Relax. Life's too stressed out.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

At last!

Posted: 2005-09-21T13:32:08Z

I've managed to get on to the only bloggable computer in this library (Netscape Navigator keeps giving me permanent fatal error messages, but for some reason this one computer, fourth from the end on the left, has cookies enabled. Sheesh.)

Right. So. The past couple of days have included:

  • Buying a bottle of extremely cheap wine (2€) at Kaufland, only to realize I had no corkscrew in the kitchen. My lamb was getting old in the fridge and I wanted to cook it with red wine sauce. Two vegetable peelers, a V-shaped piece broken out of the bottle, a cut finger, and a mangled cork later, I was able to do so. I doubt that the rest of the wine will be usable even for cooking; Josh and I will have some very high-class red wine vinegar ...
  • Contemplating whether the Milka chocolate company is the German version of Cadbury (purple foil wrappers, obsession with milk chocolate) and whether they put crack in their Triolade bar (layers of white, milk, and a mixture of milk and dark chocolates).
  • Another barbecue. Wienerwurst actually tastes remarkably like Fenway Franks.
  • Making a presentation in class about my native country (the class of 15 has 8 nationalities so we had 8 presentations). Amber, who's from Arizona, and I decided that there was no way we could generalize about the US, so after some basics (size, population, capital, languages, the fact that men watch the Super Bowl on TV and drink bad beer) we each did a mini-presentation on our home state. She passed out pictures of camping amid spectacular rock formations. I invented German words for "leaf-peepers" and "clam chowder". By mutual unspoken agreement, we scrupulously avoided discussing politics and government. (Incidentally, in that vein, see this UTTERLY hilarious Onion article.)
  • Obtaining two surveys from Williams College that had been delivered to the apartment, and receiving a tour of same from the caretaker (in German). It's on the first floor, which for some reason I hadn't anticipated, and is kind of dark. The furniture is kind of early-80's stripped-down - not exactly our style, but it could be worse. We'll have at least one extra bed, so people can come visit!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A day in the Black Forest

Posted: 2005-09-19T14:54:13Z

6:50 Get up. />7:45 Arrive at bus pickup location. Program director tries to explain to driver of second bus that he is supposed to be across town picking up people at the Europahaus.
7:50 Get on bus.
8:15 Bus leaves.
8:50 Bus stops for a pit stop/breakfast stop at glitzy rest area in Hegau.
9:10 Bus leaves again and drives into the Schwarzwald. Scenery looks increasingly like Vermont (steep, mixture of woods and pastures, lots of cows) only with more people, red-roofed stucco houses and mostly evergreen trees.
10:40 Bus arrives at German Clock Museum. Tour with energetic young guide, dodging other groups in very crowded museum and thus getting tour entirely out of order. Some clocks are pretty, some amusing, some play tunes (including German chorale that gets in one's head), some are extremely large. Learn that wood for clock faces used to be soaked in cow urine to temper it.
11:30 Emerge from museum. Realize that one is very hungry and it is startlingly cold.
11:45 Get back on bus. Eat cheese, bread and butter, carrot, meatloaf sandwich. Drive through more scenery.
1:00 Arrive at open air Folklife Museum. Make way through tourist schlock at the fringes to the museum proper, where guide appears. Guide is named Susan and I suspect she's a Brit who married a German - she speaks English very fast and fluently, with a strong accent. Unfortunately, she seems to think we all have the mental level of five-year-olds and repeats everything six times.
1:40 Escape guided tour. Poke around with Russian classmate - 16th and 17th century farm buildings (one, thatched, has stood on this site since 1612; others were disassembled and brought here), storage sheds, a chapel, furnished rooms, farm tools, wagons, animals, etc. Scratch goat's head and laugh at chickens. Sample fresh squeezed cider and watch guy sweeping out outdoor bread oven with a broom of fresh pine boughs.
2:00 Get into position for "traditional wedding" starting at 2. Assume this is a reenactment since the bride and groom never actually appear - it seems to be an opportunity for the local folkways club to dress up, play music, dance, and fire old muzzle-loading shotguns. They march around the village, the women attempt to keep their starched, sticking-up black bonnets on their heads as the wind knocks over goblets on the table, a boy with Down syndrome does folk dances (indistinguishable from contra squares, to music indistinguishable from contra music except played on two accordions) with eight girls at once, and the cow objects loudly to it all.
3:10 Get back on bus, though wedding festivities are still in progress. (Who knows, maybe the bride and groom appeared at some point.)
3:20 Despite being chilly outside, the bus is hot. Take off windbreaker, fleece and long sleeved shirt, and French braid hair at high speed. Belgian seatmate also takes off her outer layers, revealing a tank top that says, "Jesus (heart) you, but everyone else thinks you're an a--hole." Eat apple and chocolate bar.
4:00 Arrive at a 200-year-old guesthouse and eat free Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake) while the Brits at the table drink tea and agree that German tea leaves a great deal to be desired.
4:30 Get back on bus.
6:30 Arrive at university.
6:45 Buy purple girl's bike with lights that shine when you pedal (!) from Roumanian classmate. It's not exactly a racing bike, but at €30 it's hard to go wrong.

