Jan. 29th, 2012 08:32 am
lathriel: (desert)
(That's Arabic slang for "cool")

I'm sitting at a table at a restaurant in JFK waiting for my breakfast. My flight back to Buffalo isn't for another 5-ish hours.

There is so much I want to say about the past ten days. About the beauty of the land, and the people, about the food and the customs, about the history, the stories-- so many stories-- I was told, and the feelings I had seeing the Mediterranean Sea with my own eyes, and touching the Western Wall, and driving through the West Bank... And also about having a fever my second night in Jerusalem, and pretty much being too sick to enjoy 50% of the end of the trip, and the peak bonding times with my fellow travelers.

But I think I'll wait to do that tomorrow, when I can take the day to reflect after a good night's sleep in my own bed, beside my beloved, surrounded by my kittehs. Also, there will be pictures that way.

Sababa? Sababa.

Desert Time

Feb. 2nd, 2011 12:08 am
lathriel: (dancedancedance)
Note: I've noticed a pattern in my life: whenever I start to get depressed (usually in the winter) I find a way to travel relatively inexpensively to someplace exotic.

When I was younger, I heard rumors that if you were Jewish there was some program that would send you to "The Holy Land" for free for a 10 day tour. Then I heard that you only had to be half Jewish (which I am), but that it was only open for 18-23 year-olds. Then, this weekend, my cousin who is 26 and also a half-blood prince (har har har. For some reason 3 out of 4 sisters married Jewish men!) told me the offer is good until you're 27.


Do you know what that means?


True, I have to apply to the program and probably find a way to prove my half Jewishness, but I will do everything in my power to take advantage of this situation. Hello! Desert action? I'm there! Plus I've always felt way more connected to my Jewish heritage than my Episcopalian. I bet most of you had no idea my mother's side even WAS Episcopalian (at some point :p) for all I (don't) talk about it. And, in fact, the trips are geared more towards non-practicing Jews and half-Jews than anything, and have no agenda of conversion or anything, just education. So, again:

-Free, including flights, transportation, meals, lodging, and pretty much everything but souvenirs
-No preaching
-And in case you were wondering, very safe and nowhere near the Gaza Strip

This cheers me up tremendously for the time being.

lathriel: (eek)
Lando has been here just under a week, and he's fitting in just fine! The other cats were a little nervous at first, but they're getting along well now. He's so affectionate, so adorable... I will post pictures soon.

Friday night, Jared's best man Sean came out to visit from Auburn. We went to dinner at Pearl Street Brewery and then for a long walk around Delaware Park. The next day, we visited the South Park Botanical Gardens and the Our Lady of Victory Basilica down the road, and we even made a little trip to Forest Lawn cemetary. All in all a very touristy but adventurous day!

Sunday I co-hosted Zoe's bridal shower in the morning, which was a weird kind of fun because I was the youngest person there besides Zoe, who is actually a month older than me. Also, all of Zoe's family's friends are artists of the "Arteeeeest" variety, and are therefore very odd. But it was fun!

After that I headed home, packed up my stuff and my fiance, and stole him away to Canada for a surprise night's stay at the Fallsview Marriot, in a whirlpool suite! We had all kinds of fun running around Clifton Hill, doing more touristy things, eating overpriced but tasty food. We went to a "moving theater" where the seats jostle you around, following the pattern of the first person movement on the screen. It was epic fun, for 10 minutes. I've never heard Jared laugh so much- hell, I don't remember the last time I laughed that much! We were also quite waterlogged during our stay- we used the jacuzzi in our room, and later that night the pool and hot tub in the hotel spa. It was a lovely adventure.

When we came home yesterday, we got bagels and ate lunch, spaced out while petting/playing with the cats, and then headed out to the park across the street to lie on a blanket and look at some cook books so we could plan some meals for the week to come. We made dinner and watched Up - I'd never seen it before, but OH MY GOD WATCH IT!!! I don't like Disney usually, but this was an amazing and beautiful film. Made me a little teary eyed.

So, that was my weekend! I'm tired and sore now, but mentally I'm relaxed and happy as a clam, and so glad Jared and I got to spend a lot of quality time together this weekend.

