An American living in Germany. huzzah!

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.

—Excerpt from David Foster Wallace’s commencement address for Kenyon College back in 2005. Give yourself a solid power-up and read the full speech here.

A heartbreaking video for a gorgeous song

This weekend: my body and mind is ready to return to the city that stole my heart. Mmmhmmmm, girl is ready to feel Berlin again.

Nice words from my mom (love you too)

I was watching Sylvester Stallone on Jimmy Fallon and he said something that made me think of you -
Sylvester Stallone (on writing and staring in Rocky):
“That’s what I love about being young.  You have this fearlessness and you just do it.  You should never hold back even though you’re scared.  That’s how great things are accomplished - by jumping into the fire and not being afraid to get burned a little bit.”
That’s what you do, my fearless one.
Love you


"To be a good human is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertainty, and on a willingness to be exposed. It’s based on being more like a plant than a jewel: something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility."
— Martha Nussbaum

A bit of self love

tonight i am happy to love my body, walk around in my apartment in my underpants and long smooth legs, tank top loose with breasts barely covered, care for my hair and see that it reaches the crack of my ass, music in the living room with windows open, music in my bedroom with windows open, i have dimples on my face and butt and maybe some grey hair, i made my thumb bleed and was too impatient to stop the blood so just painted over the wound with clear polish, it stung. my eyebrows are full, my butt is large and strong, i have very blue eyes that are also very large and they come directly from my mother. this is usually the first feature people notice, perhaps next to my big, strong butt, because that’s what it is, then they notice the tattoo on my wrist, also from my mother. maybe they also notice that i am happy to be this person in this body experiencing this moment with open hands and a relaxed smile.

Possibly my favorite video out there in the youtubes

"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose." - Beethoven

"I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose." - Beethoven

This is a rather impressive man—if you haven’t much time, 4:30 onward is a nice spot to begin watching. 8:30 should most definitely be seen.

Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.

—John Gerzema

Weekend in Amsterdam with my beloved Patrick C.

First he was Arnold the tourist, then he became Arnold the citizen and governor of sunny California. REMIX: First she was Jess the tourist, then she became Jess with an Aufenhaltserlaubnis and master of eCommerce in the Netherlands (!?!)

Similarities between Arnold and Jessica: Example 1 - my love for Germany matches Arnold’s for the US. Example 2 - nobody anticipated the body building champion of the world to lead California (a state with a higher GDP than both Brazil and Russia). On a similar strand, what are the odds that a Music History major from LA winds up working for Germany’s leading manufacturer of online shopping software and rocks it to the bone? Example 3: muscles.

In my opinion, it’s perfectly fine that I am still leaps and bounds away from my projected mastery… I don’t think Arnold was quite at governor status when he tore the sleeves of his American flag shirt to let his arms breathe for the photo above.   

I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

—Maya Angelou

This thirsty lady won’t shy down

I posted this a few weeks ago but quickly took it down because I felt a bit embarrassed—it was more comfortable to keep this story to myself. But man-oh-man, that only buries the loneliness of the situation. The idea that my appearance targets me as something to be conquered spins my head into orbit, as it does to every woman who has been approached similarly.

I had neither a conclusion nor foresight for ‘next steps’ when I originally posted this. I just wanted to be heard. However, due to recent events and the subsequent wind given to women who won’t stand for this shit, my perspective is a bit more inspired. I have no reason to feel embarrassed—no reason to shy myself because a few, incomplete idiots felt entitled to my body for being what I naturally am: a fabulous woman with big blue eyes and a desire to live with open arms.

Once again, the big blue eyes my mother so generously passed along landed me in a bit of trouble. It’s a dangerous combination of me seeming “so open minded” with happy, bulging eyes that dart around like visual feelers and my vulnerability as the foreigner. While most people are not moved by this combination, a few special people see it as an opportunity to move in for the kill. When this happens I feel like a sitting duck that looks like Steve Buscemi.

Since moving here, on a few occasions I have been inappropriately pursued and cornered by men who—and this is just my assumption—see me as an exotic symbol for their conquering. Their game: slither around and feign sympathy for my loneliness (which is very much played up on their behalf), compliment my various awesome qualities (“lol, old news, buddy” – Jess 2 Jess) and move in with a determination that suggests only my kisses will keep their temporary, tactless world in motion. These men behave alarmingly similar: their unifying access point being my “beautiful blue eyes”. To that I give an extra hard burp.

This go-around was the result of a part-time job offer from a seemingly well-mannered man who owns a wine bar in Münster. Seeing this as a fabulous opportunity to practice my German while earning extra gold, I accepted the funny adventure and went in last night to test the waters.

With only a few Stammkunden at the bar, the owner felt it most polite that we start drinking with them. This was no problem until the customers left, leaving me with a man who so cleverly observed that my eyes are blue. This revelation led to back rubs, then hugs and eventually him trying to make kisses with my mouth. Extra hard burp in bold.

You might ask: how could it have evolved to this point? Well, the first stages of slithering can be passed off as “maybe he comes from a touchy-feely family”, thus blasting an immediate “fuck you” grenade in his face seems a bit unwarranted. The next stage is a bit more confusing to manage…you feel the discomfort evolving as his intentions become more apparent, and you start strategizing a smooth exit strategy. The final stage of necessary dismount is the worst—especially considering this stage always involves me apologizing; an awful, broken trait born into being a woman that I consistently try to mend. When it reaches this point, a deserved “fuck you” grenade should be expressed—especially after I have blatantly requested they not make kisses with my mouth—but a piece of me just cannot, so instead I stumble out of the situation like a little awkward Buscemi duck.

Moral of the story: I have another point to add to my “shit I need to work on” list. These eyes of mine, I’m gonna let them shine full steam ahead, but I must learn better ways of managing these obnoxious speed bumps. This is my battle to win, ya’ creeps.

If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann muessen Sie Deutsch sprechen.

—Willy Brandt