Dixie Peach: June 2005

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hanging out with a fast crowd

Let me first say that there are definite advantages to me taking a bus trip with senior citizens, including:

~ They walk slowly. I'm known as being a pokey walker so this is fabulous for me.

~ No embarrassment at wearing sensible shoes. What they're sporting makes my idea of sensible shoes look like a pair of Chanel slingbacks.

~ No need to wear too much makeup. Even with a staggering lack of sleep, I still looked decades younger than my bus-mates.

~ They dig young people hanging out with them.

This trip I made with Tante Giesela was with a senior citizens social club she belongs to. They go on little bus trips a few times a month and these people are so in to this stuff. And by golly they should be - it's probably what helps keep them lively.

After being personally greeted by every single person going on the trip (with Tante Giesela saying "This is my grand-neice...she normally can't go out!"), we jumped (well...) on the bus and took off. Traditionally at the start of their trip they put their favorite song on the bus' PA system and they all sing along. It was so sweet to see these old ladies and gentlemen singing loud and proud that I actually got a little teary-eyed.

We rolled over the countryside past fields of wheat and rye and sugar beets and lots and lots of fields filled with blooming poppies and a couple hours later arrived at Wörlitzer Park, had lunch at some place that boasts being schnitzel specialists (and curiously were served pork roast for lunch), and then trooped down to the canal to have our park tour by boat.

Unfortunately it was overcast all day so the pictures I took are less than spectacular but it was still nice to be gliding along among the ducks and swans. And I have nothing but deep admiration for the guy rowing the boat. I can only marvel at how he could row fourteen people in a boat, most of which had amply large asses, and give a tourguide's description of the park and never sound even sort of out of breath.

After our boat trip we walked around the ground of the park (and didn't get too far) and then went back to the restaurant for coffee and cake. And we were so fortunate that the rain held off until we were in the restaurant.

It was then time to head back to Magdeburg and I was honestly glad to be heading for home. I'm not used to being out without B (Tante Giesela is right - I don't get out much) and when I'm away from him it just feels strange and a little lonesome.

A mile or so before our drop off point the music on the PA system suddenly changed and the sing-along song came on again. And despite these old folks being a little tired, they still sang strong and happy.

La Luna blue.....La Luuuuuuna bluuuuue


Passport has been found. Panic averted.

I normally don't carry it with me all the time because of the shit freak out I'd have if it were stolen by the little pickpocket jackasses around. It's not that I couldn't get it replaced but I don't want to drag my ass all the way into Berlin to do it.

And I knew I'd had it somewhat recently because I had to use it when I got the money out of the bank to pay for the kitchen remodeling.

Normally it's in a little leather pouch that I carry in my purse along with a couple credit cards that don't fit in my wallet if I'm going somewhere where I need such things, that is and when I'm not carrying the pouch around it stays in the same kitchen drawer where I keep my aluminum foil and Saran Wrap and wire cooling racks. Logical place for it, huh?

My MIL had to use the little pouch when she went on her trip to Prague so I'd taken out the contents and layed them in the drawer loose. And so when I went to look for my passport I natually thought it was with my Master Card and one of my ATM cards and the 200€ bill that had been in that pouch. Cue the freak out when I looked in the drawer and it wasn't in there.

Sometimes I keep it in the metal box I have for important documents. Not in there. And sometimes I keep it in a cabinet in the livingroom (getting the idea that I need to keep the most important document I have in ONE STINKING PLACE?). It wasn't there.

So I looked in a purse that I haven't used in weeks. There it was at the bottom. And I have no earthly idea when I put it in there. I'm sure I'm the culprit but I have blanked out the moment when I thought the bottom of my black Fossil handbag was the proper storage place for my passport.

So now I can carry my passport with me tomorrow. You know, just in case I get a wild hair and want to dash over to Poland.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

With that numb feeling of dread in my stomach...

...I just realized that I don't know where my passport is. No's not in the drawer where I thought I put it.

And that's the only official ID I have. It has my residency visa in it.


I see potato salad on the horizon

I just put in an order for Hellmann's and an order for Heinz sweet relish in at my German mayo and pickel relish supplier, Hello-Food.

Nearly 32€ for four squeeze bottles of Hellmann's (and I hope they're the squeeze bottles because that's sure as hell what's in the photo) and four jars of relish - but it did include shipping.

I'm practically giddy over this!

Road trip

Dullness shall be put aside tomorrow, even if it's just for one day.

A couple weeks ago B's aunt, Giesela, called and asked if I wanted to go with her on a day-long trip to Wölitzer Park in Brandenburg. It's one of those deals where you take a bus there, they give you lunch, you take a tour, buy souvenirs and then take a bus home. This trip includes the lunch and then a three hour boat trip around the canals in the park - definitely the best way to see this place because it's enormous - the biggest English-style garden in Europe.

I'm looking forward to seeing the park but sort of dreading going with Giesela. She's a nice enough lady - always very sweet to me - but she's like eighty-years-old and honestly I've never done more than pass a bit of small talk with her. I really don't know what I'm going to talk about with her for an entire day. And when I get nervous my knowledge of German goes to shit. Good part though is that if I'm completely stumped I can just say "Tante Giesela, I have no idea what you're talking about. Start again and use simpler words.".

If I get my nerve up to delve into a more complex conversation I can ask her about B's father's family. She's actually B's father's first cousin but we call her aunt. Anyway, she's the only one left who can remember B's grandparents and great-grandparents and I want to know stuff about them. B never asked about such things before and if we don't find out before Giesela goes, the information will be lost forever. It'll probably be better for me to have this conversation with Giesela when she's at my home visiting so I can write things down, but at least we can cover a few things. B doesn't even know simple things like what his grandmother's maiden name was.

I should psyche myself up that this is going to be a fun trip. That I won't have a complete German language brain fart and that I won't be bored to tears. That I'll take lovely pictures and actually have a break from taking care of B, even if it's just for about ten hours.

And pray it doesn't rain, okay?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And it's not even July

I just used the last bit of the Hellmann's mayonnaise that I brought home with me from Mississippi last November (yes, the expiration date on it was in April but hell's bells, when I was a kid we didn't even have expiration dates on anything and I survived quite nicely, thank you).

Let the shit hemorrhage panic begin.

I'm going to need to put in an emergency order in at this place because I can't face summer, with all its sandwiches and salads, without Hellmann's.

I put the squeeze bottle with its remaining dregs back into the refrigerator. Maybe overnight the mayonnaise fairies will refill it.

...and it continues

Today my MIL went to the Wobau to let them know that the Loud family has not complied with the order for them to keep down the noise. Unfortunately the lady who takes care of our particular building is out sick and my MIL had to speak with her co-worker.

I'm trying not to rant because in all honesty what this woman said to my MIL doesn't mean jack shit. It better not, anyway. She seemed to brush it all off and at times was defensive of the Louds and gave every indication that she wanted my MIL to bug off so we're not any further with this shit than we were yesterday. The lady there today did say that our notes were "helpful" but she'd have to speak with her team leader first before they could comment on the next step and maybe they'd have to consult their lawyers because evicting them would be difficult. Funny. The had no problems evicting the guy who used to live on the fifth floor. The one with the dalmation that howled constantly.

I just don't feel like going into detail now but let me just say this. If you don't want to look like a complete ass hat, don't say things like "...the handicapped have special rights, you know." to the mother of a C-5 quadriplegic.

Rest well

Shelby Foote has passed and now I never get to meet him.

I so dug that guy.

Anything she can do...

If Welfare Queen can do it, so can I! And by golly, you can too!

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Drawing the line

Let's tie up or at least revisit any loose ends I may have out there and of course anything else that may come to mind.

1. B and I and the people on the fourth floor have had our fill of the Loud family. Last Thursday's battle - complete with me banging on the heating pipes and Frau 4th Floor banging on her floor and Herr Loud screaming that he didn't give a damn, he'd do whatever he pleased - has convinced us to submit our latest list of infractions to the Wobau. Honest to God, I'm sick of trying to eat my breakfast to the sounds of him taking a crap and screaming and grunting for 20 minutes. I'm sick of not being able to use my phone or hear a TV program because he's got the TV turned up so loud. I've simply had enough. They either need to shut him up, move or the Wobau needs to cut my rent 50%.

Strangely the next day after the last Battle of the Loud TV I happened to run into both Herr and Frau Loud. I was about to come down the ramp to the back door with my wheeled grocery carrier and they came out the door. As we both couldn't use the ramp at the same time, I waited at the top and wondered if they'd say something to me. I have met Frau Loud in the past but it was over two years ago and I'm not sure if she'd remember what I look like. So they took their merry time coming up the ramp and I waited and as they passed me she said quietly "Guten Tag" and I pleasantly wished her a good day as well. She either has no idea who I am or she's scared shitless that I'm going to confront her.

2. Gusset of the Zeeby's bag is finished and I'm now knitting the other side. It all seems like it's easy - the knitting part is - but we'll really see how it all is when it's time for me to stitch the pieces together.

3. Sprite Zero. I wish it was easier to find here.

4. My MIL returned from a weekend trip to Prague and as a treat for me she gave me a new refrigerator magnet for my collection and two of the tiniest cactus I've ever seen. Each one is about the height and width of my thumbnail. She always gets me the cutest little trinkets.

5. Today in Germany is Sieben Schläfertag. Tradition says that whatever weather we have today will be what we have for the next seven weeks. Please let it be so because today is was 25°C (77°F) and wonderfully clear and sunny.

And how has your week started?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Can't resist a tagging

I can resist a lot of things but when Marybeth is the one issuing the command, I must comply. She's a Southern Goddess, you know.

I did this not long ago so if it seems familiar, you know why. And you won't mind if I just copy back to what I wrote last month, with appropriate updates, of course.

1. Total volume of music files on my computer?

2747 is the current count. And I still haven't transferred stuff from my old computer.

2. The last CD I bought was?

I had two arrive within days of each other - first was love, lose, repeat by Terry Gonda (and it's terrific) and a day or two later Don't Believe the Truth by Oasis was delivered (and I'm digging it as well).

3. Song playing right now:

Get It On by T Rex. I'm having a 70s glam rock kind of day.

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?

I've already tagged folks with this last month so this time I'll just tag one person. Katya it's your turn. And I know you've got some good taste in music!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Round, firm and juicy

Reluctant as I am to insult any Spaniards who may be around, I have to say that tomatoes from Spain just aren't as good as tomatoes from Mississippi. Don't get me wrong. Spanish tomatoes are pretty good. They're tasty and juicy but they lack that extra depth of flavor that I'm used to in tomatoes from the Southland. Still I make myself as happy as I can with them and especially appreciate their availability until late September.

And as reluctant as I am to insult any Dutch who may be lurking, you folks grow the worst tomatoes on the planet. I like Holland. It's a fun place to visit - interesting and pretty and clean. And I like the Dutch people. Every Dutch person I've ever come across, with the exception of one asshole flight attendant, was exceedingly nice and friendly. I am half in love with Roy Makaay and I think Ruud van Nistelrooy is hot. But God help you people, whatever gave you folks the idea that those hard, red, mealy, flavorless spheres you grow are tomatoes? While in Amsterdam the last time I ate a tomato salad. It literally had no flavor. In fact it sucked the flavor out of the dressing. I've never eaten anything to flavor neutral in my life. I was marveling at how awfully nothing it was until I reminded myself that I was in Holland and I must have been out of my mind to eat a tomato in Holland.

I say all this because I am seriously jonesing for a Mississippi tomato sandwich. I want a chilled tomato grown in the warm soil of northeast Mississippi that has had the benefit of Miracle Grow, hot summer sunshine and late afternoon thundershowers. I want to slice it and appreciate its firm flesh and the succulant juice. I want to smear a soft slice of bread with Hellmann's mayonnaise, layer the slices that cunningly fit the dimensions of the bread and sprinkle each slice with a shake of salt and pepper before adding the next and then topping it with another Hellmann's crowned slice of bread. And then I want to stand at the sink to eat it because everyone knows that a perfect tomato sandwich really should be eaten while standing over the kitchen sink. That juice, turned to a milky pink by the Hellmann's, is simply going to run all over and a really fabulous tomato sandwich made with a really fabulous tomato will require you to wash your arms afterwards. Wash down with the cold beverage of your choice.

Bless you Europeans, you just don't know what you're missing.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Covered in Cobwebs Edition

  1. Vega-Tables - Brian Wilson
  2. Ophelia - Natalie Merchant
  3. Late Night Grade Hotel - Nanci Griffith
  4. No Reply - The Beatles
  5. Rock Lobster - The B-52's
  6. Suzette - Foster and Lloyd
  7. Whenever You're On My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw
  8. Too Cold at Home - Mark Chesnutt
  9. Sweet Dreams - Patsy Cline
  10. Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band

Hmmm. With the exception of the Brian Wilson song this shuffle is ancient.

Very kind of Brian Wilson to volunteer to just be ancient himself so that I have ten for ten.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

And I knitted today too

My apartment smells like a strange yet refreshing mixure of limes and roses due to the fact that I did a pantload of laundry today using lime scented Spee and rose scented Vernel. Normally I'd use the peach and lime blossom scented Vernel which would match the lime scented Spee but the only had rose scented available when I last needed to buy some.

And before anyone starts in how "Spee" is a bad name for a laundry detergent due to it sounding like "pee", remember that if you pronounce it in German it sounds more like "Schpeh".

Anyhow, I'm here mentioning how my laundry smells because I am so far down in the pits of dullness, the scent of my laundry qualifies as mention worthy.

