Sunday, December 16, 2007

cuz it's madrid

and jesus is totally worth it

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Three morning stories

Waiting at the Chamartín railway station for some connection, the train door is open. A man enters a wagon while still smoking a cigarette and leans against the door frame. Waiting for the door signal, he finally throws the cigarette on the railway track. Door closes, the cabin air is full of smoke.

Walking on campus. Four female students are approaching me on the sidewalk in the opposite direction. They all see me but they don't move a bit. I end up walking on the road like Agnes in Kundera's Immortality.

Having breakfast at the cafeteria. A group of men just arrived to the next table. One of them starts to clean the table by energetically sweeping the bread crumbs and other dirt on the floor but also on a friend sitting next to me. Not a word of apology.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Sergio at Future Briton blogs about worth of taking pictures in the museums or galleries. I have to disagree that it's a stupid idea. I believe that sometimes it can turn out pretty well:

(The Dance, Henri Matisse, MoMA, Midtown Manhattan, NYC, September 2005)

Monday, December 10, 2007

PR Canada!!!

I thought that Project Runway (USA) was a good show to watch. But I just finished a first episode of the Canadian spin-off and what a treat! Pure magic. Those guys are funny, friendly, yet competitive and extremely professional. The editing is great, you see them cooking dinner, sitting on the patio, talking and drinking wine, like a normal person would do. All the sterility of the US original is gone, it's like a breath of fresh air. In the first episode, they worked with three pieces from their competitors' suitcases (which they were allowed to pick in just 30 seconds) and transformed them into a garment that should have reflected their personality. For instance, look at this:

This dress didn't even win the challenge and what an amazing and innovative piece of garment. Look at the mentor and the beauty experts:

It's Brian Bailey, a designer himself, on the left and Eric Del Monaco and Eddie Maleterre on the right. Quality and style. Last, but not least:

Arthur Mendonça (left) and Shawn Hewson as guest judges for the first episode. Holy cow! Finally, when Iman (the Canadian Heidi, but sharp and bitchy as hell) kicks the loser out with "You_Just_Don't_Measure_Up!" (yes, she pauses between the words), it's giving me the creeps!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

François Hadaya

Thanks to the Golden Style Compass at Niwdenapolis, I have a new fashion god: French designer François Hadaya.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

PR S04E04

After the exciting menswear challenge, this week's episode was somehow awkward. The designers were introduced to outdated fashion trends (that will be super trendy again in like 5 years, LOL) and they had to transform them into contemporary, relevant looks. They worked in voluntary (!) teams of three with a leader picked by themselves (!) and they had to coordinate their efforts so the final collection will be "cohesive" (what a word!). The team of Christian (team leader), Jack and Kit got Zoot Suit, Fringe and Pleather. For some strange reason, they were feeling and behaving like winners from the beginning! Can a gay man be homophobic? I was on the verge of becoming one after that little monster Christian said that their team was "pretty fierce" and that they were a "team Star because their team is hot, like a star, like a celebrity". My f@#$ing goodness, what an idiot! The team of Jillian (team leader), Kevin and Rami were working with Overall, 70's Flare and Poodle Skirt trends. They are all strong and very good designers and even though Jillian and Kevin were having some arguments, they won this challenge. Some PR bloggers find this season boring and without the bold personalities so typical for the previous seasons, but I enjoy the professionalism and experience of Rami, Kevin, Jillian and others. They work hard, they are calm and focused and they deliver. I am sure that most of the drama on the set is due to the editing.

The team of Chris (team leader), Steven and Sweet P got Baggy Sweater, Shoulder Pads and Dancewear, but they didn't work enough on that cohesion requirement. It made the judges quite unhappy and Chris was eliminated:

Chris' loosing design is in the middle. By the way, is it just me, a fag, or the two Caucasian models are just plain fugly? The team of Ricky (team leader), Victorya and Elisa worked with Underwear as Outerwear, Neon and Cut-Outs trends and it was a mess, mostly because of Ricky and Victorya constant fights. Ricky was in the bottom two (again), but surprisingly he didn't cry this time. Just let him go, please.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

From Recoletos, With Love

Yesterday night at the Recoletos RENFE station.
Me (after unsuccessfully trying to exit the station using my ticket): My ticket doesn't work. Can you replace it, please? Him (a RENFE employee, already famous for the following, but I never learn my lesson): (Inserting the ticket in some sophisticated machine and studying something on the computer screen for 2 minutes). You cannot travel on this ticket, you already took the train twice today. Of course, I know that, I was just trying to leave the station, but the gates didn't let me out. (Back to the screen, another 1 minute). The ticket is fine. No, I believe it's not, I tried three exit machines, the ticket didn't work. You cannot travel more than twice a day. I know that. Can you please change my ticket? I will need it tomorrow morning. No, the ticket is fine.
5 MINUTES, 15 nervous people behind me in a queue, me keeping the old ticket that is apparently fine.

