Thursday, August 13, 2009


I just got so much sleep by not going to the gym. And I was thinking about so many things on the subway.

1. I love my outfit today. Both comfortable and fashionable (or so I think).

2. I got a cat-call for the first time since Barcelona. Check!

3. In love with Miley's Party in the USA and can't stop singing it even though she is a terrible excuse for a tween role model

4. Despite my efforts, I continuously put too much water in my instant oatmeal, causing me to grab the open packet and add more oats. I think the point of the packages are so you don't eat more than the given amount, and if you pile on the oats/flavoring, you will soon become obese.

5. I bought the best $70 bra yesterday at the "bra lady", and have now OFFICIALLY done everything I wanted to do in NYC

6. My favorite text I sent last night read "Going out with my brother is like watching CNN while you're drinking. I think someone just used the phrase "privy to this lexicon." I think someone should send that into texts-from-last-night because it's both true and ridiculous.

7. I will not be hanging out with my brother and his friends again. I have nothing to contribute.

8. I'm going to miss the super-stereotyped mexican child with maracas and a sombrero that says "ole!" to me all day at my desk. He's so festive.

9. Being in NY has taught me many things, but the most important is how to properly do my hair curly. thank god.

I hope today goes quickly because I can't wait to get on that plane on saturday morning. eeek.

Friday, August 7, 2009

ello, govna!

Happy Friday!!!!

It's been a good day so far, especially since the pitches that Miffy had me write yesterday were successful, and I'm going to send the book to these two bloggers soon. She let me write it all by myself, and although it was just a couple tweenie bloggers, it was really exciting to get positive feedback on it! yay! Ironically, I've been warming up to my job the longer I am here, and the work I'm doing has become more interesting and beneficial. Such as... the million cold calls to the top print and TV media? It started off as a daunting task that I needed to get over with, and became a valuable lesson about cold calls and how to NOT freak out about them. I was a wimp before this job, and I think I've learned a lot of non-wimpy strategies during my time here (although I'm still very much a wimp sometimes).

Next week is my last week, so that makes this weekend my last weekend. I recently realized how much of an old fart I've become when my sister said to me "I thought you said I act old", and my response was "I did think that, but that was before I, too, became old." If I have the chance to sit around in comfy clothes, cook a good meal, and watch TV or read a book, I will. My partying days are in NO way over, but they have become less necessary over the past few years. I'd like to go out this weekend, but sitting in my best friend's central ac, with her whole fam, and a homemade meal??? I can't pass that up!

So, on a different note, my new favorite show is Drop Dead Diva. It's on lifetime, so I know what you're thinking, or what I was thinking before I actually watched it, but it's really funny! and i love the main character because she totally embodies the ditz she's supposed to be inside. It's also easily available online which is a major plus in my no-cable living situation. I've been avoiding the words "So You Think You Can Dance" and "winner" all day because there is no possible way for me to watch the results episode in real time. And, despite my efforts, it has not been posted online yet for a midday work tv session.

So my new dilemma, something I seem to be adding up like a collectors item, is.... whether I should get an internship in the fall or not. It's a job with State College Magazine, where I'd have the opportunity to write and have some of my writing published. It would be a really amazing thing for me, but I'm afraid I'd be taking away from my senior year. I don't want to be the girl who can't go out because her collumn isn't written yet. I was also considering getting a part-time PAYING job at a coffee shop or something similar. Considering I keep throwing away my parents money like it's nothing, I feel like it would be beneficial to them as well as me and my working skills. I like being busy, but I absolutely HATE being too busy. I'll give it some more thought because I've learned that trying new things always adds another demension to your life and in most cases, it's a really good addition.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It'll be like You've-Got-Mail

Remember From The Mixed Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? That was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. They get to sleep in the museum! I kind of forgot about all the books I loved when I was younger. I know I say I didn't read much, which is true, compared to my television consumption and the hundreds of books my siblings went through, but I did read some books. And the books that I did read, I remember every moment of them. I may not have been able to speed read like all the other kids, but I probably had the best reading comprehension around.

I've been working with this cute bookstore in Tennessee that is only run by two ladies who are both very nice. They have story-time, dress up, themed birthdays, and they even set up a tranquil "adult" room with coffee and tea for the stressed out parents!! Wouldn't it be wonderful to work in a place like that? I don't like kids much now, but I assume I'll grow out of it as I get older, and being Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail would probably be pretty fun!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I swear I'm not "emo"

... I just have too much time to think.

I've been home all night, thinking about my life and the recent events that have happened. Events might be too strong of a word. More like, happenings or drawn out nothings. I actually don't think I have ever been alone this long before. It may just seem long because it's such a tiny apartment, but even at home there is always someone coming in and out or a dog that's sleeping in the corner. It's strange because I know I have friends and family who love me, but you can only call your mom a certain number of times a day before it gets excessive and sad. So, when I've exhausted all my phone call options, I just sit. Go to work. Make dinner. Watch online TV. Sleep. And do it all over again. If this is any indication of what is in store for me after I graduate, I've got a lot to figure out before then. Not to mention, the past two romantic prospects I had in mind both crashed and burned... I'm thinking it's time for a resurgence.

I recently watched Hitch with the sexy Will Smith, and I noticed that a lot of movies have that theme of "girl that is so centered around her career that she builds a wall up and no man can break it down." I've probably seen close to 5. Ironically, I've never really met that girl, and I've definitely never been that girl. It's supposed to be a flaw of hers I suppose, but in some respects, it's admirable. You are so successful at your career and so independent that you aren't worried about your inferior romantic life. It might be my age, and the fact that no one has a career yet, but most girls I know are currently involved or single and ready to mingle (including me). But, I think it's definitely time to try a new approach. Even though I have appreciated the time I've spent at my job this summer, I'm not sure it's the right career path for me. So instead of falling into a rut, being a mediocre employee at a mediocre job next year, I'm going to really focus hard on creating opportunities and experiences that will catapult me into a job I really love. I want to thrive off of my work and get things done. I'm so ready. Bring it on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

4th week? no way...

I'm surprised to say that today marks my 4th week living and working in the city. I am completely shocked that I have lasted this long and that I have had so much fun. It really feels like yesterday I was walking toward 7th when I meant to walk to 5th. I've learned my way around pretty well so far and have even taken both the train to Long Island and the train to Westchester all by myself. Living here really felt unbearable at first because everything is such a hassle. You can't just hop in your car and be at the grocery store. And you can't just come home at night and have dinner ready. When you're at school, you don't expect that because you get something else (i.e. friends, fun, excitement, irresponsibility) in return. But here, you have to take of yourself and be equally as responsible and independent.

As much as I felt like I was on my own in Barcelona... it pales in comparison to the bustling city of NYC.

And now that I've survived it, I can really survive anything. I hear about people who have never moved away from home. or wouldn't dream of going to a school on the opposite side of the country. I mean, I can understand the attachment to your family and where you grew up, but the feeling you get when you accomplish something that was once so intimidating is indescribable. I wish everyone could understand how that feels. Anyway, I have been really fortunate to have such supportive parents and I am glad my fears haven't held me back thus far.

On a lighter note, Arts Fest was a definite success!! I had an incredible time with all of my friends and I was able to reunite with almost everyone I know back at school at least for a short hello and hug. Also, being 21 is a totally different world out there. It's so bizarre seeing the younger girls virtually "stuck" at frat parties, whereas the rest of us can bounce from party to bar to club as much as we like! The bars are a little expensive but compared to New York, it's very affordable. Everyone was in a great mood and there was no drama in the least. We also stopped by our future apartment for a final look-around and it was even bigger and nicer than we had remembered. The girls that live there now had just woken up and were reminiscing about their senior year. Next year is really looking like the best year of all of our lives.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Here we gooooooo

So the new bugbite on my arm has increased in size and now looks similar to a very red golf ball. I'm only slightly worried...

Meanwhile, I'm on my way to Arts Fest for the very first time!!!! Every year, I go to school in August hearing countless stories of drunk texts, nights in the bushes, and "that random hookup". All of these stories spawn from one epic weekend... Arts Fest. The lucky people of the east coast have the privilege of driving a couple of hours to the heart and soul of the greatest 4 years ever invented. Following that drive, debauchery ensues and hilarious stories are born. I have not had the chance to attend Arts Fest even though I am currently about to be a senior. I hope it lives up to all the stories i've heard. I can't wait to see all my friends!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

woops... my bad

Oh also, I rescind my ranting about random commenters... you are the people I'm writing for, and if I entertain you, then I'm doing my job. I must have had a bad hair day or something. haha. Comment if you like!

sunburns, bugbites, itches... oh my!

Hola! Here I am! in the big apple....

But can I start by pointing out that my great friend Jessie is by far the best clog- uhh blogger in all of bloggerville. good job jess!

Ok, so I'm sitting here at my desk, which has, in the last couple of weeks, become very familiar to me. A comfy chair and a computer dating back to 1995 really pulls the whole "intern" look together. Mom and Dad moved my in about 2.5 weeks ago, and I was scared to death. Not only did I have to figure out the grid of streets that make up New York City, but I had to move into a strange apartment, sleep on an air-mattress, cook my own food, start a new job, and find some new friends as well as contact the old ones. I had no idea how all of it was going to fall into place, considering I didn't have much time to figure it out. Walking into my new apartment, I was shocked at the thick layers of dirt and grime everywhere. It was bigger than I had expected, but I had completely forgotton that the girls living there had quite possibly the busiest lives known to man. They were never actually in the apartment unless they needed to get some sleep, so it had not been cleaned or decorated. The white walls closed in on me as I realized my parents were going to leave soon and I'd have to survive on my own.

I quickly decided to take action, run my subway routes to and from work, find the nearest (and cleanest) market nearby, and clean every corner of that filthy apartment. I needed to feel comfortable before I could feel at home in any sense. After all of these measures were taken, I was finally feeling like I could handle it all. It wouldn't be so hard... if you arrive at the wrong street, turn around and go the opposite way. I mean, they are numbered after all. Ever since then, I've been taking each day at a time. Things that seemed impossible have become much easier and I've been getting together with my favorite people from school pretty often.

Not long after I arrived, it was my birthday!! The birthday I have been looking forward to all my life. THE birthday. Luckily, it's the day before a holiday so I didn't have work that day and decided to sleep in as much as possible. Unfortunately it was only until 9am because of the lack of curtains covering my huge window. I woke up refreshed, took a long shower, and made a delicious breakfast while watching weeds on my computer. I was completely relaxed - just what I needed. Later on, Alix came all the way from philly to celebrate and we took a short shopping trip. Around dinner time, we gathered at Johnny Utah's for a nice dinner and a couple of drinks. It was just me and my 3 best friends whom I love SO MUCH!! As we ate, Amanda got a secret text that she showed everyone but me. There was a surprise! An hour later, my 5 best guy friends from school showed up and I could not have been happier! I hadn't seen them since december, so it was a really great present. We all attempted to ride the bull and then proceeded to bar hop all night.

At one of the bars, we met this really silly 30-something couple from Minnesota. The woman was a jolly elementary school teacher and the man had a legitimate mullet. They bought me a drink and we talked for a while. As we mingled around the room, the couple became nervous around 4am and decided it was time for us to go home. They escorted us all out of the bar, and put us in a taxi. She had a short chat with the taxi driver and sent us on our way. It was both strange and the funniest thing ever! Afterward, we decided to go to the diner right by my apartment. I unknowingly ordered a sausage and tomato omelette while porreca ordered a plate of pickles. In that diner we saw a very sparkly dressed woman (who I think was wearing a sparkly fanny pack?), and laughed about it for a longg time. We scarfed down our food and passed out in my apartment. I love my friends so much! Thanks for throwing me the best birthday ever!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm starting up again, peopleeeeee

I'm back from my temporary hiatus... I've just been figuring things out for the past month or so.

COMING SOON: My New Life in New York City!!!

I can't wait to ride the subway, get lost, go shopping, go out, eat swanky NY food, start a job, wear a suit...

It's going to be a BLAST

Thursday, April 2, 2009

To work or not to work? Spain's eternal question

First, and foremost... I realized that my dear old blog is public. I did this because I don't necessarily mind if random people read it, and because making it private is a big fat hassle. However, let me set some ground rules for you people who browse the endless blogs of Google during your lunch breaks for god knows what reason -- please refrain from commenting on my blog. It gives me the heebie jeebies. Only people I know personally have that esteemed privilege. Gracias!

On a much lighter note, I just found a two page journal entry I wrote about a month ago in one of my notebooks for my travel writing class. It was a little surprise for me, which I enjoyed, so I'll just type it out...

"It's hard for me to grasp, but people here genuinely prefer to roam around the city with their loved-one on their arm or walk their eerily human-like, overobediant dog down the street than get back to work. I'm drinking a coffee in the middle of the day on the outside patio of a coffee shop, wondering how all these singular patrons doing their crossword puzzles have the time for this? Did abruptly leave work at the sheer sight of their next assignment? Are they just plain bored? And what about the people surrounding me as I head down the street for class? I constantly see busy (yet mostly unhurried) feet dominating the pavement at all hours of the day. I like to imagine that they never stop circling the city. They simply walk through streets all day, and maybe stop to have a leisurely cup of coffee once in a while. They could not possibly have time to work with all this walking. And why are their dogs so obediant?!? Or, more importantly, HOW? To this day, I have already seen two dogs watch the light turn green, look both ways, and then proceed to cross the street. I think I've only witnessed one or two dogs that were actually on leashes the whole time I've been in Spain. These dogs must be geniuses, or Spaniards are magicians. Those are my only two explanations.

Now, on the subject of PDA (which I have been trying to get around to) -- I hated it at first. I hated the fact that every spaniard was ready and willing to indirectly reiterate my solo status. I never thought about my singleness as much as I did when I arrived here. But now that I feel more a part of the community, I've come to appreciate it (sometimes!). When I see a new or old couple walking hand-in-hand or with their arms around each other, it gives me hope and makes me smile. The older they are, the cuter they are! Although this regular PDA is a little jarring, I've never seen so many working, loving relationships in public. Back in the U.S., you might see a couple trying to get control of their crazed children, or an old couple complaining about the food they received at a nice restaurant. Here, however, you are frequently a witness to a pair of lovebirds at a crosswalk, sneaking a kiss and hug before the light turns green. In fact, I just saw it right now. Although my nausea sparks up at the sight (and sound, eewww) of heavily-breathing, making-out teenagers in Starbucks, I will choose to regard this cultural difference as mainly pretty great."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Rain in Spain makes people insane

blog blog blog. blog blog blog, blog blog. BLOG! Yes, everyone.... I understand that my writing is so captivating that, without it, your days drag on and on like the infectious cough my roommate still hasn't shaken. SO, I apologize for my lazy/ridiculously busy behavior as of late. I will finally return to blogging in this last month of being abroad.

To start off with, today it is raining. However, rain is not just an old form of precipitous weather in Barcelona. Here, it is a chance for everyone to take their crazy pills and head out the door. And naturally, more people use the city bus on days when it is raining. Because I live so far away from school, I use these buses to transport myself to and from in order to avoid an hour walk from which I usually get all sweaty. The people who ride the bus are usually really old, really young, or disabled, and in that sense, it is quite a pleasant experience. No one is trying to pickpocket you or stare you down seductively because of the light color of your hair. I usually enjoy the bus. But today was relatively bizarre.

After class, I went to the art supplies store to , yet again, spend my money on something totally useless for my art class. Next, I stopped by Starbucks for a large coffee and an hour of reading. As I stood at the bus station to return home, I was getting soaked. Everyone had decided that I was unworthy of standing underneath the awning, so they made a barricade of people to keep me in the rain. The bus came and I entered, hoping to get a seat. Strangely, all of the two-seaters had one singular person sitting on the isle seat, blocking anyone from sitting next to them. Usually, this is a major no no on the bus. I had to ask in spanish if I could occupy a seat, and was very thankful that I had. During the next couple stops, the bus filled up quickly and everyone in the standing area looked like a bunch of unhappy sardines. Sometimes during these rides, the bus drivers have to switch shifts. During this time, they usually take a little break and talk to each other. It's a little odd, but not a huge inconveniance.

As the man bus driver got up to go, he and the lady bus driver got to talking. Within 30 seconds, there was a loud rapping at the front door. An angry mob of old bus-riders were pounding on the doors to open. As soon as the driver opened them, the old women burst into an uproar. The man bus driver angrily mocked the leader of the pack by kicking the door three times and throwing his arms up wildly into the air, screaming something in catalán. He stormed off and the new driver stood up in her seat to duke it out with these old ladies. They were furious, however, I'm not sure why because there was a big overhang at the stop they had just been waiting at. The spanish are very strange when they fight because instead of cursing each other out and scowling, they make these very surprised faces and gesture wildly with their hands. Watching a fight, it looks as if they are telling each other a very involved, extreme story. After they cooled down and we started to drive along the road, we were slowing down because of traffic and a small white car turned into our lane, screeching slowly into the side of the bus. Between the curb and the bus, this little tin can didn't stand a chance, and we most definitely didn't feel it. Instead of dealing with the damages like we are obligated to in the united states, the driver waited for the tin can to back away, and just sped on down the road. She was having a definite "FML" moment.

This has been my day today.

