May 14th – Personal Quirks

Today’s prompt from Blog Everyday in May is to share some of your quirks – and boy, do I have a lot of them.

  • I am like the girl from Signs – I leave half-empty (or half-full if you’re an optimist) glasses everywhere. When I was a teenager, my room would be filled with cans of diet soda that had 25% to 50% of their soda still within. I’ve gotten a bit better, but it’s still a problem. Unlike the girl from Signs, this isn’t a cute personality quirk. I don’t think there is anything wrong my drinks. I just go off to do something or fall asleep before I finish them, and then when I come back they are flat. And then I’m too lazy to throw them away.
  • I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but I hate tomatoes and I think cilantro tastes like soap. I know the cilantro thing has a genetic basis, but I’m not sure about the tomatoes. And please don’t tell me to eat homegrown tomatoes instead of store-bought because they have more taste – more taste would just make it worse!
I want to like you because you're healthy and in everything. By Softeis (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I want to like you because you’re healthy and in everything.
By Softeis (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
  • I can’t eat sugary things on an empty stomach because it makes me feel sick. I thought this was a normal thing, but every time I tell someone, “I can’t eat that candy bar/piece of cake/ice cream because I’m hungry,” they look at me when I’m insane. I’m not sure if this is a physical thing or a result of my mom always insisting that I eat “real food” before sweets.
  • I’m not scared of heights per se, but I hate being able to see through what I’m standing on. My brain assumes that if I can see through it, I can fall through it. Those glass bottomed outlooks on tall building are nightmare fuel for me.
    Nope nope nope nope nope Spinnaker Tower, Portsmoth, UK By Janderk1968 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
    Nope nope nope nope nope
    Spinnaker Tower, Portsmoth, UK
    By Janderk1968 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
  • I think Bavarian sounds like an Irish person speaking German. I also think Dutch sounds like a mix of Scottish and German. I have no idea if these are quirks or not.
  • I really enjoy writing with purple pens. If you every need a gift idea, pens with purple ink are always appreciated, or purple ink to put in my fancy fountain pen the Verlobter got me for Christmas.

If you know me personally and think I missed something, please comment below! I want to know! (But be nice :-P)

May 13th – Advice for College Graduates

Advice for Graduates

Today’s Blog Everyday in May prompt is to offer advice to college graduates. I finished school only two years ago – I’m not sure if this makes me unqualified or extra-qualified to give advice. Either way, this is what I have to say.

1. Don’t apply only for jobs that fit your studies perfectly.

Unless you’ve managed to already lined up your dream job – in which case, you should offer me advice – you don’t want your search to be too narrow. This means you need to broaden the type of job you’re looking for, the location range you’re looking at, or both. I person went for looking further and further away from where my family lived, and it did make things difficult at times. Sometimes I wonder how that year before moving would’ve gone if I had worked as an aid or a sub instead of a full-time teacher, but stayed near my parents.

And depending on your field, it may not matter how far you look. You might not find anything if your requirements are too narrow. Flexibility is key as well as prioritizing what in particular is important to you. You might also find out that your dream job is different than you expected.

2. Travel somewhere new.

I think it’s always important to gather new perspectives as you grow older in order to avoid the trap of believing that everyone is just like you.

If you don’t have roots, move somewhere different for a little while if it’s within your means! If you don’t like it, you can go back, or go somewhere else. Living in a place for awhile allows the novelty to fade a little, which can give a slightly different perspective.

If you’ve already put down roots, you can take trips and consciously interact with people from different backgrounds. In the US, there are many cultural differences between regions – you don’t have to backpack across Europe to start seeing the world from a different point of view.

3. Find a hobby.

If you already have a hobby, continue making time for it. Your routine will change, but having something outside of work/searching for work will help keep you sane. Knitting, writing, playing a sport – it’s nice to have something you enjoy to help your mind recharge.

If school was so busy that you didn’t have time for a hobby, this is a great time to try out some things. Your routine is already changing, so this is a good time to work something new in. And if you’ve moved to a new place, your hobby can help you meet people. If you like sports, see if a local gym offers any team sports that you can join. If you like crafting, join a knitting circle. If you like cooking, see if any stores or night schools offer classes. You can even connect with people online if that’s where your hobby takes you (like writing, for example).

For those recent graduates – congratulations! You’ve worked hard, so find ways to enjoy yourself as you start the next chapter of your life!

May 12th – Favorite Blogging Tools

I feel a bit inexperienced for today’s prompt for Blog Everyday in May, which is about favorite blogging tools, but I am very excited to read what others have to say. I just started seriously blogging in March, so I’m still working out what works best for me. I’m excited to see what programs or items more experience bloggers tend to use, and reading through some of their posts, I’m already getting some ideas that could improve my blog quite a bit (Evernote and Canva have come up a few times and I plan on checking those out).

The most important tool that I use is my phone.  It is basically an appendage, and I’ve written quite a bit on it so far. I generally prefer to read through things again on the computer, and it’s easier to add pictures to my posts through the web program for – though the majority of my pictures come from my phone.

My phone with it's dorky wallet case. I drop it a lot, and the wallet adds some cheap extra protection.
My phone with it’s dorky wallet case. I drop it a lot, and the wallet adds some cheap extra protection.

If I decide to actually work on my photography skills, I might start using a real camera. But right now, I just snap quick shots of things I find interesting, so the phone is good enough (and I always having it anyway!).

I also use the WordPress app on my phone, which I quite like. I don’t know how things may change if I ever move over to self-hosted, though. If anyone has more info about moving to self-hosted, I’d love some tips! But for right now, it’s nice to have a lot of options right at my fingertips.

wpid-screenshot_2015-05-12-17-35-18.pngTo my blog friends, are there any tools you think I should try, especially mobile apps?  I would love to hear suggestions!

Cigarette Vending Machines – Weird German Things #6

One of the things that you will notice in Germany is that there are cigarette vending machines everywhere. They’re on street corners and outside train stations, and they are always beat up and graffitied. I don’t know who owns them and gets the money from them, but I’m sure they make a lot of money. I’m not sure the stereotype is true that Europeans smoke more, but there are fewer gas stations and convenience stores here, so I imagine that even if there are the same number of smokers here, the vending machines do plenty of business to make up the difference.

wpid-wp-1430434100887.jpegThis is one outside a train station. I believe the graffiti is actually a style choice and is part of the panel. I’ve seen the same pattern elsewhere.  But I’ve also seen plane ones that say “Tabakwaren” or Tabacco.  There are some old stickers on it, but I didn’t examine them too closely, because I was already the crazy person taking pictures of a cigarette machine.

In order to buy cigarettes, you have to scan a ID carde to prove that you’re of age. I don’t know what you do if you’re foreign – I suppose you just have to go to a store.  This seems incredibly insecure to me, though. There is no way to check to make sure that the ID actually matches the person buying the cigarettes. I’d imagine it’d be easy to swipe or borrow an older person’s ID.

I see now that there is an advertisement for some sort of heavy metal barbecue on there.
I see now that there is an advertisement for some sort of heavy metal barbecue on there.

The machine accepts card and cash and advertises that it will give you your change back.  I suppose there are some that don’t?


On the left side of the picture is the ID scanner and at the top are the various receptacles for payment.  I suppose while it’s not particularly secure, it is efficient.

May 11th – Inspiration

Today’s Blog Everyday in May prompt is, “Who inspires you?”

1. My parents – they both work very hard and put aside time to take care of all of their children.  I’ve talked about both of them in previous posts and I hope that when I’m eventually a parent, I’m like them.

2. Authors – Dear people who have written books, how do you do it?  I’m having trouble enough blogging daily, I’m amazed at the dedication that others are able to put into a novel. I want your secrets! I’ve got ideas, but no follow-through.  Maybe I will do NaNoWriMo when it rolls around this year…

Sending prayers to St. Jane for aid
Sending prayers to St. Jane for aid

3. Polyglots – I’m so envious of polyglots and also want to know their secrets – though in reality, I know the secrets.  Speak as much as possible even though you sound like an idiot. Immerse yourself in the new language. Don’t be lazy and speak English with your native German speaker fiance.

Me everyday Itchy Feet by Malachi Rempen
Me everyday, but with German
Itchy Feet by Malachi Rempen

May 10th – A Lesson from Mom

Sorry that I’ve been missing lately. I have not felt well (nothing specific, just the overwhelming need to sleep for 12 hours at a time), so I hadn’t been up to writing.  I hopefully will include the missing posts as bonus posts here and there, but I don’t want to promise several days of doubling up, because that is likely too much for me.

Anyway, I’m sorry for the interruption, but now we will continue with your regularly scheduled program from Blog Everyday in May. Today’s prompt asks for lessons learned from mothers or other female figures in your life in honor of Mothers’ Day.

My mother has taught me a lot of things, but there is one thing in particular that I wanted to take about. Even if she had never talked to me about this, I would have likely learned it from her anyway because this is something she does all the time.

She is kind to everyone, even (especially) people who are not kind to her.

She is a big “kill them with kindness” person, and while it was hard for me to understand and try to do myself as a child, as I have gotten older, I have seen seen how it makes my life and others’ lives much better.

When you are nice to someone who is mean to you, usually their reactions fall into two categories:
1. They realize they are being a jerk and stop being mean. They may even apologize. They may even be sincere!
2. They keep on being rude and end up making fools of themselves.

Now these results might not happen immediately, which was why this philosophy was difficult for kid-me. I have always been incredibly impatient, and when I was a child, I had an incredibly short temper. I still do, actually, but I’m much better at hiding it.

But I tried this at school and at work, and while not everyone turns around and is your best friend, it’s easier than getting drawn into a fight. I know my mom doesn’t always find it easy, but I am often amazed at her kindness and patience with people even when things are difficult.

So thank you, Mom, for this life lesson that has really helped me. I actually think trying to do this more was a major part in controlling my temper. It also helped me quite a bit in work, too – teaching and working with customers.

Have a fabulous Mothers’ Day.  You deserve it.