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Sep. 10th, 2007

What Do You Have To Say? - Music: My First Favorite Band

What was the first band you became a fan of?
Jimmy Eat World, probably after The Middle and Sweetness.
Got tix for them in October on the day their album "drops".

Aug. 27th, 2007

oh my

Last week's disappointments:
- Delta flight was delayed, something was wrong with the plane!
- No white chocolate bread pudding at Figs!
- Burdick's was closed!
- David T. Olsen wasn't around! (reminder to Grace: my half-Asian/JT-BFF professor)
- The cab ride cost $35 for a $10 ride and he didn't have his license with him, making the WP security guards wary!
- Dinner was the epitome of AWK!
- It was hot and sweaty in a dress!
- Banquet food was bad!
- My flight from JFK was delayed because they took an extra hour to load luggage, but apparently they did this all the time so they actually just build another extra hour into the schedule. BUT! There were flight control problems, 40 planes were waiting on the runway before us, another hour passes by, I am sure to miss my connecting flight from Dallas to Los Angeles!
- David fortunately gets American on the phone and gets my name on another flight to LA, the last one out. My flight gets into terminal C and my flight leaves from terminal A. If I miss this second flight which takes off 30 minutes after I supposedly land, I'll have to make the DFW airport my home for a night! Bastards.
- I make it to DFW on time and it's only 6 gates down. I get my ticket (unfortunately, some people on my flight headed to Oakland missed their flight and I think they even had to pay for their next flight and hotel stay) and I'm on the plane within minutes...we leave the gate...we're on the runway...THEN we get called back to the gate! Something's wrong, they must fix, they don't know how long it's going to take! Seriously, can you believe my luck? I had to call my friend and mom a million times. It was only delayed 30 minutes so I got in only an hour or so later after my original arrival time. But now I have a cold.
- Today, I almost burn down the apartment building because I left my apartment key in my traveling backpack and I go downstairs to get the mail with only my mail key. Of course, I left something on the stove. I had to call my mom and a $60 locksmith. Scary how someone can just open your door if they really wanted. And my chicken soup is now gone. Blah.

Aug. 5th, 2007

Writer's Block: Vacation Time

What was your most memorable vacation, and why?

New Orleans - good food, amazingly nice people, pretty with Spanish/French influences, best deal EVER, great hotel, and an extremely smooth vacation in terms of company

Vienna - two days of full-on love for the city

Capri/Sorrento/Pompeii - packed packed packed + beautiful

Korea - never got along better with 6 girls at one time (or even 2-3 for that matter), first *real* away-from-home experience

chocolat soundtrack

Chocolat Soundtrack

Aug. 3rd, 2007

(no subject)

We just got (another) notice on our mailbox about a TV filming they are doing sometime in the next few days. Guess what it's for? Private Practice, as in, the new Grey's Anatomy spinoff.

Jul. 26th, 2007

Writer's Block: Bump In The Night

What are you afraid of?

Heights. Failure. Rejection. Hunger.

Jun. 23rd, 2007

music uploads

Coldplay :: A Rush of Blood to the Head

Coldplay :: X&Y
Tags: ,

Jun. 22nd, 2007

napoli + capri + sorrento + pompeii

I basically stopped writing about Europe after that one long email after my wondrous trip to Vienna/Prague. I was going through my handmade Florentine notebook that I managed to write down notes on (expenses, hostel names and addresses, journal entries) up until my final week in Spain so I could tell my friend Christine about Europe--the can't miss spots, the costs of food, etc. She's taking a bus tour with a couple of friends first and then they're going to be traveling by themselves for a bit. Funny, but all their parents are freaking about their safety in hostels and insisting they stay in a hotel. In London, out of all places! They even speak English and it's going to be so expensive! And most of us did all this traveling with friends, in hostels, safely, and sometimes, even alone. But I digress. Since my notebook is out already, I should probably write some words about the rest of my travels.

My friend Katia and I *really* wanted to go to Capri and see the Blue Grotto so we made a 2-day trip out to the southern part of Italy. Southern Italy is really the Mediterranean part, the part associated with the Italian mafia but also horrible, Third World-like living conditions. But the good food associated with Italy is also from the South, I suppose it's much like the southern part of the US, the part we try not to be connected to despite all the fried goodness that comes from the region. In any case, my Italian Cinema class taught me that the South was ripe with much political corruption and destitute poverty. A lot of Southerners came to the North to work in the Milan and Torino (Turin) factories where the Miraculous Economic boom was happening, leaving their families behind and sending money.

