Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More about Doblin

Checking my photos, I realized that I didn't take many pictures of hot spots of Dublin. They are more... intimist, I guess. I have to confess that having a photographer in the group made me a bit lazy to take my own photos; and add to that the fact that we've walked like camels in the desert and I was too tired to even think about getting the camera out of the bag. Needless to say that all my pictures are either lying down on a park grass or sitting on a banch somewhere.

Watching you watching me.

I've written in the previous post about the sense of humor of the Irish, right? A very good example was a fake Bono Vox pub crawling - well, it was only one 'pob' - while a curious crowd took pictures of the guy. Yes, he looked like Bono indeed. A little bit too much caricatural for me, but the audience was really enjoying it. In a first moment, I thought it was the famous "happy slapping", which I first heard about during one of my classes. Happy slapping, for those who never heard about it, is a bunch of kids - British kids - that slap others just to take pictures with their mobiles and publish them somewhere in the internet. Impossible to deny from whom American culture influences came from, huh? Back to Bono. Yeap, everybody excited with the possibility of being close to the Irish 'myth', including my beloved pair, who manage to take some pictures of the guy, just in case he was the real Bono. Who knows how much a picture of the real McCoy would cost on the black market? The best part was those weird boys coming to us asking "what's happening here?", we "some Bono copycat", the guy "Bono?", with that face "what the heck is Bono?". Bono in Brazil is a chocolate cookie.

Enough of Bono and still talking about food. Eating in Dublin can be more expensive than in London. Firstly, it is not so easy to convert euros to pounds all the time, but overall we were quite surprised with the prices. No Irish food for us. But we've tasted the delicious O'Briens' fresh juices. I got the traditional orange juice, not because of the price, but because it was the only one I was sure about the calories. It was a walking trip; I felt like a pilgrim trying to get somewhere anywhere. As I told Lilian, Dublin has this different atmosphere, a medieval and mysterious aura that I don't feel in London. I'm not saying that one is better than the other. They are just very different. I wouldn't live in Dublin, but I would like to go there more often. I wonder how I would feel in Santiago de Compostela. I'm having some problems in focusing here, have you noticed? Let's go back to food. No proper food for us. I should be ashamed to tell this in public, but I am not: we ate at Burgers King and at Eddie's whatever - a typical american burger place from the 50's/60's. It wasn't bizarre, but we weren't supposed to commit these sins in such a mystic place. :-P We had a calzone and a Subway-like sandwich too. The only proper meal we had was in Howth; I even ate broccoli! So, as you can see, nothing spectacular about the food in Ireland.

Let's not make this post too long. I'll tell more about Dublin tomorrow.

Ah, I went to the movies yesterday to see X-Men - The Last Stand and The Brick. Me great fan of X-Men, so yeah I loved it! I always leave the screen willing to see the next one. For those who didn't see it: stay until the end of the credits (we didn't)!!!!! About the other film... Have you seen a Russian film, in Russian with no subtitles about philosophycal aspects of human beings? This is The Brick. I couldn't understand the film at all - it's American, a thriller - except on the last 5 minutes where the guy says to a girl (representing all the expectators, I guess): "Ok, idiot, I'm going to explain you the whole story. Do you want me to draw?". And so he does. And still I didn't understand some parts. Just to conclude: if you have to pay, don't see this one. If you do and understand, please explain me what the Kara girl is doing in the plot!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Doblin was quite nice, I must say

Lots to talk about 'Doblin'. Starting with the 'fonny' accent, a little bit American, a little bit British, a lot Irish. The Irish people are odd too. Not because of the 'fonny' way of speaking, not because they pack the 'pobs', not because they have red hair and very red chicks, but because they are 'normal' people, in a Brazilian concept of normal. I saw a couple of Irish drivers that simply didn't stop at the red light. But they did blushed and were very shy about that. I think it's cool! :-P

Another 'cool' thing in Doblin is the special audio effect of the pedestrian green lights. It is something like this: "piiiiiiiiiiiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta". I got addicted to it and EVERY time we were waiting for the green light I would do the noise too. Me and the machine singing together piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu, ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta. I thought I was the only crazy person, but later on I saw others doing the same.

