Friday, November 26, 2010

vicious circle that is my brain

I've decided to try to "step away" from the computer for the rest of today, despite not finishing the article I needed to draft. I've spent the past three days pretty much glued to the screen and it's done nothing but encourage the migraine that I've been fighting, which is the cause and reason I have to spend so much time online. See the more I (try) to work, the more strained my eyes and neck get and the worse the headache gets and the slower I work, then the longer it takes, then.... Very frustrating, to say the least.

Sorry that I must whine to you, my faithful two or three readers, because the dog frankly doesn't listen! Seriously, A would gladly half-hear me if he hadn't gone to his padre's again so I'm on day 2 of solo-solo. (I cannot complain though, as I had him for three weekends in a row). The only person I may have the chance of speaking to is a neighbour whose dog G is super-playmates with when we chance upon them in the park. But then she (the lady, not the dog) is a bit strange and with worse health problems than mine (she weighs about 80lbs and just got out of the hospital for pneumonia despite being only around 40 yrs old) so never would I complain to her!

And speaking of that dog, I am hoping that she finds herself in a new home soon. The owner yesterday reiterated what she's been telling Alain for awhile: she needs to give Fanny up because she's allergic and not in shape to resist the allergy symptoms, nor can she give her enough exercise or attention. The dog seems underfed too and very stressed when I saw her yesterday (apparently, the woman's father yells and and hits the dog and probably had a field day while the woman was away in the hospital).

Now I know what you're thinking: why don't we take the dog? Well, it is tempting but it's not going to happen. Fanny's one year old and has never been trained at all (not even on a leash - she runs free), not to mention whatever emotional problems she likely has. Bringing that type of troubled kid into a home with a very-very-very territorial hard-headed mutt like G would be a big mess, I just know it.

She and G love to wrestle and chase each other around (one of the few instances where I let G off the leash, as there is no WAY that she and Fanny can play freely/safely otherwise, the leash would choke or otherwise hurt someone) like I've never seen G do with any other dog. But G has lost friends before in serious fights over balls and the territory of our kitchen in Tokyo (both Dodger & Fuji felt her wrath there).

Anyway, whatever new home Fanny ends up in will be a vast improvement to her life now (stress at home, possibly underfed, gets to play outside maybe once a day and always in the same sandy park).

It's Grace that'll be losing out, as the damn aggressive mutt hasn't made many friends. Not that I'm in any position to criticize here on that!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

it was fall in your head

Okay so I thought up the post title, in present tense, a week ago when it was still getting up to 20°C highs and I was laughing at the madrileƱos in their parkas and boots. Of course I never got around to filling in the body that day. What with my busy schedule and all... (*sarcasm*)

Anyway, here we are on the 2nd day of real fall after some nasty winds from a storm named Becky or something and I'm planning on making ZBCs (zucchini bread cupcakes) this afternoon to warm up the kitchen & the tummy.

Though the sun seems to be out at the moment and the dawg keeps coming to sit and stare at me (non-responsive as usual when I ask her "What???"), so.... maybe we should go out early for our afternoon walk (we normally go after 3 on my days off work).

Speaking of long walks, I must be sure to take photos next time we go to our new favourite park. (I know, we have so many, who can keep up!) It's called La Dehesa de la villa and it's very woody (wonderfully aromatic pine!) and natural and HUGE! It's very old and was apparently originally part of some royal pastoral land or something.

We've even started letting G off the leash there for little spurts. Of course she gets super-excited and doesn't listen (in her defense, she did see a squirrel for only the 2nd time in her life) so we're hesitant, me mainly because she's gotten worse (growly & nippy) with kids lately. She (understandably, I say) doesn't trust 'em, due to some past experiences and the numerous bratty Spanish kids always trying to poke her and whatnot. And of course there is always a chance of kids in a park. Though frankly the two times we've been, Alain & are are very surprised at how empty the Dehesa is.

What else? Oh, I guess I could ramble on a bit about the few social activities we've had/are planning.

Last week I was excited to have the opportunity to wear the fabulous high-heeled John Fleuvog shoes I bought in Vancouver in May. (Hey, most of my clothes jeans are secondhand and duller than hell. It's nice to dress up once in a blue moon!) We and the embassy's two other newbies were invited to the Big Cheese's official residence for dinner.

Alas, it was nothing exciting really. The risotto was good but the rest of the food not so impressive (and plus someone forgot to inform the chef about my dietary preferences so I had to push lamb chops around my plate, all the while hearing a line from the Simpson's in my head: "I thought you luuu-uhh-uhh-ved me" from the same episode as the famous "You don't make friends with salad" song.) The chief himself is always charming and I think I adore his wife but I didn't get all that much of a chance to chat one-on-one with her.

C'mon get up, NOW we're going.
Aside from that, tomorrow night we have a jazz concert to go to (ok, not super-thrilled but... I will nonetheless put on my Bellevues again) and then Friday we're seeing a Michel Tremblay play! We've been to the theatre several times already, as it is SO afordable here, and I guess we show a bit of favouritism towards stuff from home. A month ago we saw Wajdi Mouawad's Incendies, which I super recommend. The acting was stunning and the story is wrenching. If you can't catch the play, I think the movie's due out in Canada soon.

So, now it's time for G and me to get out of the house. Don't know where we'll go, Madrid is a ghost town once again today as it's a holiday (for most people, ie., not Alain) in honour of the city's virginal patron saint, and i specify virginal because apparently she's not the only one &mdash patron saint i mean.

Hasta luego amigos.