Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Barcelona: Day 99 : Cultural Differences .

This morning, I was looking at youtube videos on Irish slang, as I have learned a bit here and there from a friend, but many of the suggested videos were ones on cultural issues. For example, many were in regards to people who had visited a country and just overwhelmed by the differences or the words that were used. This is particularly in regards to the differences between England, Ireland, America, and Australia. We may all speak English, but that doesn't mean our cultures are the same and commonplace language is the same.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barcelona: Day 98 : Inspiring Verses .

I get several devotionals sent to my email each day; three to be exact. I also have my actual devotional book that I read -- often I'm behind in that though. But one of the three that is emailed is just a Daily Bible Verse. There is no explanation or reflection on it; you kind of get to do that on your own. But today's really hit me a bit. Here it is:

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday #43

This week's song is by a landslide, the original mix of Rebound by Arty & Mat Zo.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Barcelona: Day 96 : Advent .

As crazy as it is, the Liturgical year has ended and thus begins a new one. The church was decorated today with purple linen, and the priest wore a rich majestic purple robe instead of the customary green ones of ordinary time. The 4 candles were set up around a giant wreath, ready for the 4 weeks of advent, and the first was already burning.

I think that advent might be one of my favorite times of the year. It is a time of anticipation, not just for the holidays, or winter break, or Christmas. But a time of anticipation in religion. Every year we get to re-celebrate the birth of Jesus, and whether or not it chronologically occurred on this date or not, it's the idea behind it that is important. I love the frigid weather as you pass from your house to a warm car, then from the car through the cold again and into the church.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Barcelona: Day 95 : nice guys finish last .

Is the popular saying true? In the past on this blog I've talked about courtesy and chivalry and all of those things. But does being a douche really make you a desirable person? Well, the way I see it, it goes a little something like this:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Barcelona: Day 94 : Quotables .

Lucy Maud Montgomery was quoted saying "In this world you've got to hope for the best and prepare for the worst and take whatever God sends."

I've always heard the saying hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I completely agree -- and perhaps that's a bit more of a pessimistic view on life, but hoping is still always good. But the last part made me check myself a bit, the part about taking whatever God sends.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Barcelona: Day 93 : Giving Thanks .

So it's the third Thanksgiving that I am celebrating away from home, and in a sense it has become a bit of a tradition to not have my Thanksgiving dinner at home. In some ways, it's depressing; missing out on a little time with the family and getting to feast in the peace of your own home. At the same time though it's interesting to sit in with other families and see how their traditions and cooking goes. But this year was different, because there were no families to scamper off to the holidays. This year, we were on our own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Barcelona: Day 92 : One Year Anniversary .

A year ago today, I started this blog. I didn't know where it would lead me, or what sorts of things would end up in it. I had no notions of Music Monday, and even tried different things like lyrics at the ends of a post all the time. I've missed days and made them up, I've fallen very much behind, but always I have come back to write the post I missed. If you had told me a year ago that this blog would have flourished as much as it has, I don't think I would've believed you. There has been no shortage of material to write about, and there is always new things to intrigue me.

Barcelona: Day 91 : Disconnected .

It's been 3 months since I've been in America. European culture has taken its toll on all of us, I think. After being sick, all I've wanted to do is get a taste of America again. It'll be a relief to be able to speak English freely, to drive my own car, and to walk into a restaurant that you know will serve you a nice juicy and greasy burger with some down home French fries. You'll get ice with your water, and your refills will be free.

Music Monday #42

This week's song is Levels by Avicii.

Barcelona: Day 89 : Occupy __________ .

The Occupy Movements began with Occupy Wall Street, which was a "series of demonstrations initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park of New York City's Wall Street financial district. The protests are against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption, and the undue influence of corporations -- particularly that of the financial services sector -- on government. The protestors' slogan 'We are the 99%' refers to the growing difference in wealth in the US between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population."

So, yeah, the Occupy movements. The one on Wall Street has led to numerous other leaderless protests in other cities in American and even around the world. In fact, while in Dublin, we saw the Occupy Dublin protest in front of their national bank.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Barcelona: Day 88 : Isolated .

