Jun. 14th, 2017 07:17 pm
maristu: (Default)
*tap tap* Is this thing on?

So... I'm not even sure anyone's reading this, but if there's anyone still here, I'm trying to find everyone over on tumblr but it's a slooooow process. Send me your tumblr username, I'd love to follow what you guys are doing! Mine is maristu (I used to be maricats over in LJ, in case you were wondering).

Back to your regularly scheduled programming :)
maristu: (Default)
So... My move came. Which is a good thing. All of the boxes arrived, which is also a good thing. So I went to unpack my iMac, which is what I've been waiting for for the last six months. I thought it was weird that all the packaging was there, like the plastic covering the screen and everything, but I thought, hey, maybe I'm just that good and I kept all of that because I knew that I was gonna have to pack it, and I just forgot that I did it.

Wishful thinking.

THEY SENT ME A NEW COMPUTER. That sounds like a good thing, right? NO. It's not. Because my old computer was better, it had more RAM and more hard drive space, and a better processor. But more importantly, IT HAD ALL MY STUFF IN IT. All my photos (which, stupidly, aren't backed up). All my bank information. Passwords saved in cookies. Social Security Number. Documents, and just general information. A lot of damage can be done with that info.

What probably happened was, somewhere between leaving my home in DC and getting to my home in Brasília, the computer was stolen (or ruined, which is what I'm hoping, cause then I might be able to get the info back), and they replaced it in secret so they wouldn't have to use the insurance.

But you know what bugs me the most? Is that they tried to fool me. They thought my old computer was new (it was in the original box) and they thought if they just replaced it, I'd never notice. And that? That just makes me soooo mad. That they LIED to me.

So I wanna sue them. And I need a good lawyer. In Florida. Anyone?

At last!

Apr. 7th, 2011 11:57 pm
maristu: (Default)
After six months of waiting and calling and bugging people from a million different places, my move will arrive tomorrow! Or so I've been told. Saturday at the very latest. I'll believe it when I see it.

But! If that does happen, and my stuff arrives this weekend? Then I'll have my lovely iMac back. And my vinyl player. And my dark room! Which means I can get to work on those dozens of rolls of film that have been accumulating over the past 6 months. Oh, and my clothes. And my books, and my computer games, and my Buffy and Angel and Smallville DVDs!

How on earth did I survive for the past six months???

Souls, Inc.

Apr. 4th, 2011 08:03 pm
maristu: (muse)
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'm writing a screenplay. Or at least attempting to. So far I have ten pages of actual script, plus a virtual bible of loose information, character studies, snippets of dialogue and random ideas that might or might not fit anywhere in the story. I'm having a blast.

The thing about writing a screenplay is there's a time constraint. You need to have your whole story play out in a specific number of pages (90-120 pages), and so you need to be extra careful about plotting it all out. The other thing about screenplays that make it different than anything else is that it's VISUAL. It's all about show, not tell. Finding interesting and visual ways of showing something is much harder than it seems. Which is why I find the montage at the beginning of Up! and amazing thing. They show Carl and Ellie's entire married life in less than 5 minutes, with no dialogue. Impressive.

And so, after seeing all my fellow graduate candidates struggling with their own scripts, being their readers and giving them notes for the past two years, I decided to try my hand at it. Although I'm officially a documentary filmmaker, I do love fiction stories. And I had a couple of ideas that I'd been playing around with for a while, just working them out in my head. I enrolled in an online course and off we go!

So, as a Screenwriting 101 student whose only experience in screenwriting was a short script back in my first semester of film school (which sucked, btw), what's the story I picked to write? One about souls. Souls that go through multiple lives and go back and forth between Earth and the "Soul World". Not only that, there's two of them, which means I need to write plot and character development for two characters. And interweave them. And try to explain the meaning of the universe while I'm at it (and no, I'm not entirely kidding about that last part).

My screenwriting teacher thinks I'm insane. She says that, even with 15 years of experience in screenwriting, she's not sure she'd take on a project like this.

But I can't help it. This story has been playing around in my head for so long that if I don't write it now, it'll probably just grow more and more and become this huge monster of a thing and swallow me whole.

And so I'm writing it, a page at a time. It'll probably be done in, oh, about 10 years or so... :)

Epic fail

Apr. 3rd, 2011 12:07 am
maristu: (Default)
I had plans for today. They generally involved staying home and chilling, but also going to photography class, having lunch with a friend, going to the mall with my mom to get a b'day present for my oldest godson, and building my new elliptical that arrived recently.

