Writing

Oh, You Shouldn’t Have

I feel like I should start this post with a massive apology because it’s been overdue. I feel like the person who gets a birthday gift and never bothers to unwrap it.

Over a week ago, the ever so lovely Lauren vom Boo-Laurène graced me with the Versatile Blogger Award which is really lovely considering that my little blog is so tiny and humble. But versatile it is and before I get carried away with my usual reaction to compliments (which is usually to mumble something incoherent and blush fiercely), I’m just gonna say THANK YOU!

The thing with me and blog awards is that I never quite know who to nominate next because I’ve come across so many blogs that don’t like awards or I don’t know them well enough to tell if awards are welcome or not, so I feel like I’m just breaking the rules all the time. With this particular one I also feel like I don’t know many blogs that are actually versatile as most of the ones I follow and read regularly have a specific theme or subject going on. And I’m not comfortable dishing out awards just because I like people so much, even though I know this isn’t a super serious thing. But still. So please excuse me if I take the easy route by only strictly nominating one blog: 221bNeverland is my friend Mel’s blog. I know I’ve mentioned her a million times already but really, her blog is awesome, it couldn’t be more versatile, she is awesome and I know that if she doesn’t like to get awards, she’ll just tell me so or come to my door and hit me over the head with it. (I’m kidding. I’m usually the coming to her door-person).

But hold your bloody horses, I’m not done yet! Since I don’t want to name anyone in particular, let me just say that every single blog on my blogroll deserves an award and everyone who reads this should head over there and check out all the many links of goodness on there. And if you find your link there and you want to grab this award and put it on your blog, please do so!

The Rules for this are:

  • Show the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate fifteen blogs
  • Link the nominee’s blogs and let them know

And here are the seven facts about moi:

  • I used to have a Bambi audio cassette on which Thumper recites his dad’s poem about eating only the healthy green parts of flowers and to this day, I know this poem by heart.
  • My first crush was Fireball from Saber Rider and the Starsheriffs. I spent years crying over the face that he wasn’t real (and I wasn’t a cartoon character).
  • I cannot get naked or do something I wouldn’t do in front of most people when I’m in a room with many pictures or posters of people in the room. This got so far that when I had my walls covered with Take That posters as a teenager, I wouldn’t change in my own room or have to cover their eyes with a sheet of paper. All of them. And there were many.
  • I have whole singalong marathons by myself in the car but never anywhere else and never in front of others.
  • My first kiss was with a man twice my age back then. Nowadays, I find that creepy, back then I thought I was it.
  • When I’m full after eating something salty or spicy, I can still eat something sweet. When I’m full after eating something sweet, I can still eat something salty or spicy. Technically, I could spend a week eating like a pig if I alternate.
  • I only found out that Florida and California aren’t on the same coast a couple years ago. My mind was blown.
Advertisements
Categories: Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye 2013! My Year in Review

We talked about 2013 on a forum I frequent the other day and when I wrote my short recap, I came to the conclusion that 2013 pretty much just was for me. It had its ups, it had its downs. I’m not sure I’ll look back on it as a year that was all that special on a personal level.

But even though, or maybe because, it was so unspecial, I’d like to focus on it in a bit of a detailed view. It’s good to look back on things and learn from them, appreciate them and just remember them. This also led to the first time ever that I jotted down notes before writing a blog post. I’m pretty sure what I’ve written in this blog in over a year now is a dead giveaway for how unfocused my blogging usually is. I sit down and write and to be honest, most of the time I have no idea where I’m going until I’m done. But when I decided I was gonna write a recap of my 2013, I quickly came to the realization that reviewing a whole year just isn’t gonna work without notes. Without thinking long and hard, I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch today, so remembering the past not-quite-365 days without a reminder here and there would be close to impossible.

