Saturday, March 05, 2016

Reporting from the past

I am trying to clear away the drifts of paper that have taken over my desk and came across the notes John and I were writing to each other during a play put on by Hannah's class in the 11th grade. I'm typing it up here for posterity, so I can get rid of the paper and also share the absolute WTFuckery of it all.

Me: Very sensual for our daughter's 11th grade play

John: phallic fruit salad

Song: "Silence is Sexy"
Me: as death?

Me: Where's Gallagher when you need him?

Me: Was [classmate] the pink-haired girl?

Me: short dresses and the dance of love

John: too much sexy

Me (from here on out): When did they get masks?

You call that a sense of musicality?!

[Music to prove the theater teacher is still cool.]

broken gaydar

It's my bedtime. :(

Inappropriate therapist! Quacking! With a ukelele! This play is getting better and better.

Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance

[Hannah's giving it her all!]

Fruity confusion Where's the fruit-based violence?

--denial

--loony bin!

--square dance!

Hannah is flumpy. Pinkie has the same posture as Hannah.

bugs!

Hannah's inner voice is a dick

Silence of the lambs`

hep ghost is hep
or is it a musical gorilla?

baby Nihilist

OneFlewOverTheCuckoo'sNest

Conspiracy Theorist--too late!

yelling!

someone's going to lose a finger

Hannah is probably hating this--she never looked up

[weird music accompanying
  • dancing
  • toothbrushing
  • tedding mauling
  • front and back masks and yelling
  • scratching--note: lay off the smack, girls? chatos?
  • suggestive rubbing
  • petrified
  • he's a zombie!
  • Wormtail!
  • child abuse
And that is how we spent one evening in a German institution of learning, ladies and gentlemen.

--Nee in Germany is tidying herself into an early grave

Thursday, January 21, 2016

So cold

We've had proper winter temperatures this week, with the overnight lows going down into the mid- to low-20s (F). No, sir--I don't like it. Luckily our office at the university is well-heated, and I have the space heater to put under my desk at home. Still, it is chilly willy in our house.

All of which makes me wonder why I was so surprised at the amount of snow still on the ground yesterday. Maybe I just don't pay enough attention.

John accompanied me to a friend's reading Monday evening. I joined a book club last year, and one of my book club friends has now published two political/detective novels, and she was invited to read from the newest one as part of a series on local authors hosted by the local German American Institute. I'd never been in the library there before, and it made a lovely backdrop for the event, with lots of old-fashioned furniture and floor-to-ceiling wooden shelves.

We drove in to work on Tuesday because John wanted to give a hands-on demonstration in one of his classes using a chainsaw, and it doesn't really fit on the back of his bike. I wonder if the department's insurance covers course-related injuries...

On Wednesday, there was a departmental meeting in the afternoon, so that meant getting home much later than usual. Luckily, we have lots of leftovers at the moment, so no one had to cook.

I've been trying to track down a term for one of my courses, and I think I am going to just have to give up soon, because every time I think I have come up with a possible solution, it turns out to be useless. I've almost given up and gone downstairs for a nap twice already, but then the obsessive need to know has overcome the frustration at being thwarted at every turn.

--Nee in Germany does tend to fixate on things

Friday, January 15, 2016

Let it snow, and so forth

Got some snow overnight, and we're supposed to get a bit more over the weekend, and then next week the temps are supposed to drop to the point we'll need to protect our pipes (well, just the one in the kitchen, which was installed too close to the outside wall). Ah, the glamorous life of the homeowner.

Which actually is rather more glamorous than the life of the mildly depressed teacher. I was talking to John about my problem, and it is not merely that I have high expectations of myself, but that I am holding myself up to some really excellent instructors I had at university. The problem there is that they had many years of experience behind them in one field, while I have (been) bounced from department to department. One of the things I have done is to make the firm decision to quit teaching once my contract is up. I think I can manage to maintain and expand my freelance translation business with the contacts I currently have.

That's basically what is on my mind at the moment, so I haven't been a barrel of fun lately. Wow, this is boring, sorry.

--Nee in Germany is a real downer today

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Back on the chain gang

Survived the first week back in the classroom, but now John and I seem to be coming down with something. He's getting more and more congested, and I've got a bit of tummy trouble and headache. As I always say, stupid bodies. I'll be happy when humankind finally evolves to be a brain in a jar or a blob of pure energy, although I don't imagine I'll be around to see that.

