Monday, December 17, 2007

i made it.

well, i'm finally home. it was a long trip. it was an emotional trip. it was a sleepless trip. but i finally made it. i arrived in chicago to receive a voicemail from american airlines that my flight was canceled and rescheduled for the following night. begin tears. i make my way to the AA counter, at the same time saying goodbye to good friends, and ask them to explain. she says, "we've booked you on an earlier flight with united airlines. today. in an hour. please go to their counter to print your boarding pass." at this point i jump across the counter and give the woman a hug. i was so excited. i get to united airlines and they print my boarding pass. no problems. i also give the united man a hug. i'm on my way home! i get to security and they choose me for additional screening. clearly, i am a terrorist carrying a bomb on my being. but i don't care. i'm going home. i tell the security woman to have a "very merry christmas" and i mean it. i get to my gate with half an hour to spare and a gentleman on my flight asks if i'm headed to harrisburg. he then tells me that the flight was canceled. world comes crashing down. i make my way to the line of people trying to reschedule flights and find out that i'm on a flight the next day at 130pm. they ask if i would like to be on standby for a 730am flight. of course i do. i say goodbye to the last of my friends and snuggle in to the chair for a good night's sleep. only the airport speakers were playing christmas music (not my favorite) and it wasn't tuned in right so there was a lot of static. i rise at 5am from my cold, hard, uncomfortable bench and start to walk to my new gate. on the way i see a cinnabon with its lights on. i am the happiest kid ever. i love cinnabon. but as i get closer i realize that they are not yet open. i should have known better. i check in with the woman at the counter and she tells me they will call me if my ticket is chosen for the standby seat. two hours later, my name is called. i am going home! for real this time. i make it in to harrisburg despite the ice storm that is blanketing the region. my parents take me to taco bell where i consume two beef baja gorditas. life is good. i will miss spain and the people i met, but i am so glad to be home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

say what?

last night we had a good talk with miguel (our spanish dad) in which he informed us that he knows lots of english phrases. here are a few of the better ones:

sank you bery much.
zhour welcome.
meddy chrishmas.
happy babay.
zhou ahre my destiny. (learned from the song by paul anka.)

each phrase was followed by maría luisa trying to repeat it and then giggling at herself like a fool.

it was hilarious and sad all at the same time. i´m going to miss those two.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

this is basically what i know now.

add to that list:

ricochet - karen brown. not a good story at all, but the characters really got me.

the poisonwood bible - barbara kingsolver. one of the best novels i have read in a long time. everyone should read this one.

i can now count the days i have left in spain on two hands. one week from today i'll be back in the good old US of A. weird.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

a strange haze seems to have descended upon sevilla as of late. i don´t understand what it is, but it makes all of the lights on the streets blur. kind of like when it´s snowing lightly, except it´s still warm enough to just be in long sleeves.

also, i am a reading machine. i have read 17 books since being in spain. they are, in no particular order, as follows:
-anne of green gables, l. m. montgomery: it gets better every time i read it.
-empire falls, richard russo: eh. not as funny as they said it would be and definitely not good enough for the awards it won.
-the nanny diaries, emma mclaughlin: not my favorite, but cute nonetheless.
-angels and demons, dan brown: good action book. i would recommend it.
-deception point, dan brown: i don´t know why, but i couldn´t put it down. i would also recommend this one.
-the club dumas, arturo perez-reverte: very interesting book. i enjoyed it a lot.
-smashed, the story of a drunken girlhood, koren zailckas: a true story about a girl who drinks too much. very enlightening.
-the god of small things, arhundati roy: incredible. i loved every page. read it now.
-midnight in the garden of good and evil, john berendt: true story of a murder in the south. mostly just stories of the people he met. i enjoyed it.
-the insiders, j. minter: crappy, crappy book. don´t read it. ever.
-pretense, lori wick: everyone i´ve ever talked to about this book has told me i would love it. well, i didn´t. it was ok, but not very well written. it did make me cry, though.
-p.s. i love you, cecelia ahern: irish story about a woman who loses her husband. it could have been 200 pages shorter and still would have been fine. not my favorite. and now they´re making a movie about it with hillary swank. why?
-the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, mark haddon: don´t let the title fool you, it´s not that good.
-driving over lemons, chris stewart: it´s about life here in adalucía, not all that exciting.
-fame, karen kingsbury: crappy christian novel. not so good.
-90 minutes in heaven, don piper: true story of a man who dies and goes to heaven for 90 minutes. very interesting for the first 3 chapters, and then it´s just about his recovery.
-tales of a drama queen, lee nichols: not very good. i laughed a few times, but is was lacking.

i am currently reading into thin air which is the true story of a mount everest climb gone bad. it´s interesting. so, as you can see, i have read some pretty crappy books here in spain, but i have a lot of down time and the library at school is just a bookshelf. my goal is to read 20. i think i will succeed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

thank you for everyone´s birthday wishes. my actual birthday was uneventful but enjoyable nonetheless. i mostly studied for my test that was today and slept off the weekend. and what a weekend it was! jackie came to visit me from madrid! it was delightful. and it´s still blowing my mind that i´m five hours older than i would be if i were in the united states right now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

El día de acción de gracias (yes, that´s actually how they say thanksgiving here)

feliz thanksgiving kids! today has not been a typical thanksgiving for me. normally i would wake up in time to catch the end of the macy´s day parade while i ate some of mom´s homemade cinnamon rolls. then the purina one dog show comes on (my favorite part of the day) and my sister and i argue over which dogs are cute, which deserve to win, etc. then we help mom finish up with the cooking and eat the best lunch ever. seriously, no one can top my mother. then, drunk on turkey, i fall asleep on the couch while dad watches a football game that he doesn´t really care about. then we get up from our naps and eat leftovers. thanksgiving always produces the best leftovers.

well, today i woke up at the crack of dawn to come to school to catch a bus to itálica, an ancient roman city just outside of sevilla. we walked amongst the ruins, which are really nothing more than piles of bricks and rocks, and are so not impressive (other than the fact that they are from the 2nd century). we arrived home to find our señora´s best china on the table and her busily cooking in the kitchen. she made us a huge meal (lasagna and like 5 different kinds of tapas plus three desserts!), and gave us wine. at least i think that´s what it was. it was so strong. it was called "la gitana, manzanilla" which has something to do with gypsies and apples. it was literally like drinking straight liquor. it was awful. and just when i thought i was in the clear she passes us glasses with ice and whips out another bottle of liquor. this time it was "la crema de catalana." it was light orange and smelled like room freshener. and it tasted like my grandmother´s perfume used to smell. really gross. but, i gagged it down and lied when my señora asked if i liked it. then she brings out dessert, which was a really pretty apple tart cake she had made and two plates of various cookies and chocolates. she cuts us each a piece of cake and says, "esperate." (wait.) at which point i had flashbacks to the firewater cake incident. sure enough, she pulls out a bottle of liquor and dumps some on the cake. this time it was sweet, though. an all through lunch she kept saying, "drink, drink. you´re just going to siesta anyway..." it was so bizzare and un-thanksgiving like. at one point after two glasses of wine and a cup of the crema she said something to the effect of not being able to have anymore because she wouldn´t be able to see or walk if she did. she is hilarious.

tonight we have a fancy dinner at a cuban resturaunt (but they´re making us a traditional meal), followed by salsa dancing. this is the weirdest thanksgiving ever.