Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Burning down the house


At home my son is used to sleeping with the closet light on in his room (in lieu of a night light.)

When we travel to my mother-in-law’s home in Germany, there are no closets, meaning no closet light, meaning my son will not go to sleep alone in the room, and we don’t plan well enough to buy a night light for our stay.

Soooo, my husband had the brilliant idea of turning on a lamp in the room where my son slept and then putting a book over the lamp so that it wouldn’t be too bright.

You already know what’s going to happen, but I’ll continue anyway.

The adults in the house were sitting downstairs enjoying some champagne and adult time after putting my son to bed.

There were candles lit all around the room, and the Christmas tree was lit with real candles. Really, that’s the way they do it in Germany - real candles.

So when we first smelled smoke, we assumed it was the candles or the tree catching fire.

Eventually, I knew it wasn’t candle smell. I followed the smoke to my son’s bedroom and discovered the book. It now had a hole all the way through the entire center of the book.


It actually looks pretty cool!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Bragging about our planning skills . . .

video


Get yourself a nice warm drink, sit down and put your feet up by the fire.

It's late, I'm exhausted from our little venture . . . so excuse the post.

We are still in Germany visiting family and decided to go to Austria skiing on a whim. We got into our rental car with the kids and headed out.

We tried to book a room online before we left but everything was booked out - none to be had in the entire valley of Zillertal! Hey, no problem - we'll find something. We are golden like that.

We arrive in the first village and begin to stop at the first of the 1,000,002 hotels in the area. After asking at ~ a dozen of them, we realize that there are none to be had. That's okay though because it is so beautiful here in the mountains with the snow. We all love taking pictures, as well. Until - my camera battery gives out, and I realized I left the charger back at the in-law's house.



By the way, we have no skis, no equipment and no proper skiing attire. Some of us have never skied before. So we stop at a cafe to have a hot drink and a cake while watching the skiers out the window.

Then we decide to drive to Innsbruck where there are bound to be rooms free. We arrive there around 7:00 pm and amazingly are able to get 2 rooms (1 for us and 1 for the kids) - but only for one night.

We walk though the old town of Innsbruck, which is quaint and beautiful. In the pedestrian zone we scarcely avoid getting droplets of bile on our shoes as a girl lost her stomach right at our feet. That was the perfect appetizer before we went to dinner at a typical Austrian restaurant.

We tried to get up early the next day, but are only able to find our way to breakfast around 10 am. After breakfast we have to go back to the hotel, pack up and check out.

We packed the car and then drive to the surrounding area to check out the snow activities. We find the perfect sport equipment rental place.

However, it just closed for lunch at 12:00. It doesn't open again until 3:00pm. In this area of the world it starts to get dark ~4:30. We're screwed for snow activities - even sledding is out at this point.

So, we decide to drive to Italy. Why not have some pizza and a cappuccino in Italy, right?

We drive to the nearest little town in Italy, and it is ~ 2:40pm at this point. All the restaurants stop serving warm food at 2:00!!!!



Since we are so good at planning these sort of trips we are considering opening a travel agency -
what with all our good planning skills and such . . .


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wayne's World party


Last night I was hosting a Christmas party.

I had written an article about the absurdity of celebrity culture, which some of the fringes of my church had really latched onto. One of these fringees was lurking outside and protesting my party because he said he saw some photos with me online with Mike Meyers. He was calling me a hypocrite among other things.

What?! I had to go out and talk to him to convince him I had never met Mike Meyers.

Throughout the party I was being courted by a Jeff Goldblum-ish guy and was admittedly somewhat flirtatious back . . . at least when my husband wasn't looking.



Unbelievably, of all people to show up to my party uninvited - it was none other than Mike Meyers and Dana Garvy who came knocking on the door! Cool! Only they seemed younger - like when they did Wayne's World. How cool is that to have Wayne's World at your very own party. They were totally cool and pretty 'regular'. We were just hanging out and chatting - having a great time, but . . .

How can I explain this to the church fringee? He'll never believe me now.

Later in the evening, at a climatic point the Jeff Goldblum-ish guy steps in for a romantic kiss. It was all slow motion as I tried to decide whether to turn my head for a cheek peck and stay true to my man or give in to the carnal desires brewing. Just as I was leaning in, my husband appeared and stepped in between us saying, "she's with me. we're together!"

What a way to ruin a beautiful moment. Thanks honey.

Then I woke up and kissed him on the cheek as he slept soundly next to me.

Hey, he does have a little of that Jeff Goldblum quality - ish.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Night of the Proms


My husband's boss invited us to some concert while we were in Germany. The name of the concert was 'Night of the Proms'. All I knew about it was that Robin Gibb would be performing.

Between the title of the concert and who would be performing, I was preparing myself for a cheese fest in the first degree!

Before the concert began, it was explained to us that 'Night of the Proms' refers to a night of all prominent performers - nothing to do with the (classy?) dance in American high schools that seems to be the result of much trauma and drama and the climax of many teenage movies.

However, I have since done some research and found that this actually may be a 'spin off' of the British Proms, which is a classical music concert.

At any rate, it was quite a concert. It included an orchestra, a gospel choir from Harlem (NY), a comic duo who used a violin and piano, a rock band and the 'prommys' or prominent singers, though it was not without its cheesy moments.

Highlights:

1. Robin Gibb's live performance of How Deep is Your Love, backed by the 10cc singer (who was obviously a much better singer). Okay it did venture toward cheese, but if you were alive when Saturday Night Fever came out, then it's hard not to feel something stirring from those years ago.

