Dona Nobis Pacem

GRANT US PEACE
I wish I had something of substance to offer on the subject of Peace.
People around me say that I don’t have thoughts or dreams of the future, and they are right. So it is nigh to impossible for me to envision world peace. I have no idea what it would even be like. Even though I can’t wrap my brain around it, I believe and understand that it would be a better place. What I do know is that peace begins with the children, teach them what is possible. They will lead the way for a new world.

Where did this come from Snooker??
Mimi Lennox is at it again. She is the creator of the BlogBlast for Peace, and of the Peace Globes.

This idea started by one post written in November 2006. A part of it went like this:

“Imagine a day like this…….You turn on your computer, crank up Blogger or Typepad or WordPress and you realize that something is very strange.
Someone or something is playing a huge cosmic joke.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if on one particular day……All bloggers everywhere signed their blog name across a globe and all posted the SAME POST on the SAME DAY…… What IF…………every person who clicked through the blogosphere saw hundreds -even thousands- of posts that said the SAME THING?
What IF……………every post on November 7, 2006 was simply titled ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ with a picture of our big beautiful world in the body of the post with each blogger’s name screaming a great big GRANT US PEACE”.

And since the first edition on November 2006, with two others that followed, it has evolved into a worldwide movement.

Learn more about BlogBlast :
Blog Blast for Peace Official Blog

The Couple’s Meme – Second Point of View

Over the weekend N. was kinda pushed into reading a couples meme which was posted by SassyFemme. I had filled it out earlier that week. When I mentioned that I thought it would be cool if she would fill in some answers as well she said she would do it – and here is the result.

Everything in italics is from N. The other text is either the questions, or my answers to them.

Well, I don’t blog and I usually don’t even read them. However, my significant other points out stories every once in a while I just should not miss. Oh well, one of these really exciting things was “Couples Meme”. This is 22 answers to the nosy questions about our relationship from the second point of view:

There’s no possibility to answer question 1-4 any other way. Snooker did well.

5. Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?

N. certainly holds the record here. I can go from wake up alarm to ready to walk out the door in about 25 minutes. N. would still be “gelling” her hair in that amount of time, IF she were even out of bed.

Oh well, I wonder if it’s time to tell Snooker that there are no breakfast-for-the-office elves employed at our house. Sooo, who does she think fills her breakfast box?

6. Do you usually eat breakfast together?

Unfortunately not during the week. We just haven’t gotten together on this one. I think it would be a very important thing, a way of “getting on the same page” so to speak. She leaves a bit earlier than I do and really I get the feeling that she isn’t hungry at that hour.

Right, not hungry because of no. 5 – not everything fits in the breakfast box at all times.

7. Do you ever share clothes?

Besides having different tastes in clothing we really don’t have the same size at all… we are pretty much the Arnold Schwarzenegger / Danny DeVito kind of couple.

I’ll be honest with the world now… I suspect Snooker steals my gloves occasionally.

8. Who does most of the cooking?

We tend to split this, I do more of the cooking, she does more of the baking. She just loves making cakes or cookies, and she has her own special way of making muffins. The main problem we have is that often times I end up doing the dishes no matter who was busy in the kitchen.

If we have this “problem” anyway, I suggest she also dries and puts the dishes away.

9. Who usually takes out the trash?

Equally shared I would say although I am the one that “polices” the recycling separation. Truthfully it is funny – N. is German, and Germany has so many ways to recycle, in fact as a society they are quite ecologically-minded. BUT my N. had to be taught how to divide items for recycling, and still I occasionally need to move things from one can into its appropriate home.

Perhaps there’s someone reading this who understands my lack of trash separation appreciation. Bathroom trash needs separated as well as all other produced trash – of course the long piece of a Q-tip is made out of plastic and a toilet paper roll is not but I get the impression that the trash guys do not have a special Q-tips plastic compartment and toilet paper roll area in their big truck. So, why bother?


