No Expectations

I’ve realized, long ago, that Rolling Stones, a British rock band, never made part of my CD collection just because I don’t like them. Astonishing? Not really! There were many other bands in my youth I was not fond of. I don’t see why should I like them just because they were one of the most popular bands in the world. Let’s say that I am not that much supple, generally speaking. Let’s say that not liking Rolling Stones it’s at the same philosophical level of being Portuguese and not liking fado, the Portuguese national song.

Nevertheless, I confess that the video I have placed here below, for your pleasure, pleased me very much. It’s amazing: a simple fado singer, Ana Moura, was invited by Rolling Stones in 2007 to sing with them one of their themes, “No Expectations”. Who would say this would ever happen? But it happened! Easy to see, in this video, how happy and honored she, Ana Moura, was. But it’s easy to see also how attracted the Rolling Stones were for this exotic song called fado, which was classified by one of them as Portuguese blues, and for the fado singer herself. A must to watch video.

Enjoy it…

Rolling Stones featuring Ana Moura.
Video-clip[1] edited by Zé Barbosa (subtitles in Portuguese).
  1. Original photo from our gallery showing a landscape from V N da Cerveira, Portugal.

Lusitana Beauty

Like in any other country, Portugal owns as well a lot of beautiful things which Portuguese are proud of showing to visitors from other countries. That is partly the purpose of this post. “Lusitana Beauty”[1] owes its name to the fact of Portugal was located in lands formerly called Lusitania, much before Portugal was born. Interesting is the fact of, although part of the territory currently known as Spain was also part of same lands, Spanyards don’t call themselves “Lusitanos”[2] like Portuguese do…

Like in any other country, there are women in Portugal. Amazing, isn’t it? Like many other men, I feel naturally attracted to women and, of course, to the Portuguese ones too. This might be seen as an expression of chauvinism[3] but for one or another reason, explicable or not, justifiable or not, reasonable or not, acceptable or not, politically correct or not and appreciated or not, there is in this blog a small place for showing what, concerning beautiful females, Portugal has got. Yes, several Portuguese women are really something! Some are beautiful, other are at least owners of an attractive charming. Some are public figures, other not that much. Some are famous for their brain and body, other for their body only[4]. And you know what? Women are the opposite gender of male gender. Opposite! Have you noticed that?

For some people it might be an undeniable truth the fact that a guy placing photos of women in a public place, showing them like they were cattle in a regional fair, deserves no consideration at all. In that case, I kindly ask you to stop reading this post at once. For me, placing these photos here, considering that I am convinced that what it is beautiful in Lusitânia must be shown, it’s a natural action. Should women shown here be that much undressed like some of them are? Why not if those, the almost naked, are the ones using their body to be famous? Is it wrong to use the body to become famous? Nope. At all! For me, every one of us, human beings, should have enough freedom for using respective body the way it likes most, as long we do not disturb other’s lives. You know, on the basis of that famous quote “my freedom ends where your freedom begins[5]” …

There are beautiful women in Portugal. Can you imagine? Some of them are shown here, in the “Lusitana Beauty” link. Below every photo, respective name. Simple! Basic! Linear! I see no reason for philosophy here. I am not responsible for creating a world of perfection nor creating the imperfections of the world. But I am responsible for what I do. I do have my own way of looking at and relating to women and I don’t consider it more or less good than other. It’s just my way. There are beautiful women in the world, I never saw a beautiful man. Points of view…

May the gods be with the «lusitana» beauty in such a way it keeps delighting our eyes and feeding our desires…

Free 4 You: “Wonderful Tonight (Live Edit)”, Eric Clapton ( download to be played on Winamp )
  1. The word “Lusitana” it is in its Portuguese form, it is an adjective for feminine things or people and is said in English “Lusitanian”.
  2. Lusitanians.
  3. Referring to sexism.
  4. Our photo database of Portuguese women include theater and cinema actresses, top models, radio and TV professionals, musicians, etc. It includes also unknown women (non-public figures).
  5. Principle making part of “Law of equal liberty”, a doctrine first named by Herbert Spencer.

