Dixie Peach: May 2005

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The cure

There is absolutely 100% nothing going on here today. My apartment is clean (okay, I could work on the shower doors but I'd mess up my identity as a procrastinator if I did), the weather has gone from summery warm to being windy, chilly and rainy, I don't much feel like reading (a seldom occurance), and feel even less like knitting (and I need to get my ass in gear and get some projects finished).

I am the definition of ennui.

And while I am not one who normally goes in for retail therapy I may have to take that very cure to get myself jump started. Ride the streetcar downtown. Stop in a cafe and have some tea and read a little (I love that in Germany you don't get rushed off by the wait staff - if it's full, you just share a table with someone else and politely ignore each other). Go to the yarn shop and see what they have in merino wool for a blanket I'd like to knit. Go to another yarn shop and see if they still have that gorgeous boucle yarn that I've been drooling over. And if none of that works I have the sure fire snap-me-out-of-it solution. Go to Müller, see if they have any new perfumes I'd like to try and walk over to the Clinique or Lancome counter and buy a new lipstick.

New lipstick cures everything.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Okay, let's address this

I have heard from someone calling themselves "stevealterfan" and he/she writes:

steve alter is one of the more brilliant writers of our time. The developer of this web site is jealous of the skills. Do your homework, all of his ideas are original. This site is a lot of bs with not any proof. Before you start slandering writers, you need to retrieve copywrite dates. How do you know Beege did not steal from Alter

Okay, let me stop the hysterical laughter before I address this brilliant rebuttal piece. I'm sure you're going to need a moment or two to collect yourself as well.

Really. I'll stop in a moment.

My sides are beginning to hurt. Whooooo....I can't stop here!

Wait a moment. I gotta head down the hall before I wet my pants from this laugh riot.

Okay. There. I've caught my breath.

Look stevealterfan, I'm not even going to address the remark that Steve Alter is...what did you call him? " of the more brilliant writers of our time"? Or the remark that I'm (I'll assume that I am the "site developer") "jealous of the skills". That would be the skills. Extra special ones, I'm betting, to get to be known as the skills.

Let's get to the proof, stevealterfan. Don't worry, I'll go slowly for you.

Beege made her post on Sunday, May 15, 2005. Steve Alter made his post on Wednesday, May 18th, 2005. I'm going to hazard a guess and say that even where you're from, stevealterfan, Sunday, May 15, 2005 comes before Wednesday, May 18, 2005. As for Beege stealing the post from Steve Alter, where would she have found it to have posted it before he did? Did he write it somewhere else first? Interesting as he indicates in the story that he'd been driving "last night" which would have made it Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - still well after Sunday, May 15, 2005. But let's just say he wrote it and didn't correct the time which the event was to have taken place (for example, changing "last night" to "last week" or "six months ago") - where would have Beege been able to find this previously written story to steal it and add it to her own blog?

You know I put a comment on Steve Alter's blog when I discovered the obvious plagiarism and let him know he was busted. Did he rebut with some sort of proof that Beege had actually stolen the post from him? No. He merely turned off his comments. If he'd been the one who was wronged, why not take that opportunity to set the record straight?

Buzz off, stevealterfan. I'm busy. Brushing up on the skills and all.

Happy birthday, Mollie!

I hope it's a fabulous day, sweetie. Celebrate it to the fullest.

Thanks for being my bestest pal. Love you.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Back on track

You know for a good week now I've blogged about nothing. Just some fun memes and not much else except for our trip outdoors on Thursday. So without further delay, let's get back to my life.

We were all set to go out on Saturday and today but things didn't pan out. B didn't feel so great (temperature has shot up to summertime levels and is not set to plunge back down again overnight and B's circulatory system goes bananas when it's like this) yesterday so we skipped the trip outdoors thinking an outing today would be sufficient. It ended up being a good idea since the elevator for our building was shut down for a few hours (with my neighbor's daughter stuck inside no less). It would be our luck to have it broken just as we wanted to come back inside. There's no way I could carry him up three flights of stairs so I'd end up having to scrounge up a couple trustworthy strong guys to get him back in our apartment, nevermind the headache of guarding his wheelchair against meddlers. So instead of us having supper out we ended up dining on a not-so-good-for-you-but-tasty creation of ground beef, spaghetti sauce, egg noodles and mozzerella cheese that I whip up when I have no desire to cook real food.

B's aunt and uncle came by as well to take a look at the new kitchen. We, B, my MIL and I, were expecting Tante Gabi to make some sort of comparison to her new-ish kitchen and say this or that was better in her's but she surprised us all and gave only glowing reviews. They also came armed with gifts - a new cookbook of recipes that can be prepared in 20 minutes...they look tasty as well!...and a planter of fresh parsley, basil and chives. So sweet of them to bring the herbs but I do wish it had been herbs that I like. I can't stand chives and am not terribly fond of basil but all three look pretty in the planter so I'll just keep them trimmed even if I don't use anything but the parsley.

This morning while I was up the street visiting Jesus at his house (as Mollie puts it) B was awakened by the Loud family. Blaring Volksmusik and a few seconds later he hears a woman's voice above it all screaming "I wonder how long it'll take before they start knocking?". I was furious when I heard that part. Not only do they not take any care to keep the noise down as instructed by the landlord, they do it on purpose.

B decided again today that he didn't want to go out. Not a problem with me - I can go outside any time I want. I forget sometimes how physically demanding it is for him to get into his wheelchair and get out. It's harder for him to breathe and it's tough on his neck and shoulders because he doesn't have a whole lot of control in them. I can imagine it's tough for him to want to get out and get a chance of scenery but dread the physical toll it takes on him. But there's plenty of summer left and we'll get out when he's feels better.

He's a good guy. He's been dealing with this stuff for nearly twenty-two years now and he never, ever complains.

Shall I send them a map?

If you love movies at all, you probably have a list of favorite films. And you may even have a list of films that, while they may not be your personal favorites, are ones that you recognize to be films that are classic greats.

Recently Time Magazine published a list compiled by two of their resident film critics, Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel to be the all-time 100 best films. Such a list would tell me that these two guys have not only seen all these films but should be so familiar with them that they would know if they qualify to be on such a list.

As I was reading the list, which is alphabetical instead of listing them by greatness, I was happy to find that when I reached the Ws, Wings of Desire was listed. I love this film and it's one of my favorite foreign language films.

Then I began to read their descrption of the movie and read this:

In movies angels are generally busy-body know-it-alls, running about rescuing humans from their vast varieties of sin and error. Not so in this movie, where they are poised on Munich’s rooftops, privy to every conversation, every stupid idea and intention going on below, but powerless to intervene.

Nice except for the fact that the film takes place in Berlin. Hell's bells, the German title of the movie is Der Himmel über Berlin. I don't think you need to be well versed in German to recognize the name "Berlin" and notice that it's quite a bit different than the word "Munich" or even "München".

So this has me asking if these two guys have actually seen these films, especially the foreign language ones, or did they just copy from other lists or put on there what sounded cool to them.

I understand that German cities may all look alike to the uninitiated but there's no way you can be at all familiar with Wings of Desire and think you're looking at Munich. The city of Berlin, still divided between east and west at the time, is so significant to the film that it's like another character. The film being in black and white and then changing to color when Damiel changes is a metaphor for the divide between east and west. There's a long scene that takes place in the once no man's land of Potsdamer Platz with Homer, an old man, and Cassiel who acts as his sort of guardian angel that's significant to describing the nature of angels and what they do and it taking place in the empty Potsdamer Plazt is important. Just how in the world would these guys believe this film takes place in Munich?

Could be a typo I suppose but that's even more disconcerting. Doesn't Time Magazine require their reporters to at least proofread?

Bad reporting aside, Wings of Desire is a beautiful film. Rent it and enjoy how lyrical Bruno Ganz sounds when he speaks as you read the subtitles. This movie reinforced my idea of what angels really are and what they do in our lives.

Proofreading evidently isn't one of their earthly tasks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Little facts to kill the time

Swiped this from a new buddy to my blog, Camille. I know I've done a lot of this sort of thing lately but I have a good excuse. A. Mollie likes this sort of thing and her birthday is Monday so it's a little pre-birthday treat for her. B. I'm watching soccer right now - the DFB trophy - and so that's where my real concentration must be focused and... C. I'm feeling most dull and uncreative today and the most exciting thing that's happened in the last 48 hours is the elevator in my building got stuck with my neighbor's teenage daughter trapped inside.

1. My uncle once: fixed the air conditioning in Buford Pusser's house on the same day that he and his wife were ambushed and his wife was killed.
2. Never in my life: have I worn a bikini.
3. When I was five: I fell out of the car and got dragged up the gravel driveway.
4. High School was: four years of annoyment.
5. I will never forget: my wedding day. The second one.
6. I once met: Senator John Warner of Virginia. He called our class "little assholes" under his breath.
7. There's this girl I know: and today she got stuck in the elevator!
8. Once, at a bar: a guy threw up on my new Coach bag and I decked him for it.
9. By noon I'm usually: watching the news and drinking tea.
10. Last night: I could hear a catfight under my bedroom window.
11. If I only had: a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait.
12. Next time I go to church: will be tomorrow.
13. Terry Schiavo: and her situation should be a reminder to us all to have our medical care stipulations written down.
14. What worries me most: is dying before B and him having no one to take care of him.
15. When I turn my head left, I see: my Pittiplatsch doll.
16. When I turn my head right, I see: my husband.
18. What I miss most about the eighties: not one damn thing. 'Cept maybe my Adam Ant album.
19. If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: one of those witty, clever women who know what's going on and know who the real fuck-ups are.
20. By this time next year: maybe Mollie will have come to visit me.
21. A better name for me would be: Mrs. Claudio Pizarro. Not really. My husband would rather it be Mrs. Roy Makaay .
22. I have a hard time understanding: how anyone can listen to what Senator Bill Frist has to say without their ears bleeding.
23. If I ever go back to school I'll: actually graduate.
24. You know I like you if: I read your email.
25. If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: my husband.
26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: pick out the living one?
27. Take my advice: don't rack up debt.
28. My ideal breakfast is: scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits and tea. Oh hell, throw a waffle on there too.
29. A song I love, but do not have is: Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending.
30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you stop by Borroum's Drug Store and eat a Slugburger.
31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars: all blend together to make a tasty, low-fat snack!
32. Why won't people: stop being apathetic?
33. If you spend the night at my house: I'll let you use the shower first.
34. I'd stop my wedding for: someone reminding me that I'm already married.
35. The world could do without: one more talentless person who is famous for being famous. And George W. Bush.
36. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: see Bill Frist become president of the United States.
37. My favorite blonde is: Mollie.
38. Paper clips are: something I may go through the rest of my life never once using again.
39. If I do anything well, it's: take care of my husband.
40. And by the way: Bayern-München has just kicked Schalke 04's ass in the DFB trophy game! Yay Bayern! Proud of you guys!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Hotter 'n Hell Edition

Damn. We've gone from me having to wear a coat outside two weeks ago to me sweating like a whore in church when I go outside.

Music to perspire by...
  1. Dumas Walker - Kentucky Headhunters
  2. Perfekte Welle - Juli
  3. Mad World - Tears for Fears
  4. Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
  5. Die Kleine Kneipe - Peter Alexander
  6. Angel of Berlin - Chris Norman
  7. Star - The Crash
  8. Cigarette Dangles - Pursuit of Happiness
  9. Viva Colonia - Höhner
  10. Swing, Swing - All American Rejects

Three German songs and one featuring a German city. There's a message in there somewhere.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Sorta like science

Experimenting with new ways to snack without making my blood sugar go berserk prompted me to try vanilla ice cream for diabetics topped with some low calorie, no sugar added peach compote.

The result was closest thing to carnal pleasure I've ever experienced while fully clothed.

As I don't allow myself second helpings of anything I must wait until tomorrow to see if I get the same results. You know. Good science simply demands it.

Beep already, wouldja?

I love my new dishwasher. I mean I loved my old one but this one, being as it's new and has superior technology, beats the wee outta my old dishwasher when it comes to making my dishes and pots and pans and flatware all beautiful and sparkly.

But damn if that normal wash cycle doesn't go on and on and on and on. I could read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the time it takes for it to shut off.

... he's up and he's out!

After eight months indoors, in the same room actually, B was able to get outside today. We finally had the right combination of good weather and someone available to help me get him into his wheelchair and we took advantage of it.

The physiology of his spinal cord injury is that he's not able to sit up straight enough to be in a wheelchair for longer than a couple hours. Four hours is his normal limit although luck and circumstance have worked together at times for him to sit up for six hours. At our wedding reception he broke his personal record and lasted for about eight hours. His drinking a lot of brandy that night helped.

Anyway I got him put in his chair, went through a scary moment when his blood pressure dropped suddenly and he nearly fainted - this is typical for the first few times during his "going out" season - and off we went after first making a stop in the new kitchen so he could see it first hand.

He approves. Loves it in fact.

B has to build up his wheelchair sitting endurance so we limited ourselves to a short outing in the neighborhood. We have a favorite lakeside cafe that we frequent in the summer but it's a bit far for him to drive to on a first of the season outing to we went down the block to a pub and sat outdoors. The tables were filled so we (my MIL went with us) shared one with an older man who proceeded to run his mouth like it were a sewing machine. A nice enough fellow but he prattled on and on about nothing. I tuned him out and just watched people walk by or get on and off the streetcar. My MIL liked it though. She talks to anyone. Get in a taxi with her and she'll have the driver's life story by the time you get to the first stop light. She'd talk to a fence post if she thought it would talk back.

All in all it was a good first outing and we're going to try to get out again Saturday or Sunday. Tomorrow is out - no one available to help me get B in the wheelchair.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

YES!!! YES!!!

Liverpool wins! Liverpool wins!!

After being behind in the first half 3-0 Liverpool came back and tied it up 3-3. And after no scoring in overtime, they beat AC Milan in a shoot-out.

I couldn't be happier for them. I always say when it comes to European club soccer, if Bayern-München can't win, let it be Liverpool!

You'll Never Walk Alone is playing in the stadium and I'm sitting here crying like a fool.

Proud of you guys!

I'll think of it as therapy

I can't be such a drag today. Maybe this meme I just stole from Sally who stole it from Kara will chirk me up.

We seem to have lost number one so we'll just continue on...

2. Were you named after anyone?
No. My mother picked my name only because she liked it.

3. Do you wish on stars?
Oh absolutely!

4. When did you last cry?
About three hours ago during my latest mini-meltdown.

5. Do you like your handwriting?
Very much. I always wanted to have nice handwriting and I used to practice making it look pretty.

6. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Just roast chicken or turkey breast - they both go so well with bacon! - but I really love Hungarian salami too.

7. What is your birth date?
January 19

8. What is your most embarrassing CD?
I have a Celine Dion CD that I'm pretty ashamed of owning.

9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you?
Sure. I'm easy to borrow stuff from.

10. Do you have a journal?
This blog is the closest thing I've got to one.

11. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Well you read my blog. You be the judge of that.

I shall now pause and say I don't know what happened to number 12. Sal?

13. Would you bungee jump?
I think at my age me snapping on a big rubber band would cause body parts to go flying off.

14. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
There are no laces on Birkenstocks, silly!

15. Do you think that you are strong?
I lift a quadriplegic grown man all day, every day.

16. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate almond

17. Shoe Size?
US size 7 1/2. Euro size 38. UK size 6.

18. Red or pink?

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
I'm a procrastinator.

20. Who do you miss most?
My family in Mississippi.

Another pause to say that we seem to have lost 21. Sally?!

22. What color pants and shoes are you wearing?
Khaki pants. And the Birkenstock Arizonas I have on right now are navy blue.

23. What are you listening to right now?
Liverpool and AC Milan play overtime in the Champion's League finals. C'mon Liverpool!

24. Last thing you ate?
A dish of no sugar added vanilla ice cream with sliced strawberries on top.

25. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
A nice cornflower blue.

