Sunday, December 30, 2007

¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Felicidad!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

My Christmas was wonderful and I hope your's was too. BUT....it's not over yet! Here Christmas doesn't end until 3 Kings Day on January 6th! So the streets are still full of lights, music, trees, and sad people wandering around with no idea why we do all of this.

However I will say that they have got something right with 3 Kings Day. That's the day when they exchange the majority of their gifts, to remember the Magi bringing their gifts. Not that they haven't commercialized that as well, but at least it's a bit more accurate than Santa Claus and his magic reindeer.

So my Christmas went like this:

Christmas Eve I went to a family's house to have fondu. It was my first experience in fondu (besides the chocolate fountains that people have at formals and weddings these days) and I must say that it was delicious. Veggies, potatoes, yummy cheese, chicken skewers...so good. My absolute favorite was dates wrapped in bacon. Sounds strange, but oh so delicious. And to top it all off, Christmas Punch and fruit dipped in chocolate. My mom always promised me that sometime she would take me to The Melting Pot, an expensive fondu restaurant in Dallas. She never did. I've been scarred ever since. Just kidding Mom. I got over it. =)

That night I went home to another family's house (so as not to wake up all by my lonesome self on Christmas day) and spent the night. Christmas morning we opened gift with their 3 year old son who was SUPER excited about his play kitchen. I remember playing with those things in the church preschool. ::sigh:: Good memories. Then we went over to yet ANOTHER family's house for lunch and card/board games. So there was lots of family action going on, which I really enjoyed.

Here's a video clip from the night before Christmas Eve. The city had a lights show that I found to be quite impressive. It was a 30 minute lighting/firework/music extravaganza! Basically, it was a slide show projected on a building set to music with fireworks. Quite impressive. And the building it's on is the post office. It looks more like a palace than a post office. I've never been inside...maybe I should try that sometime. Maybe they do tours. I'm pretty sure people still work there because there are offices and stuff. I should look into that.

video

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Three Things I've Learned These Past Two Months and What You Should Do About It


Cheese is more than Kraft. I remember hearing somebody talk about "brie" in some movie or something. Some fancy rich person trying to show off about their knowledge of French cheese or something. Wealthy people have fancy cheese with fancy wine. But I always thought, "what's the big deal?" All you really need are the four basic cheese groups: Kraft Singles (Cheddar or American, your pick), Mexican 4-Cheese Blend, Mozzerella (for pizza, of course), and Cheesecake. But NO - I was wrong. It wasn't until I moved to Europe that I discovered "The World of Cheese." And my favorite? Brie. Ever heard of it? It's French. Get over your dislike of the French and go buy some Brie today. It will change your life. Eat it with fresh baked bread, sausage (chorizo is the best), and green olives. Or with fresh baked bread and raspberry (or any kind of berry) marmalade. Simply. Amazing.


Peppermint is more important than you think. This little candy may not seem all that important, but when all of a sudden Christmas is upon you and Starbucks isn't selling the Peppermint Mocha™ and there are no candy canes for your tree and you can't make peppermint bark while drinking apple cider suddenly the world seems to have turned dark and Santa Claus doesn't exist and if Santa doesn't exist then that means the Easter Bunny doesn't exist and if the Easter Bunny doesn't exist then who is going to give you Cadbury Creme Eggs this year and do they even have Cadbury Creme Eggs in Europe??? So go to Starbucks - drink a peppermint mocha - and think of me. Take a picture and send it to me. I'll appreciate it.


Green olives are actually pretty good. I've never really been a big fan of green olives. They were just too sour for me. Occasionally I could appreciate them on a pizza or maybe mixed in some pasta, but in general I just avoided them. And then I came here. The olives are fresher, not soaked in vinegar or whatever that juicy stuff is, and they're just SOO good. I like to eat them with cheese (see first paragraph), chorizo, bread, pasta, pizza, solo...it doesn't matter. But I like them. So what can you do about it? Go to the grocery store and try to find some fresh-ish olives. Perhaps HEB or a Whole Foods or something like that. If you can't find any, then eat the normal kind but try to imagine them not so sour. Or come visit me and eat them here. They're good. =)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doggie Doo-Doo


Living in a city so huge where almost everybody lives in apartments - most of which are much smaller than what we might find in the States - it's surprising to me how many people have not just dogs, but BIG dogs. I'm surprised how many German Shepherds, Labs, and other large breeds I see every day. Where in the world do they keep them? Goodness knows our apartment (quite large, so I'm told) has no room for a dog that size!

But even more than the number of dogs, I'm surprised at the behavior of the dogs. Most of the dogs here are trained SO well! They know when to cross the street, they stay away from strangers, they don't attack innocent girls out for a walk, they wait patiently outside the grocery store while their owner shops...it's incredible. A lot of the time, people don't even use leashes, and I have only seen dogs get out of hand on two occasions, both of which were when two dogs met and one ticked the other one off...I guess some dogs just don't like to have their butts sniffed so much.

I'm also surprised at how many terriers and small breeds think they can take down the German Shepherds. Those guys are six times the size of these little things and yet the little ones go crazy barking at them all "back up off" and "you can't touch this" style.

But alas, one of the casualties of so many dogs in a city with so little grass is....

POOP.

Yes.

Dog poop. Everywhere.

If you ever come visit me, be sure to keep one eye on the ground at all times.

They've planted little doggie land mines planted all over the city, just waiting for some innocent tourist to step on one and BOOM. Dog poop all over your shoe. No walking on the carpet for you.

I have been fortunate enough to avoid stepping in one so far.

I bet I step in one tomorrow.

Whenever we go out with our friends and their 3 year old son, he always runs ahead and finds the danger zones. Then when come up on a pile of doo he yells "watch out! poop!" We call him the "Poo-poo Po-po." HAHAHA. Get it? For anybody over 35 who might be reading this, "Po-po" is slang for "police."* ::sigh:: It just cracks me up every time.

Poo-poo Po-po.

It's fun to say.

Try it.

No really, try it. Say it out loud, right now. Don't worry about what anybody might think. Just say it.

Poo-poo Po-po.

See what I mean? Isn't that fun?

Next time you see some poop on the ground, tell your friends "watch out! Don't step in the poop! I'm the Poo-poo Po-po!"

HAHAHA.

Now go read Heather Hendrick's blog where you'll find plenty of synonyms for poop.



*Please note that I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement authorities and use the term "Po-Po" as a term of endearment. =)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Am Elf


Sometimes I feel like Buddy the Elf. Smiling's my favorite. It really is. I love to smile. I love to say "hi" to people. I love to hug people. I just love all things happy.

Buddy the Elf lived at the North Pole. I lived in Aggieland. At the North Pole, everybody is friends with everybody. In Aggieland, we're all part of the Aggie family, and we love each other for it (we even love those who aren't Aggies, because they were smart enough to move there). At the North Pole, it's okay to say hello to everybody, because everybody is sooo sweet. In Aggieland, we consider it a proud tradition to say "howdy" everywhere we go.

But Buddy the Elf had a little problem. He didn't belong at the North Pole anymore.

I too, had a little problem. It was called "graduation." After graduation, I had to leave Aggieland. Buddy the Elf moved to New York City. I moved to a mega-city with a population of around 6 million people. Buddy found out that things were a little different out in the real world. Not everybody wanted to be his friend.

I too, found out that things are a little different. But we all know that things turned out all right for Buddy the Elf. He made some friends, learned how to survive in the big city, and in the end, he saved the day. I too have made some friends, learned a few important lessons (watch out for dog poop on the street, don't talk to strangers, guard your purse, how to spot drug dealers in the park...) and while I have yet to save the day, be looking for me on the evening news. My time will come.

The End.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Metro Musicians



Every day on my way to class I take the metro. It's great fun, especially when there are so many people that you end up spooning complete strangers. It's not awkward at all.

Okay, I lied there. It is quite awkward at times. ESPECIALLY when you somehow end up face to face with somebody. You just can't make eye contact with somebody when your face is only 3 inches away from theirs. Unless they're you're husband/fianceé/boyfriend. But I don't have one of those. But I do have Tim. Remember that one time at Rumors, Tim? Or was that Sam? Maybe both? I bet they don't even read this.

Back to the point of this post: every day I take the metro, and every day I hear Metro Musicians performing their hearts out for a few euros.

There's this one guy who plays a drum. He just sits there and plays his djembe every day. I like him. He adds a little rhythm to my step each morning. I wonder if he has any other talents?

There's this other guy that plays a synthesizer keyboard. Every day he plays the same song, except now that Christmas is near he plays various Christmas carols. The synthesizer makes sounds quite strange, and he always smiles. I like him, too, even though I don't particularly care for his synthesizer.

Some days, the guy with the drum and the guy with the synthesizer play together. That's always fun. They kind of look alike. I wonder if they're related?

This one guy has a little CD player that he plugs into a little amp and sings along to the CD into a microphone. He doesn't sing very well at all, but when he smiles, he makes me feel happy. But most of the time he just looks bored. He looks like he's about 40-45 years old.

But the best of all time...and this one wasn't at the metro I take to school - it was a different station - was this girl singing "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion. You know, the Titanic theme song? Yeah, we all remember it a little too well. As most of them do, she sang along to a track (but this one didn't have words as opposed to the guy with the CD player) with a microphone and amp. While she sang, she sat on a little chair with her legs crossed and the microphone held limply in her hand. She looked incredibly bored and even in the most dramatic moments of the song, she was checking out her fingernails or something like that. An hour or two later, when I returned from where I was going, she was still there, singing the exact same song, looking as excited as ever (that was sarcasm there, if you didn't catch that). I wish you could have seen it. I'm too tired right now to describe it in a way that would do it justice.

Some days I think I would like to be one of these Metro Musicians. I would love to have a microphone and an amp and a track to some 80's and 90's pop hits. But I wouldn't sit. I would stand. And I wouldn't look bored, either. I'd be super enthusiastic and people walking by wouldn't be able to keep from tapping their feet, nodding their heads to the beat and singing along. It would be fabulous.

Can you picture it? Some day I would love to do this, I just don't know that I would have the guts. Is it illegal? Would I have to pick up my amp and run away when I saw the police? Would I have to find a power outlet to plug it in? And would I have to fight the dude with the synthesizer for said power outlet? Could we sing together? I don't like to sing by myself, not really. It takes a bit of warming up to the people around me for me to sing solo.

If anybody still reads this, what songs do you think I should sing? What would be a big hit that would get me discovered? What song might earn me more than 5 Euro a day (keeping in mind that most people only put about 20 cents into your cup at a time)?

sidenote: Panda says that nobody reads my blog anymore (except Julie!) because I went so long without updating (a whole 3 weeks! wow!) while I didn't have internet. If that's the case, I'M BACK! So tell your friends!

-LB

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Happy Couple

Congratulations Greg and Lissy!!
After years of anticipation, Greg and Lissy, two of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, are FINALLY engaged! Aren't they cute?

Sadly, I couldn't be there to celebrate with them (since I'm here, of course), but I did wake up at 12:15am to call and congratulate the couple. Well, I guess I mostly just spoke to Panda, but congratulations to Greg also! Tee hee, he understands.

I'm so super trilled I can't even handle it. I'm still waiting for pictures, and it's killing me.

Yay Greg! Yay Panda!

Okay, so now if you're reading this you have to pray for them - that's the way it works. A couple gets engaged, so you pray for them. Marriage is hard stuff!! (or so I'm told) Even if you don't know them, say a prayer. And if you do know them, say more than one!

Adios!

LB

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thoughts on English...

Learning a new language has really made me realize just how complicated my own first language, English, is.

TANGENT ALERT: I would just like to let you know that I ended that last sentence with a preposition and I don't care. I got a point taken off of a history paper my freshman year of college for ending a sentence with a preposition. I'm still a bit bitter about it.

I find that the words that I have the most trouble with are the "connecting" words. Words that would translate to "since", "therefore," "so," "then," etc. To demonstrate how difficult this is, I am going to open your eyes to the complexities of these words in English.

1) Since. Ever SINCE I came here, I've been learning a lot SINCE I am able to practice the language daily.

Did you see that? I just used the word "since" twice in one sentence, and both times it had a different meaning! It can mean from one time until the current time, or it can mean because. Look at the dictionary definition of the word, and see if that doesn't get you confused.

2) Therefore. Butch always says, "when you see the word 'therefore', you need to see what it is there for." This word really only has one meaning, which is basically, "consequently." The confusing part to a person trying to learn English is that it is made up of two words, "there" and "for," neither of which mean "consequently." Speaking of "for," that one's net on my list.

