Just touching base

April 10, 2007 - Kilkenny, Ireland

A couple of weeks ago my Dad informed me that I did not receive a grant to be in Mumbai, India for ten months. This is not terribly disappointing until I think of all the time spent this past Fall pondering and dreaming on the proposal. It was that thing you pour yourself into because you see it as your last chance to do something so desired it became necessary. Since, it has become clear it was neither. With it no longer lingering in the realm of possibly/maybe, I feel a strange new sense of control over my future - for the first time there is no defined next step. Any current plans are as tentative and flexible as ever and realizing this freedom is a great consolation. That and Barcelona's sunshine.

While on her way to Belfast for a business trip, I met up with my Momma for a sunny Easter weekend in Kilkinney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilkenny). In tow she had a suitcase full of awesomeness, including American food and gum, my climbing shoes and music, and a terrific care package from Tinito/Bentina/Tina & Benito- thanks! For two days we walked around talking, eating, listening to music, and drinking so much that Sunday night / Monday morning had me repeatedly puking myself dry. This strange illness culminated with an accident in my pants (without underwear) while waiting for a bus to Dublin - thankfully Mom was there. I wonder if her son's uncontrollable bowels brought back any memories? Nothing like a wholesome Easter with Mom ;D

Last weekend I joined a very colorful climbing gym (http://climbat.com/index_.php) where some some of the nicest people in Barcelona hang out. Within thirty minutes I had two blisters and the sad realization that my body has become disappointingly weak. Afterward I toured through La Caixa ( http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/centros/caixaforumbcn_es.html) where a large exposition of photographer Lee Friedlander's got me reminiscing about America. Leaving a gallery of his work feels like ending an epic road trip through several states and decades.

Stories of the killings at Virginia Tech are all over Spanish papers and television - hopefully none of you have friends or family directly involved. Despite the heavy mood, I cannot help being anxious - Gretchen the Muench "moves to Europe" landing in Barcelona in just a few hours! Still not entirely sure what this means, but I'm terribly excited. The fireworks and marching band are ready.


"the best view ever"
"Hale o Elin"


April 17, 2007
thanks for the update. i'm still waiting for the photos! haha...
Auntie Mary:
April 17, 2007
Thanks, Hale. We DO want to know where you are (in all dimensions!) and you are so good about gettin' us there.
I'll be seeing Mama tonite at Churra's Grill to meet with fellow travelers and a U.S. guy who got us into interesting places and folks in Mexico. Which reminds me: I was there for my #70 B.D. -- and celebrated by going with Mike Bittinger and Kay Arnold to a tribute-to-Pink Floyd concert in a beautiful old Teatro in a city in Pueblo State. A Mexican rock band played, sang in English, video of "The Wall" playing on the stage back, light-show, etc. It was perfect! Wish youda been there.
Tia Maria
Oh yeah, India: if you get a chance (like, if it gets there) do go see "The Namesake." About immigrants from India to the U.S. It's a great film; amazing photography, music, acting, and sense-of-place. I thought about you a lot after seeing it; not even knowing to where you had applied for the Flbrt.
So now you're on to other ventures; although I cannot imagine anyone better qualified or deserving to have received that than you.
Kristen Cross:
April 19, 2007
Your friendly neighborhood wina (like wino but feminina) chiming in with a good natured chuck on the shoulder! So I went home to Austin last week. Saw some bluebonnets, visited my Grandma who isn't handling having her freedom stripped from her very well, and turned 25 without much fuss. Too bad they had to go memorialize my birthday with a massacre, I would have settled for balloons. On a more incredible and bizarre note my ever-weird father gave me pills to take "in-case-of-nuclear-warfare" and a bottle of wine. Apparently I'll be riding out the apocalypse taking iodine pills and swilling the finest Syrah.
Anyway, I wish I could come visit... looks like you'll have to keep traveling for at least a year so I can come help mop up the odds and ends summer of '08 ; )

love Kristen
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