26. What is the weather like right now?
Look to the right at my Weather Pixie.

27. Last person you talked to on the phone?
My best friend Mollie.

28. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Another pause. Number 29 is missing. Anyone check around Sally's flat lately for missing questions?

30. Favorite Drink?

31. Favorite Sport?
Right this second it's soccer because in the Champion's League final it's a shoot out!

32. Hair Color?
A lovely coppery red that my hairdresser touches up every six weeks.

33. Eye Color?
Smokey blue.

34. Do you wear contacts?
Yes, but not every day.

35. Favorite Food?
Seafood. Goes so well with bacon.

36. Last Movie You Watched?
50 First Dates.

37. Favorite Day Of The Year?
Christmas Eve.

38. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?
Happy Endings.

39. Summer Or winter?

40. Hugs OR Kisses?
Must have both!

41. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?
My cousin Wanda's chocolate pie.

Next pause. Numbers 42 and 43 are missing. Now Sally's dropping 'em two at a time!

44. Living Arrangements?
Two bedroom, 1 1/2 bath apartment.

45. What Books Are You Reading?
Check the sidebar, please!

46. What's On Your Mouse Pad?
A photo of Mollie in a pub in Ireland.

47. What Did You Watch Last night on TV?
Desperate Housewives in German.

48. Favorite Smells?
Peach. Lemon. Cinnamon. Violets.

49. Favorite Sounds?
Ocean waves. Rain on the roof. Distant thunder.

50. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
While I like the Stones, nothing tops the Beatles in my book.

51. What's the furthest you've been from home?
Which home are we talking about? From my American home - Germany. From my German home - America.

52. Do you have any special talents?
Well, I can snap my toes. I know I find it to be special.

53. What is your ring tone?
Pachelbel's Canon in D Major


I have nothing much to say today except that I am spent. I've spent the last two weeks with utter chaos of one sort or another and I'm just empty. I have no energy left to give to anything. And please, world - stop ringing my doorbell. Please. If you're not related to me by blood or marriage, please don't come over for about a week.

I desperately need for things to get back on an even keel around here and I'll be fine once again.

But on an upnote, as of this moment Liverpool is tied with AC Milan in the finals of the Champion's League and about twenty minutes left to play.

Keep it up, Liverpool. I have faith in you guys.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Poppy tags, I jump!

The mere wiggle of Poppy's finger calls me to action. Here's the meme she tagged me with today.

1. Total volume of music files on my computer?

By my count I have 2736 but I think there are some on my old computer I didn't move over when we did a big computer change a year ago.

2. The last CD I bought was?

Like Poppy, it was Devils and Dust by Bruce Springsteen.

3. Song playing right now:

Unfortunately the themesong to Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten is telling me to change the TV channel immediately before that ignorant TV show rots any more of my brain.

Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me(in no particular order):

a. We'll Sing in the Sunshine - Gale Garnett. Hearing this song on the car radio is one of the first memories I have.

b. I'll Follow the Sun - The Beatles. The first Beatles song I really loved.

c. Have I Told You Lately - Van Morrison. It's my and B's song.

d. You Ain't Just Whistling Dixie - The Bellamy Brothers. A love song to my beloved Southland.

e. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen. My favorite Bruce song.

Which 5 people are you passing this baton to, and why?

Barefoot because she's my bud.
Brandi so she'll update her blog.
Zoe to keep her in the land of blog.
Sally so she'll pass it on to her sister.
Beege so she can say she's been double tagged by Poppy and me.

You know, I'm going to tag Miz as well because I've not ever tagged her before now and tagging Beege really is sort of a cheat.

Lottie update

Evidently my sock monkey, Lottie, is having a grand time on her vacation in Illinois. My friend, Lisa, gives us an update:

As vacation season approaches, Lottie wanted to remind everyone to buckle up for safety. Matter of fact, I believe it was Lottie's marketing mind that came up with the current "Click it or ticket!" law enforcement campaign. Said it's the easiest way to save lives...

Image hosted by

Here she is on our quick shopping trip to Old Navy. She was so creative and stylish while helping me choose this summer's basics. (Takes that after her Auntie Molls, I'm guessing.)

Image hosted by

She's been invited to the Hamel Elementary School kindergarten graduation. She's deciding what to wear this morning.

My guess is that there's a group of six-year-olds just waiting to fall in love with her.

Theft - but in the proper blog world way

As I promised her, I have promptly stolen this from Welfare Queen , but in the correct way - giving credit and a plug.

She may have wanted a shot and a beer but this is the next best thing.

Ten Things I Haven't Done
  1. Been married in a church.
  2. Ridden in a limousine.
  3. Finished college.
  4. Wrecked a car.
  5. Learned to sight read music.
  6. Watch an opera from beginning to end.
  7. Have a bikini wax.
  8. Been skiing.
  9. Eaten sushi.
  10. Been west of Texas.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I have become a real German

No, I don't have German citizenship. And while I am married to a German, I am not ethnically German. However, as of this evening I have made an important step in being "real" German.

Tonight I had my first Döner. For those of you who aren't familiar with Döner, it's a Turkish meat dish of thin, thin slices of grilled meat tucked in Turkish flat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and topped with a yogurt based sauce. Looks like this:

Image hosted by

And I realize it sounds ridiculous to say that eating a Turkish dish makes me more German until one knows that Döner is the most popular fast food dish in Germany. Forget your Bratwurst. Forget your Currywurst. And definitely forget hamburgers. In Germany, Döner is king.

Despite my having a fabulous new kitchen, I skipped cooking tonight because a buddy of B's was over trying to get our wireless network to function. We decided to have supper delivered and Marco, being a real fast food addicted, computer loving German, ordered Döner.

Now normally I'd go with a Schnitzel or maybe a Currywurst but I decided that this was the moment to step outside of the limits I normally place upon myself. It was time for me to be a real German. It was time for me to eat a Döner.

Why did I wait so long? Why haven't I been partaking in this messy but delicious dish before now? Why haven't I been savoring the shavings of spiced meat and crispy lettuce and savory sauce before now? Why have I been denying my mouth this delightful orgy of flavor?

And yes, I made the food pleasure moaning sounds when I chewed. It couldn't be avoided.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My new kitchen

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Image hosted by

A vast improvement over this, huh?

Image hosted by

Toldja so!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Enough! I surrender!

Please, please don't make me do one more thing today. Not one thing.

After an incredibly crappy night's sleep I was out shopping with my MIL today. As I'm still in the throes of head-over-heels love with my kitchen I had to get some accessories and other things to enhance its loveliness. Forty-five minutes and 72€ later I ended up with some ocean scented tealight type candles in pretty blue frosted glass holders...

...allow me to veer of the subject for a moment. I just have to say that while I think these candles smell wondeful, they sure as hell don't smell like any ocean I've ever had the chance to sniff. Of course no ocean that I've ever had the opportunity to view first hand was the same delightful blue either. And so on with my list of purchases which included...

...two floral prints that I believe will go nicely over my sink, a lined basket with suede handles that is now holding my oven mitts and keeping them attractively available for me, a paper towel holder, some jars to hold pasta, and a brushed silver photo frame, which has nothing to do with the kitchen but I liked the frame.

Then it was off to the electronics store to buy a new computer. About every two years we buy a new computer. B gets to use the new one (he's the gamer in the family) and I get his hand-me-down as my primary computer. My castoff gets donated to whatever friend who happens to need a free computer. We bought B a new computer last year but recently one partition of my harddrive crapped out and we were afraid the whole thing would go at any time. Perfect excuse for B to get a new computer earlier than usual and to enjoy the better graphics on his games.

Naturally I'm the one to do all the assembly and switching around of computers. Got the new one put together (P4 650 3.4 GHz processor, 2048 MB DDR-RAM, 500 GB harddrive, nVidia GeForce 6600 256 MB DDR-RAM graphic card, DVD writer and so on and so on, blah, blah, blah - if you happen to give a rip about such things) , called our ISP to give them the new MAC address, and then started the tedious frustrating process of getting the network set up and getting both computers online at the same time. Normally this only takes maybe an hour to do but it ended up taking...well it's still going on. I took a couple breaks to go grocery shopping and again to cook supper but else we've been dicking around with the internet connection. The new computer is online, no problem - the other one just can't get online and we can't figure out what we're doing wrong. You'd think that after having done this three other times we'd have the process down but evidently that's not the case.

