26 February 2010
I am currently translating chapters for a wine/tourism guide on my free time, even though it's been scarce, lately.
Now, friday at 10.14 p.m., my feet ache and my eyes and my shoulderblades also hurt. Funny place to have pain.
And, right now, out of nowhere, I just thought of an interesting and very true quote from a book I read: "the comfort of ignorance". It's from Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming Pool Library. (yes, my book cover is exactly like that one, but with the Portuguese title).
And now, also out of the blue, I feel like writting a John Keat's dirty poem. Maybe later.
18 February 2010
The play runs from today, February 18th through March 28th. Like most plays in Lisbon, it starts extremely late during the weekdays (9.30 p.m.) and I have a life, so I can’t go at that hour. Instead I have to attend the matinee on Sunday at 4 p.m..
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining! No one is forcing me to do to the theatre (on the contrary I ADORE the stage) and I love to sit next to all those old ladies with nice perfumes and furs (they make me feel so young...!) and 30-something couples who also have a life and, therefore, cannot attend the theatre during weekdays.
This theatre, like many others in Lisbon, have a lower price for students or people under the age of 30. In S. Luiz Theatre, I pay 5 € per play and I get to sit on the second stall (I don’t know if this is the correct word. I am talking about the seats in front of the stage, the good ones)! Anther theatre I also like has 30-40% off on ticket prices for students and people under 30.
4 February 2010
1 February 2010
29 January 2010
“When the Lion Roared ...
In celebration of its 85th anniversary, MGM sharesstills from a few of the studio’s timeless classics.”, Vanity Fair Magazine, 29 January 2010.
You can see the pictures and read a little text about the context, ideas, trivia... Precious.
My favourite ones are
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
25 January 2010
Do you know those ready-in-2-hours jelly packs? You stir the powder with hot water and stick it in the fridge and 2 hours later, you have your jelly ready? Well, they don’t always need 2 hours to be ready…
Yesterday night, I was making dinner and realized that I have 3 unopened packs of jelly. A dessert in 2 hours? Sure! Easy! I’ve done it before. Well…
I boil the water, put the powdered jelly in a bowl, add the water, mix everything. The smell of tangerine is great, really sweet! “I think I can still eat some after dinner,”, I innocently think. Then, I notice that the Tupperware where I had poured the jelly into was on the kitchen stand where I wanted to continue preparing dinner. So I just thought, very innocently again, “Well, I could move the Tupperware from the kitchen stand to the table and I’ll have more space to continue with my dinner preparations [fish pudding].” (do you see a tragedy coming?) Little did I know.
And so, very carefully, I move the Tupperware to the table. And then, a catastrophe occurs! The bottom part of the Tupperware fell and along dropped 1 l of tangerine jelly on the kitchen floor! Plok!! The floor, once white, was now orange.
The nerves! The panic! My God! I stopped everything I was doing and got down on my knees and started to frantically clean the floor. By the time I got to the jelly near the wall, this one was almost ready/ solid. What a nightmare! (I think I now understand why those jelly wrestlings are so difficult and slipery).
By the end of it, I had jelly on my slippers, socks, trousers, legs, knees, face (!) and coat.
I therefore recommend that jelly manufacturers include a warning on the jelly packs: instead of writing “ready in under 2 hours”, it should read ”ready in under 2 hours on the fridge and in 5 minutes, should it fall on cold ceramic floors”.
13 January 2010
I have divorced parents and my stepmother is also divorced. Our parents – 4 – have shared custody (of us…?!) and we alternate weekends. One weekend with dad and another with mom, and Monday and Tuesday, so we can have dinner with them.
You can imagine the amount of stuff I have to carry around between the two houses. The good thing about this is that it made me more organised and quicker, but taht's it. Also spending time with my parents, of course, but the energy I put into the constante house swapping is indescribable. My stepbrothers don't feel all the preassure because their mommy drives them to daddy's house, so they don't take the bus!
I do have some clothes over at my mother’s, but some things I have to carry with me: hair brush (having 2 of the same thing is a waste; this rule does not apply to clothes or underwear! or DVD), gloves, umbrella, trousers, t-shirts, sweaters, Tupperwares with my lunch, keys, … a never ending list of things to carry along through Greater Lisbon’s public transportation network.
