Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorite Cities of 2011

I thought I would write descriptions but then I decided that a bunch of stupid haikus would be the easy thing to do here.. some of them probably wont make sense (you just had to be there, etc) but whatever, shut up, this is my blog.

 Chicago, Illinois

Take 80-90
Avoid rush hour traffic
cheap deep-dish pizza

Sagunto, Valencia, Spain

Walking to Sagunt
Under highway, over bridge
The Mercadona

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Gaudi's big dildo
Gypsy's Beatles puppet show
delicious coffee

Barcelona- man I love this city- the epitome of bohemian- easily the most unique and interesting place I've been to so far. Gaudì's work is astonishing- I remember talking to a Japanese guy while descending the narrow, winding staircase in La Sagrada Familia- "How does this place even exist?" he asked me. 
Las Ramblas, the main tourist drag in BCN is a bizarre and wonderful place full of gypsies, artists, and of course, pick-pockets- an adventure indeed. Also, Barcelona is home to my favorite futbolista, David Villa.

Madrid, Spain

Atocha Renfe
go missing, Plaza del Sol
fake ice-skating rink

Madrid is the capitol of Spain. Duh!
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of Madrid the first time I went because, well, we were only there for about a day and a half and I was pretty sick. The Prado on it's own is incredible, but nothing can beat an afternoon in the Reina Sofia. Madrid turned out to be so alive and so inspiring. It's huge, and probably the best place I've ever been for people-watching. 

Morella, Valencia, Spain

Siesta in Park
Strange cathedrals, aged temples
Castle at the peak

I went to Morella with a smaller group from the school in Sagunto. We spent one day in the small town at the top of a mountain. The day was so sunny but a little chilly. I just remember it being so calm and quiet up there- I can't really describe it, but there was a sort of reverence that echoed through the streets. Morella is an old city in Valencia where the locals are still considered Valenciano. 

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

relentless sunlight
gelato-filled bread
comical card games

I went to Sicily sick. I was miserable the night we got there, walking to our guest house... but I'm so glad I didn't let that cold stop me. Palermo was something special- calm, rare- we didn't see many tourists there (only ran into one american couple), and we made a few local friends. The night we arrived these turkish men at the guest house gave us dates and almonds, and later some old guys bought us gelato in town. I know we're not supposed to talk to strangers... but I think that when traveling that is most definitely a requirement. I mean, be smart, of course, but so many people are afraid of even talking to other people they encounter. 

Granada, Andalicía, Spain

saunter through the streets
tired walls bleed graffiti
woman begs for change

 (stole this from Jason- All my photos from Granada are on an external hard drive in Berrien...)
I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with the spanish tour that came from Andrews to Granada. I only spent one night there and one day- the next night I took the overnight train back to Valencia so that I could make it to work. Granada is home to the Alhambra- which deserves a post all on it's own. Andalucia is gorgeous and I can't wait to go back again someday and spend more time there. 
I spent a lot of time on my own in Granada because I wasn't really a part of the school's tour group even though I followed them around a lot. I just remember walking through the city at 6am on a Sunday to get my ticket into the Alhambra, and seeing all the people just leaving the clubs haha... 

Toledo, Castilla La Mancha, spain

lounging riverside
chew the fat, wait for nothing
running with joggers
Look how happy I am with my favorite people! 
We spent the first part of our trip to Castilla back in April in Toledo. Toledo was amazing and beautiful but I hate to admit that my favorite part was finding that little brown leather purse I'm holding. Of all my souvenirs and everything this one is the best. I use it ALL of the time and I love telling people that I paid 11 euros for it in Toledo. One of my favorite days was spent in Toledo- Grace and I just went and sat by the river for hours instead of wandering around the old capitol. 

