Monthly Archives: June 2009

We left our watches…


We left our watches, left them on the nightstand, next to a half glass of water with a ring of condensation under it, sweating through the night.  Some hours before, I crossed your fields, burned your crosses, dressed your burns, and ripped your dress, or at least I talked about it or maybe it was you doing the talking.  You were beautiful and spiritual and endless and a fourth thing that I cannot describe or explain or now even recall.  The images were fleeting, sexual and possibly in black and white, but mostly grey.  The lights flickered on and off.  By your hand, by your foot.  In the moments after, I seemed confused but I felt that I was not.  You looked at the clock but could not quite make out the hands across the room.  The sun was going to come up soon or it had just gone down.  The natural light was falling faintly across the ground outside your window.  Later you were gone, writing, and I was finding myself where I was supposed to be.  I looked at my watch, drank the water, and waited for you.


Tapas & Wine Party

Table of Spanish tapas and wines

Next Tuesday, I’m planning a little wine and tapas party for a few of my friends. I wanted to share what’s on the menu:

I’m hoping to have a nice Spanish, Argentinian, and Chilean wine. Maybe a summer white. These are my hopeful picks:

Marqués de Riscal (Spain)
Sangre de Toro (Spain)
2006 Montes Alpha Series Syrah (Chile)
Cuvelier Los Andes Gran Vin 2004 (Argentina)

Calamaries Fritos
One of my all time favorite tapas (although I don’t recall ever eating them “as” tapas in Spain, Calamaries fritos are fried squid. Love to eat them with a chunky marianara sauce or with nothing but a little mayonnaise and a chunk of baguette.

Tortilla Espan~ola
Possibly one of the most popular and simple tapas in Spain is what’s commonly known as the Tortilla, or potato omelette. When I first lived in Spain, I must have made this every day for an entire six months. They’re very addicting. Basically just potato and egg. That’s it.

Jamon Serrano con Melon
This is a perfect mezcla of sweet with salty. Jamon Serrano is a thinly sliced deli ham, akin to the Italian Prosciutto. Wrap it around a thick slice of honey dew and it’s perfect flavor.

Chorizo con pan y Queso de Manchego
Bread, cheese, sausage. Can’t live without this combo! I’ve chosen Manchego, which is a hard cheese and chorizo sausage, which, despite a million varieties, I will have no choice but to pick up whatever the supermarket carries at the time. hopefully sweet and not too smoky.

My mother-in-law makes a great gazpacho, or cold tomato soup. Most people are surprised when it comes out looking so “pink” as opposed to the classic red. This is usually due to the variety of tomatoes used and whether or not she’s added watermelon.

Sardinas y pan
More bread, but this time, I’m pairing it with sardines and maybe even mussels. We’ll see… But these are very popular tapas in Madrid.

A little Paco de Lucia, Carmen Paris, Lola Flores, Jose Mariano, etc.


She’s smiling

She’s smiling
She’s smiling at him
She’s smiling at him but you can’t see him
Because he’s not in the picture
But he’s smiling back at her who is
And they’re laughing about a joke he just told
Something funny
Something funny about a Vespa
And wearing matching crocs
Something that makes her laugh so much
That she feels like she’s connected again
That she feels like she’s in the right place
For the first time
And smiling

I teach therefore I am (going nuts)

OK so, I am not presently teaching. I am learning to teach. I will teach in the fall. Got the job. Yahoo. But at present, I am poring over pages of printed documents that my supervisor sends me that are quite overwhelming; documents that say things like: Perhaps you could give checks, check-plusses, and check-minuses based on a rubric that you give students. Maybe a certain number of each within the three-part range can equate to a grade that falls under a “prewriting activity” portion (worth 5% or so) of the final grade.

Hey, now. What’s up with all that? That’s getting into math. I’m a Basic Writing II teacher not a professor of Blah, Blah, Blah.

Anyway, I learned three things last night:

  • I’m as hollow as a log
  • I’m catastrophically overwhelmed
  • I’m blind as a bat (Well, that’s an exaggeration. But I did learn that I need reading glasses for bigger print now.)

More importantly, I am losing faith in my self and my ability to learn, process and retain information and ultimately, teach. And a couple more things. One, let’s not forget a general uneasiness to perform in front of students and two, I am beginning to worry about my growing disintegration of vocabulary words.  This leaves me feeling self-conscious, mindless and just plain terrified to get up in front of an audience of judgmental, snickering twentysomethings who don’t have patience for my little “oh, it’s right on the tip of my tongue” crap. I fear I’ll be up there, at the head of the class, and panic will ensue. I will need only to hear myself say: You’re a fraud, Tracy. You’re not qualified to teach anything, let alone this class. And down I’ll go. Into the hall of college adjunct fame for passing out and hitting the floor under the dry-eraser board.

Ok, so maybe that last bit won’t happen at all. Maybe I will stutter and stammer a few times until I build up more confidence and “get it.” Maybe everything will be alright. One thing’s for sure…I will definitely have to calm down about the whole thing before driving everyone nuts, including myself.

I am stalling

I am not working on my teaching syllabus. I am not going to the gym. I am not sticking to my diet. I am not maintaining the cleanliness and organization of my house. I am stalling. I am obsessed with Morocco. And I am enviably free to do just this. Nothing. It’s the bleakness and the rain. This past month has left me feeling rather uninspired. And so, Morocco is really the only thing truly drawing me into a world of sunshine, dry earth and color. A place where there is never a cloud in the sky during the mirage-hot month of August and the only thing on my mind is scenery and where to find toilet paper in a bivouac. Anyway…I am posting old drawing I made somewhere back between 1992 and 1995. More proof of my procrastination and my continued life of leisure.

Day job

I’m quite pleased on how these turned out. Needed to share.


From Spain to Morocco…

So…my little dream may come true after all. The one I’ve had since 1991. D and I have been tossing around the idea of going to Morocco next summer. I’ll fly to Madrid with my kids to stay with my in-laws for a few weeks. D will fly over at a later date and together, we will take the trek down to Granada by train and then over into Morocco. There’s still a few holes in the plan, missing hotels etc. But basically, this is the beginning of a great adventure. Check back for updates and added plans:

Madrid – Granada – Algeciras– Tanger – Fes – Merzouga – Marrakech – Tangers – Algeciras– Madrid

Day 1
• August 18, 2010

Day 2
Madrid to Granada (5.5 hours, train)
• August 19, 2010 

Hotel Casa Morisca Cuesta de la Victoria, 9
18010 – Granada España
tel. +34 958 221100 / -609 817859
fax +34 958 215796  — 1 double bed with sitting room and 15th. century coloured wooden ceiling and jacuzzi-bath. [Price: 198 € – 150€ ]
• Los Baños Arabes
• Flamenco show

Day 3
Granada to Algeciras (3.5 hours, bus) –
Algeciras to Tangiers (30 minutes, ferry) –
Tangiers to Fes (5 hours, train)
• August 20, 2010
Ryad Laaroussa (Green Room, 220 Euros), 3 Derb Bechara, Fes-Medina, Morocco. Tel.: +212 6 74 18 76 39

Day 4
Fes to Merzouga (10 hours, 4×4)
• August 21, 2010
Hôtel Kasbah Kanz Erremal | Adresse : B.P:12 Merzouga 52202- Maroc 
Tel: (00212)35578482 | Fax: (00212)35577265 | GSM: (00212)66039178 | Email:,

Day 5
• August 22, 2010
Hôtel Kasbah Kanz Erremal | Adresse : B.P:12 Merzouga 52202- Maroc 
Tel: (00212)35578482 | Fax: (00212)35577265 | GSM: (00212)66039178 | Email:
• Camel rides
• Pool
• Hike to desert

Day 6
Merzouga to Marrakech (12 hours, 4×4)
• August 23, 2010
Hotel Riyad el Cadi, 86/87 Derb Moulay Abdelkader
B.P. 101
40000 Marrakech-MédinaTel.: +212 524 378 655
Tel.: +212 524 378 098
Fax: +212 524 378 478 INFO@RIYADELCADI.COM

Day 7
• August 24, 2010
Hotel Riyad el Cadi, 86/87 Derb Moulay Abdelkader
B.P. 101
40000 Marrakech-MédinaTel.: +212 524 378 655
Tel.: +212 524 378 098
Fax: +212 524 378 478 INFO@RIYADELCADI.COM. You cannot reach this riad by car. You need to get there via a ten minute walk. Here’s a cute video on the arrival.
• Medina
• Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle)
• Jemaa el Fna
• Les Bains de Marrakech
• Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret

Day 8
Marrakech to Tangiers (11 hours, train)
• August 25, 2010

• Hotel –or-
• Tangiers to Algeciras (30 minutes, ferry)
• Hotel

Day 9
Algeciras to Madrid (5.5 hours, train)
• August 26, 2010

Day 10
• August 27, 2010

• Plaza Mayor
• Puerta del Sol

Day 11
Madrid to Philadelphia
• August 28, 2010

• Home