Monday, September 29, 2008

Library of Congress Quotes

Yes, it's 4 in the morning and yes, I'm having trouble sleeping.

And as I can't think of anything better to do at this wee hour, I decided to post some of my favourite quotes I found on the walls of the Library of Congress.

"Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man."

"How charming is divine philosophy."

"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers."

"Art is long and time is fleeting."

"They are never alone that are accompanied by noble thoughts."

Friday, September 26, 2008


I feel like there's Beauty in the World again. And Colour. And Goodness. And Hope. Maybe there always is, to a certain extent, and I just so often fail to see it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A few Vacation Pics

Here are a few favourite pictures from Washington, DC and New York City. :)

Here's Kat with her grocery-shopping-cart, which is very practical given the fact that she doesn't have a car.

We had to visit the Capitol Building, of course...

This would be the Washington Monument, at the end of the National (non-shopping) Mall.

This was taken in the Senator of South Dakota's office... one of Kat's friends works there, so we went by and had lunch in the Cafeteria under the Capitol Building where all the Senators and Representatives eat. I felt important. And I felt like screaming "bomb!" just to see what would happen.

Yup, you've got it... Hillary R. Clinton's office. Not that I'm necessarily a fan... it was just neat being able to peak into her office.

It's my favourite Nurse! :) Yup, my ER Nurse Sister... I'm super proud of her.

Our childhood best friends came to visit us, which was great. It's a miracle we're all alive, and not in prison.

The main room of the Library of Congress was outlined in paintings with clever quotes... I didn't know our country had such an intellectual humour. This was one of my favourites: "They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts."

We went to NY City for the day... this was taken around 2 in the morning at Times Square. Craziness.

Mary Poppins! On Broadway! Life doesn't get much better than that.

Aww, sisters.

It's Mama L. Or Lady Liberty. Is that disrespectful?

New York from the Ferry. :)

I also took a million pictures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art... but I think I'll post those in a different post...

Monday, September 15, 2008

New glasses yeah yeah yeah

As requested... here's a photo of me with my lovely new red-brown glasses. :)

I think they're great - they're the perfect balance between terribly boring and utterly outrageous, which is what I am as well. Maurice, who helped me pick them out, thinks they say "Hi, I'm shy and lack self-confidence"... which... I'm not sure if I agree with or not, given the fact that he almost convinced me to get a pair of knall-green glasses. Red-brown is daring enough for me at this point in my life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why don't I live in Texas? Let me count the reasons...

... one of them being the conversation I just had with Mamita about Hurricane Ike evacuations on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Mary: "Mom, I've been hearing about Texans having to evacuate... is that only on the coast or are you guys having to evacuate too? What's going on?"
Mom: "No, we're fine. On the coast, it's a Level 4 storm, but in Austin it'll only be Level 2."
Mary: "Meaning there will be stormy tornado-like weather? Are you guys going to be ok?"
Mom: "The worst that could happen is that windows will be shattered and trees will be destroyed... we might have to take cover in the bathroom but I'm sure everything will be fine."
Mary: "Em..."

Seriously, folks. If you're having to lay in a bathtub with a mattress over yourself, to avoid injuries from shattered glass, then everything is NOT FINE. I hate bad weather.

Now the ultimate question... what's worse: bad weather or the Finanzamt*? Though if I were in Washington, DC, I wouldn't have to deal with either...

*the German Ministry of Finance

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I hate being sick...

...and it's even worse when my Mom is on a different continent.

I realized how serious it'd become when a friend came by with some chicken soup and decided to help himself to the chocolate I had sitting on the counter. We talked for a while and it wasn't until after he left that I realized I hadn't eaten a single piece.

You know you're physically sick when you pass on afternoon chocolate.

And you know you're psychologically sick when you stop playing the piano.

And you know it's about time for the Employee Committment Survey at work when the boss is consistantly exaggeratedly nice.

And you know you need to get a life when all you do is read about Narnia and wonder if you could ever make it there yourself.

And you know... nah... there are some thing you simply can't know.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Lohnsteuererklaerungskacke 2007

So I got the information from my 2007 tax returns this week and I'm PEEVED. The government is expecting me to pay an additional 1,600 Euros in taxes. That's a crap load and it's ridiculous. For the first time in my life, I understand why people get married for tax breaks. I've started combing the list of people I know to see who I could ask to marry me (only on paper, of course, as there are currently no actual potentials). It's really not a bad idea when you think about it. I want to have the kind of marriage where we'll still be face-booking eachother 50 years later (cause we'll probably end up living in different countries), and when I ask myself why I decided to marry him, the timeless answer will be: to move to a more economical tax class. Now that's love.

I have to pay the money; there's no getting around it.

But don't worry, folks, I've started developing what I'd like to call my Sweet Unemployment Plan of Revenge on the Evil Socialist Government. Or the SUPRESG for short. Before leaving the country (which I'll probably inevitably eventually do), I'm going to quit my job, file unemployment, and live for a few years on unemployment money. I view my taxes for social welfare as a sort of short-term personal vacation fund. Look what socialism has done to me! It's turned this once-motivated and hard-working young lady into a ticked-off-coniving brat who's planning to sit on her butt for two years and do nothing just because she probably could. Seriously, though: the government is taxing my hard work for all it's worth so that other people who don't feel like working can bum around all day (believe me, this happens more often than you think). So, before I bail out, I'm going to get some of that money back, take a nice, long "vacation" and milk as much unemployment money from the government as possible. The government even pays rent when you're on a certain level of social welfare. Sign me up.

Maybe I'm extra peeved because I've been working sooo much this week. After working an average of 14-hour days this week, and then receiving a letter saying the government's taxing even more of my hard-earned money, I'm just having a hard time dealing.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Big Black Brass Band

Here's a clip of a brass street band in Dupont Circle (where Kat lives) in Washington, DC. They were fabulous live. :)