Mostly Music
quinta-feira, outubro 31



Há muito tempo, sim, que não te escrevo.
Ficaram velhas todas as notícias.
Eu mesmo envelheci: Olha, em relevo,
estes sinais em mim, não das carícias

(tão leves) que fazias no meu rosto:
são golpes, são espinhos, são lembranças
da vida ao teu menino, que ao sol posto
perde a sabedoria das crianças.

A falta que me fazes não é tanto
à hora de dormir, quando dizias
"Deus te abençoe", e a noite abria em sonho

É quando, ao despertar, revejo a um canto
a noite acumulada de meus dias,
e sinto que estou vivo, e que não sonho.


Se a infância restaura,
Em sonho, o universo
Que teu mome, Laura
Renove meu verso

E dê à poesia
Aquele frescor
Que ao nascer do dia
Exala uma flor
quarta-feira, outubro 30

This was on CNN.com

Woman squashed by plane passenger

LONDON, England -- A woman injured while squeezed next to an obese passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight has been given £13,000 ($20,000) by the airline.

Barbara Hewson, 63, was offered damages by Virgin Atlantic after suffering a blood clot, torn leg muscles and sciatica following a flight to Los Angeles in January 2001, the UK's Press Association reported.

She said the woman passenger was so large she had to sit with the arm rests up, but when she complained, the crew said there was nothing they could do as the plane was full.

Hewson, of Swansea, Wales, who still has medical treatment, was quoted by PA on Monday as saying: "It was never about the money. No money would pay for you having sleepless nights with the pain."

The freelance writer, who travelled with her husband Roy, 67, said she spent most of her holiday in bed. "It ruined the holiday. We went out very little."

Hewson added that half-way through the flight the woman asked if she was okay, saying to her: "I'm sitting on your lap."

"I had three sessions of sitting in the hostess seat and I stood for a little while," added Hewson.

Virgin Atlantic said in a statement: "This was an unprecedented set of extremely unfortunate circumstances.

"We have apologised to Mrs Hewson and offered her compensation, which she has accepted, and we are pleased that this has now reached a conclusion."


Nice kitty

terça-feira, outubro 29


Sunday and Monday my car has been acting a little funny. So this morning I decided to bicycle to work for the first time since July. Good thing I didn't check the temperature until I got here - 3 degrees Celsius! On my way to work I saw a young man bicycling on the wrong side of the street (State Street, opposite the State House), no hands, because he was carrying an infant in his arms.
I hope that baby grows up!
domingo, outubro 27

Frequently, when I don’t like a CD, I feel compelled to write many paragraphs to justify my point of view. Praise, on the other hand, seems to preclude any justifications. So be warned, this will be a short review.

When I first heard this recording, I was reminded of a great little scene from the film Charade. It goes more or less like this: a furious Audrey Hepburn turns to Cary Grant (at his handsomest) and snaps “You know what is wrong with you?” And after a slight pause, sulking – “absolutely nothing!”.

This is precisely the case, here. This rarely heard repertoire (fun romantic Spanish music written in Rossinian vein) is brought to life with passion and competence. In fact, Carnicer or Romero could not have chosen a better champion. Joan Enric Lluna is a fabulous performer, endowed with a warm sound, brilliant technique and ample dynamic range. These qualities are used wisely, to offset his very musical interpretations, simultaneously light-hearted and fiery, full of intelligence, with a well-placed sense of humour and phrasings that are smooth as velvet. To boot, Lluna finds in Nigel Clayton his perfect match, a pianist who allows the soloist to be free, while maintaining the pulse of the pieces, who plays with the necessary gusto but never, for a moment, overshadows his partner.

So what on earth are you doing, still reading this review? Run to the nearest store, and buy this CD!

