Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Real Madrid v Barca.  As anyone who knows me is aware of, I am really not a big sports person, unless that sport is Ball State basketball.  Who would have thought that I'd ever be sitting in a crowded bar on a school night, watching a soccer game?  I actually had a lot of fun, too.  People get really in to soccer, especially these particular teams.  I was in a room full of Madrid fans.  I'm curious what it would have been like if we had been in mixed company.

Cats.  In my free time I take pictures of the cats out my window.  It's amusing  really.  

Independent travel.  Last weekend I went to Toledo with a friend, and it was a blast!  As nice as it is to go on trips with family or with a class, it's even better to go independently.  We got to take our time wandering, seeing what we wanted to see, eating when we wanted to eat.  I had a good time, and I can't wait for our next trip, which is very soon!

Time management.  Some days I am better at this than others .  Yesterday I was on top of everything, and finished all my work by 5.  

"Appointments".  Tomorrow I have an "appointment" with a native spaniard who's learning english.  We're meeting at a restaurant for tapas to speak for half an hour in spanish, and half an hour in english.  She seemed really nice on the phone, and I'm pretty excited about this.

Textbooks.  I received almost all of my textbooks in the mail that I ordered for my online class, and I've been eating them up.  You know you're in the right department when you enjoy reading the required readings.  

Purposefully not being productive.  Normally after class I go home to blog and do homework until lunch time, and then I sleep and do more homework until I have to work.  Today after class I bought a snack and sat on a bench with my friends for an hour, enjoying the sunshine and the unseasonably warm weather.  It's still January, and we were out in tshirts.  I got a little sun burnt, of course, but I had fun.  I'm off to work soon, and I haven't done any homework, but I don't mind.  I enjoyed my afternoon off.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ok, mother

This is the kind of outfit that would make my mother say, "Are you really going out like that?"  I always feel more like myself when I don't match, and it drives her crazy.  I promise, this isn't even one of those teenage-rebellion things; she says that I've never matched my clothes, even when I was little.  Stripes and checks, black and brown, warm and cold, dressy and messy.. I love it.  

Completely off topic, when I first saw the selection of 'feminine products' available in Spain, I could not wait to need to buy some.  I'm a sucker for good marketing, I guess.  The bright colors on the packages speak to me like the american versions don't.  These packages scream, 'Look at me, I'm bleeding! Yay, womanhood!', where the american products are the things that you hide under the rest of your groceries.  Maybe I'm overreacting.  But aren't these pretty??

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I spent all yesterday thinking that it was Tuesday, which means that I forgot to post a song for Music Monday!  Here's a song I've been listening too a lot lately; it recently won some award for something or other.  Anyway, it's good.

Monday, January 28, 2013


A friend and I spent Saturday in Toledo.  I definitely enjoyed the city, but I don't think I would go again.  The museums and cultural monuments are fantastic, but the rest of the city seems to be a tourist trap.  The catedral itself was worth the trip, for sure.  I'm slowly putting photos up on my travel blog, so check them out if you want to hear more.  Yesterday was full of all the homework that I left undone Saturday, and today is looking to be more of the same.  I was playing around with my camera yesterday in an effort to avoid doing homework, and this is the result.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekly Recap

This week has been pretty busy, although a bit less so than last week.  Here's what I wrote about on my other blog:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Travel plans.  I've discovered over the past few weeks that travel planning is not fun.  I'm sure the trips themselves will be great, but trying to match schedules and preferences and still have enough money to eat is proving to be a little difficult.  Nevertheless, things are starting to fall in to place.  

Good reviews.  The mother of the kids that I've been tutoring called my program director to say that she's very pleased with me and that the kids love me.  The funny thing is that I actually have been enjoying teaching them.  Shh, don't tell anyone, I'll lose my reputation as Not A Kid Person.

Coffee.  I've been drinking a lot of coffee here.  Tomorrow we're having our grammar class in a cafe, which means that I get even more coffee.  Love it.

Taking naps is totally pc.  As soon as I hit publish, I'm taking a nap.  I'm looking forward to it.

Opening up.  I keep being told that I need to speak more spanish.  What nobody here seems to get is that I'm not really a talkative person, in any language.  Almost every time that I've been told that here, it was after an hour where I felt that I had been talking a lot, just in my own way.  "A lot" is relative, people.  

Friends.  There are some really cool people here, and I'm really glad that I'm getting the opportunity to get to know them.  Also, I really miss all my home friends, but wonderful things like the internet means that I can still talk to them.

Zapatillos.  In Spain, everyone lives in house slippers.  I've always hated wearing slippers, but I seem to have the opposite problem here.  I can't wait to get home sometimes, just to put my slippers on.  They're just so warm!

Cats.  Everywhere.  Adorable.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I don't normally do this kind of thing

For as much as I love clothes, I'm really not a big fan of high fashion.  That said, I'm in love with this collection from Sessun.  I love the messy hair and the lipstick in the advertising campaign, and the clothes themselves are fantastic.  I'm all for buttoned blouses, light sweaters, and prim pants.  I may actually have to try my hand at sewing some patterned pants once I get home this spring.

Busy with nothing

Theoretically, I should have hours and hours of free time.  Instead, I've been really busy.  I'm not complaining about this, I'm just a little confused.  Where does the time go?  Oh yeah, to the internet.  I've been spending a good chunk of time every day doing research for travelling.  I have a few exciting trips planned.  

Today I feel like I am dressed as both an old man and a little girl.  It's a good contrast, I think.

I've been wearing a lot of rings lately.  I can do it without feeling strange because I can paint my nails here without worrying about taking it off in time for work!  At some point I'm going to get better at focusing my camera in order to take better pictures of my ring collection.  Someday.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Same old

Taking pictures indoors is getting pretty boring.  I was planning on taking them outdoors again today, but then it started snowing.  Not a light snow, either, but a heavy, wet snow.  I don't really want to wreck my camera, so it stayed firmly in my pocket for the time that I was outside.  I think this skirt might have been one of my best $11 spent, ever.  I'm in love.  

Today the program director told me that the mother of the kids I've been tutoring called her to say that she's very happy with me, and that the kids love me.  I never thought I would hear that one!  We have another lesson today, and I'm actually pretty excited.  Maybe I'll learn some more slang.  Last week the kids taught me words for different types of drugs while we talked about gun laws in our two countries.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ed, again

I've been listening to this song on repeat.  Love it.  Relevant.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekly Recap: Travel blog

This week on the travel blog, I posted about a snow day, talked about my first week, a pretty view of the city, made an observation about cats, shared pictures of the aquaduct after the rain, did my first ever video blog, and went on a field trip to a monastery and a castle where I took lots and lots of pictures.


A good way to tell native Segovians from the tourists is that the Segovians wear heels everywhere.  The exception is when they wear boots, but even then, half the time they're heeled boots.  After watching everyone for a week and seeing cute boots everywhere, I was feeling pretty game to give it a shot.  It can't be that hard to walk in heels in this hilly, cobblestone city, if even the old ladies wear heels, right?  

I suppose things would have been different if I had waited and looked more carefully for what I wanted.  Sometimes I rush in to purchases and regret it later.  For example, I saw these boots in a store window and went to try them on.  They were on sale for 10 euros, which is really very cheap for any kind of shoe, especially boots.  Don't get me wrong, they're adorable, and I can walk just fine with the chunky heel.  The problem is that cheap shoes are still cheap shoes, no matter where you get them.  I wore them for an hour's walk around the city, and came back with 4 jellybean sized blisters on my toes.  Now it hurts to wear shoes at all.  Of course, I also didn't bring my bandaids with me, since all the shoes I brought with are comfortable...

Oh well.  I'll still wear them, just not for long periods of time.  Maybe if I wear them for enough short periods of time they'll get broken in and stop hurting me.  Or maybe they will always just be cheap shoes that exist only to cause me pain.  Also, look, I actually manned up and took some pictures outside!  The sun came out for a while yesterday, making it bearable to be without a coat for long enough to snap these.  Then the clouds rolled back over and the wind picked up, and all the joy was sucked out of the word.

There is the cutest kitten outside my window right now.  I mentioned on the travel blog that there are wild cats all over Segovia, and that they congregate in the yard that my window overlooks.  I was sitting here typing when the tiniest kitten I've seen yet sauntered out of the bush.  I whipped out my camera and had the memory card firmly in the computer when 4 more kittens appeared.  So.  Much.  Cute.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Last night

We went out to the bars last night, and then to a discoteca.  I had fun, although not as much as the last time we went out.  There were less of us, and everyone else was set on getting as drunk as possible before hitting the dance floor.  I don't begrudge anyone their right to get drunk; it was just a little strange being the only sober one in the group.  Also, here's a fun fact about spanish dance clubs: no one dances.  They all just stand around and watch the crazy americans.  One of my friends asked a guy why no one dances, and he said it's because they're too embarrassed.  Yet they have so many discotecas.. Although I will also say that there were a few times that I was a little embarrassed too.  Not about dancing, though, but about how loud my friends were.  Americans are known to be loud and obnoxious, and I do hate filling stereotypes.  

