Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On Changing a Name

It's no secret that I got married and changed my name. In fact, the name change process has been almost completely finished so you see can find my new name on my mailbox, University id, bus pass, passport, and office door. However, there are a few things that still need to be changed which have caused me some headache such as my US drivers liscence, ma Germany visa and my frequent flyer card. The liscence was the first road bloack, aparently, due to a 24 hour computer update cycle you can't change your name at the social security office and the DMV on the same day. Since I was only in my home state for about 10 hours, I had no chance but I tried. Now, I'll just wait until it expires and I have to renew it in August +/- 3 months which is another assanine policy for another post. The visa is not done because I'm not really sure what the steps are, some one says I need an appointment, someone says I don't maybe I can change status, maybe I just need the same one transplanted into my new passport and maybe I have to go to a different office completely. I don't think it is really a problem at this point as mine is still valid for some time. Finally the frequent flyer card is more of a hassel than I ever would have thought. Can I change it on the phone? no. Online? no. They need a copy of my new passport, ok. can I email it? no. Per fax or mail only. To complicate matters, I have an outstanding reward which expires next month but I can't book a flight for next wek then fax in the name change because I can only use the reward for myself and clearly a changed name makes me a different person before I change it! This is one of those situations where I just gave up because my German is not good enough to argue with customer service and when they are charging me 26 cents a minute I don't really feel like wasting my Skype credits in ultimately being put on hold so she can check with someone else. So that's the name change status update. It's not too hard, a little stressful but I keep telling myself I only have to do it once. Which reminds me, I still have credit cards to change over/cancel. I also see it as a chance to simplify my life and get rid of cards I don't use instead of changing my name. From a social perspective, it's been a bit more fun. My work phone now shows my new name whenever I call anyone which has led to a few fun reactions. My work email has also changed and the sign on the door is the best. I've had one completely lost student thus far and just this week, I had a student, who clearly knew who I was despite the name change, look at the door, look at me and then as I watched it click, he asked, "Did you get married?" I think, next time I should say no for fun. There have been some negatives as well. First of all, I am taking a huge hit in the alphabet falling from F which always left me in the first 1/4th of any alphabetical list to T which will put me in the last quarter. I guess now I'll know what it's been like for my cousin to be a W all these years. Secondly, my initials have changed. Anyone who knows me, knows I really liked my old initials, I even had a perfect one motion connected initial for signing off on things. It just does not work anymore, there's no way to connect a J and a T without it looking like a messed up version of one of those letters. Not to mention my initials are now JT...eww. To finish on a high note, Germans can finally understand/pronounce/spell my new name (sometimes with a bit of assistance on the end) which is a huge improvement when making appointments and reservations!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed In

Snowed In
Snowed In von Jen Thomsen, acrylic gloves enthaltend

Inspired by M -, I've been using Polyvore again and it'S a lot of fun. I first found Polyvore while wedding planning although I find it more practical for interior decorating. You can search from a huge international database and find everything from clothes to furniture to food. I find it to be a great way to mix and match colors and test out particular pieces of furniture. I made a board that mimics my actual living room and asked friends to suggest a new coffee table and the result was an Ikea model I was contemplating myself. This bord is in honor of the snow in Mannheim and RI. My ideal snowed in day would involve a fireplace, a cozy blanket, oversized sweater, hot chocolate and home baked cookies.Pretty much how I spent yesterday if you replace the fireplace with movies and Wii!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I just read this article about a man who shot at the FL school board. In the end, he was the only fatality. However, the article quoted his Facebook page which it appears he started only days before to leave a message. In his message, he says he was born poor in a land where the rich rule (not a direct quote). However, I could not disagree more with that statement. Maybe I could agree that the power is in the hands of the rich but I certainly don't think being born poor in the USA is irrreversable. Sure, money makes it easier to get ahead but the USA is one of the most upwardly mobile countries I know. Taxes are relatively low and even the poorest of the poor have more opprutunities than people living in several other ocuntries. Education is free and even though University is expensive, there are many opprutunities for need and merit based scholarship. In my experience, it is easier to jump income classes in the US as compared to Europe. In fact, on a daily basis, I notice that most of the students I meet at University here come from priveledged backgrounds and/or educated parents.
It really frustrates me when people blame thier status in life on thier parents or upbringing. I firmly believe in the self made man. American was built by the self made man so it especially baffels me when Americans feel they are restricted based on class. I believe you do need a certain level of internal motivation to suceed and a willingness to leave your comfort zone and comform to accepted norms but if you really want to make something of yourself, money and the financial status you are born into should not be a glass celing. Is this too idealistic of a view? I'd love for opinions, even if they disagree with me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spinach Salad Pizza

