Catzenclouds [Gatos y nubes]

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

MY PARENTS HAD A DEAR friend whose maiden name was Katzenbogen. I think she should have hyphenated it when she married. Imagine going through life as Katzenbogen-Kuzemchikov.

As my father would ask: “What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?” “Nothing,” I’d respond. But I met some beautiful and friendly cats on my walk yesterday under spectacularly cloudy skies. I thought I’d share photos of cats and clouds. So forgive me for this drivel, not for the cats and the clouds.

Our rugs still aren’t ready. I’ll probably phone again tomorrow and be a bit less understanding. We tried getting our flu shots today, but the pharmacy had no vaccine. So, we’re on a waiting list.

We both have our ups and downs throughout the day. Often not at the same time, which is helpful. Last night we went to Mesón Salvador to get us out of our funk. It worked. We came home and had San Geraldo’s banana bread for dessert.

Yesterday, 21 October, was the 10th anniversary of our “legal” marriage in the United States (in Iowa — click here). Since we had already been together 29 years at the time, it’s not a date that sticks in our memories. We didn’t need the American government to tell us we were legitimate. Anyway, the only reason I remember is because a wonderful former colleague of San Geraldo’s celebrates her anniversary around the same time and always sends us good wishes. So, thanks to Phyllis once again. I suppose last night’s dinner at Mesón Salvador was our legal anniversary celebration. Too bad we didn’t remember.

We took the Prius in for its four-year inspection Tuesday. Of course, it passed with flying colors, and with less than 15,000 km (less than 10,000 miles) under its hood. We rewarded ourselves with a walk over to La Peseta for ice cream.

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MIS PADRES TENÍAN UNA QUERIDA amiga cuyo apellido de soltera era Katzenbogen. Creo que debería haberlo escrito con un guión cuando se casó. Imagínese pasar por la vida como Katzenbogen-Kuzemchikov.

Como preguntaba mi padre: “¿Qué tiene eso que ver con el precio del té en China?” “Nada”, respondía. Pero, ayer conocí unos gatos hermosos y amigables en mi paseo bajo un cielo espectacularmente nublado. Pensé en compartir fotos de gatos y nubes [cats and clouds]. Así que perdóname por esta tontería, no por los gatos y las nubes.

Nuestras alfombras aún no están listas. Probablemente volveré a llamar mañana y seré un poco menos comprensivo. Hoy intentamos vacunarnos contra la gripe, pero la farmacia no tenía ninguna vacuna. Entonces, estamos en lista de espera.

Ambos tenemos nuestros altibajos a lo largo del día. A menudo, no al mismo tiempo, lo cual es útil. Anoche fuimos a Mesón Salvador para sacarnos de nuestro bajón. Funcionó. Llegamos a casa y comimos tarta de plátano de San Geraldo de postre. Ayer, 21 de octubre, fue el décimo aniversario de nuestro matrimonio “legal” en los Estados Unidos (en Iowa, haz clic aquí). Como ya llevábamos 29 años juntos en ese momento, no es una fecha que se quede en nuestros recuerdos. No necesitábamos que el gobierno estadounidense nos dijera que éramos legítimos. De todos modos, la única razón que recuerdo es porque una maravillosa ex colega de San Geraldo celebra su aniversario aproximadamente a la misma hora y siempre nos envía buenos deseos. Entonces, gracias a Phyllis una vez más. Supongo que la cena de anoche en Mesón Salvador fue nuestra celebración legal de aniversario. Lástima que no lo recordamos.

Llevamos el Prius para su inspección de cuatro años el martes. Por supuesto, pasó con gran éxito y con menos de 15.000 km (menos de 10.000 millas) bajo su capó. Nos premiamos con un paseo hasta La Peseta para tomar un helado.

My dark chocolate with orange and fig with walnuts.
Mi chocolate negro con naranja y higo con nueces.
San Geraldo’s Belgian chocolate and Colombian coffee.
El chocolate Belga y café Colombiano de San Geraldo.

Not Enough Fumes / Pocos Humos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

During a dip in my “happiness” when we lived in Santa Barbara at the beginning of this century, I had suicidal thoughts. We lived in a pink townhouse. Life should have been rosey.

Usually, when I’m that low, I’m simply “passively suicidal.” I go to bed at night hoping I won’t wake up in the morning. Passive. But this time, I developed a plan. I was going to go downstairs, head out the back door, which led directly into the garage, and get in the car. I would start the engine. Carbon monoxide poisoning.

As I started down the stairs, I remembered that we had a Prius. A hybrid. Few fumes to begin with and, if the car were idle, it would simply switch to electric. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway, but I’m very grateful for hybrid technology. And, yes, I did see the humor, even at the time.

A couple of years ago, we bought another Prius. It doesn’t really matter though; we don’t have a garage.

Durante un chapuzón en mi “felicidad” cuando vivíamos en Santa Bárbara a principios de este siglo, tuve pensamientos suicidas. Vivíamos en una casa rosa. La vida debería que haber sido “rosa.”

Por lo general, cuando estoy tan bajo, simplemente soy “pasivamente suicida”. Me acostaba por la noche esperando no despertarme por la mañana. Pasivo. Pero esta vez, desarrollé un plan. Iba a bajar las escaleras, salía por la puerta trasera que conducía directamente al garaje, y me subía al coche. Yo arrancaría el motor. Envenenamiento por monóxido de carbono.

