Dixie Peach: April 2005

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Congratulations to my boyfriend...

...and all his friends!

This afternoon, with three more games still left to play in the season, Bayern-München became German national champions.


I'm so proud of my guys!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Finishing things

Well let me just close any loose ends to finish off the week.

1. Things have been okay with the Louds. Tonight the TV was on to the point I could understand every word of the game show Herr Loud was watching but evidently one of the other Louds who have had the shit scared out of them turned it down after about ten minutes.

See? Now that wasn't so hard for them to do, was it?

I imagine they've gotten their formal written warning from the Wobau by now. The lady there was not very happy to hear that the daughters were sent to talk to us - she'd told the mother to do it herself as she's the renter, not the kids. And on a side note, my MIL ran into a former neighbor of the Louds and he reported that they lived in his building for nearly 20 years before moving to my building and they were annoying to everyone. They'd lived in that building about 15 years before Herr Loud had his brain thing and during that time they were famous for having TV and music too loud, having screaming fights and Herr Loud being an obnoxious, loud mouthed, unpleasant dickhead.

It must be true. Whatever you were before a handicap comes out tenfold afterwards.

2. I was a good 1/3 into my 2x2 ribknit scarf before I had an extreme fuck up. I don't know what I did but the next day when I picked it up to knit a few rows I saw that I had somehow twisted and crossed stitches and during the process of trying to fix them I dropped stiches - to the point of making a huge ladder of dropped stiches - and in general pissed myself off. So I frogged it and started again except nothing was hitting my fancy. Tried a P2, K1 rib...didn't look good for a scarf. Tried a double moss stitch but you know with all that's been going on this week I couldn't concentrate on it enough. Tried a 1x1 rib since the 2x2 rib wasn't really to my liking anyway before I screwed it up (maybe I did it accidently on purpose) - I just wasn't wild about it being so thick. Well I didn't like the 1x1 rib either and so I decided I'd just do a plain ol' garter stitch. And you know it looks very nice. It's flat and flexible and when I add a nice fluffy fringe it'll be a lovely all-purpose scarf that some lucky friend will receive.

3. Kitchen renovation work has begun. The city will pick up the old kitchen furnishings on the morning of May 10 so the day before (B's birthday, by the way) the old stuff will be pulled out - all but the dishwasher. That can stay because the guy installing my flooring is taking it to give to a buddy and the flooring will be installed on the 12th. Wolfgang is supposed to start painting the ceiling on the 9th and he's got to have everything finished on the 11th. And God help his hide if he's not done. God help him.

The electrician friend came today to remove the light that was along one wall that will now have a cabinet hung in its place. He was also able to put a plug in up higher as well that the range vent/light can be plugged into. And he only charged me 15€ - a barganza.

Everything has been coordinated. Let's pray the installation goes smoothly and I don't lose my mind not having an actual kitchen.

See you next week. I think I'll take this weekend off to sort through my kitchen stuff and to do some relaxation knitting. Nothing like doing row after row of mindless garter stitch to make the frustrations melt away.


Jump back! We're shufflin'!

1. Deutchland - Die Prinzen
2. Amarillo By Morning - George Strait
3. Jacqueline - Franz Ferdinand
4. What I Like About You - The Romantics
5. Aicha - Outlandish
6. Pearl Necklace - ZZ Top
7. Guitar Town - Steve Earle
8. Fool on the Hill - Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66
9. Jesus - Marius Müller Westernhagen
10. Friday I'm in Love - The Cure

Me too, Robert.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Quiet improvement

Today my MIL went to the Wobau with the written complaint signed by us and Frau 4th Floor. I had to stay home to wait for the DVD player we bought her for Mother's Day to be delivered (God love - if they would only deliver groceries!) and to wait for my new flooring for the kitchen to be delivered. Actually she'd have gone anyway, regardless of my delivery schedule. I make her do all my dirty work like that - talking to the Wobau, taking paperwork to the health insurance company, etc. I hope she stays able bodied and alive forever because I don't even know where some of these offices are located.

Anyway I don't have the full story because she only popped in to grab Bonnie for her noontime walk but she did say that Frau Loud was having a crying fit in the Wobau office on Tuesday when she had her audience with them. Actually had the audacity to say that the loud music and TV wasn't from them (because you know the real culprits waited for the Louds to move in before starting their musical terror so the Louds could be framed for it). Later she relented and said they were taking Herr Loud to have his hearing checked.

But you know magically the most annoying noises have stopped since Frau Loud's come-to-Jesus meeting with the Wobau. Herr Loud does turn up the TV but it's just this side of being acceptable. It's over the line when it's so loud that I know exactly what TV show he's watching and can hear every word. As it is I can just hear a TV is on but the sound is low enough that the words are still garbled.

He's now upstairs using his walker and slamming it down on the floor with every step. Again, not to seem like I'm a cripple-guy basher, I let it slide. And you know, as annoying as it is for B, the wailing and cursing and the profanity laden rants are semi amusing to me, thus showing my twisted bitch side. I'd take the compromise that he can scream and wail and curse if it's kept to a fifteen minute maximum and he keeps the TV and radio turned down at all times. I'll even throw in the pounding walker for free.

I hope the Louds realize that the real people they need to court isn't us but Frau 4th Floor and her husband. I have a feeling that if the Louds are evicted it'll be at the hands of them and not us.

I'll get the full poop on what happened at the Wobau today in a couple hours when my MIL comes down to visit.

Oh! And I'll throw this in as an extra bonus treat. Both the Herr and Frau 4th Floor and we have had our noisy famiy on the other side of us problems - problems that nowhere near match the Loud family. Hell, they're a pleasure compared to the Loud Family. I have the family below us with the gazillion kids and above Frau 4th Floor the family living on the 5th floor evidently engage in sex at least 4 times a week that seems to be so good that the woman has long, loud screaming orgasms that wake up the 4th Floor people. Both of our families with their own loud tendencies are moving out soon.

I'm actually going to miss the hollering and crying kids.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I dread even getting into this but since it seems to be the next biggest thing (somehow that grammar looks shakey) in my life right now next to the kitchen renovation and putting off its telling will only make it longer I may as well get started.

Know the deal with the loud family living above me? Things have come to a definite head.

B's been noting since the noise started the worst offenses. Not every objectionable noise coming from there but the most annoying and alarming. And we knew that the people on the 4th floor living above the Louds were pissed about them as well. More pissed than us.

Last Sunday Frau 4th Floor came by to talk to us about the Louds. She's fed up and wanted to call the rental company (the Wobau) on Monday and wanted us to call and register our complaints as well. The more united a front we present the better.

B called the Wobau on Monday and the lady who's in charge of our building said "Yeah, I've already spoken to Frau 4th Floor and this is very upsetting. I didn't know these people were as bad as they are. I'd heard stories about them in the other building (a building also owned by the Wobau) but didn't know it was so bad. But I should have this complaint in writing. Give me the details in writing and then I can give them a formal written warning that they have to shut up or they're in violation of their contract and violating the contract means immediate eviction."

Damn! They don't fuck around!

