Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Lots of stuff on my mind, and I'm supposed to be working (as usual) but I thought I'd write a quick post.

Got in a bit of an argument with my wife over comparative levels of violence. I should just stop watching the news as I never cease to be appalled at the things people do to each other. I'm not saying people don't do horrible things back where I come from, but it happens a lot more here. I tried arguing that there are safer places here in Brazil as well, but Evani doesn't seem to agree with this assessment, or doesn't care, or something. Eventually this will drive me out of Salvador (the violence that is), if not out of Brazil altogether. One way or another.

I attended another graffiti event on Sunday, which was fun. People are starting to know who I am, whether or not they like what I do. This event was put on by one of the guys who I took the graffiti course with. The funny thing was that a lot of the participants were complaining about the wall because it hadn't been completely rolled with latex paint beforehand. This was because the wall was freakin' huge, and the organizers didn't have a lot of cash for paint. I gotta say one thing about the graffiteiros here; with all due respect, these guys are spoiled. If this place is insanely violent, on the other extreme it is a paradise for graffiteiros. I mean- come on, you get several thousand square meters of blank, smooth wall to paint without fear of arrest and a free plate of food on top of it, and you're going to complain? There's so much wall at these things (usually) that a bunch of it doesn't get painted at the end of the day.

Here was my contribution:

And here is one side of the wall we had- this is less than half the space that was available to us:

And more pictures can be seen here if you're curious.

In other news, Lucas' fourth birthday is on Monday... he came flying into our bed two nights ago, probably because of a bad dream. I saw him fly in, but was so out of it it took me a while to figure out he was trying to hold my hand as I was sleeping, he told me he was scared.

Ruan has finally started school. After two weeks of waiting, we sent him to school to find out what was going on and he discovered that his class had actually been having classes for a week already. We'd been calling the central office almost every day and they had been telling us to be patient and wait for the substitute to show up- they didn't even know that classes had resumed in their own school? Come on- that's pathetic.

What was the last thing? I forgot.

Oh yeah- there was something else- I finally looked through an old sketchbook I carried with me through Australia and Southeast Asia when I travelled there. I brought it back with me from the States a year and a half ago, and finally opened it up yesterday. It was pretty cool- that was back when I thought I was going to draw comic books, and there are a couple stories I started in there, and even one that I finished. The other thing that took me completely by surprise was the beginning of a story I'd written for kids, complete with little thumbnail sketches. I'd completely forgotten about it. It was actually pretty cool, but of course I hadn't finished it, not even the little sketches. Who knows, maybe I'll finish it some day. Unlike in the States, I've found it really hard to find quality kid's books here in Brazil- really creative interesting stuff. Then again, there isn't the same kind of reading culture here in Brazil as in the States. I can't even get my own kid to read books with me half the time.

Which reminds me of one other thing- once when I did manage to get Lucas to sit still with me long enough to read Where the Wild Things Are for the first time, he tried to tell me something when we were done. I couldn't quite nail it down, but it sounded like he was saying (quite earnestly) that he wanted me to make one like it. Or maybe he was saying it reminded him of my drawings. It was a nice moment, whatever he was saying.


Mei said...

Have you read the New Orleans/Recife violence comparison stats before? Don't tell Evani! There's a lot more to things than numbers, but she'll have ammo for the next fight, anyway.

markuza said...

I'd love to see those stats- do you have a link? I've always said that New Orleans is the most Brazilian-like city in the US! But what I'd really like is to compare Salvador vs. New York or Boston or... some small town in New England :) I did find one site that put the murder rate in Brazil at 1/5 that of the US fwiw.

Mei said...

Bear in mind this is from 2006 stats, after H. Katrina:,,MUL840609-15525,00-NOVA+ORLEANS+E+MAIS+VIOLENTA+QUE+AS+GRANDES+CIDADES+BRASILEIRAS.html.

Sometimes I look around in Miami and say-- wait, am I somewhere in SP? Ha ha.

Mei said...

Here is the tiny URL for the above link:

markuza said...

Thanks for that Mei- very interesting. I guess if I want to get away from guns and crime and violence I'll have to move to New Zealand...