Dixie Peach: October 2008

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Brilliant Disguise Edition

When I was a child my mother made all of my Halloween costumes. One year I was an Indian maiden in a dress made to look like fringed buckskin with beading all over it. One year I was a pioneer girl with an old fashioned calico dress and a sunbonnet. Another year I was colonial boy with knee breeches and buckled shoes, puffy shirt and my hair back in a ponytail.

My most off-beat costume may have been from when I was five years old and in kindergarten. That's the year a wore a flowing white toga-like gown with gold piping and a wreath of leaves in my hair - the year I was a Greek goddess. At that age I had no idea what a Greek goddess was. I doubt that I'd ever heard of Greece when I was that age. This may be why I kept telling everyone that I was a "grape goddess".

The only dressing up Bixente the iPod ever does is don the iPod cozy I knit for him. Time to shuffle.
  1. Crack The Shutters - Snow Patrol
  2. Teal Missing - The Audience
  3. Mother And Child Reunion - Paul Simon
  4. Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits
  5. Around The Bend - The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
  6. Green Light (feat. Andre 3000) - John Legend
  7. Summer - David Garrett
  8. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple
  9. Read My Mind - The Killers
  10. Hard To Beat - Hard-Fi
See y'all tomorrow. Starting then you're stuck with me for the next thirty days. Snacks will be served.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Things Autumn Brings

Socks and NaBloPoMo.

First the socks. I finished them tonight as I was watching The Sopranos.


Quick yarny talk:

Pattern: Stems by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: Regia Galaxy Saturn (lovely to work with as all Regia yarns I've used have been)
Colorway: 01584

I noticed the Saturny look of the yarn was lost in the lacy leg so instead of running the leg pattern down the instep I just knit it all stockinette so show off the pattern of the yarn. Plus I think it'll make wearing them more comfortable.

As for NaBloPoMo, I'll be participating again this year. I know that these days one can participate any month but since it originally was a November deal I'm going to stick to tradition and make my month of blogging each day be November. However, this time instead of getting halfway through the month and having my blog entries consist of a lot of "Whine! It's hard to think of something to write!" I will go into this deal with an actual game plan - I'll be writing with a theme in mind: Favorites. Each entry will involve something that's a favorite of mine - book, song, album, band, movie, TV show, get the idea. You may have to read entries about my favorite nut (which is the pecan, by the way) but going into this with a goal in mind should help tremendously.

What about you? Are you planning on NaBloPoMoing this November? Never tried it before? Then jump on over here to sign up and take on the challenge.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

East, West, Home's Best

Renate called this afternoon. I immediately started praying that she wouldn't asked to speak to me because I absolutely will not speak to anyone on the phone in German unless I have no other choice. It makes me nervous to do so, therefore I avoid it. However she seemed content to speak with B and it's likely she figured that I was around listening anyway since he has to use a speakerphone.

Renate said she was sorry she couldn't get up with me for another visit before she left town (she works as a caregiver for an elderly woman in Frankfurt - she's on duty 24 hours a day for two or three weeks at a stretch and then she switches with another caregiver and has off two or three weeks which is when she's back here in town). I like her fine and all but not seeing her again so soon didn't break my heart any.

She also mentioned that when she's back here she'll call and maybe she and I can meet up somewhere and hang out. Perhaps have lunch together. Do some girlfriend stuff because she knows I must be dying to get out of our flat for a few hours.

Actually I'm not.

When I was a kid I couldn't wait to get out of the house. I stayed gone as much as I could get away with. I would much rather play at a friend's house than be at home. Growing up in my home could best be described as chaotic and hectic and I really needed to be somewhere else that wasn't so oppressive.

Now I have my own home and I have become a true homebody. I love being at home. Don't get me wrong - I have no problem going out. I'm not one of those folks who avoids going outside - I simply prefer to be home most of the time. I like my flat. I like being with my husband. I miss him when I'm not with him. There are two big reasons I have been able to spend the last eleven years of my life with a homebound person without us constantly fighting and either of us going crazy. The first is that I adore my husband beyond reason and I'd rather be with him than any other person in the world. We never get sick of each other. The other reason is that I simply like being at home.

Cabin fever? I don't really get it. I do need to get outside long enough to get some fresh air and some sunshine on my face if there is some but I don't particularly need to go somewhere. I'm very content to be in my flat and take care of things there, knit, read, talk with B, watch movies together. Go ahead and drop me on one of those little villages on an island in the North Sea. If I can still get broadband internet access and my DVR works, I'll be fine.

Renate will call again in a couple weeks and I'm sure I'll meet up with her for a little mall prowling or to have lunch together and I'll be happy to do that. And without a doubt I will be looking for the earliest opportunity to get back home.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Shuffle - No Prelude Edition

Nothing of note happened today so instead of blah, blah, blahing about nothing, why not just get at what y'all dropped 'round here for anyway?

And after this I'm going to make myself a cup of peach infused white tea, get out a package of lemon wafer cookies, cuddle up with my husband and rewatch an episode Lost that I recorded. 'Cause tomorrow my digital TV service is going to show the last five shows of season 4 and that last episode I watched was confusing.

Bixente the iPod - shuffle for us.
  1. Pride And Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. Cologne - Ben Folds
  3. Waterloo - ABBA
  4. Drück Die 1 - Annett Louisan
  5. If I'd Been The One - .38 Special
  6. Never Miss A Beat - Kaiser Chiefs
  7. Magic - Robin Thicke
  8. Hey You - Bachman Turner Overdrive
  9. Gravity - Alison Krauss & Union Station
  10. Love Runs Deeper - Lindsey Buckingham
Have a great weekend. Start right away.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Old Time Rock 'n' Roll

B and I watched seven episodes of The Tudors in one day. Now, more than ever, am I glad I live in a world of brassieres, toothbrushes and regular bathing, physicians who don't believe that everything is cured by bloodletting and music that doesn't feature lutes and shawms.

I like lutes and shawms. A lot, actually. Just not non-stop lutes and shawms.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gray Day

B's not feeling well again. I hate it for him because when he's feeling awful there's not a lot I can do to relieve it.

It all just serves to remind me that he's disabled and his physiology is quite different than an able bodied person. The muscles in his body are slack and weak and don't respond like they should. He's going to age faster than if he were able bodied and while most of the time I don't dwell on it, I still think of it and it makes me sad.

I try not to think too far ahead and borrow trouble but I know that reality is going to begin snapping at our heels one day.

Tomorrow will be better.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Creeped Out Edition

I can't say I'm a big fan of horror movies. If they're the ghosty kind or have a lot of twists to the plot then I like them but slasher type movies only serve to bore me. I'm more annoyed by the gore than I am frightened of it. Maybe it has something to do with the blood and guts being more in your face than in your mind and that's why I like horror books so much more.

A well written book of any sort allows your mind to take up occupancy in the story. Instead of someone interpreting for you how things look or connect, as is done in movies, your get to put it all together yourself. The scenes, the characters, the locations - they sprout from the author's mind but you transplant them to your own head for them to take root. I think that's why I can remember scary books with much more clarity than I can a scary movie, even when it's the same story. Believe me, Stephen King's The Shining, has stuck with me much longer and much more deeply than the film ever did. It doesn't even matter that I've read the book maybe twice but have seen the film at least six times and I first read the book about thirty years ago.

Yesterday Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill was delivered to me. Friends had recommended it to me as being a very scary book and as I had been hankering to read something spooky, I ordered it. I began reading it immediately and so far I'm enjoying it thoroughly. The author, who happens to be Stephen King's son, has the knack for getting me sucked into these characters immediately and he tells a story and describes a scene very well. I'm not far enough into the book yet for anything super scary to have happened but it's coming. I know it's coming and all at once I can't wait for it and I'm dreading it.

I love reading creepy tales - horror books and ghost stories and true crime stuff - and yet I dread how they tend to creep into my sleep and invade my dreams. I will lay in bed in the dark and listen to every sound and wonder if there's something out there wanting to do me harm. In the daylight it all seems ridiculous but once I go to bed and the moonlight steals into my window it all changes. Not very long ago I'd read something a bit scary before bedtime. I'd fallen asleep just fine but before it had begun to get light outside I awoke and saw someone dressed all in white in my bedroom. I then realized that the someone in white was the electric fan as viewed in the moonlight without my glasses being on but not before I had screamed like a banshee and nearly gave my husband a stroke.

I know the truly creepy, the very scary, and the absolutely horrific are coming in this book and I can't wait and I know I'm going to be so sorry afterwards. I already credit The Shining for preventing me from walking through the labyrinth of my basement without breaking into a sweat. I'm afraid I'm going to be in for something worse with Heart-Shaped Box.

The very non-threatening Bixente the iPod will now shuffle for us.
  1. Meeting Place - The Last Shadow Puppets
  2. Run Run - Those Dancing Days
  3. Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul & Mary
  4. In Berlin - Sugarplum Fairy
  5. Where We Are - Asher Lane
  6. You Wanted More - Tonic
  7. Massachusetts - The Bee Gees
  8. Evil Ways - Santana
  9. Barbara Allen - Everly Brothers
  10. Never Going Back Again - Fleetwood Mac
Have a great weekend. I'll leave a nightlight on.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Pencil Required. No Chads to Hang.

Right now on TV is a show about the last days of the DDR (East Germany). Since B lived the first thirty years of his life under this regime, he's always interested in this topic.

"Look! Look! Look at how we had to vote! You didn't mark the ballot - all you did was fold it over and throw it in the box. We even called it 'going to fold' instead of 'going to vote'. 'I'm going to go fold now!'"

"What? You didn't check or circle any names?"

"No. It was just a list of names and you folded the paper over and that was it. You could cross through names or just make a big X over everything on the list and it would still count as a 'yes' vote."

"So all the people on the ballot won?"

"Yeah. It was a list of all the people running for office - for a seat in the government - and that's who you voted for. You didn't run if you weren't going to be one of the winners. There were no losers on the ballot. Look! They're showing a ballot right now! That list of people were who you were voting for and they all won. Now sometimes you could check yes or no to a question."

"What was the question?"

"Are you for world peace?"

"Who in the world would check 'no' to that question?"

"No one, of course. It was all just some shit. To make you think you were expressing an opinion with your vote, I guess. Like if you didn't vote and check yes you were really against world peace."

"What was the point of voting then?"

"That's just it. There was no point to voting! Isn't that funny?"

"No. That's sick. It's perverse and sick to call your nation 'democratic' - to have it in the name of your country - and it not be even close to an actual democracy."

"I agree. I agree. And what was worse is that we were required to vote. You had to do it. Remember me telling you that after my accident I refused to vote because they wouldn't give me my proper disability pension? They - the party people - came to me and demanded that I vote. It was all such a joke. Vote? Vote for what? I said to them, 'What are you going to do? Put me in jail? You give me my money and then I'll vote!' and my dad was freaking out that they'd put him in jail because I wouldn't vote."

"Did you get your money?"

"Eventually. But I still wouldn't vote."


If you're a US citizen, you need to always remember how precious your vote is. How important it is. It isn't just lip service. It really does have an impact on your nation and on the world. And this election cycle it could be even more important because this could be a very close election. Don't waste this opportunity.

There are just three weeks left before the US election. If you haven't registered and still have an opportunity to, do it. And when election day arrives, go vote. Don't give away a right that others around the world have struggled to have for themselves.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Economic Woes Edition

I live in the shopping district of my city. There are all sorts of shops, boutiques, bakeries, restaurants, florists, pharmacies and kiosks at the bottom of the apartment buildings around where I live. There's even a new cabaret set to open in a couple of weeks.

I noticed yesterday as I got off at the streetcar stop in front of my building that one of the clothing stores - one that had opened six or eight months ago - was closed. Gone out of business. The shop was completely empty save the naked male and female mannequins in the shop windows.

The name of the shop? Nothing Else.

