Tag Archives: music

One Week of Learning

Bună ziua (hello)! I’ve been in Romania for almost a week now, and here is a bit of what I’ve learned so far:

1. Streets don’t need names displayed.

You can just use landmarks. We were walking on the streets in Iasi with our Romanian friend, we’ll call her Mary, and she was showing us how to get somewhere. She said something like “when you get to this street, you turn left.” I asked her what the name of the street was and she said “I don’t know, you just turn left here at this building.” Then I noticed that there were no street signs, so I asked her about them. She said “It’s not like there in America with fancy street names you can read. Sometimes you will see a street name on a building, but you don’t need them.” And she was right! It’s been a week and we’ve figured out how to go many places, just by using landmarks.

2. Trams don’t need flashing lights.

Just be aware! Right outside my window there is a big traffic circle, with tracks running right through it. When a tram comes, it just comes and cars have to notice it. And they do! I haven’t seen an accident yet! And when you are walking, you walk right across them, and if you see a tram coming, you just have to stop. Even kids know this – I saw two young girls walking around, and they looked, stopped, and waited for the tram to pass before they crossed. Yes, they were standing very close to it, but still. No flashing lights to warn them, they just knew. We just need to be observant. I think that’s how it should be.

Iasi Tram

3. Make linguistic mistakes.

I told my Romanian neighbor and friend, Bianca, that we had onions and pepper for dinner…not what I meant to say. I couldn’t figure out why she was laughing, until she was able to collect herself and explain it to me….boy, that would’ve been disgusting! It took me less than 24 hours to make my first real Romanian linguistic mistake…it took me about a year in ASL. Romanian is hard!

4. ASL is not a substitute for Romanian.

I am struggling to learn Romanian, even though I am practicing every day. When I am out and about, I find myself using ASL (American Sign Language) when I don’t know the Romanian word for something…not my best tactic, I know. It turns out alright, though…I start with English, then pause as I try to think of the Romanian word. During that pause, I use ASL, and when I see that it’s going nowhere, I use gestures, which seems to work itself out. I just really need to learn Romanian….fast!

5. Skittles taste better in Romania. And so does chocolate.

My friend Emily said that the US probably has some FDA regulation about candy tasting too good. I might have to agree. I mean, why does European chocolate ALWAYS taste better than American? It’s just not fair. At least I can enjoy it while I’m here. And the Skittles…I don’t know how to describe it, but let’s just say they have a more intense flavor. 

6. American music is popular worldwide.

I didn’t realize how far American music travels! At the mall on our first day, we heard songs from Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Carly Rae Jepsen, and people I don’t even know, but I know the songs. Oh, and most of the songs aren’t censored. Also, at the orphanage we are volunteering at, they have the radio on. The DJs are talking in Romanian, but playing American songs in English. I was pretty excited when Return to Innocence by Enigma came on, that’s for sure!

7. Not everything needs to be told.

Some people asked me to update my blog all the time about everything I do. First of all, ain’t nobody got time for that. Second thing, you don’t have time to read that. Third, I want to keep some of these experiences between me, the other people who are here with me, and my journal. Not everything needs to be told. Yes, I will update y’all about what is going on in general, or specific trips that I make. However, a lot of things that happen, you may never know about unless you sit down with me, or call me on the phone, and ask to talk about it. My roommate, bless her heart, is a Freshman and I don’t think she’s lived away from her family for very long. It’s been 7 years for me, so we are just on opposite ends of the college spectrum. However, I love her! She Skypes or emails her family every day, I think…and sometimes when stuff happens, like dinner becomes a disaster, she says “I have to tell my mom what just happened!” and I’m over here like “I’ve ruined so many dinners in my lifetime, my mom wouldn’t expect anything less.” Home will be there when I get home. For now, I’m living in the moment, and loving it!

