rope. tree. fan. spear. snake. wall.

Monday, June 27, 2005

good news, bad news

Okay, the good news is we bought a new digital camera today.

The bad news is I really really don't have time to figure it out until tomor ... thur ... fri ... um, this weekend. Maybe. Argh.

I'm learning to hate being like this. It seems like just last week I had time to enjoy summer and nice weather and friends and general attendant wonderfulness, but today I'm all squashed again. I really do need to think about what commitments I can offload.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

life standing still

I talked to Mom last night, and every single bit of news I had she already knew. Because I told her last week.

So that's it. I am officially boring. But busy. Busy being boring.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Today the Sniglet told me he loves me "up to eleven". I have no idea where he got this, I swear I haven't shown him Spinal Tap yet.

I guess it's time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

fun with mirrors. or not.

The bathroom at the AHF has big mirrors on the facing walls, so you can see yourself infinitely repeated. Every time I'm in there I have an urge to do a Rockette-style kick line. But I don't, because I know I'd just end up flipping one of my sandals into the toilet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

bad life-lessons

I was a Total Flake. Total. Blah blah JOB stuff, blah blah blogging, houseguests on Sunday, there is no excuse. What I did is I slacked off on the homework and didn't even start doing the reading until yesterday, didn't tackle the assignment until about noon today, having made a date to watch Germany vs. Argentina (football/soccer to you non-sports-people) at 9. Bad me. And I still got the assignment done by 8 and had time to tidy the house a bit, though the laundry is still waiting. But what is the message here? "Ya better not leave the homework till the last minute, young lady, cause if ya do...well, you'll get lots of other stuff done and still be on time with the assignment." What kind of life lesson is that?

I'll probably get a D on this assignment. I must have missed something, it can't have been that easy.

Monday, June 20, 2005

we had visitors... we got the house all clean yesterday. It was nice, for as long as it lasted, but now DrBob's in Munich and I'm lazy, so it's all cluttered again. Clean, but not tidy. I'll, um, pick it all up tomorrow. Yeah.

Our visitors were Helmut and Gabriele and Josef. The Sniglet is still at an age where he's not too clear on what constitutes a name, so he's been calling Gabriele "Vanille" (German for vanilla). He's been telling me things that Vanille said yesterday.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

okay, the kittens

I really can't believe I didn't write about this before. We almost got kittens! We've always wanted a cat (or so), but there was always a reason not to do it, mostly to do with living in no-pets-allowed places. But since we came to Dorfen, the reason is that We Might Be Moving. There's a lot we don't do because this might be the year - we only just got one bicycle for me & Robert to share, and I still don't have a proper bed, and nearly all our furniture has wheels on it. Anyway, the cat was waiting till we settle down. But Kilian loves cats, and it's good for a kid to have a pet, and he's 10, fer petesake, his childhood is more than half over and we keep waiting for just the right moment. I know this is stupid, but Robert doesn't, yet.

So one of the expat community in Munich said her neighbor, a farmer, had some kittens, and was going to 'dispose' of them - people here don't seem to believe in spaying cats, which is hideous and barbaric and a rant for another day - and I really really couldn't let that happen, and besides. Kilian's 10. If we want our kid to have a pet while he's still a kid, we're running out of time. So but Robert was reallyreally stressed, so I had to pick my moment, work up to it gradually and all that, and of course it wasn't that hard to convince him, but it took awhile. He really loves cats too, after all, and once I showed him the photo, he was in love.

Right, long story short(er), Katherine found homes for 3 of the 5 kittens, was trying to convince her boyfriend that they should keep one, I was trying to convince her to let me have both of the remaining kittens, and all the while her neighbor's kid was asking his dad if he could keep them, and getting all boo-boo-faced, and the dad was like NO. So Friday the kid got wise and asked his mother. Remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck. So the kid got the kittens. And we'd already arranged to pick them up Saturday (yesterday) morning, and then like an hour later Katherine calls and says "look, I'm sorry, but..."

