31 March 2005

Retail therapy

Was feeling a little stressed today, so I calmed my nerves with some retail therapy. Bought my bus ticket to Frankfurt, where I am meeting Don to fly to Italy for our trip next week. Then, I headed to the mall at Andel. Went to H&M, bought a blazer and halter. Browsed in a few other stores, and found a new favorite, called Promod. Very nicely detailed clothing at great prices. Was looking for a purse, but couldn't make any decisions. Definately need one with a zipper to protect my goods from gypsies. Also hit up the Clinique store. And, quenched my milkshake craving at McDonalds! Had a double cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake. It was great! I never thought I would miss McDonalds or greasy fast food, but it sure beats mystery sausage! Don't know what it is, but there's something about a mall that makes a girl feel at home! Ha! Then I bought groceries at Carrefour [a very American super market]. Rode metro home. Tired.

30 March 2005

How to Speak Czech

Met my new language partner today for our first 'lesson.' He is a Czech student named Radim, who wants to practice his English skills. And I would like to be able to understand when Czech is spoken to me. His English is already quite good, but he wants to improve. So we take walks and converse. Pretty simple. Today we went to Petrin Hill, where the hunger wall and Prague's mini Eiffel tower are. Also to Strahov Stadium. I realize this means nothing to most of you, but it was a new area of Prague for me. It was fun. I think we are going to try to meet every week. The Spanish presentation was tonight. They did an excellent job and it was a very funny presentation. In addition to making fabulous Sangria, they had a Caballero band come and play for us. Quite the show!

A quick lesson on the Czech language_they say you know how to speak Czech if you can say this phrase_ 'Jedno pivo, prosim.' Which means, 'One beer, please.' It is pronounced yed-no pee-vo pro-seem. If you can say this, you can communicate with the Czechs.

29 March 2005

Feedback

So, I must say, I'm a little disappointed. This blog has a pretty large circulation list. Now, I receive some emails from some of you, and the occassional comment, but I have no idea how many of you are actually reading all this crap I write. So, to leave a comment on my blog, you click on the button that says '0 comments' and leave one. Or, you can click on the envelope link and it will send me an email. Some people send me emails, which is always enjoyable. My email address is nre4477@ksu.edu. I usually respond when people send me a specific message. Also, there's this nifty little program called Skype, which is an internet telephone program. It's free to talk from computer to computer, and free to download. It requires headphones and a microphone, or a headset to talk, but you can also type instant messages. Go to www.skype.com to check it out. I use it to call home, talk to Don, my dad, and some friends. I highly recommend it. You can add money to your account to be able to call to other countries for literally pennies. Any questions? Feel free to email me.

American goodies I miss today_kitchen appliances and laundry facilities_Sonic cherry limeade_chocolate milkshakes_Dairy Queen_Coco Bolo's_KSU friends_my dog_Wonderbread

28 March 2005

Woohoo!!!!

I just enrolled for my LAST YEAR OF COLLEGE!!!!!! Can't believe it, but it's freakin' awesome! Which also means I will graduate in one year. Also unbelievable. Didn't think it would actually ever happen, but I'm almost done! Sorry, I'm just a little excited. And also sad because alot of my friends are graduating in May. And sad because I'll miss their graduations. But, I guess Prague serves as a pretty good consolation prize! Here's the schedule for next semester:
ARCH706 Architectural Design Studio 7 MWF
ARCH705 Project Programming TU
ARCH715 Ecology & Sustainable Design Seminar T
PLAN315 Intro to Planning MWF
HORT210 Concepts of Floral Design TU
=16 credits

Oh, I guess you don't even know my schedule for this semester. Here it is:
Mon_Digital Photography, Urban design studio
Tues_History & Theory of Urbanism, Ecology & Urban Space, History of Architecture
Thurs_Urban design studio, Restoration & Conservation
=20 credits
Plus I think I just got involved teaching an English language class. I love the European system.

27 March 2005

some more truths

106. My dorm room is a disgusting pit right now, yet I have no immediate desire to clean. Give it a few hours.
107. I don't like socks. If I could wear sandals all year long, I would be happy.
108. I spend $18 on conditioner, but I think a $40 bra is a waste of money.
109. I spent the last 4 hours browsing and buying music on iTunes.
110. I am not a feminist, I'm a humanist. I think men and women are different and each of us unique for a reason.
111. I don't usually enter political or religious arguments, unless someone asks my opinion, or I feel that a group is being attacked.
112. I can have just as much fun playing charades or watching movies as I can out drinking in a club or bar. Sometimes more.
113. I didn't drink in high school. I had no desire to.
114. I'm such a girl, even when I try not to be.
115. Most people find me intimidating. I'm sure it's my size and power.
116. My father was my first model of a gentleman_he opens doors, can always offer a hankie, fixes things when they're broken, drives the old car, and puts the seat down.
117. My dad is also the only person I know who learns by osmosis.
118. He also has a big mouth and told his whole office about my blog. Thanks, Dad!
119. I can spend hours staring at the ceiling and thinking. Or just staring.
120. I have no idea why I am compelled to share all these things.
121. Don't throw things to or at me. I can't catch.
122. I also can't throw. Don't expect something to make it there if I do.
123. I don't know if people notice this, but alot of the time when I act crazy, I'm not drunk. I'm acting naturally.
124. I am the world's worst solitaire player. I will continue to scroll through the deck for up to an hour before starting over. It's a matter of not paying attention.
125. I quit Girl Scouts because I thought it was boring and we didn't do anything cool. I would have rather carved racecars out of soap with the boy scouts.
126. I didn't wear make up until my freshman year of high school. I also didn't carry a purse until then. Before that I carried my dad's old wallet in my back pocket.
127. My mother and I own an identical pair of pants_same size and style. I find this depressing.
128. My roommate Laine is approximately 5'9", I am 5'3". Our torsos are the same length. My mother is an inch shorter than me, but her legs are longer than mine.
129. Dancing in front of a large audience doesn't bother me. Put a saxophone in my hands in front of a small group and I get so nervous I shake and can't breathe.
130. Nothing beats the smell of fresh rain (not in Manhattan).

Daylight Savings?


flowers1
Originally uploaded by holacola.
Happy Easter! And daylight savings time in Europe. We abruptly found out this morning that Europe does, indeed, have daylight savings time, just like the States. However, Europe decides they like to start it a week early. So, for the next week, I will be 8 hours ahead of Central time, until you slow pokes catch up. Hey, one time in my life where I'm early! That's amazing!
The Czech Republic, like a large part of Europe, isn't that religious [mostly because of the involvement of the Church with the Nazis, etc.]. Here, for Easter, they have church service and all that stuff, but they also have some of their own traditions_boys braid together willow switches called 'pomlozka' and go around knocking on doors with these switches. The people in the house give the boys candy. Also, sometimes the boys hit the girls on the legs with the switches, and it is supposed to make the girls prettier. I find this highly unlikely. What do the girls get out of this, you ask [besides the 'opportunity' to become better lookin']? Pretty much welts on their legs are the prize. Sometimes they get candy. Talk about stupid. So, for those of you who thought Americans had completely perverted Easter with that bunny, at least we don't beat little girls. And, tomorrow is 'Easter Monday.' There are no classes, and most places are closed. In conclusion, back home, all you suckers have to work tomorrow, and are still on standard time.

