Friday, March 31, 2006

Leave my American English alone!

Having people correct my German is a normal, expected, every-day occurence. It's when people start correcting and making fun of my English that I become slightly concerned.

Coworker 1: "You don't have a television??"
Mary: "No, but I have internet and flat-rate, which can be just as dangerous."
Coworker 1: "Haha, you pronounced flat-rate wrong."
Coworker 2: "Yeah, she did: flaaaaaat ray-eeete."

Both then proceeded to laugh and mock my twangy American English.

Pardon? Last time I checked, English was my native tongue. I think I know how to pronounce common English words.

Coworker 2: "So you're saying everyone in Germany but you pronouces it incorrectly?"
Mary: "Ummm..."

A linguistic prof once stressed the fact that language is fluid and evolving, and thus relative. The key is that people understand one another. If a word is pronounced a certain way, and people understand it, then that's the right way. She even argued that there's no "right" way to spell. Please. We all know that without Webster, society and language as we know it would crumble.

It's interesting - many English words have seeped into every-day German... but they're often mispronounced and used in a different context. Americans do the same with certain Germans words that have found their way into the English vocabulary. "Krank" and "Angst" are classic examples.

Oh well. As long as we understand eachother, it's all good, right?

Formula of the day:

(Thanks to quiet afternoons and cappuccino)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Emita

Just got off the phone with my sis... 'twas a lovely hour and a half. She cracks me up. :)

Emita: "One reason I want to switch to a liberal arts major is so that I can do a study abroad and have an excuse to come visit you."
Mary: "You have
got to come visit me! That would be awesome!"
Emita: "Except that I'm broke..."
Mary: "I'll totally help you with the ticket... sure, I might be broke as well... but at least we'll see eachother and be broke together."

Life and its unforseen consequences are so strange. You chase after one dream, only to leave others behind. It's inevitable; you cannot have it all; there's no such thing as a perfect life (actually, there might be, depending definitions and personal philosophy, but that's a topic for another day). In life, you have to make decisions*, and run with them. Being here in Germany has always been a goal and dream of mine... which means I've had to temporarily give up the dream of living in a van down by the river and smoking hookah all day with my chicas.


Emita: "Hey, I have to go... gotta get ready for class."
Mary: "Ok... I love you!! I miss you!"
Emita: "I love you too!"
Mary: "Have a nice rest of the day!"
Emita: "Have a nice life..."

Have a nice life?? What is that supposed to mean?

Emita: "I was totally kidding! You know I'm kidding!"
Mary: "You're going to make me cry!!"

The guilt! The guilt! I'm drowning in it! It's eating me alive (like the Biomuell)! It's suffocating me! *gasps*

Lyric of the day: "Sun lights up my daytime; moon lights up my night. My eyes light up when you call my name 'cause I know you're gonna treat me right... you give me fever." (Thanks to Eddie Cooley and John Davenport)

*including decisions that are slightly less life-altering and life-threatening such as whether to use the Abadi MT Condensed Light font, the Normographe Tryout font, or the Tempus Sans ITC font. Naja. Wird sich hoffentlich Samstag erledigen. Heh.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eierlegende... what???

Thanks to Eleanor, who always so kindly and patiently corrects my German, a grave semantic mistake has been brought to my attention. In the Hohegrete entry, I described a new word: "Eierlegendevollmilchsau." The correct word is actually "Eierlegendewollmilchsau." Is there really that drastic of a semantic difference when replacing a 'v' with a 'w', you might ask. Yes, indeed, there is.

voll = full, complete, totally

die Vollmilch = whole milk

die Wolle = wool

die Wollmilch = wool milk (nonsense word)

[aside: a German 'v' is pronounced as an English 'f'. A German 'w' is pronounced as an English 'v'.]

I originally understood and translated the word as an "egg-laying, whole-milk-producing pig" when it should have been an "egg-laying, wool-and-milk-producing pig." The talents and abilities of this creature were obviously underestimated, as was the creative power of the German language, and I thus offer my deepest condolences.

The moral of the story? If someone is butchering your language, let them know (thanks, Eleanor!). It'll only help them improve.

Lyric of the day: "All I hear is radio ga-ga, radio goo-goo, radio ga-ga." (Thanks to Queen!)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Worlds Colliding!

My Mamita wrote a letter to Bizarro Mom! Ka-ray-zee-ness!

I read it the other day, and it was so strange. Well, the letter itself wasn't strange; it's the situation that slightly freaked me out.