So that's how we almost got some very cute kittens. I was going to name them Arriba and √Āndale, so I could stand in the doorway and be Speedy Gonzalez, calling them in. Not that cats ever come when you call, I just wanted to stand in the doorway and yell in Spanish. We are all disappointed. R says we will still get kittens, since we got the kids' hopes up and all, but I feel like I did on my babies' due dates: all that build-up, and I know I'll still get them, but I was supposed to have them now, and I don't.


I forgot about the kittens! Okay, tomorrow, remind me to tell you about the kittens.

busy busy bee

It's fun having to think of a title for every post. I should have thought of that a long time ago.

Okay, I seriously cannot remember why I didn't blog yesterday. In fact, I can't remember anything about yesterday, it's like Friday didn't exist at all. Oh wait, I got something: I made soup. And there was no kindergarten, for some sadistically random reason - that would be why the day disappeared then. I fried my brain on constant contact with my four-year-old. God, I'm a terrible mother.

Anyway. Today I moved my office from the living-room up to my bedroom. I moved the computer up several days ago, parked it on a really low table and then had to sit on the floor and change position every ten seconds to keep my legs working. Yes, I still have that low blood-pressure/poor circulation thing, even though I quit smoking eight years ago. Anyway, today the desk came up, and a chair, and I removed the rugs and beat the dust out of them and vacuumed like a madwoman, and changed the sheets. Ooo, digression coming. Can't...divert...aagh!

So cleaning, what is with that, huh? I get on these jags, I get so darn industrious, and scrub and tidy and organize, but my focus is seriously off. I mean, I do this all the time, right, guests are showing up in 5 minutes, there are piles of stuff all over the house, and there I am scrubbing the tile-grout behind the downstairs bathroom door with an old toothbrush. My priorities are totally skewed. Yes, I've been hysterically busy and stressed, so has Robert, so, for example, the floors in this house have not been vacuumed or mopped in, um, two weeks? Three? Something like that. Anyway, we have guests coming tomorrow, Robert sprained his left index finger yesterday and will not be able to help clean, and today I expended all this energy beating rugs and moving furniture and sorting papers and changing sheets, and my bedroom looks fabulous, if I do say so myself. But our guests are not going to see my bedroom. They're going to see the rest of the house, which is still a total pit, I'm burned out on cleaning, and Robert's wounded. I do this all the time, and I only ever notice it in hindsight. Duh.

Right. End digression. I did use my spiffy-clean bedroom/office to finish up that new request from L, mentioned a few entries ago - the thing I was stalling on. And make a good-sized dent in the final project for my database course; I'm trying to do a chunk of it each week, so when the course is over it will be mostly done, and I'll only have to polish it a bit. It's a big project, and would be too intimidating to take on all at once. I've also made a start on Robert's publications database, so I feel like I had a pretty productive day.

Anyway. This was me taking a break. I'll go back to the database for awhile and then very sensibly go to bed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


The blog-every-day thing isn't really working out. I was actually pretty proud of myself earlier this week, I got my homework done a whole day early, so I was able to use the next day to finish up the Translation From Hell, and organized my notes from the AHF job - there is a lot to remember on this, and a lot of decisions I have to make by myself, so I'm constantly jotting down reminders in random places and then am later unable to remember which ones were important. So that was a lot, so I earned some TV-time - this is my geeky reward: if I get my homework done before 9:15 Tuesday night, I get to watch Desperate Housewives (in German). Chosen because there seems to be a lot of hype around it, and because the time is right, but I have to say I think I'm missing a lot of the plot points because all the men look so alike.

Of course, I can't just watch TV, I also have to be Useful. Last week I folded 5 loads of laundry. This week I managed to iron two shirts in one hour. That's pathetic, isn't it? I didn't make any mistakes, I have to go slow or I'll iron wrinkles into the clothes, but still, 30 minutes per shirt seems um, excessive. Oh, our iron doesn't do steam, so I have to squirt the clothes with a spray-bottle, could that be part of the problem? Maybe if I did it more than twice a year, got some practice, I could do it a bit faster.

So I went to Munich to work yesterday. Ran some errands first, in the most seethingly inefficient way you can imagine - I can't go to this Body Shop, it has to be that Body Shop, much farther away, because they had that eyeshadow on sale, but no, you know, the stuff is practically invisible when I put some on my hand, why buy eyeshadow that can't be seen, so forget it, so there was no reason to come here after all, the other, closer Body Shop had a lot more hair stuff, now I have to settle for the Amlika conditioner (what the hell is amlika?) when I really wanted the blueberry. I do everything this way. Because I'm insane, that's why.

So then I worked. Robert's eyes roll back in his head when I tell him about my job, so I'll take that to mean it's not very interesting. I won't bore you with it. Then I went to Curry Night and watched the waiters try to out-macho the others (not me, obviously) with their super-insane-spicy food. It was actually pretty entertaining. But it was also someone's birthday, and I really was going to leave and get some sleep around10:30, but everybody else was leaving too, and she didn't seem to be done having her birthday, and then she said the "M" word (margarita) and from that point I was doomed. They were very nice margaritas, in a very noisy bar, and I was fine walking back to the office, it's not like I was staggering into the 8 lanes of traffic Ludwigstr. has to offer at any hour of the day or night. So I really don't know why I woke up at 4, at 7, and at 10 this morning with a mouth like the Mojave and the distinct feeling that my right eye was trying to dig a tunnel through to my left ear. I don't know if it was what I ate, or what I drank, or just the staying up too late - hell, it could have been the weather. Whatever it was, it was...unpleasant. And I was out of money so I had to stagger to the bank and the cash machine was empty and the bankdude said no, I couldn't withdraw money from my account, even though it was a branch of my bank, and I - hungover, possibly food-poisoned, pre-coffee - did not have the German to get the details on why. So I called Robert and he directed me to another bank and I got coffee at the Bad Place (the Newsbar, Mom will remember that - it's gone way downhill) and burned my tongue and staggered back to the office and seriously thought about sleeping some more. But then I threw up in the sink and after that I felt much better, so I decided to go to work.

Isn't it great that I freelance, and can go in whenever I want? If I'd had to be at work at 9, I might have left the Curry Night before it turned to margaritas (we went somewhere else for the margaritas, no, you can't get margaritas at an Indian restaurant. Not in Munich, anyway) and missed out on that whole stellar experience. I also would not have run out of money and had to face a squeaky-clean and freshly-ironed bank employee while I was looking like this.

Unless it really was food poisoning, in which case I would have gone through most of that at the office. I'm sure my co-workers would have been very impressed.

Yeah. I should write every day. That would spare you having to read these marathon entries. Oh right, and MEGA congratulations to Heather and Steve. Baby Evan is too, too cute. Yay!

Monday, June 13, 2005

appearing competent

This column is too narrow, I'm used to thinking longer thoughts. I could shrink the typesize, but then some people might have to squint to read it, and that would be bad. I'm all about usability, man.

So things = under control. Sort of. Okay, not really. But I am learning to create an appearance of under-controlness, with a handy new technique I think I probably didn't invent, called stalling. In fact, I think not only did I not invent it, I'm probably the last person on earth to figure it out, and that's why everyone else makes this whole Life thing look so straightforward, while I'm always out of breath from trying to keep it all together. That's what I think. But I've figured it out, and it seems to be working so far.

Robert's translated the Text From Hell and it's my turn to proofread it. I already sent it back to him once (hint: every sentence needs a verb. Yes, every single one), so I probably won't be able to get away with that again. Busy With Homework is the current excuse.

L wants a new feature on the JOB site, one that will require like 20 new pages. Solution = easy: wait till Friday afternoon to email her that I'm not sure I understand, and request clarification, knowing she won't get back to me until Wednesday morning. Check.

Homework. Okay, no way around that, I just have to do it, but I can use my B+ average (so far) to justify giving it a little less than my last drop of sweat, thank you very much.

