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ex machina

madrid. the abridged version.

it seems like i've been away for ages. i wonder if anything interesting happened while i was gone. i never did trackdown any madridwireless nodes, the hotel ethernet connection was expensive [ 12 euros / hour ] and only available in the lobby, and it seemed like a sin to sit in an internet cafe when i could be outside enjoying the city. so, for the first time in a long time, i was sans the internet for entire days. luckily, madrid more than made up for the loss.

but before madrid, i was forced to experience the most horrendously awful plane flight. ever. airtravel is always traumatic for me since i'm well outside the median size of the cattle that airlines design their seats to accomodate. if you're over 6 foot 4 inches and 220 pounds you know exactly what i'm talking about. no legroom is just the beginning. much worse is that the lumbar and neck supports are in all the wrong places, which makes sleeping difficult at best. on top of that you're constantly aware that if you were to rest your elbows naturally you'd be pitching them into the chest of your unhappy neighbor. so you're constantly trying to keep you're elbows and arms at an angle that guarantees you'll be in for a good case of knotty neck tension. and did you know that if you're 6 foot four inches, there is so little legroom that you can't properly put the tray down, since it's resting at a precarious angle on your thighs? between the tray situation and the elbow situation, you can imagine that it is nearly impossible to eat anything without getting a generous portion of it on your shirt. this will solidify the impression of your neighbor that you are a giant, unkempt buffoon. so it's hard to sleep on a plane.

it's impossible when there are 50 rambunctious teenagers coming home from a trip in the states. they really weren't doing anything teenagers don't do all the time; they were loud, incessantly talkative, unable to sit for more than 10 minutes at a time and completely unresponsive to adult supervision. i at least was able to turn up my ipod and escape the incessant talking, however i was still subjected to teens grabbing the back of my seat while they came up to talk to their friends who were sitting behind me. it was a seven hour exercise in tolerance. when we approached madrid, i overheard the stewards and stewardesses, looking very haggard after a night without sleep, silently cursing the kids and discussing what to do about the disgruntled passengers. when we approached madrid the pilot announced over the p.a. system that he, the crew and delta were extremely apologetic about all the disruptions and that the offending parties were ordered to stay on the plane after we arrived at the gate. a wave of nervous giggling spread through the place. kids will be kids. madrid is both a boisterous city and a cozy village, and it was fun to experience both sides of the town. kris and i were fortunate to be introduced through a mutual friend in the states to a longtime madrileno, jose, who took us out on the town for tapas and cervecas and a fantastic walk through the old part of the city at night. highlights included a festival with dancing in the plaza de mayor and the busting surround of the puerta del sol, which has as much energy as times square in new york.

jose also put us in touch with his daughter and son-in-law who took us on a daytime walking tour of the city, which included the prado, the palacio real and some of the best paella in th e city.

of course, these are just the highlights. most of the fun was to be had in the little moments with our very, very gracious hosts - the times in-between the monuments. after the pictures have been developed and the memories begin to fade, kris and i will have something far more valuable than trinkets and memorabilia - we'll have new spainyard friends who i anticipate keeping in touch with for a long time.

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7/26/2003 10:40:00 AM 0 comments


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[ rhetoric ]

"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

[ about ]

this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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