Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sound Girl and Sidekick are BACK!

I'd like to take this post to express, in response to a comment from the infamous Sound Girl* herself, my deepest sympathies for excluding her, Sidekick** and Tall Guy*** (though he's arguably, assumably and unfortunately out of the picture and thus arguably, assumably and unfortunately oughtn't be included) from my current writings.

Sound Girl, thanks for dropping out of Oblivion!

I was actually reading through some old journals the other day, and I found where I'd listed all of my HCCSA classmates... but not just a list of names, of course... I'd also listed their nicknames and my general opinion of them, as well as rated them based on various characteristics (purely objective, mind you). Oh, the confu-sed mind of a high-schooler. Sound Girl and Tall Guy were there, right at the top, of course. :)

I kind of miss stalking *ahem* a certain boy during lunch period, egging cars, and reading interesting short stories in Mrs. Jackson's class. Those were some weird, messed up times.

Thank goodness I transferred to public school, though... that definitely solved all my problems. :)

*goes into a strange-reflective-trance-like-stupor-state*

Lyric of the Day: "I will paint my picture, paint myself in blue and red and black and gray. All of the beautiful colors are very very meaningful... Mr. Jones and me, we're gonna be big stars." (Thanks to Counting Crows)

*Sound Girl: The Keeper of the High School Sound System

**Sidekick: Her Trusty Accomplice (yup, that'd be me)

***Tall Guy: Sidekick's, em, five-year-long secret crush (though it was obvious)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Music Seminar :)

Yesterday, Syd and I went to a seminar in Wiedenest on music in the church. It was very interesting* and informative, and there were a couple ideas I'd like to maybe try out. I'm the type (and I think Syd is, too) who has to sit on information for a while, and internally process it and think it through before coming to conclusions. So... we shall see what practically becomes of our theory.

Generally, though, I think our church is on the right track, and headed in the right direction.

The speaker said that two things determine people's reaction to music - specifically, music that's not in their preferred style: their relationship with God and their love for another. For example, if you're excited about God and want to praise Him, it won't matter to you whether it be with organ music or with drums and a guitar. And if you love others in the church, you'll be more willing to compromise.

Fortunately, I'm fond of all types of music, so this isn't much of an issue for me personally. Though I'd like to think that if the youth, for example, wanted to integrate rap music (one of the few genres I can't stand) into our worship time, I'd be open.


When we first got there, we saw an enticing grand piano in one of the rooms, and during the break, we had to test it out, of course. The main entrance was locked by then, but where there's a will, there's a way... so we managed to sneak in through the back entrance. Reminded me of the good ol' days in the MSC**, in a way. Anyway, 'twas a lovely piano, and Syd's playing was as lovely as ever, and the Green-Eyed Monster*** was as vicious as ever. But the necessary combat steps are being taken.

*scratches her head*

I still kind of want to quit work and start a band... or maybe a Gregorian-chant-singing Choir.

Lyric of the day: "Locus iste a deo factus est. Inestimabile sacramentum. Irreprehensibilis est." (Thanks to Die Beinahe Sechs)

*in the German sense of the word, Eleanor! :)

**Memorial Student Center at A&M

***to my dear German readers: the "Green-Eyed Monster" is jealousy... don't ask why... ist einfach so. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Music Books from Bizarro Mom!

This evening was like Christmas!! Everyone came over for Bible Study, and Bizarro Mom gave me five of the most commonly used Praise & Worship books! Craziness! They're really fabulous resources - all the German songs we sing are in the books, as well as many English songs, translated into German.

Now, the next step is to return the stolen books I've been using for the past several months. Syd was the first person to get his book back. (Thanks for letting me borrow it, by the way - though you didn't have much of a choice :)

I'm excited. Muah.

Thanks, Bizarro Mom!

International License... on the way...

*ring ring*

Mamita: "Guess what I sent you in the mail today..."
Mary: "I think I know... but what???"
Mamita: "Your international driver's license."
Mary: *squeeeeeeeee!* "THANK YOU!!!"

Hopefully it'll be valid here... but I'm trying to psychologically prepare myself in case it isn't. Because if it isn't, I'm afraid you all will be witnesses of The Emotional Break-down of the Century. Nah, not really. But I will be very ticked off, to put it lightly and politely.

Thanks, Mom!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Boys are Evil Creatures (well, some of them, at least)

I fortunately made it through the weekend without running into Stalker Boy, who was in town. One of my friends, who spent Saturday working with him, informed me that he'd asked about me... well, asked about me, depending on how you define "me." Actually, he asked about "Melanie Barber."

Ok, I admit that I'm bad with names. And I'm the first to forgive people who forget my name. But seriously... I'd think that a guy who called me two to four times a day for a week and a half straight, forced me to screen my calls and go into cardiac arrest every the phone rang, hunted down my work number and called unexpectedly during work, showed up uninvited at my appartment, asked multiple people if I was ok and why I wasn't returning his phone calls, suggested he spend his day off in Neukirchen, suggested we go to Holland together, and suggested we go to the Black Forest together would at least remember my freaking name.

