Friday, August 28, 2009

Starry Eyed Surprise

I’m not out there to find my soul mate. I never have been. I’m going along my own road for myself, making myself stronger, maintaining my independence, and becoming the best person I can be. I don’t avidly look for the next person to be with or someone with whom I can share my soul and starry eyes. I live for myself in total and complete contentedness of who I am when I am completely and totally alone.
I know people who almost cease to exist when there is not a significant other that they are attached to and who actively seek out new relationships immediately after its predecessors end.
I don’t operate like that and I don’t see how constant affiliation makes you completely you. I believe that I should be perfectly content living and thriving in my own life at my own time. Going along my own path towards whatever future I have envisioned for myself and if it just so happens that someone special comes across my path and that we can travel together, then that’s worth the world, the wait, and being alone, because that is truly special.

King of the Jungle

I fell in love with a cookie jar at Anthropologie. I always fall in love with things that are just a tad to expensive for me to rationalize- aka a cookie jar with an unfortunate 100$ price tag.

So I looked at him and his adorable nose and little smile and I thought I took ceramics for a while, I could make him and off I went. Luckily my art teacher mother has every available art supply at my command and all I had to do was venture into the basement for massive bags of clay and tools to work. I often times embark on projects much to big for me and end up unable to live up to my own dreams and expectations. But after many many hours of working on day one I finished my lion and base and was pretty happy with the initial coil pot results.

I did realize the general shape of his head was quite circular instead of oval, but I maintain it is impossible to get that shape through coil pots because the entire pot would collapse in on itself. So instead of having a noble egg shaped head my lion is a happy fat one and is very circular.
He dried for a few days and my mom and I fired up the ancient kiln out in the carport. She gave me a disclaimer before I put Mr.Salvador (thats the lion's name) in the kiln there was a very good chance he would not make it out alive due to the age of the kiln and that we had never used it before...ever. To my happiness Salvador survived and a couple weeks later my mom brought home glaze from her art room at school. She sent me a color list and I looked up the glazes online to choose the colors. I based him mainly on the colors of the original pot that I love. So much to my surprise, and dismay, when he survives shaping and drying and firing only to come out of the final glazing a dark brown and purple.
My mother thinks he is adorable. I am slightly less amused with all my hard work resulting in a round lion with a chocolate brown face, purple mane, and way to much glaze.
But he is mine and I made him. Many hours were put into this project to save me money and to pass time. So here he is.

He's not really like the original. Maybe a bit more eclectic and rudimentary, but he will have a place on a shelf in my room at school.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm almost disgusted at myself

I have a hankering that the arachnid family in my neighborhood has taken a fancy to me. I suddenly feel as though I am being stalked by their kind. I also felt kind of odd today when I was going around snapping their photographs as in What is wrong with me. I’m taking pictures of spiders…Oh that was a good one!

The one on the carpet I encountered after an unfortunate incident with ice cream and wine and is no longer here. However the other three have camped out quite close to my bedroom window for the time being. I’m intrigued by their stakeout and hope to see some poor bug snared in their web so I can watch them devour it. And then I think about how morbid I am for wanting that and then I feel like a bad vegetarian. But at least I haven’t gone so far as to name them, right?

There were more. I couldn't bring myself to upload them.

Casablanca Vintage

My dear Kelly and I went a vintage-ing in Cincinnati today amidst the humidity and oppressive heat. Casablanca Vintage was the first stop on our list, which, from the outside, and inside too, looks like a derelict store, which is why I have driven by it hundreds of times and never noticed its existence. The front windows are shut off with drapes and sheets but inside you can loose yourself with wild abandon digging through piles upon piles of old vintage clothes smelling as though they are straight from the 50’s-90’s. Amongst sneezes and allergies, belts and skirts were found and I discovered my great love of the day: a fur hat, which I left there but am determined to return to tomorrow.

Other than that I am in dire need of a bicycle for school and very much like the old models styles and my little sister has departed for college today to the University of Toledo.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I think I have a penchant for beautiful things. Why would liking beautiful things be bad, you might ask. Well for one thing people think your a snob. But upon my stumbling around I find many things I think are completely beautiful. Today for example I was on my computer and found this Youtube of a dancer and it was breath taking. I used to dance, a long time ago, and I found this captivating that people can actually move like that and express so much with just their bodies. So I hope other like it as much as I did and can enjoy the complete beauty that ballet dancers radiate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Ligthening is Chasing us!