One more cool thing I saw in Doblin. The Irish are happy people and have a great sense of humour. The city is very musical; you can find musicians in every corner, singing and playing for money, as you find at the tube stations of London. In Doblin it is more easy going, more relaxed, more amateur and consequently - in my opinion - more authentic. We saw these group of teenagers rehearseling something close to 'street dance' - a bunch of very very white kids trying to do those complex dance steps that only black people are capable of. Not being racist here, but people have to assume that they have certain limitations. Some people do. Like this redded hair chubby guy on the 'audience' that decided to show his skills on street dance. I would have given him some coins, if I was the type of person that gives money to public presentations, just because he made me laugh so much.

Last cool thing about Doblin: the weather was so welcoming! Today my classmates said "you have a tan"! Do I need to say something else? Photos to be posted! :-D

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The DaVinci Code and other boring subjects

When you have no expectation on a film - even better: when you are expecting something really bad - the film can become an ok - or even good - surprise. DaVinci Code was one of these cases. It is a kind of audio-visual pocket book version of Dan Brown's novel. The first half was nice, entertaining, easy to handle. The second half started to get a bit too much blah, blah, blah for me. Maybe it was because I read the book? Maybe. Good to see Ian McKellen-Magneto-Galdalf again. Paul Bettany as the albino monk was really good. It wasn't Tom Hanks' best role, but I like him always. The same for Jean Reno; I like his voice, I like to see him acting, even in a shitty film. Poor Audrey Tautou, let's forget her as Sophie Neveu and remember always sweet Amélie Poulain. All in all the film was ok-good. If it wasn't better it was also because the book is not that good. Entertaining though. Can't wait to see X-Men III, Wolverine and all those cool super-mutant-heroes. X-Men is my favourite hero-film ever, followed by Spider Man.

By the way, new Superman coming soon. The trailler sucks.

And the last thing is just to say how I get annoyed by 1) stupid idiot weird people, those that don't hide at all that they are useless, nasty, unfriendly, disgusting, worthless, and I keep on going here and 2) other people that agree with that but keep in touch with these type of people just to be political and because they have "friends" in common. And what I don't understand at all is when everybody thinks that a person is weird, boring, stupid, but they keep talking to the person with no apparent reason. Why waste time with useless things, when time is short and you have so many other things to do? For me, it is like eating the cake's glace: the taste is awful, it is not healthy, it is not fun at all, you have many other better options, but you're just too lazy to take that thing out and eat just the cake.

Yes, I am annoyed and angry and I wish some people could simply disappear from Earth, forever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Booing astral hell

In spite of people in this country trying to annoy you and to deeply irritate you, which can be easier in your pre-period time, there are times that they won't make it, even trying as hard as they can. Especially when you have just booked a trip to Greece. In summer! With your boyfriend! Staying at the house of a friend! Shoudl I keep going? Astral hell my ass (sorry for that); unless I die before (knock, knock, knock on wood), this trip will be perfect!
Nothing to do with the topic, but the American Government is giving away Green Cards. For those who aim a life in Europe, it makes no difference. Brazilian passport is well accepted in most of the countries here, as tourists, in the same way as the american passport, but if you plan to go to the US, or if you are living there, it could be a good oportunity.
Next week we are going out for dinner with a 'friend' (he is a very nice person, but not my friend, so that's why the quotes), but he are struggling to find out a restaurant. I don't want to repeat options, so I would go happily to a Greek, Swiss, African, Caribbean or German places, Even veggies, as I've never been to one (because I don't eat vegetables at all); but it is so hard to achieve an agreement when you are four people. Well, it shouldn't be in London.
I don't care, I'm going to Dublin this weekend! :-P
Oh, I've seen The King, with Gael Garcia Bernal. It is his first incursion into Hollywood. So far, so good. I left the film with that question mark face, but now I think I've like it. If someone sees it, please pay attention on the last sentence of the film and sent it to me. It will be my next motto.
Today we're going to see Da Vinci Code.
I have to study.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Astral hell?

* If there is an astral hell - and if the name in English is this - mine is starting today.

* Tomorrow I will have a very important meeting: I will discuss dates and itinerary of the trip to Greece. One week in July. Don't envy me, please, your day will come! :-P

* I might see Da Vinci Code this week. Many many new films screening and I have just seen two this month.

