Like I said, it's gonna take me a little while longer to finish up all this stuff that I signed up to do. Boo Hoo.
While you wait you can watch (and ponder!) a clip of the film, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, by one of my favorite Slovenes, the venerable critic Slavoj Žižek . I re-watched this movie yesterday and I still have to re-watch it again to take notes and think a lot more about it.
OK, back to work!
Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Sorry I've been away so long. It couldn't be avoided. Trust me, I tried. I am still not completely back, but here's a little video to tide you over.
If you were ever wondering what it sounds like on the edge of Wheelville's Old Town (Staro Mesto) at the end of the work day, wonder no longer.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The other day I went into the local beauty supply shop and in my round about Slovene speaking skills I asked for "something that I can use like a cap(kapa) when I take a shower (tuš)". To which she replied OH! Tuš-kapa. I really get annoyed when words are obvious. Oh well.
Anyway, this is what I got.
It has not succeeded in keeping all of my many hairs dry...AT ALL. I had a wonderful shower cap with Pucca on it in New York but I didn't think to bring it, and now I am suffering. I only wash my hair once or twice a week and the rest of the week I play an elaborate game of trying to position my body so that the hairs are away from the water but all the rest is being showered upon. This has proved a very difficult task, interfering on the joys of bath time.
If anyone out there in civilization would like to send me a REAL shower cap, I would be very thankful. If anyone out here in (what my friend Christina has deemed) "The Most Foreign Place In The World" can tell me where to find a good old fashioned normal shower cap with heavy duty rubber and elastic (like so)I will be even more grateful. I know its an odd request, but it just has to be possible.
Thank you and good night.
I can't believe I haven't posted in so many days. This week really was the most busy one I've had since I moved here. I am not one of those people who loves being busy but it is a necessary part of life it seems. Blurg. Anyway, here are some posts to try and make up for it.
First of all, happy easter! Today is Easter or Velika Noč so we had our eggs (jajce) and ham (šunka) and potica. I was going to go to the church and check out what that was all about but I just kinda failed at that. Next holiday, for sure. We did all have breakfast together though, as per tradition. Good times.
Anyway, here are some pictures (slike)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This weekend was The Captain's birthday, but I'd already roped him into going to Graz with new friend Nela to pick up her cousin from the airport and also to finally make a long-awaited trip to Ikea.
We had a nice (but tiring!) day. I would love to go back to Graz again soon but I don't want to see the inside of Ikea for a very long time.
Graz was absolutely beautiful and we had perfect weather for the visit. There was so much to see and I was specifically intrigued by the many different (often troubling) images of blacks I saw around the city. There were also a lot of black people in Graz but I couldn't really tell whether they lived there or just in a town nearby. Nonetheless I was happy to see them! Here are some pictures.
i think i need to put this airbrushed image on a shirt. it cannot be overduplicated.
saving souls: one hot blonde at a time...
this says Moors apothecary
outside another apothecary. i guess black people = herbal medicine
i'm going to smack someone for this. it looks like a minstrel show poster
really cool restaurant
inside of it
Monday, March 17, 2008
The last few days have been really fun.
Here are pictures from Thursday salsa-dancing party at Piano Bar in Ljubljana. I went with my new friend Nela from Colombia and some of her friends and we had a blast! The place was mostly full of students from various dancing classes*, so mostly there were a bunch of really stiff people counting off steps but there were a few gems in there, and then of course there were a few authentic dancers like Nela and our new friends from Spain, Peru, and Cuba! Nela schooled me a bit on the different types of salsa dancing and told me about the way they dance in Cali, Colombia with fancy feet dancing salsa.
Here are some pictures...I didn't take many since I was too busy dancin!
And as a special bonus, here is video of people dancing that fancy feet Cali style of salsa.
