Thursday, July 23, 2009


Ok, lady I passed yesterday on the street--I know I am not exactly a fashion plate myself, but we have to talk. About your tights. I know you probably think they are kicky or something, but I have to tell you that you look like you were holding a breast-fed baby that then had an ass-plosion all down your legs. Please, for the love of all that is holy, save the tights for at home. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The weather held out yesterday, and Hannah got cut loose from school early, so we went to the pool. I am not a pool person, but I had promised John I would take her if the weather was good, so I found myself waist-deep in cold water--well-water cold--at 4 yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, I only remembered to put sunscreen on my body (50 SPF, baby!), so I had to get out quickly (I wasn't complaining!) and slather up my face. Hannah said I looked like Jasper the Ghost. When I explained it was Casper, she complained that she couldn't be expected to know American culture when we dragged her over here, etc. etc. But then I pointed out that various Casper movies had been on German tv, and that to my certain knowledge she had watched them, and that the name had not been changed. Well, ::bluster::. Sometimes my child is a bit of a blowhard. I hope I am not modeling that kind of behavior, but maybe.

Anyhow, ten minutes of sunscreen-free pool-standing, and now my face is a bit pink. Not even really uncomfortable, but when you are as pale as me, ten minutes is all it takes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Holding down the fort

John is off learning Gaelic in Scotland, so I am holding down the fort with Hannah during her last full week of school. Today she is supposed to do the dialogue for two characters from the Nibelungen; I have no idea what the project is, but she's been practicing her lines and figuring out a way to indicate she has changed characters--jacket, no jacket. I wonder if Siegfried would have worn a tank top?

After weeks and weeks without a tv, and almost as many weeks of Hannah hounding us to please please please buy a new tv, we spent John's last afternoon at home tv shopping. I must say, the mall-like shopping center is much easier to survive on a Friday afternoon than anytime on a Saturday. I wasn't even actively craving death when we left! Of course, we dropped a large chunk of my recent paycheck for teaching 2 courses last semester, but we walked out with a 37-inch flat-screen tv (plus 5-year warranty), a week's worth of groceries for me and Hannah, a water-proof jacket for John, and two new non-stick pans. (Oh, yeah, also about 100 pounds of cat food and cat litter.) So if it was squeaking close to 4 figures, you can imagine why. Anyhow, we came home and set the tv up, and it is great. There are enough connectors in the back that we can have the DVD player, VCR, and Wii hooked directly to it and still have space for one more device and a computer (if we had the right cable for that). Hannah has figured out how to work all the most important functions, such as changing the screen size and switching between Nick and the Wii, so I think we are all set up now, and with a minimum of pain.

John and I used to have a daily routine like this: get up, fix Hannah a snack for school, dodge the minefield of Hannah's emotions at 6:45 am, make coffee, and settle in for some CNN and coffee. Without the tv, we had to resort to talking with each other. The horror! Now that we have a tv again, I tried out the CNN morning routine, but it just wasn't the same without John here. So I flipped around and watched some German news instead, but that was too depressing, so I decided to get to work on my stack of editing that is waiting on me.

Not that I am, but soon, Grasshopper.

I promised John that I would take Hannah swimming if the weather was good, but so far, no luck. On Sunday, it would pour rain for an hour, be miserably dark and wet for a while, then we'd get ten minutes of full sun, just enough for you to wonder if it would be possible to go swimming, at which point it would start to rain again. Yesterday it didn't actually rain, but dark clouds chased each other across the sun all day. Plus, Hannah didn't even get home from school until after 4, and she won't today, either, so that is not so conducive to eating dinner and going to bed at a normal time if we were to try to stuff in swimming, too. And yesterday I was totally wiped out. I almost fell asleep on the bus and didn't even care, I was that tired. I came home and found a spot under the window that got whatever sunshine there was available and took a nap for 2 hours. I feel like I have the tiniest smidge of a cold, which I wish would either do its thing and go away, or just go away, because it is getting really annoying.

Hannah and I have a date with Harry Potter on Thursday (cheap ticket day at the theater). I've heard good things about the film, with the caveat that it is not the film Potter-fanatics would wish for. Fair enough. I didn't even go see the last Potter film; I let Hannah go with some friends, but I wasn't really in the mood to see the latest mangling of the story.

I don't know when I can expect to hear back about my thesis. The whole process was a long string of deadlines, but they don't tell you what the deadline is for the professors who are evaluating your thesis, probably to keep people from harrassing them once the deadline is up. Not me. I am kind of afraid of what I'll get back, so I am actively avoiding them. Oh well, one of them lives in Northern Germany most of the time, so I doubt I'll just run into her at the grocery store, but the other one lives just up the hill from me (we use the same bus stop), so the simple act of taking the bus can be nerve-wracking, wondering if he'll say anything. (Please, no.)

After re-fixing a known crack in the kitchen sink, I discovered that there was a new crack, one that I didn't manage to fix and that was still leaking water. The sink was out of commission for 2 days while I let the silicon dry, and the dishes piled up, and then I had to go and do it all over again for the second crack. Needless to say, when the crack leaked after all that effort, I wanted to cry. But I have finished the piled-up dishes and will take another stab at it while there are only 2 of us generating dirty dishes (and 1 of us is away from home all day).

Another post-thesis project was cleaning my filthy, filthy house. I haven't quite finished in the kitchen (still need to mop), but I think I have managed to get the level of filth to "everyday wear and tear", down from "health hazard." I even scrubbed the tile in the shower, which is not for the weak of heart. All in all, I am enjoying being done with my thesis and having time for a normal life again, even if it is rather boring in a conventional sense.