Saturday, April 4, 2009

Latin for the traveler redux

Alas gallinaceas de urbe bovis volo
I'd like the buffalo wings.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem
In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris
If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

Clamo, clamatis, omnes clamamus pro glace lactis
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

Credere nequeo butyrum non esse!
I can't believe it's not butter!

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus
Never tickle a sleeping dragon.
(Motto and coat of arms at Hogwarts)

Aliquid in aere erat ea nocte, stellae illustres erant, fernande
There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando.

Ecce! Fabae suaves!
Look! Jelly beans!

Edi recte -- ut speciem macram et ieiunam geras (auctore c cassio longino)
Eat Right -- for that Lean and Hungry Look! by Cassius

In sortitionibus donativis, cur numquam praemia consequuntur sortilegi
Why do psychics never win the lottery?

Hiberiae pluvia fere in planitie stat
The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.

Obviously, we have only scratched the surface of this important topic, so watch this space for more vastly useful phrases, including a special Elvis appendix!

And now, the credits: Roughly half of these phrases were found in the hilarious

X-Treme Latin: All the Latin You Need to Know for Survival in the 21st Century

by Henry Beard. Several originated in the brilliant mind of my good friend, Peter C., and a handful were found lying around on the internet

Highlights of the Week

Here are some of the past week's highlights for me:

Saturday - tapas at the vinoteca at the corner of the Plaza Santa Ana, especially the amazing foie gras with caramelized apple on toast. Looking out at the amazing hotel that borders the square on the other side:

feb21pm 058

Sunday - strolling through the Las Letras neighborhood in the afternoon, having ice-cream in the wonderful heladería behind the Plaza Santa Ana and ending the day with dinner at "La Gloria de la Montera" near Paddy's hotel.

feb21pm 037

Monday - lunch at the Reina Sofia museum and sheltering from the rain while watching "Duplicity" in the evening.

Tuesday - arriving in Seville to find the city bathed in glorious sunshine, wandering through the gardens at twilight, savoring Paddy's reaction to the beauty of the city. Watching the swallows by moonlight over the cathedral garden.

Wednesday - Hearing that both Paddy's grant applications had been approved, in the amount that she had hoped for. Wandering through sunny Sevilla, sampling the ice-cream in various locations. Admiring the colorful recycling bins, and recoiling at the hideous furniture displays:



Thursday - Shopping for artwork in the morning by the Alcazar. Finding the perfect nazarenos to add to my friend Joyce's collection back in San Francisco. Taking the high-speed AVE back from Sevilla to Madrid, watching the sheep in the fields as we went by, wondering which one provided the milk for our favorite cheese. Knowing the route back to the hotel better than the acne-pitted taxi-driver.


Friday - Sleeping until 10:30. Visiting the Prado and finding it nicely uncrowded. Spotting a distinctly identifiable jackalope in one of the 16th century Flemish paintings (possibly the earliest traceable sighting, certainly in the old world). Picnicking on gourmet cheeses and Serrano ham from the best acorn-fed pigs in the apartment with Paddy.

Redneck Pet Carrier

Please do not try this at home.
Image is taken from

Thanks to my good friend, Bilby, for bringing this to my attention.

Multi-talented statistician shines in many fields of endeavor

When he's not pushing back the frontiers of statistical research,

or dazzling his fanbase with his twinkle-toed ballroom dancing skills,

it appears that Professor Tsiatis has yet another career as a performance artist on the streets of Madrid.

What a guy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ratoncito Redux

Well, clearly all this talk of the delightful little mouse could not go without consequences. While chowing down on a particularly delicious tapa in Seville, I dislodged an alarmingly large piece of dental porcelain from the lower right hand corner of my mouth. An artefact that had once been referred to as a "crown and post", and which cost a small fortune to have installed. It came out so naturally that I have no choice but to believe that the time had come for us to part ways.

The only consolation is that I had resisted the temptation to indulge in some porcelainophilic candy treats at the movies on Monday evening; had it occurred then, I would have felt guilty about it for months. As it is, I just figure that it was the Ratoncito's revenge for having blogged about him a few weeks earlier.

No blood. No pain. Just another reminder that life in one's fifties is not completely without hazard.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sevilla es una maravilla


Torero Tailor Shop


Quixote lookalike


Charming tapas companion

What more could anyone ask for?

We had a wonderful time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

El Jardín Vertical

pandagarden 002

It's just across the street from the Prado. The photo doesn't begin to do it justice.

Iberian Peninsula Time

It's a little after midnight here and I just got back from dropping Paddy off at her hotel after dinner. As I have probably mentioned before, they certainly do eat late here in Madrid - when we got to the restaurant at about 9:30, we were the second couple there, and when we left at 11:30, it was filling up. (How do these people get up for work in the morning?)

Before dinner we went to see "Duplicity", with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen - a very funny, entertaining movie, perfect for a rainy evening in Madrid. What was nice was that it was still light when the movie let out at 8:30, as they made the changeover to Daylight Saving Time here over the weekend, so that we are now once again six hours ahead of Eastern Time in the U.S.

As we are headed for Seville tomorrow, I probably won't get a chance to update the blog for a few days, but I promise to check back in at the end of the week. We are scheduled to get back from Seville on Thursday evening.

I asked at school on Friday, but apparently Spaniards do not engage in any particular brand of April Fool's Day shenanigans. Or maybe they do, and just weren't about to tell me.

Qué pasa?

Paddy arrived from Washington DC on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the weather immediately took a turn for the worse, with the temperature dropping about 12 degrees or so overnight, and rain both yesterday and today. Fortunately, we are headed to Sevilla tomorrow (in the fancy AVE high-speed train, which whisks one from Madrid to Sevilla in only 2 hours and 30 minutes), and will return to Madrid on Thursday evening.

I have the week off class, so it's a nice break from my regular routine. Only two more weeks after Paddy's departure on Monday. I will be heading back to Washington on Saturday April 18th, stay with her overnight, and continue on to San Francisco the following day.

Today we went to the Reina Sofia, the museum of the "big three" that's dedicated to 20th century art (and the only museum in town that is open on Mondays). I think we both agreed that the best part was probably lunch in the museum cafeteria afterwards. After two hours modern art just starts to feel like a penance.

There were uncountably many groups of schoolchildren, not all of whom appeared to be having fun.

Oh Deer!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Change One Letter" goes to the Movies

Flee, Willy!
Lovable cetacean is pursued by evil Japanese whaling ship

Stab Wars
Luke Skywalker travels back in time to take on Jack the Ripper

Dorki Park
The exploits of an inept gang of fur-smugglers

The Bids
Real estate wars in Bodega Bay turn ugly

John Ford's classic reinterpretation of Macbeth as a Western

Seven Bribes for Seven Brothers
A corrupt family's stranglehold on city government in Providence, RI.

Danes with Wolves
Lars van Trier goes Costner one better. Shot with only a single camera, from the wolf's point of view .

Spinal Tap put on a benefit concert at Mount Rushmore, and the whole thing is filmed by Louis Malle. Or maybe Terence. Whatever. It's a definite highlight when Ted Nugent shoots Lincoln's nose right off.

A terrible misunderstanding between the Hoggetts means curtains for a certain lovable porker.

Dunces with Wolves
Mrs Parker's class had been looking forward to their trip to Yellowstone for weeks already. Who could have suspected that things would go so horribly, horribly wrong?

A Mad Zeus!
The real story behind the Trojan wars (soundtrack by Salieri)

An unpopular war abroad becomes a fiasco when public opinion turns against its leaders

Apocalypse Cow
This frightening documentary tracks the devastating spread of mad cow disease, beginning with "Brain-dead Bessie", the cow first believed to have brought the disease to Texas.

The 39 Stews
In a case of mistaken identity, a man is plunged into the internecine squabbles and dark rivalries that make up the sinister world of British haute cuisine.

Hedwig and the Angry Itch
Fortunately, there was fast-actin' Tinactin

Mary Poplins *
New governess brings order, harmony, and a dazzling array of synthetic fabrics.

La Cage aux Dolles
Daring new transvestite production of an Ibsen standard

Blue Vervet
Monkey is ostracized due to unusual pigmentation and succumbs to depression.

Blue Velveta
Be an instant gourmet!

The Mousecrap
Posthumous Agatha Christie play savaged by Broadway critics

Pilates of the Caribbean
Even buccaneers gotta exercise.

Das Boor
Idiosyncratic german translation of The Jerk

*: I'm pretty sure this one is not mine, but I can't for the life of me remember where I may have borrowed it. If it's yours, please leave a comment, and I will attribute appropriately.

Marmalade Cat Humiliation

Marmalade Cat Humiliation
(Search Engine Phrases by Which People Arrived at This Blog)

Who died at Swensen's ice-cream in Chapel Hill?
Viggo Mortensen stalkers.
The unfeasibly tall Greek billionaire.

What can I buy with 10 dollars?
Pictures of dogs you can buy for under ten dollars.
Hideous ugly animals.
Two-headed bunny.
Six-headed bunnys.

Does travel broaden the mind?
Buenos Aires Christian theme park.
Large papier mache animals.
Hideous, ugly animals.

What can I buy with 10 dollars?
Dickensian workhouse fare.

Dickensian workhouse fair.
Hideous, ugly animals.
Two headed bunny.

Does the travel can broaden the mind?
Travel does not broaden the mind.
Travel should broaden the mind.

What can I buy with 10 dollars?
Ruthless rhymes.
Spongebob Squarepants clerihews.

Peach Malba.
Pampas meat.
Panda Madrid.
Peach maravilla.
La lluvia en Sevilla es una maravilla.
The rain in Spain?
Mainly on the plain.
Peach maravilla.

Rebellious 24-year old child still living at home.
Missing coins.
Puddy tats.
What is puddy tats.
Kitty serendipity.
Marmalade cat humiliation.
How to complete the case of the missing coins.

How to study on the pampas for a test.
In on the pampas grandma expects her to
dismantle a dirt bike for shipment.

900 lb woman on Maury.
Caisson disease constipation.
Hemorrhoid cream and tanning?

Ethel the aardvark goes quantity surveying.
Kafka beach.
Kafka feliz.