I'm 21 today!!!!!!!!
(longer entry coming when, well... when I've got more than 5 minutes of the day left)
So BLOODY much.
I am writing this on my new MacBook. I've crossed over to the dark (or rather blindingly white) Apple side. I have bought myself a MacBook - cost about £750, very pretty, operating system a massive PITA. And it looks precisely like my mother's laptop - but as mine has a ginormouser hard drive and more memory and stuff, she may well take the chance to "exchange".
I come of age tomorrow. I am excited. My parents don't look that thrilled - even though I have literally just paid for my own rather expensive computer and they have long been legally entitled to throw me out of the house. I wonder what we're doing tomorrow...
Not much to say. I speak German. I've been in contact with my friends, who are currently raising kittens (Kittens? They're students!) I'm nearly 21. I'm nearly 21. I'm terrified. I want to go to Vienna.
If this fucking country gets any colder I'm... I don't know. I don't want to leave as such. I just want to order a new sun from Pluto (hey, I saw it on Doctor Who... it must be true!) and have it shine on Bavaria.
Because it snowed. It snowed in Bavaria. It was minus temps, and it fucking snowed. I'm sure I read something in And There Was Light about the bitter cold in Thuringia. It only made me feel a smidgey bit better, because cold is cold is cold - especially if you're not used to a continental climate. I am rather scared to take my socks off in case I leave a toe behind. I know it's unlikely, but there was 4 inches of snow. Which I had to walk through.
I'd better write about Bayreuth sometime (not to mention the otherplaces I've visited), but all I can think is three things:
1. France has a fucking quick postal service. I got the last copy of Et la lumiere fut off Amazon. Ordered it last Thurs, got it on Monday.
2. I'm going to see Wiener Blut tomorrow, even though I can't seem to type "Wiener" withou having it come out as "Weiner"! God knows what I'll wear because tomorrow it's going to be minus a million. Smart jeans, I think, and a fancy jumper. They can't kick me out for dressing seasonally, can they?
3. oh my god it's so fucking cold i've bought shares in a HWB company and oh god it's so fucking cold
I don't even have the spirit to start a snowball fight. Ate trout for lunch. Working in lab with Really Tall Marcus who I know from last year. Missing Ivan, but I can't be angry because his father sounds like he's moribund and you can't get pissed at that.
Where are my people??????????
All I can say is "Not good, and I'm going to Bayreuth tomorrow to forget. Then I'll drink some wine and forget to post here because Jeez Louise I want to work!"
There was a headline on BBC News Europe today: Germany braces for storm.
Too bloody right!
Feeling better today. Relaxed. Unbothered. Apart from my coming German exams, but hey, German. It's a bastard to learn but I think it's beautiful.
Today was rather nondescript. Didn't harbour any homicidal feelings. No-one has died that I really admired (well, I hope so). No longer concerned with anything, really. Except the fact that I ordered a train ticket to Bayreuth, a place I don't have any burning desire to visit, simply to get the hell out of this city. It will be my last trip before the Ferien. I plan to go on an extended trip around Germany and also to visit Vienna, which I've wanted to visit since I was about twelve. Nine years is not too long to fulfil a dream! (Nine years! God, I'm patient. Mind you, now I'm semi-independent so I can do what the hell I want. If I had a good source of income then I would be actually independent, I guess. There's nothing I can't do around the house, except deal with spiders and vomit. Or change a plug, as I can't remember which wire needs the fuse. I think it's the live one.)
Bayreuth. All I can think about is bloody Wagner and I hate Wagner, the self-important little shit whose operas all last three or four days and have a body count amongst the audience at the end. Oh, and he was a raging anti-Semite and Hitler thought he was great. Do I need any more reason to not like him? Why not? I read on Wikipedia that there's a Wagner festival every year in Bayreuth, so I did a bit of searching to see when it was (it's in June, so I miss it - great!) I found the ticket prices to the operas. 2,500 Euros to see one fucking opera! OK, the opera does last for about a week, but who in their right mind would pay close on £1800 to see one opera? (Particularly when MY last opera ticket cost, um... 15 euros, and the one before that just £5. OK, that was a student production, but they were fucking excellent.)
Other than mild opera-ticket-price induced heart attacks... no, it was an utterly nondescript day in Wuerzburg. Got my problems sorted out at the Stedentenhaus. I can't believe that it took all of 3 minutes to obtain the immatriculation certificate, but I managed to miss all but the last 20 minutes of Landeskunde! Fortunately Frau Florescu was OK after I told her the reason. Although she did insist I stay to make up the 2 hours. (Fine by me as it's free study time on the computers anyway.)
Hope I'll have an interestingly vivid dream tonight.
Because today has just been alternately great, then shite, then great, and now it's shite again.
Great: Although I went to bed last night feeling really epilepticy - I was wandering about in a daze and wondering why I felt about two feet behind my own head - I didn't have a vivid nightmare. OK, I did have a bizarre dream about having a body-swap with Adrian Mole, who was for some reason living in the most desert-like spot imaginable in America, but it was more funny than anything else. Especially reading his sent mobile phone text messages.
