Saturday, December 31, 2011

a fresh start .

Hope everyone has a happy and fun New Year's celebration. Let's give 2012 a hearty welcome. I'm lucky enough to be spending the night with friends for what I'm sure will be a great celebration. Stay safe out there, and enjoy the night!

pure kindness .

It's been awhile since I've been back home, and actually hung out with old friends. I did that tonight, and it was nice. But what has struck me lately is a sort of attitude change that was in my friends. They seem different. Or maybe, I'm the different one. Maybe I've been a better person lately. Either way, there is a noticeable abundance of kindness, selflessness and generosity from these people.

Friday, December 30, 2011

winter sunsets .

I honestly have no idea what to write about, so the first thing that popped into my head were these sunsets. There are a few things I love about winter. For whatever reason, every day that it's sunny, the sunset is gorgeous. It's perfect, and every time it's a little bit different. Sometimes there is a smooth orange glow, and other times it's a vibrant blood red. But something about the cold crisp winter weather brings that out. The other thing is just how cold and quiet the night is. There is this magic silence about it. Another thing? You can always see Orion, in particular Orion's Belt in the night sky. I've never been able to find it in the summer -- it simply isn't visible, at least where I live.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

right in front of you .

I feel like a lot of girls are always looking for that perfect guy, always looking for someone special, always looking for someone to not just take their breath away in some sort of fantasy, but to be a realistic and practical person; an all around good person. Why is it that they are always looking? I think that girls are more prone to want to be with someone than guys are. That's my theory, anyway. Granted, I may not be grouped in with the male majority -- I am a huge fan of relationships. I think it's a wonderful opportunity to be able to exclusively share your life with someone, and over time build an incredible emotional relationship with someone. But that's another subject -- we're talking about the people who are always looking.

coffee .

While reading my book today I encountered a rather obscure and unthought-of truth: Coffee is middle-aged America's drug of choice. The stuff is everywhere. And some people are so hooked that they physically can't start their day without it. Now, I like coffee, but I've never absolutely needed it in order to start my day. I'm glad about that, too. It's nice to try different kinds, and nice to soak it all in. And sometimes, let's be real, a hot drink is just what the doctor ordered. But not all the time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Music Monday #46

Alright, it's been awhile since I've posted one of these because I didn't do one last week. So, this week's song is What I Wouldn't Do by A Fine Frenzy.

an outstanding christmas .

I didn't post yesterday, so here's yesterday's post: I had a really great day; nice meals, all day in pajamas, lots of reading time, lots of relaxing time, lots of time spent with my brother. I didn't ask for much, but got so much more than I wanted / needed, and got to see the joy of other people as they opened the gifts from me. I hope that your Christmas was as good as mine.

From my home to yours, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

always welcome .

Sitting in Christmas mass tonight amidst all of these people that don't normally go, the priest's homily struck a chord with me. His main message was that the thing Christmas was all about is not to be afraid. Of all the miraculous things that happened that night, angels and everyone else spread the word to not be afraid. Lots of people had to have lots of courage for all that happened. And yet, all we have to do is make the effort to go to church.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

irreplaceable .

There are some people out there who simply cannot be replaced, ever. How is it that you can get along so well with them? Having a friend who will laugh with you at the stupid things that you say, and the mayonnaise that gets all over your face when you eat a burger; having a friend who will hold your hand if you're lonely, and give you a huge hug every time you see them. I don't have many of those. Heck, I may only have 1 or 2. But I will treasure them forever. Heck, you guys read this blog -- I will treasure you forever.

Friday, December 23, 2011

back in the saddle .

This coupling of words constitutes a grouping of 2 meanings in my life today -- the first being that tomorrow, I am going to try to get back on the bike for the first time since I went away to Europe (boy was that hard not being able to ride..) and also getting back into the mix of America.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a few things all at once .

So today, there are a few things I'd like to mention. Today was pretty uneventful, since I went to work. But later I went to the library to grab a book and then out to eat with my family at Outback, where I had my first beer as a legal dude. Nice. I'm loving the new car, that I bought, and while it gets shit gas mileage, I knew that was going to happen anyways so I'm not worried. But there are three things in particular that I'd really like to go over today.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Barcelona: Day 119 : the end .

