Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Life lessons
I spoke to Eric's father for the first time in my life on the phone today.

I was nervous and I messed up a few times. Speaking German can be difficult when I'm not really concentrating, It's especially hard when you're trying to make a positive impression on your father-in-law. It's simply not my mother tongue. The heat rose to my face every time I stumbled or searched for the right word to convey my thoughts.

I wish the call had gone a little better but I guess it could have gone worse...

We've arranged a meeting for Friday evening.

Eric is naturally nervous about meeting this man that is a virtual stranger to him. This is an encounter we both anticipated, wondered about and feared...for a long time.

*****

We've been working a lot lately, Our boss hired us for a new project. It's small and wont bring in much income, but at least we're still employed. It's something. It will hold us over until we find a better-paying temporary job. We're still searching.

During our walk today into Town, we snapped a few photos. It was a bitter cold day. There are certain parts in town that are so old, It's like stepping into an old Brothers Grimm fairy tale.. Antique buildings, arch ways and sculptures. Today everything was shades of gray, with an ominous feeling...







About an hour ago, I was really frustrated. I called a friend from College to vent and was surprised to discover that she was going through a situation much more pressing and upsetting. A frightening situation with her husband. She asked for my advice, I couldn't find the right words.

"What should I do?"

"I don't know..but his behavior should definitely raise red flags for you, I think you should reach out for help"

"Have you ever been really afraid by someone's behavior and felt trapped?"

"Yes, a number of times in my life." I told her "Once when I was 15 with a man from the internet and another time a few years ago with a friend suffering from Schizophrenia"

Today I'm posting two of my previous entries from my locked diary to show that the scope of human personalities is vast. You can not assume that the person you're dealing with adheres to the same rules of rationality and logic which you deem to be common sense. It can be very dangerous to think "they wouldn't do this to me.... I know that person.. How could anyone?"

Both of these entries illustrate situations in which I was sincerely scared, but escaped unharmed. It just shows the unpredictablity of human behavior and why some actions raise red flags for me. I've been burnt in the past. Both were difficult for me to open up about. But my friend wants to read them and I told her I would post them here. A few people know about this aspect of my past, some do not.

- Internet friends - July, 2004
- Schizophrenia - May, 2004

In the end, it's only the stinging pain of the blister that teaches you respect for the fire.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 8:15 PM | 11 comments
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Just friends?
Last night we went out dancing with some friends at the Ringlockshuppen.


with 3 dance rooms (a room for current hits, for 80's and a 60's british pop room) and 2 levels. It's the biggest night club in town. It was created out of an abandoned train factory


We weren't planning on drinking, but our friends bought us drinks and insisted we kick back. It's our first time really partying again since I returned to Germany a few weeks ago. It was a fun night.

But something happened that made me wonder....

Can men and women ever be "just friends"?

Can a single man have a close friendship with a married woman? Can two single people be simply friends without it leading to a relationship? Without it leading to sexual tension or potential heartbreak?

It seems like every relationship I've had with a member of the opposite sex eventually reached a crossroads. What started as friendship and an understanding all of a sudden leaded to "The talk". Suddenly someone is getting hurt and the friendship is falling apart.

Eric is my bestfriend (for 9 years now) and now also my husband. Every other close friendship I had with any other guy has fallen away.

Is this inevitable? Is it impossible for members of the opposite sex to be just friends? I don't mean aquaintances, I mean real friends.

Then there is the aspect of jealousy, Would you get jealous if your significant other formed a close friendship with a member of the opposite sex?

Sometimes I think it's better to just avoid potential problems by removing yourself from any situations that can lead to this. I find myself questioning people's motives lately.

I don't think men and woman CAN be just friends. Someone is always going to want more. I could be wrong, but from experience...that seems to be the case. It's disheartening.

Can the biological urge for male and female to do what's necessary to procreate be overcome by reaching higher ground?
 
posted by Clarity25 at 2:22 PM | 18 comments
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Relax
I noticed that when money gets tight, our social life falls away. Most of the time we met our friends in Pubs, clubs and restaurants. Now we just decline invites because we can't afford it anymore. We also stopped inviting friends over for dinner or brunch.

