Tuesday, January 31, 2006
My Mother
When my mother returned from Jordan, she had so many stories and pictures to share.

The first picture is my mother riding an Arabian Horse and in the second photograph she's riding on a Donkey up a mountain in Petra. The final photo is when she first stepped into the Dead sea and dipped her hand in the water. She told us how you are able to just float.... She also traveled into Jerusalem and walked down Via Dolorosa. (the Stations of the cross). It was a deeply spiritual experience for her and my father. They both needed that. Now my father is back in Iraq.

It's nice to have my mother home again. I'm worried about her cough.. it's getting worse and worse. Every night. I feel so helpless, She needs to go back to the doctor.


One last thing: I snagged this from Alice and Jenn. These questions are aimed at anyone reading this photoblog right now. That would be...you. (Nancy, Tara, Michelle, and Dawn..You're not off the hook.) If you have a minute, you can answer this is in my comments section or post it on your blog.

1. name:
2. birthday:
3. place of residence:
4. what makes you happy:
5. what are you listening to now/have listened to last:
6. an interesting fact about you:
7. are you in love/have a crush at the moment:
8. favorite place to be:
9. favorite lyric:
10. best time of the year:
11. strangest food you like:
12. biggest fear:
13. biggest ambition:

Part 2 - I'm really interested in your answers to this one. I'm in America, So I have access to all the english books and movies. I want to bring some back to Germany. Any recommendations are really appreciated.

1. a film:
2. a book:
3. a band:
4. a song:
5. an album:

To Eric: I wish you were here, I sent out all the documents this morning. I love you.

posted by Clarity25 at 5:29 AM | 34 comments
Monday, January 30, 2006
When good pets go bad
After my disturbing experience Saturday morning and reading the helpful advice I received, I realized I had to have a face off with Percy.

I waited until my sister left for school, Laura and her boyfriend left for Manhattan and my mother drove to work. I took a deep breath and entered the kitchen.

Percy was lying on the floor, He glanced up at me curiously and raised one eyebrow.

I sat on the floor and called him over. He quickly scampered to his feet and tried to leap cheerfully on my lap. But I gripped him on the sides of his face and stared him down. He made a low growl and I made a low growl back. Then he averted his eyes and tried to get out of my grasp. I waited a minute and then let him go. He ran into the corner with a pitiful little whimper. I almost felt bad.

Whether or not that will prevent future attacks is up in the air. A few people had suggested biting him back on his ear or leg. I can't imagine doing that.

This weekend we also tried to teach him NOT to eat chocolate. We put a piece on the floor and negatively reinforced him each time he approached it. (which he DID every time we pretended to look away)

The last 2 times he got into Chocolate he was hospitalized. He had dragged the kitchen chair across the floor, climbed up onto the counter, Open the bag of cookies that was shoved deep in the corner and ate the entire contents. Now we're careful not to leave any chocolate ANYWHERE in the kitchen. The cabinets aren't even safe. There is no container he wont get into.

He's like a recovering junkie. But he's on the steps towards rehabilitation. He's basically a good dog at heart and I love the little guy. Chocolate simply causes him to lose his mind and flip out. We forget that our pets are wild animals that we've domesticated.

Apparently a lot of dogs have been losing it lately, These are two excerpts from our city newspaper.

A dog mauled a little girl's face

The family retriever accidentally strangled their 6 year old daughter.

My blood ran cold when I read those articles and my heart goes out to those families.

I think I'm going to stick with Cats from now on. Sure, they might be rather apathetic, but at least they're predictable. After being chased by a pack of snarling German Shephards at my Grandfather's farm at age 8, attacked by my friend's dog at age 12 and now having our family pug temporarily go stark raving mad on me. I've had enough of dogs.


To Eric: We missed you so much last night. Laura, Mr. Big, Jay and I had a little party. It's not the same without you! We played Kings (Do you remember that game?) and the Queen card had me everytime. I looked around in confusion and everyone was touching their nose. "...Drink!"

It was such a fun night, I think we needed that to all re-connect. They'll be ups and downs, fights and misunderstandings...but we all love eachother and we're family. We stick together.

I love you. I wish you could just jump on a plane and fly here now. I hate this whole Green Card situation. 7 more days....
posted by Clarity25 at 8:03 AM | 10 comments
Friday, January 27, 2006
I still can't believe what just happened about 2 hours ago. I'll share this story, but I'm going to have a hard time...because I honestly can't believe this.

I was attacked by our family pug, Percy.

Stop laughing! I'm dead serious.

