Life has been happening all around, as it tends to do…
I’m still trying to get used to life in “single-mode” but this is not exactly the best time to do it, as we are right in the middle of the silly season.
Anyway, today was a notable day in the sense that I’ve finally taken care of all the paperwork related to the new home, last year’s tax-return (sigh…) and some other stuff that was nagging at the back of my mind for quite some time now and so I’m left with this weird feeling of having finally closed up a chapter of some sort. And I’m not sure if it a good feeling or a bad one. But anyway, on to a new life! :-)
In the mean time I’ve taken up squash and I must admit I like it a lot! It is similar enough to tennis that I can use much of the muscle memory I developed when I was young and played it a lot, but it is different in many crucial (and fun!) aspects.
It is way faster for starters and then you get a huge satisfaction of beating the bejeesus out of the ball (which is something that if you did in tennis, was guaranteed to provide you with a nice afternoon hunting down all the balls you threw out all over the neighboring regions of the court).
The concert scene is essentially over for now and the festivals have mostly migrated to other parts of the country so that’s basically it for music until September (although I do intend to try out some of the few Jazz clubs that will remain open).
In fact just today I plan on attending the final performance of the Big Band Reunion at Onda Jazz, right before they close up shop for their summer vacation. And one of the guys that are going with me has already taken care of the plans for the food (and related) matters of the evening, so everything is setup for a great time tonight!
It feels really weird not having been on vacation so far and not having plans to do so in the near future. It seems that everyone is either away now or going to be away soon and you’re missing something that they all know and you don’t…
Also work has been rather more hectic than usual for this time of the year (which is always especially busy in the best of times) and I’m starting to feel really tired with everything that’s been happening in my life and at the company, but I really can’t complain right now because it is actually very good that I’m so busy during the daytime.
And then, next year I’ll have tones of vacation days to spend. Hah! :-)
Este fim-de-semana foi passado fora, no Alentejo, com a minha família (quase) toda.
A pretexto da comemoração do aniversário do meu irmão, fomos todos para “o monte” no Sábado e por lá ficámos até Domingo.
Tive direito a dose reforçada de Diogo (o meu sobrinho de 3 anos), sol, piscina, escorregadelas na relva (é incrível como marmanjões adultos como eu e os meus irmãos se podem divertir a atirar para uma manga plástica molhada em cima da relva, e a deslizar sobre a barriga até saír disparados do outro lado. Uma coisa tão simples e baratinha e tão divertida!)
Tive direito a isso tudo, mas como a casa estava cheia que nem um ovo não dormi no meu quarto, deixei-o para os meus avós. E ainda bem, ainda não voltei lá desde que ele deixou de ser “o quarto do casal” e não sei bem se ia ser boa ideia passar lá a noite sozinho.
Seja como for, o fim-de-semana passou-se, com momentos melhores e outros piores (para o resto da malta o pior foi certamente a prática de sax reforçada —a escola vai entrar de férias daqui a duas semanas e o meu professor vai-me dar duas aulas esta semana, tenho de estar em forma!).
Mas a surpresa (agradável) veio no final de Domingo, ao chegar à minha zona.
Ainda parei em S. Pedro, para comer um belo bife passado na esplanada da praia (sim, porque independentemente de onde eu estiver a morar, essa será sempre a minha zona também!) e depois segui para casa e…
E pela primeira vez desde que lá estou senti que estava efectivamente a voltar a casa.
Já me mudei há um mês e meio (mais coisa menos coisa), mas as circunstâncias da mudança e a envolvente psico-afectiva nunca me deixaram sentir que realmente estivesse em lado nenhum. Sempre me senti meio perdido, estava ali porque calhou, mas podia estar em qualquer outro lado. Não sei como explicar isto melhor.
Mas desta vez não, desta vez entrei na garagem e senti-me bem e quando abri a porta e entrei no hall, com a luz a dar em cheio na sala através das ripas dos estores, respirei fundo e senti que estava na minha casa, no meu espaço.
