WebJournal - The blog will set you free
News of no interest whatsoever except to very close and patient friends and family members and maybe people with no life

Monday, March 31, 2003  

I am sending this from my cell. Cool.

6:04 PM

"The Big Chill" is playing on TV. My favorite movie ever! I am watching it once again, eventhough I have the DVD version.

5:57 PM

Briefly: Friday I tried to go to de Da Vinci's exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. The line was at least an hour and half long. I am not interested in trying to catch a glimpse of a drawing among a sea of museumgoers and I really really hate having people breathing down my neck and coming at me in all directions. So I got to see the Velazquez exhibit instead.
Saturday evening I had dinner at A's with Francia, Debra, the new girl Blanca and her friend Anne-Marie, whom I already knew. Nothing to write home about, except for the waiter from Senegal. Lovely guy.
Yesterday, on the other hand, I had a terrific whole body massage at a Chinese place in the Upper West. The place was spotless and the lady who massaged me was extremely competent and strong. Her thumbs were digging holes in my body, but I like that kind of pain, so it was OK. I am glad JP is not here now or I would have a hard time explaining the bruises on my body!
I have a hundred things to do today, my last day off work, and I'd better start now.

9:58 AM

Saturday, March 29, 2003  

Went to the movies with Melissa. I can't believe the theater had mice! I was so busy keeping an eye on the little rodents I could hardly concentrate on the plot!

6:21 PM

Friday, March 28, 2003  

Pascale came over yesterday evening with a chilled bottle of white wine. It had been a while since I've last seen her (from the party at her place back in ... December?) and we had plenty to chat about. Her relationship with Johanny is going extremely well and I am so happy for both of them.
I am off in a while to the Da Vinci's exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum and then I am heading to Port Authority to meet a friend of my sister in law's and have dinner at her place.
It's another magnificent day out there, so so beautiful ...
This morning I got my first text message about the terrorist alert group. It was about the closing of the WIlliamsburg bridge. I got the message, turned on the TV and it took a few minutes for the channels to catch up. I am loving this.

2:09 PM

Thursday, March 27, 2003  

I have joined a text messaging community (Upoc) and signed up for two groups: one for terror alerts and the other for celebrity sighting in NYC. I can now happily go about my business certain that somebody will let me know should something really important happen in the city.
I am now checking out CamBlog's interaction with Blogger so that I might start publishing pictures.

The cable guy came today and installed my new digital cable box. I've got basic and standard services but I am considering getting TVLand to counteract CNN and especially those maniacs at FOX. Maybe, only maybe, I'll get HBO too.

1:18 PM

Wednesday, March 26, 2003  

I got myself into this confrontational e-mail exchange with the wife of a friend of JP's. She sends me anti-war pamphlets written by Galeano or supposedly written by Garc�a M�rquez (if you get the infamous "Letter to Bush", don't sweat it's a hoax), I send her articles by Oriana Fallaci. But if the truth is to be said, I am not sure where I stand on the war issue. I am certainly not a Bush fan and he has failed to convince me regarding the terrorist link. Worst of all, I don't have much faith in his capacity as a leader and I am still waiting for him to get Bin Laden. If he is as successfull in Iraq, we are screwed. On the other hand I have a profound adversion towards the "pacifists" - and I will not remove the quotes. While I do believe some of them are real pacifists, some have very good reasons to be against the war and some are just hopeless romantics who will seriously propose love and flowers as a global solution, I strongly suspect the motives of the majority of them. To me it's basic America bashing, the latest politically correct trend of basically intellectually dishonest people. By the way, I am not going to bother reading hate mail. In the present situation I resent opening my e-mail and finding all sorts of junk messages that a lot of people, for whatever reasons, maybe because of where I come from, or where I work, or where I was raised, expect and assume I will condone and, probably, applaud. They are dead wrong.

