sábado, 28 de abril de 2007

Tripping like an insomnia night

For Easter weekend I went on a trip to Salta and the idea of insomnia came back to my mind. I haven’t had a night of it, but travelling is always like being on that state.
My family tends to travel a lot by car and to do very long trips, so I am accustomed to it; and I like it! I find tripping an interesting way to get out of routine and it has a lot of advantages. In every trip I have time to think, to read (if the road is not too winding), to watch a DVD (if my brothers aren’t using the portable player), to admire some beautiful landscapes…
In my car music is never absent, so when my father puts on a CD I don’t like, I just turn my iPod on and forget about everything. I stop listening to my parents gossips, to their talks and to their problems… I just enter in my own world, where I listen what I like, I think about what I want and no one bothers me. My mind starts flying and goes far, far away and then jumps to another subject, brings back some memories, and inspires me a lot. Trips open my mind, they are just like a night of insomnia. I find this period of time when I am in my own world like a rediscovery. My mind goes wherever and comes back with a lot of new ideas, so I always take notes about them in a notebook I always have near, in order to develop the topic when I reach safe land.
This rediscovery and encounter with a lot of new topics to write about, or ideas to take up in art IB, happens to me in every trip I do. Sometimes more than others, but it always happens – if it is a journey of more than an hour. The difference in this last trip I made to Salta, is that I related it with insomnia. In both I fly with imagination and come back to write an idea, and then I go on flying. I enjoy travelling because I don’t find it a waste of time: while my father drives, I think, I imagine things, I contemplate the sky, I contemplate the mountains, I feel free, with any hurry. I listen to music, I read, and I think about many different topics.
I enjoy travelling, not only the place where I go to and what I do there, but also the awful long and tiring journey to it. I know how to avoid this sense of tiredness and waste of time, and I take advantage of this long hours in which many people just do nothing.


jueves, 26 de abril de 2007

A new French experience

Last Friday I was tiding my room when my parents arrived, as every day, to have lunch. My mom went upstairs, very excited and told me ‘Hey! There’s a French man that’s having lunch with us today!’. I looked at her with a face of strangeness, I didn’t understand who and why.
I washed my hands, and went downstairs. When I entered to the dinning room I saw a very tall figure with long grey leather trousers, a blue t-shirt and a pair of vertical black bands tightened to his belt. I was approaching to him and he turned round. I could see a bit more from him: long and grey hair, a pair of rounded glasses and behind them two shinning eyes. The man saw me and we greeted, but I noticed a difference: he gave me a kiss in the left side of my face, when I am accustomed to the other one. He expressed a funny ‘Hello, how are you?’ in Spanish. My dad showed him the wonderful landscape in my house, and minutes later we were all together (my family and he) sitting at the table. We ate a wonderful chicken pie and my father, who is a mechanic, explained to me why this man was there:
Jean-Louis dedicates his life to travelling. He is French, but now he is living in the United States. Yes, he ‘has a house’ but he travels, and after some long time, he goes back to it. This 50 year-old French man travels by motorbike and it had broken down, so when he asked where should he take it, people named my father. Jean-Louis has neither family, nor a friend in Tucumán, so he stayed in my dad’s shop until lunch time, talking with him and some other customers that arrived. When my dad had to get back home to have lunch, he invited the traveller to it.
Little by little conversation went through with a paused Spanish from us, and a funny French-Spanish from him. He talked about his trips, he told us that this time he sent the motorbike to Buenos Aires and he is travelling from there, that he was going to Cafayate and all the beautiful cities from our north Argentina, and then he was going to Bolivia. Then he told us that he makes perfumes, as typical French, that he is single, no kids, and he travels with a friend of him most of the time. But now he was waiting for him in Bolivia.
We learned a lot about Jean-Louis and he learned of us, of my father, who gave some good roads to do in the ‘Cordillera de los Andes’ whenever he came back to Argentina. Beyond all the language dilemmas, we understood perfectly. But there were some words that he didn’t understand, so my brother and I translated them in English in order to explain him, and some were said in English and we translated them to my parents! It was great to use English and be the translator of my parents.
We made great friends, and after a long lunch, and inviting him some ‘dulce de leche’, Jean asked us if we could take a picture with him. We accepted and he took one of us, all the family, and another with him. Then I gave this man my e-mail so he could send me the photographs, and he left with my father, who had to go to work again and finish his motorbike.
After this great experience, I stayed a long while thinking of it. I had felt really comfortable with this French man, he was a great person, he had had a good time with us and us with him. But I was not going to see him again… It was a weird feeling the one I felt inside of me. For that hour he had been at home, he had been a great friend of the family, we had laughed a lot, talked about many topics, we had passed a new, interesting and different launch at home. I felt as if I had given him a lot of affection, I had grown fond of him, and I was not going to see him anymore. It was a sad and strange feeling.
When my dad came back that night, we talked about the French man and I never told all these feelings to him. But, he said that Jean Lois told him that he felt very comfortable with us, and we were a great family. He had had fun in here, we treated him well and he was going to come back again.