Today in morning at the Recoletos RENFE station.
Me (after unsuccessfully trying to enter the station using my old ticket): My ticket doesn't work. Can you replace it, please? Him (another RENFE employee): Of course.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A moment like this

8:00. Madrid deeply breathes the morning fog. The concrete carvings of the Columbus memorial are obscured by the bluish wet mist. On the horizon, the white blocks of the Salamanca barrio are hit by the first rays of light. Finally, the shy light reaches the fountains in front of the memorial and illuminates the jets of water in pink. A moment of an eternal beauty.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

PR S04E03

Menswear. Panic! On this week's Project Runway the designers had to make an outfit for Tiki Barber, well, I don't know him either, but apparently, he is a former American football player who is now a TV host. He was all about his butt, that they should pay attention that he has a big butt, that he really (!?) likes details and patterns, blah blah blah. It was pretty pathetic, but the designers were incredibly stressed out, which I didn't get, because half of them are men (gay men, more precisely) and they should know hot to fit a pair of pants and which colours to combine, no? Anyways, it was a real nightmare, they were behaving very unprofessionally and I hope that the producers noticed and repeat the menswear challenge at some point because it was a good episode! Kevin, the only straight guy on the show, has combined purple and black (the colours of the Winter 2007 H&M collection, as I've realized today while shopping there for more black items) and the result was stunning:

I would buy that stuff immediately! Unfortunately, he lost to Jack, who made only a two-piece outfit, well tailored according to the judges, but endlessly dull:

And that little squeaky monster Christian got the cutest model. There is no justice in the world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


A breathtaking picture I found on the internet yesterday. A high-speed train in a snow storm approaching my hometown approximately a week ago. To remind me in this sunny and still relatively warm place that Christmas time is around the corner, Madrid Christmas lights were turned on yesterday night. Apparently, there are nine millions bulbs around the city (1 million more than last year), but in total they will consume 8% less energy than in 2006 due to new technologies.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

PR S04E02

This week's Project Runway was about creating a 2-piece outfit for Sarah Jessica Parker's BITTEN line, which is a super cheap, mostly trashy looking garbage. The designers had to work on a $15 budget in couples, with team leaders selected from all 14 designs by SJ. Victorya (team leader) and Kevin won with a simple yet beautiful black dress paired with a vest:

The bottom two designers' teams were Christian (TL) and Carmen with a freaky monstrosity from the 80's, and Marion (TL) and Steven, who didn't expect how badly their fabric would behave. Subsequently, Marion as a team leader was eliminated. During the presentation and also during the whole episode, Marion's sweet and genuine personality sharply contrasted with Christian's self-centeredness. I hope I won't have to wait too long for Christian to be eliminated.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Fog in Cantoblanco! Grey is totally the new black.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

T2[in] Victim

There was no way I could leave without this pair of shoes. To further deepen the superficiality of this post, I can assure you that the straps are actually silver.

Friday, November 16, 2007

PR S04E01

Project Runway is back with its 4th season. Even though it was more or less obvious who would celebrate at the end, Rami Kashou (who, by the way, looks like a Right Said Fred member) really deserved to win, the execution was flawless and the presentation fortunately avoided the usual "sculptured European-inspired tailored piece" talk. You go boy! I am looking forward what is coming next week, from the preview it seems that this season will be pretty dramatic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Smart + witty = my new obsession.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

¿Por qué no se callan?

