All-feeders-sing
("You mean 'Auf Wiedersehen'?")

(May 2004)

 
I have written more than 50 essays since moving to Germany more than three years ago. That is scary. And what it even scarier is that some of you have read all of them.

This time around, it's a whole essay of random thoughts, compiled since my last essay:

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I am frequently asked, "Don't you miss SXSW?" Oh, geesh, where do I begin? I miss it like crazy. I beyond miss it. I miss the music most of all, both the official stuff and the stuff in Yard Dog's back yard or the parking lot of the Austin Motel. I miss too many people stuffed into a booth at Polvo's. I miss the fellowship of hundreds of fellow insane alt.country lovers. I always knew it was special when I was there and experiencing it, but now being thousands of miles away and not being able to partake... stories come up in the major media about it and I just want to cry... at least, for now, I have my memories. If you are really concerned... how about a mix tape of good tunes from the last three years? Please? Please?

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No, I'm not taking or posting many pictures lately. The truth is... I'm fat. No, really, I'm fat. I don't think I'm obese yet, but I'm a very big girl. Which is amazing, as I ride my bike to and from work, and to and from downtown for errands (only four kilometers round trip, but still...). I don't have a car and, other than Stefan driving me to the grocery on Saturdays, I walk everywhere. I don't sit and eat constantly... I guess it's those Beasley family genes finally catching up with me. Sigh. So... I'm not putting pictures up of myself these days. If you want to see me... well, I guess you are just going to have to come visit. Or scroll down.

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You know, one of the things I love about March Madness is that any team, on any given night, can win or lose.

And, you know, one of the things I hate about March Madness is that any team, on any given night, can win or lose.

We didn't do an office pool this year for the NCAA Men's college basketball championships, but three of us (me, a guy at work and my mom) set up a virtual pool on Yahoo. it's oh-so-convient, as it tracks all the games and points for us, and then all we have to do is trash talk on the message board that is provided.

mom is winning. But we all picked KY to win it all, so...

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A friend of mine, Ben, from Arizona (actually, he's Hoosier born) plays on one of the local basketball teams here. His girlfriend, Alexandra, my best friend over here, got a group of us from work to go cheer his team on the day that Kentucky lost (sniff). So it was me, Eduard from Canada, Andrew from Chile, Alex from Spain and Wisam from Sudan. We yelled insults at the opposing players in English, Spanish and Arabic (and prayed the ref didn't understand Spanish when we were yelling YOU HAVE NO BUTT at him). We rehearsed some cheers beforehand as well, so we could be well synchronized during the game. The rest of the attendees, and the players, thought we were hilarious. And, well, we were. And Ben's team won, so, ofcourse, it must have worked. I just wish we could have worked our magic for Kentucky...  

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Earlier the same month, a friend from work suggested a group of us go to an Indian event in Cologne, to eat spicy food (my favorite), groove to Indian music and entertainment, and spend too much money at the Indian bizar (spelling). So about 15 of us met up at the event. It was not what was advertised... the food was bland, there was no bizar, and the entertainment was amateurish and, at times, just plain silly. The entertainment was entirely in Hindi. And only Kolsch to drink (a beer Stefan isn't crazy about). We were the only non-Indians there. And... we all ended up having a great time, because throw us anywhere, and we will make the most of it. We laughed, we bounced in our chairs to the music, and we downed a lot of Kolsch. Some of the female dancers, in their traditional outfits, were actually quite good or, at least, interesting. The young guys kept coming out doing this Bollywood boy band dance number nonsense and we all kept hiding our facing from laughing so hard. Then Adnan, this huge Arab guy who I was scared of when he first started at work (he didn't understand the whole personal space/boundary thing) but I now adore (he's learned a lot) started teaching me new Arab words, and we kept saying them over and over at random moments -- Shee-rah-rah (which means to spark a flame, and it has roughly the same meaning in Hindi) and Ma-rahff-she (which means "I don't know"). So I now know nine or 10 words in Arabic. And with those kind of credentials, I'm sure the CIA will hire me in their intelligence department any time now (as I'm now as about as qualified as the people working for them now).