In other news, I have been to Florence and Dublin since I last wrote. They were both two of my favorite trips so far since I've been here. On the plane back from florence I wrote a little blurb about what went down. So, in my next blog, I plan to re-live those ridiculous events. to be continued.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

El resto de Febrero

So the rest of February was packed. Amanda and Lala came to visit, and we had so much fun. After all the site-seeing and fun nightlife, the funniest part of the whole weekend was their 4am flight back to Sevilla. We returned to Leah's apartment at 2:30 am from an early night of drinking. Amanda announces that she and Lala are just going to take a quick nap before they have to pack up and leave. I make it known that I think it's a bad idea, but i let them sleep, nonetheless. I snuggle into Ashton's amazingly comfy and empty bed for a long sleep. About an hour later, I hear Amanda in the room saying "Jackie?... Jackie??? Laura won't wake up. She keeps talking in her sleep. Will you helppp??" I giggled and walked over to Laura on the couch and shook her to get up. She repeated, "sí, sí, sí!" and I laughed even harder. After about 2 minutes of pulling her arms and shaking her, she finally awakened. She pulled her boots and coat on, slung her bag around her shoulder -- all with her eyes still shut. Amanda thanked me and I waved as they left the apartment. Hehe. I love them.

The weekend following their visit, we all went to Paris, France for our next excursion. Luckily, this time, all of our flights were on time and successful. That fact, in itself, was a miracle. When our first successful Ryanair flight landed, all the Spaniards clapped with excitement (per usual), and a shockingly loud horse-racing song came on over the loud speaker. Apparently since all of our previuos flights were messed up, we'd never heard this "congratulatory" song for the landing. It was both unecessary and hilarious.

The only word I could think of to accurately describe Paris was "cute." It was specific kind of beauty that can only be understood by experience it first hand. The streets were small and the markets were open with colored aunings. The cafe's looked like they were right out of the 1920s and all the peopl were relatively nice about our lack of french speaking abilities. The first day we ventured to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and got a little glimpse of the Latin Quarter right before dinner. The next day we spent most of our time at Versailles, which happened to be my favorite part of the trip. It was a little far from the center of the city, but being able to see the building again was incredible. The gold-laced gates and decorations within the mansion were breath-taking. But the most spectacular part were the murals and paintings in every room. While we were walking through, there was a man and his baby that always seemed to be with us. He would show her each room, and attempt at listening to his informative headphones, but failed every time. She was about 1-year-old and looked around each colorful room, wide eyed. Near the end of the tour, we reached a beautiful room decorated in gold with a large window that let in the rays of sunlight from outside. He set the baby down in the middle of the room and proceeded to take pictures of her from the corner. Everyone made the typical baby faces at her and couldn't help buy smile and say "awwww" to the person next to them. She responded with a cheerful giggle and wide smile. If I could have taken that baby home, I would have.

Since I moved to my new apartment, I've gotten a lot more comfortable. At first, I felt like such an intruder because all of these girls had been here for over a month and a half together, and they had become great friends. I would try to interject in their conversations but it was just awkward. Little by little, though, after making dinner and having some chats during the day with them, I feel more welcomed. We went out to a bar last night and I think after that, I feel like this is really my home now. I'm glad I moved, because if I hadn't, I would always wonder what could've been. I'm also learning SO much about cooking. It absolutely boggles my mind how much I do not know about cooking food for myself. I thought i'd be fine on the fact that I know how to make scrambled eggs and pasta, but after two days of that menu, I was dying! It's extremely beneficial for me to be here because my roomate Sarah seems like she knows everything about cooking. Last night, she was making home-made spaghetti sauce, and I was looming over her shoulder. I assured her I was not trying to be creepy, and that I'm just curious about how she could make such a concoction.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Long time no post... lo siento

Cheerio! tip-top! ello! -- those are the words we felt were necessary to repeat all day every day while we were in London, England. I'm sure everyone appreciated it. Besides all that nonsense, we had an AMAZING time there. Not only did everyone speak English, which was extremely refreshing to hear, but they were all so courteous and welcoming! Even the first man we encountered, the guy that puts your luggage in the bottom of the bus, helped us find the best way to reach our hotel in Kensington, which was breath-taking, by the way. All the quaint white-washed apartments/condos were so precious. When we finally got ahold of Molly, we went to the Tower of London and saw the King's chambers, and the torture rooms, etc. But we especially liked the Crown Jewels. They were so sparkly, and we all wanted our own multi-karat diamonds after we left. While we were wandering around, Leah strays from the pack and comes back saying, "hey guys, I think I just walked in on a play." Curiosity overcame us and we all walked into this half-empty room with a rope separating us and a small bedroom set-up. Two men stood amongst the ancient furniture in 16th century wardrobe and we wondered if they were supposed to start some kind of performance as they stared at us entering. Suddenly they start to converse with us, and I'm thinking this is against the rules. Aren't they supposed to be professional actors? They ask us where we're from and obviously make fun of me when i ask who's bed was in the corner. Insisting that the King was in Scotland at the time, I still had no idea whether they were acting or not. We were all too uncomfortable to remain in there, so we left in a hurry. My question is, what do they do when no one is in there? Do they still remain in character??

The next day, we saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abby. They were all very picturesque, and I enjoyed just taking quick snapshots of all of them. That obviously left us more time to eat, which we did a LOT of. I know they say the food in London is gross, but if you know what you're doing and you're not attempting to purchase the "authentic" cuisine, it's actually really delicious and a lot like home. Both nights, we went out to a four story bar with a live band called O'Neills in chinatown. It was actually really fun, but the cover and drinks were so expensive. Lucky for us, English men actually buy girls drinks!! What a concept! Considering that everywhere we looked, Spanish speaking people popped up, I hope the men learned a little somethin about chivalry.

