Sunday, April 20, 2014


46 days left in Europe. Weird, right? Most of me is incredibly excited and only some bits are beginning to feel the twinge of sadness. 

Here's what's been going on in my little world of schnitzel, wine spritzers and teaching:

  • had my medical exams and have ruled out anything remotely cancerous, ulcer-related, or otherwise chronic. still not sure what's exactly up but I have a hunch it's been mostly stress fueled...oi. (plus a possible food intolerance ultimately made worse by worrying and fretting! HURRAH.) but yeah, WOO! good news, really.
  • spring has finally sprung. trees are green. flowers are in bloom. the sun comes out at least a few times a week...cannot complain.
  • after stanley's visit I spent a weekend in Vienna with my babes and had a grand old time. was a much needed break from my doldrums and refueled the spirits.
swings are not just for children

park day with my bezzie

  • here are some instagrammed whatsits 

my beautiful city

artsy cupcakes

particularly good day with sun and mixtapes in the mail
  • just had a wonderful Amsterdam adventure with the best friend and an Easter feast the day after I got back.  things are good.

Although I'll miss this little town and the European way of life I will not, let me repeat, not miss teaching.
Over and out.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

marching on

Spring is beginning to show her beautiful pastel-colored face in Graz. The birds have begun to chirp again, flowers are slowly creeping out of the thawed ground and I've successfully felt actual sunshine on my squinty pale face. Sun? IS THAT YOU?! NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN. 

As of today I have 40 more working days here in Austria. 40! (plus 22 days off...) My flight home is booked for June 5th and my last day of school will be May 28th. How did this happen? February, thank the gods, flew by. I've never disliked a month more than I dislike February. Last year was the snowy season from hell plus the lost house key debacle and this year was another round of gray skies and cold noses plus the unfortunate escalation of health problems for yours truly. GET THEE TO A NUNNERY, FEBRUARY.

"Health problems?" you ask. Since the beginning of December I've been plagued with a gastrointestinal tract that simply won't play nice. Since then I've seen several doctors, both stateside and abroad, been administered this test and that, and had the misfortune to lose and gain symptoms as easily as the wind changes. Thanks for the consistency, body. Rude. 4 weeks ago I scheduled one of those incredibly invasive procedures that are typically reserved for the over 50...And in one week I'll finally undergo said procedure. The main downside to my brief affair with socialized medicine is that because I wasn't hemorrhaging from my innards at my hospital visit, I was simply scheduled as soon as I could be fit in. Naturally, the plus side is that I wasn't bleeding all over my guts. However, the downsides of waiting 5 weeks for an exam are the constant gnawing worry, impatience, discomfort and guilt for the increasing amount of classes I've missed. I have no idea what's quite wrong with me, I just know that I can wake up feeling like there's a hot ball of lead in my belly, or that I'm going to retch over a class of 20 youths or even feel perfectly fine. Sometimes food helps, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I forget that something is wrong only to be reminded a few days later. I'm smart enough to know that if I truly felt the need, I could visit a hospital any time, any day. The mildly annoying fact is that, as uncomfortable as I may feel throughout the week, I don't feel bad enough to go to the emergency room. Double-edged sword, I suppose.

Hopefully this explains why I've become more and more of a recluse, why I spend more time than should be legal online and why my online updates are far more subdued. I'm laying low until I know what the heck is wrong with my bod.

BUT as my exam draws nearer, I can feel my stress decreasing. Which has allowed me a bit more fun this past week than previously.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras, or as it's called here, Fasching. This year I played it safe and was only out of the house for 3 hours and refrained from imbibing (which did me little good, because I still wound up staying home from school the next day due to awful queasiness that lasted well into the evening) I threw together an impromptu costume of what I had lying around the place and became, for those 3 hours, a mime.

New career choice?
Jenn went the Rocky Horror Picture Show route and inevitably had much more fun.
The festivities continued as my dear friend Lauren from HIGH SCHOOL came to see the sights of Austria and Graz. A successful attempt to eat her way through this country.

Her first experiences with Austrian beer and Käferbohnen. THE BEANS!

An afternoon in Vienna

Ginko. Vegetarian heaven.


"Everything the light touches is our kingdom."

Graz on high

Biggest pizza party.

Lauren's gone now and I have zero plans for the weekend except to sleep and eat and sleep and eat. Over Easter break I'll be traveling to Amsterdam, seeing The Netherlands for the first time as well as being reunited with my heart and soul, Tini.

Those are all the words I have for today. I'm going to feast on that leftover pizza now...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

verona favs

Remember how I used to update this lil' guy? Hmmf. Well this and that happens and I don't find myself as compelled to do much of anything these days. Except stroke small animals and eat lots of cookies. I'm hoping my generally cheerful disposition returns with the sunshine of March! Even though I already put all these on the facebook, here they are again to prove that this was a travel blog of sorts.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

january blues

Sometimes life moves really quickly, and sometimes slowly---sometimes it feels like it doesn't move at all.

 You, dear reader, may have noticed the dramatic drop in activity here. You may have noticed that I wax poetic far less these days. I haven't stopped living and doing neat things, but the neat things I do seem to have gotten smaller and simpler.  But as its now a new year, 2014 in case you've missed it, I'm making changes, rearranging and rethinking how I go about my business.

January is nearly behind me and I will rejoice when it is. This is the second year in a row where the winter months seem to have taken their toll on me, left me a little weary and less likely to brave the cold and more likely to stay in and look at pictures of corgis in various costumes. I'm not wallowing in misery or anything quite so drastic, but my moods are a little heavier and my willingness to "put myself out there" almost nonexistent. I really need to buy more vitamin D tablets...

Though to be fair to January, Christmas is really hard to live in the shadows of. This Christmas was very good, which both helped soothe my homesickness and rejuvenate me for the coming months. I only have 5 or so of 'em left here in Austria and I suppose I better make the most of them. Although my yearning, aching, wailing desire to backpack everywhere has diminished, there are still bits I plan on visiting in the new year. Still trains and planes and buses to ride, a more manageable pace. Like I've been telling anyone who asks, I'm ready to step away from the nomadic life so that I can appreciate it again. Roaming has become the norm and I am so tired of temporary housing. I have no plans to SETTLE DOWN in the strict sense of the phrase but I do want to put all suitcases in a closet for a while.

2014 is also the first year in many where I don't have a real plan, a real goal. Two years ago I was applying for this position. The four years before that I was away at Lewis and Clark and before that I knew I'd be going to college somewhere. Right now I don't have an application to submit, a deadline to meet, a letter of recommendation to send. I don't have a potential employer or admissions committee to dazzle with my, well, with whatever dazzled them before. Go back to school? Where? For what? Move to Portland? Work where? Move to SLO? For what? Currently I have more questions than answers and more vague options than I can shake a stick at. I think this is what they call your mid-twenties crisis.

I'm not the only one, right?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

new home

I've been in Graz for 1.5 days now and already my room feels like mine.

I have this bordering obsessive tendency to decorate whatever space I inhabit. Immediately. If I see blank walls, my mind will focus on nothing else until they have pictures of cats and travel taped to them. Beds must be made (something which will last about a week), drawers organized, desks arranged, candles lit, fairy lights hung and knick knacks set in their rightful places. I'm fairly certain that I was an interior designer in another life---that, or a hoarder. Who knows.

I arrived at my new abode sometime after 6 pm on Friday and by 7 I was out in the city, tracking down the things I'd stored here over the summer. By 8 pm I successfully lugged two very large suitcases, one backpack, one carry-on suitcase and a laundry basket full of bedding and a large stuffed polar bear up into my room (up two flights of stairs, mind you.) I was beat. After a full day of travel, plus an unplanned 4 hours of uncomfortable airport napping in Frankfurt, I was ready for bed. I didn't care whose bed. Luckily, this one belonged to me. That night I didn't even bother unpacking. I was too tired. My floor was a series of luggage piles and I didn't care.

When I woke up, I cared. After a harrowing trip to IKEA and several failed errands, I was ready to unleash the hounds. I spent Saturday  putting things in their new places, making my room feel less like a level of hell and more like somewhere I wanted to stay. And by the time I met up with friends for a pasta dinner and sturm (essentially alcoholic grape juice, wine that's not yet wine.) my suitcases were stowed and things began to feel less temporary. Today was spent sleeping, watching American TV and decorating. Yesterday was practical. Today was aesthetic. My walls are no longer blank, surfaces no longer empty...I'm all moved in.

Foyer! Right to the kitchen, left to the dining room and my room

Kitchen! Balcony ahead, shower to the right and flatmate's room to the left.

I haven't quite mastered the bath/shower combo yet..

Lil' balcony

Dining area. A REAL ONE!! Right to my room

The night I arrived, two other bags not pictured..



It's real big.