Oh–HAI! I can has updaetz?

So uh–howdy! Contrary to popular speculation/fear/fond hopes, no, I’m not dead. I have, however, been busy as all get out.

Let’s see. This week, totally fuera de mi contracto, I taught first grade alone for two days. Let’s just say that by breaktime at 11:00 on Tuesday, suicide really felt like an appealing option. My voice was so ragged by the time I left that I couldn’t speak. They are animals, and I am no dog (or hyena)-whisperer. What’s more, the “apoyo,” or “support teachers” who were supposed to be in there chilling with me to help impose order (really, THEY should have been teaching the class) were of utterly no help; especially turtle dame and walrus man. Both older and accordingly old-school Spanish, they turned their backs on my class, hunkered down in the back, and graded papers whilst I tried to contain a swirling maelstrom of sound, color, action and general devilry in a sack of structured English/science lesson. It was great. I almost cried when I got home. Luckily, by some act of God, day 2 of Alone and Unafraid was better. I’m not going to go into details, but I will say I only considered offing myself once in the course of the afternoon. I did, however, just barely contain myself from swinging the extremely violent Alejandro around the room by his little blue froggies and slamming him into the trashcan so he would stop beating poor Teresa. I repeat: they are animals. ANIMALS!

In happier news, come Thursday I tramped through a mysterious animal parade complete with eagles in the grip of military men, seeing eye dogs, cages of pigeons, pretty shaggy ponies, cats, and ducks in order to get to San Bernardo. Why did I do this, you ask, and was I actually on acid? First of all: no. No drugs induced this vision and Noa and his Arc were nowhere nearby that I could see. The dog and pony show was real, though what purpose it served I couldn’t possibly tell you–I even googled to see when St. Francis’s day actually is, thinking that could be a likely guess. WRONG! The parade will remain a myster, I suppose, but my reasons for battling through it shall not! I made the parade trek in order to see my dear, sweet Ms. Hall, who is finally back from the estados unidos. It was a joyous reunion and she, Liz and I chatted, cooked, and otherwise caught up ’til late in the evening. I missed her horribly and with her reinstallation at The Palace, Madrid feels more like home.

Plenty of other notable things have happened between now and the last time I updated. Here are a few: Mary Catherine was here for a splendid 4 days of visiting; I ate phenomenal soyflower gelato for the first time; booked tickets to see Ali in London for the last weekend in January; baked Amber the ugliest birthday cake in the world (no picture included, thanks), and in part due to aforementioned soyflower ice cream and cake have made new resolutions to kick my ass at the gym after this overly extravagant month of wining and dining. It’s going to be absolutely badass and a fun challenge. I might even try a spinning class. With that said: if you have great workout song/album suggestions, please post them here; I’d be appreciative beyond expression. Also, if you have an awesome ab workout/move, let me know. I’m looking for ways to keep it fresh.

Random spurge: so after reading some buzz on the artist St. Vincent., of Sufjan-y background, I decided to give her new album, Marry Me, a listen. Being someone who loves Sufjan and has some SERIOUS affection for the mournful-voiced female vocalists (gangsta nods to Rachael, Regina, Feist and HopeForAGoldensummer), I was expecting to be amazed and enchanted by what the disc had in store. Sadly, it’s all so *almost* right that, as a whole, it’s maddeningly wrong. Lyrically, it’s a mildly pleasant clusterfuck. Musically, it vacillates between too complicated and too spare. Still, vocally promising–the woman is owner of some undeniably glorious dulcet tones. I was not delighted to have my new music hardon totally deflated. 😦 boo. Thank goodness my wimmenz Claire and Page Campbell and Deb Davis didn’t disappoint me in the very least with their new release Ariadne Thread. 🙂 Just go. Listen. Go listen and fall in love like I did. Drink something sloe and strong, weep just a bit, be touched, and then go buy their CD. Get started. I mean it. NOW. I adore them, and I want them to be able to eat.

And now, I leave you with one of the few things that substantially tempts me back to Hartford, despite snow, cold, and the prospect of living at home for a year while applying to grad school. 🙂

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