26 June 2009

Reading Habits

A must read right here. I’m sorry but it is in Portuguese.

Even though I 'm a translator this is a very VERY translation of the abovementioned article:

I like to read what Isabel Coutinho writes because she is an enthusiast of the new literary technologies without loosing her passion for the old ones. A wise attitude. The physical mediums don’t get lost nor replaced: they multiply. When the technology is updated, the traditional ways of bookmaking are even more valued. The only danger is that we’ll end up with nothing to read – and that danger doesn’t exist.

In yesterday’s juicy newspaper article in P2 newspaper supplement, Coutinho writes that 12 % of American book buyers read an eBook over the last month and 6 % read one eBook on a cell phone. Coutinho qualifies this percentage as “only”, when she should have used “already”.

I already have an eBook reader, BeBook, for almost one year now. After the second day, I couldn’t go without it. It’s very light but can store up to 4 GB in books, magazines and texts – enough for more than 40 thousands hours of furious reading capacity. All we have to do is charge its battery every five days. It never overheats nor blinks.

It’s easy to read under the brightest of sunlight due to its black screen on gray background, without tiring the eyes. All of this cannot be achieved with laptops and cell phones. BeBook can only be used for this, reading.

It’s similar to reading photocopies in black and white in half an A4 sheet. It blurs out the pictures, but we can replace and increase the font size. It doesn’t have beauty, cuteness nor ink smell. But reads very well. When we get absorbed by what we’re reading, we forget what we are holding. Isn’t that is the idea of reading?

Sara, the yogurt maker, part 2


The yogurts came out delicious. A bit warm, but still, for a first trial in over 10 years, not bad.

Photos to follow.

25 June 2009

The Market (Salamanca Exhibiton # 20, 21)

When Hugo invited me to do the exhibiton, I almost freaked out because I didn't have many photos with the themes of 'multiculturalism', 'imigration' and something else.

So, I decided to go to a local market near my mother's house. I later came to realise that that was a huge mistake. People didn't want pictures taken, they looked away, and one woman yelled at me. She yelled her lungs out at me! So, all in all, not a very rewarding experience.

I did manage to snap 2 (out of 43) (yes, 43) photos which I tought reflected the market people.

The market people are usually older people (older than me, not old), in their 40-60 years of age, who never move very far away from their area. They protect their produce and are nice to the approching people they can detect will buy something. The other are shooched away with sideway glances. I also noticed, while there, that they were always rubbing their hands and keeping them in their apron pockets. Don't know why.

They were very simple clothes, in plain fabrics, usually with a plaid pattern on their shirt or scarfs, many with (once) white plastic aprons.

I managed to snap a photo of a (not very mentally sane) woman, who was walking around the different market sections, advising people on what to buy. When they picked something up that she didn't think was good enough, she would insult them and then pick the right produce.

This was taken in the fruit section. The woman on the right is the not vey mentally sane produce advising woman. I think the pinapples give it a funny flare.

Butchers. Enough said. I love the eyebrows on the man on the left, very full. His apron is a little spotted with blood, but that's ok.

Sara, the yogurt maker

I remember being about 9 or 11 years old and making homemade yogurts. It took forever to make them, but the result was amazing.
The entire process was almost an adventure: we had to go and buy powder milk, milk and yougurt, them mix everything and cook in a light simmer, the pour into the glass yogurt cups and turn the yogurt maker on. Them the yogurt maker worked during the night, for about 8 hours and in the morning we had homemade yogurts.
The only problem is that the yogurts were still warm and we had to wait until the next day to eat them cool. I mean, we could eat them once they were made, but they tasted better when cool.
Tonight, my father and I have decided to try and make some more yogurts, after a 15-year break. Future postings on the result, due tomorrow at 6.30 a.m. (the yogurts, not my feedback).
(I am sorry, but I don't have any pictures of my yogurt maker. Maybe in the furture...)
update: for some reason, I can't seem to be able to separate the paragraphs, which is annoying.

24 June 2009

Loneliness (Salamanca Exhibition 17, 18, 19)

See the person sitting with their legs crossed smoking a cigarette? The one with a hoody? Boy or girl? Boy or girl? Can you guess?

