Dixie Peach: July 2009

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Lazy Peach's Way Out

Facebook is killing me. I waste more time messing with virtual farms and houses and mafia crews and taking inane quizzes. Maybe it makes up for my ability to get a houseplant to live for more than six months and YoVille houses never need cleaning but at any rate the virtual upkeep of these distractions wears on my desire to write. And you know what that leads to, don't you? Bulleted lists.
  • So - the search for a new flat goes on. The first one I looked at was wonderful. It still needed to have the main renovations done and still I could see that it was the perfect flat for us. Big rooms, perfect location - the works. I nearly wept when the lady from the rental company said they'd put in whatever floors we wanted and they'd retile the kitchen. Wept because there's no way we can live there. This building was originally built without an elevator and so when one was put in later they had to put it up one set of eight steep steps. The portable ramps we own won't work without being very hazardous and there's no way to get to the elevator otherwise. I still can't get that flat out of my head but I've had to stop mentioning around B. He feels so guilty that he's the reason we can't move there that when I talk about how much I loved that flat it hurts his feelings. Right now I'm working on getting the right combination of location, an elevator that goes all the way to the ground floor, price, and the right amount of space. We don't really need to move (so far) so we'll just take our time and keep looking.

  • I got my new glasses and I have to say that I like them. I see well out of them, they're comfortable and I think they look at least halfway decent on me. B likes them as well but he's very easy to please. I'll try to do the picture thing soon.

  • B and I planned on going out this weekend for our 10th wedding anniversary but that's not going to work out. He's got a problem with his left heel that will keep him from being able to wear a shoe or put any weight on his foot. A big disc of dead skin grew on his heel and normally it would get dry and peel off on its own but this time it created a sort of pressure sore underneath it. I got some cream from B's dermatologist that was supposed to help with the disc of skin coming off but it didn't work as well as we'd hoped and underneath the dead skin the pressure of it...I don't know...killed off the blood supply. Don't ask me - I don't know shit about this sort of pressure sore. It's like a pressure sore that's not open to the surface but fluid would build up underneath and created a blister and then it popped and leaked out and then the dead skin loosened but I didn't dare remove it because the sking underneath still looked raw. All I know is that while the dermatologist was on vacation in China I kept down any infection as best I could by cleaning the wound and slapping on a pantload of antibiotic cream. I did pretty well because by the time the dermatologist saw the wound today he congratulated me on keeping B's foot from getting too funky. The doctor then clipped off all the dead and funky skin and for the next two weeks I have to keep it cleaned and dressed and B has to stay in bed - no shoes, no sitting in a wheelchair with the weight of his leg pressing on his heel. B's afraid that he's disappointing me by not being able to take me out to celebrate our anniversay but I told it to him straight. Being married means we take care of each other and that's always going to be our priority, not going out to dinner.

  • I want to find whoever developed Januvia and kiss them. With tongue.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Foiled Again Edition

I was all revved up to show you pictures of the flat I won't be moving to but that fell through for today. The lady from the rental company was short handed at the office and couldn't leave so we're rescheduled for early Monday morning. I realize it seems ridiculous to be all hepped up about seeing a flat I won't live in but there is a bit of logic to my madness. First I'll get to see what the flats in that style of building are like in case one becomes free in a building where B can access the elevator. Second I need to talk to the rental company lady about getting me on any waiting lists for suitable buildings. And third, I'm a masochist. I want to see how nice this flat is and then whine about it for a few hours. Certainly not longer than a day. Honest.

Let's shuffle.
  1. No Reply - The Beatles
  2. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her - Simon & Garfunkel
  3. Sing - Travis
  4. The Loving - XTC
  5. Hold On - Sarah McLachlan
  6. Man On The Moon - REM
  7. Lyla - Oasis
  8. The Pharoahs - Neko Case
  9. I Want To Know - The Mavericks
  10. Swoon - Maria Doyle Kennedy


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Try, Try Again

I found out today that the flat we'd be seeing on Friday doesn't have elevator access that goes to the ground floor. There are six steps up to the elevator so that puts us out. And the elevator doesn't seem to be large enough for B's wheelchair so even if there weren't steps it wouldn't be suitable anyway.

I knew I shouldn't have done this. Find a flat that seemed so perfect. Right floor plan, right number of square meters, right price and location. Next thing you know I'm picking out paint colors in my mind, planning on where I'm going to put furniture and imagining myself walking all of thirty seconds before I'm at the Christmas market. I start seeing myself in that perfect flat and then bam! One thing doesn't fit with us and I've spent my time daydreaming for nothing.

