Monday, December 1, 2008

You Know You're in Europe When...

You Know You're in Europe When...
Every toilet is a new experience which involves figuring how to turn the light on and flushing it...keep in mind most have two buttons to figure it out
Peanut butter is impossible to find
You get excited when you hear English
German is a familiar language
There is no such thing as a line in stores
Everyone dresses nicer than you
Everyone knows more about American Politics than you do
Your German teacher can tell you who the secretary of transportation is
The only fast food restaurant is McDonald's and people have business meetings there because it is not anything like McDonald's in the US
Europeans would never be caught dead in a McDonald's in the US
People give you dirty looks on the U-bahn if you do anything but sit there
All the drugies are contained in Karlsplatz
You know that the people with blue mouths are high but you can't figure out if it is from a Slurpee or crack
You have to buy your own grocery bags
Any cold beverage is bad for your health
Ketchup costs money!
You start to think in Euros
The apartment you live in is 300 years old
New buildings are older than any building in the US
You can go to a world famous opera for 4 euros
You can be in 3 countries in 1 day
Transportation shuts down at midnight in order to conserve
There is no such thing as a light that stays on all the time
People flush leftovers/scraps down the toilet
The toilet and the shower are in 2 separate rooms
There is only 1 bathroom in any apartment, house, or other establishment
You have to pay money to use the bathroom in a public location
You get different answers when you search different googles...yes there are differnt googles
The internet is a luxury...hence my lack of blog updates...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Europe is for the Birds

I was looking through my pictures and realized I have a ton of me feeding various types of birds in various cities. Birds in Europe are gutsy. I almost was decapitated by a pigeon when I walked around the corner on my way to school. I was bit by a swan in Prague (which was entirely my own fault but completely worth the kodak moment), actually come to think about it I was bit twice in Prague. The pigeons in St. Mark's Square will land on you. I am not going to lie, it freaked me out. I didn't think it would but it did. I screamed when it landed on me and shielded my face purely out of fear. We found the ugly duckling (okay so it was a swan) in Prague. We went down to the water to feed the birds and all of a sudden they started coming out of the water and began to mob us. It was terrifying. Pigeons are such a threat to artwork (outdoor) that they have everything covered with nets so as to prevent them from landing on it. Apparently their poop is acidic. Bet you didn't know that and yes that is what I am learning here in acidic bird poop is. I promise I have now seen the damage they did to St. Stephen. Poor guy, they took of his arm and melted his face off! Birds are brutal and deadly to anyone who is solid stone and hangs out on the outside of buildings. You should all keep that in mind.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Outrage in it's Purest Form

So I went to see the new James Bond movie last night. I know it is kind of lame to see a movie when I am in the center of culture however, sometimes you just need a movie. Anyways...I myself do not claim to be a die hard Bond fan nor am I an expert by any means. So I went with some students that are studying as well here in Vienna. After the film we were discussing our thoughts. Most people did not like it. I was entertained but it wasn't the greatest movie I have ever seen. I suddenly became outraged however when the people who were with me objected to the movie because Bond only sleeps with 1 woman rather than the typical 2. I was disgusted and outraged. I cannot even tell you how much restraint it took on my part to keep my mouth shut and be nice. I was so disappointed at what has become "manly" in this world. You are manly if you treat women like hunks of meat and sleep around?! I was also appalled at the fact that this was being stated by (I will be honest) not my favorite person but someone I thought had values. I was so tragically disappointed in my generation. I was so saddened that people my age just don't get it anymore. Sex is not a way to define yourself and when taken lightly it will destroy your spirit. I refuse to accept the idea that sex sells. Maybe it does but that is an indication of just how backwards we are. What we value is a statement of who we are and we should value members of the opposite sex in a way that is respectful. Love is a beautiful thing and should be treated as such. I am not a hunk of meat nor will I be treated like one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ich mag Deutsch gar nicht

