Year of the Horse

Curious Characters

My beloved Grandpa Samuel Galeota will soon be leaving this planet. He would always greet us at the airport in buffalo saying, OHH look at these GIANTS. He spoke with in yiddish or possibly italian words like papatoch (spelled phonetically) to describe all the hoodabaloo and hobgwaSH plauging todays society. Television, papatoch, Harry Potter, papatoch…etc But he was not the type to put himself above such things, ever. He called our guitars Banjos, and harmonicas Electric Mouth Organs.

He had a chair, as most great men do. He would sit in his chair all day. Sleep in his chair. It was red leather with a tall back. Comfy as all get out. a damn fine chair. Also he had a uniform from the waist down. The shirts would change from day to day, but the ghandi shorts would not. The rolled up his swimming trunks as high as they could be rolled. I can picture him wearing a halfway buttoned short sleeve shirt, ghandi shorts, thick gardening gloves, and a straw hat. He is walking laps around the pool out back. Hes been doing laps for the past hour and a half in fact, while also carring on a conversation with the you seated by the pool. Each time he comes around then bend: So did you ever get around to reading…. and hes gone, then once again around the bend: The Plutarch I sent you….. then hes gone, and back: Oh no your reading that….. gone, back: Popatoch… and gone again.

He was a fine lecturer. His favorite subject: Antiquity’s greatest hits. I will never forget Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Charlemagne. The subject of a lecture I received numerous times, the Four greatest generals of all time. Sam didn’t care about Chris Hedges or DFW. He loved Parallel Lives. And Shakespeare. I remember one time he pulled me away from my popatoch harry potter and taught me Full Fathom Five.

Full Fathom Five that father lies
Of his bones are coral made
Those pearls that were his eyes
Nothing of his that doth fade
but doth suffer a sea-change

He was an elephant in memory moreso than appearance. He and his brother Big Phil would watch Beckett mouthing the words in time with the actors on stage. Not very fond of technology, he managed to figure out the DvD player to watch his Beckett. Rich with knowledge, but never elitist. However, sometimes it was a bit much. He could sometimes be difficult, at least in his later years. Sometimes when all you wanted to do was relax and read by the pool he would pop out of nowhere and launch into something we’ve heard a thousand times. And so towards he end, he was a bit ignored. It saddens me to say it. Maybe we were all too busy with our lives to listen to the romance of Cleopatra one more time.

But whenever he would sit with then baby Billy and Ellie watching elmo, everything was ok. There’s a Galeano story about the joy of a small child and old man, both without memory living in the moment joyously. He’s on his last days, and many of the days before have been difficult as his mind has slowly unraveled. We only see the effects of memory loss, a confused old man. But I hope that the subjective experience of memory loss is something beautiful that we can’t imagine. Every line of poetry he knew by heart growing wings and taking off, the history of Rome and Greece collapsing in on itself, each aria reverberating one last time before dissipating into the silence that came before. We wasn’t supposed to live this long, but he is, just barely. I hear he’s still eating ice cream.


Birds And Hearing

I wonder what birds are saying to each other. I wouldn’t expect birdsong to stick around unless it had some sort of evolutionary imperative. They are really good at moving in unison in large groups. Song can communicate to large groups. I guess that makes birds party animals.


I’ve always had a serious aversion to the word loser. Hearing it regards to anyone makes me feel shitty. I’d rather hear worse words like fuckhead. When someone says loser, theres this implication that the speaker is then a winner. What are they winning at? exclusivity, probably. But what is exclusivity but having less friends.



new idea

I’m going to force myself to live in my network, no matter how arbitrary. it seems like every random person I encounter passes me a card or an email saying, we should grab lunch some time, but these things are usually never followed up. But why not. It will be like a series of semi-blind dates with kind of strangers. milk that shit, if only for the lulz


I’ve been seeing my shadow more. Maybe if youre not seeing your shadow, everyone else in a terrible way. And when you watch your self behave in all the ways you thought you didn’t, it feels like a terrible thing. Often it is. But it often comes before something good.

I never thought I was an envious person. But I have an envious shadow. Is the opposite of envy gratefulness, is that a word? I’m grateful for the fact that my english is getting worse and worse. ciao amigos


I am not a fan of reading books twice with 2 exceptions. A tale of two cities and el principito. This was my third time for the little prince and each time has been something different. The third time I had political expectations, that I would read a critique of the french resistance and nazi germany, but alas, i didnt. Its the same every time you tame the fox. You sacrifice your time to your only companion in the desert, the fox. That makes the fox your fox, you’ve tamed him and you love him. Thats the difference between your flower and the sea of flowers in the desert. You’ve lost years of your life to your flower, and due to that ……………….all is lost my friends, we should lay down and die, all is lost my friendsoohhh we should lay down and die. this is not what I wanted for my friday night…….I digress, but When you look up at the night sky, you don’t know if the sheep has eaten your flower, and you dont know which star is yours, entonces cada estrella us tuyo. 

I just wanna ride on the train to school:

Lore compro un huevo de chocolate con una cosa para un nino, un ‘toy’, adentro. No se la palabra por esto, pere lo existe. Pues, adentro era un ‘toy’, un avion, un airplane. Yo lo traje a mi apartamento y mari, the apple of my eye, me pregunto cual es esto. le dije: una cosa para un nino, un ‘toy.’ 

-Ah toda bien, soy un nina.

-Yo tambien……


gracias al principito…..


del ombu

It seems that I write best when the sun is up, 7:25 in the am, america is on my mind, and Its still thursday. I love recoleta, it is beautiful, ornate, and european. But, it is not buenos aires. There is the other, much larger side that struggles through trenches of shit cada dia. Tonight I mustered up this courage to strike up a conversation with the doorman.

STORY: I was pregaming in the park with josh and aubry, the finest of folks, and We pull into san juanino for empanadas. I return to my apartment to grab my credit card porque no tuve plata efectivo. The previous doorman is sitting there, asleep mouth ajar…. The job of the doorman is simple, they sit at a desk and pressa button that opens the front door, usaully they read or watch movies. With mouth ajar, eyes closed he was masturbating furiously. The next day there was a new doorman, the doorman I decided to talk to.

This is Fabian Vallalon, world class tango vocalist singing with the Buenos Aires orchestra. The doorman.

In contrast

Phillip was hungover and dead so Felipe woke up feeling quite different and decided to have a tranquil day in the park. I recently finished El Libro de Arbols, a book written by the Buenos Aires Horticultural Society to educate children about trees, how to grow them, identify them, and care for them. Reading childrens books is alot easier than Borges. I decided to walk to plaza francia and see which trees I could Identify.

My favorite tree, and what I consider to be my first real friend in Buenos Aires is the Ombu:


The best part about the Ombu is that its not a tree at all, but rather a very VERY large Bush. The book advises the kidos not to climb on it because its limbs are deceivingly weak.

The next tree I found was the pehuen:


It bears a chestnut like fruit commonly eaten by the indians, before they were all slaughtered by general Roca. My favorite part about the pehuen is the fractal leaf pattern:


The third and most beautiful is the jacadinara:


It blooms in november to mark the coming of summer, I missed it, but its still a decent looking tree regardless.

I’ve been searching for El Alamo ever since I made a drunken mistake at a bar called, El Alamo. Me being the proud texan I am, 4 frenets deep, go around the bar preaching to the masses about the importance of the Alamo, how they have no Idea how badly we fucked Santa Anna in the ass, how yeah we all died but each texan that died took 20 mexicans with him. Finally I learn that no one gives a shit about texas history here and that El Alamo is a type of tree:


There is a fine pleasure derived from observing and identifying nature. I think bird watchers must feel the same way. I want to identify each tree in Plaza Francia. Oh yeah and tomorrow Im going to the best fucking beach in this god forsaken country, Mar de Plata. A breath of fresh air will be nice.


I was hammered when I wrote that last one, but I maintain the southwestern motto: sorry Im not sorry. But I would like to talk about anger. Lately my companions and I are trying to maintain empty, listening minds. There is nothing more frustrating than being utterly angry, looking objectively at yourself and thinking I dont need to feel this anger, why so angry, you should just calm down because everything will be ok. But all these calming objective truisms don’t change the fact that you are fucking pissed. Theres nothing you should do but be fucking pissed. Acknowledge that anger. Say it with me: fuck-yankee-scum!


you fucking americans. I have never hated americans more than I do now. and its not the everyday southerner tossing around ‘nigger’ and ‘faggot’ and ‘niggerfaggot’ that I hate. Its these ignorant ass ivy league entitled ass pieces of shit that I have the misfortune of finding time and time again.

Oh I dont know if you’ve heard of it, its called yale….

Ok ms. yale, shut the fuck up, please. I understand that you come from a privileged background because your daddy worked for bear stearns, but please fuck off. Where are you studying? Oh I go to school here, she says. What school? Oh you know, she says. Fuck you, you are on a program just like the rest of us, dont act like you just dropped your WASPy allowance to move to south america and enroll in these terrible fucking schools for the fun of it. You don’t go to school here. If you just went to school here you wouldnt be living in reco-fucking-leta. I’m glad you got your fucking boner at el alamo, where everyone speaks english, the most american fucking bar in recoleta. I hope you watched the lakers game and talked about obama. fuck you.

And to the duo from harvard, that couldnt help but use the word ‘harvard’ in every other sentence. Oh Yeah Im from harvard, oh my program yeah its just a harvard program, with people just uhhh just harvard. God I hate you all. I’m not in the business of meeting more americans, I have my american compadres and they have my back as I have theirs. But we are on a journey into the heart of argentine darkness, the last thing we want is a pit stop into daddy-funded entitled fucking american culture. I fucking hate the northeast right now, I hate every worthingchester III that is cleaning his boat shoes while mexicans clean his yacht. Texas is more like argentina than new york. To the fuck-hat whispering to me, “typical racist southerner” fuck you niggerwhorefaggotcocksuckingcunt-hijo del puta.

American entitlement has fucked us enough, don’t fuck me in a foreign country while I’m trying to escape you. die.