Snap Judgments for the Undeserving

Monday, May 30, 2005

Neighborhood Tourism

In an effort to see more of the neighborhood that I'm staying in (read: because Lissa is brilliant, and suggested it) I visited the Summer Palace of King Jan III Sobieski, which was origionally built in 1677, but has been changed (and destroyed and rebuilt) a lot since then.

To give you an idea of how much this really is in my neighborhood, here's the southerly view from Lissa and Dave's apartment (note the professional way in which I've marked the location of the palace):

Ack! Huge red arrow attacks Wilanow Palace!!

The palace tour was interesting, but given the history of the palace, a lot of the furnishings were either contrived or borrowed. What was most notable were the extensive wall frescoes that were uncovered during the renovations of the palace. Most of the rooms were entirely covered in themed wall and ceiling paintings, intended to evoke an Italian Villia (which the palace was origionally designed to represent).

A much better view of The Palace:

It was a gorgeous day, although extremely hot (which surprises me about Poland) and very bright. Note my total overcompensation for the day with my hat and sunglasses ... next I'm going to write "tourist" in sunscreen on my shoulders.

Me, in the sunny gardens of Wilanow

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Happy Birthday Lissa!

For Lissa's birthday, we went out to a local Czec restaurant in Old Town. Both Lissa and Dave warned me about the giant portions and high meat-to-everything-else ratio, but even so, I was totally unprepared for the reality of our dinner.
Lissa and me, with much beer:

Dave et Kabob (only slightly more impressive when actually on fire):

So, here's an eternal drinking question for you: does it count as double-fisting if you have to use both hands to drink from your glass??

The Electric Hypermart

I'm sure most of you know how much I love the supermarket, so please pardon my glee at having visited a giant Polish one. It was awesome, not only do they have an entire aisle dedicated to canned fish, but the bread has bar codes baked right on for ease of purchase.

I suppose it's not really called "electric", but that's what I saw when I first looked at the sign, and the name has stuck.
(It really IS a "hypermart")

I'll bet I stood out, not because I ogled the fish aisle, but because I bought a billion kinder eggs*. Can you really blame me?

My plunder:

*yeah yeah, they're actually "kinder joy"s which have a weird creamy treat instead of chocolate, but they were on sale, and are quite yummy.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dzien Dobry!

It was Corpus Christi day today, and in Poland, this is a national holiday. So conveniently, Lissa had the day off to act as my tour guide and interpreter. Lissa and Dave decided to start me off with a little tour of Warsaw's Old Town (which was entirely reconstructed after WWII) which isn't far from their apartment.

These girls were all flocking from the churches for the religious holiday:

Lissa and Dave in front of the Polish White House (or "Bialy Don").

I could show you something historic about Old Town, but I'll show you ice cream instead, which I think is more honest. Besides, there was a store with my name on it! Clearly they love me here!
It is unclear what this store actually sells.  Presumably not me.

In Transit

Well, I'm sure you'll all be pleased to note that I have apperantly survived my journey to Poland! All 24 hours of it.

'Why so long' you ask? Well, I'm pretty sure that for me, the 9 hour layover in Heathrow may have had something to do with it. So I decided that instead of being a lump and staying in the airport all day (although, let me say right now, they have an entire MALL of duty free there, so this was quite a sacrifice) I decided to visit London.

It was actually a lot of fun, and I met, I kid you not, an American girl my age who was off to be a missionary nurse in Zambia. And since we had the same layoever, we decided to tour around together for a few hours.

I made my new friend go to the National Portrait Gallery which I had not yet seen. It has a really interesting collection, especially of Tudor Portraits (all of those stock pictures you see of Henry XIII or Elizabeth I come from there, very cool).

St. James Park: It was a beautiful day, and the park is gorgeous. Ok, all I really remember are these adorable baby swans that we found. Their cuteness has erased all other memories from my mind.

Big Ben and Westminster: Oh yes, we were tourists. I even took a picture of Gretchen (missionary nurse girl) in the red phone booth in front of Big Ben. I'm sure this qualifies me for instant death or something. Alas.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Collegium Georgiopolitanum

Breaking news! Snap Judgment Exclusive!! Must credit Snap Judgment!!!

Davin, the well known bard, political agent and erstwhile brother, has graduated from College* in a lovely, non-rainy ceremony at the old alma mater this afternoon. A good time was had by all, despite a slight singeing from the sun. And afterwards Thai food was consumed, which of course made everything better.

A paradigm for us all:


Party party

Here I am in DC, and last night was the big blow-out Party for Georgetown graduates, which this year, means Davin! I’ll just give you all a brief photo retrospective of the evening (for those of you whom I met at school, this will all seem eerily and tragically familiar).

So … you go to a party … and everything seems normal (albeit fairly similar to prom)

Awww, look how cute we are.

And then one thing leads to another … and suddenly all of the women in your family have inadvertently formed an 80’s hair band!!!!
We don't know how to play instruments (well, except classical piano) but that can hardly matter.
One major problem: does anyone have a huge fan/smoke machine we could have??

And finally, you know you’ve had a good evening when you’re riding home on the metro in evening wear, with a flashy new tattoo, and a dapper green hat (with pom pom).

I like how dad looks like a regular commuter. Except for the awesome hat.
And I'd like to record for posterity that he was reading the personals.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bon Voyage (to me)!

Hello gentle readers,
I am sad to say that this is the temporary end of my little blog here, as I will be traveling on the Continent* for the next few months. I know I know, but try not to shed a tear, for in a fabulous transformation, my blog will soon become a beautiful butterfly.

Wait, that’s not right, my blog will soon (ie: later today) become a travel blog! I’m not sure how reliable I’ll be when my travel schedule gets really hectic, but I’ll certainly try to update often so that you all can witness and mock my fantastic voyage.

I'm not going here, but I'd like to!

Alas, my travel itinerary does not include the Taj Mahal (sigh), however I'm pretty excited about everything that I have planned. Here's a rough outline for those who wish to remain in the know:

1. Washington DC
2. Poland
3. Belgium
4. France
5. Italy
6. Poland again!
7. Vienna, Prague, Berlin (because I'm crazy)
8. Poland again again! (I sure hope I love Poland)
9. North Carolina (because I'll need a beach vacation from my Vacation)

*Doesn’t that sound classy? Which I know is unusual for me…

Thursday, May 12, 2005

God I love the 21st Century, life is so cool:

I know I haven’t blogged for a while, but you can all rest easy knowing that I’ve been a busy busy girl, installing these pneumatic elevators for my parents.

I think one can measure quality of life improvement by how our lives get to be more like the Jetsons:

Okay, I suppose I haven’t … but wouldn’t it be awesome if I had? These things are seriously cool, and I’m particularly intrigued by the “Exceptional price and value” that they describe on their website.

o No costly excavation, hatch or machine room to install .
o Tax benefits
o Increases the resale value to your existing home and can be moved to your new one
o Virtually no maintenance cost nor any lubrication required

Two comments: When getting a new elevator I know one of my primary concerns is lubrication. Thank god they’ve taken that weight off of my mind. And also, what “tax benefits” are they talking about? Is this one of those ways that I can get into deep hoo-hoo with the IRA?