February 9, 2008

January in Review

Saturday, January 5: Left Calgary with the satisfaction of having a free lunch at Earl's and the knowledge that I would soon be seeing three of my favourite people in Europe anyway. Arrived in Salzburg after the longest and more torturous flight ever, to a lovely boyfriend with flowers. When we got back to Eugendorf, we ate meat fondue with Christian's family, and then settled back in front of German TV.
Sunday, January 6: Monika, Anja, Christian, and I went to the ski jumping competition in Bischofshofen, which was really cool. It is crazy how much the Austrians are into skiing. We were pretty much the only ones there for a Sunday activity. Pretty much everyone else had been drinking since noon, and the people in the houses on the little alley that leads to the ski hill were all selling beer from their backyards.
Monday, January 7: German class started again, but I slept through it.
Tuesday, January 8: First pub quiz after Christmas break.
Wednesday, January 9: First day back at University. Sometimes it is really strange when I go to school first thing in the morning without having spoken to anybody first, because I forget that everybody else is speaking German, and spend a few minutes not understanding anything that’s going on.
Thursday, January 10: Christian and I had been planning to celebrate our Christmas when I got back from Canada, but then it happened that his gift was not entirely ready, so postponed it a little bit. We ate Christian's Montreal-Style-Pasta, and opened our presents. Christian got me a really pretty blanket to be wrapped in when I nap and The Sound of Music on DVD -- including a karaoke version, which we watched as an end to the Christmas party. The best part was being able to go "I've been there", "I've been there" for almost every scene. When my parents come visit, we are going to do the Sound of Music tour, and then I'll be able to say it for every scene.
Friday, January 11: After annoying Christian by taking a ridiculously long time to get ready, we went to Thomas's house and met up with some of his friends before going out to PPC (a bar near Thomas's house). Luckily Martina came over to Thomas's as well, or I would have spent the whole night ignorant to the fact that the boys around me were talking about whether it would be possible to regenerate the human race with only one woman and two men. Actually, though, sometimes not understanding their German is fine.
Saturday, January 12: As per our monthly tradition, Christian and I went out for dinner at one of the two Indian restaurants in Graz: the fancier one. It was delicious, but not too different from the other restaurant, where we got to have a whole room to ourselves while we ate. Afterwards, I went home to read, i.e. sleep in satisfied bliss, while Christian went to Remmi Demmi.
Sunday, January 13: Sunday was spent desperately reading Ulysses in an attempt to prepare for Wednesday's presentation in my James Joyce class.
Monday, January 14: Woke up and knew that somewhere in Montreal, Danny Wilson was turning 21 years old. Met with Manfred to perfect CBP presentation, and then went to the Ladies to read Ulysses in a heated tile chair.
Tuesday, January 15: Pub quiz, but I didn't go because, as Christian, beside me, is dictating: " I was being a Streber and stayed at home"
Wednesday, January 16: One of my most stressful days in University history. At 11:00 I had an oral presentation in my Contemporary British Plays class, on Epic Communcation Structures. The highlight was when I used the word "constructediality", paused, and then said "wait, that’s not a word is it?" to a room full of non-Native English speakers. After my CBP class, I had German from 1 to 3, and then went back to the Uni at 4 for my James Joyce class, where I had another oral presentation to do. That one didn't go as well, mostly because I was so conscious that I was blushing throughout the entire thing, that I kept blushing because I was blushing, which distracted me into stammering, so that the Austrian guy who went after me probably spoke more coherent English than I did.
Thursday, January 17: Resolved not to use my brain at all in order to compensate for its overuse in the preceding days. Instead spent a few hours browsing Ebay and reading Perez Hilton.
Friday, January 18: We were planning to have people meet up at our house and then go to a bar, but it turned in to an accidental party at our house. Our apartment is really awesome for parties because the kitchen has a bar, and the living room is nice and big with lots of chairs. The other convenient thing is that when you have parties often, people leave bottles of alcohol, and then that comes in handy for the next party that you have. So really, party throwing is just this nice, social, self-perpetuating thing, and I am glad that our apartment has become the place where everybody casually meets and ends up staying.