Sunday was the Sunday of all Sundays. Worst day ever!! If I could pick one day I wouldn't redo, it would be that exact day. After one of the metro lines broke down, we got to our bus to the Luton Airport (an hour outside the city). Halfway there, after chit-chatting a while, Leah and I start to feel a little down in the dumps. Even though we'd been feeling fine all day, car sickness took over and our riveting conversation turned to monotoned exclamations of, "i'm gonna vom" and "i feel terrible." We finally made it without blowing chunks on the side of the bus, and reached our gate early. After sitting in the plane for what seemed like ages (about and hour), the pilot beeps over the loud speaker and we are told that the snow is too thick and the runways are closed for the entire night. Panick struck and we tried to make a logical plan. An hour and a half later, they still hadn't let us off the plane to reschedule a flight or even get a hotel room. The oxygen seemed to be running low and my nausea was setting in again. In the United States, when something like this happens, an angry old woman or two might walk back to a flight attendant and demand that we get let out. However, Spaniards choose to treat such situations a little more.. how shall I put this... immaturely? They all decided it would be hilarious to continuously press the flight attendant call button over and over... and over again. Naturally, the flight attendants were furious, a couple fights started, and I'm still sitting there with my head between my legs.

When we were finally released, we slid/skied (in shoes) down the snowy hill to the nearest hotel and got a room. After we conversed with some very pleasant old people from England about their vacation to Egypt, I was feeling much more at ease. I enjoyed my own bottle of wine, and my worries were finally subdued. Gotta love Ryan Air.

Last but most certainly not least, Amy and I are moving! The other day, Marta came storming in our make-shift kitchen accusing us of breaking her (stupid looking) glass candle holder. I realize that a couple weeks ago, as I was fumbling around in the dark, I knocked over and broke one of her MILLION potperri holders, but does that make me a cumpulsive klutz? I think that's going a little bit too far. We attempted to tell her that we had nothing to do with it, but as our spanish abilities leaves something to be desired, we just sat there being yelled at for something we didn't do. In addition to all of that, we also came home to find that another stranger was staying in our apartment for 2 weeks -- a nice lady from France (I wish she was my seÑora). Marta proceeded to tell us that since it's getting warmer, more people will be coming in and out of here and we will eat with them every night and share this one coffin sized bathroom with her, her husband, and whoever may be filling the apt at the time. That's awkward. So this was seriously the last straw. She's rude and only does this for the money. So me and amy raised hell in the IES office and got moved to two separate apartments. Perhaps I will be able to feel clean after a shower. I've never been so excited. Goodbye igloo room.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pictures I enjoy

He didn't call. butttt, I will post my favorite picture...
That's at Park Guell, a famous park designed by Gaudí, decorated with mosaic benches and cartoon-like buildings. We got lost on our way there, but it was worth it. It's so beautiful and very unique to Spain.

I also miss the puppies. They are unique in their own way.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Yesterday we finally made it to our first real soccer game! It was apparently a very important game -- Espanyol vs. Barcelona. The stadium holds over 98,000 people so those of us from PSU felt strangely at home. Compared to the zealous but only half-interested State fans, the spaniards here have a one-tracked mind when they are watching soccer. I swear, a meteor could be falling from space and they wouldn't take the 2 seconds to look up if it compromised their view of the game. It amazed me how everyone knew what was going on at every second, and I don't mean just when they're close to scoring. Even when someone falls or kicks the ball out of bounds, the entire stadium rejoices or roars in anger. It was really fun, but if you're not a soccer fan, it's definitely a one-time deal.

The funniest moment had actually occured on our way to the game. After getting lost on the metro, which only happens when we're in a hurry, my face starts sweating from all the walking and confusion. I look over at Leah, and for some reason, we are both having crazy hot flashes. Mackenzie cannot stop laughing as I'm fanning myself with my scarf and leah's looking for the air vent on the metro. If it wasn't the alcohol, I don't know what it was. Hopefully not early menopause :/

On our way home, we decided that the line down the street for the metro was way too ominous, so we opted for a cab. Going ten miles an hour down the road, I hear a weird bump sound and Mackenzie says "whoa!". Suddenly, the taxi driver stops and gets out of the car. The driver next to us had obliviously attempted to turn right and turned right into our taxi!! We seriously just got into a car accident. Our driver was so mad at him that she paid absolutely no attention to the 3 dollars we handed her for the one mile we'd travelled.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vamos a movar!

Why is it that the morning after a long drunken night, when each hair on my head is individually deciding to rebel, and my eyeliner is creating a nice smudged look an inch below my actual eye, I feel compelled to participate more in my 9am class than on a regular refreshed weekday? I noticed this unusual trend at school in PA as well. I walk to class thinking about how much my head hurts and trying to suppress my nausea and I am 100% positive that participating in class is out of the question for the morning. Yet, as soon as the discussion begins, my arm seems to constantly raise and thoughts are spewing from my overactive brain. Perhaps a hangover is just what I need to get my day going (?)

The night that preceded this winning morning was another doozy. I was iffy about going out on a Tuesday night with a 9am staring at me from the future, but my friends convinced me to live a little. As I walk in the door of the apartment, I get a call from none other than Iven. Yes, it's Iven, cause now he's in my phone as well. My heart raced while my mind rushed to figure out what exactly he was saying. He does not speak a word of english and I'm not sure if that's a blessing in disguise or just another thing to cause me to be awkward. Face flushed and feet pacing, I tried desperately to end the conversation with my pride in tact. Despite my efforts, he was in no hurry and kept throwing out the longest and fastest spanish sentences I've ever listened to. I finally had to give up trying to sound smart and just spoke the slowest and best phrases I could muster. The result of that conversation, I think..... is a dinner date on Sunday! I know I should be excited, but all I can think about is the misinterpreted conversations and courtesy laughter that will be filling the night.

The phone call finally ended and we took taxis to the bar Pippermint. Here, they do not serve regular drinks, they only have Liters of drinks with multiple straws. Both unifying and sanitary, I think I'm really gonna like this place. We played it safe and ordered a 2L orange soda and vodka for the five of us while the two girls to our right ordered a 6L beer. Well into our next drink, a coke and vodka, I decide it would be my job to help them with their bucket-o-beer and I introduce myself. I'm sure they appreciated it. I want to go back and order the 10L just to see what happens...

