Dixie Peach: May 2009

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Swing and Sway Edition

Oops! You caught me. I was absolutely not paying attention and didn't realize how late in the evening it is. Y'all were expecting a shuffle and I was busy listening out the window to the folks on the street coming from the beer tent that's set up at the end of our block. That only means one thing - it's Pentecost weekend and that means it's Magdeburg's annual Stadtfest - city festival.

I look forward to Stadtfest every year. It's a bit like the Christmas market without all the Christmassy thing so it satisfies me until the actual Christmas market opens. There are shows on various stages spread around the downtown area where I live. There are rides and sale stands and of course lots and lots of yummy food that you probably shouldn't eat but do anyway because it's a festival, dang it all! I believe the root of the word "festival" is Latin and means "eat lots o' crap". And of course the Stadtfest wouldn't be complete without the beer tent - an enormous tent set up with tables and benches where folks gather to drink beer, eat more junk and listen to an enormous amount of German Volksmusik from a band from Bavaria. Music that's so hokey and ridiculous sounding when you first enter the tent but becomes fabulous and you find yourself clapping along or linking arms and swaying with your seatmates as you drink more and more beer. For years the beer tent's location would change. Some years it was down near the cathedral. Some years it was down by the river. Finally they figured out where it worked best and as luck would have it, the place it works best is at the end of my block. Just a few hundred meters walk and I'm there. Even better, just a few hundred meters walk and I'm back home to a clean bathroom.

How much one enjoys the Stadtfest depends a lot on how the weather is. The worst thunderstorm I've ever seen since I've lived here occurred when I was at the Stadtfest. One minute it was a warm, muggy late afternoon and the next minute the winds howled, the clouds puked rain and I was in fear of being electrocuted or having a tree limb whack me on the head. Three years ago when my sister and her family were visiting it was dreadfully damp and much too cool. It didn't slow us down any though. We hung out in the beer tent and drank and sang and laughed. It was the year when the band played "My Way" and my sister gave us a stunning (read: drunken) vocal interpretation of that song. I wish my sister remembered it because it's burned into my brain. I've never seen her so uninhibited but that's what happens when you're a little plowed and you're in a country where you don't live.

It's supposed to be somewhat warm this weekend - in the upper 60's - and hopefully not rainy so we're planning on getting Burkhard outside and down the street to the Stadtfest. We'll weave our way through the crowds, maybe watch a stage show or two, get some junk to eat and then we'll make our way to the beer tent. 'Cause it just ain't Stadtfest unless you hear the music.

Speaking of - let's shuffle.
  1. Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen
  2. Hidden Shame - Elvis Costello
  3. Kiss And Tell - Alexander Rybak
  4. That Look You Give That Guy - Eels
  5. Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
  6. C'mon C'mon - Von Bondies
  7. For What It's Worth - Placebo
  8. Come And Get Your Love - Redbone
  9. Cruel To Be Kind - Nick Lowe
  10. She's A Rainbow - The Rolling Stones

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Day of Many

Yesterday was one of those days you dread - the first of the season, in fact. Those days when it's too warm and too muggy and you're praying for a thunderstorm to come along and wash everything clean. We had storms predicted for our area and I was anxious for one to conjure itself up and give us some relief.

I'd just cleaned a winter's worth of grime from the plastic chairs that sit on my balcony - a necessity since I was wearing white slacks. I took the current book I'm reading, When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson, outside with me to sit for a spell.

Outside the air was thick with humidity despite the strong breeze that was blowing. My hair was pinned up at the back of my head. Loose tendrils of hair snaked around my neck, sweat slicked and sticking to my skin. I was barefoot and I propped up my feet on another chair.

I'd brought a cocktail with me. Not much of one - just a glass crammed with ice and two fingers of Martini Bianco and then filled to the top with Sprite Zero. A bit sweet but I told myself the lemony flavor would be refreshing and therefore displace some of the sweetness. The glass stood sweating on a flower cart and occasionally I'd have to fan away a bee before taking a drink. Tipsy bees.

Below me on the street I could hear the fountains gushing and the occasional sounds of splashing and laughing from little ones as they walked by and were unable to resist dipping their hands in. I had on sunglasses but they weren't very necessary. The sun would blaze and then duck behind thick, gray clouds and back out again. The breeze pushed the clouds farther and farther to the east but as of yet wouldn't build up to be a proper raincloud.

So I sat. And I read. I'd squint when the sun would catch the corner of my eye and I'd be happy when a strong breeze would cool the sweat on my neck. And I waited for the thunderstorm that never came.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Not What I Expected Edition

I was up to my elbows in taking a grilled chicken off the bone. It's a job that fairly grosses me out and I try not to think of what exactly I'm doing less I lose my appetite for chicken completely. Anyway, there I was with my hands covered in chicken grease, seasoning from the chicken beneath my nails, fairly nauseated from performing this rather disgusting task when I could hear B holler from the living room something that sounded like "fire" and "Fernseher" - the German word for television.

There were a couple things that caught my attention immediately. B nearly never mixes English and German words together in the same sentence - I'm the one that pulls that stunt. Second, B was hollering pretty loud which is very seldom. He has little control over his diaphragm so yelling is very difficult for him and he saves it for emergencies only. It can literally exhaust him to scream. The whole combination of yelling and mixing languages and of course hearing the word "fire" told me that I had to move and right now. As fast as I could I scurried from the kitchen to the living room to see the flames I'd find shooting from the television we've had for three weeks.

No flames. Just the regional news.

"What's going on?"

"I told you. Freya's on TV. Look! There she is again."

I stood there with grease coated hands and watched Freya tell the reporter why she as a young person wanted to run for political office now. Freya is the 22 year old daughter of our friend Kirsten and Freya is running for city council. She's been involved with the CDU political party for a few years now and this is her first time running for office. Anyway, when the report was over I turned to B and said "You know you really scared the daylights out of me! I thought the TV was on fire!"

"No, no! I was saying Freya was on the Fernseher."

"And you know what I was thinking when I was rushing in here thinking the TV was on fire? Not that you were in danger or that the TV was only three weeks old. I wasn't even thinking that it likely wouldn't be possible for the sound to be on the TV. I'm actually embarrassed to tell you what I was thinking as I ran in here."


"All I could think was 'I'm going to ruin the TV touching it with my chicken grease covered hands'."

"We all have our priorities."

Time to shuffle.
  1. Words Of Love - The Beatles
  2. Night By Night - Michael Stanley Band
  3. Katherine Hit Me - Franz Ferdinand
  4. Hard To Beat - Hard-Fi
  5. Burnin' For You - Blue Öyster Cult
  6. I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow - The Flaming Lips
  7. Your Rocky Spine - Great Lake Swimmers
  8. The Loving - XTC
  9. Hey Now - Tenfold Loadstar
  10. The Lark Ascending - Sir Adrian Boult, Hugh Bean & New Philharmonia Orchestra


Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Who Needs a Calendar? Edition

Hmmmm. Nearly forgot to write today as all day I've thought it was Saturday. B and I tend to live on a pretty regular schedule so when anything pops up to throw off that schedule, I'm hopeless to remember what day of the week it is. Have an unexpected appointment crop up or cancel a weekly event and I'm screwed. All day yesterday I thought it was Tuesday and all day today I've thought it was Saturday. Even flipped on the TV mid-afternoon to watch the soccer matches. It's not going to get any better next week either since the doctor's appointment we normally have every fourth Thursday will be on Tuesday instead and Thursday is a holiday here so I'm sure that day I'll think it's Sunday.

And that, my friends, is what's passing this week as current events.

You shuffle. I'm going to go have a Magnum bar. Ice cream doesn't care what day it is.
  1. Peeled Apples - Manic Street Preachers
  2. Spaceman - The Killers
  3. Baby I'm A Fool - Melody Gardot
  4. Gracie - Ben Folds
  5. Sadness Soot - Grant-Lee Phillips
  6. Silent Sigh - Badly Drawn Boy
  7. See No Evil - Television
  8. Everybody Loves You Now - Billy Joel
  9. Pictures Of Lily - The Who
  10. There Goes My Heart - The Mavericks


Monday, May 11, 2009

I'd Never Left But Now I'm Back

I do apologize for being out of pocket for as long as I was without leaving word. It was just one of those things that sort of happens. I would plan to write a blog entry and then get caught up in other stuff and when I again had the thought to write it would be too late in the evening. The same sort of thing happens when I should call my mother - lots of good intentions but an equal amount of falling down on the job.

Let's get y'all caught up on the goings on in this joint.

Wheelchair - The saga seems to have finally come to an end. Naturally we had to call the medical supply company to get someone to pick up the chair and the lady B spoke with said she couldn't find a record of his old push wheelchair. Not surprising since he got it in about 1992. The lady said she'd call back after she found the record. The next day when I wasn't home B got a call from a guy who was a salesman for that company for many years and who B used to have all his dealings with. The guy called to say that he saw an order for the company to pick up his electric wheelchair. Egad! Do these people get anything correct? B told him of the screw up (this guy is now some sort of middle manage for the medical supply company) and the guy said he'd expedite an order to pick up the old push chair. And they did. Of course they didn't pick it up before the salvage company canceled two other appointments with us but it's now gone. And Middle Management Guy that B knows wants to come over for coffee and a chat. Believe me fella - it's going to be some chat.

Television - We got a new one. B has been wanting a new TV for over a year now and he'd been doing research online since before Christmas to find the right TV for us. When the new line of Sonys came out in Germany in April, B could not wait. Our local electronics stores didn't have them yet and when they did, it was my job to go down and buy one. I am the sort of customer salespeople love. I don't want a demonstration, I don't want you to tell me about the features. Just write me up a sales ticket, schedule delivery, let me pay and you can start counting your commission. I scheduled a delivery for the next day - sometime after 2:00pm. When it wasn't delivered by 6:15pm B started to panic a bit and called the store. They said they deliver until the store closes at 8:00pm and our TV was definitely on the truck. When it got to be 7:50pm the panic started again and once again the store assured us that we'd get our TV that day. The delivery guy arrived about 8:30pm and about had a stroke when he saw that he was by himself and would have to haul out our 100 pound old TV on his own. The salesman neglected to say on the delivery request that we had a big-ass TV even though I specifically told him we had a big-ass TV. Still the delivery guy got the old TV removed, the new one set up and even though he wasn't required to do anything more than plug in the TV and see that it came on, he hooked it up to our pay TV decoder box and our DVR. Even figured out why it wouldn't get sound through our pay TV service. The guy spent an hour messing around with it and absolutely earned every single cent of the nice tip I gave him. And B called the shop the next day to praise the delivery guy and the nice lady who was very patient with us when we called in a panic. Yay Saturn in Magdeburg! You're rock-a-licious!

And the television? Top quality. Both B and I have been staring at it like a couple goobers saying repeatedly "Look at that picture. Would you look at that picture? It's fantastic!"

Birthday - B celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday. He's having a little trouble believing he's 50 years old because it just sounds so old so I take that opportunity to remind him that there was a time, his 25th birthday specifically, when people, himself included, thought it would be his last birthday on this earth. We had a nice party for him. Friends and family came over for cake and coffee in the afternoon which soon changed to drinks and dinner and then drinks and snacks. Lots of Jägermeister and beer was consumed but I limited myself to one glass of champagne. I don't do well being a hostess when I'm toasted on Jägermeister. The next day B's aunt and uncle came for coffee and cake which just stayed coffee and cake. They also brought with them some photographs B's uncle recently found and scanned. Some were of B from when he was about 5 years old and there were some from about 1974. At that time B was in the midst of growing his hair long and in the photos it was at the length where it made B look like Prince Valiant. It cracked me up to see them but it also choked me up a bit. Seeing B standing or holding something in his hand is something I've never seen him do and seeing it in a photo gets me a bit emotional.

And The Rest - Friends of ours gave B a beautiful orchid plant for his birthday. Shall we now take bets on how long it'll be before I cause its untimely death? I drove my MIL home this afternoon and noticed that sometime between Saturday afternoon and this afternoon somone had taken a nail or key and had scratched down the length of my car from 2/3 of the length of the passenger door to the tail light. I shit you not - if I ever found who did that I'd snatch his balls off like a paper towel. And finally, it's just now after midnight. My windows are open. And for some reason it smells like schnitzel and French fries outside.

Good grief. How could I have gone over 2 weeks without filling you in on tidbits like that?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


No posts in over two weeks! A record for me.

I apologize to any of you who got worried while I was out of pocket and I'm grateful for your concern. All is fine here. I did have a week of B being sick and then there was a week of getting ready for B's 50th birthday party. Add on top of it all that I honestly didn't have anything to write about that didn't sound like a laundry list of things to bitch about. While sharing the ups and downs with y'all is important, constant whining isn't and I don't want to be one of those who only writes when there's something going wrong.

How 'bout tomorrow I get y'all caught up with things in the Peach household?