Friday, September 30, 2011



BERNICE EDGAR: I see that you’ve lighted up your hair, Marnie.
MARNIE EDGAR: A little. Why? Don’t you like it?
BERNICE EDGAR: Too-blonde hair always looks like a woman’s trying to attract the man.
                                  —Marnie, 1964, Alfred Hitchcock.                   

LET ME TELL YA, I never believed in blond girls.

Octave Parango is a publicist who’s being paid to tell lies. He knows that it’s crucial to boost everybody’s envy, pain, and insatiability to create needs. The consumer manipulation is his work. “To pay or to be paid: that is the question” is his monologue. “I spend, therefore I exist” is his guidance. Trapped in a profession that wish no happiness on anybody, because happy people don’t consume, he decides to write a book telling blow-by-blow the picture of the advertising industry, and thus to get fired off from the Agency for which he works.

After reading the bitter satire of the French novelist Frédéric Beigbeder, £ 9.99, I wondered myself if people are capable of being manipulated and if I was being manipulated by the machinery of advertising.

So one day I bought this T-shirt embroidered with this promotional message: “Drink, dance, and be blond.”
Want to know the outcome? I suspect you do.
When I put the T-shirt on, people smiled at me more than ever on the streets. Even once a guy told me, “Baby, I like it.
My first experiment confirmed that advertising works.

So soon afterward I made a mental inventory of stuff acquired in the last five years that I had never used.
Though, I have to point out that once I went shopping for a dress, and I ended up buying three. Trickling back home, I realized that I didn’t need three, so I decided to go back to the store and return two of them.
The saleswoman asked me: “Sweetie, don’t they fit well? Don’t you want to look other sizes? Perhaps you want to see other styles?”
I replied: “Thanks, but I don’t need them.”
That reminds me, in a different, much different scale, that a magnificent F.C. Barcelona soccer player, Éric Abidal, who, after a major surgery1, decided to sell out all his cars. Some soccer players (as well as other wealthy people) like to accumulate luxury cars in their garages: Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis… as the rest of the mortals collect magnets for our fridge. When I read that, a conspiratorial smile appeared on my lips. I totally understood why he did that. When you are awake, you don’t need them. Actually, you feel kind of stupid having them.

So thinking that I was not being manipulated, ergo I was happy, I recalled once I tried a sample promotion that the magazine Vogue gave along with the August issue, a Love Lotion.

I studied the label:
* A pleasurable cocktail to see, feel, smell, and kiss: Interesting.
* Seductive fragrance highly irresistible: Alluring.
* 9 out of 10 men feel attracted to this multi-sensorial cream: Please, gimme ten jars!!!

First off, I thought it was bullshit: well-thought messages to fool women and make them purchase the Love Lotion till its addiction.

Nevertheless, I kept the marvellous sample, until one day running out of my usual body cream, I scattered the lotion on my skin. I recall I was at my folks’ kitchen making Orient Express, jasmine-scented green tea. The maid was sweeping the floor clean behind me, and after five minutes or so, I turned around to see what on earth was going on.
She said, “I’m sorry, your smell is…”
“Yes, your smell is…”
“Your smell is so, so… Sexy!”
I swear I didn’t remember about the Love Lotion, so I looked at her with eyes of a scared dog. Suddenly, the alluring lotion came to my mind and I started to laugh long and hard under the surprised maid’s look.

So the question is: If Cleopatra had her milk’s bath, do I need a Love Lotion?

PS: Girls, don’t envy me, but I might have the elixir of Love!

(1) Death is the most powerful tool I’ve ever seen: can make an atheist pray to God everyday, and awaken a sleeping man.

Copyright © 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 24, 2011



BENJAMIN BUTTON: (Voice over; letter to his daughter) For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

—The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008, David Fincher

LET ME TELL YA, don’t get too excited, I know it’s Saturday, and my aim is to keep posting my writings mainly on Fridays.

But today it’s a special day. Today I’m turning 37. Young, old, only words. Let’s celebrate it!

I know that some people conceal or fudge their age up to their grave. Not me. Societies still hit hard with taboos. Getting older is one of them. And if you are a woman, even more.

Said that, I have heard that aging is for a few brave souls. Probably. For me, it’s a matter of understanding and accepting what Life means. Aging is beautiful when you’re the owner of your life. To go backward??? No, thank you.

As of my birthday, my Legitimate Readers will allow me to make a birthday toast. Thanks!

Here we go.

To the risk-takers who not only have the courage to follow their true path, driven by their hearts, but also summon up the capacity to not get demoralized and the strength to keep working on the darkness for untold years, even if they are not getting solid results, no prizes, no confirmation.

To my heroes.


 Copyright© 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 23, 2011



MALCOLM: You see? The tyrannosaur doesn’t obey set patterns or park schedules. It’s the essence on Chaos.
ELLIE: I’m still not clear on Chaos.
MALCOLM: It simply deals with unpredictability in complex systems. It’s only principle is the Butterfly Effect. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.
Ellie gestures with her hand to show this information has gone right over her head.
MALCOLM: I made a fly by, I go too fast.
Looking out of the opposite window, Grant sees movement at the far end of a field. He sits bolt upright, trying to get a better look.
Malcolm, looking for another example - -
MALCOLM: (Cont’d: points to the glass of water) Here. Give me your glass of water.
He dips his hand into the glass of water. He takes Ellie’s hand in his own.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d: Make like hieroglyphics.) Now watch the way the drop of water falls on your hand.
He flicks his fingers and a drop falls on the back of Ellie’s hand.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d) Ready? Freeze your hand. Now I’m going to do the same thing from the exact same place. Which way is the drop going to roll off?
ELLIE: The same way.
MALCOLM: It changed. Why? Because and here is the principle of tiny variations - -the orientations of the hairs - -
ELLIE: Alan, listen to this.
MALCOLM: - - on your hand, the amount of blood distending in your vessels, imperfections in the skin - -
ELLIE: Oh, imperfections?
MALCOLM: Microscopic - - never repeat, and vastly affect the outcome. That’s what?
ELLIE: Unpredictability…

—Jurassic Park, 1993, Steven Spielberg

LET ME TELL YA, yes, my life is determined by chaos.

It would be far arrogant on my side, and even I would be telling quite a lie if I said that I was determined to write novels and live in NYC, as I do at this moment.  (As you may read between lines, I have not been a writer all my life and I’m not from NYC). Wait.

Back. Sorry, I had a laugh attack.

If I looked backward, it woud be easy to draw perfect lines, and within the Nietzschean fable called “amor fati1” to reason and to give sense to each one of the decisions I’ve made in my lifetime. Yes, nobody forced me to take any of them (at least directly2). I can tell I made each one of the decisions by myself, but all of them were unpredictable.

It’s quite certain that the quality of life increases when we are at the helm of our own ship and don’t leave to be swayed by the tide. One can (and must) shout in her life: “I say Who, What, and Where!

Said that, ¿other lives had been or can be possible?
Probably, the answer is yes. Or better yet, it’s—wait for it—unpredictable.

The silver screen can provide to the characters other visions of life—Think of “Family Man,” for instance. John Campbell (Nicolas Cages) has the chance to see how would have been his life if he had not taken a flight to London to do a Master.

In real life, I’m sorry, my Dear Readers, hold your tears, this is not possible. Nobody will appear in your life to show you other visions of your own life. Even if some charlatans tell you the contrary. Fuhgeddaboudit.

I’ve found myself in this dilemma several times. I guess everybody had been at crossroads, at least once. And believe me, it gives me vertigo. When we are in front of the doors, we only can see the fog of the future. We have no clue what’s behind each of them. And we have the chance to open one at a time. Just one.

True enough, we will face a set of doors which are limited by the decisions we have made in the past, even though past circumstances may no be longer relevant.3

To give you an example, I’ll share with you a dilemma I had several years ago. By the time I got my degree, I had had a seven-year relationship. At the time many doors were awaiting for me to be opened: in general terms, I can name three: to get a job and stay with my boyfriend (to get married?)—society requirement—, to move to London—heart requirement—, and to do a Master—mind requirement.