OHHHH!!! I almost forgot. Marta came home today and informed us that we (all) will be moving into a new, and hopefully bigger and nicer, apartment in about a month or two!! Amy and I are ecstatic and can't keep from imagining the new digs. We get our own bathroom and perhaps it'll have central heating!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vino Del Mar - drink o' champions!

My oh my...what a weekend. Our Friday night started off smoothly. We finally got out of the apartment before 1:30am and we were on our way to the coolest abroad hangout in town -- which I'm pretty sure is just a fishbowl-type spectacle for the Spanish locals who sometimes stop by. We safely made it there, bought two pitchers full of beer, turned around and immediately had nowhere to sit. As the 2 liter beer jug bent my wrist, I pleaded that we just sit down anywhere. Low and behold, a nicely crowded table of cat-calling men. How lovely. As it turned out, they were all very nice guys, however, some were more popular than others (Jirafa? no me gusta... please take a shower, sir). We were all talking, laughing, having a great time, when I suddenly spilled beer on my pants. Yessss! The tell-tale sign of a great night to come. At least for me it is. Per usual, we taxi-ed it to the club and got our groove on. This time, however, I did not waste 20 euros on two drinks (go me!) So we go upstairs and I am having a very popular night, however, things go haywire with the creepers surrounding my friends and we leave in a hurry. It seems to be an ongoing trend, now that i think about it.

Amy didn't come out that night, so none of my friends would let me walk home alone. Naturally, I have no problem sleeping on their couch, but even in my drunken state I remember a conversation we all had about how comfy our friend, Ashton's, bed is. With a reluctant "sure" from Ashton, I jump happily into her double bed ready for a great nights sleep -- unfortunately, so does Ashton and my other friend Mackenzie. At the time, I thought, 'oh how fun! slumber party!!!' As soon as we turned on Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, they both passed out. I'm talking less than 2 minutes max. Meanwhile, both my arms are over my head, i'm in my full going-out wardrobe and make up, and from a bird's eye view, i know i look like a sardine. After several minutes of readjusting, I give up and try to watch the movie. By now, it's 6am and it's almost 98 degrees in that bed. The beads of sweat drip down my face and I wonder if this is how I'm going to go. Luckily, my alarm rings to go back home before our house mother wakes up, and I, as I later found out, drunkenly jumped out of bed and down the street. So bizzare.

El proximo dia, we had a Barcelona soccer game to attend. Excitement brewing, we pregame with a bottle of 2 dollar wine each. Classy. We figured every american football game we go to only gets really good during the second half, so we're in no rush. Yet, as soon as we step foot in the stadium, everyone begins to stand up, clap, chant, and then leave. Yup, we missed it. Apparently it's a 90 min game, not 90 min halves. But no worries, we rescheduled and we WILL make it to this next game.

We took a dreary, and extremely embarrassing metro ride home, and proceeded to get dressed for a fun clubbing night. Too lazy to go anywhere by taxi, we walk to the nearby club Roxy. Since I've been here, I've frequented this particular club and have caught the eye of a particular bouncer named Iben (or Iven). Tall, dark, and handsome with a long black wool coat, suit, and tie? bingo. So, like the regulars we are, I chat it up with my friend and we are admitted without cover charge. How cool am I?! We enter and immediately check out the upstairs bar too see if any free shots will be possible, but we are attacked by an over-eager beaver of a spaniard. Taking refuge in the French men next to us seemed like the smartest idea at the time, but ended up being smelly and unrewarding as well. At the end of our boring time together, Leah tells them, "Do you like pretty girls? well, when you like a pretty girl, you buy her a drink" They seemed both dumbfounded and just plain old confused.

We head downstairs for better luck, and I swear... at this point, i think everyone in there was gay. If we danced with a group of guys, they could care less about us, coming and going as they pleased. No big deal. We dance for a little while and then get invited to the "bottle service" stage. This is the glowing surface above the dancers that is just too cool for words. This very mousy small man keeps repeating "the drinks are coming!" and we just stand there and wait around. Finally, Leah inquires where there table is, and this guy cooly says "oh, i don't know... we just came up here." Welp, that's our cue! Without a goodbye, we leave the club, but not before Iben and I share a couple of poorly communicated spanish words. He asks for my number, and my night is made. Score!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Salvador mi amor

I almost forgot! Happy Obama Inauguration! I just had this infuriating talk with Matt (butterface seducer) about how he thinks he's too inexperienced and we shouldn't rely on hope because hope doesn't cause action, etc. Since I know as much about politics as I do quantum physics, I decided to be relatively agreeable about the matter, but I got him to realize that he was really just angry about the ignorant voters who only support Obama on the basis of his skin color and not because Obama is unqualified. In that moment, I felt just like my sister, and her self-righteous argument tactics. (ps - Paula Abdul's Opposites Attract is blasting from my house lady's tv!)

And speaking of butterface seducer, as of today, he is a repeat offender. yeah, i know. she's in our spanish class now, and they don't say a word to each other. HA!

So at school, we each have an academic advisor, who, just like in the States, basically doesn't do anything. The other day I needed to change my schedule around, so I visited my advisor, Salvador, to assist me, and let me just say that he is extremely good looking. But of course, I HAD to become friends with the weird swishy-sweatsuit wearing internet guy the first week we were here (which Amy makes fun of me for all the time), and as soon as i turn the corner, guess who's calling my name "SUNSHINE!!!" down the hallway -- Jose. Mr. Internet. Apparently they are good friends, and despite the many texts that I choose to ignore, he keeps popping up all over the city!! I can't escape him. So of course, when i'm trying to impress my young advisor with my witty charm, he keeps inturrupting with some stupid sarcasm that isn't really that funny. What a dufus!