So B's written a formal complaint to the Wobau spelling out the worst offenses and that it's making our lives miserable. And that's not an exaggeration. We're constantly waiting for the loud TV and radio to crank up and the screaming and wailing to start. It's especially hard on B because people with spinal cord injuries don't process sudden shocks like abled bodied people do and he's beginning to have painful spasams in his shoulder.

Then yesterday morning we hear Herr Loud get started with a screaming fit. "Blah, blah, blah what does the Wobau want, blah, blah, blah.". Uh oh. They've heard from the Wobau. Evidently they're not waiting for the written report from us to begin the warning process.

Yesterday evening things got more interesting. Around 8:30 the two Loud daughters appeared at our door and they said that the Wobau had called their mother in to speak to them and was told to keep things quiet or else. Then the older daughter proceeded to go on about how their father can't help it - he has sudden pains and he must scream. We must be more tolerant and understanding because he's handicapped, ya know.

She's telling that to a man who is a quadriplegic and who hasn't been outdoors since last September. Oh the aching irony!

B said "Well I understand he's got pain but what does that have to do with the loud TV and radio. He doesn't have a hearing problem does he?". The daughters didn't have much to say about that - just more stuff about how their father has had brain surgery and he just can't help screaming when he has pain. I mean it took like three times mentioning the pains have nothing to do with the loud TV and radio. We know from neighbors who have visited that family that he does it on purpose - turns up the TV unreasonably loud and then after the wife turns is down, he turns it back up when she leaves the room.

The daughters went on about how their poor mother's nerves were shot from this stress from just moving in and the Wobau giving them their warning and B said "Well I feel for her. My nerves are shot as well.".

Finally I said "So let me see if I have this straight. You want our family to tolerate everything. You want the people on the 4th floor to tolerate everything. You want us to make all the sacrifices and your family will do nothing, right? Sorry. It doesn't work that way. We can overlook some of the screaming from pain but the profanity and the loud TV and radio isn't going to cut it. We are not budging from that. This is nothing personal. We have nothing against your family. We only want our peace. My husband gets no escape from it and he deserves his peace.".

They talked to Frau 4th Floor after that and got a less kind reception. Frau 4th Floor want every loud noise stopped - pain screams included.

I know we must seem like hardasses to some people but we have to look out for ourselves. I'm sorry this family has problems but they're not my problems. I have my own handicapped husband to deal with - I don't need the problems of another. It's not like we have flimsy, thin walls here. This isn't sheetrock. All our walls, floors and ceilings are of mason block. You know they're making some loud fucking noises if it's penetrating mason block.

Today the TV was again loud and the wife evidently turned it down which was followed by Herr Loud screaming "Am I not allowed to do anything anymore?".

Not if it means you disturbing me, fella. Get quiet or get packed. The written complaint goes to the Wobau in the morning.

Can't resist anything about books

Couldn't resist this one...not if it's about books!

Nicked from Beege.

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you save?

Like Beege said, the Bible would be tempting but if I choose a non holy scripture book I'd go with A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's a book that has helped shape how I view destiny and faith.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Oh sure! I had a big crush on Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now there's a man who's brave and determined and even in print you knew he was hot. And then seeing that in the movie he really is hot helps as well!

The last book you purchased?

Since I buy my books online I buy more than one at a time. One of the books I bought in my last order that I've already read is Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore and it's become one of my all-time favorites. While I understand it's fiction and meant to be nothing more than fiction it still gave me a spiritual boost that I didn't expect.

What are you currently reading?

Since I've been so caught up in knitting projects and playing Sacred I have been poking around with my reading and only getting ten pages a day in some days. I'm still reading Designer Knockoff by Ellen Byerrum and may find out one of these days whodunit. Good, light reading but I need to get it finished so I can get into the rest of my to-be-read stack.

5 books you would take to a deserted island?

The afore mentioned A Prayer for Owen Meany and Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal along with The Catcher in the Rye (I have a thing where I read this book annually, usually during November or December), To Kill a Mockingbird and Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.

But Beege mentioning the Outlander series tempts me to change my mind.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Got your ticket stub collection handy?

Can't seem to go more than a few days without a meme but that's okay. I find them amusing.

Swiped from Poppy.

The rules:

Following is a list of 25 music bands/acts that I have seen live in concert. The one marked with two asterisks means the last two people that completed one of these also saw that band; the one with one asterisk means just the person I stole this from did.

So here are my 25. Include any of those below on your own list and then fill out however many more you need until you get to 25.
  1. Bruce Springsteen**
  2. REM**
  3. Van Halen
  4. Allman Brothers Band
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. Rolling Stones
  7. Aerosmith
  8. The Who
  9. Dwight Yoakam
  10. Rod Stewart
  11. Poi Dog Pondering
  12. Smashing Pumpkins
  13. Boston
  14. The Everly Brothers
  15. .38 Special
  16. The Scorpions
  17. Loretta Lynn
  18. Garth Brooks*
  19. John Denver
  20. Metallica
  21. Guns 'n Roses
  22. The Judds
  23. Bruce Hornsby
  24. Dave Matthews Band
  25. Don Williams

Monday, April 25, 2005

Permission granted

B's made it clear - if you want to call him "Cripple Boy", go right on ahead.

Gotta get started

I guess getting my ass into gear begins tomorrow - because as we all know, a good procrastinator would never get her ass in gear today.

The kitchen delivery and assembly people called today saying they could come install it on May 10th. That's a week too early and I can't get the kitchen removed and have the flooring put in and have it painted by then. At least I think I can't. Plus as we didn't figure that the kitchen would come so soon we didn't get an appointment for the city to haul off the old kitchen and appliances until May 23rd. I can change that date a little but not a whole three weeks.

So B told them that the 10th wouldn't work and so they're going to come on May 17th. The day before is a holiday here (Pentecost Monday) so having the painting done and flooring installed shouldn't be a problem. It only sucks if the weather is great - Pentecost weekend is always the weekend of the big city fair and of course B and I would like to attend but kitchens come first!

Shoot. I have a ton on my plate tomorrow anyway. Can't get started on kitchen packing then. Wednesday. Definitely Wednesday. Or Thursday.

I see a panic on the horizon.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Creative time wasting

Remember that moss stitch scarf I was working on a few weeks ago? Kept looking at it and thinking that while the moss stitch looks fabu, it still lacked something.

So I put fringes on it. It's looks über-fabu now.

Thank goodness it takes so little to make me happy. Now I'm all inspired to add fringes to the 2x2 rib knit scarf I'm now working on. It's in a very pretty dove gray that should look nice with a good variety of coats.

Oh. And I finished the eyelash yarn keyhole scarf for my mom. I must now have one for myself.

As you can tell I've spent the weekend working on knitting projects. And I watched movies that I've had backed up on my hard drive recorder.

Remind me of how I wasted this weekend when I'm going berserk and bitching that I'm way behind and am "woe is me-ing" about my infernal procrastination when I'm desperately trying to get the kitchen stuff packed up when it's time to tear out the old cabinets.

Friday, April 22, 2005

If it's Friday...

...then we must be shufflin'!

1. Woman from Tokyo - Deep Purple
2. Makin' Pies - Patty Griffin
3. Wooden Heart (Muss I Denn) - Elvis Presley
4. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
5. Life is a Rollercoaster - Ronan Keating
6. It's Such a Small World - Rodney Crowell & Roseanne Cash
7. What Do You Want From Me This Time - Foster and Lloyd
8. Chihuahua - D.J. Bobo
9. Miss Amanda Jones - Rolling Stones
10. Holy Water - Bad Company

I now feel the need to apologize for some of those selections. I'll let you pick which ones.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Worn to a nub

I'm exhausted today. Stayed up too late last night and had to get up early this morning to get to a gynocologist appointment. My gyn can't be happy unless she's poking and prodding me twice a year.

Was at the appointment for forty-nine forevers but I did get a chance to read in peace. Afterwards I had a splitting headache (don't ask me how you can get a probing one place and get a pain in another) , was about 80% crabby-ass and in my sleepy, bitchy state I bought some key lime cheesecake style yogurt. Ten percent fat, gobs o' sugar. Is this on my sensible diet? No. Is it good for my diabetes? No. Would my doctor (not today's prober but my other one) approve? Absolutely not.

Did I give a shit? Not even a bit.

And damn, that yogurt was some yummy ass stuff! Shaved my crabby-ass percentage down to 40%.

After I got home, took care of B and fed him lunch I had a few minutes to slap on some make up and get ready to go out and pick flooring for my kitchen remodeling job. The friend of ours who is going to lay the floor was taking me to pick it as I don't know shit from Shinola about what's good and what's not. That's his job. He picks what's suitable, I pick the color and whip out the debit card and pick which day I want it delivered.

I've settled on a vinyl floor. Not classy maybe but it's most suitable for us. It's going to be for the kitchen and central hallway and it's got to be something that B's wheelchair won't mess up. While I'd love laminate flooring, that heavy-ass wheelchair would eventually break it apart and I'm not spending the money to put tile flooring in an apartment I rent. So I got some heavy duty, very good quality vinyl floor that mimics laminate flooring. It'll get delivered next week and I'll have it put down once I have a delivery date for the new kitchen and I have the old kitchen removed.

After I got home and told B all about the new floor and showed him the sample piece the sales guy gave me I layed down on the sofa and passed out. It was like someone unplugged me. Slept so hard I didn't hear a thing and when I woke up I was so confused I could hardly figure out where I was. It reminded me of when I was a kid. On rare occasion I'd come home from school exhausted and fall asleep. In the meantime the short winter day would end and I'd wake up in total darkness, completely confused, not knowing where I was or if it was night or the next morning or what.

Still I was able to get myself together after waking up to shove a frozen pizza in the oven.

Frozen pizza? Is that on my sensible diet? Is that good for my diabetes? Would my doctor approve?

Oh shut up. I still don't give a shit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Well hell - may as well rip off another...

...'cause I know y'all just can't wait to learn more useless trivia about The Peach.

I actually like to fill out questionnaires and forms in general. I don't know if it's because I like telling people about me or if I just like seeing blanks filled in but give me a questionnaire and I'm like a pig in slop.

I only had to do it once but back in 1990 when I had to fill out the US Census form I was practically giddy - and I'd been one of the ones who got the short form. Had I got the long, drawn out form I probably would have been orgasmic. I was actually bummed that during the last census in 2000 I wasn't in the US to get my form.

This one comes from my pal, Brandi.

1) What is the weirdest looking thing on your body - by nature or by accident?

My toes I suppose. They're long and thin and vaguely resemble fingers. Purely a gift of nature.

I can snap my toes. That's purely a gift of hard practice.

2) Handful or just a few sheets of toilet paper?

Handful. I ain't just going to dab and hope for the best.

3) What is the absolute smelliest place you've ever visited?

The north end of my hometown in Mississippi can smell like death when the wind from pulp wood plant shifts.

4) Name an entertainment person you'd like to muzzle...and not in a pervy bondage kind of way.

Jay Leno. He just clatters like a bell clap.

5) Name an entertainment person you'd like to a pervy bondage kind of way.

Normally I would have said Colin Firth but ever since Sal said she met him and reported that he's a bit of an asshat, I'll have to go with my fallback boyfriend, Owen Wilson.

6) Weapon of choice: noogie, nipple twist or the claw?

The claw. I'm not handling the nipples of someone that I feel the need to use a weapon on.

7) Did you ever give someone a food that was not what they thought it was or had been altered in some disturbing way?

I licked the bottoms of my college roommate's Hostess cupcakes when she wasn't looking. Just feeling like a vengeful bitch that day.

8) Is there ever a non-bodily-threatening reason to kick a guy in the crotch?

If he's been taking that crotch where it didn't belong and I find out about it, it's going to meet the end of my foot.

9) You meet the love of your life. You find out later that they are your long lost second cousin. Make it or break it?

It's a deal breaker for me but not for all my kin. My first cousin's daughter once dated the son of my and my first cousin's aunt. In other words, my second cousin dated her great aunt's son. I don't know what the hell that works out to be but it rates high on my oogy scale...and evidently isn't illegal to do in Mississippi.

10) Where's the weirdest place you've ever used the bathroom?

Nothing more weird than a cow pasture.

11) You have to pick one politician you dislike to get jiggy with. Who is it, and why?

Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. He needs to learn a little humility at the end of my six inch stiletto heel.

12) Cremation or burial?


13) Would you rather be a kleptomaniac or agoraphobic?

Agoraphobic. Hell, I'm at home all the time anyway.

14) Would you rather have a house with a poltergeist or bugs?

Poltergeist. What better entertainment for me if I'm going to become an agoraphobic?

15) Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh are tied to the train tracks. You only have time to free one before the train comes. Who do you save?

Mickey had better get his four fingered gloved hands to working on that rope because I'm going with the bear.

16) If you were being reincarnated and had to choose a different race then you were in this life, what would you choose?

American Indian.

17) You get the choice to be one of these three, what do you choose: the prettiest person in the world, the richest person in the world, or the smartest person in the world.

Richest. No one cares if you're an ugly dumbass if you've got the cash.

18) Samantha or Jeannie?

Jeannie. It's all about the bottle, baby.

19) Would you rather be trapped in Dallas, Melrose Place or Desperate Housewives?

Desperate Housewives. At least they're witty and have the sort of houses I like.

20) Trashiest food craving?

Frito Chili Pie from Sonic. Hell, anything from Sonic!

Stolen! And at just the right time!

Cheerfully ripped off from my buddy, Zoe's, blog. Couldn't have been better timing because I have had such a quiet, uneventful day that I was gonna have to skip a day here.

What was the last...

1) ... gift that someone gave you? Was it for a special occasion or just out of the blue? What's the last gift that you have given to someone else, and why? Did they like it?

The last gift I received was a goody box from my bestest pal, Moll. It was one of her famous Christmas/birthday/Valentine's Day boxes and it was fabulous. Lots and lots of paperback books that she's passed on to me, sugar free treats, delicious lemon poppyseed muffin mix, Cheeky Monkey slippers and really, really terrific kitchen gadgets from Williams-Sonoma, including the famous ass-kicking apple slicer.

The last gift I gave was a birthday gift to my MIL. I gave her a Fossil watch and a vanilla scented candle that I'd rolled in a 50 € bill and placed inside a pretty glass votive candle holder - the 50 € was to pay for a pair of sandles she'd ordered for herself. I also gave her a flower arrangement.

