Friday, November 30, 2007

i thought you went to switzerland?

oh, how i did you all a disservice yesterday… i forgot to introduce you to ‘rhode island.’ rhode island broke up the international-hostel-party at about midnight on friday night asking if anyone knew if there were beds open. we just recommended that he head to the fourth floor where the employees were sleeping (the office is only open until 11pm), so he went up, and they told him that he couldn’t stay… so he came and sat with us. just sat. we were having conversations; he was staring. he tried a couple of times to start new conversations, but i was the only one who ever answered him. the kid was just weird, and he was from rhode island, hence the nickname. just an fyi: once the office closes, the only way to enter is to use a key – obviously, r.i. didn’t have a key, so someone let him in… well, after a while, he told us that he was going to sleep on the couch in the basement but leave before the office opened at 730. turns out, that’s not what he did. the poor american ended up rooming with this guy by chance, as his other roomie came in with r.i. at two in the morning, took r.i.’s passport number and money and then didn’t come back until the morning… so poor carl (american’s name) had to stay all night with crazy r.i. (not to mention a guy who was passed out in a chair with an empty bottle of vodka sitting by him).

okay, now i feel better. you had to meet rhode island. so we’re on to saturday! hubbs and i woke up early on saturday to go to weil am rhein, germany (a little teeny town just across the swiss-german border). believe it or not, this little teeny town is huge for tourism b/c of the vitra design center – which started out as a chair factory (producing ray and charles eames chairs), then turned into a chair museum (in a frank gehry building), and now boasts buildings by a few other a-list architects making it a huge arch-geek (and arch-geek-wife) attraction.

when we hopped off the bus, i was absolutely amazed. i had never seen anything so beautiful in my life than the gorgeous german countryside. seriously, GORGE. hubbs and i spent a little bit of time taking some choice photos before realizing – omg, it’s soooooo cold! so off we scurried into the frank gehry-designed museum only to realize that we made it right in time for the noon tour (which is a blessing b/c the tours are two hours long, and there are only two of them – at noon and at two). we stood outside waiting for the guide, and i literally thought that my toes were going to break off – i don’t know that i've ever been colder in my life. thankfully, it wasn’t raining. the tour of all the buildings is half outside, so i actually thought multiple times that i might have to head inside and forgo the rad tour, but fortunately, we were inside just enough for my toes to thaw. the docent was actually really cool and according to paul, “she really knew her stuff,” so the tour ended up being totally worth the freezing cold.

so, after about four hours in germany, we hopped the bus back towards basel with hopes of making one more stop in weil am rhein (a second zaha hadid building), but we had a couple problems on the bus that prevented this: 1) the bus driver had a big, burly friend who wanted something, but we had no idea what since we didn’t speak his language and 2) we had no idea where to exit the bus to get to the building. fortunately, there was a group on the bus who could help us (aussie michael, german michael, norwegian runa & marte). apparently, the burly friend of the bus driver wanted our money b/c our free transportation tickets are only good on the swiss side (which is only true half of the time b/c carl didn’t have to pay). when i realized that aussie michael lived in basel, i asked him if he could help us find the zaha building… he had no idea, but he had a better option (or so he said). he was just about to take his norwegian friends to see the “novartis campus” for an architecture tour, and if we wanted to go with them, we were more than welcome, and we’d be more impressed with it than the vitra design center. well, i didn’t care either way, but i knew that hubbs wanted to see the zaha building, so i turned to him, and he quickly agreed to the tour! (to our moms and dads: we know that you taught us not to talk to strangers. we haven’t forgotten. it's just that this seemed rad, so we couldn’t pass it up.)

if you don’t know what novartis is (i was totally with you before this adventure), i'll kind of tell you. novartis is a HUGE pharmaceutical company, and i mean HUGE (at least the campus is, anyway). apparently, the two biggest pharmaceutical companies are in basel, and they both have amazing, amazing, amazing campuses, but you can only get in if you work there (or if an employee takes you on a tour). i had no idea what to expect, but hubbs seemed super stoked, so i knew that i'd be in for a treat… after a few tram changes, we entered the security building and got ridiculously-official badges for our tour… and that’s when i realized that aussie michael wasn’t kidding. the campus was spectacular! seriously, hubbs will go into detail (hopefully this weekend) on his blog, but there are a ton of a-list architect buildings that are just amazing. the grounds are beautifully landscaped – with parks and amazon rain forests. incredible. there is a koi fish pond that made me think of my dad’s koi fish pond, but these koi fish are somewhat special (i have no idea why), but they cost twenty-thousand-francs each! the fish are SO expensive, that novartis leases them (which seems odd b/c each building had to cost like one hundred million)! apparently a few months ago, someone stole one of the little fishies (i can only imagine how much trouble the caretaker got into)! anyway, from frank gehry to sanaa to diener & diener to other architects that hubbs will tell you about, the buildings were phenomenal. to top it off, amazing artwork adorned all of the walls, and fabulous furniture furnished the buildings (from a-list artists, obviously). we were only allowed inside aussie michael’s building (and he thinks his building is the least cool), and we were amazed. to work in that cool of an office building must be amazing! the whole campus is outrageous. if it were opened to tourists, novartis would make even more billions annually b/c it’s an arch/furniture-geek haven! when leaving, aussie michael quizzed us on how much money novartis pays out in monthly salaries… eight hundred million… monthly (hard to believe, but i'm gullible, so if it's not true, i don't care!)! other interesting tidbit: german michael was telling us protesters frequent the novartis campus due to animal testing, but apparently, the protests are super organized. the heads of the protesting groups call in advance and book pseudo-appointments explaining when they’ll protest and on which campus. organization is key (i guess).

anyway, the michaels were insanely generous, and we felt so lucky to get such a treat on our swiss adventure… we beamed all night (and i’m pretty sure that hubbs is still beaming today!). we finished with the amazing tour at about 630pm realizing that we didn’t have lunch, and all of the sudden we found ourselves starving, so we headed to the grocery store and then back to the hostel to make some din… and pretty much automatically, our international-hostel-party rejoined to discuss all of our exciting adventures (ours being the most, obviously). somehow, rhode island showed up again, but he merely walked by us. thankfully, he didn’t stop to “chat.” the night was just as fun as the day with all of our new bffs (aka: new facebook friends).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

swiss miss steffa shares day two

this is some wicked-crazy hair that we saw on the tram... just thought i'd share.

if day one wasn’t enough detail for you, get ready b/c i'm back with more exciting tales from the land of chocolate and cheese (do you like ween? i like ween.)

so friday was day two, and it rained all day. i was still all sick-like, and i didn’t really sleep thursday night b/c of coughing and congestion… so can you guess what our first stop was on friday?! to buy ricola (please, say it only in the sing-song way), of course. i really wanted the cranberry flavor, but hubbs insisted that those are more like candy than lozenges, so i opted for the yucky eucalyptus instead (they’re not that yucky, but they're not delicious like cranberry.).