I climbed out of bed at 3:30 A.M. because I heard strange noises coming from the kitchen. I saw that Percy had climbed on to the kitchen table and was tearing into a bag of Bite-size Snickers bars. The last time he ate Chocolate, He was hospitalized and nearly died. No matter how much we feed him, He keeps going back to the chocolate at every opportunity.

So I rushed in and took the bag away from him. He hopped off the table and strolled into the corner of the room. He wasn't facing me. I saw he had a piece of chocolate clenched in his jaw. He was trying to hide it from me.

I approached him carefully and said gently "Percy.....what do you have there?..you can't eat that, it makes you sick..."

He made a low threatening growl in the back of his throat, all the hairs on his back stood straight up and slowly turned to face me. I backed away in surprise and then he just lunged at me. His jaws gnashing, his eyes narrowed, ears back and bit into my leg!! I ran away and lept on the sofa in shock. I fought him off with a sofa pillow...He grabbed the end of it with his jaw and thrashed it back and forth! He was making the most horrible noises!

I broke into a run and he chased after me. He bit into my pants and wouldn't release the grip with his jaws. He was still attached when I jumped over the kitchen gate. The weight of both of us caused the entire gate to crash over. The garbage can fell and some bottles smashed on the floor. Percy was on top of me. He was flipping out, barking and growling. I started screaming.

My brother came in and Percy ran quickly into the other room. He disciplined him. My youngest sister also came running in.

There I was on the floor, with shards of glass surrounding me. A broken gate and cuts on my arms and legs. I also have a nice little bite on my leg. To say I was a little "shaken up" would be an understatement. I was in a state of complete shock. I was trembling.

How could Percy attack me??

"He was upset because you took away his food, he was probably hungry", Amber said fearfully "He was afraid you were going to take away the last little piece he had left, so he fought for it. He didn't mean to hurt you though. He was just cornered. He didn't know what else to do. He loves you, Clarity...you know that."

Those were my little sister's exact words. (she's incredibly wise and insightful for her age)

My brother urged me to come into the room and have a face off with Percy. "You need to stare him in the eye and let him know that YOU are in the right.", He said "You have to let him know that you were just trying to do what was best for him and that you're in charge here. Otherwise he'll think you're beneath him. Maybe you've been exhibiting passive traits lately and he thought he was higher than you on the food scale. He was trying to exert his dominance"

I refused to have a face off. I was too shaken up. Confrontation isn't my thing. Everytime I try, the results are disasterous.

We fixed the gate and both my siblings went to bed. I cleaned my wounds in the sink, it wasn't that bad. Just a few scratches, welts and cuts. Mostly on my arms and legs. The bite isn't so deep. I'll live.

It felt like a fitting end to a very horrible week.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, I walked back into into the kitchen. Percy saw me, he made a little whimpering noise and laid down on the ground in front of me. He peered up at me with his huge eyes.

How can you resist this face? Can you believe this dog attacked me??

I hesitantly and shakily approached him and sat down. He went over to me, licked my hand, My face and then rested his head on my lap. He seemed genuinely remorseful. I couldn't get over the shock of what he had done... but it's over. I forgive him.

We sat together for a long time while I reflected on the events of this week and tears blurred my vision.

Now I should crawl back into bed and try to fall back to sleep. Animals, as well as people, are capable of acting in a way that is completely unpredictable, strange, confusing and hurtful when they're in need. From now on, If Percy has a piece of chocolate in his mouth, I'm going to just look the other way. I've learned. I wont be bitten twice.

But this isn't helping me resolve my fear of dogs. All progress I've made of the past few years has been demolished. It's time for me to start building trust in canines again from the ground up. I've lost trust in a lot of things this week.


My Mother is coming back from Jordan today.

To Eric: Thank you for your support, understanding and unconditional love this week. I would have had an emotional breakdown if it weren't for you. You're amazing.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:22 PM | 23 comments
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Just close my eyes...
Things have gone from bad to worse. Yesterday was an awful day. Tension, fighting and tears. I cried myself to sleep and woke up this morning with puffy eyes.

I love my family but I'm ready to return to Germany. I'm hurting.

Also, My bestfriend called and she is back in the hospital. Her lupus had flared up again. I worry so much about her and I can't deal with the thought of losing her. It breaks my heart to hear about all the pain she goes through on a daily basis.

When times are like this, I close my eyes and imagine Eric beside me.... His hand covering mine and I feel comfort. I know his love is real, honest, and unconditional.

Eric: do you remember when this picture was taken? It was about a week or so ago. I was sitting the backseat staring out the window during the drive to The Dom of Koln. You were in the front seat with your Aunt. Suddenly you reached your hand across the seats and put it over mine. You looked at me and mouthed "I love you". You just rested your hand there for the rest of the ride. I remember how warm and comforting your hand felt on my thigh and how you stroked my palm. I snapped a quick shot of our hands together.

That's the picture.

I love you. Call me when you read this. I'll be awake.
posted by Clarity25 at 12:13 AM | 15 comments
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I'm just...

My brother is still confined to the house and the judge just refused his request to attend college courses two times a week. He's crushed.

I'm angry, I feel sick, I feel...

Eric: Can you just call me when you read this? I need to hear your voice. There's something I need to talk to you about.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:23 PM | 8 comments
My Mother sent me some new photographs from her travels in Jordan..

It looks so beautiful. I wish I could be there.

Eric: I enjoyed our conversation last night. I'm heading out, I'll call you when I get back from seeing Tara. I love you...

Tara = Good friend from Highschool that just called and we're going to see eachother again for the first time in nearly 4 years. I have to get dressed and my brother wants to use the computer.
posted by Clarity25 at 5:31 PM | 7 comments
Monday, January 23, 2006
This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pounding on the roof of the house and a distant meowing sound. I sat up and froze. The pitiful meowing was coming from outside the bedroom window.

I opened the blinds and came face to face with Michael. He was peering at me from the other side, completely soaked to the bone and his eyes wide.

I ran to the front door and after a ten second pause, Michael appeared and strolled inside. All his puffy fur was matted down to his drenched body but the tufts of wet fur on his forehead were sticking up straight. I felt pity and the awful desire to burst into laughter. He knows he's not supposed to go outside. I don't know when he managed to sneak out.

He looked like a huge drowned rat and rather pissed off to boot.

I started drying him off with a towel, but he indignantly just shook himself and then went to go eat. I guess he was trying to salvage whatever pride he had left.

He keeps sneezing. Our poor kitty.


While I'm on the subject of pets. Kiosh requested a collage of Percy pictures. So here you go:

Image hosting by Photobucket

Eric: Our phone call last night really put things in the right perspective for me. Thank you. Whenever I'm stressed out by circumstances, just hearing your voice instantly calms me. I love you...
posted by Clarity25 at 12:25 PM | 11 comments
Sunday, January 22, 2006
New hair color
I dyed my hair reddish brown.

I felt the need for a change.

I look in the mirror and I don't recognize myself. It doesn't fit.

Honey: I know. I know. It's too dark. Have you noticed that I tend to dye my hair darker colors when we are separated? I have to look into the psychology behind this.

I'll probably go back to my usual platinum blond in a few weeks.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:39 AM | 15 comments
Saturday, January 21, 2006
What the hell is that?
That was my first response when I viewed the newest member of our family.

It looked like a cross between a gerbil, rabbit and a squirrel. It began hyperventilating, making the weirdest little gasping sounds and trembling when I moved closer. This little fellow is incredibly skittish and on edge.

"That's Medeas, My Chinchilla", My sister, Laura said.

"Aren't Chinchilla's expensive?"


"hmm..what does she do?"

"She eats...and jumps", She said "She doesn't smell, she rolls around and..(pause) she's cute"

She IS cute and soft. She has a sweet temperament. The rest of the pets in the household don't quite know what to make of her though.

Britain's Cosmopolitan magazine: "It can take up to 100 chinchillas to make one coat and Jennifer Lopez has one made of 80 of them, all killed by electrocution or having their necks snapped.

That's disturbing.

For Eric: I hope you feel better today. I'm feeling a little stressed out, tired and on edge. I miss you so much..
posted by Clarity25 at 12:06 PM | 10 comments
Friday, January 20, 2006
My Brother
Things are running a lot more smoothly than they were yesterday.

This morning was completely different, No tears, no tripping, no "lopsided hair", no drama. I think I'm getting the hang of this.

Last night after studying with my younger sister, signing some permission forms and helping her with a great deal of homework. (I don't remember having had that many assignments at her age!) Amber and I lay in my parent's bed and just chatted together most of the night. She told me about all the dramas in her school, the gossip about her teachers and friends, Her favorite movies, her favorite music, games, and we were both laughing.

The concerns of a ten year old are kind of refreshing to get lost in. It's like stepping into a time machine and flashing back to the early 90's and late eighties...


