Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I don't know

Sometimes I think I try too hard.

By this I mean to maintain friendships. To me, my friends are just as important as family, because they have gotten me through some, well, interesting times, and I just love their company and personalities. I always try to keep up with email, phone calls, telling people when I will be going out of town or out of country, sending b'day cards on time, etc. Sometimes I think some friends don't even care though. The question I keep asking myself is: should I keep doing this? Should I bother? Is it worth it? I am getting to the point where I am not going to send anything if they don't return the favor too. (This sounds like I am being a bitch, but for example, I have stopped sending b'day cards in the mail to people that don't send me any, and I have resorted to sending e-cards to save the money and the time.... but is the e-card even worth it if they don't remember mine?). This does sound kinda conceited, but....... : /

Don't get me wrong, some friends are not like this. Especially my best friend. She is always there for me, and always cares about what I do, and if I need advice, she responds right away. No matter if there are miles and miles inbetween us-we have managed to stay the best of friends since we were 13. : ) Thank god I have her, because without her, I wouldn't know what to do. Of course there are other friends I would be lost without too.... college roommate, other college friends, high school friends, etc. And of course my brother. We all know that. hahaha

Then there are others..... I KNOW people are busy, I KNOW people have family, kids, school, work, etc. but is there really not enough time to call a friend you have had for YEARS even for a 10 min phone call?? Once every few months even? Or send a 30 second email saying hey I am alive, just busy, and we'll talk soon? Forget the once a year birthday card or Xmas card-how about the times when there are no holidays forcing us to contact the people in our lives?

You would think with this technology we have, it's even easier to do this, but I guess not.

Sorry for being so cynical, but I had to say that. Maybe I am taking this too much to heart, but I don't think so, because I have had this same discussion with many people lately who feel the same way. Comments welcome.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Paris skyline

SO, the goal now is to outshine the Eiffel Tower? Build things to make the star attractions modern-day skyscrapers and not the most famous older buildings in the world?

"U.S. architect Thom Mayne -- a rebel known for his love of risk-taking -- has been chosen to build Paris's tallest-ever skyscraper, rivaled in height only by the Eiffel Tower, the property group behind the project said Monday. "

Taken from .


Monday, November 20, 2006

Another reason why Turkiye is so neat

Saint Nicholas is one of the most popular of all Christian saints. Although precise details are unclear, it seems he was born sometime around 280 AD in Patara in modern-day Turkey, and, after entering the priesthood at the age of 17, subsequently became Bishop of Myra (where his body remained until it was stolen by Italian merchants in 1087). The subject of many legends, Nicholas gained widespread renown for his love children, and his great generosity towards those less well-off than himself.

Taken from .

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bathroom habits

I have noticed that people I work with in my office and in neighboring offices always use the bathroom for people in wheelchairs. Why? Probably because it is bigger and the sink is right there.... for convenience. Lazy? YUP. I hate that bathroom because the toilet is higher and bigger. : / I never go in there.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Visitors are great

So it is going to be a very busy November (it is already!). Phil came into town Saturday with Jess, and we all had dinner. Cass came into town Sunday night with her friend Desra and they will be here until tomorrow morning. We have been having a great time laughing and going around Tally... although yesterday I couldn't remember what street the Governor's Mansion was on and I made Cass turn on a few one way roads in rush hour traffic. : / Sorry Cass! I finally found it-REMEMBER THAT IT IS ON BREVARD AND DUVAL/ADAMS! Ugh I am a dummy.

Dad comes into town this weekend, and then Mikey comes in later November after Thanksgiving. Then it's off to TURKIYE!!!! : ) : )

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I have a date with the tv tomorrow night

RICKY is going to be honored as the person of the year on Univision at 8 PM. Get ready for the Latin Grammys!!!! : )

Saturday, October 28, 2006

No wonder.

..."only about 27 percent of U.S. citizens currently possess a valid passport. "

: /

Taken from .

Thursday, October 26, 2006

You know when.....

.... you have been to Curves so many times and for so long that right when you walk in the workers put in the cd that you like so much. And you have the #s memorized. (Disc 7 and 41 are the Latin/Spanish/salsa ones).

.... you call overseas so much that you have memorized the 1-800 number on your calling card AND your 10-digit pin. THE PIN!!

.... you fly so much that you have memorized your Delta Skymiles number.

.... you are so old that the kids you used to babysit are now pregnant.

.... you have been in school so long (even after you quit) that your 5-shelf bookshelf can't fit any more books.

.... you have worked so long that you have memorized all of the course prefixes and numbers for just about every class at the university.

I'll think of more-these just came to me the other day. : )

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


LONDON, England (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that Islamic head scarves are a sign of separation and Britain's Muslims should be encouraged to integrate with mainstream society in order to improve the quality of their lives.

Blair said Tuesday that the veil "is a mark of separation, and that's why it makes other people from outside the community feel uncomfortable."

"People want to know that the Muslim community in particular but actually all minority communities have got the balance right between integration and multiculturalism," he said.

Blair said evidence shows that "when people do integrate more, they achieve more as well. There is a reason why minority communities that have integrated well then end up doing better, achieving more, attaining more."

Here is the link to the story:

ARE YOU KIDDING????????????????????? I AM FUMING. I might have to rethink my opinions about Blair now............... the community will just have to DEAL with the headscarves! It's today's society! DEAL WITH IT! ACCEPT IT! What are we teaching our children-that no one can be different??? AHHHH!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006


I have posted before about trash.... and I felt like I needed to do it again. On my way to work, I saw the following on the ground: the usual beer bottles and cans, the usual crushed water bottles, dented soda cans, paper cups and wrappers from fast food places like nearby Taco Bell and Wendy's and Moe's, the paper bracelets people get at clubs, Oreo and AirHeads wrappers, a pair of blue rubber gloves, and the best one: a thing of K-Y. : / Better than the used condoms I see sometimes and random undergarments.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Everything my brother said was RIGHT

It was torture watching the Yanks tonight. I don't have anything else more to say. Everyone needs to listen to my brother!!!!!! He predicted the whole thing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What a freaking week!!!

I can't give this past Wed and tonight enough justice, so I will only say that we met AARON NEVILLE and TIEMPO LIBRE!!!! (respectively) : ) WOW. Such nice and humble people too!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I was listening to a radio show this morning, and they were talking about how they hate that we are called "America". I started thinking about when I travel. When I go to Spain, they say ah, you are from the US or "los estados" ("the States"). In Costa Rica, they call it the US too. In Cairo they called it America. I tried to tell people in Cairo I was from the United States, and they almost seemed confused, so I had to keep saying America. In Turkey they called it either the USA or America. It's just kind of strange.... when people say America, they are ignoring Central and South America too. After all, what do they matter, right? : ( I am sure the ticos would have something to say about that. It's just so fascinating to travel-you really learn so much about yourself and where you grew up through other people's eyes.

Just one random thought today too: I was in the bathroom after teaching my class one day, and when I went to wash my hands, the soap dispenser was over the opposite sink. I had to reach over and say sorry to the other lady washing her hands to get my soap. We laughed about how dumb it was that the soap dispenser was over just one sink, and that the paper towel thing was inbetween. They both should be in the middle so everyone has access to them. Ugh. Don't people plan out bathrooms anymore?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some things

So I watched the entire interview with Terry Irwin last night with wet eyes. : ( When she called Steve her prince, I lost it. I was bawling. Crying hard. I really did NOT care for Barbara Walters-she drives me nuts. I thought Terry held up great under the circumstances, and talked about Steve with so much pride. It is so great to see that there are some amazing relationships out there with so much love and committment. They really give people something to look forward to. I know this is looking WAY into the future, but I am wondering how she could possibly marry someone that could measure up to Steve.

It made me think about my prince. : )

On another note, Grady won The Contender!! WOW!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy birthday to me : )

It has been a great few days leading up to my bday, and there is still more to come. Los Compadres was awesome Saturday-my Tallahassee friends came, and the waiters at Los (especially Rafa!) got a cake for me from Publix with candles and my name on the cake (they don't do that for anyone!), and of course I had free drinks. They also all signed a card for me. Later, we went to Cafe Cabernet of course and I got free drinks. : ) Today, my askim was the first to call me and sing to me. : ) Mom called, then Mikey, then Dad. Mom and Mikey sent me 29 hot pink roses with a hot pink ribbon, and Mom also had cake delivered. She does that every year and it makes my bday so nice. Hole and others have also emailed, sent ecards and cards in the mail, commented on myspace, called, IMed, etc. Hole and Erin said that presents are on their way too. Yeah! And I think my class is planning something too.... hahaha But really, everyone is making my bday so great. Thank you.

Happy birthday to me : )

It has been a great few days leading up to my bday, and there is still more to come. Los Compadres was awesome Saturday-my Tallahassee friends came, and the waiters at Los (especially Rafa!) got a cake for me from Publix with candles and my name on the cake (they don't do that for anyone!), and of course I had free drinks. They also all signed a card for me. Later, we went to Cafe Cabernet of course and I got free drinks. : ) Today, my askim was the first to call me and sing to me. : ) Mom called, then Mikey, then Dad. Mom and Mikey sent me 29 hot pink roses with a hot pink ribbon, and Mom also had cake delivered. She does that every year and it makes my bday so nice. Hole and others have also emailed, sent ecards and cards in the mail, commented on myspace, called, IMed, etc. Hole and Erin said that presents are on their way too. Yeah! And I think my class is planning something too.... hahaha But really, everyone is making my bday so great. Thank you.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Taxi cab confessions

I was in a cab yesterday, and started talking to the cab driver like I always do. I like to know where they came from, why they are driving cabs, etc. I asked him to wait for me at the place I was going, and that got into a whole VERY interesting discussion. He was VERY nice about it and said it was no problem. Then he proceeded to tell me about these two people who took cabs everywhere. One man he said took a cab to ORLANDO (yes, ORLANDO.... a 4 hour drive, and sometimes more depending on traffic), with a stop in Gainesville (2 hours from here), and back to Tally. It cost over $1,000. Then he said another man in his 60s here in Tally would have the cab driver wait for him for 3 hours while he grocery shopped. I said, "why didn't he just call you when he was done?" and the driver said "well, I told him he should do that b/c it would cost a lot, but he didn't care about the money since he was rich, and didn't want to wait one second after he was done shopping". He was felt secure in knowing that someone was waiting for him too I guess. Wow huh?

