The future of SetMeravelles

Just a quick hit to let everyone know my plans for the blog.

I’ll be posting primarily from Post. I’ll be cross-posting, but it’s so much easier to write there than use the WordPress Block Editor. To be able to write more, I may not be translating them into Spanish, as I want to spend time on my novels. I may translate them at a later date. We’ll see.

But the Camino entries are coming…poco a poco.


Retos y esperanzas para 2023

(Crossposted with Post).

I don’t do resolutions. I do goals and hopes.

2022 was a year of resting after the constant bad news since Dec 2019 (not being accepted into the Ph.D program at my M.A. institution, the COVID pandemic, then my mom dying). So after leaving the Ph.D program at a place that wasn’t a good fit in may, 2022 was a year of recovery, some of that back in Spain on the Caminos Aragonés and de Invierno.

What’s in store for 2023?

Here are my goals for 2022, in no particular order/Mis retos para 2022, no hay orden:

  1. Repeat from 2020, 2021, 2022: Figure out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Investigate transitioning to either translation or editing. Back to Spain? Teach high school Spanish? Somehow become a published writer? Go back to grad school at a different place? How can I get paid for writing, reading, travelling, hiking, and playing with dogs?Hacer una decisión sobre el resto de mi vida. Investigar como ser un traductor o un editor ¿Un regreso a España? ¿Ser profe de español en un instituto de secundaría? ¿Ser un escritor publicado? ¿Intentar otro programa del doctorado en una universidad diferente?¿Hay curro para escribir, leer, viajar, hacer senderismo y jugar con perros?Una repetitición de 2020 y 2021. 
  2. Repeat from 2022: With that end, I’m going to focus on writing. My goal is to write every day, starting after Día de los Reyes. I have three buzzing around in my head, and I need to resubmit my first one and edit the second and third. I also want to put together a Setmeravelles e-book of the Spanish provinces. I still need to write up about my Camino  Por eso, voy a enfocar en mi escritura mientras espero los resultados de los programas de doctorado. Mi reto es escribir todos los días, empezando el día después de Reyes. Tengo tres ideas flotando en la cabeza, y debo intentar otra vez mandar mi primera novela a un editorial y editar la segunda y tercera. También me gustaría hacer un e-book de Setmeravelles sobre las provincias españolas. Todavía tengo que escribir sobre el Camino. 
  3. Another repeat.Meditation is a complete loss. 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. Otra repetición. Meditar es una gran perdida. Seguir en la ascensión positiva del agujero de depresión y ansiedad. Empecé a meditar en el verano de 2017, y durante el verano, lo dejé y nunca volví a hacerlo. También, voy a probar yoga de verdad.
  4. Continue exercising. (Fully completed in 2022!/Hecho por completo en 2022!) To this end, I want to walk at least 7 km a day (10,000 steps according to my iPhone) and continue with my other weight and cardio. Doing it from home is a lot easier. Seguir haciendo ejercicio y incorporar yoga. También quiero caminar al menos 7 kilómetros al día (10.000 pasos según mi iPhone) y seguir con pesas y cardio. 
  5. Learn to cook more things 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. 
  6. Finish all the books on my bookshelf. (Hah!) I plan on reading to completion and re-reading several series this year, including The Dark Tower by Stephen King and the Sookie Stackhouse novels that inspired True Blood and rereading The Cat Who…series by Lilian Jackson Braun. The Champaign-Urbana library system is fantastic, and I get caught up in finding new books there while the books I own sit there waiting to be read. Also, a new-to-me Dickens, Hardy, Shakespeare, and Unamuno. Terminar todos los libros que tengo. Tengo pensando completar y leer de nuevo muchas series este año, incluyendo El torre oscuro de Stephen King y las novelas de Sookie Stackhouse que inspiró la serie True Blood y leer de nuevo los misterios de The Cat Who…de Lilian Jackson Braun. Hay un sistema genial de bibliotecas en Champaign-Urbana, y siempre encuentro algo nuevo para leer mientras las libros que ya me compré hace tiempo están allí sin leer. También, un nuevo libro para mi de Dickens, Hardy, Shakespeare y Unamuno.
  7. Go through all the stuff I brought back from my mom’s house in 2021 after she passed away and get rid of more stuff. I hope to have this project finished by the end of March. Organizar todo lo que llevé de la casa de mi madre en 2021 después de su muerte y tirar lo que no necesito. Espero terminar este proyecto antes del fin de marzo. 
  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. This one may finally happen this year: ADOPT A GOLDEN RETRIEVER. Puede pasar este año: ADOPTAR A UN GOLDEN RETRIEVER.
  10. Journal daily. I recently started trying to write in my old Livejournal, as writing by hand cramps it quickly. Escribir en un diario cada día. He empezado escribir en mi Livejournal antiguo, porque me duele la mano escribir por mano.
  11. A new hike at least once a month. I did make it to Spain for the Camino Aragonés and Camino de Invierno (but not Machu Picchu). Maybe 2023 will be Caminos Catalan and Vasco and Machu Picchu? I’d be lucky for one of those. Una ruta nueva al menos una vez al mes. En 2022, fui a España para hacer los Caminos Aragonés y de Invierno (pero no Machu Picchu). ¿Quizás 2023 será los Caminos Catalanes y Vascos Machu Picchu? Estaría afortunado hacer solo una de esas cosas este año. 
  12. Find a decent therapist or life coach. Encontrar un buen psicologo o life coach.
  13. Avoid Covid. Evitar Covid.

