Dixie Peach: September 2005

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Cheesy Pop Edition

Diving into my pop oldies folder for the cheesiest tunes in town.
  1. Saturday Night - Bay City Rollers
  2. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia - Vicki Lawrence
  3. Heartbeat - It's a Lovebeat - The Defranco Family
  4. Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion
  5. Indiana Wants Me - R. Dean Taylor
  6. The Morning After - Maureen McGovern
  7. Vehicle - The Ides of March
  8. I'm Telling You Now - Freddie and the Dreamers
  9. Come and Get It - Badfinger
  10. Kiss You All Over - Exile
All that cheese and not a Triscuit in sight.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

...und tschüss

This evening as I was cooking supper I became so angry. And so disappointed.

I'm looking forward to moving. I'm looking forward to finally having a nice, peaceful home. I'm looking forward to being right in the part of Magdeburg were I've wanted to live since having moved to Germany. I'm looking forward to getting B out more often and for us having more choices for things to do. I'm even looking forward to little things like getting new carpet and freshly painted wall and having every room in my apartment absolutely clean and organized all at the same time.

And I'm pissed. I am so pissed off that all of this is happening because of one shitwitted family. I am pissed that we are the ones having to jump through hoops. That we are the ones having to make the compromises and sacrifices. Yeah, it's terrible that this man has some brain damage but why is it that my family has to pay a price for it? My husband is also handicapped. We certainly don't make others suffer because of it.

I'm pissed that I saved up for and waited and planned for years to have my kitchen remodeled and now that it's done and it's perfect, I have to leave it. Sure, I'll take the cabinets and appliances with me but that kitchen was designed for this apartment, not the one to which we're moving. It'll end up being nice once we modify it but it won't be the same because I'm losing about a 1/3 of the kitchen space.

I'm pissed that we're having to leave a home were we were happy. It's the home where I visited my husband when I came to Germany the first time.. It's the place where I have sweet memories of getting ready for our wedding. It's the place where we've had birthdays and Christmas and where we saw in the new century. It's the place where I first made love with my husband and where we've had days filled with contented hours and where we've had silly squabbles.

And what makes me most angry is that this whole pack of bullshit with that horrid family living above us is what it's done to B. I'm furious that he's had to be trapped and held hostage to the whims of that asshole. I can get up and walk out when it's really bad. I can get away any time I can't stand it but B can't. He's held hostage here by a body that won't work and he has to endure it like a prisoner being tortured. I'm pissed that his health has suffered for it. Pissed that he has more muscle spasams and trouble sleeping and pain - things that were under control before they started to terrorize us.

Right now it's a little after 9:30pm and their TV is blaring loud. I can hardly hear myself think and it's hard for B to hear the program he's watching on TV. I want to go upstairs and pound on their door and piss them off in the way they've been pissing me off for months. I want to cause them the same distress and inconvenience and frustration that they've inflicted on us. I want them to finally feel what it's like for someone to invade their home and make their personal refuge a place of misery. I want for them to get a taste of having to live under the whim of some selfish shitass.

And then again I think "Screw it. We're gonna be out of here in six or so weeks. It's not worth getting all worked up about and when it's all done we'll be in a nice home in a better area and we'll be happy. B and I will be happy wherever we are because our home isn't the place where our mail is delivered and where our stuff is but instead it's the place where other one is. We are what makes the home, not fabulous kitchen cabinets. We'll be happy and that miserable fuck is stuck with himself forever.".

That's the sweetest revenge of all. We'll be happy in our home again and that dumb bastard and and his liar wife are stuck with each other - and there's not one person in this building who can stand them.

They can have this place. I'm done with it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


That's my sigh of relief. Folks, we have found a new apartment.

Good things about it: It's right downtown on the main street. We'll be about 200 meters from the dead center of the city. Various useful shops in the bottom of the building. I can get yummy things from the Christmas market and get them home to eat them before they even cool off. The building is very quiet and clean. The apartment has brand new flooring but I will put carpet in the three main rooms and leave the vinyl flooring in the hallway and kitchen. The rent is well within our budget. The streetcar stops right in front of the building. Being downtown gives us many more activities to choose from than what's available to us right now. And I believe the greatest thing about this apartment is that there will be no one above us screaming like a banshee as he takes a crap.

Not so good things: The bathroom is teeny. What bathroom furniture I have won't fit so I may just use what I can or I'll buy new. The kitchen is also much smaller than what I have now. I may be able to use 75% of the cabinets that I have now and maybe have to get new countertops to fit the new cabinet arrangement. That's really all I can think of that's truly not good but none of it is so bad that I would even remotely consider staying where we're at. The kitchen will again be very nice but just not as nice as it is now.

Here. Take a peek.

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We have to wait for some paperwork to be done by the city and once that's approved then we'll sign the rental contract. In the meantime the apartment is reserved for us.

Y'all pray that I can get this apartment packed up and us moved. I'm not so good at this moving stuff.

Here. Look at some knitting.

Cause I haven't made you look at any in a while.

Cashmerino. Silver gray and teal cashmerino. Say it with me. Caaaashmerino. Sounds all snuggly and soft and luxurious, doesn't it? Of course it does. It's a blend of merino wool and cashmere so it all but screams "Come snuggle your face in me and sigh deeply!".

This yummy yarn was sent to me by my sweet friend, Lorrie, who, despite not knowing a damn thing about knitting, sure knows how to pick out yarn. She picked this one because it's called...say it with me like you're crooning to a lover... cashmerino. Even a non-knitter like Lorrie was lured in by its siren song. It's the Loreley of yarn names.

It's lovely stuff. Knits up like a dream. I'm not using a pattern - just 25 stitches on a 5mm needle in moss stitch, 40 row blocks of each color until I either run out of yarn or it's the length I wish it to be. I'll fringe it if I have enough yarn.

And as it's silver gray and teal I'm all set to stay warm should I find myself at a Philadelphia Eagles football game.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Strike one

It was mighty disappointing today to go see the apartment in the high rise building and find out that B can't even get into the apartment. His wheelchair simply won't fit through any of the doors.

I understand that it's not a handicap adapted apartment but a door that's 74 cm wide is ridiculous. You're going to want that converted to inches, aren't you? Roughly 29 inches. I'd have a hell of a time getting my furniture through the door, nevermind the wheelchair.

And you know what? The outer walls on the balconies are too high as well. B would lay in bed and see...concrete.

So screw that idea. I have appointment tomorrow to see another apartment that I'm hoping will have wider doors. Late this afternoon my MIL ran into an acquaintence who lives in a nearby building that we believe was designed the same as the one I'm seeing tomorrow and she said her doors are 90 cm wide. Jeez! You want that one converted too, don't you?

Little less than 35 1/2 inches.

Monday, September 26, 2005

How to floo-floo

Holley may not have invented the floo-floo but she christened it.

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Not my customary puffy white Sunbeam bread but this sandwich needs at least one thing that Dr. Weil would approve of.

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Peanut butter on the lefthand slice of bread. Normally I wouldn't consider floo-flooing with crunchy style but I'm lucky to even find peanut butter over here in the Land of Nutella.

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Mayonnaise on the righthand slice of bread. Don't even think of trashing up your floo-floo with anything but Hellmann's. Kind thanks to Sally for sending me this particular bottle.

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It's the banana that makes it a floo-floo. Else you got you a Nutternaise.

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C'mon. You know you want a bite.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


To get you caught up to speed on the goings on 'round here.

1. I've spent much of the weekend multi-tasking. I do stuff around here while at the same time gritting my teeth to the point of nearly popping my jaw out of place. Herr Loud is making sure he annoys us as much as possible and I choose to clench my jaw instead of going upstairs and beating him until he's a bloody lump of flesh. Perhaps I should beat him until he achieves bloody lump of flesh status but that's definitely not an activity with which I can multi-task - I need full concentration for maximum impact - and I really don't have time to waste on that idiot. I've got to spend my time doing other things like...

2. ...packing. Since the Loud family seems hell bent in making us miserable the chance of us moving in the near future has shot up to a full 100 percent. Nothing short of finding that every other apartment building with an elevator in Magdeburg has been infested with rats, lice, fleas, ticks and roaches will keep me from moving. To that end I've started sorting through books, determining which will go into the keep pile, give away pile, sell on Ebay pile and too ratty to deal with pile, putting summer clothes and linens I won't use in the next few weeks into sacks, sorting through stuff and throwing away anything I won't want to move with me, etc. in an effort to get a leg up on getting packed. Once I sign a contract I want to be moved in no more than six weeks. Four if I can swing it.

3. We called my mother today and while I dreaded doing it, gave her the lowdown on us moving. She suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and trying to explain things like the conflict with the Louds is sometimes not worth the effort. She tends to not get the details, worries about things that aren't the real worrisome things, gets confused on the timeline, etc. so I just never bothered to tell her about the problem. Today though I thought I'd roll the dice and tell her about us searching for a new apartment and why and to my happy surprise she understood it all. Actually stayed lucid for the full hour we spoke on the phone and didn't have one episode where she sort of "checks out" for a few moments. It was like talking to the Mama I know best once again.

4. We've narrowed our first choices for apartments to two buildings with another five or six as backups. They're all in the same general area - maybe a kilometer apart at the most extreme points - and I'm sure at least one of them will be suitable for us. My MIL is going to pick up tomorrow a floor plan for one of the buildings that seems suitable but I've not yet seen a floor plan for, Tuesday I have an appointment to see my primary interest apartment and maybe more if I can and then I'll make appointments to see the rest. After that I hope it shakes down to me just picking the one I like best and not just taking whatever we can get our stuff crammed into.

5. I haven't knit a single stitch in a week. I know I should be knitting so as to relieve my stress but I can't get interested in it this week. If I'm not obsessing over new apartments, packing or trying to ignore the ass loud television pouring through my ceiling then I read.

6. I hope there's a lot of bananas and Nutella in Heaven. Twizzlers too.

7. Last Thursday my doctor was here and being bloodthirsty wench that she is, she took blood for my quarterly H1ac test. Left a big ass bruise on my arm as well because the needle shot back out and she had to shove it back in. I didn't actually see this - I was too busy doing my impression of a needle phobic squirming five-year-old. Anyway I think my numbers aren't going to be so hot. Too much knitting and reading and not enough ass on the bicycle is going to show up as well as my love of bananas, Nutella and Twizzlers. I rationalize this by saying "Well, that bag of Twizzlers is nearly empty. You can get back on the wagon when it's finished.".

8. Sweet Jesus in Heaven. Herr Loud is taking his screaming crap and the neighbors on the fourth floor are banging on the pipes. Someone's gonna get all Lizzie Borden on his ass one of these days. Not me of course. I'm busy getting ready to move.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Berlitz School Edition

All from my foreign language songs folder.
  1. Über sieben Brücken - Karat
  2. Alt wie ein Baum - Puhdys
  3. Boonika Bate Toba - Zdob Si Zdub
  4. Leb den Tag - Laith al-Deen
  5. Un Attimo de Pace - Eros Ramazzotti
  6. Sikidim (Hepsi Senin Mi?) - Tarkan
  7. Dragostea Din Tei - O-Zone
  8. Die letzte Version - Herbert Grönemeyer
  9. Der Kommissar - Falco
  10. Un Monde Parfait - Ilona
Almost as good as a gathering of EU foreign ministers, 'cept I guess Tarkan has to stand out in the hallway.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Making some progress

We sent my MIL, doer of our legwork, downtown to meet with someone from our rental company - from the middle city section, not the northern city section we normally deal with. She went to see what they have available in old town for apartments with elevators. And it can't just be an apartment with an elevator - it has to be one that doesn't have steps to go up or down to reach the elevator.

We had an idea of what they would have to offer because B's been online for hours at a time looking at available apartments. We originally thought we might have trouble finding them but there's more than we imagined. Magdeburg is losing population so it's a renter's market.

There's a twenty floor building about a block from where B grew up that we're very interested in. Back in the days of East Germany this was the most exclusive building to live in - you had to be a high ranking member of the party to live there or be a sports star or the like. Now it's just a regular high rise building but it's been renovated and it's still nice. Not Trump Tower but it's nice. We've also found available apartments in the dead center of the city - right around the city hall and the market square. These are some of the oldest buildings in Magdeburg. The city was bombed in 1945 and over 85% of the downtown area was rubble and these buildings were the first ones from the rebuilding. They have a bit more character than the standard post-war apartment buildings and the insides have lovely high ceilings and heavy doors but they can also be a bitch to heat. While I love how the buildings look, the heating costs may be a drag and it may be a bit on the noisy side when the windows are open. They tend to attract students as well and I'm looking for some quiet. Still, the idea of walking out my apartment and being in the market square is appealing.

So back to my MIL and her trip today. There are a couple apartments available for us in the twenty floor building. This building, while lacking a certain amount of charm, does have some advantages. There's a concierge on duty. There's a lot of older couples and they cherish the quiet. Each floor is isolated from the other floors so no one can wonder around each floor - you have to be buzzed in if you don't have a key to that particular floor. The Elbe river is a couple blocks away. The center of the city is a ten minute walk away. And then there's the little things that I dig. It's a block away from two churches and another is about three blocks way and you can easily hear them ring the Angelus. I love to hear that.

There's another building that's right next to the monastery that we're also interested in. The monastery doesn't ring the Angelus because it's no longer used as a monastery but the cathedral does and the cathedral is two blocks away. The building is also literally across the street from the river and is also a ten minute walk from the city center - sort of the opposite direction from the highrise. Anyway, the outside of the building looks nice (it's fairly new) and the apartment, while being a bit more expensive, is also larger than what we live in now. I haven't seen a floor plan yet so I don't know how we'd fit in there but I'll try to get an appointment for next week.

On Tuesday I have an appointment to see the twenty floor building and we'll see then if we could fit in it (it's about ten square meters smaller than where we live now). My kitchen will definitely have to be changed regardless of where we move since it was designed to fit my current apartment. I may lose a cabinet or have to change the arrangement but we'll figure something out. If I have to buy more finishing pieces to get it all to fit right I will but I feel pretty certain it'll all work out.

All in all if I like something in one of these two buildings we'll sign a contract and we'll likely be moved within four to eight weeks. I'll be spending Christmas in my new home.

This year when the bells of Magdeburg ring in Christmas I hope to be right down in the midst of it all. I can't wait.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

That Girl!

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When I was a little girl - five or six years old - I had a burning desire to look like Marlo Thomas. Her TV show was very popular at that time and I thought she was so beautiful. She had the best clothes and those thick, dark (and now I know to be false) eyelashes and of course there was her hair. Black and shiney and it was always in the perfect flip hairdo.

Oh I coveted what she had. Those mini-skirts. Those groovy go-go boots. Her own apartment in New York (not that I really knew what New York was aside from it being where Lucy and Ricky Ricardo lived). I didn't think her boyfriend was handsome enough for her - I thought she'd be better off with Jethro Bodine from the Beverly Hillbillies, even if he was an idiot - but at least she had a boyfriend so I wanted one of those too. But I'd have passed it all by if I could have her hairstyle.

And I begged my mother. I wanted her to curl my hair just like Marlo's. Why couldn't I cut my hair some and have it in a flip-do intead of silly ringlet curls? Those were for babies! I wanted a That Girl! hairstyle!

I'd also been begging for white go-go boots and penny loafers and wasn't getting my wishes granted in that area either. I was doomed to sport Stride-Rites and Buster Browns and ringlet curls.

By the time I was old enough to chart my hair destiny for myself Marlo Thomas flip-dos were out of style. Farrah's hair reigned supreme and my blow drying and combing skills were honed to perfection to get that just right feathered hair look.

Naturally hairstyles have come and gone over the four plus decades of my life and I've spent many of those adult years with short, rather sensible hair. Since spring I've been growing out my hair. I've found the recipe for my naturally thick, heavy, wavy hair to be sleek and smooth and so I've been seeing how long I can grow it before I go mad and cut it off. So far it's down to nearly brushing my shoulders and I'm quite happy to let it grow longer. When I have my hair done I just have it colored and I have the top layer of my hair trimmed - the rest of my hair is one length.

Today when I was at my hairdresser she did it regular color job and cut and as she was drying it - the getting the wetness out part - she noticed it turning up at the ends. She clipped my hair into sections, grabbed a round brush and said "Here. Let's dry your hair differently today for something a little peppy and fresh. Let's make a flip.".

Here was my chance. My opportunity to have the flip hairdo I'd been pining for for nearly forty years. I nodded a yes and she was off.

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That's the end result. My flip. I won't pretend that I look like Marlo Thomas - even false eyelashes and a mini-skirt wouldn't help me there - but I got my flip-do. I certainly couldn't dry my hair this way on my own - the next hair washing will see my dry my hair into it's normal sleek bob - but it's been fun finally seeing what that prized hairdo looks like on me.

And I got a much better looking guy than her nerdy TV boyfriend. Still no go-go boots though.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The time to hesitate is through

This morning my MIL and the lady living on the 4th floor above the Loud family went to see Boss Woman. Boss Woman read the latest list of infractions and what it boils down to is this: The rental company - the Wobau - wants this crap to stop. They have had Frau Loud down in their office twice, both times she ended up crying and telling things the Wobau doesn't believe to be true and so the Wobau has very limited sympathy for these people. My MIL was told that this time instead of a "knock your shit off" sort of letter they will be getting a final warning letter. In the world of soccer it would translate to them getting a yellow card. If the shit continues and we come back with more complaints they will get a notice of eviction. A yellow/red, if you will. There's just one tiny catch.

Boss Woman isn't too sure how evicting a handicapped person works. Evidently she's not had the experience of doing it before and she feels that it wouldn't work like a normal eviction because handicapped people may have "special rights".

Let me stop here and say something. This special rights stuff for the handicapped is bullshit. Special rights my ass. Being handicapped doesn't give you special rights. If you're handicapped you have the right to equal access. You have the right to equal treatment. You don't, however, have the right to be treated in some kid gloves sort of manner because you're handicapped. Being handicapped means you have to be handled in a way so that your treatment isn't less than an able bodied person's is, not that you have to be treated in an extra special, super nice, cherry on top sort of way. My husband is handicapped. His inability to be able to control certain motor functions doesn't mean he gets to act like an asshat and get away with it.

This could mean that before an eviction could take place a court would have to rule it legal to do so. Well, okay. I understand if the Wobau has to follow the law. They didn't make the law, they just have to follow it. My thought at this moment is that I'm starting to care less and less each day because we've made a decision that will be effected by an eviction in a somewhat minor way.

We're moving. We have made up our minds that we're sick of this place. We're sick of this neighborhood, we're sick of the bad vibes around here and we're sick up to our eye teeth living with the sorriest excuses for human beings that ever exsisted.

Right now we're in the midst of looking for a new apartments - one for us and one for my MIL because she needs to live near us and there's no way she'd stay in this building if we didn't live here. We've decided that we want to live in the Altstadt - the old town of Magdeburg - right in the center of the city. It's the area where B grew up and my MIL would still be living there if they hadn't had to move to this end of the city to get an apartment that was handicap accessable. Since the German reunification things have been renovated and there are more buildings with elevators. We've always talked of moving to Altstadt but it was only talk since we were pretty happy where we were - until now.

So as it is we're looking for something that will be suitable for us. We don't know how long this will take - could be a week, could be a year - but when we find something, we're taking it. Now should it end up that the Louds are evicted - a process that could also take a long time - then we'd still move but perhaps take longer to do it. Either way, unless there is a drastic changing of minds, we're moving.

I'm trying not to get too hepped up about this too fast but I'm pretty excited about moving to Altstadt. Living right in the center of the city. Right where all the best shopping is, the best events are held, where the city festivals are, and most importantly, where the Christmas market is held. Walking just a few blocks to be in the center of the city's action or maybe even just walking out my building's door. Being able to get B out more even in colder weather because instead of having to spend twenty minutes getting downtown he could be out the door and in the mall within five minutes.

Did I mention that I will be living right beside the fabulous, wonderful, I-wait-all-year-for-it Christmas market?

Okay folks. Say your prayers. Do your voodoo. Cross your fingers and wish upon a star. Let us please find an apartment that is within our budget, has an elevator, has doors big enough for an electric wheelchair to pass through and that has a kitchen area big enough to hold my newly purchased, it's-still-got-that-new-shine-on-it kitchen. I'll sacrifice the big kitchen table but I gotta have my cabinets and appliances. have my peace again. And the Christmas market.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The next hurdle

Why is it that when I need the rental manager of my building she's either sick or on vacation? The rental company sure gets their money out of her.

I'm sick of dicking around with this so we called her boss - her "team leader". Sweet Jesus. I hate that corporate world we're-all-working-together speak. Just say boss, okay? Boss Woman said that she's had the Louds in a couple times before, sans Herr Loud because he can't be bothered with such things, and each time it degenerated into Frau Loud crying and saying "We'll be better.". Her promises carry about as much credibility with me as Osama bin Laden would have addressing the graduating class of Bob Jones University and without fail the whole shitting match starts again whenver Herr Loud decides he will do what he wants to do no matter what. Boss Woman also said that she suspects that Frau Loud hasn't been always truthful with her side of the story when she's been summoned into the rental office. I have to admire Boss Woman's ability to crank out an understatement.

