Saturday, December 31, 2011


As I look ahead on my calendar to see that I have 22 days until I leave for Italy, I think back to one year ago. We were all eagerly and anxiously awaiting the day that we would leave for London. And now here I sit, slowly assembling the pieces I need to board that plane to Italy and fly off to a new adventure. Now if only my visa and housing assignments would come through.

This year has actually been pretty awesome, despite one of the hardest semesters of my life (take that Fall 2011, I still owned you!). Shall I list the reasons why? I think so!

1.) London. London probably accounts for the most things on this list because without living there, nothing would have been possible. Basically if I got an offer to move to London tomorrow, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

2.) Travel in general. If you noticed, I changed the name of my blog. Not just because it's an awesome reference to The Hobbit, but because it is highly appropriate. I have traveled a lot this past year and plan to do so again. I'm literally going "There and back again" and I do it numerous times throughout the year. I love to travel and getting to adventure around Europe was definitely a highlight of my year, if not life. But I know that somehow I will always come home.

3.) Phantom. Come on, you all knew this would be on here. I saw Phantom a sum total of 10 times this year, which, unless I end up living very close to NYC or London in the future, will probably be a lifetime high for me. Don't worry, I have other trips planned already! But it wasn't just seeing the show. Lots of amazing things happened with it this year, the highlight being Sofia Escobar's generosity and kindness. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would get a birthday visit and card from the star of a West End show, let alone Phantom. Yes, this year has been full of Phantom phavorites, from meeting two of my all time favorite Phantoms, to befriending people from the show and sharing many of my show experiences with people I love. I am one happy Phan.

4.)  Game of Thrones. Ok, this one is dorky, but it's one of my favorite series of all time, both television and books. I haven't had a series I've been excited about since The Hunger Games, and for an avid reader like me that sucks. Game of Thrones (or as the book series is called, A Song of Ice and Fire) is an epic fantasy series that I love and I am happy I finally found something to read just to enjoy it, unlike boring textbooks or class assignments. If you haven't heard of it, check it out, though I warn you it is an HBO show and is very intense, violent and erm, inappropriate at times. BUT IT IS EPIC. It has also served as a bonding tool for myself and my brother. Don't worry, he still calls me a fatty.

OK now to the actually really important stuff

5.) Family. With my father officially retired now, I feel like I can make up for lost time. We've hung out for the last few weeks and it has been great, now that he isn't working or tired all the time. I think living away and especially going abroad has brought my family much closer together, and spending time with them has become much more special to me in the last year and I'm much closer with them all now.

6.) Friends. What can I say? Old and new, Lockport and Ithaca and all around the country/world, you've made 2011 a great one.

Well, that's all I have to say. I've been reflecting a lot and these are the basics, but here's to an amazing 2011! May 2012 be even better!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

5 Weeks

Yup! 5 short weeks until I board a plane bound for Italia!!! I'm so super stoked that I can't stand it sometimes, but I'm also constantly reminded of everything I'm leaving. None of my friends are coming with my this time; I'll be all on my own. There are so many things that are making me anxious- packing, missing everyone, classes, what my family will be like... The list goes on.

But Liz and I just got to air high five because the Euro exchange rate is SO much better than when we were in London. It is down to about $1.30 for every American dollar, but when we were in London the pound was $1.60 or above for pretty much the whole time. I'm so unbelievably excited for that $0.30 difference it is insane.

I keep picturing all the clothes I'm going to buy and places I'll go. My list of countries to visit includes: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, England and maybe Germany and Greece, as well as many, many places in Italy. I'm getting so excited right now that I can't even concentrate on finals!

The lack of motivation may also stem from the fact that I have to do very poorly on my exams to get less than an A. For example, tomorrow, on my Business Systems and Technology exam I can get about a 35% and still get an A. This is because I work with excel for like 15+ hours a week in the lab when I'm TAing, so if I didn't ace this class I'd be a fail.

Other than that, I have finance tomorrow, which is basically algebra right now so I'm not too worried. I do have to make a presentation in Italian for Marella about what we would do if she visited Lockport. Which is pretty much nothing. It's hard to think about cool things in Lockport when I'm picturing sipping vino as I relax in the Tuscan countryside.  Thankfully, my relatively low stress finals week lends itself well to fantasizing time.

In other, non school related news I watched this really random movie today. It's an animated version of the Princess and the Pea, and it was pretty cute. I expected better animation in 2002, but since it wasn't Disney I let it slide. The only reason I found it was I was listening to some music in Italian and it popped up on my sidebar, because apparently there is only 1 voice actress in Italy for cartoons, because she's done literally everything.

Here's a clip of how cutesy but silly it is:

Things I like:
The songs are cute. There's no crazy showstoppers or heartbreakingly beautiful ballads, but they're pretty good
The story is pretty original- it's the Princess and the Pea but doesn't focus on that much

Things it seems like it copied:
Her hair looks like Thumbelina's, complete with the little tufts in front of her ears
The dancing with the stained class characters is much like Anastasia during Once Upon a December
Apparently the melody of this song sounds like something from An American Tale. idk

I've also kind of been obsessively listening to the song Too Much in Love to Care from Sunset Boulevard. I don't know why, but you all have probably never heard of the song. It's the kind that Andrea would probably hate because it's all about two people talking about how stupid they are for loving each other cause it is a bad idea, but, you guessed it, they're too much in love to care.  Ah the life of a theatre fan.

SO yeah, that was really random. You can see how productive I have been today!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Update: I'm still here

Yes, I am aware that I am a horrible blogger. Liz reminds me every day.

My life has been consumed with exams, presentations and preparations for Italy for the last few months, and so I haven't really found the time to do anything worth blogging about at all. Add 2 jobs, an internship and language TA training and you've got one hectic schedule.

I've become addicted to the game Words with Friends, which is basically online scrabble against Facebook friends (meaning Liz and Cesca all the time and the other friends who randomly start games with me).

There are a few cool things coming up in the future, I guess. The Peer Advisors Senior Party is this weekend, which is really sad because I have gotten to know many of the people in the group really well throughout the last 2.5 years and especially this year, and it will be sad to basically say goodbye.

I guess in all my excitement for Italy I forgot how many great people I have to leave behind, and that makes me a bit sad. But I know the experience will be worth it, so I can't get too upset over living the dream I've had for years.

The honors holiday dinner banquet is next week, which promises to be a sugar filled fun time, and then it is on to finals then FREEDOM!!

I can't wait. 45 days till Italy! (Well, 44 till I leave, 45 till I arrive).

I didn't do much exciting over break besides chill, but I did get to go visit Cesca at St Bonaventure to see her Step Team show. She dressed like a boy. It was cute.