A Casual Notebook is a periodic record of musings from Shawn Moksvold. It is a humble blog in its infancy, with a new entry usually on the weekends. Having started as a virtual place to showcase pretentious and forced travel writing, it has developed into a beckoning to those who appreciate the novelty and, more importantly, nuances and ironies of living in a foreign country.
A sarcastic, food-loving bookworm who is prone to bouts of nostalgia and sentimentality. Also a music neophile, with a rich contempt toward popular radio and most commercials, he would most often prefer a good song to a meal, but would choose a good meal and conversation over most things. He often feels sorry for himself and demonstrates a constant linguistic and physical clumsiness, some of which he writes down for the benefit of the sadistic public.
He religiously nurtures, in mind and physicality, a constant wanderlust and an occasional attraction to adventure that will probably destroy him in the end but provides genuine life experience, some of which he will write in this blog.
He is an incessant watcher of movies.
He rarely sleeps past 8am, even hungover.
He is often cynical and sometimes sardonic, but has a soft side that actually allows him to enjoy things like Kir Royales, cats, and strawberries dipped in white chocolate.
A consummate masochist, he spontaneously constructs life scenarios in which there is likely failure, but has the sensibility to know when he’s fortunate.
He would not care to live without strong coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine. He would rather be around people who are smarter than him, although he feels guilty when confronted with this realization. He is an amateur naturalist, loves animals, and likes to play the guitar, take great and bad amateur photographs, spin vinyl records, exercise, write/read poetry, and short stories/travel writing. He likes to spend prolonged time in water under a hot sun. He likes to camp, and often studies people’s accents and languages. He pays attention to world news.
He feels most alive when he is traveling uncomfortably or laughing really hard.
He is horribly irresponsible with money. He likes words.
He needs an occasional dose of classic jazz every now and then to feed his soul, electronic music as candy for his emotional mind, sullen saxophone-ridden Morphine kind of stuff to nurse him through bouts of self-loathing, folksy guitar to help him remember the good parts of his childhood, and some weird, deviant stuff just to keep it interesting. There is never enough music.
He likes cities.
Beside Australia’s Glowing Gem, A Rare Blend of Music and Culture under the Stars The Cultureist Magazine
No One in My Tree: John Lennon’s Almería The Huffington Post Travel
Elaborate Slaughter: Impressions of My First Bullfight The Huffington Post
In El Hierro: Waiting for the Smoke to Clear The Cultureist Magazine
Decanted and Decoded: Spanish Wine in a Nutshell The Cultureist Magazine
Photo Essay: A Stroll through Salamanca The Cultureist Magazine
Get Cultured: Madrid. Exploring the City Like a Local The Cultureist Magazine
Mallorca’s Accidental Gems The Cultureist Magazine
1862 Dry Bar MADbudget.com
Madrid Food Tour MADbudget.com
Winner, Fiction 101 Contest San Diego City Beat Magazine
Best food lately: Sobressada, Vermut and oysters, Pa amb oli, mussels, pimientos de Padrón, Tinto de Verano, Gintonic.
Literary stimulations at the moment:
Goodbye to Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood
South from Granada, by Gerald Brenan
Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell
Half Empty, by David Rakoff
Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell
The Best of Young Spanish Novelists, Granta Issue 113
To the Ends of the World, by Paul Theroux
Sea of Glory, by Nathaniel Philbrick
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, by David Sedaris
Marco Polo, from Venice to Xanadu, by Laurence Bergreen
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates. Using Philosophy and Jokes to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in between. by Thomas Chathcart & Daniel Klein
Curso Intermedio de español, by M. Arévalo !