom apt with these two guys I stayed with when I first got here. Come to find out the apt ISN'T on the beach as I thought (although it's just three small blocks from it). The good thing about it is that is QUIET. After nearly three weeks of Street Noise, I'm ready for quiet...peace and quiet after 7 a.m.

And it's clean and has very nice parque wood floors. One downside I've seen to far is the toilet lid hits one of the valves and wont stay have to lean against it as you sit--NOW THAT's gonna get annoying, I can tell you right now.

The only thing is, they made me buy a bed being as they didn't have one. Which I did today...About $1,000, marked down from $2,000. You must be thinking--WHAT...for two months. But the two guys agreed to buy the bed from me when I leave, so it isn't as crazy as it sounds. And it's a nice bed. BUT, an expensive bed just the same...Yep, beds I found are EXPENSIVE here. The same bed would be about $500 in the US. Twice the amount. BUT, I did get four free pillows, a bed cover and the skirt for that price. :) Lucky me. AT LEAST I KNOW IT'S CLEAN, which I'm not so sure about with the bed I've been sleeping on.


I was thinking today as I walked down the street...I've been here three weeks now. and I've yet to see my first Mormon Missionary. I know they must be out there, but no, nothing.

Come out, Come out wherever you are Elders!


For breakfast this monring, I went to one of the sidewalk cafes, and ordered what I found out to be a Crepe with turkey, ricotta cheese and I think either black olives or dried prunes...not really sure even after eating it. But it was pretty tasty. Anyway, as I was eating, this young kid, about 12 or 15 came by and ever so politely he touched my shoulder and put out his hand, asking for something.

The first brush by, I waved him off....hardening myself to the daily onslaught of beggers. But after seeing him be so polite to others and getting no where, plus he was rather skinny, I realized I didn't really need all my dried prune crepe, and cut it into two, giving him a half.

I was feeling pretty good about it when about 2 minutes later, I heard a loud, mean voice behind me, and then the sound of a fist cracking into a skull. I turned just in time to see some man scolding the kid for hanging around the area and the kids head take the blow.

I didn't know what to do...The poor kid took off, but not until the man gave chase.

Hopefully he finished the Crepe before he got walloped.

Life's tough. But for some, more so.

Chuveu ontem a noite e hoje a noite.


Page 9


A modest house with corrals and barn.


Mary, her husband JAMES THOMAS CLARK, late 50's, two older SONS and a DAUGHTER, and Daniel surround the table.

But others are helpin' him. If you don't--

I've contribued more than enough for one lifetime.
It's behind me.
If I choose not to assist some yellow journalist in
profiteering scheme, at my expense, then so be it.

Mary, if the others have agreed, might not
be a bad idea.

James! Daniel! I shan't waste more of my time
cooking a warm meal if each of you prfer them cold.
Daniel, tomorrow ride into town and send a reply to
Mr. McGlashan stating that I have better things to
do with my life than to relive it.

Yes Ma'am.

Mary cuts a slice of rare, bloody steak and eats it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wipe That Smile Off Your ... FACE

I'm tired. Sweaty and tired. And I feel like I lost the war. Today, I kind of ran out of steam and gave in and paid for a 4 day membership to a gym. I feel defeated...I know there must be many more free-days I could have conquered, but I was hot and tired and didn't wanna walk any further. Besides, I'll be moving next week and thought, ahh, lets just fork over the dough.

So, I joined the one gym I knew that had a reasonable weekly rate. I SOLD OUT. Sorry Mom.


1. Napkins. Just about every eating establishment has these wax-paper/tissue paper type sheets they pass off as absorbant (they aren't) napkins. I bought some real ones for the aptartment and dare I say I kind of look forward to a good wipe across my mouth when I'm home.

2. Toilet Paper. Speaking of a good wipe, not all places still do this, but most public places have a little trash can in ever toilet stall--and some homes. Why you might ask? Um, supposedly either the sewer systems aren't built for it, or something, but you're supposed to WIPE and THROW in the trash can--not the toilet bowl. So far, I've been a trash cans for me. It goes where everything else does...out of sight, out of mind.


I spent an hour at the beach today...a REAL hour, meaning I put out a towel, wore a swim suit, and actually got in the water. Refreshing, but not too cool, but the waves were pretty big...too big to body surf. I didn't last long, but it sure felt good. And still I got a bit of a burn even with 30 SPF.

