Friday, February 19, 2010

Lame Linternet Love

Isn't alliteration the best ever, even when you have to make up words? (I think so too!)
So, it must be time to unveil my LOL bag of cats. Not LOLCatz, the application you can put on Facebook, but my LOL bag of cats!

[It appears the only appropriate caption is "Meow."]

I'm so sorry guys, when I look at this on my desktop, all of the animals blink and the LOL changes colors all psychedelically! GAh! So much better.
Still, how great are the awkward wiener mouse, the rainbow LOL, the straightfaced cats? In a bag. That says LOL. So odd. It makes me happy at any time.
(This was an attachment in a forward my mom sent me long ago.)

Today I thought it would be fun to find other cheesy pictures on PhotoBucket! Yay, right?

Did any of you guys every (nerdily) collect pictures for MySpace? Or for the bonus of looking cool and artsy to all your fellow middle school friends?
This is the type I mean:

[Seriously. I ate shit like this UP.]

Aww, thanks BrokenSkyLostSun for posting this! My email used to be totally_cute_flirt. Then it was kiwiswirl07. So0o0o KEWL!

Or here's another I would have TOTES saved to my computer (I mean probably, how can one know for sure? Really, how can one know anything for sure? Perhaps it is all a trick of the mind. Perhaps we are the dreams of a sleeping computer.)

["I Robot Robots"]

TRUE love is when your word for "love" becomes the thing you love. (I Brian you, Brian. You're welcome.)

You might not think I could find any better pictures.
But I so did.

[sprinkle sparkle]

This one was posted by badbtch. What a cool girl, eh? The classic MySpace Mirror Picture taken to the next level, with colorful swirls and GLITTER. (Next two levels?)

The next one is like those shirts you find in gift shops up north. But better.

[moon luv]

It has wolves, friendship, an inspiring quote, AND glitter!! What more could a girl ask for? :]
Plus, the asterisk really adds some mystery. Who knows what kind of footnote this wolf-lover might share with us?!

Anyway, goodbye for now! 

p.s. Another thing that makes me happy at any time. 

If you've seen it before, you should probably watch it again.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homeward Bound

January 22nd-ish
Extreme Binge Traveling

Yep. We drove. We waited in lines. Finally we got to the first flight. 10 and a half hours, it was. For some reason going west always takes longer, I think it has to do with the turning of the earth.
It wasn’t so bad, I slept most of the time.
Not that sleeping on a plane is fun, but it went by fast at least.

About 70% sure these pretty pictures of Brussels were taken during landing (as opposed to take-off)



[whoops, didn't realize how low quality this here one is]

Then we were in Europe. Brussels, Belgium. So close, yet so far.
We all bought expensive chocolate and pigged out.
The next flight was 8 hours.
Rachel and I (eternal seat buddies) decided it would be fun to watch a movie at the same time! First we watched The Time Traveler’s Wife—good and sad. Next we watched The Informant! which was pretty lame.
It had only been 4 or 5 hours and we were bored!
We played two truths and a lie and Golf (the card game) and ate yucky airline meals. Eventually, we arrived. That pilot was a crazy driver though, the landing was so fast and bumpy I actually felt sick.

 [New Yoiwk! I adore accents]

Yes, America, USA, red white blue!! We got lucky and customs was quick. During our 5 hour layover, we all excitedly pulled out our cell phones.
Harley gave us $20 for dinner and I got delicious Bdubs! My stomach was not as ready for it as my mouth, unfortunately.
Then there was another 3 hour flight. It felt like 2 or 3 am to us so everyone slept. Hardcore. There was a bit of drool on my neckrest thing.

FINALLY after hours of travel we arrived! Brian picked me up and we got to go home and SLEEP :D

I slept for days.

The end. (of my trip)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The End is Nigh

January 21st, 2010
Goodbyes, Beaches, and Traveling

This morning when I woke up, I was ready to get to work! All I had to do was read over my paper and correct it, email it to Harley, write a poem for my super-Secret Friend who already knew I had them, and eat breakfast. I allotted just enough time to do so.
Then Harley came to our door and told us we had to pack everything up before meeting! Needless to say, I was forced to scurry around a bit.

[hello, little friend who jumped out from behind my shampoo and made me scream because I thought you were a giant bug. once I discovered your true, cuter, nature, I was no longer scared, but you ran down the wall and under the bed, which really seemed to bother Shannon.]

At breakfast, as I chewed down a croissant with apple-cinnamon jelly and wrote my acrostic (yes, I am that lame) poem for ANDREW LADUE, one of the women working there decided she really wanted the email address of me, Megan and Kayla. Huh.

