Dixie Peach: April 2009

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Shuffle - 800 Years Edition

I love Magdeburg's cathedral. It sits in the middle of the city and Magdeburg is so flat that regardless of what direction you enter the city you can see it.

Today at the cathedral was the beginning of months of scheduled celebrations to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone. On the same spot was originally an abbey built of wood which later became the city's cathedral but it was destroyed in a fire in 1207. Two years later in 1209 they began to rebuild the cathedral and it took about 300 years to complete.

In the summer when it's horribly hot outside it's lovely to go into the cathedral. The walls are all thick stone and it's always cool inside and I always feel comforted when I'm there, regardless of the time of year. There's a new pipe organ - the original had been completely destroyed during the 1945 bombing of Magdeburg - that's absolutely gorgeous. The baptismal font is huge - I understand it likely was originally to be a fountain or was a fountain - and is said to be thousands of years old. In one corner of the cathedral is an Ehrenmal - an honor memorial - that depicts the sadness and misery of war and candles for peace are lit at its base. The graves of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I and his first wife, Editha are there. And one of my favorite things at the cathedral is outside of the north entrance to the transept - the sculptures of the ten virgins from the Bible - five wise virgins who are smiling and happy because they brought their lamp oil to the wedding and five foolish virgins who are miserable and crying because they didn't bring their oil and have to miss the wedding feast. Their expressions are so compelling and I could study them for hours.

Over the centuries the cathedral has seen many changes and uses. Originally it was a Catholic cathedral but years after Martin Luther preached at other churches in Magdeburg, the priests at the cathedral coverted to Protestantism and it's still a Protestant cathedral. During the Thirty Years War the virtually only survivors of the slaughter of Magdeburg in 1631 were the the 4000 people who hid out in the cathedral and survived because the head priest of the cathedral, on his knees, begged General Tilly for the people to be spared. For a while the cathedral was used as a fortress and even for a time as a horse barn and sheep pen. It's been looted, had all it's windows smashed, been bombed and caught on fire, but 800 years after its construction began, it's still there. The renovation and repair of the cathedral is almost unending. I moved to Magdeburg in late 1997 and it wasn't until a couple months ago that I had ever seen the cathedral without one or the other of its towers covered in scaffolding.

And its bells. They're named Susanne, Apostolica and Dominica. I love their voices and if I happen to be close enough at noontime to hear them ring I pause what I'm doing until they stop.

During the time that Magdeburg was part of East Germany, most people here weren't religious but it never stopped the cathedral from being the heart of the city. It was a natural meeting place for folks to gather in 1989 to begin the Monday protest marches that were so instrumental in the demise of communism in East Germany. I think for a lot of people in Magdeburg the cathedral is their favorite building in the city and when they've been away for a while they get a feeling of being home again when they can see its towers in the distance. Even when I am in my flat I like to stand out on my balcony and look southward and see the cathedral. It gives me a feeling of being home even though my home is really thousands of miles away.

Let's shuffle.
  1. Here In The Real World - Alan Jackson
  2. Morning Star - Blackmore's Night
  3. There Are No Goodbyes - Sophia
  4. I Want You Now - The Feeling
  5. I Wanna - The All-American Rejects
  6. Spring Released - Grant-Lee Phillips
  7. In The Mood - Glenn Miller Orchestra
  8. Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
  9. You Wanted More - Tonic
  10. Spanish Flea - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Have a great weekend. Go somewhere you love to be.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

After Having Watched a News Piece About Asparagus Season

B: Did you know that if you can asparagus while you're having your period, the asparagus will go bad?

Me: Where did you get that idea?

Everyone knows that. Everyone I know.

That's nothing but an old wives' tale or something. How in the world would having your period make the canning go bad? How would the asparagus know something like that? It's asparagus.

I don't know, but it does. When you touch the asparagus or something. Your chemistry or something makes it go bad. It'll be spoiled.

That sounds ridiculous. Who would believe something like that? That menstruation would make canning go bad?

Just canning asparagus. But it's true. Ask my mom.

You want me to ask your mother? The same woman who went to the village witch to make the warts on her fingers go away?

And it worked! She went to the witch and then her warts disappeared! Everyone went to the village witch to have their skin problems cured!

Well then. There you go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Shuffle - You're the Greatest! Edition

I love you people. I love that you still show up here to read my meager offerings even when I start to blather on about the same topics over and over. You're awesomely awesome.