* This Saturday I'm going to Ireland. First stop: Dublin. New pictures soon! :-)

* Now it's official: I have absolutely no food in the fridge!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Busy weekend

My weekend started on Friday, when I had to babysit Mr. Cookie, sick for the 8th time in 8 month. I planned to sleep until late (which I did, as I woke up at 10), then go to College to get some films, fool around, clean the house, maybe read a bit. Nothing really important. But you know, maternal instinct spoke louder, if this makes any sense. It's true, he didn't ask, I offered and I don't regret. The weather, as usual, is bizarelly shitty, so we would probably have spent the weekend indoors.

So, what's good about the weekend? I saw, for the first time, the Eurovision thing. Never heard of it before and I have to tell you: the program is really kitch (in portuguese: cafonice pouca eh bobagem). I manage to vote to Romania (in return for him supportting Brazil in the Cup), which wasn't too bad (please not: not too bad doesn't mean good at all), but I was supporting (huh?) Finland and their heavy metal monster band Lordi, which won. This program was kind of Operation Triunfo, or Fama, without being a reality show (which means, the quality of the artists are almost the same). Curiosities: 1) This year was the 50th anniversary of Eurovion; 2) ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Celine Dion and Lara Fabian were some of the winners of Eurovison that became something after that; 3) Europeans are tacky as everybody else in the world.

Guess what I found out this weekend? "Festa no Ape", Latino-please-kill-that-guy's 2005's hit is a version of a Romanian song!!!!! Also Enigma is a Romanian band (it was famous on MTV during the 90's, with its gregorian-style songs). And I learned a bad expression in Romanian: 'pizda mătii'. Children, do not try this at home, especially if you are in a Romanian home! And nice girls are not supposed to say this in public. Neither Pula! (yeah, Brazilian friends " jump!" in Portuguese is a swear in Romanian.

Ok, now you have an idea of how productive my weekend was.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Good news

We had our minor projects presentation this afternoon and I have to tell you that it was really cool. The projects were really nice; I think the tutors didn't expect that the results would be so good. Now I'm anxious to see the final show, where we will present our major projects. Although I was exhausted (sleeping little, having nightmares, eating badly, carrying a heavy backpack everywhere, too many hours in front of a computer, etc) and with a horrible headache and feeling miserable because I couldn't manage to save my work (not that important for the marks though) properly in a DVD, it was a nice day. Everybody was in a good mood, having fun, laughing a lot, like it should be everyday. Afterwards we went for some drinks and more talk, more fun, more good time. Even the shitty weather (why do I have to mention this all the time?!) didn't interfere in our moods.

But, yes, and I damn exhausted! I can't collapse now, as this weekend I will start my research for the dissertation, for which I have to prepare a draft to hand in by ends of May. Now that I can see the end of the tunnel getting closer, my head is going round and round with plans and ideas. I wish I could just settle down for a couple of days and enjoy myself and London without thinking about tomorrow.

Oh, I also manage to speak a bit of Portuguse. My tutor's boyfriend was at our presentation and he is Brazilian. Cool! By the way, my friend Ney, whom I used to work with, sent me this lovely Brazil's Official t-shirt. I have to take pictures with it and sent to him (and post here as well). I'm getting ready for the World Cup, my friends. There is a photo of my fan-kit at my photoblog! :-) I just hope my team will not disappoint us.

Gonna sleep now - yey, early, before 2 am! - with the sound of the wind and the rain outside. Nighty night and sweet dreams.
Just a quick note to say I'm still alive and kicking. Almost done with the minor project, I just need to film the project working to save it on a DVD and hand in everything. So happy! After the presentation, I'll go pub crawling with my school mates; yupie yey, Friday I'm gonna sleep all day! :-D


No, I'm not. :-/ I just hope it doesn't rain.

.. Ok, I'm going to sleep now, tomorrow at 9 am, me at the lab working a little bit more.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who's gonna drive me home... tonight?

* I bought a (2nd hand) microwave. I don't have it with me though. Hopefully this week.

* I'm having nightmares with MAX/MSP/Jitter. For those who don't know what it is, just try to be as far as possible from them.

* Today I've been to a Chevening reception. Cool place. Free drinks and snacks. I've met some Brazilians, including a girl that studies at my College. We created out "Latin American" corner, formed by Mexicans, Brazilians, Ecuadorian, Argentinian... All in all, I can say that I had a good time.

* Final countdowns: two days to present my minor project, two weeks to Ireland.