That and that I found some nice blueberries today imported from France. Not quite as sweet as the ones from Spain that I got a couple weeks ago but they're likely less coated with funky pesticides as well. And luckily for the safety of my ass from a kicking from Sal, I did make it to the post office today.

So that's the sum total of my day. Limes, roses, blueberries, laundry, post office. And a successful template change.

Break out the party hats.

Tell the emergency crew to stand down

Blog template changed back to what it was before. Nothing lost. No hair pulled out. Shit hemorrhage avoided.

I feel like I can take on the world right now.

I think I'll leave it this way until someone I trust comes along and says "Hey Dixie. I have custom designed the perfect template for you. And it's easy for you to install it and you won't have any problem transfering your custom stuff over."

And this will happen just about the time that cold front whips through hell.

Stop me. Talk me out of it.

As I've recently began the parade down Dullsville Boulevard, I am sorely tempted to do something rash and stupid. Something like changing the template on my blog.

I'm getting tired of this one and so I'm getting the itch to switch. And getting the itch to jeopardize losing my stuff when I do.

If you don't talk me out of it, at least convince me not to do it in the middle of the night like last time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I believe Poppy's bout with dullness may be catching because I'm feeling just as dull here. Not Poppy's fault, of course. Actually I would call it more of a coincidence than the spreading of dullness.

There's just nothing going on here. I really wouldn't mind going out for a few hours but so far this week we've had the ever-present parade of friends and neighbors and therapists in and out so me gathering a few hours together to get out has been severely hampered.

And if I don't get myself to the post office tomorrow morning, Sally is going to come kick my ass - which, I suppose, could be a good thing because it would break the monotony.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hand me that funeral home fan, will ya?

Nasty thunderstorm just rolled through here. Bad enough that cable went off and I had to miss some of the Argentina vs. Germany Confederations Cup game. Cable going out is rare here so when it goes off, it's a doozy outside. Came back on though just in time to see Germany take a one goal lead in the match.

It's been one of those hot, sticky summer days - and so the thunderstorm - and I've even surprised myself with my complaints about the weather. I'm from Mississippi. Weather like this is a daily occurance and you'd think a 90 degree humid day would roll off my back but in my defense, I am in the land of no air conditioning. And honestly if you're away from such shitty weather most of the time, you lose your ability to stand it. I haven't endured a Mississippi summer for the better part of a decade and so my talent for coping in hot weather so humid you can surf on it has been severely hampered.

Encouraging news from the immigration office. My MIL, bureaucracy dirty worker that she is, toted the papers they wanted from me and the lady there said it all looked fine. She would include the other sources of income that we have in the financial formula and said that she spoke with the people who came to visit us at my apartment and they reported that they were "very positive" about what they observed. I guess making out with B worked to our advantage. I could get a three year visa next week but for the permanent visa I have to wait until next month. Now that they have the papers they wanted they'll do a check to see if I have a criminal record or warrants out for my arrest (and I'm fairly convinced that they check to see if there are any notices about me with Interpol...I feel so Bourne Identity!) and this takes a few weeks. I'll go back in July to sign whatever they want me to sign and I assume that since they took a passport photo from me that my permanent visa will be ready then.

Good thing I'm going to get to stay because a Mississippi summer may do me in.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Just some bits and pieces. Assemble into whatever you wish to make.

~ Two years ago today my sister and her family were flying to Germany to visit us. I'd pay big money to have her visit again this year. She's such a terrific person and I miss her very much.

~ A warm day and sunshine and available help yesterday resulted in B and I going out for a few hours. He's so pale from being indoors virtually all of the time so that when he finally does get outdoors he briefly reminds me of those people emerging from underground in one of those post-apocolyptic movies - but no radioactivity to worry about. We had a fun time though. Walked (well....) down to the lake and had supper at our favorite lakeside cafe. And the linden trees are blooming so I was practically high smelling them. I have a daydream of being in a whole grove of blooming linden trees and sniffing myself into a stupor.

~ I have no idea what it was about the combination of foods I ate yesterday evening but about an hour after going to bed I awoke with the worst heartburn I've ever had. And I probably didn't do myself any favors but I not only snarfed down four Maalox tablets but drank of glass of baking soda and water. The fire in my throat didn't go out until sometime after 6am and I'm convinced that I've actually burned something in there.

~ There is no in season fruit worth buying right now. The kiwis are either too hard or nearly rotten, there are no good berries, the peaches and nectarines are not ripe. I could have bought some cherries but I'm not a fan of them and find them to be more of a pain in the ass to eat than they're worth. In a couple weeks the better fruits should be here but in the meantime I'm saddled with bananas. I guess I can get melons but they drive up my blood sugar something fierce.

~ I need to remind myself that the lack of good summer fruit this week is not an excuse to suck down extra ice cream sandwiches. And no, them being sugar free isn't an excuse either.

~ One side of the Zeeby's bag is finished and I'm knitting the gusset right now. Logic would say for me to knit the other side of the bag but I like skipping around. I may knit one strap next and then do the other side and then the other strap.

~ I wonder if I can design a picture to knit into the same bag? I've not ever done something like that before and haven't even tried my hand at intarsia knitting but what the heck?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Stoner's Edition

  1. The Weight - The Band
  2. The Song is Over - The Who
  3. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Bruce Springsteen
  4. Up on Cripple Creek - The Band
  5. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
  6. The Race is On - George Jones
  7. Turn the Page - Bob Seger
  8. Feeling Good - Michael Buble
  9. Hush - Deep Purple
  10. Let Love Rule - Lenny Kravitz

Oh yeah. I can see George kicked back with a fattie.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Just read the highlighted ones...

...unless you're just dying for something to read.

Swiped from Marybeth, a most delightful lady!

Everything I've actually done is in bold

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08.Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09.Hugged a tree
10.Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13.Watched a lightning storm at sea On a lake, actually
14.Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16.Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18.Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20.Slept under the stars
21.Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them This is common in Germany
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites If something over 1000 years old qualifies as ancient.
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie Bar scene in St. Elmo's Fire
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Removed - I’m not telling that one
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Removed - Not telling this one either
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently Okay, it's more conversational than fluent.
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. …more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a seizure
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being **who would actually answer this??
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. …and gotten 86′ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

Oh no...they're still here alright

The Loud family, that is.

When we last left our annoying neighbors they'd been warned by our landlord company, the Wobau, to keep things quiet. Since that time:

~ The boyfriend of one of the daughters approached my MIL on the street and told her to stop picking on the Louds "or else". My question is "Or else what?". She told him that it was none of his business and to bug off.

