I just got back from a weekend spent in Spain and Andorra! :D (in media res, much?)

I like romancin' but I don't wanna )


***

It was nice, though, (nice isn't ever going to be a strong enough word, but it will have to do) to come back to an inbox full of facebook messages saying happy birthday. ♥ I am so blessed for my family and friends; I can't put it into words.

Happy 560th Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci.
In Finnish: Hyvää Joulua! 

We just got back from Hanna's grandparents' place, where, in true grandparent style, we were plied with all sorts of delicious Finnish Christmas food (I took pictures of every dish - all will be up on DUTCH MY LIFE once I have access to my laptop again). We had rice porridge (delicous!) and fruit stew, pulla (little balls of sweetbread), jouluutorttu (flaky pastries filled with plum jam), taatelikakku (date cake) and rahkapulla (cream-filled sweetbread with lemon and raisins). I also learned how to say "thank you" - kiitos

Hanna's family was there: her siblings came with their children (adroable!). Her whole family is apparetly coming over to her house tonight, so I will get to meet even more Finnish people (and fail to communicate, due to the language barrier - but I have developed he general strategy of thanking everyone copiously and smiling all the time - seems to have worked so far...)

Can't really believe it's actually Christmas, though! I donät know where the time went! But last night, we decorated the Christmas tree, and today, we laid out the presents under it (literally a mountian of them - feels just like home!). I hope Hanna and her family like the gifts I brought- I'm thankful that the Gluhwein survived the trip here. 

Suffice to say, life is quite exciting at the moment, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with Hanna and her family - not that I don't miss mine, but seriously, this is something special! :D 

HYVÄÄ JOULUA TO EVERYONE :D 
Yeah,  no big deal, just spending Christmas in another country :D Blogging for the next week or so will all take place on LJ, since my laptop is in Groningen, and I am in a place called Lohja. (I have no idea where it is; I need to google it.)

Got in last night, and was picked up from the airport by Hanna and her mum, who seems like a lovely lady (actually, all of Hanna's family seem exceedlngly nice and friendly, so I'm really happy to be here.)

Random: THERE IS A SAUNA IN HANNA'S HOUSE, WTF. AMAZE. I hope we'll get to use it later.

This afternoon, we're apparently going to visit Hanna's grandparents, as well as the Lohja town centre. I will probably be plied with all sorts of Finnish food - EXCITE! 

I wish I could be coherent enough to write a proper holiday post, but I just have ALL THE FEELINGS, as usual. :D Our ride is here now, so I've got to go EXPLORE FINLAND. 

Nürnberg

Dec. 4th, 2011 08:48 pm
I HAVE BEEN TO GERMANY!

Well, technically it's been a week since I was in Germany (and if you want to get reaaaally nitpicky about it, I've been in Germany once before, to visit Tante Freidl - but I was in grade four then, so that doesn't count for these purposes), but I'm just getting to the post now, because a) there's a lot to process and b) NO TIME OMG.

Let's start the journey!
Nuremberg, part 1 )
PART 2

*He's also famous for writing the Mare Liberum, among other things, which formed the basis for international law. But he's most famous for the escape he orchestrated, involving his wife, a book chest, and a serving girl.
I have travelled! This post is a bit late, since the trip was actually yesterday, but I was so zonked by the time we got back that anything I tried to type would have turned out rather like: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

So we simply had to eat there. Jamie ordered bitterballen, which I've never had before. They were kind of like meatballs, with a crunchy outside and a really mushy inside - not so much my thing, but I can see how they'd be really popular pub food.

And finally, after the meal, we hopped back on a train to Groningen. On the way home, we made the acquaintance of another Dutch student - she was very friendly and we ended up buying cookies together. It still amazes me how people are so friendly here. In Toronto, no one really talks to each other on trains - friends, yes, but it would be really strange to start having a conversation with a perfect stranger. But here, it's really not a big deal to strike up a conversation with whoever is sitting next to you on a train. IDK if I would ever be brave enough to do that, but it's interesting to think about.


TL;DR, Utrecht had absolutely lovely scenery, and I'm so glad I got to go. Next weekend, life premitting, some other housemates and I are planning to go to Leiden for a day. Hooray, ease of travel in Europe! :D

Photos posted hopefully later tonight at DUTCH MY LIFE.


