Friday, April 18, 2014

Because of some crappy days...

Everyone knows the feeling of just having a crappy day. Or two. Or three. At least I am telling myself that. Because work has been incredibly slow and frustrating yet again, I decided to not spend an entire post whining about it (you are welcome) and post a few pictures, links, or things instead that made me happy or helped me procrastinate.

- I truly thank the parents of this little one for putting a costume on their child and posting it on the internet.

This is exactly how I feel after eating all the Easter candy!

- Although nothing beats the cuteness of chunky George, the royal boss.

Oh, you must be those peasants my mom told me about.

- Have you watched Sherlock yet? If you haven't, please stop what you are doing and start watching it NOW. I don't know what I did before I knew this show. Sadly, Nick and I just finished the last episode that's available online. It is just that good!
So, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, please go and film that next season now!

No. Don't make it weird. Just get on the set already!
- Someone posted this on Facebook. I was mesmerized and terrified both times I watched it. This is truly impressive!


- I would not be surprised if each of these children were scarred for life upon the taking of these pictures.

- I don't know what it is, but I need one! So much cuteness!! I swear, I yelled out "AWWW!" for each one of these.

Are you a micro-rabbit-mouse?

- More small things made their rounds on the internet. Why would a small or any other small food be desirable? People are strange.

I'm still curious what it is. Marzipan?

With this being said, I should go and find some wine and chocolate to celebrate the end of this awful week. Next week, I'm sure will be much more productive and awesome! Plus, I have big plans to go running again!

I hope you all have a lovely Saturday!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Apples in the garbage.

It is no secret that sometimes, I have absolutely no control over what I'm doing. I'm not talking about the words that come out of my mouth. No, that's a different story. I mean what my arms, hands, or legs are going. I think at any given point in time, I would be unable to walk a straight line or touch my nose with my finger. Which is going to become very awkward if I ever get pulled over for speeding or forgetting about a stop sign.

This would probably be a better excuse than "general malfunction".

While I usually brush it off as "everyone has moments like this", sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong in the communication between my brain and my body.

A little while ago, I came home from doing the groceries and put everything away, before I started working on my paper. The next day, I wanted to grab one of those apples that I had bought and just couldn't find them. After looking in all reasonable places, I thought about it for a minute and then remembered it very clearly: I had dropped them into the garbage bin. The whole bag. Fresh apples. Into the garbage.

I know.

What bugs me about this the most is that I could clearly remember how I put them in there. This means that during the very moment when it happened, nothing about it seemed strange. (?!)

This is only one example.
There are more.

I've found a pack of ham ceran wrap/ aluminum foil/ ziplock bag drawer - days after my grocery trip.

Just the other day, I wanted to put cheese into the fridge and threw it in the garbage. With confidence.

Generally, I have found so much random food (mostly foods that should have been immediately refrigerated) in drawers, on shelves, or in bags I never took them out of (!?).

I've also driven off while a gallon of ice cream and a pineapple were still sitting on the roof of my car. Or a cup of coffee. Or a pack of milk. If you think watching your ice-cream come flying off your car is the most awkward thing, you are mistaken. It is the getting out of your car and picking up the pieces.
(What I have learned from these situations: No matter how soon you remember, it's already too late - and: People do stare. For a while. And shake their heads.)

Why did you put me in here?! - I don't know. It just seemed right at the time.

Please tell me that you do this as well.

Or don't say anything at all.

Or even better, just lie about it.

Yes, lets do that.

While I'm a little sad to leave our little old kitchen here in Berlin, I'm glad to have a gas stove again. When you have a gas stove, you can at least tell which of the stove tops you turned on. (Trust me, unless you have a fancy glass top that lights up bright red, the electric stove can be tricky. Plus, melted plastic does smell.)

On a completely different note, Easter is coming up and I am beyond excited. Easter candy is one of my favorite things and Nick and I have been working on trying every kind of chocolate or other sugary treat we could find.

Easter in Germany is a rather big holiday. Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday are official holidays. This also means that everything is closed. Many stores don't even open on Saturday, which turns it into a really REALLY long weekend.


That's why I went to the store this afternoon to stock up on food and wine. Sadly, 372890523573207 people had the same idea. I had to wait in line to grab a cart. There was a line to get A CART!?! To then begin shopping?! It was ridiculous. And that was only the first of three stores I had to go to.

