Larralde

Yesterday José Larralde came to Berisso.

I always wanted to see him live but all of his appearances were on hard to reach places.
He gifted us with a magnificent show of a bit less than four hours.

This year I did not attend to many shows but this was one of the bests.

Burning down the house

(Watch out)

So many drafts, some stories and pictures from the last PyCon at Bahía Blanca.

I was happily hacking on the kitchen the other Saturday when I hear a strange noise coming from the garden.

To my dismal surprise I see that the shed is on fire and part of the roof collapsed. I went in to take out a propane can to avoid an impending catastrophe and called the firemen (lucky us, they are a few blocks away).

We lost the roof, tools, vinyls and books on an adjacent room but nothing that can’t be replaced. Still fuck.

Some pictures of PyCon at flickr (not mine) https://www.flickr.com/photos/70871182@N04/sets/72157677377824525

Back to Berisso

After my visit to Las Flores Cemetery we resumed the journey. I dropped my new friend at San Miguel Del Monte with a handful of money so he could travel by bus instead of waiting for someone all night.

My original plan was to take route 215 straight to La Plata (after crossing Brandsen) but I did a bad turn and mistakenly took route 41 instead. I realized that when I arrived at General Belgrano.

I continued to route 29, watching wonderful landscapes. Among them people selling homemade jellies, cheese and cured meats (chorizos, salamis…). Finally, I arrived at Brandsen and this time I took the right turn towards La Plata. I did a quick stop at Lisandro Olmos to buy a couple of kilos of strawberries to eat on the last stretch.

When I entered home I rushed for a shower and slept for about 10 hours straight. What a rest.

Butterfly at night

The other day walking back home I spotted this butterfly resting on the sidewalk. I watched quietly as the wings moved slowly for a bit, to take off a little while and disappear into a bush.

Emptiness

Yesterday I went to see Patricia Sosa at the Playón Municipal.

She used to move me, make me cry, laugh. But I was like, meh, nothing. All the people around cheering and singing and nothing.

All I had in my head was that old Rilo Kiley song (Paint’s peeling)

And i feel nothing, not safe
It’s a hard day for dreaming again

Sunrise.

Today was quite a lovely morning, not overly chilly despite being Winter. I didn’t consider all the mud so I missed it by a couple of minutes as I had to step out of the bike and walk. The rest of the set is there at flickr.

Always look on the bright side of life.

(scheduled to be auto published on June 1st. Probably I’m not around yet)

A lot happened these months.

Earlier this year I was officially stamped as being depressed. The downhill started before but I just snapped around mid January.

I used to live and breath by technology (well I still do but to a less extent), but lately I lost all joy and pride on what I was doing. Standing in front of my computer gave rise to a paralyzing anxiety. I knew exactly what to type, either because it was plain simple or I wrote it before on my notepad on the park, but the mere act of getting to the action part wasn’t working for me. I also spent way too much time doing crappy stuff for others on it, missing on my friendships, health, family and time for myself.

I also have a bad habit of not saying no. Saying yes it’s a different matter, but the net result was a very unhealthy overcommitting.

In a very bold move I decided to cut everything, no halfsies. I stopped answering the phone, every non urgent mail (if it wasn’t something urgent it’s still there, I’ll get back to you. Promise), all the social channels.

I let down a lot of people on the way but it let me really focus on what I care about.

It also gave me a bit of peace, I’m still crippled but not like before. During the last years I did all I could to build procedures, tools, documentation in order to be non essential. The bus factor on many of the things I’m involved with it’s still high but at least I don’t have that much pressure over my shoulders.

I disappeared into a black hole, things didn’t broke (well, most of them) and people somehow got around my absence. Being non essential is great, that feeling of freedom is quite good.

Today it’s June 1st and I am officially back online. I wrote a lot of stuff in this period, I don’t think I’ll ever publish most of that, while being technically correct the form reminds me of emo cries from the 90’s.

Everything old is new again

The other afternoon I saw a dude in his early twenties with a brand new Run DMC shirt and very proud of it. A mainstream radio played at middle morning some songs from the album “Lovelife” by Lush, and not even the popular ones. And I’m back to emo days.

Yummy.

The other week I felt like cooking.

I made cubes of calabaza in syrup like grandma used to, with ash or lime to harden the outside. About half day sitting in water and lime, a thorough clean and then five hours give or take on the stove with lots of sugar.

After that I roasted a sweet potato and just for kicks I also fried a banana in a mixture of honey and butter. That was really tasty.

Detachment

During these last days I went to my parents house to grab the rest of my things and head up to the unknown (well, for the next couple of months I kind of know where I’ll be at).