The millions of other things on my to-do list? Conveniently forgotten. Okay, I didn't say the system was perfect, but with a little refining here and there, I bet I can get away with a lot more than I do.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Summer fun

Today was the Sommerfest (summer-party, I guess) at the Sniglet's kindergarten. We were talking about it this morning before Ignatz went to school, and the Sniglet called it the Sommerferien (summer vacation), so I told him no, the Sommerfest is today, the Sommerferien is in five weeks, and then he will have no kindergarten, and Ignatz will have no school, and I'll spend the days banging my head on the floor. The Sniglet said, "Cool."

Right, the Fest. Excruciating, as all organized kindergarten activities are. Okay, actually it wasn't too horrible, they did a little skit based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar - the Sniglet was a slice of Swiss cheese - and it was fairly cute, although it wouldn't have been less cute if it had been a bit shorter. Still better than last year, when they acted out some interminable story about a sunflower that had been written by one of the teachers. At the end everybody (parents too) had to sing the kindergarten's official song, which had a bunch of shooby-doos in it, without being at all cool. I didn't sing, because I never do, but next time I think I will. I'll replace the shooby-doo with "shoot me now" and see who notices.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

movie review

So I saw the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy today. It didn't get very good reviews, which in a way is a good thing, since it brings expectations down a bit. I waited 23 years for this movie, and nothingshort of Armageddon would have kept me from seeing it. I figured I could just go in with lowered expectations, and relax and enjoy the movie, but I didn't set the expectations quite low enough. It, wispy, somehow. It's hard to make a movie from a book, you have to take a lot of stuff out. And the thing about this movie was, it was really obvious that stuff was missing. I kept thinking there's a good movie back behind there somewhere, but I'm only glimpsing bits of it. Maybe I shouldn't have read the book 40 times, I dunno. Bill Nighy was great, of course, not that you'd expect anything less. But the rest of it was kinda disappointing. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

In other news, there is no other news. Except I'm about to try to talk Robert into letting us get a couple kittens. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

this made me laugh so hard...

...I think I shook a couple fillings loose:
18 Ways to Hate Your Neighbor

Perhaps I am not getting out enough.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

shoot me now

Kilian has learned how to do armpit-farts.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

mom update

Mom called tonight, and she sounds like she's doing well. I wore her out, talking too fast - I get like that sometimes - but it sounds like her energy's improving, at least when she's not talking to me. She's back at work, and it's tiring but not unmanageable, is my impression. I am relieved at a return to normality. She's also going to send me a copy of the doctor's report. Excellent idea.

the internet is an amazing thing

I suppose it doesn't exactly make the weirdness possible, but it brings it to a much wider audience. Admit it, you are a better person know that you know about the Brick Testament.

new toy

I bought a bicycle today! Robert found it on ebay and I bid for it and we went to pick it up and I tested it by riding it to the train station. It looks like this:

And it works fine. I still have a thing or two to learn about gears, but all in all, I am very pleased. Now I can ride to the train station, which will make mornings and evenings less hectic, and ride to the gym, which really reduces the whole pain-in-the-butt aspect of gym-going, which in turn is the main reason why I haven't been lately. I'm doing the Stressed Working Mom diet again, where I don't have time to go to the gym, and I forget to eat because I'm so busy, so I'm losing both weight and muscle mass. Not good. Must get back on the wagon.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

oh, I forgot...

I saw Sahara at the Cinema on thursday. It was pretty much like this.

Friday, June 03, 2005

day late, dollar short

So nothing really new there. My to-do list is reaching critical mass again - I always forget to appreciate it when I'm not overwhelmed. It's the last six weeks of the school year, so there are a bunch of You Will Have Fun type activities that we have to support, most of them scheduled for days when DrBob's out of town. Not that it would help that much if he were here, the kids are kinda my thing (not that he doesn't get involved, but that I'm the primary parent, and he's the helper). Anyway, he hates that kind of cutesy-butt stuff so much, he'd probably do his Darth Vader routine and scare the other children.

He took the Sniglet to the doctor on wednesday. The allergy medicine seemed to work for awhile, but the allergies are kicking in, so I wanted to get some kind of Benadryl-equivalent for him. Apparently he has asthma, so he has to learn to use an inhaler. Once again I am in the position of trying not to freak out.