Dixie Peach: December 2007

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, December 31, 2007

In Case You Need Something to Do in 2008

~ Pick out something you want to accomplish this year - whether it's a hobby you enjoy or you need to paint the kitchen or you want to learn to speak French - and do it. Even if you don't reach your goal, you'll still feel a sense of accomplishment if you work at it consistently.

~ Smile more. Shrug off small irritations more easily.

~ Sing loudly. Dance when the mood strikes.

~ Eat to make your whole body happy, not just your mouth.

~ Laugh at the same stuff that made you laugh when you were ten years old.

~ Forgive others even if they don't ask for it. Don't forget to forgive yourself for your own failings.

~ Remember just how fragile people really are. Remember how resilient they are as well.

~ Read something that'll make you smarter. Listen to music that'll make you feel more deeply.

~ Learn about people and cultures and religions with which you're not familiar. Don't hate but ask questions instead.

~ If someone does you a kindness, do one for someone else.

~ Count your blessings and express your gratitude.

May you all have a wonderful new year celebration and may 2008 be filled, for all of us, with happiness, good health, love and peace.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Shuffle - What Day is it Anyway? Edition

I've been mixed up all week with what day it is. On Monday I thought it was Thursday and Tuesday seemed like Sunday and yesterday seemed like Wednesday. Today seemed Friday-ish but maybe that's just because I went grocery shopping yesterday and I tend to grocery shop on Thursdays.

Mixed up or not, I've had one of my more mellow weeks and regardless of what day I think it is, it's always the right day for a bulleted list. How's that for some rationalization?
  • I've not been out very much this week and my days have been taken up with hanging out with B, watching movies, knitting and reading. I got a pile of books for Christmas and new books to me is like having money that's burning a hole in my pocket - they're irresistible. Currently I'm doing a re-read of The Commitments by Roddy Doyle. I got The Barrytown Trilogy, the other two books in the trilogy being The Snapper and The Van. I read these books years ago but didn't have copies of them for my own and B solved that problem. I love Roddy Doyle books. I'm fairly certain that all the things I know about Dublin I learned from Roddy Doyle books.

  • I've set a goal for myself to knit fifteen pairs of socks in 2008. Crazy, I know, since I have only managed to do maybe eight pairs in a year but if I'm going to set a goal it may as well be a crazy one. I've signed up for a couple online knit-a-longs - one is for one pair every month for six months and one goes for twelve months so if I use the knit-a-longs to keep me on track then I should be assured of actually knitting all twelve pairs. And I figure that if I keep on track and not slack off then I can squeeze in another three pair. Yeah, I'm laughing at that notion too. I'm working on finishing a pair as it is that I started over the summer.

  • This is the first time that the Christmas market is still open after Christmas. Normally the last day is December 23rd but this year they're staying open through the 30th. When I'm down there it seems so strange to see it still there and perhaps it's contributing to my confusion as to what day it is. However, it doesn't matter how weird and out of place it seems to have the Christmas market still open 'cause it's not gonna stop me from taking full advantage of it. I have yet to fulfill my cravings for the season for freshly grilled bratwurst!

  • Last mention of knitting for today: I found that there's a definite advantage to being a fast and efficient sock knitter. The other day I saw a piece on a news magazine about hand knitted socks being sold in high-end boutiques in Switzerland. They're plain socks - nice yarns but no fancy patterns - being knit to standard sizes. Who's doing all that knitting? Little old ladies. They have a whole crowd of old ladies who crank out a pair of socks, on average, every two days. Swiss old ladies because one of the other selling points of the socks is that they're a product of Switzerland. Evidently the socks sell out rather quickly - at a price of approximately $30 a pair, mind you - and so these knitting grannies are in demand. Now you know to appreciate even more any hand knit socks you may ever have given to you as a gift.

