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Swissarmykate


November 21st, 2006

make a little birdhouse in your soul @ 10:56 am

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There's a little bit of me going every which way right now. It's not the best feeling.

I'm quite anxious about coming home. I want to stay, but I want to be home. It's getting very hard now that the one month mark is passed and counting down is easier than ever - last minute trips are being planned and assignments handed out so that we have enough to be graded on. My professors are giving us piteous looks - as though to say "I'm sorry but in these last few weeks it's really time to start cracking down".

I'm going to miss this city, it's definitely sunk it's claws into me.

But let's not dwell on leaving...

I was in Vienna this weekend to see Bridget and a Tool concert, and I had one of the best travel weekends of my life. The city was simply aglow with Christmas lights, and seeing the gorgeous Austrians strolling down the streets in their finest took me to another time and place out of kitschy old Hollywood film.

I loved seeing Klimt and Schiele too, and being able to talk about them with my art history professor today was a wonderful feeling. It's much different to discuss and study art in the place it was conceived and originally displayed, Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Klimt, Kupka, Mucha, Bilek, Preisler...I feel I can understand the context and inspiration behind their work when I see their cities and homes.

It was nice to see Bridget's program too, at least a bit of it. It's crazy to think we all left for these radically different programs, and we're scattered about the world doing unimaginable things with our lives.


I've got off for my column this week - but I guess I'll write it anyway because I found some great material this weekend.

Peace to all, na zdravi.
 

November 5th, 2006

Back from Barcelona (and Amsterdam) @ 03:51 pm

Current Location: Machova 12
Current Mood: tired tired

It's finally time for a post of my fall break.
I spent about 10 days in Spain with Kara, Adam, and Elena. Friday morning we flew out of Prague and into Barcelona, where suddenly, it smelled like Florida. The sun was shining, palm trees were waving in the breeze, and the people were smiling. After leaving Prague's 40 degree weather and scowling Czechs, we promptly decided we would move to Barcelona.


PALM TREES!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, we explored the city. Our hostel was located in a small neighborhood off of La Rambla, and it's comfortable chaos became one of my favorite things about the trip. It seemed to have a large immigrant population, with lots of Indian markets and restaurants. The actual rooms were in what essentially became our private flat - just us with another group of travelers in a very sizable apartment. Granted, the boiler was on the fritz and we didn't have hot water until Saturday night, but that's minor considering the privacy and space we were given.


Alleyway

Almost everyday, we went to the San Josef Market on La Rambla, to buy fruits, nuts, juices, cheese, pastries...the sights and smells there were heavenly.






We also explored the port area, with the statue of Christopher Columbus reaching out to sea. The area had lots of outdoor stalls with food and trinkets, and it was great for lazing around and watching the water.

Cristobol Colon

Arches

The water.

We also toured works by Gaudi, an architect with an amazing eye for the organic potential of masonry. The aesthetic of his designs is reminiscent of a "drip" sand castle.

La Sagrada Familia



Gaudi also designed Parc Guell, a space meant to house a functioning community with residential space..

We ate a lot, twice at our favorite tapas place, called Origens, were 99.9% of all the ingredients used were from Spain.

This is how you eat flan...

We finished up almost each day with gelato or a gofre (the waffle, not the rodent).



And we found street performers every 2 blocks or so.

Flamenco

Monday evening we took a night train to Madrid. I wasn't thrilled to be on the train, I never realized how claustrophobic I could feel. But it was cheap and saved us the cost of a hostel for a night, so I'd do it again.
I enjoyed Madrid a lot - but it seemed a bit more hectic than Barcelona and functioned more like a metropolis rather than a resort town, so they have very different vibes and are hard to compare. I got together with Dave and we went inside the Prado to see some master works, then Dave introduced us to the menu del dia (fixed lunch menu including at least two courses and a drink - a nice food bargain for a student's budget) and some other delightful aspects of Spanish culture (of course at this point we'd already embraced the siesta).
We also saw a flamenco show - my new favorite art. I must see more - and to hear the music! Ay, with driving beats and raw vocals, the most beautiful guitar playing I've ever heard, it was incredible.


