Thursday, January 31, 2008

Karnivale Ist Angefangen!

There are many drunk people in the streets (and busses) dressed in absurd costumes, listening to ridiculous folk music that you couldn't possibly imagine, some are dancing and being thrown across stages by men (it's damn impressive), and there are four more days to go....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Earl Gray

Oh, first we had Earl Gray and then we had Lady Gray and then... we really had something.

Really, this shit is the friggin' best with just a little bit of sugar. Normally, I drink all my tea and coffee black; occassionally with a little soy or rice milk thrown in to cool it quick. I even made Early Gray cupcakes the other day. It's a suggestion under the Chai Latte Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World. I tried a bit of the batter, but, to my current regret, did not eat a cupcake. (I was all, "I'm gonna be healthy!" ie "I'm gonna try to stop getting fat.") I'm sure that they were heaven in cupcake form, but I'll never rightly know until I make them again.

Once I'm done with this new oral pleasure, I'll have to check out that Lady Gray. She's probably has a sexier tone than the old Earl.

I'll finish with a photo of some Earl Gray cupcakes that I stole from the VCtotW photo pool on flickr. Dear, chengwa121, please forgive me for being a dirty copy cat.

I'm in Dire Need of Compliments

I don't generally care about how I look, what people think of the way I eat, what brand of perfume I'm wearing (though I seem to've collected a number under names like Givinchey, Clinique, and Estée Lauder) and if anyone observes such, it's all fine and dandy, but it ain't gonna lean me in one direction or the other. I would be an entirelly independent person if it were not for my constant need of reassurement in my aptitude at my foreign languages.

I have this French friend who learned upon my visiting him in Rennes, France that I'm pretty decent at speaking his mother tongue. The only complitment that he'll give me is, "C'est pas mal," (Oh how bloody French-of-a-thing to say!) and gives a three second pause, "pour un American," he ruthlessly finishes. What does that mean, anyway, when no Americans can speak French?! Honestly, I'd give my country a flighty half of 1% for their foreign faculties.

Last night I was at my weekly INCAS meeting, sitting at a table with some kids, one of whom, a German, I know a kinda well because we always chill there. He was telling this one Turkish guy that his Deutsch was very good. We asked him how long he'd been here, he answered 6 months. "Wow!" "Impressive!" were our replies in German. The Turkish fellow, in turn, asked me how long I'd been here and all-of-a-sudden it's become a compitition to certify that our capabilities are adequate for how long we've been been here and studied beforehand. In the end, my German friend conceded that we can all speak very good German and I was satisfyed. Please bear in mind that it was no sort of heated argument, only that we were all desperate for a native's adulation.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Been without internet

I haven't had any internet access all this week and it's terrible. No YouTubing episodes of The Mighty Boosh, no pointless ICQ conversations in very bad German, no PPK.... Hey, maybe I'm finally getting a life! I'm going to go work on that T-shirt skirt some more now.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Through the Aachen University (RWTH Excellenz), I received a speaking partner. We were sending e-mails back and forth for a while and we met last night. He's one of those kids that's absolutely adorable without knowing it. Despite that he studies Elektrotechnik we have some stuff in common: we both like to travel, he's reasonably liberal-minded, and we both have siblings. The future times should be fun. I'll try to sneak of picture of him in here sometime.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go to North America yourself if you want to speak English

When I first moved to Germany, it was really nice that so many people could speak English. If I was lost or got a broken leg, usually someone could help me out in a sensical way pretty quick. Now that my language skills are apt, however, it really bugs me when people insist on practicing their English on me. I came to a foreign country to learn the friggin' language and not as a walking English instructor. I find it so ostentatious when someone insists on speaking English and another insists on speaking French or German or whatever language suiting to the location. It's not fitting to any social situation.

For those of you who have no experience in the matter, it's difficult to clarify precisely how the feeling is. Perhaps it would be like having a very thick accent, a Grundy County accent, for instance, but having the ability to tone it down a little bit so that if you're speaking to some unknowing Yank, you two could better understand each other. The example doesn't really work, though, because the Yank would never want to practice his/her Grundy County oral comprehension skills.

Being the polite young lady that I am, I usually, loathingly, in fact, break down and speak English with the person. How do you politely inform them that it's only just that they speak in their native tongue? Honestly the whole matter is about as awkward as a tit popping out of a topless shirt; not like that's ever happened to me or anything.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Awesome movie. Someone else please tell me that they cried like a baby as well. It should be seen, at the very least, for the quality of the soundtrack. Also, I've really missed American slang.