Well, I'm not sure if this is technically still a day that should count towards Barcelona -- but given that I spent half of it either in an airport or on a plane coming home from Barcelona, I'd say it does indeed count. It always blows my mind to be on a plane that long -- and to think that hey, this morning I was in Barcelona, and now I'm back in New Jersey. That sort of thing is insanity.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Barcelona: Day 118 : going home .

I spent the majority of today packing up my life here to go home. 2 suitcases and a backpack later, I'm ready to go. It honestly didn't take very long because I sorta started 2 days ago or so, so I've been slowly getting it done. Everything fit no problem, which is good (always nice to know your suitcases won't explode on the way home...). I must say, I'm so thankful that Kendall stayed in my room the past few days. It would have otherwise been incredibly lonely and depressing.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Barcelona: Day 117 : there for you .

I thought of this topic yesterday, intending to go in a particular direction, but when I saw it today my mind went to one thing in particular, and that was a song by Flyleaf called "There for You." The words are absolutely stunning, and I love that I've even had the pleasure of hearing this song. For the longest time, the words spoke to me, and still often apply to things that go on in my life. Lacey Mosley is a true genious.. and her voice is gorgeous. The one line that sticks out is 'sometimes I'm a selfish fake / you're always a true friend.'

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Barcelona: Day 116 : Christmas spirit .

I don't begin to think about Christmas until only about 10 days before Christmas. I hate Christmas music, and even plug in my headphones while we put up the tree (though these days I am never home to partake in that anyways). I hate the commercials you see on TV that seem to start after Halloween, and I hate the stores being full of people when all I want to do is meander and browse in peace. While many may call me a Scrooge, I beg to differ. I just celebrate differently. There are still some songs that I enjoy, and I do like giving gifts -- actually much more so than receiving. I'd like to think I put a lot of effort into getting a great gift for somebody, something that will mean something and that they'd really appreciate. I try not to ask for much... though it's hard when you always want new things, and sometimes just need new things.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Barcelona: Day 115 : Quotables .

Haven't done one of these in awhile, so figured I would today! (especially since my day was rather uneventful). I know that often I ramble away from the topic at hand, but usually the quotes just act as a way to get the ball rolling; I hope you don't my erratic writing style. Anyways, here goes: It was once said by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that "the world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Barcelona: Day 114 : Last Call .

We were up early today to get out to Gardermoen Airport outside of Oslo. As per usual, it wasn't really light outside the entire time... By the time we got in the air above the clouds though, the sun was gorgeous. Oslo was awesome -- I'm going to miss it. However, I think both Kendall and I agreed that two days was a good amount of time. We saw a lot -- and the point was really to see a lot of different architecture. It was interesting because this is not the general tourist things that people do... but more of our own little architectural excursion. We got to travel off the beaten path, and go through the sort of normal daily routine of a Norwegian.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Barcelona: Day 113 : Oslo has a sun .

Today we decided to get up even earlier. After realizing yesterday that Oslo's hours of daylight availability are few and far between, there was no reason to wait. We were up and out of bed at 6am, and out the door at 730. We had compiled a pretty large list of things to go see, and had written down the transportation and whatever else we needed (map locations, landmarks, etc) in order to find these things. And so, while it was still dark outside, the hunt began.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Barcelona: Day 112 : A Dark Wet Beginning .

So the first wake up call of this trip was that when we woke up it was still dark outside. And not just at 6am... but all the way until 9am. We didn't see the sun all day. The sun rises at 9am, and sets at 3pm. Yes, 3pm. Do Norwegians even know what the sun is? Probably not. The lightest it got all day was maybe 25% of normal sunlight at best. It was amazing that this was the case. Regardless, we were up and out of bed at 7am, ready to conquer Oslo to the best of our ability. Breakfast was delish.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Barcelona: Day 110 : Oslo-bound .

So we're leaving for Oslo tomorrow! I've kept my eye on the weather and despite some predicted blizzard weather for 2 of the days we'll be there, it seems to have lightened up a good bit and we'll be in luck. The place where Kendall and I are staying happens to have a webcam. You know what? They already have snow on the ground. I could not be more stoked. I feel like it's been ages since I've seen snow -- I'm such a winter junkie.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Barcelona: Day 109 : A few more things .

