What I'm Doing Here

Ok, I have no real reason to post. This will be the absolute most pathetic post you've ever read, and this blog has seen some pretty pathetic posts.

It's my blog, I do what I want.
Get out my way. [Don't, I like that you're here reading my nonsense]

My boss took me on a mini-tour of Marienplatz the other day, and since then I've been trying to go back. There's a Viktuellmarkt, where you can buy freshly pressed juices (among other things of course, like organic vegetables. But I don't eat those. Vegetables.) - I am jonesing for some of the lemonade/mango/orange juice. Oh, you bet I'll take pictures, and then I want you to leave me a comment letting me know how jealous you are.

Also there is the Alter Peter, and for only 1,50 you can climb to the very top of the .. steeple? I think it's a church. Anyways - I was planning on going to Marienplatz and being a megaTourist but yesterday I left my money in a coworker's car, and today I had to stay late for a conference call.

That's right. I just became important.

Ok, I was there to halfway kind of help translate. Except both parties knew some amount of english/german. So really, I was just there to kind of mediate or something. But it was fun because I haven't really been able to contribute all week so I've just been harassing my coworkers and asking them to help me figure out how to get to Baden-Wuertemburg this weekend.

It turns out if you wait until the last minute to buy your train ticket, it's almost 100 euros. So they showed me this website where you can sign up to ride with someone else already going for super cheap. Don't worry, those of you with maternal instincts - I found another Fraulein with whom I could ride.

Anyways - are any of you actually wondering what it is I do as a co-op????

You sure are.

When I worked at the plant in South Carolina, I was what we [in the biz - yukyukyuk] call a process planner. Essentially, my department was responsible for writing and coming up with a lot of the processes the associates use to build our cars. Now this sounds like it might be a one-time thing, but in reality, we end up working with the assembly line a lot - integrating new processes, fixing problems [missing tools, process isn't ergonomically sound, etc], preparing for changes in content, etc. When working at the plant, keeping the line running is of the highest priority. When the line stops, no one is happy. That means overtime for someone later. Process planners are always busy finding ways to improve the line and fix things that aren't working so well. And being at the mercy of the assembly line means being extremely flexible.

Now I'm over here at the R&D center, doing things from more of a design perspective. It's been kind of a shock, attending every single meeting and conference call. At the plant, sometimes planners have to skip meetings because the line and its needs take precedence. But from a design perspective, planning for a future product requires meetings and conference calls, and the stress of a moving, breathing assembly line is not a concern.

I haven't received any new projects to work on as yet, but I am super excited about this rotation of my co-op. When one is at the plant, one sees the design once it's handed over, but now I get to see its creation! My coworkers are making big decisions about integrating an entirely new automobile into our current line, the changes to the process, the new tooling and fixtures, and lineside planning. Manufacturing is really kind of exciting, I think.
Especially on this end of it.


I'm visiting my dear and sweet exchange student, this chica, this weekend:

We will have a bangin' good time, and I will post incredible pictures, because I am an amazing photographer and my camera's zoom is too large for me to fit my finger over the lens.

So maybe next post will be photoriffic.

thanks for reading, readers.



Blood, Sweat, and Tears

are the three words I would use to describe today.

I had to go get my residency permit today. So stressful. I almost yelled at one woman - she was incredibly rude and nasty. But I didn't know the words I wanted to say to her in German...something between the really pathetic insults (Du bist so boese - you are so mean) and the really bad ones (...you can guess). I have a lot more German to learn, apparently.

Also, I decided to wear cute shoes for my first day of work. Translated: I ended up with blood all over the back of my feet.

Also, no air conditioning in Germany. Or hardly any, rather. I actually don't mind too much though. I drove a car for a couple years that didn't have any air conditioning, and now I can barely tolerate anything else. In my new car, most of the time I opt for rolling down the windows over ac. Which is probably why I will be going deaf before I hit 28.

Anyways: Here are some pictures from around Munich.

I pass by a graveyard every time I go to this one train station, and I worked up the nerve to go in the other day. I know I seem so morbid, always taking pictures of cemeteries, but they're so lovely here. Clustered and chaotic and ... not extravagant, really, but much more intricate than you'd see in America.

And there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how they lay them out. Some of the graves have trees literally growing out of them...

Isar River

Side effects may include growing a really sexy leg

i. will... switch to tumblr if you keep this up.

beautiful cross
sideways, of course.

i hate these sideways pictures, but look at the grave being uprooted by the tree

this WOULD be a lovely picture...

the kirche across the street

The graveyard got a little eerie so I didn't explore all of it.