I didn't realize how much I missed that until last night. We went to "The Fabrik Art" for our friend, K's 25th birthday.

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There I was sitting in the familiar leather booth seats, drinking cold Warsteiner and surrounded by our friends again. It felt good. We needed to get out, laugh and just let go.

We were getting caught in the trap of obsessing over our money problems 24 hours a day. Life was just passing us by and every day was kind of blending into the other. We were becoming Hermits and suffering from mild cabin fever. It didn't help that we had both come down with the flu either.

After the Fabrik Art, we collapsed together on the sofa and watched more of LOST. (For the record, it's our current new favorite show. It's rare that we find a show we both love. I was suffering through his 007 boxset and he suffered through a number of seasons of "Sex in the City")

I ended up falling asleep on the sofa in the middle of an episode, and I woke up to Eric gently nudging me awake. I just moaned "Just leave me here..." and rolled over.

At that point I felt his arms around me, gently lifting up my weight. I buried my head in the crook of his neck and he carried me to bed. I was in an out of sleep as he changed me into my pajamas and tucked me in. He gave me a soft kiss and whispered "I love you" Then he climbed under the covers and pulled me close.

I opened my eyes in the darkness and smiled. I could tell from his breathing that he was already fast asleep. I love him with an intensity I can't even describe. I can't even remember what my life was like before he came into my world. But he's the best thing that ever happened to me.

****

This morning we went to MarktKauf to recycle some bottles and buy some food. During the walk, we stopped to look up at the trees.


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Image hosting by Photobucket


We watched the branches sway slowly in the soft breeze. These trees were so old and seemed to contain so much wisdom.

"These trees were around back when the Ravensbergs fought with the French", Eric observed squinting from the sunlight and gazing up. "So much history..at least 300 years old. At some point, all of this was just forest."

We just stood there, holding hands. It was a really peaceful moment and everything kind of fell away.

Not much happened today, but I felt completely relaxed. Possibly for the first time...in weeks. I've wasted way too much time worrying about certain circumstances out of my control.

I have to log off, we're leaving in 20 minutes to go out to a nightclub. There is no admission cost before 10, so even with no money.. we can still go out and dance with our friends. The saying is true, Money doesn't buy happiness.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 3:25 PM | 6 comments
Friday, February 24, 2006
Ideas
When you're going through extreme stress, you're on the edge of your seat constantly, all the colors around you are more intense and you constantly wonder "Are we going to make it??"

I refuse to just lie down, give up and cry about the gravity of our situation. I will find a way out of this. I know it's going to get better.

We've been job hunting non-stop, As soon as we say that we only need a temporary job for a month or two, we're sent to the door. However, I feel guilty about lying to a potential Employer and falsely leading them to believe that we'll be around longer than we plan to. They always ask. There is nothing available at the temp office. Today we spent the morning in the city hall. We're filing for unemployment. I snapped a few photos.

That's the city hall, It's in the center of town. 10 minutes by foot from our flat. it has such a sense of history...

This is the City hall courtyard

This is the inside, that door leads to the mayor.

I love the calmness and the way your steps echo as you stroll through the foyer.

I realize I have to use some ingenuity in order to survive this next month. Thanks everyone for your suggestions.. Here are a few of the ones I received.

1. A number of people had suggested in E-mails that I should open a PayPal account and ask for donations. I know that a lot of caring friends would reach out to help, However I feel very uncomfortable about the idea of doing that. I couldn't pay you back and I have nothing to offer in return. So that idea is scratched out for me. I won't accept hand outs.

2. HeelandLass had previously suggested autioning off some of my belongings, and selling them to the highest bidder. But the question is...would anyone be willing to pay the shipping charges? It could be costly to send items overseas. So that one is kind of up in the air.

3. Ricky had suggested I sign up for Cafepress.com and sell some of my designs. A number of people agreed. So I set up shop as a lark and used an original oil painting I did of Percy in a business suit as the first design. So if any of you were hankering for a Percy mousepad, thong, mug, beer stein, or T-shirt.. You can buy it HERE. You'll be the envy of all of your friends. *Operators standing by* No, I don't expect anyone to actually do this, but it was fun (and easy) setting it up. The profits are small, but it's something. Well, at least I know my sister will buy something. She's Percy's biggest fan. :)

4. Yelayna suggested E-Bay. So I'm pulling together all of my Boxsets. (the only entertainment option for an American Overseas)

and setting up an account.

