Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have puppies!

I updated last night and didn't have an internet connection to post, so here are both last night's and today's entries. :)

Last night's entry:

I am sitting here not doing anything productive after going through my textbooks, getting ready to put them online. I have 14 textbooks and a few other assorted books. Even if I only get 50 bucks for each of them, that's 700 dollars! And I don't even think those are all my textbooks. I still have several boxes to unpack here.

Books, clothes, Passion Parties stuff, random crap around the house – I'm hoping I can sell off a decent amount of stuff in the next two weeks, since tuition is due on the 7th. Yikes! I guess I should have been a little more selective with my spending when I was in Europe. Sadly, most of it was on food.

Speaking of saving money (sorta), I used a 5 dollar off coupon at Fresh & Easy today, so I'm up to $5.50. That's more than 5 percent toward my goal! Not a huge step, but I'm making progress.

I had intended on starting my herb garden this weekend, but if I'm going to be out of town next weekend, I'm not sure that I want to commit to that. I'm planning on growing from seeds, so I shouldn't leave them alone for too long unsupervised. I also haven't written my thank-you notes to Mr. Brown & Mrs. Phillips, which I was going to try to complete by the end of this month. I also still have about ten to go on my happy list, which was the third of my goals I had intended to complete in August. Oh well! I'm plugging along. I will get to them when I can.

I almost got to cross the Courchsurfer host one off my list this past weekend, but then the guy tried to get a little too cozy with my bum. No thanks. So he didn't stay here.

I'm getting pretty sleepy. It's past midnight and I went to bed last night at 8:30. It was wonderful, but not so conducive to late nights now. I'm going to go get ready for bed. Ciao!

And tonight's!

I just got back from dropping Kris and her family off at the airport. I have two rambunctious puppies, a pistol, a lock box of painkillers, an HHR, and a steam cleaner to keep me company for the next week.

I put 17 books on Amazon earlier today, and have sold two of them already! I think between the two, I made about $175. I like this! Unfortunately it's still probably nowhere near what I paid for them, but it's more than I had yesterday, so I suppose I can't complain.

I love my hot yoga studio. I wish it wasn't so expensive. If I signed up for auto-pay, it would be $75/mo. That's quite a bit more than I would like to spend – especially since I can only make it to three classes per week.

I'm getting pretty sleepy, so I think I'm going to get started on this homework and then head to bed. Ciao! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The weekend blew by!

It's been a few days! School is kicking my butt and keeping me super busy. I have homework due every day Monday – Friday already, which is guaranteed to continue throughout the semester. Math is harder than expected. O-Chem is just as hard as expected, and with a different book than the one I have. It'll take a lot of studying to be successful this semester!

I won't have internet at the house until September 6th. Yikes. I was really hoping it would be hooked up earlier than that, since I ordered it when I was still in Europe, but I guess there's not much I can do about it, so not much use in being upset. I'll just have a lot more pool time than expected in the next week.

I finished another book. I'm up to 7 now, I believe. Fast Track to Romance by Lauren Casey. Meh. It's just a bunch of ideas. 365 of them, in fact. It did prompt me to make my own list of 100 dates I want to go on, though! Finally! Kyle and I had started one when he was deployed, and I think we stopped at 30. I came up with all 100 today.

I returned the transformer to REI today. I thought I remembered it being more expensive than I got back, but it was quite a while ago. Maybe I just thought so because it was significantly more expensive than just the little adapter things. I walked up to the counter and told the guy I didn't have my receipt, but I could give him my number, and he joked around for a minute. Mildly entertaining.

The old apartment complex today refused to give copies of work orders from our file. Apparently we have to contact their attorney. NOT PLEASED. I am so glad I/we moved out of that place. It was miserable living there, and it's been even worse dealing with them since then.

Called Kokopelli today to make another reservation and the information they're giving me is different than what Groupon told me. I'm not super interested in paying 220 bucks (side note: this font puts a smiley face in place of the dollar sign. An extra 100 bones isn't something to smile about.) for the same room I was going to get for much cheaper. Plus I guess the wine tasting isn't included anymore either. LAME. This had better be resolved properly tomorrow, or I'll be pretty peeved.

