Thursday, September 11, 2008 Because the world needs to know

I feel I could fill this entry with a ranting review of the National Colloquium’s opening and keynote speaker last night, but, in his spirit, I will instead direct my lovely readers to an important website. Please look it over and give it a think.

German Word: Denn die Welt muss es wissen. “Because the world needs to know.”

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dylan Thomas enjoyed frequenting several pubs, including the White Horse Tavern, The Mermaid, the Antelope, amongst others

It’s probably bad to be going insane in just the second week! Once things get moving along at a better pace, they should be easier to deal with without me losing my mind. Until October is over, however, my schedule is less than pretty. (Although I’m slightly sure that this idea is only my naïve way of telling myself things will get better soon.) At least I have a steadily solidifying plan for my National Colloquium project! I plan to make OWU literally greener with my group, working to get more perennial plants, better bush care and pruning, and, of course, more trees. I also hope to work with some of the other groups, particularly the one wishing to work on collecting rainwater from the roofs. The current plants on campus rely entirely on the weather for their water now, and, in times of drought such as this summer, that can often lead to many of them dying, particularly some of the trees put in just last spring. Thusly, I want to somehow use the collected rainwater to help the plants out.

Other than that, I’ve dipped my hand into many a sinister soup this semester. MARRCA is doing well, and we need to buy more swords for the club already. This will be interesting, as our treasurer is in Spain. I’m joining the Modern Foreign Language Student Board and trying to help out with the horticulture club, too. Trying to keep all of the times straight along with my classes will and has been interesting… beware the troubles of getting into too many things! It seems innocent enough at first, but it soon creeps up on one!

German Word: In my German course, we’re seeing films. We’ve watched Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) and will be watching M on Sunday. Ich schaue Filme gern! “I like watching movies!”

The Delaware fair had the annual parade, by the way!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kinoautomat, a 1967 film by Czechoslovakian director Radúz Činčera, was the first to allow the audience to change the course of a film with the press

It’s only the first week back, and I feel surrounded by a homely chaos. I have two papers due next week, numerous emails I need to be sending even as I type this, homework to read through for tomorrow and Friday, books that need to be bought, practices to plan, a National Colloquium team to organize, and probably twenty other things that have entirely gone out to lunch for the moment. (Such as needing to get my paperwork updated for continuing as a German tutor; good thing I can take note of all of this at the moment instead of just forgetting it all!)

One sincere plus of today is the rain we got, however little it was, since we’ve had barely anything worth mention for nearly two months now. I still needed to water my plants this morning, as several of them had soil that was dried rather more than I was hoping it would have by now. (Bother with aridity and heat and such.)

German Word: Ich bin heute ziemlich beschaeftigt! I’m fairly busy today!


A room with a view!

This is just about the messiest I want the room to get. Just about. Maybe a little more.

I only brought the bare minimum when it comes to me having tea. Really.

The new stairs and walkway and fancy wall too tall and awkward to sit on are complete!! I add this shot to my “collection” of shots exactly like this save in different seasons. Yeah, I’m cool and obviously original like that.

Next week I will perhaps I will spend some time talking about my National Colloquium project. Until then, tschuess!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There is a species of lizards in South Africa that may be able to count as high as 6

Just a few more days, and classes at OWU will be off to yet another roaring start. Until then I have plenty to keep me occupied; I’ve been working until 5-ish every day, and I’ve packed next to nothing for moving in this weekend. I’ll at least have Thursday off, and perhaps Friday, depending how things work out, so hopefully that will suffice for packing and getting those last cups of tea in with my oma before I’m off. I also need to get a few club things in order; since I’m this year’s MARRCA president, I need to email the other executives to plan our first meeting, how we’ll deal with the club fair, and a few other things. I also need to spruce up our club poster, which needs some updating and love to show how awesome MARRCA truly is.
Beyond that it’s mostly been mundane garden care due to this outstandingly dry weather we’ve been having; I find it sickening every time I hear the local weather man announce yet another “beautiful” day. How a dreadfully hot day after a long string of dreadfully hot days is beautiful, I may never know. I would take a rainy day any time.

German Word: A sonnig(sunny) day is usually considered schoen(pretty), but I’d take a day that’s verregnet(rainy) any time.