~ My MIL ran into Frau Loud in the lobby while Frau Loud was talking with the man who lives above the Louds (he was telling Frau Loud that he used to play the TV too loud too and people had complained and he got hearing aids and he no longer has the problem) and immediately Frau Loud started in with my MIL. My MIL then told her that her daughter had acosted her on the street and was a smart ass bitch to her and Frau Loud called my MIL a liar. Undaunted, my MIL told her that she should try giving her husband a laxative because when he goes to take a crap you can hear him all over the building screaming and grunting. Nice to hear when you have guests over for tea. Frau Loud told my MIL that she'd get a note from his doctor that said that a laxative wouldn't help him. What-the-fuck-ever.

The "pain" screaming he does that sounds like wolf howling and the grunting while sitting on the toilet I can tolerate. I don't like it but I can tolerate it. But the loud TV and radio is a point I am not going to back down from. And here's the thing - they can go for days with the TV and radio being quiet. I can still hear it but it's not disturbing me. And then I guess he gets a wild hair across his ass because one day he'll play the TV so loud you think he's gone deaf and is trying to hear by getting the vibrations through his bones. Now if he can listen to the TV and radio at normal levels one day, why can't he the next? I'll tell you why. Because the shitheel doesn't give a damn about living among others and does what he wants when there's no one around to stop him.

Today while walking Bonnie I saw them both on the street. She was pushing him along and he was picking his nose. I mean that literally. Bastard was two knuckles deep. I think he's obsessed with his nose. He blows it constantly - as loud as a foghorn, of course - and the last time I saw him outdoors he was by himself parked dead in the middle of the sidewalk digging for gold. Good grief - little boys don't pick their nose in public as much as this man does!

I was dying to yell across the street when I saw him digging deep "...und schmeckt?" (How does it taste?) but they don't know who I am. With all this conflict they don't actually know what I look like because neither of them have bothered to speak to me personally about anything and I'd prefer to keep it that way.

Tonight for over an hour I had to listen to them blare a Volksmusik show. It's going on the list - the list that's now over a page and a half long with infractions since the last time I went to the Wobau. And I'm not picking on every time I hear them. I only list when the TV or radio is so loud that I can't hold a conversation or I can't hear my own TV.

You know I hate a damn booger picker.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Keep your cheese - there's no whine here.

Terry Gonda CD? Fabulous. Great songs, great voice, great listening experience. Buy one, folks.

Immigration office? Good news. After a call to them this morning I have an appointment on July 25 to get a permanent residency visa. Next week I'll bring to them a passport photo, a bank statment (the money issue was brought up again but they're going to look at my other monthly sources of income) and my current apartment rent statement. It'll take them until my appointment to get the paperwork done but it seems very hopeful that I will get a permanent visa.

Hair? Very pretty. Got it cut and colored today. Well, just the top got cut - the main part we left alone because we both came to the conclusion that last time she cut it too short. Looked so good afterwards that I went right away up the street to get a passport photo made for my visa.

Knitting? Fun and progressing nicely. The Zeeby's bag is coming along well (it's done in a khaki tan and I think for the contrasting pocket that goes on the inside and the contrast stitching I'll use a stone blue) and I cast on the 143 stitches for the Aibhlinn cowl but didn't begin the knitting. Just casting on was enough for today.

Reading? While at the hairdresser's I got down three chapters of one of the fun mystery novels that Mollie sent me. Good story.

Soccer? Germany just beat Australia 4-3 in the opening game of the Confederations Cup.

Weather? Terrific. Warm with a light breeze and I was able to wear a new summer outfit. The weekend should be downright hot and B and I can get outside finally. He can't wait to take me out to dinner.

Dinner? Didn't have to cook. My MIL made beef noodle soup. I'm not all that fond of her soups but I didn't have to cook it and this time it was tastier than normal.

Packages from the U.S.? Got one today from Mollie filled with fun things from Williams-Sonoma like this and some fabulous stainless steel cooking utensils that have rubberized coating over the business end to keep Teflon from being scratched. And a copy of O magazine that I've been all over today like a fat kid on a cupcake. I have the bestest best friend.

That about covers it except to say it's been a very good day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Washed down with cool, clear spring water

I hope heaven is filled with chocolate ice cream, blueberry muffins, lemon curd tarts and paprika flavored potato chips.

All low-fat, of course. Even in heaven I'll be sweating over having big hips.

Almost like starring in Green Card

My German residency visa expires on July 31 (coincidentally also my wedding anniversary) and so my MIL called the local immigration office (I make her do all my bureaucratic dirty work) to see what I'd need to do to renew it.

When I got married and was given my first residency visa I was told that it was for three years and when it became time to renew they'd verify that I had a legitimate marriage and afterwards I'd get a permanent residency visa - the equivilant of a green card. However when I was time to renew I was told I had to get a writing from the social service offices that I didn't qualify for welfare. Okay, whatever. Except that I found out that technically I did qualify for welfare based on a ridiculous formula that didn't and wouldn't take into consideration other forms of income that B and I have. Long story short, since I qualified for welfare but wouldn't apply for it they gave me another three year visa instead of a permanent one. What-the-fuck-ever. I don't take public assistance, I don't break laws, I pay taxes and I spend money in this country. Oh! And I'm married to a German citizen decended from people who have lived in this country for the past...oh...thousand years or so. I'm the one that's not a drain on the system but due to holes in the laws I can't get a permanent visa. Others who are living off the state get to stay forever. Me, it seems, they have to check out every three years. Makes me want to put on my Ugly American costume and pitch a fit about how I didn't need to come to this country to up my economic status. I came here with money, thanks.

Anyway, my MIL spoke with the immigration office and this time there's no mention of me going to see anyone with social services and any qualification for welfare bullshit. This time they were more interested in what I originally thought they would and should be interested in - whether I have a legitimate marriage or if it's just a marriage to get a residency visa. Normally B and I would both have to appear in person to the immigration office but my MIL let them know that B is disabled blah, blah, blah and the kind lady on the phone said "Oh that's fine. We can come there. We'll call them tomorrow to make an appointment. Then later your daughter-in-law can come into the office and do the paperwork, get her new visa, etc.".

Now that's just what I wanted to hear! Cooperation and understanding!

Just before noon today as I was enjoying my just-delivered-this-morning Terry Gonda CD and making tea who should arrive at my door but two people from the immigration office! Now that's clever! Say you'll call for an appointment but instead show up unannounced so you can see for sure if the couple in question are a faking it!

I think we were immediately convincing. First, I have decidedly female stuff all over the apartment. I had current knitting projects sitting out in the open. Sure, guys can knit but not quadriplegic guys. There are photos of B and me around the apartment. And if that didn't clinch it, my making out with B for ten minutes absolutely did the trick.

Alright, alright. I made the last part up. Get that look of your face!

I'm hoping that I can be seen at the immigration office next week and that I can finally get a permanent visa. And if I can't, be prepared for the scream heard 'round the world.

Monday, June 13, 2005


And no, that scream of frustration has nothing to do with the verdict in the Michael Jackson child molestation trail. Hell, I saw that one coming a mile away anyway.

