Friday, April 29, 2011

Yes, I am still alive!

I wish I could lie and say that I just have not had time for blogging, but alas, I cannot seem to muster up the strength to deceive myself like that. Truth be told, I have been busy, though I still manage to find time to stare blankly off into space for several hours contemplating the state of the world and my role in it. With the assistance of some wine.

I am officially in full swing here, as classes at the actual University have started, along with my German language courses. I had to take some courses in English because I am on German overload. Which is funny, because I just had a two week break from the actual German courses. I think learning German with complete immersion in the schools is much like drinking. You can take a two week break, but if, at the end of that two week break, you think you can do a minute long keg stand without some sort of repercussion, you are sorely mistaken. Going from just casual conversational German with my friends to wa-bam Deutsch grammar made my head want to implode on itself.

In other fun and exciting news, I am making my theatrical debut here in Deutschland as part of ACT: the English-speaking theatre group on campus. I am going to pretend like I am actually a good actor and that is why my auditions went so well, but I cant help but think it also has something to do with the fact that, oh, I don't know, I am a native English speaker. I am going to continue to live in my little bubble of awesomeness, though, so whatever. I really hope I do not forget my lines. I keep having these anxiety-ridden nightmares where I get up on stage and can only think of my lines in German, which is entirely implausible because, well, fuck, I do not speak German. Stranger things have happened, though.

As my time here in Germany winds down, I am filled with such a clusterfuck of mixed emotions. I cannot even begin to describe how unbelievably excited I am to go home. Fuck, I am even excited about taking accounting courses in the Fall--how sick is that?? I have started a list of things that I am going to do when I get home, and it is a good thing I have a week before classes start because I am going to need all that free time to get my Boise on. But alas, there is a part of me that is really starting to grow attached to Germany. Dare I say that if my circumstances were different (for example: if I were not living in Saarbrücken, or if I was not in student housing and had such basic necessities as a washer, stove, kitchen, washing machine, etc.) I might be tempted to stay here. There is a lot about Germany I like, and a lot about Germany that I do not like, but I think that holds true with a lot of places. I know I am going to be so glad to be away from some of these super rude Germans. If one more guy pushes me out of the way to get on the bus before me, I am going to kick him in the testicles. Maybe then knee him in the nose. I cannot believe how something as simple and timeless as male chivalry has seemed to escape the Germans. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I am a feminist and all that bullshit, but this is something so incredibly simple--dare I even say, innate decency. I really hope I do not move back to Boise and ram the back of someones car for cutting me off in traffic. I think that is a very German response to such things.

But the weather here has been absolutely beautiful--mid to high 70s--perfect sundress weather, or drinking weather, or my new favorite activity in Germany--schwenker! I will give Saarland that--schwenker is like a gift from God. Coupled with good friends, good drinks and some other fun and exciting additions, I feel like my days could not get any better, stretched out in Jens backyard reveling in the awesomeness that is voluntary unemployment.

I will say that today was a little bitchy, as I finally mustered up the motivation to go on my run around 5 (oh yeah, I signed up for the Portland marathon in October--someone get me some drugs, fast!) and half-way through, a Humboldt-style rain left me looking and smelling like a wet dog. This is why running is evil.

I think that is all for now. I am going to pour myself a beer (mixed with banana juice which, by the way, is freaking AMAZING! Thank you, Germany, for introducing me to new and exciting ways to enjoy my alcohol!) and watch the latest episode of The Colbert Report.

Friday, April 8, 2011

grocery shopping woes

I have been getting ready to go to the grocery store now for the better part of two hours. You may be thinking "why are you getting all dressed up and taking so much time simply to go to the grocery store"? Truth be told, I am not getting dressed up. I do not even have make-up on. I have been sitting in my underwear, flipping through my ipod, blasting at unreasonably high volumes such classic favorites as Tears for Fears and Tiffany while mustering up the mental will-how to get my ass to the Rewe. Grocery shopping just isn't fun anymore.

Some people view grocery shopping as a horrible, horrible chore that must be completed; I mean, we all need food, yeah? And those crazy feminists are probably thinking the grocery store is just an extension of the domestic sphere: a tool of a dominant patriarchal ideology constructed to keep women in their place. Maybe they are right. I mean, when was the last time you saw a commercial with a dude super excited about going to buy broccoli and cous cous at Albertsons?

I digress. Feminist or no, I love going grocery shopping. I love walking into Winco or Costco or Trader Joes or what have you and just smelling the awesomeness that is an organized, adventure-filled food warehouse. And I like the consistency. No matter what Winco you happen to waltz into, you can count on the fact that everything has some semblance of organization. If the toilet paper and paper plates are near the ice cream and frozen yogurt in one Winco, chances are good that going to a different Winco will produce the same result. I like that. It is knowing that something will never change that gives me peace of mind in this otherwise chaotic and clusterfuck existence that I call life.

