Saturday, February 25, 2012

saturday ruminations

I was just sitting outside on the balcony enjoying this lovely springtime weather when I glanced at some of our cactuses that sit on a baby blue gardener's bench and thought....are you guys alive??

Then I thought I would take some pictures of them, because alive or not, they sure are cute. I got up to get my camera, which I keep on a shelf right inside the balcony sliding door. There is no rhyme or reason for this particular spot, but I find that leaving it in the same place is an easy way to not lose it.

But no!! Alas it is not there. Where could it possibly be?

Well, knowing me, a lot of places, despite my techniques..

I then proceeded to search the living room, not a lengthy process since I just mega-cleaned it this morning. When I couldn't find it, I tore apart my bedroom. Still no luck.

After a good while of searching, it occurred to me that it must have been stolen. From my very house!!

Rewind to Thursday morning, around 11 a.m; I am alone in my apartment. This man knocks on my door, saying he is an employee of the telephone company and he has come to fix something. Oddly enough our house phone has been broken since forever (it's never worked in all the time we've lived here) so I am thrilled by his presence. Finally! Carlos called the phone company!

But to make a long story short, this man was rather sketchy, first searching the whole house for the telephone line, which I kept telling him was in the living room, then demanding 80 euros as a deposit for the technician who would later come (when?), and finally filling out a tattered form with another telephone company's logo on it. I kicked him out after about 10 minutes, and when he left I looked at my cellphone which he had used to call the technician, realizing that he had made no phone call whatsoever. He was feigning a conversation right in front of me! How gullible I am!!

But I obviously didn't give him any money (even though I definitely considered it), nor was I violated in any way (a possibility that didn't occur to me until his departure). I actually giggled in a shrill, excited manner at my victory, an adrenaline rush from the brush of danger on a typical Thursday morning.

...Until now, that I realize he must have snagged my camera when I stupidly left him alone in the living room to call Carlos and ask him his advice.

This pocket-sized camera was a hand-me-down from my mom, probably some five years old, and not exactly in good physical shape. What I'm angry about, though, is the loss of the photos and videos I had there...the worst part being that I can't even remember them all...

Because I don't remember the existence of these photos, in reality I don't even know what I've lost...

Now this obsession has taken over...what other precious items have I lost, that I don't even know I've lost? How do I confirm that I have all that I once had, without knowing all that I once had? Throughout my whole life, how many things must have gone missing that to this day I still do not miss?!

Well, they say that stupidity is bliss...I'll calm myself with this mantra, that it is better to be left in the dark..

Monday, February 20, 2012


It took me a while to get over my fantasy that Harpo was mine. It's still taking me a while to get used to walking into an empty house...sigh.

We will unfortunately not be taking in another dog...let's just say there isn't general agreement on the subject. Such is life in shared apartments, I was disappointed but then again it's not all bad: saying goodbye TOTALLY SUCKED.

But I'd still do it again. Love can be rough sometimes.

Below I just posted a video they sent me from his new home (he was adopted last week by a family near Barcelona), and I'll leave it at that. I feel like I want to devote so many more words to him ("... how much I loved him!") but I think this is how every pet owner feels (foster or not!) and I think it might be rather obnoxious. Nobody loves your dog (foster or not!) as much as you do.

So, February is quickly coming to an end, its brevity never bothered me because all months after Christmas are just waves of crabby seasonal depression that we must encounter and traverse until April.

Luckily we've got global warming on our sides here in Spain... it's warm.. so sunny... maybe too sunny. It's customary here in Madrid for it to just not rain, and combined with the disgusting air, everyone in the city falls into a state of perpetual illness...good times! Oh well, at least we can enjoy the nice weather once we've swallowed our IB profen and sucked our throat-soothing cough drops.....

Lately I feel like taking off to some not-city-place and staying in this not-city-place for a long time. With my dog. My five dogs! Ha!

I wonder how the seasonal depression is there.


Harpo went to Barcelona, to become a Catalán.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

good luck thinking

I once got this idea from an Amy Tan book: make decisions based on hoping for the desired outcome. She called this "good luck thinking" and if I remember correctly, a common philosophy in the Chinese culture. For example, there is a 20% chance of rain, you really don't want it to rain, so you walk out the door with no umbrella. This is good luck thinking.

Sort of the opposite to the way I, many of us, often think, with the fret of "jinxing it", the habit of knocking on wood and the like.

In either case, they are both superstitions, thus stupid, and I must remind myself of this on a constant basis... they are not real. I believe I have finally trained myself to ignore such silliness, I only avoid walking under ladders because it's a physical hazard.

But I still like good luck thinking. I see it as the "glass half-full"-way of toying with possibilities.

The only problem is that good luck thinking doesn't really work when your options don't quite weigh out with the pros and cons, when passion and reason can't find a compromise, when external, unavoidable forces push you in ways you don't want to go.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

photos Harpo

During the first week with Harpo the dog, I was walking to the park and ran into a woman with two greyhounds. Of course we started chatting, our dogs happily sniffed one another, and after a few minutes we went our separate ways.

Since the arrival of Harpo, I feel like I've entered into this whole new canine world, where all of the sudden the hooded anonymity I once sported when walking down the street has been completely shattered, and 90% of strangers feel compelled to enter my personal space and give their two cents on my dog. There have been some really interesting interactions, mainly with crazy junkies, but nonetheless, I make new friends every day.

Anyway, since the organization who gave me Harpo is looking for a splendid home strictly outside Spain, they must go to great lengths in search of these new owners. Part of their tactic is taking professional photos of the dogs, which a volunteer and fellow foster-care member does.

So this past week we were put in contact over e-mail, and when we met in the park, lo and behold, it was the woman I had met when I was just a foster-mother of three days. Here are some the photos she took, they are incredible. And yes, he is just as good as he appears....I'm in love with this dog....

Bahahhaha...if only I were as regal....

photos by Patricia Soto