A River Runs Through It

You have to take trains and subways and cars and planes to get here.

My grandparents live beside a small river which, over the years, grows smaller and smaller.

There are lots of bright orange trees that speckle the quiet neighbourhood.

And cats that are afraid of everyone except the old man who painstakingly prepares meals for them out of leftover cooked fish and potatoes. When you ask him about his gatos he will tell you they’re lousy, but when he doesn’t know you’re looking he is their best friend. Que pasa Julie, que pasa Ortiz, he says quietly.

From the window of the new house you can see the old house, with rusted windows and stoney steps. Inside are hidden treasures in black and white.

And when I go, back on the trains and planes, all that’s left are my shadows.



I'm about to board a flight that will take me to Boston where a 12 hour layover awaits me. Then it's Boston to New York, and New York to Toronto. Sound exciting? IT IS.

I will post more about the last leg of my trip later, but for now two important pictures that will make you want to travel to Spain.

This is a picture from a cinnamon bun chain that sells a plethora of flavours. You might have to click on this one to see the words better, but it says "Cheese Bacon". That's right, there's meat in everything.

I found this line of dolls and accessories in a random clothing store and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I wonder if the other chocolate rain knows about it too? Apparently Tay Zonday hasn't made his way here yet...


The Vegetarian and The Pig

"Teresa esta aqui?" A man yells to me from behind the front gate. He's wearing a delivery uniform.

Uh, si...o no. Ella vive aqui pero...(I can't think of the word and he's looking at me funny). Ella esta trabajando?

He sees that I'm not a native Spanish speaker.

"Tengo una caja para ella," he says and motions something with his hands.

I can't remember what "caja" means. Card? Highway? Jesus Christ how could this stranger have a highway for my aunt?

Uh, I'll sign that if you want?

He hands me a box --ah, caja!-- that I can hardly lift and I sign at the X. Of course at this point I realize there could be anything in the caja.

"Gracias senorita," he says before getting back into a truck with strange green letters I can't make out.

Inside I put the heavy box and the paper I just signed on the couch. It sits and waits --I wait-- for someone to come home and open the thing. I half expect my uncle to see it and sigh with relief, "Ahah! The rifle has arrived."

He gets home after buying a baguette and is impressed. "It's here," he says with a smile on his face.

We open it together, a bottle of brandy, a bottle of whiskey, two bottles of wine...and then the moment we've all been waiting for: a giant pig's thigh. Proscuitto.

It's a gift from a company my aunt has worked with --pig being a customary show of appreciation in Spain. He estimates that this particular piece is worth 200-300 euros so maybe $450. That's a whopper.

In Canada my mail consists almost entirely of boring bills and incoherent rants from Quebec hydro that I never understand. Today I felt a bit like Tony Soprano, accepting pieces of a carcass encased in a beautifully carved wooden box while sipping my morning coffee.


Today I Played The Tourist

Lots of alley ways to get lost in...not like that happened to me or anything.

I liked this sign and I think I also have a distant Tio Pepe.

My new Spanish Hello Kitty lipglosses. YES MY HEAD IS EXPLODING WITH HAPPINESS!!! Hola Gato!

Today two little kids tried to rob me but I was too anxious to figure out what was going on and so they ran away. Some man was yelling "Hija!" while a tranny was trying to tell them to fuck off. It was confusing to say the least.

Another woman came right up to me and asked if I knew where an internet cafe with a computer was in english. I was all, "no se senorita". Bitch thought I knew how to speak english!


Living La Vida Loca!

The flights were long, the layovers even longer.

There were a lot of important papers that wouldn't be good to lose.

I saw a man riding a horsie.

I know it's not France but...

I own this street (check the name!). Don't worry, despite what it looks like my bro's not peeing on the wall.

And one more cafe con leche to get jittered.

The best anecdote so far goes to the woman beside me on the plane who kept on "mmmm-ing" the meal. "This is so good, I mean really, delicious." I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you that she said this over 10 times --and stopped a flight attendant to serve a compliment re: the amazing food. You know, the same food that ACTUALLY made me throw up in my mouth a little.


All the Living and the Dead

From the window of my boyfriend's apartment I can see that it snowed about a foot last night, and continues lightly still. He lives beside a church with a tall steeple and from where I sit I can see into the small courtyard. Little snowflakes are falling down on the crosses and stone benches, making everything look like it's been covered in a white blanket.

All I have left to do before I can say hasta luego to this god forsaken semester is a mammoth paper on Joyce. In all honesty I am so burnt out from the Hinduism final and the other assignments that I kind of want to throw up and cry at the same time.

To illustrate (and procrastinate) here is a chart I made.


Cleaning, Packing, Worrying

I'm not very good at the first two but I excel at the third.

In preparation for my nearing flight to Spain I actually swept my room today. I'm not a very tidy person and I certainly don't relish a good dusting session, but there is something inherently satisfying about gathering enough of my own hair to craft a wig. A wig? Yes. Is that an unhealthy amount of hair to be losing? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and just say no.

No because that makes me feel better and No because then I won't google it as a symptom of Impending Doom.

Mainly No because I've got too many final exams to do right now and they're occupying the better part of my brain reserved for STRESSING OUT.

It's called prioritizing and I like it.