Ana 1.0

I’m moving.

Posted in Future, Past by Ana Félix Pires on October 11, 2010

I’ve decided I’m moving from this blog, now to be known as Ana 1.0.

The actual blog isn’t going anywhere, as it holds many memories for me. I just won’t be updating it anymore however, so feel free to remove it from your feeds or favourites or whatever it is that you use.

Instead, how about adding my Ana 2.0? Pretty much the same as this one (has been since February at least) but with more organized categories and tags, links, etc.

Master’s first week gone by.

Posted in Fear, Stress, University by Ana Félix Pires on October 4, 2010

First week of Master’s gone, second one about to start.

The first week of classes is usually problematic and stressful enough as it is, so I decided to leave the enrolling for the week after. There was another reason, one that I didn’t tell anybody. What if I enroll and pay my tuition and then on the very first week realize from the professors’ summaries that the classes are just too much for me? Not what if I get scared or what if I change my mind – what if I genuinely know I won’t be able to go through with it?

I still don’t know for sure, but I don’t genuinely know that I can’t either, so I’ll be doing it this week. Sorry savings account, again.

The first week went by okay. Having a reliable laptop makes classes 100% easier to go through. Sometimes a professor will ramble on about something for longer than they have to or tell you a long personal anecdote or something else that you don’t really need to be completely paying attention to or writing down on your notes, that can make you feel a bit like you’re wasting time. When you can do something else while still listening, say check your email or reply to someone’s tweet, you don’t feel so much like yelling at the professor to please go on so we can finish early and not have to get home at 23:30. Even better if what you’re killing time with is something you’d have to do at home, like organize and complete your notes or revise something that you didn’t quite get.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about looking at LOLcats when you’re not supposed to be looking at LOLcats as well. I guess it’s the thrill of trying to get away with it, together with trying not to smile or laugh at the images so as not to get caught, but it’s plenty of fun and a great remedy to when you’re sleepy.

The commuting isn’t so bad as I thought it’d be. The train and bus station are pretty busy, even at that hour. The scariest bit is on the street, going from the university to the train station. It’s a well lit street, though it could still be better, and there are always a few cars coming and going. There are a couple of shops still open at that time as well. So I  tie my hair up, because I don’t want it getting in the way of me looking around me or making me look like an easier target, I walk in a fast pace and keep to the center of the sidewalk, so that if someone has to pass by me, they first have to go around me giving me notice of their presence, or so if someone comes towards me, they have at least half of a sidewalk to go through before reaching me giving me one second to realize someone is coming.

Is this me being paranoid? No, definitely not. I’m a woman, and women are usually the preferred targets, so we have to worry twice as much as men do, together with things that don’t even cross men’s minds at all. I’m also short and clearly not too athletic. Definitely not too athletic. My awareness of my surroundings, my assertiveness or unapproachableness or whatever you want to call it and my willingness to be loud and fight back is what’s going for me in case I find myself in a bad situation.

Hopefully everything will continue to go smoothly. Off I go, getting ready for classes.

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Life turning upside down

Posted in Family, Fear, Future, Home, Past, Stress, University by Ana Félix Pires on September 25, 2010

Hello, its been a while. Only couple of weeks actually, but plenty has happened.

I figured, if I’m going to go for a master’s sooner or later but am not working right now or having any luck getting a job in an area that I’d really like to work in, I might as well go for it sooner. So what did I do, I applied to the Master’s in Translation, got accepted and will be starting classes this Monday. All the classes are from 18PM to 22PM, so I’ll be looking for a part time job on the side as well.

I’m terrified, but I think I can do it. It’d not too much theory for my tired brain I don’t think, there’s a lot of actually translating as well, which I’m good at. I’m terrified about the commuting as well. That area of Lisbon at 18h isn’t too dark or empty. It’s really quite lively during rush hour. Walking to the train station at 22 is a bit intimidating though, even if I take the longer, more well-lit course. The 30 minute train ride home on a nearly empty train is just scary as hell. Once at my station, I wouldn’t have to wait for the bus too long, there are buses pretty much immediately after the trains, though the space where the bus stops are outside the station is incredibly creepy when empty, which I’m guessing it will be. The bus ride will be okay I hope, the course it takes isn’t too bad at all, I’ll just sit close to the driver and keep my eyes open.

I wish I couldn’t worry, but it’s sort of a thing I do.

What’s more, Areia is doing wonderfully. She’s grown much more used to my pestering and kissing and idiotic baby talking. Sometimes she gets angry and I end up with a scratch on me, but that’s okay. She jumps on my lap when I’m on my desk and purrs while I pet her. She sleeps with me too, usually at the feet of my bed, though she’ll sometimes lie down on top of me. She’s horrible in what comes to playing with what she shouldn’t play with. If I leave some lip balm at the edge of my desk, or some bubblegum, or even an eraser or pen, I can be sure it’ll end up on the floor, usually under my bed where it’s hard to reach.

