Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Dyed

Your probably reading the title of this post and thinking I am a horrible speller...or if you are a horrible speller you might be wondering how I could be typing this if I was dead. Well I am not dead *shocker* and the title holds no spelling errors. By dyed I mean I dyed my hair for the first time in my life. 

I had been thinking about dying my hair for quite some time now, but my hair was the only thing anyone ever complimented me on so I was hesitant to get rid of my one physical feature that people might see as being "pretty". Whenever I go to a new hairdresser I always get asked if my hair is my natural color, followed by a "wow you are so lucky". I wouldn't say lucky...maybe if I was someone who appreciated hair but I am way too lazy and end up putting my hair in a ponytail anyways so it didn't really matter to me. 

Well last weekend I not only dyed my hair for the first time, but I dyed it twice in a two day period. It all started Saturday. After breakfast Eric and I decided to head to the PX ( post exchange A.K.A. Walmart of the military ) to see if we could find some tubes to fit our bikes we had so joyously ridden through patches of thorns. They didn't have the right tires we were looking for...but somehow we managed to walk out with a basketball, a water filter, a video game, and hair dye. Boredom can cause you to purchase the strangest things. 

The hair dye I had walked out with was auburn/amber red. Eric suggested I go for a brighter red but I had seen way too many red hair dye jobs gone wrong and didn't feel the need for my hair color to be described as "fire engine red". The color on the package looked pretty bright and I imagined that since so many people made the mistake of dying their hair a brighter shade of red than intended that the color they showed on the package was deceiving. Nope. I had dyed my hair, but I dyed it the same color. Go me. Thinking I was about to take a risk for once in my life, I was a bit disappointed with outcome. It was not exactly the change I was looking for. Or even a change at all. 

The next day we returned to the PX. Since I had already died my hair, I thought I might as well go for it again right? I wanted something a little more drastic. Eric suggested I opt for blonde but I couldn't see myself as a blonde. That is like switching to a whole other race. How could I betray my brunette heritage? There was no way I would voluntarily subject myself to blonde jokes. So instead, I opted for black. My hand quivered as I picked up the package and headed to checkout. 

We returned home and prepared to once again subject my head to harsh chemicals, near gagging smells, and a straight man running the dye through my tangled hair making me scream loud enough with hopes the nearest gay man would come to my rescue. - Yes I trusted my husband to dye my hair. Plus I had someone to blame if it turned out horrible. Kudos to him though because I think he did a way better job than I could of done and I must say I am pretty happy with the ends result. I think he missed his calling. It was definitely the change I was looking for. Funny the things that boredom can lead you to do. 

Oh, you want pictures? Well you have to leave me comments first...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday Adventure

I was supposed to be running, but I couldn't focus. I was in the mood to explore. The thought of skipping a training run made me anxious, but I just wasn't feeling it. I had been cooped up in the house all week and a run was not going to cure my cabin fever.I'll just change my run to Sunday's  And off I went to wake Eric from his coma-like state.

We started off our adventure by taking the train. Normally we take the car when we go downtown but the train really immerses you into the culture and you feel more connected to your surroundings and get to see some things you normally don't get to see traveling by car.

After my first train experience we decided it was time I get to experience my first taste of German bread. Lucky for us our train stop took us right to a place called Grimminger. Grimminger's is like the Starbucks of bread. Or at least a Pete's. The bread shops you see the most in the area are Kamps and Grimminger. There is a Grimminger bakery on nearly every corner. We couldn't resist.

We ended up with a bread called rosinenbrot a.k.a. raisin bread. It was delicious. 

I savored every bite and tried to decipher it's ingredients in order to attempt to re-create it in my own kitchen. It was sweet, but not too sweet, and the crumb had an amazing flavor. The outside was brushed with an egg wash and the inside was as soft as cotton candy. It was un-like any American bread I had ever had. 

While we ate our bread we decided to make our way to the farmer's market, but made a few stops along the way. 

Our first stop along the way was the Schloss. (Castle )  It is a mighty fine looking structure I must say. 

I wanted so badly to go inside. Seeing this tour group made me wonder if they tour the inside as well as the outside. 

We did get go inside the church however.

You just don't see church's like this anymore, but little did I know this was nothing compared to the church we would walk into next. 

I was in awe when I walked into this church. You could almost feel a presence. A feeling you don't always feel when walking into the more modern church's.

One of the coolest features of this church is this organ. Apparently Mozart has had a go at it before. Amazing.

No matter how hard I tried a picture just could not capture the complete awesomeness of this church so here is a little video of it as well.

After the church visits we finally made it to the farmers market. We didn't buy anything but it was fun walking through it. There was such an array of produce that it created a rainbow effect.

Of course, it wouldn't be complete without some sausages.

After the farmer's market we worked up a bit of an appetite and decided to scout out a place to eat lunch. We came across a place called Maredo's and stopped to browse their outside menu. Upon examination I saw that they had Veggie Fajitas. There is a God! There was no doubt in my mind this would be our lunch stop. Watch out veggie fajitas here I come.

Eating at German restaurant was a bit of an experience. It makes it a little awkward not knowing the language but the staff knew enough English and we didn't have any problems. It is "Awkward but doable". As Eric puts it.

The best part of the lunch experience was getting to see the differences in culture, and how it presents itself in the food and dining atmosphere. Not only do they allow dogs in stores, but they allow them in restaurants ( how cool is that? ) We had quite the adorable Spaniel seated to our left.

Another difference is the way they serve their beverages. If you order soda they give you a glass marked with a measurement for them to know how much to put in. There are no re-fills ( unless you pay more ) so they make sure they don't rob you of your money. They also don't serve beverages with ice, although they were still cold. If you order water, it is always mineral water. (carbonated water ). Most Americans would probably find this gross but I actually prefer mineral water so I didn't mind one bit. Another difference was the serving of bread in place of chips and salsa.

At first we were a bit disappointed, but after tasting the bread, the initial feelings of disappointment were forgotten. It was so warm and fresh. Delightfully crusty on the outside, and pillowy soft on the inside. It was served with some sort of dip but I didn't try it due to my wonderful lactose intolerance. Eric informed me it was delicious though.

Now onto the Entree's

Eric had salmon with shrimp over greens. ( he didn't eat the greens of course ). I think they love french fries more than Americans because they seem to serve them with just about everything. Those disappeared from his plate pretty quickly.

And for the Veggie Fajitas:

The veggie fajitas were amazing. The tortillas were fantastic, and they definitely know how to cook their veggies.

If I were to rate them on my veggie fajita rating scale they would be right between Chevy's and Pancho Villas. With the addition of rice, beans, and guacamole they might have even be my #1 favorite. I have a feeling we will be back.

I no longer feel guilty about switching up my training schedule a bit. I think I needed this day more than anything and hope that there are many more like these to come. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Wreak of American

The other day I was out running as usual. Frozen hands and face included. I am not really sure if there is a German etiquette on snot rockets while running but if I don't launch the rockets they turn into horrifying snotsickles that freeze to your nose hairs and stab you in the nostril. You don't want ice on the wings right? I also find myself wanting to spit more with the cold so I really hope I am not offending anyone. I usually wait until I am deep into the woods before I turn into snot launching mucous producing machine but sometimes I forget where I am.
Anyways, I was about half way through an 8 mile run making a circle around the animal park.

I was right here to be exact. ( the weather obviously being different since I took these in the fall ).  During the week I usually see groups of children admiring the pigs and the buffalo, and the older folks walking around with their walking poles. ( Which are the same as ski poles ).

I continued to run on down the path and I passed an older gentlemen who had stopped to admire the buffalo. As I passed he smiled at me and said Morgen! He was so cheerful I couldn't help but try and return the greeting. But with the cold, my social retardedness, and lack of German all I could get out was. "Orgen" followed by a smile. Wow, what the hell did I just say? I brushed it off and turned the corner to the loop. I was at the half way point of the loop when I saw the old man again walking towards me. This time as I passed him he smiled at me and said "hi!" and let out a chuckle. I let out a laugh and a nod, still thinking I could get away with passing as German if I just didn't speak, but It was already too late. My cover was blown.

So now I have a new goal. Be able to properly greet someone in German without making a fool of myself.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Bridge

The notorious Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. I used to call it the Full House bridge when I was little. You might recognize it from various movies, or perhaps you have even driven or walked across it. I would always look at it in awe, and admire it's complete golden awesomeness. ( I still think it is more of an orange color ).  As of a few days ago, I have a whole new perspective of it.

The other day I watched a film called The Bridge. Here is the trailer.

You can find the whole film on Hulu here.

I still can't get the images of this film out of my head. There is no way to really explain the feeling of watching the last moments of someone's life. One minute they are alive, and dead the next. You want so badly to help them but the deed has already been done. My heart aches for these people who took their lives and how horrible they must of felt to see death as being the best option.

One of the most powerful moments of the film is when they interviewed a guy who survived the leap. He talked about how he hurdled himself off over the railing but then as soon as his hands left the metal he thought. "I don't want to die." Well, he was lucky enough to survive. But it makes you wonder if other people think the same thing on their way down.

This film is definitely gut wrenching, but it makes me feel so thankful for what I have. I know I am not alone. I may feel alone sometimes but I know it's not permanent and that I have people who love me and watch out for me. It makes me thankful that I am alive and makes me want to live life to the fullest. I just want to enjoy life. I want to jump for joy and use bridges strictly for getting to one place to the next. Whether it be a physical bridge I am crossing to travel, or a bridge in life taking me from one stage to the next. I am along for the ride.