Monthly Archives: November 2008

Long rambling, of which Thanksgiving is a not insignificant portion.

The internet has cut out again. And while it’s not terribly critical at this moment, I’m still rather annoyed at it. Not just because it’s flakey, but because I thought we’d fixed this. I haven’t had any trouble with it in (two months? A month and a half? However long it’s been since I stopped complaining about how finicky the internet here was. But since the internet is broken, I can’t go check that) ages. I’d eventually come to the conclusion that two of the wireless networks in this building must somehow be similar, and Miss Eliza was latching on to the one that was further away but still sort of reading this one, which is how I could have next to no signal (judged by the fact that it was REALLY slow and sometimes I couldn’t load web pages at all) while Airport thought that it was receiving full strength. And when we made the ivan network, we also had the wrong signal, and the fact that it was someone else’s internet explains why it was always so wobbly, and why the original WEBSTAR network didn’t disappear after we renamed it ivan.

So I tried renaming WEBSTAR again, and the newly created Pepi was fast and cheerful and came when called. And I was proud of myself for having solved things all on my own. But I don’t know what’s up with the Pepi network right now. Half the time it doesn’t show up on the list, and the other half of the time it does show up, but I still can’t connect to it. And unplugging the modem and plugging it back in hasn’t done anything. I’m giving it a time out right now; hopefully it will be more willing to cooperate when I’m ready to post this.

But I didn’t intent to write this entry to complain about the flakey internet (because I didn’t know it was broken again until I tried to go online); I was going to tell you about my shopping trip, and about Thanksgiving In Spain.

hence, shopping and Thanksgiving

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I should be asleep

But my brain seems to be intent on bopping around like a chipmunk in a cage, so I’m going to write an entry instead, and try to get some of the thoughts, well, if not on paper, into the data stream.

I saw a chipmunk on Friday. I was walking with my conversation partner, and we passed a pet store that had a chipmunk in the window, running on a wheel. I never really considered the possibilities of chipmunks as pets. They’re cute, sure, but they’re wild animals. Of course, people in Mongolia probably don’t think of gerbils as pets. I tried to get my conversation partner to tell me how to say chipmunk in Spanish, but he told me that it was a squirrel (in English). I told him that no, squirrels had bigger tails and weren’t stripey, and he tried to convince me that it was a chinchilla. I told him that it wasn’t that, either, and we got to discussing rodents and I never did figure out how to say squirrel in Spanish. Or chipmunk.

I had another discussion with Pepi about religion today. Cut for length, and in case you don’t care.

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I destroyed a book today.

It was actually kind of fun. Though there was a little corner of my mind that kept screaming, Book! This is a book that you’re ripping apart with your exacto knife here! And it’s a nice book, hardcover and with color pictures, even if they’re that cheap kind of color pictures with the three-color ink that they use for magazines . . . You’re taking apart a BOOK! But I am going to put in back together (and I’m going to do a better job of it; I’m going to sew the book well enough that I don’t need two millimeters of glue coating the spine to hold the thing together . . .) And for those of you worried about my book karma, I also completed making two books today, so my net effect on the number of books extant in the world is positive, not negative. But I can’t deny that there was some internal cringing involved.

More rambling about books and bookbinding

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Yay!

At some point on the bus ride home from Granada last week, it occurred to me that this bunch of Presquitos that I hang out with all the time because they’re there have somehow turned into a group of friends. I’m not sure when it happened, I’m not sure how it happened, and I still haven’t gotten any closer to knowing what marks the magic moment that differentiates friendship from mere acquaintance, but something changed, and now I feel that we’re friends. A month ago I knew that I liked these people, and wanted to be friends with them, but I don’t make friends quickly, and was worried that no matter how hard I worked at it, the special whatever wouldn’t really manage to kick in before it was time to leave. But it has. And you know what? Having friends is AWESOME.

rambling belatedly hidden behind an lj-cut

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Granada!

But before today’s feature presentation, I have an announcement and a question:
-You seem to prefer parenthesis to footnotes, so I’m going to keep using parenthesis.
-Is there anything that you would like to hear about that I’m not writing about? Or that you would like to hear more about? I don’t promise to write about everything you suggest, but I’ll keep it in mind. I probably have another entry about food sometime in the not-so-distant future. But not right now. Now is: GRANADA.


The spanish word for pomegranate is granada, and the heraldic symbol for the city is a pomegranate. There’s also a pomegranate at the bottom of most of the Spanish coats of arms, to symbolize the fact that Granada was the last Kingdom/Sultanate to be united under the same rules as the rest of Spain. They’re very fond of pomegranates there. Also of keys, which is another symbolic thing dating back to the conquest. Kona thought that it would be cool to eat a granada in Granada, so in our last hour in the city, we found a grocery store and bought a pomegranate. Most of the pomegranates were pretty sorry-looking (I don’t know what their season is, but I’m willing to bet that this isn’t it), but we found one that was red instead of yellow, and while it wasn’t the best pomegranate I’ve ever eaten, I enjoyed it.

many, many pictures under the cut

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check-in and thoughts on an election overseas

First off:
I’m alive, I’m still here, things are fine but these past few days have been a little hectic (which is to say, hectic for Spain, which is comparatively not hectic, but more hectic than not-hectic in Spain. If you followed that). There seems to be only two flavors of homework in Spain: almost none and gobs. It occurred to me on Monday that the amount of things that needed to be done for today fell into the gobs category. If I had been planning ahead, it would not necessarily have been so, but I wasn’t, and it was. Hence, I’ve read a 210 page novel, watched the movie, studied for and taken a midterm, and gone to class and done all in the 46 hours between Monday classtime and class today. Also bought new pens, because I seem to be in the midst of a pen death blight (I don’t usually kill my pens, but I’ve gone through four of them in the past two or three weeks. And while people always give you loads of cheap ballpoint pens, I’m a pen snob and don’t like them).
And it was election day. Did I mention that? Of course, you probably knew that anyway.

I’ve heard it said that that the busiest people are the most on top of things and organized. And from where I am right now, I’m pretty sure that it’s true. When I’m at Smith, fencing three or four days a week, taking four decently hard classes, on the leadership boards for somewhere between four and six clubs, depending on how you count, I am a pretty put-together person. My room isn’t always clean, but I know what needs to be done and I find time to do it without shorting myself on too much sleep, and I look ahead in the syllabi and know when tests are coming up and large books need to be read by, and I still manage to find time to just be myself with my friends somewhere in there. Here, where’s there’s very little work most of the time, I can’t be bothered to remember that every three classes we have to read a literary text, and to remember that this one’s a novel, and have the foresight to figure out that if the last class on that book I didn’t like is a Monday, that means that the first class on the next book/movie will be a Wednesday, which means that I won’t have a weekend in which to do it.

I got it done, of course. But as I said, things have been a little hectic.
And, due to the afore-mentioned preponderance of free time, I’d decided to try to participate in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, which started on Saturday. I should mention that I don’t know how well a 2000-words-a-day goal will mesh with a Spain blog, but I suspect the blog may suffer a bit. I’ll still try to keep posting something once or twice a week, but it may be shorter than usual (shorter than this one is turning out to be).
On the subject of Things Going On In My Life, we’re going to Granada Friday and Saturday. I’m excited.

On watching elections in a foreign country

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