Friday, June 02, 2006

Into the Mush-Pot

Rather than try to cram all the recent goings-on into some kind of cohesive narrative structure, I'm just going to throw them out there in no particular order.

After 9 years of fruitless paranoia, John and I were finally walked in on. Fortunately, Hannah's head was full of the incipient celebration of herself (i.e., her birthday party), so I don't think she caught on. But nothing kills a mood like feeling something thump down onto your pillow, only to find out it is your child and not your cat.

Speaking of Hannah’s bday, John and I went to Toys R Us the Friday before and bought everything for it in one go—gifts, party bags, candy, balloons. And toilet paper. John could not resist the lure of the winter-scented Charmin that for some reason was piled high in the center of TRU, and on sale, to boot. *One-tenth* of our birthday-shopping bill was toilet paper. He’s obsessed, I tell you.

I think that German weather is blighting my soul. It has certainly taken a toll on the plants on our balcony. An arctic front came through recently, so the temps for the last week have been firmly in the 50s. Today we broke 65F for the first time in ages. And last night we saw on the news that there was an overnight frost warning for Southern Germany. On June 1. Some foolish sorts have already put out geraniums. Hope springs eternal, eh? We're not bothering this year; we've pretty much given up on summer here.

What is with the connection between rodents and weather forecasting? In the States we have Groundhog Day: if the groundhog sees his shadowed, 6 more weeks of winter. In Germany, they have Dormouse Day: if it is raining on that day (June 27), bad weather for the rest of the summer.

I look in the shop windows, and they are full of sandals and sun dresses, and I wonder where the coats are. These shops are probably taking a beating right now (I got out my winter coat a couple of days ago), although you will still see teen-aged lemmings flocking to them. I don't know when they'll have the chance to wear skimpy tees, etc.; maybe when they go on vacation to Spain or Italy.

The thing I like about the shop windows is the mannequins. Most of them are your typical zombie super-model types. Some have wigs; others are bald; yet others come with their heads molded to look like hair. Some shops use dress-maker style mannequins (no heads or arms). One disturbing place has mannequins with their heads cut off *at the nose*. Why? Most of them are anatomically correct: the female ones have cleavage and nipples, and I saw a male one with nipples today. Equality among the mannequin-sexes! But my favorite is the trashy clothes shop with female mannequins sporting quite a busty, nipply style, but their hands are *flippers*. Whoever made them couldn't be bothered with making individual fingers after perfectly sculpting their chests.

Speaking of trashy, I saw a chic wearing these high-heeled sneakers the other day. Once again, Why? Sneakers should not go click clack as you walk.

We saw a segment on our favorite Mr. Rogers-for-adults show where they compared hot-pants and mini-skirts. Scientifically, of course. John says we need to hear more about such important scientific research.

Speaking of clothing, I saw a guy in an excellent t-shirt on the bus. The guy himself totally had “mis-placed Austinite” written all over him: shaved head, long bushy goatee, cool black t-shirt. On the front: „Punk Rock Catering.“ On the back: a skull of the Hannah-esque variety wearing a chef hat over a crossed knife and ladle. And the caption: “ACAB—All Cooks Are Bastards.” Hee! Reminded me of a certain chili-cook I used to know in Austin, as a matter of fact.

At a bus stop, I was almost driven mad by the virtuoso whistler. He was whistling classical music for 15 minutes straight while we waited for the bus. In a sheltered area to get out of the rain. There was no escape!

The psychology of the bus is endlessly fascinating to me. There are two tall-ish seats at the very front of the bus, and they are highly coveted by the older types, especially the women. It is funny to watch them out-decrepit one another to show that they are more deserving of those spaces, but you can spot them hobbling a little faster and more nimbly when they are getting on the bus and notice those spots open. Fascinating!

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