Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cause of the Mondays

“Wooks wike someone's got a case of the Monday!”

You're gosh darn right then do! And do you want to know why?! Do you really want to know why? Because at three thirty in the aye em, someone was just trying to mind their own business, and catch up on some much needed sleep. But then what happens? The pub crawl ends – and back come all the perfectly intoxicated individuals that are drawn, like flies to so much electric light, to this hostel. They start their night getting sauced in the club downstairs – which is a perfect reminder of why we should be glad that smoking inside public places has been banned in Ontario – smashing around, and having a great old time. And I'm ok with that. It's fantastic. It's great. Under different circumstances I might dance it up to the mix tape (I assume it's a mix tape, because every few hours the songs just loop) created during my senior year of high school. Not quite the nineteen ninety four party I've always dreamed of, but close.

No, I don't mind that they cause a ruckus. Even slamming open the door in the wee hours of the morning, and slamming around in their lock by their bunk doesn't bother me. What bothers me is this – absolutely destroyed they just pass right out. Which you'd think would be good – but it's not, because they don't know how to breathe properly and thus the terrible terrible chainsaws from hell return. Only in one person at first. He snores until four o'clock, at which point he stops. In his place a girl starts coughing. Again, and again. Over an over. Like some infected who knows what in the emergency ward – I can only assume her inner organs are going to come springing forth from her inner regions at any moment. But then, not to be outdone the tree cutter returns to the fray. Beside me someone else sighs loudly. I have a partner through this rage.

It is now four thirty. All of a sudden a third voice joins the angelic choir. It is the the sigher from one bunk over. Now happily snoring away on the off beat! Is there no rest! Somewhere around five o'clock I slipped into oblivion again.

So yes, I have a case of the Mondays – tell me, what do you want to say of it?!

But then after breakfast, where I listened to Frank Sinatra's “My Way” played over the radio, and a return to sleep until one hour after noon, all was fine and right in the world.

At about three, I decided it was time to leave the hostel and do something with the day. This would entail taking the metro to the park, where I would sit and eat sandwiches, materials for which were procured at yet another small Chinese who-knows-what shop. The ride to the metro was without much even, except for the fact that it was the first time I saw a public performer on the trains here in Spain. Strangely enough she too was singing Frank Sinatra's “My Way.”

There I fed the birds – realizing with terror as I ran out of bread, and they kept approaching, that this is how that Alfred Hitchcock movie probably started out (they're sucking my will to live!) - and finished my novel. Yes the imaginary war between NATO and the Russians in a war torn nineteen eighty four is at an end. Soon the counter terrorist ops of Rainbow Six will begin.

Done my book, I looked out over the pond, at all the couples rowing their rented boats hither and thither. Some in circles, due to their inability to grasp the complex steering mechanism of a two oared boat. Dawson looks on, head hung low, in shame. The sun was low in the sky, bathing the world in an orange glow, while sweet saxophone music wafted over the water. Swwet – wait... what song is that? It couldn't be! But it was. Unmistakably, the saxophonist was playing “My Way” by Ol' Blue Eyes – Frank Sinatra! Clearly like some terrible code programmed into my positronic brain, this song was following me across space (and who knows – maybe even time itself!) But what could it mean? What was the significance?!

Probably best not to dwell on these things. Maybe the Madrigals just love their Franky. Honestly, what's not to love? He's great. He made us aware of the fact that there was a terrible surplus of coffee in Brazil – and that's good clean knowledge.

And then it was off to the Reina Sophia gallery. You see, it's free on Mondays from seven to nine p.m. I could have walked – sure. It was only one stop. But time was of the utmost importance I convinced myself. And – again – I need to use up my metropass somehow.

Time did turn out to be quite important, as I just barely made it through the three and a half open floors (one and a half were empty – no doubt setting up future exhibits) before they closed. I will tell you this – it's one lovely gallery. The building itself, the layout.

But, honestly, I'm getting tired of these paintings. Ohh look, it's a Picaso that covers a wall. Everyone take a picture. Yawn.

I was impressed by the two Dali rooms though. I had hoped so much that I would finally get to see a Daliphant in real life, but this was not to be. The Invisible Man more than made up for it though. What is that woman doing to the little invisible boy in the bottom right? You look it up, on google – check it out – you tell me what you think's going on there. Dali was kind of a nut, you see. So... more than likely...

I was disapointed to discover that Dali didn't only do those crazy trippy paintings that hang on the walls of all frosh students. In fact he did a number of, m'eh – less than average – portraits. I know, because I saw a room full of them. They must have been going cheap, a bulk sale, or something like that.

The more I think of it, the more I realize the AGO needs one good painting. One real show piece. Something to draw people in – The Scream, Mona Lisa, Starry Night. But we got nothing. Sure we have a great collection of the group of seven – but we need someone with real name recognition. I don't even think we have a Picasso. Everyone has a Picasso! Hell, even one of Dali's doodles of three men in a boat would do.

Oh – I saw some art created in 1980 that was almost completely XKCD. I bet this guy got paid more though.

The third floor is where the real delight is. You see, there's an outside terrace where you can overlook the city, feel the cool night air, and watch the lights as they pass by. And then you can walk into floor four. Which is empty. Completely empty. Two long long halls of nothing but turned off lights, and empty walls – which isn't creepy at all.

And there is no one there. Not until you reach the very end, where a small room waits, with a projector being displayed on a desk, showing a video of someones hand moving a projected square tissue around at random, every few minutes.



  1. Dude, simple solution--ear plugs. I never travel without them. Get these "Macks Earplugs" or a generic version. The silicon type that molds into your ear. They'll block out all noise.

  2. i know - i know... but then I won't hear my alarm to wake up.

  3. Just put your phone on vibrate and place in your bra or panties...oh, wait! You probably don't wear a bra....well, then try the boxers...ok, that's a little, uhhhh wrong?!

    Nevermind!! Forget I said anything....

  4. Actually for some reason, you will hear your alarm! Maybe it's just me, but I keep my alarm close to my head and it never fails. I think it's a case of the frequency--high frequency noises will pierce the earplugs.

    But low frequency noise like snoring will get completely blocked out with those silicon things.


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