I'm still going to meet with the lady from the rental company on Friday. I'm fairly sure that there are other flats in that area in that style that, if not available right now, will be one day. Maybe we can get on a waiting list or something. We're not going to give up yet looking for our dream apartment but I think I'll say myself some frustration and disappointment by giving up the daydreaming.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Time to Pack Edition

Last Saturday after I got home from my trip to Hannover B asked me if I'd like to move. He wasn't sure how the conversation got started but sometime while I was gone he got to talking with my MIL and Gerd about us moving.

And just as soon as B mentioned the idea to me I became very enthusiastic.

You longtime readers will remember all the trouble I had with my former neighbors at our old building. If you don't know the story dig back into my archives starting in April 2005 and read through to the time when we moved in November 2005. Anyway, over time I've been a little dissatisfied with my flat. I hate my kitchen. I make no bones about that. I had a perfect kitchen at my old flat and now my kitchen is so small that I couldn't cuss a cat without getting a hair in my mouth. I'm not thrilled that I don't have a real view from my living room window and balcony. And then there are some problems with my neighbors. The people who live above me play the piano every day, sometimes for four or five hours at a time. The new guy who moved in at the end of my hall and his buddies leave their bikes in front of the mailboxes and they slam the door - usually between 2:00 and 3:00 AM. And someone keeps smoking in the elevator. That's the one that really irks me. I mean that one is beyond rule breaking and has entered the realm of illegal.

Back when we were looking for a new flat in 2005 we had considered moving a little closer to the old market square than we are now. The apartments there are the ones that were first built after the war and were always the ones that were the hardest to get. I had been afraid to live in them though because I was afraid that they'd be expensive to heat and I didn't know how well I'd do with living in the busiest part of the city. We settled on a flat that's about two blocks up from where we'd considered living and while it's not a bad flat, it simply doesn't have any personality.

I now like the idea of getting just that much closer to the center of town. Now that I know what it's like living down here I think it's something I could do with more intensity. Not just be a block away from all the action but be in the middle of it. So for the last week B and I have been looking online at available flats in that area. The street we'd most like to live on doesn't have any available flats but there's one around the corner that's available and we've reserved it for two weeks so that no one can rent it out from under us until we make a final decision. It's in a Stalinbau building - it's a style that was used in East Germany right after the war that's based upon a building style in Moscow. That means the walls are much thicker than the normal Plattenbau - buildings made of concrete plates and what is the most common style in the east. The flat we're interested in is on the 5th floor, is directly across the street from the mall, and has gated parking in the courtyard. The flat is about the same amount of square meters as we have now but it has one room less and no balcony so that means the rooms are larger. And would I be closer to the Christmas market? Ohhh baby. It hardly can be closer. The Christmas market wraps around three sides of the building (it's a huge building that covers the whole block) - the side where it's not located is the side where my front door would be.

The flat was recently vacated and is now being renovated and I have an appointment to view it next Friday. It's by no means a done deal. The elevator has to be easily accessable for B, all the doors have to be wide enough for his electric wheelchair to pass and we simply have to like it. Unlike the last time we moved we're not desperate and pressed for time. If for some reason we don't want to move to this flat, we'll find another but in any case, it looks like that sometime soon I'll be getting a new address.

I'll do anything to get out of washing the windows, won't I?

On to the shuffle.
  1. We Own The Night - The Donnas
  2. Suffragette City - David Bowie
  3. And She Was - Talking Heads
  4. Where Is My Mind? - Pixies
  5. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
  6. Island In The Sun - Weezer
  7. Mr. E's Beautiful Blues - Eels
  8. Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad - Tammy Wynette
  9. Five O'Clock World - The Vogues
  10. Norwegian Wood - The Beatles

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Plan for One Thing, Another Happens

It was my intention to show y'all some pictures of Hannover from my Saturday spent there with Christina, Claire, and Claire's husband and son - popularly known as the German and the Dude. Unfortunately I realized today that the camera was set to take photos by lamplight and I was in the bright sunshine so the photos look as though they were taken with a blue filter over the lens. Maybe I can clean them up but I don't have the time or desire at the moment. Instead, let me entertain you with this beauty:

Wouldn't I like to know how this happened. The silver Audi is in a street parking space so perhaps the truck was backing out of the loading zone and smacked into it. Or the Audi became impatient with the truck, tried to drive around it and got smacked. I just happened to look out the window while I was in the kitchen getting a glass of water and when I saw it I had to grab the camera so I could later show it to B. He's so easily entertained.

