Friday, March 31, 2006


Apparently Nat King Cole didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about. Imagine my surprise (and slight dismay) as I was thumbing through LCMS's "Missionary to Missionary" publication for May (I just recieved it in the mail and it makes for good reading material in between classes) and I notice that a birthday is missing from the "Missionary Birthdays" list. My birthday to be exact. Boy, they sure do know how to make a girl feel special and remembered.

I got hosed. LCMS hosed me.

Does this kind of stuff happen with such regularity to other people, or am I the exception that proves the rule? It's kind of the same MO...forgettable Mandi feels snubbed so she makes a little ruckus about it, thus appearing a shrewish grudge-holder. But I'm not really shrewish...just fed up.

In other news: I've been reading the blogs of other missionaries and they keep mentioning Ultimate Frisbee. This makes me slightly envious. The solution? Teach the sport in English class! Yay! The next two weeks will be an intense study session on rules and strategy with the culmination being a fierce game at Déak Tér the week before Spring Break. Should be a good time.

Late Breaking News: I played Scrabble with my small class, and it turned out to be extra small as the girls were gone (so it was just me and Máté). So we played head to head. Not only did we finish the game using all of the Scrabble pieces, but get this.....we ended up with the same score! How crazy is that?!?! Okay, I admit I didn't play as cutthroat as I usually do when playing with native speakers, and Máté used a dictionary, but c'mon. The exact same score. Not to mention that that score was listed in the Expert Level by Scrabble's standards...that's pretty awesome for Máté. I gotta give that kid an A (or 5 as the case may be might even warrant double 5's).

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Best Week Ever

In the style of the VH1 Show...

This Week:

I recieved a package from my Aunt (yay for English reading material!)
I wished my sister a Happy Birthday
I was invited to 2 birthday parties
I went to Vienna in search of various purchases
I bought a video camcorder (not in Vienna, as it turns out)
I got hosed by the Austrian train system
I missed the philharmonic concert featuring violin solos
I missed the "spring forward" hour change
I celebrated the arrival of spring weather in Sopron

Okay, so maybe my version is not as exciting as several comedians making fun of celebrities, but it's all I got. After all, Donal Logue is expensive these days...

Friday, March 24, 2006

March Madness

No, not THAT March Madness (although...LSU totally beat crazy??).

NCAA Hockey March Madness. Tonight. 5:30. Grand Forks, ND. Be there or be square (I am unfortunately square).

If they make it to the Frozen Four they will play at (drum roll please) Milwaukee, WI (pronounced's Algonquin for "the good land," thank you Alice Cooper).

And did you know the Midwest regional is in Green Bay this year? Which means the Badgers will be playing there this Friday? So not fair...if I were home I would totally be there.

You know what would be perfect? The Badgers and Gophers meeting in Milwaukee for a showdown. That, my friends, would be tőrkjó (and that does not mean "pumpkin good" as some people would have you believe).

Oh, and did I mention Ryan Poltuny is the leading contender for the Hobey Baker this year?

I'm excited. And yet sad...seeing as how I have no way of watching the action.

But I'm totally going to Vienna tomorrow to go shopping (wow, that sounds's totally not, I promise). But yeah, gonna buy myself a digital video camcorder...totally gonna make a movie with my students and it's totally gonna be awesome. I'm totally using the word "totally" as much as I totally possibly can in this paragraph. Is it totally annoying you?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Gambit was my favorite...

Holy Crap! Have you seen the trailer for the new X-Men movie???? How AWESOME!

X-Men was only my favorite cartoon when I was a little girl...okay...when I was a little tomboy...
Gambit was my favorite. A little snarky, totally hot (for a cartoon), and on the side of the good guys.

Where's Josh Minnie??? Josh? Are you out there? We saw the last 2 together on opening night, how are we going to pull this?

Go watch the trailer. Now.
So they don't celebrate St. Patty's Day here. Something about "not being Irish." I don't know...I didn't fully understand the reasoning. Heh.

But my friend, Marina, dyed her hair green. It was on St. Patty's Day that she met her husband, Kimo, in Hungary (if I understood the story correctly). They then toured Ireland on their honeymoon and named one of their sons Patrick (as opposed to naming both of their sons Patrick? Hm. That sentence structure could be taken in many ways).

Anywho. I just got back from visiting the other missionaries in Slovakia. It was great. Until that last day. On the way there I had lost something that was very near and dear to my heart, and it was only during my last day in Tisovec that it's loss was brought fully home and I just couldn't stop crying. Maybe I just needed a good cry. A good 7 hour cry, that is.

Anyway, nothing like a good day of teaching to bring my spirits up. Never fails. I may not always like teaching, heck I may not always like my students, but I always love them. And I always love seeing them and goofing around with them (oh, but never during class, mind you).

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Appreciation Nation

Today is National Women's Appreciation Day. This makes me wonder a) Do men get a day to be appreciated? b) when is the day they get to be appreciated? and c) if men do not get to be appreciated, what does that say about this society?

