Tuesday, July 31, 2012

fringo: (n) gringo friends

if you study abroad you should realize that you will only have other gringo friends. i mean, i have only been here for a week, so it makes sense. so when i say in this post i am going to show you pictures of my friends, dont expect to see Chileans. expect to see one girl with dark curly hair and, well, that´s me.

pictured here is my friend Brandon (they spelled his last name wrong) on our metro or tren passes. the reason we took our picture together was that we looked like giraffes with the light cutting off half of our face. bonding on public transportation. and for the reccord, i might just be a pro at the colectivos (lack luster taxi) but i will never like the micro (bus) drag racing masters drive those things.

banano, the fanny pack or the banana shapped purse. wearing them proudly because in the states, this is a screaming tourist item, but here, bananos are quite popular. Pictured, Meghan, Me and Kait.

the roomies from Santiago.  sounds like a band. minus the photographer Mary. she took this with one of her really cool camera that printed out the pictures. Kami is the one in the middle on the left. the first one was a double exposure but i happen to find it wicked cool.


sometimes studying abroad is strenuous. and by sometimes, i do mean all the time. all of your thinking in a different language comes from your back muscles. oh yea. so this train is more than necessary. poor Pablo walked in on this, he didn´t know what to do so he just gave us our visa papers.

the wino ladies. wine tour was wonderful, vino tinto y blanca. our tour guide was really nice and explained everything very well and the vinyard was just beautiful. something to mention with the alcohol consumption in Chile, being drunk is 100% not acceptable, the only people you see abusing alcohol and being visabally tanked... the gringos. people need to learn the ways of Chile.

enjoy the time,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pablo Neruda sin duda

I can see why Pablo Neruda was over come with inspiration here. The open air is accessible from every house, the metro stations (with the exception of Vina del Mar which opens to the sky like the DC Dupont Circle Orpheus rising out of Hell) and so far I have seen two of his houses. The first one we visited was in Santiago was built for his curly headed mistress (La Chascona)and was built to resemble the feel of a boat.
This picture does not do the house justice, but you, my dear reader, needed to see the front. And you needed to see the resident Chasonas. Here is an internal view.
La Chascona
I loved the art work surrounding his house and the green living room with the Diego Rivera double headed picture with Pablo´s silhouette.Can you see it?

I also liked how the house was seperated into four locations that required walking outside to enter. The last room was full of maps and globes and books had a great view of the cascading steps. The second house, La Sebastiana, in Bellavista, Valparaiso was certainly it´s name sake, and a beautiful view.
This house was stacked on top of eachother rather than spread out and had six floors. The narrow wrap staircases were fun to traverse but maybe not for a tall or wide person... Neruda? Now that I think about it, there is no way they got the furniture up through the house. There were more windows in these rooms which I loved but a lot more gaudy decore. His book of odes was written in this house and I couldn´t help send some love to Joel and his alcochofas.

The top floor was the meeting point for all the ISA students and everyone had their backs turned from the room stairing out into the mix of houses, lazy cats roaming the cobblestone streets, cozy cafe´s nesseled between mosaic trees and rising behind all,the green teal of the Pacific tossing boats to and fo. The phrase I kept hearing was "I could be a poet if I lived here too" Maybe that is true but we do live here and nothing is stopping you from being a poet but yourself.

Art is everywhere in Chile because no one is afraid.

If my computer worked here,I could have better pictures. These are all from facebook. Sorry to disapoint you.

¡Vive Chile!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

falling in love in a coffee shop

coffee shops are great places to think about stuff. and to journal. and to listen to sappy music. and to watch the storm brewing outside. and to pretend you're sophisticated. and to be alone without being lonely. and to daydream about traveling. and to escape from the craziness of your house. and to make pointless blog posts like this.

embrace the laziness.
with love,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"slow down, feel love"-grassroots 2012

^see this cup? it pretty much defines the grassroots festival of music and dance. happiness. randomness. colorfulness. eclecticness. every year they have a new cup, and when you bring back your old one, you get discounted drinks! what a great deal.

basically, this was one of the best weekends of my life. never have i ever felt so completely connected to music before. the band in the picture above is john brown's body. they're a reggae band with a dave matthews feel....so basically they're perfect. their concert was friday night at midnight and they played for almost 2 hours. this might sound strange, but i definitely think i was having an out-of-body spiritual experience during this concert. i was jamming out in the very front with emma and jane; my body was completely controlled by the rhythm of the music. i don't think i've ever danced like that in my life. i was brought to a whooolllleee new musical level that night. it also helped that another jam band, sim redmond, played right before JBB-and they, too, were wonderful.

