Writing…

This week, at work, I’ve spent a big portion of my time writing. I’ve also spent time pitching our products, which I normally don’t do at all. But back to the writing topic, I do love writing, and apparently, I had forgotten about it. And as quite a few of the things I love, I love and hate writing at the same time.

I love and hate swimming because when I don’t go swimming (which nowadays is pretty much always) and think about it, I realize how lazy I am.

I love and hate traveling because it’s so exciting but I can’t avoid thinking I would be better off living in a different part of the world. But I don’t want to keep moving. Or do I?

I love writing because it’s so liberating. But I hate writing because it’s so frustrating.

Writing gives me freedom and  lots of energy, it makes me want to turn up the volume of the music and fly. I believe that language is BEAUTIFUL. And picking the exact words to say what you want to say, although not easy, is very fulfilling.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a storyteller. I wanted to write stories for kids and have someone make movies for children based on my stories. During high school, I wrote not only a personal diary and regular letters to my friends, but also short stories and some poetry too. I even won some minor contests. Truth is, when I look back, I think it was the best way I could’ve chosen to deal with my teenager problems.

Sometimes when I’m writing I like noisy atmospheres. The reason why is when I realize it’s noisy, I also realize how concentrated and focused I’ve been, and believe me, concentration is not one of my best qualities. Other times I prefer it dead silent, otherwise nothing comes out of me. And for happy, laid-back writing, I like music. But not all types of music. I especially like Seether and today I added Bush to my list of preferred bands to listen while writing. I guess Nirvana would be a no brainer, but I’ve never tried, and I don’t feel like doing so… at least not yet.

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Home…

I’ve always been a bit of a nomad person. During the 4 years I spent in Barcelona, I moved like 9 times or so: Putxet, Raval, Gràcia. In May it’s going to be 3 years since I moved to San Francisco (without actually knowing I was doing so), and during these 3 years I’ve lived in SOMA, Haight & Ashbury, Noe Valley, and Parkmerced, in a total of 10 different apartments. If this weren’t enough, I happened to marry a nomad person too, his moving stats certainly beat mine!

About two years ago, I became a bit obsessed with the idea of finding a place that I could finally call home. I came back ‘home’ (where my parents live and have always lived) and people would ask me: where do you live now? They meant “in which country”, not “what’s your address”, and I didn’t even had an answer to that. I tried not to think too much about it, but the truth is I felt kind of lost, as if I didn’t belong anywhere.

Today I’m leaving Barcelona after a month and a half of traveling between San Francisco, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Today I’m going home. Yesterday I spent two hours walking on the beach, and I felt this town, Calella, as my home. My home as in hometown, as in the place where I can always come back and feel safe. I don’t especially like or dislike this town apart from its beach (which I love!). But it doesn’t feel like home-home anymore. I feel comfortable acknowledging, maybe for the first time in my life, where I belong, why I like Calella and why San Francisco is my new home now.

Whenever I go back to Calella, I feel like I am a kid again. Or a teenager. Or both at the same time :) I feel time is frozen and I remember when my first computer- a 386- was here, in this exact same desktop where my laptop is right now. I look around and see my swimming trophies, high school diplomas, even a letter from a friend which was written 15 or 16 years ago. Something in this room is weird, there’s no swimming bag, no high school books, no CDs, no bike, no friends … And there’s always this suitcase.

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After all these years searching for a place to call home, it’s somehow difficult to accept that I have a new home, but I do. I know I’m not going to last more than a year in our current apartment, but San Francisco is probably going to be home for a bit more. Or maybe not. But honestly, I don’t think about it that often (thanks Leti!). Because you know, the same way when you try to run away you can’t run away from who you are, and you always take ‘that bag’ with you, when you don’t (run away) but move around like I do, this same bag, full of good and bad things, full of you and your loved ones, always travels and settles with you.

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La niña a la que se le cayó el caramelo de la boca al suelo

Érase una vez

Cuando era pequeña mis padres me llevaban cada Navidad al Saló de la Infància: el evento familiar más esperado del año (al menos para mi). Hija de hosteleros- además de hija única- pocas eran las veces en las que una servidora podía disfrutar de sus padres y “hacer cosas normales como el resto de los niños” (sí, así de cruel era). Y aún menos durante épocas festivas como por ejemplo la Navidad. La Navidad, los meses de verano o los fines de semana eran, con diferencia, las peores ocasiones para poder estar en familia. Sin embargo, a la cita Navideña con el Saló de la Infància, a esa, no faltábamos nunca, ni mis padres ni yo, durante todos los años durante los cuales fui capaz de alargar mi infancia.

Entre las diversas actividades que se llevaban a cabo durante el salón de la infancia, una de ellas era participar como público en el directo de un programa de televisión. Aquél año fueron los Picapuça, que daban en TVE2. Me encantaba ese programa: saltos, risas, payasos, canciones, era todo diversión. O al menos eso es lo único que recuerdo. Estuvimos como siempre entre el público, riéndonos mucho y yo rezando para que no me escogieran y me hicieran salir a participar. Por suerte ese año me volví a salvar.

