Dixie Peach: February 2008

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Batten Down The Hatches Edition

A big storm is expected to barrel through Germany this weekend, complete with heavy rains and very strong winds. I'll be keeping myself indoors as I am not fond of having rain blowing in my face as I walk down the street nor am I a fan of dodging stray branches as they rip off from trees and fly around looking for an innocent victim to bash in the face.

I'm not a weather wimp though. I know folks who cringe and fall apart whenever a bit of rain or a stiff breeze is predicted but I had too many years of working for an electric utility for that. Work for a power company and you'll soon learn that there are no days off for severe weather and in fact you'd better be coming in early for your shift because all hell will be breaking loose. I've driven to work in blizzards and ice storms and tropical storms and was late for work due to difficulties in driving in bad weather maybe twice in eleven years.

I can be fairly blasé about impending storms to the point of not necessarily being as careful during them as I should be. For example:

In 1998, B and I went to Mississippi to visit my family for Christmas. That winter we were having crazy weather. When we arrived a few days before Christmas we had weather in the 70s and then on Christmas Eve we had a bad ice storm that threatened to call a halt to our celebration. Then in January we experienced one strong storm after another that would spin off tornadoes. I've been in a few tornadoes but B had no experience with them at all and he became a bit fascinated by TV programming being interrupted by news reports of impending storms and tornado watches and warnings. We had been lucky enough to be spared but towns north of us in Tennessee and well west of us in Arkansas had suffered a lot of damage. B and I would see the news reports and I'd semi-jokingly say to him "Honey, I reckon if a tornado is heading our way I'll drag you into the bathroom, throw you and me into the bathtub and put the mattress over us. Don't you worry. I'll save you!"

When B and I were in Mississippi we stayed with my brother in his apartment. One afternoon my mother came by and we left B alone while she and I drove the 1 1/2 miles to Walmart to get some groceries. More strong storms were rushing through Arkansas and Mississippi and when we left there was a tornado watch for our area but the worst of the storms were over Lafayette County, ninety minutes or so southwest of us. While inside the store I could hear a gawdawful rumble and whooshing sound and I figured it was the heat coming on in the store. It's one of those giant Walmarts with the open ceiling where all the pipes and whatnot are exposed and it's always noisy and clanky in there. My mother and I finished our shopping just a few minutes later and as we were fixing to leave we hesitated because the skies were black with storm clouds and it was positively vomiting rain. We waited until the rain slacked up enough for us to get our groceries and ourselves into the car and we were home a few minutes later, despite the fact that the roads had quite a bit of standing water on them in places.

We'd no sooner got inside when the phone rang and my Aunt Cora was on the other end calling me from the appliance shop my uncle owned at the time which was in the downtown area just a couple blocks from the county courthouse. "How are y'all? Are you all right? Is B all right? That scared the thunder out of me and Glyndon"[my uncle]. Aunt Cora is no stranger to Mississippi storms so I thought it was slightly strange for her to not only be upset by a big thunderstorm passing through but to call me about it. I assured her that we were fine and told her we'd just come in from the Walmart and B was okay and my mother would be leaving soon to fetch my nephew from school as she did every afternoon. A few minutes later my sister called in search of my mother to tell her that my nephew's school was probably going to be released early and she needed to get down there and pick him up. I couldn't figure out how she knew Sam would get out school early and when I asked she said "Because of the tornado! Where have you been? You didn't know there was a tornado in town? It went right down Cruise Street!" [the street where my uncle's shop was located].

Oh! No wonder Aunt Cora was calling me and no wonder she and Uncle Glyndon were a little rattled.

I told my sister that Mama and I had been at Walmart and ohhhhh! so that's what that noise was! gee I thought it was the heat in the store kicking on! Boy, no wonder it was nearly pitch black outside when Mama and I were leaving!

"Wait. Where was B?"

"At home. We just went to get some groceries and we left him here. We weren't gone all that long. Not more than an hour. I leave him alone for that long all the time when we're at home."


"Well. I guess I did. But I didn't know we were going to have a tornado cut through town just then. Plus I had to get groceries before Mama had to leave to get your kid at school!".


"Sure. I won't. But it was just a watch when I left. I mean it's not like I knew we were suddenly under a tornado warning."