I still can't get over how cool the sand is here. I love it. A good beach isn't a beach unless you can actually feel it squeak under your feet. And this sand does. It's beautiful.


My temporary apartment sits at the intersection of five streets, and because of it, I hear quite a bit of traffic. Now, usually I tune it out, but I really get annoyed when a bus or truck or motorbike decides it's time I wake up--at 7 a.m.

But that said, I also live near Ipanema Hospital. Now if I lived near a hospital in NYC, I would hear sirens every 15 minutes. LOUD sirens. In fact, NYC is a city of sirens...police, ambulence, political convoys moving through the city. It's just a loud HONKING city.

But in the two weeks I've been here, I think I've heard only 2 or three ambulence or police sirens. It's just wierd how cities are different.

Why would NYC need so many sirens, and Rio need them hardly at all?

Weird, right? Do people die less here? Do police not hurry around doing stuff? I can't figure it out.


Page 7


The energetic group dances to a string quartet. The President dances with Eliza. Standing on the periphery are Mrs. Hayes and Sherman.

She's remarkable. And to think of all she's
endured, yet overcome. Only Hell could hold
more misery I'm afraid.

She's definitely one of a kind.

A black White House servant approaches Sherman.

Senator, a telegram for your wife. It appears

We see the hand holding the autograph.



A similar telegram is held by a white hand. Another male hand grasps it, pushing it into the back pocket of his denims and exits.


The ground passes under the feet of a racing horse, across a green meadow. And then we see the telegraph stuffed into the rider's back pocket.



Early summer. Billowy white clouds.

From above we see a lone woman astride a horse overlooking a large mountain pasture and grazing cattle.

This woman is MARY GRAVES CLARK, 48, majestic with long dark, graying ringlets, Grecian looks and fine teeth.

She's watching her son, DANIEL, 14, approaching her at full gallop.

Daniel abruptly halts his horse and hands Mary the telegram.

Ma, this come for you.

Came. This came. And it couldn't wait?

It could, I couldn't.

Mary smiles and reads.


Mary eyes him.

Am I to assume curiosity killed the cat...again?

Mary turns her horse.
So, ya think you'll go Ma?

See if you can beat your old Mother home.

She takes off at a full gallop.


He speeds after her.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It Does a Body Good

Just when you think you're smarter than the average jaguar (native to the Amazon), um, I did it again. I went to try out another gym today (Mom, how long do you think I can drag this out...another free toaster if I open a $100 savings account, Colleen), and all was good. But after a short stroll down the beach, and lunch at a sidewalk cafe, I got home and realized the key must have fallen out of my pocker. So about $30 bucks later and a vist the local locksmith--did anyone else not know how really EASY it is to pick a lock--and I was back in my apartment.

I got two keys made..I'm thinking of burying one in the sand on the beach so I can always have one to go find.


I'm not sure if it's living near the beach, or if I haven't seen enough people yet, but yeah, I think I can confrim that Americans are generally much heavier than Brasilians. Diet has to be part of it, but also they seem to walk a lot more and generally live less sedentary lives. And life isn't quiet as easy. Many families people still don't use washing machines so they wash their clothes by hand. Food here is just as expensive as in NYC, and I dont' think they come close to the average wages in less food or smaller amounts.

Anyway, the average person looks a lot slimmer than in the US.

And everyone here seems to focus on developing the LOWER body, while Americans tend to focus on the UPPER body. I guess it's because of the soccer culture, but women have the most perfect rear-ends. Men, the strongest legs.


Met a Brasilian (boyfriend of the American guy I met a couple days ago), and low and behold, he's wearing a support belt under his shirt. I question him why (he speaks English so I could speak freely), and he proceeded to tell me that at least in this beach culture, plastic surgery is VERY common. He'd had a little lipo to take away those tiny little love handles around the wais t and little fat in the lower abs. Now mind you, this guy isn't even close to's just a body-beautiful culture, and he wanted the perfect body to go with his handsome face.

The real question is, "How much did it cost?". Anyone wanna guess? Well, come to find out, they pay by the weight in kilos sucked from the body. He paid $1.500 reais, or about $1,000 for that surgery.

Anyone want me to book reservation?


Remember I said I hand't found any good hole in the wall restaurants. Well the past couple of days I realized they'd all been hiding right under my nose. On about every street corner there's little mini-restaurants. I'd always thought they only sold Juices, but come to find out, it's like a little mini Brasilian diner.

Delicious and CHEAP. I LOVE IT. Now I'm exploring all the good ones around my neighborhood. And I hope to regain my 5 pounds lost somewhere in this country. Maybe they're near my key?

Choveu hoje a dia.


Page 5 & 6



The city, US Capital and White House stand prominently in the expanding city.


Elegant carriages arrive. Finely dressed MEN and WOMEN exit carriages and climb the steps.

MILITARY GUARDS assist Eliza and Sherman from their carriage. Both join a receiving line. Eliza take from her pocket a wrapped candy and plops it in her mouth.


SERVANTS take Sherman and Eliza's coast and hats as they approach Presidnet RUTHEFORD B. HAYES and MRS. HAYES.

Well, if it isn't the Orpah of the West herself.

He kissed Eliza's cheek.

You look lovely.

They embrace.
Am I now to be known only as the husband of a
survivor of the Donner Party?

If it wins you votes, yes.

Rutheford guffaws and hardily shakes Sherman's hand.


The remaions of a seated banquet litters the tables. The room is filled to capacity. The men smoke. The room erupts in APPLAUSE.

Eliza, seated at the President's table, approaches the podium. Rutherford leave the podium, ,kissing her as he moves to his seat.

I am truly honored to be here toinght with
you all, my esteemed friends, to reflect on how
California has benefited, and will continue to do so,
because of the truly remarkable wonder of the
modern world--the Transcontinental Railroad.


What took my family and tens of thousands of
couragous pioneers several months to transverse
now takes these great monsters of the rail less
than one week. If you haven't as of yet taken the
opportunity to travel across our vast plains, thread
through our pristene mountain passes and finally
bask in the warming climes of our pacific shores, I
strongly urge you to begin living yesterday's
dream today.

APPLAUSE. Eliza basks in the moment.

Silver Gloves and Lope-sided Perspectives

Just got back from seeing Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT. I have to say, I wasn't that excited to see it...more a life experience since it will only play for 2 weeks worldwide. But after seeing, I'm glad I did. He was a FREAKY man, no question, BUT he was also an extraordinary talent. I have to say, two white sequined thumbs up.


Tried out another gym today with another American friend, and as soon as I was ready to leave, I realized I'd done it. I knew I would. And yep, I'd fallen into my own trap...I left my keys in the apartment.

So after a three hour bus trip back and forth to my friend's house in Barra de Tijuca who'd stowed away a spare key, I was able to get back into the apartment.

Speaking of which, I'll need to be out of this place by next Friday. Now, I've been looking for other this point, I have two: 1. A room within a two bedroom in Copacabana. Pros: it's furnished and ready to move in. Cons: It's a bit expensive for a room in a small apartment without A/C...about $1,000 a month. It's also not on the beach...two blocks from, but has a reasonable view of the beach but not on the beach. 2. A room within a three bedroom in Copacabana living with the two guys I originally stayed with when I arrived (and the dog, Meg). Pros: It is on the beach, you walk out the door and there's the beach. And one of the guys likes to cook!!!!! The apt will have a Washing Machine. Cons: The apt doesn't face the beach, it faces a parking lot in the back. Completely unfurnished. No A/C. About $1,000 a month. I'd have to buy a bed (which the guys agreed to buy back from me when I leave.)

At this point, I'm leaning to option two SIMPLY because "one of the guy's likes to cook". :) But I must decide by this weekend.


It's a weird concept, but a beautiful site. Each morning, from about 7-9 a.m., HUNDREDS of vultures fly into the beach areas of Rio and circle above the waiting city. I think they catch the updraft off the ocean, forced upward by the sky-rising Apt/Hotels and simply Vulture-Glide, circling for hours.

It's an amazing site to see. Especially when you know what type of birds they are.

And speaking of the city, it's been kind of overcast with occasional rain showers over the past couple of days. But I don't mind that--I've not been HURTING to spend a lot of time on the beach, thinking less of sun tan, more of sun burn potential, so this kind of weather is cooler and suits me fine.

There will be time for the Sun. Plenty of time.