Recuerdo que estábamos fuera del recinto, cuando uno de los tres payasos protagonistas pasó, vestido de calle, por nuestro lado. Yo me estaba comiendo un caramelo de naranja. “Oh, es uno de los Picapuça!” les dije a mis padres emocionada. Y mi padre, ni corto ni perezoso,  cogió y le dijo al susodicho algo así como “Hola, hemos estado en el programa y nos lo hemos pasado muy bien. Muchas gracias. Y ésta es nuestra hija, a la que le encantaría conocerte.”

Meeeec. Si bien mi padre no estaba equivocado- yo soñaba con conocer a ese payaso- la realidad era muy diferente: yo no quería tener que hablar con ese payaso.

En otras palabras:

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Durante los 5 segundos restantes, que podían haber sido 5 minutos y que a mi personalmente me parecieron 5 horas, nadie dijo nada. Yo me quedé pasmada mirando al Picapuça y no fui capaz de articular palabra.

Mi madre me dio un golpecito en la espalda y me dijo “Pero di algo”.

Y cuando por fin se me abrió la boca, fue para que el caramelo de naranja que me estaba comiendo se cayera al suelo.

No recuerdo nada más, a parte de pasar una vergüenza enorme.

Nada ha cambiado…

Aunque los que me conocen me tienen por extrovertida (la verdad, no hablo poco), y aunque parezca mentira, nada ha cambiado. Aún hoy sigo siendo esa niña a la que no dejan de caérsele los caramelos al suelo cada vez que pide un café con leche desnatada, una cerveza en un bar, un billete en el autobús- gracias tarjetas mensuales- le da las gracias y la propina al pizzero, se encuentra con un conocido por la calle y no sabe hacia dónde mirar ni cómo saludar (si nos conocemos y alguna vez no he saludado, perdona, seguramente me dio vergüenza), … y tantas y tantas otras ocasiones, incluidos los días de nuestras bodas. Los dos. El primero con 4 personas y el segundo con 110. (Pero esa es otra historia, y el esfuerzo y la vergüenza definitivamente valieron la pena).

Hablar mucho no es sinónimo de ser extrovertido. Reírse muy alto (algo que también me caracteriza) tampoco. Cuando le digo a al gente que soy introvertida me miran con cara de ‘no puede ser’. Pues sí, sí que puede ser.

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I love Barcelona

M’estic re-enamorant de Barcelona. Cada vegada que torno m’agrada més. Quan vaig marxar pensava que ja n’havia tingut prou, i en canvi ara, cada vegada que torno de visita, tinc la sensació de que encara m’hi queden coses per fer.

I <3 Barcelona…

Per la seva arquitectura

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Pel seu color

arquitectura1Pels colors al tornar a casa de bon matí

casa-aviatPels carrers de pedra

carrers-pedraPer les places

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plaça1Pels amics

amicsPer la  literatura

literaturaI per la música

musicaPer la gent sentada al terra

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I pels R-E-C-O-R-D-S…

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10 cover songs I like

Today I re-discovered this cover of Don’t Fear the Reaper by HIM, I had completely forgotten about it and when I listened to it for the fist time, again, I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not. I’ve decided I like it. And it inspired me to write this blog post with 10 unusual, as in ‘you wouldn’t (or I wouldn’t) think this band would play this song’, songs. I hope you like them.

  1. HIM cover of on’t fear (The Reaper), by Blue Oyster Cult.
  2. Machine Head cover of Message in a Bottle, by The Police (one of my favourites).
  3. Johnny Cash cover of Hurt, by Nine Inch Nails.
  4. Limp Bizkit cover of Faith, by George Michael.
  5. Tool cover of No Quarter, by Led Zeppelin. Ok, this makes actually a lot of sense, and I’m so glad Tool picked this song. But I had to have it in this list. I just love this cover.
  6. Alanis Morissette cover of Let’s do it (Let’s fall in love), by Frank Sinatra.
  7. Gipsy Kings cover of Hotel California, by Eagles.
  8. Guapo Apes cover of Big in Japan, by Alphaville.
  9. Placebo cover of Daddy Cool, by Boney M.
  10. The man who sold the world, by Nirvana. This is a song that I, ignorant, thought it was original from Nirvana. Around three years ago, not more, and to my surprise, I discovered David Bowie had written it a long time ago. Surprise, surprise.

I ‘m saving 10 covers that I don’t like for another post :)

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Loving and hating the ‘new’ Gmail interface

Some weeks ago- it may actually be some months ago, since time goes by pretty fast lately- when I had to switch to the ‘new’ Gmail interface, I thought in changing my email client again because… because some reasons that I am going to go through in a minute.

Last week I got a new computer (yay!) and took advantage of the situation to try a new email client. Why? There was really no reason, but I ended up giving ‘Airmail‘ a try. One week later, I am back to Mailplane (which actually uses the Gmail interface). So far, I’ve tried Airmail, Mailplane, Sparrow,  Thunderbird, and Mail App. And I always keep coming back to Mailplane. Want to know why? Keep reading.

3 reasons why I hated the ‘new’ Gmail interface

  • How am I supposed to know how to edit the subject line when replying to an email? Clicking everywhere till I find it?

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  • Same thing with the styles. Look at the image below. I thought I’d click the “+” (#1), because it looked like it could have what I was looking for, but instead I got a bunch of not so often used features (#2): smileys, calendar (which can be added automatically by including a date), etc. Oh well. Where were my colors, bullets and text editing tools? They were, again, hidden behind the underlined + italic A (#3) which, now that I know, makes sense, but pardon me, not before.

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  • When responding to a thread, every time I wanted to delete an email I had started writing, I saved it as draft, went to drafts and discarded it. Why? Because I thought that clicking on the waste basket would delete all the thread. How was I supposed to know that this won’t happen? Again, once I knew- one day my husband saw me deleting an email like that and said: ‘What are you doing? Why you just don’t delete the email? And because I trust him, I did so :)- that gave me no more trouble, but before knowing, it was a pain.

I finally got used to finding all those things, I guess it was resistance to the change or something. The thing is, for better or for worst, these things weren’t bothering me anymore when I switched to Airmail.

I want to mention that it is also possible that the Gmail guide explained all those things, but the problem is that when the guide appeared in front of me I hadn’t time to go through it. I prefer things to be intuitive and self explanatory, and if not possible, I would like explanations when/ where I need them. I consider this part of a good product.

3 reasons I am loving it (Gmail/ Mailplane) again

  • When you archive or delete the first email and the second one is not read yet, Airmail, Mail App and others just mark it as read. Nooooooo! That’s my reason #1 to miss an email. And I don’t want to miss any emails.
  • Search just doesn’t work that well. I usually need to find addresses of people it’s been a while I haven’t exchanged an email with, or emails from the past. It’s just how I use it. This last week I ended up using Airmail but always having my Gmail account open in the browser because of so many times I couldn’t find the email I was looking for on Airmail.
  • Select a text from an email, e.g. a name you want to search on Google, make the search, come back to your email client and click on reply to. The result is that only the text you had selected it’s included in your response. Sometimes this may be a useful feature, I agree, actually, quite a few times, but not always. And with Airmail, Mail App, etc. you can’t disable it (as far as I know). With Gmail/ Mailplane this simply doesn’t happen.

And then there’s the calendar tabs, which is one of the best features Mailplane has added this year: you can have open tabs both for your email or for your calendar. I normally need  3 email accounts and 2 calendar accounts open, and Mailplane let’s me have it all open at the same time and easily switch from one to another. This is priceless.

There’s obviously things that I liked from Airplane/ Sparrow/ Apple Mail, but none of them is worth the change. I am going to stick to Gmail/ Mailplane.

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Deberes después de la comida

¿Volveré a escribir en mi blog alguna vez? Parece que la respuesta es sí. Aunque la respuesta definitiva vendrá cuando clique en el botón de “Publish”. Y quién sabe si eso sucederá (ni cuándo).

Hay Cuando empecé a escribir este post había un perro ladrando-aullando en la oficina, y aunque ése no es el tema que lo inspira, se podría decir que tiene algo que ver. Resulta que ayer hace unos días, por primera vez en años (por lo menos 4 o 5), volví a sentir aquella sensación. La de cuando vuelves de comer con los compañeros de trabajo y dices: ‘ostras, tengo que trabajar pero ahora mismo me gustaría leerme tres libros, ver dos pelis, aprender a jugar a ‘Go’ y no sé cuántas cosas más’. Y sólo leerme uno de esos libros ya me llevaría más de un día. Qué estrés.

Cómo lo había echado de menos… y ni tan siquiera me había dado cuenta. Eso me hace pensar que tal vez haya más cosas buenas que haya perdido por el camino sin enterarme, pequeñas cosas que te hacen feliz o que se llevan la felicidad con ellas sin avisar. Malditas. Bueno, que no cunda el pánico, parece que se pueden recuperar, cuando menos te lo esperas, vienen y aparecen. x2 (o por más).

Y hablando de pequeñas cosas que te hacen feliz, cómo me gusta la palabra (inventada, pero palabra) ‘sintigo’. Cada vez que la digo o la escribo- leerla no puedo, a menos que la escriba yo, porque no existe- me parto de risa. Como por ejemplo ahora. Sintigo.

En fin, volviendo al tema de la comida y los deberes. Vayamos por partes.

  • “Vuelves de comer con los compañeros del trabajo”. Volver de comer con los compañeros de trabajo implica que ya no trabajo sola (físicamente), que no como en casa, y que hablo con gente a la hora de comer. Y si además, como yo, tienes la oportunidad de hablar de cosas interesantes, pues te das cuenta de por qué las relaciones humanas son importantes, te sientes persona.
  • Esa sensación ‘de que el cerebro te va a explotar’. Lo decía Gus a veces cuando volvíamos de comer, ‘me gusta ir a comer con vosotros pero hay veces que vuelvo con un montón de deberes’. Sonrisa. Pues eso. Si has estado ahí, sabes lo estimulante que esto resulta. A veces sucede a la hora de comer a veces no, lo que nunca faltan son las personas con las que conectas, las personas a las que estimulas y motivas a la vez que ellas a ti.

Qué bien recuperar esas pequeñas cosas…

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