ROSSINI Y ESPAÑA Clarinet and piano music by Ramon CARNICER, Antonio ROMERO, Gioachino Rossini, Iwan MÜLLER, Ernesto CAVALLINI. Joan Enric Lluna (cl.); Nigel Clayton (pn.) harmonia mundi HMI 987029 (69:54)


Today was another glorious day. A voting day. After spending the morning in bed (trying to cure my cold) I did my civic duty, and then went with Hermano to visit Meg, my friend. This was to be a short visit, I just wanted to give her some nice stationary that I had brought back from the States. I ended up staying a llloooonnnggg time, with Meg there is always so much to talk about. Besides, Selma served a delicious shrimp dish (my favorite!!!) and later a bowl of home made ice-cream. It is hard to diet when you have friends like mine....

sexta-feira, outubro 25
Back home. I am tired, I have a bad cold. And yet.... I love this country! The sky is blue, the friends are showing up, my students call non-stop, my daughters look beautiful, the food by Suely is scrumptious. Last but not least, it was great to open my door and find Antonia already here. The fact is that I have been home for a day and a half, and I have not yet left my apartment. I haven't starved (quite the reverse!) and I have already seen Hermano, Rodrigo, d'Artagnan, Ana Paula, Suely, Leandro and Bia. And my friends Veruschka, Elizete, Cláudia, Sula, Maria Angela, João and Ruth have called me, besides my Mom, my sister and my students Michele, Rafaela, Daniele, Carolina, Rafael, Cláudia, Macla, Ellen, Thiago...Why is it that this seems to me like something that would have been impossible in the States?

domingo, outubro 20

News Brief

Our concert went very smoothly. Laura played the Bach partita marvelously well, so well that I insist that she go to Serginho's studio and record when she returns. She worked very hard on preparing it, so while it is still fresh in the memory, merece ser eternizado. We stayed up late, and rose early this morning so Laura could catch the local train from West Trenton to visit her friend Ed Moss and family 30 mins. down the line in Wyncote, on the way to Philadelphia. I took my son Merlin to Quaker meeting. After meeting I heard from his First-day School teacher that he had been reciting dialogue from "Life of Brian". After
Merlin was back with his mother I went to meet Laura in Wyncote and after bagels and conversation with Ed, we went to Center City for a pleasant afternoon admiring the local architecture. Laura will have
a nice set of photos to show around.

quarta-feira, outubro 16

I go Pogo

Churchy LaFemme: Boy! What a sight! Tanks, guns, rockets, bombers! Man!
Pogo: What?! Tanks and guns? In a peace parade?
Churchy LaFemme: Why not? They's just wantin' to show they loves the rest of the world so much, they'll go to any lengths to keep everybody peaceful....

Walt Kelly, The Return of Pogo (1965)


The following was considered too inflammatory for public discussion here in the USA....

As far as I am concerned it says something pathetic about our country if we cannot find something to celebrate it without invoking God at every turn...a tragic sense of insecurity about our goals and sense of national self worth. We have wonderful ideals to live up to and achievements to follow up - liberty, equality, democracy, things of value in themselves. We don't need God on our currency, in our anthems, in our public ceremonies, in our political discourse. Here's an example of an excellent, poetic, stirring national anthem that has no mention of God anywhere. It celebrates heroism, equality, the beauty of the motherland, commitment to peace and love.... if only our anthem could be so stirring!

The Hino Nacional, of course!!!

terça-feira, outubro 15

My friend Janet and I share a common passion for ....catalogues. Chico’s, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Macy’s, you name it. And as the years go by (and as more and more writers and poets become unemployed lost souls) the catalogues become an outlet for the poetic imagination, and a source of income for the destitute artist. As to us, we get the advantage of reading about the most prosaic stuff in the most elevated language. Even colors are now subjected to an elaborate range of descriptive terms. Purple, red, green, these are all demodé words. Comforters are now “sage”, “lavender” or “plum”. Shirts are not brown, but rather “creamy chocolate”. And speaking of chocolate, today I ate an ice-cream that was labeled “death by chocolate”. Good old caramel became “butter brickle”.