I'm not Melanie. Or Martha. Or Melissa. Or Margaret. Or Artemis-Diana. It's Mary, so if you happen to be a guy who's going to stalk me, then at least get the name right, YOU CREEP.

And some advice to stalkers: remembering the name is key. After all, if you don't know the name, how can you find someone's address if they've moved to avoid you? And how can you track down their phone number when they've changed it to avoid your phone calls?

It's common sense, my pretty little stalkers, common sense.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday conversations and thoughts on decisions

Today was encouraging, as I feel like a step forward was taken, in the sense that some long-waited conversations occured. Such occurences substantiate my thoughts that there's some (sometimes unknown) reason for me being here, in this part of the world during this particular time.

In context with certain conversations, I was thinking about decisions, and I've come to two conclusions. These are conclusions I've had tucked in the back of my mind for some time, but they mean more at this point than before.

1. One decision can literally change your entire life. Whether it be a good/bad/right/wrong decision, once you've made it and once you've gone there, there's no turning back. No un-doing. No re-winding. No escaping.

2. Major wrong decisions are often the result of a chain of smaller wrong decisions. You wouldn't wake up one day and deliberately make a poor decision (unless you're simply dumb and apathetic). Each supposedly tiny step you take in the wrong direction makes taking a slightly larger step in the wrong direction all the easier. And the well-known-downward-spiral...

Now, to tie it all together in a succinctly comprehensible manner: make wise decisions, whether they be crucial or seemingly trite.

The hard part is when things aren't black and white, and there are multiple "good" decisions... but that's a topic for another day.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

On Ecclesiastes, the Future, Control, Worrying and Creepy Stalker Boy

I'm still alive... just trying to sort some things out, which means spending more time doing other things and less time blogging. Gotta love the vagueness, but sometimes it's necessary.

Some of us have been reading through Ecclesiastes together, and a couple of verses were particularly enlightening: chapter 8, verses 6-8.

"For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him. Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death."

Assuming that these verses are true and that I myself am included in "no man", then there's no way for me to know the future, and no way for me to completely control everything. This doesn't mean I can shirk responsibility, go passive, or slip into apathy... but it does mean that there are things I simply can't know and can't control. I've thus decided to make a very deliberate and conscious effort not to worry, stress or freak out about certain things.

Sure, no man can know the future or have power over the wind or the day of his death. But I'm going to take a leap and say that God knows this kind of thing. I'd also say that He has pretty much everything under control.

*takes a deep breath and slowly exhales*

On a lighter note, I learned yesterday that Stalker Boy is going to be in town this weekend. And he'll probably be floating around my street and the church... which poses a problem, as I want/need to play the piano today. After much debating, I've decided to take the risk and venture to the church. I shouldn't let silly boys control how I spend my Saturday afternoons, even if they are under the Creepy Stalker Boy Category.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Driver's License Update

I... think... *crosses her fingers*... that... a solution has been found!

Let's take a moment to applaud and promote Triple A* for so brilliantly supporting me in my plot to somehow obtain driving rights without having to repeat the practical test. For the fourth time (and maybe even more).

I spoke with a Triple A rep (in English!) this afternoon:

Guster: "Thank you for calling Triple A, how may I help you?"
Mary: "Well, I'm living overseas, specifically in Germany, and a slight problem has developed... a problem that I think your International Driving Permit could solve."
Guster: "Indeed. All you need to do is fill out the application, send us a copy of your Texas license and two passport photos, and ten US dollars."
Mary: "That's all? But it's so easy. And cheap. It's impossible."
Guster: "Oh, but it
is possible. In Germany, everything is geregelt and complicated, but part of our job here at Triple A is to find ways around those annoying and nasty little rules."
Mary: "Brilliance. Sheer brilliance."
Guster: "After all... we're Americans. If we think rules are annoying, then we have to fight them and find ways around them. This especially includes rules in foreign countries."
Mary: "But of course."
Guster: "Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Mary: "Actually, yes. Is there any way you could orchestrate a shipment of toxic waste to be sent to a horrid little driving school in Moers?"
Guster: "As you wish."
Mary: "I think I love you."

Now, let's hope that he's right, and that this actually works... and that he follows through with the shipment.

*American version of ADAC

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sentimentalities and the Music Genome Project of Sheer Brilliance

I really like life here, and the fact that I feel like my life here is being threatened is making me realize just how much I like it.

I love the people, my little group, my church... I like my job, my appartment, and my little fairy-tale-esque-cobble-stoned-street town. And I want to stay here for now.


Anyway, on a lighter note... I normally don't promote websites here, but thanks to myspace and various people from my past hunting me down, I've been made aware of a fabulous internet radio site:

It began as a project, the Music Genome Project, and here's the description:

"Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like."*

So... what you, as the listener, can do is enter in a favourite song or artist, and the radio will automatically generate similar-sounding songs. It's freaking brilliant.