I was amazed at the amount of stuff that I’ve long forgotten. Books, tools, clothes, even toys… I gave away most of them. If I haven’t used a thing in ten years or more, even to the point of not remembering they were in the house there is little sense in keeping them. And some feel like an anchor tying me to the past, so out to the door it is.

The first day I hauled boxes to the street I felt terrible, sad and empty. Then it became more natural, like a relief.

The other Monday (it was a holiday here) I organized my clothes and kept only what I need and use. Some are so worn out that barely hold together. I’ve found some that I used when I was a teen (that is, about 13 years ago). Some fit me and some don’t, so in a sense at least I grew up.

I’m still childish in a lot of ways and honestly looking at how so many of the adults behave I’m positive that I don’t want to end up like that. Curiously enough, some people told me that trait is charming.

I’m still a long way from Nekkhamma but it’s a tiny step forward.

Next on my list: killing the Buddha.

(clothes)

(clothes)

 

From busted magnetron to incense holder.

It’s been a while since I made something nice.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a neighbour taking a microwave to the curb and brought it home with me, as they are always full of useful bits. This one was not very old but of a very simple construction. It has a mechanical timer that makes a lovely ‘ding’ when finished. It also went through a bit of hard love.

Cavity magnetrons are very cool devices. Besides providing a couple of strong magnets and aluminum plates they are made of a very pure copper allow with interesting shapes.

From time to time I like to burn some lignum vitae and upon opening this one I knew what to make of it. I chucked it on the drill press, gave it several passes of wet sandpaper and then a cloth with polishing compound. It took quite a good shine but the handling with greasy hands is giving it a light patina. The holes are filled with glow in the dark paint. I haven’t managed yet to capture the effect but they look quite good at night (and also with uv light).

I left the rest without a final polish, partly as a testament of its origins and also because probably I’ll make a cherry wood stand for it.

Emptyness

Lately I’ve been living most of the time alone on a house that used to host from four to six people and boy, it feels quite strange.

I can’t say I understand them but I’m starting to do things that always seemed a little weird to me before.

I arrive in the evening to be greeted by an all encompassing silence, I turn on the lights on many rooms, otherwise I feel a bit uneasy (and it is a pitch black here). I also find myself talking a lot more to my cats and thinking out loud.

All of a sudden lots of sounds, that were always here, step to the foreground. I can hear a faucet dripping on the far end. Kind of like the first time I wore earplugs and I started to hear my inner machinery.

Walk

This Sunday I went to the beach, Palo Blanco, and as it was a lovely day upon arriving I decided to walk from there to Isla Paulino. Had Sade and Gerry Rafferty stuck on my mind.

I made almost every conceivable mistake, starting by not telling anyone about my plans. Well, I did tell my whereabouts but not that I would walk along the shoreline to the island. Alone.

Started the trip with only a thermos and some cookies because I knew it was going to be just a short one. Halfway I slip and fall, breaking it. I was this close to spraining my ankle and the other bottle of potable water was at the car, together with the flashlight.

I really underestimated the effect of the cold. After a while of walking barefoot as I only had one pair of shoes,  my feet started to hurt and all of a sudden it stopped (I realized that after stepping on thorny grass, wondering why I felt nothing, but it surely hurted when I took a  hot shower back home). Also between the hard sand and the cold water I had to walk slower than usual (quite a bit)  because my tenons ached and at that pace the night would find me still in the middle of nowhere walking back to the car.

The net result was that I walked a tad less than two hours when on more favourable conditions I need about one. Lucky me I arrived at the urbanized part of the island with a few minutes to spare before the last ferry to Berisso leaved. The Sun was starting to set as I walked to the docks chatting with a group of fishermen from Quilmes and there we parted ways, they crossed to Ensenada and I went back to Berisso.

At home I drank some warm tea in a hurry, grabbed a coat and called a taxi. The driver wasn’t thrilled, it was dark already and a trip there sounded like trouble (and my looks were of no help). I was a bit concerned wondering if my car would still be there by then (I also left inside my backpack with a spare set of keys). It was.

According to the improved Google Maps experience (not!, at least not now.) I walked about 5Km, made about 6Km on boat and another 6Km on taxi.

It was totally worth it. The beach and jungle (?) are lovely, more even so without traces of people. Sadly there is a lot of trash, some brought by the river and other left there by who knows. Like always, plastic bags and drums, car chassis and other parts (!) and the new addition this year, textured condoms. Many of them.

Anyways, wonderful moments.

And people still ask why I don’t want to move out.

Previous walk was here.