I was doing so well with knitting my Aibhlinn cowl. The 4mm needles were really making a big difference. The work was tighter and the bobble making was easier. I even breezed through the M1.

I'd started on the body of the cowl and to me that's the really fun part. All the suffering through casting on 143 stitches and re-counting them and all the bobble making is worth getting to the fun swirling rib pattern.

And then I screwed it up. At row seven the pattern is p3, k3 and instead I k3, p3 just like you do in row one. Nice. Totally messes up the swirl when you do that. And what's even better is that I didn't notice what I'd done until I was about 12 stitches in to row eight.

Work frogged, tiny yelps of frustration uttered.

I will start it again sometime this week but I don't have the patience to cast on 143 stitches and tackle those bobbles right now. So instead I grabbed my 5mm straight needles, a skein of pretty beige yarn and I started on Zeeby's Bag from Stitch 'n Bitch. I need an ongoing project that's going to be somewhat less taxing on me.

I love Aibhlinn. I love this cowl so much that I named my character in Sacred Aibhlinn. I am going to successfully knit this cowl if it's the last thing I do!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

All this and beauty too!

Snagged from Sally and done because she wants to know the results!

Your IQ Is 110

Your Logical Intelligence is Above Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Average
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

I'm surprised I did as well with that math as I did!

Will bobble for food

First of all, I've heard from Mary Burr, the pattern author of my current project, Aibhlinn encouraging me to try the bobbles. How cool is it that she found my blog and wrote to encourage me? She recommended that I practice on scrap yarn and that's just what I did. I learned to bobble and like she said, once you learn it, it's not that bad. It's better if you have some stretchier yarn, I'm guessing, but all in all it's not that bad.

So I finished my bobbles and aside from the cast-on mistake where I had 144 stitches cast on instead of 143 with an M1 to be done later, my swirling rib pattern was going quite well. I was slightly concerned about how loose the work is but I was still knitting along.

Let me stop here and remind you, dear reader, once again - don't knit when you're sleepy. Can you tell what's coming next?

It was after 3am and I decided to knit a row before going to sleep while I watched the last episode of a Sopranos marathon. It's a rather easy pattern of essentially k3, p3 with variations done at the beginning and end of rows and in my getting sleepy state I somehow purled when I should have knitted or whatever. I just realized that I had done something bassackwards and when I tried to unknit it, I dropped a stitch. Now I'm half sleepy and full panicky. I try to catch it, more drop. Now I have a ladder of dropped stitches and that's just beyond my skills to repair.

So as I watched Paulie get all up in Christopher's shit for whining to Tony about him, I frogged my cowl. Bobbles and all.

I began knitting it again today and I've made some changes. First, I've switches from 5mm to 4mm needles (the pattern calls for 4.5mm needles but I swear I've never seen 4.5mm needles where I live) in hopes that 1mm less needle diameter will make bobbling easier (I think it has) and that the cowl will knit up a little tighter. No I did not knit a swatch to check the gauge and I'm sure one day I'll be sent to knitter's hell for that.

And this time I did cast on 143 stitches. I'm sure of it. And this time I'm not so intimidated about the M1 that's looming ahead. I've read the directions in Stitch 'n Bitch again and they're making sense now. But I think I'll still do it a few times with scrap yarn before I chance having to frog this cowl again.

Anyway I'm half done with the bobbles and you know, Mary Burr was right. I'm digging the bobbles. I got the hang of them and they're actually rather fun to make. Need bobbling done? Send it my way. I am practically a professional now.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

And I can have tea at the Savoy!

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.
What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

Friday, June 10, 2005

No mas! No mas!

I'm tired of obsessing over the yellow walls in the hallway. Fuck it. They're yellow. It's done. Slap the pictures back up and shut up about it. It's only a matter of getting used to it anyway.

The new flooring, which matches what's in the kitchen, looks wonderful though. And paying 50€ for three hours of Andreas' time to install it is a barganza because if I hired a company to do it I'd pay that much per hour. However his laugh reminds me of someone huffing nitrous oxide and by the time he was finished I was on the verge of telling him to shut the hell up and go home. I'm still sick and slightly cranky but even in perfect health I can take only so much giggling from a grown man.

The Aibhlinn cowl is coming along fine. Still loose in the knitting but I think time will tell whether this is a good thing or if I need to do it again with some different yarn to make it tighter. I'm just beginning to see the swirl pattern and I think when I get a few more inches on it it'll be ready for a picture.

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My geraniums are blooming so that's taking my mind off the fact that the weather this summer sucks. It's nearly the middle of June and we've had about five good, sunny, warm days. The rest of the time it's cloudy and cool. Can I please just put my jackets away for the season. I just got in two pair of terribly cute capri pants (which on my short legs look like 7/8 length pants) and I'd like to wear them a few times.

If all goes as planned I am in for a nice weekend (if you don't count the shit weather) of reading, knitting and baking. Wolfgang has to come by with Florian to put the wardrobe and shoe cabinet back into the hallway and that'll be it for renovations for this year, apart from random drilling to hang pictures. No more remodeling until next spring!

Good thing too as my will to renovate and my renovation savings fund are currently tapped out.

Friday Shuffle - Beatlemania Edition

My portable MP3 player is toting nothing but Beatles right now.
  1. For No One
  2. I've Just Seen A Face
  3. I Will
  4. No Reply
  5. Run For Your Life
  6. I Am The Walrus
  7. Hello, Goodbye
  8. All Together Now
  9. Do You Want To Know A Secret
  10. She Said, She Said

You will never find The Long and Winding Road on a shuffle of mine.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I need some fun...

...and I'm going to guess that you need some fun as well so let's try out the fun meme I just snitched from Poppy. Check out her blog if you haven't already because she's a terrific writer.


Go to Google and click on the “Images” link. Type in the following and post the first (or your favorite) picture the search engine finds.

- The name of the town where you grew up
- The name of the town where you live now
- Your name
- Your Grandmother’s name (yeah, I know you probably had 2 (or more); just pick one)
- Your favorite food
- Your favorite drink
- Your favorite song
- Your favorite smell

My magnolia soaked hometown.

Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg

My name in chip form.

But my grandmother pronouced it as "nine-ah".

Could eat this for lunch every day.

And I'd drink this with it.

They sing it.

It's one of my favorite flowers as well.

And it didn't do a dang bit of good

After being as careful as I thought I could be while casting on 143 stitches, counting them again and recounting my count I still messed things up on my cowl. When all the bobbling was finished and it was time for me to M1, I found that I already had 144 stitches. This cotton yarn isn't twisted very tightly and sometimes I had trouble telling which were stitches and which were stitches where the yarn was really untwisty and I thought at first they were two stitches. I imagine during my counting I counted two well twisted stitches as one thinking they were untwisted yarn that had split a little.

Maybe I'm just really out of the know on such matters but I don't understand why I would be adding a stitch there anyway - there at the end of the second row just before beginning the third. Why not just cast on 144 stitches in the first place (did the first row that's just straight knit stiches have to be 143?)? Anyway I just charged into the body of the cowl and so far things seem to be okay. The work seems to be a little loose (and I normally think of myself as being a tight knitter) but maybe it's because it's floppy cotton yarn. I'm going to keep going on it and if it turns out great then great! If it's not so great I think I'll try the pattern again but with merino wool.

And I guess I'll eventually find out if my original stitch miscount is going to cause me a problem or not.

As for my hallway walls, they didn't need a second coat of paint today. And I'm getting use to the color. I think most of my problem is that they were a boring cream color before and now they're a snappy lemonish/buttery color and it's just freaking my eyes out a bit. Plus when the new floor is put down tomorrow (it's darker than the current floor) and I put the wardrobe and shoe cabinet back where they belong and rehang the pictures then it'll look different. I was all flippy about the kitchen when it was repainted - I thought the color wasn't quite was just too bold - but when the new kitchen stuff was put in it took a whole different look. Now I think I got it just right.

I'll take pictures of my work on the Aibhlinn cowl when I have more done on it so you can maybe see the swirling rib pattern.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Just to keep you caught up

1. Oh Lord above in heaven. Those walls in my hallway are so yellow! Please, merciful Lord, please let them start looking a lot more buttery and a lot less lemony when they get good and dry and I'm not looking at them in artifical light.

2. My nose is running like a seive. And when it's not running it's so clogged up that I look like a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger from Mississippi - and dammit, I'm normally just a knuckle-dragger from Mississippi.

3. I'm not really a knuckle-dragger. I wear high heels.

4. I'm just messing with you. I'm not a knuckle-dragger at all. And I haven't worn high heels in years. But I am from Mississippi. That part I will freely admit to.

5. You're still suspicious about the knuckle dragging part, aren't you?

6. I have mastered making bobbles and with the purchase of the 100% cotton yarn that I made today I have given myself permission to begin knitting Aibhlinn. And I have found out that while I am foolproof at bobble making, cotton yarn doesn't stretch worth a shit and knitting into the same stitch five times is a complete and total royal pain in the ass.

7. I'm also about half suspicious that I'm twisting this knitting in the round. I keep checking it and when I do the stitches are all hanging down but I'm still suspicious.

8. Please, someone tell me that when they cast on more than, say, fifty stitches that they compulsively count the stitches over and over to make sure the right amount was cast on.

9. Anyone want to guess how many times today I've counted 143 stitches?

10. I'm sick. I truly feel like death on a soda cracker. All I want to do is curl up in bed with tea and a book and read until I pass out. Instead I am faced tomorrrow with more painting 'o the yellow, a visit from the doctor (no sympathy, just prescriptions for my ailing body and a threat of a blood test just to keep me on the straight and narrow) and even if I'm still sick on Friday I won't get any peace and rest in my suffering. Friday I have to deal with the new flooring in the (terribly, terribly yellow) hallway.

11. I'm about halfway through making my bobbles and then I can start on the regular knitting part of the cowl. Only one problem. After I knit these 143 stitches and make forty-'leven bobbles I have to m1 so that I have 144 stitches. And I don't know how to do that. Hell, I just figured out how to do a bar increase, nevermind m1. I don't want to screw this up because I will have just finished making forty-'leven bobbles with the most un-stretchy cotton yarn ever produced by man and I don't want to do it again until I'm doing the final edging on the other side.

12. I see in my future me staring into my Stitch 'n Bitch book and hoping the skill will simply imbed itself into my brain.

13. Anyone want to guess how much I'm still doubting that I've actually cast on 143 stitches?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's not just a hobby, it's an adventure!

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

And when I wasn't reading and bobbling today...

...I was busy blowing my nose and feeling miserable.

My allergies have been terrible lately, mostly due to the wacky weather changes and the flying poplar tree pollen that seems to drive me insane each year, but today they seem especially bad. I woke up with a burning throat that has not stopped all day and my sinuses feel swollen on the right side which makes my ear hurt somewhat. And for the past few hours my nose has become stuffy on the right side and has been a bit runny.

In short I think my hayfever flare-up is busy turning into a sinus infection. Great. The last time I had a sinus infection I somehow passed the funk on to B and he got bronchitis. As bronchitis can be deadly to him I'm hoping to get this under control. Thankfully the doctor is scheduled to come here to see us for B's monthy check-up.

And just in case you were wondering what CD I picked, I followed the recommendations of Kirsti and Poppy and ordered from (I happened to have a gift cert from them) the CD from the fabulous singer (and lovely wife of Kirsti!), Terry Gonda! She shall no longer be known to me as just a great model for Kirsti's finished knitting projects!

But you know I'll still be buying the new White Stripes and Oasis and Coldplay CDs and starting on my Blur collection as well.

Bobbling for Aibhlinn

I've been tempted for months now to knit Aibhlinn, a cowl to cover my giant melon of a head come wintertime. The swirling rib pattern seems a snap - it's mostly a matter of keeping track of what row your own, much like I imagine knitting Wavy will be like. I've read Aibhlinn's pattern at least twenty-five times and every time I read the instructions for "make bobble" I stare at the instructions like a pig looks at a clock.

I've not knitted anything but a rectangle (fuzzy black tube debacle aside) and the only things I'm familiar with knitting are variations of basic knit and purl stitches. The only time I've ever increased stitches was with a triangular scarf I knit for my MIL a few months ago and it was nothing more than adding three stitches at the beginning of each row with a single cast-on. So when I read "Make 5 sts in next st: [K in front, then back of st] twice, then in front of stitch again..." I was as lost as a by-God. I knew it had something to do with adding stitches but I simply didn't know how to "knit in front then back of stitch", nevermind do it five times.

So I whipped out my handy Stitch 'n Bitch, went to the chapter about increasing and decreasing and tried to figure out knitting in the front and back of a stitch meant. It took me a moment to figure out which type of increase it was and that was the easy part. I simply could not get from the illustrations what I should do. That's my biggest gripe with that book - I think the illustrations are lacking in clarity. At this point I figured that just reading wasn't going to help so I got out some wool yarn and a pair of needles, cast on 24 stitches and tried to follow the beginning of the Aibhlinn pattern, trying my hand at making a bobble using the "how to increase" lesson from Stitch 'n Bitch.

I simply was not getting it. Sure, I'd end up with what appeared to be a bobble but instead of adding stitches that I would lose when I was finished with the bobble I ended up with about eight stitches that were gnarled and twisted and too tight to knit with further. It reminded me of when I was learning to rib knit - I got passing the thread from back to front and back again completely screwed up until I finally understood what was expected.

So I went back to what usually works best for me. I picked up Stitch 'n Bitch again and read the instructions to increase over and over and over and stared at the illustration until the light finally dawned. I believed then that I understood what to do.

I snatched up the needles again, cast on more stitches and this time...finally!...I did it. I made bobbles and I didn't end up with extra stitches, gnarled or not. Knitting in the front and back of a stitch finally made sense to me.

Now I can get some proper yarn and start on Aibhlinn but I think first I'm going to practice bobbling a bit more. I want it to be a little more automatic before I have to do dozens of them on my cowl.

Monday, June 06, 2005


We'll just start off the week with the completely unrelated and random (I'm beginning to hate that word and on top of it I've just been redundant!). And I always say that they'll be completely unrelated but I always seem to end up linking a few somehow.

1. Let me start with how much I appreciate my husband. I was feeling lousy from my allergies and he suggested that I bag cooking supper for today and just order supper to be delivered. Little treats like that goes a long way with me. And I appreciate that he recognizes when I'm not feeling so great and he does what he can to make things a little easier for me.

2. I can see in the background a Twilight Zone episode (one of the new ones, not the old black and white ones) where a woman goes back into time to kill a baby Adolf Hitler. Hitler as a baby, not a baby who is Hitler-like. While that seems awfully tempting along with going back into time to change or prevent all sorts of tragedies, would I really do it? Can I comprehend what sort of future fuck-ups I may be causing by altering history? On the other hand what sort of hindered good for the world would I unleash if I altered history? Does the world end up balancing itself out regardless if someone traveled back in time and altered a future event?

3. It's the Döner I ate for supper tonight. That's what's got me feeling so philosophical. Tzatziki makes you think more deeply.

4. I need to order tonight some new Birkenstocks for summer. In fact I think I need a pair of Gizeh in khaki. Or in sand. Or maybe both.

5. It nearly seems pointless to order sandals if the weather isn't going to be any better this summer than it is right now. Low 60s during the day, upper 30s at night. Where's my heat? Where are my sunny skies? Where's the excuse I need to wear new comfy sandals?

6. Hallway painting starts Wednesday afternoon. Doubt about the color chosen starts on Saturday after the new floor has been put in. Full-blown panic begins next Monday. Let's hope I don't reach the next step which is "Talk B into repainting.".

7. I have a box full of light mystery novels to read, courtesy of Mollie. As long as those books hold out I'm not going to bitch as much about the crummy weather.

8. B owes me a new CD for awakening me three nights running because he needed something. That's the rule. Three nights gets me a new CD. Five nights running gets me a new DVD. So which CD should I pick? New White Stripes? The new Oasis CD? New Coldplay? Maybe I should follow the advice of Poppy and Zoe and try a Blur CD.

9. Poppy? Zoe? Which Blur CD should I start with? If I don't buy it now I will eventually.

10. No number 10. Again I just needed to finish on a round number.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Latest Lottie update

It's high summer in Illinois and Lottie's fitting right in with the country life.

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Lisa writes:

"Here she is! She's having a grand time at her country estate. In this picture, she's planning a picnic. She's been quite a positive influence with regard to balanced meals. She leads by example!

She's sporting her new watermelon print short outfit by Glen Carbon's exclusive "All Dolled Up." The designer heard about the picnic and sent this over, Lottie tried it on and loved it."

Ever see such a happy smile on a little sock monkey?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

At least it keeps me from being a heroin addict

While reading Camille's blog I came across a brief story and photo that speaks of a child getting some bloodwork and how hurt she was over it and it served to remind me of my own needle phobia. I had a similiar situation occur when I was five years old. I was sick with something or other and heard the doctor tell my mother to take me down to the lab and have them give me a blood test. I didn't understand that getting a blood test wasn't like when I'd seen my mother have her blood pressure taken and so when a needle was shoved into my arm I howled like a banshee and was quite pissed off about it to boot.

I am forty-three years old and I don't think I am ever going to outgrow my fear of needles. Of course this really not good when you're a diabetic on top of it all. Daily insertion of needles is required although I cheat and only take blood from my ear. I try to get it from a finger but every time I do I spend a half hour talking myself into it, screech when finally manage it and then pout like a moody Siamese cat for the rest of the day.

My doctor, a woman who truly cares for me and my family and who not only makes housecalls but has made a housecall on a holiday when my husband was very sick, must nearly bite her tounge in half when she has to take blood from me. She begins to the the needle and tubes out and I begin my show. Shallow, rapid breathing, panicky look in my eye like a cornered rat, feet tapping - everything I shouldn't do if I want to make this as painless as possible. She tries all the tricks. Distraction. Soothing words to get me to calm down. Reminding me that my clenching up and freaking out will only make the vein collapse and she'll have to stab me again. Finally she gets down to oh-hell-let's-just-do-it mode, inserts the needle and hopes for the best. Luckily she's good at this and rarely has to do it twice. I'm not easy to find a good vein on anyway, panic or no panic.

When I was hospitalized two years ago for surgery I was blessed with a wonderful nursing staff. Naturally I was the only American at that particular station and became an instant celebrity. And within minutes of my check-in and the beginning of the routine tests they'd do before surgery I became famous for being a complete pain in the ass to deal with needle-wise. Getting five vials of blood from me took three nurses and a lot of sweet talk to accomplish and they ended up putting a canula in my hand as they'd run out of viable veins for use at my CT scan scheduled for the next day. The day of my surgery went much more smoothly in the needle department as they had given me an injection of tranquilizer not long after they woke me that morning (I can't remember how they managed to put that off) and during my recovery time (this is Germany, remember - no in-and-out hospitalizations here - they'll keep you five days for just having your gallbladder removed), they resorted to getting little pipette of blood from my ear for any further blood work.

But my wonderful nurses had nothing up their sleeves to get around the daily song and dance we'd have to go through when it was time for me to have my daily anti-thrombosis injection. This would normally be done in my belly but since I had a six inch incision there it had to be given to me on my thighs.

If you've never had one of these injections let me just say that they burn like hellfire. I can only compare it to having battery acid introduced to your bloodstream.

For the two weeks I was hospitalized it became a badge of pride for the nurses to be able to give me this daily injection and having me pronounce the experience to be "not bad". Even then I'd still entertain them with welling eyes and my shallow, rapid breathing schtick.

Even my sister, who has been a nurse for nearly thirty years, hates to deal with me when it comes to needles. She's spent her nursing career giving injections, taking blood, stitching people up, starting IVs and she'd rather deal with a hundred crying kids than do anything to me that involves a needle. You can hold down a crying five year old. I'm not so easy. Plus she just doesn't like the idea of having to hurt her sister. Except for all those times she's whacked me for meddling in her stuff. I mean in the past...she doesn't whack me now. Much.

I can, however, unexplainable as it may be, take a flu shot without so much as a whimper. Every fall when it's flu shot season I eagerly roll up my sleeve. It may have something to do with me still having a clear memory of how god-awful sick and hurting I was the last time I had the flu and me knowing that even if my doctor used a sharpened popsicle stick to give me the injection, it still wouldn't hurt as much as having the flu for real.

