Keep in mind that Málaga is the only city I’ve visited on the Iberian Peninsula, so I have a limited frame of reference. Read the rest of this gem…
The most difficult thing I find about life —
To market, to market.
That’s where you should go when you feel like catching a glimpse of the gritty, unshaven armpit of a place.
In case you were wondering — because I’m sure you constantly think about me throughout your day — I’ve been very busy painting an office desk this morning. I tried to post a picture on the Domestiphobia Facebook page, but my POS phone hijacked it and now you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
But I will say, this entire furniture painting process has got me thinking that, when it’s not 105-degrees out like it’s been lately, this really isn’t such a bad gig. Much better than painting rooms, in fact. I get to wear my comfy paintin’ clothes, dig into a little of the gloopy stuff, and take satisfaction in the knowledge that I’m making something pretty and useful. On the plus side, my house doesn’t smell and my arms don’t hurt nearly as bad when I’m finished. This just might inspire me to give our hand-me-down bedroom furniture a new look…
Desk photos will come soon, assuming the decently cooler weather holds out long enough to add a coat or two of polyurethane to protect all of my hard work. That only means I need to get up at like 6 tomorrow morning to poly the desk before I head to Raleigh to shoot my pregnant friend.
Photographically speaking, that is.
That said, I will leave you with some more images from Malaga, Spain.
Because I miss it.
And I want to go back.
I could stand to live here… with blue shutters and flowers…
Ice cream and fountains. Does it get any better?
Apparently, it does.
Free tapas with every drink!
*I decided to do a photo post thinking it would save time so I could get back to painting that desk and about 100 other things I need to do before tonight, but then I got distracted going through Spain pictures and reminiscing and Photoshopping and if anyone has a surefire guide to time management or… I don’t know… a hot poker could you please let me know?
WordPress, which is the platform I use to modify this blog and host my site, has this thing it calls “Freshly Pressed.” In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically a list of highlighted posts from WordPress blogs that, when chosen, get published on the Freshly Pressed page for a day or so.
The cool thing about getting Freshly Pressed is that it can bring thousands of new readers to your site — readers who, with literally millions of blogs to peruse throughout a particularly unproductive work day, often refer to the Freshly Pressed page for the lucky picks the WordPress editors choose to highlight.
Needless to say, ever since I became aware of the phenomenon, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day when I, too, would get Freshly Pressed and my new wealth of fame and readership would finally — finally — justify why I ever started this thing in the first place. After all, I wanted to be a writer. A surefire sign that I was on the right aspiration path would be to get pressed. That’s what happened to Catherine. And Nate. It happened to Kat twice. So it was perfectly reasonable to think it would one day happen to me as well.
So I waited.
Maybe it would be one of my food posts.
Okay, so I’m not a cook per se and definitely didn’t create the recipes, but if I don’t share the joys of an orgasm panini with the world, who will?
Maybe it would be one of my DIY home improvement posts.
Okay, so I’m not the first person to tile a backsplash, but this might very well be the only place where, among the slew of detailed, step-by-step how-to photos, you can also see photos of my husband’s butt and learn why the word “caulk” is a homophone.
If it wasn’t going to be any of those things, then it would definitely be a post about one of my trips. Who doesn’t love reading about vacations to Hawaii or 2-month trips to Costa Rica?
Apparently the WordPress editors, that’s who.
Wait — that’s not right. I’ve seen Freshly Pressed blogs on each of those topics, including one almost exactly like my (and Erin’s) post about waterfall rapelling.
So apparently they just don’t like my posts about these topics.
I honestly thought for sure one of my posts about Spain might get pressed. I mean, I realize there wasn’t much writing involved, but I still have some highlights of the trip I’d like to share now that I’m home, and I somehow just knew the editors had my blog on a “watch” list, just waiting for the right post to press and finally give me some sense of validation.
Then, today happened.
I went to the Freshly Pressed home page and saw it — a post someone wrote about their recent trip to the South of Spain.
You have GOT to be kidding me.
It made me want to chuck my computer out the window.
It made me want to punch the wall.
It made me want to cry.
It made me want to quit the blog.
I realize this is a huge show of weakness on my part. I mean, I didn’t start the blog for anyone else, so why do I suddenly care if many people read it?
Then it hit me: I care because this is what I want to do. Write.
I decided while on the trip to Spain that I would attempt to get a “real” job upon our return. Not a “career” job, but something with a steady paycheck that I could manage while still trying to do the writing thing. But still, in the back of my mind, I had this dream that some sign would intervene — one of those epiphanies you read about where some lucky person is handed a clue that tells him — beyond all reasonable doubt — that he’s doing the right thing.
The problem is, I was so intent on looking for affirmation that I failed to accept the obvious signs that maybe I’m not doing the right thing.
Or, maybe I’m concentrating my efforts on the wrong thing.
Or, maybe signs are bullshit.
I don’t know.
But I do know that persistence and grit will only get you so far. After all, continuously spinning the tires will often dig a deeper rut.
So. I’m not quitting the blog. Not even close.
But this is my renewed commitment to myself to try some new venues on the path to becoming an actual writer. You know, like maybe sending some pitches in to various publications. Freelancing for other blogs/writing projects. Starting up a rejection pile. Things people who actually make a living in the industry actually do.
I know — there’s going to be work involved.
I can’t believe it either.
Here are some more Spain pictures if you’re one of those people (like me) who actually likes looking at other peoples’ vacation pictures:
Graffiti near Becca and Brad’s apartment.
Malaga from above.
Old juxtaposed with the new.
Malaga store window.
Ferry ride with our hosts, Brad and Becca.
How Spain said goodbye through an airport window.
On my Facebook status the other day, I described the Spanish wine we’ve been getting as “moi barato,” which is French for “me barato” and Spanish for “moi cheap.” I realize now, through the miracle of a little internet research, that what I meant to say was, “muy barato,” which is very inexpensive.
But it’s okay. I can’t be blamed for these things because I took German in college and no one corrected me.
My friends are too polite.
Here are some things I like about Europe (and I’ve been to this continent all of twice now, so I feel it’s fair to generalize):
1. Language. No matter the country, I’m always surrounded by foreign languages. Often several. And while this is frequently the cause for discomfort and/or mild irritation, I find that when I sit down with a glass of wine and bowl of olives at an outdoor cafe, hide behind my sunglasses on a plaza bench, or type here at my computer in my sister-in-law’s basement apartment and just listen as strangers converse while they pass by (and it’s not eavesdropping if you can’t understand a word they’re saying), it really is quite intoxicating.
Bar snacks in Malaga.
2. Food. What can I say? There’s nothing I don’t like about food. Even food I don’t like. Whether I’m sitting down in front of a tiny bowl of seasoned olives with wine at a swanky cafe, a steady stream of tapas and beer at a pub, an empanada or falafel procured from a street vendor, fried churros served at a tiny alleyway table with chocolate dipping sauce and a very strong café con leche (ie. couple shots of espresso with steamed milk), or a giant pan of paella cooked right out of the chef’s childhood home, I’m pretty sure I’m the happiest woman in the world.
Paella on Ibiza.
3. Exercise. When we want to go somewhere, we walk. When we want to go farther, we walk to the public transportation, take a train, then walk again. When we’re on the island of Formentera and have no car, we bike. When we’re on the island of Formentera and decide we want to see the one thing that requires getting to the top of a very large hill (*cough*mountain*cough*), we ride our bikes, walk our bikes, and ride our bikes again — over 13 km, both ways, up hill, in the snow just to get there.
(All of that’s true. Except for the snow.)
Southeastern lighthouse on Formentera.
Oh, and sometimes these old cities have stairs. Lots, and lots of stairs.
But whether you bike it or hike it, it’s always worth it when you get to the top.
4. There are like a billion ways to flush the toilets.
Need I say more?
I´m back on the island of Ibiza (in a different city, but the same island from where I last posted), and this computer also will not read my memory card.
Because I seriously have many, many photos I wish to share.
Hopefully I´ll have a chance when we get back to Malaga tomorrow night. If not, the day after for sure. Or definitely the day after that. Mañana, mañana, mañana.
I am in Spain, after all.
I´m doing my best to adopt to their culture.
Which, as far as I can tell so far, basically means working all morning, taking a 2-3 hour siesta involving lots of food and alcoholic beverages in the afternoon, working a bit more, and then eating and drinking again. And since I´m unemployed in this country, we´re basically cutting out the superfluous “working” part and pretty much sticking to the eating and drinking.
The only thing making me not feel like a complete blimp is the fact that we just returned from 3 days on the island of Formentera, around which our only (chosen) way of transport was bicycle. It was relatively flat, for the most part, except for that day we decided to ride up a frickin´mountain (at least by Formenteran — and Nebraskan — standards) to see a lighthouse.
I´d like to say it was worth it.
And I will tell you, it was.
So, so worth it.
The pictures will be forthcoming.
The only down-side is that my thighs seem to be en fuego.
That´s on fire.
Anyway, I´d love to catch you up more, but the lack of photo sharing ability is kind of getting on my nerves, and my last night on Ibiza is waiting outside this cafe, so I will have to say adios for now. It´s 9:30 p.m., which means it´s time for dinner.
My favorite part of the day.
Aside from… you know… breakfast, lunch, and siesta.
Life is rough, my friends.
Very, very rough.
Right now I´m the most stressed I´ve been in 4 days. I´m sitting in an internet cafe on the island of Ibiza and I know I only have so much time left on the computer) but no clue how much, and the keyboard is so jacked up with strange symbols and keys in the wrong places, that it´s probably taken me about 20 minutes to type this sentence.
Okay, I´m exaggerating.
Also, this thing doesn´t seem to want to read my memory card, so the AMAZING photos (not from a photography standpoint, but from a subject/scenery standpoint) will just have to wait until we get back to Malaga. Unless there´s a decent internet cafe on Formentera, which I´m kind of doubting.
The reason I say this is the most stressed I´ve been is because I haven´t been stressed. Like, at all.
It´s pretty phenomenal.
From authentic paella (cooked by a man out of his restaurant/home where he´s been living his entire life), to a falafel made by a world-traveler who was born in Israel, to wine. Lots and lots of wine. We´ve been pretty fortunate. The less fortunate are those who have to look at me on the beach, since I´ve probably gained about 30 pounds.
Okay, I have lots more to share. Tons. But I´m kind of worried this thing is going to crap out on me mid-sentence and I feel like these stories would be much better with photos anyway, so I guess we´re going to have to wait just a little longer.
Which is awful because I miss you.
The withdrawals are palpable.
But the wine helps.
And the beach.
And the company.
And the fact that I´m, you know… in Spain.
If you forgot to look on Tuesday, check out my guest post on Simply Solo!
P.S. I have no idea what day it is.
P.P.S. ñ ç ¿ € ¡