Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Otomen - episode 5 recap

Still at the beach, Asuka trains and Bad Hair Dude comes over.



I disagree. I've seen better looking sunfish. I fucking love those guys. I was once at Oceanário and I had already been there a couple of times, so I have no idea how I missed it, but I was incredibly startled by one. It went more or less like this:

Cherry: *stares at pretty fish* ...this is so soothing. Ooh, there's a stingray! And that one is quite colorf—WHATHTEFUCKISTHAT.
Sunfish: *looms*
Cherry: YOU ARE A BIG GIANT WTF.

[later]

Cherry: I love sunfish!



No idea what that is. Fantastic.



Do you really? Because his hair is even worse in this fantasy.



Translation = he has blue balls. Girly, sparkly blue balls.



Exibit A.



The drama here is that there's another beach hut that's attracting a lot more customers. Also, it's buying all the small huts so Bad Hair Dude's uncle is in danger of losing his.



The finesse of a 5 year old. (If you are confused, this is Asuka's attempt at creating FANCY DRINKS to attract little girls THE LADIES.)


Friday, 15 October 2010

Otomen - episode 4 recap



The beach episode! If I was getting paid for my guesses, I'd be rich by now.



Wait, what? So he hangs around the school...but he wasn't a student there?. K. MAKES PERFECT SENSE.



Yes, tell us.



Ah, of course. I've often changed schools just to beat up a rival. That's obviously not something you could do at ANY POINT, in ANY PLACE. No, you have to be at the same school.






*cue youtube slash montage* Something similar to this :




Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Trivial Pursuit cards - the misspelled and the puzzling

A few weeks ago, I was at a friend's house when we all decided to play some Trivial Pursuit. Bare in mind this: as a kid, and up to that particular point, I always found the game a decent enough challenge. Sure, you'd get the odd tv-related question that everyone could answer, but it was far more likely that you'd be discussing weird shit like "who was the last king of the House of Wessex" or something of that sort. At least in my edition, the family one - and they called it that because you had yellow cards for the kids and blue cards for the adults, so as to level the challenge for everyone.

See, I always got very embarrassed when I missed a question, because I knew that I had to succeed to be considered as cultured as my mum is. Except that when we play against her, we have to make her play with 4 wheels...and she still wins.

Regardless, I was taken aback by how FUCKING EASY the questions were on a much more recent version of the game. Questions like "who is the tiger in the comic Calvin and Hobbes" wouldn't even appear on the kids questions of the family version of Trivial Pursuit. Of course, the kind of questions that do appear in that version are far weirder than you could ever imagine.

I always tell this story about a particular Trivial Pursuit card I have that was completely misprinted to the point that it still makes sense, but in a very odd and WRONG way. Firstly, I'd like to show you the simpler mistakes. [Note that I'll always be discussing the "pink" questions.]

The misspellings




Let's consider the question. "Which blonde was the recruit that did crazy things?" Answer: Goldie Hawn, for the question is referencing the portuguese title of Private Benjamin, "Loucuras de uma recruta". Let's look at the back of the card.



Oh, my bad. The real answer was Godie Hawn.


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Otomen - episode 3 recap

Hey, folks, welcome back to “gender roles, how do they work”, aka Otomen.

I have a feeling I'll be skipping most of this episode. We'll see.



You know what's really fascinating? How do you keep that hairstyle in the middle of a rainstorm?



Though you can't quite see it, this picture contains two things: firstly, a character that is barely explained to us and then...the worst fake mustache in the history of the world. Oh, also, it has the “plot”.



Would also be nice if you had a story. Ever heard about cabs? Or going home despite the rain? It's not like there's thunder or something of the sort.

...okay, two seconds later, and we hear one. I give up.



I know that the number 4 and the word "death" are pronounced similarly in japanese, but this is still the shittiest scare ever. Really, you're scared of a ghost who obviously has no idea how to work a phone? At least the dude/guys/whatever from Scream could chat with you before he murdered you in some horrible fashion.



Okay, this is a tiny bit scary, I'll give in. What is it the japanese and creepy children?



And of course, the traditional Ringu reference. 37,5$ says that these creepy apparitions are either a school organized “event” or they are just children – of...someone – protecting themselves from the storm...and walking creepily on corridors.

I just know there's going to be a “OH, HOW GOOFY OF US” explanation.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

On births.