I figured I'd give y'all the love early because I've not got much else to offer. The wheelchair delivery was the high point. Oh. And that little stabilizing wheel the driver said was not there? Upon getting down and giving the wheelchair a better look-see I found the stabilizing wheel was right where it was supposed to be. Stupid, stupid delivery driver. And still no call to pick up the old chair. I'm really considering squeezing it into my Starlet over the weekend and leaving it in their parking lot.

Enough whining. If I don't stop now I'll start up on how I've got a sneaking suspicion that my MIL's birthday party on Saturday evening is going to turn into a cluster fuck. Don't get me started on that.

Better shuffle while I've got the opportunity.
  1. Whiskey In The Jar - Metallica
  2. Middle Man - The Bottle Rockets
  3. A Matter Of Trust - Billy Joel
  4. Hold On, Hold On - Neko Case
  5. Southern Manners - The Watson Twins
  6. Riot In Cell Block Number Nine - Wanda Jackson
  7. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) - Jim Croce
  8. Racing In The Street - Bruce Springsteen
  9. Hell In A Bucket - Grateful Dead
  10. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Immediate Seating Available

B's new push wheelchair has arrived! I should be thrilled except they didn't bring two parts that belong to the chair and they didn't take away the old push wheelchair. I am never going to be shed of these people!

The delivery guy - someone who is not in danger of being named Mr. Congeniality anytime soon - wouldn't take away the old wheelchair because he "didn't have enough room" in his truck. Hell, in my world it looks like he lightened his load one wheelchair's worth when he came to my flat and therefore had enough room to take away the old one but what do I know? The driver is supposed to have his office call to make an appointment to come fetch the old chair. Shall I start taking bets on how long it'll be before we get that phone call?

In the meantime I'll have plenty to do with learning how to take apart and reassemble the new chair. Cross your fingers that I don't end up pinching mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Taking Bets

The medical supply company called this morning to say that B's push wheelchair will be delivered tomorrow between noon and 4:00pm. Think it'll happen? Think it'll happen during the time they said it would? Think it'll be the correct wheelchair? I have my doubts about it all. It's pretty sad to be doing business with a company that inspires no confidence whatsoever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Shuffle - In the Biblical Way Edition

So far today I've watched on TV Spartacus, Ben-Hur and now I'm watching The Ten Commandments. If before Easter is over I can manage to catch a viewing of The Robe, King of Kings (distracting because in this one Jesus is kinda hot) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (who doesn't love a Swedish Jesus?), I'll have hit all the holy highlights.

In the meantime, let's shuffle.
  1. Does Your Mother Know - ABBA
  2. Said & Done - Kilians
  3. She's Rather Be With Me - The Turtles
  4. Beware Your Only Friend - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
  5. Corduroy - Pearl Jam
  6. Love Is Everywhere I Go - Sam Phillips
  7. Chick Habit - April March
  8. Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
  9. Lil' Jack Slade - Dixie Chicks
  10. Long Cool Woman - The Hollies
Have a great weekend. Get out and enjoy the spring. Score half-price chocolate bunnies on Monday.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Complaining Just to Complain

If you have to do something, you may as well enjoy it, right? That makes sense to me but regardless of how much I try, I can't like grocery shopping. It's boring. Pick up food, throw it in your cart, pick up food, throw it on the check out conveyor belt, pick up food, throw it back in your cart, wheel cart to your car, pick up food, throw it into your car. How delicious or decadent or how much I'm looking forward to eating the food does not negate the fact that getting the food and buying it is one dull-ass chore. I try to make the process go as smoothly and quickly as possible because I want to get the hell out of there and back home where I can engage in the second most boring chore - putting all the crap I bought away.

I go to the same grocery store week after week and I know where everything I buy is located. I may not be able to tell you where to find the capers and the olives because I never buy them (I'm guessing they're somewhere together) but by golly, I can go in that store and put my hands on tomato paste and bell peppers and butter and tea within moments because I buy them every week. If you get the hell out of my way, I can be in and out with a full cart of groceries in fifteen minutes, tops. Unfortunately no one is getting the hell out of my way.

Men are the worst culprits for slowing me down and the older they are, the worse they are. My husband would protest this and say that he would not be a grocery shopping albatross around my neck but he's wrong. They may vary in degrees of delaying me but they all delay me. Men are the worst for doing things like stopping their cart in the front of an aisle so that no one can get in or out and randomly staring into space. They have no idea about what brand they want to buy and if they're with their wives, they have to strike up an argument every aisle as they debate whether to buy this or that brand. I want to yank from them whatever it is they have in their hands, throw it in the cart and push them the hell out of the way. I mean if these people debate this much over which jar of instant coffee to buy, what must they be like when it comes to a real decision like when to have children or what car to buy?

