ChMDB (i)

Inaugurando o meu registo de filmes em que personagens comem e/ou cozinham chuchu.
(Aproveito para deixar duas notas: uma, de ÓDIO, à função caption do wOrDpReSs, por colocar um travessão que ninguém pediu antes do texto; outra, de admiração, à atriz Haley Lu Richardson, pela consistência na grossura das rodelas de chuchu que corta nesta cena.)

Columbus (Kogonada, '17)

Columbus (Kogonada, ’17)


(Thanks to M. for naming this phenomenon.)

WOOM is the sound you hear when the muscles deep within the back of your neck tighten up. I’m not sure if the sound comes from those muscles themselves, or if they are somehow pulling on your inner ears and that’s what’s generating it, but whatever it is is perceived as a WOOM sound.
It is associated (in my case at least) with a very pleasurable sensation, like something is caressing your neck from within — and the muscle tightness feels like a faint but satisfying espreguiçadela.
I’m able to generate a mild version of it at-will, whenever I want (possibly requiring some tiredness?), and a stronger version by tilting my head backwards until the main neck muscles are fully engaged. The two versions feel different — a bit like the difference between this track (loud!) at 0:40 and at 4:00.
Alcohol, at low doses, is a common trigger for woom — a combination of the relaxation and the openness to enjoyment. I once took too much MDMA, which gave me low-threshold-for-woom for several hours, and then for a few days afterwards I would get woom uncontrollably for a few seconds whenever I slightly closed my eyes (which happened frequently, since I was having a 2-day training on Microsoft Azure). Because I’m a catastrophist, I immediately thought that it would never go away, which I found worrying but also funny, in the context of my varied dysfunctions.
(Also: is this what ASMR is? I tried it but found the whispering women too unsettling.)

On the topic of weird sensations: these are two songs that induce mild derealization in me, as in, glitch-in-the-matrix I genuinely find it hard to accept that they actually exist:
Another Sunny Day — You Should All Be Murdered: how something I’d never heard can sound so familiar; how the song that sounds most like The Smiths is actually by someone else.
Almôndegas — Androginismo: how someone wrote those INSANE lyrics.

the competence of senescence


One of the good things about getting older is that I’m much more diligent about commenting my code. Mostly because I used to think (correctly) that I’d remember everything I was writing, whereas nowadays I assume (correctly) I won’t keep any memories of anything I’m doing as soon as I’m finished doing it, so rereading uncommented code from more than two days ago is a puzzling Memento-like experience of trying to put together clues my past self left me with no idea of how I got to the present situation.

fade into you

I’ve only personally visited about half of the locations in the previous post, since in my time here in São Paulo I’ve mostly been busy thinking about the similarities between Brazilian musician Marcos Valle (from hundreds of songs but most famously the 80s city-pop-influenced workout-obsessed Estrelar) and Portuguese musician João Sala (from the band Ganso):
(i) their names (both their first names are evangelists’, and their surnames are half equal);
(ii) their physical appearances (Valle; Sala (rightmost)): elongated faces; blue eyes; dirty blonde hair generally kept at around neck length; respectably scruffy beard and moustache;
(iii) their music (Valle, Sala), which is obviously influenced by bossa nova and MPB but also by the interpretation that 70s Japanese musicians made of those styles, most notably Hosono Haruomi starting with Tropical Dandy: seventh chords, keyboard-centric, lively but melancholic.
Which all — fine, they have common names, and many people look alike — it’s only the fact that they’re both musicians that makes the resemblance somewhat noteworthy. Plus, Valle didn’t even always look like that throughout his life and also went through several artistic phases (interestingly, Sala looks and sounds in his late twenties like Valle did in his forties), and Sala also plays in Zarco — 7 por Sala sounds more like.. Rush? that like Hosono, so we’re playing with many more degrees of freedom there.