While Shannon and I were going to keep running through Europe, for most of our friends, it was the second to last weekend, depending on what day their flight was leaving. Katia had two more spots left on her rail pass and I had none--so we did a little sneaky thing and got a train reservation to Naples. The train ended up leaving from Campo di Marte, NOT our main train station (Santa Maria Novella) so we had to take a cab there. There are at least 3-4 different train stations in Florence and all of them but SMN are on the main line. We took a seat in our train and it was a beautiful, peaceful ride to the southern area of Italy, taking 5 hours. Of course, it wouldn't be Italy without creepos looking in and bothering us, they actually kind of scared us on this train ride because they looked threatening and weren't just leering/flirting with us this time around.

We got off at the train station and had no clue what to do but we ended up following some people to take the tram to the Naples port. Everyone before us had told us bad things about Naples, how dirty and gross it was and everything was true. We didn't stick around long enough to prove anything wrong. When we got to the harbor, we still didn't know what to do until some Italian high school kids asked us if we needed help. Turns out that their weekend project was to help out tourists or something, perfect! They pointed us to the REAL harbor, the one that had ferries and water and told us that there were more people there to help us. We met with them (bright T-shirt wearing, pimply kids) and they told us to take a ferry to Capri. It ended up costing around 13 euros and while we waited for the ferry, Katia and I ate our lunch that she had prepared--pasta with a tomato cream sauce with eggplant. Yum. We took our ferry, which was super huge but boring and landed at Capri just to see some other kids from our program. We bought tickets for a boat tour around the island while they ended up getting a little chartered boat, as there were enough of them. Our boat tour had a pretty hunky Italian sailor guy, with lips saltily chapped by the sea winds.

The point of these boat tours is to get to the Blue Grotto, a cave with luminescent blue water that seems so magical that the Romans thought there were healing powers to them (or something). You take the boat tour to the area around the Blue Grotto, just to get on another smaller boat with men who paddle you into the caves. Everyone apparently grabs a rope that goes into the grotto and pulls themselves in to see inside the caves. Unfortunately, the tide was too high or too rough for us to go inside but our guide made sure to point out other patches with such luminescent water.

After our boat tour, we walked around the Capri main area and then took a furnicular up to Ana Capri, which is this small village-like area with high end stores, brand names and jewelry. I think there are some comparisons made to Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive. I imagine that the houses are extremely expensive, at least according to the restaurant food prices that we saw on the menus. Katia and I both became enchanted with the coral jewelry and ended up buying a few things--she bought her sister a necklace and I got myself a small, beaded coral bracelet, just as a memento. And of course, what day in Italy wouldn't be complete without a small bowl of gelato?

We had nothing to do in Sorrento afterwards so we bought our hydrofoil ticket to Sorrento. Yes, hydrofoil. I didn't know all these words were actual English words until I got to foreign European countries. It was just a small, flat boat. We got to Sorrento and was again, confused as to where the hell we were supposed to go. We kept following people who were taking up a very windy road up to the hills and ended up in the main town, where there was a celebration going on. I believe it was their patron saint's day (perhaps Sant'Angelo?). There were red and black streamers and everyone was in the streets. It didn't seem like a very far walk to our hostel for the night so we kept walking, as we hardly saw a bus in sight. Along the way, we ran into the religious parade and afterwards, celebrations with car-fulls of people filled with joy at their winning soccer team. It was nightfall by the time we got to the alleyway that our hostel was located on and it creeped us out because even the houses weren't lit and there were bats flying overhead. I was sure someone would rush out and mug us on a moped or something.

Our hostel was kind of ghetto--we saw no one else staying and our room that fit 15 people or so had no one in it besides us. The sheets looked clean but hospital-creepy clean. We had no choice though, there were really no other cheap lodgings in Sorrento and it was on our way to our next destination, Pompeii. We were starving and our hostel manager guy asked us if we wanted pizza, so we said yes. He ordered it for us and in no time, a little girl came to deliver our pizza! She was probably not even 10 and our whole pizza cost us 4 euros! Incredible.

We woke up super early to walk to the train station where the Circumvesuviana took us to Pompeii. The train was a special train that takes you to the cities near Mount Vesuvius, I guess, strange thing. Anyway, We took it to Pompeii and got there early enough in the morning that it wasn't as chock full of tourists as it was later on that day. The Roman city's inhabitants were, as you are probably aware, basically buried in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The city was dug up and provides extraordinary details about Roman life because the gases and ash brought life to a standstill and everything is incredibly well-preserved. Basically an archaeologists' dream. Most artifacts have been moved to museums and a lot of them are in Naples, after the King of Naples demanded them to be moved to his collection.

