Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When was the last time you saw me eat a bell pepper?

Wow, nothing like a new Katy Perry album to make Tuesday less shitty!

And I don't listen to the radio, so you're probably all ready to kill someone if you hear Teenage Dream again (or soon will), but I just found it today. It's fun when it's loud. Look, I needed something new and vapid to listen to, ok?

It's ironic, really, because all morning I was IM'ing with DM about good music. I think we were talking about go-to depression music. "Sarah McLachlan" is probably my answer for any music question, but otherwise we were talking Dead Can Dance, Loreena McKennitt, Human Drama (of whom I've never heard), etc.

So I promise I listen to real music, too. ;)

Oooh, and my ticket came for Sara Bareilles!

Um, center of Row B anyone? Going to concerts alone is a fantastic idea. And even with the fees, it was about $30. Gonna be a badly needed nice night out come November.

(Her new album comes out next Tuesday, the same day as my huge oral argument, so I will have a consolation prize to cry along with, yay! Needless to say, I pre-ordered her album back when I was living in SWEDEN...)

Counting down the minutes until Hurricane What-the-Hell-Ever takes Boston from 95 to 77. Is it Friday yet?

Oh and I get to be part of a panel discussion in October. That's a first. (And probably a last.) One more thing to cross off the bucket list...that I didn't really write on there to begin with....but it's cool to say, right? Shit, that could even be a resume item if worked up properly...

Monday, August 30, 2010

When I'm not here will you practice this?

So my friend L and I were wandering through the main hall at school today and we happened upon the annual blood drive. We paused and had a look.

L: "I should really do this."

EA: "Yeah, I don't think they wanna have anything to do with my blood."

L: "Um, what have you been doing with your blood?"

EA: "Well, there was that time I took it to South Africa."

L: (laughs, totally having forgotten this.) "Um, yeah, I think they aren't ever going to want your blood again. Like...ever."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You can't let him drive her home! She says 'thank you' the naughty way!

Strangely, I'm actually sort of enjoying my homework. It's certainly challenging in areas, and I'm really not looking forward to trying to *articulate* WHERE human rights come from, how they should be realized and also debating the finer points of whether they are universal or vary across cultures, etc., but it's still interesting.

But I have things to look forward to, despite a busy semester. I have a ticket to see Sara Bareilles in November (front and center, baby) and the new Dennis Lehane is already pre-ordered and set to go! Sweetness. And I am already poking around online for my Christmas ticket home. (They are currently a little pricey and not non-stop, so I'm waiting. Um, on that note, someone told me that airline tickets are about to SERIOUSLY blow up--like HOLY SHIT blow up. Any info on that, anyone? Thaaaaaaaanks.)

I am nearly done with my homework and have still managed to sneak in some TV. I've been watching (in addition to catching up with Tivo regulars) new stuff--Fringe, Psych, The 4400 and Smallville (better late than never). I also added Lie to Me because the whole world has basically recommended it to me and I have just been lazy in adding it. On it!

I am also determined to try to maintain reading a REAL book during the semester. I'm currently reading the third Stieg Larsson--I hadn't really started it since I was waiting to fly home...but yeah, then I did very little reading on the actual flights.

Ok, I wrote that days ago.

Yesterday and today I've been trying to get prepared for both a trial team tryout and a competition I get to compete in since I won the first level last year. I had these two things back to back, which was killin' me, but I got the call today that opposing counsel backed out, so they rescheduled me with someone else over a week later. YAHOO! I was a little annoyed that now I have to wait, but REALLY. I don't care. I am thrilled.

So I've almost got my closing argument for the tryout down, which means I got to catch up a little today with my good friend Tivo. I did not watch a shit-ton of Gossip Girl (does anyone really give a shit what happens to Serena? Really?), because I don't watch that awful show. But I did watch a bunch of episodes of The Closer, which is always a good time.

And it is gorgeous outside. I have been watching it from in here. All my books are at school because the plan was to cram in my reading after tryouts tomorrow since I imagined I'd be home all day trying to make sure the state affirms the seizure of this chick's cell phone. Not til next week tho, woot!

And I failed to mention, I think, that I did actually get to see two movies while I was in South Africa. I got to see Toy Story 3, which was surprisingly kinda meh. I mean, it was great, don't get me wrong, but somehow it just didn't have that magic that they normally do. Although I really enjoyed Buzz's Spanish setting and the little girl's Totoro. The Totoro made the whole movie worth it, actually.