I just can't think about it any more tonight. I think I strained something internally.

Maybe I should go pet the kitchen again. It seems to have a calming effect. And it'll give me the opportunity to admire the sweet little CD player I picked up today for the kitchen.

Friday Shuffle

I'm damn near too tired to move, let alone shuffle but I must conform.
  1. Anarchy in the UK - The Sex Pistols
  2. Moonlight Shadow - Mike Oldfield
  3. Me Julie - Shaggy
  4. Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
  5. Layla - Derek and the Dominos
  6. I Do It For Your Love - Paul Simon
  7. Be My Lover - La Bouche
  8. Stand By Your Man - Lyle Lovett
  9. Road to Mandalay - Robbie Williams
  10. Yellow - Coldplay

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Oooo! Poppy's tagged me!

And when Poppy tags, I snap to!

Here's how it goes: I pick five of these "If I could..." sentences and finish them, then after I'm all done, I tag 3 more people to do it.

If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

  1. If I could be a world famous blogger then I'd be able to let even more people know that Steve Alter is a plagiarist.
  2. If I could be a chef I would work on a cruise ship for ten or fifteen years before changing professions.
  3. If I could be a linguist I'd certainly speak better German than I do now and I'd learn Dutch and Swedish as well.
  4. If I could be an librarian I'd have the best time reading aloud at children's story hour.
  5. If I could be an inn-keeper I'd hire Poppy to be my chef so she could make biscuits and gravy to her heart's content and revel in the happy faces of the guests as the chow down on it.

Okidoke. Now it's your turn Kirsti, Barefoot, and Zoe !

Steve Alter is a plagiarist!

You know I'm no Sherlock Holmes. I read mysteries and detective novels but nothing more complex and sophisiticated than something from the Kinsey Milhone series and my skills in criminology are limited nothing more than being able to read Crime Library. And yet after being online for no more than five minutes yesterday I was able to figure out that without a doubt, Steve Alter is a plagiarist!

Oh. And he's a chicken too because after I told him on his own blog's comments that he was being most uncool for stealing an entire post from Beege, he turned off his comments so no one would see that Steve Alter is a plagiarist.

Learn some lessons here, Steve Alter. Number one, don't plagiarize. If you do, you'll have things happen like people from all over the world reading and posting in their own blogs things like Steve Alter is a plagiarist. Number two, don't be a chicken shit. Be a man about getting busted. Number three, if you do things like plagiarize, don't use your real name on your blog. If you do that then it makes is so much easier for the whole internet world to know things like Steve Alter is a plagiarist. Number four, if you can't write, don't have a blog. The idea of a blog is for you to write your own thoughts, random or otherwise (and even the title of your blog isn't original). The idea of a blog isn't to steal ideas, up to and including word-for-word entire posts, and if you do steal from others then you'll be busted out by a middle-aged housewife in Germany who will not hesitate for a second to let all of the friends she's been making on the internet for the past ten years know about your stealing from other blogs and they'll all know that Steve Alter is a plagiarist.

Feeling that tingling, burning flush of shame creeping up your cheeks now, Steve Alter? Good. You deserve it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

If your too boring to write your own stuff...

...then don't bother to have a blog!

This evening I was checking who's been looking at my blog. Sometimes if they came here from their own blog I'll check out theirs in return. I've found some fun, interesting blogs that way.

As I looked at today's post on a blog from a man in New Jersey I realized that what I was reading was something I've read before. Read very recently, as a matter of fact. The entire post was lifted, word for word, from my buddy Beege's blog from a post she'd made last Sunday. I can only conclude that this fella looked at my blog, went to Beege's blog from the link and just helped himself to a post. Either that or Beege has grown a penis and moved to New Jersey.

Wow. I knew she couldn't wait to get out of Kansas but growing a penis would be a little extreme.

So if you venture back here to snoop around Mr. Random Thinker , learn at least this much. Theft ain't cool. Theft from a pastor will most definitely punch your express ticket to hell and you'll be doomed to sit in the rickety metal chair next to the kitchen for eternity, and you're going to be found out and exposed to the world as thought thief that you are.

Now aren't you ashamed of yourself?

The Shrine, Part II

Funny how you imagine for weeks just how your kitchen will be after remodeling. You think about which drawer you'll put what and should you put the coffee cups here or here or maybe over there. You get it all planned in your mind and then when the real event comes up you find your plans aren't always practical in reality.

This is the fun part. Muling the kitchen stuff from where I've had it all spread out isn't fun but putting things in their place (sometimes two or three times until you find the just right spot and even then it's not safe from a change) is turning out to be quite enjoyable. I have so much room!! I did a wonderful job paring down my kitchen belongings to the things I really need and use and now I find that I have so much room for it all that I'm in danger of getting things too spread out and not leaving space for any new things I may get. I have a feeling this process is going to take a few days what with all the mind changing going on.

Tomorrow my MIL is going wash my renovation smeared kitchen windows and hang my curtains. She's just dying to help me out in the kitchen (I think she loves it in there nearly as much as I do) but she and I both agree that me putting things away is a job best done solo. The kitchen resident has to have final say as to where everything should go.

I'll get pictures on Friday. Watch this space.

The Shrine

Okay, someone get me some help.

I keep walking into the kitchen to "pet" it. I run my hands over the counters. I open the cabinets. They're empty but I like to look at the insides and think about which cabinet should hold this or that.

I open the drawers. They're empty too except for the one holding the user's booklets for the appliances. I push the drawers shut just to see how at the last second before closing they catch and slow down and close softly. I do this over and over. I get afraid for a second that I'm going to wear out the hardware before the weekend.

I look at the shelves and think about which ones I want to use to hold my tea tins and which ones I want to use to hold plants or canisters. I go back and forth with this one. One place would make my tea tins look better but the other spot would hold more tea tins. The ability to buy and display more tea tins is a critical consideration.

I open the oven and see how it's all shiny and tidy. I haven't yet had a pie bubble over in it. I stare at the cooktop but don't touch it because I don't want fingerprints marring the shiny black glass. It's perfect now. Marinara sauce hasn't yet plopped out and fried chicken grease hasn't spritzed all over.

I marvel at how the fronts of the refrigerator and dishwasher are just like the cabinets and when they're closed you can't tell that appliances hide underneath. I peek inside the refrigerator. It's airing out and so not turned on yet and so it's all pristine white. No science projects have begun to grow in the crisper drawers and as of yet I don't have a roasting chicken that has been residing in the corner of the freezer for two years. The dishwasher does have a few dirty dishes inside but they've been thoroughy rinsed to the point that I may as well have hand washed them.

Remind me of this kitchen worship after the novelty has worn off and I'm complaining about having to scrub the grease off of everything.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

God watches out for little children and drunks...

...and evidently traveling sock monkeys as well!

Mollie told me that Lottie made it to Lisa's house in Illinois, safe and sound. And it couldn't be better timing because Lisa's currently under the weather.

Lottie's doing what Lottie does best - looking fashionable and being of comfort.

Get your forks out...

...and feel free to stab me with 'em because I'm done.

As I predicted I didn't get to bed until 3:30am and was awake again at 6:00am to get ready for the kitchen dudes. Had it been for any other reason than getting my kitchen delivered I would have skipped it.

You know for someone who really hasn't done all that much today, I'm just worn out. I'm twitching, I'm so tired. I can just imagine how the guys who actually installed the kitchen must feel.

Lots of sawing, lots of drilling, lots of hammering and other assorted deafening noises later, my kitchen is in. And it's gorgeous. It's so much more wonderful that I'd imagined it was going to be. I haven't moved anything back into the kitchen yet but I've washed it down and tomorrow I'll begin that task. I did, however, cook some Wienerwürstchen on the stove so I've begun the breaking in process. Strange feeling though. It's such a difference from my old kitchen that it feels like I'm using someone else's kitchen.

