Saturday, July 31, 2004

goodbyes are sad

the title of this entry shares its name with the saddest song i know of outside the works of elliot smith. the song is by starflyer 59 and i´m glad i don´t have that disk with me because i would listen to it and be even sadder. now, i don´t really understand this about myself, but i have this tendency to want to become sadder than i already am when i´m upset about something (i.e. friends leaving). strange.

thursday was the farewell party for all of us students. the party was fine, and what followed it adds up to be what i believe to be the best night of my life. yeah, really. there are many factors, not just because we went to my favorite bar or club (we didn´t). but here´s some reasons why:

- it was spent with my newest and best friends from all over the world
- it was two days to the end so we went nuts
- the group that i went with included my two best friends from france
- we danced lights out
- we laughed til our stomachs hurt, all smiles all night

clearly, it was incredible. we went to a bar to get some drinks to start. i had some good conversation with a couple students from slovakia that were really cool. cool people all over, man. i tell ya. after maybe an hour or more at the bar we went to Picaro to take some people with us to our favorite dance club. well, we ended up just staying and dancing there. and let me tell you how glad i was that we did. they played great music, not just the techno dance crap, but really good songs. as i mentioned before, we danced lights out. but the highlight of the night by far (and maybe of the trip) was when "message in a bottle" by the police came on. holy crap.

a) i love that song so much.
b) with all my best friends in spain
c) i love that song so much.

i can´t put it to words. i felt so alive for those 3 minutes. it was perfect. absolutely perfect.

last night we went out to hang out in a bar with less craziness. it was good to be with the french girls for the last two weeks. basically it was just the three of us most of the time. they´re my favorite. they read my journal at the bar and found some incriminating things that i had hoped they wouldn´t be able to read since they can´t speak english, but it was funny. we exchanged several farewell notes during the last week about how much we had enjoyed each other´s company. makes me really happy to know them. happy beyond english, spanish, or french could comunicate.

they left this morning and i sent them off with hugs and kisses and wishes of a future reunion. sigh. i have prayed a lot today that we will meet again. praying is good. i´ll be back on tuesday. i´ve got 3 days here in Madrid to relax and sight see. much love to all the world.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

back in toledo

my right foot looks like a casualty of war people.  the left is fine, but my right really took a beating in barcelona.  i´ve got a band-aided blister on my fourth toe, i stubbed my 3rd toe today, a cut on my second toe, and i broke the nail in half on my big toe.  now, it´s true that i´m new to this whole sandal wearing deal, but i really find it hard to believe this happens to everyone.  my experience must be unique, or i just don´t want to admit that i´m clumsy.  one of the two.

the last day in barcelona was really nice.  we went to an IMAX that was also a 3-D showing.  it was incredible.  IMAX is cool enough, but in 3-D it was like drinking a huge Coke after a Super Size fries.  which is awesome.  maybe my favorite part of eating food.  but i digress.

we went our seperate ways after that for some solo time.  i went to the F.C. Barcelona fútbol museum.  it was very interesting although i wish i´d have paid attention to the team for the last 20 years.  then it would have been more meaningful.  but it was cool nonetheless.  after that i took the metro down toward the sea to go to the beach.  it was pretty crowded.  lots of topless ladies around and for some reason i didn´t even think twice about it.  it didn´t bother me at all.  maybe i´m too adjusted here or something.  if i was a girl i think i would have gone topless just because: how many chances will you have to do that when no one will care!?  c´mon ladies!  spain!

after a swim in the mediterranian i layed (lain?) on the beach for a while and then headed to a café along the boardwalk.  i had some potatoes and a couple very tasty drinks.  man, they were really good.  really expensive, but really good.  low alcohol content and high flavor content. 

i called my mom after that and headed to our bus station where we were to meet to get our luggage out of the storage facility.  so we arrived and got it out and headed to the bus stop.  our bus was leaving at 10 and it was about 9:15.  so we´re good, right?  good until we find out at 9:30 that we are at the wrong bus station and need to be across town in half an hour.  now that´s a lot of time, but for riding the metro that´s about 12 stops or more.  so we went into panic mode and hailed a cab which got us there in plenty of time.  yay!  i was relieved and a half.

the ride home was OK.  it was an overnight bus so you´re supposed to sleep, but as far as i could tell many people couldn´t.  at least i couldn´t sleep well.  i listened to music most of the way.  we got into madrid at 6:30AM and ran our butts off to the bus terminal to get tickets back to toledo as early as possible.  we got on the 6:45 bus which actually left on time.  we got to toledo around 7:30 and i walked home to shower and eat breakfast before getting to school by 9.  quite a night/day.

today after school i took a nap and then went to the pool.  i finished reading Telling the Truth again at the pool.  i think i´ve read that book about 6 or 7 times now.  it´s nice when your favorite book is only 99 pages.  you can read it a lot.  tonight we´re heading out to party hearty again.  you know how we do it in spain.  well, i think i´ll keep making my way around the net.  see you later.