2. 10cc singing 'I'm not in Love' - again the memories (wasn't it a slow dance in 7th grade?)

3. Tears for Fears singing 'Shout' - that was awesome!!!

Cheesy Moments:

1. The Harlem gospel choir doing the robot while Dennis de Young (Styx) sang 'Mr. Roboto'

2. A coliseum full of middle-aged Germans singing 'We're the kids in America' to Kim Wilde's song.

3. Robin Gibb coming out at the end as the 'headliner'. This is after the lead singer of Styx and Tears for Fears (not to mention Kim Wilde and 10cc - which actually sang Gibb's song for him!) I think Robin Gibb has a solo career touring in Germany now. Perhaps with David Hasselhof?

I must admit that I went in hoping it would be over quickly, but was surprised when 4 hours had passed without once looking at my watch!

Okay . . . after I tried to find photos, I realized how cheesy it actually was, but surprisingly palatable.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time for 'Sticky' to travel



I received this piece of art which I call 'Sticky' from Susan at this blog:

Art Spark Theater

You see Sticky above resting peacefully on a shelf in my studio with other 'like-minded' pieces.

Sticky is participating in a guerrilla art project where he will be placed in a location where he may be admired by passers-by or picked up by an appreciative onlooker.

Below you see Sticky in my suitcase resting up for the trip to Germany.

Stay tuned to this blog to find out what happens to Sticky. Though, at some point Sticky will become independent, and I will lose contact with him *tear*.

But that's okay, because Sticky was meant to be on his own, not tethered to a mother figure, such as I.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm juist sayin'


There's this one blogger who is expecting and just found out she's having a girl. She has two boys and all the comments are like:

Congrats! you're going to have so much pink and frilly fun!

and

you're going to paint your nails and go shopping . . .

and some day a boy will call your house and ask to speak to her - it will be so cute and
la di da . . .


Well, I hate to rain on anyone's parade. The dressing up like a doll is fun . . . and painting your nails is fun, but . . .

welcome to the technology age, because once they turn 13, you will buy her a cell phone.

No matter what you think now, you will.

Do you think any boy will call her on your home phone? Do you think any of her friends will have her home phone number. Do you think any of her friends will call and actually speak to her on her cell phone when they can silently and sneakily text each other who-knows-what stuff?



to be continued . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Meeting my personal challenge


i have been challenging myself to do something creative every day

notice my creative lack of punctuation here

since I finished a painting the other day i decided to get a 2fer out of it by now using it in a creative blogging post

so there you go i met my personal creativity challenge for today

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is that one of those attacking animals?


Husband (in his German accent): There's an animal sitting on the fence that's causing the dog to bark. What should I do?

Me: What kind of animal are we talking about?

Him: One of those wild animals.

Me: Is it a racoon?

Him: Yes.

Me: Is it an opossum?

Him: Yes.

a few minutes later

Him: I know, I'll try to knock it off the fence with a tennis ball from the balcony!

side note - his athletic skills are on par with his wildlife skills.
Him: It didn't work. I missed

Me: I'm getting a snack.

Him: Can you do something about the animal?

Me: Why don't you take a shovel and push it off the fence?

In comes the title ---

Him: Is that one of those attacking animals?

Me: I'm getting the video camera.

He went into the garage and brought out an 8ft. 1 x 4 and headed to the back yard. I grabbed a flashlight and the video camera.

He proceeded to oops, slide down the hill on his butt while holding the long stick. I thought I was ready with the light and the camera.

And . . . it was anticlimactic when he actually pushed the opossum off the top of the fence. It just fell into the leaves on the other side, plumph. It was then that I actually looked at the camera to see that the memory card was missing. Hence, no video here.

I did some research on the internet and found out what to do next time we encounter an animal. I'll have to keep the milk, cereal and turnip greens stocked, just in case . . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Typical day



It's a typical day only better because today I don't have to drive anywhere. I did some productive stuff like I did take a shower and I did brush my teeth. I did some laundry, and . . .

okay, I might have checked my email. I had to check it just in case there were some important notification, like the one I found . . . I actually have some long lost dead relative from Nigeria - COOL !!!! Now, as soon as I send the small transfer fee . . . I'm rich !!!

My next important task for the day is to figure out how I'm going to spend all my newfound money!

So, I started researching . . . stuff.

While I do my important work on the internet, both kids are supposedly doing their schoolwork. I stumble upon a website that says children become more successful if you praise their effort as opposed to their finished work. Since I'm so good at homeschooling and stuff . . .

Me: "Son, you're good at doing your work."

Then, I saw a picture of a man almost getting bit by an alligator, then I saw some awesome pictures of graffiti.

This is stuff that takes tremendous concentration. I have to get through this stuff before I continue with the important task of spending my enormous wealth - perhaps some designer duds!

One more important duty - I have to see this video of a panda sneezing, then I will continue my work.




However, I am rudely interrupted in my thought process on special important stuff when my son starts.

"Wah, wah, wah, I need help with my math."

It reminds me of the poor mama panda in the video - eating, minding her own business, completely lost in thoughts of how hot she will look in her new designer duds . . . when BAM, the little one totally interrupts her zen.

Me: "Just a minute," and I continue my important research.

15 minutes later

Son: "When are you going to help me?"

Me: "Try to do it again and make sure you write all the steps, then look up the answer on your computer."

I TRY to continue my important work when he interrupts again . . .

Son: "Uh Oh! It's the blue screen of death!"

Me: "Don't worry, we're rich now, so I'll buy you a new one!" Then I add buy computer to my list of important things I need to do today.