13 Things That Make Me Feel Like the Crypt Keeper

I graduated a couple of months ago. I immediately began working full-time at my job (an English major with a full-time job in her field right out of college…suck it haters) and found myself settling into a routine that made me feel older and older.

Now, my roommate (who’s the same age as me) and I have come up with a list of things that make us feel older than our driver licenses tell us we are.

  1. I got a full-time desk job.
  2. I set up up a retirement plan (401K).
  3. I have to schedule my grocery trips days in advance because I’m too busy.
  4. I need to schedule repairs on my house and every time I do, I have to decide if it’s worth taking time off work or living with whatever’s broken.
  5. I see my best friend, who I live with, more during our lunch breaks than at home.
  6. When I spend time with friends, it often includes things like doing taxes together or having them help me set up a 401K.
  7. I get really interested in podcasts now.
  8. A trip to Lowe’s for a new light fixture is something I’ll be excited about for days.
  9. I use “I have to get up in the morning” as a real, bonafide reason not to do things during the week.
  10. I use my weekends to furiously clean, do laundry, grocery shop, and sleep.
  11. In a similar vein, I don’t like to drink on Saturday night because I have too many things to get done on Sunday morning to be hungover.
  12. When my roommate and I searched for a new place to live, a yard was the top priority.
  13. I drink my coffee black now because I don’t have the time, money, or metabolism to deal with adding sugar and milk.

Bonus: A couple things that still make me feel like a child:

  1. The thought of having children is completely terrifying.
  2. I don’t know how major house functions work. (Had to call my dad the other day to inquire about what a water shut off valve was and where I might find it. He nailed it.)

Sometimes Things Happen

Sometimes things happen that cannot be easily explained. You don’t have a box in which to put this particular slice of life.

You wonder why it happened. You can wonder all you want, for days, weeks, months, yet you’ll never find an answer because there isn’t one. And then you can ask yourself other questions in an attempt to feed your craving for an answer. “Did I create this experience? Did I make it happen?

The answer is of course no. There are many times in your life in which you experience things that are out of your control. And that’s the goal, yeah? To take away control? Funny how sometimes a person will crave the control they lack so badly.

And when the experience is over and you’ve found no box to place it in, what do you do? This is always uncomfortable. You find yourself needing to both think about it constantly and forget it completely. What a strange sensation. Should you modify your behavior? Should you staunchly reserve the right to continue your behavior exactly as is? I suppose there’s no reasonable answer to this.

Is there an official moment when you declare “This situation is over. We don’t have to think or talk about it anymore,”? I think people would claim no such date exists, but I think otherwise. I think there will come a day when an unspoken agreement comes between the community and me that we will no longer be talking about this thing that happened, where any more discussion would be deemed too much.

I like that idea, that in a way there is a box in which I can put it. Not a box of reason, but of time. There will come a day when I say my penance has been done. I have talked of it, thought of it, dreamed of it enough. My mind can be at peace now.

Life is funny in many ways. Generally not ha-ha funny, but the other kind. The kind that makes you say “Huh…I didn’t see that coming.” Life is neither bad nor good at its base. It simply is.

 

[This post was originally written in the summer of 2015. It is only being posted now.]
This was originally something that felt too personal to share. Funny, since it reveals almost nothing, but to me. It felt personal and raw, yet it comes across as reserved and noncommittal to me now.

The answer to my question above is not as I had hoped. As of yet, I have found no limit to the thoughts. Discussions have lessened, though. And yes, I do think of it less now. But it hasn’t gone away. The nagging feeling of what could have been. What was so close to being. That has stayed. Perhaps 6 months is not enough time. Or perhaps this is a thought that I will carry with me forever.

Things I’ve Been Doing Lately

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:

  • Spent time in Bonn (I learned that Beethoven was born in Bonn AND it’s the city where Haribo was created…who knew?)
  • Stayed at a dairy farm for a few days (Cows, cats, and more cats!)
  • Went to Berlin for two days/one night (Saw a ton and left with the feeling that I must go back and see MORE.)
  • Read a lot (Merry and Pippin just got reunited with their Company in The Two Towers and Saruman has lost control of Isenguard. Exciting time for the Company.)
  • Thought A LOT abut writing a blog post
  • Didn’t actually write a blog post until right now
  • Thought how fun it is to be PMSing (It had to be said because…wow.)

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.

Springtime in Deutschland

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.

IMG_1381

Looking back at old blog posts

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.

That One Time I Pissed Skiers Off in the Alps

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:

2014-01-04 14.35.27

Daaayyyyuuummmmm that’s majestic

2014-01-04 12.20.37

2014-01-04 14.07.252

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:

Picture2

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.”

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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.

Oops

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.

The 23 1/2 Books I Read in 2013

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.

  1. The Time Keeper by Mitch Album
  2. Passion (Fallen series) by Lauren Kate
  3. Regeneration  (Regeneration series) by Pat Barker
  4. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
    My first Vonnegut book. Loved it. Need to read more by him.
  5. My War: Killing Time in Iraq by Colby Buzzell
  6. Rapture (Fallen series) by Lauren Kate
  7. Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog From Iraq by Riverbend
    Reading this after reading #5 was extremely eye opening. Basically you get two completely different sides of the same story which is something of a miracle when it comes to the war in Iraq. Very powerful when read as a pair.
  8. 1984 by George Orwell
    I’ve been meaning to read this for years and finally did. Did not disappoint in the slightest. I love me some dystopian fiction.
  9. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    Read this with my French class. Other than having the ending ruined by a classmate, it was good. Definitely not just for kids.
  10. Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier
    This was given to me by one of my best friends EVAR. It’s got magic. It’s got romance. It’s set in medieval times. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
  11. Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters series) by Juliet Marillier
  12. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R.R. Martin
  13. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  14. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
    Along with #13, these were for a class I was taking. Both have a lot of heavy philosophical themes. Philosophy is not my thing. If it is your thing, you’ll probably enjoy these two books.
  15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
    Reading how Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love will never get old.
  16. A Clash of Kings (ASOIAF series) by George R.R. Martin
  17. The Double Helix, A Personal Account of he Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson
  18. Mockingjay (Hunger Games series) by Suzanne Collins
  19. Catching Fire (Hunger Games series) by Suzanne Collins
    Why did I read them out of order, you ask? I watched Catching Fire when it came out and needed MORE so I read Mockingjay. Then I finished it and still needed MORE so I went back and read Catching Fire. I was in a bit of a Hunger Games frenzy. We’ve all been there, right?
  20. Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent
    Given to me by my wonderful friend, this book is a hilarious, honest, and insightful look into what it is to be freshly out of college and in the big, scary adult world.
  21. Divergent (Divergent series) by Veronica Roth
  22. Insurgent (Divergent series) by Veronica Roth
  23. Allegiant (Divergent series) by Veronica Roth
    Overall, a fantastic series. Disappointed by the ending for sure but since I’m not the author, I guess I don’t really have much say, do I?

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!

Reasons Why Charlie Brown Christmas Wins at Everything

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 to me. All I want is my fair share
All I want is what I have coming. All I want is my fair share.

First prize?!

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.

I’ve Been In Bayreuth A MONTH!

In honor of tomorrow making it a month since I arrived, I broke my time here down into some numbers.

One Month in Bayreuth