I wanted to make a spinach salad for dinner but I was cold so i decided to turn it into a nice warm pizza. I was a little nervous so I only topped 1/3 of the pizza with spinach and did the other 2/3 in a sauce/cheese/meat/vegetable combo. The spinach side turned out amazingly delicious. Here's what you'll need to make your own:
  • fresh baby spinach
  • goat cheese
  • walnuts
  • honey
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • dried basil and oregano
  • salt and pepper
I washed the spinach and set aside to dry on a paper towel while mixing the dressing. I used a heaping teaspoon of honey, a bit of olive oil and about 2 teaspoons of balsamic. Mix those liquid ingredients together and add basil, oregano, salt and p
epper to taste. I then put the spinach leaves in a bowl and coated them with dressing. Spread the coated spinach on pizza dough (mine was bought but you could make your own if you are so inclined), top with crumbles of goat cheese and walnuts. Bake, cut and eat. The dressing gives it a bit of a sweet taste while the spinach gets nice and tender and the goat cheese melts on the inside. I apologize, I ate the nicer looking slices before I thought to take a photo.
As for the other 2/3, in a much less creative way, I topped with shredded pizza cheese, feta cheese, one chopped up slice of deli ham and 2 chopped up green pepperoni (not salami but not jalepenos, I've forgotten the English word for these).

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I'm a bit behind schedule since Christmas is in 2 weeks but here are a few photos from our Halloween weekend in the north. I picked the last apples of the season. We made some spicy chili using the chili peppers from P's parents' garden and the ingredients we bought from a store that sells 16kg blocks of cheese but only super tiny pumpkins. You can't really tell from the photo but I was a mermaid wearing a cardigan because it was cold. For most of the guests, it was their first Halloween. I love sharing Halloween with others! Someone else has more photos from the dinner though, KOK is it you?

The Lion King

In getting away from posting about things I hate, I"ll write about something I love, The Lion King. Disney first made this movie when I was a child and I was in love. I even had a Lion king birthday cake from BJ's one year, complete with a plastic Simba and Nala. Then, The Lion King opened on Broadway and I was sad to miss out when the drama club saw it as part of the NYC trip I didn't participate in my freshman year (you better believe I went each of the next 3 years). Finally, while studying abroad in London, I saw the Lion King musical - the day before I left. After all those years, it did not disappoint. To top it off, we got amazing orchestra seats at a great price with our student IDs. I left the theater and later the country happy with my Lion King experience.
This summer, for a birthday present, P's parents bought us tickets to see the Lion King in Hamburg. I had recently learned from friends who went that the Hamburg theater is on an island and you need to take a boat to get to it. We went to the show a couple of weeks ago.While, that's not completely geographically correct, the boat part was right. For the first time, I was going to see a musical in German and one I had already seen. I was worried I would not understand and it would disappoint. Once again, the Lion King did not let me down. The boat to the theater, while short, really added to the experience - once you got on there was no going back. The theater itself was nice and our seats were right on the aisle which meant we got a close up view of many of the animals as they entered. As for the German, it was hard to understand, many of the actors were not native speakers and had strong accents which could be attributed to that or to their characters. The songs seemed off with German words but it was still a lot of fun. I could understand a good bit of the show and what I didn't get in language I filled in with my knowledge of the story. It was a really great evening!

Face Piercing

I was sitting on the strasenbahn across from a girl with a labaret (that under lip piercing) and she was playing with it internally. So, picture a round metal ball slowly being sucked into her skin until it almost went through and then popping back out. It gave me the chills.

