Friday, April 29, 2005

I Need a Title Generator

If some girls that are not my daughter want to wear low-rise jeans, I say more power to them. But is it too much to ask that they at least buy said jeans in their own size? There's no added sex appeal in sporting a bulge of tortured flesh that has escaped the dungeon of denim. If you're showing most everything anyway, why pretend your ass is smaller than it actually is?

The weather is so unpredictable these days that half of the girls on the bus were wearing sweaters, and the other half tank-tops. It tried to rain this morning when I took D.D. to school, but this afternoon people were out sunning on the river meadows, getting a long-overdue dose of vitamin D. [Corrected thanks to L.H. So I don't know vitamins.] The ice cream stands were doing a booming business when I walked through town earlier.

The daffodils have started dying off, but the dandelions are well on their way to being ripe. As a matter of fact, fluffy bits are floating through the window and collecting in threatening balls under the desk even as I type. (L.H. just pointed out that they are probably not from dandelions, more likely from trees. Spoil sport.) D.D. scans the sidewalk to and from school for "puffs." Some of the neighbors have really glorious gardens coming up; I told D.D. that since we live in an apartment, we can enjoy their gardens as we walk to school, and we don't have to pull weeds or pay for all the seedlings.

Speaking of which, one of the seeds I planted has sprouted! Go me! I have no idea what it is, since I just threw all the saved seeds in the pot, but I guess we'll see eventually.

Today I sat next to a highly annoying person in my textbook analysis class, a mistake I will try not to repeat. Granted, our instructor is a funny lady, but laughing like Luna Lovegood at every little witticism is not the way to make friends in class.

In case you weren't aware, grammatical gender will be the death of me. German nouns are masculine, feminine, or neuter, and there's very little rhyme or reason to it. Why is milk feminine but coffee masculine? I. Don't. Know. I'm not even positive I just got that right. I try and try to learn it, but it *does not stick.*

While chopping up the veggies for dinner just now, I noticed the labels on the packages. After checking them all, here is the international vegetable stir-fry we are having:
onions from Poland
garlic from Argentina
green beans from Egypt
mushrooms from Holland
cherry tomatoes from Italy

and oranges from Morocco on the fruit dish.
But pork and spaetzle from Germany, of course.

And for your reading pleasure, here are my results for the quiz, What Kind of American English Do You Speak:

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

25% Dixie

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bits and Pieces

D.D. is well on her way to mastering the fine art of hyperbole. On the way home from school yesterday: "This backpack is snapping my spine! It's killing me! Look—I think it has a tiny knife, or a gun, or maybe some dynamite!"

Then this morning: "My finger is killing me! I'm dying! I don't think I can go to school!" My response: "If you die from a paper cut, you don't have to go to school. Now get up!"

The rain clouds have finally moved off, but it was nippy enough this morning that I made D.D. wear a sweater and gloves. Of course, it turned warm in the afternoon (but still no rain! Yah!), so she had to drag home a pile of clothes, but she'll survive.

You know how once you've thought of something, you can't *not* think of it? My problem is CO2. Normally, I don't give other people's breathing a thought, but once in a while, like on the bus, it will occur to me that I'm breathing in the exhalations of my fellow passengers. I haven't quite given myself a complex about it, but I might end up hyperventilating from the shallow breathing while on the bus, then deep lung-cleansing breathing when off the bus. (Typing this, I realize I sound like a freak, but everyone needs one hang-up, right? Hello?)

I like various types of sewing and crafts, but I try not to step over the line into sewing little clothes for the cats, or crocheting wall hangings with plastic baby faces. But apparently the people at the sewing machine shop next-door to my favorite bakery have no such self-restraint. It was gone from the window today, but last week they had used their power for good (embroidery machine) for evil (pot-plant cozy).

I know it can't be easy keeping an elementary school clean, especially when it has rained for 2 solid weeks. And I see the cleaning lady sweeping and mopping every afternoon when I go to pick up D.D., so I know it's being cleaned. But the smells! Normally it smells like sweaty puppies (small wonder), but yesterday eau de cat box wafted through the halls. I'm worried that D.D.'s sense of smell will be permanently damaged by the constant exposure.

Since the new Pope is German, there's been something about him in the paper every day since his election. The latest: The 78-year-old Pope is in good shape! He takes the stairs instead of the elevator! I mean, come on, people. He's German. I think they are constitutionally incapable of using elevators. 112-year-old ladies climb the stairs here. People with crutches climb the stairs here. Open a building with fewer than 8 floors and include an elevator, and people will think you've lost your mind.

L.H. has attracted his own stalker. Well, a really annoying, needy, 42-year-old (male) student who can't take a hint, such as L.H. putting on his coat, picking up his bag, saying "I have to leave", and turning off the light. True story. I had to be in L.H.'s building today to use the library, and I came across him and Stalky in the hall, and he refused to make eye contact with me in case Stalky decided to attach himself to me instead.

We are really going to Paris the end of next week (there's a state holiday—Christ Ascension, I think). I know that it didn't work out last time, but this time we have hotel reservations (confirmed yesterday), a car, a map, a guide book, and a phrase book on CD. So we're halfway there! Only, D.D. doesn't want to go, because she's heard the French eat snails. I hope she doesn't burst into tears whenever we pass a butcher's shop or a restaurant.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What's Up With Us

I decided after L.H. got home from California that 5 days of being a single parent was plenty, thanks. I don't ever want to do that full-time. L.H. is therefore not allowed to die on me. No sudden heart attacks. No fatal bike accidents. No acute food poisoning.

D.D.'s class has been studying invertebrates, so they've covered the snail and the worm. The teacher even brought specimens to class for them to touch and watch. Considering how wet it's been, you can't walk 5 feet without coming across one or the other, so I'm sure collecting them was not a difficult feat. Then last night, the popular science program we watch (Galileo) covered the type of snails that we have around here. D.D. was all into it until she realized that we were watching escargot farmers in action, and that the snails were being raised to be eaten. That's when the tv went off and the tears came on. Then when she spotted a couple of snails on the way to school this morning, there were more tears. So she has a soft-spot for slimy, disgusting gastropods.

I am thinking about starting a hidden-camera anthropology project on the bus. First, I can have the old people that have to shake hands with every person they know on the bus, even if there are 20 of them. Then I can have drunky hair guy, who seems to think that grooming and flinging his long hair repeatedly, while head-banging to his portable cd player and sipping on a bottle of beer hidden in the pocket of his leather jacket, is attractive. Finally, I can cover the range of adolescent thoughtlessness: backing into other passengers with a 20-pound backback, hogging up a seat with a backpack so that others have to stand (and why don't the others call him on it), listening to music so loudly that even with earphones the passengers 2 rows up can hear nothing else. If you can't tell, the glamor of the bus is gone.

The weather is so shitty that I'm not even going to bother bitching about it. It would be like a -2 on the scale (except I can't remember which way the scale goes, so take my word that -2 is not good).

Composed April 24

If April showers bring May flowers, I hope they can swim. We have had rain, rain, and more rain. Funnily enough (but not in the ha-ha sense), we've noticed that it'll rain all day when we want to or have to get out and about, then clear up around sunset, when it's too late for most errands or outings anyway. Bleh!

After the rain, the thing I am most sick of seeing is Anastacia's ass. There's a kiosk across the street with posters for "cultural events" (in the widest possible sense), and every time I look out the kitchen window, she's giving me a come-hither look over shoulder, which is completely a wasted effort.

It's only one o'clock, but it's already been a full day: up at 5 to take Lovely Husband to the train station for leg 1 of his trip to California, got Darling Daughter to school by 7:45, *cleaned* the house, and went to the dentist for a filling. In the middle of the dental appointment, I noticed I wasn't keeping my tongue properly out of the way, and I had the most absurd thought: "I'm licking the dentist!" I guess it's a job hazard in that line of work, but it struck me as hilarious at the time (drug-free dentistry, thanks).

Then after the filling I got asked out. How sad is asking a total stranger *at a bus stop* to go for coffee? I couldn't even think what would be the correct response for 1. turning someone down without being insulting OR encouraging, and 2. saying it in German. I thought the whole thing was kind of funny, but L.H. was concerned when I told him about it. I think he's worried the guy will turn into a stalker, but I'm not worried about attracting stalkers until my fiction is published; then I'll have one eye behind me for literary critics.