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

Friday, September 29, 2006

I didn't win! Yay!

Okay, a number of people (and that number is two, but I know the rest of you are thinking it) asked me why I ran for the parent-council-thing if I didn't want to be on it. And it was partly because, you know, parents should be involved and stuff, and also because every year in Ignatz's class there have been fewer candidates, until last year there was nobody, and after about two minutes of absolute silence Mrs Lallet said "Oh all right, I'll do it. Again." She's been on the job since they were all first graders. I figured nobody'd want the job, so I should step up.

And that is more or less what I said when it was my turn to introduce myself. And then the other candidates were all sparkly and saying crap like "I served for five years on the kindergarten parent council and it was so much fun!" or "I've never done it before but I just love organizing things and I'm so excited about this opportunity!" After that it's a wonder I got any votes at all, but I did. I got two votes, which is exactly how many votes Jonas's mom got, and she didn't even show up at the meeting. I have to wonder what some people were thinking.

So I didn't win, and I survived another parent-evening. All good.

The shelves are over at the new house, most of them. Tomorrow starts two days of packing and maneuvering furniture up and down stairs and cursing and saying "How the HELL did we accumulate so much effing STUFF!?"

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself.

Song du jour of the day: Wait for Me, by Hall & Oates. But not just any version, oh no. The live version at the end of Hall & Oates's Greatest Hits. I know what you're thinking: Hall & Oates? Greatest Hits? Isn't that an oxymoron?

No. No it is not.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back to Life... Back to Re-a-li-ty...

Well, so that was vacation. During the kids' summer break I wasn't teaching English (because most of my students have school-age kids), and I took leave from work for August and September, and I was going to get so much done with all that extra time! Only I didn't, and I can't even really blame it on my illness. It was laziness and the illusion that I had all the time in the world. So now I still have to finish this database course and move house, only now I have to do it while losing Fridays to my job and teaching English on Wednesdays. This is not going to make things easier, is it? I'm so good at making plans, and so bad at actually doing them.

Or envisioning the consequences. This moving thing... one of the basic elements of my grand plan is to get the shelves over to the new house so we have a place to put the stuff when we take it over. So now all the contents of my kitchen shelf are on the counter and I can't really use my kitchen. Um, oops? Sensible would be to move the shelves and the stuff over on the same day, but DrBob had to leave for this conference-thing at noon, so we only had time for the first half of the plan today. The second half of the plan is supposed to happen on Saturday, but the number of things we have planned for that day is probably in the high thousands. So we'll see what actually gets done, eh?

Song du jour of the day: Halloween on the Barbary Coast. By the Flaming Lips.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is it time to give in to despair yet?

My to-do list today:
clear basement shelves
plan tomorrow's English lesson
grocery shopping
put together the two wardrobes we got at Ikea yesterday
write Samirah to say Ooo, yes please!
mail stamps to Melanie and Ruby

That doesn't look impossible, does it, for a day's work? DrBob and I, together, managed to finish ONE of the Ikea wardrobes (this one). That was it, that was all we accomplished today. Sheesh, we told everyone we'd be out of this house next Sunday, but if every little thing takes an entire day to do? Or longer, since we'll all be faint with hunger shortly, since I didn't go grocery shopping and there's no FOOD! Also, DrBob has a conference to go to, and will be gone from Thursday to Saturday, so I have to do it on my own. Without lifting stuff. Because I am strictly forbidden to have a relapse on the whole pneumonia thing.

I'm so tired.

Song du jour of the day: Little Black Heart, by A-Ha. Don't try to cheer me up, just cyberslap me and tell me to get the hell over myself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Moving week - Los geht's!

Well, Saturday the brother-in-law came over and helped DrBob move some of the heavy stuff to the new house, which was way fun for me - I love watching boys flex their muscles. I spent Saturday putting DrBob's books in boxes, he spent Sunday taking them out of the boxes and putting them on his shelves (in the new house, that is). In about half an hour we'll go to Ikea and see how many fights one couple can pack into one day, that'll be fun. And then tonight some potential renters will come to look at the house (what, already!? I know!), and some more on Tuesday. It's lovely, our couch is gone so the living room looks huge, and the fifteen or so cardboard boxes provide an excuse for the dust. I managed to get most of the filth removed, but of course I have sons, so that'll last until they're home from school.

Anyway, that's me not blogging, and not even doing much worth blogging about: measuring rooms, putting things in boxes, taking them out of boxes, cleaning, I'm sure you don't need the grisly details. Wow, did we ever manage to accumulate a lot of stuff in five years! And I'm gonna feel really guilty about throwing so much away, but really, I just can't keep holding onto all this crap. Did you know I was into rubber stamps as a teenager? And I still have the dratted things? I've been trying to think who would want them, and frankly, I'm drawing a blank. I thought of having a Vicki-style potlatch, but the postage to the U.S. would ruin us financially and I don't have that many friends in Germany. Ugh.

Speaking of friends in Germany, we need a couple big strong guys to help us next Sunday (I'm not supposed to be lifting things yet). We pay in pizza and beer. Any takers?