3) For. "For by the powers vested in me..." "I'm just here for the food." "For 10 years I tried and tired..." Do you get it? It can mean "through," "because of," "due to," "during," and about a million other things. And if you're trying to learn to speak English, how in the world do you learn when to use the word "for"???

4) By. "He went by train." "I'll be there by 6." "The table is by the couch." "I'm taller than Lissy by 8 inches." "This book is by CS Lewis." "Well by me! I can hardly believe it!" "My parents did well by me." "She had a son by him." "It was only a by comment." "Your time will come, by and by." "By and large, I like pecans better than almonds."

I could go on forever with the word "by." But I'll stop here.

5) Here. "It's only a mile from here." "Here, don't cry." "Here's to the king of rock!" Or to mix up 4 and 5, "I hereby declare the words 'here' and 'by' illegal."

6) To, Too, and Two. 'Nuff said.

7) At. "I'm at the park." "The kids are at play." "I'm at my best today." "They're at it again."

"Do see what I'm getting at?" I could go on like this forever....

I know some of these seem really obvious to us because we've been speaking English our whole lives, but to someone who is just learning for the first time, I can see how confusing it must be!

-LB

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Weekend Away!

This weekend I went on a trip to visit some friends a few hours southwest of me. This is a few of the city from the highway:

That's a castle on top of the hill...a real live (well, it's not alive, but you know what I mean) castle. And this is the city center at night. It was gorgeous, but I didn't have time to mess with my camera settings to get the "perfect shot", so you're just going to have to deal with this:


And these are two of my favorite little girls in the whole wide world:



This is the view from my bedroom window - the castle is RIGHT there! It was so cool!

The drive out there was very reminiscent of Idaho - long stretches of flat or slightly hilly land, but the mountain range was right alongside the road the whole way out there. The biggest difference is that Idaho doesn't have castles...

This weekend was just what I needed. I got to spend some great time with my friends who live out there and they just included me with the family as they went to a concert in another city, a youth event for all of the region, and church Sunday morning where Joel preached. Sadly, I didn't get a picture with Joel and Angela. I'll have to do make sure I do that next time I go visit!

And now I'm going to go for a run. =)

-LB

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Internet is Back!

My internet is back! Yay! It was quite an ordeal to get it fixed...well, maybe not THAT much of an ordeal, but we did go 2 1/2 weeks without it, and I did cry on the phone with the internet people today. Mostly because I was frustrated about not being able to communicate, and because I'm just flat-out emotional today. I just need a really big hug. I miss my family and friends back home. So after I cried a bit, I went to a coffee shop and read Isaiah 43, which is one of my all-time favorite passages. So stop reading this blog, and go read Isaiah 43 right now. RIGHT now.

That's really all I have time to say, because I'm SOOO sleepy.

Now go read Isaiah 43 if you haven't already. And if you've read it before, but not today, go read it again. Right now. RIGHT now.

Adios.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Still Alive

So apparently (are there are any 121ites saying "APP-a-rently" with me?), I haven't updated my blog for a long time. There's a good reason for that, however. We haven't had internet for over 2 weeks, so I've been going to the internet café to check my email and, since it costs money, I haven't updated my blog. However today I purchased more time than I needed, so here I am.

There's this girl watching music videos on youtube and singing along loudly in some other language. She's not a very good singer. I hope you don't think I'm being mean by saying that - just honest. But I'm glad she feels confident enough to sing in an otherwise silent public setting such as this. I certainly don't.

The other day I went to the museum and saw more Picasso than I ever thought possible. I didn't even see all of it because I was really tired and decided to go home and return again on another free day (every Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning!).

Language school is fun, but I'm getting frustrated. I'm ready to know the language. I'm ready to be able to understand when people talk at a normal pace, not just when they speak slowly and clearly. I'm ready not have to nod and smile anymore. I'm ready to not have to wait days for the internet company to find somebody who speaks English to call me so we can get our internet back. I'm ready to not have to say "speak more slowly, please" ten times in the same conversation.

That's all.

And now as soon as I click "Post Entry" blogger is going to steal all of my double spaces between sentences. Argh. See?? Right here. There should be two spaces. But all you see is one. I don't like it.

That's all. For real.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Flowers and Creepy Men

In case you didn't know, I love love LOVE taking pictures of flowers. The park near our apartment has a rose garden and one day last week I took some time to meander around and take some pictures:









Those are just a few of my favorites. And since I can only figure out how to put horizontal pictures on here, I left out all the vertical shots. I took about 150 pictures, so obviously I can't post them all on here...but I hope you like the ones I did post. =) I ordered prints of some to decorate our apartment - right now there are only the pictures that our previous owners left, and they're uh...not quite our style.

That same day at the park I sat down on a bench to spend some time in the Word, and just as I was getting situated a man walked up to me and asked if I spoke English. The way he approached me was just weird - it was like he was thinking "I've got bad intentions - let's see if I can get this girl to fall for one of my tricks." The abridged conversation went something like this:

Him: Do you speak English?

Me: Yes.

Oh good, I thought so. Hi, my name is ___ and I thought maybe you were European, because you look European, and I just want somebody to speak English with because there aren't many people here who speak English.

[I'm thinking, "What?? Do you realize that what you just said makes no sense?]

Oh, I understand, but right now I'm waiting for a friend and I'd like to read.

When can I meet you again?

You can't.

Do you come here often?

Occasionally.

When can I meet you? Do you come to this spot?

I'd rather not. I don't like to talk to men I don't know.

Well if you talk to me then you'll know me and it will be okay.

No, I don't think so. I'd like to read now.

Okay. When can I meet you again? Will you be here again?

And so on and so on and so on...I had to say, "it was nice to meet you but I'm going to read now" at least 4 times before he left.

WHAT IS THE DEAL?? Apparently I'm just a magnet for strange, creepy guys.

Case study number 1:
Freshman year of high school I'm walking home on the first day of school. Creepy guy in front of me turns around, sees me and waits for me to catch up to him, then starts talking to me and walking with me. He says maybe I can come over to his house sometime, do you have a boyfriend? Will you go out with me? I tell him my dad won't let me date until I'm 16, and he said, "that's what my last girlfriend said but her dad made an exception for me." I said, "my dad won't."