Arrumei tudo rapidamente, acendi as velas, pus o Coltrane a tocar e saquei do sax para o acompanhar (as opiniões aqui dividem-se, há quem diga certamente que foi para o torturar; eu recuso-me a comentar…) ;-)
Na minha cabeça houve uma voz doce que me sussurou um “bem vindo a casa”. Hoje dormi bem.
Sometimes things just slip right by us for a while and then, suddenly, we open our eyes and there it is, a whole beautiful new world right under our noses.
This has happened to me, musically speaking, with the whole post-rock movement.
I’ve always loved music of a certain kind which I could not exactly describe. Bands like Mogwai, Saxon Shore or even Sigur Rós (well… OK I’m stretching the genre a bit here) have been on the top of my list of favorite bands quite some time now, but although I knew they had something in common and I liked that certain “something”, I didn’t know they had a common designation.
Well, now I do.
Just last week I was turned on to the whole post-rock scene by a friend and discovered right off the bat such great bands as God Is An Astronaut, 65daysofstatic or even the Red Sparowes, whom I haven’t heard yet but who come highly recommended and I’m quite sure I will like.
Of all the mostly instrumental-based musical genres I listen to, post-rock is probably the one that reaches deeper into me (apart from some classical pieces which are, of course, the ex-libris of soulful music).
And now back to our (i)regularly scheduled programme, which you can see here.
PS- Oh and I’ll definitely try not to be an idiot again and not to miss the upcoming God Is An Astronaut concert, which happens to be scheduled for a day with some significance for me. Life’s full of those little coincidences…
Ontem ofereceram-me um cacto.
Foi a primeira vez que recebi alguém na minha casa nova.
Boa comida (hum? qual modéstia?) e conversa ainda melhor.
Depois de acabar a noite fui para a cama com um sorriso nos lábios e os fantasmas não apareceram. Dormi até tocar o despertador. Já não me lembro quando foi a última vez que o tinha feito.
O cacto foi uma cortesia, mas o presente que recebi ontem foi (um pouco de) paz de espírito. E essa, neste momento, vale mais para mim do que qualquer outra coisa no mundo.
Por momentos a descida ficou um pouco menos acentuada e pude respirar fundo.
Como é que se agradece isto?
Because I’m an idiot sometimes, I wasn’t able to make it to the Nouvelle Vague concert in Oeiras. When I finally got around to buying the ticket it was sold-out. I didn’t quite expect it to be that crowded so I just got lazy. A shame that, I’d really like to see them perform live.
Hey! last.fm has been serving me with songs from my Recommendations’ playlist and it just played “The End” by the Doors! God, I hadn’t heard that song in ages, it felt really good! It’s a shame that I have so many problems with last.fm’s streaming at my workplace. Since Pandora stopped streaming music to Portugal, this has been the best jukebox around by far…
In other news, after not having done any kind of exercise in a long, long time, yesterday morning I felt the imperative need to exhaust myself early in the morning and decided to go for a (very long) run along the coast of Guincho and on the beach itself (one of the advantages of living where I live now is that I’m at walking distance —albeit a long walk— from Guincho). All nice and good, except that I was on that fake “good form” you get when you haven’t done any serious exercise for a long time and didn’t feel any kind of warning regarding over-straining myself, so not only did I run half of the way under rain (which was just bad luck, of course), but I also over exerted myself and now I’m walking stranger than Donald Duck (or feeling like it anyway).
Uma porta aberta pode dar acesso a uma série de coisas boas. Pode-nos permitir a passagem para a felicidade suprema, por exemplo. Ou então pode levar-nos a um local feio e escuro e não dar acesso a nada de bom, mas o que interessa é que uma porta aberta dá sempre acesso a qualquer coisa e isso, só por sí, já é positivo. Quem escolher entrar faz as suas opções depois.
Uma porta fechada pode-nos escudar de coisas más, ou pode-nos impedir de obter as coisas boas que queremos e assim trazer-nos infelicidade. Mas pelo menos está fechada e nós sabemos que por ali não se passa mais. Com a infelicidade uma pessoa lida (melhor ou pior).
Mas portas fizeram-se para estar ou abertas ou fechadas. Entreabertas é que não!
Com uma porta entreaberta nós não sabemos se podemos ou devemos (e muito menos se queremos) tentar entrar e ver o que está do outro lado.
É que podemos ter uma boa surpresa e encontrar algo que nos traga a tão almejada felicidade, ou podemos levar com ela na cara quando a vamos empurrando, a medo, para espreitar o que se esconde por detrás dela.
E como uma porta aberta pode sempre ser fechada (facilmente) e uma porta fechada pode sempre ser aberta (embora raramente o seja e não seja nada construtivo esperar que tal aconteça) faça-se como dizia o outro “decidam-se, decidam-se!”
Ontem levei com uma das tais portas entreabertas na cara. Não foi uma surpresa, mas foi doloroso como o raio e até algo cruel. E apesar disso pode ter sido exactamente o que estava a precisar. (Ou pelo menos assim o espero. Daqui a uns tempos saberei).
Veio tarde, muito tarde, andei demasiado tempo às voltas da porta que supunha entreaberta (mas que afinal estava fechada, com uma pintura tromp-l’oeil a fingir-se de aberta, a malvada!).
Acho que devia ter sido mais bruto logo de início (ou melhor, no fim) e ter logo gritado um “feche a porta se faz favor!”
Mais uma lição de vida. Mas irra! Porque é que essa gaja é tão bruta a dar as lições?
P.S. — sim, são 9h27 num Domingo e estou a escrever um post. Tal como fiz ontem. E já estou acordado há um bom bocado. Começo a ficar farto da minha companheira nocturna… Tantas razões boas para não dormir (e com tantos nomes bonitos) e logo eu tinha de ficar entalado com a Insónia… :-)
What a ride…
What with the whole moving and setting up a new home and life I hadn’t yet setup all the A/V paraphernalia and I was (and still am actually) running late with regards to my TV shows. Now given that I don’t watch broadcast TV, that means my shiny new LCD TV isn’t getting all that much use, but I digress.
I’ve just finished watching (after a really late lunch) episode 10 of the Doctor Who show —the Blink episode— and my, my, what a show!
It is the middle of the day, I’m watching the show as I’m eating, it is bright and sunny and so the room is perfectly lit and yet I got scared watching this episode. I really, really did!
What a fantastic show! This single episode (which is a stand-alone) with very little action from either The Doctor or Martha Jones got me riveted to my seat, actually straining my eyes, trying to avoid blinking at all. My eyes hurt after the episode (and that’s how I found out I was keeping them open)!
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! This episode alone would make this season worthwhile (and it has been a fairly good season so far, I must say).
Good ol’ BBC. I sure will be a little sad when Russell Davies leaves the show as announced, but I have high hopes that they will find someone suitable to replace him.
Dizem que com a chegada da manhã, com a luz do sol, tudo se torna mais claro. Bom, devo admitir que face à minha companheira habitual da noite, a que me deixa acordado às horas mais impróprias a pensar as coisas mais disparatadas .oO(…ou então até nem tão disparatadas assim…), a chegada da manhã é realmente um acontecimento bem-vindo. E em certas ocasiões extremamente iluminador. O clarão até pode cegar!
Hoje foi um dia desses e agora que tenho alguma luz, já consigo ver um pouco mais à frente. Mas ainda assim, alguém me diz onde raios está a saída? É que eu quero mesmo saltar fora, mas da porta de saída “civilizada” nem rasto e eu não quero utilizar a das traseiras, é feio fazer isso…
Since I’ve stopped being able to use my Mac @ work a while ago, I reverted to using Linux (in one distro or another, which is beside the point here). Now being used to having spotlight at the tip of my fingers (so to speak) I found it hard to adjust to what there was available for indexing and searching at Linux-land.
The best bet there was at the time (and until recently actually) was Beagle and even if it did have some of the features I required I could never get it to work properly on my desktop. I’ve been using Macs for a while now and I just can’t be bothered with all the hassle my friends and co-workers go through in order to get something like this running (and note that I said “running”, I didn’t even dare to go so far as to say “running smoothly“…)
Now I’ve recently been attuned to the Linux version of the Google Desktop by a friend and after using it for a couple-three weeks I must say that even though it doesn’t compare with spotlight (blessed are those who never knew anything better than what they have now), it sure beats Beagle by a long way.
The Dead Combo concert at Santiago Alquimista was a good show. I quite liked it and I’m glad I went, even if I’m not truly enticed to go see them play live again. The music was good and the atmosphere was pleasant enough, but I don’t think it warrants a repeat.
Anyway, I did get their latest record (vinyl-only edition, yeah!) and I find it pleasant enough to listen to at home.
Pictures (cell-phone only) here.
Oh! and an anecdote about the show: I found out about it via last.fm. It said there would be a concert on that day and that’s all. I then went to the Santiago’s site to find out more and there, also, it was only mentioned that they were going to play there, so I hooked up with a friend and we went there on the night of the concert.
But then when we got there we found out that this was a political campaign event (for the local elections soon to be held in Lisbon, and for which I cannot even vote) and that while it was free (as in no charge), we would have to have invitations to attend.
Luckily they were really great people and when we explained that we didn’t actually know about this and we’d only gone to see the band they let us in all the same.
Also lucky was the fact that there was hardly any political campaigning and the concert began as soon as the band got there (almost an hour and a half late, of course).
Quem inventou o termo “montanha russa emocional” teve realmente um rasgo de inspiração raro. O termo é perfeito e descreve absolutamente o estado.
E o pior é que quando uma pessoa é apanhada numa dessas não há grande coisa a fazer a não ser agarrar-se ao (pouco) que a consiga prender dentro do carrinho, fechar os olhos e gritar. Gritar até ficar anestesiado.
Depois é só esperar que a viagem termine e rezar a todos os santinhos para não acabar num sítio ainda pior.
Mas o que não se deve fazer, em circunstância alguma, é cair na malvada tentação de acreditar que se pode refazer o que foi irremediavelmente desfeito (ou, pior ainda, tentar fazê-lo). Isso dá direito a uma descida brutal, daquelas em que o estômago fica lá em cima e que parece que nunca mais nos vai apanhar e ainda por cima , como estávamos distraídos a pensar/fazer coisas estúpidas, nem sequer nos agarrámos bem e vamos assim, completamente desamparados, em direcção ao chão.
Nestas alturas a palavra optimista toma um outro significado — estúpido.
E potencialmente, um estúpido esborrachadinho no chão.
Odeio alturas. E não faço a mínima ideia de quanto tempo a viagem dura.
Considering that it was mostly dark, I wasn’t always right there at the front and they were taken with a phone-camera, some of them are actually pretty good (if I do say so myself).
And now off to get some dinner and get to the Dead Combo concert.
Super Bock Super Rock, is over and I still got in to see the last day, which was great!
So what did I catch yesterday?
The Gossip: Only caught the last 3 songs from their act and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t know them beforehand but they sounded like a fun band with a clean and powerful sound. Very nice;
TV on the Radio: For these I had some expectations, having heard so many good reviews in different places. I must say I was slightly disappointed by their show, they did nothing for me. Not exactly bad, but nothing special either (for my tastes, at least);
Scissor Sisters: Of course it was not comparable to their previous concert in Coliseu de Lisboa, but a really good time anyway with lots more people dancing and enjoying it than I expected. A good festival band;
Interpol: Everybody loves Interpol. I didn’t know them. The first few songs really caught my attention and I liked them quite a lot, but then… The whole rest of the show was just one song after another —very similar— song, with barely any interaction with the public at all. They may be a good studio band, with great records, but as for a live one… Not so good. Not so good at all. A bit of a disappointment there.
Underworld: What little I knew of Underworld suggested that I would either love them or loathe them in concert and I wasn’t especially sure which way it would go. I even considered leaving the festival just before they came on due to the terrible tiredness and aching legs (have I mentioned before that my 20’s are long gone?). Now I’m really glad I didn’t go. It was a superb show, only made better by the fact that not many people appear to like them and so we had ample space to move around and dance to the frantic and thoroughly fun beats they put out. A real treat this last concert of the festival and now I fully understand my friends who came from Porto especially for this last day —for this band in fact— and went back home the same night, after leaving the show at 02h30.