Then there was our lovely closing ceremony. We all had to give a 5-minute presentation on our paper. Most of us winged it. It was obvious. I did globalization and its effects on Indian women, if you were wondering. I tried to point out the fact that there are both costs and benefits, but I sounded really negative compared to everyone else (except Andrew, who hates globalization).

Next was Secret India Friend giveaways and poems! Wooo! Laura had me and gave me an owl because I am “wise” and know a bajillion facts about India.

 [am not wise]

I had Andrew, who figured out I had him when we were in Delhi the second time. He told me to give the 300 rupies to the poor, but I got him an elephant and some tea and gave the leftovers away. He really liked the poem ("Poem for a Surprise Ruiner"), which was grand. Plus, he used to live in Japan, so I wrote one of my classic, very un-poetic haikus on the back (you know what I mean, Justine).

Then there was more beach time! Though we had to be ready by 5 and NO LATER to travel our freaking minds out.
This time Andrew was invited to hang out with Francis (our tour-guide intern) for the day. Who would swim with me? I started out tanning, but Christopher and Bryan ended up swimming in the ocean with me, and even Megan and Kayla too!
After swimming that much, tanning was pretty fun. I don’t actually tan though. I just get red and peel or I wear enough sunscreen. This time I chose the latter. Laura told me I look like a porcelain doll.

Ooooh, and we (Rachel, Bryan, Christopher, Kayla, and I) built a sandcastle! It was ugly, but fun to create. Then we buried Bryan.

[classic merman]


[me, Laura, Christopher, Bryan, Kayla, Rachel]

I got to shower before we left—yayyy!
Then, something amazing happened. For the first time the entire trip, we were all ready BEFORE 5!!!
But the bus was late.
Hours late.
Then there was traffic.
Dinner was hurried.

Now, technically, a lot of the traveling was on this day, but it all blends into one never-ending day for me, so I’ll just put it in a separate post.

Friday, February 5, 2010


January 20th, 2010
Sunny Daze

Today was SO much fun! It was hot and sunny and we were at a BEACH RESORT (the perfect place to be when it is hot and sunny, of course)!!
With Morgan and Shannon as my new roommates I ended up waking up early, not bad. I went to breakfast and walked on the beach, thinking I would get my feet wet before we left. Not being used to the ocean, practically my whole leg got wet when a few big waves surprised me. It’s never the ones you expect. The waves that look huge crash early and the ones that you don’t pay attention to splash you silly. 

["mornin', Pacific Ocean"]
[fisherman work next door to the resort]

Anyway, off we went to see the sites in Mahabalipuram (I thought this was only the name of the monuments, but I guess it is the whole town, there are just lots of ancient temples and things here).
First we went to a big cluster of rock carvings from the Pallava Dynasty. Now there were three big important dynasties in the south, the Pallava, the Chola (inventers of the gopurams at temple entrances, like the one I saw…), and the third one is a very long and hard word that starts with a “V.”
So the Pallava is the oldest, the dates are something like 3rd-9th century.
At this first site we saw mostly stuff from the 7th century. 

[dis one is NICE]

Also, there was “Krishna’s butterball” a giant rock that is just balancing on a hillside. Krishna is one of the incarnations of Vishnu (the protector). Vishnu has 10 incarnations, but Krishna is known as the playboy one. There’s a story about the boy involving a butterball, so this giant rock is named after it! Our guide Stanley says it was not carved, which is believable based on how misshapen it is, but Harley says a few guidebooks he read say it was carved. I happen to believe Stanley, but you can decide whatever you want!

[calendar worthy]

[look at the little BABY hanging nearby!]

And carvings galore!

[a pretty roof on a carved cave]

[those notches were how they split big hunks off of rocks back in the day]

[yo just me and a temple carved 1.4 thousand years ago. no big deal.]

[Parvati, pretty sure she is Vishnu's wife. the giraffe in the background makes me wonder if they used to live in southern India?]

[hello Spinx! no one knows if they were inspired by Egypt or invented separately. spooky.]

Next we went to these ancient temples called the Five Rathas. I believe they were copies of wooden ones that were used to parade through the towns on holidays. I tried to take it least one photo of each of the five. Count with me…






*Teeny tiny worry that I missed number five and this is actually number three from a different angle. :/

[not just a baby but a freakin' newborn!!]

Finally there was the Shore Temple. It used to actually be right on the shore, but the government wanted to protect it, so now there is a fence and stuff.
It showed a lot more wear and tear than the others, perhaps due to its seaside location. 

[majestic, eh?]

Also, inside one of the parts of the temple is a phallic symbol representing Shiva. I got to teach Bryan that phallic means “penis-shaped” which was pretty hilarious. He told me he would have gotten me one of those if I were his Secret Indian Friend.
Here’s a photo.