Sunday, July 25, 2004


i´m on my second night here in barcelona.

the town´s pretty cool.  the ramblas one of the main streets of the town and basically the walkway around here.  tons of little shops line the strip during the day, and street performers bring their goods at night.  from minarret dolls of the beatles playing a show, to gimnastical impossibilities, the ramblas is the place.

i´ve seen quite a lot in my two days here.  the sagrada familia, all other guadí related sights, an old castle that overlooks the port section, cathedrals, the aquarium, and the picasso museum.  there´s a lot to do and see.  my two companions this time are eric and josh.  i think they´re both from NU.  anyway, it really hasn´t been the fun time i´d expected.  when we decided to go together i knew it wasn´t going to be the greatest.  they´re both really quiet guys that don´t really talk and thus far haven´t really had opinions on what to see.  so i basically decide.  sigh.  most of my friends are either in madrid or valencia this weekend.  but i´m looking forward to a fun last week with them when we return tomorrow night.

let´s see.  i´ll be heading back to my hostel soon to take a shower.  it´s across the street from the peir section, right on the sea.  it´s basically just a few rooms with a bunch of bunks.  and way over priced, but i have to deal with it.   i won´t have a problem sleeping bad though, the days wear me out a lot.

i knew i would say this near the end anyway, so here goes.  i cannot believe it´s already almost over.  this has been the fastest month of my life i think.  it makes me a little sad.  i wish for the world i could just find a job and live here.  but with USA obligations that is an impossibility.  another thing is the friends i have made out here, particularly the two girls from france.  we´ve been together quite a bit and it´s going to be hard to see them go knowing that i will not likely see them again, or if i do not for a long while.  maybe if i save up enough money i can come back in a couple summers.  gosh i hope so, but that seems so far off right now.

see you all in a week or so.


Friday, July 23, 2004

feliz cumpleaños

yes, last night was derrick´s birthday party here in spain. it was number 21 for him and let me tell you, it was a bang and a half.

alright, not quite a bang. but lemme hit you with some story time. we met at the plaza de zocodover (the main square in toledo) at 10:45 to prep for a crazy night with some beers. i had a coke because you all know i like to kick things off right! right? right. so i drank some coke and the group had beers. we were there until about 11:20 or so. derrick´s beer count at this point: 2. so we headed to another bar called boveda. cheap wine, cheap food. i had a couple tinto de veranos. it´s definitely my favorite drink so far. it´s tinto mixed with fanta limon or kas limon. very tasty. everyone else was taking shots of absinth at the bar. that stuff is illegal in the USA for a reason, people. it was ridiculous. derrick´s beer cout: 3. absinth shot count: 4. now, i´m not an expert by any means, but that is a TON of alcohol. seriously.

we went back across town to a dance club coyote. i danced some and then hung out around the exit from like 1:30-2:15 helping a couple drunk girls from our group get their heads back on. then at 2:45 derrick came stumbling toward the exit. he went out and i followed a couple minutes later. i saw him drunkenly amble up the road towards who knows where. so i followed him and we walked up the hill where he had some throw up time. i´ve never really been around drunk people before. at least not this drunk. so he layed there on the ground for a few minutes and then we walked back down to the club and i got him some water and napkins to wash his face off. he was so out of it. saying all kinds of random things. kinda sad.

he got home alright though. crazy night. 3 throw ups. 4 absinth shots, and probably 5 or 6 beers. happy birthday indeed.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004


school´s been alright lately. i mean alright in a good way.

yesterday we played a little charades. very funny. today we read articles about domestic violence and gave presentations in class. also class has just been generally more fun. our class is finally gelling together. too bad we only have about a week left.

i´ve been keeping myself pretty busy lately. been seeing museums, convents, synagogues, and the swimming pool here in toledo. there´s so much to see i´m sure i won´t finish it all in a week. tonight we´re going out to eat with a professor. should be a good time.

this weekend i´m going to barcelona. i can´t wait, guys. i booked a hostel today about 3 minutes from the ramblas. hopefully i´ll get my party on there in barce. i´m really excited to see all these monuments that i´ve been reading about for so long. like coming to toledo for the first time, it was like all the pictures and all the things i´d read about were right there now instead of in a book or webpage.

i´ve been keeping up with journalling too. just about every night i write about the day´s happenings and who did what with who and how i liked it and yadda yadda yadda. i haven´t seen seinfeld forever!