I am now 24 and I've just recalled that I still have a blog, so I might as well write something.

I was just talking with mum, as I sometimes do, about how it was to have kids and the actual birth itself. With absolute easy and with some amusement, she told me the following (note that I was her second child):

1 - She went to the beach on the 10th. I was born September 11th, 1986, around 10am. As she recalls, she "dragged her large belly" to beach because it had been such a nice summer, and she had done "this whole kid business" before, so why not enjoy it? Gotta love her.

2 - When her contractions started, instead of rushing to the hospital like she did with my brother, she proceeded to clean every corner of the house, because bending down/being on all fours helps...and the house sure got nice and tidy.

3 - The reason why she stayed in as long as possible was to "avoid all the other pregnant women" because "it's completely mental in there". So, instead of being stuck for days on end in a cold, possibly quite uncomfortable hospital, she waited comfortably (or as comfortably as you can while having extreme pain and cleaning your house) and around 1am, off she went. Her warning: "Se eu gritar, deixem-me gritar. Quando eu sentir que preciso de ir para o hospital, aviso."

4 - I was born in the morning, with almost no effort. She stayed 3 extra days in the hospital, because I was born on a friday (less people working on weekends, means she only got cleared the following monday). She was "surprised, but delighted" to find I was quite tall.

5 - She never had any morning sickness - or any queasiness at all, for that matter - during the pregnancy. The only thing that was hard to deal with was the kicking. Why? In the later stages, kids "turn" inside the belly, which meant the feet are nearer to the chest. Because I was quite big, each time I kicked her, she almost couldn't breathe. Yikes.

6 - I wasn't planned. But she wasn't surprised when the doctor said she was pregnant. She was surprised "and very relieved!" that it was just one kid. My grandfather had a twin, so it could happen to her. She now believes that because she "escaped" having twins, that it might happen to either me or my brother. Huzzah. I think. Hm.

7 - My name was decided as soon as she heard the words "it's a girl" at 20-something weeks. She had to fight to have her way, though, because my dad opposed greatly to it, so the compromise was each got to give me a first name. Which, if you consult my identity card, resulted in a ridiculous clusterfuck.


So, what about you all? What did your mothers tell you about their pregnancies?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Literary Cleanup, book #11



Los Mares del Sur - Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (available at your local library)

It's always harder for me when I don't know the author, and even harder when, after reading the book, I am puzzled as to whether I liked it or not. Mares do Sul is a perfect example of that. Nothing wrong with the book...well, if I said there was nothing, I'd probably be lying. This is one of those which I can't say I disliked, but I do have a lot of issues with it.

Mares do Sul is - according to the man's Wikipedia - one of the first books in the Pepe Carvalho saga, if you can call it that. Most of Montalban's work was devoted to exploring the stories (and work, obviously) of this 50 year old guy. Now, he's not just any dude, he's probably the first protagonist of a crime novel that fails completely at gathering my sympathy.

He's sold to us as very charming, with his vast culture, love of fine cuisine and blunt manner of speaking. In my mind, however, he's simply grumpy, obsessed with everyone's political standing and devoid of any kind of moral. He treats the women he meets like utter shite. He supposedly has one girlfriend, but he does not hesitate to fuck the teenage daughter of one of his most important clients, regardless of her many issues. She's a heavy user of all kinds of drugs and due to the death of her father (which Pepe is investigating), starts showing her real insecurities and becomes enthralled with this old man who never lets his guard down.

He fucks her, makes fun of her cocaine use - when she waits at his house for him, she prepares dinner...the first words he says are something similar to "nice meal, but where's the coke?". Perhaps this is supposed to be funny. To me, he just sounds like a guy that has no problems in using people to get what he needs. Be that money, food (since his "helper" always cooks for him) or a quick lay.

Still on women: he thinks he's such a fucking irresistible piece of ass, even when he's being shut down in a grand manner (see the excerpt for a clear illustration of this) or even when he's losing his erection. Don't believe me?

"Carvalho saltou da cama, procurou na mesita-de-cabeceira a caixa de Condal número 6, acendeu o charuto, sentou-se na beira da cama e contemplou como de uma varanda o espectáculo do seu pénis em retirada lenta."