friday was an architecture kind of day, but i'm not really going to get into that b/c hubbs promises to write extensive blog posts on all the arch-geek stuff that i don’t know about. on that note, we did a lot, a lot, a lot of walking in the morning. if you know nothing about basel, (like i did before we went) you probably don’t know that it is an amazing architecture city. there is one firm in particular that’s pretty amazing (and i'm pretty sure there are others, but i only know the name of one -- still, i deserve some credit for knowing the one), and we saw lots of their buildings – herzog and de meuron. pretty amazing stuff (well, except for the soccer stadium… it’s pretty ug-tastic if you ask me.).

while searching for h&d buildings, i saw the coolest little-kid park. seriously, i wish that i were ten so that i could play on it. it looks like a house burnt down, and rather than demolishing the rest of it, they built a park. love it. anyway, on our way to one of the buildings, we realized that we were not headed in the right direction… and we had walked pretty dang far out of our way (or so we thought), so we decided that now was the time to learn to use public transportation (if you stay at a hotel/hostel in basel, you get a free transportation pass for the length of your stay – which is amazing!)… as soon as we learned, there was no turning back. public transportation was our new bff for the remainder of the trip (in basel, anyway).

for lunch, we decided to hit up the grocery store and grab some local foodstuffs from the bakery area… i couldn’t tell you what most of it was, but it was delicious. i know that you probably think that we’re really, really, really cheap, but i don’t really care – i'm not into paying $40 for lunch and dinner every day. that’s just silly.

after lunch, hubbs decided that we needed a less strenuous objective for the late afternoon (c’mon, i was still sick.), so we headed for the contemporary architecture museum (or something like that)… the exhibit featured pancho guedes, a portugese architect. i thought it was super-rad. art museum exhibits tend to bore me, but this kept me quite interested the entire time, which was nice… there was a separated contemporary art exhibit that was a little kooky, though… what can i say, i just don’t think of hanging birdcages on a wall as art… anyway, i thought the museum rocked, and hubbs was utterly disappointed… ain’t that the way?!.

oh boy, i really hate to be the party pooper, but i was feeling pretty bad -- like poop, so i had to be a party pooper -- on friday, so hubbs and i went to the pharmacy to get medicine number three – cough syrup. it's caramel flavored, which is kind of delicious and gross at the same time.

anyway, for dinner, we headed back to the grocery store and picked up some pasta and veggies, which we cooked in the kitchen… and, man, it was delicious. the veggies were a little weird, but since i couldn’t read the back, i had to ask some people to read it for me, which made us a couple of friends. while eating, a few other people came around, and after awhile, there was a little hostel-international-party—with 3 americans (us included), 3 canadians and 1 aussie. okay, so not a party-party and not all that international, but it was fun to have people to hang out with… especially since the other american was an architecture student from cal-poly-san-luis-obispo who’s currently studying in italy… how serendipitous! oh, the two arch boys were in arch-geek heaven b/c no one else understood a word of what they were saying!

ooooh, this is about to get long. i have one more friday story -- it's an interesting one, so i recommend reading it.

so we hung out in the dining hall for a long time with our new bffs when a large group of spaniards came in. they were pre-partying before going out on the town… they got a little loud, but the dining hall is totally closed off to the rooms, and we didn’t mind – they were having a good time… oh boy, was there drama, though! there was a small group (of what i think were eastern europeans) who were way older than the rest of us… they were pretty sloshed, but no one paid them any attention. until they started throwing temper tantrums. they started getting really loud, which made everyone quiet for just a second – just in time for one of the older women to let out the loudest fart ever… kind of weird. we all chuckled a bit -- i guess that we're all ten at heart, and i should've played at the park! so then, one of the ladies got up and started yelling at the spaniards in spanish saying that they’re rude and other craziness then she stormed out. then our lil’ group started gossiping about the ridiculous situation, which led the crazy-sloshed man to storm out and slam the door. it was nutty. then we went about our own business, the spaniards went out for the night, and the old weirdos walked outside – flipping us the bird on their way! ha! all i kept thinking (and saying) was, “ugh, i know that these loons are going to be in our room. they're going to murder us!” by this point, we hadn’t washed our plates yet, so poor hubbs had to go into the kitchen with the loons to do this (sorry, but there’s no way that i was going in there!)… right before we all went to bed, the crazies went into the kitchen and broke some bottles or glasses… this is when i ran.

fortunately, we didn’t share a room with the locos, but we did share a room with the spaniards, and to say that they were a bit rude when entering the room in the middle of the night is an understatement… we asked them to use the individual lamps instead of the main light – they laughed at hubbs and told me no. oooooh. burn.

oh, well. we both slept that night – what a blessing.

anyway. this story could take all week. hope you’re up for the challenge.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

switzerland... just the beginning.

i don’t know that i'm going to be able to do our latest adventure justice… it was that good.

just in case you haven’t been following: hubbs and i planned a trip to basel, switzerland with hopes of hitting up zurich and maybe small towns in germany and france. now, here’s the story.

if you remember correctly, i was sick last week. our plane left on thursday, and i tossed and turned all wednesday night thanks to some wicked congestion (unfortunately, said tossing and turning kept hubby awake). before hopping the bus to the airport, hubbs and i stopped into a pharmacy where i picked up some antihistamine – which turned out to be somewhat of a miracle drug in the first couple of days. we arrived in basel on-time, exhausted and hungry. we kind of got lost on our way to our ymca hostel but were able to see the city which simultaneously pumped us up and further exhausted and hungered us. seriously, basel is the cleanest and most picturesque city that i've ever been to. seriously.

fyi: if you ever go to basel and need cheap accommodations, check out the ymca hostel b/c it is amazing – seriously, the nicest hostel that i've stayed in (with a kitchen, free internet and private rooms available). trust me, if you ever end up in switzlerand, you’ll want to find cheap accommodations b/c switzerland is the most expensive place i've ever been to… no, really. i know that i'm cheap, but switzerland is ridiculously expensive (we learned that welfare pays out a minimum of 3k swiss-francs monthly… which would be somewhere around $33,000 annually. that might be higher than the u.s. annual income average.).

anyway, after checking into the sweetest hostel ever, we headed out to find some grub. every single restaurant we passed cost at least $20/entrée – trust me, we love doing the nice dinner thing every once in a while, but we were too tired and hungry to enjoy that nice of a meal… which led us to mcdonald’s, where we walked out in shock – a value meal cost $10. yes, that’s in u.s. dollars. yes, that includes a 16 oz. drink and a medium fry. yes, that’s almost double what it costs in the u.s. obviously we didn’t want to eat at mcdonald’s in switzerland anyway, so we went to the pizza/kabob restaurant next door… it turned out to be the american restaurant in a chain of “international” restaurants called “sam’s”… we ended up getting a peter-piper-style pizza and a shredded-lettuce salad and a large coke for $40. turns out, mcdonald’s probably would’ve tasted better and would’ve cost less! what's funny is that we had a kitchen in our hostel, but we were too tired to want to cook. plus, when traveling, eating out is the bomb-diggity… we just should've done more homework on where to eat in basel before our first night!

