28 June 2008
How you doin'? I'm having a great time. You know about bug juice and how
thier isn't really any bugs in it? Well, mine did actually had a bug in it! By
the way, can you send me letters and stuff.
Your caring daughter,
Please send me my Webkinz and bunny
26 June 2008
What was I doing 10 years ago?
Actually, pretty much the same thing as now. But I was kidless then and had just been tenured.
5 snacks I enjoy:
- Ice cream
5 things on my to-do list today:
- Take T2 to day camp
- Attend glass fusing workshop
- Have lunch with Mom & sister
- Catch up on email from work
- Pick T2 up from day camp
5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Travel, travel, travel
- Give lots to charity
- Hire my own driver
- Buy big houses for relatives
- Write more
5 jobs I have had:
- Take and bake pizza place
- Law clerk
- Teaching assistant
5 of my bad habits:
- Eating junk
- Not exercising enough
- Interrupting people
- Overspending on books
- Overspending on yarn
5 places I have lived:
- Bolingbrook, Illinois
- Beaverton, Oregon
- Portland, Oregon
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Turlock, California
5 people who I'd like to get to know better (this means you're tagged!):
- If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!!
5 random things:
- I went through a punk period when I was a kid, and my iPod is still loaded with the Clash, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Iggy, etc., etc.
- I hate scallops. Ick.
- I am a klutz.
- I'm going to Poland next January!
- Maybe someday I'll get another tattoo. :-)
25 June 2008
24 June 2008
I'm having a nice visit with my family. We sent T1 off to camp yesterday. She was excited--it's her first time at sleep-away camp. Wonder what she'll look like when she gets back on Monday? Meanwhile, T2 is enjoying her day camp. She conked right out at bedtime last night.
And tomorrow I get my tat. I'm going to tease you by not telling you yet what it will be, but here's a clue: it's related to my academic life. :-)
22 June 2008
20 June 2008
18 June 2008
10 June 2008
This is Lotrscak Tower (there are supposed to be marks over the s and c, but darn if I know how to do that on Blogger). It's at the top of the hill over the funicular, and it's 900 years old. It's where they shoot a cannon every day at noon. And when they do, every dog in Zagreb barks.
And this is a statue of Josip Jelacic (Yosep Yellacheech), a governor of Croatia who fought the Hungarian empire in 1848. The statue is is Ban Jelacic Trg, Zagreb's main square (and that's a beer tent or something set up next to it). The statue was built in 1866, and Jelacic's sword faced north, toward Hungary. It was taken down in 1947, when Croatia became part of Yugoslavia and the Communists didn't approve. In the early 1990's, Croatia gained independence and the statue was re-installed. But now the statue faces south, toward Bosnia. Ya gotta love Balkan politics.
07 June 2008
The area at the top of the hill is called Kaptol. The big cathedral is there, and also a long pedestrian street lined with cafes and shops. Most of Kaptol is very quiet, though, and I meandered for an hour or so among winding cobblestone streets and old houses. Very pretty.
I had lunch today with a couple people from the university, at a restaurant across from the cathedral. There was covered outdoor seating, which was good because it's raining today. Again. I had some local food--mushroom soup and a zagorski strukli, a sort of pastry filled with cheese. The strukli are delicious--they taste quite a bit like the cheese knishes my grandmother used to make, although the look and texture is sort of lasagne-like. And we had red wine with water, which I guess is traditional with lunch, and of course espresso. Boy, have I been drinking a lot of espresso. :-) Tomorrow very early I leave Croatia. I have a very quick layover in Paris this time, so we'll see whether I make my connection. If not, well, I guess I'll be stuck in Paris. Quelle tragique!
05 June 2008
Zagreb is apparently the exact dividing line between northern and southern Europe, and between central Europe and the Mediterrean countries. This brings about interesting combinations of behaviors. For example, they zoom down the streets really fast in their little French hatchbacks--cars are quite a hazard to pedestrians, really. But then they are happy to sit for hours, smoking and drinking. They seem a little stern and unsmiling for a few minutes, but once you start to chat they're very warm and gracious.
I had time today to visit dolac (pronounced dolats), the market. Happily, I've managed to hit the city at the tail end of strawberry season and the beginning of cherry season. And, since 1/2 kilo is the smallest amount I was able to communicate to the salespeople, I'm now in possession of quite a bit of the stuff.
And ack! The tv in my room just turned on all by itself, to inform me I have a message. That was startling. I watched tv for a short time last night. Croatian tv is wonderful--if you want to watch terrible programs in American and British English (CSI is here, too), German, Italian, Spanish, and Croatian. Somehow awful shows are more entertaining when you don't speak the language. Plus, European television is chock full of gratuitous nudity.
Emily, I can't remember what they say in the Czech Republic, but it probably is something close to dobar dan. In Russian, you'd say dobree dyen. I think the Slavic languages are all quite closely related.
04 June 2008
This afternoon, a professor took me on a walking tour of the old part of Zagreb. It's really pretty, and I took some nice pictures, which I'll have to post when I get home. We sat at a cafe and drank strong coffee. Very pleasant. I think tomorrow morning and Saturday I'll have some more time to explore, and maybe do a little shopping or visit a museum or two.
I'm liking Zagreb more and more. Croatians tend to crowd on and off of busses and in and out of doorways, but they're actually very polite. You hear people greet each other all the time; even the jail inmates offered smiles and a "dobar dan." (Which is the correct spelling, I think. You hear it a zillion times a day). Everyone is extremely patient with my lack of language skills. Most people seem to speak at least some English, and seem happy to use it. Several of them have even apologized for not having better English, which seems silly considering I'm the one who came to a country where she doesn't speak the language at all. And although the people I've met with are busy people, they all offer drinks and spend hours with me, telling me about their organizations.
I've had several discussions of US politics with people here, who are interested in Clinton and Obama. I learned that our beloved President recently visited Zagreb, and his security requirements basically resulted in them shutting down big chunks of the city. How embarrassing. He hasn't caused enough problems already, so now he has to go create chaos in countries he probably couldn't identify on a map.
03 June 2008
One funny thing happened this afternoon. We were walking down the street, and a group of teenage girls heard us chatting and decided to try out their English on me. They managed a few phrases, and then threw out some Spanish for good measure. Apparently, telenovelas are popular here.
Angela, I haven't learned yet how to say Saint Bernard in Croatian. :-) I did see an actual Dalmatian today (Dalmatia is in Croatia)--well, two, actually, because one of the people I met today was from Dalmatia.
The police detail at my hotel yesterday was for the national football team. They're on their way to Austria for some competition. They must be a quiet group, because I never heard them.
Right now we're having a really good thunderstorm. I got back to my hotel just in time. I guess I won't be taking a stroll this evening.
02 June 2008
I like Zagreb so far. Reminds me of Budapest. People here drive crazy, though, all in their little French hatchbacks.
Someone important must be staying at my hotel, because there's been a large police detail out front all day. Wonder who it is?
01 June 2008
I hope to get some time to actually explore the city. I have a pretty busy schedule. Silly university pays my way here and then actually expects me to work! I have to give a lecture Friday, on what I just learned is the very last day of their semester. Great.