So I was commenting a chapter in the book Ex-libris, in which the author mentions this very phenomena. Janet says: “ Ex-Libris! How curious, Hugh has just read the same book! What an extraordinary coincidence!”. I look at Hugh and he had a very bewildered expression. Mildly ashamed, and not totally convinced I had grasped the meaning of the text that we had both read, he confessed that he did not remember any mention to catalogues in Ex-libris, and in fact this mention seemed highly unlikely, considering the book’ s subject matter..
My first reaction was to imagine that men and women live in such different worlds that even when we read the same words, we focus on completely diverse aspects of the text. Men are from Mars, women from Venus....that sort of thing. I remembered the story of the blind men describing an elephant.... It took us a minute or two to sort out the mess.

We had read two different books, indeed. Both are called Ex-Libris. One, by Anne Fadimann, is a small volume of personal insights dealing with books and litterature, as well as thoughts about how people relate to books and reading, in general. Hugh’ s Ex-Libris is a novel by Ross King, a thriller set in 17th Century Europe, whose central character, Isaac Inchbold, is a London bookseller and antiquarian. Hugh lent it to me. I can’t wait to read it, even though it ignores catalogues and department stores.....

segunda-feira, outubro 14

de Elis (Via Tom)

1- Que horas são?
R: 19:35
2 - Nome e apelido.
R: Laura. E todos os diminutivos possíveis.
3 - Quantidade de velas no teu último bolo de aniversário?
R: Uma. Meus amigos foram simpáticos.
4 - Furos nas orelhas?
R: Um. Em cada uma....
5 - Tatuagens?
R: Eu hein...
6- Já foi à África ?
R: Não. Mas não senti lá muita falta.
7 - Já se embebedou?
R: De fazer strip-tease em cima da mesa, nunca. Mas já tive ressaca de vinho vagabundo...
8 - Amou tanto alguém que chorou muito por ele?
R: Nossa, dava para regar todas as árvores do aterro.
9 - Já esteve envolvida em algum acidente de carro?
R : Eu dirigindo, nunca. Mas no banco do passageiro, umas duas ou três vezes. Uma dessas, a Júlia era bebê e estava mamando, no meu colo, meio dormindo. O fusquinha ficou destruído, e ela nem abriu os olhos....
10 - Prefere Pregos ou cachorros quentes?
R: Pregos, ora pois pois...
11 - Peixe ou carne?
R: Carne. E camarão, sempre.
12 - Sprite ou Seven UP?
R: Água de coco.
13 - Cerveja ou Champanhe?
R : Pina colada. Sorry.
14 - Café ou chá?
R: Café, direto na veia!
15 - O copo é metade cheio ou metade vazio?
R: Metade cheio.
16 - Lençóis de cama lisos ou estampados?
R: Estampados, de algodão puro, o mais macios possíveis. Sou fresca.
17 - Cor das meias?
R: Pretas, com algum desenho engraçado.
18 - Lugar onde te beijem?
R: Na nuca.
19 - Feriado favorito?
R: Como toda boa judia, o Natal!
20 - Canção que estás a escutar neste momento?
R: O Silêncio é de ouro.
21 - Flor(es)?
R: Orquídeas.
24 - Tom ou Jerry?
R: Snoopy.
25 - Disney ou Warner Bros?
R: Disney .
26 - Restaurante de comida rápida?
R: Bob's. Queijo com banana e milk-shake de ovomaltine. Ué, e vocês estavam achando que eu sou gorda de graça?
27 - Quando foi a tua última visita ao hospital?
R: Quando mamãe quebrou o pé.
28 - De que cor é o carpete do teu quarto?
R: Carpete? Por quem me tomas? Parquet com tapete persa, que eu mereço...
29 - Como chamava o teu ursinho de pelúcia?
R: Dorka. Ainda se chama, e agora é da Manoela.
30 - Quantas vezes foi reprovado no exame de condução?
R: Nunca. Por incrível que possa parecer.
31 - Como se vê daqui a 10 anos?
R. Com um salário decente. Mais serena. Grisalha.
32 - De que pessoa recebeste este questionário?
R: Do blog da Elis.
33 - Quem dos teus amigos vive mais longe?
R: Muitos. O Tom, a Janet, a Cindy, a Sandy, o Ed, o Sérgio Canetti, o Bruno, o Luiz...
34 - O melhor amigo?
R: O Hermano.
35 - Hora de Dormir?
R: Quando bate o sono. Bem tarde.
36 - Quantas vezes deixas tocar o telefone antes de atenderes?
R: Até eu descobrir onde foi parar a porcaria do telefone sem fio.
37 - O que tens debaixo do mouse do computador?
R: Um mouse pad com gel para poupar o pulso.
38 - CD?
R: Pletnev, agora.
39 - Pior Sentimento do mundo?
R: Perder quem a gente ama.
40 - Melhor sentimento do mundo?
R: Receber beijo e abraço das filhas.
41 - O primeiro pensamento que tens ao acordar?
R: "Estou com fome".
42 - Se pudesse ser outra pessoa quem seria?
R: Bach, mas só por um mês.
43 - O que é que tens debaixo da cama?
R : Uma gaveta em que guardo minhas bolsas.
44 - Que horas são?
R: 19:50 (levei horas para achar os acentos nesse computador!)
domingo, outubro 13

