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Thursday, April 3, 2014

We Didn't Start the Fire…But Hubs Did.

We are very fancy and our apartment has a teeny tiny balcony.  We have a teeny tiny grill where Hubs makes delicious meals for us.  I don't usually go on the balcony, mostly because I'm lazy and hate being outdoors not a fan of heights.  Plus, it's Hubs' domain.

When I do go up there, though, I usually get pissed at Hubs.  Neither of us are the neatest people, but Hubs is just downright disgusting when it comes to this balcony.  When I looked out earlier this morning, I noticed empty bottles, cooking supplies, and even some dishes filled with rainwater.  Usually, I'll go out there and just clean it up myself, but I was kind of fed up with that.  I came in and was all, "Hubs, that balcony is DISGUSTING!  You had best not come out empty-handed when you go out there next!"  Hubs did what he normally does when I yell: He turned the tv up louder.

Hubs decided he was going to grill for dinner, so he went up to start the grill.  There is a window in the living room that looks out onto the balcony, and so I was able to watch the following events unfold.  Not long after Hubs started the grill, there was a minor fire.  This has happened before, so I didn't get too concerned.  He basically just puts it out using my best dish towels, and then all is right with the world once again.  Why does the grill catch on fire?  Because Hubs never cleans it.  I try to avoid thinking about this whilst eating.

So, after the fire situation was resolved, everything seemed fine.  Hubs was still out on the balcony, and I was on the couch reading.  Then the doorbell rang.

I cannot tell you the streak of fear that always shoots through me when the doorbell rings.  This is probably because nothing good has ever come out of that doorbell ringing.  It's usually Germans who do not speak English and want something I cannot give them, and this incident seemed to be the same.  This time, though, the person on the other end seemed angry and excited.  He kept yelling at me in German.  I was trying nicely to tell him that I don't speak German, but he wasn't listening and kept talking over me.  Finally, I YELLED it to him, and he stopped.  And then he hung up the intercom that connects our apartment to the one outside.

I immediately went upstairs and told Hubs.  I said, "I didn't understand a word he's saying, but I'm pretty sure he thinks there's a fire in our apartment."   Hubs just laughed and said I'm being ridiculous.  And then our doorbell rang again.  I said, "You get it this time!"  So he did.  But when he opened the door, no one was there.  Several minutes later, the doorbell rang again.  This time, a man and our lovely English-speaking neighbor from downstairs were outside the door.  Our neighbor, in a panicked voice, said, "He says there's a fire!"  To which Hubs, cool as a cucumber, replies, "Ha ha!  No fire!  I'm just grilling food!"  A confused pause followed.  "There's no fire?" she asked.  "No," said Hubs.  They finally left, thank God.  Hubs came back and says, "How psycho!  Can you believe that guy several buildings over actually came to ours to tell us there was a fire??"  I glared at Hubs and said, "No, Hubs!  Can't believe it at all!  I mean, if I had seen a giant plume of black smoke rising from a building, I wouldn't think there was a fire at all.  In fact, I'd probably just sit there and watch it continue to rise!  IF YOU DON'T CLEAN THAT GRILL THIS SECOND, I AM GOING TO THROW IT TO ITS DEATH!"  I then stomped down the stairs to sit on my couch and fume.

Several minutes later, I looked up from the living room window.  Hubs was looking down at me, and the death glare we gave each other looked something like this:

It was around this same time that I remembered the curly fries I had been baking in the oven (I told you we are fancy people).  They were mostly burned, but we still ate them.  Later on that night, I looked at Hubs and said, "Hubs, I'm sorry I burned the curly fries."  He said, "That's ok."  To which I replied, "I know.  At least I didn't almost burn down the building."  He just turned the tv up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kindred Spirits.

The other day, I was walking through one of the stores around our apartment, just minding my own business.

Well, kind of minding my own business.  I mean, I am incredibly sort of nosey.

Anyway, there I was between the Leberkรคse and the Doppelschnittes when I heard an American woman's voice above the crowd of bustling German shoppers.

English is like music to my ears over here.  Seriously, I've been known to clap and jump up and down when I hear it.

As I made my way through the crowd, I heard the American woman say, "Why can't we just go home?  The US is the best!  Everything is better at home!"  And I'm all, "OMG, I've met my new BFF!  We can totally start meeting for coffee and talk about our life in America and how awesome it was to have careers and Whole Foods and stores that are open on Sundays!"

I walked around the corner toward the voice, putting on my biggest American smile to meet my new friend.

Who turned out to be a four-year-old in a Superman cape.

Do you think he'd be friends with me?

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Taxidermy Shop.

