Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More Brazilian Music

Elis Regina sings Águas de Março by Antonio Carlos Jobim

É pau, é pedra, é o fim do caminho
É um resto de toco, é um pouco sozinho
É um caco de vidro, é a vida, é o sol
É a noite, é a morte, é um laço, é o anzol
É peroba do campo, é o nó da madeira
Caingá, candeia, é o Matita Pereira

É madeira de vento, tombo da ribanceira
É o mistério profundo, é o queira ou não queira
É o vento ventando, é o fim da ladeira
É a viga, é o vão, festa da cumeeira
É a chuva chovendo, é conversa ribeira
Das águas de março, é o fim da canseira
É o pé, é o chão, é a marcha estradeira
Passarinho na mão, pedra de atiradeira

É uma ave no céu, é uma ave no chão
É um regato, é uma fonte, é um pedaço de pão
É o fundo do poço, é o fim do caminho
No rosto o desgosto, é um pouco sozinho

É um estrepe, é um prego, é uma conta, é um conto
É uma ponta, é um ponto, é um pingo pingando
É um peixe, é um gesto, é uma prata brilhando
É a luz da manhã, é o tijolo chegando
É a lenha, é o dia, é o fim da picada
É a garrafa de cana, o estilhaço na estrada
É o projeto da casa, é o corpo na cama
É o carro enguiçado, é a lama, é a lama

É um passo, é uma ponte, é um sapo, é uma rã
É um resto de mato, na luz da manhã
São as águas de março fechando o verão
É a promessa de vida no teu coração

É uma cobra, é um pau, é João, é José
É um espinho na mão, é um corte no pé
É um passo, é uma ponte, é um sapo, é uma rã
É um belo horizonte, é uma febre terçã
São as águas de março fechando o verão
É a promessa de vida no teu coração

English lyrics

A stick, a stone,
It's the end of the road,
It's the rest of a stump,
It's a little alone

It's a sliver of glass,
It is life, it's the sun,
It is night, it is death,
It's a trap, it's a gun

The oak when it blooms,
A fox in the brush,
A knot in the wood,
The song of a thrush

The wood of the wind,
A cliff, a fall,
A scratch, a lump,
It is nothing at all

It's the wind blowing free,
It's the end of the slope,
It's a beam, it's a void,
It's a hunch, it's a hope

And the river bank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the end of the strain,
The joy in your heart

The foot, the ground,
The flesh and the bone,
The beat of the road,
A slingshot's stone

A fish, a flash,
A silvery glow,
A fight, a bet,
The range of a bow

The bed of the well,
The end of the line,
The dismay in the face,
It's a loss, it's a find

A spear, a spike,
A point, a nail,
A drip, a drop,
The end of the tale

A truckload of bricks
in the soft morning light,
The shot of a gun
in the dead of the night

A mile, a must,
A thrust, a bump,
It's a girl, it's a rhyme,
It's a cold, it's the mumps

The plan of the house,
The body in bed,
And the car that got stuck,
It's the mud, it's the mud

Afloat, adrift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the promise of life
It's the joy in your heart

A stick, a stone,
It's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump,
It's a little alone

A snake, a stick,
It is John, it is Joe,
It's a thorn in your hand
and a cut in your toe

A point, a grain,
A bee, a bite,
A blink, a buzzard,
A sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle,
A sting, a pain,
A snail, a riddle,
A wasp, a stain

A pass in the mountains,
A horse and a mule,
In the distance the shelves
rode three shadows of blue

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the promise of life
in your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone,
The end of the road,
The rest of a stump,
A lonesome road

A sliver of glass,
A life, the sun,
A knife, a death,
The end of the run

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the end of all strain,
It's the joy in your heart.

NB: (wiki again)"Composer-guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves relates that Jobim told him that writing in this kind of stream of consciousness was his version of therapy and saved him thousands in psychoanalysis bills".
how cool :-)

Shampoo struggle

Ok, so I have a very special relationships with the shampoos - for some reason, it is extremely hard for me to find a suitable shampoo for my seemingly undemanding hair. I mean - it's straight, normal, I don't dye it, it's not too thick but there's quite enough of it - you might think that it could be happy with just anything. But no, it's not. When it's unhappy with the shampoo I'm treating it to, it gets fluffy - not in a good way, dull, although normally it's super-shiny :-), and my scalp gets itchy. Yuk.

The problem is that the result I get with this or that shampoo is highly unpredictable. It doesn't depend on price. I've had some VERY bad experience with VERY expensive shampoos.