I'm looking forward to getting things put in their places and getting the kitchen decorated. This is the part to which I've been looking forward!

I'll take pictures soon. I want to get finished with the purtying-up first.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Countdown has started!

You know, between one irritating neighbor or another I've done entirely too much ranting lately. I'm beginning to tire of myself, let alone what the rest of you are enduring.

Time to switch gears and revel in the fact that in about seven hours my new kitchen will be delivered! Halt the bitching, begin the out-of-my-mind happiness!

Note that I said that my kitchen will be here in about seven hours. Am I in bed yet? No. Because not even the delivery of my new dreamy kitchen can throw a monkey wrench into the screwed up mess that I call my sleep pattern. I could have brain surgery scheduled tomorrow morning, with me as the surgeon, and I still couldn't get to bed before...oh...3:30 am or so.

I'm going to be one cranky pants peach tomorrow (Hey Wolfgang! Get over here and I'll show you real pissy, ya ignorant jackleg!) but by golly I'm gonna have me one perfect kitchen by nightfall!

I'm just going to get this out...

...and then I'm dropping it.

I think I may have pissed off Wolfgang for good. And honestly, I don't care.

He came over today around 6pm to get the range hood from my old range. He came in, sat in my regular seat (which keeps me from giving B anything to drink), yapped with B and while he was here I started to get things together to wash B's hair. I was expecting my MIL to arrive at any time so she could help me. All is good and fine.

Wolfgang got up to leave and I went with him to where the range hood was sitting. When he had removed it from the wall he'd pulled off the filters andI began to hand him the filters. My thinking was to give him the filters, I pick up the range hood, he puts the filters on top, I hand him the whole shebag.

He starts in with "...blah, blah, put it back together..." and I pause for a second thinking which filter I'd put on first and he starts up with "...let me put it back together...don't look so pissy."

Excuse me? I wasn't looking pissy. I wasn't looking like anything. No pissy thoughts in my head for me to look pissy about.

Until that moment. If he thought he was seeing pissy before, it wasn't anything like what he got afterwards.

I handed him the shit and walked out. It was the last damn time I was going to tolerate him telling me what to do in my home. I have tolerated him coming into my home and saying "Don't look like that." or "Speak German!" or chiming in with his array of lewd comments for years now and I've had fucking enough.

He put the range hood together while I fumed in the livingroom and after he finished I showed him out the door while he started in again with the "Don't look pissy" bullshit.

Not that the hairy backed bastard needed an explaination but I told him that I wasn't looking pissy - that I wasn't looking like anything and was merely trying to help him get the range hood together. More whining from him and I showed his ass out the door, was giving a smart ass sounding "Bye!" from him and I slammed the door. Loud.

The door slamming wasn't intentional but my bathroom window was open and it made the door catch the draft and it slammed hard. Fuck it. It made my point.

My MIL came in about two minutes later while I was still sputtering and said little. Maybe she thought I overreacted and he meant no harm but she knew better than to pursue that line of reasoning with me at that moment.

It really was the last straw with me. I am sick of the disrespect he shows me in my own home. And when he makes smart aleck comments to me it's disrespecting B as well and I'm not tolerating it.

Wolfgang isn't a friend of mine. Friends of mine don't say the things to me and speak in the tone of voice with me that he's been doing with me for years. B said "He probably doesn't get that he's being rude. He probably thinks he's being funny." but that's no excuse to me. You don't get to come into my home and speak to me in such a manner without getting a consequence.

B said "Well, he probably won't be back again." and B didn't seem very broken up about it. I'm sure he doesn't relish me losing my temper but neither does he blame me for being angry.

I don't need this bullshit from Wolfgang. I don't need this guy. I can hire painters all day long. There's 20% unemployment in this city. I can find anyone to paint my apartment. He's the one who wants my old refrigerator to give to his daughter. He's the one who wants my old kitche curtains. He's the one who wants my old toolbox. You know, shitwit, if you want free stuff from me, then speak to me in my own home with respect. Do not boss me around like I'm a nickel streetwalker.

You know, if we were in Mississippi and someone spoke to me in that fashion he'd probably be taken in the back yard to have his sac snatched off like a paper towel.

Won't my mother be proud when she finds out!

It's nice to know that if you Google "using mirrors while fucking" I come up as the second website found. I suppose I should give left-handed thanks to the Loud family because telling their saga has made it all possible.

By golly, I was born under a lucky star, wasn't I?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Waiting to be filled

My poor kitchen looks so sad. Don't get me wrong. The new flooring is so primo and Wolfgang did a great painting job. But she's all empty and echo-y and hollow feeling. The naked, renovation smeared windows are almost depressing.

Since I must have the room completely bare on Tuesday I have tried to keep what I have in there until then to a minimum. Just the kitchen table and the upholstered bench that goes with it. I don't really need the bench in there but I'm sick of tripping over the SOB in other rooms. The kitchen table is a must since I'm counterless and so it holds the microwave, the coffee maker, the electric kettle and a tin of tea.

It's like someone moved the waiting room of a Jiffy Lube into my apartment. All it needs now is a few battered Reader's Digests and a sports page folded over to the box scores.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Not to keep picking at this scab

I know I need to start shaking this stuff off before it begins to control my every waking thought. To that end I hope this will be the last that I will mention the shitwits living above me, at least for the weekend.

B had slept late this morning. His sleeping has been so poor of late due to this conflict that when he does sleep soundly I let him go for as long as he can.

I'd gone out to run a short errand while he slept and I got home a few minutes before 11am. We were sitting and talking about the errand I'd run when Herr Loud started up with the TV again. Beyond loud this time. Loud to the point where it literally sounded like the sound was being blasted over a PA stytem. We had to raise our voices to keep taking and as B has a spinal chord injury and very diminished control of his diaphragm he can't talk very loudly.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years it's to recognize bait when it's being thrown in front of me and that taking such bait normally isn't a good idea.

So we waited. Only took him about four minutes to get that I wasn't going to holler up at him or bang on the pipes or kick down his door and flog the daylights out of him. He didn't get the results he wanted so he turned the volume back down.

Big pansy. Hell, I'd have at least have tried to drive me crazy for ten minutes before giving up.

He must have gone out this afternoon because it stayed quiet. Oh, did I neglect to mention that he goes downtown in his wheelchair by himself, completely unaccompanied? This is the man who is supposed to be so brain damaged that he's unable to control his actions.

This evening as I was upstairs getting supper from my MILs apartment B reported that he began again turning the TV up loud. Someone must have said something to him because he began to whine loudly (and is there any other way with him?) like a petulent three year old but turned the TV back down.

There. See? Wasn't so hard after all, was it?

Friday shuffle - American Bandstand edition, part II

Yeah, I'm still listening to my current loadup of cheesy (and not so cheesy) 60s and 70s pop. I need the cheese.

Turn on that music machine. Press shuffle. List the first ten.
  1. 19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones
  2. Rivers of Babylon - Boney M
  3. It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones
  4. Anna - The Beatles
  5. Hair - The Cowsills
  6. Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers
  7. King of the Road - Roger Miller
  8. Midnight Confessions - Grass Roots
  9. Mama Told Me (Not to Come) - Three Dog Night
  10. Come and Get It - Badfinger

Okay, who's the smartass that willed number one to shuffle up? And for the record, the Beatles are never cheesy. Well, except for The Long and Winding Road. Pure Paul cheese.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just get me thorugh this week...

The new kitchen floor is in!

Andy, our floor installer, came by this afternoon and got the new flooring installed in the kitchen. He'll put the same flooring in the hallway but I want to get the kitchen put in before starting in with new paint and flooring in the hall. Looks wonderful too. Now I'm very excited to get the new kitchen next week.

And because I can't get through a day without being tormented, I just had a "conversation" with Herr Loud. They've got the TV turned up so loud that I can hear every word as though it's in the same room with me. Does this stupid bastard not understand that no one wants to hear his television?

