far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


Saturday, December 20, 2003

Woke up this morning fully intending to be good, responsible, productive. (Go to the gym, get errands done. Write email, make phone calls.) Made the mistake of turning on the 'puter before doing anything else, the morning pretty much went to hell from there.

There are those days when sitting in front of my laptop becomes my personal equivalent of zoning out in front of the T and V. My own personal time machine -- one minute it's 9 o'clock, next thing I know it's closing in on 11:30 and nothing of any substance, much less import, has gotten done.

When I finally dragged myself away from the 'puter screen, out the door, into the street, I discovered a whole world carrying on life beneath gray Saturday a.m. skies. Stores open, cafés serving wake-up liquids and morning finger food. People walking in couples (hetero and otherwise, this being the Greenwich Village of Madrid), stopping in front of tienda windows, conferring about things seen there. Others sitting together at café tables, slowly coming to.

I've been short on sleep these last 2-3 weeks, to the point that I could feel the swelling drain of it during my waking hours. These last two nights, however, brought long stretches of lovely, satisfying shuteye, and I can feel my body wanting more. The lack has produced an odd feeling of disconnect, something the holiday season has amplified. I am not part of any religious tradition or belief system. I don't have much in the way of family. And right now I am not part of a romantic partnership. Without those ties, I find myself drifting along as the days of this season slip past, enjoying the lights, the store displays, the general growing sense of anticipation. Living my own little existence -- going to classes, writing, passing time with various people, pondering what I need to do with myself in the coming months. Nothing wrong with any of it, unless I choose to distract myself with worrying thoughts of one kind or another, something I recognize to be a complete waste of time.

One of the nicest angles of this last trip to the U.K. [see previous two entries] was hooking up with friends not seen in a while, spending sizeable chunks of time with them, often in places I've never been before (Mayfair, Hampton Court, Oxford, Stoke-on-Trent). Being ferried about either on public transport -- on my own, checking out the people around me -- or in friends' cars, watching the local version of the world sweep on by.

Meeting one old friend at her office in Mayfair Thursday night, going to a middle-eastern restaurant, ordering a sampler meal, then watching plate after plate after plate of food materialize in front of us. An amazing, table-covering display that we pretty much demolished in no time flat.

Taking a train out to Oxford Friday morning to rendezvous with a friend from Bristol, where we talked nonstop, wandering from museum to pub to café to restaurant beneath skies dark and gray, rain coming and going. Christmas lights shining through it all. (My friend, N.: five feet or so tall, with an impressive head of thick, wavy red hair -- quite a bit more of it than the last time I saw her, nearly 2-1/2 years ago. Me to her: "You have more hair!" Her to me: "You have less!" Given that I am blessed with abundant naturally-occuring head insulation, I can only assume she meant my haircut. Probably shorter than the version she saw in 2001.)

Meeting C.and J., a friend and his wife, on Saturday -- post visit to the Saatchi Gallery, a place whose overriding goal may be to provoke and/or gross out -- for a ride on the London Eye, followed by a trip out through London's western reaches to Hampton Court. A beautiful, impressive place, probably spectacular in warmer, sunnier seasons, when the gardens are in full, extravagant bloom (and which now seems to be the site of a Christmas haunting).

And this is something else that stood out for me on this trip -- Londoners are often characterized as distant, unapproachable. Not my experience. I am not shy about asking questions of folks around me on the street or in the underground, and did so regularly during this trip. Without fail, they answered my queries as best they could. I find the Brits to be warm, generous, interesting. C. and J. pushed the generosity thing, not just taking out a Christmas season afternoon to show me around, but insisting on paying for my tickets to the Eye and Hampton Court. Don't ask me why -- it's not like I'm impoverished. I had to sneak in payments for a couple of smaller expenditures, stuffing money into C.'s hand for parking before J. could drag her own cash out, paying for my own food/coffee at the Hampton Court cafeteria before J. realized what was happening. (This is not a complaint, by the way. Please, all those who want to buy me meals and pay my way into attractions of all kinds, send email and propose traveling fun.)

I have the feeling I'd enjoy living in the U.K. Apart from the climate.

Speaking of which, as I've written this, the Madrid sky has lightened up. Clouds have thinned, sunlight pouring through.

Must go outside.

Later.

*************

The South Bank, London, by the Royal Festival Hall -- wind generator, the London Eye, Charing Cross train trestle, Christmas tree



rws 9:32 AM [+]

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BLATHERINGS

August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009

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MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

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ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





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runswithscissors would like to thank everyone who's ever lived for everything they've ever done.



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