Monthly Archives: January 2013

I’m 42!

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Oh, boy! It happened!

Yesterday I turned 42. I had a great day with my family (who sang the traditional happy birthday -in Spanish, to me at 1.30am of today on our bus ride home because we had forgotten about that part of the rite and I thought it awesome)and now it’s all about getting used to this age for the next 364 days. As I couldn’t post anything yesterday AND because legally, my birthday is today (yep! I’ve got two birthday dates when I was born, a compliment from destiny), I’ll post this song anyway which I sang several times yesterday with my niece joining in the chorus.

 

 

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Where Do I Start?

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Cloud Atlas

A warning before continuing reading:

I’m writing this straight back from the movie theatre, so I haven’t given my thoughts enough time to get organized; however, I want to pour my soul while the experience is still freshly imprinted in me.

I saw Cloud Atlas today; almost three hours of film which felt like half and these are my impresions about it:

Fact 1: I must watch it several times more — preferably with the assistant of an interpreter, in order to truly understand the body of thinking they’re trying to get through.

Fact 2:  I lost track of the relationships in the movie; specially one that I really want to understand… more watching.

Fact 3: The Wachowski are superb movie makers!

Fact 4: I confirmed once again how much I A.D.O.R.E  Hugo Weaving. He’s such a great actor! But mostly, he’s somebody I truly, truly like. I mean, he can be playing the most regrettable character, and he does it masterfully; yet I can’t help the grin on my face when I see him on the screen. No wonder then why this blog is named after one of his lines in The Matrix Revolutions.

Fact 5: I was REALLY moved when the movie ended and I could appreciate something of the kind happening to the rest of the audience because it took  all of us ages to leave our seats. It took me all the bus ride home to figure out what had touched me so deeply and I’m affraid it is the most unsophisticated of all possible reasons. It whatultimately  makes Shakespeare, Stephanie Meyer, and the Wachowski brothers all be basically the same; what differentiate them is just how smartly or poetically they put it across.

Fact 6: The bitch of procrastination has fucked me up again (no whitout warning, though). Many months ago, maybe a year, I started a new piece of fiction. I even uploaded the first draft here (let’s God be praised for that!). Now, it comes that it is of a similar nature as this movie what makes me feel uncomfortable. I know the similarity is just in its very basic proposition; however, it makes continuing my story harder than before (which was hard enough, believe me!).

Finally; I’m REALLY paraphrasing because I haven’t seen the movie enough times  so as to learn the dialogues by heart…yet;  but two dialogues caught my attention. One escaped my recalling completely; the other comes more or less like this:

__ ” … but I was designed to wait tables. I don’t know how to change people’s minds.”

__ “No revolutionary leader does.”

Please, let me know what your experiences with this movie were!

A Tale Made of Scraps.

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Today I woke up thinking on a piece I wrote almost eight years ago during my freshman year at the Teaching Institute (I just found out I don’t know how to say such a simple and daily expression as “profesorado de inglés”!). Anyway! It was an assignment for the Phonetics  I class. We had been working with the fricative counterparts in words like “she” and “pleasure” and the professor had given us a list of words and phrases that inlcuded those sounds to practise transcription. She  challenged us to use them in a story so as to encourage us to practise more.

As it has happended to me so many times, when the due day came, I felt much embarrassed because I was the only one who had used them all and almost everybody was giving me that pejorative, exasperated look  to immediately shut me out of their conversations. I handed it in anyway, innerly feeling very proud of my achievement as much as cast out. I couldn’t help  expecting some show of acknowledgement on the part of my professor, but, when I got it back,  the only thing that was written on the paper was a “watch out grammar” on the orthographic version and an “OK” below the transcription.

Ah! I was certainly disappointed! Because I had thought myself such a whizz! But she was right on the grammar, no doubt! I look at it now (being such an organized freak has payed back at last because I could find it among ALL my papers and binders in less than five minutes) and it sucks! On my behalf I’ll say that I had passed the entrance exam to faculty just with the English I had learnt as a teenager (twenty years before that time) and most of my vocabulary I had acquired it by reading (as I still do) — I don’t want to let the opportunity pass (one never knows who might read this) without thanking publicly to who would afterwards be my Methodology and Didactics I Professor, Gabriel Díaz Maggioli,  for letting me enter the faculty in spite of my obvious shortcomings.

So,  I read it again and all things considered, I still think I was as clever as hell when I could string together such dissimilar expressions. I re-typed it and made an excruciating effort not to edit it in anyway. I just changed a little the paragraphs layout because it seems that in those days I couldn’t stand a paragraph with more that one sentence in it, HA! I highlighted the expressions in question in blue. I obviously corrected the grammar mistakes the professor pointed at, but there could be more, no doubt, as there will be in this very post which I’ll re-write again and again in my head and edit many times more.