Other things depend on the weather forecast and of how much will I be comfortable carrying around. These include laptop, camera (usually goes), mp3 player, charger for the just mentioned items, 2 or 3 DVD to watch (just the DVD on those cake boxes, not the individual DVD boxes, I’m not that crazy)… you get the idea. I always carry a book to read during the public transportation "travel period", but the book I am now reading is 400 pages! (I can only imagine what it will be like when I decide to read Bolaño's"2666").
One of the worst things is that I have to pack everything beforehand, usually the night before so that the next day, when I go to work, I already have everything with me and can go straight from work to the house of choice. I have to think about the clothes I have at my mothers' and at my dad's so I can come up with some kind of work apropriate attire and pack the necessary stuff - I am to tired to call them clothes. Socks and underwear, I have at mothers, and some shoes too, but somehow they are never the right ones.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot to mention that my parents live on opposite sides of the city and work is on another side. If it where a clock, dad’s house would be at 12, work at 2 or 3 and mom’s at 7 or 8. And it takes me 1 hour to get from my dad’s house to work and around 45 minutes to my mothers’, whether from dad’s or work. Fuuuuuun!
Lately, we have been swapping them like crazy. I can’t even tell where I have to go when I get off work. After spending 2 weekends with mom – but not the week days! – I came home today to find out that my stepbrothers’ father wants to swap weekends again! Son of a witch with a B! Seriously, only today do people tell me!
You will understand my frustration if you think that yesterday I had to pack everything on my school shoulder bag – wheelie bags are not good – drag it to work, work for 8 hours, drag the bad again for 1 hour to my dads’ and them get here to realise that I was going to spend next weekend at my mothers’. WHERE I JUST CAME FROM!
Now, tomorrow after work, I must pack all my shit again so that on Friday, after work, I can go to my mothers’. Don’t forget all the dragging!!!
I feel I no longer have time to do nice things during the week days. I don’t have time to post nice and funny things on the blog, to take pictures, go to a book store (I get off work at 6, am home by 7 and I still have to cook dinner most nights), my hair is a mess, it seriously needs a hair cut and I can’t remember the last time I washed my sheets. Honest.
I am seriously considering cutting my own hair, which would be disastrous.
6 January 2010
I still want to post the Christmas gifts I got, but I still have to either take or find pictures of them. So until then, here are some pictures taken by yours truly on my NYE. Or part of it.
I had a lovely dinner at my godparents house and after, we headed to Belém, for the Midnight Fireworks and Concert. I don’t have any pictures of the firework because I was too busy drinking French champagne and eating 12 raisins all at once. At the stroke of midnight, it starts to rain! Super! I had to prtect my hair from the rain, or I would turn into Diana Ross. Really. I will save you all months of therapy and will not post any pictures of myself, otherwise you would only lok at my freaky hair. Oh well.
GNR’s concert was late, as is usual in this country of mine. People in Belém, in Lisbon, where the concert was held – where getting cold, sleepy and impatient. They could see smoke and lihts on stage, but no band members.
Finally, they appeared! People cheer and clapped. GNR!
Cool lights, smoke and music.
The concert ended close to 2 a.m. Then we walked back to the car in the cold. I got home by 3 a.m., to bed by 4.a.m. and the next day I woke up at 1 p.m. Busy bee!
I just wanted to share with you the amazing cover art from a book I recently read. It called “A Leitora Real” (The Uncommon Reader), by Alan Bennett. I know the pictures are crappy, but I just wanted to show you the detailed engravings on the cover.
5 January 2010
23 December 2009
An amazing article in November’s National Geographic Magazine. The rest of the article is here.
19 December 2009
15 December 2009
Have you ever been to a restaurant alone where the waiter said something like “Are you waiting for someone?” and felt like replying “Thank you so much for that sweet reminder that I came alone to a restaurant today, but NO, I CAME ALONE”?
Have you ever been to a restaurant where the waiter took “an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course”? So have I.
Ever felt like the service wasn’t quite up to what you were expecting?
Well, I discovered this sweet entry in a blog called: “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do”, by Bruce Buschel, in a blog from the The New York Times. Need I say anything else? Part One here and Part Two here.
A must read.
