Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back in the Land of Germans

Well, after 12,147 miles (19,549 kilometers), 7 US States, 2 art museums, 4 of my favourite Monet paintings, 1 Broadway Show, 10+ episodes of Arrested Development with Kat, 3 raspberry Margharitas made by Emita, 5 books*, 1 hand-made quilt from Mamita, 897.08 dollars worth of credit card bills, 3 Metro tickets (2 in DC and one in NY), multiple shopping trips**, 4 gorgeous antique-ish rings from Mamita, an encouraging talk with Kenny... *tries to think of more things she can count* ... I made it back, safe and sound and happy, to the Fatherland.

*Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Lewis), Die letzten Kinder von Schewenborn (Pausewang), Infidel (Ali), The Silver Chair (Lewis), Urlaub auf Saltkrokan (Lindgren)

**there's some stuff you simply can't find in Germany... like a bottle of 500 Ibuprofen tablets for a mere 9 USD. And I thought Amstelveen, Holland was the Cheap Drug Capital of the World.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back in the US of A

As most of you know, I've made it back alive and well, this time with no Flight Drama. It's a miracle.

Kat picked me up at the airport on Monday evening, and we rode the Metro back to her appartment. :) On Tuesday, we took a tour of the Capitol Building and went to lunch at the underground House of Representatives cafeteria. It was freaking awesome. Then I saw Hillary Clinton's office... not that I necessarily agree with her views... it was all just so interesting. A friend of Kat's works for the South Dakota Senator, which is how we got in. :)

We also went to the Library of Congress... there wasn't that much open to the public there - just the main entrance area and one glassed-in study room that you had a sort of aerial view of. And then we stopped by the Native American Museum to see some of the beadwork they'd done. Lovely.

Yesterday, we got together with our childhood best friends, who currently live in Virginia. It was great seeing them again and reminiscing on our criminal past. :) I remember being completely devastated when they moved... but I guess it was for the best... if they had stayed in Texas, we probably would have ended up in a juvenile delinquent center. Or we would have brilliantly escaped from one. But as the mature grown-ups that we of course now are, we strolled through the Botanical Gardens, saw the National Archives* and then went to a Greek restaurant, all without destroying anything, manipulating anyone, or making idiots of ourselves. Fun times. I love you guys. :)

Today Katherine has to work, which is why I'm taking some time to write. I went to the National Gallery of Art earlier today and it was absolutely fascinating. They have two of my favourite Monet paintings there (I'm not sure whether they're part of the permanent collection or not) and I seriously started crying when I walked into the room. One of my favs is the Houses of Parliament at Sunset, which I ironically wrote about a while back. It's the first painting. :)

What really surprised me is the fact that the paintings weren't framed in glass... they were framed, of course, but it was all open - you could touch the canvas if you wanted (and if the security guards weren't watching).

Well, that's all for now...

*the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights being the most interesting

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To pack or not to pack...

... that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against an empty suitcase."

Have I mentioned that I hate packing?

Tomorrow I'm leaving for the States! I still haven't grasped this simple fact... maybe because I'm used to only going home over Christmas. It's weird. I'll be in Washington, DC with Kat for a week, and then in Texas for a week. Kat's also going to fly to Texas, meaning my whole family will be together again! This is a rare occurence nowadays...

I always get in a weird mood before flying. When I was a kid, I used think things like, "When I grow up, I'm going to live in Europe and fly back and forth and bring my laptop on the plane. I'll be so cool." And now I'm sick of flying back and forth. After so much drama, flying has lost its romantic, exciting side, and it's a pain and I dread it and sometimes I feel like I'm walking into my own coffin. I need a private jet. Syd promised to build a landing pad on top of my appartment... I've already starting looking into jets on ebay.

Ok, back to packing...

... and tomorrow I see Kat! Sisters unite!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Advertising*, Coolant-Tears, Music and Names

I finally bought a new Canon camera, und zwar an IXUS 80. It's about time, given that I've worked there for almost 1.5 years now.

It's brown and beautiful. Like a shiny piece of expensive chocolate with little buttons that turn your life into a pretty sepia tone.

Today I was locked inside my garage with Scaramouche. We're talking a dark, 10x15 foot space with cobwebs and old tires and creepy noises. I swear, if I didn't think that certain people were so darn funny, we'd have major issues here. Poor Scaramouche was crying lonely coolant tears, and all I wanted to do was check on her.

I've also been playing the piano at church again... which is going against my Resolution not to put myself back into some sort of leadership position without first discussing it with people. But since (a) no one seems to care** and (b) I'm doing well*** then what the heck. I don't feel at all like I'm in the right position to be leading the music, but then again, if I waited until I reached a certain "spiritual level" or whatever, then I'd never do anything.


On a different note, I'm thinking of asking people to call me "Maria" instead of "Mary." I'm sick of having to repeat or spell my name, and I'm sick of people assumuing I can't speak German as soon as they realize I'm a foreigner.

Maria Elisabeth. Now I just need a classic German last name... maybe Wagner? Or Schroeder. Or Beethoven. Or Adenauer. Or Goethe. Or Einstein.

Multiple identities! In the States I'd be "Mary Elizabeth Barber" and in Germany I'd be "Maria Elisabeth Mozart."

Tja, mal sehen. :)

*my boss should give me commission for this blog

**surely this is my false perception of the situation

***manic episodes are fun