collect moments not things

The other day we were taking about the things that should matter to us and what we could do to cultivate them. Small things, like say thank you or send out a letter instead of an email. 
We talked about how we should collect and register life's special moments whether it's through photography or just a simple drawing. 
We talked about if we should take photos just for the sake of it or photograph with the intent of preserving memories. We love looking back on our photo albums and remembering, so definitively we should make an effort and preserve our memories. In the end it's all about collecting moments.
When packing up to come to Atlanta this was one of our hardest challenges: what memories do we take with us?  You could say it's contradictory since to "collect memories" is to register them on a physical format, thus collecting "more things". But I do distinguish these "things" from all the unuseful stuff people tend to accumulate. 

With this said, I'd like to share this video/memory I just discovered on facebook. Thanks Ana Claudia. 

Look Up at the Stars, Portugal! from Matthew Brown (Matty Brown) on Vimeo.

green and red

The place: Portuguese neighborhoods in Toronto.
The time: Euro Cup 2012.

The weird thing is is that most of these young generation "Portuguese" don't even speak Portuguese or have never been to Portugal. The older generation use 4-5 English words in a Portuguese sentence and left the country at a certain time in their lives because it just suck living there. But yet they still bring out the flag and cheer the country on. Being away from Portugal makes you sometimes appreciate things even more. It's nostalgia or better... saudade
After the last victory against the Chec Republic everyone filled the streets in cheer until a thunder storm came and literally made it rain on our parade! We had hitched a ride from 2 Portuguese guys (coincidentally, also from Viana) to make it to the epicenter of the festivities on St. Claire Street, only to get caught in the rain and soaking wet. It was worth it!!

welcome back (part one)

17 years later, I´m back in Toronto.
It´s such a vibrant city, I don´t want to leave.

car shopping

First we started looking for European styled cars, small and compact. This means we have a very short selection to choose from here in the States, where absolutely everything is extra-large. Bored of the limited styles and character of these new cars, we then turned to the classics.

The truth is, these were all classic cars at a local show in Tucker that we bumped into while heading towards  Lilburn to have a look at this 1973 Mercedes 280 coupé that is for sale. Though we know nothing about classic cars, we do know we want a car with personality, so we've been looking into other Mercedes coupés, specially those from 1982. 

Just imagine, our first car, made in our birth year, bought in the year we both turned 30, nice?!

101 things to do before 30

I love this list! It was great trying to keep up with it and having fun checking them off.

The stuff I did:
56/101, not bad.

101. dye textiles (11 Mar. 2011 first experience with lichens) here
99. buy a twin lense reflex (5 Jan. 2011 amazing Christmas present!) here
98. give only handmade christmas gifts (Christmas 2011, half were handmade wrist warmers)
97. embroid something (Oct. 2010: embroidery hoops)
95. roadtrip with pete (13-15 Ago. 2011 Ribeira Sacra here)
94. bake an apple pie (made 2 pies but not from scratch; official apple pie: 23 Nov. 2011) here
93. visit historical villages (belmonte, castelo novo, aigra nova, aigra velha, piodão, aldeia da pena, monsanto)
91. take photobooth pictures (3 Jun. 2012)
90. thansgiving dinner (23 Nov. 2011) here
88. origami (7 Dec. 2010 christmas tree ornaments)
87. donate blood (25 May 2011) here
86. cover pete in kisses (i must have covered him in kisses tons of times!)
84. make a snowman (6 Mar. 2011) here
83. frame photo (work in progress: 4)
82. treat myself to a spa (massage 6 Jun. 2012)
81. rafting (15 Jan. 2012 here)
79. have a massive birthday party (huge, massive and amazing! 6 Jun. 2012 here)
77. chew gorila bubble gum (2 Jun. 2010)
76. donate to charity (Associação Slice of Heaven and Kiva)
75. creat the perfect playlist (it's not that perfect, but it's good)
72. take a nap in a hammock (1 Ago. 2011)
71. creat a stencil (3 Set. 2010)
70. wait for it. it will come (17 May. 2010)
67. buy a dr. seuss book (17 Jul. 2010) here
62. nudism (23-26 Jun. 2011 naturist beaches in the Atlantic, sorry no pics)
61. make a stop motion film here
53. paint a canvas (Started!)
52. curate an exhibition (2011: Camera Escura - Museu d'Arte)
51. volunteer (Banco Alimentar)
49. participate in a flash mob (10 Jan. 2010) here
48. start my own business (23 Mar. 2011) here (I could call this a "business")
42. make a pinhata (6 Jun. 2012 didn't make it, but smashed it!)
38. make cornbread in my grandpa's stone oven (AMAZING! 18 Ago. 2011 here)
37. make videos of my grandparents (6 videos)
36. buy a bicycle (7 Jun. 2012)
35. buy the perfect black dress
34. get a decent hair cut (6 Jan. 2011) (26 Jul. 2011)
32. creative photoshoot (26 Mar. 2012 here)
31. start a piggy bank (4 Jan. 2010: 192€ in coins)
29. finish my masters (30 Set. 2010 HURRAY) here
28. sleep under the stars (25 Jul. 2010) here
27. write a poem (6 Jun. 2012 for a special friend)
26. send my parents on a honeymoon (22-24 Oct. 2010 Porto: romantic weekend for two)
25. keep all tickets
24. do something nice for strangers here
23. geocache (27 Feb. 2010) here
20. keep a written diary for a few months (does a blog count?)
19. fly my kite (24 Jan. 2010) here
18. publish an essay (3 Mar. 2011) here
14. plant an oak tree (18 Apr. 2010)
12. ride a rollercoaster (5 Sept. 2011)
10. smoke a joint with sandy (22 May 2010)
7. make love in paris (7 Sept. 2011)
5. jump from a high place (6 Jun. 2012 it wasn't that high, but it was fun)
2. carnaval in lazarim (8 Mar. 2011) here
1. roadtrip with my sisters (23 May 2010) here

Things I didn't do and I WILL NOT DO: 

66. color my hair (no way)
63. walk the trails of santiago (mabey one day...)
56. see northern lights (won't happen)
50. parachute (I don't think I have the courage to jump)
45. run a half marathon (it's too much)
44. attend photoespaña (not going to happen)
43. find the owner of the photo album (too hard)
41. ride a vespa in southern italy (I wish, mabey for my 40th birthday)
40. visit fundão during cherry season (missed it)
33. learn french (only if I move to France)
30. edit ventura terra's wiki page (I don't feel like it)
21. backpack around spain (too late)
9. prank my roommates (I can't believe I didn't do this!)
4. swim naked in the mediterranean (I almost did this one...)

Though the list isn't completed, it is my list and since I am 30 and have a new sense of authority, I can now do whatever I please.
So I now sentence the rest of the list to an official extension of the following items:

100. weave (Institute of Craft, Atlanta)
96. learn to swim underwater (we got a pool and I'm praticing)
92. print blog after 30 (work in progress)
89. collect sixs (find them at yard sales and second hand shops)
85. photo album of my life (this one is going into my next list)
80. organize a huge family reunion (next year, for our second wedding)
78. finish my quilt (I WILL do this)
74. leave a stranger a book with a note (too easy not to be done)
73. go to the opera (next sunday!)
69. attend a jewish religious service
68. host a murder mystery party (officially it wasn't done)
65. learn choreography for thriller
64. buy a camera obscura
60. fill a notebook with illustrations (work in progress)
59. make a chandelier out of junk
58. climb a 6a (in the indoor climbing gyms)
57. work abroad (hopefully I'll get a Job here in Atlanta)
55. visit sandra (Hurray, next week)
54. 100 pinholes (15/100)
53. paint a canvas (Started!)
47. see a fortune teller
46. sell stuff at a flea market
39. play baseball (Atlanta, home of the Braves!)
22. do a street performance
17. winter photo tree trip
16. visit canada in the fall (does visiting in the spring count?)
15. host a tea party
13. print albumen photos
11. be a voyeur
8. learn to tango
6. get a tatoo (i'm getting ths done!)
3. go fishing

Gosh, it's still alot!
Getting started on the next list...

becoming 30

Officially I am 30 years old.
I had the perfect day! Even though I am away from family and friends, everyone was so wonderful, sending sweet messages and videos.Thank you for making this day so especial.

My very own Betty Crocker chocolate cake!
Pedro gave the best birthday gift I could ever receive: working from home and being with me. 
And also making sure I completed some of the items on my list, so I had a really busy day:
#53 we bought a canvas, and I started painting it.
#76 donated to Kiva.
#27 wrote a poem.
#36 bought a bike.
#24 made strangers happy.
#82 got a massage.

By the end of the day I thought that was it. WRONG.
Pedro made me to go the supermarket to buy a cake and candles. By the time I got home... SURPRISE! He had decorated the house and invited our 2 friends and neighbors for my "massive" birthday party (#79) / murder mistery (#68) / tea party (#15), with Halef dressed as a fortune teller (# 47) and a pinhata hanging from the wall (#42)! How wonderful is that! The day finished off with us jumping into the pool at 11:30pm (#5) and me covering Pete with kisses (#86)!

my face as I opened the door!

Halef helping out with the decor. 

my pirate pinhata!

spreading happiness

Trying desperately to finish my list before 30, tomorrow I'm not only going to treat myself nice but also spread a little bit of happiness to random atlantan strangers!
Therefore, numbers 6, 11, 24, 27, 30, 36, 53, 74, 76, 79, 82 and 86 will be crossed off the list by the end of tomorrow. Wish me luck and a happy birthday!

i love yardsales

More than half of the stuff we bought so far is second hand, thanks to Craig's list, second hand shops and yard sales. 
Anyone who loves to explore other people's stuff knows that it's not about the money, it's all about storytelling. Whether it's imagining who the antique belonged to and how it came to be, whether it's about an amazing deal, like the awesome lamp we got for 2$!

I do miss Lisbon's flea market, but the second hand shops and yard sales are just as great. We only buy it if it is exactly what we need and if it has a certain personality to it! People do tend to accumulate so much stuff and we were no different. They say the first step into a minimalist living is to get rid of all the unuseful stuff. Pedro and I did this right before we moved to Atlanta, when we had to pack up all our junk and separate it from the things we really need and cherish. We realised we had too much stuff! So on this fresh start we are keeping it to a minimum! Everything we have right now, we need. If we don't need it, we won't buy it. 

Out of all the stuff we bought this is my absolute favourite: a blue enamel kettle and cups, so pretty!

driver's license

We've been in Atlanta for 20 days and settled in our one bedroom apartment. But no car yet, and it's really hard to get around without one. Nothing is at a walking distance which makes me miss small sized Portugal.  This weekend we rented a hideous car to go car shopping and for Pedro to get his driver's test done. 
Here, nos Estates, to get your license you just do a simple computer exam in one day and bring your own car and do a driving test the next! All this for 30$. Simple! So, after today I no longer have to drive these HUGE cars and Pedro is getting a kick at finally being able to drive in Atlanta after losing his portuguese driver's license.
As for me, I'm just thankful I don't have to drive these HUGE cars anymore! I'll be getting my license as soon as my social security number arrives. Meanwhile, we're having fun discussing the somewhat ridiculous traffic signs we see along the roads... but that's whole other post! 

FYI: we're looking for small sized, european styled cars, of course!