11 December 2009
9 December 2009
In last week’s culinary review of Time Out Magazine, this precious gem appeared. I am sorry, but it is only in Portuguese but, if you are thinking about learning a new language, you could always choose Portuguese as it will be worth .
It starts off with a warning: “As melhores coisas deste restaurante semi-novo vimo-las logo no primeiro minuto: um bom poiso com vista para a rua da Escola Politécnica, habitado por empregados simpáticos. Se lhe parece uma boa descrição não leia mais, porque a partir daqui... foi sempre a descer.” [The best of this semi-new restaurant were seen in the first minute: a good location overviewing Rua da Escola Politécnica, served with friendly employees. If this sounds like a good description, read no more, because it all went downhill from here.” ]
6 December 2009
I’ve only have sushi once before and didn’t like, but this time I LOVED IT. Truly good. Great atmosphere, service, and food, except form the music, which was everything but Japanese. I think it “matched” the TV, broadcasting some music channel.
But the best thing, really, was that I ate with the Japanese chopsticks, as you can see from the photo. I didn’t need to use the ones with the rubber band on the end, no sir, nor the typical knife and fork, like the waitress kindly told us she could bring. My foot, she would! I ate like a Japanese!
My plate and chopsticks!
3 December 2009
30 November 2009
26 November 2009
“New York I love you” is a movie I’ve mentioned before in this blog, many months ago. It all began with a French movie called “Paris Je T’aime” and this one is now an American version. Well, sort of.
The concept is the same: mini love stories which take place in the different parts of the city, written, directed and started by different actors. The conception is different. While in Paris, we had separate love stories, each told one after the other, in NY, you see parts of each love story spread throughout the movie. You don’t have 8-minute stories, but maybe 2 or 3 minutes of one story, followed by the same amount of time of another love segment.
At first, I felt somewhat disappointed that the NY didn’t follow the Paris scheme, but after a few minutes, I realized that the movie had a certain rhythm that the Paris didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love Paris and NY is equally charming, but only after seeing NY did I realise that, by breaking the stories into segments, the story ended up being more coherent (It may seen strange, but it isn’t, trust me) because the characters all sort of meet each other. Like the Six degrees of separation theory (look it up). For example, the not-spontaneous guy bumps into the one night stand guy, the girl from the one night stand meets the pharmacist, the pharmacist knows the boys from the prom segment, the video camera girl knows the sex flirt guy, the man who can’t communicate with his wife sees the sex flirt guy, the sex worker (yes, there is one) meets the camera girl... they are all connected. The stories and the people. Which reminds me...
The NY has many, many stories, like the music composer, the bride to be, the once-famous singer, the divorced parents juggling time with heir daughter, the painter and the muse, the thief, the pretty girl and the professor, the old couple on the day of their wedding anniversary... hum... the one with a girl complaining her boyfriend isn’t spontaneous, the one night stand boy and girl version of a second ‘date’, the couple that can’t communicate, the one with guy meets girl on the street and flirts with her using extremely explicit sex language and so on and so forth. And the one with the girl with the camera. And the boy and girl at prom night. Many great love stories.
But, I have to be honest, at times, i got the feeling that the movie was more about loneliness and failure to connect that about love itself. In many stories, they emphasize how lonely people are. And silent, too. They don’t communicate with other people and many times, we only get to know what they are thinking because we can hear what they think! Yes, some of the characters narrate their thoughts or ideas.
For example, when I say that some of the characters are lonely, I am thinking about the musician. For most of his story, he is alone, sleeping, trying to write, going for coffee, and the only apparent relationship he has is with an assistance (we assume) over the phone, who sends him things and tries to help him finish his work on time. Of the one night stand couple. Most of their story is about them going to meet each other for a second time, on the metro, taxi, walking, while remembering what their last ‘encounter’ was like.
They are alone with their thoughts and we are invited to come into their lives for 7 to 8 minutes. We learn to fall in love with their stories, characters, and situations and their will probably be an “Aaahhhh” at the end of the screening. I’ll definitely buy the DVD once it gets out.
25 November 2009
“Pergunta-se se as palavras não serão um elemento essencial do sexo, se falar não será afinal uma forma mais subtil de tocar, se as imagens que rodopiam nas nossas cabeças não serão tão importantes como os corpos que abraçamos.”