Happy birthday, my beloved friend…

No comments…

by Natalie Merchant
‘Beloved Wife’, in Tigerlily, © 1995
Video created/edited by unknown.

Into The Wild

Totally fed up of life? There are the ones going into the wild. There are the other standing up, down sometimes, in this civilized game of world’s owners called capitalism. One’s life can go from total happiness to total desperation. Reaching a reasonable balance it’s a hell of a job…

What to do if you one day, while you’re waking up in the morning, you realize you do hate your job? You better not. Avoid it. Mainly if it’s the nth time it is happening. Just avoid it. Just work yourself out to think different things when you’re waking up. Convince yourself you don’t have to love your job. You don’t have to love your boss. You don’t have to love your co-workers. Get rid of them just not thinking too much about them. That’s the best way. Mainly during this stupid recession we, in Portugal, are going through.

Most people in this civilized world are the typical ‘9 to 5’ style. Most people in this world are totally smashed by routine. By boredom. By tedium. By anesthesia. Crushed but happy. Similar to the way many south-american people think: poor but happy. And the crucial question it’s precisely there: should we change something in our life if we feel happy? No way…

Should we change something in our life if we feel unhappy? Hell of a question! Not necessarily. We should if we would be very much sure about the fact of changing to a new life would bring us happiness. But who can be sure of success before success happens? Nobody. But you can try. If you feel strong enough to face uncertainty, incertitude, doubt, dubiety, haziness, suspense. And even so keep sleeping tight at night, waking up every morning as happy as you turned in the night before. Or else using your night sleep to wake up happy after you turned in unhappy the night before.

Turning into the wild may be a solution for some. Very few. ‘Go wild’ is not a behavior I recommend. But I do recommend this beautiful song having “Guaranteed” as its name. Part of a film soundtrack which I never watched, Into The Wild, this song is performed by the Pearl Jam’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder. I would extract two beautiful thoughts from its lyrics: “On bended knee is no way to be free” and “Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere”. Despite this, I wouldn’t ever go wild or into the wild. Just another beautiful song. Just a couple of wandering thoughts after a recent conversation with a lady friend during what these issues were the core of her worries.

May the gods be with the incarcerated minds of this world…

In English

On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup
I ask silently
All my destinations will accept the one that’s me
So I can breathe…

Circles they grow and
they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight
to wives they’ll never know
A mind full of questions
and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes…

Don’t come closer or I’ll have to go
Holding me like gravity
are places that pull
If ever there was
someone to keep me at home
It would be you…

Everyone I come across
in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering
but I’m never what they thought
I’ve got my indignation
but I’m pure in all my thoughts
I’m alive…

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees
they’re singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite, forever orbiting
I knew all the rules
but the rules did not know me

Em Português

Ajoelhados não é a forma de sermos livres
Levantando uma taça vazia
pergunto silenciosamente
Todos meus destinos aceitarão aquele que eu sou
Para que eu possa respirar…

Círculos que crescem e
engolem pessoas por completo
Metade de suas vidas eles dizem boa-noite
a esposas que nunca irão conhecer
Uma mente cheia de perguntas
e um professor em minha alma
E assim vai indo…

Não te aproximes ou vou ter que sair
Segurando-me como a gravidade
estão lugares que puxam
Se alguma vez houvera
alguém para me manter em casa
Serias tu…

Todos aqueles que encontro
em gaiolas que compraram
Pensam em mim e nas minhas deambulações
mas eu nunca sou o que eles pensaram
Eu tenho a minha indignação
mas sou puro em todos os meus pensamentos
Eu estou vivo…

O vento em meus cabelos, sinto-me parte de todos os lugares
Sob o meu ser está uma estrada que desapareceu
Tarde da noite eu ouço as árvores
elas estão cantando com os mortos
Sobre a minha cabeça…

Deixa-me comigo mesmo enquanto encontro uma forma de ser
Considera-me um satélite, orbitando para sempre
Eu conhecia todas as regras
mas as regras não me conheciam a mim

by Eddie Vedder
Guaranteed, in Into the Wild (film), © 2007
Free translation to Portuguese by Zé Barbosa.
Video clip edited by Zé Barbosa[1].
  1. Front photo is an original from our gallery.