Shite (the Irish version of Shit, but it's so much better than Shit because it really sounds perjorative and angry and hopeless and Oh-God-So-Awful-I-Want-To-Evaporate): my Leseverstehen lesson was really dull. No, I can cope with dull lessons, I really can. But what I can't cope with are the... um... Those Girls. They're a bit like the Plastics in Mean Girls; they're in their own little popular-and-pretty-and-chatty-gossip bubble. And they would nt stop talking (in English; two from my poor country and one from the States) throughout the lesson. And they were literally two feet from my left ear. Worse, American Girl started eating a fucking orange during the class. And Orange Smell makes me gag. I nearly threw up on my Bayern-folder. Why can't they just all get really shit food poisoning and just STAY AWAY? Why can't they get temporary muteness? Why? I don't want them to be run over by a bus or anything, I just want them to stop making me feel weird in my Einsamkeit.
Mini-Good: Talked to Wei-jian, who's really cool (especially for sending me her great photo of the Festung Marienburg reflected in the water at night). She said my eyes are pretty. I felt good about my looks. (Though really I wish I had brown eyes, like Wei-jian. Whatever. At least my eyes work and all, even if their "infinity" point is about fourteen inches and four feet - left and right respectively. I'm just short-sighted enough to not be able to read street signs and bus numbers and train times. Which is shit. Mini-shit, because I have L33T glasses in Emerald Green.)
Mini-Shite: decided to go and see Professor Benz about a new project for this year, straight after my lesson... and I opened his door (afterhe'd said "Komm!") to find two students he was talking to staring at me as if I was a five foot nine pile of dogshit. What am I meant to be, psychic?
Good: When I caught Professor Benz in a free moment he was really nice. He told me when the term times are so I can go home (my dad's just booked me the ticket) and printed out a list of biology-related lctures I can attend next semester, with any luck. It's last year's list. And it was thirty fucking pages long. The man is a legend. Even if he looks like an only slightly less mad version of Einstein with glasses. (There must be some rule about German scientists needing to have really bizarre hair...)
Mini-shite: I get to go mad for the next of the week because I can't do any Micro until next Monday. At least I have internet now...
Mini-goods: Went to library and borrowed a double CD of Leonard Cohen songs (right now, I think I'll need them), the War of the Worlds soundtrack and the Turangalila symphony by Olivier Messiaen. I hope it's good. Apparently it's out of this world. Also bought a green jumper - real green - for 4 euros 50! That's £3 in money terms I think in! Happy...
Absolutely fucking shitey arse-pants bastard fuckarse shite: I was really tired of having no user icon. I've fallen out of love with the story of The Sword of Paros, because Erminia's a bit of a brat really and I certainly don't want her as an icon. And I don't want to label an ambiguous sexuality with Freddie Mercury's daffodil quote unless I want to make some gay rights-related point to some LJ bigot. I decided to go for a feminist icon. Specifically one of Helene Viannay, the French Resistance in WWII member, who had expanded her role quite siginificantly from -Philippe Viannay's wife who, uh, gave birth and organised a padded room for printing copies of DF-, as not-very-skilfully presented by Jacques Lusseyran in his autobiography, when I decided to do a little research. Couldn't find a pic of her on my computer - then remembered my "French Resistance" images are on my other computer. Which is in England. Answer - Google! I merrily typed in Helene Viannay and as you know, it takes you to web page links first.
Where I saw in nice big capital letters "HELENE VIANNAY RIP 25th December 2006".
I suppose it wasn't totally unexpected - by my calculations she was 89, which is a good innings for anyone but a Galapagos tortoise. (What else lives for an insanely long time?) But damn it, she's dead and all. Which is not good. Come to think of it I was wearing black on Christmas day - not out of any preminitious feeling that she and James Brown and whoever else died then, more because I have a lot of really nice black clothes. Actually I feel better now writing it down. And a bit ridiculous, because I had about as much to do with her as a goldfish has to do with the four-stroke combustion engine. No, let's not feel ridiculous. She was a bit of a feminist heroine to me, so I can be a little sad. And no-one can tell me any different! (Unless they remind me of the goldfish/combustion engine analogy.)
OK, I broke my resolution. This is because my charger exploded in sparks on the 8th - well, it didn't exactly explode, but it ceased to function. And thus did all the charge there ever was drain out of my sole battery.
And I managed without internet or computery entertainment cold turkey for a WEEK.
No, the emphasis is wrong. I MANAGED for a week. My only contact with the English-speaking world was phone calls from my father, who has a cardinal advantage over my mother in that he is not obsessed with my weight. OK, he's a Control Systems Engineer, and that means he's got a bachelor's in Boring the Pants off Everybody, but he has a good heart. Whereas my mother is like a Mean Girl. I've gone into a rebellious phase again; I've decided that I should dress all in green. It's the colour she doesn't like on me, so I bought a green jumper, a green T-shirt and green tights; I'm looking forward to purchasing a green skirt, but as about 65% of the population here is in fact over 65, brightly-coloured skirts are not much in demand. But the idea of rebellion is important.