And I saw Inception, which I really need to see again. I did definitely like it, though. The entire audience audibly GROANED when the movie cut to black at the end. ;)

And speaking of SA, wow, I forgot how expensive it is to mail packages! I used to love, love, LOVE getting packages of American candy when I was living in Japan from my mom, as well as my dad's letters and videos! So I thought it would be nice to do the same--my friend DM is slightly obsessed with Hershey's cookies and cream chocolate, so I sent some over with a few other things. Oh my god. 8O The shipping was easily more than the package was worth, ha ha.

(It's funny how everyone has candy obsessions for things no longer sold in one's country...my English friend Aimee and her bf had their minds blown to find Nerds in SA--apparently they don't sell them in England anymore and they LOVE THEM.)

Ok, that's enough randomness for now and plus, Brenda's about to solve the case, gotta go see what happens.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?

Ok, I'm all caught up with Project Runway. Whatever, the sun-inspired dress totally should have won last week, wtf.

The rest of the afternoon is filled with enchiladas, beans, red wine and the Federal Rules of Evidence. Hot. Maybe some Agency & Partnership.

There are also one or three theater movies possibly worth checking out...

So far the little things are the most different in transitioning back to life in Beantown. I don't have to open the doors to the train (and no doubt the train cannot MOVE if the doors are open, that always bothered me a little in SA) and I have my sweet, sweet phone back. On the downside, I keep reaching for my phone to text G (or SMS her, as they say back there--"short message system") and then awww, I can't. :( That part sucks bunches.

G's goodbye present to me was to propose a recipe exchange, so I have two recipes of hers (both Korean based, I believe, she lived there for nearly two years) to try out and take pics, then I get to send her a recipe...haven't decided which one yet...trying to keep it affordable and easy, which can be challenging!

Before I can start cooking, however, I have to make a dent in my homework. I took a break from writing and started reading my Agency book. Is it a bad sign to be slightly lost by page 2? Oh well.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Never trust anything that can bleed for a week and not die.

I bring you the two songs I was absolutely bombarded with during my time abroad.

The first is a shit video, because it was the official song for FIFA, Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). Just play it and work on something else. Annoyingly catchy. "Waka waka," to the best of my knowledge, means "do it." I heard this a bunch in Sweden since the World Cup was on, but needless to say, you can imagine how much I heard it in Africa!!

This I heard mostly at night in bars and clubs, completely different...fun video. Doesn't seem like something you would hear everywhere you go, but I did. Go figure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've got culture coming out of my ass.

Who's still on Cape Town time? Oh well, I've a shit-ton of Netfux, some Stewart/Colbert and some saved Tivo TV to tide me over. And pizza. And ice cream. And cupcakes. No shit on the cupcakes, check it out!

This cupcakery lives in Davis Square where my friend S lives. Lucky whore.

I forget the names of all of them cause the person who bought them is sleeping, as one should properly be doing at this hour ;) but the green one is Green Monster, which has chocolate beer ganache center with Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting. Next to him is cookie dough, then obviously Oreo. The strawberry one is strawberry shortcake. I will either ask or more likely, SAMPLE, the others and let you know what they are.

So I am back home safely! Though it should be noted it took not one, not two, but THREE Xanax to get me out of Cape Town! One normally mellows me a little and two will put me to sleep (as I found out when I tried to take two for a presentation in my comparative con law class in Sweden, misjudged the timing and ended up feeling the effects during my writing class after!), but the occasion called for it.

I met up with G and DM for beers, so I took one before dinner and drinking. G has her own car and left after a couple beers. My regular driver, CA, picked us up and I brought flowers for her. DM got dropped off first and I kept my shit together til I got back in the car, then I started a little, which if you know me, you know that means game over. I was fine until we got to my house and CA got out of the car to come around and give me a hug to say goodbye. Oh my, I blubbered. I haven't really cried in front of someone in quite a while! CA laughed when I told her about my Xanax and she said perhaps I needed another one! (So as soon as I went inside, that's exactly what I did!)

I said goodbye to everyone in the house--my house mom and my favorite daughter and my other flatmates (I was back to being cool and collected, yay that perhaps with age comes MODERATE control) and was picked up right on time for the airport. Our airport driver had his wife with him and I sat in the backseat and quietly cried a little more and popped my third one.

The airport was totally empty and I think I was the only person even AT security. I was cool again until the passport check girl looked at my stamp and said, "Wow, a month, did you like it?" I kept it together but I think she instantly regretted saying anything at all to me!

So I wandered around and found no accessible wifi, and there was no way I was going to drink anything else on top of my Xanax! Then just before exhaustion threatened to take my ass out, a huge crowd of people started making their way to my gate and I realized we could finally board. The guy next to me was Dutch and I think quite chatty. I was polite but I think I had fuck off vibes coming off me in waves; the woman next to him sat down and was also Dutch, so I was thankfully forgotten.

I don't remember take-off and I don't even know what everyone had for dinner. Breakfast was kinda creepy gross, like it always is, and I watched The Dark Knight until landing. By the way, according to their genre groupings, did you know that Amadeus, The Dark Knight and 27 Dresses are all "classics"? In any case, I was really in the mood for The Dark Knight; it suited my mood perfectly.

My gate was literally a five minute walk in Amsterdam, so I had over two hours to kill. I didn't want to change my traveler's cheques, because they are $100 each, you know? But I didn't have any Euro--well, I had 3 Euro leftover from my birthday in Amsterdam, but that would barely get you a water. Then it occurred to me, cause I'm totally smart and stuff, to just change my Rand over. Der. I like to think I'm bright but it saddens me how often the obvious stuff eludes me.

So I had a sausage pastry thing and two beers, and relaxed. Then? Yeah, then I tried to get on my flight to Boston and got pulled to the side and interrogated about my time in South Africa. Why were you there? Where did you stay? How well did you know the family? Did you know them before the trip? Hang on, wait here. Where is your whole itinerary? Hang on, wait here.

A woman had to check my name off a list because it was taking so long I was one of the last on. I told the guy interrogating me that should he wish to see my whole itinerary he should just pull up the fucking record locator since I booked it through KLM in the first fucking place. And really, what good is this questioning if you have half a brain? Yes, I packed all my shit and left it at the house while I had my last evening out, then came home and just picked it up. But I didn't fucking tell HIM that--I said I packed it all myself and then instantly took it with me.

South Africa, really? I can understand the farm questioning when I got back to Boston, but I really don't think "South Africa" when I think "international terrorism." Jesus, what if I'd lived in the Middle East for a month instead? I don't even want to know.

But most importantly, I have been reunited with Mouchette, who, although he won't purr for me yet, is doing that thing where he's on the floor next to me, making sure he's touching. ;)

Aw, now he's on the sofa (I'm sitting in front of it), rubbing his head on my shoulder. Awwwwwwwwwwwww.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You mocked me once, never do it again!

Ok, it's nearly 1pm, that's close enough to 5pm, right?

Time to get sedated and get ready to say good-bye! :(

Sunday, August 15, 2010

To be with another woman, that is French. To be caught, that is American.

Last night (full night, anyway) in Cape Town! I posted most of my pics from Cape Point on fb, but brief recap and a few others...

So this was Monday, which was a holiday for us, Women's Day.

I think I spent it fairly well, starting with some beach sites! Camp's Bay is the trendiest beach, but to be honest, I'm not a huge beach person unless we're gonna be in Thailand.

There is a long windy drive up Chapman's Peak, which is ideal for photos!

Even if you look like I do. At least I have my uber-cool Lund University shirt. ;)

Baboons! They are actually really aggressive since people have fed them too long, so what you can't see are the patrol guys who sort of scare them away with belts. Yikes.

The Cape of Good Hope. There was champagne, oh yes.

It actually started to get a little stormy, but cleared up shortly thereafter.

Yup, Cape of Good Hope, there it is.

See, I wasn't lying. It went EVERYWHERE, probably since it had warmed up a little. It was fun, though.


Got to see a bunch of pingus. This was just one.

More pretty. End of the day.

The next night I hung out with G, who took me to Woodstock Lounge near her house. They have a great fire and great wine, I would live there.

Also got to go to Mama Afrika, known for their music, local food and must-book-status. Here you see my ostrich steak, which was unreal.

Great band, I am blanking on their name and will come back to add it in! I bought their CD, though!

Love the rocking chair as well as the, why yes it is, a Coke bottle chandelier.

Ok, then I started a real blog entry earlier today:

Saturday, I started off the morning at Cucina Paparazzi in Cape Town with DM, where we had a leisurely English breakfast. The place has an Italian name but a heavily German menu, it’s a bit strange. But it’s near the book store, where we usually go after. I picked up the third Stieg Larsson book last time, to keep me company on the long-ass trip home. I’ve been trying not to read it, and even though I have made a small dent, I think it’s still bulky enough to entertain me on the way back to Beantown.