Moody Spirits

Each of us is a combination of body and spirit. Or is it body and soul? Or is it body, spirit and soul? Or just body but life without an immaterial component of us, where we can file those little things we have decided they’re much beyond the body, makes no sense to us?

Does our spiritual existence really exist? What about the famous soul, associated to a distress signal very much internationalized known as SOS[1]? Both spirit and soul are very much connected to one’s religiosity. Soul is more used for feelings and emotions, spirit can sometimes be confused with ghost. Soul can feel pain. Spirit not. Soul is very often used in catholic environments. So does spirit.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Though many traditions vary, this prayer is usually recited with the Sign of the Cross gesture, which is typically done by bringing the thumb, index and middle finger together (representing the trinity) and touching the forehead while saying, “In the name of the Father,” then touching the lower chest while saying, “and of the Son,” then touching the shoulder (left first in western traditions, right first in eastern traditions) while saying, “and of the Holy” then crossing to the other shoulder saying, “Spirit.” And finally touching the lips with a kiss, before saying, “Amen.”

— Extracted from World

Thom Yorke, leader of Radiohead, a British band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire (UK), in charge of band’s vocals, guitar and piano, is one of those beings about what I use to say to be owners of “a certain singularity”. His music is quite attractive and his songs’ lyrics very clear as mud, sometimes. His singularity can be immediately detected in the video-clip here below, right at the beginning of his performance, just before he starts singing. But it’s confirmed by every facial expression, every vocal sound and every phrase of the lyrics he is singing in this very beautiful song. Street Spirit (Fade Out) is about mind hallucinations[2]. Life is kind an one way street. You start walking it down by birth, you stop walking it when you pass away. During your trip, you will go through different situations and your perceptions of it depend very much on your spirit’s (or soul’s) firmware[3]. But they also depend, for example, on the shops, the service departments, the traffic, the washing waters and trash buckets, the interceptions and respective traffic-lights, the buildings and, of course, the passers-by and the bystanders. No idea about what street Thom Yorke has been gone through but it seems to be quite a turbulent one.

Interesting is the fact of many human beings, music lovers, rather seek moody musical themes as a soundtrack for his moody moments in life. Some people can’t understand this. In fact, at a first analysis, if you feel sad you should choose those songs which would destroy that negative mood. Meaning, joyful songs for moody moments. However, it simply doesn’t work according to what seems to be logic. I, for instance, always have chosen depressive music for depressive moments. Nevertheless, I own one of the best sense of humors on earth and I am not a very much seriousness oriented man. But I feel good cementing my depressive moments with even more depressive music. It works fine. It’s a kind of “let’s go pretty much down until we reach a point when the only way to keep going is up”. Nonsense? Yep, I think so but it’s the way my mind works. And my spirit it’s pretty much well trained for that. My spirit, not my soul because I don’t own one.

So what is the difference between the soul and the spirit?

We are a spirit being, we live in a body and we possess a soul. The real person inside of us is our spirit. Our soul consists of our mind, will and emotions. Our bodies are obviously what we live in while we are here on earth. How did demonic spirits vex and possess (control) people in the Bible? It was through their souls (minds, as in mental illness and insanity), and their bodies (as in the woman who had the spirit of infirmity).

— Extracted from Great Bible

May the gods be with the wandering spirits of life and the lost souls…

In English

Rows of houses, all bearing down on me.
I can feel their blue hands touching me.
All these things into position,
All these things we’ll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out.

This machine will, will not communicate
These thoughts and the strain I am under.
Be a world child, form a circle
Before we all go under
And fade out again and fade out again.

Cracked eggs, dead birds
Scream as they fight for life.
I can feel death, can see its beady eyes.
All these things into position,
All these things we’ll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out again.

Immerse your soul in love.
Immerse your soul in love.

