Alles

An American living in Germany. huzzah!

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

Following through with the goals I posted last month (albeit in baby steps). There we have it—I made it to 18 April, then lost track. But hey, today is 1 May & a whole new world.
Updates on the other goals»» 1: I ran 2 times around the Promenade. Maybe this month will bear the fruit of 3 rounds // 2: Mein Deutsch wird immer besser mit Zeit. Jeden Tag habe ich fast zwei neue Worte gelernt. Ich schwöre, dass ich mit meine Kollegen mehr Deutsch sprechen werde. (<?) // 3) I have revved up my rate of guitar playing / filming. Quilts…my god, when I get my greedy hands on some fabric and a machine again…proving this point is only possible in the future. BYE!

Following through with the goals I posted last month (albeit in baby steps). There we have it—I made it to 18 April, then lost track. But hey, today is 1 May & a whole new world.

Updates on the other goals»» 1: I ran 2 times around the Promenade. Maybe this month will bear the fruit of 3 rounds // 2: Mein Deutsch wird immer besser mit Zeit. Jeden Tag habe ich fast zwei neue Worte gelernt. Ich schwöre, dass ich mit meine Kollegen mehr Deutsch sprechen werde. (<?) // 3) I have revved up my rate of guitar playing / filming. Quilts…my god, when I get my greedy hands on some fabric and a machine again…proving this point is only possible in the future. BYE!

I made a stupid video in celebration of me living in Germany for 6 months. Happy anniversary, Jessica! Here’s to another 6 months of wandering around Europe, collecting fabulous encounters and hopefully gathering wisdom in the process!

Should most definitely be played in HD (1080 baaaaaabyyyyy)

Überwarrerkirsche in Münster&#8212;here in July of 1941, Bishop von Galen shared with his congregation: “We have become now not the hammer but rather the anvil. We are being struck and beaten. The hammer forces our people, our youth, ourselves out of the ways of God. But learn this comfort from the smithy: what is forged takes its form not from the hammer alone but from the anvil as well…”

Überwarrerkirsche in Münster—here in July of 1941, Bishop von Galen shared with his congregation: “We have become now not the hammer but rather the anvil. We are being struck and beaten. The hammer forces our people, our youth, ourselves out of the ways of God. But learn this comfort from the smithy: what is forged takes its form not from the hammer alone but from the anvil as well…”

Head-space confession

This month will be a conscious undertaking of blunt, force-fed self-improvement. I have created a workable guideline that will define the next 32 days; a framework that I will use as a tardy variant of Lent…or maybe this is just called “becoming a functional adult.”

Let’s go! So the “W” questions:

What? I’ve been riding this ridiculous, highly damaging and frustrating Jessicoaster of manic proportions—a manicoaster. or Jessicoaster Homanicoaster—likely worrying my close friends and mother with the bizarre & cryptic emails that lean more towards mentally unstable than healthy and prospering. No doubt, I’ve had the blues. It’s like being in the center of a spooky lake in deep fog—you absolutely don’t want to be there, but you haven’t a clue how to leave.

Luckily, some fabulous wind rolled about and pushed a bit of this fog away. My great friend Sam visited me and shone a mirror to the sadness that I’ve been tucking away. My mother saw me at the bottom of my muddy self via a troublesome Skype conversation and wielded magic from across the big-bad ocean. When you feel completely undeserving of love, it’s a blessing to have people that refuse to let you rest in that nasty head-space. So now I feel I owe it to my fulcrums and self to just come back home to Jessica.

What’s the plan? Here I will discuss what doesn’t work to cure the blues: drinking yourself away from your own brain and staying in your bed for over 36 hours during the weekend.

My first plan of action is baby steps. I will begin by building a Jessica Lego stack. Later I will move on the trestles of welded, steel triangles. Then I will become a Transformer that is rubber to all possibilities of blues (fingers crossed, but this isn’t realistic).