Vale Becker

domingo, 22 de abril de 2007

Reaction to the radio programme about workaholics

The programme was about people that work a lot, different ways of working, the results of it, productivity, and everything related to multitasking.
Joe is a technological man as he multitasks a lot. He IMs while checking mails and making phone calls; and he even types e-mails while driving! I think that multitasking is an interesting way to reduce the time at the computer, for example, but he must be careful, because typing an e-mail while driving can be really dangerous.
Then we have Christina, who uses less technology than Joe. She has two cell phones, one for work and the other personal. I think this is a good method in order to control personal calls from work calls. But I find a bit uncomfortable to be with two cell phones with me, and some people might get mad when one rings and they don’t know if it is one or the other…
Something that caught my attention was the fact that people in the same house, but in different rooms, IM to each other whenever they need to say something. At first I thought it was terrible to be that near and though be connected by a screen! I imagined that they told each other important things but via Internet in order to avoid shyness or any feeling that they didn’t like while talking face to face. That looked terrible! It is very bad for the family, for society, for the relationship, for everything! But then I understood better the fact and I got in favour of it. Why should one be shouting, moving out of the room and disconcerting from the work if we can give a message typing it? I find it interesting if it is well used and taking the advantages from it. If you have to say that dinner is ready, you should use IMs, but if you have a problem and you must discuss an important subject, you should tell it personally, not from behind a screen. So, I like the method if it is well used, in moderation.
Another theme that caught my attention was ‘working from wherever and whenever’. It sounds good! You can work at home, at a bar, in the beach, or next to your swimming-pool! This is a good way to work more comfortably than in the usual way and taking the rests you want, whenever you need them. It is true that trust is needed and without it, this couldn’t be done, but I would like to work this way. I prefer choosing my environment of work, the timetable I prefer and not being in a packed room with many people talking and asking questions, a lot of telephones ringing… I prefer being where I like, changing the place once in a while and in this way I know I would concentrate a whole lot better. All this has a great advantage! As in the programme was said, when Bestbuy took up this method they worked a lot more and better, there were improvements in productivity and health of the employees.
In the radio programme I learned about people that are workaholics and need to be connected with their customers all the day (like Greg, who wired his entire home) and others who don’t. Also about people who multitask in a high level, and others that simply use technology the necessary. I multitask but not with any kind of activity, only when I am in the computer, because with other activities I get mad! According to the new method of ‘working from wherever and whenever’ I like it, and I’m sure it is productive, but it can’t be done with any kind of work… So, if you can do it with yours, go ahead!


viernes, 20 de abril de 2007

Tribute to Queen: Doctor Queen, April 19th 2007, Alberdi Theatre, Tucumán.

