Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Bloginkle in Time, by Madeleine Bl'oggle

So I wanna talk about cool things and European things and stuff but first I'm gonna do some crazy weird time warping stuff and talk about other things. Maybe I'll start in the present and then work my way back to Europe; plan! So I'm living in an apartment. An old, scratchy musty one with an oven that barely opens and makes everything smell like eminent explosions, there's a secret badger gremlin inside-the-house nook behind a bathroom mirror, and all our wood floors make it look as if the previous inhabitants were sabre-toothed tigers who fought a lot and painted and spilled water and generally didn't take very good care of the floor. (Also they left dead gazelles in the bathtub.) (kidding.) (But they probably weren't very good with neighbors.) 

Also in the apartment, is a cat. His name is Simba Cat, and he is, what I like to call/have just decided to like to call, a little bit poky. I'm not sure what I mean by that, but we call him Mr. Bity, and sometimes I poke him and poke him and poke him for a while and then he bites me and then I smack him. Simba Cat and I get along great.

Okay now back in time to the post-Europe, pre-semester period. Let's see how I was filling my time upon my return from my summer of adventure, shall we?  (Keep in mind that past me is not aware of future me, so IHe can only use the further past as a reference point when in the past, so the idea of time is gonna get a little bit confusing and twistedly relative.)

But whatever, BACK TO AUGUST!

Brief foray from Europe, forward into the present day for some existential pondering: Every now and then, you have a moment of unexpected clarity. You'll be spending the day at home, drinking buckets of coffee and wasting hours brainstorming ideas for itunes playlists, when all of a sudden you look up to find yourself sprawled uncomfortably on the carpet in front of the television, lazily watching old Futurama but devoting the majority of your attention to the little bubble wrap sleeve of sorts in which you have submerged your arm nearly up to the elbow. 

In this brief second of perspectival conscientiousness, the only thought that crosses your mind is this one: "What am I doing?" You only have a moment to slip from this to further existentially oriented wonderings about purpose or identity before, as a natural result of the suddenly interrogative mode assumed by your brain, it is followed shortly by the question, "Is bubble wrap still effective at safely wrapping fragile packages after it's been thoroughly popped?" 

Diverted away from the initially reflective moment of reflection, you continue your productive day of noodling, twiddling, goofing, and boodling. The moment has passed, leaving nothing but a vague feeling of uncertainty and an inexplicably smug sense of self-despising(nessment). After another 30 minutes of poking holes in cereal boxes and sitting on couches in a variety of unconventional ways, even these vestiges of reflective emotions are gone.

So, in an unexpectedly poignant nutshell, that is what I've been up to since I got back from Europe.

 (that was weird. I feel like I'm in my own grossly remixed and disinterpreted self-narrated version of A Christmas Carol. Instead of being about Christmas there's Spain, and instead of a ghost of my old business partner there's a cat. I wonder what life-changing eye-opening conclusions I'm supposed to be coming to as a result of JacobSimba CatMarley's intervention? Don't neglect my relationships with family and friends in favor of my schoolwork or I'll end up doing nothing with my time but eating fancy feast, sticking my head through the blinds at random passers-by, and eating the toes of any unfortunate souls who dare enter my abode and not let me paw at their faces?)

This font's name is Trebuchet. Trebuchet will be my Spain-Me font. Now back to youme, Spain-Me!  (I'm so sorry. I think whenever I don't blog for a long time my blog-me gets kind of crazy and rabid from being all cooped up, so when heI finally get a chance to share, the cabin fever is a little bit debilitating and he's am all cramped up from hiding somewhere in my grey matter so he be a little wacky and full of himself for a bit.)

While in Spain I had the delightful chance to go to Barcelona to meet up with a German old super-hero friend of mine. After realizing that Spain is huge (as I've covered in a previous blog) and that taking a train or bus from Sevilla to Barcelona would be cray, I booked a flight on the mother of all cheap airlines: RyanAir.  This means that for the price of a delightful 2-course meal with dessert, you get a seat on an airplane and as much luggage as you can stuff into a backpack, provided that you then hold onto the backpack for dear life; If any of the supposedly well-meaning airport staff reach for it or say something about its size or weight, you point to the people behind you and accuse them of harboring a bomb. Or shampoo. You can be pretty ambiguous about this actually, airport security is crazy.

Once on the plane, of course, you are the captive audience of RyanAir for 2 hours and 58 minutes, and the flight attendants make full use of that time. From the moment that the plane starts to taxi down the runway, salesmen dressed like flight attendants murmur into the microphone constantly about newspapers or alcohol or toasters or train tickets or whatever else they think you could be threatened into buying. Your challenge is to ignore everything anyone says, keep your eyes pointed away from the aisleways, and pretend to be asleep.  

Once getting to Barcelona, however, I realized that I had turned my phone off in an attempt to appear like I was Spanish and knew what I was doing, which radically failed when I couldn't turn it back on without the special code that I'd left in Sevilla, so I was at the airport without being able to contact my friend or any idea of how to get properly from the airport to the hotel without spending a fortune on a taxi ride.

After awkwardly bumming around in the Barcelona airport around 11 at night, buying some coffee, desperately trying to gather enough fragments of sparsely scattered wifi to make facebook contact like a starving farmer looking through an abandoned mill for enough scraps of wheat to put together a single biscuit, I gave up and got on a bus. 

After a stop or two I panicked and got out searching for a taxi, anxious to find someone who had a working knowledge of Barcelonan geography and could thus ferry me to my destination. 

I found a taxi, had an extensive and pleasant conversation with the driver, in which he was impressed by my Spanish and I in turn understood about half of what he said, and arrived at the hotel/hostel, which had a weirdly light green theme, and also something about melons. Before getting out of the taxi though, I'm pretty sure my driver managed to overcharge me by leaving me waiting in the car with the meter running as he got into a huge fight with the taxi driver in front of him, who, as far as I could tell, must have been a jerk. On the bright side, I got a little more accustomed to the Barcelonan dialect and picked up a lot of curse words. Yay!

Another weird language thing involving Barcelona:

Our hotel had a pool on the roof!  So we didn't really swim much, but we hung out on the roof a lot because we're cool kids and we wear sunglasses and don't nobody mess with us. At one point there were a lot of other German people on the roof, and then one of them came over to German super hero amigo Phil, and apparently asked him if he had any cigarettes, but it was German so I didn't get a bit of it. Then he turned to me and spoke it at me too. In a fit of panic and wild uncertainty, I apologized in Norwegian for not being able to speak German. He got confused and weirded out and stopped talking to me, so I guess that was successful? Norwegian is probably not the language I should instinctively go to as a panic switch kind of thing.

Barcelona is a subject that to which will be returned in the future, because it is beautiful.

I might probably leave me in Europe for a little bit, and maybe I'll keep up the whole font differentiation thing for a while, and maybe I'll start putting pictures in here again too, but maybe I won't do all of those things.



  1. Have you ever tried to read your blogs out loud, and only allow yourself to breathe at the periods? If you try it, the whole world goes fuzzy pink, and you instantly travel forward in time by 3 hours and suddenly everyone is very concerned about why you're lying on the floor.

  2. Michael. Michael. It's been sooooooooo long. Please make another blog. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE? /puppy dog eyes