Saturday, September 27, 2008

While I Was Home: New Kids on the Block

So, I am now back in France after my trip home, which I have decided to start with the end. NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!

Best decision of my life: making sure to be in the right place at the right time to see the New Kids on the Block!!!!

Worst decision of my life: forgetting to bring my camera with me and forgetting all of my 80's clothes in France.

Luckily: I found pictures someone posted on flickr of the same concert, and THEY JUST POSTED A NEW DATE IN FRANCE!!!! Which means that I am going to get to see them AGAIN and that it is going to be with my camera and in full 80's garb. Ohhhhh yeah!

So, it was really the greatest night of my life! They played lots and lots of old songs - and I will admit that there were a couple (popsicle, for example) that I would have liked to hear that they didn't play - and they threw in a few new songs as well. And I don't think the new songs are songs that I would have liked if they weren't the New Kids on the Block. . .but seeing them performed live by Donnie, Danny, Jonathan, Jordan, and Joey; I fell in love. And now I can't stop listening to the new album. There are two songs in particular that I ADORE: 2 in the Morning and Dirty Dancing. Sooooo good!

And Joey and Jordan both sang songs from their solo albums, and Donnie did a charming rendition of Cover Girl. And speaking of Donnie - why was he not my favorite back in the day? He is GORGEOUS now!!!! And Danny is of course still gorgeous, and I wonder why people always thought that he looked like a monkey. I just found out that he used to date Halle Berry back in the day. And Joey - it was REALLY very obvious that he has been doing the theatre thing. I remember when I saw him back in the day in "Tick, Tick. . .Boom" - like 8 years ago now or something.

In any case, they are grown men now (with the song to prove it - "Gonna give you some grown man, gonna give you some grown man), and I still love them, and I will forever love them.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If anyone is going to be in Paris on February 4 and happens to want to dress up all 80's style and go with me, this would fill me with joy! Let me know!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Les States and anime

Today, I am headed back to the states for a little bit in order to get my visa to be able to stay in France. YAY! :-) I am spending tonight in New York, and it's looking like Tuesday morning my flights, despite going through Houston, might actually get me home. Super YAY!!!!

Yesterday, Guillaume and I went to the anime convention, and it was awesome. There were so many people dressed up awesomely, either just because or for cosplay. I felt super boring in my normal clothes. We saw Batman and the Joker being friends, even! they kept moving, so it was hard to get a picture, but I tried.

There was karaoke, but it seemed like the same two people were singing the whole time. And we also saw people doing the sumo wrestling in the sumo costumes (like on that episode of Hannah Montana). People kept getting in the way, so yet again, it was hard to get a picture, but I tried. Man, I would have loved to have tried it myself.

Then later I got to do some origami. I think it would be cool to take an origami class because, well, I suck. I managed the super simple penguin, but when I tried the snowflake, I somehow ruined it to the point where even the super awesome at origami girl sitting next to me couldn't salvage it. The place where I am taking Japanese classes (I start September 30 - YAY!) offers origami lessons on Saturdays, so I might have to do that.

Okay, I'm off to pack. I might not post for the next little while, but do not despair - I WILL BE BACK!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike

This is my brother's house in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Gustav:

Or rather, what used to be his house. Looks like they won't be living there anymore. So sad. . . he and Miranda had just moved in and finished painting and everything. Apparently, they lost almost all of their stuff. :-(

And now, the ridiculousness of hurricanes, Hurricane Ike is headed straight towards Houston and quite possible threatening to ruin my trip home next week. I'm supposed to arrive in Pineville on Tuesday, and I have to fly straight through Houston to get there. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
I shouldn't complain, though - these hurricanes have caused about a bagazillion times more worse damage than just my poor brother's house and potentially delaying my trip home.

Something else sad. For the very FIRST time since moving to Paris, a fantastic pop-punk band that I actually really super want to see is going to be playing. And not just in Paris, the Methadones are actually going to be playing right here in the 11th. At Le Mecanique Ondulatoire. But no, I will not get to see them. They will of course be playing when I will be back in the United States.

And then, of course, today is the 7 year anniversary of 9/11. It's weird, I feel totally okay with it now. I was living in NYC at the time, and I don't think I actually cried about it until a little over a year after the fact. I remember watching Happy Accidents with Laura the day after it happened (or maybe it was the day of) - she could no longer stay in the apartment because of the incident, so she was staying with me, and the movie theatre at Union Square was showing free movies all day. We went. Then I left the city with my roommates for the Poconos, and I just felt so stressed out. And I think I continued to feel stressed out about it until about a year later when, at French camp, I talked to someone I didn't really know about it in my at the time very limited French. And I cried. And I moved on. And now it's been 7 years. Wow!

Speaking of, time to buy my ticket to see the NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!!!! I can't believe I haven't bought it yet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


That's it, they're up. . .I finally filtered out all of the unnecessary pictures and now, by clicking on the picture below, you will find yourself at. . .the Croatian photo album!!!! YAY! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

my boring life

It's back to work on my TEFL course! I've been taking the class in teaching english as a second language so that I can hopefully go teach in Japan. YAY JAPAN!!!! I really kind of hate lesson planning, though, which is why it's 1:19 in the afternoon and I am still in bed in my pjs. . .it took me ALL morning to finish the lesson planning lesson. BOO!
Now, though, I get to do my puzzle and read and watch Cardcaptor Sakura and learn Spanish and Japanese for the rest of the day! YAY!!!!
The joys of being on a pseudo vacation.


I think I would rather be back in these pictures - the one on the right(or on the bottom, I guess, depending on your computer) is the most beautiful place in the world, talked about in a previous entry.

Last night I made vegan cream cheesy brownies. YUMMINESS! I'm so psyched about the Jewish Franprix right down the street on Voltaire that sells lots of Tofutti items. Today, I'm making stuffed mushrooms mom-style!!!! :-)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Playing in the swamps of sadness

You know. . .the swamps of sadness from the greatest movie ever - the NeverEnding Story. Anyhow, it's me the mud queen
and Guillaume the Sandman hanging out at the healing muds of Ninska Laguna.

Click the pictures for bigger ones, and I am going to work today on putting pictures up on the flickr account. If I have time!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


So, I realize that the last two entries are very very very long. . . I promise that they will be way less long in the future.
In the meantime, Guillaume has started calling me freckles. Can you see why?

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Vegan Voyager: Croatia Part 2

I've finally got a minute, so I'm just going to go right on and continue where I left off.

So, we left Split and took the bus down to Dubrovnik. The bus follows the coast line, and it was GORGEOUS! The Adriatic Coast is really something worth seeing. Unfortunately, I was bus sick pretty much the whole way, but I dealt. Dubrovnik is cool. It's like this city that, kind of like Split, is built in an old stronghold castle. It was very touristy, and this added to the charm, in a way. It was cool to have fiddlers and guards etc. walking down the cobblestone streets and playing music at any moment of the day.

The first night, we stayed in a hostel. It was supposed to be non-smoking, and the guy insisted until the end that it was. But the fact that I saw him smoking inside combined with the fact that neither Guillaume (who is was less sensitive to smoke than I am) nor I could sleep because we felt like we were in a small smoking room in a non-smoking place leads me to believe that he wasn't very truthful. So we switched and stayed in a super nice room chez some lady. It was good. Dubrovnik was fun!

There is this non-smoking natural park island right by called Lokrum, which was GORGEOUS! We spent an entire day just hiking around and chilling on the rock beaches there - I don't know if I mentioned it yet, but the water is FREEZING! Then another day we went sea kayaking around the old walls of old down Dubrovnik and around Lokrum, which was super fun! It made me realize that I realllllllly need to exercise more. . .and not just walking. And the FOOD. . . there was this vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options called Nishta where we went EVERYDAY. I think that together we managed to get everything on the menu, and, really, the food was heavenly. Soooo yummy! I almost recommend going to Dubrovnik just to get to eat at this deliciousness. And they also had a smoothie bar where you got to pick everything you wanted to put in. I got coconut/pineapple/banana/peanut butter, and it just might have been the best smoothie I ever had. It would have been better with chocolate, but the chocolate was not vegan. :-(

After Dubrovnik, we took a bus up to Zadar. . . we made the mistake of doing this on Sunday. If I learned anything from this trip, it's that, unless you have tupperwared lunch and dinner with you, if you are a vegan, you should NOT travel on Sunday. Stay in a hostel with a kitchen and have food ready to be prepared. Because everything is closed on Sunday. We, not even thinking about the fact that it would be Sunday, thought that we could stop back in Split and grab some sandwiches from Natural and then head on up to Zadar. For lunch we ended up with white rice with olive oil and salt. And for dinner: boiled potatoes with tomatoes and (really disgusting) french fries. Blah!

Zadar was our favorite, though. We rented a car, which was a super smart thing to do. We went up to Nin and hung out at the Ninska Laguna, which is the first sand beach that we saw in all of Croatia. Apparently they are not known for that. And there was also this sort-of healing mud swamp. We went twice, and the second time I had bought a super cheap ruinable bathing suit, and we covered ourelves in mud. . . it was hilarious! :-) And healing, supposedly. This was, like, 4 days ago now, and I have showered and bathed, and I STILL smell like mud. We also drove to Plitvice Lakes, and I really think that it was THE most beautiful place I have ever in my life seen. Seriously. There was this one little area with a waterfall and a small little lagune type thing, and the sun shining through the trees right after the rain, and it took everything in my power not to just jump in the water and stay there forever.

As for food in Zadar, though, not a good place for a vegan to be without a kitchen. Luckily, we had one, and it was good. It was still hard, though, as it was tough to find good veggies in Zadar. Brocolli and cauliflower were non-existent. The only thing there really was was bell peppers, which I hate.

Anyhow, so that was Croatia. Good times were had, and I am sad a little bit to be back. But happy as well. Because today we are going to buy books at W. H. Smith!!!! Yay!!!! Now, though, for lunch and to try to figure out how to put pictures in this thing.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Vegan Voyager: Croatia Part 1

So, as previously mentioned, I just got back from Croatia last night. I can't decide if I hated it or loved it.

On one hand, literally EVERYONE there smokes. And when I say everyone, seriously, I mean EVERYONE. Like, 99 out of 100 people smoke. People that know me will wonder how I survived. I don't go places where people are allowed to smoke. I am so sensitive to smoke that I can barely talk to smokers even when they're not smoking. Much less be in a country (with bad air circulation in their little medieval style villages, mind you) where the air just generally smells like smoke. I'm one of those crazy people (slightly nazi-esque, slightly fascist, perhaps?) that genuinely believes that smoking in a place where a non-smoker may have to inhale even a minor amount of the second-hand smoke should be considered attempted murder. So I hated Croatia.

But then, my GOD it was GORGEOUS. A while back, I traveled through the Baltic countries, and on the bus from Lithuania to Latvia and then again on the bus from Latvia the Estonia, I couldn't help but notice that there was not a single even miniature portion of land that hadn't in some way been changed by man. And I cried. I actually cried about how depressed that made me. In Croatia, this was NOT the case. There was mile after mile, kilometer after kilometer of untouched gorgeousness. Beautiful clear green/blue water leading up to pebbly beaches or enormous cliffs (and, okay, these DO exist mostly because the trees and bottom part of the mountains were bombed to smithereens during World War II) that slowly turned into amazing tree covered mountains. There were natural parks that were actually protected by the GOVERNMENT everywhere looked. So I loved it. For a small-town country girl who has been living in a big city for the last 8 years of her life, this was like heaven. So I loved Croatia.

We started out our voyage in Split, which is right in the middle of the Adriatic Coast. I didn't love Split so much - the entire coast was concrete, and when it was possible to avoid the cigarette smoke, the air just smelled, like, well, polluted water. No matter where we went, it was impossible to escape the smell. The FOOD, however, was INCREDIBLE! There were 2 vegetarian restaurants, and we couldn't have asked for more. Restaurant Number 1 was Makro Vega, where there was a daily menu (there was a vegetarian option and a vegan option) that consisted of soup, salad, and something delicious. Some of the most delicious tofu spinach samosas I have ever had. I wish I had a picture. Guillaume (my boyfriend with whom I was traveling) was more partial to their sandwiches, on magnificentally soft pumpernickel (I think) bread, and filled with lettuce and onions and tomatoes and home-made veganaise and a choice of smoked tofu, fried tofu, tempeh, or seitan. They really were heavenly. Restaurant Number 2 was Natural, where there was also a soup/salad/deliciousness daily menu and EVERYTHING right down to the tofu was homemade. There, we ate the BEST moussaka ever (Guillaume claims that it was the most delicious thing he ever tasted) - I plan to spend from now until I have to restart work October 1 trying to recreate it. MyGOD it was amazing. I wish I had taken food pictures. There was also a smoothie bar, Tonik Juice Bar, where the smoothies were not fantastic but happily consumed.

After Split, we headed down to Dubrovnik, and that, along with the rest of the trip, will be for another entry, as it is noon, and I am still in my pajamas sitting in a foodless apartment. Grocery shopping time! Maybe by the time the next entry comes around I will have remembered how to post pictures.

Day 1

It's my first post, and I am going to make it short- just to say "hi!" I just got back to Croatia, and I have been happy to have something to eat other than rice and lentils and pasta. . . even though it had only been 4 days without. While I was there, I thought a lot about the benefits of having a blog, and I decided that it is something that will, indeed, suit me. So YAY! Here I am. :-)