24 May 2008

Chiki Chiki Has Arrived

The big day has arrived. The day Chiki Chiki will become world famous.

Yes, tonight is the once a year extravaganza known as Eurovision. I've written about Eurovision before, but basically it is American Idol meets the Olympics when every European country (plus Israel) showcases their best (or worst) pop act. It produces ridiculously awful men and women scantily clad dancing around while singing in bad Engrish as well as some groups that become quite famous like ABBA. In recent years, there has been a new phenomenon of acts making fun of Eurovision and actually winning like the monster rockers from Finland. This year, a comedian that is on Spain's equivalent of the Late Show decided to make up an awful reggatone song complete with a plastic guitar and a 4 step dance: 1. El Breikindance (the breakdance) 2. El crusaito (the cross) 3. el miquelyakson (Michael Jackson) 4. el Robocop.

And of course, this ridiculous song making fun of the whole process was chosen as Spain's best act. I love it. So tonight Chiki Chiki will show Europe the best (or worst) of Spanish pop (or comedy). There really is no distinction anymore. Just shows th epower of advertising to get us to buy anything they want to make cool. So enjoy Eurovision. I'm ready! And here's Chiki Chiki:

22 May 2008

A day at the zoo

I have a new respect for all those exciting excursions we took as kids to exotic places like Prairie Village and...well, Sexauer Park because today we took 100 2-5 year old kids to the zoo! It sounded like fun and it was a perfect day for it, but honestly it was a bit crazy. Finding seats for everyone, trying to keep track of their little backpacks, and getting them on and off the bus with steps much to large for them. Fortunately no mishaps except for some kids stealing other kids' lunches (because of course, none of them could remember what their backpacks look like!)

Supposedly the zoo we were going to (Carbarceno) was a "friendly zoo" more like a reserve where the animals have freedom to run around...but you say potato, I say zoo. It was nice though to get out of the school a bit and to enjoy "Flight of the Pheonix" with Dennis Quaid which the driver put on for us in English on our way to and from the zoo to get us pumped up. Woo hoo. Go Denny.

You can see some of the photos from our excursion below:

The bod

I ran further and longer yesterday than I ever have before: 20km in 1 hour and 40 min. That means that I am getting close to being ready for the half marathon (26km) in one month in Tromsø! Here’s how the run went:

The first 10km went fine. Then i stopped for a moment to stretch my legs adn my right arm fell asleep for a bit. About 14km I stopped for a drink and my left knee started to hurt. About 17km another drink and both knees plus my arms acted up, then I finished strong and checked my finish time on the pharmacy clock. I immediately felt pain in both hips and knees and took a nice long stretch before going home to ice. The next day my calf were extremely tight but otherwise great!

In other news, just finished watching perhaps the best football (soccer) match I have ever seen. Manchester vs. Chelsea in the Champions League finals. Awesome game tied 1-1 after regular and extra time ultimately ending 7-6 on penalties after Christiano Ronaldo and John Terry both missed their shots, with John Terry missing while slipping on his shot.

And, you know you’re a nerd when you leave the house at 12.30am to go sit on the street by the closed candy store to steal free wireless!

So that’s life tonight plus, I went to the zoo today as you can see in the next post...

09 May 2008

This is Bob Barker saying...

The last two weeks of biking to work have been particularly quiet, almost without adventure. Normally, throughout the winter and spring, my 20 min bike route to Colindres was always spiced up by one challenge. We're not talking about the zombies from Paperboy, but rather. A dog. Most people would be able to say what kind of dog it was with its proper name, but I can just say it is small, white and black, and barks and jumps high. In fact, every time I rode by the dog's house he would chase after me jumping at my legs, even occasionally jumping over my lap while I was riding my bike. Quite impressive really...and quite annoying. I had been perfecting my strategy slowing over the months, with a very slow approach before I start pumping my legs and trying to zoom by before he realized what happened. However, about two weeks ago he was mysteriously gone. Well, to my surprise, yesterday the dog was back! This time however, I prepared my strategy and as I approached, I noticed he didn't even flinch or move off the ground. Maybe it's the heat or maybe, just maybe, Bob Barker got to him and made him and it. He seems mournful and listless...which makes my bike ride more peaceful and just a little bit boring.

06 May 2008

Mac is back and so is the blog

After a few weeks of illness, the Mac is back, although still a bit bruised. I finally had a chance to pick it up yesterday in Bilbao where I was told they couldn´t do anything despite the fact that the screws had not been moved. Grrr...

But the past weeks have been a blur of activity, as I enjoyed 10 days with my parents visiting the Basque country (great pinxos), Cantabria (great tapas), and Asturias (great meals). It was truly a gastronomical tour, with San Sebastian being the highlight. It was great to introduce my parents to my friends, my life, and ok, my food too. We survived the bomb scare in San Sebastian, the long walk around the prison in Santoña, teaching two year olds in my preschool, the curvy drive through Covadonga and the lagos, and the hikes in the mountains in the Picos de Europa. I think my parents left exhausted and stuffed, but I know I enjoyed our excursions! (pictures to come soon).

After my parents left, I got geared up for a trip to Madrid where I was supposed to take an exam, the GMAT. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I was informed that despite the information I read on the website, my Spanish identification and US driver´s liscense was not sufficient to take the exam. After a long argument with an unfriendly secretary, I left without taking the exam and without a refund. ouch. Fortunately, I was able to overcome this set back with a great weekend spent with the Fernandez in Cercedilla! Elisa and I took the train one hour from madrid and enjoyed 4 days of sun, food, conversation, music, bad idol songs (seriously, watch this link to understand the extent of the badness), movies, and comfortable family time (minus the parents). I was able to see Manuel, Teresa, Patrick, Pablo, and Sol and it felt great to be able to communicate a bit better in Spanish this time around.

Finally, I made it back to Laredo in time to see a U2 cover band/imitation band in the plaza of Laredo. It was ridiculous. An Italian group that dressed, looked, and sang exactly like U2...and of course all U2 songs. However, as soon as the songs were over, "Bono", AKA Xanu, would start speaking in Italian..."molto grazi...bella...spaghetti..." Ok, well, not exactly like that, but you get the idea. Another random adventure hearing Italians imitating and Irish band for Spanish people. I don´t know if border do exist any more. I mean, I´m hear, right?

And in the end, life is speeding up to the end of May, when I decided to return to Tromso! I´m really pumped to return to the beautiful city to see friends, enjoy 24 hours of sunlight, and guide old people around again. I also was offered a short term contract teaching at the University so I´ll be able to enjoy Tromso until the middle of October.

So, that´s what happened without the mac. How did I survive without it?! Now, time to make the hard decision...should we study pirates or animals today?