Saturday, May 13, 2006

TV, My Love

John’s grandmother-ish person digs this German tv series, Kommissar Rex (Police Commissioner Rex), so John has been taping episodes for her. This is the perfect show for Mystery-Science-Theater-fication. Oh my god—sometimes the comments John and I come up with are entertaining enough to justify having to watch “Lassie Meets NYPD Blues” every Saturday night until the tape is full.

Basically, this German shepherd is the brains behind the entire police force. The most basic procedural work falls under their radar (like searching a suspect’s apartment, especially his computer, and NOT OPENING THE SCANNER), and Rex has to pick up the slack. I think he may also double as the force accountant.

He’s also the master of diversionary tactics. While the other cop is trying to make her getaway, he pushes the bad guy down the stairs. Then he rolls a chair down after him.

He’s so well trained that he keeps attacking the perp, even when the guy’s waving a chainsaw at him. Of course, the other cops are so incompetent that when the bad guy with the chainsaw falls off the roof, they don’t bother to check if he’s dead or slowly crawling away out of sight of the screen. They just sigh and smile and shake their heads when Rex peeks over the roof, completely unharmed.

And Rex turns his head away discreetly when his owner is kissing someone. An officer *and* a gentleman.

After hours, he likes to fetch birthday cakes (episode “Happy Birthday”). Who puts the dog in charge of bringing the cake?!

In other tv-watching news, we are still trying to come to terms with a couple of German shows that we just can’t seem to wrap our brains around. One is called “Wetten, dass...?” (“Bet that...?”). Here’s how someone on the Internet Movie Database described it:

“Each show has several celebrities invited who have to bet on different contestant(s) achieving his/her/their goal of performing a stunt. If the celebrities fail to anticipate whether their stunt will succeed or not, they have to meet their stake. Usually one stunt takes place outside the studio. At the end of the show, the best stunt is being voted for by the audience. There is also an audience bet, a stunt which the audience does choose from a preselection, which is not prepared and must be organized by the host city within the time the show is running. If the stunt succeeds, the show's host has to meet his stake.”

This show has been on for *25* years people, and the celebrities? Tom Cruise. I shit you not. Just a couple of weeks before Katie Holmes popped. His stunt (heh) to bet on was whether two 8th or 9th-grade girls could guess the identities of their classmates (male and female) by their *lipstick prints*. Depeche Mode was the musical guest once. And the host, Thomas Gottschalk, is a German icon. He also pimps the Haribo gummi treats. mmm... gummi bears.

But the concept of celebrity in Germany seems a little broad. Ok, ok, I know we have Paris Hilton et al., so maybe my impression is a bit pot/kettle-ish, but they still have nobility that are famous for doing nothing but having the right parents (and now we’re back to Paris Hilton). And some entertainers don’t ever seem to have regular jobs, they just bounce from one celebrity special to the next (and they seem to be on every week). The one I just saw advertised is for a putt-putt golf special. With celebrity guests. Mind-blowing. We’ve also seen this format on the “ABCs of the Smurfs” and “The Best Dance Songs” (whose “Time Warp” made me gnash my teeth in horror). But on the other hand, the dance show had a crazy-ass-looking band called Rednex from Sweden that played their version of the “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, which I promise you will never, ever hear in any Austin country-western bar. But I liked it.

And the front of the fashion masterpiece. This was originally an "I *heart* NY" t-shirt her dad brought her when he was there for the MLA conference a few years back, but she gussied it up with markers, swatches of fabric, and buttons (and later an iron-on patch of a frog). No item of clothing is safe anymore. Posted by Picasa

Note the hand-lettering: "I *heart* Mom and Dad + Family. Other People Not." You can tell she's a real people person. Posted by Picasa

Behold our table-top sweatshop! Hannah's Gwamma gave her a teeny-weeny sewing machine (hand-cranked, for accident reduction) and a stash of notions and fabric, and she and her friend Sinya have been cranking out embellished clothing by the yard since last night. They are actually taking turns with the machine and doing lots of hand-sewing as well. Gwamma will be proud. Posted by Picasa

Happy Mother's Day to Me! Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Catchin' Up Is Hard to Do (But I'll Try)

To simplify things, I just put a link to our Yahoo photo albums over on the right. New are an album of Hannah opening a b-day package from Gwamma (titled "Gwamma's Gifts") and one titled "1 Late Spring/Early Summer." Hannah's after-school teacher tried to claim it was high summer today just because it was warmish. We had almost a week of warmness, all day long, then a cold front came through, so now we're back to cool/cold mornings and warm afternoons. Which means "Spring" in my book.

Anyhow, the daffodils are gone, the tulips are on their way out, and the tree pollen is finally subsiding, but other flowers and blooming trees are coming into their own, so we're not yet without Beautiful Nature all around.

I've been stupid busy with my classes (because I'm *gasp* actually trying to keep on top of them for once) and with my term paper, therefore the dearth of posting.

Highlights of the week:
Hannah dreams in German.

A boy in Hannah's class was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of an elephant on it and the logo "Don't forget--when I grow up, I'm going to the London School of Economics!" Wha?

I made gazpacho (mmmmmm).

Hannah stopped barfing at about 2 on Monday, just in time for John to relieve me so I could go to class. So I got to enjoy all that barf by myself.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life in the Sick Lane

Hannah is sick. She barfed after dinner last night, but went through her bedtime routine as usual. Then at 4 am the marathon barfing began, and she still can’t keep anything down now at noon. She was in our bed until around 6, but every time she rolled over—snap! I was wide awake. Cleared her throat—snap! Sighed, yawned—snap! snap!

Finally at 6ish she decided she was awake and went downstairs. John and I tried to catch a few more zzzz, but soon enough we heard more barfing from her room. Trust me, cleaning barf off a play bed is tedious and gross. So I bundled her off to the living room and turned the tv on real low. We cat-napped on the couch between bouts of barfing, and finally at 9 I was forced to get up by the arrival of the chimney sweep. I started cleaning all the areas we were only able to give a quick pass to in our sleep-deprived state. Then the handy-man showed up to clean our water heater before it has to be inspected in a week or so. If Hannah hadn’t been sick, I wouldn’t have been home to let all this traffic in. Now I just need the building crew to come traipsing through, and my collection of service people will be complete.

The weather is still wonderfully warm and sunny and clear, but now yellow pollen is coating every surface inside and outside our house. It’s not even worth wiping off because it will just be back in an hour (I’ve tried). The puffs haven’t managed to start colonizing our home yet, so that’s a plus, but right after I vacuumed and mopped, a whole fleet of winged seeds floated in the open windows and crash-landed on my spotless floors. *sigh* I just can’t win in the fight against filth.