Friday, September 07, 2007

I ran into Phillipp, German Phillipp who I used in "Similes" sophomore year. How are you!! He's great. He was in Russia. How was it!! It was wonderful, a kind of a love affair. Did you have a love affair!? Well, yes, actually.

My math class is illuminated by Hannah Sunshine and uh sapped by this octupussy suck-up sort of boy I wrote the "slick" poems about my freshman year. He provokes infinite spite in me. He sat in class and laughed at every cliché employed by the professor, a bearded statistician from Marist who really does want to make statistics fun. Many jokes about students fleeing the classroom upon hearing the course requirements. Many, many, each eliciting a laugh from Slick. I sat and oozed spite. A note from Hannah Sunshine in the margin of her notes: "I am really enjoying your facial commentary."

The Professor moves on from jokes to pure dull charts and graphs and terminology. Some things are binary, he says. Gender, for instance. A new note from Hannah: "Clearly not a Bard professor!" If I pass this class awake, it's thanks to her.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I know folks don't quite read this anymore, but here it still is, and I still have 4. Things to write publicly. You know.

1.Things to not say.
2. Things to say.
3.Things to write of privately.
4. Things to write of publicly.

And that won't change any too soon. Tomorrow is Last Day, a beach day with my family, and then I shake the sand off and fly horribly away. OH I do look forward to you, Bard, but cripes--I've been home a month. The littlesiblings are teenagers, so they're always out with friends (as I was when I and my friends lived here), or working of skipping around the country. Chilluns mine! I miss them. The good news is that we keep growing up. I'm close to my parents in a way we couldn't be before.

The day after tomorrow I'll land and drag my baggage through a bus and into Poughkeepsie, where Christine will pick me up with the beautiful Guy (not Yves), whose acquaintance I am excited to make. So many friends in love! And then, my little house, and my blog will become relevant again (to my royal Ma).

Blue kisses,
(how arachne addressed me once.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And what do you do to numb the pain, in between cathedral-gaping (a scarf around my shoulders, as the only dresses suitable to Italian July are denied entry by the Italian Church--Italy is too hot for Catholicism, oh there I said it) and museum meditating and street gadding and hostel gabbing--what do you do, oh? You are me and you read. In Montottone I finished the last two books I had bought in Madrid, A Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez, and The Nymphs by Umbral, and read a great deal in my book of spanish poetas. In Rome I read Orlando by Woolf, finally, and now I too am in love with Vita Sackville-West. In Florence I am re-reading Orlando, because my gosh, but I found a spanish-language book shop in Rome and bought DON QUIJOTE at long last, so that will be for Florence. Really if you travel alone and are not a smoker going through a philosophical crisis I do not know what you do bookless. There are moments that need an occupation, thoughts coming in other than my-how-pretty-hot, beautiful places to sit and be for as long as possible and too many people to watch the whole time. To walk all day I, at least, need my thoughts in dialogue with those of another, and Woolf does marvelously.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Woomph! I'm gone. That sound, that woomphing sound? That was the vacuum suck of my absence in Madrid, the smack of her womby walls sealing behind me. Ick, agh. Distaste, distortion. I am fearing my memory, trying to remember everything pat in place, ha. Sending emails, trying to tie up some ends, loosen others. I've had several dreams which are neither nightmares nor not nightmares, in which disbelief and the less glamorous moments of polyamoury play against a backdrop of goblin parades, whooshed through with limey gibbering ghosts. I miss Madrid. I miss all the potential. Alfred de Musset is a young man with a great future behind him. Nico, who does not yet distinguish between Italy and his grandmother's house, California and his schoolyard, is tired of hearing about Spain. I'm no better, swooning over memories of nonspecific arms in specific bars and tea-houses, particular singing people in certain plazas, while the news, always on during mealtime here, shows the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Ah yes Spain, I say, I love Spain.

Yet I'm in Italy with a dear baby eating pizza on the beach, being driven past acres of wilting sunflowers. Can I put up pictures I cannot. I look forward to coming home, being there, and leaving again. I look backward prematurely and obsessively. Hymning and hemming and hawing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jaya came! Charming. Here she is eating indian food with Lizy´s darlin childhood friend, Courtney-of-Berkeley. We (I) made her speak Bengali with the waiter, because the rest of her visit involved lots of her having to listen to MY conversations in Spanish.

Codo and Lizy! This was Codo´s first time eating Indian food, which is bizarre, because he lives in a neighbourhood full of Indian people and restaurants.