Rain rain go away.!

And the rain did go away, for a lovely last day spent in Madrid under blue skies.





This poor cat we found in a Madrid pet store...but at least it wasn't an outdoor pet store like in Barcelona.

We also went to La Reina Sofia and saw Picasso's La Guernica - definitely my favorite museum moment abroad so far. I knew the museum had a large Picasso exhibit, but I didn't realize the Guernica was there. I was so shocked to see it in the hall, it really is very striking in person and I would definitely go back for another look.

Our return to Barcelona required another night train trip...this time I was a bit more prepared.

Prepackaged food is your friend.

I was really psyched to return back to Barcelona and finish out the trip there, especially since Bridget decided last minute to fly out of Vienna to meet up with us! But our hostel experience sort of dampened the last few nights - the place was overbooked, crowded, dirty, and noisy. The staff pretended to be helpless and were probably not too keen on Americans. For comparison, here was our first hostel in Barcelona, BCN Loft.

Nice, cheery, bright...


And this was at Rambla y Catalunya Hostel. Poor Kara had to build her own bed.

Back in Barcelona we saw the Picasso museum, ate some more, and Bridget and I went to the Dali Museum (astounding - really mindblowing). We also had a bit of sangria.

But Bridget drank it all.

But as far as unplanned trips to Spain go, I think this one was pretty amazing. Considering we went without a plan, and we figured out trains and hostels sort of on the fly, I think we did well. I'd love to spend more time in Barcelona, maybe get a flat there for a few months and work at a private gallery or museum. In the residential streets all the neighbors know each other and shout out across their balconies and down to the kids on the streets below, passing along messages and warnings as they shake out laundry on their wrought iron railings. Everything is noisy - the cars, the bikes, the kids, the adults, the birds, the radios...sound for the sake of sound fills the air and envelops everyone that walks by. I can't wait to go back.


This past weekend I went to Amsterdam with Kara and Elena and we met up with Kara's friend Ashley, who's studying in England.
I haven't got my pictures up on photobucket, or figured out this photo/browser thing anyway because it's impossible.
But it was beautiful - with the concentric web of canals, the dark brick buildings, the bicycles speeding past.
Even bad weather didn't put a damper on the weekend. It was freezing and rainy, and grey most days so my pictures aren't so spectacular. But we went to Museum N8, or Museum Night, which was 17 euro for 40 museums...obviously 40 wasn't our goal, but we saw the Reiksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank house, all of which had great exhibits and were very well done to handle the massive crowds of the young artsy schmoozing Dutch and tourist types. I loved the city, and the Dutch are extremely friendly and easygoing. Another place I can't wait to see again someday.

A fond hello to everyone out there. Peace.
 

October 18th, 2006

Kind of makes you wonder @ 04:56 pm

Three midterms down, one to go - the worst - Czech.
I talked to a Czech girl today who learned English in Minnesota over the course of two and a half years, and while her accent is thick her grammar and vocabulary are excellent. My grasp of this language is paltry and not really impressive, but I do give myself some credit for really working on building a working traveler's vocabulary and I'm ALMOST got the "ř"...almost.
The problem is, unless I plan on moving here someday or working very specifically as a Czech/English translator somewhere, I won't use this language to the point of fluency.

I get to practice my Spanish for the first time (Ok, second, but Costa Rica was not really about socializing) on Friday, when I leave for Barcelona for fall break. We'll see how that goes.

