Thursday, December 13, 2007

Coming Up for Air

So let's see... I survived giving my presentation in German last week, but it was a close thing. I was so nervous that I think I might have burned out a fuse (specifically, the German-processing fuse) in my brain. I have totally mangled everything I've tried to say in German since last Thursday, and I would like to move under a rock now, thanks.

On Saturday we went to the mall to go grocery shopping, buy flowers, and hit the video store. We bought *8* DVDs, all but one of them American films. I told John and Hannah that I had been planning to do that as a family gift for xmas, so they'd just have to keep that in mind xmas morning. While we were there, we spotted a cluster of people dressed as Star Wars characters. I recognized Boba Fett, an Imperial guard, Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper... there were probably 8 or 9 people total. Hannah was disturbed to see them without their helmets later, rocking to the classic rock (Zepplin?) being piped in to the store. Geek on, brothers! When we left the store, we noticed someone was playing the Star Wars theme on a piano in the mall but couldn't spot where it was coming from. Star Wars as cool jazz--weird!

On Sunday, we went to the Lucia event for the Swedish club. We didn't take the camera this time, so I didn't get any shots of the Lucia coughing through her recitation, nor of one of the little xmas elves hiccoughing loudly whenever there was a lull in the singing, nor of John playing the Swedish Santa Claus. Hannah had been allowed to pick the paper towels at the grocery store the day before, so of course she picked the multi-pack that included a toy, so of course Pebbles Flintstone had to accompany us to the party and have her own seat on the bus. Alas, no photo again. Drat my shortsightedness! Hannah's dearest wish came true and we did *not* win any caviar in the door prize drawing, but John's dearest wish also came true and we *did* win a straw goat.


In addition to playing Santa, John was the announcer for the drawing. The straw goat was the very last item up for grabs, and John built up the suspense by saying how much he had always wanted one and how he really should break down and go to IKEA and get one, which the winner of said goat would thankfully be spared. And then the little girl drawing the numbers handed him Hannah's number. Crazy, eh?

John was there all day helping, but all I had done up to that point was bake three cakes to go with the coffee that was served, so I made it a point to help with straightening up afterwards. The tables and chairs all had to be cleared off and stacked away, and I commandeered a dolly to put the stacked chairs away. I had to lean the chairs back pretty far to keep them balanced, so they were riding against my shoulder as I pushed them into place. By the end of the night, I had a bruise on the top of each shoulder.

shoulder bruise

(And no, my clavicle doesn't normally stick out like that—it's just the angle of my arm holding the camera that's making it do that.)

Hannah lost her wallet on the bus on Tuesday, and she has been crying about it ever since. She only had about 2 bucks in there, but her bus pass and her library card were in there, too. I don't think either will be difficult to replace, but I know how she feels about losing things. If it happens to me, it preys on my mind until I find myself tearing apart the house or retracing my steps for days on end. I've called the bus company about 10 times since then, but it hasn't turned up yet.

After the wallet incident on Tuesday, Hannah's cold ramped up and she ended up staying home sick on Wednesday. It's her shortest day (7:45-12:20), so she didn't miss too much, and there wasn't any homework, so I guess if she had to miss, Wednesday was the day to do it. I plopped her in a hot tub and fed her chicken soup, and that seemed to help with the cold symptoms. And since I was home with her instead of going to class, I was able to get a big chunk of my xmas shopping done online while she slept in/lounged around. I finished shopping for our adult siblings and their children (=6 adults and 9 children), which feels like a huge accomplishment. I already know what the grandmothers are getting and just have to order the stuff, but I am still brainstorming on the parents and assorted teenagers. Any big hints would be appreciated.

My brain has turned into a giant sieve. I hate hate hate finding out that I totally spaced on doing something (like buying Hannah an atlas for school), when it should have been poking me in the brain all along. When all the important stuff has leaked out, what's left behind is roughly equivalent to insulation, and processing information becomes a big trial. Perfect for a student!

Everyone keep your fingers crossed: John has a job interview coming up after xmas. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but please keep him in your thoughts/prayers/voodoo rituals.

I'm sure much more has been going on—it's been 10 days since my last post—but see „sieve brain“ above.