With Snow Comes Presents

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 8:05 AM


It snowed in Oviedo last night. I opened my window, leaned out, and caught some in my hand. Legs pressed up against the heater, I watched the flakes fall.

Then today the postman brought a package from my Mom. I opened it while skyping with her.

Everything was individually wrapped.

A picture Ebby drew.*
Praline Pecans.
Shortbread Rounds.
Spiced Apple Cider Mix.
North Pole Pals Chocolate Penguin.
Heath Bar.
M&Ms Minis.
Trident White Spearmint.
Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes.
Little Debbie Nutty Bars.**
Charcoal Pencils.
Drawing Pencil Set.***
North Face Winter Gloves.****
Note from the Secret Snowflake.

It feels like home.

*Apparently the line across the top of the smiley faces is hair.
**I forgot these existed and almost started jumping up and down when I saw them.
***It's a nice and neat little kit. I love kits.
****For snowball fights.

All in a night's work

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 9:47 AM


Gracias a Su por el video :)

An Ex-Pat's Thanksgiving

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 8:40 AM


We were 15 Spaniards, 1 Puerto-Rican-American, 1 French guy, 1 Argentinian, 1 German, and 2 Americans. And everyone was hungry.

With good reason, of course. It was almost time to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

The cooking marathon had started the night before...baking pies* until 4 AM in an oven that seemed unreasonably slow. We watched episodes of Big Bang Theory to keep morale high.

And then it was an early morning to:
Bake the turkey
Make sweet potato casserole
Fret about the turkey
Make the tomato-herb gravy
Check on the turkey
Make the stuffing
Name the turkey**
Make the not-quite-cranberry-sauce***
Take the turkey out of the oven and realize that it's beautiful.

A few Spaniards stopped by to check on our progress and sample our food. "Wow, Americans do know how to cook!" one responded, after a bite of stuffing. This was Thanksgiving - of course we know how to cook.

Next came the mission of transporting everything to the flat where the feast was to take place. Nothing spilled, and no one got burned. Success.

We arrived, gave the dishes some finishing touches, and all sat down at a very large table. And we ate.

For the majority of the dinner, I was far too tired to begin to engage in the rapid-fire Spanish conversation. So I just sat back and smiled and watched everyone else smiling and laughing and chatting. And I was happy to see everyone else so happy. This was Thanksgiving - eating too much and talking too loudly.

Later I informed everyone that we had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. Naturally, since it was my suggestion, I had to start. I don't like being put on the spot when I have to speak in Spanish...so I began...

"Pues...voy a decir gracias para estar aqui, en Espana..."

They cut me off. I knew it had been a cop-out.

"Vale..vale...digo gracias para que todas las cosas no se quemaron."

Juan pointed at my sweet potato casserole that might have gotten a little burned on the top. I laughed.

Then slowly, and very rowdily, we went around the table and everyone got a chance to say something. This was Thanksgiving - making crude jokes coupled with sentimental quips.

After dinner, before dessert, we went outside and attempted to teach American football. It was an interesting venture, and I think what everyone enjoyed the most was the strategy-planning huddles. Team Pavo won.****

Back inside we had some pie and played a game. Then it was cleanup time. And we boxed up leftovers for later. This was Thanksgiving.

*2 apple, 1 pecan. And yes, the crust was made from scratch, of course.
***We went crazy trying to find cranberries and couldn't. So we used red currants instead. Different, but I liked it.
****My team, naturally.

Spontaneity and Getting Lost

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 2:28 PM


It was early in the morning, I didn't sleep during the 6-hour nighttime bus ride, and I was having none of Madrid.

I grumbled to myself as we plodded along from the bus station and into Atocha, a slightly older bus station. Somehow I was supposed to be impressed by the elaborately designed outside and the atrium filled with plants and turtles on the inside. But all I wanted to do was lie down on one of the wooden benches and sleep.

We left, and continued down the cold street. I was grumpy and silent. Why do I bother traveling? I could be at home, in bed, and asleep.

It took a breakfast, a second picnic breakfast, and a nap in the park to make it all right.

Later that evening we saw who we came for: Andrew Bird. He is an incredible musician, played a fantastic show, and had a sock monkey on stage with him.

Afterward we were wandering around trying to decide where to eat dinner. As we walked beside the concert hall, I thought I saw Mr. Bird. As we got closer, I realized it was him...with a small line of people waiting to talk with him.

