Saturday, February 12, 2005

Today is my birthday. We won’t discuss my age. It’s frighteningly old. Anyway, Chris just cooked me breakfast which was quite nice. We plan to just relax all day long and then go to the Tattenbach, a really charming little pub in Lehel we discovered one night. We’ve been there a few times with Paul and Jen and the service is really friendly. We ordered a 30 liter keg of Augustiner and reserved a nice little back room and invited about 25 of our friends to join us. We’ll be celebrating Chris’ birthday as well, which is next Saturday, when we will be in Egypt. It should be really fun.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Just got a much needed huge laugh from a birthday card sent by my sister, Gina. She wrote on the inside:

Dear Janie,
Happy Birthday! Love Ya Lots!
Gina, John, Lily and Jack

P.S. Hello to Chris & Henry on this Holiday (Oops, I mean your birthday – do they celebrate your birthday as a national holiday in Germany yet?)

At home, my birthday is usually a month long extravaganza of drinks and dinners out on the town. My sister constantly pokes fun at me for this, all the while partaking in the festivities. When I left Jersey, there were so many parties that my brother-in-law called it “Janie’s Farewell Tour”.
I hate talking about money with Chris. I have always been very private about it. I was taught that to talk about money was in very bad taste so I never learned how to do it. It’s my hang-up because he is more than generous. I am so used to making my own money and paying my own way that it doesn’t seem natural to be so dependent on someone else. And even when I go back to work, I’ll be lucky to make one quarter of what he is making. When I was on my own, I was making more than enough to have a very nice little lifestyle. Now I find myself weighing every purchase, something I never did before. He’s spent his entire life being financially prudent and I am a train wreck with money. As I said, he doesn’t have a hang-up about sharing it, but I certainly have a hard time taking it. I really need to work on being more accepting of Chris’ generosity. So in the spirit of being more forthcoming, that is today’s true confession.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I had a mail from AF yesterday. It still bowls me over when he wishes me well. It feels good to be at peace with him. After everything that was said and done in that relationship, I never thought we would get to this period of détente. I was not happy with the sorry way things ended between us, especially after the love we shared. But it was never going to be right, not from day one, so I suppose it was inevitable that it end badly.

And though I know everything worked out as it should have, I still have some sadness about him. I’ve moved on and found love and made a great new life and he seems stalled, unwilling or unable to be happy. I guess that is at the heart of why we couldn’t be together – I felt he couldn’t choose happiness. Or wouldn’t. Either way, it wasn’t healthy for me.

I had a lovely mail from Andy Johnson too. I like him so much as a human being and am so glad we’ve become friendlier – especially in this past year through mails. He’s just plain special – kind hearted, smart, edgy, and with an amazing capacity for empathy. I liked him immediately when I met him, but now that I know him I really think he is quite wonderful. He’s been unfailing generous of spirit and supportive of me. For some reason, I have always found it easy to totally drop my guard with him because I knew I was in a safe place. So thinking of you today, Andy.
This poem by Theodore Roethke, whose works I really admire, speaks to me today.


Let others probe the mystery if they can.
Time-harried prisoners of Shall and Will-
The right thing happens to the happy man.

The bird flies out, the bird flies back again;
The hill becomes the valley, and is still;
Let others delve that mystery if they can.

God bless the roots! -Body and soul are one
The small become the great, the great the small;
The right thing happens to the happy man.

Child of the dark, he can out leap the sun,
His being single, and that being all:
The right thing happens to the happy man.

Or he sits still, a solid figure when
The self-destructive shake the common wall;
Takes to himself what mystery he can,

And, praising change as the slow night comes on,
Wills what he would, surrendering his will
Till mystery is no more: No more he can.
The right thing happens to the happy man.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lise Farrell and me, Fasching, 2005

Gulsemin Bal, Lise Farrell and me, Fasching, 2005
Yesterday was Fasching, or Mardi Gras, Carnival or Shrove Tuesday, as it is called in other parts of the world. We went downtown to watch some of the drunken festivities, which basically involved costumed people imbibing enormous amounts of booze. But it was fun, and not like anything I’ve ever participated in before so I am glad for the opportunity.

We ended up at a nice little Bavarian place where they know us and were joined by Lise and the EPO crowd, who were in fine fettle and all costumed up. Chris ended up wearing a purple boa and I had on black velvet kitten ears! Much much fun!

I had been feeling very low having received very bad news about the health of a friend at home, but I tried not to dwell on it. Today, however, is another story and I can’t get my head wrapped around someone I know and love and who is so vital, being diagnosed with something so serious. My heart is breaking. Am counting my blessings today and feeling so lucky

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

In an effort to be more forthcoming in this blog, I’ll admit to some depression and anxiety lately. I feel very distanced from my friends at home and it is bothering me. This past month, I have not heard from several of my closest friends and whereas in the past, I might have picked up the phone or dropped them a line, now I am just hanging back. First, I have to realize that people are busy with jobs and children and so forth and that virtually no one I know has as much free time as I do to obsess about things. Second, I also have to realize that I am no longer the center of the universe, or Haddonfield anyway, since I moved here and people have gotten over me leaving. Third, and most important, I must always remember that my life is with Chris now and the rest of this doesn’t mean as much as it did when I was single and living alone. It still hurts a little, but I am working on it. And that is the unvarnished truth.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Friday night when he was in his cups, Chris told me that I censor myself too much in my blog and that I should put in a bunch of the stuff which I have left out on purpose. I suppose I feel funny letting it all hang out because it is public and because I know some people from home and here read it regularly. He has a point though and I am thinking of either changing the direction of this blog or making a shadow blog with all the down and dirty stuff.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jason and Tyler Wilson came to town on Friday for a four day weekend of play. We had a blast. Jason’s always up for anything, which is a great trait in a visitor and Tyler, who I’d only met once before at a gallery opening, was much the same. I was trying to sell Jason on an article on Toytown, but he was up in the air about it. I think both of the guys, who are fathers of young children, were just ready to let their hair down, drink a few beers and laugh. I introduced them to Lise and Richard on Friday night, which turned out well despite Tyler telling Richard just how ugly his sweater was (which, truthfully, was dead on.) Richard, who can take a joke, wore it the next two times he saw them, which was funny as hell. Saturday, we wandered allover town and through the English Garden, which looked spectacular in the snow. Then we met up with Chris’ motley crew at the Augustiner Brewery for a long session. There must have been fifteen of us. I like that place a lot and so did the guys so that was a success. Sunday, I left them to their own devices and met up for dinner. Jen and Paul, who’d been in Barcelona all weekend, hooked up with us as well for a quiet one. Monday, Chris left for London, and I met the boys and had some beers before a nice dinner at the Brasserie with Lise, Richard, Jen, Paul, and Guls. Really good rapport between everyone, good conversation and laughter flowing. Nice night and great trip. They left Tuesday morning and I collapsed into a heap.
Sander and Wesley Wilson