Monthly Archives: December 2006

Rose Superstar a por la Copa de la Reina

Rosa Rosa Rosa

Nuestra querida Rose Superstar ahora va a participar con su equipo el Barça en La Copa de la Reina los días 5, 6, y 7 de enero que se celebra en Jerez de la Frontera. El Barça está pasando una temporada regular de momento, pero ahora tiene una muy buena oportunidad en la Copa. Y el 11 de enero el Barça viaja a Israel a jugar contra el Elitzur Ramla en la EuroCup.

Finalmente, para los grandes aficionados de Rose Superstar en Madrid, el Barça se enfrenta al Estudiantes (el ex-equipo de Rose) el 21 de enero en la capital.

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The Good Tidings bring Dirty Tides

Hokusai: Great Wave

I remember from back in my days as an environmental attorney when I used to work on water pollution that a huge percentage of water pollution is directly the fault of average people, not waste water treatment plants or big industry. Just by the fact that we exist, eat, drink, consume, and produce waste (both natural and synthetic), we cause damage to the environment. As a matter of fact, seemingly natural and organic substances (such as nutrients) are also pollutants, especially when they are entered into an ecosystem in quantities above their sustainable levels.

In any event, here is an article fromt the Associated Press about how levels of certain ingredients from the most popular holiday treats have been found in the Puget Sound:

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At Home: A vacation from my problems

I am at home for the holidays, and like in What About Bob?, I am taking a vacation from my problems. Not that I have so many real problems, but I have totally disconnected (yes, pun intended). I have received barely any work emails (or personal for that matter), and I feel as if all of the petite malaise have vanished from my body.

While at home, I barely do anything of consequence. I have not really allowed my body to adjust to jet lag, so I wake up almost every morning at 5:30 am. And although I wake up early, I never feel particularly tired. I spend my days eating and occassionally, I take a drive either through my home town, Potomac, Maryland, or I go into DC. I love to simply drive through the streets and look at the house, buildings and vegetation. On the East Coast, the vegetation follows the opposite life cycle as in Spain. In Spain, everything is green (although barely) in the winter and dry in the summer. Here, the trees are barren in the winter, and lush in the summer. The rest of the time, I spend with my parents, save some time I had with my brother (his girlfriend and Dixon), and a few visits with some friends. I have felt little to no interest in even boring the readers of this blog.

Because Christmas has passed, I no longer listen to Christmas Caroles, and am now back to Jazz. On these two videos, I am listening to John Coltrane’s The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions (“Greensleeves” and “The Damned Don’t Cry”, respectively). First, I am driving down 35th and P streets in Georgetown. In the second video, I am going through my favorite short-cut in Potomac along Kendale Road. As is obvious from both videos, I am not even much of an aficionado, but so is life.

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Dhafer Youseff

Dhafer Youseff is one of my favorite artists, introduced to me by my friend Fadi. If interested, I particularly recommend Eletric Sufi.

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Great music, not so great hair

Trying to change the subject after my past few blogs, here are two great songs by artists with questionable hair. The first video is Sly and the Family Stone before Sly was completely ruined by a combination of drugs and his outfits.

Jimi Hendrix, one of my all time favorites from when I was a kid, is known for his elaborate electric guitar solos. Nevertheless, I am particularly fond of this blues piece he plays on his acoustic guitar.

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Fears we hide in

Gilf Kebir: Cave Swimmers

While in Marrakech, I had a few words from my favorite lines of The English Patient running through my mind constantly like a song I just couldn’t get out of my head:

We die, we die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed … bodies we have entered and swum up like rivers, fears we have hidden in like this wretched cave…

Maybe it was just part of adjusting to a new, unknown place located on the fringes of the “comfort zone” or simply a period of self-reflection ignited after Casablanca. But I was focused on how too often anxiety, in all of its subtle ways, defines the decisions that we make and actions we take. How if we were to analyze the things we do and cease from doing, the things we say and the things we keep to ourselves, how deep down inside our actions and ommissions are predestined by our quiet little fears. Allow me to continue:

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The Idiot

Modigliani: Boy

Last year at the end of November, I decided to read Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. I had always wanted to read The Idiot, but after having gone to Wiesbaden, I was pretty close to reading The Gambler instead. Nevertheless, I was still convinced that I would relate more to an idiot than a gambler, and so I chose The Idiot.

After about two weeks of intense reading, I was totally absorbed by the story. Dostoevsky has an incredible power of description and to detail the psychology of a large number of characters right from the beginning. This unfortunately is also a problem. Reading Dostoevsky (like Tolsoy) requires great dedication and concentration. It is like going to the gym. Once you miss a day or two, you have to start all over from the beginning. And that is what precisely happened to me with The Idiot. At the beginning of December 2005, I was busy for a few days and was not able to read. Those two days turned into a month, and the next thing I knew, I was engulfed in working at FON — where amongst another 19 things, I did not have time to continue with Prince Mishkin’s tale. So I had left the Prince a little more than a third into his story (around page 320). Allow me to continue:

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Back to having myself a Merry Little Christmas

Now that I am back from Marrakech, I am finally able to get back into my favorite Christmas caroles. I kind of lost the spirit when I went to a very non-Christmasy country. But, now that I am back and inshala on my way home for Christmas, I can return to those songs that annoy everyone other than me. Especially after having sung “Winter Wonderland” and “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” at my company’s Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find good videos of “I’ll be home for Christmas”, “Have Yourself a Merry little Christmas” or “Winter Wonderland”. At least one has both Bing and Frank.

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Back from under the Sheltering Sky

Jamaa El Fna

Now I will finally try to put together my thoughts and impressions from my trip to Marrakech with my brother which was also my first trip ever to Morocco or to the African continent for that matter. I have already told the story of Casablanca, so now to Marrakech. I suppose that I could summarize Marrakech in three parts: (i) full of fascinating people, (ii) amazing tones of red and orange under a sky whose blue is spectacularly infiltrated with streaks of these same reds and oranges as night falls, and (iii) a place that I could not fully enjoy until I had departed from her. If interested, here is my explanation:

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Casablanca: As time goes by

As a child, I was similar to the majority of the world at least in that I knew of Casablanca almost exclusively through the film of the same name. Maybe even more so, for my father was a dedicated fan of the movie which he played repeatedly on video. I knew the screenplay almost by heart practically due to osmosis. Later in college, I had a very good friend, Samya, from Casablanca. From that time on, Casablanca would always be synonymous with her. It was only natural then that when traveling to Casablanca for the first time (in route to Marrakech from Madrid with the Comment Killer), I would think of her. Actually, I was also thinking of how excited my father would be that I was in the city where Rick had fled to because he had been “misinformed”. Thus, my plane from Madrid to Casablanca flew to the tune of “As Time Goes By“. Here is my very curious experience:

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