  • Darling Mollie, appreciative recipient of hand knit socks from me and someone who has such an eye for what's really gorgeous has, yet again, turned me on to something really gorgeous. Take a look at this guy's photography. Feel free to gasp while viewing them if so motivated. Seriously, this fella's photography is wonderful. And once again I am in awe at how people with that sort of talent can see and capture for all time scenes that are utterly amazing. I've been to some of the places in his photographs and all I can think is "Dang! How come the Jefferson Memorial didn't look like that when I was there?" There's a photo of a bluish-purple water lily that almost makes me weep to see it. That's how perfect that photograph looks to me.
Regardless of how many holidays we have in a week, Bixente the iPod knows when it's Friday. Time to shuffle.
  1. Falling Slowly - The Frames
  2. The Way You Do The Things You Do - The Temptations
  3. Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
  4. What I Like About You - The Romantics
  5. Twist And Shout - The Beatles
  6. Angels - BoDeans
  7. 'Til It's Too Late - LeRoi Brothers
  8. It's The Little Things We Do - The Zutons
  9. Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night - The Fratellis
  10. The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
Y'all have a good weekend. See you again before the year runs out.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas - Come and Gone

I suppose I should give the annual holiday roundup of what transpired over Christmas but it was actually fairly uneventful. As we had it planned, my MIL and Gerd would be coming over on Christmas Eve for coffee and cake and gift opening, B and I would be alone all day on 1st Christmas Day as my MIL and Gerd would be going over to crazy Aunt Gabi and milquetoast Uncle Gerald's house, and then 2nd Christmas Day would see the return of my MIL and Gerd for another rousing hour or two of coffee and cake.

I am so caked out right now it's not even funny.

Normally we're saddled delighted with the presence of Aunt Gabi and Uncle Gerald but this year our cast of torturers guest list changed and instead of the G & G Show we were treated to Gerd's former son-in-law. By some twist of fate or family disfunction Gerd doesn't get along with his daughter but is still friendly with his former SIL and so SIL came to visit Gerd over Christmas. Perhaps SIL has no family of his own. Or perhaps SIL doesn't get along with his family. After his visit I would bet money on the latter.

They arrived on Christmas Eve around 3:15 and stayed until around 6pm. During that time SIL never shut up. Never. He talked the entire time. I have no real idea of what he said because it was all so boring and pointless I simply didn't bother listening and it wasn't like any of us could interject anything into the conversation anyway. This guy came in, we did our introductions and the race was on. He took a seat opposite B and ran his mouth like a bell clap. There were brief moment were he would pause to shovel in some cake or take a gulp of coffee but else he never let up. Poor B. He truly is a captive audience and had to spend the whole time with this guy zeroed in on him.

Finally even Gerd couldn't bear it any longer and they left and for that I was most grateful because by then my ears were starting to bleed.

First Christmas Day was nice. We watched a lot of movies and towards late evening I called my sister's house to get a report on how their Christmas was going. Evidently, according to the report my sister gave me, my mother was talking too much and my sister wished she would shut up.

You're singing that song to the wrong person, lady! I'll see your incessant rambling and I'll raise you non-stop jabbering by a complete stranger!

Second Christmas Day? Replay of Christmas Eve minus rambling jackass and no present opening. And we had different cake. We did, however, have about a half hour where I had to restrain myself from going up to the neighbors living above me and beating them until they were senseless piles of goo because 2pm on second Christmas Day is when they decided it would be an appropriate time to drill. Jeez-o-flip, I wanted to brain them for that. Golly, I want to know who they got a rental contract from because in mine it says that there will be no drilling on a freaking holiday. It's not just the noise that was irking me - it was the complete lack of respect for everyone living around them. It was a holiday. I don't believe it's beyond reason to expect someone to refrain from drilling in the freaking concrete slab walls for one day. I perhaps should have gone upstairs and asked them to stop but unfortunately I couldn't trust myself enough to simply ask without accompanying it with a few swift kicks in the shin so I just gritted my teeth and rode it out. I thought that having a screaming and possibly kicking match with the neighbors would be worse to do on a holiday than even annoying drilling.

