Monday, January 31, 2011

more breasts

Nun's tits, for sale at the bakery
Ávila, Castilla y León
January 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the curse

So it's weekend in my world, and a cold one at that. The Madrid winter has finally hit, its satanic freeze bringing sorrow to lonely souls and dampness to homeless children's feet.

Yea, that's right. Satan's freeze. It's that bad, and don't think you're getting out of it if you live in Madrid. Maybe if you go south at a rapid pace, for instance, you might follow the birds' example and fly, then you'll avoid its brittle claws. Maybe if you move to Jamaica or something, you can actually live a whole life without worrying about this major problem (but you'll probably be subject to other wraths, like those of God, which involve heavy rains and rapid winds).

Anyway, scientists have done many valuable, reliable studies, consistently finding that hibernation whenever possible is absolutely necessary and, in fact, required, in order to survive the long spell of winter. If not, a springtime exorcism might be in order.

I don't know about you, but the thought of Satan or any one of his ice-sleigh-pulling gremlins possessing my soul is quite horrifying. Better safe than sorry, so I'm always sure to take heed of scientists' recommendations.

In fact, I've been messing around at home and logging in hours of hibernation this very evening, something that usually leads to all sorts of different discoveries from things like that bra I had thought gone forever to how to say words like "grueling" in spanish. In such an occasion as the latter, I have just now come upon a groundbreaking discovery involving the english language, which will probably change the way you have thought about and seen the world during the entirety of your puny existence.

Just kidding, though not about everything.

But I did make a minor discovery, which can be just as ground-breaking in its own "this made me chuckle despite my grumpiness about the shit weather" sort of way. Looking at the word "curse" and it's many translations (that is to say, meanings) a little while ago in the english/spanish dictionary, I found that the fourth definition of the noun form of this word is actually the following: (menstruation) (colloq & euph) the ~ la regla. Granted this is a translation dictionary, but upon looking it up in the real dictionary, well, it lies there as well. Was anyone else unaware of the fact that "the curse", in reference to menstruation, was a term in the english dictionary? On top of that, I really loved how the translation dictionary lists it as a euphemism, which I suppose isn't false, although the irony just really gets me.

La regla in Spanish is actually just the period, and there is no stigma to this word, which, let's admit, totally exists in American english. You probably just squirmed a little in your chair upon seeing it!

Anyway, goodnight.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

talented people

Enjoy this short film my roommate made for the notodofilmfest...supposedly the biggest short film festival online:

And if you were, he's not quite as demented as it might lead you to believe :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the times

"Las horas han perdido su reloj."
Vicente Huidobro

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

welcome to mr. g's room!

Oh man. I haven't thought of this fantastic man in ages. My opinion might not be valid; in fact, it definitely isn't, but I would go ahead and classify him as one of the most memorable and quotable characters that came out of television in 2008.

This semester we are getting a theatre club going at my school and our first meeting is on Thursday...wish me luck in my search for this clip with Spanish subtitles for our brief intro with, "What is drama?"

But I guess the real question is: would 11 and 12 year old Spanish kids find this funny?

I am pretty excited about this venture, because I have to admit that my "job" at school is just too easy. I don't do that much sometimes, because in the end I am not the one fully responsible for the 25 little devils. And I can't believe I complain about this!

But that's not the point. Really, it's that I should be more proactive myself in fulfilling my duties. Part of the title is "cultural ambassador", a sort of silly little thing that hangs on the end and serves as serious fluff (the full title is "English Language Assistant and Cultural Ambassador"). The school I work in (along with its whole mini-culture that is incredibly thriving with life) is different in so many ways than the school I went to as a child.

And just for the record, and I don't think I hold it with magnified glory, anyone who went to a one Franklin Elementary school would agree that it was kick-ass.

But forget the personal aspects... the great teachers, the awesome parties, the incredible library... I'm thinking of American schools, in general, versus Spanish schools likewise.

One thing American elementary schools seem to love but Spanish equivalents don't pay much attention to are these very clubs. I remember so many from when I was a kid, particularly the Spelling Bee club, probably because it was before school at some absurdly early hour like 7:30 a.m.

Anyway, I have a few speculations as to why clubs aren't such a trend here, for the most part all coming back to the same conclusion, which is that Spain is just so quirkily old fashioned sometimes.

Perhaps it's the schedule that cuts the day into two large chunks, not leaving much time for such capriciousness. Or maybe it's the tradition...nobody is in school after 5 p.m. beyond the lone janitor (I've unintentionally tested this out a few times, once believing myself locked in for a short while). In addition, the schools are completely gated off, requiring a "buzz" to get in. The school is just not a hangout spot.

But during one of those two hours we waste between morning and afternoon classes? Not all kids go home for lunch, so things can certainly get done. Along with the Halloween parties and such, a cool club is in order for BPG.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

nom nom

Chocolate breasts in Barcelona
Mercat de San Josep
June 2010

Sunday, January 9, 2011

holiday photo redux

Life is so tough sometimes.

You know, you only get two and a half weeks paid Christmas vacation, and don't they realize that three weeks are really necessary to get into the holiday season? Plus, the last week of school is really just fluff anyway.

The sea of days go by with endless amounts of eating, drinking and being, in general, quite merry. You're in a world of flying calendar pages, and when you pause for a brief moment to take note of the date, you realize you haven't the slightest clue. It could be Tuesday, but it could also be...Sunday? Who knows.

Then all of the sudden your measly two and a half weeks are up, and you have to get up at 8:30 a.m. to go back into work for a whopping 3 hours Monday morning. WHY is so much expected of you?? And you won't even start to think about the second half of the day, which will be equally grueling. You're going to treat yourself to breakfast in the cafe, because, well, why not?

I'm sorry to say it, but vacation is over kids. Here's the redux in photos.

Nothing like taking a nice walk in Madrid during the holidays. Once again, sorry about the stamp.

I jokingly complained above about the last week of school being all fluff. This is true as far as dictation and long division go, but it's really quite educational. The kids spend all week practicing their two carols, and then of course there's the social aspect of it. The party is huge (in the eyes of a kid): gifts galore (the three kings, of course, are present), chocolate y churros, costumes, wild running through the of the only things some kids will remember of the second grade. Anyyyyway, everyone in the school dressed up as Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus, which was a pretty funny sight. I have tons of pictures, but here is just one corner of the sea of little Santa Monsters, my second graders.

The publishers of our school textbooks let us use a sweaty costume for one hour as it toured around Madrid schools all day. This is Poopi, a character in our textbooks. He is a curious little alien from the Milky Way. Talk about exciting.

Old friends, new friends, nice to be together at Christmas. The party was a really fun time, I find myself more and more inclined to hostessing each day.

And that's it for now, and maybe forever because I CAN'T FIND MY FREAKING CAMERA A@$%RT@$T%Y$%WFKR

Sunday, January 2, 2011

happy new year

Still sick, Lucy just left, slowing down a bit, and while watching music videos on television, I just saw a commercial for La Gavia--the biggest shopping mall, or centro commercial, that exists in the community of Madrid. And there are some seriously huge malls here.

I don't really understand why some traditions that the US invented seem like such great ideas to people.

For being so traditional in so many ways, I find it surprising that Spain is so partial to giant consumer mega-centers. I mean, they make sense, everything in one place...right?

La Gavia apparently has over 160 stores, if you can believe that, and that is not counting the Ikea, Al Campo, and Carrefour (two walmart-esq establishments) that are more or less attached in the vast sea of parking lots.

Inside La Gavia there is probably one of the most impressive food courts you have ever seen, sometimes overshadowing all other mall features. Not surprising, in a culture that so heavily thrives off the social experience of eating, or simply tomar-ing algo, whether that be a coffee or beer.

When I go to the movies with the fam, we usually hit up one of these spectacular spots, as the "good" ones all have theaters inside. What's funny is the one we sometimes go to, an outdoor "lifestyle" center as they call them in the US, was contracted by CB Richard Ellis. I couldn't help but frown and shake my head, and then I maybe chuckled.

Who cares that bad American traditions are picked up or brought over? Who cares that there are McDonald's franchises in 124 countries in the world? That's, like, most countries. It's 2011, and it is what it is. There is no stopping consumerism now.

Anyway, just like we Americans have our "black Friday", Spaniards have their rebajas, or sales, day. This normally falls on the 7th of January, the day after Three Kings Day, but some communities decided to bump it up to today (a crisis-inspired idea). This actually caused quite a fuss in a few places, including a shopping mall in Pamplona where people held a strike outside and blocked all entrance. Haha.

Happy new year, and happy first day of rebajas.