Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm Still Standing...

Hello internet.

Just wanted to check in here and move around a little so no one thinks I've gone and expired. We are in the middle of owning and operating our unofficial Guten Gasthaus B&B and loving every minute of it, but that has left very few other minutes for things like blogging...and laundry. People are more important than personal hygene and bedbugs, right? Do you get bedbugs from prolonged periods of unwashed sheets? For some reason the memory of my college experience is telling me no...

Anyway, I'll be back with lots to talk about around October 20! (Crickets. Chirp Chirp.) Seriously, I'll be back. (Dead silence.) Ok, so maybe I'm writing this little missive to myself, but either way, there will be more blogging in my future. I'm particularly excited about next week's Blind Brownie Bake-off (!) where we are going to make brownies from scratch, from a mix and grab a few store-bought and have a literal blind taste test to see which dessert reins supreme. I just can't believe I didn't think of doing this sooner.
Happy blogging, till then.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Buzzity Buzz Buzz

I'm not one for drunk blogging.

I swear. But I have had a few libations. And I'm not (exactly) drunk. But I am regretting the severe neglect on which I've subjected this poor little blog, and when is regret stronger than under the influence of the devil juice? Never, I say. So I'm just stopping by, after a full night of our (very cool...I promise) Bowling League, and a full day of playing the role of Suzie Homemaker and preparing for our guests to come. And I just wanted to say hi to the blogging world. So, hello.

And now I'm off to either maintain this delicious buzz or fall immediately to sleep. Any guesses on the outcome are most assuredly welcome.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Where are my blasted mice?

Please sir, can I have another?

Two of my bestest friends in the world came to visit last week (hence the silence) and now I must confess myself thoroughly plagued by severe girlfriend withdrawal. I have another set of friends visiting in a scant 4 days, then my brother-in-law (we'll call him Bil) and his girlfriend a few days after that, and then finally my parents are coming less than a week later. Soooo....blogging....uh....may take a bit of a backseat. At least until mid-October. I love having company in, but the prep work is taxing.

So for the next few days I get to be a fairy princess! This is AWESOME. Oh wait, that fairy princess is Cinderella. Pre-slipper. And I need to lose the 6 lbs I gained over the past 5 days. Did Cinderella get to eat? Maybe I should go on the Disney Princess Diet- they always had such slim figures.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bags of tea.

So, I've been drinking tea.

A really fun read. And a bonus(!)- you'll start talking like you're in 19th Century London!

I'm reading a delightful series of brain-candy books called the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger and I just can't seem to stop myself from brewing up a cup of tea every time the wittily blunt and often-peckish heroine, Alexia Tarabotti, takes one herself. This happens a lot. Hence, my tea supply is greatly dwindling and I'm finding my increased caffeine intake favorable to a clean house and elaborate dinners on the table. The one thing I'm having a hard time with, however is the phrasing of my indulgences.

Is it just me or has the term "teabag" adopted such negative connotations that it's almost inexcusable to utter it in polite society? Well, unless you are a politician or a sex-trade worker, that is. What a shame. On the one hand, I hate to dredge up associations with the lewd act by the same name, and on the other hand I hate to dredge up almost as unsavory associations with the renegade political movement. What's a girl to do! I blush every time the water starts to boil.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Obtrusive Little List

So I've been thinking.

Which can really get me into trouble. I know, I know, I can hear it now, "But dear Guten Allie, I didn't know you could think." I will give you some time to formally register your objection to this news.

In the mean time, here are some pictures that are totally unrelated to the content of this post!

The ice storm we had not so long ago. That is HAIL.
A rainbow over our favorite little town, Heidelberg.
Bride and groom sawing their first log ya do. Obviously some kind of sex metaphor.

Aaaaaaand...I hope that was enough time for you. 

So, I've been thinking, and try as I might I just can't stop, about some of the things I want to do with my life. I have a certain proclivity toward laziness, so you can see why I'm quite vexed. But this list just keeps coming back to me, and with alarming force. So I thought maybe if I write these things down, they will go away and I can return to my unfussed state. No such luck! I wrote them down at least two and a half times, and still the thoughts continued to harass. Now I suppose I should take a bigger leap and put them on the internet. It seems the next logical step.

While my sensibilities twinge a bit at the term "Bucket List" not only for the banality of the common bucket to hold such important life dreams, or the morbidity of the idea that such dreams must be achieved, presumably, close to death, but more that my most associative memories of a bucket involve myself as a 10 year old wanting to play outside but instead being confined to the couch to puke into said receptacle. Ew, the bucket. You don't want to have to get out the bucket. And I guess, as far as my own (shudder) Bucket List is concerned, I feel the same way. But The List has nonetheless made an appearance and it seems it will not be ignored. 

So here it is, my little List, written most assuredly under duress. These things have been on my mind for months without conscious aid on my part, so I suppose they are here to stay.

The Bucket List
1. Do 10 perfect pushups, forever
2. Weigh (mumble, mumble, mumble) pounds, forever
3. Flawlessly drive a stick shift
4. Learn to ride a motorcycle
5. Learn a foreign language to a conversational level, forever
6. Finish my masters degree
7. Do a real half-marathon* or triathalon
8. Always write a blog

* I did complete a half marathon in 2009, but my heart wasn't really in it and I didn't train properly and the time was atrocious, so I feel like it didn't really count.

And that is IT. No more! Eight items is borderline too many anyway. I grow faint just thinking about it. My demanding little list here has even forced timelines into my goals, most notably, forever. Ugh. Where did these things come from? Not my psyche, thats for sure. This is totally out of character. If I wanted to invent such a list on my own volition, which I don't, it would include way better goals like "Eat more snacks" and "Cook every night" and "Bake." All food related goals, for sure. Who can I blame?

But now I'm curious. Do any of you, fine readers, have such a list? Is it appropriate to challenge you to blog about it yourself? Or at least leave a comment? Or a silent prayer that my list will stop demanding my attention and I can blissfully return to my thoroughly non-motivated state? Please?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Cold Front


Husband and I woke up this morning to rain and a distinct nip in the air. We immediately thew open all the windows and I'm wearing a fuzzy robe with sweatpants and socks and I'm still shivering. Oh shivering, how I've missed you! It looks like the Two Weeks of German Summer has, thankfully, passed. 

Good thing the Stuttgart Wine Village is open to warm us from the inside.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hola Barcelona

Well, that was perfect.

The excitement! The horror!
Except for the very end, but that's a story for another time. Our vacation to Barcelona was amazing- the weather was great, the food was even better and the sights were well worth the blistered feet and (gasp! how old am I?) swollen ankles. Better shoes next time, I think. That's one for the "lessons I should have learned many, many years ago but I'm an idiot so I think these laws of gravity and biology don't apply to me" book. I have a feeling that the tanning/burning cycle may, one day, fall into that category as well. When I look like a piece of rawhide. Or worse. We'll see.

I don't think I have the words to express how wonderful the vacation was. It may have been our first...ever. Almost all of our travels in the past have been what I call trips, not vacations, because, as fun as they are, they leave you more tired and more in need of a real vacation afterward than before you started. But this one was a perfect mix of running ragged and chilling out with 2 very relaxing days at the beach where my skin darkened to a delicious bronze hue (read: splotchy sunburn), and 3 days of pleasant meandering, lots of eating and all the sightseeing our little touristy brains could handle.

Sagrada Familia- the Sacred Family Cathedral. Think: Disney Church.

The "Dragon House" built by Antoni Gaudi.

Out of the 5 days, two major highlights emerged. The first, undoubtedly, was the food. Oh, the food! Husband and I have traveled extensively and always feel a little let down in the foreign food department. But Spain was up to something. Everything we put in our mouths- from our fancy dinners to the convenience store fresh empanadas- were delicious. And the seafood was perfect. I even ate a shrimp that had eyeballs still attached. Squirley little eyeballs looking right at me. But I didn't care. We were in Spain, eating good food, and I would be dammed if I would let a little shrimpy eyeball keep me from enjoying the delicious brains within. Ugh, that grossed me out.

Seafood paella.

Lots of tapas.

