Friday, June 26, 2009

What happens now?

As usual, I have fallen off the face of the blog planet. I have such a love/hate relationship with technology, its bound to happen time and time again.

So, no, I have not spent the past few months trying to get my mother back across the border. We have both arrived safely back to the U.S. I spent some time in Sacramento, Tahoe, San Jose, and San Diego before I came back to the place where I can fry an egg on my sidewalk...Phoenix.

So what happens now? After being on the road for 10 weeks, I admit it is a HUGE letdown to come back to a place where I must walk at least a mile to see another human being. It is a letdown to come back to a job that I don't love and can't imagine doing the rest of my life. It is a letdown to go from being surrounded by people practically 24/7 to going back to being by myself. So what is the solution? Its time to pack up my things, move to California, and go to law school. Oh yes, you've heard it hear first! Its a plan I started in motion at the end of last year, but was sort of top secret since I wasn't truly sure it was right for me.

Now to the questions:

Where am I going to school? Santa Clara University
Where will I be living? Um...good question?
When am I moving? Yet another good question...
Where are the rest of the sabbatical pictures? Hey! What does this have to do with me moving?

Ok, I hear you all loud and clear. I'm not the best planner, and technology and I have only recently started speaking to each other again. All I know at this time is that I have given AZ a valiant effort, and in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, "I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all!" So watch out California! If you aren't ready for gay marriage, you may not be ready for K.Love!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Movin on up

Yesterday, we took a roadtrip to a small town called Avila. Its about half the size of Salamanca and it has the best preserved medievil fortress wall thing surrounding the city. For a few Euro, we were able to scale the wall and run around looking at the city from above. So they are getting ready to kick us out of the internet cafe, and this may be my last entry since its my last day in Salamanca. Today is my mother´s birthday, and she was more than excited to spend it in the streets of Salamanca. She somehow managed to accidentally meet a bartender friend of mine named Carlos, who I didn´t even recognize right away because it was daylight. Its pretty rare I´m out and about during the day since the nightlife rarely dies before the sun comes up. Anyways, tomorrow we are off to Madrid! I have spoken to Raul, my new friend in Madrid, a few times on the phone this week, and he said its a big party weekend this weekend. He will be taking me out tomorrow, so it will be nice to have a tour guide instead of me fumbling around and trying to figure out things on my own. On Monday, Luis will head back to the U.S. and I will be moving on to Barcelona with my mother. Javier Bardem is filming there as we speak, so I´m hoping to chase him down and tackle him if for no other reason than to say I did. Oh, and also, I found out that my mother somehow managed to sneak her tiny self into this country. She never went through customs, we actually aren´t clear how she got around it, but she has no stamp or paperwork saying she entered through Barcelona, so should be fun trying to get her home. Hasta Luego!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hurricane Georgina

I thought mom visiting would be a blessing, but I was kind of doing better on my own. She took the same path I did getting here, fly to Barcelona, pass through Madrid, and arrive at Salamanca. What took me 5-6 hour took her almost 15. Why? I can´t even begin to explain, especially she since knows the language way better than I do. Upon her arrival she managed to blow out both of my energy converters and almost started a small fire in my apartment. However, she is now settled here, and having a fabulous time. She met more people on her first day here than I have in three weeks! The awesome thing was that she was able to get me some antibiotics from the pharmacy, and I´m FINALLY on the mend. I´ve gone shopping with her, and finally sat down and wrote out some postcards, so they are on their way kids. On the nightlife front, I got a little to excited with the Ponche chupitos the other night. I helped Luis meet some American´s since he´s having such a hard time with the language, but then got so drunk that I ran away to go dancing. On the plus side I met a nice group of guys from Madrid that kept me out until 1 o´clock the next afternoon. Of course, my life can never go smoothly, so upon saying a nice goodbye to one of them, I proceeded to skid and fall down a small staircase. I now have one butt cheek that is basically black from the bruise. Also, I will add that my mother has been kind enough to invest in several scarves for me so I can walk out in public and not be embarrassed, if you get my meaning. Anyways, I will be meeting up with them again when I head to Madrid on Saturday. I´m down to my last 2 days here. It will be hard to leave. I suppose I´m kind of well known around here now. One bouncer at the Irish Rover wants to meet my mother before I leave. I can´t walk into a club or on the street even without someone saying hello. My cell phone is even ringing with Spanish numbers I don´t recognize! I´m not sure what kind of impression I have left of myself here, but as we all know, K.Love can´t help but leave her mark.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mom´s on her way

Well this week has gone by fast. Aside from me sleeping through most of it, Luis and I have enjoyed the city as well as the night life. We are both ancy to get back into tourist mode, but are waiting the arrival of my mother so we can city hop. This is my last week in Salamanca, next weekend I head to Madrid! Highlights from these week include us being able to find a table and a restaurant and order food we actually liked, going to a Spanish film, and discovering a love of wine. He has tried to blend in a bit and taken up smoking temporarily. Its seems to work well here. Guys and girls come up to him constantly now either to bum a cigarette or borrow a light. His knowledge of the Spanish language is more limited than mine, so he´s getting a bit frustrated. No matter how hard we look, people who understand English seem non existent here.

There was some celebration last night going on that we didn´t understand. I thought we´d be daring and go to a new dance club. Apparently I found the little vegas section of this small city because all the hard core drugs you can imagine were being done out in the open. I suppose the strangest part for me was that the cops were just standing and talking right outside the door. We didn´t stay long and went back to my favorite place where I scored some rediculously oversized hat and ran around until the morning not being able to see a freakin thing. Go me!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Of course things had to be going to well! Lets see, well when Katy was here she was maced, and someone thieved my PSP. Now, I´m on my fourth day of being sick trying to entertain my buddy Luis. Its hard to try and entertain when I feel awful. I hope it goes away soon. I have no idea about medical terminology in Spanish, but sadly, I think I may need a doctor. I wanted to visit some other towns this week, but don´t know if I can manage. Things will get better I´m sure, but its no fun being since, especially in a different country.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Ok, well today I´m feeling much better, so here goes my attempt at a better blog entry! Katy has been here a week, and the first few days we did all the touristy things like viewing the churches and museums, and walking down around the river. Since then we have joined the spanish crowd for their lively night life. Things I´ve noticed since I´ve been here. The food is very bland. I´ve tried authentic dishes such as paella, and while its ok, I thought it would have a lot more flavor. Their pastries make up for it though. I can´t describe how amazing it all is. The fashion is very different. The spanish aren´t afraid of color! Red pants are very popular here. Also, the guys wear the most beautiful scarves. What else...while everyone here owns a cell phone you wouldn´t know it since texting isn´t a big deal. Even then, I don´t really see anyone walking around talking. Its pretty cool to see people actually socializing in person, instead of only over the phone. Siesta time runs from around 2-5, which now makes complete sense to me since we´ve been going to sleep at 9 a.m. Nobody really speaks or understands English is this particular city, but they are very patient and helpful when they try to communicate with Katy. All the students hang out in Plaza Mayor to talk with their friends, nap, sunbathe, you name it.

Katy has had so much fun here, that she changed her flight to stay a few more days. Since everyone smokes here, we decided to do laundry yesterday. What we failed to remember is that we have no dryer, and that jeans take a wicked long time to airdry. Since so many people recognize us, we hid in our apartment wearing our workout clothes because we were too embarrassed to see anyone. After sitting around for about 6 or 7 hours, they were still wet, but it was her last night, so we slipped them on and went out anyway. We were pretty miserable, and doing our best not to let anyone touch us. It was pretty hilarious. Tonight will be pretty sad since she is leaving, however, tomorrow morning Luis arrives! I´m very interested to see how people react to us. Unless I completely butcher a sentence, people don´t know I´m not Spanish. Luis is hispanic as well, and is going to attempt to speak Spanish, so I wonder if we´ll be able to convince people we are natives. hasta Luego

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patty´s Day

Here I sit, a broken survivor of the Salmanca night life. Our schedule here has been to sleep a few hours mid morning, walk around the town all afternoon, sit in our balcony and stair at the passersby til evening, the go out and stay out until the sun comes up. If I weren´t so hungover, I would be able to better describe all we´ve done. On the plus side I´ve been working my butt off practicing my spanish. I think about it so much, I have even started to dream in spanish. Very odd. Salamanca is a smaller town than I thought. Last night, Katy and I kept running into people we had met over the week. One guy recognized me immediately as I walked in the door and I had no clue that he had been our bartender just a few nights before. We ended up stumbling on a club that was full of people that spoke English. The funny thing was we hated it. We felt like we were back in the U.S. and now that I´ve experience a little bit of the European style of going out, it seemed like everyone was completely rude. Its really hard to explain unless you experience it. Lets see, what else...oh yes, we´ve managed to be kicked out of a place everyday since we´ve been here. Every museum and store keeps its own hours, and we have no idea when things open or close, so we usually get chased out of each place we try and visit. The crazy event of yesterday was a woman had some sort of anger tantrum because she couldn´t find the water in the grocery store, and attacked the poor cashier in the front. I, being as brave as I am, ran around the corner and hit trying to avoid being scratched by her. I´m pretty sad, because tonight is my last night with Katy. However, I only get a day to recover because then my buddy Luis will be showing up. When I can finally for more coherent thoughts, I will write a better blog, but I am alive and all is well. Oh yes, and I have lots of pictures!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Please Passengers Proceed

I finally made it to Spain! I sort of did it in a roundabout way and connected through Barcelona to Madrid. The airport etiquette is much different than I´m used to. When I boarded the connection, instead of boarding by rows or zones like I´m used to. Its a free for all run to the door and board as fast as you can. Also, when getting off the plane, instead of deplaning row by row, its a free for all who can run into the aisle and down it the fastest. I literally had to look for gap and run into it, and run with the flow of traffic before getting plowed by the people behind me. From Madrid I made my way to the bus station. Then I finally arrived at Salamanca. From the outskirts you could already see the beautiful architecture it had to offer. Inside the city is much more amazing.

