2020 retos y esperanzas.

2020 has to be better than the last few months, right? Here are a few of my goals and hopes for the year. 2020 tiene que ser mejor que los últimos meses, ¿no? Algunos de mis retos y esperanzas para 2020 son los siguientes. 

  1. Figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. With the recent setback, I’m at a loss.  I’m waiting for word from the Unis of Chicago and Colorado-Boulder, and if that falls through…what then? How can I get paid for writing, reading, travelling, hiking, and playing with dogs? Hacer una decisión sobre el resto de mi vida. Con la complicación reciente, estoy perdido. Estoy esperando noticias de las Universidades de Chicago y Colorado-Boulder, y si me dicen no…¿qué? ¿Hay curro para escribir, leer, viajar, hacer senderismo y jugar con perros?
  2. Repeat from 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 etc. Come out to my mom. It has to be done. I’m pretty okay with being gay. It’s more about the potential fallout as my mom is getting old and doesn’t have a very open attitude about gays.. Repito de 2016, 2015…etc. Salir del amario a mi madre. Tengo que hacerlo. Estoy bien con ser gay. Es más de los efectos colaterales como mi madre está haciéndose mayor y no tiene una mente abierto sobre los gays. 
  3.  Continue work on a positive ascent out of the abysmal hole that depression and anxiety can take me. I started meditating in 2017, and I lost track of that in the summer. I plan to get back to it and try yoga for real (another repeat). Fun fact, I didn’t even change the wording from when I wrote it last year! LOL, and 2019 was even worse for this… Seguir trabajando en subir desde el abismo que es depresión y ansiedad. Empecé a mediar en 2017, aunque lo dejé durante el verano. Espero volver a ello e intentar yoga (otra repetición.) De hecho, no he cambiado nada desde cuando lo escribí el año pasado. Jaja, y 2019 fue peor para eso. 
  4. Return to the gym and get back to my Spain weight. The second half of 2019 was disaster for not only my mental health but also my physical health.. I would like to try yoga and some sort of CrossFit (but the latter requires money I don’t have). I hope to get back to Body Combat and Body Pump soon. Also give up soda again and less coffee. Volver al gimnasio y también a mi peso de cuando estaba en España. La segunda mitad de 2019 fue un desastre no solo para la salud mental sino también la salud física. Me gustaría probar yoga y algo parecido a CrossFit (aunque requiere dinero que no tengo). Espero volver a Body Combat y Body Pump pronto. También dejar refrescos otra vez y beber menos café. 
  5. Kept from 2018, as I did NOTHING in regards to this last year. Continue to submit my novels for publication.  I need to edit and get published or explore self-publication. I also want to get back into writing fiction. Desde 2018, como no hice nada en 2018 para lograr eso. Seguir enviando mis novelas para publicación. Ahora necesito editar y  publicar la primera o hacer auto-publicación. También quiero volver a escribir ficción. 
  6. Also kept from last year. Learn to cook and start to meal plan and eat healthy. Another I say every year. También desde el año pasado. Aprender a cocinar y empezar a planificar las comidas  y comer sano. Otro que digo todos los años. 
  7. Travel and hiking goals. I want to go to a lesser known National Park this summer. I want to think Camino Catalán or Aragonés but probably won’t have the money. Retos de viajar y senderismo: Quiero ir a un Parque Nacional menos conocido este verano. Me gustaría pensar en o el Camino Catalán o Aragonés pero no creo disponer de la pasta. 
  8. Try kayaking. On the list since 2015. Ummm. Might as well add rock climbing here too! Probar hacer piriguismo, en la lista desde 2015. Umm, bueno, voy a añadir escalar también. 
  9. Work toward being able to be a padre to a beautiful golden ‘triever dog.  Trabajar para poder adoptar un perro golden ‘triever y un piso para mi solo.  Quiero decir ahorrar dinero. 
  10. Visit Michigan, Green Bay, Minnesota and either Maine, Pacific Northwest or a Canadian Province I haven’t been to. Visitar Michigan, Green Bay, Minnesota y o Maine, el Noroeste Pácifico o una provincia canadiense que no conozco. 
  11. From 2017 still exploring. Explore a Buddist approach to Christianity. Related to meditation, nirvana, Zen. I think a few of these concepts work with my non denominational Christian upbringing. De 2017, todavía explorando. Explorar como puedo combinar budismo y cristianismo. Relacionado a meditación, nirvana, Zen. Creo que algunos de estos conceptos va bien con ser non denominacional. 
  12. I read 197 books in 2019. This year, my Goodreads challenge will be lowered to 101. I didn’t get any Dickens in this year, so I must change that. I also will read one new Unamuno, Hardy, and Shakespeare. Leí 197 libros en 2019.  Este año, el reto de Goodreads solo será 101 libros. No tenía tiempo para Dickens, y llevo años ahora sin leerlo. También leeré un nuevo Unamuno, Hardy,  Shakespeare.
  13. Keep a daily journal. Journaling helps (From 2018). Escribir en un diario todos los días. Tener un diario me ayuda. (De 2018)
  14. Less social media and internet, more socializing outside the computer, tablet and mobile. Menos redes sociales e internet, más socializar fuera el ordenador, tablet y móvil. 
  15. Make 2020 a memorable year. Hacer 2020 un año memorable. 