Monday, July 19, 2004

the weekend update, with me

hello world.
this weekend i found myself in segovia and felt too much like a tourist for my liking.  the roman aqueduct still stand there.  it was definitely still standing.  very high and very long.  we toured around the thing and up some stairs to get a view near the top of it.  quite rad.
we moved on through the city to a church near the town square.  it was basically another church.  it´s kinda to the point where if you´ve seen one, you´ve seen most.  they´re smaller than cathedrals but generally are pretty ornate, just not much variety.  from there we moved on to the town square where the cathedral is.  it was quite a sight.  so many columns rising from it.  very cool.  after that was the highlight of the day: segovia´s alcázar.  look it up on the internet.  it rocks.  wait.....
if it looks familiar, that´s because it is.  walt disney found his inspiration for FantasyLand from this structure.  the inside isn´t half bad either.  during the tour we ended up on the (if you please) back porch of the structure:
we ate lunch at a local restaurant.  it was decent.  nice steaks, ok fries, good cocacola.  i had no idea that cocacola is like liquid gold over here.  it seriously costs 2.50€ (about $3) for an 8 ounce bottle.  ridiculous.  obviously i haven´t had much coke over here, unless it´s free like it was on saturday.  anyways, we got back to toledo around 9 and the french ladies and i decided to go out and party.  at 11 i met them at there place and we started the night off with some sangría at a local street cafe.  talking about france and USA relations.  sheesh, the UN should have been there.  we had it all figured out.  iraq, bush, everything.
later we followed some local boys to a bar where i had some bailey´s and was accused of being drunk because someone bumped into me and i almost fell over.  observers missed the bumping part and only saw the falling part.  i had only had 2 drinks!  sheesh.  no love.  well, we walked a long way into new toledo after that where a kicking outdoor party was going on.  plenty of music and people dancing.  so we hit the floor.  i can´t tell you what a trip it is to boogie down with ¨hey yeah¨in spain.  when that song came on, i just started looking around and thinking about how i was in freaking europe.  it was great.  we got home around 4 and had nice sleepy time until 12 on sunday.  sunday i saw some local sights, a couple museums, a synagogue, and the cathedral for mass last night.
class is over today.  i need to buy another phone card but all the stores close around 3 here so i missed the time.  stupid.  tonight we have spanish theater night where all who wish gather to watch a movie.  should be pretty fun.
well, see you later.

Friday, July 16, 2004

what´s new

well.  today is another day here in spain.  classes are done, lunch is eaten, i´m getting ready for a nap.  i did some homework last night and went out to meet some friends that decided to change the meeting spot without letting me know.  it´s hard when they all live in the dorms and can do that.  but since i´m in a family i just go on what we decide at school.  oh well, i went to bed early and had some time to journal.
yesterday i took a walk around 7:30 pm.  i ended up at the iglesia de santiago near the puerta de bisagra.  it happened to be thursday evening mass, so i went in and sat in the last pew.  an old lady scooted in next to me a couple minutes later.  they were praying several prayers that all ended with the congregation repeating  "ora por nosotros"  or "pray for us."  so it´s obvious we´re asking that to mary.  but anyway, i was very surprised that some of the things prayed for where things about the war in iraq, the poor of the streets, those dying without knowing God.  throughout the service there was reference after reference to the Son of God and that he is the only way to heaven.  that he has pardoned and forgiven us and washed us with his blood.  he called us his christian brothers on more than one occasion.

with the smell of insense in the air, the nave rising far above me, and my knees aching from the wooden kneeling bar in front of me, i couldn´t help but understand how close God was to this place.  it just felt personal and holy.  i really felt closer to God than i have in a long time in that cathedral.  i mean, there were images of the cross and christ crucified all over the place.  i realized they are not idols or anything of the sort.  they helped me focus.  a lot.  i loved having that figure there on the wall.  it was an unforgettable experience and i will definitely return next thursday as well.
things like this are so much bigger than me or than i could ever express or understand.  something about the being in europe and the spanish.  it was just awesome.
the end.


hey, sorry i got my digital camera to work after some more messing around.
so i give you this picture.
you´ll have to understand that my camera is a 1/3 pixel model, so the photo is very hard to see.  especially since i was zoomed in 10x.  but anyway:
this is a picture of the mountains around toledo.
Upload Image / File

Thursday, July 15, 2004

it´s thursday and i´m in love

mmm, not in love so much...but i could be.

the comments are much appreciated. i´m going to have to hold off my final judgement for later, but "armenonymous" is quite a conspicuous name to be posting. now, maybe this anonymous person accidentally hit a couple extra keys. i´ll give them the benefit of the doubt. or maybe they´re typing with boxing gloves on their hands. who knows.

i´ll take a quite life, a handshake, some carbon monoxide with no alarms and no surprises. please.

today school was sort of OK. pretty average. but i just noticed my hands still smell like the peach i ate at lunch. that´s good! my first professor, jaime, is a little difficult to understand, but i´m working on it. we did some ser v. estar review for what reason i´m not sure. it´s just the grammar section i suppose. there´s only so much they can go over. the second half, maria capdevilla had us discuss immigration in our countries. the class had received a paper on monday to read and be ready to discuss, but i didn´t get it until today. she assigned me to the "against immigration" side even though i think i´m in favor. so accordingly, i didn´t say a lot in class today and she wondered what was going on.

i really like the diversity of my class. there are students from: france, bulgaria, hungary, germany, letonia, russia, the united states, slovakia, and slovenia. i think that´s it. we get along like peas. and carrots i suppose. peas in a pod?

we´re going to the bars in new toledo tonight. apparently they´re the best around or something. should be pretty fun. i´ll see what i can do about the photos, evan. i forgot my USB cord today, but maybe tomorrow. bye bye.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

so much updatings!

i´m in a computer lab. there happens to be a USB port on this computer. that´s good news for me posting some photos. we´ll see what i can do for that. maybe in a couple days i´ll post a photo or two. seriously though, they will just be teasers.

some notes... roommates: a CD i ordered should be arriving in a week. don´t let anything happen to it. also, i´m sure i received a magazine and a CD in the mail after i left. i hope they´re up in my room and not on the living room floor somewhere. also, how´s the house looking right now? clean? how has the partying been?

what else.

today in class we discussed the complexities of having children. what is good and bad about our society´s idea of raising kids. this kind of thing. i ate some beef stew, salad, and an apple with my family and they went out to get the grandkids.

jeremy: remember alejandro? he´s over here a lot. we play FIFA 2004 and he kicks my butt. he has a little brother now, Daniel.

the spanish chics are the best ever. gosh. everywhere i look there´s another gorgeous one. it´s insanity. insane. i hope i meet one and get married. seriously. one of our professors, juan, is teaching us all some spanish pickup lines that are pretty clever and funny. we´re also learning how to translate all the curse words into spanish. "que te jodan" came in handy the other day, jeremy. in pamplona, some stupid drunk ran off with my friends hat. i yelled it at him. i felt cool. am i?

welp. i got other places to go and people to see and my contacts are burning a little bit. i should go home and take them out. later.

please comment.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

this one´s for evan.

so i forgot to mention what i did before pamplona.

we were in madrid friday night before our train left at 7 on saturday morning. we found a hostal there to stay at and the four of us (nate, laura, carla, and myself) found our room very comfortable.

that night we went to the reina sofia to see the picasso and salvador dalí exibits. i can say for certain that dalí my favorite painter after seeing his exhibit. so much color and intricacy. sometimes it was hard to believe they were paintings. anyway, the guernica by picasso was the star of the show of course. i had been wanting to see that ever since i knew i was coming to spain. it was so big. bigger than anything. way bigger than i thought. it was incredible. he painted it in a month for the world fair in the 30s. ridiculous.

later that night nate and i walked around madrid through the plaza de cibeles and the puenta de alcantra (i think it´s called). look them up on the internet for pictures. they´re awesome. what´s more, we walked throught the parque del buen retiro to see the amazing palacio de velasquez. it was so cool as the sun went down. again, look on the internet for photos. i can´t wait to come back to see the crystal palace. sweetness in madrid. anyways, that´s what we did.

today in class (which lasts from 8-1:30 with a 30 minute break at 11:30) we studied subjunctive, a tense in spanish. it was mostly review, but good review. the next section was taught by mariló. i still have to ask her if she remembers you, jeremy. i will tomorrow. we talked about stereotypes that we had for spanish people before we came here. mine was that they knew how to be suave with the ladies. others included that they didn´t like to work, that they were very respectful, that they didn´t take no for an answer if they´re pursuing a woman. mostly they are inaccurate. it was a good activity.

well, i need to return home for dinner. paco and pilar are expecting me soon. tonight i´ll hit the bars with my friends that drink way too much. but hey, they need somebody sober or else they´d get lost every night on the way home. adios!


p.s. there is another new entry below if you haven´t read this site for a couple days.

Monday, July 12, 2004


hello to everyone. i just returned from the running of the bulls, please read about it.

we had planned on sleeping in the park from the beginning. there is no way we would find a room in the city during the biggest party in the country. but it was so much colder than we thought it would be outside. so we really didn´t sleep at all the first night. we took the train there and arrived at noon. the next group was coming in at 5 so we sat around a cafe and hung out until they got there.

when they came we went down to the city. we spent some time at the cafe iruna, made famous because ernest hemmingway spent most of his time in pamplona there when he was writing his novel "the sun also rises." thanks jeremy. so we went to get tickets for the bullfights the next day and stood in line next to a big group of drunks from spain and france for 3 hours. it was quite an experience. i caught a pickpocket red handed and shooed her away. we got our tickets and night was about to set in.

our spot for the night was in the plaza. we hung out on a bench in the town´s main square. i watched drunk people amble by for 4 or 5 hours. there was absolutely no stop to the amount of people in this city. they stay up all night getting drunk, and then run with the bulls at 8 in the morning, then go to bed.

later then we sat in the pizza hut that was open still until about 5 am. there were about 10 other americans in there that were pretty cool. so we talked to them until they kicked us out. the next day was the encierro. we had tickets to watch it from the bull ring instead of along side the path, so nate and i got up the stairs fast to get a spot on the balcony overlooking the outside entrance to the ring where everyone would run.

it was so cool. there were thousands of people that were kind of walking when the gun went off. then the pace picked up a little more. it only takes about two and a half minutes total. pretty soon there were people just kinda jogging and laughing and looking around (still drunk), but when they turned around they saw everyone behind them sprinting like crazy and started running too, it was an interesting chain reaction of fear passing through the people. when the crown started to thin out, the bulls came. the bulls came, about 12 of them. i snapped pictures as they went under me. then we went into the ring where all the runners just run around in the ring with the bulls. they let one out at a time. this is where the action is. because the people are still stupid and drunk. they put rubber tips on the horns so you can´t get gored at this point, but plenty of people got run over and roughed up. a brave few actually grabbed the horns either from the front or behind the head and got cheers from the crowd. it was so fun to watch stupid drunk people get tossed like rags and then stagger over to the wall.

that night was the bull fights, so we slept most of the day in the park because it was finally sunny. the bullfights were very cool. a great experience. i have plenty of photos. the only noteworthy thing is that one of the bulls broke his leg when he was running, he must have come down awkward, but anyway, they just killed him. i wonder if that happens often. that was the only thing that really got to me during the fight. it was pretty awful to watch that part.

we got into toledo about an hour and a half ago 1:30pm and i just finished lunch. i´m about to head home and take a nap since i haven´t slept 10 hours in 3 days. take care. adios!


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

good you got everything taken care of. sorry i forgot about that.

spain is going well. classes are off and running. this saturday i go to san fermin for the encierro. that´s what they call it in spain. if you want to know what that is, search on

the food here is interesting. we´ve been eating a lot of pasta at lunch. some meat as well. i´ve been taking lots of photos, so i think i´ll have plenty of explaining to do when i get back. i went to the monestary by my house today, called san juan de los reyes. it´s incredible. the nave is amazing with its vaulted ceilings and towering sculptures that run all the way up both sides and at the altar.

i´ve been hanging out with friends at night at different places around town. the wine here is alright. last night i had some tinto, which i didn´t know was the strongest wine. it was hard to get down, but i made it. pretty much everyone else i go out with drinks A LOT. they´re good people though. well, i better get home for supper. it´s about 8.30 or so here. i can´t find the colon key on this keyboard. talk to you later. tell grandma hi. i´ll try to call down there if i can get a phone card tomorrow.


Monday, July 05, 2004


hello everyone and more.

i am safely and surely in spain right now. sitting at an internet cafe in toledo. my house is just down the street and just outside is the gorgeous monestario san juan de los reyes. it towers about the houses around here.

i just finished my first day at school where i took an oral and written exam. it went well, thanks for asking. um...tonight is the welcome party for all of us students. i´ve met some pretty cool people so far. they´re all bar-hoppers, so we´ll see how drunk they can actually get on spanish wine.

i hope my roommates had fun in colorado. i forgot to give you a rent check, bryan. i will ask my dad to send you the money.

other than that, my time is almost up at this computer, i need to get going. god bless you all. see you in august.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

first entry

i hope this works right.

this is my site on which i will post updates of my excursion on spain as often as possible. hopefully every two or three days. enjoy the states!