2019: The Review

2019 was not a great year, needless to say, although much better than 2017. 2019 no era el mejor año, tengo que decir, aunque era mucho mejor que 2017. 

There were some good points, like the trips I took with my boyfriend. Together, we went to Madison/Milwaukee, Indiana Dunes, Peoria, Colorado, Ohio, Kickapoo and Chicago twice. I introduced him to the characters of Sunnydale on Buffy Cazavampiros and revisited the town of Twin Peaks. Tenía sus momentos buenos, como los viajes que hice con mi chico. Fuimos a Madison/Milwaukee, Indiana Dunes, Peoria, Colorado, Ohio y Kickapoo y también a Chicago dos veces. Le presenté al mundo de Sunnydale en Buffy the Vampire Slayer y volvemos al pueblo de Twin Peaks.

Outside of that, grad school dominated my entire life, and all the hard work didn’t amount to anything as I wasn’t accepted into the Ph.D. However, the fact that I can’t really name anything I did in 2019 outside of grad school has me questioning whether I want to even remain in academia in the first place. Fuera de eso, el máster dominó mi vida entera. Y después, todo el trabajo duro que hice no tenía ningún premio como no me acepataron al programa del doctorado. Sin embargo, el hecho que no me puedo acordar de nada que hice en 2019 fuera del máster es una razón para cuestionar si quiero seguir en el mundo de academia. 

May 2020 be better. Que 2020 sea mejor. 

Setmeravelles’ Brightside Awards for 2019:
Best Artist: Mariah Carey
Entertainer of the Year: Mariah Carey
Best Movie: Dolor y Gloria
Best Actor: Antonio Banderas, Dolor y Gloria
Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, Dolor y Gloria
Best Supporting Actor: Asier Etxeandia, Dolor y Gloria
Best Supporting Actress: Julieta Serrano, Dolor y Gloria
Best Director: Pedro Almodóvar, Dolor y Gloria
Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Best TV Series, Drama: Jane the Virgin
Best Retro TV Series: Scandal
Best Rewatch: Twin Peaks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends (tie)
Best TV Actor: Billy Porter (Pray Tell), Pose
Best TV Actress: (Tie) Nicole Kidman (Celeste Wright), Big Little Lies; Catherine O’Hara (Maura Rose), Schitt’s Creek
Best Supporting Actor: Jaime Camil (Rogelio de la Vega), Jane the Virgin
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern (Renata Klein), Big Little Lies
Worst Acting: Maura West (Ave Jerome), General Hospital

Best Series Finale: Jane the Virgin
Best Theatre Performance: Cruel Intentions the Musical Tour, Chicago.
Best Discovered Artist: DVICIO
Best Male Artist: Eli Lieb
Best Female Artist: Mariah Carey
Best Group: DVICIO
Worst Artist:  Beyonce
Best Single: (tie) If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes and Truth Hurts by Lizzo.
Best Song: Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons
Album of the Year: Gallery by A R I Z O N A

I always do these memes, since 2003 (and the awards started in 1997) to commemorate the end of the year. Siempre hago estes memes, desde 2003 (y los premios empezaron en 1997) para marcar el final del año. 

The first, the places I slept in 2019/ los sitios donde dormí en 2019: Louisville, Kentucky; Urbana, Illinois; Champaign, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Salina, Kansas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Longmont, Colorado; Cheyenne, Wisconsin; Grand Island, Nebraska; Coralville, Iowa; Sandusky, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio.

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?:  Grad school.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?: Outside the travel ones, no. And yes. To come soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?: A few friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?: I can’t remember. Is that bad? My memory isn’t good right now.

5. What countries did you visit?: Only US 😥

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?: A golden retriever and a Democrat president.

7. What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?: July 5-15

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?: Being alive after that semester.

9. What was your biggest failure?: Grad school Ph.D application

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Depression and anxiety.

11. What was the best thing you bought?: Travel.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Everyone who resisted.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?: Donald Trump and his supporters. (keeping from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Scary!)  At this point, if you support him, you support bigotry and everything the US stands for. If you’re a conversative who is also appalled, though, I still respect you even if I disagree with you. I do not respect Trump and his minions. Keeping from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019. I will keep Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera, Mariano Rajoy, and all of VOX and their supporters.

