Dixie Peach: September 2004

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Well the time has come and I have no choice. I have to seriously make up my mind and get down to cleaning and organizing or my trip to the US is going to have a severe crimp put in it. Oh I'll still go alright. Nothing short of illness would keep me from it but I can't bear the idea of me leaving and this apartment remaining in the sad, disorganized state that it's currently in. It's really bad. I mean it's gotten to the point where my spare room has turned into something one sees on "Clean Sweep". I can't do anything else with it but clean it up. That means getting together a few dozen trash bags and just starting in and remembering that it will do no good to feel overwhelmed by it. I have about five weeks in which to work a miracle and I can do it. Won't take any five weeks either. I can get that spare room shaped up in a week. Maybe less but I'm just going to count on it taking 7 to 9 days. Good grief, if I'm not done in that time I'm just going to throw it all out! Seriously though, if I can get that one horror behind me, then the other organizing I need to do will be much easier. I think that's why I can't get the other rooms picked up in the way they need to be. Lots of the junk I have in here needs to be put in there and when there's room to put things in their proper place I'll have it much easier.

Just do it, lazy ass. Just get up and do it!

Margot has moved back from her summer house. We still don't know who she's going to be able sell it to - the people she wants to sell it to can't really afford it - but I think something will be worked out soon. With her back in the building she'll be over here visiting more often and that means she'll be wanting to help me with cleaning up. Not that I mind it but I can't organize things if she's under my feet. I think what I'll do it let her get B's things organized and let her go through all the old videotapes and such while I work on the monster junk room.

I'm seriously thinking about getting a housekeeper. Just once a week. That's all I need.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Let the Countdown Begin!

Stoked. So very, very stoked. My friends, Mollie, Lorrie and Chelle have made their reservations to come to Mississippi to see me. My friend Michele (not to be confused with Chelle) is driving up from Louisiana. Lisa is driving down. Candy is flying in.

By God, I'm coming to Mississippi for a visit and my friends are pouring in to come see me. If that's not love - coming to stay in a little town in Mississippi for a couple days just to see me - then I don't know what is. Only groovy friends would do that and I have the grooviest of friends. Hands down.

So little time, so much to do, so many donkey braying laughs to have. How will we ever get it all done? And let's not forget the squeezed in trip to Graceland. Candy may as well stay home if we're not going to hit Graceland! Personally I am not a fan of the place. I mean it's fun to go there and goof on it but I've done that a few times now and it's lost its allure. But to be there with Candy-the-Elvis-Lover will make it seem like a whole new experience.

And you know, aside from the Graceland experience, we're going to pretty much be free as birds to do what we want and isn't that the point of girl bonding weekends? To just get together and do what sounds fun without thought to consequence? Okay, no illegal consequence but certainly no husbands-waiting-up-for-us-what-are-the-kids-up-to consequences.

I think what I'm most excited about are my friends seeing me in my hometown. The place where I'm rooted. The place I miss and the place that flashes into my mind when I think of the word "home". It's a sort of goofy place. Rednecks by the truckload and it's not on the national list of sophisticated places but my hometown still has that certain thing that makes me miss it and makes me who I am.

I can't wait. My best friends all together at once. I am so very blessed.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Wrapping Up the Week

Another week winds down in the world. Bad week for a lot of folks. Hurricane Ivan seriously screws up the gulf coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Makes me thankful my hometown in on the other end of Mississippi. Iraq seems to be getting scarier. I'm a news junkie and all but I'm starting to lose track of the car bombs. Every time I hear the news I think "Another one or are they talking about the last one?". Horrible. And things will get worse way, way before they get better. A German couple with twins cojoined at the head have lost one of their daughters during separation surgery. Must be on the verge of surreal to be happy that one daughter will very likely survive and grow up normally and be so devestated that the other is gone. All I can think to comfort myself is that little Lea will have Tabea as her guardian angel.

I feel lucky that it's been a fairly good week here. Nothing wildly spectatular happened but my life of quiet contentment was reinforced so I'm glad about that. I got pretty giddy about ordering online some clothes on Monday and even giddier when they were delivered on Wednesday afternoon. Why pay for 24 hour delivery when you can save yourself about 15€, wait another 24 hours and get them for the regular delivery price? I was even more happy that it all fit and it all looked nice too.

Getting new clothes is getting me revved up for my trip back home in November. I hadn't been all tickly excited because before I go anywhere I need to do some deep cleaning of this apartment but getting clothes for the trip is getting me in the travel mood. I mean I can start to get excited about the droning sound of the engines, the stale air, scary food and uncomfy seats for ten hours just as long as I can be back in my hometown wearing my new dusty rose colored twin set! However since I also bought two pair of the most comfortable pajamas I've ever owned, I may just throw on a bra underneath and wear 'em like clothes! I am in love with these pajamas!

Great weekend weather coming up. I'm taking my camera out with me when I'm walking Bonnie. I want to improve on my photography (if one can call my point-and-shoot technique that sorely needs work photography) and getting out and just snapping what catches my interest is a good place to start. I've always been better at learning by doing and so I need to just get out and do!

I have officially been let off of Wolfgang mailbox duty. He came by to see if there was any more mail (nope!) and to get the key to the mailbox. Oh, here was a weird thing he said the other day. He'd called on Tuesday evening to say...I dunno...something...and he asked B if I'd been in his apartment while he was gone. B said that of course I hadn't and Wolfgang said "My sister said she called there and a woman answered the phone.". Okay Einstein. Let's consider this for a moment. First, why would I be in his apartment? If I were, it would be sneaking in while he wasn't there, wouldn't it? So if I'm sneaking in, why in the hell would I answer the phone? Second, I don't answer the phone in my apartment, so why would I get the sudden urge to answer the phone in his? Third, why didn't his sister ask for him or ask who was on the phone? She just hung up the phone when a woman answered. I like how there's suspicion that I was in the apartment answering the phone before there's a suspicion that the fool woman dialed the wrong number. Well anyway, he came by for the key and I was irked to find he'd come down empty handed. Last week he'd borrowed a CD from me. I hate lending my CDs and I really hate lending them to him. Wolfgang had said to B, "Dude, got any rock CDs?". Sort of a dumb question but he's really lousy at broaching a subject. B had said "Well I haven't bought anything new lately." and Wolfgang came back with "What about that new Chris Norman CD? Can I borrow that?". There's your bottom line. He wanted that CD all along but he can never come out and just directly ask for something. B asked me to get it and believe me, I was giving B the laser look of death. Wolfgang left with a "I'll bring it back to you on Tuesday." and as soon as the door closed I started in on B with a "Don't lend my CDs. Please. I'm not angry with you but I don't like lending my CDs.". B didn't actually see much problem in it and claimed that Wolfgang was broke and couldn't afford CDs and probably wanted to listen to some music while out at the wild animal house but that only prompted me to say that he needed to listen to the radio if that was the case. I can't help it. I know it sounds selfish but if you'd replaced albums as many times as I have because they've been ripped off at parties or just never returned after having been lent, you'd be stingy with lending too. And I also pointed out that while the CDs are "ours" when they're in our presence, they become "mine" when they go out the door and if that CD was returned with one fingerprint or scratch on it (and, dear readers, you know his is a big sticking point with me!), I'd be the one to jack Wolfgang's ass up over it.

Poor B. He felt bad at making me upset but he didn't want to be selfish either. I can be ruthless with Wolfgang. B has a softer heart. So B offered to buy me another but I told him that I'd just wait until it was returned.

Wolfgang called on Tuesday to say he wasn't going to make it over. That's when the "Was she up in my apartment?" discussion went on. Wednesday he came by but with no CD. He said it was at the wild animal house and he'd come over straight from work. I let it slide.

Today when he showed up for the mailbox key I said "Got my CD?".

"Oh no. I left it upstairs. I'll bring it ba...uh...I'll go get it right now.". That's right, fella. You go upstairs and fetch it. I ain't giving you the death laser look for nothing.

He bounds upstairs and like five minutes go by before he comes back. Where did he have this thing? Packed down deep somewhere because he had no intention to give it back today. He didn't think of it until I mentioned it.

He left and I wasted no time checking the CD for fingerprints and scratches. Wolfgang will get to live another day because the CD was returned unharmed.

I won't even mention to him the crack he put in the jewel case. I'm nice like that.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Bits and Pieces

Weekend are movie time 'round these parts and this weekend was no exception. Matchstick Men arrived from the DVD by mail service for this week's viewing and last night we settled in to watch it.

Now ask me how incredibly irked I was that the DVD hung and skipped and in general fucked up all around while I was watching it. The whole last scene of the movie was completely unwatchable.

I'd like to now make an general announcement to all those who use DVD rent-by-mail service. I'll even throw in those who rent DVDs from shops. KEEP YOUR FREAKING FINGERS OFF OF THE DVDS! Christ above us, why can't people slip the DVDs in and out of their cases and in and out of their players without gumming them up with their fingerprints? Don't even get me started about the scratches. What in the hell are people doing with them? Cleaning their grills? Scraping paint off of windows? Playing fetch with the family dog?