despite needing food, sleep and a larger bank account, we LOVED walking through the city. seriously, switzerland looks like disneyland, and according to us, disneyland is the happiest place on earth. basel is the most picturesque place that i've ever been to (have i already said this? if so, it's b/c it's totally true)… basel is GORGE! (i learned a new word from a friend whom you'll meet later. gorgeous = gorge.) and we went at the perfect time, too b/c it is the perfect city to get you in the mood for christmas…

anyway, back to the story. basel gets dark super early (which was kind of nice b/c i didn’t feel as guilty for being sleepy early on every night!), so we bought some chocolate (and perused the local grocery store, which is always a fun way to get to know a new place) and headed back to the hostel… this really has nothing to do with the trip, so please excuse my weird aside… i just want to make sure you understand what hostel-life is like (take the good and the bad!). where we realized that we had a weirdo for a roommate (we were in a room with 8 bunk beds, so we could’ve had up to 6 roomies). seriously, this guy was laying in bed when we came in and the shot up and asked us, “what nationality are you?!” we were both taken aback, but hubbs answered, “american” anyway… when asked so harshly, i would’ve answered “canadian” only because americans aren’t always so popular (this is a tip that i was given by my professor before studying abroad – in fall 2002.). anyway, we followed suit and asked where he was from, and he responded, “tennessee.” except, we knew that he wasn’t from tennessee b/c he had a thick accent… turns out, he said, “tunisia.” i woke up to praying in arabic on friday morning at 7am, which was a bit intense considering our weird encounter with our tunisian friend the night before… after praying semi-loudly for thirty minutes or so, our roomie left, which allowed me to sleep. here's an admission: the guy really creeped me out – starting with “what’s your nationality.” after making a few friends the next day, i realized that it wasn't just me... everyone thought the guy was really creepy b/c on first meeting him, he'd spurt out, “what’s your nationality." i recommend not doing this when you meet people.

okay, this is way too long. looks like you only get day one today. the trip gets much more eventful and fun, though, so tune in tomorrow… hopefully i can get through two days… maybe.

ugh. i have to include another part of day one before i end this rambling… basel is SUPER bike friendly, which is a huge plus in my book! at all times, there are bikes just chilling on the sidewalk not locked to anything except for itself. i was amazed by this b/c while going to the u of a, three bikes were stolen in four years… and they were seriously locked up.

fyi: swiss chocolate is the best invention on earth.

steffa's note: thanks to the hubbizzle for catching my "swiss franks" error. d'oh!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

i think we're ready...

throw in our coats (plus some layers and boots for steph), and i think we're prepared for cold, cold, cold switzerland.

i hope there's some deelish hot, hot, hot chocolate waiting for us!

sick update: still sick. still tired, though not quite as tired... i did sleep in until 11am. this is when it's really nice not to have responsibilities. alka-seltzer-type-med may work, who knows?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

estoy constipada.

that doesn't mean what you think it means, but i went into a pharmacy and said it today. getting pharmaceuticals in spain is much more difficult than in the u.s.

have a headache and need some tylenol? have a rumble in your tummy and need some pepto? having a tough time sleeping and need some tylenol pm? have a cold and need some nyquil?

in the u.s., just head to any grocery store, convenience store or drug store, and you'll have ample selection without talking to anyone (so if you have an ailment that you'd rather not talk about, you don't have to). in spain, you have no other option than to go to the pharmacy and spill about every symptom... and then the pharmacist decides what to give you.

when hubbs studied in madrid, his friend was really sick, so she thoroughly explained her problems... and the pharmacist gave her ibuprofen.

so, when i went to the pharmacy today and said, "estoy constipada," i braced myself for the worst. first, i thought that maybe the translation was a joke. fortunately, that wasn't the case... i could've ended up with some interesting medicine that would've... well, let's just not talk about it. second, i felt like i was going to walk out with pepto. fortunately, that wasn't the case. whatever the guy gave me, it looks like alka-seltzer... hopefully it helps.

i have a cold.

apparently, my body is preparing itself for our trip to the land of ricola.

p.s. i should really get some mad hook-ups for all the brand name medicine shout outs. who can make that happen? i should also feel better asap. who can make that happen?

Monday, November 19, 2007

the aftermath and a turkey day knife fight...

yummy leftovers. so far, we've had 2 turkey day-leftover meals... both were delicious. from the looks of it, we have probably 2 more. i can't wait.
so i don't have much news, but i figured that since most of you are just getting ready for turkey day, i would share a turkey day anecdote... b-c i said that there were a few.

i got into 2 knife fights in one day. ( guess that this is the reason my mom never let me hold a knife and always told me "two hands" when drinking out of a cup.) both were slightly painful but neither hurt me too bad -- i'm insanely tough. the first one involved chopping an onion and then chopping my left-hand-middle-finger (through the nail just a bit). fortunately, the nail is fine, and so is my finger. oops.

the second knife fight involved peeling potatoes. how in the heck do you cut yourself with a potato peeler?! i'll tell you how. spanish potatoes are ridiculously, monstrously gigantic. seriously, the peeler couldn't peel half of the potatoes without first quartering the bigfoot-sized things... i didn't figure this out early enough, however. rather, i grabbed a steak knife to peel the widest part of the potato... bad plan, and my thumb lost some skin on that one. finally, i started quartering the potatoes before peeling.
i didn't cut myself again.

i didn't say that i didn't hurt myself again, though. i managed to burn myself once, too. what an accomplishment. when taking that fab photo of the apple pie, i wanted to turn the pie pan to make for a better photo. i didn't even think about an oven mitt; i just figured that my "model" wasn't hot - i was wrong. it was piping hot. just out of the oven hot b-c it was just out of the oven.

i hope that you don't burn yourself or get into a knife fight on turkey day. good luck!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ode to thanksgiving...

from left to right: steffa, hubby, ingvild, josé, cecilia, ángela

oh, thanksgiving. how i love you. you bring the most delicious foods...

actually, i realized something for the first time ever this year. (mom, this one's for you) the food doesn't actually just appear. it takes A LOT of hard work and effort to make every dish, and while there is fun to be had while preparing and cooking, it is work. so, i think that i always took the thanksgiving meal for granted, which is somewhat ironic if you think about it b-c the whole point is to give thanks... so now, after 25 thanksgivings, thanks, mom! (and others who've offered me turkey day meals) i really appreciate the effort. i do especially now b-c hubbs and i cooked from 830am until about 7pm to get all the food ready!

the menu? turkey, dressing, fresh greenbean casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey neck gravy (but it didn't turn out... we didn't have a real turkey pan -- paul fashioned one out of tin foil -- as you can see in the photo, so the turkey drippings were hard to come by, so, like i said, the gravy didn't work out.), a miniature relish tray (deviled eggs, black olives and celery with cream cheese), and the best homemade apple pie around (a la mode, of course!)...

the guest list? ingvild from norway, our friend from the beach. ángela from spain, our language intercambio friend. josé chilón from perú, hubby's co-worker. cecilia from argentina, hubby's other co-worker and josé's lady.

to top it off, we held a wii bowling championship in lieu of american football watching... cecilia took home the prize! it was quite a big victory. i mean, a wii bowling championship on a 12" screen on a tv that for some reason only lets the wii come in in black and white. the competition was fierce.

so, hubbs and i had an AMAZING thanksgiving. we felt really lucky to have people over to enjoy the meal and the evening with us b-c it just wouldn't have felt like thanksgiving if it had just been us by ourselves... thanksgiving is about family and friends, so (at least at my house) people are always coming in and out... and family is together. it's a rad day, and somehow, we managed to create the same feeling here. woot. it's crazy to live away from home and figure out everything by ourselves, but it was totally worth it... and an awesome experience to be able to share my fave holiday with people from around the world. (we didn't have any cheese on thanksgiving, so i figured that i could blog some cheese.)

don't get me wrong though... there were plenty of funny happenings on our journey to thanksgiving, but all in all, the day was freakin' fantastic... maybe i'll post about the misadventures later in the week. for now, i just wanted to give a quick update... that turned out not to be so quick!

p.s. hubby has a new blog! and it may or may not contain a video of steffa collapsing the tallest jenga tower in the world.

Friday, November 16, 2007

it might seem gross...

well, while all ya’ll have to wait another week for turkey day, we’re celebrating tomorrow. as in, the day after today… as in, i have a ton of stuff to do before then (still more grocery shopping – sage <salvia>, candied ginger <jenibre azucarado>, probe thermometer <termómetro>, vanilla ice cream <helado>, soft drinks <bebidas>, veggie stock <caldo de vegetales>… the list goes on and on – still need to tidy up the place ).

i just realized that i don’t have time to blog… sorry, bye.

just kidding. i'll always make time for all of my faithful readers (i’m really quite popular and important).

all i really want to blog about today is frank. frank is our turkey. i brought him home today. i named him frank for two reasons: 1) it was the first name to come to mind and 2) i used to know a guy named frank, and he’s a turkey. our frank is 7.9 kilos, which is gigantic b/c that’s just over 17 pounds!!! the weight includes the head, neck and guts though, so i'm sure it’s closer to 6.8 kilos. frank had a head and neck this morning. now, he’s headless (and neckless) frank. the butcher tossed the head, but for some reason he let me keep the neck. i don’t want the neck even if it can be useful (hubbs told me that it can be used to make gravy or something).

since he left the mercado, frank misses his bunny rabbit and weird bodyless-head friends. none of the animals really care for the brains in the case (i think it’s because they’re too smart), but i figured i'd show you them anyway. i think that frank’ll really enjoy it here, though. tomorrow morning, he gets to take a six hour bath where he’ll swim with salt and veggie stock and peppercorns and ginger. i'm sure that he’ll have a splendid time. and he’s totally gonna bring a smile to 6-8 faces, as we eat him and give thanks, so he’ll have lived quite the purposeful life.

there are a couple of odd things about buying a fresh turkey: 1) the head and neck are still attached, 2) the giblets don’t come in a handy bag, 3) some feathers are still attached on the wings, as if he just might take flight.

now, i know what you are thinking, “hey, you’re from nebraska. haven't you had a fresh-from-the-farm turkey?” the answer is: no, i have not (at least not to my knowledge, so for all intents and purposes, i have not had one b/c i have not seen one). i am quite proud to be a nebraskan, but i must tell you that i'm from the city, not the country, so while my g-pa and g-ma grew some killer veggies, they never raised animals (at least not in my lifetime). my g-ma has told me stories about her childhood, though, and i think that i remember hearing about raising chickens for food (maybe i'm completely insane, but it’s a memory that i have… and if that’s not true, i would almost swear that my f-i-l’s fam raised chickens for food… and if that’s not true, well, then, i just don’t know.).

in my mom’s house, my dad’s house, my g-ma’s house, and even my i-l’s house, store-bought turkeys are the way to go (frozen or fresh, but featherless, headless and neckless). hubbs and i tried that here, but we did so in vain, as turkey isn’t super popular here (though today i was told that for navidad, turkey is a common meal). this whole ridiculous story was just to tell you that last line: we tried to find a frozen or fresh turkey at the grocery store, but we couldn’t, so i manned-up and went to the market all by myself to find us un pavo de día de gracias (or a thanksgiving turkey).

i'm the king of the world.

next week on lavidasteffa: día de gracías update!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

flan-tastic spanish nights

we are mos def not pictured, but that paella sure looks good!

double dates are fun. going out to dinner is fun. if you disagree, i'm sorry for you.

last night, we had a late-night date-night with our norwegian friend and her bf who's in town to visit (we had to make it late-night, as hubbs is super busy at work, so we didn't meet up until 930pm.). we went to a spanish eatery (el buen comer -- hubbs said, "we ate at good eats!" if you don't know alton brown, shame on you.). i was a little leery of the place at first b-c there was a guy chillin' outside the door inviting people in (always a bad sign)... plus, the menus totally had little british flags on them promoting that in case you don't know what paella is, you can read about it in english (which usually means "this place is totally for tourists, so it's not very authentic, suckas!").

hubbs and i settled on sharing some tortilla española (kind of like a potato omelet but better -- when the waiter delivered it, he said, "patata oh-me-let-e." i guess that he wanted to show us that he knows our language too.) and paella alicantina (which we're guessing is the signature paella in alicante -- judging from the name -- we're detectives... like nancy drew and ned nickerson).

while waiting for our food, we chatted with our double date buddies... btw, norwegians speak dang good english, mang! ingvild always tells me, "everyone in norway speaks english." i guess i just didn't believe her. serioulsy, she studied in tucson (random) for a year in high school (marana h.s.), so she fo sho sounds like an american -- that makes sense. sivert, on the other hand, has never studied in an english speaking place, but he definitely got by easily... and he had hubbs and i in stitches... seriously, who knew that norwegians knew the word "redneck?!"

dinner was freakin' delicious (in case you were wondering... and i know you were). seriously, ordering tortilla española in a place can be bad (b-c 1/2 the time it's store-bought. ya know -- not fresh)... not this time, though. it was dee-lish. the paella was almost magical (paella alicantina -- rice, saffron, chicken, garbanzo beans, white fish, mussels, calamari ring things, shrimp with the heads and eyes attached, roasted red pepper. i left the shrimp and mussels for the hubbs; i'm so charitable.). then we topped it all off with some awesome flan -- it was flan-tastic. hahaha. i'm hilarious.

anyway, this isn't very informative, funny or interesting, but i had fun, so i thought i'd share.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

do you CHAIR?... er... care?

we live in a furnished apartment. that means that we’re using used furniture daily. i have no problem with used furniture. through most of college, my furniture was donated by family and friends or purchased at a thrift store.

living with used furniture that belongs to you is different from living with used furniture that doesn’t belong to you for two main reasons: 1) no choice in style, color, funk-factor… and 2) no ability to just toss it if it breaks (or if you find something more funkdified elsewhere).

so. when we moved in, one of the chairs at our kitchen table was broken, as you can see… okay, okay, i shouldn’t lie to you. though it was already broken, we definitely have made it worse (by accidentally sitting on it and using it as a computer desk for awhile)… dang, why am i in the mood for lying today? we didn’t do it, really. i did it. but i guess since we’re married, what’s mine is his, so WE did it! ha!

well, our little thanksgiving soirée is coming up on saturday, and including ourselves, there will be six people in our small piso (two of hubby’s friends and two of mine). we only have three functioning chairs and a couch. obviously, two people can totally sit and eat on the couch, but we really need our fourth chair.

so, today i went on a mission to fix our broken chair… in spanish.

awhile ago, i noticed a wood shop (kind of like a hardware store, but solely dedicated to wood) a couple of blocks away. i think the only reason i noticed it was because i had never seen a store solely devoted to wood before (at least not that i can remember, since i am used to living in the land of home depot, ace hardware and lowe’s).

i took the broken seat to said wood store. i told the guy that i had a problem, and he laughed at me. he realized that my spanish skills were lacking, but he figured he’d help me anyway. he wanted me to fix the seat. he wanted to get me new wood so that i could go home, take the staples and the stuffing from the old seat and re-staple it all together on the new piece of wood. i had other plans. i don’t have a stapler, people. not even one for school papers, so i definitely don’t have a staple gun. i figured that i could just buy a piece of wood and set it under the broken wood. the guy laughed at me, but he cut the wood anyway. (side note: i had to go downstairs to the wood shop basement for this. when i got there, i wondered if i was about to be murdered. the basement was empty and unfinished except for a few wood-cutting machines… and one poster of a lady and her ba-dunk-a-dunk. i was certain that i was led into a trap, but instead, my helpful friend’s co-worker cut the wood, and we ventured back upstairs.)

i was more proud than ever on my walk home (i gave myself an invisible gold star). then i got home only to realize that i had to go back to the wood store for two reasons: 1) the wood that i bought was slightly too big and needed to be rounded and 2) one of the little support pieces of wood for the seat was missing (no wonder the thing broke!).

i know that you’re on the edge of your seat right now wondering, “what in the heck did she do? did she have to take the whole chair to the wood store? oh man, there’s NO WAY that i could’ve done that!” well, stay calm. i'm about to finish the story.

asking the guy to round the corners would be easy, but how in the heck was i going to describe the little support piece?! i'm a genius; that’s how. i took some (really) crude measurements with a piece of paper and took some digital photos… then i marched right back to the wood store. the guy laughed at me for having my digital camera and crude measurements. we searched for a piece of wood that would work as a support piece; he wasn’t hopeful; i found a piece of scrap that was perfect. guess what?! it totally worked, and now my chair works.

excuse me... while i get on with my bad self.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

i don't know.

last night after dinner (pasta and garlic bread… yummers), hubbs and i decided to play cards (deuces wild – b/c it’s my fam’s game and b/c it’s the only game i know). hubbs was crackin’ me up b/c he was acting much more kooky than usual – if you don’t know him very well, he’s just not an ornery guy. he's typically a super relaxed, go-with-the-flow kind of guy (though he’s always pretty funny). last night, he was cracking joke after joke and imitating character after character (which he’s surprisingly good at… though it doesn’t really surprise me b/c he makes really good sound effects – like guns shooting and cars and stuff… while, i'm not at all good at that. he once compared me to lisa simpson b/c we shoot pretend guns the same – sad – way.).

so we’re both laughing at his ridiculousness, and he says, “i'm an amalgam (except i swear he said amalgamum, but word’s dictionary recognizes amalgam, not amalgamum, so either i heard wrong, or he used it wrong… ooh, wouldn’t that be interesting.) of characters.” i just looked at him like what the?! i had never heard that word before in my life, though i totally figured out what it meant in context… he looked at me like i was a fool as if amalgam was a super common word, and i was a super dummy who needed some learning. fyi: normal people (like me) say "a mixture" or something common like that.

i just don't buy that that word is common. really, it's a lie.

so we continue playing our game and for some reason or another, i decide that now is the time for me to read him the first paragraph in my new book (extremely loud & incredibly close by jonathan safran foer)… the paragraph’s pretty long… sorry!

"what about a teakettle? what if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do shakespeare, or just crack up with me? i could invent a teakettle that reads in dad’s voice, so i could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of “yellow submarine,” which is a song by the beatles, who i love because entomology is one of my raisons d’être, which is a french expression that i know. (this is where i should stop b/c this is where i can continue with my story, but the rest of the paragraph is too funny not to share.) another good thing is that i could train my anus to talk when i farted. if i wanted to be extremely hilarious, i'd train it to say, “wasn’t me!” every time i made an incredibly bad fart. and if i ever made an incredibly bad fart in the hall of mirrors, which is in versailles, which is outside of paris, which is in france, obviously, my anus would say, “ce n’étais pas moi!”"

back to the story. when i tried to pronounce “raisons d’être” not only was it evident that i didn’t know how to pronounce it, but it was also clear that i had never heard it before, so i had no idea what it meant. well, hubbs jumped on that one too! you don’t know what that means? babe, it IS really common. (which i am sure that it is… in france) then he translated it into spanish, so i understood that, but it’s way easier in english (even if the french version is common enough that microsoft word understands it even when the language is set on english) – reason for living (or something of that nature)… really, i'm glad that i know the phrase now b/c it’s used a few times in the book, but am i really an idiot for not knowing a french phrase? i studied spanish and english, thank you.

i say NO, dangit! now, let me clarify: hubby totally doesn’t think i'm challenged in the intelligence department… it just sometimes surprises him when other people don’t have the ridiculous amounts of knowledge that he has – which is an unfair amount if you ask me. seriously, things stick when he’s learning them… for the rest of us (or at least for me), it takes repetition times one thousand, and even then only ten percent sticks.

anyway, that’s my anecdote for the day. please tell me whether or not you know these words, and don’t feel bad if you do, but don’t make me feel bad b/c i didn’t. life is about learning, and i am always open to learning new things (except when it comes to food b/c really, i don’t want to die from tasting icky things…).

the steffa book club starts today -- read the same book as me... and you'll get an imaginary gold star... discuss the book with me... and you'll get an imaginary, life-size planet mars.