To prevent me from going upstairs, beating down their door and slapping the dog shit out of him I took a wrench and gave the heating pipes a good pounding. I hate doing that because the people below us have little kids who are asleep now but (A) I didn't want to end up in jail tonight and (B) the people with the kids are moving this weekend so my conscience wasn't poking me too badly. Probably should have but I'm getting desperate. Anyway I gave the pipes a good clanging and then I couldn't help myself. This is how frayed these people are making my nerves. After banging on the pipes I hollered up towards the ceiling "Turn that fucking shit down you ignorant motherfucker.".

Wow. I'm classy!

Now contrary to the pleadings and excuse makings of his family, there's no way that anyone can convince me that he's "not able to control his actions at all and he can't help what his brain makes him do" after our little encounter. After I yelled up at him he yelled back "I'll do whatever I want! It's all the fucking same to me!".

Yeah. You think, you sociopathic pissant. I have the money to take your ass to court, dickhead. You don't have the money to pay your own rent, let alone pay for a lawyer and social services isn't going to pay for one for you.

I also talked this afternoon with the lady who lives above them. She's more pissed than me. I just want them to shut up. She wants them evicted. Nothing short of them moving out is going to please her.

This is going to be a long, long, long holiday weekend.

Our doctor came by today for B's monthly check-up and we had to tell her all about the Loud Family goings on because B looks like hell and she noticed it. He has muscle spasams now, pains in his neck and shoulder, he doesn't sleep well, he's becoming depressed. So now the doctor is pissed at these people because they're interfering with her favorite patient's health.

She must have been awfully fired up because while taking blood from me today she gave that needle an extra good twist that hurt like she was driving a stake into my arm. I have a feeling like my a1c test is going to suck because I've not been the most diligent lately with my diet and exercise. For instance, I had a regular Coke with supper. I didn't have any diet Coke and dammit after this week I needed some Coke.

How ironic is it to take your diabetes medicine and wash down the pill with a Coke?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I know what my problem is

I haven't been knitting.

In the last week I have knit maybe 20 rows on the garter stitch scarf. I picked it for a current project because I don't have to count rows or keep up with whether to knit or purl and it goes fast. I picked this for a project because it's mindless, destressing knitting.

Am I destressing with my knitting? No. I am busy being furious at my neighbors and having warm, fuzzy thoughts of their eviction. I'm busy hunting for where I put the tops to my Tupperware. I'm busy getting high on paint fumes.

Okay, the last one might be destressing. Just slightly.

So I need to get finished with this scarf, get the fringes put on, admire my work, maybe take a snap of it and post it here for you dear readers to admire and get busy knitting something else.

'Cause Mollie said she wants a red scarf.

That thorn's not out yet

I'm seriously not letting this shit with the Loud family go. The more I think about them the more pissed I get.

My MIL came over today to help me work in the shambles I now laughingly call my kitchen and she filled us in more on the conversation (I'm really reaching there, aren't I?) she had with Daughter Loud.

According to her way of thinking, if we're disturbed by her father we should just leave our apartment and go out. B has a wheelchair. He can just get in the wheelchair and go out when it's too loud for him. Wow! Why in the fuck didn't I think of that?

Maybe because when it's the loudest it's dark outside.

I told that halfwit when she was here pleading her case that B is not able to sit upright for long and he's not able to control his body temperature properly and so he can't be out when it's below about 70 degrees. B doesn't stay inside confined to one room because he's lazy. He's stuck indoors because he has a profound spinal cord injury. Someone direct me to the nearest brick wall! I must pound the stupidity of her "idea" from my brain!

And you know what? He or I or anyone else shouldn't have to leave their home because some fuckwit upstairs can't figure out how to use a pair of headphones.

As for good news, Wolfgang didn't have to give the kitchen walls a second coat so he took his jazz and left. He didn't want any money for the work he did (I'd already paid for the paint). I flipped him a fifty and called us squared. I can't take free work from the dude. Just wouldn't sit right with me.

And for more good news my MIL got on her hands and knees and washed greasy crud off the floors from where the old appliances stood. God bless that woman. Tell me I didn't hit the MIL jackpot when I got her. She does stuff like that because she loves me as if I were her own child. And she does it because she doesn't trust me to clean things to her satisfaction.

Just like a mom, eh?

My new favorite website

Stop Ann Coulter

Of interest to Barefoot: One of the guys who does the site is the son of the Episcopal bishop of Mississippi.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The gloves are off...

...because now it's war.

Like I don't have enough shit to deal with this week. Like I don't have enough stress. Like I'm not within inches of beating the dog piss out of Wolfgang for slopping paint on the stove I'm giving to Angelika's son.

Not an hour ago my MIL came up from walking the dog and she was seething. All I could think was "Man! How did she know about the paint on the stove already?" but it was much worse.

The older daughter of the Louds, the one who was the mother's mouthpiece a couple weeks ago when she came down to plead her case just accosted my MIL on the street. Walked up to her and started giving my MIL unbridled hell and spouting shit like "Stop making my parents out to be so bad! Your kids are making them miserable! We can't help it if your son doesn't listen to his TV loud enough - tell him to turn it up if he can't hear it!".

Why my MIL didn't punch her in the face I'll never know. I know I wouldn't have held myself back.

First, we're not making her parents out to be anything. We didn't say they were bad. We said they were loud. And they are. Second, if they're miserable living in an apartment with 39 other families and being respectful of the other families, that's their problem. Sounds like they need to rent a house. Third, get the fuck out of my face with the "your son doesn't listen to his TV loud enough" bullshit. We listen to the TV at a normal volume. We can hear it fine when it doesn't have to compete with someone else's TV. And if we turn ours up, they'll turn theirs up and we end up in the volume war.

Daughter then started in on how "My dad's missing a part of his brain [I will not touch that...I will not...I will not] and so he's got to hear the TV loud.".

Interesting. Gee, the former neighbors from the building they just moved from reported they'd complained to that family on many occasion about their TV and radio. And this was before he had his brain incident. And it's interesting how Frau Loud reported to the Wobau that they recognized that he turned up the TV volume too loud and they were going to take him to an audiologist. And why can't the bastard just use earphones if he can't hear the TV? That's what my next door neighbor does. She's deaf as a stone and after neighbors complained about her TV she started using earphones. Problem solved. But instead Daughter Loud had to tell my MIL that us being disturbed was our problem and her father didn't care what the other neighbors thought.

Oh! And I don't want to forget to add that Daughter Loud told my MIL that we should have complained to them instead of the Wobau. Oh I'm sure that would have done a lot of good. They don't change when given a written warning from the landlord - what fucking good would it do us to complain to them personally?

That's it. That was the final straw. Every day since last Thursday they've been getting worse. Each day the TV gets louder and louder. And now the incident tonight with my MIL? That's it. They're going down. The lady from the Wobau is on vacation until next Tuesday and the minute she gets back, she's getting this problem right back in her lap. We've tried to handle this professionally and without making this personal but hassling my MIL on the street has change the whole game.

And if I see that bitch on the street, God help her. No one speaks to my MIL that way and gets away with it. She's going to get a fucking English lesson she'll never forget.

Monday, May 09, 2005

There's always an upside

Sure it's been a mixed up, chaotic, annoying day but there have been some bright spots that should be recognized.

B got lots of phone calls today for his birthday. Everyone wanted to wish Mr. Popularity a happy birthday and of course that made him feel good. His mom was a little upset that the gift she'd ordered for him hadn't arrived but B's not one to fret over such things. She brought him flowers and baked him a delicious chocolate cake and his physiotherapist brought him flowers as well.

What did I get him? Nothing. He didn't want anything in particular and needs even less so I didn't bother to buy him something he wouldn't be too crazy about anyway. He appreciates practicality more than tokens. I know my guy.

But I did tell him that he can get any computer he wants. He's in the midst of computer shopping - searching for the perfect combination of lots of memory and a sizzling graphic card and a speedy processor that won't end up being as loud as a washing machine spinning a load of Levis. The idea of him being able to get whatever he wants made him happier than a fat kid let loose on a plate of cupcakes.