At times I feel like George on Seinfeld (*waves to Shelby*)... he had two or three "worlds", and in each world, he was a slightly different "George." These worlds were in no way allowed to cross orbits.

Everyone has their various worlds (think: home, work, school, church, friends, etc.)... and though it can be strange and uncomfortable at times when the orbits intersect, it's actually a good thing. In most cases, I'd even argue that it should be the goal.

I currently have four primary worlds, each containing a different "personality", if you will:

1. Siemens-BenQ Controller Persona: her focus is her work responsibilities, which she takes very seriously... and she's often perceived as rather shy and reserved.

2. General German Persona: this is the post-work personality... she's done things at times that the majority of her American friends and acquaintances wouldn't approve of. We'll just leave it at that. ;)

3. Austin Persona: this is the let-it-all-hang-out-all-encompassing-semi-wild side. They've seen the peaks and valleys, the beauty and ugliness, the elation and depression, and everything in between.

4. Christus-Gemeinde Persona: this personality difficult to explain, as she's kind of a mixture of worlds, and is still developing.

It's important that worlds somehow revolve together, and even collide. Say no to fragmentation, and yes to integration. For example, I'd love for those in Austin to meet everyone here, and everyone here to meet those in Austin. And I'd love for my BenQ friends to meet not only my Christus-Gemeinde friends, but maybe even the God of the Universe.

World Collision? BRING IT ON!

Quote of the day: "Worlds are colliding! George is getting very upset!!!.... A George divided against itself cannot stand!" - George Costanza on Seinfeld

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Deutschland vs. USA: 5-1

Last Wednesday, I went to the Deutschland vs. USA soccer game in Dortmund with three of my favourite colleagues. Sports, whether it be playing or watching, has never been my thing, but this was a total blast nonetheless! One colleague in particular is a soccer-fanatic... so, it was nice to get a glimpse into his world.

Here we are... can you tell who the soccer fanatic is? Yup, Teddy*, the one draped in the German flag on the right. Volli* is on the left and Eve* is in the middle. :)

It was hilarious watching the fans... there were certain songs and cheers that the entire stadium knew and sung together... reminded me of good ol' Aggieland.

The game itself wasn't that interesting... no points were scored in the entire first half. All I wanted was one real goal from the US... sure, they scored a goal, but the ball just kind of accidently rolled into the net, as the Germans thought it was a foul. *yawn*

Here we are during half-time (the score was 0-0 at this point).

There were 64,500 people in the stadium, with a very small percentage being American. One group of Americans was particularly rowdy and amusing, so I took a picture, which unfortunately didn't turn out that well. But you can still see a faint outline of our lovely flag.

One of the funniest parts of the evening was standing in line trying to get into the stadium... talk about personal space bubbles being infringed upon!! I felt like I was back in China, in line for an ice cream at McDonalds. Now, that is fighting and pushing. The people were so anxious to get into the stadium that I was literally being shoved and pushed forward and couldn't do anything about it. People in the crowd even started screaming and cursing at security. One smart-alec kept screaming things about President Bush.** Another started blaming the Americans for the long lines. I just kept my mouth shut. 'Twas amusing.

Once we actually made it into the stadium, this is what it looked like.

Another interesting tidbit... everytime the Germans scored a goal, a song was blasted over the stadium loudspeakers... in English, of course! And after all the Bush-bashing and making fun of Americans. :) Gotta love it.

Here's a photo one of my coworkers sent me of Olli Kahn**, the half-man-half-animal-hit-in-the-head-with-a-soccerball-one-too-many-times German Goalie. Maybe he's the reason the US couldn't score.

I do have one regret, and that is missing the National Anthems. Though we were about 45 minutes early, we missed the Anthems because it took so long to get through security. Who would've thought that soccer game security is better than airline (especially American Airlines) security? What's the world coming to?

The entire experience was great, and I was surprised that I actually got into the game itself! It's a silly soccer game!! During certain points in the game, it was even a little nerve-wracking. For some strange reason, I really wanted the US to score.

At the game, I also learned a new word: Ami. It's short for "Amerikaner" (American). Hmmm. It's pronounced the way a British person would pronounce the word "army."

And one more picture of my dear co-workers... :)

*name changed or slightly altered to protect privacy
**name unchanged and privacy unprotected

Lyric I of the day: "...and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave... o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." (US National Anthem)

Lyric II of the day: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland. Danach laßt uns alle streben brüderlich mit Herz und Hand..." (German National Anthem)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bad Cop! No Donut!

