Monday, April 25, 2011

Gone is my beautiful foray into week-long vacation and it is time once again to return to my duties as profesora extraordinaria.

The week went by FAST, and what did we do: wander the streets of Madrid, sit by the pond in el Retiro, botellón at Templo de Debod, people-watch at the Palace, Spiderman-watch at Plaza Mayor, Hello Kitty-watch at Sol. After many long months of neglect I renewed my relationship with Dublin and Brittaney secured a proposal via paper napkin ring from the Ecuadorian bartender. Wine and tinto de verano and an Irish pub that is the exact same as any Irish pub you will ever visit in any part of the world. I think the Irish pub is the only truly international feature I've come across in our world. Even McDonald's changes depending on the country, but an Irish pub will always stay true.

Finally, FINALLY went to the Reina Sofia. Having studied Art History in undergrad I really have no excuse, but it was my first visit to the modern art museum in Madrid. Probably the most well-known piece in the Reina Sofia is 'Guernica', which I have to say I was not totally entirely taken by. Picasso painted it for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, and it commemorates the bombing of the little village of Guernica in northern Spain. Franco had offered it to Hitler as a site to practice bombing for the impending second World War and apparently he was effective because the entire city and everyone in it was wiped out. The painting's actually worth
seeing in person because it's impressively monumental and the paint has this weird chalky consistency to it that makes it look more like slate than oil, but I enjoyed the Salvador Dalí section of the museum much much more. I think the guy's a genius and seeing his work in person is absurd. It's like one of those movies you have to watch three times before you figure out what the hell is going on, except it's a painting and ten minutes after you first started staring at it, you're still noticing new things. Cool.

What else, what else. Jess had Bailey in town with her so we hung out with them and the extended crew of Spanish amigos. Saturday we went to the cave bar where I almost certainly made a fool of myself and quite probably was the only one dancing among us at any given moment. And then it was time for me to go home and Erica and Brittaney to fly back to their long-lost United States. I've spent the last remaining hours of my vacation watching episodes of Modern Family and willing myself to return to productivity and reopen Microsoft Word. The next month or so is going to be a really tough push to get my thesis and final papers and everything else done before my mini-wee-break in Chicago, and mostly I just feel like maybe if I shut my eyes really tight it will all disappear and I'll wake up on a plane five weeks from now. Or alternatively if I watch enough episodes of online TV, I'd be ok with that too.

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