* May 15th = 7 months. Let's hope we can spend the 15th of October together, huh? :-)

* Why, God, why, why, why, whyyyyyyy is it still so cold?!?!?!?!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

One day you have nothing, the other you might have too much

I have spent the whole week trying to have things done. Things that didn't depend on me at all, like having programs installed at the lab's machines and searching of the lab's video camera's battery. I was also trying to install the phone tools on my computer to download the pictures from my mobile to my laptop; after two days trying to find the right programs, install them on the right order and reading help files (with a little help from my 'friends'...), I managed to get all the pictures out of that piece of... mobile.

The camera is quite crap, I have to tell you. The only reasonable photos were taken under sunlight, and even though we cannot tell that there are a big deal. Anyways, at least I could capture some cool moments, although some of them, such as this one of the left (yeah, I did have to think: right or left?!). No idea when and where this photo was taken and of course it doesn't show our best features, whatever they are. hehehe

At least we were smiling. :-)

Rá (hmm, this was in Portuguese)! This one I remember very very well. Me waiting the flight to Porto at Stansted airport. I lost the 6.50 am flight and had to wait 12 hours for the next one. As it would take me a long time to go back home, have a shower, take a nap and return to the airport 2 hours before the flight, I decided to stay at the airport. See those red chairs in front? I even slept there. Quite an interesting experience. I felt like those students backpackers that sleep at the bus stations with nowhere to go, just waiting for the first bus to go somewhere and have some fun. It was my first international trip as a Londoner and things didn't go very well. Now I know that we have to take the National Express, instead of waiting for the train. It cost me 40 pounds to know that!

Below is Porto by night. A square downtown. Porto is cool, but I prefer Lisbon.

And here is the view of the Tate Modern. The best thing of this museum is the view. St. Paul's Cathedral is one of my favourite monuments in London. Really gorgeous!

This picture was taken at Pret-A-Manger, when I was having a delicious goat cheese and red pepper soup, while waiting Mr. Miclaus. It was such a nice warm and sunny day and I forgot my camera - again!

Ahá! And here is Mr. Miclaus in Barcelona. Day after. Good memories! :-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

No title today

What I miss the most at school, now that I am on 'holidays', are the breaks for a chat and a coffee & cigarrettes (hot chocolate or fresh orange juice for me). We used to go to the Student Union area, nice but polluted. Then we changed to Cafe Crema, whose owner, I was told, is a Portuguese guy. The place is cosy - again polluted but the ciggarette's smoke, has a nice hot chocolate and also a garden, for the warmer days. I was there last Friday, the first, and only, time I was on t-shirts this year. Nice weather, nice day.

This photo was taken there, next to the window, where we could see people passing by, just relaxing, chatting, complaining, laughing - the slogan of the place is "slow food", so no rush there. This is me and Nelly, my Greek friend, who invited me to go to Greece this year. Hopefully I will be able to spend a week there this summer. Fingers crossed.
Next Monday the Chevening scholars will have this reception presided by the Lord of Triesman of Tottenham. We received this cool invitationon behalf of Her Majesty's Government. The dress code is Lounge Suit, which I had no idea what it was until I googled it; I think I might have something suitable for the even. I hope. Anyways, it's only for two hours, and hopefully it's not going to hurt.
OK, I have nothing else to say, so I will prepare myself to go to school. Tonight we are going to see Mission: Impossible III. Not expecting much. Next week Da Vinci Code and last week of May: X-Men III. Can you "feel" my happy face?! :-D

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Children's logic

'Se você quer sorrir, é com Patati
Se você quer brincar, é com Patata
Se você quer sorrir e brincar, Patati-Patata'

When I was a kid, my right-left skills weren't very well developed in school, so now, when somebody asks me if it is "right or left", I have to think for a while and then answer. If I don't think, I will certainly give a wrong answer.

I'm gonna pack papers and books of previous terms today. I'm trying to find some inspiration, for my projects and the dissertation. Not stressed. Tired. Sleepy. Lazy. The sun is gone since the weekend. Sad, but true. At least I have a lot of indoor things to do.

For the records: I will start working out this month, hopefully in a week or two. I'm writing this here so it is register and I will be an unreliable person if I don't start it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Today is Monday, May 8th, but you already know this

What you might not know is that today is my life in London's 8th month anniversary (monthiversary?). Yeap, 8 months. According to the popular say, we have to be patient because our mothers had to wait for 9 months to see their little babies' cute faces. What does it mean? That after my 9th month in London I can freak out? Well, too late, I think I freak out at least once a month.

