Dixie Peach: April 2008

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quadruple Digits

It's a party round here today. Today marks my 1000th blog post and we're gonna celebrate in style. As you may expect it's not a celebration that would perhaps resemble a Roman feast or a masked ball at Versailles but there are cupcakes and Cheetoes and some cold duck.

Oh come on. It's virtual cold duck. In your mind you can make it taste like something other than the vile swill you used to sneak drink in high school.

When I started blogging I couldn't have predicted that I would ever reach 1000 posts or guess how long it would take me to get there. As it turns out I did reach the magic number and it took me about 3 1/2 years to do it. I don't know if you can call it reaching a goal if you never set one in the first place but I'll take it.

In that time you've been with me through all sorts of events and experiences. Two trips to America. Fights with my neighbors and the subsequent getting-the-hell-out-of-that-apartment in order to save my sanity and my husband's health. I confessed to you that I got stuck in my bathtub. I told you about my first semester of college. I admitted to you that I nearly knocked myself out at work with a plastic coat hanger. You've read about visits from my family, city festivals, and my little jaunts around the city. You've read me vent my frustrations at being the caregiver for my husband, my whines about the crappy weather - be it too hot or too cold or too's always too something - my rants over my husband's overbearing aunt and general frustration at the ever astonishing German bureaucracy. You've read about how I adore Christmas and my city's Christmas market and how much I miss my family in America during the holidays. In a thousand posts you've read about me taking up knitting again, shared with me my little projects, have endured lots of pictures of hand knit socks and kindly complimented them all. I've let you peek each Friday into my music library. And in a thousand posts you've read about my life with my husband, how I adore him, how we're bonded for life and how I fell in love with him when I first saw a photo of him from the 70s and he looked just like a rock star.


In 1000 posts I've been able to make some wonderful friends from around the world and I've been able to share in their lives as well. That may be the best part of all from 1000 posts. For that I thank you - for your encouragement, your kindness and caring and for giving me reason to keep writing.

Now here's your chance to talk back. Leave me a comment, especially if you've never done so before. I love a little de-lurking. And ask me a question. Today is the day I answer all questions so make it a good one!

Labels: ,

Monday, April 28, 2008

Same Dots, Different Day

Y'all have been hankering for a bulleted list, haven't you?
  • If you're an American somewhere between the ages of...say...35 and 50...and you hear the word "hanker", do you automatically think of this classic cartoon ditty?
  • Know what you get when you cross stays-on-16-hours lip gloss and your favorite t-shirt? A new dust rag! I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it and that stuff is stuck fast.
  • I talked with my mom last night and we got on to the topic of my great-grandfather - my grandfather's dad. I'd always heard that we had a Cajun woman in our family but I never knew who she was. Turns out she was my great-grandfather's mother - a Cajun woman who was married to a riverboat gambler. Riverboat gambler daddy was shot and killed (I'm not even going to speculate on that), Cajun mama remarried a jerk and my great-grandfather ran away from home and lived with family friends and they all eventually moved to Arkansas. And my great-grandfather, as a teenager, would ride into Mexico with his buddies to steal horses. Our family has gotten so much milder over the years.
  • Every clock in my apartment, save two, is wrong. One is on my microwave and I set that myself and one is on my digital TV decoder and they send the time signal for that. The rest? All of my radio controlled clocks? All of them are wrong and all of them show different times. Evidently they're getting a bad signal or someone has found out that it makes me a bit wiggy if I am not able to tell what time it is and they're trying to mess with my head. It's working!
  • Y'all would be amazed at how much I've caught up on my laundry. Bashed head aside, buying that second drying rack has changed everything.
  • Anyone want to come by and help me fold and put away clothes?


Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Geography Can Be Fun! Edition

The question on tonight's episode of Wer wird Millionär? (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) was "What river's name is not also the name of a U.S. state?

A. Mississippi
B. Hudson
C. Ohio
D. Colorado

B immediately piped up with "Hudson!".

"Right," I replied. "Now tell me where the Hudson River is."

"New York."

"Yeah, but where in New York?"

"What? It's in New York!"

"Yeah. But I wanted you to say it's in New York City."

"I did! I said it was New York!" By now B was beginning to sound slightly annoyed.

"Yeah, but one is a state and one is a city. New York City is in the state of New York but it's not all of New York. It's just a city. It's just a part of New York."

"New York is part of New York. New York is in New York."

"Right," I replied. And if you don't want any confusion you need to add the "city" to the name. That's the whole name. New York City. It's like Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City is in Oklahoma. New York City is in New York. Iowa City is in Iowa. And so on."

"Kansas City is in Kansas!"

"Uhhh...yeah. But that's not usually the Kansas City people are generally talking about. The Kansas City folks are usually talking about is in Missouri."

"Now you're just messing with me."

"And of course you know that Washington, D.C. is on the other side of the country from Washington State."

"Shut up."

I shut up. B's got a long, long, long fuse but even I know to quit when I'm ahead.

"Virginia City is in Nevada."

Pushing things right to the edge can be so tempting sometimes.

Let's shuffle.
  1. Poetry Man - Queen Latifah
  2. Song To John - June Carter Cash
  3. Show Me The Way - Peter Frampton
  4. Is There A Ghost - Band of Horses
  5. Rock 'n Roll Fantasy - Bad Company
  6. All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth - New Pornographers
  7. Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel
  8. Walk Right Back - Everly Brothers
  9. Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon - Urge Overkill
  10. Smokin' in the Boys Room - Mötley Crüe


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Use Your Mind's Eye

Imagine these things. Me. A newly-purchased six foot long clothes drying rack. A 1996 Toyota Starlet already holding a bunch of groceries. Now imagine all three in a variety of poses.

Worked out in the end though. I bashed my head on the hatchback only once and pinched my fingers three times.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mr. Kettle, You're Black Too Even If Your Head Says Otherwise

I had to run a few errands today and when I boarded the streetcar for home I didn't bother to sit down because I was going up just one stop. As soon as the door closed I looked to my left to see someone standing at the front of the streetcar next to the driver's compartment and as I registered that it was one of the people who get on and off to streetcars to check for valid tickets a voice behind me asked to see my streetcar ticket.

I pulled it out of my pocket, showed it to him and as I was tucking it back in I looked back towards the front of the car where the other ticket checker was writing a ticket for someone who didn't have a valid ticket.

I sometimes get tempted to ride without a ticket myself. Those who do it are called Schwarzfahrer - black rider - and I'll admit that I've done it. I've been shopping and bought something I hadn't planned on and it was heavy and I would get on the streetcar to ride one stop so I wouldn't have to carry my heavy stuff so far. A ticket that is good for 90 minutes costs 1.40€. A city ticket that's good for you to ride within a limited area and is valid from the time you get on until you get off as long as you're still within that area costs 80 cents. Yes, to save myself 80 cents I've ridden black. It's a risk though because if you're busted for it the fine is 40€. Believe me, the transit company has made plenty on me for every time I've spent 1.40€ on a ticket and I've ridden one stop down and one stop back withing the span of a half hour. Even so, the times I've ridden black are few and far between and I even feel guilty for doing it, as I probably should. It's essentially stealing and I can't really excuse what I've done.

So even though I've been guilty of riding black myself I will admit that I took extra glee when I noticed who was being ticketed for riding black. It was someone from my old neighborhood - some unemployed, welfare taking, perpetually drunk skinhead with "White Power" tattooed on his shaved head.

I know it's not right to rejoice in the misfortune of others but is it misfortune if you're being busted for doing something you knew was wrong in the first place?

Labels: ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dude. I Am So Cheating Now.

Wanna know what I did this weekend? Read, watched a pantload of soccer, watched a pantload of movies. In other words, the same stuff I do every weekend except I didn't knit as much.

And so this means that I don't have a lot to actually write about but I still feel like I need to give you something to read. And I need to get one post closer to Magic Post 1000.

So I'm going to cheat. I'm going to give you stuff I've already written.

One Ravelry I belong to a group where you list your top five of...whatever. Top five bands. Top five movies. You get the point. Here are some of my top fives, copied straight from Ravelry, including commentary from me and everything. And the best part? You can do it to! Just gank this from me like a meme, use the same categories and voila! Creamy meme goodness with no cooking!

Top Five Rock 'n Roll Hunks

~ Roger Daltry of The Who - I’ll probably go to my grave thinking he’s hot.
~ Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis - A little skinny and maybe a little goofy looking but he’s got that something.
~ Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi - Yeah. I know. But he’s a handsome guy.
~ Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea
~ Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters

Top Five Housework Quirks

~ I love to clean my kitchen at night. 10pm is perfect time for me to start.
~ It freaks me out a little to have wet hands (I’ll get them wet but I can’t wait to get them dry again) so rubber gloves are a must for me.
~ I’d rather take a good beating than vacuum.
~ I love ironing and I iron everything except for underclothes and towels.
~ I am virtually never caught up on my laundry.

Top Five Items In Your Closet You (Mostly) Can't Live Without

~ All my Birkenstocks, especially my Arizona sandals for wearing in the house and my Annapolis Mary Janes to wear outside the house.
~ My v-neck, all-cotton, long-sleeved t-shirts. And I really like the ones with the flowers embroidered around the neckline.
~ My khaki trousers. They look so nice all tidy and ironed.
~ All-cotton short sleeved camp shirts. They also look so nice when they’re ironed and all starchy.
~ My collection of scarves and wraps. Something to perk up every outfit.

Top Five Foods You Wouldn't Want To Live Without

~ Bacon. It’s the pearls of the food world - goes with everything.
~ Hellmann’s mayonnaise. I am known among my friends and blog readers (that's y'all!) as being a freak for Hellmann’s. And you know what? It goes with bacon!
~ Pasta. It’s a toss up really between pasta and potatoes but pasta nudges out the spuds.
~ Tomatoes. My hands down favorite veggie-that’s-really-a-fruit-but-everyone-considers-it-a-veggie-anyway. Goes with bacon. And Hellmann’s. And pasta!
~ Peaches. I eat peaches or peaches-are-an-ingredient food every day. And you can eat bacon with a fresh peach. You really can.

Top Five Dumb Things You Do

~ Wash towels. Be too lazy to hang them up to dry right away. Put it off for two days. Wet towels sour. Rewash towels. The cycle begins again.
~ Call my mother in Mississippi. Begin to speak to her in German. Conversely call my MIL. Begin to speak to her in English.
~ Sneeze while applying mascara. Lots of fun if you like to not only look like a raccoon but are dying to gouge out your eye.
~ Get in bed so exhausted that I’m asleep before I can pull up the duvet. Wake up hours later freezing.
~ Check my alarm clock about seventy jillion times that it’s set. And that it’s set for the correct time. Randomly wake up in the middle of the night and check it again just to be absolutely sure it’s set and set for the correct time.

Top Five Superpower You Would Want To Have

~ Healing. I’d love to make my husband walk again. * sniff *
~ Teleportation - that way my butt wouldn’t be in Germany when sometimes I really want to be back in Mississippi and vice versa.
~ Shape shifting - I’d love to be present in places where I’m not supposed to be. Like the Oval Office when the sooper secret stuff is going on.
~ The ability to eat anything that I want without any physical ill effects. Oh to be able to eat a whole Red Velvet cake without gaining 4 pounds and being sick to my stomach.
~ To be able to snap my fingers and have my home instantly clean and organized.

Y'all are shocked about me being freaky over having wet hands, aren't you? That and the fact that I love to iron.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Something Wicked This Way Comes Edition

B's cousin called us yesterday to wish him a happy birthday. We're close with B's cousin, who was born in Germany and who moved to Australia when he was about 10 or 12 years old, and we all call one another when our birthday's roll around. Cousin is going on a vacation with his family and will still be gone when it's B's birthday on May 9th so he wanted to call early to give his congratulations now.

Of course this caused B and I to look at one another with a bit of panic in our eyes. In Germany it's considered to be very bad luck to wish someone a happy birthday before their actual birthday rolls around. No early congratulations, no opening gifts or cards early, no parties before the actual day. Wishing someone an early happy birthday is courting disaster for that person - illness or accident or even death. You're just asking for the birthday boy or girl to have a misfortune occur before their birthday arrives.

Naturally this is all just rubbish. We're educated people. We're not prisoners of superstitions. We don't let old legends and customs micro-manage our lives and determine our futures. The future is determined by things we actually do now, not by the whims of fate. We will make our own luck! Our own futures! It us we who will determine whether our new life year will be one of happiness or one of disaster, not something as arbitrary as early birthday wishes!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to run up to the market and buy some salt. We're very low on it and no good German household would ever be without salt. No salt in the house is a guaranteed way to lose all your money and to force you into a life of poverty.

Time to shuffle.
  1. Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) - Robert Palmer
  2. Crazy Love - Van Morrison
  3. Take A Bow - Madonna
  4. Cliffs Of Dover - Eric Johnson
  5. Love Of My Life - Queen
  6. Zero - Smashing Pumpkins
  7. Hell Raiser - Sweet
  8. Devil's Dance Floor - Flogging Molly
  9. Magical World - Blackmore's Night
  10. D'Yer Maker - Led Zeppelin
Uh oh. The lone Madonna tune I have out of the thousands of songs in my iTunes and the one and only Madonna song I can even bear to listen to just shuffled up. Something is definitely up. I think we perhaps need to rethink this early-birthday-wishes-curse thing. And I need to not stand too close to my husband for the next three weeks.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

John Wilkes Booth Murdered My Sleep

I finished these socks a couple days ago.


Technical details for those who dig technical details:
Pattern: Tidal Wave
Yarn: Regia 4-ply Color
Colorway: 5030

Finishing these socks would normally mean that within ten minutes of grafting the toe closed on the second sock I'd be casting on for my next pair. And I did. Some pretty pink socks done in a cotton/poly blend yarn that's going to be crazy soft when I'm finished. I knit the cuff and about half of the first pattern repeat before I made an error that required me to unknit a half round - which, of course, I promptly bollocksed up in a way that required me to rip the whole thing apart. I started it again, knit two rounds of the cuff and put it down. That was last Sunday and I haven't knit a lick of it since. I've been so frenetic with my knitting lately that I need to take a break from it so I picked up and began to read again a book I'd started and put down after three chapters. Now I'm all into the story and I can't leave the book alone long enough to go back to knitting.

I'm reading the book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln I got about a month ago and it's fascinating. Well - maybe not to you but to an American history geek like me, it's fabulous. It's very well researched and it's dispelled some myths that I'd always read were true but suspected weren't true and lo and behold! they aren't true. Since there are very few books about Lincoln's assassination itself - most writings are book chapters or pamphlets or articles - details are explained in much greater detail than in anything else I've read on the subject. One is able to really see the players involved as actual fleshed-out humans instead of merely two-dimensional characters and I've found that the whole story before and after the actual act of assassination is more complex than I knew. This book is like watching a suspenseful movie with all sorts of nefarious players and I'm utterly sucked into it. I'm also a big fan of true crime books - they scare me in a way that regular horror books or movies don't - so this book not only feeds my history geekiness but feeds my true crime need-for-a-scary-thrill cravings.

I have, however, made a little mistake. My sleep has been messed up for days were I've been awakened too early and then I take a too-long nap later to to try to make up for it. That insures that I don't get sleepy until later than I want but then I'm again awakened too early which makes me need a nap and the cycle starts again. In an effort to try to get sleepy and because I'm finding it hard to put this book down - I'm reading it quite slowly, flipping to the back to check out the author's notes in the back when it's indicated - I've been reading it before bed. And as is normal for me when I read true crime books at night, it's been creeping me out. One may not think that a story as well-known as Lincoln's assassination would creep anyone out but it is. And the photo on the book of John Wilkes Booth and his soulless, beady eyes - well...eye, since half of his face is shaded out - is creeping me out even more. I read until I am so sleepy that I'm nearly dropping the book, put the book down, switch off the bedroom lamp and then lose my sleepiness because I'm feeling all freaky about John Wilkes Booth's ghost possibly being in my bedroom. Never mind that I don't much believe in ghosts, live in Germany and am pretty certain that John Wilkes Booth was never even in Germany, let alone left his ghostly spirit here. When it's 3am and you're tired, already sleep deprived and have been reading just the sort of book that pushes your freak-out buttons, anything seems possible.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unbridled Glee

Boy oh boy! Another fabulous day! From now on I'm going to consider April 14th to be the anniversary of one of the most wonderful days of my life. "What could be so great?", you say? Sit back and get comfortable and I'll tell you. Be prepared to be envious of how fan-damn-tastic my day has been!

~ Some people hate Monday mornings. I love 'em! Especially when I'm awakened at 7am by someone drilling in the concrete slab walls. Nothing says "Up and at 'em!" like being shaken from your bed by a drill hammer!

~ I love meeting new people. One of my favorite ways to meet new folks is walking to the bakery and seeing the folks who are gathered at the streetcar stop. Today I met a most pleasant gentleman who greeted me in a most pleasant manner as he walked away from the streetcar stop. I walked by and he got right in my face babbling "Bububububububaaaaaaa!" repeatedly. And loud! Good morning to you too, sir!

~ As I was awakened this morning from my pleasant, dream-filled slumber, chief among them being the dream that I had were I was imprisoned along with others by a woman who bore a frightening resemblance to Ann Coulter and I had to escape through a small window and run for my life through some dark woods, I opted to take a nap this afternoon. I cannot express how grateful I was to be awakened from it by a salesman who cheerfully telephoned me and asked me if I was happy with my current phone company. Why yes I am, kind sir! I thank you for your concern and I thank you for making sure I stay sleep deprived!

~ B and I chose to forgo a large supper this evening and instead opted to eat from whatever we had on hand. For him there was pasta and one small, single-serving jar of a pasta sauce that he particularly likes. For me there was a frozen pasta dish that I have eaten more than just a few times over the past five or six years. I prepared both dishes and I was jump-up-and-down thrilled to take a bite of my pasta dish and find that the sauce had gone sour! Few things thrill me more than the potential for food poisoning but I instead opted to set that dish aside and eat the only other things I had available for quick preparation and consumption - two eggs, which I boiled and ate with some saltine crackers. Excuse me. Let me correct myself, lest you believe that I gorged myself on two whole boiled eggs. I dislike boiled egg yolks so I dined on a sumptuous feast of boiled egg whites and saltine crackers. All washed own with a tasty, chilled glass of tap water. The gourmet in me is thoroughly satisfied.

~ Our doctor came by for her regular visit last Thursday and she wrote for us prescriptions for our regular medications, which we gave to my MIL to have filled since she lives right by the pharmacy we frequent. After supper I noticed that we didn't have any of the medication that I needed for B and a search in the other places where his medications would be stored left me empty handed. I certainly love a panicked search of my apartment for small boxes of medicine and I can happily report that all of the calories I consumed at supper are now long gone. We called my MIL to ask if perhaps she had gone already to the pharmacy and we were informed that she hadn't as we had reported to her, in error as it now seems, that she had time to get the prescriptions filled. Understandably B and I nearly shouted with joy at this news and my MIL, being as nothing fills her with more joy than to see us so thrilled by receiving good news, proceeded to repeat another four times that she hadn't gone to the pharmacy because we'd informed her that there was no rush to do so. By the time we'd hung up with my MIL, B and I were practically dancing with glee at the five-times-repeated news that my MIL hadn't been to the pharmacy yet.

~ At approximately 9:50pm our new neighbors, who seem not to posses a clock or perhaps they lack the skill of telling time, bid us a cheerful "Goodnight!" by beginning to drill once again. I, anxious to let them know that I had received their greeting, stamped my foot vigorously to say to them, "Sweet dream to you as well! And if you continue to drill, I will insure that your intestines will be removed via your nostrils! Nighty-night!"

No, no. Don't try to top me. It would be impossible. There is no way that your day could be as happy, well-organized and filled with contentment as my day was. Man has yet to invent anything that can measure the joy I've experienced today.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Back the Hell Off of Me Edition

I know I've been shortchanging y'all lately and for that I'm sorry. I should write more, make things a little more interesting and make y'all anxious to come back for more lively prose but this week just isn't working out well. I've had so much going on, demands on my time and general all-hell-breaking-loose that I feel like a cat trying to make a litter box on an ice floe. Lots of effort, no tangible results. Right now I just need someone to cut me a slackburger with cheese and I'll eventually get to everything that needs to get gotten to.

And now my right eyebrow is twitching like a squirrel on Pez.

But while y'all are here, how about I propose something? I'm 9 or 10 posts away from my 1,000th blog entry. How about for my 1,000th blog entry we do a general delurking day? And that'll also be the day when you can ask me whatever question you want to ask me. How's that for shameless begging for comments? Errrr. I mean, how's that for celebrating and encouraging audience participation?

Time to shuffle. No matter how disorganized things get, there's always time to shuffle.
  1. Television - Hard-Fi
  2. Hurricane - Athlete
  3. Passionate Kisses - Mary-Chapin Carpenter
  4. The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead - XTC
  5. Papa Was A Rolling Stone - The Temptations
  6. What Do You Want From Me This Time? - Foster & Lloyd
  7. April In Paris - Glenn Miller Orchestra
  8. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) - John Lennon
  9. She's A Rainbow - Rolling Stones
  10. Tiny Little Fractures - Snow Patrol


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Blues in Three Lines

Let's have some fun. I'm about done in with feeling blue over the lost of Gumbo. I'm still sad but it's beginning to smother me and that's my signal for a little distraction.

Time to tacky up a revered form of Japanese poetry.

Stand at streetcar stop
Drizzle starts and annoys me
Either rain or don't.

Soccer's on TV
Please! Luca! Just make a goal!
I'm a nervous wreck.

Had shrimp for supper
With pasta, veggies and sauce
Pink curls of heaven.

Yay! Ribéry scores!
A goal in the last minute!
He's my French boyfriend.

Two goals against us.
Impossible to win now.
Soccer is grueome.

Great. Now I'm bluer than when I started.

No poems tomorrow. Some good shuffling though. Drop on by and wear your dancing shoes.

Edited to add: I think I just had a heart attack. The Getafe vs. Bayern-München was tied after 90 minutes but since their first game was also tied 1-1 they had to play overtime. Within just a few minutes of the first overtime period Getafe scored 2 goals. What's the chances of coming back from that? Normally those chances would be pretty slim but Luca Toni (my Italian boyfriend) scored one goal and then literally in the last minute he scored another goal. Game over. It was 3-3 but since Bayern scored more goals when they were the away team they move ahead in the UEFA cup.

Now I have to restart my heart.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

...and then it's gone.

I think anyone who knows me, even from here, knows that I tend to stick to a routine. It simply works out better since I'm responsible for B's care. If I do certain things every day then what really needs to be done gets done.

For the last eight-and-a-half years one of my daily routines has been to participate on an Internet bulletin board. It's through the website for the author, Rebecca Wells, and it's called Gumbo Ya-Ya, or just Gumbo for short. I joined it just over two weeks after B and I were married and with the exception of when I was traveling or when I was hospitalized I was there virtually every single day.

When I joined I never intended to stay around for this long. I figured that once the novelty wore off I'd move along to the next thing to catch my interest. I never imagined that I would find there some of the most wonderful friends I've ever had.

Back when I joined it was a fairly small board. It moved rather slowly and a day's worth of new threads could be contained on one page. New members joined with regularity and I loved that people from all over the US joined as well as people from Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and one lone American lady living in Germany. Pretty soon I went from being a newbie to a long-timer and over the years our ranks grew, especially after the premiere of film The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

The Gumbo board, over the years, became a big part of my social structure. I live a life that can be isolating - I have to stay home most of the time and I live in a foreign country - so socializing with the other members of the board became important to me. They became my social connection and people I could share my life with. It didn't matter that most of them lived nearly halfway around the world - they're my friends. They know me and I know them. I don't feel lonesome knowing that my Gumbo friends are out there. Most are women but we have a few fellas there that put up with us and add something special to our ranks.

I wish I could describe to y'all how strong and true the friendships that are made on Gumbo really are. I know they've been there for me when I needed them. When I was sick and needed surgery, they never forgot me and knowing they were praying for me eased my heart. When I needed advice they were glad to tell me what I needed to know. And three times when I came to America to visit, my friends from Gumbo traveled hundreds, in some cases thousands, of miles to see me because it was important for them to give me a real hug after years of cyber ones.

Over the years real life happened on Gumbo. Some of us married, some divorced. Babies were born and family died. We graduated from high school and college and our kids did the same. We moved, we got fired from jobs and we got new ones. We got sick, we got well, and many times our spirits healed as well as our bodies. We talked about what we loved, what we hated, what we were afraid of and what we couldn't wait to do. We talked about movies, books, music, hot-looking actors, what's for dinner, what's a good diet, our hobbies, our favorite pie, politics, and current events. We supported one another when one was feeling lost and we prayed when we needed some guidance. We laughed at the goofy pranks we'd play and if some troll would show up and harass us and tell us to get a life we'd answer that we did have a life. This was life. Everything that could be found in a life was right there on Gumbo.

Unfortunately living also means eventually dying and it happened on Gumbo too. We lost some members over the years - some through illness, some through accident - and our hearts broke every time. We'd feel the loss to our core and we'd do our best to keep the memories of those we lost alive.

Gumbo is dying as well. We were told by Harper Collins publishing that it would no longer be included on Rebecca's website as of April 21, 2008 and now there are a lot of heartbroken women and men. Now everything is changing. No longer will my comfortable Gumbo home will be there. The place where everyone knew me and I could count on these people to be a part of my world. It's going to be gone.

We're trying to set up other bulletin boards so we don't lose touch with one another but it's not going to be the same. The same structure, the same dynamics, the same niches we had will be gone. It's like high school. You spend years and years with the same people and then suddenly it's graduation day. You promise to keep in touch but you know that you won't in every single case. You'll see some again at your new stop in life but there are others you'll never see again and you'll regret not having spent more time with them.

I won't have trouble keeping in touch with those who I'm already close with and I'll admit that there are some I won't miss seeing but what makes me sad is the loss of what was possible. I'm losing the possibility to get closer to some and I'm losing the possibility of meeting new folks. Folks that I could grow to love as much as those I already do. There will be stories left unfinished for me. How's her pregnancy going to go? Is she going to find a new job? And her - will she find love again? Is she going to graduate from college and start her dream career? Will her illness be cured? I want to know the next chapter of the story but now it seems that it won't be written - or what does get written will always somehow be incomplete.

I wish somehow someone would find the magic wand that could be waved to stop all this. We just want to go on with the Gumbo life we've created. And it hurts to think that corporate decisions made by those who don't know about us is going to end a life that was real and vibrant and good.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Penciled In Each Week Edition

I did my weekly scheduling all wrong. Tomorrow I want to go to a cafe and knit for a while and maybe just read. Drink lots of tea and look at and wonder about all the people who pass in and out. That's what I want my Saturday to shape up to.

Instead I need to vacuum and mop my creepy, filthy floors, give my husband a haircut and make potato salad. And go buy milk. Along with getting my weekly schedule all wrong I also miscalculated and bought only one liter of milk yesterday when I really needed about three. Oh! And I need to buy another clothes drying rack because I'm about to get serious with getting caught up on the laundry.

Which I guess would eventually free me up to sit in cafes and knit.

Since we're sticking to a schedule - time to shuffle.
  1. Memories Are Made Of This - Dean Martin
  2. Waitress - Live
  3. Good Times Bad Times - Led Zeppelin
  4. Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
  5. Stop Stop Stop - The Hollies
  6. Devil's Arcade - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Killer Queen - Queen
  8. Supernatural Superserious - REM
  9. Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us - Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
  10. Henrietta - The Fratellis


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Home Cure

I'd been channeling John Belushi all day.

And then I drank two big glasses of tomato juice. Tomato juice with pepper. And Worcestershire sauce. And a celery stick. And two fingers of Absolut Citron.

Evidently I had a massive vitamin A and C deficiency that was making me cranky because I felt so much better afterwards.