*BTW, what is it with Slovenian people and dance classes? They seem to be really popular here. Someone please explain.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I definitely miss NYC, but don't get me wrong. Wheelville definitely has its selling points:
Things I love about Wheelville (so far):
1) THE CAPTAIN - Yes, he's the reason I parked it in Wheelville, so he gets the #1 spot. I love that he has lived here most of his life and knows the place like the back of his hand. Much of his family is here, nearly all his friends are here, so living here gives me a massive glimpse into who and why he is. Love the man, love his town.
2) MY HOOD - I love my quaint little street with my friendly neighbors. Lovely neighbors who open the door for you and give you coffee when you loan them sugar. I know this might have been possible for me in NYC, but I have a feeling it might have taken a long time and a bigger commitment (buying a house, raising a family there, etc.)
3) FOOD! - I know it's shocking but I do eat incredibly well here. What Wheelville lacks in variety it makes up for in freshness. I've accomplished what is almost impossible in NYC, I've met actual farmers! In fact, there is one in the family and as I sit here I am actually munching on a lovely bowl of regrat (dandelion greens) that he brought up from Dolenjska yesterday. Yum!
4) GARDENING - You might be surprised to hear that there was a fleeting moment wherein I actually had my own garden back in Brooklyn. Yes sirree! I had an incredible spring/summer cultivating tomatoes, peppers, squash, and all manner of herbs. It was wonderful, but alas as quick as it was acquired the garden was taken away from me. :( But here in Wheelville, the garden is here to stay and we've got even more stuff: tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, apples, pears, peppers, broccoli, berries, beans, TONS of salad, and almost every imaginable herb. There is nothing like food fresh from the garden (see #3) and it tastes even better when you grew it yourself. So I'm looking forward to it this year!
5) THE VIEW - Back in Brooklyn, I mainly had a view of the street. Big rig trucks rushing past the window all day and night. Oh and the gas station across the street with its bright lights burning red and blue into my bedroom. Here, as I type I can look out and see the mountains. People pay all sorts of money just to vacation near to this view and lucky old me!
6) THE SIZE- While Wheelville only has a few venues and watering holes they are all within walking distance. My new favorite bar/cafe, Academia, is just around the corner and the none-too-shappy concert hall/movie theater, Linhartova Dvorana, is just a few blocks away. Where I lived in Brooklyn, we didn't even have a movie theater in my area! I know it makes no sense to compare but... I love the subway in NYC for getting around, but for reliability nothing beats going by foot when you can, so I am glad that I can do that here.
Anyway, that's my list, six months in. I hope that as time goes on I can discover more things to love and create a longer and better list!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A few months before I moved here, I wondered allowed as to what I would miss about NYC. Now, I am about six months in to this experience and a little list has come together.
I am gonna try to type this list without tearing up.
Things I Miss About NYC....
1) MY FRIENDS! I have some of the coolest and most interesting people as friends. People from all walks of life descended upon that crazy city to do incredible things...and they invite me along! They are the best.
2) FOOD! - I grew up in California where there is just the most fresh and incredible food I've ever had, but New York trumps California for variety. Just about anything you want is available there and often into the wee hours of the night. In particular, I miss brunch. I haven't noticed anything in the way of breakfast culture in this country and brunch is a non-word. I've actually considered opening a weekend brunch restaurant just so I can have warm french toast or an omelette every weekend (without having to make it myself).
3) STYLE - The streets of New York are a runway, you find some of the most colorfully and artfully dressed people there (check out The Sartorialist to see what I mean), and it functions not only as entertainment but as an inspiration and direct challenge. When I see a great outfit it sticks in my brain, taunting me, challenging me to do better next time.
4) CULTURAL EVENTS - There are so many exclusive things that happen in New York. Musicians, artists, intellectuals, performers pick that city to do some of the most incredible things....and sometimes it is absolutely free! Last summer, I attended this incredible one-time only massive drum event in between two bridges in Brooklyn. The queue was thousands of people long and I was fortunate enough to be there. There is no other city where that event could have happened in that way.
