August 31, 2010

(One Day Late) Music Monday [August 31st] – Nostalgia Edition

It’s amazing how fast music can transport you back in time. I had my iTunes on shuffle and Keane’s track “Your Eyes Open” from the album Hopes and Fears came on and I felt like I was back in the 11th grade, working at Video Palace, and acting my age – seventeen. Needless to say, I turned off shuffle and listened to the rest of the album. Sometimes all you need is a little nostalgia.

I have plenty of it when it comes to music, especially from high school. I spent those four years moving between three schools, two states, and countless amounts of transitory friendships. Music was a good balance when my life was so chaotic. For this “edition” of Music Monday, I’m going back to high school and the music that I listened to during my ‘coming of age.’ Links will take you to an awesome music video from that particular album – usually my favorite track.

n83900390_30313893_47069th grade version of myself and my awesome cats – 15 years old. 

9th Grade
Age: 15
Location: Sentinel High School – Missoula, Montana
The Music
Avril Lavigne “Let Go”
Britney Spears “Britney”
Jimmy Eat World “Bleed American
Michelle Branch “The Spirit Room
New Found Glory “New Found Glory
Relient K “Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek”

10th Grade
Location: The highways between western Montana and Los Angeles - Woodland Hills, California -Morro Bay, California
The Music
The All American Rejects “The All American Rejects
The Ataris “So Long, Astoria”
Josie and the Pussycats Motion Picture Soundtrack
Maroon 5 “Songs About Jane
Moulin Rouge Motion Picture Soundtrack
Norah Jones “Come Away With Me”
Simple Plan “No Helmet, No Pad… Just Balls
Something Corporate “Leaving Through the Window

n83900390_30549117_5065965The 17 year old version of me – Hanson poster and all

11th Grade
Age: 17
Location: Morro Bay, California
The Music
Ben Jelen “Give It All Away”
Copeland “Beneath Medicine Tree”
Dashboard Confessional “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar” & “Swiss Army Romance”
Hanson “Underneath
Jason Mraz “Waiting for My Rocket to Come”
John Mayer “Room for Squares”
Keane “Hopes and Fears”
Michelle Branch “Hotel Paper
Rooney “Rooney”
Sarah McLachlan “Afterglow”
Something Corporate “North
Sugarcult “Start Static” & “Palm Trees and Power Lines
Switchfoot “The Beautiful Letdown”
Tyler Hilton “The Tracks Of”
Yellowcard “Ocean Avenue”

12th Grade
Location: Morro Bay, California
The Music
Coldplay “X&Y”
Dashboard Confessional “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most
Death Cab for Cutie “Transatlanticism” & “Plans
Garden State Motion Picture Soundtrack
Jack Johnson “Brushfire Fairytales,” “In Between Dreams” & “On and On”
Jimmy Eat World “Futures”
John Mayer “Heavier Things
Keane “Under the Iron Sea”
Music from The OC: Mix 2
Snow Patrol “Final Straw
The Thrills “Let’s Bottle Bohemia
Zero 7 “Simple Things”

My music tastes definitely evolved as the years passed. I still listen to some of these bands – not many – but they’re all in my iTunes or in my hard drive somewhere. It was in 11th grade that my music tastes kind of morphed towards any and all music that was featured on The OC. I like to think that that show saved my music loving heart forever and opened my eyes to music that I really loved. It’s all down hill from there. Someday I’ll post what I listened to in college and the list will be even longer…

August 30, 2010

Reading Rainbow

I’ve started a new book today. It is the 12th (?) book on the laundry list of books I’ve enjoyed (or will soon enjoy) since I arrived in Munich. (It might not be the twelfth book, actually – I’ve lost track.) It is a book that I’ve been wanting to read. And it’s received excellent reviews. I trust books with good reviews.


Excerpt from the first four paragraphs of the book, Little Bee, by Christopher Cleave:

Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming. Maybe I would visit with you for the weekend and then suddenly, because I am fickle like that, I would visit the man from the corner shop instead – but you would not be sad because you would be eating a cinnamon bun, or drinking a cold Coca-Cola from the can, and you would never think of me again. We would be happy, like lovers who met on holiday and forgot each other’s names. 

A pound coin can go wherever it thinks it will be safest. It can cross desserts and oceans and leave the sound of gunfire and the bitter smell of burning thatch behind. When it feels warm and secure it will turn around and smile at you, the way my big sister Nkiruka use to smile at the men in our village in the short summer after she was a girl but before she was really a woman, and certainly before the evening my mother took her to a quiet place for a serious talk.

Of course a pound coin can be serious too. It can disguise itself as power, or property, and there is nothing more serious when you are a girl who has neither. You must try to catch the pound, and trap it in your pocket, so that it cannot reach a safe country unless it takes you with it. But a pound has all the tricks of a sorcerer. When pursued I have seen it shed its tail like a lizard so that you are left holding only pence. And when you finally to go seize it, the British pound can perform the greatest magic of all, and this is to transform itself into not one, but two, identical green American dollar bills. Your fingers will close on empty air, I am telling you.

How I would love to be a British pound. A pound is free to travel to safety, and we are free to watch it go. This is the human triumph. This is called globalization. A girl like me gets stopped at immigration, but a pound can leap the turnstiles, and dodge the tackles of those big men with their uniform caps, and jump straight into a waiting airport taxi. Where to, sir? Western civilization, my good man, and make it snappy. (Cleave, pp. 1-2)

Have you read this book? What did you think? And if you haven’t, doesn’t that excerpt make you want to devour this book? I am going to go do that right now.

August 29, 2010

The Last of the Sunshine Days, Oceanless Beaches, Pizza and Poker, and A Lazy Day Trip to the Alps

There’s something to be said about a beautiful summer day in Munich. While my host-family played at the lake near their vacation home in Kitzbühel, Austria this past weekend I enjoyed one glorious day of summer weather here in the city. Thursday was my first official day off since they departed on Wednesday evening and I definitely took advantage of my free time and the golden sunshine. I’ve recently discovered that I love riding my bike through the city so I definitely did that on Thursday and went from my house in Schwabing to Marienplatz which took me all of 20 minutes. I had my German lessons going on my iPod so anyone that passed me surely witnessed that I was talking to myself in German verbs and phrases. Ha. I stopped at the post office to mail off some post cards (look out California!) and then carried on into the city where I wandered around looking for playing cards for Friday’s pizza and poker night. I got distracted by H&M and walked out with some new clothes and a cheap pair of earrings. Damn you, H&M. I eventually found playing cards at Muller in the kinderwerk section for 2,99 EUR. Totally worth it. They’re so shiny and beautiful. Also, I managed to find the coolest dirndl store ever – that has my size. I am so getting one of these soon, even if I have to put it on the credit card.

