Vacation Part 3: More Istanbul

After spending time in the mosques, we branched out. Luckily we had a guide—sort of. My friend is currently studying in Ankara and met us in Istanbul. He had been there at least once before and is friends with a Istanbulite (is that the proper term? No idea, but I’m going with it). So between the two of them, we were able to successfully use public transportation and sample the night life—which included porch swings inside one of the bars. GENIUS!

We also hit up a couple nearby museums, including the Topkapi Palace and the archaeology museum a short walk away. Lots of jewels, statues, tombs, and pretty. Unfortunately, much of the palace forbade photographs.

Then, our last day consisted of a boat ride down the Bosphorus. It was strange seeing all of the really old and classic looking buildings juxtaposed with the brightly colored homes and apartments that crowded in on them. It was like in Rome—I could see the centuries-filled gap in 15 feet. That’s just something I don’t get see at home.

Now, without further adieu, MORE PICTURES!



Yep, those are super old carved stones lining the outdoor area of a café.


There was a skeleton in the FLOOR! Super neat!


Floor mosaic at the archaeology museum.


“Ehhhhhhh!” – He just exudes Fonzarelli style.


Cherubs in a cockfight. ‘Nuff said.


A very pretty doorway at the palace.


I have no clue what this little building on the Bosphorus is, but it definitely wins coolest shaped roof ever.


See? Ancient buildings next door to a multicolored building. It’s the best kind of strange that I need to see more often.



And on a final note, we saw a couple giant hollowed-out trees like this. I want to make this my outdoor reading fort.


The final vacation post is next week and will contain all the swag!

Music Monday: At First I Hated It, Now I Kinda Love It

When I first heard Matt Nathanson’s song “Mission Bells,” I hated it. The overall cheeriness in tone just clashed so much with the phrase “I had a dream you died” to me and for some reason it just grated on me. Despite my initial dislike of the overall song, I loved that phrase. And that stupid cheery melody was catchy. So, I found myself with that teeny bit replaying in my head.

Mix that with the fact that there are only two radio stations that I can stand to listen to while at work for eight hours—one of which will play this song at least a few times during a shift—results in the song worming its way deeper into my subconscious. “Mission Bells” slowly transformed into something that wasn’t too bad.

Eventually the lyrics beyond the chorus slithered into a state of recognition. All of a sudden, the song was a million times better. The verse matched the the Worm Farmcorresponding tone. Once I realized this, it was a floodgate. . . or the shattering of a worm farm to stick with the metaphor (hey, those totally exist).

The situation culminated into today: I found myself thinking, “I hope I hear that ‘I had a dream you died’ song.” And then immediately responding to that with, “wait, I hated that song a couple weeks ago. . . what the hell happened?” I’m still not 100% on an answer for that, but I do know

  1. That phrase (“I had a dream you died” –have you read that phrase enough yet? Cause it’s totes going to be in your head by the end of this. I will spread this annelid infestation! And take this metaphor too far! Muahahaha!) has stuck with me the entire time
  2. I’m now happy when it plays on the radio
  3. I can now listen to it several times in a row. I have no real number here, because I haven’t found the repeat number that makes me mad yet

Clearly, I just need to not fight against songs that hold anything interesting to me ever again. Or I will just become confused. And force metaphors to overstay their welcome. Which, please, for everyone’s sanity, let’s try to avoid. This wormy thing almost became uncomfortable.

*Ends post while singing “I had a dream you died” repetitively*

Vacation Part 2: Istanbul

After our day in Rome, we took the strangest flight into Istanbul. Seriously, we were in the fancy, albeit my least favorite, airport in Rome, when everyone was called to the check-in/boarding desk. We were prompted to go downstairs, and further downstairs, then around some corners. Finally brought to a door that led us. . . . outside? Yes, outside, where we got onto a shuttle van that drove us to the airplane. That’s right, we got onto the plane like someone famous or royal by walking up the outside stairs, lol.

We spent the next couple of days getting our bearings and looking at the famous mosques a short walk away from our hotel—which became an even shorter walk every time we went that direction as we learned the nearby streets and found short cuts :)

Hagia Sofia (Aya Sofya)
and the Blue Mosque











Next to the mosques was a park with GIANT SQUIRREL statues, despite me not seeing one real squirrel the entire time we were there. . . .

More pics to come in vacation installment #3!

Vacation Part 1: Rome

Last month I took my first trip out of the country. The destination was Istanbul, but before that, I had a day long layover in Rome! After some frustration, we found our way onto a cheap-ish shuttle bus into the city. From the bus station, we were able to walk to some of the famous landmarks nearby.


The Coliseum

The Coliseum

Arch of Constantine

Arch of Constantine

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Trajan’s Column

Trajan's Column

Fontana del Pantheon

Fontana del Pantheon

Okay, maybe this one’s more creepy than pretty.

Not sure what this is. . .

Roman ruins

Any which way you turn, there are ruins visible.


Roman pizza

And of course I had to eat some pizza. It was delicious!

Stay tuned for Vacation Part 2 later this week!

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Project for Awesome Perk: Not For Humans by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Title: Not For Humans

Authors: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy

A perk of the wildly popular Indiegogo fundraiser campaign Project for Awesome run by various Youtubers included Not For Humans by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare as a donation perk. In this short story, their independent worlds intersect. Clare’s shadow hunters find themselves in a coffee shop run by characters from Black’s Modern Faery Tale series. Told from Kaye’s point of view, we get an amusing account of opening day. Series’ favorites all make an appearance including Chase, Alec, Isabelle, and Magnus Bane from the Mortal Instruments series, as well as Kaye, Corny, Roiben, Ravus, and Luis from Black’s series. With all of those egos in one building, there’s bound to be a commotion.

Not For Humans was very amusing. I only wished it were longer! Unfortunately, this was only available to PfA supporters, but we can always hope Black & Clare will do this again for next year’s fundraiser. Or, better yet, collaborate on a set of short stories or a full novel crossover.

Learn about Project for Awesome here.

Find Holly Black online:
Website | Twitter | LiveJournal | Tumblr

Find Cassandra Clare online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr