Tag Archives: thanks

day thirty four

13 Sep

1. my hard-working husband

today was not a good day for him. he didn’t get home until 8 and had had a difficult meeting with his boss for hours where they just weren’t communicating well so it was quite frustrating for him. i think he was exhausted when he got home. on top of that, he’s going to berlin early tomorrow morning for a two day business trip and i know he’s got a lot on his mind.

i know he takes it as a responsibility that he’s brought me here. after all, the reason we came to germany (when in fact, neither of us really wanted to move to a different foreign country right away) was for his job. because of what he could learn doing it, and the jobs that he can get after he has this experience under his belt and, more specifically, on his cv.

what he forgets sometimes, and maybe i should remind him of more (but since he’s the only one reading this blog, i suppose this’ll do), is that the experience he’s getting and all the hard work he’s putting into this job is for me, for us and for our future.

so today, and always, i am very grateful that he works so hard for me.

of course, i didn’t have dinner ready when he came home, which i felt bad about. i was, however, making zucchini bread, so that made up for it.

2. kickin’ ass and takin’ names

yes, i did actually say that to myself today. and do you want to know why? because i was. kicking ass and taking names. i got so much done today that i crossed things off my list that i hadn’t even put on there yet, and that was all before lunch.

i got birthday cards for two very important ladies in my life, i picked up my shoes that i finally had resoled, i bought a pair of shoes (shh… don’t tell my husband [they were only 5€]), i went to city hall to deal with a few questions, i called our insurance company to get a few things settled, i went to the bank and finished opening our savings account (which consisted of my dropping off a piece of paper my husband had signed – but still, crossed it off the list), i went to t-mobile (unsuccessfully), i had a therapy session, i talked to my mom, i cleaned the kitchen AND i baked two loafs of zucchini bread.

amazing, right? i know i am.

3. my winter flip-flops

ugh. it’s cold already! it rained all “summer” and now it’s cold again. at least in the mornings. i will admit that the afternoon was quite nice and when i was walking home around 1:30, i was wishing that i was wearing different shoes. but, in general, i am so happy that i got over myself and started wearing my uggs outside.

yes, i was one of those people that had never even put a pair of uggs on my feet – i mean, seriously, they are pretty unattractive. but my blessed roommate (robin <3) years ago always had a pair by the door that she used to walk to the trash or the laundry room of our big apartment complex, so i started to. now, bear in mind this is southern california, so often we were wearing shorts or a skirt with those uggs, as only southern californians do. then, however, i moved to portland and learned what cold was. but i was still hesitant to wear them outside, short of a walk to the corner shop – and let’s be honest, by corner shop, i mean the corner sports bar that had the BEST onion rings in the world (we’ve done the math) or the corner pizza shop to ogle the waiter i had a crush on for two years.

to be brief, i love my uggs and even though i got a few looks from some people, i was so snuggly warm, i couldn’t have cared less.


day thirty two

11 Sep

this might actually be what i look like when cleaning... dopey smile and all...

1. cleaning

i’m not a dirty person at all, but sometimes (like today), i wake up and it seems like suddenly the house is a mess: the floors are dusty and have a whole lot of what seems to be my hair in the corners and on the rugs (i seriously don’t know how it is that i lose that much hair every day and still have any left over), there are days’ worth of dishes in the sink and a sort of sticky mess (from peanut butter and honey sandwiches) on the coffee table. worse, it’s organizational too. the desk cabinet is wide open and papers are flung about in “piles” on the desk and i’ve very obviously just been searching through all my big accordion file searching for my passport, visa and tax id number for my new job.

okay, that last one doesn’t happen every day, but it was like that today. usually i’m on top of things. after all, i don’t have a job. but i seem to have been really busy lately, or something. i haven’t got a lot done that i wanted to.

i also usually don’t like cleaning on the weekends. james is lovely and helps, but i just don’t like cleaning when he’s around. i never have. my favorite thing was when my roommates would go out of town or something and i could clean at 2 in the morning without them either being woken up or thinking i was crazy. there’s something about cleaning that really clears my mind. part of it, of course, is that when it’s cluttered around me, my head feels cluttered as well (which is never good) and i start to feel overwhelmed and out of control (which i feel enough as it is anyway).

but a big part of it is the act of cleaning. something about the solitary silence and the fact that i don’t have to think about what i’m doing. i can just do. and be blank.

i don’t give myself enough time to be blank. i give myself plenty of time to think, but that’s not always what i need. so, today, i was grateful for cleaning the house and the opportunity it gave me of being blank for a few hours.

