A New Change: Cabernet and Blonde.

For the past few months since I’ve been married, I’ve been thinking incessantly about doing something about my look. Something kind of different, kind of “edgy.” I’d really love a tattoo (I know which one I want and everything), but I’m scared of needles. I’d also like to pierce my ears again, but I already have two holes in each ear and the cartilage pierced. With wanting to do something that wasn’t too expensive or drastic, I decided to color my hair.

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My sister Heather is an amazing hairstylist (actually, both of my sisters are, but I went to Heather out of tradition!) I came into her shop not really knowing what exactly I wanted and came out loving everything about my color and cut. We decided to keep my natural blonde hair color and choose a color “plum” that would mix well with the color of blonde I had (cool blonde – cool color, warm blonde – warm color.) She used “Cabernet” and brightened it with more red. I’m not entirely sure about the details, but if you ever want to know, I would be happy to ask her!

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If you can’t tell by now, I love my hair! My sister did an awesome job, and I can’t wait until my hair grows out so I can put more layers in it. Maybe even do a…different color? : )

Anyway, to try and make my summer a little more memorable, I’d love to either get my ears pierced again (third holes or my tragus) or to get a tattoo.  If you’re not not sure about what a tragus is or other ear-piercing terminology, a great guide can be found here. Now for a tattoo, I am still deciding on whether I’d like to get one on my left wrist or above the crease on the inside of my elbow. Can you guess what I want to get as a tattoo? It has to do with The White Rose. specifically Sophie Scholl (duh!) I want to get “Freiheit” tattooed on my arm the same way that Sophie had written it on the back of her indictment. I have been thinking very carefully about this decision (for three years, to be exact.) Not only does freiheit (freedom) mean something to me in the same context in which she had written it in – freedom from control, government fascism, etc., but a freedom from myself. A freedom from my mind. Since I have an anxiety disorder, freedom is tremendously important to me. I want something that not only meant something to one of my most favorite figures in history, but something that also meant the world to me, personally. I want to be reminded of The White Rose and Sophie Scholl and also what I am trying to strive for in myself…my mind. So please wish me luck on what I decide to do!!

Also, since I only have an iPhone 4 and can’t download VSCOcam, I stole away my husband’s iPhone 5 and downloaded the app (bwahaha!) I have heard and seen so much of the photo editing affects and have been dying to try it myself. I created a profile – artisticaudrey – and used some photos I haven’t gotten to for editing that I took from our Disneymoon!

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These were taken at Disney’s Magic Kingdom around the New Fantasyland section behind Cinderella’s Castle. Aren’t they beautiful? I have many, many more photos I need to share from our Disneymoon that I will save for another day, but for now, I will end with an inspiring quote:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

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Es Lebe die Freiheit!

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Seventy-one years ago today, these three brave students were tried and killed by guillotine for what was considered high-treason in Nazi Germany: Standing up against Hitler and the Regime. They compiled and distributed anti-Nazi leaflets around the country and even at the university in which they attended. On February 18, Hans and Sophie Scholl were spreading out the leaflets around the university building, and on a whim, Sophie pushed the remaining leaflets off the balcony, leading to their discovery and arrest. For the next few days, Hans and Sophie were interrogated and it was found that Christoph Probst (the man sitting directly across from Sophie writing on a pad of paper) was part of the White Rose resistance as well. The story of the White Rose and what they did must be acknowledged and cherished. It raises the question of ‘What would you do?’ in a nation so corrupt that you were swiftly beheaded for even questioning it at all. Other “core” White Rose members that should be acknowledged as well: Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, Kurt Huber, and Traute Lafrenz.

It’s high time that Christians made up their minds to do something . . . What are we going to show in the way of resistance-as compared to the Communists, for instance-when all this terror is over? We will be standing empty-handed. We will have no answer when we are asked: What did you do about it?” – Hans Scholl

Daydreaming: The White Rose

For those of you who don’t know, I love to read about things. I call myself an avid researcher, and when asked to put down my list of hobbies, reading and research comes to mind. Most people will probably question: Research? Isn’t that the same thing as reading? To some, yes. To me, no, not really. Reading (to me) is reading one book about a topic, or reading a fiction novel with non-fiction elements and being done with it. Researching is taking that information, becoming fascinated with it, and trying to learn everything imaginable about that said topic. I guess you could say I become “obsessed” with things. I have always been this way, even as a child. This is besides my main point of my post today, so long story short, I am currently very much interested in a certain topic right now, and have been for about a year-and-a-half. I will discuss my earlier obsessions in later posts, perhaps.