Em Português

Filas de casas, todas caindo sobre mim
Posso sentir suas mãos azuis me tocando
Todas essas coisas posicionando-se
Todas essas coisas um dia vamos engolir completamente
E de novo se desvanecerem, e se desvanecerem

Esta máquina não vai, não vai comunicar
Estes pensamentos e a tensão que me esmagam
Sê uma criança do mundo, forma um círculo
Antes de todos irmos abaixo
E de novo nos desvanecermos, e de novo nos desvanecermos

Ovos partidos, pássaros mortos
Gritam como se lutassem pela vida
Posso sentir a morte, posso ver o seu olhar radiante
Todas essas coisas posicionando-se
Todas essas coisas um dia vamos engolir
E de novo se desvanecerem, e se desvanecerem

Submerge a tua alma em amor
Submerge a tua alma em amor

by Radiohead
Street Spirit (Fade Out), in The Bends, © 1995
Free translation to Portuguese by Zé Barbosa.
Video clip edited by Zé Barbosa[4].
  1. Save Our Souls.
  2. Yeah, if we are talking about hallucination it can only be mind’s.
  3. In electronic systems and computing, firmware is the combination of persistent memory and program code and data stored in it. I frequently use this technical word to refer to innate data in human beings. Firmware is already there when you buy some electronic devices or, else, any computer. You may change it later on. I wonder how good would be for us to do the same with human beings…
  4. Original photo from our gallery showing a landscape in Vila Nova da Cerveira, Portugal.

I Am -part 2

Now the part concerning my hometown. End of a normal day. I drove down to the city’s riverside[1] with the decision of taking images from my hometown at dusk. It could be at dawn but that would imply to wake up very early in the morning and grab that phase of the early day when light captivates image hunters. No, not in the mood for that. Let’s keep it easy. Dusks are very pretty too…

Massarelos (Portuguese pronunciation: mɐsɐˈɾɛluʃ) is a Portuguese parish, located in the municipality of Porto. It has a population of 7,756 inhabitants and a total area of 1.94 km².

The municipality includes parts of the city’s old downtown, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Other landmarks include Porto’s main Custom House, Rosa Mota sports hall, Porto’s major fish market and the Campo Alegre neighborhood, where a theatre and several buildings of the University of Porto are located.

Instead of writing here a long story, which I would not be able to write because my birth was a very common one, I rather decided to pick the images I got with my Sony AVCHD handycam[2] and make a very short video-clip showing my beautiful “birth corner”. I did it in a very much Portuguese way. I combined some ingredients who turned me to be very much close to fado and its gray, sad and miserable components. No wonder, Porto it’s a gray town. As much gray as Portuguese are, the gods know why and what for. But I am Portuguese and I never deny my roots. Being so, I mixed nice urban dusk coloring with moody, yet fabulous, musical themes from two of my (actual) favorite bands: “Exogenesis (Overture)” from Muse and “Sentient” from Anathema. Amazing! Two rock bands providing a moody movie soundtrack. That’s my clue: I will never be a famous movie director.

I must confess I create these clips thinking much more about the music than about the image. I know very little about image processing[3]. Even so, there it is. A real happy moment converted, through a single video-clip, to a moment possibly seen as a dramatic one. Yes, that day when I went downtown to gather a urban landscape and a human life? Was a great day. Today, while creating the movie? Comme ci, comme ça…

This is the way I am and I feel good…

See text above for music authors.
Video clip created by Zé Barbosa[4].
  1. This is the oldest part of Porto and for that reason the most visited by tourists.
  2. For those wanting to know details, my video-camera it’s the model HDR-CX560VE. It’s really high definition. However, to show the movie here, in a FLV player, the original file has to be converted first to WMV format, after edition, and finally to FLV. Result: big quality losses.
  3. Considering the image itself, there is no processing at all made over the original images. This Sony’s video-camera has a tremendous capacity for adapting itself to tough light variations.
  4. Original photo from our gallery showing Porto’s riverside, Portugal.

Where do you think you’re going?

