Ein Neue Wir
Ein Neue Wir
A nice semi-raised bed has come together gradually and very nicely over the last year. I’m so happy to go back there and see new leafy green sprouts or shoots. So far, I’ve got several types of mint, rosemary, sage, nasturtium, Italian parsley, fennel, chamomile, thyme, calendula, green onions. There are also some nice things that wouldn’t be classified as herbs, namely pumpkin, gem squash, cucumbers, rhubarb, lamb’s lettuce, potatoes, and sunflower. That’s all in addition to a good run of rapini, arugula, kohlrabi, snow peas, and cilanto/coriander.
It is extremely satisfying to pick flavorful fresh herbs and greens for cooking, snacking, salad, what-have-you, and to smile proudly for having tended the tasties from seed.
Underway in the garden, but not yet big and strong enough to do much with, I have some cumin, caraway, lovage (Bohnenkraut), ramsons (Bärlauch), dill, broccoli, rapeseed, and sorrel. Some will be ready for winter harvest, and some will have to wait till next year.
How exciting to look ahead! How mouthwatering!
Outside of injury/death, there’s nothing that should keep me from completing this; it is a matter of willpower. I don’t need any tools or gadgets, a vehicle or a special place, or even a half hour. I just need myself, my body, a flat surface, and 5 minutes. And discipline.
I jumped in a bit too enthusiastically at the beginning of the year, overestimating my abilities, and straining my poor little belly. This one is not designed to go 0 to 100 overnight.
Over the last month, I’ve comfortably built up from 30/night to 40/night to 60. Last week, I hit 100 and decided (well, didn’t have much choice considering the ticking clock) to go for the gold.
So far, so good.
I’m disappointed. This series had so much potential, and there were so many great stories that could have spun out of it. Instead of being a modern vampire romance with opaque references to other great literary romances (Brontë, Shakespeare, Austen), it became the realization of one woman’s fantasy avatar.
Outside of Bella, ALL of the characters were wooden caricatures with no range, scope, or complexity. Like stock characters in a sitcom or a Warner Bros cartoon, I could always rely on them to fill their part and nothing more. I was disappointed that no one ever emerged from their box and surprised me.
Esme: devoted, tender, virgin mary
Emmett: large goofy jock, grinning, punching, teasing
Alice: bubbly, fashionable, party planner
Rosalie: beautiful, selfish, dour, ice princess
Mike, Tyler, Angela, Jessica, Lauren: cardboard cut-outs of human teenagers
I’ve already knocked the writing. Too many modifiers; too much telling, not enough showing. We don’t need to be spoon-fed. She should have saved all the explicit bang-it-over-your-head descriptions for the screenplay.
At least they were quick reads.
Johann and I sent off a package to his brother & family today !
It was just a sweet simple little thing, ostensibly to congratulate the family on their recent move to a new house in a new town. The box contained two nice children’s books (one in German, one in English), ginger candies, Hawaiian nut body butter, salted caramels, a wood orca puzzle, giraffe-print tights and a nice note with multi-colored thumb-print signatures from our little family. It should arrive in 6-10 days.
We didn’t get our act together to get Christmas packages out, or birth announcements for either of the kids, or happy birthday packages to any of our nephews, or thank you cards… EVER. I’m especially proud that we were able to get something into the mail at all. Maybe the Dark Ages are over?
Putting a unexpected package into the mail is so EXCITING! And sending thoughtfulness off and away gives me nice warm feelings, happiness. I’m actually getting a bit of a rush out of it. This junkie is eager to send some more care packages out, pronto! (Though, knowing our usual track record for that, expectations are low.)
I kept trying to skim down my inbox, but I wasn’t keeping up. And I felt guilty everytime I opened up my email and saw the enormous number of messages. So much so that I often hid out and tried to avoid looking. Obviously they just piled up more. Overwhelming.
So I highlighted them ALL and ARCHIVED them. The act of clicking that button to purge my inbox—what a rush!
I know it’s just a cosmetic thing. They’re all still there. In my email. Unread, unanswered, waiting to be read or deleted or filed away or responded to. But they’re no longer hanging out in the foyer in their hats and coats. Instead, I’ve invited them in to the sitting room: “Have a drink. Make yourselves comfortable, Emails. I may get to you… eventually.”
Green card came in February. Fanfare! The Social Security card about a month later. A few weeks after that, Husband was inundated with a range of different and appealing job offers. As they say, “When it rains, it pours.”
We’re feeling pretty good right now with the legal residency and some money coming in. Now we can pay off debts and begin to build a stable home for our children.
I’ve been spending summer holidays in the Forks area for nearly 25 years, and after seeing the series’ influence on the town, I felt especially obligated to give the first book a read.
It’s page-turning trash; an engrossing book, but very poor writing. It was like the worst parts of Harry Potter, where the kids have hairline trigger emotional reactions to everything and are rolling their eyes and stomping off as a way to communicate irritation. (Actually, you could make the eye-rolling in this book into a drinking game.) I have a list of criticisms and disappointments ranging from the nitpicky (pelicans in the surf? a day trip from Forks to Seattle for shopping? painkillers as a sleep aid?) to more sweeping (Bella’s submissive self-loathing guilt-complex, antiquated and borderline offensive gender stereotypes, superficiality..) I’m irritated that people are stalking this girl, throwing her around, tossing her over their shoulder, driving her around, carrying her places, watching her as she sleeps. And she desperately wants to throw herself under the bus and bustle and cook and clean for the menfolk in her life (Edward, Charlie..) Doesn’t she have any agency? Can’t she take a little charge of herself? Why are all the women in this book emotional, doting, tender, helpless, boy-crazy, and desperate to please their men?
At the same time, I’m eager to read the next book in the series. It’s like getting excited about the second Twinkie in the package. It won’t be good for me, but… yay, more garbage!
15. The Secret of Kells
5. Away We Go
6. Avatar (3-D IMAX)
7. A Beautiful Mind
8. Rain Man
9. Blades of Glory
10. This is Spinal Tap
I jumped right into this goal on 1 January. I did 100 sit-ups! On 2 January, I could barely sit up or roll out of bed. For nearly a week afterward, I felt like I had kicked myself in the gut. And more sit-ups? Huhhhhgh!! just thinking about them.
So, if you’re not already in the habit of doing sit-ups regularly, or if you’ve had a baby in the last 3 months and your abdominal muscles are still on maternity-leave, I recommend working up to the hundred.
Last night, I did 25 sit-ups. Nothing spectacular. Not a big push. But I didn’t regret it the next morning, and felt ready to do more. Maybe in a couple weeks I will be in decent enough shape to take the 100-in-100 plunge.
We had our interview at USCIS. In preparation, we quizzed each other on preferred toothpaste and our plans for the future. Who knew what question they might throw at us? We assembled a binder full of all of the originals that we sent (birth certificates, marriage certificates, tax returns, university records, joint account info, affidavits, photographs, postcards and other correspondence) as well as copies. Everything was labeled and organized. We were over-prepared.
We arrived at USCIS early. A few minutes after our scheduled appointment time, we were called into the office. The man looked over the packet that we had sent in, scanned the forms, the records, the certificates, and the photos. Then he asked us three questions:
“How did you meet?”
“Was it a big wedding?”
“What did you do after the wedding?”
After hearing our story he said, “There is no doubt in my mind that your marriage is legitimate.” He wasn’t interested in our binder, or in the birth certificate of our most recent child. Instead, he went down the list, asking Johann to affirm that he wasn’t a terrorist, spy, felon, polygamist, drug trafficker, Communist, or any other kind of undesirable. When that was through, he got out his big rubber stamp and red inkpad and gave our application a big approval stamp. The Green Card would be in the mail within the month.
1. Highlander – There can be only ONE!!
2. Henry & June – Based on the diaries of Anaïs Nin, following her relationships with writer Henry Miller and his eccentric wife June – played by a young and captivating Uma Thurman. Very sexy movie, about sexy and adventurous people who just cannot seem to avoid drama. Many of the scenes were like fully realized versions of Brassaï’s photos of seedy cafes or the mists of Paris at nighttime. I especially liked the gaggle of old magicians who peppered the film. A very Romantic portrayal of Paris in the 30s. If only we all could have such everyday whimsy and exotica.
4. Julie & Julia – Yeah, I read somewhere (well, many places) that this movie would have been better if they’d just cut out the Julie part and focused entirely on Julia Child. I admit, I could eat up another 2 hours of Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci as the Childs. That would have been a different movie. And full, I’m sure, of great food and wonderful descriptive cooking scenes. I think Amy Adams was fine. She was like Nora Ephron’s Meg Ryan replacement: spunky, cranky, but adorable and sugarsweet. She exactly fit that type. And I think, if you approach this film as the youngest sibling of When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail, you won’t be too disappointed. The one difference is that the central romance revolves around food. Delicious rich Tums-worthy buttery French food. Oh yeah.
As with last year and the year before, my specific desire with this goal is to watch 50 movies that I’ve never seen before. They can be new movies, movies in theatres, black & white classics, or ones that are only 20 years old. There’s no limit to the length or type of movies.
My hope is to broaden my catalog and also discover some dusty gems which aren’t currently topping the charts.
I thought I would create a starter from scratch, tender it like my own child, and pass it onwards. I’ve read of ancient starters passed from generation to generation. I really like thinking about that living culture linking the hands of so many people.
So perhaps it’s even better that
Yet again. I would blame it on the babies, but obviously if I can find/make the time for 6 books, I should be able to find/make the time for 8 books. Or 10 books. Or 15 books. It’s not really a matter of time but rather FOCUS.
I think in 2010 I’m going to lower this goal a tad, but still keep it a stretch. Stretching is good for the body.
The second book in the Emigrants tetralogy. The Swedish immigrants travel west from New York to the Minnesota territory, surviving the long voyage and the difficult winter that follows on the heels of their arrival.
The Swedish emigrant experience in 1850.