the thing i loved most about this festival was that even though i had barely heard of any of the artists before, i enjoyed their performances almost more than when i see artists i've liked forever. this is because of 3 reasons: 1) you have no expectations because you don't know what their music is like so you're pleasantly surprised when they're really, really good. 2) EVERYBODY dances to the music. it doesn't matter what the genre is, literally everyone is grooving in one form or another. and 3) i could easily make my way to the front of the stage and completely immerse myself in the music.

another cool thing about this festival is that most of the performers actually camp out on site. i didn't even do that! but they hang around for all 4 days to support the other artists. you would see them with their families wandering around, and it was refreshing to know they have normal lives, too. i even got to talk to the drummer of the makepeace brothers for 15 minutes after their show because he was just that type of guy to talk to 3 random girls about music. 

not only was everyone consistently dancing, but everyone was HAPPY. so happy. i'm convinced this place was happier than disney world-and that's saying a lot!!!  

my favorite artists/performances from the festival: john brown's body, the makepeace brothers, driftwood, the gunpoets, thousands of one, sim redmond band, willie watson and the zydeco band. can't stop listening to their CDs in my car. i'm SO glad i went to the festival, and i'm already looking forward to next summer!!

peace out,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

los andes

this post is already difficult to write. code switching. I want to write this in Espanol. but lamentations aside, this was what I woke up to. our delayed flight to Santiago (after 7 flight changes and refusing to allow us to board) was so satisfying. not to mention the adorable Paulita that I sat with. she told me el espiritu de Christo connected us and she told me everything there is to know about her country. she moved to the USA 23 years ago but visits her familia in Santiago a lot. the man Meghan sat beside wrote the audio tour for the Valparaiso Pablo Neruda house museum. life is really, really awesome. 

this is the opening stretch of los andes and la cordillera (which means backbone) that stretches all through South America and Central America and supports the other mountain ranges. being a geography nerd comes in handy when in a country that is known for its natural features. 

Mount Aconcagua. it has been one of my dreams to climb the tallest mountain in the Americas, standing at 6,959 m (22,831 ft) but from the global climate change, who know how tall it will be. so feast your eyes on this beauty. breathe in this beautiful sunrise (salida de sol)

un lago (a lake) under los andes about 7 minutes away from the Santiago airport. there is a phrase in Espanol that means from sunrise to sunset, de sol a sol, from dawn to dusk. such an appropriate phrase for Chileans who are so welcoming to every aspect of their life, ready and willing to exchange a compliment or a conversation. needless to say, i love it her. 

stay beautiful, 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

impromptu creativity

everything hit me tonight as i was sitting in my car, watching the heat lightening brighten the dark orange night sky. yes. it was orange, i swear. i chugged down a medium caramel iced coffee with cream AND sugar from dunkin' donuts within 10 minutes. needless to say, there will be no sleeping in hillary's room tonight. i was sad and here are my sad thoughts in a crappy & short creative writing piece.

like a shooting star that lit up my world briefly, in the blink of an eye it disappeared. the image in my mind still reamins and i think of that glimmer often. something. i don't know what, but i think it was something. shooting stars are a sign, right? i struggle to find meaning behind a lot of things and i give up after awhile. but i'm still trying to find meaning for that flickering flame. it cast shadows in my room, giving me future reflections and hopeful memories. how can time stand still yet go so fast at the same time? i guess that's one mystery in life that won't be solved, along with your lingering presence. the timing in my life is always off, but i know there's a meaning behind everything that seems wrong. i wanna dive in. float for awhile, sink for awhile, drown out the fear for awhile. i wanna stay for awhile. i'm not ready to go, but i know it's time that i leave for awhile. as much as i want to wait for something to happen here, i need to make something else happen there, first. but maybe like a shooting star i'll linger, too. and maybe i have a shimmering presence that will remain, if only for a little. but maybe i'll be a permanent star that stays forever. just maybe.

sweet dreams,


today our toaster oven almost bit the dust. it is 27 years old. a wedding present for my parents. 
but it worked so i toasted pretzel breadsticks. 

my cousins came to visit and send me off and talked only in brittish accents. 

i read a packed about re-entry culture shock for when i get back to the usa. it frightened me and the moral of the packet is that i will hate everything and everyone so in turn, everyone and probably everyone will hate me. 

i will stop kayaking for a phone call ONLY if it is my spanish professor calling. he is the only one worthy. 

finishing the last hunger games book left me really wanting cheesy bread. also i started hearing helicopters in my back yard. but then there actually was a helicopter in my yard so there... 

rather than packing i just looked up acoustic covers to rage against the machine songs... 

life is weird. 

enjoy your song of the day (night)

well done world, 

Friday, July 13, 2012

days of craze

When I think about writing a Bon Voyage post, this is what I see in my mind..

