Crawling On A Foggy Night

Between a huge desire of being on stage and a non less huge need of crossing to the other side of the street, hidden in the deepest dark night you can imagine, a turbulent flow of feelings is happening and a random sequence of events is taking place. Steady lives can’t happen on random sequence events!

Approaching April, the so called month of generous rains, and very little to be proud of. Time is a non-stop thing, we just need to manage it accordingly. We are not managing it accordingly! Severe results from severe decisions turn life into a severe sequence of events, every of them out of our own control. We’re just another form of life without the power to control our own death. Just that! However, we behave on the other way around. We watch ourselves on the mirror and we frequently see god. Yes, some kind of divine form. We stare at ourselves for a while and then we move away plenty of positive energy. Then, we see others watching us the same way we watched ourselves at the mirror. Unfortunately, it works only for the time things are (apparently) under our control…

Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Italy… One after the other! European Union is degrading. Everything is now possible, on behalf of the capital owners. Even the taxation of a bank deposit which was not supposed to be taxed more than what was foreseen by the time the money was deposited[1]. I hate when rules change at the middle of the game. I really do! But nowadays a deal is no longer a Deal. Tradition is no longer what it used to be! Currently, deals are an expression of gone times when “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” was a good principle. I see no many exceptions but, fortunately for some fragile creatures, they do exist. Meanwhile, European Union is a kid in school being bullied by naughty boys (USA, China, Germany,…). When we all were thinking all was well, nobody used to speak about solidarity. Now, we have exhumed forgotten words like that one: solidarity! We will exhume many other ones in the same context of that one. The foggy night has just started and we see no lighthouses around…

The cerebral cortex is the outermost sheet of neural tissue of the cerebrum of the brain in some vertebrates. It covers the cerebrum and cerebellum, and is divided into left and right hemispheres. The cerebral cortex plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. It consists of up to six horizontal layers, each with a different composition in terms of neurons and connectivity[2]. All this to say that is also the main responsible for insomnia. Actually, said from a laic perspective, when things go wrong in your life and stay wrong for a while, more than what you can handle, your cerebral activity gets to be very much intensive and you start feeling a kind of tension on your Frontal lobe. Still on a laic perspective and pretty much far away from an academic attitude, the tension you feel is somewhere on your forehead region and much particularly between your eyes. It would be logic thinking that, after some sleeplessness nights, you are so tired that soon or later you will fall asleep. Wrong! Consider instead that the more tired you are the more difficult is to see clearly the shit situation in what you’re sunk in and the more difficult is to resolve it. The more you will be awaken! At certain point of that foggy night, you start crawling…

Portugal is not handling correctly this economical crisis caused by… ourselves! No, I do not blame anyone else. I believe that it is always one’s mandatory task the creation of one’s security mechanisms. We haven’t done it, therefore we have no right to indignation towards others. We have, instead, the right and the duty of indignation towards ourselves. Unfortunately, I haven’t found positive echo on others resulting from my wise conclusions. I feel a lonely believer in my beliefs, lonely walking through a small land still looking for what it doesn’t know what. A lonely walker, though! A lonely crawler. How sublime exaltation is brought by these circumstances when a man’s beliefs are simply ignored…

The silence of the innocents is no better, no worse, than the silence of guilty ones. Silence is simply silence, no matter if erudites take it as part of music, or if common sense take it as a confession of guiltiness, or if is taken as lack of knowledge or… whatever. Silence is just the result of one’s decision to be silent. There are many reasons to take that decision. Some are freely taken, other not. Innocence ends right after a certain state of comprehension is acquired. A child may be innocent. An adult may be naive. In an adult phase of life, decisions are empty of innocence, might be full of naivety. Very often are, instead, empty of a clear and sharp ability to read contexts. Not so rarely are plenty of emotionality. A good balance between emotionality and (a recommended) rationality is the question! Management of situations resulting from lack of proper balance between both, is hard!

My gone times of electronics student made me keep in mind a singular concept about semiconductor junction’s behavior:

As the forward bias in a semiconductor P-N junction increases, the current through the junction also increases, up to a certain point. When the bias is increased beyond that point (called the saturation point), no further increase in the current occurs.