He stood in awe of his flaccid penis. He lit a cigar to celebrate the fantastic awesomeness of his limp dick. This bloke is so into himself that I do wonder why he bothers fucking other people. Perhaps he needs someone to hold the mirror. Or camera. Or to sell tickets to his flappy show.

Another "cool" thing he does? He burns books instead of wood in his fireplace. Now that's just stupid. I have no words to describe how pathetic an attempt at being suave (or something) that is. Plus, in most scenes, instead of dialogue or ANY action whatsoever, we're treated to endless streams of his memories which are never relevant to the story. They are the kind of thing that you hear from people when they have no other arguments; the "in my time, things went smoothly" line of thought. For him, and his immaculate past, all other human beings are wrong, silly and have no real purpose in life. He doesn't trust anyone, and yet people keep falling at his feet, presumably because they see him as enlightening.

Even when the story finally ends, we see a powerful, rich woman be insulted by him...and then, because he's CHARMING OR SOME SHIT she decides to ask him to come and be his boy toy. Despite the fact that he's probably older. And, according the descriptions, not very attractive.

The story itself is somewhat interesting, and would probably be more had the author not focused so much on the inner dwellings of Pepe Caravalho and actually tried to build other charaters that didn't worship him instantly. Plus, he did have a clever way of presenting the story to us, and it didn't seem like the clues fell on Pepe's feet. The pacing could have been much better if so much of the book wasn't 70% "oh, woe is me, I'm so awesome and everyone else is stupid and ugly". Seriously, do we need a monologue in the middle of each scene? I think not.


I guess this is a decent read, but the main guy is such an asshole, I'd have problems recommending this to anyone else. Maybe it's just me, being a girl, with my girly feelings. Or maybe he's a fucking asshole. Yeah, probably that.

Excerpt:

Carvalho tinha vontade de lhe dizer: tinha o poncho, meu amor, e vamos para uma cama negra, branca, redonda, quadrada, tanto faz, porque quando a burguesia não pode conservar o controlo da cama, começa adjectivá-la.

- Vais continuar aqui, ou vens beber seis garrafas de vinho branco absolutamente sensacional?
- És rápido, forasteiro. Que insinuas?
- Que vamos para a cama.
- Não há dúvida. Conheces Juanito Marsé. É a sua técnica. Diz que lhe deram muitas bofetadas, mas que também teve muita sorte.
- E eu? A bofetada?
- Não. Mas também não a sorte. Estou à espera da minha miúda. Tenho-a aparcada lá dentro. O nosso é um amor impossível.
- Tinha acabado de nascer.
- São os melhores.

Carvalho despediu-se com uma pequena vénia. Na rua concentrou-se no tema dos amores que acabam de nascer.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Swan dive!

So, we're all familiar with this:



...right? If you aren't, this is one of the best ads Old Spice has ever done. And that's saying a lot. I mean, they had Bruce Campbell working for them at one point.

They've produced a couple more ads, like this one (if you watch it, you'll understand the title of this post) and this one (which is apparently nominated for an Emmy). In any case, that isn't what made me write this up.

Oh no. The interesting thing about this whole Old Spice Man craze is that the company itself is putting an insanely large amount of videos out on their channel. Why? To reply to questions made via twitter. He even replied to 4chan. Nope, I'm not kidding:




Pure brilliance. Even funnier is this one, in which a user requests for help in proposing to his girlfriend:




I always crack up when they bring the candles in.

You can check out their channel for more video replies. I'm so glad they are letting Old Spice Man share his wisdom. After all, he's on a horse.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Otomen - episode 2 recap

Oh, hi there. Did you click on this link thinking this was a post about something other than a silly japanese drama? Well, you were wrong.


The episode starts abruptly, in the middle of a classroom, where we see another glimpse of Asuka's childhood: the day when he had to write about what his father did for a living. After his mother arrives, he volunteers to read his essay, which starts out with him stating he doesn't have a father but that his mother is awesome. And then he informs the class that his father is away because he wants to be a woman, so



He also adds that he's looking forward to growing up so he can find out what a "new half" is. Or, you know, he could look it up on Urban Dictionary. Which in turn, prompts this



and this



...and it looks like it was filmed on the same day as that VERY SIMILAR SCENE from the first episode, since most people in it have the same lines. I know this was done for comedic effect, but it isn't very funny.



Okay, so it IS meant to look like Bleach? Actually, come to think of it...is this show inspired by Bleach? Like the guy/girl who wrote this thought that it would be a good idea to have a show about Samural Fluffykins.



