Thursday, March 5, 2009

Say, have you seen?

After having traveled around the US for all of February, I am finally home. Now, I have only a couple days to finish up classes. Wish me luck! I just wanted to let you know that I am alive and well, and writing essays furiously. I'll leave you with the dramatic monologue I came in contact with during my English work. What do you think?

Say, have you seen?

Say, have you ever seen

The emerald green of the sea
Or the shimmering white peaks of mountains high?
Looked up in awe, in ancient pose, of a millenary tree
Or watched a thousand birds take flight and flutter towards the sky?

A hundred songs to dance to, a thousand stars to see,
life begins to chime, and quickly rushes by.
Travel’s golden glaze glitters, beckons to me,
and whispers of wonders that dazzle my eyes.

Off I go, warn the world!
Off I go, taking Adventure by the hand,
and dreaming of wiggling my toes
in the sticky, dry sand.

Life is but a story to tell,
and travels, but a chapter.
But all those sights I love so well,
are memories, sweet memories.

The little things are oft the best,
a captured moment worth its weight in gold.
That sip of coffee that does pass time’s test,
and tickles your tongue still when you’re old.

Lingering faces, wonderful dreams,
pastries and poodles, and beautiful streams,
hidden among the evergreen canopy of leaves,
little stars peek and sparkle and tease.

A hundred songs to dance to, a thousand stars to see,
life begins to chime, and quickly rushes by.
Travel’s golden glaze glitters, beckons to me,
and whispers of wonders that dazzle my eyes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing my journals on barf-bags

As some of you know, I set out on Tuesday morning from Barcelona, to fly to San Francisco. Somehow, though, everything went wrong. Not bad, really, seeing as I never found the chance to grumble, but, just wrong. Funny thing is, I made lots of friends (as tends to happen when you are in line with the same people for almost 2 hours, and you keep bumping in to each other on random check ins, flights, airports, etc.), and actually enjoyed myself~

My oh-so original note title comes from the source of my inspiration... barf bags. Where else are you supposed to find something to write on in an airplane? And, I remembered that a good friend of mine writes letters to people on the airplane, on barf bags. Smart idea. So, I wanted to write letters of my own. However, I ended up with enough journal-novel material to last me for a few chapters, and I ran out of barf-bags way before I was done.

Have you ever asked the people sitting next to you if you can have their barf bags? pretty amusing reactions. Especially when the realize that you are NOT going to throw up all over yourself and them. They actually become interested in your cutrious little hobbies and odd ideas...

Anyways, here is the extremely short summary of what happened over the last 50 hours (that is how long it took us, instead of a normal 20):

we left the house at 6am Tuesday. checked in to BCN, boarded plane, waited in plane for 4 hours because of a mechanical error. got ushered off plane. waited another hour. were told that the silly bolt they needed to make the p-lane fly had to come from the States. made friends while waiting in line for over an hour and a half. got shipped off to a hotel with everyone else. were told that it would hopefully fly out at the same time the next morning.

got a call in the middle of the night, telling us that, in order to make our conneciton to SFO, we had to get on a different flight with a different airline.
next morning, got to the aiport, tried to check in with Continental, who sent us to the Continental desk thingy, who told us to go aaaalll the way to the American desk, two terminals down.
2 hours later and a lot of badgering incompetent slobs behind the desk, and we tried to check in again at Continental--now 10 mins before boarding, and we still had to check bags and go through security and reach the faroff gate.
when we looked at the tags on our bags, we saw that it only said that they were going to Newark (forget JFK, that was in the past, they told us), not all the way TO SFO. the incompetent, lying sack of Siberian snakes behind the counter told us that there WAS no flight from Newark to SFO. Ever. With anyone. So, she told us to deal with it when we got to Newark.
then, we reached the gate (we RAN, in boots, with carryons, and purses, and coats...), found our friends (we all got shipped onto the Continental flight together), boarded, sayt down, took off, and reached Newark.
Ok, Newark, New Jersey ( I got to see the Statue of Liberty as we circled over NY! She's small...)
we get off, grab our bags, run to the Continental internation transfer desk.
they tell us that we do have seats for the SFO flight (that the lady in Bcn told us didn't even EXIST), but, that they are both in my name. The incompetent lady at Bcn had booked the first flight in Mom's name, and the second in mine. Now, however is THAT going to help, I ask you?
so, we had to run to American, two terminals away, to get that straightened out.
then run baaack to the Continental terminal to check our bags in again.
and then they couldn't figure out HOW to check our bags in...
by this time, we had 20 mins to get up, through security, and reach our gate
but, somehow, we made it
well, my sore legs today tell me that it was because we ran as fast as only rate people can

Even so, I am extremely thankful to ahve reached CA safe and sound, and with our BAGS!! I won't even go in to our adventures running around the SFO airport looking for a plug converter and an alarm clock... Not now, not now... And, I have another 2 houra before jetlag kicks in~ Good thing I kept myself awake till 3 or 4 the week before we left.... now I get another couple hours of awake-ness before my brain tries to shut off... we shall see :)

PS-- NEVER. EVER. EVER. NEVER. EVER let someone who drops you off at the airport pray for you to have "a safe and exciting trip" We saw where that got us...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Take... luck!

Have you ever had one of those extremely embarrassing "Take luck!" moments that comedian Brian Regan talks about? Here, let me show you what I am referring to:

Do you ever start to say something and in the middle of what you’re saying you decide to say something else completely? There’s already words out there. These friends were leaving the other day and I started to say “Hey, take care,” and I decided to say “Good luck” instead like half way through, so it came out neither.

“See you later, Brian.”

“Take…luck! Take luck and care. Take care of the luck. Good luck taking care of the luck that you might have…if you have luck, take it, care for it. TAKE LUCK CARE OF IN IT WHEN YOU TAKE LUCK CARE OF IN IT…[continues to yell nonsense words – lots of ‘em].” You’re sure to see them again.

Well, the other day, I contacted a Spanish Egyptologist, alumni of JHU, to ask him all about the Johns Hopkins program, and other random questions about my future. As I type now, I look down to extremely short, finally-growing-back stubs of fingernails, seeing as I ripped them all off in a moment of weakness. Basically, writing that email, trying to sound informed and yet not snobby, dreading his reply, and finally driving myself into a panic attack led to the utter destruction of my pretty, long nails. They have not been this short for years! And, if that was not enough, the next day, he CALLED. On the PHONE. As some of you know, I have inherited part of my father's distaste for phones.

So now, I sit, on the sofa, having had to stop in the middle of an Algebra test, smiling, and bobbing my head up and down like a moron, mumbling "yes!" "great" "oh?" and "ooooh"s over and over. Bumbling idiot! But, the best part was me trying to stutter out "graduate studies." I know, this is not a hard one. I have said it hundred of times before (probably more since I started writing to colleges). But NO. Annalisa could not bring herself, in that moment of dulled wit and strangled reason, to say "graduate studies" decently. It was definitely a "take...luck!" moment. "GraduATel. Gra-du-etl. Gra-dua... *sigh* Stoodies... stu.. stud.." Yes, truly embarrassing, and so incredibly silly. After all, Dr. whats-his-face was nice, kind, and helpful. And here I am, making myself sound like an idiot. Gotta love unexpected phone calls.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Trees and chachquis

Today, for the first time ever, I was almost eager to have my own Christmas tree to decorate. Mostly because, after envisioning a lovely version of a cute little Christmas tree was taken over by the mob-effect decorating that takes place at our house every year.

Strange, eh?

Even stranger is the fact that, most likely, next year, I will be missing the little moments of decorating with the whole family:
-trying to decide whether to use the lemon tree or a little pine-like bush-tree that some random guy gave us
-having Schindler's List playing in the background
-after pausing the movie, having to go out to the TV cabinet and closing the door so as to shut the paused dead guy from sight
-having Joseph play "Christmas" music from his Ipod, which included the Ramones, ACDC, and a wild assortment of other extremely unique characters
-trying to convince Mom that the mantle can only hold so many chachquis at once
-trying to convince Joseph that the itty bitty tree bamboo-stake-propped-up-tree could only hold so many lights/ornaments at once
-going over to close the cabinet door again to close off the dead guy on screen
-unpacking boxes and boxes of THINGS--all which smelled of mildew to some varying degree
-trying to decide why all our little Pesebre figurines were OLD people, and why there couldn't be a young shepherd person that didn't look like a girl disguised as a guy in order to tend to the sheep
-putting plastic Poinsettia flowers in Tessa's collar, thinking how cute she looked, and then watching as she shook them off and began attacking them
-trying to dance along to Joseph's random Russian song that was playing, and ending up flat on my face as a combination of a sofa-hit-me-on-the-way-down and my-slippers-are-slippery

