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one three five nine

Mar. 2nd, 2006 | 01:59 pm
music: cello

Yet it must be remembered that what appears to us an extensive, complicated, and yet well ordered institution is the outcome of so many doings and pursuits, carried on by savages, who have no laws or aims or charters definitively laid down. They have no knowledge of the total outline of any of their social structure. They know their own motives, know the purpose of individual actions and the rules which apply to them, but how, out of these, the whole collective institution shapes, this is beyond their mental range.

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The joys of international travel

Nov. 21st, 2005 | 09:57 pm

Language is an endless source of entertainment. Thanks be to God for that.

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al matí...

Nov. 20th, 2005 | 07:07 am
mood: tiredtired
music: i believe in peace.

I don't know if you have ever been at a party where everyone is on crystal meth except for you, but I do have to say that it's rather amusing.

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Honey, maybe you expect too much.

Nov. 18th, 2005 | 11:52 pm
mood: discouraged
music: elevator music.

At least Alice was aptly warned of any potential changes in stature. Even though the cake put its creamiest frosting forward, she could just as well respond to "EAT ME" as not. It did not lurk luciously in the shadows and pounce her down a size, or four, when she was least aware. And it most certainly did not flash its Cheshire smile afterwards. Some girls have all the luck.

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I am sure the librarians in Tarragona hate books.

Nov. 8th, 2005 | 11:58 am


. Because it's simply not that hard to ensure that the door is closed whilst urinating.

. Because what's mine is yours even though it's not.

. Because somehow everyone else is guarro but you can leave scraps of meat on the counter and then leave for three days. And the fact that you then eat it disgusts me.

. Mariano Rajoy.

. Because sometimes letters take a week to arrive from the United States and a month and a half from Madrid.

. Because people whom I have never met send messages saying: Kieres kedar, wapu? (That hurts!)

. The people who wrote Proposition 2.

. The onset of winter.

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Oct. 21st, 2005 | 02:11 am
mood: fullfull
music: mdmb.

In the morning, he gets up, dons his house vest, plops down in his favorite chair--with down-filled pillows and expensive, of course--crosses his legs, and reads the newspaper. What pleasure he gets from the brush of his fingers on the crisp pages. More than from his morning coffee. Així és.

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maquinaria humana (1)

Oct. 9th, 2005 | 01:32 am
mood: predatory

El alma no es, pues, más que una palabra vacía de la que no se tiene idea y de la que una buena inteligencia no debe servirse más que para nombrar la parte que piensa en nosotros. Dado el más pequeño principio de movimiento, los cuerpos animados tendrán todo lo que les hace falta para moverse, sentir, pensar, arrepentirse y conducirse, en una palabra, en lo físico y en lo moral [que depende de lo físico].

No suponemos nada. Los que crean que no han sido superadas todas las dificultades encontrarán experiencias que acabarán de satisfacerles:

. Todas las carnes de los animales palpitan después de la muerte, tanto más tiempo cuanto más frío sea el animal y menos transpire. Las tortugas, lagartos, serpientes, etc., dan fe de ello.

. Los músculos separados del cuerpo se contraen cuando se los pincha.

. Las entrañas conservan largo tiempo su movimiento peristáltico o vermicular.

. Una simple inyección de agua caliente reanima el corazón y los músculos […].

. El corazón de la rana, sobre todo expuesto al sol, y todavía mejor, sobre una mesa o un plato caliente, se mueve durante una hora o más después de haber sido arrancado del cuerpo. ¿El movimiento parece perdido totalmente? No hay más que pinchar el corazón y este músculo late otra vez. Harvey ha hecho la misma observación en los sapos.

. El canciller Bacon, autor de primer orden, habla en su Historia de la vida y de la muerte de un hombre convicto de traición, al que se abrió vivo para arrancarle el corazón y arrojarlo al fuego; este mismo músculo saltó perpendicularmente, primero a la altura de un pie y medio, y después, a medida que perdía fuerzas, continuaba saltando cada vez a menos altura durante siete u ocho minutos.

. Coged un pollito todavía en el huevo, arrancadle el corazón, observaréis los mismo fenómenos con poco más o menos las mismas circunstancias. El solo calor del aliento reanima a un animal a punto de perecer en la máquina neumática. […]

. La oruga, los gusanos, la araña, la mosca y la angula ofrecen, sin duda, las mismas cosas a considerar, y el movimiento de las partes cortadas aumenta en el agua a causa del fuego que ésta contiene.

¿Es necesario todavía más […] para probar que el hombre no es más que un animal, o un ensamblaje de resortes, que se encajan los unos con los otros, sin que se pueda decir por qué punto del círculo humano ha comenzado la naturaleza? Si estos resortes difieren entre ellos no es más que por el lugar que ocupan y por algunos grados de fuerza, pero nunca por su naturaleza; y por consiguiente el alma no es más que un principio de movimiento o una parte material sensible del cerebro, que se puede mirar (sin temor a error) como un resorte principal de toda la máquina, que tiene influencia sobre todos los otros, e incluso parece haber sido hecho el primero, de manera que todos los otros, no serían más que una emanación […]

-texto 1747

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(no subject)

Oct. 8th, 2005 | 11:14 pm
mood: thirstythirsty

To crown out the list of ridiculous things that have occurred this week, this evening my flatmate asked me to gaydar Miguel Bosé. He gave a concert today on the Rambla Nova as part of the festivities surrounding the the opening of Tarragona's new casino. And apparently, with a simple look, I should be able to clear up any doubts the population might have with regards to his sexuality.

I simply responded that given that the image of Sr. Bosé most present in my mind was him as a transvestite imitating Becky del Páramo in Tacones Lejanos, I did not consider myself up to the task.

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Nonsense of an OVERACTIVE mind

Oct. 6th, 2005 | 10:31 pm
mood: sillysilly
music: parasol.

Because I feel all about saying chorradas today, I thought I'd share one that may be of marginal interest to any of my American friends. (If any of my blather is of interest, that is.)

Today's topic: the word taco (italicized because we are going to talk about it's non-English meanings).

I don't doubt that the average English-speaking US-American feels generally clear on the meaning of this word. And indeed, digging around in the memory, it hearkens back to those first days of high school Spanish were the teacher lovingly explains, "Oh, don't worry! You already know more Spanish than you think," highlighting the classic examples taco, burrito, enchilada, and muy grande. But I dare you to try out this word in Spain and see if it evokes images of a meat-filled hardened tortilla that has since become part of the national diet. (And while they are at it, see if you agree on the meaning of tortilla.)

You see, in Spain, the word has MANIFOLD definitions, something that to be honest never occurred to me until today when I used it in three different senses in the span of some ten minutes. Among these meanings are included:

.plug or the things you put on the bottom of your chair to keep it from making a wretched noise when you slide back waking up the neighboress below.

.wad..."I had to turn in a whole taco of papers in my visa app. this morning."

.cube of ham or cheese, for example.

.cue. Billiards anyone?

.cleat. The shoe kind.

.year in the sense that "That guy has twenty-five tacos!"

.swear word. "What an uncouth lad. He says too many tacos."

.mess. "What a taco!"

.ruckus. "Stop making all that taco!" (Okay, I wrote that just cuz it sounds silly in English.)

.censored. A quick google on the word taco on the Spanish web also revealed some more sexual meanings as well à la "and then he put his big taco in her..." Well, you get the idea.

And then they say we are bad with our words like "to get". (Although when I was teaching English, I admittedly found around 60 translations of that one verb into Spanish.)


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(no subject)

Oct. 6th, 2005 | 11:12 am
mood: complacentcomplacent
music: barons of suburbia.

This morning, I finally had to do the one thing that generally sucks away all will to live: go to the Foreign Resident's office. The autumn brings about many changes, among them, of course, my residence permit. In theory, today's adventure would be simpler than most--I already had the appointment and all of the papers ready--and indeed, it was...aside from the vapid disorganization that only comes from the lack of a system and the convergence of myriad cultural perspectives. Although, as they would assert in the office, everyone was compartmentalized into short five-minute appointments, the reality of the situation was an utter free-for-all. Pushing ahead a codazos with all of the North Africans and Latin Americans (I've been there before), I managed to briefly catch the eyes and a comment by a pair of Brits absolutely desperate in their inability to determine where exactly they were in the queue.

Most telling, however, was the conversation that transpired when I finally reached the desk. The documents to be provided are (supposedly) neatly outlined an informational sheet: the application and a copy, 2 passport photos, your original passport and a photocopy, your original residence permit and a photocopy, proof of economic solvency and a photocopy, etc. So, when there, the woman tells me:

-"Tres fotografías, por favor." (Three photographs, please.)

I hand her two.

-Ah, es que sólo tengo dos... (pause) Ah, mire, aquí tengo otra pero es distinta. (Ah, I only have two....but, look, here's another, but it's different.)

-No se preocupe. No hace falta, ya está bien. (Don't worry about it. I don't need it. It's fine like this.)

And the shocking bit was that she then proceeded to HAND BACK the second of the two photos, exclaiming that in the end, she only needed one. It makes you wonder why they indicate two and WHAT SHE WOULD HAVE DONE with the third one.

Oh well.

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Una ensalada aliñada con un chorrito de sol.

Oct. 1st, 2005 | 02:31 pm
mood: ecstaticecstatic
music: brenda weiler | weave my way.

This morning estoy ecstatically happy. Se han juntado all the elements to repaint the town marvelous. We are alone in a car on a highway without destination, and the sun is illuminating our faces as we sing along with the radio a pleno pulmón.

Und wir hören zu!

Ojalá estuvieras aquí, because you make me want to smile all the the time.

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And where's the HOLLYWOOD? I need someHOLLYWOODon these hands, these legs, this head, these cheeks

Sep. 28th, 2005 | 11:37 pm
mood: mellowmellow

Once upon a time, she had long, shapely legs, and she loved to don diminutive skirts and saunter lazily along the river promenade.

Ne me parle pas de la pluie et du beau temps.

Sometimes her honey would wait for her at the end, and spying her from a long way off—no doubt before she noticed him, for his eyesight was considerably acuter—a doggish grin would slip across his face. When she approached, he habitually affirmed, "You know you’re a very attractive girl." And then he and the legs would go for cake.

"And the cake was luscious...for awhile...," she sighed some time latter in her apartment among the relics and bones.

When her mobile beeps, she is standing in the kitchen (honey, you just don't sit whilst cooking), tenderly slicing the apples that will serve as garniture on the torte she is baking. She mad dashes out of the closet of a kitchen to the living room table where the mobile lies. It turns out, there was no message, and the beep, merely a figment of her imaginative mind, lost in thoughts as it is wont to be when cooking.

"Oh wicked!" For the postman had already come, and the e-mail server is down. Back when, they told her: "Maybe I'll call or write you a letter. Maybe we'll see on the fourth of July." And only later did she remember that Americans never keep in touch.

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Sep. 25th, 2005 | 09:08 pm
mood: contemplativecontemplative
music: Jacques Brel | Ne me quitte pas

Back in those days, the air seemed lighter than it does now. The clouds did not weigh so heavily down on the city, when I was young. They say that the lucidity of memory fades with the years, but I still remember those times ardently, as if they were only yesterday. And on Sunday mornings when I go down to buy bread, my heart still aches.

The summers were the worst. In our times, I found my only solace on those short winter days, when my breath hung before me like a mist and the frigid air stung my cheeks red. Funny, since I grew up detesting winter. As a child, I used to bound every morning over to the window sill to see if the crocuses had finally poked up through the frost, craving the promise of those warm summer afternoons where the sun caresses your cheeks. But with you, no. I only imagined steaming cups of tea amidst tepid puddles of light...and the July days dragged on.

I remember that one year. All of Paris longed for you that summer. It seemed that no matter where I went, all sound was drowned out by one steady mantra: "Tu me manques, tu me manques, tu..." It thundered in the cars that hurried down the streets; it rustled through the leaves of the trees on the boulevard near my flat; it rose and fell on the very respiration of the center, whose breaths even today sound more like sighs. Every day, I imagined fleeing the city. I saw myself in the Gare du Nord and imagined the suburbs streaking past in a blur, as we accelerated towards the autumn. That summer was very hot, but I wore my parka diligently.

Years later, I thought I saw you in the Jardin du Luxembourg. I was rushing past the gate and in a hurry, for I was late for an appointment. I looked up, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw you for a brief second. You sat alongside the pond reading a newspaper. I didn't glimpse your face, because your back was turned to me...but I would know your outline anywhere. Shocked, I discarded my appointment and rushed into the park. However, when I got to where you were, I found nothing but several pages of yesterday's edition of Le Monde fluttering about in the breeze.

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les hautes dames de la rue de la providence

Sep. 23rd, 2005 | 11:04 am

Man muß contemporary sein und future-Denken haben. Der problembewußte Mensch von heute kann diese Sachen, diese refined Qualitäten mit spirit eben auch appreciaten. Man muß Sinn haben für das effortless, das magic ihres Stils.

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Sep. 18th, 2005 | 04:26 am
mood: numbnumb
music: Sia | Breathe Me

J. hasn’t slept for three days. It's not as if he hasn't tried, but he cannot seem to succumb to his fatigue. Instead, he passes the nights trying to discern the shadowed figures that lurk in the painting opposite his bed by the dim light that creeps in between the slats of the blinds. Earlier today, he met with Achim for a stroll along the Barceloneta. "The wind is always cold in Barcelona," he said, wiping the flakes of dried blood from his lips. But later, when he went to buy a blanket, the shopkeeper told him, "Blankets don't come cheap, honey."

D. is on a permanent hiatus of sorts, and his clothes are positively threadbare. He still wears his old jacket with a stalwart sense of pride, but the panels are so worn that in the end, there are more seams than coat. They've told him he needs to change it a hundred times, but it's hard get rid of something when you've become fond of it. At any rate, it betrays his brutal honesty. It's common for him to announce bluntly: "You're only hot when the fiesta's ripe."

A. was already on her way to Albuquerque. She grew weary of the tired, old movie that seemed to play here time and time again, the time was propitious for seeking out new horizons, and well, the name sounded good. That's why early this morning, she trotted down to the train station counter and chirped, "A one way ticket to Albuquerque." "To where?" came the response. "To Albuquerque. I'm not sure, but I think it's somewhere beyond Altafulla." "Oh yes, my dear, but those tickets sold out years ago." So, she is still here, however grudgingly.

S. kept walking just to feel how the sea breeze tousled his hair. When the road came to an end, he turned to the right continuing onto the Rambla. There, between a kiosk and a bench, a man perched atop a soapbox was reciting urgently, imploringly, the latest story by Wolfgang B.: "We are a generation with no hello." Though he did not pause to listen further, he could not help but wonder over that loose fragment as his feet marked out the steady cadence characteristic of a surveyor's steps.

J., D., S. and A. have never really met, yet they know each other intimately.

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