Enough of the shaggy me. Today I went and got a haircut at a local barder. He really spent a lot of time getting everything right (not that I'd know. I hate looking at my hair because I know that I've a balding spot on the crown of my head and I go to great lengths not to look at it--you know the adage, if you don't see/know it, it's not there--kind of like not watching the news at night. If you don't hear it or see it, it's NOT really there). So when he handed me the mirror to look at his MASTERPIECE, I simply squinted my eyes, got out of focus and began giving him praises.

However when I got home and took a guarded look, I noticed that one side of my head was longer than the other side. LOL Now, it's not THAT noticeable, but still, I'm a bit lop-sided. :")

But I'm a bit lop-sided in life at times too...but I've become pretty adept at just squinting my eyes and giving myself praises.


Page 4


A large romantic WESTERN LANDSCAPE PAINTING depicting a covered wagon train hangs on the wall. Portraits of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith hang on the opposite wall.

Charles enters, takes in the imposing paintings then walks to the front desk. An OLD MORMON WOMAN stares at him.

Good day, Ma'am. I'm Charles McGlashan, Editor
for the Truckee Republic.

She looks at him, but remains stoic.

Near Donner Lake. I wrote earlier--

She sneers, showing NO teeth.

You're late.


Charles sits at a large table. The woman approaches carrying a wood crate, placing it on the table.

It's all I could find of the Mormon Battalion's trek through
California and back here to Deseret.

My heartfelt appreciation for your kind efforts.

Charles pulls his reading glasses from his pocket.

It's to look at only.



Books, maps, clothing and writing instruments are strewn over the table. Charles closes a book and puts it aside.

He pulls out a dusty book from the crate. A brush of his hand reveals the words LA SANTA BIBLIA. He thumbs through it, landing on the Book of Job. Two pieces of paper and a swatch of Cloth lie between it's pages.

He sneaks a look at the old woman. She's distracted.

He examines the yellowed, artistically femine script. The cloth has a crude map made of charcoal.


Cold and snowing again. My eldest girls have left
me and are hopefully beside a kind stranger's
warm fire. George does not yet rest in the warmth
of an angel's wing, but I fear that day will shortly come...

Charles flips the paper over. His demeanor changes as a smile crosses his lips.

Tamzene Donner, I found you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gym, Gym-ane, Gym, Gym-ane, Gym Gym FOR FREE

Ask and you shall receive--or in this case, cuss out your online CHASE representative located in, I'm betting, New Delhi, and suddenly you have money again. Yep, an attempt at 3 p.m. yesterday ended up in 600 Reais in my wallet.

Ahh, the magic of plastic!


I like going to the gym. I started going regularly about 10 years ago and have found great internal growth (and external) from it. So, obviously, I wanna join a gym here too. But my first week's living arrangement was with a friend 30 minutes outside the city. I'm now in a temp apt in the Copacabana/Ipanema area. I think I'll be in a more permanent one in two more weeks, so I'm reluctant to join ANY one gym until I know where I'll be.

But using Mormon Ingenuity and Janet-Ross-taught-Frugle-idity, I've been gym hoping, asking for 2-3 free days to TRY OUT THE GYM. So far, it's worked. And this city has a LOT of small gyms, so I should be able to hold out for another week or two before I have to put down more permanent roots and tightly-held MONEY.

I was trying a new gym out yesterday with a new friend (he'd offered me a free guest pass) and 1/2 way through the workout, all the A/Cs stopped working. The remaining work out was a REAL WORK OUT...I was sweating up a storm. But I think I was the only one affected...everyone else seemed used to the heat/humidity.

Oh, and I think I've lost 5-7 pounds in the past two weeks. It's not that I want to, although the stomach has gone down a bit--no more first trimester belly--, but I've yet to find easily convenient restaurants that will keep the weight on. I'm sure they're out there, but so far, well, I'm still looking. I guess I could cook...ahh, c'mon, who are we kidding? Although it is MY GOAL to learn to cook some good Brasilian foods. You know, the standards. So prepare you're pallets. Ready or will enjoy my RICE AND BEANS.


So we've all been to hotels that have that bed we know we have to sleep on, but really don't want to. This apt has THAT BED. The first night, it skived me out, the second day, not so much...and by now, well, I figure there's two bed sheets between me and it...what to worry?

In reality, it's not THAT bed bugs. It's just not the good bed I had in NYC. Ahh, and one thing I wish I had brought down was a change of my good bed sheets. LESSONS LEARNED.


