"We have more reasons to love each other based on our common humanity than to victimize one another because of any difference."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why yes, life is lovely!

1. I woke to a room flooded with sunshine. I opened my big windows and did a little deep Spring cleaning.

2. I'm biking down to meet Shmo and Liz to go to the giant swap meet at the end of my street. It's always an adventure. I packed some fruit and banana bread and we have plans to find a cute plaza or a park afterwards.

3. I'm still on target with my goal to read a book a week. Here's a picture of almost all the books I've read thus far.

5. I've got some cool ideas for a cubist sculpture we have to submit plans for. The winning pieces go to an exhibition in Venice. I'm thinking about soldering wires and making an abstractionist mobile. Vamos a ver....

6. Walky lands in Bacelona today! Tomorrow we are all taking a train to Girona and spending the day up there and then that night Ingmar invited us to a BBQ dinner on the roof of his apartment.

Ah! Did I mention I don't have school for the next ten days??? LIFE IS GOOD!
I just hope my family makes it ok out here....British airways starts their strike the day they are scheduled to leave! :/

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I recently stumbled upon a facebook fan page of students at Juniata complaining about the Baker food.
It's too greasy
It's too bland
It's too expensive
It's too....calorie loaded

Students are limited in the options they have to eat while at school. And unless they make food a priority in their lives they will end up eating whatever junk comes there way. I've tried to base my life around the principles in Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food, in which he states, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"
I would argue that based on this simple organic principle Juniata students would be hard pressed to create a diet on the options at hand.
Let's look at the lunch menu today.
A Buffalo Meltdown
It's basically a chicken patty, dipped in buffalo hot sauce on a bun.

...700+ Calories FOR LUNCH. Oh those poor doomed college students...they won't even know what hit them.

But instead of seeing a black abyss of high caloric foods, saturated fats, and pools of frying oils I see a great opportunity. Juniata, a campus that prides itself on innovation and sustainability have a wonderful opportunity to change things. I'd be interested to see what kind of relationship Juniata has with local farmers. The ability to eat fresh produce that is seasonal is not only sustainable environmentally but it's what your body really needs.

Eating fresh, seasonal, organic food that makes you feel good and keeps you healthy doesn't have to be hard, expensive or time consuming. At the beginning of the week I made a soy ginger salad dressing that I put in a glass jar and keep in the fridge. When I'm hngry I break out some veggies maybe some chicken and throw some great dressing on top!

Dressing Recipe:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 gloves garlic (minced)
1/2 tbsp of ginger (minced)
2 tsp of honey

Maybe it's time we all get more creative and start paying greater attention to what we are putting in our bodies. After all, I truly believe we are what we eat. I don't want to be a Buffalo Meltdown....


This post is for you dad.

The most awe inspiring place...
Can you imagine what it feels like to have 96,000 people chant your name simultaneously? MESSI MESSSSI MESSSI!
It gives me goose bumps. It was completely surreal...
I only wished that dad could be there with me. All those early Saturday mornings we spent watching soccer together it didn't feel quite right without him. It's so much cooler in person.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunshine, Springtime, Shmo, & Sangria

I'm not sure what it is about the sunshine and the grass between your toes that is so wonderful and uplifting but here I am sitting in the grass amidst all the white daisy weeds on a sloped embankment in my Uni happy as a clam. I'm watching all the people walk by and cars, buses, and bikes speed along. It's a beautiful sunny day and as far as I'm concerned the first real Spring day.

I skipped class this morning to spend time with Shmo in the sunshine. We ate a picnic lunch on the pier and then walked around the old district of Barcelona. While exploring we found the old city wall that was constructed in 4 A.C. It was beautiful. I saw a section of amazing old apartments with painted facades and wrought iron balconies that had the perfect view of this wall and a lively little plaza tucked away from the hustle and bustle. I have never desired so strongly to live somewhere. It just all seemed perfect.

On the way back we stopped at a cafe and sat outside in the sun and listened to someone play his guitar and sing. I had a coffee and Shmo bought a little pitcher of Sangria. It was such a wonderful lazy Tuesday. After the drinks I left Shmo to go find her sister and I biked back to campus for my Don Quijote class.

I'm so happy it's finally spring. Everything seems so much more colorful and happy. Like I said I don't know what it is about that sunshine....

Tonight I'm going to watch FB Barcelona play!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Good Week For Photography!

