Sunday, May 29, 2005

So far away from everyone

So, I've been a week in Germany now. It's been a blast so far. I've gotten to see so many old friends and families I hadn't seen in 2 years. On Thursday, I'm even going to take part in the Entlassungsfeier at the Dahlmannschule, my old school. Sarah and I are going to sing together and I'll probably play guitar.
Nothing much has changed here. It's even hard to see changes in people, both physically and mentally. I thought more would have changed in 2 years, especially in people. I know I've changed. I guess it isn't that noticeable after all.
So what I really wanted to do was show an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote yesterday evening while sitting on the terrace listening to Guster and just thinking about stuff.

Somehow, a certain blend of meaningful music and fitting surroundings can awaken such powerful emotional reactions within a person. Memories crawl back and fill one with a kind of bittersweet longing for what once was. I felt just that way a minute ago. ... But those moments of perfect music/ those hides enlightenment. Suddenly everything clicks as you run through all these rapidly-firing thoughts in your head and hear the most beautiful sounds and feel the most powerful, over-coming emotions...and then you feel perfectly at peace with everything -- you have all the answers for just one brief blink of an eye -- and then it's gone after the release of a few tears. - 05.28.05

One more week. Then I'll be coming back to you, America.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Because it means so much

I was talking with Scott today about our two favorite Dispatch songs off Bang Bang, "Two Coins" and "Out Loud," and I realized that some of the lines in "Out Loud" are so relevant to say to the people I'll be leaving behind in less than 3 days...
And if I was gone from the land we know,
Would you be the dawn and let your beauty still show?
And if you were walking,
Heard the cold night coming,
Would you call my name?
'Cause you know that I'd come running

If you'd call my name out loud...
Do you suppose that I would come running?
Do you suppose I'd come at all?
You know I would.

- Dispatch, "Out Loud"
I know, it'll only be two weeks, but it still struck me as meaningful.
Here's one that I really feel when I think about my second homeland. It actually really meant a lot to me when I first listened to it while I was there the first time, thinking of home. But now another "home" comes to mind.
It's yet to be determined,
but the air is thick,
and my hope is feeling worn.
I'm missing home,
and I'm glad you're not a part of this,
there's parts of me that will be missed...

It's colder than it ought to be in March
and I still got a day or two ahead of me
till I'll be heading home,
into your arms again.
And the people here are asking after you.
It doesn't make it easier,
It doesn't make it easier to be away...

I'd like to hire a plane.
I'd see you in the morning,
when the day is fresh.
I'm coming home again.

But it's warmer where you're waiting.
It feels more like July.
There's pillows in their cases,
and one of those is mine...

- Dashboard Confessional, "A Plain Morning"

Monday, May 16, 2005

I can't wait anymore

Faces I remember I still see,
And places in a memory hold onto me.
And I can't wait to crawl out of my shell.

Promises tell me in a thousand ways.
Moving on forever, living life this way.
And I can't wait to crawl --
I can't wait at all --
I can't wait anymore.

'Cause if I wait too long,
How am I ever gonna reach my destination?
And now I know the time has come.
It's all right here, yeah,
It's all so clear to me.

Eyes that open slowly; it's so hard to see.
I've never seen an angel, but I'm trying to believe.
And I can't wait to crawl --
I can't wait at all --
I can't wait anymore.

- This Way, "Crawl"

Saturday, May 14, 2005

No matter where you are

There's exactly one week until I get on a plane and fly to that little town of Bad Segeberg that I've become so fond of, even after two-and-a-half years of absence.

Here's my itinerary:
To Germany --
  • JetBlue >> Depart from Syracuse, NY, USA at 11:15am, 21 May 2005 >> Arrive at JFK airport, New York City, NY, USA at 12:15pm, 21 May 2005
  • United Airlines >> Depart from JFK airport, New York City, NY, USA at 6:50pm, 21 May 2005 >> Arrive at Heathrow airport, London, UK at 6:55am (12:55am EST), 22 May 2005
  • Lufthansa >> Depart from Heathrow airport, London, UK at 8:20am (2:20am EST), 22 May 2005 >> Arrive at Hamburg, Germany 10:45am (4:45am EST), 22 May 2005

From Germany --
  • Lufthansa >> Depart from Hamburg, Germany 9:55am (3:45am EST), 5 June 2005 >> Arrive at Frankfurt, Germany 11:00am (5:00am EST), 5 June 2005
  • Lufthansa >> Depart from Frankfurt, Germany 1:30pm (7:30am EST), 5 June 2005 >> Arrive at JFK airport, New York City, NY, USA at 3:55pm, 5 June 2005
  • JetBlue >> Depart from JFK airport, New York City, NY, USA at 10:50pm, 5 June 2005 >> Arrive at Syracuse, NY, USA at 11:55pm, 5 June 2005
I just booked the flights from Syracuse to New York City tonight. The layovers between those flights and my flight to London/from Frankfurt are about 6 hours long, which I find ridiculous, but it's better than having my parents drive 5 hours each way to the city to pick me up. Also, my parents paid for the tickets from Syracuse to JFK and back. Hopefully Ivan and I can get together for a few hours between those flights from the city.
Dennis called me yesterday and I was surprised at my fluency in German while speaking to him. I think I surprised him, too, because he remarked about my fluency even after two-and-a-half years of not being in the country. I surprise myself how much of the language I've retained after all those years. Maybe I really am sprachbegabt, like they said I was.
There's so much going on and so much to plan -- parties, grilled dinners, evenings with my family, a visit to Oma Harz, a visit to a Rotary Club meeting, visits to my old friends and families -- the list goes on. It's going to be a wonderful, busy two weeks.
But to those who I'll leave behind and those from school I miss already so dearly, here are a few words:
No matter where you are,
I can still hear you when you drown.
You've traveled very far,
Just to see you, I'll come around.
When I'm down,
All of those yesterdays coming down.

