just a photo

Some spiky steel thing
Called me to climb it. So I
Did. Took photos, too.


paris, je te laine!

The city of lights
Shines, a spire sparkles, wine flows...
Paris in July.

A mere four hours' train ride from Frankfurt sits Paris, the most popular tourist destination on the planet. It's home to culture, style, and history of all varieties. I'm inclined to say that it's one of my favourite cities in Europe so far: tied, of course, with Stockholm. :)

Alex and I spent some time checking out the famous sights in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Seine, the Cathedral Notre Dame, the Military Hospital that is now Napoleon Bonaparte's burialplace, the Champs Élysées etc. The Tour de France was finishing on the Champs Élysées, though, on Sunday, so everything in Paris was packed.

Eiffel Tower : awesome. I can't believe this was supposed to be a temporary installment for the World's Fair. It's huge and gorgeous, and it was (sadly) too busy to wait in line to go up. At night it sparkles on the hour, and by "sparkles" I mean that there are thousands of strobe lights on it that blink like crazy. Lying on the lawn in the park and looking at this thing was an event in itself.

Arc de Triomphe : conveniently located in the centre of the craziest traffic circle I've ever seen. It's about 6 lanes wide, but there aren't painted lines, so there's no way to know. There are 12 roads that converge on this thing, and right-of-way goes away. Our tour guide also said that no insurance company in the world will accept claims from an accident here. So, naturally, Alex and I decided to forego the underground walkway and cross the exciting way. The Arc de Triomphe is also the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in France, and there's an eternal flame burning to commemorate their fallen.

Louvre : Crazy awesome. Actually seeing the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the Code of Hammurabi, and a zillion other works worth a zillion dollars each is a ridiculous sort of feeling. The building that this place is in is also gorgeous; each room is themed to match the works it holds, including amazing ceiling artwork in most of the rooms. The floors were gorgeous granite and marble and wood, and the place was huge.

Musée d'Orsay : Not as massive as the Louvre, but it holds works nearly as famous. That Van Gogh self-portrait? Saw it. Monet? He's there. Not as many drop-dead gorgeous rooms as the Louvre, but still mega-famous.

Seine : What do you call someone who falls off a bridge in Paris? Anyway, the Seine is pretty nice. There were boat tours drifting up and down along it all day. It's good to take a break for relaxing and watching the water.

Notre Dame : BIG. Home to stained glass windows as large as my house. I'd be kinda ticked if this was the church I attended, though, since despite sufficient signage, there was no semblance of silence in the place for prayer and whatnot. Alex and I decided that they should sell "Quasi is my Homeboy" t-shirts at the gift shop, but unfortunately they didn't get that memo, I guess.

Crypts : Near Notre Dame, there are some neat old crypts that you can walk through for just a couple euro. I couldn't help but think of Return to Castle Wolfenstein as I walked in them, though... hahahaha. :)

Les Invalides : This is the Military Hospital. Our boy Napoleon is buried here, and the tour guide informed us that the reason his tomb was constructed the way it is (a pit-ish thing) is so that whenever people visit to see him, they are forced to bow. I guess that when Hitler came to see Napoleon, though, he brought a mirror with him to avoid bowing. Hrm.

Champs Élysées : "The most famous avenue in the world." I don't really buy that, but it was really classy. There were car dealerships (Renault, Peugeot), a Nike store (Alex and I got LiveStrong bracelets in honour of the Tour... at 1 euro each they were definitely the cheapest thing on the street), clothing stores (Louis Vitton and other big names that I don't care about... I did buy a pair of sweet-ass earrings, though, to say that I did it), and restaurants (we ate at one on the second night and were highly entertained by a pair of ladies from New York, one of whom had indulged a little too much in the wine).

Cemetery : Burialplace of Chopin and... Jim Morrison? Also Oscar Wilde, but he was someplace in the back and we got lost. :-/ Anyway, it was curious that these two both rather famous musicians from vastly different times/walks of life ended up as neighbours.

Obelisk : Paris has a really big obelisk with heiroglypics on it. That was sort of weird.

Wine/food : Mmmmmmm... Baguettes, brie, crépes, creme caramel, and general French delicion. :D The Bordeaux in France is also tasty, but that's not a tough thing to figure out.

Oh, the French.

Random note: for some reason, Parisians get the reputation that they're a bunch of stuck-up jerks, but it wasn't true at all for us. Every time we pulled out a map, someone stopped, not prompted, to help us figure out where we were and where we needed to go. Also, everyone seemed to speak English, despite what you may have heard. Hrm. Also, they love pink toilet paper for some reason that I haven't figured out yet.

Yeah, I'd go back. I need to to see the damn Tower. Next time, though, I think I'll avoid going the weekend that the Tour is there; getting a train back home was a nightmare. They were all full because people had to fly out of FRA (Europe's biggest airport). ARGH. So I didn't get home until late, and then had the pleasure of sleeping in. Ahhhh...


KNOLedge is POWer

A throwback! Regress!
I'd nearly forgotten it.
And learned something new.

After a year, my feature has been released for use in knol! There's an article about how to use it here:


The note from my supervisor also mentioned that the way it was deployed was different than originally planned, so it should be easily plug-innable to other Google products now, i.e. docs and mail. Sweeeeeeeeeeet. ^_______^

So what was the new thing I learned? D&D! I was lingering in the lamentable state of being a nerd without being a proper nerd worthy of other nerds' respect... but that's all changing now. ;)

I am: female, youthful, athletic, acrobatic, strong, semi-charismatic, moderately unintelligent, wielding a greatsword, and dragonborn.

You are: able to make up for my tragically low hitpoints and armor class with healing powers.

Other than that, I'm not picky.

We had awesome fun (I played with my dear friends from Jugger, which I can only assume doesn't come as a surprise :P); it was not really how I expected at all! For the uninitiated, here is a brief rundown of how it goes:

-1) With the help of a computer (surprise), Julius, Olex, and I develop a ridiculous Dragonborn barbarian chick with mega stats for BEATING PEOPLE IN THE FACE. We equip her with the requisite armour, weapon, and ale pitcher.

0) Participating nerds convene in a room in the computer science building, at night after normal people have left.

1) The DM pulls out his bag of goodies, including little figurines of all the characters and--I had no idea that this was how it worked--tile-y things to put together a map of what it was we were seeing.

2) The players laugh and make appropriately immature jokes about whether or not a dragonborn female has boobs because she has them in the drawing in the book but logically reptilian creatures don't need mammary glands.

3) We are led into the story with, "You see before you a wooden door..."

4) The other dragonborn in the party (equally as unintelligent as my character) listens at the door and rolls a pathetically low number for perception check... hears nothing. Checks to see if it is locked... no.

5) With 19 strength, I punch through the door, despite the fact that it isn't locked. POW.

6) The dwarf ranger and his wolf run inside and stand by the door. The room is big and has a big rock at one end, a small alcove at the other, a 10ft (why do they use feet instead of metres? oh, because all the D&D books are conveniently only available in English) high square wall column thing in the middle, and a platform opposite the door.

7) I run past him, almost directly into a dragon, and to the base of the stairs up to the platform, where a mean-looking sorceror is just chillin.

8) The elven druid runs near to the rock and starts dragging baddies around with magical... magic-ness.

9) The rock starts rolling around the room.

10) ...we all hit people in the face/shoot people in the face/drag people around/jump off ledges and onto flying dragons, tackling them to the ground/throw wolves/rescue each other from the rolling rock/rescue each other from imminent death with healing surges (admittedly it was only I who was rescued...)/leap across gaps/fail to leap across gaps/hit more people in the face.

11) Victory!

I was shocked at how many weird contingencies the authors of the books had planned for: there were actually accepted rules for how to, um, leap off a platform and onto a dragon. They were based on dice rolls and acrobatic skill. Also the wolf-throwing. I wouldn't have counted on someone thinking of that.

Anyway, it was good times. We ordered pizza and ate cookies and gummy apple rings. For some reason, everything in Germany is available in gummy form? But, yes, D&D. Nerd cred for me!


i love gay bar

The tide goes always out,
The Vikings go forth to trade,
And mead is on tap.

As Mathieu and I stepped off the plane in Skavsta airport, one of the first things we noticed was that, dammit, we were in Sverige (Sweden in Swedish) and it was 10 degrees warmer than in Deutschland. Fricking Deutschland.

We met up with Alex, and the first place that we decided to check out was Nyköping (pronounced "ni-SHEP-ing"), a small town just 7 minutes from the airport by bus. It was, um, basically adorable, and it afforded us the opportunity to bring Mathieu to his first ocean (sort of..) and to eat some delicious and reasonably-priced lunch (that was... the last time that happened). Then we hopped on a train, which was thankfully faster than the trains in Poland, and headed to Stockholm.

So Stockholm is basically awesome. It looks like Wien, but it is located on an archipelago, and 14 islands comprise the city. When the glaciers carved that area out, they just sort of hung out on top of it for a while, crushing everything down, and now the islands are slowly rising out of the water, about 50cm every 100 years (hey, Mr. Geologist, are you going to elaborate on this?). So Stockholm is no longer filled with seawater, but instead is really in a massive lake that drains into the Baltic Sea. When we first arrived, it looked like the tide was going out really strongly, and then... 8 hours later it was still going out really strongly. But our Viking tour guide enlightened us as to what was up.

Oh, Saturday night we went out for dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in Stockholm. We had Swedish meatballs, which we were informed include reindeer meat. Then we went home to make party on our boat hostel. :D 21st birthday, part ii!

Might I now mention that we were all highly annoyed by the law in Sweden that you aren't allowed to drink in the streets. It's going to be hard to come back to the states... But that meant that we had to do all of our drinking in bars, where a pint of beer cost around 65 kronor, which is about 6.50 euro or $8. Ugh. Expensive. We were informed by a random Swedish guy that a low-end salary in Stockholm is around 50,000 kronor per month, which is $7,000. Damn.

The following morning, we had some delicious breakfast at our hostel and hopped on a ship to Birka, aka Swedish Viking Central. It was the site of the first city in Sweden, and also a UNESCO world heritage site. We got the lowdown on lots of Viking stuff; apparently the Swedish Vikings were the tamest of the bunch, and they mainly traded with Russians and the rest. The rape-and-pillage-style Vikings were more from Norway and Denmark. Also, Vikings didn't actually wear the horned helmets that they have become renowned for; that was an aesthetic detail added by some archaeologist who found a helmet (not designed for battle, just for a statue) that had ornamentations on it that were a bit broken and resembled horns who happened to decide that Vikings should be a little more badass if they wanted to be set apart from all the other pirate types in Europe in that era.

We heard some awesome stories about the village that used to be in Birka, including how it became Christian (our tour guide's comment was that "they already had Odin, Thor, Freyr, Frigg, so, Jesus? A bonus god? Great!") and then burned down the church when they discoverd that Christianity wanted them to keep just one god. And I was amused when he started telling legends about Valkyries.

After another 90-minute boat ride, we found ourselves once more in Stockholm, this time starving. We found a medieval restaurant in the old town that had exactly the ambiance we were looking for after poking around Viking shit all day. They had mead on tap, and our silverware was a steak knife and a huge spoon each. The napkin for the three of us was one really long piece of cloth, and we shared a "Viking feast" that included salmon, sausage, pork, sauerkraut, peas puree, apple pie, delicious soup, bread, and weird bread-topping that was some kind of sour cream-based stuff. Mmmmmmm... dead stuff. Good heavens, I am a terrible vegetarian.

With roughly 5 hours until the first bus left for the airport and no hostel to stay in, we wandered the town and met some crazy Swedish people and enjoyed the ambiance of the archipelago. My fuzzy vest was sometimes more- and sometimes less well-received, but I still thought it was basically awesome, and it attracted some amusing attention at times. Mathieu and Alex both acquired Viking drinking horns (and by that I mean cow horns that were hollowed out with the intent of filling them with mead), and all was good.




Even a Wednesday
Can be used for a party
If you do it right.

I'm 21, guys! The traditional benefits associated with such birthday in the States don't really apply here in Europe, though, so I guess it's probably time for a post-birthday drinking-ages-around-the-world rant:

As you may know, kids in the US are not legally permitted to imbibe alcohol until they have reached the age of 21. Most places in the world it's around 18 (although some have interesting laws on that; in Deutschland it's 16 to drink and buy beer and 18 to buy hard alcohol, but most places (the UK, most of Canada, etc. (come to think of it, it seems to be places where English is spoken)) it's just straight-up 18), but there are exceptions, of course. In Tokelau (ocean nation), the drinking age is 29. In much of the Middle East, alcohol is illegal, period. In Cuba, there isn't a drinking age at all; you and your five-year-old are free to enjoy a beer together on the veranda if you so choose.

So what's the allure here? When I went to visit Evan in Gatineau, it was obvious that there was one. Gatineau is right on the border of Ontario and Quebec, which happen to have disparate drinking ages. Lots of bars on the Quebec side had signs up that you were only permitted to drink at 18 (rather than 19) if you could prove that you lived in Quebec.

Then, of course, there are the famous American fraternity parties. I'm pretty sure that some amount of underage drinking goes on there.

But it's so ridiculous to have high drinking ages, ne? At least in the US, kids don't learn how to drink properly and wind up abusing alcohol. I don't remember the stats, but a while back I read an article about incidence rates of various psychological illnesses, and a person who goes to university in the US is like 500% more likely to be an alcoholic than an average person in the US.

It's a wonder that things like Prohibition were ever passed. People aren't going to get over alcohol. It's a social lubricant! Based on media and advertising nowadays, it's impossible to have a good time without it.

Anyway, I'm sure that you've heard all this before from a zillion other sources.

For my birthday, I was given many pleasant surprises! In the morning, my lovely friends Mathieu and Teetee (as well as a couple guys who work in our lab, Simon and Roman) busted out "Happy birthday" and a cake that they miraculously produced from somewhere. :D My mom and dad also sent me a collection of chocolatey deliciousness, and Marie made a cake for me that she brought to my party. I do believe that the only things I ate yesterday were cake, cake, chocolate, cake, and a salad.

Steven gave me a really interesting gift: carrot seeds! Why is a carrot more orange than an orange? Well, I dunno, but I'm about to go proselytize about it.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of people who showed up! Nearly all the Darmstadter interns as well as friends from Jugger. Woot!

Summary of the evening:

Mathieu: It's Jager!
Me: !
Mathieu: You can only have it if you are going to drink the whole thing.
Me: !

Julius: Let's go to the park
Me: !

Poornima: I need to go to the bathroom.
Me: We just have to get over this fence. *climbs over fence in dress and heels*
Everyone else: Dammit. Now we have to do it, too.

Olex: Pool?
Me: !

...this morning...

Me: Hi, Teetee.
Teetee: I'm impressed.

Me: 1 Hangover: 0


INFO: correctly computed bobolink

Birds of a feather,
Flock together, but what about
Index terms? Do they?

It's time for my... semi-monthly job status update! I'm still doing work here, and NOW IT'S GOING A LITTLE MORE AWESOME. I'm still getting mega-frustrated with the thing as a whole (frameworks? uck. And why should you be able to do a thesis in CS by just writing a lot of code? Shouldn't you have to do something arguably new? There were some presentations today in our lab that were basically that some Masters students are revamping systems to work with German and English instead of just German... diploma, please.), and I'm still pretty sure that I'll have to go work for Bill Stone (or some other explorer-adventurer), but it's a relief to see a string of things that say

INFO: correctly computed bobolink
INFO: correctly computed muckadilla creek
INFO: correctly computed jacky-jacky

That means that my algorithms are working, and maybe someday you'll see me in the acks for a book index. ;) Plus I get to read about weird stuff on the interwebs.


heidelberg. or: how to put 360 north americans in a german university town

Under blazing sky,
Ancient music spreads softly
Through the old city.

This weekend was the DAAD-RISE 2009 conference in Heidelberg, which meant that the 390 (only 360 were from North America.. others from the UK) interns hired by the programme to come to Deutschland for the summer were treated to a weekend in the city that houses Germany's oldest university. The conference itself involved thanks from the organisers (amazingly, the organising team is just 5 people, which is probably why their email response time is somewhat... laggy), a jazz ensemble made up of a trio of a previous year's interns, chats about how to go about getting funding to do a Master's or PhD in Deutschland, company visits, and a trip for everyone to the Culturbräurei.

The company visit that I went on was a little bit (read: quite) dull. It was a trip to Agilent, a company that makes measuring instruments for chemicals. I mean, that's an important thing, and some of the machines that they demoed for us were pretty neat. For instance, there was a chip that they invented that vastly simplified the tasks of geneticists who have to do electrophoresis-type experiments: you just put in a tiny sample, put the thing in a box hooked to your computer, and the box and software magically record everything about the sample for you and run whatever experiment it is that you've told them to run. I don't know why no one thought of this before, but it was kinda sweet. Maybe I was jaded about the content of this tour because of all the Take Your Daughter to Work Days I've been to; Dad's toys are way cooler than these people's.

Other people went on other company visits, based on the area of their internships. Alex (Mr. Geologist) went to Messel Pit, a UNESCO site with a lot of interesting dead things in it. After that, the group went to a vineyard to experience, um, German hospitality.

At the Culturbräurei, there was a moment that made all of us realise that we're not in Kansas (or even North America) any longer; one of our dear friends who had enjoyed herself a little too much at the winery passed out on the table at dinner. In NA, this would be grounds for a kicking-out, but in Deutschland? The bartender brought her a pillow.

Thanks to the DAAD, all the interns were also given a free tour of Heidelberg. There's a famous castle there, and there are a few awesome things about it. For one, the inner courtyard is filled with buildings in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Gothic styles. Evidently, the castle has been home to many prince electors (they get to choose who is king) over the years, and each one wanted to feel like he contributed something to the design of the place. One thing that stayed the same for all the live-ins, though, was a wine cellar, including the largest wine cask I've ever seen, located in a room obviously built specifically to house it. There was also a gate that was built for Queen Elizabeth. For her birthday. In one night. See what I'm expecting, guys? ;)

Other than the scheduled things, there was a lot of free time to explore the city. Heidelberg is positively brimming with culture, as most cities around this area, and I was thrilled with the opportunity to go to a Bach concert in Peterskirche. It was put on by a group at the university in Heidelberg, and it was awesome. There was a choir and a pipe organ, and lots of "yay." ^____^

Also! I finally got to see my 4(+7)th of July fireworks! Saturday night, one of the famous bridges in Heidelberg was closed to foot and car traffic in order to put on a pretty good lightshow. The schloß was alight, too, and made an awesome backdrop. To make it even better, the moon was near-full and rising, and the beer was only 80 cents.



To believe, be free,
And stand a chance in (any)
Eternity, play.

I just found a couple of pretty amusing news articles.

Game show looks to convert atheists

Would you pledge your soul as loan collateral?

And I felt the need to share. I'm sure the economic crisis is getting pretty intense if we're bartering our eternal peace (I mean, if we're bartering it after we win it on a gameshow).

on the road

Weaving between cars,
Defying death (or something),
Ridin' on the bus!

In keeping with the really strong tendencies towards using public transit here in Deutschland, there are some special things in effect related to the way it has to work. For instance, there are special bus lanes so that buses can dodge all that nasty early morning traffic. On occasion I am inclined to snicker at all the poor fools in their (immobile) fuel-efficient cars as we whisk by.

Another interesting component of the transit system here is the drivers. Surely they are psychologically... off. No sane person would be willing to navigate a metal box holding 60 people through a street 7 metres wide with a car on each side at 40km/h. One woman in particular (she drives the 8:23 bus from Dieburg to Darmstadt) seems mentally askew in other ways, as well.

Since the streets are so narrow, there are some other interesting complications, mainly related to parking. Yes, people can park on both sides of the street, leaving just enough space for one car to squeeze through between them. Vastly more common, however, are parkings half-on-half-off the sidewalks. I'm reasonably certain that it's legislated in certain areas that you must park like this. Time to go off-roading in your Mercedes!

There doesn't seem to be a lot of reverence for pedestrian space, for that matter: I've been walking through a park when suddenly I'm forced to make way for a vehicle driving along what I could have sworn was a sidewalk. It's in a park, for crying out loud.

The strange thing is that pedestrians do seem to have a lot of rights. If the walk light is green or there is any ambiguity about whose turn it is, drivers will let the pedestrian go 98% of the time. Maybe that's just because I've been spending time mostly in big cities and college towns, but it's nice, nonetheless.



Arbeit nicht macht frei.
Never, ever forget the
Lessons of this place.

While all of you at home were celebrating freedom with fireworks and beer, I had the opportunity to (read: couldn't help but) think about what freedom really means. I hope that everyone who reads this takes time in his or her life to visit the concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oświęcim, Polska. It's hard to think about the fact that I walked through rooms where hundreds of thousands of people died. I'm not a child of the war by any means; I was born more than 40 years after it ended, and as far as I know no one in my family was directly affected by it. I grew up in the US, I'm not Jewish... but that was probably the most terrifying place I've ever been to in my entire life. I don't really feel I can say anything else except, "go."

...Other than that, Kraków was pretty neat. There's a church there that has a tall tower with a clock (surprise, I know), but on every hour for 600 years there's been a bugler at the top who plays a tune. Kinda weird. There's also a huge mall, including a movie theatre currently playing Transformers (in Polish) and a McDonalds.