I took a taxi to my apartment in Plaza Mayor. If you don´t know what this is, I suggest renting Vantage Point, which was filmed here and around Salamanca. Its a large pedestrian square outlined with cafes. In the middle groups of friends just pick out a piece of ground and plop down to chat or people watch. My apartment is right above all of this. The owner of the place gave me a tour, a tiny little place that has everything I need including a washing machine in the kitchen! Maybe not as exciting as it sounds, but from what I knew the nearest laundrymat was a few blocks away, and I wasn´t looking forward to draggin my luggage there.

My first day was relaxing enough...I simply unpacked, and made some phone calls. I awoke today to a large group of people chanting. When I opened my bedroom window I was excited to see my first protest! I couldn´t totally read the sign, but something about the education system. This gave me flashbacks to when I was 5 and in Peru and was scared to death by the crowds. I ran and hid under the bed at that time because I thought the police was the army. heh. This time around it was much more exciting. Had I been a bit faster, I would have joined, but I was half asleep as they passed by. I wandered around the square and found a supermarket. I think I lingered too long and walked around the same aisles too many times because one of the clerks began to follow me around the store. I assume they thought I was trying to steal, in truth, I have never seen most of these products, and I need to attempt to read them before buying. I did try to grab a bag of grapes and run to the cashier, but the lady stopped me to weigh and price them. Who knew.

This evening I attempted to get myself lost. Every block you walk there is a different church. However, since I´m staying in the main square of town, it was always easy to find my way back. I´ve found several bars and restaurants I will like to try. I also found this wonderful internet cafe only two doors down from my apartment, and its open til 2 a.m. Actually, most things in this city open late and stay open all night, so finally! A place on my time schedule!

The only interesting thing that has happened to me today is that the red cross boys keeps stopping me. I allow this because they are young and cute, but I have no idea how to flirt in my broken Spanish (help me mom!). They, along with the cab driver, think I´m a student here. My first reaction is hooray! I look young! However, when I scan the crowd I can pick out the students as well. They are dressed in sneakers and tshirts with oversized bags and hats or ponytails, while the rest of the crowd is more dressed up. I realize its most likely my sloppy manner of dress that makes me look like a student, but whatever! I´ll take it!

My friend Katy is arriving tomorrow afternoon, so that should be a whole new adventure in itself. I also found out last night that my friend Luis bought a last minute ticket and will be joining me a day after Katy leaves. Good times!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Baltimore and DC

My time on the East Coast is almost up. I realize I suck at blogging, but here is a short update.

The weather has taken a turn for the better, so I've been able to explore more. My highlights of Baltimore are mostly eating and drinking. :) I've never had a "real" crabcake before, so I'm used to the flat patty west coast style with lots of breading. Robb took me to a place called the Lexington market and ordered me just one. I was going to object, because I thought I could eat at least three until I saw the thing. It was the size of a grown man's fist and was all meat. Also most places around here you can order steamed shrimp by the pound, and over sized beers for a few bucks. I did get to see Michael Phelps and Jenna Bush's houses. I wanted to knock on Jenna's door to see if secret service would tackle me, but sadly, nobody was home.

Robb and Helen took me to DC on Sunday. I asked to do all the "touristy" stuff, and they delivered. I also asked that we walk everywhere so I can work off all the beer. Lucky me, everything in DC is Vegas walking distance, meaning that its SO oversized it looks like its close, but in reality its a few miles away. I got to see all the standards, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and I also got to see the Hope Diamond! This is that jewel featured in the DiCaprio version of Titanic. Good stuff.

I've posted what pics I have (minus DC) here: I will try and post them as I have time. Tomorrow its goodbye US, hello Espana!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Welcome to the East Coast, B*$@H!

The last night in Charlotte proved to be a fun one. :) I learned over our Thai dinner, that the restaurant we were at is the first Thai restaurant opened in Charlotte. When did it start? 1988! Slow and steady wins the race, no?

Upon leaving, my limited knowledge of the east coast led us to the Beantown Tavern, which I thought had something to do with beans, but apparently is a nickname for Boston. What was supposed to be one beer led to five, and as soon as the owner came out and bought free shots for the bar, I knew it was game over.