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. 

 

Another semester done. Otro semestre acabado.

It’s been so long I forgot where to go to actually start a new entry. And then a week later when I come in to finish it, I have forgotten how to find it. I’ve been on Google, and I think I’ve figured it out. I’m also writing on a new Mac so that could explain it. Hace tanto tiempo que se me olvido como empezar una entrada nueva, y una semana después, se me olvido donde están los borradores. Tenía que buscarlo en Google para escribir eso. También os escribo desde un Mac nuevo, ¡y eso puede ser la razón que no sé escribir en WordPress!

However, I am still alive, still kicking, and somehow have survived another semester. Sin embargo, sigo vivo y bien, y he sobrevivido otro semestre. 

This semester took me to Indianapolis to see my favourite singer, Mariah Carey, and to Chicago to see Cruel Intentions: The Musical, which was amazing. Este semestre, fui a Indianapolis para ver mi cantante favorita, Mariah Carey, y a Chicago para ver Cruel Intentions: The Musical, y era genial. 

I also went to Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my boyfriend. I love typing those words! También fui a Madison y Milwaukee, Wisconsin, con mi novio. ¡Como me encanta escribir esas palabras!

I read a lot and learned a lot about ecology/ecocriticism in Hispanic literature, empathy in Spanish (peninsular) literature and Brazilian film. Leí mucho y aprendí mucho sobre ecología/ecocriticismo en literatura hispana, empatía en literatura española/peninsularista/ y cine brasileño. 

Now that I have some time this summer, I’m ready to hit the trails and write here a bit more between research and TAing a summer course. I’ll have to write about the Wisconsin trip soon. Ahora que ya es verano y dispongo de más tiempo, estoy listo para ir a las sendas y escribir aquí más entre hacer investigación y enseñar un curso de español de verano. Ya escribo sobre el viaje a Wisconsin pronto. 

2019 retos y esperanzas.

2018 had me accomplishing a lot of LIFE goals, but not so much the yearly goals. Some will  repeat from last year. He logrado mucho en las metas de mi vida en 2018, pero las metas del año, no tanto. Algunos repito desde el año pasado.