But then — what about the freaking bicycles? Valle made a song about cycling in ’84 (Bicicleta); Sala also made one in ’21 (Um Pouco Mais; not his music but he wrote the lyrics) and had already decided to cycle in another non-bicycle-related music video (incidentally, at 1:06 you can see the spot where this happened)! Is this another coincidence — name, appearance, musicianship and musical style, and, unrelatedly, bicycling — or, to quote Scott Alexander, None of this is a coincidence because nothing is ever a coincidence? Is Sala doing this on purpose, guiding his life’s interests to coincide with Valle’s? And if so, how does that affect his psyche? does he regret the choicelessness that this path is leading him to, the dissolving of his free will and identity into a path predetermined by another man 35 years earlier? or has he reached what Ignatius of Loyola called the second degree of obedience: making the superior’s will one’s own, in such a way that there is not just effective execution but a conformity of wish?

(In Tou na Moda, Sala, wearing a black T-shirt with “FODA-SE” written on it, sings (0:34) “também oiço Elis Regina“; Elis Regina sung Black Is Beautiful, about.. erm, wanting to have sex (foda) with a black man, composed by Valle! Is he teasing at this connection?)

I can’t believe I didn’t ask him when we hung out — in Braga! of all places! the Portuguese city which is the main destination for Brazilian emigration and therefore the perfect place for this conversation to have happened!–: a perfect confluence that the universe has set up for me and that I let pass by, stumbling idly across life as I tend to do, lacking the clear example of a life path to emulate, such as the one Sala has. Lucky him.

Later edit: OK, fuck my life. One of Valle’s greatest hits is Os Grilos, whose opening lines are “Se você quer grilo tem / se quiser rio tem“. In 2017, Ganso released their first album Pá Pá Pá, whose second track is… Grilo do Nilo).

Cerveja artesanal em SP

Underlined are places with an explicitly vegan food option. Clearnet (i.e., not Facebook/ Instagram) links included when available. Metro/ CPTM included when within 20 min. walking distance.

Centro / Santa Cecília
Tap Tap (Consolação 455; República)
Central (Jesuíno Pascoal 101; Santa Cecília)
Dogma (Fortunato 236; Santa Cecília)

Perdizes / Pompéia / Lapa
Trilha (Apinajés 137; Barra Funda)
Tap Tap (Turiassu 625; Barra Funda)
Central (Sousa Lima 5; Marechal Deodoro)
Capitão Barley (Cotoxó 516)
Casa Avós (Croata 703)
Hygger (Trípoli 41; Imperatriz Leopoldina)

Vila Madalena / Pinheiros / Jardins
São Paulo Tap House (Girassol 340; Vila Madalena)
Croma (Harmonia 472; Vila Madalena)
Empório Alto dos Pinheiros (Vupabussu 305; Pinheiros)
Tank Brewpub (Amaro Cavalheiro 45; Pinheiros)
Cervejaria Nacional (Pedroso de Morais 604; Faria Lima)
Âmbar (Cunha Gago 129; Faria Lima)
Dogma (Francisco Leitão 150; Fradique Coutinho)
Dogma (Dr. Melo Alves 347; Oscar Freire / Consolação)

Itaim Bibi / Vila Olímpia
Dogma (Urussui 251)
What’s On Tap (Jesuíno Cardoso 104; Vila Olímpia)
Beco da Vila Olímpia (Ramos Batista 409; Vila Olímpia)
The Barley House (Prof. Atílio Innocenti 621; Vila Olímpia)

Vila Mariana / Vila Clementino / Aclimação
Let’s Beer (Joaquim Távora 961; Ana Rosa)
Van Been Tap House (Joaquim Távora 1039; Ana Rosa)
VKS (Joaquim Távora 1266; Ana Rosa)
Gorila Beer House (Conselheiro Rodrigues Alves 1153; Ana Rosa)
Esconderijo Juan Caloto (Gandavo 398; Hospital São Paulo)
Brett Bierhaus (Lilases 50; Praça da Árvore / Santa Cruz)
Capone Craft Beer (Esmeralda 69; Vergueiro)

Viva Tap House (Imarés 594; Eucaliptos)
Flames Tap House (Macuco 90; Moema)
Rivas (Nhambiquaras 818; Moema)
Barcearia (Anapurus 1469; Eucaliptos)
La Fraternité (Jauaperi 1413; Eucaliptos)
SOMA (Miruna 561; Eucaliptos)
Hop & Malt (Iraí 807; Eucaliptos)

Tarantino (Miguel Nelson Bechara 316)

tips for Lisboa

Not exhaustive, you’re an adult, you can look up tourism recommendations on your own. Still, here’s my twist on things.

  • Walking along the multiple miradouros, more or less known – everyone goes to Santa Luzia, but you also have Recolhimento, Graça, Senhora do Monte, Monte Agudo, and Penha de França, which you could all do in a single 1h walk to enjoy the slightly different views. Related:
    • Castelo de São Jorge is great when it’s not too crowded – just bear in mind most of it was rebuilt (sometimes.. creatively) in the mid-20th century
    • Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade
    • As for miradouros not in this direct axis you’d have São Pedro de Alcântara and the top of Parque Eduardo VII (inspiring!). Santa Catarina is meh. If you’re in PE7 go to the Jardim Gulbenkian (definitely) and the Estufa Fria (maybe).
  • In terms of art museums, the obvious option is to go to the Centro Cultural de Belém — correctly, as it is one of the best collections of 20th century art. But the Fundação Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva is unique and less well-known.
  • Panorâmico de Monsanto, truly one of the coolest spots in the world, don’t miss it
  • If you go to Sintra, FUCK THE POLICE and try to find the rear entrance to the Castelo dos Mouros via the Penedo da Amizade (though if you don’t the entrance fee is still worth it, particularly at sunset)
  • Explore cool areas such as Bica
  • Reject the stupid 7 hills meme
  • Things that are popular and touristic but cool nonetheless: walking across narrow streets and stairways in Alfama; riding on the 28 tram.
  • Try local craft beer. Particularly recommended are Quimera Brewpub and Dois Corvos Marvila, the latter particularly-particularly if you take the train to Marvila and enjoy the short walk there along l i m i n a l azinhagas
  • Two water-related ones: (i) walk along the Aqueduto das Águas Livres and (ii) visit one of the old water reservoirs – either Reservatório da Patriarcal or preferably Reservatório da Mãe d’Água das Amoreiras, which is beautiful and one of the locations where Limp Bizkit shot the music video for their song Boiler!

tips for dates

  • If you’re going to a bar to have some drinks and chat, don’t choose a place where you’ll be sitting on opposite ends of a table. This is terrible: it (i) places a physical distance between your bodies, preventing physical contact from arising throughout the date, (ii) generates an overall oppositional mood, which ends up reflecting itself in the conversational tone and in the feelings generated, (iii) forces you to always be looking straight ahead in order to look at the other person, so you can’t try out different configurations of your body. You should always aim to sit either side by side at a bar or long table, or sit on adjacent corners of a table. This problem can be prevented by… well, going to bars where that’s the table layout. If there’s no other option, then maybe have a drink there and suggest moving elsewhere.
  • Move through different locations throughout the date — it’ll increase the sense of familiarity and time spent together, which will, some could say artificially, increase the sense of closeness. Obviously be sensible, don’t take 3 trains across the entire city, etc. Ideally when selecting a date location you should have a couple of nearby places in mind. At night these will probably just be bars; during the day maybe include a museum and a garden.
  • Be present and confident. Nothing boosts your presence and confidence like cocaine. So, do cocaine before dates? Alternatively, work out before the date, which makes you focused and alert and generates a physical bias-towards-action. Maybe avoid planks or too much ab work, if you’re a straight man.
  • Bring a notebook and pen. This can serve to write down notes that arise in conversation (like “Share Portuguese music playlist“) or, even better, ideas for future dates that arise in conversation. If you can manage it without getting too distracted, having a parallel conversation happening on the notebook can be cute/teasing too.
  • Make a mental list of topics you want to address in conversation, both general ones (if you sometimes struggle with those) and specific ones that you may have come up with from their online profile or previous online chatting. If you’re bold enough, you can even use the notebook to write down a couple of the specific ones, as long as you own the choice to (see: confidence, cocaine).
  • Obvious, but listen to music beforehand that puts you in the right head-space and counteracts your own failure modes (this, for me).
  • Me-specific, use as applicable:
    • Don’t sit somewhere with too much of a view on the street outside: you’ll get easily distracted
    • Don’t drink red wine: you’ll get sleepy
    • Don’t have sugar/carbs/white wine: you’ll sugar-crash

my future


If I got tattoos, I would get a swallow on one side of my body and a capybara on the other. Lightness and weight. Grace and clumsiness. Motion and stasis. Air and ground (and water). Feather and fur. Swallow and capybara: the duality of being-in-the-world, the embodied yin/yang.