Afterwards I curled up with B and said "Honey, I'm sorry. Are you okay? Between all the phone calls and getting the groceries in and getting stuff put away I didn't even check to see if you were okay."

"I'm fine! Don't worry about me!"

"No, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left you alone. I didn't realize we were in the path of an impending tornado. I should have been more careful. I won't do that again. So anyway, what did you think of the tornado?"

"Well, I was here watching TV and it was just getting interesting. I mean you could see on the radar maps the storm getting closer. And then it got really, really dark outside and I could hear something really, really loud and just then the cable TV went out and I couldn't follow the storm anymore. And I didn't get to see the tornado either. It was....well...boring!"

I love a man that takes everything in stride.

Time to shuffle.
  1. All I Want is You - U2
  2. For Your Love - The Yardbirds
  3. If You Say Jump, I Will Say No - Irving
  4. Something Changed - Pulp
  5. Beautiful Dream - Adam Ant
  6. All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down (featuring Flaco Jimenez) - The Mavericks
  7. Don't Smoke In Bed - Nina Simone
  8. Fill My Little World - The Feeling
  9. You Wear It Well - Rod Stewart
  10. Star - The Crash
Y'all have a good weekend. And button up your overcoat.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


Last week I bought new mascara. I haven't been pleased with how any one mascara has performed so I've been searching for the right combination of mascaras that will not only give volume but will add length to the thin, sparse stubs I laughingly call my eyelashes and what will also stay in place and not make me look, twenty minutes after applying it, like I've gone three rounds with Wladimir Klitschko. Now I'm using one mascara with one of those skinny rubbery brushes to add length and one with a thick brushy brush for volume. I still have skimpy looking lashes but at least they look like they exist.

Today I bought a silk scarf. One of those long, wide numbers with a knotted fringe. A rosy pink scarf for spring that's done in a jacquard weave. It's lovely - smooth and light as a breathy whisper. It's so cute and so soft that I want to sleep with it wrapped around me.

Tomorrow? I'm really jonesing for new lipstick. And eyeshadow. I haven't bought new eyeshadow in ages because I won't take the time to hunt down something really gorgeous and irresistible. And I want some lipstick that's smooth and glossy and a color that makes me feel absolutely glamorous. Tomorrow I believe I shall go in search of some.

And come Saturday, if I haven't already done it, I may go in search of some nice hair ornaments. Clips and barrettes that are cute without being girlish and ornamental without being tacky. Something sophisticated.

I aim to find all these things that will help me feel like I'm coming alive again for spring. But the bad part? None of it will likely be worn to any place more stylish and glamorous than my local grocery store because these days that's the most stylish and glamorous place I ever go.

Not that great makeup and accessories could ever be wasted.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Hyphenated Theft

When the phone rings around here it's seldom for me. Friends and family call but generally it's during the evening here. When the phone rings in the early afternoon you can bet it's not for me. And when it's our banker calling in the early afternoon it's guaranteed he's not looking to talk to me.

I thought so, anyway.

Our credit card is in my name. It's one of those that's not actually connected to a line of credit. Once a month the total of all my charges bills and the amount of the bill is automatically debited from our Girokonto (what would be thought of as a checking account in the US, except we don't have checks). I don't use it very often - mostly for online purchases when the purchase can't be done through a bill or a direct debit from the Girokonto, which usually means when I buy things from vendors outside of Germany. So when our personal banker, Herr B, called asking for me and then proceeded to blather on about how the company our bank uses to watch out for credit card fraud was suspicious about a charge for 85 (euro) cents, I got a little crap-your-pants-panicky. No, I didn't charge anything for 85 cents from the Such-A-Generic-Business-Name-That-It-Actually-Sounds-Fishy Company in Pearl City, USA. No, I've never heard of that company. Yes, oh hell yes, I want you to tell the Watching-Out-For-Credit-Card-Fraud company to deny any future charges coming from the SAGBNTIASF Company in Pearl City, USA.

I hung up the phone less panicky and very pleased with my bank for not only looking out for my credit card but for calling me to ask me about something that looked suspicious. It was pretty obvious that someone had lifted my credit card number from somewhere and put through a test charge of $1 which would amount to about 85 euro cents to see if it would be paid so that later they could put through an great big charge and they were foiled. All was right again in my plastic card and online shopping world.

