Saturday, November 29, 2008

for what are you thankful poll archive

for what are you thankful? (mc avail)
the main stuff - friends, family, health 8 (80%)
election results or just election being over 5 (50%)
fall tv lineup and new movies coming out 2 (20%)
de back stateside 4 (40%)
job situation - either employed or not employed 3 (30%)
other (comment) 1 (10%)

Votes so far: 10
Poll close

Friday, November 28, 2008

long time coming

with just a snap of my fingers and a flick of the wrist - la vie normale! normality has returned to my life as if nothing had ever happened. one of the best things about fargo is that it's always the same. there is a comfort in this. i woke up this morning and for a good 15 seconds, couldn't remember where i was. and then - ahhh, yes. home. sweet home. it's hard to believe that 24 hours ago i was in london. it almost doesn't seem like i just spent 3 months away - berlin, warsaw, bonn, munich, paris, barcelona, london. and don't forget fargo! the great cities of the world.

yesterday was thanksgiving - a relatively uneventful holiday in the erdmann family. well, in the midwest in general. i've always thought that people out here (midwest) don't get into the holiday as much as they do on the east coast. guess that's what happens when you dont have pilgrims. i'm not sure what's more telling of thanksgiving for my family - our thanksgiving dinner yesterday at buffalo wild wings or coming home to watch a documentary on the north dakota state fair on pbs. in all fairness, my parents returned from a 2-week trip to seattle yesterday a few hours before they had to pick me up from the airport. wait - had? got. before they "got" to pick me up from the airport. :)

someone asked why i was traveling on thanksgiving and i was like, "why not??" and here is a tip for you all: it's the BEST day to travel! the airplanes are EMPTY. people are FRIENDLY and HAPPY. and everyone wants to get on with their holiday, so things work ON TIME. it was great! i was originally slightly annoyed with northwest because last summer i booked my ticket (using my miles) to return on thanksgiving day from london to minneapolis and then to fargo. a month ago they changed my flight from london to detroit to minneapolis to fargo. now i know why - the flight from london to msp was completely cancelled for yesterday (not enough people) and my flight to detroit was half full. it was great! i watched 4 movies on the plane. elaines roommate in london asked me if i wanted a sleeping pill for my flight and i was like, "no way! i am going to bed early tonight so that i can stay awake the whole flight and watch movies." i do love me the cinema. unfortunately, the movies i watched weren't outstanding. but thats fine. i had nothing else to do.

so i got to detroit and went through customs - most of the people traveling were non-americans. it was interesting. then i noticed an earlier flight to msp that i just might make, so i went to the counter and asked them to put me on the flight that was boarding at that moment. since its thanksgiving and everyone is HAPPY (as stated before), they were glad to oblige and not charge me. so i got to msp 2 hours earlier than i was supposed to and thought i would jump on the earlier flight to fargo. no such luck. on a normal day, there are nearly hourly flights to fargo from msp. being thanksgiving, and this was the only negative thing i discovered about traveling yesterday, is that there was only ONE flight to fargo all day. and so i had to wait. but that was no big deal. i watched gossip girl on my laptop.

so that was my day yesterday - a day full of travel and a return to normalcy. how did you spend your thanksgiving??

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

should i stay or should i go now?

today is my last day in europe for a while. i have 3 meetings / plans / rendez-vouss - gonna have lunch with a friend of mine, mat, then have coffee with another friend, julian, then meet elaine for a going away dinner. i need to pack now in the next hour or so so that i can go to sleep tonight, so that i can be awake all day tomorrow for my favorite part of overseas flights - movies!!! zaz! originally, my flight was from london to minneapolis direct and then change to fargo (why don't they fly fargo to london direct??? ha). about a month ago, i got an email saying they changed my flight so now i am on a london to detroit to minneapolis to fargo flight (or flights, rather). not cool to have to switch twice. and even more not cool - leaving an hour earlier but getting in 30 minutes later. oh well. they better have tv screens for everyone or i will be MEGA upset. how many movies do you think i can watch in one flight from london to detroit?

so i land in fargo around 6:15pm. and its kind of funny how things are turning out. it was almost the case that no one was going to be able to pick me up at the airport - gasp! - because my parents are out of town and homie is going to his gf's in the middle of nd and eric would be at school. it looks like they will be able to now, so this makes me very thankful. i think its horrible when people don't have anyone to pick them up at the airport.

what are you thankful for this thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

i heard it through the grapevine

while watching diggnation (a podcast on news related items) last week, they brought up one of their sponsors which is this company called 23 and me. it sounded like a really cool idea so i looked into it. basically, it's a genetics company trying to help others learn more about themselves through dna. when you sign up for a kit ($399), they send you a package and you spit in this tube and send it back to them. then they analyze the dna in the saliva and send you a report (online) telling you all sorts of information including:
  • if you have genetic markers for certain diseases such as diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, bitter taste perception, parkinsons disease, etc. you can find the whole list here.
  • in addition, it gives you information on your ancestry - which areas of the world your dna comes from and where in the US are a lot of people with similar dna.
  • another thing that they can do is if other people you know sign up, you can all link your accounts and share information (the high level ancestral stuff). it sounded really really cool so my friend elaine and i were looking into it.
this is getting more popular because new technology makes it cheaper for them to analyze dna. before, the tests used to cost about 1000 bucks. i talked to some people, however, who thought it was a horrible idea "a scam" and "do the best with what you know." i disagree. i think it would be really interesting to know all that information. what do you think?

in similar news, i decided while i was in berlin to try and trace my family history back to germany (erdmann is a deutsch name meaning man of earth - how ironic). i sent an email in english to this organization that helps people trace their german ancestry and this woman wrote back in german. i get the gist of the email "without a name, it's not a fun search to look for people" so i have to find more about my greats and get back to her. i found Erdmanstrasse in Berlin (Erdmann Street) but forgot to go take a picture of it while i was there - just another reason to go back! it seems i'm all about the past these days...

Monday, November 24, 2008

windsurfing nation

yesterday i was talking to my brother, homie, via skype. i asked him if he wanted a souvenir from london. he said he would like a piece of the london eye, the biggest ferris wheel in europe. here is our conversation:
me: what? just any part of it? like a bolt? want me to find the biggest bolt that holds the whole thing together and take it for you?
homie: yeah, or bring me one of those bowls you stand in.
me: you want one of the pods?
homie: yeah, bring me one of those.
me: just bring it on to the plane with me?
homie: no, sail it here. you can ride it all the way here.
me: well, i guess i could go across the atlantic, down the hudson river and into the great lakes and then you guys could pick me up in diluth.
homie: no, come through the red river.
me: the red river doesn't go to the ocean. it stops in lake winnipeg.
we continue talking about different subjects including the fact that he is not going to pick me up at the airport on thursday since he is going to thanksgiving dinner at his girlfriend's in the near-middle of nowhere north dakota and about 10 minutes later...
homie: you can too get to the red river from the atlantic. follow the links on wikipedia. red river to lake winnipeg to the nelson river in the north which drains in the hudson bay which is considered part of the atlantic ocean.
me: oh, i didn't go that far.
homie: but you'd have to paddle really hard in the red river because it flows north and you need to go south.
me: true.
so my friend elaine is at work and i think i am going to go find a piece of the london eye for my brother. i was going to go to oxford today, but i slept in late and now it's too late. maybe tomorrow.

and so i ask you, can you get to the ocean via water from where you live?

where should first dude be photographed poll archive

where should first dude be photographed?
champagne bar 4 (33%)
buckminster 0 (0%)
tea room 1 (8%)
shoulder of funny-looking guard 5 (41%)
other (comment) 2 (16%)

Votes so far: 12
Poll close

Thursday, November 20, 2008

paris is burning

thanks to lisa and meat, i have my very own travel buddy! as a going away gift, my friends got me this cute gift:he is a piece of clay with some sand on him (so maybe he's actually a rock - i dont know) that they found at a galerie in clermont ferrand, where dimitri is from. it is soo cute! so you buy one (and they are limited - only 7 of ziquick) and then you are meant to take him on trips with you, take pictures of him, and then send them in to this website where they post them. here it is:
en vrac. these are pictures of the little buddies all over the world. i think mine is going to go the furthest. oh, and guess what we're calling him: First Dude. isn't that awesome?? so... where should first dude go?

once i get my camera set up at my friend elaine's this weekend i will take a picture of first dude and put it up so you can see where he is.

which leads me to the sad fact... these are my last few hours in paris. i left yesterday and went to see a fun movie called Vilaine. it was cute, but not fabulous. it was in the style of amelie, but not as good. then i walked all over paris seeing things i haven't seen in a while and picking up other things. last night was a lazy night in - we just watched an episode of dexter and then went to bed. i am coming down with a cold, which is not cool. i said goodbye to lisa and dims this morning - they had to go off to work. i am doing laundry, going to go grab something to eat and then run a few errands and then grab a taxi around 3/330 to head to the train station. my train is at 5pm and i get in to london at 7pm. then... dum dum dum...
europe's longest champagne bar! can't wait.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(i cant get no) satisfaction

its official. 13 days since my last ramble. nearly 2 weeks. honestly, i was feeling a bit... unloved or something like that due to lack of interest in wanderlust nd style and so i protested against everything and didn't post anything. a few people have emailed / commented, which has been enough for me to give up my protest.