Now that it's the downhill slide to the end of the year I've been immersing myself in knitting and reading. Santa brought me lots of new books and so I'm very happy.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Shuffle - Last Shuffle 'fore the Fat Man Arrives

Raise you're hand if you're all ready for the Christmas holiday to arrive! Yeah, my hand's not raised either. I still have one more present to buy.
  • I hate like sin to buy gifts for crazy Tante Gabi and milquetoast Uncle Gerald. We're not close with them except for the times when we have their company thrust upon us and I happen to find it pointless to the point of meaningless to buy gifts for them. And I've noticed that the closer it becomes to the holidays, the less of a crap I give about what I present them. That's sad. Gift giving shouldn't be done out of a sense of obligation. I don't give them junk but I care so little about it that if they didn't like it or didn't use it or even regifted it, I wouldn't care because I feel like I only went through the motions of presenting a gift.

  • Speaking of the word "gift", a couple Christmases ago my sister and her husband sent some marmalade for me to give to some friends of ours that my sister and BIL are just crazy about. It was some sort of orange/hot pepper marmalade concoction and on the label of the jar it said "A gift of Florida". Later after they had a chance to try the marmalade I asked how they liked it and the husband said "We liked it a lot. It's very spicy! I can see why they jokingly call it poison!". That's when it dawned on me that they misunderstood the meaning of the word "gift" on the label. Gift in German means poison.

  • The misunderstanding of words that are common in both English and German but have vastly different meanings happens on occasion. I'd lived in Germany for about a year when it occurred to me to ask Burkhard if he thinks "Pizza Hut" means to him "Pizza Hat" and yes, it did. Hut in German means hat. And he thought the black roof on the logo was some sort of flat, black hat akin to what a gondolier wears. I laughed for ten minutes straight when he told me that.

  • I always think the words "after shave" must freak out Germans or at least make them laugh. Go find a English to German translator and look up the word "after".

  • We've been having some crazy weather here this week. It looks like it's cloudy every day but in reality it's not regular clouds but high fog that's so thick it blots out the sun. Today the fog was lower and since the temperature is below freezing the fog freezes and covers everything in a sort of frosty fuzz. Pretty, except it so freakin' damp that the cold soaks into your bones. My joints are so stiffened up from the damp I'm walking around like a 600 year old woman.

  • The fog has also kept me from taking, for your enjoyment, pictures of the Christmas Market. But let's face it - it pretty much looks like last year's pictures.

  • I'll show you my Christmas tree, though.

Today's musical selections come from my Christmas tune folder. Bixente, put on your Santa hat and shuffle.
  1. Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming) - Melanie Thornton
  2. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
  3. The Angels Cried - Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss
  4. Weihnachten Bin Ich Zu Haus - Roy Black
  5. O Holy Night - Il Divo
  6. Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
  7. Christmas Eve - Blackmore's Night
  8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Aaron Neville
  9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
  10. Audi Victoria - Die Prinzen
That's it for me until after Christmas. If you celebrate the holiday, I hope you have a blessed and safe Christmas filled with love and peace. If you don't, enjoy your time away from work and pray that on Christmas Day we can have a peaceful day around the world.

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Genuine is Always Best

Darling Mollie's Christmas present to me arrived the other morning.

By the way, I believe this past week should be referred to as the Darling Mollie Marathon.

Anyway, it arrived and when I told her that it did she told me that I could open it. Very unusual for Mollie as she's a strict adherer to the "Christmas morning only" school of gift unwrapping. She also asked me to call her as I unwrapped it so she could be fully in the moment with me.

I could see that the German customs agents had already opened the box as I cut the tape used to reseal it. First was luggage tag that had on one side "I'm pretty sure this isn't your bag.", which is exactly what Mollie's luggage would say if it could talk. I then saw a tiny envelope with my name on it.

"Mollie, did you close this envelope and then slit it back open again?"


"Well evidently Hans-Dieter in customs at the Frankfurt airport did. And I know why. They're searching for the plastic vagina."

Let us pause here to consider the plastic vagina. A mutual buddy began a discussion of why in a gay oriented sex shop would there be plastic vaginas for sale. Gay men wouldn't want one (and he would know this) and lesbian women wouldn't need it. The discussion went on - too long to recount here - but at one point the buddy said he'd considered sending it to me for a giggle. Mollie got a laugh out of the conversation and in the next two packages she sent me there was a reference in the notes enclosed that she was not including a plastic vagina in the shipment.

"I told you they are on the lookout for you to send me a plastic vagina! Or they're simply into plastic vagina talk!"

Nope, no girly parts, real or plastic, was in the box. The beribboned, clever box with the pull tab and the tissue paper that was practically like origami and the sweet little cloth dust cover inside. Instead, there was this:


Yikes! I was not expecting that. I was not expecting a Louis Vuitton key and change holder. I would have sooner expected a plastic vagina than that!

I love it when friends really know you and know what you'd love to have. You see, I have this love/hate thing with purses. I love purses. I love cute purses and classic purses. Beaded bags and leather messenger bags. I love clutches and backpacks and doctor's bags. I just hate to carry them. In my world I like to buy great purses, pack them all neat and tidy (because while I may be a slob in my home at times, my wallets and purses are always ultra organized) and then let them sit where I can admire their wonderfulness. I will carry a handbag but if I can avoid it, I will and most of the time if I'm not driving then I just want to carry my keys and a bit of money with me. I got started with that habit when I was in college. Once, while in a bar, some guy threw up on a brand new Coach bag of mine and afterwards I would do my best to only carry some money and my ID and keys and a lipstick on me. I've had other key and change holders in my time but this will be my last one. I dare say this one will likely last me forever.

And holding true to my tradition, I have named my adorable little key and change holder Franck. Double points to you if you know from where I took his name. The name of my iPod should be a clue.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's an Office! It's a Disco! It's Two Treats in One!

Darling Mollie, being as she's darling (I'm serious, folks...she defines the word "darling") and being as she loves to tell stories is guest blogging for me today.

I haven't worked in an office in over ten years now but I remember when I did. I remember the goofy stuff that would go on in an office environment and sometimes I actually miss it because some of the funniest, most memorable times of my life were at work. When Darling Mollie tells me about her work life it's like being back in my work days.

Take it, Mollie!

So today I was talking to my coworker Ryan and we got on the topic of crazy things that happened at work. At my old job the darndest things happened. Some great moments: The fight that ended up in the elevator. The stripper that was sitting in the lobby waiting to perform in a bachelorette party in our main conference room the day the Postmaster General visited. The day Tausha almost killed Dan for scaring her in a Halloween outfit. And of course…

The gold lame club outfit.

As I explained to Ryan, the fight was great. The stripper was once in a lifetime. Tausha declaring “I WILL FIGHT YOU!” was a moment to be cherished. But the gold lame outfit ended up outshining them all because it had 2 key elements: It was seen by tons of people and they all had the same expression of horror and same level of helplessness.

Let me describe this outfit. This zaftig (we must all be aware of the limitations of our figures) woman wore not only a gold lame mini skirt that Britany Spears would declare too revealing (think ½ inch from nowheresville) and Grecian gold boots, but it was topped off with a top that was one big, gold lame piece of fabric - it actually draped - that only covered the ample front of her and was backless - it being attached to her by three string ties going along her back.

I was in my cube office avoiding my boss when she streaked by. I say streaked because at my angle, she appeared topless. Not only had she broken every law of fashion and decorum, but the shear abomination of her outfit was enough to send me into fits. I believe to this day that in the hysteria I went blind. I stood up in a daze and knowing she had by that time covered a good part of the office floor walked to Tausha’s desk. We were like victims of terrorism- and by god that day we were. No human of any age should have to experience that vision. I would not expose my most dire enemy to what I went through that afternoon. One by one, people stumbled from their offices speechless and in a ready state of denial - we had collectively seen and survived Hell.

Our Human Resources department was instantly set to task and I think they alone are responsible for gold lame never thereafter darkening the halls of MCI.

I have seen gold lame and I am a survivor.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Shuffle - It's All In A Name Edition

What's more embarrassing - forgetting a name or calling someone by the wrong name?