10:11 PM

Tuesday, March 25, 2003  

Feels good to be back in the city. All I need now is for JP to be here too.
Today was another gorgeous day. I spent the morning was filling forms for my lease renewal and after lunch I went and payed a visit to the office, to distribute some alfajores and talk to my colleagues. After a good two and a half hours going through the same story over and over with different people I had covered less than a third of them so maybe I should consider giving a press conference or sending a group e-mail. Mind you, I am not complaining, it was actually very nice to see them again. I got to meet the new girl in my office and swiftly organized some bar hopping on Saturday. Details are to be figured out, but I will start working on them tomorrow.

11:34 PM

Monday, March 24, 2003  

I am now on the plane, but this post won't be published until I get home as I am not about to spend a fortune on the AT&T phone.
Ladies and gentlemen, the entertainment portion of this flight features a totally crappy movie, titled Simone. I already suffered through it once, on another flight.
Chema and John are on board too, but on the other side of the plane. They had no idea I was in Buenos Aires and I had no idea they were here either. I'll catch up a little more when we deplane.
So far I have a splitting headache, I am way too warm and my feet are really swelling. The pleasures of being airborne. I also drank a little bottle of red wine for $ 4, gave the flight attendant $ 50 and am waiting for my change.
Monday, March 24, 2003 12:19:18 AM

I am back home! It's a gorgeous day in NYC, sunny and warm. I am buried under a pile of junk mail that I will have to find the time to sort through. I have also been returning calls and figuring out bills. My TV cable service has been disconnected and I have to switch to a new DSL provider. The housekeeper has not been coming and the house is a mess. But who cares. I am off tonight for a salad and margaritas at Debra's.

3:47 PM

Sunday, March 23, 2003  

I never remember my dreams. I never care about what I dream. It seems sleep for me is being deeply knocked out for a certain amount of hours. Well, today was an exception. I woke up a few minutes ago after experience a "classic": my teeth were falling off. First one of my fronth tooth felt wobbly. I touched it, it came out. And then every single one of them (no, not all of them, for some reason only the upper teeth and no molars). Being who I am I immediately turned the computer on to check the meaning of the dream on the internet. According to the first hit I got it's all about somebody close dying. Again, being who I am, I immediately looked at the next hit. I have now read about a dozen different dream interpretation pages and one thing is clear: it is not a science. So my falling teeth could also mean that I am worried about my appearance, that I am worried about getting old, that I fear public embarrasment, that I gossip too much, that I need dental work, that I am losing control over my life, that I am grinding my teeth, that I have feelings of anger and about a hundred other things. Go figure.
It's almost noon here in Buenos Aires. JP is still sleeping but we will be up in a while for our brunch at the Alvear Palace Hotel . He went to a wedding in La Plata yesterday but did not get home too late.
And now, for a little controversy, here's an article from The Telegraph.

10:14 AM

Friday, March 21, 2003  

I�ve just went through a minute of thinking. Such a rare event it took me a while to recognize what that fullness in my head really was.
My reasoning went like this: granted that NYC is a dangerous place to be at the moment (well, less dangerous than Baghdad, I suppose), but then again so is Buenos Aires. I could get gassed in NYC but I could be kidnapped in Buenos Aires. Similarly, JP is doing OK now but he is not entirely out of the woods. But who is anyway? He might have 7 or 10 good years ahead of him, he might have 30, he might be killed in a car crash tomorrow. Same goes for me and everybody else. I was trying to remember a time where I was not worried about the big bad wolf out there. Usually people think of their childhood as the careless, free period of their lives. I don�t, to me it was the worst. I acted more as an adult then than now, if you define an adult as a boring, fearful, prudent individual. I was way less playful, I had no control over my life and I hated it. Luckily, my life has gotten progressively cheerful. Not necessarily easier but certainly more joyful. Now whatever I have is my doing and I now that I do have control over pretty much all of my life, and it sure is a much better place to be.
All this impressive mindwork lead me to one conclusion which, curiously, also happens to be my favorite motto: enjoy it while you have it.
And I hope you will enjoy this introspective posting because there ain�t going to be many of them.

On the war front, Forbes has come out with a list of the best war blogs. A very interesting read.