What happened before this? I give you 3 choices:

a) she fainted but woke up as he was taking her to the school nurse
b) she slipped on a banana peel, did a front flip and landed on his arms
c) she injured her leg so he's helping her up

If you answered b) SHE SLIPPED ON A BANANA PEEL THEN DID A FRONT FLIP ONLY TO LAND ON HIS ARMS ...you are correct. This probably is the reason that nowadays, I enjoy dramas a lot more than anime. Because the same contrived anime devices happening in real life = lulz.




And then they decide to go to Transfer Student Girl's house, only to find her dad and a bunch of his pupils ready to turn them into human pretzels. She stops them, of course, but I'm too distracted by the title of this episode.



Can you hear that, ladies and gents? IT'S A FUTURE CONFLICT. WHATEVER WILL WE DO.

Asuka goes with Transfer Student Girl to a children-daycare-type-thing so he can help her take care of the kids. He then learns that their “playtime” consists of wrestling, kendo, karate, and



I keep reading that as “combat samba” which sounds a lot more interesting. IT'S A SEXY FIGHT TO THE DEATH. SHAKE THAT ARM OFF HIM. It would still be less violent than Surra de Bunda.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Otomen - episode 1 recap

Oh folks, it's that time again. I haven't been feeling like myself, so the choice is obvious: I have to watch a show about asian people doing silly things that I couldn't possibly relate to. As per usual, I take screenshots out of context and try to make the most of the lack of plot by writing up my own - sordid - conclusions as captions.

This time, it's Otomen. What is an Otomen? Well, not even 30 seconds in, and you are given a very long explanation



For those of you who can't read that font (and I don't blame you for it), it reads: "An Otomen is a japanese boy who excels in both military and literary art while hiding his girly hobbies such as cooking and sewing, his girly way of thinking and his skills to act as a real man!"

REALISM. THIS SHOW HAS IT.

The opening scene is a sepia-toned one featuring a guy in a very stylish suit singing something about Otomen falling in love and then we see a little boy...



oh, I see. It's a boy being all girly, hence the frilly apron. BECAUSE BOYS BEING GIRLY IS SUCH A WEIRD CONCEPT, RIGHT. THIS MUST BE A DREAM SEQUENCE. OR AN ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE.

So then, we skip to a scene which is probably a few years later, though everyone looks the same.



Ah, no more sepia filter. This must be real life. Anyway, the kid – Asuka [and now I'm hungry for sushi] – stole a branch off a cherry tree his father cherished. Instead of being angry, is father says that his honesty is worth “1000 cherry tree branches”, and then his mother, all excited, confesses she's bought a bag at a sale. Of course, the father has also a small truth to share, which is



...oh. Okay. Uh. * coughs * Is it just me or did he pick the most awkward time to reveal this? Let's observe the sequence of events:

I STOLE A CHERRY BRANCH!
I BOUGHT A BAG AT A SALE!
I WANT TO BE A GIRL!

Not exactly what I'd guess. And now the father is all “YOU HAVE TAUGHT ME TO BE HONEST, SON. THAT BRANCH REMINDED ME OF HOW I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A GIRL AND NOW I FINALLY CAN.”

My goodness, I picked a great one.



Mother agrees.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Literary Cleanup, book #10



Cartas a Sandra - Vergílio Ferreira (available at your local library)

To be very honest, I don't remember much about Aparição. It's been a while since I read it, so my memory is quite hazy. I do remember, however, feeling like I didn't get it, but I wanted to. That's why I picked up Manhã Submersa from my mum's shelf. I liked that one a lot, even though it was about something I can't possible relate to. Sometime after that, I recall my friend David telling me he loved "Cartas a Sandra" and that it was very sad, but wonderful. Later, someone let me borrow their copy of it and I had it sit on my shelf, unread, for almost 3 years. A few days ago I finally finished the book.
I'll be honest with you: I did try, I did force myself to read when it seemed like I just couldn't do it. I even started my next book just to refresh my will to finish Cartas a Sandra. I still cannot say I have fully read the book, as I skipped over some parts, because I just wanted it to end. Unlike Manhã Submersa, or even Aparição, the aim of this one escapes me and though I wanted to understand Paulo and Sandra's story, I think that perhaps I have should read Para Sempre first, as it probably helps to understand their relationship. That being said, I don't think I will. I have seen love letters like these often so for me, it was hard to immerse myself in their world. I don't think they sound fake, but I do find it hard to believe the feeling itself. I know this sounds confusing, but bare with me.
I get that Paulo loves her. It's a given. However...why does he? What motivates this love? What made it so strong? Feelings don't always need to be justified, but in a book as short as this perhaps we would have been better served with something more substantial to explain their chemistry. Maybe I need to read it again to find out, because I suspect the answer is in the book, but as I didn't find it, I am solely left with a feeling of puzzlement and distance towards the characters.

