Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blogs and Potted Plants and Moi

So... I talked with Mom today.

Mom: "What'd you do to your blog? It's all black with depressing lyrics."
Mary: "I'm sick of writing. I don't even know what to write anymore. So I stopped."
Mom: "Well, I don't want to read a bunch of depressing lyrics..."
Mary: "But they're not depressing... I deliberately tried to avoid posting depressing lyrics. Believe me, those are happy lyrics."

I think happiness and sadness are relative. Some people might even consider happiness to be a lack of sadness. Apathy would be an example. Or, standing on the balcony and thinking, "something feels different today... I actually don't want to jump off." For some people, that right there is a huge, happy step forward. Happy, happy, happy.

All that to say... the blog's back and Mom's right... I've put a lot of work and thought into this, and I shouldn't just kill it like that.

Speaking of killing things, I've about had it with my plants. Anyone need some pretty (empty) potted-plant-pots? I have four or five.


But I learned fast how to keep my head up cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea.

- Shins

What I learned I rejected, but I believe again.
Will I suffer the consequence of this inquisition?
If I jump in this fountain, will I be forgiven?

-Alanis Morissette

Let's grease the wheel over tea,
Let's discuss things in confidence,
Let's be outspoken, let's be ridiculous,
Let's solve all the world's problems.

-Alanis Morissette

Hey people, looking out the window at the city below
Hey people, looking out the window, full of fun and sorrow
Hey people, looking out the window at the city below
Hey people, looking out the window, you'll be gone tomorrow.

-Belle and Sebastian

O Love of mine, would you condescend to help me?
I am stupid and blind.

-Belle and Sebastian

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Family Europe Trip, Part 2

So... how about some more pictures from my family's visit this summer? They're a little random and unsorted... I just picked out some of my favourites. Better late than never, eh?

As always, simply click on the picture to make it larger.

This was taken on a city wall... I don't remember which city, though, cause we visited quite a few. I'm sure Dad remembers, though...

Here's Kenny climbing the City Wall... I wish I could remember the name.

Of course we had to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria... here are Kenny and Mamita... aren't they cute?

I love my chicas! This was taken atop the Hohenschwangau Castle.

Believe it or not, this is the "piano" that Wagner composed and played on. He and Prince Maximilian (or was it King Ludwig II?), the builder of Castle Hohenschwangau, were friends. It was amazing. I felt like I was walking into some Musical Holy of Holies. Though I'm not that big of a Wagner fan (his music is generally too loud and disorderly and overwhelming), it was nonetheless thrilling to see his piano and take illegal pictures of it.

This is the Munich appartment complex we lived in when we first moved to Germany. We were in Munich for a year and then in Friedberg, which is right outside of Augsburg, for four years.

Neal went with us to Cologne, which is one of his favourite cities (sometimes he won't shut up about it).

We were looking at something rather inappropriate in Cologne. Ha ha ha.

Which remeinds me... I keep forgetting to book my flight back to the States...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nine Eleven

I still remember hearing the news: my roommate came tearing into our room, frantically telling me what had happened. She was known for over-reacting and being dramatic so I didn't believe it until she dragged me down the hall to the dorm TV lounge to see for myself.

I immediately ran to call my parents, but couldn't reach them because the phone lines were jammed. This continued for hours.

My Aunt and Uncle live in New York, so it was a relief hearing that they were ok.

A friend's father worked in the Pentagon, so it was a relief hearing that he was ok.

The entire University was in an uproar; the majority of classes were cancelled for the next couple of days.

Prayer Vigils were held and supported by various campus organizations.

News channels were broadcasted throughout the week in the MSC (Memorial Student Center), so students could gather together, watch the news, and discuss the events.

Blood donation sites were set up on campus, allowing students to donate blood for the injured in New York.

For weeks (and even months) afterwards, that was THE TOPIC. Not a day went by where you didn't discuss it or think about it.

I never thought something like that could happen on American soil. Yes, we have crime, but it's from the inside - my generation is the Columbine generation, after all. We even had a bomb threat at my high school, so I went into school late that particular day without thinking twice. But terrorism from the outside? That was a new concept introduced to me six years ago. My parents have told me stories of growing up during the Cold War Era - being afraid that the communists would come and take them away, for example. But my generation has been seemingly protected and naive.

Those are simply some things I remember from September 11, 2001.

Now, six years later, life somehow continues.

I had a great conversation today (ironically, I didn't realize until post-facto that it was the 11th) with one of my colleagues who is a Turkish Muslim. We were talking about God and beliefs and hate and war. And I realized, once again, that our fight here on earth isn't against other people. I'm not exactly sure what it's against, and what it practically looks like... but grown-ups are like children in the sense that no matter what culture you're in, they're the same.

"Children... they're all alike" is a common observation, especially from well-travelled and cultured adults with their own children... but couldn't we say the same about grown-ups?

"People... they're all alike."

We're a sad, broken, confused, lost, lonely group of people here on this planet and for whatever reason we have these tendencies to hate and kill eachother. The war isn't individual against individual... individuals get along, for the most part. And even if they don't, they usually don't kill eachother. What is war? Is it belief against belief? Culture against culture? Race against race? But Beliefs and Culture and Races are comprised of individuals. I don't think anyone can really explain war, or even end it.

Which is why I saw fire and crashing buildings and crying people and bleeding people every time I read a newspaper or turned on the televison.

I know my Muslim colleague had nothing personally to do with the attacks on September 11. Just like I didn't personally decide to go to war with Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Kosovo. Or anywhere else US troops are stationed.

I don't hate people. I hate sin. And I hate rebellion against God, against holiness, against peace, against beauty. I hate temptation and giving in to temptation. I hate that sin dominates this world. Sometimes I hate the world, hate what people have to experience, hate that I don't understand why.

That's all.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hark! the herald angels sing...

When I think about it, there's not really much of anything I'd rather do than lounge around singing and playing the piano with Syd and Eleanor and whoever else happens to be there at the moment.* Yesterday evening, it was English Christmas songs, for whatever reason. I've always had a habit of playing Christmas songs out of season, and on this particular evening several other people seemed to be in a Christmas-y mood as well. 'Twas lovely.

In the past several days I've been thinking about (primarily non-physical) Constants, and trying to determine if there's anything in life that's constant. I basically came to the conclusion that the only Constant in life is the guaranteed lack of consistancy. But amidst this inconsistancy, a love for music has been an almost-constant in my life. There's just something calming and lovely and distracting and healing about it.

*Well, maybe I'd rather be wreaking havoc with my sisters, but they're not here (or I'm not there), so life marches on.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


It's about 23:00 and I just got home from work. We're talking about a 15 hour day today.

The combination of analyzing numbers, skipping meals, and binge-drinking coffee isn't helping the general situation here, either.

I kind of need a hug. But I guess all the normal people are safely at home, asleep in their beds, while I'm out carousing the A-57 and analyzing everything from allocation cost cycles to unanswered life questions.