I suppose I should head out again. I have O-Chem homework due tonight that I need to start working on, and some German homework due tomorrow that I need to finish as well.


P.S. I'm obviously changing things around a little bit - starting with the font. Like it? Don't like it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Whew! First week down.

Wow! The first week of school is finally over. Life is going to be super busy – that's for sure. I have a to-do list for this weekend that is literally an entire page. No empty lines. And I have ONE of them crossed off. It's going to be a long weekend. I think things should get a little easier once I have unpacked and moved in here. Yes, I have a lot of school stuff on my list, but I also have a lot of general housekeeping – not just cleaning, but things that need to be taken care of since I've been gone for the last month.

My little monster bird has been super adorable today. She let me hold her, let someone else hold her, and wasn't a little hellion when I tried to clip her nails earlier! I don't remember if I shared the story of the last nail-clipping fiasco, but I gave up after 30 minutes, when I had only clipped one nail.

I have a full trash can to take to the recycling bin either later tonight or tomorrow. That was quick! I think unpacking all these boxes and realizing how much crap I truly save when I don't need to really helped. I also started to go through the big “collector” bin that I keep under my end table. Tons of crap that I don't need.

I suppose I shouldn't spend too much time updating since I have an overwhelming to-do list... and am hosting my first Couchsurfer tomorrow. (Don't worry, Mom. I have a pistol and a knife here.) I would like to have the house (relatively) clean and most of my homework done so I'm actually decent company - especially because I don't have internet at the house, so if I am busy, he won't have much to do here.

Looks like I'll cross that goal off my list earlier than expected!

Back to the grindstone. Ciao!  

365 thought-provoking questions: Questions 69 - 90

69. What gives your life meaning?  I'm not really sure how to answer this. I try to find joy in the little things, and that's what keeps me going through rough days. 

70. Can there be happiness without sadness?  Pleasure without pain?  Peace without war?  No. Peace is defined as the absence of war, so you can't have peace without war. I suppose the other two might be able to exist without their counterpart, but they would not be fully appreciated. 

71. What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you at the end of your life?  I hope to be remembered as someone who was always positive and added value to others. 

72. Is there such a thing as perfect?  Yes, but it is unattainable. This question always reminds me of "This is not a pipe." An ideal exists, but it can never be reached. 

73. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?  I think I have had a decent amount of control over where I am now. There have been obstacles that have forced me to change my path, but I have always been the one making the final decision. Ultimately, I'm happy with where I am now, even if it's not where I planned to be. 

74. What does it mean to be human?  Obviously there is a biological component. Homo sapien and all that. We also have a high-level language and the ability to emote. 

75. If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart?  Unfortunately there is one person that comes to mind when I hear that word. I like to think that I am less judgmental and less hateful than she is. Other than that, we are more similar than I care to admit. 

76. What do you love most about yourself?  Physically? My hair, definitely. As far as character, I love that I am always so (outwardly) positive. It makes my day when people are taken aback when I respond that my day is "awesome," or something similar. 

77. Where would you most like to go and why?  That's a tough one! There are so many places on my dream sheet. I would really like to go to Antarctica - I suppose just for the experience. I think that's going to be the coolest continent of the seven. As far as countries go, I am most looking forward to going back to Poland. Not only was it gorgeous, but I really enjoyed the people there as well. I am hoping to learn the language and go back in two years. 

78. Is it more important to do what you love or to love what you are doing?  To me, it is more important to do what I love. I have a huge list of goals I want to accomplish - things I love. It is also important to love what you are doing, but I feel that phrase is limiting. I might love what I am doing, but not necessarily be doing other things I love as well. 

79. What do you imagine yourself doing ten years from now?  I imagine I will just be starting a family, or have a young family. I will own a home in Austria. I will be successful and wealthy enough that I will not have to work with any regularity, and can do whatever I want!

80. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?  The act of kindness that comes to mind immediately is being welcomed into Mike and Jacey's home. However, that's not small at all! So I would probably say being invited to Susan's home on Easter for dinner. That was a small act on Miranda's part - it really only involved a phone call - but it absolutely made my day. To me, it represented my friends standing behind me on a really difficult day - a holiday that I would have otherwise spent alone. Then the interactions I had with Miranda and Josh that evening really cemented how important they are to me. 

81. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?  When I was in elementary school, I did Renbukai. There was also a younger boy in our class named Jason. Jason's parents had access to a cabin on an island out of Homer, and our two families went out there for a weekend. The water taxi picked us up at the end of the weekend to take us back to shore, and I rode the entire hour or so at the bow, with the spray in my face. I think that is probably my happiest memory from growing up. 

82. Do you own your things or do your things own you?  If I would have been asked this question a year ago, my answer may have been different, but now I can confidently say that I own my things. I even have hesitated lately to acquire more things, since I would rather spend my money on experiences. 

83. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?  Wow. That's rough. I would probably rather lose all my old memories. At 23, I hope I have a long life ahead of me. I would rather lose my last 23 years of memories than never be able to form memories until I die. 

84. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?  Perhaps I'm the wrong person to ask, since the last time I had to deal with this situation, I ended up being fired from my job. If I were to deal with this again, I would probably ask to be reassigned to a different project/shift/department/etc. and if that was not able to happen, I would look for work elsewhere. Life is too short to live any part of it miserable, or surrounded by miserable people. 

85. What do you have that you cannot live without?  Nothing. I rely on myself for my own happiness and not things or others. 

86. When you close your eyes what do you see?  Peace. Serenity. There's not a specific scene that pops into my head, but when I close my eyes, a wave of calm washes over me. Yoga must be making a difference! 

87. What sustains you on a daily basis?  I'm a pretty positive person. I don't know that I would say anything particularly sustains me (other than food, obviously), because I don't need anything to sustain me. 

88. What are your top five personal values?  Honesty, kindness, positivity, trustworthiness, and a strong work ethic. 

89. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?  Love cannot be selfish. If you do not love someone enough to let them go, then you don't love them. If them going is the best decision for them, you must allow that. If you hang on to them because you can't bear to let them go, then you are being selfish and that is not true love. 

90. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?  I do! Especially on days where I'm running late to school, I will celebrate them aloud in the car. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Okay! I did it.

I realized I need a little more to hold me accountable to fit into my pants again, and I didn't feel like clogging up my daily entries with meal logs, etc. so I created a new blog! The address, not surprisingly, is :)

Help me out and keep me accountable! I welcome everything from encouragement to beatings if I don't make a goal, or have a lazy day and decide not to exercise... or eat 3 lbs. of chocolate cake in five days. Have meal suggestions? Head on over! Want to laugh at how fat I got over the last month? You can do that, too. Just join me in my quest for success.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A general 101 update!

I finished another book this weekend. For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. I had it recommended to me back in June, right before I went home on vacation. When I was home, I saw a copy of it in the library. Mom said she got it a few years back and that I could take it along, so I finally got around to reading it. Twice. It was pretty interesting.

Did hot yoga yesterday. I was really surprised to see so many men in the class! There were 8 guys there yesterday, which is more than I've seen in any class there so far. That was pretty cool. I think it's really awesome to see guys doing yoga. The guy I was next to even went down into toe stand from tree pose. I can't even do that.

Battery is about to die, so I suppose I'll head back home. O-Chem homework awaits!

365 thought-provoking questions: Questions 41 - 68

41. If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?  Life is too short to live it with regrets. Do what you want to do, don't do what you don't want to, and learn from your mistakes rather than regretting them. 

42. What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?  Honesty. Without honesty, you cannot have trust or communication. Honesty is the foundation of all relationships. 

43. What are you most grateful for?  I am grateful that I have a loving family who provides for me. I don't have to worry about most of my bills here, because they are taken care of for me. 

44. Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?  Stealing is always wrong. Food banks, shelters - there are ways to provide for a starving child other than stealing. 

45. What do you want most?  Happiness and success

46. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?  I think I have a pretty good grasp on doing the right things. I worry probably more than I should about doing things right. 

47. What has life taught you recently?  Life is full of surprises! Good or bad, things rarely go according to plan. 

48. What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?  I would eliminate FGM. 

49. Where do you find inspiration?  Most often, I find inspiration in nature or through introspection. 

50. Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?  Always strive to make others proud. 

51. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?  We are afraid to admit - both to others and to ourselves - that we have failed at something. Making a mistake inherently means you haven't completely succeeded at whatever it was you were trying to do, which means at least there was at least a small failure somewhere. We are afraid to make a mistake and reveal that we don't know it all, or can't do something. 

52. What impact do you want to leave on the world?  Certainly a positive one! I hope that people dwell less on the negative and appreciate the positive more often as a result of knowing me. 

53. What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?  Probably a day in March, 2003, when I learned that people are not always good. I lost my innocent and naive outlook on life that day. 

54. In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?  I definitely try to slow down and appreciate the small things every day. I can't think of anything that I am missing, but I may need to think a little more on this one. 

55. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?  The first, out of a feeling of obligation. The thing that came to mind immediately when reading this question was work. Very few people actually have a job they enjoy, but they have to work out of necessity. You can't survive in today's society unless you have a steady income. On the flip side of the question - I think people take life too seriously. We are also generally material people and not experience-focused people, so we miss out on doing a lot of things because we are so concerned with how we look to others. 

56. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?  Many things! Music. Reflection in nature. Wonderful people. Sometimes even wonderful food. I really try to appreciate the little things. 

57. Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?  Of course. I think I have regretted things I haven't done more than things I have. 

58. Has your greatest fear ever come true?  Yes. Last month, actually. 

59. Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?  Once someone is gone, we don't have the chance to make any more memories or to apologize for past slights. When they are gone, we can't change things anymore and we generally spend time regretting that. 

60. What is your most beloved childhood memory?  The one that comes to mind is ice skating on Westchester Lagoon one weekend morning. We didn't have much money, but we always had ice skates. 

61. Is it more important to love or be loved?  Both are important at different ages and life stages, I think. At this point in my life, it is more important to me to love. 

62. If it all came back around to you, would it help you or hurt you?  I would like to think it would help me. I try to leave a positive impact on everyone. 

63. If you had the chance to go back in time and change one thing would you do it?  In my own life? No. I believe that I have learned and grown from all my experiences. 

64. If a doctor gave you five years to live, what would you try to accomplish?  I would finish my 101 list, for sure! I would travel to all seven continents. I would bungee-jump off the Europe bridge, drive on the wrong side of the road, and go hang-gliding. 

65. What is the difference between falling in love and being in love?  Falling in love is something done almost unconsciously. Being in love is a daily choice. 

66. Who do you think stands between you and happiness?  I am the only one that stands between me and my own happiness. I am in control of my own life and my own feelings. If I am not happy, it is because I have either allowed something to affect me negatively, or because I am not doing enough to make myself happy. 

67. What is the difference between innocence and ignorance?  Innocence is a lack of experience. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. 

68. What is the simplest truth you can express in words?  Life goes on. No matter what situation you find yourself in, the world is moving. You can choose to dwell on things or you can choose to not less life pass you by. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And now, a Fear The Fork update.

Goal this week: Exercise for at least 60 minutes every day. 

Monday: I attended two hot yoga classes. 
Tuesday: Got some exercise at home. 
Wednesday: I am signed up for another hot yoga class at 5 this evening. Also, there is no more cake, so I can finally exercise self-control. 

Thursday, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I would like to attend the Italy wine class in the evening, which rules out evening work-out classes. I might just run for an hour or so in the little gym by the clubhouse. 
Friday, I'm not sure what the plan is either. I'm signed up for a Ballerobica class right now, but might do something else as well. 
Saturday, I'll be somewhere north probably doing some hiking. Planning on camping Saturday night, which means I'll be hiking back on Sunday morning. 