Grocery shopping in Germany, however, is not as fun. My heart does not swell with the thought of purchasing my weeks meals, a mid-morning snack, late night munchies. No, my heart sinks to my butt when I think about having to make the trek to the Rewe or the Netto or, God forbid I muster up the courage to go to Globus, simply to purchase my groceries. I now view grocery shopping as a necessary evil--if I do not go shopping, I am forced to order food in, and while this is okay once in a while, I am pretty sure my muffin-top would like a break.

I cannot figure out what it is about German grocery stores that makes me want to swing my cart around violently and run over hoards of people. Oh wait, that is assuming I can even get a cart. I have decided that the pressure of having to "rent" a cart is more than I can handle, and have committed to only getting the amount of groceries that will fit into the red basket (and for you Europeans, I am not talking about that fucking red basket that has wheels that you can drag behind you. You look like a tool with those things, and it is equally aggravating when it runs into me. I want to kick your sausage and sauerkraut right out of it). I think I am so apprehensive towards German grocery stores simply because they are GERMAN grocery stores. It is not a Winco, it is not a Costco; I am constantly searching for things, for brand names that are somewhat familiar, only to be met by their evil German counterpart (i.e. Mr. Clean is in fact Meister Proper. Shit like that just does not have the same ring).

And I miss Costco. Oh how I miss Costco. Excessive or no, I like being able to purchase my 60" flat-screen television, 300 rolls of toilet paper, a cat bed and a rotisserie chicken all in one location. I went to Costco over Christmas break and wanted to get down on the floor and kiss it. It is the little things.

Anyway, random blog, I know, but I had this conversation with another friend of mine from America, and her sentiments are the same. I am thinking when I get back to Boise, I am going to have a party at Winco on Myrtle. Please RSVP if you can come.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Journal Entry

I do not know what has been going on lately, but I keep having blah days. I wake up in the morning and usually think everything is going to be fine, but by about mid-day, I lose all motivation to do anything productive, and then get mad at myself later for being so lazy. I cannot quite remember when this shift in my personality occurred; I used to be so put together, so organized, so...motivated. And somewhere along the line, I just stopped caring. Can you just lose your will to do anything? I sometimes wonder if this is depression, though I am not usually sad. Isnt that one of the symptoms? Arent you usually sad? I guess I am not sad, per se, but I just want to be left alone most of the time.

I thought I could move away from my problems. The small ones that were starting to build living in Boise. I thought going to a different place would change everything. Some things have changed, but not the things I wanted. I guess the old adage is true: you cannot run away from your problems. But realizing you cannot run away from your problems is a little disheartening. At what point do I stop blaming my circumstances and my surroundings and other people for my problems and when do I take responsibility?

Realizing today that this is my fault, that I have created this hole I now exist in sucks. I have the same problems I had in Boise, which is a clear indication that the issue exists not in where I am or who I know, but within myself. I have somehow convinced myself that I cannot amount to much of anything, and it is this sort of self-defeating bullshit that is going to slowly eat away at me if I do not change something. This is, of course, easier said than done. How do you change something that has become so fundamentally a part of you: being able to blame others for my shortcomings is much easier than having to deal with the painful reality of my self-made misery.

Maybe this is like a 12-step process. Maybe the first step is recognizing that I have a problem and admitting it. Because once it is out in the open, you cannot run away from it.

And I think right now, I am at a crossroads in my life. I had a feeling something major was going to happen this year. I could not put my finger on what it was, but I think this may be it. This is where I take the step in either direction: one way leading down the path I was originally intended for--the path where I quit making excuses for myself and buck up and start acting like a goddamned adult. Or I go down the other road, where I just accept my plot in life and be miserable. I know I alone have the power to change my life. It is a powerful, powerful feeling knowing that if you are not happy with something, you can change it. You have to change it. Why go through life thinking that what you have, however miserable it makes you, is all you are worth? I am going to say right here that I know I am worth more than I have slowly become. And I only hope that I can remember this when things get difficult or when I just want to give up and blame it on someone else.

I think this is something everyone goes through, especially when life does not turn out the way you had planned. Failure is a difficult pill to swallow, but I need to learn that all the mistakes in my life are there for a reason, if not to teach me to quit being such a fucking idiot sometimes. It reminds me of this quote I once heard: "we all start each day and promise ourselves that we are going to be better. The problem is in the execution." I need to quit saying I am going to do something and just fucking do it.