So I have thinking a lot lately about the need to communicate. I have often characterized myself as one who does not necessarily communicate very well. Now being in a country where I have to communicate in another language has compounded the problem. Today is one of the frequent days where I go to German in a relatively good mood and leave in a particularly sour one. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I think "oh great, another day of humiliating agony." I have come to truly envy those who grew up speaking two languages. I also have a new found respect for missionaries. I normally attend a German speaking ward on Sundays but this week I decided to go to the international ward where they speak English. I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I was at the prospect of being able to raise my hand and participate in the lesson. I could communicate thoughts and emotions and I was understood! I am so embarrassed that throughout the world as an American I expect people to speak English. I expect them to cater to me and my needs rather than making the effort to learn their language. I was thinking about how at home there are often signs in Spanish and before it always kind of bothered me. I thought "if someone lives in America they should learn to speak English." Now however I understand the pure delight that can come from hearing or seeing something in your own language. I get excited when I see a sign in English, my face lights up when I hear someone speaking English, it is so refreshing when someone asks me something in English...I am truly humbled when someone half my age speaks a language fluently that baffles me. Just when I start to understand it, right when it is in the grasp of my fingers, it laughs in my face and runs away singing "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah..."

Friday, October 31, 2008

The City Itself

So I realized I have not really posted much on Vienna itself, mostly just the other places I have been. I normally spend about a week in Vienna for every week of travel. So I really have not been here a whole lot but I am starting to notice the subtleties and nuances of the city. I love it. It is fall now so all the leaves are golden yellow and when the wind blows they slowly float down to the ground. I love walking around and kicking up leaves as I go. It is still warmer here...well warmer in the sense that it is not below 50 degrees yet. I really like it though. A typical day consists of me going to class and I am usually done with that by 2. My fine arts class is my personal favorite. Some days we are in an actual classroom and other days we are in a cathedral, museum, or palace or such. I love being able to talk about something in class and then being able to go and see it. I try to go to an opera once a week and I am getting quite proficient in my standing room tactics. My school is right across from the Staatsoper so I can watch the line while I am in class. I have seen Simon Boconagra, Capricio, Faust, and The Marriage of Figaro. The Marriage of Figaro was my favorite. It has beautiful music and a really fun plot. I have seen a couple plays here in German and it is really hard to understand.
My German is improving but slowly. It is difficult because most of the time if I speak in German at a store or anything they reply in English. I try my best to continue to speak German.
Anyways Vienna is marvelous and I love it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't be Confused...I really am in Vienna, not Venice

So I am so neglecting my blog. It is hard to update it frequently with the life I lead these days. It is an excellent way to live if I may say so. I spent last week exploring Florence and Venice. I hesitated to post pictures of Venice because it should not but often is confused with Vienna. I really am on a study abroad in Vienna, Austria, I promise. We just took a trip to Italy because we can . It was by far one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my entire life! I saw tons of artwork that I have studied in so many classes. My favorite by far was David. The statue is both beautiful and flawless. I stood in awe. You could see every vein, every tendon, all the glory of the moment. It was truly beautiful. I also went to the Uffizi and saw so many Botticelli’s I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We climbed up to the top of the Duomo and took in the view of both Florence and the Tuscan countryside. It was beautifully rustic and inviting.
I also developed a horrible addiction while I was in Italy. I am now going through gelato withdrawals. The first time I got it in Florence I wanted mint chocolate and nutella flavored. The sign said menth and coco. I thought coco meant mint chocolate. So I ordered coco menth and nutella. Coco is coconut so I ended up with a massive amount of gelato with an odd combination of flavors. As I stood outside waiting for my friends to finish ordering theirs a small Italian woman stopped, stared at me, and then said something in Italian that I gathered meant “you are so small and your ice cream is so big.” It was really funny.
After Florence we headed to Venice. I love Venice. I am going to live and/or have a summer home there. I could not believe how unique and charming and just downright cool it was. Can you imagine crossing a bridge to get to your front door? Or how about taking a boat to work? Crazy! We took a water bus out to Murano where they make glass. We watched a man make a horse in about 30 seconds. It was incredible. After Murano we continued on to Burano where they make lace. Unfortunately the lace factory was not open so we did not see that but the island itself is charming, full of brightly colored houses and cute little alleys. We also saw the filming of a bollywood movie. It was so funny. We took a ton of silly pictures and basically had a wonderful day. Our addiction to gelato was also fed…I think I had at least 6 scoops a day every day I was in Venice. My friend just kept saying “don’t worry it’s water based!” I think for my sake I will believe her. Now that we are back in Vienna we have scoped out a good and cheap gelato place and don’t worry I have already paid them a visit.
We leave for Prague on Wednesday and I am actually going back to Italy at the beginning of November. I am headed to Milan and Rome so I am sure you will hear all about it!
I miss you all!

At the Request of Many...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

so much to say

So dreams come true in Vienna. I was privileged enough to go to a ball; a real genuine ball. It was one of the most amazing experiences along with just about everything else I’ve been doing lately. It was a charity ball for Alzheimer’s research. It was held at the Wein Konzerthaus which is as you guessed beautiful. The orchestra played beautiful waltzes and everyone danced! There was the cutest old couple dancing. They made me so happy. I hope one day to be just like them. She had her pearls on which I imagine he brought home one day as a surprise and she has cherished them ever since…he was still handsome in his tuxedo and they were both so content with just dancing slowly on the edge of the floor. It was one of the moments where cultures disappeared and humanity radiated in all its glory.
The ball included the main room with waltzes, a samba room, and a “disko room” (their disco was American oldies). We had so much fun getting dressed up and then dancing the night away. Austrians are party animals. The ball did not start until 9:00 and we left at 3:00 while there were still plenty of people twice our age dancing to “I Will Survive.” I got home at about 4:00 am because their public transportation stops running at midnight so we had to walk home. It was amazing. I now have a better understanding of Cinderella. No I did not find a handsome prince for all those who are dreaming up stories at this point…but it still was one of the most beautiful scenes to participate in.
Another dream day was one that started in a monastery in a town about an hour outside of Vienna called Melk. It still functions today and it is situated on the top of hill overlooking the Danube and beautiful Austrian countryside. They had a beautiful and spacious library and a cathedral. I love seeing all the cathedrals because the only ones I have seen are in books. Now I finally understand netted vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses and illusion painting…it makes much more sense when you can look at it. After the monastery we rented bikes and rode 20 miles to another town called Krems. We rode all through the countryside in and out of beautifully picturesque towns complete with cobblestone roads and old cottages. We stopped and played on some Roman ruins, ate some delicious food, and enjoyed the scenery. Everything here is a green that I have seldom if ever experienced in such abundance. I did not think life could get better. It was pure and unadulterated contentment. I was scared at first to think that I would have to ride 20 miles but it was fine. My legs were sore and as my father would say I had tb but it was so worth it. If ever given the chance you should snatch it up. I wish there were enough adjectives to describe it but I do not think there are.
My first Sunday was wonderful. We ended up getting lost on our way there but once we got there everyone was so warm and welcoming. This cute older woman was telling us about how excited she always got when she found out a BYU group was coming. She said she waits all year for it. She was so genuine in her love and admiration, it was so lovely. The Sunday school teacher apologized for not being allowed to teach in English. We all assured her that we needed to learn German! I understood very little if any of her lesson but I could pick out the numbers of chapters and verses if they were looking up a scripture. In Sacrament meeting the man conducting was American and he is just learning German so I understood him quite well as I am in the same position. The missionaries spoke and while I did not understand all I understood the gist because their accents are not thick. Austrians have THICK accents especially older Austrians. All in all it was a familiar place and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wednesday we left for a 6 day tour of Austria. We started at a concentration camp called Mauthaus. It was incredibly overwhelming. I was so struck by the suffering of so many people and seeing where they suffered made it so real. They were real people with likes and dislikes, with amazing qualities, with flaws, with spirit, with spunk, with so many of the qualities we share as humans. I was struck by the awful tasks they were forced to perform, the horrendous acts committed for the sake of entertainment, the horrible living conditions, and what seemed to me as a momentary failure of humanity and all that is good. I wanted to weep for them all, for all their sufferings. No human being should have to suffer as they did. I thought of how our Heavenly Father must have wept while his children were so afflicted, how the Savior must have suffered for those children. I thought of the often recited story from “The Hiding Place” in which Corey T. Boom is faced with forgiving one of the guards who imprisoned her. The most beautiful part of going was the overwhelming peace and love I felt for human kind. I did not sense a hatred or resentment of those who implemented the acts but just a homage for those who had suffered. There was no finger pointing just sorrow and consolation for all. It was bittersweet.