2) ... time that you took a walk? Where did you go? Did you walk with someone or go alone? Did you see anything interesting along the way? Do you enjoy walking as a form of exercise?

If I have to go anywhere and I don't take my car (which is 98% of the time) I walk...or take a streetcar and even then I walk to the streetcar stop. I also walk my dog most days - it's a job split between me and my MIL.

I don't often think of walking as a form of exercise - it more or less just is what it is...a way to get me from here to there. The only time I'm walking for just the sake of walking is when I walk the dog.

And if I see anything interesting, I'll let you know right here.

3) ... thing that you thought of before going to bed last night? Why was it on your mind? Did you sleep well last night? Did you have any dreams?

I was thinking about the new Pope just before going to bed, mostly because it was the last thing I saw on CNN before I turned off the TV.

I slept very well last night. Mostly because I was again (!!) dreaming about my beloved Sacred.

4) ... day of high school like for you? What were your feelings on that day? Do you still keep in touch with any high school friends?

Let me dig back twenty-five years into my memory...

I remember it being a fun day. No more sweating studying and the only pressure I was under was trying to find everyone I knew to sign my yearbook. And I remember the night before commencement - driving around aimlessly in my parents' car with my friends Kris and Elaine. I wonder why I didn't see my boyfriend that night? Can't remember now.

I only keep up with one friend from school, Susan - a girl who lived across the street from me. And I did briefly email with Elaine about five years ago but that's been it.

5) ... phone call you made? To whom, and how long did you talk? Are you on the phone often? How many phones do you have at home?

The last phone call I made was last night to Moll but I was only able to leave her a voicemail. The last phone call I made where I talked with a person was to my mother and we talked for nearly an hour.

I very seldom use the phone. I make maybe three phone calls a week - all to the U.S. I never answer the phone at home - that's B's job - and I never call someone in Germany. I really hate speaking German on the phone. It's much more difficult than speaking German face-to-face.

We have one landline phone and one cell phone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Did they have wheelchairs in the 16th century?

Aside from the freak eye, today has been pretty good. I was able to get tickets to a Blackmore'sNight show.

For the uninitiated, Blackmore's Night is a group headed by Ritchie Blackmore, formally of Deep Purple, and his wife is the vocalist. He now does a fusion of rock and renaissance music that I fell in love with about four years ago. B is a big fan as well and he always swore that if they came to do a show within 50 kilometers of Magdeburg he'd be there.

And as luck would have it, for the first time they'll be in Magdeburg on July 24th - a perfect time for B to be at an outdoor show as it's fairly certain the weather will be something he can be out in.

But since I look like a freak today and was afraid that someone would point to me on the streetcar and shout "Unclean! Unclean!" we sent my MIL to get the tickets. She took B's handicap certification card - a sort of national ID card that show the level of his handicap - in case she needed it because she wanted to ask about handicap seating. The ticket agent told her that since he's handicapped they'd seat him in an appropriate area - it's an open air concert in a park that's used for all sorts of medieval and renaissance festivals and games - (and believe me B's praying in earnest that they seat him right under the gaze of the lovely vocalist, Candace Night) but there was further good news. Since his ID card indicates that his handicap is such that he must have an assistant with him, I, as his assistant, get in for free.

Sweet! I always dig free!

Now B's after me to write Blackmore's Night a fan letter saying how much we love their music, blah, blah, blah and how his dream will be coming true that he'll see Blackmore's Night in concert in Magdeburg. In other words he's hoping they'll read it as "Look for a guy in a big blue electric wheelchair and if you'd let my wife take a picture of us together I'd be one very happy crippled man.". Of course should I do this I have to make us sound normal and not like some sort of wheelchair bound stalkers.

That wacky man o' mine. Doesn't ever play the "cripple card" except when it means he can maybe meet a hot blonde woman. Oh and if her guitar playing husband wants to get in the photo that would be okay too.

I'm such a beauty today

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Attractive, no?

I have not the faintest idea what happened to my eye. Something woke me up around 7am - perhaps it was the irritation in my eye, perhaps it was the irritating noise coming from the noisy family above my apartment - but at any rate my eye hurt. Actually it felt like my eyeball hurt. It felt scratchy - not like something in my eye but more like something had scratched my eye. I have had my hay fever kick up lately but it was only my right eye that was giving me problems. It was quite red and watery and it hurt when I blinked. So after taking a look at it I decided there was nothing to do about it except try to go back to sleep and after trying to relax my eye I did fall back asleep.

I woke up around 9am and that's when I got a shock. My eyelid was swollen like you see in the picture - moreso really - and was quite red and weepy. However it had stopped hurting. I didn't even realize my eye had swollen to gigundo proportions until I looked in the mirror. Hmmm...maybe it should have struck me that my eye could hardly open but I suppose I just figured it was me being sleepy-eyed.

What in the hell is going on here? All day my eyelid has been swollen but it's lessened somewhat and it's barely red now. Doesn't hurt. Doesn't itch. It's still slightly weepy but even that's cut down quite a bit.

Best I can figure is somehow while I was sleeping I scrubbed my face down in the pillow and somehow flipped up my eyelid and irritated it.

Great. I look like some sort of freak. I wouldn't even go out today except to walk the dog. And I can't put on any mascara. I can't even find my eyelashes under that mess!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Completely unrelated things

We'll just start off the weeks with the bits and pieces of things going on around here.

1. Windows are washed! Window Washer Dude was here and now I am one very happy peach. Plus he hung screening in two of my windows for me. We asked him how much he wanted and I was expecting to pay 25€ like last time plus I was planning on paying more for hanging the screening but this time he only asked for 20€. I had figured 25 for the windows, 5 for the screen and I would give him a 10€ tip so that's what I gave him anyway. I mean there was no way I could pay that guy less for doing all that work.

2. The noisy ass people living above us have got to do something. I'm ready to kill them. The people on the fourth floor who live above them are pissed as well. A small example of what we're enduring: We were awakened at 5am with the man doing some grunting scream for a good 20 minutes. You know, the sort of scream that one makes when one is constipated. Take a laxative and shut the fuck up!

3. I'd started on a keyhole scarf done in moss stitch and realize that I don't have enough yarn to finish it. And I don't know when I'm going to get time to get more or even if the shop will have more of the same. Shit.

In the meantime I've started on another keyhole scarf done in eyelash yarn that's a mix of white, gray and black. Think this one will be for my mom.

4. I am strongly considering ordering Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The 40th anniversary edition will be released tomorrow.

Everyone had that album when I was a kid. Everyone I grew up with had parents with at least two or three Herb Alpert albums. It was what you slapped on the hi-fi when people came for a dinner party or barbecue. Yeah, I guess it can be considered sorta cheesy but then again I'm all about classic cheesy music. Plus I just grew up with that stuff and I learned to love it.

The Beatles, The BeeGees, Johnny Cash, Herb Alpert, The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Glen Campbell - they'd be on the soundtrack of my life during my first ten years.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Getting in touch with nature

Pretty good day 'round these parts.

I bought some geraniums yesterday at the market I live across from (they have an annual geranium sale that I wait for) and today after picking up some new soil I got them planted in my flower boxes that sit on the ledge of my livingroom balcony. They came in flats of six plants and only in red and pink so I bought three flats - two red and one pink. I'm sharing them with my MIL who has her own flower boxes so I took six reds ane two pinks (four plants per box fit in). And as I'm one to be symmetrical I have them planted red, red, pink, red, red, pink, red, red.

Anal? Me?

I hate gardening. When I owned a home I tried to spend as little time gardening as possible. I'd shove some flowers in the ground, hopefully after my ex had gotten the soil ready for me, but weeding and fertilizing and trimming and all that jazz is for the birds. Getting my hands dirty doesn't sit well with me and dirt under my nails is enough to make me get a little crazy. I'm too cheap to buy gardening gloves so I use the next best thing - unpowdered latex exam gloves. Taking care of a quadriplegic means I have a ton of those things and they make pretty good gloves for planning flowers. They fit close, protect your hands from dirt and you can just pitch them when you're done.

Such a clever Kate I am.

So my geraniums are planted, watered, the little plant fertilizer sticks (with guano!) shoved in the dirt and now I'll just wait for them to grow and bloom. All I have to do is remember to water them which sounds easy but I tend to forget sometimes until B says "You ever gonna water those poor plants?".

Nag, nag, nag!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Oh hush! I certainly am NOT conforming!

I've decided to move my Sunday Shuffle to Fridays and be in line with the rest of the blogging world. Not because I couldn't stand to be out of synch with the rest of y'all but rather it's because I'm trying to do more offline weekends. I was a-skeered that y'all would be trembling and fainting if you didn't have my shuffle to dig on so I'm going to make the sacrifice and make the big switch.

1. Still - Alanis Morissette
2. House at Pooh Corner - Kenny Loggins
3. Take a Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed
4. Innocent World - Iggy Pop
5. Letzte Version - Herbert Grönemeyer
6. Get Dancin' - Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes
7. Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis
8. Love of the Common People - Paul Young
9. The Weight - The Band
10. Five O'Clock World - The Vogues

That shuffle shifts gears so fast it damn near gives me whiplash...

Just cause you asked...

I've had a few folks ask me in the last couple days what a moss stitch is and how to do it. It's also called a seed stitch by some but it's the same thing.

A simple moss/seed stich is basically like a 1x1 rib stitch with a little variation so if you can rib stitch, you can moss stitch. You should use an even number of stitches.

Row 1: *k1, p1; rep from *
Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from *

In other words, knit what you purled in the previous row, purl what you knit in the previous row. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

There's also this variation:

Row 1 and 2: *k1, p1; rep from *
Row 3 and 4: *p1, k1; rep from *

This was the only moss stitch I knew of until my MIL told me about the double moss stitch. This would be in multiples of four stitches - you know, 12, 16, 20, 24, etc. stitches like you do with a 2x2 rib stitch.

Rows 1 and 2: *k2, p2; rep from *
Rows 3 and 4: *p2, k2; rep from *

I love these stitches. I think they add a nice, interesting look to your knitting that rib stitches don't have and have the added advantage like rib stitches in that the material you knit is the same on both sides and it lays flat. Terrific for scarves.

My MIL is trying to talk me into attempting to knit moss diamonds and moss panels. I dunno. They seem sort of complicated to me and I like more mindless knitting. I mean I do well just keeping up with whether I should knit or purl the next stitch. She swears it's easy but she can do that. She used to knit as a business and could crank out sweaters without giving them much thought.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

When procrastination bites me in the ass

So in our last episode I filled y'all in on how I'm a master procrastinator (sounds slightly lewd, doesn't it?) and how indulging my talent was going to cost me this morning as I would end up running around clearing things for Window Washer Dude.

I did indeed get up at the butt crack o' dawn this morning and did indeed run like a loon getting things in shape for having my windows washed. A bit too early actually as I finished a good hour before my self-imposed deadline but the remaining hour was wisely spent knitting. Not getting things truly well organized because by then I was well in "it's good enough" mode but trying to finish my moss knit scarf project.

Around 12:30 I went up to my MIL's apartment to swipe some fizzy water from her to have available to offer Window Washer Dude (I don't usually keep it on hand because I find that our tap water is delicious and I can't stand carbonated water - don't get me going on how most Germans only like to drink carbonated water) and as I was coming in the door the phone was ringing. Window Washer Dude was going to be held up on a commerical window washing job and would be late getting to our apartment so I assured him that he should go ahead and not rush his commerical job and could instead come on Monday instead to wash my windows.

So let's examine the situation. Some of you will say that I have been given a punishment for my procrastination. Had I gone ahead and done my tidy-up in a timely manner then I wouldn't have had to get up at that ungodly hour only to rush around cleaning like a mad fool for what turns out to have been no reason. Some of you will say that I have been given a reprieve and a last chance to redeem myself and to turn from my wicked procrastinating ways and now I have a full three days to tidy up and organize properly. And some of you will say that come Monday morning I shall be again up early cleaning like a mad fool.

And I say that the likely scenario will be that for the next three days I will end up trying not to disturb the tidy-up I've done already. Okay, okay. I may give a passing thought or two to getting the empty boxes cut up and down to the recycling bin but that's probably as far as I'll get.

At least you gotta admire my consistancy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Later. And later. And later...

Procrastination is rearing its ugly head around here today. I know I shouldn't do it. I know that tomorrow when I try to tackle the tasks I've put off until then I'll be sorry but I can't help it. I must procrastinate. It's my talent. It's my gift. It's my calling in life. Why do today what I can push off until tomorrow?

Tomorrow afternoon the dude I hire to wash my windows will be here to - you guessed it!- wash my windows. I have to pick up some things in my spare storage room so he can easily get to the windows and as of right now I've only taken a feeble swipe at accomplishing it. I've known for a week that this guy will be coming to do the windows and I've had ample opportunity to get it done but I would either ignore the situation completely or when it would cross my mind I would rationalize (and as we all know, rationalization goes hand in hand with procrastination) that I had plenty of time left and I'd do it later.

Even knowing today that I had to get this done within 24 hours didn't spur me to action. I was busy with other things this morning and then later on after B's physiotherapist left I was sleepy so I rationalized taking a nap would invigorate me and would kick start my tidy-up project. After my nap I rationalized that my MIL would be down to visit us within twenty minutes so I worked on my knitting project instead. Then after watching the news I did a little bit of work on it but stopped when I convinced myself that it was more important to call M and check on how she's feeling (and I still hold it was more important) and that the picking up actually looks worse than it is and I can get it finished tomorrow morning before Window Washing Dude arrives.

And I think I actually can get it done but not to the standard in which it should be done. You see, had I done this on time I'd have picked things up and stored and organized them neatly. Now I'm pretty well convinced that neat organization will not be something I'll have time for and I'll be reduced to just getting shit out of the way enough for him to wash the windows.

Window Washing Dude will think that room is terribly messy and he'll be right. And I'll be embarrassed. And then I simply won't care because my windows will be washed, he'll be paid, he'll forget about the empty boxes in that room that I haven't yet taken out to be recycled and the whole cycle of rationalization and procrastination will begin again.

Sure. In the time I've written this I could have been working on the tidy-up but I've rationalized that it was more important that come here to discuss this with you dear readers. And I still hold that it was more important.

Aren't you feeling all warm inside knowing that I put you first?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My wish only came half true

So as it ended up Bayern won 3 to 2. Yay. They won. Note my lack of enthusiasm.

See, they had to win by TWO goals to advance in the Champion's League and as we all learned in the first grade 3 minus 2 doesn't equal Champion's League semi-finals.

I had to console myself with a lemon muffin.

I only steal from the best.

Swiped from - a blog most worthy of checking out. Ranks quite high on the cool and groovy scale.

A new book meme circulating around the sphere is going by the name "123.5," and its rules are these:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

"Okay, then, we'll go to the Orchard." - from The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Know what's weird? I've had this book for a couple months now but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I haven't even opened it up to take a peek inside.

When I opened the book at random it opened right to page 123. Cosmic, baby!

Keeping distracted

It's Tuesday and the return Bayern-München vs. Chelsea game is on TV. I am trying to remain calm and serene while this game is on and so to distract myself from turning into a edge-of-my-seat nail biter I'll just occupy my mind with the little random thoughts that flit in and out of my head.

1. Today it hit me that come June it will be 25 years since my high school graduation. When did the time creep up on me like this? I still feel young. It doesn't seem like it's been so long since I was in high school. Now I realize that the number of years since my graduation could have enabled me to go through all of school again. Twice. With an extra year leftover that I could use for a repeat of kindergarten.

2. I miss Mississippi. It's April and I love Mississippi in April. It's just before the weather turns into something from Dante's Inferno and everything is blooming. And I just miss the way things are there. Miss the familiarity of it all. I love being in Germany but it doesn't fill that Mississippi shaped hole in my heart.

3. I've been working on this scarf I'm doing in moss stitch for over a week now and it's nearly finished. It probably would be finished were it not due to my obsession with Sacred. It looks great though. Moss stitch looks so groovy anyway and the yarn I'm using - just a poly/wool blend, actually - knits up so easy and is soft and comfy feeling. I think I'm going to next do a keyhole scarf again but do it in moss stitch instead of a rib.

4. M's at home sick with mono. She was diagnosed last week after having been sick since before Easter. This is when I hate living thousands of miles away from her. I just wish I could be there to help her so she could get the rest she needs.

5. I haven't exercised in a week. And it's showing up in my blood sugar monitoring. I suck.

6. Chelsea's currently leading Bayern by a goal. I don't want to talk about it. It's time for my boyfriend, Claudio Pizarro to make a goal. Actually to make three goals.

7. My boyfriend just made a goal. I love him and wish to have his babies.

8. I can't actually have babies but if he make two more goals and Bayern wins I'll find a way to pull it off.

9. I seriously have a jonesing for a lemon muffin. I have five of them just sitting in my kitchen. Now I shall contemplate the blood sugar reading I just took and resist temptation a little more easily.

10. Bet a cup of tea would be brilliant with one of those lemon muffins...

11. I would give up lemon muffins for life if my boyfriend or one of my boyfriend's friends would just score two more goals.

12. I'm guessing number 11 will be easier to pull off than number 8.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Someone! Help me!

I think I'm going to need an intervention. It seems that I've become a computer game playing nerd. I'm afraid that if something isn't done soon that my apartment will never be clean again and we'll be reduced to a diet of Doritos and Chinese delivery.

It snuck up on me quietly. Isn't that how all addictions start? I've always played games online - mah jong, Spades, Slingo, all that jazz at And I've played PC games as well - Monopoly, Anno 1602, You Don't Know Jack, Shivers (sadly I've played that game so many times I can go through the whole thing in about 45 minutes - I memorized the walk-through) and a few other things - but I've always managed to keep my game playing obsessions in check.

About 10 months ago B got the game Sacred and he's crazy about that game. Plays nearly every day and never gets tired of it. Some of that has to do with the fact that it can be played online as well so you never run out of things to do. He'd been trying to get me to try the game but I kept begging off. I didn't think I'd enjoy it and I thought it was so much of a "boy's" game for me.

Does this not sound vaguely like getting a girly-girl to start drinking beer?

Finally I said that I'd do it - I'd give it a whirl to mostly see what all the fuss is about and then after I'd given it a decent go I could say it wasn't for me.

Oh how I wish I could say that's how it turned out. Instead I was introduced to what has turned out for me to be the crack cocaine of PC gaming.

In the game the roll I have to play is a forest elf and my goal is to shoot a lot of bad monsters with my kick-ass bow and fulfill quests. My side goal is to find or buy the cutest possible oufits for my elf that not only make me look good but also will help me to fend off the zombies and orks and dragons and giant spiders.

Conversations with B now inevitably turn to Sacred strategy comparisons. Discussing which special abilities we like for our weapons to have. Considering the possiblity of buying a new computer now instead of this fall because the game doesn't run the best on my computer and B and I can't use his at the same time to play.

I have dreamed about this game. Every. Single. Night.

Someone get the Betty Ford Clinic on the phone...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday Shufflin'

Time for the Sunday Shuffle. Yeah, yeah - I know the rest of the blogging world shuffles on Friday but, while I am normally a color-within-the-lines sort of gal, I'm also a I'll-do-it-when-I-damn-well-want-to sort of gal.

Power it up, set to shuffle, and tell the first ten it kicks out.

1. Southern Girl - Better Than Ezra
2. I Take My Chances - Mary-Chapin Carpenter
3. Give Ireland Back to the Irish - Paul McCartney & Wings
4. Killer Queen - Queen
5. Let My Love Open the Door - Pete Townsend
6. Mi Vida Loca - Pam Tillis
7. You're My Mate - Right Said Fred
8. Sikidim - Tarkan
9. Welcome to Paradise - Green Day
10. I Believe - Diamond Rio

Maybe Ginni got Diamond Rio to show up.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Empty headed

I don't have a thing to say. My mind feels so empty and numb and nothing that flits across my mind is enough to assemble into a coherent thought.

I'm still just so heartbroken about Ginni's passing. Those she's left behind are missing her so much and it just doesn't seem fair to have her pass when she's still so young. She didn't even get to see her kids fully raised.

I say it over and over. You don't get over this sort of thing. You can only get through it.

I'll be upset and disoriented and the rest of the things that happen in the world will seem trivial for a while and then, before I know it, I'll be eased right into regular life again. All I have to do it just keep moving forward and get through it.

Sometimes you simply just have to keep doing regular stuff in life even though your heart and mind aren't fully engaged with it. You just do what needs to be done and after a while you realize that you're getting through it. So I'm going to start with the getting through it.

But I'll start tomorrow. Being empty headed can last for one more day.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Rest well, sweet lady

A woman who has taught me volumes about dignity, integrity, faith, strength, courage and hope has passed on. I take comfort that she now rests in the arms of her Lord. And my heart is broken for those of us she leaves behind, especially her children.

May those who grieve her passing find comfort and peace at this painful time.

God bless you, Ginni. And thank you for blessing my life.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Auf Wiedersehen, Lottie!

Lottie, my sock monkey, is on her way to the U.S. To the grand mid-west, actually.

My lovely friend, Lisa, has been in love with Lottie since I got her. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that Lisa's in love with the idea of Lottie since she's never actually seen her but that alone is good enough. And as we both love the idea of Lottie being a well traveled little sock monkey, Lottie will be having a little vacation with Lisa and her family. So via Deutsche Post (hey, I'm not springing for Lufthansa for a sock monkey), Lottie is now winging her way west and should arrive within a week or ten days. I sent her airmail so she had better arrive then!

Once she's there Lisa will be taking her to all the groovy spots that Lottie deserves to see - most importanly Lisa wonderful home - and snapping pictures of her visit so that I may use them to chronical Lottie's world adventures on the Internet.

I'm excited about this and yet at the same time a little sad. I'm going to miss my little ruby lipped buddy while she's gone but I know she'll be in good hands and will be back home with me before too long. And I trust Lisa with my life so why wouldn't I trust her with a $15 sock monkey dressed in a brown and red plaid dress?

I told B of our plan and why I was shoving Lottie into a box and he had to bite his tongue. He thinks that while it's not all that weird to name and dress a sock money, shipping it overseas so that it can visit someone and have pictures made is more than just a little off the wall. I said to him "You do indulge us, don't you?" and he replied, "Do I actually have a choice?".


Wednesday, April 06, 2005's over.

I can breathe now.

Chelsea scored again making it 4-1 but shortly before the game was over Bayern scored on a penalty making it 4-2. Bayern can still pull it out next Tuesday on the return game. They have to win 2-0 or 3-1 to advance to the semi-finals.

I know y'all couldn't care less so I'll shaddup about this until next week. In the meantime I'll move on to a vastly more important subject.

Mmmm...chocolate ice cream. I believe you were my very first food love. You make me want to revert to being three years old again so I can lick the bowl without feeling foolish and gluttonous.

90 minutes of tension

Will my heart be able to take it? Can I get through the second half of the Chelsea-Bayern München match without seizing up and expiring?

Chelsea pulled ahead 1-0 four minutes into the game. They were off-sides but the linesman dind't catch it and that was that. Now just a few moments ago Bastian Schweinsteiger made a goal to make the score 1-1.

I told B that I will now being divorcing him so that I can marry Bastian Schweinsteiger. B replied "Me too.".

My euphoria at a tied score is gone. Chelsea just scored again. Shit.

Games like this just make me crazy. I'll just change the subject.

After the bear knitting fiasco I started another project - a nice, simple scarf in a lovely moss stitch. I have to say that it looks terrific and doesn't at all resemble a forest and glade dwelling mammal. Instead it's all nubby and groovy and I'm enjoying it - especially since it knits up quicker than a rib stitch with no more effort in the actual knitting. Now I'm thinking of doing another keyhole scarf but doing it in moss stitch instead of a 1x1 rib.

The score is now 3-1. Fucking Chelsea. I hate that we're losing to that team.

So much for me changing the subject.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Easier than going to an 8am Philosophy 101 lecture

You scored as Utilitarianism. Your life is guided by the principles of Utilitarianism: You seek the greatest good for the greatest number.

“The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”
--Jeremy Bentham

“Whenever the general disposition of the people is such, that each individual regards those only of his interests which are selfish, and does not dwell on, or concern himself for, his share of the general interest, in such a state of things, good government is impossible.”
--John Stuart Mill

More info at">Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...



Divine Command


Justice (Fairness)










Strong Egoism




What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Super Freak

Just when I think that people are getting over the idea that Mississippians are boneheads I read an article like this.

I guess Diane doesn't get that this is better publicity for her husband than she could pay for. They've been mentioned in the New York Post, for pity's sake! Okay, so most people in Hattisburg don't read the New York Post but evidently name recognition is still doing its work.

Uh oh!

I just ate an entire bag of baby carrots. Bet there were twenty-five baby carrots in the bag.

I'm going to hate being me in about 24 hours...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Getting what you pay for

A couple months ago I was discussing with friends the phenomena of seeing an item you don't want over and over and then when you want that item, you can't find one anywhere. I was considering this little quirk of fate when I was trying to find an apple slicer. You know those circular cutting devices that looks like a wagon wheel and when you shove it down over an apple it slices and cores it at the same time? I'd seen them hundreds and hundreds of time and had no interest in them because I am not really much of an apple eater. Then when I began to eat apples on a daily basis in an effort to get more fruit into my diet and wanted an apple slicer I couldn't find one of those SOBs if my life depended on it.

So I told M about it. And M, being as she's my bestest pal, got on the find-an-apple-slicer mission immediately. She didn't have to look too far - just to Williams-Sonoma. Hey, I'm thinking one from Walmart or Giant or Costco (except at Costco would you have to buy like 20 of them?) was going to be fine but she had to get me the best. It's just her way.

Now I don't like to brag and I don't mean to say this to embarrass her but that apple slicer retails for $18. I'm thinking it was going to be like a $3.99 number - $5 at the most. Wrong. This Cadillac of apple slicers tears up an Andrew quite well and gives you only enough change back to make a phone call.

Paying a premium price for what she wants is something that I tease M about. This all started when one afternoon she told me that she was at the mall and desperately wanted a snack. As she was trying to avoid eating sweets she was actively searching out fruit but wasn't coming up with lots of choices...until she came to Godiva Chocolates. There they were dipping huge, HUGE strawberries in chocolate. She asked if she could buy three of these delights to satisfy her snack craving but requested that they not be dipped in chocolate. Just give her the plain strawberries. Of course they were happy to oblige M's request and they sold her the three the tune of $12. Ever since that day if she goes a little bit overboard I tease her about it without mercy and liken whatever she's done to the strawberry experience.

Let me say though, to be fair to M, she's not like this all the time. These are rare, rare instances. Normally she's excellent at sniffing out bargans and finding sales and she can get a lot for her shopping dollar. I don't want to say she squeezes a penny so hard she makes Lincoln scream but she does give George a good twist before letting him go.

Back to the apple slicer...

I got the apple slicer about six weeks ago and it's fabulous. And I can see why it was pricey. It's a heavy duty slicer and while I wouldn't say it could slice through rocks, it does whip through some pretty firm apples with little effort.

So one day while washing it I noticed the name of the maker of the apple slicer. Leifheit. It's a German company. My apple slicer was made in Germay. Oh my aching irony!

So where have the good apple slicers gone in Germany when I've searching for them? Evidently they're shipped out to America where they sit waiting to be purchased and shipped back to their Vaterland.

Wonder what my apple slicer would do to a $4 strawberry...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Good Day Sunshine

Thank God and all his blessed angels. I must be holding my mouth right because we've had actual sunny, clear, bluest-sky-I've-ever-seen weather for the past couple days. We hit April and hit the weather jackpot. Sure it's still a bit nippy outside - we're in Germany, after all, and so our springs tend to spring quite late but in the sunshine it's glorious. Can walk around with an unbuttoned jacket sort of glorious. This could not arrive at a better time. I was so sick to death of cloudy, cold, windy, miserable weather that I could have just buried myself under the blankets and never peeked out again.