A feeling of isolation is one of the weirdest things that you can ever feel. There are 6 billion people in the world; how the heck could you feel isolated anywhere short of Antarctica? I don't know if I do it to myself sometimes; I'm sure there is some validity to that statement, but sometimes it happens to. Subliminally I think that I want to be alone, and left alone, and just on my own for awhile. Once I get to immerse myself in that, then I can come back and be social again.

Barcelona: Day 87 : Quotables .

Francis Bacon said that "a man dies as often as he loses friends." Coming from a kid who doesn't have a very extensive friends list, I think he's right. I've always felt more independent, and more often than not, wanted to be on my own a lot more than most. When I meet new people, I attempt to not get attached. After high school ended, lots of people went and disappeared; people I thought would have still been there. You know what I have to say to that?

Fuck 'em.

Barcelona: Day 86 : The War .

It blows my mind to think how long we've had troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. September 11th 2001 was the beginning of all that, and that was 10 years ago now and more. And now here we are still there, still fighting, still losing people everyday. Recently I re-watched the HBO series Band of Brothers. It's a bit hard to watch that knowing that it very well be the same sort of situations across the sea, with boys struggling as they see members of their platoon disappear, never to return to life, only to return to America in a coffin.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Barcelona: Day 85 : Quotables .

Oscar Wilde said "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

I used to have this obsession with always finishing a book once I started it. It didn't matter if I absolutely detested the story or the entire book itself or whatever it could have been that was distasteful. But I always finished it. This was so much the case that I still remember the few that I actually didn't finish: the 7th book of the Chronicles of Narnia, and of course Jules Verne's 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea (the movie was much easier to get through than the book...). There were always those series that I couldn't get enough of too -- like the Lemony Snicket books, the Artemis Fowl books (if they turn these into movies it will be absolutely epic), the Animorphs books, and the Time Warp Trio. I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting... but that's not really the point.

Barcelona: Day 84 : Ron Paul .

This is going to be very odd, because I never ever talk about politics -- mainly because often I am ill-informed and ignorant (my own doing, I don't look too much into it). I missed the last presidential election by a mere 4 days, as it was on Tuesday the 4th of November, and my 18th birthday came the 8th. I was mildly gung ho for Obama at that time, though I'll be the first to admit that I didn't look too far into policy. I just thought it would be cool to be a part of an election that brought the first black man into office. We could argue he's only half black or mulatto, or fuck let's just call him a dark chocolate cappucino while we're at it; technicalities = blah blah blah shut up. But this time, perhaps I shall be a bit more prepared for election season. That is, of course, much later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Music Monday #41

This week's song is Winter by Joshua Radin.

Barcelona: Day 82 : A Good Night's Sleep .

Being sick, it's amazing how your body reacts just from not having a good night's sleep. It's all out of whack, you're randomly tired, you fall asleep literally in the middle of doing things (I've dozed off several times alone just sitting here working on blogs). I wouldn't be surprised if there are grammatical and spelling errors in these posts simply because my eyes are half closed. But that's okay.

Barcelona: Day 81 : Quotables .

Francis Bacon said that "God doth hang the greatest weights upon the smallest wires." In some ways, I agree with this. He stretches the limit, and stretches the mental and emotional wires of people. There's something I always tell myself though, when problems arise or something of the sort: God wouldn't give this to me if he knew I couldn't handle it. And then, all of a sudden, things are better. It's not that they're physically better -- but your outlook has changed. And that can make a world of a difference.

Barcelona: Day 80 : Joe Paterno .

With all the things in the news lately regarding former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, it's an absolute shame to see Joe Paterno's legendary reputation go up in flames. It's hard to believe that such a thing could even happen. Now, I'm not a Penn State fan and honestly could care less about the Nittany Lions, but in this case, my highest sympathies go out to those fans. For years on end Paterno has been a source of inspiration not just for the football team, but for the whole school and the fans also. This sort of thing certainly will taint a reputation...