I returned my produce from Fresh & Easy yesterday, so I don't have any more nectarines, but I do still have some cherries (and I brought some for lunch today!). I also refilled all gallon water bottles I had at the house yesterday, and I'm already about halfway through one of them. I'm working on drinking a lot more water. 

So. Goal for the week: exercise 60+ minutes per day. I'm doing well so far, and think I'm on track to succeed this week. I still have a lot of veggies in the fridge, so maybe I'll have to do some sauteed veggies with balsamic for dinner again this week. Make up for the chocolate cake I've been eating. 

Need to plan out the picnic stuff / food for the weekend. Fear the fork!

Fear the fork.

I walked in the ASU bookstore earlier today to bend over while purchasing my German book, and was greeted by a stand of new ASU t-shirts. They are black with a watermarked pitchfork, and "FEAR THE FORK" is emblazoned across the front.

New weight-loss accountability blog name? I think so. Unfortunately I'm too lazy to start a new blog, but all my exercise and diet posts will now be tagged "fear the fork."


OMG I hate my math class.

I always thought I liked math because I'm just really good at it.

I was wrong. I like math because I have had amazing teachers and professors. (And because I'm good at it.) This realization came to me today when I was sitting in my wonderful Mathematical Structures class for the first time, wondering what in the world I had done by switching my major.

This is a list of things running through my head for that awful hour and fifteen minutes:

  • Dear lord.
  • I hate my life.
  • Shoot me now. 
  • Did he really just say that?
  • I wonder if there is another, more competent professor here whose class is still open. 
  • ...Was that seriously a racist comment that he just made?
Oh boy. The list goes on. 

Structures is NOT going to be the uplifting class I had planned on this semester. That's okay! I'll just have to work a lot harder than expected. 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm home! And cooked something new.

I tried a new slow-cooker recipe last night! I had about 6 lbs. of bone-in chicken breasts in the freezer that needed to be used up, and Kris and her family came over for dinner, so I thought it seemed like the perfect time!

I generally don't use bone-in chicken because to me, it's a pain. Grilled, it's okay. Otherwise, it's really hard to work with. This recipe, though, is with wine so I figured even if it is a pain to eat, it will be tender, so hopefully worth it!

Chicken with white wine sauce

5 bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed and trimmed
5 carrots, cut in 1/2-in pieces
3 ribs celery, cut in 1/2-in pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
ground black pepper
1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ c. Sauvignon Blanc (any other dry white wine would probably work as well)
red potatoes, quartered
1 yellow onion, sliced

Put the veggies in the bottom, and cover with the chicken. Dump the spices on top of the chicken, and pour the liquid over everything. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours!

Then I thickened the sauce so I could pour it over the chicken and wild rice for serving. 3 Tbsp butter + 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour. Mix it together, and pour in a few cups of the cooking liquid. Heat it until it bubbles, and then continue to heat until it is the consistency you want.

It was SO good. The only complaint I had is that everything fell off the bone, so getting the veggies out was a pain without getting a big ladle full of bones as well.

The night before, I also tried to recreate the delicious veggie stuff that I had at the Prague Marriott. I cut up an eggplant, two zucchinis, two yellow squash, and a red pepper. Cooked it all up in ½ c. butter until everything was soft. Drizzled with balsamic vinegar and served. DELISH.

Unfortunately, again I didn't get photos, so this doesn't count as one of my 50. I'll remember eventually.

I do have another update that perhaps will go on the other blog. First update in a few months, so if you follow that one, check for something new shortly.

And with that, I'm off! I have another ballet fitness class this morning and should probably do some cleaning. I have a big to-do list today. :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So much for leaving today.

Oh, Praha. I should have left three and a half hours ago. Instead, I am sitting in the lounge at the courtyard marriot attached to the airport.

My flight to Amsterdam was a-ok, but my flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta had been cancelled, so I was rescheduled for a flight to Amsterdam and then Minneapolis tomorrow. I land at about 4pm, so I will miss my first two classes and probably be late for the third, but I suppose it could be worse. My own fault for scheduling my flight so close to the start of school, I suppose.

I've been hanging out with a guy named Matt (different Matt than the one I met last night, who was also awesome) who was supposed yo be on the same two flights. He is flying instead to Paris in the morning and bring re-routed from there. What a nightmare. But he is here on a business trip with the company card, so we grabbed lunch together earlier at no cost to me. Bonus. We have been swapping school and road trip / eurotrip stories and having a blast. He seems slightly hippy-ish. We had lunch on the ground barefoot, sitting in the grass.

Had breakfast with Leah this morning before we left. She and Ryan disagreed on mist things which made for an interesting conversation. She gave us directions to the airport using public transportation which was super helpful.

I suppose Ryan is on his way to Minneapolis right now. So jealous. I should have been on that flight. I can't do anything about it and I guess if I'm going to be stuck somewhere, at least it is at the start if my journey and I'm not stranded somewhere. And being put up in the marriot is a bonus for sure. I just would really have liked to be home today.

And I discovered something earlier today that made me feel like the biggest fool ever. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now.

The sky is blue and it is a beautiful day. I suppose I should enjoy the cool weather while I have it. Sayonara! Hopefully my next update will be on my way home.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quick update

from the Embassy!!

Just had my interview with the Consulate. I should have a new passport after 1:30PM this afternoon. I think everything will go according to plan.

Out for the day! I'm going to grab something to eat and then meet Leah at 1.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back in Prague.

Well maybe I should start from the beginning of my stay in Brno.

Arrived in Brno in the evening from Katowice. Went to McDonalds to use their wireless because it was just around the corner. The recommended hostel on wikitravel was some place called hostel fleda. Figured it must be okay, and it seemed cheap, so off I went. Had a hard time finding the reception desk because the place is attached to a bar and club. Reception is through the bar. Weird. And they require a deposit of 200Kc for the key. Wasn't expecting that since I haven't encountered that policy elsewhere, so that was a little off-putting.

Walked upstairs to my room. Shared bathroom for two big dorm rooms... Not the end of the world, right? WRONG. It was the most disgusting bathroom ever, with the possible exception of one of my hosts' in Rome. And one of the things I didn't bring was shower shoes. Cool.

Other than that, the place was okay. I skipped breakfast and made oatmeal in the room. Met one of the other guys in my room - Shawn. We ended up spending most of the day together. Just wandered around. He is a pretty cool guy. He is actually in Prague now and we might meet up and do a day trip to Kutna Hora before I leave.

Sent out a few couchrequests and got three responses. The most convenient was a guy named Aaron who was going to be home all day, and lived right in the center of town. Like, directly on the square in the center of town. It doesn't get more convenient than that. So I headed to his place.

Short version - he is a total stoner. Like grows weed in his house, stoner. The second night he was tripping on acid and came to bed with me. No thanks. Conveniently, that was the night all my shit was stolen on the train so I woke up and said I needed to jet off to Prague. I drove up with Cornelia, who was surfing with another guy - Aron - who also had responded to my couchrequest.

Cornelia dropped me off at the tram station in Prague, where Viktoria picked me up. I have been staying with her and will stay through Tuesday morning. Her parents are on vacation and come home Tuesday evening, so I have another place to stay Tuesday before I can hopefully fly out Wednesday morning. Today, we went for a walk - probably about 7km - to the zoo, up near a cemetery, and had a really cool view of Prague and the Vltava river.

I will be heading to the embassy tomorrow morning to hopefully get everything sorted out. I do have my license so hopefully that is all the identification they need. We shall see!

More tomorrow after the embassy. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Okay. I'm ready to go home now.

Went out for a bike tour through wine country earlier. Thought I was going to have a blast. Biked about 30 km on the worst seat ever. So outrageously uncomfortable. Then I can only find one vinohradska that is open, and the lady charges me 60kc for a glass of wine rather that the 20-25 I was told to expect. So right there I'm a little irritated. Had dinner at a hotel with cheaper wine.