One of the guys in our group told me that i have swag, because I wear what I want and not what most people think would match.  So if you were wondering, men's shirts=swag.  Noted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Today has gone a lot better than yesterday.  Completely unrelated, I didn't think that this would match, but now that I'm wearing it I totally think it does.  So that's something.  Also, is it completely tacky to match your rings to your nail polish   Because I've been doing it.  

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

I almost forgot that today was Thursday!  Time is flying here, and the days are blending together.  This week has definitely had some ups and downs.  Let's think of positive things!

I had a successful spanish interaction.  Our class took a fieldtrip to an open market, and I bought some yarn.  I didn't have to ask for words during the whole conversation, for the first time since I've been in spain!  (I also only said "this" and "how much", but that's not important..)

Exercise.  As if walking aorund this city isn't enough exercise, I'm trying to run three times a week too.  From the aquaduct to my house is a quarter mile, so this morning instead of trying to run a full cirlcle in the dark I just ran back and forth between home and the aquaduct twice.  Even with the hill that lies between my home and the aquaduct I felt pretty good about that run.  It was an easy route that I can't wait to repeat and improve on.  

Nail polish.  For the last semester I've been unable to paint my nails, since I worked in the dining hall.  Since I don't have that this semester, I can paint my nails every day if I want to! That's a little extreme, but I do enjoy having colorful nails.

Planning.  I bought my plane ticket for spring break, and today we're planning out a trip for this weekend, and another for a month from now.  Planning has been pretty stressful, honestly, but I'm hoping that tonight's planning session will go smoothly!

Knowing where I'm going.  There are still moments where I think I know where I am, and then I turn a corner and I'm on the other side of town.  I'm hopeful that this is changing. 

Yarn!  I bought yarn in the market, and I'm really excited to get to work.  I found a couple cool crochet stitches online, and I think they'll knit up pretty nicely.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Not too exciting

This used to be what I would wear practically every day. A tshirt, blazer, scarf, and tennies.  That's changed in the past few months, as styles are aught to do; I still appreciate a good blazer day every once in a while, though.  I put on my favorite tshirt in the morning, and got halfway through the day before I remembered that it was in english, and thus slightly less meaningful in Spain.  Oh well.  And once again, I promise I'm going to find somewhere better to take pictures soon, once it stops raining!

My host mom is currently dusting all of her cabinets off, and accidentally kicked away her stepping stool.  I'd been home for about 5 minutes when she started to yell for me to "venga, venga ahora!" She was balanced between the sink and the hot stove, and needed me to right her stool so she could get down.  She's almost 80 years old.  I never knew that cabinets needed dusting.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Settling in

Now that I've officially been in Segovia for a week, I'm starting to fall in to a routine.  This morning I got up and attempted to run a mile.  Here's a bit of advice, for people wanting to continue with fitness goals in new places: don't go out running before sunrise in strange cities.  Also, if you really want to run before sunrise, make sure you know where you're going!  I got a little lost this morning, which would have been fine if a) I could see where I was going or b) if I didn't have class to get too.  Oops!  It ended up being fine, I asked a garbage man for directions.  But I definitely think I ran more than a mile.  

I promise, once it gets a little warmer out I'll start taking better outfit pictures.  For now, have a peak in to my messy little room.  I say messy, but it really isn't.  I don't have enough things here to really have a mess.  I want to try to do more regular outfit posts, just for my own benefit, as I live out of the contents of one suitcase for the next 3 months.  When I was packing I had tons of ideas for different outfit combinations; now, I'm scratching my head.  What was it I was going to wear again?  Anyway, I bought this skirt on clearance at Forever 21 right before we left, and it was a great purchase.   It's pretty heavy, which is nice in this cold weather, it's long, and comfortable.  More importantly, it's neutral!  Halleluia!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Found it

This song has played in every bar we've been to in Segovia so far, and everyone goes nuts over it. I think it's in Portuguese or one of the non-Castilian dialects, because I recognize the roots of words but still can't understand any of it.  Also, please excuse the video..

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Other places

I started a separate blog specifically for my family to read while I'm studying abroad.  If anyone's interested in following along with my encounters with foreign places and cultures, have a looksee here.

If I'm a little quiet here (which I don't plan on being) it's because I can't shut up about this beautiful town.  The first day that I had a bit of free time I sat down and whipped up 8 posts, and have ideas for more.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You teach
You teach your hands
You teach your hands you teach
You teach your hands
              to sleep"

-Paul Celan, "Matiere de Bretagne", trans. Michael Hamburger, found here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Una dia normal

I'm slowly settling in to a routine here.  I have class from 8:40 until just after 1, and twice a week I tutor a couple local teenagers in english.  My host mom makes lunch at 2:30, and if I don't have too much homework I take a nap after lunch.  Sometime in the evening I've been meeting up with friends to explore.  In theory routine means more regular blog posts, although I can say now that my precious routine will be changing next week. Ayy.

This is so everyone knows I'm still the same me, just in Spain:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Spain!!  I'm sure that this is still the honeymoon period that we learned about in our stages of culture shock lesson, but so far I am loving Spain.  It is so beautiful here.  I really don't think that any modern city can ever compare to the architecture of 1000 years ago.  

Talking is getting easier.  At first my host mother thought I couldn't speak or even understand any spanish at all.  After a couple nights of sleep I'm starting to catch more, and to respond correctly.  I think she's feeling a lot less frustrated with me, too, which is a good thing.  

La comida.  So far everything I've eaten has been great. I wish I had peanut butter in the mornings, and more chocolate (always more chocolate) but other than that everything is good.

Skype.  I haven't used skype in ages.  It's a wonderful invention and I'm so glad that it works here.  The connection gets a little fuzzy occasionally, but with a little patience it's doable.  I've been able to talk to a few friends, which makes me happy.

Social media.  Similar to skype, keeping in touch is really easy.  Me gusta.

New friends.  Everyone else in the program here is really nice, and I feel like we'll all be very good friends in time.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Welp, I'm leaving for Spain "tomorrow".  It's currently 3:50 in the morning.  I've been told that I should not go to bed, so that I can sleep on the plane and not be quite as jet lagged.  We'll see how well that works out.  To pass the time I'm packing, working on updating my ipod, and getting nice and caught up in my journal.  I really ought to finish packing before 5, but I'm still in denial that this is real. 

I was finally able to get some pictures off of my phone from the last couple of weeks.  These are from the Company of Thieves concert, a mandatory Bean picture, pretty lights, and ice skating in Millenium Park.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

This week has been really busy, but also a lot of fun.  I've been filling my time with friends, knitting, and one very large book that I'm hoping to finish before Sunday.

Pitch Perfect.  I was sure this movie would be cheesy beyond belief.  Instead, it's full of good music, memorable one liners, and lovable characters.  I've watched it twice in the last week, and I wouldn't mind watching it again.  Acalove-it!

Morning coffee.  One hectic week before, I was too busy for my daily cup of coffee.  It's nice to be back in routine.

Sleep.  The day after new years I slept for 10 hours and woke up feeling almost completely better.  

Excitement.  I have a friend from school coming up to visit today, and we're going ice skating downtown, and I can't wait!  

Preparedness.  I'm sure that I've mentioned a few times here that I'm leaving Sunday to study abroad in Spain for a semester.  I have yet to pack, but I've thrown the majority of my things in to a suitcase in my room, so packing shouldn't be too difficult.  I've been running errands all week, and I'm pleased to say that for once, I haven't left anything to the literal last minute, which I sadly tend to do.  Yesterday I picked up my currency order from the bank, so I'm all set with a few euros to arrive; I have my passport, my visa, my plane ticket, although I do need to make copies of these; I'm off to the DMV in a bit to renew my driver's license  and then I need to make a quick grocery stop for shampoo and extra allergy pills, and then I'll be all set to go.  

Passing time with friends.  I have the best friends.

Music.  I've been listening to a lot of new music lately, and I'm working on compiling a travel playlist for the trip.  Does anyone have any suggestions of travel-themed songs?  I'm not quite satisfied with the playlist as it stands now.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Obligatory new year post

I've been looking at my resolutions from last year, and I'm struck by just how little I managed to stick to.  Don't get me wrong, I had a great year.  I pushed myself, and I accomplished a lot, in getting and being successful in an internship, in keeping in touch with friends, in doing what was right for me.  Every time I go to write up my resolutions for this year, I come up blank.

The thing is, I'm happy with my life.  

I don't want to make a list of promises to myself when I know that I'll forget about them completely within two weeks.  So I don't think I will.  

I just had the best new year's eve yet, laughing with friends, watching stupid movies (NILBOG!), toasting Kesha, and generally having a blast.  So thanks to all my lovely friends for starting the new year in a memorable way.