31 January 2007

thoughts on 24

a few thoughts on season 6:
  • why is chloe so second-rate this season? why is she interrupting meetings with buchanan, milo, british guy and everybody else to bring news of a phone call? she should be in the meeting, running com and opening sockets and making sour faces. it's almost like she has been demoted, when she should obviously be the boss of everybody there.
  • is it just me, or does the silver fox (buchanan) bear a certain resemblance to tim gunn from project runway? they obviously see the same hair stylist, but i'm sensing something deeper. admit it, you can picture buchanan saying "sturm and drang."
  • my money is on milo and natalia being positioned as the new tony and michelle. meanwhile, chloe is completely insane in her choice of men! whingey british minger over foot fetish cutie? dude, "reposition" the "satellite." (narf)
  • i know we're all wondering...where's jack's chinese prison hottie girlfriend? he ususally starts each season with a new babe, from whatever adventures he's been occupying himself with during hiatus, be it mexican druglording, living in a trailer park, or working with the secretary of defense. i'm thinking...zhang ziyi cameo?
anything to add?

30 January 2007


i'm in the middle of two books right now, and both have me thinking about the idea of home, and what it doesn't mean to me.

one is mountains beyond mountains, a story about a guy who splits his time between peru, haiti, boston, moscow and paris, rarely staying for longer than a week in any one place. this person is so obsessed with his quite honorable profession that he is essentially homeless, defined more by his work than his location: home is where his work is.

and the second book is all souls, a memoir about a person and a place, in which hometown and identity are so intertwined that they are inseparable. this person cannot define himself without his city, his neighborhood... without his corner of the neighborhood, without his family and neighbors and enemies. home is a specific place, filled with specific people.

what shocks me is how these two protagonists ache for their homes, how their lives feel unfulfilled when they are away. and i ask myself, where/who/what is home for me? i'm not aching for any one place, person, activity or job. i'm often asked where feels like home for me, and i don't have a good answer. so i ask myself, somewhat facetiously: am i homeless?

well obviously i'm not homeless. i guess i'm homeful, lots of places feel comfortable and homey and full of people who have known me forever. homeful, yet at the same time a little bit homeless. i feel pretty lucky.

emily melle

today emily turns 30. i wish i could celebrate with her, i would buy her a nice glass of single malt scotch and then another, because the second is twice as good as the first.

emily is a poet, a troubadour and a philosopher queen. she is effortlessly brilliant, yet thoughtful, a conversationalist of infinite wit and depth. she loves calling me on my bullshit and i love her for it. happy birthday em, miss ya.

25 January 2007


winter has arrived in my apartment. it is brisk in here to say the least; there is no heating. beyond the obvious cold of fingers and toes, it is the unexpected coldness of random household objects that chills me even more. the body lotion is icy, not a welcome feeling after warming up in the shower. socks ignore their duty, cold to the touch of a bare foot. a cold spoon will cool off a hot sip of soup, a mug of tea will too quickly find its way to room temperature.

i'm fighting this by spending lots of time in bed. the only warm spot in the house.

24 January 2007


making oatmeal is a visceral experience for me, full of memories of my grandparents. will i ever stand over the stove stirring my oatmeal without thinking of childhood breakfasts at their house, how i would stand outside their bedroom door yelling for them to wake up, how they wouldn't hear me because they didn't sleep with their hearing aids in, how grandma would get up and offer me the choice of oatmeal or cream of wheat? will i ever not smile to myself, remembering how my grandfather, a building contractor, would call the oatmeal redi-mix?

will i ever wait impatiently as the molasses eases its way down the side of the bottle without hearing my grandfather eternally describe his wife to be "slow as molasses?" and, always, will i think to myself, actually molasses is pretty damn slow?

23 January 2007


i have been holing up, staying in, bunkering down. i've been relishing every moment of solitude in my cozy apartment, spending hours upon hours watching movies and reading.

i have the added benefit of an empty house for 5 weeks. just me, my wifi and five new english non-fiction books brought back from the u.s.

but all around me it seems people are doing the same thing. are we in a slump, as my sister likes to say, or has global warming heated us into a haze? this may have been the most universally antisocial weekend since i've lived in madrid, but it was perfect.

and is it really antisocial to hang out with yourself? it's not like i'm moping, i'm genuinely having a good time here. it wasn't until five years ago that i learned to appreciate being alone. the most amazing thing is being able to do exactly what you want at every moment.