For me, it's calling someone by the wrong name. When I forget someone's name I can generally work around it. Find out the person's name on the sly. Just avoid saying their name. But calling someone the wrong name? Just open a crack in the ground and let me sink down to Earth's fiery core.

While chatting with Darling Mollie today she said to me, "I found out today that I have been calling someone the wrong name for two months- okay, I think it could have been pushing three. This guys name is NOT Dewey, which I have been calling him since October. It comes down to this: his parents misnamed him."

I said to Mollie "He should have corrected you by now. Three months is a long time to be called Dewey." and she replied, "Now, Sean the guy who is the building maintenance guy called me Amanda once- but I let it go and he got it right the next time. Never let people continually call you the wrong name. I said hi to him [Dewey - or Not Dewey, as the case may be] EVERY DAY!
And to make it worse, three weeks ago, I called him Dew. I mean, it was getting to the nickname stage. At that point, perhaps the coincidence of him drinking Mountain Dew was a factor.".

I was howling with laughter at the idea of Mollie casually flinging out a "Hey there, Dew!" and all she could add was "Who lets someone get to the nickname stage?".

And you know who would do that? I mean besides Not Dewey, that is? Me. At least I used to be that sort of person.

My name is Kim and I've been called Kathy and Karen and Carol and Kate and even stuff that's not even close like Melissa or Linda. And what did I do about it? Most of the time I did nothing unless I was in a situation where it was crucial for someone to get my name right - and even then I'd let them screw up my name a few times in hopes that they'd eventually land on my correct name and I wouldn't have to bring up the fact that my name isn't Connie or Sarah.

This makes no sense to me. Why would I do that? I acted like it was my fault that someone was calling me by the wrong name. The problem couldn't be their faulty memory or lack of attention to detail or their simply having the wrong name slip out. It must have been something lacking in me that would cause them to call me the wrong name. I must not be memorable or not important enough for someone to get my name right.

What utter crap. Jeez, what did it say about my lack of self worth at that time that I took on the blame for someone not calling me the right name? I will accept the blame if I didn't say it clearly enough for them to understand but I'm not taking on blame for introducing myself as Kim and having them say to me later "Nice to have met you, Mary Frances!".

It's been a long time since someone called me the wrong name. In fact I can't think of the last time it happened but then again I have it a bit easier now. I generally tell people my name is Kimberley and Kimberley is a name that tends to be a bit more memorable for Germans since it's not a particularly common name here.

I said to Mollie "I'm still laughing over you calling him 'Dew'." and she replied "It portrays a casual interaction that we did not even have." and she's right. Calling someone a nickname implies at least some sort of closeness and yet in reality Mollie and Not Dewey weren't close enough for her to be calling him the right name and for him to correct her.

Don't be a Not Dewey! Correct those who call you Paul when you're a Phillip! When they call you Louise and you're a Laura! And if you get called Dewey when you're really a David and you don't correct yourself, be prepared to start being called "Dew". And change your beverage of choice so you at least have an excuse to give when your other friends say "Dude, how come you let that woman keep calling you Dew?".

And now Darling Mollie has to go around and un-brainwash all the people in the office she's contaminated with learning this guy's name as Dewey (Moll works in human resources so everyone asks her what someone's name is) before it sticks to poor Not Dewey like...well...doo.

Know who's got a memorable name? Bixente the iPod. Time for him to shuffle.
  1. Jeremy - Pearl Jam
  2. Panic Song - Green Day
  3. Along Comes Mary - The Association
  4. Armageddon It - Def Leppard
  5. Dixie Chicken - Little Feat
  6. Everybody's Happy Nowadays - Buzzcocks
  7. What A Difference A Day Makes - Dinah Washington
  8. Shame On The Moon - Bob Seger
  9. She's Crazy For Leaving - Rodney Crowell
  10. America - Simon & Garfunkel

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

They're Not Dots, They're Ornaments

I really need to start making an effort to get up earlier. Daylight is at a premium these days anyway, with the shortest day of the year coming up and all, but I'm shorting myself a good hour, hour-and-a-half of daylight every day by not getting up earlier. When you're only getting about seven hours of daylight a day anyway, every minute counts. This could account for my general sluggishness and the inability to do anything that requires me to concentrate for more than...oh...ten minutes.