Song du jour of the day: La Vie Ghetto, by Wyclef Jean.

Oh! AND, I discovered today that one of the kids in the Sniglet's class lives in our new neighborhood. Fellowmom neighbor, yay! Also, I'm running for the um, parent-council... thingy. What do you call that in English? I'd say wish me luck, except that I really don't know whether I want to win or lose.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Things I've been meaning to tell you...

I had to bail on the 9/11 Mixmania, which made me really, really sad because I put a lot of time into the song lists, and then my computer pooped out on me. Rats, drat, and also darn. So I'm not signing up for the next Mixmania, even though I want to, because I don't know if I'll have my computer fixed on time. Well, I probably won't, because I don't actually know what's wrong with it.

But you can! Please? For me? Also for you, because this is a really great group of people and you should get to know them and reading their blogs will make your hair shinier. Go sign up for Jim's Halloween Mixmania, because it's way fun and if I can't do it, it'll make me happier if you do. It really will.

I am feeling somewhat better, thanks Elemmaciltur for asking. Almost normal, mostly, except for some reason I keep getting drunk, and then there's the hangover, and it's always too late when I think "heywaitaminute... wasn't I supposed to be taking it easy?" But, you know, there's always a good reason for it. Like, "But the second beer was FREE!"

I know, I know. Gotta stop that.

Apropos of which, yes I had a friend from Back Home visiting, a college friend, which is lovely. You need people who remember what you were like at 19, and love you anyway. And of course she had only a few days here, so we went to Munich yesterday to check out Oktoberfest. We had something like seven hours in the city, so I thought we'd have a beer (a whole liter of beer, which is about a quart to you normal people, with a higher-than-usual (especially if you're American) alcohol content), look around, and then go see the city. Hah. You sit down at one of those tables, you're not getting up again until it's time to get up and dance. On the benches (because the tables are too slippery with spilled beer). Seemed like the most natural thing in the world after the second tank of beer, which was bought for me by someone, and was therefore FREE, so I had to drink it. We sat with a group of lovely Australians and some Toytowners and had um, a lot more fun than you would think you could have, sitting on a hard wooden bench, eating giant pretzels, and singing along with an Oompah band. For seven hours.

After which I put Krystal on the train to Paris, caught my train home, brushed my teeth (probably), and collapsed in bed, only to wake up at 3 a.m. and realize I was still drunk. That part really wasn't fun at all. Remind me not to drink anymore, okay?

Umm, what else? Oh, we set an Official Moving Date of October 1st (i.e., when the phone and internet and everything are supposed to switch over), and then found out that my big strong brother-in-law couldn't do it then, howbout this Saturday? Yep, the day after tomorrow, all the heavy stuff goes, so I'm trying to get all the laundry done and clear shelves and, you know, Not Freak Out or anything. Because I distinctly remember planning to do this right, use the time I had to be organized and sensible about moving. What the hell happened? Oh, right, I remember - I was me, instead of someone, you know, organized and sensible. Oops.

Also, the internet people say it'll take them two weeks to flip the switch, so we'll be without internet for two weeks. Egad, it makes me woozy just thinking about it.

Okay, I think I've talked long enough to lose all but my most dedicated readers.

Song du jour of yesterday: in however-many hours of standing on a bench, swinging a giant beer glass and singing at the top of my lungs in a tent with about 9,000 other people, the only song I can actually remember is Hang on Sloopy, as presented by these charming fellows.

Okay, on my to-do list for tomorrow: grow up.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

still here, sort of

Got a houseguest from Back Home today and tomorrow, so blogging, as you may already have noticed, will be pretty light. I'll get back to you on Thursday. Probably.

Song du jour of the day (more like week, now) is still Tout Est Permis, because it's Oktoberfest.

Friday, September 15, 2006

about school, mostly

Well, there's the first week of school, survived. The Sniglet came home from his first day (thursday) disgruntled because he didn't learn anything, which is such a typically Sniglet thing to say. Heh.

Ignatz is starting Latin and Informatics this year, very exciting. He is under orders to come home and teach me everything he learns.

So both my kids are back in school, yes only now - Bavaria has the latest holidays in Germany, as far as I know. That's why we take our vacations so late, so we only have to share the road with other Bavarians, and not with all 80 million Germans. The Bavarians alone are bad enough.

So this is good, this school thing, because I can sort of establish routines now. Everything goes out the window during the vacations. But also bad, because I have to go back to work and teaching soon, which will leave me less time to move and finish my class.

Also, we're moving. Bet you'd forgotten about that, huh? You'd think I'd forgotten too, if you could see how little I've done about it. We got the keys, though, and we can go over to the house and grin to ourselves from time to time. I took Mrs Next Door to see it, and she discovered another room that we hadn't noticed. A little half-room off the attic. Yes, duh, but we're lucky to have intelligent friends.

What Ignatz said today: Mama? Don't you think our freezer's a bit too cold? I think it's because it has too many popsicles in it.

