Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wingin' It

I realized I hadn't written in my blog in a while. I mean, I posted a story but that's it. I've been so lazy lately and I discovered Twitter which hasn't been much fun cause I only know two people on it, and the rest of the people I follow are celebrities - which is also fun because I get to read all the funny and sometimes embarrassing things they write on there. Some stuff I'm just like.. "What the hell? Why would they write something like that?" I find the funniest person on there is Kathy Griffin. She calls everyone "fellow twatters." I like that...twatter.
Anyway, so enough about that, so I was just reflecting on how stinky the apartment is at this moment. It's either something one of our neighbors is cooking or perhaps it is my boxer Bo sitting next to me. Not sure...he usually doesn't stink!
Well, folks, I'm anxiously awaiting my final grades to return so that I can finally send my transcript to UNCW. Jordan and I took a day trip to Wilmington the other day (Which, by the way, don't ever do if you don't want to spend 6 hours in a car in one day). We would have stayed somewhere, but we had to come back because I was supposed to get our husky puppy spayed the next morning. Well, it turns out we COULD have stayed in Wilmington because we didn't even get it done yesterday. We accidentally fed her and gave her water after 9pm the night before the surgery, so I had to call the next morning. They told me it was better to be safe that sorry and that we should reschedule. So now she's getting spayed three days before Christmas. What they said could happen was that what was ever in her stomach might be upset by the anesthesia and she could suffocate in her sleep. OMG! Glad I didn't let them do the surgery.
Well anyway, back to the Wilmington thing. Well, we went by the school just to check on things, and the lady told me that they had everything on file for me except my final transcript. She said as soon as they had that transcript, they would go ahead and make a decision on me. So hopefully that was positive. I see no reason why I shouldn't get grades are good. So we will just have to see. I just need to get that transcript in!!! I want to know by January.
So the deal about that, since the two of you who are reading this were wondering, is that we are, given that I get into UNCW, moving down to Wilmington probably in May or June. That depends on how long it takes us to find a decent place that will allow us to have our dogs. As far as our apartment here in Greensboro goes, apparently Alex wants to take over our lease with his sister. So if they do that, although I doubt it at this point, we should be able to go as early as May. (If they dont do it, we'll find someone else). So the good news about that is that I get to spend all summer long at the beach! All I will be doing is working and hanging out at the beach, and I think that is very appealing!
Jordan doesn't know what he is going to do. He wants to look into go to Cape Fear CC to do a criminal justice associates or the BLET. I feel bad making him leave Greensboro, but I think we've both had it with this place and need a change!
I DO know that when I move I sure as hell am not going to work for Starbucks. There's nothing wrong with the company but: 1. Wilmington is the hometown of Port City Java and it would be a slap in Wilmington's face to work for Starbucks (although Wilmington allowed four Starbuckes to open in the area, except in the downtown sector which belongs solely to PCJ), and 2. If I work at a restaurant all summer (in a vacation town, no less) think of the money I'd rake in??
Anyway, that's the plan. I don't even know if we are officially going at this point. But I hope to God we get to! I think its just something I gotta do and if it's meant to be it's meant to be!
In other news, the puppy Lola is growing up so fast! She had some roundworm problems several weeks ago but we got that promptly taken care of and she is better! I freaked out about it sooo much, but now I know that roundworms are the most common problem in puppies and almost all dogs are born with them! We also have been having flea problems with her. Our older Boxer, Bo, doesn't have any fleas on him, and she had large adult fleas living on her. However, she came with fleas when we bought her from Jordan's parents' neighbor. So we bought her some Comfortis today, and I gave it to her and within a few hours all the fleas that had been on her had hopped off and died in the floor. I had to sweep them all up when I got home. I counted ten, but there could have been more! I also brushed her and searched for remaining fleas but found none. I am really excited and I am going to keep her on that stuff so that they don't ever come back to bother her again. I have given the Boxer Comfortis before, and he has done well with it, although he's never had nearly as many fleas on him as I saw on her! It was ridiculous! But I guess with all that hair on her there were plenty of places for them to hide!
Well besides all that, Christmas is coming soon! My friend and I are going shopping tomorrow and also are having a girl's night. I'm excited also because tomorrow is my last exam and I am done for the holidays! I've just been winging my exams. I haven't even sat down to study, not once! However, I feel I have done very good on all the exams I have taken thus far. I already have one final grade back..I made an A- in History of Rock Music! Hells yeah! I'm gonna try to pass my last Bio Psy quiz (he never set up a final..all we did was take quizzes as semester) tomorrow and then I will be done with it all and never have to think about it again!

Monday, December 7, 2009


The day the Germans thundered into Vienna, Eva Berger was ponderously gazing upon a half-finished painting that she had been working on for nearly three months. To an ordinary person, the painting might have seemed somewhat simple, but hour after hour she stood there, her head crooked to the side, silently debating where to place the right amount of contrast, where to shade, where to center the focal point, what colors to use and mix. It was certainly mind-numbing work, and she felt ill at ease - not to mention she was somewhat distracted by the clamor coming from the streets. Her studio, however stimulating of an atmosphere she had tried to create, was helping little to calm her nerves enough to wield a paintbrush. In her mind’s eye, she was creating the image of a lush landscape with just the stroke of her fingertips - so beautiful and untouched by the ills of this world. Eva and her mother had spent countless summers in the Austrian hinterland, and memories of such unspoiled land inspired her to mostly paint landscapes. However, she was determined to create a masterpiece by portraying Paradise, far superior than any view found in Austria or elsewhere. If only she could be inspired just then!
Her work was finally interrupted by her younger brother Herschel, who whisked her down to the city centre to view the procession of Wehrmacht soldiers flooding the city. Like a tidal wave they poured in, their gunmetal gray uniforms flowing past in a melancholy blur. Their trucks and motorcycles sounded like distant thunder echoing off barren hills, and the planes that whizzed by kept close watch over the scene like vultures. Some people seemed happy to welcome their liberators, their arms raised in a disturbing salute, with wicked smiles spread across their faces. The Germans did not return their enthusiasm per se, but they only stared on, like puppets on strings, without the comedic gestures of an affable children’s puppet show. Herschel jittered uneasily next to his sister, and grabbed for her hand: “Eva,” he said, “What will happen now?”
“I do not know Herschel,” Eva replied. She only knew that war had come to Vienna, but she did not yet know that they were the enemies.
When the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938, the horrors began right away. First, Jews were not allowed to go to certain public places, like a café that Herschel and Eva frequented, the cinema, or the opera house. Even certain parts of the city were shut to them.
And then there were the curfews, the patrolling of streets and the random arrests, the white armband with the blue Star of David that they were forced to wear on their overcoats. Every commodity and privilege they had once known was taken from them. Many Jewish-owned businesses and factories were confiscated and closed, or sold to the highest Aryan bidder. Eva’s one room studio where she worked above an array of both Aryan and Jewish-owned offices, was taken from her, and so she had to relocate her paintings to her uncle’s bakery, where they hung proudly for a short time, until November, when his bakery was destroyed during a Nazi pogrom called Kristallnacht.
Eva, her mother, and her brother would have left the country, but they could not afford to pay for outrageous exit visas. They would have gone into hiding when they learned that Jews were being deported, but they knew no one who would be willing to hide them. When the S.S. came for them in late 1941, the Berger's assumed that the war could not go on much longer, and the Allies would find victory soon. They had much hope for the future, because they did not know anything else.
Herschel, Mrs. Berger and Eva were rounded up with all of the other unfortunate souls and were sent to Theresienstadt. Upon arriving, they found a prison - completely surrounded by fences and walls, and guarded by Nazis and their ferocious dogs. They decided to try to make do with the situation, however difficult, and Eva was able to at least garner some paper and pencils so that she could draw. They worked during the day, and were permitted to their own devices at night. Instead of sleeping, Eva sat awake vigorously drawing by the moonlight. She did not have any variation of colors to work with, but it did not matter since everything about the camp was so very gray. Her drawings were of people, were of the camp, were of the guards…anything she was inspired to record as an image rather than a paragraph, since she hadn’t the mind to keep a diary. Her art is what kept her going. It is what kept her sane.
