Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bilbao Miscellanea I: With Notable Citizens, Feats of Engineering, a Palatial Paladar

Warning: Do Not Read If You Are Easily Grossed Out I am blessed with unthinkably fabulous friends. However true Miss LG’s assessment that what I find most attractive in a gentleman is not dimples but Asperger syndrome (no offense to legitimate sufferers of this disorder, please!), my buddies … Continue reading

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Hondarribia and the Basque Coast: Sleepy Towns, Pedestrian-Tipping, Another Sip from the Holy Grail

Done with one visit, on with the next! Messrs. L & M arrived, and we immediately set off on a second road trip, on another Fiat Cinquecento. This time we drove directly to Donosti, and I won’t say anything more about it … Continue reading

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Donosti: Which Continues W and R’s Excellent Adventure (with Gin&Tonics, Urinals, and Neglected Artists)

Exhausted and hungry from all that climbing and getting lost, Miss R and I moved on to Donosti (San Sebastián) worried about what kind of lodgings we had impulse-reserved (and prepaid), since there was almost no available information on this Casa … Continue reading

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Gastelugatxe: Holy Grails, More Wishes, the Sublime. (Oh, and once again friggin’ lost on a hike.)

  There are mythical places you unexpectedly read about in a novel or see in a picture, and they become an obsession: a Holy Grail you cannot but pursue. For example, Pondicherry. The very first day Miss MC shared photos of this … Continue reading

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Guggenheim: Wishes, Hypnotic Music, Feminine Ways (framed by steak and croquettes)

So on Friday Miss R arrived for a visit, and I took a bit of time off my chapter to show her around town. First mandatory stop was of course the Guggenheim Museum, whose construction and 1997 inauguration spearheaded Bilbao’s transformation from … Continue reading

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Bilbo and the Shire

The Welcoming Committee now gone, I am briefly on my own to once more work out the intricacies of Spanish life–which can be quite intricate–in Bilbo (not a hobbit on Middle Earth but a city in Euskal Herria nowhere as familiar to me as my precious Bar-cel-ona). They left me … Continue reading

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London: Bubonic Plague, Literature, Loos. Then Off to Spain!

Back in London for my last 24 hrs. in England, I was regrettably unable to catch up with Misses B&K, who were detained by work, and so remained in misanthropic distancing mode (already bitchy about temporary quarters and suitcase-living and English food). … Continue reading

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Of Love and Travel, Pursuing and Distancing

A wonderful life-saving therapist told me years ago that I am the atypical real fusion of two relationship types, the “distancer” and the “pursuer”–someone who needs to keep others exactly at arms-length, no farther and no closer. Not shy about chasing after whomever … Continue reading

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Unheimlich, Gluten-Free, at a Loss for Words

Sigmund Freud was fascinated by the relationship between the words heimlich and unheimlich. Heimlich is what is comfortable, agreeable, and known. But, curiously, at some point it also acquired the meaning of what is hidden, uncertain, and therefore frightening that would come to be expressed … Continue reading

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Wrongdoing, Digital Humanities, on to Cambridge

DONE with jet-lagged, exhausting yet absorbing two-and-a-half day-conference with seventeen speakers from England, US, Spain, and France on Spanish constructions of “wrongdoing”–criminality, deviation–between 1800 and the beginning of the Civil War in 1936. Although the British Library’s Conference Centre is by all means a … Continue reading

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