Thursday, September 28, 2006

Today's The Day

Today I sat here for eight hours just like I do everyday. Stared out the window and dreamed (or is it dreamt?) about the clouds as I gazed at thisand became at least moderately obsessed with these. Decided that I need to take a ride in one real soon. Found a good excuse to go here on my lunch break. Sat on the cobblestones and people-watched while I gulped down a fry-filled pita. Ate the most amazing waffle with bananas and chocolate sauce until it looked like this . Established that co-worker Jimmy (affectionately known by some as Jim-Bo) has in fact been drinking buttermilk since his arrival in Belgium. Played with photoshop after being lectured by my boss about how we don't need vacations (he claims he hasn't taken one in two years) and took an imaginary field trip to an african beachand another to antartica. Got paid for it (in my dream). Maybe you should click on those pictures to make them big and see how good I am at photoshop. Bought this fabulous little thing (it's a pumpkin, can you tell?) to celebrate the impending arrival of October. Yes! I intend to eventually use it as a vase for an autumn arrangment of flowers. Wore these (my favorite running shoes ever - Nike Free 4.0) and went for a long run here . Watched young protesters protest and proceed to play manhunt in the park. Danced with reckless abandon for at least 20 minutes thanks to this incredible invention and admired my 30-foot shadow as it wriggled and popped to music that could be heard by no one but me. Accidently forgot to set the microwave to its toaster setting and made something that looked like this . Ate it anyway. Listened to this fine young musician for hours. Didn't get sick of him. Can't wait to download the next episode of this because I'm pretty sure I have the first episode of the season memorized by now. "It's all gooooood." Thought about my friends here (and other places too, don't worry). Wondered if I want to live here when I leave Brussels. Still unsure.

It was a pretty good day.

-Aimee Mann-

Things I Love Today: Photoshop

Need I say more?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Will Sing You Songs

I have forever been in search of a way to put some of the songs I've recorded on my blog. And thanks to my friends at, I think I've finally found it. I just recorded this on my mac using garage band, so it's nothing special. Now I'm quite over this song that I wrote at the end of last year, but perhaps being able to blog my music will be motivation to finish some of my works in progress.

If by chance you'd like to download the song so you can listen to it incessently, you can do so here. And if you'd like to add a picture to make your iTunes as pretty as mine, I'd like to suggest one of these. And if you don't have iTunes... well, just click right here.

-My Morning Jacket-

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wasting Time

Ocassionally I get really good at putting my efforts into useless endeavors. They are the types of tasks that might make me feel some sense of accomplishment if I ever finished them, but by nature the task is invarialbly one I never quite conquer. Tonights time-squandering activity of choice: updating the album art of as many iTunes tracks as possible. Apparently I not only have the time to waste, I also go out of my way to blog about the fact. But really, I don't think iTunes has ever looked prettier.
-Jack Johnson-

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Lowlands of Holland

Between me sleeping through my alarm clock, Ryan forgetting his passport at home, missing the tram and some other force that didn't have luck in our cards for the day, our scheduled 8:15 departure from Brussels didn't find us in our final destination of Ede (pronounced eed-uh) Wageningen, Holland until 4:00 pm. In the end I suppose we did have fairly good luck, considering that we saw nearly 300 Van Gogh's at the Kroller-Muller (along with plenty by Picasso, Mondriaan, Braque, Brancusi, and Giacometti, to name a few) and grabbed two white bicycles on our way out to cycle through miles of the Hoge Veluwe, Holland's largest National Park. The bicycles are free with entrance to the park, a great bonus that I think is one of the best inventions ever. I think we should petition for the same thing in America. It's a brilliant idea. Side note - did you know that the average Hollander rides about 1000 kilometers every year on a bicycle? The Kroller Muller was fantastic, and I'm pretty sure it's the last major art museum in Holland to check off my list. For as much as I love classes about art history, there is nothing like seeing a real work of art in person. Especially Van Gogh, with his gobs of color that just pop off the canvas. Thankfully we caught the last train back to Belgium and the last metro back to my apartment. What a day.-Natalie Merchant-

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Show I Love Today: The Office

I'll admit that my television watching days have greatly susided since high school. I think the most TV I've watched since I left home would probably only be considered substantial during The Olympics or The World Cup. But every once in a while, there comes a show that will really captivate me and have me giddy in anticipation of the next episode. The Office is one such program.

Even though I didn't get to watch it very much during its first two seasons, I was completely enthralled with the final episode which I promptly downloaded and watched several times. Since then I have luckily had youtube to help me catch up on what I've missed during the first two seasons. Needless to say, I'm shaking in anticipation for tonight's premier.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Remember It Well

I finally got my video of Prague uploaded. Czech it out!

-Damien Rice-

Wet, Wet, Wet

I found them in Switzerland: the perfect red rain boots!They came in very handy on Sunday when it just wouldn't stop raining. We explored Interlaken, Bern and a bit of Basel. You probably can't tell in the photos, but we were all pretty soggy all day.-Badly Drawn Boy-

Monday, September 18, 2006

Near Wild Heaven

Trying to describe my weekend in Switzerland in single blog post would be like trying to do something pretty much impossible. My creativity in metaphoring is escaping me right now. All I know is I had a Toblerone for dinner and I'm going on about 45 minutes of sleep, so don't expect too much from this one.