Last year a tribute to Queen came to Tucumán. I never got the news on time and I saw the advertisement when the show had already passed. A friend of mine went to it and told me how wonderful it had been. Then, talking about Queen with my aunt, she told me that she had been in Santiago del Estero to the same show, and it had been spectacular. I felt really sad because I couldn’t go to it, until Wednesday from last week, when my new friend, Anita, told me that Doctor Queen was coming to Tucumán again.
When she first told me I thought it was the following Thursday, and I had something to do, so I was sad again, thinking of my bad luck. Then she told me that it was on Thursday 19th! So I was happy again and I wouldn’t miss it under any circumstance!
The day arrived and I went to Alberdi Theatre with my mom, since none of my friends wanted, or could go (Juli Isas went, but with her boyfriend). Mom bought the tickets and we joined the line. I was feeling very excited as I was going to reach the nearest that could be reached to my dream of seeing Queen live.
In the line I met Anita, my online friend, and her friend Gaby, which was very exciting too! Anita was with her godmother, who turned to be a friend of my mother!! So we stayed together, talking until we entered, and we placed in the same box.
It was the first time I saw Doctor Queen (the band that made the tribute) and I realized that they are great imitators!! ‘Freddie’ was the same as the real one! The same moustache, the same hair, very similar! He is a bit bigger in body shape, but makes the same movements!! He lifts his hand in the air with all his energy, sings with the microphone with a long stick, puts his head backwards, lifts one leg. He even places one foot ahead, the other behind, and moves the one that’s ahead insistently… the same movements! The customs were very similar, all those tight t-shirts and trousers, haven’t been absent; then ‘Freddie’ appeared dressed as a woman with a plume for I want to break free, then with black and old fashioned glasses, then a black suit… ‘Freddie’ even appeared with the Flash Gordon t-shirt! Finally, he ended up the show dressed as a King, as Freddie many times did.
So, the production was really good! And the musicians of the band were great too! The show has been an hour and a half and they interpreted some of the best songs, one of themselves, a drum solo and a guitar solo, which were incredible! The whole show was incredible. Obviously, I wanted more and more songs… but if they would have had to sing all my favourites, they would have never finished! Jeje.
When I first saw ‘Freddie’ I felt a strange feeling inside of me. I was happy to be there, in a concert of Queen… but it was not Queen… it was Doctor Queen. I was enormously happy though, as it was the only possibility to see live one of them. I tried to forget the fact that they were ‘Doctor Queen’ and not ‘Queen’, but it was really difficult. They are great imitators, and ‘Freddie’ is the best on that stuff, but Queen is Queen, and Queen has been only one and can’t be replaced by anyone. I enjoyed the show a lot because it was something I wanted to see from a long time ago, and finally I could!
While watching the show, concentrated so I didn’t miss a thing and then I have many things to remember of, the songs entered directly to my heart and soul. They made me vibrate, feel all the energy and messages that only Queen can, by CDs. I had already understood that I was not at a Queen’s show, but the songs I was hearing, being so well interpreted, were from them and had the real essence. The lyrics were in my head, the notes in my soul, and the rhythm was being followed by my heart. It’s amazing what this Doctor Queen provoked on me.
I felt as I was at one of those big shows in a stadium, with thousands of people choiring the songs and answering what Freddie asked. I know it was ‘Jorge’, not Freddie, but the show was wonderful, and these guys got in me the feeling they want people to feel. Queen is a unique band, incomparable with anything, but Doctor Queen is a good tribute band and can transmit in people all the energy that Freddie, Roger, Brian and John could. When the concert finished I only thought about a ‘Show must go on’. That phrase tells everything!
Congratulations to Doctor Queen, and come again to Tucumán, because I will be present there!

These are the pics from last night, at the Alberdi Theatre:

Freddie Mercury's movements

I want to break free - dressed like a woman

Dressed up as a superhero, with the same cape Freddie used

Gaby, the guitarist and me

Now with 'Freddie' (Jorge, Jorgiiilooo)

The drummer

Papa Frita, Anita and me

Queen, one of the best bands ever

I love Queen. You would say that it is not from my times, or that not many young people listen to it… but I do! I was inside my mom when wonderful Freddie died, but I also felt that horrible loss to the world. Since I was born, in my house my parents listen Queen. And I remember me and my brother standing next to the loudspeaker, with our ear stuck to it, singing, dancing, shouting and trying to say the same that Freddie was saying.

Don’t stop me now that I’ve started to talk about this great band. You just can’t because when I start writing about something, I can’t stop until I’ve said all I wanted to. And you know that… =)
I’m not the greatest fan of all, but Queen’s music reaches me, my heart, my soul. It transmits such great messages that move a lot inside of me. I guess most people know the most important points of Freddie’s life. So, if you read the lyrics of this great band, you can easily find some phrases related to what Freddie was and all his feelings. Not only his… also the other members of the band.

Once, in 9th grade at school, for English class we were asked to choose a song and talk about it, about the artist, and something else we wanted to add. I remember in the group: Leo Cabral, Juli Isas (is no longer at school, but is still a Queen’s fanatic) and Vale Marún. We chose Bohemian Rhapsody, by the greatest band of all: Queen. We made people listen to it, we talked about what the lyrics showed, and all that madness (Sofía, the teacher, was surprised about what we liked, as she had never listened to the lyrics), we talked about the band, about Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon. When the time to talk about Freddie’s death arrived we all felt a huge sadness inside of us. At least inside of me, I felt for the first time this ‘death’, as I hadn’t been in the real moment and I had born with an ‘already dead Freddie’. Anyway, Freddie, Who wants to live forever? We all die someday, somewhere, somehow, death reaches us all.