Specifically, the japanese proffessional hair cair brand MoltoBene - well, I personally find $30+ very expensive for a shampoo. That was a total disaster, my hair looked really bad - unwashed and unwanted. I'm ashamed of it now, but I actually used up the whole big jar, because I was genuinely hoping that such a "high-end" shampoo can't but be doing me good. Even if you can't tell it by the way it looks. Not that I'm saying that this is a bad brand. I've read tons of the reviews (why do you thinj I bougth it?) of the happy and satisfied customers. Too bad I can't be one of them.

On the other hand I've had some really good experience with some mass-market shampoos (NOT ALL OF THEM) and even with some - very unknown globally - and very reasonably priced (to say the least) Russian and Belorussian shampoos.

At the moment I have the following shampoos in heavy rotation:
1. Gliss Kur

2. Elseve by L'Oreal

3. Butter milk shampoo by a Belorussian company Exclusive Cosmetic

It costs less than 2 dollars and claims to have multyvitamines and lactoserum extract. Well, I don't know how exactly they manage it but is is a great shampoo for its price. For any price actually - I mean, I have only good tings to say about it, although a friend of mine complained of getting dandruff after using it. Well, nothing of the kind happened to me. And it smells of vanilla :-D

4. Jacque Dessange

And that's it. I don't find it sufficient and would love to add something to this selection, but at this point I am too cautious with the shampoos.
Even though I do realise how individual the preferences in shampoos may be - and this post proves it only too well, I'm still open for any recommendations :-)

Oh, you might ask, what all this has to do with happiness :-)))))))) Well, when my hair is happy - I'm happy too. So we're happy together :-)))))


Berimbau (Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell)

Quem e homem de bem nao trai
O amor que lhe quer seu bem
Quem diz muito que vai, nao vai
Assim como nao vai, nao vem
Quem de dentro de si nao sai
Vai morrer sem amar ningue…m
O dinheiro de quem nao da
E o trabalho de quem nao tem
Capoeira que e bom nao cai
Mas se um dia ele cai, cai bem

Capoeira me mandou dizer que ja chegou
Chegou para lutar
Berimbau me confirmou vai ter briga de amor
Tristeza camara

Astrud Gilberto (original) by stevemxa13

Coral Brasil Ensemble & BR Jazz

Badi Assad & Toquinho

Nossa Alma Canta (live at Venice carnival). You can actually see the berimbaus* here :)

*The berimbau is a single-string percussion instrument, a musical bow, from Brazil. The berimbau's origins are not entirely clear, but there is not much doubt on its African origin, as no Indigenous Brazilian or European people use musical bows, and very similar instruments are played in the southern parts of Africa. The berimbau was eventually incorporated into the practice of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira, where it commands how the capoeiristas move in the roda (Wiki)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie on House, fame and LA

A recent poll put Laurie in the top five favourite television personalities in the US, up there with Oprah and Jay Leno. This popularity is due to his role as Dr Gregory House, which has also won him critical acclaim (two Emmys) and financial security (he supposedly gets $200,000 per episode). “That’s an exaggeration. I am being very handsomely paid, though. My ship has come in and I’ll be forever grateful.” He has made three series of House to date, is halfway through the fourth and is signed up for three more. Will he then be able never to work again? “That would depend on how long I live,” he replies (he is 48), with impeccable logic. “If I step under a bus in a week’s time, the answer is yes.”

The holy grail of American television is to make 100 episodes (House is up to 82). “Then you sell it to syndication and it’s on for ever and it will haunt you in a Hong Kong hotel bedroom.” Will he get a slice of that? “I don’t know, I think they have to pay something to the cast.” Er, shouldn’t he find out? “That was all on page 65 of the contract. At the time [when the pilot episode was made] I blindly signed up thinking it wouldn’t go anywhere. I don’t know what the odds are [of a pilot becoming a long-running hit] – one in 100? One in 200? Not that I regret it. It’s just at the time I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into.”

What he was getting himself into was nine months a year in a rented flat in Los Angeles, away from his wife and three children in London, 15 hours of filming a day, sometimes six days a week. For obvious reasons, he is reluctant to complain, yet, “It is a bit of a gilded cage, I suppose. But what are the choices? Everything in life is an exchange of sorts. The one thing that bedevils actors, lack of security, I have gained at the expense of freedom.”
Given that he has mentioned the shrink, how often does he see him? “Once a week for an hour. I’d been doing this job over there for a while, and I hate to use the word stressful – it’s not stressful like being in Baghdad – but it got to me, and continues to do so from time to time in a big way. But things are only stressful if you care about them. Marcus Aurelius, I think it was who said, ‘If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.’”
In House, I ask, how much acting is he doing? “Oh, a lot. I’m working quite hard. I’m conscious of the artifice with every gesture.” Why has the public taken this not very likeable character to its heart? “Oh, he is likeable, he’s just not good. But we don’t only like people because they’re good. He’s funny, honest, very good at what he does. I would like him if I met him, and I also feel absurd talking about a fictional character, so I’d better stop.”