My mother and I will be living alone soon – just us and our pets. My father, with whom I haven’t spoken to in six years or more – I’ve lost count, – was too offended we got the cat without his approval. Areia doesn’t leave my room unless I push her out, which I do when I want to vacuum so as not to scare her too much, and I take care of everything that has to do with her, foods and litter boxes, etc. Nothing I do has anything to do with him, except the fact that I live in my bedroom, and I’ve said it before, I didn’t want a furry friend to spite anyone. It doesn’t matter anyway, and I don’t want to get too much into it here.

Bottom line is, he’s left before and I think he should never have come back. The verbal abuse I grew up with and the constant emotional blackmail on my mother, his way of doing whatever he wanted to, his habits and routines which my mum had to clean up after, making us live in a disgraceful excuse for a house, with power tools everywhere and unfinished construction work wherever he decided he wanted to renovate. The bathroom? That thing we had work done on last October? Last October being, a year ago? It’s still missing things.

I wrote once, “I blame two people. One for having the mindset that that sort of thing is acceptable, and the other for allowing it to happen in her own home.” I’m angry with my mum a bit as well. How could she let this get to this point? He should never have come back in the first place, but he did. This time, they both say it’s for good. I hope it is. The idea of an uncluttered house, with silence and peace and cleanliness… I’m scared of actually picturing it.

It’s a lot happening at the same time. Hopefully these scary and unlikely-to-go-perfectly-smoothly changes will be nothing but positive.

I’ll be writing about the Master’s soon, I can’t imagine the beginning of an academic year without headaches and problems. On the house soon enough as well. My mother and I went a bit crazy on Ikea, with that too early “uncluttered house” dream we’re both cultivating.


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Life turning upside down, brb!

Posted in Art, Internet, Photography by Ana Félix Pires on September 7, 2010

I’ll be back soon!

By *AnaFelixPires on deviantART.

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Crazy blue eyes

Posted in Art, Internet, Photography by Ana Félix Pires on August 16, 2010
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Life going on…

Posted in Family, Fear, Future, Health, Past, University, Work by Ana Félix Pires on August 16, 2010

I mentioned I was anxious to advance in one of my last posts. I’m even more anxious now. My mother has told me she doesn’t mind me taking some time to try and find a suitable job, that we’re financially okay and I’m not being a burden or anything. I also mentioned I was ready to take a break from university.

But I guess it’s the thing with plans. I’m still keeping an eye out on employment websites and listings, but since I haven’t been lucky with all the CVs I’ve sent out, I figured maybe this was a good time for a Master’s, instead of later. I’ll be applying in September for the Master’s in Translation, and starting a few weeks later if accepted. If not, I’ll just continue my search. The schedules for those courses are all from 18PM to 22PM, so I don’t think my classes would clash with anything I might find in the meantime. The tuition isn’t any more expensive than the Bachelors’ degrees either, about a thousand euros per year.

We’ll see how it goes.

Now, completely unrelated. I mentioned Areia briefly before, my new furry baby.

Now, It was quite a struggle to be able to bring her home. Not everyone in the house agreed with bringing in a new pet, for not very good reasons really, but that’s been sorted now, more or less. I didn’t want the new cat to annoy anyone anyway. It’s been a while since Luna, and I’m lonely. My last semester at university took quite a toll on me too, and the stress that comes with being alone in one bedroom with no physical company whatsoever began being a bit too much on top of everything else. I have friends, people I see every day and with whom I had classes in common, people I skype every now and then. It’s just different though.

The decision to adopt a new animal wasn’t made on a whim. I thought a lot about it before even bringing it up with the family. I’m aware it’s not all cuddling and petting, that there are problems and issues that need dealing with on a daily basis, consequences. I thought of the consequences too, plenty. The scariest and least avoidable consequence is that one day, like Luna and like all pets, this kitty will die and leave me behind heartbroken.

Like Luna. The day we had to put her to sleep was just hell. What about the twelve years that we had with her though? Would I trade never having had the experience of being best friends with that furry sweet animal if it meant I’d avoid going through one of the worst days of my life? Of course not. That idea is both inconceivable and offensive. No, I wouldn’t trade those twelve years of Luna’s company for anything.

I know I’m going to love whatever animal comes along next. And in – hopefully and optimistically – many many many many many years, when that animal has passed away, I’m definitely going to be heartbroken, but the feeling will be the same as with Luna. I won’t regret bringing that four legged furry thing into my life for a second, regardless of how heartbroken I am. The idea of never having had that animal in the first place to avoid being heartbroken will be both inconceivable and offensive. And I wouldn’t trade whatever time I had with that animal for anything as well.

So screw the inevitable end, screw the fur, screw my black clothes, screw the black cotton Skruvsta. Screw the occasional cat vomit and the bits of cat sand that get stuck to the cats’ paws and end up all over the house. Screw the stuff that ends up broken because cats like to climb things. Screw having to be 100% more careful with candles and incense and other potentially dangerous substances or objects. Screw the heat and the meowing. No heat actually, the cats that come from the pound are all neutered and spayed, but screw whatever unrelated meowing that may occur. These aren’t big consequences, I don’t care.

Areia will be staying mostly in my bedroom, and things have been going alright the past few days. I love her, my mother loves her, a couple of good friends I had over loved her, and my brother who managed to visit today loved her too.

Menino is the only one so far that doesn’t exactly love her… He’s quite scared of her actually, and she hisses whenever we get them too close to each other. Poor Menino is sick. He has really big tumors growing on him and a heart too weak to allow any surgery. He’s old, about 13 years old we gather, since we’ve had him for about ten years and the vets estimated two when we brought him in. We know it won’t be that long until we have to be heartbroken again. We can be optimistic and root for a few more good years, but it’s impossible to know.

It’s not really fair is it. They’re the best companions, we love them and they become an important part of the family, more important than some human blood-related family members even. And that goes on for about 15 years if we’re really lucky. Or about 10 to 15 in average. And then that’s it, they don’t usually live much longer than that. It’s how it is. All we can do is enjoy their company and love and create wonderful memories while they’re around, and have enough courage to keep doing it again and again I guess.

I’ll be enjoying both my Menino and my Areia now.

Say hello to Areia.

Posted in Family by Ana Félix Pires on August 12, 2010

Areia – which means “Sand” and which we usually shorten to “Reia” – the newest addition to the family, resting in her little hideout. She’s very sweet and needy, loves head-butting and nibbling our hands as we pet her, and is a bit of a scaredy cat.

About 2 years old, spayed (which is so unbelievably important so please go have your pets spayed or neutered), adopted from the no-kill pound of Seixal, Portugal, on the 11th of this month.

Take a look at the blog run by the pound volunteers if you live near the area and would like to volunteer yourself, if you’d like to know what the animals currently needing a home are or if you’d like to find out how to help the pound financially through a donation.

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Proud owner of a SKRUVSTA!

Posted in Future, Home, Past by Ana Félix Pires on July 28, 2010

Try and say that name three times fast. Really though, I love Ikea’s furniture names.

One of my birthday presents, this wonderful black cotton Skruvsta chair I’d been eyeing for ages, since my last faux leather one had been completely assassinated by Luna and her claws and looked disgusting. At first, I wanted another faux leather one because they’re easier to clean, but they’re also easier to destroy, and I do want more pets.

Another thing, the faux leather ones have wheels and make the chair far too tall for me. Note, I’m not too short, it’s the chair that’s too tall. So the cotton wheel-less one seemed like a better idea. Though, black cotton and furry pets doesn’t sound very smart either.

I really like this one anyway, it was cheap for how good it is and looks – 89€ at Ikea, – it’s not too tall so I can sit comfortably and reach the floor with my heels, and it fits perfectly in the bedroom.

Speaking of my bedroom, I tore it up and threw away half of its contents again. It’s empty and clean and it echoes once more, I love it. Photos will come eventually, I promise, the walls are disgusting and completely bare and I wanted to do something about them first.

Where did this impulse to change everything again come from?

I’m thinking about redesigning my bedroom. Within my limitations, of course, and keeping in mind I won’t stay around for long. But the truth is, it’s where I spend most of my days for now. I only finish University next year, and even then… Point being, all this clutter is getting to me. I feel like I’m suffocating in this place, so I want to change it make it simpler. […] I just have so much stuff I don’t need or even like.

I wrote that over a year ago while still in university, the emphases are on what I’d like to talk about now. Thing is, I’ve started to realize I’m going to have to live in this house for longer than I expected and wanted to. Professionally, I simply haven’t gotten any replies to the emails and CVs that I’ve sent out. Things aren’t easy for anyone, and even when I do get a job, I can’t expect too much from the beginning. I’m still optimistic, but I don’t think I’ll be able to support myself and move out within a year or two like I’d fantasized before. So I can’t continue going through my life thinking this space is only temporary, it’s been “only temporary” for over 20 years now. This bedroom is going to continue being my home, so I might as well make it the best I can.

The clutter, it was getting to me again. The permanent clutter outside my bedroom, the power tools and boxes and crap on the hallway, I can do nothing about. The clutter in my bedroom is a different story. And not just clutter either, I mean, a decomposing faux leather chair isn’t pleasant to look at every day. After a while, things like that get to you and slowly start to drain your positivity away. You don’t feel as good when you get home after a long day to a messy house as you do to a tidy one. You don’t feel as productive when working on a cluttered desk as you do on a clean and empty one. You don’t feel as satisfied after cleaning a cluttered and cramped space as you do after cleaning one that looks halfway decent.

Does that make sense? I told a friend what I meant and she told me I was reading too many “of those zen blogs” – she meant productivity and self improvement blogs – but am I? Doesn’t that make sense?

It makes sense to me, so I’m getting rid of everything that makes me go ‘ugh’ and going for what makes me go “yay”.

And you know what makes me go “yay”? Pets. I’m getting a cat to move in with me.

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