Biked from lebnice then to breclav. Was given wrong directions so I was even more tired and displeased. Got on the train finally at 8:38 pm. Fell asleep around 9 and took a 20 minute nap. Woke up to find the contents of my bag strewn across the car, with my camera bag (with camera, money, my drivers license, and both credit cards inside), my phone, and my passport missing.

Fucking awesome day. I spent a few hours at the Brno police station tonight and will be heading to Prague tomorrow to the embassy to see what they can do for me. I hope I am still able to head home on Wednesday without being held up.

Definitely won't be sleeping on anymore trains from now on.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Went to Auschwitz today.

And I determined that your experience is really determined by the guide you have. We went with a group. If you're with a group, you are required to have a guide. And ours sucked.

First, he mumbled a lot. He was really difficult to understand in general.

Then he decided it was acceptable to use dramatic pauses and whispers often and at really inappropriate times. Coupled with his mumble and the fact that we were wearing headphones / he was talking through a mic, he was nearly impossible to understand half the time.

However, we joined another guide's group for Auschwitz II-Birkinau, and she happened to speak English much more clearly. That was a much better tour and I wish we would have tagged along with her to begin with.

I actually thought the Dachau experience was a much more embodying one. This seemed rushed, was confusing at times, and was just... not what I was expecting. I do hope to go back at a later date (and after 3PM, as they require a guide before that time) and spend more time there on my own.

And now it's 1 AM and I should probably head to bed. I heard about several book titles and a movie relating to Auschwitz that I will talk about later (and they're on my Amazon wish list if anyone feels like checking them out). Until next time!

Monday, August 8, 2011

As promised,

an update from Krakow!

I took the night train here last night and got in around 7:30 this morning. Staying at the GlobArt hostel. It's super tiny and has one bathroom/toilet for the entire floor... a little weird/awkward, but I'll get by. The bathroom lock is an awkward one and the door still opens slightly even when locked, so I quasi walked in on someone earlier. Not fun.

I was really hoping this place would have a stove. No dice. They have a microwave but I'm not really interested in microwaving my Italian rice, which is the only thing other than fruit that I have with me. So it looks like I will be going to the ATM again layer for polish money. I had hoped to avoid that since I'm here fir such a shirt time. Oh well.

I am feeling less miserable than I did earlier this morning, but I am far from on top of my game right now. I have downed more than a liter of water which I think probably helped. I might head down to the pharmacy later (when I muster up the strength to leave for lunch) and get something for my nose/head. So instead of being out exploring, I have been relaxing at the hostel. I planned out my school schedule for spring semester and think I was fairly productive. Completed my exit loan counseling and realized that I don't have as much money as I thought I did to cover tuition. I hope my insurance claim for this ticket goes through quickly or I might be disappointed.

Still haven't heard from wing. Hope he is still planning on meeting up here! I have a one way train ticket and made no plans so that would be mighty unfortunate if we aren't able yo find each other. Next time I'm bringing a phone.

I also did a major overhaul on my 101 list earlier today. Check it out! I'm happier with most of my changes. I took off a lot of the "fun" goals and tried to make them a little more substantial.

Going to go grab my bed before other people check in, I suppose. more later!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Waiting on my laundry, volume 2.

Still in Prague. Ryan and I went down to the laundromat to do some laundry and then ran down to a little restaurant to grab some coffee (hot cocoa for me) while we are waiting.

I think I'm going to head out to krakow tonight on a sleeper train. I still have to look up ticket prices but we'll see. I really want to.

Was asked out on a date last night by a Czech guy named Lucas. I was supposed to meet him at 1 but decided not to go. It was going to be an all day thing and spending all day with a guy I met twice and spent limited time with is probably not a good idea.

Managed to lose another hair tie today. I had it when I woke up and it had disappeared by the time we went to do laundry. I am boss at losing things.

Went on a bar crawl last night for ryans birthday. It was not the blast I had hoped it would be, for a few different reasons. The night definitely ended poorly. But he had fun and said it may have been his best birthday ever, so I suppose that's all that matters.

I'm sitting on a little kiddy chair that is quite possibly the most uncomfortable thing ever.

chatting with some guys who are also waiting on laundry about the clubs here and the pub crawl from last night. Perhaps I should be more sociable.

More later! Hopefully the next update will be from krakow.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I feel super lame.

It is four pm and I am still sitting in my room after an awesome nap today. It was actually really refreshing. Today has been the first day I haven't been running around, and have been able to just relax, but I feel like I'm cheating myself. I think I'm going yo head out here soon and go buy new shoes, but I felt like updating first.

I switched rooms yesterday. It was cheaper to stay in a female dorm, buy they only had beds available for nights two and three. So last night and tonight I am in a 10-bed female dorm. I'm on the top bunk which is a bit weird. I can't remember the last time I slept on the top bunk anywhere, but it's okay.

Did laundry yesterday at the laundromat. It was pretty spendy - like almost $10. And I left it there in the dryer most of the day. When I went back to get it, the woman said I was a "bad person" for leaving my laundry there so long... Even though there were plenty of empty dryers when I walked in.

Ryan and I went out last night with Rebecca and James from Australia. We had so much fun! They wanted to go to a little bar called the iron curtain which sounded cool to me. Communist bar. Nice. So we went there... And it sucked. First, the kitchen was closing so we couldn't get food unless we wanted sausage. But the guy was super rude about it. So Bec and I went off to a little gyro stand and got something while the boys hovered their sausages. They had some weird flavors Of their house vodka which was cool (we had a round of snickers shots) buy since the bartender was so rude, it was really off-putting, so we left. Went to a little brewery and had some beer, and then followed two guys to harleys which is a bar/club sortounding the biker culture. Surprisingly even with all the Harley photos in the wall, it was both hilarious and awesome.

Ugh. I need another nap. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. The girl who slept below me snored louder than I have ever heard from a woman. It was difficult to fall asleep, my sleep wasn't very restful, and then with a room of 10 people you're bound yo have someone up early making noise. I took a two hour nap after breakfast. It was awesome.

Anyway. Almost five o'clock and I have wasted most of my day. I am finally going to put my contacts in and run out to replace my broken sandals. more tomorrow!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sitting here waiting for Ryan

So I figured I would do a quick update.

Got into Prague yesterday evening. I had such a wonderful time in Vienna. I met a super cute guy who is nice and fun and sent mr a message this morning saying he misses me already. Mechanical engineer. Just finished up his masters. Lives in Tulsa. Apparently makes wonderful enchiladas. I'll be the judge of that.

Met Wing here at the hostel last night.

Os just invited me over to their table so I should probably head out. More this evening, perhaps!

Monday, August 1, 2011

More from Innsbruck. :)

I have decided to stay here an extra day. Theresa offered and I just couldn't refuse.

Run-down of Innsbruck so far:

Friday - Train here from Florence. Theresa picked me up at the station (I felt really bad because my train was almost 30 minutes late and I didn't have any way to call and let her know), and we wandered around town. Then went back to the house, did some hiking up in the Olympic ski areas (with cows and horses!), and walked around the little lake with live music. Returned to the house. Met Bartok, and - well, if you don't have anything nice to say...

Saturday - got up. Went down to Innsbruck to get their touristy Innsbruck-card. Went first to the Swarovski museum out in Wattens. Came back to town, got a sandwhich at the supermarket in the train station, and wandered around a little more. Ended the evening at a Tiroler Abend - a traditional Tyrolian evening full of yodeling, shoe-slapping dance, alp horns, the hammer dulcimer... it was a BLAST. Yann met us there in time for dinner, and we shared an evening of laughs.

As the Tirolean evening was starting

Sunday - got up again. Headed off with Yann to the Nordkette. Took the train to the very top and had hot chocolate by the cross. Amazing. Went to a schnapps tasting back in town, and then met Wing, a traveler from Australia.

At the top of the Nordkette with Theresa and Yann 

Today we are mostly heading our separate ways. I'm baking brownies for Theresa later... no big plans, really. Just enjoying her company and this wonderful town.