5. Autum had jokingly suggested that Eric play the trumpet on the street with a cup for change. That had me laughing. Also a viable option!

6. Vicola suggested I set up a table in the marketplace. I could sell my belongings and our artwork. The only problem with that is the required permit. But I can look into it.

7. My sister suggested I do charcoal portrait jobs to generate extra cash...The problem is finding clients independently. Most of my previous jobs came through our company and our boss received a portion of the commision. I need to advertise on my own without any connections. (Not as easy as it may sound)

8. My friend, Tara said I should set up a webcam and a paid website. Eric and I will get triple X groovy. I can always count on her to come up with the good ideas

9. And if all else fails. There is always prostitution. That's legal here in Germany.

The situation isn't entirely hopeless. We'll find a way to get through this rough patch and make it until his Green Card arrives. Thanks again for your advice, suggestions and help.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 8:27 AM | 28 comments
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Lost
You know things are really bad financially when your rationing out food. You eat less.... not because your dieting or fasting but so that your spouse has more to eat.

Yesterday we did more job hunting and came up with nothing. Eric's father called out of the blue to "Make an appointment for meeting us in person"

"Maybe..your father can help us?"

"Don't hold your breath", Eric said shaking his head.

****

We had a gift certificate for the electronics department of Saturn. It was a birthday present from a friend we never used. So last night we picked up the T.V. box set for "LOST" - (My bestfriend recommended this show)

I was really captivated and instantly drawn in. Somehow this was exactly the show we needed to see right now. These characters are trapped, struggling and trying to get by with little. It's all about being resourceful and sticking together.

I liked the observations on fear, and how you can't succumb to it.

It's hard.

Right now I have to confess, I'm a little afraid.



Running, running
As fast as we can
I really hope you make it
(Do you think we'll make it?)
We're running
Keep holding my hand
It's so we don't... get separated
-Running
 
posted by Clarity25 at 3:34 AM | 16 comments
Monday, February 20, 2006
A Rainy Day in Germany
Sometimes everything can feel so hopeless and out of control in your life. You just want to close your eyes and hide under the sheets.

Then some good news comes in that gives you hope. We received some of that tonight. Unfortunately it will do little for our immediate situation, but put us in a better place a year from now.

Eric is feeling a little bit better than he was yesterday. He has a stronger immune system than I do and doesn't suffer from the brunt of flu symptoms like I do. Hopefully it will stay that way...

Today was a rainy and dreary day in Germany. This morning on the way to work I snapped a few photos of the path we take every day. It's a 15 minute walk to the office.


Here is a rare view of the street we live on...

This is the church around the corner...

Past the church is a small park we walk through with a river...


Then we follow the cobblestone pathway into the Altstadt (Old City) I love this building, it's one of the oldest structures in our city. It remained the same after hundreds of years.


This is our path through the Altstadt. It's also where I buy fresh breadrolls in the morning and do most of my food shopping.


Then we pass the German Highschool (RatsGymnasium) - we affectionately call it "Hogwarts". For the record..I can't imagine attending a Highschool that looks like that. My highschool in America was just a huge ugly rectangular structure.


We walk through an underground tunnel that leads to a residential area, filled with Cute German houses.



Then just around this antique fence...


...is the multi-media company we worked for and then it leads back into the city.

So now you have a visual. We've been walking that path to work for three years. This is our last week walking it.

UPDATE on Percy:

Okay, Percy is alright. I found out more details about the situation. Initially, I had a hard time believing this because I heard he downed an entire container of tylenol. I was shocked. But apparently no one knows for certain how many he ate, They just discovered it torn open when they returned home. It could have been a very small number of pills. Percy vomited twice, they took him to the hospital and he received Charcoal treatment.

The little fellow is now home and back in full health.

I shouldn't have implied that he needed to seek therapy. It's only because he's just been in and out of the hospital so many times. But My sister noted that, He just eats everything he comes in contact with. It's not necessarily a sign that he's self-destructive or troubled.

