Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so thankful that I get to spend Thanksgiving this year with my husband. We've been really lucky to get almost all of our Thanksgivings together, I think we've only missed one.

Other things I'm thankful for:
my crazy parents
my brother and sister and their families
living in Italy
my job
a working hot water heater
my new shower head
being American

I hope y'all have a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. And if you don't, take some time to eat some pie.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Juliet, Naked

I was really excited when I saw this book in our little library. I've been wanting to read a Nick Hornby novel for sometime to see what all the fuss was about. I probably should have started with one of the greats: High Fidelity, Fever Pitch or About a Boy.

Quick synopsis: Duncan is obsessed with has been 80's rock star Tucker Crowe and Annie, Duncan's 15 year partner, likes Tucker Crowe as much as the next guy. Duncan is obsessed with Tucker Crowe, even calls himself a Crowologist. When an unfinished version of Tucker Crowe's most famous album, Juliet, hits the market Duncan raves about it on his online Crowe community website. The problem is Annie thinks it's crap and tells Duncan so in an excellently written review on the same website. Her review infuriates Duncan and gets a different reaction from recluse Tucker Crowe, an email.

Annie and Tucker begin corresponding without Duncan's knowledge and Duncan starts canoodling without Annie's knowledge. Then stuff really starts to get complicated...

Juliet, Naked was lukewarm for me. The main characters were excellent and flawed and real and just the kind of characters I love. But the secondary characters were so absent and flat it took away from the good dynamic of the main characters.

Even though this was a character driven book the plot was a major player as well. Hornby had a nice balance of plot and characters so I was invested to see what happened and to learn more about these people.

The thing that disappointed me most about this book was the ending. Don't worry, no spoilers.

This book didn't end so much as shrug its shoulders and stop telling me its story. Usually I love the open ended book. It's one of the things that makes a book stay with me. I think about what could happen after. Juliet, Naked didn't end. It just stopped. Disappointing because of the characters and plot that I thought were promising me so much.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


IMGP0919, originally uploaded by nikkilooch.

Hello, my beloveds.

I'm spending this weekend with my husband.

See y'all Monday.



IMGP0919, originally uploaded by nikkilooch.

Hello, my beloveds.

I'm spending this weekend with my husband.

See y'all Monday.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

art journal love: pretty

I have been being inspired by a new blog Dirty Footprints Studio. Here is her latest video on art journaling which is something that I'm starting to get into to stretch out and try my artistic hand. If you check her youtube account KitchenOfTheSoul you can find a lot of other journaling videos and other fun stuff.

I hope you find something today to make you smile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My dream house

When in Nurnberg, I found my dream house. From the outside at least.

This is the picturesque street that my house sits on. There are no cars allowed on this street in the old town.

This is a picture from the front. It's pink with vines growing up the side.

It sits on top of a coffee shop. If I ever get to live over a precious little coffee shop like this I think my life might be complete.

The back has a small balcony with window boxes and flowers.

But wait. It gets better.

The house sits on this river and the balcony overlooks it. I could see myself sitting outside in the summer for hours watching people cross the bridge, listening to the river and sipping coffee from the shop downstairs.

One day I'm going to find out what the inside looks like and how many millions of euros it costs to live here. Then I'm going stalk the poor, sweet people inside until they sell me their home.

I'm a firm believer in having solid plans for the future. Achievable goals.

I need to learn German.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Nurnberg

You can never have too much Nurnberg, right?

This beautiful structure is in the town square near where we stayed in Nurnberg's old town. I have no idea what it's called. But they light it up at night and it's beautiful.

We did hear on the news about it though that there's a ring on this thing. If you spin it three times then you get good luck.

I spun it. Here's proof:

I should only have one more Nurnberg post before you start to get sick of them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

All Blacks in Milan

Wow. We went to a rugby test match today in Milan: Italy vs All Blacks. New Zealand is the best national rugby team in the world and it was so cool to see them play. Plus I got to see the huka dance.

This video isn't from today's match but one in Rome.

What a great day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oldest Brats in the WORLD

Maybe not the oldest brats because that's gross. Who would want to go to Nurnburg to see crusty old meat? Not me. I admit that I like to travel off the beaten path, but still. That's a little too beat.This is the face of the oldest brat restaurant in the world.

The vines on the side had bottles going up the side of the restaurant. This signifies prosperity and the flowing of beer. All of the most prosperous establishments used to put these outside for good luck and to ward off bad times.

Did you believe that story? Because I just made it up. I have no idea why they put the bottles out there. I love to make things up. I get it from my mom. She was the kinda mom that when you asked as a kid why the sky was blue she'd say because it reflected off the ocean. Then I'd ask what an ocean was because we lived in Kansas. Except that was a story too because when we lived in Kansas I was two. So I wasn't asking for much of anything at that point except for maybe my sippy cup.

Moving onwardly.

All of the tables had the cutest lit up pumpkins resting on felt leaves. Germans know cute.

These are the brats, they are served with potato salad. The potato salad is cold but is served with brats that are firey hot, temperature wise. The bratwursts themselves were perfectly seasoned. I wish I was more well versed in what they had in them, I'm getting pretty good at recognizing flavors but haven't mastered meats. All that to say that these were freakin' good. Please go to Nurnburg and eat some.

Thank you.

I snuck a picture of the waitress to show you that they still wear the traditional garb there in the restaurant. But I didn't want to take one of her front or ask her to take one because she seemed a little upset that we asked for french fries, and that we asked for them in English.

What? Every German I've ever met except for her speaks better English that I do.

It was pretty dark inside but beautifully decorated.

My hubs snagged a picture of the cook and prep area. The cook was definitely not German. He was Asian. The brats were still outstanding and I'm sure that he was trained by the best German brat guy in the traditional brat way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ear virus

Do not panic! I am alive! It was definitely questionable there for a while if you judge from the amount of pain I was in. I have no idea what I had, some kind of virus that I caught from my husband. He had it a few weeks before me and I guess it was just so nasty it took that long hatch and infest. You're welcome for that lovely picture! Saturday the full sickness hit and yesterday I broke down and went to the doctor. Since it was Veteran's day the health clinic on post was closed.

DIGRESSION: Our health clinic is always closed. Always, always, always. One time the last summer when my husband was deployed I got a stomach virus AND scabies at the same time (thanks kids I work with!) and the clinic was closed for 6 working days in a ROW. I didn't feel like going to the doctor in the first place but I certainly wasn't going to go to the Italian emergency room to sit for hours, throwing up and itching by myself, and not understand the insults the other patients would be hurling my way. I think our clinic makes people SICKER by not being open more than it's closed and by closing at 1630 (4:30!) everyday. Because honestly we'd rather WAIT to understand the mean looks of the people in the waiting room than to get medical attention. END DIGRESSION

SO. My husband and I went and waited. When I got seen the Italian doctor told me I had a virus in my ear and gave me drops, an anti-inflamitory, an anti-biotic, pain medicine, and tummy medicine.

Wow, why did I wait so long to go to the Italian doctor? They are not shy of the medications. And I am a friend of any medication that keeps me away from pain. Lots and lots of ear pain.

Anyway, even though I was pretty sick in Nurnburg this weekend we still saw some good sights, ate excellent food (Nurnburg is known for their bratwurst), I found my dream house, saw an underdog win a heavy weight fight, enjoyed great fall sights and Christmas stuff. Nurnburg is also known for the Chirstmas markets they have there and many of the store fronts were already decorated. It was one of the cutest places I've ever been, which just solidifies my love for Germany. If I could move my dream house from Nurnburg to Dusseldorf I think my life would be complete.

Here's a few sneak peaks of some of the stories I have coming up:

I also fell obligated to give a nanowrimo update. I have not written since LAST Thursday. There's no way I'm going to write 50k this month now. But I'm ok with that and I have not given up. I have a story that is unfolding before me that I really like. I'm sticking with it even past November and into December and beyond (what? I watched The Next Generation as a kid. What's it to ya?). I'm still being encouraged by the weekly pep talks and still pushing through. I'm in such a good emotional writing state because for the first time I'm not bashing myself over the head with a cast iron skillet mentally about not writing more. I have never ONCE thought I was a failure for getting sick and not being able to write.

Leaps and bounds people!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fox on the run

Hello lovely readers. I am going out of town again today. We're going to Germany. I heart Germany. Our room at internet but I seriously doubt I'll be doing much blogging. Hopefully I'll do some tweeting though.

Here are some pictures from Germany I took over the summer to hold you over:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Milan vs Real Madrid

We saw this car with the Champions League symbol on the hood on the way into the game.

Was this Champions League game ever exciting! I tried to find some highlights on youtube but all I got was stupid music videos labelled wrong to get more hits. Usually I'm the one at the games saying, "Geez 20 minutes left? Isn't this thing over yet?" And everyone else is saying, "Geez only 20 minutes left? I never want this to be over!"

Every time we go to one of these games my husband comments on how it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to go to a Champions League game and my response was, "Unless you're Nikki."
Before the match we had dinner at a place not far from the stadium. My hubs wrote song lyrics on a napkin. He was doing it all night. He's my favorite.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a Milano

I'm going to Milan today with this guy. We're going to see the Milan vs Real Madrid game. If you are tuning in look for us in the orange section, second level.
Ciao, ciao. A domani.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009

This is my fourth year NaNoWriMoing and I am more excited this year than I have ever been. It's been such a long time since I've worked on a story. I always would guilt trip myself so bad for not writing. Then when I DID write I'd tell myself that what I'd written was trash and I'd mentally beat myself up about how everything I write is terrible and worthless just like I was. Then I'd eat spoonfuls of peanut butter dipped in a bowl of chocolate chips. What? You've never done that? Don't start. It's addicting.

But this year is different. I am more positive and have decided not to bully myself. I didn't even decide this until I read this article by Natalie Whipple. In the article she says that even if you write what you think is equal to rotten bananas it's part of honing your craft. A positive thing. A good thing even. So that's how I look at it. I'm getting the words out there and shutting up my inner critic by pressing on. When she starts nagging me I just push through. Nothing she can say to bulldog determination.
When I pulled out my shiny new laptop yesterday I had no idea, no plot, no pre-formed characters. And so far? I'm loving my story. It's amazing how your muse shows up when you do. (My muse is the holy Spirit but that's another topic for another time.) Expect more writing related posts because I am actually writing again. And boy does it feel right.