2022 in Review

(Crossposted with Post)

After 2021, 2022 had nowhere to go but up. My mom passed away on April 7th, 2021, so most of the year was spent grieving and dealing with her estate. While my mom was in the hospital, I mistakingly accepted a Ph.D offer from a school that would prove to be the wrong fit. I liked the other offer better, but I was worried my mom would have to go into assisted living and didn’t want to deal with figuring out how to get her a Canadian or UK visa so she could be near me. 

That meant 2022 was spent cleaning up the mistake of accepting that Ph.D offer. The school was in a red state, which meant they ignored white supremacist students and gaslit us about Covid. I made the decision late in Fall 2021 that I would leave after the spring semester, which I did. I loved my students and my classes (both the ones I taught and took), but the university was not a good fit. Plus, two of the professors who were specialists in what I wanted to research were retiring and being replaced with a Russian professor. And starting a Ph.D the year your mom dies was not a good idea.

I moved back to Illinois to live with my partner, and I am slowly recovering from that mistake and am about to start job hunting and working on my fiction and travel writing once again. I am considering re-applying to different Ph.D programs, but I fear my leaving the program I was in will mean automatic rejection anywhere.

This year was mostly travel, albeit travel safely (I still wear a KN95 mask inside any public space and keep up with Covid vaccine boosters.)

I stepped foot in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

I also travelled back home to Spain, where I lived in 2003 and again from 2008-2018 (and where I hope to move back to some day soon). I finally did the Camino Aragonés and also walked the Camino del Invierno, and I visited two new countries, Croatia (overrated: too touristy, and caters to tourists over their own citizens) and Montenegro (I loved it).

I’ll have another post soon with my goals and hopes for 2023. 

Here are my “Brightsides” award winners for the year.

Best Artist: Mariah Carey

Entertainer of the Year: Cast of Shameless

Best Movie:Madres Paralelas

Best Lead Actress, Movie: Penélope Cruz, (Janis) Madres paralelas, 

Best Lead Actor, Movie: Austin Butler (Elvis Presley), Elvis

Best Supporting Actress, Movie: Milena Smit (Ana), Madres paralelas

Best Supporting Actor, Movie: Pedro Pascal (Javi Guitierrez), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Director: Pedro Almodóvar, Madres paralelas