I couldn't get myself to leave my bed early enough to make it to my photography class (which is 11am, not early at all, btw). Then my mom canceled the mall trip because she has a sore throat, and I couldn't build the elliptical because my toolbox is a huge mess and is missing half the tools I need to do it. All in all, today was as epic fail. Except for the lunch, which was at a nice Japanese restaurant.

So what did I do the entire day? Nothing. I browsed the internet. I took a nap. I watched American Idol (which shows Saturday and Sunday here in Brazil). What I didn't do was work on my screenplay, or start designing my friend Jason's webpage, or put the dishes in the dishwasher, or go out and get tools.

But. I feel rested. So maybe I needed a day to just do nothing.
maristu: (euphoria)
I may be depressed. I just cried for about 4 hours after the lady told me that my move wasn't going to arrive for another week. For a person that's waited for six months, what's another week, right? But yeah, that got me going. I then proceeded to cry at the end of Legally Blonde. Now that's a sure sign that something is wrong.

I just don't like it here. And by "here" I mean Brazil. My own country. How twisted is that? The problem is, after you leave for a while, you come back and notice all the flaws and problems that you were used to before. Like, people run red lights and almost kill you, and everyone's always late, and the streets have huge potholes in them, and nothing ever goes according to plan. Scheduling a time for anything is futile.

Case in point: I'm feeling depressed, so I scheduled an appointment with a psychologist at my work. I arrived there about ten minutes early, and waited. Half an hour later, I was still waiting. The woman just DIDN'T SHOW UP. Nada. No note, no phone call to the secretary to say she wasn't coming. I waited for another half hour, wrote her a nasty note, and left. She never called to explain. She's not dead or hurt, in case any of you were wondering. I checked.

And that's the thing. The lack of respect is just killing me. Everyone here feels more entitled than you about everything. Everything is a struggle, a fight, from driving down the street to getting a crew for a shoot to thwarting off people that are trying to cut in front of you at the movies. My brand new iPhone was stolen on my first week of work. From my desk. FROM MY PURSE. And when I showed my outrage about this, you know what the first reply was? Well, you shouldn't just leave your stuff lying around like that. You know how things are around here...

Apparently, I don't. I forgot. And how is leaving my purse on my desk considered "leaving my stuff lying around"? Where else am I supposed to leave it???

And then the shrink, the person who was supposed to make me feel better, made me feel worse. And further proved my point.

I know that leaving won't solve anything. That I should stay and try and change things. But I'm researching for a documentary about Brazilian sociologists and anthropologists and their theories, and it just makes me more depressed. Because this? This has been going on for FIVE HUNDRED YEARS. I mean, ever since the first Portuguese ship came to our shores, things have happened according to status and "who knows who" and not according to what's fair and just. Bribes, corruption, you name it. How the hell do we change a culture that's so ingrained? Brazil is like a Titanic, this huge ship with a tiny rudder. Even if I do stick around and try and change things, I won't be alive to see any major change.

And so I want to leave. For my own sanity. I'm not saying that Europe or the US are perfect, but at least in the US I didn't feel disrespected on a daily basis.

But all of this is moot, seeing as I'm forced to stay here at least for another year, as payment for the time that they gave me to study. I'm actually counting down the days, like a prisoner in jail, marking them off on the wall (well, on a calendar, but still).

In the meantime, I guess I should get myself another shrink.
maristu: (Default)
I've been feeling kind of down for the past couple months. They say that moving is one of life's most stressful events. So is studying. So is changing jobs. Well, I've been through all of those in the past 6 months (and we're talking intercontinental move here!), and I can tell you, they, whoever they are, are right. I'm stressed out of my mind, and it's not a good feeling.

But today was a Good Day(tm), and I am happy. Here's why:

1. My movie is FINALLY done. Done. As in, "there is nothing else I need to do with it except send it out to festivals" done. I've been waiting to say this for the past 2 and a half years.
2. I posted the story map and the first ten pages of my screenplay for my online class to give feedback on, and people actually like it!
3. My elliptical arrived today, and my move will arrive Monday. After SIX MONTHS of waiting.
4. After 2 weeks of no sugar, no lactose and no gluten, my skin is starting to clear and I lost 2 pounds!

So yeah... It's pretty amazing how one good day can change your entire mindset... Bring it on, world! I'm ready!!
maristu: (iplay)
I'm one of those people who never manage to have a big city on SimCity, or an old sim on The Sims (unless he's created old). At some point in the game, I always think I could've done something better, and decide to start all over. I buy new notebooks every semester, even if the previous ones were barely touched. I like beginnings; I'm not that good on development. This is something I'm trying to change, but changing is a long and painful process.

