From aboard this train


I’m on a train speeding through a snow storm, the first I’m witnessing this season, and everything is white and the train, for once, is warm and quiet and cozy and comfortable, and I’m reading some beautiful writing by a dear friend, and I’m on my way home, to my mom who will be picking me up from the station. What more could a person ever really ask for?

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It snowed

It snowed on Tuesday. A tiny bit. Almost not worth mentioning. Tiny flakes; none of them actually stayed on the ground. For two blissful hours, the lovely white drifted down from the gray-blue sky, tossed about by the strong winds, and died before it hit the pavement, yes, but lifted my spirits nevertheless.
I watched “Lawless”, which was much better than I had anticipated. To give you an idea: a bond between three brothers, Virginia during prohibition, bootlegging, guns, violence. Also, Tom Brady. It sounds too easy, too predictable, and yet it’s fast-paced with a few unexpected turns and I would absolutely watch it a second time.

I’m going home tomorrow. I plan on spending as much time with my family as I can this Christmas season, making the most of my being unemployed. This means a lot of traveling back and forth by train and I just hope that the entire network of German railway won’t just break down as it tends to do as soon as it gets colder outside.

The end of November and NaBloPoMo has killed any inspiration for blogging I may have had (which is the opposite of what I had hoped would happen) so I don’t know when I’ll come back and write here. Expect photo posts, rather than words. And send me snow, if you’re lucky enough to have any.

And at once I knew I was not magnificent

Wow, you guys sure do like photos of baked goods, don’t you? Heh. A hearty welcome to everyone who felt inspired to follow this blog after yesterday’s post! I’m back in Cologne – back in the daily rut of unemployment, back to a roommate who likes to annoy me, back to not knowing just what the hell my life is supposed to be right now – and I’m not thrilled to be here. Although not exactly a life saver, it always boosts my mood to know that some of you out there enjoy my photos and my words. So thank you.

I spent the 2.5 hour train ride back to Cologne reading “Fall of Giants” which I mentioned a couple posts ago I’ve really been getting into. I forgot just how interesting and confusing and messed up the First World War was. The second book in the trilogy deals with WW2 and the third with the Cold War, and I feel like by the end of it my head will have exploded because, good god, TOO MANY TERRIBLE DECISIONS MADE BY EGOCENTRIC, POWER-HUNGRY MEN. I mean- obviously. But it somehow becomes even more clear when packaged into a novel, rather than taught as plain facts in history class.

The appointment for which I came back to Cologne was canceled while I was on the train back here (I was STOKED) (not) and the new appointment is next Monday so I could’ve stayed at my parents’ for another week, had I known this two hours earlier. Just the kind of thing you’d expect from a damn Monday but still frustrating.

Once back in Cologne, I went for a walk to the closest city park (see photo), thinking I should really pick up running again, admiring the beautiful sky, hating the traffic noises that you can’t see in the photo, recalling what Living And Working In Cologne was like last November, wondering what the fuck happened between then and today. Twenty-twelve should’ve been the year, you know. Things should’ve finally come together and instead they fell apart.

Sometimes it feels so much more dramatic than it really is, and today is such a day. (Using a largely unrelated Bon Iver quote in the title is always a strong indicator of unjustified whining to come.) Back to happier things tomorrow.

Just booked train tickets back home. Yesterday I suddenly realized that I’ve got a long weekend ahead and no plans yet. When I told my dad, he very adorably said he’d pay for the trains no matter what it might cost. So I will spend Thursday through Sunday at my parents’. I feel like I haven’t been home in a long time, even though that isn’t true at all.

My brother is coming home from a week-long motorcycle trip around Switzerland and Italy on Saturday and the first football games of Euro 2012 are happening as well.

Perfect time to be home.


Here’s something I do about every 10 days: I look up what it might cost to take a train from Cologne to Paris.

Why do I look this up every 10 days? Well, because it’s Paris and I’ve been meaning to go back and I know the ride takes just over 3 hours so why wouldn’t I go. Exactly: why wouldn’t I? It’s 35 euros right now, one way. That’s not even half a week of groceries. I would readily not eat for half a week if it meant getting to go to Paris. So this is happening. At the end of June, hopefully, and with a close friend I haven’t seen in months, if all goes well.

(Photo taken from L’arc de Triomphe on my first and only visit to Paris, in February 2007.)