After our somber morning we left for Halstatt, a beautiful city on a lake in the Alps. I have decided it is where I am going to have my vacation home. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The lake is vast and calm and the town is situated just so…it is perfect. We visited the salt mines there which are the oldest in the world. It was really fun. We had to put these lovely outfits on so our clothes didn’t get dirty. Once inside our tour included sliding down a shaft which was so fun, a historical moving (with amazing subtitles and cinematography), and what the guide said was a “laser show” (we were all super excited but it turned out to be another stunning example of cinematography complete with immobile stick figure/caveman people). I was impressed. Oh I almost forgot, while I did not meet prince charming at the ball I had several to choose from in the mine. While they were robots I’m sure that they would make a fine companion and they were SO incredibly handsome, complete with glued on beard! It was love at first site. We also when on a boat ride around the lake, hiked up to a waterfall (in the ALPS!!!), and got some amazing hot chocolate. Oh and I purchased a lovely pair of knee high wool socks which will be relevant later in my story.
After Halstatt we drove to Salzburg. We got there later so it was not till the next morning that we did anything. We went on a walking tour with a crotchety old Austrian with his traditional garb and several teeth missing. He was very knowledgeable despite his lack of teeth. Their cathedral is called “The Dome” and it is exquisite. It has 3 full size separate organs in which Mozart played who knows how many masses. We also saw the store that created the first Mozart Ball. I guess I should explain the back story for Mozart Balls…they are a popular chocolate everywhere in Austria. They have a milk chocolate core wrapped in marzipan and then wrapped in a dark chocolate outer coating. I am not a huge fan of marzipan but these are quite delicious…anyways the first ones or at least the people who made them first started making them in Salzburg and we purchased some. I definitely like theirs better than the ones you buy from the grocery stores and such. We of course saw some of the “Sound of Music” sites which is quite amusing because while Americans find it fascinating Austrians know very little about it and they find it quite irritating.
After Salzburg we continued on to a tiny village in the Alps called Darfgestein. It is seated in the Alps and is gorgeous. We took a lift up a mountain and hiked about half way down. There was plenty of snow at the top and beautiful views. We stopped at an “Alm” (or farm) and had homemade cheese, bread, and warm drinks. The cheese was very potent and I think there were very few of us who really enjoyed it. We yodeled at the top and sang hymns and Disney songs on the way down. Then we all went back to our hotels. Unfortunately I was very much under the weather so it was nice to relax a little bit that afternoon. Sunday we went to mass at the local church and they were having a Thanksgiving festival/celebration/mass. It included everyone from the town wearing their traditional Leider Hosen and Durndels. So as people were walking into the church in their traditional garb I looked at several of the men and thought “gee those look a lot like the socks I just bought…” Then I realized they were! I totally bought Lieder Hosen socks without realizing it! They were a good investment though…they kept me warm and dry and they look awesome! They had a parade and apparently females are very sparse. We were winked at a lot and we even got a “hey beautiful.” Monday we went on a hike to another Alm where we ate breakfast. We were told the hike would be an hour and a half and to come hungry because it was a buffet. They failed to mention the entire hike was uphill! I am not exaggerating. My poor sick lungs were not happy with me. My professor’s son (who is 6) let me have one of his walking sticks he had picked up along the way. He kept offering it to me and I would decline. Finally he insisted and he is just so cute so I took it and it made the hike much easier. The food at the Alm was delicious. I had about 4 cups of hot chocolate and this amazing bread and some delicious eggs. They were so nice. That was our last day in Darfgestein. We took a train back to Vienna and it was so weird to think that I was coming “home” to Vienna. We got in about 10:30ish and then had classes on Tuesday. Next Tuesday we are leaving for Italy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My First Week