In the process of taking my notes, I quickly started putting them into categories. Originally, this was just meant to help me organize my thoughts but then I figured it was a good way to do this. So here’s my year…

Personal Highlights

  • AFI: I wrote about this long and hard already, but my favorite band released a new record this year, after four long years of absence. It is hard for me to write about this on a platform like this blog because I’m aware how this comes off with other people. The majority of people have fond memories of being a fan of a band – when they were 14. They can’t fathom what it’s like when that kind of love for (an) artist(s) remains. With most people that gets replaced by other things that become important to them over the years and just like with other values that we are taught are ‘publicly acceptable’, we come to feel like ‘the odd one out’ when we feel differently. I’m not ashamed of how I feel about AFI, I’m just afraid of not doing how important they are to me and on what level justice by not finding the right words. I don’t want people to think this is a silly thing, just because I fail to explain it properly. For now, though, let it suffice to say that I’ve missed being an active fan of this band. And by active I mean actually having something new to deal with, having a word to spreads, having a tour to hope and plan for. The latter still hasn’t happened but I’m confident that it’ll happen in ’14. As an album, ‘Burials’ hit me on a very emotional level. The hurt and anger and emotional stress of this album is so raw and familiar to me that I think it would have caught me off guard either way, whether it is by AFI or another artist. For weeks, I built myself a home inside those songs and lived there quite comfortably. Which is exactly what I’ve always known and needed from this band. Which explains quite perfectly why they’re such an important part of my life.
  • Friendships: 2013 Has been quite the nice little rollercoaster ride for me when it came to friendships. I got a lot closer with one friend who is especially important to me because we have so much in common and are so very alike in aspects that matter. So far, there was this invisible wall between us that drove us apart whenever we started opening up, as if we were afraid to do just that. At some point, after a lot of fights and drama, this wall disappeared and we grew so much closer which is a nice, if even a little scary, feeling. With all of my anxiety and trust issues, I still feel the urge to run every now and again but I can even tell her about that without feeling like she thinks I’m crazy. Then another friend came back into my life at a time when I least expected it, catching me off guard and leaving me to contemplate things all over again. Now, after several months have passed, I’m confident that letting her in again was a good decision. It’s still a bit tender, like a new tattoo and I think it’s still a matter of trial and error with finding the right dosage of each other but at the moment, it feels right, like we’re doing the right thing. What I didn’t like was how it threw me into yet more drama with people who I feel have no say in what I do with my life and who don’t even know me. On the kindergarten frame of mind level, they still think in social groups and all you can do is choose not to play their games. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try to still drag you down. I know that it’s partly my own fault for allowing them to do that and for letting it get to me but sometimes I can’t help it. Especially when some people are so obsessed with getting at me that they cannot even let it go, even when I choose not to comment on or reply to anything they say or do. The third friendship that is giving me a bit of a headache is also my oldest friendship. A girl who’s been nothing but kind to me in over ten years. Almost 15, I think? We used to be so close but over the past couple years, I feel we’ve drifted apart. And I’m not completely innocent, I know that. It’s just really hard to face this huge and important talk I know we’re supposed to have about it all eventually. It’s actually one of my goals for the next year to try and save this friendship or maybe move it to a new level, if need be. The last one that deserves to be mentioned here is a girl I met through my weight loss journey. We’re not so close, yet, that I’d see her as a part of my inner circle but we’re in such a similar position with where we are with our weight loss and what we’re struggling with that our conversations get increasingly personal and it’s nice to share that with someone who truly understands.
  • Mallorca: After I don’t know how many years, I finally had a proper holiday again! I’ve blogged about this more than is healthy already and I’n still missing the last part which I may add later just for closure, so I’m not gonna go on and on about it. Let me just say how good it was to get out, change the scenery for a bit, enjoy the sun and think of nothing but which sights I wanna see tomorrow for a while.

Things I Learned / Achieved

  • I’ve finally accepted and come clean about my own anxiety. It shows in many ways but mostly, my social anxiety is really, really bad. I go through good phases when it doesn’t bother me at all and life seems easy to me but the bad times are never far away. I’ve told my closest friends about it, so they know I’m not being unnecessarily difficult. Which doesn’t mean I get to hide behind it and be reckless, but I hope it’ll help them understand how my mind works sometimes. It’s also something that I know fessing up to was just the first step of. I’ll have to work on it and constantly push myself to my own limits so hopefully, I’ll get better at dealing with it, even though I don’t dare hope this will ever leave me.
  • One of the best things I’ve done today was changing my doctor. In Germany, everyone has a regular practitioner that you go to for check-ups and temporary illnesses like a flu and who you will also go to for a recommendation of professionals regarding more difficult or permanent things. My old one was just really not very helpful and supportive and I’m so glad I switched because even though I’ve only seen my new doc twice, she’s already helped me a lot and made me feel much better about myself and my health issues.
  • The other good thing, though I’ve not been doing so well in the past few weeks, was changing my gym. It’s a much more professional place and gives me the opportunity to follow a much more personal and custom plan. Unlike my old gym, it makes me feel like I’m not alone, like there is someone who will listen to what I want to achieve and help me get there. When you’re a born lazybutt like me and someone puts you into a gym, you just feel overwhelmed. Where do I start? What do I do? How do I use all those machines? What courses are right? At my old gym, though people there were nice, I just felt alone with my quest and like everything they had to offer was made to suit everyone. Which just doesn’t help. I have to lose a significant amount of weight, the next person may be skinny and wanting to gain a lot of muscle. So we have different needs but the gym wasn’t really prepared to offer help with that. So I already feel better knowing that what I do when I go there is the right thing for me.
  • I took up writing again. Nothing major but when Secret Santa time came around, not only did I finish the actual story for that but also one for a friend and it reignited the spark I’d been missing for so long. Since then, I’ve had a million different ideas and hope to go through with at least some of them, rather than adding another few dozen unfinished pieces to the long list on my hard drive.

Books

  • The Land of Stories 1 & 2 by Chris Colfer: I’ve been a fan of the TV Series Glee for a while but never knew that Chris Colfer had written a book, or two by now. So I stumbled upon the first book by accident when I found a thread on a book community in which someone offered her copy as a wandering book. I signed up and had to wait for quite a long time. So long, actually, that I had considered buying it instead. But then it arrived and I read it and loved it so much that I immediately pre-ordered part two which I also got to read this year. I recently learned that Chris is working on part three and this got me so inexplicably excited! Fairytale adaptions are one of my weaknesses and he does it so well!
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: For some reason, TFIOS was almost the last book by John Green I got to read after falling in love with this author. Even though it is his most well known and popular publication so far. I think I was a little afraid of my own expectations. It is, after all, a YA book about a girl who has cancer. You find way too many books about The Big C on YA literature shelves and one day I hope to explore why that is so. Most of them are amazing but you know what they say, ‘too much of a good thing…’. So I was a little hesitant. But TFIOS really is as amazing as they all say. And more. I am 31 and I have a teeny weeny crush on Augustus Waters. There, I said it!
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: This was probably my big surprise this year when it came to books. I bought this as part of an Amazon special in which you could buy three English paperback titles for 10 €. Most of the titles on offer didn’t seem very appealing to me as they were a lot of romance or sequels to books I hadn’t read. But I already had The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Map of Time in my basket and needed a third book and then I saw Ready Player One and remembered having read a good review about it somewhere. The plot seemed vaguely interesting, so I put it in my basket. It ended up being the first I read of the three and even though I was so suspicious about it, it turned out being one of my favorite reads this year. It was nerdy, clever, sweet at some point and set in a really, really detailed future world that you could imagine to exist a couple hundred years from now. Even though I’m nowhere near as obsessed with virtual worlds as the characters in this book, I can understand where the author is coming from. It’s so easy to lose yourself in online games and identify with your avatar in one way or another and Ernest Cline simply took it a step further, creating a wonderful ‘What If…’ scenario.
  • Authors: I discovered two new authors this year whose work really impressed me. One is Linda Castillo whose Kate Burkholder series I started with early this year. Right now, the fourth book is waiting to be read by me. It is set on the edges of an Amish community and besides the tension and suspense her stories offer, I like learning about these people and their traditions without it being boring in any way. With Neil Gaiman, I’m a little late to the party. Whenever I mention how much I enjoyed reading Neverwhere, everyone just rolls their eyes at me. Apparently, the whole world has been a fan for years. I’ve enjoyed this book so much that I made it a plan for ’14 to read more of his work.

