Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I'm Gone To Texas.

I should be there a little over 20 hours from the time I hit post.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Zuh, What?

It finally clicked in my little head that I'm flying home this Thursday. So, I thought I would refresh my memory and look at my flight information so I could make sure I had a ride home from the airport and all of that.

Can someone please tell me what I was thinking when I booked a seat on a flight that leaves Madrid at 6 a.m.? With only an hour and a half* to change flights in Frankfurt?


*That sounds like plenty of time, but really, it's only just enough. EU arrivals are on the opposite side of the airport from international departures, and in between I have to go through two security checks (at which any liquids I may or may not have purchased in the duty free shop and subsequently forgotten will be confiscated) and passport control. I've complained about this before, and you'll probably here about it again.[back]

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lentil Soup

A staple of dinner here is lentil soup. Despite the fact that none of us actually like it, we have lentil soup at least once a week. I have nothing against lentils in principle, it's just... they're lentils, and when boiled for hours to make the stock for a soup they tend to loose all of their flavor and (paradoxically) make every other ingredient in the soup (from chorizo to carrots) taste like lentils. The end result is a dark brown mush that I have had to eat once a week ever since I got here. Back in September lentil soup was something that I was mostly indifferent to; now I want to call in sick to dinner every time I see Juan or Ana setting out soup bowls.

The rest of the this post is kind of like that soup. This is sort of a grab bag of things which are mostly innocuous on their own but -- taken in combination after four months of exposure -- are really starting to annoy me.

First, I would like to address the club hoppers who make the move from Dreams to Joy between two and three in the morning every damn day. Would you all please shut up? I'm trying to sleep. That goes double at five in the morning when the clubs all close. Whatever you do, stop singing. Your voice is not attractive, and after you've had that much to drink you don't even remember all the words. Just. Shut. Up.

Second, I would like to address whoever is responsible for the civic infrastructure on Calle Arenal. Why does the trash get picked up at 1 a.m.? Why can this not be done at some hour when I am not trying to sleep? And the guys you sent last week to use a jackhammer to remove random paving stones and replace them with un-leveled piled of sand? That wasn't funny. I starting to wonder if my randomly non-functioning knee isn't connected to that time I tripped on the place where you removed a tree and replaced it with a pile of sand. Why are you creating more obstacles?

Third: to the writers of CSI (any version). When was the last time an episode did not include a murder/manslaughter/negligent homicide? I thought the team investigated all sorts of crimes. To the Miami people: the only member of your team I liked was the ME, and she's left the show. Horatio's sunglasses are not enough to get me to keep watching. Please get off my TV. To the Las Vegas people: how is it that you can kill off Warick (who I kind of liked) but Sarah (who I hate almost as much as I hated the Sarah/Grissom relationship story arc) still isn't gone even though she technically left? To the New York people: congratulations, you're the only iteration of the show where I like all the characters. Please keep it that way. Also, the "member of the team has been taken hostage and/or seriously injured plot" has gotten old and stale. If I recall correctly, the only team members who have not been sucked into either of those plots are Sid and Adam, both of whom never leave the lab. Also, I notice that suspects try to run a lot more in New York than they do in Las Vegas. While I enjoy watching Detective Flack tackle people as much as the next fan girl, it's getting kind of old.

Fourth, to people who write knitting patterns: is there some sort of law that states that every printed knitting pattern must include at least one typo that will result in me having to frog at least two rows in order to correct? The pattern I'm working from now makes the rather blatant error of giving directions for a stockinette rib stitch instead of a seed stitch. For any readers who don't speak knitting, and have followed the post thus far, the directions to produce something like this:

V - V - V -
V - V - V -
V - V - V -

were labeled as the pattern for this:

V - V - V -
- V - V - V
V - V - V -

Speaking of knitting, I finished Juan's Christmas present. He teased me one too many times about making something for him. If I understood the Juan-ish correctly, he was asking for a gray knee length slip [translator's note: that could mean boxer shorts or it could mean slip, I'm really not sure, and either way, I'm not knitting it] with an American flag on the butt. What I made him is a basket-weave scarf. It's knit from pink acrylic (2 EUR for 200 grams), which experienced knitters will instantly recognize as really, really, cheap. The yarn was thin and the only needles I had on hand are 7mm and solid aluminum, so I doubled the yarn when I made this one. Even after I made the tassels, I still had a ball a little smaller than my fist left over. Take a look if you dare.

On the subject of knitting needles: solid aluminum is a bad choice of material for a large-gauge needle. It's just too heavy, and using these stupid things is about to kill my hands. Why can't I find another option in this city? Surely plastic or bamboo needles exist in this country, why doesn't anyone sell them?

I think I'm done complaining about things that don't really matter now. Thanks for reading.