Wednesday, January 27, 2010

not sleeping...

I seem to find myself updating most often when I can't sleep. Although--I guess I should have known better than to drink a cup of coffee so late at night. At the time it seemed like a good idea.

'Productive' and 'balanced' are two words I strive to be. I want to be more productive and I want more balance in my life, in just about every aspect... although I was thinking not too many hours ago, that most people who leave a mark in history, the people you read about, the people whose names are remembered are usually the least balanced people. The most extreme people are usually the most productive (or destructive).

Stalin, for example, was a pretty intense guy. Not that I have a desire to be like him--I mention him merely because I finished rereading Orwell's "Animal Farm" this evening. After having visited Berlin and learning more about the DDR (former East Germany), I find myself excessively curious about communism and socialism and all these extreme forms of -isms and ideologies.


Napoleon (or rather, Leader Comrade Napoleon) and his entourage of pigs, give the reader a sort of 'why socialism failed for dummies’ course.

Its worth the read if you haven’t already.

Just a suggestion.

Until my next insomniac attack... aufwiedersehen :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sieben Monate

Tomorrow marks seven months since I left the states. Meine gute!

After seven months of being in the land of Deutsch, am I Germanized? Probably not enough as far as the Germans are concerned I suppose, but I do wonder if my untamed American edges are starting to smooth out a bit. Sometimes I get brief waves of pining for Americanness, but in truth, I'm not completely shut off from that world, as I do in fact teach English (my mother tongue), I have YouTube and Facebook and Yahoo! News to keep me up to date and I have my very favorite place, the Amerikahaus in Nuremberg to go to, when I desperately crave books to read in English. And if none of that works, there's always Starbucks--Nuremberg has at least four that I know of.

I noticed today that the snow on the roofs are melting... which although doesn't quite mean spring yet, it does mean that its warming up a bit. It feels as though the holidays are finally out of the way and with that, my mind has been a little preoccupied with thoughts about the not so far future.

Where on the earth am I going to be this time next year?

I have some ideas and options, but its too soon to make anything official. As of now, nothing seems to be more likely than another as far as my cloudy crystal ball can read.

Anyways. Sorry for not updating much the last couple of weeks... I'll try my best to change that.

Until next post.

PS. Feel free to leave comments mystery readers, those of you who stop by without leaving any trace--I don't bite, I promise ;).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A visit to Brrrr--lin*!

we were greeted to a very cold and snowy berlin...

this is us making our way to the underground (subway)... four out of five of us

our first evening there, we decided to explore zoological gartens, and we stumbled across this very interesting place

this is the church in the daytime--it was destroyed during the 2nd World War and was never rebuilt, as you can see the top of the tower is missing

this is the inside of the memorial church they built right next to it--completely stained glass

two silly tourists at the brandenburg gate-- it was built at the end of 1700's as a gate linking east to west

daniela and andria outside the DDR museum

a map of berlin, divided up amongst US, France, Britain and the Soviet Union

THE wall

between the Berlin Wall dividing East & West, this look out tower is where the Soviet (or Stasi) soldiers would keep people from escaping... if they saw someone, they shot...

walking along the East Side Gallery, former wall, that was painted over by artists from around the globe

another mural on the wall...

a quote I liked

one of many cool architectural wonders in Berlin, near East Side Gallery

the world's largest aquarium(!) inside the Radisson hotel lobby

the TV tower in Alexanderplatz

Sony Center at night

Checkpoint Charlie with my fellow American

the Buddy Bear exhibit at the Hauptbahnhof... they had hundreds of bears painted that represented countries from around the world, as an effort to create peace and understanding between nations

*photo credits go to the two lovely photographers, Andria and Daniela