Monday, November 12, 2007

visa, visa. wherefore art thou visa?

this is what a fake visa looks like. ours will look less fake and more real.

hypothetical question: if you were our visas, where would you be? if i were our visas, i'd totally be en route to alicante... (do you know what hypothetical means? it means that it's not real.)

yes, we're still waiting on our visas.
no, it's not fun.
yes, we're still having fun.
no, we're not panicking (at this point, hubby's snickering and rolling his eyes, but i'm not panicking per se... i'm just ridiculously impatient!).
yes, we have amazingly charmed lives.
no, we haven't forgotten that.
yes, we love life.

oh, and yes, you're totally allowed to send us good vibes, pray, keep your fingers crossed, and use your birthday/shooting star/11:11 wishes all to help the visas come quickly! thanks.

we had an absolutely awesome weekend (as usual). for reals. so much fun. museums, walks, castle... no news, but i made some wicked sloppy joes... homemade, of course.

there i go again... kudos for cooking? why do i think that i can pat myself on the back for easy domestic chores?! because it's all i got. don't judge. i totally understand that normal ppl do this stuff all the time without any credit or kudos, but i'm far from normal... not that i'm abnormal, but i'm definitely slow when it comes to anything domestic. so, go me!

random update: this weekend, alicante and its peeps celebrated world diabetes day... with a pretty big event with tons of games and music... sponsored by coca-cola and valor chocolate... seems odd to me, but they only gave out sugar-free samples, so i guess it makes sense. i won't name any names (hubbs), but someone totally made fun of me when i initially suggested that the shout-out to diabetes day was sponsored by coca-cola... look who's laughing now!

steffa shout-out: happy birthday, gma! even though my blog shout-out is late, hubbs and i thought about you all day yesterday! btw: she's the best gma around... no doubt!

Friday, November 9, 2007

stomp! and then it's friday.

it’s totally friday. how many times can i blog about loving the weekend, you ask... as many weekends that i can live to see. which i plan on living to see MANY, MANY more.

friday is totally a good day, like every single week.

how in the heck does that happen?

is there a special little end-of-the-week fairy (similar to the tooth fairy or shoe cobbling elves?) that makes stress disappear and fun appear on friday (not that i'm stressed, mind you… b/c. really, my life is a cake walk… all the time. now, before now, even when i worked and went to school… i have always led quite the charmed life. i just wish that i had some actual cake.).

for me, since i don’t have work or obligations or anything pressing, friday just means that hubby gets to come home for two full days, and that’s the best ever! seriously, adventures are far more fun when we go on them together. don't get me wrong though: i'm having a ton of fun here pretty much every day… i love my new adventure, but everything is SO much cooler and more exciting and more fun and more illuminating and more meaningful (…) and all that good stuff when i have someone to share it with (namely the coolest boy in the whole wide world).

so, happy friday. don't make fun of me for saying that either. i really feel that it’s important to celebrate the little things… and not that i'm working for the weekend or anything, but the weekend equals hubby time, which is extra good time in my book (but i'll continue to enjoy every other day, too).

when i say “happy monday,” however, you can totally make fun of me for a couple of reasons: a) ode to office space, b) b/c no one thinks that mondays are particularly happy (except for me b/c i love every day b/c i love living, and i really like for people to think i'm slightly off… even though i really don’t have to go out of my way for people to think that b/c even when i don’t try, they seem to believe it.), or c) b/c you make fun of me whenever i do or say anything (and not in the ha-ha-you’re-so-freakin’-witty way, but in the ha-ha-you’re-such-an-odd-bird-that-i-wouldn’t-associate-with-you-if-i-didn’t-think-you-were-mentally-ill-and-so-i-should-be-nice-to-you-no-matter-what way.).

anyway, this particular friday is totally, extra-specially radicool because i have an update on yesterday’s story… and it’s a really happy update, so get ready to sing out your happiness on rooftops:

after all the sadness that happened on that day, after lunch had passed, the girl decided that she wasn’t going to take NO for an answer. even if hubby had called the ticket people and was told that all the shows were sold out, girl didn’t believe that that was good enough. do the ticket people know who they’re dealing with?! girl wanted to say, “listen, boy is totally a HUGE name in the architecture world, and i totally worked in radio (in a pretty distant past… and in promotions, but still saying one ‘worked in radio’ sounds pretty dang big if you ask me – the storyteller.), so obviously, you have made a mistake.” so despite her lack of spanish speaking and comprehending abilities, girl made up her mind – she was going back!

she arrived at the theatre about a ½ hour after the ticket window opened after siesta. she expected to make a scene and push people in line out of the way, as she (in her mind) sauntered up to the ticket counter… but there was no line, so she walked humbly. she figured that she’d give the lady a break at first… ya know, if the lady could produce two tickets, then girl wouldn’t have to throw the fit (that she had practiced fifty-two times in her head just to make sure that her grammar was correct). so she asked, and you know what happened?

the lady gave (well, not gave per se but sold) girl two tickets to thursday night’s performance. now, obviously, someone had briefed the lady of just who girl and boy were… so she found them seats.

girl and boy went to see stomp on thursday night, and were just reminded of how awesome their spanish life was… which is never a bad thing. and boy and girl wanted me -- the storyteller -- to tell you that you should see stomp b/c it's amazing what people can do without words (maybe girl should try that?!).

happy friday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

forgetful girl.

i'm gonna tell you a sad story (sad is in blue because you're gonna feel blue after you read the story).

it's very sad, so get your tissues ready.

there once was a girl who moved away from home with her boy. they moved to a land far, far away... called spain. they were living overseas in a new town with a new culture while adjusting to an awesome new life. when they arrived in town, they saw advertisements at the local theatre... stomp was coming. as inauthentic as it seemed (becuase this production is definitely not spanish because it is definitely british, which i guess makes seeing it in spain more authentic than in the u.s. b-c the boy and girl were in europe... even though the uk totally doesn't use the euro... what was i talking about?), they both really wanted to go. the production wasn't coming for 7 weeks, so the boy and girl had plenty of time to buy tickets.

then came opening night, and the boy and girl still hadn't purchased tickets. that was wednesday. the boy and girl discussed the issue on wednesday night and decided that they wanted to see the show on thursday night, as tickets would be cheaper on thursday than on friday or saturday.

thursday came, and the girl was at the ticket window as it opened... no more tickets. the girl was so distraught that she forgot to ask about tickets on other days.

moral of the story: don't wait until the last minute like boy and girl did.

the story probably won't end super sad b-c the boy and girl will probably get tickets for a different day... but it totally seems sad b-c they can't go on thursday when the tix are slightly less expensive!

weather update: it's a beautiful day, which makes the sad story seem less sad.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

random is as random does.

today was the kind of day that makes life fun.

the sun was shining, and it was pretty warm... magnificent for november if you ask me (even though i am from arizona, where there's rarely a cloud in the sky). oh, and the beach is beautiful when the sky is blue.