Will not say I don't recommend it, because I suspect it's just not my cup of tea, rather than a really horrible literary piece.

Excerpt:

Como poderia eu ter imaginação para te reconstituir na sólida delicadeza da tua fragilidade? Sandra. O amor e a morte inserem-se um no outro, deves saber. Mas eu sobrevivi e isso é uma condenação. Penso-te e o teu esplendor renasce-me no meu pensar e a minha idade retrai-se quando me apareces. E a eternidade em que se vive, mesmo se a velhice é real, restabelece-me igual a ti que nunca envelheceste. E não me perguntes porque te escrevo, se tudo é vão, Mas há o meu desejo de te fixar na palavra escrita que te diz, para ficares aí com o milagre que puder. É Primavera e tudo é nítido no seu ser real. Os campos cobrem-se de relva, as flores despertam da sua hibernação, passa na aragem o perfume da vida, de tudo o que é vivo no mundo. A luz nítida demora-se no cimo dos montes e eu olho-a na sua agonia para um pouco existir no que te digo. Ou no teu nome de que não gostavam muito e agora renasce em sonoridade branda quando o penso ou o escrevo ou o digo em voz alta.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

That's Gay.

I found my new favorite thing on Youtube - well, aside from Shaytards and Overthegun:




That's Gay is part of Infomania, a satirical news series provided by Current. Anyway, all of that is less important if you consider the fact that Bryan Safi - the host - can actually make some of the most offensive bullshit I've ever heard into something so ridiculous you question why it exists in the first place. Case in point:



The first time I heard that "no homo" was an actual...saying, I was quite outraged. In fact, if I ever hear someone say this in real life, I might permanently affect their ability to produce offspring. Still, when you see the clip and realize how incredibly stupid it is to announce that you aren't a homosexual in the most random situations, one has to laugh at the insecurity that originated that. It's like talking about vegetables and then saying "NO VEGAN". It reminds me of something Eddie Izzard said in Unrepeatable:

So there’s a lot of gay and lesbian people around, and that’s groovy, and they have – what they’ve done is they separated sex and sexuality from what you do for a living. So you work in a bookshop? Okay, you’re good at selling books, you get on well with the customers? That’s what’s important, not who you sleep with or not. ‘Cause in the old days, they used to say, “Oh, you’re gay… You sell books? You probably shag the books! Yes, I’m sure! So we fire you for no reason at all…”


Okay, I just have to link one more:



Yep, completely logical arguments.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Literary Cleanup, book #9



Daisy Miller - Henry James (free to read @ Project Gutenberg)

Another one bites the dust. Daisy Miller tells the story of the various encounters between Winterbourne, a classy american young man studying in Europe and the eponymous american girl who is...non-conventional to say the least. It's not the easiest of reads because the descriptions sometimes seem long-winded and almost pointless - how many times do you have to tell me that Daisy is the prettiest pretty that ever prettied? Also, I fail to see the charm in her, when, throughout the book, she just seems like an immature, volatile and hedonistic young lady. Sure, she's pretty, but every time someone characterized her as "innocent", I couldn't help by chuckle, because it seemed clear to me that her every word was calculated to provoke longing in the gentleman that surrounded her. Essentially, what I'm saying is...Daisy Miller is a cock-tease.
Note this, however: even though I didn't like her, and even though I think the only reason Winterbourne kept going to her despite being shut down every time was because he thought he could tame her and transform her into the perfect girl he imagined...I liked this. I liked the story, and I liked that the characters actually brought out a reaction in me, which speaks of James' style of writing, I think. Plus, much like Winterbourne, I was indeed intrigued by her real motives and how it would unfold in the end. If you like period pieces, then this is a good one to consider.

Excerpt:

Por um instante fez uma nova pausa; olhava para Winterbourne com toda a beleza dos seus olhos francos e alegres, o seu claro, se bem que um tanto uniforme, sorriso.

- Sempre tive muita vida social com cavalheiros - afirmou.

O pobre Winterbourne estava divertido e perplexo - acima de tudo estava encantado. Nunca ouvira uma única rapariga exprimir-se daquela maneira; ou, pelo menos, nunca senão nos casos em que dizer tais coisas correspondia a ter, ao mesmo tempo, uma assaz complicada consciência delas. E no entanto deveria ele acusar Miss Daisy Miller de um real ou potencial arrière-pensée, como se dizia em Genebra? Sentinu que tinha vivido durante tanto tempo em Genebra que acabara por ficar moralmente confuso; tinha perdido o sentido correcto do jovem tom americano.

Friday, 25 June 2010

What, what?

In the butt, obviously.

As if I needed more reasons to like the Queens of the Stone Age/Josh Homme, here's the acoustic version of that lovely classic, What What (In the Butt):



What what (in the butt) is not only a question but it needs an answer, and the answer is let's do it the butt, okay.

Wise words, Mr. Homme.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Literary Cleanup, book #8



The Call of the Wild - Jack London (free to read/hear @ Project Gutenberg)

I knew nothing about Jack London prior to reading this book. I'm not sure if I now know anything about who he is now, because The Call of the Wild isn't your average short story. First off, you are reading from the perspective of a dog (Buck) and the time seems to flow much faster even though from the time you are introduced to Buck up to the end of the book, only 6 years have passed. Well, I'm not completely sure it's 6 years, but it's probably not much more than that. And again, it's a weird one because I'm not sure how to feel about it. For one, I kept flinching at every mention of animal cruelty - and there is a lot of it. Not gratuitous, I think - it's reasonable to assume that such things happened...and sadly, some of them still continue to happen today. Still, apart from that, there really wasn't time to connect with the characters and even if I consider that maybe this was intentional, to show how different animals are in different situations, I cannot say I really enjoyed this one. Not that it's bad, mind you, but to me, it's so forgettable I honestly cannot say I'm interesting in reading any other of Jack London's books. As usual, I may give him the benefit of doubt.


Excerpt:

Buck não lia os jornais, pelo que não sabia que iriam surgir problemas, não só para si próprio como para todos os cães de grande porte, com músculos poderosos e pêlo longo e quente, de Puget Sound a San Diego. E isso porque os homens, tacteando na escuridão árctica, tinham encontrado um metal amarelo e, tendo em vista o enorme valor atribuído à descoberta pelas companhias de navegação e transportes, precipitavam-se aos milhares para as terras do Norte. Esses homem queriam cães, cães possantes, com músculos fortes para a labuta e pêlo espesso que os protegesse do gelo.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Literary Cleanup, book #7



A Queda D'um Anjo - Camilo Castelo Branco (free to read @ Project Gutenberg)


Been wanting to finish this one for quite some time. I had tried to read it before, but I always got stuck in the first few chapters. Now I know it really isn't my fault because the book starts with a whole lot of establishing who the main character is, how he behaves, looks and feels about the world, and in particular, politics. A Queda D'um Anjo is the story of Calisto Elói, a simple man from the Minho region who comes to Lisbon because he's persuaded by his closest friends that he should be in the parliament, setting the example. I won't reveal too much, but I'll say this: the title explains it all. It's a very cutting novel, digging into the worst of our political class - and it is, unfortunately, not dated in the slightest. I read that this book is quite different from what we would expect of Castelo Branco, since he's mainly known for his novels. As the only other one I've read is Amor de Perdição, I can't judge, but I will recommend this, as it is a very easy and gripping read. Also, it has many funny moments, especially when Calisto is just settling in his Lisbon quarters. In one of them, for example, he was feeling a bit under the weather, so he decided to follow the advice of one of his "classics" and drink the reinvigorating water from a fountain in Lisbon. It just so happens that after drinking that water, he felt even worse, which made him look at the book again and see that the cure for an upset stomach (which was caused by the same, possibly polluted water he drank) was drinking some more of that water. That chapter ends with the narrator informing us that from then on, he only drank wine.
Also, note that the cover I used above is not the same as on my edition of the book, but I don't have a scanner here, so that will have to do. Besides, it's much more interesting than my plain blue cover.
The following excerpt is dedicated to my good friend, @jjnopants.


