Monthly Archives: April 2012

We Know Him By His Colourful Ties


Is Fall now descending upon Spain? The month of April has been a mimicry of the weather that I remember from my vists to Ireland. It’s unreal. Rain is here almost every day. The month of March often had some summer-like days, but this April has just been cats and dogs. I kind of like it in a way. It’s comfortable and it has a certain emotional effect on the whole ambience of the country that I find curious and intriguing. Anyway, I am drinking lots of tea and am craving all the Autumn flavored drinks and foods of New England in…April in Spain. Such is life.

It was just brought to my attention that my entire tie collection consists of bright colors and patterns. My colleague joked the he can tell I’m coming from all the way down the hall due to these ties. Very funny actually. The end of my university days pretty much consisted of the same tie-die t-shirt for a couple of weeks straight with my clan of gypsy friends.  Of course I also have more subdued clothing; I have a series of dark ties for formal/serious events. I prefer not to wear them at work. When you’re working with children in an elementary setting, I feel my colourful ties just contribute to the silly character I sometimes try to be with them. It sets a fun, encouraging tone. It also makes me happier during my own work day to see bright, stimulating colours.  How do you feel? What does your clothing say about you? Can you use it to convey yourself in a certain way? How do you do this?


Itchycoo Park


I think I am going to have to rename the local garden here “Itchycoo Park.” I promise that any visitors that I receive will be taken to said Itchycoo Park. The green, the color, the birds, the windy paths, the waterfalls, the pond, the hills…it blows my mind. It’s all too beautiful. 😛

There is not too much to report about. I have continued with the intercambios and I have been using the rest of my free time hanging out, studying, reading, writing, or watching a movie. It’s a pretty simple life overall. I like it. I have been especially enjoying my time at the school in the past week for some reason. Just a sense of joy for the most part. I know the students pretty well now and you can have a lot of fun with activities. The teachers are all cool people too…lots of jokes and good comradery it seems.

I definitely feel that I have learned a lot from the experience so far. I better appreciate human relationships and cooperating with other people, relating to another culture, teaching children a foreign language, speaking a second language, living independently, paying bills…just a bunch of life details I had not thought about before. Anyway, it’s all starting to come together now…it’s just a matter of piecing together my August and forward….

Mom and Dad visiting in just about two weeks so that is very exciting and I’ll be meeting with someone from NJ whom I haven’t seen in a very long on Tuesday. Many things to look forward to and so with that in mind I am mostly taking it easy on crazy living for the time being and just focusing on my reading/writing and future projects. It’s a fulfilling feeling at least.

And…I’ll succumb and post some pictures of this park! Check out the photos page. Peace for now. Thinking of you all!

Younger Than Yesterday


I was going to follow up my last two dramatic posts with a dramatic silence, but I’ve just got too darn much to say. I am living in Madrid now, in the Manuel Bacerra neighborhood, and my first week has been really good. The area is gorgeous. There is a lovely park right by the house and I have been there every day, if not twice a day. I find it to be really relaxing and peaceful. It’s great to snap photos in there and get lost in the labyrinth of trees. It’s especially mesmorizing at the moment as all life is just  about completely in bloom. Breathtaking really. Beside the park is this: This has me spellbound. It’s just so unique to anything I have seen. The Plaza de Toros is also within walking distance from where I am. There are 5 of us in a spacious two-story house, with two dogs and four turtles (there is a small pool/pond on our terrace outside) and it is a relaxing environment. The arrival of this new house was a God-send.

There is an endless supply of things to do here and every day I am discovering new streets and shops. The big thing that I think I am really going to enjoy are the intercambios that they have in the city. You post an announcement on this website,, and I have received almost 10 emails from people since posting my one a few days ago. I have met with two of the people so far and they were both fantastic experiences. The two of them had both studied psychology, what are the chances?, and were just very friendly, open, and interesting to talk to. The idea is that you do a language exchange. You spend half of the time in English and the other half in Spanish. Just…very interesting. Other than that, I am just seeking out new sites in my free time as I continue to settle in!

