Wednesday, March 30, 2005

¡Vaya, talones alquitránes!

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It's so hard not being able to watch the NCAA tournament!! No one here seems to be even aware of U.S. college basketball, let alone the final four and march madness and all that. And with UNC in the Final Four, I'm dying here. Friday night we play Michigan State, then Monday night is the final game. If either were hypothetically broadcast here, they'd be on at about 4am anyway. ¡Que lastima para mi!

I shouldn't complain. We had an awesome past few days. My mom and aunt were in town, and after spending 1 1/2 days here in Pamplona (a quick walk around the old city, lunch, and the rest of the time drinking wine in the apartment!), we headed for San Sebastian. What a gorgeous town. Beaches, mountains, old city, lovely. Tom got in the ocean, despite it being abut 50 degrees (fahrenheit). Meg and i dipped our toes in. They ran up to the top of Mount Urgell (I promise to get some photos uploaded soon!!), almost to the big, looming Jesus statue at the top. I walked it. It was an awesome view. We ate dinner in the Paradise of Pinxtos (pinxtos=tapas in basque country). We even happened upon a bartender who not only spoke English, but when Meg asked if he had any pinxtos without meat, he said, "or without fish, right?" Usually, that question is answered with an offer of ham instead of meat. We were elated. We drank a lot that night.

The next day we headed to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim and to see mom and Letha off. What a museum! I knew the building was supposed to be cool, but it was much cooler than i expected. No straight lines inside (except the floors and exhibit walls)--all curved walls. It's pretty awesome. The collection was smaller than i expected though--three rooms of permanent collection (all abstract expressionism and its European counterpart, the name of which i'm forgetting) and two special exhibits, one of Aztec art and the other of Yves Klein. He's the painter I read about in London who patented his own shade of blue, and then proceeded to paint many canvases in his shade of blue. Actually, the show was pretty cool, and he seemed to be pretty interesting. I was far more impressed than I would have thought I'd be for a monochrome painter.

Back to work tomorrow. Easter week is almost over. Our friend Rich will be here Saturday to meet his fate, Jamon Serrano.

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