14. Where did most of your money go?: Travel, café con leche, books (kept from 2015 and 2016) (and 2017) (and 2018)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?: Colorado trip.

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?: ¿Qué Tal? by Alejandro Santamaría, Bad Liar by Imagine Dragons

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Sadder
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter 😦
iii. richer or poorer? About the same but more in debt so fml.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?: Writing, travelling.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Dealing with anxiety.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?: I spent it with my mom in the States.

21. How will you be spending New Years? Eating grapes at 5 PM Central Standard Time, which is midnight in most of the Iberian peninsula.

22. Did you fall in love in 2019?: I’d say we’re there.

24. What was your favorite TV program?:Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Pose, Schitt’s Creek.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?: Reply hazy.

26. What was the best book you read?: Good question! I read so many that they’re all a haze right now.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?: DVCIO

28. What did you want and get?: Coffee.

29. What did you want and not get?: A golden retriever, stability.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?: Dolor y gloria.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?: 38, worked on final papers before meeting up with my boyfriend for dinner.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?:  The impeachment of Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell for President Pelosi to happen, plus you know, all the hard work I put into grad school having a payoff.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?: Preppy-casual

34. What kept you sane?: My boyfriend, Netflix, travel, and Jordi (my iPod).

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?: David Villa, Mario Casas, Justin Baldoni (Rafa on Jane the Virgin) (Pretty much the same!)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?: Anyone who has been offended by Donald Trump, please raise your hand. I see everyone raising their hands. Enough said. (Kept from 2016, 2017 and 2018).

37. Who did you miss?: Fallon Fey, my golden retriever, and Spain (kept from 2019)

38. Who was the best new person you met?: I guess the new grad students.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019: Academia is not a meritocracy.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch” and also see the song “Problems” by A R I Z O N A.



Catching up. Otoño 2019 y el futuro.

It’s been a rough semester with a rough ending (I deleted the last entry, if you saw it). Ha sido un semestre duro con un final bastante infeliz (eliminé la última entrada en caso que la viste.) 

While I have a bit of time over break, I’m going to try and get caught up on entries (not that I had time to do a lot this semester). I had weeks where I was assigned 1000 pages of reading on top of essays and/or presentations, and it’s amazing I came out of it alive. Mientras tengo un poco de tiempo disponible durante las vacaciones invernales, voy a intentar actualizar el blog (aunque no tenía el tiempo para hacer mucho este semestre). Había semanas cuando tuve que leer 1000 páginas más de ensayos y/o presentaciones, y no sé como he sobrevivido. 

However, all the hard work did not pay off, as I was not accepted into the Ph.D program. It could be for a million reasons not related to me, or it could be I’m not good enough too. No obstante, el trabajo duro no tuvo ningún premio, como no me aceptaron al programa del doctorado. Puede ser dado una de un millón de razones lejanas de mi, o puede ser que no soy suficiente bueno para el programa. 

It’s put a major damper on the holiday seasons, and I’m just now beginning to pull myself out of it. I’m not sure where I’ll go from here. I am still awaiting word from Uni of Chicago and Uni of Colorado-Boulder, but if those don’t work out? What then? Try again next application cycle? Go back to the shit job in Spain that I outgrew? Try to get my novels to sell or this blog to get big enough to make money? Ha arruinado las navidades, y solo ahora estoy empezando a levantarme desde el bajón. No sé que voy a hacer ahora. Todavía estoy esperando noticias de las universidades de Chicago y Colorado-Boulder, pero ¿si también me dicen no? ¿Qué voy a hacer? Puedo intentar otra vez el año que viene, o volver al trabajo de mierda en España que ya sobrepasé hace mucho, o intentar vender mis novelas o intentar monetizar este blog. 

The things I keep coming back to when thinking what I love: writing, travel, Spain, hiking, dogs. Can I make a career out of that? Cuando pienso en las cosas que me encantan, siempre vuelvo a las mismas: escribir, viajar, España, senderismo, perros. ¿Hay un trabajo así? 