to be fair, not a ton of exciting things have happened in the past two weeks. i have been in paris staying with lisa and her boyfriend, meat. a slight few interesting things have taken place and i may post those ramblings that i have written, but i may not. haven't decided yet. last weekend i was in barcelona with lisa and elaine, so i didn't have a lot of time to think about the world that is the blog. we returned to paris last night and had a relaxing night in. it was a great trip.

today is tuesday and my 2nd to last day in paris. i leave thursday for london for a week before returning to the homeland. there are still a LOT of things that i want to do in paris, so i will be busy in the next few days.

so... until the next time....

what do you love about paris? poll archive

what do you love about paris? (mc avail)

parisians 0 (0%)
the food 2 (22%)
the art / architecture / museums 4 (44%)
the cafes 5 (55%)
never been - but want to 1 (11%)
never been - no need 0 (0%)
other (comment) 0 (0%)

Votes so far: 9
Poll close

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

it must be your skin, i'm sinking in

last week i talked about gavin rossdale. ever since high school, i have loved the group bush and when i found out that gavin's new cd is titled "WANDERlust" i thought "of course! i'm not the only one who feels this way." and knew that i still had that connection with him (whether he knows it or not). i haven't heard the CD yet, but will add it to my christmas list (*hint, hint*).

seeing gavin sing the theme song for the movie i went to earlier this week made me reminisce about how i first found out about bush in the first place...

it was fall 1996. as a sophomore in high school, i traveled on a coach bus with fifty students from all over the state of north dakota to kansas city, missour for the fall FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) regional convention. there were a few people from my school, including my friend lyn who was very outgoing and fearless. the rest of the students on our bus i did not know.

the convention was in a large hotel and lasted about 4 days. the first day, lyn and i were exploring the hotel and saw a guy she had met on the bus, chris. i had seen her talking to him on the bus and told her i thought he was cute, so she brought me over to him and the three of us chatted for a bit. a few minutes later, chris's friend came over and put his hand out to introduce himself in a very self-assured way. "hi, i'm george james mcdonald junior." i was instantly in love. i forgot all about chris. george was tall and lanky with dark hair. he was wearing the ultra-cool long-sleeved t-shirt with a short-sleeved shirt over it and baggy jeans - totally grunge that was popular in the 90s. he was from cavalier, north dakota which was incidentally the town next to where my mom and cousins had grown up, so i thought we had something in common.

they invited us to their room later. lyn and i went on our way to the pool - i was wearing a bikini and overalls (back when they were really cool). i remember the swimsuit. it was royal blue with white piping. anyway, they let us in just as SNL was starting. george was on the balcony and once the musical act started, he ran into the room "bush is on! bush is on!" he was so excited about the group that i had to be interested - i had never seen anyone so entranced by music before. we hung out a few times that weekend, but nothing extraordinary. on the way back home to north dakota, i arranged it so i could be in the back of the bus across the aisle from him and chris. i tried really hard to be cool the whole time. he was a nice guy, but i don't think he noticed me either way. after i was home i immediately went out and bought sixteen stone and also fell in love with bush.

this was around the time that email was starting to get popular. people had prodigy accounts and AOL was just starting to get big. when we'd chat with people in chat rooms online, everyone would be surprised we had 'electricity" and "computers" in north dakota. my friends and i met creepy guys in the military who wanted to fly out to north dakota to meet us even thought we told them we were only 15. this was also the year that the schools started giving students email accounts. i think my email was or something like that. since the names were easy to figure out, i figured out george's email and sent him a note. he wrote back and i remember him telling me about a bloody nose he had. we exchanged one or two emails over a few months, but since he was a senior, his email account soon did not work. i heard he went to college at MSU (not far from my house in fargo) the next school year and i forced my friends to drive me around campus to see if we spotted him. once i saw a poster on a street pole that had pictures of him and chris - they were in a band rocking out to music similar to bush. i called the number on the poster and talked to chris - he remembered me from the convention the previous year. i left my number in case george wanted to call, but he never did. i felt that i was pretty close to stalking territory, so i didn't call back. i saw him a few years later at a street party in walhalla (the town where my mom and cousins are from). i didn't talk to him, but he was still crushable.