Best Series, Comedy: Abbott Elementary

Best Series, Drama: Cobra Kai,

Best Lead Actor, Comedy: Eugenio Derbez (Máximo Gallardo), Acapulco

Best Lead Actress, Comedy: Jean Smart (Deborah Vance) Hacks

Best Lead Actor, Drama: Carlos Cuevas (Pol Rubio), Merlí: Sapere Aude; 

Best Lead Actress, Drama: Rose Byrne (Sheila Rubin), Physical; 

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy: Deon Cole (Charlie Telphy), black-ish; 

Best Supporting Actor, Drama: Christopher Walken (Burt), Severance

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy: Sheryl Lee Ralph (Barbara Howard), Abbott Elementary; Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Sofia), Loot (tie)

Best Supporting Actress, Drama: Simona Tabasco (Lucia), The White Lotus: 

Best Use of Adam Scott in an Apple TV Series: Severance

Best Streamer: Apple TV+, 

Best General Hospital Actor or Actress: Kristina Wagner (Felicia Scorpio)

Worst Acting: Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos), General Hospital; Genie Frances (Lasha Collins), 

Best Series Finale:Claws; 

Retro Show: Shameless

Rewatch: Jane the Virgin 

Worst Artist: Kanye West

Best Female Artist: Mariah Carey

Best Male Artist: Álvaro Soler

Best Group: The Killers

Best Discovered Artist: Funambulista

Video of the Year: “Bring Back the Time” by New Kids on the Block f. En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley

Album of the Year: Special by Lizzo

Song of the Year: “Don’t You Worry” by Black Eyed Peas f. Shakira & David Guetta, 

Single of the Year: Big Energy Remix by Latto f. Mariah Carey; 

Lifetime Achievement Awards (One actor, actress and director from film, one actor and actress from TV, one female, male and group)

Film: Pedro Almodóvar, Carmen Maura, Ewan McGregor 
TV: Felicity Huffman, Tristian Rogers
Music: Mariah Carey, The Killers, Alex Ubago

I always do these memes, since 2003, to commemorate the end of the year. 

The first, the places I slept in 2022: Champaign, Illinois; Lincoln, Nebraska; Wall, South Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Moab, Utah; Eagle, Colorado; Pierre, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Winona, Minnesota; Toledo, Ohio; Milan, Ohio; Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain; Girona, Catalunya, Spain; Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain; Jaca, Aragón, Spain; Sta. Cruz de los Ceros, Aragón, Spain; Arrés, Aragón, Spain; Ruesta, Navarra, Spain; Sangüesa, Navarra, Spain; Monreal, Navarra, Spain; Puente de la Reina, Navarra, Spain; Irún, Euskadi, Spain; Ponferrada, León, Spain; Las Médulas, León, Spain; O Barco de Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain; A Rua de Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain; A Ponte, Galicia, Spain; Monforte de Lemos, Galicia, Spain; Chantada, Galicia, Spain; Rodeiro, Galicia, Spain; Lalín, Galicia, Spain; Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain; Burgos, Castilla León, Spain; Manresa, Catalunya, Spain; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; Zagreb, Croatia; Sitges, Catalunya, Spain; Peñíscola, País València, Spain; València, País València, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Ann Arbor, Michigan

1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?: Visit Croatia and Montenegro

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?: Some goals, most not really. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?: I don’t think so.

4. Did anyone close to you die?: My friend from uni, Gabriel. Plus Naomi Judd’s death was hard seeing how much The Judds were a part of my youth.

5. What countries did you visit?: US, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?: A golden retriever and no Covid worries. And a job and a writing career. 

7. What date from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?: Sept 12-when I went back to Spain.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?: The Caminos de Santiago walked. 

9. What was your biggest failure?: Quitting the Ph.D in May and being unemployed sense.

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

11. What was the best thing you bought?: Trip to Spain. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My boyfriend.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?: Donald Trump and his supporters. (keeping from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. Scary!) Adding ALL REPUBLICANS for 2021 and 2022. 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, 2020, 202, 2022. 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) (and 2019, 2020…)

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

16. What song will always remind you of 2022?: Bring Back the Time by NKOTB et al. 

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? Poorer.