What did I learn this semester? A lot about natural disasters in colonial Latin America, the ins and outs of queer theory and rhizomes, and something about alienation in Spanish literature. I also learned that no matter what level my writing may be, it will never be good enough for academia.  Bueno…¿qué he aprendido este semestre? Bastante sobre los desastres naturales durante colonialismo, todo sobre teoría queer y rizomas, y algo sobre la alienación en la literatura española. También aprendí que no importa que nivel de escritura que tengo, nunca será suficiente para academia. 

With all this reading, writing and presenting for classwork that apparently wasn’t good enough, I somehow missed the entire fall season. I know the leaves turned, and it snowed on Halloween (yet it’s 20 degrees Celsius for Christmas). Thanksgiving was a bust I don’t wish to remember, and Christmas this year wasn’t much better due to the bad news. Con todo esta lectura, escritura y presentaciones para los deberes de mis clases que no era suficiente, perdí todo el otoño. Sé que las hojas cambiaron de color, y nevó en Halloween (y hace 20 grados para Navidad). No quiero acordarme del Día de Acción de Gracias como si fuera el narrador del Quijote pensando en su pueblo de la Mancha, y lo pasé muy mal en las navidades dado a las noticias malas. 

I did get ONE hiking trip in to enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage. I hope to get an entry about Kickapoo up soon, as well as my trip to Ohio to see my childhood friends. I also hope to get an entry about 2019 in review with my rewards and such as usual, plus my upcoming trip to Chicago next week to see The Phantom of the Opera for the fifth time. Solo tenía tiempo para una ruta para disfrutar del follaje bonito del otoño, y espero escribir una entrada sobre Kickapoo pronto. También quiero escribir una sobre mi viaje a Ohio para ver mis amigos de mi infancia. También espero hacer una sobre 2019 con mis premios y tal como siempre, y también una sobre mi viaje a Chicago la semana que viene para ver El fantasma de la Opera para la quinta vez. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, and the next few months are going to be rough, but everyone says when a door closes, a window opens. They also say if you want to make God laugh, tell Him (or Her) your plans. No sé que voy a pasar en el futuro, y los próximos meses también van a ser duros, pero todos dicen cuando una puerta cierra, una ventana abre. También se dice que si quieres hacer a Dios reír, dile sus planes. 


The belated 38th anniversary post.

It’s that time of year again, when the writer of Setmeravelles, Pablo, celebrates his birthday (12-12). To celebrate the renewal and the beginning of the 38th season of The Pablo Show, we at Setmeravelles have decided to once again publish an exclusive interview. We apologise for the tardiness and for having disappeared. Ya toca esta parte del año otra vez, cuando el escritor de Setmeravelles, Pablo, cumple años (el día 12 de 12). Para celebrar la prorroga y el inicio de la 37ª temporada del Show de Pablo, nosotros de Setmeravelles vamos a publicar una vez más una entrevista exclusiva. Perdón por el retraso y también por haber desaparecido estos últimos meses.

Setmeravelles: ¡Hola!
Pablo: ¡Hola!

Setmeravelles: First, let’s just congratulate you on getting renewed for a 38th season. Primero, enhorabuena para ser renovado para una 38ª temporada.
Pablo: Thanks, muchas gracias, moltes gràcies, eskerrik asko, muitas grazas, muito obrigado.

Setmeravelles: So during your 37th season, you spent it reading, writing and researching Spanish Literatures and Cultures. Anything you care to share with us? Parece que durante tu trigésima séptima temporada, lo pasaste leyendo, escribiendo y investigando Literaturas y culturas en lengua española. ¿Quieres compartir algo sobre ello?
Pablo: The hegemonic discourse has lead to the dissolution of the subaltern provoked by the colonial structure of power/knowledge as defined by Foucault. El discurso hegemónico nos ha llevado a la disolución del subalterno provocado por la estructura de colonialismo de power/knowledge como definido por Foucault. 

Setmeravelles: What? ¿Cómo? 
Pablo: Yes, Franco was an asshole, but he was just part of a long stem of Iberian assholes–as we must include the Portuguese here–dating back to the conquistadores. Pues sí, Franco era un hijo de puto, pero era un hijo de puta de una historia larga de hijos de putas ibéricos–como hay que incluir los portugueses aquí–desde la época de los conquistadores. 