So to keep myself focused and out of the gutter, I am going to work on four points:

- budget—exercise—language—create -

- Budget: I am awful with money. My freelance life in Los Angeles taught me how easy it was to both make and blow through wads of cash, a habit that hasn’t quieted. However, since plopping down in Germany, I now make 50% less than I did in LA, so I really have to rework how I approach my funds. That on top of the whole euro to American dollar ordeal makes for a very poor young lady.

  • The rules: On April 30th I’ll reveal the budget spreadsheet I’ve created for myself—a hot mess of daily expenses! I must set these rules or else I’ll continue to play seek & hide with my bank account.

- Exercise: simple, I want to run 3 times around the Promenade, the green space that encompasses Münster, by the end of the month. 3 rounds = 13.5km = 8.39 miles. My endurance is kaputt from too many nights of inhaling buckets of beer. This ties into the budget goal—I will save globs of gold by choosing exercise over a night of binge drinking with strangers. And my roommate won’t have to worry so much about my totally unhealthy weekend cycle (read: drink until 7am Saturday morning, sleep until Monday). Sorry mom.

  • The rules: 1) just run—add one song / section of the Promenade with every session 2) don’t throw in the towel with one bad run—just do it again tomorrow or the next day. Take it eaaassy.

- Language: I haven’t been doing my part to learn German. I suppose this is because when you have little desire to share yourself with other people, you don’t see the purpose in building another communication outlet. Excuse my foul tone, but this ugly, bonkers mentality is not building the Jessica I want to remember as a future old Nana J-ho. Ahh hell no. My core wants to collect all the German words, mess up consistently until I grasp one grammatical concept and communicate like an idiot until I am the most German-American sounding non-German American in Münster.

  • The rules: one hour of German vocab & grammar per day. Exercise spoken and written German more often with my colleagues and roommate.     

- Create: I may not create timeless art, but I feel awful when I’m not creating something. As a compiler of crap, I bake, make quilts, editing footage, write letters, etc. The therapy lies in that I have to stay in my head while creating.

  • The rules: When I feel myself slipping into the blues, simply grab my camera and go on a walk. Or pick up a damn pen. Simple instantaneous choices to wander about / meet people instead of rotting in my brain are what got me to Germany, who knows what could flourish I just Keep on, Keepin’ on.

With posting this, I’m raising the accountability bar rather high. I want to go into this with forgiveness vouchers in-hand, because it’s very likely that I will mess up (big time? please not big time). However, should this occur, I will bounce back and hold fast to these goals. I don’t want to pussy-foot around here…I want feel raised and scream, “Jessica, one day this could all be yours! Everything the light touches is a part of our kingdom!” Just gotta straighten out my head-space.

I believe that in the mind of God, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Spirit, Universe
Whatever force you claim
Nowhere was smallness a part of the plan
You were not meant to be mindless
Were not made to be a slave to an environment that does not grow you

Open up and let the world love you

— an excerpt from Natalie Patterson’s poem What If?

"It&#8217;s always necessary to seek for perfection. Obviously, for us, this word no longer has the same meaning. To me, it means: from one canvas to the next, always go further, further&#8230;  "          - Pablo Picasso
This is my favorite photo of my great friend, Sara-Jane. I cannot give credit to the photographer because I stole it from an unknown source a long time ago. Nor can I tell you why I return to this photo so often&#8230;but I can demand that someday, somebody with words for days immortalize her beauty in writing, because it&#8217;s really something special.

"It’s always necessary to seek for perfection. Obviously, for us, this word no longer has the same meaning. To me, it means: from one canvas to the next, always go further, further…  "          - Pablo Picasso

This is my favorite photo of my great friend, Sara-Jane. I cannot give credit to the photographer because I stole it from an unknown source a long time ago. Nor can I tell you why I return to this photo so often…but I can demand that someday, somebody with words for days immortalize her beauty in writing, because it’s really something special.