This is what makes the holiday season special:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Hurrah! I am now officially over with SATs, SAT II subject tests, and the like. Alright, alright, I am still waiting for my last Molecular Biology test results, but, all that that influences is how highly/terribly Johns Hopkins thinks of me from here on out. Tests are done, college applications are done (as soon as I send in the one for JHU this afternoon, at least), and I have been enjoying myself immensely these past few days.

As I browsed through my blog in these precious moments of freedom, I realized that I never recounted my past SAT experiences and adventures. Yes, adventures. For SATs. Not even the test itself, really, but rather what LEADS UP TO said annoyingly-long test.

Last May I took the SAT for the first time--after two PSATs and all too many "Collegeboard Official SAT Question of the Day" redirected to my inbox. Why take it in Barcelona when I could fly up to Germany for cheaper? So, yes, I flew up to Germany, stayed with a wonderful family (what do you call a family, of which ALL of the members are your friends? Hmm . . .) and took the SAT as planned, as well as the AP Spanish exam.

For the first round of SAT II Subject Tests this October, I stayed in Spain, and went down the night before to stay with some friends that lived er . . . "nearby" the language school where I was to take it. This one was fun--in retrospect, of course, seeing as most of it can be considered as the very image of Murphy's Law. Three days before the tests (I was to take Subject tests in French, Spanish, and Molecular Bio), my AP Bio teacher sent me a link to some material to look over. The day before the test, I realized that there were roughly 30 pages (when transfered to a Word document) of material that I had NEVER seen. I take that back . . . 6th grade science class provided some background info, as well as the TV show House, and the last 3 months of my "religion" class in 4th of ESO. Long story that is no where near PG. So, I spent the night before cramming everything from the most intricate details of the digestive (talk about unpleasant) or just how a flower "works."

The morning of, we got up extra early, only to find that the digital watch I was planning on using had... yes, died. This was not even my watch (which had died the week before). The sheen of its blank face mocked me. So, mom hurriedly handed over her watch: extremely small, rectangular face, and it was a REAL watch, with HANDS. I knew then I was done for. But, I had to run up to the mirror to put my eyeballs in and actually SEE the watch anyways. Lo and behold, incident #3. Have you ever tried to punch holes in your notebook paper, and, it sort of makes this floppy half-circle, with one side still intact, so that you have to rip it off to actually "finish" the hole? Well, now, imagine a contact lense, with the center in this annoying half-punched hold state. Is that even possible? Well, sadly enough, it appears so. I have ripped, scraped, and torn contact lenses, but never had them do the hole-punch effect before. Just lovely before a big test. Add in the fact that, my usually-magical-bag could not produce an extra pair of contacts, but only my purple glasses.

So, off we go, out in the cold, trying to weave out way through the nasty one-way-streets labyrinth that is Barcelona. Of course, all streets that you NEED are going the wrong way. At long last--and laughing my head off by the end, seeing how inane the whole situation was--I stumbled into the school, more than half-blind (for my glasses are from YEARS ago, before I was blind as a bat), nervous as heck, and COLD. I have never dropped my pencil during a test before. I did this time. 7 times to be exact. In a row. Needless to say, I did horribly on my Bio M exam--luckily aced Spanish, and did very well on my French one.

This December Bio M test (yes, I took it again :P) was less eventful the day of, but, the night before was, a nightmare, quite honestly. The little 2 year old of the couple that we stayed with was sick. And she screamed. Very loud, very long. Who knew that someone with a lung infection could ring those vocal chords so loud without ever stopping to breathe? Seeing as this post is getting extremely long, I will cut myself short. Suffice it to say that I discovered that there is no need for 1-2 hours of sleep to begin dreaming. And, when your brain cannot easily pass from a conscious to a subconscious state, your dreams are incredibly realistic and vivid. That morning, I had a glass of Gazpacho, accompanied by a glass of Coke. Feed me, fuel me. What else could I ask for? :)

And, now, I must away, back to schoolwork, and finish up these essays for Johns Hopkins. Wish me luck!