Then I said yeah, you must have a TON of stories. He said yes, I don't work the night shift, but the drivers that do have a ton better stories. I said I bet-with all these drunk college kids and things. I said do you ever watch Taxi Cab Confessions and he said no but I should. hahahaha He said what do you study in school and I said well, I did do anthropology and humanities, and he said well if anyone studies psychology or sociology or anthro too, they would love to sit with me in the cab for a day. !! I don't doubt it.

Meanwhile, 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

And, one more thing. I LOVE ER and THE OFFICE. Thursday nights are so great. ER was emotionally draining last night though, but I loved it. Here is my prediction (and don't read on if you have not seen ER yet-if you taped it or something): I think they are going to make Sam pregnant. What a nightmare that would be. I was crying during that scene.... and the one when Abby yelled at Luca. What high emotions she must have been experiencing. Well him too but he was not on the surgery table.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

5 DAYS!!


Also, as predicted, Steve Forbes made it into the finals of The Contender. I thought he would be fighting Norberto Bravo, but he is fighting Grady Brewer! I love both of these guys (N and G)-really great families and personalities, so I didn't care who won, but I thought N would. This final will be great this Tuesday at the Staples Center. Wish I could fly out to LA for a day and see it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


You know how certain words look weird after a while? Like they are not spelled right? I had to keep looking at the word "beyond" today ten different times to make sure it was ENGLISH. Just my random thought of the day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Just so I have it written down: my pick to win The Contender is Steve Forbes. I think he is unstoppable. No matter who he faces. It's one of my favorite shows of all-time.

Monday, September 11, 2006

American football

I don't know what it is this year, but I just can't get into American football (as opposed to "regular" football, which is known here as soccer). I mean, I will go to some FSU games, and watch important NFL games whenever they are, but even last night when the Manning bowl was on, I didn't really care. This is odd for me, because I usually like football. I still am in love with watching tennis and baseball, but football this year is just... eh. Maybe I am too influenced by Turkish sports. ; )

Monday, September 04, 2006

Three weeks...

... til my favorite day of the year!! : )

Three weeks...

... til my favorite day of the year!! : )

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Freaky thing

Yesterday I was walking back to my office after teaching, and I saw a freak accident. Where my building is, there is a hill. This kid on a bike comes WHIZZING past me and a few other people down this hill and runs SMACK into this girl walking to class. He hit her so hard that she fell to the pavement and laid there for a sec and I thought we would have to call an ambulance. After about 30 seconds though, she sat up holding her head while the kid on the bike was apologizing profusely and some people had stopped and helped her gather her books and purse. I kept walking b/c I was on the phone, but I kept looking back and by then, she had stood up and was talking to the kid on the bike. Hope she got his name in case there are injuries. : / Slow down bikers!!

Monday, August 28, 2006


What kind of ASSININE idea is it to split up the teams according to ethnic group?!?!?! Society needs to unite and find commonalities, not split apart and make stereotypes even THAT more apparent!! Ugh. Worst idea in the history of tv.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Been a while.....

Sorry for the lack in posts-the Nile cruise ship didn't have internet access, and since then I have been catching up. : P

So I keep thinking about the Egypt trip and I still can't believe I was there and I saw all these amazing things. The Saqaara step-pyramid (2750 BC), of course the real pyramids in Giza, the mosques in Cairo, the Aswan dams, the Roman catacombs in Alexandria.... I could go on and on. Egypt is the most incredible country, and the antiquities police surely are no joke. They guard those tombs and monuments with their life.

I was also so surprised at Cairo. The city was so much bigger than I thought. Our tour guide said that 17 million people live there-in an area that should really fit 4 million. During the work days, that number swells to 20 million with everyone that commutes from local villages. Traffic jams at 3 AM. Man. No wonder the Egyptian government doesn't make people finish their houses before they move in-the over population is so bad there that people need housing asap. Don't worry, I have pics of all of this.

Just had to share some of my thoughts on the trip. Everyone that reads this blog will get the pics anyways, so you will see the daily events of our trip soon. : )

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quick post from Cairo...

Again, I only have a short time, so this will be quick. The sound and light show was amazing last night and I got some great shots of the pyramids and Sphinx at night. Today we went to two mosques, ate lunch on the road, and went to the Egyptian museum. We saw King Tut's tomb, golden mask, and other incredible things from as early as 2500 BC. Tomorrow we have to get up at 330 AM to catch a flight to Luxor and start the Nile cruise! Til then............. sorry so short. Oh, and I can't believe how HUGE Cairo is-17 million people fit into a city that could hold maybe 4 or 5 million (based on land area). It is incredible.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Continuation of the Middle Eastern summer.....

..... or North African-whatever you prefer. : ) I am sitting at the business center at the hotel Mom and I are staying at. The hotel is about 300 feet or so from the pyramids. NO LIE. Today we went to the pyramids, went into one of them (the second largest), took a camel ride which scared me half to death (although Mom was loving it and even made the camel guy RUN with the camel and I almost flipped out), went to Saqqara pyramid (the oldest one in Egypt and the oldest one in the world made of stone-2750 BC), went to the city of Memphis (the old Egyptian capital) and saw a statue of Ramses II, ate lunch by the Sphinx, and went to a kids' carpet school. Their hands were moving SO fast-it was unbelievable. The tour we are with is sooooo organzied and it's great. The tour guide buys all the tickets for us, gives us advice on the pesky people trying to get us to buy souvenirs and following us around, and gives us discounts on things to buy. : )

What else... I am trying to write fast b/c I bought an internet card and I only have a limited time. I fell last night (what's new) in the road at the hotel and hurt my knee. Nothing bad, but it hurts today (not bad enough so I couldn't go climbing down into the pyramid though). haha We also met the cutest little boy on the flight from Frankfurt to Cairo... he said his name is Eliah but people call him Buster. LOL BUSTER. How funny is that! Tonight is the laser light show in front of the Sphnix and pyramids. I can't wait. : ) Tomorrow is another mosque day where we will see the mosque I studied about in my art history classes: the Sultan Hassan.

Okay well guess I will go. Oh, and if you ever fly, take Lufthansa. They are awesome. Just like Turkish Air. All these foreign airlines give you tons of food.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alaskans in Iraq....

.... present an interesting story. A couple of months ago I read an article about how the adjustment for soldiers from Alaska sent to Iraq is so great (more than the other 49 states) and how their villages suffer without them during fishing and hunting season. I couldn't find the original article I was looking for, but I did google "eskimo" and "Iraq" and found one from the LA Times from June 5, 2006. Here are some exerpts.

The Iraq deployment in western Alaska comes at an especially poignant time: Late spring is known as "breakup" in the Alaskan bush, when the ever-lengthening days finally melt the snow and ice that have blanketed the tundra for more than half the year and kept it eerily quiet.But as the Yupik men at the mouth of the Kuskokwim River ready themselves for the hunting, fishing and seal-catching that still provide a significant component of people's diets here, they find themselves preparing for a breakup of an almost unfathomably different sort.

In this village of 386 people, six men have been notified to report for duty next month. Though all the men knew they could be called when they signed up years ago for Guard duty — an important source of cash here — several said they were struggling to adjust to the reality."When I signed up, I never thought I would go to war; I mean, you never really think of Alaska being at war with anybody," said Harold Azean, 23, a Guard specialist.Ben Lupie, 30, a Kongiganak carpenter who is also going to Iraq, said he was optimistic that all the men would come back alive. "Us being a hunting people, I think it gives us an advantage," he said, going into an impressive series of mimes: the light prancing of a caribou, the ripple of a fish just below the surface of a river, even the flapping wings of the ducks, cranes and geese that are just arriving on spring migration."We notice the tiniest motions," Lupie said. "So I think we'll be aware if something suspicious is up, and we'll know how to react."

The call-up in the marshy delta country to the west reaches villages so remote that there are only two ways to get here most of the year — by airplane or snowmobile — and a third from May to September, or perhaps October in a warm year with a late freeze-up: the river.

So in places with Eskimo names such as Kongiganak, Kwigillingok and Manokotak, elder leaders and wives find themselves planning how to carry on without strong young men who serve as vital providers of food.

Very interesting dilemma. You can find the article here.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Reminders to yourself

Does anyone ever call themselves and leave messages at home reminding themselves to do something that night or get something ready for the next morning? (ie. "buy stamps", "(insert name)'s birthday is today", "call (insert name)", tape "(insert tv show name)")? I do all the time, and I wondered if anyone else does. It's not that I am ashamed, because it's pretty funny, and it works. I was just wondering who else does it. : P

Friday, July 28, 2006

This is why the rest of the world is more cultured than the US

So on CNN, there was a story about how people were freaking out over the cover of "Babytalk" magazine. There is a close-up picture of a baby breastfeeding. Yup that's IT. Here is the link to the article-it's an interesting read. Here are some exerpts:

"These readers weren't complaining about a sexually explicit cover, but rather one of a baby nursing, on a wholesome parenting magazine -- yet another sign that Americans are squeamish over the sight of a nursing breast, even as breast-feeding itself gains more support from the government and medical community."

"Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. 'There's a huge Puritanical streak in Americans,' she said, 'and there's a squeamishness about seeing a body part -- even part of a body part.' "

My anthropology professor used to breastfeed her baby right in front of me and pump her breast too. I thought it was great that she could be so open about it. When people travel to places like Espana, Turkey, wherever, you will see magazines with naked people sold right on the street and not covered up with paper like they do here. And you will see tv shows and nude art. Big deal. People are open and proud of their bodies. GET A GRIP PEOPLE! Comments welcome as always.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Personal hygiene

I am going to divert from talking about Turkiye for a sec and talk about gross people. I was in the bathroom today at work and this lady came in the stall next to mine. She sat down RIGHT ON THE TOILET SEAT (how did I know? because I saw her feet not on the ground) and didn't even put toilet paper on it (hello, there are germs and diseases!). THEN she peed, wiped, and DID NOT WASH HER HANDS. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to puke! I wash my hands sometimes two times PLUS put antibac on. It's for reasons like this that I do that. SICK! DISGUSTING! NASTY!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Conflict in Lebanon

I read something somewhere that some evacuees were being transported back to the US through Turkiye-the town of Mersin. I was just there in Mersin. : / It's just kinda surreal.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New singer!

Everyone knows I am always looking for new music whenever I travel. My new favorite music is from Tarkan... I call him the Turkish Ricky Martin. : ) He sings in English and his music is great. It has Turkish sounds blended with pop stuff... slow, fast songs, etc. He's awesome! Check him out. Photo courtesy of this site. This is the pic on the cover of his album "Come Closer". His song "Bounce" is great too, as well as the song with the same title as the album.

Friday, July 14, 2006


TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sad and tired

I am back. : ( I think the sad face explains it all.

I don't think I have slept in 48 hours either. Tuesday was my last day in Turkiye and everyone there made it incredibly special! Serkan's whole family gave me presents. Funda (sis) gave me a handknit scarf that she made and a jewelry box she painted and designed, Hasan (bro) gave me the famous Turkiye eye that wards off evil, his aunt who I only met once for 10 min gave me a handknit shirt, his uncle gave me some shoe figurines, his cousin Ibrahim gave me a wire candle holder, etc. It was amazing!! These people are so giving and so nice... I didnt want to leave. Monday night Serkan's mom made me a special dinner too of breaded meat balls and salad and they were AWESOME.

Tues night Serkan, Ibrahim, best friend Tolga, and friend Fazli took me out to this traditional Istanbul-type restaurant. I can't wait for people to see the pics.... and then to a bar and we danced Turkish style. : ) I only got about 2 hours of sleep (if that) bc I had to be at the airport at 530.

Ah, the trip home.... was awful. Turkish Air was fine getting to JFK from Adana and Istanbul (10.5 hour flight), but there were bad storms in JFK and we sat on the runway for 3.5 hours on the flight to ATL. I obviously missed my connection to Tally and had to spend the night last night in the ATL airport. That was fun. I didnt sleep a wink. I am exhausted and finally got home today (had to call in sick bc obviously I wasn't going to make work). Can't wait to sleep. The flight from JFK-ATL finally left at 1110 pm or something (supposed to leave at 730) and bc we sat on the runway so long, the fuel went down and they had to stop to refuel in Virginia. I had to pee there but someone took forever in the bano on the plane. A guy knocked and the lady answered back in a southern accent "I have diarrhea- I'm sorry". Great. So I held my pee until the seat belt sign was off, and we arrived in ATL at 140 am or something. To waste time all night, I basically talked on the phone til 3 am (thanks Mom), talked to Serkan probably 10 times after that, and watched Larry King's interview with Dan Rather. I didnt want to doze off b/c I was paranoid about someone taking my purse and carryon. The flight to Tally was great too-some dog was barking the whole time. UGH! I couldnt win. So the whole trip was about 36 hours total (Turkish time to Turkish time).

BUT totally worth it. : ) Pics coming asap.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wow what a weekend

So we left Saturday to go to the seasıde and ıt was beyond amazıng. We went wıth Serkan,s cousın Ibrahım. In the mornıng though, Serkans mom made us such a nıce breakfast of eggs, sausages, bread wıth Nutella, and cucumbers and tomatoes (the staple here!). Hıs aunt came over as well as hıs nıece agaın, and we all played untıl we left for the beach. : ) And hıs dad showed me hıs grapes and plants.

The drıve was about an hour long and we ended up stayıng the nıght wıth Ibrahımis aunt and uncle (remember that Ib. ıs Serkans cousın from hıs dad,s sıde, and these people were from Ib.,s mom,s sıde). Theır apt. has an awesome vıew of the Medıterranean and the mountaıns all ın one. Plus the fantastıc pool. So we went swımmıng that nıght ın the pool and ın the Med. and then drank, and then came back and ate and went to sleep pretty much. Yesterday they (and Ib.,s cousın) took me to some castles about a half hour away. Whıle Ib. and the cousın drank beer, Serkan walked up wıth me to thıs castle used by the Byzantınes. THE BYZANTINES!!!! Well, let me correct that. The castle stands on ancıent ruıns and some stones are from the Byzantıne perıod, but really ıt ıs a medıeval castle. Stıll ıncredıble. It was buılt at the most brıllıant strategıc locatıon wıth a bırd,s eye vıew of the mountaıns and the sea. When I get home, I wıll do more research so I can label my pıctures accurately.

Only 2 more days and I really thınk I am goıng to cry. I started tearıng up yesterday at the thought of havıng to leave Serkan. Another trıp to Türkıye wıll be comıng soon....................... anyone wıllıng to come to the weddıng? ; ) Tonıght Serkan saıd that hıs mom was makıng a goodbye dınner and tomorrow hıs frıend Fazlı saıd he was goıng to make somethıng too. These people are amazıng!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dream come true

On Thurs, Serkan took me to the mosque here ın Adana. I cannot even descrıbe thıs feelıng to everyone. Hıs mom gave me a scarf and long sleeves to wear ınsıde (dont worry, I have pıcs of me as a Muslım for a day-ıt felt so neat!). It was the most amazıng buıldıng I thınk I have ever been ın. Men were prayıng ınsıde, women were too (ın separate places), tourısts were takıng pıcs, and Serkan showed me the readıngs of the Koran translated ınto Turkısh. The mınarets were so hıgh, and the tıles ınsıde.......... all handmade and absolutely gorgeous. That was the hıghlıght of the trıp so far. : ) Serkan asked these two women to help me put on the scarf because he dıdnt know how to do ıt. hahaha

We also went to the area where the Amerıcan aır base ıs. That was ınterestıng. Yesterday we drove 4 hours to Neveşır (dang, I cant remember the spellıng) and to see Kapadokya (Cappadoccıa). I,ll tell everyone about that later ın the pıcs, but ıts one of the places I learned about ın art hıstory classes. Ancıent cıvılızatıon of people lıvıng ın caves and structures set back agaınst the Taurus mountaın range...... man, thıs place ıs just unbelıevable!!!! Centurıes and centurıes of conquerors and groups of people (and Alexander the Great!)!

Serkan,s nıece just got here and ıs screamıng. haha She ıs peekıng ın the doorway. Englısh really ısnt a barrıer-kıds are all the same. haha I am usıng the onlıne Englısh-Turkısh dıctıonary rıght now to talk to hıs sıster Funda. : )

Well today we are goıng to the seasıde (Medıterranean Sea). I guess we are leavıng ın a bıt so I better take a shower. GO ITALIA tomorrow!! : )

Thursday, July 06, 2006


That means hı ın Turkısh. : ) I am learnıng so many new words and I love ıt!! Evet ıs yes, hayır ıs no, dış hekımı ıs dentıst (a lot of Serkan,s frıends are dentısts), çıkış ıs exıt, bıra ıs beer. How great!!

Well on Monday, we went around the bıg lake ın Adana and he took me to see hıs unıversıty. It ıs always so cool to see other unıversıtıes and how they are set up. Then we went to hıs frıend Atıla,s offıce (dentıst) and I had Turkısh coffee. YES I ACTUALLY DRANK COFFEE for once. Maybe that ıs why my stomach ıs actıng up (Doubletree Marsha). haha They do thıs thıng wıth the coffee here-when you are done drınkıng ıt, the brown stuff stays on the bottom, and you have to spın ıt around and tıp the cup upsıde down for a mınute or so. Then you put ıt back the rıght sıde up and see ın what pattern the graın has fallen and that ıs your fortune. Mıne was good.... and ıt saıd that Hole and the baby were goıng to be fıne! Then we drank beer by the lake and the vıew was absolutely amazıng of a yacht place\marına. Then we stopped by Serkan,s store agaın to say hı to hıs bro Hasan and then Atıla and hıs wıfe had us over for dınner and World Cup. They made thıs INSANE kebob and pork chops and chıcken and tomato salad. I also learned that thıs alcoholıc drınk called rakı ıs nasty. hahaha At least Italıa won that nıght!!

Yesterday we got up wıcked late (lıke noon) and agaın Funda made us breakfast. She ıs such a great person even ıf we can,t understand each other! She sets out my towels ın the mornıngs... I feel lıke I am ın a hotel. : ) Then Serkan showed me all hıs pıcs from when he was a baby and the cırcumcısıon ceremony (yıkes) they have... he explaıned to me all about the people who sponsor you and presents you get and all that. Hıs nıece Ece came over too (she ıs 3) and she mıght possıbly be the cutest kıd not related to me. haha She was smılıng all the tıme and laughıng and she gave me kısses. Serkan then took me downtown to show me Ataturk Park and downtown Adana. BEAUTIFUL. Then I watched the World Cup wıth 7 Turkısh guys. LOL And Tolga Marsha! (Hıs gırlfrıend ıs so pretty too!)

OOH I guess breakfast ıs ready so I should go. I wıll leave ıt at that.................... more to come. : )

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

WOW, I am in Türkiye

Hı everyone.... I am here, and ıts absolutely ındescrıbable. I flew ınto Istanbul (passed over England, Germany, rıght over Vıenna and near Budapest, over Bulgarıa, the Black Sea, and then ınto Türkıye). : ) I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM HERE STILL.... ıt,s lıke a dream. And I am stıll tryıng to get used to these Turkısh computers. haha Look at these dıfferent symbols-ş e € ö ç ü ğ

Anyways, I made ıt sound so easy to get here, but ın realıty ıt was basıcally a freakıng nıghtmare. We were delayed 6 hours ın JFK (supposed to leave at 6 PM Sunday and really left at 1230 AM). Part of that was sıttıng on the runway for oh I dont know.... an hour and a half ın the hottest plane on Earth wıth people yellıng at the flıght attendants ın Turkısh. I also met thıs guy Tolga who ıs Turkısh but lıves ın Boston wıth hıs wıfe and kıds and so we hung out almost that whole 6 hours whıch was really nıce. Well we fınally took off, and of course I mıssed my connectıon goıng from Istanbul to Adana. I had met thıs guy Vıctor (people call hım Tor) who ıs ın the Aır Force, and he was goıng to Adana too sınce there ıs an Amerıcan base there. So we were runnıng to our gate only to fınd out that we couldnt board and had to take a later flıght. We drank a beer and we were on our way. After ten thousand gate changes, goıng through securıty twıce, havıng Turkish Aır mess up my tıcket, etc. ıt was a relıef to see Serkan waıtıng for me ın Adana... ıt made everythıng worth ıt!!! Poor thıng went to the aırport 3 tımes not knowıng when I was comıng ın... he had called Turkısh Aır and they saıd I mıght not be on the flıght I was on because ıt was full, so he had to keep checkıng. : (

It ıs truly amazıng beıng here... so far I have met hıs mom who ıs the cutest thıng ever, hıs sıster Funda, cousıns, frıends. I was woken up thıs mornıng at sunrıse (517 AM) by the sound of the mosque and the man on top of the mınaret makıng the chants (I guess you would call them). That was unreal.... as everyone knows, Muslıms pray 5 tımes daıly. At sunrıse there are just chants and no prayer, but then there ıs a dawn prayer, noon prayer, afternoon prayer, sunset prayer, and nıght prayer. So I wıll be hearıng these every day 5 tımes a day. AMAZING........ I cannot descrıbe thıs. Last nıght Serkan drove me past the mosque ın Adana all lıt up at nıght and I couldnt take my eyes off ıt. My dream come true.

Serkan ıs just as gorgeous and wonderful as he ıs on the net and on the phone. And shy too. hahaha (he just told me to wrıte that) When he pıcked me up at the aırport and we met for the fırst tıme, ıt felt lıke a movıe. It's meant to be I thınk. : ) Hıs house ıs sooo cute, and hıs sıster just made us breakfast of bread, tomatoes, cucmbers, berrıes, orange juıce, and thıs sweet bread made from the oıl of sesame seeds.

Okay well we are off. Happy 4th of July! Untıl next tıme. : ) I wıll be havıng the tıme of my lıfe here.......................

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The WB

So I was watching one of my all-time favorite shows, "Cheaters" (Saturdays at 9 on the WB) this past weekend, and I realized that all the commercials were aimed at people they thought were... I don't know how to put this.... lower class/uneducated?? By that I mean that the commercials were advertising help with credit card debt, erection problems, local chat lines, etc. as if to say that the only people who watch the WB are losers or something. That is really bad because that is not true! I love "Cheaters". I really don't know how to explain this....... maybe someone can help. I am really out of it today-maybe I will add more to this when I can think clearly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The plight of Guatemala

This is an email I received the other day from Casa Alianza's distribution list. Casa Alianza is an organization located in Central America and is a branch of Covenant House New York. It works to protect the rights of children.


For the second time security forces assault an Educator from Casa Alianza

On Wednesday the 14th of June a group of street educators were conducting their daily activities with the street children. When they arrived they were surprised to find that a group of soldiers, who make up the “City Security Squadron”, had a group of street children standing up against the wall. They were searching them and, at the same time, giving them blows to the chest. The military were traveling on the motorcycles of the National Civil Police, as part of the combined operatives of the two governmental institutions.

An educator from Casa Alianza went to their defense and in response the soldiers assaulted him too. They put him against the wall, searched him and took his name down in a notebook. The educator explained to them that he worked for Casa Alianza and showed him the respective identification. The soldiers responded with crude language, giving them to understand that this did not matter to them. One of the soldiers said to them, “stop interfering in things, we could find ourselves meeting when we are not in uniform”, which was taken to be a clear threat.

Casa Alianza, along with various other organizations that work for human rights, are becoming greatly concerned recently, due to the fact that they hear daily of harassment of street children and street youth by the military forces. Such preoccupations were made greater when it was officially announced that the army and the police will strengthen their work together, and that the soldiers, as much as the police, will be equipped with support materials such as electric immobilizers and pepper spray. With the situation as it has been in the last month, this greatly concerns Casa Alianza, due to the possibility that it could increase abuses committed against children and adolescents.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor of Violent Crimes reported that up to May 86 bodies had been found with evidence of torture, of which, 60% of the victims were registered as having criminal records, and that the statistics indicate an increase in violent deaths.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Sunday, June 18, 2006

In no particular order...

These are just things that I have thought about lately.

1. I did laundry today and it's great that the machines are so nasty that my clothes (specifically a pretty red dress I have) come out with more stains on them than when they went in the washer.

2. I saw "The DaVinci Code" on Thursday and loved it! I guess I am in the minority though b/c most people said they didn't like it (the ones that read the book BEFORE the movie at least). At work the other day, some people said I would like the movie so much b/c I didn't read the book first. By that I assume the book is better, and that the movie ruined it. (?) Either way, the movie was amazing. On my grading scale of A to F, I give it an A-. (As opposed to my favorite all time movies like "The Gladiator" that get an A+).

3. I also saw "The Breakup" today (Aniston and Vaughn). It made me laugh all through the movie, but the ending left little to enjoy I think. I give it a B-/C+.

4. I came to realize that in one year (November to November), my international travels will have taken me to Western Europe (Espana last Thanksgiving), Central America (Costa Rica a month ago), Eastern Europe/Middle East (Turkiye in 2 weeks), and Northern Africa/Middle East (Egypt in a month and a half). Damn. I am so lucky!! I can't sit still! : ) : ) I cannot imagine how many pics I will take on the two upcoming trips. Don't be surprised if there are 1,000 total.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Recent happenings

Wow, thanks for your comments on the high school major thing! That seemed to spark some debate. : )

So I decided to check out that new show on CBS on Tuesdays called the Tuesday Night Book Club. I could only watch it for 20 min though b/c it was just so made up.... despite the fact that it was supposed to be reality. Seven women from Arizona who meet every Tuesday for a book club end up talking about their marriages, sex lives, jobs, and kids and don't even read the books. There is a divorced mother of 3, a newlywed, a woman who has been married since 19 and wants to leave her hubby, a woman who had a husband with an addiction, a party girl (single), a trophy wife, and another I can't remember. Basically they all talk about how bad their lives are and cry about it. The newlywed and her hubby moved into a new house and she claims he won't help her with anything, while he says she nags. Usual stuff. It was good at first, but I still felt the whole thing was staged. Then I turned the channel. I may tune in again next week to give it another try, but I can't guarantee anything.

Other than that, the World Cup is going on.... Spain kicked a*s and poor Costa Rica keeps losing. I love the Cup though!!

Going to see DaVinci Code tonight-perhaps I'll put up a commentary about it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Picking majors.... in high school?!

Sorry I haven't posted-I intended to yesterday and the day before, but when I tried to get onto Blogger, it didn't work. Anyways, here is a new law in the state of FL and I really don't know what to say about it...... other than it will affect my job a lot.

Jun 5, 5:05 PM EDT
Bush signs education bill requiring high school majors
By KELLI KENNEDY Associated Press Writer
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida high school students will be the first in the nation required to declare majors and minors like college students, as part of a sweeping education overhaul bill that Gov. Jeb Bush signed Monday.
The provision, to begin during the next school year, is designed to bolster poor graduation rates by allowing students to study subjects that excite them.
A major could include traditional academic subjects like English and math or a vocational field such as carpentry or auto repair. Students still have to pass a core curriculum.
"Not all students are the same," the governor told a group of students from McFatter Technical High School in suburban Fort Lauderdale, where he signed the bill. "Some struggle with certain subjects while others excel. Our education system should not be a one size fits all system for every student, but it should adapt to meet the needs of each student."
Students are making great strides academically in elementary school, Bush said. But by the time they reach middle school, their interest starts to wane. By the time students are in high school test scores start to plummet.
"We see major declines in reading and math in 10th grade and that is not acceptable," he said.
The governor said all the provisions in his "APlus-Plus" plan will increase rigor and relevance at the middle and high school levels.
Yorlenis Rodriguez, 16, who has decided to spend her senior year studying nursing at McFatter, praised the program.
"It's better because you get an opportunity to work outside (high school) and make money, and I get a start on my college career," Rodriguez said.
Critics contend the education bill does little to address the real problem - a system that relies too heavily on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
"Florida has the worst high school graduation rate in the nation and it's only gotten worse under the A- plus plan," said Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, who voted against the bill. "Rather than repair a flawed policy, we simply continue down the same wrong kind of path. I thought there was very little in the bill that would meaningfully change anything."
Rep. Shelley Vana, D-Lantana, applauded the vocation component of the bill, but said the plan overall is still fundamentally flawed.
"The A-plus-plus is attempting to remedy the fact that long term the A-plus plan doesn't really work," Vana said.
The bill (HB 7087) requires high school students to take a fourth year of math, as well as career planning instruction for middle school students.
Additionally, middle and high school students who perform poorly on the FCAT, must enroll in an intensive reading course. Teachers who fill vacancies at low performing schools or in subjects where there are shortages will receive higher compensation.
The bill also prohibits local school districts from starting the school year earlier than two weeks before Labor Day.
The starting date limit is a response to complaints from parents and the tourism industry about starting dates steadily creeping into early and mid-August, instead of later in the month - a move prompted by a growing emphasis on standardized education.
© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Here is the link to the article. I just don't get why we have to push students to pick a major in high school-they can't even pick one in college b/c they are so many opportunities.... I don't know if many 15 yr-olds know what they want to do until they are 60 yrs old. : ( Opinions????