26 March 2005

Good Friday


Rotunda at Vysehrad
Originally uploaded by holacola.
On Friday mom and I went to Vysehrad and walked around for a little bit. I took this picture of a cute little rotunda chapel that's up there. We looked in the cemetery to see if we had any rich relatives buried there. Pretty sure there aren't any. Not a big surprise. Then, we grabbed a sandwich in a little cafe and bought some chocolates! We returned to Le Patio, a home decor store, and mom bought a cool little bowl, I purchased some tea cups for myself! Went back to dorm and rested awhile. Went back out to H&M, a world-wide chain clothing store, cheap clothes, decent quality, and each bought some cute stuff. It's my replacement for Gap, I've decided! Then we ate at the pizza and pasta place close to the dorm. It was a good day.
Took mom to the airport this morning. Came back and napped. Started some laundry here in the dorm facilities. Am trying to do the European thing and live without fluff-dryed clothing. Not all of it, but some. Certain things must be fluffed! Will need to stock up on food, because everything is closed on Monday [Easter Monday] here. Probably will do some other productive things today, but haven't determined what those will be.

24 March 2005

St. Barbara's Cathedral


St. Barbara's Cathedral
Originally uploaded by holacola.
This is the cathedral in Kutna Hora. It was totally sweet. Mom and I did some more shopping, and found even more awesome stuff. And we ate at a Brazilian restaurant, where I had my favorite soft drink, Guarana! Sweet home Brazil, oh how I miss you. Tomorrow is mom's last day. We're going to do some cool stuff. Later.

Kutna Hora


Nancy & Nicole in Kutna Hora
Originally uploaded by holacola.
Yesterday was a great day. We rode the bus to Kutna Hora, the town that our Votapka ancestors are from. We walked 20 minutes to the village of Sedlec, where some ancestors lived. Saw the grave of a possible relative, Grandma is researching. Also took pictures of the houses where relatives lived (or are on the same lot where they once were). Visited the Bone Chapel, an ossuary right next door to the houses. When the surrounding cemetary became too full, some half-blind monk dug up the bones and decorated a church with them. I think there are bones from 40,000 people. I am probably related to some. There's a chandelier made from each of the 206 bones in the human body. It was weird. Then we walked through Kutna Hora to the Cathedral of St. Barbara, which I read is the most beautiful gothic cathedral in Central/Eastern Europe. I would agree, it was amazing! Larger than St. Vitus, and more ornate. Glad we got to see the inside. Very cool. Mom bought some items made by Czech artists at store, then we walked back to the bus station and rode to Prague. I will probably return while I am here, because I understand that there are some more family graves in another cemetery. Maybe it sounds weird, but it is kinda cool to actually see where you came from.

Mom and I are shopping today. Went to 2 stores this morning, one of which was a delightful surprise! A shop that sells hand-printed textiles that are fabulous! I fear they will make quite a profit from me. It's a weakness! Went to studio in the morning and my teacher wasn't there. I attempted to go to Restoration & Conservation this afternoon, but was slightly late, due to the shopping excursion, and found an empty classroom. Oh well! Guess that leaves more time for shopping! It's a gorgeous day out today, so the rest of the afternoon should be great for walking around.

22 March 2005

Oh Czech Republic, How I Love Your Lack of a System

Mom and I went to the Museum of the Decorative Arts today. We saw dishes, clothing, textiles, some furniture, and art, among other items. Some pieces dated to the 3rd century, but most were from the 5th century to the 19th. Pretty cool stuff. There were embroidered pieces from 1400 to 1800 that were absolutely exquisite. Also a quilt with stitches so tiny and intricate you couldn't see them. One of the coolest things is that the museum is right next to the Old Jewish Cemetery, and you can see a large part of it through the window. It's so amazing. I know I keep talking about this place, but I haven't shown any pictures. I promise to go into it and take pictures to show.
After the museum, we met my friend Tanner (KSU) to go to the bus station and buy a ticket to go to Kutna Hora tomorrow. Here's how the ticket purchasing adventure went: Walk into building with almost 20 purchase windows. Look at timetables posted to see if we can figure out which window to buy the tickets. Choose a window, lady says that you can't purchase tickets at her window, must go to window across the hall. Give bus number and time to man at second window. He looks it up on the computer. "This bus is not in the computer. I'm sorry. Goodbye." I try to ask him for help where I can find out about it. He offers none. Frustrated and flustered, we stand around for a little while and try to decide what to do. Get in line again and ask to buy bus ticket to Kutna Hora, no specific number. Woman tells me to go back to the first window I asked at. Go back to first window. Ask the woman about the bus to Kutna Hora in the morning. She gives me the same information I got off the website. Then I ask her how/where to buy a ticket. "No ticket here. From bus driver." Long story short: for this specific bus, you buy the ticket from the bus driver. Is there a sign or any info that says this? NO!!! Why didn't they tell me this in the first place, you ask. They don't do that here. This, my friends, is the Czech process. Everything is done this way! EVERYTHING. (All I ask for are some spreadsheets and information where to buy stuff. Is that too much to ask? Obviously.)
Anyhow, tomorrow we are going to Kutna Hora, a small town 70 Km southeast of Prague, and my mother's great-great grandfather was born there. Will see a few houses that my ancestors lived in. Yes, I am taking about a billion pictures for my Grandma. Will also go to the Bone Chapel and hopefully St. Barbara's Cathedral. I'll fill you in tomorrow.