This one is in downtown Lisbon, to the left of where I was standing when I took this one. One the wall there are some writting with the translations into several languages of the sentence "Lisboa, Cidade da Tolerância" - Lisbon, City of Tolerance. The English one is right under the Portuguese one, in the middle, also close to the Spanish one. As it so happened, someone wasn't very tolerant - the first letters of the Portuguese word 'Tolerance' as graffited over.

I took this picture at the entrance of a boat terminal in Lisbon, where people take the boat to cross the river. It was pretty much 'snap and run', because the security guard had already told me twice that I could not take any pitures. This is (luky) photo number 13.

21 June 2009

Lord of the Rings

What is the best this about the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

a ) all the easily spotted mistakes

b ) the detail of the production

c ) the Orcs

d ) Legolas and Aragorn

e ) this.

A foggy day in Lisbon town (aka Salamanca Exhibiton photos 14, 15, 16)

These are all pictures of the same place: Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square, literally translated) in Lisbon.

Crazy homeless man who cursed at me and threatened me to leave.

I find this photo to be very artistic. Almost magic. The person walking in the background, the fog/humidity, the lamp posts...

This picture is very grainy, due to humidity. I took this one around January 2008 when I was going home. I was standing on a bench and someone took a picture of me taking the picture. If you see a cray girl on a bench during a day/night with a lot of humidity, the chnaces are that it is me.

18 June 2009

Salmanca Exhibition # 11, 12, 13

I am now realising that my photos - or at least most of them - have two things in common:
- I am never there on purporse taking the pictures. I usually am on my way somewhere else and just so happen to take a picture of something I thought was interesting (for these, I was on my way to the supermarket (1st photo), on my way home (2nd) and on my ay to a local market (3rd)).
- Only when I get home do I notice that I took an interesting photos. This applies to most of my good photos, but not only.
These three pictures, to me, are all about the contrast, whether in shadows or black and white bouldness.

I took this one in Rossio, a large square in downtown Lisbon. This place where I was is a hangout spot for people of different races - Africans, Asians, etc.. I tried to take pictures of people of different social or cultural background but they all came you really bad. I was about to leave to go to the supermarket when I noticed that the man I first thought was asleep was now comlaining about something. He was asleep on the pedestal, touching the star, and when he turned around, he fell and that is what he was complaining about. I heard him cursig, turned around very fast, took the picture and left. As I was waiting for the lights to change near the crossroad, I was browsing throught he pictures and saw that the framing was decent, the light was ok and it was an interesting picture with a religious something to it: on the background you have a religious building (Catholic) and a Jewish star in the front.

I went for a stroll around the city and ended up in Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square), in Baixa. I was trying t take pictures at this group of performers (singer, guitar player and juggler) but the photos were coming out terribly ugly. I had already noticed this couple when I first got there but didn't try to take their picture because they were always loking in my direction. So, there I am trying to take a decent picture when I hear this really fun laughter, the kind f laughter you know that the person laughing is really enjoying him/herself. I turn around and take the picture. The funny thing is that it wasn't until I got home that I noticed that I had caught the guy laughing.

I love this one, eve though I dn't really know why. This is the picture of the shadow of a man who sells 2nd hand books under the arcades of Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. He has a cruffy beard and very understanding eyes. He saw that I was taking his picture and didn't mind at all. He went on back and forth with his stroll. When I finnished (10 pictures for 1 good one), I thanked him and he he smiled at me and nodded his head once.

17 June 2009

Salamanca Exhibition photos # 8, 9, 10

To me, all of these picture have a feeling of loneliness in then. Yet, I don't hink they are sad photos.
Train station.

Love it!

Taken in one of my favourite hangout spots: the S. Pedro de Alcântara Belvedere, in Lisbon. I go there and read and enjoy the view... very relaxing.

12 June 2009

Girl Power

Today at work there are only women. The boss is at home, sick.

10 June 2009

More amazing graffities

The colours, the composition, who could say they are ugly?

(my current screensaver)

Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa

9 June 2009

Salamanca Exhibition # 7

Homeless man, who saw that I was going to take the picture and started to leave. 1 second later, it would have been too late.

Today I am happy because

Now that I am a working girl (I have to take the metro, then a bus, then walk to go to work), I use the time it takes me to get there to read. I always liked to read, ever since I was a child, and since it takes me about 1 hour to go to work, I use that time to do something prolific. In my case, reading.