Fav part: Juno picks a crocus and says, "I never realize how much I like being home unless I've been somewhere really different for a while."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh, you work here, right?

Yesterday we had a party at the house. It was just coffee and cake; I made Red Velveteen Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and they were well received... probably because no one knew they were vegan. I tried to do a little socializing with the adults (Am I one too? I never know.), but I got bad, invasion-sort-of vibes upon entering the dining room. So I hung out in the kitchen for a bit and ate some olives. This one woman soonafter walked in with a few dishes and I told her I could help. She responded with something like, "Oh yes. You do the dishes here, don't you?" thereby infering that I'm not a family member, but a Putzfrau. I laughed really loudly to hide my humility and to show that she was quite wrong, from my perspective, at least.

Then I tried to hang out with Susanna and the other kids, but the girl wouldn't have it. She just stared at me accusingly when I tried to join. What is with kids today? I saw them later all crowded around a computer and a Gameboy. People don't go outside anymore except to walk sometimes.

If you couldn't tell, I'm entirely sick of my job and am currently researching the process of getting a German visa so I can work and live here semi-perminantly. If anyone has any helpful info or strings they could pull, I'd love to know.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Educational Momment: Brotchen

Brotchen is what we call the little bread that people eat here. There are different names for it all throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland and I'll tell you those once I find the book from my last German course (honestly, my room is better suited to a field mouse the way I keep it).

Back in December, when I was paying the Cologne Wheinachts Markts a visit, I ended up buying the bread for our little slumber party group. I don't know the names of any of these little breads, nor do I really care to learn. I mean, there's the one covered in sesame seeds, the whole wheat one with pumpkin seeds, the boring white kind, the pretzel kind, etc., so why bother with naming them with such litotes as Kaiser Brot?

When I was instructing the lovely baker woman as to which ones I would like, she deemed it an appropriate time to inform me of the breads' names to which I pointed with a tone that implied I should repeat, so as to learn the name. Between those awkward pauses I'd give a few, "Ja. Genau. Ich möchte das da." and wonder, 'Why does she have to exacerbate things if all this hungover, non-German kid wants to do is buy bread?' Even if I'd had my Vocab Diary back then, I wouldn't've bothered to write down such scrap. Eventually victorious, but feeling slightly deprecated, I marched back to the building where myself and the other kiddos were shacked up. Feeling that I had to prove a point to myself, I asked my lovely host if he knew the names of all the breads.

"Why, of course!", he quickly replied, "This one is Kaiser Brot and this here is...."

"That's enough, Ulf."

If I lived in France, everything would be a baguette and we'd all be settled and fine and happy.

Now some pictures of Brotchen. It says "Moss" all over the place because that's the name of this particular bakery chain.

^ Germany's lame excuse for a baguette. ^
^ These are pretty typical German breakfast stuff. ^
<-- and a wide array here. There's some more in the back.

The Mighty Boosh

This young comedy group is probably the best thing that has happened to me since I discovered The Flying Circus series in 7th grade. Honestly, I don't know who I have a bigger crush on. Okay, fine. Noel is hotter, but only because he plays Old Gregg! they have a website

Vocabulary Diary

zomg! 5 days and no posts? Busy lady or hopeless procrastinator? I'll choose the latter.

I stopped by the Mayerbuchhandlung (book store) today before class to get myself a little notebook. I eyed some nice ones, various mole skins, you know the lot, but settled on a suave and more cost-efficient notebook with a print of Le Chat Noir on the cover. I love how I'm doing all this studying of Germany, but secretly want to move to France.

This notebook will hopefully change the way that I continuously ask for common-use words, then promptly forget them. It'll also be funny to look back at the words that I needed. We'll start with today's example, saving you the German translations: embarrassing, side effect, irritation, rash, common.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm on a butt load of meds

Normally I'm the best sleeper ever. I've slept on cold tile floor in high school hallways, on a doorstep through the wee morning hours, next to load snore-ers, in cramped, hot tents in the rain, in cold, no-tented wilderness, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. Unless I'm loaded with coffee or, in this case, assorted medicines for my recent case of strep throat, I can drift off tired or not. Due to a recent case of strep throat, I've taken more pills today than your grandmother does in a week and I've numbered it down to the Paracetomol that's keeping me up. Well, at least I've stopped blowing out gallons of snot, it doesn't feel like a kitten has been playing with my tonsils, and my head doesn't feel like Harry Potter's when Lord Voldemort is close by. Double thumbs up!

Note) If you're remotely interested in the potentially educational side of my blog, please stay tuned as I plan a few info sessions of Germany, especially focused in Aachen. Oh, and I promise they'll be fun!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dear New Yorker....

I used to fancy you to be an impressive literary magazine. You used to have provocative, interesting short stories and poetry. I thought that I'd struck a gold mine when I discovered that I could read most any published story for free online; you even offered a printable format! But now that I've given a thorough investigation of your recent publications, I've been thoroughly disappointed. Every short fiction is another disastrous relationship story and your poetry more often than not tends to fall into the "contemporary bull shit" category. Your closed-minded, right-winged leftist view on current politics also fails to interest me. Was I too young when last I loyally read that I was engulfed upon your snobbery?

Let me know if this works for you, dear reader:

The Star Market
by Marie Howe

The people Jesus loved were shopping at the Star Market yesterday.
An old lead-colored man standing next to me at the checkout
breathed so heavily I had to step back a few steps.

Even after his bags were packed he still stood, breathing hard and
hawking into his hand. The feeble, the lame, I could hardly look at them:
shuffling through the aisles, they smelled of decay, as if the Star Market

had declared a day off for the able-bodied, and I had wandered in
with the rest of them—sour milk, bad meat—
looking for cereal and spring water.

Jesus must have been a saint, I said to myself, looking for my lost car
in the parking lot later, stumbling among the people who would have
been lowered into rooms by ropes, who would have crept

out of caves or crawled from the corners of public baths on their hands
and knees begging for mercy.

If I touch only the hem of his garment, one woman thought,
could I bear the look on his face when he wheels around?
(The New Yorker 1/14/2008)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Stuffed Mushrooms

That's what I made for dinner this evening. It's from Vegan with a Vengance (hereafter known as VwaV).

It wasn't particularly pretty or notable, but did the job quite well. Maybe if I'd've had something more exceptional than some random Aldi mushrooms. Aldi, beeteedubs, is the name of a cheap German grocery store. Like, worse than the Food Valu in Cowan. Ironically enough, the company also owns Trader Joe's for those of you fancy pants who're familiar or've been to California.
My stuffed mushrooms included some homemade seitan, which is a sort-of homemade fake meat. You see, being the cool, punkish vegan that I am, I hate the Man and insist on never buying that pre-prepared, overly-processed, fake flesh for veggies from the store. Instead, I usually use this infailable recipe that some innovative vegan cared to share: Seitan O'Greatness. Packed full of healthy proteins, it's great on a pizza, sandwhich, or in a recipe like stuffed mushrooms. Make it and you might be converted.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

All My Friends Are Dudes

Not all my friends are guys, but most of them are and all of the close ones that I'd go crying to are of the male sex. This means that instead of talking about... whatever it is that girls talk about we discuss Mao's hygene habits, make fart jokes, watch YouTube videos of people hurting themselves and also Japanese porn that has been censored with pixles. It's especially amusing going to a club because there I am, 5'2" with a whole bunch of dudes that are 6'+. Very amusing.

Some friends of mine being charming.

Friday, January 4, 2008


For New Year's I went to Rennes, France. It was packed full of fun as the person I visited (I'm quite sure) has only enough sanity to sort through the chemical structures of nucleotides and since everything else is like pennies in comparison, he treats it like such: He admires all that is bright and shiny, laughs at all that is serious, and occasionally tosses his friends upon the floor for someone else to grab if they're lucky.

On my trip I learned that Brittany is incredibly amazing, Rennes is an awesome town, being vegan in France is worse than in Germany, the ocean's water is less cold at 3AM, not as many people will give you funny looks as you'd think if you walk to the supermarket in shoes 8 sizes bigger than they should be, and that sleeping bags can be dangerous tools of tickle torture.

Nico, my French friend, took myself and another mutual friend, to some beautiful and supposedly famous place on the Brittany coast, St. Malo and Mont St. Michèle. It was all quite beautiful.

Famous place in Brittany. This is the "post card picture."

St. Malo image stolen from somewhere inside the internets.

When we got to St. Malo I was like, "Oh! I've been here before!" I was being such a snod on my first trip to France that when we visited and ate in a Crêperie here I had no idea of the name of the city.

St. Malo is one of the few remaining Medieval cities with its walls still intact. I read on a post card, however, that in the 4os or something the city caught on fire and 72% of it had to be rebuilt. Maybe the walls are still original?

I have no pictures of Mont St. Michèle (not like everyone doesn't already know what it looks like) and we didn't actually go in because it was our driving-to-Aachen day and parking was expensive.

There will be more photos on my flickr.