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11 January 2011 @ 01:01 am
As I ponder the future and weigh my options, I can't help but feel that I took a wrong step somewhere and got lost. Was I right to major in film studies, one of the least useful academic majors in the history of earth, if not the least useful? Should I have tried harder to take art or creative writing classes, or would that have been even more useless? What should motivate my future career choices - pleasure or practicality? And if it could indeed be pleasure, what exactly would please me? Do I have the courage and the talent to pursue it?

Inside I have ideas flowing around all the time, and I would just like not to die without getting some of them out. Whatever I do in life, I hope I will make time to do that. Or I will be very regretful. At the moment I just look at anyone who is successfully making a living doing something creative, and I boil with envy.
20 December 2010 @ 03:51 pm
Fucking snow. Fuckity fuck fuck. Some people want to see their boyfriends you know.

I have nothing more to say to you. You can go fuck off.
26 November 2010 @ 10:17 pm
I can't help it, every year on Thanksgiving I do the unthinkable and actually remember things I'm thankful for, unlike the jaded apathetic child of post-modernism that I ought to be. So, I'd just like to say, I am thankful for all my friends, who have put up with my whining all semester, and given me the level-headed encouragement I needed throughout all this hectic unpleasantness. And I am especially thankful for Matt, who has done the same x50, and continued to be sweet and snuggley and funny and strange and Matt-like, even through some more unreasonable moments of mine. I'm very thankful to have a job, and to have amazing co-workers. I'm thankful to be going to one of the top universities in the world, and I'm thankful I have one more semester to get the most out of this education. I'm thankful for my wonderful sister and for the rest of my family, who sometimes annoy me (everyone but Jessica annoys me, that is) but who are fantastic nevertheless and who I love very much.

The End!
04 July 2010 @ 08:22 pm
We woke up and ate an overpriced buffet breakfast at our hotel, then wandered the streets of Tarragona in the baking sun in search of the Roman sites that dot the town. It was a holiday, so all the stores were closed, making it impossible to buy sunscreen, so that was fun. We encountered the ruins of a Roman theater siting casually among a quite residential area. But the coolest thing was probably the amphitheater down by the beach. Matt and I sat and tried to imagine the violent bloodsports that had once taken place there. All the while I was feeling slightly annoyed and confused by the fact that the ticket man had taken to hating me for reasons that - due to the language barrier - I was unsure of. Matt theorized that he just hated tourists in general - odd, I thought, seeing as how he had to deal with them on a daily basis, you'd think he'd be used to them by now. But his assessment absolutely proved correct once we got to Barcelona - probably one of the most touristy places on earth, and one of the places where tourists are most despised. It's tempting, of course, to despise fellow tourists as a tourist - after all, you always want to see the "authentic" side of a place, which never includes visitors. For somewhere as beautiful and full of artistic inspiration, however, I am fully willing to embrace my identity as a tourist, and refrain from judging the other tourists around me.

Before I go on to describe Barcelona in all it's glory, we still had a few moments in Tarragona, waiting at the train station, where we saw this gorgeous graffiti-covered train. We also got to see the outlying areas between Barcelona and Tarragona, which are sort of a run-down dusty version of the typical idyllic rural Spanish scenery you might see painted on the walls of family-style Mexican restaurant. Arrived to Sants station and hoped on the wonderful metro, which I will later wax poetic about, to find our hostel. I don't think it is the same place Rebecca and Viv stayed in, but it was an extremely nice and hospitable place.

Our first explorations of the city took us to Las Ramblas, the main tourist magnet, filled with clothing shops, street performers, and restaurants oriented towards foreigners. We were lucky to explore it on a holiday when most of the shops were closed, because it wasn't as jam-packed as it ended up being on other days. We hung out a little on the waterfront, and then wandered into Parc de la Ciutadella, a lovely green park where we entertained ourselves by chasing each other around and people watching. Probably the most beautiful feature of the park is this huge ornate fountain. But the people may be more interesting even than the architecture. On the top of the fountain we saw a boy making out with his girlfriend's leg. We also saw more adorable children in one place than I think I've ever seen before, all running freely through the park, chasing each other, inventing games amongst themselves, not a single hovering parent in sight.

