The Three Loves

A few months ago I was waiting at Tegel Airport before I could board my flight home to Chicago. I sat near a television screen that was flashing various headlines, but one particular report caught my eye. According to n-tv (the German equivalent of CNN), we only fall in love three times in our lives, which I loosely interpreted to mean that we have three major loves during our life. 
Here are the three purported loves:
#1: The first love is our "childhood love" - or to be redundant, the very first love of our life. Childhood love sounds like you were fourteen when it happened. I was not a child, however, I was twenty.  
#2: The second love is our "difficult love." This was all of my mid to late 20s and a few months after my 30th birthday.

#3: The third love is the "unexpected one." This love began for me at the age of 30.

I have had plenty of time to ponder the claim, which one might immediately discredit. Three loves? No! I fell in love plenty of times …

A Picture is Worth...

...1,000 words? We all know the old adage, but I think a picture can be worth a lot more.

I'm not sure about you, but I have always had a vivid imagination. I would often envision myself as a successful and glamorous actress, rock star, top model, princess or other rich and famous person, and somehow that person in my head, whatever form they took, looked thinner, taller, prettier and certainly better styled. The "perfect" ideal has unfortunately been planted in our heads from a very young age. My coveted Barbies, once treasured playthings, now symbolize for me much of what is wrong with our perfection-driven society. We are supposed to look "perfect." Even emaciated models who are size 0 or 2 (think Victoria Beckham) have their arms and legs photoshopped in ads. Heidi Klum is almost my height - she is 5'9"/175 cm and I'm almost 5'10"/177 cm - but she weighs almost 20 pounds less than I do - she weighs in at 137lbs/62kg and I'm at 154…

An encounter with the stars, Part Two

While this blog originally focused on my dating life (or sex-scapades, but without the sex because my family reads these posts!), I have been posting more and more about film. I feel the topic of film still fits with the overall theme because I love film and I love talking about film, film stars, directors and overall film nerdiness. I have always been a film nerd, but have morphed into an even bigger one over the years, especially while writing my dissertation - or to use the lovely German word: Doktorarbeit, literally translated: "doctor work" - on German cinema. I will admit that is a bit of niche topic for American readers, and hell even for some German ones, and certainly for those who are not interested in film, but I appreciate you reading this (if you are indeed reading this).

My post begins today with a note of thanks. My friends Maryann and Marina gave me the perfect Doktortitel-Geschenk (doctorate gift): a ticket to attend the Berlin premiere of the latest film st…

An encounter with the stars

Dear readers/Liebe Leser_innen,

On Tuesday, I was near Leipzig to attend a showing of the new German film Fack ju Göhte 3 (F*ck you Goethe 3) where the director, Bora Dagtekin, and the star of the film, Elyas M'Barek, were also in attendance. They arrived about 40 minutes before the film was to start and signed autographs, took selfies and chatted with the 300-400 adoring fans (my rough estimate - the theater was small and in the middle of nowhere). The crowd, mainly consisting of young German women from the area, was relatively tame, but when prompted they would cheer and scream. A few girls began yelling for the actor, who is admittedly very attractive, to take off his clothes. I scoffed, being the older, academic snob in the crowd who was not a parent (I was asked by staff if I was "with the press" - clearly I didn't fit in), and loudly proclaimed: "Ich bitte euch, das muss aber nicht sein, ne?" ("Come on, is that really necessary?") The girls,…

Aging Gracefully - Debunking the Myth

Another birthday has come and gone. Now that I'm over 30, celebrations tend to be over by midnight and not fueled by nearly as much alcohol as they once were 5-10 years ago. Although I must say, to spend the eve of my birth at Oktoberfest in Munich was interesting. One entire liter of beer - at 5pm on a Saturday, mind you, we were not out to get shit faced - was enough to make me giddy as a little schoolgirl. And that was it for me! I shudder to think what I put my poor liver through in my 20s. But hey, it was fun!

*Shout out to the San Diego birthday crew of 2012, Sloan, Dan, Lucas and David. So many shenanigans.
*Big shout out to my 30th birthday crew of 2015! That really was a classy, beautiful party. Thanks to Annette and Meg for the inspiration for the theme. And oh, the champagne donated by my beautiful mother, a true reveler ❤️

But now, it is not only alcohol that I have to watch out for. I have Berlin's hard water and air pollution, a lack of sun, lack of sleep, coffee…

The Pressures of Being Human

My Dear Readers,

With only a few weeks to go until I reach the PhD finish line, my brain has been set to hyperdrive mode. Thus it is not entirely surprising that I could still manage to write something for fun. I must admit that today's post is quite personal, but I think the bottom line is one with which we all relate.

I have suffered from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) since I was a teenager. I was not always aware of my affliction, I just knew I felt terrible and sometimes it would take weeks or even months for me to look and feel normal. The average person cannot see that you suffer from IBS unless, for example, you are so bloated you look pregnant, which I experience from time to time. It is a chronic disorder that, as far as I am aware, receives little attention but approximately 1 in 5 Americans have it. It has a range of symptoms and unfortunately cannot be cured. You just have to learn to manage it in the long term, which is not always an easy task and requires discipline…

The One, One Year Later

One year ago on this day, July 17, I met my one true love. I could write about how much I love him (more than anything) and how great everything is (better than great). Instead I decided to write something other than a pile of cliché, maudlin sentences to that effect for our one-year anniversary. In doing so, I feel it expresses all of the mushy sentiment I want to avoid. Oh, the irony.

It hit me a few times recently. No, luckily not a car while flying around Berlin on my bicycle, but rather this odd and sickening sensation in my stomach, almost like my guts are opening up and the contents are free falling into a deep dark abyss. The same sort of feeling I have when undergoing a panic attack. But what triggered it this time?

Strangely enough, it was thinking about the love-filled year with Mr. Right and knowing that meeting the man of my dreams depended on one swipe of my finger. How wonderfully bizarre is the world we live in today, when I can honestly say I am thankful for the fact …