Valencia, Spain

black coffee, gold tea
double towers defend me
one-thousand funerals
Where do I even start? Fallas. La Indiana. MTV Winter series concert. So many great days took place in Valencia. I love this photo because this street is just so familiar to me. As much as I love Paris and Barcelona, Valencia is just special to me. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


epic fail.
I googled myself and found this blog. oops. I forgot I had it. and after reading that last post.. im really embarrassed haha..
well quick update to the 0 of you who are still reading this:
I'm in Spain.
I really like it, but it's hard sometimes.

That's pretty much it.
now, I want to come back, but im not making any promises, ok?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

i'm back you guys

for real this time. maybe.
I was chillin at tumblr for a minute because I won this photo contest and got like 600 followers in one day, but the more i use it the more I h8 it. Its like, a bunch of tweens who are into justin bieber and puppy dogs, mixed in with a bunch of 'hipstars' with those stupid-ass "Real-D" glasses with the lenses popped out. There are many photogs on there that I like, (Sean Ocean, Maureen Fischinger, etc) but not enough to hold me there. It just seems inauthentic. Write a meaningful post with words and not pictures and you lose like 5 followers. Post a nice pic and its reblogged a few times, and oh look, your name and credit is gone and now a piece of your life's work is just another jpg on the internet.

well i am more than a jpg.
my work is more than a piece of the internet.
or something like that.

I have gotten very good at typing without a real space bar. i kinda keep my thumb on the little dot and its extra work but im getting used to it. I ordered a new key (like $6 for a dumb piece of plastic) and am having it sent to tampa- so hopefully it will be there by the time I get back from chicago.

Chicago is a 'kewl' place. Think I might actually consider coming here after graduation, but im not sure. This midwest metropolis is interesting, I know my way around a bit and I have tons of family around, but im just not sure if I really want to come live and work here. I love Boston... A big (ish) city with a small town feel, as a friend once described it. I have only been there once but it still stands out as my favorite US city. Actually in Boston we had the worst, cold and rainy weather but i still loved it. I was fighting with half of my friends (so dumb lol) but it was still quite awesome... one of my favorite trips!

Anyways I have been contemplating getting out of here for some coffee for the last few hours. I even took a shower and picked out some clothes but I still haven't really decided. Do I really want to go sit in a cafe with my laptop again? Do I really want to walk to the corner of the block? Its not like I have 'work' to do, and I really need to stretch my money as far as possible. I only have like $3 left on my CTA card.. thats only one more ride!

well i suppose I will be off to further contemplate the idea of getting coffee... I should at least put on some jeans and get something at the 7-11, right?


Thursday, April 1, 2010

WHOA! is anyone out there anymore?

The ease of Tumbling had made blogger seem really really lame- but I think I should blog here more often. Tumblr is great and all but 99% of my posts are just reblogs of photos that I like. Maybe I should just make two? One for photos and one that describes every mundane detail of my life?

So lately I have been battling with a dilemma. I have so many options for next year.
I can go to Tanzania where I will work for ADRA taking photos and writing stories. I love Tanzania with all my heart and I know I have to go back there eventually- I just dont know if i should go somewhere I have already been or try a new place. Africa is amazing- I saw the most beautiful people I have ever seen in Tanzania- as well as the most beautiful land, animals, etc... I was so passionate about going back before- but now I am just not so sure. I would have to raise a ton of money and the position seems lonely.

And then there is Spain- A completely different place! I have ALWAYS wanted to live in Spain- its a major dream of mine and I dont know how likely that will be after college. In Spain I would teach english to very little kids and live with a family there in Madrid. Not many photographers from the department seem to have gone there and I think it would make for an interesting portfolio. Also.. Spanish! I need to learn it!

Another option is Thailand right there in Bangkok working as a graphic designer. It looks like a ton of fun to be on a team of other SMs and from what I hear they are pretty desperate for some help. We'll see where that goes...

Right now I am leaning towards Spain- but honestly it isn't even my decision! I could end up somewhere completely different! I just have to keep praying that everything will work out okay.