Foxes seen standing in meadows: 1
Egrets (or maybe herons): 5
Hawks: 2
Windmills: 15-20

Results of German elections: completely inconclusive.

Major German language achievement: arranging to pick up mail at Konradigasse tomorrow.

I retrieved both my roasting pan and my Sox cap, which I had left in a locker on Saturday. And am lingering in the library because the rest of the uni is FREEZING - it's still in the low 50's, though it's supposed to warm up on Wednesday, and the heat isn't on in the classrooms. Our teacher took advantage of this to teach us the words for "get a cold" and "go to the pharmacy to buy medicine". Great.

Monday, September 26, 2005

that's enough love for me

Posted: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 09:32:27 GMT

Source: My wonderbra arrived today! I am very pleased with it! Now I just need some nice tops with low necklines to wear it with. Serial Experiments Lain arrived also, and Chris says he wants to watch it with me this afternoon. I think it might be too confusing for him though. I can forgive it being confusing as long as it's pretty as well.

I finished knitting my gloves, so now I have started Lucy's slippers, and then I will do her gloves. Then I will make gloves for [info]rocknrollpixie, and then I shall try making baby's sweaters.

Yesterday in Final Fantasy VII, I defeated Ultimate Weapon and then got attacked by a leaf monster and died before I could save >.< the actual fights with Ultimate Weapon aren't hard, it's just annoying having to try and find him on the world map all the time. So then I went Chocobo hunting/breeding/racing instead. I have a pretty baby green chocobo now. I had been putting the racing off because I thought I'd be awful at it but I am actually quite good. All those hours playing Burnout 3 were obviously worthwhile. Although I do like the submarine game, I think the chocobo racing will probably be a less boring way of getting GP.

I have got a million things (mostly CDs) to post. I'll go to the post office tomorrow, I think. Today is Chris' day off and he says he doesn't want to go out. I'm going to go wake him up now because I'm bored!

Rita's Evacuees Head for Home

Posted: Sun Sep 25 00:00:00 EDT 2005

Source: DALLAS, Sept. 24 -- Millions of evacuees from the Gulf Coast emerged from emergency shelters and motel rooms Saturday to be told by officials to stay put and not head home, but a massive return migration began anyway, despite widespread power outages, flooded roadways and long lines for gasoline....

Quote of the Day

Posted: 2005-09-17T16:15:11Z

"I learned a long time ago that you can only get into trouble when you talk to the media during rain delays."

- Larry Lucchino

1.5 games ahead.
Magic number 15.
Fingers crossed.

I have learned
To spell hors d'oeuvres
Which still grates on
Some people's n'oeuvres.
-- Warren Knox

Taking Care of Yourself

Posted: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 12:17:38 -0800


With Rita causing levee breaks in New Orleans and threatening the Texas Gulf Coast, many people are leaving the area. Liz at Badgerbag offers some thoughts about the lessons we in California should have learned in the last several weeks.

What I think should be apparent from all this is that relying on people to tell you what to do and take care of you is not an option. It never was, but now people know it. The Red Cross and army and govt. will do its best but that won't be enough.


I am thinking of it in my own neighborhood for earthquakes. My own block is moderately high-density with renters and a lot of spanish speakers; resident turnover is frequent. A challenge. A few blocks away it's single-family homes and mostly english speakers and they will have an easier time organizing. I wonder if the RC local people will talk to me? The schools?

For evacuation outside the city, pretty much I figure we could kiss our asses goodbye since we're on a peninsula and there's bridges and way too many bottlenecks.

I expect to have a great view from the 17th floor, before I have to climb down 34 flights of stairs to forage for food and water.


This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again

Posted: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 00:27:49 GMT

Source: I've just spent the last few hours making [info]rocknrollpixie a layout. Opal takes so long to colour but it's worth it today, I'm really pleased with it!

Now I think I'll post the results of the Movie Meme.

[info]_girlwholived, I am SHOCKED that you didn't get #10 seeing as you own the FANLISTING for it! ;]

001 - Ghost World

Correct Guesses: 3
Incorrect Guesses: 1 ([info]blob guessed American Beauty... well, Thora Birch is in both, I believe!)
Who got it right: [info]diamondnguns, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

002 - Beauty and the Beast

Correct Guesses: 5
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who got it right: [info]diamondnguns, [info]blob, [info]_girlwholived, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

I'm surprised that more people didn't get this one! Hasn't everybody seen it? I did try and pick a hardish cap though. This is actually my second favourite moment of the scene - my first is when she's in the bookshop. I love the whole scene though, and the song is one of my favourite Disney songs. But now that I think about it, maybe my favourite scene is when the Beast gives Belle the library.

003 - The Railway Children

Correct Guesses: 2
Incorrect Guesses: 1/2 ([info]_girlwholived said she might've thought The Secret Garden but knew it wasn't!)
Who Got It Right: [info]blob, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

I don't know why but I really prefer the remake to the original. The original is classic, of course, and I love that too, but I really love Jemima Rooper in the remake. Unfortunately I couldn't find a cap of the "oh, my daddy!" moment of this scene, but that line is of course the reason why this is my favourite scene. This cap will do though, it still makes me feel all teary...

004 - Pieces of April

Correct Guesses: 4
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]diamandnguns, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]ny_fucked_me, [info]_joepublic

This is a really sweet movie. I'm always really moved when actresses cry convincingly, so that is why this is my favourite scene.

005 - I Capture the Castle

Correct Guesses: 3
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]_eyeofthestorm_, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

I love this movie. Its got so many good moments, but I particularly like this moment partly because it's one of my favourite scenes in the book, but also because it's so unashamedly full of despair and angst. When Stephen asks her if she's in love with Simon or Neil, the way she answers "Simon, and it really really hurts" makes me cry. And then when he says "Cassandra!" and looks all shocked and hurt, that makes me cry even more.

006 - The Virgin Suicides

Correct Guesses: 6
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]diamandsnguns, [info]blob, [info]_girlwholived, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]ny_fucked_me, [info]_joepublic

This was obviously the easiest cap (not including Star Wars, cuz what could be easier than that one?)! I wanted a cap of Lux and Trip kissing in the car, but this was the closest thing I could find. The scene's done really well - even though I'd read the book I still was surprised when Lux got into the car. The music's done really well too.

007 - The Chronicles of Narnia (Prince Caspian, if we're being specific)

Correct Guesses: 2
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

Okay, this is actually one of my least favourite moments of the BBC Narnia serieses. But it was the only cap I could find that didn't have Aslan in it, and I wanted to make it kind of hard. I don't like Prince Caspian much at all, partly because the kid the who plays Caspian is so annoying, but this scene always especially annoyed me. I think it's because it goes on a bit long and the hag overacts a lot and the special effects are particularly bad. But still, it's one of my favourite films so it had to be included here.

008 - Swiss Family Robinson

Correct Guesses: 4
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]_girlwholived, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_astralis, [info]_joepublic

This is a really bad picture, and I'm not sure if it's even a screencap. But it was the closest thing I could find to show the treehouse scene. Can anybody watch that scene and not wish they lived in a treehouse?

009 - Lolita

Correct Guesses: 1
Incorrect Guesses: 2 (both [info]_joepublic and [info]diamondnguns guessed Amelie, and I thought of Amelie when I saw the cap, which is why I picked it :D)
Who Got It Right: [info]lipstick_letter

I like this scene cuz it's very dramatic and emotional and pretty.

010 - Little Women

Correct Guesses: 3
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]blob, [info]lipstick_letter, [info]_joepublic

This scene, unsurprisingly, makes me cry. When he says "I have nothing to give you, my hands are empty" and she puts her hands in his and says "not empty now" I just start sobbing. Or actually, just sob even harder because I start sobbing when Amy comes home with red marks on her hands. I really fancy Gabriel Byrne which is another reason why I like this scene.

011 - Kiki's Delivery Service

Correct Guesses: 2
Incorrect Guesses: 2 ([info]blob said Spirited Away and [info]lipstick_letter said Princess Mononoke - both films by the same director! So you were close!
Who Got It Right: [info]_girlwholived, [info]_joepublic

I can't actually remember this scene specifically but I think it's a pretty picture. And I like her pyjama things.

012 - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Correct Guesses: 6
Incorrect Guesses: 0
Who Got It Right: [info]_eyeofthestorm, [info]blob, [info]_girlwholived, [info]_astralis, [info]ny_fucked_me, [info]_joepublic

How EASY was this cap? XD I couldn't find any caps of the scene I wanted, it was so annoying. I like this scene because it's the first time you see the three of them together and it's the first time Han calls Leia "Your Highness". Its fun.

1st - [info]lipstick_letter and [info]_joepublic with 11
2nd - [info]blob, [info]_girlwholived and [info]diamondnguns with 5
3th - [info]ny_fucked_me with 3
4th - [info]astralis and [info]_eyeofthestorm with 2