My mom came to visit Thursday to Tuesday morning, and I stayed with her in a hotel near my dorm. It was so nice to have a comfy bed and no clomping students running around the hallway at 3am. Breakdown:
Thursday: Vivaldi and Mozart concert followed by dinner with Elena at Zanzibar, crashed in hotel. Highlight: The violin soloist's pants, nearly up to his neck.
Friday: Toured Prague Castle, St. Vitus, St. George, and the Golden Lane. Exhausted, we head back to hotel to change for ballet performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream where Adam met us, then on to dinner at Seven Angels where we had great food and listened to two minute sets of live Roma music played by greasy haired musicians. Highlights: Puck's pants - I'd like to call it "hairy couture", it gave him goatlike Pan-esque bowed legs.
Saturday: Trip to Kutna Hora, town in Bohemia about an hour from Prague with the infamous bone church - thousands and thousands of bones forming chandeliers, royal crests, wall ornamentation, candle holders, shrines, and - most notably - four massive pyramids. Yeah. Also St. Barbara's cathedral and the former mint for Bohemia, as it was a silver mining town. Then later back in Prague a concert by the North Czech Philharmonic, a Chopin etude (e flat?) by an amazing piano soloist and Dvořak's New World Symphony. Highlights: nobody had weird pants today.
Sunday: Bummed around and did homework, got a massage at the hotel. Met up with Kara and Elena and Adam for Tex-Mex at Buffalo Bill's. Highlights: Friiiied ice cream.
Monday: Class, then a tour of Josefov, the Jewish quarter for THREE HOURS oh man. Beautiful synagogues and rich history, very moving, but THREE HOURS was a bit much, especially since I came right from class and was carrying my books in my backpack for all that time. Then we ran away from the creeepy skinny tour lady and got dinner at Lary Fary, an awesome restaurant with a heaven/hell theme, I had an amazing garlic soup with foam on top and a delicious vegetable kebab. Then back to hotel to watch the Incredibles and have chocolate and tea. Highlights: Giggling at mom's drink order - Mai Tai. She couldn't work up the nerve to order a Sex on the Beach.
Tuesday: Saying good bye to mommy. Not to see her for over two months. Very sad.

Ah yeah. I miss certain people very much and it is hard for me. I often wonder how to reconcile travel with the human relationships that make my life beautiful in ways no amount of travel or solo "life experiences" could compare to.

Moving on, Spain will be a delight. Hopefully I can make it to Cordoba (google Mosque of Cordoba and see my art historical obsession).

Who knows. This is the very center of my time here, two months in and two months to go. It's hard not to count down, I have to divide my time up very carefully to do what I want to in the time I have left. And there's a lot to look forward to at home already. Yes Prague is wonderful but so are the states. A lot to look forward to.

Love to all. Whoever reads this.
 

October 10th, 2006

Český Krumlov @ 02:16 pm

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Hey readers,
Lately I've had fewer and fewer chances to get to a computer for emailing or to record my experiences. Classes are finally picking up (and by that I mean midterms start next week) and my weekend trips mean my free time has to be spent planning and organizing and sleeping and feeding myself and trying to explore Praha along the way. I'll try to fill you in...

CLASSES
Czech class is great, I'm learning the past and present tense, I can tell time, give directions, read menus, ask for prices, and swear at people. My gender class is brilliant - it makes me want to become a Women's Studies major or maybe a Sociology major...which isn't all that possible so far into my college career (OVER HALF DONE!) but at least I've got some new areas of interest and I feel acutely aware of the society I've moved into. Lit class is not as intensive as I'd like to it be, but Art History is fun and my profesor is quite good.

EXTRACURRICULARS
I started attending yoga classes held by an American expat in her studio apartment near the Vltava, I usually go once or twice a week and work on my flexibility, breath control, meditation, and general stress levels. I like my teacher and look forward to class. I'm so glad I'm doing this instead of joining a gym, I love the idea of using my own body's weight and strength make myself feel better.
Also I joined the NYU in Prague theater group and we're going to put on a sort of cabaret production. I'm working on two pieces: one with Sam on an adapted scene from a book (we'll see how that goes...) and another scene, a clown piece with my friend Brad. About 12 of us meet twice a week with our advisor type guy, David, an extremely passionate drama profesor from South Africa, and he workshops our projects and keeps us on track. It's a very independent endeavor, so things are moving slowly. But I have a lot of hope for what we'll produce...some of the students are writing a score for the show, and I heard the theme for the first time yesterday and it was just amazing. This also makes me want to change majors and study drama, but yet again, I'm just chalking it up to new interests and becoming a more well-rounded artsy kind of gal.