OK, a controversial post that I wanted to write for some time, but recent incidents triggered my final decision. For some time, I am thinking about the immigration issues. I've started to have an impression that many Latinos have some unreasonable feeling that Spain has to let them stay because Spain did something horrible to them in the past and that they have rights to make comments about the Spanish politics (or European one, in general). Spain is a member of the EU, thus it has to coordinate its immigration politics with the rest of Europe. I know that these people won't probably move to Germany or France, as they don't (and won't) speak the language, and that's why the other European countries keep quiet about this influx. If I hadn't faced some arrogance towards people from the north of Europe, who have a real right to live here because of all the treaties that Spain signed as the EU member, I wouldn't write this. But because we are just guiris for you, read something about the European law and shut up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A quote worth reading

Concerning the dating business: "If you can not find someone better than or equal to yourself, it is better to travel alone than journey with a fool." Thanks, Dub! from MySpace.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Private: My Secret Lover

The next big thing, trust me.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quite shocking

A new study by medical researchers has caused consternation among public health professionals by suggesting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, being overweight might actually be beneficial for health, The Independent reports. The study, published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, runs counter to almost all other advice to consumers by saying that carrying a little extra flab – though not too much – might help people to live longer.
Does it mean that all my starvation and pescado y ensalada con ensalada was just a waste of time? LOL.
(No way, the Hedi Slimanesque 31" black pants are totally worth it).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

MIT vs. Gehry

MIT sues renowned architect Frank Gehry for alleged flaws in unusual building. I hope MIT wins. The l'art pour l'art style of Gehry is monotonous and tiresome. Lately, he is trying his hardest
to leave me unimpressed.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Recognizing the Saints

The last movie that left me feeling totally sick was Requiem for a Dream. Today, I've had the very same nausea while watching A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. It's a story of a guy growing up in a desperate neighbourhood of Astoria, Queens and finally leaving all the horrors but also his loved ones behind and moving to the West Coast. The performances were stellar and the storytelling almost surreal, even though it's based on Dito Montiel's autobiography. Highly recommended.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Maulik Pancholy

I love this season of Weeds. All the characters are so well written, including this out-of-the-closet future father:


Today, my boss has made something super smart, so I told him: "That was a pure MacGyverism!" The girls in my lab looked at me with curiosity and asked me who was that person I just mentioned. I said: "You know the one who was able to make a nuclear bomb out of the box of sugar cubes and half a bottle of bleach." And they said: "Oh, you mean [Mak Giber]!" Yes, that's exactly who I meant.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For Kids, By Kids

Gap Inc. has been caught in a child labor scandal as Dan McDougall's reports in The Observer: Jivaj, who is from West Bengal and looks around 12, told The Observer that some of the boys in the sweatshop had been badly beaten. 'Our hours are hard and violence is used against us if we don't work hard enough. This is a big order for abroad, they keep telling us that. 'Last week, we spent four days working from dawn until about one o'clock in the morning the following day. I was so tired I felt sick,' he whispers, tears streaming down his face. 'If any of us cried we were hit with a rubber pipe. Some of the boys had oily cloths stuffed in our mouths as punishment.'
Living and shopping in Spain, I am keeping in mind that "50% of the products Zara sells are manufactured in Spain, 26% in the rest of Europe, and ONLY 24% in Asian countries and the rest of the world."

Monday, October 29, 2007


John Siracusa reviews MacOS 10.5 at the Ars Technica. This may as well be the only review that matters.
Summary: John hates the GUI visual "improvements" and likes the internals. For me, that's a good thing, as the makeup can change or be wiped off later but the guts must stay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007


The South Park show continues its 11th season with a second part of the Imaginationland trilogy. The Imaginationland is invaded by some terrorists that broke the barrier between the good part, inhabited by creatures like Luke Skywalker, Zeus and Popeye, and the bad, bad part, the home of Freddy Kruger, a Xenomorph and many others. Watching the first two episodes, I had the feeling that it might be a parody of the current US politics with the "monsters from the other side" (but from the SAME land) being the good, patriotic citizens who went berserk after 9/11. Consider this: Strawberry Shortcake is captured by the monsters that want to question her when The Woodland Critters appear with the cruellest ideas. These cute little squirrels, raccoons and porcupines reminded me the soccer mums with the "Support our troops" bumper stickers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

ADN (again)

The ADN newspaper is reporting the surprising victory of Kimi Raikkonen on four pages today. That's fine with me, the only problem I have with this is that his last name is Räikkönen. It will not surprise me if these ignorants spell his name next time as Rayconen to castellanized him even more.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hard Rain

