This is what February is like: trekking across a never-ending sheet of ice. (View out the Reichstag in Berlin, Jan. 2009)
Let's get on with life. Let's go. To the wide open west! To the (somewhat) warmer south! To the I don't have an adjective right now besides snooty and cultured east! To the wilds of the north! The secret is that it's not that warm anywhere nearby, and life here isn't so bad when you're not applying to things constantly and then realizing the devious kitten is sleeping on your computer in the hope that the rickety screen will finally get pushed all the way off so that you have to buy a new computer and can never afford to travel anywhere ever again.
The last few weekends have been really pleasant, even if they were in wintry Michigan and I can no longer remember the weekdays, just the blur of homework and drooping eyelids. I've watched movies: one night all Emma and I could think of that was appealing then was the German film Downfall and Ten Things I Hate About You (neither of which we had seen in full), but wanted something in between. Somehow we ended up checking out Breakfast At Tiffany's. It's in between chronologically, so they dress nicely and are closer to Nazi Germany, but it's not too comedic or really romantic, just crazy. So crazy. I saw Avatar with my brother and parents one weekend for my dad's birthday, then went to Polish Village in Hamtramck for delicious pork, pork, pork and potatoes and that lovely Central European woodbeams-and-white-walls-and-tall-glasses-of-beer atmosphere. It was still January back then.
My mom visited me and my brother in Ann Arbor so she could take the car I drive home for repairs, and I visited ex-housemates/best friends that have moved out of our daily lives, and they visited us. We ate cookies, ice cream, Chinese food, chocolate lava cakes made in my new red ramekins. I went to East Quad and saw the last Evening of Scenes I will probably ever see, and watched World War II and Werner Herzog movies. I never went to bed at the right time on Sunday nights. Also, I read. I didn't read enough, but I tried, and once Thursdays came and all my due dates had passed, I curled up in the possibly moldy but always cozy yellow armchair, angled it to catch the most light, and read the History of the Byzantine State for as long as I could without falling asleep. One time, I wore my sunglasses because the light reflecting off the book's pages was too bright. Sometimes, like Table Cat, I would just shut my eyes and enjoy the sun.
I spent one Sunday going through my photos from last year to build a free photo book on Shutterfly, and then to pick which ones to order prints of to bring my total cost up to free-shipping level. It took all day, and by the end, all I wanted was to ride the Straßenbahn into town, or eat another piece of that Parisian quiche I have a photo of, or at the very least, get out my trusty travel backpack and return to the straightforward existence of the traveler for a week or two. All week long, I'd find myself thinking of other places I could be. It's not that I was overwhelmed, not like other Februarys. Somehow, I still got drawn into this wanderlust (I didn't realize that was a German loanword but it makes sense!). I would love to be around in this house for more golden sunsets like the one below, but I would also love to leave. There's something about February that just makes you want to be somewhere—maybe anywhere—else.
Sonnenlicht = Sunlight. And the first two of the last photos are through the front door; the last is the fairy statue on the porch without anything but air between it and the camera.