Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Greetings from Spain!

Hi everyone! I'm writing from our home base in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, where we're staying with friends here for our 10-day visit in Spain. And yes, I double-checked the name/spelling of the town, because, as Twitterites know, I've been suffering from an affliction over here that is rendering me unable to correctly name Spanish cities. Thus, yesterday's day trip to Segovia somehow became a trip to the mythical land of "Sevonia," which I've since decided is going to be the name of Xanthor's land. This is what you would call a repurposing of one's own lameness.

Speaking of lame, my back continues to be a source of utter misery, I'm sorry to say, pretty much putting a damper--or at least strain--on this entire vacation, both for me and for everyone else. I've been dealing with some form of sciatica for about a year now, but, two days before I left the U.S. I must have done something else to myself, because now, instead of just my lower-right back being occasionally sore, now it's my entire lower back, and it's pretty much constant. Sleeping has been tough, walking is a chore, and steps--forget it. So I've had to skip out on some of the events--like climbing to the top of the castle tower in Segovia--like a gimpy old man, and I've had to have my wife help me hobble along at times. We had a great, full, adventurous day in Segovia, but by the end of it I was utterly exhausted and hurting, and, as a result, couldn't move at all today. Not exactly the memories of Spain I was hoping to have--but whaddya gonna do?

Still, it's vacation, and being out of the U.S., with no work to deal with, with all new sights, and old friends, to see--I can hardly complain. And there's something in particular about being out of the country, in a place that doesn't speak your language, that helps provide a satisfying bit of distance and perspective from one's own life, which I was most decidedly due for after a rather busy 2009. And even with the backache I can appreciate the Old World architectural splendor, the feel of a country that's been around for forever, the absolutely heavenly food (the jamon!) and wine and coffee.

Today's trip to see Picasso's Guernica in Madrid had to be postponed cuz of ye olde back, but we'll probably get to it after New Years, along with a trip to the Museo del Prado. I'm laying low--and flat on my back--for most of today in hopes that I can actually enjoy New Year's Eve tomorrow. My downtime today has been an alternating routine of napping, reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition (shaping up to be my fave Gibson book since Neuromancer),and playing Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes on my DSi, which is a surprisingly addictive, great little strategy game. I played it so much the other day I wore out the battery twice in a row--first time I've ever done that, I think. Great oddball combination of match-three game and turn-based combat. I can't even imagine how they thought this up, let alone made it so addictive and fun. So thank goodness for friends' recommendations, because I had no plans to ever buy a Might and Magic game again.

This would be the part of the post where I might normally post some photos, but, to do that, I'd have to email them to myself from my iPhone, and then upload them to PhotoBucket, and then link here, which is too much work--SORRY. And anyhoo, the best ones are up on Twitter already. So go there!

Okay, that's enough sitting up for one day. Back to the prone position for me, because tomorrow it's New Year's Eve, and I have a big date with the White Man's Overbite pretty dang soon!



Anonymous said...

You've got a bad back and you're in Spain? - yeah, well I've got a boss on my back and I'm at work! So better weather for you than for me.

Isn't it funny though how you never truly appreciate your health until you don't have it? I think we've all been incapacitated in some way by an injury - and of course it's frustrating when you can't even do the simplest of things, like climbing steps.

The fact that you're on vacation in Spain however must be compounding your misery? Ah well, you'll end up remembering the experience all the more for it.

The Goose.

mario66 said...

sounds like a good holiday so far...except for the old person back...get well.

Im looking forward to an epic out of the game to kick of the new year and hear of the adventures in spain

Unknown said...

Good post, didn't even mention your lack of writing this time! :D
Thanks for taking the pain of sitting up to share your holiday with us, anyway.
Happy new years!

Anonymous said...

I know this is mean but YAY! Jeff Green has a bad back and is miserable in Spain! Serves him right for not taking us with him and not letting us spend time with his family.

Anonymous said...

Huh, many people manage to travel and blog (with pics), sans an iphone.

For a geek you kind of suck at computery things Jeff.

Much love
(you geek pretender)

Tyler said...

Doing the twelve grapes tonight? Good luck, and remember -- if you don't finish all twelve, you will get an inoperable brain tumor in the following year.

At least, I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

Unknown said...

You will look back fondly on this vacation. Believe it or not the DSi playing will be just as strong a memory as your back.

When I was in Italy, probably the vivd memory is not being in the Colosseum or in Malcesine but doing laundry in Peschiera del Garda with my wife attempting read magazines in italian. (Over a chocolate Breve)

Just think, maybe you will take a vacation to a wonderful, history filled location, just to game?

Tristessa said...

'Pattern Recognition' is one of Gibson's best. I might just be weird but way back when it came out, I liked 'Mona Lisa Overdrive' better than 'Neuromancer'. If I reread those, I wonder what my opinion would be now.

I got to meet William Gibson last year. He was super nice and we chatted for a bit.

Just a few weeks later, George A Romero walked into the store where I work and I fawned like the goofy fangirl I am.

Aside from the back problem, it sounds like a great trip. I'm really enjoying your city name tyops coming in over Twitter. They make me laugh. But what can I say, I'm easily amused.

plonkman said...

cure for a bad back..

drink loads of wine and do 100 jumping jacks.

"jobs a good un"


Pablo Hernando said...

Hey Jeff, I'm from Spain, you've got two nice museums in Madrid, del Prado and Thyssen. I'm glad you are enjoying our jamón, it's delicious.

You should visit my city: San Sebastián, it's beautiful, and we take the gastronomy to a whole new level.

Anonymous said...

Hey, did you guys see Green's Twitter feed? He passed out again.

Once a fall-risk always a fall-risk.

This time he blamed it on dehydration. Nothing to do with drinking too much alcoholic stimulant or anything. (Green, by the way, do you have all your papers in order?)

Ah well, you'll remember this vacation all the more for it. "Hey, remember that time we went to Spain, and I was exhausted from my new job at EA, and had that bad back, and passed out and nearly died in that museum, and then had to ride home by myself on the plane... man, those were great times, great times!"

I kid you not - this is exactly the stuff you end up remembering!

The Goose.

crscheid said...

Jeff, I've got a an original cd copy of Heroes of Might and Magic 3! Can I send it to you?

Tooth Fasty said...

Just watched old 90's(?) cartoon version of Fantastic Four on Disney XD (I have only basic cable and this was only thing worth watching) and came to realize that Mr. Fantastic looks similarly to Mr. Jeff Green.

They're both tall (I think, haven't met Green in person) but both also have white/grey old-guy sideburns. Both also enjoy techy stuff too (Reed with high-tech gadgets and Green with EA gizmos).

Does anyone else see this comparison? Or am I just seeing things with a blurry vision?

JSD said...

Jeff, if you're going to name Xanthor's land Sevonia, you must also put half naked women with lots of cleavage on the cover and subtitle your book thusly:

Save your lover!
"Play Now My Lord"

See how to properly advertise your books for big sales here:

How to advertise Jeff's book.

Abel Olivar said...

I just stumbled upon this post and wanted to say hi from segovia!
And no wonder you couldn't climd the steps to the top tower of the alcazar, it's hard even for perfectly healthy people. I hope you at least tried our "cochinillo" in some of the great restaurants over here.
Un saludo!

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