I see that some of you have already logged in and read the blog (they like me, they really like me), and even better, some of you left comments. LOVE the comments...Keep 'em coming. And please, tell me after a couple of days if the screenplay is working...if it isn't, I'll just forget it and we can all pretend it never happened.

OK, a new French/Algerian guy arrived a couple of days, and being that are both lost in this city, we hung out a bit today...again, looking for another gym to HOP in and out of.

7 gym s down...many, many more to go.


Page 3



The room is dark except for moonlight entering the windows.

ELIZA DONNER HOUGHTON, 33, junoesque and haughty, bolts upright in bed, SCREAMING.

SHERMAN HOUGHTON, 56, balding with a long brown beard, wakes.

Eliza? Eliza?

He pulls her close. Eliza slowly wakes.

It's all right. There, there's okay.

Keseberg had me again.

Sherman caresses her cheek, calming her.

Your'e here. You're safe. Sweetie, there, there.
You're safe. It's all right, I'm here.



Early Summer. A warm, clear, sunny day. CHARLES McGLASHAN, 44, dressed in business attire, walks out of the hotel. He stands and looks down the street towards the Mormon Temple, still under construction.

He walks towards it. He's cordial to passersby, but women and children eye him with suspicions.

He approaches an OLDER MORMON MAN and MORMAN MAN exchanging a handshake.

A blessing for your good wives, Brother Nelson.

To you and yours as well, Bishop.

The Morman Man backs into Charles.

And a good morning to you, sir.

(tipping his hat)
Morning, Stranger.


Situated across the street from the Mormon Temple. Charles takes a long look at the building, then enters.

You Can Buy Anything in this World With Money

It's generally a good thing when you are in a foreign country with foreign words and ways, to have money to maneuver through it. Sounds easy enough, right? With today's technology, all you need is a plastic card in your wallet and you can go anywhere, long as that little ATM machine keeps spewing money out at you.

Or so I thought.

The first day I arrived here, I tried to purchase a phone with my credit card. Rejected. After a couple of other attempts, and not knowing how to get a hold of a foreign operater to REVERSE the charges (such a nice gesture from my bank, but how to do that is the real challenge), I was at a loss. Luckily my ATM card allowed me to withdraw funds for living, for a months rent (if taken out in five daily smaller amounts), and other needs.

Until this weekend when every ATM I tried told me that no more money for me...the card wasn't working. I know I have funds (you'll be proud of me, since in Brasil, I signed up for my online banking and I can see there's funds there, just waiting to be spent.) But how to get them is the real question.

I've sent e-mails to my Chase On-line rep (which I'm pretty sure is someone living in India). I was assured that my VISA is now cleared to use...I'll try that later today. I've yet to hear back on my ATM.

Luckly, I have about $50 US dollars tucked away in my apt that if I really need to, I can exchange until I get this resolved.

ATMs have always been my I'm a little bit intimidated by them. Like when you have a good friend, but for some reason, one day, you get a sense he doesn't like you as much. We go way back...and gosh darn it, my ATM better like me again. Cause $50 won't last me that long.


1. I have yet to see any fresh milk (you know, milk that will go sour) anywhere in this city. Oh they have milk, but it's been irradiated and pasturized and manipulated so much that I'm sure it could be drinkable many years into the future. It doesn't taste that bad, but I miss always knowing I had to drink the stuff before it went sour.

2. Every policeman I've seen, wears a bullet-proof vest. Now, coming from New York, I've seen that too...but generally not on every cop. That said, I've seen nothing approaching anything violent or dangerous.

3. Where else can you watch Bevery Hills 90210 (the original) and Felicity as though they were first fun...HERE, and I'm really liking them--again.


OK, so I decided to try the screenplay. If you haven't read a screenplay before, it reads just like you'd watch a'll notice cuts from one scene to the next, locations and time of days are noted in scene headings...and other than that, it's pretty easy to follow. Give it a day or two...and tell me if you like it or if it's just too hard to get into and stay with.

This screenplay was entered in the Nicholl Felowships in Screenwriting Competition (the one sponsored by the OSCARS), and was a semi-finalist. I think it's one of my better efforts.

Here goes.


Based on the experiences of The Donner Party




We follow six snowshoes laboring across the pristine, powdery whiteness.

Each step a struggle. Pushing forward.