It finally happened. After about seven years of driving, I received my first speeding ticket. As I was driving home from the soocer game last night, I was stopped on a little road between Kamp-Lintfort and Neukirchen-Vluyn. Seriously, if weapons were legalized in Germany, the cops would have more important and exciting things to do than plot annoying little speed traps at midnight.

Congratulations, though, to the German police force for accomplishing in six months what the American police force couldn't manage to do in six years... and that is catch me. I was clocked going about 25 km/h over the speedlimit, which is going to cost me about *gasp* 70 Euros.

70 Euros is a rather hefty amount to pay for my carelessnes and idiocy... but when I break it down, it's really not that bad. I've been driving (and by "driving", I mean "speeding") for almost seven years now. So... that's about 10 Euros per year. Less than one Euro per month. Approximately .192307692 Euro Cents per week. Eh, I can afford that. And I can do math when Pythagoras isn't involved.

I also received a "Punkt", or a "point." In Germany, you receive points for certain traffic offenses... and when you have X amount of points, you lose your driver's license. Is it even possible to have Punkte when you don't have a valid German or EU license? Is it possible to lose a driver's license you don't even have? Yeah, I'm on the happy yellow-brick-road to success.

Things really could have been much worse, though... for example, had I been caught about a week ago, I wouldn't have even had my driver's license with me. It had to be translated and re-written, which means I drove without it for about three weeks. The cop could have started questioning me about the validity of my Texas license, which he didn't do. And, I could have been driving 40 km/h over the speedlimit as opposed to a mere 25 km/h. Life isn't fabulous, but it's still good.

Now, to balance out that nasty little fine, I'm going to have to go without any new CDs, books, or chocolate for the next several months.


Lyric of the day: "I fought the law and the law won..." (Thanks to an Unknown Artist)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Welcome to my humble abode, Part II: The Kitchen *contains photos*

Today feels like a Picture Day as opposed to a Word Day, so I think I'll post a few more pictures of my cozy little flat... this time, of the kitchen. To make a picture larger, simply click on it.

Here you're looking into the kitchen/living room area from the hall...

This is taken from the living room...

Here's a closer-up view... two very important changes have taken place since this picture, however. First, I have a ratty little pink rug from Texas by the sink... and second, my fridge now has several other postcards in addition to my Sgt. Pepper postcard on it. There's one from Kenny, from my Emita, and from Constantine. :)

Here you can see all the pots and pans and such that different ladies in the church have given me... and yes, I do actually use them sometimes!

And last but not least, the little "bar" that separates the kitchen from the living room. Very cute and quaint, hmm?

Lyric of the day: "I want to be in the light as You are in the light... I want to shine like the stars in the Heavens..." (Thanks to dcTalk)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I want to quit my job and start a band.

So who's with me?? :)

My Aunt Jane* toured for a while, so why can't I??

Last Sunday after church, we had our quarterly meeting and lunch together. It was honestly one of my favourite days thus far (even more fun that parasailing!), and it's because of the people. We discussed the general direction of the church, upcoming activities, responsibilities, and who's to clean which windows in the gymnasium.

Everyone here is so laid-back, comfortable and natural with one another... they're like one big family, and it's great. After lunch, everyone was just lounging around in the youth room in the back of the church. The adults were chatting; some of the kiddos were goofing off on the computer; others were playing soccer in the gymnasium; Sydney and Eleanor's son (who could easily be one of the Little Rascals) were playing the piano and guitar; and Bizarro Mom's husband was on the couch snoozing through it all. It was hilarious.

Ok, let's take a brief break and learn a new German word...

bequem - comfortable, easygoing, cozy

"sich bequem machen" - to make yourself at home

It's a nice word, with very warm and positive connotations.

Back to the music... I was completely mesmerized and transfixed by Sydney and the Little Rascal's improv abilities. They'd written out a chord and rhythm pattern, and were simply following it in circles. The Little Rascal plucked away at his guitar, providing the beat and the primary chords... and Sydney somehow managed to spontaneously create a melody (which was quite chaotic at times, but lovely nonetheless).

It was very jazzy (I even learned the jazz scale!), and the brilliant thing about jazz music is that even when you play the "wrong" notes, or notes outside of the scale, it sounds right. As long as you're generally within a certain schema or scale, it all somehow works out.