So I have been in Vienna for a week now. It seems like I have been here longer than that. My classes officially started last Thursday but since I only have 1 class on Thursdays it was not too difficult. We also met our host families. Ours is a delightful older lady who speaks no English. She actually lives upstairs and she explained why but all I understood was that her husband has a “broken head.” I know that makes no sense but those were the words I understood so that is what I am sticking with. She feeds us breakfast every morning and while it is the same thing I do not think I will tire of it. The yogurt here is so much better than at home. She feeds us yogurt and granola which is some of the best granola I have ever had and I am still contemplating how I can bring some home. We have a selection of bread and marmalades and she always puts nutella out. People here drink a lot of orange juice, I know it sounds like an odd observation but they do. Their milk is 3.6% and while I am sure this not good for my figure it tastes good so I drink some. She puts out sugar and I think she said something about making sugar milk but that is all too much for my figure I think so I usually just stick with milk. Our apartment is 300 years old and it is right behind Die Rathaus (or town hall) which is a gorgeous building. We are really close to the Ubung (subway) and it is only a short ride to our school. The school is right next to the Staatsoper (I think Brit is upset at this point in his reading but he should continue) it is fun to stare out the window. We heard the orchestra practicing the other day and I cannot describe how beautiful it was.
Our first time at the grocery store was somewhat of a disaster. We had no idea what to buy and I still have trouble converting euros into dollars in my head. We wandered around for awhile and finally decided on some yogurt and cheese. I contemplated ordering some lunch meet but was terrified to try in German because I have no idea how you ask for what kind of meat you want never mind how much. Luckily I found packaged meat around the corner. We spent quite a bit of time deciding what kind of bread to buy. It is expensive and there is a lot to choose from. We finally went to purchase our selections. You have to buy your own bag and it was 66 euro cents! That is almost a dollar and it is only a paper bag. Then I got yelled at because you are supposed to weigh your own fruit…she said something to me in German that I did not understand at all. I quickly said “what?” in English and I could tell she was thinking “oh you ignorant American.” She had to get someone who spoke English to explain it to me. I was humbled and I may shop at a different store next time.
Bratislava was quite an adventure. We took a train on Friday and it only took about an hour to get there. The capital has an old city which is beautifully old. I quite enjoyed the architecture and the old beautiful churches. It never ceases to amaze me that people who did not have half as much technology could build something so grand. It is built with such care and emotion. It is truly a form of worship that I think few people know of. It does an incredible job of making you feel incredibly humble.
We had a tour guide from Bratislava and it was fascinating to talk to her. She talked a lot about when Bratislava had been part of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. She remembered having to wear certain outfits in order to greet government officials and she talked about having to swear allegiance to the communist government. We also had an interesting discussion about America in Europe after September 11th. We passed by the American Embassy in Bratislava. The embassy is a beautiful old building with a huge iron gate surrounding it that blocks off the street and taints the square where it is located. Our guide talked about how difficult it was for her to obtain a visa from the U.S. She said she felt so affronted by the questions she was asked in her interview. They used interrogation tactics on her as though she had committed a crime; asking her the same questions repeatedly in a slightly different way. Then we discussed how this in turn had made it harder for Americans to obtain visas simply because other countries were retaliating to their treatment. She said since 9/11 America has become suspicious of everyone and some nations feel that they are overly so.
We ate at a Slovakian restaurant for lunch. I thought I would be bold and try something authentic. I do not think I will ever be that bold in Slovakia ever again. My food was not exactly delicious. I had gnocchi like dumpling pasta with a cheese sauce. The cheese is a Slovakian goat cheese. It was very strong and not in a good way. It had bacon the top and when they said bacon pieces I imagined bacon bits. Not so. They were large chunks of pork that tasted more like B.O. than bacon. We decided the pasta would not have been so bad had the bacon not tainted everything it touched. Needless to say we had to chew a lot of gum and eat some gelato afterwards. The gelato was delicious.
Saturday my roommate and I went to a famous cathedral in Vienna called Stephansdom (or St. Stephan’s Cathedral) It was beautiful inside. Starting in November the Vienna Boys Choir performs at every mass so I think we will be going back to attend. We also went to the catacombs in Stephansdom which was quite the experience. The Hapsburgs, well part of the Hapsburgs, are buried there. There hearts are in a different cathedral. There is a mass grave from when the plague was in Vienna and several of the Bishops of Vienna are buried there. It was somewhat eerie but worth the 4 euros. We also went to a flea market and that was quite the experience. Since my German is sooo good. Ha I wish. It is actually quite laughable. Anyways I seem to have a major difficulty with numbers for some reason. This inhibits time telling and buying things; most of the time I just hand them a euro bill for what I think it can’t be more than. It also makes bartering at a flea market extremely difficult. There was not anything I was dying to buy which is good because I do not think I could have. Their flea markets are more like garage sales than I imagined. People sell their own possessions rather than manufactured goods. It was really fun to go and look and there are a ton of markets in Vienna so I think that will be one of my Saturday rituals.
Saturday night we went to the Prater which is like Coney Island. There is a Ferris wheel there that was built in 1897. We rode and it was a good way to see Vienna. It is huge and the cars are like little bungalows. In some of them people were eating dinner and all of us decided we would not mind being proposed to eating dinner in one of the bungalows on the Ferris wheel.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