8. WiFi is not essential.

I do feel that internet is essential, especially because I have assignments to do for my internship here in Romania. However, there are other things to do besides being on the computer. In my apartment, we have a USB that connects us to the internet. If my roommate is using the USB, I have to wait until she is done. That happens a lot, considering my point above, and I’ve come to not mind so much. I find myself doing things like studying Romanian, writing in my journal, and reading. If we had wifi, then my iPhone AND my computer would always have internet, and I’d just be on Facebook all the time, probably. I think that when I move back to Texas in June, I will not have WiFi on my list of essentials as I look for my new abode. I think I could settle for USB internet. 

9. It’s important to make it feel a little bit like home.

I’m this far from home. I don’t know how many miles it is…..but I’m this far:

I left Utah (A on the above map) and 30 hours later I am in Iasi, Romania (B on the above map). However, Texas will always be home, and flamingos will always be “me,” so I brought that part with me. No matter how far I am from home, I have a little piece of home with me. 

Piece of HomeI think it’s important to take familiar things with you when you travel. That way, when you get “home” after a long day, it feels like home. And I foresee many long days ahead of me for the next 3 months.

10. Bread is hard to cut without a bread knife.

Yes, we could just buy a bread knife..but we’d rather save money. Well, considering how cheap the bread is, we can probably afford a bread knife. This beautiful loaf (pictured with my beautiful roommate) was only 2.50 lei (75 cents).


It is some of the most delicious bread I’ve ever had! We bought a smaller and more expensive loaf today, which is easier to cut with the knife we have…but we ended up just tearing pieces off, anyways. I love the abundance of fresh food here. 

I know I still have a lot to learn. I’ve only been here a week, and I have 11 weeks left!

Here’s to a lifetime of learning ahead!

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Music in the Mornin’

I am very grateful for my job, because it gives me the money I need to pay rent…and because I have great co-workers…and because I can just listen to my iPod the whole time…but honestly, I’d be totally happy with no job while I am in college, or even just a different job. I work early morning custodial on campus…early morning meaning 4am-7:30am Monday through Friday. KILLER.

On the upside, I get to listen to my iPod the whole time! I listen to podcasts, audio books, and music…Yesterday I read (well, listened to) James and the Giant Peach…such a great book!

Today was a music day…here’s a little taste of it. 

First was Siobhan Magnus!

Here’s Black Doll by Siobhan Magnus…

After I listened to all 20 Siobhan songs I have (which is all of them….I am pretty much obsessed with this awesome girl), I turned to Madonna for a little bit…

Here’s Vogue by Madonna…

After about 7 songs I switched over to Sinead O’Connor.

Here’s Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor…

After the 11 songs I have of hers, I had about 20 minutes left, so I decided it was time for Dolores O’Riordan.

Here’s Human Spirit by Dolores O’Riordan

Have a fantabulous day!

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Quick Update

It’s been so long because I’ve had so much to do and not enough desire to do it all!

But anyways…here’s some highlights…

I’m officially going to girl’s camp! I’m a stake leader! An assistant stake leader! How fancy is that??…I’m in charge of all the certification…and I get to do all the “trashy” jobs and errands that Raspbana and nuTTa buTTa don’t wanna do…YAY!!

My two favorite songs right now are:
Zombie by The Cranberries
The Icicle Melts by The Cranberries

My uncle is out of jail!

I’ve been with Lukie all weekened…it’s been a blast! The girls went with their mom to Vegas to spend time with their dad, who’s on his big motorcycle trip. We’re about to leave to go get the 3 girls from the airport!

My date with BF2 is this Saturday! We’re very excited!

I’ve been busting my butt with biology lately….my class is almost over. I’m taking my final tomorrow!

Simon recently returned from visiting my Grandma!


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I’ve been listening to some new music lately…not necessarily new to the music scene…just new to me!

lala.com is a great site! I discovered it a few weeks ago and I’m hooked…go check it out!

Anyways…here’s one of the artists I’ve discovered recently…

The Ting Tings…one of my favorite songs of theirs is “That’s Not My Name”….click HERE to listen to it (and other songs by them)! And HERE’S a link to the lyrics!

