shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


yes, it's my lucky day (Friday the 13th)

The NYTimes Rio Journal says Brazilians don't care for the month of August, especially the upcoming Friday the 13th.

There is nothing like a Friday the 13th to unnerve people in countries all around the world. But among Brazilians, the entire month of August inspires dread - and for those who believe that superstition, the auguries this year may be especially unfavorable.

Nearly every Brazilian is familiar with the rhyme 'Agosto, mes do desgosto,' or 'August, the month of sorrow and grief.' The elderly, the poor and those born in rural areas are most prone to take the proverb to heart and let it guide their behavior, sociologists say, but it is not hard to find believers among all economic, racial and age groups.

'It's not just a myth, it's the real thing,' swears Vanildo Mello, 37, a sporting goods salesman here. 'It's a month not to go out or travel but to stay at home, a month when business deals tend to fall apart. If anything bad can happen, it's more likely to happen in August than any other month.'

Um, message to J. and S., did you know this when you booked your tix? Or maybe you're going to write books about it?

Not surprisingly, the theme has also crept into Brazilian literature and popular music. Sambas have been written with references to the curse of August, and novels that touch on the subject include Rubem Fonseca's "August" and Moacyr Scliar's "Month of the Rabid Dogs," whose title is a reference to the popular belief that even animals tend to behave strangely during August.

Now, to bed with me.


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