While that was no fun at all, I'm really glad we won't starve.

Now lets just hope I put it everything in the right place and it won't all spoil in a random drawer or corner of the kitchen.

I hope you have a good night!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pictures and Passover.

It has been one of those days here, where aside from work and sending out emails, nothing much has happened. 

Except: As of today, half of the dress is now officially mine! Let the alterations begin!

Aside from this, I am still coughing and sneezing and losing my patience about this terrible cold that just won't let go of me. Today it's been two weeks since I last went for a run and at this point, I'm not only anxious to lace up my shoes again, but also terrified. I'm pretty certain I won't even make it past this block, because I lost all of my muscles. However, there is nothing worse than starting off too soon and my sinuses and lungs are definitely asking me to wait another few days. So I will do that. (Damn you, sinuses!)

That's why I am going to share some random pictures from the last week with you.

First things first:

Nick surprised me yesterday morning, by handing me a flash drive that contained all the official pictures from the half marathon! I just couldn't believe it! Especially after I had spent all of our money on a dress. He still goes out and buys all of them for me, because he knows how important this was for me.

This one is my favorite.
(Just so you know, this was only mile 3, hence the happy face.)

This was right around when I thought I should just go home and sleep. Or die.
Someone yelled we should all raise our arms. Guess I was the only one who actually did. Awkward.

... and this was when I knew there was going to be Ice Cream in my very near future.
Just in case you were wondering, the clock in the pictures was taking the time from the start of the first wave. My wave started running about 30 minutes after the official beginning.

It seems to have become a tradition that every Saturday, we first make coffee to go and then take Lucy to the dog park, afterwards, Nick and I walk to get groceries, and to reward ourselves (you know, for so much walking), we go to the best happy hour place that we know.

Oh buy1 get1 free cocktails, you are my favorite!
I have once again proven that heating up can also count as cooking!

Yes, you have to have 2 bottles of ketchup on hand at all times.
Never run out of ketchup. It's the rule.

Gelato is officially back in my life. The place up the road from us finally opened and we had to go immediately to see if their ice cream was still as good. It is. Now I just need to go back to check the other 40 flavors!

Oh how I've missed you!

Nick went through his computer the other day and found pictures that were taken during our stay at Disney World in January 2011. I had completely forgotten about them. Especially this one:

Yeah. No. I have no idea how this happened.

Yesterday, we were invited to our very first Passover celebration. Friends of ours had us over to be part of their ceremony and it was terrific! I have never been at a dinner that involved so many symbolic aspects - or where I learned so much about a different religion.

Now it is time for me to clean up the kitchen from today's dinner.

I envy everyone who has a dishwasher. Or a bigger kitchen. Or more dishes.

Maybe we should just get a cat.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The day I picked my dress.

Today was a long, happy day.

As I told you, when we first got married, Nick and I planned on having a big church wedding in Germany a few years later, you know, the one in less than 6 weeks.

Over the past months and years, I thought, I would then get a chance to wear a big wedding dress. The one I wore 4.5 years ago is really lovely. Its shorter and ivory colored with beads and lace and just overall pretty.

So I started thinking that I should save us the money and wear it for the big day. I made a decision. I wanted to just give up on the big dress to save us the money. When I told Nick, he wasn't pleased. I remember that just three months ago, we were sitting and having cocktails when told me he would just pick a bridal store and buy a gift card. I wanted none of that. I didn't want my big dress anymore.

I feel so pretty when saving us money!

Until 2 weeks ago.

I don't know what happened, but all of the sudden, the thought of never having the feeling of walking down the isle in long wedding dress I had dreamed of for years made me really sad.

I remembered how I was still in my mom's kids choir and we would meet every Friday, in a building right by the very church that Nick and I are getting married in next month. Fridays were, and still are, popular days for weddings and during the summer months, us kids would wait for the bride to come out of the church, just to see her dress. On other days, my mom and I would drive by the church and wait in the car if we knew there was a wedding. It was always the greatest moment to see the bride.

I know!

I also remembered how often I would sneak into my parents' bedroom to secretly wear my mom's wedding dress when she was out. I was about 6 or 7 and obsessed with that dress. My grandmother made it and I can't tell you how happy it still makes me that my mom kept it all those years. In elementary school, we did a fashion show and I was the one who was presenting the "bridal collection". I was 8 years old and wore my mom's veil and her white gloves - it was one of my proudest moments as a kid.

Since then, I had dreamed of having a big, long wedding dress myself and while I truly love my shorter dress from our October wedding in New York, I just couldn't bare the thought of never being able to live that moment any longer. Especially when I will be walking out of that very church, in the town I grew up in, with Nick next to me.

I know I'm being wasteful. I know that it will be the most expensive piece of clothing and that I will only wear it for less than 24hrs. But I just can't help it.


Now, deciding that I want a dress and finding one are two different stories if there are only 6 weeks to go until the big day.

In case you didn't know, wedding dresses can take 6-8 months to be ordered. (I definitely didn't know.) I spent more hours looking at wedding dresses online than I ever thought was possible or healthy. I looked for so long that all of them started to look the same, just one white ball of fabric.

It's our second wedding, so I didn't want it to be too big, too poofy, too long, or too lacey, no big bows, something smaller, but not too small, simple, but not too simple... that's exactly what I told the sales lady at the store. She truly appreciated it.

This seems appropriate! Maybe less flowers though.

Last week, I tried about 20 dresses. I hated every single one (too big, too poofy, too long...). I felt like a snowman in most of them, looked like a ball of mozzarella in others. It wasn't pretty. The poor sales lady kept saying "lets put a flower around it and see what you think then" (I'm dead serious. She tried that one flower on every dress. Almost hilarious.)

"Lets add a flower to see if it works then."

Right before I left, she told me that they had another dress and went to get it. I hated it on the hanger. But since she was so nice and helpful (read: patient), I said I would try it. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. The only problem: it was about 3 times as much as I wanted to spend.

I had a sleepless weekend and aside from browsing through store catalogues, I also looked at about 362934732852720984 used wedding dresses online. I swear, I know every single entry by now. I know the brands, I know the shapes, I recognize the sellers. The thought was: maybe I can find a really nice used one. Or one that was bought and never worn!?

My friend came with me this morning to look at a dress I thought might be a good fit. It wasn't for me. It wasn't my dress. It was someone else's.


So we went back to the store and I picked one there. That's all I can say, because Nick reads my blog :o)

I absolutely love it and I cannot wait to wear it (and plaster this blog with pictures). At the store, I had to insist sitting and finishing my champagne in the dress. (Yes they gave me booze. Maybe to help decide.)

I am also thinking about putting it on every year at our May-wedding-anniversary. Even if it doesn't fit anymore. I swear. It is THAT pretty. I could also give tea parties and wear it for that occasion. Maybe I will invite everyone who says they are sad they only got to wear their dress once. It could be a thing. Lets all wear our wedding dresses! (Of course, we would be forced to only eat really creamy-cream cakes, you know, no "healthy" fruit, because of possible stains...)

Just let me know. I'll keep a slice for you.

Did anyone say "cake"?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The day I fought in public (again)

I am not a person who seeks confrontation. No. I hide from it. Especially if it's in public. I find arguing in public embarrassing - but sometimes, people are acting like royal assholes and I can't control my feelings. Let me tell you about it in a little bit.

First: happy things!

I don't even know why I haven't talked about this on here yet, because it's not even a real secret. In fact, a few months ago, we distributed a good number of letters to announce it:
Nick and I are getting married in Germany! We've been married for 4.5 years, but back then, my parents were unable to come. (Maybe because we gave them 3 weeks notice and we got married thousands of miles away?!)
Anyways, we had a beautiful wedding at Nick's parents' house and in my mind it couldn't have been more perfect. My parents and brothers attended via Skype and my brothers even played a song for us. (They even dressed up in fancy clothes and had a celebratory dinner!)

Still, we've been planning on having a bigger church wedding in Germany ever since - one where everyone from this side of the pond will be there, too. This is going to happen in just six weeks. And guess what!? There are a number of people from the U.S. coming to be there with us - including my parents in law! It is going to be so great to have them here!

While I love to plan, I have been so busy with school, the beginning-of-the-year-chaos, my trip to Baltimore, etc that this even just snuck up on us without warning.

That's exactly how I feel about it.
Now the serious matter:

We received a wedding related package from the U.S. the other day and were notified that there was something waiting at customs for us. 

While I want to spare you the details: picking it up was much less enjoyable as expected. The lady was just plain rude - not just because the things in the package were handled with the least possible care, but also because the value of the gifts were picked at random by the officer. The receipt I was sent via email didn't even count and the office just accused me of making it up. - The value that she found online was 4 times higher than the actual cost. 


I'm happy to pay what I owe. Even if my receipts don't count and you want to go with your higher prices, it's all fine. You say what I have to pay and I'll do it. But don't treat me like that in public, don't throw around my property this carelessly and make snarky comments about them, don't call me or the sender a liar after I made them jump through hoops to send me receipts, don't act like I broke a law - it's not illegal to have things sent to you, and most of all: don't be that disrespectful just because you are on the other side of the counter and are wearing a uniform. That's not right. 


I have been truly thrown off by the way people think it's okay to talk to others. What is wrong with you?! Why can't you at least try to treat everyone with the same respect that you'd expect from others? Don't be an asshole. It's not that hard.

I don't know if I told you, but just a few days ago, I went to the pharmacy across the street. I needed cough syrup and asked the lady, why the one she wanted to sell me was better than the one I had been taking. I was then lectured that I wouldn't understand the names on the box anyways so there was no point in answering my question. (What?!) How do you still have a business?

Almost every day, I come home and greet Nick with something like "You wouldn't believe what someone just said to me". Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm too easily irritated. (Of course, we all know this is purely rhetorical.)

On the bright side, it really sticks out if someone is nice to you. Maybe that's what this is all about. That you appreciate nice (non-rude) people even more now. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The golden ticket

Today was a good day.
Not because I am feeling better - no, I'm still sporting my nasty cough -, but because I received a special letter in the mail this morning!

I got my semester ticket!! I am taking the train again, people! :o) For the past 8 days, I was forced to walk everywhere (or pay for the train, but I'm much more cheap than lazy), because my old ticket expired on March 31. It took a little while to get all the paperwork done to apply for a new one at school, but the wait is over and the golden ticket is in my hand. So I took a celebratory trip to the university library this afternoon and restocked my book-pile at home. 

Yay. Work.
(Yes, the pen is supposed to be on the ground.)

No worries. The library here is more of an archive than a libraryand you can't take out more books than nine. It always makes for really hard decisions when I'm there. Still, the person at the front desk didn't fail to count the books out loud. And ask me, if I was sure I wanted to take out all nine books. And if I was going to use all of them. And if I was going to read all of them. - I'm sorry. If work at a library, you should not ask such questions. 


Then I wanted to go home and this happened:

 We have truly been experiencing the wildest weather over the past couple of weeks. Today, it went from warm, to cold, then we had a thunderstorm, then sun, then a hailstorm, then terrible wind... and I actually kind of like it. With all the climate changes and extreme weathers, this feels like the appropriate weather for once.

I'm actually lucky that my running break falls into this weather period. While I'd still pick hail over wind when running, I'm not upset if I can avoid both of those things.

Do you regularly take public transportation? In Berlin, yes, every day. In Baltimore, no, not at all.

What's your favorite running weather/ temperature? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

We bring sickness and hair!

I've been sick.
Since the Half on the 30th, I could already feel it coming. Nick had it first and then I followed his lead one day after.

I am certain that my family was thrilled to have us there while I coughed all day and was an overall useless guest. Not that I'm particularly useful on otherwise, but I took it to a new level this time. On top of it, Lucy is currently shedding like there is no tomorrow and managed to leave at least half of her coat on my parents' kitchen floor, living room floor, dining room floor, hallway floor... it was just everywhere. Gotta love having us as guests! We bring sickness and hair.


I called the doctor today and they told me their office is packed with coughing people. So I stayed home. Who wants to go sit in all that mess?!

I've been working on my (next) overdue paper and wrote the first sentence today. One sentence. This is going to be awesome. I can feel it already.


As far as running is concerned, I took 3 rest days after the Half, due to unbearable soreness in my legs. Seriously people, that was just out of control.  Then I planned to do 3 miles on Thursday, did 5, and haven't run since, because I've just been sick and gross. I am hoping to be back in my running shoes by the weekend, but we will see. At this point, I'm just glad I didn't get sick earlier.

And what do you do when you can't run? - You sign up for a race :o)
Yesterday, I registered for a 10k on May 10. It is the annual Womens' Run and the route goes from from the Brandenburg gate to the Siegessäule and then in loops through the beautiful big park that I've been running in for my long runs. It will be terrific!