Movies

  • Despicable Me 2: If you know me, you know I’m slightly obsessed with the Minions. I have posters, figurines, apps…whatever I can get my hands on and can actually use in some way. The first movie was probably one of my all-time favorites and I was looking forward to the sequel like other people are looking forward to their wedding days. For months, we had posters outside the cinema near the mall and every single time I saw them, I’d squeal. When the time finally came, sadly, I only made it to the cinema twice, not a million times like I’d planned. But it was glorious. Amazing. My God, how I enjoyed this movie! And I didn’t even particularly care for the plot, though it was enjoyable. I can’t wait for the Minions movie!
  • The Hunger Games – Catching Fire: I’ve read the books, I’ve cried, I’ve been tempted to throw my Kindle at the wall. So I have to watch the movies, too. And how brilliant they are! Catching Fire was so close to what I imagined things to look like while reading the book, I spent most of the time in the cinema convinced that I had already seen the movie. Which was impossible, I’d hardly even seen trailers. But it really came so close. I loved every second of it and can’t wait for the next part.
  • Now You See Me: This was my big surprise this year. I love Amy Adams, so one night when my friend and I found ourselves on the steps of a local theater, spontaneously in the mood to see a movie, I instantly voted for this one. But at the time I didn’t expect more than a bit of mild entertainment. But this movie was so, so good, really smart and had more strengths than just the magic tricks / special effects.

Goals 2014

  • Lose weight: I don’t remember a time in my life when this wasn’t part of the plan. Instead of making it a goal to be a skinny supermodel by the end of the year, though, I’m just not gonna set a specific goal but just promise myself that I’ll do my best to achieve as much as I can.
  • Be more organized: Again, this is a rather vague thing that involves more than just tidying up more or keeping the paperwork at home in line. It also includes small things like taking notes at work, using post-its for actual reminders rather than just doodling, remembering distant friends’ birthdays and sending cards out in time, taking two minutes to remove my makeup at night, not constantly forgetting to brush my hair, clear the dishes right after meals, and so on. If I get better at this, it’ll be easier for me to deal with everyday life in the long run because I know things are just running automatically and I don’t have to stress myself out so much over the smallest things.
  • Stay calm / Relax more:  I tend to freak out at the smallest cause because I’m just so annoyed with things in my life right now. It doesn’t make things easier and it doesn’t help and the only thing I achieve with it is make myself feel worse, so I need to find a way to stay calm and not act like a crazy ghetto bitch.
  • Rekindle friendships: There’s one particular close friend I already mentioned earlier who I’d like to become closer with again because I really miss her friendship. We’ve drifted apart a lot and I know we’ll never fully be on the same emotional level and share so many interests again but that doesn’t mean we can’t make this work. And then there are a few other people who I’ve never really been close with before but we were on casual terms, checking in with each other every other day and that’s gone down the drain over the years, as well. I’d like to get back to having that extended circle of friends again and let them know I’m here if they need me.
  • Save Money: I’ve really lost my way here. I went from having almost 1.000 € in my savings account + another 150 € in my piggy bank to have almost nothing left. And with the prospect of a possible AFI tour soon, I really need to get my act together. I’ve done well this month already by putting aside almost 100 € again and I hope to stay on this track. Also I want to stop abusing my credit card for spontaneous purchases whenever I don’t have the cash, so I can use it for the tour as well.
  • Go veggie: I want to give the vegetarian diet another go. I thought I may start by challenging myself to stick to a veggie diet for a week, if that goes well, extend it to two weeks, and so on. If I fail, I’ll start again. In the past few weeks, I’ve already explored several veggie lunch alternatives I could rely on at work. There’s a bakery / lunch restaurant that has freshly cooked pasta dishes every day and most of them are vegetarian. And there are a bunch of different supermarkets nearby that offer different kinds of salads or other vegetarian dishes. So even if I forget to pack lunch, I’d have good alternatives.
  • Cook more: This goes along with the goal above because it’s certainly easier to stick to a certain diet when you’re prepared. But it’s also easier to lose weight and be healthy when you eat homemade food that you know the actual ingredients of and that you can alter according to your own likes or dislikes.
  • Laugh more, cry less: Sort of explains itself, really.

Challenges 2014

  • Lose weight: This is not one big challenge as such but rather one I plan to take baby steps with as before. Right now, I’m still on the first step that’s listed on my Challenges page which is to lose 2.2kg by mid-January. Since I’m still lacking a working scale, I have no reliable result but hope to be on the right track.
  • Goodreads Challenge: As every year, I’m gonna take part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge again and since I’ve struggled to reach my goal of 50 this year, I won’t up it and set it to 50 again. This time, I’ll put the widget on my Challenges page as well as soon as Goodreads lets you do that.