So, I could start with my excuses for why I haven't blogged in a while, but no one actually reads these, so that would be wasted energy and I need all the energy I can get.

Today is my sister's rehearsal dinner for her wedding. Gasp. This is a rather large deal. And I haven't even decided which Artist to mock my outfit from.

I took some pictures of my sister and her fiance... always a word I have a problem with... maybe you do too... let's solve it once and for all.

Fiance is a male. A man who is engaged to be married is called his partner's fiancé.
Fiancee is a female. A woman similarly engaged is called her partner's fiancée.

The French...

Anyway, I will share a quick photo of the couple and then I must go make a cup of coffee. Time is of the essence and I haven't started to pack for Chile... Well, I made a pile of what I want to take... Oy.

More pretty pictures to come.


Monday, July 9, 2012

song of the day

wolfmother "vagabond"

road trips. of all those dreams of being a traveling vagabond. a wondering wanderer. this song makes me think of those spontaneous road trips that define the summer season. whether you're alone or with a close friend, road trips are always soothing for the soul-you feel like you can escape reality, even just for a little bit, by waving your hand through the wind out your window, screaming the lyrics to your favorite song, and sipping on some iced coffee.

be free,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

classy cooking

I needed dinner. So I made dinner. I grabbed some whole wheat bread, some skim milk, an egg white, some cinnamon and whisked together some magic stuff. Slapped my bread on the skillet and went to town. 

So after the golden fluffy bread was toasted to near perfection, I realized that French Toast is nothing with out the Oh La La aspect... the toppings. So here is one way to jazz up your French Toast... PB&J style. 

and.....  Ooh La La! 

Je ne comprends pas français,

Come on yall, get happy.

The Happy List 

  1. black and white photographs
  2. arranging rearranging re-rearranging my room
  3. art nouveau 
  4. pop rock, *muah*
  5. francisco, francisco
  6. blue can make you blue
  7. coral lips of luscious puckering ability 
  8. that moment where you find that music beat that in in sync with your heart
  9. coffee mornings and cool white snuggle sheet moments
  10. mangy monkey mooching mango madness v pesky pernicious papaya pilfering puppies

and your bonus happy fact....
11. "Beards on the chins of the weak and undeserving make them hot"

go tell someone you appreciate them,
and take a few black and white photos,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eh Hee

the Gatorade I had tasted like melted blue jello. but it probably saved my life. 
in the heat I remember turning to Rob and saying, "if I pass out in the middle of Dave, slump me over the fence and continue to watch the concert." it was hot, really hot. 100*, 87% humidity, curls plastered to your face, sweat dripping down your spine, hot. for those who know me, I have a 0% tolerance policy for hot weather. 70* is just too warm for me. I am a 60s girl (double entendre implied) so there must have been a very good reason that I stood outside in the blistering sun, burning my retinas, holding on to my man when I felt dizzy, and sweating profusely for 6 hours.  

it was D-Day. 

Dave Matthews Band was in Hershey Park Stadium on June 29th, 2012. 
Oh yea, and some band called the Head and the Heart opened for them... 

it was the best day ever. 

after debating if I could drink a container of buffalo sauce from Arbys with out puking, Rob and I went went to the concert early and walked around the dmb booths, all part of Daves green innitiative and also his ongoing project to get America informed. The booths were offering subscriptions to the NYT, registration to vote, Brita to eliminate plastic bottles, dmb guitar picks, flower seed cards and the VW green powered camera to document your D-Day. 

then it was time to mingle with the Dave folk. before the concert we ran into one of Rob's friends who said dmb concerts consist of Bros kickin' in South African Style. He meant it as an insult but he is so right. I love how friendly everyone is. people go to Dave concerts because they want to see Dave. Dave people stick together. we stood beside a long time Warehouse member who liked my idea of marketing a Dave tattoo booth and contributed his own concert money maker, the Dave Diaper, emblazoned with the Fire Dancer (see picture to the right) on your butt. now we will never have to leave the show... you laugh because you know it's a good idea. then a girl passed out from heat exhaustion. told you it was hot. 

then it was time for The Head and the Heart and when Charity Rose started screaming "River and Roads" my heart melted and everyone started screaming for her screaming and then everyone got quiet to hear her scream some more and remembering the screaming makes me want to scream now and when music makes you want to do that, you know it's good. the band only has one album so they played most of their songs and I have a feeling a new album is due because this was their last concert traveling with Dave. Too bad. They have such great mojo. Winter song was probably my favorite because nothing is better than live screaming harmony. well maybe there is one thing better... 

that one thing is Dave. Here is the opening dialogue..

