Friday, September 25, 2009

Ich bin Maria, that's all I know.

Yesterday started my own personal Oktoberfest season, with a huge BANGGGG! I went with my bosses to the German Army’s annual Beerfest at Dulles Airport, and oh what a cool thing it was! 2,000 people, 2 bands, and an airplane hangar packed with Oktoberfest food, German beer and happy people, what more could you want? I know, this is not usually my scene, but despite that and my normal social anxieties, I had a fantastic time. We got there around 6:30 when the doors opened and did not leave till midnight when they were all but kicking us out, and I honestly could have stayed longer.

Nicole and I.

I just finished writing a blog about this for the Döner Bistro blog, but it is still waiting for approval. I’ll send the link when it’s up. Till then I’ll tell you about a few things I did not write about.

I was the designated driver, so I did not drink anything, but I can see why tickets for this thing are so coveted; as much free beer and food as you can handle. The lines for everything were really long, but went fast. I mostly spent the night wandering around, taking LOADS of pictures and talking with everyone in our group. I meet lots of new people, and some I probably should have known already from them coming by the restaurant.

At one point I found myself talking with a woman in the Alte Kameraden band who played trumpet. I was telling her about how much I love band and the Tuba when this really good looking older guy came up to her and joined in the conversation starting out with a question my way, “German or American?” It did not seem to matter what I answered, he smiled all the same. He was a member of the other band that was there, The German Army’s band that flew in from Germany just for this event and I think a few others around DC.

So we were just talking, me totally enjoying this guy's company with a stupid grin on my face. I mean, this guy was like Sean Connery, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman good looking. Before I knew it he had hijacked my camera and was taking pictures of me and everyone, all the while with that ridiculously good looking smile on his face. He called over one of his buddies from the band, a younger guy (by younger I mean like 30s I think) who I think played the flute, and kept taking pictures. Suddenly I was dancing with the flute player, being lead all over the place, spun and passed behind his back. He did not speak English very well, but I think he said that dancing was his hobby. I think his name was something like Gregory or Gregor, he said both names, but I could be wrong. Timo told me later that that’s not a very German name, but that does not really matter.

Gregory-Gregor and I.

Gregory-Gregor was super nice, but I think he was getting a little too attached. After each song he would ask “drink or dance?” like those were our only two options. He kept pointing at me to his buddies up with the band like “oh look at me I’m dancing with a girl!” which does not surprise me; I have a history of attracting those types of guys. But whatever, he was nice and I had a lot of fun dancing with him. At the end of the night he gave me a hug before he left saying, “I had a wonderful evening, I hope to see you in America!” Cute.

Anyway, it was an awesome night and I am extremely glad Timo and Nicole brought me with them. Tickets for this thing are crazy hard to get a hold of, usually they had to beg their friends for tickets but this year they got on a series of good lists and received their own. When we were leaving Timo asked me how many phone numbers I had collected. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, and then when he kept talking about it I figured it out. He just assumed I got phone numbers from Gergor and this other guy from our group I was talking to, funny! He seemed really concerned that I did not get any numbers and said, “next time just give them yours.” Well, next time, maybe I will.


This weekend I am going to Lovettsville’s Oktoberfest and then October 15th through 18th I’ll be at the Döner’s working. Fantastisch!

I slept in till almost 1 today and now it’s almost 7, where has the day gone? I always worry that I am not enjoying my days off to the fullest since I get so few of them, but really, I think sleeping all morning and doing nothing on the Internet all afternoon is a great day. I will probably go home, read my book for a while and then top off the day with a movie or something. I need to be more accepting of doing nothing. I need to embrace ‘Il bel far niente’ as they say in Italy, the beauty of doing nothing.

Alright, that’s all for now.



ps. here are my other pictures:

Here are the pictures Dan, the professional photographer in our mists took. way better than mine:

Here is the link to my Doener Blog post! :

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A ten I got in tips the other day. funny.

Recent Netflix movie categories:

~Critically-acclaimed goofy independent movies

~Imaginative SiFi fantasy from the 1980s

~Mind-bending Dramas based on contemporary literature

~Visually striking suspenseful action and adventure

~Gory end-of-the-world horror movies

Cool huh? Those are a bunch of good words. Gory, goofy, imaginative, mind-bending, I guess that’s what I like. If Netflix says it’s so, then it’s so. I’m a slave to online movie databases. I mean, not really since I don’t have lots of time to watch movies these days (so sad), but if I did, I would be.

I had an epiphany yesterday morning while cutting bread at work about where my favorite story I have ever written is going to go next. Cutting bread will do that to a person I’ve noticed; I always think of weird things while methodically slicing Döner bread by the box full for hungry Leesburgians (Leesburgites? Leesburgs? Leesburgers? Whatever). It really puts you in the zone, whatever zone that may be, and I usually end up wishing I had just one more box to cut.

So anyhow, my epiphany was about my first kids/young adult story I wrote a few years ago (has it really been that long??) and where it is going. This story has really taken me a long time to figure out. First it started with 6 pages and a really awesome idea, but I had no idea what to do with it. Then I figured it out, made it about 30 pages and thought it was done for a while. Then yesterday, it exploded in my head into a million new directions, sending the whole concept worldwide and into the history books. I am not going to say what my idea is here for fear someone might google search my blog and steal my idea. I am getting paranoid that someone is going to think of my idea and publish it before I get a chance to; that would be just my luck. But I like all you cool followers, so if you are really wondering, just ask me and I will let you know. I am going to need lots of feedback on it eventually.

The moral of the story is I’m feeling particularly inspired these days. I think it has to do with what I’ve been reading (well into Inkspell, the sequel to Inkheart, and loving every word of it) and the like. Reading a fairytale makes me think like I’m in a fairytale which makes the world look more like a fairytale, which has in turn inspired my own fairytale. Now that it’s getting colder and the leaves are turning to golds and coppers I have been getting the urge to go run around in the woods somewhere or just walk through fields pretending I’m on some epic quest to save the world, in costume of course. But who will quest with me? I can think of one person, but she is in Doylestown.

Speaking of living a fairytale, that reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day. Let me know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes when I’m doing every day things like walking through the unfinished part of my house or taking out the trash at work I get this feeling like I could probably easily jump onto the roof or scale the wall with little effort. Ok, that probably did not make sense, I’ll try again. So for example, I was in the unfinished part of my house the other day balancing on a rolled up carpet and I stumbled. I easily regained my balance, but as I did I got this flashback feeling, almost like déjà vu (a glitch in the matrix!) feeling like I’ve done it before, but somewhere else. When I was balancing on the carpet I got a flashback to a time where I was running somewhere with crazy agility like a superhero, as if that has happened to me before. Assuming you are following me (which I really don’t think you are) I’ll tell you two reasons I think this happens to me.

I think I get this feeling for one of two reasons: one, I’ve watched too many movies, and two, I actually used to do that stuff when I was little. James and I used to run around all over the place in the yard, climbing trees and playing in the dirt, not getting tired with the energy only children seem capable of possessing. Back then I probably was at some point pretending I was being chased by some bad guy through the woods at my grandparent’s houses, dodging trees and trying to escape. I think my overactive imagination (as if such a thing exists) is what gives me these flashbacks and make me feel like I used to be a hero in another life. It’s because I was a hero in another life, a hero of my own games. Now that story only exists in fleeting flashes of fun times in the past, as if childhood was in another lifetime entirely.

My "seen too many movies" reason is just as likely. You know that feeling when you first get out of a really awesome movie at the theaters, like an amazing action adventure movie that had you on the edge of your seat for two hours, and you feel like you are still in it for a while? Well, sometimes for me that feeling will last a few days, a few wonderful days where everything I do feels cooler because in my mind I am in the movie still as a character. It effects the cloths I wear and the things I do, so I can see that causing false flashbacks to past heroics.

I have never tried explaining this feeling in words before, and I don’t think I did a very good job here, but please let me know if this has ever happened to you.

Signing off now from outside a closed coffee shop on yet another weird Sunday.

“Can you feel it
Feel it in the air,
The wind is taking it everywhere, yeah”


Monday, September 14, 2009

"Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them."

When was the last time you read a book that demanded all of your attention from the moment you opened it to the second your eyes read the last page? That’s where I am right now, two hundred pages into a five hundred page young adult novel that won’t let me think of anything else. It’s a greedy sort of book, one that forces you to think of only it’s story and makes you abandon all the things you ‘should’ be doing in order to pay it more attention. This book was calling to me before I even opened it, when it was still just another red cover on my shelf. It made me, practically at gun (or sword) point, stop reading the book I had currently committed to and pick it up. Now I’m trapped, trapped in its enchanting story and loving every moment of it.

The book I’m referring to is Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, the fantastical tale of a book loving father (Mo) and daughter (Meggie) and the adventures they get into. Mo has the amazing talent of being able to read characters and things out of books just by reading aloud. I am not going to say anything about the story because I would hate to spoil anything for all you future readers out there. All I will say is that if I did not have to go to work today I would undoubtedly be at home in bed reading Inkheart, in heaven.

One major reason I think I love this book so much, besides the story and overall premise (it was clearly written by a book lover, about book lovers, specifically for book lovers) is the character Dustfingers. I saw the movie of this book first, something I usually hate doing, but in this case it worked in my favor. The movie was good, but it left me knowing that the book must be better. I was right, it is, but the one thing that the movie did right was casting Dustfingers. He is played by Paul Bettany (from such films as A Knights Tale, A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code) and is perfect. That being said, I don’t know if I would recommend that everyone watch the movie first or read the book, it will have to be your call. All I can say is that I LOVE picturing Paul Bettany while I read, which makes me glad I did it in the order I did.

That’s all I wanted to say today. I will leave you with a bunch of random picture I have been taking lately, for your amusement.

Beth took this one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Maria did today in the style of What Beth did today.

~Helped change Slates bandage.

~Was asked if my restaurant was a restaurant at work.

~Beans in the celery for the last time.

~Elmo’s mom (Elmo’ mom)

~Dr. Quinn Medicine Women fights for Indian rights.

~Glee at Beth’s.