27 March 2012

I swear

No, really, I do. Or maybe "cuss" is the better word- the cutesy-but-appropriate word, because I don't really "curse", but prefer the euphemistic terms, generally. You know, "sheesh" and "flippin'" and "blinkin'". But I do like my expletives. They have to have some good sibilants or plosives to make them work. Try hissing out that "shshshshss!" at the beginning and end of "sheesh" when you're really frustrated, and you'll know what I mean. It's a much more satisfying sound than, say, "mommmm". Cracking out a "p" or "k" sound, like in "crap!" works too. Well, I suppose that one already crosses the line into "hard core swearing", which, I'll admit, I've been known to do, too, in moments of extreme provocation.

The funny thing is, though, that for my personal expletive satisfaction the word doesn't even have to mean anything, per se. I don't need shock value, just a good sound combination. My favourite word for the purpose is the Swabian "Heideneinomal!" which means nothing-at-all (no, it doesn't mean "nothing-at-all", it means nothing. At all.). Although I'm sure it had its origin in some profanity, probably something to do with "heilig" (holy), but that's not why I use it. It just sounds kind of neat- try it, "high deny no mall!" and sort of slur it together, and then huff it out in one go. Works, doesn't it? The ultimate expression of exasperation.

That picture up there, that's my tray of butterhead lettuce and onion seedlings, about half an hour ago. I carried it to the sink, gave it a good soaking, and when I took it back to the seedling shelf, it buckled in the middle. SPLAT! That rated a good, long, very loud "AyayayayayayayayaYAI!" If they had been more impressive seedlings, something a little stronger in the expletives line might have been warranted. As is, some of them were saved, so we'll see if they still turn into anything. On the upside, some of the dirt splattered about six feet away from where the tray hit. That has got be some kind of record, doesn't it? Olympic Seedling-Dirt Splattering. The heats are immediately after the Creative-Swearing ones, on Tuesday afternoon.

AtDollarPercentAmpersandNumberSymbol, I say!

20 March 2012


I'm beginning to see a pattern. Take a look at that picture I've posted there. Yup, that's the end of a tube of sweet Bavarian mustard which I brought from Germany; you absolutely have to have that stuff to eat Weisswurst with. We've got a great German butcher here in town (No, he doesn't butcher Germans! He is German. Sheesh.) and he makes good Weissw├╝rste. He's not Bavarian, but his Weisswurst is still quite good; definitely much better than the not-Weisswurst I'd otherwise get to eat. One Expat-Northern-German-made Weisswurst in the hand is worth two Bavarian-made ones in the bush, especially if the bush is a genuine Bavarian one, say, in Munich, and therefore a long, long ways away.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Weisswurst! No, not Weisswurst. Weisswurst mustard. More specifically, the tube it came in, which I'm really only showing you for one reason: the pattern on it. That blue-and-white diamond pattern, that spells "Bavaria". It supposedly is symbolic for the blue sky over the country with white clouds on it, although in the ten years I lived there I never did see diamond-shaped clouds. But what do I know, I was a foreigner, from not-Bavaria (after a whole decade there I was barely more than a tourist who chose to stay an extra few days). Anyway, the blue-and-white diamonds, that's the pattern that means Bavaria. Got that? Good.

Because it really hasn't got all that much to do with what I was going to talk about.

What I meant to say was that I'm beginning to see a pattern in my blog posting habits. I'm dropping off. Last year this time, in April, to be precise, I even decided to wrap up, and quit blogging for a while, because I got so slack. And here I am, approaching April, and dropping off again. It's sort of like the graphs they print on the natural gas bills, showing you how much gas you used to keep your house toasty and get your bath water nice and hot. There's always a huge spike in the winter months, and then it drops off in the summer. Now, oddly enough, it seems my blogging habits also show this drop in the spring time.

I wonder why that is. Of course, the immediate reason that springs to mind is that my blog, like my house furnace, mostly blows hot air. However, I resist that explanation (Steve doesn't think it's true; so there! I'm going to believe my bear on that).

The other and more pleasant-to-believe explanation is that with Spring Equinox, you have a couple of things coming together: the end of a long, dark winter, which takes the Oomph out of you, and the increased need to invest what little is left of said Oomph in the up-and-coming projects. The garden is starting to wake up, in spite of all the snow the weather keeps dumping on us; not only the crocuses are sending up shoots, but the spring onions and chives are rearing their spiky little heads, and poking me to remind me that I need to start thinking about seedlings. And then there's the fact that the increased daylight really shows up all those dust bunnies and cobwebs that were so easy to ignore in the romantic candlelight of the Christmas season. I'm doing my best to continue to ignore them, but the struggle is becoming harder.

