Wednesday, December 27, 2006

day trip

Because of meeting that Hungarian, I wanted to visit Sopron, a border town about an hour from Vienna, and eat some paprikashchilke (sp??). On the way, we stopped at the Hundertwasserhaus, a house this world famous Austrian artist built. He also designed the city furnace and other buildings in Europe. Inside the house, the floors were sloped crazily like an Alice in Wonderland funhouse. There was also a photo exhibition inside with some naked photos of Pamela Anderson?? (sorry, no pictures from me of that...)

The drive to Sopron took us through Burgerland, land of the castles. It's a mostly flat area with a lot of wineries and windmills. The state also holds the biggest lake in Austria, the Neusiedler See, whose deepest point actually only goes up to your knees.

When we finally reached the border, guess who wasn't allowed in?? Apparently, the one month process entailed for me to acquire a Schengen States visa (allowing me access to all countries from Portugal to Austria and the Scandinavian countries) isn't good enough for Hungary. Their visa process? A couple of hours, according to the guard. Thanks a lot HunANGRY. I just wanted to spend money in your damn country, not illegally move there and have to make 193 forints to the US dollar :P

Making lemonade, we decided to drive to Bratislava instead and try my luck at the Slovakian border. The guard there inspected my green card, we held our breaths, and he passed them back and nodded. Whew. If I couldn't get into Slovakia, I'd be screwed for the Czech Republic, where we'd already made pricy, nonrefundable reservations for New Year's Eve. We walked around Bratislava castle, which was still closed for the holidays (these Catholic countries count the 26th as part of Christmas break).

Afterward, we walked around the main square and historic center and ate at a restaurant called Templars, after that ancient secret organization of Christian soldiers. The menu was misleadingly extensive since they only had chicken available that night, and I'd originally ordered a garlic soup in bread and roast beef (no sale). We ended up splitting a ham and cheese cold plate; chicken with mushrooms, cream and blueberries; a side of french fries; and a crepe dessert of cottage cheese, chocolate, & whipped cream. Add two pints of beer, and the entire thing totalled about $20.

I'm still plagued with jet lag so I crashed as soon as we left around 7pm and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4a.m. Now I'm drinking a pint of Stiegl Goldbräu and eating spaghetti for breakfast. No rules apply when you're vacationing.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas

i had an 8 hour layover in amsterdam which i spent with a really nice and interesting 64-year-old Hungarian from Montana whose stop was even longer than mine so we both explored a bit around town together. he escaped Hungary at 14 because he'd participated in the revolution against the Russians and was afraid he'd be sent to the salt mines when they came back. He walked to the border on foot by himself, didn't tell a single person he was leaving, and only had the suit he was wearing from church. Austrian patrol got him and took him to a refugee camp in Graz and after 1.5 years, Red Cross sent him to St. Louis to start anew in the US. He didn't know any English, had no money, and worked random jobs like delivering messages for Western Union and as a hotel elevator boy. It wasn't until 1991 before he could finally return to Hungary. He was visiting over the holidays - not for Christmas - but because his younger brother had died last week. His brother got drunk at his office party, was driven home by a coworker who was told by the wife that she would take care of it, and instead, was left in the yard passed out. In the morning, he had died from overexposure. As my new acquaintance is the eldest, he had to go and sort things out. The woman was arrested and will probably go to jail, but he wanted to make sure his brother's money really wouldn't go to her and to the daughter from his first marriage instead. he waited with me at my gate so i could nap and he could wake me up to make sure i didn't miss my flight. i left him with my email address because his 2 sons live in austin, and whaddya know, i need a job there. so the horrible delays i suffered through alaska air led me to know two really great people. detours are god's way of saying, look who else there is meet. (i still think alaska air sucks though.)

christmas eve was spent eating meat fondue with my best friend and his family. filipino and austrian palates are really compatible; neither quite comprehends the attraction of vegetables. christmas day, we had dinner at the most amazing restaurant. not for its quality of food so much as the servings and the unproportionally cheap cost per pound of them. i had a skillet full of noodles, ham, and baked cheese that could have served a small family for 6 bucks, and daniel ordered eine shaufel ("a shovel") of mishmash. you could order beer and sausages by the meter. i feel i need to show photos to prove it:

see the box - that's 6.5 feet of meat for 7 bucks! (i was thinking of you george!)

Das Boot has nothing on this baby

that was the best i could do because i was jet-lagged and a teensy hung over

a shovel of food bigger than your face for 6 bucks?? my previous mania for the size of chipotle's burritos has been replaced

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Friday, December 22, 2006

sleepless in seattle

...this sucks... my new friend - who turns out to be a Big Brother! - left for his flight already. i'm staring at a day of cable, internet, and drinks at the hotel bar. my next post may be drunk garblings (is that a word?) but that's par for the course.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

alaska air ruined my christmas

after 3 delays and my friends driving me to the airport 3x, my flight out of juneau got cancelled at 1am. my rescheduled flight at 730am also got delayed in ketchikan so i still missed my seattle to vienna leg. because they were booked on separate tickets, neither airline would help me, each accusing the other of screwing up. after bawling at both the alaska air & northwest airline ticket counters and paying an extra $100, i finally got a flight out on saturday with northwest, arriving in vienna christmas eve night.

i then tried to cancel the hotel reservation i'd naively made and consequently missed for thursday night, but the smart-aleck employee said, "we require 48 hours of notice, NOT negative 12 hours." at that point i'd been awake for 29 hours, had missed 2 meals, and was emotionally stretched thin so i snapped: "Well the airline didn't give me 48 hours notice that it would cancel my flight. i waited all day and they did it at the last minute, so how could i foresee that happening to call you?! i've had a really fucking bad day, and i'm still in seatac trying to figure out what the hell to do with myself. you don't think i would have loved to take that room?? i wish i HAD gotten in last night so i could have slept in your beautiful room okay, but i didn't." fax the paperwork that i missed my flight, he said, and they'll refund me my missed res.

