Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Blog Status: Ella is tearing herself away from her book to type up a quick post

Hello everyone! I promise next week I will once again regail you all with tales of Life with GG (and believe me I do have more stories) but for now I had had HAD to get one last July post in.

Can you belive tomorrow is already August? The summer is almost half over! I'm both looking forward to and dreading August because it will be such a busy month for me. More on that some other time, I need to get back to the point of this post.

I've been in Germany for over a week now, and I've already been through the 3 books I brought with me. And 2 paintings. Yes, I paint - long story. Anyway, with the first season of Mad Men on my iPod quickly coming to a close, I desperately needed something to do during the quiet hours here at GG's. So today I dragged myself to the bookstore. This place was amazing, and definitley put any Chapters or Barns & Noble to shame. I think something like 5 FLOORS of books, in all languages, complete with Cafe and children's play area in the basement. Better then that, they have a slide that goes from the main floor to the basement for children. How cool is that?


I picked up 2 new English books to keep myself occupied. The first being a nice chick-lit-ish book by a British author, and the other "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I'm in love with this book. I just started today and really, I have a hard time putting it down. I'm determined to finish the book before going to see the movie, but judging from how it's going I don't see that being a problem. I think perhaps the topic is very relatable to me and that's why I'm liking it so much.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching the last little while, both introspectively and in my surroundings, and I look the main character's journey as a sort of inspiration. Not that I plan to move to Bali, but you get the idea. There is something to be said for leaving everything you think you know behind and embarking on a completely different journey.

Anyway, enough philosophical jargon and book promotion. I recomend the book (and/or movie) to all of you, no matter where you are in your lives.

Have a good weekend around the world!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Snippets of life with GG

Blog Status: Ella is full after a great German dinner!

It's time for the first official installment of Life With GG (also known as "we don't do that")

These are actual conversation that either I've had with her or that I've overheard. I'm telling you, it's like living with Emily Gilmore.


GG: *to my Grandfather, we'll call him GF* You should really each a peach. They're on the counter and they'll go bad if no one eats them. Do you want a peach? You should really have a peach.
GF: Yea..I'll have one later.. I'm not really hungry right now
GG: Aww you should really have one, they're going to go bad. You want a peach?
GF: *sighs heavily* Fine, I'll have a peach now
GG: *looks offended and pouts a little* ..Well I'm not forcing you..


GG: Child, (yes she calls me child) do you want something to drink?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want juice?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want water?
Ella: No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want milk?
Ella: *sighing a little* No I'm okay thanks
GG: Do you want orange juice?
Ella: *sighing loudly* Fine, I'll have orange juice.
GG: You should really drink, you don't drink enough.
Ella: *grinds teeth and wonders idly if there's any alcohol in the house because she could really use a drink* (there isn't)


GG: *Picks up sweater she sent me for Christmas 2 years ago that's made of wool* Have you ever washed this?
Ella: Yes...?
GG: Well I'm just asking, so nothing happened to it? It didn't get destroyed?
Ella: No...?
GG: So you've been able to wash it?
Ella: ....You seem to think I live in some heathen land that doesn't have washing machines
GG: *purses lips* It was just a question


GG: Do you have a boyfriend?
Ella: ...that's sort of complicated right now
GG: ...he's not married is he?
Ella: *puts her head in her hands and shakes her head in disbelief*


That's all I can think of off the top of my head, I should start carrying around a notebook because I'm sure there are lot of snippets that I'm forgetting. Stay tuned for another installment soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Catastrophe at the Love Parade

Blog Status: Ella is comprehending the tragedy in Duisburg

I'm not sure how many headlines this has made around the world, but here in Germany it has been front page news for days.

The Love Parade first occurred just months before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It was started by the Berlin underground at the initiative of Matthias Roeingh aka "Dr Motte" and his then girlfriend Danielle de Picciotto. It was conceived as a political demonstration for peace and international understanding through love and music. It was supposed to be a bigger birthday party for Roeingh, later "Dr Motte", and the Motto "Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen" (Eng. Peace, Joy, Pancakes) stood for disarmament (Peace), music (Joy) and a fair food production/distribution (Pancakes). Roeingh dissociated himself from the Love Parade in 2006 due to the commercialization of the event.

The event has been held almost every year since then, with annual attendances around 1 million people. It was touted as the largest Techno Party in the world. This year's Love Parade was held this past saturday in the city of Duisburg, about a half hour drive from where I'm currently staying.

The event was staged in an old industrial railway station. The capacity of the enclosed location was limited to 500,000 people at most, but at least one million visitors were expected, based on the experience of previous years.There was only one entrance to the event location, a relatively small rainway tunnel.

Between 100,000 and 200,000 people entered the tunnel, and just before 5pm when the main music act was about to start, hundreds of thousands of extra people swarmed the tunnel in hopes of getting into the concert. Mass panic ensued, thousands of people got stuck in the tunnel because they could not move, some attempted to climb up the metal framework of the tunnel and fell. In the end 20 people were killed and over 350 others were seriously injured either from falling or being trampled to death.

Both the city of Duisburg and the event promoters are pushing the fault onto the other, but the result remains that 20 families' lives have forever been shattered. The Love Parade has been cancelled indefinitely.

My heart goes out to all the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I've arrived in Germany plus some odds and ends

Blog Status: Ella is trying to get used to this German keyboard and cannot find the plus sign

Guten Tag! That's Good Afternoon in German for ya

I've now been in Germany for 48 hours, and I think I'm almost over the culture shock. I guess it isn't so much culture shock as a return to my childhood when I'm here, but either way it takes some getting used to.

I'm still getting over the jet lag, which is a b*tch BTW, and once again getting used to the rain that accompanies every German summer.

As you've probably noticed, my little blog has undergone some major changes recently. My old template site has decided to give up, forcing me to scramble and create something using the new blogger "design" feature. I'm not totally thrilled with it, but until I get home to my beloved laptop it will have to do.

As you also may notice, my spelling may get atrocious while I'm away becasue I can't get used to this stupid keyboard and I don't have the time or patience to proof read everything I write.

I've decided to create a feature while I'm away about life with my grandparents. When I come back from Germany each year, I regail my IRL (in real life) friends with tales of "we don't do that". It may sound like I'm bitching or complaining, but I really truly do love my GG (German Grandmother). She just has a habit of driving me crazy sometimes.

My GG's favorite expression is "Das macht man nicht" which loosely translates to "one doesn't do that". This list includes (but is by no means limited to)

- watching tv during the day
- when one does watch tv, it must only be the news or something German
- fixing ones hair in public (apparantly this is impolite)

Today I had the pleasure of riding in the car with GG and my grandfather. I should tell you that GG has not been behind the wheel of a car in 20 years, but she is probably the worst backseat driver in the world. So much so that my grandfather takes out his hearing aids when he drives to tune her out. She does not stop complaining or "warning" him of things on the road the entire trip. From point A to point B. Today I made the mistake of forgetting my iPod at home - Big mistake.

I guess that's enough for now, I only have a limited time on the computer before GG comes over and wants to see what I'm doing. When I informed her a few minutes ago that I was blogging, her response was "that terrible thing where you write all about yourself and send it out for the world to see and rapists to find you" *GG purses lips and shakes her head disapprovingly*

See what I deal with? There are times I believe she thinks I'm still 5 and not 25.But I know she means only the best.

I'll post more Life with GG updates tomorrow or the next day

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why hello there little blog

Blog Status: Ella is trying to distract herself from being upset

Hello Blog I've missed you the last couple of weeks. There has been so much going on that I haven't been able to bring myself to blog, lots of good things have happened and lots of bad things have happened. I may get into the specifics of the bad things at some later date, but now is not the time.

The biggest of the good things is that I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow! That's right, 2 glorious weeks of being spoiled by my grandparents and relaxing! I really can't wait! I'll be blogging a lot more while I'm away, but they will probably be shorter posts of the things I see and do throughout my trip.

I finished work a week ago today, my co-workers were so sweet and brought me breakfast and a cake! I'm sad to be gone, but I don't think it's really hit me yet that I'm currently unemployed.

There are so many changes happening in my life this summer but I don't think I've fully realized it yet. When I come back from Germany, I have 2 days at home before I leave for New York City for a few days. After that I have about 2 weeks to find a car before I start Teachers College.

I'm so terribly behind on your blogs, and believe me I feel horrible about that! I'll see how many posts I can get caught up on today