Not pictured but certainly present: Me, Caitlin, Mary Kate. All the Bard kids are peeling off and going. I´ll be the last to do so, since Lizy is staying through next semester (and into infinity, perhaps). It is incredibly tempting, not that I have a choice. As Lizy said, it´s really a beautiful life, here.

Anyhow! Jaya helped me resee the Almudena. It does have the most fantastic ceiling. The rest of it is ugly, but the ceiling...I apply a superlative to the ceiling.

It was a good visit! We saw bits of concerts in my favorite lavapies places and Jaya saw great art and we saw eachother, hurrah.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Importance! My computer is busted and I got a new haircut. There are no photos of the hair, and if I had them I couldn´t post them here ANYWAY cuz of my computer. This is good, because I feel very, very uncertain about it. I was sort of hoping to look like Jean Seberg as the lovely American study-abroad student in Breathless

But I kind of feel more like Mary Martin in Peter Pan.

All this, and not even blonde. Well, someday you can judge for me. My public.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sam and I experience esperpentismo on cat street.

Sam´s terrible haircut enjoys a set by Alba, the pretty girl who plays with Pastor sometimes.

Los Delirantes (Andres, Oscar, and Jesus) rehearse in La Peña (José´s flamenco bar up the street from my house). You cannot see Sam´s terrible haircut, but it is thoroughly enjoying the spectacle, oh yes. It is a thrilled, terrible haircut.

Would you like to see pictures of Darling Sammy smiling? Standing next to funny graffiti? Standing next to funny advertisements? Standing next to funny spanish girls? Sitting? Would you like to see my brand new housemate Yoko, also with dreads? Would you like to see Lizzy trying to open a bottle of wine with a pen and a metro trash can? Yes. Check out "Sammy here" at

And no, sorry, sorry, no pictures of Joanna Newsom at Neuclub. She was exquisite, exQUISite, exquisite. She was formerly quisite.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I've actually put up pictures of Madrid, including the one or two I took when dearest Jake was here, but mostly of how I live normally. Not that people visiting me isn't a normal part of living here.

I'm writing a billion little essays before Sammy my tall brother comes, and I've found another advantage to understanding more than one language: the wikipedia articles often provide completely different information. Spanish, english, and oh...did you notice there's a Wikipedia in "simple english"? It's a trip.

I'm thinking very seriously of taking German next year. Right now I'm thinking seriously of writing homework and buying lots of food to feed that tall hollow brother of mine.

Feeding People
Here's why somebody needs to fix my computer again. I have no way of twirling Jake around so you can admire his demure anticipatory posture. Mum demanded at least one photo to prove he was here, so here, he was here. Sideways. Eating absolutely perfect tortilla española which we made the gither. Jakel!

Oh! And I never put up any photos of Valencia. Here's Valencia:

Sideways! I'm so sorry. If you have a laptop, just turn it carefully on its side.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bus station, Marrakesh

O Beloveds. Morocco was beautiful to me, and oh what dumb luck I have. Got out before the violence struck up, got out without diseases or debts or death, and all without knowing Al Qaeda had a morrocan branch, or that a I wasn't supposed to drink the water. We did it all wrong, and it all worked out fine: planned the day before, traveled a lot of space in very little time, depended on the kindness of strangers, traveled with them, bought food from the street and the street markets, drank straight from the tap, wore bathing suits on the beach (as opposed to yards and yards of fabric, as the women who truly live there did) and splashed in the freezing brilliant cold. There are so many stories from that wee week we had, of kindness and bribery and sugary mint tea, but I'm not up to writing it all at once. The pictures I've put here:
as well as those from the Erasmus trip to Barcelona. My Moroccan travel companions were Lizzy, Chase from Reed who writes, ha, a terribly nice British artist named Sam, Mohammad who studied english lit and is a waiter, much like I will be, Rashid whose hospitality we relied greatly on, Nassima who sat by me on the bus and doodled in my sketchbook [neither spanish nor english were among the several languages she spoke), and a Chilean ex-banker named Nicolas in a fabulous striped shirt.
Ta da! More stories later.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

flurrying! elizabeth (the tiny person next to me two entries down) and i and her friend chase are going to MOROCCO in four hours! i just finished buying the tickets, my lord. the subway, a bus, a ferry, our six feet. what are we doing? i don't know! chase planned the rest. so they say. we'll see. we plan to be very safe and very dirty. i'm sure there are enough terrible tourists (me! me!) to have vacuumsucked internet cafés into existence, so i'll write home, you betcha.

gone gone!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jake was here, is in Paris, we had fun. I dragged him to lots of things which required spanish (he does not have spanish)-- open mic! Lyrically interesting concerts! Political poetry reading and vegan dinner in squatted house! We also did the museums and big green park (springing!) and Caitlin L. came with us to those and the tail end of a flamingo concert in La Peña, where José works.

Flamenco means flamingo. I never had known. Sandra dances flamingo dance and José teaches flamingo guitar. Exquiz!

I´ve been around and around. I´m staying here for the Semana Santa, seeing the parades and being as spanish as I can. I´d like to show you more of my new life here, but I think I don´t even have a picture of Sandra yet, and we LIVE together. Spanish people make fun of me when I take pictures. Also, Codo´s friend is still fixing my computer, allegedly chargelessly. How do I know so many people? Streety people, people I run into in the subway--what was your name again? Come to my concert!

Pictures as soon as I have them. Words as soon as now. Me whenever you need me and promises for all.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Robot is busted, burst, retired. For this reason I´ve been so negligent of my communicative duties. A friend of a friend says he´ll fix it, bless him, but until then I´m enjoying my internetless productivity. I´ve been tearing through books by Valle-Inclan, Unamuno,´s thrilling to realize I´m reading in Spanish for pleasure (also for class!).

But there is so much news! José had painted our floor deep blue, the kitchen floor deep red--I went to Barcelona with Erasmus, European student network, and it was mostly really fun--Jake is coming in a week to visit for almost a week! I´m fat and happy. I´ve pictures of Barcelona to put up once Robot is fixed, but here´re Elizabeth and I as snapped by Katie:


I send one vague good hope out to all of you.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A charming account of Christine's visit to Madrid can be found on Christine's abroad-for-a-year-blog,

I saw a terrible zarzuela today. What does that mean? I've learnt that bad actors are the same in Spain as they are in California, New York, Minnesota...

Grump, grump. The Bard kids are here and they are terribly nice. We none of us talked much there, yet here they are and we all get along. They are all in long-distance relationships, dear lord. The non-Bard-AYA girl, Kate, is a sweetheart too. She carries a little pen of Tide to clean kebab stains off her sleeves. For reals.

My other New American is Caitlin Liss, who's here au pairing two rambunctious spanish boys. She has to travel an hour and a half to get to my house, but here she is! Here! In this picture! With the kids!

Yeah, I like them! They're no MattandJulia, but they are (left to right) Caitlin, au pair; Mary Kate, ex-punk ex-nanny; Elizabeth, who carries coffee in a jam jar and makes hummus every day in Maria José's kitchen!; Sam who has already made 2.50 bu
sking in a park; Jessica whose ear is so spangled with earrings I have difficulty not turning into a fish and swimming into it; Kate whose bag today held, along with Tide and antibacterial gunk, a deck of cards and a novel by Graham Greene.

This is them in my loungey basement living room, eating a huge dinner we all made together in my tiny dormlike kitchen. The food is hummus and pita, good vinagery salad, sliced chorizo, too much pasta, wine and carrot orange juice. Dessert was a lot of good cookies and strawberries. Pre-dinner was goat cheese, pears, and pastis. Why do I write all of this down? Why do I write it on the internet, forcing my mother and aunts to read it? I usually write good times and things (like meals) down in order to relive them, but I am actively reliving this meal as it is: my breakfast, lunch, and snacks today all came from the leftovers filling my fridge.

I'm happy! Even though some classes start monday, and I don't know my schedule at all, I'm happy. I saw a nice concert on Valentine's day in a bar, played by a busker Ariana and I met in the subway. He was quite good, though, like my Spanish teacher, he really really likes Ben Harper. He also likes Joanna Newsom and Ramona Cordova, though, making him the only Canary Islander I've met who's heard of either.

Much love and much more!

Monday, February 12, 2007

To Ariana and anyone who likes us: the pictures from your (her) trip to Madrid are up (on my shutterfly account) ( up up.

In other news, I am not a tortilla prodigy. José came in, giggled at my efforts, and then got serious and said tortilla española is difficult! He will teach me! I said thank you, and would you like some half-baked potato slices with a trim of scrambled egg?*

*which is what tortilla esp. becomes if you are not a tortilla prodigy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I was told two shaking bits of impersonal tragedy today. The first, the more serious, is that Molly Ivins died last week from breast cancer. She was white-haired when I saw her speak at Scripps, but so vital... I truly loved her work- her book "You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You" was my high-school entrance to politics, honestly. She was funny; ironic but not cynical. Molly Ivins was an optimist, a moralist, a humanist- at that age she was what I needed in a political writer. Too many writers accesible to me made me feel helpless in the face of the governmental machine.

I've passed from the clarity I felt at that age, reading her essays on grassroots activism and liberal values, but I still credit her for starting me reading the paper.