We passed by and I squelched my spontaneous desire to go and play the adoring fan role. 10 minutes later the line was gone, and I couldn't help it. And naturally, instead of saying any of the things I had planned beforehand, this was all I could muster:

"I...I liked your show. It was awesome. You were amazing."


"No really...it was really fantastic."


"So...are you going to hang out in Madrid tonight?"

"Umm...I think we're going to find some dinner and then go back to the hotel and sleep."

"Oh yea. You must be tired. Okay. Bye!"

It was awkward.

The next day was spent slacklining in Parque del Retiro and being shown around the city by a Colombian actor/professor. But that night...was blues night. A blues jam session, to be precise, in a jazzy little bar on the street. We danced like it was 1923.

Then came the day of callejeando*. I got lost. Very lost.

It was fun at first...wandering around. Letting myself get lost. Intentionally being lost.

I stumbled upon several places I had wanted to encounter...like the Palacio Real and the Egyptian Temple. I haggled for a hat in a market. I walked down a shaded avenue where the leaves on the trees were turning yellow. I saw people going about their daily routine, picking children up from school, sweeping the street, carrying too many groceries. I hadn't looked at a map all day.

But then there came a point where enough was enough. I got hungry and tired and grumpy. And I realized I had to find my way back to the flat where I was staying. I pulled out my map and began to rely on the kindness and directions of the natives to help me with my not-so-perfect navigational skills. The people were friendly to me, my feet were not.

The next morning I went and drew in el Prado.** Then I wandered some more and ended up back in Parque del Retiro. The whole trip I had been imagining a spontaneous encounter that could make for a good story. Nothing.

Then while I was standing against a tree writing, an Italian asked me for directions. I told him I wasn't from Madrid, but pulled out my map and to help if I could. I ended up accompanying him to the other end of the park. He invited me to an Irish pub with his Spanish friend. I agreed, informing him that I have a motto when I travel that if someone invites you somewhere, you go for it. In the pub we debated whether or not Ohio borders Canada*** and watched the Barcelona game. And as we sat there, I smiled, satisfied that my random encounter had been realized.

After a few days, I determined: Madrid is a proper city. With a metro, prostitutes, fountains, museums, construction, and lots of people crammed onto the sidewalk. Each barrio**** has its own personality, and they can change abruptly from one street to the next. It is very much alive.

But after it all, I was happy to go home to Oviedo, tucked away in the hills.*****

*A word I loosely understand as wandering around aimlessly on the street.
**Famous art museum. Their collection of de Goya is amazing. At first I couldn't figure out why I knew so many of them and then I remembered that I had done a project on him for Spanish class in high school.
***The Italian was convinced that it did. I refused to agree. We drew maps on paper napkins and argued for a while. The Spaniard thought it was hilarious.
*****And a quick shout out of thanks to my fantastic hosts: you made me feel at home in your flat and cooked me delicious food. Not to mention, showing me around Madrid...see you in Oviedo in the spring!

A dialogue with Abuela

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 6:14 AM


"Cualquier día, voy a morir."

"Vas a dormir?"

"No, voy a morir."

"No! No hables como así."

"Nacemos para morir."

"No. Nacemos para vivir."

Misty Streets

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 3:19 PM


It's starting to get cold in Oviedo, and rainy. A thin layer of water reflects the fractured streetlight as I walk home from a meeting at L'Arcu.*

I pass by Swing, a jazz club I've been tempted by many times. There's an antique bike hanging in the window. I hear music. Jazz music. Live jazz music. I peer inside. It looks empty.

I twist my foot into the ground in hesitation. It's the hesitation that's my signal. I walk in.

Attractive bar tender wearing a trendy t-shirt. No red wine.** I get a drink and choose a table close to the trio playing. One on base, one on drums, one seated at the piano. And they're good. They're having fun.

The bar is empty except for them, another girl who seems to be their friend, and me.

I pull out my sketchpad and before I can draw, I write:

I walked past the jazz club I'd seen so many times before...I like jazz. It can't be written - it can't really be drawn - logically. It's just rapid movement. Flashes of color and light and sound....I think the drummer just asked me a question and I wasn't paying attention and I just laughed instead. And I think he's insulted. He's noisy. Now they're all singing. It's...I feel like I'm watching something that should be happening in someone's basement.

Not long after, the pianist switches to a fast salsa number. The drummer tries to pull his friend out of the booth to dance. She refuses. I'm his second choice. And, of course, I oblige.*** The quick dance breaks the barrier between myself and the others.

After the dance I return to my sketchpad. My dance partner comes to see what I'm doing. I won't let him see. So he tells me that he will draw me something. Anything.

"Dime...cualquier palabra."


He draws a piano with a lamppost growing out of it surrounded by some trees. He writes at the bottom, "Se tu misma. Y nunca te olvides de disfrutar del momento."**** And so I show him my sketches.

Later, they play "Ain't No Sunshine." I sing softly to myself while I draw. They notice, and pull me beside the piano to sing. There's no objecting. I sit beside the pianist, smile to calm myself, and slowly begin the song. Smooth and smoky. They look surprised. And then smile at each other. The bassist says something about how he didn't expect that to come from me. I just laugh. After the song, the pianist hugs me.

And from then on, it's a night of humming and singing, chatting about nothing, and trying to understand their jokes.

Later I ask the pianist to play me something and I'll work out a song. I get a happy start. Then they grab my notebook away from me and tell me that I'm going to be rich all of them the next day. Their eyes flash in jest. I protest as best I can.

We pack up. The bar is closing. We head into the slightly misty streets.

I like jazz. It's never still. It's movement and spotnaneity. It's streetlights and misty nights and smoky bars. It's water dropping from the leaves of trees, falling into soft puddles on the bricks that our feet encounter as we walk home.

*A "comercio justo" shop I'm starting to get involved with.
**How can a jazz club not have red wine? That, my friends, is a travesty.
***I decided, when I was in my first salsa club here, that if someone asks you to dance, you dance. Especially when it comes to salsa.
****Be yourself. And never forget to enjoy the moment.

Risky Business

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 11:10 AM


"You never regret taking a risk,"* I whisper to myself as my hand reaches for the theater room** door. I am in the basement of Hall A and I am getting nervous. This is silly. I push the door open.

Three faces turn to greet me. "Hola," one says.

"Hola," I respond and walk to join them on the couches. To our left is the stage: an unimpressive wooden structure with black sheets strung up on poles at the back. I take in my surroundings. The concrete walls. The bookshelf of props. The ash tray. And most of my nerves disappear. This place is far from intimidating.

The "casting" proceeds. More people join us. We talk about the theater and do a few improv activities***. It starts to feel more like a casual meeting than an auditon of any sorts. Maybe we all just make it into the group no matter what...okay...cool. I start feeling confident.

Then we have to read scenes. The confidence begins to evaporate. The man who I assume is a director of sorts refers to it as a "prueba"****. The word makes me nervous. Several people already have the scene memorized. I have about 20 seconds to look at the paper before I begin. My partner and I go last.

And...I think I understand what is happening in the scene. And that's about it. So I just try to have the appropriate emotion and gesturing at the right time, speak the words clearly and correctly, and feign confidence.

After the reading, it seems like the meeting-quasi-audition is over. The three people who seem to be in charge(ish) approach me.

"So you've done theater before? I can tell by the way you express yourself."**** Big smiles are on all of their faces.

I laugh a little. "Thanks...I just need to make my Spanish better."

"No, no. It's good!"

Another nervous laugh. "Well...thanks."

"So we'll be in touch?"

"Good. See you later."

Our short conversation recharges my confidence. And as I exit the room I whisper again. "You never regret taking a risk." And I smile as I walk up the stairs, proceede down the street, buy some shampoo, and head home.

*This has become my new motto. It has forced me to: 1. Do more challenging climbing routes. 2. Fall on said climbing routes. 3. Ask strangers if I can join them in their Frisbee toss. 4. Go to a dinner party with said strangers. 5. Join a hiking group called, "Una ruta, Un cafe". 6. Go on a camping trip with 9 people I'd never met with said hiking group. 7. Go to a fair trade/local food co-op. 8. Talk to the woman at said co-op about how to get involved....And more.
**Yes, it's a room. Just a room.
***Which were awesome. Especially the one where we grabbed random objects, put them in a pile, and then each person had to make a scene using each object. I asked if I could do it in English. They, of course, obliged. I proceeded to improv this monologue as a slightly crazy perhaps drunk woman who sits in the cafe all day and talks about the magic sunglasses she found. And even though most didn't speak English, every single person laughed at least twice. (I think.)
****A word, in this context, I associate with "quiz"
*****This conversation was in Spanish. I translate.

Where have all the artists gone?

