H o n e s t a    M e n t e

  Honesta Mente

Brazilian programmer, I live in Champaign, IL. I write what I feel like writing, whenever I have a need to write.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

And so... iPod to the rescue!

So I decided to finally get an iPod. I did it on the same day I boarded a plane to Rio de Janeiro from Miami.

If you've never been on a plane to Brazil during the holidays, picture those overcrowded shots of the Tokio subway, now stick that into a plane setting and you'll get the picture perfectly. It's packed, and people make a lot of noise. It's usually very aggravating for someone like me, and from what I could tell from everyone else around, it's aggravating to all. Anyway, back to my trip yesterday...

I managed to charge the iPod in the airport lounge while I waited for the boarding call. Unbelievably fast, this firewire stuff, all my files were transferred in a few minutes, and I have more than 1700 songs. Since this to me felt very different, I decided to start up with the Beatles and "Revolution" when I lined up to board. Of course, the white headphones get puzzled looks from people, but nobody says a word.

I stand in line waiting to get in the plane, inside that "tube" and Yesterday starts, I start humming it very low, nobody seems to care and I having a good time in the "tube" for the first time ever. I get in, start moving towards my seat, see someone else with white headphones on. I realize the guy has an iPod, our eyes meet, he realizes I listening to an iPod as well. We exchange nods, suddenly realizing wee a little bit ahead of everyone else, because we're not bothered by the whole plane boarding, we have our music. I suddenly experience an urge to exchange headphones, but get a hold of myself and keep going.

The stewardess (or airplane attendante, depending on how PC you are) stops me in midstep, asks me if I listening to a CD. I show her the iPod, say it's not a CD. She says "oh, it's a tape... ok, then. If it was a CD you'd have to turn it off". I try to explain to her there is no tapes either, she gives me the most confuse look I have ever seen, asks me if it's radio, I say no once again and leave. The Beatles start playing "I saw her standing there" and when I sat, I caught her staring me as if I were an alien.

The man in the aisle seat starts rambling about how Brazilians always make a mess of things. He wanted to be alone in the 3-seat combo on the left side and I was sitting in the middle one. "You can't trust Brazilians", he explains, when he notices I speak English well. The man is stressing when "Nowhere Man" starts.

Everyone is putting their luggage on top, people are trying to move through the aisles, some people start discussing somewhere near the first class, stress level raising. Meanwhile, Paul screams "one, two, three, four!" and the Beatles start on "I saw her standing there". I'm having a blast, the whole place is nervous. I suddenly realize the iPod is making this whole thing easy. The captain says something on the speakers and the video starts outside when Let It Be is blasting.

To top it all off, the plane is taxying and it's about to take off when "Get Back" starts playing, and I go back to Rio with a huge smile on my face, the only huge smile in the plane, while the fab four tell me to get back to where I once belonged. Simply wonderful.

Thanks, Apple, for the iPod. You guys made my plane trip not only bearable but actually very pleasant.

by Mau on 12/13/2003 07:39:00 AM | #
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

My favorite Simon & Garfunkel song together with Scarborough Fair

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of edu---cation
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
my sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away

by Mau on 12/10/2003 06:14:00 PM | #
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Friday, December 05, 2003

Good music!

So I'm at the office now, bored to death. No Internet, a lot of work done, so I might as well write a bit. The other people in the office have met in another room to discuss the best techniques for ripping DVDs and keeping the data at the file server. Un-freakin-believable. It's really a miracle that anything gets done here. Wait a minute, I'm wrong, nothing here gets done... Case in point: we still don't have Internet, 3 weeks after moving here, and to top it off, a 16-hour script I was running last night was broken in half because they disconnected my machine from the db server! Reason given: "Oops! Huh... you know, things will get a little jumpy until everything is finished here, so don't trust these connections too much."

I don't mean to be too grouchy, but people have been working on moving to this office since April. That's right, you read April. And I'm still unwired. Go figure...

On to bigger and better things...

If you like music and haven't heard Astor Piazzola playing his own Adiós Noniño, you don't know what's good and should therefore not be allowed to make any decision more important than choosing your brand of toothpaste. Even then you should look for supervision. So go listen to it, and choose Colgate Total, it works for 12 hours!

Go ahead, listen, really listen to the chaos of accordion and strings, the subsequent subtlety of melody creeping up and then suddenly, a lone, high-pitched violin! The most amazing melody line, backed by a master accordion, and out of nowhere, more chaos. Surreptitiously, the same melodic line that drove the entire amazement in the piece's youth returns. It returns first through the master's sole accordion and then the piano and the rest all join up in a crescendo only to end in a last gasping effort of sound.

It's life, expressed in music.

Still in the subject of cool-latin-music-people-don't-know-much-about, I suggest you go to your nearest file-sharing application and download anything that Carlos Vives did, most notably a song called "Carito". It's a fun, contagious beat, and if you understand Spanish, the lyrics are funny and nostalgic, about an English teacher!

"Y yo la recuerdo cantando, porque me dejo muy triste, para su tierra se fué.
Carito me habla el ingles, que bonito se le vê,
Carito me habla el ingles, que me disse yo no sé..."

In other songs, such as "Dejame Entrar", he is lyric, poetic:

"Ser tu partida y tu llegada, quiero nacer desde tu calma
Dejame ser tus pensamientos, saber lo que llevas por dentro
Dejame entrar en tu silencio, dejame ver en tus recuerdos
Para saber que sieres tu la niña que llevo en mis sueños"

Hmmm... I think I can translate that...

"To be your beginning and your end, I want to be born from your serenity,
Let me be your thoughts, know what you bring inside yourself,
Let me enter your silence, let me look into your memories,
To know that it is you, the girl I take with me when dreaming."

Sheeeesh! It sounds waaaay better in the original... The amazing thing is that he couples this lyricism with some really fun rythms and most of the time the lyrics lose importance. I turn Carlos Vives on my iTunes when I need a boost of energy at work, when things are boring. So only recently I started noticing some of the lyrics would translate to "you perfume the dawns with your body's aroma". Hopeless romantic that I am, I'm even more into it now.

Well, must go back to the grind. I'll post this tonight...

by Mau on 12/05/2003 08:09:00 AM | #
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Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Still no Internet at my office.

I try to hold back the sarcasm and then I realize I work at a software development company, which has not been able to determine ahead of time that perhaps a phone and Internet might be essential for the company's day-to-day business, connecting to customers, etc. Also, even though I offered quite vocally to solve that problem by sharing an Internet connection through the fax line to everyone, and was turned down. So now I have to come home to contact my client.

Oh, yeah... did you notice I mentioned the fax? Yeah, the fax was working for a week before somebody finally gave an ok to Jorge, the only other person in that office who appears to care, to connect the PBX so that at least we could have a phone.

So, the world is still nuts.

On the good side, I have just returned from a four-day trip that was extremely fun, tiring, stressful, relaxing, lovely, craaaazy good. If all weekends lasted four days, less things would get done but at least we would all be really happy. Well, I would be anyway...

Getting ready for Rio, 10 days and counting....

by Mau on 12/02/2003 07:14:00 PM | #
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