I’m going slightly mad now that I’m telling Queen’s story through mine and now that I’m listening Killer Queen while I remember all these intact memories I have.

Queen’s music has been close to me for all my life. I’ve said many times It’s a beautiful day, when I was feeling good, and You don’t fool me to some people. I’ve been Under pressure and I’ve sung with some friends, altogether crying the lyrics of You’re my best friend and Friends will be friends. Anytime we hear Queen with some of these four friends of mine that I’ve mentioned, we look at each other and a smile showing some kind of sadness and melancholy reaches our faces. We feel connected with this music. But not only with my friends; Queen also remembers my brother and my parents. They taught me that culture, that music; that heroes were put in me by them.

When I think about Freddie and everything that happened to him, I am really sorry for him. He was great, he had the best voice in the world, he was famous, he was the leader of the best band ever, he was acclaimed by everybody, he had support all around the world… and he died. How life can be unfair, I can say. Why him? But I have to admit that he has been in all this sexual madness, and it’s not by accident how he got infected with AIDS. In some way, he looked for it; he had to suffer the consequences of his own mistakes. It’s a hard life says Freddie in one of his songs… And I want it all also shows the desire of this man to have it all, I’m sorry for the repetition. But that’s not the point. That’s his personal life, his private world and I only care about his music as I haven’t lived in those days to say if he was a good person, if he behaved goodly, if he did good actions…

Queen is the immortal band. Is the band that has fans of all ages. Is the band that after 18 years of not doing music is still in force. Queen is one of my favourites band. Maybe what I will write now sounds a bit macabre, but I think it that way! I think that ‘Everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is not near, clear or seen in that moment’. In some way, I think that Freddie’s death was not that bad. I believe that if Queen had continued making music, it would have happened the same as most artists: they would have become a popular and commercial style. What I admire most about Queen is the great range of musical capacity the four of them had (and some still have). There are plenty of artists that have it too, but in order to sell more or just to keep up with the times, they completely ruined their music course. I know that if that would have happened to this great band, they wouldn’t be as acclaimed as they are nowadays and they wouldn’t be as wonderful as they were in their times. Nowadays, they would have been a common band with just a long and successful past. I’m not saying that necessarily that would have happened, but is the most probable. Some artists don’t even know they are changing styles, they just go to where most people is going because of unseen forces and influences.

Anyway, Queen was in the past, but is still present and I know it will still be in the future. They have been so great that they can’t be forgotten just like that. I am from the generation when Freddie was already dead, when Queen didn’t sing together anymore, and I love the band. I know that will continue for many generations more. So, Queen, you don’t sing together anymore, but you still can sing We are the champions because reaching what you’ve reached is not that easy. You are the champions.

I’ve cried with some of your songs in difficult moments and your ‘Save me, save me, save me, I can’t face this life alone’ has been written in my forehead for some time. Every time I listen one of your CDs, I find something new, a different tune, sentence; I think a phrase in a different way, and that helps me with the illusion that you’re still alive and taking out new stuff. I’ve lived many years of my life disagreeing with the lyrics of a song, until I really noticed that what Freddie was singing was right: ‘Too much love will kill you every time’. For me, it was not ‘every time’, it was ‘sometimes’. But after analysing the phrase for a long while, I found out the truth in what they used to sing.
Each song brings me back some memories of my life: from childhood to where I am today. I don’t know if I’ve already really tasted this Crazy little thing called love, but Now I’m here and I want to break free. Queen is my music, Queen is the best band ever.

Dead or alive, Freddie, I believe you when you say ‘I’m the invisible man’. I cannot see you; I can only find you in some magazines, or behind a screen showing an old clip. But you are still in my heart! Even though I’ve never seen you live, as you were already dead when I came to this world that was still crying for you.

The dream of all my life (and damn it’s impossible) has been to see one of Queen concerts. I know I would have paid everything! Whatever they wanted, I would have given, just to see one of the greatest concerts of the world. It doesn’t care how long your show would have been, but I know that I would still be shouting the classic ‘Show must go on’.