невдохновение и отчаяние (iii)

I’ve been feeling uninspired, lately.
Some days, you give up. Halfway through the afternoon, you realize your remaining chances of achieving anything particularly worthwhile are low, from a lack of something like (motivation/ energy/ bias towards action/ mental clarity/ drive), so you just give up on hope and effort, and just aim for your remaining waking hours to pass by without causing you much trouble, hoping you’ll fall asleep easily and early enough to wake up the following day with the energy to do whatever you’d given up on. It is a violent act: a deliberate murder, through neglect, of one of the irreplaceable components of your life, but one done with such a graceful and meek resignation that its inward cruelty seldom becomes apparent.
Lately I’ve been finding that more and more of my days are ending in this way, and that this insidious desistance, as I call it for self-amusement, has been happening earlier and earlier, with some particularly outlying ones occurring in the early stages of hyperglycemia-induced post-prandial stupor.
I wonder whether this trend will continue. Perhaps by Autumn I will be down to one single day of morning-to-evening activity a week, with the six remaining desistances coming up A.M.: maybe right after the morning check-in video meeting, as soon as we decide on what are the day’s tasks that I will not even attempt, or even right after waking up — an eye slightly opened and immediately closed to avoid the aggression of the entering sunlight, followed by a long wait for the cycle to repeat again.

Incidentally: all of the above is both a description of a real behaviour and an evocation of one of my favourite passages from La carte et le territoire:

Ce que je préfère, maintenant, c’est la fin du mois de décembre ; la nuit tombe à quatre heures. Alors je peux me mettre en pyjama, prendre mes somnifères et aller au lit avec une bouteille de vin et un livre. C’est comme cela que je vis, depuis des années. Le soleil se lève à neuf heures ; bon, le temps de se laver, de prendre des cafés, il est à peu près midi, il me reste quatre heures de jour à tenir, le plus souvent j’y parviens sans trop de dégâts. Mais au printemps c’est insupportable, les couchers de soleil sont interminables et magnifiques, c’est comme une espère de putain d’opéra, il y a sans cesse de nouvelles couleurs, de nouvelles lueurs, j’ai essayé une fois de rester ici tout le printemps et l’été et j’ai cru mourir, chaque soir j’étais au bord du suicide, avec cette nuit qui ne tombait jamais.

Would the former exist if I hadn’t been exposed to the latter? Maybe I’m just a victim of books. Like Don Quixote, in that book.

There were two occasions in my life in which I, for lack of a better phrase, “stopped being depressed”. Meaning, the ranges of moods I experienced before and after each of these had limited overlap: the lower end of the “before” range feeling thankfully unreachable in the “after” period, and a low-to-middling “after” mood comparing positively with a good “before” one.
In both cases, the change was triggered by my experiencing an extraordinarily intense happiness, beyond my previously existing range of moods — and the experience of this intensity, the subconscious knowledge that such a feeling is possible, somehow inevitably affected all future experiences, pushed them upwards in this newly opened mood-range space. The two occasions were: in 2012 in Barcelona, repeatedly listening to Arctic Monkeys’ first album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and going to bike messenger parties; in 2016 in Madrid, taking MDMA and walking around parks listening to Boards of Canada.
Now I essentially don’t feel depressed anymore: more like permanently listless, resignedly accepting my inability to do, which I’m not sure is better — at least the deep overwhelming anguish I almost constantly felt was sometimes motivating, I suppose.

com outras cores, menos menores ou algo assim


If you’re ever considering following a band on tour for a couple of days, sleeping in hostels and taking trains between cities, sore all over by the time of the last concert but still jumping around more than anyone else there, I highly recommend it. Whether they repeatedly have you over at their table for chatting/ beer/ shots or not.

19/05/22 — Aveiro (Avenida CC)
20/05/22 — Braga (CC RUM)
21/05/22 — Porto (Ferro Bar)