Audience: *SCREAMING*
Dave: "Did you get a hair cut?"
Audience: *SCREAMS*
Dave: ".... did you shave? You look different. You look good, I mean very nice. You look delicious."
Dave: "You look shiny" 

the he opens with Eh Hee. 
after Eh Hee he walks up to the microphone and says, "Helloo"
then goes right into the deep drums of Seven. 

rather than spend too much time depicting and verbal vomiting the reasons I am in love with Dave, I will pick my favorite thing about each song he played at the concert. 

1. Eh Hee- the line, "Praise God who has many names but the Devil has many more" watch the music video for a true depiction of the lunacy of normality. 
2. Seven- when he sings "Red is the color of the sun with my eyes closed" he kills all the lights and turns them all red. 
3. Big Eyed Fish- the message. things are not brighter on the other side. if you're a fish, be a fish, a human, be a human, a monkey, stay up in your monkey tree. 
4. Bartender- this is Dave's song to show his journey through Christianity. the lyrics are brilliant. it is the meat and potatoes of the religious flow of his song choices through this concert. 
5. Stay or Leave- "Wake up naked, drinking coffee, making plans to change the world." need I say more?
6. Shake Me like a Monkey- everyone loves this song. even nondavefans. it is proven fact. this song just makes you wanna act like a monkey. 
7. Crush- ba doom doom do doot doot do, ba doom domm do doot de doo. just listen to the bass. I mean, you crush me. 
8. The Riff- a new song from his album that will be released September 11th. I love his vibrato shaky voice here
9. You and Me- well this was just awesome because I was with the you to my me (thanks for the tickets Roberto   ) 
10. Shotgun- this song has ever changing lyrics that change when Dave sings them about different situations. it was first written about his sister anne who was murdered by her husband and then he committed suicide. he also sings a different version for Leroi. just a powerful song and I wish I could remember the lyrics we heard. 
11. Danging Nancies- this was Rob's favorite song. and I loved seeing him love it. 
12. Warehouse- dancing the modified cha cha to the chorus beat to this jam. 
13. Mercy- NEW SONG! gentle and sweet, had an old dmb feel.
14. Out of My Hands- hands down one of his best songs. the religious tones! all wrapped up here. 
15. Why I Am- all dmb fans scream this as a tribute to Leroi. I wish I could have seen him in concert! but I sang up to the sky for him. 
16. Greystreet- my high school anthem. this was my mindset throughout high school and this was the first song that made me obsessed with dmb. 
17. Don't Drink the Water- the only song I wanted Dave to play. I was talking about this song with everyone around and I went crazy when he hit the first note. the seamless integration into This Land is Your Land in his studio recording is brilliant. 

18. Ants Marching (Cut Short because of severe storm warnings)- But this is such a Dave anthem and the message of equality is not preached it is lived out. We all do it the same way. 

so not only did I survive Dave, but I also had one of the best nights of mi vida. after getting the boot by the thunder claps, and drinking blue jello to replenish my soul, Rob made me pepperjack queso and we tanked a bag of tortilla chips while watching Lord of the Rings: Two Towers. 

life is short but sweet for certain, 

a poem (1)


never express
or digress
gravel for miles
in sunshine showers
tree covered hills
where a secret spills
of madman chatter
and nothing is sadder
than things unseen
or forgotten dreams

I want to live in Roanoke someday--
they seem to be everywhere, in almost every state,


Sunday, July 1, 2012

funny the way it is. . .

This post goes by the title "funny the way it is. . ." for 2 reasons; reason number one is obvious...it's a dave song and Rach just experienced D-Day with the fab Rob (shout out to my main hoe's BF). Reason number two is because of the night I had last night. Life seemed funny...ironically funny, cynically funny, seriously funny, and stupidly funny.

Yesterday was a day like any other this summer...sleep in a little, wake up and make some food, lay out if it's nice and read a book, or do something productive like write and essay or clean my room.  My mom and I spent a good chunk of the day cooking food for my cousin Shawn's early 4th of July party, but this whole cooking thing has started to become a part of my daily routine. There's something so relaxing and meditative about it. But anyway, I go to this party with my mom.  My brother isn't there, and neither is my cousin Melissa, and they are usually my go-to hanger-outers (i like to make up words).  So I chill with my mom, my gma, and my aunt.  I have a few wine coolers. It's weird because this is the first time I've ever had a drink in front of the whole fam...normally it's just my ma. Then comes the annual volleyball tourney.  I usually just watch but I was feelin' it this time. I honestly think I should have played volleyball in HS instead of soccer...and even slightly tipsy I was still rocking the court (not to toot my own horn or anything but i was totally schooling my cousin and all his guy buddies).  This may seem like a normal thing to you, but to me, this family picnic was funny because A: I was drinking, B: I was playing volleyball and loving every second of it and C: everyone was acting like this was all normal behavior for me.  I think this day was a slap-in-the-face...but in a good way.  I think I finally reached that level of comfortability around my family that I can just be me and not care what they think. I mean, hey, they are my family after all so I'm probably like them a lot more than I ever realized.  As a youth (as in HS), I would have never dreamed of playing volleyball with the boys.  Normally I'd sit there with a book and make small talk with the adults.  This day showed me that I really am a different person.  Not necessarily different, I've just finally reached the point in my life where I am completely comfortable being me.

The second part of the night that was funny was hanging out with high school friends.  First of all, rach and kelc know how much I loved to talk about HS all last school year-but not in a good way.  There were so many things wrong with my high school that I actually kinda forgot about all the good times, and there were so many! Looking back, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better group of friends or a grade to spend my years growing up with.  I think I loved to put down high school because college really is a lot better for a lot of reasons.  But thinking about it now, there isn't a real reason I should bash my high school years. I took those years for granted. All the plays, musicals, foot ball games, homerooms and soccer practices seemed like nothing, but now I know they were a part of my past that helped me become the person I am today. Funny when looking back nothing is as bad as it seems/ed.  I've grown apart from my high school friends-this is a definite. But we grew apart in a way that's supposed to happen.  By growing apart, we were all able to become the person we are meant to be in our lives right now.  I was finally able to step out of the shadow I spent most of my past walking in, and I can finally be Hillary and not care what any of my girl or guy friends think.  This became evident when I went to a small gathering at my cousin's house and honestly, the entire time, I didn't once worry about what anyone else was thinking about me.  I can truthfully say this was NEVER the case in the past.  I used to spend every second of every day worrying about their opinions of me.  But I'm finally comfortable enough with myself that I can actually BE myself. It's weird. It's funny. It's refreshing. It's kinda lovely.  I realized that these people are still in my life for a reason.  I could have easily written them  off the second I stepped foot into Shaw dormitory, but I allowed them to remain a part of my present, not just a portion of my past.  We can finally sit around, talk and laugh without any drama.  There really wasn't ever any drama, but it's that 'feeling' of drama that always permeated the air at parties like this.  Everyone would be worried about "who liked who" or who did what last week at school, etc, etc. But instead, it was a completely chill night...reminiscing on the past, talking about our potential futures, sharing funny college stories, and all getting along and being true friends without any weird boundaries or thoughts about our words/actions.  Even though we don't see each other every day like we used to in the past, I almost feel closer to this group of people more than I ever have before-and it's because we can all be ourselves, get along, and not think anything of anything. I could be Hillary. Megan could be Megan. Josh could be Josh. Bryce could be Bryce. Zack could be Zack. Leslie could be Leslie. Rambo could be Rambo. Martin could be Martin. Joe could be Joe. And no one cares. No one cares or judges who you are anymore. We just exist. And smile. And laugh. And catch up. Because we've all realized that wasting our time judging each other or thinking too much about other people is pointless. Life is too short to be anything but happy. It's the cliche truth.

Hopefully this will give you inspiration to realize that your high school friends are always gonna be your friends for a reason.  There's just a common understanding that you all basically come from the same place. And you need to stick together, even if you aren't "close" (using both definitions) to each other anymore, sometimes you just need nights like this to remember that you'll always have each other.  They'll always be there to talk about dumb things that happened at a birthday party in MS or that championship football game.  They'll be there to understand you when you talk about the Amish family that lives next door, or all laugh at the way people who go to Westminster pronounce Volant (because they are totally wrong every single time). It's the little things that keep people together, even if you aren't as close as you were before. In retrospect, none of the drama from the past matters anymore.  None of the dumb arguments or disagreements from HS matter. We're all different (but relatively the same) people who can happily coexist.  It's funny the way things work out. It's funny that I thought I would feel weird spending time with this group of people, but ended up loving every minute of it. Life is funny.

i ramble too much,
<3 hill