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 and depression.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?: I spent it with my boyfriend and then a trip to Niagara.

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. Then movie with the boyfriend.

22. Did you fall in love in 2022?: I continued to be in love.

24. What was your favorite TV program?: Cobra Kai, Abbott Elementary for current ones. Shameless for best new to me show.

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

26. What was the best book you read?: 

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?: Dale Bozzio

28. What did you want and get?: A return to Spain. 

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

30. What was your favorite film of this year?: It’s actually from 2021, but Madres paralelas. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?: 41. Went for a walk along a local lake, had carry out.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?: No Covid.

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

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

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?: Not sure I even have a celeb crush at this point. 

36. What political issue stirred you the most?: The overturn of Roe v. Wade, the lack of protocols over Covid and how one party politicized a virus.

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

38. Who was the best new person you met?: I guess people on the Camino

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022: Don’t apply to a Ph.D in a red state.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: “I missed a lot of life, but I’ll recover” Petals by Mariah Carey (1999).

The 41st Season begins!

Every year on my birthday, I post an “interview” with myself. As today is my 41st birthday, it’s time to celebrate the renewal for Season 41. 

Interviewer: ¡Hola! It’s been a while, but we did want to congratulate you on your 41st season!

Setmeravelles: Thank you, gracias, gràcies, graças, eskerrik asko, obrigado.

Interviewer: I know you’re busy, so I’ll keep this short. Congrats again on making it to 41 seasons!

Setmeravelles: Thanks again.

Interviewer: We know one of your favourite pastimes is travel, and this year took you to a lot of cool places. The Badlands, Wall Drug, Sioux Falls, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah, Fargo, the Twin Cities and Winona Minnesota, back “home” to Spain to do the Caminos Aragonés and del Invierno, Croatia, and Duluth Minnesota. Which was your favourite?

Setmeravelles: Being back in Spain, obviously. Being able to take part on the Camino once again and spending time in a rincón of Spain I didn’t know so well (Galicia). I wish every day could be a Camino day. I also loved exploring Minnesota, a state I hadn’t been to since 1989 when I was just 7 years old. 

Interviewer: I hear Croatia was a disappointment?

Setmeravelles: Unfortunately–too touristy, I have zero interest in Games of Thrones, and I couldn’t get a real feel for the culture as everything was geared toward tourists. 

Interviewer: That’s a shame. In your personal life you left a Ph.D program. Care to expand on that?

Setmeravelles: Yeah, it wasn’t a good fit. Two of the professors were retiring only to be replaced with a Russian professor, the uni (not my department) gaslit everyone about Covid while condoning white supremacy, and the location was just not my cup of tea. I have no clue what I’m going to do now. Can’t I just walk the Camino and get paid?

Interviewer: If only! Maybe you’ll luck out and you’ll become a famous writer who can live off of that!

Setmeravelles: If only! I’m hoping to get back into writing–still have to write about the Camino, plus a lot of fiction rolling around in my head. Just been dealing with depression and haven’t been able to break out of this mode to write…or job hunt.

Interviewer: We wish you the best of luck with that. Any spoilers for the 41st season?

Setmeravelles: Other than a job hunt and writing, the only travel I have planned is a trip to Niagara between Christmas and New Years, and a possible trip to Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia this summer. It depends how Covid and the job hunt goes. I haven’t had Covid (knock on wood), am vaccinated and boosted and still masking and taking precautions, but seeing how no one else is…*sigh*

Interviewer: I know, right?

Setmeravelles: another sigh

Interviewer: Any last words?

Setmeravelles: Vote Blue no matter who! Also if you know anyone needing a Spanish-English or Catalan-English translator…

Interviewer: We’ll keep that in mind. Have a fantastic 41st season! 

Gauging interest

I have been going back and forth whether I should write up my recent experiences on the Caminos Aragonés and de Invierno. With the way blogs are dying, before putting in all the time and effort…is it worth it? Is there actual interest in reading about my life and continuing with this blog?