So, that’s all, folks!

I hope everyone has a great NYE, a lot of fun, whether you’re partying or staying home. I know I’m ready for 2014 to arrive.

Ready for 2014!

Ready for 2014!

Be safe and see you on the other side!

Categories: Bookworm, Foody, Me Myself and I, Movies, Weight Loss, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-Way There #3

It’s just one more day til Christmas here in Germany. I think most other countries celebrate on the 25th and even though we’ve been introduced to this by American and British movies, we still hold on to the tradition of having a fabulous Christmas dinner followed by unwrapping and quality time spent with the family on the 24th.

And of course, I finished most of the items on my little to-do list just in time.

  • Write piece for a Secret Santa due on Dec 25th 
  • Finish making mixtape + cover for another Secret Santa
  • Write another Christmas piece I’ve set Dec 24th as a deadline for
  • Buy last piece of gift for friend
  • Buy gift for mom
  • Buy Christmas cards
  • Mail gifts and cards
  • Put up last pieces of Christmas decoration
  • Tidy up and clean living room
  • Buy ingredients for baking
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Plan meal for Christmas Eve and look up recipes
  • Finish Goodreads reading challenge for 2013

As you can see, the only thing left undone is the baking. I had bought the ingredients last week but forgot the butter and then never got around to it. Now I plan to bake some last minute cookies after work tomorrow. I’m gonna make Vanillekipferl, a German Christmas treat. As the name suggest, they taste of vanilla and they’re very crumbly and taste best – like most things – when they’re just out of the oven! Knowing me, I’ll forget, but I may take some pictures when I’m actually done.

I was gonna make white chocolate rum balls, too, but those are just too time-consuming so instead, I’ve decided on using the white chocolate I bought for those to make cupcakes for the Christmas movie night and dinner my friend and I have planned for the 26th. I’ve never actually made proper cupcakes (I tried once but only had an American vegan recipe and ended up using all the wrong German alternatives), so I hope that’s gonna turn out fine. Watch me buy some candy from the gas station and bring that instead!

I bought my mom’s gift today, with her in tow actually. I know that was a last minute run but I had tried to buy it on Friday but couldn’t find it anywhere. She’d asked for a gift certificate, preferably Amazon. But would you believe they had no affordable Amazon gift certificates left anywhere. Only the really big ones and while my mom is worth more than money could even buy, I simply can’t afford to spend that kind of money. So I decided to go and look for one again today. But when I mentioned that I had to drive to the mall before work, she tagged along. Zing! Luckily, I managed to slip off and get her gift at one point.

The writing also went fairly well. Once I put my mind to it – and I actually like the piece I’m working on – it’s easy for me to keep going. So I had my actual Secret Santa piece done yesterday. And I literally just finished the other piece a few moments ago. All this writing has really fired me up again and I’ll try to write more. I’ve never been one to pop out another piece every few days but I used to write way more (and actually finish some, too) and I’d like to get back there.

For now, though, I’m really damn pleased with myself. I think this is the first year that I’m actually

Merry Christmas to Me

Merry Christmas to Me

finished with everything before Christmas. I’m not even counting the last item on my list now because baking is fun and it will be even nicer to enjoy the warm cookies tomorrow, on the actual Christmas Eve, so I could as well have planned it. And everything that had other people involved was finished more than just in time. Could it be I’m actually growing up? And, oh yeah, because I’ve been such a good girl – and also, maybe, because I was getting slightly pissed off with the crazy people at the mall today and still didn’t kill anyone – I treated myself to a new bag. Oops! But hello, gorgeous! Welcome to my pretty little army of bags! I regret nothing and it was on sale anyway and it has little skulls on them which my old favorite bag also had. And let me tell you, I loved that one. So much that I carried half my life around in it and that may just have been a little too heavy because the straps got ripped off. Tragic, I know.

Anyway…Merry Christmas, you guys! Or Merry Whatever-It-Is-That-You-Celebrate! Hopefully everyone who reads this has wonderful holidays.

Categories: Foody, Me Myself and I, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-Way There

I just opened another door of my advent calendar and it reminded me that it’s only ten days til Christmas Eve. Cue a hysterical panic attack on my part.

