Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Liz found a lost Himalayan kitty...

I didn’t need another Himalayan cat, but there it was, and I couldn’t help myself. I feel so sorry for all those stray cats. The trek alone from the Himalaya’s should have killed them. I figure they must be REALLY HEARTY cats. So I adopt them. All of them. Lamas too. They’ve traveled far, and I have to save those poor wandering creatures. I suppose I’ll be known as the crazy old cat (and Lama) lady in the future. But where does it end? DOES it end? I know people who started out like me, a stray cat here, a wandering Lama there. (Or turtle, or stallion, or Mouflon Sheep – which looks more like a goat than a sheep.) And before you know it, Ewes. Love ewes with heart shaped dangly-bobbers on their heads, miner ewes, complete with flash light helmet, purple grape ewes, and scary ewes with seriously electrifying hair. And then there‘s Gnomes. If you’ve ever walked by a house with a lawn full of garden gnomes you can bet your bottom dollar they have a house full of cats. It goes without saying, where there are gnomes, there are pinwheels. And don’t be fooled by the three of four that are visible, there are more in the barn, or shed. That is, if you can find the barn or shed. They’re around, somewhere. Turn right at the Eifel Tower, past the moss cabin - which is right next door to the Swiss Chalet, and you’ll run right into the barn. Overflowing with pinwheels, gaudy horse statues, and bush topiaries that I am quite sure were won on e-bay from the Edward Scissorhands movie set. I suppose I could sell a few things. But I can’t imagine what. I need everything. I can’t just up and sell my green house, it would leave a hole, I NEED IT! I… I am a Farmville Hoarder. I am STILL collecting shovels to make more storage space. Ironically, it is a hole that gets deeper with each shovel you collect. Meaning, you can really bury yourself in Pinwheels, gnomes, and topiaries. It has nothing to do with farming any more. Did I even mention the farming part? Probably not. Plots of land diminish to make room for another building. I’ll take a haunted house over twenty plots of land any day. Where else should I keep all the Halloween candy I have been hoarding? And the candy apple gnomes need room. So there it is. From Farmville to Hoardsville. If you’re reading this, send me a shove or two. I need to make room for Christmas. I hope I get more gnomes!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A stroll in the park

This is my dad the same day he couldn't get to his chair. Out and about painting the town with MARGARET. Just bubbling with energy throwing the ball for the dog while MARGARET takes his picture. You can almost hear him yelling Weeeeee!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting the last word

My sister straps ankle weights on my father every morning after breakfast. One, two, three, four, ten. (That’s how he counts.) Then she hooks the rubber tube that is tied around his walker over his ankle. Pull backs, one, two, three, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. There are odd shaped pillows for physical therapy, and yards of multiple colored rubber scarf thingies.
“Keep those muscles strong, Dad. If you can’t walk, you can’t live at home.” (Okay, so that last sentence she mumbles while walking away from him.)
Since I have arrived his whole routine is going to hell in a hand basket. (Or rather a wheelchair.) It’s no fault of mine. It is a fascinating medical phenomenon called Depend-upon-margaret-itus.
He can’t stand up, much less walk if Margaret isn’t here. And ankle weights? I think not!
Margaret is aware of his d.u.m.itus and has given me strict instructions. Never push his wheelchair closer to where he wants to go. Toilet, Dining room table, bedroom, or in today’s case, his recliner. And that is what I told him.
“Sorry, Dad, you have to stand up and walk over.”
“Well, I can’t make it.”
“Well, I guess you’re gonna sit in your wheelchair at the breakfast table until lunch time.”
He decided he was going to get closer all by himself, thus getting the final word.
He wheeled his chair around, and yanked the walker alongside his chair.
Since he needed his hands to maneuver the walker, he was shuffling with his feet. This, I decided, was more physical therapy than ankle weights and rubber tubing any day. Shuffle, yank, shuffle… Stuck.
He has managed to get the leg of the walker stuck in the wheel, and to add insult to injury, he has wedged himself between the sofa and the love seat.
Well I am just happy as a clam to see this.
And he’ll be damned if he is going to ask for help.
So we sit. Dad with his back to me pretending to be “resting”, and me sipping my coffee, pretending to be reading the paper.
After a few minutes I told him I would help him. Then I said, “Who got the last word? Huh? ME that’s who! And it’s SMILE!”
To which he replied, “Silence speaks better than words, and he flipped me the bird.”
Score: Hermon 1, Liz 0.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Call Margaret

A couple of years ago a woman was stuck on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years. Stories vary, so I can not say for sure if her ass actually grafted to the seat. Her boyfriend claims she had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, so he brought her food, clothing, and I assume, plenty of toilet paper.
I had, or so I thought, deleted this tid-bit of information from my brain. Until this morning.
My father, who is 84, (You know how old I am? Fuckin, that’s how old, I’m fuckin’ old.) was sitting on the toilet.
It took me about thirty minutes to get him there. He moaned, and groaned with every step he took. The walker clunked, my father moaned. Almost rhythmic, ka-clunk, step, moan, ka-clunk, step, moan. We got stuck at the bathroom doorway. He was insisting he wasn’t going to make the last three steps to the toilet, and to go get the wheelchair. (Which would never, ever be maneuverable in the hallway, much less in the tiny bathroom.) So then he told me I should go call Margaret. Because he was too weak to take another step, and was about to fall/faint backwards. So I should release the Depends wedgie I am giving him to keep him in the upright position, and call my sister on the phone? Now he is beginning to make himself comfortable on my knees – which are beginning to buckle.
“I am NOT about to call Margaret to get your theatrical ass three more baby steps over to the toilet! Cindy!”
Cindy lives here too, and is a huge fan of Hermon’s acting abilities when Margaret isn’t within shouting distance.
Cindy came to my rescue, and told Daddy-o he should lean forward a little more (meaning get the hell off of Liz’s knees) and take those last few steps to the toilet.
Cindy always uses her nice voice. I should try that.
Okay, heavy sigh, he has made it to the toilet and is sitting. While he sits, I take the opportunity to tidy the sink area, and hand him the electric toothbrush.
“Where’s my lap towel? Don’t I have a lap towel?” (And now I know that he has been draping my shower towel on his lap – tucking it under the flap of stomach skin just above the hairline, lest it slip onto the floor, -- while he sits on the toilet brushing his teeth)
I tell him to honk when he is done. His walker is equipped with a bike horn. I throw in a bleach load of laundry. Go back, check dad.
“I missed the Korean war. But I was in the army. Everybody was in the army. I was in the same unit with Dick Clark’s piano player. He wasn’t in there long. Did you ever see that picture of me with my father standing on the veranda in Owego? They sent me away to school when I was ten. And the school put me on a bus, and sent me over to confession. They thought I was Roman Catholic. And I was in this booth, and I told the priest I didn’t know what I was doing there. So he told me to say ten Hail Mary’s, and then asked me if I was Catholic. I told him I thought I was Episcopalian, but I had never been to church.
I never told anyone this before, but I was scared for years that I was going to hell because I wasn’t Catholic. Scared for years. “
He reminisced until about 1960. I would periodically ask if he was ready. Finally, after the story of him and Charlie stealing the church wine (which was cream sherry) he was ready to get off the toilet. He positioned his left hand on the towel rack, and his right hand on the sink. I wrapped my arm up under his armpit, and gave the count of three.
He did the dead weight thing. You know like toddlers do when you go to pick them up, and carry them into bed, and they don’t want to go to bed.
Loud moan. (From Dad, not me.) “Wait a minute, let me just get my feet back an inch.”
I did the count again, and he did the dead weight thing again. He moaned louder, and said he couldn’t do it. He just couldn’t.
I told him he could, and that he needed to use his legs. Another countdown.
“Ahhh God! You can’t lift me. You better call Margaret.”
“Dad, you do not need to be LIFTED off the toilet. Margaret doesn’t LIFT you off the toilet.”
“Where’s Cindy. You better go get Cindy.”
“No. Cindy isn’t here.”
“I know for a fact she is in the backyard with her computer.”
This is where the toilet lady story popped back into my head. And before I could stop myself, I was ranting…
“If you do not use your legs to stand up,… I AM NOT calling Margaret! I will leave you here, and bring food, and changes of clothes. Then I’ll know for sure if the skin of your ass actually grows around the toilet seat!” And then I released my arm from around his pit, and had to sit on the edge of the tub because it struck me as so funny. And I was laughing. Then I said he better get off the toilet because I was about to pee myself.
He stood up, with hardly any help from me and bowed down for a wipe. Had he actually taken a poop after 48 minutes on the toilet? No.
So we’ll do this all over again later. Actually, I think I’ll just call Margaret.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where in the World is Liz Gaiser?

I’ll be the first to admidt that I am geographically challenged. In other words, I usually don’t know where the hell I am. In my defense, I believe that if Uwe wasn’t so language impaired, I might have a better idea of where I am going. Take, for example, the time Uwe and I were driving up through Italy on our way back to Germany. He asks me if I would like to stop and see Venedig. I ask him where it is. Is it nice?
“Well,” he says, “I suppose it is okay. Perhaps a little bit smelly, but people like to go there. I do not have to see it again. I have seen it. You must take a boat to see it.”
“So, it’s an island, this Venedig?” I ask, not wanting to see a boat EVER again after spending hours on a rocking ferry throwing up.
“No, it is a town, or city, and the busses are boats.”
I am confused. And he doesn’t seem at all interested in stopping, but we do anyways.
And we take the boat/bus into “town”. And he is pointing, and telling me, “And that is a nice bridge people like to take photos of. It has been in movies.”
And I STILL don’t really know where I am until we get off the boat-bus and go past a post card stand with post cards that read Venice. And I stopped and yelled, “Oh My God, I’m in Venice! We are in VENICE? You didn’t tell me this was VENICE!”