TRAVEL PLANS
My mom is coming to visit Thursday to Tuesday! I'm so excited to see her, and to show her around like a local. Before when she came with me to drop me off, we sort of wandered aimlessly. But now I can show off my scant Czech skills and kind of know my way about the city!
Then next weekend marks the start of our fall break and I leave for Barcelona with Kara, Adam, and Elena! We'll probably do some trips to other coastal cities, and I'd love to make it all the way South to Morocco if at all possible.
The week after that, the first weekend of November, I'm traveling with the same group to Amsterdam. I can't wait to see the Van Gogh museum and canal system, my pictures are going to be amazing. I also got the flights round trip for no more than $35. Sky Europe rocks my wallet. After that I'm not sure where'll I'll be, I have yet to plan the second weekend of November, and I have a lithography workshop (YES I'm a print dork) that Friday so I'm not sure what I can do.
The third week of November I'm going back to Vienna to see Bridget and to go to a Tool concert. I think that's the best plan ever. The fourth weekend of November I'd like to head to Poland...Krakow or Warsaw, wherever cheap flights will take me.
Hopefully that will be the end of my massive tour of Europe, and I can spend the rest of December enjoying beautiful chilly Praha and maybe a few visits from the Jumbos at large... I'm so happy to see these next few weeks as the weather turns, the hot wine vendors are already on the streets...

In recent news...
I went to Český Krumlov this weekend with an NYU organized trip. I could try to give you a brief history, or you can read this:
History of the town
This charming town experienced its greatest prosperity during the rule of Lords of Rožmberk (1302 - 1602), who chose Český Krumlov to become the seat of their kingdom. At this time, Krumlov lay on the crossroads between the Czech, Austrian, Bavarian and Northern Italian lands. You can see the influence of these different cultures that have left their mark on the town and Castle with brushstrokes of the Italian Renaissance. At the end of 17th century, during the reign of House of Eggenberg, the Castle Baroque Theatre was built and the Castle Gardens were renovated. Under the rule of House of Schwarzenberg, Český Krumlov gained its Baroque appearance. Český Krumlov's Old Town hasn't experienced major changes since the 19th century, other than the demolition of the town's fortification walls and guard towers, and has maintained its historic character.
Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a lively, cosmopolitan town with a unique atmosphere surrounded by unspoiled countryside. Dominated by a Castle stretching over the meandering Vltava River, Český Krumlov's narrow cobblestone streets wind along romantic nooks between patrician houses where you'll find attractive exhibits of world- renown artists, music festivals and concerts, and theatre performances. The cosy inns, coffee shops, and ancient taverns entertain a diverse international crowd.

It's incredibly beautiful there, and I took lots of pictures the first day in the gray, hazy light, fascinated by how the dark clouds muffled the modernity of the town. It was like looking back in time at a peaceful, quiet town unmolested by the trials of the greater world community. The next day, the sun came out and so did the tourists - making for more of a vacation-getaway feel, almost like Provincetown. I loved it all, and I understand why a lot of Czechs pick the town for their romantic getaways or weddings.

Click for a little bit of nebeCollapse )
 

October 1st, 2006

unbirthday @ 01:09 pm

Three countries in four days. 16 hours of bus time. Two decades since my birth on planet earth.

This entry will probably sound kind of negative because it was exhausting and I was under the weather, but I really did have a nice time.

Aight...Thursday, an early morning bus ride to Austria. I was travelling with six other girls. This was a mistake. I should have stuck to just travelling with Elena and Kara as originally planned, because the more people, the more stress...and I didn't get to have the quality one-on-one time with Bridget as much as I'd have liked. I should have JUST done Vienna, and not let other people plan my birthday. Ah well, live and learn.