And this could account for why you're getting a bulleted list today.
  • I want this book. I want it badly. Darling Mollie informed me of its existence and told me she wants a Mr. T doll and said "I pity the knitter!". How can I deny her now?

  • And when Darling Mollie and I aren't discussing knitting and large, gold chain wearing pop icons, we discuss things like whether Santa was an asshole. We voted that in this case, he certainly was. I watched that Christmas special every year when I was a child. I'm so old that it was one of the five Christmas specials one had to watch every year 'cause those five were pretty much it: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Anyway, it's a wonder that repeated viewings of Rudolph didn't put me off of Santa permanently.

  • About six months ago my MIL bought a new cordless phone and we bought one at the same time. She bought a Siemens and we bought an AEG. We loved ours and she hated hers so for one of her Christmas gifts B and I decided to buy my MIL one just like ours. We bought it about a month ago - too late to take back 'cause in the land that's never heard of customer service Germany you can't just take back things whenever you want. In this case we had two weeks to return it. But that doesn't matter because we don't need to take it back, right? Of course that's not right! My MIL called last night to say that Gerd bought her a phone just like ours for Christmas and gave it to her early. Well Merry Christmas, fella. Thanks for throwing yet another monkey wrench into the works. And hey, that's an all-fired romantic gift ya got her there!

  • I think I've stated before here that I have a tradition each holiday season where I read two books. The first one is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I first read it in 1975 when I was thirteen years old, re-read it in 1978 and have re-read it each year ever since. I love this book and I started the annual holiday re-read by accident. The first time was coincidence that it was during the same season as the setting in the book. The second year was because I had run out of books to read and wasn't going to get new ones before Christmas so I read it again. After that it became a tradition with me to re-read it each year between Thanksgiving and the middle of December. The other tradition is for me to find a mystery series where one of the books takes place during the holiday season and read it then. Just like watching Christmas movies only at Christmastime it just seems right for me to read books that take place during Christmas during that season. A Christmas themed book in May just seems wrong. This year's mystery series read is Wreck the Halls by Sarah Graves. I think she writes one of the best mystery series out there and she actually makes living in Maine sound like something I'd want to do - that is until I remember that if it snows more than an inch I cry like a slapped child.

  • When the sun begins to set I like to sit up in my kitchen window and watch my favorite holiday season sport - Jockeying For A Parking Space. As you know I live not 300 meters from the Christmas market and parking in this area is at a premium. It's why I won't, for any reason except an extreme emergency, move my car any time after noon, else I won't have a spot for it when I get back. Folks ride up and down the street looking for a spot to dump their VWs or their Renaults and after a while they get mighty testy. I sit there and wonder things like "Is the guy who parked crooked going to have someone key the shit out of his door?" and "Can she get that big ass Mercedes parked next to that big ass van?" or "Who's gonna nab that space - the Ford facing north or the Audi facing south?". No actual fisticuffs yet but Christmas is still a couple weeks away.
Now I'm in the mood to watch some Christmas movies. Maybe we'll talk about those tomorrow.


Monday, December 10, 2007

What You'll Do When You Really Want It

Know how I whine about how much I have to shell out to buy a teensy squeeze bottle of Hellmann's mayonnaise? I do it even if I don't particularly like to because when you really want something you've been used to eating for your whole life, you will fulfill any outrageous request and make any outrageous payment to get it.

It never occurred to me that people living in the United States or in Canada - people who are from Germany or have lived in Germany and just really love German products - would do the same in reverse.

Over the weekend I found, by accident, this website. It was sort of amusing to poke around and see the things they have for sale, mostly because I wanted to see just what sorts of things people living in the US and Canada want to have. And then I looked at the prices and got the shock of my life.