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So, how many times did I watch the new trailer for Prisoner of Azkaban the day it came out? How many times? How many times? Let me put it this way -- I know it by heart now. June 4 just can't come soon enough.

SQUEEEE!!
**point wand** BANG!
**point wand** BANG!...

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When I was in pre-school, I became OBSESSED with a certain TV show. And my brother Darrell chose to remind me of that recently:

So there I am late Saturday night watching a little tube, scanning the channels. The next thing I know, I am watching with amazement, one of your favorite childhood shows. "H. R. Puffinstuff". Man oh man, Sid & Marty Croft were on some very good stuff. Actually, I think Marty was the only Croft and Sid was his, uh, inspiration.

Charles Nelson Riley........bad guy. (Wow) And what an outfit.

What is it about those crazy kids shows from the 1970s? It was like a continuous drug trip, but without the drugs. Lidsville, Sigmund the Seamonster...

Anyway, me and the bro have lots of food conversations online.

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An inspiration:

Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, and to them, alas! We return.
- E M Forster, from Howard's End, 1910

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Of Faith and Friends

I've been making friends at work take www.beliefnet.com, which has a fun tool called the Belief-O-Matic, a short quiz that matches you to various beliefs based on your answers to a series of questions on how you see the world at work.

The very fascinating results are:

In summary -- we don't always follow our "church's" literal beliefs as closely as we think we do...

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Want to know how many worlds it would take if everyone on Earth lived like you? Take this quiz. I did not do well. My results said, "If everyone lived like you, we would need four planets." Then I retook the quiz, answering the questions the way I would living my ideal life. Only needed two planets for that...

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I'm such a hober girl. I listen to that station all the time. It's via the Internet, and is the only way I can get *my* kind of music here. And once a month, I download links to all of the This American Life radio shows I haven't heard yet. But I've added a new favorite to my Internet radio: Air America!! Every American should be forced to listen. But could they handle the truth?

Are you listening? I am!

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Every night... EVERY NIGHT... there's a channel here that shows episodes of Berndi Das Brot (Berndi the Bread). It's this puppet that looks like a loaf of bread with hands. And he's very depressed. It's a depressed loaf of bread named Berndi. I can't decide if this is a children's show or not. I thought it was awful the first time I saw it. Then stupid. And now I watch it all the time. The same episodes over and over. I just can't turn away...I've learned more German from Berndi than any other source. Other than Bully.

Staying on the subject of TV, I got hold of the latest episodes of Absolutely Fabulous. And it was, ofcourse, Absolutely Fabulous. I tapped into the gay male social scene at work about a year ago, and this is the result -- great tape loans!

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I watch German TV sometimes, just to see what I can figure out. One night, I watched several dogs that have been branded as "dangerous breeds" by the German government taking a required test. At one point, there was a guy in a cape, carrying an umbrella, and playing a children's horn, as he walks by a line of dogs. I guess a dog would flunk if he bit the guy? All I know is that Albi would hide behind me if she saw such a thing...

And speaking of dogs... when the weird high, hazy gray cover over Germany finally went away and the sun was out and things warmed up, Buster was like a different dog -- happy and more bouncy. So we all went to the park outside of where I work, and there were friends there with four dogs and six puppies. Albi was totally gentle with them. It was adorable. Then the dogs all formed a pack and barked at every group of people walking by.

Another weekend, Stefan and I took Albi for a hike into the hills across the river. Since I separate the dogs when I leave, and put Buster in the bedroom, he didn't know she wasn't there in the apartment too, and didn't know he had been left behind -- he's just too old for something like that. We went up a small mountain where, at the top, are some old medieval ruins that were reconstructed by the occupying British army once upon a time. As we sat at the top, looking at the breath-taking view of the Rhine Valley, I said, "Hey, it's my grandfather's 90th birthday!" So I hope he knows that he got celebrated on a mountaintop in Deutschland.

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If you aren't reading AlterNet every day, or at least once a week, you should be.

