Friday, October 28, 2011

al pedrete

..caga y vete (shit and go).

That's what they say about Al Pedrete, in the mountains just north of Madrid. Apparently there isn't all too much going on in this little sierra town.

We went there last weekend because it was the most do-able option to get the -f out of Madrid and her polluted air. Here are some pictures that I forgot I had taken.

This picture is of seemingly little significance, but the memory it brings back is cozy. Despite the fact that we were shooting for the 11 a.m. bus, AND the fact that we took a taxi to get to the bus station because we were running late...we missed it. Aw shucks, I guess we'll just go have a second breakfast while we wait another hour for the next one. Anyway, this was the first day that I really felt the chill of autumn. We stumbled upon the "Van Gogh Cafe" behind the Moncloa bus station and I don't know exactly what it was (the warmth of the cafe.. it's velvety booths and espresso aroma... flipping lazily through the fresh Saturday paper...) but I remember having one of those moments of happiness where you realize you are living the golden instant of "now".

Upon our arrival, we immediately grabbed the bikes and went up a mountain...

After receiving some advice from the locals (aka Lucas' aunt and uncle), we were like "Oh, hey, let's go to that telegraph thing at the top of the mountain!" It was a long, hard walk. Because we walked our bikes more than we rode them.

The descent...feelin' good.

And here we have some super cool smart phone fotos during our autumnal stroll through the forest. This was on Sunday, the first real day of rained for the first time in months (note how dry and yellow it is above on Saturday with the bikes).

...with Lucas' aunt and uncle. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I want to blast my music at 4:30 in the afternoon because that is the natural light primetime for just this activity.

I don't want to respect the siesta. Because I think it's stupid. I think it's stupid that any of us should be on the same schedule beyond the general concepts of what goes on during night and day. But this is what I am plagued with, such sufferings that come with living here in this place that I sort of hate.


Here's your culturally idiosyncratic ex-pat question of the day:

When do formerly irking-but-nonetheless-endearing cultural idiosyncrasies become a pain in the ass?

There exist four phases of culture shock: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment and mastery. But they don't talk much about regressing. I guess that's just called "ready to go home"? .... as much as it pains me to admit it?

No. Ready to go home no. Home is here and I don't really hate it.

I'm just a moody version of myself who is also at this very moment cursing Lipton and their dumb fancy teabags which I only bought because I can't find mandarin-infused green tea from any other source...picture this asshat teabag: a pyramid (which they announce on the package, have you) has a string made of what I believe to be silk (probably announced on the package too--because some other asshats out there at Carrefour see that and feel compelled to enjoy the luxury), and these oh-so-silky and slippery strings make it impossible to wrap the teabag around a teaspoon and drain the liquid, thus making for an altogether wet and messy experience. DAMN YOU LIPTON AND YOUR IDIOTIC FANCY TEABAGS.

Annnnnnnnnnyway, the most worrisome part of all this is that the siesta doesn't even effect my music-blasting-primetime-theory because I no longer have free afternoons during the week like I once did. My complaints aren't even based on current inconveniences.

What is inconvenient is being forced to take a three hour break in the middle of the day to eat/take a nap/waste time. I also find it unbearable that cheap sushi is non-existant, and that strangers don't always respect my personal space in public.

But really, I just wanna be an asshole for a minute and blast my music at 4:30 in the goddamn afternoon.

I am clearly a child, it's 9:30 pm and bedtime.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This song Pa'l Norte of Calle 13 is, in the end, a song about immigration rights. But, I think it is the perfect anthem for any wanderer...

I miss America and feel a nostalgia manifesting itself.... in the form of a longing for my southern sister.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It has been some time since I've written about any cultural idiosyncrasy that is what being "an American in Spain" is all about...

But in any case, it's been some time since I've written anything at all.

I've been feeling a little blah lately in every sense of the word. It's funny how this "blog" thing really becomes a habit: one that, despite making you feel good, is easy to fall out of. Like jogging I suppose. I'm having a tough time getting back into it.

This is probably because my life has been taken over by work, something completely foreign to me since the good old college days. I often joke that Spain has made me lazy...but let's be honest, that is a cheap scapegoat. It's my nature. And anyway I'm not lazy. I prefer the euphemism of "relaxed", I have always been a bit relaxed...

Perhaps that is why fate brought me to this country, and maybe, among other reasons of course, why I have remained here for so long...there isn't a better word that describes the general culture of life here...relaxed..

And I would also like to thank fate for bringing me to this new place around the corner called Centro de Estudios Castilla which has basically been whipping me into shape during the last month and a half. Work has been hard. I'm nearly a quarter century old, and apparently the universe thinks I need to start acting like it.

Last month marked my two years in Spain, which have been more or less a ride on cloud nine of easy living...

And it's not that I'm not ready to step into the next phase of growing up...have more or less a "real job" per say.... but just a few words to my dear year three: please get easier.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

fake english

Short film shot entirely in fake english: what english sounds like to my students.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Feeling like I need some sort of catharsis, thinking a public outcry [via internet] might work...

But at the end of a long Monday this is really all that comes to mind: