Monday, 27 February 2012

Girl's Night

Night Out in Raha. Just for the Ladies.

Reactions and Reviews

Here are my Oscar reactions and a couple film reviews. Good ones!

The Descendants

Midnight in Paris

Octavia Spencer, The Help
Very good job by Octavia, glad to see the Help get a win.

Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Yes, Christopher Plummer was really superb. 

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

I hear Meryl Streep gave an outstanding performance. The best should always win. Although I know may were rooting for Viola Davis and Michelle Williams.

I Have yet to see the Artist. But I think from the hype we all knew it was a shoe in.
The Artist

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Jean Dujardin, The Artist


Love this movie!
The Director gets his's point across so well and thoughtfully. The whole movie is structurally sound, yet still is very funny and quirky. I was first told of it by my mom, (it didn't have that much advertising) and then I watched the trailer, I quickly knew I was going to love it, and didn't even finish it. Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent, yes! They really couldn't have gone wrong, but the whole movie is excellent. The only thing I found a little off putting for some reason was Goran Visnjic's character of Christopher Plummer's partener. His character is well written, but he gives a truly awkward interpretation of it, and I just don't see the purpose, or where it comes from.  Other than that little slip up it's a wonderful love and other stuff story that is just sappy enough to keep your attention though the serious scenes. Watch it!


This one was ok. It was a good movie, but it almost hurt a little to watch it, because it could have been amazing. Michelle Williams was spectacular, she was Marilyn. Every scene with her, you really couldn't take your eyes off of of the screen. But pretty much every other part of the movie was sub-parr. From the fleeting cinematography, to the choppy unfinished plot/characters it just didn't savour what it really had. Nevertheless it's still worth watching to see its retro aesthetic and Michelle Williams, just don't expect too much otherwise. 

Friday, 24 February 2012


So there is no Halloween in Austria. 
But in February they do have Fasching, oh do they ever.
This is a two week event for some. Normally it only lasts for three. 
The main days are Fasching Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Not sure what happens on Sunday... (It's actually a religious holiday of sorts, so there is probably something to do with that. In fact it comes right before Lent)

Monday, for me, was a dinner with my entire town (which the youth of Hochstrass helped with) then a short comedy play by the teens in our town. We ate Sauerkraut and pork, my favourite! (Missing the Semmelknödel though.)

Tuesday is insane.
Everyone dresses up, (like Halloween).
The clubs/bars open at 8am and stay open until around 10pm at night. 
People literally start drinking at 8am in the morning. 
We had a short day of school, then went for a bite to eat and saw the parade. (And hopped on a float for a little bit, the perks of being an exchange student.)
In the bar at 2pm... so weird.
So party hard until Wednesday, when you have to give up your good food for Lent.
This is fish day.

Fasching's Tuesday is the craziest day of the year.

Finnish girl, French girl, School girl, Robin Sparkles (How I met your Mother)
Mouse and the Mad Hatter
Safari Desi, and her girafe. 
Princess and Bruno Mars 

Bauer Pfandl, literally - Farmer's Pan, (Leni's) Once again I ate mine too fast.

View from the top. 

Konni bought be a Baguette for my costume. But I think she just wanted Baguette.
Stay out until 7pm. That's usually when I start getting ready to go out. So weird.

These two in Raha were dancing on the tables and the bar... Fasching.

Goodbye Noelia :(

Noelia from Argentina left a few weeks ago and I just got the pictures from Tuuli.
The days (and nights.. ;)  ) are much quieter without our favourite little South American.
Missing you Noe.
Tuuli's amazing blog is: Happy Up Where
And now I really want a SLR Camera with a fisheye lens...
Next Christmas?

The only Spanish I know...

Indie Darling

Austria's "Emily Haines"...

Valérie Sajdik is a tri-lingual (German, English, French) popsinger that lives part time in France and the other in Austria. Love her!

Above is a video of her visiting Vancouver. What more could you want?!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Quilting Circle

Have I become an old lady?
I helped with this project a while ago for the Church in our neighbouring city, Lockenhaus.
We stitched some rice sacs together to "cover Jesus" for some part of Fasching (Austria's Carnival). It was actually a really fun short project and I got to hang out with the ladies of my town.
 Yesterday they scored a spot on the local news... Here are some pictures.
Stay tuned for my Fasching post.. it's going to be a goodie!

*Images from:

Sunday, 19 February 2012


“So, what kind of Board did you get?”
“Umm... A white one?”
My host dad’s question and my answer basically sum up the last week of snowboarding for me. 
Here is a picture of me looking like I know what I'm doing.
The powder that day was really nice. Like riding on a cloud.
Apart from the sport however, the food and rooms in the SportAlm Hotel were excellent. Really, I’m kind of known for only taking food pictures, but if that was the case last week, I would have taken a picture of every dinner. (One even included an entire leg of lamb.)