In my previous post, I mentioned how I have been “researching” about Nazi Germany on all kinds of different topics: From Adolf Hitler himself, to the composition and ideals behind the concentration camps, to the most horrible medical crimes in human history, and to the resistance groups against the Nazi Regime. Currently I have been particularly interested (or infatuated, perhaps?) with one resistance group in particular: the White Rose. The White Rose (Die Weisse Rose) was a group composed of many young college students and one of their professors who spoke out against the immoral and contradictory practices of National Socialism (but really just Nazis in general…) With a mind of non-violence, the group conducted a number of rebellious acts such as distributing informational, but questioning (toward the German people) leaflets around many parts of the country and even going as far as graffiti work on the walls of buildings and bridges, “Down With Hitler,” “Freiheit.”  For those who have read about the White Rose, it is well-known that the two “main members” of the group were Hans and Sophie Scholl.  Besides the siblings, other very important members were Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, Kurt Huber (a philosophy professor), Traute Lafrenz, and Alexander Schmorell.

Anyway, with background facts aside, I will now relay to you the constant daydreams that I have involving the White Rose. As much as I shouldn’t, I tend to go into my own little fantasy world as I am driving to and from my classes everyday. It is a bit of a drive, so I like to take that time to think deeply about things as I have the windows rolled down. This morning, I started to consider what kind of person I would be if I were living in 1940s Nazi Germany. Would I be as strong as the White Rose, and take a stand against what I honestly felt was wrong? Would I be idealistic to the notion that Hitler would save my country from the broken past of economical crisis and post-war humiliation? Or would I just sit on the fence and try to weave my ideals around so that no one would criticize or disagree with me, even if I didn’t believe I was being completely honest with myself? I would like to say that I would take a stand against the evils of the Regime, but how do I really know that? How would I know my exact thoughts and feelings if I were placed in a different time period, in a different country, with totally different ideals? How strong would I be in the presence of something seemingly powerful but also with my faith and what I know about God? I am not completely sure, but those are things I constantly think about.

In my dreams, I put myself as a worker in the Reichsarbeitdeinst in the same sector as Sophie Scholl. I imagine myself being in the same room with her as she is ridiculed for her constant reading and perceived unfriendliness by the other young women. As shy as I am myself, I would probably put myself in a similar situation as Sophie did herself. I would probably be even too shy to speak to Sophie herself, and sit in my corner and watch the others as they went about their gossip. However, given that I am not much of a gaggling-gossiper of current events, men, sex, or trivial observations myself, I would want to stand up for Sophie, and say something like, “Well at least she is reading something of substance unlike your nonsensical gabbering of gossip and men!” As a non-biased reader, I appreciate the fact that she was reading the Confessions of St. Augustine (a book I have bought for myself, but I haven’t the chance to read yet.) I would break out of my shyness and ask her questions regarding the book. Maybe we would become friends, and that would be pretty great seeing as she had a pretty lonely and miserable time working in the Reichsarbeitdienst. I would hope our friendship would blossom so that we felt that we had each other in a world so anti-intellectual, hypocritical, and immoral. That is a feeling I have a lot, even in 2013. I feel like I do not have many people to talk to intellectually, and that they would rather put their time reading about celebrity gossip or “little-town” drama.

Then, further on into the summer of 1942, I am working in the same factory where Sophie Scholl first met Gisela Schertling. I stalkishly place myself working right next to Gisela, so I have a two-way shot of both she and Sophie (my visual of this scene comes from 1982′s Die Weisse Rose starring Lena Stolze.) As you can probably tell, I feel a strong connection towards Sophie (not that I don’t feel a connection towards the other members as well, because I very much do) for a number of reasons. I will talk about that in a different entry though. I like to think of myself looking over at the both of them and kind of secretly “joke” with them about things that we find utterly ridiculous about the whole experience. It is always good to surround yourself with friends in situations so demanding and exhausting. It would drive me crazy if I didn’t!