Case study number 2:
I'm shopping at Target and pass this guy in the isle. He smiles, I smile back, because that's what I do. He meets me at the end of the isle and says something like, "excuse me, but I'd like to talk to you..." SERIOUSLY?? Next thing I know he's telling me how he's new to the country and he doesn't have a girlfriend and asking for my phone number. I told him I don't give my number to guys I just met.


Case study number 3:
I'm in Kenya, talking to a friend, the milk guy, to be exact. His friend comes up, talks to me for 5 minutes, and then asks me to MARRY HIM!! I told him he wasn't the kind of guy I was looking for. Do I have "VISA" stamped on my forehead or something?


I could go on, because there are several more of these too ridiculous to be true stories, but I won't. No normal God-fearing guy has ever expressed any interest in me, yet I seem to be a magnet for strange, mostly foreign men. I suppose I just need to stop smiling, stop saying hi, stop acknowledging the opposite sex in general. But then I'll scare away all of the normal, God-fearing guys! What's a girl to do??

I'm sure Tim Holm would have the answer, but I don't think he reads my blog. Tim, do you read my blog?? Any other guys? They're probably all reading about Stephen Colbert right now. ¡Que triste!

ALSO if you're still reading, I always put two spaces between sentences, because that's what I learned in school when we were doing PAWS party and learning how to type more than just asdf jkl; frfrfr jujuju and so on. But then when I make my post, the extra space just disappears! I've even gone back and added them between each and every sentence, but the second I post *POOF* they're gone!

Punctuation is important, and I don't appreciate blogspot stealing my spaces.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Random Happenings

So this is our lovely apartment. We live on the third floor, that is, the one with the really nice white windows (they're new). Really it's the 4th floor, but here, they call the 1st floor, "floor 0." I always get confused when I walk up the stairs because I always stop on the 2nd floor thinking it's my floor, but then I look at the door and think "something's not right."


I can't figure out how to turn the pictures the right way, so just turn your head to the side and pretend like you didn't:


That's me and Katie after we cooked our first meal in our awesome apartment. Notice our adorable aprons. We had chicken and vegetables and bread. Yum.

In a previous post called "Price Check" I mentioned how Katie and I got suckered into a 15 Euro lunch. Here's a picture of Katie and the amazing chocolate cake that came with out lunch:



I knew it was going to be a pricey meal, but the moment when I REALLY knew that it would be killer was when the chocolate cake came out. Ouch.

That's all for now!

LB

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Forgot to Fall Back!



Did you know they do daylight saving time in other countries???

Well, I did...but I didn't know WHICH countries they do it in, and since I hadn't heard anything from anybody around here, I figured I didn't need to worry about it. I would have seen something on the news, right? Or I would have heard somebody mention it, right?

Or maybe I did, but I just didn't understand them. I don't exactly speak the language very well. That could have been the problem.

This morning I was supposed to meet a friend to go to an open market that is held every Sunday. We were going to meet at 9:45, but since I didn't know the area, I told her I would call her when I got off the Metro and we would find each other. I got off the metro, looked around a bit, and gave her a call. The conversation went like this:

"Hey, where are you?"

"I'm at home."

"Uh...but you're coming, right?"

"Yeah but not until 9:45."

I looked at my watch. "I thought it was 9:45 right now?"

"There was the time change. Did nobody tell you about the time change?"

"Uh...no. So, it's 8:45 right now?"

Needless to say, I was pretty upset about that lost hour of sleep. Every year, I look forward to ONE MORE HOUR of sleep, and this year, I missed it. I could not have been more upset even if my dog had died. Actually, last year my dog did die, and I would have to say that I was far more upset about this lost hour of sleep.

So I decided to make the best of it and sat down in a café, drank some coffee, practiced my language skills by reading a celebrity gossip magazine (did you know that Katie Holmes and Victoria Beckham are no longer BFF?? And Hilary Duff has a new boyfriend?? Serious stuff, I know.), and watched a special on TV about Juanes. If you read my previous posts then you know I'm his number one fan. I heard about 2 beats of one of his songs and immediately my head popped up from the magazine and I was enamored with the television for the next 20 minutes. It was great and almost made up for lost hour of sleep.

That's all for now, as I must sleep!

LB

Friday, October 26, 2007

Price Check!!


Today on the way back from running some errands, Katie and I decided to find somewhere to eat some authentic, cultural food. So there was this one place we've seen and there's always people in there, so we decided to give it a try. We sat down at the bar (it's always cheaper to eat at the bar!) and looked at the menu, but of course it was all unfamiliar to us, so we asked if they had a "Menu of the Day." Here, all restaurants are required to have a "Menu of the Day" for a set price, that usually includes 2 courses, a drink and dessert. It's also usually the most affordable way to eat. Usually.

So they told us that to have the Menu of the Day, we needed to sit down in the restaurant. We had no idea there was more to the place! We just thought it was a little hole in the wall (albeit a nice hole in the wall). So we go to the bag and there's this whole big extra room and the tables and chairs are so nice and there's fancy plates with the real cloth napkin (that's how you know it's high class - when the napkins aren't paper) folded all fancy on the plates with two different wine glasses at each place setting....I'm thinking, "oh no. What did we get ourselves into?" So the waiter shows us the Menu of the Day (no price, of course) and helps us figure out what to order. The food comes and while it's not the most delicious meal I've ever had, it's certainly one of the "nicest," in presentation and everything.

Before the meal they brought us a bread basket and a plate of roasted almonds. They were some of the yummiest almonds I've ever had in my entire life. No lie.

The first course was this dish with scrambled eggs, more mushrooms than I ever thought were possible on one plate (they LOVE mushrooms here), and shrimp. The second course for me was little things of lamb - I don't know what cut they were but there were bones - with potatoes. Katie's second course was bass - scales, eyeballs and all. Very nice.

Then came dessert. A big slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, the kind with chocolate crinkles throughout it. Then came coffee. SO good. Way better than coffee in the U.S.

So I'm thinking, "wow...this was a nice meal. Last time we had a menu of the day meal, it was like 7 euros. I bet this will be 10. 10 is okay - it's too much, but I'll deal with it."

So then the check came. 15.50 Euros each. That's like, 20 something dollars each!! TWENTY DOLLARS!! I've never paid TWENTY DOLLARS for just one meal!!! NEVER!! OUCH!!

So the lesson of the day: ALWAYS find out the price before you order. I'll be recovering from this one for at least the next week...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bu Hao, Flat Iron, and Juanes

"Bu Hao" means "no good" in Chinese. The reason I say "bu hao" right now is this: for the past two days I've been trying to upload these two videos of Garrett and Vivian onto my blog. They're quite possibly the cutest kids ever, and I'm really sad that you can't all see Garrett singing "Jesus Loves Me" and Vivian clapping for him. She's his biggest fan. It's so sweet.

On Monday I start language classes. I can hardly wait! Finally, I'll have something to work with besides "my name is" and "I'm from Texas" and "where is the (fill in the blank)?" I'm so excited!

Today I went to a store to look at hair straighteners. Since my hair is so thick and curly, I have to have a high-heat straightener, but being in a new country with new brands and what-not, I had no idea what to look for. After examining nearly every flat-iron in the store (there were a lot!), I think I picked the best one. I didn't buy it, though. I try to not buy expensive things without thinking it over for a bit. So I came home, did some research on the web, and I still think I'm going to stick with that one. It gets up to 446 degrees F!!! WHOA! That's 230 in Celsius. Hopefully son I'll be a pro at Celsius, but for now, I still have to look it up on the internet and convert every time. However I learned that for small temperatures, such as less than 100 F, all you do is take C, multiply by two and add 30 and it's fairly accurate. The higher you get though, the less accurate it gets. All that to say, I'm super excited about buying a flat-iron soon. Then I can do fancy things with my hair again! Yay!



In case you didn't know, I'm a HUGE Juanes fan. Not only is he gorgeous, but he makes amazing music, and he's super involved in issues such as AIDS education in Latin America and land mines in Columbia. Did you know that Columbia is the only country in Latin America that has land mines? Not only that, but on average, 3 people stumble upon them each day - usually poor children/adolescents in rural areas. Juanes has established a foundation called "Fundacíon Mi Sangre" to educate children in Columbia, provide limbs for children affected by the land mines, and other stuff. There's a link to it on his website. Check him out.

So yeah...if Juanes ever makes it here on tour (and I'm sure he will - he's the first Spanish-only artists to top the charts in not only Spanish speaking countries but also the US and most of Europe), I TOTALLY want to go see him. The only problem is, when he was in London last year, tickets sold out in ONE HOUR!! ONE HOUR!! WHOA!! That's better than BONO!!! Yes, I just said that. In my personal opinion, Juanes is better than Bono. As an artist, that is. I can't judge them as people because that's not my job, but as a musical artist, I prefer Juanes.

That is all.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cultural Faux Pas!!



Having spent the past four years at Texas A&M and being by nature an extreme extrovert, I greet people wherever I go, whether I know them or not. When I'm in the U.S. I say "howdy," "hello," or "hi." When in another country, I greet people in whatever way is acceptable in that language, such as "habari," "ni hao," or "hola." Thus begins today...

Katie and I were standing outside waiting to meet some friends and go somewhere. Most of the people who were passing us greeted us as they went in the building, and some kept on walking. I greeted people in return, or in some cases, I was the first to greet. So these two men were walking past and I made eye contact with one of them so naturally I greeted him. He took a few steps, then stopped, came back, and started speaking to me. The problem with this is that I don't speak the language very well yet, so I couldn't understand what he was saying because he was speaking so fast. I said, "I don't understand," and he responded saying, "You said hello to me, right?" and I said, "yes." He said, "why?" I was confounded! I said, "because?" like a big dork. He started speaking really fast again, I told him I only speak a little of the language, and he again asked why I said hello. I said, "to be nice." He laughed and then started speaking quickly again, asked me again why I said hello, and by that time our friends had arrived. They speak the language so they were able to explain to him that in our culture we greet people on the street whether we know them or not. He thought maybe I greeted him because I knew him, or maybe I was trying to hit on him or something. Here, if you greet a man you don't know, they might think you're a prostitute. YIKES!

Lesson learned: don't say hello to strange men.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Roaches!!



We have roaches!! We've only been in our apartment for 3 nights, but one of the first things we noticed was roaches in the kitchen. YUCK! Hopefully today we'll get some roach spray along with some roach traps and other business. Argh! I'm mad at these roaches! Luckily we haven't found them in our bedrooms or anywhere else, but still...it's gross.

I want to show y'all pictures of our awesome apartment, but at the moment, most rooms have half unpacked suitcases and boxes in them, so I'm going to wait until we have things a bit more organized. Until then, you'll just have to be patient!

Yesterday we went to IKEA to buy some things, like a comforter, some pots and pans, kitchen utensils, etc. It was super exciting! I had never been to IKEA before, and now I understand why people like it so much. I got these way cute pink boxes to put in my room to store scarves and hats and stuff and I'm thinking I should get some more next time I get a chance!

I'm also hoping that at some point we can put slip covers on the dining room chairs. We got bright blue and hot pink place mats and they don't match our chairs at all...like...at all. So maybe we can fix that.

Today Katie and I went on a run at the park that's near our house. It's like central park but way cooler. We saw a statue of Satan, supposedly the only one in the world, and a puppet show for kids just like in the movies! We also saw a crowd of Mormons and eavesdropped on one of them trying to convert somebody. That somebody seemed to know their schemes, though. It was interesting. I think I'm going to LOVE living near the park. It's so huge and so beautiful. It's amazing how outside of the park, I'm in this big dirty mega-city, but when we went into the park, it was like we were in another world. A wonderland of trees. We also saw a palm tree next to an evergreen tree. Kinda random and funny.

That's all for now!

LB

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm Here!!



Well, I've arrived, and let me tell you - it was quite an adventure. I'll post pictures later, but for now...I'll relay the trip.

So I was supposed to fly Tyler to Houston to Detroit to London Heathrow to here. First the power was out in the Tyler airport. The WHOLE airport. How does an airport operate without electricity??? I don't know! So they checked us in by hand. Yes, by hand. They can do that. They wrote my luggage tags by hand. I knew this had to be bad. I had to pay for excess baggage in cash (thank you Mommy! I wouldn't have had it without you!), but since my booking was with British Airways but I was checking in with Continental, I had to pay Continental, despite telling them that the BA assured that I would only have to pay BA and not anybody else. So now I was afraid that I would have to pay twice, which would amount to a total of almost $500. Yikes! That's almost my whole paycheck this month! I can't do that!