2:24 PM

Thursday, March 20, 2003  

The war has started. Two interesting blogs to keep an eye on:
Back to Iraq 2.0
Kevin Sites blog

12:27 AM

Tuesday, March 18, 2003  

Yesterday evening I took a dance lesson with Jorge Heller . It was a beginner's class but very enjoyable nonetheless. After the class I got to talk to the teacher. He works mostly for free to get the neighborhood's kids off the street and off drugs but he himself is running out of money. He needs financing to keep the house where he lives and teaches, to be able to give some milk to the kids who come in the afternoon, to be able to take on more kids, to buy used PCs to get some boys interested too. He needs private sponsors or some organization that could help him out. I was impressed. I need to contact charities and foundations and see if something can be done.
After the class I went out with Miriam, Liliana and Cecilia but was back early, at 12.30 am. JP was already in bed, back from dinner with his friends.
Today it was my turn at the doctor's and tomorrow morning it will be a his & hers doctor appointments. JP will see his cardiologist, I will get blood test to check for insulin problems and then off to Buenos Aires.
Gotta go downstairs now, my brother-in-law from Madrid is waiting at the restaurant.

3:36 PM

Sunday, March 16, 2003  

Dinner yesterday at Cecilia's was quite an experience. She puts me to shame. She is the very incarnation of a CANI (constant and neverending improvement) attitude. She is a great translator. She looks great. She lost about 40 pounds, She is taking belly dance classes. She is taking driving lessons. She has the two cutest, best beheaved and affectionate little daughters. She teaches French to a bunch of little girls in her building. She cooked the very best food I had in a long while, and I am including expensive restaurants. Everything was delicious and everything looked outstanding, I should have taken pictures. And when I say she puts me to shame, I mean it. I actually felt ashamed. I now have to ways out: I can either take her lead and get better than her or I can kill her and solve the problem. Something to think about ...
In this long succession of food intake that my life has turned into, lunch today was with Katja and her family at a restaurant just across from their place: s small unassuming restaurant with great pasta and limoncello and a friendly owner. We had a great time. I got to see her trophies and pictures for the pageants, as well as her baby pictures. Her parents are very warm and nice people too (they had to be) with right values. We stayed for hours, got back at the hotel at about 5 pm and proceeded to have our 2. 5 hours daily siesta.
Now JP is walking on the treadmill and in a while we will meet Liliana and probably go to my sister's for, once again, dinner. Very productive lives indeed.

6:42 PM

Saturday, March 15, 2003  

I could not resist any longer. It was too hard. Way too much time without buying any software or hardware. I just had to get a licence for Tinderbox, a beautiful program that I am sure will keep me busy for a while. The credit card beast has been appeased.

6:15 PM

Charo, the masseuse, is finishing with JP, which means it will be my turn in a few minutes. I really need it, after spending hours with my iBook on the bed, propped up on an elbow. It's not just the arm and the neck killing me, it's also the headache, but here I am, on the computer again ...
Yesterday I invited Miriam to lunch to a restaurant almost on the beach and then went to her house to see her son, Rodrigo, perform magic trics. The kid is 14, looks about 18 and is very very good. He has amazing aplomb for his age and he had me in stiches.
In the evening we had dinner at my mother's, with my sister, her husband and their dog. We also watched the argentinian "Operacion Triunfo" because the daughter of a friend is in it.
Tonight we are having dinner at Cecilia's. The rest of the day is still open. I need some activity, fast!

10:05 AM

Thursday, March 13, 2003  

They can sure write idiotic articles.

More fun ...

What is a citizen of Paris called?

A Parasite.

And why are French streets tree lined?

So the Germans can march in the shade.

How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?

No one knows.� It's never been tried.

What do you call 100,000 Frenchmen with their hands up?

The army.

How many gears does a French tank have?

Five, four in reverse and one forward (in case of attack from behind).

2:50 PM

Wednesday, March 12, 2003  

All I need is some time to read this article.

11:51 PM

If there is one good thing about the impending war is the backlash against France. I feel completely vindicated in my distate of that little country of pretentious has-beens. I can now shamelessy enjoy anti-French jokes without even a fleeting second thought. And by the way, getting rid of french fries and french toasts on their cafeteria menus was a stroke of genius on the part of Congress.

