Saturday, June 23, 2007

¿Por qué no tiene novia Iñigo Martín?

Un cortometraje de unos 10 minutos (a short 10-minute film, only for those who want to improve their command of colloquial Spanish)

¿Por qué no tiene novia Iñigo Martín?

(Why doesn't Iñigo Martín have a girl-friend?)

From the same people who produce the hilarious weekly (Spanish) video-blog, Que vida mas triste:

An excellent resource for improving one's Spanish slang, but pretty hard to understand if you're a beginner.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Back on Monday

It's been a busy week here in Madrid, so I plan on taking the weekend off. Will return on Monday. In the meantime, here is a sample of a fine comic strip.

Further adventures of Queen Victoria may be found at:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Goats or Germans?

Not a question I often ask myself, but one prompted by the following assortment of cheeses:

Say cheese

The top four are German, the bottom five are goat-cheeses. Truth in reporting requires me to say that the Germans were considerably stinkier than the goats.

In other food-related news, just the other day I had a salad which contained five different lettuces, whose names I now know in English and in Spanish. I prepared this myself, with a light vinaigrette dressing and some cherry tomatoes, and it was delicious. I mention this as evidence of the culinary distance I have travelled in these past three months.

Five different lettuces? Five different goat-cheeses? I am not the same person I was in mid-March. However, I still draw the line at callos (tripe) and rabo de toro (bull's tail). Certain boundaries must be respected.

The plain people of Ireland: Tripe, is it? Sure there's nothing tastier than a nice plate of tripe and drisheen. But some of them cheeses look a bit manky, truth be told.
The management: So ye're back, are ye? I knew this temporary peace and quiet was too good to be true. Indeed, the word "manky" would not be inappropriate to describe some of the cheeses pictured above.
The plain people of Ireland: Of course, Sinéad can't touch any kind of cheese at all - she's fierce lactate intolerant, you know. But she loves a nice plate of tripe and drisheen.
The management: I'm sorry to hear about her intolerance to dairy products. But I'm afraid we shall have to agree to disagree on the culinary merits of that fine Cork dish, tripe and drisheen.

The dirty dozen

Words or phrases whose meaning I confuse in Spanish. In most cases it's because they are "falsos amigos" - they sound as if they should mean something else. For clarity, I will post only the correct meanings here. It should be clear in most cases where the confusion lies.
  • por cierto : by the way
  • por supuesto : of course
  • a lo mejor : probably, maybe
  • por desgracia : unfortunately
  • sin embargo : however, still
  • a menudo : often
  • tal vez : maybe
  • ahora mismo : right away
  • tal y como : just as
  • por lo tanto : therefore
  • en seguida : right away
  • por lo menos : at least

Sunday, June 17, 2007

¡ GOL !

Real Madrid win 30th league title with another late show

MADRID, June 17 (Reuters) - Real Madrid ended their four-year trophy drought when they won the league title for the 30th time after a 3-1 comeback win over Real Mallorca at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

The nine-times European champions topped the final standings by virtue of a better head-to-head record against Barcelona, whose win over relegated Gimnastic Tarragona was to no avail.

And, let me tell you, the plain people of Madrid are celebrating in the streets right now. Having almost lost my hearing to some kind of cherry bomb that some drunken celebrating lunatic lobbed out of a fourth floor window onto the street below*, I'm staying indoors for the rest of the evening.

* triggering, I'm delighted to report, a rash of cell-phone calls to the cops from irate passers-by. I hope they jail the motherfucker .

To be fair, with that one exception, celebration in the streets, while noisy, seemed remarkably civilized and devoid of hooliganism. Of course, the night is still young.

Bob Esponja

I'm not a semiotician. So this picture will have to speak for itself.

bob esponja

Paul Potts

This guy is terrific:

Paul Potts : finals

Paul Potts : semi-finals

and, if you haven't seen it already, be sure to watch him singing in the earlier round

Paul Potts : Round 1