6 Days Left and the Glory of Home

So I have been negligent...I will be better in the future. Somehow using my parents computer in the office is a lot harder than using my laptop anywhere...sad I know. I have been at home now for 2 weeks plus a little and have enjoyed it very much. I have been working at my old job, the veterinary hospital, and forgot how much I missed it. Well maybe not it so much as the people. I honestly and genuinely love them. They are all some of my favorite people in this world. I missed their company, advice, and senses of humor dearly. I was glad to have the chance to spend some time with them before I leave the country (I find it extremely exciting and snooty to be able to say that). I
Home has been good too. We have a family of 5 living with us, a mother and her 4 children. To me this is a testament of my parents generosity and unconditional love. The kids definitely keep our house full of life shall we say?
So I leave for Vienna in 6 days and I cannot believe it!!! Somebody needs to pinch me!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm getting uncontrallably excited!

So this last Monday I made another large of those life purchases like your first know. So in the past year I have made several of those big life purchases but one of the most exciting is a plane ticket to Vienna! It has taken me forever to get it but now that I have it it is actually becoming a reality! I am really going! I keep thinking I am dreaming but then I look at my itinerary and about wet myself every time. I got an email from my professor who arrived in Vienna on Monday. She is amazing and hilarious. She told us all about their flight and what they have done since they arrived. She made me even more excited! I am so excited for this adventure!

Monday, August 4, 2008

"So Nice"

So my niece turned 1 on August 1st. We went to Vegas because my sister was throwing a huge birthday bash with Dr. Seuss as the theme...what's not to love right? It was great to hang out with my family and bestie Jessica. Some of the highlights include a scavenger hunt down Las Vegas Blvd. with items such as: drunkest person, an old woman playing 3 slot machines at once and chain smoking, an Asian taking a picture with their hand making a peace get the picture. We went to a Mexican restaurant where Maddie and Jessica were both serenaded by a mariachi band and Maddie got to where a giant sombrero. We striped Maddie down to her diaper and let her at her cake; she did not want to get dirty and upon putting her foot in the cake she began to cry and scream. Maybe she will understand it better next year or maybe she will just be more adamant about not getting dirty? All in all it was eventful and glorious. Maddie has started giving kisses and they are so tender. You ask her to give you a kiss and she opens her mouth and goes for your cheek. The only catch is that you have to say "sooooo nice" or she won't do it again. We have all started saying "sooooo nice" or "soooo cute" and it has become somewhat of a mantra at my sisters house. It may get old but right now it's funny and cute so we will continue to do it and in several years when Maddie is older we will laugh about it.
I just kept thinking while I was there that life is all about the moments, the 10 minutes you can make a baby giggle, the dinner where everyone is together and laughing, an afternoon spent in the sun, the spontaneous trip, snuggling with your dad on the couch, smiling for no reason in particular, the moment you realize you love someone, making a connection with a complete stranger, seeing an old friend, laughing so hard you cry, watching a movie that reminds you of your childhood, listening to your dad tell a joke, reminiscing about the good old times, eating pie, having a picnic, being in nature, baby kisses,...there are so many of those moments in my life and I am so grateful for them. They make it all bearable. They recharge my enthusiasm for life and restore my faith in humanity. I am starting to enjoy the moments more because a lot of them make up the big picture.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A phenomenon I don't understand

So Provo in the summer is quite different from Provo in the winter; people are actually outside. There are many things that puzzle me about Utah culture but one that I find the most puzzling is the trend for people to tan on their lawns. Now you may think that that is normal however most of the people in Provo are students and thus they have no lawns. This being the case they resort to whatever patch of grass they can find. This baffles me. I will be driving down the street and there are people in their bathing suits on the corner just laying on their blankets. The other reason that I find it odd is because there is no shortage of pools here in Provo. There are several apartment complexes with pools and they are not hard to get into. Most don't even keep the gate locked. I propose that if one feels the need to tan there should be some kind of body of water located near by. A street corner is not appropriate. In fact it's just down right weird.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