Those of you who shop in Germany will be the ones whose mouths really drop open when you see how much they charge for stuff. Knorr Fix for $4.49 - for one envelope! You need two envelopes if you want to cook for more than two or three people. Two Milka advent calendars for $39.99! A double pack of Götterspeise for $3.49. Hell's bells, it ain't like they don't sell 700 different kids of Jello in America. I found a box of chocolate muesli for $12.99. The cereal aisle in your average American grocery store is long enough to be a runway for a jumbo jet and that's not enough for some poor soul who's just got to have some muesli from Germany?

I know there's a lot of overhead in a food import business like this. Dealing with customs alone has got to be a pain in the neck. Somehow it just seems crazier to pay this sort of price for stuff that I can't imagine German people in America can really be missing all that much anyway but then again someone in America is thinking I'm out of my mind to pay nearly 2€ for a little bitty package of strawberry Twizzlers.

I suppose the moaning I do about the 4.99€ I pay for a jar of pickle relish is being repeated somewhere in the wilds of the Dakotas or in a Manhattan highrise or a ranch in Texas when they order a $12.99 jar of wurst.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Shuffle - You Just Don't Get It Edition

I'm one that believes that certain folks shouldn't bother owning computers and even if they do, they should face up to reality and admit that they don't need to be on the internet - that it's just too much for them. Gerd would be such a person. He bought a new laptop about a month ago and just got an internet connection through our cable TV company. He couldn't figure out how to sign into the cable company's website to use their email service. He brought over the laptop to show B and I that his computer must be cursed because he couldn't get numbers to type in. And about half the time he can't even get to the website. Stupid computer! It must be broken! Turns out that about half the time he types in a comma instead of a period in the web address and he couldn't get numbers to type in because he was using the number key pad and didn't have the number lock on. Since a plain email service would be easier for him to handle, I set one up for him on Yahoo.

"Gerd, what password would you like to use?".

"Use the dog's name."

At this point I wanted to elbow him in the throat for saying that.

A few minutes later I had it all set up and showed him how to get to the Yahoo page and how to sign in to the email. When he got home he couldn't do it. I mean he couldn't get to the Yahoo page. The next day my MIL reported to us that he'd just been putting in "Yahoo" and that was it. No .de or even .com. My MIL told him that he needed to type "" and he said he didn't. For the love of all that is holy, if my MIL knows this and you don't, back the hell away from the computer. Permanently. She then suggest that she call us to say he couldn't make things work so we could retell him what to do and he replied "I don't want to. They'll think I'm stupid.".

Oh no, Gerd. That's not at all when we'd think you were stupid. You'd have to go back in time for that. Okay, that was mean. He's not stupid. He's just...uh...simple.

Gerd kept trying unsuccessfully to get to his email account and the more he failed, the more he was pitching a fit and cursing. The laptop was a piece of shit and the internet was a piece of shit and they could all kiss his ass.

Let me say at this point that my husband's family is quiet. Fit pitching and yelling isn't done by them and is not looked upon with kindness. A good way to fall out of favor with them is to have a hissy over something that is of little importance. They're roll-with-the-punches sort of people and being all loud and vulgar isn't they're style.

My MIL got so annoyed by Gerd's refusal to even listen to her suggestions and by his having a conniption over it all that she just got up and went to bed and left him to stew.

Yesterday my MIL was over here visiting without Gerd and she reported in a very...well, let's just say that she wasn't using her lovey-dovey happy voice...that Gerd couldn't access his Yahoo email and we went over everything with her again. She wrote down the step-by-step directions and we thought sure that he would have no problem.

Tonight she reported that Gerd still can't access his email. Even with step-by-step, so simple my dog could follow them directions, he can't get to his email. For the love of Pete - if he can't figure out Yahoo email then I just know the rest of the internet is going to baffle the monkey shit out of him. I really don't want to call his intelligence into question but I'm becoming afraid that he's going to end up sending someone in Nigeria $10,000.

They're coming over tomorrow and bringing the laptop with them so we can yet again explain how to access his email account. Shall we all take bets on what he's been doing wrong when out from under our watchful sight?