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I know, I know

I will post more Costa Rica pics when I get them developed.... what I do on every trip I take is take emergency cameras (disposables) in case my digital doesn't work (like if I forget to charge it, which happens RARELY). I want to save the disposable pics on a CD but CVS was out of CDs when I asked, so I have to wait to share the pics. They are good ones too... in due time, in due time. : )

Meanwhile.... the French Open continues, and Nadal gave me a little scare today vs. Frenchman Mathieu. Nadal dropped the first set, but won 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Phew. And on his 20th b'day too. Now his clay court streak is 56 consecutive matches won. The longest in the open era. My dilemma is predicting who will win the French. Everyone is saying Nadal vs. Federer... do I want to go with that? I think so. I actually don't know what to predict here for the winner. I think I will say Federer b/c he wants it so badly. But I don't know-Nadal fought back today. If I HAD to put money on it, I'd say Federer. He just has to contend with one of the most feared forehands in the game and the speed of Nadal. It'll be quite the match to watch.

And Costa Rica opens up vs. Germany in the World Cup. Vamos ticos!! (And Espana too of course!) I cannot wait for this!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Fotos de Costa Rica

I already posted the pic of the mariposa y flor, and here are some more. I will send out the whole album once I have them all uploaded. : ) The first is my all-time favorite view of any town we have been to... this town is Juan Vinas. The second pic is a demonstration/chat we had at a banana plantation. The third is the 2nd of 3 poisonous snakes we saw on the trip (we didn't see ANY last year!). This snake was later chopped up by our hiking guide Marcos b/c the group was scared of it. Someone almost stepped on this one. The last pic is of some Univ. of Costa Rica students skipping classes to watch Barcelona vs. Arsenal European League Championship. hahaha

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Soy una "tia"!

I am an aunt. : ) Well, not through my brother, but my best friend in the world had her baby tonight!! Right on the due date too!! That is so crazy. I am entirely excited about this and extremely ecstatic. She has always wanted a baby and I remember when we used to talk in high school about how she wanted rosy cheeks and to wear overalls when she was pregnant someday. haha And now that dream has come true. Her mom called me at 1105 PM tonight and her first words were "I am a grandma!" and I went nuts. Jen had called me earlier today at around 1030 AM and said she was having contractions 10 min apart, so I knew it had to be close. When her mom called me tonight, I heard the baby crying in the background. How amazing.

One of my best guy friends Phil also called me tonight and officially asked me to be in his wedding next May 2007 (he had mentioned it before, but tonight was the official invitation, as I have been away in Costa Rica). I am very honored he asked me and so happy I can stand up there when he marries the great woman that his fiance is. : ) (Right Jess!)

My friends are having such incredible lives and I am so lucky to be a part of everything. I would never want it any other way.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Una mariposa y una flor

Just one of the many beautiful pics I took in Costa Rica.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Estoy en San Jose

Our flight leaves in 12.5 hours. : ( : ( I do not want to go back to work at all! I think the depression is setting in. haha

The farewell dinner Monday went very well. The students did a great job with the decor (balloons, poster, ribbon, table glitter), centerpieces (yellow flowers with flags they made of the US and CR), and entertainment (a nice slide show of funny pics from the trip). The families really enjoyed that and we all had some good laughs (especially me and the jardinero... ). Story to come later. We all went out after it and drank of course.

Tuesday morning was spent hearing a chat from a woman about ecological tourism, and then we had the whole day free. I went shopping (every year I buy a new pair of sandalias from Brasil and this year it was a pink pair of heels) and then went back to my host family´s house (I didn´t stay in the hotel this year for the whole time which was really nice and homey) and had dinner and watched an awful French movie and actually went to bed at like 11 if you can believe that. I was wiped out. Oh yeah, and I rode my host dad´s moto and wiped out on it. I am fine though. More to come on that. I am so clutzy.

Today was saying goodbye to the host families, and everyone was in tears. We went to San Jose and when we arrived, the hostel we had booked was CLOSED. Yes, closed. Apparently there have been some administrative changes and they were going to be closed until Friday. Great, so I had 11 students plus myself without a place to stay for the night. Luckily, the owner of the closed hostel owns another one that is even cheaper and closer to downtown and the Mercado Central. So we went there and there was room for 12 people. Phew. I was stressed out. This place actually is awesome-it has around the clock internet, a bar and pool, a free 10 minute phone call to the US per person for every night you stay there... and all this for 10 dollars per person. Well, 11 if you want a private room with no strangers. It´s called Hostel Pangea if anyone is going to Costa Rica soon and wants a good place to stay. It also has transport to and from the airport for cheap. : ) I was panicking at first, but then we all got settled and we´re okay. Being in charge is stressful.

The Mercado Central was great and I bought some things and bargained with a store owner. Some things I wanted cost 5,900 colones in total (about 12 dollars) but I told the guy I only had 4,000 and he took it (about 8 dollars). NICE. I have a tico friend who came to Tallahassee in 2001 on the exchange program coming to the hostel at 9 so maybe we´ll go eat. We have talked ever since and he´s a great guy!

Until I get back into the country................ hasta luego!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ay que sueno.... pero que divertido...........

Well I am back from a weekend in Guapiles, and a free day off yesterday. Basically the free day was spent eating and drinking with my friend Alberto and his mom, girlfriend, best friend, and his kids and neighbors. And watching his son Danny break-dance to a group called Calle 13. : )

The weekend in Guapiles was fun. It's about 2 hours from Turrialba, and there is another branch campus there of the U of Costa Rica. We did so many things... like community service activities (building a stove with bricks, planting yuca, sawing wood), and we went to a butterfly garden/farm and learned about how they export the larvae all over the world. We stayed with host families too (me included) and it was really an amazing time.

Friday we went for lunch at a river where I fell in the river because I thought I saw a snake. It wasn't like the near-death rafting experience 2 years ago where it was class III and IV rapids though. This time I was only crossing a river which was not deep and no current really and I just got nervous from seeing the snake and tried to run but I fell in. Everyone laughed-it WAS pretty funny. One of the ticos got it on video too so that will be a laugh for years to come. My clothes smell like a*s now though.... we heard that the rio was contaminated, but who knows. Stupid me carried my camera case too and so my memory cards got wet.... let's PRAY that all 200 something of the pics I took on one disk are not lost. I almost cried when I realized I had gotten it wet.

We went to a beach on the Caribbean called Miramar on Saturday and it was absolutely gorgeous weather there. All the students pretty much got burned, and I did too, but it was amazing. We all went out Saturday night and that was fun too of course.

Tonight is the farewell dinner and I split the group up into committees for decor, centerpieces, and entertainment, so they are all out shopping right now and downloading pics for a slide show we are going to show the families. Should be fun having everyone in the same room together-FSU people, UCR families and administrators.

I have also gotten used to going to the bathroom without toilet paper and soap. Basically I just pee and that's it. Gross huh Marsha??

I come back Thurs and I am not looking forward to it AT ALL. I get so depressed when I am back home. Until next time......

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Que suerte

Last night while I was waiting for Yami to pass by my hotel to go to Edgar's house for dinner, a bird pooped in my hair. I couldn't believe it. I felt this drop, and then put my hand up to my head and then looked at my hand and this white stuff was on it. So I hurried into the hotel bathroom and got the crap out of my hair and washed my hands probably 10 times and used antibac. Que suerte. Maybe. The waiter laughed too and made sure I didn't have anything left in my hair.

Dinner was fun and yummy... Edgar's mom Cecilia and he cooked rice, chicken, fried tortilla strips, and made a salad. We had wine too and then for dessert we had fruit cocktail with vanilla ice cream. : ) Their neighbors Lorena and her daughter Catalina came over too and we laughed and laughed and took pics. Edgar gave me a present: a DVD of the sounds and images of Costa Rica. Can't wait to try it out! I gave them presents too and they loved them. I gave Catalina and her brother David some FSU notebooks and folders, and for the moms and Yami I got Bath and Body Works lotion, kitchen towels, pic. frames, candles, etc. For Edgar (since he has loved FSU since he came on the exchange in 2002) I got a tshirt and an FSU binder. He teaches English now at one of the high schools here.

I also keep having dreams in Spanish too. I guess that goes with the territory.

Today we had a lecture from an economics professor Federico Rivera that was pretty interesting. He talked about CR's debt, how they can never compete with other countries in production of coffee (b/c now Brasil produces a ton of it) and other products from the US b/c the US subsidizes farmers. He also talked about how when someone is unemployed here they cannot claim unemployment and get help like in the States. Interesting. The students asked some good questions too about the impuestos (taxes) they put on the food and drink bills here-there are 2 taxes: impuesto de venta (sales tax) and impuesto de servicio (service tax). There are no tips here for waiters and bartenders and whoever b/c it's included... and also b/c in this culture, as he said, people don't work for tips! They are nice b/c they want to be-not b/c they want more money. They are happy to help. That is why I love it here.

I also met the new person that will take over the coordination of the exchange program here and we chatted for a bit. She is so smart and well spoken-PhD from Georgetown! Maybe after my PhD I can work here. ; )

Tomorrow we will be going to another town about 2 hours away and staying there until Sat morning. The town is Guapiles and that is where they have another branch campus of the U of CR. So we are going to have new hosts for a couple of days and new families. Sat we are going to the Caribbean coast again to the beach (HOORAY!!) and tomorrow and Fri we will be doing agricultural community service, going to a butterfly garden, and going to English classes. Sunday is a free day back in Turrialba so I will get some shopping done and maybe go back to Edgar's house for lunch.

Until then.................

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

This is fun!

I am glad I have my blog this year-it has been way easier than mass emailing. : ) Look what I can do on these computers too: ñññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññ

Anyways, after going out again last night (I have been out every night here until about 1 or 130 except for Saturday and it´s starting to take it´s toll because then I get up at 5 and don´t take naps because I hate naps), we went to Volcan Irazu today and to the basilica in Cartago. It was funny because you have to pay more to visit the volcano if you are a foreigner, and so Yami (the staff person here that has coordinated our visit for many years) tried to fake out the guy at the front gate and say that we were all from Costa Rica... she had us close the windows of the van so he wouldn´t see the blond girls. That obviously didn´t work. haha BUT, the guy asked if I was a tica and I said yes and he believed it. SO, I was able to pass for a tica. GREAT NEWS!!!!