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 3:54 AM


"Where have all the artists gone?" I wondered out loud as the ending credits of Vicky Cristina Barcelona rolled on my laptop screen. I'm in Spain. People are supposed to be the ultimate free spirits. I should be surrounded by beat poets, painters, and romantic actresses. Where are they? Where is that smoky cafe where I go to philosophize about art and love?

I shook my head and laughed my stereotyping. But I'm sure they're here somewhere -- I guess I'll just give it time.

An answer came a few days later. Having come down with a bit of a cold*, I was trading in the exciting night life of Oviedo for a quiet evening with a movie and some music. I started chatting with a friend of a friend about a film festival happening in a few weeks.

"Si...pero mi primer amor es el teatro. Pero no puedo descubrir teatro aqui...donde estan los artistas?"** I asked him, hoping a native Spaniard would be able to help me in my search.***

He had a real answer.

He informed me that those who govern Oviedo don't really support the arts and have no inclination to foster and encourage new artists. The only successful arts-centered lobbyists are the rich and posh ones who ask for the opera. Therefore, the opera is a big deal in Oviedo, everything else, not so much.**** And that was that.

But, he informed me, there are artists in the area. They congregate in clubs and bars - like the one he works in - and I should come some time and he'll introduce me. He also gave me information on the campus theater group which he has been a part of and encouraged me to attend the casting in a couple weeks.***** Done and done.

As we settled in to watch the movie, my mind was still on the arts in Oviedo. I was excited to have new places to look, but distracted by the fact that the government could have such an effect on art. It is all political, isn't it?******

I began to think about Chapel Hill and Carborro and the comparatively thriving art scene there. How much of that is made possible by the government (and university) support, and how much of it is independent? Could it exist as it does without that support? If those in power didn't care, didn't want it, could they impede it?

I think so.

I started to get that nervous excited feeling when I find something to be passionate about. When I find something I am craving to learn more about. When I find something that I want to change.

Later, after watching Will Smith face continually terrible life situations and somehow come out on top*******, a friend picked up his guitar and started pick out notes. I grabbed a pen and drawing pad and threw out some sketches, pretending that I was an artist.

And I realized art is here. In this living room of this 3rd floor flat. The music played in the air and moved my pen to write. Hot tea, a hoody, and the late hour and I found myself composing beautiful things.

As I walked home I smiled. Yes, I've found some artists. And it's time to do some research in the smoky clubs and bars I've imagined.

*Don't worry, Mom, I'm not that sick.
**Yes...but my first love is the theater. But I can't find theater here...where are the artists?
***I didn't honestly expect him to have an answer. I threw out the comment with an overly-dramatic air as a sort of half joke, half serious comment. I'm working on my ability to tell jokes in Spanish.
****Nothing against the opera at all. I went to the opera this week and saw Tosca. It was beautiful. 6 euros. I plan to see them all.
*****Apparently all I have to do is show up and I'm in. This conveniently takes away the stress of having to improv a monologue in Spanish. Because improving monologues seems to be my ticket to getting a part.
******See Agustus Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed.
*******Seriously, that movie stresses me out.

Think fast

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 7:53 AM


My cellphone's buzz shakes me awake out of my nice siesta*. I don't recognize the number so I answer in Spanish.


"Hola!" That's all I really can catch. Then the voice on the other line starts to rapidly rush thorough what I'm assuming is his name and his purpose for calling.


He then responds a bit slower. As I become more and more awake, I'm starting to realize that he is explaining that he got my number from Monica at the International Relations office and that I'm teaching private English lessons and how much do they cost?

This is a surprise. My mind tries to keep up. English. I can teach that. Lessons. I can earn money. I wanted to sign up for teaching English anyways. Pretend. Fast. Pretend.

I explain that I merely didn't realize Monica was giving out my number, but that I was definitely willing to teach. As for payment, it depends on his level of English, how many classes he wants, and that I'd have to think about it.

A few minutes later I close my phone and shake my head. Looks like I might be an English teacher now.

I laugh a chagrined laugh. I suppose the disorganization of this University can work to my benefit sometimes.*** I don't know where Monica got the idea that I was teaching English, but here I am.

Now I just have to decide how much to charge. Oh, and figure out how to teach English as a second language. Yea. That too.

*Well, actually it wasn't that nice. The noise on the street was keeping me from sleeping.
**Wait, wait. What?
***Versus just this morning when I was informed that, even though it was their fault I signed up for the wrong class, they wouldn't give me a refund. So perhaps this is a way for me to earn back the 100 euros they made me spend.

