Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I didn't mean to imply in my previous post that gluttony is the primary trait L.H. has passed on to D.D. It's probably only a coincidence that they both love spaghetti more than our pets, because L.H. hated spaghetti as a child. His mother still finds it astounding that her small child who hated mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes and would only eat spaghetti plain with a little butter turned into such a big spaghetti fan.

No, love of language is the trait he's most proud of passing on. I asked D.D. a question last night, and she answered, "Oui. I mean, si." She's as fluent as any other second grader in German (according to her teacher), and L.H. keeps her in practice with Swedish. She's even mentioned wanting to learn more Spanish, in addition to the few words she remembers from kindergarten. And she is always asking language-related questions, like wanting to know about the letter 'e' with the two dots over it. (She should ask her dad; I have no idea.)

And she's like both of us in that she loves Ren and Stimpy. She's watched the first couple of seasons on DVD with us (thanks JEKL!), and she does a passable Stimpy voice. Hee!


Small kids are cute, but I'm glad D.D. has left that stage behind. There's a little sister at D.D.'s ballet class who I think is about 4, and everything she says comes out at the top of her voice. I guess I'm just not used to little people, but I think that would drive me ape shit if it were my child. I'm sure D.D. was a lot louder a few years back, but now she spends as much time as she can finagle sedated by television, so I'm more used to the loud toy commercials narrated by MONSTER TRUCK RALLEY-TYPE ANNOUNCERS. Yes, even here in Germany.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Our Darling Daughter is a perfect mix of the two of us. When she was born, MIL said she looked just like me, and my mom said she looked just like L.H. When she was a little older, they switched positions, but there was no doubt that she belonged to both of us.

As she's gotten older, she looks more and more like me (to the point that my nephew swore that a photo of me at about age 6 was D.D.), with certain features that are her dad's. People we've just met even comment on it. It's a running joke that if we lose her in a crowd, I'll just ask everyone if they've seen a smaller version of me.

Anyone can manage to produce a genetic duplicate of themselves, though, so I'm more excited that she's taking after me in other respects. She loves to read. Every night, either L.H. or I read to her (she often reads along and corrects me when I misspeak), then she takes a book or two to bed for another 15-20 minutes of quiet reading. She's getting very fast, too, and will announce how many pages she's read when she's done. Some days she wants something short and easy, like one of her many Arthur (the Aardvark) books. Tonight she is reading a chapter book that came with her American Girl doll (thanks gwamma!).

But 2 recent events have proved beyond a doubt that she's got the reading gene. In a friendship book (remember those?) that went through her class recently, she put down "reading" as both her hobby and her favorite thing to do. Then as we were walking from the car to our house this afternoon (we're leasing our parking space to our neighbor, so we park on the street around the corner), she was *reading and walking*. Classic Nee childhood behavior. Only TV zombifies her more than books, and she is actually continuing to read now that we're home instead of turning on the TV (her usual M.O.).

Probably over a third of our household goods we shipped to Germany was books, and I am afraid the percentage will be somewhat higher when we eventually head back. I guess I should start saving for that now. Eek!

Added 30 minutes later: She tried to eat and read, but I nixed that because 1. I am using the book for my research project and don't want it covered in spaghetti sauce, and 2. she would not actually manage to eat anything, and I'd rather that reading not become mixed up in her mind with dieting.

And to round out the picture of her genetic heritage, she is able and willing to eat copious amounts of spaghetti. Her father is (in)famous in his family for having eaten something like 15 meatballs at one meal. Peas, meet pod.

Monday, March 21, 2005

And Now for the Rest of the Story

Our Little Shop of Horrors plant put out a new leaf, and it looked like a Venus flytrap on its side until it finished unfurling. I'm starting to think it might be an alien life form.


Turns out I misread the sign on the new restaurant in our village. It's a pizzeria/kebab house. I guess I was confused by the picture of a guy *wearing a sombrero*. That doesn't really say "pizza" or "kebab" to me. They don't even deliver, so I doubt we'll ever try them out. Besides, one should approach such a place only if one has acclimated oneself be eating a steady diet of Taco Bell and Sonic chili dogs.


There's an older couple from Spain that live across the street from us, and I see them sometimes when I'm out and about. Today the lady was wearing a red leather jacket, red leather boots, and a hot pink knit tube?skirt. I saw a blind man behind her wince.

The Navel-Gazing Post

Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like a meat sack?


I have to say that I'm a rather reserved person (in person). Once I get to know and love someone, I can be the real, the obnoxious me, but until then I can be a hard nut to crack.

I'm the same way with my writing. I've only let a couple of people that I love and trust read my fiction (not the blither-blather I post here), and I only talk about it in a rather general way here. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in how other writers go about the business of writing.

One thing that I haven't made up my mind about is keeping writing-in-progress type statistics. Some writerly blogs I have seen have a special column dedicated to number of words written for the month, or number of manuscripts sent out to publishers, or number of rejections for a year. I can understand *mentioning* those things in a self-woo-hoo kind of way (like, I hand-wrote 3 steno pad pages of a long-dormant story last night; woo hoo!), but I feel that I myself would get so bogged down in the minutiae of this kind of "bookkeeping" that I wouldn't manage to keep writing. Maybe that's just an aspect of my anal-retentive nature.

One of the blogs I follow irregularly is from a person I came to respect on the recently vacated writing list, and she is a member of a smaller group that self-selected from the larger critique community. Apparently, they use the numbers I mentioned above as part of an internal support system comprising congrats, reminders, and a shoulder to cry on. It kind of reminds me of a weight-loss program, where every member is trying to accomplish the same goal but is eager to encourage every other member in the process. Anyhow, I can see how putting your numbers out there in such a situation would be part of the way such a group would function, but working alone, I don't think it's for me.

To put it a bit crudely, to me it's like a potty-training parent: she and every other parent in the same boat is totally excited that Susie made a poopy in the potty, but no one else wants to hear it.

So forgive me if I don't post about my poopies on a regular basis, but occasionally I'll get off my high horse and offer myself a very small self-congratulations here.