Can’t you see? I am not comparing a human being to a semiconductor but we are a being made of quite a lot junctions, though. We start our life improving ourselves by just simply collecting knowledge. We grow up based on our tutors[3] actions. At a certain point, we start improving ourselves by emitting what we have learned in the previous phase. Then, we reach the operation point which is that phase very much comparable to cruise speed for a ship. That is also known as the comfort zone. We love that zone. We do. Here. There. Everywhere. We aim it. We struggle for it. We love and hate for it. We do the possible and the impossible for it. At any price! At least, some of us…

What if one day you leave (or you are forced to leave) that so much obstinately pursued comfort zone? Common mortals never leave their comfort zone unless they are forced to it. Mortals leaving respective comfort zone on their own are seen as affected by any kind of disease, usually mental. Well, this world wide crisis is forcing mortals, who never would do it under normal conditions, to abandoning their comfort zone. At the same time, is driving mortals, who would normally do it under normal conditions, into an obtuse meditation about life philosophies. For ones and for the other, nights become longer. Frontal lobe comes on stage. Either ones or the other start sharing the same foggy nights. Some will crawl, other not. Irony of fate? Not really. What then? Just the way it is. Just the way we are. Just the way we cannot avoid to be. However, even sharing the same nauseous swamp, the first ones will always look at the other as being affected by any kind of disease, usually mental. A new order will then arise in that nauseous swamp. Two parties will be formed: les uns et les autres[4]. Stories of love and hate will continue. The usual! In a different swamp…

Finding walls in every meter stepped ahead. It wears my patience out. Withdraw is not an option. Fed up with the huge bunch of pretenders. Fed up with more of the same. Full of non-existent way outs. No love, neither lovers. No nostalgia. What a waste! Timing is relevant. Second interregnum on the way. Carrying on a life reset. No sense of loss, except lost opportunities. Stressing up to the saturation point. A fantastic and attractive arm wrestling, though. Crawling on a foggy night. Seeking things. Seeking you…

Not my easter! Yet…

Video-clip by Genesis performing The Carpet Crawlers 1999 (2004 Digital Remaster)[5]
Front photo from our gallery.
If you’re searching this song lyrics in Portuguese, click here.
  1. Generally speaking as I do not know the reality regarding bank net built in Cyprus by Russian mafias!
  2. in Wikipedia.
  3. Parents, family, school,…
  4. Fantastic french movie I watched many years ago (Les Uns et les Autres).
  5. This song is an important mark in my life. It is very much associated to the first interregnum, a couple of decades before. At this point, Genesis (band) was very much on top of my preferences. A couple of years later, Phil Collins had already destroyed its spirit.

My little world…

I wish I were a constant traveler! But I am not. Let’s say that once upon a time there as a life project which became no more than a nice project. Nevertheless, one of these (last) days I saw myself revising all places I already visited, most of them result of business trips. I started surfing Internet looking for an already done web application which could be able of giving me a record of all countries I have visited. I found this one:

Well, this nice (and free) web application it’s very USA oriented because that country is the only one about what one can individualize the visited states. As a matter of fact, I visited just a couple of towns in USA but that would be too much detail for our brain or, if you prefer, too much sand for our truck. If the creator of this little application was a little bit more informed about the world, he would develop the same functionality (specification of visited state/county) for countries like Brazil, or China, or Russia or even Germany. But he didn’t like so and as a result of that you look at South-America and it looks like I visited almost that half-continent. Not true! I was in Brazil, indeed, visiting a couple of towns but far, far, far away of knowing the whole (huge) Brazil…

After all clarifications done, I may now elaborate a couple of comments about my traveler side:

  1. First of all, a huge part of my trips were paid by the company I was working for.
  2. Secondly, business trips very often give you little space to know the place where you’re traveling to.
  3. Third, I am so unhappy because I never went to an Asian country. Very curious about Japan and China…
  4. I have visited three out the six continents[1] which are Europe, Africa and America. I feel no attraction at all for Antarctica but I would appreciate very much a jump to Australia in Oceania.
  5. Out of all European countries I visited, I enjoyed almost all of them and my English language was usually enough to survive during my stays there. Except in England[2]!
  6. Due to my frequent trips to Germany, I developed a theory that it would not be possible to find another people in the world having such little sense of humor like Germans. I have realized my theory was totally wrong when I visited Czech Republic!
  7. After some visits to latin countries (Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) I am still trying to find where really is the latin rib of Portuguese people! At least I have learned that we, Portuguese, are latin but not latinos.
  8. Regarding eating and drinking, the worst place for both human needs is United Kingdom! Highly expensive and awful in all other aspects. The best place? Portugal.
  9. Regarding women, the place where you easily find ugly, classless and hard going girls is United Kingdom. The best place? Brazil.
  10. Regarding professionalism within Services in general (restaurants, hotels, taxis, public care, etc), the best place is shared by Germany and USA. The worst? Czech Republic, yet not much far from England.
  11. I never visited the Portuguese islands Azores and Madeira but the wish to go there is about… zero!

This is it. My little world! I would like to have gone much further than the 9% of already known world but I am not lucky enough for that. Even so, I am expecting that one day I will visit countries like Russia, Japan, Canada, Australia and other corners I guess I would enjoy to drink a beer at. At least I can say that I enjoyed and profited every minute of my trips. Not because I love old stones from old ages[3] but because I love watching people. Other people, other habits[4], other thoughts, other expectations…

May the gods be with every little world of every little “I”…

  1. Consider the six continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Oceania and Antarctica.
  2. Notice that I said England, not United kingdom. Actually, in Scotland they got very much impressed with my international English.
  3. Don’t count on me to spend hours inside museums and old churches…
  4. See habit (psychology).

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Go for it, Joseph…

Pope Benedict XVI, the germanic Joseph Alois Ratzinger, deserves my congratulations![1]

Pope Ratzinger
The old, senile and retrograde hierarchy of a Church insisting on missing the point, can once in a while surprise us, though. Ratzinger is an example of that. Although the Vatican’s constitution, putrefied by richness and vices (still smelling to Middle Ages), foresees possibility of any pope may resign, the truth is that nobody from Catholic Church peacefully accepts a pope’s resignation. Let’s say that Church (the Catholic, of course) always have seen with divine pride the body and soul degradation, year after year, of the poor elder man occupying such high ranked position. Let’s also say that they would have always see with some contempt and a pinch of sacrilegious sentiment the decision of that old man if, one day, he would possibly have the lucidity of recognizing how far his body and soul were from walking side by side with him and, being like so, he’d better quit and give younger people a chance.

Ratzinger has surprised everything and everybody. What kind of humans’ leader can a man be if the only way to accomplish his job is to have every of his muscles connected to an invisible wire, exactly like was happening with John Paul II in his last days of his papal existence?

Congratulations, Joseph! I am with you, dude…

  1. Read here my first post about Ratzinger.

Highlands

… of Portugal, of course!

This is what I am: I love eating and drinking, good company and I am Portuguese. Altogether, my last wanderings through out this tiny country where I was born took me to the very north of this Lusitanian world. Specifically, Peneda-Gerês National Park is where I usually go to get delighted with a superb Portuguese dish called “Cozido à Portuguesa”[1]. I must confess I also get delighted with local landscapes which usually bring me to Celtic wanderings, despite the little influence of Celtics on our country. Let’s say that I get always back a couple of years when I visited Scotland[2] which I enjoyed very much.

The film here below[3], gives you an idea of what I am talking about. If on one hand I recommend you a place where to eat Cozido à Portuguesa

on the other I leave you two links for two places where you might sleep but, notice well, I never slept there before:

There’s also a couple of things you should know before you pack to visit Montalegre. First, I love those places in winter! It’s when pork and beef are much more tasty and when you can have a heavy meal without sweating. Second, you might find snow there but if you don’t, no wonder because the global warming has got its influence. Third, the weather in these lands is not good for wine production but not far, in Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province, they have very good red wine, Portuguese quality. Fourth, I suggest you take a walk through “Pitões das Júnias” only after your “Cozido à Portuguesa”, your red wine and your “aguardente”. Not before! You’ll then see that you won’t feel the icy cold cracking your bones while walking…

May the gods be with you…

Promotional video “Highlands Of Portugal”
Villages of Montalegre.
Video clip created/edited by Zé Barbosa with original front photo from our gallery.
  1. Have a look at our Portuguese Recipes here and look in the list for the name “Portuguese Stew”.
  2. Actually, in Edinburgh, a fantastic town.
  3. For the first time in this blog, we are experimenting the JW Player with a video file with extension (compression) mp4. It’s our intention to try here a video with better quality for widescreen/fullscreen show. The bad news are: you may need some patient attitude after you click the video panel to start it up… If you are not able to watch the video, leave us a word please.