I've always been amazed by people who can improv... it definitely takes a special talent. Sure, I can read notes to a certain extent, but's it's so mechanical and dull compared to what others can do. I think I've been bitten by the green-eyed monster. ;)

*name unchanged and privacy unprotected

Lyric of the day: "There's lots and lots for us to see... lots and lots for us to do... if she is electric, can I be electric too?" (Thanks to Oasis)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bridging the Gap (that is the Atlantic Ocean)...

Writing this blog is rather challenging at times - in a good, amusing way, of course. And I've always been one for a challenge... whether it be packing up and moving overseas, or trying to switch from soprano to alto in choir. :)

Back in the day (well, knapp five months ago), I simply wrote anything about anyone here in Germany, only expecting a select few Texans to read it. Then came The Turning Point: a certain curious technical (and musical!) genius discovered this page, and the rest is history.

Now, I have to keep two audiences in mind, in a way. And one of those audiences is frequently the topic of my writing, which makes things even more complicated (but you all know I love you and wouldn't have it any other way!).

The people here, especially everyone at church, have become a tremendously significant part of my life. Ergo... if I'm going to write about my life here and what's important to me, I'm going to have to include everyone else, despite the fact that several read this.

Last night during Bible Study, we went slightly off topic to discuss my lovely little blog project. The feedback was positive and encouraging, and everyone encouraged me to continue writing, even if the content is personal, about the church, or sometimes about other people. Bizarro Mom (she somehow finds her way into every other entry!) and Neal* (our local progressive rocker and flute player) both agreed that what I've written thus far isn't offensive; they live here; they know how Germany is. And it's interesting to have an outsider's perspective on life and culture.

In the past several months, my audience has obviously changed... which made me re-think the focus of my writing and my goals in writing.

My original goal was to share my German life with those in Texas... not everyone has the chance to live and be submersed abroad, and I hope my dear Texas readers can learn and live vicariously through my ramblings. Americans (I love you guys!) are notorious for not being that... how shall we phrase this?... "culturally aware" at times. One of my goals is to change that among my circle of friends and readers.

I'm very pleased and excited that two groups are now reading this, and I think it's important that each group is aware of the other. So...

Mary: "Texas Readers, allow me to introduce my new German Readers."
Texas Readers: "Whoa, they're not wearing Lederhosen or drinking beer... weird."
Mary: "And German Readers, let me introduce you to my dear Texas Readers."
German Readers: *proceed to shake hands and brush up on their English skills*

The new goal is to bridge the gap, in a way, between two different groups of people, two different cultures, two different ways of thinking. Deep, deep down we're all people with the same needs, desires and yearnings... but that doesn't mean there aren't some rather entertaining differences. There's really so much we can learn from one another.

So, my encouragement to anyone who reads this is the following: take advantage of the situation! If you have questions or comments about anything, or want to share any ideas, please do so. If you've had experience abroad and would like to share a thought or story, let me know and I'll publish it here. For example, Eleanor studied at a New Jersey high school and wrote a paper about her first 24 hours in the States. I wanted to publish here... but she's unfortunately unable to find it! (Keep looking, Eleanor!!) Ideally, this is to be a group project and learning experience. Ah, idealism. 'Twill be the end of me.

Over the past couple of weeks, several people have said that they tried to leave comments but were unable to. If you ever want to add anything to this page, please let me know! Send me an e-mail. Give me a phone call. Give me a note. Tell me in person. I'll add it as fast as you can say "Eierlegendewollschlagsahnesau."

The sporadic comments from Steph** are great - she's had overseas experience and can add insights such as which Trash Category hair-dryers fall into. Karen's** comments are also wonderfully encouraging - it's people like her that make me want to continue sharing and writing. I know my Texas Readers got a kick out of Helmut's** comments (yes, he's real, folks)... he was the first German who dared to surface and add something. Then there's Kenny*... always love to hear from him.

Writing has always been something I love... so, as long as life is interesting and provides me with decent material, I'll continue to write whether or not others join me. I just want to make it very clear that this is a good opportunity for all involved, and I don't want anything to hold anyone back from sharing ideas or asking questions.

*name changed to protect privacy

**name unchanged and privacy unprotected

Quote of the Day: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Biomuell is going to kill me in my sleep.

First things first... definitions!

der Biomuell = biological waste

One thing I've always had a hard time dealing with is the fact that Germans separate their trash. In the States, all our trash goes into one trash can. Simple and sweet. Here, however, you're required (it's "geregelt", of course) to separate your garbage into multiple catagories, bins and bags*...