Albeit delayed (and with no electricity), I made it out of Tyler and on to Houston. I had to check in again with BA and the guy asked me if I had paid for my excess baggage. I explained to him the situation and he said that I still had to pay BA but he would speak to his supervisor. Well, there were terrible thunderstorms all over Texas so flights were being delayed like crazy, so he was one busy man. My flight was delayed, and then delayed, and then canceled, so he had the lovely task of re-booking everybody on my flight. Amidst the craziness, he chose not to pursue payment for my luggage. Finally I made it on a plane to London Gattwick. They gave us all bus passes to go from Gattwick to Heathrow to catch our connecting flight, but that meant I would have to pick up my 3 suitcases and guitar in Gattwick and transfer them with me.

Upon arrival in Gattwick, my luggage was nowhere to be found. So I spoke with the lost luggage desk and after much searching (both physically and in the computer), it was discovered that my luggage was truly lost. I also was going to miss my flight out of Heathrow, so I was re-booked on a later flight out of Gattwick. If you didn't know, the London airports now have new carry-on regulations. You can only have one bag (no purse - so it has to fit inside your carry-on!) and that one bag must be small enough to fit inside this tiny little box. I had a big Adidas duffel bag so when I arrived at security, this guy put it on top of the box and said, "You're going to have to check that." I said, "what? But it fit on the other plane." And he said, "I'm sorry, but there are new rules and you're going to have to check that." To check it would cost me approximately $240. Wow. So I just stood there and stared at it. I just stared like a big dope - my bag was still on top of the box and everything. The guy asked me to take my bag and I just started to cry. Still standing there, staring like a dope, except now I was crying.

A man in a fancy suit (so you know he must be important) saw me crying and pulled me to the side saying, "there, there, what's the matter? We can get this sorted out." So I told him that I was going to have to check my bag but I already had excess baggage couldn't afford to check another. He was so kind and merciful to me - I thank the Lord every time I think of him. He said, "I don't see why you should have to pay for this bag, I'll come with you and we'll get it all sorted out" in his handsome British accent. So he went with me to the check in desk and spoke to the man saying, "I don't see why she should have to pay for this bag," and in a few moments all was well with the world.

While checking what became my 5th piece of luggage, the fact that the other 4 were lost came up and this kind gentleman took me with him to speak with another man (other than the 2 I had already spoken to up to this point) to try to find my luggage. They did such a good job of helping, however they still couldn't find it. Eventually I had to go get on my plane, and while my luggage took a day and a half to get to me, I am still so grateful for all his help, and also that I finally have clean clothes!

Well, that's the tale of my arrival...I'll put some pictures up and describe my AMAZING apartment later.

Adios!

LB

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More Fun with Family!

We had a great time at the zoo the other day. The Tyler zoo makes me sad for the animals because they don't have room to run around and stretch their legs. The big male lion is almost always sleeping, and he stares us as if he's saying, "if I ever get out of here, I'm going to eat you and your family for lunch, but for now, I've got free steak so why over exert myself?" Yesterday we actually saw him stand up and walk around for the first time in all my years of going to the Tyler zoo. We had a great time, but poor Garrett was really tired.



They have this "exotic bird walk", which is really just a screened in room full of parakeets flying around where you can get these popsicle sticks with bird seeds on them. We had a lot of fun trying to feed the birds:

video

And Garrett tried too:



video



Some of my friends who know me well know that I don't like birds. I had a bad experience once when I was in high school. Every morning one Summer (yes, I still capitalize Summer because that's what I was taught in elementary school) I would go for a run around our block. Each time I approached a certain tree, this crow would start flying around in circles above me. It was still quite high but it made me uncomfortable, so after a week or so of this I decided that I would cross the street when I came near the tree. Even still, the crow would fly around in circles above his little home as if to say, "this is my home, not yours." So I started crossing the street further and further back as if to say, "I realize that tree is your home, so see, I'm going to cross the street and stay as far away from your tree as I can." Well, one morning as I was still about 10 houses down, I saw a crow flying around and thought to myself, "that's it. That's the one." I crossed the street unusually early that day, and the hideous creature followed me from a distance until as I reached the place directly across the street from that controversial tree, he began kaw-ing loudly and swooping towards me, attempting to peck my head. I took off running as fast as I could (I was already running, but now I ran fast!) and the bird followed me to the front door of my house, about 5 houses down. After that, I started going up to the school to run on the track.

All that to say, in the little bird walk-through, I did relatively well until a few of the birds got excited by all of the field-trip children there that day and began flying around. I left before the rest of the family.

Does anybody else have traumatic bird experiences?

Well...I've been trying to pack as much of my stuff as will fit in 3 suitcases and now I've got to finish off those last minute items, as well as clean my room so my poor sister and pretend like it's a guest bedroom. I'm afraid I won't be able to remove all traces of myself, however, but maybe I can make it presentable. =)

Have a great day! I'm moving to Europe in about 14 hours! WHOOP!!

LB

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last Days in the States!

Last weekend I got to go to College Station to see some friends:

We went to the A&M vs. OSU football game, and while the first half was pretty miserable (we were at 0-17 at halftime), the second half was pretty great, since we came back to win 24-23. I'll be honest, though, I don't have high hopes for the rest of the season. My Aggies just haven't been impressing me much lately. But we had a great time hanging out:

Since coming back from College Station, I've been working on packing A LOT (it's hard to pack for 2 years in just 3 bags!) and hanging out with my family. Vivian, my niece, has a new obsession with bows:


I tried to put some other pictures on here to better display her bow collection, but I can't get the formatting right, so this one will have to do.

Every time Vivian wakes up in the morning or from her nap, finishes her bath, loses her bow, or basically anytime she's not wearing one, she wants a bow. She's only 18 months so she can't quite talk yet, but she does have a few words, her favorite of which is "bow." However when she says it, it's more like "bou." Every time we're in her room she sees her bow collection hanging from her closet door and immediately her finger points towards the bows and she says, "bou? bou? bou?" over and over until I put one in her hair. After I put it in she says, "dah dou!" which means "thank you!" While the words are nowhere close to being phonetically correct, her inflection is perfect. It's funny how much you notice about yourself based what children pick up on. When I'm talking to Vivian, I always say "thank you!" with the same inflection. Most adults use this inflection when talking to children, but I never really thought about it much until I heard Vivian say "dah dou!" and I knew exactly what she was saying based soley on the way she said it. Garrett is the same. He's only 3 1/2, but he's picked up on the way adults talk to babies. When he's being sweet to Vivian he'll take on a higher pitched soft tone and say, "Here you go Vivi!" "There there, it's okay" or "Do you want this Vivi?" It's pretty much the cutest thing ever when he starts rubbing her back and talking sweetly to her.

Tomorrow we're planning on going to the zoo. Let me tell you - I am OBSESSED with zoos. And aquariums. Not just any aquarium, though. It has to be a cool one. Like the one in Monterrey, CA. It's amazing. I went there a few times as a child and I still remember the glow in the dark fish and the petting zoo where I got to pet a manta ray. When my mom and sister and I took a trip to California a few summers ago, the first place I wanted to go was the San Diego zoo. As a kid my family took a lot of road trips, and on a few of those road trips I was able to convince my dad to stop at some of the major zoos and aquariums along the way. There was one aquarium in Alabama that was pretty cool. My ideal date would be a trip to the zoo or aquarium (boys, take note). When I get married, my husband needs to enjoy this as well (or at least pretend he does), because I plan on getting a season pass to the nearest zoo, and zoos are no fun if you go alone. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about the zoos and aquariums in Europe. They've got pandas at the zoo in Madrid and Vienna. Yay! I'm super excited!

Also, my sweet Mommy decided to purchase a winter coat for me as a going away present. Here's a link to my pretty new jacket. It's way cute, and even cuter on me. =) Thank you Mommy!

Have a happy Panda day!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm home!


I just realized that I never mentioned my trip to Washington DC! Well, several weeks ago I went to Washington DC! How exciting! We went and looked at Embassy Row, ate at a really good North African restaurant and had some really great conversation with the waiter, saw the President in his helicopter (well, we really only saw the helicopter, but he was in it!), walked by the White House and several other important sites. We didn't have time to really tour anything since we were only there for less than a day, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that I get to go back sometime to really look around.

When we were planning our little trip, my friend Angela said "we can go to the mall." I thought to myself, "I love shopping, but we're in Washington DC for goodness sake! The mall!?!? I want to see the city, not shop!" Then I found out that in DC, "The Mall" is the grassy lawn in front of the Capitol Building with the Smithsonian museums on either side of it and the Washington Monument. I felt really silly for not knowing, but hopefully I'm not the only one. Right? Anybody else not know that fact?

Well, I'm no longer in Virginia. Here is a picture of me with some friends a few nights before we said goodbye:
I had a great time during those 2 months and I'm certainly going to miss both the place and the friends I made.

But now that I'm home, I get to hang out with Melissa and Toby, and play with Garrett and Vivian! They have both grown so much! Vivian is walking now, and she actually has hair! Before, she just had a little more than peach fuzz, but now you can't even really see her scalp anymore! It's crazy!



Well, speaking of the kiddos, it's time to babysit them.

By the way - I'm moving to Europe in 11 days!!! ELEVEN DAYS!! I'm super excited and desperate to find an affordable winter coat...I don't know what I'll do without one!

LB

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Week and A Half...

It's hard to believe it, but I've only got a week and a half left here in Virginia. My time here has been amazing! I've made so many friends, learned so much, had so much fun - I can't even begin to describe it all.

Currently I'm sitting at a table with 4 MacBooks. I just had to throw that in there. Macs are taking over the world.

Tomorrow a friend from A&M who lives outside of DC is going to come visit. I'm pretty stinking excited. Boo-ya.

Here are some of my new friends:Well...I tried to add more pictures but blogspot doesn't like me today, so this is the only one you get. As you can see, everybody is very excited in this picture. It was taken at a momentous occasion. The occasion was so momentous that one girl felt she had to talk to somebody about it immediately, and thus she was on the phone when we took the picture. No lie.

There are some ladies from various groups (one from Bryan, TX!!) who come each year to teach a quilting class. So, one night I decided to go. Little did I know that I was making a long-term commitment. I picked out fabric and picked a pattern and started cutting like crazy. Before I knew it, I was sewing like crazy. Yesterday, I was quilting like crazy. You may be thinking to yourself, "wasn't she quilting the whole time??" Surprisingly, no! People often think that to be making a quilt is to be quilting, but the actual act of quilting is far more specific than that. It requires using a sewing machine with a special "quilting foot," and it is the step in the process where you sew the top, middle, and bottom layers of the quilt together. All the rest is just cutting and sewing, but quilting...quilting is different. And now I am only one step away from having my very own home made quilt! I just have to do the binding (that is fabric that goes around the outside and keeps the edges together) and then my beautiful creation will be complete. Don't worry - I will most DEFINITELY be putting a picture on here. And sleeping under it. And taking it to Europe with me to sleep under there. I'm so stinkin' proud of it. =)

Have a great day!

LB

Sunday, September 9, 2007

It's my birthday!

Today is my 23rd birthday and I must begin my telling everybody who has sent/given me cards, packages, emails, etc (even those I haven't recieved yet) THANK YOU!! I greatly appreciate all of them.

However, I must say that the greatest card of all is the one that sings "MMMBop" when you open it up. When I opened it this morning, I looked up at David and Kristen and said, "How did you know!?!?!" David said that he just figured I was "about that age." He was so right. I was all about Hanson during 7th grade. I remember one time they had a free concert at a nearby mall, but it was on a school day. I was so upset that my mom wouldn't let me skip school to go. ::sigh::

This morning I opened my door to a curtain of streamers and balloons, and Katie, Jen, and Elena had left a present and cards for me. In addition, Aunt Vicki and Uncle Darryll had given me a Starbucks gift card!! I LOVE coffee!!

Then at small group, I walked in the room and everybody yelled "Happy Birthday!" Max, like any 2 year old boy, was even more excited than I was and kept yelling over and over again, "Laura! It's your birthday! There's cake!" and sure enough, Linda had baked a VERY delicious coffee cake from scratch! I was bombarded by birthday cards (including the MMMBop card) and blew out the candles - all 23 in one breath! It was great!

Then at lunch, our new sister brought homemade tortillas (Honduran style!) and soup that was SOO good - way better than our normal cafeteria food.

The day just keeps getting better, and it's not even 2:00 yet! We're playing soccer at 3:00 (my new favorite activity!) and then tonight we have our weekly worship service, followed by pizza from Domino's! Tomorrow is Elena's and Darryll's birthday, so we're going to have a birthday party for the 3 of us tomorrow night. It's all muy fabuloso!!

And to make it even better, TRAPPER from MOOSEJAW wished me a happy birthday in today's daily remark! If you have any idea how obsessed I am with Moosejaw, you know this is a huge deal to me. I think I should buy another Moosejaw tshirt...