All in all I enjoyed the two days of the festival I attended, it was great fun, with music ranging from “please, please, make them stop” to “this is bloody brilliant”.
Having said that, I’m also glad this festival only comes around once a year. It will take me some time to recover properly! :-)
While my apartment is still getting painted (4 weeks after the initial dead-line date, don’t you just love contractors?), I’m now on the verge of planing and installing the home network.
I still loathe cables and I have to connect two separate network segments so I’ll have to look at what’s out there in terms of Ethernet over the power infrastructure (again) and wireless bridges.
I sure would love to go with a wireless bridge, but I’m not really aware of what there is in the portuguese market right now that could possibly allow me to do a cheap (or at least not ridiculously over-priced) simple ethernet bridge. I have my Linksys wireless ADSL router, so I would be most happy to find something that could plug into a hub and extend the network from the Linksys to that segment.
I’ll have to see what I can find. Not in the mood to waste a lot of time on this though…
Other than that the last few days have been interesting… I’ve been to the Super Bock Super Rock festival last evening and it was pretty great.
I’ve also been driving a small Ford Fiesta since last Wednesday (when my car went into the shop for a routine maitenance and ended up being sequestered there for what is now a full week!) and I must say I had forgotten (again) how utterly fun the Fiesta is to drive.
On another happy note, last Friday I went to my first sax lesson after a full month of not even touching the thing and it actually turned out pretty well. Kudos to the teacher for helping me get up to speed again (as much as possible), but his choice of method was really great: he put on a few CDs and we’d just play along, following the tunes or even improvising, going over the stuff we had already covered before my dive into moving and home-repair hell. And instead of being another one of those awful “gosh, I haven’t practiced or studied this at all for this lesson, I’m screwed and this will be a complete waste of time“-type of situation, it ended up being great fun indeed!
I managed to attend day one (or should I say evening one?) of the festival, as planned, and the recap is pretty simple:
The Gift is not all that good on a festival such as this, they’re definitely more of a small-venue kind of band. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that good either and I think the choice of songs and arrangements wasn’t particularly fitting for this context;
Klaxons is OK, not exactly my cup of tea, but I’ll keep an eye out for them in the future;
Magic Numbers is bad, mkay?
Bloc Party is ok-ish… Again not my cup of tea, but they do put on a good show and play really well;
Arcade Fire live is something that has to be experienced to be completely understood. This was probably the best rock live show I’ve seen in a good while (although yes, I’ve been attending other kinds of shows lately) ;-). I really liked that band before, but after last night’s performance I’m a total convert to their cause. Absolutely brilliant show!
If I were to go to the festival this evening I’d go in just to see the Jesus and Mary Chain and probably stay to check out the LCD Soundsystem’s show, but I’m not betting on it happening.
After having missed the Glass concert in the most ignominious way possible, I’ve only just now looked around to see what is going on this summer that might interest me. At least on last.fm which is where I’ve looked so far.
The outlook is not to bad and I’ve managed to get a good head start already.
Last Saturday I went to the Sieben concert in Sintra and I quite enjoyed it, except for having to sit on those awful chairs for the hour-and-a-half that the concert was delayed.
Then I managed to miss the Gotan Project’s concert in Oeiras, but that’s OK because someone who went told me that it was very much like the previous show they did in Coliseu a few months ago and I did go to that one!
Today I’m planning to go to ACT II of the Super Bock Super Rock festival and maybe I’ll also go on Thursday. Or maybe not, I’m not 20 any more and I’ll have to see how I’ll cope with the working day (tomorrow) and then decide wether to go again this week. :-)
But then there’s still lots more to come, such as the Estoril Jazz Festival (near the place where I now live, Yay!), the Dead Combo concert next Tuesday at Santiago Alquimista (a venue I particularly enjoy), The Nouvelle Vague will come to play in Oeiras the Sunday after that…
Lots and lots to choose from and, like I said, that’s just what cropped up on last.fm.
It will be a good summer for music, I guess.