little sarah Big World

Tag: hangover

Going Out in Valpo


And to think, this all started in a church…

…where we went to hear classical guitar. And eat Oreos. Then we drink wine from mini bottles on top of an overpass. And then we went to a bar/club.

…where we drank more, danced to live rockabilly music, hit on the coat-check girl, got hit on by inexpert boys of all nationalities, and danced ’til the wee hours of the morn.

Then I walked home alone, got lost, and asked some sailors for direction. I was maybe still drunky when Brett woke me up this morning to catch our bus.

Don’t tell Mom.

Shit Girls Say…and Do


Oh What a Night

One great–and probably unanticipated–benefit of smart phones is that you can wake up after a raucous ladies’ night and quickly scroll through your browser’s history to re-live the night before, remind yourself what the topics of conversation were.

Ours included: “hot Neville Longbottom” and “expectorating”.

Also there are leftover drawings of boobs, with both innie and outtie nipples, and a picture of a house (because those two things are related?) on the reverse side of my little sister’s body parts coloring sheet. Yeah.

*       *       *

What I’m saying is that, while girls do say some silly, endearing things, we talk about so much more. More than you could ever guess. Things that would make you blush. Or giggle. Or cry. Or sometimes all of the above.

We tend to drink while this is happening. And eat. Sometimes a sit-down dinner, sometimes a potluck, and sometimes an epic snack-fest. Also sometimes all of the above, as pictured above.

Then in the morning we make breakfast together, and check our browsing history. And laugh.

Then repeat.

A Very International New Year


Puerta del Sol again? YES!

We started the night out at home with a frozen pizza and some whiskey and cokes. Very American, but then Kevin’s roommate Elena invited us to join her, her husband, and their friend in a Romanian-style celebration: a big dinner, followed by little pastries and cookies from a Romanian bakery, and then an apple-caramel-chocolate-whipped cream cake, made by Elena, all while calling non-stop to as many relatives as they could get a hold of back home. Delicious!

“Happy New Year” in Romanian: An Nou Fericit!

Then we had a brief period of sitting in Kevin’s room and drinking while I played on the internet and he drew pictures of me playing on the internet. Weird. Then we headed towards Sol, metro-style.

And then…Sol! We made it! We even sneaked in a bottle of sidra huzzah!

In Spain what you do is you eat twelve grapes at midnight–one for each toll of the bell–and each grape represents a month for the year to come, and also you wish for things like “friendship” or “money.” There wasn’t an easily heard bell or clock or anything, though, so everyone just kind, you know, ate some grapes at midnight. And then we drank our bottle of sidra.

“Happy New Year” in Spanish: Feliz Año Nuevo!

Also in Sol we met some Swedes, and what started out as small talk turned into an invitation to join them for a night on the town! New friends excitement yesss! Pictured (L to R): Kevin, Sofia, Frederick, Sigrid, and Alex in a bar near plaza Santa Ana. We stopped there for drinks because we all wanted to keep hanging out and enjoying each others’ company, but Kevin and I couldn’t afford the entry fee for a nearby club, having foolishly left all but 20€ back at home. We thought that we’d just go to Sol by ourselves, get a drink by ourselves, and then catch the metro home. We were wrong!

And then guess what else?! Our new friends lent us money to get into the club, which is so kind. Like, embarrassingly kind. And we were so glad they did, because inside the club was like a party wonderland, and we got little gift bags with paper face masks and noise-makers and what-have-you, and then we danced to songs from Grease, and they knew all the words and we all laughed and drank and danced until 4 am and made plans to meet up to celebrate Reyes on Friday. Success.

“Happy New Year” in Swedish: Gott Nytt År!

In the end, Kevin and I walked home together, turning in somewhere around 5 am? Then today we slept in, hung around, ate crap at McDonald’s (best hangover cure), went to a movie, had chocolate and churros, walked around the center, and then came home. A very Happy New Year.

@ Susie's, gettin' ready

This was Halloween for me, pretty much.

We threw a house party last night…

…and all I have to show for it is this photo of me, eating pastry in the car on my way to work for the second time this week.

Except, you know, hungover this time. But still with a nice skirt. Summertime calls for lots of nice skirts.

There’s Got to Be a Morning After

This morning:

hungover, drinking hot chocolate and watching Futurama in French

Why, Chase? Why oh why did I let you buy me that 6th cup of wine? Why did we think it would be a good idea to eat nothing but crêpes with nutella all night?

I’m not going to beat myself up too much about it. After the hot chocolate, I went back to bed for another hour, and that seems to have helped. I just need to remember that getting up early to run/explore the city/eat pastries makes me happier and is more satisfying than staying up late to drink, and that the two are often mutually exclusive.