Life is good :)
lathriel: (masquerade)
Just got back from Scotland :)

Uploading to flickr as we speak.

Missed a few good-byes while we were away :(

Edinburgh is full of characters: Smiley McGee, the bartender that wouldn't stop smiling sleezily at Becky and me; Story McGee, the bartender at the hostel that was cool at first, then got pissed when Barcelona won the world cup and told us the same stories ad nauseam; Shorty McGee, and Ginger Shorty McGee, a pair of hooligans from Glasgow, the latter of which insisted I was the most exotic and extraordinarily beautiful girl he's ever met (why, thank you), and who kept smelling my hair and pretending to grab my ass; Dutchy McGee, a Dutchman staying at our hostel who followed us, with several of his friends, to a nightclub; Lumpy McGee, a large, friendly young man who I thought I was having an innocent conversation about movies with, but in reality he was trying to get my number; Anakin Skywalker, a young man with short hair and a single long, thin braid who made Becky go up and buy him a drink with his money as some kind of backwards tactic to get her drunk; Handsy McGee, the Aussie who was nice to look at, but who "ear raped" and tackled me in a booth, and who suggested to Becky that they "find an alley," and tried to make out with her while Story McGee repeatedly told me he has ideas for novels but no time to write them; and Nightshift McGee, the one male member of the hostel staff that didn't try to get in either of our pants (of course, after Wednesday night we just avoided the hostel bar all together) and let us eat breakfast early because we had to catch a bus to Inverness to see Loch Ness.


Home on Wednesday!

Better entry tomorrow.
lathriel: (globe)
Spain portion of my trip has been blogged:

I'm so tired.

Morocco is coming soon, after I get photos from my friends.

Here's a random list of things I want:

A tattoo that has to do with the desert. I can't think of a symbol though. Ideas?

... Just to go back to the desert.

Time alone to write.

For my stomach to feel normal again.

To get paid to travel. How can I make this work? Travel writing? I'm open to suggestions, universe.

To be published and have an agent.

To feel grounded again (so many factors are making my brain swirly).

Things that I'm grateful for:

Awesome friends and family.

Awesome experiences.

The insane number of opportunities open to me (despite the overwhelming feeling I get when I look at them).

That I have an apartment and kittehs to come home to in June.

My growing sense of and understanding of Self.

Also, UBC is looking better and better every day. I know I dislike school, but people always say it's different in grad school. Hmm. We'll see. Research shall continue...

Also, I've been planning my first meal upon returning to Buffalo... I'm thinking something incredibly unhealthy. Nothing says "welcome home" like indigestion.

Also, I'm probably going to Athens at the end of May instead of bumming around London. I'm going into debt to do it, but that's fine because I'm awesome, and I will have a job very shortly after returning to the states. I have faith in that. You say "irresponsible," I say "why not?" Life is for the alive, my dears.

This post was very scattered. Good night!
lathriel: (lovers)
Hmmm. I have been slacking on the updates. I think I've been busy, or something, but I have very little to show for it if I have been. Oh, I remember, I existed within a cloud of rage for a week and a half, dealing with bullshit drama of other people's making in my life :P

It's all good though- every negative experience exists as a lesson, or at the very least an example of contrast so that I know what not to focus my energy on. Yay! (Speaking of the drama, I told the ex we shouldn't be friends. I didn't really expect a response [though I probably should have], but I got one... not sure if I'm going to reply yet.)

I've been having a lot of fun lately, despite the anger issue. Which is mostly gone. I had two nights in a row of really nice and sincere one-on-one conversations, first with Heather, then with Becky. Both at pubs, lol, but they were nice pubs. I went to London this weekend to check out the Portobello Road market with Heather and the girls (I reference Heather specifically because she lives in London on the weekends with her boyfriend Scott, so it was like we were visiting her). Since it was sunny out we headed to Battersea Park and drank wine all afternoon, playing frisbee, and occasionally petting a dog that wanted to sniff our food. When the sun went down we headed back to Scott's friend's apartment, watched some crappy English TV, and headed out to an awesome pub with my new flask in hand (It was the only thing I bought at the market, except for a bunch of huge grapes- seriously, HUGE). We were up/out till about 3 in the morning when we stumbled back to Scott's apartment. That was probably one of the most hedonistic days of my life. Good way to celebrate Spring? I think so.