I think my poor little Camry shuddered a little bit when the lightening touched down. I don't really think I've ever heard it so loud. My brother and I were just traveling along when the thunderstorm popped out of nowhere! Just BAM! Like Emeril. I wonder if thunderstorms know the kind of commotion they cause, all the electric going out, moms yelling to turn off computers and get out of bath tubs, dogs going crazy (or maybe that's just our foster dog Jasper, though of course he goes crazy at things like popcorn and imaginary squirrels) The thunder rumbling shook the house for a good minute straight as old candles were brought out and lit in random locations as thought our house were being prepared for a voodoo ritual.
The hottest day of the year (yesterday) followed in my a cold front and thunderstorm. Seems appropriate to me for Cincinnati weather. Making a whole mess and bother out of everything and never being what the weatherman predicts. What a nuisance.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Life on The Edge

My entire life is my perching precariously from the top of a building. A stone gargoyle high above the streets hidden in the nooks and crannies on our foundations. I sway as the wind blows, and hunker down in the bad times against the cold and the wind and the times. But above all I keep my balance. Losing myself would mean death, I do not let anything shake me to my core, I do not become unnerved, I live on the edge. Everyone lives on the edge.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wheezy Way Out

Of course one of the first things I wanted to do when I got back from Europe was see my lovely boyfriend, Perry. He came to C-town via Greyhound- scary yet rhythmic- on July 24 where I picked him up. He stayed a few days, met my friends, was grill master for a night and we did all sorts of lovely shopping at Ikea and tourist-izing Cincinnati for a few days.

July 30 we both headed back to Athens, my car jam packed with stuff for my room and his apartment. I stayed with him for a few days where I learned how fantastic a cook he is as well as how fantastic a cook his room mate is not. Seth- the a fore mentioned poor culinary genius- was assigned the task of fried green tomatoes. After a few minutes on the phone with his mom he began to heat oil and slice and dice and such. Approximately 10 minutes later the entire apartment was suffocated in thick white smoke. The smoke detectors do not work, oh no. Half an hour of coughing, wheezing, and eyes burning ( as well as probably damage from too much smoke inhalation) we had a sad bunch of fried green tomatoes.

My lesson: I have not out grown my childhood asthma as well as my eyes are very sensitive to smoke and I spent the next few hours crying and washing my eyes out in the bathroom.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Laughter is the Best Medicine

For all those non-conservative, Catholic, or racist people out there in search of a good book let me enlighten you to a book I was recommended too and pursued out of the sheer boredom of summer: My Booky Wook by Russel Brand.

I sat in my bed and laughed out loud, literally. The crazed drama and mind set of Russel Brand's entire life is like a play on crack (partially because of his heavy drug use) but is enlightening as to his in depth knowledge of classic books, poems, and plays and to the intelligence he puts into his comedy and writing. It spans from childhood to present day illuminating all his crazy and somewhat perverse antics as well as the eye opening mentality behind it all. I am now completely hooked on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall comedian and promptly went to Youtube to watch some of his stand up.

One of my best friend's goals in life is to meet him in person, and I think I just jumped on that band wagon.


Even now, a few weeks later, looking back on Europe is like looking back on a hurricane. It's all a mess of debris memories and thoughts and people all jumbled together in my head like a smoothie. I know that I could not have done anything better with my summer.

Europe, to me, is splendor, its the longest walks I've ever been on and it is something the United Sates could never replicate. I love every country I visited and I wish I could think of some less corny way to wrap this up.

The rest of the summer will be taken over by the banal trivialities of every day life, the little things that make life life. Like seeing your friends and eating dinner with your family. Making bi-weekly trips up to OU to see my house and the person I miss most whenever he is gone. I'm not ready to go back to school yet. I need to get over the thunderstruck feeling of being time warped back into Cincinnati, Ohio from Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. I'll be content sitting at home reading books and re-adjusting myself to life not on the road and less adventurous.

For now my adventures will be the problems of my friends, the dogs fighting downstairs, and the preparation for college and another new life starting this fall quarter.

July 21- Finality

Last day in Madrid. I never thought I would be so ready to leave Europe. I would leave today if I could.

People were still sleeping at 11 so I got up and walked to a park not to far away from the hostel. I explored a little bit and saw how pretty it was. At 1 I figured people would probably be awake and so I headed back. Go figure when I waked in the room everyone was still passed out.

I read for a while and people eventually woke up and recapped, showered, dressed, and did usual rituals. We went and found some food and walked back to the park I had been to that morning. People just wanted to sit down and pretty much do nothing. I can't really say our last day, or our last few days were anything special. Abby got a tattoo on her foot that night and people spent the evening packing up suitcases for the final trip home.

July 20- Burn Out

One huge day of shopping. I'm not sure if I can sum up my disappointment in the spending of our last days in Europe. Though from what I head the "culture" of Madrid is the only thing to experience. And thus far the only real culture I've experienced are the multitudes of prostitutes outside the hostel every night. I'm not sure why we are in Madrid so long when there is nothing to do, and in Barcelona for so short a time where there was so much to see. Most everyone woke up really late (some still drunk) and I put in my head phones to avoid hearing the previous nights play by play escapades.

I ventured off on my own eventually after I couldn't take looking at shoes and dresses anymore and walked until I realized I had hit the "gay district". Every shop was rainbow and every other person walking down the street was holding hands with their male partner. The bars were all gay bars and I was happy that I had finally found something different in Madrid, and experienced something I havn't really seen in the U.S. much outside of the occasional gay festival.

We met back at the hostel a few hours later, and got ready for the over 24 hour long- never ending "Laura's Birthday celebration" We went down to the bar at the hostel and had some dinner and Sangria. We bought a couple mixed drinks, I had a tequilla sunrise, which made me feel ridiculously sick the rest of the night. Some people they had met the night before came and joined us, a creepy old man stayed with us the rest of the night. It's just me, but I do not want to "hang out" in a foreign country-let alone on the United States- with a man old enough to be my father. But when I expressed this feeling I was quickly jumped on and told that "he's human too" and given disgusted looks. Right, so I'm the one who now has to deal with the perve all night and watch his hands and move away when he tries to grab my hips, all because everyone else thinks its cool while they are with their other conquests.

They went to a bar and I left when they decided to go dancing somewhere else. I couldn't take the old man anymore, or the tequilla sunrise.

Madrid has burned me out of Europe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 19- Bus Ride

We took the metro to the train station early in the morning so we could catch a train for Madrid. It was only after we got there and waited in line that the man behind the counter informed us that it would be 130 Euro per person to take the train to Madrid. We NEVER paid more than 40 Euro for a train in ALL of Europe. We walked away from the counter stunned and pissed that they wanted so much money from us. Diana and Abby went off to find the bus station while the rest of us sat in the train station and waited. They returned before too long with bus tickets they bought for 20 Euro though it was a 7 hour bus ride.

We had to hike our suitcases to the other side of Barcelona via the metro, which is ironic because when we got off at the bus station Diana had triumphantly proclaimed that was the last time we had to do that. So we lugged our increasingly heavy suitcases up and down multiple sets of stairs though the train station to the different lines we had to catch. People didn't talk, we were working to hard on just getting there to talk.

We got on the charter bus at around 1 and it was actually a really nice ride. People got to read, write, listen to music, or watch Monster's Inc in Spanish. We stopped a few times for food along the way and the scenery from Barcelona to Madrid was beautiful, there were mountains and valleys and wind turbines dotting the country side.

When we arrived in Madrid we took a Taxi to our hostel, which happened to be right in the middle of the main section of Madrid, exactly where anyone would want to be. The hostel was really nice, we had a balcony overlooking the walkways. There was a restaurant/bar and free internet. I was starving by the tie we got there and I thought people would want to eat but everyone took about 2 hours to shower, get dressed/ready, do make up and hair ect. I was hungry to the point of passing out and in an awful mood by the time we left because no one gave a damn ever when I wanted to eat or do anything, I was on everyone elses time schedule constantly.

We walked around til we found a resteraunt that looked decent and I ordered smoked salmon. A few minutes later the waiter returned with a literal plate of raw sliced salmon. I looked at it in disbelief. My dinner was a massive plate of raw fish and a side of foreign potatoes. I shared the plate with Diana and it turned out to be much better tasting than I expected, though I wouldn't order it again. People stayed and drank beer until midnight when everyone toasted Laura's birthday- the first of a long line of toasts.

Everyone else went out to celebrate Laura turning 21, I went back to the hostel to sleep. Partying is not really my thing. Especially in a town where hookers line the main streets at night and every other shop is a tatoo parlor or sex store.

City of Gaudi

I've never been a person of God. I've had too many years in Catholic school to believe in the things that have been pounded into my head over the years. Notre Dame was beautiful but I have never seen anything like Gaudi's Segrada Familia in my entire life. I can't describe walking up to it or seeing it for the first time. It is massive. It is a structure that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. It is amazing. I am not a church goer or god believer and I was touched.