Yeah, yeah, yeah...the DVD abusers will say "Oh it's not ME! I'm careful with them! It's my KIDS that muck them up!". To that I say "And shovel me another load of bullshit, Chester. First, if you know your kids are messing them up, don't let them touch them. And second, why are you letting your kids watch something like Matchstick Men anyway? That's not a kid's movie. And any kid who's old enough to watch the movie ought to fucking well know how to handle a CD. If they don't then I weep for our future.".

No, admit it. It's your ignorant, oh-looky-hon-my-fingerprints-show-up-so-clear-on-this-shiny-side ass who's messing them up. You're the same sort of dickhead who can't resist sticking your dumb fingers into a cake to nick off a bit of icing. You're probably a chip double dipper to boot!!

Must remember to write a letter to send back with the DVD so the service won't send out that sorry ass copy of Matchstick Men to another unsuspecting person.

And on to other random things...

Today I was walking over to the bakery and ahead of me in the parking lot were two young people. One was a guy with shaggy blonde hair - a comb seemed to be optional to him this morning - wearing the standard young person uniform of baggy, non-discript clothing. He was talking rather animatedly to another young person - a person with long dreadlocked hair or as dreadlocked at thin, fine, white-folks hair can get - standing astride a beat-up looking bicycle and was attired in the same sort of clothes which was more than adequate to hide this person's form. Honestly, I could not tell the gender of this individual. Not that it mattered so much but it was a bit strange to see a person and to be completely clueless as to who the person might be aside from their scraggy hairdo. As I approached I thought I may hear the person speak but the shaggy haired blonde was still talking at a furious clip.

I spent about five minutes inside the bakery and as I came out the two were still standing there deep in conversation and this time I could see the dreadlocked individual's face. And it was absolutely no help whatsoever. I kid you not, I still couldn't tell the gender of this person. His/her body was very thin and so hidden by the layers of baggy clothes that I couldn't discern any tell-tale body features. And his/her face was so young looking - not childish...more like delicate - that he/she seemed to appear feminine but not quite. Either it was a young woman wearing men's clothing and riding a man's bicycle or it was a guy who doesn't have what it takes to grow facial hair but has seemed to have mastered getting dreadlocks to grow in thin, fine hair.

The whole thing made me feel so I've lost some sort of gender deciphering talent.

Moving on...

Two months from now I'll be back home in the States seeing people I adore. Hugging friends I know so well but have never laid eyes upon before. Tell me technology doesn't bring us closer.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Ho Hum

I've been neglecting to write anything for days on end. I wanted to but I just didn't feel like I had anything to say.

And that sums up this week quite nicely. Nothing motivated me very much this week.

I don't like this feeling and thankfully it doesn't come up too often but it's been one of those times when I don't necessarily feel bad but nothing seems to spur me into action. I take care of what needs to be taken care of but other than that there's not a lot of action. I'm trying not to let this bring me down though. I know this will pass and it's nothing to get all excited about.

Today is normally a day I am very busy but I couldn't get in gear. Not all of it was me though. B didn't feel well either and i tend to not press him much when he's feeling out of sorts. Made me a little sad though. Late this afternoon he said "I don't like myself much today.". I know what he meant though. There are simply some days when you feel cruddy and unlike yourself and you simply don't like it.

But not all has been bad this week. Actually nothing has been bad - just uneventful at worst. And some good things happened. I got a letter from Claire. She seemed to be quite happy to have gotten a letter and the bracelet from me and she asked me to write again so I did. However I know that sometimes it's hard for a twelve-year-old to know what to write about so I made it easy on her. I wrote her a long letter telling her more about myself but this time I made it things that I like or don't like and with it I told her stories from childhood and the like. Now when she writes back and feels stuck for a subject she can tell me things she likes or her favorite whatevers. I even told her things like "I was awful in math at school." so she can say "Oh I'm good at math." or "I like English better than math." or whatever. I figure if we get used to writing stuff and she sees that writing about everyday things is okay then she'll feel more at ease when she wants to write me a letter. That's the theory behind it anyway.

I did the big grocery shopping too - the kind that requires me to drive and haul it all home in the car, as opposed to the little grocery shopping that requires nothing more than a few carrier bags and some time to walk home. I love the feeling of having a full pantry. Just knowing that people could drop in or it could flood rain and I'd be covered. No need to go out if I don't want to. I have had this same charge about a full pantry since I was a kid. Not that we ever went hungry but with four kids in the family we sometimes ran out of the good stuff and nothing was left but the bare necessities. Then it would be a big grocery haul day and all the great things would be back in the pantry and freezer.

Else there's not much much else. More blah with sparks of interesting things. Nice this is that life will shift ever so slightly and those things that spur us to action will be back with a vengence. I'm waiting for the shift.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Mailbox Sitting, Part II

Okay, I'll admit that I was very likely wrong about Wolfgang's mail thing and it was entirely my overactive imagination that had him personal ad-ing his carcass all over central Germany and waiting for the flood of letters from lusty and lustful single women. Or not single women. He doesn't seem to be particularly picky in that area.

But he did get one piece of mail and so that made my extra steps to clean out his mailbox somewhat worth it. Personally I think that white envelope could have ridden it out another 24 hours until he was here again to pick up his mail from me but then it would have robbed me of my next installment of likely untrue speculations about his life.

It was from our rental company.

We - B and I - only hear from our rental company when everyone else does. When our yearly rent adjustment is made. To tell us that we're getting a new cable TV company. Dull stuff like that. Bet we hear from them by mail no more than twice a year. Getting a letter from the rental company when no one else did as was the case with Wolfgang set off speculation alarm bells.

He's behind on his rent. It's a letter saying "Cough it up, fella, or you're out.". Or it's a letter saying he's not going to be approved for the two room apartment he wants because he can't afford it.

Hmmm...nothing like assuming the worst, eh?

But it's probably none of the above. I think. I believe that, unlike most people, Wolfgang pays his rent directly to the rental company instead of the rental company submitting an automatic monthly debit to the bank. Maybe it was nothing more than just the monthly bill to tell him to come pay the rent.

To my microscopic credit I did resist opening the envelope. It was the self-stick kind that's easy to nudge open.

Oh, hold your outrage for a moment. I wouldn't have really opened the letter! I only let these brushes of evil snooping pass through me for a mere fraction of a second. Plus if I were that bad I'd just go into his apartment. I have the key.

I know this makes me sound very snoopy but in reality I'm not. I merely speculate about things I see but I take no steps towards poking around to prove my theories right. I only make up the theory to amuse myself. And in Wolfgang's case there's plenty to speculate about. He used to be Mr. Average Guy until the big mid-life crisis thing and ever since then it's been a head scratching, "just-what-is-this-guy-gonna-do-next?" rollercoaster ride.

Think I'm exaggerating? Then what would you say about someone who drops by to chat and casually gives a rundown of his day that goes something like "Got up early, did some vacuuming and after that I didn't have much to do so I grabbed a book and went down to the nude beach.". You gotta love anyone who throws that tidbit off like he was casually mentioning his stopping to fill the car with gas.

Oookay, Wolfgang. Knock yourself out. Just don't be inviting me along. But I gotta say it makes for fine speculation fodder.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Mailbox Sitting

So yesterday the phone rang and it was Wolfgang. For those of you who don't know, Wolfgang is my neighbor. He lives on the floor above us. He's also been a friend of our for years but this year he broke up with his wife of eighteen years in what can be described as a classic midlife crisis. No Porsche purchase because he can barely afford to put gas in that P.O.S. Escort wagon he drives but it's a midlife crisis nevertheless. This is why Wolfgang now lives in our apartment building, and much to our chagrin, may I add, because he's bad to drop in without warning to tell us some incredibly boring story about his new-hip-single-dude life or to ask us a question about his computer - usually the same question he's asked six times before.

Here's my favorite thing of his that he does. Wolfgang will call our phone - a regular landline phone - and when B answers he'll say "Hey dude, are you home?"

Wolfgang, B's a quadriplegic and you've called our home phone. Think about the question you've just asked!

Anyway, he's at least finally learned to make every effort to call because he's the world's worst to drop in when I'm napping, in the middle of cooking, up to my elbows in toilet bowl scrubbing or the like. He wanted to come down for a moment to ask us something (why this couldn't be done on the phone is beyond me) and a few minutes later he showed up - filthy and paint covered. He's a painter so being filthy and paint covered is expected. His sister has gone on vacation to Bangkok for two weeks and Wolfgang is housesitting and maintaining five zillion birds and fish she's got there. He had mentioned this previously so it didn't come as any surprise and I had assumed that he would come by here every couple days to check on things here.

And he is going to do that...except he's asked me to pick up his mail while he's gone.

Let me get this right. You're coming back every two days anyway and you want me to pick up your mail? Where's the logic in that, Wolfgang?

What's he expecting? Checks coming in by the dozen? Letters from single women who happen to be looking for a tall, balding housepainter to date?

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! Yep, it hit me. I'm betting dollars to doughnuts that he's got some personal ads in some newspaper or online thingy and he's expecting a flood of letters and he doesn't want to chance missing one.

So not only do I have to pick up my mother-in-law's mail and my own mail but I have to get Wolfgang's collection of love correspondance.

Makes me want to see if I can still steam open an envelope. Nah. That would be bad. Amusing, but bad.