Monday, November 30, 2009

eurovision 09

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I can't believe that I actually voted for the winner. How often does that happen?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I really like Brno, Is a very beautiful city. It is full of churches, big ones, and castles and things of this nature. And white foods. I have only eaten white foods since arriving. 
1st dinner- gnocci with cheese sauce, macaroni and cheese basically
1st breakfast- boiled eggs and garlic toast and soft cheese and onions 
lunch- creamy mushroom and potato soup
dinner- toasted white bread
breakfast- yoghurt and toast
lunch- lentil soup
dinner- fried potato pancakes filled with brie

LENTIL SOUP! Porque tienes k estropearme todo? Se me acabo la suerte, se me rompio mi my stretch. But it was delicious. 

P.s. this breakfast will be toast with cream cheese. 
so anyway lots of wandering around and then accompanied Kyle to a polish lesson, which was hilarious. All the words I had learned over the summer started coming back to me, and how ridiculous they were. But it just goes to show that everything can come in useful sometime. 

Friday, November 20, 2009


I am excited.
Also, leaving tomorrow for Czech Republic. Kyle has arrange a bunch of activities for us and I think it's going to be a great time.
Also, I am now the proud lendee of a cell phone here. But I have my own SIM card and phone number and everything. It was fun to go around yesterday and talk to all the phone providers. Good practice. Americans (North)! You do not know how good you have it! The majority of the cell phone consuming world have horrible rates. My rate I got, and granted it's a prepay thing but still it's very normal, and even plans are not much better, is 32 euro-cents a minute (about $10) with a connection fee of 30 euro-cents per call. This is whether I call a fijo (home) or movil (cell) phone. Texts are 15 euro-cents ($3) each. My plan counts by the second at least though, instead of rounding up to 30 second or something. There are no evening or weekend times, no free calls to associated phones.
An outrage!
This is why no europeans talk on the phone. Whenever they call they say an average of 7 words. No hour long cell phone calls here. Freedom of communication, that's what we have in the US when our parents pay our cell phone bill. I think we should bomb Spain until they import some freedoms in the form of better rates.
Speaking of averages I am averaging a big (not costco huge but big) jar of Sosa green olives a week. This is, reflecting, a very accurate average, since it has only been a week since I found them, and I finished one jar. But let's just say I am not going to be in danger of getting scurvy.
Ah! Also because I have been stuffing my face with Mandarins. DOOOODS! Food in Spain is hella reasonable! Did I mention I can get an 8 pack of yoghurt for 89 cents? Did I mention further that a RED BELL PEPPER (large sized, not the smallest one you can pick out of the bin, but a large heavy generous one) costs like 34 cents? And a bag of muesli the size of a breadbox (if that breadbox is the size of a bag of flour) that is only half oats and half banana chips and raisins etc is only like 1.80? This makes me happy, even after I have looked at my bank account.
p.s. Beck, please dig through some piles and look for my paychecks, would you?

Anyway, Mandarins. You can get a whole bag full of them, that are all good, no moldy ones, for under 3 euro. I forget how much it was because I have been eating them for two weeks now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


So this is from not last weekend but the one before. First we went to the Ensayo dels Castellers. The practice a group who makes castles. It was so impressive, and we got to participate too. So the way it works is you have different configurations. 5 columns of 5 levels, 4 columns of 7 levels, 1 column 3 levels. And they all have their difficulty, of course. We went with Santi, a guy who taught mathematics at the intitute last year. He came to invite Laura, an american who is teaching conversational english at the institute. We met at the bar one day when Ana introduced us and she's so easy to get along with we've been spending tons of time together. Anyway, I was hanging out in her class helping her do pumpkin carving with her students and Santi came in and invited us to come to the practice. Unfortunately it was the last of the season, because if not I would certainly have joined a group. It's such an amazing sport. All you have to do is be strong and flexible and have good balance. Also, everybody can do it. The oldest person at the practice was in their 60s, and the youngest I think was 4 or so.
So a castle has a few parts, and a few customs. They say that it was started a long time ago in order to see enemies from far away, you know, probably if there wasn't a hill around or something. The only thing you really need, besides clothes that you don't mind ripping, is the facha (I'm guessing on spelling). That's the long piece of cloth you tie around your waist. This is tied really tight and not only supports your back but gives the people climbing up you a place to put their foot. In pictures number 1 and 2 you can see the process of putting it on. I love the dangling cigarette. I think it makes the whole process look much more professional. I used my huge scarf. It helped me blend in. Pictures 3 and 4 show practice equipment. The pole is for you to practice climbing up people and balancing, as San Miguel was kind enough to let Laura and I do. The two fake people are for the kid who finishes the castle but climbing over the top of the uppermost level.

i have to go now because my internet is running out, so i'll finish writing this post later.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Let's start with some things I don't like.
Maybe just one thing.
Maybe...this thing.

This is on the sign of an art supply store. If you had an ART supply store, is this what you would want to advertise? Two feet tall? Is this really the quality you want people to think of when they think of your store? This is quite possibly THE WORST drawing I have ever seen. There are no redeeming qualitites to thi
s drawing. And the fact that it was incorporated into plastic that is going to last for decades strikes me as almost unbearably tragic. I also hate this store.

Look at this, I was going to move on, but I can't. Bad technique aside, what the hell is this drawing of? A dismembered torso, still bleeding from one arm, chained up in an intertube? All I can say is, and pardon my french, WTF???

But moving right along. This is what I am doing most of these days. Sitting in my awesome Ikea-furnished room doing work in English. But not today! Today I went out and looked at stores! And talked with old people! One very nice man on the bus who was practicing english, and one semi creepy old man who gave me his number and said I should come see him play the blues next sunday. He plays harmonica.
Oh! Yeah! I forgot that yesterday I got to talk with a bunch of cops! It was cool. I was jogging and saw these two ladies running after a dude on a bike yelling "Ladron!" in an accent, maybe french, maybe german, hard to tell in spanish. Anyway, I followed a little ways, I talked with them a little bit, then I continued jogging and some guy sitting there was like "What happened?" and I told him. He becomes important in this story, because he follows the guy down onto the beach and sees where he goes and then we decide to go back to the restaurant and find the ladies and tell them where he is, and maybe call the police. Because they were trying (to call the police) but nobody knew the number. On the way back to the restaurant I found out his name was Ali, he works in a cement factory and that he is looking for a girlfriend and has a big house all to himself. I thought about it for a few seconds but then I thought maybe not. I haven't even met his family from Pakistan yet.
Anyway then we get to the restaurant and I basically just ask where the ladies are but end up waiting around while they call the police and I'm supposed to give evidence. I was like, "Doooods, I'm just jogging, you know? I didn't really plan on sending anybody to prison or getting married, if it comes to that. And they didn't even steal my bag, you know? In fact I don't even know what happened." But they didn't listen to me. And then an old car pulls up and like seven plain clothes mossos d'escuadra (catalan police) get out, clown car style, and they are all very good looking people. And I get to talk to them.
And they say they can't do anything without the affected ladies and I say I totally understand and flirt gently with un tipo guapo and we all go our separate ways. But then there arrive two policias more (national police) and we go through the whole ringmarole again. But they were also very nice and the whole thing was very exciting, getting to talk with two kinds of police! Then esquive Ali, told him I really didn't need a cell phone, and returned home to go to bed at 2 again. I forgot how late everybody goes to bed normally here!

Anyway, then today I went windowshopping and found a chinese grocery store and I felt like the only non-chinese person who had ever entered there. But I got bamboo shoot crackers! So exciting! I am slightly obssessed with bamboo shoot imagery.

No tengo ni idea d k me hablas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

1st word (bad post order)

So here was the first installment of my project, which is, if I hadn't told y'all, is to try and learn languages/words while also making stuff. This one you don't see as well, but it says -----> женщина (except I forgot the the H, because Musu was staring at me and making me nervous). I means woman in Russian. The last one was ето ужасно, which means, according to Beck, that's terrible.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


"...I haven't been doing too badly either, except i cannot, for the life of me, seem to get out of bed before 11 o'clock, a trend that has turned disturbing. But at least i went and bought some food today. Food here is cheapish, even if everything else is expensive. I got an 8 pack of sugar yogurt for 97 cents! which in dollars is like eight dollars."

Continuing that excerpt I also got integral bread (wheat/seed bread), jam, gross pina juice, goji berries, dates, cranberries (expensive) pressecs (peaches in catalan), goat cheese, tomaquets, oh I don't know. All number of things I guess. But the yogurt and muesfly are the most exciting. Two big bags of groceries: 17 euro. Five tubes of paint: 20 euro. We are hoping both come in handy.

I am in Barcelona now after a week of hanging out in Suria, mostly working, doing a little bit of wandering around. Yesterday I got here and met Carlos, one of the flatmates, and we talked about his views on anarchism (which he doesn't even like to call himself because so many people, those who identify as anarchists and those who don't, misunderstand it. He doesn't think the world as it is is ready for it, but it's something you have to have inside you, more of a spiritual thing. It's a utopia that you can work towards even if it will never be reality. It was a very balanced and logical look at anarchism I think.) and then saw Esther again. Que alegria! She told me about the "tupersex" party they had recently (as she explained to me the name comes from tuper (toop-air), like "tuperware", and sex, like "sex".) Her mom heard that she went to one and wanted Esther to throw one for her, which consists of some guy who comes to your house and spreads out a selection of sex toys. So it was Esther, my aunt, my mom, my sister, my little cousin- Hilarious! I wish I could have seen it! But, unfortunately, the credit card machine didn't work, so nobody could buy all that they wanted. Esther's mom, for example, will have to keep going without a dildo. But they all pooled their money so Esther could buy a fancy german vibrator.

Also exciting! Cristina, my older Spanish sister, and her boyfriend of since 11 years old, just bought an apartment/piso/flat, whatever you want to call it. It's really nice: 3 balconies, two floors, huge closets, a guest room and big kitchen and little office. We went to a huge home store the other day to pick out rugs and sinks and temperature control whatsits and all that other stuff that ceases to be interesting to anybody except those who are actually spending the money after about an hour, but always lasts for at least three (up to six, thanks very much Jade, I may never enjoy Ikea again).
The real hangup was paint, of course. What do you think? For the light wall we were trying to decide between light beige, natural beige, light ochre or romantic beige. But don't forget! It has to go well with the couch, which nobody can remember exactly which shade of beige it is, and the dark wall which...well what do you think? I think between the profound brown and the "astracan" brown, which is more grey and less chocolate. Now let's make a final decision and find out they are out of one of the colors for another week. That's integral.

ANYway. I should get back to work. I recommend reading Joel's blog, anybody who maybe reading this, because, although limited in content, it's hilarious and gives a counterpoint view of another spanish speaking nation.