Sunday, July 24, 2011


I can title and thus organize these sporadic posts by the day, that way I remember, precisely, which day it is.

Such is summer living on a teacher's schedule, and yes, I think I will stay with it...

As fate had it, I recently found that planning for next year's plan is taken care of for me: the slightest lift of a finger was enough to rope in a really awesome job for the next school year.

I feel as though this is well-worth mentioning: I was not job searching in Spain. Private lessons are so fruitful that my minimal hours give enough straight pocket money to live by, and I had every intention of continuing at least into September and maybe October. And this was not to make the cash, but rather to spend it--buying time...

I guess I just didn't know what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, LIFE, if I was ready to up and leave's been an interesting two years and I can't deny the fact that it gets better every day... so I asked myself, why so nomadic?

(this I asked myself in the two minutes they granted me to make my decision about a job offer, one that came out of nowhere, working in a charter school that is coincidentally two minutes walking from my house, just to state one of the infinite reasons why it's perfect)

I crave stability, I've realized this about myself. I admit that I sometimes did not seek it in Madrid. Not in the profound way, how could I, having realized this past year that, eventually, I want to be closer to family and friends....this is important.

But despite all vain attempts of resistance, humans adapt, and what was once foreign, little by little, becomes so incredibly familiar, and voilá, you're at home. I've found my stability, my life here...why not sink into it just a bit more?

So all in all I'm not coming home yet, no US next year... those two letters imply a lot. It would be a lie to say there isn't a part of me that is for obvious reasons disappointed, but I can't let this overshadow my excitement. Because It's EXCITING. And I'm going to relax and take it all as a sign, because this is the way I like to take things.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Divine Inspiration.
I picked up this little gypsy basket drunk on the street one abnormally toasty spring afternoon in April. It cost me quite a bit of haggling, but in the end I bought it for two euros, including a bonus-beer nicely cradled inside. I fall in love every time I walk by it, and take part in a moment's worship of the God of small things.


Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Spanish Tortilla Pacman (with fruit).

Acid Cactus.
Out with the cherry tomatoes, in with the half-dead cactus bed. I sort of abandoned the poor things long, long ago (ahem, the day I acquired them...) with the mentality that cactuses are all-time survivors who require absolutely no attention. Why shouldn't they live happily in their tiny plastic cups they came in as gifts? I was wrong. Quoting my chuckling roommate as he noticed my tending, "Everything Renee plants dies". That bastard.

I'm no type-A...but who doesn't appreciate this?

This has been Tuesday's homage to the God of small things.

Monday, July 11, 2011

angry family

I must be some sort of masochist because I decided to start learning French. Thank God I found these guys to help me de-cripple my poor tongue. Me talk pretty one day!

Friday, July 8, 2011

this just in

Spotify is coming to America.

I'm here to tell you: don't get too excited.

Everyone and their mom in Spain raves about Spotify, because of its infinite library, easy navigation, and most importantly, free service.

But so what if if you don't have to pay with euros? Nothing in this world is free. Instead they charge you with publicity, and the most annoying type....think that bubbly announcement voice that pops up out of nowhere, five times the volume of what was just playing.

On top of this, you are only granted four hours a month of free music. Absolute BS if you ask me. Consider yourself warned...don't get too excited.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Life! I can't keep up with you.

It's now July and school has long been up and over. Thank God, we all really, and I mean really, needed that. In any case, it was an exciting and sweaty month, that June, in the classrooms of Benito Perez Galdos. As always, it was wonderful to be so immersed in the end-of-the-school year atmosphere, yet again. The excitement is incredibly contagious...there's nothing like the very last day for a kid, with the summer nicely laid out before your seven year old eyes.

Anyway, in celebration of this much anticipated freedom, I sang school's out for summer! all the way to Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria. We had an awesomely grimy time camping right next to lots of great head-banging opportunity. I think the pictures below do a pretty good job summing that experience up...

Then I got back and was thrown into living the life, which actually took some organization between my eight hours a week of teaching and 35346 hours of fun activities such as ballet, intensive french, and a considerate amount of eating and drinking and being merry.

So what if I put a little too much on my plate? These three weeks are going to fly by, and then off to really live the life.... more to come soon, catch up and enjoy the pictures for now, I have to run!

The gang, Irene feeling especially hardcore. I think this was during Gregg Allman, when I realized that I actually, unintentionally, know a great deal of his repertoire.

I never came to know what exactly was the story with these people, but they were AWESOME. It's a shame we didn't get a photo of all five characters...all platformed in different cabaret get-ups. They were roaming around the concert grounds all weekend, please note that the man in black has the lady in red on a chain leash.

Rob Zombie's stage set. You can only imagine what kind of spectacle that show was. Oh and p.s., Ozzy Osbourne went on after and it was PAINFUL.

The shows didn't start til around five so we were able to explore around Vitoria a bit. One day we went to this lovely little lake and pretended we were on the beach.

Mixed feelings about leaving our campgrounds after packing everything up....we got to the festival really late and it was slim pickings. You can't quite tell here, but yes that's a hill we slept on. Anyway, a nice view :)

The one thing that really sucks about living the ex-pat life: people come and go waaaay too often. Melissa took advantage of free dental care and got her wisdom teeth pulled just one week before heading back to NY for good. The last supper: antibiotics and painkillers.

Since we met the previously mentioned neighbors, life at Calle Juanelo 21 has been more or less a giant hangover. Nobody's complaining.

Should be noted that Gay Pride is Madrid's biggest annual party. It was quite fun until I stepped in a deep pond of pee late Saturday night. I don't think I've ever seen the city so filthy.