Follow up on my moratorium

It’s now been a whole week of not watching daytime t.v. Here are some things I noticed:

  1. I’m sleeping much better!  Watching 3-4 hours of mindless television was like taking a really long, boring nap without the rejuvenating or beautifying benefits. Of course I wouldn’t be tired by bedtime if I just took a nap with Conan.
  2. I’m getting outside more. I’ve actually bumped into three people I haven’t seen in a while. I used to complain that I never bump into people I know, but now I understand people are outside – not in my living room.
  3. On a continuation of #2, the reason I’m going outdoors more is because there’s no safe place in my apartment. I can’t hang out in my bedroom (the sleep clinic doctor told me to avoid the bedroom during the daytime), I can’t hang out on the couch (it’s too tempting), and  I can’t hang out in the kitchen (I’ll just eat peanuts all day). My desk is a safe zone, but my sister warned me that mindless internet surfing can fill the void of t.v. if I’m not careful.
  4. I’m getting a whole lot more done. Yesterday, after 4 hours of business school (more to come on this!) I wanted nothing more than to plop down and watch some good old t.v. Instead I decided to apply the second coat of paint in the hallway. And then I went to the gym and ran two miles. All in the time it would have taken to watch 2 reruns of Friends – and maybe a little bit of Seinfeld.
The hardest challenge I’ve found is breakfast and lunch. Since I’m all by my lonesome during these mealtimes it gets…well…lonely. It was comforting to hear familiar voices in the background while eating my cereal. But now I just sit at the table facing the window – in silence. I’m trying to appreciate the quietude, and treat each meal like a mini meditation, but just between you and me, that’s when I feel the most like cheating. But I shan’t.

I’m a liar

OK just a few posts ago I went on on about the advantages of being alone. How it hightens the senses, builds character, pushes you out of your comfort zone. Well Mother Nature must have read my post and thought to herself, “oh really, Tracy? You love being alone? Alright then I´ll put a hurricane in New York of all places so that your boyfriend won´t be able to meet you on time, and you´ll get lots of extra time alone.”

First off, I hope everyone is safe in New York and New Jersey (yes, I care about New Jersians too) and that there isn´t extreme damage. I know people are getting effected far worse then I am, but this is my blog and if I can´t be self-absorbed here, where can I be? Just when I was starting to think I would go crazy being alone for another day, and the only thing that was cheering me up was thinking I would see Mike soon, I find out that no planes are leaving the northeast coast. I go out to dinner and I´m surrounded by loving couples spoon feeding each other and I just want to smack them. I´m remembering what it was like to be single.

I left Salamanca yesterday and arrived in Madrid around 5. It´s a great city, but I don´t think I´m giving it much of a chance because I´m walking aroung with a cloud over my head. I was supposed to meet Mike Sunday morning and then we would go to San Sebastian together. Since he won´t be arriving until the day we were supposed to leave San Sebastian, I guess that´s off. I could go alone, but I´m tired of doing romantic things alone. Drinking a bottle of wine is romantic when your with your boyfriend, but it´s just sad when you´re by yourself. I want to be angry at someone. It be so much easier to curse someone off, but it´s just nature, and you can´t get angry about that. Or at least it´s pointless. Damn you wind and rain!

That said, at least I learned something about myself. As much as I love traveling, I prefer being with people I love. If a genie said, ¨I´ll give you $10,000 so you can travel around Asia by yourself right now, or I´ll let you have one night to snuggle up watching Dexter with Mike.¨ I think I´d have to take the latter.

Well I´m sure I´ll be in a better mood soon. Sorry for whining.

I´m staying at the Cat´s Hostel which is the quintessential hostel. My room has 14 other people. Everyone´s here to party and get laid. I don´t know where they´re expecting to get laid when there´s only bunk beds and your neighbors are about 6 inches away from you, but perhaps they´re more creative than I am. The hostel is a converted arabic style mansion from the 1800s, so there´s an amazing central area (I´m forgetting my architectural terms) with a fountain and original tile. Right now I´m typing in the dungeon. I assume it´s an old wine cellar but the walls are painted black and there´s a low vaulted ceiling.

Yesterday I went to the Prado. It was amazing to see Las Meninas and Garden of Earthly Delights in person. Also Caravaggio´s The Decension was there on loan. I think it´s really strange how people look at paintings from a distance. I´m always standing as close as possible to see the brush strokes and what colors the artists used, and the different techniques. I´m the person the guard is always yelling at to step away from the painting. But you can´t see all those details in a textbook. In one the paintings of a bunch of saints, one of the saints looked exactly like Robert Downey Jr. It makes me think that he was indeed a Saint, and he sold his soul to the devil to be a famous actor for all of eternity. Think about it, Iron Man would have ruined any thesbian´s career, and yet, he pulled it off somehow. He´s had more comebacks than, well, I don´t know. hmmm.

Well this gave me a story idea, so afterward I went to a cafe and wrote 20 pages of the outline. Yes, I was drinking red wine, yes, the streets were coblestone, and yes, there were people next to me smoking and philosophizing, so I guess I had a pretty European evening.