Friday, March 10, 2006

Introspection is catching

Each fall, I start mentally preparing myself for two things: the new date on January 1, and my new age in February. Somehow, I managed to give them both a miss this year. So 33 kind of snuck up on me. I don’t feel any different, and birthdays don’t generally bother me, but this year, it occurred to me that I’ve entered the second third of my life.

You see, I have decided that I will live to be as old as my great-grandmother on my father’s side. I think there is some kind of pact with the devil on that side, because until she died last xmas, there were 5 generations of us alive. 5! So anyway I have until 96 (I think she was a month shy of either 96 or 97 when she died) to make my mark on the world.

And up until 32, I was still in the first third of my life. I guess when you reach a milestone like that, it affects you, even if you are normally too indifferent or too lazy to care, like me.

A couple of weeks before my birthday, I took stock of my life. It was actually too boring to put here, but let’s just say that I’ve made my peace with it.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, or the president. Not because I was *so* enamored of science, or was *really* interested in politics, but because I thought those things proved you were “the best.” Needless to say, I didn’t have a very precise idea then of what it means to be the best at something.

Nowadays, I know what I am good at—I am good at editing, but not necessarily fiction; I can help other people’s writing look good.

I know what I care about enough to make the effort to improve it—my own writing.

And I know what is important to me—time for my husband and daughter, my family and friends.

At the end of the day, anything I do has to further one of these ideals, or it’s not worth my time or energy.

I keep going back and forth on whether school fits into this list of priorities anymore. Part of it is because I am scared shitless of my exams (in German) next semester. John has pointed out *multiple times* that I wanted to go back to school, and I’m already 5 semesters in. Ok, he’s got a point, but I *wanted* a 2-year Master’s Degree, and now I’m stuck for 4; I can’t do just English, I also have to do German, and it is taking the most work. Yes, we live in Germany, but I doubt my German skills will ever be good enough to teach or edit it, so what’s the point? I guess that’s what’s got me so torqued up about the whole school thing.

I sound at peace, eh? I would just like to take this chance to blame WesTexGirl for this entry. *grin*

I have found my new hobby!

Oh. My. God. The perfect hobby for people like me who think they might have been engineers in another life (not the one where I was a drag queen, I don't think).

Thank you, Mother Nature, for this snippet of clear sky and sunshine before smothering us with rainclouds and whipping us with high winds. I'm reconsidering that kneecap thing. Except I'm not, because it hailed a couple of hours after I took this. Bitch. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Here is Hannah's petition to God to get rid of the wet weather. She made John and I sign it, and she signed for the cats. Then this morning she attached a string and pen to it ("like at the bank!" she said) to take to school for more signatures. She asked God for a letter of receipt, too. I'll keep you posted on that.

Speaking of wet weather, no sooner had I lambasted Mother Nature yesterday than the snow falling turned gradually into rain. It rained all night, and there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of snow lying around this morning. According to the news last night, this should be our big spring thaw. Which means flooding. We just can't win against Mother Nature, you know?

Tomorrow I will probably bitch about how it is impossible to keep the house warm at this time of year, etc.
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bitchin' and Moanin'

You know, for the last few days, I've been all, "Ha ha--look, it's snowing, and I'm going crazy." Funny stuff, eh?

But now, as the Germans say, "Schluss mit Lustig!"--"That's IT!" If I ever see Mother Nature in person, I'm breaking her knee-caps with a lead pipe.

This is just fucking ridiculous. My anniversary is this weekend, and I was just remembering that we had an outdoor reception. Outdoors! In March! That's what I love about Texas. *sigh*

When it started snowing here a week-and-a-half ago (!), I told John that at least it wasn't our turn to shovel snow in front of our house. Apparently, I spoke too soon, because our turn starts Saturday, and there's no end to the snow in sight. And I heard on the news this afternoon that Germany can expect a heavy snow overnight. Goddammit.

We have taken winter's intractableness as a sign to use up the last of the wood in our cellar, so at least we've been able to enjoy our wood-burning oven twice this winter.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Neither is this. Posted by Picasa

This is not funny any more Posted by Picasa

Warning: Complaining about Hannah

I will be the most ardent follower of whichever wish-granting being that brings back my daughter and takes away the monster-in-training that has somehow taken her place. I am so sick of the whining, crying, complaining, obnoxious behavior, and outright rudeness that I told John we probably should have eaten her whil she was still small and tender.

Yes, I know she has not been 100% well for several weeks.

Yes, I know she turned down several offers for playdates over the school holiday, dooming herself to boredom.

Yes, I know she had to forego several perqs--tv, a movie, candy--until her room was clean. You could view her behavior somewhat more forgivingly by taking these things into consideration, but I choose not to.

By her reaction, we were certain that she had fatally wounded herself multiple times over the last week, but these injuries turned out to be nothing more than

a stubbed toe

a cut on her ankle inflicted by *her own toenail*

a fingernail she pulled off to the quick

a canker-sore on her mouth (okay, ouch! on that one)

her teeth.

She has handled a burn on her leg (from spilled raviolis) and having most of the skin grated off her elbow (tripping at the playground) with much more grace and aplomb and much less whining than the above-mentioned "wounds."

In the back of my mind, I know that she will be 9 in a couple of months, and then puberty will be right around the corner. Hell, her best friend is only 11 months older, and she already has acne and a training bra. So some of these problems may be hormonal in origin. I guess it doesn't help that I am somewhat hormonal myslef at the moment, and so may not have such a large supply of patience to buffer my response with. But at least she has gone back to school today, so maybe being in a routine again will help. If nothing else, she can pester someone else for 6 or 7 hours a day. Woot!

I am boring

John read one of my recent posts and was all, "Oh my God. You blogged about *vacuuming*." I think he was implying that I am boring, but he seems to have missed the point, about how one simple task (cleaning up a coffee spill) can snowball into full-blown housecleaning, and suddenly 30 minutes or an hour or a day have been sucked into the black hole of chores. Right?!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


We had a lovely, sunny, clear day. The snow started to melt. The sun started to go down. It started snowing heavily. I will now start drinking heavily. -Later.

Life is a Comedy of Errors

Hannah is not as floppy as when she was a toddler, but she still has the uncanny knack of knocking over my coffee cup, no matter where I've placed it. Yesterday was on the dining room table, which, normally, would have been the perfect place for a spill, except we were putting together the Simpsons puzzle from Jooge and family. The tablecloth that we had placed over the puzzle overnight managed to soak up most of the coffee, and we whisked that off before more than one or two pieces got a little wet. It could have been worse, we said.

So I go in the kitchen for another tablecloth, since the table is my workspace and I need to recover the puzzle. I thought, hey, the plastic red-gingham picnic tablecloth would be perfect in case of more spills. Except it must have been damp the last time it was put away, because the felt backing was *molded*. blech! That meant dragging it into the bathroom to try to kill the mold with bleach.

Then John suggested that maybe the table wasn't the best place to work right now; what about the coffee table? O-kay... I make Hannah finish clearing her stuff off the coffee table and run the vacuum cleaner because our carpet was waaaay too hairy to even think about sitting on . Then I noticed more crumbs and blobs of hair on the tile in the dining room. Then the hallway. Then the kitchen.

And finally it occurred to me that we still had one more tablecloth, and viola, I didn't have to move my 20-pound pile of books and papers and dictionaries and music (to drown out the tv) into the living room. After all that faffing about, I was finally about to get to work. Which wasn't all that inviting of a prospect, let me tell you.

Then in the afternoon we all played hooky to go to the movies and then do our weekly grocery shopping. But now it's back to the mines!