Archive for August, 2010

Aug 09 2010

Portugal, Provence, Printing, and Planning

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We are back in the US.  You might not have known since we fell off the face of the blogosphere almost two months ago, but we have hardly fallen off the face of the earth.  Since writing on the World Cup:

  • Seth and I went to Porto, Portugal, where I was supposed to present at an academic conference.  My panel was cancelled at the last minute, which was really upsetting, but we did get to drink Port, be in town for the festive holiday of St John, Porto’s patron saint, and discover that Portugese vegetarian cuisine = seitan.  So much seitan.
  • Then I went back to working on my thesis.  It involved sitting in my hot apartment and writing, editing, editing, editing…
  • Then my parents and sister came for a visit.  We spent a few days in Switzerland, then went to Provence.  For their Sunday in Switzerland, we went on an awesome bike ride from Kerzers to Avenches, with a lunch stop in Murten, which turns out to be perhaps the coolest old town in Switzerland we’ve been to.  I would highly recommend this route.  Provence was sure different in July than during Christmas.  We were in Avignon during the annual theater festival, and discovered that the off-festival looked way cooler than the official one, but we didn’t actually go see any shows.  Provence was sunny, hot, crowded, and tasty.  When we got back to Switzerland for my parents to fly home out of Geneva, my mom’s handbag was stolen from her on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.  That was fun, especially that part when I had to file a report in French at the police station.  Photos from the week are on flickr.
  • Shortly after that, I turned in my master’s thesis, a whole day early, and then Seth and I hastily prepared for a month and a half in the US in the un-air-conditioned heat.  It involved dragging a suitcase full of books to multiple libraries in Geneva and packing up most of our apartment into our basement storage space so we could sublet it.
  • Once at my parents’ in NJ, my adviser emailed that there were pages missing from the printed copies of my thesis.  Great.  He was happy to grade it with the pdf, but I was told I had just a few days to get new copies to my school for the library archives.  So commenced several days of early morning phone calls to Switzerland.  Thankfully, I got another printer to print it in time and a very good person to pick it up and drop it off at school for me.  Phew.  Nothing like experiencing a little piece of Switzerland while in the US.

So, as I said, we’re back in the US, land of cars,advertisements, smiles, processed food, and laundry machines galore.  We decided to pack all of our wedding planning into this summer so that we don’t have to deal with major details from Switzerland and don’t have to come back every month.  It has been a whirlwhind of photographers, registering, florists, dresses, stationary, rings, rabbis, musicians, and more.  It is terrifying to spend this much money on ANYTHING, although I guess my parents spent more on my education.  Also, we have discovered that the wedding complex is still profoundly anti-feminist.  I think Seth is going to blog more about wedding planning and how difficult it is for the groom to be involved, even when he wants to be.  Other than the difficulties of familial negotiations, Seth consistently being pushed aside, and navigating the moral gray zone in which much of the wedding industry resides, it’s not been bad.  I am nervous about finding shoes, mostly.

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