Monday, July 29, 2013

Combo Post

Another make-up round for Blog It July

Day #27 (Are you a city person or a country person?) is pretty obvious for me. I'm definitely a city person.
I have always known this, but sometimes people have doubted me on it. Probably because I live in the Midwest (but not Chicago), and people in other parts of the US (basically the coasts) often forget about all the great non-coastal (non-Chicago) cities in this nation. In my first week of college, a guy in my dorm who knew  nothing about me other than my home state asked me, "So what's it like to live in the country?" I replied, "I have absolutely no idea."
When I lived in Buenos Aires, I found that I truly did love living in a big city, in addition to the somewhat smaller cities I'd already experienced. I love the hustle and bustle, and I love the proximity of some many fascinating experiences, places, people, etc. I particularly love the way every city seems to have it's own flavor and personality.

That said, I very much enjoy spending time in the country. Small towns and outer-ring suburbs are the places where I feel least comfortable. I know there are people who love the 'burbs, but they make me feel dull and isolated.

Day #28
A picture of yourself looking really happy.
With two of my best friends on my 21st birthday. It's goofy, but I have always loved this photo.
Day #29
Write a poem.

Blah. Really? Why? I've never liked writing poems. I always feel like I'm just making shit up. But here's what I've got at the moment, anyway.

Tomorrow is the
Greener side,
On which my musings often hide.
It is the day that never comes,
The time that's never now.
I wish that I could see it, but
I simply don't know how.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blog It July Catch Up

Blog It July Day #22
What is the greatest love story you have ever witnessed in person?

My parent's marriage is a pretty good story, though that part of it that fascinates me happened before (a lot before) I was around, so I didn't technically "witness" it.
See when my parents met, my dad was married to another woman. He and his then-wife had relocated from Long Island to Iowa City so that she could attend grad school. My mom was a small town Iowa girl who wanted to go to Cornell - but my grandparents wouldn't hear of it, so she also ended up in Iowa City.
My dad's ex wife was crazy. CRAZY. And I'm sorry he had to deal with that shit. BUT...

If my dad hadn't made a mistake and married the crazy ex, he never would have moved with her to Iowa. And then he wouldn't have met my mom at all. I think their love is proof that (almost) everything really does happen for a reason.

Blog It July Day #23
What are 10 words that describe you?

I'm not going to do this today. I'm not up to the challenge. I just wrote it in because I didn't want to seem like I was trying to pretend I wasn't that far behind on my Blog It July posts. Haha.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If I Could Go Anywhere in the World...

Blog It July Day #21
If you could vacation anywhere where would you go and why?

I think I mentioned this before, but one of my most central life goals is to visit every continent before I die. Based on that, I should pick somewhere in Africa, Australia, or, I suppose, Antarctica. (Yes, I would like to go to Antartica. I know I'm a little crazy, but I think it would be amazing.)

However, the places that first come to mind are elsewhere.

I would love to travel through India. It seems like such an interesting, colorful place. Images and music and videos from India are always so full of life. When I mention this, people usually say something about how much poverty there is there. I'm aware of that and, while it makes me sad, I don't have a problem with seeing it. I think it's important to see poverty. I know I'm privelleged in many ways, and I want to understand that privelege in as complex a context as possible.
And, I mean... INDIAN FOOD!


 Another of my travel pipe dreams is to visit Norway and the island of Svalbard, way up in the north. I have wanted to do this ever since I read The Golden Compass (by Philip Pullman). I have already decided that seeing the Northern Lights will be my midlife crisis. While I know I could see them in Alaska, Canada, or even (as some people have pointed out) right here in Minnesota, my real dream is to do it in Norway.

Even though I love traveling to new places, I would be sorely tempted to return to a few select, most beloved past destinations.

I miss Buenos Aires often. I love the culture there. People stay up late. They drink really great coffee. They enjoy art and dance and music. They spend Sunday afternoons eating ice cream and watching puppet shows at the local feria. They take the subte (subway) and walk alot. They have a thriving literature culture. Really, I loved everything about that city. And for all that other parts of Latin America joke about Buenos Aires locals ("PorteƱos") being snobs, people there are friendly and nice and fun-loving.

Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires

Speaking of Argentina, I would also love to visit Iguazu Falls again. (I think the picture says it all, but it's worth mentioning that when Eleanor Roosevelt visited, she was quoted with saying, "Oh, poor Niagra!")

Enough said
Lastly, I fell in love with Italy when I traveled through Europe. Florence in particular. So I would be very eager to go back.

Not a very concise answer. Sorry about that. But hey, I have the travel bug - I want to go EVERYWHERE. I could have gone on for days, so count yourself lucky.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Blog It July Day #20
What's one thing you wish you were really good at but have no talent for?

I would love to have an amazing singing voice.

I have always enjoyed singing. While I wouldn't say I have a terrible voice, I certainly don't have a great one. I always sing along with the radio, I often sing in the shower, and I occasionally sing at random times throughout the day. Especially if I have a song stuck in my head. So it would be better for everyone if I was a better singer.

I don't want to be a singer for my career or anything like that. I just think there's something wonderful about the ability to create beautiful music with nothing but your voice.

I can't come up with a photo for this post, so here's a video of my current favorite song, "Brave" by Sara Barellis:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Meat of the Matter

Blog It July #18
Something you wish you didn't have to admit.

I really wish I could come up with a great reason not to be a vegetarian. Usually, I say that I eat meat because I am border-line anemic and sometimes I really need the iron, and because I don't think it's any more inherently wrong for humans to eat animals than it is for animals to eat each other. Those are both true. Nevertheless, we all know that the main reason I eat meat is because meat is delicious.

The primary reason I see not to eat meat is the environmental impact of the meat industry. It's kind of insane. Really. Transportation, storage, processing... the meat industry creates a huge amount of pollution, and the resulting products contain many less-that-natural chemicals. (I've also heard that it's healthier to be a vegetarian, but I don't know if that's necessarily true. At the very least, it's up for debate.)

I wish that I didn't have to admit that I find eating meat in our society to be morally questionable - but that I eat it anyway.

Then again... yummmmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I'm Reading

Blog It July Day #17
What was the last book you read? Tell us about it.

Hmmmm.... Bad timing on this one, because the last book I finished was The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew #17). It was a pretty good one. Nancy is on a cruise of sorts, traveling from Holland to New York, and of course she stumbles into a mystery. It was high stakes this time - diamond jewelry, government documents, sign language, and an accidental swim in the Atlantic are all involved.

The book I'm currently reading is more interesting. It's a new YA fantasy novel called Far Far Away written by Tom McNeal. I'm only about 100 pages in, but so far I really like it. This is the first paragraph:

"What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. The boy possessed uncommon qualities, the girl was winsome and daring, and the ancient ghost... well, let it only be said that his intentions were good."

Based on what I've read, it's about a boy named Jeremy who has the unusual ability to hear ghosts. The ghost in question is Jacob Grimm, who is trying to protect Jermey from a mysterious figure known only as the Finder of Occassions. There's more to it, of course, and a nice little murmur of romance lingering in the distance. I'm planning to review it on my other blog, Harry, Lucy, Laura & Me. Keep your eyes open. :)

The next books on my list are both upon request. My brother has asked me to read Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road, and two different friends have been begging me to finally get on the bandwagon and read Divergent (by Veronica Roth).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Money Can't Buy Happiness... But I Suspect It Doesn't Hurt, Either

Blog It July Day #16
If money was no object, what would you do with your life?

TRAVEL. If money was no object, I would travel. A lot. One of my life goals is to visit every continent at least once. (So far I've been to three, though I will visit my fourth soon.) If I could afford it, I would blow that goal out of the water. I would particularly like to see the Northern Lights. And I would visit Buenos Aires regularly. Sometimes I miss it so much.

I would also open a 24-hour coffee shop/bookstore and hire someone else to manage it. Then I could just hang out, reading, chatting with friends, and drinking really good coffee all day. (When I wasn't off visiting some exotic locale, of course.) Heaven!

And I would be a stay-at-home mom for a while, when that time comes. Because my mom stayed home with me when I was young, and I know I'm really lucky she was able to do that.

Another thing I would like to do is open a nonprofit that provided free water safety and swimming instruction to at-risk populations.

Also, I would live in a beautiful house.

Maybe I will be able to do some of these things in my life. I guess we'll have to wait and see.