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.