Either way, I did recieve some chocolate (from a male teacher), a sunflower (from some male students), and a horrible serenade from all of the male teachers not hiding in the WC during break (it's the thought that counts, I guess). It was completely unexpected and not just because I work in a place where the communication lines are usually down for maintenance. No, it was unexpected because I am not a native and yet, they were appreciating me because I am a woman. So really, it wasn't just a national holiday at all. Delight.

In other news: Lizzie B (as in Borden, not Bennet) came for a visit this weekend. We went to Vienna and had a great time walking around in the snowstorm past all of the closed shops. But really, it was fun to just have some Starbucks and Burger King. We also went to a fun Aussie pub and had some delicious Aussie beer whilst watching the Maple Leafs play. Joy.

Later that night we went out in Sopron to Pub Fiction. They had tequila which is a very hard find in Hungary. Excitement.

Monday we wanted to try the "mexican" restaurant only to find a) the menu only in Hungarian, c) tacos being the only "latino" food listed, and c) the waitress completely unable to come near our table to take our order. She must've been allergic. Exasperating.

So instead we went to the steakhouse. And before you judge, let me just say that I KNOW I always take visitors there, but it's just so delicious that I can't help it. I'd have to say the tenderloin is the best, but the sirloin was still fantastic. Every time. So. Good.

Oh, and I totally got Liz hooked on Grey's Anatomy (go me!), but it's not like it's very hard to get addicted to that show. I need a hit every other day or so. Against my better judgement I gave her a 5-day possession of Season 1 and some of Season 2. We'll be watching the rest this weekend when I go to visit. Withdrawl.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Stop the Puck!

WCHA Conference Champs. 18-1-1 record for the last 20 games. Seeded #1 in not only the WCHA playoffs, but quite possibly the NCAA playoffs as well. Can I just say that I dearly wish I was home so I could watch some majorly awesome U of M hockey??? (that's University of Minnesota, not Michigan) Lord, do I miss it.

I read through the game recaps every week, but it's still not the same. Reading about the sweep over Duluth that also happened to be a shut out...during period 1 of Friday's game there was only 1 shot on goal (how cool is that?) is just not the same as being there and watching the action.


Apparently the WNBA is in Sopron this week. They're playing some games against the world-reknown Sopron team. The guy at the bar last night told me about it. Whatev. Now I understand what all those posters in the school were advertising. If only I had someone to go to the game with...yeah, that'd be nice.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm here. I'm so obviously NOT the person that should be at a site by herself with absolutely no other native speakers. I'm just the wrong personality to be breaking through all of the preconceived notions that Jenny and Lisa left behind. But that's a topic for another post...

Friday, March 3, 2006

Do you hear what I hear?

I've realized what's been missing. And I only realized it once it was back, how's that for ironic? Let me set the stage...

So, have you seen that American Express commercial with Ellen Degeneres and she's bopping along, listening to her MP3 player? She's dancing around the city and finally on the set of her talk show in her signature suit and chucks. The tagline is that she dances to the beat of her own drum and American Express allows her to do so (although one would think a highly paid drummer boy hired for such purposes would do just as well, without that pesky interest rate, but who am I to judge?).

Anywho. That commercial is really about me (I just blew your mind). Okay, so I don't have an American Express card, but I do have my very own personal soundtrack running through my head at all times. I'm serious. I know what you're thinking, but trust me. I mean, does this look like the keyboard of someone who's joking? Or someone who's crazy for that matter? Don't answer that.

I've always figured music was a passion of mine because of this. Or maybe I have this little hit parade in my head because music is my passion. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I never could answer that question with any sense of authority.

Regardless...what I noticed a few weeks ago was that the music was missing, the needle scratched the vinyl, the CD was skipping, Rick Dees was on vacation, whathaveyou. You get the idea...and really only the first and the last of those euphamisms really give you a picture of what I mean, although the first was hardly a euphamism. Bygones.

What I'm trying to say is that I am now, once again, constantly hearing music in my head, occassionally singing along, and only once in a blue moon am I whistling (ever since the little old neighbor lady commented on my frequent public whistling when I was a child, I've been too self conscious to allow myself to do it). But the reappearance of this auditory event brought to light the fact that it was missing in the first place.

Ever since my first few months in Hungary my soundtrack has been silent, the sheet music was blank, the...okay let's not start this again. But it's crazy. I mean, sometimes I'm literally singing along and doing a little dance (a sort of discreet head bop reminiscent of "A Night at the Roxbury." Much to the delight of random passers-by. It makes me happy. Or maybe I do it because I'm happy. And now we're back to the chicken and egg thing again.

To sum up this long-winded blather, the music was gone. It's back. And I think it's absence was, in large part, due to the overwhelming unhappiness and stress I was facing from September - January. And now that I have music in my head again I'm hoping the stress and unhappiness will go away and leave me alone.

I know you were waiting a long time for me to make my point, and I thank you if you've stuck with me thus far. I commend you as well.