Tuesday, August 30, 2005

So umm...we're off.

Well, it's 12:52 on Tuesday August 30th, and in 2 hours we are going to be heading out for Boston Airport, where we will attempt to go through customs and board a plane that will eventually land us in Madrid, Spain.

That don't make ANY sense. I just got back from a freakishly last minute haircut I begged from the woman who has cut my hair for like 10 years. I am trimmed, and anxious.

We are pretty much packed. This computer is the last thing that has to go, and so I write this as a goodbye and a stay tuned for future posts. Those posts may be a while though - b/c we have no idea if we will have internet access in Madrid/Toledo, and we don't get to our apartment in Barcelona until September 6th, so on the 7th hopefully we can update if everything goes as planned.

That also means neither Talia or I will be able to answer any emails or anything. We also won't have our cell phones, so we're pretty much code: invisible for the next week or so. If we can find internet access we will drop everyone a line to let them know we got to Spain safe and sound.

So check this blog for updates - and if you're from Oberlin CHECK THE MESSAGE BOARD! No one is posting, and I am more than a little perturbed by this. And you don't want me perturbed, do you?

We love you all a great deal, and for those whom we do not love, we probably like you more than a little. Have a wonderful week, and we'll check in as soon as we can.

Wish us luck,

Monday, August 29, 2005

packing mania!

Hey! It's me! I'm posting!
Jaimie and I are in the midst of packing mayhem. The room looks insane. Fortunately we are almost done. Plus we have half of tomorrow to finish tying up loose ends.... and then we get on the plane! aaaaaah! It is so unreal. Neither of us actually comprehend the following words: "Within 48 hours we will be in Madrid, Spain." Nope, it doesn't mean a damn thing. Curious.
We are actually arriving two days earlier than the rest of the group. There is one other girl who is arriving early too, and we have plans to meet up with her. Potential new friend?
Anyway, I think my mind is racing over too many to do lists to write anything interesting. I'll write when I'm ..... in Spain. Oh man.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Amazing Pancakes...or...er....

How many of you have been to the Feve for weekend breakfast? Hmm? Have their pancakes? hmm? Love them? Well I do. And I wanted to get the recipe so that while Talia and I are abroad we can make them. So I called and lo and behold they actually gave me the recipe. However, it's in bulk, like 20-cups-of-flower-per-batch-bulk. So Talia and I did a ton of math and worked out the numbers until we got it down to what we figured might be a reasonable size.

So we mixed the batter and poured the first one into the pan, nice and big, just like the Feve does them.

Well, they weren't pancakes, that's for sure. They were WAY too thin. But you know what they WERE?? CREPES!! AMAZING CREPES! We inadvertantly discovered how to make delicious crepes and I couldn't be happier about it. I think if we just cut back on the milk we'll even get delicious pancakes too, but that remains to be seen. Because as of right now, well, we've got crepes, and thats just fine with me.

On the Barcelona side of things, we leave in 5 days. which is rediculous. I still don't speak spanish. I keep expecting it to just sort of happen, like the tooth fairy, but a spanish fairy. you can imagine my dissapointment.

We're still shopping for plug adapters and all the pharmacy drugs we'll need (and of course I got sick now, but i guess its better to get it over with now than right before we leave).

Rebecca, if you have any last minute thoughts about stuff we should make sure we have, please let us know!!

OK, we're going to go make more crepes.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Robin Williams and John Cleese Write to America

I ran across these letters by Robin Williams and John Cleese, both to America, both funny in their own ways, though Robin William's is a bit more disturbing. I think they're old, but if you haven't read them now you can:

Mr. Cleese's:

Citizens of the United States of America

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus
to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your
independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other
territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America
without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be
disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether
any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules
are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Then look up "aluminium," and check the pronunciation guide. You will be
amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour', 'favour' and
'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping
half the letters, and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise."

You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra'; you may elect
to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you find you simply can't cope with
correct pronunciation.

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable
levels (look up "vocabulary"). Using the same twenty-seven words
interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an
unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on
your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of
the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but
only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will be
a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be
called "Come-Uppance Day."

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or
therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that
you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by
adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone
or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more
dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to
carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your
own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start
driving on the left with immediate effect.

At the same time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of
conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand
the British sense of humour.

8. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling "gasoline") -roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are
not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are
properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and
dressed not with mayonnaise but with vinegar.

10. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer
at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as
"beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred
to as "Lager." American brands will be referred to as "Near-Frozen Gnat's
Urine," so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good
guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English
characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four
Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one's ears removed
with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American "football." There is only one kind of
proper football; you call it "soccer." Those of you brave enough will, in
time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American
"football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every
twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an
event called the "World Series" for a game which is not played outside of
America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your
borders, your error is understandable.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies
due backdated to 1776.

Thank you for your co-operation.


And Mr. William's:

Robin Williams' plan...(Hard to argue with this logic!)

I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan:

1) The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past & present. We will promise never to "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No more sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of who or where they are. France would welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 day visits unless given a special permit. No one from a terrorist nation would be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself, don't hide here. Asylum would not ever be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers.

5) No "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home, baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self sufficient energy wise. This will include developing non polluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else.

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere". They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides, most of what we give them gets "lost" or is taken by their army. The people who need it most get very little, anyway.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, it would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

9b) Use the buildings as replacement for the twin towers.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer.

Now, ain't that a winner of a plan.

"The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'"

- Robin Williams


About time someone slapped us around, no?

goodnight graceland,

Talia has arrived :)

So I'm sitting here next to Talia, who is surrounded by suitcases that probably weigh three times her own body weight. Not only did she have to pack for Spain, but she won't be home until Spring break, so she had to pack for Oberlin Spring Semester as well. Needless to say its alot. But I'll say it anyway. It's alot.

Data is dutifully sniffing everything she owns, inbetween biting anything that comes within reach of his teeth.

It feels amazing to have her here again, after over a month apart it is more refreshing than I can say.

I'm glad to see more people have posted on the boards...and Rebecca has an interesting poll in the gossip section...

Talia wants to eat apples, and I think this is a Good Thing, so until later -

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Real Beginning

So I thought I might actually start a real entry to get the ball rolling.

Talia arrives in about 27 hours, and its beginning to hit me how imminent this whole thing is. For her its real right now, since she has to pack and say goodbye to all her friends, and then she comes to me for 10 days and then we're off. So, it hasn't really hit me that in 11 days I'll be on a plane bound for Spain, a country which I know not nearly enough about, that speaks a language I know even less about.

I've tried teaching myself from one of these "Spanish Now!" textbook thingies, but I'm quickly finding that when it comes to summer-language-study, I have the attention span of my puppy. Who, by the way, is getting his haircut today and will probably shaved when I see him next :(

I imagine that all you slackers to whom I sent the note about the message board and this blog who have NOT posted (i.e. everyone but Julie and Talia) are not reading this right now, but in the vague chance that you are, go post on the message board!! http://ob3rlin.proboards54.com.

I have to go groom myself for Talia's arrival. I tend to let my beard go kind of crazy when I don't need to keep up my appearance, and I'm afraid I might scare her :)