Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stateside:

Being back in America almost doesn't seem real. I'll have to write about my trip from Amsterdam to the Midwest later on in the week, once I'm finished running around town making the first round of visits to my friends. It's so strange to be back in the USA. Everything here in America is so big. And there's so much space. Clearly my time in Amsterdam has affected me more than I thought. Staring out the room's window, to the Cincinnati skyline below, quite literally mesmerizes me. Just because there is a skyline.

People just keep talking to me randomly: at stores, restaurants. Yesterday someone even passed me in the park and said hello. Odd. I'm just so used to being left in my own little world over in Amsterdam. Dutch people just let you do your own thing. That's their society I imagine. But it's so un-American. It is, however, so nice to be back among my family. I've been crashing at my Grandma's. I can't wait to go back out to my parents' house. Where they live, there's just space forever. And topography, too.

American food is so bad. I've changed my diet drastically in Amsterdam. I went to the grocery store the other day, walked in, and said to myself–where's the food? Everything is in boxes?! I just don't eat processed foods. All natural. Fruits and veggies for me, please. I've looked at the ingredients on most of the 'food' at a few stores, and almost always the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup? Why is this necessary to add to food!? Who needs that much sugar in their diet? I don't even use sugar, except for baking. Strange. I imagine it's back to cereal and bananas.

I've been on my deathbed all last week, finally tapering off on Tuesday when I had my flight, and now it's finally gone, which means I can start running again! I haven't ran in two weeks, and even got some running gear for Christmas from the family. I, need, to run. It keeps me from going insane, and it'll burn of some of this high fructose corn syrup.

Cincinnati is just the beautiful-ist to run around. You run up hills and down steps, across bridges and through quaint tree lined avenues with old brick mansions along the way. I love it. But just being back for less than a week, the people here are just different. I'm not sure what it is. But I guess I do know. Cincinnati is just one big-small city in the center of America. Nothing too exciting happens in the city, and people never leave. They just stay and have babies and keep doing the same thing, generation after generation. Oh, and its citizens, really-really love to drink (alcohol). It seems nothing social ever happens without it. I really do love it here; its place in the history of the American narrative is priceless; its importance underestimated. But I totally know I romanticized it a bit. (OK, so I romanticized it a lot).

Bring on the adventures around the world.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cincinnati, Ohio:

Cincinnati is a interesting city in on the Ohio River, about a five hour drive south of Chicago. It holds a special place in my heart, because it's my hometown. And it's architecture, for a city that begins its history from the late eighteenth century onward, is quite remarkable–and quite Victorian inspired. It's nice to be here now, visiting family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Life Begins in Amsterdam:

Oh Amsterdam. How strange is it that I actually live here?! I know the answer to that question: so much fun and oh so ever unexpected. I have accepted a position within a design studio here in the city; playing with words and pictures, each and everyday. My ultimate goal, is to learn the art of storytelling on the printed (and digital) page. I couldn't think of a more perfect step at this stage of my life. I fly to the USA on Tuesday morning, and I'm excited to see my family and friends. I miss them all. I never quite enjoy trans-Atlantic flights, although there is a large chance I am flying Business Class, which makes the whole trip much less painful: champagne, please?! America: here I come.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Friends:

feel like I have friends. More than one, too (though not close friends, only about two of those so far). And when writing this, it sounds really sad (on my part that is). No friends? Chh–total loser. I totally know how you could think that. I find this lack of social network so hard to start a new, also. Friday I had a friend over for dinner. It was quite gezellig (which is a word that describes Dutch peoples' quest for always feeling comfortable, in a cozy setting, warm, full of drink/food: horrible grammar with that last line–excuses.) Living in the past is never a good thing. But, before I moved to Amsterdam: I was in shape from starting to run again (at least 40K a week; enough to be able to call myself a 'runner', and actually know what I was talking about). I had a great group of friends; the best of my life actually. I've never been one to have a 'group of friends', rather preferring the 'drifter' approach–as it suits me much better (Scorpio/INTJ). The fact that it was summer before I moved here, meant that I could live in my self designated uniform for life: flip-flops, some sort of athletic shorts, a t-shirt, and sunglasses–and sometimes a skateboard. I do miss my skateboard. And I also miss my Grandma. It's almost Christmas and I miss my family and friends. This, coupled with the fact that Santa Clause does not come from Spainmakes this point in my life seem a bit, uncertain. But also quite exciting. Who knows how my future will unravel, in this most marvelous of cities.