Friday, June 25, 2010

I gots the brain pain

Yuck. Just waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in. But at least I got that horrible article done and out the door.

Got a random phone call. I didn't recognize the speaker's voice, and he (I thought it was a he) wanted to play "guess who I am". Annoy-ing. Turned out to be John's aunt-in-law, who apparently is here in Germany. I think she may have just landed, because she was in Frankfurt, and her family is in Bavaria. Probably waiting on a layover to Munich. She thought I sounded ill, and I thought she sounded like a man, so it wasn't the best conversation we've ever had, but at least it was short. Maybe we'll hear back from her when she is settled and de-jetlagged.

I think I'll work on the dishes while I am so mentally useless. Hannah's play is running through Saturday, and I am going to all of the shows. I have to leave here around 5:30 to run a couple of errands beforehand, so it is not really worth it to start another article (well, to pick up where I left off yesterday on another article) this late in the afternoon. After I sleep in tomorrow, I'll report on Hannah's play.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am on the hunt for some decent licorice. First I picked up a bag of hard licorice. I had to stick a new piece in my mouth to unstick the old piece from my molars, that is how hard they were. Then I got a bag of soft licorice (same brand). It is unsatisfyingly mushy, a bit like those red jelly candies we used to get around Easter. Dear God, why can't I find a proper licorice I can chew without damaging my dental health?! *ahem* I'll put that on my next grocery list.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So tired

Hannah had theater rehearsal this afternoon, so I wrapped up work around 5:30 to start the rice for fried rice later. I washed some dishes, and around 6:30 I started heating the oven for egg rolls. Then I got the fried rice and hot and sour soup going. Now it was past 7, and Hannah still wasn't home. So I called her cell phone. Not on. I kept on with the dishes. I fried the hell out of that rice. I called her phone 8 or 12 more times. Not on. I rushed to the window every time a bus came. She didn't get off. I turned the stove off. John called from Moscow, and at first I thought it was her (the numbers are similar). Freaked John out (that call cost him !13! Euros via our cell phone). Promised to call him when I heard from her. Cried. Called her phone. Called her school. Looked up the teacher's home number and called there. No answers. Finally, at 8:30 PM!--30 minutes after her toothbrushing and getting ready for bed time--she gets off the bus, looking totally unconcerned. I was so relieved I felt weak, but not too weak to rip her up one side and almost make her cry. She said she didn't even know what time it was. Called John and gave him the good news that I hadn't lost Hannah while he was gone. Got her fed and ready for bed, and now I think I will go to bed early, too.

Monday, June 21, 2010


For some reason, when John is home, I tend to be somewhat reluctant about doing housework, but as soon as he leaves on a trip, I sack up and do what needs to be done, I guess because I know he won't be along to pick up the slack. He's only been gone since Friday, and I am already tired.

Hannah had a project for school, and I was really impressed by her ingenuity in getting it done. She had to record a poem, complete with sound effects for German class, so she used her ipod to record all the various parts. I went online and found a short demo for her on using Windows Movie Maker to cut and mix audio, and between the two of us, we got everything converted, imported, cut, mixed, saved, and uploaded this evening so she can play it in class tomorrow. (I also had to find another copy of the poem for her online, because it somehow got "lost"--she claims a classmate took it--between the day she told me about the project and a couple of days before it was due.)

I went into town with Hannah today to do a little shopping. I don't leave the house that much now that I am working full time from home, so it was nice to have a little break. She didn't have to go to school today because the seniors are taking their oral final exams and the school cut the other kids loose to reduce the noise level, but she did have rehearsal for the play starting at 12:30. We got up at a relatively early time, 8:30-ish, and after sending off another edited chapter, we got on the bus for our shopping spree.

Hannah's birthday money was really burning a hole in her pocket, and I had told her she could spend part of it. She had a firm idea of what she wanted, too, because she had fixated on the pajamas that Mia wears during her post-breakup depression in Princess Diaries 9. We found Hello Kitty pjs, but not fuzzy ones, damn the luck. I told Hannah that it is summer, and no one has AC--why would they be selling fuzzy pjs at this time of year? I also let her buy eyeshadow and an eyeliner--she played with them for a while after she got home and decided that she wouldn't wear them to school because she thought they made her look "slutty." Well, when your first attempt at eyeliner gives you Cleopatra eyes, yes, it might be a bit too much. I'm sure she will get with a friend and figure it out eventually, but for now I am not too upset at her decision. (Obviously, I am the wrong person to help her.) I had already put my foot down on high heels, though, which she feels is totally unfair of me, but too bad. As long as I can keep her distracted with Chucks, skinny jeans, and Star Wars t-shirts, she won't have to die of the shame of not having high heels.

After she went off to rehearsal, I rounded off my errands with a trip to the grocery store for some victuals for the actors on opening night (Thursday), since the teachers warned us the kids wouldn't have time to run out for something to eat beforehand. I also hit the Asian grocery for hot and sour soup mix, baking soda, and John's rooster sauce (hot!). Then I had to lug everything over to a different bus stop than I would usually use because the road into our village is currently being redone and the bus route is all screwed up for those of us trying to get there.

And now I have to go make sure all the windows are closed before heading to bed. John complains that it is stuffy if we don't have at least one window open at night, but Hannah and I have been waking up "grunky" (her term) thanks to the cold spell* we are having. John's not here, so stuffy it is.

*Germans even have a name for it: sheep's cold. Apparently there is an increased risk of a cold spell around the middle of June due to some meteorological stuff I didn't bother to memorize, a time when (historically) the sheep would already be sheared and therefore susceptible to the cold.

--Nee in Germany can hear the sheep bleating up the hill from her

Sunday, June 20, 2010


John is off to a linguistics conference in Moscow. He left Friday with a colleague, and a group of them were going to spend the weekend doing tourist-y stuff before the conference starts on Monday. He has promised me a matryoshka doll and Hannah a Hard Rock t-shirt (if Moscow has a Hard Rock Cafe, which I don't doubt).

So Hannah and I are on our own for the next week. It is going to be a busy one, too. She is in the theater club at school, and they are gearing up to put on their play, So B. It, starting on Thursday. She spent all of yesterday afternoon at rehearsal and went back this morning for another full day of it (9-3). She complained about all the sleeping in and tv-watching she was missing out on, but I pointed out that it is only 1 weekend and will be over soon. I also pointed out that she doesn't have school tomorrow, so she can sleep in a little then before rehearsals start again at 1. I was surprised that Hannah decided to join the theater club, because she is generally not a joiner, but she has stuck with it. Oddly enough, she got the role she has (as the slightly mentally retarded father of the main character, I think) because the teacher in charge thought Hannah was the only kid who seemed to be able to be serious about it when they had their retreat in March. Hannah, serious? She's a better actor than I thought, haha!

I am trying to use the forced alone time to get more work done on the book I am editing, and maybe get a little of my own writing in. We'll have to see how that goes.

--Nee in Germany is all alone. There's no one here beside me. My problems have all gone. There's no one to deride me, but you gotta have friends...