5) CELEBS - NYC is the best city for celebrities since people there are too fabulous to really care (or rather too cool to show that they care) about them. We don't go to them, they come to us, since they know they can go out and have a drink like a normal person without any hassle. For that reason, I have had some hilarious and fun celebrity run-ins: dancing with Mike Meyers at a friends birthday party, hanging out with Amy Winehouse in a tattoo parlor, and pouncing on Elijah Wood in the street. One friend called me obsessed with fame. I don't think I am, but I definitely am excited about literally rubbing shoulders with glitterati in hopes that some of the stardust might rub off on me.
6) THE SUBWAY - Oh how I miss this great egalitarian transportation system. Nobody drives anywhere. Everyone goes by train and bus (and occasionally cab). You don't have to worry about showing up to a nightclub on foot since everyone does. There's never any worry for looking for a parking spot or filling up your gas tank. Everyone just hops on the train and (sooner or later) you are there! It is pure (though occasionally stinky and frightening) magic!
There are other things I could think of, but these are the main things. Come back tomorrow to read about what I love about Wheelville and Slovenia!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I'm not really succeeding in learning my way around Slovenian cooking. I mean I can slice and dice a potato and know a few ways to work a mushroom but I haven't figured out all those special skuta-related concoctions yet and I am still trying to perfect my golaž. Nonetheless, I am, however, doing well on my good old standby catch-all international kitchen and everyone who comes over to eat seems to be enjoying what I serve up.
I recently had to translate this recipe for pumpkin squares for The Captain's mother. I just came across and thought it might be a fun little thing to throw up here for all the Slovene readers. It's not exactly pumpkin weather anymore but if you find any lying around, grab it and bring it home for this yumminess. I translated most of the recipe myself and the captain came in to fix all the terrible grammatical errors. If you notice anything else. Lemme know!
Bučkova Torta (adapted from here)
300 g moke
175 g rjavega sladkorja
100 g sladkorja
1,5 čajna žličko pecilnega praška
2,5 žlička cimeta
0,5 žlička muškatovega oreška
0,5 žlička soli
0,5 litra bučkinega pireja
175g rastlinskega olje
66g rjavega sladkorja
6 žlička masla
0.5 žlička cimeta
175g izrezanih orehov
0.5 čž limonine lupine
- Namazi posodo za pečenje z oljem in posuj z malo moko.
- Zmešaj 300g moke, 175 g rjavega sladkorja, 100g sladkorja, pecilnega praška, cimeta, muškatovega oreška, in soli, daj na stran.
- V različne sklede zmešaj jajce, pire, vanilja, in olje. Pomešaj v skledo z moko mešanicoiz moke in sladkorja.
- Zlij vse v posodo za pečenje.
- Zmešaj 175g moke, rjavega sladkorja, in cimeta.
- Dodaj majhne kose nareznega masla.
- Dodaj orehe in limone, potem zmešaj s prsti.
- Posuj po torti
Peče vse 25 do 30 minute. Ohladi in serviraj.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Yesterday we trekked over to Kranjska Gora for the Vitranc World Cup. I'd hoped to go on Saturday to see Magnifico, but the Captain couldn't make it. Anyway, this marked the first time I've ever seen anyone ski. I mean I've seen skiing on television but never in person. It was pretty exciting, though watching one of the contestants wipe-out made me pretty content not to try it myself. Though I've been informed that if I want to keep my spot in this family I will indeed have to ski. I am going to resist as best I can, but if the going gets tough, I will park myself on a kiddie slope.
Anyway here are some more pictures.
After Kranjska Gora and a bit of light hiking, etc., we went to this weird gostilna that had fair/decent food....
... and two live bears in a cage! It was really off-putting. I know I eat meat and all, but I still do think that animals should be treated with some dignity while alive. The state of those bears was just pitiful. I don't know if what the "owners" are doing is legal in this country, but if it is then someone should pass some law against it. If it is illegal then they should give those bears their freedom immediately. Yikes!