Today, I have visited my favourite Real Jardín Botánico again and I took a walk through their olive trees collection when I discovered an open air exhibition of the Hard Rain Project, a series of disturbing pictures taken by Mark Edwards accompanied by Bob Dylan’s lyric written more than 40 years ago.
"Most of the photographs are from the personal archive of Edwards, who first had the idea of illustrating the apocalyptic imagery of the song when he was lost on the edge of Sahara Desert in 1969. He was rescued by a Tuareg nomad, who led him to safety, made a fire, then produced a cassette player and played the Dylan masterpiece. As the song unfolded, Mark Edwards was struck by the idea of illustrating each line with a photograph. In the years that followed, he took pictures of his travels through more than 150 countries. The resulting collection reinterprets Dylan’s classic song as a powerful commentary on climate change, environmental collapse and global poverty. It is an urgent appeal to world leaders – and all citizens – to act responsibly to sustain all of humanity, while also sustaining the planet. The pictures are displayed on a spectacular 40-metre outdoor canvas – the first reportage exhibition of its kind."
It's such a breathtaking piece of beauty!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I just finished a chirimoya fruit and started to dig Wikipedia for some details about this world wonder. The most interesting part for me as a biologist is the pollination mystery. "The flowers are hermaphroditic, but have a mechanism to avoid self pollination. The short-lived flowers open as female, then progress to a later, male stage in a matter of hours. This requires a separate pollinator that not only can collect the pollen from flowers in the male stage, but also deposit it in flowers in the female stage. It is acknowledged that there must be such a natural pollinator, and while so far studies of insects in the cherimoya's native region have been inconclusive, some form of beetle is suspected. For fruit production outside the cherimoya's native region, cultivators must either rely upon the wind to spread pollen in dense orchards or else pollinate flowers by hand. Complicating matters is the notoriously short lifespan of cherimoya pollen." Isn't it amazing?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fountains in Brno

Four moody pictures from my four-day stay in my hometown.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

La prima en W.N.

Every time I go out with El Pintor, we meet some celebrity! Yesterday, we met Silvia Pantoja, a singer and a sister-in-law of Isabel Pantoja, a controversial Spanish VIP, who was recently arrested during some anti-corruption investigation. I almost forgot that we saw Silvia singing during the 2007 Pride party in Madrid. Well, she is not the best singer in the world, but it's kind of funny to meet these people with El Pintor, because I never know who is he talking about so when I ask for some details, I can practice my castellano.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Do androids dream of electric sheep? I think they more dream of this. Probably also of this.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

You know...

that you've lived in Spain when... I found this Facebook group by accident and I cannot stop laughing. It's so hilarious and true! For example, Sammi Egan wrote at 1:31pm on August 17th, 2007 ... "when you automatically use Spanish words i.e. ayuntamiento, or ferreteria, and don't actually remember how to translate it back into English". It happened to me in France when I couldn't remember how they call "gambas" in English.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Languedoc 6.IX.-9.IX.

Figeac * Caussade * A little salad * Crema catalana?! * Toulouse * Place du Capitole * Saint-Sernin Basilica * Gégé * Gad * La Faim des Haricots ** Carcassonne * Montpellier * Pascal and Ethan * Place de la Comédie * Le Mex * Rugby game ** Croissants * Shopping at the Antigone District * Ricardo Bofill * Palavas-les-Flots * Les escargots ** Relax at the pool * Le Viaduc de Millau * Aurillac, McDonald's

Auvergne 3.IX.-5.IX.

Bastian and Marlene * Picon Bière ** Uncle Jean-Louis * Clermont-Ferrand * Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption de Clermont-Ferrand * Michelin * Crêperie * Le Puy-de-Dôme * La Truffade ** Seat Ibiza * The translator is sick * Salers * Les Bourriols * Le Pounti * Aunt Geneviève * Rugby boys * Steaks * Here is my crème brûlée! * Chez Lulu * Baptism

Monday, September 17, 2007

Paris 1.IX.-3.IX.

CDG Terminal 3 * RER Châtelet * Place d'Italie * Baldi * La Folie en Tête ** Michele * brunch in Le Loir dans la Théière * Place des Vosges * Beaubourg * The Studio * Promenade Plantée * Nono and Delphine * dinner in Le Plomb du Cantal ** rue Mouffetard * Panthéon * Where is my crème brûlée? * Institut du Monde Arabe * Jardin des Plantes * La Grande Mosquée * Florian, the translator * Gare de Lyon * Clermont-Ferrand

Sunday, September 16, 2007


When I was visiting Paris, a friend of mine offered me a bunch of cologne samples, but I took only the one of Le Male by Jean-Paul Gaultier. Yesterday, walking from a little "i-am-just-looking-i-am-not buying" trip I passed by a perfume store and I bought 212 Sexy Men by Carolina Herrera that I tried a couple of weeks ago and I liked it a lot. I got back home and looked at the internet what people thought about it and voilà, they were all saying it's a copy of Le Male! I don't think it's the case but it's a crazy world, indeed.