Of course as it's April and we're in Germany we can't count on fabulous weather to stay. True fabulous weather doesn't come to stay until June. Until then we'll spend April with the weather having more personalities than the love child of Sybil and the Three Faces of Eve and then May will teeter between being chilly and blazing but at least it usually stays dry.

I have just spent two paragraphs writing about the weather. I have hit blogging rock bottom with my choice of topics but I'm trying not to stray onto the topic of my shitheel neighbors upstairs. I really just don't want to go into the hell they're creating. Suffice it to say that it got so bad this morning that B actually screamed towards the ceiling for them to shut up. Let's keep in mind that B is a quadriplegic and it's virtually impossible for him to scream, let alone the fact that he's normally so easy going that you couldn't ruffle his feathers if you bashed him in the head with an iron skillet. I gotta say thought that this morning's effort was impressive. He scared the wee outta me.

Enough of dwelling on those freaks for today. I can't let them control my every waking moment.

Instead I'll end with something more important and of bigger concern to the world - the passing of Pope John Paul II. I'm not a Roman Catholic but I think that regardless of one's faith or even lack of faith, it can be recognized that the world has lost a compassionate humanitarian. Was he perfect? No one is. Did he have contradictions in his viewpoints? I believe he did and in a way it comforts me because I too have contradictions in my own viewpoints. I'm not keeping bad company when it's something we both did. But regardless of the faults one may find in him, he was still a kind man who taught the world a lot about forging ties with those who come from a different perspective and belief system and he taught the world a lot about forgiveness.

May he rest well in the arms of Jesus.

Sunday Shuffle

Since I seem this week to be into stealing fun stuff from other folks' blogs, I'll lift this next little gem from my buddy, Poppy . I credit Poppy with my stealing...I mean I'm inspired to emulate lots of things from her such as keeping up with my blog, knitting and this new feature, the Sunday Shuffle - 'cept she does her's on Friday. I think Poppy would think it's okay that I'm stealing...ahem...becoming inspired from her. She and I look somewhat alike, like identical cousins but not quite up to Patty Duke standards. Go check out her blog too. She's most groovy and witty.

Here's the rules. Fire up your favorite music maker, set it on shuffle, list the first ten songs it spits out.

1. You Belong to Me Now - Candy Butchers
2. Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
3. Über Sieben Brücken - Karat
4. Rad Gumbo - Little Feat
5. Hey Sexy Lady - Shaggy
6. The Man Who Told Everything - Doves
7. Brimful of Asha - Cornershop
8. Whenever You're on My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw
9. El Paso - Marty Robbins
10. Love is Here - Starsailor

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Hausfrau-y things

Oh I was the picture of industry today. Up and dressed and off grocery shopping before breakfast. Kitchen scrubbed. Floors vacuumed and mopped. Laundry done. Dusting finished. By golly I'm just June Cleaver today. Nice feeling of accomplishment though.

I finally called it quits on knitting the bear. The more I knit, the dumber it looked so I bound it off and realized that instead of knitting an attractive cowl I'd knit a big, black, fuzzy...miniskirt. Evidently I made a poor, poor choice in the length of the circular needled I used. Like 20 centemeters too much of bad choice. You know this thing was entirely too wide when I could get it over my hips with more than enough room to spare. I can't even describe how ridiculous it looks. Bet I laughed at it for a half hour straight.

Yes, dear readers, I have learned my lesson about knitting a swatch. And I have lots and lots of work to do frogging this nightmare in eyelash yarn as punishment.

It was a learning experience! I shall remain undaunted! I shall create my cowl!

But first I'm going to knit a swatch!

Friday, April 01, 2005 dee dah...

Winding up the work week here. Funny how I still think of weekdays as being a work week for me even though I do the same sorts of things regardless of the day of the week.

Both B and I have been sleepy-cranky today. The freakshow that's moved to the apartment above us has done its best to wake us up and piss us off.

Example? At 7:30 this morning their phone rang (and may I add that I have never heard before another neighbor's phone ring) and shortly thereafter the husband began screaming "IT'S ALL SHIT! IT'S ALL SHIT!". Stupid bastard sounded like he was in the same room with us. This is after he spent last night for a good 45 minutes screaming "Uhhhhhhgggggghhhhhaaaaaaahhhh!" over and over. My MIL today said a man living on the tenth floor heard him. These freaks live on the third floor.

I just want it to stop. I'm sorry the man is brain damaged and I might would be compelled to believe he can't help himself except for the fact that everyone who's known that family for years will say he was a shitheel before his brain damage and was a screamer then as well. I really do realize that his problem is not always within control but why does my family have to suffer as well? This isn't a hospital. This isn't a rehabilitation center. This isn't a nursing home. It's a large apartment building with many, many other families and we shouldn't have to suffer because they've got a problem. The family below me with all the kids get loud but they're silent movie compared to the bunch above me. I'll take their crying babies and toddler fit pitching any day over some guy screaming at the top of his lungs "SCHEISSE!!! SCHEISSE!!".

My husband can't move. He's housebound 98.9% of the time. Correct that. He's roombound 98.9% of the time. He can't just get up and leave when these people become noisy and disruptive. He doesn't get a break from it. He's got to sit there and take it and by God it's not fair to him.

They're either going to have to shut this guy up or move. That's my position on this. If he's in such head pain that he screams like a banshee on and on and on, he needs some serious drugs for it. I'm not having my family be made miserable because of their problem.

I didn't even want to get started on this but there it is. I feel like I'm being a hardass about this but my family deserves better than to listen to screaming and cursing from some stranger.

On to better things...because if I don't change the topic I'm going to be in a pissed off mood all over again.

Talked to my friend, M, today. She's been out of work sick for a week and it was time to talk to her to get the lowdown on how she's been doing. She called when Wolfgang was here (he needed to borrow the elevator key from us...said he'd be here at 6pm to get it, showed up at 7:20...typical Wolfgang, eh?) and since I don't like to hold trans-atlantic phone conversations with visitors around I told her I'd call her back in ten minutes. That means, by golly, Wolfgang, say what you have to say and get your ass out of here.

He took the hint after nearly fifteen minutes. Mr. Quick-on-the-Uptake.

Loved talking to M though. She's had a bad bout of the flu and I hope she gets her strength back this weekend. I worry about her and I can't stand that I'm too far away to help her.

For the second day in a row I haven't knit on the cowl/fuzzy bear. Didn't get time but didn't make time either. I'm starting to wonder whether I'm losing my interest in the project. I only feel maybe 50% certain that this thing will be right and the other half tells me I'm going to have a lovely afternoon sometime soon frogging it all.

And may I just add that while I was in Karstadt yesterday I didn't even go over to the yarn, not even for a peek. I was tempted but resisted. I have yarn. I have projects already set up for the yarn I have. I don't need to add more to the pile.

The carpenter guy comes Monday at noon to measure the kitchen to make sure what we bought will fit and that we have enough plugs, check the water hookups, etc. It's now feeling more real to me that we'll be having a new kitchen put in. This weekend I've got to really clean the kitchen to the nth degree, including scrubbing the never-seems-to-quite-look-clean floors so the carpenter dude doesn't think we're pigs.

I'm tempted to say "No, the pigs live one floor above us." but that would be very wrong of me to do that.

See what sleep deprivation does to me?