Last week, I was sitting across from another pierced face on the strassenbahn. This girl was quite pretty but looked like she had something coming out of her nose because she had a black nose ring through the middle of her two nostrils.

I realize I've been writing a lot about what I don't like lately and this is another one of those posts. I just don't understand what makes someone want to pierce their face. Before you tell me I'm just not the piercing type, I should divulge that a former version of myself longed for an eyebrow ring and a nose ring but my uncle forbid me (not that his opinion counted) from piercing anything on my face right about the time I turned 18 and had 8 holes in my ears and one in my navel. I took his advice pretty seriously though because even my teen aged rebellious self knew I didn't want scares on my face and I did want a real job some day. For that matter, I guess I would have lost my part time job at a conservative insurance agency that forbid even earrings on men as part of the dress code.

Now, I think about it every time I see a girl with a pierced face on the strassenbahn, what kind of aspirations can she possibly have? Unless she works as a piercing model or in some related industry (art, music, etc.), it's pretty much career suicide. Also, it often looks bad. Do you want people to think you have something sticking out of your nose? The worst is when face piercings get infected and the jewelry is surrounded by a swollen red circle, so unattractive. In my opinion, there is no real justification for face piercings. To me, it's a screaming sign of someone crying out for attention or trying to fit in, someone with very little foresight. Am I missing something, is there another side to this story? Can someone enlighten me to the benefits of face piercings?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do they have Thanksgiving in Germany?

Despite the obvious reasons why Thanksgiving is an American holiday, people still ask me if Germans celebrate Thanksgiving. To be honest, it's not such a stupid question since Canada has their own Thanksgiving and it is always asked by intelligent people. This week, I started thinking about the different holidays in Germany and the US. There are some holidays Americans celebrate that would never fly here such as VJ Day but that barely flies in the US any more. however, most of the German public holidays would cause so much controversy in the US. Most German public holidays are somehow based in religion, specifically Christianity. We get days off for All Saints Day (Nov. 1), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Corpus Christi (I always thought this was a city in Texas). We don't have many non-religious holidays besides reunification (Oct. 3) and labor day (May 1) and even this is lost if it falls on a weekend. You can see the whole line-up for 2011 here. Most of these holidays would scream for separation of church and state. However, Thanksgiving is different.

Thanksgiving is really a holiday every country should adopt. Maybe we could have a world Thanksgiving. A day to take time out from your normal life and eat a decadent mid-week dinner with your family and/or close friends. A day to be Thankful for what you have in and the people who you love and love you. A day to share your "harvest" and enjoy the people in your life. I know Germans have resisted other American "holidays" due to their commercial nature (i.e. Halloween or Valentine's Day) but Thanksgiving is not really commercial at all. You don't even need to kill a Turkey, vegetarians like Thanksgiving too.

Oddly enough, this year I won't be having a Thanksgiving. Due to several factors, mostly my work schedule next week, we choose not to prepare a turkey this year. I know it is the right decision but part of me still wishes we could have a bunch of people over to sit around our long table and eat a stuffed bird. There's something special about Thanksgiving that I'll miss this year. I'm hoping I can get through the week and at least have time to bake an apple pie or maybe I can try my new whoopie pie pan out!

Maybe next year, I'll be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US with my family. The last Thanksgiving I had with my family was in 2005 when I was still at URI. That seems so long ago and so does college. Would you adopt Thanksgiving in Germany? Do you think other countries would take it on board too?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Putting the Pieces Together