  1. Repeat from 2017, 2016 and 2015 etc. Come out to my mom. It has to be done. I’m pretty okay with being gay. It’s more about the potential fallout as my mom is getting old and doesn’t have a very open attitude about gays.. Repito de 2016, 2015…etc. Salir del amario a mi madre. Tengo que hacerlo. Estoy bien con ser gay. Es más de los efectos colaterales como mi madre está haciéndose mayor y no tiene una mente abierto sobre los gays. 
  2.  Continue work on a positive ascent out of the abysmal hole that depression and anxiety can take me. I started meditating in 2017, and I lost track of that in the summer. I plan to get back to it and try yoga for real (another repeat). Fun fact, I didn’t even change the wording from when I wrote it last year! Seguir trabajando en subir desde el abismo que es depresión y ansiedad. Empecé a mediar en 2017, aunque lo dejé durante el verano. Espero volver a ello e intentar yoga (otra repetición.) De hecho, no he cambiado nada desde cuando lo escribí el año pasado.
  3. Continue with the gym. I’m back at the gym on a regular basis, I’m almost at my healthy weight again, and I’m loving it. I hope to go four days a week, three weights/cardio and one to Body Combat and Body Balance or yoga. I’m going to include “try yoga” in with this goal. I just copied and pasted this from 2016-17-18. I only need to change fat to muscle in 2018. Other than yoga, I want to try CrossFit or an equivalent. Seguir con el gimnasio. He vuelto al gym, casí estoy en el peso que debería estar, y me gusta ser así. Espero ir cuatro días la semana, tres para pesas y cardio y uno para Body Combat o Body Balance/yoga. Voy a incluir “probar yoga” con esta meta. Acabo de copiar y pegar esto de 2016, 2017 y 2018. Solo tengo que cambiar la grasa a musculo en 2018. Además de yoga, quiero probar Crossfit o algo equivalente. 
  4. I’ve managed to get into a great grad school. My professional goals are to get All A’s and develop a great application for the Ph.D. Ya estoy en un programa de máster DPM. Mis metas profesionales son lograr todas “A’s” (sobresalientes en EEUU) y desarrollar una buena solicitud para el programa del doctorado. 
  5. Kept from 2018, as I did NOTHING in regards to this last year. Continue to submit my novels for publication.  I need to edit and get published or explore self-publication. I also have plans for a e-book on SetMeravelles. Desde 2018, como no hice nada en 2018 para lograr eso. Seguir enviando mis novelas para publicación. Ahora necesito editar y  publicar la primera o hacer auto-publicación. También tengo planes para un e-book de Setmeravelles.
  6. Also kept from 2018. Learn to cook and start to meal plan and eat healthy. Another I say every year. También desde 2018. Aprender a cocinar y empezar a planificar las comidas  y comer sano. Otro que digo todos los años. 
  7. Travel and hiking goals. I want to go to a lesser known National Park this summer. Retos de viajar y senderismo: Quiero ir a un Parque Nacional menos conocido este verano. 
  8. Try kayaking. On the list since 2015. Ummm. Might as well add rock climbing here too! Probar hacer piriguismo, en la lista desde 2015. Umm, bueno, voy a añadir escalar también. 
  9. Work toward being able to be a padre to a beautiful golden ‘triever dog. This means saving. It won’t happen in 2019, but in 2020 for sure. Trabajar para poder adoptar un perro golden ‘triever y un piso para mi solo.  Quiero decir ahorrar dinero. No lo conseguiré en 2019, pero para 2020 seguramente. 
  10. Visit Milwaukee, St. Louis, Minnesota and Michigan. Visitar Milwaukee, San Luis, Minnesota y Michigan. 
  11. From 2017 still exploring. Explore a Buddist approach to Christianity. Related to meditation, nirvana, Zen. I think a few of these concepts work with my non denominational Christian upbringing. De 2018, todavía explorando. Explorar como puedo combinar budismo y cristianismo. Relacionado a meditación, nirvana, Zen. Creo que algunos de estos conceptos va bien con ser non denominacional. 
  12. I read 116 books in 2018. This year, my Goodreads challenge will be lowered to 50, due to grad school reading. I didn’t get any Dickens in this year, so I must change that. I also will read one new Unamuno, Hardy, Dickens and Shakespeare. Leí 116 libros en 2017. Ese año, mi reto de Goodreads bajará a 50, dado a toda la lectura del máster. También leeré un nuevo Unamuno, Hardy, Dickens y Shakespeare
  13. Keep a daily journal. Journaling helps (From 2018). Escribir en un diario todos los días. Tener un diario me ayuda. (De 2018)
  14. Less social media and internet, more socializing outside the computer, tablet and mobile. Menos redes sociales e internet, más socializar fuera el ordenador, tablet y móvil. 
  15. Make 2019 a memorable year. Hacer 2019 un año memorable. 

2018: The Review.

Life is a roller coaster with ups and downs. La vida es una montaña rusa, con las subidas y los bajones. 