so what did i do today? enjoyed the weather, duh! i walked down to the beach and laid on a bench (is it lay? or lie? or lay? i hate that group of words -- hate. i think laid sounds best, so that's what i'll use... if you know, mrs. dub, please pass on your wisdom, thanks.)... seriously, glorious. magnificent. wonderful. oh, and i totally read my book in between glances of the mediterranean sea and passers-by.

while laying (lying...) and reading, i was thinking about the words on the pages... i'm still reading occupational hazards (which i 100% recommend btw), and it's about the goings-on in iraq, so i was thinking about iraq and its current state... and it made me think how i wish i were the type of person who could volunteer for some awesome organization that gives foreign aide to places such as iraq. i wish that i were the type of person who could risk my life and my happiness and my freedom to help those who haven't lived my most charmed life.

those people are pretty awesome. they go into super dangerous situations selflessly. that's pretty rad-tastic. unfortunately, as i've already explained, i'm pretty much afraid of everything... which sort of makes the whole being-an-awesome-giving-person-by-offering-help-in-super-dangerous-places thing kind of difficult for me. i mean, if i can't take roller coasters, could i really handle bombs, machine guns and machetes?! i think not.

this obviously brought my self-esteem down a notch... then i went home, made the best lunch for hubbs and (where i totally mastered weird spanish bacon... seriously, it's weird, but it turned out deliciously, like normal bacon.) and ate an ice cream bar to make myself feel better.

oh, and let me digress to bring the mood up a notch or two. hubbs and i are gonna make a thanksgiving-type meal next saturday. i only call it a "thanksgiving-type" meal b-c it'll be difficult to get some of the ingredients (whole turkey, cranberries, punkin' for punkin' pie), but we plan on doing it up awesome-styles anyway.

btw (and i really wanted to say, "bt-dubz," but i didn't think it'd translate blog-styles) did you know that cranberries are totally a north american thing?! like ppl here don't even know what they are... kooky, crazy, sad. not even a can of cranberry sauce (which is totally not nearly as good as the homemade stuff, but i'd take it if i could get it.)... which reminds me -- do you think it'd cost a lot to send me a can of cranberry sauce and a can of libby's punkin' pie mix by next friday? i'm thinking: yes. oh well, i guess sweet potato pie and apple pie will have to do (both homemade, of course... except not the crust, we found a frozen crust thankfully!).

oh, how random can this post get?! i don't know, but i saw a cute puppy today. i'm pretty sure that he was a mutt. i want a puppy minus the pooping and slobbering (but without intestinal problems... just a magical puppy who doesn't have to secrete weird things).

no more random today, but it has been a good day... and it'll be a good night too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

scavenger hunt memories

oh, the scavenger hunt has been fun… just as living abroad is fun. actually, going on foreign scavenger hunts may hold part of the appeal in living abroad.

as it is no longer tourist season, i'm the biggest tourist i could find (with my camera, american soda, backpack and spandex… perfect.) and the man on the beach may or may not be wearing a thong (since you can’t see the back, i propose that this should count anyway.).

the random stuff was an interesting one… i chose what hubbs and i call “hi mom” graffiti. seriously, it’s the weirdest phenomena here. everyone just signs their name on the wall, as if it’s a yearbook… for the purposes of… (we think) HI, I WAS TOTALLY HERE, kind of like when you were fourteen and you wrote your name on the bathroom stall (which i never did btw). so, anyway, there’s a ton of this on our street, but it’s not ghetto or anything, just… filled with sixteen-year old stupidity. there’s real graffiti in other parts of town, though. maybe one day i'll show you that too.

sorry about the super blurry locutorio. i don’t know what happened (but i’m guessing that i wasn’t paying much attention)… that’s the locutorio where i make phone calls to the u.s. for only .14 per minute (what a deal. not!), but i don’t use the internet there anymore because i found a way cheaper internet café.

getting to the soccer stadium was an interesting journey… let’s just say that it’s not on “our side of the tracks,” as it’s on the other (less beachy, touristy) side of alicante. i wouldn’t call it ghetto per se but definitely more so than the “hi mom” graffiti, and even hubbs was a lil’ weary on that walk. in the neighborhood’s defense though, we did go with grey skies during lunchtime (so everything seemed deserted), which heightened any “ghetto factor.”

as for the street market, i know that the central market doesn’t necessarily count, but this is totally a farmer’s market… it just has a roof and some walls (it shouldn't be blamed for that), so i propose that it should count. plus, there are totally flower vendors on the sidewalk outside, so that should count for something. btw – i totally love, love, love walking by the flower stands b/c they smell SOOOOO yummy, which is a far cry from how the mercado central smells (change the mm to ck to find out what that smells like).

everything else is pretty self-explanatory.

oh, mikey, i'm still working on finding the super-outdated american-logo’d something (t-shirt, fanny pack…). lest you’d think i’d forget..

Monday, November 5, 2007

fear... schmear (and i don't mean cream cheese)

did you know that i'm afraid of almost everything?

*heights – check
*the dark – check
*scary movies – check
*middle of nowhere – check plus 5
*roller coasters – check plus 15

the list could go on for days (no joke. it’s actually a pretty funny conversation if you can ever get me going on it, and i'm not known for being very funny.). basically, i'm afraid of anything (and i mean anything) that could potentially injure or kill me (i could have a heart attack or asthma attack during a scary movie… a man with a knife could sneak up on me in the dark… children of the corn could be real – people just don’t know about it b/c all the adults are murdered… my shadow could be a man with a knife or a human-eating cat.)

the worst thing about all of this is that it actually gets more absurd than that… this seems ridiculous, i know, but don’t laugh at me. i need your support not your sarcasm, thanks.

i am petrified of being bad at something… believe it or not, this fear actually hinders my ability to try new things or to “stick it out” when trying new things. i have no idea where it stems from, but i know that it goes back a looong way (i tried soccer for two lessons, dance for one lesson, bass guitar for one year, softball for one year, drama for one year…).

in the early years, i went to three elementary schools, so i think that back then, i didn’t want to embarrass myself in fear of being the class loser (or dummy-head). softball was fun, and i wasn’t the worst on the team, but i switched schools the following year (and moved to scottsdale of all places, and man, did i need to figure out how to fit in before i could try out for softball). i only started playing bass to be in a band (at age 13, and the band was black rain – what a name.), and once we broke up (how devastating), i had to continue taking lessons with an instructor who i hated, so i didn’t practice, so i wasn’t good, so i quit… (really funny sidenote – funniest thing about this band was that i was [and i quote from one of my old band-mates], “the only sit-down bass player in any band” because i really had no idea how to play [that’s what happens when you decide to play an instrument only because your three friends need that instrument in their band], and the bass we were renting was way too big, so i had to sit down to play the music that andrew, steve or justin [7th grade band-mates] wrote for me…)

no offense to myself or anything (okay, maybe a little), but you can’t quit something just because you’re no good at it (or so i've learned)… especially if the reason you suck is because you never practice. oh, and doubly no offense to myself, but you can’t-not try something because you think that you’ll suck… that’s just too old-steph-like… no more, i say.