Tollwood and Hopefully a Successful Video Tour of my Apartment...

Hopefully that works - a tour of my apartment.

Also - pictures from Tollwood Fest with Franz:
flowering tea is so lovely

my first crepe

The festival was held by the olympic stadium, and I took some pictures of that as well as the BMW administrative building (which looks a lot cooler than it sounds), but I don't really have time to upload them.



The Spirit of a Hustler and the Swagger of a College Kid

lots of words.

Hallo InterWebs –
Last night after I spoke with you I went out, alone, for Indian food. Terrible idea. Between my broken German and the fact that I sat pathetically reading my map of Munich to occupy myself while waiting for my food, it was an extremely awkward experience. My waiter was nice, I think (I mean, I had no idea what he was saying; I’m just assuming he was nice), but our conversation wasn’t very effective.
I’m not sure whether the language discrepancies are because my German is so terrible, or because I don’t understand Bayerisch, the strong local dialect, at all. Probably both.
I went grocery shopping and got a few essentials…most essential was Apfelschorle, a carbonated apple drink that I’ve missed dearly. I even found the cheaper, off-brand version.

I slept in much later than I intended this morning, but I forgave myself and rushed off to the train station. Multiple people told me to take the bus, as it is a bit of walk, but I figured since I was in no rush, and since I don’t want to spend money where I don’t need to, I would simply mosey over to the Hauptbanhof and buy a ticket to Salzburg, Austria. Two days in Europe and already crossing country borders. What a boss.
When Rob picked me up from the airport yesterday, we talked about how the Germans are a much brusquer (…translated: ruder) people. Rob told me that they aren’t really rude, but rather like to maintain an image of strength (plus I need to keep in mind that different cultures have different mannerisms).  The “lack of manners”, the abrupt nature of their interactions – it’s all to appear strong, apparently.

As I set off for the bahnhof (train station), I tried to remember that, if I didn’t want to be an “easy target” (as my mom called me), I should appear strong. I began my thirty-minute trek with a confident swagger, I think, and what I consider my best “I don’t give a hoot” face. I failed about three minutes later when I accidentally smiled at someone who walked by. Come on, bRob, rein it in…

I got to the train station, bought my train ticket, and made it on my train five minutes early. LIKE. A. BOSS. I felt very self-congratulatory and triumphant while sitting on the train. I even successfully switched trains in Muehldorf.

Two hours later, in Salzburg, I made my way to the tourist office and had a lady show me, on a map, the highlights of Salzburg.

I had needed to tinkle for a while, but, unfortunately, a lot of places require payment for use of the restroom. On principle, I refuse to pay for potty-ing. I wandered until I found a very nice building, and I asked if I could use the bathroom there. After I did, I came out and realized I had just used the restroom of the Salzburg Congress.

The Congress building stands right in front of the Mirabellgarten, which is lovely and vibrant. While there, I heard some Americans talking about something or some building in the gardens being used in The Sound of Music, but I was too shy to ask them about it.

Salzburg is such a colorful, glamorous city. 

Must we do this EVERY DAMN TIME, blogger?
Always sideways, always. Normally, I spend forever trying to fix it.
I don't have time - just imagine it right side up.

Barbie's vespa.
When I crossed the large river, I began wandering around somewhat aimlessly. My only agenda was, at some point, to climb the mountain up to the Festung Hohensalzburg, the city’s old fortress.

I bought a buttered pastry (I asked for a buttered pretzel, which they didn’t have, but this pastry was almost as good and pretty much the same thing, just oddly shaped).

My greatest find of the day was a gorgeously clustered and floral cemetery. It was so beautiful.  I don’t really remember how I found it, but I am so glad I did. Above the cemetery was this structure built into a the side of the mountain.
sideways again. dammmmn you blogger.

awkward and a little tan?

i hope i'm this pretty when i die

I was obsessed with that window in the wood.
I payed 1,50 euros to go up and see the two fifteenth century churches built into the cliffs, but really just to find out what was behind that window. Not much. It peered out of the wall of one of the churches, but the window itself was closed off.

After that I decided to find my way up that mountain and to the fortress.

It was a long, arduous hike.  Sort of. I found myself lamenting the fact that I didn’t have my overweight, whiny, sleepy American friends (holla atchu, Jaclyn) there with me to complain about how steep the mountain was and how we really all just wanted to nap.

