007: Quantum of Progress (A Vignette)

14 11 2008

Quantum of Progress

Computer: target proper?  Negative.

Her eyes narrow as she scans the crowds.

I know they’re here somewhere.

She furtively flits to a better vantage point, unnoticed by the individuals around her.  Let the commotion distract them; she has an appointment to keep.

Computer—no, she already sees it is wrong.

This is harder than I thought it would be.

Her first assignment back.  Already she feels each wasted, unforgiving second dropping away, like bullets on steel.

In, execute, out.  What more is there to it? OH SH—

She leaps into the air, cursing herself for losing focus.  Away, down, regroup, now! There are foreign parties here, with the same assignment, she is harshly reminded.  If she does not find her target soon…

Safe now, she resets.  Warily reapproaches the epicentre; the target is here, she was told.  But where?

Computer: profile: global-scan:

Too old. Too loud. Too short.  Wait—no, too troubled.  Damnit!

Her ammunition begins to self-activate.  A warning sign: she should have begun her next assignment by now.  No panic, but thinking fast.  What’s missing?  One more try.

Computer: Recalibrate assignment parameters: Profile: Global-scan:

What?!  What’s going on?!!

Target proper: positive.  Target proper: positive.  Target proper: positive.  Target proper: positive.

Her eyes furiously sweep the scene.  Unlike before, no matter where they land, her orders mandate it is appropriate to take action.

They’re ALL targets?!!  Every one?!!

Then, she realizes. Not every one.  Anyone.

The data…it was corrupt.

She circumvents the crowds, darts straight towards the centre of the ring, where her assignment had been all along.

Who was it who just bought in, again?

It doesn’t matter at all.  She begins to play.

10-Step Guide to Rocking the Capoeira Roda (by A. B. Ghinner)

4 07 2008

Hi everyone! Joaninha has been exhausted with work and training for the past few weeks (she slept for 15 hours last Saturday), not to mention catching up with all her Canadian friends, and apologizes dearly for having unintentionally lead you on regarding her return! I’m her hitherto unknown alter-ego, A. B. Ghinner, and she sent me to write a guest post in her absence.

Getting through a roda is easy!

Don’t tell her I told, but she’s been complaining about her performance in the roda lately, so I’m writing a post to help with that! Now, I don’t know that much about capoeira rodas, but the point is to maintain the circle, right? In that case, she’s actually pretty good! In fact, I’ve put together this fabulous guide for you guys on how to rock the roda, based on my observations of her alone. You’re sure to learn tons from it—and no need to thank me!

A. B. Ghinner’s 10-Step Guide to Rocking the Capoeira Roda

1. Watch the games, clap to the music, and sing along to the songs.

2. Be polite and “let” people go in front of you.

3. Shift your weight from foot to foot. Constantly.

4. Create a mental flowchart of conditions for buying in, and don’t even think of deviating from it.

Joaninha’s personal favourite (She’ll love how attentive I’ve been!): kid: no ==> much higher belt: no ==> floreio-happy: no ==> trains everyday with: no ==> excessively aggressive: no ==> played already in last or 2+ games: no ==> involves buying out higher belt: no ==> remaining capoeiristas: maybe, depends, we’ll see)

5. Mentally organize every other capoeirista present into order of preference for playing against.

6. Hover on the edge of the roda, preferably directly behind one or more large, shirtless, sweating men whose eye-levels you are literally below.

7. Attempt to put every capoeirista with a higher belt between you and the bateria.

8. Failing that, continually take one step towards and two steps back from the bateria/pé do berimbau. Reverse direction when you reach the other side.

9. As a last resort, practice the cha-cha or salsa steps right at the entrance to the roda.

10. Do not, under any circumstances, actually go into the roda and play.

Well, that’s it! Easy, right? You could get through a roda like that blind-folded! Although I have to admit, she only does about half of those things, but I hope my own ideas will work just as well! Be sure to let her know if they do; I’m sure she’d be so pleased. 🙂 It was great meeting you guys, and I’ll see you around!

Picture source:

Photoblog: Capoeira Goodies

23 05 2008

I just found these photos of some cupcakes I made last year, and thought you guys would get a kick out of them. 😀 Enjoy!

(Obsessed?? Who, me???)

Capoeira cupcakes!

Berimbau and Brasil

Brazil flag and Axé

Capoeira na beira do mar!

Top 10 Signs Your Capoeira Group is Like a Jealous Lover

29 04 2008

Are you in a healthy relationship with your capoeira group? We’ve all been there: you miss a class or two, and suddenly it’s all “Where have you been?! Why haven’t you been training?!” You find yourself constantly accounting for why you couldn’t make this workshop or that roda, and once in a while it gets to the point where you feel like calling up the doctor for a note or two, just in case. I’ve never noticed this before, but thanks to an astute and mercilessly sharp-witted, non-capoeira friend of mine, it hit me that sometimes one’s capoeira group can really seem like a jealous lover.

Love and Capoeira

Is your capoeira group a little too attached to you for comfort? Here are the top ten signs to look out for!

10. Your friend tells you your capoeira group is like a jealous lover.

9. They get upset if you’re late and demand a reason why.

8. They demand to know where you’ve been if you haven’t seen each other for a day.

7. They try to become the centre of your world, or act as if they are (and get upset if you act as if they’re not).

6. They are possessive and don’t like you being friends with potential/imagined “rivals”.

5. They are constantly suspicious of the intentions of “other” friends and friendly strangers.

4. They try forbidding you from seeing those they are most suspicious of.

3. They are always trying to affirm or retain your fidelity even if you have not shown any signs of being otherwise.

2. If one thing happens or you do one thing that seems to suggest the slightest sign of infidelity, they (a) overreact and (b) never let it go.

1. They automatically assume that every minor break, dispute, or more (or any) time spent with “other” friends means you want to or should break up, and their suspicions and paranoia only ever end up sabotaging the relationship…but somehow, you still can’t help loving them!

Now that you know the warning signals, it’s up to you to decide if everything’s going strong, or if it’s time for a break and some space. Just remember that no matter what happens, at least capoeira itself is one love that will never die!

Picture source: http://ladynina.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/capoeira.jpg

Comic: The Capoeira Journey

1 04 2008

(Click on image for full readability; you may need to click again on next page to zoom in!)

The Capoeira Journey

Public Service Announcement: Are YOU Affected by Capoeira-Coloured Lenses?

6 03 2008

Does capoeira influence your first impressions of people? 

“Whoa, you went to Nice on your own?”
“Yeah, because I was going for capoeira.”

“But weren’t you scared going to Amsterdam by yourself?”
“No, because I was meeting capoeiristas there.”

“Did you know them from before?”
“Never met them, but it’s fine because we’re in the same group.”

Did the above bits of conversation make perfect sense to you? If so, then you, my friend, may be under the influence of capoeira-coloured lenses.

Capoeira-coloured lenses, like their close cousin the well-know rose-coloured lenses, are known to shift or alter the wearer’s perception of people or situations towards a decidedly positive light. Complete strangers are welcomed with open arms; homes and hearths are opened to any in white or black and yellow; and ordeals otherwise known as travel headaches, major hassles, hardships, pain, or annoyances are often relegated to a rather large category titled “worth it”.

Authorities (parents, friends, and the like) are unable to explain the effect these lenses have on their loved ones. Those struck with capoeiryopia (also known as CCLS, or Capoeira-Coloured Lenses Syndrome), rather than displaying anxiety or worry in the presence of self-proclaimed “obsessed addicts” who are often “high” or “drunk” on mysterious substances such as “axé” or “malandragem”, on the contrary go out of their way to meet such individuals, and display great joy and delight if they happen to come across such individuals accidentally.

This syndrome, which many fear is contagious, is a new trend sweeping the globe, as persons of uncertain motive (do they dance? do they fight? who knows?!) burn through gasoline, plane fuel, and Puma or Adidas sports shoes in order to take advantage of this popular phenomenon. To anyone wearing capoeira-coloured lenses, you are automatically a wonderful, open-minded, awesome, and fascinating human being by virtue of an affinity for the sound of wood hitting a taut steel wire in repetitive patterns.

Will this trend continue? Will CCLS take over the world? Will YOU know what to do when the time comes?

Stay tuned for further developments! (For now, I’m off to tune my steel wire.)

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Blog Meme: Eight Things You Didn’t Know About Me

4 03 2008

So thanks to Faisca, this blog has been hit with its first internet meme.  I suppose this is the part where I spill all my deepest, darkest, most shocking secrets…well, sorry, not gonna happen.  😛  

I’m going to, however, share eight non-capoeira-related things about myself, giving you a closer look into the semi-deranged mind you know and love as Joaninha. 😀

1. Nancy Drew was my childhood heroine.  My dream was to be exactly like her, right down to owning the blue Mustang convertible, up until the day I realized that regularly getting tied up in cellars and thrown into car trunks isn’t actually all that much fun… (Although, if I end up going into investigative journalism, there may still be a chance!)

2. I didn’t learn the public transit system in my city until first-year university; up till then I’d gone everywhere by car or on foot.

3. I am a master packer.  Give me any suitcase, bag, or valise, show me your pile of junk, and I will get it all in somehow.  Just ask my old roommate (or anyone who’s seen me travel)!

4. I don’t really use MSN anymore, and hate it for the way it propagates conversations like the following:

(15 minutes later)
“Hey, what’s up?”
(15 minutes later)
“not much”
(20 minutes later)
“oh, lol”
(20 minutes later)
“yeah, lol”
(30 minutes later)
<smiley face> lol

5. Including this blog, I’m currently working five volunteer jobs simultaneously, all to do with writing and/or communications.

6. I’m a complete sucker for nice stationery.  School supplies shopping makes me happy, and I have an ever-growing collection of blank (but very cool/trendy/cute/gorgeous) notebooks just because I can’t help myself…

7. Ispeakreallyfast.

8. I absolutely can’t stand walking down an entire set of stairs without looking down at them.  Even if I can count exactly how many steps there are to the bottom, I get more and more paralyzed the further down I go, until I actually have to come to a complete stop, and look down.  Weird, isn’t it?

Well, that’s it!  Seems like Faisca covered most people when he passed this on, so I guess the line stops here.  Hope you enjoyed the ride. 😉