I made a thing. I had some time so I made a thing and I now present it to you.
I made a thing. I had some time so I made a thing and I now present it to you.
Whoooooooooops. It’s been over a month since I shared my life on here. I’ve sat down and told myself to write several times, yet no words came that I wanted to share. Things have happened, life has progressed, but it seems my muse has left me for a little while.
Since I feel that my poor blog deserves better than my neglegence, I’ll give you a list of what I’ve been doing for the past week or so.
In the past nine days I have:
This isn’t really the blog post I wanted to create but at this point I just want to write something new. I was trying to think of a funny story that’s happened in the past month but my mind is failing me and as I said before, I’ve misplaced my muse and can’t seem to find her anywhere. Hopefully she’ll come back soon and I can get a real blog post up.
Over Easter weekend, a friend and I strolled the cobbled lanes, perused the finer things, basked in the sun of a warm spring day, and nibbled on buttered croissants. Where did we do this? What kind of stupid question is that. Paris, obviously! My friend Lauren and I spent a few days in the City of Love, taking in the sites and experiencing as much as possible without wearing ourselves out too much.
I was trying to think of a way to recap all of the highlights and not write 2500 words so I decided to do one of my favorite things ever and make a list.
So behold, my list of things that happened in Paris:
I know we did more but these are the biggies (read: everything I can think of at this particular moment). Paris was truly an amazing and beautiful city and I’d love to visit again someday.
Since coming home, my days have been a rather precarious mixture of radiant sun and homogeneous grey. I’ve now been in Germany just over six months and this feels like a major turning point in more ways than one. I’m trying to figure out just what my place is here and for the time being I’m not entirely sure. Plenty to look forward to of course. My sister, brother in law, and nephew will be here in 59 days and I just found out I’ll hopefully be seeing an Orlando friend even sooner than that!
So there you have it. My life at the moment. I’ll leave you with some Paris pictures:
Spring is here and better than ever. Last week the flowers started to pop up in unexpected places. They seemingly came overnight and it was enough to put a very broad smile on my face. Now the trees are starting their shy comeback to the world of the living. The birds are singing sweet hymns and everything is just awake.
This weather is so conducive to my feelings about footwear which is nice. I like to be barefoot as much as possible and wearing TOMS the rest of the time. That doesn’t really jive with cold temps. My naked feet are quite happy that winter has said its last goodbyes. Socks=get out of my life.
I got to spend last week with my mom and uncle which really put the cherry on top of my springtime sundae. (Dear sweet Jesus, I just said springtime sundae.) Of course, they didn’t get to enjoy much of the high-of-65 weather that we’re having this week (that started on their last day) but it was sunny for the duration of their visit and just having them here with me was really surreal and exciting and AHH MY LIFE IS GREAT.
Though of course the real world is ever present and I still have dumb things to do like taxes and homework and other such nonsense, I’m feeling very light these days. I’m in love with a lot of things right now that I would happily list for you but won’t because this post would quickly become novel length.
Next week my cousin will be here to finish up her latest whirlwind European adventure, then I’ll have a week of normalcy, and then I’m off to Paris for four days with a good au pair friend of mine. My semester at UCF is also ending in the next few weeks and my semester at Uni Bayreuth is starting on the 14th soooooo this month is going to be a crazy mixture of amazing and stressful and MORE AMAZING and lots of other stuff too, probably.
Sorry for the lack in posting. Life has been beautifully hectic and I don’t see that changing until maybe sometime next month. But hopefully I’ll take better care to update my blog/online journal of random thoughts more often. Note the naked feet in the picture below.
From Saturday-Monday I was Carnival-ing in Bonn and Cologne. In case you’re like me and Carnival is all new to you, it’s a few days of parties, parades, and general merriment before Ash Wednesday kicking off Lent. Cologne hosts the biggest Carnival celebration in Germany. And I was all up in it.
On Saturday, we hit up a small, local parade. It lasted about 20 minutes and was great fun. Sunday we went to a bigger Bonn parade. For any of my Bradentonians, it was quite similar in size to the Desoto Parade, around 1.5 hours. Monday we went to the mother of all Carnivals in Cologne. It was a five hour parade and wow…
Below are some facts and observations I made throughout my Carnival celebrations:
So that is what I experienced condensed into a very small nutshell. There are of course about 3,000 other things that happened but I think for those 3,000 things you kind of just had to be there.
Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:
From time to time I like to go to my old blog that I started back in 2010 when I made my move to New York. It’s interesting to read because A) it serves as a time capsule for what was happening in my life back then and B) it shows me how much I’ve changed in the last three years.
Three years isn’t such a long time and in a lot of ways, I’m virtually the same as I was then. But reading about the way I saw the world around me, how I handled certain situations, even how I wrote about my life in general… it makes me smile because I think it’s all perfectly appropriate for when you’re 18/19 but I would never write some of that stuff now, or at least not in the same way.
I’ve always known I have a flare for the dramatic. That’s not something that’s going to be changing any time soon but it makes me giggle a little when I see 19 year old representations of said dramatic flare. Take, for example, the poem that I wrote shortly after moving back home in the summer of 2011. It is an ode to making the one that wronged me feel wronged himself. I still smile when I read it because though it is no great piece of art, it’s fun to say out loud and it made me feel slightly better at the time of writing it.
Now, I’m all about people writing to feel empowered and such. BUT, when I see people writing long poems about someone that they supposedly don’t feel bad about whatsoever my first thought is always, “If you really don’t care, I wonder why you took the time to write this.” Clearly, I was not as awesome feeling as the poem would have you believe. I think I may have actually been crying at the time of writing. Yeah…
In the end, I’m really glad I have my old blog to look back on. There are a lot of things I don’t ever want to forget but as I have the memory about equivalent to that of a mouse, I’ll take help wherever I can get it.
Guess what, people! I went to the Alps after New Years. Yeah…the Alps. We stayed in the town called Garmisch. Here are some majestic mountain pictures to start you off:
I’ve never done more than drive past mountains on road trips in years past so being on a mountain was pretty amazing. On the first day I decided to go on a hike.
There are some paths on the mountains for people to walk, such as myself. The hike I did took about 45 minutes. It didn’t lead where I thought it led but that was fine because it was well marked and while I was hiking alone, there were other hikers all around so it wasn’t dangerous or anything (except I swear there were places were I SO EASILY could’ve fallen over the edge…not exaggerating). I only fell once so let’s take a second to virtually pat me on the back. That shit was slippery.
At the end of the path there was a short walk up a hill to the lifts that would take you back down the mountain. Here’s my crude drawing of the situation:
Now I COULD have walked up the down way to the right but since there was a thing to scan your badge to get into the up lane to the left, I felt like I was supposed to go that route. The chord that was pulling up the skiers was way too fast to hold onto and I couldn’t walk up on my own because it was kind of steep and very slippery. Thankfully, there was a nice, unmoving chord to the right that I latched onto for dear life.
The problem was I was still walking too slow. There were skiers coming up behind me and I was majorly in the way. To fix this, I ducked under the right chord and waiting a second to let some people by. Here would’ve been a great time to just stay on the other side and walk up but DAMN IT, I was determined to follow the rules.
After a few people went by and there was a break, I grabbed onto my trusty, stationary chord and ducked back over into the lane. Then the moving chord halted. The girl in front of me that looked to be around my age turned to me and said (in an icy tone), “That’s the emergency brake. You’re not supposed to pull it.”
I profusely apologized to which she responded by looking at me like I had just insulted her mother. All the skiers in the lane were looking around to see why they had stopped and as I was the only doofus not on skis, they figured it out well enough.
At this point it would have been really easy to duck back over to the other side and walk the rest of the way up (which I had finally come to the conclusion was the simplest and best way to have gone about the whole thing), but since the skiers were stuck there, I figured I deserved to be stuck there too. Thankfully, it started up about two minutes later.
I couldn’t hold onto what I now knew to be the HOLY AND UNTOUCHABLE EMERGENCY BRAKE but I still couldn’t walk up without holding onto something so I grabbed the briskly paced chord and had to run to keep up with it. Imagine someone looking really, really stupid (doing anything) and that’s pretty much where I was at.
I got to make eye contact with a guy as I was FINALLY leaving that godforsaken hill/lane thing and could tell that as stupid as I felt, I looked much worse. I proceeded to the lifts without further incident.
And that, my friends, is how I pissed off skiers in the Alps.
For the first time, I decided to keep a tally of the books I read throughout all of 2013. Half for the potential for this blog post to exist and half to have some kind of record of the reading that I did over the course of the year.
23.5 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green *Finished on New Years Day*
Wow this was a sad book. Beautiful and insightful. But sad as shit. I cried a lot. Like choking, dripping, leaking-from-every-orafice-in-my-face crying.
So here you are. Though I’ve never counted before, I feel comfortable saying this is the most books I’ve ever read in a year. It is also most definitely my most diverse year of reading. It took a long time for me to realize my love of reading but it truly has become pretty much my favorite thing to do. Unfortunately, I don’t get to read much while classes are in session which leads to marathon book reading weeks over break. (I read books 18-23.5 in the last two-ish weeks.)
Here’s to a great year of reading in 2014!
Charlie Brown Christmas has been a part of my Christmas time as long as I can remember. It holds a certain magic to it. It what reminds me to be happy and jolly and sentimental in a season that begs for those feelings but also pushes me to feel stressed, lonely, and depressed at times as well. While most, if not all, Christmas movies usually leave me feeling jolly, Charlie Brown is unique in that it produces those feelings by completely justifying the presence of the crappy ones. Charlie Brown is one depressed little dude.
So here’s my list of the reasons that Charlie Brown Christmas is the best Christmas movie of all:
1. As already mentioned, Charlie Brown doesn’t make you cheery by being cheery. Quite the contrary, he spends most of the special being depressed and more than a little pathetic. He’s on the outside of the group, desperately looking in.
2. He’s sassy.
3. One of the major themes is one we could never hear enough about: the commercialization of Christmas. Every year I find myself worrying about finding the right present for someone and being able to pay for it all. Hello, not quite what the holiday is supposed to be about, amiright?
All I want is what I have coming. All I want is my fair share.
4. Even though all of the characters except for Charlie Brown (and usually Linus) are obsessed with the presents, tin trees, and big holiday productions, the only time any of the characters seem happy are when they are either singing or sharing in the true Christmas spirit.
5. It shows that with a little love anything and anybody (cough cough Charlie Brown) can be seen as beautiful.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Join me in trying to not stress too much, this year. Take a chapter out of Charlie Brown’s book. Be kind to others and be so thankful for all that you have.
This goes out to all the people who have ever thought or said, “You’re in America. Speak English!” You’re a douche bag.
Here’s why: I’ve been in Germany for just shy of two months. It’s already been such a crazy, amazing, humbling experience. Before this, I had never even visited a place that didn’t speak English as the primary language, let alone live in one. Humbling is an understatement. Overnight my world became intensely complicated. Buying conditioner at the grocery store was suddenly a considerable challenge. I was too scared to ask for help for the longest time. I didn’t understand the words on the bus that explained which stop was coming up. I couldn’t understand the total amount due at the store (still can’t).
Now let me tell you a little about the culture here in Bayreuth. Almost everyone speaks English to some degree. What’s better, they’re all very willing to communicate with me, even if that means a mixture between English, German, and miming. Even with the graciousness I was met with, it was my immediate instinct (still kind of is) to clam up and stay silent. If I couldn’t find something in the store or didn’t know the German word for it, I’d go home empty handed instead of asking someone. It’s just a very scary feeling.
The idea of going through this in America is revolting to me. Way fewer people speak Spanish there than people speak English here. People sneer or make quiet comments about your inability to speak a language you had no need to know until very recently. You’re forced to adjust very quickly to a world that is completely unfamiliar to you. You don’t know the customs, the way the street signs look, every one speaks English too fast so even if you do know a few words, they’re lost in the garble of conversation. God forbid you’re a kid! You’re put in a class full of other kids which can be welcoming, cruel, or mostly indifferent and I truly feel it’s pretty random which of those you’ll get.
I have to stress the unfamiliarity here. For the first few weeks, I felt like I was not just across an ocean from home but on a different planet. It’s not that things were bad, just different than anything I’d ever known. So adding a language barrier on top of that can be a huge struggle. And on top of that, there are people in the US that for some reason think it’s every single person’s responsibility to be fluent in English the second they step on American soil. When was the last time YOU just picked up a language? Sorry, you were probably too busy petting your bald eagles and pondering your freedom while cooling your cherry pie on the open window sill to look into any inferior languages. Why bother when you can speak the greatest language of ALL TIME?!
My point is this: Don’t go off judging people in circumstances that you’ve never been even close to. Even just trying to imagine yourself in their shoes helps. Imagine being alone, scared, largely silent, and trying to adjust to a place that has just become your new home. It’s not easy. It’s not quick. Lay off and maybe find it in your red, white, and blue heart to lend a helping hand once in a while.