to this day, george is one of my favorite names and its because of him, not our laughable leader.

nothing ever came of my crush on george james mcdonald junior, but i have been a huge fan of bush ever since.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

i'll keep holding on

i'm so giddy right now.

i am sitting in my friend, lisa's apartment, in paris. cnn is on the tv, i am reading online, all sorts of fun stuff! i may not be in this good of a mood tomorrow, that would be bad for everyone. ALL OF YOU.

so this morning after i woke up, i went to the store and got all of my favorite foods that i used to eat while i was here. well, not ALL of them. i got barbeque sauce, chicken slices (same brand!) and apple sauce. then i went to the boulangerie (bakery), got a baguette, and came home and had a DELICIOUS sandwich that i used to eat all the time. mmmmmmmmmm so so good.

my friends gave me a task today: wait for the dishwasher repair guy. so i am sitting here hoping that they come soon - could be anytime between 12 and 4 (its 12:54 right now). i havent showered yet in anticipation of their visit, but i will do so after they leave BECAUSE...

tonight... i am going to a GALA! woo hoo!! here is the link its 80 euros for americans (thats me and lisa) and 120 for non-americans (suckas!). the food is from a michelin rated chef (very good) and there will be music and cnn and all sorts of fun stuff! woo hoo! i hope that it's not too fancy - i left my ballroom dress at the store i never bought it from. so that is tonight from 10:30pm-6am. hopefully we have good news tomorrow...

the other exciting thing today is that north dakota is no longer pink on the cnn map - its YELLOW. this is huge! so so exciting! and congrats to my friend josh and all my compatriots who are working through the night in good ol' nd. congrats! this alone is very impressive no matter what the results. here's another map showing we're a battleground state.

i sent my ballot back to the US weeks ago, so i implore you all to go out and VOTE today. bring a book and a chair and stand in line as long as you need to. bring water and goodies for other people. and dont' forget the number to call if you notice voting irregularities (1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)) - there are dozens of websites already tracking issues. i wish it weren't the case, but it just could be.

while i wait for the dishwasher repairmen to come, i am putting all of lisa's cds on my computer. so fun! i have never owned a U2 cd, but now i have some... lots of madonna, french music, jazz, and blues. AND the group that sang this song.... who is it??

Monday, November 3, 2008

u can't touch this

can't touch my apple crisp, that is!

today is monday - and you know what that means! more kitchen katastrophe. check it out at mad tasty and be sure to bookmark for every monday. today's feature is an apple crisp i "made" for jen last week...

what's the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble? anyone know?

manic monday

from what i understand, most people dread mondays. but mondays are my FAVORITE day of the week - have been since at least high school. i have always felt productive and energized by the start of the week. and mondays are always busy and i am most happy with many many things to do. and this week is no different because i am on my way to gay paris!

i truly do love paris. its one of my favorite cities in the world and up until a few years ago was definitely THE city for me (now sydney and berlin are inching ahead).

i am slightly worried about my train... i leave munich at about 4:30 and i get to stuttgart and have only 7 minutes to change trains. i'm worried because i have a LOT of luggage. if its a big train station, i might not be able to get to the next train in time. this is actually really worrying me. if all goes as planned, i should get in to paris at 10:37pm. * fingers crossed *

so what do i love about paris?
i love the cafes outside
i love that massive, historical buildings and monuments are interspersed with apartment buildings
i love the "hearts" of the apartment buildings - how you go in the front door and then walk through a hall to find the center of the building
i love the metro system - so easy
i love the big advertisements in the metro system
i love seeing things from movies - like when you walk out of gare de l'est and look up and see the stairs where amelie chased the photographer guy
i love eating in restaurants or going to clubs underground - far underground, not just the basement. down in a cave
i love (and equally hate) the cobblestone streets and paths
i love the city organization by arrondisement. and i love the books that you buy that tell you where the streets are
i love how there are photo machines in the metro stops
i love canal st. martin
i love the sacre coeur - the only church that i have ever liked
i love how most people buy groceries every few days (rather than one big trip every other week)
i love how the french cram so much into those tiny apartments

should i go on?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Roundup

Electoral: Obama 266, McCain 272

Popular vote: Obama 52%, McCain 47%

Senate: 59 Democrats, 41 Republicans

House: 258 Democrats, 177 Republicans

Minnesota race: Franken 41%, Coleman 44%, Barkley 15%
About Joe Lieberman
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

listen for my beep

the first thing i thought as the cab drove me from the hauptbanhof (central train station) to my hotel (hilton münchen city) was "wow. munich is a CITY." there is a proper "financial district" and somewhat tall skyscrapers. and i could see the olympic tower in the distance - all very schön (cool).