Most people get up, drive to work, and drive home again at the end of the day, but for John and me, taking the car is a rather big event we have to talk ourselves into. John prefers to ride his bike, for both the physical and mental benefits to himself and the environmental benefits to our corner of Germany, but it has been raining pretty steadily (he got soaked through, coming and going, two days in a row, despite his rain gear) and he strained his knees biking against a head wind one day, so it wasn't too hard to talk him into the two of us driving yesterday. Nevertheless, we went back and forth about it several times before we even got in the car, and even after we had already left, but our decision was really only cinched as the best choice when we hit a horrible downpour a couple of miles from home in the evening. I could see John in the driver's seat, imagining what it would feel like to be out in that on a bike, and he was pretty thankful he had dodged that bullet. Later, lying on the couch in his warm, dry clothes under a warm, dry blanket, he looked really happy not to have to be drying off and warming up like on Monday and Tuesday.

Actually, he had it pretty good last night. It was my turn to cook dinner, and empty the dishwasher, and scoop the cat box (which I still need to do), so he could basically lie back and wait for the food to come to him. I tried out a recipe that is basically broccoli-rice casserole, with quinoa substituted for the rice, and then baked, and it was very tasty, even though the mini-muffin format was a flop. So I made a note on the recipe and will file it away to try again in a different form.

--Nee in Germany is dead boring at the moment

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Monday-est Monday in a while

I didn't have high hopes for today, seeing as it was my first day back to work after the holidays, but it turned out to be even more Monday than expected. Everything was going fine until I got off the bus and crossed the street. Five feet from the corner where I needed to turn left, a bus splashed a gutter full of water all over my legs. Two blocks from my office. One hour before teaching. Two classes to teach with gutter water in my pants. Urgh.

After work I came home and put my pants in the wash. Then I got a reminder that my bank had blocked my credit card because they couldn't read German and didn't know that that big charge was from a travel agency when we bought tickets to Texas recently. So I spent half an hour on the phone, at direct dial rates, getting bounced from department to department because they couldn't find my phone number in my account info. Finally someone at my actual bank and not the credit card fraud office was able to get it taken care of because he could actually see all of my info. Bleh.

Then I broke down and looked at facebook, and the first post was about David Bowie dying. Sigh.

It's not even 6 p.m., and I'm about ready to go to bed.

--Nee in Germany has to take her turn cooking

Sunday, January 10, 2016

So much tidying

The junior firemen came around on Saturday to pick up our xmas tree, so that has meant putting our xmas stuff away, vacuuming, etc. Since Hannah wasn't here for our usual forced labor convenience, I was a bit lazy and didn't put out every last bit of the xmas decorations, otherwise it would have taken a lot longer. Now to polish off the last of the gingerbread men, and xmas will be ovah!

The weather cleared up on Friday and I made it outside to run errands for about an hour, ending with a trip up to the garden. Here's one of two stupid hyacinths that thought December was March.

IMG_20160108_122308

There are a bunch of other bulbs sending shoots up elsewhere in the garden, but no flowers yet. Saturday was also clear, but several degrees colder. We almost reached the freezing point overnight, but this morning we woke up to warmer, wetter weather again, which is supposed to continue throughout the week.

I hate when I oversleep, and the last hour in bed is just endless variations on anxiety dreams. Trying to fight my way somewhere, but unable to make it there in time, or unable to keep track of some item, or unable to accomplish a particular task. At least when I wake up I can see the underlying pattern, but it still sucks to have your brain attacking you on your weak side when you are unconscious.

--Nee in Germany still has to clean all the cat off her office rug

Friday, January 08, 2016

Out of practice

I tried to sit down and write something 2 days ago, and I found myself staring at the screen with not a single idea in my head. It felt like mental constipation, and I could only wish that my brain were that empty when trying to fall asleep. *sigh*

It probably doesn't help that I haven't set foot out of doors since I helped John carry up our groceries on Monday. The weather has been shit, and I have a lot of computer-based work to do, having caught up on a lot of my household chores during the holidays, so there hasn't been a lot of incentive to get outside. The sun is out right now, though, so I'm considering running a few errands before it turns rainy again.

One of the things making me grumpy, besides the lack of crafting due to the aforementioned work, is the lack of creative writing. I've had one story circling in my brain, more and more insistently, for a while. It's a story I stole from my seestor, and have started, restarted, made an outline, made notes, and thought about while semiconscious. A few days ago, I sent what I had previously written to my kindle so I could see what I had come up with so far, and I wasn't happy with it. At the time I wrote it, I was pleased with it, but rereading it cold after so long, it feels technically accurate without having much heart. (That's probably what my clarinet playing sounded like back in high school as well.) Yesterday, I happened across a quote (allegedly) from one of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett:
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
When I read that, something clicked for me. Rather than try to describe explicity what it is I see in my head, I need to write more like I talk. I also need to try to loosen up and not make everything perfect as I go. So I’m giving myself permission to barf out onto the page whatever occurs to me. Sort of like I do here. *g*

--Nee in Germany hates to admit she collects quotes