What do you think of it?

AN EXERCISE ON ENGLISH PHONETICS

Six Gorgeous Moments in a Summer Day at a Seaside Town

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8:00am 

Light sneaks into the room through the wide open windows and trespasses my shut eyelids until it reaches my hypothalamus and suddenly I’m awake. I get up and hurry to roll the shutters down. It’s imperative to capture as much of the coolness that has gotten into the house during the night as possible. I leave the windowpanes opened though. I open the back door and step into the vibrant  freshness of the morning. The blues and greens and yellows  wrap me in full force and I breathe in sheer purity. I think it’s a wonderful morning to go to the beach. Nothing compares to the beach in the morning hours. I hear the birds twitting and the insects buzzing. I turn around and got into the dark coolness of the house again. I drank some cold juice straight from the carton and got into the bedroom. I go back to sleep without a hint of remorse whatsoever; paradise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G4isv_Fylg

12:00pm

I’ve been running some errands and I can feel the blazing sun on my skin. I wear a brimmed hat, sunscreen with the highest true SPF and sunglasses, but the heat scorches my skin as well as my brain anyway. I walk along the street market and let myself be pushed and pull and shoved by the incessant current of people coming and going along the narrowest of passages, just like neurotic ants and I got dizzy.  I stop now and then at different stalls to look at clothes, cheeses, eggs, wooden utensils. I comment on those with my mother who accompanies me; but what lures me is the display of vegetables and fruit; the glorious abundance they represent, the vitality. I feel full as if I had already lunched; enticing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg7rAlPrZ08

14:30

Housework is done; chores finished. Music, loud as it always is in this home has come to a stop. The cats have been fed and a bowl of fresh water is on the kitchen’s floor. The knowledge that animals have fresh water to drink provides me with a strong sense of tranquility.  The luxurious cleanliness of the house represents all the  safety I need. I walk around barefoot  savouring the coolness of the tiles.  The house is dark and cool and fresh. Outside the sun pulses relentlessly and all living creatures have been called to silence and stillness in front of such impossing master. I’m satiated on quiteness. I lay on bed facing my beloved fan at its highest speed because I thrill with the sensation of my skin-hair bristling in the cold air and I read a book or watch the Barclay’s Premier League until I doze off; abandonment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFtNChII78k

17:30

Polarity has changed. Tha darkness inside doesn’t hold any coolness any longer. It’s heavy and suffocating. The bricks in the walls have sucked in all the heat from outside. The heat transforms my light sleep into an oppressive unconsciousness until I wake up from lack of air sweaty and thirsty. I urge myself to run away. I don’t like the beach but there’s no other place cooler.  I load my scooter and head for the beach. After struggling to cross the dunes I’m at the shore. This sea is actually an estuary which means you can get whatever state of the water that nature fancies: Green or brown or in-between. Salty or fresh or brackish or in-between. Clear or dirty or in between. Calm or turbulent or in-between. It just explicits the one and only constant in the Universe: permanent change. I lay my stuff on the baked sand while the sun burns mercilessly my neck, shoulders and the thin skin over my feet and behind my knees. I head for the water and I taste it with my little finger. Salty means high probability of jellyfish.  I dive in the sea and feel the instant coolness on my crown and neck and face and armpits; relief.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am6rArVPip8

21:00

I stand at a corner of the main avenue of this small town. I’ve had a bath and feel fragrant. My skin is absolutely clean of sweat and sunscreen, and salt, and sand. I feel the refreshing breeze on my arms and face and legs and wet hair. The sun has set and this twighlight is full of vigour. I absorb the movement around me; close enough to be enjoyed, far enough to keep this airy comfort.  I connect with this invisible bond of ease and cheerfulness  that links all of us, passers-by, in this summer evening; communion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-CWwx2pqog

01:00am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNl0Jw9_Z5A

The house is dark and all doors and windows are wide open to the breeze and dampness of the night. I’ve dinned deliciously and I sat at the porch chatting with my friend. We watch the stars and the children playing in the street. The air brings the last smells of distant barbecues mixed with waves of salt and sand and pinetree. Beyond this moment lay multiple possibilities for pleasure. I’ll read well into the night or watch cartoons or even a movie. When the time comes to beckon sleep, I’ll be rocked by the rhythm of silence; by the melody of crickets chirping and the ephemeral Doppler’s  effect of a lone car engine speeding  along the route at the back of my house; soothing.

Then I close my eyes and my last insight reckons how plenty simplicity can be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EIeUlvHAiM