The volcano was good and the students were running around and taking pics in the clouds (we were very high up, like 11,000 feet). Then I bought some things at the gift store and talked to the guy there who has been there every year. I told him I visited every year with a different group of students. Then when I paid and looked at the bill, he had taken 100 colones discount off all the souvenirs. NICE!! Going to Cartago there was a really bad rain storm and some roads were flooded. Even inside the basilica got flooded and some workers had to put up the pews to get the water out.

James left and now I am in charge... tomorrow I told the students to be at campus at 9 and they loved it because it is so late for them now and they can sleep in and take the 830 bus instead of the 630. hahaha I have a lot to cover with them like the farewell dinner and setting up committees for that, and the schedule for the rest of the week, and sending postcards back to the FSU International Center per request from the director. : )

My friend Edgar and his mom invited me and Yami to dinner tonight so I will probably going over there for a bit. Thanks for the comments and for reading!

Monday, May 15, 2006


Okay so the Fer-de-lance was sooooo scary. James led us on a walk thru the rain forest, and we had 12 people but only 10 could go in at a time. So Rodolfo (one of the U of CR staff) and I stayed back and chatted while the group started the walk and then we joined them later. When we met up with the group, they were going nuts b/c one of the girls had NARROWLY missed stepping on this very dangerous snake (which we later read that those vipers' venom can kill people in 2 hours). So I quickly took a pic of it and ran like everyone else. It was stressful, as Marsha would say. haha On this hike we saw tons of monkeys right above our heads. : )

The whole weekend was incredible and just perfect. I cannot believe we saw ANOTHER leatherback too. I mean how lucky do you have to be to be at the same place (exact spot on the beach) at the same time as the heaviest reptile in the world... and watch her nest her eggs!! FOR 2 YEARS IN A ROW?? I even said to James that I had a good feeling about that night... that we would see the turtle. I felt it in my gut. Psychic maybe? It's like the weekend was made just for us. When our turtle guide Victor said "It is our lucky night", I went nuts when I heard that and then saw the tracks coming from the sea and the turtle's back glistening under the full moon's light (it was about 10 PM).

Tortuguero is such a carefree relaxed place. People walk on the dirt roads barefoot, there are no cars, no post office, no a/c. Just the canals, the sea, and having fun and blasting music and eating and dancing and smoking. No cares in the world. I wouldn't want to live there, but for visiting it's amazing. I was on the beach and in the sea every spare minute I had. I even got up at 430 AM Sun morning to watch the sun rise. It was cloudy (rainstorm over the sea), but I still got some quasi-good shots. We also went to the turtle museum/learning center and the person working there was someone I had met last year-the captain of the Tortuguero soccer team named Jimmy. It was cool to see him again!

*If any coworkers are reading this, even though I am not at orientation, I am still gettng up wicked early every day! haha

The group we have this year is a great group. They all are getting along well and no one is talking behind each other's backs (like in years past). There are no cliques, no outcasts, no making fun, no whiners, no chronic late arrivals, etc. I am really enjoying them!

Today we went to a middle/high school in a town about 40 km away and they did some performances for us. : ) Then we ate at the branch campus in Paraiso and came back to Turrialba so people could get more money and shop.

Okay well I have been on the net for a while so I better go. Even though it's cheap at the internet cafe (100 colones for 20 min which equals 20 cents for 20 min; 500 colones=$1), I am smelling these donuts at the bakery and I might want some. Until next time.... keep the comments coming and thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Me encanta la costa caribena

Had an incredible weekend in Tortuguero seeing the animals (including howler, spider, and white-face monkeys; crocs; toucans; A LEATHERBACK TURTLE AGAIN during the turtle walk at night!!!!; iguanas; a Fer-de-lance viper (more to come on that weird and amazing story); sloths; herons; toads; spiders; crabs; and more). Can't write much now, but the weather there was amazing (no rain if you can believe that-it's Costa Rica's rainy season), and we swam in the sea..... : ) I am nice and tan.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Otro dia...

Well we got back into town early and I had time to exchange dinero and get some tarjetas telefonicas. ; ) That's always a relief. I get nervous if I don't have currency.

Today we went to one of the branch campuses and sat in on an English 1 class and partnered up with some of the tico students and made collages. That was fun-we had to cut pics out of magazines of what we might want to do as a group (like go to the beach, shopping, biking, etc.) and then explain it to the class (ticos in English, us in Spanish). Then they had snacks for us- FRESH papaya, mango, oranges, apples, pinas, etc. Then we went to these botanical gardens that the U of Costa Rica maintains (I have been there before, but it was still cool). Some students and I did some model pictures there which was fun-we did all kinds of model poses with bamboo trees and cacti and sitting on benches. haha

It was a fight to find phone cards though-all the internet cafes were out, and we finally went to where they pay phone bills here. Sheesh. And at the bank I was ready to explode b/c some guy budged in front of me. James and I just did some shopping too-he wanted to find a Saprissa shirt (the best soccer team here).

Until next week.............................. Feliz dia de la madre!!

Feel free to make comments.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

He llegado a Costa Rica!

Well I am here. : ) The trip was fantastic, and only took 3.5 hours from ATL. Along the way, the pilot announced that we were flying over Grand Cayman and to look at the cruise ships docked. It was a very clear beautiful flight. On the plane too, two guys got in a shouting match and were in each other´s faces. That was fun.

I was picked up by one of the university drivers that we have had for years named Joaquin. He has cute kids and is a very nice man. We had to stop at one of the satellite campuses too to get one of the maintenance guys named Luis. It was funny because everyone recognized me (I should hope so-it´s my 5th time here) and they said "ya es casi familia" (she´s already just like family around here). Cute.

Then when we got to Turrialba, there was a bull (well, not bulls like in Espana, but a male cow) running thru the streets and everyone was entertained by that. I missed taking a pic because he ran around a corner. Then I checked into the hotel and the lady there didn´t recognize me at first because now I have black hair, but then she did and we talked for a bit. I went to campus then to see the group. They seem to be in good spirits, and like their host families, and the food especially! This weekend will be something new too-a different change of scenery for them on the Caribbean coast.

Well I am starving, so I am going to eat with the other coordinator James and then some students are coming to our hotel to have some drinks and celebrate my first night here. Have a great weekend everyone! Pura vida! (In Costa Rica, that means everything is good-"pure life!!!"). : )

Tuesday, May 09, 2006



Monday, May 08, 2006

It's that time of year again!

I am off to my beloved Costa Rica again in 2 days. : ) Even though this will be my 5th time there, there is always something new to see, and something I have missed before. If you look at the map, we will be based in Turrialba. We also spend a weekend in Tortuguero (tortuga=turtle in Spanish) and to get there we have to go to Limon and take a 4 hour canal ride north. It's spectacular. It's also the site where I saw the huge 5 ft. leatherback turtle last year laying her eggs. This year we are also staying a few days in Guapiles, so that will be a change. After that, we're heading down to Cahuita... so we'll be covering basically the entire east coast. I love Cahuita and Manzanillo and I think the students will too. We also go to Volcan Irazu (right above where it says "central"), which everyone is always fascinated by, and we also roam around Cartago to see the Spanish Baroque basilica. The trip begins and ends in San Jose. Someday I will go to the west coast. Til then... I have a lot of packing to do!

(Map courtesy of this site).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And my mom wanted to name me Katherine GRACE???

I am a clutz. First I threw out my back, then I got sunburned, now it's my ankle. I was at Curves Monday, and I was running on those square platform things that are bouncy so it makes it easier to run on (and do jumping jacks or march in place-whatever people want to do). I lost my balance and fell over and twisted my ankle underneath me (there were plenty of eye witnesses too). I continued the workout. When I got home it started to swell. I stayed home from work Tuesday so I could ice it and elevate it. I didn't want to take any chances since I am going to Costa Rica next week and want to be in tip top shape. It's better today-still swollen and throbbing, but the swelling has gone down. What a fool. haha

Sunday, April 30, 2006

2 things: 1. And the tradition continues.... /2. DARFUR

It looks like another Ithaca tequila shot is in the future!! Congratulations Phil and Jess on your engagement! : )

Let me also say that I am SO glad celebrities and the like are paying attention to the atrocities in Darfur. The following is taken from this CNN story: "Years of fighting between ethnic groups and Arab militias in western Sudan have left at least 180,000 people dead and about 2 million homeless. Amid the talks, the plight of 3 million refugees in Darfur has worsened. The U.N. World Food Program said Friday that it was cutting rations in half, citing a lack of funds. " The tv show "ER" has even given tons of attention to this situation, sending Pratt to Darfur to join Carter in the relief campaign.

If everyone goes to you can find out how to donate, send a postcard to Pres. Bush urging him to pay more attention to the genocide, learn the history of the genocide, how to educate others, sign up for email updates, buy green wristbands, and many other things. Thanks GEORGE CLOONEY.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ithaca IS liberal!! Here is proof:

When I tell everyone that coming to FSU from Ithaca was quite a change, I wasn't lyin'. Ithaca is so liberal, with transsexuals running around, homosexual couples walking hand in hand and kissing... I like it. People aren't afraid to be themselves. : ) It was refreshing and just great. just ranked the most liberal cities in America. Ithaca made #7 in the medium sized cities list (populations of 25K-99,999 K). Results were based on individual contributions to political parties, election results, gay households, local government resolutions opposing combat in Iraq, local officials performing gay marriages, Congressional District voting history, and population. Big cities, medium, and small cities were ranked, as well as the most liberal town in every state. Here is the link.

Ithaca was the perfect place to go to college!! I would never have wanted to go anywhere else.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

And I thought my day was bad..... : (

I got a call today at work from someone in New Orleans, and we got to talking. The lady said that she doesn't have a kitchen still and just today (TODAY!!) they are getting new countertops. They also don't have running water on the first floor of their house still. And the hurricane was HOW LONG AGO? Unbelievable. I feel so horrible for these people. : ( : ( What is going on with the people who are supposed to be helping people who lost everything?!