I got out my rental contract today and there's a specific paragraph about excessive noise. It states that all TVs, stereos, radios, etc. are to be kept at a room volume only and care is to be taken that it does not disturb your neighbors and this rule is in effect 24/7. It also states that when a tenent is very ill (as has been with the man living above the Louds - he's been quite sick and the very hard-of-hearing man has had no trouble hearing the blaring TV even when he's not wearing his hearing aids), reasonable care is to be taken not to disturb that person. There are no specific rules about screaming while taking a shit in the middle of the night but I'm going to risk a guess that it's not considered a reasonable and customary living noise. The occasional baby crying, yes. Dog barking for a minute or two, yes. Screaming so loud for ten minutes straight at 4:30am while taking a crap that it can be heard on the street and by tenents living seven floors up from you, no.

Tomorrow we troop back downtown to meet with Boss Woman. We'll give her the third set of peace infractions and we're making the demand that something be done once and for all. Boss Woman did say on the phone that something would be done because this can't keep going on and while I agree with her, she is holding about as much credibility with me as Frau Loud is.

I am so fed up with this that my idea of taking care of things will amount to two things - either the Louds are evicted or I will move and the rental company will not charge me any money for stripping my apartment down to the original state nor will they charge me rent for three months if they don't have a tenent lined up to take this apartment. I don't know if I'll get my way, but that's what I want. I do know this much - if the Louds stay, I'm still at this point planning on moving. They have poisoned the atmosphere in this building and I can't stand the thought of them living over me for the next God-only-know-how-many years. B's already searching for apartments and if we move, my MIL will move out too. So as far as the rental company goes they have the choice of losing one bad tenent or losing two longtime, reliable tenents.

I don't have a good feeling about any of this. I have a suspicion that tomorrow's meeting will be about as fruitful as a UN Security Council resolution.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Enough already

I have spent the entire day with the right side of my head aching like someone has driven a spike into it.

It should have been a good day today. It's Sunday and we didn't have a lot planned. Just some relaxing and peace and quiet and evidently it was too much to ask for such a day. To much because the Loud family lives above me.

Honest to Pete, I don't want to get into a long, drawn out explaination of the conflict that went on today. Highlights would include being awakened at 7:30am to the sound of Herr Loud taking a shit and screaming through it, hearing his TV on so loud for nearly three hours, my MIL and I going upstairs to confront them about it, Frau Loud lying and saying it was another neighbor who was making all the noise with the TV (she blamed it on the people who live above them - the ones who were pounding on their floor in an attempt to make the Louds shut the fuck up - and then tried to blame it on Wolfgang (she backed off that story when I told her exactly what shows they were watching because I could hear the TV so clearly), me having to go back upstairs to ask them in a quiet, civil but firm way to please turn down the TV, Herr Loud screaming and cursing at me (strange how he's supposed to be so hard of hearing because of his brain damage but he had no trouble at all hearing me speak quietly), and in general having yet another day ruined by these shit excuses for human life.

I've figured out what makes me so angry at these people. What makes me absolutely hate them. It's their utter lack of dignity and self respect. They have no shame. They are so completely anti-social it's pathetic. Even bums on the street have a sense of community with other bums. These people don't even have the simple dignity to conduct their lives in a way that others can stand to be around them.

Phone calls to the rental company will be made tomorrow. My third three-page-long laundry list of psychological terror these people have inflicted on my family and other neighbors will be printed and taken to the woman who handles our building. I don't want to hear any bullshit about us having a sit-down with the Louds. I'm not going to subject myself to the lies, the verbal abuse and the lack of any sort of personal responsibility that meeting with them brings. All I'm going to do is move forward and finally get some results.

I've tried to be tolerant. I don't complain about every annoying noise they make - trust me, they make much more noise than what I specifically complain about. I've been friendly to them when I happen to pass them on the street on in the stairways but no more. I cannot have another day like today occuring over and over and over.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Shuffle - American Standards Edition

  1. Mambo Italiano - Dean Martin
  2. Moonlight Serenade - Glenn Miller
  3. I've Got a Crush on You - Linda Ronstadt
  4. Slow Boat to China - Bette Midler
  5. Ain't That a Kick in the Head - Dean Martin
  6. Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
  7. Come On-A My House - Rosemary Clooney
  8. I'm in the Mood for Love - Rod Stewart
  9. Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
  10. Rags to Riches - Tony Bennett

No matter who performs it, this stuff is eternal.

Look who's home!

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My Lottie has made it back home after summering in Illinois with my darling friend Lisa. She arrived this morning after a rather quick trip across the ocean. I'm guessing that on her previous trip over the Atlantic she'd been able to make friends and connections, especially with those pesky customs agents, and so her return trip was able to go much more smoothly.

Her baby sock bunny, Bernadette, accompanied her back home. They're very close and cherish their ability to confide in one another.

Naturally Lottie was full of stories about her time in the US, especially stories about Lisa's sons. She thinks they're fine fellows and misses them already.

So thank you, Lisa, for showing Lottie a wonderful summer. She adores you and your family and I do as well!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Global funkatude

I don't know whether it's the change in the weather around here or just the fact that with the exception of being gagged by the smell of smoke in the hallways for nearly a week now, there's not a lot going on around here. I don't know if I should be so dramatic as to say that I'm in a funk but what else can you call it? Funk, rut, dullsville, malaise - call it what you will, it's here and I'm not the only one with it. Kara's got it. Poppy's got it. Beege has got it and she's honoring the funk which sounds like a pretty good idea if you as me. Celebrate the funk. Acknowledge its presence. Give in to the wants of the funk. Maybe if you stuff it full of reading fun fiction, knitting, eating comfort foods and shopping for little do-dads you don't need but what are fun to have it'll move along.

Revisiting the basement fire thing - the storage areas for my apartment and my MIL's have had a going over by us. My MIL's had very little that was worth saving and mine had more but what we saved has to be cleaned and aired out to get rid of the stench of smoke. And I did have some fire damage - more was ruined to fire and smoke than to water damage. We're making a listing this weekend but off the top of our heads the damage will be in the 1200€ range. Today the junk picker-upper people came to haul off all that was set out by the tenants and they tore down the wooden storage area structures that suffered the worst damage. And then the police came to seal the basement up again. No one seemed to know why this was done but it sounds to me as though the police are suspicious of something. However everyone and his dog has been tromping all ove the place and stuff has been hauled away so who knows what the police have in mind for finding now.

And I can't wait for them to make permanent repairs to the water system. It seems what they did on Monday was just a temporary fix. They'll have to tear out a lot of plumbing in the basement and replace it and I understand that'll mean we'll be without water possibly for a few days. Great. I don't have a bathtub in which I can hold a bunch of water to use for toilet flushing.

Of course I wouldn't actually do this but how decadent would it feel to use Evian to flush?

Funk is rearing its head. It wants an ice cream sandwich. I'm obeying the funk.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mindless meme

Not necessarily the meme. I think it's more me that's mindless today. Not enough sleep and throwing out smokey, charred crap from the basement fire was enough to keep any original thoughts at bay.

And just in case you needed to know this, if you ever get soot on yourself, use cold water to wash - never hot. Got that advice from a neighbor. He's a chimney sweep so I guess he knows his soot removal.

Anyway, on with the meme. Swiped this from Kara.

Go check her out and give her some love.

7 things I plan to do before I die:
  1. Knit this sweater.
  2. Visit B's cousins in Australia.
  3. Have tea at the Savoy.
  4. Finally go from being conversational in German to being truly fluent.
  5. Travel to Scotland.
  6. Grow out my hair well past my shoulders.
  7. Have my entire apartment spotlessly clean all at once and have it stay that way for a week. We'll work on stretching it out longer.
7 things I can do:
  1. Knit.
  2. Play the drums.
  3. Speak German.
  4. Parallel park in my hallway a very large electric wheelchair without dinging the walls.
  5. Make a chocolate soufflee.
  6. Recite the dialogue from Gone with the Wind along with the actors.
  7. Brew a perfect cup of tea.
7 things I cannot do:
  1. Ride a motorcycle. Or is it drive a motorcycle? Okay - operate a motorcycle.
  2. Juggle.
  3. Ice skate.
  4. Sew anything more complicated than attaching a button.
  5. Raise only one eyebrow. And I so want to be able to do this!
  6. Eat mustard.
  7. Ever cheer for Manchester United.
7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
  1. Wit.
  2. Good smile.
  3. Big shoulders.
  4. Self confidence without arrogance.
  5. Intelligence.
  6. Ability to have engaging conversations.
  7. Smells good.
7 things that I say most often:
  1. Whatcha need?
  2. I reckon so.
  3. Bottom line is...
  4. I'm just saying...
  5. Ach so!
  6. Ach du scheiße!
  7. Love you.
7 celebrities i find attractive:
  1. Vince Vaughn
  2. Owen Wilson
  3. Kevin Spacey
  4. Luke Wilson
  5. Johnny Depp
  6. Jude Law
  7. George Clooney
7 people I want to do this:

I won't tag anyone - just do it if you want. I won't even tag Brandi.

'Cept she really should do it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tagged by a preacher

Preacher Beege to be exact. What? You haven't read her blog yet? Get over there now and check it out. I'll wait. Just don't forget to come back okay?

She's assigned me to tell you my top five childhood memories. I'll tell you five but can't guarantee they're my top. Maybe they're just the ones I remember most vividly.

1. When I was about five years old my family and I went camping in West Virginia at a place (and I don't know if it was the name of a town or the name of a mountain or both) called Spruce Knob. We had one of those pop-up trailers that my parents and my sister and I slept in and my brothers slept in a tent. Not all of the particulars are fresh in my mind but there are a few things about that trip that I remember.
  • We picked blackberries nearly every day. There were bushes all over and my mother would make a blackberry cobbler every afternoon.
  • One afternoon while picking blackberries I kept getting stung by little sweat bees.
  • I was the only one besides my dad who didn't get poison ivy.
  • I walked with my brothers down to a lake or maybe it was a river. Anyway it was two miles away from our campsite and my mother couldn't believe my little five year old legs could carry me that far.
  • My mother forgot to bring spaghetti with us so we had to ride to a general store to find some. The only spaghetti they had was this very thick spaghetti that we weren't used to and forevermore thick spaghetti has been called "Spruce Knob Spaghetti" by our whole family.
2. When she was sixteen and I was nine years old my sister was a lifeguard at the swim club to which our family belonged. Late in the summer there was a rainy afternoon that the pool was open but no swimmers were there. I went down to the pool and she was the only lifeguard on duty. We spent the afternoon together just hanging out in the pool and we talked and talked and talked. I adored my sister - still do - and having her undivided attention for a few hours was wonderful to me.

3. My cousins and my siblings and I liked to play "Rock Band" on rainy afternoons. We'd hang out in my cousins' playroom and play on the record player over and over The Loving Spoonful's Summer in the City and we'd act like we were the band. The ironing board was the organ, the upright vacuum cleaner was our microphone, big mop buckets were the drums and assorted tennis rackets and flyswatters were our guitars and we'd take turns trading off "instruments". And of course everyone wanted to be lead singer so we'd practically have to come to blows over who was next to sing. When we talk about it now we always call it The Flyswatter Band.

4. When I was in the 3rd grade a girl named Casie and I got into a knock down, drag out fight over jump rope at recess. There were four of us - me, Casie, a girl named Suzanne and another girl I can't really remember. I think her name was Susan and she wasn't someone I was really friends with. Casie and Suzanne were on one team and Mystery Girl and I were the other and we were playing Casie's favorite jump rope game, Queen Bee. She and Suzanne would chase each other through the rope while Mystery Girl and I turned the rope and when one of them tripped up we'd change places. Casie didn't like rope turning so she's turn the rope wrong - lifting it as we'd run through, etc. - so we'd mess up and she could get her jump turn sooner. I finally told her she was cheating and she and I got into a nasty argument over it. I can't remember who started it but pretty soon she was kicking the hell out of my shins with those big ass lace up hard leather Stride Rite shoes and I was yanking the shit out of her blonde hair. It freaked Suzanne out and she ran and told one of our teachers that we were in a fight. I remember thinking "I'm doomed for this." when the fight was broken up because Casie's mother was a teacher at the same school and friends with our teacher. Nothing really came of it though. I don't remember being punished for it at all and I think all we had to do was apologize to each other even though Casie was pulling clumps of hair out of her head all day and my shins were black and blue for weeks afterwards.

Later on in high school the topic of this fight would come up and Suzanne would say "You were crazy! You both scared me to death! I thought you were going to kill each other!".

It even made an amusing story at Casie's rehersal dinner when she got married. I was one of her bridesmaids and we laughed like mad telling the rest of the wedding party about being two crazy fighting nine year old girls.

5. When I was very young - too young to go to school - I would get into my sister's records and play them over and over while she was at school. I'd play her Beatles albums (and I give her full credit for starting me on my love of the Beatles) and her 45s, always being very careful not to drop the needle on them or scratch them. I can close my eyes and remember sitting in front of the record player and me playing her 45s of Nancy Sinatra singing "These Boots are Made for Walking" (with the flip side of "The City Never Sleeps at Night") until I knew every word.

I won't do a specific tagging but wish at least some of y'all would do this anyway because I love to read about the stuff people remember from childhood. Except I will tag Brandi . I always tag Brandi.

Monday, September 12, 2005

In which I whine about my weekend...

...all the while remembering that compared to a lot of other things it wasn't that bad.

"Do you smell smoke? I smell smoke."

"No. I don't smell anything."

"I do. It's definitely smoke. Not cigarette smoke either."

"No. No. Don't smell it. Doch! Ja! That's smoke!"

It was shortly after 3am. We'd just finished watching the concert for the Katrina relief effort had just started watching Larry King Live when I smelled smoke. After B confirmed what I knew I tossed my knitting aside, went into the kitchen, turned on the light and saw a fairly thick haze of smoke. Begin pants wetting. I rushed around the kitchen thinking "Great. I just bought this kitchen and it's on fire! What's burning? Something is burning!". I snatched out the plugs for the microwave, the coffee maker and the radio - the only things that stay plugged in all the time - but didn't notice anything wrong with them. The smoke didn't seem to be coming from the refrigerator and I didn't unplug it because I'd need a step ladder to reach it and the oven was cool. No burners left on. Still the smoke seemed to hang in the center of the room.

"Honey, there's lots of smoke in the kitchen. I don't know what's burning but it's a lot of smoke. Should you call the fire department? I think we should call the fire department."

"What are they going to do?"

"Find out what in the hell is smoking, for starters! This isn't normal! I'm not going to bed with a potential fire somewhere in the kitchen!"

And at that moment fire trucks rolled up to the front of the building. I opened wide the kitchen window and saw four of them parked in front of the building, firemen putting on breathing masks and getting out hoses.

"It's something in the building. There's a fire in the building. I'm going to see what's in the hallway."

Opening the front door wasn't such a bright move. Lots of black smoke rolled in and I shut it again. Whatever it was it didn't seem like it was coming from a specific apartment - more like from the basement or along the stairwell or perhaps from the elevator. Another nearby apartment building had a fire in their elevator about a week ago and it was so bad they're going to be without a elevator for about three months while it's being rebuilt. Sucks now to live on the 10th floor in that building!

I could see from my bathroom window dark smoke rolling out of the open windows of the stairwell and that's when it dawned on me to shut the windows on that side of the apartment - I was letting in more smoke than I was letting out. Never let it be said that I'm not quick on the uptake!

I saw my neighbors that live below me coming out with their zillion kids but no one had told us to leave. They knew I was up there and still okay so I figured as long as I kept the smoke out we would be alright.

An hour later the hoses were rolled up, firemen back in their trucks and they were gone. We'd find out the next day what had happened.

As it turns out there was a fire in the storage area of the basement all the way in the back of the basement. Our building has concrete slabs for floors, ceilings and walls but the flames had come up through the openings where the conduits holding the cable TV cable are located and had burned some of the floor of the people below us - that's why they had to get out for a while. And the basement storage area is about half burned up. My MIL lost everything in her storage area from the fire since it's located towards the back but mine didn't burn. Instead I have everything that was stored in there ruined by water damage from the fire department. The insurance will cover my losses and I'm thankful that for one my laziness has paid off. Against reproachful looks from my MIL I have faithfully neglected to store my Christmas decorations in the basement and have them in our spare room so the Christmas ornaments I've spent the last twenty-five years collected are safe. My MIL, however, lost all of hers and that's not so bad. I love buying Christmas decorations and she hates it so I'll get to pick out all new stuff for her and have the time of my life doing it.

It still stinks like the mouth of hell in the hallways but the smoke didn't linger in my apartment. However my MIL's next door neighbors claims that smoke has ruined her sofa. Interesting as she has no windows that open to that side of the building where the smoke was blowing in and she lives on the 8th floor. I live on the 2nd floor, did have smoke rolling in and my sofa smells fine.

Get some Fabreze, lady, and stop dreaming of an insurance check.

Aside from the stench the only other inconvenience was that we were without hot water until around noon today. Inconvenient, to be sure, but better than losing the electricity or the cable TV or my internet access. I can heat up water on the stove - I can't check my email on the stove.

As I understand things the police haven't made a final conclusion yet but believe the fire was arson. And here's the head scratching part. The basement door was locked. The firemen had to get a key from my neighbor to get through the door to put out the fire. Either one of my neighbors is an arsonist or they tore out a vent window and threw something in to start the fire.

On to more "This just ain't my weekend!" events...

Saturday night found me cursing my computer because of a browser hijacker. Sweet Jesus, those things piss me off no end. Why is it illegal for someone to create a virus or worm but someone can install shit on my computer and hijack my browser and it's just e-commerce? I want the ass licks that do that shit to suffer for it. As my operating system is in German and this isn't something you want to just guess about I made B fix it for me. Only took him seven hours to get things going again. At least we think they're going again.

And while he worked on my computer I took that time to knit. Mollie's cracking the whip at me to get the scarf I'm making her finished and eventually I noticed the ribs aren't where they should be anymore. I realize that I'd skipped a row and got things off kilter and it'll take unknitting three or four rows to get it back on track again. I will need the services of my knitting superhero to get me in business again.

So let's recap. Fire, smoke, stink, no hot water, hijacked browser, off kilter knitting.

I gotta start being more specific when I wish for a little excitement in my life.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Shuffle - Movie Music Edition

If it's been in a movie, it's on my shuffle. Wait. That should read the other way around.
  1. This Year's Love - David Gray
  2. Moonlight Mile - Rolling Stones
  3. Someone Like You - Van Morrison
  4. Jungle Boogie - Kool and the Gang
  5. Two of Us - Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
  6. Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
  7. Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Let's Get It On - Jack Black
  9. Stranglehold - Ted Nugent
  10. I Gotcha - Joe Tex

Could be courting trouble with Ted Nugent and Michael Penn in the same shuffle.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cool stuff, warm stuff

We're still having that unseasonable warm weather. Hot. Very hot if you consider we're in central Germany. One would think it's July here instead of early September.

If there's anything I've learned being Southern is that when it's very hot you limit your activities to cooler hours. Keeping that in mind I did the bulk of my daily stuff this morning and that left me with this afternoon to take a nap before starting back with things like cooking once the sun had gone down a little.

The air was still today - too still to get enough air flowing through my open windows so I turned on a fan in hopes of getting a bit of a breeze going. And that's all it took. I layed down on top of the bed with the whir of the fan in my ears and I was instantly transported back to my grandmother's home where us kids were piled up on the feather beds and to nap while the fans cooled our sweat filmed skin. I haven't had such a lucious nap in ages. The only thing missing was waking up to a glass of cornbread and milk.

And for after nap fun...

It's done. My Aibhlinn cowl is finished. I finished the last bobble, bound off, wove in and tried it on. And it's damn hot to try on a cowl in 85 degree humid weather. I was clawing that thing off my head like it was a beast determined to suck out my brain. I tried it again later on and I like it when it's in the up-over-your-head position, less so when it's just slung around my neck. Maybe it's because I have virtually no neck (insert "she's got a good head on her shoulders 'cause she ain't got no neck" joke here) and the yarn is worsted weight and I think the yarn called for in the pattern is sport weight so the whole thing is rather chunky around my (lack of) neck. Anyway, on snowy days it'll be great. And I think I want to get some 75% cotton, 25% acrylic stuff as the pattern calls for and knit another one. Just not right now because I definitely need a change of pace. I think I want to go back and try knitting the Zeeby's bag one more time. Or this! This looks doable for me. And I really like this Cinxia sweather by Mary Burr (the designer of Aibhlinn) but I don't think it'll fit around my boobs. In fact I'm sure it's a few inches too small. Rats. 'Cause that's a pretty good style for women with big boobage.

Who says stacked girls get all the advantages?