No matter where you are,
I can still hear you when you dream.
You've traveled very far,
You've traveled far, like a star.
And you are
All of those yesterdays coming down...

-- Smashing Pumpkins, "Drown"

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I'm coming home...

I was born in a small town,
And I live in a small town,
Probably die in a small town.
Oh, those small communities.

All my friends are so small town.
My parents live in the same small town.
My job is so small town --
Provides little opportunity.

Educated in a small town,
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town;
Used to daydream in that small town;
Another boring romantic, that's me.

But I've seen it all in a small town.
Had myself a ball in a small town.
Married an LA doll and brought her to this small town.
Now she's small town just like me.

No, I cannot forget where it is I come from.
I cannot forget the people who love me.
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town,
And people let me be just what I want to be.

Got nothing against a big town.
Still hayseed enough to say,
"Look who's in the big town."
But my bed is in a small town,
Oh, and that's good enough for me.

Well I was born in a small town,
And I can breathe in a small town.
Gonna die in this small town,
And that's prob'ly where they'll bury me.

-- John Mellencamp, "Small Town"

Yeah, I'm home again. Nine days until Germany.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

It's you and me and all of the people

In a few days, my freshman year of college will officially be over. It's definitely a melancholy time as people move out. I, like the nostalgic person I am, will be one of the last to leave -- the one who turns out the light at the end of the show, the one who sticks it out until the very, bitter end. I can't help but look at the empty beds of people who have moved out and think that we'll never be able to recreate those times, those exact moments, that exact personality that their room took on. When Jordan and Ivan move out, it'll be even sadder. After Tuesday, I'll be all alone, waiting for the signal to turn the light out, and then it'll be all over. I'm definitely looking forward to the promises of next year, but at the same time I lament the snuffing out of another year, my first year of college.
Where posters once hung, sheets once sprawled across the bed, laptops whirred softly in the background, and clothes lay in a heap on the floor now lies a sad mix of dust and old wrappers and pushpins, artifacts of the life that once filled the room and the events that took place there. It's strangely brighter because the window shades are wide open, letting in an ironic sunlight that casts shadows across the waning energy as it sets into the horizon. It's a mournful sunlight that shines upon Syracuse these days. I was expecting rain for a mood like this, or at least mist.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sehr drunken message from Liz

By the time I recognize this moment,
This moment will be gone.
But I will bend the light, pretending
That it somehow lingered on.

And I will wait to find
If this will last forever.
And I will pay no mind
Well, it won't, because it can't,
No, it can't...

- John Mayer, "Clarity"
Go figure, I'm quoting John Mayer at a time like this...tired. Eyes dry. " And I will waste no time
Remembering our lives together."
I'm head copy editor...bitches.
I'll be waving my hand,
Watching you drown,
Watching you sleep,
Quiet or loud.
And maybe you should sleep.
And maybe you just need a friend.
As clumsy as you've been, there's no one laughing.
You will be safe with me.

- Our Lady Peace, "Clumsy"

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Please elevate me

After two days of toil, my computer, which died around that time, has been resurrected at last.
Basically what happened was I (stupidly) clicked on a link that was sent to me by someone (who shall remain comfortably anonymous) over AIM. This link proceeded to download a program onto my computer which installe the StartWeb virus on my system, plaguing me with popup after popup and spyware program after spyware program. I was frantic to get rid of it all, but it seemed every time I ran my virus software or my anti-spyware programs, the virus would find a way to reinstall them back on my computer. I went so far as to go deleting registry files that my anti-virus software said were infected. This was what probably led to the ultimate demise of one of the most important system files on my computer, so that when I restarted the computer for about the 100th time, I got a black screen of death that said Windows could not start because this file was either missing or corrupt.
Long story short, I reinstalled an earlier version of Windows XP onto my computer, creating a second boot system. Luckily, all my files were still accessible from this system, so I quickly backed them up and tried going into MSDos to manipulate the registery files so that I might fix the system file and restart the original Windows operating system. Mind you, this all took place over about 36 grueling hours. Last night I stayed up all night toying with Dos, sadly to no avail. I slept restlessly for two hours.
During this time, I came up with a brilliant idea. Jordan had recently bought a new Dell laptop (which I dubbed "Fwankenstein"), and I figured that perhaps her reinstallation disc for her operating system would be compatible with mine, so that I could either repair or update my system and still retain all my files without having to reformat. Sadly, this was not the case. Her operating system software wasn't compatible to mine -- in fact, hers was actually superior. Frustrated beyond belief, I conceded and decided to wipe my hard drive clean and start over. After making sure I had all the necessary backup files, I did the horrible deed. I installed Jordan's version of Windows and began reinstalling system drivers and my old programs. Finally, around 5 p.m. today, I finished my work, satisfied at last. Jordan renamed my system "Gertrude." Now our computers are both as compatible as we are.
The moral to the story: don't be stupid and get a virus.
Truth be told, I'm happy I reformatted my hard drive -- There's a hell of a lot more space on it and no more odd programs and sole files that I don't need sitting around collecting dust. My system runs faster and I have only the programs I actually need on my computer.
My last official day as assistant copy editor was last night. Tonight: DO party.
"College is a sham."
"Lay your scrotum in my palm."

- R. Francis Howard