On the more seriously strange side of things -- I think I just witnessed my first real example of racism. Amy and I walk home from class on a chilly evening and out of the corner of my eye, I think I spot a large group of 50-year-old business men putting their fingers on the outside of their eyes and pulling up (like kids do to represent Asian faces). I disregard what I thought I saw because of course, no one over the age of 4 with any respect for others does that. All of a sudden, as we pass them, we are stopped by one well-dressed man. One of them hands me a camera and I figure they just needed someone to snap the shot. Then I realize that they are all staring at Amy in anticipation. She looks at me and I know that she thinks they just want a picture with a tourist. As she gets in position to take the picture, they assume the "chinky-eyes" position and we both are horrified. Amy is in frozen shock, and I burst out, "why are you all doing that?" and they happily reply, "We're on a coporate scavenger hunt and we need a picture with an oriental." Hearing this I say, "But you know that's very rude and derogitory, you shouldn't do that" (meanwhile, I am reprimanding 50 year old men). They proceed to look at me like I have 5 heads, and I continue to stare at them in disbelief. Could they really not understand why this was wrong? My blood is boiling at this point, and Amy is still frozen solid with her jaw dropped. I loudly proclaim, "Ohhhhh, I get it! It's a racist scavenger hunt! right!!" and that breaks Amy out of her trance into a slight chuckle. She takes the camera out of my hands, and hands it back to them saying, "Good luck finding another Chinese person to take this for you!" And we storm off. It's just been confirmed -- there ARE still people like that in the world. Sorry to burst everyone's bubble.

It's a Friday, so there is definitely more to come....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Google google

Amy and I started classes this week, which is really bringing us down, site-seeing wise. We both missed a class out of pure ignorance, but now that we have our schedules finalized, I was shocked and dismayed to find that I have a 9am class 3 of the 5 days of the week. At school, in the states, this would be a difficult, yet, feasible hour to attend a class. However, in the land where your dinner ends at 10:30 and your night doesn't even begin until 1am, I am pretty sure I will be defying all odds to get to these classes.

Speaking of class, we have this one professor for Art that is completely out of his mind. I feel like I'm being Punk'd whenever I enter those two, very ominous, doors. The first speech this 71 year old cuban deals out is solely about the fact that he will support us "to the death" but if we betray him he will "drop us." Later on in this fun-filled lecture, he explains that if we don't care about art as much as he does, he doesn't care about us at all and he will automatically fail us. Sooner or later, we get to drawing, and in his expert opinion, everyone is horrible and unworthy. "Have you ever seen a water bottle THAT big before in real life? huh?... NO! I don't think so. fix it!" As I shook in my boots, Amy and I exchanged looks of terror and continued drawing. That was only the first day. Today, he referred to someone as "big girl" and asked a boy if he was fatter in his passport picture and why. Although terrifying, I think this man will be a large portion of my entertainment this semester.

Despite my affinity for sitting in my icy room on our weak and unreliable internet, I have been going out frequently, and since my last blog was before this weekend, I'm quite certain that all my nights are blending together in my head. Nonetheless, they are all equally entertaining. One night, we all went out to a spiffy club named Catwalk. We walked in to an extremely crowded room where I think everyone decided it would be funny to bump my purse every 5 seconds. We purchased some rather pricey drinks and split up. Those of us who liked to dance with strangers, and those of us.... who don't. We travel upstairs, and the scene is a little more relaxed, but basically the same. Naturally, we had already finished our drinks by the time we climbed the stairs and had to commute the bar once more. On our way there, we see this guy from our spanish class with half-closed eyes all over a small-statured butterface. We giggled in silence and then decided to keep our mouths shut, but it was no holds barred the next morning in class.

Moving on... we get our drinks and stand in a threesome circle and kinda just dance in place. I assume every girl is used to this type of dancing, so although it seems uneventful and awkward, we were perfectly satisfied -- especially since we had found our own (air conditioned) uncrowded corner. I scanned the area and found a tyson beckford look-a-like on the wall by the door. He was dancing in place as well, and looked like a security guard. I tell Leah and Amy that I think he's good looking, but decide to play it cool -- whatever that means. My eyes wonder in his direction for the next 10 minutes and I'm under the impression he's looking right at me. I mouth to amy, "I'm gonna go get him!". Strutting stealthily over, I confidentally ask, "wanna dance?" and I receive a firm "I have a girlfriend, sorry." I proceed to have a long drawn out conversation about where I'm from and blah blah blah, but of course, I lost him at the word "girlfriend."

All of us girls head back downstairs after watching each other dance for another half hour, and the minute we enter, we are bombarded with uninhibited creepy (and slightly balding) men. I am swept off into a sexy (?) salsa dance with an older one, and Amy and Leah are forced to take pictures with these two men who spice up the picture by snuggling close and kissing Leah's cheek. Needless to say, we book it out of there as quickly as possible and head home. Muy raro, no?

Oh, and I was looking for internships for this summer, and Amy told me to google Google. I laughed. Hence, my title.

Friday, January 16, 2009

wow, you are berryy beautiful...

Today we went to school in the morning and infuriated our teacher, Judith, once again, with our obnoxious comments and laughter. The new students that just entered our class probably had no idea they'd be forced to face a cliquey and unruly group of students in the back who have already decided who is cool and who isn't during the course of one awkward, but decisive, week. Afterward, amy, some classmates, and I went to buy a book for school. We retrieve the book and proceed to walk toward our apartment, our friend Matt in tow. As we inch closer, we separately wonder what he will be doing while we're making our turkey and cheese sandwiches and watching TV game shows we don't understand. I finally approach the situation carefully and say something along the lines of "so, you coming back with us?", "ya I'm just gonna hang with you guys today"... "oh, ok cool. just checkin." Fail. Ok, try again. "Well I guess you can try some of our homemade gourmet turkey sandwiches!". did it work? yes..... At the next intersection he "suddenly" realizes that he lives pretty close to us and darts down the street with a swift wave. Me and amy breathe a sigh of relief and wonder what just happened.