So far, I thought I was doing really well. I thought I was on time.

Haha, yeah, right.

Truth is, I’ve started everything that needs to be done but I’ve finished very little. The only thing that ever helps me in this situation is sitting down and thinking about what exactly it is that needs to be done, write it all down in a to-do list and then tick things off. I’m a visual person, so as long as things are just thoughts in my head, I lose track and fool myself into thinking I’m okay.

So, the to-do list for this Christmas / End of Year is:

  • Write piece for a Secret Santa due on Dec 25th
  • Finish making mixtape + cover for another Secret Santa
  • Write another Christmas piece I’ve set Dec 24th as a deadline for
  • Buy last piece of gift for friend
  • Buy gift for mom
  • Buy Christmas cards
  • Mail gifts and cards
  • Put up last pieces of Christmas decoration
  • Tidy up and clean living room
  • Buy ingredients for baking
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Plan meal for Christmas Eve and look up recipes
  • Finish Goodreads reading challenge for 2013 (1 book left)

There you go. I’ve ticked off the one point I’ve already finished to motivate myself.

Later today, I’m going out to buy the cards and hopefully the gift for my friend. Then I’ll make the mixtape, wrap it all up and write cards, so they can be mailed next week. That’ll keep the pressure of the mail coming in late off my shoulders. I’m half-way through with the last book for Goodreads, too. And I’ll be buying ingredients for baking later, too, so hopefully the cookies will be over and done with by tomorrow, as well.

The most annoying part, as usual, is the writing. I’ve finished both pieces in my head so often already. Whenever I’m in bed or in the shower or in the car, I ‘write’ it all out. Then I sit in front of my computer and words just fail me. But at least those don’t need to be finished way ahead because I can literally finish them a second before they need to be posted. Or at least finish proofreading then.

Categories: Me Myself and I, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unpleasant Surprises

As it turned out, yesterday’s movie wasn’t such a good entrée for my vacation. The one time I manage to make it to a sneak preview, of course, it has to be the worst movie I’ve seen all year. They were showing “The Man with the Iron Fists”, a kind of action-martial arts-science fiction spectacle written, directed and starred by RZA. The insanity started when it was set in what seemed like ancient China but must have been post-1950 and the protagonist was an Afro-American with a Ghetto accent. After that, I pretty much accepted whatever they presented me with. Which were many, many WTF-moments. Although, sometimes, I just wasn’t able to keep my questions to myself. “Did she just shoot a bullet out of her panties?” was my personal highlight, although “Are they really trying to sell Russell Crowe as a British guy?” And don’t get me started on the many suggestive ways of sex toys being used without giving the slightest bit of an erotic vibe to the scene at all. Half the movie is set in a Chinese brothel and some scenes are, if not graphic, at least suggestive. Still, not once did my inner hormone-crazed girl purr. Mind you, if it had, it would have died a tragic death when Dave Bautista let his moobs bounce in his best Hooters Girl-move.  Oh well…

Then the next traumatic experience followed this noon. I went to do the weekly grocery shopping with my mom and she insisted we have lunch at McDonald’s instead of getting some to take home afterwards. I haven’t eaten in a McDonald’s restaurant for a while. Since then, it must have become the thing to do for families. I think the two of us were the only ones who didn’t have at least one child with them. We were hiding in a corner but soon enough, two women and three kids took the table next to us. I’m not the biggest fan of kids. It’s not that I hate them, I just don’t love them, either. I must be missing a gene that makes people, especially women, coo when they see kids and want one. I’ve never wanted kids. Although, again, it’s not a case of absolutely not wanting, just not needing to. I’ve always considered it something that’d depend on my partner. If it’s something he wants, we’ll go in that direction, if not, it’s fine with me. And other people’s kids…well, I can tolerate them but I never understood how people get all teary-eyed over them. Still, that family was easily the worst I’ve encountered in a while. The kids weren’t even so bad. They were a little whiny and, as kids are, they always wanted what the other had. But the moms were horrible. Together, I’d like to refer to them as Momzilla! Out of the three kids, they were both focused on the boy, Hannes. And his name had to be mentioned in every.single.sentence. “Hannes, are you not hungry anymore? Hannes, do you want any more fries? Hannes, look at me. Hannes, we do not swear. Hannes, we are at McDonald’s and this is so, so special, so we do not need to curse. Hannes, do you not want your nuggets anymore? Hannes, is it okay if mommy eats your nuggets and fries? Hannes, do you want ice cream for dessert?” Jesus freaking Christ on a pogo stick! When I see people like that, I always wonder if they’ve always been like that or if having kids turned them into a monster. And even though all three kids were surprisingly calm and nice, the women never took the time to talk to each other or just enjoy their own food while they could. Please, if I ever have kids, remind me of these two women and save me from becoming like that!

