A blog where two married people complain about relationships and the world around us without being "politically correct". No bull here.
Off to Geneva
Posted April 7, 2014
I wish I could say I was more excited to visit the CERN Collider than I was Geneva, but that was just a lie. Don't get me wrong though, I am a traveler at heart and any new experience is a must in my book. I was baffled when researching CERN previously to our trip as the research they are conducting is changing the way we think about the world around us. I had heard Michael talk endlessly about visiting this amazing facility, but of course so is half the known world and that equates to a pretty packed schedule for visitors.
As we are nearing the end of our time living in Europe full-time I knew this was one trip we absolutely had to take before returning to the U.S.. After tirelessly searching through the schedules I found a weekend slot available in late February and snatched it up immediately! I didn't even check our schedules because I knew that no matter what we were going to make it happen. So at the end of February we drove the 5 hours or so to Geneva from our home in Germany. Little did I know just how eventful indeed this trip would be, and just how little it would have to do with Geneva or CERN.
First, and foremost, let me add that I am a planner at heart. I literally plan everything down to the most minute detail. I am not OCD or a control freak as most would believe, but rather am eternally living the Boy Scout motto to always be prepared. Secondly, if you haven't been to Switzerland I suggest you research extensively and plan accordingly before going because it is insanely expensive to do anything in the country! I am talking a sandwich and soda at the gas station costing the equivalent to $12 USD expensive. I wish I could tell you this was an over exaggeration, but rather it may actually be a little under the actual price depending on the current rate of exchange (which always sucks for American FYI!).
Taking into account our trips to Switzerland 2 times previously, I bought lots of snacks, packed a cooler, and made sandwiches for our journey to the great expensive place of wonder. We were literally going just to drive to Geneva Friday night, spend the night, see CERN and walk around a bit Geneva on Saturday, then drive back. Well despite my best laid plans, it did not go as planned at all because I forgot to factor in the human factor, otherwise known to me as the husband factor. If we ever have children I am sure I will need to expand this phrase because despite all my efforts I cannot ever control those external to my brain. *sigh*
So of course my husband comes home and is busy readying everything for our trip, packing up all the food I had gotten for the trip and as such. We hop in the car and begin our journey. I had made several sandwiches, two of which we intended to eat right away as it was about lunchtime on Friday when we departed. About 45 minutes into the drive I went in search of the sandwiches and he realized he had never packed them. The husband factor had struck fast and fierce. There we were with a cooler of drinks, a bag full of cookies and chips, and absolutely no sandwiches in sight. Needless to say I was quite upset. He had actually taken my apples and sandwiches out of the bag of snacks I had already packed because he was going to add them to the cooler once it was good to go. Well that just never happened. All the trouble I had gone through, wasted. My tasty turkey wrap, wasted. We sat in relative silence as I sulked for about 2 hours until we stopped for gas at the border.
Now don't write me off as some insane wife, I am sure there are many married individuals out there who have seen their efforts be wasted because their significant other's mind is not as thoughtful at times as their own. I was angry because I had discussed this with him, reminded him, and then reminded him again. Call it a dude thing, call it an oversight, call it whatever you may want, but in my book at that point it was just downright absurd and I was too pissed to think straight! Anyhow we made it to the gas station and he went in to pay and comes back with a large sack of apples to make up for the ones he had forgotten and all was forgiven. For as ridiculous it is to forget certain things, as ridiculous as it is to get so mad at them, it is even more ridiculous how fast one simple action can make it all go away. In the end all I want, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, is to feel appreciated. Now we managed to get in another big fight on the way back from Geneva that was just as ridiculous I'm sure, but I cannot even remember what it was about. We've been married for 7 years, together for 11, and I am happy to say that while some fights are explosive in the moment, they rarely imprint on the memory. That is the great paradox of the relationships I suppose, as well as a great indicator of your relationship's strength. When we were young and just married everything was explosive, everything a slight against the other. Now I can say that definitively most arguments are forgotten and let go just as quickly as they occur. We take great care with our relationship, we talk about anything and everything. Things have happened during the past decade plus that we have been together that bonded us in ways most will never understand and that is why we are as strong as we are, but also explains why we are as explosive as we are. You know what they, the line between love and hate is quite a blurry one indeed.
In the end CERN was amazing, Geneva beautiful, and everything was absurdly priced. We saw the facility that is literally changing the world with their research, but more importantly we saw just how much our personal world has changed over the years, and even more so how much we have changed. We are half way around the world from where we grew up, have visited over 25 countries, made amazing friends, and are ready to return to reality later this year. These past 4 years have been our cocoon so to speak and just as is the natural order of things, it is time for us to flex our newly sprouted proverbial wings and evolve.
Posted March 7, 2014
So two weekends ago Dominique and I took a trip over to Geneva Switzerland. We were on our way to see the CERN super collider! We were both super excited and really didn't have much of idea of what to expect. I always see these giant magnets looking things on the internet and hear about how they found the Higgs Boson particle and I knew I had to see this before I left Europe. With the weekend tours being books months in advance, when my wife found an opening in February, she knew she had to get it. I was completely on board and on the 21st of February 2014. We hop in our ford focus and off we went.
