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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sculpture: If it works...use it

This last sculpture project, my little metal cubist bird, has quiet frankly been a nightmare. After four trips to the Servi Estacio to buy metal, wire, more wire, more metal, dowels, super glue, screws, bolts, and washers I feel like the employees and I are practically family. They probably think to themselves, ¨Oh God, not you again. I could have finished this project by now!¨

But, the truth is everyone else seems to have a whole lot more experience and a month of additional time to work on it than I do! So considering my background, time, and tool constraints I am happy to say this project is about ten minutes from being done. (knock on wood) I´m currently waiting for a blob of rubber cement to dry.

This morning I had to figure out how to make a hole in my aliminum sheet base without access to a hammer or drill...Using an old tubberware container I set my sheet metal on it, found a glass can of tomato sauce, a sharp sculpting tool and tried to bang a hole into it. After doing this five or so times I had a couple mini little holes that I then attacked with a knife and knife sharpener. I managed to puncture my dowel through and waaaallllaaa a base.

While trying to then slit my dowel with a serraded knife, instead of a saw, my knife slipped and I put a gash into my finger. I had even thought a few seconds earlier, ´´This seems a little dangerous´´. But, as far as I´m concerned it just adds street cred to the whole process.

In the end I am left with a little petite metal bird with a wire tail and brightly colored wired wings coming out the back. He´s sitting on a brightly painted striped dowel that conects down to a sheet metal base. I´m pretty content with it all. I wish I could post a picture but I gave my camera connector back to Liz. So just take my word for it, he is cute.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

La Liga

The difference between living in a war zone and living in a city that just won ´La Liga´ may not be overly apparent...until you experience it.

The streets are quiet, no one´s outside. There is tension in the house. Tension outside the house. Walk out onto the porch and you can see smoke coming off the roofs or the buildings next to you. Fire crackers echo booming off the street. I can smell the gun powder.

Once Barça wins the explosions are pretty much non stop, smoke, noise, yelling, lots and lots of honking. Flags are waving, people running around, I´m serious it´s chaos out there now people!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

All that remains...

I´m back from my trip to La República Chequia and now there isn´t a lot left on my to do list here. Most of my friends are gone or will be by the end of the week. My only obligations for the next nine days are trying to finish my stupid sculpture projects, heading to the beach, spin class, and packing. It really is a bizarre feeling. In fact, I´m starting to get nostalgic already...

I decided today after the gym that it was time to see what I am up against and begin the extreme task of packing my suitcases. I´ve managed, like always, to accumulate a massive amount of knick knacks, crafty things, yarn, paper, art projects exct. On top of normal things like shot glasses, clothes, shoes, and books. Lots and lots of books.

I would guess that I have roughly 10 pounds of recycled paper I am bringing back...dun nu nuuuuuuuuh!

Luckily, most of my clothes at this point are in such dismal shape there is really no point in dragging/hauling/pulling it back with me. I´m planning on making a large charitable donation to the dumpster aka good will outside my house.

I am excited to see my family and friends and come home but, at the same time I can also appreciate what an amazing time this has been. I couldn´t have asked or dreamed of a better study abroad experience and I really will miss it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BRNO & The Czech Republic

Walky is currently studying in the second largest city in the Czech Republic. Brno, heard of it? It´s ok, neither had she. It was an awesome five day trip but also totally different from anything I could have expected. Here are the TOP FIVE things I discovered along the way.

5. Czech-tude: Generally characterized by a gruff, curt, and sometimes rude way of speaking to each other.
Main Causes- extreme cultural differences stemming from a back ground of communist and opressive governments.
Use: Dude, that guy just cut in front of the line and then glared at ME! He has a major Czechtude.

4. Beer: If you learn one Czech word which, realistically may be all you are capable of...learn how to say ´beer please´ Pivo prosim (pee-voe pro-seem) Ok well that´s two but you get the idea. If the Czechs could bathe in beer they would. Beer, a quintessential part of every Czech meal, is believed to have healing, digestive, and (possibly) magical properties. Way back the Czechs banned any beer that wasn´t pure and contained more than the five basic ingredients.

3. Meat & Spreadable Ham Cheese: A mild spreadable cheese (meat included) that at a glance can be mistaken for butter. It comes in a foil packaging.
Reasoning? Why not stick some meat in everything? Czechs like meat.
***WARNING: Being a veggie eater in this fried meat and potato kind of country can be difficult. Approach with caution. Apparently ham often is not considered meat and chicken is never considered meat.

2. Czech-Nology a classic example of pure communist architecture would be the Shink. A shower + sink combination that leaves a lot to be desired. Most shinks have fundemental plumbing problems and must be plunged monthly.

And NUMBER ONE of the Czech-tastic list of a glorified excommunist Europe is (drum roll)

1. The Asylum. Do you know a friend who had too rough of a night and ended up passed out somewhere?...(no need to name names people) But, lets get hypothetical and say you had too much of that czechtastic pivo one night in Brno. Causing you to fall asleep drunk in the club. Well, that would be unfortunate because you would wake up alone, naked, and in a padded room of the insane asylum.

I´m not kidding. Explain that to Mom on Skype. On top of that it´s a pricey hotel room and limo ride over there. Oh, and insurance in Czech land doesn´t cover incidents in which people have a blood alcohol level. Which, makes me wonder what they would ever pay for....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Central Europe & Its Communist Glory

My trip to Central Europe has been QUITE an interesting, bizarre, fun, and adventurous experience. I'm not exactly sure how Walky handles it here for more than a week but, she is happy as a clam in the Czech Republic.

Walky and I met up in Prague and spent two and a half days roaming the city, eating delicious sausages, snapping pictures, and being snapped at by angry czechs, and just generally having a good time. From there we headed to Brnu where her dorm and non existent classes are. I also was introduced to the coolest hookah or sisha place of my twenty plus years of being. We also took a day trip to Vienna which, was absolutely undeniably fantastically AMAZING. I wish I could have had more time there. Here's a random assortment of pictures from the trip.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

What an awful morning I had today! No need to drown you all in details but it was a very stressful day. On top of it all I was bummed I didn't get to Skype Andy or Walky. The day got significantly better when I arrived at Liz's. She quickly gave me a glass of wine and chocolate and I got to talk to Drew today.

Wanna hear the fun fact of the day? He told me that the Juniata Football team is averaging one sexual assault a month wich means, they have racked up more sexual assaults than touch downs. WHY are they still allowed on campus? I say ditch the whole damn team. So when life is hard and I'm really feeling down I just remember, hey, it's ok! Life could always be worse. You could be a Juniata football player...and you know what? It makes me feel a lot better about things.

Cheers hoping tomorrow is a better day.