letting the days go by.

11 April 2008

nobody's reading this but then again it is spring.

Or: What A Little Booze and Sunshine Can Do.

Also or: A New List of Addictions.

As of today, Friday, April 11, exactly three months and 11 days since I landed in Frankfurt and exactly 2 months and 20-odd days before I return to Patriotic Soil, I am addicted to the following (in addition to cigarettes but I'm not going to list those unless I already did whoops):

Crackers: I'm on what I like to call The Cracker Diet. Crackers are cheap. Crackers do not go bad, at least not as dramatically as bread does. Crackers are also delicious with just about anything, such as cheese, honey, and more cheese. Also, cheese. I have apertifs for dinner. I'd like to amend my earlier statement about the Horrors of Dining Alone by adding that this experience is only dreadful when in the greater social context of A Restaurant. When it's in a Kitchen with Food You Prepared Yourself Even If It's Only Crackers and Cheese Again Because You Are Pretending to Be An Adult Now, it's glorious.

Doodling: Yes I could be paying attention and learning some German but I would much rather draw tiny caricatures of myself dressed like Robin and horribly drunk. I'm getting fairly good at it, too.

SUNSHINE AND NICE WEATHER: Makes a load of difference. This is Minor-Field, beer in the afternoon, laze away outside weather, when lying on some grass is an activity that can occupy most of the day. It's great. In fact, that's where I'm going now, before we reconvene for THE THIRD MAN TOUR which is going to actually explode my mind.

06 April 2008

bad nights and good days.

Subtitled: A Weekend Worth Writing About.

My lone class was canceled on Friday, which gave me ample time to have what Annie probably rightly diagnosed as a complete and total blood sugar crash, wherein I, after sitting at my computer for far too long looking at such worthwhile sites as Where The Hell is Matt (and not the Kanye Grammy performance which if you have not seen MUST BE CHECKED OUT), have a smoke and then realize I'm about to fall over and am sweating and what feels a lot like dying. So then I ate something and realized my Just Don't Eat for Long Stretches Because It Is Expensive and I Am Broke and Overweight Anyway strategy was pretty fucking stupid.

But then! I met up with Pat Hodgens, a fellow Hamiltonian en route from his program in somewhere near London to a week-long farm stay in little town Austria, and we had coffee at this divey little coffeeshop that you would never suspect is completely awesome. I went there the first time on Wednesday night, when the tables were cramped and the waiters overworked - we asked if we could see a menu, and the tuxedo'd man just shouted "THERE IS NONE." But we also got secret Buechteln donut-cakes and pretended we were not lost Americans. Connie, one of Annie's visiting compadres, led us there before she departed for India - which just reinforced my loserly idea that everyone is having grander adventures than I am, which was, in turn, why it was so nice to see Pat, who is suffering the same Study Abroad Malaise and Confusion that I am. What are we supposed to be doing here, exactly? Aren't our lives supposed to be changing on a daily basis, and shouldn't we be having perspective-warping epiphanies when walking down the street? Why do we spend so much time missing our dogs, cheap beer, and readily-edible snacks? Other than being fantastic company for an afternoon, it was awesome to see Pat solely as consolation, because try as we might, not every single moment is going to be world-imploding. And maybe that's the realization we'll all end up having.

After a dinner of Doeners, Annie and I saw Juno, a nice little film and infinitely nicer when I wasn't seeing it by myself in Oslo and with a plastic cup of beer more fitting for a baseball game than a movie. Snagged some fancy ice cream and called it a night, due to sleepiness more than anything, and I was snuggled up in bed dreaming away when my roommate barged in at who knows what hour - not unusual, really, but this time she wasn't exactly alone. And though I might sleep through tornadoes at home, I was unhappily unable to drown out the noises of the hanky-panky going on in the bed on the other side of my room. Freshmen, take heed: do not have sex in the room when you're roommate is "asleep." Unless your roommate is actually, certifiably dead, as in not amongst the living, has perished, is a corpse, she will certainly, definitely hear you, no matter how quiet you're trying to be. It sucked. It really, really sucked. And I have not seen my roommate - or rather, heard my roommate - since, as she has disappeared for a day now.

But, on the plus side, so as not to deal with awkward morning encounters, I ran from the dorm on Saturday morning (after, of course, slyly scoping out and consequently judging this random dude - for some reason it would've been one thing had he been some dashing Austrian prince, but he was pudgy and had a neck tattoo and I was more than happy to never see him again) and stayed out as long as possible. Went to a nearby cafe and wrote for a while (my friends have taken to calling it "Pulling A Rachel" - I remember the same phrase had a completely different definition once, namely leaving a party without saying bye to anyone), told the awful tale of the night before to Annie, collected the boys and set off for The Third Man Private Collection.

I read an article about how certain areas of the world had a tourist boom following filming there - kids are gung-ho to ride the "real Hogwarts Express," nearly every native in Salzburg hates the Sound of Music - and I initially thought "HOW RIDICULOUS" until I remembered I came to Vienna because of a movie. I think I've seen The Third Man at least a dozen times since that fateful first viewing in Intro Film class Freshman year, and I'm going to go see it again as soon as I can (there's a theater here that plays it twice a week, year-round). I'm obsessed with Orson Welles and have his picture in my wallet (where a real photo of a real boyfriend ought to be). So, yes, I did kind of explode while we were at the Collection - we got to watch a scene from one of the original film strips, played through a 1936 projector, in addition to the approximately one million posters of the film, bios on all the actors, a room devoted to Post WWII Vienna to give a better context for the film, and souvenirs including a mug that reveals Harry Lime's face when you pour something hot into it (I didn't buy one, but I might). So awesome. If you haven't seen it yet, you really, really should, or better yet, you should wait until I'm available and we can watch my trusty copy together. That goes for everyone.

Satiated, we nabbed a bite to eat at the Naschmarkt and headed for the Reisenrad, the gigantic ferris wheel of Third Man fame, where Harry and Holly meet in the scene that made me fall in love with Young Orson Welles forever. I've been on the Reisenrad once before, in 2006 when Matthew and I ran around Vienna for one exhausting weekend, but it's still awesome - you can see all of Vienna from the windows, though we spent most of the ride shopping for rides in the surrounding Prater amusement park. Again, I have to go back with the script in hand, so I can threaten to kill my former best friend and say "old man" a lot and then deliver that kicker of a line about the Renaissance and cuckoo clocks (SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS HAVE TO WATCH THIS MOVIE). Instead, we rode some rides - my first 'dizzy mouse' roller coaster, next door to the Super 8 Bahn which was probably not as frightening as all my screaming made it seem, and then a gigantic spinning swing thing that lets you see pretty much all of Europe with naught but a bar between you and the rest of the world. Unfortunately, we were weeping by the end of it, not with emotion but merely with wind, because it's really damned windy on the top of the world. Annie, because she is batshit crazy, rode some horrible spin-you-in-all-directions-including-upside-down-while-strobe-lights-and-German-techno-are-playing
ride called EXTAZY - reminded me of The Himalaya at Bell's, solely for the awful air-brushed murals all around it. R.I.P., Bell's Amusement Park. I don't know what the hell Tulsa was thinking.

So amusement parks are great, and so is beer, because we had some sushi for dinner and actually found a bar, for once, under the U6 Line, where we talked about outer space for the better part of an hour and then managed to return ourselves home via Night Transportation. I was tipsy enough to run into the flower-beds of City Hall and snag a daffodill, because even though my jacket has multiple phony pockets, it does have ample space for a faux boutonnière. I had to spell-check that one, just for the record.

I think I'm watching The Godfather tonight with fellow dormitory-mates, and tomorrow I've got to teach English to small children. Indeed!