Also, I was sort of sick the whole time with sinus/throat general ouchinicity, so I wasn't as energetic as I'd like to have been and I spent a lot of time trying to find medicine and a place to sit quietly without having to talk.

So in Vienna we packed too many of us into the tiny hostel room (Wombat, clean and nice, but forever scarred in my memory, I don't think I'll be back) and wandered about. I can't remember much of what we saw because of the long complicated German names but the city was indeed gorgeous. I did not see nearly enough to get a good sense of it so of course I'll have to visit again (Tool plays there in November, a good excuse, no?). Bridget introduced me to the delicious sachretorte and I bought myself a Kashmiri pashmina and a beret for my birthday.

I rang in my birthday wandering the streets looking for a pub with Bridget, and wondering why my travel buddies had failed to show up...I'm still a little perplexed about that. But a call from my sister and mom cheered me up and of course I had my dear Bridgi.

We headed to Budapest by bus Friday evening, where my phone died when my parents called (apparently I do get charged for incoming calls...at least while roaming) and came to an AMAZING hostel - Homemade Hostel, which I would definitely recommend. The girls took me out to a great dinner at an Italian place and gave me a hilarious Czech card and gorgeous scarf. At dinner we were all relaxed and in a good mood so that was probably my highlight of the trip, and a wonderful way to celebrate.

We wandered a bit looking for clubs and found only 16 year olds dancing to halfway decent music. Lots of tequila and a no cover charges, though, made it tolerable.

Word of warning to travelers heading to Hungary. Figure out the forint's exchange rate and know it well - at 200 forints to a dollar, it makes using it seem like monopoly money and it was kind of confusing to me.

The next morning Kara and Elena and I took off on our own. We peeked inside one of the famous baths but we didn't go in for actual services. I'm glad we didn't because I'm kind of skeeved out by the public water park vibe, and those places get an INTENSE amount of traffic moved through them daily. A massage would have been nice, but it just wasn't worth it to me.

We saw the Picasso and Rembrandt exhibits at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, and they were wonderfully done with some great supplementary contemporary reactionary art. The Picasso exhibit was themed "Picasso in Love" and it was about his various lovers and the art they inspired. Granted, it was sort of a glorification of his infamous chauvinism, but it was still an interesting theme and a good way to chronicle his life and work. The Rembrandt was great too, a huge sampling of his etchings. After working at Childs' all summer I was thrilled to see master print work.

We then walked around the business district to see the sit-in in front of the Parliament building, and even though I'm very well versed in the political situation there it was amazing to see such an intense demonstration of nationalism. People had set up camp there, literally, with tents and tarps and a stage had been erected with speakers blaring traditional folk music and Hungarian songs.

We walked forever and ever and finally found food - Hungary is big on the closing of the shops/restaurants from about 2 until 6, which is why I think it's called Hungary. Later we headed into Buda (until then we'd just been in Pest on the East [?] side of the river) and tried Unicum, the popular Hungarian herbal liquor, at a bar - it tastes like licorice, and wasn't all that bad. I still love my Czech Slivovice though...

We went to a shopping center called "Mammot" ("Mammot! You know, mammot! Like the animal that has been dead for long time" "oooooh mammoth!") and went to two of the clubs inside. They were all right with nice bars and good music, but way to crowded to be good for dancing. I headed home in a cab on my own at two thirty without elena and kara, who came home at five after kara lost her wallet...

Yeah. Fun filled weekend, definitely some good moments but overall just too whirlwind for my travel tastes. It's making me excited to spend a week in Barcelona during the upcoming fall break...some real time to explore and meet people...

Peace to all!
 

September 23rd, 2006

burčák @ 04:20 pm

Burčák (pronounced BOOrchyak)

Here's an exceprt from an article at http://prague.tv/articles/zine/burcak
"Burčák is partially fermented young wine, which hits the wine bars of Prague in August, slightly ahead of vinobraní, the traditional festival celebrating the new wine harvest. [...] Because burčák is so sweet, it doesn’t really taste like an alcoholic beverage, even though the alcohol content is between 5% and 8%. [...]

