Monday, November 26

Gumbo Ya Ya

Kate and me

Andres, Kate, Me, Enrique and Domingo


The thanksgiving feast complete with a 4kilo roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing.

Thomas, Paco and a girl whose name I´ve forgotten.

Thomas, Paco and the turkey before reheating it.

In comparison to Thomas, the turkey looks like a chicken. I think he´s like 6´6¨

Katie and her friend visiting from San Francisco

The half-eaten turkey

Me, Katie, Angela, Kate and her friend

Paco, Thomas, a friend of Paco´s and Angelo (This was Paco and his friend´s first thanksgiving dinner)

Kate and her friend

Devendra Concert

So I bit my lip and bought the 27€ ticket to see Devendra Banhart in Madrid. I didn´t have to go alone either, Keith was nice enough to join me even though he wasn´t very familiar with the artist. The venue was nice, could have been a little smaller though. It was at a place called Joy Eslava right in the center of the city. It was about the size of the Boulder Theater or for those of you in San Diego the Belly Up, it had lots of balcony space though so just imagine those venues with a lot more height. The music was grand and his new album which I bought just a couple weeks before the concert is phenomenal. A really great mix of music, he really experimented with new sounds and melodies. I recommed you all listen to some it on his website, i think it´s just The only problem was that it was really packed so it was kinda hard to get a good view of the band and be comfortable. Since Devendra grew up in Venezuela he was able to speak to the crowd in Spanish, he was very warm and friendly and the crowd loved him. After the show I bought a cool t-shirt that the man himself designed. It was well worth the money.

Sunday, November 18

New Blog!

I love Madrid and I love eating. I've thus decided to combine my loves and write a blog about them. I will post about the restaurants and tapas bars in Madrid and give a critical review of them, complete with pictures of dishes and interiors/exteriors. The blog site is (a la plancha means grilled). I'm very excited to start!

A little romance

So it seems I´ve found a little romance here in Madrid. I met Enrique at one of Carlos´ parties about three weeks ago. I didn´t even meet him at the party but rather on the walk to Art Deco. At one point I brought up the Blues club I´ve been frequenting rather regularly and he got very excited. He then mentioned that he spent a year studying English in Louisiana several years ago and has been longing to hear some familar souther music. We then made plans to go hear some live Blues together. He couldn´t make it the following week due to his conflicting work schedule but managed to make it the next Tuesday. There were about five of us that night and the french blues band played a fantastic set. Enrique was overjoyed. We made great conversation and made plans to see each other again soon. So November 12 we had our first ¨date¨ in which he cooked me a fantastic salmon dinner, afterwards we listened to a great new cd I got and made nice conversation. We had such a good time actually that we made plans to meet up again the following night. We decided to go to Shooters to play pool and enjoy a couple of pints, I won the first game but he quickly stole the glory by winning the following three. Afterwards we shared nachos and margaritas at a little Mexican restaurant on Fuencarral called Las MaƱanitas. The food was surprisingly tasty, very similar to what you would find in San Diego. Anyway, he´s very sweet and we´ve been having a lot of fun together. He´s traveling to Brussels this week so we spent most of this weekend together. He´s a bit older than I am (30) and has a real job (lawyer) but we have a lot in common and I find him very easy to spend time with. The best part about it is that he´s Spanish and even though he speaks English quite well, he always insists we speak Spanish together. It´s been great practice for me. I´ll keep you all posted on where this goes.

My Birthday Bash

Kate and me at Siam

I really had a great birthday. Since I worked until 5pm my party didn't really start until the evening. At school though my students sang me happy birthday in the classroom and then I heard it again during lunch from the teachers... it was very sweet. I got home around 6, cleaned my apartment, bought some booze for the party and flowers for the apartment then dolled myself up. At 9:30 my good friend Kate and I met up at a beautiful Thai restaurant called Siam that I'd been reading a lot about lately. We drank exotic rum cocktails and ate some delicious Pad Thai and Thai Basil Chicken, a great contrast to the rather bland and heavy Spanish cuisine we'd been eating so much of. At dinner we met two friendly guys from Sevilla who were sitting next to us. We liked them so much we insited they come to our party. They were delighted and agreed to head over once they finished dinner. Kate and I then got to my apartment around 10:30, just the time when peoplemy guests started showing up. Keith, by the way, was out of town, attending a conference in Barcelona. So there were about 12 of us in all (including the Sevilla guys who showed up). Everyone sang me Happy Birthday and I realy felt as though I was surrounded by old friends. Around 2am we went out to a little club called Siroco, it was reggae night... really cool and casual. We spent the night drinking and dancing to some great music. It was wonderful, really couldn't have turned out any better. My only mistake was that I didn't take enough pictures, I should have given the task to someone else, I was just too busy chatting and dancing. I have a few more photos to post... should be up tomorrow.