And so, here I am, starting over. If I've subscribed to your journal and you have no idea who I am, I was known as "maricats" on LJ. And yes, I've been gone for a long time. I'd appear there sporadically, about once every year or two, and then would disappear again. People would delete their LJ accounts, create other ones, and I'd try and catch up and figure out who was who after being away for so long, but my LJ was a big mess. So I decided to start over on DreamWidth. My LJ still exists, and I'll check it every once in a while. But this? It's so tidy and organized! :)

My current plan is to write every day. Not necessarily here on DW, though. I'm working on a screenplay, and I have a movie site that needs constant updating, and other blogs. But I need to discipline myself to write something, anything, every day.

And so it begins... We'll see how this goes!


Feb. 8th, 2011 12:54 am
maristu: (Default)
Well, it's been a couple of years since I last posted... I promise to post more soon, but for now, here's a quick update on my life these past 2.5 years:

1. I did NOT go to Tunisia to play with my band. Which is sad, but not totally unexpected. I've learned that things with the band that are told as guaranteed are actually a tentative yes.

2. I DID go to Washington, DC, and I did get my masters degree in film and video! Which is pretty cool, but was a LOT of work. I'm still not caught up on my sleep, and I graduated back in August!

3. I'm in the process of finishing post production on my first documentary, and will send it out to festivals in March (hopefully). It's called "The Loudest Show On Earth" and it's about the percussion band I'm a part of. If you want to know more about it, you can check it out here: http://www.loudestshowmovie.com. Keep an eye out, it'll be big!! (I'm hoping, at least!)

4. I'm now back in Brazil, and back to working at the Senate. It's cool because I now get to make documentaries for a living. It's not cool because my boss is a dick. Oh well. I have big plans for the future, which involve ditching my current job and trying to make it big in NYC or LA. Not for a couple of years, though. For now, I'm staying put.

5. I want to go back to vidding. I wonder how my editing classes and general film knowledge acquired in film school (not to mention the massive amount of movies watched in these past two years) will change my vids. We'll see.

So... What's new with everyone? :)
maristu: (batala)
It's official. Electronics in general hate me. Wednesday my DSL modem died for absolutely no good reason, so I got my sister's (she's not using it at the moment), and it doesn't work either. The phone guy went there and tested the line and it's working perfectly, which means that somehow I managed to ruin two modems in two days. Seriously. And to top things off, my iPod's stuck. As in, absolutely nothing I do will make it play. I've already tried resetting. I hate technology.

This has also made me realize how dependent I am on technology in general. If my cable TV stops working, I swear to God, I'll... do something drastic. I'm still working on figuring out what. Maybe scream.


On other, MUCH more interesting news... I'm going to Tunisia! Isn't that cool. I've always wanted to go there, which is strange for most people, but isn't if you're a total geek like me and knows that a lot of the scenes from Star Wars: A New Hope were filmed in Matmata (the Tatooine scenes mostly). And. There's an actual city there called Tatooine. I'm not sure I'll actually be able to go there, but still. It's pretty cool.

Why on earth would I be going to Tunisia, you ask. Well. I'm just as surprised as anyone. It appears that a big Tunisian phone company (!) has hired Batala (the percussion band I play in) to play for an entire month there, for some big promotional event. They're paying for the plane tickets and hotel, and each of the us (12 in total) is getting US$700 for our trouble. I am seriously getting paid to play, for the first time in my life. I feel like an actual artist here :)

So. Yeah. I'm going to Tunisia. And after that, I'm going to move to Washington, D.C. and study film for two years. And after *that*, I'm going to make awesome documentaries, and someday win an Oscar and an Emmy!

If you don't dream big... :)

Seriously. I feel like the luckiest person on earth right now. I'm just waiting for the part where the Universe actually asks for something in return for all the cool things it's giving me right now.

I am truly happy.


Also, my sister just called and told me she got my iPod to work. Yay!

Now I just have to go and buy a new modem :P
maristu: (cook happy)
Although I'm a die-hard Cook fan, I have to admit that Archuleta has an amazing voice. I still believe that Cook was the right choice, for his great voice and stage presence and arrangements and everything. But this video of Archie singing at church is just beautiful. He doesn't miss a single note. It's perfect. Seriously.

Vid behind the cut. )
maristu: (cook lol)
This? Is too funny for words. The only way I like silly videos is when they're just plain silly from beginning to end :)

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x5m22b (got the link from [livejournal.com profile] davidcookai7)
maristu: (cook tired)
Because I don't seem to be able to fall asleep, here's a quote:

"As for music, after it's played, where does it go? The only concrete thing about music is the instrument. Behind all my thoughts, there's a musical background." --Clarice Lispector, brazilian poet (translation by me).