Jackie, Ryan and I decided last Tuesday that this would be a perfect weekend to hit Switzerland - a must see on all of our lists. Let me just say that between Friday at midnight and Monday morning at 7 am, we took 5 buses, 7 trains, 2 gondolas, 2 trams, and 2 metros for a total of 26.5 hours of traveling and about as many hours of Swiss bliss. Saying it was worth it would be the understatement of the century.

We spent the weekend in Gimmelwald, Switzerland - a tiny village nestled in the Alps. It was there that I learned what it feels like to live a fairy tale. It was there that I hiked what is quite possibly the most beautiful mountain range on the planet - lush and green, but still jagged and impressive with a huge vertical drop. It was there that I first heard a yodeling Alpine choir and wrote in my journal to alpenhorns being played outside my window. It was there that I saw friendly Swiss cheese-making cows with their bells, discovered a hidden yet magnificent waterfall, and sat for what felt like hours as the peaks drifted in and out of view, just absorbing the beauty of it all. In Gimmelwald I felt like I could almost touch heaven.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Everything Will Be Alright

My manager told me that the user name and password for our internet finally came today. Hallelujah! This may be the best day of my European life thus far.

-The Killers-

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Note To Self: Don't Die

Why is there a bus that leaves for Basel, CH on Friday night at 10:00 and doesn't get you back to Brussels until 6:00 am Monday morning? Why is there a hostel tucked into an Alpine village that has three beds available this weekend? Why does it only cost $18/night to stay there?

Because sometimes you're just meant to go to the Alps.

See you in Switzerland.

-Ryan Adams-

Friday, September 08, 2006

September Grass

Some will probably wonder why I like these photos so much. Well, you can keep wondering...So, after having been here for two weeks and two days, I feel that I can accurately give a description of Brussels in September. Brussels in September means beautiful sunny days, running in the park, lazing on the grass, and free concerts by Sarah Madsen and Jackie Shaw. -James Taylor-

Swing on a Star

Last night we decided to wander through a forest that we found on a map of Brussels. While wandering we found this little obstacle course. It was a blast.-Frank Sinatra-

What You Wish For

I promise I have not been on blogging hiatus by choice. I've actually been aching to blog and post my pictures of adventures in Belgian forests and small medival towns. It's my manager's fault. He has not installed the internet in my flat yet. I told him that if it didn't happen soon, I was going to go on strike. It seemed like a very European thing to do. So I still haven't gone on strike, but I am blogging from work. Close enough, right? So, yeah.

This is just a quickie. But here's a short list of things that I wish I had here with me right now:
  • some good books in English (Forster - A Room With a View, Steinbeck - East of Eden, Chevalier - Girl With a Pearl Earring, those should suffice)
  • my nike hiking shoes
  • The Office, seasons 1 & 2 on DVD
  • ice cold milk
  • hair dye (I'm in one of those moods)
  • a private guitar instructor
  • the internet at home
  • that's all

This weekend is all about biking Holland.


Saturday, September 02, 2006


On Saturday, Jackie, Ryan and I decided to make our first adventure outside of Brussels. Early in the morning we got on a train and headed west until we came to the brilliant little city of Bruges. This was my second time visiting Bruges, and with good reason. The first time I came upon this Medival town four years ago, its unfolding was unforgettable. We had been tromping around the UK, flown into Paris and then taken a train to Belgium. No one really knew why we were going or what to expect. But for me, the cobblestone streets, neighboring cathedrals, towering city hall, windmills, chocolateries, street musicians, bicycles, the best waffles in the world, and lace-makers were exactly the Europe I had always imagined. My second visit to "The Venice of the North" was just as satisfying. I wasn't disappointed.
-Snow Patrol-

I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

For all who have been wondering, I have safely arrived in Brussels, unpacked and settled into my fully Ikea-ed out flat, started work, and already traveled outside of the city. So far, so good. Here are a few things I have been thinking about:

*What do Belgians do with themselves since their entire country shuts down at 6 pm every day?
*What will I do with myself in Belgium since I work until 6 pm every day?
*How do Belgians have so much money to spend on classy shoes when they don't ever work past six o'clock?
*Why doesn't America have better public transit systems in more cities?
*Where can I find some good books to read in english, since I'll apparently have nothing to do on the week nights?
*How good can I get at the guitar if I have 4 hours to practice every day of the week?
*When will I start to feel useful at the office?
*Will I ever get sick of Belgian waffles or chocolate?
*How do Europeans stay so skinny with the best waffles and chocolate to eat?
*Why do European keyboards put all the letters in the wrong places?
*When will my boss get the internet fixed in my apartment?
*When I am done here, where in the world will I end up?

Just some thoughts. I will definitely post some photos when I get online from home.

-Nicky Holland-