Harden up

Wind, rain, and snow, plenty of. Midway I began to fear my toes would freeze. Chainset and sprockets started to malfunction just in the middle of nowhere, with heavy snow falling on a beautiful white for once landscape. A shame all these worries didn’t let me fully enjoy the ride. Pretty decent times for all the trouble. I feel increasingly safe on the bike.

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I wonder, is there an end to the talk about how to rinse, cut, sink, brush and comb the curls, perms, braids, buns and ponytails in which my female coworkers passionately engage every time any of them makes the slightest, most unnoticeable to-no-one-except-them modification of her straight, dry, greasy, dyed, iron-curled or whatever scalp they happen to own at the moment? ‘Cos in my office at least it is relentless, incessant, non-stop, formidable.

T’ha costat anys, xiquet.

You know the type. They give you things you haven’t asked for.

Recently I was given one thousand, ten thousand maybe, I don’t know, almonds. They all came from a very old, purely Majorcan almond tree —no bullshit here, those were almonds with pedigree from the land. Smaller than the foreign ones, that’s for sure; but you’ll test them boy and you’re gonna tell me.

So I thanked him with a big smile, of course, almost rented a small van to carry’em home, kind of emptied a room just to store them, went shopping for an almond cracker… and here I am, cracking open the assuredly best almonds in the world, day after day, until God knows when.

My grandma used a hammer and was far much better at it than I am, but I’m sure enough she nevertheless will be proud to see her grandson doing something useful and laborius in his life for once at last.

I’ve seen a bunch of good movies lately

(some spoilers below)

American Honey. Can there be romance, happiness, on a rundown bus and in dirty motels, selling mags?

King Jack. He just fell off his bike. That outmoded.

Eye in the Sky. You and me are not in that room.

Morris From America. Everyone should be a stranger some time somewhere.

The Shallows. Visually stunning.

Elle. Everything is unusual here: the approach to rape, to virtue and vice, to lesbianism, to work relations, even to religion and fatherhood.

Hell or High Water. Men in all ways authentic, for better and for worse. Superb acting and storytelling.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople and The Lobster. Essentially the same film —there’s no escape, period.

Nocturnal Animals. Failure to comply with the ancestral bases of both femininity and masculinity will lead to this mutual revenge.

Florence Foster Jenkins. Frears could have followed the usual cynical path but deliberately chooses to tell the story the benevolent way, what makes the film unique, and touching, funny and pathetic.

The Edge of Seventeen. Maybe the story is not about her, after all. Great performance again from Hailee Steinfeld (Mattie Ross in the extraordinary True Grit), and a good one from Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some, excellent film by the way).