View from the Hotel

My beginning of snowboarding has not been without tears.
Sunday I did one run with my parents and I was so awful I definitely needed lessons. So, I opted for the only thing available; a two hour one on one lesson. I met Albert (Bertle, as the Austrians say. I know, weird.) my very kind and patient instructor. Yesterday was mostly falling and trying desperately to get on my toe-edge. I was (and still am a little, honestly) so scared of going straight down the hill that it really prevented me from getting anywhere that day. After the lesson of fall after fall after fall, I was exhausted. When I went to bed that night literally (no exaggeration) every bone in my body ached. I could not find a position to sleep on that did not feel like a bruise. Traditional first day of snowboarding. 
This is me.
Go to 6:30 mins. Or just watch the whole thing, hilarious.

Monday however was an emotional roller coaster, with a happy ending.
I tried once more (though I hadn’t really improved) going with my host mom up the “big kid hill.” Bah! Same as before. Sheer agony. I was so warm from always getting up after falling that I took my hoodie off and only wore my t-shirt under my coat. (Canadians don’t need that many layers.) I sat in my hotel room and had a good “poor me” cry for a half hour then went back to the little kid hill, practiced and failed and went for lunch. I Awaited my impending doom that would be the lesson after, where I would have not learnt a thing. I met up with Albert and we proceeded up the red cable car to a different mountain than I was before with my host parents. 
As the car kept going up, I kept getting more worried. I would soon have to barrel my way down this huge mountain with more bruises and sore ankles. 
Made from Marmot Fat!!
Best cream ever, love it!

We stared off where we left off. Then pretty soon a very nice flat part came and I could try my turns without fear. Then he couldn’t stop me. All the way down we refined my technique and I was really enjoying myself with all the nice powder this hill provided. I couldn’t believe that snowboarding could actually be fun. And If I can do it, anyone can, really. I only had one bad fall, where I ended up on my face mask and then my mouth. My whole face felt a little numb and tingly for awhile then Albert gave me a gummy bear and I was fine again. It really took my mind off my face and I was quickly up and running again. I have a very nice shiner/cut below my eye now to prove how cool a snowboader I am. I love it. 
Albert and I chatted a little on the way up. We obviously talked a little about movies as that’s a primary interest of mine. (It is also how I judge a person.) 
He had called the moguls “muggles” on our last run, because he did not know the German word (written exactly like “Muggle”). I instantly made the Harry Potter connection and asked him if he was a fan. No. Strike one. Lord of the Rings? Yes. Alright, so misguided, but not unfixable. He then went on to say how he preferred Quentin Taranto movies and the old spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood. Albert was alright again in my books.
I proceeded to keep on with my turns and looking like a real snowboarder. My toe-edge improved immensely, and I even started to work on curving! 
Tuesday I kept on working on what I had learnt, I was so proud of myself to be able to really get down the hill and have fun. 

Valentines = Waffles with Maple Syrup.
I approve.

No picture of mine because I ate it so fast.
Naturally, I had one with Maple Syrup.

Wednesday was terror. During breakfast the winds whipped, and the fog was so thick we couldn’t see the mountain that was only a couple hotels away. Our server said if it was her, she wouldn’t go up today. Well, being the overly scared and cautious beginner I am I was set on staying in. My family however, persuaded me into giving the hill a go before calling the day quits. Fair enough, as I wanted to practice anyway. We travelled up the Gondola and the winds shook us as we came to a momentary stop near the top of the hill. I was looking out into the fog in a silent panic as we drew nearer. We stepped out and the winds blew so hard it was quite a job to attach the bindings to my boots and keep from blowing away. On the hill it was like an arctic ghost town. The swirling tundra of fog and snow enveloped only us, as we seemed to be the only ones on the hill (shocker). I probably could have walked faster down the hill at the pace I went, but really there was no other option. I finally got down in one piece and was set on a day in the Hotel relaxing. There was no way I was going up there again.
My slight depression of quitting in the hotel was soon lifted by the arrival of my host mom who had twisted her knee so bad she couldn’t ski for the rest of the week! I was very sad for her, but at the same time it also gave my choice not to go out the justification that I was deliberating over. Unfortunate circumstances. 
When the weather is bad:
Make Art, Go to the Spa, and Eat Chocolate!

Italian Chocolate! I remember eater these every Italien lesson at Steph's.
I enjoy trying to say the quote in Italien that comes with it.
Thursday started out foggy then cleared up. My host dad went out with me and we travelled over much of the mountain range. The weather really became beautiful.

My host Dad!
Friday I started with the family again, but somehow my feet started hurting again, Maybe too much snowboarding? I also started to realize that my boots were too big, had my feet shrunk, or perhaps it was always that way? (If you’ve ever snowboarded, you know how important it is to have good fitting boots.) I think it was that the cables that tightened the boots kept loosening. Either way, I did a few runs of the kiddie hill, got board, then tried my favourite hill on my own. It was  calm sort of day, I just relaxed and practiced and took pictures. I am so not hard core, (unlike my host family). 

The week was wonderful and winterful, which I really needed to get into the mood for spring. I am done with winter and ready for flowers and sundresses! 
I am so lucky to have a great host family that takes we so many places. I am really getting the full Austrian experience!

On the ride Home..