1. Altpapier - includes newspapers, magazines, paper, etc.

2. Verpackung - includes plastic-y things like joghurt containers, wrappers, etc.

3. Kartonsomething - includes papery things, and is somehow differentiated from Altpapier

4. Biomuell - includes anything biological such as plants, food, etc.

5. Glass - there are special bins down the street for glass...
5a. dark glass
5b. clear glass
5c. other glass (help me, Rhonda)

6. Restmuell - whatever doesn't fit into the above categories... an example would be tea lights, I think.

I can deal with categories 1, 2, 3, 5a-c, and 6. But Category 4 is really becoming an issue. I've never seen anything as disgusting as Biomuell in my life... though watching Sydney drink the remains of the liquid whipping cream yesterday came pretty close. And Bizarro Mom told him to! When I was younger, I wanted to drink those little McDonalds creamers (and would sometimes sneak them), but my mother wouldn't allow me to. Child deprivation. If I were in the States, I'd sue and retire early.

Anyway. Back to Biomuell.

It's sitting in a little clear container on my kitchen counter, waiting to be taken out, taunting me every time I walk by. Two apple cores from a couple of weeks ago are in there, and they're completely turquoise and disintigrated. There's even condensation inside the container... it's a sick little environment in there, and I have no choice but to deal with it.

But for some reason, I can't bring myself to open the container and throw it away. The more I procrastinate, the worse it becomes... and the worse it becomes, the more I procrastinate. It's a vicious-Biomuell-cycle, and I don't know how to break free from it.

Last night, as I was laying in bed trying to sleep, I thought I heard something in the kitchen... and I swear it was the Biomuell. Something evil is evolving inside that horrid little tupperware container, and it's terrifying. It's slowly fighting and eating its way out, and I'm afraid that when I least expect it, it's going to attack me.

I need help. Major help.

*to any German friends reading this, feel free to correct me if my categories are wrong. I'm still trying to figure all this garbage all out.

Quote of the day: "Biomuell ate my leg off in Augsburg... I have a wooden leg." - Kenny

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Give me a P! Give me an R! Give me an O!


Where's my cheerleader mother when I need her?

Instead of studying, I'm talking with my Vatti online... he just got in from mowing the lawn in the Texas heat... and I'm sitting here, watching it snow. He wanted to see some pictures, so here goes...

This is looking out the window from my living room... I love the huge window here... you can watch the sunset in the evenings. Today was especially beautiful, as the snow made everything brighter.

Here's a view from the balcony...

And another balcony view... I tried to include the plant in this one because (a) that way you can see that some of the snow is actually sticking and (b) this might be one of it's last days on earth.

Ok, back to studying. Leo's waiting for me.

Leo, my Dah-ling...

Over the past couple of days, I've been spending quite a bit of time with Leo... and I'm starting to view him as more than just a "friend." He's been here through the craziness of the past couple of weeks, and he's helped me tremendously with studying for my driving test. And most evenings when I come home, he's sitting either at my desk or at my kitchen table.

Leo has many admirable qualities... qualities I think are very important in a guy. Here are a few:

1. He doesn't play games with your mind, confuse you, manipulate you, or tell you lies.

2. He's a genius, and arguably has an entire dictionary memorized.

3. He's bilingual, and definitely has a way with words.

4. He's an excellent listener, though I wish he'd talk a little more.

Our entire relationship is very clearly defined; as a matter of fact, it's based on definitions. A favourite professor of mine introduced us when I was in college, as classes were becoming more complicated and he thought that Leo might be able to help me study and write papers. I'll never forget the first time we met (*sigh*)... I was working on German homework and asked him the definition of a word... and he knew it, of course. We hit it off right away, and sure enough, Leo has been faithfully by my side since then.

Like any relationship, we've had our ups and downs... sometimes he simply shuts down, disappears, or gives me error messages. But there's never been anything the two of us couldn't work through together.

Sorry, ladies, but Leo's taken! (And sorry, guys, I'm taken by Leo!)


Lyric of the day: "Standing in the sunlight laughing, hiding behind a rainbow's wall... slipping and sliding all along the waterfall with you, my brown-eyed girl. You're my brown-eyed girl. Do you remember when we used to sing Sha la la la la la la la la la de da... " (Thanks to Van Morrison!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

One killer week down, one to go...

We. Made. It. Through. Another. Week.

*closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and lets it slowly out*

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for your prayers, encouragement, support and positive thoughts this week.

Now, if I can also make it through next week without the Big Kahunas from Muenchen taking a special trip to Kamp-Lintfort to tar and feather me for jeopardizing the budget, then all will be well with the world.