Friday, April 14, 2006

My saviours

My two saviours this week have been aloe vera gel and my new Turkish friend. : ) Aloe vera because I got pretty burned at the beach on Wednesday and aloe vera is the only thing keeping me sane. My new friend "S" from Turkiye because, well, he has made work go by so fast, and has made my day every day. Thank you to you......... and for sharing your life with me every day (even though I make you late to work). ; )

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Turkiye (2 dots over the "u")

Myspace is a great thing. You can meet people from all over the world, which of course is always a goal of mine. Foreigners are so fascinating, appreciate life more (and having fun without stress!), and have so much respect for the place they live. Whenever I meet people, I do research on where they live so I can have a better understanding of where they are coming from (and so I learn more geography, which I love). I know a lot about so many places, thanks to people I have met from Salerno, Italia; Guadalajara, Mexico; places in Holland; and tons more. A friend who I have been talking to lately is from Adana, Turkiye, and he is an amazing, wonderful, open, fun person. See above map near the Mediterranean to find Adana (map courtesy of this site). Here are some pics of this gorgeous place.

Photo 1 taken from this site. Photo 2. Photo 3. Photo 4. Photo 5.

Who would not want to visit here?! What an amazing place. I just cannot believe the beauty... The mosque you see is the Sabanci Mosque. From the sites I looked up, the pic with the water above is the mosque, a Roman wall/bridge, and the Hilton (correct me if I am wrong-my friend reads my blog too). : ) Interesting picture with the past and present all together. Someday I will go.... someday. Thanks for sharing your country with me, and also the music (the files are awesome!).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Feeling great

Well folks, I guess going to Curves is working, b/c when I got weighed and measured on Friday, the printout said I have lost 13.5 inches (the biggest difference was in the thigh-loss of 4 in.- and abdomen-loss of 3.5 in.). : ) And 2 pounds. I am feeling great too! I hadn't gotten weighed and measured since November. Oops. haha But I guess that's good b/c then I can see how much I have lost. I just have so much more energy and I like it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bringing back memories

Does anyone remember how to do the Cat's Cradle? You know, the thing where you have a long piece of string and make a design out of it with your fingers... interweaving it inbetween and things. I had a long necklace on today and I was just playing with it and I cannot remember how to do it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Driving costs

As a non-driver, I found this AAA article interesting. Just another reason why driving sucks (and why I thank all of you who give me rides-the least I can do is buy you dinner and movie tickets and things... so don't ever argue if I want to pay for something b/c as you will see, driving costs more $$ than people may think : ) ). hahaha If it was up to me, Tallahassee would have a metro system... and the bus still too I suppose.

Here is the article:

Annual AAA Study Shows Driving Costs Average 52.2 Cents Per Mile
Orlando, Fla. - 3/28/2006
Savvy consumers determined to know how much they are paying to drive their vehicle can look to AAA for assistance.
The 2006 edition of AAA’s Your Driving Costs study shows the overall average cost of owning and operating a passenger vehicle is 52.2 cents per mile, which equals $7,834 per year based on 15,000 miles of driving.
AAA’s estimate of driving costs for 2006 is not directly comparable to data for previous years due to a revision to the survey methodology that better reflects the costs associated with a wider range of vehicle choices.
AAA’s study continues to calculate the average costs of all expenses associated with owning and operating vehicles over five years and 75,000.miles of driving. However, AAA now calculates those costs based on averages for five top-selling passengers cars (including imports) in each of three vehicle size categories, rather than on one representative vehicle in each category as in the past.
Consumers can obtain copies of AAA’s Your Driving Costs from many AAA club offices and on the Internet at
AAA reports that from the end of 2004 to the end of 2005, the average price of fuel increased to $2.405 per gallon; a 15.8 percent increase that raised the average driver’s fuel costs from 8.2 to 9.5 cents per mile. The fuel price information is based on data from AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. AAA’s study reports the retail price of tires is 0.7 cents per mile.
Driving costs related to licensing, registration and taxes are $535 when “hidden” costs such as personal property and ad valorem taxes that are levied in many states are also factored in.
AAA estimates the average new car will depreciate $3,392 per year of ownership. Full insurance coverage will average $926 per year. Routine maintenance – including the manufacturer’s recommended normal service operations – is estimated to cost 4.9 cents per mile, or $552.
Annual finance charges, computed on a national average basis, are estimated at $716 this year. The finance numbers are based on a 5 year loan at 6 percent interest with a 10 percent down payment.
The purpose of AAA’s annual study is to show consumers how to understand and calculate the full costs of owning and operating their vehicles. Only by factoring in all of the related costs of driving can consumers accurately budget for their future expenses. AAA’s driving cost figures are not intended for use by businesses in the reimbursement of employee driving expenses.
“AAA’s research shows that driving a new vehicle that retains a high resale value and has moderate insurance costs, can help offset other costs such as fuel and tires,” said John Nielsen -- Director, AAA Approved Auto Repair and Car Buying Services. “Selecting a model that is more fuel efficient than others in its size-class, also will help consumers contain their driving expenses.”
To conduct its study, AAA used detailed driving costs for small, medium, and large sedans. Driving costs in each category are based on the average costs for five top-selling models selected by AAA. By size category, they are:
Small Sedan – Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla.
Medium Sedan – Chevrolet Impala, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.
Large Sedan – Buick Lucerne, Chrysler 300, Ford Five Hundred, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.
Though not part of the AAA composite average, SUV and minivan information is also included in Your Driving Costs to help buyers estimate operating costs for these types of vehicles. Selected models include:
SUVs – Chevrolet Trailblazer, Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota 4Runner.
Minivans – Chevrolet Uplander, Dodge Caravan, Ford Freestar, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its more than 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully-tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at: . National and state by state, daily retail fuel prices are available at

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The most dangerous job in the world

(Map courtesy of this site).

I don't know if people watch this show, but "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery is AMAZING. It's about these men who go hundreds of miles off the coast of the Aleutian Is. in the Bering Sea (see map above-if you don't know where they are, the islands run off the southwest of Alaska) and try to catch Alaskan King Crabs. I watched the season premiere of the show last night, and it was awesome. I learned that the crab fishing industry up there is an $80 million industry, and these guys go out and have the potential to make their year's salary in one week..... but at the risk of dying in the wickedly fierce waters. The show told their stories, and how they make what could be their last phone calls back home to their wives, parents, etc. What a job. They said hundreds of men have died doing this job; they have been thrown overboard in horrible storms, have died from the cold, etc. I just cannot imagine this.

So, the men leave, and there are over 200 boats that are rivaling for the crabs. They have to have approval to fish too-there are weight restrictions so that the boats won't capsize, and the "pots" (the crates they catch the crabs in) weigh around 300 pounds themselves (I think) and so there are restrictions on how many pots you can have too. One guy was interviewed b/c he was the sole survivor of a boat that capsized a while back... he said he had to take the lifejacket off one of his friends and let his body sink to the bottom. Unbelievable.

If you can catch this show, I would highly recommend it. Every Tuesday at 9 on Discovery.

* One more thing: I went to Alaska with my family and 3 other families in Aug. 1994, and I although I didn't go to the islands (but went to Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, the Inside Passage, etc.), I can totally see how this water can be so deadly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Scavenger hunt # 3

As you all know, the weekends are big party times here. I have posted before about what kind of garbage I find on the street after the weekend, and I thought I would do it again b/c it's so funny. On my walk to work I found:

A Trojan condom box, a smashed coat hanger all in little pieces, an apt. brochure, a dirty nasty Q-tip, napkins, a plastic soda top, your token Bud Light beer bottles, a bracelet from a nearby club, a Quarter Pounder box, the usual splattered ketchup packets.... and the week before there was a big bow for a present and some Homer Simpson inflatable sponge laying in the grass.

Not too exciting, but interesting.

Scavenger hunt # 3

As you all know, the weekends are big party times here. I have posted before about what kind of garbage I find on the street after the weekend, and I thought I would do it again b/c it's so funny. On my walk to work I found:

A Trojan condom box, a smashed coat hanger all in little pieces, an apt. brochure, a dirty nasty Q-tip, napkins, a plastic soda top, your token Bud Light beer bottles, a bracelet from a nearby club, a Quarter Pounder box, the usual splattered ketchup packets.... and the week before there was a big bow for a present and some Homer Simpson inflatable sponge laying in the grass.

Not too exciting, but interesting.

Friday, March 24, 2006

1/2 B'day and dart game

Tomorrow is my 1/2 b'day. : ) Feliz (medio) cumpleanos a mi.

My coworker gave me a GREAT game to play at work. It's a dart game where you aim the dart at the location you think a certain European capital is located. The website is in German, but you can figure out what it is saying. Here is the site. Here is how I did the first time back on Feb 21 (yes, I saved my answers):

I came 197 km away from Berlin, 369 Moscow, 130 Lisbon, 358 Stockholm, 58 Madrid (gee, do I know Spain or what?), 101 Paris, 20 London (wow), 94 Brussels, 46 Hague, 115 Dublin, 36 Bern, 147 Roma, 580 Wein (? Where is that), 219 Prague, 156 Budapest, 311 Warsaw, 98 Ankara, 188 Oslo, 161 Copenhagen, 190 Belgrade, 84 Athens, 478 Kiev (yikes), 97 Bucharest, 115 Helsinki.

Here is how I did today:

177 Berlin (close to what I did in Feb), 80 from Moscow (wow!-what an improvement), 161 Lisbon (close to what I did before), 338 Stockholm (guess I haven't learned that one yet), 49 Madrid (closer!), 101 Paris (are you kidding? the SAME ANSWER?), 33 London (not bad), 56 Brussels (better), 23 The Hague (wow!), 102 Dublin (about the same), 112 Bern (oops), 189 Roma (oops), 563 Wein (UH...), 105 Prague (better!), 128 Budapest (better), 49 Warsaw (nice!!), 287 Ankara (oops-further north than I remembered), 183 Oslo (same), 146 Copenhagen (eh), 147 Belgrade (better), 21 Athens (whoa!), 312 Kiev (better-Ukraine is so big that I forget where it is : ( ), 84 Bucharest (better), 137 Helsinki (close).

Yes, this is what I do when I am bored-play geography games. Obviously you can tell where my expertise is (what areas in Europe). I will keep doing it every so often to refresh my memory b/c I love this type of stuff! Feel free to comment with your results if you play the game.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Well, I stayed up to watch Denzel on Letterman (since his new movie "Inside Man" is coming out on Friday, he's on every show right now), and he looked SOOOO classy. He always dresses in a suit for Letterman. Wish more people would do that and quit wearing jeans if they are a guest on that show. Anyways...

So I wasn't tired, and what did I decide to do? Post on my blog of course. What I wanted to talk about was the plight of my 20something friends. All the books out there about how 20somethings are in this state of flux all the time are so worthy, and I might even read one. Most of my friends are in their upper 20s now (with one more year to go before the big YUCKY 3-0 that I do not want to talk about), and they are making these life changing decisions. I think the older generations (grandparents and parents) sometimes cannot understand our generation b/c we quit things so fast and so easily (so they think) and want to move on to the next thing as soon as possible (again, so they think). We really do weigh things, I swear!

Without mentioning names, I have had friends in the last year, I'd say (and even as recently as a couple days ago), tell me about their plans to quit their jobs and make a total different career move, or quit their jobs and go to grad school (masters or Ph.D.), or get divorced after about 6 yrs of marriage b/c of various reasons, or quit their Ph.D. and just live the life they want without any school pressure, or keep their jobs AND go to grad school AND have a family (any combo of those), or give up everything and go travel (my dream), or go back to their original career and the area they were schooled in after taking a break and doing these other things (like moving), or experience something new they never thought they would. And the list goes on.

I am definitely included in this list too-I have worked for 5 1/2 yrs at the same job and been in school for what seems like forever and a day, and though I love every minute of it, I just am looking forward to the day when I can walk across that stage, be a Dr., and move to Espana. haha But really, all of these friends are like that: after doing something for a while, they are tired of it and make changes. Many baby boomers cannot understand that, for many have worked at the same job for 30+ years and have been married for more than that. I think that is incredible in this day and age to do something for that long, while at the same time, I also think it's incredible for my peers to have the confidence to try these new things and leave their comfort zone. I am not saying one or the other is right, but just that our generation seems restless and sooooo ready to get out there and do everything that is available to us. Maybe globalization has helped that along. Or maybe it's the fact that the dreaded 3-0 is looming, and we all want to do what we wanted before 3-0. I am sure other generations experienced the 3-0 thing too, but somehow us Generation-Y (is that the term?) people are different.

If you go on and type in "20something", all these books pop up about how to cope in this world if you are a 20something, and there are books for parents about parenting their 20somethings. Most of the books share stories and make 20somethings feel better about their place in this world, and how other people their age might be anxious, worried, depressed, ambitious, scared, broke, rich, regretful, confused, satisfied, and a ton of other feelings.

I don't know what my point was in writing this, but I am just sensing a trend lately and it's the trend the whole world is experiencing. Wow this was a long post! Comments welcome as usual.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

St. Patty's Day and tennis

On St. Patty's Day, I went out to drink with a coworker and her sister at Poor Paul's. When we were walking there, a random guy pinched me b/c I wasn't wearing green (my bad). At PP, we saw Lacey from the Real World Austin with her boyfriend. That was kinda cool. (She is from Tally).

Today Federer won the Pac Life, as I predicted. He is like this rock everyone is hitting themselves against and can't seem to beat. He will be the best tennis player EVER. And that is saying something b/c Sampras, Borg, Agassi, Lendl, etc. are in the list of all-time greats too, but I think barring any injuries, he will be the best player. : ) I know I always talk about him, but I can't believe what he has done already. He says such great stuff about the players he beats, and is a role model off the court too!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Been a while....

I tried to update last night, but the site kept saying "errors". So I will do it now.

I went to my best friend's baby shower back home on Sunday, and it was great. : ) I am so lucky to be able to go to these things.... and it helped that I had 2 free tickets from Delta b/c I had so many Skymiles. haha

Any Ph.D.s out there-please remind me that doing all this studying and stressing is worth it in the end. I need reminding.

SU lost last night-guess they were just pooped out from the magical Big East tourney run they had. Oh well...... GMac had four great years there!

Nothing much else to report, other than I saw a lady dump a piece of plastic out her car window the other day and I wanted to walk up and make her get out and pick it up. I didn't want to get beat up though, so I didn't do that. hahaha My blood was boiling.

Prediction for the Pacific Life Open: Federer will win. I don't think my prediction will change much in the next year for other tournaments b/c he is just too damn good. Nadal will present a challenge to him though-he's lookin' good. Safin too.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


SU beat the Bearcats in the first round of the Big East tourney, and just now they beat UCONN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What great news!! Who's gonna criticize GMAC and Coach Boeheim now!!

(Logo courtesy of this site).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Power trip

I am so sick of people in high positions taking advantage of their position of power by preying on and using people who are underneath them... OR using people who don't have the power to challenge their authority. I don't know how they get this idea in their heads that it's okay to make people under them scapegoats for what they do. The higher ups try to blame their mistakes on people under them and try to cover up what they do by framing others. OR they mess up and don't take responsibility for their actions... at the cost of innocent people. It's ridiculous!!

Take 2 recent news stories por ejemplo. The Cpl. Pat Tillman case and Katrina. So, just NOW, after Tillman died in Afghanistan 2 YEARS AGO, the Army says "gee, now we may investigate"... b/c all of a sudden there may be evidence of foul play. The poor parents, family, and friends of Pat! Just b/c the Army delays this criminal investigation, these people have to suffer. "SAN JOSE, California (CNN) -- The father of former NFL player Cpl. Pat Tillman said Monday he doesn't believe the full truth about his son's death in Afghanistan will ever emerge, despite a new investigation. Tillman, who left the Arizona Cardinals for the Army after the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington, was killed by friendly fire in April 2004. The Army, which originally reported that he died during a Taliban ambush, has now launched a criminal investigation to determine whether the death was the result of negligent homicide." (Quoted from this March 7, 2006 CNN article). Obviously some person of power doesn't want something leaking out.

THEN, months after Katrina, there are still bodies being found. What is wrong with people?! "NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Three days after officials inspected a storm-damaged home spray-painted with "0" -- indicating no bodies inside -- cadaver dogs led searchers to a victim of Hurricane Katrina in the attic. Before dying, the man apparently was trying to crawl out of an air-conditioning vent to escape rising floodwaters, said Dr. Louis Cataldie, Louisiana's medical examiner." (Quoted from this March 6, 2006 CNN article). So some family probably thinks their loved one was washed away, but in reality he was not, and the family could have had a proper burial months ago but couldn't b/c someone didn't do their job. UGH.

I won't even mention the workplace either and problems I hear about peoples' bosses. That could go on forever.

Then there is that story about how kids' SAT scores were incorrectly graded (scanned), and now their scholarships and entrance into specialized programs and majors will be affected. See this March 7, 2006 CNN article. Can't anyone get anything right? The article says that the grading problem was a technical issue but Topiel (College Board spokesperson) said the College Board was still investigating what went wrong. (Meaning someone screwed up).

I know some people hate their jobs, and don't take them seriously. If you don't like it, get out and find something else. And if you do hate your job but don't have any other option at the moment, don't be a jerk and give people wrong information-think about your actions. I know I am cynical today, but I can't help it. This world is so full of incompetent people. Comments welcome.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New season of baseball

PLEASE GO TO WWW.PINSTRIPEPASSION.COM to check out my brother's new website and radio show!! : ) : ) He's doing a great job!

Also, Kirby Puckett passed away yesterday at age 45. What awful news.

Friday, March 03, 2006

And the Oscar goes to.............

............. who knows. This year's awards are hard to predict. This is the first year I have actually seen most of the nominated movies. I saw "Capote" last night, and it was amazing too. I have to admit I didn't really know (or care) about who Philip Seymour Hoffman was and what he has done, but his performance in that was outstanding. He is definitely a contender!! (It was also funny last night b/c Shan and I went into the theater and the movie started and she says um, this isn't "Capote"... the movie worker lady had told us the wrong theatre, but at least we didn't miss any of the movie). : /

The Oscars are cool for me too b/c I have been to LA and went inside the Kodak theatre and everything. I am not big into following celebs, but it is a pretty cool night. Here is the list, who I think will win, and who I want to win (just in the categories of Best Actor and Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Picture). **NOTE: Of the ones listed, I have seen "Munich", "Walk the Line", "Brokeback", "Capote", "Syriana", and "Cinderella Man" and plan on watching "Crash" before Sunday on the DVD that Shan gave me. (Pic above courtesy of this site).

"Brokeback Mountain"
"Good Night, and Good Luck"

-I think "Capote" will win, but I want "Brokeback". BUT again, I haven't seen 2 of these movies, so my guess may be worthless.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"
David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"

-I think Joaquin will win, and I want Joaquin to win. : ) He just stretched himself so much to play Johnny. Hoffman was incredible too-close call, but GO JOAQUIN.

Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"
Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"
Charlize Theron, "North Country"
Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"

-NO idea who will win, but I would want Reese. Or Charlize b/c I know she is good.

George Clooney, "Syriana"
Matt Dillon, "Crash"
Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain"
William Hurt, "A History of Violence"

-Hum.... this one is a tight race. I would say George or Paul will win, but I hope George or Jake does. Matt Dillon too maybe b/c Shan said he was great in "Crash". Guess I'll find out when I watch it.

Amy Adams, "Junebug"
Catherine Keener, "Capote"
Frances McDormand, "North Country"
Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"
Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain"

-Well, I think Frances will get it, but I hope Catherine does. She was just awesome in "Capote" as Harper Lee. I like Michelle Williams, but I don't think her performance rivals Catherine's.

Just for some history, AFI ranked their top 100 greatest American movies. Among them are "Schindler's List" (1993) (#9), "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) (#20), and "E.T." (1982) (#25). Here is the complete list if you are interested.

Can't wait to see what everyone is wearing too. That's always fun.