I finally went to the Borough Market. Too crowded. I couldn't get close to the tents (I don't know if there is an 'official' name), and it seemed to be even worse because of the rain. I think I have to go back there to buy some cheese though, and maybe try some food. Some people say that I should be more adventureous and try new stuff, but I have to confess that with food this can be really complicated, especially in an open market where you see people cooking and dealing with food in front of you. And it is not nice to see pig's heads hanging on the walls, or deer's bodies (with no head or feet) around. My stomach still relies a lot on my eyes and nose. Well, I did taste and enjoyed the red pepper and goat cheese soup of Pret-a-Manger though and this is quite a progress. However, as some people also say that I gotta be patient, I'm not going to change my eating habits from night to day, right? Some things that I used to hate and now I eat without getting sick: pepper (not big chunks yet), cucumber (I don't like the taste, but I can eat), ...



I'm sure there are more things, but well, too much effort to remember now. Next step: go to a Japanese restaurant for some sushis (I really like Yakisoba).

So, it rained on the weekend! Of course, God is Brazilian, not British. Even though we manage to walk a bit (and get wet and cold) around central London and even saw two (French) films. If I keep that pace soon enough I will be needing no subtitles for French films.

Me hungry!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another tick on my To Do list

The telenovela essay is finished! I will hand it in tomorrow! :-D Just two other works for May and I'm "free" until July! :-D (I wish...)

I saw C.R.A.Z.Y. yesterday. I so recommend the film. Canadian; a simple film like I've been willing to see for a long time, very good.

Plans for the weekend: I would like to go to Dalí's exhibition taking place at the County Hall Gallery. I would also like to go to the movies (last month my unlimited card didn't pay itself), but I also have two DVDs here with me: The Cold Mountain and The Claim. I've seen the first, but I would like to see it again, as I didn't know at that time that it was filmed in Romania. I would like to go for a walk and take some pictures of London. The weather is great, neither too cold, not hot; the sun is shining; the flowers are blooming! :-D I would also like to go to Brighton, sleep until late, eat a good meal, dance, take a long long long relaxing bath, read something else that not academic books, laugh (enough with the crying), relax, kiss, hug, run, count the stars and get rid of the ghosts.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Doing the laundry, cleaning the house and writing an essay

I am trying to finish my last essay of the course (the hand in date is this Friday), but I cannot stop blaming myself for choosing such a difficult topic: Brazilian telenovelas and their influence on the Brazilians living abroad. And who the hell said that Brazilians living abroad see soap operas at all?! If on one hand this is really good, proving somehow that we go abroad and try to live the other country's culture (or have no money to pay cable TV, or hate soap operas, or...), on the other it sucks, as I can't find examples to put on my essays!! Hunf!

Off the records (tell this to anybody, I will deny until I die): I realized that I didn't clean my room/bathroom/kitchen for a month! I try to keep it visually cleaned, but the floor was disgusting. I clean it today, but I'm still not happy with it. In fact, I just want to keep myself busy. I can't focus on the readings completely, so I have to do other things. And why not do something useful, huh? :-D

Gotta tell you: spring is here and the gardens are beautiful. I've seen my firsts tulips here in South East (never seen them in Brazil) and they are my favorite flowers now (I like orchids, but they stink). What I'm loving the most? "Sunlight" (whatever) until 7-8 pm. After spending 3 months in the darkness (sashimiiiiiiiii), with the nights coming around 2-3 pm, it is great to see the light again. It is still too cold to lay down on the park, as Eriquinha is doing in the States (and Adriana did one day here), but soon it will be warm enough to go out on no-sleeves t-shirts.

By the way, Adriana left the country straight to Spain. Barcelona and Madrid. Lucky her! She made me feel like going to the theatres more often (twice a year, instead of twice in a lifetime); we went to see The Producers (highly recommended) and we had a good laugh. I ate on Burger King twice. Still prefer Brazilian McDonald's.

I've seen In The Mood for Love and 2046 on DVD. I have nothing to say about that yet.

Did I tell you that I'm going to see Pearl jam live in August? Reading Festival? I will. I'm not frustrated anymore, but I have to confess that I wished I had more money to go to shows here. Tool is touring (there will be a cool festival in Denmark and they will performe there too), Radiohead too, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters (Hyde Park) and the list is huge. No worries, one day I will get there.

Meanwhile, the only place I will get is to the library to finish the work! See you later, kids.