I followed my heart first: I moved to London. A year later, I did a Master and I left my boyfriend. By the time I returned from London, I was heading straight to Hell4. Personally I was devastated. It would have been really selfish on my part to sway my boyfriend along with me to Hell. I had nothing to offer him but Hell. Yes, when you are lame, a stick helps a lot. But to use a person as a walking stick is the meaneast thing in the world. I was generous to him, but unfortunately at that time I didn’t know how to explain it to him.

What if I had decided to keep my relationship?
What if I had not moved to London?
What if I had not studied the Master?
What if…
What if…
What if…

As you can see, here we work with manifold doors. At the time, doors of fog.

¿Which one was the best election?

Humbly, I have no clue.

If it serves you right, I’ll tell you that my “amor fati,” what I find paramount when taking decisions, vital decisions, is, aside from the self-knowledge, to have COURAGE. In other words, taking the decision by keeping my fears aside. That bravery is what makes me feel satisfy with my life, whatsoever it is.

(1) It transforms all “it was” into “I wanted like that.”
(2) Until you come to grips with yourself, all can influence you indirectly.
(3) In economics and social sciences this is called "Path Dependence."
(4) No worries, my Dear Readers, I’m in the splendour of Life right now. As Nietzsche said once, “You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”

Copyright© 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I say Who, What, and Where!

Katherine: … Tess, you know, you don’t get anywhere in this world by waiting for what you want to come to you. You make it happen…
—Working girl, 1988, Mike Nichols.

LET ME TELL YA, dead writers1 make lots of shekels.

On the downside, they can’t enjoy the royalties, though it always comes out of nowhere an idle nephew that Lady Fortune has visited, who, after the sad event, will spend the rest of his blessed life in Honolulu sunbathing, next to the most beautiful woman possible (or a bunch of them), and toasting caipirinhas to his brilliant and prolific dead uncle: Oh yeahhh, life is good!

Neither has Lady Fortune visited me (She did several times for the truly necessary), nor I am under the Earth (I think I’ll be on the Earth for a while), so I’ve decided to sell my books through this wonderful engine, called Internet, and this amazing platform, called Amazon. Hey, I wanna go to Honolulu, too.

Let me feel sorry for those writers who committed suicide before this wonderful engine came out. Game over, folks! Likewise, I got to wondering how many masterpieces have been lost on some dark drawers. Fortunately, the Internet is cutting off all the restrictions, even those who come from some conservative lobbies. Perhaps the Internet is the invisible hand2 that Adam Smith talked about in “The Wealth of Nations.” If you want to sell a product, you go to the free-market and sell it. Period.

Who I am? What am I doing? Where am I going? These are simple but not less deep questions which pop up in our mind sooner or later along the journey of our life. Perhaps it would be far more mouthwatering to make up that I traveled to a mystical retreat and, as a result, I wrote this inspirational book. Yet, for better or worse, I owe myself to the Truth. It all began in Miami Beach. I must confess, though, this book came out as a result of a long, very long inner journey. When those questions pop up, we can ignore them, of course. Yet, I learned that solely by having the nerve to seek an answer, we will be able to create the compass and charts that will serve us to helm our true course.

I say Who, What, and Where! is a fresh, witty, and inspirational novel about the courage to be yourself freely, in spite of inner and outer conditionings. This funny and sometimes emotional story, as well as satirical portrait, allows us to reflect on the challenges of changing a career over a lifetime and starting an art, and to establish the hierarchy of values such as freedom, happiness, love, and success, being aware of the traps we can fall into in the pursuit of them. And ultimately it encourages us to be in charge of our own life, the sooner the better.

So if you have a Kindle, Ipad, Iphone, Ipod Touch, Blackberry, PC, Mac, Android-based devices, or Cloud reader3, you can get a copy of I say Who, What, and Where! now at Amazon, U.S. Kindle Store—also available in U.K. Kindle Store and DE Kindle Store! Hope you enjoy the book, and don’t forget to tell me what you think about!

My Dear Readers, I have a hunch that this is going to be fun!  

1Death is a powerful variable which activates the exponential growth law. For a good example, watch the movie “ World’s Greatest Dad,” directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, 2009.
2Metaphor coined by the father of capitalism, the economist Adam Smith, as an invisible power that guides the free-market by the conjunction of self-interest, competition, and supply and demand.
3If you don’t have any of those, leave me your address and I'll send you a copy.

Copyright© 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.