Setmeravelles: Oh.
Pablo: Let’s talk about other things as I literally just finished editing my last final paper on Krámpack in which I managed to discuss the Catalán problem and the last thing I want to remember is how I spent the entire fall with being assigned 700-1000 pages of reading every week on top of essays, presentations, M.A. research paper proposals, Ph.D applications and teaching Spanish six hours a week to undergrads. Prefiero hablar de otras cosas como literalmente acabo de terminar de editar mi último ensayo final, sobre Krámpack, y he metido el problema de Catalunya, y la última cosa que me apetece acordar es como pasé todo el otoño con lecturas de 700-1000 páginas cada semana encima de los ensayos, presentaciones, propuestas de trabajo del proyecto del máster, solicitudes de doctorado y enseñar español a los subgraduados para seis horas semanales. 

Setmeravelles: Yeah, sounds like we need to discuss lighter topics.  So how was the travelling situation this year? Pues sí, me parece que tenemos que hablar de temas más ligeras. Entonces, ¿qué tal el viajar este año? 
Pablo: Well, obviously not as great as when the show took place in Spain, but I did get to visit Milwaukee and Madison last spring and a road trip out to Colorado last summer where I conquered my first 3000 metre mountain, Twin Sisters. Pues, obviamente no tan bueno como antes cuando el programa tenía lugar en España. Aún así tenía la oportunidad para visitar Milwaukee y Madison la primavera pasada y tomé un viaje de coche a Colorado el verano pasado donde conquisté mi primer 3000 (monte de 3000 metros de altura). 

Setmeravelles: I see you still use the metric system. Veo que sigues usando el sistema métrico. 
Pablo: And Celsius! ¡Y Celsius!

Setmeravelles: Good for you. Now, one change during the 37th season was being in a relationship. How’s that going? Haces bien. Bueno, un cambio durante esta temporada fue tu relación. ¿Qué tal?
Pablo: Great! We’ll be celebrating our 15th-month anniversary in January with a trip to Chicago and tickets to Phantom of the Opera and a Spanish restaurant that is so authentic that the wifi does not work. ¡Genial! Vamos a celebrar 15 meses en enero con un viaje a Chicago. Tenemos entradas para ver El Fantasma de la Opera y iremos a un restaurante español que es tan auténtico que el wifi no va. 

Setmeravelles: That is authentic! Pues sí. ¡Muy auténtico!
Pablo: I know! ¡Ya lo sé! 

Setmeravelles: Since you’ve been quiet recently, did you manage to do ANYTHING this autumn, or were you at coffee shops doing all that reading and writing? Como no has escrito nada últimamente, ¿has podido hacer alguna cosa este otoño, o estabas en las cafeterías haciendo todas las lecturas y deberes? 
Pablo: I did make it to Kickapoo State Park for a short hike, and then I had a getaway to Ohio to visit my friends in mi pueblo. Other than that, I drank a lot of coffee to keep up with all the work. Pues he ido al parque estatal Kickapoo para una ruta cortita, y después fui a Ohio para ver a mis amigos de mi pueblo. Fuera de eso, sí, he bebido mucho café para poder hacer todo. 

Setmeravelles: So anything planned for the 38th season yet? ¿Algún plan para la trigésima octava temporada?
Pablo: Outside the Phantom in Chicago jaunt, nothing concrete yet. It all depends on Ph.D applications. Perhaps I can apply for a scholarship to study Catalan in Catalunya next summer, which would include either the Camino Catalán or Camino Aragonés. I also hope to do a quick getaway during Spring Break, although my M.A. Research paper is due that week. The big news is that after the summer travel, I plan on adopting a golden ‘triever rescue dog. Fuera a ver Fantasma en Chicago, nada concreto todavía. Todo depende en las solicitudes de doctorado. Quizás pueda solicitar una beca para estudiar catalán en Catalunya el próximo verano, y si es así, espero hacer o el Camino Catalán o el Camino Aragonés. También espero viajar a algún sitio durante las vacaciones de primavera, aunque tenga que entregar el trabajo de investigación del máster esta semana. Las buenas noticias son que después del viaje de verano, tengo pensado adoptar a un golden retriever. 

Setmeravelles: That sounds awesome! Anyway, congrats on your renewal for a 38th season. We hope all the best for you. ¡Genial! Pues, felicidades en la prorroga de una temporada más! Deseamos todo el mejor para ti. 
Pablo: Moltes gràcies xe.