And over the years, unless you are talking about the technical aspects of gear grinding. Uwe’s communication skills haven’t improved - He was very excited to be taking us all to Nee-A-Gara Felle. My limited German translated “Felle” to mean either animal skins, or trapping. And Nee-A-Gara, well it sounds a bit Indian. Perhaps we are going to see something in Letchworth State Park. Maybe up near the Mary Jemison Indian cabins. Or, Maybe when I get to Niagara Falls, I will figure it out by myself - without the help of a post card.

Now, the next one happened just a few days ago. Uwe was in India on a business trip. And after a certain number of years of marriage (I don’t know how many) you kind of stop listening. Oh, not all together, you kind-a-sorta listen. Like when the kids come in and out of the room while your on the computer to tell you things.
-Mom, Paddy hit me. --- Ah huh. Okay.
-Mom, lunch is burning ---Okay, that’s nice.
So when Uwe calls and tells me he’s going to see a nice building on the last day of his trip, I say. “Oh, that will be nice.“ (I like to give him complete sentences rather than the standard Ah huh.. Makes it seem like I‘m paying attention.)
And he comes home with souvenir T-shirts for all the kids from the Taj Mahal.
The Taj-F’en-Mahal!
And I’m like - “You said you were going to a castle or something…” And then he says, “You know this Taj Mahal?”
What does he think, I’m stupid or something?
The he tells me that he did mention it was supposed to be one of the “Welt Wunder”.
That must have been one of my shorter “aahh” replies.

I suppose his next trip to China he will stop to see that long stone hedge people make such a fuss about. And him being German, He’ll “wander” the damn thing all the way to the end.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And you thought your father was strict...

inspired by a link sent to me by Jim Martin.

You have to see the link first, and then read my blog.


The one and only Jesus H. Christ was caught sneaking in past curfew last Saturday night. Angels who whitnessed the scene said getting past Saint Peter was a breeze, but Jesus tripped the alarm directly after passing through the pearly gates.

"I knew he was up to something when he put on his best sandles and robe and left my right hand side. Climbing out through a hole in the clouds was the real give away. It was shortly thereafter that I decided to change the alarm code."

Jesus, who has risen from the ashes, has been put on desk duty, and sent to live with his mother Mary for an undetermined amount of time.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm taking my Harvester over to Yoville

My harvester is acting erratic. I think I need to take it to the shop. Word on the web is - Yoville has the best mechanics coins can buy, but it’s a shady place. A neighbor of mine took her pink tractor to be repaired, and before she could get it in the garage bay, it had been stripped right down to the frame. They even took the little pink horn that toots like a Volkswagon Beetle. She got all the parts back within hours, but only because her neighbor Tom is heavily into Mafia Wars, and apparently has connections you don’t want to know about.
I really need my harvester. I damn near lost an entire crop of Nopales because my Avatard took so long waddling her ass from plot to plot. Not that a crop of Nopales matters, I don’t even know what they are. But if was something really important, like the co-op Frantic for flowers tulip crop - there would be hell to pay! I could have lost my chance to gain an extra 1035 XP and 904 coins. So, I am going to take my chances over in Yoville. It can’t be any worse than having your car repaired by a guy named squirrel. But I think he works over in Dipshitville. Much too far away for me, especially driving a harvester.
While I'm away I hope ya'll will fertilize my flowers, send free fuel, and feed my chickens!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Story for Tammy - There is no such thing as "just a new tub"

Once upon a time there were two young lads named Jock and Dave. One night, while sitting in the dark and dreary kitchen of Dave’s castle at 30 high Street, after many steins of the finest Canadian Ale, they had an idea.
“Dave,” slurred Jock, “Thou haveth a respectable castle, and grounds worth hunting on, but your kitchen Sucketh.”
“Jock my friend, you are absolutely right.” Dave replied. “And my dungeon needeth expanding too. Let us gather the rest of our drunken, heathen friends and begin.”
It was a sight to behold at three am. And their castle neighbours Bev and Jake were none too pleased at all the racket.
As the sun rose over the horizon the next morning, Dave stumbled to his kitchen.
“Fucketh, what hast thou done!”

Monday, March 29, 2010

Flush The Toilet!