"Musical Background" ("Fundo Musical" in portuguese) is actually the name of the blog I write in portuguese.
maristu: (batala)
I'm still feeling giddy from my performance tonight. We've found a new venue to rehearse on, and part of the deal is that we'll play at events for them whenever they want. So today they had a birthday gig for the venue, and the entire community was there, performing whatever it is they perform. We had guitar players, actors, poets, you name it. We even got a poem dedicated to us, which was pretty awesome :)

Performing for an audience is a guaranteed high. No matter if it's for a tiny group, like tonight (about 40 people), or for a huge public like when we played at half-time at the RFK Stadium in DC (20,000 people!!!). It takes me forever to get down to earth again. And I seriously need to sleep.

Just so you can have an idea, here's the RFK Stadium performance. I'm the one with my back to everyboy, which is the bad thing about conducting (you have to face the band!) Then again, if you have your back to the audience, you don't get that nervous... Like Jim Morrison used to do :) But hey, I did turn around at the end, and there were people on the other side of the stadium too (although not as many). Plus we appeared on the big screen, which was awesome! (But distracting at times...)

maristu: (Default)
I love David Cook to death. But no matter how much I gush over him, I will NEVER EVER call him Cookie. I'm sorry. Cookie is a good name for a grandma or for a poodle, but NOT for a hot rocker guy like David Cook.

Although I agree that he's definitely good enough to eat.

On related news, I just bought my AI Tour tickets. And I'm pissed off. Because I'm stupid and didn't want to go by myself, I waited a few days to see if anyone would go with me. And today when I finally realized that I'm the only one of all my friends who's insane enough to pay over $70 to see David Cook, the seating available SUCKED. Well, at least sucked to what was available, say, this past Saturday, which was RIGHT NEXT TO THE STAGE. Now I'm stuck high at center field. Which sucks. I'll be watching on the big screen.

Are we allowed to take pictures? Because I'd LOVE to take my pro camera with the big zoom lens to this... At least I'd be able to SEE better :P
maristu: (Default)
I just discovered that LJ works at my work! I'm still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing... Probably a good thing. We'll see.

I've been sick for the past couple of days... I spiked a fever on Wednesday, which didn't go down until Saturday morning. No one knows what it was. The general diagnosis is "virus". Since it's gone now and I have absolutely no symptoms, I'm tending to believe that this time they were probably right. Either that or the Hep A & B shots I got had some weirdass side effects that no one warned me about.

Still, this got me to thinking. What am I gonna do about doctors in the US? I mean, I'm sure you guys have tons of great doctors :) It's just that I'm so used to my own doctors here. Plus, I'm all about the alternative medicine (maybe I should move to LA!). My doctor is an actual doctor (she has her MD and everything), but she's also a fitotherapist (I don't know if that's the actual word in english), which basically means she treats people with herb-based chinese medicine and homeopathic stuff. She's also an acupuncturist, and does all that stuff with the suction cups that I don't know the name. And she's AWESOME. Seriously. I remember the first time I had an appointment with her, I had this incredibly painful recurring ear infection, which I'd treated before with antibiotics (and yes, I did follow the doctor's instructions to the T), and had come back with a vengeance. She felt my heartbeat in a few different places on my wrist and said it was a problem with my kidneys that was reflecting in my ears. She did an acupuncture session which lessened the pain considerably, and then told me to take some chinese herbal medicine and come back in a week. I was pain-free in 2 days, and haven't had any ear problems since. That was 5 years ago. Amazing.

So yeah, I do believe this stuff works, or at least it works for me. And the cool thing is, if I have something really serious that has to be worked out quickly, like a really strong UTI (which I'm prone to having at least once a year), she has no problem with prescribing antibiotics. Plus she's the only doctor I have that'll answer the phone in the middle of a holiday (like this past Thursday, when my fever was really high). I don't know what I'll do without her...

I have this idea that alternative medicine isn't really all that big in the US. Is this right?
maristu: (Default)
Are any of you going to the AI Tour? I just realized I might be able to make the DC show... I won't know for a little while though. Is this being too geeky?


I DON'T CARE! I wanna see David Cook! I wonder if they'll still have tickets available...
maristu: (euphoria)
So... I actually managed to get into graduate school. Apparently the GRE scores were not only good enough, but were good enough to get me a scholarship for my first year. Cool :) Now I just have to figure out what to do for money during my second year.

That means I'm actually moving to the US. For two years. It's a completely different situation than last year, when everything was temporary and I didn't actually know how long I was going to stay. Now I have to actually rent out my beautiful renovated apartment (it still pains me, but I'll get over it). I have to pack everything I own and find people to store them for me for the next two years (I think I'll have no trouble trying to find someone to store my CD and DVD collections...). I have to find someway to send money from Brazil to the US (what's this Western Union thingy? I'll have to check it out). I have to stock up on my bcp for the next 2 years. And so many other things I still haven't thought about. But I'm very very excited. I'm just waiting for my work to allow me to go (it's a sort of a sabatical thingy). If everything goes smoothly, I'll be in DC late July! Just in time for the end of summer! Yay!

And *then*, when I actually get there, I have to figure out a whole bunch of stuff that I just don't understand. First, what's this about a credit history? And can I get a credit card at all? A lot of stores only accept american based credit cards (like apple.com). How can I get a TiVo and how does it work? :) So yeah, a lot of adapting to do... There's an international student orientation that'll probably cover all the practicall stuff (banking and living and everything else), but probably not the TiVo part ;)

On other news... I *finally* stopped smoking. Seriously. I've been smoke-free for exactly 1 week, four days, 6 hours and 57 minutes. I know it's not much, but it sure *feels* like a loooooong time for me. I've fallen off the wagon a few times, and then got back on again, and then fell off, and so on and so forth... The last time I fell off the wagon, I'd been smoke-free for 4 days and bummed a Marlboro from someone at my work. Oh. My. God. It tasted AWFUL. And then my throat started scratching after about 3 drags, and then my lungs actually began to *hurt*. That was 10 days ago :) Here's hoping this time it lasts...

As for fandom, I haven't been watching much of anything. Well, there's the usual: Lost (are they ever going to get anywhere??), Terminator (so far, I'm liking it so so, it's just started here in Brazil, and I don't know if it's still on in the States). Oh, and American Idol! David Cook!!! I so rooted for him the entire season, and I just couldn't wait to see the finale (it'll only show here in Brazil next week), so I downloaded it on Thursday. Good think I'm home with the flu ;) Gosh, I love him to bits. He's just soooo cute and sexy and rough in all the right places and... and... you get the idea. Love him to death, and have managed to download most of the songs from the show. Now, I'd pay iTunes to download the songs, but they WON'T ACCEPT MY CREDIT CARDS. It doesn't matter if it's international, platinum, whatever. So I have no other option but downloading from the 'net. If y'all could help me, here's what I still haven't found and would LOVE to have (studio versions):

All I Really Need Is You
Baba O'Rilley
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (I still can't believe how beautifully he did this)
Dare You To Move
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
The World I Know

Mostly I find the live versions, but they're just too short (although I have most of them too, of course), and I actually like his arrangements. So yeah, if y'all have any of those in studio versions, or if you could point me to where I can find them, I'd really appreciate it! :)

First step

Nov. 20th, 2007 01:19 am
maristu: (Default)
Did I mention that I'm trying to get into a graduate course here in the States? Well, I am... I want to study documentary filmmaking. So today I took my GRE exam. I got 700 on the quantitative and 680 on the verbal.

So I wanted to know from you guys who have already done this, is this a good score? Because I have no idea what the scores actually mean. There's no information as to the minimum I have to get in order to get in the schools I'm looking into (Emerson College in Boston, Temple University in Philadelphia, American University here in DC and Savannah College).

Also, do you guys have any tips on writing my essay? And who to ask for recommendation letters?

This is so completely different from what we have in Brazil that I'm feeling kind of lost... But hopefully I'll be able to come back to the States next year! Yay! :)
maristu: (Default)
... four years, to be exact. Since my last vid. You know, I feel like a newbie all over again. So I know how to use the programs and everything (kind of). But I've been watching a few newer songvids, and they're so much more evolved than they were 4 years ago! The whole editing has become much more artistic, people are using more effects, fast paced cuts, zooms. I'm lost!!! So I'm facing this as a new challenge: focusing on the artistic side of the vid, and less on the technical. We'll see how it goes.

Of course, *this* vid is nothing like that. I made it during a five hour class, and it's pretty much only hard cuts and cross dissolves, pretty basic stuff. But still, I kind of like it. I'm a complete space geek, and when I got the series DVD from my mom as a gift, I just knew that I had to vid Shepard to this song. Warning: the song will get stuck in your head. Seriously.

Fandom: From the Earth to the Moon
Song: Save the Last Dance for Me, performed by Michael Bublé
YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seI1-YxcWfk
Download: Right-click to save (DivX file, 37.5 MB)

Let me know if there's any problem with the file, it's the first time I tried compressing anything on my mac. Hopefully it'll work!


maristu: (Default)

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