Mar 30, 2021

Zeitgeist -- How to stay afloat in the days of Twitter

(1) Twitter didn't even exist when Monica Lewinsky was comforting Bill Clinton in the off-room of the Oval Office;

(2) That was 25 years ago;

(3) And now what? How to stay afloat 25 years later?

(4) Study physics and outdo Einstein?

(5) Or...

(6) Well, while you are studying physics, we study expressions such as:

(7) "Yesterday"...

(8) "All my troubles seemed so far away" (Beatles)

(9) "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my head..." (Eagles)

(10) Not quite, instead:

(11) "i [sic] hadn't driven on a highway i [sic] hadn't driven on in years"...

(12) ...and then, of course: "My dark decade"...

(12a) ("dark" (?)  -- don't they have electricity in the Oval Office?):

 

(13) Note the subtle tiptoeing around her own gender ("(she/her)"), as if she would be in doubt herself;

(14) We are so politically-incorrect here, it's intentional terrible intentional terrible...

(15) But we do this because 50% or more of all Twitter posts are like this: undiluted self-promotion of has-beens and non-entities.

(16) We know, we know, we are one of them.


Mar 28, 2021

Broken promises -- It's raining cats and dogs

We once assured you that there would never do a dog-or-cat post on this blog. Well, there you have it (the third one is the best):

Mar 22, 2021

Alcoa-Baça

 Pictorial warning: this is not an exciting picture, but...


...it answers a question that expats living in the Alcobaça area are facing when they move into town and learn that our name derives from the confluence of two rivers (or "rivers"), one called Alcoa and the other called Baça.
They may have searched Google Map and Google Earth for answers, yet in vain. Google is misleading, in that it elevates the weaselling Alcoa to a full-fledged Alcobaça:

There, there, the yellow arrows pointing at it: the misnaming of the Rio Alcoa by Google running past the east of our world-famous monastery. Google, the world's fifth-largest company by market capitalization (@ 1.3 trillion in American $$$), mistaking a pars pro toto as it cuts through our little town (@ 16 k inhabitants). But what can we do about it? 

Research. 

And so, at the top of this post you see photographed the real confluence of the two "rivers" where it occurs, at the phallic top of the Jardim do Amor...: 


...whence the entire river system of Alcobaça is about to say goodbye to our charming community and ejaculate carelessly into the Atlantic Ocean a few kilometres away. 

But the Baça, you ask, where does it show? Not on Google. But it shows on these pictures  we took yesterday: 

The Baça, just south of the confluence, as it arrives at the Rua 16 de Outobro

This rua just bridges over the Baça. But now, if we turn the camera in the opposite direction, we should see the southern part of the bridge with the Baça still flowing. Instead, we see this:


The Baça has disappeared. It's channelled underground through old Alcobaça downtown until it resurfaces 400 meters further south, here:


Yes, channelled underneath cobblestone alleys, but you can still hear her...

...if you can.

A mystery of expatriate importance finally solved! Read our lips: "Baça, Baça, Baça..."

Mar 11, 2021

Paredes da Vitória this afternoon (updated)

So, we received a new gate control per Nacex this afternoon at exactly15:06 (even though we are unfindable on Google maps (perhaps we should consider selling our place to some priceless celebrity at a priceless price)), and so we triumphantly decided to excurse on a visit to Paredes da Vitória, an ancient harbour which is now completely silted up by a marvellous beach, all this 10 km north of Nazaré.  

Waves were breaking several hundred meters out. A serious ocean, folks. That's why we came to Portugal.

And the gate control...well, we're working on it...


...note the Russian license plate! Dans le vent as always, we're operating in serious conspiracy territory. 

Mar 9, 2021

Alcobaça, this morning...

...or, to be more specific, a view of the eastern environs of Alcobaça seen through the haze of a very cold, very charming morning, as usual from our house. Note the outline of the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros on the horizon.

Mar 5, 2021

"I love you...Me neither" (updated)

 If you're old enough, you'll remember the eternal French words "Je t'aime...Moi non plus", spoken by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, in what...let's look this up...in 1969 (meaning you possibly won't (remember)).

But we got struck by this not so jugendfreie poster on the internet...

We added the fig-leaves after having read a beautiful essay in The New Yorker about Nabokov's Lolita 

...and feel encouraged to engage in another act of self-promotion by invoking our novel "Green Eyes", which--regular readers of this blog may have come to regret--is always about everything, and so it's also about this song...

We're in Chapter 17 of the GREEN EYES, and the whole thing is NOT jugendfrei at all, so you'll read this at your own risk. John, the narrator, and Alex, the lead character, have met once before, and now they meet again--in Johns bed: 

We’re back in the bedroom. We finally embrace, kiss. This is it, this is the moment. Should Alex expect me to sink to my knees now, unbutton his fly, like in the porn flicks? Or unzip his zipper, most porn flicks are so cheap, they don’t have money for the more expensive, button-holed Levis—-unzip his cheaper jeans and start caressing his briefs with my lips, drawing the attention to his budding tumescence under the cotton? 
Well, I might, at least in the sense that my bedroom looks almost as bad as the motel rooms where those flicks are shot. A chest, two wooden bedside tables, two wooden chairs. A timber-framed bed done in cherry imitation, a mattress and dirty sheets, a discordant collection of things that speak of my financial (and mental) condition. 
Yet Alex isn’t waiting for the cotton kiss (besides, he doesn’t wear any fly-enhanced leg-wear but is still clad in his hospital sweatpants). Instead, he undresses unceremoniously. T-shirt, pants, briefs, shoes, socks are all arranged into a neat pile on the second chair. 
He climbs onto the bed, folds himself into some relaxed, unassuming position, like a model in a drawing class, but without the attitude. The simplicity of his movements I will never forget, they changed my life.
I follow his example and make an unusual effort at apparel-folding. Although we had fairly rough sex the previous morning, there is not the least suggestion of anything untoward between us in the past, for all practical purposes we could be virgins. I lie next to him. 
“You’re beautiful,” he says, caressing my face. I’m caressing back. This would be the moment to say ‘I love you,’ although you never know what you get back, like ‘moi non plus,’ statistically the most honest answer (moi non plus, French, used by Serge Gainsbourg, the one and only basis for his fame, this noun phrase, meaning “me neither”), or ‘I love you too,’ but uttered unconvincingly, or ‘I love you too,’ uttered more convincingly, although you know it’s bullshit.

(I hold back.)

(I cannot hold back.)

“I love you,” I say.

“No sweat,” Alex comes back—-bypassing world literature from Homer to Spielberg. Have you ever heard anybody saying ‘no sweat’ in this situation? There’s a teasing movement of his eyelashes, although his green eyes stay neutral as if it’s head or tail. “In human sexual behavior,” he says, “foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create desire for sexual activity and sexual arousal.” Ooh, he’s so sweet!

(There's more educational content below, first the self-promotion:)


Green Eyes
"Click"

(And now the educational stuff:)


 

 (And the lyrics:)

Je t'aime, je t'aime
Oh oui, je t'aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens
Je t'aime, je t'aime
Oh oui, je t'aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Tu es la vague, moi l'île nue
Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Tu vas et tu viens
Entre mes reins
Et je te rejoins
Je t'aime, je t'aime
Oh oui, je t'aime
Moi non plus
Oh, mon amour
Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens
Tu vas, tu vas et tu viens
Entre


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