Sunday, August 31, 2003

First of all an apology to all those whom i've been chatting with via messenger or icq: if i've dissappeared suddenly in mid-discussion it's because we've been experiencing net-connection problems here at the base. So i wasn't bored of what we were saying, i just didn't manage to connect again. This very update is the result of a tremendous effort in staying online.
But if you've been trying to call me these days, it's a completely different matter. The Man answers no phonecalls, because The Man is Busy.
(ok, maybe some calls, but only in particularly non-busy moments). And The Man will not call back, for The Man hath no money on His cellphone. So please desist from trying to dissuade me from whatever i'm doing. You know who you are.

Oh, and even though i'm too busy to spend my time on the net, Cicoria isn't. So she would like to bring This to your attention.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Don't expect updates in the next few days. i'm buuuuusy.
Interesting times are coming. Hopefully i'll manage to update this weekend, and catch you up on whatever may have happened.


Angelo, Hristo, Pino, Santje, Emilio, Stic. All in one evening. Most unexpected. Cool.
Emilio and Santje will be here for another while, which is also cool.

See you soon, wish me good luck.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

So today the academic year officially started. Usual big staff meeting, usual staff+associates buffet lunch, usual undercooked roast beef. Buffet wasn't that bad, actually. i just wasn't very hungry, so didn't bother to make the most of this lovely "free food" thing.
Two or three second years are back(first second year of 2003/2004: Fred!), one first year is already here, even though first years shouldn't be here until well into next week(another one of m.o.n.a.'s famous changes, just like the ten day week calendar). Chilean guy, very nice, from the same school Joaquin was from. First words he said to me were "so you like wine, huh?". Maybe he'd seen this blog.
Also started photocopying for teachers again today. AB had already left me stuff for next week, i hope the other teachers follow her example, i don't want to spend my wonderful weekend in the photocopy room!

Later in the evening i went over to the old house to visit Gato, got all sentimental about it. Especially now that all our conspiracy theories have a further rather important clue: it seems the people who took our place there are best of friends with the person who did all of this to us. Seems they were best of friends back in canada. It all makes sense.
Of course i'm kind of paranoid recently. Thing is, i'm rereading Watchmen for the first time since '95. It's still an indescribably perfect work of art. But it gets me thinking like Rorschach. Even worse, the other day i was reading Watchmen while listening to Joe's Garage. Which is sort of like reading 1984 while watching Brazil.

I was saying: i got all sentimental after seeing Gato, so i popped down to porto, to feel some rocks under me and stare blankly into the sea(sorry about that rhyme, couldn't really help it). After that, i went to a quiet place where i couldn't be heard, and played the ol'harp for a while. Quite surprisingly, i found myself playing quite comfortably for over an hour, and even having nice ideas. Hadn't happened in quite a while. So something good actually came out of my day.

Oh, a couple of shakeups in the teaching staff. A nice peruvian lady is taking what used to be Tony's math classes. Everybody seemed to already know her, maybe i did too, but i don't remember. And Paola Cosolini is back! Lovely to have familiar friendly faces around!
VB, on the other hand, is no longer working in duino. As you all probably already know, she's on maternity leave, and i wish her all the best, being a single mother must be tough, but the others i've known(mostly cousins) went through it(or are going through it) just fine. She'll be ok.

I guess that's all.
Oh, a few friends have called expressing their concern about my current situation. If people are worried about me, it must mean i'm getting things right.

Monday, August 25, 2003

And speaking about residences, here's how *exactly* i feel about the move!
(only visible 'till next monday. life's tough.)

Ok, so now i know all about the residences. Go ahead and ask me about them.
Most people i know got pala, probably just to make me envious.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

...And in case you were worrying, Yes, i do wonder about the importance of goofy-style dog/rat nosed characters in twentieth century popular iconography. And yes, i'm also well aware of being incurably beyond mental sanity.
But that's my problem.

Just got back from seeing Sabina Guzzanti in Cervignano. The ticket would've costed 15euros, but was free for us. My brother and i, that is, just walked around the park, found a construction site next to it, found a hole in its fence, found a hole in the fence between the construction site and the park, and got in for free. Worth it.
The show was okay, although i expected something a bit better, since 80% of it was just her pointing out what's wrong in italy and the world these days. I already know those things, i read the papers you know. I found her even patronizing in some moments, explaining the obvious to the audience. But on the other hand, she still does some of the best impressions in the trade, kicking off with her almost perfect impersonation of Berlusconi and going on with D'alema and more. Still, i guess i'm too well accustomed to Luttazzi's shows, where he considers the public to be at his same intellectual level, quite a flattering thing considering who we're talking about.
But hey, it was for free. i can't complain.

