Thursday, April 07, 2005

Smurfin' Like It's 1999

D.D. watches the kid channel almost incessantly (the shame!), and they have been advertising a show for weeks: The ABCs of the Smurfs (called Schlumpfs in German). Tomorrow night, all these German celebrities are slated to come on the show and talk about their smurf memories.

That set me and L.H. off on a round of smurf-talk:

Smurf 1: Oh, no! Gargamel found our mushroom village!
Smurf 2: We're smurfed!

Smurf 1 to Smurfette over a glass of smurf-berry juice: Wanna smurf?

On viewing Crack-Addict Smurf lying in a gutter: He must have been smurfing up again.

Smurf 1, after walking in on Smurf 2 in the bathroom: I caught him smurfing!

And so on and so forth. Maybe not so funny as Mimi Smartypants, but that is a level I am still hoping to attain, someday...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Attack of the Invertebrates

It's cool and drizzly today, so we were able to see our first snails of the year. Dude, these aren't just any snails, these are *escargot* (according to our neighbor). The shells are at least the diameter of a silver dollar, and the bodies are about 3 inches long and white. They are gross but cool. D.D. and I collect the empty shells; we're up to 2.

But as gross as the snails are, they are not nearly as disgusting as the slugs we saw in Sweden. Imagine a 4-inch-long dog turd, black or brown, that is determinedly sliming its way across the sidewalk where you are trying to walk. Now imagine *thousands* of them covering a hundred-yard-long sidewalk that is the only way to your child's daycare. The only thing worse is a cage full of locusts or millipedes (remember, we were recently at the Frankfurt Zoo; trust me on this one). *shudder*

The dark side of spring isn't all slime-laden invertebrates, though. It is also *copious hair loss*. I've always been a big shedder (no mispronouncing and snorting, JEKL!), especially compared to the two other long-haired persons, one long-haired cat, and one short-haired cat I share my home with. But the start of warm weather accelerates the process. It's bad enough that it happens at all, but it appears that *only the brown hairs* are jumping ship. At this rate, I'll be completely white by winter. And the white hairs are thick and kinky (my mom compared them to piano wire; thanks, Mom!), so I'll probably look like a female Einstein. But that is where the resemblance will end, unless my moustache (also turning white!) starts growing uncontrollably.

On the bright side, the pink and white blossoms are appearing hard on the heels of the yellow ones, which helps to cut the gloom of the low-lying clouds and drizzle. Yesterday was cool but sunny, so I worked on cleaning up our terrace. I don't really have a green thumb, more like a brown pinky, but I try. The previous tenants left behind 8 or 9 large planters with mostly unrecognizable contents. There's a small tree in one, and 3 or 4 have tayberry bushes (according to the only label left behind). They put out some pitiful berries last summer, longer and narrower than strawberries and quite bland. I don't know if they'll stay. Then there's some kind of good-smelling herb (maybe basil?) in some of the pots and a few chives in most of them. I stole the dirt out of the most weed-choked pot to plant a few seeds and repot a couple of plants I keep in the kitchen window. I don't really have high hopes for the seeds, which I have been saving from our fruit—it's more of a science than a gardening experiment—but I figure that if I haven't killed off the ivy or xmas cactus yet, they'll survive a little repotting.

Speaking of all things organic, remember the flaming ball of xmas tree? We have a compost can downstairs, so I wanted to do the right thing and put the tiny, singed tree in it. First I had to get the hot-glued-on ornaments and candles off. Turns out, it's not a tiny tree at all. It is a pine branch that was denuded, the stick jammed into a pot of clay, then the branchlets wired back onto the stick in the form of a tiny tree. So the damned thing was not alive at all (no wonder the water kept running straight through the pot, duh!) and was a fire hazard from the get-go. Next year we are going to be here the whole time, so we'll get a full-sized tree and use electric lights. Those two things alone should reduce our chances of a house fire.

I just realized this morning that classes start *next week*! Ack! Ack! Aaaaaaaack! (In case you were wondering how I feel about it.) Did I mention AAAAACK!!?