Boogie-Shoes, or How to Trespass Like Sammy Sosa

One of my undergraduate photography professors at the University of Delaware once told me: “Bad weather makes great pictures… now go shoot four rolls in the rain.” If I were shooting for a postcard company I would have to call BS on that, but as I have told myself many times over the last ten days, blue skies are boring. … Continue reading

The couple left before the hobo had finished his dessert.

Looking back at the months before I left for Spain, I realize now that my itinerary planning was borderline OCD. I have been very well served by the late hours figuring out which sites are most important for my dissertation research, how long I should stay at a given site, where the affordable hotels are etc. I have to give pre-Spain Ed some credit for anticipating some inevitable “Spain being Spain” derailments by penciling in some “cushion time” at the end of this trip. The itinerary has been a strict but benevolent hand guiding me through what would otherwise seem like a Walmart on Black Friday. That said, like a kid who has behaved himself in church for what he thinks has been a very long time, I am about to test if the itinerary is still watching. Portugal was the first test, but that was just the beginning. I am crawling under the pews with action figures in my hands and I can see daylight at the end of the aisle. … Continue reading

Who’s scruffy lookin?

It turns out the best way to get a laugh in Spain is to look a stray dog in the face and ask if he speaks English. I am not sure if I stumbled on an old joke that Catalan tourists tell all the time or if it was because I used the formal “usted.” Either way, I envied that dog today. He was scruffy and camera shy, but he had all the San Miguel he could lap up off the cobblestones, and the fact that he didn’t own so much as a collar didn’t bother him in the slightest. That dog – let’s call him “Scruffy” – had never been on the phone with Iberia airlines barking furiously and foaming at the mouth. Scruffy probably has parasites, but he has never had to ask them if they are sure they have the right dog. So as I sat in a plastic chair by the Ebro River today and washed down the midday meal that never happened with my own San Miguel, I at least took solace that mine was served in a glass…. Don’t look at me like that Scruffy. … Continue reading