I don’t think I could have a worse year than 2017. So much bad happened in my personal life, and I’m not even going to get into what was going on in the world. Being sent to a primary school in Asturias (that lead me to quitting the job), being fired from my summer job for defending my students, horrible living situations  that included me being taken advantage of financially and an attempted sexual assault and then the alcoholic insane flatmate… Creo que un año no puede ser peor que mi 2017. Había mucho mal en mi vida personal, y ni voy a empezar a hablar de lo que estaba pasando en el mundo. Me mandaron a una primaria en pueblo Asturias y dejé mi trabajo, me despidieron de mi trabajo temporal de verano porque defendí a mis alumnos, había situaciones de convevencia horribles, incluye un aprovechamiento de mi dinero, un intento de acoso sexual y después un compañero loco alcohólico….

How did I survive? ¿Cómo sobreviví?

The thing is I did. Pero sobreviví, sí. 

At the end of 2017, I somehow got my old job back and in València. I got out of the alcoholic insane flat in February. I saw Lady Gaga for the fourth time in Barcelona. I returned to London for the first time in 15 years, this time as a chaperone on a school trip. I made it to Cabo de Gata and Menorca. I visited Scandanavia for the first time, visiting Copenhagen in Denmark and Lund and Malmö in Sweden. I hiked to the top of Peñón de Ifach and the Ruta de 5000 escalones. I arrived to Santiago via the Caminos San Salvador and Primitivo. I also can say I stepped foot in all 50 provinces, finally having visited Zamora and OurenseAl finales de 2017, volví a mi trabajo de siempre y en València. Dejé el piso con el compañero loco alcohólico. Vi a Lady Gaga en directo por la 4ª vez en Barcelona. Volví a Londres por la primera vez desde hace 15 años, este vez como supervisor de un viaje del instituto. Fui a Cabo de Gata y Menorca. Visité Escandinavia por la primera vez cuando viajé a Copenhague en Dinamarca y Lund y Malmö en Suecia. Subí el Peñón de Ifac y hice la Ruta de 5000 escalones. Llegué a Santiago via los Caminos San Salvador y Primitivo. También puedo decir que he pisado las 50 provincias españolas porque por fin visité Zamora y Ourense

Those weren’t the only goals I achieved. I originally went to Spain for a year to improve my Spanish so I could do graduate work in Spanish. That year turned into 10. This year I was accepted into four of the six grad schools I applied to and settled on Illinois due to its reputation, location and funding package. I’m intensely busy (note the lack of updates during the semester), but I’m loving it. I also ended the semester with All A’s. No eran las únicas metas que logré cumplir este año. Fui a España con la intención de quedarme un año para mejorar mi castellano para después hacer un máster y doctorado en literatura hispánica. Me quedé 10. Este año, me aceptaron en el programa de máster de 4 universidades que solicité y decidí en Illinois por su reputación, ubicación y becas. Estoy más que liado (si fijas en la falta de entradas durante el semestre), pero me encanta. También saqué todos “A’s”, o equivalente a sobresalientes, 9s y 10s.

I’ve also been dating someone since September. I had all but given up on finding someone and meant to focus on grad school, but then I met a great guy. Tambíen llevo desde septiembre conociendo a un chico. Casi me rendí de encontrar a alguien y iba a enfocarme en el máster, pero después conocí a un tío genial. 

So while 2017 was the worst year ever, 2018 made a complete turn around. Even the Democrats took over the House! #Resist #PresidentaPelosiporfavor Entonces, aunque 2017 era el peor año de historia para mi, 2018 hizo una vuelta. Incluso los democratas ganaron la Cámara Baja (House of Representatives) #resist #presidentapelosiporfavor 

I hope 2019 continues with this upward swing. Espero que 2019 sea aún mejor.

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 2018/ los sitios donde dormí en 2018: Louisville, Kentucky; over the Atlantic (sobre el Atlántico), València, Barcelona, Tinença de Benifassà, London, Alicante, Almería, Cabo de Gata, Calpe, Copenhagen, Ciutadella (Menorca), Maó (Menorca), Zamora, León, La Robla, Poladura de Tercia, Campomanes, Mieres, Oviedo, Escamplero, Cornellana, Bodenaya, Campiello, Berducedo, Grandas de Salime, A Fonsagrada, Lugo, Friol, Sobrado dos Monxes, O Pedrouzo, Santiago de Compostela, Fisterra, A Coruña, Ourense, Urbana, Chicago

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?:  Grad school.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?: Some, and I always have goals for the New Year. The goals will come soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?: A former co-worker and a cousin.