So I have no photos of Hannover but let me assure you that we had a wonderful time. Other folks were expected to join us but kids and life in general got in the way and they ended up having to beg off so us five made do. It was a great day - warm but with a good breeze and enough sunshine to give me a mild sunburn. We met up at the train station and walked over to the new city hall which, despite it's name, is not particularly new but all the same quite pretty. Being as we're a trio of smart alecks, Christina, Claire and I would say "Don't do it! Don't do it! Back out before it's too late!" when we'd pass couples who were getting married and having their photos taken before the small lake in front of city hall. Lunch was at the Block Haus and I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially it was the first beef steak I've eaten since Bill Clinton was president. After our lunch we headed over to the Marschsee, a large man-made lake in the city. The sun was about to bake us alive so we parked ourselves under some shade trees at a beer garden and chatted and drank and refreshed ourselves before starting back for the train station. By then we'd walked a good ways so our trip back was at a slower pace but it gave us the opportunity to chat more, discuss the delicious scent of linden trees, read some Latin and see a pro democracy-in-Iran march.

More refreshment was needed by then so we stopped at a ice cream cafe - and that's when I noticed we had a problem. When I reached into my handbag to get out my wallet I noticed that my cell phone wasn't in it's little pocket inside my bag. Normally I'm positively anal about putting things in their proper place in my handbag so my cell phone being gone could only mean that I'd left it somewhere. While we were at the Marschsee I called B and that was the last time I remembered seeing it. Christina called my number to see if we could hear it ring and I wish someone had taken me a picture of with my handbag up to my ear trying to hear it ring so I could locate where it was - except none of us could hear it ring. Claire and I dug through my bag and couldn't find it. A second call to my phone didn't help either. All I could think is that after I'd called B I'd set the phone down on the bench instead of putting it back in my bag. It was hard to be upset about it though because I've been very disappointed in that phone since about two weeks after buying it and it's a pre-paid phone so I didn't have to worry about someone racking up a bill. I was dreading telling B though because I knew it wouldn't be very enthusiastic about having to replace a seldom used cell phone because I'd layed it down on a park bench in Hannover. Still it was worth the loss of a phone to be able to spend the day with Christina, Claire, the German and the Dude - who just may be the most well-behaved and charming toddler in the world. I was sweaty, hot, tired and my feet were swollen by the time I reached home but it was a well spent 4th of July holiday.

By Saturday night I'd ordered another cell phone. A fairly basic Nokia flip phone that I got for under 60€ and I'd planned on going to buy another SIM card come Monday morning. Sunday afternoon, just on a whim, I called my cell number again just to see if someone would answer and that's when I heard my handbag ring. I found the phone wedged under one of the inner pockets of my bag. Uhhh honey! About that phone we ordered for me...

It's red. And I like it way better than that crap Sony I lost and then found.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Shuffle - Lifesize and Orange Edition

I'm sure I've mentioned a couple seventy-jillion times that I absolutely dig Abraham Lincoln. While he was flawed and did some things during his life and during his presidency that could and did raise eyebrows, he was a master politician and accomplished the feat of preserving the union. We think the United States is polarized now? At least half of us hasn't broken off and declared itself to be a sovereign nation.

And macabre as it is, Abraham Lincoln also had interesting death. Of course I believe it was a terrible tragedy for his family and for the nation because who knows how far back his death set back the south (Welcome to Revenge! I mean, Reconstruction!) but I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing and I can look at the assassination of Lincoln on its own. It fascinates me no end and always will.

Abraham Lincoln during his life was intelligent, determined, witty, eloquent, compassionate and a brilliant politician. However there was one thing he wasn't - Lincoln was never a giant block of Wisconsin cheddar cheese. At least he wasn't until today:


My friend, Mary Ann, who knows of my love of all things presidential and my special fascination with Lincoln pointed me yesterday to an article in the Washington Post that said a sculpture of Lincoln made entirely of cheddar cheese would be on display in Washington on, I believe, Constitution Avenue. For just three hours because cheese in Washington in July gets pretty skanky pretty fast and this cheese would later be divided up and given away. It was then that I began to lament that I no longer lived outside of DC and could not go see the Abe-as-Commander-in-Cheese sculpture. But I happen to have amazing friends. One of my amazing friends, Lorrie, who is so thoughtful and generous and who also is fortunate enough to live in DC, took a bit of time this afternoon to go see this (literally) cheesy sculpture and get me a few photos. Tell me that's not a great friend.

One time of year that I get homesick is when the 4th of July rolls around. The 4th is one of my favorite holidays. I dig all those parades and picnics and I really love the fireworks. I love my country. I may live abroad but I will never forget that I am an American and I am grateful for all that my country has provided me. Even presidents in cheddar.

On to the shuffle.
  1. Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes
  2. To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) - Ryan Adams
  3. Bright Young Thing - Albert Hammond, Jr.
  4. Creep - Radiohead
  5. Panic Switch - Silversun Pickups
  6. Two Halves - My Morning Jacket
  7. Angel - Adam Ant
  8. All Over You - Live
  9. Daughter - Loudon Wainwright III
  10. Swoon - Maria Doyle Kennedy