Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is a rant!

So don't read if you're not interested, which I would totally understand. I've tweeted about my living situation and how I recently moved in with my girlfriend and her uncle - into a one-bedroom apartment. As you can imagine, this is not exactly perfect - or should I say it sucks? Yes, rent is cheap, but we live in the living room, which isn't huge and we sleep on an airbed. We have almost no privacy and no space to call our own. We want to move into a condo but can't afford even the cheapest place because my girlfriend can't get a job - stupid economy!! - and her mom is barely supporting her enough to feed her. Her parents basically both don't care what happens in her future or at least they don't show their care because neither of them truly supports her, so I do my best, but I have limited means available as well. My parents pay for my school and living expenses, but with paying for part of my girlfriend's groceries I spend almost all the money they give me for necessities. My girlfriend and I fight about money, because we don't have any, and we fight because we don't have the space the give each other some space.

I know that I should be grateful that I have a place to live and that my parents are providing for me and that I don't go to bed hungry, but this situation is slowly starting to eat me up. I don't know how much longer my gf's uncle will let me stay here and I don't know what will happen once he tells me to move out. I literally don't have anywhere to go. I grew up in a nice house and when I move out I moved into this huge room in an apartment that I shared with two other girls where I had lots of privacy and lots of space. I don't really want to move in with roommates, as my girlfriend will not be able to stay over very often and then we won't be able to see each other on a daily basis, which is what we are used to. Because of all the homework, we barely have time to spend any quality time together, and I really don't want to spend any of the little time we have apart. The only solution that seems like a good idea right now is to move into a two-bedroom apartment with her uncle, as he then would be paying her rent. But as of right now, he can't afford to move and he also doesn't seem really willing to move, as he has lived in this apartment for years and we could possibly move someplace else within 5 years. Then, he might have difficulties paying rent in a bigger apartment and what would he do with a 2-bedroom. I understand why he is reluctant, I totally do, but this is just the only solution I have. This is my plan. I don't have a plan B, all I have this or nothing. My girlfriend and I have discussed this issue multiple times in the past days and there just doesn't seem to be a solution. Unless one of us mysteriously wins the lottery or inherits a large sum of money, we will probably still be living in this apartment a year from now.

The situation sucks, I don't know what to do, and I've never been in a situation like this before in my life. I know that a lot of people go through hard times, but with trying to keep up with my homework, trying to get a 4.0 GPA and having a healthy relationship, I just feel like I don't have the energy to figure out what to do. I've been ignoring this problem since the day I moved in here and the longer I live here the harder it gets to ignore the fact that living like that is, quite frankly, below my standards. I don't mean to sound like a spoiled little child, but I've always had my own bed and my own desk and a dresser and even when I shared a room with my sister - for a whole 13 years - I had more space and more privacy. At least then, I could always go into a different room.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The history of hip-hop in 5 days

Dear god, it appears I'm trying to kill myself. With school very obviously kicking my butt, I kinda, maybe, perhaps, sorta, might have overlooked the fact that I should be reading 4 books for my English class and that I had only started reading 2. Yes, I could have chosen to not start with the one that is 'due' tomorrow, but instead chosen a different book (we get to choose 3 books out of 5), but I had this grand idea that if I can read a 700-page Harry Potter in a day I'll be able to read a 460-page book about hip-hop in a weekend. Well, it seems having to do laundry, dishes, cooking and other random things that need to be done around the house diminishes your ability to read for 8 hours a day. So I still have to read about 80 pages before tomorrow. Yeah, I am crazy, but hey, I have already read too much to give up now. Luckily, I don't have to do a presentation about the book, I just have to hand in my reading journal, which I have been working on while reading, and take part in the discussion.

