Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Cow Squeezings

As a graduate student, two of my primary food groups are things-that-can-be-eaten-from-a-bowl (cereal) and things-with-caffeine-in (coffee and tea).  As such, the state of milk is a concern to me.  Here is a list of the attributes I associate with milk I buy in the United States:
-comes in a jug
-sold by the gallon or half-gallon
-available in whole, 2%, 1%, and skim verieties
-goes bad in about two weeks

Here are the attributes of the milk I buy in Spain:
-comes in a box
-sold by the liter or half-liter
-available in whole or semi UHT
-goes bad in about 4 months
It's that last item that is a concern to me.  I can't help but think that somewhere between me and the cow, something has gone horribly wrong.

For the record, the milk here is thinner and smells different from the milk back home, but it tastes just fine.

Also my travel plans have changed.  Due to ongoing strikes in France (boo french-y frog-ies!), RyanAir canceled the flight that would have taken me to London this weekend.  Why a strike in France affects a flight from Spain to England, I'm not sure, but I had to rebook anyway.  Assuming everyone is back at work, I will be going to London next weekend instead.

In the meantime, I have a long weekend because All Saint's Day is a holiday here.  Since I don't want to waste the chance, I will be going to Berlin this weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I've been up to

There's been some interest in what I've been doing in the month or so since I arrived here.  (By which I mean that my mother worries if she isn't updated frequently.)  The long answer involves a day trip to Avila (a post of which has been stuck as a draft for most of the past month), a run to IKEA (unusually frustrating), and moving into my apartment (far more difficult than it needed to be, due to a lack of communication between the schools various campuses).  The short answer is the picture on the left.  That's what I've had to read since I arrived here.  It's not quite complete.  There was a copy of All My Sons that I borrowed and returned, and several hundred pages of pdf that I opted not to print.  In addition, there's the 21 pages of A4 that I've written an turned in, at a rate of approximately an hour's worth of work per finished page.  That's not counting the 5-7 page paper I have due tomorrow, or the two annotated bibliographies I have due next week.  Other time consuming tasks I have include going to class, knitting, eating, and catching up on my sleep. 

Apparently I'm going to take breaks from all of this soon.  Next weekend I'm going to London, and the first weekend of December I'm going to Prague and Budapest.  I know I'm doing this because in a fit of cabin fever I just gave RyanAir and the Deutche Bahn a bunch of money to get me there and back, and I wouldn't want to waste my investment.  Knowing me, I will take a bunch of school work with me, and forget something essential like my toothbrush or socks.

If I get really adventurous, I might go to the Zoo tomorrow or Saturday to see the new baby pandas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I've got a post brewing about my latest adventures (trips to Avila and IKEA, and moving into my apartment), but for now here's an update on what's really important.  I finished another pair of knitted socks.  More pictures are here.