Kate and Me at my house party

New Woody Allen movie

Last week, Keith and I saw Cassandra´s Dream, the new movie from Woody Allen. I don´t think it has come out in the states yet because it is a British film and is making its way around Europe first. It was excellent though. The cast includes Ewan McGreggor, Tom Wilkinson, and Colin Farrell. Everyone gives a fantastic performance and the story is immensely suspensful. It is a sort of crime drama, think Match Point, and digs deep into the subject of morality and how far one will go to acheive success. Very emotional and gripping to the end, highly recommended.

Monday, November 12

Mickey Mouse making balloon animals behind a communist march

An ironic juxtaposition

Blues Night

Me, Keith, and his friend Charlie visiting from France

Night out with the Brits

Me and my Scottish friend John

Angelo (my coworker), Richard (John's South African friend) and John

Lorraine (John's Irish friend) trying to hail a cab

Wednesday, November 7

I don´t have the energy to write about all these pictures just yet. Give me a couple days to post the details. I have more pics to upload too but these computers are so slow!

Night Out


I saw Devendra Banhart back in Boulder at THE FOX about two years ago. It was an amazing show but unfortunately I had a massive headache during the whole thing. He´s got a new album out now and I´d really like to see him again. The only problem is that is show is ridiculously overpriced... 27€, that´s like $40... I think I might have paid $15 in Boulder. But my birthday falls just a few days before the concert so I think I might treat myself to it. Now I just have to find someone who´s willing to go with me, maybe I´ll pay for half their ticket or something. Anyone else seen him or heard the new album?

Halloween Night

I decided to ditch the witch costume on halloween night being that I didn´t look too attractive. Keith and Kate and I went over to Thomas´s house in the evening and had some drinks before moving on to Carlos´ house. Carlos, one of Keith´s students, is a 26 year old lawyer and an all around good guy. Carlos lives in a huge apartment and has introduced us to several of his Spanish friends, which has been a great help to us in practicing our Spanish. After a few hours of chatting and drinking in the apartment, we moved on to a dance club called Art Deco. I really didn´t want to go, being that it was 3am but I had left my keys in the apartment and Keith wouldn´t let me borrow his since he wanted me to try out the night club. Soon we arrived at Art Deco but with the massive crowd, 10€ drinks and crappy music I wasn´t too excited to be there (though I´m disguising it well in the pictures). I got through it though, and when Keith finally grew tired of the club we went home and slept through the next day.

Kate, Me, and Katie

Keith and me


Being that costumes were so expensive, I had no intention of dressing up for halloween. The teacher I work with however, Maria Jose, had an extra witches hat and some shoddy face paint, so she turned me into a witch. None of the kids were allowed to dress up because last year the preschoolers were so terrified the school got complaints from parents. So they all wore halloween colors instead. In the classroom we taught them halloween songs and vocabulary and painted their faces with bats and pumpkins and vampire fangs. Halloween is a very American holiday and has only gained popularity in Spain in the last few years thanks of course to the globalization of American culture. Still, not everyone celebrates Halloween in Spain, mainly just kids and those who want an excuse to get dressed up and party.

We, the American Auxiliars: Katka, Emilia, Me and Beth

Some of my favorite kids: Erika, Diego and Laura

In the classroom with my students

Aitor, Jose David and Natalia

Daytrip to Toledo

I took my first trip out of town a couple weeks ago to Toledo, a beautiful city with great historical significance for Spain being that it was once the capital of the Spanish Empire. It sits 70 km outside Madrid, just a 30 minute journey via train. I went with my friend Thomas, a fellow CU grad, and his lovely roommates. We arrived around noon and spent the day walking through cathedrals and mosques, eating in an medieval street fair and visiting some museums including one dedicated to the artist El Greco, Toledo´s most celebrated citizen. It was a warm, beautiful day and the landscape was incredible. It felt so good to escape the busy city; to breathe fresh air and see rivers, trees and rolling hills.

All the cured meat your heart desires at the street fair

Paco, Sonya, Me, Kate and Thomas sitting ouside the El Greco museum

Daytrip to Toledo

Inside My Apartment

Isn´t it cute.

Atocha Train Station