Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Grandmother passed away on December 26th. I'm putting together a eulogy for the funeral on Saturday.

Upon composing what to say for the eulogy, I found some of the writing I began while living in Ohio. The writing is as much about the inspiring people I met and where I lived (in a retirement home) as it is about my experiences with loss. I transcribed the writing and will post it below.

Grand Village Retirement Community- Archive

It is late spring and I am staying at my Grandma's apartment at Grand Village retirement community in Twinsburg. I've been walking around the complex for hours. The retirement community is gorgeous, but set up in a intrusive way with life to death in perfect visible order. The elderly first come to the apartments living independently and get assistance only when needed, then there are assisted living apartments, to a rehabilitation center for when they fall or have a stroke. This was where my Grandma was staying.

My new home smells of strong cleaning products and new carpets. This is my first apartment alone--I've been living at a family friend's house outside of Boston until now--I am the youngest person here by at least forty years. I am riding high on the mindset that I am here doing something of value for the first time since I stopped working and doing school; on top of that I have a lovely place to live.

The best thing about the apartment is the kitchen and the bay windows where the Midwestern sun shines in on dewy spring mornings. At night, I can sit on the deck and a slice of lemon moon shines right above me. The air is warm with anticipating summer.

I wander back to the main room where my Grandma's big screen television sits. The apartment has all the familiar furniture from her old house where she and my Grandpa had lived since my father was a baby. Grandpa had been featured in Popular Science magazine for building their home from a book he picked up. He had been a typesetter by trade and carpentry became his hobby. I remember him smelling of pipe smoke and wood chips, he made most of this furniture. The apartment is covered in pretty oil paintings my Grandma had painted. There is the young sad clown in the guest room where I sleep and the pastoral scene that hangs over the kitchen table.

More exploring. The pantry is where I discover the simple way my Grandma ate. The shelves are full of ramen noodle packets, canned tuna, canned beets, and boxes of rose hip tea. A very different palate from my father who through his admiration for food travels across the planet for different regional cuisine and had taught me to appreciate the same standards of eating. Now I will try a different diet, that of my Grandma's cabinets.

All buildings are in a walkable radius. Looking out of the windows of any building you can see a cemetery. I think about this place in a empty and good way, it is clear and easy to understand. Though, this doesn't stop me from being optimistic about the outcome of my mission. When this is done, I'll come back to Boston triumphant instead of feeling trapped with troubles with school, no work, and being an overstayed guest. I will be strong in my accomplishment, with more knowledge of how to get out of my rut. I am trembling with adrenalin or is that fear.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Broke In Boston

I am the new managing editor/blogger for "Broke In Boston."
Here's a link or click on the header:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tonight Tonight Tonight

Franz Ferdinand. I will try to attend.

Twilight Zone

Bonnie Beecher.

From episode of Twilight Zone entitled, "Come Wander With Me."

Friday, December 5, 2008

For Dona

Watch The Value Of Fear and Why You Needn't Run in Entertainment Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at
That's a gecko.

Bad Start, Good Scotch (archive 8/15)

“What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own country… we are seized by a vague fear, and the instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. This is the most obvious benefit of travel. At that moment we are feverish but also porous, so that the slightest touch makes us quiver to the depths of our being… There is no pleasure in traveling, and I look upon it as an occasion for spiritual testing… Travel, which is like a greater and graver science, brings us back to ourselves.” -- Albert Camus, 1963

Violeta barely made it. While I was also running late. I lost track of time having sushi with my friend, Polina in Brooklyn. We split the bill, said our goodbyes, and I hopped on the train to do several transfers before arriving at the airport. I got through the gate looked around with no Violeta in sight. She was supposed to land at JFK two hours ahead of the time I needed to be at the airport. I rang her and prepared myself not to sound too worried. The phone went straight to her answer machine. We had 40 minutes until our flight departed.

I imagined myself getting off the plane in Bulgaria, not knowing how her Aunt or Uncle looked or even if they spoke English. I would be lost and foreign.

My phone started to vibrate, it was Violeta.
-Where are you?
-I am still on the runway.
-I will delay the flight. You just run as fast as you can.
-I will try.

Ten minutes later. My phone went off again.
-There is a long line at the gate. I am not going to make it.
-No, you will! You just need to try. Just run to the front of the line and tell the security that your flight is leaving soon.

My fear of being alone in Bulgaria magnified. I felt feverish.

I looked at the clock above me. Ten minutes until our flight leaves. I was going to be in Bulgaria alone without my friend. I could feel the tears in the back of my eyes. I looked down the long corridor about a thousand times, scanning all the people to see if one of them was Violeta. I imagined her running with her bags hanging loosely from each arm, a look of desperation. But this time instead of seeing unrecognizable faces I saw Violeta, strolling casually with a morose look upon her face. We had eight minutes until our departure.

By the time we got to the terminal, the turquoise and red airplane was completely boarded. We made it and needed to celebrate. Air Austria had a full bar and fed us well. Violeta learned from her boyfriend how to properly drink scotch. We ordered two. Violeta taught me and we laughed at how ridiculous we looked sifting the brown liquid through our front teeth. We needed to unwind.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Future Is Now

Hudsucker, is a good movie to watch during the official recession.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mikhail Bulgakov's house

Monday, November 24, 2008

Outdoor Markets

Colorful and lively are a couple of ways to describe the markets in Europe. Virtually all the outdoor markets I visited had contrasting assortments of junk to jewels from artisan cheeses, dried fruit (dried coconut was my favorite), homemade wines, clothes, jewelry, exotic herbs TO fish heads on shaved ice, chickens hanging by their feet, fresh lard sold by the kilo, and some other things I thought were worth sharing.

Need a passport?Ukrainian passports found at one special market in Odessa.

Westerstraat market is one of Amsterdam's biggest open air markets. It had plenty of interesting finds. This historic market dating back to the 16th century is where major protests against the Nazis took place. Often the products found here are from local shops that recently went bankrupt. I found...

This classic:

A disturbing discovery:

Ironically, it was next to a statue of three figures bound to each other, a poignant tribute to the protest during the deportation of Jews.

Sleeping Cart on an Eastern European Train

Click here: Odessa, Ukraine

From Odessa, Ukraine

More Pictures from Munich: Click Here

Olympiapark, Munich
From Munich, Germany II

From Munich, Germany II

Inside of the statue of Bavaria
From Munich, Germany II

From Munich, Germany II

From Munich, Germany II

World's longest foosball table at the soccerfive arena in Olympiapark
From Munich, Germany II

BMW Museum
From Munich, Germany II

From Munich, Germany II

Click here Pictures of Ljubljana and Postojna Cave

From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM
Lbubljana, the capital city of Slovenia was full of canals and cafes. The city itself had many universities most everything catered to young professionals and students. I was tired when I arrived, but the liveliness of the city kept me energized. A rally for a social democratic group was being held in the city's center. The campaigns were for the Slovenian Presidential election. The opening band sounded like U2. All the local teenagers were singing along to the words. I wasn't into them.
From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM

From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM

From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM

I met another solo female traveler from Wilmington, NC. Megan had just finished her master's degree in Valencia and was traveling for a couple weeks. We paled around for several days in Slovenia and took a day trip to see the Postojna caves. The caves had dazzling formations of calcite, stalactites and stalagmites in an array of different shapes and colors from spaghetti hanging stalagmites to bright green calcite. It had been a warm day outside, but inside the caves the temperature dropped to 40 below. The deeper regions of the 20 kilometers of chambers and passages were stunning and bitter cold.
From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM
From New Album 11/22/08 9:56 PM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

After Three Months Away from TV, we have Snuggie?

Life before snuggie? Boring.

Yatzi in Snuggie.Incredible!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Slowly Intergrating into Daily Life.

I have a weekend to myself to relax and process my time in Europe. I plan on reading through my journals, while petsitting a beagle.

Integrating slowly into life in Boston. Baby steps are important for my own harmony.

Weekend plans include hiking with the beagle at Walden Pond.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In between unpacking and job searching, I'm testing my ear by creating this playlist.

I tried to broaden my music library by choosing unique style ranges and genres. I wanted to include my favorites, but also keep it fresh with new stuff. There are no correlations through genres or in song titles. And no connection between themes either. These songs are compiled according to how well they flowed together through tempos and rhythm.

Many of the songs inspired me while traveling. They helped me when I needed to tune out and through the lonely parts too.