I've been spending a lot of time with my little brother today

Sitting together in the front room while he plays the guitar and just discussing life. I really treasure these moments. It's hard to explain how you don't fully appreciate the company of someone until it's taken away from you for 2 and a half years. After that you're just grateful for every minute.

He learned "Better together" by Jack Johnson because he knows I love that song. I took some pictures this morning of him playing the guitar...

I don't think he realizes how proud I am of him. He's overcome so many odds. It didn't make him a bitter and angry person. He still has the same compassion and understanding in his warm brown eyes.

Eric: Check back in later on tonight, I'm going to post a pic of the new computer for you. I love you...

posted by Clarity25 at 4:52 AM | 7 comments
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Playing Mom
This morning I woke up to the sound of the beeping alarm clock and my youngest sister's terrified screams. She clutched me tightly in the darkness.

"Make it stop!!! What's that noise!!!?!"

I crawled across my parent's bed and silenced the alarm. "It's just the alarm clock!"

"Mom never uses an alarm clock! That's scary!"

My Mother has some kind of built in biological clock that wakes her up every morning at 5:30 A.M. regardless of the time that she went to sleep. It's bizarre, I don't know if anyone else is capable of doing this, but I can't.

Then the day began. I had to iron my sister's uniform, fix her tie, get her lunch packed, brush her hair, make her breakfast, make sure she had everything. The whole time the cats were meowing to be fed..and I kept tripping over them in my rush. Michael started dragging his water bowl across the floor with his paw spilling all the liquid along the way.

I slipped on the kitchen tiles and fell. I think he did that on purpose. He gave me a bored disdainful glance and strolled away with his tail up. That's what I get for not submitting to his demands for food immediately.

"You cooked the pretzel too long", Amber complained "Mom always does it perfect, you put too much salt on it"

"Well, who eats pretzel's for breakfast ANYWAY?"

"My hair is lopsided, Mom knows how to style it just right"

"Well, I don't work in a salon and as you can see..." I gestured towards my own lopsided pony tale and hair in disarray "I suck at hair styling!"

"you put my lunch in the wrong place"

"Can you just go brush your teeth, we're going to miss the bus!"

Amber's eyes filled with tears and her chin trembled. "I wish Mom was here"

*sigh* oh boy....

My Mother left last night at 7:30 to the Airport. She's in Jordan right now with my father. I'm still waiting for her call to confirm that she arrived safely.

I have a whole newfound respect for her, Not only does she work full time, but she juggles a lot in the house. Motherhood AND a job. When does she have time to BREATHE?

I did laundry today, mopped the floors, did the dishes...

Day One of playing Mom. Not as easy as I imagined. Plus, How do I tell my adult brother and sister what to do? How do I balance being the "cool older sister" and making sure nothing gets out of hand. How do you find a balance?

I wonder what kind of mother I'll be in a few years. I'm afraid I'm going to be terrible at it.

I just got back from having a coffee and cigarette outside. I snapped this quick shot for my photoblog.

Honey: I love you. Are you sure you want to have kids with me?
posted by Clarity25 at 9:51 AM | 11 comments
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
5 years ago, we received a furry little persian blue cat from a friend. She just dropped him off at our house one day. He bumped into the furniture, ran into glass doors, wobbled around and fell off the edge of beds. We feared that he might be a little...slow.

But he has matured into the rather pompous, majestic, and lazy cat that he is today. However, he's the only cat I have ever met that will NEVER scratch, and that rolls over on his back and lets you pet his tummy while purring happily. We love him to death.

We couldn't take Michael with us to Germany due to the regulations. So My family took him in. My mother is a bit fed up with his fur. Which is long and all over the house.

"He was a little ball of a dust mop when he was younger, now he's just a big one. The only use he would have is if you stuck a pole into him and used him to dust off the furniture."

Yeah..Mom's not too fond of Michael right now. Mostly he just perches in high locations and peers down judgmentally at everyone in the household.

To Eric: There's your picture you requested, unfortunately he was too lazy to get down and pose for me. (not a big surprise) But he's still as beautiful as always.

It was so good hearing your voice last night on the phone. When we hung up I wished I could be there to crawl into bed with you and feel you close. I just sat there listening to the dial tone and feeling this heavy ache in my chest. I miss you so much.

I'm sorry about the silly spider argument, I'm glad we have a relationship where we CAN argue and laugh about it later.

I keep thinking back to our last night together... I wish I could feel your head on my stomach again and run my fingers through your hair...

I love you....

posted by Clarity25 at 9:11 AM | 7 comments
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Our pug

Percy snores.

I miss you so much, last night I woke up and reached for you in the darkness. I fumbled with the sheets...and I felt so alone without you.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:17 AM | 6 comments
Monday, January 16, 2006
The old horse

It's amazing how you can look at something and flashes of memories will come back to you in a huge rush. I just went outside in our backyard for a cigarette. I was bundled up in a coat, standing in the backyard from my childhood. I looked at the deck, the fence, the slope that we used to sled down, the spot where our pool used to be, our old clubhouse.

I looked at this horse and all the memories came back. I saw myself on it at age 9. I would see how high I could go and then push my little brother on it. My sister used to scream with laughter when we both pushed her. She would clutch the wooden handle with dear life..

Now it's old, the rope is torn and no one has gotten on that thing in years.

We'll probably be taking the whole swing set down pretty soon.

It felt like just yesterday.

I put out my cigarette and walked back inside the house.
posted by Clarity25 at 11:13 AM | 2 comments
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Flying Home to New York

I'm Home in New York with my family!

These pictures were taken from the airplane window flying out of Germany at 8:35 A.M.

posted by Clarity25 at 3:45 PM | 3 comments
Saturday, January 14, 2006
The Dome of Cologne *Dom of Koln*

This morning we woke up early, had breakfast and headed out to see the Old part of Cologne. Our first stop was the famous Dome Of Cologne.

For 2 Euros, you have access to a never-ending winding narrow staircase leading to the very top of the dome. The higher you got, the more worn the stairway became and more dangerous. It became windy and precarious. I felt an extreme feeling of fear of heights everytime I peered out the small windows along the sides of the steeples and saw the view. People were coming down the stairway as well, and their weight caused me to stumble a few times. I held on to the sides of the walls. Part of the way up was the bell tower..

Then we reached another room with high ceilings...

It was so cold and windy...

This was the view from the very top of the Dome. It was breathtaking...

Afterwards we strolled through the town, looking at the old houses dating back to the 1500's..

We went into one old cafe called "The Lowenbrau" for cake and coffee..

Then we headed back to his Aunt's house and she took us out to the most fancy five star restaurant I've ever been to in my entire life. Eric and I had Chatuau Briand.

Once we returned, I said a heartfelt goodbye to Eric's Aunt and I fell alseep..

I knew I had to be up at 2:30 A.M. To catch a train to the Airport and fly to New York.
posted by Clarity25 at 7:27 AM | 4 comments
Friday, January 13, 2006
Husband's Aunt in Cologne
We traveled to Cologne today to visit one of Eric's few surviving relatives. His Grand Aunt. Her entire house was vintage and looked like it was frozen in a time machine from 1962.

There were a great deal of wooden sculptures everywhere that had been carved by her late husband. He passed away seven years ago.

She speaks of him often. There is a sadness in her eyes, and a feeling of nostalgia. As though she wants to go back to that time and relive those beautiful moments.

She's a wonderful woman. We slept in the childhood bedroom of her son. (He's now in his forties and living in another city)
posted by Clarity25 at 7:21 AM | 1 comments
Thursday, January 12, 2006
An amazing day
On New Years, 5 A.M. I was attacked on the street. I struggled and ran away from the man without my purse. I was left without my passport, any form of identification, and my digital camera. We called the police, they came to our house. It was a huge mess. I was devasted for days over this event.

Today we received a letter from the Cityhall lost and found. My bag had been discovered and turned in.

With an exception of the 75 Euros that had been removed from my wallet. Everything was still there. The most amazing discovery is that my camera wasn't stolen. I can't get over it!

The world isn't such a horrible place after all. I have an entirely new outlook.
posted by Clarity25 at 7:41 AM | 1 comments
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
My husband, Eric on the internet. He was reading a thought-provoking comment...
posted by Clarity25 at 2:59 PM | 4 comments
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Wir sind Fertig
We did it.

Okay, So I'm starting this photo blog separate from my Diaryland locked diary as a very personal project. My goal is to take a photograph every day for the next year. This is my place to post them. If you're reading this, chances are you are a friend in every day life or you're my family. I'm still debating how many people I'm going to open up about this with. How personal this will be or how much I will share of myself in this blog. I guess I'll just play it by ear.

But it seems like a fun way to document every day of my life through pictures.

and this is the first entry.

For those that might stumble opon this that do not know me. I am in my twenties, I work as an artist in Germany with my husband. In three months I'll be moving back to America.

That's all for now.

My painting palette. It's a respresentation of the state of my life right now.
posted by Clarity25 at 12:55 PM | 1 comments