We came out of the park and walked towards the Arc de Triumph, before heading back to the hostel and sleeping.

Day 3 will come soonish...I'm not being as quick as I thought but hopefully I'll pick the pace up. Pictures!Collapse )
Hello human beings! Matt and I got back from our epic adventure of epicness late last night, and so many fun and interesting things happened to us that I thought a day-by-day rundown might be worthwhile. Barcelona is a beautiful and multi-faceted city, and I can guarantee I saw a different side to it than most people do.

So, day 1, which isn't really a full day, because it was out first travel day, and we arrived in Tarragona, a small coastal city about an hour southwest of Barcelona, at about 9pm. We woke up earlier than our lazy bones are used to to catch our 9:45 train to London, a train which was excitingly stalled getting into London for about 2 hours due to signalling difficulties. I noticed something interesting about travelers - delays and shared inconveniences thrust upon them by forces beyond their control actually make them really lighten up. Whereas before everyone was sort of in focused travel mode, when they realized they were bound to be a few hours late and there was nothing they could do about it, everyone settled in and started entertaining themselves, by having animated sodoku races, practicing with magic floating orbs, or in the case of Matt and I, playing a traditional but very fun game of hangman. Luckily we still got to the airport in plenty of time, and after some confusion found the right gate and were ready to get on the plane with a good half hour to spare.

With no more hangman to distract him and the reality of the airport around him, Matt's severe flight anxiety kicked into full gear. He took some Valium but was still freaking out, and I felt like the most cruel girlfriend ever for making him go with me. When we were seated on the plane waiting to take off I was seriously afraid he was about to bolt, but strangely as soon as we got in the air he completely relaxed, and we ended up chatting happily for the rest of the way.

We arrived in Reus, Spain 1 hour and 45 minutes later, and from there took a bus to Tarragona, a city famous as the birthplace of Gaudi and the site of many very cool Roman ruins. I was expecting a quaint rural village, but Tarragona is actually part small-town, part romantic Mediterranean city and part metropolis. Huge (much taller than in Barceolona, strangely) high-rise apartments crowd the northern end of the city, and as you walk down the Ramblas towards the sea you see nice restaurants, cafes and gelatorias, naturally with lots of outdoor diners.

As Matt and I walked south along and the Ramblas on the way to our hotel, we at first took little notice of the occasional noise of firecrackers. Yet the closer we got to the sea, the more we heard. We began encountering children and families happily setting off one after another, and were both excited and slightly scandalized by the open and accepted spectacle of children playing with fire. We wondered what all the ruckus was about - something to do with the world cup perhaps? It wasn't until we got to our hotel (with the help of a friendly mother who was out with a teenage marching drumming group) that the man at the desk told us that we had arrived on the eve of El Dia de San Jaun, a huge Spanish national celebration which he likened to St. Patricks day. The festivities included an all-night party, beginning in a plaza in the old-town district and moving to the beach, where dancing drinking and revelry would continue until dawn.

After checking in, we headed out in search of food, and eager to observe the celebration. We found an absolute gem of a restaurant in the plaza where the partying was taking place, and got to watch a bonfire, the parading of a wooden dragon, and huge sparklers around 6-feet in diameter being spun around on sticks while enjoying what I can honestly say was one of the best meals of my life. We had bread with tomato and olive oil which in Catalonia is a typical starter like bread and butter, eggs with sausage and chicken with rice. Now, these dishes may sound simple, but they were completely mind-blowing. I had never in my wildest dreams imagined that an egg and sausage dish could be so rich and flavorful. The waitress was also very helpful and patient with my less-than-fluent Spanish skills.

We walked back into the night to a crowded plaza and a strange campy cover band performing cheesy disco and 90s pop songs, and attempting to teach the audience a macarena-like dance, the instructions to which they repeated over and over for about 15 minutes. Being exhausted, we headed back to the hotel, where we slept decently, though we were interrupted by the amusing sounds of some VERY loud sex at some point during the night.

So that was day one. Tune in tomorrow when Matt and Emily train their way to Barcelona!