Solo le Pido a Dios

Reason to place here Mercedes Sosa? None! Should I have one?

Mercedes was born in 1935 and died in 2009. Seventy four years is time good enough to go through this meaningless life, to what everyone of us desperately tries to attach some meaning. No need to give life a meaning, don’t worry. Don’t let yourself getting like a scrambled egg just because you have never find a meaning for your life. Just bear in mind that you’re one of those billions of human animals who have never found in life a special, sophisticated or not, reason to live over this huge ball, incredibly rotating at a speed of nearly one thousand six hundred kilometers per hour (~1600Km/h).

Reason to place here Mercedes Sosa? Should I have one? I woke up this morning and I just decided to place here the song about what I have contradictory feelings. “I only ask God” is something I don’t do for years! Since that very moment when I had a look around and He was not there. But the lyrics of this song make me remind Syria, Egypt, Congo, Mali, and, and, and,… Our poorness! Of spirit…

I love this song anyway. Simple. Straight. Powerful.

May the gods be with Mercedes and all those she sang…

En Español

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el dolor no me sea indiferente
Que la reseca muerte no me encuentre
Vacio y solo sin haber echo lo suficiente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que lo injusto no me sea indiferente
Que no me abofeteen la otra mejia
Despues que una garra me arane esta frente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el engano no me sea indiferente
Si un traidor puede mas que unos quantos
Que esos quantos no lo olviden facilmente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el futuro no me sea indiferente
Deshauciado esta el que tiene que marchar
A vivir una cultura diferente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente

Solo le pido a Dios
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente

In English

All I ask of God
That pain does not leave me indifferent,
And that parched death will not find me
Alone and empty not having done sufficient.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to injustice
That they won’t slap my other cheek,
After their talon has scraped away my luck.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.

All I ask of God
That I am be indifferent to deceit,
If a traitor can do more than the masses,
Then let not the masses forget him easily.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.

All I ask of God
That I not be indifferent to war,
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.
It’s a big monster which crushes
All the poor innocence of the people.

by Mercedes Sosa (original from León Gieco)
Solo le Pido a Dios, in “Mercedes Sosa, 30 Años”, © 1994
Translation to English by Unknown.
Video clip with original front photo from our gallery.

The Bad Luck Year?

There we are, a new year. Just another year for some, a year of great success for other and of great pain for the rest.

I must confess that I am currently a happy owner of very low expectations regarding this just arrived year. That is not because we’ll spend three hundred sixty five days writing the bad luck number (13)[1] but because nothing in my life has changed lately in a substantial way. Therefore, my goal for 2013 is (again) “eating soup without making noise”…

I am aging. I am getting aged. I am older. I am getting old. Damn it, I am getting old! Isn’t this sad? Yes, it is. This “réveillon”[2] stuff is already something very boring for me. Annoying, I should say. Why? Because some events in my life (due to my age, I know) are very much an unpleasant and graceless “déjà vu” thing. Solution? Not known yet. That is why it is recommendable I keep, meanwhile, eating soup without making noise. What about you?

May the gods be with everyone of us in the next twelve months…

  1. No, I don’t believe in bad luck numbers, black cats or many other manifestations of superstition.
  2. In France, Brazil, Portugal (Portuguese speaking countries) and some other French-speaking places, a réveillon is a long dinner, and possibly a party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil (meaning “waking”), because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond. In Portuguese-speaking countries, it is also a designation for the party preceding the New Year’s Day. In the United States, the réveillon tradition is still observed in New Orleans due to the city’s strong French heritage, with a number of the city’s restaurants offering special réveillon menus on Christmas Eve. — in Wikipedia