The place for a pause

I've made a decision to not write very much anymore about Katrina and the aftermath. First, others are doing a better job writing about it and for that discussion they're the folks to see. Second, while I don't normally shy away from politics, news and current events, that's really not what this blog is about. And third, my darling friend Barefoot is living Katrina and the aftermath. I'd like to be a little refuge for her for when she needs to get away from it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

He just doesn't know what's good.

I walked in from the kitchen and thought I'd check to see if B needed something to drink or a snack or something.

"Whatcha need, Fluffernutter?" (Honest to Pete, I never call the guy by his name.)

"Fluffy what?"

"Fluffernutter. You're my Fluffernutter."

"Fluffy what?"




"Me Fluffernutter? What is Fluffernutter?" The man speaks fluent English but at times like these he reverts into some sort of German version of Tarzan.

"Fluffernutter. It's a type of sandwich.".

"I'm a sandwich."

"Not just a sandwich. A Fluffernutter. A peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich. Fluffer - marshmallow. Nutter - Peanut butter. Fluffernutter."

"So I'm a disgusting sandwich."


Rolling boredom

Among drivers of Jeep Wranglers and old CJs there's a custom where the drivers will wave at one another when passing each other on the road. I found this custom to be fun and it was one of the better parts of owning a Wrangler.

This custom seems to have carried over to wheelchair drivers but with a twist. It seems that every time B and I are outdoors, every other person in a wheelchair feels the need not to just wave but to stop and have a conversation.

It's driving us crazy. Him more than me because he's the one stuck having the actual conversation. I just try to not look bored out of my mind.

The irritation has nothing to do with the other person being in a wheelchair. That's merely the magnet that draws them to us. The irritation is that we're not friends with these people. We don't really know them. They waste our time talking about stuff we're not interested in and telling us about their miseries. Hey, I'm sorry their life sucks sometimes. My life sucks too at times but I don't track down every fat butted woman and tell her about it because we both happen to have fat butts.

There's a woman who lives in our general area. She gets around with a wheelchair because of a leg deformity. A week after I moved to Germany in 1997 B and I met her at a Christmas party given by the handicap transport service we happen to both use. Even then the conversation consisted of us giving the barest of details about each other and afterwards her exsistance was dismissed from our minds. A couple years later we happened to run into her downtown and she remembered us and we did a standard "Hi. How are you? We are fine." thing coupled with some crap about the weather, what new stuff is being build around is, and general blah, blah, blah. Since that time she moved closer to us and we see her virtually every time we're outdoors and the same conversation goes on every single time. We don't even know this woman's name and yet we have to spend a good fifteen minutes of our precious time outdoors (B can sit upright in his chair for a limited amount of time) talking about the dullest stuff of which man can conceive. And she's weird! She's weird and boring.

Another man who lives a few blocks from us is wheelchair bound because his legs were amputated in a work accident many years ago. Again, if we see him - and he's always outside so we're bound to see him - we have to be subjected to him bitching about his crappy life and how his ex-wife isn't nice to him and how his son is a drunk. Hey, I'm sorry fella but honest to God does anything else happen in your life? No? Then why do you have to bore us to death with saying the same thing every time?

B says "I hate talking to these people! It's bad enough that I'm paralyzed - do I have to be bored to death talking to people I don't give a crap about just because we both happen to have wheelchairs? And they're dorks! People think I'm a dork because I'm talking to these dorks!".

Today B and I spent a fabulous afternoon downtown. The weather has been unseasonably warm and we know there won't be many more days where B will be able to get outside. Once it turns cool he'll have to stay indoors because he's unable to control his body temperature very well and he becomes cold very easily. Every second outside is precious to us because soon it'll be month after month of him being stuck in the same room until warm weather comes again. We got off the streetcar and thought we'd sit in the market square for a while before going the couple blocks back to our apartment because the air was so lovely and we were enjoying it so much. We spotted a perfect spot for us to sit where the late afternoon sun wouldn't be blasting us in the eyes and just as I was about to sit B said "Don't look over there but keep walking. Keep walking! Act like you're going to the drugstore. Just keep going.".

Turns out one of our wheelchair stalkers was down the way a bit and had spotted us and was headed our way. We ended up having to sit way off from where we originally wanted to sit just to escape another session of boring talk. This can't be normal. It can't be normal to feel the need to run from others in wheelchairs to save one's sanity.

B said after we got back home "I love days like today but one more conversation with one of the dorks and I'm going to start to look forward to being indoors where they can't find me.".

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The planets are still in their proper orbits, right?

Because for what may be the first time in my life I'm in agreement with Trent Lott.

And while I'm in the mood to link...

Oh ho, that's rich coming from you, Mrs. Yankee Carpetbagger. You didn't move down there because of new economic opportinities?

I have come to the conclusion

...that seeing a young woman wearing a white haltertop mini-dress over a black spaghetti strap top and dirty-look denim jeans is the fashion equivilent to drinking a banana, ketchup and salami milkshake.

Monday, September 05, 2005


I have nothing to say.

Nothing to say and yet my mind seems so filled with thoughts and memories and stray crap that I have a perpetual dull ache along my forehead. What's in there - in my mind - seems loose and disjointed and even unimportant and I wish I could shake it all out and either makes some sense of it or relegate it to the mental waste basket and have trash pick up day be tomorrow.

My day, my irritations, my little joys, my routine seems pointless next to what some of my fellow Americans - my fellow Southerners - are enduring. How can I talk how annoying it is that my coffee canister that's supposed to hold a half kilo of coffee can barely squeeze it all in there without it spilling all over when there are so many who don't have a home let alone a kitchen any longer? How can I talk about how very glad I am that I'm nearly finished knitting my Aibhlinn cowl when the people of the gulf coast don't even have a clean pair of underwear to put on? How can I be glad I already cooked a nice supper this afternoon and all I have to do is heat it up later on when people have the fresh memory of going days without a bite to eat?

And this all sounds so melodramatic. Even when I wonder how I can think of the ordinary in my life when thousands upon thousands have no ordinary any longer it's still all about how it affects me and not them. Even my italicized me is evidence of that.

Why do I not get these thoughts and feel this way when I see people in Niger or Sudan or North Korea in dire straits? Does their plight seem so ordinary to me now that it takes something truly, truly shocking to wake my dead ass up? I have to see familiar land look like something from a disaster film before I realize that for a great many people in the world their lives are a world I can't fathom?

I have the feeling - this small feeling that pokes at my brain - that what we're seeing now is only the start of something. That something big has been kicked off by these events. Not necessarily something bad but maybe something epic. Or maybe something profound. Maybe our attention has for so long been focused on one thing that we've neglected to see something very important looming on the horizon. I have this idea that things that have been around but not freely talked about and not with much needed emphasis are fixing to burst upon us. Things like race relations, disparity between the classes, lack of morals (and I'm not talking about the Christian Right, Neo-Con sort of morals but the morals that say taking care of one another is something we have been charged with as humans), selfishness, abuse of resources - these things we've been whitewashing over for years and saying they're not all that bad - these things are going to burst upon our consciousness in a way that won't be ignored. The breech of the levee system in New Orleans is symbolic of these things now bursting on us at a nation and as a civilized world and like that levee system, you can't just ignore it.