Time to shuffle:
  1. You Said - Chikinki
  2. Voices - Cheap Trick (Which reminds me that in high school I had a big crush on Robin Zander - he fit my preference for skinny, blonde, long haired lead singers.)
  3. It Means Nothing - Stereophonics
  4. Crash The Party - Ok Go
  5. Walk Right Back - Everly Brothers
  6. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
  7. Secondary Waltz - Mark Knopfler
  8. Tuff Enuff - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
  9. Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes
  10. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - The Ramones
Y'all have a good weekend. And I promise not to elbow anyone in the throat.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

No Explaination as to Why He's Pink

I wanted to get all Christmas crafty on y'all today but I ran out of time. And daylight with which to take decent pictures. And Scotch tape. This is a Scotch tape heavy craft and I couldn't be in the middle of some photo presentation to y'all and run out. Plus I had to take B to the dentist so he could get some fillings done and he spent most of the waiting time acting as if I were to accompany him to the gallows. He did fine though - got two fillings finished and all he's got left is another filling and a molar that's gone bad that's got to be pulled. Date of execution His next appointment is scheduled for December 19th. Hope that crater left by the pulled tooth is healed enough for him to manage his Christmas dinner.

So since we'll have to wait until tomorrow for paper and scissors and Scotch tape fun (it kills me how B calls it "sticky tape") let's shift gears and talk about good writing.

Christina, gave me a lovely treat by passing on to me this little award:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And here's the idea behind it:

Those people given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc., etc. Let's send a roar through the blogsphere! The image at the top right can be copied and pasted onto other blogs. Also, a small size of the award for sidebars can be found over at the writing circle site.

I've had a blog for over 3 years now and I've read a lot of other blogs during that time. The ones that I believe contain good, powerful writing have some things in common:

1. An honest voice. And when I say an honest voice I mean it's a voice that's real and we can recognize. The powerful ones tend to be blogs that can not only make you laugh but can touch you deeply as well because honest interactions do that.

2. The ordinary can be made to sound extraordinary. It doesn't matter if you've just climbed Mt. Everest before lunch - if how you tell me the tale isn't done in an interesting way, I won't care. Conversely you can tell me about a trip to the grocery store and I'll hang on every word if you tell me the story in a different, interesting way.

3. Regardless of whether it's a novel or a blog, the ones with great writing make me wish I could hang out with the author.

And now to pass it on. Here are five blogs I read whose authors fit those three things I just mentioned:

Southern Muslimah is a lady who had made me both laugh and cry with her writing. Read her regularly and you'll soon see her big, generous heart.

I've been digging on Hilda for a good many years now, even before she started writing at The Mind Wobbles. She's fascinating and has such a full, happy life.

The Dictator Princess can take something as simple as a taxi ride or her love of Carmex and turn it into grand entertainment. And her travel tips? I follow them and they work!

Maria at Third Floor with Water View can move me with her words. Her voice is so honest. If I could only get her to write more often!

The Geek Inside makes geekdom look good. Mostly because Sari can take the ins and outs of daily life and make them something you look forward to hearing about. I'm not a mom but if I were, I would hope I could do it like she does.

I really do wish I could hang out with the five ladies. Lunch is on me!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wow. I Took That Break Thing Seriously.

I suppose after 30+ days of posting without a break even if I didn't have anything I particularly wanted to say, when I truly found myself without anything to say, I didn't.

Right now I'm in that sort of quiet piece just before Christmas cranks into high gear. It's Advent season, my Christmas decorations are out, with the exception of my tree which I won't put up until the 15th, and I'm using my down time to read and knit and hang out with B. Most of my shopping has been done (and let me once again do my annual praise of for taking care of my Stateside Christmas shopping) and when it gets closer to the actual day I'll go out more often to the Christmas market to just hang around and see what there is to see.

As it is the most eventful thing on my calendar is getting B to the dentist tomorrow so he can get a filling. He's nervous and I'm feeling great because I know I'm finished with my visits until I go back in the spring for a check-up. I'm also hoping that the weather will stay dry enough for me to get B to the Christmas market in the next couple weeks. He hasn't been there in years and I'd like for this year to be the year I get him there.

Come on back tomorrow. Maybe I'll have some Christmas craft for you to see.