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Thursday, February 28, 2013

365 Days Ago: February '12

Well... it isn't February anymore, but if it was, it'd be February 30th, which still sounds like a somewhat legitimate calendar day, which is all the convincing I need to pretend this small delay never happened. Move along then. Go on. Nothing to see here.

I took this photo on Valentine's Day. I think it was about 2pm and I was set on taking myself out on a date - hence my all-time favorite dress. I can't remember (exactly) what else happened on that day. But I know I had fun.

Birthday loot. Pillows, a bedside water bottle, a fancy pen to keep around my dresser, a butterfly guide, and... yes, that is a framed photo of Kim Jaejoong, yes, it's been on my bookshelf ever since, and yes, it's a long story. It's titled My Sister Is A Troll.

And the biggest butterfly collection I've ever seen (though to be fair I haven't seen many). Visiting it was an absolutely mindblowing experience. A monastery tucked in the middle of nowhere, a monk guiding me through the collection and wishing me a happy birthday, his complete and utter kindness as he offered to show us the church, the cloisters, the birds he raised (hopefully still raises) as a hobby. Spotting a temporarily caged crow, picking lavender as we walked through the grounds, being offered oranges as a token of gratitude for our visit... it made me think back to everything I know and admire about monastic life. All religion aside, I've been always been rather fascinated by the way rules and discipline, when applied to the body through an external source, can free the mind to focus on the bigger picture. Because self control is a finite resource, you see. So maybe if I didn't have to resort to mine to get up every morning and spend the next sixteen-to-eighteen hours hitting all the required checkpoints of modern life, I'd be able to devote the most significant part of my attention to, I don't know, actually improving myself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Trial By Bone Saw

('La Autopsia', 1890, Enrique Simonet)

Last year, I had the opportunity to watch not one, but two autopsies - we can say it was a very morbid dream come true. Twice.

The text you're about to read was written on February 21st and chronicles my personal views on the first of those two events. I hate to state the obvious, but dead people are involved and you may or may not like the subject. I hope, nevertheless, no matter where you stand, that you can be respectful about it. Thank you.
Sunday, February 17, 2013


I'm down with a nasty cold, a bad shoulder, and a swollen eye. I don't get sick very often, you see - but when I do, I like to do it right. The more, the better. And that's kind of why you're getting a post of random pictures with very little words. Now off to slap on a heating pad, down a lovely Fluticasone-Acetylcysteine-Paracetamol cocktail, and throw myself a pity party (with fancy chocolates that I won't be able to taste). See you on the other side.

Have a nice week!
Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Unfortunate But Tolerated Decay Of Relevant Public Property

(Palacete Pinto Leite - Rua da Maternidade, Porto)

I visited a palace, a few days ago. I didn't know much about it, but it was a ten-minute walk from my flat and I was in an escapist mood, so I decided to just grab my camera, make my way there, and learn.

Well I hate to say it, but it's been a while since I've been this disappointed by a touristic endeavor. The state of the gardens is apparent in the photo above. It left a negative impression on me, right away, but I was willing to excuse it - since it's February and the weather hasn't been exactly picture-perfect. So I walked in, up the steps and into the opulent front room. Intricate columns and ceilings, a red carpet leading up a staircase, and a small peek of a stained glass window above. My excitement returned. I smiled at the man who walked up to me, asked him if I could wander around as I pleased, he said yes. I asked about pictures. He said no, not inside the palace. That... I hadn't expected.