31 October 2008

buenos dias amigos

friday morning, it's pouring rain. my house is freezing, i'm wearing four layers and huddled in my sleeping bag under the covers. the friday crossword is harder than usual and making my brain hurt. it's halloween, and i have a costume but it is currently spread out on the shelves of untold stores across the city. i have a day of errands and running around, but staring out at the rain i just want to go back to sleep.

what is one to do in this situation? well, it's simple. crank some live ween! it's hallo-ween after all! i think i'm going to have an all ween day. and i can't wait...

30 October 2008


along with listening to npr on saturday afternoon, one of my favorite new york pastimes is the times crossword. wednesday through friday provide welcome entertainment during my lunch hour -- and sneakily at my desk, on quiet days -- and sunday mornings blues are postponed only by the delight of the big puzzle waiting for me in the fat stack of newsprint. (and of course by nfl, in-season)

recently i have found a way to import this hobby into my life in madrid, by subscribing to the premium crosswords page at the new york times. now i have a new obsession to fill the cold wintery mornings. although it's not quite the same as erasing smudgy newsprint, i am now getting more than my fill of word puzzlry.

last night, impatiently waiting for the thursday crossword to be posted, i watched wordplay, a documentary about the people who make and solve the times puzzles. not surprisingly, a four letter word meaning "intellectual geek" ran rampant through this movie. yes, not for the first time friends, i find myself in the company of nerds. i mean, one guy even went so far as to point out that math nerds greatly outnumber regular garden variety copy editor nerds when it comes to crossword pros.

but, hey, we've got john stewart! when he shouts "bring it shortz!" at his completed puzzle, i felt a tingle of nerdly glee.

28 October 2008

the etiquette of dream sharing

today i've been wondering: when you have a really bizarre freaked-out dream about a friend, is it polite to share the details with them?

for example, if you've dreamed that a close friend was leaving her husband to join a band of cultish nudists led by an annoyingly charismatic hippie who spent their time on an old beat-up yacht, being somewhat free-spirited and preachy, is this information that she needs to know?

or is that just a hopelessly discourteous, and also somewhat offensive, thing to tell your friend?

this is what i've been wondering today.

21 October 2008

dick whitman

why mad men is the best show on television:

i. "i have been watching my life. i keep scratching at it, trying to get into it. i can't."

ii. "the only thing keeping you from being happy is the belief that you are alone."


01 October 2008

home sweet home

and, it's october. another summer passed in a hurricane of weddings, travel, toolin' for the man, trying to see everyone and do everything. it was incredible, unbelievable in that it could outdo even my own lofty expectations. i watched my two oldest, closest friends get married (not to each other). i was able to be there by their sides, to be a part of the most important days of their lives.

i spent weeks with family and had powerful bonding moments with many of them. i caught up with high school friends, college friends, people who i haven't seen in ten years, people who i've known since i was a kid. i saw two of the most amazing concerts i've ever seen. i co-starred in a low-budget horror film. i kayaked, hiked, camped on the beach, mountain biked in the desert, swam in the ocean, gambled in casinos, got drunk during many a afternoon.

i had so much fun it was exhausting. i loved my friends and family so much that it hurts to think about.

and now it's over, i'm back in madrid, picking up life #2, putting my feet back down on this foreign soil and shaking off and looking around. can you believe i did all that this summer without a cell phone? it's actually weird now, this buzzing and vibrating thing, this contact. i'm shrinking from it.

tonight i was invited out but declined; though my summer was as full as it could have been, it didn't leave much space for solitude, for quiet nights writing, playing the guitar, listening to nina simone alone in my room. so here i sit having the time of my life, just me and my laptop and my mp3s. sometimes you have to travel far from home to find it right where you left it.