Between the answer “no where” and the “I don’t know”, there are a lot of possible other answers to this question depending on the structural formation of the person you’re inquiring. Structural formation! Wow, I am really a good bullshit maker…

One of these days I was in my son’s bedroom trying to play his electrical guitar and there was he, watching me with that childish looking of a son looking at his old father while thinking “yeah, you’d better be planting potatoes”. I have realized I was not deserving his admiration at the same time my finger tips were already hurting because I do not play guitar since I was a couple of years older than my son is today. So I said “take your guitar and play something nice for me”. I was thinking about Muse as I and him are big fans of that British band but no, he went through some themes from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, other bands from my youth and, imagine, Dire Straits! So, my boy is not living his time, he is living mine. I mean, musically speaking, of course…

Mark Knopfler was the leader of Dire Straits. When he left the band, 1995, to continue his solo projects, the band died. I remember many musics made by that band but above all I remember that very much specific style of Mark Knopfler playing his guitar. After its appearance, the band went right away to the top of the world musical scene because Dire Straits had a style which was really unique by then. Great guitar player, writer, composer and singer, Mark Knopfler was and still his one of my favorites. It seems now he is one of my son’s favorites as well.

Out of all those themes, I have chosen this one here, “Where Do You Think You’re Going?”, which caused some impact on me, in that phase of my youth, because it’s a hell of question, isn’t it?. There was no romance associated to my preference. Yes, I had then my girlfriend but there was no reason to give relevance to the whole lyrics of this song because I and she were going fine and there was no need to tell her “you better go with me or you gonna be without me”. So, I have decided to pick that song and make a slight video edition to include the translation of its lyrics to Portuguese, my native language. Even so, I must confess that, while editing, I have thought about many people I know who have not a single clue about where they think they’re going in life but that was not the main issue here. I also thought about those people I already have met and clearly have no idea of where they think they’re going to when they take this or that action.

May the gods help us going somewhere…

by Dire Straits
Where do you think you’re going?, in Communiqué (Dire Straits album), © 1979
Video clip edited by Zé Barbosa (includes subtitles in Portuguese).

Into The Sun

Former vocalist of Nightwish, a Finnish heavy metal music band where at a certain point her voice was replaced by another female voice, the singer-songwriter and composer Tarja Turunen[1], born August 17, 1977, always have impressed me by the power of her voice and, of course, her monumental northern beauty.

Tarja Turunen

I met Nightwish for the first time a couple of years ago and I immediately got caught for some of their ballads, one of them already presented here in this blog. That song, While Your Lips Are Still Red, which I made my family “voluntarily” listening to for a couple of weeks, is performed by one of the male members of the band, Marco Hietala, who owns a powerful male voice. Tarja had already left the band in 2005[2] and that beautiful song, which was part of a movie’s soundtrack, wouldn’t be that much beautiful if it were sung by her as I think that everything in that theme was pointing to a male voice.

What really impressed me on Tarja, was her decision to use her female voice very well trained for classical music in a heavy metal band. I don’t like heavy metal, generally speaking, but the truth is that some of their themes, surely not the heavy ones, sound pretty good to me. And Tarja makes of some Nightwish’s themes a sound that I will never forget. If you wanna give it a try, play for instance “Sleeping Sun”, here below, where you’ll clearly notice her lyric soprano style. Well, her voice, the music and the images of a middle-age battle will carry you into a fantasy world which, actually, I do love sometimes to be carried into.

What is a northern female beauty? Well, thinking of North of Europe, when I look at Tarja, I am transported to countries like Denmark, Norway and Finland, lands formerly walked by the famous barbarians Vikings. I know she is not blond but who says that every woman in the north has to be blond? Anyhow, out of all videos I watched on, Tarja is always awesome in her performances. What a woman! What a singer!

Feel like knowing more about Tarja Turunen? Then have a look at her website.

Meanwhile, may the gods keep creating women like this one…

  1. Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen, from Kitee, Finland.
  2. It seems this band breakup was not a very nice story. Some people say that it was caused by a Tarja’s behavior not very much appreciated by the rest of the band’s members. Who knows? It could be. Her beauty is not a guarantee of a delightful personality…