Freddie never died.
Queen never stopped singing.
Your voice is still in my room,
You sing in my mind, soul and heart.
You never died, you’ll never die.
Freddie, you have been and you’ll always be the best.
A voice like yours, I’ll never find.
Don’t stop singing, never stop please.
You still fulfil so many people, and we love you!

We miss you, and you’ll never die!

Vale Becker

viernes, 13 de abril de 2007

The World Was Still Rotating

The World Was Still Rotating
Some autumn leaves were falling from the trees
While others were travelling through the air.
The wind was still blowing and the sun still shinning.
Dad was crying, mom next to me, holding my hand.

Cars drove through the highway, birds still flying.
Outside people were talking at the phone,
Many others laughing, walking and following routines.

Some relatives with eyes opened wide, shaking,
And some white faces; prayers and weeping I could hear.
No-one cared, no-one knew, just you and your people.

The day your soul was free, the sun was still shinning.
In the moment your heart stopped beating, and when
No more air entered to your lungs; water kept on moving.

No-one cared, no-one knew, who ever cares of strangers?
There, all sitting around you: your people and me.
The day when you died, the world was still rotating.

This is a poem with a structure similar to a sonnet; I just added a verse. I show on it how someone can die and strangers don’t care. They don’t know, they just continue with their lives. A whole family might be devastated with that death, but other people not. And when someone dies, the world is still rotating, things continue being the same around us. The only thing that changes is a feeling inside us, which can be a really big thing! Ok, just that! Death, pain from close people and indifference from others.


miércoles, 11 de abril de 2007

Please Come Back (Poem)

Last year in Literature, with Janine, we learned about poetry. I really like poetry! I hadn’t read poems in English until last year, and it wasn’t as hard as it seemed at the beginning. I am used to read poetry in Spanish, not in English, but the activity has been really interesting and helpful! When we finished the topic we had to write a poem. I had already written a couple of them in English, but I had them all at home, and we needed to finish them in the same class, so I couldn’t hand in one of the prewritten ones. I made a new one, but I must say that it has a lot of things from older poems I had written. I took some good phrases or ideas from other ones, and made a new (broken hearted) poem, which was not biographic; different as most of mine.

So, here it is…

Please Come Back

When I’m without you
I feel like a flower without petals
As lonely as a man in the desert,
Please come back.

I’m always thinking of you
Trying to talk with you
Wishing you’d forgive me
Please come back.

My eyes die without yours
My heart is missing you
Don’t forget my love for you
Please come back.

Every night I dream your hugs
All day I think of your kiss
Who are you with now?
Please come back.

I only want you to know
I’ll be right here waiting for you
Please forgive me and
Please come back.


jueves, 5 de abril de 2007

Irony in Clarisse’s death

When I first read about Clarisse’s death, I thought on an irony in the book. It has to do with the fastness and slowness that people live in the city where Fahrenheit 451 takes place.
Those cars that drive so fast are from people that really don’t care about looking at the billboards, at the grass, at houses in the highway, anything. They just want to arrive early to where they are going, without caring about what may be happening around them. I interpreted this fact with the way these people are. They live very fast too, and don’t care about the details that make life worth it; they just watch TV and talk nonsense. I can also say that they don’t talk or care about important things, but that’s the government’s fault too…
Then we have Clarisse’s aunt, who drove slowly and because of that, he went on jail! If we think about it, it sounds nonsense; it’s the contrary to what we really think it has to be. Her aunt was the strange one, the one who did things as they should be done, and he suffers the consequences.
I compare all the people in the town with these fast cars, and Clarisse with her aunt’s slow car. It’s something familiar: Clarisse is not the ‘insane’, the ‘strange one’; all her family is the one which doesn’t fit in that society.
So, what I wanted to say is that there’s an irony in the girl’s death. She is the one who lives the everyday, who takes care of details, who thinks about every single thing; and she died. While the others, who live fast, don’t care about anything, just do everything quickly, are still alive. I get the impression that this death is unfair. The one who really enjoys life, lives as it should be lived, dies. I won’t say that it’s unfair because the good characters shouldn’t die, and the bad ones should, because that is in fairy tales. So, more than ‘unfair’, I believe that the author is trying to express this irony. The ones who live fast, doing everything quickly and want things to arrive earlier, are still alive. While the girl, who did everything with a previous thought and lived without hurry, can’t have the possibility to do that anymore.

I just thought about it while I was reading some days ago, and I wanted to share it with you.