17 December 2007

holy grail

i have this english class that amounts to the holy grail of this "profession." it is a class that cancels. they call you and suddenly you don't have to go to work. you're getting paid to get back in bed and watch a movie. when this happens twice a week for the third week running, you have hit the jackpot.

everybody gets one, eventually. you spend years sitting back and watching other english teachers effuse about the wonders of a class that cancels while you trudge loyally to your job and try to teach something. or some new kid will show up and have beginners luck, annoying everybody. but then it happens to you, and your friends shake their heads at you over coffee, call you a bitch, wonder what you ever did that was so wonderful that you deserve this, but are ultimately just waiting to grab that golden ring themselves or thinking back wistfully to their glory days of past.

16 December 2007


can someone please explain to me why no country for old men, the new coen brothers movie starring spanish film star javier bardem -- for which senor bardem has just been nominated for a golden globe -- isn't opening here in madrid until march? MARCH. not to mention the fact that the darjeeling limited is neither in theaters.

nor is the jesse james pic with casey affleck, the ben affleck-directed boston pic with beattie russel from the wire, the yuma movie that the new yorker loved or anything else remotely being raved about.

so what is playing, you ask? well, tomorrow night's shows inlude i am legend, that animated shit starring big screen poison jerry seinfeld, that horrible one lions for lambs -- about which has been said that its best asset is tom cruise....tom cruise!...in a film that also stars meryl streep and robert redford, a kevin costner vehicle (oxymoron?), the golden compass -- featuring creepy poster of nicole kidman's forehead, guaranteed to scare small children and the faint of heart -- and last but not least 1408. and i hate to judge a book by its cover, but i can guarantee based on the poster and the fact that i've never heard of it that it is not worth the ticket price.

fortunately i will be back in my homeland in under a week. back to glorious massachusetts, where the malls are numerous and crowded, the cars have seatwarmers, the cereal aisle is ample, the patriots play in the afternoon, the gays can get married, the health insurance is mandatory and subsidized, and the films are current.

06 December 2007

young face, old face

yesterday outside of the supermarket a guy called me senora. senora, as in "old face"

i was hanoi-d

but today a door-to-door salesman rang the doorbell. and asked me "are your parents home?"

so i felt a little better. super "young face."

yet today is a special day, the day we celebrate the passing of one seth spiro into the realms of the thirties. welcome, my young apprentice. welcome to old face.

i'm sure you will all join me in agreeing that seth is a force of nature. and if you don't know what i mean by that, you haven't met seth yet. shame on you.

he reminds me of air in that i could not possibly live without it. and i like to take deep breaths.

while you have always been younger than me, no gulf was greater than the last eight months while you soaked up the last bit of those twenties. so now we are together again my love. we did twenty together and thirty is even better. happy birthd.ay

04 December 2007

strangers in the morning

anyone who has spent more than ten minutes with me in madrid will contest to the fact that i hold a special disdain for accordians. their attempted play for old-world charm is so trite it midas well be a werther's commercial. the accordian ranks up there with the fiddle as instruments i wouldn't miss if i never heard them again in my life. the accordian repetoire consists of a maximum of six overbearingly precious tunes that hold all the freshness of a mariachi band.

now add this to a crowded smelly metro train, amplified by a dime-store speaker system powered by a gerbil in a treadmill and you will understand why i dislike these whiny puffed-up casio synthesizers.

and yet, yet.

was is the crisp breeze blowing across the plaza this morning? the eleven o'clock sunlight finally cutting a swath through the morning mist? was it the yellow leaves scraping across the sidewalk; was it my wool scarf scratching across my face? was it that i had just got paid?

was it the song, pumped loyally by the toothless old spaniard: "strangers in the night," certainly outside of the usual playlist?

did i really feel like spinning around? i was certainly smiling. and so, despite my rush, despite having two banks to go to, not to mention the grocery store, before work, i stopped and dug through my wallet, tossing a fat two-euro coin into his greasy case. it made my whole day.