We ran into a couple other friends at the station, including one guy from my office who was insanely hung over. I was on the way to Biscuit Mill, this giant food and vendor market, located near Woodstock. (Woodstock is a little dodgy, from what I have been able to tell, but this was daytime and not a problem.) Woodstock is one stop past Cape Town. My hung over office mate lives in Woodstock and said he’d point me in the right direction, so we left everyone else behind on the train at Woodstock. I felt bad for him because he’s usually quite bubbly and sweet, and I really think he was just trying desperately not to vomit! But he pointed me in the right direction, which was quite easy. Main Road is literally one giant road that goes through the whole area, and it seems like everything is on or just off Main Road. If you walked straight down it forever, you’d pass my office, the main office, Biscuit Mill, etc. ad nauseum. But the trains and minibuses will definitely be better than walking!

Wow, Biscuit Mill. It’s only there on Saturdays and I wish, wish, wish I had gone there every other Saturday I was here. The crowds are truly insane, that is the only downside. There are several vendors who sell clothes, shoes, trinkets, etc. I picked up a really gorgeous scarf because I’ve been wanting to buy one since Sweden…in both countries I’ve seen countless people wearing them and now I want one, too. ;) I also got some handmade shoes that were too pricey! They are animal friendly, made from recycled materials and the guy who makes them only makes one of each pair, in various sizes. The ones that I knew I wanted were a perfect fit! They weren’t priced, so when I found out I sort of gawked and he made me a deal. I think they were a good price actually, all things considered! But it means I can’t be quite so frivolous today!

And I did buy both things after perusing the whole market and deciding I wanted them enough to go back and find them! In the middle of the beginning and end, there was food…and lots of it. I think there were too many people for me to get to eat and sample as much as I wanted, but it was still really worth my time. I ate fresh mozzarella made seconds before, which was just ridiculous. I wanted MORE, so it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t able to buy any. There were lots of sauces and relishes worth trying, as well as wine and beer booths (though I only had one wine and then a wheat beer with lunch that was so fresh the man pouring them from the tap had an intricate system of half-filled cups in an effort to get the foam under control as he tried to make a full one for each person).

A few looks:

This guy? He is making fresh mozzarella. I just can't put it into words. Jesus.

"Nom" just doesn't cut it somehow.

The crowds were the big huge downside. It was really almost impossible to navigate sometimes.

For lunch, I had a sausage dog—I opted for the frankfurter as opposed to bratwurst—with the vendor’s homemade curry sauce and fresh mustard. DAMN. This with my wheat beer? Such a good day.

I finally got a seat and people-watched and digested and smelled all the food. I could do this every Saturday and be quite happy forever.

Some people had oysters and champagne, I went the other way. ;)

Did I mention the crowds?

But it got closer to 2, when the Mill starts to shut down, and I wanted to try to get in Table Mountain. This is such an essential touristy thing to do, yet I’ve put it off every weekend or been defeated by weather or my choice to day-drink and people-watch on Long Street. (Hey, that was fun, too.) A lot of people climb TM, but it takes 3 hours up and you know, I am not in any sort of shape whatsoever. Are you kidding me? So you can also take the cable car, which is far pricier of course, but what can I say, I am a cable car kind of girl without a doubt.

In order to get to the cable car stop, you can take a minibus, but I also hadn’t done the Red Bus tour, where you can hop and hop off as it takes you around 20 or so stops. So I hopped on for 110RA (about $15 maybe, but it’s between a two and three hour tour, double-decker sight-seeing bus) and hopped off at TM. The cable car is 160RA roundtrip, maybe $25. It was really worth it though. I didn’t break a sweat and still got amazing views. ;) My old flatmates here did climb it and they said while they were kinda glad they did it, they wouldn’t recommend it or do it again! And honestly, even if they’d had the time of their lives, I’m just not in any shape to be embarking on that sort of hike! It’s not terribly steep, just kinda long.

But before getting there, I saw Parliament (which I've actually already visited and had a tour of)...

City Hall...

...and so begins the journey up.

Of course you get out at the top and look around. Windy!

Don't fuck with the lords of hell. Yes, that's a heart.

See our cable car shadow? ;)

It probably goes without saying, but I will really, really miss this place.

As soon as I came down, the clouds settled in.

View from my little bus. It got chilly and cloudy, I did Table Mountain just in time!

Lion's Head.

Mostly packed, heading home on a midnight flight tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Stop, or the ginger-nut gets it!

Best overheard line of the day: "You work for a human rights office, and the best way you can think to describe your friend and co-worker is, 'yeah, he's the ridiculously ginger one'?"