After a wedding, there's still a lot to do to merge two lives. I started playing the name change game the day we returned fro our honeymoon. We had about 8 hours in RI before flying home so I hit up Social Security where a very friendly an changed my name. He asked if I wanted to keep my maiden name as a middle name which was kind of stressful in the moment. Clearly I had already thought this through and made a decision. He had to remind me of the option I turned down and for a milisecond I thought about saying yes. Then I remembered that my maiden name has 10 letters, my first name has 8 and my new last name has 7, add on the 3 in my current middle name and I'd have to fit 28 letters on every form for the rest of my life, no thank you. Considering I live in a country which requires you to use all of your legal names on everything, I can only imagine what my ATM card would look like if I had chosen to keep both names. unfortunately, I could not change my licence due to the antiquated system that only updates every 24 hours but it's not such a big deal as my licence is due to expire in 2011 anyway so I'll have to get it taken care of sooner or later.
Last Friday, I mailed off my passport to begin the name change process on this side of the Atlantic. Until it comes back, I can't get on a plane or legally cross any boarders so I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new identification. I'm not even sure if I have any way to legally prove my permission to stay without it. When I get my new passport the fun really begins. I'll need to renew my permission to stay in my new name, change my buss pass at an office that always has lines, change my address at the post office, change my name with HR and most significantly change my email addresses! My work email will need to be changed but what about my personal email address? How long can I use the two addresses containing my old name? I'd like to keep them but that can be confusing, especially in a couple of years when I start the job search again. Which reminds me, I'll need to change my resume.
Despite all of that work to change my name, I will still be me. Somehow, I feel like I need to alter my image in order to fit my new persona. I was thinking a hair cut and wardrobe injection, two things I could use anyway. Any other idea? Should I change my email addresses or just leave them alone for now?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Leftover Lasagna

Lately, I've been lacking inspiration when it comes to cooking dinner. While Patrick was on a business trip last week I mostly ate bread and cheese which is fine by me but not exactly full of nutrients. I decided I wanted to get back into cooking healthy dinners, the kind that involve veggies and are warm since it's cold outside. However, I was pretty uninspired on my last trip to the grocery store. I bought broccoli, zucchini, chedder cheese wheels (these are a treat and only avaliable for a limited time), tziki, yogurt, ground turkey, a gurken and bread. All had potential but did not combine so well. I had some apples at home which were the product of an unmade apple pie project from the weekend before and some super delicious squash soup that I burned my mouth on and proceeded to ignore until it went bad and I had to throw it out. As you can see I was not doing well with food planning on my own.
On Sunday, I went into the office for a bit. While there, I decided I would make a nice cohesive dinner with a pasta foundation. The problem was nothing in my fridge screamed cohesive. Broccoli and zucchini? eh, tziki and zucchini sound nice but slightly boring without other vegetables and gurken is only good with salad or sandwiches. I also had a red pepper at the end of it's life, some turkey deli meat, 4 slices of salami, half a package of shreaded mozzarella and lots of cream cheese in my fridge. So, I decided to make a lasagna with whatever ingredients I could find. Luckily, I had to travel through the train station as that is the only place open on Sunday and I needed more shereaded cheese.
I should begin by mentioning Patrick is particular about Lasagna and its ingredients. He believes vegetables are not part of lasagna and ground beef is necessary. So, when I excitedly declared I would make lasagna his first comment was, "we don't have any ground beef." I decided we better call this something else, leftover lasagna. Long story short, it got Patrick's approval with a stamp of awesome and he even came back for seconds. So, now that I rambled on about the ingredients of my fridge, here's how I made the lasagna and what I eventually used. Feel free to improvise, anything works as long as you remember a lasagna can never have too much sauce or cheese. Ingredients: Pesto Lasagna noodles Tomato sauce Cream cheese Salami Zucchini (or other vegetables, muxhrooms, eggplant, peppers, etc.) Shreaded cheese (I used gouda and mozarella) Fresh basil leaves Black olives Pre-heat the oven to a temperature you like (I used 180 C). Take out your lasagna pan and pour a think layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Add some spices if you are using the plain variety then cover with a layer of noodles. Put a layer of vegetables over the noodles, add shreaded cheese and another thin layer of sauce. Layer on another round of noodles and coat them in pesto. Add cream cheese in clumps, fresh basil leaves and salami. Cover with noodles, cover with a generous amount of sauce, layer on vegetables, black olives, and shreaded cheese. Cover with noodles, coat noodles in pesto sauce, add the rest of your vegetables, basil and cream cheese. Add final layer of noodles, rest of the sauce and rest of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake in the over for 45mins. to an hour, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes if you like your cheese to brown off a bit. Eat. That's my first attempt at a recipie, let me know if you try it out! P.S. Something is wrong with the spell check function on Blogger right now, sorry for the errors.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Followed by My Epic FAIL returning to this blog that is. I promise, I really am coming back now that the wedding is over. Maybe I'll bring some photos, maybe I'll find something else to write about but first I need to finish a few PowerPoint slides.
My onion infested husband is taunting me at the moment but I will be back soon for real.
I'm currently trying to think of a new sub-heading as I've just begun year four. Suggestions?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Big Come Back

Since I am completely bored with wedding blogging as evidenced by my lack of entries and dying to get back to documenting my life as it unfolds I decided to come back to the world of normal blogging. In my head, I have continued to compose blog entries that never made it onto the keyboard. To ease back into this blogging thing I will start off with a rant in the form of a letter to the German Post office. Dear Deutsche Post, I would like to mail my wedding invitations to our German friends and relatives but you are making this so difficult over a measly 0.02cm. I would even say 2mm if that helps to illustrate the ridiculous aspect here. a standard letter can travel anywhere in Germany for 55 cents. I sent off six of my "oversized" invitations with carefully chosen 55 cent stamps and 5 of the 6 never returned. I know for a fact that one arrived at its destination and one came back to me. Today, I went to the post office prepared to buy new stamps for the rest of the invitations at 90 cents each. I can deal with 90 cents, it is still less than 1 EUR. However, when I spoke to one of your mitarbeitern, he informed me that it actually costs 1.45 EUR to mail each one because I want to send over sized (by 2mm) letters! I was shocked and flat out refused to buy the stamps. Do you realize that I could have sent them from the US to Germany for 90 US cents?!? They would have traveled across the Atlantic ocean one by one creating more work for the USPS and I could have saved about 65 EUR cents on each considering the exchange rate! It would have been half the price to mail my invitations easily 10 times the distance. Any intelligent person can see that this makes absolutely no sense. If I had the time and didn't have to use Deutsche Post to ship the envelopes back to my mom, I would completely have her mail them from the US! This is seriously robbery. I think I will try to mail a few more with 55 cent stamps and cross my fingers for nice postal workers who will deliver them despite their 2mm height difference. I now understand why Germany use email to distribute invitations. Sincerely, J.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Things I Don't Like Part Duex

I've been asked to write another post on things I don't like. I feel like this makes me seem kind of negative and judgey but I'm only doing it to satisfy a request and because I have seen a pattern developing lately that I just don't like. Adults on scooters. I'm not talking about Vespas (those can be super cute) or Segues, but tiny little Razor like scooters. In recent days I have seen multiple men and one woman wearing a suit and scooting along. I thought the worst was the guy in a suit and tie and helmet and then today the woman sitting in front of me on the bus (sometimes I ride the bus because it is faster than the Strassenbahn) stood up to get out and revealed her scooter. Dressed in business attire complete with loafer heels she mounted her scooter and rode the 50 meters to the train station. There are so many things wrong with that picture I almost don't know where to begin. First of all scooters are for children aged 13 and under. Second, scooters are a mode of transportation, if you are riding the bus to the train station and then taking a train do you really need a scooter to travel between the two? Third, do you really think scooting is more efficient than walking? Answer that again as you balance your briefcase/purse in one hand hold the scooter in the other and try to get out of the bus door, mount your scooter and use one foot to scoot, one hand to hold on and the other hand to hold all your stuff all while dodging the pedestrians in front of the train station then dismounting and carrying the scooter through the station doors because you can't scoot in the station. Really if you don't like to walk, get some Heeley's for the commute, you would at least look more coordinated. Adults do not belong on scooters. FYI: I can't even find a picture from Google to illustrate the ridiculousness of an adult riding a razor scooter to work and everything exists on Google.
Oh also, I don't like this constant rain we've been getting. May was full of grey clouds, umbrellas and wet sidewalks. I can only hope those were the April showers and now we will get June flowers and have a beautiful summer. It's torture to read Facebook updates and see that my RI friends are spending their days at the beach or in the sunshine and I'm wearing a sweater and carrying an umbrella everywhere I go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things I don't like