So I went home this weekend with my sister. It was glorious. I always forget how much I love home. I drove to Vegas and then my sister and I drove from Vegas to home. Provo has been somewhat stifling this summer so it was so nice to go home. My niece is the cutest and it was so fun to spend so much time with her. She has started walking in the past month and she just wants to get out and move. She doesn't like to be held, or be in the stroller, she won't even let you hold her hand. She was so much fun to watch. It's fun to be around someone who is experiencing things for the first time. Her face lights up so often. All you have to do to make her smile is sing the ABCs. Her cheesy little grin is contagious and she is starting to giggle more often. Baby giggles are probably one of the most tender things in this world. My Mom was talking to our dog because Maddie was getting closer to Scooter. My Mom was telling the dog to sit and so all of a sudden Maddie just sat down on our tile floor. We all started laughing and of course she just looked around and grinned. Jessica and I baked a pie, well Jessica baked a pie and I watched and it was one of the most beautiful pies I have seen yet. I cannot wait till pie o'clock becomes a frequent past time again. It was so nice to see Jessica too. She is one of my favorites. All in all it was a weekend of fun, favorites, good food, and glorious weather. I want to go back soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Legal Prostitution

So I am totally living the college life... I have been unsuccessful thus far at finding a job I can stand. So due to my unemployment I am even more financially destitute than I normally am. Due to my destitution I decided to prostitute my blood. I donated plasma.
I was completely terrified. I have never given blood, never gotten a blood test, nothing. Like I said before I was completely terrified. Anne and Brit came too so we were all there for moral support. It took about 4 hours. They ask you a bunch of awkward questions which the answers at least in my case are always no. I was tempted to say yes just to get a rise out of them but they tell you before hand that lying is a felony. I decided to stick to the truth, although thinking about it now jail might have been a fun experience, but then I couldn't have donated plasma...that's one of the awkward question they ask. Anyways after they asked me a bunch of questions and checked my toes and knees to make sure I wasn't an illicit drug user, I would definitely go for the toes, they finally sent me back to "The Donor Floor." I sat in a chair while they pumped out my blood took out the plasma and then put the red blood cells back was not as bad as I thought it would be. After I was done the lobotomist put the little bandage/wrap thing on my arm and somehow thought it should be a tourniquet. I had to leave it on for 2 hours despite its impact on my circulation. Why did I do all this might you no it was not a selfless act to save someone else in a medical was for $30.00 Now I can go grocery shopping.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grand Adventures

So the other day I just got overwhelmed with life so I called it quits...Brit, Anne (my roommate), and I decided on a whim to go to Vegas to visit Beth. It was divine. We got to St. George at about 10:30 when my Mom called and I told her she should come to Vegas too. She convinced my Dad and soon they were furiously packing. I had a moment of genius and called Jessica (one of my besties) and told her to come and so she began to furiously pack. We all got to Vegas and had a glorious was much needed. After tears, hugs, and laughter we settled into bed. We were rebellious sinners on Sunday because instead of going to church we went to Mandalay Bay...hardly comparable. We ate In-N-Out, swam with the cutest baby ever, and watched more Law and Order. We stayed till Wednesday. Anne and I were coming back to volunteer for Provo colonial days...we couldn't make it back so we decided to go to Zion National Park instead. Heavenly Father's creations are amazing. It was glorious to drive with the windows down and music blasting. From Zion we decided to go to the Grand Canyon or the "big ditch" as my geology professor calls it. It was beautiful and liberating. It was so nice to just go somewhere on a whim. We ate at the lodge which was not as classy as it could have been but you know... From there we drove to Beaver Canyon which you get to by going to a town called Junction or "Junk" as we so lovingly named it. I think I would like to live in Junk. We drove past some cows and Brit thought they were scary so we stayed in the car. It was so green and peaceful. We drove with the windows down and classical music playing. The smells and sounds were just what I needed. We got back late Saturday night but it was so glorious. It was my idea of a perfect day. We had no where we had to be and we didn't have to be there at any specific time. Perfection at its greatest.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I have succumbed to blogging

I thought a blog would be an excellent idea since I will be leaving for Vienna in approximately 2 months and while there I will need some way to keep everyone updated. So here is the blog and soon there will be cooler pictures and stories!