I play with my food. Or- The Shrimp Have Eyes.
The other hightlight was the Fiesta Major de Gracia, that just happened to coincide with our trip. It. Was. Amazing. One of those things where the whole time you are thinking, "This would NEVER happen in the Sates." Two themes emerged from the pre-fiesta parade- guns and fire. With no concern for the people around. Why not shoot fireworks into a crowd of onlookers? Who's to say we can't randomly, and with no warning, fire musket (blanks) 5 feet away from children? Eardrums, what eardrums? Following the Parade of Multiple Hazards, Husband and I roamed the elaborately decorated sidestreets and marveled at the sense of community pride and the immense effort it must have taken to come together with your neighbors to create such a spectacle. Truly unbelievable. I want to live there. Maybe.

Fire at will!

Fire! Scary Fire!
Don't mind the innocent bystanders.
The stuff of nightmares.

All the decorations seemed to be made of trash/recycled goods.
Mermaids and Pirates- really cool.
Peter Pan looking...tall.
I'm guessing Monsters and Aliens.

Stunning! The decor, that is, not the sweaty girl in front with the swollen ankles.

Now I'm back in Germany, sweating my purdy little face off, as we have entered into the fabled 2 Weeks of German Summer (du du duuuuuuuuun- that was scary music). The weather has been so mild, even downright chilly, and everyone kept warning us about the 2 Weeks of German Summer that was bound to knock on our door any day and leave our airconditioner-less apartments a tepid festering hotbed of swampy heat. Well it has come. Hello. I've been sitting around in a sportsbra and shorts (for you imaginary viewing pleasure) trailing a fan on an extension cord. "Hot mess" doesn't even begin to cover it. But by next week the high temps in the low 90's will be gone and the current low temps in the mid-70's will then be the high temps with the low temps in the low 60's. Just like it should be. Don't get too sassy on me, Deustchland! I'm watching you...

Friday, August 12, 2011

PDA Hell

Sometimes I'm embarrased to be human.

An adult male came into my office today and sat himself down for the long wait-time that was to follow. About 15 minutes later his (girlfriend? wife? mail-order bride?) saunters in and, despite the vast single-user seating options available immediately surrounding the man, she proceeds to sit on his lap. They open up a big expanda-map of Europe. The discuss travel plans in whispers and giggles. I barf a little.


Well, whatever. They are in looove. Good for them. I, too, am in love, so I chalk it up to excitement over being in Europe and just try to keep looking the other way. Well, naturally one can only look the other way for oh-so-long, and eventually the crick in my neck demands I glance in the couple's general direction. 

Oh good, now they are making out. Not just a quick peck here and there, mind, but she is straddling him, he has his hands on her back, and they are engaging in the slow passionate kisses of a couple about to need some private time. Although, one could argue, they already need some private time. What could be more private than a public waiting area? Maybe they still live with their parents.

Time passes, the armourous activities continue, and, if possible, escalate. There is ear nibbling. And audible pet-name calling. Arms are being stroked and I swear I saw a butterfly kiss. Ugh. Luckily my line of site was all above-the-belt, so nothing to report there, but seriously, one can only imagine. The canoodling was unbearable, and the squelchy-kissy-slurpy sounds were more than unsettling. I began to fantasize about what I could do with all the money I would make if I started to secretly film them and sell the video to some unsavory website. You know, should I be inclined to associate with such an industry.

Then, just when I think they can go no further afoul, they unstick from each other momentarily to discipline their unseen children! CHILDREN! As in, "Starla, get your hands off that man's wallet and swat your brother- he's humping the table again!" What do you think family time is like at their home? Keep in mind- she is still sitting in his lap. And now the other customers in the waiting area are starting to just unabashedly stare. Whereas before they were only covertly staring. You know, over the tops of magazines and smartphones and such.

After some time the lady (I don't know, can I call her that?) gets up and leave the waiting area and the guy comes over to my desk and says, "I don't mean to bother you, but can I ask a question..." Uh, it's not the question that's bothersome, bro.

Now, who's gonna sanitize that chair?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Husband is a deal-hunting rockstar.

There is a budget airline here in thrifty Deutschland called Germanwings which offers "blind booking" to major cities. You can choose a certain type of vacation you want (i.e. cultural, adventure, Eastern/Western Europe, etc) and then choose your departure city and dates of travel and it will send you to one of 6-9 options of destination depending on the flight schedules for a paltry 60 euro round-trip. Usually there are 3 or 4 really great options in each category (like Barcelona, Lisbon, Venice, Vienna) and then a few less desirable ones (Leipzig, Dresden, Frankfurt), so you're running about a 50/50 shot of getting a crappy location.

Now let me take this time to say that while my friends and family and millions of strangers in the States are melting their little faces off due to the widespread heat-wave, Husband and I have been huddled together in our little corner of Germany trying to stay warm. The high today was 62. Sixty-two degrees. Fahrenheit. Excluding early April, I don't think we've broken the 80 degree mark all year, and the last few weeks have been downright chilly. Far be it for me to complain (heh), and glory knows I'd rather have a mild summer sans trips to the pool over a sweaty mess of tan worthy temperatures, but I'm starting to feel a little gypped here. So we decided a trip to a beachy place was in order. Husband's a nut for a deal so we went the Germanwings route.

Husband found a way to beat the system.

It took several hours of study and playing around with dates and travel options, and possibly a single bead of sweat, but he managed to guarantee us a trip to Barcelona. Now we just need to find a hotel within the next 3 days and then we will be set for a glorious 5-day beachy vacation. What is the Spanish word for "Huzzah?" 

Hola. Me llamo Guten Allie. Yo quiero la playa. Uno cerveza por favor. Y una margarita. Erm, dos margaritas.

I've been trying to brush up on...ahem..."my Spanish" which, despite 6 years of study, is nowhere near even remedial, but try as I might, I just can't get German words out of my mind. Funny, because when I can't figure out the German word for something I usually default to the Spanish word. Thanks brain. Way to be a team player.

But I'm not concerned. I imagine my mouth will be so constantly full of paella and booze that any attempts at speach in any language will just come out as incomprehensible grunts and morsel-infused flying spittle. It may not be pretty, but that's the way I like it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Best. Husband. EVAR.

And he looks like Patrick Dempsey.

Not Husband.

Apparently I'm the only one who sees it though...which is fine with me. Homie don't need no hoes all up on my mans. Ahem. Sorry. I don't know what came over me.

Anyway, so the story goes like this. Moi, being the working girl/domestic goddess that I am (roll came home from a grueling 4-hour shift and immediately set to task a number of household duties that had since been neglected. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. I'm sure you can just imagine the state of things. A few hours later, Husband came home to a very busy wife doing very busy wifely things for which he seems to sincerely appreciate. Even if that appreciation comes at the oddest moments. Like the mid-dishwashing hug from behind. No one likes the mid-dishwashing hug from behind. Someone else mentioned it not too long ago in a very relatable and likely hilarious post. Was it Confessions of a Corn Fed Girl (?) or maybe Stumbling Towards Perfect? Someone help me out. I'll edit if I'm off base.

Uh...where was I?

Oh yeah, domestic nonsense. Right. I had put a Harry Potter movie on the laptop for some background noise and at some point left the apartment to get the laundry in the creepy storage room. You know, where we do our laundry. Whatever. Husband was busy fixing his computer, a task which is impossible to interrupt due to his uncanny inability to notice the world around him when confronted with electronics, so I just left the movie playing and called over my shoulder that I was headed into the creepy storage room and if I come back covered in dustballs and spiderwebs smelling of old cigarettes and regret he should just pay me no mind. I believe he grunted in response. Which, considering the splay of motherboards and wires and chips (oh my!) surrounding him, was akin to a verifiable gab session. Ah, love.

Harry Potter saves my love life.
So I gather my dry clothes and come back (sans dustballs- huzzah!) and begin folding in the bedroom. Meanwhile, my Harry Potter movie, which I have seen literally hundreds of times, plays on in the other room. I hear Husband get up from his techno-nest and shuffle over the wood floors and then the movie pauses and seems to skip back. From the other room I kind of call to him that he can turn it off if it's bothering him and, startled, he replies that he didn't realize I had come back. Sheepishly, he pokes his head in the bedroom and says he just wanted to rewind the movie for me while I was doing the laundry so I wouldn't miss any of it when I got back.

Be still my beating heart!

Does anyone else see the romance in this? Is it weird that my little heart just melted? Here we have a man who is usually so immersed in his computer-whatzits that he literally wouldn't notice if the house was dismantled and then rebuilt around him using nothing but dog poop and rotten eggs so long as his technology bits weren't fussed, and he took the time to stop what he was doing to rewind a movie I am so familiar with that I could actually recite verbatim in its entirety just so my evening would be a little better. Why, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Total marriage win.