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Reading and writing

Escrito por el 27 Feb, 2013 en Mi Vida

I spend too much time on the Internet. Waaaay too much. On average, one third of every waking hour I spend it on the computer. If not more. So I decided to start writing a bit, in order to be even a little productive, so I don’t completely waste my time. I don’t think all my time here is wasted either, so I guess I’ll start talking about that, about what I do online.

I have the Internet since I was 11. I remember it very clearly because that was the year that my dad passed away. Yes, very sad and tough for me and all my family. Cancer, if you want to know. He was very young and I miss him very much. But this is not the point of this story. So, as I was saying, I remember it because when my dad died, a cousin of his promised to give me and my brother a computer, as a gift. This cousin of my dad had (and has) a lot of money, and he used to own an Olivetti subsidiary (back in the day when Olivetti was one of the mainstream computer brands). I guess I was too young to understand the pain of the death of a parent, even though my family tells me I gave a very moving eulogy, but all that was in my mind those days was “OMGOMG I’m gonna have my own computer!”. When the day finally came, I had a brand new PC with a lot of gaming and science CDs, all courtesy of my dad’s cousin. I even got an Internet connection working since his son gave us his ISP account and password (back when there was such a thing). I was amazed. I got my first email, signed up for an ICQ account, got my PhD in Solitaire, all that classic stuff. Since those were the dial-up days, I had to go online after 8 PM, when it was cheaper.
Anyway, since the year 2000, I’ve been going online almost every day.
And what do I do these days?
Mostly, I learn. Gotta love learning. Reading wikipedia until the newspaper loudly falls on the neighbour’s yard (yes, those archaic pieces of paper filled with yesterday’s news that even in the twenty-first century get thrown by guys on bikes). Or reading thought-provoking articles in bourgeois magazines. Or the latest scientific advances that show how Humankind can still fight, deceive and control Nature. Sure, half of my time I spend it, I confess, on boring social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and similar websites based on mindless sharing. Online gossip factories. But still, I think my time is not-that-wasted because I choose to indulge in absorbing knowledge. Most of it is useless knowledge. At least, not immediately useful. Which results in a freak phenomenon. I don’t have good grades at school. I just don’t. Don’t ask why. But whenever I meet somebody I come off as a know-it-all guy and they assume I’m super smart, when the truth is I just happen to have a good memory and read a lot of freakish things. So that’s what I do. I acquire useless facts that I try to share when they’re relevant. And I can feel a little prouder of myself because I happen to impress people with such simple things.

So yeah, that’s what I do on the Internet. I keep thinking how I should do more. So I hope this is the beggining of a more-productive era. I don’t think reading is enough. I wanna write as well. Even if it’s simple stuff. But just reading?

Yeah, no.

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Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Escrito por el 12 Dic, 2011 en General

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating, I loved the point of view, very innovating. I had fun reading it.

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Review: Damn You, Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t Mean to Send

Escrito por el 6 Dic, 2011 en Opinión

Damn You, Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn't Mean to Send
Damn You, Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t Mean to Send by Jillian Madison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Really funny, made me laugh my ass off.



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Review: La vida privada de los árboles

Escrito por el 23 Nov, 2011 en Opinión

La vida privada de los árboles
La vida privada de los árboles by Alejandro Zambra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excelente obra, mucho más madura que Bonsái, llena de pasajes memorables. Si no fuera por un paralelismo forzado que busca darle Zambra con su opus primum, le hubiera dado cinco estrellas. Se percibe la influencia de Borges en querer repetir temáticas y elementos, pero siento que lo lleva muy lejos. Aún así, es una novela sólida, que melancólicamente retrata la desesperante espera de Julián, un marido que se siente intruso hasta en su propia vida, y espera interminablemente la llegada de su esposa. Hay una mirada medio onírica a ratos, que es bien desarrollada y le otorga un estilo bien particular. Usa pocos personajes, una premisa simple, y una prosa poética, suave, lenta. A pesar de lo breve, es un relato con cuerpo. Zambra se me hace como el Kawabata chileno, sin miedo a exagerar.

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Review: Bonsái

Escrito por el 22 Nov, 2011 en Opinión

Bonsái
Bonsái by Alejandro Zambra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Me gustó mucho el estilo pausado de Zambra, y el concepto de una novela “bonsai”. Entrañable, intenso; una “novella” redonda y con imágenes bien usadas. Se percibe un aire a Kawabata (apropiadamente epigrafiado), y a Carver, y es, en general, una novela muy asíática. La prosa es de redacción caprichosa a veces, pero quizás es parte de su estilo y todavía no lo capto bien. Dentro de todo, es lo mejor que he leído en el último tiempo proveniendo de un chileno. Quedé con ganas de leer más de este señor.

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Review: Bossypants

Escrito por el 21 Nov, 2011 en Opinión

Bossypants
Bossypants by Tina Fey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Very funny, but couldn’t really see the point of the book, besides rambling and rambling. It was OK.



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Review: Fight Club

Escrito por el 16 Nov, 2011 en Opinión

Fight Club
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, now this was an exceptionally good book. Especially at the end. I had already watched the movie long ago, so obviously I knew the twist was going to happen. But still, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt the pace of the plot was very cinematographic (maybe because it constantly reminded me of the film adaptation), very addictive, compelling, and fascinating. A short but intense read.

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Review: El fin del mundo y un despiadado país de las maravillas

Escrito por el 6 Nov, 2011 en Opinión

El fin del mundo y un despiadado país de las maravillas
El fin del mundo y un despiadado país de las maravillas by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Complejo, interesante, con temáticas relativas a la mente bastante “thought-provoking”. Muchas referencias a buena música y literatura. La trama parte bien, aunque a lo largo de su desarrollo, a ratos se vuelve lenta y predecible, pero al final repunta muy bien, y saca lo mejor de Murakami, con esas frases e imágenes tan evocadoras que lo caracterizan. No es su mejor obra (aunque un traductor estadounidense opina precisamente lo contrario), pero es más profunda de lo que parece a primera vista. Espero poder leerlo en un futuro próximo para poder tener una opinión más madura y reposada.

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Review: Sputnik Sweetheart

Escrito por el 19 Sep, 2011 en Opinión

Sputnik Sweetheart
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Intenso, lleno de esa prosa desbordante de exquisitos detalles, y esos toques mágicos y bizarros que hacen a Haruki Murakami uno de mis autores favoritos. Junto a “Al sur de la frontera, al oeste del sol”, se destaca por ser conciso en su maestría narrativa. A ratos un poco redundante, sobre todo a medida que se acerca el final, pero en general una gran lectura, que nos muestra el Murakami más maduro que se ha presentado en los últimos años.

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Guaranteed

Escrito por el 10 Jul, 2011 en General

On bended knee is no way to be free
lifting up an empty cup I ask silently
that all my destinations will accept the one that’s me
so I can breath

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
half their lives they say goodnight to wive’s they’ll never know
got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul
so it goes…

Don’t come closer or I’ll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you…

Everyone I come across in cages they bought
they think of me and my wandering
but I’m never what they thought
got my indignation but I’m pure in all my thoughts
I’m alive…

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
underneath my being is a road that disappeared
late at night I hear the trees
they’re singing with the dead
overhead…

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
consider me a satelite for ever orbiting
I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me
guaranteed…

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