Monthly Archives: September 2008

oh. my. GAWD!

It’s a good thing you’re not here with me, because I’m totally turning into Janice Litman. Nosedown in the Economist, the Guardian,, and even CNN on TV, which I usually hate – hell, I hate it now. They went out to ask What The Taxpayer Is Thinking and then interviewed some idiot stockbroker who was all, “well we lost all this money so now the gummint should hurry up and give us more,” and the CNN-oids were all, “well, there you have it, Felicia.” Hello? Did we forget the assignment? Interview a taxpayer? Helloooooo?

But I digress. Numbers are down! They’re back up! The bill’s gonna pass! No wait, it isn’t! It is, but it won’t work. It didn’t! Numbers are way down! And with every new development I’m riveted. Via Slacktivist I found a This American Life feature on the housing meltdown, and they’re going to do another one on the current mess. And I can’t look away. This is way beyond train-wreck now, it’s more like a plane crashing into a passenger blimp and the fiery shards falling on a train, causing it to derail and plunge flaming into a stadium full of puppies and orphans.

For the record, I would like to state that I never thought unregulated capitalism was a good idea. But I never expected to be proven right in such a… flamboyant way.

Song du jour of the day: can only be It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) (because it’s all happening so fast I just can’t take it in) by R.E.M.

not-quite-Friday, not-quite-market

regio-kiste Occasionally Vicki has a Friday market challenge, wherein she goes to the market with $20 and photographs what she buys. She also invites her readers to do so, and I keep meaning to get around to it, but this is the first time I’ve actually done it.

Except, not exactly. We do have a market on Fridays, but I don’t usually go there, because it would require me to, you know, talk to people. And when I talk I don’t have a backspace key, which always leads to problems. Instead, I order a crate of stuff from a local farm-thing, and they deliver on Thursdays. It’s about €17 for the medium crate. Continue reading


I think it was Lily Tomlin who said, “No matter how cynical you get, it is just impossible to keep up.” I just… I dunno, I keep thinking there must be some depths to which even the current U.S. administration would not sink, and I keep being proven wrong. And everybody just goes along with it. It makes me wonder about my own sanity, it really does.

George W. Bush went on TV to tell us that the economy is in a terrible crisis – how can he face us, knowing that it was his “free market” policies that made this crisis possible? And then ask for $700 billion to bail out the corporate freebooters whose unbridled greed created this whole mess? Does this man have any sense of shame at all? Where was the bailout for all those people who lost their homes and jobs in the last few years, and the people who will be losing their jobs as Fannie, Freddie, AIG and Lehmann Brothers collapse? Why do taxpayers, who face such uncertainty in their own lives, have to bail out these obscenely wealthy parasites? What kind of solution is it, to lob money at people who demonstrably don’t need it, and leave the people who do need it to line up at the soup kitchens?

I just don’t get it. What am I missing here?

Song du jour of the day: They. By Jem.


Still sick, but without the sore throat, so I’m much less unhappy about it. When I get sick I totally rock the Dying Swan thing. I take to my bed like a heroine in a Victorian romance novel, swooning and slurping down gallons of herbal tea and chicken broth, taking long hot baths and saying things like “oh what will become of my poor children once I’m gone?”

It’s great fun. Continue reading


DrBob will be home every weekend from now on, but he didn’t come home last weekend, so I had ten days in a row alone with the boys. And then I went to Benediktbeuern for one day and a night, and then had to come back early so I could take him to the airport. So that was my weekend and it was really fun but now I’m feverish and my throat hurts (that is my very very LEASTEST favorite symptom, you know, of the normal ones. It’s probably better than melting eyeballs, but that hardly ever happens) and that means I’m coming down with a cold. And he’s gone and I’m on my own with the boys, and I’m trying hard to be consistent and follow routines and check their homework and feed them decent food and basically be Somebody Other Than Me and it was already really difficult and now I have to do it sick.

Also, it’s cold. Fall has, well, fallen. Like a ton of very chilly bricks. It’s time to start heating the house, but we #*@&ing can’t because:

1. there is a massive digging-up-the-ground project in front of our house – I think the city put some kind of furnace under the hill and they’ve spent the summer digging up the ground to pipe it into most of the houses in our little clump here (not ours). They dug a really big hole where we usually park and then they went on vacation for like a month and just left it there. And now they’re connecting the heatery-thing to the hospital, which is across the B15 (highway) from us. So we all have to jockey for parking, and ask the nice men to move the gigantic shovel loader so we can go to the grocery store and it’s taking forever, so nobody can get a truck up the hill with firewood. You used to could bring it down the hill behind our house, but

2. That space is now occupied by a crane that is needed for a massive re-roofing project that, again, is benefitting everyone in our little housing clump except for the four of us who also aren’t getting the heating-thing. That was the place where the neighborhood kids play, but this summer they couldn’t. So they spent the summer in my house. Shouting.

We are not very fond of our neighbors right now. Also, we are cold. And we can’t get firewood until they finish all their stupid disruptive projects.

Yes, I know I can turn on the heat. I don’t want to. I want to burn things.

So here’s me in self-pity. Unattractive, ick. Note to self: get over you before you blog again.

Song du jour of the day: Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, by the Muppets.

worst. diet. EVER.

So last week I was flossing (woo! how exciting is my life!?) and a filling fell out. It didn’t hurt, but I did have a big creepy hole in my tooth, so I called the dentist. Since it didn’t hurt it wasn’t an emergency, so I made an appointment for a week thence, which turned out to be a mistake because, y’all. A week with that hole in my face. I pick scabs, I scratch bug-bites, so you know I couldn’t leave the dratted thing alone. And I couldn’t chew on that side, and it was all a big nuisance until yesterday, when I trudged down to the dentist and voluntarily allowed someone to mess with my teeth, which is so hideously against God and nature I can barely stand it (phobic? moi? youbetcha. The only thing that freaks me out more is anything getting near my eyes), but whatever.

Turns out the damage was um, somewhat extensive, which is all I’ll say about that because if I think about the details I will skeeve myself out of existence – no, nothing extreme like a root canal, we’re still talking about a filling. I told you I was phobic. The point is, now that the anesthetic’s worn off, half of my face aches. The filling feels rough (nope, still not leaving it alone), and I still can’t (well, won’t) chew on that side.

All in all, eating is more trouble than it’s worth lately. Low blood sugar makes me er, rather fierce, so I take the occasional bite of something to prevent that (my kids might dispute that last point, actually), but for the most part, food = meh.

It’s weight loss for masochists!

Song du jour of the day: Eat It, by Weird Al.

oops. also argh.

Bleh. Summer came and went so fast I didn’t even remember to sunscreen my kids more than twice. But it’s over, the weather is crap, and I hauled my pathetically protesting butt out of bed at 7 a.m. (in the MORNING!) and hauled my pathetically protesting kids out of their beds too. I fried eggs and toasted toast and brewed tea and poured orange juice and packed lunches and argued about who would wear what and hustled the kids out the door, just barely in time, I thought.

Yeah, I was wrong. A bit. Turns out, they were early. Continue reading


Writing ability is like a muscle, you have to exercise it to keep it strong. But you have to stretch it too, to stay flexible, and I kind of forgot about that. I’m currently translating a website for a local teenaged motorcycle racer, and whoa, motorcycle lingo. Not my usual vocabulary, eh? So I’m reading online motorcycle magazines to get a feel for the way they write and talk, and scrambling my brain trying to unscramble German idioms. This is not the novels I read, or the scholarly stuff I proofread for DrBob, and I can see myself shifting in and out of register as I read back over what I’ve written.

I think I need to get more into The Writing World, hang out in online communities, do exercises to keep myself flexible, that sort of thing. Wish I had the attention span for that. Today was the Sniglet’s first soccer practice after the summer break, and I forgot to bring his shinguards and his water bottle. Bad, bad mom.

Song du jour of the day: Get Some Sleep, by Bic Runga. She has the prettiest face I have ever seen.


So I’ve asked around about moving to the Netherlands, and a lot of people have recommended It’s a huge site, with hundreds of pages, and I have to admit, I’m a little exasperated. I have yet to find any information that I can actually use. From the “All about schools in the Netherlands” article I learned that there are schools! In the Netherlands! Several different kinds! Continue reading

first Dutch lesson

…using the software that DrBob left behind. I can now tell you that my name is Tobias and I come from Amsterdam.

Maybe it’s a good thing that we’re not moving soon.

Song du jour of the day: That’s Amore, by Dean Martin.