Burčák is derived from fermenting grape juice, known as must, shortly after the grapes have been crushed. At a point determined by the winegrower, the must is deemed worthy of consumption and a part of it is sold as burčák. The rest is allowed to mature into adult wine.

In common with most other alcoholic drinks produced in the Czech Republic, burčák is supposed to offer great health benefits. In this case, however, the drink’s proponents might actually have a point: Burčák is rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin B, and certain essential minerals.

You’ll have to move fast to reap those benefits, however: Because of its short shelf-life, burčák can only legally be sold between the 1st August and 30th November."

I first sampled this unusual drink on my trip to Southern Moravia last weekend, in a restaurant called the Zelena Kočka (Green Cat) in Brno, a city I like to call "Little Prague". We had it again the next day in Mikulov, with some Czech high school students in their sweet student center, a nice underground lair complete with a kitchenette and perfumed by the scent of their jerry built hookah.
Later, Adam and I found the drink sold by the liter in Old Town, so we bought 3 bottled. Elena and Kara joined us for a lovely Eastern European picnic in Letna park, under gray skies amidst roller-blading Czechs. The night eventually brought the girls to KFC, but that's becoming de rigeur for our outings anyway.

Friday, we had a bit more in the Hradcanska neighborhood while checking out the outdoor markets there, and Elena bought two bottles of the white. After a dinner of Indian food (yes, that was the first thing I searched for on expat.cz) we waddled back to Namesti Miru. Imagine our delight when we heard live music and spied a concert pavilion erected amidst a "Vinobrani", or wine harvest festival!

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Doesn't that look delicious?
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A delicious cinnamon pastry also sold in Old Town Sq, I forget what it's called!
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The girls and their spoils.


So Elena and Kara bought a bottle of the red (which I prefer to the white, it tastes more like "kinda juice" and less like "bad juice").

Later that night we found ourselves with Danny and Brooke celebrating Rosh Hashanah on the steps of the cathedral at Namesti Miru.
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Danny had made sweet apple kugel for dinner with his rabbi, but he never made it to the rabbi's house so we got to eat it with our hands while having chugging contests with - what else - more burčák.

Then I wandered back home to watch "Sleeper" (hilarious and awesomely bad) with Danny, and, appropriately, I fell asleep. I didn't get sick, but late last night I couldn't sleep from nerves and I blame the burčák. Burčák, I love and hate you.

Today we went to the Museum of Communism and a restaurant called Buffalo Bill's, with some pretty yummy Tex-Mex, though the Texan girl I was with complained, predictably.

Life is good in this city. Next week, to Vienna to see Bridget and then Budapest! Hopefully the political situation will have calmed down there a bit, although Doug is there now and says it's fairly peaceable.

Oh, and for good measure, a picture of a poster near my dorm.
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September 8th, 2006

(no subject) @ 02:59 pm

Current Mood: sick sick
Current Music: k west

It really sucks to be sick at home, but it sucks even more to be sick abroad. My suitemates are all going out and I'm quarantining myself in the dorm tonight. I've had a cold and sore throat since Monday, and the last thing I need is to put myself in a crowded, sweaty club until 2 am.

So here's my obligatory "killing time and feeling sorry for myself" entry where I ramble on and on for a bit.

Tuesday I'll be attending a performance from the BBC Philharmonic, where they'll be doing pieces by Smetana, a Czech, among other important people I don't know.

Friday I'll embark on a three day trip to Southern Moravia, headed by my art history prof. Simon North. I'm really excited for that, and not just because So.Mo. is the CR's wine country.

The weekend of the 23rd I've got nothing planned, but I hope to hit up that four story club again, with a muscled eunuch as a bodyguard.