We stood outside and I think I just gaped at the architecture. Laura and I were the only ones who wanted to go inside since we had to pay, but to me the entrance fee, which goes toward the buildings completion, was well worth it. The pillars and angles Gaudi used are different than anything I've ever seen before. The roof where the pillars meet are in sunflower designs and mosiacs. The stained glass, in my opinion, rivaled that of Notre Dame and ceated bursts of colors which dyed the stone and cement inside the church. The entire center section was off limits due to construction. Their goal is to have it completed at the end of this year though I doubt that will happen. Laura and I paid the 2 Euro to take the elevator to the roof, and I swear it was the best 2 Euro I spent my entire time in Europe. We could see all of Barcelona and the ocean in the not so far distance. As we made out way down the spiral stairs we saw different aspects of the building and designs you couldn't see from below. It took over 15 minutes just to walk down the stairs since the building is so high. Only 4 of the pillars on the roof are completed so far, they represent the evangilists. 12 more are on their way to construction, for the apostles, and they are going to be even taller than the existing pillars.

After we got out we headed to some souvenier shops where I got a mug and a Gaudi cup for my mom. We hit the metro and made our way to Parc Guell, Gaudi's park. It was a straight uphill climb in Barcelona heat but it was, of course, worth it. We got to see another view of Barcelona as well as the collage seats, Gaudi's lizards and other famous aspects of the park.

After the park we went and got lunch and walked down the main strip in Barcelona toward the famous outdoor market where every kind of fruit, vegetable, meat, and sea food imaginable was being sold in massive quantity. If I lived in Barcelona that would be the only place I would ever shop ever again. People pureed pure fruit and sold it as juice, it was fantastic.

We finally headed back toward the water and sat down for a while since we were tired after walking the entire city of Barcelona in one day. Once we reached our room we got dressed to go out to dinner. We ate at a restaurant that was not that great but we had some good Sangria.

Best day of my life.

Bird Crash

Of all the places we visited Spain was the one of the places I wanted to visit least. For some reason I didn't find it intriguing, but then again I didn't know anything about it.
When we got to the airport our plane was delayed due to a "bird crash" yes, it really is what it sounds like. Once we got on the airplane the pilot apologized for the delay saying a bird hit the plane on the earlier flight and mandatory inspections had to be conducted before they would allow people on the fight again. Odd, I'd never head of that before.

The flight to Barcelona was very short but we found out our airport was not actually in Barcelona so we had to hop on a bus after our flight and drive for about 2 hours to arrive in Barcelona. Then we proceeded to drag our luggage through Barcelona looking for our hostel. After a little while, and some confusion we did find it. By that time it was getting late and all we had time to do was get showered and dressed and head out to find some dinner and see the night life.

I discovered in Spain they have things called "tapas" which would be like a small appetizer and people order many of them and make meals out of them. They also have Sangria which is a fantastic drink mixed with wine and probably my favorite drink out of the entire trip.

We walked down to the center of town and found a restaurant that looked good to us. I ordered an apple, potato, chicken "salad" and some pasta, and it was amazing food. I think everyone enjoyed what they got, which isn't always the case with odd restaurants. From there we walked the 5 miles to the train station which took forever because we wanted to buy our train ticket to Madrid so we didn't have to worry about it later. Once we got there we learned that they onle sell train tickets the day of and that we would have to come back later. So we walked home again and collapsed in our beds completely exhausted.

Night Drama

I can boast a little and say I saved the day. I did. Seriously.
Diana and Tara promised us they printed off our tickets for the flight to Barcelona in the morning when they went out with Sam. Wrong. I have no idea what they printed off. But it was definitely not our tickets. And we realized this at 2 in the morning. Our taxi was coming at 5am.

Without our tickets printed off the airlines would charge us 40 Euro a piece to get on the plane, which in U.S. dollars is a lot. That, in addition to everyone else's massive suitcases which would be charged for being over weight.

So everyone sat there saying "We should do something" "We need to do something" "I wonder if the man downstairs would help us" "We should ask the reception desk" "We need to do something"
So I sat there mildly pissed for a few seconds listening to everyone else say that they should do something for a bout 20 minutes. Then I put on my flip flops and went downstairs figuring no one else was going to do a damn thing about it. The man behind the desk looked surprised to see me so late and I tried to explain to him our situation (he knew little English). Once I made clear that I desperately needed a printed he let us use anything we needed to print off our tickets, he was the nicest man and the hero of the hour, if not the entire trip. So I went back upstairs and got all the information I needed from everyone and came back down with Laura to type it all in and print it off. 20 Minutes later and we were all set again. We thanked the man and tried to let him now how much we appreciated what he did. No one else upstairs seemed to care that he didn't need to let us do that and that he had just saved us 40 Euro a piece.
But either way we went to sleep at around 3 am. Caught the taxi at 5am without any problems and made our way to the Paris airport for our flight to Barcelona.

July 16- The Rest of Paris

We walked, for the final time, down to the Eiffel Tower in search of the bike tour. As magical as the Eiffel tower is an hour walk kind of dulls it down a little bit. Once we realized that it probably was not occurring on the day after Bastille day we took the metro back to the hotel and completely gave up.
We reconvened and decided to go walk to the major cites since Notre Dame was just down the road. We didn't have to walk too long before seeing the massive steeples of the cathedral sticking up above the rest of the city. The courtyard was surprisingly empty for it being so well known. I expected throngs of tourists and cameras and lines to get into it to be as long as in Rome. After gaping at the gargoyles and statues of Mary and the Saints that I have been watching for years in the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame we got in line to go inside. It only took about 10 minutes of waiting in line to make our way inside the church. I love the dark old architecture, its so easy to see, when walkig into these old churches, how the Catholic church used scare tactics and complete awe to push the peasants and people of power into fulling accpeting every canon and law the church wrote down. The stianed glass and vaulted ceilings were fantastic and people all around were snapping pictures as other people prayed. We walked around back to the garden and sat down for a little while admiringthe "best view of Notre Dame", which is from the back.
As we sat there Laura and I decided we really wanted to see the Lourve, but everyone else, to my surprise said that they were tired and wanted to go back. So Laura and I walked a bit farther down river where we found a side entrance. We walked into a courtyard that led to the big glass pyramid that is now the Lourve entrance. There were people sitting by the fountains outside and even walking through them. The line to get in was not very long so we got in it and then realized that on Wednesdays students get in for half price which was awesome! We paid our 9 euro, got our map and hit out to find the Mona Lisa. I think every entry way we passed and hallway we went down there were arrows pointing to the Mona Lisa. I'd always heard how small the painting is and how it's impossible to get close, but I got to stand as close to it as the railings allow. It was thrilling just seeing a painting that the entore world knows by name.
We wondered around for a few more hours and saw Milo's Venus and a statue of Ramses as well as tons of stuff from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. When Laura and I decided we were tired we walked out and headed home.
When we got back we headed to the park for cheese and wine and to wait for dusk so we could go up the Eiffel tower. The sun started to go down at around 9 and we got in line. After 45 minutes of waiting lightening started to go off int he distance and we also realized that we were in line for the stairs, not the elevator up. So we got out of line and into another one just as the lightening illuminated the entire city. The signs flashed saying the top of the Eiffel Tower was closed, but that we could still go up to the first observation deck, so we stayed in line. The lightening started getting closer and brighter as we got closer and closer to the ticket counter. The first rain drops started to fall just a few rows away from the platform. Diana got out the sheet we had sat on in the park to put over our heads so we wouldn't get wet from the rain. Right as we were celebrating how good an idea this had been the down pour began. I can't remember exactly how things happened but the rain became a torrential down pour and the wind picked up as though a hurricane were headed in. As the sheet became more and more drentched and wind made it impossible to throw off of our heads. We were all screaming in line as pepople are running around us and the people behind us are yelling at us to move. Diana finally threw off the sheet into the wind where we lost track of it and all of us started to run towards the tower. I ducked under the dividers and got to the tower in time to see everyone else running through the corrals. The attendants ushered everyone inside the bottom of the Eiffel tower where the elevator is and locked the door behind us. About 100 drentched people stood squished inside the little complartment as the wind and rain shook outside. I wrang out my skirt onto the floor as we stood there almost in shock of what had happened and Laura laughed.
After a few minutes the storm died down and everyone was forced back outside. Debris was everywhere and a few yards from where we had dropped in lay our sheet, completely wet, muddy, and debris strewn.
The tower closed completely and we began the walk to the metro, laughing and replaying what had just happened when I looked down and saw a man in a blue shirt hunched in the middle of our group at Abby's waist level. I screamed, unsure who he was or what he was doing which made Tara scream and everyone else panic. After 2 seconds of mayhem the man ran off, and we ralized he joined a group of other men in blue shirt- the French police. They were chasing away the gypses selling illegal goods. The man looked back at us and gave us the thumbs up and then tured to his buddies and began talking to them, and they all looked back at us and began to laugh.
We made the trip back under fairly uneventful circumstances, unless you call a subway violinist odd. When we got back to the room we changed and showered and hung our wet clothing all over the room in hopes that it would dry before the plane the next morning.