The "catch" is that you have to register... all they want is a name, an e-mail address and a US zipcode. If any of my German friends want to register, feel free to use my Texas zipcode: 78681. :)

I've recently gotten into some new music genres I've never listened to before, which means I'm unfamiliar with artists in that particular genre. Pandora's helped me discover other similar musicians, and it's really been great fun.

*Source: Music Genome Project

On Life, Writing and Anvils*

Sometimes it's difficult being an aspiring-writer-wanna-be, especially when I'm trying to peel myself off the pavement cause life just dropped a forty-ton anvil on me and my bicycle.

*thinks about what to write*

It's not as if I'm lacking "material." Quite the contrary: the material's all here, nicely coupled with abnormally high amounts of mental energy exertion and sleep deprivation. Throw in monthly medication overdoses (it's great being a woman) and the fact that many prominent composers, musicians, philosophers and artists were actually insane... and I definitely have potential.

Ok, let's add it up:

ideas (mental energy) + time (sleep deprivation) + more ideas (medication) + creativity (insanity) = increased potential. I obviously have everything going for me... so why the inability to ingeniously solve life's problems and record it in entertainingly witty and clever blogs on the side?

But alas... here I sit, pondering what to write next, and waiting for the next anvil to drop out of the overcast sky.

* please take nothing** I write seriously

** almost everything

Monday, August 07, 2006


You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine...
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, Dear, how much I love you...
So, please, don't take my Sunshine away.

- thanks to an Unknown Author

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lake in the Sun (without injuries or fatalities)

Today was hilarious. Families with boys are so different than families with only girls... coming from a family with four girls (and two loving parental units, of course), I never cease to be shocked/ amazed/ horrified by some of the stunts that guys pull. My chicas and I pulled our share of stunts... but ours usually didn't put our lives in physical danger. What really gets me when it comes to families with guys is all that the parents allow and the fact that they don't freak out.

Today, for example, I went to the lake with some of the youth from church (yeah, I'm still torn between being a grown-up and a miscreant-juvenile). It was quite the procession: a tractor with a trailor, a Trabi*, and a Moped.

To get to the water, you had to climb down a small bank... of course, the guys wanted to jump from the bank into the water, but it was too shallow. So, Someone (Syd, was that you?) had the brilliant idea of parking the trailor on the very edge of the bank, giving them a platform to run and jump off of. I can't imagine my sisters and I doing something like that! The idea in and of itself would have arguably been considered a Thoughtcrime by my dear Father.

And the greatest part was coming home and telling Mr. P, Bizarro and Eleanor about what we'd done... they didn't even think twice! As a matter of fact, they got a kick out of it.


*Trabant, an old East German car. How do you double it's value? Fill it with gas. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Island in the Sun?

After much deliberation and cogitation, I've decided I'd like to be a subsistence farmer on a random island in the sun. A day consisting of berry-picking, contemplative walks on the beach and reading is sounding rather nice.

The plan is to start looking for a boat this weekend, and then give away all my stuff (if there's something in particular you'd like - say, a CD or a book, for example - let me know) and paddle away next weekend. I have some money saved up, so I could have emergency items such as blank notebooks, chocolate bars and contact lenses helicoptered in.

The only foreseeable problem is the lack of a piano.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Life Theory Validations and Rain

Yesterday, I rode my bike through the rain for the first time. On the one hand, it was an annoying pain. But on the other hand, the masochistic pessimist in me kind of wanted it to rain, just so my cynical Life Theories* could be validated, which they were.

So, the classic Battle Between Optimism and Pessimism...

Mary: "It's raining and I'm feeling cold, wet, gross and annoyed."
Laura**: "Be positive. It could be raining harder."
Mary: *rolls her eyes* "Or it could be sun-shiny."
Laura: "Or it could be colder... and, say, snowing instead of drizzling."
Mary: "Or I could be driving. And I could have passed my test. The first time. Or the second time. Or maybe even the third time."
Laura: "At least you have a bike. And someone was kind enough to
give it to you!"
Mary: "But I also have Scaramouche... and she's disintigrating in the garage."
Laura: "It could be a ton worse; believe me."
Mary: "I know, I know. I could swerve in front of this approaching 18-wheeler, for instance."
Laura: "WATCH OUT!!!"

And so it went.

The Never-ending Mental Battle. If the Battle is exclusively in your mind, between you and yourself, does that mean that (a) it truly is never-ending and (b) there's no way to ever win it?

Or, as Laura would say, there's no way you can lose it.

At least there's one thing in life I'm sure of: if you bike outside in the rain without an umbrella or rain jacket, you get *bleeping* soaked.

*Life is a Valley of Misery. Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless. Life is an A-minor song. Etc.

**my positive alter-ego