Dominique was nice enough to make us sandwiches and I packed a cooler full of drinks. About 30 minutes into the trip Dominique suddenly said, "Did you pack the sandwiches?" I pause and say, "Uh oh". She had seen me organizing the cooler with ice and drinks and I put the sandwiches as well as a bag of apples on the table outside and I forgot to put them in the cooler.
We are never usually this prepared to take trips and we just stop at gas stations and get snacks on the way. This time a lot of planning had gone into making sure we got ice and drinks and made sandwiches. This was all ruined by me being a dumbass. Dominique made sure I knew that she knew I was a dumbass. I understood how she felt because I knew how I felt. Our perfectly planned trip was already falling off the tracks because of stupid mistake. The worst part about this was the fact that I had taken the apples she had packed in her bag out of her bag and was going to put it in the cooler. Woops.
We pressed on with the 5 plus hour drive and stopped for gas. On the way out of the pay station I was that the gas station was selling apples. I quickly grab a bag, run back inside, and pay for the apples. Upon returning to the car I hand her the bag of apples and she laughs, kisses me and says she loves me. That's right, I'm awesome. I don't even think we ate a single apple. After finishing the drive and checking into the hotel for the night. I start to look up things about the LHC. I disappointingly find out that we will not be able to go underground and see the collider because they don't usually tour down there. I was extremely disappointed but decided not to through a fit until I find out what we do get to see.
The next morning I was up excited to see what CERN had in store for us. Everything on the campus was free which was a pleasant surprise because most of our trips together cost us an arm and a leg. The scientists that do the tours were awesome and I learned more than I ever thought I would about CERN, the LHC, and the Collision detectors. So everyone understands what each of these things is (I definitely was thinking of things wrong), I'll explain really quickly. CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The LHC stands for Large Hadron Collider and is actually a 26km tunnel underground that accelerates hadron particles to 99.99% percent the speed of light (a hadron is a proton or a neutron). The particle moves so fast that they circle the tunnel over 11 thousand times a second before they collide.
The collision detectors are usually what you see in pictures.
This is the area where the particles collide and the detectors measure what is created. This is where the Higgs Boson was found. These particles collide with so much energy that they actually create mass. Pretty awesome I say.
Over all I think the trip was awesome! The learning experience at CERN was unlike anything I've ever seen. Since I'm hyped up like a little girl, I'll try to calm down and say that everything I learned and saw there could have been done from home. While it was neat to see the interactive exhibits unless you're a serious scientist, traveling from the US to CERN is probably not worth it. If you get a chance to tour underground and see the LHC tunnel and giant collision detectors, it might be a different story.
The Bowling Ball
Posted February 23, 2014
This is story about a bowling ball. I was scheduled for a group gathering to go bowling. I had bowled a lot as a child and was even on a league when I was 12. Being signed up for this function rekindled my love of bowling again and I thought about buying a bowling ball.
During lunch that day, I sat with my wife and asked her if I could buy a bowling ball. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "No". No emotion, just a knee jerk "no". I was shocked by this statement. I asked her why and she told me I didn't need a bowling ball. This is 100 percent true, I didn't NEED a bowling ball, and in my wife’s defense I do get excited about things and make binge purchases. I'm sure it felt that way to Dominique but I have had a bowling ball in the past and I wanted to own one again.
Since this is a No-Bull post I'll tell you what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to say, "Cool really? Yah go for it! I should get one too!" I wanted to get pumped up with someone. That is who I am. My wife however is not that kind of person. Well, at least not will bowling. You should have seen her when she went to London for the first time, but that's a story for another time.
She wasn't going to pretend to be excited for me. Before you go thinking that is a bad thing I want to stop you right there. What she did was not lie to me or herself about how she felt about me buying a bowling ball. She didn't pretend she was excited for me. She thought it was dumb and she said it to my face right from the beginning. When you start lying to yourself, you lose yourself. I have seen what seemed like extremely stable and happy relationships collapse because all they did was worship each other and were lovey dovey all the time. You can't keep that up all the time and you need to be able to feel comfortable saying how you feel.
After probing her a few more times she explained that I could buy it if I wanted because if it’s less than $100 dollars, I didn't need permission. The problem was, I wasn't going to buy something she was so vehemently against. I left her office a little upset and confused. Why was she so adamant about me not purchasing the ball? She usually doesn’t care what I buy, what made this different?
To this day I still don't know why she was so against it but she told me I could get it but it didn't mean she wouldn't think it was stupid and she would make fun of me for it. She wasn't going to lie to herself about how she felt about it and she wasn't going to lie to me. While that may seem difficult from outsiders, it is real.
I felt that being made fun of was worth it and went ahead and purchased the ball. I'm having a blast with it and now I get to bowl with my wife a lot more! I think this is a win for both of us. Hopefully she feels the same way.