Some things I recently observed which I don't like include faux leather leggings or as I tend to call them, plastic leggings. To my knowledge these became popular via the Hills (since LC left I am not sad that show is being canceled) and Heidi Montag circa 2008, which is reason enough to hate them. Well, they have recently trickled down to Mannheim and I'm sure they are in all the trendy shops because I see them on someone every time I walk through the city. However, my biggest gripe with these plastic leggings is that they are nearly impossible to pull off without looking cheap. First, you must be tall and have sticks for legs - thigh differentiation is an automatic fail. Second, the leggings must be of a certain quality to not look like, well actual plastic. Third, they are very night time if you are not incredibly trendy or living in a large metropolitan city. Finally, you kind of have to wear them as pants which breaks the leggings are not pants rule but they just don't look good under most skirts (some ultra minis may work). In general leggings should be black and that is the only good thing these have going for them - I've never seen them in another color. Today was the worst sighting thus far, an overweight, unkempt, middle aged woman wore them under a floral dress and I think she was on her way to work.
Overly preppy boys. You know the ones with the constant popped collar, side parted long hair and multiple pastel colored sweaters. This may be surprising because I love preppy boys but there is a strong line that should not be crossed. Generally, dressing like you just walked off the Ralph Lauren runway every day of your life is crossing the line - use discretion when adapting fashion for life. Also, boys who carry LV satchels cross that line.
People who don't use the space bar or punctuations. I can excuse a lack of punctuations online but if you are handing me an academic paper for grading it better be properly spaced and have 95% of the punctuations required by the laws of grammar. While you're at it, please also include your name and the course section so I know where to file the attachment you sent me. Oh and when you ask me for advice, don't answer your own questions because if you do that you're wasting my time and you're going to do it wrong. When you come to class and see an empty seat with a bag, binder and bunch of loose papers, sitting in front of it, it's probably taken, please don't just decide to dump your stuff on top of my papers and sit there.
lick slime.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Life of a Grad Student

Today I really feel like a stereotypical grad student beginning the moment I stepped out of the house wearing a cord blazer. I proceeded to whip out my binder of student presentations for correction on the Strassenbahn and got through most of my work in time for my stop. Thursday mornings are, perhaps my favorite because, every second week, I get off at a different stop than normal in order to get to my course. This stop is right near my most favorite coffee shop in all of Mannheim. On most days I don't drink coffee but, every second Thursday I allow myself to indulge and it gives me something to look forward to when I leave the house at 7:30. Today I was particularly early and had work with me so I sat inside and had a leisurely coffee while reading case studies. In the spirit of spring, I ordered my first ice blended concoction of the season. You walk in and are always greeted with a chipper hello, usually in the form of Morgan!, by the barrister. Since the barrister(o?) is always the same man, I guess he may own the shop. His accent gives away that he is Italian and the way he foams the milk and pours the espresso into my latte/cappuccino/iced mocha demonstrates his passion. The reason I've never had a bad beverage is because every thing is made to order with love. Maybe I read too many Nespresso cases this morning but I really notice the difference in coffee quality and overall experience. Even if you take your coffee to go, you get the same friendly greeting and service and everyone gets a ciao on the way out the door. Two weeks ago, while waiting for my caramel macciato, a man walked in. The barrister knew him and asked if he wanted his usual cappuccino to which he replied, he would take two today. Apparently this man met a woman on the Strassenbahn and offered to buy her a coffee. As he explained, a giddy expression over took his face and the barrister shared in his joy like an old friend. Clearly this place has a lot of regulars and I long to be one but it is just not close enough to my office or home for daily visits and I don't really need a coffee habit. Back to my day as a stereotype, I put my blazer back on and left the coffee shop, stood in front of a class of bachelor students and proceeded to sit on desks and ask thought provoking questions. Maybe that is not so much of a stereotype. Once the course was over, I headed back to my office for a day of research. As I unlocked my door, I learned from a colleague that we now make more money. Before your celebrate for me, in typical University fashion, it's not a significant change, about 5 EUR per month which results in close to 3 EUR after taxes, but it's enough to buy a coffee.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