On the way back we stopped by a sagra, one of those typical countryside summer feasts, in a very small town called Pieris. Almost the whole town was there, too concentrated on playing bingo to notice the two bizarre characters making fun of them while eating their potato chips, holding back their temptation of carrying away some of the non-locked bicycles outside, not to mention the one of burglaring some houses.

Oh, and earlier today i found the dogfaced courage of bugging one of my idols. I usually never, ever do this, but just this once...well, see for yourself:

Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 09:28:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Robin Luis Fernandez"
Subject: Beefheart/Magritte/Schenkel

Dear mr. Schenkel,

I am an art student who is currently preparing his
thesis on the recently deceased chilean surrealist
Roberto Matta.
I'm doing my best not to start telling you how much i
love your work, because i would probably sound like
some deranged fan. And i would also have thousands of
questions to ask, but i'm keeping it down to one.
Here it is.

Today i was researching on Magritte while listening to
Trout Mask Replica. Suddenly, i realized an obvious
link between the cover of my book(L'Homme au Chapeau
Melon, 1962, visible here) and
the one of the album. Of course, while on the former a
bird is passing in front of the character's face while
Magritte is painting the picture, in the latter a fish
is being held in front of The Captain's face while
Schenkel takes the picture.
Immediately i wondered if such a link is intentional,
and if so, whether the inspiration comes from a
particular work of magritte, from his collective
ouvre, or more generically from the way of thinking of
the artists of that period.

I know this may seem far-fetched, but after all there
are musical links so obvious between Zappa and
Stravinsky or Boulez, who were both part of the
pre-WWII avant-garde, and i also remember Zappa
himself pointing out his appreciation of the dada
movement in his autobiography.

Ok, that's all i had to ask. I would also have asked
about mu-mesons or about the importance of goofy-style
dog/rat nosed characters in twentieth century popular
iconography(i noticed Art Spiegelman has started using
those recently) and about god only knows what else,
but i'll hold myself back for once.

Thank you so much for your attention,
greetings from Duino, Italy!

-Robin Luis Fernandez
P.S. if you ever want to visit italy, feel free to
crash on my floor.

For more information on the great calvin Schenkel, visit his wonderful website, best through this link.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Blogging from my first day of work. Anybody wanna see IB results?
I was happy about the idea of money going back into my bank account until last night around midnight, when i realized this also means getting up early and actually *working*.
So i got up at half past ten and here i am! Doing thirty-five copies of a twenty page paper. And that's all.
Could've been worse, at least i've been confirmed!

Oh, and last night was truly, truly hell. To replace the only touch of humanity* that's missing from the evaristo household since Joaquin left, my brother and i went to pick up the cat to bring him here.
Mayhem ensued.
I ended up, two hours later(my brother had already given up long earlier), lying on pala lawn while the cat sat patiently by my side and licked his left ear.
In those two hours i almost lost what little's left of my mental sanity. Which is what i would expect from anybody, after spending two hours trying to get your best friend into a cardboard box.

Don't want to think about this anymore.

Now, i would link to many truly fascinating sites, but for some reason i can't do that from the office. So i guess that's all for now.

*humanity, not humanism

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


Breaking news: I have been asked, no, *begged* to do the photocopying this year too. Friday i resume my habitual truckload of stuff to do for the beginning of the academic year, after which i shall resume my weekly regularly paid, uh, let's just carry on calling it photocopying and leave the witty remarks for later, i have something of a hangover.
Yes, for last night was Joaquin's last night in duino, which was dutifully celebrated. No more roommate, it's gonna be wierd, now i don't have any more excuses for not tidying up.
Ah, no, wait, i do: the hangover.

Anyway, My father's only comment about the confirmation was "yes, but they'll probably move you to another residence for this." He was probably hoping i would also get kicked out, so i could keep him company. Speaking of which, i met his replacement today. Kind of...young. But that's how they like them these days: young and cheap. With juvenile wardrobes to make a point of that last statement. At least i'm stylish and cheap.

Also, i finally developed all of this summer's pictures. Pity this blog doesn't support images. I guess i'll have to look for a better host. luckily, i won't need to change the address.

