Monthly Archives: April 2007

Partidazo de Super Rose en Semifinales

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Anoche nuestra crack Rose Superstar hizo un partidazo para igualar la eliminatoria de semifinales de la Liga de Baloncesto Femenino. En el primer partido, el UB Barça cayó al Ros Casals de Valencia (el equipo sin duda más fuerte de la liga) por 84-61. Parecía que le quedaba muy poca esperanza al Barça.

Sin embargo en el partido de vuelta disputado anoche en la ciudad condal, Rose Superstar fue infalible con 11 puntos (9 de triples) para ayuda a su equipo a remontar la eliminatoria ganándoles 80-72. El partido decisivo se jugará en Valencia este domingo. ¡A por ellas oé!

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Vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche

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There is nothing like fresh water.

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I Love a Rainy Night and a Sunny Day

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As I mentioned on Friday, I had wanted to write a post about Thursday night’s rain. I had wanted to describe the wonderful feeling of getting into bed, under the covers to the sound of rain on my window sill. It is such a welcoming and comforting melody. For about 10 days straight it had been raining off and on in Madrid, and the constancy of the rain had washed away all of the filthiness of the previous arid weeks. So, I decided to open my balcony and let in the clean freshness of the rain.

Then today, I had to leave a little earlier from work than normal and the sun was still out. As a matter of fact, it was a very sunny day. While I came around the corner and passed, of all things, a Harley Davidson store, the air was filled with the smell of brand new motorcycle tires. Out of nowhere, I recalled the innocent joy of being a little boy in a bicycle store. Ironically, I have very little interest in either motorcycles or bikes today, but the scent brought back the feeling of comfort similar to that of childhood. I had almost completely forgotten about rain. Continue reading

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Another Country

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This past summer I read Another Country by James Baldwin and had wanted to write an in depth analysis of the story. I had totally forgotten about the book until now when I was listening to Louis Armstrong signing “Black and Blue”. Initially, I had purchased the book because I thought is was about an African American Jazz musician and his struggle as such. Then as I read on, I found out that the Jazz musician was only a part of the first portion of the story, even though the rest seemed to revolve around him. Nevertheless, the book rather fascinated me in its insight of people’s search for a place in the world — struggling to fit in, find love, and the injustice and violence in it all.

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Filed under Digressions, Jazz, Literature

FON: A day in the life

This video interview of Martin Varsavsky, CEO and Founder of FON, is a good introductory tour of our offices in Madrid and to get a glimpse of a day in the life of FON.

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Neta and Crespells

 

Last night when I entered my apartment, I found to my great surprise that there was a gift-wrapped box waiting for me on the table. My friend Manolo happened to be in Madrid just for the day, and, having keys to my apartment, entered and left the box on the table. The timing couldn’t have been better nor could be my intuition. I had just finished on Saturday morning my last shipment from home of Nutter Butter cookies, my personal favorite.

So when I saw the box, knowing that Easter had just passed, I hoped for the best. I opened the box and what did I find? Crespells! Homemade by Neta the matriarch of sa meua famili mallorquina. Crespells are traditional Mallorcan Easter cookies. Neta always cuts them in the shape of roosters (her favorite animal), Mallorcan peasant girls, and the traditional Star of David (Mallorca has a long Jewish history). Of course, I went straight for the Mallorcan peasant girls. It is so nice to have friends who think of me and treat me with such warmth and kindness. I really don’t deserve it, especially after having eaten all of the evidence.

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Filed under Friends / Family, Living la vida española

Dorothy y sus cocineras

Dorothy estrenó casa el sábado y para ello contó con la ayuda voluntaria de la ONG “Compañeras sin Foneras” compuesta por Neska y Elena. Ellas pusieron las recetas de la madre de Dorothy a la práctica . Todo lo demás es historia para los que recuerdan. Y para aquellos quienes la noche les confunde todo, ellos viven con la sensación de un gran éxito culinario y con la realidad de un grandísimo dolor de cabeza. Continue reading

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Berga Wears his Sunglasses At Night

Solo le faltó ponerse el desoderante.

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The Bastard of Istanbul

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Once there was; once there wasn’t.
God’s creatures were as plentiful as grains
And talking too much was a sin . . .

Last night I finally finished the Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak which was a gift from Neska and Berga. The author attempts to create a hip novel that confronts the Armenians in the diaspora with a contemporary Turkey that ignores and denies the existence of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In doing so, Shafak tells the parallel stories of two families, a Turkish and an Armenian American one, whose histories are intertwined without their knowledge. Although the story is definitely enjoyable, it ultimately fails as Shafak is too ambitious in the various substories and techniques shes uses to get her points across about the dangers of negating one’s history. For example, I understand her use of food as a way to unite and show the similar cultural heritage of the Turkish and the Armenian people, but at times it is trite, overused and cliche. Other times, she resorts to magical realism, fairy tales, and other story twists that I do not believe are necessary (although I will not reveal them as to avoid giving the story away). As a result, the story loses steam as it comes to its over-dramatic end.

Shafak faced criminal charges by the Turkish government for statements made by her Armenian characters for “denigrating Turkishness”. Maybe I am just not familiar enough with the whole debate, but I didn’t find anything about the story overally denigrating. Perhaps she had to be less so in order to reach the Turkish public. Overall, though, I recommend The Bastard of Istanbul a good introduction into contemporary Turkey and the Armenian Genocide and a good read.

. . . for you could tell what you shouldn’t remember
and you could remember what you shouldn’t tell.

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Filed under Essays, Literature

Carnet de Routes & Charles Mingus

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This evening I was so excited to get home. The weekend was just beginning, but instead of going out for a night on the town, I was prepping to finish The Bastard of Istanbul, to listen to my new CD Carnet de Routes by Romano, Sclavis and Texier, and maybe even write a post about last night’s rain. A few years back I got my hands on the Suite Africaine (thanks to Fadi) and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Last week, I had ordered Carnet de Routes used because it was very difficult to find, and it had just arrived today. These two CDs are part of a series of tours the musicians made to Africa accompanied by photographer Le Querrec. The compositions supposedly trace their steps while the photographer puts them to imagery.

Unfortunately, today I had also written a post where I had embedded Charles Mingus’Fables of Faubus” — a song criticizing the then Governor of Arkansas who had sent the National Guard to prevent integration in a Little Rock High School. While listening to the song, I had been reminded that Eric Dolphy often played in Mingus’ bands. This was my big mistake.

When I arrived home and began uploading Carnet de Routes into iTunes, I also did a search to see if the iTunes Store also had two important Mingus CDs with Dolphy as a sideman: Mingus at Antibes and Town Hall Concert (1964). Unfortunately, they were both available and I could not resist purchasing them both. Am I the only loser who still pays for music? Meanwhile, Carnet de Routes was uploaded and began playing. It was fantastic, so I researched Romano, Sclavis and Texier even more to find that they had in fact recently released another CD together, African Flashback. The two songs embedded here (“Look the Lobis” and “Berbere”) are from their new album.

Conclusion, another post that no one cares for about Jazz, and all I had wanted was to talk about the rain.

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