Reading And Sleeping And All That

Finally (FINALLY!) my internet works again. I shift from thinking “the regular internet-free time enforced upon me is an opportunity – no more distraction”, to being like “why, WHY do I have to live in a building where the internet regularly just stops functioning for days or weeks on end???!”. Probably, it has been both.

It stopped working last Saturday, in the morning. In the time from Saturday evening and Wednesday I have read four books. My usual average is a book a week (which I struggle to keep up with). So that is definitely a point for the “we should live without internet”, others supporting this view are the amount of time I wasted on Netflix (none), Facebook (none) or reading up on some obscure things that are of no importance or relevance to me (none).

There are, however, of course also some downsides to being offline. Making something as simple as a bank transfer suddenly becomes a considerable task (using the internet at the library, which is painfully slow, for something as sensitive as online banking always makes me a bit queasy, hackers and all that). Looking up the bus times is impossible (Maybe I should also add that I had already used up my monthly mobile internet allowance before Saturday… oops!), contacting someone ends up being a lot less casual (ugh, I hate talking on the phone!), and it does majorly inhibit the work I have to do for university. For example, I use Duolingo to help me learn my languages, and with it’s complex graphics and sound effects, it was impossible to use it over the library internet.

When it comes to entertainment and information, as well, I really only have books and the internet to rely upon: no TV, no newspaper, no nothing. And the gravest flaw when it comes to reading as entertainment and pastime, for me, is that I so easily fall asleep when doing it. And I don’t just sleep for, you know, 20 minutes or an hour: I wake up after four to six hours, completely disorientated with my contact lenses burning in my eyes. Not very nice.

In this particular case, additionally, the temporary absence of internet connection from my life meant that I was not able to blog (sorry, dear reader!). As an integrated part of our ever-reflecting society (I read Eat Pray Love at the tender age of thirteen), this stimulated my brain – was my life better/worse without me blogging every day? Well, it was certainly different. Not only because the reading and sleeping and all that, but while I did not miss blogging as such, I did notice some changes in my daily life. The days seemed to pass quicker. I was rushing from place to place, and fell into bed exhausted in the evening. And while I ticked off my resolutions chart every night, I did not think about happiness once. Not once. Although I’m meant to be in the midst of a happiness project. Scary.

But I will not dwell. The internet is back (for now) and I will be able to blog every day, reflect the hell out of my tiny insignificant life. Yay!

B x

Blogosphere And Wills And Ways

As part of her happiness project Gretchen Rubin launched a blog. This was part of my inspiration to revitalize a blog I had started while without internet (who has an idea like that? Read it here) but not continued regularly – this blog. So now, as part of me mirroring that lady’s resolutions, it is time for me to use this as a pit stop and reflect upon how it is going.

Well, I guess, once you have you blog all set up, all you need to do is write, and, if you’re lucky, there’s people out there reading what you are writing. But, let me tell you, the first steps aren’t that easy when you’re new to the blogosphere (I hope people don’t actually use that as a word in real life), it is pretty confusing. What I have learned: The settings are your friends. Many problems get resolved if you just go through them once from beginning to end.

Apart from that, I am sort of having an odd start into daily blogging, because I started a week before I left uni for Christmas break and I knew I would not have time to write a blog post daily, yet I was not ready to fail my resolution to ‘blog daily’ every single day for over two weeks. So, what did I do? I though of some more or less things I could write about and then I wrote all of the posts in advance, scheduled them and left the blog to itself till I returned to Germany. Well, at least that was the plan. Turns out it’s not that easy to write fifteen blog posts in very little time especially when, like me, you have a tendency to write long elaborate sentences. So I am now halfway into Christmas break and I’ve managed to post daily, although I didn’t really have the time, and am now writing the last few posts so that I can finally lean back and fulfill my responsibilities towards my friends and family.

But, as they say in German ‘Wo ein Wille ist, ist auch ein Weg’ (where there’s a will, there is also a way), and I will manage to keep this one resolution. And I am also extremely blessed to have readers from four different continents (where are you, Africa?!), people who actually read what I write!!!! So, yes, going strong. And I intend to continue this streak.

B x

University Life, Embarrassments and the Joys of Risotto

So here we are again. It seems like ages since my last post but, to my surprise, it hasn’t even been that long – which means I’m not as bad at blogging as I thought I would be.

Once again my internet is not working (this time it is both the router which tends to forget all the things it should remember and the network (technically I have an allowance of 10GB, but well… I easily used more than twice that during the few days that I’ve had internet this month – which, in itself, i impressive, as internet has been down for at least 2 weeks and I have been away during the weekends and the month isn’t even over yet…)). Sorry for the extensive bracketing. There is a remote possibility that the previous sentence makes little sense, but OH WELL. Deal with it.

Anyway, lack of internet at home is tragic but not deathly, as I am at uni everyday and I can use the computers here. Wich brings me to the next point: finally, finally university has begun! YAY! I have had three seminars already and I’m kinda loving it (but there is also some regret present – I’ll be spending my gap year studying Spanish irregular verbs, researching the Scandinavian Middle Ages and learning how to pronounce all these weird Danish sounds (Hvad hedder du? Hvor kommer du fra? Hvor bor du? Hvad læser du?) and yet again I am very soz for the brackets thingy). Part of the downside is that I will actually have to do things now, presentations, essays, protocols and the like.

What else is there? My social life is going ok, I guess. Still haven’t made lifelong friends, but I now have people I chat with between seminars and I even say ‘hi’ to some in the corridors. Great progress. My coat is still in some girl’s car though. Should probably reclaim that at some point. More exciting: After three weeks of pesto pasta I have now begun to cook properly and to buy ingredients and all that shit! Today’s meal: Tomato Aubergine Risotto (fancy huh? It did take me ages). Oh, more proof of my secret identity as a domestic goddess: I cleaned the bathroom this morning (after having a lie-in, I must admit). Seems like despite some of this weekend’s ferocious choices my dignity has not taken a fall.

Probably filling in the gaps would be a good idea. This weekend (as in, a few days ago – I never now how it works: is that ‘this weekend’ or ‘last weekend’?) I went on a trip to this island called Fehmarn (unless you’re a German surfer or have taken the ferry/train from Germany to Denmark, you probably won’t know it) with a bunch of strangers who also happen to study a romance language or English (which i don’t study, but it’s a joined student council). Basically I got really drunk, vommed everywhere (a game of Jenga was also involved) and took my clothes off (I wish I could say that was the first time that has happened, but it has sort of become the standard procedure…). But then in the morning I surprised everyone by not only cleaning up my own mess, but also helping to tidy the house. It could have been so much worse.

Ok, enough for now, I think. I promise to work on my writing style (brackets and stuff).

B x

P.S. What I do love about Kiel: the skies. Once the sun begins to set the whole horizon is drenched in all these funky and slightly  cheesy colours and it stays like that for at least an hour – after that it’s pitch black.

Online Generation, right?!

13th October 2014

Feeling the urgent desire to start a blog at  time when you have no access to the internet seems like one of those internal paradoxes that we all know. Like a longing for christmas time (*sings* mitstletoe and wine…) that overcomes us just as we are melting in the Spanish sun in mid-August.

During the next few posts (can you even call it that when you’re not actually posting it yet?) I’ll try and explain some of the motivations that may be the source of this sudden calling, but for now maybe a brief summary of my current situation will help you out. As I have previously stated, I am unfortunately offline for now. Not by choice, this must be clear. If you are one of those new-age hipsters, then maybe living without access to the web might be seen as a new way to “reconnect with nature”, and you’ll tell everyone about how freeing the experience has been before returning to your daily reading of GOOP and the like. No, not me. I like the internet. I really do. And the problem doesn’t seem to be the internet itself (but how do people even now, it’s not like you see a rainbow coming out of that pathetic little box on my wall), but rather theWiFi router (is that what it’s called?). Well, I don’t really know. My competence in this area is very limited, as you might have noticed.

Funny story actually, I came to prove my computer skills only about two or three weeks ago when I spilled a glass of coke (and a bit of rum) on my laptop. Clever me, I shut down the laptop, sacrificed a package of rice and left the laptop there for an extended period of time. Great reaction, right? I kept my calm and handled that situation like a motherfucker. Well, initial success confirmed me in this perception of myself (yes, thank you very much); to my very surprise and relief, Truman (and yes, I named my laptop) was up and running. All good and well if there hadn’t been that slight issue with the sound. After a while of me being relieved and Truman being up and running – specifically: showing me an episode of Finding Carter (yes, it’s trashy but, boy, such tension, such drama) -, the sound dropped. It was just gone. A bit later it was back. But it had changed. It was like in Zombieland where Jesse Eisenberg helps his supposedly injured hot neighbour from 7F or so (I’d look it up, but NO INTERNET) and he gets all excited and horny when suddely she turns into a zombie and hell brakes loose. Well, the sound made a similar transformation. From giving no sound (“supposedly injured”) to the voicing of high pitched screeching, screaming sounds (“hell brakes loose”). Again,shut down, keep calm, what next? I came to the conclusion that I’d have to do some open heart surgery. I gathered some tissues (why?!), a tiny little screwdriver and some snacks (soul food), and started unscrewing. All well so far, I finally left it at opening up the laptop, blowing into it a bit and then starting to resemble the whole lot. Here it was a bit tricky, it didn’t seem to close as well as it had opened, but I just screwed away (there might have been some mild force in use, I know, I know…). Again everything was fine (the sound was fixed, hurra!) until the recent rebellion of my router, when I said “fuck WiFi, I’m going LAN” and tried to put he cable into that little plug (naughty!). Didn’t work. How, yous ask? It seems a ricecorn from the aftermath of the rum-and-coke disaster got stuck somewhere inside of Truman and then disfigured my LAN box thingy when I rescrewed the whole thing. A bloody ricecorn. So, yeah.