Monday, July 16, 2007

Fortunately, the biggest news around here is that a rubber warehouse in the Vallés suburbs caught on fire yesterday and emitted a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles, that the Spanish cops busted a bunch of Internet kiddie porn pervs, that they're definitely going to run the high-speed train near the Sagrada Familia through a tunnel under Calle Mallorca, and that Zap is currently ahead of Rajoy in the polls. No terrorism, no stock market crash, no Esquerra Republicana topping the surveys. All is well.

Oh, yeah, the Sagrada Familia is an "expiatory temple," which I think means you get some time off purgatory if you contribute. Anyone who contributes to the new work going on has very poor aesthetic sense, and should actually have to spend extra time in purgatory for the sin of bad taste. The newer side portal designed by Subirachs is just plain ugly, not to mention dumb, featuring a faceless anatomically correct Christ and a bunch of Roman centurions who look like Imperial Stormtroopers.

We spent the weekend out in the pueblo as usual; didn't do much but go to the pool and walk the dog. The pool is especially nice, very clean and with full bar service. There were no clouds and the sky was pale Mediterranean blue, not the deep blue you see in the midwestern US. I like to swim down to the bottom and then turn over on my back and look up; all you can see is the sky and the sun through six feet of water. A whole lot of swallows (I assume European swallows, though we're not too far from Africa) live in Vallfogona, and they like to fly over the pool and then peel out, dive, skim the surface for a tiny sip of water, and then pull up and out. It would be even cooler if they did it in formation.

One of the other nice things about the pueblo is that there is no noise. If you walk up in the hills you oftan can't hear any man-made sounds at all. It's quite a contrast from Barcelona, which is one of the noisiest places I've ever been--beats London, Paris, and LA, not to mention Kansas City.

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