My new setting is more of what I had in mind when I decided I would come to Spain. What I am finding more and more with life is that the more I live, the more I seem to learn. That learning has not ceased to expand my mind to an awareness of all the different experiences that exist in the world. It’s exhilirating because it really dawns on me that there is so much that lies ahead of me that I could not possibly even imagine. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  They all seem to contribute in their own way to the enrichment of the human experience. I guess what I mean to say is that the new living situation has really been a great change and that I am feeling younger than yesterday. Pictures soon.

The Closing Out of a Man


With the soundtrack produced by: Van Morrison & Robin Pecknold, featuring a guest apperance by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s most highly unanticipated film has at last arrived to theaters. One hundred cups of Barry’s Tea later and the flip-flop wearing Irish-American guiri, named Conor, but somtimes called Carlos, finds himself at a flabbergasted crossroads. Expectations and all plans have been thrown out the window. He now embarks forward chasing the restless question of whether his life journey is dictated by destiny. Mixing black humor and authentic human drama, this film may not get a lot of attention, but it might turn a few heads. Enjoy.

I was looking at my blog stats and I am receiving international views! At least from Spain and France. So…I’m taking the drama of the content of my blog up a notch. I have received positive feed back from others about my entries and I really appreciate it. A few crazy weeks later and I am still dealing with the ramifications of all the events that have transpired in my life up until this point. And crazy not in the college sense of the word, but just real life changes that are going to shape up my next 15ish months possibly at least. Where to begin…?

I am receiving more hours of work at my primary school. This is good news! This will give my weekly schedule and income more stability, and I can probably reduce some of my private class hours. Additionally, I am in the final steps of changing apartments! Well, I should say that I’m moving from an apartment and into a house with 4 other Spanish-speakers. Again, this is good news! A month back I had written a lengthy blog post about my living situation here in Arroyomolinos. Unfortunately, I forgot to save it and it was never published. In a nut shell, I explained the sheer hilarity of an American living here in this town. It’s tiny! It’s just a local pueblo. So being here…it’s just so funny. You see the same people in most spots that you go. I like it here, but it just doesn’t make sense for me when the capital of the city is available to live in. My cost-of-living expenses will only go up slightly, and I think that’s greatly outweighed by all the social, cultural, historical, etc institutions just outside my door. It’s very exciting and this change will certainly allow for some interesting blog posts in the future.

Finally, and probably the biggest change, is the fact that in all probability I will NOT be in the United States for the next year. Yeah, I can’t believe I’m saying that. To be truthful, I always knew there was the possibility that my imagination would carry me away for another year, but I never really expected it to actually occur. It has. I won’t rule out a return, but it’s doubtful that it would occur on a long term basis.

I feel happy. I feel that I am learning a lot. I feel that there is a lot more that I have to do here, or elsewhere. There is a lot I want to see, so many more people I want to get to know, so much more Spanish that I can learn…you see, when you think about it, I’m really only just beginning. To leave this year would be to leave a ‘job’ (I mean to say experience), half-done. There are previous professional goals I brought with me to Spain, and I have not abandoned them. Everything I am doing is with the intention of making me a more well-rounded person so that I can make unique, original, soulful contributions to my future organizations and projects.

Funny that all of this decision-making and all of this change should come to its climax on Easter Sunday. It brings me back to one of my very first thoughts expressed on this blog, the notion of being reborn. Well, I think I’ve experienced it here. Who’s ready to join me? (Book cheap tickets and crash in my house and we’ll walk the deserts of Spain and ponder the universe!! :)).

“Long Slow Goodbye” by Queens of the Stone Age plays in the background as a continually panning out helicam shot captures C. Byrne’s last moments pulling out of Arroyo in an autobus…occasional dramatic close-up shots of his face or even a cold zoom-in on the blue eyes.


The Closing Out of a Man

Written, Produced, Edited, and Directed by Conor Byrne.

Music by the Best

The release of the sequel is only limited by the imagination of its creator.