Tempus fugit

just had a young woman come in looking for recordings. One of the Schubert songs she was seeking is only in our collection on LP. "LP - what's that?" she said.....
On Translation

You can't ever go directly from one language to another in translating, nor even from one to another by way of a dictionary. You always have to go from one to another by way of the real world, because it is the real world that each language is a map of. Dictionaries are not good enough because they can't ever include the world. Computers can't translate properly because they don't understand the world.
People have to be aware, for themselves, of the fact that no one language directly matches any other. For people who live in monolingual communities and have never themselves learnt more than one language this is quite a difficult concept to grasp.

Andrew Dalby, Language in Danger
I am at work this PM (helping students at the reference desk), and outside the library there is a continual pounding of drums. Today there is a marching band competition here, and for some reason it must be outside the library. Much worse than carnaval, because the drummers are no good...

Quintus Ennius tria corda habere sese dicebat, quod loqui Graece et Osce et Latine sciret.

Web searching

I enjoy seeing how our visitors get to this blog. Today someone arrived by simply searching - tom moore brazil - in Google.
Surprisingly enough the top hit for this search is Search Extreme - The Joy of Search, which apparently is
"the world's most comprehensive database of detailed scene-by-scene adult video indexing". Even a seasoned information professional like myself had no idea that such a thing was out there...and I am wondering why -tom moore brazil- pulls it up in Google.
I am not sure that I want to find out....
terça-feira, outubro 8


Laura arrived safely this morning ahead of schedule, made it through immigration and customs with no problems, and we drove southwards without any traffic jams. Laura was installed at our place, and I ran off to teach a class at 9:30 AM (I woke up at 3:30 AM, am still awake at 1:20 ...we'll see how I make out later in the day. Laura is wearing two sweaters...too cold for her today.
quarta-feira, outubro 2


Next spring will make 25 years since I graduated from college. As part of our reunion we are asked to write briefly on life since graduation. What a task! Here's my stab at it...

How to imagine a trajectory before it begins, or explain it while it is in flight? Graduate school, marriage, children, more graduate school, more time in one place than I would have imagined possible, passion, separation, divorce, solitude, reflection. Friends, music, new friends, new places. Grad school at Stanford, a wonderful place to get to know California and make great friends. Then seven years in Massachusetts, which even now is still my home. And finally the last fourteen in New Jersey. Life blessed me with two wonderful children, Emma and Merlin, their mother, Sarah, and a quiet suburban spot in which to raise our children.. After many year of seeming stability my interest in languages brought me to Portuguese, giving me a window into life and culture in Brazil, which I visited for the first time in 1998, to play a concert. My experiences expanded – getting to know Rio de Janeiro was psychedelic in the truest sense, that is, revealing the soul, or as the OED would have it “producing an expansion of consciousness through greater awareness of the senses and emotional feelings and the revealing of unconscious motivations”. I fell in love with both the country and a fellow musician, Laura Rónai, with whom I have shared much love and music over the last four years. I have moved from focusing on early music to performing new music, working with composers, especially Sergio Roberto de Oliveira.
Once the future seemed imaginable. I have been learning how temporary the present is and how unforeseeable the future. What is there to hold to? “So pelo amor vale a vida”, and yet how fleeting are both of them.

terça-feira, outubro 1

Proust Questionnaire no. 2

Your most marked characteristic?