4. Did anyone close to you die?: A friend from uni.

5. What countries did you visit?: Spain, United States, Denmark, Sweden, “Republic de Catalunya” *eyeroll*, Germany via the Frankfurt airport)

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?: A golden retriever and a Democrat president.

7. What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?: June 21 when I arrived to Santiago, first day of grad school, Sept. 3.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?: Starting grad school, arriving to Santiago, stepping foot in provinces #49 and 50.

9. What was your biggest failure?: Coming out, financial issues,.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Depression and anxiety, plus a weird stomach bug four times this summer.

11. What was the best thing you bought?: Plane/train/bus tickets 🙂

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Everyone who resisted.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?: Donald Trump and his supporters. (keeping from 2015 *and* 2016. 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 and 2017. I will also add 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).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?: Camino, Grad school, new Mariah and Gaga albums.

16. What song will always remind you of 2018?: Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same
iii. richer or poorer? If you want to know how badly I was paid in Spain, I make double as a grad student TA.

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

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Procrastinating, being afraid to be who I am, worrying.

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 6 PM Eastern Standard Time, which is midnight in most of the Iberian peninsula

22. Did you fall in love in 2018?: Infatuation. Too soon still.

24. What was your favorite TV program?:Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Merlí.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?: I’ve lost a lot of respect for a lot of people.

26. What was the best book you read?: Good question! The Rooster Bar by John Grisham, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity, Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman,

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?: Janelle Monáe, Years & Years, Robyn, George Ezra

28. What did you want and get?: Grad school and I’m seeing someone.

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

30. What was your favorite film of this year?: A Star Is Born, Love, Simon and Perfectos desconocidos.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?: 37, worked on final papers, had last class of semester, went to el chico’s office Christmas pizza party.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?:  Robert Mueller arresting certain people.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?: Preppy-casual

34. What kept you sane?: Jordi, my iPod, the Camino, hiking, books.

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

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 and 2017).

37. Who did you miss?: Fallon Fey, my golden retriever, and Spain.

38. Who was the best new person you met?: Jon.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018: Resist and persist.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

In all the good times I find myself
Longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself
I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now
Setmeravelles’ Brightside Awards for 2018:
Best Artist: Mariah Carey
Entertainer of the Year: Lady Gaga
Best Movie: A Star Is Born
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Best Actress: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Best Supporting Actor: Dani Roviera, Tai Mai: Rumbo a Vietnam
Best Supporting Actress: Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased
Best Director: Álex de la Iglesia, Perfectos desconocidos

Best TV Series, Comedy: Benvinguts a la Familia
Best TV Series, Drama: Jane the Virgin
Best Retro TV Series: Angel
Best TV Actor: Justin Baldoni (Rafael Solano), Jane the Virgin
Felicity Huffman Award for Best TV Actress: Gillian Anderson (Special Agent Dana Scully), The X-Files
Best Supporting Actor: Jaime Camil (Rogelio de la Vega), Jane the Virgin
Best Supporting Actress: Frances Conroy (Myrtle Snow), American Horror Story Apocalpyse
Best Special Guest Star: Connie Britton (Vivian), American Horror Story Apocalypse
Worst Acting: Roseanne Barr, Roseanne

Best Discovered Artist: Janelle Moráe
Best Male Artist: Eli Lieb
Best Female Artist: Mariah Carey
Best Group: The Killers
Best Video: Beautiful Trauma by P!nk
Worst Artist (tie) Beyonce, The Carters
Best Single: Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Best Song (tie): Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Sincerly Yours by Kylie Minogue, Rut by The Killers
Album of the Year: Caution by Mariah Carey

The 37th 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 37th season of The Pablo Show, we at Setmeravelles have decided to once again publish an exclusive interview. 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.

Setmeravelles: ¡Hola!
Pablo: ¡Hola!

Setmeravelles: First, let’s just congratulate you on getting renewed for a 37th season. Primero, enhorabuena para ser renovado para una 37ª temporada.
Pablo: Thanks, muchas gracias, moltes gràcies, eskerrik asko. 

Setmeravelles: I thought you were literature. Pensaba que eras de literatura. 
Pablo: I am, but I do like languages. Pues sí, pero me gustan los idiomas. 