21 March 2005

Collette, your lovely tour guide

So I've officially become a Prague tour expert in only a month. Pretty impressive, if you ask me! I took Mom to see the castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Church of St. Nicholas, Charles Bridge, and to eat at Klub Architektu. I'm trying to teach her the subway system and how to get places, so that tomorrow morning she can venture out while I'm at class. Hope she comes back. Anyway, we're having a good time and she's enjoying Prague. Even with pictures, it is hard to imagine how beautiful Prague really is. It's a great city. I'm so glad I chose to study here.
Mom and I were also noticing how some of our relatives have many Czech features_Carl, Francis, George, Aunt Hazel, Henrietta. They would fit in like natives here! And, for those who don't have such strong Czech physical features, luckily, I'm pretty sure that the ability to BS and enjoy the beer is a Bohunk quality! So good news for Tom, Charlie, Dan, Chuck, Dale, Travis, etc., etc! That clearly was not lost through any evolution or genetics.
I had photography class today. A girl named Laura (I think she's Lithuanian) invited me to go to some dance classes with her. I'll have to check it out. She was really sweet. Anyway, time for me to watch a movie.

105. Some days I only eat foods in the chocolate and sugar food groups.

20 March 2005

Bonus

Picked my mom up at the airport this morning. She's staying for a week. Thanks for the Thin Mints, Julia! They're delightful! Finished my collage for photography class. Have some more homework to do. Mom is napping.
Sat_Worked on collage. Went to Mexican restaurant 'Hombre del Mundo' with Tanner and Adam. Skipped out on Sangria Saturday.
Fri_Laundry day. Spent $16 to wash and dry 3 loads.

American luxuries_Dryers and cheap laundry, ice in drinks, free water and bread at restaurants, quilted toilet paper, ranch dressing, peanut butter, deoderant costing less than $8, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Swiffer dusters, numbered streets, free take out box after your meal, 24-hour stores, grounded power outlets
Czech luxuries_honey cake, cheap beer=delicious beer, public transportation, student discounts, food w/out preservatives, fresh bread, goulash, boulevard crocodille sandwiches, good cheap wine, Bohemia Sekt champagne, dumplings

17 March 2005

i heart blog

Let's see, where did I leave off? Wednesday Tanner and I went to visit our project site for studio. It is in a southern area of Prague. Took some pictures while we were down there. We also went to Vysehrad castle [pronounced veesh-e-hrad, i don't have those Czech accent keys]. Prague has 2 castles, and I've been learning about them and the history of how Prague formed in one of my classes. Anyway, Vysehrad is like a little city up on a hill. The castle walls still remain, and it's almost like a really big park with some pretty buildings. The cemetary is beautiful, plus there's a cathedral and some statues. The best part is the view and the walking trail that follows the perimeter of the entire complex. You get a 360 degree view of Prague! And there's very few tourists. By the way, tourist season in Prague officially began this past weekend. Mobs of people. So that was a good day. And the weather was beautiful! Tanner & I also had lunch in a very non-tourist restaurant [only Czech menu & cheap prices]. We were proud. Tiffany and I made grilled cheese sandwiches with ranch dressing for Scottish friends Paul and Stephen. Stephen called the ranch 'liquid heaven.'
Today I went to studio and Restoration and Conservation. And I 'enrolled'. I put this in quotes because everything's on paper. Real official, I'm sure! Then I napped, ate, and wrote in the blog. That's basically it.
Oh, and for those of you who are curious, 'ERASMUS' is the name of the European exchange program here. The Euros throw it around all the time, and my Scottish friends decided to modify the meaning. We now use it to replace 'dorky' or something that is questionable and/or very 1980's. Hence, Erasmus curtain.