I go into the future and put myself at the train station on July 24th, 1942, before the male members of the White Rose departed to go to Russia. In this situation, I have two daydreams: One where I am another member of the White Rose, and another where I am just an onlooker. In the daydream in which I am a member, I would have a sketchbook with me, so I could draw the faces around me. In the next daydream as an onlooker, I would observe the emotions and actions of the group, smile and laugh to myself when necessary or actually consider with seriousness what each of the members had to hold as an individual person. I know that sounds terribly stange, but I am somewhat of a people-watcher anyway. I like to take in the psychological presence one has to offer, even when they aren’t speaking.

There are other instances in each member’s of the White Rose’s life that I imagine myself in as well: Working with Hans, Christoph, and Alex as they are tending to their practice of medicine to military wounds; drinking, singling, and having a good time with the guys; being the the Ulm division of the Bund Deutscher Madel with Sophie; going to art museums, theater shows, and all kinds of other art-related events with Sophie; or even going to Mass with Willi Graf. If I were to type each daydream out, I would have pages and pages for my wonderful readers to feel bombarded with, so I will spare you guys the pain. In fact, my friend Baylee actually helped proof-read this entry, and she gave me the idea to go further with these daydreams and create them into a story. I feel that it is a wonderful idea! I may dedicate a section of each entry to these White Rose narratives. Do you like this idea too? What do you suggest?

Audrey

Isn’t it a riddle . . . and awe-inspiring, that everything is so beautiful? Despite the horror. Lately I’ve noticed something grand and mysterious peering through my sheer joy in all that is beautiful, a sense of its creator . . . Only man can be truly ugly, because he has the free will to estrange himself from this song of praise. It often seems that he’ll manage to drown out this hymn with his cannon thunder, curses and blasphemy. But during this past spring it has dawned upon me that he won’t be able to do this. And so I want to try and throw myself on the side of the victor.” – Sophie Scholl

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My Fall Favorites

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Image credit to myself, AudreyColleenPhotography via Tumblr

I was inspired by one of my online friends to create a list of things about my life right now or that I favor about fall in general. I actually love creating lists because it helps me keep in order the things that inspire me and that are important to me. Let’s start, shall we?

1. Anything and everything pumpkin-flavored. From the infamous Pumpkin-Spice Lattes from Starbucks to trying out interesting recipes such as Pumpkin soup, I am all about the festive, fall-spicy taste of pumpkin and pumpkin-spice. To me, products coming out that have a hint of pumpkin to them are a trademark of the autumn season. One of my favorite treats are the pumpkin-flavored Pop Tarts you can find usually at Wal-Mart or Publix. I haven’t tried to find them yet this year, but I definitely will try to once I get the chance.

2. The sound of a football game from the television. I am not much interested in football as much as I am for the marching band, but it is still a staple of the fall-ish atmosphere to be sitting at the table doing homework and being able to hear the sportscaster’s voice naming off the different plays chosen by the football team. The cheering of the crowd, and the tinkling of the marching band’s fight song also is a wonderful thing to listen to. Going along with the subject of football, I also enjoy being able to go to them football games to support my boyfriend (who is in the marching band where he goes to school) playing his trombone in the stands or across the field. Other than that, I would say I don’t care too much for football. I kind of get a sense of glee to hear that the football team I have grown up with to love wins a game, but I wouldn’t get upset if they didn’t win either.

3. Halloween. Other than Christmas, I would say my favorite holiday of the year would be Halloween, due to many reasons. I absolutely love Halloween decorations! I am actually an avid fan of bats, and so any decoration that has to do with the flying little animals will be on my wall in a split-second. Oh, and I also love black cats too! I enjoy all of the usual October/Halloween traditions that come around this time of year: Pumpkin carving, haunted house exploring, hayrides, bonfires, ghost stories, horror movies, you name it. It has been a tradition for my dad and I to go to a scary corn-maze and then retrieve to the movies to watch the current Paranormal Activity movie, but unfortunately since there is going to be a delay on the fifth one, we may have to substitute it for a horror movie night. It still sounds fun though! Also, I might add, it doesn’t help that my boyfriend’s birthday is Halloween!

4. The wonderful woodsy scent of the outdoors. You know that smell. It smells like a mixture of pine, fire, and a little hint of cinnamon from the nearby houses that burn their autumn candles during the fall. This smell always makes me want to put on my hiking boots and go tread through a nearby nature park or run barefoot through the woods near my home. It makes me want to rake up all of the colorful, sensitive leaves and jump in them. Or, just simply, it makes me want to relax in the backyard and read a book.