Friday, February 5, 2010

um, hello?

wow. Forgot about this blog though I have had it for a few years now...
my last post sounds so whiny! I have been pretty busy lately which is actually pretty awesome.
Its funny that my last post was me complaining about how boring my weekends were and how I was sick of staying in. This weekend I am staying in (except super bowl sunday!) and I am pretty happy to be staying in- Its nice to just hang out by yourself sometimes, you know? maybe im just weird like that but anyways...
tonight im just hanging out and watching prince of egypt. keeping it super low key and uh.. yeah like, whatever.

not sure if I will update... ever... lol

maybe in like... a year?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


what the hell has happened to my social life?
I dont like staying in... at all. I like to go out. I like to get dressed up and go out to eat. I like being the 'loud' table- the one with all the college kids flashing their cameras and laughing at the most ridiculous and immature jokes.I am pretty sure that this is like my 100th weekend staying in. I used to like to do things on my own but not so much anymore. My independence is starting to get realllly boring.

Isn't there anyone out there who wants to go out some time? Seriously. ANYTHING. We could go to Papa Vinos. Or we could see what is going on at the Performing Arts Center in South Bend. Even if we just catch a movie at wonderland. I. DONT. CARE.
Just get me out into the world again...
just... so... lonely...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Will I Ever Feel Like That Again?

So a couple of weeks ago- on Thanksgiving day I was battling holiday traffic on my way to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to construction on 94 I was stuck in single lane traffic for a little less than an hour. While flipping through the Chicago radio stations I flipped past something that felt so familiar. I hesitated and finally flipped back to that station. I listened to the familiar song once more, realizing that it was the first time I had heard it since I was in high school- or maybe since Shay's funeral... I couldn't remember which. Either way there is something about this song that makes me feel so... complete? I know that sounds like a total cliche lol.. but I know no other way to describe it. It feels like home to me. It feels like I have a family- like every Friday night when that song was played at vespers- those people around you- those adolescent, spoiled, ill-tempered and annoying academy students became your family. I haven't felt that way in a long time, and I will easily tell you that I ache for it.
College is like six flags at the end of the season. You count the days until you get there. You imagine all the rides, shows- all of the fun you are about to have. The day comes when you can finally go and its overcast. No big deal, you didn't want a sunburn anyway... so you make the most of it, right? You get on the first few rides and have a total blast. By 10am you realize that you have been on every ride so you go to check out the shows. By noon you have seen everything and by 3pm all of your close friends have gone home early. Determined to get your money's worth you remain. You sit there, freezing in your shorts, tanktop and sunglasses. You begin to remember Cedar Point in May. The warm sun bouncing off lake Erie, your best friends on either side of you screaming their heads off on the Wicked Twister... what could ever amount to that feeling? So you make the most of Six Flags. You repeat the rides and enjoy as many pointless games and shows as you can. Fake it till you make it right?
Well after three years dont you think I ought to have made it by now? I mean I dont hate it here, I like it, but I dont LOVE it like I LOVED Academy. Am I supposed to love college that much? Was I supposed to even like High School?
Im not trying to be a downer tonight- im just really tired. It's been a rough day- I have been very sick and unable to study or enjoy hulu. I am just praying I dont have Swine flu. My point is... I have made the mistake of listening to this song again tonight. It is bittersweet. I have let go of High School and tried to embrace college but it doesn't seem to be working. I feel empty, meaningless and almost even corporate. My work is suffering too. I feel like so much of it is lacking soul..
I liked it before, you know? but now I am tired of being 'independent'. I am tired of constantly only having myself to really rely on. Granted, I do have family here, but its not the same. I feel like nothing will ever compare to the friends I had in High School. And the sad thing? All of us will never be together again. Even with my closest friends I have to spend time with them separately because so many of them hate each other now. I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school... I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy!! I just have a lot of feelings... lol..
dang. I totally went off subject.
Bottom line- I really miss MVA. I miss the feeling of 'Togetherness'... I miss feeling God, I miss being a part of something. Without that I feel lost.

(real bottom line= pms/having a cold/finals week is really getting to me now)

oh and this is the song that started it all: