And a Very Happy New Year!

It’s been a shamefully long time with no update; of my blog-delinquent status I am fully aware, and by way of absolution can only tell you that I loaded my sweet visitor (one Gavelis, Gregory S.) onto an Amsterdam/Boston bound plane yesterday at Barajas and the preceding days had been very, very full of such things as walking around Madrid, eating falafel and calamari, being delightfully sappy in public spaces and cuddling. Naturally. I’m unsure as to whether the fact that we didn’t visit single museum is an accomplishment or a point of shame, but we didn’t. Because we’re sacks like that.

We did, however, take a great day trip to Toledo, planned at around 12:30 the night before while lying in bed and after doing the research that knocked both Segovia and Salamanca off of our daytrip list. I’d post pictures of the trip except that they’re on Greg’s camera. Again, we didn’t visit a single monument, really. Instead, we walked around the little town all day and saw the monuments (such as the Cathedral) from the outside, and then spent the cold evening hours (approximately three.5 of them) in the pretty second story of a café on plaza de Zocodover, drinking Colacao, café con leche, and anis, and drawing pictures on a tiny piece of notebook paper. I’d forgotten how amazingly nice it is to do very little with another person with whom you’re extremely companionate. I’d also forgotten how nice it is to do very little but just enjoy being with Greg. Distance, I suspect, combined with stress in his life and lack thereof in mine has led us both to forget, but the past week served as a powerful reminder of all the good that exists between us. That, of course, will make the next six months difficult–not to mention the fact that I’ve been heavily considering staying here another year–but I guess we’ll just have to let things unfold as they will and roll with the punches.

My Christmas, as I realize I didn’t report, was really wonderful. I’m very lucky Araceli invited me home. We spent the evening eating delicious food cooked by her husband, playing with her sweet little doesn’t-shed-dog named Trosco, and trading stories about school. It was fun, and it made me thankful for the warm hearts of good natured strangers. She sent me home with enough baked fish, potatoes, avocado salad and cream-of-seta soup for three meals, thus I was required to cook absolutely nothing save for brownies for Greg’s imminent arrival. He and I did cook together while he was here, though, and despite his being an untried chef, Greg did splendidly well. He is designated onion-chopper/stirrer from here on out in this relationship, being as the vile veggies render me a teary, stinging mess and don’t affect him at all. Convenient.

Ringing in the New Year involved the two of us in my room, watching Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events while a party raged outside in my house. I’d have had it no other way. The idea of joining 4.62, 0000 people in the city center didn’t appeal to me, anyhow. I like people, but certainly not enough for that.

So, gloriously enough, school doesn’t begin again until the 8th of January so I’m left with 5 more days of freedom and solitude. I have nothing planned for myself save lots of gymming (to offset the 6 days of food-touring Madrid with Greg), some Fathom work and some reading. Mary Catherine arrives for her impromptu visit on the 10th and I can’t wait to see her. We’ll be taking full advantage of rebaja season. Woot!

When school begins again, I think I’ll start taking myself each Friday to a lovely little café Greg and I discovered in Malasaña to study for the GREs. Evil, but a necessary one. If I’m ever going to be Dr. Schiller I ought to get my booty in gear. Additionally, I should start to look for jobs in the States for the coming year if I don’t stay here for another year. The future is a combination of exhilarating and a HUGE pain in the ass. 🙂

Speaking of gymming, I think I’ll get to it now. I’ve got an epic date with a stairmaster and a 70 lb. bar.

¡Hasta pronto!

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10 thoughts on “And a Very Happy New Year!

  1. Thanks, lady. 🙂 Welcome back to you, too! And hey–Happy 2008!

    Are you exhilarated to know that you can be expecting word from the Fulbright Committee within the next two months? EEEEE! I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

  2. Happy 2008! I am waiting with bated breath to hear in February (after which I will be second guessing myself until the final word, lol) and am equally excited to know the EAP notification letter for my hubby has been sent out!
    So in what field will your eventual doctorate be?

  3. I just had a shudder of nervousness go through me. I thought the letters were sent out on the 31st of January, but the selection process page says candidates will be notified by the 31st. How did this make me nervous, you ask? … BECAUSE!! *counting backwards*
    Um, anyway: when did you hear the final word for Spain?

  4. a) Tell me what EAP is.
    b) I’ll have my fingers crossed for you–AND for your hubby and for EAP prospects–whatever in the world they may be.
    c) I have no idea when I received the first (read, Round I) notification of my candidacy, but judging by the ecstatic emails sent out on April 3rd, yes–it was then. Keep in mind, though, that Spain’s motto “Tranquila, tranquila, tranquila” (along with “vuelva usted mañana”) must also have come into play, so you may well be able to expect speedier notification than I enjoyed.

    So what are you doing with yourself now, while you wait for your Fulbright? Getting a Masters? Working?

  5. I am just getting back on line after a lovely little excursion into the dark ages, care of the storm that took out our electricity for a few days. The only cool thing is now having a million blog entries to read!
    1) EAP is the UCs’ (meaning all nine of them) education abroad program.
    2) His letter has been sent to his college office (which does us no good since we live in family housing and since the storm shut everything down at the end of last week) and I’m supposed to get the first round notification by Jan 31st. Still don’t know how to feel about that.
    3) Neither at the moment; we’re trying to figure out what’s best for our situation before I jump back into working (which I don’t do on a regular basis anyway, lest I should mislead you) although with his winter schedule, we’d only have to find a sitter for three days out of the week. (We have a three year old. His name is Ezra but we call him delicious.) SO! Composing and planning has been my job. I’m a writer-artist who hasn’t written anything since July…which is when I started the Fulbright application.
    Okay, I have to go read all the new entries now!

  6. I remember as a child growing up in New Hampshire sustaining a doozy of an ice storm that kept me out of school for 9 days. It bowed the power lines all the way to the ground, thick with a luscious glaze of storm-ice. Sounds all magical and Narnia, right? I mean, sure, world is your skating rink and there’s no need to report for sixth grade at 8 a.m., but man, I was sorely wanting a shower and some overhead lighting by day three. All that said–I’m glad you’ve got electricity again, and I’m sure you must be, too!

    In backwards order, because that’s how I roll…

    3) You’re a writer-artist? How very badass! I assume you play an instrument or twelve too, eh? What do you play? What kind of stuff do you like to compose? And what, pray tell, do you write?

    2) So his letter is real and ahs arrived to his college office? That’s very exciting; I hope it has good news for you both! And also, please don’t worry about the “by January 31st” deadline. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure I didn’t receive notification until nearly the last week of January, and I wasn’t even an alternate. Don’t stress. Just let it come when it comes and try to enjoy your world in the meantime. Oh–and be damn sure to let me know how it goes! 🙂

    1) Thanks for the illumination. Mmmyes.

    Ezra is a delicious name, too. Well chosen. What does your husband teach? (I know I’m incredibly nosy. Please forgive me. I go back to work tomorrow, when I swear I’ll be more normal).

  7. Yes, Ezra Nehemiah was chosen well in advance, and in the legacy of Hebrew names (Bethany + Joshua). If – and it’s getting to be a big “if” – we have a girl, her name will be Hadas. NOW! On to the far less important (ie, not baby related) stuff. And… I fear you shall be quite disappointed with my clarifications: (1) My husband doesn’t teach; he’s a mature undergrad. I can’t decide if that makes him more or less impressive. I’m partial so… (2) By writer-artist, I mean I didn’t “decide” to be a writer and then go about taking courses meant to imbue my observations or witty banter with an air of … whatever the particular “teacher” was selling. I don’t write one thing and there are plenty of things I don’t write (crime-fiction?!? See my myspace blog for clarification). Also, I don’t think writing is the one art form that can be taught. If you weren’t born Toni Morrison, you shan’t become her by trying. And that’s my “elitist” nature showing itself. And finally, making money does not equate to validation… (3) Disregard everything I just said because I am really not a horrible person!! (4) I only play clarinet and piano. And when I say composing, I mean an application/paperwork/essay for said application – or – a work of fiction – or – a blog. …. Did I forget anything? Aside from my life story? (5) With regard to the “deadline” …. I can’t. 😀

  8. Lastly: because I am bogarting your time and blog space. You are not being nosy, I love answering questions and you’re welcome to read some of said composition(s). Which is my elitist way of showing respect/admiration/what-have-you. AND I’d love to hear about your Fulbright proposal for ETA. … Again. Iamnotahorribleperson.

  9. AH! I just realized where the confusion arose: I said college office because UCSC is broken into ten colleges (Porter, Kresge, etc) and his letter went to his particular college’s (Cowell) office.
    Also, I didn’t see where you asked what I write. I don’t wanna (moreso) bog down your page so I will say: fiction, social commentary (usually within the fiction), and editorials or interviews. Anywho, as I earlier stated, you’re welcome to details/examples. (Oh, and please answer all of the questions I asked on your profile. :D)

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