Maybe what we could use is a professional dog trainer/communicator with years of experience that could help him get on the right path and curb some of his uncontrollable impulses.


He's a good dog. He gets confused but he has a huge heart. That's all that matters. I love the little guy, He's fully a member of our family, and I'm happy he's alright.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 2:22 PM | 10 comments
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Playing nurse
Now He's sick.

This morning Eric woke up congested, with a sore throat and a fever. He was sweating and moaning in bed. "I'm dying..", He whispered dramatically, looking over at me with wide eyes. I stroked his forehead and sat by his side.

I pulled out the box of cough & cold medicine and popped out two pills from the casing. "Okay..Take two of these", I said "I'm going to get some water"

"No."

"...No?"

"I don't need to take those chemicals into my body to mask my flu symptoms. I can handle it"

I sighed "Don't you want to feel better?", I asked opening his hand and putting the pills in his palms "Just take the meds"

"You're such a drug pusher", He said smiling and reluctantly taking them.

"Uh huh. Yep, that's me"

Now remember, this is coming from:
"Mr-I'm-such-a-tough-German-I-don't-even-need-novocain-when-I-have-my-teeth-drilled"

30 minutes later, Eric was our of bed, blasting Ray Charles and dancing around the livingroom.

"Honey..", I said approaching him cautiously "Maybe you should take it easy"

"I feel great!" He grabbed me, pulled me close and began dipping me around the room.

"riiight...but you still have a fever, It's just the pain medication kicking in. I think you should lie down"

He picked up his trombone and began playing. I sat on the sofa and watched him in amusement. I just shook my head.

It didn't take long before he was back on the sofa, coughing and blowing his nose again. Now I'm playing nurse. Making him lemon tea, Hot Gulash soup and purchasing supplies at the kiosk. I've been reading to him and we've been watching television together. I hope he feels better soon. I wish he didn't get my sickness. I was praying that he wouldn't but I guess it was inevitable. I hope his body fights it off a little bit better than mine did...


Seeing Eric so sick and vulnerable always causes a slight pang of fear to run through me. It's moments like this that It fully hits me how intensely I love him. If anything ever happened to him....


 
posted by Clarity25 at 5:23 PM | 15 comments
Saturday, February 18, 2006
In your eyes

This morning when I woke up our financial circumstances immediately came crushing down on me.

I closed my eyes tightly, wanting to just fall back into a comfortable dream state. My stomach was in a complete knot and I felt like I was going to start hyperventilating.

But then I noticed something... My health!

I can breath clearly, my throat doesn't hurt and my head wasn't even pouding a bit. All remnants of the flu have finally faded. I suddenly felt intensely grateful for that, I opened my eyes again. I noticed the unique designs the sunlight and shadows were making on the wall.

When I rolled over, I saw that Eric was awake and watching me. I smiled "Hey.."

"Hey..."

I just stared into his eyes and He looked back at me with so much love. I felt like butterflies were fluttering in my stomach and my heart started pounding faster. I felt happy..I realized that it's going to be okay. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be okay. We'll get through this as long as we have eachother.



"How are you?", I asked

"Actually...My throat aches a bit when I swallow and I'm congested"

"Oh Shit."

I really hope Eric doesn't get what I had...So far he seems okay. Just a little under the weather. I hope it's just his immune system fighting it off.

Yesterday I didn't have a chance to update because we had new potential tenants visiting to look at the flat again. There was a lot of cleaning involved and we're slowly beginning to pack. So much to do and not enough time. I wish there was a pause button.

*********

Okay, So here's some thoughts on the Johari Window.

A lot of online writers posted this self-discovery game into their diaries and blogs. I filled this out for a lot of friends from both on and offline, also family members. I found that the closer I was to the person, the harder it became to pick six adjectives. Sometimes 10 or 15 would describe them. I wasn't really fully content with any of the Johari Window's I filled out.

But they're very revealing, because you see a pattern and it DOES cause you to learn a little more about how people see you versus how you see yourself. Especially when you have a mixed collection of family members, highschool friends, college friends and online friends joining in. .