(it should be noted that this is not a photo what we ordered. even my husband couldn't eat all that.)

2. delivery sushi

i know back in the us it isn’t so impressive, because they have a delivery service for everything (even weed if you’re in san francisco), but in spain they only had one company that delivered pizza. okay, i’m not entirely sure that’s a fact, because i know they also had pizza hut, but i don’t think i could bring myself to eat pizza hut on purpose. i don’t know where it comes from but on the pizza delivery scale, starting OBVIOUSLY with round table, pizza hut would come last for me.

but anyway, we’re not talking about pizza here. though they deliver that here in germany as well. but they also deliver chinese and thai and all sorts of foods that you want on a rainy sunday after you’ve cleaned the house and don’t really feel like going outside or making anything that would mess up your freshly-cleaned kitchen. and, as it turns out, they deliver sushi too. and it is really freakin’ good.

as my husband said, “uh-oh. is this amazing or this very, very dangerous?”

3. olive oil hair masque

i’ve talked about it before, i’ve even told other people that it’s a great idea. but i’ve never done it. and why would i? i worked at an aveda salon for years and then i lived in the most humid place ever (i’m not entirely sure that’s true either, but it seems true). but now i’m living in a dry place again and i’ve been told that they have pretty hard water and that can have some bad effects on your hair.

whatever the reasons, all i know is that my hair has become less curly and frizzy and it feels dry and brittle and i am NOT okay with that.

i will never forget the first time i read little women and discovered that jo had sold her hair and it was all chopped short. she broke down crying, i broke down crying and then amy, her younger sister, said the words that would stick with me forever: “oh jo, your one true beauty”. that’s it, that’s what my hair is. in my complete and total mania, insanity and insecurity, my hair and my feet are the only things i’m truly confident of all the time. the other features, they have their moments, but my hair and my feet, i’m always happy with.

so, getting back to the point. my hair has been shit lately. seriously. so today, i mixed a little geranium oil and some gardenia oil into some olive oil and let it sit for half the day (while i was cleaning) and then applied it and let it sit on my hair and scalp for about thirty minutes and now my hair feels curlier and shinier.

we’ll see how it holds up. this might have to become a sunday ritual.

day twenty nine

8 Sep

i can’t believe it’s been almost thirty days! a whole month of being grateful! wowza.

1. my friend janet/drunken lunches

i will admit that i’m slightly inebriated right now, which happens often on thursdays. thursday morning is this coffee meeting with other people in the american women’s club of cologne, and then my new friend janet and i often go out for lunch, which often turns into us drinking wine all afternoon until suddenly it’s five or six in the afternoon and we’re like “ak! where did the day go!” and then we realize, as we stand up to leave, that we have been drinking since 12:30 and we are slightly drunk… but, it’s nice. it’s great to have the freedom to do that and it’s really wonderful to have a new friend here in germany.

2. ridiculous people

this morning, i woke up and started reading my emails/facebook messages and there’s this one girl who’s a friend of a friend, so we’ve been facebook friends for some time, but we’re not actually close ourselves. in her own words, she is “a proud conservative, a christian and i support the tea party”. needless to say, she posts a lot of political comments and links to a lot of fox news articles and videos that i find ridiculous. that’s not to say that i find all of her views ridiculous, i actually consider myself quite moderate or independent, but she is, in my opinion, the worst of the ignorant bible-belt.

most often i will say her posts are about her children, which i don’t really care too much about (as i said, we’re not close) but she also does post random fox news tidbits as well, some of which are generally noncombatant, but many are just downright offensive and basically, part of what i see as a huge problem in the united states. now, i don’t pretend that that problem is isolated to one particular side – unfortunately, that’s the problem. everyone is taking sides and hurling insults at the other side, calling them every name under the sun, from godless to hitler.

usually, when she posts something of this nature (“how can liberals be so blind?” and “oh WE’RE the ones who are intolerant…” and much, much worse), i just take a deep breath, sigh, possibly mutter to myself and move on. the same thing, i should say, happens with some of my friends from the opposite extreme. i just watch this back and forth bashing and think, how can anyone take us seriously as a superpower?

finally, this morning, i saw something she posted and just had had enough. i responded. i wrote a whole diatribe against the vitriol and hate-mongering that i see on both sides and said that while she was busy calling liberals offensive and saying that they threaten her safety and wish her and her family “harm and suffering”, the other side was doing the same and that our politics should be focused on the economy and education, not who can come up with the best insult.

let’s just say she did not respond favorably and tonight, for the first time ever in my life, i defriended someone. it felt fabulous. after that comment, i realized, she’s adding nothing to my life, and i’m obviously adding nothing to hers. so… gone!

and while i am sad that we couldn’t have a rational discussion (i defriended her too fast, i should have copied everything that was written on that comment thread first, now i can’t get into her profile at all), it feels so good just to be done with it all. and seriously, the whole thing started because she posted a diatribe against liberals who think a new video game where the goal is to kill tea party zombies is funny. and seriously, it is funny.

(not killing, that’s never funny – and video games take it waaaay too far, but that’s a whole nother subject.)

3. the feeling that you can take over the world

again, i’ve been drinking all day. but tonight, as i was walking home from the train station, i looked up at the sky and it was that deep blue color just before dusk and it wasn’t quite raining, but it was sprinkling a bit and there were deep grey clouds hovering all around and i just felt so… happy. like i could do anything, like i could take on the world.

now, i know that that feeling came from a bottle of wine and i know that it’s already gone, and i haven’t taken over the world. in fact, all i’ve done is eaten some pasta and defriended someone on facebook. but the feeling in and of itself is something special. and though it’s not good enough to turn me into an alcoholic (because i know it’d turn on me in a heartbeat), it’s good enough to appreciate for what it is while i’m a little drunk.


day twenty eight

8 Sep

the screen in the back was absolutely phenomenal, as was he

1. george michael

not that i really need to say it, but he was just fabulous. his voice is so nice, so smooth – like that feeling of dipping your hand in the cool waters of a small waterfall in a pool or a river: the water as it separates around your hand, so silky. he played for at least two and a half hours and it was just so beautiful with an orchestra behind him. because of the orchestra, it was mainly slower and jazzier and bluesier than what i normally associate with george, and it suited him.

of course, he still threw in a few of the more upbeat favorites as an encore and got everyone on their feet, dancing.

it was really nice for me to be out at a concert, but also to see james enjoy himself. he absolutely loves george michael and said it was the best concert he’s been to.

2. a job!

sweet lord, i’m going to have to start working. sigh. right now, i’m excited about it, but come monday, i’m going to have a panic attack. or two. i really like the school that offered me a class and though they already have a set contracted staff, and i’ll just be working freelance and they’ve only offered me one class so far, it’s a foot in the door and i’d rather have that with a great company than full-time hours with one that will underpay me, underappreciate me and disrespect me, which is all too easy to find as an english teacher. so, i’m very grateful that i’ve got in there and that i can start teaching again. though it’s only one class so far and i’ll still basically be a kept woman, i’m happy to be contributing and to have something to do.

early in the morning, before my job interviews (because that's how cool i am - taking pics of my outfits)

3. waking up early

though i hardly ever do it, unless i “have to”, i just love being awake early in the morning. i like walking around the streets as the city stirs (which is not only a cliché but also an exaggeration as i wasn’t really into the city until 7:30, which isn’t really that early. it’s not like it was dawn…) and holding my hot coffee, knowing that i have the entire day in front of me. and with all that time, i feel like i filled it much more fully than i usually do. not only did i get a lot done today (a job!), but i really felt good about it all – even the things i didn’t get done (the dishes.) haven’t bothered me all day. we’ll see if i keep it up.

and, again, just for good measure:

the opening song: