Dixie Peach: March 2008

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, March 31, 2008

For the Love of the Game

Normally I
just once in a while
only with good reason complain about living in Germany. Usually I'm all quit-yer-bitchin-and-just-bloom-where-you're-planted-dammit-! but this time of year brings a distinct sense of dissatisfaction to my living arrangements.

It's not the dogwoods and azaleas blooming that's making me miss my homeland - it's sports. Two sporting events, actually.

First is the beginning of baseball season. Until I moved away from the US and therefore away from baseball (yeah, I know it can be found in Germany but not here where I live and certainly not on TV), it was my favorite sport. My father was a fiend for baseball. He was a New York Yankees fan his whole life (one of my brothers was named after Joe DiMaggio) but I bucked the trend in my family to be a Yankees fan and became a Baltimore Orioles fan when I lived in the D.C. area. The O's were the closest thing I could get to a hometown baseball team when I lived there and since I couldn't stand any other Washington, D.C. team I thought I should like at least one local-ish team. Plus Cal Ripken, Jr. played for them and I thought he was the hottest looking ball player in the world.

The beginning of baseball season tells me that summer and long days and sweet, warm air is on its way. I always feel younger and more vital when I watch baseball and it's part of why I miss it so much. I even love baseball movies - Bang the Drum Slowly, Pride of the Yankees, Field of Dreams, The Stratton Story and others - and they list among my all-time favorite films. I would love to sit in the stands on opening day and watch the first pitch be thrown. I'd even settle for seeing it on TV.

The other sporting event I miss this time of year is the NCAA basketball tournament. I couldn't care less about professional basketball - if it's on it's okay but I don't really follow it - but I've always loved college basketball. To me it's much more fun to watch because there seems to be so much more heart in it. Know those bracket tournaments people play in the office - the sort where you play for $10 or $20 and you pick who's going to win the entire tournament? I love those things and would participate every year. I even won it one year, much to the annoyance of the men in the office who claimed my ex-husband surely had helped me with my picks. This year, much to the irritation of my sister who went to the University of Virginia and my brother who went to Duke, I'm rooting for the University of North Carolina to win it all. I have an excuse though. UNC's Psycho-T is the nephew of one of my dearest friends.

I'll miss these events that herald the start of spring and then I remind myself that I do have soccer to fall back on and since I've moved to Germany it has become my favorite sport to watch. And soccer players are nearly as hot as baseball players.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Shuffle - The Hurrider I Go The Behinder I Get Edition

Do you remember when you were a child and it seemed like forever before it would be Christmas or your birthday or summer vacation would start? I remember even a single day seeming to go on and on if something special were happening that evening. Now the days go by and it's almost as if I'm going through life in fast-forward.

My sister called me this afternoon nearly in a panic because I hadn't called her since we had our respective birthdays in January. Yikes! We'd sent some quick emails here and there but otherwise we'd been out of touch for over two months. It was never on purpose. We have a seven hour time difference between us and it contributes to the problem but mostly the days simply get away from us.

I can get up every morning with the best of intentions to accomplish this or that task before the end of the day and invariably something will be missed. Either the kitchen floor won't get mopped or I won't have a chance to get to the bank to get some cash or the backed up email won't get answered. The blogs I subscribe to won't get read or commented on and my mountain of laundry seemingly doubles overnight.

All this is to say that if I owe you an email or I haven't been around your blog lately to contribute a comment or if I've said I'll call you and I haven't, it's not an intentional snub. Not that it's an excuse but at least you can take comfort in the fact that I'm pretty much snubbing everyone. At least I'm not paying more attention to my laundry than I am to you. And have faith that I'll get caught up.

Let's shuffle.
  1. Old Enough - The Raconteurs
  2. Sherry Darling - Bruce Springsteen
  3. Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley
  4. Baby's In Black - The Beatles
  5. Dead Sound - The Raveonettes
  6. Down In Mary's Land - Mary Chapin Carpenter
  7. Cadence To Arms - Dropkick Murphys
  8. I've Got a Crush on You - Linda Ronstadt
  9. Give Me Novacaine - Green Day
  10. Rock Lobster - The B-52's


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ooo-ing and Ahhh-ing Optional

Finished these bad boys last night.


They're for my sister in celebration of her getting her master's degree in nursing. She's been an RN for 31 years and she's finally gotten the time to get her master's degree. And I'm very proud of her.

For you yarn types - the details:

Pattern: No-purl Monkey
Yarn: Overpriced and so not worth it Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino. Colorway: P812. Number of knots in two skeins: seven. Good thing it splices well or someone in Canada would be taking an ass whipping*.

Now then! Shall we take bets on how long it'll be before I mail them to Sister?

*This statement is in no way a reflection on my warm and kind feelings towards Canadians. I like Canada. I like Canadians. I have lovely, close friends in Canada. However, this annoyingly-full-of-knots yarn was produced in Canada and that means someone in Canada (but not necessarily a Canadian!) is responsible, hence my declaration that someone in Canada, specifically Ontario, is deserving of an ass whipping. But let me say it now! I love Canada!


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Every Day is a Holday 'Round These Parts

Easter brings a four day weekend to Germany (and lots of other countries need in believing we're the only ones to have an Easter Monday as though Christ resurrected twice or something). Since neither B nor I work outside our home it doesn't mean any time off for us - B has to be cared for no matter what date is on the calendar. Instead of thinking of holidays as a day or two away from work we tend to think of holidays as days when stores are closed and TV programming is screwed up. Looking for a Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill flick? Just wait until a holiday rolls around and you'll be sure to fine one. Or five.

On occasion we have visitors on holidays - Christmas and Easter being the two primary ones - but otherwise we hunker down alone. We sleep later and jammies are worn longer and our meals tend to be simpler unless it's one of those holidays when tables groaning with food are required. We watch a lot of movies and eat cake. If the weather is fitting I like to go for walks because holidays are the one time when my neighborhood is absolutely dead. Sundays are quiet here but holidays are like living in a ghost town. Walking around our neighborhood at 8am on a holiday will give one that Omega Man sort of feeling.

Holidays are also the time when B and I will sit around and just talk and tell one another stories from our younger years that revolve around whatever holiday we're currently celebrating. This year B and I discussed how we dyed Easter eggs (I was a little surprised to hear that, being as he grew up in East Germany and all, that he had Easter egg dying kits like I did) and B got to hear the story about how one of my brothers took the colorless wax crayon that came in the egg dying kit, wrote "fart" on the egg, dyed it, and my other brother and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world and the only thing that made it funnier was that our mother never caught on to the naughty egg! And we wouldn't tell her why we were laughing so much! And we laughed even harder the next day when the offending egg ended up in my Easter basket!

B didn't laugh all that hard at the story. I chalk it up to him growing up an only child. What does he know anyway? He's been known to watch Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill movies.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Fluffy Easter Dots Edition

Think of the dots on this list as being just like little Easter eggs. You know except for the fact that they're not egg shaped, brightly colored, edible, nor are they hidden.
  • I shall be the fifty jillionth person in Germany whose blog will mention this Easter weekend's weather. It blows. Literally. It's windy, cold, alternately pukes snow and rain and often mixes the two and then two minutes later there is blinding sunshine. We have the Sybil of weather this weekend.

  • Of course crappy weather outside gives me an excuse to stay inside and watch movies. What Easter/Passover weekend would be complete without a viewing of The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur? It's no wonder that I grew up thinking that Charlton Heston was somehow holy.

  • Many of you may be pleased to hear that I no longer consider Charlton Heston and Moses to be one and the same. I am also no longer impressed with the animated burning bush in the film. Couldn't they...I dunno...actually burn a real bush? No one had a Zippo on them that day on the set?

  • This evening I've been watching Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain and remembering how much I loved this movie if for no other reason than the fact that I nearly squealed out loud the first time I heard it mentioned in the film that Amélie loves to crack the sugar topping on crème brulée and dig her arms into barrels of dried peas and I love the same thing. I like it when a film confirms that my quirks may be quirky but they're also somehow endearing.
On to the shuffle.
  1. You Just May Be The One - The Monkees
  2. It's Won't Be Long - The Beatles
  3. Secrets - The Zutons
  4. Lyla - Oasis
  5. Beautiful Lies - Michael Stanley Band
  6. What A Crying Shame - The Mavericks
  7. You'll Be Coming Down - Bruce Springsteen
  8. Rich Woman - Robert Plant/Allison Krauss
  9. Bad Day - REM
  10. Fill My Little World - The Feeling

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Perhaps one of y'all can tell me why this is so. I will spend hours sorting through my iTunes folders and rearrange songs within them and fuss over which songs will be in which folder and even stress over what I will call certain folders. And my knitting stuff? I will go through my stash (and I'll admit that while it's not nearly to the proportions of some stashes I've seen, it's certainly ample for my needs) and I will sort by brand and yarn type and color and I'll diddle over my needles and have them all sorted by type and material and size. I will do these things without a second thought and yet my pantry is such a mess that I end up buying macaroni when I already have three other bags of it and I think I have a canister full of rice when actually it contains only three grains. And my clean socks and panties are generally sorted and stored by tossing them into whatever drawer can accommodate them.

I think whatever it is that makes me obsess over organizing one thing and be completely can't-be-arsed over the organization of another is somehow related to the reason why I can quote the lyrics to every Beatles song but I can't for the life of me ever remember at the same time all three of Kepler's laws of planetary motion. And I paid someone to teach me that.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Let's Not Be Too Hasty There, Bub!

Seen scrawled on a wall in front of a high school in Erfurt as I watched a news story about the school:

Fuck Scool

I'm gonna take a stab here and guess that English class tripped your ass up but good, eh?


Monday, March 17, 2008

They Forced Me Into It

On Saturday afternoon I received a call from my optician. As you'll soon see they've got enough bad shit going for them right now so I shall not heap upon them more bad shit by mentioning their sorry names.

About five weeks ago I picked up the new glasses I'd ordered and at that time left my other pair at the shop. The lacquer is coming off the legs of the glasses at an alarming rate and I wanted them to order new legs for them. It's the second time this has happened with this particular pair of glasses and since the frames are still under a three year warranty I wanted them fixed.

At least two weeks ago my MIL was at the same optician buying herself a pair of new glasses and at that time she asked about my pair that was being repaired and they told her the new legs weren't in yet. Okay!

Back to Saturday: The very cheerful and quite apologetic woman on the phone cheerfully and yet apologetically informed me that they had accidentally and heads-up-their-assesly neglected to even order the new legs. Evidently my glasses had been sitting around the back of the shop, being moved from time to time to accommodate someone's lunch-in-a-Styrofoam-box until evidently finally someone said "Who in the hell's glasses are these and why are they always in the way when I want to eat my Döner Kebap?". Frau Cheerful-und-Apologetic told me that the legs were being ordered and it would take about ten days for them to arrive.

I had no other choice in the matter. There was only one reasonable way I could react to the news. I accepted her apology and told her I'd look forward to another call letting me know that the repair was complete and I could come pick up my newly re-legged glasses.

And then I sent over a pack of wild, rabid dogs to eat their faces and all their Döner Kebap.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Shuffle - A Little Oven Edition

When I was a child I remember reading a book called A Little Oven. It's about two little girls who are best friends and when one of the girls gets tired her mother would pick her up and say "I guess what you need is a little loving and a little hugging," and the little girl would repeat back to her "A little ‘ovin’ and a little ‘uggin,". The other girl then told own mother that she needed "a little 'ovin" and the mother misinterprets her meaning and instead of giving her hugs and loves takes her instead to a toy shop to buy her a little toy oven. I loved that book because when I was little and feeling blue my own mother was quick to give me "A little ‘ovin’ and a little ‘uggin".

And now forty-plus years after reading that book I still, once in a while, need a "little 'ovin" and y'all understood me. I was feeling pretty frustrated and even a bit helpless and y'all came through with your gentle words and kind wishes. For that I'm grateful and very humbled by your generosity.

On to other happenings.
  • I suppose one would call it a grand coincidence that I got hemmed in by the ground meat case in the grocery store by some woman who was looking at the packages as if they were the Rosetta Stone while on the store's PA system Steeler's Wheel sang Stuck In The Middle With You.

  • Yesterday I received this book from Darling Mollie. I definitely don't give a crap about knitting a Madonna - either the Like A Virgin version or the pink pointy-ass bra version - but I'm all over the Beatles and the Audrey Hepburn and the David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. Moll is after me to knit her a Godzilla and a Mr. T. "How can a woman who wears Chanel so well want knitted versions of Godzilla and Mr. T?", you say. Darling Mollie is nothing if not multi-faceted.

  • I am attempting to give up drinking Coke. I stopped drinking real Coke years ago and switched to Diet Coke and now drink Coke Zero but I'd like to give it all up and stick with tea and water. I'm giving y'all permission to bet amongst yourselves on how long this actually lasts.

  • I wish you could feel the socks I'm knitting now. They're so soft and squishy it's like a pair of socks made of Wonder Bread.

  • Remember when Wonder Bread made commercials touting how good for you their squashy, pumped-full-of-air their bread was for your growing body? How full of crap were they?! - although you have to admit that a tomato sandwich on Wonder Bread is exquisite. The bread turns all pink from the mixture of mayonnaise and tomato juice and the bread itself - a normally flavorless affair - takes on the taste of the mixture. Eating one takes me right back to a July day in 1972.

  • One last bit of yarn talk before we shuffle: Wait. I forgot what it was. Something on TV distracted me and I forgot what I was going to write. Feel free to heave that sigh of relief. I'll remember it though and annoy you with it another day.
Let's shuffle.
  1. Lukey - Great Big Sea
  2. Village Green Preservation Society - The Kinks
  3. Under The Blacklight - Rilo Kiley
  4. Blue Skies - Albert Hammond, Jr.
  5. My Wife - The Who
  6. She's A Woman - The Beatles
  7. Cherry Bomb - John Mellencamp
  8. Southern Anthem - Iron & Wine
  9. Tick Tick Boom - The Hives
  10. Tom Sawyer - Rush

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Edge of the Limit

Some days I want the world to stop. I want my world to change. I want a different life. I get tired of it all.

I get sick of taking care of someone else. I get sick of being responsible for for everything that needs to be done. I want it all to stop. I want to be normal.

I don't need a vacation. I don't need a break. I don't need a hug or a pat on the back. I need for it to end.

I don't need to leave my husband or shun him or think of him as a burden. I need for him to be normal. I need for us to have a normal marriage and life...just a normal day. I need for our lives to stop being controlled by a screwed up twist of fate that happened twenty-five years ago. I don't need it for my sake. I need it for his sake too. He's tired too. I know he wishes every moment to have one day like everyone else. One hour.

And I'm not going to get it. He's not going to get it. Not any of it. We are never going to be normal. We are never going to live spur-of-the-moment. We are never going to take weekend trips together or chase each other around the house or have a meal where one of us isn't shoveling food into the mouth of the other. I am never going to be free of it and neither is he. And we accept it. We understand it. But some days we just don't like it.

So there are days when I need to be frustrated. Days when I reach my saturation point where I can't take in any more. And I need to have the freedom to express that frustration and dissatisfaction. Do it without remorse. There are moments where I could scream and I want to punch the walls and tear my clothes and cut off all my hair as if within the span of a moment it would all grow back and bind together as though I lived in a cartoon world. That's how close to the edge I get.

I won't do it but I want the freedom to do it. I want that much control over the minutes that pass in my life.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pictures! Purty Pictures!

Remember the rule: pictures take the place of virtually non-existent content! And they're worth a thousand words. If that's the case, this post's practically a novel!

I was knitting this:


and then it started to look like this:


and when it was done it looked like this!


Now I'm knitting this:


and if I find one more knot in the yarn I'm gonna go to Canada and pinch someone's head off!

All done! And if I do this twenty-four more times, I'll hit the one thousand posts mark! By golly, we'll celebrate then!


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Victory Will Be Its Own Reward

Becky has enticed me into a meme. Like book memes, movie memes are virtually irresistible to me - plus this one has the added fun of reader participation! Jump up and holler "Yeah!".

A few guidelines. We don't want you going crazy and driving off a cliff or anything.
  1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
  2. Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
  3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess in the comments.
  4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
  5. GUESSERS: NO Googling/using IMDB search functions. If you cheat I will find out and I'll send over my mother to give you a lecture on cheating and fair play. I promise you that if that happens, you'll be sorry. Her lectures can make your ears bleed and cause your hair to fall out.
Get out your popcorn - we're going to the movies.
  1. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks.

  2. I'd be the worst possible godfather. I'd probably drop her on her head at her christening. I'd forget all her birthdays until she was 18. Then I'd take her out and get her drunk. And, let's face it, quite possibly try and shag her. - About a Boy (2002) - dkaz, you got it!

  3. We ate pancreas! - Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - Kristina, well done!

  4. Who do you have to screw around here to get a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit? - Love Actually (2003). Bravo, Mollie!

  5. Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killin' yet.

  6. Dammit, are you boys gonna chase down your leads or are you gonna sit drinkin' coffee in the one house in the state where I know my boy ain't at? - Raising Arizona (1987) - Correct again, dkaz!

  7. As long as she ate the mouse, she can't see nor hear. Now sing.

  8. We've got armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening. - This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Excellent, Becky!

  9. And then I started foolin' around... and then I started screwin' around, which is foolin' around without dinner. - Chicago (2002). Jaxie! Fantastic!