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So, I've started my fourth course with Open University in pursuit of a postgrad degree. It's called D830 Ecology, Justice and Citizenship. I LOVE it. I never realized how much I was interested in environmental issues. This puts so much background into various environmental issues and theories. If I stop after this, I will have a post graduate degree; if I continue and go for the Master's, I have to decide my next course in July. Part of me wants to go for it, and part of me wants my life back...

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I wish it wasn't true that people of one country have all sorts of incorrecct stereotypes of people from another country but, alas, 'tis true. Here's a post from geek.com:

Oh yah..and when you come to Canada bring guns. We have huge beavers, and herds of bear and moose. Kill as many as you like. It's awesome up here!! Everyone wears animal skins and has pow-wows where we smoke hydroponic weed that is so strong it'll make you hallucinate.

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Erica, originally from Pittsburgh, formerly of Austin, now of D.C., says:

Tom Delay can kiss my ass
And the chorus of amens echoes throughout the USA...

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I am going to start the first King Abdullah II of Jordan fan club. Have you seen him on TV? Like when he goes to one of the schools in Jordan and he sits next to a young girl student and she says, nervously, without even looking at him, and almost in tears, "I'm so proud,", and he says, so softly and gently, "You make our country proud." Or like when he did the joint press conference with the Shrub and, in contrast, was well-spoken, eloquent, and obviously well-aware of the world audience he was speaking to.

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Don't forget! Stefan is planning for his motorbike trip in the USA for May 2005 and he is still in need of some key information! Please read about the info he is looking for, and any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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What's Been Interesting to Me Lately

A reminder: I don't re-check these links or update them. If a link doesn't work and Google doesn't lead you to the new web site, try using the old URL at archive.org

Want to do something in addition to, or, instead of, donating money to help developing countries? Why not volunteer online? You can do so many things -- help an organization use Google to find much needed information, edit a presentation, write an original children's story to be translated into a native language, build a web site... you will be surprised at just how much you can help.

Anne Lowrie has her own web site. Anne is a good friend now living in South Africa -- she's Buster's god mother. We worked together at the Williamstown Theater Festival once upon a time.

The Exorcist Bunnies just completely rock.

May the Force Be With You, Dude

MATT DRUDGE IS SO GAY, WHY DOESN'T HE SAY SO?

Don't have your mouth full of any liquid while viewing these hysterical propoganda posters

If you've never seen Bettie Bowers' web page, you need to check out, "America's best Christian." Her latest bumpersticker is "Gay Marriage already exist. Just ask the first lady of Texas."

Play the Ronald Reagan memory game! (actually, all the kids games are awesome).

For April 1, 2004, this was advertised as Jaclyn Smith nude photos

Why do I love Fark.com? Because its delivery of news summaries is unmatched. For instance: "Bush proposes universal broadband. Bangles and Spice Girls set to compete for title"

Ranking the Rich. The CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 of the world's richest countries according to how much their policies help or hinder the economic and social development of poor nations. Forget that idea of the USA being so big in helping other countries.

Let's all do our part to make sure the man's not re-appointed.

You know, I'm sure you just love it when you come out to your car and there's a bible tract on your windshield, telling you about how Halloween celebrates Satan and all that other disturbing-yet-hilarious nonesense. Well, at www.chick.com, you can find all sorts of these tracts with the intent to save your heathen soul (but, in reality, I would guess the majority of visitors and having a big laugh). Many of these tracts are anti-catholic: one says that if you take communion in the Catholic Church, it's actually a wafer of Satan. In honor of that, on a We're-All-Gonna-Burn-In-Hell-'Cause-Of-Harry-Potter online fan group I'm a part of, someone wrote the following, and I fell off my chair:

Hope you will consider becoming an online volunteer and providing your time and expertise to help organizations working in and for the developing world. This terrific free service is brought to you and the world by the United Nations, about which I have many feelings.

More soon...

If you have read this blog, PLEASE let me know. Comments are welcomed, and motivate me to keep writing.


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