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Friday, May 21st "Dog Festival; The Wedding: stay away from Madrid"

To the disappointment of many, Curro will not
take part in the Dog Festival this weekend.

If you have some time this Sunday there is a Dog Festival going on in the Parque del Alamillo. All sorts of games as well as a contest or two should keep things interesting. Myself missing having a dog - aside from Curro, whom we adopt for an hour or so every week as we sip beers at the bar down the street - this should be a good event to see. By the way if you visit Curro in El Tremendo he has a preference for mojama, a salty dried fish. Peanuts, chips and lessor foods are treated with indifference. He also enjoys a can of paté every day but manages to keep his slim figure. Unfortunately for me a communion (see previous entry) which we've been invited to overlaps with the Dog Festival so I'll have to keep visiting Curro. Maybe it's sad to say (wait, no it's not), but I prefer the dogs over a communion any day...

It's taken me a while to address the Royal Wedding mainly because there's not a minute that goes by on television without some mention of it: a biography of Letizia or the Principe, a special about the wedding dress, the catering, the plates they'll eat off, how they made the rings...ok, so I'm a little pessimistic about the whole thing. It's not that I'm heart-broken that Letizia has chosen the Principe over me (or that so many Spanish women are heart-broken that the Prince is finally getting married). Maybe I'm just not used to having a royal family as part of my history. Even if George W. Bush is the son of the former President I don't think I'd consider him royalty. I have another word for him which I won't use here...

A part of me looks at all of the money being tossed around and thinks "what a waste". However, as my girlfriend points out, there is plenty of work being generated from all of this: hotels and restaurants are full, police and security get plenty of overtime, florists, caterers and more are earning great sums of money. Could this be trickle down economics which actually works? In a way, yes, and while I don't understand the fascination (I tried to arrange a tennis match during the wedding but failed) I know it's a big event which will be watched throughout the entire country. I also have to be honest that coverage begins some 3 hours before the wedding, nothing compared to the 6 hours of pre-game we give the Superbowl. So I'm not about to tell you we're doing a better job in the states. We just each have our own things to waste our time with.

My one piece of advice from all of this would be to stay away from Madrid. It may be too late for many of you, especially those who are not reading the news and decided to wing it and make your way to Madrid. You're likely trying to find a way to get out of there right now. But the streets in the center are cut off in many places, security is tight and there are hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors crowding the city. Better to come back next weekend when hopefully things will be back to normal. For now I simply challenge you to watch more than 30 minutes of television without seeing something related to the Royal Wedding.