  10. You're a fat loser and you have body odor. - School of Rock (2003). Rock on, Hilda!


Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Those Hard Rocking Osmonds Edition

It's a little embarrassing to let anyone know that until about five years ago my husband was convinced that the Osmonds were a hard rock band. However to be fair to him one has to remember that he grew up in East Germany. Listening to West German radio or watching TV was illegal when he was a teenager but B was lucky enough to live where he could get TV and radio signals from West Germany so he did it anyway. He's much more versed in western music, TV and movies than he is about what was available in East Germany but, as you'll soon learn, there was one glaring exception.

We were both watching the German version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? A question asked the name of a famous night club in Paris and the club they were talking about was Le Crazy Horse Saloon. So while the contestant was hemming and hawing over his answer I could hear B singing something under his breath and to me it sounded like he was singing the Osmonds' Crazy Horses. I thought to myself "There's no way he knows that song. That song is like 30 years old and it was the B side of One Bad Apple. He can't be singing that song.". I had to know though so I said "Uhhh...are you singing Crazy Horses?" and thinking "He's not even going to know what I'm talking about." and B started to sing louder "Crazy horses! Waaaaah! Waaaah!".

I was floored that he knew that song and he said "Yeah, that was the only song I ever heard from that hard rock band. What were the called?"

"The Osmonds?"

"Yeah! That's it! I never heard anything from them again."

"Yeah, that's the Osmonds but they're not a hard rock band." and then I proceeded to tell him more about the Osmonds. He'd even seen Donny and Marie Osmond on CNN but never connected them to the Osmonds that he knew.

I was laughing like mad about him thinking they were some hard rock band and he was saying "I swear! I thought they were like Deep Purple or something!" which only made me laugh harder. So B said to me "I swear, we all thought that. That's the only song we ever heard from them. Ask Ines (a friend of ours) the next time you talk to her. She'll tell you."

So a few weeks later I did see Ines at a party and I said "Ines, do you remember the Osmonds?. She thought for a moment and replied "They did that Crazy Horses song, right?". I said that they did and then I asked "So what sort of music did they sing?" and she looked at me like I'd asked her if Shakespeare ever wrote something and answered "Hard rock" which prompted me to fall over laughing and for B to start yelling "See! See! I told you!".

You know if you forget about Jay Osmond flailing around as he sings the song and just don't look at the video and you can pretend that you've never before heard of the Osmonds then you can perhaps sorta kinda see how B got fooled.

Time to shuffle.
  1. All The Young Dudes - Mott The Hoople
  2. Aretha, Sing One For Me - Cat Power
  3. The Longest Day In The Afternoon - Irving
  4. Garden Party For The Murder Pride - Oranger
  5. Monday Morning - Fleetwood Mac
  6. Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
  7. Amarillo By Morning - George Strait
  8. The Man Who Told Everything - Doves
  9. Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills & Nash
  10. Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens


Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Do Take Requests

I've struggled all week to come up with something - anything! - about which to write and I can't come up with a thing. I can't even come up with a good meme to bore the shit out of y'all with.

A friend of mine in California and I had a laugh the other day when we talked about how I found out by accident that B thought that the Osmonds were a hard rock band. Did I ever tell y'all that story?

I'll tell it tomorrow if you want. Just let me know.


Monday, March 03, 2008

What Do You Do When You Have Nothing to Write?

Show a picture and pretend it's like providing actual blog content! Pray that all your readers are fooled!

Behold! One of the socks I'm knitting for UmmFarouq!


A little stitch detail for those among us who get positively giddy over things like groovy stitch details.


And that, dear friends, is what I did all weekend. What I did when I wasn't doing run-of-the-mill things like cutting B's hair and cooking supper and attempting to beat the ever growing pile of laundry into submission, that is. I knit and kept myself out of the storm that was howling outside my window. Have you seen the video of the Lufthansa plane attempting to land in Hamburg during the crazy winds? I didn't have anything that exciting go on but I did have to jump back from the heavy metal door of our apartment's trash room when I unlocked it and a gust of wind flung it back towards me with a great deal of speed. And very early on Saturday morning I was abruptly awakened by some pretty startling thunder and wind and rain blowing against my windows. Know how when you wake up suddenly you don't exactly have the most logical of thought processes? The wind was so strong and the rain was pounding against the glass so hard that it sounded to me as if the windows would give way and break at any moment. Sounded so convincing that I jumped up and sat in the living room for fifteen or so minutes until I woke up enough to realize that those windows absolutely weren't going to burst into the apartment. My apartment is built somewhat sturdier than Auntie Em and Uncle Henry's farm house.

So since it was dangerous to venture outdoors I stayed in. And knit. And knit. And knit. And now my right elbow is killing me.

Danger lurks around every corner.