Well I was thrilled this week to open my inbox saying I had won the Juniata Photo Contest for the third time this year. Bringing my total prize winnings to $75. Not bad! Here's the picture I submitted:

Then I woke up from a nap today to find one of my pictures of the Barcelona Marathon had been selected for the best photo of the Marathon from the blog Oh! Barcelona. Here's the link!
I had my photography class this morning. We split into groups and had to complete different exercises. Our first was to take a picture of a stranger smiling. Here are my favorites that I took:

Then we had to take a picture of someone being surprised...which was a lot harder. Here's what I got:

It was fun walking around with my photo group. After class I headed over to the park to sit and chat with some friends. It was a beautiful day!

Ps: Sergi is singing love songs in the other room. He's practicing his English with them....I wish you could hear what I'm hearing........

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Strasbourg France: Le retour à la terre-mère!

Early Thursday morning I got up and took a bus to Girona where my three friends and I boarded a plane to Germany, I bought a pretzel, and we boarded the train to France. We crossed the Rein and there we found ourselves in Strasbourg coincidentally in the providence of my ancestors Alsace.

I was there for a political conference I had won a fellowship for. Accompanied by a distinguished panel that ranged from UN representatives, EU Commission members, PhD this or that, Professors, and Senate and House of Representative advisors. They were experts in all sort of areas; energy, sustainable living, peace studies, economy, international organizations the list went on and on. There were also students from all over Europe the farthest hailing from Poland and Dubai.

I found it incredibly refreshing to be surrounded by students with opinions, thoughts, and interest in such important topics.

I didn't have much time to site see, Saturday night we went out drinking with a bunch of the German students and then went out dancing till 4am. We then woke up at 7am the next morning to get some site seeing in before the conference started again at 10:30. Talk about commitment!

Here is lovely Strasbourg:

It was a wonderful trip!

Blog 100!


Happy 100! I'm dedicating this blog to my Papa who was one of the biggest reasons I started in the first place. I miss you Papa.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SNOW! In Barcelona????

This is the first snow in Barcelona in twenty two years! Classes were canceled (not for me of course), people took to the streets with cameras, and yes there were snowball fights! I even saw a dog with a fleece vest on...I guess they have been saving it for the past two decades for just this occasion.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Rolls

This weekend was fantastic.
I managed to get my studying done for midterms
I made one of my favorite foods AND Sergi liked it which makes me 4 for 4 (Pesto, Brie Souffle, Banana Bread, & Spring Rolls!)
I bought some incense that smells fantastic
Redecorated the room a bit
Bought a fish bowl...yes Walky...I am buying a fish tomorrow!!!!!
Watched a couple good movies (Basic & The Hurt Locker)
Got to skype my broski
And my three of my best friends from home are coming to visit.

Does life get any better?!

Barcelona Marathon!

I woke up this morning and found my street flooded with marathon runners! This is the view from my balcony:

I quickly got dressed, grabbed the camera, and ran downstairs. There were hundreds of people watching in the streets and I think I heard at least 10 different languages in a matter of minutes. One block from my flat was the half way point and they had erected a big inflatable arch to run under. 12,000 people participated.

It was totally awesome to watch! And how cool that it was LITERALLY right outside my house?
For more pictures check out my photostream on flickr:

Friday, March 5, 2010


It's the weekend before midterms which means trying to stay off facebook, resisting the urge to go out, and well...let's be honest watching pirated shows online. I did manage to finish my horribly dry and dense grammar review packet.

Photo upload possible because of Elizabeth Clark (thank you!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

A River Runs Through It

I'm reading my dad's favorite book, A River Runs Through It, or maybe novela is a better word. It's special to me because out of all the thousands of books he's read in his life it's right up there at the top and I'm trying to read it through his eyes. And it's not exactly my style, it's more of a Hemingway man kind of story but, I'm determined to like it and appreciate it. It's about two brothers who fly fish on the banks of Montana. And I can see why my dad loves it, it appeals to the transcendentalist in him.

I've found two things in the small paperback book that made me smile. One was an old sterling silver bookmark with the word Longfellow inscribed into it in neat cursive. The top is a large amythest stone. I showed it to my dad on skype and he said that it had been his mother's and that she gave it to him while in college.

Two, I was reading it today after class when a newspaper clipping fell out. It was old and yellow and my dad had scribbled August 4, 1990 at the top. It was Norman Maclean's obituary clip. I thought that was pretty special.

Next on my list:
The Color Purple (In Spanish)
Three Cups of Tea (In Spanish)
Life of Pi (English)