September 28th is a Czech National holiday, so we'll have a four day weekend. I'm planning on traveling to Vienna to see Bridget, and then heading on to Budapest. Maybe we'll hit up Bratislava too, Slovakia's capital city, but I doubt it.

October 8th I'm heading to Cesky Krumlov for an overnight trip. This touristy town has been "untouched" since medieval times. I hope they have plumbing in the hostel.

Another week off, then fall break begins Oct 20 and ends the 29th. I'm not sure where I'll be then - hopefully I can get some sun then, though...

Halloween falls on a Tuesday, and my suitemates and I are determined to really get into it, regardless of if we're the only ones in the city dressed up. I imagine that some club will throw an expat party though, and we'll do it up right.

The 10th of November I'm going to participate in a lithography workshop, and if any of you know how nerdy I am about prints after working at Childs Gallery, you can guess how excited I am. I have to figure out a simple design to sketch, though, because my artistic skills are a bit rusty if not non-existent.

Oy. Head hurts. Peace out globe-trekkers.
 

August 21st, 2006

packing @ 11:05 am

Current Location: West Seneca
Current Mood: calm calm

Now would probably be a good time to spurn Western materialism and become a Buddhist. Then weighing my suitcases wouldn't be an issue.

Then again, neither would my diploma - clearly a selfish desire.

I leave tomorrow - with my worldly goods packed or not - to take a vacation from (or to) reality (I haven't decided yet). One part of me says that this is not the real world, this jet-setting and cultural excess is a time for youthful abandon. But I also want to find an intense clarity for where I'm headed in the next few years, to realize a lot of the goals that have nothing to do with school or work. I think a good blend is in order.

Good luck to everybody for this coming fall.
 

July 27th, 2006

(no subject) @ 05:01 pm

The intensity of this past summer has surprised me. I'm living on my own, blessed with a lot of help from loved ones, and I've seen a lot of great people and places, all with a new sense of self and progression. It's funny how going away to school didn't really feel like living on my own until I'd actually left the dorms. Moving here was like removing the training wheels. And while I still can't really ride out of sight of the house, I wouldn't want to at this point anyway.

I haven't left the country since spring break, and that was a brief trip to Canada. Pretty soon I won't be back in the country for four months. All my friends keep saying, "You know where we'll be a month from now?" I'm excited, but I also feel like I was just getting settled here. That's the way it goes, I guess.
It can be new all over again when I come back.

While I still have the drive and energy, I think I'd like to be a modern gypsy, as long as I can travel to or with the ones I love.

Also, I think I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have a favorite color. I love them all and in most combinations. Even mustard and fuschia. That might explain my high school wardrobe choices. I want to do it all, and all at once.

Oh, a friend compared me to Madeline Kahn today, and I think that's one of the best compliments I've ever received. Kahn and I share a birthday, too, as I found out as I obsessively IMDB'd her a month or so ago.

Peace.
 

July 9th, 2006

(no subject) @ 12:48 pm

It has been a wonderful, wonderful summer.

About one month left before Praha and four extremely scary months. But I can't wait.

We went to NH, PTown, Portland, the beach (Good Harbor? Great Bay? something "positive water-site")...soon to the Jersey shore.

I've been walking a lot, cooking and finding great food, and I actually like my room and house (phew). Things are comfortable and happy and I feel so fortunate to live with and be surrounded by loved ones.

Alas, my computer crashed for unknown reasons this Friday and every file I had was wiped out. I haven't any music (arrrgh, at least I have my iPod), school papers and such(I was actually proud of a lot of those), personal writing (*SCREAM*), and - worst of all - pictures. Thanks to a wonderful birthday present this fall I have an album with prints of my favorite pictures, but there are a lot I don't think I'll ever get back. (Upcoming PSA ALERT) Please back up your files. I was foolish and never did, so about 2 years worth of my (electronic) life is gone.

So if anyone I knows reads this and has pictures they think I might value, please let me know or email them to me. It'll be a slow process but I'd like to try to get some back.

Peace.
 

Swissarmykate