but somehow i always feel a little guilty about staying home, my conscience tells me i should be "doing" something. when do i have a genuine cause for concern? it's been about 5 days now. if i haven't regained my vitality in a week, please raise your eyebrows disapprovingly at me, deal?

until then, i have the new erik larson to read and a scanner darkly just finished downloading...

today's question: does today's picture remind you of anything? (you know who you are)

18 January 2007

holy shit

the new york times puts the cost of the iraq war in perspective. for $1.2 trillion we could, for example, significantly beef up our health care and cancer research systems, provide global immunization for children, rebuild new orleans, make our country safer against terrorism and still have some change left over to go properly kick the taliban's ass in afghanistan.

or, the war in iraq.

those other things are less important apparently. because we're fighting for....i mean against....i mean because of, or due to, or to prevent, or to deter, or what exactly?

$300 million a day. it is unfathomable, outrageous.

but, salon asks, where's the outrage? where is the antiwar movement? in the absense of a draft, this war is too impersonal; the middle class doesn't feel affected by this unreal war of the rich being fought by the poor. so let's bring it to your front doorstep: $300 million a day. get mad!

on a much less horrifying -- somewhat calming actually -- numbers-related topic, scientific american discusses the history of zero and early expressions of the concept of nothingness.


i like new year's, it is one of my favorite holidays. i like that it isn't a hallmark holiday, there is no gift buying and no card sending. just a party, some introspection and -- if done right -- a great little trip out of town with friends.

this year i spent new year's weekend in martha's vineyard, a posh island off the coast of cape cod where i summered as a 3-year old. i returned for bike trips, once on the back of a motorcycle with my dad, and again for high school weekends to visit a friend's cousin -- titillating slices of frat life a few months before college started.

but winter was entirely different; there is something magical about the off season. as if you are privy to a secret shared by only the knowing few. it's like being in somebody's house while they're away on vacation; you get that delightful sense of sneaking around, stillness appreciated as an absense of the usual noise.

and i especially like to make new year's resolutions -- the kind that i know i will keep -- in the vein of "keep doing this great thing i'm already doing." that way there is no disappointment, no letting myself down. it's like writing something down on a to-do list that you've already done, then checking it off. self-serving? definitely. missing the point? probably.

here is a selection from jacki's resolutions, 2007:
  • start yoga again in february, continue for the rest of the year except for months when i'm not entirely in madrid
  • celebrate my 30th birthday in style. feel wonderful about being 30.
  • pick up guitar again. sit on my terrace playing guitar in summer.
  • read the novel i wrote in november. edit it, if it seems worthy.
today's question: what's your favorite resolution that you've already kept?

16 January 2007


and just like that, i'm back in madrid. time flew quickly in the u.s., as it tends to do. i came, i saw, i worked, i left exhausted and itchy (metaphorically speaking). as much as this back-and-forth suits my personality, every time i arrive back in spain i go through this cycle of introspection: what am i doing here, will i know when it is time for a change, am i just spinning my wheels, etc.

you may recall, i've vented this before. this is always brought on by people asking me if i'm excited to come back. and i never really am, but i don't notice until i'm asked. it's not that i'm not excited, it's just that the realization that i'm not particularly excited throws me for a loop.

so, i have a pattern. that's ok, right? better than to be stuck in a rut? or am i in a rut, just one that involves alot of intercontinental flights?

meanwhile i've deemed 2007 the year of the cleanse. more on that later.

i will now resume posting as promised, more or less daily.

today's question: my 30th birthday is on easter this year. should i, as a friend suggested, create a burning christ effigy on my terrace to celebrate? just wondering....

04 January 2007

i haven't forgotten

greetings from u.s. and a.

the posts around here have been spare -- a comment on my new york life perhaps? no time for reflection...mornings rudely interrupted by the alarm clock, days spent toiling hour by hour at a desk, evenings find me avoiding computer contact at all cost.

the upside is that every time i come back to new york i find myself appreciating the (my) spanish lifestyle with a newfound vigor. yet somehow it simultaneously feels extremely vital to be here, as if i am anxiously catching up on things that i've missed.

it suits me to live this balance, however. transitioning back and forth between madrid and new york, between my serious and non-serious jobs, between the two lifestyles, enforces the choices i've made and calms my internal jitterbug that, without so much movement, would flare up and require another actual move -- the type that requires forwarding addresses etc. so i hope you'll excuse me the lack of writing for the time being.

and i will return to my (semi)-regular posting schedule as of january 14.