Um, that's all. Mr. Brain up there says it can't really work much longer without steam coming out of the ears and the secret escape hatch, so i'd better let it rest and dispose of deceased cells. Now, that was cheerful!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Going through windows XP?(Tnx to Pino)
Myself, i downgraded to win98. Waiting for the day i'll upgrade my brain to linux. If ever.

I've already linked to it before, i know it all too well. But i just have to send you there again.
One of my favourite online comics, maybe my favourite.
I love this strip.
I love the characters.
It's so good, it got me checking out sites about Joseph Beuys. Aaaaaah, what's life without postmodern webcomics?

Oh, and if you don't like comics, here's a site about felt.

Finally saw Lost In La Mancha! It was as good as i expected, perhaps more exasperating.

Favourite quote:

"Sfiga. It means bad luck. Actually, it's better than bad luck: Figa is the pussy, so sfiga is the negation of the pussy."
-Nicola Pecorini, Lost In La Mancha

That's all, i'm going to bed.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Snippet of a conversation that made me realize what a nerd i occasionally am. (that "occasionally" was only there for boosting up my self-esteem.)

Hm, Early Nineties Culture Shock.
Just confused Jordi (the baby "singer" who did Dur Dur D'etre Bebe) with Joshi (the author of the virus of the same name, born on a 5th of january) (the author, not the virus)


Actually, that was so nerdy, i think i'll put it on the blog.

Recommended site (actually, it's a .pdf file): The Annotated Asterix
Recommended song: Mongo Santamaria - El Pussycat

Oh, my pc now has a DVD player. Completely for free. Please don't ask me where it came from.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Back from Slovenia.
Ok, no, i was back yesterday. But that doesn't really count, i hardly noticed.
Dimitri's party was cool, most of the time i was not really there, but they tell me i've been sighted floating over europe's most famous capitals. North american ones were too dark for me to be seen.
Oh, and i've only been living here for about four days, and i already need to tidy up my room. Luckily, i've already found most of the stuff i had temporarily displaced with the move: Z's paintings are on my wall, all my asterixes and tintins are on their own personal bookshelf, as are my yearbooks. I'm still only missing my big Persepolis book, but it'll show up.
Oh, and i even discovered i have a Stravinsky Sacre Du Printemps cd conducted by Boulez. Lucky day.

Strangely, i've found no information at all about all these north american blackouts on their official site. Seems it's not so fair and balanced.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

So the doctor asks me what my symptoms are.
I answer: Headache, nosebleed, othitis, throat ache, unwillingness to update my blog.
She says: excuse me?
i say: Uh...i mean general weakness.
And she says: Oh.

She eventually prescribed every student's enemy, antibiotics. However, Pino just directed me to This Site, according to which i ought not worry about it. Check out the reference page, it's great!

So i'm a bit sick and too tired to get anything done. But yesterday i did invent a new sandwich!

The British Railways Memorial Sandwich

2 slices of soft, fresh bread.
1 hard-boiled egg
2 lettuce leaves
3-4 small, cherry-sized mozzarellas
1 slice of prosciutto crudo, possibly San Daniele.


1. place the prosciutto on the bread. If the bread is good enough, you will have applied a little margarine to intensify its taste.
2. cut mozzarella into slices 2-3 mm wide. Apply on prosciutto, add a little mayonnaise for stability.
3. slice egg, to a width of about 4 mm. deposit it on the mayo, salt the egg and add a little more mayo, if necessary.
4. cover everything with the lettuce, salt lettuce if necessary, close sandwich with 2nd slice of bread.
5. Enjoy!

Mine worked out great yesterday, now i can happily brag about having invented a new cocktail and a new sandwich this summer!
(The cocktail still needs a good enough name before i release it into the wild. The ingredients are quite hard to get, anyway, so don't hold your breath.)

Sunday, August 10, 2003

For the last time: i don't know *anything* about this year's residences.
All i know is that residences, rooms and roommates are decided at the very, very last minute, probably just to annoy people.
So please stop asking.

Next time someone asks, i'll just link them to this site.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Still busy unpacking. (Stocazzo! i've been in front of the pc for the past 3 hours!)
Meanwhile, check out the Seven Dwarves who moved our stuff's real site!
They were quite nice guys actually. Even though i still can't find Z's paintings. They must be around here *somewhere*.