But this is my problem: today, I only had one book with me (!), the same book I’ve been reading since Monday, which means I was nearing the end of the book and forgot to bring another one. To many people, this may seem meaningless or idiotic, but to me it is a problem, because it means that I’ll spend about 1 ½ hour doing nothing but look away when people look at me on the bus and metro. Tis 1 1/2 hour is the rest of the time to go to work and the time of the way back.

So, I finished the book and then realised that I had my mp3 player with me, pressed play (Nada Surf, Billy Idol, Death Cab for Cuttie, …) and, when I got on the bus, I found an empty seat! Oh My God, I was so happy, because that meant I didn’t have to hold on for dear life while the bus driver transformed the bus in a race car.

I went to my seat, listed to the music and looked out the window and noticed how beautiful the view was. The sun was reflecting on the river water, really shiny, but the sky was still somewhat cloudy because it’s been raining for the past 3 days.

I can’t describe it any better, but it was so beautiful! The sun shinning through the clouds (gray and white), the blue sky, the sun reflecting on the water… it was the perfect beginning for a work day. That and the seat on the bus and knowing that tomorrow and the day after are public holidays, a.k.a. – no work.
Night update: the day didn't go so well. Today we had lots of work and I had to stay there for 1 extra hour.

7 June 2009

Graffities - Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is all about the bars, drinks and the graffities. Some graffities can be artistic, other not so much. This one is artistic, I think, as is this one.

Today I was looking for a new desktop screensaver and I opened a folder on my pc with several graffities I never got around to posting.

So here they are.

This is a new trend: a graffiti stencil (I made that up): someone cuts an image on a stencil, places it on a wall and spray paints it. And there you go, a graffiti. I like the fact that the painter stand out much more because of all the tags (graffiti lingo for signatures made with graffiti spray paint).

I think this is actually two different graffities: a boy praying and Tweety bird was later added. It lks silly and funny at the same time.

I love this one! If you look closely, you can see that the girl is handcuffed to the teddy bear. That says so much about childhood.

6 June 2009

Salamanca Exhibition # 6

The woman in the post bellow reminded me of this man, who also seems tiny.

Salamanca woman (charra)

I told you I had an artistic photo taken in Salamanca. This is it.

I took this one in the Cathedral and, once again, I had to follow my subject around. I spotted her when I went in and immediatly noticed that she was walking very slowly and with difficulty. The day before I had noticed that there was set of candle shedding very little light over a corner of the cathedral and thought "Hum... I wonder what she would look like near the candles."

Originaly, I wanted the picture to be in colours, but after a miute or two after walking in, I got distracted and lost her. So I had to track her down and my the time she was near the candles it was too late to set the camera back to colours (I had set the camera for black and white). So this is her.

This is also one of my all-time favourites because the woman sees tiny.

5 June 2009

Salamanca Ehibition # 5

Bairro Alto - Lisbon

A man kneeling down and cooking some sardines on a grill and a man who when for a walk with his dog.

Plaza Mayor

I probably took about 10 pictures at Plaza Mayor, in Salamanca. This is the only decent one.

Plaza Mayor is (I think) the central square in the city, as it was the case back in the day. It's a huge squre, with a large centre, where go and have expensive coffees, sit around doing nothing, fall asleep on the ground because it's made of stone, which is fresh during the summer (Yes, Hugo.) (inside joke). But when I was there, there was a book fair going on, so the pictures of the square were very limited.

Around the square is where it is the Municipal Council, and overly-priced degraded houses, empty houses and one or two hotels.

Mirror mirror on the wall

If crime showed on a man's face, there wouldn't be any mirrors.

Albert in We're No Angels, 1955 (movie)

4 June 2009

Salamanca Exhibition # 4

One of my first picksfor the exhibition. It's in the Castle, in Lisbon. Only after a week or so did I realize who Biblical it looked, with the tree and the light.
I remember being a kid and going up to the Castle and seeing this tree there, exactly it is now. In over 10 years that it hasn't changed. I love who the leaves are very crips.
There's something about it.

1 June 2009

1st days of work

So far so good.

I am now getting the grip of things, and everything seems to be running more smoothly, which is nice. The days don’t seem so endless and I can see I do things faster.

More pictures to come in the future.