10. If you have pets, who usually does litter box or poop patrol?

We have one cat, he is the ruler of the house. She maintains the front end, I deal with the back end. Some how I think I got the stinky end of the deal. But we have one instance where this is not necessarily true. When he pukes I often am tapped for clean up duty. As far as I’m concerned that comes out of the front end and should be her area… thoughts on this matter? Would anyone like to back me up on this?

No backup required because the job description is input vs. output duties. So, who is officially responsible for kitty grass coming back out???


11. Which one of you is more likely to answer the phone when it rings?

Most of the time it is her family, or at least someone who expects a German speaker to pick up the phone. In this case I think it is simply better for her to answer the phone.

Interesting theory…


12. Who’s in charge of the remote if you’re watching TV together?

We rarely watch TV, actually rarely watch it together. If I’m watching it is usually a movie DVD, and she doesn’t really like movies. If she is watching it is a show in German and probably not something I would watch even if I could understand 100%.

Snooker is definitely the family member in charge of the remote control.
*Snooker* HEY, who knew? I think I’m going to take advantage of that in the future!


13. Who usually drives when you go out together?

She’s the driver in Germany, I’m the driver in America. This means that she is usually driving. I do drive around here, but it is rare.

OK, easy answer.


14. Which one of you takes care of spiders and bugs that get into the house?

Whoever happens to find the offending creature.

I like this official answer and the fact that it’s not been obvious that I usually “disappear” when a bug or spider appears 😉

15. Facing the bed, who sleeps on which side?

If you’re standing at the foot of the bed, looking at the head of the bed, I’m on the right. This has been “the way” since the beginning. But recently when we were traveling I learned for her it isn’t about which side of the bed she sleeps on, only which side is closest to the bathroom. So I found myself sleeping on the “wrong” side of the bed in one location although I noticed that she had forgotten this “new rule” in the next hotel, and so slept on my normal side again.

I thought it was good reasoning.

16. Who usually checks the (postal) mailbox?

N.’s job, no question.

OK, so, I won’t dare questioning that.


17. If something breaks or goes wrong in the house, which one of you is more likely to either fix it or call someone to fix it?

We are both “office girls” although when it comes to tools I’ve been around them much more. She has a toolbox which is quite noticeably kept out of my reach.

I had no idea she wanted to fix things. The tool box will definitely be moved!!


18. Who is generally the neater of you?

N. might disagree but I think we are both pretty much slobs. OK, neither one of us is the Oscar Madison type (hmm… obscure reference to 60’s play and 70’s TV show The Odd Couple is bound to show your age – eh, what the heck). Food for thought is that we live in an apartment which is by Berlin standards rather small, we are both able-bodied women, and yet we have seriously considered the need for a maid.

Well, … I won’t go there.


19. Who handles the checkbook/pays the bills?

N.’s job – language differences. But she would happily relinquish the task at any time.

Yes, I am the family’s finance minister.


20. What was your last fight/disagreement about?

Hmm… it’s not really an argument because we don’t have many… But our last disagreement was about hair in the bathroom. For me it is that I need to remove the hair which sticks to the wall after I’m done drying what is left on my head. For her it is the fact that until I told her what was happening, she didn’t empty the hair trap in the shower… you know, the IMPORTANT stuff.

See question 10.


21. When you slow dance together, who leads?

She does. But! She’s quick to point out that I suck as a follower. To her credit I’ve been told this by at least one other person who I would consider an authority on the subject. My question is: How does a person get better at this?

Practice, practice, practice


22. What do you love the most about your other half?

Her passion – when she wants something she works until she has it. I can tell her anything and she won’t be shocked. Her love gives me the impression that the best is yet to come. She says what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. She has a very calming effect on me, on most people actually. I love waking up at her side – whichever side that is. She has a way of doing these small things which let me know that she cares – she manages to understand the fact that I’m not very good at this same talent. N. is the type of person that will walk beside me when I need it, walk behind me pushing me when I need that, and walk in front of me encouraging me onward; she brings out the best in me.

Hold on, I gotta go to tell her in person!!

**Snooker** It was really cool to have her do this. FIRST and foremost I thought it would be interesting to see her reaction to what I’d said. Then I realized I really wanted to hear what she would say. Unfortunately I should have had her answer the questions BEFORE reading my answers… now THAT would have been interesting!!

Couples Meme

SassyFemme started this meme which she said was designed to satisfy her nosiness. Although I’m not really nosy, I think it’s interesting to consider these things for yourself.

I won’t tag anyone, but if you would like to participate make sure you comment back.

1. How long have you been together? As friends/pen pals since January of 1997, dating exclusively since 2001, and married in January 2005. Yes, we are officially married in the eyes of the German government. Too bad it doesn’t apply to the American government.

2. Who pursued who? Well she found me on the Internet first and hounded me until I would write her back on a regular basis. On the other hand when it came to taking the relationship to the next level, I would say that ball was in my court.

3. Do you wear any type of wedding/commitment ring? If so, which hand? We both wear a simple band on our left hand even though we live in a country that traditionally displays it on the right.

4. What was the hardest thing about learning to live together? Probably just setting up boundaries, there really wasn’t any ONE thing that I can think of, although N. might have different ideas.

5. Who takes longer to get ready in the morning? N. certainly holds the record here. I can go from wake up alarm to ready to walk out the door in about 25 minutes. N. would still be “gelling” her hair in that amount of time, IF she were even out of bed.

6. Do you usually eat breakfast together? Unfortunately not during the week. We just haven’t gotten together on this one. I think it would be a very important thing, a way of “getting on the same page” so to speak. She leaves a bit earlier than I do and really I get the feeling that she isn’t hungry at that hour.

7. Do you ever share clothes? Besides having different tastes in clothing we really don’t have the same size at all… we are pretty much the Arnold Schwarzenegger / Danny DeVito kind of couple.

8. Who does most of the cooking? We tend to split this, I do more of the cooking, she does more of the baking. She just loves making cakes or cookies, and she has her own special way of making muffins. The main problem we have is that often times I end up doing the dishes no matter who was busy in the kitchen.

9. Who usually takes out the trash? Equally shared I would say although I am the one that “polices” the recycling separation. Truthfully it is funny – N. is German, and Germany has so many ways to recycle, in fact as a society they are quite ecologically-minded. BUT my N. had to be taught how to divide items for recycling, and still I occasionally need to move things from one can into its appropriate home.

10. If you have pets, who usually does litter box or poop patrol? We have one cat, he is the ruler of the house. She maintains the front end, I deal with the back end. Some how I think I got the stinky end of the deal. But we have one instance where this is not necessarily true. When he pukes I often am tapped for clean up duty. As far as I’m concerned that comes out of the front end and should be her area… thoughts on this matter? Would anyone like to back me up on this?

11. Which one of you is more likely to answer the phone when it rings? Most of the time it is her family, or at least someone who expects a German speaker to pick up the phone. In this case I think it is simply better for her to answer the phone.

12. Who’s in charge of the remote if you’re watching TV together? We rarely watch TV, actually rarely watch it together. If I’m watching it is usually a movie DVD, and she doesn’t really like movies. If she is watching it is a show in German and probably not something I would watch even if I could understand 100%.

13. Who usually drives when you go out together? She’s the driver in Germany, I’m the driver in America. This means that she is usually driving. I do drive around here, but it is rare.

14. Which one of you takes care of spiders and bugs that get into the house? Whoever happens to find the offending creature.

15. Facing the bed, who sleeps on which side? If you’re standing at the foot of the bed, looking at the head of the bed, I’m on the right. This has been “the way” since the beginning. But recently when we were traveling I learned for her it isn’t about which side of the bed she sleeps on, only which side is closest to the bathroom. So I found myself sleeping on the “wrong” side of the bed in one location although I noticed that she had forgotten this “new rule” in the next hotel, and so slept on my normal side again.