No, darlings, I'm not going to quit blogging again. But judging by last year's pattern, I might just slack off for a bit. So don't hold it against me, will you? Like my seedling-growing endeavors, this blog is supposed to be fun. I don't want it to become another dust bunny in my life, staring me in the face, accusing me of neglected labour. And you don't want it to be that, either; dry dust-fluffy blog posts would probably just make you sneeze. Let's keep them fresh, green, and spring-oniony, with a lovely bite, shall we?

Life, the Universe, Weisswurst and Patterns. Until next time then!

13 March 2012

Human Barometer

I don't even know how this works. See, this morning I woke up (too early, but at least it wasn't 3:00AM) to find it had snowed again in the night. Snow. With just a week to go to Equinox. Hello?!? So, I wasn't happy. Dragged my butt for most of the morning, in fact. Bleah, blah, blrgh. Life's too much; can't handle the work I have to do; so tired. Around noon, I had me a sandwich, dragged myself off to bed, and had a nap.

And woke after twenty minutes or so to literally bounce up, cheerful and optimistic. Why? Because the sun had come out. Bright blue sky, most of the snow melted off, and glorious light pouring in the window. Well, the kitchen window, anyway - my bedroom faces West into the mountain, it doesn't often get direct sunlight. And that's my point: I didn't even see that sunshine until I had got out of bed. I felt better just because the sun came out, even though I hadn't seen it yet.

Now, I'm sure there's something highly metaphorical in that, but that's not what I'm after. What I'm wondering is how it works. This is by no means the first time that's happened to me, that I felt gloomy to match the weather, and as soon as the sun comes out, the gloom dissipates right along with the clouds. Oh yes, I'm fully aware of the benefits of sunlight on moods - I've even got one of those bright-light lamps that help you survive the dark months here on the 50th Parallel. But with those lamps, the light has to shine on your eyes - in other words, you have to see it for it to help. To treat SAD, they recommend going for a walk outside every day, and don't you dare wear sunglasses. So how can the sun coming out during my nap, when I've got my eyes closed in a room facing away from direct sunlight, have that same effect?

I figure I must be some sort of human barometer. Don't you think that's feasible? I mean, if those air pressure systems have the power to move around massive quantities of water in the sky (incognito under the name of "clouds"), they probably have some sort of influence on all that water that's sloshing around in my veins. Even my brain, I hear, is made up of about 75% H2O. Maybe with low air pressure, it's all pushed to the sides of the skull, and those little critters that live inside my head and are supposed to make me feel happy get really thirsty. Or something. Oh, fine, call them neurotransmitters if you wish- but I think there's probably a whole lot more about the human body that we don't know than that we know, so who knows, there could be some happy-brain-critters that we just haven't found out about yet.

Oh, and I did go for a walk, outside, without sunglasses, after that nap. I couldn't resist. And you know what? The crocuses are blooming.

Life, the Universe, and Human Barometers. May your happy-brain-critters stay well hydrated.

08 March 2012

Returning On A Jet Plane

Steve and I just got back from a week in Germany, visiting with family. Well, Steve didn't do much visiting; he mostly sat on my bed being fluffy. It's what he does best. And so here I am, sitting up at 4:00 AM, with jet lag. Did I mention I hate jet lag? No? Then I'll mention it: I hate jet lag.

Oh, but look, here's a fancy definition of it: "Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body's circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on a jet airplane. It is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders." Desynchronosis - ooh! And circadian rhythm sleep disorder - whooee! Now I feel like Somebody, having that. I still hate being up at 4:00 AM with it, though, even if it's got a fancy name.

Steve, of course, feels no such affliction; he's snoring his woolly snores on my bedside table. Yes, stuffed-bear snores sound exactly like their non-snores (very, very quiet). Which is why they're restful people to have around. Mind you, for all I know, he's not snoring, but telling Horatio all about his adventures in the Old Country (it's a bit hard to tell with stuffed animals). You want to know what those adventures were? I have no idea; how should I know what my stuffed bear gets up to when I'm not looking? I was too busy visiting, and eating, and going into the city to do shopping and sightseeing (and eating), to pay attention to bearly adventures. But that's all to the good; stuffed bears tend to get self-conscious when they're watched too much.

Life, the Universe, and Jet-lagged Ramblings. I'll be more coherent when my circadian rhythms have attained the state of resynchronosis.