Benches and blackbirds

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 10:13 AM


The large black dog stands up on his hind legs, puts his front paws on the water fountain, and promptly begins to drink. I laugh a bit to myself from my park bench, my new refuge. Park benches are the perfect place for me to retreat whenever I feel overwhelmed.

For example, after the bank informed me that I wouldn't be able to get cash from my newly opened account until Monday - leaving me with 20 euros for a week* - I practically ran to the park.

I'm not sure what it is about the benches, maybe it's just in the simple act of sitting and watching, but they make me feel secure and rooted. And they provide a perfect vantage point from which I can glimpse quick vignettes into other lives.

A couple walks their child down the path with slight frowns affixed firmly to their faces. Not a word or a look passes between them. They just keep pushing the posh baby carriage with it's pink parasol attachment. I glance between them and the soft young mother who sits with me on the bench. She constantly coos and chats with her small baby.

I look up at the couple and to the right at the mother. She seems to fit the role better. The others form a triangle of discontent.

The sound of bells break my thoughts. I think I'm in Chapel Hill for a moment.** I glance at the statues with a start and realize that I am in Spain. That's strange. Very strange.

I pick up my pen to write. "...And I think, Okay, I've learned my lesson. Now let me come home. But I can't. And I won't."

I breathe in a full breath and once more close my eyes to feel the solidness of the bench under me.

Lifting myself up, I plug my headphones into my ears. The Beatles'*** "Blackbird" comes on. I start to walk and have to pull my notebook back out. I feel distinctly that they are singing about me.****

The song echos, "All your life; you were only waiting for this moment to arise." I laugh at myself a bit for my sentimentality, jot down the moment, and play the song again.

Which will be fine. I just have to hold off on big purchases like a notebook and a new carribeaner and a harness. And closely monitor my going-out adventures.
**Chapel Hill, who I couldn't wait to leave. Now I realize how good you are to me.
***The Beatles are my new soundtrack right now. Many thanks to those of you who enhanced my Beatles collection (and affinity for their music) before I left.
****Don't you love when that happens?

Laughing in a foreign language

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 5:19 AM


"Ellos van a caer,"* la Abuelita whispers to me.


"Ellos van a caer!" she says a bit louder, gesturing to the men on the ledge outside the kitchen window.

"Oh! No, no, no te preocupes," I attempt to assure her.

She shuffles to the open window and leans out, staring incredulously at the 3 shirtless men who are attempting to make some modifications to the sixth floor exterior. Abuelita shakes her head and returns to her seat. "Locos." She then promptly clasps her hands together and begins to pray, muttering some words of safety for the construction workers.

I smile. My thoughts are not on their falling, but rather where they purchased their harnesses and if they are inexpensive and if they would suit for climbing as well and where I might find one. And about how they woke me this morning as they clamored through the flat, out the window, and began to drill into the wall.

One man pokes his head inside the house. "De donde eres?" he asks me. He and his cowokers had thought I was from Poland.

"No...soy de los estados unidos - de carolina del norte."

"De veras? Tengo familia en Chicago - y el tiene familia en Florida."

The other worker chimes in, "Si - soy de Cuba -- claro que tengo familia in Florida."

And we all laugh.

*They are going to fall.
**I'm not going to translate all of the Spanish. It's pretty simple. You're smart.

Feet poetry

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 2:33 PM


I sit on the floor of my new room. This particular space has been dedicated to the color pink: pink wall, pink bed, pink desk, pink memorabilia. The walls are posted with magazine ads for Bratz, Barbee, and the Power Puff Girls. I sit on the floor in my new room, my hands encircle my knees, and I finally let myself cry.

"What the hell am I doing?" I repeat, some strangely therapeutic chant. So I give myself space to be sad.

I do some yoga, struggling to have proper breathing through my stuffy nose. I distract my mind by concentrating on my body. Downward dog. Breathe. Cat pose. Breathe. Tree pose. Balance. Breathe.

Somewhat composed, I go to explore my city. Maria* walks me to the street and points the way to the Cathedral and old part of town. I stray from her hand-drawn map and let myself get a little lost. "Estoy encantada con esa ciudad," I imagine saying in response to her future questioning about my walk.

I wander into the Cathedral. The stage lights that illuminate the 3-story gilded wooden display - to make it shine - are perhaps the most interesting of all. The lights shift, I'm guessing to illuminate the Christ figure and only him. But they miss their target and succeed only in lighting up his left shoulder and the cherubs who attend him.

Emerging from the Cathedral, my eyes adjust to the light. I notice the little dog whose yaps had echoed inside the building. He doesn't look particularly happy, tied to the iron gate.

I find a park with strange sculptures and a duck pond. A hippie man with bandanna and a giant bubble maker made from two sticks and rope enchants some children.** I notice that Spain has a lot of lovers and lonely old men who all have the same hobby: bench sitting. Both make me sad.

Wandering back to my flat, I pass by a table of two British 20-something gentlemen that I have seen before. Their beautifully-accented English is a relief. I enter my flat and play out the scene if I were to go back. It seems the worst they could say would be nothing at all. So I turn around, approach their table, and stumble through something like "I heard you speaking English and it sounded really nice and it's my first day here and I'm completely overwhelmed."***

They laugh a bit awkwardly and push out a chair. "Have a sit. Join us then. You want a drink?"

And so I do. We exchange stories; the wine and the easy conversation calm me down.

"It's a brave thing you're doing," Tom says. I just shrug my shoulders.

But secretly, his comment frees me. Not entirely - but a bit of the strain and worry of my capability to do this disappears with his affirmation. It is a brave thing. And merely the fact that I had a thought - months ago - that I could do this and that I wanted to do this means that I very well can.

Either because of the affirmation, their humor, or the need for friends, I decide to shove off feelings of jet-lag and exhaustion and agree to go out with them. Brits party hard. And that's all I have to say about that.****

And now I sit on a bench in a little nook on my new campus and watch a woman lift up her dog to drink out of the water fountain. It rivals the sight I had yesterday of a woman holding up her child to pee on a tree in a public square.

I check the time. It's almost the hour I am to return home to try and get the internet configured on my laptop.

Just a few more moments, though.

I look to my left and see very European-looking flats, knowing that just behind them are grassy hills - small mountains - waiting to be explored. Oviedo is comfortably nestled in these mountains' embrace. I like to think about them hugging the city and therefore hugging me. It's a solid hold. It makes me feel secure.

Several hours of skype-contact later, I have cried, laughed, and discovered new wisdom***** from my very wise friends.

The first is this: "After you've confronted the bad of reality, you are able to take the real happiness."

The second is this (a new answer to the question, "Why are you here?"): To write poetry on people's feet.

Both bits stand alone, I think, and require no further explanation. Or perhaps that is my tiredness talking. Either way, they will have to do for now.

And with that, I breathe. I look at the wonderful Memoryfoam pillow that will soon cushion my head****** in my bed in my room in my home. It's time for sleep.

*Host mother
**Weaver Street hula-hoopers, eat your hearts out.
***Later they inform me that I had been a bit manic when introducing myself.
****That was all day one. Moving on to day two.
*****I cannot mention all the wisdom, kind words, and love I recieved. But thanks and shout out to those people who held my hand today.
******Some people in this world understand the importance of a good pillow. Some don't. I very much appreciate that this family does.

Every story has a preface

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 9:01 PM


I sit and write this very first entry on this very new blog, propped up on my bed in my room in my home. The home that has always been my home. But even though I’ve always had this place as a sort of “base,” I’ve found I can make many other places my home.

Like this summer, for example. I don’t think I can count on my hands and toes the amount of homes I’ve had.*

And this new adventure. I asked a friend of mine for help titling this new literary effort. He asked me to rant about the upcoming year and he would see what he could come up with. “Going home” was his first solution to my titling problem. A name he created in response to my claim that I very much want to make this new place, Oviedo, Spain, my home.

I think it fits; I am in a perpetual state of going home.

So I leave my present (and constant)** home for yet another place. I’ll affix the name of “home” to Oviedo from the start, even though it won’t fit. It will pop off awkwardly from time to time, requiring adjustments, a nail here, some glue there, a bit of stretching to fill the frame. Until one day I’ll wake up and I’ll discover that it has happily nestled into its place.

As for right now, if you asked me if I was feeling ______ and filled in that blank with any emotion in the world, I could probably say yes. So I will leave the emotion-talk at that.***

Oh, and in regards to the adventures part of my title, well, use your imagination for that one.

I think I have some great excitement to come.

*And many thanks to those who gave me a (temporary) home.
**Don’t you dare sell the house while I’m gone, Mom.
***With the exception of mentioning my inexplicable fear that I will exit the plane only to be assaulted by Spaniards armed with tomatoes.