Two hours of whopping sleep later, I caught my next flight. My next stop was to visit my friend Robb. Tired, Bobbert and I decided to embark on a roadtrip to Philadelphia! Upon entering Pennsylvania, we are greeted with a billboard of a very pissed off looking woman, giving us what appears to be the middle finger. I was so shocked, I didn't read what it was for, so Robb captioned it "Welcome to the East Coast, Bitch!". Nice.

Given that the weather is SO bitter cold, and I'm still rockin' my AZ gear, we did in 3 hours what takes most people days. We saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Liberty Bell, and the stairs that Rocky ran up during his boxing training. Top this all off with a few beers and the greasiest creation ever created, a Geno's Cheesesteak, slathered with hot sauce, and served with a side a EXTRA Cheesy Cheesefries. Fast forward six hours later, and here we sit, in his pad in Baltimore, with what sounds like Havelinas getting ready to burst out of our stomachs to attack.

I'm not sure what is entirely in store for the rest of the week. What I DO know is that this elusive sunshine will be poking his head out again tomorrow, and I will be able to feel my face again.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Goodbye Charlotte!

Just a quick post on the past few days. The Charlotte area experience the most severe snow storm it has had since 2004. Only a few inches fell, heck, the streets were completely snow free, but apparently this state goes into a big panic and shuts down! All schools were closed. Classes we were going to try were canceled. Needless to say, zip lining is out, as well as most activities since I did not pack for such an incident! On the plus side, Tiff and I have had a lot of bonding time hiding from the snow at the gym, or watching movies, etc. For my last night in town we are going to a Thai restaurant she has wanted to try, and the going to hide in her apt and attempt to carve up a cantaloupe since its going to be a whopping 15 degrees! Tomorrow, I'm making a side trip to Philadelphia to eat a cheesesteak and cruise the downtown area, and then to Baltimore to hang with Robb and Helen. Hopefully warmer weather will greet me there!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Adventure Begins

So my last week in town was pretty exhausting. Instead of taking it easy, I decided to go out EVERY night and see as many people as I could. The result? Learning how to function on 2-4 hours of sleep a day, my left knee lost on a street in downtown Phoenix, and a big bruise of my butt courtesy of an evil staircase.

Now, that brings us to Saturday. My first flight. In truth, I couldn't quite wrap my head around the idea that when I set foot out my door, I wouldn't sleep in my bed again for months, nor would I have to lift a finger to do any work. Anyways, the flight itself was uneventful, except for when the pilot announced our final descent, the passenger next to me whipped out a bible and started to pray. Scary.

My girl Tiffany picked me up, and we grabbed lunch where I ate the largest plate of Barbecue I've ever had, drenched in Tobasco sauce, and served with Jalapeno deviled eggs. Apparently the lack of sleep has made me a pregnant woman, and I have been covering all my food in spicy sauce!

Lucky for me, she was tired too, so the day consisted of catching up with Lost, taking an hour nap,and (much to my surprise) some gym time. I crashed, hard, got a whopping 10 hours of sleep! Woo-hoo! I believe there is sushi and a pedicure in my near future, assuming I survive the gym again. And, from recent discussions, it sounds like there may be some zip line something or other happening? Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Former Alcoholics Make Me Laugh

As you may or may not know, in a few short weeks I will be starting my sabbatical. What is a sabbatical? It is 8 weeks paid time off from said company for employees to "recharge" themselves. Since I will be traveling all over the U.S. and beyond, I am attempting to try and start blogging...again.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. A fine holiday, I suppose, but it gives most males a reason not to be romantic the rest of the year. Given that I have no primary male in my life, I took to the Internet to search for one. And there I found him. He's 5'8", dark hair and eyes, 57 years old with a comedic wit to boot. His name is Robin Williams. This man has Golden Globes stacked on top of Emmys on top of Grammys on top of..well you get it. He is a well decorated entertainer, for for a mere $100, he was going to entertain me for an evening.

If you enjoy improv comedy at all, this man does it better than any I've seen. Although he does have prewritten jokes, he never sticks to the script. I saw him several years ago (and you can see this routine on his Broadway show DVD) and I was smitten. I had to see him again no matter what the cost.

Lucky me, I landed a seat in the 8th row, dead center. If I had made a run for the stage, I would have been able to grab his toe before security took me out. I was THAT close. I figured out what I like about him most is that he does *smart* comedy. What I mean by this is that anybody can tell a story or joke about themselves, but he weaves in very relevant themes with politics, the economy, even what happens in the city and state he is performing him. Even though he has been off the drugs for years, and more recently off the sauce, he still has a manic wonderful energy about him. I'm glad I chose to spend this romantic holiday with him, and a $5 chocolate chip cookie.