Barcelona: Day 79 : Busy, Busy .

Well. It's been awhile now, and I've fallen a bit behind on writing...I could make a lot of valid excuses, but I mean, when can you not make excuses? Things have been busy here; and as mentioned in the previous post the workload has seemingly increased. As of right now we only have about 3 weeks left of classes, as final reviews for studio are December 1st and 2nd.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Barcelona: Day 78 : The Workload .

Believe it or not, our time in Barcelona is beginning to run thin. Classes end at the beginning of December. Final studio reviews are the 1st and 2nd. Other classes are quickly winding down, and there are 3 weeks left of class. Then we have three weeks of hanging out time -- and then it's time to head home.

Barcelona: Day 77 : Happy 21st .

And thus another year has come round, and again it is the day of my birth. It's crazy to think that this year, the age is such a milestone into the adult world. At 18, you are officially an adult -- at 21, you are really officially an adult. Although I suppose if you're planning on renting cars anytime soon, 25 is the mark for true adulthood. Regardless, my mom notified me a few days prior that she had received the license change forms in the mail.

Music Monday #40

So last week I skipped Music Monday because I was writing about travels in Dublin -- However, this week it makes its return with Meet Me At My Window by Jack's Mannequin.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Barcelona: Day 75 : Blog Topic #39: How I Process Blogs and What I Do With All That Info

Starting a blog was probably one of the best things I could have ever done with my life. If you sit in complete and total silence, eyes closed, ignoring everything but the air that you're breathing, the ideas flow. For me, often things come when you're attempting to fall asleep. I'm sure you can relate -- you're in bed, ready to hit the hay, and yet your brain just came up with a million things it wants to mull over. These things go straight into my blog.

Barcelona: Day 74 : Blog Topic #50: Friends I Can't Wait to Meet .

Throughout life there are so many people that you come across that sometimes it can be hard to keep track of it all. But I think the most interesting part is not the people that we've already met (sorry guys) but the people we have yet to meet. These are the people that I can't wait to meet.

Barcelona: Day 73 : Chris Brogan .

Every so often I come across a time when I simply don't know what to blog about. It's easy when I'm out and about, traveling around Europe or just around Barcelona. But it's not as easy when it's been raining since I got back from Dublin, and the things that we've done in class have been, well, relatively boring and unexciting (redundancy noted, it was purposeful). At these times I literally type in "What should I blog about" on Google, and the first link always pops up to a guy named Chris Brogan, who has a list of 100 topics he wishes people would blog about, if he were a reader. This is one of those topics.

Barcelona: Day 72 : Books .

I haven't read a good book in a longgggg time. Over the summer I went to the Headquarters Library a few towns over from my home and actually perused the sections of different things that I might be interested in. I was pleased to discover that I was actually thoroughly enjoying myself. Perhaps, I thought, this rekindling of a love of books would stick around.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Barcelona: Day 71 : Quotables (yet another one) .

Edwin Abbott once said "To live was then in itself a delight, because living implied seeing." Although all of us are aware of the fact that blindness exists, very rarely does it cross our minds; or at least mine, anyway. I don't think about it unless I see someone with those huge sunglasses, or with a helping dog, or with the long stick they use to feel their way around. We take the sights we see everyday for granted.

Barcelona: Day 70 : Living a Dream .

I think that every person's goal in life is to find something that they truly see as their dream. They can live it fully each day and love every minute of it; to the point where they are obsessed with just life itself. At what point can you consider yourself to be at that point, in that moment? I think that many consider their life dream to be unattainable, but this is a grave mistake -- all it takes is the determination to get there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Barcelona: Day 69 : Goodbye Dublin .

It's hard waking up knowing that it's the last time you'll see a place -- especially for a very long time. I have no idea when I'll even be able to come back to Dublin, or Ireland at all. And to some extent, it's almost hard to enjoy your last day there because you know that come the afternoon, you'll be on a plane back to a normal existence (though in this case, living in Barcelona is hardly normal).

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