15 March 2005

Erasmus curtain


Erasmus curtain
Originally uploaded by holacola.
My address:

Nicole Ellis
Masarykova Kolej
Room H513
Thakurova 550/1
160 00 Praha 6
Czech Republic

Tiffany's mom sent her a package. It had Girl Scout cookies inside. My favorite flavors are Thin Mint, Peanut butter Patties, and animal grahams. I'm also a fan of Oreos, chocolate striped shortbread cookies, Reese's peanut butter cups, and Starburst. Also, I love Cheez-its and Wheat thins. And yes, that's me peeking out from behind the curtain in my dorm room. Enjoy!

14 March 2005

spring?

Laine is officially off the hook, for those of you who were concerned. I got ahold of her last night on the phone! And she reminded me that I need to take pictures of my dorm and campus. So, I promise to take some soon.
I went to studio today. Have homework for Thursday. Tanner, Aaron and I went out in search of some trace paper and supplies. Were fairly unsuccessful, but we did find Picante, the taco and burrito place! We dubbed it the Czech Chipotle. Was delicious! Also, the temperature was above freezing today! It was so nice out. Supposedly, the weather is going to continue improving.
Last night's events were fun. Bought small book at Klub Architektu bookstore, and had another delicious meal! Plus, College of Architecture paid for it! BONUS!

102. I cheat at solitaire.
103. I didn't learn to ride my bike without training wheels until I was 7.
104. I almost drove the car through the garage when I was 9.

13 March 2005

Such great heights


Spires
Originally uploaded by holacola.
todays highlights_Bridge tower was open today. Climbed to top & took amazing photos of view. [Ray Streeter, KSU professor, came to visit our program so I gave him a tour of the city.] Saw inside of St. Vitus Cathedral [gothic cathedral built over 6 centuries]. The interior is even more awe-inspiring than the exterior. Excerpt from my study abroad application essay [Why do you want to study in Prague?] "During a critique, a critic commented that a fellow student's project reminded him of the spaces in a gothic cathedral in Europe. I realized if I didn't study abroad, I would be severely compromising my architectural education." There you have it, folks. I feel the same after having seen one. Nothing compares.
Also saw interior of the Church of St. Nicholas, a popular example of Baroque Architecture. Beautiful, but lavish. I prefer gothic simplicity. Wanted to visit synagogues and cemetary in Jewish quarter, but didn't want to pay $10 today. Next time. Tourists were everywhere today. Going to Klub Architektu for dinner tonight with big group and Ray.

101. I have a fear of birds pooping on me.

11 March 2005

Me


nicolis1
Originally uploaded by holacola.

Was feeling introspective today and realized that some of you don't know me that well. I feel like sharing, and there hasn't been much happening. Except snow. This could be long, so if you're busy, you might want to come back. Or grab a snack.

1. I'm pretty weird. I may seem normal at first, but I'm not really.
2. Shirley Temple is not only my favorite 'drink' but she's also one of my favorite movie stars.
3. I looked like her when I was little. And I can tap dance.
4. I'm not an athlete. Dance was my only 'sport' except that one summer I played softball. I had ONE hit all season.
5. My internal time-clock is not synchronized with the world. My sense of time is extremely innacurate, perhaps non-existant.
6. I knew I wanted to be an architect at age 12.
7. The options before that were punk rocker, astronaut, pediatrician, professional ballerina_in that order.
8. I suffer from road rage.
9. I can waste time/stall like no one else. My mother calls me 'Queen Dilly-Dally'
10. I rarely go to bed before 1:00 am. Unless I'm sick or exhausted.
11. Sometimes I don't pay attention, to anything.
12. I have Attention Deficit Disorder. Truly and seriously, ask my doctor.
13. I think 13 is a lucky number. I was born on April 13.
14. I am an only child and glad.
15. I'm better at sharing than most people with siblings.
16. I am most impressed by hard work, passion, a genuine personality, and selfless spirit.
17. I am unimpressed by 'prestige', status, fickle-ness, selfish motives, and the status-quo.
18. In my family, it is more important to love what you do in life than to make money or impress others. If you aren't passionate and proud of your job, there's no point in doing it. Life is too short to be disengaged and mediocre.
19. I also can't stand fake people. A false personality bothers me to the point that I will disassociate myself with the person, regardless of who they are.
20. I love Reisling wine! I will drink it like water. Reilly's father, Don, is responsible.
21. I used to be a very stressed person. I had nervous breakdowns several times in high school.
22. Now, there's not much that I think is worth the stress. Pretty much nothing bothers me. Except fake people.
23. I am turning into my mother. I'm already there in many ways.
24. I don't really look like either of my parents. I look most like my dad's sister, Sherry and her twin brother, Terry.
25. I get along better with boys than most girls. I am often the only girl in a group.
26. Mashed potatoes are my favorite.
27. I have eaten ice cream or cookie dough as a meal on more than one occassion.
28. I love drawing wall sections and details. I view it as putting together a puzzle or set of instructions for a building.
29. I hate math.
30. English is my best subject and always has been.
31. Someday, I would like to be an architectural journalist and author.
32. I have no desire to design luxury homes, skyscrapers, or hotels.
33. My brain/thought patterns are extremely random. I change subjects at the drop of a hat without realizing that most people don't follow me.
34. Many times I speak before thinking. Although the response is always honest, sometimes I am too blunt for most people.
35. Thanks to modern medicine, I tend to do this less now than I did in say, high school.
36. I can also be so quick witted that rooms of people burst into laughter.
37. The older I get, the less-judgemental I find myself. I also find that personality matters more to me than any other quality.
38. I am pretty anal-retentive. I used to be worse, as in border-line obsessive compulsive.
39. I am an extrovert, through and through. I love talking to people and listening to people.
40. Infact, I just love talking. Get me started and it's hard to stop me.
41. There are some days when I don't feel like talking at all. Those are rare.
42. I love school. I find that I am interested in more classes than I have time to take.
43. Sometimes I stay in my pajamas all day. I prefer them to regular clothes.
44. I hate filth and sometimes clean to avoid doing other activities/tasks.
45. Clutter doesn't phase me.
46. I don't forget appointments, people, and most other things.
47. My closest friends are some of the greatest people on earth. I have known almost all of them for most of my life, or at least almost half of it.
48. I was a bossy child.
49. My parents are extremely opposite people. I share about half the qualities of each.
50. My strange humor comes from my dad, my sarcasm from my mom.
51. The rest is kind of strange, and not everyone 'gets it.'
52. If I designed greeting cards, they would have a specific market with other crazy people.
53. I love the new tv show "Committed" because it is extremely similar to my sense of humor. I also like 'Dharma & Greg.'
54. I hate getting in trouble and was always afraid to as a child.
55. It took me several years to realize when no one would know if I was breaking a rule.
56. I can be extremely impatient.
57. Inconsiderate people annoy me.
58. I've never cared whether or not people like me. I figure it's not my problem if someone doesn't.
59. I was in band for 7 years. I played 5 instruments.
60. I wear a size 6 shoe.
61. I love to sing really loudly and badly to country songs in the car.
62. I'm allergic to most of God's green creation.
63. I don't really like out-of-doors activities, mostly for this reason.
64. I hate getting nice clothes dirty.
65. I also hate being unprepared. I usually have everything I need, like a boy scout.
66. I was in 4-H but not for animals. I was in sewing, cooking, art, interior decorating, and cake decorating.
67. I love to eat and therefore I cook alot. I have also perfected many cookie recipes because I LOVE sweets!
68. My mother never bought soda when I was a child, so I am very caffeine sensitive.
69. No matter how many times I asked for one, my parents never bought me a Nintendo. I think I'm better off for not having one.
70. When I have children, I won't buy them one either. Yes, you can save this as proof, too.
71. I started learning to golf because I had a monster crush on Tiger Woods.
72. I have yet to golf a hole, let alone 9.
73. I have a golf bag, glove, and hodge-podge set of clubs.
74. I think the bagpipe is one of the most unpleasant sounds known to man.
75. Architecture school requires more sacrifice than I want to give most times. I regret that I have missed out on several important events for family and friends. At the same time, there are some things I refuse to miss. Those people will be around longer than I will be in school and are more important.
76. I don't think an ego is a necessary architectural skill.
77. Like most architecture students, I previously thought that creating beautiful buildings was the most important goal for an architect.
78. The most important goal for me, as an architect, is to improve the lives of people who really deserve it. I have no desire to help rich people waste money building monuments to themselves.
79. I hate asparagus, beets, coleslaw, pork rinds, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper.
80. There's always room for dessert. Always.
81. I prefer to be classic rather than trendy. If I buy into a popular fad, it's because I genuinely like it.
82. Buildings move me to tears. They also give me goosebumps.
83. I had a mental list of all the qualities of an ideal guy. I decided to date Don [Reilly] because he possessed every single one.
84. He still meets all those requirements, and helped me add a few more to the list.
85. My mother is the most selfless person I know. She might argue this, but she's a saint.
86. If I can make a difference in as many lives as she has, I will consider my life a success.
87. Grumpy old people make me laugh and scare me at the same time.
88. I was at my strangest from ages 12-15, thus far in life, anyway.
89. My best friend, Alexis, was also her strangest at this age, and that's when we spent all our time together. If you knew us then, I think you would agree, we were crazy.
90. If I could travel back in time, I would be a hippie. No fooling.
91. I think the most important part of college is growing up and learning about yourself. And preparing to be a self-sufficient, contributing adult.
92. I have little self-discipline. I will only do what I need to and wait until the last minute.
93. I work best under pressure.
94. When I decide to do something, I do it, and little can stop me. This is how I read the most books and sold the most tickets, got an architecture internship and college scholarships. So, I guess I have motiviation that initiates self-discipline.
95. I have never seen 'Star Wars' and have no desire to.
96. I used to plan every little part of life. After several disappointments, I realized there's no point. Now I just live life.
97. I used to get really homesick in Manhattan. Home is 1 hour away. I'm better now.
98. I secretly like it when people make me deal with things instead of doing it for me.
99. Graduating, getting a job, moving away and being an adult scares me. Paying my own insurance terrifies me.
100. I can be horribly indecisive. This one took me 10 minutes to decide.

