Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Links Galore!

My friends Michele and Hilary have started doing comic reviews for the web site "Crucial Taunt." They're well written and worth a look.

Michele is also doing the Cancer Relay again. Click here to read her page and please donate.

Excellent comprehensive look at Hilary vs Obama. Obama comes out ahead, but very enlightening for both candidates.

Some Joe Rogan videos. Joe is an actor, comedian, former world TKD champion and announcer for the UFC. He's a bit blunt to say the least. None of these are work safe. Lots of profanity and adult conversation.

On Bush and Rednecks. Really not a good video for those of you who like Bush and Rednecks.

Joe Rogan on Fear Factor.

Joe Rogan on Brokeback Mountain.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The creative process. Which isn't very creative because I've had a hard couple of weeks and have been mentally exhausted by Spanish.

These are the notes I took Saturday -

I don’t want to get out of this hammock.

If you want me, satisfy me.

Two favorite fighters. Lay and Pray 08 can barely focus on today I’m so excited for tomorrow.

New interns, holy cow is Wendy smart, Dominican Republic, likes UFC.


Spanish no fi no fa

Eat Pray love

Spanish Healthcare

The sun in Madrid is like a hammer – easy bake over, in Vermont the air is warm and the sun is warm, in Madrid, the air is cool and the sun is a fuc king hammer.

And now, on to what they mean…

Saturday was beautiful in Madrid. Wendy and I got out the hammock and proceeded to lay in it and read and listen to the soundtrack to “Once.” I had stuff I should have been doing, but I was so mentally exhausted, I could not force myself to get out of the hammock for hours. After the first hour I stripped down to my underwear, put on sunscreen because I was getting red, climbed back in and bathed like an alligator; mouth open, drooling in the sun. In the background the haunting lyrics of “If you want me, satisfy me” are playing. Those words are sung slowly and melodically like a lure you would hear from a siren calling to you from across the sea. “Iiiiiiiiffff yooouuuu waaaaant meee, saaaaaaaaaaaatiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssfffyyyyyyy meeeee.”

It’s tough for me to focus on today because Sunday has the most stacked UFC card the organization has ever held. Many of my favorite fighters are on it. I’m doing my best to enjoy the day but for fight fans, tomorrow is like Christmas, you're a bit bull and there's a baby under the tree. Also good, is the fact that two of my least favorite fighters are on the card, so I’m hoping they get smashed. They are former wrestlers who dominate through sheer wrestling skill, taking down their opponents and lying on top of them for three rounds. Lay and Pray.

Wendy has two new interns, a Muslim kid from Georgia (holy cow can you imagine growing up Muslim in Georgia?) and a girl from Bulgaria who speaks four languages. We took the kid from Georgia out for lunch on Friday (man can starving college students put away the food!) and found out he’s been to almost as many places as Wendy.

Wendy continues to amaze me. Doesn’t matter what the subject is, she can discuss it. Been to the Dominican Republic? Wendy can have a nice talk with you about the history and politics of it. I might be able to find it on a map. Want to watch a movie about buscers in Ireland? Wendy can tell you they were brutally poor and now Ireland is one of the most improved countries in Europe because they gave huge tax breaks to large American corporations. Want to watch Anthony Bourdain talk about Hawaii, Wendy can tell you there are few true Hawaiians and Hawaiian rituals. Like America, it is a huge mix of cultures that have all melded together. Want to talk prophets? Wendy can explain the sects to you and what they believe. Law? Spanish? Politics? Art? You name it; she has some knowledge on everything. And can read a map and memorize street names like no one I’ve ever seen. Her brain is just incredible.

Luckily, the new intern also likes the UFC and we all talked about that for a bit too.

Found another amazing movie for you to check out called “Once.” All about buscars (probably spelling that wrong – street musicians) trying to get a record deal and a life back on track. Honestly, it’s a low budget film you would never guess was low budget. The dialogue is so subtle and moving, the tilts of the head and the looks are just amazing acting. You love the two main characters by the time the credits roll. You want to know them. You want to give them money. You want to see them in concert. Unlike a lot of films this one is deep into the music, with nine full songs played throughout the film. Not little snippets of songs, but the whole thing.

After you watch the movie it is imperative that you then do a little web research into the making of the movie and the two characters. You won’t believe who they are and where they are right now.

The soundtrack is the number one download on Itunes right now.

I’ve watched the movie twice in a week and listened to all the dialogue and music while I was doing my Spanish homework and answering emails.

Found my favorite Spanish expression. Runner up is “Estar de Rodriguez” which means when a man with a family is home alone for a night or a weekend because his wife took the kids to their moms or something. They even have “Estar de Rodriguez” menu items at “Telepizza” which is of course a meat pizza and beer.

Number one is “Ni fi, ni fa.” If you look up fi or fa in a Spanish dictionary, neither of them is there. It means “Not great, not bad, it was just normal.”

“How was your weekend?”
“Ni fi ni fa.”

Read “Eat Pray Love” again for the second time this month. I recommended it earlier, I’m recommending it again. Yes, my vagina is coming along nicely, go to Hell.

Don’t believe people when they tell you that Europe’s Healthcare is worse than America’s. A friend went into the hospital for a couple of days and from what I observed it was identical to what Marilyn received. Professional, courteous, nurses came right away when you pressed the buzzer, etc. Admittedly, it was a very limited time but anyone tells you it's awful is lying.

The sun in Madrid is like a hammer. It beats you down like a physical blow. As Spring rolls in, I am starting to remember that. We’re not that much closer to the equator here, but man, when the sun comes out, it is brutal in a way the Vermont sun is not. In Vermont if it's 80 and the sun is shining brightly on you, it’s like an Easy Bake Oven light. It adds some heat but you can’t cook a steak in it.

The Madrid sun is like the “Grill” setting on your oven. People cross the street to walk in the shade. They avoid the mid day hours. All the cafĂ©’s have umbrellas at the tables.

It can be 50 degrees in Madrid and if the sun is shining on you, you need shorts, sunscreen and a frosty beer.

Of course, now the weather has changed back and the wind is howling and its 40 degrees again.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I needed a bone saw to cut off part of the Jamon leg so I could more easily get at the meat. But what kind of a saw works best for a bone saw? A wood or a metal saw? In doing my research I came across this handy link for my serial killer readers out there.

Butchering the Human Carcass.


Edit - Reading this and the previous entry over I can see how some people might think all I'm doing is sitting around watching movies and fucking off. Let me corrent you.

Most days-

8:00 Wake up.
8:30 Shower, walk to class.
9:00 Spanish Class
11:00 Break
11:30 Spanish Class
1:00 End Spanish Class
1:15-2:15 Do homework
2:15-3:15 Private lessons with Montse
3:30 Return home and chill
4:30 Finish homework if necessary, make new flashcards, review old flashcards, try to learn more Spanish using Rosetta Stone software.
5:30 Answer emails, write, dishes, chores, etc.
6:00 or later - Watch 30-60 minutes of Spanish TV with Wendy attempting to imrpove our listening and understanding.
7:00 Relax for the night.

Admitedly, there are days when "Return home and chill" lasts longer and there is less of the "Make Flashcards, review, use Rosetta Stone, etc" is shorter or non existent, but hey, I'm old.