MONTAGE OF SHOTS: Three men with heavy backpacs. Various time of day sequences.

A) Climbing mountains
B) Sliding dangerously down steep snowy slopes.
C) Struggling against blinding snow.

They're weak...very weak.


Sunny. The men stand at the shore of a frozen, snow-covered lake. RESCUER 1 scans the horizon.

He begins to cross the lake. He stops, looks back to see the other men still standing. He turns and continues walking.

The others follow.


Bird's eye view of the men crossing the lake. Small dots in a world of glistening, pristine white.


The lake behind them, the men see shorn off trees.

(echoing through stillness)



Hello? Is anyone there?

Rescuer 1 points to a small barely visible smoke trail rising from one of four partially concealed cabins. They walk toward it.


The snow line is nearly at the roof of the cabin. The tunneled-out door is littered with hair and bones, filthy yellow snow and excrement.

They're repulsed, but descend to the door, and cautiously enter.


Dark except for muted light from the door. Slowly, the men's eyes adjust to the light.

Several partially mutilated corpses of men, women and children are strewn around the room, flesh pulled from decapitated bodies.

Amongst them, a small girl, LITTLE ELIZA Donner, four years old, dressed in a garnet cloak and red knitted hood, trembles in the corner.

A movement in the opposite corner.

And then the men see him.

They stumble backwards.

LOUIS KESEBERG (KEYS-burg), 40's, dressed in Victorian worker's rags is hunched over a half-eaten corpse, his back to the rescuers. He turns to face the intruders, revealing a crazed face, bushy blond hair and beard matted with filth and blood. He speaks with a heavy German/Dutch accent.

(motioning to the men)
Come lay and sup with me.

Rescuer 2 dry heaves.

Lord have mercy.

Keseberg lunges for him. Rescuer 1 falls and scoots backwards towards the door. Keseberg lands on him and bites out his tongue. Rescuer 2 and 3 scramble for the door.

Run for your lives!

The door bursts open with a FLASH of light.

Little Eliza screams.

CUT TO: that's scene 1 of the screenplay. It would have taken about 2 minutes on the screen.

It's about 11 a.m. here, and while I typed this, I watched she was cute with her long curly hair--too bad she cut it off--it ruined her career. Oh well, lessons learned. Like not leaving the country without verifying your credit card and ATM card will work. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hippidy Hopping Along

Sometimes we just don't realize how good we have it til we're able to step outside our little world and see what others don't have.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of Brasil is very modern. People don't live that differently than we do as Americans...some better--there are some VERY WEALTHY Brasilians. Beautiful homes, cars, etc. But today I saw something that made my heart sad. I'd just found what I'd like to think is a FOOD FIND--you know those restaurants that once you've tried them you think to yourself, I can see myself coming back here quite often--and was walking back to my apartment with a full and happy stomach, when crossing the street ahead of me was a young kid. He couldn't have been more than 14 or 15, and looked so happy, so alive, so young and full of life. But as I saw him weave his way through the cars, I noticed that from the waist up, he was perfect. But apparently either at birth or some accident, it looked like his bones going from his knee to his right foot were broken, forcing his lower leg to have a bow in it, as though a 1/2 of heart shape. He limped on it, hopped to keep as much weight of it as possible, but he moved forward happy and content as he moved up the street with his friend.

I thought to myself just a broken bone that wasn't set. A simple procedure that if done correctly, in 2 months he's fine. He is now hobbled for the rest of his life.

And then I realized that this simple procedure would never go unattended in the just didn't seem fair.

I know there are worse things in the world...worst problems, much worse living conditions, terrible things. But I just wanted to help that kid, to make his remaining years hobble-free. How much would it take, really?

If I get some money in the future, I hope to do that. Find a way to help kids/people in that kind of situation. You can't solve all the world's problems, but you can solve someone's, right?

Of course I have some money why wait. Um, that thought depresses me.

I took the evening and walked a bit along the beach of Copacabana at dusk. So pretty. They have this little beach side stand that sells Pizza in a cone--I know, I know, but really good. I had one of those, a Guarana, and waited out a small shower. Then walked back to Ipanema beach.

I'm still amazed at the natural beauty of this place.

On a more sanitary note, I took a shower today after two days of not taking one. I don't know why...just been pretty sedentary, but today I realized it was time, and since I now have hot water in the apartment, there's no reason not to, right?

OK, so, again not gonna start my screenplay. I'm thinking of that idea and not sure it's gonna work. Hum, still throwing it up in the air of my see if it sticks.

But another day in Brasil. I've been here two weeks and one day now...and a lot to see and learn still. Including a thousand new words. :)

Boa Noite.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wow, I Did It...I Really Did it.


Well, by the title of this first post, you'd think I was so excited about where I am and what I'm doing here. But no, not that at all. Being relatively Computer Stupid, I'm actually amazed I was able to get this blog up and going. I know, I know, most of you would say it's so easy. And now that I'm here typing, I can agree--yes it was...but it's held me back for almost a month. The fear of not knowing how to do it when I really wanted to...

Which kind of leads me to the reason for the blog. I'm here in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. (Yes, it's with an S, not a Z--for you broadway lovers, I can hear you humming "it's Liza with Z, not Liza with an S...", and I know I spelled it with a Z in the title--I compromised--but enough of spelling and broadway). And while I've thought of coming to live back here for some time, it took some pretty dramatic life events to finally give me the willpower and courage to do it. I'll get more into that later, but suffice it to say now, I'm here. And I'm glad you are too...with me. (I'm pretending someone cares enough to read's nice pretending you have an audience.)

I saw the move Julie & I kind of have an idea of how blogging goes. And my take on what she did was to set out some objectives from the very beginng. I liked that, so I'm gonna do the same.

1. I'm dedicated to writing on here on a pretty regular basis. Julie did it daily, and while I like that idea, I won't promise it. However, that will be my goal...and a goal not written is only a wish, so there, it's written.

2. I've had some pretty important and dramatic life events happen to me over the past couple of years...all motivators for me to be here in Brasil. They will weave themselves into my daily blogs, but suffice it to say now that I've lived in Brasil before, and I'm back here as a very different person in many ways--my second try, so to speak, at many things.

3. I'd like to have a career one day as a writer. I've kind of had that dream for a while. While I don't expect to make my career from blogging, I do want anyone that's reading this to know I can write, I have written, and I continue to do so. In fact, after several screenplays and teleplays sitting in a COLD CASE file on my computer in NYC, and knowing that some of you may have never read anything "real" I've written, I'm gonna do that here too. You see, in some ways I did prepare for my trip down here. I brought with me my favorite screenplay and each day I'm gonna add a page from that screenplay at the bottom. (So I'll be writing for at least 100 days.). Hopefully family and friends will enjoy it enough to try and piece it all together. Ideally, some big Hollywood producer will read it and think--here's my next OSCAR. Either way, It'll be "published" somewhere. HA HA. And before you go and think you can steal it, um, no, it's copywrited...Momma didn't raise no fool.

3. I am going to try and be honest with my thoughts and feelings about life, surroundings, actions, and thoughts. To be honest, that TERRIFIES me. Which leads me to #4.

4. I come from a STRICT Mormon upbringing. More on that later too, but because of that, I'm very sensitive to the moral/age appropriate concerns of family and friends that might be reading this blog. What do I mean by that? Well, as my sweet, funny Grandma Stevens entered here last fews years of a life shattered by dementia and undiagnosed alzheimers, we saw a side of her mind that none of us knew existed. Words, phrases, thoughts spewed from her mouth that at first made our innocent ears curl. I didn't know how Grandma could talk and think those kind of words. But I guess, somewhere within a part of Grandma none of us knew, those words were tucked away, waiting to spring out when her moral concience wasn't guarding her mouth. So while I don't know how to do it, I'm gonna figure out how to share more of the total me in another way. Kind of like this movie I went to as a young boy growing up near Roosevelt, Utah called Red Light, Green Light. When some act of violence or horror was about to show up on the screen, a RED light would flash, warning us to close our eyes and ears. A GREEN light told us it was OK to look again. Of course we watched it all, but just knowing something bad was coming up kept us watching and wanting more. So in my spirit of being open, I'm gonna try and figure out how to do that.

5. I can't take full responsibility for misspelled words...c'mon, I'm writing a blog, not the Constitution.

So that's kind of it. I've begun. And while I did this first blog page, I'm not gonna write the first page of my screenplay until tomorrow (there, I've already broke one promise).

It's too much already.

I'm sure I've lost anyone that might have started with me.