Excerpt:

Fez Calisto uma longa pausa, e prosseguiu, interpolando os dizeres com algumas pitadas, que solenizavam a gravidade das falas.

- Ninguém devera casar sem muito ler e sem aplaudir aqueles preceito do casamento escritos pelo eminentíssimo Plutarco.
- Não conheço - disse a dama... - Li Le mariage, de Balzac.
- Não sei quem é; deve ser francês.
- Pois não leu?
- Eu não leio francês. Não me chega o meu tempo para tirar águas sujas de poços infectos.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Sex and the City 2 liveblog thing...kind of.

I can't sleep, and am in need of something quite brainless. So, let's put on Sex and the City 2, shall we?


01.31 Omid Djalili is in it. I'm betting his part will involve asian stereotypes. Lots of 'em.

03.16 Most believable 80's/90's outfit? Samantha's, closely followed by Miranda.

04.07 "LOL, THE GAYS ARE GETTING MARRIED." Oh, Sex and City...remember when you were actually not a cliché?

05.27 So, Carrie is wearing a suit and bow-tie, and Big just said "ooops, your fly is down" in a tone reminiscent of a low budget porn movie.

06.14 "LOL, EVEN THOUGH WE SAID IT WASN'T A GAY WEDDING JUST BECAUSE GAYS ARE MARRIED, WE'VE ARRIVED TO FIND THAT EVERYTHING IS QUITE GAY. LOL. THIS IS COMEDIC."

06.28 Damn, Miranda looks nice in that dress. Cleavage down to her shoes, but I think think she looks quite nice.

06.45 Samantha brought her dog, which surprises everyone. This prompts her to say "it's a gay wedding...one more bitch with attitude doesn't make that much difference". Yeah.

08.22 Quoting Madonna lyrics. I wonder if the younger girls watching this knew that was a reference to something else.

09.34 I have to stop listing each reference to "LOL, THE GAYS".

11.00 "Could this wedding get any gayer?" "Look who's marrying them" ...and it's Liza Minelli. I'd react to this, but I left my emotions on my pants, and I'm not wearing them right now.

11.13 Okay, this was amusing. "How did they get Liza to do this?" "When there's this much gay energy in a room, she manifests." I cannot explain why, but I'm quite weird when it comes to jokes about gay stereotypes. To me, that one is amusing, but the whole "I'LL BRING A FEMALE DOG BECAUSE THIS IS SO GAY IT'S FULL OF BITCHES" doesn't really float my boat.

12.46 WAT. Liza is singing a version of "Single Ladies". I...I cannot. Give me a second, I have to get some water.

13.23 Okay, she's doing the choreography too. Well, some of it, anyway.

13.56 Charlotte's perfect marriage apparently isn't perfect. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS, OMC?

I agree completely.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

To keep myself sane

And to possibly entertain, here's a list of things I love about teachers:

They are always right. Example:

"...but, professor, I did send you an email. On the beginning of the semester."
"Did you? Well, I didn't see anything!" [doesn't even know my name, so it's totally possible]
"Hm, I can guarantee you I sent it, and I didn't get a reply."
"Well, that's impossible."
"Err..."
"I always reply, even if it's with a 'Notified. signed: teacher', so I can't imagine that ever happening."
"...I really did send it, though, just I like last semester." [and, by a very strange coincidence, she didn't reply to that one either]
"Well, maybe I forgot, I'm only human, but it does seem very odd that I didn't reply to you at all."
"I'll forward the [non-existent, reply-filled] email as soon as I get home."


They never do things without a plausible reason. Examples:

  • Say you can only do group presentations, because it means a lot less work for them stimulates the students to work in groups, thus acquiring the knowledge that all group assignments end in tears
  • Tell you that you'll be evaluated in exactly the same way you were last semester in another course he/she also taught, but only report a truck-sized minute nuance weeks before the exam
  • Write in the program for the course that you'll only be evaluated if you appear in 2/3 of the classes, because you are scared to be called out on incredibly low rates due to the fact that going to your class or reading wikipedia gives you the same result you are concerned for your students and want them to do very well
  • Also, really enforce that 2/3 rule except if one of your students emails you, completely defeated because he will flunk and on that case reply "this class has no minimum attendance requirements"
  • Recite powerpoints word for word. Do not show an ounce of original thought. Put them online later so your students can feel redundant as fuck, because if the only thing you are there to do is to read text from a document, lots of us are capable of that, so why bother going really lucky to have you as a teacher.

