Archive for July, 2011

I’m a sucker for quotes. Quotes of inspiration, humor, wisdom, hope. If I can relate to it, I like it.

Finding a quote that sticks with you the rest of your life – those special words you recite in your head either because you find beauty in the written language itself, or the message the words are portraying – is something to treasure.

So, in light of my corniness and, let’s face it, undying sentimentalism and sensitivity (although I prefer to consider myself incredibly passionate…), I’ve decided to start posting a quote of the week.

Let’s start with a good one, eh?

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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In my preparations for traveling abroad, I am stocking up on good reads to keep me company.  I have compiled together both favorites and a few I am dying to get my hands on. Enjoy.

The End of Boys by Peter Brown Hoffmeister; A coming of age story littered with teen angst – no. A memoir of a lost teenage boy rising to the man he is destined to be – yes. This book is captivating, dark, beautiful, and haunting all at the same time. Not once does Peter drift into a world of excuses for his childhood or fall into the trap of self-pity. Hoffmeister simply retells his story in a way that is unbiased and straight forward. His writing style is refreshing – a quick, to the point, no bull-sh*t kind of voice. A truly remarkable, inspiring story. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess:  I’ll be upfront here, I’ve been trying to get through this book for a year now.  Not because I don’t enjoy it, not because it is slow paced or boring.  But because Burgess invents an entirely new language with his writing that has never been seen before.  This book requires time to truly understand and appreciate what Burgess has done with language. It is a haunting tale that challenges society’s take on the difference between good and evil and questions the limits, or lack-there-of, of self-redemption. This narrative is truly inventive and worth the time it takes to finish.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: My good friend Jessica recommended this book to me after she chose to read and review it for our literary editing class.  I have yet to start, but it’s staring at me from my bookshelf and is one I cannot wait to get to.  A winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, I have high hopes for this one.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein: What a lovely breath of fresh air this book is! If you’re looking for a quick read that is for once something other than a sappy romance or a coming of age story, please, please pick up a copy of this book. Written from the perspective of a dog named Enzo, this book defines what it means to find hope in the face of tragedy.

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Another Pulitzer Prize winner. One of the most acclaimed authors of our time, Marquez greatly influenced the literary Latin American Boom movement with this book that to many is considered his masterpiece.  Looking forward to this one.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:  I recently had the pleasure of re-reading this little gem for an English course I took a few months ago, and it reminded me of how truly fabulous this novel is.  Calling attention to the jazz age, and with it class divergence and social stratification, this novel paints a picture of the roaring ’20s at it follows Nick Carraway, a respectable young man, after his move to New York, where he encounters the one and only Jay Gatsby.  If you haven’t read this already, put it at the top of your list.  And if you have, re-read it! It’s even better the second time around. Promise.

Well folks, there you have it. And in the words of one of my favorite childhood authors of all time, “The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” – Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

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Hello all! Welcome to my blog that will track my adventures, discoveries, challenges, and everything in-between during my time spent in Munich, Germany this coming year.

To those of you who may not know, I will be spending the next year of my life living with a German family and caring for their two children – these are people I couldn’t feel luckier to be working for.  I can already tell it is going to be a fantastic year and I feel blessed to have come into contact with them.  They live in a beautiful home in the heart of Munich, one of the most charming cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.  I am thrilled to call this place my home, and my departure date is now no more than two short weeks away.

…which has left me in a bit of a panic.  Those that know me well know that I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to take care of every last detail.  In some areas of my life, I prefer to go where the wind blows me and find it exciting not having a plan or a known sense of direction – but not when it comes to packing, especially when it means packing up my entire life for a year and moving to a foreign country.  What ever will I do if I run out of my favorite curl cream?!  Those with unruly hair can sympathize with me on this one.  Yes, I know its not the end of the world if I forget something or run out of anything, especially since it’s not like I’m moving to the North Pole or the middle of the Amazon Rainforest  – but alas, I like to feel prepared.

So here I am, at the two week mark.  So far, I have managed to make every kind of appointment I can imagine, from the dentist to a hair cut.  I am also scrambling to perfect my resume in the slight chance that I come across an amazing online editing gig that I can work on from my own computer in Munich.  Not to mention, I am leaving behind some of the most beautiful people I have ever known, whom I feel honored to call my family and friends – which means I need to make time to partaaay it up with them before I leave.

14 days. 336 hours. 20, 160 minutes until my life as I know it changes in every single way possible.  It’s scary and intimidating. But it’s also exciting – I’m ready to embrace this new chapter and see where it will take me.  As I exit the college life and finally enter the real world, I am about to embark on a journey that will change and shape who I am – and that my dear friends, is pretty damn exciting.  Hello, Europe!

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