after the worst travel day(s) i've ever had, i'm finally staying at a hotel twice the amount of my daily budget with nothing to do. the only silver lining was i made a new friend who was on the same boat as me and had missed a flight to jakarta. he was about to fly back to juneau and forget the whole thing, but i persuaded him to fight for his trip until he got a reschedule for tomorrow morning (lucky). we were so hungry after the entire ordeal that we ran in the rain to a denny's like madmen, then ordered milkshakes and the entire breakfast menu.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

george's gift to me

(because i've been single so long now?)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

my 2nd post about bloody noses

so the most productive thing i've done today was floss my bottom teeth. i couldn't quite muster the effort to finish the entire mouth. i woke up at 12:30p.m. today with the following thoughts in sequential order:

"holy shit, what time is it??!"

"i missed my 9am meeting. fuck! i gotta call work."

(putting on my glasses and noticing the bed) "why does it look like i massacred a baby last night?!"

turns out my nose had bled really badly not just once but 3x. i vaguely remember taking my shirt off in the middle of the night to stuff it up my nose because i was too tired to walk to the bathroom. in the daylight, it looked like swaddling clothes someone had been murdered in. it wasn't just the rusty stains of blood - that's pretty normal - but there were like nasty blackred chunks of my brain in there too i swear it. calling in sick afforded me the chance to finish my laundry so i can pack tonight instead of the usual frantic clothes tornado i summon at the last minute before an extended trip. but as mizwicki says, "if you wait until the last minute, then it only takes a minute!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

i don't hate everyone

i keep in touch with a number of friends from the 2 high schools i attended. there are varying degrees of "keeping in touch". some i email once a season. some i won't speak to for a year or more then get a massive email about their latest adventure. some i IM with every week. but there is one special person where email and random IMs just don't really cut it. we've never kept it going consistently, then would drop off each other's radar for a long time, then try to communicate again, rinse and repeat. all the while, we keep thinking, 'this sucks. this person is more important to me than slowing growing apart.' so today what we ended up deciding to do was getting a small notebook to write/draw/etc in and mailing that back and forth. it's a throwback to our high school days when we wrote so many notes to each other that we just got a notebook to have less clutter. so i was wondering if anyone out there in the ether knows any other creative and fun ways to keep in touch long distance that's not just over the internet?

p.s. j, i want us to write more again too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

When the rooftops shone dark all alone I saw a spark
spark of love just to stay with you
If I mention your name turn around on a chain
then the sky opens for you
~Late Night - Syd Barrett

my sister is hilarious. i love her. we talked for 3 hours last night, mostly about orgasms and lustful situations. we went from being really close during my pre-adolescence, growing apart through college, and now - being sex chat buddies. kinda gross but cool.

the city street services suck. i don't love them. they towed my car for street cleaning while i was out of town for thanksgiving, and now i have a $135 ticket. fuckers. i'm going to contest it tomorrow morning; wish me luck. i may just be shooting myself in the foot since i've been delinquent on at least 3 other parking tickets.

my new car (did i say thanks george???) should be out of the shop early next week. thank you 8 pound 6 ounce baby jees.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

room for one more

the gmail bandwagon was beckoning, and i finally jumped on it.

i was talking to some friends lately about ambition and how that may tie into attraction.
1. sure, power is sexy but a sense of inheritance is not.
2. initiative and drive are super sexy. there's nothing like watching someone pursue something with passion and zeal, whether it's in a career, sport, musical talent, or what-have-you.
3. #2 applied to contribute to something larger than yourself and/or immediate surroundings is a deal-maker. i will have your babies.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


"Speak just the same. Because your language doesn't follow just one thread, one course, or one pattern, we are in luck. You speak from everywhere at the same time. You touch me whole at the same time. In all senses. Why only one song, one discourse, one text at a time? ..."- Luce Irigaray

"Isn't it crazy how everything is alive?" - a 6-year-old Little Brother walking around with his Big

i am so happy lately for no particular reason, which makes it a giddy sort of happy. maybe it's because i have big plans again, and those are always exciting. maybe it's because the things that had bogged me down some time ago have lifted up and let me breathe. maybe it's because i have 4 trips coming up, and travel makes me deliriously pleased. for whatever reason, i have the spark back under my butt, and things are rolling, so that explains why i have nothing/no time to blog for once. oh and also because i am re-addicted to nerd computer adventure games. in the past two weeks, i've finished Kings Quest I-III, maniac mansion, and beneath a steel sky. (i played MUDs when i was 14 and damn if i'm not proud of being an old school gamer.)

speaking of games, i'd been thinking quite a bit about a comment my old high school friend said about me. it was something along the lines of being intimidated to date me because i would get bored. that i'm the type of girl who always needs to be doing something. at the time, i had begged to differ and had even felt a tad affronted. but later when i was playing beneath a steel sky, i realized how addicted i am - not to games but to constant stimulation - when, during the cut scenes with long dialogue, i would open up another window of spider solitaire so i could still be doing something while it played. and at work, i play minesweeper feverishly at any spare moment, such as waiting for someone to answer the phone when i make a call. that takes like what, 10 seconds. but it's 10 dull seconds too long for me apparently. it's gotten to the point where my eyes glaze over and i just let automatic neurons click and snap until i finish expert in 90 seconds. if i could only apply this sort of obsessive application to grad school and lsat practice tests.