They are condescending, adorable little things that only try to make your life easier:

"I misunderstood, I should have spoken with you." [even though there were no signs that things would be different]
"Yes, you should have. And you should always keep current with the happenings here at school." [sure, it makes sense for a student to know when a meeting between teachers is and, of course, guess what it was about]
"Well, I do try, and I stay current with the e-learning platform." [I do love the concept of e-learning; it's e-learning, and yet I still get punished for not attending classes when I'm learning exactly the same amount and, moreover, it's my decision and it shouldn't be a factor on whether I deserve (!) to get a chance (!) to do the exam]
"Really? So why the confusion? You must have read the program."
"Yes, I did. Several times."
"You musn't have, because it's all there."
"Well, yes, but in exactly the same format as last year, with nothing telling me I had to prove I was a student-worker to do my exam."
"But it says "student-worker"."
"I do know that, but last year, exactly the same words were used and I was able to take the exam without any sort of proof I was a student-worker. That's why I was puzzled, that's why I came here...I didn't get, at any point in the semester, that you absolutely had to be a confirmed, official one to only do the exam."
"Well, that leaves us with a problem." [How I feel for these people; they must be so distressed to learn they'll have to do some actual work and maybe *gasp* help a student instead of undermining their progress with their unclear guidelines and silly attitude towards teaching*]


*These are all from the same class/teachers. These are from a course that had 10 classes with actual study material in them. 10. So, for 10 classes of absolutely trivial knowledge, I get to go through the ring of fire. Yet, in one of my most difficult classes I had, the teacher did not give a shit if you attended, or made you do group presentations. If you wanted extra points, you'd volunteer to make a presentation, and it could be individual. Most people did at least one presentation. As for attendance...well, let's just say that either you didn't go to class at all, or you didn't miss even one.

These, my friends, are the devices of teachers who know that if they weren't there, we'd probably learn the same amount.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Literary Cleanup, glaksgasnfajbluh

You may have noticed there haven't been any Literary Cleanup posts lately. Or, perhaps, you are too busy reading something interesting to notice this. Regardless, this is the time of the year where my free time is spent sleeping (because the rest of the day I am probably in classes or studying), so I don't really care for books, at the moment. I am trying to force myself to read A Queda dum Anjo, so we'll see how that goes. If, in a week, I haven't made much progress, I will probably read another short story.

In the meantime, have some pictures of weird things.



Cacilhas, at 7 am. Reminds me of the Luggage.



So THAT'S why they are called Era. Wait, did they just name a company so they can occasionally do a (bad) pun?



Anjos subway station. Quite grim, huh? Compare it to the new and improved Saldanha station:



What a difference. Not to say that Anjos needs a "makeover" as huge as this, because Avenida, one of the older stations is looking much better lately and all they did was paint it light blue and fix the lighting. Honesty, just that would make me happy...and not think of Irreversible every time I go through that corridor.

And finally...



Whoever did this sure loves ^ . Oh, Almada, how I love thee.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Thursday, 22 April 2010

4 Chord Song

Music snobs have been saying for years that all pop music sounds the same, and finally, some australian dudes have validated this theory:



I bet that if I knew anything about music, I wouldn't find this half as fascinating, but as I'm an ignorant waffle, my reaction is "wow, we are all suckers".

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The End of Time – part 2 (!) – a recap

Oh man, last time seeing that intro. I CANNOT WAIT. Wait a second, I need to watch the intro again, just because it is so good.



What...? Is this Gallifrey?



“All the prophecies say that this is the last day. This is the day when Gallifrey falls”. Aaaah, I see.



Okay, Timothy Dalton just killed a Time Lord-ess (Time Lady?) because she asked him to end the War. The Doctor is “missing”.



Give them hell, Donna!



Live, DoctorDonna, LIVE!

I love that significant chunks of this have no music at all. Just adds to the mood.



So the drums he hears are the heartbeat of a time lord. Interesting.

Okay, something is bothering me. Why wasn't Wilfred changed?



“God bless the cactuses!”
“That's cacti.”



“Worst. Rescue. EVAR.”