5. The beginning of cold, dark days. It’s not that I don’t like sunny days, because I really do. I love cold, yet sunny, windless (or at least a little breeze) days just as much as I love cold, gray and dark days too. I don’t know what it is, but it feels more in tune to the season than a dark, dreary day in the spring or summer. I love going out on a dark day bundled up in my leggings, blue-jeans, undershirt, flannel pull-over, two pairs of socks, my Converse shoes, and a scarf and go outside to do early Christmas shopping or what-not. I also like going out in just leggings, a huge comfy sweater and boots or rain-boots as well. I just love the potential comfiness of a cold day! These are also days that are wonderful to have apple-cider or hot chocolate and sit somewhere warm and comfy to read a book.

6. The feeling of being able to start over. Every semester of school, I love the refreshing feeling of being able to start all over again from scratch. I can start the semester off clean and organized, and this is also the point where I make the best grades. The overwhelming feeling I sometimes get at the middle of the semester is where I always wished I took the time to buy all of the supplies I needed and read the organization tips I found via Pinterest.

7. Big cozy sweaters. Yes, when I say big cozy sweaters, I mean the monstrous, 80s-print, wool-made sweaters that you can stick your knees under and still be covered comfortably. I wear them no matter the circumstance, whether I’m going to the store, going to the movies (with leggings of course), or lounging around the house…yes…reading a book! My favorite sweaters are always the floral-print ones. If you don’t know me, I am a big floral-print person. They just scream vintage to me. The only thing I don’t care about big cozy sweaters is that when you take them out of the dryer, they tend to zap you with their evil electrical powers.

8. Oktoberfest! Being interested in German culture, specifically Bavarian culture, I like to expose myself to as much German traditions as I can. When it comes Christmas time, it is always so fun to put up a Christmas tree knowing that many (if not most) of the well-known Christmas traditions originated in Germany. With September and October being here, Oktoberfest is that part of the year in which I can celebrate another tradition! I actually went to an Oktoberfest celebration in a small town near my home with my boyfriend last Saturday. It was a lot of fun, and I plan on going back again next year, only with a little more wisdom on my shoulders. We met up with a friend the latter part of the night, and I was afraid that I had scared her off!

9. Owls, owls, owls. Whoo-whoo! Other than bats, I would have to say my second-favorite animal are owls. They are all over the place, no matter where you go, but I can’t help but smile every time I see a little decoration or a shirt with one of those big-eyed, hooting birds.

10. My favorite fall semester class: Nazi Germany. Ever since I was about fifteen, I have been very much interested in the time period between the 1920s-1940s. What also came about from this interest was my fascination with World War II, but most specifically the role of Nazi Germany. If you refer to a previous post, I stated that I was interested in Japan’s role of World War II when I was nine-years-old, but seven years later, I came upon the notion to just start reading about Adolf Hitler. I delved into the subject a lot more over the span from my sophomore year in high-school to the present: concentration and extermination camps, Aktion T4, the components of the SS (Schutzstaffel), Anne Frank and her family, Josef Mengele, the Hitler Youth and BDM (Bund Deutscher Madel), and resistance groups such as the White Rose and Claus von Stauffenberg to name a few topics. I decided to take the class so I could get a more detailed, in-class perspective on the politics and culture of the Nazi era. So far, the class has proved to be pretty impressive. My professor goes into great detail on all topics of National Socialism, and why it came to be. He is also a very particular grader, which a lot of students do not like, but I have come to appreciate the concern for proper writing. I am very interested in what we are talking about now at the moment (Hitler’s rise to power, the purge of the SA (Sturmabeitlung), the use of propaganda to obtain power), and I will be so much more excited when we get to the resistance of the Nazis. Mind you, I have no positive opinions toward the Nazis, but it is a part of history that fascinates me, historically and psychologically. I have to ask a lot of “why” questions to myself when reading about it.

Those are my fall favorites at the moment! What are your favorite aspects about fall? What is going on in your life that makes you super intrigued or excited? Feel free to share!

Audrey

People have harsh words for these days of autumn, but, reader, they are dear to me, I love their unassuming light, their quiet beauty. Autumn attracts me like a neglected girl among her sisters. And, to be quite honest, she is the only one that warms my heart. She has her good points; whimsically dreaming and free from vanity, I find her charms appealing.” – Alexander Pushkin, from “Autumn,” translated by Peter France.