He estado pensando si vale la pena escribir sobre mis experiencias en los Caminos Aragonés y de Invierno. Cada vez más hay menos interés en los blogs. Antes de hacer el esfuerzo de hacerlo…¿merece la pena? ¿Hay interés de verdad en leer sobre mi vida y seguir con este blog?

Camino Plans 2022

I always quote Amores perros: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Siempre cito Amores perros: Si quieres hacer a Dios reírse, dile tus planes.

I am extremely aware that Covid and/or monkey pox can alter these plans, which is why I got a refundable flight. Sé muy bien que el Covid o la viruela de mono puede cambiar estes planes. Por eso, compré un vuelo reembosable.

If all goes well though, this is what my fall is shaping up to look like. Pero si todo va bien, mi otoño va a ser algo así.

On September 12, I’m flying from Chicago to Barcelona. After a few days of getting acclimated to the time change and to ensure I didn’t catch Covid on the plane (I’ll be wearing a N95 and I won’t be eating dinner, better safe than sorry), I’ll be starting out with a three day Camino Barcelonés, from Barcelona to Montserrat, to get a bit of extra practice in before my main plans. El día 12 de septiembre, tengo un vuelo desde Chicago hasta Barcelona. Después de unos días de aclimación al cambio de hora y para asegurarme de no haber cogido el Covid en el avión (voy a llevar una mascarilla N95, y no voy a cenar, mejor seguro que arrepentirlo), voy a empezar con un camino de tres días, el Camino Barcelonés, desde Barcelona hasta Montserrat, para tener unos días más de práctica antes de mi camino.

After finishing that, I’ll be heading to Jaca, where I’ll stay a couple of days. One day will include the first day of the Camino Aragonés, from Somport to Jaca. I am still debating whether to take a full day to enjoy the monasteries of San Juan de la Peña, or to stay at a hostal or pensión on the way back down. Then I’ll be hiking to Puente de la Reina. Después de eso, voy a Jaca, donde voy a quedarme unos días. Un día va a ser el primer día del Camino Aragonés, desde Somport hasta Jaca. Todavía no tengo claro si voy a tomar un día completo para disfrutar de los monasterios de San Juan de la Peña, o alojarme en un hostal o pensión por la bajada. Después, voy hasta Puente de la Reina.

Will I be continuing on the Camino Francés? Of course not. Long time followers know I’m an introvert and need my alone time, and the Camino Francés has too many people for me to cope. I’ll be heading from Puente de la Reina to Pamplona and on to Donostia-San Sebastián. Depending on the weather, I hope to walk a few days of the Camino Vasco from Irún to Vitoria-Gasteiz. I will make a detour to Bilbao somewhere in here. ¿Voy a seguir en el Camino Francés? ¡Qué va! Las personas que me conocen bien saben que soy muy introvertido y necesito mi tiempo solo, y había demasiada gente por el Camino Francés. Voy a ir desde Puente de la Reina hasta Pamplona y luego a Donostia-San Sebastián. Depende del tiempo, espero poder hacer unos días del Camino Vasco desde Irún hasta Vitoria-Gasteiz. Voy a hacer un desavío a Bilbao después.

I may throw out the Camino Barcelonés for the Camino Lebaniego, a short 3-day from San Vicente de la Barquera to Potes, or I may do a shorter Camino Vasco to get that one in. Igual hago un cambio del Camino Barcelonés por el Camino Lebaniego, una ruta corta de tres días desde San Vicente de la Barquera hasta Potes, o quizas un Camino Vasco más corto para poder hacer esta ruta.

After that, I’ll head back to Barcelona and on to Croatia (where I’ll probably go to Montenegro too), then back to Spain to visit my old home of Valencia. I’m also looking at a few days in Vienna and Munich, which I have never been to, or seeing places I haven’t visited in France or Italy or Andorra. Después de eso, vuelvo a Barcelona y luego a Croacía (y probablemente a Montenegro también), luego a España para visitar mi querida València. También estoy considerando pasar unos días en Vienna y Munich, dos ciudades que no conozco, o ir a sitios que no conozco en Francia, Italia o Andorra.