i got in on friday and relaxed in the hotel. i completely forgot that it was halloween - i didn't really leave the hotel, but if i had remembered i think i would've gone out to see if people dressed up here. i really want to buy a bayern costume to bring home - can't you see me dressed up as a bayern mädchen? kind of like this...

except not totally - less slutty. maybe a longer skirt. and of course with beer mugs in my hands!

yesterday morning, i got up and started getting ready. i put MTV on - and shock of all shocks! German MTV actually plays MUSIC VIDEOS! can you believe that? what a novel concept! that lasted for a few hours and then at noon real world hollywood came on. yes, i admit: i was sucked in. it's a train wreck! you can't help but watch!

once i tore myself away from the comfort of my hotel room (which, btw, is not THAT great - there are stains on the carpet. i dont like stains. i'm leaving a comment card), i went for a walk through town. i just started walking without looking at the map (except when i first left) and an hour later i was at the train station. munich downtown is very small. i was surprised at how small it is. i took some cool pictures which i dont think i will upload until i get to paris - i dont want to bother setting it all up right now.

i stopped only twice on my journey "out." i popped into this bakery that seemed very busy - and with good reason! they had soo many baked goods, i didnt know where to start. and they were all in these little plastic cabinets, like a cafeteria, so you could serve yourself. i got two bretzels, which are very good in germany (not like pretzels you get at the stadium). one was regular and one had pumpkin seeds on it. pumpkin seeds! what a great idea! it was delish. i also stopped into the McCafe which is a coffee shop attached to McDonalds. i think the first time I saw this was in New Zealand. it's pretty cool. and there was a woman with her two daughters eating mcd's and they were all eating salads! good salads at mcdonalds? crazy concept!

on my way back to the hotel, i stopped in a park to write in my journal and play solitaire on my ipod. that ipod is one of the best things i have ever purchased - thanks, homie. my tour around the city was rather short because yesterday was a holiday - i'm guessing something to do with Toussaint or All Saints Day like in France - so all of the stores were closed. that was unfortunate timing on my part. i might go out later today and look around, BUT... it won't be until 3pm because for me to be online, it is costing me TWENTY EIGHT EUROS - thats about $40! for 24 hours. outrageous. so once that's over, i don't think i'll be online again until i get to paris...

the other thing i noticed about munich is that i can't find a starbucks. i know, i know. i shouldn't be looking for one, but it's kind of comforting to have familiar drinks and a place to relax. they didn't have chai tea at the mccafe. maybe i will look again today for some...

oh! also, i have actually studied german since i have been here - ** (that was me patting myself on the back). so fun!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

paradise by the dashboard light


It's an overcast day in southeastern germany, but as my train winds through the hills I don't notice that there is no sun. the mountains are scattered with snow and the elm trees have flakes of snow on their tops. the houses are picturesque german gingerbread houses. i think if i grew up here i would have thought i was grettle.

the train ride is incredibly comfortable and i thought i was in first class until i noticed the "2" on my door. this is indeed second class, but without someone sitting next to me, i have the room of a first class ride. i have a fruit cup and bottle of red wine and am watching dexter on my laptop while looking out the window at the countryside. i have never been one for landscape pictures, but this is very homey to me. i think it's the snow.

i'm on my way from berlin to munich. it wasn't sad for me to leave berlin - i know that i will be back. upon this realization, i started thinking about "when should i be sad?" because in theory, this has been a great two months and i should be sad to leave. i was not sad to leave boston. i wasn't sad to leave fargo when i went away to college. i wasn't sad to leave sacramento or new zealand. i think the only time i "should" have been sad was when i moved from france back to the US. i should've known that my life would not be the same as it was in reims and paris - easily the best time of my life so far. when i left france in december 2003, i dont remember exactly, but i think that i was slightly sad, but mostly anxious to get home for the holidays - move in to a new apartment in boston, get back on with my life with all of my things taken from out of storage. i wasn't that sad. six months later i went back to europe for 2 weeks and i do distinctly remember being teary eyed on the train back to paris on my way back to the states.

well, all of that is neither here nor there. i am on my way to munich!

Post Script. so dexter might not be the show to watch on a train - violence, vulgarity, nudity, but then i realized that it's germany. they dont care!

[Editors note: this was written on Friday, October 31, 2008 - Happy Halloween!]