Setmeravelles: Your 36th season brought a lot of changes, mostly positive. You seem to be literally and figuratively in a completely different place than the year before. Había bastantes cambios durante la 37ª temporada, la mayoría eran positivos. Pareces ser literalmente y figurativamente en un lugar disnto del año pasado.
Pablo: I know, right? Ya lo sé. 

Setmeravelles: Let’s talk about some of the accomplisments. Hablamos de algunos de los éxitos.
Pablo: So many goals were met this year. I arrived to Santiago on foot via the Caminos San Salvador and Primitivo. I visited my 50th province and went to Menorca, Cabo de Gata, Denmark and Sweden. I went back to London and saw a performance at the Globe Theatre. I was accepted into grad school and about to finish my first semester of a M.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. He logrado tantas metas este año. Llegué a Santiago a pie por los Caminos San Salvador y Primitivo. Visité la 50ª provincia española y fui a Menorca, Cabo de Gata, Dinamarca y Suecia. Volví a Londres y vi una obra de teatro en el Teatro Globe. Me aceptó a un programa de máster y estoy a punto de terminar mi primer semestre del máster de Literaturas y culturas hispánicas. 

Setmeravelles: Congratulations! ¡Enhorabuena!
Pablo: I also…it might be a bit early to say this, but you know how we always talk about casting of my boyfriend? It looks like it might finally be happening. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse though, you kno? También…puede ser un poco pronto decir eso, pero…¿sabes como siempre hablamos del casting de mi novio? Creo que ya estamos en ello. No quiero decir nada antes de que sea oficial pero…

Setmeravelles: Interesting. Whenever you’re ready to give the details, please do. Interesante. Cuando estés listo para darnos más detales, lo harás, ¿no?
Pablo: Will do! ¡Lo haré!

Setmeravelles: Any interesting plans for travel? ¿Algún plan interesante para viajar?
Pablo: I’m sure I’ll cook something up interesting for spring break! I do have tickets for Mariah in March! I’m loving her new album “Caution”, available to spin on Spotify everywhere. Sorry for the promotion! Seguro que encontraré algo interesante para las vacaciones de primavera. Ya tengo entradas para ver Mariah en marzo. Me encanta su disco nuevo, “Caution”, ya disponible en Spotify. Perdona la promoción. 

Setmeravelles: No problem. I understand you’re busy, so we’ll let you go. No problema. Entiendo que estás liado con cosas, y te dejo en paz.
Pablo: Thanks, just finished my teaching portfolio and one of my final papers. I’ll update you again soon. Gracias, acabo de terminar mi portfolio de enseñanza y uno de mis trabajos finales. Ya te daré noticias pronto. 

Setmeravelles: To a great 38th season!
Pablo: Buen camino de la vida. 

I’m alive/Estoy vivo

It’s been a while. Hace un rato ¿eh?

Grad school has kept me busy. I’ve only been on one hike this autumn and haven’t had time to write about it. I also haven’t had time to write about a recent trip to Chicago where I was able to visit a Spanish restaurant. Estoy bastante liado con el programa del máster. Solo he hecho una ruta este otoño y ni he tenido el tiempo para escribir sobre ello. Tampoco he tenido el tiempo para escribir sobre mi viaje a Chicago cuando pude visitar un resturante español. Olé. 

While I love grad school and definitely prefer teaching Spanish to teaching English, I do miss choosing my reading and writing material. Aunque me encanta el programa de máster y prefiero mil veces más dar clases de castellano a dar clases de inglés, echo de menos poder elegir mis lecturas y escrituras. 

At the moment I’m busy working on two final research papers. One is about how gay Andalusian writer Eduardo Mendicutti captures the attempted coup d’etat in 1981 compared to how he captures the life of older gays in an Andalusian town in 2016, using his excellent Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera and his 2016 Furias divinas. The other is about Cuban masculinity presented in the 1993 Cuban film Fresa y chocolateEn este momento, estoy escribiendo dos trabajos finales. Uno se trata en como el escritor andaluz Eduardo Mendicutti captura el intento de golpe de estado en España en 1981 (23 F) comparado a su mirada de la vida en los gays mayores en un pueblo andaluz en 2016, usando su excelente Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera y su 2016 Furias divinas. El otro es sobre la representación de masculinidad cubana en la película cubana de 1993 Fresa y chocolate.