Saturday, January 19: Random stuff at home.
Sunday, January 20: In the morning I studied for my CBP final, and then Christian took me on a Graz field trip to the Grottenbahn and Stadtmuseum. The Grottenbahn is this little train for children that goes through tunnels inside the Schlossberg. It basically looks like a mineshaft, except that along the sides of the tunnels are dioramas of traditional fairy tales. The tunnels are completely dark, except that when you stop in front of a diorama, the lights in front of it come on. Christian told me that as a kid he used to ask to go there every time they visited Graz. I found it unbelievably creepy to think that the 40 year old doll Snow White stands in the dark with her glass eyes all the time, as did the little girl behind me who cried for the entire trip. At the Stadtmuseum we went to an exhibit on the past 100 years of postcards from Graz. It was really well done, as it was set up in a timeline so that you could see how photos of the same places changed over the years, and the postcards were hanging so that you could read both sides, which I loved. If you visit me, I will probably take you there.
Monday, January 21: Stayed home and cooked something delicious.
Tuesday, January 22: Met with Manfred and another girl to prepare for test on Wednesday, and then went to the Pub Quiz.
Wednesday, January 23: Final exam in Contemporary British Plays.
Thursday, January 24: If we did anything this day, it wasn't exciting enough for either of us to remember it.
Friday, January 25: First of many exams in my German class. Christian went to PPC and I stayed home and studied…
Saturday, January 26: Saturday was completely beautiful. I had wanted to go to Ladies and read Pale Fire while sitting in my favourite heated chairs, but I stupidly did not check the opening hours before I left, so I detoured to the Witterniggs house, and arrived just in time for the cake that they were eating for desert. After eating delicious Grandma-baked-cake and drinking coffee with Norbert and Monika, I walked to the park near their house with Anja, and we read in the sun for awhile. I read Nabokov, she read Goethe. Christian arrived a bit later, and we had dinner with the Witternigg's and then went to Martina's house where I kicked Christian's ass at Uno (not that it was hard).
Sunday, January 27: As usual, when they remember, I had a lovely webcam with my parents. There was a cool but sort of scarily bad wind storm in Graz, so, logically, Christian went up the Schlossberg despite the police warnings, and then to the Stadtpark where half the trees fell down, while I stayed home to read Pale Fire and listen to the windows shake.
Monday, January 28: See January 24th
Tuesday, January 29: Martina and I had operation "Find a Ball Dress 2008" and, after having a sushi lunch together, we did some extreme shopping at Seiersberg. Very much to Martina's credit, she did not loose patience with me as we systematically went through every single store that sold dresses and I said no to dress after dress. Finally, in the very last store, pained by blisters from trekking through the mall, we found a pretty dress for 70% off and went home happy.
Wednesday, January 30: Unlike anything that has ever happened to me at McGill, after my last Joyce class on Wednesday evening, the Prof. took the 8 other students who were there out for beers at the Anglistik faculty bar.
Thursday, January 31: I got up early and called my mom to wish her happy birthday at exactly midnight because I am such a good daughter. Went to my German class and napped (not at the same time), and then Martina and I went to get our hair cut. On Thursday night we had a bunch of people over to eat delicious Thai Curry and I divided my time between finishing my oral presentation for school the next day and socializing with our guests.

I hope that this pretty exhaustive blog post makes up for the fact that I have completely failed in my 2008 resolution to update this once a week. I will try to make February a bit more regular, and therefore a bit more current and interesting. For example, right now I am in a hotel room in Vienna while my parents sleep off their jet lag, and in three days I will be visiting Lara Branson in Prague. We have February off for the semester break, and we are travelling to Ireland for two weeks in March, so life promises to get a bit more exciting soon. I am having so much fun.