I woke up today, late, around 2 in the afternoon. After feeling that I had wasted the day before, I didn't want to blow any more time, since it is rapidly running out. Ryan's side was drastically empty, and I tried to almost put it out of my mind since it is such a reminder that you are now alone. I'm sure that in the next week many more people will be leaving. This post is going to be a sort of update on the state of things, so it may not be too long or interesting, but it's just what was on my mind today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Barcelona: Day 108 : Final Goodbyes .

So, Ryan's been packing pretty much all day. It's hard to condense four months of your life into a few suitcases. Somehow though, we're all going to have to do it. I'm not excited for the packing process; I'm going to be perfectly honest. It's amazing that the time here is coming to a close and we are all moving on the next chapter of our lives. I think that the most awakening thing will be that Ryan won't be in the room any more at all for the next 10 days. Granted, some of that time will be while I'm in Norway, but it still leaves about 5 or 7 days where I'm just here in RESA, without a roommate.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Barcelona: Day 107 : A Final Dinner .

Tonight we ate our final official dinner with Kathrin. In some ways it was a little disappointing because so few were there -- Ivan and Jordi, two of our teachers, were supposed to come and both were sick. Ryan decided to go to Bible study instead of the dinner. Other kids were stuck getting back from Switzerland and never showed up. However, dinner was a time to reminisce, and enjoy the company of the few people that we've spent these 4 months. It's amazing that already it has been that long. I can't believe that in just a week and a half I'll be heading home. The time has gone incredibly fast.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Barcelona: Day 106 : a Definition .

Ambrose Bierce once described comfort as 'a state of mind produced by contemplation of a neighbor's uneasiness.' This is an interesting way to approach comfort. I think that there's a good number of angles that you can really have on it -- comfort, I mean. There are comfort foods, comforting family members and comforting friends. There's physical comfort, and emotional comfort. The interesting part about Bierce's statement is that one's comfort is a direct result of other people being uncomfortable.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Barcelona: Day 105 : Outside .

I don't know where this is originally quoted from, but it stuck out to me today. The quote is that "the artist must stand alone to observe a crowd." I semi consider myself a bit of a writer, simply by the quantity that I write and the fact that I do it so often. It's a great thing for me, and I really enjoy it. Writers, are, in a way, an artist of words, using them to paint a true picture for us to view in our heads. I'd like to consider myself good with words, knowledgeable in vocabulary and strong in being able to get my point across not only concisely but also in an artistic way. I've always wanted to write a book. But what does that really entail?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Barcelona: Day 103 : Soldiers .

The other day I watched a movie called Jarhead starring Jake Gyllenhaal. While many war movies seem to paint a picture of grandeur and nationalism and pride, this one was different. This one seemed to give a bit of a look into the potential truths behind being a soldier. There was the actual difficulty by the drill sergeants and the staff sergeants. Most of all though, it seemed to paint an accurate picture of war.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Barcelona: Day 102 : Several Things .

So there's a few things I want to talk about in today's post. The first, is just a quick shout out to one of the blogs I follow, Le Love, and a picture that they posted yesterday. One of the pictures in the post said 'let's find some beautiful place to get lost.' Well, tonight I revisited a place we had been as a class with Kathrin as a part of field studies. The place was Mount Carmel, and if you remember back a good number of posts, we visited there and it overlooked the city and you could see everything. This time, I returned at night, and while it was pretty chilly and windy, it was well worth the climb to see Barcelona all lit up at night. I'm a big fan of being up high and looking down all over things.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Barcelona: Day 101 : Food for Thought .

One of the people that I follow on Twitter is Meghan Markle, who plays Rachel Zane in the new TV series "Suits" on the USA network. I was a fan of her in the show, and therefore her character, but since following her on Twitter I have gained more respect for her, as she is an exceedingly nice and genuine person, and often takes the time to respond to fans (myself being one of them) and tweets some things that really make you think. Last night was one of those tweets; she wrote: "Food for thought: 'What's missing from most people's lives is the realization that nothing is missing.' "

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Barcelona: Day 100 : the Beginning of the End .

Finals began today. Finals as in, the final reviews for our Studio course. As per the usual, last night meant crunch time. I took an hour and a half nap from 5am to 630, and then got up and continued working. It's been just barely enough to get me through the day on what little sleep I had, and Ryan didn't even sleep at all. Our review may not have gone very well, but we presented the best that we could. We couldn't help that there was a very tough reviewer and he sort of set the tone for what everyone else said. We had struggled since the beginning of our project of how to tie every piece together, and that was what was noticed in the final product.

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