So many places, so little time, but as long as the Covid situation is not horrendous, I should be able to be back on the Camino this autumn! To be extra safe, I will be staying only in hostales or pensiones, just in case…with any luck, the latest booster for Covid BA 4/% will be out before my trip. Tantos sitios, poco tiempo, pero si la situación de Covid no es horrible, ¡con un poco de suerte vuelvo a estar en el Camino este otoño! Para tener aún más protección de Covid, solo me voy a alojar en hostales o pensiones, por si en caso. Y puede ser que tenga suerte y puedo hacerme el nuevo booster para el Covid BA.4/5.

Camino in Covid?

I am currently eyeing a Camino this autumn. Estoy pensando en hacer un Camino este otoño.

The Camino Aragonés begins at the French-Spanish border, in Somport, and ends at Puente de la Reina on the Camino Francés. The Pyrenees are beautiful at this time of year. El Camino aragonés empieza en la frontera entre Francia y España, en Somport, y termina en Puente de la Reina en el Camino Francés. El Pirineo es precioso en el otoño.

However, I have some concerns about a Camino during times of Covid. No obstante, tengo algunas dudas sobre hacer un Camino durante la pandemia de Covid.

I am triple vaxxed and continue to mask in public. Unless it was asymptomatic, I have not yet had Covid (knocking on wood). I have already decided I would be staying in pensiones and not albergues to have my own private room. I will also be wearing a N95 on the plane. Me he puesto las tres vacunas, y sigo llevando una mascarilla KN95 en público. Todavía no he tenido Covid (tocando madera), aunque pueda ser que lo tenía pero no tenía simptomias. Ya he decidido que voy a alojarme en las pensiones y no en los albergues para tener una habitación privada. También voy a llevar un N95 en el avión.

Still, I’m somewhat worried about eating in restaurants (with any luck, it’ll still be nice enough to sit on terrazas). My morning café con leche y tostada con tomate. Sin embargo, me preocupo de comer dentro de los restaurantes (con un poco de suerte, todavía habrá buen tiempo para poder comer en las terrazas). Estoy pensando ya en desayunar café con leche y tostada con tomate.

I’m also wondering–should I do a trip to Maccu Picchu instead? I would definitely do a guided hike to get a full Andes experience, and there is no time like the present. También estoy pensando si debería hacer un viaje a Macho Picchu en lugar a España? Me gustaría hacer una ruta guiada durante unos dies para poder experimentar más de los Andes, y no hay tiempo como el presente…

I am currently taking some time off to deal with the grief of my mom’s death last year and the death of my academic career, and Spain is calling my name–probably for a move back as things are no longer safe in the US unless you are a straight, white, cisgender Christian male. I may be white and cisgender, but I am gay, I am neurodivergent, and I am a Spanish speaking intellectual who has never voted for a Republican in his life. Ahora mismo estoy tomando un descanso para curarme de la pena de la muerte de mi madre el año pasado y la muerte de mi carrera como catadrático…España está llamándome–y problamente para un traslado, como no está seguro vivir en los EE.UU. si no eres un varón cristiano, cisgenéro, blanco y hetero. Sí, soy blanco y cisgenéro, pero soy gay, neurodivergente, y soy un hispanohablante quien nunca ha votado a un republicando en su vida…

I’m not sure how it’ll happen, but with any luck I’ll be moving back to Spain in 2023 and eventually find work as a translator. Until then…No sé como va a pasar, pero con un poco de suerte, voy a trasladarme a España de nuevo en 2023 y buscar empleo como un traductor…hasta entonces…

If anyone has any experiences/thoughts on doing the Camino during Covid and how to keep safe, please comment!

Also feel free to support me on Ko-fi/También me puedes apoyar en Ko-fi.

8 años de Setmeravelles

Today is the 8th anniversary of Setmeravelles. Un día tal como hoy hace 8 años empecé este blog de Setmeravelles.

