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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Did you miss me? [20051129|16:05]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Things I Did This Weekend That I Have Never Done Before:

  • Visited Spain
  • Walked through a building built by Antoni Gaudí
  • Climbed the Nativity Façade of La Sagrada Familia
  • Taken over 300 pictures in a single day with three different cameras
  • Celebrated a boyfriend's 30th birthday with him
  • Drunk absinthe
  • Discovered that two glasses of absinthe can flatten me for twenty-four hours (Okay, so there was half a bottle of wine before and a beer after, but I still blame the absinthe.)

¿Y tú?
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2005-11-29 16:36 (UTC)
We payed to go into La Sagrada Familia, but it was a construction zone inside! We were most put out! But the view from the top was worth the fee.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 16:44 (UTC)
Yup, it's been under construction for over a hundred years. Gaudí got run over by a tram before he could complete it, although I doubt he could have during his lifetime, insanely dedicated craftsman & artist or not. It didn't help that anarchists burned his workshop and destroyed a lot of the original plans in the late 1930s, either. I much preferred the Nativity Façade (that's the bit you can climb) to the newer Passion Façade, as most of the former was built by Gaudí himself. And you're right about the view.
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2005-11-29 16:52 (UTC)
I'm jealous of your European ways. The only thing I can visit on weekends is Jersey.

By the way, I'd blame absinthe too. It's completely evil and very fun.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 18:11 (UTC)
Hey, I've never been to Jersey. Something new is interesting at least the first time you try it, even if you end up swearing never to do it again.

I forgot to mention that Marco didn't like absinthe because he doesn't like anise. I ended up drinking part of his before ordering another for myself, making a total of 2.5 glasses. Also, we were instructed not to burn the sugar cubes by the barman, because he thinks it dilutes the flavor as well as evaporating some of the alcohol. So we melted them into the glasses with water.

I honestly had no idea how drunk I was until we got back to the hotel and I tried to lie down and everything went all spinny. That was over an hour and a half past the time when I finished the second absinthe and had a beer. I thought I was only mildly tipsy until that point. Yow. Fooled me.
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[User Picture]From: grumpkins
2005-11-29 18:23 (UTC)
I got tattooed again. It spans the distance between my kneecap (almost) and the arch of my foot. What makes this something I haven't done before is that it's my first tattoo that wasn't finished in a single session. Though I probably would've rather gone to Spain.

I'm not jealous. Really.
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[User Picture]From: lesyeuxouverts
2005-11-29 20:31 (UTC)
I am jealous that you got tattoed. I'm itching to get my next one done.

Also, randomly : KODAMA !
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[User Picture]From: taische
2005-11-29 18:55 (UTC)

welcome back!

... two glasses of absinthe can flatten me for twenty-four hours...

Were there any other notable sensory "side-effects"?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 00:52 (UTC)
As I mentioned above (& below), I experienced the "uncommonly lucid" effect right up until I tried to lie down a couple of hours later and learned how drunk I was. I remember feeling very much like I wanted to touch everything (people, the liquid in the glasses, the bar, any kind of textures that grabbed my eye) but I guess I feel that way most of the time anyway. I always have to stop myself from touching everything. It was just that much harder with my mental controls so weakened.
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[User Picture]From: tharine
2005-11-29 19:49 (UTC)
oi! sounds fantastic except for the being flattened part,
but perhaps thats part of the experience?



meanwhile, the only thing ive done recently that was new
was (yes indeed!) receive spaced in the mail from you you you!
im very excited to watch. thank you much for sending it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 01:07 (UTC)
Phew, I am relieved to hear that. That was its third transatlantic journey (okay, only the first for S1, but third for S2 and bonus disk).

The flattening was part of the experience, and I admit, I exaggerated somewhat. I was not great the next day, but OK enough to go walking around shopping with Marco and attempt conversations with many people who didn't speak English.
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[User Picture]From: mysti77
2005-11-29 20:23 (UTC)
um, this weekend I didn't do anything that I've NEVER done before. Oh, visited the Science Museum, but that shouldn't count because I didn't stay long enough to appreciate it.

What exactly is absinthe? I heard someone talking about how drunk it can get you, but I don't know what it is really.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 00:07 (UTC)
Absinthe is a high-alcohol-content (between 45 and 85 percent alcohol - that's approximately 90 to 170 proof) liquor that tastes and smells strongly of anise. If you don't know what exactly anise smells or taste like, liquorice is a flavor that a lot of people are familiar with and is pretty close to anise. Different absinthe recipes call for different herbs, but all of them are supposed to contain wormwood, and the bulk of the liquor comes from the maceration and distillation of the flowers and leaves of the wormwood plant.

There's still a lot of argument over whether or not various chemical compounds in wormwood cause the purported the "secondary effects" of absinthe, like hallucinations, strangely lucid drunkenness and even madness. Personally, I think it's probably just the very high alcohol content and the addition of sugar, which makes it taste nowhere near as strong as it actually is so you end up drinking it much too quickly.
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[User Picture]From: lesyeuxouverts
2005-11-29 20:32 (UTC)
I missed a class because I was hungover. Never happened to me before.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 23:33 (UTC)
Ooh, ouch, I'm sorry. I hope someone brought you cups of tea. I also hope it was a boring class that you don't mind missing.
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2005-11-29 20:36 (UTC)
hurrah for birthdays in spain! you should ask nan about her absinthe experiences. I sympathise with Marco - I always wanted to try it (so green! so ritualistic to drink it!) and was horribly disappointed to discover it tastes like anise, which I also dislike.

My novel experience for the weekend was designing and helping to build a cat tower for my sister's cats. maybe I'll figure out how to post photos by the time we finish it.


* I miss your "titrate" link : )
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 23:25 (UTC)
I have done exactly that (asked Nan, that is). Yes, Marco sniffed it, wrinkled his nose, said, "Maybe adding the sugar will make it taste better." Added sugar, sipped, wrinkled his nose and said, "Maybe adding more water will make it taste better."

Two minutes later, he passed the glass to me and ordered a beer.

Cat towers are excellent! Does it have platforms and hidey-holes and dangly bits of string?

Also, I fixed the "titrate" thing. It was showing up on the main journal view and on my friends page, but not on the individual entries. Thank you for pointing that out.
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[User Picture]From: leidan
2005-11-29 21:11 (UTC)
Because stupid experiences should be shared.
When imbibing absinthe I found that snorting absinthe (straight) is a _very_ bad idea. I had many hours of facial pain afterwards (which does distract from a hang-over).
Hopefully this will protect others froma similar pain.
Tequila and 50 year old Canadian whiskey are ok however (for variable values of ok).

I would love to see a Gaudi building. I hope some of the 300 photos will be of this.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 23:00 (UTC)
Whoa. I'll keep that in mind for the next time. Wait a minute, I swore I wouldn't touch the stuff again. So, uh, I'll keep that in mind for the next time I watch other people drink absinthe. I wonder if snorting rum is ok? Have you tried this experiment?

The 300 photos are almost all of Gaudi buildings. (Apparently, I took over 800 in total, including the stuff on film.) We went to La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. My favorite by far was Casa Batlló, making it entirely worth the exorbitant entry fee - sixteen euro to see the whole building, including the roof, which was fucking amazing.
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From: capitalflash
2005-11-29 21:58 (UTC)
coming to the pub tomorrow?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-29 22:54 (UTC)
Yes, although not for long probably. :-( One of the things I didn't mention in this post was the horrible cold I caught in the middle of the trip. I kept myself doped up so I could continue to do stuff, and that's the plan for tomorrow evening as well, but I hope you & Joanna won't be offended if I drop off her present and don't stay long.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 00:45 (UTC)
It's a good one. Your liver, she is mighty.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 00:46 (UTC)
...I did mention there are over 800 in total, yes? Including film?

Fortunately, I am sick and it is freezing outside, so I have an excuse to sit with cups of tea and hot chocolate and sort through them. Not that I really needed an excuse, but you know.
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[User Picture]From: behsharam
2005-11-30 02:23 (UTC)
I had the flu, got some much needed alone time, got accepted to school, finished a questionable NaNoWriMo novel (but I won damnit) and was informed today that I need not worry at all about how school will be paid for.

Now I'm working on wonderful compelling reasons for my s/o to be cool with me studying at Oxford for a year in the near future. Any ideas?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 11:56 (UTC)
Ooh, mostly positive, that's good.

Erm, as far as strategies for surviving long-term, long-distance separation, I'm probably not the best person to ask as I don't do well with it at all, no matter what the reason. I think you have to be prepared to pretty spend all of your petty cash, or run up credit card debt, on trips back and forth, if you really want to keep things going without either of you being tempted to drift. Marco and I were apart for three months when he moved to London and I stayed behind in L.A. and we visited twice during that time. Physicality (and I'm talking presence, here, not only sex) is an aspect of a romantic relationship that I think people tend to underrate badly. If you're going to go away for a year, I think the best piece of advice I can give is, save up for plane tickets.
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[User Picture]From: omniana
2005-11-30 02:34 (UTC)
Very jealous. I so want to go to Barcelona specifically to see the Gaudi buildings. Sounds like a very full weekend! So, you think you two could live in Barcelona?

And me? Well, I did housey and computer things. Tried making ciabatta, watched many movies (just watched Rize today. mezmerizing.) played the H2G2 game, watched snow, basically did nothing and enjoyed myself. Watched Hero again, reread your blog entry where you mention Donnie Yen as an inspiration. Hadn't taken notice of him before. Thinking I should study martial arts again.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 12:05 (UTC)
We left on Thursday and came back on Tuesday, so it was a bit more than a weekend. Although we visited all the Gaudi buildings in a single day.

We talked about living in Barcelona. Marco wants to go back and stay longer (minimum two weeks, although a month would be ideal) to test it more thoroughly. It would be even more difficult than London, though. Marco's a fluent Spanish speaker. I am a very wobbly Spanish speaker. I would have great difficulty finding a job unless I improved vastly in fluency. Of course, I haven't exactly had a fun time of it here either. The Spanish economy isn't doing that great. Neither of us speak Catalan (which has more in common with Provençal than Spanish). Both of us would have to become at least able to hold a simple conversation in Catalan. I know that King's College London offers high-quality night courses in various languages, including Catalan, but they're expensive and that requires at least a year-long commitment. So there are a lot of concerns that we'd have to address first.

Wow, it's neat to hear that Rize captivated you. It's on our list for our next trip to the States. P.S. If you are impressed by Donnie Yen, try watching Iron Monkey and the Once Upon a Time in China series. He's just phenomenal.
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[User Picture]From: kittenhotep
2005-11-30 05:21 (UTC)
Mmmm. That all sounds lovely.

I have done lots of things I have never done before this weekend, but they're all far too naughty for the internet to know about. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-30 12:09 (UTC)
Drat. Well, you could tell the internet anonymously? All the thrills of spilling the beans without the risk of discovery. Like so.
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