As soon as I finish these papers, I will update this with a few recent travels and share an essay I wrote on Barrio for class that we didn’t have to submit in the end. I also hope to do an introduction to Spanish film, as I’ve been dating someone since early September and introducing him to the wonders of Spanish cinema. En cuanto acabe los trabajos, os actualizaré con mis cuentos de viajes recientes y también compartiré con vosotros un ensayo que escribí sobre Barrio para clase que al final no tuvimos que entregar. También espero escribir una introducción a cine español. Llevo desde septiembre conociendo a un chico y enseñándole el mundo maravilloso del cine español. 

Stay tuned. A continuación. 

Yes, I am procrastinating on those papers with this entry. Pues sí, estoy procrastinando ahora mismo por escribir esta entrada xD. 

The dark side of Spain.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised. This entry, which will only be in English, discusses sexual assault and could be triggering. 

The date was 7 July 2016. The location was San Fermines in Pamplona.

A young woman was celebrating the popular Pamplona fiestas, known as the “Running of the Bulls” in the U.S. and had a bit too much to drink. She sat down on a bench and was approached by five men from Sevilla, including a member of the Guardia Civil police and an ex military servant. While promising they would help her, they took her to a hotel where they were denied a room for hours “para follar”. They later snuck into an apartment building. She was scared. They forced themselves upon her.

A few months ago, a group of Spanish judges determined that the case was only “sexual abuse”, not “rape”, because there were no weapons, which meant lighter sentences. In June, they were out on the streets, free. One already went into renew his passport.

Virtually every Spanish woman and most Spanish men have been extremely upset about the verdict.

I can’t speak for women, nor do I want to try. I want them to share their own stories and speak for themselves, and I will support them. However, I can speak from my own experiences as a gay man and what I have gone through. I don’t want to take away from the #MeToo movement, but to start a new conversation for gay men and what many of us experience from our own community (not to mention homophobia and discrimination.)

To me, “no means no”. At any point, if someone says no, the encounter should stop. Yet too many times, it somehow  gets interpreted to mean “continue.”

Machismo is alive and well, especially in the gay bars and on gay apps. If you don’t use a stall in the gay bar, it’s apparently consent. If you reply “hola”, it’s taken as consent to have pictures of someone’s genitalia sent to you, which, unfortunately,  is rampant all over the world. The understanding sexual assault course I had to do online prior to starting grad school states this is a form of sexual harassment, folks.)

Many times, I have felt pressured to go further than I wanted to, despite the fact I continually said no. There were no weapons, but I was still scared to say no. Those Spanish judges would consider it “abuse”, not “assault”. So many guys don’t understand the word “no”.

And then there was not one but two incidents in the past year with former flatmates.

One arrived drunk at 2 am, opened my bedroom door, climbed into my bed and started talking off my pyjamas, saying “Te voy a follar”. He suddenly had to use the toilet, and I barricaded the room shut with a chest. I slept with my hiking poles under my pillow for two weeks until I could leave.

Then the next one didn’t try physical force but emotional manipulation. He kept asking me to have sex with him, kept trying to get me drunk so I would say yes. I didn’t want that type of living situation, especially with him. Weeks of dealing with his alcoholism and persistence in trying to get me to sleep with him lead me to packing up in the middle of the night and leaving.

This played a part of the reason why I’m leaving Spain. If I can’t find a job where I can live in a safe place, free from this worry….

Of course, these things can and do happen in the U.S. too. The very first time I met another gay man in person, he coerced me into going much farther than I was ready to go, used my romantic feelings to manipulate me and informed me that “gay men never tell each other no.”

Consensual sex is a wonderful, fantastic thing between two willing adults. However, for many men, their own erection means the other person has automatically given consent.

I believe women. I also feel that sexual assault is much more prevalent in the gay community than we want to admit. Sexual assault in all forms needs to stop.

As for that woman who just wanted to have fun during San Fermines, #yosítecreo. The men deserved a tougher punishment. It was sexual assault, not abuse. She was NOT asking for it. For the record, the judges who reached this decision were all men.

Both the US and Spain can do better.