In place of pictures, a “packing for OWU” music mix for your listening pleasure:

Eurythmics- Sweet Dreams (are made of this)
Corey Hart- I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
Electric Light Orchestra- Roll Over Beethoven
Die Prinzen- Millionaer
Dave Gahan - Kingdom
Ryohei- the LIGHT
Daft Punk- Digital Love

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Wright brothers were two of seven children

Today Delaware airport held an airshow! (I think it ran for a couple other days, but we came today, so…) My 88 year old neighbor Ed loves planes and used to fly a few himself, so we loaded him up in the car and headed out. (Ask him about the time he almost ran into something; there’s several versions, but he’s an amusing storyteller, even when he gets the stories all mixed up.) Ed had an outstanding time, looking at all the planes, wondering over their engines, their power. He kept insisting he needed to just have a few hours, and he’d have one of the planes he was most familiar with up in the air, just like he used to. Instead he mostly just talked with several of the owners, and even got what he says was his first chance to really see a helicopter up close. (Whether this is true or not, time may only know.) The pilot was very kind, helping Ed to sit in one of the two seats it had, explaining everything Ed wanted to know. (Ed tossing in not a few of his rather endearing “Good night!” exclamations at some of the information.)

Later on we got to see a model of the engine the Wright brothers used on their 1903 plane, as well as a to-scale model of their 1905 plane. Along with this model they had several little displays oriented to the younger crowd in hopes of sparking their interest in planes. Amongst these was a flight simulator for how the Wrights would fly their 1903 model, and Ed, who was reading a book on the Wright’s plane at the time, was ecstatic at getting a chance to try it out. There’s something interesting in an 88 year old man lying on his stomach, attempting to steer a projected image of a plane around the screen.

German Word: One of my all-time favourite German phrases has to be “Ich kann fliegen!!!!”, meaning “I can FLY!” I highly suggest shouting this before madly flapping one’s arms about for best results.

For your enjoyment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When cast into his role for the Monkees TV show, Mickey Dolenz had to take lessons to mime drum playing convincingly

Mount Vernon had their Dan Emmett Days again, but this year I was unfortunately less than thrilled. Mickey Dolenz of Monkees fame graced the stage with his preseance, but he seems a shadow of what fame he once held. His performance felt very rehearsed, and rather than having a good time, he seemed only to want to name-drop all the big-names of yesteryear and some of today. The show would not be worth mention had his sister Coco not taken the stage; the first song she sang was perfect for her voice, and was the best of the show (well, the part I saw before leaving, anyway.) She sang another song, though it was not a good choice for her voice, but she still managed to entertain more than Mickey. Maybe something better next time around.

German Word: In English, if one were to say “I have an earworm.” Those around one would most likely think one either very eccentric or more than a bit off. In German, however, “Ich habe einen Ohrwurm ” is about the same as saying one has a song stuck in his/her head.


At least I got this shot that somehow makes Mickey look pretty cool. What’s he hiding under that hat he wears all the time, anyway?

I have lots of excuses for how bad these shots are.

Friday, August 1, 2008

According to recent data, 1,307 Americans die annually by falling down stairs, ranking it highest in this sort of mortality

Nothing terribly exciting this week; I went to work for Star Turbines moving around filing boxes with dust roughly as old as I am on them and ran around the Polaris area in a mad search for a ring my mother’s been wanting for her birthday present. One shopping experience later, and it’s in the mail. (A little late, but it’s only in part a gift from me, and my other items are on-time, so I don’t feel bad about it.) Classes lurk just around the corner, and I’ve started thinking more on what I want to drag back to the uni with me, how it will work with my roommate, and if there are things that I can hold off bringing until it’s colder and we’re more settled. (I’m still not sure if I want to haul a six-foot tall papyrus plant up three flights of stairs for a winter home. I’ll just have to see how heavy it is in its new pot, and how much room we end up having, I guess.)

German Word: I would recommend ambling around the OWU campus. One way to say “to amble” is zotteln. Heute zotteln wir um OWU! (Today we’re ambling around OWU!)

More from my trip around campus during the carshow; mostly a tour of a few pretty spots a visitor to OWU might consider that are not necessarily on main campus. (Meaning right around the dorms and academic area that tours usually cover. Off the beaten tour path, shall we say.)

I love this plant. I have no idea what it is, though I think it *might* be related to hydrangea (a.k.a. “hat plant”, see the 1960s for details.) They’re in several locations around campus, but this one is right next to the admissions office. So pretty whilst in bloom.

Day lilies are a staple of simple, beautiful gardening, I think. They were looking cheery along the J walk despite being entirely ignored by passersby.

This lovely little garden has more blooms in it than one would expect. It even has an herb section that is rather impressive! (The dill is insane and is probably six or seven feet tall!) Beautiful, and a nice resting spot or place to clear one’s mind near Austin Manor.

I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of the different plants featured.

Another little garden I adore; this one obviously belongs to one of the local churches (hence the cross incorporated into the architecture.) It’s a beautiful little spot, with the lushes, greenest, most inviting grass. Several well-tended Japanese maples, a small waterfall, and other elements work together to make this a peaceful, harmonious memorial garden. It’s always exciting to walk around Delaware and find these ‘hidden’ nooks and enjoy the experiences they offer.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ginkgo trees are on the endangered species list party because of people taking cuttings and grafting in order to garauntee male trees

This year we again attended the annual Delaware car show and cruise, though I spent less time with the cars since I was busy investigating the construction around campus and the news that some of our trees had apparently fallen during a storm. The new entrance into the academic side of campus is looking marvelous, with classy brick work and stairs that look amply wide and far safer than the nigh-ancient ones that were alright on a good day. ( A little rain, snow, or ice, however, could make them a bit tricky to navigate in a rush!) The construction was nowhere near done, but hopefully will not be in similar disarray when classes resume at the end of the month; detouring around them would be a bit inconvenient, particularly when heading to morning classes amidst the crush of other students.
Students on campus this fall can also rejoice because the gorgeous ginkgo trees on campus have gone to seed again and are preparing to drop their infamously stinky seeds all over the sidewalks. I cannot wait to inform my roommate, as she despises the stench, and our room is directly next to a female tree. I’m sure this will make her return to campus feel all the more glorious.

German Word: The new entrance to the academic side of campus is im Bau, or under construction. Bau comes from bauen, the verb "to build".

Just some shots from around campus before the downpour that threatened to drench me; thankfully I was on familiar ground when it hit and was able to sidle over to an area with an overhang.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Because sculpture involves the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated, it is considered one of the plastic arts

This week I am proud to announce that I have taken the leap into 3D art and am attempting my first serious sculpture! (Art class back in the day barely counts, as those pieces stand nigh meaningless for me; I never enjoyed making the same sort of pots every time, scraping designs into them. Just not my thing.) I’m using Sculpey clay, which one bakes in the oven to set. Very fun stuff. I’m making what should turn out to be a roughly 1:12 scale model of my 7’ 8” (and two millimeters!) butler Ansgar Desmond Gottschalk. I’m still working on his head despite the hours I’ve poured into him, but I don’t think I’ve ever been quite this pleased with my work before; it’s simply satisfying. He still needs a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

German Word: Bildhauern and formen are both verbs meaning ‘to sculpt.’

Step one, make a basic skull.

Add eyes. One at a time, now.

Lips that look great in profile….

Then a nose, or the start of one, anyway… still working away, though!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

White oaks are known to have lived over 600 years

Good Guys car show was back in town this week, bringing with it thousands of cars and car enthusiasts. Now that I’ve attended a few years, I have a good feel for the show, but I always enjoy observing the various car enthusiasts and their rides. (One usually comes across a few super-rare cars that are at the least interesting, and one usually learns interesting facts about cars. For example, I saw a car credited to have inspired Hitler’s Volkswagen. Apparently its body design was well ahead of its time. It had a very nice look to it, I must say. The grill and front portion of the car on the whole were very fascinating.) It’s always neat to see the variety of enthusiasts, as everyone from the dust-covered biker to the dapper gentlemen in their sparkling cars with whitewall tires, and they’re all gawking at the cars, engines, and oddities on display, cameras, complements, and questions ever at the ready.

On a less enthusiastic note, I find myself worrying over our campus, as the recent storms have taken down a few of our larger trees, according to the news. I hope none of our ginkgoes have been damaged, though the loss of any old trees is sad. (I suspect the loss may be of white oaks, since a few of the larger white oaks on campus have large metal rods holding their trunks fast to avoid splitting already.) I will have to investigate in a few weeks when I get to visit Delaware.

German Word: It’s fairly common knowledge, really, but Volkswagen means “Folks car”/“Peoples Car”.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Iceland has some of the world's highest levels of economic freedoms as well as civil freedoms

This week has been busy, with running about everywhere and the fourth of July. We went to the fireworks show up in Mount Vernon, where they were also holding their monthly car show. The turn out wasn’t large, but it was an enjoyable time, as we had brought along our 88 year old neighbor Ed, who talked our collective ears off with his endearing stories of the endless number of things he’s done. I personally was treated to a tale involving a dog, a Jeep, Boston, and the Navy boat Ed was on. I believe ice cream was somehow involved with all of this, but I find that I’m getting nearly as muddled with the details of all of his stories as he is. He may have enjoyed the spectacular fireworks more than anyone else there, so I’m pleased that we were able to give a lonely old fellow a nice time.

German Word: Island is Iceland, Grönland is Greenland, and the US is usually just referred to as Amerika, USA (ooo es ah), or die Vereinigte Staaten.

I gave bonsai a more official attempt recently, so behold the results!

Another attempt at growing a lotus; the frogs and fish keep destroying them!

Our neighbor Ed, looking cute after a day of working about his yard.

I would also like to add that having Icelandic pop songs stuck in ones head is intereting.