Finally, the song du jour du jour (because it's in French!). Tout Est Permis, by Noyau Dur, discovered today via Pandora. I love this! Click the videos link on the Noyau Dur site to see/hear Tout Es Permis.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More from the peanut gallery

Vicki said...
That's a hefty tag on health insurance. What happened to socialized medicine?
This is socialized medicine: those who have more (that's us) pay more, so that people who can't afford health insurance can still get medical care - the price we pay for living in a healthy society, and mostly I think it's worth it. We are pretty solidly middle-class, but our rates are at the top of the scale, because there are a few flaws in the system. One is that costs are high in general because nobody ever tries to rein in the pharmaceuticals giants, who are laughing all the way to the bank, believe me. Another is that if you have even a little more money than we do, it's cheaper to go with private insurance, and a lot of people do that: they pay lower rates while they're young and healthy, and then when they get old, or develop a chronic illness, their private insurance drops them like a hot rock. Then they come back and sponge off the public fund that they couldn't be bothered to contribute to when things were okay.

What that means is that the many Germans who can't afford health care depend on ordinary middle-class families like us, because the people who have money don't pay into the system.

Melanie said...
And hey, haven't your cast of characters aged yet? (Still 11 and 5?)
Nope, still 11 and 5. DrBob turned 40 in March, but the rest of us don't age. It's too expensive.

elemmaciltur said...
Weren't you allowed to knit in the hospital?
Probably, but the placement of my IV needles didn't give the range of movement I would need for knitting: I couldn't use the fingers of my right hand for four days, then I couldn't use my left arm at all for another day. Plus the yarn would've gotten caught in the IV tubing, that woulda sucked.

Actually, the reason they let me out is not because I'm better, but because I'm ambulant - because I can take the meds in tablet form instead of needing them intravenously. Technically I'm still sick, and supposed to be taking it easy.

kimberlydi said...
Take every single antibiotic... You don't want a relapse.
No, I sure don't. Last time, with the bronchitis, they didn't give me enough antibiotics, that's why the pneumonia hit me - because I stopped treatment before I was well (NOT on purpose, because they under-medded me).

Still, going on two weeks of antibiotics now, and it's doing bad things to my digestion and my teeth. I will take them all, but I don't know what condition I'll be in by the time they're all done.

Let me just take a moment here to state the blisteringly obvious: Being sick? Sucks.

Also, while I've got you here, I wonder if anyone has an instruction manual for husbands, as mine seems to be malfunctioning. He's sick, but refuses to go to the doctor, because he's sure the doc will only say he needs to cut back on stress, and he can't do that, so he's driving us all crazy swanning around like La fucking Traviata not getting better of course, and his mood is affecting all of us. Clearly, he needs a tune-up. Or a pipe wrench to the head.

Song du jour of the day: Machinehead, by Bush

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well that was stupid...

Pneumonia. I mean really. What a stupid thing to happen right when I have so much stuff to get on with. Apparently stress is a major factor - stress? Moi? I have the best life of anyone I know, I don't have stress. (DrBob: Why didn't you tell the doctor that your mom died of lung cancer last year? alala: I dunno, why, is that important?) Anyway, it was all a big, dumb waste of time - not being in the hospital, that's a good place to be when you're really sick, and I was - the being sick part. That was dumb. And a waste of time.

And it's not quite over. Another... uh. Hospital doc says another week of antibiotics, regular doc writes me a prescription for five days. That doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, does it? And I'm supposed to take it easy, while moving house and getting up early to get my kids to school, that starts tomorrow - would've been today, but everybody gets a day off because the Pope's here, something that ticks DrBob right off, but whatever.

What was I talking about? I dunno. I went on vacation not knowing how sick I was, but pretty sure when I got back that it wasn't good. First day back I went to the doctor and was not at all surprised when she tossed me straight into the hospital. Which was lovely at first, to be taken care of for the two days when I was in a fever-induced daze, but when clarity returned, I was dreadfully bored. And they made me stay another five days.

Song du jour of the day: Truckin', by the Grateful Dead. What a long strange trip it's been...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

feet greet

Many thanks from alala for the kind wishes! There are no complications and she's recovering, although this is apparently a longish process. alala's increasingly annoyed by hospital life; definitely a good sign. The treatment involves an intravenous drip, orthopedic stockings (very sexy, see above), some really neat gadgets she has to use to bring her lungs back to full capacity--and 'food'. My theory is that the organic matter served instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner is supposed to trigger archaic survival instincts and mobilize the body's resistance. The only chance to escape this culinary rogue regime is to get healthy. Here's a sample of 'food' (administered 9 September, 12:00 CET):

Health insurance receives about €1,000 monthly from us. I know now that the money is well spent.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dr. Bob's medical report

Hi, I'm afraid that I have to dissappoint those who are waiting to read about alala's Balkan adventures: Istria is not part of the Balkans, and I'm not alala but the "scarily multilingual academic" (who is somewhat linguistically scared about having to go public without alala's proven editorial help). The trip was great, and now she's in the hospital with a pneumonia. It was probably an overdose of recreation. This pneumonia is a pretty nasty thing, but, given the circumstances, alala's fine and in good spirit. We hope that she'll be back next week.