The best part about being a teacher is watching my students grow up to be talented and successful adults.  Many of my former students are now graduating from college, and it’s exciting to see what they decide to do with their lives.

One former student, a very talented professional photographer, has decided to open his own Etsy shop called The Taxidermy Shop, where he sells hand-decorated moose heads made of resin and tissue paper (Relax! No moose were harmed in the making of these heads!).  The heads are decorated with the fabric of your choice, and the results are absolute fabulousness! 

I can just see them in the windows of Anthropolgie, can’t you? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Have a Wild Weekend!

My latest obsession is the Panda Cam at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.  Have you watched it?  I'm currently witnessing a mama panda bathing her tiny baby.  They look so much like humans right now!  I can't take all of the cuteness!  Click here to see what I'm talking about:


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pugs and Salami, Or Why My Life is A Big Episode of Seinfeld.

I am currently between jobs.  I left my previous job on Friday, and my new one doesn't start up for a few weeks.  I'll be teaching again, which makes me infinitely happy.  So, between now and starting my new job, I vowed to clean our entire apartment, which is no small feat since we basically just sleep there and leave on weekends, which means we just throw everything everywhere and hope we find it the next time we need it.

This morning, I decided to tackle the kitchen.  Germany is really good about recycling here, so I separated all of our garbage and packed up the bottles to take to our local glass recycling bins.  I took the garbage downstairs and put it in the proper containers, and then I made the trek up the hill to where I needed to take the glass bottles.

Like most cities, the one where we live is comprised of a bunch of little neighborhoods.  Our particular neighborhood, lucky us, is basically made up of different street levels, which means going anywhere on foot requires either climbing a ridiculous amount of steps or hiking up steep hills, or descending said hills and walking down a ridiculous amount of steps. In case you couldn't guess, going down is so much better than going up.

In this case, though, I had to go up.  Now a quick word on the people here, which I think is more of Europe in general: people don't wear sweats unless they're working out.  Everyone is always neatly and appropriately dressed.

Which is basically why I stick out like a sore thumb.  I am most always disheveled, and this morning was no exception.  In fact, I looked more like a homeless person than someone who is well-fed and housed.  Because I was spending the day cleaning, I was in my sweats, sans bra, and had decided to wait until I was finished cleaning to shower.  "Besides," I said to myself, "It's not like anyone's going to see me."  Oh, stupid fool.

So, there I am, walking up the big-ass hill with my stupid basket filled with stupid glass bottles to recycle.  As I made my way up the second incline, I noticed a large gathering of people.  I thought they were having a little protest march, which is not uncommon over here.  As I got closer, though, I realized they were having some sort of gathering right next to the recycling bins that I needed to access.

And that's when I saw the tv cameras and newspaper photographers.

Being too lazy proud, I refused to go back to my apartment until I did what I came to do.  I put down the basket and leaned on a nearby fence.  I waited patiently.  Kind of.  I knew that if these sorts of things were anything like the US, they'd be done in fifteen minutes and eating and drinking in the next twenty.

At first no one seemed to notice me standing off to the side, but then I felt like everyone was staring at me.  With disdain.  Someone even came up and tried to put money in my basket.  That's when it dawned on me that most of the people at the event thought I was actually homeless.  What a blow to my ego.

I began to hum Phil Collins' "Paradise" as I patiently waited for the presentation to be over.  When the lady who was speaking finally stopped, everyone clapped.  I joined in, even throwing in a few whistles and dog calls (Think Arsenio Hall or Julia Roberts' character in Pretty Woman when she's at the polo match).  Surely, the party was over.

And it was.

Exactly twenty-five speakers later.

Seriously, I think every person at that presentation spoke…twice.

While all of this was going on, I was impatiently waiting in the wings for them to finish so that I could drop my bottles in the receptacle.  I was being polite and waiting because the bottles make a loud CRASH when they are deposited, and I knew I didn't want to upset a mob of Germans.  So, there I was, on German tv as I pouted and sighed.  And because I don't speak German, I had no idea what the hell was going on.

The only three words I understood throughout the entire thing?  Cheese, love, and Germany.

Hmmm….maybe that can be the country's new slogan?  Call me, Germany.

Things took a turn for the truly bizarre when one of the speakers raised two Pug dogs in the air.  It was like the scene in The Lion King right after Simba's born and he's presented to the kingdom.  Then someone handed the same speaker a log of salami (I can't make this shit up, you guys) and he raised that in the air, too.  I WISH I had brought my iPhone up with me, but alas, I thought this would be a quick and uneventful trip.  I won't make that mistake again.

Finally--mercifully--the stupid presentation was over.  It ended up being some unveiling for a new statue they were dedicating, so at least I figured that much out.

And then, because my life is so a Seinfeld episode, I was telling Hubs about my experience.  He really didn't believe me, but as we were waiting at one of the train stations downtown last night, they showed a picture of the event on the big television they have by the track.  And what appeared before Hubs' eyes?  Two pugs, a statue, and the silhouette of a homeless woman looking disdainfully on.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Beginnings.

It's been quite some time since I wrote on this blog, and even longer since I wrote a non-Bachelor post. Truthfully, it's been a long, long time since I wrote a post of which I was proud, that made me laugh and hope that others found it funny, too.

When I first started this blog in 2009, I really had no hopes or expectations for it.  I simply wanted a space on the Internet that belonged to me. It took me a while to find my niche in the blogging world, mostly because I didn't have a theme that surrounded my blog.

Well, unless "I am a major dumbass" can count as a theme.  Because let's face it: I am a dumbass who has some pretty dumbass things happen to her.

In 2010, I made a goal for me and my blog: I wanted to become Blogger's Blog of Note.  I figured if I could do that, I'd prove to myself and the world that my stories held up, that they were worth something.  I diligently wrote every single day.  I campaigned on Twitter to get Blogger to notice me.

And then one day in June, they did.  I became Blog of Note.  I remember I was sitting in my principal's office, waiting to interview a teacher who would take over my job once I got married and moved away that summer.  It was hot and I was bored, so I decided to check on Twitter, which is when I saw I had been chosen.

My world, or at least the one I had created online with my blog, changed that day.  It was cool to have so many new readers to my blog, and I loved receiving all of the "fan" e-mails.  I wanted to feel like my readers could count on me, so I quickly began following everyone who started to follow me.

Not long after becoming Blog of Note, I began receiving e-mails from readers who wanted my help.  They, too, wanted to be a Blog of Note.  I immediately featured them on my blog, regardless of whether or not I liked what they were saying on theirs.  In retrospect, this is kind of stupid, I know.  I was just so grateful that they asked for my help that I wanted to do whatever I could to help their blogging dreams come true.  Several of these bloggers became people I considered my friends, even though we'd never met face-to-face.  When they decided they didn't need me anymore, that I could no longer be of help, they stopped following my blog and stopped e-mailing.  That hurt like hell.

By the end of summer in 2010, I had hit a real low.  If you can compare my blogging career to one Ms. Britney Spears (Love you, girl!), this would have been when I shaved my head and started beating cars with umbrellas.  The amount of posts I published on my blog plummeted.  Followers stopped following.  I was exhausted from trying to please every single one of my readers and from helping them achieve their own blogging goals.

There have been countless times when I was thisclose to deleting my blog, but every time I'd hover over the "Delete Blog" button on the computer, I chickened out. When we moved to Germany, I thought I'd have oodles of new stories to tell.  I had the best of intentions of reviving my blog, but then…I don't know….life happened, I guess.  My blog got pushed aside.

I didn't forget about it completely, though.  I can't tell you how many times I'd say, "OMG!  I can't wait to blog about this!" But then I'd get home for the night and decide to do something else instead.

Long story short, I have decided to blog again, to make a concerted effort to write about the funny things that happen to me.  After winning Blog of Note, I censored my writing so that I wouldn't offend anyone.  I focused more on my readers than I did on my writing.  I realize now that I can't do that.  I'm not going to be able to please everyone.  I no longer want to.

So, I'm back.  I can't promise you I'll be back for good, nor can I promise you that I can get back to the way I was writing before and just after winning Blog of Note.  What I can promise you, though, is that I'm going to give it a try.

Here's to new beginnings.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bachelorette Goes to Atlantic City

Our hero, our love, Chris B. Harrison
Last week, Des and her boyz traveled all the way to Atlantic City in order for her men to prance around in the "Mr. America Bachelorette" contest.  So dumb.
Once they've landed and settled in their hotel suite, Brad, a man I've never seen before on the show, is granted the one-on-one date with Des.  

All of the guys are like, "He's so boring.  This will never work."  And then the camera cuts to Des and Brad bungee jumping, playing games, eating taffy, and raising hell on the AC boardwalk.

Des says, "On this date today, I'm having a great time with Brad."  What a terrible sentence.  

Then she and Brad make their way to the beach.  There's a huge sand castle there, so they sit there and pretend they just happened on it instead of the ABC crew just building it for them.

OMG, the guys were right--Brad is REALLY boring.  There are a ton of awkward pauses on the date, and I was really uncomfortable just watching it.  Des was all, "He's hot...what am I supposed to do?"  So she takes him to the top of the lighthouse and dumps him.  Once again, it was tres awkward.  They hugged a few times and Brad walked down the lighthouse steps all by himself while Des looked out onto the view of Atlantic City.