Empty Room Blues
by Peter Chatman a.k.a. Memphis Slim

recording of 1940-1941
from The Bluebird Recordings 1940-1941 (RCA 66720)

My room was empty, and my woman was gone
My room was empty, and my woman was gone
I didn't have a nickel, and all my clothes in pawn

I asked my next door neighbour, which-a-way did my baby go?
Asked my next door neighbour, which-a-way did my baby go?
She says she left for the border, down in old Mexico

I found a note on the floor, it almost sent me off in a trance
I found a note on the floor, it almost sent me off in a trance
She said it's nothin' that you done, I'm just leavin' in advance

Yes, yes, yes

It's so hard when a woman leave you, and she leave you on a zoom
It's so hard when a woman leave you, and leave you on a zoom
You come home feelin' very happy, and find only a empty room

Friday, August 08, 2003

Connected PC in new flat.
Alive, not for long.
Will write more later.
Must help unpack.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Ok, so it's not officially the last day at this place. The big guys left rather suddenly only an hour and a half after starting their work, leaving us wondering what had happened. We assume the move will have to carry on tomorrow. But i'm absolutely certain i *did* hear one of them whistling the seven dwarves' song on the way out. Creepy.

Oh, and speaking of seven dwarves, check out this. and this.

Ok, it's officially the last day at this place. The big guys with a funny look on their face who have to be watched at all times are taking our things away.
The only good thing about this is that i didn't have to clean the shower after using it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

You wouldn't believe what i just found in my room!

The Floor!

Yes, it's still there!!!!

Cleaning out behind my bed. Keep finding reference books and boxes full of condoms.
Found a large [reference] book of nursery rhymes. Beautiful book. Took it upstairs to my mom, asking if we should give it back.
Her answer was: "Do you really want to throw it away like that?"
So we get to keep it.

Ok, i'm going to say something i'll bet nobody expected to read: i'm sleepy.
And another new one: it's half past two in the morning.
Have you ever noticed most people post for their blogs late at night? I don't think i've ever seen one updated at, say, nine o'clock in the morning.
Anyway, i've been filling boxes until 20 minutes ago, tomorrow will be really hectic, since it's the last day of work in *this* house...on thursday the big bad carrying gnomes will take the entire content of our house and deposit in the new, smaller one.
And then they'll notice it doesn't. really. fit.
And we'll say "see? this is what we've been trying to explain for the past FOUR MONTHS".
And they'll say "you should talk to your bosses about this."
And we'll say "...never mind." and attempt to squeeze into the house.

Was in udine today, sold some of my brother's old LPs, managed to trade them for 37€ worth of cds. I drive a hard bargain.
What cds did i get? I got this and this and this and, oh, hey, also this.
The gorillaz one is cool, but a bit scratched. That's ok, acceptable risk of buying 2nd hand cds. I almost also got Soft Machine's 4th and 5th, 2LPin1cd, but then i noticed Robert Wyatt isn't in them. My canterbury mental files are fuzzy. Oh, and that last one reminds me of when i spelled YAZOO in scrabble. The other players didn't let me use it though. Pity, 'cause it was worth something like a grillion points. Spoilsports.

Ok, that's all for tonight. Keep in touch.

Link of the day(day?): my ex-watering hole! (water???)

Monday, August 04, 2003

When i awoke, an army of groos had invaded my house and were carefully removing all fragile decorations.
In the confusion, i found the Complete Works of Svevo on the living room table, and proceeded to find a short story of his i'd always wanted to read, La Novella Del Buon Vecchio E La Fanciulla.
Then, halfway through, i realized this wasn't the short story i wanted to read. The one i wanted was La Novella Del Vecchio Con Il Fiore In Mano by Pirandello. Oh, well...

Anyway, this morning the ISDN cable elves came and switched our phone line with Tony's, which not only means that i can still connect to the 'net from home, but also that whoever will come to live here after us will pay for our phone calls. Timbuctoo, here we come.

Oh, and don't forget to check out Hot Dog's Historical Photo Gallery!

Oh, one last thing.
Since our phone line is being moved out, i won't have an internet connection, of course.
So i'll have to check my mail and do other net-related business elsewhere.
So i probably won't be updating very often, at least until saturday.

That's it, i'm off to look for another three thermometers.

As always, i can be reached at e_varisto at inwind dot it. My feline roommate Gato and my plush dog HotDog will be needing psychological support during this period. So drop me a line, i'll forward any messages to them.
Note to self: get them personal email addresses.