When I finally made my way up to the fortress, the price deterred me from entering. I didn’t mind, really, because the hike was lovely, and I don’t care too much about fortresses. I decided to explore another path on the mountain, instead. I didn’t really know where any of it led. I actually thought I might have trespassed, but eventually I found a tiny beer garden and assorted houses , so isolated on that mountain!

Eventually the path led me back down, and by that point I was exhausted. I ambled through the city a bit more, but then I decided that I would rather catch the 7 o’clock train than the later one (which would have put me back in Munich at 11pm!).

It’s funny that I rode trains for over four hours today, but I only actively explored Salzburg for three to four hours.

It’s fine by me, though. I realized that while traveling by myself can be lonesome, there’s no time frame, no itinerary, and I can explore whatever I want. If I had been there with a group, I imagine we would have toured the museums, Mozart’s house (I think that’s what it was), and never found my favorite cemetery. How curious.

The train was crowded on the way back. Raucous, foreign singing erupted every so often from the compartment behind mine.  

The train arrived back in Munich around 9:30, and I was a little turned around as I looked for Goethestrasse. An older man saw me and asked, in German, if he could help me. We had a very nice conversation for a while, and he complimented my German. He told me his name is “Sigi,” short for Sigfried. It was all very sweet, and he walked with me to the street I was looking for…but then he gave me his number.

Why would a 60+ year old man give me his number? He wants me to call him so we can have a beer together sometime next week. Somehow, I don’t think that will be happening. Also, does that mean he was just flirting when he complimented my German?

I do think my German went better today…I didn’t break out into English but once.

I think tomorrow I might try and visit Dachau.

 sorry, wanted to edit and include more pictures, but i only have one hour per day. 


Safe and Sound

Hey kids -

   I'm safe and sound in Germany! 

Today's been fairly stressful - I went into the train station by myself, had to pay a euro to use the bathroom (in a train station...), and got swindled on the exchange rate. 

I decided to test my super keen sense of direction and guess at how to make the fifteen minute trip back to my hotel by foot. Test failed. I wandered around for an hour and then caved and bought a bus ticket.

My german's decent enough that I can ask a fair number of questions, but it's not good enough so that I understand the answers, which as you might imagine is somewhat problematic.

I ate crazy good gelato (chili-mango!) for only a euro for lunch (...) after a nice long nap and a shower. I walked around the area around my hotel, and this walk was much more pleasant, as I was clean and shiny and actually knew what street my hotel was on.

My room is pretty suite (haha see what I did there?) - it's split level. On the first level is a living room and dining table with a tv, as well as the bathroom and kitchenette, and then up this narrow set of stairs is a double-sized bed. Only they push two twin beds together to make the double-sized bed...ahah.

I haven't really taken pictures yet, but I will try and post those at some point.

Fun fact - the Germans don't sleep with a sheet/cover over them. They have a fitted sheet, and then, kind of like a sleeping bag, sleep between this folded comforter sort of deal. I promise promise promise when I'm feeling more touristy I'll take pictures.

Um, I only have an hour to use my internet, so I guess I'll sign off here. 

I might try and travel to Vienna or to the Neuschwanstein castle tomorrow. If I can figure out how to get back to the train station. If.



VLOGGING 101: How Not To Vlog [video blog]

I just rewatched this.

It's so lame.

I'm almost too ashamed to put this up...It's soooooo ramble-y.

But by the seventh take, you just kind of give up.

Also, I don't say "um" that much in real life. I promise promise promise.



Hiking for Frou-Frous

Today Menzel, Katie, Vanka and I went to the mountains. I was pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous it all was. A mix of precious cottages and elegant, rustic homes dotted the rolling hills as we drove by. Well, that and tobacco fields.

Fortunately for us, Vanka had a bangin' mix to listen to on the way up, and so many of the songs reminded me of high school (where I met these girls!).

We all sang this song in unison on the way up.
I think this was one of those songs that will always distinctly remind me of high school...
Also, we sang Hey There, Delilah, word-for-word, but that is kind of embarrassing and this isn't myspace so I'll refrain from posting it here.

This park is super nice - the bathrooms were borderline fancy, and the trails were lovely. Menzel kindly reminded me that this park is for frou-frou hiking.

In the parking lot - Menzel, Katie, Vanka, Me
Notice that the Elizabeths chose to dress up for this excursion.
This is becaues you NEVER know whom you might meet on the trail.
Katie and I decided that we would probably not meet our future husbands on the trail so we were ok dressing like hobos.

Vance pretends to be a mermaid.
Did you know that's how mermaids pose?

Drinking the waterfall.

First and foremost, that topknot.
Secondly, this girl has a crazy cool collection of floral sunglasses. 
I love them.

Katie and Elizabeth decide to be adventurous and lounge in the waterfall. 
This picture took no effort at all.
Also, Menzel and I decided we were fine not getting wet. 

I thought I should take this picture because they look like a boy band (I think Katie's trying to be thug).

These girls have been best friends since kindergarten.
Isn't that incredible??

Tiny dressing stalls with no doors.
Maybe this park isn't as fancy as I thought.

We made our way to the lake and took approximately fifty minutes to wade through the chilly water.

I love swimming in lakes. They have so much texture and are way more exciting than pools.
I haven't swum in a lake in over five years, I think, and so I decided to live it up and act like the most obnoxious kid you know.

And so begins a series of ridiculous water shots:

We're trying to be sea monsters but Katie doesn't understand.

Cheesin'. Menzel looks horrified.

Fierce sea monsters.

Do you remember that game where person A picks a color and person B tries to guess the color? And every time person B gets it wrong, person A dunks them?

Fun fun game - keeps me entertained for hours.

Bless her heart, Katie had a rough time of it though.
While we were waiting for her to guess the color Fuchsia, she guessed Paisley, which is not in fact a color.
I think she almost drowned that round... 


After drying off, we decided to end the day with delicious s'mores. 
Katie and Menzel, of course, saved the day and took care of the fire.
Vanka prepared our marshmallow skewers.
I ate the marshmallows.
It's all about teamwork.

The Elizabeths - pretty ladies!

While Katie and Menzel made their final bathroom run before the drive back, Vanka and I decided to move the car and hide it behind some trees to confuse them.

Luckily I remembered to use my camera and capture the confusion as they looked for the car.

HAHAHA oh bless their hearts. 
"Where dem ladies be?"

Gig's up, they see us.

The four of us (+ Carissa and Mary) before our high school graduation a bazillion years ago.

The times, they are a changin'...

PS - sorry I went a little picnik crazy =)


The Elizabeths

 I got to hang out with two wonderful ladies today, the Elizabeths. There's Vanka and then there's Menzel [check it out, I'm featured in her blog ;)], a fellow blogger. I went to high school with both these gals, and, by the end of the day, my cheeks were absolutely sore from laughing so much. Also - it was nice to get the down low [hip language alert] on all the kids we knew in high school.

And also my chest was sore from the indigestion I got from the Mexican food we ate for lunch...I went to my dad letting him know I was having a heart attack, which he maintains I wasn't.
I though indigestion was an old person thing.  Maybe web, MD will be more helpful than my father...

Luckily for everyone everywhere, I found a bedazzled fanny pack. 
Though I couldn't afford this glamorous accessory, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect fanny pack. 

Vance, true southern belle that she is, went straight for the derby hats.

I didn't get a picture of Menzel. I'm still learning the fine art of how to work a [point and shoot] camera.

Anyways, it was certainly nice to get out of the house and hang with such good company.

On an unrelated note, here are two more commercials with decent music in the background. 

"Race You Back Home" by Elizabeth and the Catapult 

"I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)" by Buck Owens

sweet dreams.



Kit-kit-kit-kitty Cat

^^^Is that how one talks to a cat?

I don't really know. I always talk to her like she is a high-functioning adult, because I don't want to inhibit her speech capabilities.

Oh wait, she's a cat.

Anyways - I thought I would snap a couple pictures of my cat, Dorothy. I got her when I was around five years old. I was on a big Wizard of Oz kick back then.

When I was around twelve, I tried to convince my mom we should change her name.
My mom wouldn't let me.

see cat eat

cat wants tuna
I tried to have a [wet hair] photoshoot with Dorothy. Obviously one of us was more focused on the task at hand. 

I iz majeztik

We tried to cuddle on the couch.  She's actually a fairly decent cuddler.

You know what, InterWebs? I always thought I was a dog person. I really really did. 

But I'm learning I have waaaaay more in common with cats. We both like to wallow in blankets on the couch. We both like to be spoonfed great food. Her Highness would prefer tuna, I'm more of a cookie dough gal myself. We both don't care if we're all up in your way as we lay in awkward positions all over the couch.

But mostly we both just like sleeping and wallowing and gracing you with condescending glances.
I might just be a cat person after all.

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