As humans we're so complex, with so many dimensions to our personality. Yet based on our actions, behavior and the things we share certain personalities appear more dominant to others. The traits I had chosen for myself were self-conscious, friendly, searching, observant and spontaneous. Although a number of people agreed with these characteristics. The two personality traits that came up most often were Caring and loving. This was followed closely by giving, intelligent, kind, and reflective. It may sound silly, but I was really moved by the responses. Yesterday was really disappointing + stressful and I was still getting over the final stages of my flu. To see positive attributes through other people's eyes, lightened my day...

There were a few responses that surprised me, such as 25% saying I was brave. (?) I didn't see myself that way. I just brought that up to Eric.

"You left everything you know to come to Germany. You didn't even know the language, that's brave."

I guess so.

But the most interesting parts were the areas that I'm lacking in and the ones that got the lowest points in. Lowest score traits were traits such as bold, Self-assertive, independent, patient, relaxed, religious, proud, dependable and powerful.

hmmmm....

Than there are the traits no one picked to represent me. The reject pile. The parts I have to work on or that I don't really project to people. Calm (not really...) Confident (obviously not) Dignified (nope...) energetic (not really..no one has ever called me "energetic" before. Active but not energetic) Ingenious (I need to show some ingenuity and find a clever way of raising some income) Knowledgable. (there is little in life I'll ever claim I know "for sure" -- I always say "That's just my perspective") and the final one ORGANISED (Ha*)

I wonder how I'll feel when I look back at these results in 30 years... How much will I have changed as a person? A message to my future self: "I sincerely hope you are more confident and organised now"

Thank you guys for filling it out and giving me something to analyse a bit. It really cheered me up. If you did the Johari Window too, what did you think of your own personal results?
 
posted by Clarity25 at 4:40 AM | 9 comments
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Job search
Things aren't looking so great on the job front. We faced some bad news.

A job opportunity we were hoping for in Berlin didn't pan out. We discovered that the project was cancelled and they wouldnt need Eric. On one hand, this isn't such a bad thing. Relocating to Berlin for three months and finding temporary living arrangements would have been tedious. On the other hand, this left us without a job to depend on or any income after next week.

So Eric trekked over to the job office and went to see if there were any temporary openings in our field. He left hopeful, but came back discouraged. He collapsed on the sofa and sighed. This is the basic gist of our conversation.

"So how did it go?"

"There were three job opportunities, The only temporary jobs available. none of them in our field. Since we're not technically unemployed yet, What they gave me was limited."

"Well still....three jobs... that sounds good"

Eric shook his head and pulled out some files. "Okay, The first one is for a night nurse. One week, 7 nights, 11 hour shifts", He said.

"Well, that's a possibility.."

"Stretched out over the span of 4 months" He added. "Which means 2 nights this month, 2 nights next month...", He said "And there is some training involved".

"Okay, we're not even going to be here for 4 months. next"

"Then we've got a job stacking shelves for Home depot type company. Mostly manual labour"

"Well..It's a job, only temporary"

"That's what I thought too, but here's the catch", Eric added "Requirement: Willingness to travel frequently. One of the locations was Switzerland"

"Switzerland?? Okay forget it" I sighed "Did you find anything for me?"

"Well, Since you're an American in Germany ..It was hard. Most jobs require fluent speaking and writing in German. Which you can do just fine, but not to the advanced level say..a full-time secretary would need.", He said "But there was an opening for an English teacher"

"I could do that"

"One hour a week, for four weeks. More or less as a private tutor", Eric added "It's not going to make us much money. Only 20 euros a week"

I felt discouraged. "That's IT?"

"Yep, 10% of the German population is currently jobless. There's nothing out there. We have some rough times ahead of us."

I glanced over at our bills.



I just hope Eric's Green Card arrives soon.

*****

P.S. A sincere thank you everyone that filled out the Johari Window. I'll type up my thoughts on the results tomorrow.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 4:38 PM | 11 comments
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
A work day
I'm feeling a lot better than I was earlier this week and I'm slowly regaining my health. I'm not 100%, but I'm getting there. Yesterday I went outside for the first time in 5 days and it was good to get some fresh air again.

Today I took some cough medication and walked to work with Eric in the afternoon. I'm catching up with some of my projects. I'm still pretty behind. I only have about a week or so to wrap everything up, than we have to start clearing out the studio area and our job here will be basically over. There will be no new projects coming in for our department and the company will changing it's focus. This is due to the fact that we were supposed to be in America already, but due to this Green Card situation we're stuck in Germany. If we hadn't told our boss we were leaving 7 months ago, we would still have our current job.

What happens now? I can't really say.

At any rate, a friend asked me to post some pictures of my work environment. I think she had this idea that I worked in some huge barn in the country side in a pair of overalls..or something. It's not quite as romantic. Here's a glimpse..I just took a few shots.


That's my painting corner, where I do portrait jobs, illustration assignments and such for Eric to scan into the computer. This afternoon I just began a portrait job for a client, What you see there is the ugly first stages. (Blocking in the main colors in acrylic and sketching out the composition). Most people never see that. I have 5 days to finish it, as you can see..I have a ways to go.

The portrait on the wall was drawn by my father back in the late 1960's, early 70's. I take it with me everywhere. My father taught me everything that I know, that picture reminds me of him. It's been over a year since I've last seen him.

That's a postcard I found at "The Cafe Wunderbar" my first month here in Germany. It's been hanging up by my easel for 3 years.


That's the art and sketching table. Eric and I meet there to draw out ideas or talk about projects.

That's the light table. We do all our traditional animations frames there before we scan them into the computer.

That's a list of things we have to teach the new intern and the headphones.

We also have three computers in a separate room connected to the studio, this is my view of Eric from where I'm sitting right now and typing this.

We basically had this area to ourselves, with exception of interns coming in and out. The graphic designers and programmers work upstairs. It was a great job, and we loved working in this Multimedia company, but I need to return to the states.

Our job and our life here in Germany is coming to an end. I'm going to miss it, more than I can even express in words. It's rare to find a job where you can work side by side with your husband.

****

Loopy showed me an interesting site yesterday called the Johari Window. It's a personality awareness game where you get to see how others view you versus how you view yourself.

You can tell me what you think of me HERE. It would be interesting to read your responses. Also, it contains directions on how to set up your own Johari Window to send to your friends or put on your website. You should definitely check it out.

I cleaned up my template a bit, the comments section is still up...it's just really tiny and in the right hand corner now. Time to head home from the office, it's late and we're done for the day.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 1:52 PM | 21 comments
Monday, February 13, 2006
Still sick
Another day just slipped through my fingers like water. It was the same as yesterday, the day before that and the day before that.

Lying in bed sick. I can't kick this illness and Eric is close to taking me to the doctor. I don't want to visit a German doctor. I'm certain is just a bad strain of the flu and it will clear up soon. he's taking good care of me, leaving little notes all over the house for me to read when I wake up.



I look worse than yesterday, I hate looking at my reflection. This pale, sickly girl with red rings around watery eyes and all the color drained out of her face stares back at me. I've lost a lot of weight.

I'm falling behind in everything...I can't do anything like this...I can't even stand up for more than 4 minutes at a time. I keep crying tears of frustration because there is so much I need to do at the office.

Tomorrow is Valentines day. I haven't even been able to leave the house to get Eric a gift or plan anything.

That's enough whining for one day, I need to lay down.

 
posted by Clarity25 at 5:48 PM | 18 comments
Sunday, February 12, 2006
sick day 3
I was too sick to even upload an image into my photoblog yesterday. My intention with this personal project is to take a photograph every day for a year, it's not as easy as I anticipated.

I did snap an image though, Same view...different day



This is the worst case of the flu I've had in a long time. I'm as sick as a dog. I spent another entire day in bed yesterday, just sweating, having nightmares and mumbling into the pillow. Eric sat by my side despite how I kept irrationally pushing him away in my fever-ridden state. He gave me lemon tea, ice pops and hot soup. My throat was too sore and swollen to speak much and the room would spin every time I tried to sit up. My lips are so dry, my nose sore from all the tissue paper friction and my body feels like a huge bruise. Even my fingers hurt...

Yeah, I'm looking really hot today...

Thank you for your get well wishes though, It brightened my day. Sbellem, You're right...watching Bewitched DID make me sicker.

Who would have thought?

That movie was bad. It took only 2 minutes until Nicole Kidman's attempt at a cutesy Marilyn Monroe voice began to grate on my nerves.

I watched that show religiously on Nick at Nite from age 8 to 11. They butchered it.

On the other hand, The original show is just about a woman with magical powers who married a dork that tried to repress her because she threatened his masculinity. I just have memories of her repeatedly apologizing for using her powers. I always thought to myself "I hope I never marry a man like Darren"

But I digress. I see a pointless rant coming and I'm not in my right mind to type in the first place. The computer screen looks blurry because my eyes are watery.

Any ideas of something fun to do when you're too sick to actually focus on anything, but too bored to just stare up blankly at the ceiling?? I'm going to crawl back into bed, I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I was just hoping to accomplish something today. I'm feeling so low.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 2:46 PM | 13 comments
Friday, February 10, 2006
Sick Day
This was my only view most of the day:


Last night I was feeling under the weather, I didn't get much sleep. I woke up entirely congested with a sore throat and fever. I could barely lift my head up off my pillow.

I spent most of the day tossing and turning in bed. The sheets felt to hot on my body but when I kicked them off , I started shivering. I was in and out of sleep. My head is throbbing right now while I type this. I hate being sick. The Motrin I brought with me from America at least masks a lot of the symptoms, but I feel lightheaded and out of it..

Eric had to work late in the office, He returned with Greek food, an icecream bar and a rented the movie "Bewitched". We're going to watch it now, That's all for today.

Just a lousy sick day.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 2:51 PM | 18 comments
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The Brothers Grimm
It's amazing how many things can change in only three weeks. Relationships, perspectives and opinions...

When I returned to Germany, I discovered that my good friend, Angie had moved away to another town. Our friends, K. and Peter were in entirely new relationships and we had a new neighbor that just moved below us.

This morning it began to snow. The weather was overcast, dark, wet and cold. There was an underlying melancholy that's difficult to describe






These shots were taken during our walk into town. Eric needed to take yet another passport photo for his Green card application. The entire procedure was once again on hold because apparently the photo we supplied was inadequate: "His hair can NOT cover his ears"

I'm beginning to fear we'll be trapped in Europe forever.

****

Last night after work I was in a low place. I felt stress, worry and concern over a situation out of my control. I sat on the sofa feeling lost and saddened. Eric suggested we go rent a film and have a few drinks .

We ended up with "The Brothers Grimm" and a bottle of Tequila. I thought it would be a pleasant fairytale film. I was surprised to discover it was rather dark, disturbing and obscure. However, It made me want to read the real versions of the fairytales I grew up with.

We went to this site and read the translated collection of Brother's Grimms tales. Many of them had more violence, crudity, Christian undertones and freudian meanings than the ones I read as a child. Some just strange, Like this one. I read a number of fairytales outloud to Eric as he lay on the sofa beside me.

The last one I read was Little Red Cap (little Red Riding Hood)

"Oh, grandmother, what big ears you have!"

"All the better to hear you with....."


What was interesting about this version, was that Little Red Riding Hood was saved by a huntsman that cut open the wolf's stomach. The one I remember just consisted of her being eaten and that's it. It was a warning against trusting strangers. But in the original Grimm tale, not only is she saved... But she learns from it and the next time a wolf came along, she wasn't fooled.

I read the final line to Eric. "....And Little Red Cap returned home happily, and no one harmed her. The End", I smiled and said to Eric "Was that the version you remembered?...Eric?"

When I turned to him, I saw that he had fallen asleep in the middle of the fairytale. He looked so peaceful and I was just filled with so much love for him.


I gently kissed him awake and the two of us went to bed.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 12:46 PM | 9 comments
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Conversations at 2:48 A.M.
When Eric first saw me at the airport terminal, his first words after our embrace and kiss was "I love you".

He never mentioned my haircut!, So last night we were lying in bed in the darkness and I brought it up. Here's a glimpse into one of our random late night half-asleep conversations.

Me:"Okay, So what do you really think of my haircut?"

Him: "*mumbling* um...your haircut? I don't know, to be honest.. it looks the same to me"

Me: "WHAT?! (sitting in straight in bed and peering down at him) How can you say that?!"

Him: "I..what?...um...was that the wrong answer? "

Me: "I cut off half of my hair!!"

Him: "Hmmmm" He reached out and caressed my neck, he ran his fingers up my hair..

Me: "Do you notice anything is missing?"

Him: "Missing?..."

Me: "Like..my ponytale?"

Him: "Oh yeah..that thing"

Me: "That THING???"

Him: "*laughing* What do you want me to say?? that I miss it? I mean, It wasn't like your ponytale played a big role in our relationship or anything...*clears his throat* but a moment of silence for our loss"

Me: *Shoving him and laughing*

Him: "What??? You're haircut looks fine..You don't have to feel insecure.I mean, c'mon..you could shave off all of your hair and look beautiful. It doesn't matter to me. I don't care what you do with your hair. I love you"

Me: that's not true. You hated it when I dyed my hair red last year"

Him: "It was the color of bright fresh BLOOD...when you came out of the shower, it was like blood was coming out of your scalp! It was an awful awful red. "

Me: "What about brown?"

Him: "No...well maybe certain shades would work for you"

Me: "Which shades?"

Him: "You want me to name them? I don't work at Revlon or anything"

Me: "Black?"

Him: "Definitely not. Look, before you make your next hair color career move...just run it by me and we'll discuss it"

Me: "But I thought you didn't care"

Him: "I don't...How did I get pulled into this pointless conversation at the first place, we could be...Damn, is it already 2:48?"

Me: "Wasn't it 1:00 just a second ago?"

Him: "Listen, I love your hair cut"

Me: "Now that's the right answer"

Him: "It was so different, I thought: "Is THAT my wife?? No..No... It couldn't be, it's just such a drastic change... I must collect myself and act normal...but I'm so so shocked...I mustn't betray it on my face..."

Me: *laughing* Okay!! Sarcasm noted!

Him: "I love you"

Me: "I love you too...but stop doing that..".

Him: "What?"

Me: "that thing with your feet..you know I'm ticklish"

Him: "What this??"

Me: "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!"


Unfortunately when we did fall asleep, I woke up again from a nightmare at 5:30. So right now... I'm exhausted and completely drained.


 
posted by Clarity25 at 10:11 AM |
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Back in Germany

That picture was taken above Frankfurt, before landing. I made it back to Germany safely and in one piece..

I literally lept into Eric's arms when I saw him and he held me so tightly. Everything and everyone around us just fell away.



Now we're just making up for lost time.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 10:22 AM | 14 comments
Sunday, February 05, 2006
The final day
Today is a new day. My last day home.



The weather is beautiful.

Last night My mother, Amber and I had to attend Bingo Night at her Catholic school. It was the Bingo game that never ended and since it was "Italian Night", they played "The Godfather" soundtrack in the background on repeat. I glanced at my watch every fifteen minutes, only to discover that merely 2 minutes had passed.

Now I'm packing up my suitcases and washing my clothing. It was good to be home. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend enough time with Laura and Jay. Laura could only visit during the weekends and Jay was very involved with someone else. But I enjoyed our fun nights together as a family. There were some amazing moments. I looked around the table and realized that nearly all of the family was together for the first time in over 2 years. If only My father were here...

I also regret not spending more time with my friends, (like Tara for example). One night hanging out together wasn't enough. I think I was trying to juggle too much, instead of just letting go and relaxing a bit more.

I think back at the events of the past few weeks and some of them make me laugh and shake my head. Being Bullied by Percy is one of those events. Everytime I think back to that morning, I can't help laughing. I was knocked over by a pug. Apparently he has flipped out on all of my family members at some point when they tried to remove his chocolate, but he really IS a good dog. He just has...issues.

Right now I'm feeling sad about leaving. Especially looking into my sister, Amber's tear-stained face but I'll be back in only a few months. Time goes by so fast...

To Eric: I Love you and I'll see you tomorrow at the airport.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 8:39 AM | 9 comments
Saturday, February 04, 2006
"Stupid drinking game.com"




Oh what a night.



My head hurts. Do you see the above image? Avoid that brand of beer at all costs. It's evil.
 
posted by Clarity25 at 3:53 AM |
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