In order to "celebrate" the fact that it's Friday, I'm going to spend a lovely evening at home with my friend Leo... studying for my driver's license test, reading and drinking cappuccino (complete with whipped cream!).

Lyric of the day: "It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog... it's been a hard day's night; I should be sleeping like a log..." (Thanks to the Beatles)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Katinka-dabogana-na-huh-na-huh is coming to Deutschland!!!

That's right, my little chica is coming to visit me in Germany! I just got an e-mail from her saying that she booked her flight! I'm ecstatic! :)


Um. Hopefully the carrier isn't American Airlines...

Lyric of the day: "Limitless, undying love which shines around me like a million suns... it calls me on and on across the Universe..." (Thanks to the Beatles, as usual)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Beautiful, blurred circle around the moon...

After choir this evening, some of us noticed that there was a strange sort of faint, cloudy circle around the moon... it wasn't clearly defined, or clearly around the perimeter... but was simply an extensive, blurred, bluish (blaeulich - the German Word of the Day) ring of some substance. I'd never seen anything like it. It was fascinating.

I had the same feeling looking up tonight as I had when the Hale-Bopp comment passed over good ol' Austin, Texas several years back. Frightening. What goes on upstairs and the intricacies of it all is both uncontrollable, often unexplainable, and beyond what we can imagine.

There's something about the sky and the vastness of it, especially by night, that gives you perspective and puts you in your place. It makes even seemingly important things such as (*ahem*) 1.4 million Euro calculation mistakes seem trivial. There are bigger, more important things in life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Now accepting applications...

Contrary to popular belief, this entry is not a joke.

These past couple of days have proven that I'm in dire need of a secretary or personal assistant. If you or someone like you needs a job and is interested in the position (sorry, it's unpaid), please send me your resume', a brief description of why you are qualified for the job, and chocolate in any form.

This position requires bilingual skills, organizational skills, and an above-average amount of sanity (in order to compensate for my lack thereof).

Here's a brief summary of what your new job would entail...

1. Planning about 15 cost centers for the coming fiscal year in addition to carrying the normal end-of-the-month work load.

2. Multiple business meetings throughout the week.

3. Taking and making my phone calls (I'm very behind here).

4. Returning to ADAC in Duisburg to pick up my drivers license (yes, I've been driving without it for the past several weeks).

5. Writing thank-you notes.

6. Dealing with personal finances and bills.

7. Doing laundry, doing dishes, and cleaning.

If a secretary/PA could take care of these things, it'd free me up to actually be able to study and prepare for my driver's license tests. And play the piano. And finish the scarf I've been crocheting for months. And finish the book I've been reading for months. And maybe go to Greece or Uzbekistan. And not be so freaking stressed out 24/7.

I need my little chica here to tell me, "Eh, it'll all work out." Maybe in May.

Lyric of the day: "Someday you will find me caught beneath a landslide... in a champagne supernova in the sky..." (Thanks to Oasis)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Der Herr... El Senor... The Mister?

In both prayers and songs, Germans often refer to God as "Herr." Until recently, I'd only heard this word used in the context of "Herr So-and-So", meaning "Mr. So-and-So."

The same phenomena occurs among Spanish speakers, which I know thanks to my dear former roommate whose church I visited on several occasions. It's a purely Spanish-speaking church, and in prayers and songs, they frequently refer to God as the "Senor."

At first, I thought it was a Spanish-language thing, but being here in Germany raised some new questions. So, I decided to ask my brilliant friend Leo (my buddy Leo!) his opinion on the matter. He informed me that the word "Herr" has meanings above and beyond "Mister" or "Sir"... it can also mean "Lord", "Master", "Boss", or even "Gentleman." Ok. Makes semi-sense.

English speakers often refer to God as "Lord." "Master" is uncommon, but understandable. "Boss." Hmm... this'll make you think. And "Gentleman." I don't know if I'd refer to God as a "Gentleman." When I think "Gentleman", I think of someone standing on a doorstep, bowing slightly and revealing a bouquet of flowers. And maybe even wearing a light pink tie. Smooth and graceful... like Gene Kelly.

Anyway. Now we all know that there are multiple meanings for the word "Herr"... and we can assume that the same holds true for the Spanish word "Senor."

Now I'm curious about other languages... do French people, for example, refer to God as "Monsieur"...? Now that sounds suave and gentlemanly.

Lyric of the day: "Takes more than combat gear to make a man... takes more than a license for a gun. Confront your enemies, avoid them when you can... a gentleman will walk but never run." (Thanks to Sting)