The Germans attempted to make the prisoners seem like highly privileged inmates to the outsider, but in reality they were very much in suffering. Mrs. Berger grew wretchedly hungry, so hungry that Eva was sure her ribs would burst through her near translucent skin. Herschel returned to his sister and mother day after day warning them of possible deportations to other unknown destinations, many of them in the East. Friends they had made were growing thin as more were selected for transfers. Eva worried that Herschel or her mother would be sent without her, or she would be sent without them.
Mrs. Berger died in late 1942, almost a year after they had arrived. Night after night, and sometimes during the day, Eva plunged herself even further into her drawings. Some mornings she would wake to find that her creation from the night before was nothing more than a dark circle that she had drawn numerous times over and over again, like a black hole. It was the representation of her misery.
Eva knew there were other artists within the camp, and she was witness to some of the many interesting works they had created, all obviously related to life at Theresienstadt. Some of the Czechs called the place Terezin, and they said that “nothing grows in Terezin.” They said, “I do not see birds in Terezin.” They painted and drew pictures, and wrote songs and poems about how life ceases to thrive in Terezin - that they were existing in a lifeless void, awaiting an inescapable fate that would surely come.
In late 1943, Herschel and Eva were sent to Auschwitz. After the grueling train ride to the camp, they arrived under cover of night to the sound of shouting and barking dogs. The siblings were immediately pulled off the car without the chance to grab what little belongings they had brought. Eva tried to hold onto Herschel, but he was torn away from her. She tried to fight her way back to him but the baton of an unseen S.S. guard was bludgeoning her so hard that she had no choice but to turn away and run with the current. She never saw Herschel again.
Instead of being selected to die, Eva was sent to be washed, her head was shaved, her arm tattooed with an identification number and her body sheathed in itchy prison garb. They transferred her to Buna, in another section of Auschwitz, where she would work in a synthetic rubber factory and would live in barracks with other women laborers. She did not have any paper or pencil and had no outlet for her suffering. But she now had a new habit of keeping herself going every day. At night she laid awake, painting imaginary murals upon the otherwise lifeless ceiling and walls. The images were so vivid and the colors were so bright.
As the Red Army drew near in January, 1945, the SS began to move the prisoners, some, like Eva, were sent to other forced labor camps. On one of the coldest days Eva could remember, she was sent back to her birth place of Austria, to the camp Mauthausen, where she served again as forced labor. She was able to secure some paper and a bit of chalk but found that she could not conjure anything to memory - the ideas she had fabricated before her long ordeal at Auschwitz had begun to fade as the days grew longer and her body was growing weaker. All around her, people were starving and dying. It was like a cemetery but the corpses were upright, moving in slow motion. It was a living hell. Even the most beauteous scenes of Paradise could not erase the evil and the misery that Eva witnessed, and she was greatly changed by it.
In May, 1945, Mauthausen was liberated by the Americans. Never before had Eva seen more jubilant sick people. Many of them were so excited they leapt off of their cots and went to welcome to the victors, only to be found a short while later dead from mere exhaustion. By this time, Eva had retired to her barracks indefinitely, waiting for a miracle or death, whichever one came first. Had the Americans been any later, she may have not survived.
After weeks of waiting for any sign of Herschel, she finally received confirmation that he had been killed at Auschwitz upon their arrival from Theresienstadt. She no longer had any family, and for the first time in seven years she wanted to die.
Some months later in Britain, Eva bought a blank canvas, and looked upon it, struggling to remember how she had once envisioned Paradise. But she found that she could not. She knew then that even though art had saved her during those long years of tribulation, it had now passed away and she was left with a story to tell, in speech, in writing, but no longer in paintings or drawings. She was left with a hollow mind in which no liveliness, no color, no hope existed. She wished then that art had never been a part of her life during those years. She wished that she would have been killed, one way or another, because nothing in this world could replace Herschel, her most beloved brother. Eva was alone, and she could not escape loneliness.
She never picked up a paintbrush again.