Alas, I must go study language before soccer! Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!!

-LB

Friday, September 7, 2007

I apologize for the recent lack of posting...

As the title says, I apologize for the recent lack of posting. However, in my defense, I've been very busy lately...

So, what's been going on, you might wonder?

Since I only have 10 minutes before I have to go somewhere, I'll make a short list:

- The Lord has been teaching me so much. I can't even begin to explain it all, but it's good. =)
- There is more than one "secret room" and we found a second one last night - it was good fun
- Sometimes those spaghetti strap shirts are so cute, but often, so immodest. Well, a lot of girls around here wear a cute solid tee underneath, and I tried it the other day and think I have found a new style I enjoy...
- We have a new sister in Christ!!

Well...that's not really ALL that's going on, but that's all I can comment on at the moment.

OH!! My BIRTHDAY is on Sunday!!! So if you haven't sent me a card or package yet, get busy!!

That is all.

LB

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We Got In!!

So, apparently there is another way to get in that we didn't know about...in case any Jmen or future Jmen are reading, I won't share exactly how we did it, but let's just say I'm glad I keep a screwdriver on my keychain, and I'm glad Mike is super strong...

This past week has felt like a month. This morning at church someone said, "is it just me or does it seem like it's been a month since we last did this?" and he was very right. The days have been so packed with classes during the day and activities (I'm making a quilt!!) or language study at night, that it's hard to remember from one day to the next what we did the day before. But it's been great and I'm absolutely loving all that I'm learning and the people I'm learning with..simply fabulous!

I've also gone rock climbing several times since I've been here (most of my free time has invovled rock climbing or quilt making, actually) and today I'll be certified to belay. However today is going to have to be the last time for a while, because I've got some books to read and reports to write! And I want to play ultimate frisbee....=)

I'll try to put some pictures up soon.

LB

Friday, August 17, 2007

We Need Some Criminals!

So...there's this room...it's a secret room....the only way you can get into it is to either break in to another room and then climb into the ceiling, OR get the security guard to unlock the first room for you, but we tried calling the security guard and apparently that's not the way to go about it....so now we've got two guys with a wire and a long metal stick and a bobby pin trying to break in to this room at 11:30 at night...hmm...

OH, and my partner Katie is awesome.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm here!!

I'm in Virginia! And while I am SO tired, I'm having a GREAT time. Today I learned about all the SHOTS we have to get to travel overseas! I probably won't need so many because I'm going to Western Europe, however I will be doing some traveling to North Africa so that might add to the relatively short list I would have had otherwise.

My partner and I have been hanging out all day yesterday and today and we're having so much fun! We had to go on a scavenger hunt to find places around the campus (mailroom, a guy named Bob, etc) and pretty soon we'll be having lunch. I am very muchly looking forward to lunch. =)

That is all!

LB

Sunday, August 5, 2007

It's almost time!

Well, today is Sunday and I leave bright and early Tuesday morning. Only 36 hours to go, and I feel like there's still so much to do! We have a few "assignments" to complete before training, and I've only completed a few of them thus far. But I'm hoping to finish some more tonight and tomorrow - that's a prayer request!

I spent the weekend in College Station playing with friends, and it was great to see everybody, laugh, eat fajitas, and go to Living Hope again. I love that church. It's the first church I ever really saw the body of Christ in action. Living Hope taught me that church is not just a place you go to get fed, but it's a body, and every part is important for the body to function properly, including me. It taught me about accountability, and that's we need each other. We can't do this life on our own. I could go on for hours about what I learned at Living Hope, and what I learned from some of my best friends at A&M and from Phi Lamb and college in general, but then I would never start packing, so I'll leave it here for now.

Here are some recent pictures of my last few days with my family. I sure am going to miss them:

This is Vivian after spaghetti:
Here we are at the rodeo:
Here's Garrett being his usual insane 3 year old self:
Garrett and I getting ready to go to the beach. Like my goggles?

Garrett and I driving a firetruck. I tried to get him to make a funny face, but he just kept staring at me and laughing.


Have a great day!

LB

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Leaving Soon

I'll be leaving for training in Virginia in just 12 days! As I will continue working until just a few days before I leave, I'm having a hard time grasping that yes, I really am leaving. My time at home has been so wonderful, but there is so much more I wanted to do! I like lists, so I'll make a list of things I had hoped to do but didn't:

1) Ride the jet-ski over and over again. We have only just registered it, so I doubt I'll be riding it much (if any) before I leave.

2) Water ski. A lot. See number 1.

3) Read 5 great works of classic literature. I did read Robinson Crusoe (it was great), but after that, I read Harry Potter's 2 though 7, along with a few other non-classical books. There's no way I can read 4 classics in the next 12 days. BUT I will take some with me to read in Virginia.

4) Unpack all my college things. I still have 2 small boxes left.

5) Get REALLY good at the guitar. I got better, but there's still a long way to go.

6) Go hog hunting with my cousins.

But there are a lot of things I DID do:

1) Rode four wheelers and got ridiculously muddy with some of my best friends.

2) Went to the rodeo.

3) Bought cowboy boots.

4) Learned how to work an espresso machine.

5) Played with my sister, bro-in-law, niece and nephew at the zoo, park, and Pump It Up.

6) Got attacked by 3 dogs at once (I still have a scab on my leg from one dog's claw...). I know it probably shouldn't be on the list, but I feel like it was a hallmark moment, so I'm including it.

7) Worked a job that I LOVED.

8) Rejoiced with lots of friends as they got married.

9) Learned how to include a link in my gmail (and subsequently my blog).

It's been a great Summer so far, and it's not over yet!

Notice how I always capitalize the "S" in "Summer." That's one of those things I learned in school and I just can't let it go like some people have. I always debate whether or not I should capitalize it, so then I just try to avoid the word all together. But sometimes you just need a bit of Summer, and when those times come, I always end up remembering the voice of my 2nd grade teacher, and I cave and capitalize it. I like punctuation too.

Until next time,

Bruner

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It's my first post! Yay!

Howdy!

In just a few short months I'll be moving to Europe, so I'm making this here blog to keep my friends, family, acquaintances, and complete (non-creepy) strangers updated on my life abroad. Right now I don't have much to say, except that I've finally turned in my visa application and should be ready to go in October!

Until later,

LB