I understand that people cannot help but bring their kids to the grocery store and of course kids are just going to be kids so I don't blame them for slowing me down but who I do blame are parents who: A: won't keep their kids from running up and down the aisles while they're off on another aisle arguing with each other about that jar of instant coffee and B: let their young kids push the cart. I understand, little one, that you're likely bored - believe me, I get that grocery shopping is boring - and you just want to help but Junior, if you bang that cart into my hip one more time I've gonna have to liven up your day by having you witness me beating your mother to a pulp because it's her that I'm holding responsible for my bruised hip.

God love old folks. Some of them walk slowly and they have trouble reading labels or reaching high shelves. I happily help them if I can. I would never wish to be disrespectful to them because, goodness knows, one day I'll be old as well and I'll be taking extra time to do my shopping. However, can they not do their grocery shopping during the less busy hours? Why do old folks wait until 5pm to shop - the time when folks who are tied up with work responsibilities can do their shopping? And it's not just a few here and there. I was at the grocery store today - I got there at 4:30pm and there were hordes of old folks! What were they doing all day that they had to pick that time to shop?

As you can likely tell I was grocery shopping late this afternoon. And I would have gone earlier in the day myself except that today is my MIL's birthday and between celebrating that and various other appointments today I wasn't able to leave B alone until after 4pm. Normally I just roll a dreaded trip to the store right off my back but since holidays are looming (Good Friday and Easter Sunday and Monday) and shops in Germany are closed on holidays, it was extra annoying. Extra men. Extra kids with lazy parents. Extra old folks. I should get extra credit because I was extra patient.

And I picked up some cheese to go with my whine.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Diverted Edition

I'm not the first to have noticed it. Recently Angela and Poppy have mentioned their noticing a decline in blogging popularity for the immediacy of Twitter and Facebook. And I'll admit that over the past few months I've found myself writing tweets and giving status updates on Facebook. Well, not so much tweet writing. I never did cotton to Twitter all that well. Facebook, however, is a whole different story. It's not so much my need to update folks on what I'm doing at that moment as much as my need to play those dopey games. I have a definite need to gather my folks and fight other Mafia crews in Mafia Wars, harvest and sell my crops on Farm Town and redecorate my flat in YoVille. It's the one flat I live in that's not grimy with dust. And those quizzes. What Greek God Are You? (Apollo) What Shakespearean Character Are You? (Viola) What TV-Sitcom Mom Are You? (Carol Brady. I was so disappointed with that!) What Swear Word Are You? (Shit) When B took that same quiz his result was "crap". That struck me as hilarious because it's dead-on accurate. He's a little bad, just not too bad. In reality I don't care what the results of these quizzes are but I take them compulsively just to satisfy my curiosity. At any rate - when I'm not here writing blog entries like I should be you can guess that I'm over there getting updated as to what my friends around the world are up to, catching up with folks I haven't seen since I graduated from high school nearly twenty-nine years ago (that may be one of the best parts of Facebook), tending to my farm, blackmailing cops, buying yet another rug and finding out what Gone With the Wind character I am. But don't give up on me completely. I'm not closing up shop here. And go read Angela's and Poppy's stuff as well. It's worth the detour.

I haven't made the complete plunge into the virtual life world just yet. On Thursday I had a human, face-to-face lunch with my new speaks-English-and-actually-lives-in-Magdeburg friend, Kerry. Fun, fun, fun. I'm a sucker for going out to lunch anyway and it's even better when it's with someone who is so enjoyable to talk with you have to keep checking your watch, not out of boredom but out of precaution - else you'll completely forget about time and she'll have kids abandoned at the Kindergarten and I'll have a husband at home dying for a simple drink of water. Really - Kerry is just lovely. She's got a terrific, friendly smile and she exudes this sort of confidence and ease that is very charming. And she loves to read. That thrilled me no end. Now I have someone with whom to share books with.

But no one tell her that the Gone With the Wind character I am most like is Scarlett O'Hara, okay?

Regardless of how much I Facebook and Twitter, the Friday Shuffle is an exclusive of my blog. Let's hit it.
  1. Stranglehold - Ted Nugent
  2. Kingdom Of Rust - Doves
  3. Welcome To The Fold - Filter
  4. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song - The Flaming Lips
  5. 1969 Again - Adam Ant
  6. Mad About You - Belinda Carlisle
  7. You Just May Be The One - The Monkees
  8. Middle Cyclone - Neko Case
  9. Where Is My Mind? - Pixies
  10. Bicycle Race - Queen