* Or jography, as Jamie pronounces it.
I still can't believe this place. I still don't understand how this - any of this - is real. I'm still grappling with the fact that with one plane trip - literally, from August 28th to August 29th - life can change so drastically. Groningen is amazing. The people I live with are amazing. Everything is amazing and I am constantly in awe (and I know, I know, give it a few weeks and see what I'm saying then, but right now I'm living in this crazy happy bubble and everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.)

In the two weeks since I've been in Groningen, I've met people from all over the world. I'm making plans to visit places I've only ever known as names on a map - if that. One of my friends, Hanna, is from Finland, and has graciously mentioned invites to her home near Christmas time. Apparently they can hunt moose there by the light of the Northern lights! There are jokes going around about Oktoberfest in Munich, which I am so, so down for. It's crazy.

And that's probably the most extravagant experience for me: I am surrounded by people - and it's awesome. Over the last two weeks, I've been talking to people, connecting with them, initiating and carrying on conversations - and it's been fun! I never knew just being with people could be this enjoyable; is this what normal people feel like all the time? Even though school is already in full swing (I read three chapters of my Industrial-Organizational Psychology textbook this weekend and I have an oral presentation due on Thursday), I'm able to sit with people and just chill, relax, without stressing about projects or deadlines. I'm actively seeking social contact, which is so novel for me that I'm having a hard time believing it myself. This is so different from anything I'm used to; I smile at people in the mornings, say hi to them, even just sit quietly as they talk around me, all of us just doing our own thing - it feels like acceptance, community, and it's such a completely addictive feeling. How have I never experienced this before? It's so liberating, and I never imagined it could be like this.

P.S.: DUTCH MY LIFE
Sorry for the long absence. I AM NOW IN EUROPE. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. HOW IS THIS REAL LIFE, I DO NOT EVEN.

Like, literally, I am on the intercity train towards Groningen from the Amsterdam Schiphol airport. No one is more shocked by these circumstances than I, let me tell you. I'm going to be blogging specifically about my exchange for posterity - it's called Dutch My Life, and you can bet I made really douchey self-satisfied smirks when I thought that up.

It's going to be basically like my LJ, but with way more pictures and way less ~emotions. So not actually like my LJ at all. You know you want to follow it. Come on, it'll be fun. :D
I keep meaning to post about specific topics or what I've been doing these last few days, but I'm always side-tracked either by HP fic (I'm on a serious binge right now, you guys. Unfortunately, most of what I mem'd in grade 7 is either deleted or crap) or by exchange obligations. (Also, I clearly haven't been on in a while, because I spent a couple minutes chuckling to myself at my icon. *facedesk*)
photos under cut )

That's pretty much it for now; parents are away next week, so I'm planning to slog through the 50+ tabs of X-Men fic I have open and actually, you know, catch up with the important things in my life, aka fandom.

*To my surprise, truing is a word.
HAHA!



MOI, J'AI FINI MES EXAMENS!

(I am not thinking about how I did, nor everything I ate today, nor all the exchange stuff on my to-do list. I AM ~HEPPI.)

Also: a) PChan: see above, b) Habs, sob, c) THE ROYAL WEDDING IS TOMORROW, WHICH SEAT HAT WILL I TAKE WEAR?

TORONTOOOOOOO, HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 hours!
;alskdfj;ewrnt;SSHHG;HLKAHSGEAKHGANQ;EKHA;HA;KLDN

QDC JUST DANCE 2011 = MY LIFE ♥

I can't believe dance is over! There is a gigantic gaping void in my life now, where dance class used to be, and I can't believe that it's all gone by so fast.