Kernel panic

Wednesday, September 12, 2007






Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sweet France, Proud Albion

Tomorrow I am off for two weeks. I will miss Madrid, but more importantly, I will see my old friends and also some new places.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Karaoke with the VIPs

OK, after clearing the air with El Pintor on Saturday (and declaring to be good friends), we hit the usual spot. But as he just told me on the Messenger, I apparently sang to some Spanish celebrity who was standing next to us at the bar. I really don't know whether he is really famous, but El Pintor swears he his. As a matter of fact, I don't even remember singing to him...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Devil You Don't Know

Yesterday when I was posting the happy video of Kylie and Jason from YouTube, I went through a couple of her solo works, too. My attention caught a video to "Better the Devil You Know", an example how much can be the lyrics disconnected from the picture and the music itself. The song lyrics is so shocking and frightening that even Nick Cave called it "one of pop music's most violent and distressing" and "when Kylie Minogue sings these words, there is an innocence to her that makes the horror of this chilling lyric all the more compelling".

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I was 14 years old back then and Jason was über hot (BTW: not my style now, but whatever). It's frikkin' 20 years ago! (In the meantime, Kylie became an icon, who would have guessed).

Monday, August 20, 2007


VarioLFR.E, Registration number 1596, Public Transportation Services in Brno, Purchased in December 2006
I particularly like the headlights, as they remind me of the eyes of a jumping spider, the one and only spider I can handle.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bargain hunter

I know I should be ashamed of myself for such a shallowness and consumerism, but it kinda made me happy to get a €40 Benetton pink shirt for €9 and €90 T2[in] shoes for €30.
BTW, today I have discovered an amazingly delicious drink they sell in EROSKI as their own brand. Called Té Verde, it contains juices of maracuja, lime and apple and a green tea extract. I have to admit that I really love that store.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Pumped-storage hydroelectric plant Dlouhé Stráně underwent a asphalt surface reconstruction and is being filled with water again. Elected a No.1 "wonder" of the Czech Republic in 2005, it's one of the biggest plants of its kind in Europe.

The Metro's World of Gossips

The only free newspaper that is published in Madrid in August is Metro. The next-to-last page is specially designed for tourists, because it's entirely in English. One can find a gossip column that I find incredibly funny. Today they published a little note about Britney Spears as she is being put on the covers of all U.S. gossip magazines because of her continuous troubles with raising her kids. The Star magazine published a headline: "Britney to her kids: You were both mistakes!". Now a little excerpt from that Metro article: "We don't see what the big damn deal is. If we had a nickel for every time our parents called us mistakes, we would have enough money to buy Britney's babies and raise them as our own. Girlfriend needs money for mojitos." Brilliant.
UPDATE (five hours and dos cafés after): Now I don't think that this particular one was so entertaining anymore. Oh, those desperate mornings... Anyways...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where is my mind?

Walking from the RENFE station at the Autónoma, on one of the benches I saw a canister with some red liquid, resembling kalimotxo. I thought: 'Oh my, it must have been some mini botellón'. Close to the canister, there was some yellow plastic string, but I didn't pay enough attention what kind it was. A little bit further down my way, voilà, there was another still life, absolutely identical, a canister with red liquid and a yellow string. I thought: 'C'mon, this is completely ridiculous, what was happening here?' and then, all of a sudden, I saw a guy with a string trimmer.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The first four episodes of the third season of Weeds leaked on the internet. While still unreleased on Showtime, they are surprisingly in a DVD quality. Thou shalt not steal.


Today at 9:47am, Spain was hit by an earthquake of a 5.1 magnitude with the epicentre in Ciudad Real. Apparently, it was noticed around the whole country, Madrid included. Fortunately, I was sleeping deeply at that moment. Sometimes it's not such a bad idea to go for a couple of drinks, particularly with El Pintor, who, by the way, looks more and more like Jesus.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacances françaises

Yesterday, I bought airplane tickets for my trip to France in September. I can't wait to see all my friends there. Moreover, I will be travelling with Stephanienounette! Alegría total.
UPDATE: To get myself into the French mood, we went to see "Ratatouille" yesterday. C'est magnifique!