The other, replaceable loss--which I learned from Ana just as a I entered the Catedral de Toledo for the first time--is that some kids smashed up the emblematic lizard of Parque Güell in Barcelona with an iron bar. Ana said it was "to be funny," but I have to wonder if it was a political statement. Statement or no, the lizard was a lovely, silly thing, and I'm terribly sorry it's been so damaged.

Well, darlings, I'm writing to say that I'm well. There's good news for the future. Sam will probably come visit me, which is wonderful. I'm behind on photo-posting, but rest assured: twenty million photos of Christine drinking tea will soon be on the internet. I, I'm fat and (what's that? I haven't written about food yet in this entry?) full of marzipan, thanks to Toledo's charming stagnation/traditions, charmed with my kitchen and cooking, and about to go eat with the new AYA kids.

Love to you, all.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I poached an egg!

Oh my gosh. Christine wrote and illustrated instructions and I did it! I poached an egg!

I am marriageable!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Supper at Aitor´s.

Darrrrrlings. I´m holding up, barely, under a deluge of visiting american women. Mama and Rosie for Christmas. Ariana for the New Year. Dara (on the right) for more New Year. Christine for New February. Caitlin Liss I will meet this weekend. Not to mention the lovely Marisa South Wiliams (on the left), who came and stole Matt away forever. Meanwhile, I am up to my ears with frustration at the woman I live with, who is consoling herself about my present departure by telling me everything I will not like about my new apartment.

So then Aitor points and I kick him and Matt cooks and we all feel better.

Why all these blurry pictures? The above are all taken on Aitor´s camera, as are almost all of the photos below. Because? Because my computer has suddenly decided it isn´t speaking to the internet. I have no idea why! It´s some adolescent thing, I don´t know.

Anyway, I promise shutterfly will eventually have pictures of Ariana and I in Madrid, Ariana-Matt-Aitor-and I in Brussels and Amsterdam, Christine and I spending her whole visit here deuglifying my room, and everyone being sad on Matt´s last night (guest appearances by People You´ve Never Seen). So in the meantime, I´ll steal pictures from Aitor´s facebook albums and put them here. This was how New Year´s was:

Me looking like a twit, Matt, Aitor, and the Yikestedts.

Me sulking because Julia is leaving and Matt grinning because his wallet was stolen.

Last, in Brussels, Ariana and I toast our future nostalgia. Sepia is cheesy, Aitor.

Love you all, love you all.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Have finally succeeded in putting up the pictures from Madrid and Barcelona (and one or two from Segovia).

Much more to say and much more to do. Will do it and say it.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Madrid is explosive right now. You see people running, the street smokes and glitters, and then BANG. The first thousand times I jumped out of my skin: now I’m skinless.
Christmas, New Years Eve, and the Day of the Magi are several weeks of celebration without break. The santa hats and nativitiy scenes don’t go down until January 6th. Santa hats, hardly… every kid has whined there way into a troll or rainbow princess wig, a monster mask, a hat trailing fake dreads. At night the adults get into them, too; whole parties floating fake afros over their chic spanish jacketry.
I was talking about the explosions, though. The morning before Mama and Rosie left the ETA ended their ceasefire with a carbomb in the Madrid airport. Flights were suspended: until late last night we had no reason to believe they’d get back as scheduled. Luckily, their flight was for whatever reason NOT from the international terminal, and we all had the pleasure of waking up before eight to make the original flight time. I met a soulmate on the metro and the airport coffee vendor (like all of Spain) fell in love with Rosie. Coffee was spilled, flights were figured out, we all hugged and I wept. I’m home and have declared myself delicate and assigned myself bedrest before La Noche Vieja comes demanding celebration.
I’ve a thousand photos to share from their visit, from our trip to Barcelona and our tripping about Madrid. I'll put 'em all on shutterfly soon, I promise. Not pictured: Rosie in Germany, Rosie ordering orange juice with every meal; Mama and I in the Prado, Mama and I in the Parque de Buen Retiro watching a man run down a path yelling “Feliz ….dos….mil….sieteeeeee!!” for a camera about a thousand times, Mama and I dragging Rosie through museums; Rosie dragging us through stores; Mama waking up earlier than Rose and I and wandering alone every morning; all three of us eating falafel at Maoz (pronounced “mouth” in the castillian accent) many too many times; Mama and I getting stuck overnight in snowy Segovia.

Now come 2007, Ariana, a trip to Brussels and Amsterdam, more apartment hunting, possibly Dara with her goth band, and deadlines for four papers I haven’t touched. Felíz dos mil sieteeeeeeeeee, loved ones.