30 June, 2007

Hilary, you're the shit!

This is Hilary's new fiance!!!!! I am so happy for her that I can't really stand it!!!! Aaron and Hilary, I wish you the best for lifelong happiness and I am so bummed that I can't go to the wedding, but we will meet again...


I am missing the hell out of the boys, since they left for the US a couple days ago...

                    • Who can I debate (for an entire cloudy day) why we can’t swim when the sun isn’t out?
                    • Who will join me in following an ant trail around the entire outside of the house?
                    • Who will want to exchange socks and then laugh at the silliness of how our feet look?
                    • Who will I watch Polar Express yet another time with?
                    • On who’s face will I see an exact imitation of one of my facial expressions?
                    • When will I again laugh until tears come to my eyes for no particular reason at all?
                    • Who will look at 100’s of photos of my family and friends and then ask to see them again?
                    • Who will lay on the sidewalk with me and watch a snail eat an entire honeysuckle flower?
                    • Who will try my patience one second and then say something so entirely sweet that I can’t help but smile?
                    • Who will patiently let me style their wet hair so they look “guapo”.
                    • Who will I watch the Simpson’s with?
                    • Who...

                    San Juan –

                    Castellon is just too small for me. Although I love small cities over large ones, when you are a single woman it can become just to cozy. This weekend is the San Juan celebration which is where everyone lights beach fires all along the coast. Hilary and I went to this last year (photo) with some friends and had a good time which of course lasted all night long. I think I was the last one to crawl back to our friend’s apt. …some time after sun-up the next morning.
                    Well, I was going to go to them again this year with friends and Robert, but after reflection on my time in Castellon, I realized that I am not ready to see or run into guys I have dated the past year and a half. Now it’s not like I have utilized all available dateable males, but it already feels like I am in high school because everyone knows each other and though I have not gone out (ranging from coffee to a short relationship) with tons of guys they all have too many gossipy friends. Like Colwich Kansas, those who remain in the town keep in touch with everyone personally or through the grapevine.

                    - Robert ran into a guy a month ago and they got to talking about whatever guys talk about and he mentioned to Robert that last year at San Juan he had met this American girl and really had a good time, but he never saw her again….well, of course Robert knew who this American girl was (there’s not a lot of us in Castellon) but like the great friend he is, he didn’t mention that he knew me. While the guy was nice, he drove a Porsche or some kind of little sports car and of course he thought I would be impressed by that. I actually wasn’t entirely un-impressed until I got in it and saw that the poor stupidly expensive car was throughly trashed. From there it only got worse because after we went for a swim, he got towels out of the trunk and the towels smelled completely moldy. I wanted to say to him..."You want to really impress me? Clean your damn car and take inventory of the contents in your trunk once in a while!" Anyway we did have a good time, but by the time he dropped me off, I had already figured out that I would not ever go out with him again, so I said “give me your number, I’ll call you”…oops

                    There are stories similar to that one, but I really don’t want to relive them. It’s not that the stories are sordid or shocking, but guys gossip just as much as girls and no one can convince me otherwise. I am only in Spain for another 2 weeks and I want my time here to be relaxed and not complicated by anything, especially not jealous or pursuing guys…or one of their friends.

                    shave it...

                    If I didn’t wear glasses, I would shave my head. I think that would be an incredible feeling. I look at photos of my brother and little nephew and am envious of their sometimes bald heads.

                    If I ever get laser eye surgery and can ditch my glasses, the hair will be the next to go.

                    multi-tasking and loss

                    21-June-07 – Well it’s final! My online master’s course is over and I have turned in my 30 page thesis proposal. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I pretended it to be although it did cause me a bit of stress from time to time.

                    The last week has been spent doing what I do best…yes organizing and packing. The McKee’s had to decide what goes with them to San Diego and what will stay in Spain for storage incase they decide to come back in a year. It was like a “Clean Sweep” of the house, room by room deciding what goes, what is donated, and what is trash. 53+ boxes later and the house looks pretty empty. I ended up getting rid of about ¼ of my stuff as well. I came to Spain with a large suitcase, large duffle, my computer backpack and a smaller backpack. When I moved here from Castellon I had all the previous AND 2 more large backpacks and 3 boxes! Since I have no idea where I will be going in September and I have to take everything I own with me to Innsbruck, I realized that I just can’t (nor do I want) to have all this stuff. After the purging, I am now back to the original amount of stuff plus one large backpack. I will have to get rid of more clothes and books before Austria, because I can’t take everything I have on a plane or train.

                    One thing that happened is that I had a small box with all my mementos from the past year all neatly organized in a travel journal and this box also contained my other travel gear (locks, ziplock baggies, some foreign money (us and uk) binoculars and other things I can’t remember. I lost this precious box somewhere on one of my moves. It really sucked at first, but now I have gotten over it. It reminds me of the time a former jealous boyfriend destroyed my writing journal that I had kept since high school. THAT felt like the end of the world; as if someone had just destroyed ½ of my life. Over time I realized that the memories are still with me, although the feelings I had while in that moment in times is gone… The box I lost pales in comparison to that journal but I really would have liked to find it and have in my possession my souvenirs, but it is not going to happen, so life goes on…

                    bus adventure

                    19-June-07 – I got off the train from Vila Real to Pucol after teaching my one remaining English class. (This isn’t about a train, really! It’s actually about a bus…so read on.) All of my other classes are done for the summer and I only have a one-on-one class with Roberto twice a week. It really doesn’t make sense economically since the round trip train ticket costs almost 50% what I earn in that hour…but I am fulfilling my commitment and it’s only until the end of this month…anyway after catching the train, I arrived into the Pucol Renfe Station at 5:35 and the Urbanization bus called VIAZUL (or blue bus) wasn’t coming until 5:55 so I sat down and had a cafĂ©. I then went outside at 5:50 to wait for the bus, as the last time the bus came 5 minutes early which I fortunately was ready for. I waited and waited and at 6:05 it still hadn’t come. The Municipal bus was supposed to come at 6:10, so I wasn’t too worried…

