Friday, February 27, 2009

Dieu merci c'est vendredi! (is that right?)

Godzijdank, het is vrijdag! (Thanks Martine...that's Dutch.)

So, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm so glad it's Friday that I'm saying it in multiple languages. Now that Olivia (the 1 year old I nanny for) is walking, my job is suddenly much more exhausting. 

But what can I say about my list this week? Gimme Your Stuff is fully underway. I've arranged the details of a swap with Claire from Malta, which I find quite exciting - to my American sensibilities, Malta is a very exotic country. :) Or perhaps it would be better described as "exciting and faraway." Anyhow, it seems that I now also have the possibility for small swaps with two lovely ladies from Paris and Moscow. It's all very exciting. 

Today, I will get on the treadmill and jog for the duration for the first time. If you had told me two months ago that I would be ready to go for a long jog, I would have told you you were crazy. But I feel ready! And I'm working my way towards 5K in 30 minutes. 

In other news, I will soon be participating in a new blog with four girls from Paris, Germany, Russia, and Malaysia. The purpose is cultural exchange - to gain a better understanding of what life is like on a daily basis in these various places. To talk about anything from the weather that day to what we are thinking about to a video we liked on Youtube. I'm very excited about it, and I will link to it here as soon as the blog is ready. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Macedonian Costume and Bridal Dance

This wonderful card is the result of my second private swap with Ana in Macedonia! She has a wonderful postcard blog of her own at She gets some really unusual postcards because Macedonia has so few participants in the Postcrossing project. In any case, I really, really love postcards with the national costume, because this is almost always something that I know nothing about. That's why I'm writing about it here! I encourage you to visit this website to read more about the Macedonian dress, but I'll try to summarize here. 

This originates from the region of Macedonia seen here: 

The elaborate costume is worn by women during the bridal dance, which you can see here on this wonderful YouTube video. :)

Gimme Your Stuff!

One thing on my list of things to do is participate in Gimme Your Stuff, which is a small cultural exchange - send a box full of small goodies to someone in a different country, and get one back. Here is my list:

What I Can Send and What I'd Like to Receive:
  • stationery or stickers
  • books and magazines
  • toiletries like shampoo, soaps, lotions...
  • tea, coffee, or spices
  • candy or sweets of any variety
  • small clothing items and accessories (t-shirts, scarves, gloves, hats, underwear, jewelry, belts, etc.)
  • mix CDs handmade by me :)
  • souvenir items like postcards, magnets, keychains
  • please feel free to ask for other things...I am happy to send just about anything
I really hope to hear from you! 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Renewed passport!

Good morning! It's Monday, and I feel pretty good after a relaxing weekend. Vince and I have taken up a new hobby, geocaching. It's a worldwide, never-ending treasure hunt. A geocache is a small, sealed container containing a logbook and other small, inexpensive but amusing trinkets that are hidden in, at the moment, nearly 800,000 locations around the globe. You use a GPS device with latitude and longitude coordinates to find the caches, which are all listed on the website. The fun part is hunting for the cache, which is often hidden in an ingenious location. When you find it, you sign the log to say you were there, look at all the goodies inside, and leave something of your own behind, if you choose. You can also take things, but you must replace them with something else. It's really fun, good exercise, and a great way to be outdoors and explore an area, whether you live there or you're just visiting.

So, on to things on my list - Vince and I went to the post office. I renewed my passport, and he applied for his first, so in a few weeks we'll be ready to travel across borders if we so desire. :) Also, I had another girls' night with Megan and Dana on Thursday, February 5. We went to dinner at Lulu's, then went to Carnegie Music Hall to see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play. It was a nice, simple set with just two guys, two chairs, and two guitars, and we all enjoyed it. Thanks Dana!

I plan on finishing Season 1 of Veronica Mars today - one down, two more to go - then that's another thing off the list. Also, I took a week off from the Couch to 5k Running Plan, but instead of doing my normal, getting frustrated and giving up, I backtracked a little and continued my jogging. I'm really happy about that. Now I just need to go cold turkey with my sweet tooth and give up all the junk and candy. Blech.

The weather is getting warmer...thank god. Hopefully no more single digit days.