Friday, November 04, 2005


D.D. had a week-and-a-half-long school vacation, so my brain decided to go on vacation, too. Not good. This morning I whipped myself into list-making mode, but I haven’t decided yet if it is going to inspire in me an indomitable will to succeed, or just panic at the sheer size of it. Maybe both.

In the spirit of finishing the unfinished, I have added “type up the various blog notes floating around in my Palm” and “finish one short story.” Consider yourself forewarned that posts of travels past will be appearing here shortly.

From the bus, I spotted the window of a new-to-me hair salon—“ad.hoc: for cowboys and poodles”. Is it a barber-slash-dog groomer? Does “poodles” refer to women? Who can say?

The wedding shop currently has a strapless mermaid dress in the window. The “fins” are made of tulle; I’m kind of “meh” about that. The bodice appears to be sewn from hand-made paper. I kind of like it, being the office-supply junkie I am.

There’s a female Menudo-esque group here called the Lollipops. They have just graduated one elderly duo who look about 18, and have initiated a fresh pair of 10-year-olds. Six months ago, the older pair were sporting braids and braces and producing up-beat music videos with peppy, heavily choreographed dancing that included lots of hopping. Now they are tottering about in heels and mini-skirts, wearing satiny tank tops that show lots of cleavage, and swaying seductively instead of actual dancing. (One of them still has braces, though.) Also part of their new look, *murdering* "Stop! In the Name of Love". I mean, this “musical group” (I use the term very loosely)—now named Cats and Boots—makes Bad Candy look like the second coming of the Beatles.

I don’t understand this foisting of terrible music onto the impressionable minds of children. There has to be someone in the world who can carry a tune and would be willing to sing about child-centric topics. There’s plenty of time for kids to develop a taste for Staind et al.

My bloodwork came back, and my blood-iron levels are ok, if a little lower than last time (127, down from 140); the ferritin levels are still low-ish (39.5 where the range of normal is 15 to 150), so I’ll continue to take iron until the 100-pack runs out. My cholesterol, though, was a nice, low 179, so no sudden heart attacks/strokes for me in the near future (hopefully). Considering my grandmother’s family’s medical history (massive heart attack is a popular way to go, probably fueled by chronically high cholesterol and heavy smoking), I was glad to hear the good results.

Now it's L.H.'s turn. The precious plumbagos have been repotted and brought indoors, and they LOVE it there. The smaller, outdoor plumbagos don't look nearly so happy; they are completely flower-less. (Real, photo-free content on the way soon.) Posted by Picasa

My beloved pumpkin planter wearing its new hair of chilis. The florist warned me repeatedly that although edible, they are HOT. L.H. can verify that; he says they're about twice as hot as jalapenos. Plus my collection of snail (escargot) shells. Posted by Picasa

Day 4. Lookin' good! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Here is Jooge's (aka SIL) addition to the Hall of Crazy-Ass Taxidermy. I think it's missing a tambourine player. And maybe a saxophonist. What say you? Posted by Picasa

Day 3. There are a good dozen open flowers now, and still more buds to go. Posted by Picasa

D.D. is getting in on the plant action. Her little plant is twining itself around the bigger one (those brown vine-looking things are the scary air roots I once mentioned). It has looped itself *4 times* around the upper-most stem in the photo. She grew this from a bean at school ("Fire Beans" in German). Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

We spotted this in a junk-shop window in Rothenburg. I don't know what it is, but I think I need it. Posted by Picasa

Blah to the Blah-th Degree

Golden October held out through the 31st, and Dreary November jumped in to take its place on the first, just like clockwork. German weather is just as punctual as German people.

I overdid it carrying the groceries (I lugged 6 or 7 canvas bags—some hanging from my shoulders, some carried by the handles—in one go from the car to our third-floor apartment), so now I have a pinched nerve or strained muscles or something in my right shoulder up into my neck. I look like I’m doing a wicked impersonation of Frankenstein’s monster. Then when I went to give away some of my blood this morning to have my iron-levels checked, the phlebotomist (the good one) noticed the spot where I burned my arm last week on a cookie sheet coming out of the oven. It’s already kind of scabby, so it should be all pink and puckery in a few more days once the crust rubs off. I just need a big, gashing wound on my face now to top off the whole look.

With the neck and the blah weather, I haven’t really been able to make myself do anything productive, so then there’s the self-guilt thing...blah, blah, blah, boring-cakes.

But I am finally getting to the eye doctor this afternoon, so maybe I will have new contacts soon. These glasses have been a disaster from the beginning. I tried to save a little money by going to Pearle Vision (I think) instead of buying them from my optometrist, but with such a wonky prescription, I should have just stuck with the more expensive but better glasses at his office. Since I have a pretty bad astigmatism, I need some kind of special coating on the lenses, which is now peeling off the right lens. I have noticed that I see well up close only with my right eye and from afar only with the left, so I’m thinking my prescription might need some tweaking.

What else? Oh, yeah...what is up with furry boots this year? Even when it was still warm, say in early October, I saw a woman wearing a sundress and boots with fur trim and two little dangly, furry balls. Now they are in all the shops, and everyone is wearing them. Ick. And then I saw a purse that is cylindrical and covered in fur. Fur that appears to have been taken from a vomit-covered ocelot. Yes, it appears that I am still violently opposed to fur (even fake fur) as an accessory.

Plant Blogging: It�s Not Just for Horticulturists Anymore

So here is the photographic evidence of Day 2 of the Cactus blooming. Still the same 10 flowers, but fully open and up close and personal. I don�t recall my Texan cacti ever looking like this. Of course, they are some kind of tropical plant, not a true cactus, but whatever.
 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More photo blogging, because I am too blah and nothing-doing for real content. This is my poinsettia, which I believe is the same age as the Thanksgiving Cactus--about 2 years. I don't know if you can tell how tall it is, but I would estimate about 2-1/2 feet tall. I put it in this dim corner and hope it will turn reddish by xmas. So that makes 2 store-bought plants I have managed not to kill. I feel like I'm finally getting my money's worth--except I refuse to pay more than about 2 bucks for a plant, so I am getting more than my money's worth! Posted by Picasa

Day 1 of the Thanksgiving Cactus blooming. I counted 8 flowers in various stages of opening on the front and 2 fully open ones on the back. Those white blobs all over are more buds. I also bought a tiny, fuscia-flowered Cactus at the store yesterday (on the right). Go me! Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 31, 2005

*This* is the view from our study window. Eat your heart out, New England! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I love Halloween-themed foods! (minus those Peeps my SIL mentioned) These are "french fries", if you can't tell. The pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies didn't last long enough to be photographed. Posted by Picasa