                    About a minute later the blue bus came tearing around the corner and would have zoomed right past the station had I not rushed and waved my hands in the air. I got on the bus and quickly sat down as the driver jammed it into gear and took off. He reached back and took my ticket, slammed on the brakes to stamp it and then handed it back as he tore off down the road through the city to the urbanization (or subdivision) that I live in. It was a crack up because he looked like a heftier version of Russell Crow. I would glance up as I hung on for life and then smile really big. As he was making up for lost time on his route he asked me where I was going and then bypassed two other streets in the neighborhood to get to my stop (which is the main stop) I couldn’t help but think of the possibly unfortunate person waiting at one of the stops he bypassed, hopefully he hit them (the stops not the people) on his way back out.

                    train trash.

                    18-06-07 – More train stories…I really must quit listening to DemocracyNow.org podcasts on my Ipod while on the train! I find myself blurting out words out loud. I can’t really help it, when I hear uncaring unintelligent bullshit spurt out of brainless G.W’s mouth in an interview, anything, anything at all, I can’t help it but to comment “Oh PLEASE” or “You’re a *&@%#!! ass”. Then I jerk my head up surprised that real sound came out instead of just the noise in my head. Most of the time, no one is really paying attention to anyone else plus there are very few who would understand the English coming out of my mouth, so I am safe for now, but I really don’t want to be classified as one of those crazy ladies who spurts out obscenities here and there…

                    Too FUNNY!

                    15-June-07 – There was a woman on the train that was so asleep that her mouth was open and I couldn’t stop looking at her and cracking up so hard. It’s like when you are talking to someone and they have a really big blemish on their forehead or something in their teeth and you can’t stop staring at it, or when there is a “creepy” guy staring at you and you don’t want to glance at him, but it’s almost impossible not to, although you keep telling yourself to stop.

                    I couldn’t stop looking at this lady and I was about 3 rows from her. I imagined what would have happened if I was sitting across from her. I probably would have had to move or I would have woke her with my laughter. No one else was laughing (that I could tell) and it made me wonder if I was the only one that found this otherwise formal looking lady with her mouth hanging open simply irresistibly hilarious.

                    12 June, 2007

                    online access...

                    Well, since school is over in Vila Real, my english classes have diminished to only 3 hours a week, so I cannot get online but once a week here. For some reason I cannot access this blog site on Becky´s computer in Pucol, so I usually type¨thoughts¨ on my couputer, save them to my memory stick and then bring it to work and post here. This process is now not quite so easy.

                    A quick update though, while I have the opportunity.

                    June 27th - McKees leave for the US

                    June 27th - Where I will stay at this point is as of yet undetermined...

                    June 29th - Joao from Austin arrives!

                    June 30th - the ¨other¨Mckee adults are going to Tailand and I will stay in Valencia and watch their 2 children.

                    July 14th - The ¨other¨ Mckees return

                    July 14th - What I will do at this point is um..as of yet...undetermined

                    July 16th - Classes start in Austria

                    01 June, 2007

                    More links…

                    I am back with the McKee’s for a few days and I was able to meet Becky´s family from the US who are in town visiting from ¨coincidentally¨ Austin. We had fun talking about all the places we both know. Her half-sister, ¨coincidentally¨ lives in KS, in the same city where my first nanny job was and where I went to Johnson County Community College for a year..again more reminiscing.

                    Susie from KS is a dietitian/nutritionist and was thrilled to read about my thesis (well...so she said, but she may have just been being nice, since I know KS people and they tend to be REALLY NICE and accommodating) She did read it all though and listened to me go on and on about my thoughts and gave me great information (websites, books and her experience working in a hospital treating obese patients) which I may need in regards to statistics/research for my thesis.

                    …and then Charlie told me that his sister is coming into town for a few days and lo and behold, she works for the World Bank (and formerly worked for USAID) and probably has really good information, insight and contacts....and surely one of them could possibly help me in my near future job search. I am not counting my chickens before they hatch, but the way things are “falling into place” I am not not counting them… I will go with the flow and what happens happens. It is very interesting living my life like this and really takes all the stress out of it. I wonder if lack of stress will make my grey hairs return to their nice shade of brown?? hmmm....I won’t hold my breath on that one.

                    dirty mind!

                    dreams…I am taking this “purpose in life” a little too far, or maybe I am just thinking about it too much. I had a dream the other night that I was shot right through my heart, but I didn’t die. (Some previous boyfriends would take that as proof that I did indeed “not have a heart”, but that is another story...)

                    In the dream I was walking around trying to figure out why I wasn’t dead because all the other people the guy shot were dead, (except my dream sister who wasn’t portrayed by one of my real sisters, luckily). My dream sister and I were discussing why we weren’t dead although we both had huge holes in our chests and you could see through them; we tried going to sleep but then were disappointed that we didn’t die while we were asleep. I finally figured out that we weren’t dead because we had “unfinished business” to do. Our purpose in life wasn’t fulfilled and we couldn’t die until it was, so we had to walk around like ghosts trying to find our purpose in life.

                    We then found others who were “ghosts” at this house where there was music playing. I persuaded a shy 17 year old “ghost boy” to dance with me....and then I woke up…which was good because I am not sure where that was headed and it would probably be illegal in the ghost world too.