Brad cries to the camera, telling us he has no regrets.  Wow, he cries so much.  Des, you heartbreaker.

Next, Des goes on a group date with a bunch of the guys.  These are the guys who will be competing in the pageant.  The reigning Miss America is there to help coach the men, and so is some other guy.  Everyone is really excited.  I wonder if these people secretly hate themselves.  I kind of hate myself for still watching.  

So, the guys get coached and prepped.  Later that evening, Chris B. Harrison hosts the pageant in front of a live audience.  I am so excited that I almost fell asleep.

Finally, the competition begins.  The panel of judges, consisting of Des, Miss America, and some guy, ask the contestants a bunch of questions.  These guys are a bunch of idiots.  Truly.

For the talent show, the guys got to showcase their lack of talent.  One guy tap danced, one guy did this Chippendales stripper routine, Ben did this dance with ribbons, and one guy did this weird pelvic thrust...but then my favorite, Zak, blew the audience away by singing this really romantic country song whilst playing the guitar.  I basically fell in love with him (Sorry, Hubs).  After the stupid swimsuit competition, the judges got together to discuss who the winner should be.  

And finally, the winners are announced: Brooks is the second runner-up, Zak is the first runner-up (WHO IS BETTER THAN ZAK??? NO ONE, I SAY), and stupid Casey wins the title.  I don't even know who Casey is!  

After the contest, Des says she loves how the guys are willing to try everything.  As if they really have a choice, Des.  Anyway, they go back to party with their woman.  

Chris wastes no time by taking Des to the pool so he can read a poem he wrote about Des to her.  They then made out.  Well played, Chris.  Well played.  

Then the guys get their speedos in a bind when Ben gets some one-on-one time with Des by the pool.  Since they are in plain sight of everyone, the guys just sit there and stew.  

After he sings an original song he wrote about this journey and experience, Zak W. wins the rose!!  YAY!  

Bryden is all pissed that he didn't get one-on-one time with Des.  He's all pouty and stuff.  Bryden, you've been in a war and you're going to let this bother you??  Come on.

Des decides to take James on a one-on-one date the next date.  The two get to go on a helicopter ride, but instead of it being romantic, they are given a tour of Seaside Heights, one of the towns that was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.  This part was really though for me to watch--I even cried--because I used to spend many summer vacations at Seaside Heights (I was basically the first Snookie).  It was just awful, and the US flag on top of the roller coaster set me off the edge.  Oy.  Things got fifty times worse when James and Des talked to a couple who lived through the storm.  This is about the point when I started sobbing.  What the hell, ABC??  How am I supposed to poke fun at this stupid show if you're showing me this stuff that breaks my heart!  Des and James gave their date for the night to the couple.  They were picked up in a limo and taken to Atlantic City.  I think that was pretty awesome, but I wish ABC had given them a brand new house instead, but at least they got to hear Darius Rucker.  Poor Hootie.  His career is in the toilet.  

Then James gets all emotional and tells Des that he cheated on his girlfriend when he was a freshman in college.  Des gets all uptight about it, but seriously?  The kid was 18 years old and in college.  That's basically what college is made for.  Lay off, Des!

Dear God, this date goes on forever and forever.  Des gives James the rose, they dance to Hootie, and then James starts to try to get in Des's parents.  

Back at the house, Bryden (Brayden?  I dunno) is contemplating leaving.  He says his feelings just aren't as strong as he thinks they should be, which basically translates to the fact that he knows he's going home soon and wants to leave Des before she leaves him.  

Before she talks to him, though, she takes Mike to another room so that he can tell her how he's feeling about her.  So he spells out "Des G" and tells her all of the things he loves about her, and since his last name starts with a "G," he feels this would be something they can tell their grandkids in fifty years.  They make out some.  Actually, Mike eats Des's face, but I guess that's his version of making out.

Des makes out with a few more guys before Bryden finally gets the courage to talk to Des.  After confronting Des and being reassured by her, though, he is still conflicted over what he should do.  I don't like you, Bryden.  Get off my show.

Finally, it's time for the rose ceremony.  Hallelujah!  This episode was sooo boring.  

When Des calls Bryden's name, he hesitates for a long time (or at least we are led to believe that), but he does accept Des's rose.  Wow, what a relief.

In the end, some guy I didn't even know existed doesn't get the rose.  Oh, it's the other Zach.  Didn't even know he was still on.  He says he's shocked that he's going home.  I'm shocked he's still on the show.

So, since I'm once again behind, I'll be watching the other episode tomorrow and will report back to you then.  


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