Apparently, no one left the toilet bowl sitty. No one. Imagine that. It must have been the Fecal Fairy. I haven't read the local newspaper today, perhaps there has been a rash of break-ins?
No sir, officer nothing was taken as far as I can tell, except a bit of toilet paper.
NO ONE would fess up. They lied so well about it that I began to wonder if it was me.
I guess this is going to be one of those things they laugh about when they are forty.
HA! HA! Remember the time we convinced mom she took a crap and left it there! Man, those were good times.

A room with a view

I have opened my kitchen window as wide as possible to inhale the beauty of springtime. The tulips buds are still tightly wrapped in their protective cocoon of leaves. Too smart to play into the hands of Mother Nature’s cruel sense of humor. They bide their time. Blooming only when it is safe. I planted all the bulbs out front where I can enjoy them. You see, time spent at the kitchen sink in front of the window occupies 80% of my day. Since the tulips aren’t quite out yet, I enjoy the view of my neighbors house.
Sanford and Son alá Deutschland.

One of the two camping trailers was mercifully hidden all winter behind a large green tarp. But alas, with the emergence of the tulips, comes the emergence of the trailers. Which are parked directly across from my driveway making it difficult, but not impossible for me to back out. Unfortunately, they are not parked strategically enough to block my view of their front yard. We’ll start with the enormous medieval wrought iron gate they attached to the side of their house in front of their kitchen window. It is, (and I know this because I asked) to keep out cat burglars. Behind the “gate” are eight plastic Santa head Christmas lights strung across their kitchen window. Hanging on the outside of the medieval monstrosity are two climbing garden gnomes, a tangled up black extension cord, and assorted broken wind-spinner lawn decorations. Moving to the front stoop, a life size parrot hangs. He has seen better days. His colors are dismally faded, his wings tattered. A birdcage containing what I think to be a broken terra-cotta rooster hangs next to it.
Another life size animal - this one a black cat with white paws - climbs up something they have attached to the house. Possibly made of wrought iron, I’m not sure. Two plastic garbage cans, one black, one brown, are the perfect thing to hold up the items they have “stored” against their house. For instance, the rusty rack from an old dishwasher would certainly topple over if not for the stability of the garbage cans. As would the five foot by three foot piece of wood.
There is a large red rectangular bucket with the crusty remains of a paint job (white) complete with roller and brush. Various planters filled with dead plants. A large green tarp (they like those) has thankfully been removed from the woodpile and both have been relocated to the back of their house. There is a metal step stool, a huge green top to a garbage can - but no can, a few umbrellas, a large concrete lion wearing a red Christmas bow, a bench, a terra-cotta rooster - possibly the mate to the one trapped in the bird cage, and cinder blocks. There is more. In between all the stuff and things are smaller things. But I can‘t see them from my window, what a shame.
So, as I stand in my open kitchen window drinking in the beauty of spring, the theme song to Sanford and Son plays over and over in my head.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Are you wearing...slacks?

I got out my seasonal wardrobe only to find I have bing eaten myself up another size.
I should have seen the weight gain by looking in the mirror, but I have a disease. It’s called Canorexia. (I can eat anything, in any amount, and stay slim. Not.)It’s the opposite of anorexia, whereas, when I look in the mirror I see a very thin person. I turn to admire my ass and say to myself, “Damn, Girl, you are lookin’ F-I-N-E fine. So, I did what any person in denial would do. I went and bought new clothes.
Shopping for fat clothes in Germany isn’t easy. I started at a store called Adler. They have sizes all the way up to pretty darn big, but they are tailored to suit the taste of an eighty year old. A hip eighty year old, mind you, but old just the same. Women’s clothing goes up to size 46 here. This is (according to the trusty internet) a size 16 in the USA. However, the German size 46 is a US 16 regular. (German’s don’t have teens, ladies, and women’s sizes) Furthermore, Sizes in the US aren’t exactly kosher these past few years. A 16 is actually what used to be an 18. Americans are gaining weight, and the fashion industry ought to be ashamed of themselves. What better way to get a fat lady to buy your clothes than to tell her she is a size 14 when in reality she is a size 16 or 18. Even better for a size 18 to think she has actually dropped a size. Let me sum it up this way. When I go home every summer I am slender in comparison to other Wal-Mart shoppers. (okay, so maybe that was a bad example.) In any case, I can go into any store at the Mall and find clothes that fit me. Whereas here, I cannot squeeze my ass into a size 46. No way, no how. And I am banished to “the section”. This is an itty-bitty corner of the store with clothes for “women like me”. I have a selection of four different slacks, yes, slacks. Not even pants, these are slacks. And knit tops with a waist band. Why would you make clothes for fat people with a waist band? Who does that? Thin people, that’s who. And let us not forget quilted vests. A staple in fat lady clothes. I dare say the clothes advertised in the back of the TV guide are nicer. The ones next to the Stair Chair Lift. “Thanks to Stair Chair, I got my independence back!” (And the old women sitting in the chair is wearing the slacks and vest.)
In all fairness to German Fatty fashion, they are up-to-date (German’s love to use that phrase…ap to dät) in the latest colors. Which, by the way, are purple and lilac. Nothing says fashion like a size 18 purple knit waist banded top with a vest...
My shopping trip wasn’t a total loss. I bought a bra. A bra that fit! This is (especially for fat folks) a Godsend. And, not to get even more off track than I already am, I have been wearing my mothers bras. They were new mind you, but my mothers just the same. So… yes, a new bra for Liz. Got it home, washed it in the bathroom sink with my finest Head and Shoulders, and hung it to dry. Put it on this morning, and the strap felt funny. Hummm… Took it off to inspect, and the strap was twisted. Every time I untwisted it, the bra cups were twisted. It was like one of those metal brain teaser puzzles. I ended up cutting the strap, rethreading it through the plastic thingy, and sewing it up again.
I guess I’ll go on a diet. That way, when I go home this summer, I can fit into a size 12.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear Mrs. Gaiser

Hallo Frau Gaiser,

Paddy hat gestern eine selbstgeschriebene Entschuldigung für den Sportunterricht bei mir abgegeben.
Da ist eine Unterschrift drunter und ich wollte mal nachfragen, ob Sie diese Entschuldigung wirklich unterschrieben haben?
Paddy sagte mir nämlich, dass Sie ja so schlecht deutsch schreiben würden, da hätte er die Entschuldigung für Sie geschrieben.
Um eine kurze Antwort wäre ich Ihnen dankbar.

I'll translate...

Dear Mrs. Gaiser,
Paddy gave me an excuse for gym class yesterday that he had written himself. Your signature is at the bottom, and I wanted to ask if you did indeed sign it.
Paddy said that your German is so bad that he wrote it for you.
I would be thankful for a short answer.

Here was my reply...

Dear Mr. Langer,

No, I did not sign an excuse for Gym. If I had written it, it would have read as followes...

Please excuse Paddy from Gym as he has smoked too many cigarettes, and is too lazy.

Liz Gaiser

And I thought I wouldn't have anything to Blog about today...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The eleventh commandment

The eleventh commandment is as followes: Thou shalt not criticize the housework.
In between business trips Uwe was home long enough to let us all know how dirty our house is. He said, "It's disgusting."
A little voice inside me said, "Oooohhh Girl, you better hand that one right over to God. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00."
So that is what I did. My prayer was short. "Dear Lord, take these hurtful words off my heart or I will kill him. Amen"
Uwe left for India a few days later.
There's nothing like an answered prayer to lift up your spirits.

Bonjour! Valium anyone?

Julia has a nose bleed - five tempo packs so far... Getting worried. She has a croupy cough, and coughs until she pukes. Patrick just came home and has given himself a knuckle prison tattoo - Four letters starting with F and ending with K. It's not Fink, Funk, Fisk or Folk. Yesterday he tattooed his forearm with a huge cross and JESUS above it. He's like old school Catholic - Don't sin or Jesus will come down and give you an ass-woopin'!
...And let me just quote my greeting to him - Scrub that shit off your hand or I'll do it for you. I don't care if you need boric acid or an ax - don't come out of that bathroom until it's gone.
My Back snapped out on Saturday. By the way.
We have a French exchange student here until next Sunday. His friend prefers us as a host family better than his own, as do all of the French exchange students in the Ostfildern area. Possibly because I am eating muscle relaxants and don't care.
Faites que vous aimez. Do whatever you want.
Aidez-vous à tout notre bon vin. - Help yourself to our good wine.
Saut sur nos meubles! - Jump on our furniture.
Mangez tous nos aliments! Eat all our food!
They opened a "Teddy" Store in Ruit last weekend. It's like the dollar store. Patrick bought a big red plastic trumpet thingy. It opens like a telescope. So far everyone who has come to our house has tried it. Every French exchange student...
And it scares me every time - which makes me jump - which makes my back spazz - which makes me eat more valium - which makes me not give a shit.
And where is my husband while all of this is going on? He returned from China/Tokyo with a severe case of Die-o-ree-a.
Julia, as I said before, is sick and coughing. She is in our bed. I told Uwe to sleep in the other room, but no, he didn't. So... After struggling out of bed (remember, my back...) twice to get Julia more cough medicine I was hurting. I had just fallen back asleep, and having an awesome dream that someone had gotten me a heating pad for my back. It felt so nice. It was so real... No, it WAS real. But, it wasn't a heating pad, it was Julia. Her fever spiked to 103.
I asked Uwe to get her a Tylenol and a glass of water. He got her a glass of Sprudel. Nice carbonated, fizzy, bubbly water. Which stayed down for 3.5 seconds. I was flailing like a beached whale, or a turtle stuck on it's back trying to get the puke pan. UWE! UWE! Where's the puke pan! He comes back in the bedroom and is yelling at us. The Scheiß thing has been in my back all night! Meanwhile,,, Julia was puking her water back into the glass. It was foamy. Puke pan was retrieved from floor, too late. I got up, and started to change the sheets. Because when your back is out - changing sheets is a piece of cake. Uwe stood there. I guess he was waiting. Waiting to go back to bed. Waiting for me to hurry up. He did finally help, but pretended he had never put a fitted sheet on a mattress before. Or maybe he never had. As soon as one corner was on, the other corner popped off. He did that three times. Julia finally told him he had to bend the corner of the mattress up. No shit Sherlock.
This whole cough/puke thing has been going on for three weeks. First Alex, then Patrick and now Julia.
I am ass-deep in dirty laundry.
So now I have written about why I don't write. I guess this counts.
Uwe left yesterday for India, and from there he goes to New York.
Jimmy crack corn and I don't care, Jimmy crack corn and I dont care, Jimmy crack corn and I don't care, my masters gone away.
Time for another back pill.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The phone's for you...