And then on Saturday a letter arrived from the Watching-Out-For-Credit-Card-Fraud company telling me that they were not only suspicious of the 85 cent charge but two other charges, one for about 35€ and one for about 53€, both charged last Thursday, both charged within 4 minutes of each other and both to an online casino in the UK. Swell! Some thieving bastard had stolen my credit card number and sold it to goodness-only-knows how many other thieving bastards who have no problem whatsoever with stealing from me and my husband. They're stealing from a handicapped guy! Isn't there some special wobbly, splinter laden, three-legged stool in Hell for those who steal from a handicapped guy?

By now not only was I about sick to my stomach but I thought B was going to have a stroke over this. Mr. I-Can-Account-For-Every-Cent-We-Have. The credit card fraud company had denied all the charges so at least I knew our bank account wasn't going to be a hundred clams lighter but I still wasn't feeling comfortable about it all. Neither B nor I were content to wait until Monday to call Herr B at the bank to deal with this for us so we called the credit card fraud company. The very pleasant young lady having to spend her Saturday afternoon cooped up at work trying to deal with cranky, panicky customers who were likewise being ripped off assured us that since we didn't know anything about the charges and since it seemed certain that our card number had been stolen she would arrange to cancel that card and have another credit card reissued. I thanked her kindly, wished her a pleasant weekend and resumed breathing again.

So let this be a lesson to you thieving bastard types. Don't try to steal from us. I'm watching out for you. The handicapped guy you're trying to steal from (for shame!) is watching out for you. Herr B at the bank is watching out for you. And the Watching-Out-For-Credit-Card-Fraud company is watching out for you. And there's a special wobbly, splinter laden, three-legged stool in Hell with your name on it if you don't mend your ways.

So there.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Involuntary Hermit Edition

Remember my big promise to get to the post office this week? Didn't happen. Knock it off with your look of mock shock, wouldja?

There's been an spate of sleepless nights and an unwell husband (he's getting better) and me simply not wanting to go out in the endlessly crappy weather. I venture out for the absolutely necessary (read: do the weekly grocery shopping and I fetch bread from the bakery) and then I hole back up at home and attempt to make a valiant effort to get caught up on the laundry.

It's a good thing I adore my husband so much. By now most married couples who are cooped up together for this long would start looking for sharp stuff to us on each other.

By next week I should be back on my normal schedule of everything unscheduled so if you're expecting socks from me, expect them to arrive exactly when you need them to arrive. Like August.

Time to push aside any feelings of guilt arising from unfulfilled promises and shuffle.
  1. The Mending Of The Gown - Sunset Rubdown
  2. Here Out Of Reach - The Swivel Chairs
  3. Knowing Me, Knowing You - ABBA
  4. Brainstorm - Arctic Monkeys
  5. Don't Bother Me - The Beatles
  6. Next To Argyle - Scissors For Lefty
  7. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  8. Cocaine Blues - Johnny Cash
  9. Girls Talk - Dave Edmunds
  10. These Were The Days - Will Hoge


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Not Like I've Been Completely Shiftless

...although the contents of my dirty clothes hamper may say otherwise.

Admittedly I haven't been a bundle of industry but it's winter. I'm hibernating.

And I have knit these socks:


And then I knit these socks:


And presently I'm knitting these socks:


And you know what I'm going to do tomorrow? I'm going to mail all those socks to the people for whom they were knit!* Really! Really and truly go to the post office and send them off! And then the heavens will open and angels will descend and burst into song because it will mean a true miracle has happened!

And then I'm going to go home and continue to ignore the laundry because two miracles in one day will likely get me in trouble with the United Brotherhood of Angels.

*I shall not be mailing out the unfinished sock because UmmFarouq likely does not wish to wear a single unfinished sock leg with four pointy metal sticks attached. I don't care how cute that yarn is.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Seasoned Edition

Oh I see you there. Peeking around the corner all fraidy-cat like. You can c'mon in. It's safe. No meme today. Oh admit it. It's not so bad when I do a meme because I try to jazz 'em up a little. It's like a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce and I goose it up with a few extra spices.

But you do get another old stand-by - the bulleted list. Don't look for too much jazzing up though. You can do what you want but you can't really cover up that it's meandering list of blahblah set off by dots.
  • Yesterday I had to do some translating from English to German for a friend. Holy shit, that was a pain in the neck. Nothing but technical and legal jargon. Anyone who does that for a living must have a permanent glazed-over look in their eyes and a never ending trickle of drool escaping from the corner of their mouth.

  • I've been talking on the phone with Belinda a lot this week and I've come to realize something - I have missed girlfriend phone calls. I used to burn up the phone when I lived in America from talking with my girlfriends for hours but since I've moved to Germany I haven't done that. I mean I do talk with Darling Mollie but that's only about once a week - the time difference makes it difficult to talk on the phone more often - and so our conversations have to be more about catching up on each other's lives. And I have other friends in Germany but they're also friends of B and so it means that we talk to them together. But talking with Belinda has brought me back to fun phone calls where you can be a bit dishy and then talk about makeup or knitting or stuff you saw on TV and get giggly. I finish phone calls like that and find myself smiling and wanting to give myself a facial and a pedicure or something else painfully girly-girl.

  • Every time I watch this raunchy bit of humor I laugh until I get the hiccups.

  • Wasa Crack and Taste crackers in the tomato and cheese flavor. Yum yummity yum yum yum. But yeesh! Embarrassingly stupid ass name. Nearly as embarrassing as shouting out to the Internet world "Yum yummity yum yum yum!" to express one's love of herby, tomatoey, cheesy crackers.

  • I'm making potato salad for B and I to eat this weekend. Let's see. Potatoes? Check! Eggs? Check! Salt and pepper? Check! Hellmann's mayonnaise in a 10 ounce squeeze bottle that cost me 4.49€? Check! Heinz pickle relish in a 10 ounce jar that cost me 4.99€? Check! I'm making a bowl of potato salad that's costing me in the neighborhood of 13.00€ and I'm not finding anything wrong with this! What's happened to me?
On with some shuffling.
  1. Well Thought Out Twinkles - Silversun Pickups
  2. The Underdog - Spoon
  3. American Girl - Tom Petty
  4. Superman - REM
  5. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) - Tom Jones with Stereophonics
  6. Two of Us - Aimee Mann & Michael Penn
  7. Suffragette City - David Bowie
  8. Big Star - The Jayhawks
  9. Your Spirit's Alive - Dropkick Murphys
  10. Anarchy in the UK - The Sex Pistols


Thursday, February 14, 2008

She's Nabbed Me Twice Now

I suppose it only makes sense that if they're crap on the inside, there's going to be crap on the outside. I submit to you the following from a box of Reese's Puffs.


Now while it's admirable to have goals, do they have to be goals that simply don't do anything for you? Goals that don't enhance your knowledge or build your character or prepare you for the adult world in any way? Okay, maybe numbers 5, 10, 14 and 15 aren't complete crap but meet your idol? Ride the world's biggest roller coaster? Own a pointless collection? Why not just aim for being vapid? What do you want to do, Suzy? Why I want to have a permanently vacuous look and have really, really shiny lips!

So a meme has sprung up (I know, I know...just hush and keep reading, okay?) for us to suggest a better list of goals. And once again Southern Muslimah has tagged me 'cause she's my buddy.

Rules. More rules! Maybe the first goal should be for us all to either shuck off the rules that chain us down or just learn to shut up and follow them. Guess which one I'll be doing.

1. Post these rules before presenting your list. (I suppose doing it after presenting my list will lead to an uncomfortable encounter with a cattle prod.)
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list. (Except, I suppose, anything as stupid as what Reese's Puffs could dream up.)
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6 people to get tagged and list their names. (You know right now that I'm going to break this rule into tiny, tiny bits.)
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged. (Is this an actual rule or merely a friendly suggestion?)
7. Optional: You can include the image of the ridiculous Reese’s Puffs list in your post as a reference. (Oh, do it. You know people love to peek at the pics!)

1. Learn to swim.
Maybe it doesn't sound so noble to learn to swim but in my family, learning to swim wasn't optional. You learned to swim just like you learned to read and learned your phone number. If there's an emergency that causes you to be in water, you'll be damned glad you learned how to keep yourself afloat. Flailing around in a panic is not something you're going to want to be doing.

2. Work regularly as a volunteer.
It doesn't have to be the same old thing all the time but volunteer to be on committees and clubs that help improve your community. Visit assisted living centers. Clean up a roadway. Collect money for a worthy cause. Mentor a younger student. Learn to give of yourself and of your time and learn that a great way to feel worthwhile is to help others.

3. Learn how to earn money, how to save it, and how to spend it.
So many people, especially these days, are up shit's creek without a paddle because they've never learned how to manage money. Before heading out into the big world a person needs to know how to earn money - get a job or do chores or whatever but do something that earns you money so you can learn the satisfaction hard work and being rewarded for hard work brings. Learn how to save up for something, how to handle a budget and learn how credit works - how to get it and how to not abuse it. Get in the habit of always paying your debts and paying them on time. There's honor in saying you'll pay your debts when you promise to and dishonor in not paying your debts.

4. Learn a second language.
And not just learn it but use it. Find others learning the same language - it should be easy since you're sitting with them in your 3rd period Spanish class - and speak it together. Later on you'll be glad you did because that's when you'll be traveling and you won't be kicking yourself because you spent all that time learning another language and you let it go to waste because you no longer remember it. And it's a heck of a lot harder to learn another language when you're older.

5. Get in the habit of regular exercise and proper nutrition.
Like learning another language, it's hell taking this on when you're older. If you learn to take care of yourself properly when you're young then you won't spend your later years trying to reverse the damage. And never, ever under any circumstance take up smoking! I promise you, you'll regret it later on.

6. Take up a hobby that you can pursue all through your life.
No one should ever be bored and a great way to fight boredom is to have a hobby. Personally I believe that hobbies that allow you to create something are most satisfying. Take up quilting or knitting. Photography. Play a musical instrument. Write. Cook or bake. There will be times in your life when you'll be alone and if you can't entertain yourself, you're going to have a lot of lonesome hours because, believe me, no matter how many channels you get, there will still be plenty of times when their ain't shit on TV.

Okay, time for me to tag. Jeez, I hate tagging. I can never remember who has done a certain meme and who hasn't and who hates to do them at all and then I tag the wrong people and the folks who wanted to be tagged don't get tagged. It's. Too. Much. Pressure! You're all tagged! All of you! Hey you in Minnesota! You're tagged. You over there in London! Tagged! And you! You in Hamburg! You're tagged as well!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mindless Filler

Memes. Blog content that's guaranteed to leave you hungry a half hour later but I so love the book related ones. Plus it's either this quick bit of painless fluff or you get to hear about how I went to the post office today to send a registered letter to our digital TV service to get put on a discounted subscription. If you're handicapped they give you the full service for something like 15€ a month cheaper. Sucks to be a quadriplegic except when you're getting those fabulous discounts! "Herr G! I'm sorry but you'll never walk again!" "That's okay! I can get into the zoo for half price now!"

Tagged by the darling Southern Muslimah.

Rules! There are always rules! No free-form stylin' round these parts!

# I. You have to look up page 123 in the nearest book around you.
# II. Look for the fifth sentence.
# III. Then post the three sentences that follow that fifth sentence on page 123.
# IV. And then tag five people, just like you were tagged! (said with such enthusiasm!)

I have to ask, what's with the roman numerals? You know they had to have been passed on from blog to blog to blog with all the copying and pasting that was done. Are we supposed to be made to feel that we're doing something a little more serious if we use roman numerals?

The book nearest me is the book I've been reading for what seems like weeks now: The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen. Very enjoyable book but I've been spending a lot of time knitting and limiting myself to about fifteen or twenty minutes of reading per day. I need to get finished with this pair of socks and really dive into this book because so far I'm less than halfway through it and I know I haven't gotten to the really good part yet.

Here goes. I'm flipping through the book. Flipping. Flipping. I'm sure this would go much more smoothly if I weren't flipping and typing at the same time. Ah! Here it is. Page 123.

Ooo. Wow. This is one of those pivotal parts of the book - where a decision is made that may impact the rest of the story. Good page!

Okay the page starts with a portion of a sentence. That doesn't count in the five I'm supposed to count down, does it? No, I'm not going to count it. Command decision made!

A conversation is going on:

"Are you not even going to go in and examine them?"
The lamp cast an orange hue on Doc's face, throwing shadows beneath his brow and nose and chin and frown. "I shouldn't."

Who needs to be examined and for what should they be examined? And is not examining them going to have an effect later on? Interest is piqued!

Done! No tagging though. I got so fired up with my command decision that I've decided to go buck wild crazy and not tag. However you're welcome to gank it for yourself if you wish.

And since we're on the topic of books and since I got all history buff on you yesterday I ordered this evening Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Steers. I had an Amazon gift certificate from my sister and so I gave in to the temptation. My love of history geekiness knows no bounds!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Big Guy

To some it may be hard to understand but this woman of the South has an unusual attraction to a dead guy. And it's his birthday. I'm here to admit to the world that I have a fascination with Abraham Lincoln.

It started when I was a kid. Someone had given me a bunch of old books and one of them was a biography of Lincoln that covered his life up until he began to study law. I read it over and over until I felt like I knew this young man who grew up with a distant father but a very kind and loving step-mother and who did all he could to educate himself.

I lived for many years outside of Washington, D.C. and visiting the Lincoln Memorial was something I did many times. Regardless of how many times I'd climbed those stairs up to that marble memorial, it never failed to impress me and I loved the look of his calm, strong face.

There were other things that drew me to Abraham Lincoln and fed my curiosity.

~ Two favorite books about Lincoln are Gore Vidal's Lincoln and Twenty Days by Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt. The first is a novel about Lincoln so, of course, license is taken with facts but the characters surrounding Lincoln and their interaction are interesting. The second book is a large book filled with pictures that not only discusses the assassination of Lincoln but the alleged conspiracy surrounding it, the death of John Wilkes Booth, the arrest of the co-conspirators, the military trials ordered by Secretary of War Stanton, and of course the funeral of Lincoln including the long trip home to Illinois by train.

~ Lincoln's assassination alone captures my imagination. From the assassination itself to the conspiracy to the alleged conspiracy surrounding the other arrests and trials. Even Lincoln's dream that he would be assassinated spooks me in the way that all really interesting true-crime stories do.

~ Lincoln's crazy wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. I never could understand how he could end up with such a character as her but the things she did and said are mind-boggling at times.

~ Lincoln's amazing speeches. Not only the address he gave at the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg but his first and second inaugural addresses. "...better angels of our nature." is a beautiful bit of prose.

~ Lincoln's ability to work a situation for supreme political effect. The Emancipation Proclamation is an example of that. Lincoln knew that if he didn't change political thought about the war - make it for a more noble cause than just saving the union, he was going to lose support, maybe for good.

~ The death of his two middle sons had a profound effect on Lincoln. He was likely already a moody, depressive sort of man anyway and their deaths, one of them coming in the middle of the war, added a sort of melancholy he was unable to shake. Add to it the sort of mystic angle it had and it becomes even more interesting to contemplate. One has to wonder how he managed to deal with his sadness and his wife's depression and a war all at the same time.

Shelby Foote said in Ken Burns' documentary The Civil War that Lincoln was, in his opinion, one of the two geniuses that the Civil War produced and I'm inclined to agree with him. I think Abraham Lincoln embodies much of what we think to be great about America. His ability to pull himself up and educate himself. His ability to compromise. And mostly his compassion and desire for reconciliation. I hope they're examples we can still emulate.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Big Brother Who's a Father with a Collar

If you observe the Lenten season by giving up something and you get tempted to cheat, let this be a lesson to you. Guest blogging by Darling Mollie over an incident she had last week.

So, I gave up Chai for Lent, as I have complained about over and over in the last thirty-six hours. Thirty-eight days to go. I had to run to get a prescription and had 15 minutes to kill in CVS. Wandering around, I ran into the beverage aisle and saw that International Coffees came out with a Chai mix. A little devil appeared on my shoulder and whispered “It isn’t Starbucks! Come on, get it.”. I debated for about two seconds…on the third second a priest came around the corner and was walking right toward me. I looked at him and said “I gave up Chai for lent and almost finagled a loophole, Father.”. He smiled and said “They send us out at Lent to make sure you don’t sneak”.

I guess stereotypical Catholic guilt only works so far and then God calls in the big guns.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Breaking Bad Edition

I suppose I should write in proper paragraphs with proper sentence structure and tell a coherent story but I'm not sure I could pull it off today. And I feel like scribbling outside the lines.
  • False alarm on the cold thing, folks...I feel fine as frog hair today. I apologize if you feel as if you gave your "get well!" wishes in vain but perhaps they and my Jackie Chan-like immune system kicked that cold right outta me as I slept. Take that, germy germs!

  • I want to buy some new perfume. I don't actually need perfume. And I received two bottles of perfume for my birthday. But it's stinky perfume. It's stinky, old-lady smelling perfume I don't ever want to wear.

  • Before any old ladies get all up in my grill - no, I don't think old ladies stink. But admit it, there are perfumes that stink that reminds you of old ladies. And in the interest of fairness, the next time I'm critical of perfume I've received as a gift, I'll refer to it as stinky, slutty-two-dollar-whore smelling perfume.

  • All the laundry my MIL did while I was visiting America? It's dirty again! We're not quite back to Mount St. Filthy Clothes status but the hamper is full. And it's a big ass hamper. I believe this indicates one thing only. I need to leave town again.

  • As an immigrant to Germany who hit this land without knowing more than a few words of German I can say that I find this idea to be perhaps the most ignorant idea ever conceived. I'm not anti-immigrant. I am an immigrant. What I'm against is people moving to another country and absolutely expecting it to be some sort of branch country of where they left. And while I'm not an educator I believe I can safely say that the best way to learn a language is not by speaking a completely different language.
Time to shuffle.
  1. For The Girl - The Fratellis
  2. Crown Victoria - Robbers on High Street
  3. Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs
  4. Late Night Grade Hotel - Nanci Griffith
  5. New Day - The Kin
  6. Because The Night - Patti Smith
  7. Time Bomb - Rancid
  8. Give Me A Kiss (Just One Sweet Kiss) - Van Morrison
  9. Magic Woman Touch - The Hollies
  10. It's All Wrong, But It's All Right - Dolly Parton


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Haiku

Life looks better when it's put into verse.

Throat raw and scratchy
Nose sniffles and I'm tired
Yep! I've caught a cold!

I have sent email
Need info, get no reply
It's my punishment.

Bakery lady
Why so surly this morning?
Who peed on your rolls?

Picked up new glasses
Have to get used to my face
All over again.

Daffodils start out
Looking like asparagus
Turn into sunshine.

Must go and lay down
I'm fussy, sleepy, cranky
Yes, I'm a toddler.

Come back tomorrow and Bixente the iPod will shuffle for you. And we'll dance.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Found Today in my Mailbox

Well. Do you?


Monday, February 04, 2008

She Knew Me When

Waking up at 6:30am on a Sunday is not something I'd normally do but when given the opportunity to meet up with an old and dear friend, it wasn't a hardship at all.

I caught the train shortly after 9am and arrived in Berlin at around 10:45. I had been a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to find Elaine on the rail station platform. After all, I hadn't seen here in over 25 years - would I still have the memory of her face in my mind enough to recognize her? Would she recognize me? But those nervous moments were wasted because as soon as the crowd thinned enough where I could see who was leaving and who was staying I saw her. And from a distance Elaine recognized me right away. We hugged each other and both of us marveled over how long our hair is. Elaine always had fairly short hair and my hair was seldom ever past my shoulders and now both of us have long hair. Both of us figured that we didn't do it while we were young so we may as well now. And the other thing that struck me at that moment was how Elaine's voice sounded exactly the same. Not changed in the least. To me she sounds the same as she did when we were in high school together.

With Elaine was her niece and and a friend of Elaine's who lives in Berlin who had her boyfriend with her as well. We hopped onto a local commuter train and rode down to where Berlin's Karneval parade was to be held. Berlin isn't a typical Karneval city like Cologne or Düsseldorf but it's catching on and the parade drew a big crowd. Any worry we might have had about the weather was also worthless because it was a sunny, clear day. A bit breezy and cold but for early February it was very good.

Since it was right there we walked over to the Gedächneskirche, a famous Berlin landmark, so Elaine could see it and get some pictures.


And afterwards since the parade hadn't yet started we ducked into a nearby restaurant for some warmth and a quieter atmosphere for conversation and lunch.

What do you talk about when you haven't seen someone in over 25 years? The answer: everything. The conversation jumped from childhood and school memories to mutual friends to what we're doing now to family to current events and back again. She bought up people I hadn't thought about since Jimmy Carter was president and it was fun to hear about what mutual acquaintances are currently doing.

The parade started and we headed outside to see it.



It was fun and loud. Crazy loud. And still the conversation kept going. We'd watch the parade and shout in each other's ears and tried as best we could to stay warm in the biting wind. Finally after about 90 minutes we gave up and went back to Berlin's main train station.

We still had plenty of time before I had to head back for home so we found a nice pub were we got seated and drank beer and had some more to eat. And never did the conversation lag. Not even after we left the pub and walked around the station some before heading up to the platform for me to catch the train for home.

We had over 6 hours together and it wasn't nearly enough. Not even close. There are so many things we never got around to discussing. People and memories and events - we needed another 6 to get to them all. No. We could have used another 60 hours and I'm still not sure we could have covered everything.

Elaine was a big part of my life when I was growing up and I'm glad we've been able to reconnect. Here we are. It's not the best picture of me but nevertheless, it's precious.


And you know what? I feel a bit younger today.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Shuffle - My Extreme Apologies Edition

I'm sorry folks. Very, very sorry. I don't have a thing for y'all today. Nothing is going on here, I haven't been anywhere and I haven't done anything. I could blame mid-winter blahs for this but I won't. I will be honest.

It's sheer laziness.

The events of today: After morning meditation and grooming I went to buy bread. Came home and ate a late breakfast - it was late because I didn't drag my butt out of bed until 10:30 this morning. We can't even call it breakfast because we ate it at 12:30 so technically it was lunch. Afterwards I knit a few rounds, fell asleep while watching the afternoon news and then I went grocery shopping, but only because we were about out of food. While shopping I could have bought enough to last us a week or more but I was too lazy to bother with it so I only purchased enough to get us to Monday or Tuesday and went back home. I put away the groceries and was so done in by that that I had to have a nap for an hour and then I knit for a little while. B needed a bath so I took care of that and then it was back to sitting around with him, chatting, dozing off if something boring was going on the TV and then I knit another few round. Dinnertime! I could have cooked - I'd bought something to cook - but I was too lazy and B wasn't too hungry so dinner ended up being canned soup. We ate and now I'm here. Oh! I did empty the dishwasher (points for me!) but the two bowls and the saucepan I used for the soup heating haven't as of yet made it into the dishwasher (points removed!).

I'm not tired or feeling bad or depressed or anything of the sort. I'm just lazy. I just don't want to do anything that takes any effort. The apartment isn't dirty, per se, but there are little things wrong like me having a very clean bathroom but I haven't dusted the living room in two weeks. Just don't want to. I don't want to take the bottles and jars to the recycling bin. I need to go to the mall and get a new cartridge for the printer but I couldn't be arsed to do it.

I suppose I could stress over the cause of my laziness and fret over when it will end but I can't be arsed about that either. Honestly, I'm having fun being shiftless. My husband doesn't mind it - I always take care of him no matter what...laziness never extends to his care - and I'm sort of enjoying not doing anything and not having any guilt over it.

Bixente the iPod's got to work though. Shuffle for me, boy.
  1. Still - Alanis Morrissette
  2. Dog and Butterfly - Heart
  3. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - Manic Street Preachers
  4. Little Angel - Hard-Fi
  5. Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr
  6. Love Like a Bomb - Oasis
  7. Hip Teens Don't Wear Blue Jeans - Frank Popp Ensemble
  8. This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
  9. All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down (featuring Flaco Jimenez) - The Mavericks
  10. All I Ever Wanted Was You - Michael Stanley Band
I'm heading to Berlin on Sunday. An actual effort will be made!

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