A superb drawing by Nuno (http://vinyleraser.wordpress.com/).
Palacio Barolo, a skyscraper built after the Divine Comedy. The top floors represent Heaven, the ones in the middle Purgatory and the first floor and basement, Hell. It has a ton of references to the poem by Dante, and Luis Barolo (the guy that commissioned the building) allegedly wanted to store Dante’s ashes here.
Right before leaving for the airport (the top of my backpack can be seen behind me) I went to Chris’s house to jam one more time. He had this cool bass riff, so he wrote some lyrics right there on the fly, extended the bass part and I tried to make something up with the guitar. I am not happy with my playing, but given the lack of time and how fast we did it I suppose it is OK. Chris is here playing the bass (though he is an awesome guitar player actually) and singing, while I improvise with his acoustic guitar.
The beer is one of Chris’s home-brewed beers (I will recommend those, if he ever distributes them). Everything was filmed with an iPAD (using its internal microphone).
My friend Betina won some days ago a writing contest for her novel “Las Poseidas” (The Possessed) organized by a well-known Spanish editorial (Tusquets). It was the first time a woman wins that contest. Besides the money award, she gets her book published by an outstanding editorial, with the possibility of getting it translated into other languages. So basically and for some time now she has won an award every time she has submitted a novel or short story to a contest. It is good to know that literature of that quality is still praised, and in this case it is even better because it is a great life story: She had no contacts in the literary world, she did not care to put energy into networking, and by nothing else but the sheer force of her extraordinary talent she has won award after award. I also know how hard she has worked to perfect that natural talent, even when it was obvious from the start that she was simply outstanding.
What amazes me about her writing (besides the fact that her sentences are like small poems) is how layered her stories are: She usually writes a seemingly straightforward plot, but underneath that story she can be playing with literary genres, theorizing about how lies build up relationships, how memories distort our perception of people and ourselves, etc. Even if you miss that “underworld” you will still enjoy the main story, as she is first and foremost a narrator, but there is so much more waiting to be discovered. It is like finding a beautiful sculpture and thinking it is marvelous, until one day you realize it belonged to a huge temple. It is mind-blowing
This new prize was not well deserved, but rather inevitable.
un punto vidi che raggiava lume
acuto sì, che ‘l viso ch’elli affoca
chiuder conviensi per lo forte acume;
(Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Paradiso, Canto XXVIII)
This was my first day rock climbing outdoors, at Cathole, CT (I went to climb indoors twice before I tried the outdoors). I did have it better than Mike though, since his life was in my hands and I had learned to belay only the day before (and he is already a pro!). We took some time-lapses of us climbing, and this one is my first or second attempt. I would have never guessed rock climbing could be so addictive…
After the trip (last Sunday) I decided to add some music to the video. The guitar levels saturate at the beginning, but I was too tired to fix it (I should have probably recorded that part again). I think the video does a good job at capturing
my lack of technique how much fun it was
My friend Patrick performing his amazing song “Back Pocket”