16. Who usually checks the (postal) mailbox? N.’s job, no question.

17. If something breaks or goes wrong in the house, which one of you is more likely to either fix it or call someone to fix it? We are both “office girls” although when it comes to tools I’ve been around them much more. She has a toolbox which is quite noticeably kept out of my reach.

18. Who is generally the neater of you? N. might disagree but I think we are both pretty much slobs. OK, neither one of us is the Oscar Madison type (hmm… obscure reference to 60’s play and 70’s TV show The Odd Couple is bound to show your age – eh, what the heck). Food for thought is that we live in an apartment which is by Berlin standards rather small, we are both able-bodied women, and yet we have seriously considered the need for a maid.

19. Who handles the checkbook/pays the bills? N.’s job – language differences. But she would happily relinquish the task at any time.

20. What was your last fight/disagreement about? Hmm… it’s not really an argument because we don’t have many… But our last disagreement was about hair in the bathroom. For me it is that I need to remove the hair which sticks to the wall after I’m done drying what is left on my head. For her it is the fact that until I told her what was happening, she didn’t empty the hair trap in the shower… you know, the IMPORTANT stuff.

21. When you slow dance together, who leads? She does. But! She’s quick to point out that I suck as a follower. To her credit I’ve been told this by at least one other person who I would consider an authority on the subject. My question is: How does a person get better at this?

22. What do you love the most about your other half? Her passion – when she wants something she works until she has it. I can tell her anything and she won’t be shocked. Her love gives me the impression that the best is yet to come. She says what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear. She has a very calming effect on me, on most people actually. I love waking up at her side – whichever side that is. She has a way of doing these small things which let me know that she cares – she manages to understand the fact that I’m not very good at this same talent. N. is the type of person that will walk beside me when I need it, walk behind me pushing me when I need that, and walk in front of me encouraging me onward; she brings out the best in me.

This is one meme which makes me wish my N. were a blogger. I would be interested to read her thoughts on these same questions.

Whats On My Shelf… AND What’s On Yours?

G in Berlin tagged me for an interesting meme.
Basically you take a picture of a shelf to share with the blogging world.
It being a meme, you then tag others to see what is on their shelf.
I like the idea a lot, so I’ve provided two pictures.

The first is our “travel book” area. It usually gets stuffed with books right after we come back. You’ll see that often we have two books for the same area, this is because we get one in German and one in English. It’s really quite funny how each one of these books treats the same subject in a different way.

On top of this shelf is the MAUSI CAT TOY!!! It has to be here because the cat won’t jump there to get to it. Oh and… “23 Minutes in Hell”. This is a book my sister gave me last November and instructed me to read it. Knowing who it came from, and looking at the title I decided it had a religious base, and it never made it past the “travel book” area after I came back from that trip… Sorry Vic.

The second is mostly N.’s area. Here you can find the diving books. N. is a PADI Open Water Diver Instructor, and this is just a part of her entire collection. Peeking out you can see a miniature New Beetle which is an exact replica down to the color of the cute little car I had to leave behind in the States. Being much more obvious is a Vespa replica which was a Christmas gift from my FIL. It is pretty close to the one we have now. Behind that is a Vespa sign from my sweet N. Below that is the CD player and a selection of recently-played music. Here you will also see a chewed-up ExBerliner which I highly recommend to all English-speaking, Berlin-living expats.
OH OH. Can someone explain to me why the end of the book is printed “upside down” in Germany? Of course I know that it is a regional thing… books in the States are of course “upside down” for Germans as well. When I put a book on a shelf it naturally goes a certain way to me… SO THAT THE TITLE ON THE END CAN BE EASILY READ! But NOOO… German printers have to be different!! Can’t we all just agree on a direction and stick to it? My CD’s, DVD’s and books tend to be a horrible jumble because of this lack of uniformity.

I usually don’t tag folks for these things, but Claire over at Cheeseburgers and Sauerkraut was saying that she would like to have something to blog about besides baby poop. So here is your chance Claire, show us your collection of baby books! And heck, Adam – Germany’s Queer Expatriate will be visiting me in Berlin soon, but when he gets back home, maybe he’d like something to do… so you’re tagged too Adam!

Just How Privileged Are You?

I got this meme from Christina over at American Expat in Deutschland. It was developed for a research project (and copyrighted) by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University (learn more here). They ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright if you use this meme.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college.

2. Father finished college.

3. Mother went to college.

4. Mother finished college

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

9. Were read children’s books by a parent.

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18.

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private special high school.

17. Went to summer camp.

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18. – I wouldn’t wear hand-me-downs.

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them. – Pop paid half of both my first cars.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child. – I doubt that my Aunt’s work is really what the meme has in mind.

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.

25. You had your own room as a child. 26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18. 27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school. – Loved it… watched Showtime when I was 12!!

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.

31. Went on a cruise with your family.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.

33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. – The oil was so expensive that my family cleaned out the coal furnace and saved money by the ton!

24 out of 34.

I guess that I’ve led a privileged life. Let’s start with the fact that I grew up in America, one of the richest countries in the world. The house I grew up in was beautiful, my parents both worked, we had two cars for three drivers. But my parents both worked and sacrificed to get what we had. I was also the youngest of five children. My oldest brother could not answer these questions the same way. He paid for his own cars/college, etc.

Of course someone from a third-world country or even sections of Europe would need a totally different survey… we simply didn’t grow up the same. Perhaps the meme should stipulate that this is a factor for privilege in AMERICA, not necessarily the rest of the world.

What I like about this is that it gives a person the opportunity to see their life from a different perspective. What I don’t like about it is that it is a bit time-sensitive, i.e. my oldest brother grew up at a time when most American households had only one TV, and thus having a TV in his bedroom would be MUCH different than me having a TV in my room.

As far as privilege goes, think about this… you are sitting at a computer which cost a lot of money, it is connected to the Internet which also in itself costs money, and you have enough leisure time to be able to participate in such things!

Just like Christine, I’ve given up tagging people. If you decide to complete this meme, post a comment so I can learn a bit more about ya!

7 Random Things

Adam (That Queer Expatriate) has tagged me for a meme… hmm… must have been about a month ago, and I’m just now FINALLY getting to it. Thanks Adam!
I’ve been thinking about ya man, unfortunately I’ve just been a bit busy.
I can’t even begin to remember all the folks who have been previously tagged, so I’m going to break this meme at this point instead of embarrassing myself by re-tagging them. Besides, I have to rebel SOMEHOW!!

Rules:

1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Random or Weird Things About Myself:

  1. I do goofy things with my fingers while bored. It is not unusual for me to be found reading a book with my fingers twirling through my hair, snapping individual hairs between fingernails, or weirdest of all shoving a small group of hairs under a fingernail.
  2. My tongue is a bit long, causing it to extend over my bottom teeth when I’m not paying attention, touching the back of my bottom lip sometimes making it look like I am pouting. (I’m not above the irony of this situation – me being a lesbian and all)
  3. Speaking in front of a large group of people doesn’t really bother me. This is probably thanks to Dale Carnegie and a few years in radio.
  4. I want to go sky diving some day.
  5. I was born in a little town in southwestern Utah, but my family moved to Pennsylvania when I was three months old. Since then I’ve only seen my birth city once.
  6. My parents got my first name off of a Cheerios box advertisement for personalized pencils. I guess when you have five kids you end up running out of options, or creativity or something. Turns out that they even ended up pronouncing it incorrectly.
  7. I count weird things… things like how many times the phone rings before it is answered, and how many steps there are, and the amount of people getting on and off of the subway train, and on and on…

There ya go… if that stuff isn’t weird, I don’t know what is.
I think that having almost a month to come up with these things was good. When Adam tagged me with it, I really didn’t know what to write… but hey, I think I came up with some good things!