Cuando empecé a bajar las escaleras, recordé que teníamos un Prius. Un híbrido. Para empezar, pocos vapores y, si el coche estuviera inactivo, simplemente cambiaría a eléctrico. Estoy seguro de que no lo habría superado de todos modos, pero estoy muy agradecido por la tecnología híbrida. Y, sí, vi el humor, incluso en ese momento.

Hace un par de años, compramos otro Prius. Aunque en realidad no importa; no tenemos garaje

One Coín And The Fountain

We took a little drive into the mountains Monday with Judyshannonstreetwhat (click here if you still haven’t met) simply to enjoy the scenery and stop for lunch in the town of Coín (Co-EEN) less than an hour northwest. We arrived just in time for siesta, so we immediately stopped for lunch before strolling the deserted streets of a very small part of this non-touristy town.

Highlight
A 12-year-old with a skateboard whistled at us as we pulled out of the parking garage beneath Plaza Mercado. He followed the whistle with, “Guay coche [cool car].”

Some sights today. Tomorrow, lunch! (Click to embiggerize the photos.)

FOUNTAIN ON PLAZA MERCADO, BEFORE LUNCH.
MIRROR, MIRROR OF THE GLASS…
BACK AT PLAZA MERCADO AFTER LUNCH.

Pirates Of The Mediterranean

While at Viveros Guzmán Thursday afternoon, we… well, I, had a difficult time making up my mind what to buy to add a special touch to our terrace. We had wanted to buy a fountain but, as our astute and extremely tactful friend Tynan pointed out:

“Right! That’s brilliant! You live ON the sea. You can hear the natural, lovely, and calming sound of the surf all the time. So, why not get a fountain and drown out the sound of the sea with the sound of an electric motor pumping tap water over cement?!?”



I paraphrase since I can’t remember Tynan’s exact words, which were more colorful.

But, since Tynan did have a point, I had to start thinking of other options. Here are a few of the things I considered (no, I didn’t really) as we shopped at Viveros Guzmán.

(Click the images to increase the enchantment.)

I QUICKLY NIXED SPORTY SANTA.
FOR ONE THING, THE CAR WOULDN’T FIT IN THE ELEVATOR.
A FULL-SIZE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE. A BIT OVER THE TOP.
AND TOO SEASONAL.
TOO STAID… AND GRAY. NOW, IF IT WERE A PINTO…
DAVID? OH, PLEASE. HE’S BEEN DONE TO DEATH.
AFTER DAVID, I GOT TO THINKING ABOUT BALLS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.
BUT TYNAN HAD ALREADY NIXED THE FOUNTAIN IDEA. NO BALLS!
THERE WAS ALSO A LIFE-SIZE RHINO. IT WAS ALSO A “NO.”
(NOTE: SAN GERALDO SAYS THIS NEEDS CLARIFICATION. SO, YES, I KNOW
THE ABOVE IS A ZEBRA BUT, IN ADDITION, THERE WAS A RHINO.)
SAN GERALDO THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING.
IMAGINE!
SO ALL WE BOUGHT WERE PLANTS! SIX GAZANIAS (THREE COLORS),
TWO CORDYLINE FRUTICOSA AND TWO CORDYLINE AUSTRALIS.
NO PIRATES. ARRR!!!

It’s Not A Car; It’s An Adventure

We took a drive again today to our new favorite garden center, Viveros Guzmán in Alhaurin de la Torre. In the mountains. A world away from the sea and the city. (Note: Viveros means Nurseries.)

First we stopped for gas and to have the car washed. At San Geraldo’s request, I bought some treats while we waited to help us survive the long, long, — 25-minute — ride. (Don’t worry. We brought plenty of water.)

I bought too many treats. But I had to; they were on sale. We managed to consume only three PiM’s each (a bit of heaven my sister, Dale, introduced me to when I was still in my teens) before stopping for lunch a few minutes from Viveros Guzmán.

(Click the images to increase the calories… and for a closer look at a hunky bartender.)

50 CENTIMOS OFF IF I BOUGHT TWO PACKAGES.
EVER BUDGET-CONSCIOUS, I GOT ORIGINAL OREOS AND DOUBLE-STUFF!

San Geraldo had done some research before-hand and found what sounded like an interesting restaurant. So that’s where we headed before loading up the car with plants.

THE CAR, AFTER ITS VERY FIRST BATH, OUTSIDE THE RESTAURANT.

The restaurant is called Papas Fritas Y Juevos (French Fries and Eggs). It turned out to be located in an industrial/business park near a beautiful residential area. It’s obviously extremely popular.

Great food, service, and price. We decided it would be worth a drive back up just for a meal. We thought the joint was jumping but our server told us it was a very quiet day. She said if we ever wanted a meal there on a Wednesday or Saturday to be sure to make a reservation. Good to know.

RESTAURANTE PAPAS FRITAS Y HUEVOS.
COCHOPO: A SPECIALTY FROM ASTURIAS (NORTHWEST SPAIN).
TWO LARGE VEAL FILLETS, HAM, CHEESE… FRIED (WITH PAPAS FRITAS Y HUEVOS)
THANKFULLY, WE WERE TOLD TO SHARE.
I HAD THE VIEW THAT INCLUDED THE HUNKY BARTENDER.