And to round out the day, Angelika, the neighbor who came for coffee last week sent over via my MIL a little bag of miniatures. She saw that I collect miniatures and she found a lot of funky stuff to add to my collection. A tiny round cloisonné box, two wee tiny colored glass vases, an oval tin box with a tapestry lid, a few assorted glass animals - just all sorts of adorable, wee things. No reason but to make me happy. And with the stress of this week looming over my head, I could use some happy.

I'm seeing some silver lining after all...

And this is just the beginning

I shouldn't bother bitching because I've got a few more days of this before all is settled.

Today began what I shall now refer to as the Great Upheaval.

Over the weekend and finishing up this morning I got things removed from the kitchen. They're now mostly centered in my spare (read: junk) room but things have bled over into the bedroom. I've tried to keep things organized but I know before the week is out I'll be searching frantically for where I've put the pepper or something.

And may I add that getting the kitchen cleared out went much faster than I'd imagined, even taking my chronic procrastination into consideration.

This afternoon Wolfgang and his son, Florian, showed up to remove the kitchen for me. Poor Wolfgang - he had a bitch of a time getting the faucet and sink disconnected. They got it all hauled out to the street for the city to pick up tomorrow at dawn and Florian, bless him, didn't want to take any money for the work he did today. But I'm older than him and he's been taught not to disrespect us so he took it. He's a good fella.

Wolfgang then started on the painting. He did the ceiling and tomorrow he'll do the walls and give them a second coat on Wednesday. In the meantime there are sticky tiles in the kitchen to be washed and hooks to remove from the curtains and baseboards to get clean. We'll be at a fever pitch until Thursday when the flooring is put down but after that there should be a rest until the 17th when the kitchen is installed.

Poor Burkhard had an out of sorts birthday but he's the epitome of cooperation and has been a great sport about it all. Hasn't complained a bit.

If anyone is of a mind to pray, please mention to God the possibility of me retaining my sanity whlie all this is going on. I don't take well to chaos so this is an extreme test for me.

Now what did I do with the coffee filters?

Happy birthday, B!

Yeah, I guess it's sappy to wish your husband a happy birthday on your blog, but he makes me want to do sappy, sentimental things.

Happy birthday, sweetheart. May your new life year bring you happiness, love, good health, and everything you wish for yourself.

Love you, Boo.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Magdeburg!

I'm watching a very cool thing on TV right now. At midnight began Magdeburg's jubilee year - she's 1200 years old! Right now at Magdeburg's cathedral there's an enormous fireworks show coupled with dramatic music to kick off the jubilee year events. I'd thought earlier tonight that I'd go down to see it live but it's puking rain outside and I'm probably getting a better view of things on TV anyway.

It's making me a little teary, actually. I'm very sentimental about the cathedral and it's my favorite spot in Magdeburg. The cathedral is quite old - a imposing Gothic structure all in stone that's seen the passing of many centuries and a lot of war and misery. Normally it has a slightly cold feel to it but tonight it's literally glowing. Very bright lights have been placed inside to make the windows glow and outside the cathedral, coupled with the normal skyrocket bursts of fireworks sailing over the cathedral's spires, various firework designs have been placed on the cathedral itself to make it blaze as if it were on fire or to make it sparkle and shimmer. It's an incredible sight. The music accompanying the show makes it even more dramatic.

I love this old city. It's tired and poor - so many depressed, sad, unemployed people here. It's gone from being one of the most gorgeous cities in Germany before the war (and when one speaks of "the war" in Germany they mean World War II) to being sort of crappy looking (thanks unimaginitive communist rule!) but since the reunion there has been some new building and restoration and she's looking better.

I guess what I love about Magdeburg is her resilience. The city was burned to the ground and most of its citizens slaughtered in 1631 during the Thirty Years War and she came back to life. Then in the last months of World War II Magdeburg was bombed and about 80% of the downtown was gone and she's come back to life. She's seen kings and emperors, facists and communists, feast, famine, plague, fire, occupation, tanks in the street and people marching in the street to regain their freedom. She takes her beatings and still manages to keep going and celebrates her happy times in style.

Herzlichen Gluckwünsch Magdeburg!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Heaven help you catch me if I fall...

Just found online the video for Oasis' new single, Lyla.

Can't stop playing it which is typical for my Oasis addiction. They can suck me back into their greedy clutches with just the first seconds of ringing guitars and pounding drums.


Can't wait for the album to be released.

Friday, May 06, 2005


The big push for the kitchen changeover is on. I started yesterday clearing out junk from the cabinets. I haven't as of yet moved things out of the cabinets so they can be removed but the shit I'm throwing out is being thrown out and once I can clear some space in my spare room I can get the dishes, glasses, cookware, etc. moved out. It's going easier than I expected. Actually everything so far has been not so bad. I guess the worst part will be living with no kitchen but really, since I'll have my old refrigerator still until the new one is delivered, it shouldn't be so bad. I only cook once a day - actually usually once every other day since I normally cook things that we can eat for two days - and I'll have my brand-spanking new microwave that's still in the box and I'll have the fridge and if we eat from paper most of the time and try to keep the dirty dishes to a minimum it won't be such a pain in the ass week after all.

Had my hair done today. I am a stickler for keeping my every-six-weeks hair appointments and my gray roots thank me for it. I have also found the hairstyle that I think suits me well but this time I asked for a modification. My hair has been collar length and while that's great, in the summer it's maddening. It's quite thick and for me to put it in a pony tail or in some other style to get it off my neck when it's warm it's going to have to be quite a bit longer. And I doubt my hair is going to grow enough before warm weather sets in. Without my hair put up on hot days I'm simply smothering. I made the decision then to cut my hair shorter for the summer and then in fall I can grow it out again and if I want it long for next summer I can have it grown out enough by then to pony tail on hot days.

So I tell Katrin "Let's do the same style but shorter for summer, okay?". She agrees and asks "How much shorter and I give her one of those "Oh about this much." signs with my fingers.

Can I take this opportunity to say that when you're making such a determination that maybe using actual measurements would be better? Because she took me by my thumb-and-forefinger word for it and cut the shit out of my hair. The top is great but the bottom is...short. but not freakish short or ugly short. More like "Damn, I didn't think ''bout that much' would be that much!". My hair now goes to just below my ears. At least it doesn't violate my do-not-cut-my-hair-up-over-my-ears rule and I can sweep my hair behind my ears if I wish.

And I have to admit that while it's shocking now it'll be much cooler for summer. Maybe I'll keep it this way or maybe just a wee bit longer. And all the layers I'd been trying to grow out are definitely gone!

Friday shuffle - American Bandstand edition

I just loaded up my mp3 player with cheesy (and some not so cheesy) 60s and 70s pop music. I'm all about the cheesy pop.

  1. Along Comes Mary - The Association
  2. Summer in the City - The Loving Spoonful
  3. We'll Sing in the Sunshine - Gale Garnett
  4. Go All the Way - The Raspberries
  5. I Started a Joke - The BeeGees
  6. Sugar Baby Love - The Rubettes
  7. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence
  8. Needles and Pins - The Searchers
  9. The Hustle - Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony
  10. Ferry 'Cross the Mersey - Gerry and the Pacemakers

Yikes! I couldn't shuffle up some Beatles? Still, I'll give it an 82. You can dance to it and number 4 gets me all sexy feelin'...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A knitter can dream, can't she?

I admit that I'm still in the novice knitter stage. I can do some different stitches but as of yet I'm doing those different stitches on rectangles. I have yet to make something round, unless you count the fuzzy black tube fiasco.

But I want to do more. I want to branch out and go beyond right angles so to that end I've set a couple goals for myself. It may take me forever and a day to reach them but I figure that setting a goal is the first step.

How very Hallmark card of me to put that thought together, eh?

Here's my first goal and one I think I can do this year. It's called Aibhlinn .

Image hosted by

I think I can do the swirling rib stitch but I am iffy about the bobbles. The instructions for them intimidate me some but maybe it's not too much more than making an organized blob of yarn.

And here's my dream, dream, dream sweater called Folly .

Image hosted by

I think that's the coolest damn sweater I've ever seen in my life. And one that would actually fit my ample curvy self!

Looks hard. Looks really hard. But I can't resist that funky, sassy sweater that just screams "Look at me! I am the coolest thing you've ever seen!".

You know. Just like me.


I heard on the noontime news today that people who marry on days with particular number patterns are more likely to divorce than people who marry on ordinary days. More marriage-on-a-whims I guess.

In Germany, of the people who got married on 08.08.88, only one couple in sixteen is still married.

Oh. And happy Cinco de Mayo for you guacamole and margarita loving types. May your local Mexican cantina be having a wonderful happy hour special on Coronas .

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Worth the effort

As it turns out my MIL's painful foot isn't all that much better but it was good enough for her to avoid going to the doctor (because let's be real - what are they going to say about it anyway that she doesn't already know?). This meant no driving for me but more tidying up for the arrival of my afternoon coffee and cake guest.

I really wasn't looking forward to it. Like I said yesterday, the lady visiting us is quite nice but I don't really know her well. She came over once before to get B to help her set up her email with Microsoft Outlook and she's sent us a couple ecards for Easter and the like and we've spoken to her on the phone a few times. It's my MIL who knows her better - they met while dog walking (Angelika, the lady in question, lives in the building next door) and they've visited one another a few times.

Let me stop here and say that I never chat with other dog walkers. While my MIL loves it, I detest talking to strangers. All that meaningless small talk about our respective dogs. It would be different if I were in America but I don't like chatting up strangers in Germany. They don't know that my knowledge of German can really let me down sometimes and in my nervousness I completely forget key words for the conversation. Like the word for dog.

Anyway I was dreading this visit because, again, I was afraid that it would be one of those slow moving visits where I can't keep up with the conversation, I get muddled up when trying to speak and I spend the entire time fighting off jaw popping yawns. I was even sort of grouchy feeling about it but resigned myself to just get it over with. Maybe even dull conversation and tea would be better than sorting throught kitchen crap and no tea.

I was very wrong. Angelika was even more pleasant and friendly than I remembered her being. She came along with her little Yorkie who stayed at her feet in a little carry-along dog bed. I normally have no opinion of Yorkies but this one cracked me up. She's got a sassy look on her face and whenever Bonnie would get near her little bed she'd growl and yip at Bonnie as if to say "I'll tolerate you, ya fuzzy faced mutt, but don't be getting too near. I may be in your home but this is my little piece of turf.". The conversation never lagged, I didn't yawn and Angelika is actually a pretty clear speaker and so I didn't have trouble understanding the conversation. By the time it was over I was inviting her to visit again after the new kitchen is finished.

And I found out that she's a magician. She entertains as a magician at all sorts of parties - for kids and adults both. How could I go wrong making friends with a magician?

Anyone seen this sock monkey?

Image hosted by

Nearly a month ago I airmailed her to Illinois. Airmail. Spent an extra $15 to airmail Lottie so it wouldn't take nearly a friggin month for her to get to Illinois from Germany.

Should any of you come across a lost but very adorable sock monkey who speaks perfect German with a Southern accent could you please re-direct her to her Aunt Lisa in Illinois? She's waiting patiently for her.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Useless to resist

Give me a chance to fill out a questionnaire and I'm there!

I am:
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting a blowjob is not an impeachable offense."

Are You A Republican?

Giving one isn't either.

Now add some caffeine to the mix

As I am powerless to resist, this has been lifted from Welfare Queen.

Your Birthdate: January 19

Your birth on the 19th day of the month adds a tone of independence and extra energy to your life path.

But at the same time, it poses a number of obstacles to overcome before you are able to be as independent as you would like. The number 1 energy suggests more executive ability and leadership qualities than your path may have indicated.

A birthday on the 19th of any month gives greater will power and self-confidence, and very often a rather original approach. However, a somewhat self-centered approach to life that may be in conflict with some of the other influences in your life.

This 1 energy may diminish your ability and desire to handle details, preferring instead to paint with a broad brush.

You are sensitive, but your feeling stay somewhat repressed.

You have a compelling manner that can be dominating in many situations.

You do not tend to follow convention or take advice very well.

Consequently, you tend to learn through experience; sometimes hard experiences.

The 19/1 is a loner number and you may experience feelings of being alone even if you are married.

You may take on a tendency to be nervous and angry.

So is this like a cool way of saying I'm a bit of a grouchy pants?

Thank you, Liverpool

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you for sending rat bastard Chelsea home with no chance for a Champion's League trophy. Thank you for sending those Russian Mafia puppets and their bad, bad man coach home empty handed.

Now you go to Istanbul and kick some Milan ass, okay?

Pathetically domestic

So what exactly was B thinking of last week when he invited one of our neighbors over for coffee and cake tomorrow afternoon?

This lady that's coming over is nice and all. Quite nice actually. And I don't mind her coming for a visit except I'm in the throes of getting ready to have my kitchen ripped out and so getting everything else nice and tidy for her visit isn't exactly on my schedule.

I just don't know why B couldn't have invited her over when the new kitchen is in and running.

I may get a break though - although it's not really a break. My MIL has some problem with her foot - it's all swollen and she can't really walk on it - and if it's not better I'll have to drive her to the doctor. In actuality I'll only be trading one inconvenience for another but I can at least do some errands while she's with the doctor.

I got new curtains today for the kitchen. White lace curtains are traditional in Germany and as I'm not one to readily break with tradition, they're white lace. And so sweet looking I wanted to hang them right away but that would, of course, be ridiculous as you can't have curtains hanging when you're trying to paint. And the happiest thing is that they only cost 32.50€, and that was even having the curtain tape sewed on. Barganza! I thought sure I'd be forking out a good 100€ for curtains so naturally that means I can spend the extra money on some new tea tins. 'Cause I haven't had a new tea tin in a good six months and I'm due!

I'm in such high hausfrau mode! Picture me when I'm in the new kitchen wearing my frilly apron.

Note to self: Buy frilly apron.

Monday, May 02, 2005

And to think he's a blood relative of my husband

My MIL just came in and said her brother wants to come over this coming weekend to test drive our car. Since she sold her summer home we don't have a whole lot of need for a car and so after the summer is over the car will be sold to her brother. At a bargan price to boot - 3,000€. The car's a 1996 Toyota Starlet but it only has about 15,000 kilometers on it. Kilometers, not miles. A kilometer is a little over a half mile. Do the math because I sure as hell ain't.

So anyway I ask "Why does Gerald want to test drive the car? He's gonna buy it anyway because his Fiesta is a piece of crap.". My MIL agreed that he'd definitely buy the car but he needed to see if he could actually figure out how to drive it.

You see, the car has an automatic transmission. Gerald has never driven a car with an automatic transmission and so he needs to drive the Toyota to see if he can figure out how it works. Let me state that again. He needs to figure out how to drive a car with an automatic transmission.

I'll let that sink in on you a little if it hasn't already and do feel free to roll your eyes to the point of having them nearly burst forth from your skull.

Yeah, yeah...I'll get to it

No, I have not started getting my kitchen cleared out yet. You see, to do it now would deprive me of my shit hemorrhage panic later on when I'm frantically tossing things into boxes and garbage bags and occasionally mixing up the "keep" stuff with the "toss" stuff and dammit, I like a little panic once in a while!

I have what may pass to be a bit of an excuse. It's unseasonably warm today and so I spent some time outdoors introducing my pasty white have-you-been-in-prison-recently-you-are-so-pale skin to the sunshine and warm breezes. I felt like one of those people who emerge from a nuclear fallout bunker after a dozen or so years underground.

The weather is scheduled to go back to it normal it's-early-May-and-therefore-must-suck state as of tomorrow and I have time anyway to get this show on the road. The actual tear-down won't happen until late afternoon next Monday so I have a whole week to procrastinate! Ahem. I mean, I have a whole week in which to carefully plan and execute the sorting and packing of my kitchen!

It's two great treats in one!

Swiped from WelfareQueen. Haven't glanced at her blog yet? What are you waiting for?

Your Brain is 53.33% Female, 46.67% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

I'm feeling so it's-a-candy-it's-a-breath-mint right now.