José & Pilar

saramago, quotes to live by, sad quotes, quote,

I used to try to shake off my mother whenever she tried to make me look more presentable. She’d try to clean a smudge of dirt of my freckled nose and I’d push her away yelling “Leave me alone, Hermione!” She’d try to button my shirt properly and I’d push her away, “I’ve missed a case, but I like it this way.” And I’d walk out the door with one collar near my ear and the other close to my chest. My mother no longer cares how messy I look, or simply learned to look as if she doesn’t care. Ironically to me, inevitably to her, now I’m the one who asks her for help to straighten out a sweater and make sure my shirt peaks out evenly underneath it.

“… the best way of killing a rose is to force it open when it is still only the promise of a bud.”

That was an excerpt of José Saramago’s The Cave. Saramago is a Portuguese writer and Nobel Laureate, who was born in Azinhaga, Iberian Peninsula, in 1922. I learned about his writing in high-school. One of his books was part of the curriculum so, naturally, due to my very cool rebellious teen spirit, I proceeded to ignore it, which was my mo. with any book I HAD to read. A few months after finishing high-school, after I could do nothing to change my paltry grades, I decided to read it. He slowly climbed up the ladder of my favourite writers to the top. It was a small ladder, Enid Blyton was there, as was J.K. Rowling and a Maxim Magazine erotica writer, whose writing helped me a lot in the pre-adsl days. It was still, by no means, a small accomplishment.

Saramago deals with daunting subjects. His most recognized work is Blindness. It paints a vivid image of violence, chaos, and Continue reading “José & Pilar”

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College: The Sands of Time

Beautiful campus

Tic-tac, tic-tac, tic-tac; The clock is winding down. Two weeks to go, at the most. Yesterday I went to

my college, for what I hoped was the last time. The country is engulfed in flames, but on the trip

there, the whole 100kms of it, I saw no flame, no fire. It’s the peak of summer. It isn’t rainy,

cloudy, stormy, snowy, or any “y” literature and movies associate with departure.

Still, it’s time to say goodbye. These weren’t the best years of my life, as the

brochures made me believe. I wanted to keep my job and get busy

with my education. I wanted to meet different people.

Plus, Greendale has the most advanced typing class

in the Southwestern Greendale area.The fact

I could register by fax was a big

advantage. It still didn’t

culminate in the

experience

I

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Farnsworth Says: Introduction and Repetition

Farnsworth says [click for GIF]

“God help us if blog writers get their hands on this book. It’s a lot more fun than it may appear. Farnsworth identifies types of rhetorical strategies and illustrates each one with a wealth of quotations which make the book wonderfully readable. Not dry as dust but lively and inspiring.”

Above is the reason a broke, unemployed part-time blogger spent 18$ (plus taxes, plus customs, plus delivery).

Roger Ebert has been a big influence on me for a long time. His word means a lot to me. His reviews made me watch countless movies I wouldn’t have watched otherwise, his journal made me rethink some of my ideas on subjects like “are videogames art”“how the media should cover mass-murders”, and improve my knowledge and even give me arguments to support my biased opinions. His suggestion that a single book could improve my blogging chances success, was enough to dig up my deepest hat and sit in the streets to raise my balance to those 18 dollars, plus taxes, plus customs, plus delivery.

This happened a year ago or so. When the book arrived a few weeks later, I had already forgotten that I ordered it and my blog had gathered more dust than the desk I was supposed to do all that writing, that would get me all that success.

A few months ago I restarted where I’d left off: the beginning. The fact that I’m no longer a student had something to do with it. I have yet to pay my tuition and pick up that sheet of paper, proof I’m now a qualified contributor to society’s work market. My Peter Pan complex has delayed the inevitable. I guess sneaking around at night into little girls’ bedrooms sprinkling fairy dust around me, leaves no time to pick up diplomas.

Despite delaying the inevitable, I knew that I now have no real goal, I’m done with school for now, and I doubt I’ll be able to find a job and… I do have a blog. So I’ve been working on it. For the first time, I managed to stay mildly consistent for a few months. Three or more posts a week, creating images for them, even GIF’s (yes, those are my tiny hands), I’ve even gotten a few Facebook followers. So yeah, things are getting pretty serious. Time to shake off the dust of Farnsworth’s Classic Rhetoric, have an asthma attack, and get serious about writing.

“EVERYONE SPEAKS and writes in patterns. Usually the patterns arise from unconscious custom; they are models we internalize from the speech around us without thinking much about it. But it also is possible to study the patterns deliberately and Continue reading “Farnsworth Says: Introduction and Repetition”

Classic Quotes Updated

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone with the Wind [Click for more] updated classic movie quotes

Original: “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”

Clark Gable would now have no time for subtleties. A 50 year old man knows what he wants and kissing is just a little step along the way. This is 2013, after all.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

ET [Click for more] updated classic movie quotes

Original: “E.T. phone home.”

Who uses phones anymore? Even text messages are outdated. Plus, you’re a big boy now. Tell your mother you’ll be home late. You’ll get there when you get there.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump [Click for more] updated classic movie quotes

Original: “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Continue reading “Classic Quotes Updated”

Don’t Quit Your Day Job To Translate

Funny Google Translate from the Simpsons

I spent the better part of today translating a short story. I’m not a translator. I barely have enough credit to write in my own language, but I insist on writing in English. That gave me the silly idea that if I can write passably in Portuguese and a little less so in English, I could easily translate from one language to the other and vice-versa, and vice-versa, and vice-versa.

It turned out I can. I’m that kind of a genius. The problem is, and there’s always a problem, centered on a little detail: the translation looks, feels, and means nothing like the original looks or feels, and the meaning is almost completely lost. The plot is there: A man eats a tomato. The tomato was good. The end. It’s all there, but the words are all wrong. I can see that, but I have neither the skill or the patience to improve it.

I got the idea to start translating because it seemed like a simple enough way to make money online. My first attempts weren’t working out as I had thought: my naked selfies aren’t selling as I would hope and Continue reading “Don’t Quit Your Day Job To Translate”

Why I’ll Never Love a Book More Than Harry Potter

[click the image for the reasons] Why I'll Never Love a Book Like Harry Potter - Source: (azevedosreviews.com)

I wear glasses and say words like “derogatory”. I watched Arrested Development. So, yeah, I’m pretty smart. I’m not an expert in literature, but I’ve read a few of the Slavics, some Dickens, all of Bukowski’s novels and most of Vonnegut’s. Of my countrymen, I’ve read almost everything by Saramago and Eça; I read one or two other authors, but I don’t bother with the rest. But when people ask me which is my favorite book, I’ll always proudly reply: Harry Potter. It doesn’t matter which big words I use or the way I arrange my glasses when I reply, they’ll always be, in this order, surprised and condescending. “Don’t give me that derogatory look just yet”, I tell them “let me explain”.

There’s a very simple reason for Harry Potter remaining in the top of my favourite books: I read it as a child. I grew up with it. I was lucky to be the same age as Hermione, Harry and Ron. I went through the same things they did, at the same time. I was accepted in a very exclusive school, top 10 in the country at the time. My sister went there before me, but I still felt like a mudblood (sorry for the language). Before the school year I had to buy my supplies. Like a Weasley, everything I could re-use from my older siblings I did. Fortunately, my parents had TV’s, so I had only a 5 year older sister, smaller than me; I got some books, pens, notebooks, rulers, erasers, half of a set-square, and one particularly large summer dress. What I couldn’t get second hand, I had to buy at the lowest price, so I had to scourge Diagon Alley for the best bargains. I was either 10 or 11, I thought I was big and brave, but like Harry I was also scared when Olivander helped me choose my wand. I mean, when he helped me getting chosen by my wand. I also bought my cauldron, 1 set of crystal phials, gym clothes, 2 gridded notebooks, 1 telescope, 1 drawing pad, 15 different pencils, 1 set of brass scales and the required books I hadn’t inherited: Portuguese, English, History, Sciences, Defense Against The Dark Arts and Geography. I also had to buy new clothes. I wanted a pair of loose jeans, with a cartoon on the back and metal chains, which connected from the beginning of the pocket to the end, and hung almost to the knees. I got the cheap imitation and which still made me happy.

You might have noticed I have some difficulty separating reality from fantasy. That’s the muggle in you talking. Tell him to quiet down for the next few hundred words. Continue reading “Why I’ll Never Love a Book More Than Harry Potter”

6 Things I Learned from Charles Bukowski

I have this post and James Altucher to thank to for making me aware of Charles Bukowski, one of my favourite writers.

Thought Catalog

Bukowski was disgusting, his actual real fiction is awful, he’s been called a misogynist, overly simplistic, the worst nxarcissist, (and probably all of the above are true to an extent) and whenever there’s a collection of “Greatest American Writers” he’s never included.

And yet… he’s probably the greatest American writer ever. Whether you’ve read him or not, and most have not, there’s 6 things worthy of learning from an artist like Bukoswski.

I consider “Ham on Rye” by Bukowski probably the greatest American novel ever written.  It’s an autobiographical novel (as are all his novels except “Pulp” which is so awful it’s unreadable) about his childhood, being beaten by his parents, avoiding war, and beginning his life of destitution, hardship, alcoholism, and the beginnings of his education as a writer.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit he’s an influence. Many people hate him and I’m much more afraid of being judged…

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Martin Scorcese’s 20 Quotes on Film

(Click the image) for 19 more of Martin Scorcese's quotes on directing

1. “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life time, we need to keep them alive.”

2. “Film is history. With every foot of film that is lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves.”

3. “Black and white is never really black and white. It’s shades of grey.”

4. on Akira Kurosawa: “The term ‘giant’ is used too often to describe artists. But in the case of Akira Kurosawa, we have one of the rare instances where the term fits.”

5. “L’avventura” gave me one of the most profound shocks I’ve ever had at the movies, greater even than “Breathless” or “Hiroshima, mon amour”. Or “La Dolce Vita”. At the time there were two camps, the people who liked the Fellini film and the ones who liked L’Avventura. I knew I was firmly on Antonioni’s side of the line, but if you’d asked me at the time, I’m not sure I would have been able to explain why. I loved Fellini’s pictures and I admired La Dolce Vita, but I was challenged by L’ Avventura. Fellini’s film moved me and entertained me, but Antonioni’s film changed my perception of cinema, and the world around me, and made both seem limitless. I was mesmerized by L’Avventura and by Antonioni’s subsequent films, and it was the fact that they were unresolved in any conventional sense that kept drawing me back. They posed mysteries – or rather the mystery, of who we are, what we are, to each other, to ourselves, to time. You could say that Antonioni was looking directly at the mysteries of the soul. That’s why I kept going back. I wanted to keep experiencing these pictures, wandering through them. I still do.” Continue reading “Martin Scorcese’s 20 Quotes on Film”