That and fact that if I sit still she'll give me a lolly for being a good girl.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Warn 'em - no whistling!

So as you may have seen by my last entry my best friend, Mollie, is changing jobs. She's worked for eight years at a big telecom company and now she's going to be switching gears and working for a private contractor.

For nearly six years I've been IMing with her while she's been at work. I know the names of her co-workers, her bosses, the names of the managers and the vice presidents. I know who in the office whistles (they'd be the ones that Mollie's given a black eye to), who plays their radio too loud, who gossips, who has to be reminded forty-'leven times to turn their reports. I know more about the woman she worked for and her marriage and kid that should be possible for someone who lives over four thousands miles away. And what may be considered weirder, many of these people know who I am as well. I'm known as "Mollie's friend in Germany" but it's something.

Now she'll be working in a situation where IMing will be impossible and I have to say that while I understand it, I don't like it. It's like sending your kid, albeit a tall one, to their first day of school. She's going to be out of my sight now and what will happen? Who's going to be there when a co-worker crinkles their potato chip bag or - God forbid - whistles? Who's going to get Mollie's comparisons of her co-workers to characters on Bonanza? When some report doesn't get turned in on time or her boss wants something outrageous done and wants it done yesterday, who's going to reassure her that it'll get done and get done right because she's good at that sort of thing? Who's going to be there when she's dying to tell someone about something really embarrassing that happened or when a co-worker says something hysterically funny?

I guess I'm just going to have to wait for the weekend update but it's just not going to be the same.

Good luck with the new job, Mollie. I know you're going to be terrific at the new job. And let the new folks know you've got a friend in Germany. I don't want to be a stranger to them.

Friday Shuffle - Mollie's Changing Jobs Edition

I'll admit that I cheated on the first one. I forwarded through my stuff until I found the song and then did the shuffle from that point. Cheating, but appropriate for this edition cheating.

  1. Here Comes the Weekend - Dave Edmunds
  2. Boonika Bate Toba - Zdob Si Zdub
  3. I Want Love - Elton John
  4. Life on Mars? - David Bowie
  5. Sand in my Shoes - Dido
  6. Forca - Nelly Furtado
  7. She's Electric - Oasis
  8. Dragostea Din Tei - O-Zone
  9. Once in a Very Blue Moon - Nanci Griffith
  10. Bicycle Race - Queen

Two songs in Romanian. How's that for getting all international on your ass?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Just one UFO

and four FOs - finished objects, for you non-knitters.

This is a keyhole scarf I originally knit for Mollie but I think I'll end up keeping it and knitting her a red one. This one looks good with my jeans jacket.

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Not that Mississippi offers a lot of need for scarves, I knit this keyhole scarf for my mother using a gray/black/white eyelash yarn. If you're going to knit a scarf for warmer climes, eyelash yarn is the way to go.

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Keeping with eyelash yarn, I made this red one for my sister. Just a very long, very easy to drape and wrap scarf.

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This is the moss stitch scarf I knit for a buddy of mine. It's nothing without the fringes.

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And here's the garter stitch scarf I've been knitting on for what seems to be years. It's nearly finished - honest! This one is going to have longer, shaggier fringing, I believe.

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I may be in the mood to buy more yarn after all!

Kirsti's going to be so disappointed

No yarn purchase for her to drool over. Sorry!

I thought about going downtown today but I changed my mind. The weather, despite what my Weather Pixie may indicate, isn't so terrific. I hate going shopping when it's dreary outside. So instead I've been knitting this afternoon, doing some laundry and getting caught up on a previously recorded episode of Lost.

And you know I have yarn. What I need to do is use the yarn because I have so much of it it's beginning to become a storage problem. If I can get the three other projects I have in mind to do finished then I can being the new stuff with a clear conscience and a place to stash the stash.

I should get up and take pictures of what projects (read: endless array of scarves) I already have finished and try to post them tonight. Perhaps that'll help soften the blow of Kirsti's Dixie-didn't-buy-any-yarn disappointment.

And for a definitely-not-a-disappointment finish, I got a shipment of clothes today that I'd ordered last week. I hate the bra I ordered (different brand than I normally get and it fit terribly) but I love the cotton v-neck henley t-shirt and a pair of pale lilac colored capri pants. And this time I got them in a size smaller than normal. I was getting sick to death of being swallowed in clothes that were so baggy that I looked deflated. The henley t-shirt is white and I got a light blue and light pink one that are backordered.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds a style and then proceeded to buy the same item in most if not all the different colors in which they're offered.

Wouldn't have dreamed it

I never would have thought that the name Steve Alter would be so popular to Google but evidently it is. At least once a day and about half the time twice a day someone Googles up that very name and finds my blog and thus the legend that is the man with the skills, Steve Alter.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Read in order

...or not, as the mood strikes you. It's all unrelated stuff anyway.

1. I want to get my hallway painted and the rest of the flooring put down so I can get the unfinished, shitty look over with but I'm dreading it. Mostly dreading the invasion of the painter and flooring dude. I'm getting very "don't come visit unless it's for fun" these days.

2. It's just wrong for it to be 85 degrees one day and 55 degrees the next and it be June. I'm used to Mississippi weather. By June we're revving up to "mouth of hell" temperatures and it's gonna be that way until September!

3. Someone come take this can of dry roasted peanuts away from me.

4. No lipstick purchase today. Today I actually felt like reading when I got some spare time. Tomorrow I should be in the make-up and yarn mood.

5. I love picking out new paint but after I've made up my mind and the paint has been purchased I always second guess my pick. It's like with new glasses. I love what I pick and then when the lenses are in and it's time to fork over the money I get all " I like these or not?".

6. Like with picking paint and picking new glasses, I'm second guessing my pick for blog template. Time to search out another.

7. Let the record show that for over two weeks now my kitchen has been spotless. I didn't keep a nasty kitchen ever but I have been known to let dishes sit all day before putting them in the dishwasher and not emptying the clean ones out until it was time to put the dirty ones in. Now I can't stand the thought of a spoon laying in the sink.

8. I can't keep that up, can I?

9. Hmmmm...while I'm out tomorrow I should pick up the new Oasis CD.

10. Nothing to add. Just seemed weird to stop on nine.

A bit of advice

If you want to change your blog's template, 2:40am is probably not a great time begin the task.

Of course when I get the urge to start something I usually end up going ahead with my plans regardless of the hour. I was getting sick of my old template and saw this new one that happens to be in my favorite color so I decided to see if I could get it copied over (the easy part) and all my custom stuff copied over (the tedious part) and not lose the whole damn thing.

Know what? I don't know my ass from my elbow about html and it took some guesswork to get it this good. And while it's not perfect (the edges seem a bit wonky - maybe I can find some help for that...I'll take suggestions!) it's not bad.

And the color is so pretty. That counts for a lot.