This evening Navin and family came over to say goodbye. Thet'll be leaving for canada early this morning. Tomorrow Tony and Dima leave for Singapore, Hristo will be staying around for some time, scrounging accomodation from friends.
Tomorrow our air conditioning and phone line will reach their old friend, the satellite cable, at the new house. My father's stuff will also be sent to chile tomorrow, and hopefully some big strong people will come and pick up my mom's 7 boxes of books and notes and dump them in her new, 2m x 2m office.

Needless to say, our time here is running out. We're supposed to be moving out of pala between friday and saturday.
I'm already looking for some mercury to burn in the corners of the living room in the last three days. Hopefully the house will be haunted afterwards.

I know it's very cozy to say so now that everything's almost done, but i had seen all this coming.
Some months ago, i was in Gorizia for the official opening of a photography exposition, one covering over 20 years of output from some of the most talented photographers who've studied in the college here in Duino. And as you may have noticed, we've had quite a few of those. Very talented ones, too.
And there i was surrounded by then-current students and ex-students who had come especially for the event (not to mention a cousin of mine who was visiting at the time, and who popped by much to my surprise. Hola leo!), just after listening to the great Angelo Friolo, one of the most dedicated people i've ever met, deliver a wonderful speech, when a large bespectacled man stood up for the following speech. His name is Zanetti, but most students call him Il Porco, for reasons quite distant from our topic. He's supposed to be the president of this establishment, but his speech made it obvious that he had little or no idea not only of what goes on in the college, but even of what the college looks like. That, or he was trying to convince everyone that the college actually had buildings and courses that don't actually exist in real life.

So instead of just wondering what we've come to, i simply realized: it's over.

The college as we've always known it is over. New, strange people have replaced familiar faces in the highest places of the Administration, and none of these knows what exactly they're doing there, but they're trying to get the best of profits out of it while they can. And, as the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head. Things would never be the same here.

I didn't immediately realize this. I just had one mental image, which i promptly wrote down on the one piece of paper i had handy.
I wrote:
The Grandfather is tied to the tree, and the newborn is being taken away by the ants.

And i envisioned the house being pulled off the ground, and blown away by the wind. And i understood all this would happen soon.

Hardly a month after that, we heard from a cleaning lady that we would be thrown out of pala. One week later we were officially informed of this.
Around the same time,(slightly earlier, come to think of it) the administration started looking for a new Head Of Economics. So it was quite obvious my father's contract was not going to be renewed. And after this, many petty conflicts occurred between my family and the administration, not to mention the conflicts of another family who was inexplicably being moved out of their house, and of yet another who had done nothing more than questioning this behaviour. This brings us to these days, when we're filling boxes of stuff to be sent to old offices, my father's in Chile looking for somebody to finance his research(it looks like he's found something-good news at last), my mother's here in duino organizing the move, and seriously risking a nervous breakdown any minute now. Myself, i'm being occasionally accused of ridiculous things by people who work for the college, not to mention the fact that i'm occasionally finding my mail already opened in the staffroom, and personal data lying around in the photocopy room. Of course, i may just be paranoid about these last two things, but i guess my paranoia would be more than justified by the environment i'm living in.

And the college? Always changing. This beginning year, students will have ten-day weeks. No, i'm not joking. And once again, no project week etc etc.
I think i'm quite safe to say that the United World College of the Adriatic is also approaching its inevitable conclusion, when it will have officially morphed into something completely opposite to its original commitments.

But all this doesn't worry me anymore. Of course, the move is stressful and most of all saddening. But i have my ways of cheering up.
For example, i can listen to Milton Nascimento, and close my eyes, and feel a single tear go down my face as the music reaches my soul.
And smile wickedly as i realize that the people responsible for our current situation will never be able to appreciate something so beautiful.

After all, they have no soul to be reached.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Had loads of stuff to write, but the cat's on my lap so reaching the keyboard gets too uncomfortable. Oh, well, i'll post later.
Cheer him up, send him an email.

Friday, August 01, 2003


The unfathomable Gnapppo (pron. gnuppaw) managed to retrieve the album cover during independent research, not-prompted by this blog!
What's even more incredible, he discovered that he *already owns the album*!!! Actually, his parents do. So it's not completely his fault.
Found fresh scans of the cover&rear cover notes in the mail this morning, will be posted SOON (as in, in a couple of hours when i return from my errands)
It's 8:52 in the morning, i'm nice and showered and ready to get out of the house, but what's surreal is that most of this week i've been going to bed around this time. Go figure.