Poland is really cheap. They use a currency called the zloty, and they're about 4:1 on the euro and 3:1 on the US dollar. Alex and I went out for a nice dinner in the Jewish quarter of the city, and it cost about 100 PLN (that's the abbreviation for zloty) for the two of us. The train trip to Oświęcim from Kraków was 16 PLN roundtrip... though I would've been pissed if it had been more, mainly because the trains in Poland are ridiculously slow. I took a video, which I'll put up later today (theoretically) of just how absurd it was. Oświęcim is about 50 km from Kraków, and the ride was roughly 2 hours. On the express train.

That was okay, though, because we got a chance to meet some kids from Croatia. They were nice, and I actually don't think I'd met anyone from there before. One of them told a pretty excellent story about how he'd gone out and gotten trashed then woken up with a Swedish girl's business card in his pocket. We also got to admire several random Polish people alongside the train tracks who were notably underclad and gathered around bonfires. Oh, random.

The hostel that we stayed in was, you know, pretty nice, but the stay there was totally rockin', mainly because of the people. There was a man who we decided was probably God in disguise who took it as his onus to ensure everyone got where he needed to be. The morning we were leaving, there was a cadre of rather hungover boys in the same dorm room as we three (me, Alex, and God), and he basically threw them out of bed and told them to "get their shit together." He informed me that I was manic, and Alex that he was in the army. He gave us advice on every aspect of life, and he seemed to have been everywhere and to know everything. It was sort of ridiculous.

Total cost for the weekend? Under 50 euro, including hostel. Awesome.

I really want to go back to Poland someday, I think. We didn't get a chance to see the famed salt mines; time was too tight on Sunday morning when we had to go catch our flights. It won't be for a while, though. I need a bit more time to recover.



Ribbons of light stream,
Mix with screams, light the town, and
Mark the festival.

This week in Darmstadt is Heinerfest. AFAIK, "Heiner" is a title that the Darmstadters have chosen for themselves, though I can't honestly say I think it's particularly flattering. :-/ Anyway, it's a festival!

After Jugger ended on Thursday, Mathieu and I headed out with a few Germans (and a Russian) from same. It was sort of absurdly expensive (bumper cars - €1, drop tower - €3,50, ferris wheel €4), but still a lot of fun.

It was also pretty different from American festivals. I guess my only experience has been with those of the 4-H variety (for the record, I had no idea what the 4 Hs were until I read that page... "Head, Heart, Hands, and Health."), which include projects by kids aged 6 to 18 or so. I did 4-H one year: cake decorating! It was, um, okay. Not particularly rewarding, but I suppose it might have built my character a bit, or something like that. Anyway, there were no quilts to judge or farm animals to pet at this fair: since the drinking age in Germany is just 16, there was just a lot of beer. :( No goats! No bunnies! Sad day! Oh, but the same expensive fair food that's at home seems to be a staple at fairs everywhere.

Edit (after a question by Adam): German fairs don't seem to have carnies in the same way that American ones do. Those who were hawking the games seemed less than enthusiastic to perform such duty, and those running the rides didn't strike me as creepy at all. Well, they could have been, I suppose, but I'd've never known, since I don't really understand German. :) And the addition of techno as the soundtrack for every single ride was also a bit of a change.

Fun was had. How could it not be? It's a festival!



Si no puedas usar
Lo que enseñas, no lo
Pongas en la red.

This website made me giggle a lot, I'm not gonna lie. I don't have much to say about it, other than that I'm highly amused that it failed to use «ñ» correctly in its title and proclaims to teach one how to type things in Español, including the offending character. One of my favourite parts, given the top, is the description of the page author at the bottom: "His goal is to help others learn Spanish by supporting them in their efforts and by pointing them in the right direction."

In other Spanish-related news, I've been given a heads-up on a couple of exciting opportunities to brush the dust off my sadly underused skillz. Mi profesora de la escuela secundaria (Rosemary Haro) contacted me a couple days ago about writing a letter of recommendation for her to win a contest for "Best Secondary School Language Teacher," or something like that. :D Me alegro de que ella me la presentaba la oportunidad.

Also, a friend has mentioned a possible internship for spring semester (after I graduate, yay!) that's in... Argentina. His comment? "I mean, hey,
Argentina, amiright!?"

Yes, Joe, you are.