The story of how I quit my job and went to play in Madrid

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

A beautiful Saturday afternoon at Retiro park.


My tiny breakfast. 

Our very first Spanish bullfight! We were lucky to have our friend Greg in town to come with us. 

We’re leaving on a jet plane! And we really don’t know when we’ll be back again….

Margaux. She is excited.

Awww, reminds me of my brother Steve’s pet, Chip Chip, back in the day. 


Memorial Day weekend plans?



Food groups

I present the food groups in Spain. 

Pork products: Mostly in the form of jamon, but also in other charcuterie forms. Also, pork in all forms, including pork chops, roast suckling pig, bacon (beicon), cured, smoked, aged, processed, natural, braised, and grilled. 

Bread products: Mostly baguettes and/or in the form of bocadillos, which are long sandwiches, usually with a slice of tomato and a few slices of jamon (see above).

Olive products: Olive oil is generally used on, well, just about everything. Put it on bread, or jamon, or cook with it, or put olives in it. It’s our most-loved condiment at the moment. Also, olives accompany almost every beer you order.

Cheese: Just cheese, all kinds of cheese. Mostly eaten with a side of bread and a few slices of jamon.

Carbs in general: The Spanish Tortilla is a potato and egg dish, sometimes served as a sandwich. That’s right potato/bread sandwich. Margaux’s favorite thing is croquetas which are fried potato and jamon dumplings. I am a fan of empanadas, which are almost like potato pies with flaky crust. 


My cholesterol needs a breather….. You can see that vegetables don’t make the top 5. So delicious. But I don’t understand, why aren’t there any fat people?


Zarzuela. A band nerd/theater geek’s dream. You have to see it to love it. It’s like opera, musical theater, choir, and a symphony all rolled into one. 

My language school hooked it up with tickets. Basically, one of the professors said, “If you like music, this is a MUST.” So I signed up, and even snagged a ticket for Margaux. I’m not sure so much about the history, but wikipedia can tell you here.

We arrived and this beautiful theater, the Auditorio Nacional de Muscia, that looks almost like the Tabernacle on the inside. Not as big, but so cool inside, with a big pipe organ and seating all the way around, even behind the choir! 

The orquestra accompanies a singer who sings in character. It’s sort of hard to explain, watch this video.

At one moment towards the end of the performance, everyone joined in singing and clapping. Even though we didn’t know the words, it was one of those magical moments that happens during live music performances. 

I want season tickets. 

Listen to Regina Spektor’s new album.

Where have you been?

That’s what I’m saying.  Apparently, people DO read this blog and wondered what happened to us. Well, I was unaware that many people actually were interested in what is going on with Ms. Lanoie and I over here in Madrid. So, readers, whoever you are, here are your updates. 

We are on our way back to the US next week to finish up the visa process and visit our families. Margaux is looking forward to an extra long birthday, as we are flying on her big day, she gains an extra 9 hours of birthday celebratory-ness.  The best present is going to be seeing my family in Thousand Oaks. We are going to stay there for a little bit while we get our stuff straightened out in LA.

I’m not really looking forward to this visa process, based on my experience with the bureaucracy that happens here, I have a feeling this isn’t going to be fun. It will be an adventure!  We recently found out that Margaux has to complete her visa first, before I am allowed to apply for mine.  We orignially thought we would apply at the same time, but we can’t since my visa is based on whether or not hers is approved. I will be applying on a “family reunification” visa, which won’t allow me to work (legally).  Hopefully this will only delay everything by a few days. 

We’ll be buzzing around LA, Thousand Oaks and popping down to San Diego for a few visits (we need Mexican food so bad).  I know I am definitely excited to see our friends!!!!  We are also hoping to stop in and visit the Rhode Island side of the family on our way back to Madrid. Stay tuned for more details.

There’s the logistics of everything, I hope your curiosity is satiated.  If not, I have 7 more updates in the queue, so you can learn all about what we have actually been DOING here anyway.  

Stay tuned!

Los Campeones

Ok, so all you Real Madrid fans are going to be disappointed with this post. Sorry. 

Yesterday was a championship match for Real Madrid. And we missed it. Honestly, we didn’t even know that Madrid was still in the game. I thought they lost a few weeks ago and were eliminated, so imagine my surprise this morning when on every channel people are celebrating and preparing to celebrate the win.

We aren’t big futbol fans yet, but if you have ever watched sports with me, you know I love to cheer for a winner (only once they are winning). Call me a fairweather fan, but that’s just how I roll. It drives everyone crazy. So now I am a HUGE Madrid fan. Hahaha

Tonight, the news says that there is going to be a big party in the center of town. I have seen videos of such festivities, and unfortunately, I am inclined to an occasional bout of claustrophobia and anxiety attacks in such situations (ask me about San Francisco Pride). Margaux is not a huge fan either, although she handles it a little better than me. This does not look fun for me. So I will safely watch the celebrations from home on our HDTV cheering for everyone and, of course, feel guilty that I am not out there celebrating for all of you guys. 


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