So I've rebelled. What else hav I done:
- Ordered (before the non-functionalness) a copy of Jacques Lusseyran's Das wiedergefundene Licht; I intend to read it properly given a bit of not-on-edge time
- Written a whole sodding essay on same; I had an empty notebook and just wanted to write about something dear to my heart.
- Read The Cider House Rules, by John Irving. Ah... I loved it! I loved Hotel New Hampshire - eventually. It took me ages to get into it. But once I got past the first chapter, I was engrossed in the hotel and the family and the bear and the stuffed dog, the ex-black Lab-champion farter. Which floats. Just keep passing the open windows. I think I'll lobby for John Irving to be cryogenically preserved - he must be nearly 65 or so by now, and men live until they're... 78 or something. So I've got 13 years to have him frozen.
I did feel an odd sense of inevitability. Probably occasioned by having read Lady Chatterley's Lover at the age of 17 in Waterstone's. I had a preminition of just what was going to be up with Wally after the war.
- Went on explosive spending spree. Gotta live. Gotta buy clothes with my father didn't thoughtfully shrink in the wash for me before I came out again. The jumpers, which were 12-14s (and much too baggy for me) when new, shrank to a size 6-8. Had I been 11, I might just have been able to wear them comfortably. And although I'm still obviously thin and have no breasts worth a cleavage - at least not without the help of a semi-asphyxiating bra - I will never be a size 6-8. I do actually have a ribcage that offers resistance to being encased in wool. I couldn't breathe OUT wearing this jumper, and I turned the air blue with swearing trying to take it off. Charity shop!
- Cleaned room. I mean cleaned. Every corner. Scrubbd the bathroom floor (and discovered I wasn't made for a housewife, ever). Threw away suspect jar of olives that smelled like a virulent infection, even if they weren't yet fuzzy. Can't getshower floor to stop being grey, and there's a rust stain on thesink, but at least there isn't an angry smear of toothpaste across the mirror. And I bought some Alpine Mist Air Freshener crap. Don't know about the Alps, but my room doesn't have a vaguely disturbing two-day-old Spag Bol aroma.
And of course I waited on the door buzzer. My father had shipped me a new charger and I was desperate for it. I skipped lightly downstairs in my rather skimpy nightie and dressing gown, showing most of my legs, to be faced with people who were not the postman: A group of giggling girls after a shopping trip; the Hausmeister and a doleful-looking plumber, who didn't look any less doleful after his eyes had taken in the semi-clad twenty-year-old girl in front of him; and a couple of young evagelists, who also looked me up and down and then said, very slowly, and hesitntly...
"Would...you... er... like to join... our... church?"
with the faintest hint of "Hey look, we could reform an English Jezebel!" in their eyes. I said "Nein!" and ran back upstairs where I crumpled on my bed.
But this morning, it came! Someoneleaned on my buzzer. It was the postman, with his januty little Bavarian moustache thing looking like a wire brush on his top lip. He said something very fast in German to me, and then asked me who I was. I pointed to my name on the postbox and then to myself. He smiled. And handed me a massive box full of chargery goodness.
Since then I've been enjoying my computer again, only stepping out to redeem my Mezzo Mix bottles. And buy some slippers. Walmart hooray.
Got some tidy-inspiration last night. I went crazy from about 10pm to 3am searching through piles of rubbish and semi-unpacking my suitcase to find out where my lipstick had gone. I also stuck random stuff up on the walls: bus pass, airline boarding passes, leaflets telling me where I can find a good doctor or what movie I should see. It's colourful. I'll supplement it today by printing out some of the more humourous pictures in my "My Pictures" folder, like... Winston Churchill inadvertently making the "fuck you!" sign instead of V for Victory, or The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements (I always KNEW Gummi was real, and it must be patented to the Germans because I've never eaten anything else approaching the resilience and flavour of a genuine Gummi Bear). I also cleaned up my computer files. I'm never too keen on this because I end up creating new folders called "Stuff" to drop a saved webpage about woodlouse-based recipes or an investigation of the glabrous state of TV villains in, and when I want to laugh at Peter Miles' combover I can't bloody find it. And then there are truly random files. Like "spider.sav". What is a Sav file and is it useful? I daren't delete it...
Now all I need to do is sort out my clothes into "underwear", "stuff that doesn't need washing" and "Holy... this needs washing. It smells like a biochemistry lab". And clean the whole bathroom, not just the bog. At least the water in that thing isn't a mysterious murky brown... I don't know what I did last December, but the loo didn't like it. I sacrificed a spoon to the Bin Gods, because it was embedded in some foul-smelling bacterial colony - some fluffy one - that was once a tin of tuna-flavoured spaghetti accompaniment.
I feel like I can face Germany again. Germany is so clean, if you ignore the endless cigarette butts (insert rant about national addiction).