Thursday, July 29, 2010

scary huge snake

I'll just leave this one as a link. If you don't like snakes, don't look at it. But AHHHHHH! I accidentally snorkeled up to a diamondback in a river one time, and he was large. Nothing like this though, and it still scared the crap out of me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Working out!

I'm trying to get back into shape. Until recently, I hadn't belonged to a gym since I graduated two years ago. I loved the university fitness center, because I would usually go at uncrowded times and so had no trouble getting a machine AND, big for me, it had a pool. I have been a swimmer since I was 6. I love to swim, and it's a great workout. Particularly if my cranky knees are misbehaving.

Since graduation, I had been trying to get my workouts in by walking/jogging and doing crunches. I finally had to admit to myself that that wasn't doing it. If my knees weren't bad and I could really run, I think I would have been fine, but that's not the case. (Side note-I had a dream last night that I could run. Three miles to be exact.)

So I finally joined a gym. I only joined for two months, as that was about how long I had before going to Europe, but I did it! And I've been so happy since then. I love working out on my own and have been doing a lot of that, but the new thing I've been doing since I joined the gym is classes. They're awesome! I have tried Zumba (love it, makes me feel like a complete klutz), Hip-Hop (too much choreography, even more klutzy-feeling), Group Groove (also choreography and klutzy-see the pattern?). I have also tried yoga, which I love with one instructor and don't care for with the other.

The two classes I have most recently tried, however, may be my favorites. Last week I tried Pilates. I really liked the class itself, and the next morning my stomach looked great! Then tonight, I tried spinning. And WHOA. Spinning kicked my butt like it hasn't been kicked in a long, LONG time. I'm so tired right now I almost think I started this blog entry so I wouldn't have to get up... If you haven't tried spinning, I would suggest being in some kind of shape before you go, but definitely give it a shot!

And now that I'm back in m workout groove, I really hope the European universities have good facilities!

Friday, July 9, 2010

MORE lawnmower drama!

Remember that a few months ago, I wrote about the lakehouse lawnmower fire? New story! This past weekend was the 4th of July, and while I was unable to make it to the lake, the rest of my family went. All was going well until Dad brought out the lawnmower (this time a push model, not the riding one our neighbors borrowed). He was mowing right along when it started showing "small flames." His description.  Never one to be deterred from his decided course of action, he kept going under the assumption that it would burn itself out! Needless to say, it did not, and he apparently only stopped mowing when the flames reached "8-12 inches" and neighbors from both sides ran at him with fire extinguishers! So sad I missed the spectacle.


My first name is Katharine (yes, spelled like the Hepburn). I have, however, been Katie since I first arrived on the scene. I remember one time in middle school I told a friend and her mother that I was thinking about going by my middle name. They both laughed and said I couldn't just decide something like that. I was discouraged. I realize now I should have told them to shove it, but alas, it was middle school and such confidence was lacking.

Recently however, I have thought about being Kate when I start my adventure in Europe. I've tried it out, giving it to restaurants to call out when my food is ready, putting it on the dressing room with my clothes, etc. I would love to be like Evangeline Lilly (who I think is beautiful) as her awesome chick "Lost" character :) I may just need to give it more time, but I can't get Kate to feel right...  I've also been told numerous times that Katie suits me well. I'm just beginning to feel a bit old to be a Katie. Hmm. IDENTITY CRISIS!!!! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Cup Mania!

First of all, if any of you are here on The Pink Chick's recommendation, welcome!

Second, I must admit that I am obsessed with sports. I'm definitely a guy in that way.

Now, I haven't tried my hand (foot?) at soccer since I signed up for the school team in 7th grade, then promptly got bronchitis and was out for the season, yet was still forced to attend ALL the practices because I had signed up. That made me angry at soccer for a long time. Plus, I'm a sprinter, and soccer requires endurance. It would never have worked out. And soccer just isn't a big deal here. I went to a huge D1 school, and we didn't even have a men's soccer team (there was a women's team). And the MLS? Really? I have no idea what teams exist except the LA Galaxy (David Beckham went there. It was on the news). And I think there's one in DC, although I couldn't be sure about that.

But WHOA! The World Cup has eaten me alive. This is better than the Olympics! You always have to love international competitions. Lots of friendly jabs at the friends who are foreign/have foreign allegiances and plenty of country pride and camaraderie. I have watched probably all but 4 of the matches so far (that's 26 of 30 matches for those of you not following closely). I can credit a lot of my watching to a flexible job, which has been awesome, given that games are at 10 and 2:30-right in the middle of the US workday. I have enjoyed watching the US play at a British pub (sadly not while we were actually playing the British, but I digress) while drinking a beer and eating the "English breakfast" at 10:30 in the morning.  I have also loved watching at home, sometimes alone and yelling anyway, sometimes forgetting I'm not alone until the bewildered dog comes to see why I'm suddenly screaming, sometimes being out-yelled by the boyfriend.

It hasn't hurt that it was a good cup for my teams! I was cheering for the US and New Zealand (Dad's a kiwi) early on. New Zealand totally stole the show! They're a small country with ONE pro soccer team (they have to play in the Australian league). But they not only made it to the cup, they held their own against Italy, the past champs (and losers of their group)! Very exciting. The US made it to the round of 16, which I believe was the goal of the team in the cup. I did not, unfortunately, get to see the US-Ghana game that knocked us out (I was a crazy kayaking adventure).

But, while the World Cup was on, I found out I am going to the Netherlands for the first semester of my Master's. This of course means that I am now cheering for the Dutch! And cheer I can do. Plus, I visited in 2004 and came back with a shirt and flag, which a future Dutch classmate has assured me are spot on!

All I can say now is Hup Holland and I can't wait until Sunday!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'm going to the Netherlands!

So I finally found out where I start my program, and lucky for me I got my preference! I'm going to Groningen, The Netherlands. Awesome! As I know only two Dutch phrases--how to ask for one ticket to Scheveningen and how to ask someone to have sex with me in a kitchen (it rhymes, don't judge me)--I got a Lonely Planet phrasebook (recommended by a trusted travel advisor) and hope to become at least proficient enough to get around town.  Looking at it has been a little discouraging so far, as all the words have far too many letters. Particularly consonants. That don't go together. Example, you say? Alsjeblieft. No, I didn't just fall asleep on the keyboard. That is the informal form of "please." Yikes... I'm going for speaking proficiency mainly though, and it apparently is pretty easy to hear and understand. We'll see!

I also get to go to summer school in the most stereotypical-looking Scandinavian fishing village! I can't wait to start!