Later, we meet up with Leah and her roommates and head down to Las Ramblas for some site-seeing. As you walk along these streets during the day, it's littered with kiosks of all sorts of goodies from souvenirs, to pets, to fresh flowers. They also have several street performers who usually dress up in strange costumes and sit very still. If you give them some money, they'll move for you and do something interesting. We continued to walk along, not deeming anyone deserving of our money until we see this very small "hump-like" figure under a bronze tarp on a stand. We all look at each other thinking, "I wonder what this guy does when you give him money." Leah says it MUST be good because it's so obscure, and she needs give him some coins to see what he does. She throws it in his collection bucket, Amy starts her video on her camera, and we all wait. We wait... and wait... and wait... Finally, I lean over to one of her roommates and ask, "do you think the man just sits on that stump?" We immediately realize that what we've mistaken for a thrilling sidewalk show, is simply its remnants. Thank goodness Amy got that all on tape. Talk about tourists, huh?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two's company, four's.....annoying

Last night, Amy and I decided to stay in (mostly because I was still recuperating from the previous night) and just go online. After skyping some people and doodling around on facebook, Amy decides to go take a late shower. Unintentionally leaving the door ajar, she walks down the hallway to the bathroom, and I don't dare to get up out of bed, or I might get hypothermia. no joke, this room may or may not be colder than an igloo, in the south pole... naked. So I'm sitting there, doing my thing, and all of a sudden, over the sound of her shower (which may as well be a constant stream of drops the size of tears), I hear something that sounds like heavy breathing. I convince myself that it is her shower curtain moving around, and ignore it. The more I ignore it, however, the more I hear it... and at this point, it is NOT her shower curtain. Eventually Amy comes back from her shower with wide eyes and says "wait, i have something REALLY awkward to tell you." And from that point on, I know exactly what i heard. One of the boys that is also at this homestay, who looks like a meerkat, has a room right next to ours on the way to the bathroom. The other one looks like a bush baby and wears tight jeans, but neither of them are.... the most popular guys in town. especially not with the ladies. If I EVER hear him pleasuring himself again, i'm outta here. Keep it in your pants, sir.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Stop everything you're doing, and give all your attention to the fact that the almighty and most honored grocery store, Wegmans, has resurfaced into my life in the form of a little store called BonPreu!! I never thought I was going to find such a marvelous place to be, but it was seriously the happiest place on earth -- or in Barcelona at least. The only thing it's missing is the food court, but beggers can't be choosers. I think I could be in there for hours and never want to leave. It was amazing.

Anyways, so last night I went out by myself, because Amy was completely entranced by our new internet connection to get her butt in gear. I called Leah and decided it would be a good night to go out with her and her friends because there was a bar crawl and a party at a club (a characteristic similar to most, if not every night in this city). So Amy puts me in the cab and waves goodbye, meanwhile I'm thinking I know exactly where Leah's going to be. There can only be 1 "Ryan's Bar" in a city where most bars have spanish names, right? WRONG. I sat by myself, drinking alone (first bad sign), wondering where everyone is for the bar crawl and where the heck Leah could be. Finally, I ask the bartender and they inform me, with a slight grimace, that there is, indeed, another Ryan's Bar, about 3 blocks away. great... Luckily, at this point, a small British man invites me to sit with him and his friends and finish my beer. It seemed sketchy at first but they were harmless and kind of dumb. I was actually happy they walked me to the next bar on the crawl because it turned out to be down a series of dark, crowded, seemingly dangerous allyways that probably would not have been a smart move to walk alone. I finally find Leah, and she persists on staring at the guys who escorted me in, saying, "jackie, you brought a 40 year old man with you." In order to save my pride, I reply, "uhh no, he's only 35." I know, nice save.

After several shots, drink, and what have you, we end up at a big, loud club. I cannot tell you where it was, when we went, or what the name was, but I can tell you that I was very popular there. Free tequila shots? Yes, please! So I'm chattin' it up, making some friends and then it's time to leave. All 5 of us pile into a taxi and the driver proceeds to inform us that only 4 people can take the taxi. As the 5th wheel, I get out of the car and the other girls stay and make a big fuss about something with the driver. The next thing I know, the driver has called the police, and is physically pulling the girls by the arm out of the taxi. In my highly intoxicated state, I became very nervous, ditched the scene, and got in my own taxi -- and, as usual, started to cry. What would a drunken night be without crying, right? So, turns out, my cab driver felt so bad for me, he wouldn't let me pay for the ride. Perhaps I should always cry when I take cabs. Let's be honest, it wouldn't be a stretch. ha.

Barcelona is turning out to be one heck of a place...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Barcelona Shmarcelona

So, i made it to España. Barcelona is beautiful but it is humungous and easy to get lost in. Amy is a trip to live with, but i´m glad she´s here. she reminds me every day that at every moment, she would be crying if i weren´t with her. haha. We went out last night and walked along Las Ramblas without any hesitation. Apparently, they are very dangerous late at night. The bar we went to was filled with foreigners, so we didn´t quite feel out of place. Of course, I forgot my I.D. so I gave the bouncer my school I.D. He looked at me like I was crazy, and told me he would only let me through just this once. I never thought I had a problem looking older than 17 until now.

The weird thing about Barcelona is that they have city "quiet hours" at night. So even the spaniards are like shushing loud drunken Americans because we´re being too loud. But when you walk through the door to the bar, it´s booming with drinks and yelling and music. I figure, if you agree to live above or near a bar or club, then you are agreeing to the noise drunk people have no idea they are making.

Our señora is hilarous. She like really wants us to learn spanish, but she´s only in the apartment in the morning and night. So we don´t really see her that often. She was like in love with her previous student named Carly, and I´ve heard several things about how great she is. She looked like a dufus though. My standards are, if your best friend is your Señora, you are a loser. end of story. The apartments are really super tiny, but we went to the department store called El Corte Ingles, and it was like all the space that was sucked out of the apartments was put into that store. It was the most gigantic store I have ever seen, or could have ever dreamt of. Eight stories and like a million departments. My brain went into overload, and I didn´t buy anything... obviously.

Well, I´m gonna see how things turn out in the next couple of days and blog again. As of now, I´m sleep deprived and confused, so my perception is off.