We got home about 12:30 and the rest of the day was beach-tastic!! I don’t even like swimming that much, but I was so EXCITED to jump in! Hence this quote from my very own lips, “I have never been so excited to swim in my entire life!”
We ordered pizza by the beach first, which took a very long time. Afterwards, all the girls wanted to lay down and tan so only me, Andrew, and Kayla went body surfing in the ocean. It was so fun! We also tried out the pool for a bit, but since a foreign man told Andrew diving was “forbidden” he didn’t like it too much. Then we played a short, unscored game of beach volleyball.
A very very fun day. 

 [cow parade on the beach!]Ind

Finally, as it started to get dark, I began my paper. They are due tomorrow, you know.

Then there was dinner with Dr. Julius and his family (Sheela, Christopher, and Jocelyn). Oh, and Carl—Harley’s son—with his wife Jamie. Carl came here to a fancy physics school to learn about the physics of glass. Hehe.
After dinner, Jocelyn had brought his guitar so we were convinced to go outside and sing songs. We sang a bunch of Christian songs, Bryan sang My Heart Will Go On, Chris and Jocelyn sang their Eye Care Musical Message Commercial, and Janice (Harley’s wife) had a solo too.
It was very fun!
Plus, Megan had the great idea of going around and thanking the Julius family for specific things. They loved it.

Instead of going to bed, I stayed up nice and late writing my paper. You’ll be happy to know it was not as late as some people.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fun in Sun and Other Cliches

Sorry for the hiatus. Hope at least some of you haven't lost interest yet and are still checking!

January 19, 2010
Welcome to le Beach!

Hellow! Just kidding, I know how to spell for realz.
Today we went back to Chennai. Thus much of the day was spent traveling… driving to the airport, waiting at the airport, flying, driving to the hotel.
It’s HOT here :).
Oh baby.

Oh, and our hotel is a fancy smancy beach resort (Ideal Beach Resort)!! Seriously, it is almost as nice as that beachside place we (the Roberts fam) stayed at in Hawaii. We are by the ocean, there is a pool, we have a cute patio-thing… oh man. (Why do we say “oh man” and “oh boy” but not “oh girl” or “oh woman?”)
Take a look see.

[reminded me of Hawaii or something]

[and how!]

[hug the cute porch with your eyes]

Right after dropping off our bags (new roommates = Shannon and Morgan), we headed to a nearby village where a large number of women are involved in a milk cooperative. This means that an outsider (can’t remember the guy’s name, unfortunately) helps them get loans to buy cows and/or water buffalo and to sell the milk. He gets a small cut of the money but they make a ton compared to what they would if they were going at it alone.
They had a lot of fun answering questions for us (it was all translated through Dr. Julius). At one point they said something like, “Hey why don’t you help us? Can’t you build a hospital here or something?” That was depressing. We couldn’t really convey to them that we don’t have the resources or know-how to build and staff an entire hospital. Many poor Indians sort of assume all Americans are very rich. Sort of like one might assume that all poor Africans have AIDS or all people from Bangladesh are very poor (which is a generalization, not fully true).
Still, it was a good experience. Here are some of the things I learned:
• Most of them have TVs; Bryan played Super Mario Brothers in a hut
• A cow is milked twice a day
• Water buffalos produce more milk and creamier milk than cows
• A cow costs about Rs 15,000
• All of the children in their village are going to school
• The women directly involved probably make between Rs 1,000-1,200 each month (about $22-24, but above the poverty line here)
• The nearest hospital is 5 km away
• The kids go to government schools, which are free but not as good as the ones you pay for
• The villagers also grow chilies and rice (or something)
• Practically none of them speak English
• Practically none of them have shoes
• We are super tall compared to them!
• Mentally disabled kids are offered a special day care by the social workers, but in school they get no special help
• Most of the older women never went to school
• None have more than 3 kids
Oh, and once I took my camera out, everyone got way too excited and they all (even some of the adults) begged for pictures! So I got plenty, but eventually I tired of it and put my camera away. And the little kids were so cute, they were all excited to hold our hands and walk us out of the village when we left.

[hello village]

[i luv MOO]

[twice a day, every day]

[Julius, master interpreter]

[who wouldn't want in on a pic of Bryan feeding a cow?]

[aww, she was sweet]

[apparently boys being too cool to smile at this age is universal]

[yep. the gang's all here.]

[solo shot by the temples]

[BFFs? brothers? cousins? if only I could speak Tamil]

[her late arrival to the picture leaves her forever smeared in my camera]

After it got dark (we had only been there about 2 hours) we went back to the hotel for dinner. It was GOOD.
Tomorrow we are going to Mahabalipuram (earliest stone temples in India, even earlier wood ones are all lost in time)! Yesh :]
Night night.