09 March 2005

Post-Pub Philosophy

Deep thought of the night [morning]_the more Czech beer you consume, the more you dance like a Czech.

First Impressions

Well, I joined Facebook yesterday. Didn't think I would, but it is actually fun. I even found out some things about people I hadn't seen in awhile. So I guess that's cool. [For those of you who are not in the college loop, facebook is a type of online directory for college students. You post a profile, join groups of people who have similar interests, add friends to your list, and communicate with any of those people. I initially thought it was an online dating service mostly for greeks, but it is what you make it.]

Things I'm learning about Prague_

The city is in the process of revitalizing many areas, similar to almost all US cities. The potential is really quite high. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the future. Several of my classes are examining issues of planning and redevelopment in various areas of the city that were abondoned after communism. Perhaps the face and feel of the city will start to make a drastic change.

There ARE friendly Czechs, and Europeans DO smile. 2 rumors that I heard and have determined false. I think it's like any place_there are friendly and helpful people and rude jerks everywhere. Although some initial mannerisms or ways of interacting are different, we're all pretty much the same. [Perhaps I'm getting over that whole 'culture shock' thing]

Cities are like antiques_it takes a little dirt and wear to make them really charming.

Perception can often become your reality. Attitude is, indeed, everything.

Staying with a host family would have been a great experience. Although I am glad that I am meeting so many students, perhaps my initial impression would have been different. I'm glad I am living someplace that is quite different than home. For a couple of days, I was pretty unsure. But I really appreciate the diversity of the students, and the changes that I'm forced to deal with.

08 March 2005

shameless plug

I've created an Ofoto Picture album for sharing my photos of Prague. Apparently the only way to share those photos is by me sending you an invitation. So, if you didn't get the email invite, let me know and I will send one to you. I will still post some pictures on the Flickr photo album [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickle], and maybe this blog. For more web entertainment, I highly recommend www.alexishallman.com [You owe me for some of that site traffic, I do believe!] Anyway kids, that's all for today. I have to see if I can get clean sheets for my bed and pay for the internet.

07 March 2005

Class

Went to class today! Picked a studio. I think it will be good. Urban design instead of architecture, so hopefully I'll learn a little something. My Finnish flatmates made pancakes [more like crepes] for all of us last night. By the way, I don't know if I've mentioned my flatmates. Tiffany, of course, is in Interior Architecture at KSU and I knew her before I came. We flew here together. Sarah and Miika are from Finland [girlfriend and boyfriend] and were here last semester. She studies architecture and he studies electrical engineering. Savanna and Lisa are both from KSU but are in Engineering, so Tiffany and I didn't know them before we came. All very, very nice people. Miika was a chef for a year or so, and cooks often. The other night, Don and I were talking to the Finns about Finland and various subjects. So, I've gotten to know them a little better. Really like them. But, I haven't met a Finn I didn't like!

And...Laine, answer your phone!

06 March 2005

week in review

Don thought it more important that I entertain him than update my blog, so you haven't heard from me in a week. He left this morning so I'll bring you up to speed.

1.3.05_Tuesday_Also didn't go to any classes today. Might have slept most of day. Don't really recall what else I did.
2.3.05_Wednesday_Urban Planning class at 9:00. Teacher took us on walk to a project site. Climbed highest hill in Prague to get better view, and saw modernist houses in nice neighborhood. Missed next class because of trip. Tried Grossetto's Pizza close to dorm. Walked around Old Jewish quarter. Peered through gate to look at old Jewish cemetary_oldest in Europe. Really amazing. I can't wait to return when I can go inside. Prague has such a strong [sometimes sad] Jewish history. The oldest synagogue in Europe is also in Prague. So cool. Don and I went to Thai restaurant recommended in my Lonely Planet Prague guide. So excellent! The restaurant is located in a building with an art-glass gallery. Drank wine out of custom designed glass. Fear I will spend too much money buying some dishes there! Really pleased to find such good place.
3.3.05_Thursday_2 classes_Restoration & Conservation teacher was no-show. History of Theaters teacher was a joke, class not worth my time [he informed us he'd been teaching for 55 years and learned English "before the War." I assume that means a world war] Ate mediocre sushi at sushi bar and paid too much. Walked around Wenceslas square.
4.3.05_Friday_Ate at Grossetto's Pizza. Lots of Americans there. Went to movie theatre and watched "Meet the Fockers" ["Jeho Fotr, to je Lotr" in Czech]. The movie was in English with Czech subtitles. Funny.
5.3.05_Saturday_Walked around modern shopping area called "Andel" and looked at interesting buildings. Ventured to Old Town Prague and found Klub Architektu_great architecture bookstore and restaurant. The restaurant is in the basement of the building and the ceilings are great low, brick arches. Delicious food as well, and great wine.
6.3.05_Sunday_Don left at 10 this morning. Went home, took a nap, did laundry.