I was really hoping to have more content ready for the summer, but while I’ve been travelling, I haven’t been much in the mood to write. I’ve been dealing with some depression and anxiety interfering with my desire to write. I’m also incredibly distracted by books, books and more books! Not having to required reading makes me want to read all the things I’ve missed during my failed year of the Ph.D. Estaba esperando tener más contenido listo para el verano, pero, aunque he estado viajando, no puedo encontrar a la musa de inspiración de escribir. Bueno, he estado sufriendo de unas rachas de depresión y ansiedad que me quitan las ganas de escribir. También estoy distraído por los libros. Libros, libros y más libros. Ahora que no me mandan cosas para leer, quiero leer todo lo que perdí durante mi año de fracaso como un estudiante de doctorado.

Hopefully that changes soon. Espero que cambie pronto.

I have also decided to start a Ko-fi. Immediate proceeds would go to buying more storage space on here so I can start uploading pictures again and making the blog pretty. También he decidido empezar un Ko-Fi para utilizar para comprar más espacio para poder subir fotos aquí de nuevo y hacer el blog más bonito.

The link is here. En enlace está aquí

New entries are coming…soon! Entradas nuevas…¡Próximamente!

Summer 2021/Verano 2021

This summer has been an incredibly hard one, after the death of my mother in April. I have been back and forth between preparing her house in Kentucky for sale and my place in Illinois, along with preparing for a student move to Nebraska where I will begin a Ph.D in Spanish Literature in the autumn. Este verano ha sido bastante difícil, después de la muerte de mi madre en abril. He hecho muchos viajes entre Kentucky, donde he tenido que preparar su casa para vender, e Illinois, donde resido yo. Además, estoy preparando para otra mudanza a Nebraska, donde voy a empezar un doctorado en literatura española en el otoño.

I did manage a short hike at Fort Knox to some waterfalls in May. Alas, hiking has been on the backburner even if my Apple app informs me I’m averaging at least 7 km a day of walking this year. Hice una ruta cortita en Fort Knox para ver una cascada en mayo, pero no he tenido mucho tiempo para hacer senderismo últimamente. Sin embargo, el app de Apple me informa que camino una media de 7 kilómetros al día este año.

The house has found a buyer, and as long as the inspection goes okay, the closing is early August. I had a lot of stuff to sort through. Ya hay alguien interesado en comprar la casa, y si la inspección va bien, acabamos con la vente en agosto. Tenía muchas cosas para limpiar y ordenar.

In early June, my boyfriend and I went to Lincoln, Nebraska, my future home, to check things out. The campus has a lot of fun stuff, and there are some beautiful lakes in the area. We also visited the capitol building and the famed Sunken Gardens in between my meetings with professors and the search for an apartment. En los primeros de junio, mi chico y yo fuimos a Lincoln, Nebraska, donde voy a vivir, para conocer la ciudad. Hay muchas cosas interesante por la univiersidad, y también unos lagos bonitos por la zona. También fuimos al capitolio y los famosos Sunken Gardens cuando no estaba en reuniones con profesores y la búsqueda de alojamiento.

Neither of us are trustworthy of other people. Despite both of us being fully vaccinated, we’re still wearing our masks everywhere and doing take out at restaurants. With the rise of the Delta variant, it’s probably a good idea. Ninguno de nosotros confiamos mucho en la gente. Aunque los dos estamos vacunados, todavía llevamos la mascarilla a todos los sitios y siempre pedimos la comida para llevar en los restaurantes. Ahora con el aumento de la variante Delta, creo que es una buena idea.

On the way to Lincoln, we stopped at Hannibal, Missouri, which is a quaint town best known as the hometown of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. We saw the haunted house and the lighthouse, along with a lot of places from the outside. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore. Por el camino a Lincoln, hicimos una parada en Hannibal, Misuri, un pueblo pintoresco conocido por ser el pueblo de Samuel Clemens, mejor conocido como Mark Twain. Vimos la casa encantada y el faro, y muchos sitios por afuera, como no disponíamos de mucho tiempo para explorar.

