After the rain in Madrid, I arrived in Paris, and, despite the rumors and forecasts for rain, it was sunny and hot. As a matter of fact it was more of a Summer in Paris than an April in Paris, at least as the weather was concerned. I was fortunate to have Waya lend me her wonderful pad, and what a wonderful apartment! Two of the world’s top classical pianists live in her same building, and I awoke on Sunday morning to a live private rehearsal of one of my favorite Beethoven pieces. The day couldn’t have started off better. Continue reading
I have only been to Paris twice before. The first time was in April 2004. I was there all by myself, and it rained non stop. Of course, I had no umbrella and got wet while I paraded up and down the streets of the city of lights all by my lonesome. So much for the romantic “April in Paris”! The second time I went to Paris was for my friend Waya’s birthday in January 2006. It didn’t rain but it was winter, and the trip only made me realize how non self-actualized I was because I knew nothing about clouds, didn’t speak French, and couldn’t play the piano.
I still can’t do any of those things either, if you were wondering. As my brother would say, “care factor real low”, “you must have mistaken me for somebody who cares,” or simply, “did I ask?”
Now it is my chance to have my revenge. But it appears that the last few days of April will be raining in Paris. Maybe I will be lucky this time and have weather that feels like the summer in Paris of the past two weeks. Although it may seem that I am really obsessing these days about the weather, I am just trying to make the point that come rain or shine, I don’t really mind.
Ever since I was in Marrakech, I have been rather fascinated by Morocco and its culture. So, far I have learned a few things about the Berber people (like Zizou) and some typical Moroccan Arabic expressions, like layla saida, sabahou al khair, and boussa. But what I really enjoy is just saying “berber” and pronouncing it “bereber”.
Hoy es el cumple del jefazo, Martin, y como buenos empleados hemos hecho la pelota. Ayer por la tarde Diego C y yo estuvimos “brainstorming” para montar el regalito perfecto para el jefe. Es un fanático de los gadgets, pero ya los tiene todos. Entonces decidimos meter una caricatura en la página web diciendo “Happy Birthday Martin”. Le íbamos a mandar después un email diciendo que hubo un gravísimo error en la página. Entre los cracks de desarrollo y diseño (Elena, Miguel Angel, Eloy, Iban, y cía) lo pudimos sacar. Picó y le encantó. Desafortunamente no nos concedió la tarde libre.
En fin, la verdad es que es muy divertido ver como Martin disfruta tanto con su cumpleaños.
After a week a perfect sunny weather, lovely paseos, and eating outdoors, the clouds finally came and broke, and “oh what a break for me”! For the past three nights, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. According to the news reports, the atmospheric pressure drastically changed in Madrid, thus, altering sleep patterns. I had assumed it was a new outbreak of pollen-related allergies. Now it seems that the previous sunny days are turning into rainy weather, at least through Sunday.
On Saturday, I am off to Paris where it has been in 80ºF (around 28ºC) for the past two weeks. That’s what Spain’s weather is supposed to be like. Don’t they say that Spain has “everything under the sun”? Well, it looks to me like everything under the sun is in Paris these days. With my luck, the tides will turn again, and it will rain in Paris on my parade. And if it does, who cares, I will just whistle my favorite Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald duet from Irving Berlin’s Top Hat: Continue reading
I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about myself. Call me self-centered, egocentric, vain, but not conceited. Generally, “thinking of oneself” means that one does not take into account other people’s feelings or interests. That is not my case. By “thinking of myself”, I mean that I am constanly contemplating my “self” and engaging in self-psychoanalysis. I analyze why I think a certain way, what makes me happy or sad, and why something upsets me. It is a process that is automatic, like a reflex that I cannot control. It is an ongoing internal dialogue, often times an absurd debate.
Last night prior to falling asleep, I was listing those subtle and less obvious things, the simple pleasures, that I most enjoy in life. These are a few of the “My Favorite Things” (other than WiFi everywhere) that I came up with: Continue reading
My friend, William (with the abandoned blog), told me today that Andrew Hill (1931-2007) just recently passed away on April 20th. Andrew Hill was a major Jazz pianist and composer who made a name for himself in the 1960s with innovative albums for Blue Note such as Black Fire and Points of Departure. On this piece, embedded here, called “Refuge” Andrew Hills leads such greats as Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, and my favorite Eric Dolphy playing bass clarinet.