Later in the day I made the bike trek again but with Jessica. We were wandering around Marienplatz and decided to surprise Harry at his apartment since we were in the ‘neighborhood.’ Which is pretty much the whole of central Munich. If you live anywhere near Marienplatz, you’re fair game for a surprise visit. He was a good sport about it and gave us food. Thanks, Harry! The three of us then went to Beach 38 for a ToyTown meet-up which is probably the weirdest bar in Munich. It’s a bar with beach volleyball –indoor and out – and it’s covered in sand and other beachy looking things. But there isn’t any water. Anywhere. And the bar is located near Ostbanhof in an industrial neighborhood. It’s a poor excuse for a beach. Haha.

Friday it was rainy and depressing and I stayed inside for most of the day. Minus the 45-minute excursion I made out to Ungererstrasse to drop of Jessica’s bike for her and visit the supermarket. Our friendly neighborhood bike fixer man lowered her seat and straightened her handle bars all for free and so I didn’t have to leave it there and could actually ride it home. In the supermarket I got pizzas and Cornflakes (we were out!) and was amazed that the handsome stock boy that worked there kept smiling at me (like, he really smiled) every time I walked by him (I’ll admit it, I started doing it on purpose after a while, haha). This was amazing to me because I was still wearing Thursday night’s make-up, my pajamas, Uggs, and a half-ass ponytail. And I was soaked from traveling in the rain. Classy, isn’t it?

Friday evening my friends came over to the house for a pizza and poker night. Which was successful on the pizza part but the poker kind of fell flat. In the end, we ended up in the living room watching Sex and the City episodes. It was a good night and I like being the hostess with the mostess (as Clare calls me). My favorite picture of the night:

Me and Eric, who is fast becoming one of my bestest friends here in Munich.
We even pinky promised to be BFFs. I absolutely adore him. Obviously.


Saturday was rainy again. So I stayed inside. Again. Until about 3 o’clock when I decided to ride my bike to the Munich Readery. It was the perfect excursion. The weather was feeling very much like fall – crisp and just a tid nippley. :) I had my scarf on and my big, monster headphones and I just rode my bike. I successfully completed my first try at riding with traffic (no room on the sidewalks nor was their a bike path) and it was scary as hell. Next time I won’t wear my headphones. Later in the day, I met up with Clare at about 7 and we went to Jaeger’s for happy hour beers. Which, we’ve discovered, have gone up in price from 3 EUR to 4 EUR for a Mass. Chris was already there so the three of us just drank beer and waited for everyone else to show up. Eric graced us with his presence and then later Fi, Laura, Catherine, and Catherine’s boyfriend and his friends arrived. We got a big table and our corner of the table got busy quoting Anchorman, Napoleon Dynamite, and other random one-liners. We went to Euro’s Hostel afterwards for even cheaper beers and a better atmosphere. Met a lot of interesting people that night. Stayed out much, much later than I intended to seeing as I was journeying to Garmisch early in the morning on Sunday and needless to say, I fell asleep on the train a few times.

My Sunday trip to Garmisch was the perfect getaway. Even though I felt sick all day (and not hung over sick, give me some credit) it was still a great day. I have family friend who lives there so it’s an incredible blessing to have a little bit of home so close by. She is the mother of one of my dearest and nearest friends and professional contacts back home and she’s incredibly wonderful. She picked me up at the train station and took me to the American commissary (she works for the U.S. military) and I was able to get the things that I’d been missing: Ranch dressing, bagels, cheddar cheese, Cap’n Crunch Berries, regular Coca Cola, Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion chips, Cheez-Its. I scored the mother load. Germany just got a little bit better! I almost got Lucky Charms but I knew that could be disastrous. If I have one box, I’m going to want 12. Maybe next time.

After the commissary we had lunch at her adorable little apartment. We made weisswurst (white sausage) with kartoffelsalat (potato salad) and brot (bread). And just talked and talked. About California, about how much we both love the entire Burns-Riddoch family, about my job and the Frau and the girls, about her life as an au pair in Vermont in 1959 (she still visits the family she cared for!), and I practiced my German on her. After lunch we went on a walk to the ski jumps which were used during the Olympics and which will be used again in February for the 2011 Alpine something or other. 100,000+ people will be coming into Garmisch to watch the skiing events! We rode the gondolas up to the top of the mountain because I wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t up for hiking. And it was so beautiful! I couldn’t believe that I forgot my camera. We were surrounded by the Alps – Austria on one side, Germany on the other – and were breathing some righteously awesome mountain air. We stopped at the mountain restaurant and just enjoyed the sunshine and the people, the mountains, the green grass, and trees. Something we also didn’t do but should have (I hated my body and brain and muscles for this…) was hike through the partnachklamm – a gorgeous ravine through the mountains where you walk along the flowing river that comes down from Zugspitze.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberbayern, Werdenfelser Land, Klamm, Reintal, Naturdenkmal, Blick auf Schlucht, PartnachklammPartnachklamm

2714893794_e4f125966aSki jumps

eckbauerThe restaurant at the top of the mountain where we were chillin’. Amazing, isn’ it?

I didn’t take those pictures because I FORGOT MY CAMERA. Did hell just freeze over? I think somebody should check.

Anyway, we rode the gondolas back down the mountain and walked back to her house. Both of us ended up passing out for at least 30 minutes. And then I had to catch my train – goodies in hand and ready for a date with this blog and my bed. I was still feeling really crappy when I got home but I managed to make myself some dinner and surprisingly – I felt better after that.  It was such a great day. I was so grateful to get out of the city and slow down. And spending time with Kathe (that’s her name, by the way) was lovely. It was so great to have a little bit of home so close to me. Her family is so important to me and I love them so much so it’s nice to know that I have good neighbors and a lot of love nearby! I can’t wait to go back to visit her, hopefully when Tante Susie comes in September! But I’m definitely going to organize a weekend hiking trip this fall – maybe for October. Can’t wait to go back to the mountains and with my camera this time! And I’m going to get my body ready for this trip, too. None of this sickness and riding gondolas crap! I’m proper hiking.

Now I am back in Munich – ready for another week with die zweillinge. And more goodness with my friends. But a lot of leaving is going on this week – friends that I have grown really close to and will be very sad to say goodbye to. Right now, I refuse to think about this and will go to bed. Guten nacht!

August 25, 2010

Endless Summer (I Wish), The Incredible Magic That is Passing Time, And Just a Few of My Favorite Things

It is, officially, the last full week of August. That means that summer is almost over. Back in California, most of my dearest friends have already gone back to school and are starting their fall semester. This time last year (and I checked up on the facts - Thanks Facebook!) I was at Molly and Lauren’s house playing beer pong and drinking wine and saying farewell to the end of summer and hello to my final year of college. I’d experienced my first ‘working’ summer – where I’d nannied straight through the week – two families! - and worked weekends at My Museum all so I could afford my $600 a month rent and utilities at my first ever, grown up apartment. I also tried to have a social life in which I got burned by a few boys, grew closer to my co-workers and met my new best friend (Stefany, I love you!), experienced the smoking death of my beloved Mazda on the side of Highway 101, and traded her in for a family hand-me-down slash fancy upgrade – the Dodge Stratus. Now that I’m here in Munich, it seems like all of these things were so far away but honestly, this was just last year. Even though the thought of maybe becoming an au pair had crossed my mind, I couldn’t picture myself where I am right now.

Back then, the summer of 2010 was three months of preparation for grad school, another summer living with Hanna, a job search in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, a really big reality check. How was I to know that grad school and a professional career would be put on a hold because of an international job offer or that Hanna would get married in November and move out to North Carolina with Jordan to live happily as a housewife after graduation? Fortunately, everything fell into place as if, all along, I was meant to be in Germany. I accepted the job in November and had six months to organize for the next year and a half of my life. I applied for and received my first passport. I graduated college in May. Hanna and I both had plans to move after graduation and our apartment lease ended at exactly the right time.

I spent those six months envisioning what my life would be like once I arrived in Munich and nothing could have prepared me for the reality. It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been here for three months – let alone that I’ve been thinking of this opportunity since last fall! I spent this past summer in a dream state, every morning waking up and wondering if this was really my life. I’m so glad that I took this opportunity – everyone has told me that I’m so smart to have chosen a year abroad and I know that they’re right. Yes, I feel as if I’m wasting my college degree – like I’ll forget everything that I learned while I’m out here chasing after children, drinking delicious German beer, and learning a new language. But I know that won’t happen. I may be a bit rusty on my child development theories or on the subject of linguistics but it never really goes away – plus, I don’t know what I want to do yet, not really. I’m not going to think too hard about it - none of this what am I doing with my life? nonsense. My life is exactly how it’s supposed to be – right here, right now. I’m not going to argue with that. What I am going to do is enjoy the last few fading weeks of warm weather before fall comes rushing in. The leaves are already falling from the trees. It’s been a long time since I experienced four seasons. But, please – winter – take your time. No need to rush.

In the three months that I’ve been in Munich, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I fit into this strange, new place. I’m learning alot about myself as a language learner. I’ve picked up so much German. I can say an entire introductory paragraph but I’m working on my pronunciation and accent!

Hallo. Mein Name ist Heather. Ich komme aus den U.S.A. Ich bin ein Au-Pair in Munch. Ich lerne Deutsch. Ich kann nicht  sehr gut Deutsch sprechen. Ich verstehe ein bisschen Deutsch. Das ist alles.

I’ve also got my numbers down, one through one hundred (which helps when dealing with money in stores and restaurants). I can say please and thank you, different variations of hello and goodbye. I can ask how someone is doing (wie gehts?), where they are from (Woher kommen Sie?), and where they are at the current moment (wo bist du?). I can ask: what is this? (was ist das?) and I can add a lot of German vocabulary into English conversation, usually for the sake of the twins friend’s who don’t know very much English. I can order beers and drinks in various sizes (small = kleine, large = groß or gross) and in different styles/flavors (light = hell/helles, dark = dunkel) and some food menu items. I can ask for the bill (die rechnung). I can read train and most travel signs or I can understand the general idea of them, anyway. I can’t wait until I actually take a class and can speak the language with a bit of fluency!

My favorite discovery thus far has been the food and drink. My favorite delicacy here in Germany are the pommes frites (french fries). I know that’s such an American thing to say because America is all about french fries but you won’t understand until you’ve had your own plate of pommes. They’re delicious here – I think it’s the potatoes – but they’re golden yellow and full of sunshine and happiness. I absolutely adore them and find myself making my way through menus just to find meals that include them.

I also really love the German sausage. Oh, get your mind out of the dirt. Although the German men are quite lovely, the spice and variety of sausage and brats that they have here are delicious. Give me a bratwurst mit pommes and I am a happy girl. Other things that I’ve eaten and quite enjoyed:

  • Pork roast from the Weisses Brauhaus which is basted in Schneider’s Aventinus (chocolate!)beer and comes with the most delicious potato pancakes you will ever eat.

  • Weinerschnitzel  (also from the Weisses Brauhaus) which is, if you’re American, NOT a fast food place for hot dogs and sausage. It’s actually breaded pork and it’s delicious.

  • Putensteakburger which is some kind of chicken sandwich/burger but it is delicious. You can also order putensteak alone and it usually comes with country potatoes and a salad but, of course, I opted for the burger mit pommes. :)
  • German bier of any kind – you all know already that I am a big fan but I don’t think you’d really understand until you had some real German beer. It’s just… better. And not that this is the greatest measure of it’s superiority to American beer but I never get hung over or sick off of German bier. Haha. Unless I drink more than 3 Maß but I learned my lesson that one time. Seriously, it’s good stuff!
  • Schokocroissants are, hands down, the best bakery item in all of Munich. Every time I come across a bakery (which is pretty much every other building, it seems) I get one of these and it seems the next one is always better than the one before it. I’ve had these at American “French” bakeries and they really can’t compare. The schokocroissants have this warm gooey, chocolate filling… and oh my God, now I need to go get one…

To be honest, I love everything about Munich. I have yet to find something that I dislike. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I’m halfway through a freezing cold winter, possibly suffering with seasonal affective disorder (it used to happen to me every winter when I lived in Montana), and missing home for the holidays but for right now, alles ist gut. Especially since, I’ve been told recently by my sister-cousin, Christy, that I’m looking thinner which is always a nice thing to hear. That statement is supported by the fact that all of my pants are way too big for me now and they all fall down. I’m still not a supermodel and I’ve still got my beloved curves but hey, I’ll take a little unintended weight loss. It’s also bittersweet because even though I welcome the change, I can’t afford to buy smaller clothes so, hey, maybe wearing long johns under my jeans all winter will balance it out.

All that can be said now is that I love my life.
Every little bit of it.

August 23, 2010

(Reviving) Music Monday [August 23rd]

When I first started writing this blog, I used to do this thing every Monday where I would post music that I like or that I’d been listening to – Music Mondays, see? And I did it for a few weeks and then kind of… stopped. And since I’m not going back to school, since I don’t have a real job, and my life is pretty much just hanging out with six year olds playing card games, swimming, and going on bike rides, and my social life exists at night and on weekends, I have nothing better to do than blog all the time, listen to music, and read a lot of books. So, I’m going to try to go back to this whole Music Monday thing. I’ve got iTunes on constantly and I’m listening to my iPod so much that the battery dies pretty much everyday. I’ve never listened to music as much as I have been since I’ve been here. And if you know me, that’s a pretty weighted statement because I love music. So, needless to say, this music on Monday thing will be super easy. Hopefully.

Since I arrived in Munich two months ago, I’ve been listening to a lot of different stuff but one play list that I tend to favor more than any other is my collection of tracks from Angus & Julia Stone. It’s been an especially soothing playlist for all of the rainy days that have been taking over Munich lately. I love to have their music in my headphones as I wander the streets of Munich – off to some adventure or social gathering. Or even just a bike ride through the Englischer Garten. This is one of my favorite songs off their album, Down the Way.

This next song, You’re the One That I Want, is another favorite of mine. It features Julia’s vocals which are kind of… different… but in a hauntingly beautiful kind of way. It’s a cover of a song from the musical, Grease, but it’s an infinitely better version, in my opinion. And a song that I’ve related to one or two… or maybe 10… times in my life. Ha.

Honestly, I could post Angus & Julia Stone videos all day. I absolutely adore them. But you should also listen to this and this and this. Thank you, Lauren, for giving them to me. I heart you eternally.

I just found out that they are playing in Munich on November 14th at Backstage Werk on Reitknechtstraße! Only a 30 minute Bahn adventure across the city! Now, I just need a concert buddy or two…

August 22, 2010

The Trouble With Dreams

18914552dreaming I had a dream last night in which I revisited the past but was still in the present. I woke up feeling so strange, like I’d been somewhere that was off limits, out of bounds. At first my dream was anchored in the present. I was dreaming that I was here in Munich, dealing with the aftermath of unpleasant situations that have unfolded in reality recently. It was almost like I was dreaming of the continuation of my own reality. It was very strange. And then the plot moved forward and it was revealed that I was closing all these ties because I was leaving Munich at the end of August to go back to school in California. Suddenly, I was walking myself to school on that first day – no backpack or text books or school supplies. But I was wearing mismatched shoes and a thick sweatshirt. In August. It was so vivid and real. I was in Morro Bay, walking the streets to the high school that I know so well and I approached the entrance to my school which is a long driveway lined on either side by sidewalks and tall, gorgeous trees – eucalyptus, I think. I was walking with a small boy who was starting his first day of high school and I was telling him things, teaching him how to survive at the school, and I just remember him smiling and telling me thank you. I felt like such a wise old soul – maybe because I was my 23 year old self going back to the first day of my senior year of high school. Of course I should feel wise.

When I got to the school, everyone was crowded around the front of the main offices but the only people that I could recognize were the faculty members. My classmates wouldn’t be there, of course. We’d all graduated from high school five years before. What was I doing there? Yet in my dream, it felt naturally unright. Does that make sense? Like I was supposed to be there, suspended in the past, but still in reality. All of a sudden my favorite office lady, Margo, came up to me and hugged me. But I didn’t recognize her until she invited me inside to come see her new office. And then it just clicked. I was back to those days in high school when I worked as an office assistant and would just sit in the office with the middle aged ladies, talking about nothing and everything all at once. In my dream I was in her office and she was showing me all of these new things and I remember just looking for pictures of her grand-daughter, for her dogs and cats, anything that would bring me back to the fact that she was real and that I remembered her correctly. Then I started telling her about how I’d come back from Munich to finish my education but that I was returning in the spring. I kept asking her, “Didn’t you get my emails?” And she never said yes or no. Weird because in real life I had emailed her a few months back, telling her all about my new life. She never replied.

I don’t remember much after that – I woke up and was so confused, as one would be after a vivid dream like that. I laid there in my bed trying to figure out why’d I gone back to high school when I’d just completed five years of college. I don’t know what it means. I’ve done as many interpretations as I can think of:

To dream about high school, refers to the bonds and friendships that you made while you were in high school. What spiritual lessons have you learned? The dream may also be telling you that you need to start preparing for the real world.

To dream that you have to repeat high school, suggests that you are doubting your accomplishments and the goals that you have already completed. You feel that you may not be measuring up to the expectation of others. The dream may occur because some recent situation may have awakened old anxieties and insecurities.

To dream of the past, suggests that a current waking situation is paralleling a past situation. You need to learn from the past and not make the same mistake again. Alternatively, the dream may represent unresolved issues from the past. Or that you need to stop living in the past and look forward toward the future.

To dream that you are forgetting things, signify life's anxieties. You are expressing an overwhelming amount of stress in your life. You feel the need to tend to everything and everyone's needs. Alternatively, forgetting something may represent your unconscious desire to leave that something behind. On a more direct level, the dream could just be your subconscious telling you or reminding you of a forgotten appointment or date.

That’s all that I can come up with. Some of it makes sense. Most of it doesn’t. I really believe in the power of dreams though. I think it can tell you a lot about your subconscious thoughts and desires. I think in this case, I have a longing to go back to school – more than anything else. I’ve realized that for the first time in almost 20 years, I’m not ending the summer with a fall semester at school. And that’s so strange. I think I’m missing that feeling of continuity in the pattern of my life. And even though I know what I’m doing here in Munich and I’m not apprehensive of the 10 months ahead of me, there’s something that exists after that. And I have no idea what it is. And the whole idea of seeing Margo in my dream and not remembering her signifies, in my opinion, that I’m feeling the loss of the strong friendships that I’ve made since I graduated high school. Is it weird to say that I grew closer to a 50-year-old woman while I was in high school than I did to anyone else? Sometimes I remember just going to sit in her office and talk to her because I was sad or upset about something that had happened at home or at school. She was a mentor to me, whether she knows it or not, and I was so grateful for her during that time of my life. I hope she’s doing well – wherever she is in the world.

On the interpretation of stress – I don’t think that I currently have much stress in my life at all. Life is good. I know that I create stress for myself where it could be avoided but who doesn’t do that? I think I’m just dealing with it in a roundabout way and trying to dream that stress away. Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked out that way?

I don’t know about the rest of it. What do you think? 

August 21, 2010

Sleepy Samstag

It’s a happy Saturday evening in my little corner of the world – a beautiful sunshiney day in Munich. I’m relegated to the house tonight to play Mary Poppins as my host parents are going out for the evening. It’s good though because I had an incredibly long night filled with way too much bier drinking and a fair amount of embarrassing behavior and loss of volume control. Needless to say, I could use a night in. I fully intend on watching a movie once the girls are asleep – my host mom has The Men Who Stare At Goats downstairs so I want to see it, I heard it’s funny and it has a great cast. And I love Kevin Spacey. After the movie I think I’ll start a new book. Again. I’m really rolling right through them. Just read Jodi Piccoult’s latest novel, Handle With Care, and it was really good. It had a typical Piccoult ending which kind of pissed me off but she’s good at really throwing you off. It was like the ending to My Sister’s Keeper but less dramatic. Anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing with the rest of my Saturday.

This past week was very different for this au pair. I spent the whole week feeling like I actually have a job and a purpose. The girls’ schedule changed so they’re out of kindergarten and enjoying a few weeks of summer vacation. The family was originally supposed to be in Austria all week but they came back five days early. I spent Tuesday through Friday with the girls all day which is really new for me because before, I was only with them for one hour in the morning and most evenings. I’ve been pulling about 9 or 10 hour days this past week. We’ve been doing all kinds of stuff – going to playgrounds, bike rides, hide and seek, picnics. Through it all, I’ve bonded a lot with the girls which is good because I fall in love with them more every day. I mean, how could you not with faces like these?


Hopefully these next few weeks of super au pair duties won’t make me hate my job. I doubt that will happen because eventually, they will go back to school and I will be able to take day time naps again and feel useless once more. Ha.

Socially, things are great here in Munich. I’m making new friends all the time which is always a blessing. I have a little group of friends that I’ve made and we do most everything together. We’re all recent transplants to this great city so it’s nice to have a group of people who are all experiencing a new life at the same time. I love the friends that I’ve made who are already established here too because they’ve been able to show me around and make me feel comfortable, showing me all the good bars and other fun stuff. Usually we all just get together and drink bier because German social customs are so centered around that stuff. Seriously, you go to the English Gardens on a Saturday morning, around like 12 or so, and pretty much everyone you pass has a beer. There are drunk people riding around on these crazy 10-person bikes with bars in them. Germans do love their beer and I can’t say that I blame them! It’s some good stuff.

Someone close to me recently said that she’s worried about me becoming an alcoholic but I’d say that’s pretty unlikely. I only drink in social situations with my friends – I could never just sit at home alone and crack open a beer and enjoy it. Gross. Yes, I do stupid things like injure myself (repeatedly), miss the late night trains and walk home at 2 am, spend way too much money, and potentially jeopardize great friendships with melodramatic confessions of “love” and adoration but hey, c’est la vie. It’s a constant learning process about self control (which I never seem to learn from, go figure). At least I know that I’m a drunken idiot most of the time and I’m not in denial. Haha. Anyway, it all makes sense because I can just say that I’m getting ready for Oktoberfest which is is coming up soon. I’m glad that I proved to myself that I can not consume more than 2 liters of beer in one night without physical and emotional consequences. A lesson I’m happy to have learned before Oktoberfest and not during. Still – maybe I should work on my manners and my inside voice whilst drinking. Might save me some trouble down the line.

Earlier today I met some friends in the Englischer Gartens and we just laid out in the sun for half of the day. The sun’s come out in Munich again, thank God. Perfect send off for the impending end of summer. Right now I am watching Mama Mia with the twins – they love the music and sometimes sing along. So, it’s a quiet Saturday night around here. After this, we’re all going to bed. It’s a perfect night if you ask me.

August 15, 2010

Mary Poppins and Mahltauschen, “SLOSH” Nymphenburg, Buses That Go Nowhere, A 3 EUR Maß, and the Deutsches Museum

For the relaxing weekend that I had, it was actually pretty busy. Nothing, however, can beat the shenanigans of the Neuschwanstein Misadventures. In an attempt to slow down from all of the excessive bier drinking and overspending that I’ve been doing lately, I decided to take it easy this weekend and tried to plan for a day/weekend trip to Garmisch to visit a family friend and relax with a friend in the mountains. I spent the week trying to organize the trip but it fell through due to lack of interest from friends and due to money troubles. So what else is new? Fortunately, I full intend to go visit and soon, even if I go alone. I’m looking forward to breathing in the mountain air and visiting with a beloved friend.

Instead of Garmisch, Jessica and I spent the weekend in Munich, taking in the sights and putting good use to our tourist books. On Friday night we stayed in and made dinner – Mahltauschen with grilled onions, shallots, and Schmand - and listened to Angus & Julia Stone, my new favorite band. And then Zainab came over and passed out on the couch while Jess and I watched Mary Poppins. Zainab tried to explain to us how representative the movie is of her hometown, London, but we just thought it was incredibly weird. Sorry, Z. Haha. I’ve seen it before but I never realized how trippy that movie is.




Saturday morning, instead of getting up early to catch a train to Garmisch, Jessica and I took our time and decided to go to Theresienwiese to see the progress for Oktoberfest. They’re already putting up the beer tents! Eric met up with us at Bavaria which is this incredibly cool bronze monument that looks over the Oktoberfest grounds.


We wandered around the Ruhmeshalle (hall of fame) and then eventually tried to bust in on the “biergarten” that was set up on the edge of the construction sites. It was a bust. But we did end up finding the weirdest ‘vending’ machine in the world. Let’s just say that if I need to find out if I have colon cancer or if I should ever need some odor spray, I know where I get some.

DSCN4269DSCN4282 DSCN4311DSCN4313 

We wandered around the streets of Munich trying to find somewhere to eat lunch, only to end up in Marienplatz at Mr. Hot Dog. We met up with Harry after that and the four of us journeyed through Kaufingerstrasse to get to Karlzplatz where we could take a tram to Schloss Nymphenburg. Jessica got told off on the tram for taking pictures of someone’s baby and a giant green stink bug (or so we think) successfully molested all of us and then proceeded to flop around on it’s back the floor of the tram until Harry was able to get it outside. It was a lustig journey, to say the least.


As beautiful as it is, Schloss Nymphenburg is pretty boring. Haha. It’s a gorgeous palace and the gardens are beautiful but we found that it wasn’t very exciting. Nothing like Neuschwanstein. Haha. We wandered around the palace grounds taking pictures and making fun of the strange Greek statues and marveling at the duck families and enormous swans.


Harry left us after 4 and so Eric and Jessica and I decided that it would be more fun to go to a market and get cheap beer and just wander around Munich. We decided to get on Bus 51 which was a bad idea because after about 30 or so minutes of travel, we realized that we weren’t really getting anywhere. We ended up getting off at some random UBahn stop and then ventured back to Marienplatz where we had a delicious dinner at Schneide Weiße Bräuhaus. We did end up buying beer at the local Rewe and I was the only smart one – sticking to a bier that I knew. Neither Jess nor Eric enjoyed the beers that they bought so we ended up sharing the Augustiner. Eventually we ended up at Jaeger’s Youth Hostel where we made bank on the 7-9 Happy Hour and 3 EUR Maß. By 10:30 Jessica and I were drunk and had totaled between the two of us – three Maß and one Pilsner. Eric left me half of his and I filled that with half of one of Jess’s. It was an interesting bier extravaganza, to say the least. I did find the most delicious drunk snack food though – it’s called a Maxi Box and it’s from the Turkish doner stands. French fries, doner meat, and delicious white sauce (kind of like ranch dressing) all mixed together to delicious amazingness. At the end of the night, Jess and I got separated and I ended up at Giselastrase with Clare, Chris, and Jennie. Eventually Jess got a hold of me and I met her at my UBahn stop. We made it home and passed out in my bed. A Saturday night success.

DSCN4435Jessica and Eric at dinner

On Sunday morning I made pancakes from scratch and Jessica made scrambled eggs with cheese and garlic salt. Complete with maple syrup, peanut butter, and cold orange juice. It was the breakfast of champions. After breakfast we got ready to embrace the day and journey to the UBahn. Jess went home to explore Olympia park and I ventured into the heart of the city to meet Catherine for a trip to the Deutches Museum with Harry. It was a beautiful day – it’s a shame we spent it inside of the museum but we did manage to find the roof top viewing area just before it closed. Made from incredible photo opportunities of the city. And thank God Harry was there to explain half of the stuff inside there. Science and technology, however interesting and useful it may be, is so over my head. I was incredibly grateful to have him there to explain stuff like wind currents on airplane wings and math algorithms. After the museum, Harry disappeared to the gym and Catherine and I went to Munchner Freiheit to meet Clare for dinner. We went to Bento Box which was absolutely delicious. We talked girly things – boys and gossip, mostly, but trips to England and plans for Oktoberfest, and laughed at the restaurant’s heinous music selection - “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” sung by Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck - and ultimately enjoyed each other’s company as the ominous gray clouds began to unleash the rain that had been threatening to fall all afternoon.


DSCN4488View from the roof of the museum

DSCN4495   There’s always a silver lining, isn’t there?

I ventured home in the rain listening to my country music playlists – I miss country music – and came home to a dark and empty house. The family is gone to Austria until tomorrow evening. Originally it was supposed to be until next Saturday afternoon but somehow, she shaved off about 5 days and they’ll be back sooner than I want them to. I was looking forward to a quiet house and some really lazy days but I guess I will actually have to be an au pair now. The girls are finished with kinderhaus and are on summer vacation until Septmber 14th so I’m going to have to do real au pair duties – like trips to the playground, day trips to the zoo, and full on entertainment of the girls for hours and hours at a time. It’s nothing I haven’t done before just something I’m not used to doing here.

The rest of the week is uncharted. I know that I have to babysit on Saturday night but everything else is up in the air. Shamrocks with the girls on Tuesday night and maybe Olympia Sommerfest on Wednesday. Toy Town on Thursday. Before I know it August will be over and we’ll be well into September. It’s hard to believe that Oktoberfest starts NEXT MONTH. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to go. I really need to get a dirndl. My friend Alison is coming via England to Munich for the weekend of the 24th-27th to celebrate with me so I’m really excited to have here with me, meeting my friends and getting ridiculously drunk off of German bier. Time is going by so fast here! I hope that it slows down this fall and into winter. I don’t want to feel like my time here in Munich is disappearing. I can’t imagine leaving at this point – I really don’t want to!

August 13, 2010

Money Troubles

Okay, so Germany is great, right? Well, that hasn’t changed. But today it kind of sucks because I realized that all of my credit card and medical bills from the States are due… now. And I have no money to pay for them. Unless I give all of my meager au pair wages over to the United States debt collection. There are multiple problems surfacing here:

  1. I don’t have a bank account yet and therefore, have no way to transfer money to my US bank accounts to pay my bills/debt. Because of this, I have been paying bills with other credit cards. BAD!
  2. I make 450 EUR a month. I owe about $180 a month in CC bills and medical expenses from some cracked out dentistry work in Jan/Feb. That’s roughly 140 EUR a month that I need to set aside, bringing my total down to 310 EUR of monthly income. Which is still better than most au pairs but when I spend all of my money all the time, this becomes a problem. Plus, I want to enjoy my time here and worrying about money keeps that from happening.
  3. I didn’t budget or save any money before I came to Germany to leave any in my bank accounts so I keep getting all of these stupid overdraft fees for automatic payments whose origins I am unsure of.
  4. I am expected to pay for my own language course and soon. This requires that I fork over about 200 EUR. Anybody have an illegal copy of Rosetta Stone they want to give me? Because that’d be stellar. I have absolutely no morals and would pirate really expensive software to save myself spending real money. Also, I’d like to travel out of Germany eventually and that requires money. A week and a half New Year adventure in England is going to be expensive, too. Damn.
  5. Come November 22nd, I will have $41,000 of student loans on my shoulders. Being in Germany means that I can probably get a deferment plan going but either way, that $41k is still there… quietly looming. And, eventually, when I go back to school for my Masters, this total will only increase. I hope I get a really good job someday or, at least, marry some intelligent and handsome rich guy. Ha. Wouldn’t that be nice? Of course, all the feelings of personal accomplishment that came with finishing college would go out the window the second my charming husband paid off all of my student loans. A girl can dream.


I’m at the point where I kind of don’t care anymore. Yeah, so my credit rating will plummet to a negative three digit number, I’ll never be able to ever rent my own apartment or get an auto loan, and I’ll probably be hounded by collections or have to go bankrupt. Fortunately, I’m abroad and no one can find me. And if I never return to the US – EVER - does that mean that I never have to go back to my astronomical amounts of debt? Call me irresponsible but that sounds awesome. Because it’s not like the US economy will ever be able to offer me a well paying job anytime soon. I can just live in my mom’s basement apartment until I’m 45. Stellar.

Sigh. I hate being a grown up responsible (or not) adult. I’m 23 (almost 24) years old and I already feel like I’m financially screwed. So many of my au pair friends here have told me how their parents are paying their bills for them while they’re gone and I am so jealous. Not that I resent my parents for not being able to do this – if they could they would – but it’d be nice to not have to worry about this stuff for a while. Honestly though, it’s not their problem. I should be able to take care of my own shit. I’ve been independent for a long time. Never more so than right now doing this whole crazy German adventure thing.

I guess I just need to figure it out – make a plan of action and try to stick to it. I’m so bad at budgeting but I will try. And if you’re feeling generous around the holidays, please think of me. I’m always open for advice too. How do you manage your money on a small budget? Until I figure out the answer to this question, I’m going to be stressing out.


August 12, 2010

The Bloggers of Bavaria

So, it’s not surprise that I’m a little bit obsessed with my blog. Not only this blog but various other blogs all over the place that I either read, write, or contribute to. This, of course, is the best one. And I’ve been blogging for a long time – way back before it was even called blogging, back when LiveJournal was still cool and I had a bazillion Internet friends and no tangible social life. Ha. Now, things are a bit different and blogging is actually considered cool because everyone does it. It’s a bit narcissistic, I’ll admit, but everyone loves to talk about themselves so it’s a great venue for that. I could go on forever about all of the blogs that I love and read on a daily basis. But I won’t. What I will do is send a massive shout-out to my real life friends who are here in Munich with me, sharing the experience of living in a foreign city and we’re all blogging about it… together. So, you get three bloggers from the same city, sharing the same social circle, writing about most of the same stuff, but all living three completely different lives with very different experiences. Put these two on your blog rolls, add them to your Reader. I give them both 5 stars and 2 thumbs way up!

jess&meJessica @ Sweet Sprinkled Sunshine

You’ve all heard my stories about Jessica – the first official friend that I made in Munich (not counting Helen because I already knew her).  She’s in the city doing an internship position at BMW. We’re both college grads – she’s just a step closer to her career goals. I’m the lazy one! Her and I have grown so close over the last two months and we’ve had so much fun together. My time here in Munich wouldn’t be half as interesting or exciting if I didn’t have Jess around to keep me company. Her and I are friends for life now, there’s no getting out of that. She went with me to the hospital at 3:30 in the morning while my foot gushed blood! She’s my girl, true blue sistahs. So, please, read her blog – love her blog – and enjoy!

eric&meEric @ Wirrnis

Eric is my newest friend here in Munich but he’s definitely one of the best. I love that I can already say that about him! We bonded over the 22-hour misadventure to Neuschwanstein and now there’s no getting away, he’s here in Munich for a year, just like me. He’s in Munich studying at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, some crazy subjects like Latin and classic literature or something. I’m telling you, these British people are so much more interesting than us boring Americans. Yes, that’s right. Eric sounds like he came straight out of a Harry Potter film and you know how much I love that. Now go read his blog and love it and enjoy.

August 10, 2010

Shout Out to the City, Epic Misadventures, and Kindergarten Van Gogh’s

It’s been exactly two months since I arrived in Munich. It’s gone by so fast and I’m afraid that time isn’t about to slow down either. Maybe in winter when the weather is cold and depressing and nothing exciting is happening, I’ll have a chance to catch my breath. For now, life in Munich is fast and crazy but so incredible. I love this city so much. I honestly don’t know how many times I can say that. Everyone keeps telling me that I won’t want to leave. I’m afraid they might be right. I’m feeling like I could become a permanent fixture around here – not this house, per se, but in the city. I couldn’t be an au pair forever but maybe an English teacher or work in a kindergarten or something.  I’m seriously considering it.

I love the history, the architecture, the people, the culture, the language, the food. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t enjoy – unless I’m feeling hormonal and moody but that’s not very often. Usually the blue skies come back and the city makes me fall in love with it all over again. There’s still so much that I have left to see, too. It can only get better and that’s what amazes me so much. Everyday I tell myself how lucky I am to be here, how smart I was to take this opportunity. I wish that I could share this experience with everyone who isn’t here but since I can’t do that, I hope this blog does suffice. I know that I spend a lot of time talking about how great it is and blah blah blah but, honestly, it’s something you really have to experience to truly understand. Like the kirches of Munich. They can’t really be explained through words or photographs. You have to stand inside them and experience their majesty first hand before you can understand just how beautiful they really are. I’m so grateful to have your attention and I hope you’ll keep reading, even if I can’t aptly describe how incredible this experience is. I will continue to try!

DSCN3923 Theaterkirche. Just trying to illustrate my point.
It’s beautiful but you can’t really know until you’re inside.


The last few days have been incredibly blog worthy. I already let you in on my clumsiness and how I cut my finger – that wasn’t fun. It’s still healing, slowly but surely and I keep a close eye on my razor these days. It’s actually kind of a scary object now. I’m slightly afraid of it. I’ve been hesitant to use it which is a new feeling. It’s like the time when I had the nightmare about the large dog that had killed and was feasting on my mother’s dead body – I was afraid of dogs for about a month. Fortunately, the prospect of unshaved legs keeps my fears from overcoming hygiene and social norms. The clumsiness, I’m afraid, has not disappeared. I spent the weekend convincing new friends of my clumsiness and proving it multiple times. Falling up stairs, tripping on city sidewalks and cobble stone, running into things. Quite the graceful ballerina, this one. Aside from my problems with gravitation pull, I’ve been doing really well.

Thursday night I went out to the usual ToyTown 20-somethings meet-up. It had been decided that we’d all meet at The Cocktail House which was a great idea because that place has an incredible selection of cocktails, as it should. I spent the evening making new friends – which ToyTown is really good for – and sweating to death in the non-air conditioned bar. But I did have a Midori Sour which reminded me of Wednesday nights in California at the Mucky Duck with Lauren, Molly, and Kathryn. It was bright green and looked like something a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle would drink to power up. Cowabunga, dude! At the end of the night, Jessica and I, and new friend Harry, went to McDonald’s which seems to the be the new tradition for ending every drunken night here in Munich. I can’t tell you how many times Jess and I have gone to McD’s for french fries and veggie burgers after downing a few beers. Thursday was a success.

DSC03462Harry, me, Chris, & Clare at the Cocktail House 

On Friday, Helen and I had a dinner party and invited friends over for beer, wine, and kaser spätzle. It was delicious and so much fun. Maybe too much.  We all got drunk and went to Kultfabrik which was, in my opinion, a definite fail. I’ve decided that Kultfrabrik is dirty and sleezy and I don’t prefer going there so much anymore. After spending most of the night in an overcrowded bar being groped and molested by every drunk guy within a five foot radius, I grabbed my drunk friend, Zainab, and dragged her home. I was drunk before but an hour long journey through train stations and the dark streets of Munich really sobers a girl. Gives her time to realize how ridiculous she is on multiple beers and shots of Jaegermeister. I’m not the most debonair drunk girl. I say stupid things, embarrass myself, and ultimately, screw myself over. Maybe all my past “PSAs” were not so far out of left field. Let’s just say that this week, I’m choosing to take it easy on beer for a while. Practice some self control now because Lord knows, when Oktoberfest comes around that self control will be so far out the window you won’t even be able to see it anymore. Ha.

Saturday was kind of a lazy day. I did laundry which took FOREVER. German wash and dry machines are ridiculous. I hadn’t planned to go out – I’d had a bit of a bad night on Friday and was turned off from ever drinking ever again – but Jessica and Eli convinced me to go out to a German BBQ with them. Eli’s friend Andy knew the people who were hosting it so we traveled clear to the other side of town and hung out in this adorable German apartment with about 10 or so 20-something Germans. We didn’t socialize much but they did give us free beer, which was nice.  After the BBQ, we met Helen and Zainab at Jaeger’s Youth Hostel for cheap beer. Which turned into a night of wandering around the streets of Munich with some guys from the Netherlands, looking for a club that would let us in. Eventually, a few of us just returned back to Jaeger’s. Like always. I eventually left and went home, tired of the same old scene. At 6 in the morning, Helen and friends returned and Charne, our charming South African friend, climbed into bed beside me, drindl and all. Made for an interesting morning.

I got up early to meet a group of friends at Hauptbanhof for our Neuschwanstein castle adventure. Ten of us ended up going on the trip and after a failed attempt to make the train, we hung around until we could catch the next train. Eventually, we arrived in Füssen, Germany only to be greeted by pouring rain. Which pretty much came down off and on all day. We didn’t end up touring the inside of Neuschawnstein because the tours were all booked up but we did go to Ludwig’s smaller castle, Hohenschwangau. I thought it was more impressive from the outside – it doesn’t really look all that authentic inside because of light switches and electricity and tour guides. But I enjoyed it anyway. After the castle tour, we ventured up the mountain to the big castle and toured the outside and the inner courtyard. The castle is BEAUTIFUL. It was used as the model for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland, too. So even though it was my first castle experience, I’d seen it a hundred times before. Ha. Also, the castle is seen in the best flying car movie ever, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Eli, Harry, and I made a split decision to sneak in the back entrance and so we did a reverse tour of the castle up until the point when the tour guides started giving us dirty looks. It was cool though – seeing everything inside. After we made it back down to the ground, we trekked up the mountain a bit more to see the castle from Marienbrücke. Which is this rickety little bridge with an incredible view.

DSCN3825 Neuschwanstein

Courtyard of Neuschwanstein

View of the valley from the trail to Marienbrücke

Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke


Me, Harry, and Eli on the Marienbrücke*

Once we made it down from the castle and were back in the village, things started to get a little chaotic. We missed the last bus simply because we didn’t know that it was the last bus and there weren’t anymore coming, despite what the time table says on the schedule at the bus station. Bavaria has this fascination with lazy Sundays, apparently. So, after waiting for over an hour for the missing bus and consequently missing the 8 o’clock train back to Munich – we ended up getting taxis back to Füssen to wait in the city to make the 10 o’clock train. After a pizza and bier dinner, we headed to the train station only to find out from a train conductor that the train would be an hour late. This is what he told us. So, we wandered back into the city to find a bar to pass the time. Nothing was open, of course, so we went back to the train station around 10:40 only to find that all of the tourists who had been there before were gone. Everyone was gone. After questioning a local taxi driver, we found out that the connecting train to Munich was going to be late. So, we were officially stranded in Füssen, the ultimate tourist trap. The taxi driver directed us toward a Füssen youth hostel. “Just follow the train tracks,” he said. Oh thanks. We almost got run over by the last incoming train. After wandering through the dark streets of Füssen, we found the hostel. And it was all booked up. So we had to beg our way into their good graces and they agreed to let us stay in their family room for 50 EUR. We each paid about 7 EUR and had a place to sleep – mattresses on the floor. A Sunday night sleep over and the promise of a 5:30 am train the following morning. After a 4:30 am wake-up, we trekked back to the train station and made the 5:10 am train (thank God we didn’t bank on the 5:30 am time!) and were back in Munich by 7:30 am. I walked in the door for work at 8:01. Nicely done.

39101_1455334276343_1622910047_1066120_98050_nMiss your train to Munich? No big deal! *

Make-shift hostel experience*

Even though it was chaotic and unorganized and ridiculously unlucky, our trip to Neuschwanstein was a success. In my opinion, anyway. I was having fun the entire time. I bonded with new and old friends and I can’t find a single thing about the day to complain about. The best part about it – I hadn’t had anything to drink. It was clean, sober fun. The best kind, apparently.

39835_1321282964857_1614300034_764299_576148_n Eric, Clare, Harry, me, Tomas, Eli, and Jess.
Weary travelers. Misadventure complete.**

This weekend was, quote possibly, one of the best I’ve had so far in Germany. Minus the embarassing drunk behavior, of course. That’s pretty normal for me. Ha. Unfortunately, most of the people who went on this trip are leaving at the end of the summer because they’re on summer placements doing internships and what not so I will have to say goodbye to some really good friends. Jess is staying until December and returning in March so I’ll have to live for three months without her. Sad face. But Eric (whose blog you should definitely check out because we’re living in Munich together at the same time, woo!) will be here for the rest of the year so at least one of my fellow Füssen misadventurers will be around continuously.

Tonight (being Tuesday night) I was invited to Tomas’ leaving dinner but, unfortunately, I do not think that I will be attending. I had to babysit tonight and since Helen showed up early from wherever she was, we did a joint au pair babysitting night. Vee and Eenie had their way with us and it’s official, after their artwork, neither Helen nor I will be going out tonight.

DSCN4116Helen was supposed to be… something. And I was supposed to be a cat.
We’ve got some Van Gogh’s on our hands here.


And that’s the end of this one. Finally.

* I definitely stole these pictures from Harry’s Facebook because his Nikon is infinitely better than mine.

** I definitely stole this one from Clare. Thanks, Clare bear!

August 6, 2010

Listography: August 6th


Albums I Am Craving

To the Sea - Jack Johnson A Book Like This - Angus & Julia Stone Live Session EP (iTunes Exclusive) - Angus & Julia Stone
Smoking Gun - Lady of the Sunshine Be My Thrill - The Weepies Gossip in the Grain - Ray LaMontagne

Albums I Am Enjoying

Down the Way – Angus & Julia Stone Shout it Out – Hanson I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart – Butch Walker
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (self-titled) Through Toledo – Greg Laswell 11:11 – Maria Taylor
’Til the Sun Turns Black – Ray LaMontagne Volume Two – She & Him Fate - Dr. Dog


Books I Have Read Since Arriving in Germany 8 Weeks Ago

Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single by Heather McElhatton
The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Deception Point by Dan Brown
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
True Colors by Kristen Hannah

Books I Am Currently Reading (or Plan to Read in the Near Future)

Handle with Care by Jodi Piccoult
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
(Third time the charm!)
Why Are Girls Weird by Pamela Ribon
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess
Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen Hoffman

German Brew That I Am Drinking