some berimbau stuff

Today, after a long day of tutoring, struggling with technical problems, and going to capoeira class I decided to try to create a berimbau pendant from the jewellery supplies I have at home. The picture above shows the results of tries  #1 and #2 (photo is linked from my deviantART account because I’m too lazy too resize and re-upload it here). I like #2 way better and it reminds me of pale moonlight.

A few minutes ago I found something else berimbau-related … at, a blog/homepage Darling likes to frequent. Somebody decided to build a robotic berimbau playing itself. A really weird idea, but it’s a little bit funny as well. Here’s the link to the post: And this is a video of that robotic berimbau:



Favourite Friday: Scene from “The Hobbit”

“Far over the Misty Mountains cold …”

This song scene gave me goosebumps, in a good way. There are some other really nice scenes in the movie, but this one is on my mind most often. I wish my voice was this deep and resonating when I sing the song. The atmosphere which is set by the combination of the song and the pictures shown (I totally adore how they switch to the camera on the outside of the cottage and show the spark-blowing chimney against the night sky, by the way) is just the right mixture of a calm, warm moment, melancholy, and a sense of oncoming adventure. It was also the moment when the dwarves became less annoying in my eyes. Warm fuzzy feelings for everyone!

umbrellas in the library


Today it rained and rained and rained like crazy, and there was a lot of wind as well. I was stuck in a building after eating lunch because I didn’t want to get soaked within two minutes and then sit in the library for the rest of the day while shivering in my wet clothes. Later it got better for a moment so I ventured to another library first to get some books. As usually I went to the rows of lockers first and was greeted by a colourful swarm of umbrellas. There are at least three rows of lockers (I never counted, but it could be four or five) and all of them were covered in open umbrellas! I guess on a day like this no one worries about thieves because there are bigger problems.

I went outside with my books and got a little drenched because I didn’t want to wait another hour, but at least my coat didn’t leak so I could go into the other library and sit on the floor hidden between rows of shelves with a stack of books on cognitive linguistics in front of me.

Capoeira workshop

During the weekend of Pentecost a big capoeira workshop will take place in our city, and on the first evening (Friday) there will be a Batizado. A Batizado is the annual event for a group where new capoeiristas get their first cords, and advanced students get new ones (Troca de Corda) if their teacher thinks they deserve them. Unlike some other martial arts traditions there is no real “examination” in capoeira, because it is decided in advance who will get what cord and when. So the playing before getting the cord is mostly a ritual where the student just shows their skill and in the end will be taken down by the high graded capoeirista against whom they play.

I’ve never been to such an event, but as I’ve been to class for two years (with some longer breaks in between due to travelling or illness) the trainer of Friday class asked me if I wanted to get my first cord this year. Sure I want to!!!

It costs a lot of money – at least in the dimensions of a university student’s budget – to take part in the Batizado and the workshop (and in addition I’ll have to get my first pair of abadás, the white trousers typically worn, which is pretty expensive as well), but if not now, when will I ever do it? Right now I’m earning some extra money in addition to the student loan, I’m able to pay my rent and my food, and I can save some money by not buying any new henna for a while. Who cares about some early grey hairs when they can spend the money on being shouted at in Portuguese to move faster and lower? I don’t know where I’ll be next year at this time. I just know that this year I’ll have the opportunity to have a great time, boost my self-confidence, get some serious extra exercise, and have fun with a bunch of friendly, supporting people.

Less than one month from now I’ll wear white, at least if nothing goes wrong. I really, really hope I won’t be ill that weekend – I’ve been struck by a multiple week long nasty cold twice already this year, and I haven’t made a full recovery yet. Even if I probably won’t get higher cords it will be nice to have something to remind me that I’m strong and that my body is worth taking good care of it.

Favourite Friday: Quotes from Star Trek: Voyager (Janeway, season 1+2)

Some of the best lines delivered by Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager in the first two seasons

“At ease, Mr. Kim, before you sprain something.” ( Caretaker)

“Dismissed. That’s a Starfleet expression for ‘get out’.” (The Cloud)

“There’s coffee in that nebula.” (The Cloud)

“Weird is part of the job. “ (Deadlock)