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Aging Gracefully - Debunking the Myth

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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

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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

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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 …

The Things We Do For Love

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I would be lying if I said my impending move to Berlin had nothing to do with matters of the heart. Admittedly the last decade or so of my life has been dedicated to the German language and culture, and, as friends can attest (Wolfman D recently called me out on this), I have talked about moving to Germany...a lot.  Add to the fact that we have an Oompa Loompa in the White House and I will complete my coveted PhD in Germanic Studies within the next few months, I would say I certainly have enough reasons to make the move across the pond.  Yet had I not met the love of my life, I would not be crazy enough to go through the process in which I currently find myself.

Don't get me wrong, it is not the worst thing in the world you can do, but there are so many things to consider before making such a huge decision. I have already donated so many of my things (and still have so much to pack, move and give away), I have read countless websites about obtaining visas and all the attached leg…

La La Lame

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Let us just get this out of the way: I'm old-fashioned AF when it comes to certain things. I stubbornly refuse to associate with the Millennials (or Generation Y) and I am so far removed from this latest group of kids, Generation Z, that I might as well be from Mars in their eyes. But they are foreign to me as well. I will never understand the plethora of teens and young adults who somehow make a living (or at least spend all of their time) online as bloggers, YouTubers or, my personal favorite, as "internet personalities." Then there are the people with no discernible talent at all who somehow make a shit pot of money just because they themselves are a brand. The Kardashians, the Trumps, the wait, what's their name again? Oh right, I don't care. Because they are nothing to me. When did we get so lazy? So sloppy? So mediocre? When did people not take the time to proof what drivel they post online? When did our vocabularies deteriorate? When did people stop readi…

A Day Which Will Live in Infamy

Friday, January 20, 2017. Inauguration Day. The same day Donald Trump is sworn is as President, I officially register as a citizen of Berlin. Coincidence? I think not.

My incredibly slow transition to live in Germany could not have occurred at a more opportune moment. Ever since the wee hours of November 9, 2016 when the nightmare became reality, I have been confused, frustrated, upset and above all disappointed. Never has a presidential election had such a visceral effect on me. I was overjoyed when Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States in 2009. I am still struggling with the fact he will no longer be our President and Michelle will no longer be our First Lady. I love them both dearly. I wept bitterly when Hillary Clinton conceded and continue to wipe tears from my eves I think the White House loses a classy, eloquent, charming man, only to gain...him. As an American I felt complacent and put faith in the system, naively believing he could not …