Sunday, December 24, 2006

Things I Will Miss Most

And that was just the last night....

Merry Christmas to all of you. Stay tuned for updates about my re-acclimation process and hilarious tales of the stress of graduating and finding an apartment and job and life. It should be a very happy new year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Help Me Out, New York

So I am feeling pretty down on leaving Amsterdam and I'll probably post another Thing I Will Miss really soon, but for now why don't you remind me of all the great things I am coming back to. I have started a list, as you can see, but other than the company of your lovely selves, I'm a little stuck. Let me know!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things I Will Miss: Comestibles

So, I do a lot of complaining about Dutch cuisine. And while there are many things I will be glad to never think about again (raw herring? those pate salads? unrefrigerated sausages?), I have grown quite attatched to certain foods and beverages that just won't be available to me in New York.

1. Stroopwaffles Should any of you find yourself in Amsterdam at some point it is imperitive that you try the fresh, warm stroopwaffels at the Albert Cuyp Market. A treasure. Warm, gooey, a little cinnamon-ey.... and so, so delicious. I am planning to have my last one *sniff* on Thursday.

2. Vla It's so much better than pudding! And I'm really not sure why. It comes in milk-style cartons and you could practically drink it. Maybe it seems healthier, or at least higher in calcium than a Snack Pac. If you get the chance, try the "dubble vla" (double vla) in chocolate/vanilla. Like Hoodsie cups of our youth! Only in near-liquid form!

3. Cheap Wine Do you remember that time we bought wine for $1.99 in New York? Lost Vineyards was the brand? No? You can't remember? Because the vile substance (which might have been cleverly packaged fermented Welch's grape juice) erased your memory of the evening? Well, over here it's a different story. While it's usually more satisfying to go for a 3 or 4 Euro bottle (OMG the Aliwen Sauvignon Blanc is just the most delicious 13% alcohol white wine of all time), you can easily drink the 1.89 grocery store Rioja.

4. Cheese It's just. so. good.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Things I Will Miss: My Shower

This is the first installment of a new, questionably-regular feature called Things I Will Miss. In all liklihood it won't last much longer than the process of writing the paper I am currently not writing. Which is to say, Tuesday. Hopefully. But I just wanted to commemorate in words and images some of the finer things in my life here in Amsterdam. And the first object of praise is my shower.
Having showered regularly in six different places in 2006, I would like to state without reservation that the shower at Meer en Vaart 442 is by far the best I have experienced. Maybe even ever. I, like most people, I imagine, look for lots of water pressure and inexhaustible amounts of hot water when evaluating "shower awesomeness levels." This shower, my friends, has both to spare. If you aren't accustomed to the positioning of the faucets you might even burn yourself or bruise your skin with the pressure (probably hyperbolic). The room billows with steam. The water on my back is like a thousand little cat tongues insistently massaging away my stress. Or whatever.
It is not merely the superior heat and pressure which make this particular showering experience perfect. It is the design of the shower itself. It is just a shower head in the corner of the bathroom, unseparated from the toilet or sink by a curtain or a tub. At first, I admit this was difficult. The toilet seat gets wet and the toilet paper can get a little damp from the condensation sometimes. But then, I began to realize the benefits. As I have mentioned before, the ability to position a coffee cup within reach but outside the spray of the water has exponentially improved my mornings. And afterwards I just brush my teeth. And not with hot shower water (hot water brushing is gross). I use the cold faucet of the sink. Without the chill of leaving the shower.

It's also really great to have the mirror right there over the sink. I have to swipe away the fog with my hands a couple times, but plucking my eyebrows has never been less painful. My skin is so soft and open from the warm water. Additionally the mirror can provide a great deal of amusement when I enjoy a small joint before showering in the evenings. I play a game called Scary Mermaid which basically involves smearing the mascara that is running down my face and making viscious, come-hither looks at myself in the mirror.
After the cleansing, plucking, caffinating, tooth-brushing ordeal I am relaxed and ready to start the day:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tangental Update

So I just put my sister on a plane back to Boston. Which marks the end of the last visit I will recieve in Amsterdam, barring one of you surprising me tomorrow morning (this is recommended). But I crossed some very important things off the meta-To-Do list of the semester including the Heineken Brewery (just great!) and the Expressionist exhibit at the Van Gough Museum (they really over-sold the Kandinsky. There are only two paintings of his). Additionally I spent more time under the influence of substances that aren't legal (or "tolerated") at home than perhaps the whole rest of the semester combined. Which is a good way to end things, I suppose.

Another long term goal I attained this week was finally getting a white leather bag (a quest Leila and Doug might remember from the way I eyed the ones Italian police officers wear). It was a great deal and I really love it and my old purse is on it's last legs. I do feel a little ridiculous buying things for myself with Christmas right around the corner and not a single gift bought. Who am I kidding though? It's clearly going to be stroopwaffles for all.
And so, I am becoming more and more preoccupied with moving back to New York and the pending culture shock of that experience (and the general shock of finishing college in May). I'll just repeat for any of you who are so unlucky as to not be my facebook OR myspace friend that I am looking for an apartment that is cheap, doesn't require a year lease and reasonably easy to get to NYU from. It seems like moving back will be especially depressing because I'll have just missed that magical Christmas In New York feeling that's everywhere in December. Instead it will just be the Depressed But At Least The Bars Are Open Late feeling that takes over in January. I'd like to take this opportunity to warn all of you that I have not maintained my tolerance of alcohol while abroad and if you make me take shots I might vomit. I also go to bed by one most nights.
But for now I am just trying to write my last paper so I can do fun things and have a great time with the people I have met here who I will miss veryvery much. I am trying to look at it as an incredible opportunity to visit friends in exciting places in the future, but I also feel like I am just getting to know a lot of people and it's sad to leave them. Sigh. So complicated.
Ok. If I post again really soon just yell at me and tell me to go write my paper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I thought you might need a little Christmas...

you know, right this very minute.
So this is sooner than expected, but I finished a paper early and I thought it would be fun to have up first thing in the morning. I couldn't think of anything you guys would like more than me being a complete asshole, so here you go.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Updates, Contests, Holidays, etc.

So I meant to mention under the contest rules that I only had certain materials available for fixing my earrings (scotch tape, duct tape, mounting putty and penut butter). But since I didn't, Devin wins. He'll probably get the stroopwaffles in the mail since I am unlikely to make it to Texas before they would become stale.
Don't be sad that you didn't get the stroopwaffles (but see how commenting pays off?) because I am working on a super-great holiday gift for all of you, but especially Leila, Rachel and any member of Sixie Choir I might be forgetting. It might be done before my sister gets here on Thursday should I drink too much Gluwine (hot wine, not wine made of glue) at the Sinterklaas dinner tomorrow night and not spend the evening writing my colloquium rationale. Nevertheless, it's going to be great.
I leave you now with a photo of myself with a Zwarte Piet in Rotterdam this weekend.

Coming Soon! Rotterdam! Marzipan Analysis! The definitive debate on what makes a bar gay featuring special guest commenter Yvette!