I feel like I was just in the US even though I've been here in my new apartment for about a month now. Not that you could tell if you saw my kitchen-less, half painted, still partially boxed up living quarters. However, I'm about to head back to the US next week. It's kind of bitter sweet. On the one hand, I'm super excited to be going and beyond happy that my paper was accepted by a conference. On the other hand I really wish I could get this moving in stuff settled. Not to mention, I have a lot of work to do this week before leaving on Monday. Back to positives, I did work some vacation into this trip. First, a good friend from college who I haven't seen since will be meeting me in NOLA for the 2 days before the conference including Mardi Grais. I'm excited to spend time with her exploring a new city and with a little bit of luck, we may even be able to celebrate the new Super Bowl champions after today! Then after the conference, I'm flying out to SOCAL to spend a couple of days with an old friend who recently moved across country. Initially I was going to spend these post-conference days in RI but my mom pointed out the likely undesirable weather in RI in Feb and I was just there in Jan so I decided to take this chance to see the West coast and hope for a bit of sunshine. My ideal itinerary for my first trip to the west coast would include the San Diego Zoo (I've wanted to go since I saw it featured on Sesame Street as a child), dipping my feet in the Pacific and hanging out by a fire on the beach. above photo is from such a random website I have a long week of work ahead of me then some fun, my first academic conference and a lot of flying but there's also a lot of ocean so I'll be happy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wedding Blogging

Since my dad was shocked to find out I was keeping another blog and he was reading this one, complaining about my infrequent posts, here's the link to the wedding related blog (dad you need to click on the words to get the link). I also realized since he does not have a Blogger account I can make fun of my dad on here and he can't even comment ;) Anyway, for now, I'm off writing about wedding related things and chronicling everything that we did last month in RI. I'd love some feedback so feel free to pop over and leave comments.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Goals

As promised, here are some goals for 2010. I suppose some are more easily attainable than others but I'll try my best to reach them all. 1. Get married, 2. try a new sport, 3. visit 3 countries I've never been to, 4. lose 15kg, 5. go in the Pacific ocean, 6. make spontaneous decisions, 7. climb a mountain with P., 8. Finish 2 complete studies/papers, 9. make a new friend outside of work, 10. be proud of myself. See you in a year with an update. :)

2009 Firsts

I lied, I have some things to blog so I'm going to do it. I recently came across a blogger who wrote down her 2009 goals last year and then looked back on the list now to see what she accomplished. It was a nice reflection of where she was and how far she came. Since I didn't do that I thought I would start with listing some things I did for the first ime in 2009 and then follow up with a list of goals for 2010 so I can reflect in a year. 2009 Firsts
  • visited Asia (Japan)
  • skiied in the Alps
  • enrolled in a German course and actually made an effort to speak more German
  • began pilates classes
  • took up bike riding as a mode of transportation (and a fun summer hobby)
  • did not see the Atlantic ocean from RI at all (weird but true)
  • did not swim in any ocean (sadly not even while in Japan)
  • tried new foods
  • hosted my first adult birthday party
  • packed up an entire apartment
  • drove on the autobahn
  • got a German speeding ticket :(
  • picked a wedding cake
  • shot off a firework

Catching Up

It has been a long time since I've written. I have composed countless posts in my head but somehow none of them made it to the keyboard. In re-reading the last few posts, I feel like I was in a completely different mindset when writing those. It was that time of year when summer quickly turns into fall which fades to winter but is not yet the holiday season and I was eagerly anticipating my visit to the US. Now, it's winter, after the holidays, there's still snow on the ground but the new year has begun, groundhog's day is fast approaching and spring is just around the corner. I recently returned from almost 3 weeks of vacation in the US surrounded by family and friends where we successfully planned a wedding in 20 days. Yet the semester is still a couple of weeks away so I have time to catch up on my research. I'm anticipating a "business" trip to New Orleans which I've added a few vacation days to so I can visit SOCAL for the first time in my life and shortly after I return I will be heading out again for a wedding in the Caribbean over Easter break. Life is good and exciting. My plans for the next couple of weeks are to focus on actually moving into our new apartment and organizing the wedding plans, making sure checks are written, budgets categorized and all tasks checked off our list appropriately. Following up in the world of wedding, I plan to post more on the wedding blog for the next couple of weeks until I have chronicled all that we did in these past weeks. Basically, I'm saying the light to non-existent posting will continue but updates will happen on the wedding blog because that's where my life is headed for now. Happy 2010!