Sunday, October 12, 2008


I had a really Euro-style day today and found it pretty amusing -

-I went to see a movie (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and even though there were several parts where the characters were speaking Spanish and the only subtitles were in French (or German), I found I could still understand everything going on. yay! The movie was good and I noticed that some of Rustbucket's friends made cameos!

-I went to the pool for a swim and afterwards was standing under one of the dryers - side note - they have these AWESOME big dryers mounted on the wall that you can move up and down to dry your hair etc...such a good idea and you don't have to bring a hairdryer to the gym. Anyway, I was using the one just inside the locker room and seriously, this pool boy came by to vacuum up the water on the locker room floor and I suddenly realized he was vacuuming in a circle around me. Literally every time I would shake a droplet of water on the floor he would suck it up. It was hilarious, I mean who has the kind of patience/desire to keep things in such a good order EXCEPT in Switzerland??

-As I was riding my bike home around sunset, I passed a slow moving Italian on his bike. "Ciao bella, comment ca va?" he said. "Bonsoir!" I yelled and pedaled off in a hurry. Don't be jealous J man, he wasn't cute, but seriously I thought it was hilarious. Hitting on a someone while riding bikes?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One last thing

I know I've been kind of veering off the subject of Swiss life lately, but what good is a blog if you can't use it as a soapbox every once in a while? I promise this is it. The video is worth it.

I actually know some people who told me they are not voting, so I hope this changes their mind:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Me, Ms. Absentee

So I voted today!! I can say first hand that I understand how they screwed it up in the past. It's a bit confusing, at least the whole absentee thing.

I was already registered to vote in my state, so it was easy for me to request an absentee ballot for the primary. But I found out the hard way in college that at least in Illinois, if you have never voted before, you can't vote for your first time as an absentee. That's how it was in 2000, anyway. So I didn't vote that year.

Anyway I did vote in 04 and as I said, was then able to easily request the absentee ballot this past winter. You have to put what it is that makes you an absentee - are you in the military, are you a citizen temporarily residing abroad (me) , are you a citizen in jail currently awaiting bond and cannot go to your polling place (hmmm, not me), etc. Then I put my political affiliation, even though I don't have one - but I guess in some states if you don't put that, you don't get to vote in the primary. Anyway, then a few weeks later, I got my ballot for the primary. They send you like a MAJOR envelope that's super official looking. That little parcel is definitely on official U.S. business. And inside is a ballot and a secret envelope, and another envelope for you to put the little secret one in, in order to mail it. Then you have to practically sign your name in blood saying that you voted in secret. Finally if you happen to live near the embassy, you can take it to them and they mail it for free. Unfortunately for me, I do not. So essentially I had to pay to vote in the primary.

Now a few weeks ago I got the biggie ballot. I was kind of confused though because it was a federal write in ballot. Not the scan tran one. The instructions said that my county's ballot was not ready yet, but when it was ready, they would send it to me. And to mail it in as soon as I got it. But if it was too late to mail it in, that they wouldn't count it, so I should mail this one in, and if I mailed both in, they would know which one to count. Got that? Of course this was in September, so I ignored it. Lo and behold, I got my REAL scantron ballot on Friday from my county. I went back and checked the write in again, and I guess they throw it out if you send the real one in by the deadline. The deadline according to my county is that it must be postmarked the day before the election in order to be counted. So since I have a lot of time, I figured to ditch the mail in and just go with the real one. I don't think they need any additional confusion over there in the church basement where they're counting the votes all night.
Word to election officials - you should probably write what color pen to use to mark the ballot ON THE BALLOT. I was lucky and guessed black after looking everywhere for the instructions on how to mark it. Then on the back of the instruction sheet, there was a short sentence about what color ink to use. Of course the entire instruction sheet is in caps, underlined, etc about all the things you need to do and not do, so it didn't exactly stand out. Again - on the ballot. This should be as fool proof as possible.

So I voted and put it in the secret envelope. Then I had to sign again saying it was secret and yes, I was temporarily residing outside the country, not awaiting bail. This morning I excitedly waved my official looking ballot around my office (it was ok, because I had already safely sealed it at home so NO ONE could influence my vote). Then I took it to be mailed and to send it "recommande," which is like registered mail, cost me 12 CHF!

Anyway, I'm proud to say I did my civic duty. It has a nice feeling to it. Kind of like when I give directions to a lost random person or workout first thing in the morning. Except I don't get a cool "I voted!" sticker like I normally do from my polling place.
And remember if you don't vote, you don't get to complain. So get out there and vote!!! We can all do it, doggone it, yes we can!!

Here is a picture of the super secret envelope to put the ballot in - actually it's the one from the primary. See how official looking it is?? Hope I don't have to mark my next ballot from jail for posting this...


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sports Redemption!!!

Vanderbilt is ranked #13 in the U.S. and is 5-0 for the first time since world war II!! yEEEAAAH!!

who ya with VU?!

This is so FREAKIN typical, part II

Yes of course I woke up at 6am to watch the second half of Cubs game 3 against the Dodgers. For whatever reason my wasn't working too well (the whole point of why I bought it was to someday watch playoff games, so WTF?), but fortunately I was able to at leat listen to Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. The two of them sounded frustrated and desperate, just like all of the Cubs fans out there. Clutch hitting...we don't have it.

Everyone said before the playoffs started that the Cubs were a solid team because they were so well rounded. If their hitting was bad, their pitching could pull them out, and if their pitching was off, their hitting could pull them out. Everyone contributed and there was no one player for whom we had to rely on success. So I guess since EVERYONE on the team played awful, is the reason that we lost (maybe DeRosa gets a pass since his hitting was great - but that error...).

It's really sad and frustrating but we're getting kind of used to it now. Maybe we need to lower our expectations a bit? I don't know what the answer is.

I find the most ridiculous thing is that the Trib is publishing a book called "this is the year" or something like that and that they were having a camera crew follow the cubs around in the postseason...this was of course before anything good had happened. Does anyone think this is a good idea?! Things like that are an obvious jinx!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This is so FREAKIN typical!!!!!!!!!!

I have to interrupt my story about the farm to discuss: THE CUBS.

Remember, I was here last year too. And so were they. And they got swept by the freakin DBACKS.

So, it's 2am. Cubs are up 2-0 in the top of the fifth. Dempster looks a bit shaky but hey, postseason jitters. He has given up some walks but the important thing is that he is getting the big outs when it counts.

Then he gives up another walk to Furcal. He has Manny on an 0-2, 2 out count. Walks Manny and all his stupid hair. He walks Ethier. Bases loaded.

Then he gets up on Loney. 0-2. Looks like strike three but he juuuuuuuust got a piece of it. And then....BOOM. Grand slam. Like that the Cubs are down, 4-2.

This is so Cubs!!!

Now it's 2:20 and the bottom of the 5th, finally, thank you Mr Marshall. Here I was thinking we would wrap this soiree up by 3. But no. So now you will get me and some live Cubs blogging. Are there any other displaced Cubs fans out there? Like on that cute Coca Cola commerical for USC vs ND where they watch it in China at 3am? I mean a REALLY displaced Cubs fan, like me. Not someone who lives in like, Boston or something. Give me a break, your city wins everything anyway.

Ok we go. Bottom 5. I'm trying to stay awake. Nothing good here. I'll come back when things are more interesting.

Bottom 8. More interesting now...if you're a dodger fan.