I don't know, not much going on really... I'm having a lot of introspective moments, but they're all too nebulous to go into really. I love the UK. I miss people (and animals) back home, but I know when I come home I'm going to miss the people and places here, too, and when school starts in the Fall I'm going to hate it. Buffalo has great potential, and I didn't really think I'd ever want to get away from there, but having been away, lived away, even for a little while, I've come to realize just how important it IS to get away from home for a chunk of your life. I think I need to be away longer, to be honest... or just elsewhere. I think I've started something I won't easily be able to turn off. I need to spend more time out in the world, on my own little adventure. Or big adventure. I have a feeling I might end up in Buffalo, ultimately, but there is a long time between now and then.

I'm considering grad school again/still. There's a school in BC that looks decent, but I actually want to look at grad schools over here, too. In what? Well, in BC they have a Creative Studies program that would let me combine creative writing and video. But I might just go somewhere for creative writing. I don't know. The more I work in video, the more I like it, but when I'm away from it for even a little while I begin to wonder if I'm settling. Writing is my first love- my true love. I dream of a life where writing is my very first priority, because it is my career, my income, my art and religion, and my stories are my children. Maybe I'll have a husband, but he'd have to understand... ;) Think of all the time I'd have for research... there are a lot of stories I've let die because I couldn't confront the research necessary to make them happen :(

Anyway, grad school sounds like a good excuse to keep traveling too. Shameless? Yes. But hey, I'd get an MFA out of it, and credit for spending all my time being creative.

Oh, I forgot to add that I found out the quarantine for cats coming to the UK is only 3 weeks, plus you can visit them during the day. So, yeah. Now all I need to make my life perfect is for my friends and family to move to the UK with me...

So... there's some of the inner-workings of my mind lately. Aside from huge things like where I'll be living this time next year, the only other stuff on my mind (that I let stay there) is trying to get a job when I come home, and how best to dress for four days in Morocco at the beginning of April... plus I'm toying with the idea of seeing how hard it is to write and publish a romance novel... I'd like some more spending money ;D
lathriel: (no drugs)
There is a lot I want to say right now. But I can't, because I'm short on time and my brain is just mush. The past 24 hours has been a collection of "lasts" even though I know I'm coming back. But I think the Taurus in me dislikes the sudden disconnection from all things familiar and stable. Yeah. Adventurous, ok, but it's this interim of waiting and preparing that sucks.

I'm really going to miss you guys ;-;

I'm really going to miss my cats ;.;

But this is going to be an amazing semester. And I'm sure by the time I'm getting ready to come home in a few months, I'm really going to miss England.

Time is weird.


Dec. 10th, 2008 10:26 pm
lathriel: (lovers)
Flight itinerary! )

It is really amazing how quickly this all came together for me. I know it's not like I didn't make it happen, but it was just so much... I don't know. I will never be able to forget the feeling in my stomach when I accidentally walked into that Study Abroad Fair, like I had a third hand actually reaching out from my solar plexus toward the UK.

I know that amazing things are going to happen while I'm abroad- it's just this ineffable, incredible knowledge in my bones- and I am so wonderfully grateful for this opportunity that it brings tears to my eyes sometimes- and if you know me, you know I'm not big on the whole crying thing. But it's really and truly just... literally awesome. :O (<-- awe face)

BTW I fully expect a welcome-home committee waiting for me at the airport ;p I'll be feeling needy, I'm sure!

personality test )
lathriel: (Default)
"Let's start you off with a shocker: contrary to popular belief, you don't need to know where you're going in Europe beforehand. In fact, one of the greatest joys of backpacking across the continent is arriving at a train station and deciding right then and there where you want to go (not to mention the appeal of flying by the seat of your pants)." (from a website on backpacking in Europe!)

OMFG I'm so excited I could CRY. :O

I really hope I can find someone willing to use our two week spring break for backpacking around Europe. Otherwise... I might just go alone. Yeah, eat it gender bias! I think mace is legal in Europe anyway.

I don't know if I can really say just how grateful I am right now... and so HAPPY. O. M. G.


Life ftw!


lathriel: (Default)
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