Phew, as you can see, I’m traumatized. I’m pretty sure I’ll dream of Hannes tonight.

But when I got home, I found a pleasant surprise in my mailbox. I got my first traveling book today. Traveling books are books that people send to each other and that will come back to their owner in the end. I’ve always been a little afraid of signing up for them because I’m quite the little piggy when I’m reading and I don’t want to mess other people’s books up. But it’s just really so much cheaper than buying any myself. And trust me, I buy a lot of books, printed copies and on my Kindle, so it’s a relief to get to read some like this. Of course, it’s not like my to-be-read pile needs to grow any further.

To-be-read Nov12Speaking of which, I’m gonna be boring and show you a picture of my current tbr pile for this vacation. The actual tbr level in my book shelf is much bigger. Currently, the shelf and my Kindle contain about 30 unread books. But I try to set small goals for myself. So far, for this vacation I’ve chosen these three. “The Child Thief” by Brom is a book I’ve been reading for a while now and I’m only on page 200-something of its 699 pages, so I’m not sure I’ll finish it soon. It’s a sort of dark version of Peter Pan. Really, really dark, though. The first few pages threw me into a kind of breathless depression because the writing was so stark and so real. Definitely not a light read and I find myself throwing in more upbeat books all the time so I won’t hang myself from the shower rod. One of those would be “I Heart New York” by Lindsey Kelk. Sometimes, I like a little bit of chick lit. Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors. Not because her “Shopaholic” books are so incredibly thought-provoking but because they make me laugh and sometimes, I just want to be entertained. The traveling book I received today is on top, still in its plastic bag which I’ll keep it in when I’m not reading. It’s a German book called “Jetzt ist bald und nichts ist los”. Quite coincidentally, it’s about a young woman who realizes that she got nowhere in life. Which is similar to what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. I hope I won’t end up adopting too much from the book. I don’t want to be a copy cat. But I don’t want to wait till after November because usually, readers have 2 weeks time to read a traveling book and I don’t want us to get stuck because of me.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo…I should really go and write my piece for the day. I didn’t get to write anything after the movie last night because I was so tired and knew I had to be up early again. But I have an idea for the next part so I’d better write it down before it gets lost.

Categories: Bookworm, Me Myself and I, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Freedom!

I’d like to announce that my vacation’s finally started! Since I had to work on yesterday’s holiday, I’ve got this Friday off and then it’s three weeks of blissful time off work. And this time, it was much needed.

I work for a tech support hotline. It’s not as bad as I make it sound a lot of the time. Luckily, it’s for a small business and not one of those huge anonymous call centers. I used to work for one of those before I got this job and trust me, the difference is huge. I don’t have to sell any useless crap to customers, I don’t have any crazy goals to meet by the end of a month. My salary isn’t gonna make me a millionaire anytime soon but unlike so many people in this country (and elsewhere), I make enough to afford my rent and monthly bills, some fun on the side and most of the time I can even put a little money on the side for bigger purchases, holidays, etc. And I’ve had this job for almost seven years now. Even through the financial crisis and all the other bad times the economy’s been through lately, I kept my job and it seems relatively safe. So I really shouldn’t complain about it too much.

What bugs me the most is that it has nothing to do with anything I enjoy doing and am good at. I despise talking to people on the phone. Sometimes I don’t even pick up when friends are calling me. They’ve got used to it by now and aren’t even offended when I message them on Whatsapp a moment later. The other thing I hate is technology. Not in general. I can’t be typing this from my Mac and publish it on my blog on the Internet and tell you I hate technology. But I hate trying to figure things out. When a computer doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I don’t like to check the settings, try this, try that. Which is exactly what I’m required to do in my job. So I guess I’m not doing it very well because I give up and just send a new device to the customer sooner than others. But I suppose it’s good enough or they wouldn’t be keeping me around.

And lately, things have become extra-hard. A few people were laid off and at the same time, we accepted more tasks. So more work gets done by less people now. And it’s completely new work. Our business is just a division of a larger international one. Another division was shut down and we took over their work. But it’s in a completely different field which none of us had worked in before so it’s pretty much like learning to do another job besides your regular one. I’m trying to be openminded and appreciate the opportunity to learn. But it’s hard when your days have become so stressful all of a sudden. We all get about three times as many calls right now and due to all the changes, the longer queues, the general confusion, almost every single customer is at least a little annoyed so the conversations aren’t very pleasant. It’s getting a little better with time, but I’m still glad for getting this time off so I can take a breath. And do what I love doing.

I’m kicking this vacation off with a dinner and a movie tonight. Nothing fancy, just Pizza Hut but man, do I love pizza! In Germany, we get two kinds of pizza: Italian and American. Usually, I prefer the Italian one. You know, the greasy, nasty things you get in a paper box from some guy who runs his business from a caravan. Mmmhhh… But sometimes I’m in the mood for American pan pizza and then it has to be Pizza Hut. Like tonight. The movie will be a surprise as it’ll be a sneak preview. Every first Friday of a month, we get a sneak in English. Usually, movies in Germany are dubbed but I prefer the original versions. If you live in a cool place like Düsseldorf where they have a lot of foreign students and workers, you also get many regular OV showings but around here, you have to seize your chance to see a movie in English. I just hope it’ll be something interesting.

As for NaNoWriMo, I’ve already written another 500 words today but then I got stuck. I’m nearing the end of my introduction and can’t seem to find a good way to make it over to the story to begin. This is the first hard part and before I got lost in it, I figured I’d better take a break so I can shower and do my nails or I’ll look horrible tonight. I’m better at writing at night, so I hope I’ll come up with something good after the movie.

Categories: Me Myself and I, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo

The first day of my serious attempt at NaNoWriMo went surprisingly well. Since I had to start work at 8:30am (despite it being a holiday here, I’d like to add), I didn’t get to start at midnight like many others did. So I took my laptop into work with me and despite how tired I was, I managed to write around 900 words between calls and my co-worker’s constant bla bla. When I got home, I wrote a little more and by now, I have written about 2,200 words which is more than my daily goal.

I decided on a somewhat cynical, but hopefully funny, story line that reads just a tiny bit like an autobiography. And I’m writing it in German. As I said, I was tempted to do it and the story is one of the few things I can picture myself writing in German. So far, the ideas keep flowing out of me and I could barely stop typing. I’m in no way thinking it would stay like this for the next 29 days. But for now, I am glad that the first day has been going so well.

NaBloPoMoThen, as I was checking my dashboard, I came across National Blog Posting Month. Another challenge. I’m sure it’s a dumb idea to start two writing challenges at once. But what I grasped of this concept was that this month, there’s no specific theme which is perfect because there’s no real theme to my blog, either. And I’ve just created it a day ago, so how hard can it be to stay focused on this and write a post every day? It’s not about length, content or quality so it’s not like I’m taking part in anything crazy hard here. What is gonna be difficult, though, will be finding a way to blog when I’m in London. It’s just one day but I’ll consider this challenge as failed if I miss a day so I’ll need to figure something out. Crazy expensive hotel wifi, I suppose…

I’m gonna be gentle with myself and consider this challenge as successful today, even though this post has been about nothing but the challenges themselves.

Now that I’ve done so much typing and thinking today, I’ll have to catch up on American Horror Story. Yes, I’m a couch potato! Every fall is dedicated to new seasons of my favorite TV shows. And each time, I discover at least one new show that I absolutely have to follow. American Horror Story is on its second season this year. So far, I have to say I almost enjoy it more than the first. Unlike other shows, the seasons aren’t related, though some of the actors show up again, but in different roles. While the first season was set in a haunted house, this one is set in an asylum which makes it so much creepier for me. Even though the house in season one was old and dark, it still seemed too modern and clean for me to really feel scared. The asylum, on the other hand, is so dark and holds so many horrors. There are very few things I miss from the first season so far.

Categories: Couch Potato, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.