"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by
prostitutes." --- Mark Twain

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." --- General George S. Patton

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --- Norman Schwartzkopf

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." --- Marge Simpson

"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure" ---Jacques Chirac, President of France

"As far as France is concerned, you're right." --- Rush Limbaugh,

"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." --- Regis Philbin

"The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit
outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." --- P.J O'Rourke (1989)

"You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the1940s who is still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it." --- John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona

"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people." --- Conan O'Brien

"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the Germans out of France!" --- Jay Leno

"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag." --- David Letterman

How many Frenchmen does it take to change a light bulb? One. He holds the bulb and all of Europe revolves around him.

Next time there's a war in Europe, the loser has to keep France.

2:30 PM

Tuesday, March 11, 2003  

We are having very lazy days. Lots of sleep. I seem to be falling asleep constantly. If I stay still for any stretch of time, wham, my eyes start watering and I start yawning. Staying still includes sitting at a dinner table with friends. At least today, and yesterday, I got my sorry butt to the hotel's spa and spent some time on the treadmill (30 lousy minutes today but 45 minutes yesterday).
This evening it was movie time. We watched "The Recruit" and we enjoyed it.
We are not sure about staying here till Thursday. There's not much action now, everybody seems to be gone now that school has started and it feels like a ghost town.

1:24 AM

Monday, March 10, 2003  

Here I am, live from a cybercaf� in a shopping mall in Punta del Este, waiting for our movie to start. It�s so damn hot in here. People have a clear prejudice against air conditioning which, in their eyes, is responsible for all kinds of diseases ranging from a permanent soar throat to, probably, sudden death. So here I am, melting away and cussing all the way ...

8:35 PM

Sunday, March 09, 2003  

We arrived at Punta del Este yesterday evening. The hotel feels like home and, as JP puts is, I am happily back in "gringoland". The building is obscenely ugly from the outside but inside it's got that familiar Hilton/Sheraton/Hyatt feel to it. Not necessarily pretty, but comforting in a familiar way.
For dinner we went to a restaurant called SoHo with Miguel Angel, JP's cousin and doctor, his wife and one of his daughters. As it usually happens here we new half the restaurant's customers. On the right there was a huge table with a guy who: 1) was in the foreign service with my father, 2) was our neighbour in our first apartment in Montevideo and 3) used to be after JP's mother. Other tables were occupied by several doctors, all of whom Miguel Angel knew. Then there was this college friend of mine, which I had not seen in like 15 years. Now I have her phone number and I will call her next week to catch up. On our right there was this Pappo guy, a famous Argentinian rocker, or so I hear. And, to top it off, Susana Gimenez made her appearance with her very own Corchito.
There is something very claustrophobic about being in a small town.

10:39 AM

Saturday, March 08, 2003  

JP had fun with his friends yesterday. Aldo and Eddie did not show up but on the other hand Katja drove all the way from Punta del Este just to be with us for a while. It's now our turn to go to Punta del Este. We are leaving today and we will be staying at the Conrad hotel (boy, what a horrible website!) until Thursday.
Time to get up now and paint myself in sunless tanner.

8:48 AM

Friday, March 07, 2003  

Interesting article ...

9:25 AM

Thursday, March 06, 2003  

Shit! I've lost yet another posting TWICE!!!
Anyways ... tomorrow we are hosting a celebration dinner at the hotel's restaurants for our friends. It would be nice if either JP or I managed to get some sleep tonight. He is tossing and turning, I am surfing.

11:26 PM

JP's mom and sister are leaving tonight, if they can board the plane. They travel on a stand-by basis and the flights have been full so far. Still, tomorrow's Valentina's 18th birthday and they have to be back home.
So the restaurants suck and the bars ain't much better. You can have wine or whisky and forget about cocktails, they either don't offer them or they are the lousiest concoctions ever. Even worse, you have to drink by yourself, surrounded by empty space, as there is a clear lack of customers.
There's this health club just across the street and I haven't been there once yet. I haven't turned on my iPod once either. And I have bit off my nails. This place is truly bad for me.
Being in Montevideo also offers me the chance to personally visit my mother. Certainly an opportunity I can't refuse. I've tried it t about three times. True to her nature she talks non stop about herself and her pains and aches, not to be rivalled by anybody elses. Right after JP's surgery, as sensitive as ever, she launched one of her favorite speeches about the horrors of widowhood. I have yet to talk to her shrink but I am inclined to think it will be a monumental waste of time.
Also, being here and talking to people I can't help but realize how ethics and morals are a very relative concept. People, and not just faceless people, actual friends, live by extremely flexible rules, Things that I consider wrong or at least a bit shady are seen as run-of-the-mill donw here. Everything is resolved placing a call here and there. Going out with some guy because of his money is just another matching of interests.
And yes, I might be getting PMS, so shut up.

9:07 AM

Shit. Just lost my post and I am in no mood to rewrite it.
This inactivity is killing us. Boring, boring, boring. Both JP and I are in a foul mood. I am basically sleeping 14 hours a day. Our only other pastime is eating out, but restaurants here suck big time.

8:23 AM

Tuesday, March 04, 2003  

Lets drop names. The day started yesterday with breakfast with our former President, Julio Maria Sanguinetti, who came to see JP. Name dropped.
I spent the afternoon shopping for books and shampoos with my friend Miriam. She just had 27 basal cells whatsitsname (not carcinoma) removed from her right leg. This is what happens to you when you are a redhead and you bake in the sun for years.
In the evening JP and I had a great massage and then Mirko came to pick us up. We ordered some pizza and waited for Gabriela and Panchi to come back home from watching "las comparsas". It was past 3 A.M. when we got back to the hotel. It is now late morning and we are slowly getting up. Tonight we will have a quiet dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday. JP has a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning at 7.30, so it will be an early evening.
Side note: after 4 years of perfectly fine fingernails in NY, I have bitten them all off yesterday.

9:09 AM

Sunday, March 02, 2003  

We stayed home yersterday evening. JP was tired, so we had room service, watched a movie and slept. I don't recall ever sleeping as much as I have these last three days, and I am getting a little antsy. JP was in a bad mood yesterday, this lack of activity is killing him, he can't wait to "live", as he puts it.
We are invited to a barbecue today, but it looks like it might rain.

8:25 AM

Saturday, March 01, 2003  

Time to finally resume my blog. I am now in bed, at the hotel. JP slept magnificently till 5 AM and from then on a little less magnificently. His back hurts because he has blood pooled in his left lung, but it should go away soon. Yesterday we both had a great massage with this girl that my friend Liliana recommended. JP had had a couple of sessions at the hospital with another girl, recommended by another friend, but he found her too mellow. Charo, the one we had yesterday, has powerful hands and her massage combines different techniques, including reiki, aromatherapy and chiropractics. After the massage we went out for dinner with his mom and sister at a restaurant a few blocks away. Today we all, plus my sister and brother-in-law, should have lunch at my mother's.
JP had a check-up with his cardiologist yesterday. Everything is great now and he has bounced back extremely fast. The doctor is confident that in a few years there will be a new treatment/technique/drug out to "restore" arteries. Basically we have to hang in there until the researchers do their job.
I had an interesting conversation with Gerardo, JP's friend Aldo's brother-in-law and a surgeon, the day before we left the hospital. The first thing out of his mouth was "You should always doubt doctors". My feelings exactly. He was the first one to acknowledge that JP's awareness under anesthesia was not only possible but relatevely common. He is very warm, caring man and he helped me calm down a lot. I think I hugged him twice.
On a side note: for some reason JP's puffy eyes have completely disappeared after surgery. He looks 10 years younger and he looks yummy.
OK, now he got up and it's time to get going.
Either today or tomorrow I will make the "other blog" public by eliminating the password requirement. I also want to slowly start posting details of the day of the surgery and the days immediately after before I forget them.

8:38 AM
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