Recital was a huge success! :D I haven't gotten much audience feedback (parents don't count; I think they were more preoccupied with my haircut), but on Saturday, the crowds were amazing, and being on stage felt amazing, and the other dancers were amazing, and it was all ~so beautiful~ ;asldkfjals;d I AM WHELMED BY THE AWESOME!

alors on danse~ )
I wish we could all just dance forever. ♥________♥

*I keep wanting to make self-deprecating jokes about people seeing me in my underwear, and then I remember that for Videodance, my costume was underwear, so it's a bit late to be worrying about modesty, I guess.
A;SLDKFJA;SLD;LAS GUYS GUYS GUYS YOU GUYS HOLY FUCK THE DANCE RECITAL IS GOING TO BE FUCKING AMAZING I AM SO WHELMED RN I CAN'T EVEN ;ASLKDFJA;LSDKJFA;LSDJ;LAST ALL OUR COSTUMES LOOK *SICK* AND PEOPLE LOOOOOOOVE MY GAGA OUTFIT ;ASKDFJSA;L;AD I AM JUST LIKE ALL THE HAPPY RIGHT NOW. WHO CARES IF I ONLY HAVE TWO MINUTES TO CHANGE BETWEEN MY CONSECUTIVE NUMBERS, THIS SHOW IS GOING TO ROCK THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!!
THIS IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING I COULD BE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW: OMGOMGOMG DISCWORLD CONVENTION, ALSDKFAL;OMGGGG NEW BOOK COMING (EVENTUALLY),

;ALSKDJF;ASKLTJ;LSDTN;A GOOD OMENS ON TV

OMG OMG OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG SO MUCH DOPAMINERGIC ACTION IN MY BRAIN AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH SHAKING AND CRYING AND FAPPING AND DYING HARDCORE RN ;ALSKDJF;ASLDJ;ASDJG; FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF DO WANT


~*~FANSPLOSION IN MY PANTS~*~
Read more... )
This weekend has been full of Events! Which were Eventful!

Well, ok, not really, but my definition of "Eventful" is "did I get to leave the library?", so I judge accordingly.

I'm not scared of your dirrrrrrty love... )

*I've been fruitlessly searching google for a picture/video to link to, but alas! I don't even know the technical term for it. Googling "Baryshnikov jump" yields nothing but biographies and facebook.

OH WAIT: here, I think, is an example, 0:27-0:30. SUFFICE TO SAY: EXCITEMENT.
*dusts hands off*

Today snuck up on me! There I was, sitting in my chair and checking my email, and BAM! suddenly it's the new year. Happy New Year, everyone! Here's hoping to movements of the "onwards and upwards" variety for 2011. :-)

Original plans for New Year's were of the "going out dancing and getting hammered" variety, but those fell through by virtue of Chloe and I being out of the city for a week prior and no one else having the organizational balls to do anything about it. So I ended up joining her at a friend Caitlyn's house, where, among other things, we danced, made mulled apple cider (Tasty!), played video games and Apples to Apples, watched AtLA, drank copious amounts of tea, ate copious amounts of junk food, made copious amounts of nerdy internet references (over nine thousand!) and generally had a good time. Saw some people there whom I'd gone to school with in grade four. It's interesting to see how people have grown up. 

To ring in the first day of 2011 (!!), David and I went out for breakfast with Oma. SO MUCH FOOD. (And then I went and exercised forever, omg.) Tonight, we made sushi again. So much deliciousness, holy.

Today has been awesomely chill, in that all I've done is ignore my exchange application and dick around on the internet, hooray! Yuletide is eating my lifeeeeeeee! 33 pages of Discworld and Good Omens fic! I'm a little bit in heaven right now. ♥

While in the midst of my Sherlock/Discworld/GO fic-reading spree, I realized that something's changed for me in fandom. When I was new(er) to LJ/the internet, fandom was for me a mainly individual pursuit. Sure, I had my (fledgling, tiny) flist and there were communities I checked regularly ([livejournal.com profile] remusxsirius , anyone? Holy hell, I used to have muscle memory for typing that address.) and authors I adored, but when it came down to it, fandom was basically me reading fic, and that was it. It wasn't anything I would call "lonely", because fandom, I don't think, could ever be lonely, that's the whole darn point of it, but I will perhaps call it "narrow". Aside from the occasional capslock-tastic comments on fics, I didn't really interact a lot with any other fans. (This is not to say that I do so to an extreme now, but I digress.) But then time passed and there were new fandoms to explore. Macros took over everything. The TDK party posts were probably where I learned that fandom didn't have to be solely individual. So many people! So many comments! SO! MUCH! CAPSLOOOOCCCCCCCKKK! Then Star Trek '09: the fic was amazing, the artists were top-notch, but I was still constantly distracted by thoughts of HOLY GOD LOOK AT THOSE PARTY POSTS GOOOOO~ ALSO THE KINK MEMES. Yuss. Fans interacting with other fans! An anonymous epistolary free-for-all! APH eating may brain for a looooooooooooooong time. :D Bit by bit, I learned that fandom didn't have to be all about the fic. Yes, fic is my drug of choice, but hey! The people are awesome too!

This was really driven home for me by [livejournal.com profile] ontd_skating . Suddenly, the Kink Meme almost took a backseat to the other members of the comm. Seeing so many people talking to each other and suddenly being aware that - hey! - I could join in too! It was novel. Before, fandom had always been comforting because I knew that there were a bunch of people out there in the world with whom I shared interests and opinions - the fic they wrote proved it. But with my dawning awareness of things like the APH/Inception/Star Trek/[your fandom here] Kink Meme and places like [livejournal.com profile] ontd_startrek  and [livejournal.com profile] ontd_skating  (SO MANY LULZ), I realized that yes, fandom is made up of people with similar and sometimes obscure interests - but fic didn't have to be my only connection to them. I realized that I could actually interact with those awesome people and take an active role in my personal fandom experience. Whoa.

This realization only solidified with the Epic Adventure that was Skate Chanada 2010 (and guys, I could never make a "Fuck 2010 List", because despite all the other stuff that happened, SC made my year unbelievably awesome). HOLY SHIT, THE PEOPLE POSTING IN THE COMM ACTUALLY EXIST IRL!!  AND THEY'RE ALL AWESOME!! That was the sum total of what was blowing my mind throughout that weekend. The discovery was so obvious, but just ~*~SO WHELMING~*~ I don't evan. SC was also a major bit of fannish involvement, I think. I have never spent that much money on anything fandom related before, but ;LAKSDJFALKJTA;TLKAJ; soooo worth every penny. :D (I don't even want to say that it was a once-in-a-lifetime event because I'm just MISSING MAY BROS so hardcore rn (wish I could have been there for NYE akdjfasld NEXT TIME) that I will definitely be on board for any reuniting that may happen in the future).

So fandom has evolved into a much bigger social conduit. It took me a while (as it always does) to catch up to the herd, but now that I have dusted off my Twitter account for SC, and since fellow-LJers seem to crop up where I least expect them IRL (hello, [livejournal.com profile] lovebanshee , [livejournal.com profile] thatdayismine  and [livejournal.com profile] ironychan !), fandom is more about connection than ever. It's this giant ridicu-mazing thing that makes me run out of adjectives and that I don't think I could ever properly define, but I'm really glad and honoured to be a part of. Fandom, being in it, and what I've learned and the people I've met through it, has helped shape who I am now. A little cheesy? Yeah. But not without truth. Taking a leaf from P. Chiddy (hay, don't look at me like that, I've been PChiddy-holmed) in DJBijoux's flawless, stunning, gorgeous, perfect, etc. remix:

HEY, FANDOM: YOU'RE REALLY, REALLY PRETTY, REALLY NICE. REALLY PRETTY, REALLY NICE. I HOPE I CAN ALWAYS KNOW YOU FOREVER!! 8D (<- PChan eyes!)

OH HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS.

YOU. GUYS. JUST.

I.

Well, I finished Kings of Clonmel last night, and HOLY ;ALSKDJF;ALSDHK;ASKLT;ASDJ;ALTJ;ASLDINA; I DON'T EVEN!!!!!

BEWARE: THE IMAGES ARE FUCKING HUGE BECAUSE I AM A N0OB AND HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO MAKE THEM SMALLER. JSYK.

SPOILERS (WITH VISUALS) FOR KINGS OF CLONMEL (RA SERIES) )

completely unrelated: I want the "France" part of this as my ringtone. HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE? Every time a call would come in: "SIDNEY CROSBY!! YYYYYEAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LES CANADIENS!!!!!! QUEL FILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (LOL if it went off in the middle of lecture. Oh, man. ;p)

EDIT: OK, I am the luckiest idiot EVER. Wikipedia tells me there are TWO MORE BOOKS scheduled for Flanagan's RA series. TEARS OF HAPPINESS RN.

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