I have no idea how to run a retail business but it's my guess that naming it something upbeat and positive would be the way to go just in case that self-fulfilling prophecy thing has some merit to it.

Time are tough now for everyone. Good thing Bixente the iPod is a cheap date. Time to shuffle.
  1. Stay By My Side - Fiddler's Green
  2. Tremble For My Beloved - Collective Soul
  3. I Wish The Best For You - Emerson Hart
  4. In Love With A Girl - Gavin DeGraw
  5. Little Round Mirrors - Harvey Danger
  6. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Here And Now - Great Big Sea
  8. Please Please Me - The Beatles
  9. Can't Help Falling In Love - Blackmore's Night
  10. Substitute - The Who


Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'll Have That With a Biscotti and Peanuts, Please

Beers with all sorts of added flavors, juices and whatnot are popular. Beer with lemon. Beer with cola. Beer with apple. With dragonfruit. With hot peppers. With honey. With energy drink. With grapefruit - that one, presumably, because someone found that beer just wasn't bitter enough on its own. If you're the sort of person who digs beer with a fruit smoothie then more power to you.

I thought every combination had been done until yesterday when I saw for sale bottles of beer plus cappuccino. And I'm wondering if it's going to be proper to have a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top or perhaps a decorative heart drawn in the foam.

I'm now waiting for beer with gingerbread spice latte or beer with eggnog. You know. For those festive holiday get togethers.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I had stuff I wanted to write about but it's been ruined because right now only one thing is on my mind. Tonight for supper I had shrimp with garlic and herbs and now my whole flat stinks of garlic. I've got the windows open, I've sprayed air freshener around, I've washed everything in the kitchen - it still stinks. Reeks. It's as if my entire flat has been steeped in garlic. So garlic stinky that I can't even think about anything else save how freaky ass garlicky everything smells. So bad that the fictional vampire books on my shelves are beating on the door to escape. I just know I'll never get any sleep because I'll be terrorized by the stench of garlic all night.

Shit. Now we're going to have to move or else be haunted forever by torturous garlicky shrimp.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Too Comfortable Seating

Two friends of ours, Renate and Helga, came over this afternoon for coffee and cake. Helga's son was in the same rehabilitation hospital with B after their respective accidents and Renate is the mother of our friend, Tina. And Tina is married to Helga's younger son, Ingo. Following all that?

I completely overlooked it when they arrived a half hour earlier than I had expected them. Yesterday Helga had told us that she was meeting Renate at 2pm at the market square and then they'd walk on up to our flat. I figured I had at least until 2:15pm before they arrived. Instead they caught me at 1:45pm with the table not yet set and the coffee not made. No problem - I just got things ready as they talked with B.

We were having a pleasant visit together and eventually the conversation turned to a discussion of how Renate is very disgusted with Gerd. She took over his old flat when Gerd moved in with my MIL and there's some bad blood between them - too long to explain here and frankly it's something that likely would cause you to go in search of two aspirin and a Bloody Mary with which to wash them down. Suffice it to say it was interesting, dishy gossip.

Around 4:00pm Helga's sister came by to go home with Helga and before leaving she sat with us to have a drink and to chat for about a half hour. Finally they got up and asked Renate if she was leaving with them and Renate replied "Oh I'll stay around for a while if they'll have me.".

I thought she was just being amusing. Instead Renate was dead serious.

It was only 4:30pm and I figured she'd hang out another fifteen minutes or so. Suddenly I began to get sleepy and was having to stifle yawns. Renate stayed longer and I was mentally begging for her to go. I picked up my knitting to work on as we chatted, hoping it would send a subtle message. It didn't. I was now hiding yawns with my hand and my contribution to the conversation was restricted to a lot of "Ja. Ja. Uh huh. Ja". That's one thing about Renate - you don't have to worry about any dead spots in the conversation. She'll gladly do all the talking and if you let her she'll answer herself as well.

I like Renate. She's a little quirky but likeable. In that way she's like Gerd - not a bad person, just quirky with some quirks being more tolerable than others.

It got later and finally I was on the verge of open yawning but, as I was not raised by wolves, I resisted. I finally began to panic when in conversation Renate mentioned that she liked to watch on Mondays Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and when B said he did too she replied "Oh good! Then I won't have to watch it by myself tonight!". And I'm 99% sure she wasn't kidding.

I knew that if I was getting tired of this visit that B must really be suffering but, frankly, I suck at hinting that people should just go home. Luckily B has a ready made excuse - he's handicapped. Finally just before 6:00pm he said, in a very casual way I might add, "I must be getting very tired. My legs are starting to get bad spasms.". Renate, thankfully, picked up the meaning and said she would head on home.

Four hours and fifteen minutes. Renate was here for coffee and cake for four hours and fifteen minutes. I hate to sound all anti-social but damn! Unless you're someone I only see once every three years, a four hour and fifteen minute coffee and cake visit from you is too long. I sure as hell wouldn't inflict myself upon someone for that long unless it were planned head of time and I'd traveled from a distant city to make the visit. I didn't spend that long at my siblings' respective wedding recptions. Hell, I didn't spent that much time at my own wedding receptions. Either of them.

A year ago when I was back home in Mississippi and my girlfriends came to visit me for a weekend, we all went to visit my mother at the care facility where she lives. In my mother's room is her bed, her recliner and one wingback chair so we had to find seating for all of us as best we could. My mother apologized that she no long had her couch but it wouldn't fit in her room. "And anyway", she added, "if you have a couch, folks just sit on down to visit and you can't get rid of them!".

At the time my friends all laughed heartily at her comment and I chuckled along in that "Oh that wacky mama of mine! Miss Virginia will just say anything that pops in her mind!" way, but now I'm beginning to see her point.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Shuffle - Day Off Edition

It's a holiday here (German Reunification Day). Every day is a holiday in the Peach household so the only thing different about this day and a run-of-the-mill Friday is that today the TV programming was all "special" with lots of movies being shown all day and stores were closed. Oh! And I was awakened at 8:30am by my neighbor's daughter playing the piano. She's normally in school on Fridays and doesn't waken me with piano playing until the weekend.

And that's the biggest difference between holidays in Germany and holidays in the US. In the US a holiday means having the day off from work and we go shopping. In Germany we have the day off, shopping is impossible but to make up for it we have the opportunity to spend the afternoon watching both parts of Merlin. For the eighth time.

Bixente, the iPod doesn't take holidays. Let's shuffle.
  1. Never Thought I'd Say That It's Alright - Sugarplum Fairy
  2. Windy - The Association
  3. Song To Self - Travis
  4. Killing The Blues - Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
  5. There's A Place - The Beatles
  6. Serenade In Blue - The Glenn Miller Orchestra
  7. Poison Heart - The Ramones
  8. Passionate Kisses - Mary-Chapin Carpenter
  9. Walking On Broken Glass - Annie Lennox
  10. Mein Regen - 1000 Robota

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Socks. But then you were already expecting that, weren't you?


Gratuitous yarny talk:

Pattern: Spring Forward
Yarn: Gedifra Socks Color
Colorway: 7059

I always try to include the gratuitous yarny talk even if a vast majority of y'all don't give a crap about what pattern the socks are or what yarn I used. Still if I didn't do it it would feel funny. The world may go out of balance if I didn't tell y'all all the little details. It's been rumored that the current economic crisis in America may have been caused by a knitting blogger not giving project details. Do not piss off the gods o' fiber arts!

Things were all cosy and nesty today here at Casa del Peach. Crap weather was braved in order to get the supplies to make beef stew (crap weather and beef stew - a marriage made in heaven...or at least in my kitchen) and I then spent the rest of my free time watching Twin Peaks on DVD and knitting on a scarf. I once read that in Germany Twin Peaks was pulled from TV after only a few episodes because a competing TV network revealed early who actually killed Laura Palmer. Assholery is alive and well on German television! In any case it was almost comforting in a way to find that the creepy parts of Twin Peaks still creep me out in the same way as they did the first time I watched it. Comforting like a big cup of hot cocoa on a windy, rainy afternoon. If it were served to you by a serial killer.

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