here’s where i'm taking my life back (or like mouth says in the goonies, “this one, this one right here. this was my dream, my wish. and it didn't come true. so i'm taking it back. i'm taking them all back.” if you haven’t seen the goonies, shame on you; go see it now.). i will no longer be afraid of trying stuff (or maybe i will be afraid, but i'll still try by-golly). these photos are a symbol (or something less cheesy and more rad than that).

i learned on my own (well, with the help of a tutorial) how to do selective coloring (or whatever it’s called, and i didn’t say i mastered it, so don’t take a dip in the judgment pool just yet) in photoshop (i know that i have a ton of super-photoshop friends, but I'm celebrating the little steps, people.).

i haven’t really attempted to use or to learn anything in photoshop in YEARS (because i thought that i might not figure it out – or something just as dim-witted as that), but look at me taking baby steps (baby steps to the photoshop tutorials. if you haven’t seen what about bob?, go start your monday movie marathon.)… go me.

don’t even think that this means that i'll be down for roller coasters… because that’s a big, fat never in my book.

Friday, November 2, 2007

another proposition...

yes, i love the hills. yes, i miss the hills.

middle of the week holidays are the best (not necessarily better than three-day weekends though). every once in a while in my short career, i would get a random wednesday off. now, while most people would curse the fact that the wednesday was not a friday or a monday, i would secretly love the middle-of-the-week day off (only secretly for fear of being stoned by coworkers). there's something about working for a couple days and then taking a day off that seems awesome to me. what a relaxing lifestyle. if the u.s. ever went to a four-day work week (which i totally support), i wouldn’t mind if wednesday were the third day off (instead of friday or monday). to most of you, i'm sure this sounds blasphemous, but let me explain…

having wednesday off barely disrupts the work week, while having three-day weekends every week could disrupt the flow of business. a lot of people have so much work to do that they don’t feel that they can take the weekends off, so how could we really add another day off to every weekend? wednesday seems like a perfect pause button. you can get as much done as possible on monday and tuesday (which will totally stress you out), but then you get to relax on wednesday because life should be more about living rather than working. when you go back to work on thursday, you’ll go with the understanding that you only have two more work days before the glorious weekend… so you’ll know that you’ll have to be super productive (even on friday afternoon) both days to get all of your work done… which will make the weekend seem super deserved and more self-imposed-i-didn’t-get-enough-done-this-week-guilt free.

all that said, however, i am certainly not opposed to three-day weekends every week, but i think that’d be harder to implement than the wednesday-off idea. i love three-day weekends… what’s more, i love four and five-day weekends (which hubbs and i will be taking in a few short weeks!). i love having the ability to take a short mental leave of absence. with the current two-day weekend, it’s difficult to get all the chores and errands completed, so it hardly feels like a mental break from work… the responsibility still exists while the pay check does not (that’s another thing i propose: we should be paid for our house chores and errands… kind of like an allowance. how motivating would that be?!). three-day weekends would totally eliminate this problem because the extra day off would allow for more relaxation.

i'm just now realizing how absurd all of this is… i get seven-day weekends every week currently (and i complain about them!). seven-day weekends are absurd, though– i will tell you that much. cooking, cleaning and doing laundry should not be my only responsibilities… maybe having the internet would cure the seven-day weekend dread. then i could find new recipes, watch the hills (and any other awful tv show that i wanted), learn all the crazy photography stuff that will make me millions, learn to play guitar and communicate with family and friends with such ease… oh, the possibilities are endless with internet.

all that said, i would like a job, and i would like it to start today. can we get our visas, please? with visas, internet will come too. maybe then i won’t want a job, so i could start on all of the aforementioned tasks… yet again, i contradict myself.

if you’re wondering: all of this came from the glorious thursday holiday that was yesterday. hubbs had the day off of work, and we relaxed and had a fun middle of the week day off. we slept in a bit, took ridiculously long walks, watched a ridiculous amount of tv and ate as if we were twelve years old at a slumber party... he did have to go back to work today, but as of tonight, he’ll be home for two more days, and that seems like a treat (even though it’s just status quo)…

who's gonna start the four-day work week proposition?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

swiss watch, anyone?!

so. when hubby and i were in h.s., we had many random conversations (not much has changed, really). we would have serious philisophical converstions about everything from life to music to food... to anything that could be discussed.

once, we started talking about swiss watches (it's totally a common conversation piece). we had no idea what made them better than non-swiss watches. there was no wikipedia at the time, so where did we go for answers, you ask? pdaddy (my father-in-law), of course! like hubbs (or more than hubbs, actually, but give him a few years, and he'll catch up!), pdaddy is a wealth of knowledge... literally, like the richest bank in the world of knowledge, and he can teach about the most random stuff for hours and hours.

when we asked him about swiss watches, he said, "i don't really know" and then continued to explain what he knew for a good 30 minutes (which is quite impressive for not really knowing). to learn more about watches, click here (b-c this post has actually nothing to do with watches, so don't think you're gonna take any knowledge away with you (btw: my own father, mr. bee, gave me an awesome swiss army pocket watch many moons ago that i still have... it's pretty much awesome.) ).

if this blog has nothing to do with watches, then what in the heck is it about?! it's about SWITZERLAND, of course! why switzerland? b-c we're going to BASEL! on november 22nd, hubby and i will be off to the country of watches, chocolate, army knives and ricola. our trip ends on november 27th, but i have a feeling that the swiss won't be the only lucky nationality to be graced with our presence.

basel is on the german and french borders, so our mini-excursion will consist of (more than likely) 3 countries. woah, how awesome is that! like, totally, super-rad, fantastically awesome! funny fact about switzerland... the swiss don't speak spanish, nor do they speak english. what will we do?! the swiss speak german, french, italian and romansh (never heard of that one before), none of which we speak. oh well. i guess we'll speak spanish with a french accent (it's worked for hubby before), and hopefully we'll get along...
and if not, please say your farewells on november 21st.

hubbs is really excited to see some rad architecture... namely, a chair factory (oh, how thrilling). me? i'm really excited for some chocolate. i love chocolate. when i visited dublin (oct. 2002), i had some extremely delicious irish chocolate, and when hubbs visited belgium (march 2006) he brought me delicious belgian chocolate... but swiss chocolate... oh man. i can hardly contain myself.

what else will we do in the frigid swiss, german and french weather, you ask? good question, but first, i want to explain the frigid temps of basel: about 32º - 45º f in november... holy coldness, batman. anyway, we have no idea what we'll do (other than wear many layers), but you better believe that we'll be googling "basel" a lot in the next 20 days!

yay for living abroad and traveling abroad and all that good stuff.

p.s. a lil' birdie told me that this blog is all over the place... and that hubbs has a new blog post!