Thursday, June 21, 2012

The last 3 days

Remember when I said I'd return to regular "Photo-a-Day" posting?  Apparently, I'm a liar.  But, I've been busy and Bangla class got HARD yesterday, so, as a responsible student, I spent a lot of yesterday evening studying.  Anyway, how about I share the pictures I should would have posted with you now?

June 19th:  Imperfect

On June 19th, I went for a run.  It was far, far, far from perfect.  It was 93 degrees out (at 6 pm), I was sick the entire week previous so this was my first run in 7 days, and I wanted to die.  But, I didn't (obviously), and I'm happy I went.  After 30 minutes of sitting in front of the fan, I felt like a new woman.  Running doesn't always feel good, but it's almost always good for the soul.

June 20th:  Fave Photo You've Ever Taken

This was a tough one to come up with, but, here it is:

This is Sanibel.  It is one of my favorite places on earth.  This picture represents everything I love about it.  Enough said.

June 21st (today):  Where You Slept

This one totally makes me feel like a nomad.  This is not my bed.  This is not my room.  These are not my sheets.  They are my pillows and pillowcases, however.  See how nicely they match the lovely burgundy sheets?  (Oh, and see how high quality this photo is?  I think I seriously need to invest some money in a new camera...)

Ah, well.  If I'm going to study nomadic people, I should understand how it feels to haul all of one's belongings from place to place, right?

Anyway, Madison is treating me great.  I have some awesome roommates, the city is beautiful, and I'm keeping very, very busy.  It was HOT here for a few days, but now it's in the mid-80's and breezy.  Just as summer should be...

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Day of School

Hey, friends.  Checking in quickly to assure everyone that I made it to Madison, made it to class today, and was careful not to sweat on anyone's belongings but my own.

From what I can tell so far, Madison is a pretty awesome place.  I had the easiest commute of my LIFE this morning, passing by the lake on the way.  Have I already mentioned that I live less than a block from a lake?  As a Nebraskan, this is a BIG F-ING DEAL to me!  I've never lived this close to a body of water before in my life.  I plan to take full advantage.
Anyway, I got in last night, hauled all of my crap up 3 floors (wishing with every. single. step. that I had packed less - as I always, always wish), watched basketball and drank a beer with one of my new roommates, and went to bed.  Today, I went to class, then to the biggest Target store I've ever seen, Whole Foods (where I wandered aimlessly for 30 minutes, but managed to stick to my grocery list), and Trader Joe's.  My new apartment is in a cool, old building with a big bay window in the living room.  My roommates seem like great - and extremely funny - people (who happen to be hosting a party on Friday night - let's say it's in my honor...).  And it seems like there are too many cool places to go, things to do, restaurants to visit in this town to possibly do it all in 2 months.  I look forward to trying.

I'll be back with more "Photo a Day" posts soon.  Today's phrase was "Something we don't know about you."  You know when you are in new group situations and the leader/teacher/coach asks you to go around the room and "tell us your name, where you're from, and something interesting about yourself"?  I always fail at that.  Like, miserably.  I can never decide what "interesting" thing I should tell people.  Well, this is no different.  I'm not sure what you do or don't know about me and I'm not sure that I'd really like to share most of the things that most people don't know about me on the world wide web.  Like, if there are things the majority of you don't know, there's probably a reason for it...  (It's embarrassing.  I don't know what "it" is, this mysterious secret information, but I can assure you that "it" is embarrassing.)

For now, goodnight.  I hope you're all doing well and had a good Monday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yellow (Or, Photo a Day: June something-th)

Technically, yellow was yesterday's word.  Technically, I'm, like, a day behind.  Whatever.  These are my new YELLOW running shoes and I really had to show them to you.  They're probably going to make me super fast, right?

Anyway...  It's off to Madison tomorrow and classes start first thing Monday morning.  Keep your fingers crossed that I a) find my new apartment with no problem, b) manage to remember to write down my new roommate's phone number, c) manage to remember to call her ahead of my arrival, like I said I would, and d) make it to my classroom, on time, without sweating all over everything and everyone (I'm riding my bike) on Monday morning.  That's a whole lot of finger crossing, but I have faith in you guys.  You can do it.  And, hopefully, so can I...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time (Or, Photo a Day: June 14th)


Today's word is "time."  I thought and thought all day, trying to figure out how in the heck I was supposed to take an interesting picture of time?  I could take a picture of the clock and tell you what I'm doing at a certain time.  I could tell you how I'm passing my time today (booooring).  In short, this day is a pretty unexciting one.  I woke up (sick), took my bike in for a tune up, came home (to my mom's house), ate breakfast, drank coffee, answered some emails, surfed the web, and cuddled with some kitties.  (Oh.  So, I went ahead and told you about my exciting day anyway.) I have been battling a cold/flu/sore throat/upset stomach thing for a few days and today was the day I decided to give in and waste the morning away on the couch.  It feels good.  I could tell you that at 5:00 today, I went to meet my lovely mother for a shopping fest.  I could tell you all sorts of uninteresting crap.  Then this little gem showed up in my inbox tonight and saved my bacon.

I know you can't read the time in the picture, but it's 5:21 p.m.  And that's the time I was notified that my first journal publication has been made available online.  It's the time at which I became a real life published academic.  Yay!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo a Day: June 13th ...home.

"If I were a house, I would be a big, yellow house, with a yellow so inviting that if you were to walk by just being you, it would call to you, 'Come In, You and Your Heart sit down.' And if you did come into that big, yellow, inviting house, You'd know you were home."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Photo a Day: June 12th

From a low angle...

All packed up and ready to hit the road.  For the bazillionth time this year.  You should know, though, that I found out Madison has a Trader Joe's, a Whole Foods, and a Lululemon.  I may never leave.  Therefore, I may never pack these bags again.  Just kidding.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo a Day: June 10th

My favorite part of the weekend.  Lounging in my adirondack chair, catching some rays.

I'm a little behind with posting.  I'll pick it up today and post twice to get back on track.  

In any case, it would be impossible to pick my favorite part of this last weekend.  I got back into Columbia late Thursday night (technically, Friday morning) and spent my day on Friday resting, attempting (and failing) to get back on Central Time, and running errands.  Saturday and Sunday, though, were the greatest.  The weekend was literally full of time with friends.  As a grad student, summer is the time when people tend to scatter.  Some friends are in town some of the time and I'm in town some of the time, so when we happen to be in the same place at the same time, it's nice to see each other and catch up.  I'm leaving soon for my two months of language school, so this was my last chance to see my friends in Columbia for the next two months.  

I'm going to tell you a little something about me:  I hate, hate, HATE saying goodbye to people.  Even if it's only for 2 months and I know they'll be here when I get back and that we'll keep in touch while I'm gone.  I am totally that person who pretends like I'll see someone again once more before I go, just so that I don't have to actually say goodbye.  Sorry, friends.  It's totally selfish, but it does save me from the inevitable emotional breakdown, so you benefit a bit, too...

Annnyyyyway, though...  It was a fantastic weekend.  I didn't get photos of most of it because I was too busy enjoying myself.  I did manage to spend a little time in my yard yesterday, though, lounging in my new, awesome adirondack chair, working on my packing list (I heart lists), and soaking up the sun, and I also managed to take a picture of it.  So, it's my photo of the day, it was a great part of my weekend, but it wasn't my favorite.  My favorite was spending lots and lots of time with some really good friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Photo a Day: June 9th

My view today (yesterday).

So, I'll probably get in BIG trouble for this...  But my "view" yesterday morning included a surprise breakfast with a very great friend traveling through Columbia.  In case you're wondering, that coffee cup says, "Hot stuff here. (But enough about me...)"  haha

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photo a Day: June 8th

Today's photo theme was "Six o' Clock."

At 6:00 tonight, I was on my yoga mat.  I knew I needed to do some sort of activity today after lots and lots of sitting down while traveling and, luckily, there was a Flow class at my studio tonight.  I was feeling tired and stiff before class and not totally psyched to be there, but less than 5 minutes in I knew I'd made the right decision.  It felt good to sweat and stretch and boy did it ever feel good to lay in savasana after the sweaty, stretchy time.  I don't know about you all but, for me, savasana (the laying down pose at the end of most yoga classes) always feels soooo much better after a hard class.  It's relaxing and a great way to let all of your hard efforts from class sort of sink in.  This class also gave me a little chance to do some reflecting on my travels, how I've been feeling lately, and how I want to move forward over the summer.  All in all, my 6:00 was pretty darn good.

What were YOU doing at 6:00 tonight?  Anything interesting?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Photo a Day: June 7th


Loading up on fluids and vitamins after 2 weeks of traveling and a 12 hour flight.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Photo a Day: June 6

Today's word is "hat".  I didn't wear a hat today, but I did wear a helmet.  And here I am rocking it like a badass.  haha

A lot of people in Taiwan - especially younger people - drive scooters instead of cars.  When I lived here, I owned a scooter and while I've been back these last two weeks, I rented one from a scooter shop.  Aside from the fact that I look goofy in the helmet (that probably wouldn't protect me from a whole lot) and that it totally messes up my hair, I LOVE driving a scooter.  They're quick and speedy and when I'm driving one, I feel so ... FREE.  Also, the gas mileage is insane.  I paid around $6 US to fill up the gas tank last week and haven't even used half of it yet. So, I guess a little bit of helmet hair is worth it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photo a Day: June 5


It might seem crazy to come all the way to Taiwan and eat a teriyaki chicken burger and fries for dinner, but 1. this particular teriyaki chicken burger is like none I've eaten in the US (I really should have taken a picture, but I ate it before I could...), and 2. The Freen was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Chiayi.  It's a locally owned (by a great guy named YC who is so sweet and welcoming, I probably would have kept going back even if the food hadn't been so great) and when I lived here, was the only place in town to go get a good sandwich.  Back then, they also sold local fruit, so in the summer, I could buy a whole pineapple and they would core it and cut it for me.  It was a quiet place where I could go eat lunch or dinner, do a little work, and see a friendly face.  I think that totally justifies the number of times I've eaten there on this trip...

Speaking of the trip, I've only got a day and a half left and will be so very sad to go.  This has been a wonderful getaway, and having the chance to play tourist a bit in a town I lived in for a year has been a lot of fun.  Today, I got breakfast, visited a friend, and sat in the park for an hour, drinking tea.  Yesterday, I had Thai food for lunch, went for a run around Lantan, a lake just outside of town, and had dinner with some good friends.  This trip has reminded me of all the reasons I enjoyed living in Chiayi - the sights, the smells, the culture, the food, but very most of all, the people.

I hope you're enjoying this Photo a Day series.  If you want to see more of my Taiwan pictures, go here.  I should tell you that while the Photo a Day thing basically necessitates my taking pictures with my iPod, all of my other pictures are also courtesy of the good old iPod Touch.  I brought my camera all the way here only to realize that it has given out on my completely.  Lucky to have a backup, but unfortunately, it means the quality of my pictures isn't always the greatest...

I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the summer time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photo a Day: June 4


You know you're on an island when you happen upon a giant hibiscus tree while out on a run around the lake.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Photo a Day: June 3

On my plate

Well, anyway, what was on my plate:  Thai food in Kenting.  Pineapple shrimp, rice, and papaya salad ... and a little chicken curry from Nick's plate.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo a Day: June 1


(This obviously doesn't come from Taiwan. It's currently Friday morning at home, but Friday night in Taiwan, so I'm using an old photo. Either way, this is one of my favorite morning pictures...)

June Photo-a-day

View from tonight's dinner table.
Hello from Taiwan!  I've already been here for a week and I have a week left.  Is it too early to be saying that I don't want to leave?  I've been having a great time, seeing friends, going to all of my favorite restaurants and places in town, getting a little R&R, and also managing to get some work done.  Tomorrow, Nick and I are headed to the beach for the weekend and I'm SOOOOOO excited.

So...  Have any of you heard of these "Photo-a-day" things?  Essentially, someone somewhere (probably the person whose twitter handle is printed at the bottom of the list...) comes up with a list of words and phrases for each day of the month, then you take (and post) a picture that represents the respective word or phrase.  I saw the list for June and thought it might be fun to participate by posting my pictures on the blog.  The month of June is going to be kind of nuts-o; I'm going to be in Taiwan for another week, all around the Midwest, then up to Wisconsin to start language school.  I'm not sure how often I'll have time to write an actual blog post, so this photo-a-day project will be a way to let you all know what I'm up to and show you some of the places I've been.

Here's the list of the daily topics.

I hope you all enjoy following along!  If you decide to participate in June's Photo-a-Day, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or your own blog, I would love to follow - please post your plan below with a link to your page...