Cassie & the Degradation of the American Psyche
Posted February 18, 2014
I don't want to talk about this fucking bowling ball anymore. I meet your quote from Mr. Rock with an added ending of privately; when did people stop being able to be crazy, privately? This perhaps is the central focus, in my opinion, that is not being explored by the media in America. The American media is there to do one thing, and one thing only, in my opinion: earn viewership. Many countries around the world refer to the American media as not real broadcasting, but rather pure sensationalism. There is rarely any true journalism or true insight to be had anywhere within the American media machine. It is, sadly, nothing more than a money making machine. While that would easily be able to be brushed off in many other circumstances, there is one disturbing difference here and that is the simple fact that the American media has the outright power to shape societal understanding. This makes it the most lethal weapon in America in my opinion. The American media is out of control, point blank. Rather than present unbiased and informed information they choose to give into sensationalism, and further perpetuate outdated and dangerous opinions that only lead to further cultural animosity. The simple fact is that we pay attention and obsess on what we are told to by the media and subsequently overlook and ignore the important things we should actually be paying attention to. This is why many have believed for years that the American media is no more a true manifestation of free speech than the state run news outlets of Iran are. The truth of it all is that everything in America has a price and the news makes money for themselves and their sponsors, including those companies who are shooting the price of bullets to $50 a bullet. Pun intended. :)
I don't want to talk about this fucking bowling ball anymore. While I, too, am a big fan of that song, I feel as though the message that is often hidden among all these overt and outrageous news broadcasts is that we live in an inherently violent culture worldwide. These events, may, and more importantly, do happen with much more frequency than most of the developed world. Why is that? Why is American society such a hot bed for these public displays of violence? This is where I believe the media, and in particular social media, have greatly altered the culture of America greatly. It is known that the incidences of public violence have skyrocketed greatly, but what is not widely known is that this spike coincided with the social media phenomenon. Now many have chosen until now to correlate these events so as to provide more information and statistics to come out, but it is now clear that these two events are inextricably linked. Coincidence? I think not. When we started living our lives for the likes and adoration from others we began to also need a greater audience for our violent tendencies as well. It is no longer acceptable to simply live a quiet, private life. To do so has been tainted and almost certainly casts suspicion on those who choose to lead their lives out of the realm of others' eyes and opinions. Take reality television for example, the end all be all vessel of both the media and social media combined. Suddenly we transformed our programming choices from those of the basic humor, documentaries, news, and drama. Instead we moved toward programming choices where we idolize the wealthy, obsess over the famous and pseudo-famous, to the point where we literally watch their lives more than we pay attention to our own. We emulate them, we want to buy what they buy, and live the life they have. Suddenly our lives, the lives of generations past, where hard work was a given and happiness was embedded in family time, are a thing of the past. We want to live our life in the public like them because the attention is so coveted, so sought, that the mentality of making your own way and your own happiness in this world has been relegated to the antiquated ideas of our forefathers.
I don't want to talk about this fucking bowling ball anymore. While this all may seem superficially absurd, but not inherently violent, the fact of the matter is that with the current and previous generations choosing to do everything on a public scale, sharing their lives with strangers and exposing themselves to the world, all for the sake of an acknowledgment that they are important via the ever so convenient 'like' button, we blurred the lines between what should be public and what shouldn't be. Hence the dramatic increase in public displays of violence. Not only do we need to post 'selfies' and document our every thought to our adoring audience, but now many have taken to publicly killing. With everything has a price, an upvote count, an audience with which to share, and that includes death as well.
Michael is absolutely correct in that America fails to care about the starving, waterless children in Africa, or the innocent victims of the conflicts going on in the Middle East, or even the consequences of the wars that our own country has, and is still, fighting worldwide, let alone the failing economy that is their actual bread and butter. It would seem that American society has put a price on what gets their attention, and unless it comes in the currency of public attention then I believe the issues of the world will continue to fade into the background. That is unless you obtain a celebrity spokesperson, then perhaps you have a chance.
Posted February 13, 2014
I have to get something off my chest. I was listening to Flyleaf’s "Cassie" (great song by the way) and it sparked some anger in me. Cassis is about the columbine killing and depicts a scene in which one of the shooters asked Cassis if she believed in God and if she said yes, he would kill her. This turned about not to be true and was a rumor around the whole event but that’s not what made me angry.
What made me angry is the fact that we romanticize all these shooting events. We put on the news for months and months, and interview everyone that served them at a restaurant. I understand these events are tragic and the people effected are innocent victims. I'm not saying it isn't worthy of a news story and remorse but why are these events so HUGE. The government starts trying to make new legislation and movie theaters start setting up metal detectors. Where is the line drawn? Chris Rock said it perfect, "Whatever happened to crazy?"
The people that do these things are crazy, there is no big underlying cause that’s ruining America. The media just makes it look like that. Besides, why are our American deaths so much more important? We dropped two nuclear bombs on cities in Japan and we didn't blink an eye but some crazy person walks into an airport and we have to start charging 50 dollars a bullet.
The point I'm trying to make here is to think about the world around you. The entire world, not just your world. There are children drinking dirt water in Africa, families in Afghanistan are dying from messy drone strikes, and the economy is collapsing on Detroit.
Let’s stop putting so much energy into things that can't be avoided and lets start focusing on changing the things we can.