Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm Ba-ack!

Before my exams, my brain was like a balloon, inflated with particles of knowledge. After the exams, my brain is like a deflated balloon, period. There's not a lot floating around in there right now, but I can at least cobble together my notes from over the last week into a post. Be forewarned that is will be slightly more hodge-y, and much more podge-y, than usual.

Back when we were making our toilet-paper-tube puppets, Darling Daughter liberated some craft supplies and made a new sign for her door. It's quite nice—multicolored stars she painted in watercolors with her initial made of popsicle sticks glued on top and painted blue—but I kind of miss the old sign:
"Knock 76 times to enter!!!!"

My Lovely Husband likes to try out different foods and drinks. Our grocery store is a bit dull in the food department, so he's been throwing in a bottle of this or that wine or liquor when he thinks about it. Recently it was single-malt whiskey, knowing that a former acquaintance was quite fond of it. He wasn't impressed. When I saw him drinking some a second time, I reminded him that he had previously said it tasted like rubbing alcohol flavored with dirt. "But it's the dirt of the Scottish highlands!" was his response.

The first of the week was cool and wet-ish, with temps in the 60s and low 70s, but it has been pretty warm the last couple of days, in the low 90s. That is when I (and many other students) appreciate the coolness of the stone-and-tile basement library in the English department. Slipping off one's shoes and placing one's bare feet on the cold, cold tile is a popular pasttime while one studies.

Absurdity is the cure for grumpiness. One of my hard-core studying days last week, I was en route to Latin and in quite a bad mood. But that all changed when I spotted an elderly woman, obviously a tourist (but from where?), wearing a baby-pink vest with a matching scarf and ball cap...and hair. I almost fell off the sidewalk when I saw her. She looked like Dot's poodle at the end of PeeWee's Big Adventure.

That afternoon I saw a dog that looked amazingly like the robot dog from Battlestar Galactica (Muffit, for the geeks among you, and no, I didn't know that; I had to look it up). Except this dog didn't have the metal bands and was dark gray. I might not have noticed him, but he was walking along a 2-3 foot high wall that has a sidewalk and bus stop on one side and a 20-foot drop on the other.

Start rant. Then another day, I had a rage moment on the bridge. There is a pair of towers you have to pass between on the "historical"(=touristy) side of the bridge, and an *American* tour group was blocking the way while their guide tried to get them to gather off to one side. Yes, it was raining, lightly, and yes, the towers are connected and give some protection from the rain, but it is a narrow area, and these people all had apparently functioning umbrellas. It pisses me off to run across thoughtless tourists, and the Americans piss me off even more because they are reinforcing the "ugly American" stereotype. I'm sure jillions of *polite, quiet* American tourists grace our streets every year, but the jerky ones are the ones that get noticed and give everyone else a bad name. End rant.

I know there are lots of cultural differences between Europeans and Americans, but one I find quite interesting is that of maternity wear. From back when I and my friends and acquaintances were pregnant (starting 9 years ago), maternity wear in the US was either cutsie or plain, but it was all of the full-coverage variety. When we were in Sweden, we noticed that tight, stretchy, not-very-maternity-like-to-me clothes were the norm. And visible bellies. I think that is the case throughout Europe, but it may be gaining in America. I'm not sure. Anyhow, a preggie in one of my classes doesn't seem to be dressing at all differently from her pre-preggie state: low-rise jeans and halter tops. I know she's quite a bit younger than I am now, and is probably younger than I was when I got pregnant, but I always have the impression that after class she's going to go clubbing, belly and all. Weird.

Kenny Rogers almost broke up my marriage. L.H. had been (thank the 7 dwarfs! in the past!) stuck on a couple of ole K.R.'s songs, bad enough in itself, but he was conflating them, so the Gambler had lyrics from Coward of the County. Now, my mom had a few K.R. 8-tracks when I was a small kid, and we were big on K.R. for a while, so it pained me that he was messing them up. Oh, and also that he *would not stop singing.*

I've mentioned the sign/kiosk-thing across the street, but there are more up and down the main road, and they are all over the place throughout Germany and have been for about 150 years. Right now D.D.'s favorite sign is a big photo of a banana, labeled "kiwi." Turns out it's an ad for an exhibit on the guy who introduced them [(added to clarify) the kiosks] to Germany. But it gets your attention.

Another sign I've noticed is for the Backstreet Boys tour. Something like "Never gone." My ass. Who's heard of the BBoys since, like, my sister was in high school 10 years ago? And I would guess they're a little too old to try to pass themselves off as "boys." I mean, look at what's happened to Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC (however you spell it; where's the damn H?).

From the Bridal Shop of Horrors: apparently they realized something was amiss with one dress, because it was in the window one day and gone the next. It was actually quite pretty, strapless and white, except for the randomly placed silk flowers. They appeared to be white poinsettias, and they appeared to be sprouting from the armpit area. I can't imagine that's comfortable on your big day.

In other plant news, the parsley and flowers for cutting and drying that I planted from seeds are up and growing. I'm quite pleased with their progress, considering my usual lack of success with things green. The parsley is still small, but it tastes like parsley! Imagine that! I hope to have some flowers blooming by the time LMIL and PP come (31 days, D.D. informed me (if I remember correctly)).


westexgirl said...

Two things: (Well three, actually.) 1. I swear I am not trying to usurp your blog. :) 2. I am going to try like hell and send you this teensy tiny digital camera (that fits in an Altoids tin) so you can secretly take photos of the weirdos and freaks. Not that your descriptions are lacking in the slightest... I just feel somehow deprived that I don't get to see these for myself. And 3. I don't know if you are aware, but I absolutely adore Kevin Smith, so I see Chris Kirkpatrick's look as a step up from his BB days. ;) If I ever leave my own LH, it'll be for Kev.

Nee S. said...

I am considering using the occasion of my LMIL's visit to snap some of the non-human weirdness under the guise of being a tourist. I don't know about the privacy issues of posting photos of real people on the internet in order to mock them, otherwise I'd be all down with it.

Also, Silent Bob is much more my type than Jay, but neither of them claim to be a member of a "boy band". Ick.