Category Archives: NO MONSTERS

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.

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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).

 

 

 

I believe it.

The Christian afterlife tale. There’s Heaven, where the people you’ve loved and have loved you beatifically wait for you to join them in eternity —and, in the meantime, watch on you and talk to you and you talk to them and respond to them and only them; they laugh at you and you laugh with them, and cry as well.

That’s a selected group up there.

 

And I feel good.

I’m in a process of purposeful de-intellectualizing.

Ropits

My last morning ride came with an unexpected pleasure in the form of a little fatty robin I came across on the road. Not that I ‘d say the bird in question is rare or difficult to spot; but it was there, it was beautiful, and the encounter if you can call it so had some kind of intimacy about the way and the scenery and the slightly rough weather conditions at the moment it took place.

Rides are becoming a bit more adventurous as the winter little by little comes in. Roads are dangerous —always; now much more, even intimidating to tell you the truth. I learned it the hard way a few weeks ago.

These days, one very small slip of the mind is all it takes for you to be off and out and bruised if not broken. Concentration on the bike is king. Beware each and every moment if there’s wet on the road, on your tires; dirt in the form of pebbles, or fallen leaves, rocks, twigs, whatever. Mind the bumps and potholes; factor in the sharpness of the oncoming bend and the varying width of the road and find the right line while bending —incline at your own risk. And pray for gusts not to enter into the equation as the unknown.

Riding is less fun this way. But then there is the increased silence and quiet on the road and the thrill of both solitude and grayness on the hills, along with the welfare you get from those sunny winter mornings whenever you chance upon one on the right side of the mountain if you do.

And the robins of course.

Galilea

Saturday morning ride, as Strava puts it. I spot some doodles on a traffic sign, Kill cyclists, then mended, Love cyclists.

FELLOW BIKERS. I can’t help noting most of the cyclists I bump into on the road are old men; that leaves me wondering in misery, whether this is just and old men’s sport or if the routes I take are so insultingly easy for the aficionados that younger cyclists avoid them altogether.

DEAR FELLOW BIKERS, young or old. Since a smile is obviously way too much to ask of you, what about just a simple, trifle, uncompromisingly merely-acknowledging nod when we run into each other? Won’t settle even for that?

ON THE ROAD. But I ride like a pro this time for the first time! I enjoy my way hills up, even attacking them although briefly at certain spots. I try to swing my body left or right on my way down and have a pleasant feeling of the road and the wind as a result. I don’t set my foot on the ground not a single time —and when I arrive at my destiny goal I feel strong enough to keep on going a little further up.

Saturday afternoon. Zidane orders Cristiano out of the field. He shows himself braver than I thought, but less intelligent?

Saturday evening. Steve Jobs—the film, the one from 2015. A fine work of dramatization, which manages to keep a high level of tension from start to end—kudos to the film editor and to the great performances both by Seth Rogen as Wozniak and Kate Winslet as Hoffman.

 

Prizes bah

Sunday evening. The Emmys are around, and so many times J. said about watching The Americans but we didn’t, and what if it wins? So we hurry to watch its first episode and it’s not so good —almost quite bad, or worse —quite average.

And the Emmys… are you kidding me, Emmys? The almost insufferable season six of Game of Thrones takes it all? Come off it!

Monday morning. Three fourths into My Brilliant Friend by the ghostly Elena Ferrante and she tries but she doesn’t reach. Elena, if you want to succeed at depicting an irresistible power one person unwillingly, or not, have over another, just go and read the masterpiece —Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.

Speaking about ghosts, I have a feeling that a movie I saw a few months ago is better than the credit I gave it then —you know that when it comes back to you, unexpectedly: The Awakening.

Sweet Loretta

If life’s a journey, it’s a round one —and I feel I’ve started to get back.

Back to the core of what I am — that what you were before you began to deny it, adorn it, betray it, confuse it, belie it.

Slowly, unremittingly and savourily.

If experience has given you the intelligence to discern it and the courage to accept it, that’s it.

I’ve got both.

Breathe for two now

A young coworker of mine announced she was pregnant with her first baby. She looked so radiant and was such filled with happiness, it moved me.

Daredevil

I fully enjoyed Neflix’s Marvel’s Daredevil, season 2 (season 1 too, of course). I was:

  • Surprised  by the plot’s turns (very imaginative, but neither far-fetched or fancy; almost never anticipated them).
  • Admired with the clever, patient way in which the screen writers have given evolving emotions to their character’s personalities —that both makes them credible and the psychology fine.
  • Pleased with the cinematography, the scenery, and the fighting choreography.
  • Astonished at how well attained an unexpected, subtle blend is between the comic book’s lines and stuff and those of ordinary life.

And great acting too.

 

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