Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Miwa Matreyek's glorious visions

I love TED Talks. And they are a perfect compromise when I want to be somewhat brainless (as in, don't feel like reading, writing... really doing anything) but don't want to be completely useless (as I would feel if I just watched a TV episode or four). I watch one, maybe two TED Talks and I'm thinking, I'm learning... I'm growing. I can be a good kind of vegetable :P (excuse the corn... pun intended!) Ok, I need to stop. Can I mention that it's late and I'm tired?

ANYway, this one isn't actually a talk. It's a jaw-dropping, how-did-she-do-that performance that is completely inspired and completely beautiful. Hope you enjoy! Happy Wednesday-Before-Turkey-Day! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

ALL about Santander!

I'm going to warn you now: this post is LONG, but it's mostly pictures, so don't be afraid :)

Last weekend, I went to Santander with my friends Rebecca. and Bionca. As you can see on the map below, Santander is west of Bilbao, my last little adventure, and pretty much due northwest of Logroño, in the region of Cantabria.

More importantly, it is ON THE COAST! Sea breezes, sand between the toes... one kind of heaven.

We arrived around 9 o'clock in the evening, in the dark, and without a hostel reservation (oops). As it turned out, this was rather fortunate, as it led us to seek out the Pensión Madrid, only a 5 minute walk from the bus station and a VERY good deal at only 15€ a night/person for one room for the three of us. And OH, was it comfortable (yay for memory foam mattress covers)! Of course, that last bit may have had something to do with the fact that we had just attempted sleeping in the not-so-comfortable bus seats. Anyway, after walking around a bit and eating at a diner-ish place (that reminded me of a Perkin's) where the food was okay but the company was excellent, we decided to heed the call of those lovely comfy-topped beds and get a good night of rest before a very unplanned tomorrow.

And then it was Saturday, where the word of the day was wandering. And in wandering, we stumbled upon so much!
A protest before breakfast: In what would you invest it? (300 million euros)
In search of breakfast, we passed this cleverly named bar :)
After breakfast, we went in search of the Tourism office for maps and advice. From this angle, I was very confused about which direction to go. It turned out the office was behind me :)
At the tourism office, we discovered that the only museum that any of us had

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What next?

Today is a ponder-the-future day. Really I think every day is becoming that kind of day as I realize that I have no idea what I'm doing after Spain. I have ideas, of course, but they are ALL over the place. All are possibilities, and for that I should be grateful... and I am. But still, I can't help but wish that some heavenly light would shine down on one in particular... like, aHA! That's what I should do/where I should go/how I should proceed with my life.

I know, I know... this process is not that easy for anyone... even those people whom I (only kind of) envy that have always known what they wanted to be they grew up. Everyone has to find their way... but oh, how much easier it would be if I knew which way I was going.

Anyway, right now the ideas bouncing around inside my head are:

  • teacher (always been on the radar... but is something I'd like to become once I retire from some other mystery job)
  • economic development (MEDEG program I mentioned in a previous post)
  • international spy á la Alias or Covert Affairs ... because that's realistic... but hey, I'd learn how to kick some butt, pick up some more languages, and travel the world... but then again, I want to "settle down" someday... hmm...
  • artist... my job is to create!!! (in spurts anyway)
  • professional student... of the world...
Yeah... like I said, working on it. :)

Post to come: my most recent weekend in Santander!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bilbao and the Puente

Bilbao! Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, The Guggenheim Museum and El Puente de la Salve
I have decided to ride the wave of my freshly asserted motivation (see last entry) and tell you all about my trip to Bilbao over the puente two weeks ago. But first, let me answer the question that some of you may have: what in the world is a puente? Yes, I am a mind-reader ;) Actually... funny story...

A lovely girl named E.* who is also an auxiliar here as well as a palm-reading enthusiast told me that I have "the mystic's cross." In other words, I kind of am a mind-reader. Or at least, I'm intuitive enough to be... according to my right hand. But I digress...
This is puente in the traditional sense.
Puente means 'bridge.' This can be a literal bridge (as in build one and get over it :P), but it is also what Spaniards call a 4(or more)-day weekend. For example, the most recent puente was due to All Saints' Day (November 1st and a National Holiday in Spain). It fell on a Tuesday this year, so the schools and a lot of businesses go ahead and give everyone the Monday before off as well, thus they bridge the weekend to the holiday. Get it? This is a Spainism (yes, I made that up) that I wish the U.S. could adopt... but alas, they have manipulated our federal holidays (MLK, Memorial, Labor... do we get off for Columbus?) to all fall on Mondays.MLK's birthday's on the 15th? Let's put his day on the third Monday of the month. Columbus landed in America on the 12th of October? The second Monday of the month for him (regardless of the fact that the rest of the world celebrates it ON the day). Sheesh.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A resolution.

So it's a Monday, a day off and a day to get myself together before I have work again tomorrow. In an attempt to be "productive," I got on my computer to do "research." On what, you may ask? Oh, it could be anything, but usually it starts with Google and ends with me falling down a rabbit hole of web surfing and not really accomplishing much of anything.
I wonder if Alice was simply procrastinating? Source.
Today, I started with googling "getting a haircut in Spain" because goodness knows, I am very much in need of a haircut. I was soon directed to some girl's travel blog that was actually pretty helpful in that it included useful, haircut-specific phrases like "Quiero un recorte" (I want a trim) and "Me gustaría escalado" (I like it layered). Now I just have to look up how to say "Stop! Too short, TOO SHORT!" and I will be good to go.

Anyway, this travel blog in this instance could also be called the entrance into