Still, it seems like I am trying to kill myself by reading too much. Funny, really, as our English teacher keeps mentioning how she thinks we read too much. Ya think? Anyways, I will be able to finish by tomorrow, I'm just not going to get too much sleep. Not that I'm not used to that by now. The book is fairly interesting, but it has slightly too many names and terms in it for it to be an easy read. If I'm having a hard time reading it, then so will most people in my class, based on the fact that most of them hate the book we all have to read and I think of it as really interesting ('1968: The Year that Rocked the World', by Mark Kurlansky, in case you were wondering). I'm already wondering how much of the information I will actually be able to retain, but we will see in my discussion tomorrow.

As for now, I have to go back to reading, so that I can get at least some sleep. More on this will follow soon...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oh. My. God.

School is seriously kicking my butt!! I am so busy all the time, I don't have time to do anything apart homework, get groceries and spend some little time with my girlfriend. So far I'm getting good grades - only one B so far - but I just hope that with me not having enough time for speeches and essays that my grades won't slip.

That's all. Not much for now, but I just don't have time to post right now. I'm enjoying my time here, I hardly miss home at all and things with the girlfriend are good, even if we quarrel sometimes. But overall it's good, so I'm happy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The curse of terrorism

[I wrote this review for my class, it got published in last week's paper - *yay*.]

The German movie „The Baader Meinhof Complex“ – currently showing in the Hillcrest cinema – relives the crimes of a terrorist group called ‘Red Army Fraction’ (RAF), active in Germany between the 1960s and the 1990s. Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof were the two most prominent leaders of the RAF and saw themselves as revolutionaries in ‘the police state West Germany’. Their generation, born during or right after World War II, was hell bent on not letting something even remotely similar to Hitler and the Nazi Regime happen again and found the German society to be a prisoner of capitalism and a politically motivated press. Their criminal activities cost 34 lives and left hundreds injured. The movie successfully shows what terrorism can do to a country, but also what it does to the terrorists and how their fanaticism ultimately lead to their self-destruction.

To an Austrian, numerous of the actors are familiar faces. The roles were well-cast and the actors did a terrific job at portraying multi-faceted, some-what afflicted characters. Moritz Bleibtreu (‘Munich’), Martina Gedeck (‘The Good Shepard’), Bruno Ganz (‘The Reader’), Hannah Herzsprung and Heino Ferch are all household names in German cinema and theatre. Showing Baader’s anger and fierce commitment to the cause, Bleibtreu’s acting stands out. Bruno Ganz plays the head of the Federal Criminal Police Office with a spooky calm, understanding how and why the terrorists operate so well even his subordinates are worried. The movie is definitely European, maybe even noticeably German – and not just because of the language! Nudity and violence are portrayed differently to American movies, almost in a matter-of-fact way. The violence is not glorified nor hidden, but rather shown for what it was. The style and setting sets ‘The Baader Meinhof Complex’ apart from how American’s show their history on film. America’s film society recognized the movie for its excellence with one Golden Globe nomination and one Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ in 2009.

Watching the movie almost seems as if it was supposed to be a two-parter. Even though the two thematic halves were closely related, the feel and setting are distinctively different. Running at 2 hours and 30 minutes, one is aware of its length. ‘The Baader Meinhof Complex’ might have left more of an impact on viewers had the two parts been separated.

Being a true story, the movie succeeds in mixing real news clips from that time with the fictional material. In some scenes, the viewers are placed inside the characters emotional world so well, one cannot help but feel either sympathetic or antagonistic towards the terrorists. An interest in German history or terrorism in other countries makes this movie worth watching, even if it is long-winded at times.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. I have struggled with coming out and am still uncertain when to refer to my girlfriend as my girlfriend and when to say 'my best friend'. I hate, hate, hate lying about our relationship, but sometimes it is just difficult to be perfectly honest. All I know is that being out and open is important for our community, which is why I try to be out as much as I possibly can and why I joined the LGBT-club on campus.

Being out is difficult. Every member of my community knows that and has encountered some kind of discrimination. But as AfterEllen's tag-line states 'Because visibility matters' - visibility does matter. So come out to your family, your friends and be open - as much as you can!