The quality you most like in a man?

The quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is your principle defect?

What is your favorite occupation?

What is your dream of happiness?

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

What would you like to be?

In what country would you like to live?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?

Who are your favoite poets?

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Who are your favorite composers?

Who are your favorite painters?

Who are your heroes in real life?

Who are your favorite heroines of history?

What are your favorite names?

What is it you most dislike?

What historical figures do you most despise?

What event in military history do you most admire?

What reform do you most admire?

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

What is your motto?



de Elis Monteiro

1- Que horas são?
R: 13:55
2 - Nome e apelido.
R: Tom Moore. Tonzinho.
3 - Quantidade de velas no teu último bolo de aniversário?
R: 46
4 - Furos nas orelhas?
R: Não tenho.
5 - Tatuagens?
R: Não gosto.
6- Já foi à África ?
R: Não. Não quero ir.
7 - Já se embebedou?
R: Raramente. Uma vez em Suecia, no Reveillon...
8 - Amou tanto alguém que chorou muito por ela/ele?
R: Chorei sim.
9 - Já esteve envolvido em algum acidente de carro?
R : 5 anos atras.
10 - Prefere Pregos ou cachorros quentes?
R: O que e isso?
11 - Peixe ou carne?
R: Frango com molho curry.
12 - Sprite ou Seven UP?
R: Cranberry juice. Ou agua com gas.
13 - Cerveja ou Champanhe?
R : Guinness.
14 - Café ou chá?
R: Café!
15 - O copo é metade cheio ou metade vazio?
R: Metade vazio.
16 - Lençóis de cama lisos ou estampados?
R: Vermelhos.
17 - Cor das meias?
R: Pretas.
18 - Lugar onde te beijem?
R: Boca.
19 - Feriado favorito?
R: Brasil!!!!!
20 - Canção que estás a escutar neste momento?
R: Brejeiro.
21 - Flor(es)?
R: Daisies.
24 - Tom ou Jerry?
R: Pogo.
25 - Disney ou Warner Bros?
R: Warner
26 - Restaurante de comida rápida?
R: Pastel e suco de maracuja.
27 - Quando foi a tua última visita ao hospital?
R: Quando Dona Nora quebrou a perna.
28 - De que cor é o carpete do teu quarto?
R: Cinza.
29 - Como chamava o teu ursinho de pelúcia?
R: Não tive.
30 - Quantas vezes foi reprovado no exame de condução?
R: Nunca.
31 - Como se vê daqui a 10 anos?
R.Brasileiro casado com brasileira.
32 - De que pessoa recebeste este questionário?
R: Do blog de Elis.
33 - Quem dos teus amigos vive mais longe?
R: Quase todos.
34 - O melhor amigo?
R: Serginho.
35 - Hora de Dormir?
R: Meia-noite
36 - Quantas vezes deixas tocar o telefone antes de atenderes?
R: Uma vez.
37 - O que tens debaixo do mouse do computador?
R: um mouse pad de Apple.
38 - CD?
R: Chico Buarque.
39 - Pior Sentimento do mundo?
R: Solidão.
40 - Melhor sentimento do mundo?
R: Amor.
41 - O primeiro pensamento que tens ao acordar?
R: Banho.
42 - Se pudesse ser outra pessoa quem seria?
R: Laura Ronai.
43 - O que é que tens debaixo da cama?
R : Nada.
44 - Que horas são?
R: 14:05.

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