Roh-Rohrzucker = Never What I Want
Because raw cane sugar is not brown sugar.

This is what life is like right now.

You decide to make cookies, because you want something to eat while you work on your paper, and why buy them when they're only going to sell you six in a package? That's ridiculous. So you will make 60 cookies with your almost-exactly-the-right-amount of flour. And you will do it right, which means buying new brown sugar even though you can't possibly use that much sugar in the next 3 weeks. But the store is out of brown sugar, not that brown sugar in Germany is actually proper brown sugar. So you buy the fair trade brown sugar cubes with "typical caramel note" and figure, typische karamelle Note, maybe these are actually brown sugar!

You leave the butter out when you get home, because, again, you're doing this right for once. You let it get soft. You make dinner. You enjoy your bacon, even if the mashed potatoes seem a little too milky and you are sick of eggs. You think about how you will miss the Danish bacon but not the stupid, ridiculously thin other bacon. Then you start the cookies.

And you learn that brown sugar cubes are very difficult to crush. Very, very difficult. And the sugar is still harder than brown sugar at home. Packed. Ha. Impossible.

The cookies take so much longer than anticipated. The day is gone. And you're out of foil, and baking paper, and the overdone cookies stick to the baking pan you used as a cookie sheet.

So much for good planning. This is what life is like right now.

I was hoping German had a crazy word for 'entropy.' I was disappointed.

My room is impossible. No, that's not true. I've cleaned it two or three times in the past month and every time it is, to me if to no one else, the pinnacle of organization and neatness, even if there are little fly corpses hidden at the corners of my desk and the dust bunnies under the bed have gone rabid. But I tidy it: my papers become two or three manageable piles, the clothes return to the closet, rugs and blankets become flat. For a few days everything goes back exactly where it belongs, but soon I just have to leave my sweater out on the chair because I'll wear it again tomorrow and then there are bags on the floor and dishes on the desk and my adorable stuffed guinea pig from IKEA is dangerously close to falling prey to those dust bunnies.

I'm not going to eradicate the dust bunnies (or Wollmäuser = wool mice I think) because in just twelve short days I move out of this room, so I might as well wait till all the junk's out of the way. I cannot wait for all the junk to be out of the way. I look around the room and immediately start cataloging: this goes home, this was sold to a next-year-student, this isn't worth my precious transatlantic weight allowance, this book should probably be shipped, and these papers. These papers. They have to be sorted and recycled or else packed away and there are library books in stacks that I need to read, or reread, or not read. I have to finish this schoolwork, but the walls are starting to close in and seeing all my things safely in bags and boxes would leave more room for me to breathe.

Somewhere along the way, the way the sun works has changed and the sunlight never really spills in my solitary floor-length window all the way to my kitty-corner bed anymore. My desk is stuck in the relative dark and my room never feels warm but when I run to catch the Straßenbahn I realize it's summer, even if it rains every other day and even if my eyes are chained to an increasingly misbehaving computer. I think it needs a break from the Lower East Side, from German spell check, from lolcats and Wikipedia and taking me to so many websites while simultaneously fighting with Microsoft Word to keep its consciousness. It's really acting out: if I want to work on my desk (and I do!) the only way it holds onto the internet is at a neck-stiffening angle.

I ran out of peanut butter this week and have been debating whether or not to buy another. There's not that much time left—but in that time I will eat many more apples that would benefit from some protein. I will miss these tiny peanut butter containers decorated in American stars and stripes that are so easy to bring when you travel, even for just one person. I think life is easier for just one person in Germany, or at least groceries are. Living alone is harder here for those of us who are appalled or frightened by bugs. You have to open your windows and there aren't any screens. There's no one here to capture or kill for me so I have to mount a solo attack on the bigger flies every night. They've got nothing on the bugs I faced last summer. Those were too big for squishing.
Meerschweinchen = little sea pig
(And if Russia is Egypt, America's the Promised Land, and the Lower East Side is the desert between, World of Our Fathers is something like the Torah of secular American Judaism. Or maybe that's going too far.)

eine Theorie = A Theory

Over the last year (though this problem has also plagued me in the past) I have become convinced that

computer screens

keep you


Lately, awake forever. Even after the computer's off. I can lie for hours in the dark and become more and more awake. Maybe it's not just the computer. Probably it's something to do with 33 pages of papers to go, 20 days till I'm out of this room forever, 5 weeks and 1 day till I reenter the US of A, 1 more year of college and then everything's real.

But computers. Overstimulation by the LCD. The dangerous paradox of trying to make time stand still and also speed to the end of the countdown. A combination of the two.

I'm exhausted.

P.S. I posted my photos from Spain! They're on my Picasa site. I love Spain. Time for bed.

P.P.S. And then the guy in the next WG started playing his electric guitar.

There are no cats in America,
and the streets are paved with cheese!

A friend of mine is worried that next year back in Ann Arbor is going to be a lot more boring than this year in Deutschland. I think everyone is. But let's look on the bright side:

My current sleep schedule will have me going to bed at 9 pm and getting up at 6 am. Imagine the possibilities!

Gas stoves! Being able to turn down the heat and have it mean something instantly!

We won't have to measure butter in measuring cups and get our hands all greasy or use complicated fraction methods involving grams to sticks and then ending up just eyeballing it—because butter is marked! With tablespoons!

There are so many cats in America!
(Sorry Fievel, it was a lie. Thank God. And thanks, Mommy, for making that song stuck in my head whenever I think about Jewish immigration.)

Unfortunately, the cheese is much better here, the parmesan is cheaper, and the only problem cheese-wise is that cheddar isn't ubiquitous.

BUT THE EASE OF BAKING. Real brown sugar. Not having vanilla brought across the ocean.

Come on, guys, it'll be all right. And maybe in a few years Ryanair will finally work out the £6 transatlantic flights, which will make Greece or any other place serviced by a budget airline only like £36 away on a good day. Plus getting to New York City first.