I’ve never had much luck with cell phones. Actually, I’ve never had ANY luck with cell phones. I know it’s not rocket science, but they just don’t work for me. Literally.
I thought it was because I always got someone else’s old phone. When my friend Shanna moved back to America she left me her “German Handy”, complete with chip card, or sim card or whatever the heck it’s called. But it never worked. I entered the pin number but it wanted a puke or is that PUK number. So I entered the puke number, and it told me that I was an idiot, (Actually sent me a personal SMS saying just that.)and it locked forever. It is still in the drawer, and every once in a while I get it out and press the buttons. Last time it said, “Nope Liz, you’re still too stupid to use Shanna’s old phone. Another American moved into Shanna’s house, and three years later, she too endowed her Handy to me. It was pink and bling-blingy. And I think it had a few rap songs still on it. (Not that I would be able to get to them, my kids found them.)
Anyway… Same thing, Pin number, pukey number, secret code, mission impossible. This phone will self destruct within 30 seconds of messing with it. And sure enough, it did. I found it in pieces next to my computer. My kids took it apart.
My kids have phones. They work just fine… unless I borrow one. I took my daughters one night as I would be out late, and the entire night I was really annoyed with whoever it was in the restaurant that kept letting their cell phone ring - or rather BLAIR a really stupid German ditty… Schni Schna Schnappi Schnappi Schnappi Schnapp. Over and over it played. (and over, and over…) And yes, it was the phone in my purse.
Last week I decided to go right to the source. I took my newest used phone (inherited from my daughter because she couldn‘t live without a touch screen iphone.) to the phone store and purchased a „starter kit“ for ten euros. I guess it‘s like training wheels for people over 40 who have yet to get a cell phone to work. And the nice man at the store put in the sim card for me, and voilà! No, wait, not voilà. The phone told him to enter a top secret code. He told me it would be NO PROBLEM. He said my daughter just needed to put in her pin number… yeah right.
Here‘s the deal. The phone won‘t take any other sims card except the one it was born with. It has to be the card that came from that phone‘s womb, otherwise all phone calls made with said phone will be seriously handicapped, or Albino. Or at the very least ride the short bus.
Imaging my delight when my husband came home from his business trip to China and brought me my very own BRAND NEW phone. Not only is it a phone, it is a Music and Watch Mobile Phone. Wow. This is really like Mission Impossible now! I can literally talk into my watch like James Bond, or the Spy Kids. Too Cool.
I thought it best to read all instructions before doing anything what with my past record and all.
So… The AK09+ color-screen digital mobile watch phone Has Tri-band (no idea), Two button handwriting input (huh?) 1.3 mega pixel camara, FM FM Radio. (That‘s what it says on the box, FM FM) TF Card unlimited expansion (ummm…) MP3/MP4 video player (the screen is 1“ x 1“ so I‘m not so sure about watching a video) WAP unlimited internet access (just in case I want to surf porn and watch it on the big screen) U disc support function and last but not least, Support for multiple languages. PHEW!
In section 1.2 under safety notice it states… and I quote
„In case of leaving a car, you should put the phone in a place where other persons can‘t see. You had better take it with you or put it in the trunk.
Other general notice…
„The use of unauthorized accessory may cause the battery leaked, overheat, broken or fired.
Should not put the phone in the microwave, otherwise it may cause incidents.
Should not put the phone where children cannot touch.
You should shut up the phone in an airplane or a hospital.
You should not use the phone to hit other objects otherwise it may cause screen damaged or it’s liquid crystal leaked. Liquid crystal running into eyes may cause them blind. Once blind, you should rinse eyes (must no massaged) and go to hospital immediately.
Don’t throw the battery into a fire, otherwise the battery may fire or blast.
Don’t put the battery together with necklace.

Okay, I am now well informed, and ready to charge my new phone. I have inserted the battery, making sure the gold contacts are indeed in contact.
It says that when the charger is connected to the phone a charging indication picture will display, Even if my phone is closed. (I guess that means turned off).
There is no picture. There is a red light on the plug. I have left it plugged in overnight. Nothing has happened. It doesn’t light up, it doesn’t turn on… It is mocking me. While it was plugged in all night my drawer full of other cells phones (yes, I have an entire drawer full.) told the new one to roll over and play dead. I can hear them all snickering at me.
I have unplugged it from the wall and have tried to connect it to my computer. That’s how my kids charge their music-pod-thingies. Nothing. I have changed batteries. It came with two. Still nothing. I have tried to charge it with and without a sims card.
Three hours later…
You won’t believe what I have done. I figured since the phone came directly from China, and the Chinese directions are pages longer than the English directions I needed to find a Chinese person to take a look at it. So… I took the whole kit and kaboodle to my local Chinese restaurant.
“Yes, I’d like an order of sweet and sour chicken, two egg rolls, and could you read this instruction manual for me?”
Talk about friendly! They were all too happy to help. I just love foreigners. It’s like we all just need to stick together. I would have NEVER asked a German - and one I didn’t know… Never. (pause for effect) Ever. I don’t want to start German bashing. Let’s just say most (not all) Germans can be… I can’t quite find (or decide) on the right word. I’ll just tell you that I don’t even return things to a store for fear of the Germans. Okay moving right along….
I left the instruction book with the cook. He’s going to read it in between frying up the won-tons. He even said that if it’s broken, he would write a letter in Chinese for me to send it back. Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that is some kind of nice! Yes sir, I do.
Five hours later…
I went back to the restaurant, but they didn’t have any luck either.
She asked me if I had put it in the microwave. I said no. She asked me if I had tried to make a necklace out of the battery. I said no. She asked if I had put it where children cannot reach. I said no. So that pretty much exhausted all of her ideas.
I’m putting my phone in “The Drawer”.
Or better yet, I’ll leave it in my car where people can see it. Complete with instruction manual.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where's my barn?

My best friend bought the farm today. She stammered for help… I, I, Farm - don’t know where - please help me.
She skyped my sister for help, but got no answer. My sister, who lives clear across the ocean phoned me at 10:30 in the evening quite concerned. “Is everything OK?”
“Have you (pause) spoken to Trixie?”
Me - in a half a bottle of Spanish Rioja fog… “Ahhh, no I haven’t, um why?”
“Well she skyped me (pause)… and wrote stammering sentences about large sums of money, and a lost farm, or barn or (another pause)… Was she involved in one of those phone scams that happen to old people?”
Me - “Now why would Trixie buy a barn over the phone from a total stranger. Franz maybe, but not Trixie.”
My 12 year old daughter was listening.
“Mom, Trixie can’t find her 40,000 gold coin barn she bought on Farmville.”
Farmville, well that explains everything.
Margaret said it would be a good idea for Trixie to add some Amish neighbors to her Farmville and have a barn raising. Good idea, but Trixie is from South Africa, I don’t know if she knows what Amish people are. And besides that, Amish don’t have computers, thus no Farmville.
I phoned her this afternoon, and apparently she still hasn’t found her barn. I went to her farm to try and straighten the whole thing out. I saw the beginnings of a horse stable. Just the framework. Why would anyone buy just the framework?. Or perhaps they’re making Farmville more realistic. Little Farmville builders come and start a half-ass job, and then stop midway. Leaving you’re farm looking like a white trash, plot of land. Soon they’ll offer that oh-so-appealing TYVEK siding people in America are so fond of.
Or is that the Yo-ville game… I figured Yo-Ville is more city stuff. You find virtual subsidized housing, and shop with virtual food stamps the beginning of every month at a virtual K-Mart.
What we need is a Trailerville. You could upgrade to a double-wide depending on how many XP you earn by making babies. And the more “Babies Daddies” you have, the more gold coins you earn. Gifts for your Trailerville friends and neighbors could include RID kits, Cut & Curl coupons for a mullet trim, or muscle shirts AKA “wife-beaters”.
Well, I seem to have gotten off the subject here. Where was I? What was I writing about? Ah yes, Trixie’s lost barn. I believe it is stuck on a virtual island somewhere.
It is filled with pink cows, and possibly a polar bear. If Trixie can make it to the temple where the Frank Zappa dude translates for the Asian guy, I believe she will find her barn.
Good Luck Trixie.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Old McGaiser had a farm E-I-E-I-O

My pig is 99% ready. I don’t know what happens when he is a full 100%. Will he be sent off to market Jiggedy-Jig? When my rabbit was 100% I shaved it for it’s angora. But pigs don’t have fur - pigs have bacon. It’s all quite exciting. OH! My pig just oinked - I’ll be right back…False alarm, he’s still at 99%.
Two of my horses are at 58%, and one is at 20%. I haven’t had them long, so I don’t think they will have to go to the Elmer’s Spa when they are 100%.
After spending 10,000 on a dairy farm I realized I didn’t have any cows. An embarrassing oversight I must admit. But my son Patrick helps out around the farm, and was able to get me not one, but TWO cows. This in turn gave me more fertilizer for my crops. Let’s be honest - Soybeans can never have enough fertilizer.
I know, I know, soybeans. It sounds so… well, nerdy. But after spending a full fifteen minutes in the seed department of the market I concluded soybeans would give me the highest yield, and two XP’s per field planted.
I am going to get a little crazy today and plant Super Pumpkins. I can only sell them for 3.6% of what I paid for the seeds verses 4.2% that I am getting for the soybeans, and I am only getting one XP per field but I just LOVE GIANT PUMPKINS. Reckless, I know, but all work and no play makes Liz a dull girl.
Excuse me while I check on my pig. Pig (as I so fondly call him) now has a pink candy-corn thingy above his head. TRUFFELS! Pig has collected truffles, and I have collected coins! I didn’t know pig would be so talented. Now I feel absolutely awful letting Patrick pen up all my animals. Not only did he pen them up, he told them to STAY. Are the not all god’s creatures? Do they not have the right to roam about the farm as they please?
FREE RANGE FOR FARMVILLE ANIMALS! (and while I’m at it, range free - lest Pig ends up on the breakfast table…)
I am starting a Facebook Cause. You can’t force the animals to stand in one spot day after grueling day. Rotate them for cryin’ out loud!
I am off to take down my whitewash fence. A waist of three hundred gold coins per fence, but maybe I can use them to decorate.
OH! Mystery gifts! Now I really have to go. Remember, Free your Farmville Animals!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Backing Out

Margaret and Sharon - Friends, neighbours, and Garden Artists.

Two driveways side by side separated by a beautiful three-foot-wide flowerbed.

I walked out the back door and to my horror saw my mother trying to back her car out of my sister's driveway. She had Adam (my 21 year old nephew) in the back seat and was going to give him a ride home. When I "arrived on the scene" her car was kitty-corner in the driveway and about to hit the front porch. She straighted it out, and now all she had to do was back straight up. That's it. But she kept backing into the flowers - actually, she kept backing down the row of flowers between the two driveways.
...Mom, get out of the car! Mom, you're in the flowers!
...No I'm not! (Pulls forward, backs up again EVEN FURTHER into, and down the flowerbed)
...MOM! (I bang on car window) PULL FORWARD AND GET OUT OF THE CAR!
meanwhile... Adam is sitting in the back seat. Just sitting there, kind of staring at me like maybe it's Aunt Liz that is crazy. And my mother has a manical look in her eye. It's frightening. Pam (who resides in the house from aforementioned flowerbed has arrived from walking the dog and is standing on the sidewalk. She KNOWS not to try and walk behind my mother's car because if she does, Sally WILL floor the gas and run her over. So she stands, leash in hand, and wonders if maybe she is having a bizarre dream. Meanwhile, Ray (my sister's boyfriend) has pulled up in his (stupid-ass-butt-ugly) Hummer. He stops in the middle of pulling in, and cuts the engine. I am still yelling...
When (enter holy music) Margaret (my sister, owner of house and driveway. Co-owner of driver, and mother of passanger in car) comes walking up the sidewalk.
Thank God! It's Margaret! Margaret will make everything better! Margaret will fix everything.
I don't think Margaret noticed me, or Pam with dog in tow, or Ray, or Ray's (stupid-ass-butt-ugly) Hummer. Or the small crowd that had begun to gather. No, what Margaret saw was her first-born sitting (clueless) in the back seat of a crazy old woman‘s car. He mind flashed through twenty-one years of memories starting with pushing out a 12-pound baby boy and ending with the last time they hugged.
She calmly walked over to the car...
...Hi Adam. Would mind getting out of Gramma's car? That‘s right. Just get out please....
Adam got out (still clueless) and Margaret looks at my mom and says...
... Okay Mom, your fine, just keep backing up, I'll see you tomorrow...
Sally backs down the through the flowers, which are literally crunching and snapping, pulls into the street, and proceeds to drive (in the wrong direction) home. Black-eyed Susans' hanging out of her muffler.