It's only been a few days and I'm missing that ability to think and speak of the mundane and ordinary. To be able to tongue-in-cheek whine when my life is a little too dull. I'm sure it will return. Next month or next week or maybe even tomorrow - it'll be back. It'll feel okay and it will actually be okay to have cheer in my heart again instead of ache and to think of and be happy with the frivilous and have it not feel so frivious. And yet I don't want it to distract me too much because I want to keep watch on what's coming. Something's got to be coming.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I miss home so much. I want to be in Mississippi. I want to be among what's familiar even if what's familiar really isn't right now.

She's hurting and so am I. I want to be there so we can comfort and take care of one another.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sweeping out

Just getting out some of the clutter taking up space in my mind.

1. I've been indulging myself on comfort food a little too much lately but damn if this queso dip and white corn tortilla chips aren't entirely too fabulous. Need to knock it off though.

2. The German national soccer team has sorely disappointed me tonight. Hey! It's less than a year until the World Cup. Y'all want to pull your heads out of your asses?

3. It's a bit annoying to dip the little broken off pieces of tortilla chips into the jar of queso and get the dip all over your fingernails. There should be a neater system. Flatter jars of dip or bags of completely unbroken chips perhaps.

4. Thank God for friends who you can completely trust. Not just trust them to tell you that your ass really does look fat in those jeans but who you can trust to say you're not being your best or that you need to take a closer look at a situation because there's a lesson in there you can get. Everyone needs someone who will love you enough to be honest.

5. While I'm not obsessed with watching the news, I'm certainly watching it more than normal which tends to be a rather excessive amount anyway. I'd commented on Poppy's blog that it's how I tend to ease myself through a troubling tragic event like this week's hurricane or the school hostage event in Beslan, Russia last September. Some people need to turn it off, I need to turn it on. I have to know as much as possible about a crisis because not knowing is very troubling to me. I always was the sort of kid who had to be right in the thick of something even if it was over my head and I'm probably even more so now.

6. It kills me how I'll fuss at Bonnie for something and she'll plop down in front of me and raise her paw to me as if to say "Peace, baby...peace...".

7. I'm loving knitting more than before these days. I'm getting more done, it looks better and I'm enjoying more thoroughly.

8. Queso dip does leave a pretty nasty film on your teeth. On diamond rings too.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Friday Shuffle - General Population Edition

I'm too lazy to dig out one of my specialized folders so this shuffle just comes from Queen Mother of Folders.
  1. If I Could Talk I'd Tell You - The Lemonheads
  2. Lyla - Oasis
  3. The Willow Garden - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  4. All The Way Home - Bruce Springsteen
  5. This Old Heart of Mine - Isley Brothers
  6. River Deep, Mountain High - Tina Turner (I don't give a shit if Ike wants credit on that or not.)
  7. Waiting For My Lucky Day - Chris Isaak
  8. Bungle in the Jungle - Jethro Tull
  9. Suzette - Foster and Lloyd
  10. Somebody to Love - Queen

Evan Dando and Chris Isaak. Yum.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hey you knitters!

Take your yarn stash savings and donate it and then go here and tell 'em about it.

That money you were saving for a mad shopping trip to your LYS? Give it to the Red Cross. They need it. The people of the gulf coast need it. You will save lives.

Please be as generous as you can be. Thank you!

Pardon my drama

I'll try not to goo out too much on the floor. No one likes to clean up after someone's overflow of drama.

Still it's seems a little tacky to talk about my little day filled with my little day doings when my mind is with my fellow Mississippians and those in Louisiana and Alabama and Florida who are trying to merely survive from one hour to the next.

I'll sum up my day briefly. Overslept a half hour. Tried not to melt in the heat and humidity. Screwed up my Aibhlinn cowl (later fixed by my MIL). Got Wavy put on the needles for Mollie and got 30 rows of the first round knitted. Hung out of my balcony and kitchen window both to scream at some Nazis.

You're going to want me to explain that last one, right?

New parliamentary elections are being held in Germany in less than three weeks and the campaign crap has started. There is a particular party here on the ballot here and I'll not mince words about them. They're Nazis. I'm not going to mention the party by name because I don't want this blog coming up if someone Googles them. They don't go by the name Nazis but you can call them anything but late to dinner and they'd still be Nazis and everyone knows it. I've been known to attend their marches to scream at them. Sure, they can exercise their free speech with their march and I'll exercise my free speech by calling them the Nazi fucks that they are.

Anyway a small pick-up truck with a PA system blaring Wagner's Walkyria (an Adolph favorite) was making it's way slowly down the street with pauses made to shout their campaign message (read: bullshit) while their bald headed party members rode in the bed of the truck.

First, they pissed my ass off disturbing my peace with that music blaring. Second, their campaign message is most offensive to me (they seem to not approve of us foreign types). Third, they're fucking Nazis!!!

So I did what any pissed off foreign type would do. I stood on my balcony and shouted as loud as I could "Nazis raus!" (Get out Nazis!). They looked to see where the shouting was coming from and I saw a couple point to me while smirking. I gave them the finger and shouted more. And then when they drove to the front of my building I hung out the window and screamed "Nazis! Nazis! Nazis!" over and over. They saw me again (I was much closer to them this time around) and as they smiled and waved to me I screamed my guts out and and flipped them off.

I'm half expecting to have a rock or a molatov cocktail thrown through my window in the middle of the night but it's worth it to let them know that there's at least one person they have no chance of fooling with their horse shit. And B was proud of me too. He doesn't normally go for scene-making but this time was definitely the exception.

And all of this stuff - all of this hate floating around - seems so pointless when put up next to the complete misery going on in Louisiana and Mississippi. I think at this point those people would take help from anyone - the US government, Nazis, hell even Satan himself. And of course that's often how Nazis and Satan himself gets recruits - coming in when people are at their lowest and weakest and believing in whoever feeds their needs. I'm not saying that actual Nazis will move into gulf coast - I'm saying that those who want to recruit supporters for their shit deeds will have an easier time because the people are at the end of their rope.

It's a horror to see these people suffer before our eyes. We're not used to seeing the dying on our TVs. I mean we're not used to it if the victims are Americans - we're plenty used to seeing dying Africans. And what we're seeing is a lot like what we've seen in places like Somalia because the situation is a lot like that. Desperate people with nothing and so far the ones in charge are the ones with guns. I'll quote myself from another website:
We may be seeing Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest put into action. And
unfortunately in this case the fittest carries a 9mm pistol fully loaded with
ammunition plundered from the Walmart and isn't afraid to use it.

And when we do get National Guard troops in there, they're going to see some shit like what we encountered in Somalia. Those with guns are going to be the ones in charge and it's going to take those troops showing them their guns are bigger and better before we see any order restored. Even then they won't be able to control it all.

New Orleans and surrounding areas isn't going to be the same place anymore, I'm afraid. It's going to be a refuge for the lawless and the poor are going to be stuck there. I'm not even sure if the city can be rebuilt into something resembling a normal city - not after God knows what sort of chemicals have leeched into the ground. It may be a chemical cesspool and the poor will be stuck there.

I hope this is just my flair for the overdramatic talking.