On the way back, we stopped at the famed Bridges of Madison County in Iowa and saw 4/6 bridges. Por la vuelta, hicimos una parada en los Puentes del Condado Madison en Iowa tan famosos. Vimos 4 de los 6 puentes.

Both stops broke up a long eight-hour road trip through lots of cornfields. Las paradas nos ayudó con el aburrimiento de un viaje largo de ocho horas por los campos de maíz.

In June, I also went up to my hometown in Ohio to give some of my mom’s stuff to friends, and I spread a few more of her ashes in Lake Erie. También en junio, fui a mi pueblo en Ohio para regalar algunas cosas de mi madre a amigos, y esparcí más cenizas por Lago Erie.

Next up is my actual holiday to Door County in Wisconsin. Próximamente es mis vacaciones verdaderas al Condado Door en Wisconsin.

At the moment, I don’t have space for photos en WordPress, but I am still uploading them on Instagram. If you aren’t following me already, it’s @setmeravelles. Actualmente, no tengo espacio para subir fotos en WordPress, pero sigo subiéndolas en Instagram. Si no me sigues allí, es @setmeravelles

Nos vemos pronto. El block editor de WordPress es una mierda y no sé hacer muchas cosas ahora 😦

How 2021 is going…

I’ve been on a social media and blogging break for the most part this year. 2021 has been tough, but it also has brought some good news. He estado tomando un descanso de las redes sociales y los blogs. 2021 ha sido duro hasta ahora, pero también me ha traído notícias buenas.

The tough part is that my mom has been in the hospital for a month, minus one week at my aunts between visits. It started with gallstones, then a parasite, and now kidney issues. Last week I had to make the trip believing she was on her last legs, but she is in the hospital recuperating very slowly. She is 76 though. La parte más dura de este año es que mi madre lleva un mes en el hospital, salvo una semana en la casa de mi tía entre visitas al hospital. Empezó con cálculos biliares, luego un parásito y ahora problemas con los riñones. La semana pasada tenía que hacer el viaje largo pensando en lo peor, pero ahora está en el hospital recuperando muy lentamente. Ya tiene 76 años. 

During all this, I was also waiting to hear back from grad schools for Spanish literature programs. In the end, I was accepted at Durham in the UK, McGill in Montreal and the Uni of Nebraska and am on the waiting list at Penn State. Durante todo eso, estaba esperando notícias de los programas de doctorado de literatura española. Al final, me han aceptado Durham en Inglaterra, McGill en Montreal y la Uni de Nebraska. Además, estoy en la lista de espera en Penn State. 

While I was nominated for a scholarship at Durham, moving to the UK is probably out of the question now with my mom in such precarious health. Montreal and Lincoln, NE are about equidistant from her (around a 13-hour drive). Montreal is farther from my boyfriend, however, and I’m also debating substitute teaching and working on my writing career so I don’t have to leave him and I would have more time to travel, hike and could adopt a golden ‘triever. Me han nominado para una beca en Durham, creo que ahora no es el momento para trasladarme al Reino Unido con la salud de mi madre tan irregular. Montreal y Lincoln, NE, están a unos 13 horas en coche de ella. Montreal está más lejos de mi chico, sin embargo, y por eso, también estoy pensando en ser profesor de sustitución y trabajar en mi carrera como escritor para no tener que irme lejos de él. También me daría más tiempo para dediciar a viajar, senderismo, y podría adoptar a un golden ‘triever. 

However, Montreal and McGill would be an amazing opportunity. That said, I feel somewhat more of a fit with the department at Nebraska, who seem like great scholars doing great things. So I’m pretty much torn. No obstante, Montreal y McGill sería una oportunidad genial. Pero creo que encajo mejor con el departamento de Nebraska. Los profesores allí parecen catedráticos increíbles haciendo cosas increíbles. 

I have a week to let McGill know. Solo tengo una semana para hacer la decisión sobre McGill.