TODAY IS MY HALFWAY POINT HERE, GUYS! That means I’ve been here two weeks and I have two weeks left. Wow. It is not enough time, let me tell you, and I am sad to have wasted even a bit of it on a lousy hangover this morning. I feel like there is so much to do and see and experience here, and I spend so much time blogging and running and playing viola. But I try to find the balance between keeping up with the things that are essential to me and making the most of my limited time in this lovely place.

Lots of students here want to jet-set all over, to see as much of France/Europe/The World as possible before it’s time to go home. But I’ve played that game before, and it was too much for me. Too frantic. I don’t want to spend all of my time traveling when I’ve already traveled so far just to arrive HERE. I don’t want to pack my days with as many museums/spectacles/concerts as possible (though last night was fun). I don’t want to go out to eat for every meal, either.

I find the greatest joy in the little routines that I’ve developed, and in the small pleasures of every day life. Like how my cheap little treats from the pâtisserie near the post office come wrapped up like little gifts:

Or sitting outside in the courtyard, eating quiche and pastry, and posting to my blog:

I like going for runs in the botanical gardens, where there are peacocks and wallabies and flowerbeds and greenhouses. I like running into Bernard (mon père) around town, out for his daily stroll or running some errands. I like dinner together with the family, especially when Bernard uses his fork to point out a landmark or give directions on the map on the china cabinet, without ever rising from his seat, or when Colette tells us that we bring her such joy, that taking in international students allows her to travel the world.

I like going to the movies by myself, or with friends. I like riding my rental bike around and getting to know the city better. I like treating myself to Lebanese food after successfully haggling with the guy at the bike store and then changing my train ticket, all in French.

I like who I am here, I like the life I have here, and though I know that it is temporal, that it is fleeting, I am enjoying it. I know that I will be able to take a part of it back with me, that I will not regress. I will progress. I will go easy on myself while continuing to grow. Always grow.

From yesterday’s journal entry:

“I’ve felt something opening up inside of me for some months now–ever since I dropped out of music school–but here, in France, on my own, it’s begun to truly blossom and take shape…the truth is that I cannot go back to self-hate and punishment and anxiety all the time. The truth is that I accept myself, and I trust the part of me that knows what I want and–more importantly–what I DON’T want. I refuse to continue to live up to others’ expectations of me, whether implied or explicit, at my own expense. I just can’t anymore.

I realized last night that I was lost to myself for some years–caught up in relationships that could not fulfill me. And though I mourn the loss of all that time, I refuse to go back there. I refuse to lose any more of my time or myself. I resolve to grow, to know and love myself better and better. To do everything in my power to create the life that I want for myself.

And I am contented with that.”

Good morning!

FIRST: Woke up early with a volatile stomach (too much going-away-party-ing) and drove to Moms’ to give Mom the car back/drive her to work. Ate Cliff bars and MiniWheats with Rosie, while talking Disney movies and inventing “pattern names” (hers: Lavender Fuchsia Lavender Fuchsia, mine: Red Rose Red Rose). Gossiped with Mom in the car while she put on make-up. Back home by 7:15 and back into bed with Kevin, warm and safe.

THEN: Slept an hour before up-and-atem (for reals this time), 15 minutes to get ready and then ride my bike to catch the bus. Today it was an older, skinny man, a middle-aged, big-bellied man and a polite dowdy woman talking about their experiences “in the service,” dealing with PTSD and how it will always be a part of them. (The other day it was a tattooed hispanic man in his forties and a young skinhead exchanging prison stories. I love this bus route).

NOW: Baby’s sleeping, and I am reading my at-work, non-fiction read (The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande–liked by Malcolm Gladwell and in that same vein), sipping soy cocoa and munching buttered toast.

~ Not quite ten am and I am grateful for what I have ~

“See’s Fudge” and 2 Marys

Made this for Mary’s going-away party; got the recipe from my own Granny Mary.

It was a big hit at the party, where I drank way too much because I was so happy to be making new friends and getting along and being liked, etc., etc. Then the next morning I woke up still wearing all my clothes, with the cell phone the my pocket and everything–a brutal hangover–and I had to have Kevin help me fill in some details from the night before.

Ah, well, but, this is how we learn, right? Except that I have maybe done the same thing twice this week (getting too excited about new friendships/possibilities and forgetting to count how many drinks I swallow). My new thing is no longer feeling like a social pariah. Anyways, Fudge:

“See’s Fudge (from Great Grandma Jennie Nielsen

-1Stick chopped margarine. That means, 1/4 lb. I use Butter.

-1 cup chopped nuts (I skipped this part, because Mary’s allergic and because ew, gross)

-16 oz package choc chips

-2 cups white sugar

-1/2 can condensed milk (reg. canned milk)

-10 large marshmellows (Granny uses 15, I used mini)

Bring butter, sugar, and condensed milk to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepan medium saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY.

Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and marshmallows, stirring until mixed together.

Pour into a buttered glass baking dish or a foil-lined metal baking dish.

Refridgerate for at least 2 hours.

When set up, cut into squares or roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate.