Monday, February 13, 2006

Back in the Game, Maybe

Do you ever have the feeling that no matter what you do, Fate is going to take a big ole dump on you? After a couple of weeks *cough* of non-blogging, I sat down to start my next Internet masterpiece... and promptly splashed hot cocoa on my paper, over the one paragraph I’d managed to squeeze out of my brain. AAARRGH! And when I got home that day and tried to jot off a quickie post, Blogger was undergoing some updates, so it wasn’t until the next day that I was able to post it. And John has been grading end-of-term papers almost non-stop, so computer time has also been an issue. But he’s off teaching this morning, so I have a crack at getting something up.

I figure that rather than trying to break down the last couple of weeks into easily-digestible, thematically related chunks, I’ll just give you everything now, in no particular order. Hope you’re wearing your blog-reading Depends!

Both of our American neighbors are now working on base, so they offered to take me to the commissary. John and I sat down to make up a list and were both amazed at the sheer amount of CRAP we were longing for. Well, more him and Hannah than me. My list did not include Wolf Brand Chili and marshmallows, although I had to put peanut-buttery snack foods on it. Mmmmm... Nutter Butter. Needless to say, my cart did not resemble that of your typical shopper getting real groceries. But I did manage not to go over the amount of US dollars I’d exchanged, so there was a silver lining on the fat- and salt-laden cloud. I was hoping we could really stretch out our consumption of these items, since no one needs to eat 2 bags of Doritos, 4 boxes of macaroni and cheese, or a couple of cans of Spaghetti-Os close together, but it seems that we’ve hit more on the holiday-type eating style: eat it up and get it out of the way. Blech.

A week ago we all chopped off our hair. Relatively speaking, of course. No one would call any of us “short-haired”, but I’m sure we got rid of more than a foot of hair between the three of us. Even though I lost the most inches, Hannah had the most impressive pile of hair on the floor afterwards. (1) She’s lucky that she takes after her dad in that respect, because I’ve got fine, thin, useless hair. The slightly shorter style (photographic evidence here) makes her look older and compelled me to ask her if I could put a brick on her head (to stop her growing up, see?). To which she responded, “Mo-om!”

(1) I did take photos of the piles of hair, but John was adamant that posting them on the Internet would just be too much.

Afterwards, we went to a little informal get-together at Hannah’s friend’s parents’ (look at me with the triple genitive—woo hoo!). The dad is a business consultant, so even at an “informal dinner”, they were able to set out matching china, silver, and stemware for *14*. Despite being somewhat in awe of their housekeeping, John and I really enjoyed getting to chat with other grown-ups while the kids kept each other entertained. We all stayed up too late, though, and Hannah was weeping with exhaustion on the 5-minute walk home.

Looking back, I can hardly even remember what has been going on. It seems like I’ve been non-stop busy, but everything has just been sucked into some kind of black hole of memory. I think a few more things have just been coughed back up, so to speak, so I will forge on.

Hannah has been sick (just the cough) since I first mentioned it several posts ago. The doctor gave us a liquid extract of thyme (yes, the herb) to help thin the phlegm and noted that she had a slight wheeze. She did a breathing test, which indicated her bronchioles were constricted, so we’re supposed to be keeping an eye on that in case she’s developing asthma. On the other hand, it could just be her personal response to the cold, he said. I’ll be glad when she stops coughing, although I’ve already noticed a decrease since the visit.

We drove to a nearby town over the weekend to hear some Swedish folk songs and discovered en route that they have a KFC, which meant we had to stop on the way home for Hannah and John. I admit I also ate one of their chicken strips, and it was just like I remembered: salty and indigestion-inducing. I’m afraid I’m going to have to give up fast food, based on my recent experiences with it. I’ve either managed to wean myself off it to the point that it throws my system off on the rare occasions when I eat it, or my stomach is getting elderly and sensitive on me. It’s less of a tragedy in my case than it would be in John’s, since his idea of delicious (Sonic frito pie and Taco Bell anything) and mine don’t quite align.

The furry boot trend is driving me mad. I have seen *1* pair out of hundreds that didn’t make me want to rip them off the person’s feet and beat her with them—a mom at Hannah’s ballet studio had some with beading that made them look very moccasin-y and cool, as opposed to road-kill-y and bad. A girl in one of my classes was wearing a pair of boots last week that would have been totally wicked without the fur, kind of a high-gloss, brown leather pirate boot. But then some deranged person decided to pair them with *fur legwarmers*, and this girl paid money for them! The mind boggles.

I spotted the most laughable car parked right outside my department recently. It was a tricked-out, red Ford Fiesta, at least 10 years old. The windows were tinted and everything. And on the back window, beautiful script lettering declared it the “Pussy Deluxe.” Sounds like one of the Bond girls. [At first I misremembered it as “Pussy Maximum”, but it’s the same difference, no?]

The Sponge showed up again, this time with a friend in tow, and we were so spineless that we let them stay with us for one day on their way to Paris. They were backpacking from Hamburg, where he had some kind of photo exhibit, using a combination of ride-sharing and regional trains. In case you were wondering, backpacking + young Austinite hipsters = STINKY. We are just too white-bread for that shit, I guess. Next time she calls, we’re just going to grow a pair and tell her no.

I’m sure there’s been more going on, but like I said, it’s now lost in the mists of time. At least it stopped snowing before our turn at snow-shoveling and hall-cleaning started this weekend. Woot!

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