We walked around without a tour guide because we didn't have a lot of time there (only about 2 hours) and we tried to eavesdrop on other tours' guides. We learned that Pompeii had the 'bars' that Italy still has today--where people basically go in and out for a quick cup of their drink of choice and he loved to call it "McDonalds". An elderly man who either worked or volunteered on the site told us that there were metal rings on the sidewalks (the 'road' part were very deep in relation to the side walkaways) to hitch horses onto--and then he asked us to give him a kiss in exchange for that bit of information!! We followed some more legitimate tours afterwards and Katia bravely asked a British guide to point us in the direction of a brothel. We found one, as was apparent by the fresco of the man with the gigantic penis. And our day was done, we made our way back to the Circumvesuviana train back to Naples and then promptly got on our train back to our beloved Florence.

Hopefully, more travel stories to come soon, and hopefully not after an entire year. I can't believe we squeezed in 3-4 cities in a span of 2 days, with a 5-hour train trip both ways.

Wellesley FAQs

David, aka the boyfriend of the month, aka the boyfriend of the past 21 months, is visiting all of next week and in all likelihood, meeting my West Coast friends whom I have managed to keep away from "the WP" for so long. And in so thinking, I reviewed the list of questions he usually has to answer upon meeting any of my friends, regardless of whether they have or have not been confined to a single-sex environment for the past four years. And then I realized...I, too, go through the same ritual of answering bland, unoriginal questions, time and time again upon meeting someone new who had never, in a lifetime, even considered the idea of attending such an institution. "I don't think I could go to school without girls/boys/insert here what you will." I wonder if they realize how superficial they sound, as if the opposite sex completes an educational experience? Regardless, I submit to you a list of inane questions and comments that you yourselves have probably been subjected to after you have introduced yourself as attending Wellesley.

Question: Wellesley? Where's that?
Answer: Oh, it's a suburb of Boston, about 20 minutes away.
[Thinking] Of course, it really takes about an hour and a half going the route that the Senate and Exchange bus takes.

Question: Why did you decide to go to an all-girls' school?
Answer: Well first of all, it's an all-women's school *insert nervous laughter to show that you are kidding when you are really not* and it's not something I considered, really. I wanted to go to a top-notch, small, liberal arts school. Plus, the campus is beautiful.
[Thinking] I thought I would die my first-year without male company but in fact, I lived. I even lived long enough to get slightly offended by you referring to me as a "girl". And I was sucked in by the Viewbook, a veritable plethora of calendar images, but in reality, I can't even go outside to admire the beauty because it's too fuckin' cold all the time.

These apply to questions you answer in your home state, which should be at the minimum, 1,000 miles away from the elitist suburb of Wellesley.
Question: Don't you miss home? Why did you decide to go so far away?
Answer: Of course at first, I did. I really wanted to check out the East Coast/get away from home but I really feel comfortable at Wellesley because I have great friends and great relationships with professors. Now, when I go home for too long, I want to get back ASAP--my family drives me crazy!
[Thinking] I sure as hell missed home when I got stuck with crazy roommates. Thank God I had a single my last two years!

Question: Doesn't it get cold?
Answer: Yes but you get used to it. In fact, I don't even own a pair of snow boots!
[Thinking] No shit, Sherlock, it gets cold. In fact, it gets even colder than New York! *inward proud beam*

Question: How big is your class? Your school? Do you know _____?
Answer: A little more than 500 and about 2400-2700 in our school. And no, I don't think I know who your friend is. Sorry!
[Thinking] I know her! She's that bitch on Community/nympho on Orchid, but I can't exactly say that..."Oh yeah, there's an online forum that everyone and anyone can write in, so I've seen her name.." I don't want to seem like an MIT geek slash stalker.

Question: How do you find guys to date? Do you go to Harvard?
Answer: Well, we have an exchange program with MIT and Babson, so sometimes we meet them through classes. And we have big parties that all the guys come to.
[Thinking] Not that the exchange program significantly widened *my* dating pool. I should have put out.

Question: Are there a lot of *sideway glance, whispered tone* lesbians?
Answer: Probably not more than the national average.
[Thinking] They're just more, out. In fact, I'm a questioning individual myself but you are clearly too close-minded of an individual to understand. Besides, how could I resist Hot Girl?

And the end all to be all..

Question: Do you like Wellesley? How is it?
Answer: It's really a love-hate relationship, everybody feels that way.
[Thinking] I hate it, so let's quit talking about it.

Please feel free to add your own.

Sep. 27th, 2006

spur of the moment

After 63 email exchanges and a First Class conversation that lasted until the shutdown, I am going to DC for Fall Break.

It's time I had an answer for the "Why are you here?" question.

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