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Have I Done Any Good?

My favorite hymn is #223. It’s titled “Have I Done Any Good?”

Go here to hear the song… CLICK HERE

Here’s the lyrics…

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
’Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.

Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

Text and music: Will L. Thompson, 1847–1909, alt.

The scripture references that go along with this song are:

James 1: 22, 27
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Alma 9:28
Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall reap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ; and if they have been evil they shall reap the damnation of their souls, according to the power and captivation of the devil.

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Here’s Your Sign

I know it’s not Christmas, but I had my iPod on shuffle today and one of my favorite songs came on….so I looked up the lyrics and copied and pasted them instead of typing them all up….so here ya go!

You can click HERE  to listen to it, too!

Artist: Bill Engvall
Song: Here’s Your Sign Christmas


I took my son to the mall the other day to see Santa Claus
The woman in line behind me says “hey is that Santa Claus up there”?
I said “no ma’m, it’s a Kenny Rodgers stunt double”

Here’s your sign

The other day I bought a wreath to go on our front door
as I was walking out the store a man stopped me and said
“hey, are you going to hang that on your door”?
I said “no sir, it’s a Christmas toilet seat cover, got the idea from Martha Stewart”

Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
You acted dumb, so have some fun and wear your stupid sign
Oh! Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
you lost your mind, so pay the fine and wear your stupid sign

I hung those little Christmas lights on my house, you know the kind that blink on and off
My neighbour comes over and says
“Bill how do you get those to blink on and off like that”?
I said “I’ve got my son inside plugging and unplugging it, plugging and unplugging it”

Here’s your sign

I took my family to buy a Christmas tree the other night
When we walked onto the lot this guy walked up to me and says
“hey, y’all here to buy a Christmas tree?”
I said, “no sir, my son needs to go to the bathroom and these trees looked really inviting”

Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
You acted dumb, so have some fun and wear your stupid sign
Oh! Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
you lost your mind, so pay the fine and wear your stupid sign
Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
have no fear when you’re spreading cheer during Christmas time

The other night my family and I were walking through the neighbourhood looking at all the Christmas decorations
when we came across this house that had a manger scene
now there was this whole group of people looking at it when I overheard this one guy say
“hey, are those the Three Wise Men”?
I said “no sir that’s ZZ Top doing a farming concert

Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
You acted dumb, so have some fun and wear your stupid sign
Oh! Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, Here’s your stupid sign
you lost your mind, so pay the fine and wear your stupid sign

Here’s your sign, Here’s your sign, here’s your stupid sign
(have no fear when you’re spreading cheer during Christmas time)

And finally my wife and I were in a grocery store the other day and I heard a woman ask the clerk
“do you know what time Midnight Mass starts on Christmas Eve”?
And in the holiday spririt I walked over and said “Here’s your sign”

Happy holidays everybody!

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My Car Music

So I made a(nother) CD for my car…..here’s the songs…….they’re basically my favorites. Of couse there’s more favorites of mine, but here’s these….(click on them to hear them!)

Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangels

On The Radio by Regina Spektor

99 Red Balloons by Nena

Billy Joe McGuffrey by Veggie Tales

Walking on Snow by Jordin Sparks

Paper Cut by Vanessa Hudgens

Once Upon A Dream (from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty…i couldn’t find an audio clip….but it’s the one from the movie not a remake or anything)

Crazier by Taylor Swift

All I Want to Do by Sugarland

Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield

Eensy Weensy Spider by Insideout A cappella (this isn’t the whole song, sadly…the rest that you can’t hear is hilarious!)

Come Clean by Hilary Duff

Ice Cream Freeze (Let’s Chill) by Hannah Montana

At The Beginning by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis (from the movie Anastasia)

Running by David Archuleta

Zombie by The Cranberries

Ever Ever After by Carrie Underwood

Like Whoa by Aly and A.J.

You Learn by Alanis Morissette

Feelings Show by Colbie Caillat

Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

My Hands by David Archuleta

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