Thursday, November 30, 2006

Interview Insanity (or, I'll be in Madrid on Monday)

Got a call yesterday from a Headhunter I've been working with and he has a Spain-based (but international) client with their Germam headquarters in Berlin. They're going to fly me to Madrid this Monday for an interview with the head financial dude.


*scratches her head*

I'm not used to companies having money.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christus Gemeinde NK Blog!


Hello, my Dears!

Syd and I have decided to start a blog for our church. We already have a website, but we think a blog is a better way to keep people updated with the latest information and events. It's also more flexible and dynamic than a "normal" (though isn't normalcy relative?) website.

So, allow us to present to you... the Christus Gemeinde NK Blog, straight from the Center of the Universe and a neighboring town.

Hope you enjoy! Any feedback, ideas, comments, suggestions, etc, are always welcome.

By the way, it's in German... my American readers could enjoy the pictures, but the site is primarily for the people and the church here. :)

Your unemployed-blog-writing-germanized-semi-delusional friend,

Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Update List

Things have been incredibly crazy, busy and hectic lately. Here's a list of some of the recent high-lights:

  • a wonderfully encouraging visit with my Mom, including everything from late-night-talks to sight-seeing to people-meeting to evening-walks.

  • great teamwork with the youth for the youth church service, which went wonderfully well!

  • listening to Neal's band during the youth church service - they were freaking amazing

  • working on a super-critical-top-secret project with Syd

  • crying happy tears after passing my practical driver's license test

  • knowing things I'm not supposed to know

  • not butchering my piano accompaniment piece when our choir sang last Sunday

  • getting together with some of my former coworkers

  • singing Beatles songs and drinking cappuccino at a little pub in Moers with Helmut and Christiana

  • receiving a postcard from my Emita

  • seeing a rainbow and thinking of hope, beauty and promises
  • Saturday, November 25, 2006

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    The Mystery of the "H" Egg

    The "H" Egg in my fridge seemed to have sparked questions in the minds of certain curiously snoopy young men. I about fell over laughing when opening the fridge after our Bible Study group this evening, because written next to the "H" was a question mark.

    Yes, writing an "H" in permanent marker on eggs is a common occurence for me. And I have my reasons for doing so.

    Laura: "Why are you writing about eggs when your mother is visiting you?"
    Mary: "I dunno..."
    Laura: "You should write about what you two are doing and talking about and thinking."
    Mary: "But there's just so much. I don't know where to start."
    Laura: "You could be creative."
    Mary: "Or I could simply write about the strange egg in my fridge."
    Laura: "Whatever you want."

    There will be a prize (think: you own, personal "H" Egg) for the first person who correctly guesses what the "H" stands for.

    And there might even be a prize for the most hilarious/creative suggestion.

    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Mom made it!

    Just so everyone knows, Mom made it here safely! Tobi and I picked her up around 8 this morning, which would be 1 AM Texas time... so, she's rather tired and is taking a nap right now.


    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Driver's License Update (yes, another one)

    Yes, the notoriously unresolved issue is still a dark and looming shadow on the valley (oops, am I allowed to use that word?) that is life. But, thanks to help and encouragement from Mr. E and others, things are happening and looking brighter.

    I changed driving schools and had my second driving hour at the new school and with a new instructor the other day. After driving all over town and on the Autobahn (sorry, didn't film it this time), I asked the following question:

    Mary: "So... was my driving einigermassen in order today...?"
    Instructor: "It was perfectly fine. I don't understand what the problem was at the other school."

    Yeah, I have a hard time understanding what the problem was as well.

    Could it be that I don't fare well when people curse at me, scream at me, bash me, bash other students, bash my driving, bash Americans, bash America in general, refuse to answer questions, give evil looks, tell me that my driving is getting worse, tell me that I'm going to fail the test, act impatiently, talk on the cell phone the entire time, call me "Frau Barber" when I want to be called "Mary", use the formal "you" (Sie) with me, look at me weird, make me feel like an idiot, make my life miserable, and desperately need tranquilizers and a straight jacket?

    *scratches her head*

    It's a mystery to me.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    A Short Love Story (or... Love Letters vs. Blogs)

    Once upon a time in the Fall, a Girl met a Boy. She thought she might love him, but after time passed, they decided to call things off. So she cried, packed her bags, and moved to a Land Far Away.

    *a year goes by*

    The next Fall, the Girl realized that she missed him. So, she wrote him a letter. But things still didn't work out, and she was still in the Land Far Away.

    *another year goes by*

    One day in November, it dawned on the Girl that it was the Fall again, and that she hadn't written or spoken with the Boy for a very, very long time.

    But instead of writing him a letter, she wrote a blog.

    The End.


    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Legalism, Piano Playing and Drinks on the House

    It's interesting... the majority of German Christians don't see drinking an occasional alcoholic beverage as negatively as American Christians see it. Ironically, legalism is culture-dependent. For example, at the international church in Augsburg that my family and I used to attend, the Christian women absolutely did not wear make-up. They'd drink hard liquor on a daily basis, but a touch of mascara? EVIL! Then there's the other extreme. Although Texas and other-southern-state Christians are notorious for caking their make-up on, you'll never find them within a mile from a drop of Federweisser.*

    Anyway. All that to say... Helmut, Christiana and I have started a new tradition of going out for drinks after either Choir or a monthly Praise and Worship Service. This week, Beatrice was there as well. :)

    A couple of weeks ago, we had a rather amusing evening. It all took place on a dark, rainy night, in a little pub in Neukirchen, which happened to have a piano right near our table. Throughout the evening I kept glancing at it, debating whether or not to play... until Helmut finally coaxed the bartender to let me try it out. After messing around and playing bits and pieces of various songs, I returned to the table, to see that she'd given us a round of drinks on the house. :)

    Hehe. 10 minutes of piano playing for two red wines and an Amaretto. Not bad, hmm?

    I would have never done that in the States. Some things change (or are changeable) with time, though, I've discovered...

    Here are Helmut and Christiana...

    And here I am with Beatrice.**

    So, that's our little group. :)

    *a deliciously sweet, slightly bubbly, perfectly innocent, mild wine

    **Beatrice, if you seriously have a problem with my posting of this picture, let me know and I'll remove it. Just please don't sue me until I've at least found a new job.

    Sunday, November 12, 2006


    My Mom is coming to Germany!!!!!!!

    My Mom is coming to Germany.

    My Mom is coming to Germany.

    My Mom is coming to Germany.

    I can't believe it! This Friday!

    If I realize this is a dream, I'm going to throw myself off my balcony.

    Unless, of course, I wake up and I'm not actually living thousands of miles away from my Mamita. Or I wake up and realize that the whole job situation is also merely a bad dream. And the driver's license crap. And the homesickness. And the other annoying psychological drama I bring on myself.

    Nah, I love everyone here and I love life here. It's just that I have to deal with an impossible amount of Scheisse at this point and I feel rather inadequate and unable to cope with it all.

    But we'll make it... afterall... MY MOM IS COMING TO GERMANY!!!!!!!

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    I miss my Mamita

    Here we were last December, at a little hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint* where you can eat chips and salsa for breakfast.

    There's nothing like like sweat droplets, a runny nose, and runny eyes from jalapeno salsa at 9 in the morning.

    And there's nothing like being at home with my family.

    *Trudy's, for my Austin readers - I highly recommend it.

    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Language Progress!

    It was interesting... I spent Sunday in the Center of the Universe*, as usual... and stayed up rather late talking with Bizarro, Syd, Mr. P., Biff and Tobi. One thing I've noticed lately is that I can understand and speak German on a similar level during all hours of the day, including rather late at night.

    "So, what's the point?" you might ask.

    Well, earlier, I'd hit a wall towards the end of the day. This phenomena phenomenon was especially noticeable Wednesday nights during Bible Study, Friday nights with the youth, and when I was out late with friends. It was as if I'd simply run out of words and hit a language wall - I couldn't remember words I ought to know, couldn't formuluate sentences, and couldn't even understand that much anymore. Recently, this hasn't been happening.

    Last night, some of the topics of conversation were a little new and difficult for me (tractor technicalities and earthquake geology, for example)... there are simply words I've never used and have no way of knowing. And even though it was 11 at night, I could follow most everything, and even chime in here and there - whether it be a question, a comment, or a word-definition-request (unfortunately, Leo decided to stay in Neukirchen, so I had to ask Syd).

    Earlier, I would have simply had to tune out.

    Language Progress! Yay!

    I think that if I can manage to stay here, say, two or three more years, you won't be able to tell that I'm an American. I've always thought it'd be interesting to be able to fit so well into a different culture that people don't know you're a foreigner. :)


    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    The Soapbox* (or Sport ist Mord)

    *steps on the soapbox*

    *scratches her head*

    *steps off the soapbox*

    *steps on the soapbox*

    *looks around*

    *steps off the soapbox*

    *steps on the soapbox*

    *thinks for a few minutes*

    *steps off the soapbox*

    *wipes the sweat from her brow*

    Phew, that was enough excercise for one day.

    Yes, folks, that would be me exerting mental energy in deep contemplation of complicated life issues in complicated foreign languages, while simultaneously attempting to decide whether or not to stand on the soapbox to preach about certain issues and concerns, while simultaneously simultaneously (yes, this redundancy was madly and deliberately executed) exerting physical energy, which has supposed health benefits.

    Though I tend to think that "Sport ist Mord" ("Sports is Death"... but it rhymes in German and thus sounds better).

    *inspired by a conversation with Eleanor and Sydney

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    On Pessimism

    The sign of a true pessimist is being pessimistic about your own pessimism. Contrary to popular belief, being a depressed-misunderstood-drowning-in-tears-wrist-slitting-Emo who sits around philosophizing while the guitar (or piano or whatever) gently weeps isn't as glamorous as some might think.

    I get annoyed when people optimistically tell me how pessimistic and dark they are, and how their favourite color is black, blah, blah, blah. If you're really a pessimist, you're not going to cheerfully and proudly broadcast it. You're going to be pessimistic about it.

    Just my opinion.

    *steps off the soapbox*