Freakshow alert

So I was going to post about what’s going on in Louisiana with my Uncle Huddy, but I don’t think it’s really appropriate and it’s been really draining and sad so I’ll save you all the drama and just note that I’m doing ok, he’s getting better (I think) by the day and I hope by the time I leave here, I’ll have no reason to worry about him or his heart or any of this.  But for now, I’d like to focus on something that’s not serious, to get my mind off things for a half hour. 

I’ve been watching some American TV this week (which for the most part is AMAAAAAZING) and then I ran across this, which is why today’s post is entitled FREAKSHOW ALERT, which actually doesn’t begin to cover my thoughts on this.  Please do me a favor and check out today’s topic on this daytime talk (housewife) show, “The Drs”.  Today’s feature is called Cuddle Time and holy good fuck, this makes me feel awkward. 

Please, please click on this site to read up on what I’m talking about.  http://www.cuddleparty.com/  I’m horrified.  Reach out and touch someone?  Cuddly, not doing the nasty?  Hug someone?  EKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK (I’m gagging again).  Is this serious?  They are sponsored…as in if you want people around the world to cuddle, donate money now.  What the hell.  I don’t understand.  If you have more than two people rolling around on the floor, reaching out and stroking each other, you either have an orgy or you have experimentation with ecstasy and this claims to be neither, which both bores me and freaks me out.  THAT MEANS THEY ARE JUST CUDDLING.  I am so confused. 

I love a good cuddle here and there but I’m not going to lie on a rug in front of strangers, rolling around and asking permission to stroke someone’s hair or spoon them.  This is creepy.  And they claim (proudly) that no alcohol or nudity is involved which just makes the whole thing stupid.  People are paying some mediator to let you act like it’s 1pm nap time in kindergarten.  If you’re not getting anything out of it, like a good feel or a glance at some good-looking person’s goodies (I’m going to take a huge leap here and guess that there are no good-looking people involved in these things), then I’m not sure why you can’t just join a support group.  I hear they hug in public too.

Oh, and there are rules.  How perfect.  Wouldn’t want to fuck up a good spoon session with strangers.  My god.  Here are the rules.  The sarcastic comments will be mine.

The Rules

WHAT TO WEAR: Pajamas – nothing too risqué. Think more comfy than sexy. (More drawstring, less lace! No shorts.)  (think frumpy)

WHAT TO BRING: A pillow or stuffed animal if you like. Juice or sparkling cider is always welcome. Sorry, no liquor folks. Otherwise, just bring your smiling self.  (WHY THE HELL ARE THESE ADULTS BRINGING AROUND STUFFED ANIMALS??  SPARKLING CIDER?  My god.  Bring Curious George, your juice boxes and your pretty teeth!  I hate these people)

STICK TO THE RULES:

  1. Pajamas stay on the whole time.  (do not under ANY circumstance flash anyone)
  2. You don’t have to cuddle anyone at a Cuddle Party, ever.  (wtf.  if you are there to cuddle, you better be cuddling the fuck out of every person in that room.  It better be like musical spooning and I don’t want anyone wasting time)
  3. You must ask permission and receive a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific in your request as you can.) (Can I hug you?  Yes.  Can I spoon you from behind?  Yes.  I like your fuzzy pjs.  Thanks.  I like your doll you brought.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH This is making me sick.)
  4. If you’re a yes, say YES. If you’re a no, say NO.  (What if I’m a tease?  I guess No can’t mean Yes here?  No mind games allowed?  This cuddle party is for amateurs.  I hate this.)
  5. If you’re a maybe, say NO.  (Fine.)
  6. You are encouraged to change your mind anytime you want.   (God forbid you get mid-cuddle and freak the hell out and want to go sit by yourself in a chair and just watch.  I hear watching a good hug session is HOT.)
  7. Respect your relationship agreements and communicate with your partner.   (I don’t think you can use the word partner if you aren’t inserting something into someone else or getting it yourself.  I hate this website.)
  8. Get your Cuddle Lifeguard On Duty or Cuddle Caddy if you have a question or concern or need assistance with anything during the Cuddle Party. (WHAAAAAAAAAAT.  WHY WHY WHY would anyone have a Cuddle Caddy and WHY IS THERE A LIFEGUARD ON DUTY?  Is there a chance that someone is going to drown of intense cuddling/smothering. )
  9. Tears and laughter are both welcome. (If someone randomly cried openly to me just because we were cuddling, first I would check to make sure their dick was still attached and second I would punch them and get up and either 1. leave or 2. drink something.  Then I would call my sister and we would mock them and laugh really loudly, on purpose.  That is just weird and really ehhh, just really weird.)
  10. Respect people’s privacy when sharing about Cuddle Parties and do not gossip.  (God forbid anyone says anything about Sharon’s fuzzy footy pjs or Mike’s Care Bear he brought with him.  Of course I’m going to gossip but it’s called shit talking where I’m from and it’s going to be in your face and that’s what you get for being there in the first place and bringing things from the toy store.)
  11. Arrive on time.  (Don’t make us wait to hold each other’s hands.)
  12. Be hygienically savvy.  (Why bother.  You’re not going to come in contact with anything good so who needs to shower. Ugh.)

So in case you are a little slow today, yes, looks like a bunch of hippies are behind this, which is fair, but only if in place of alcohol, you can at least smoke a bong.  That would make sense.  Otherwise, I think these people live at home with their parents, need some stimulation (of the sexy kind, most likely) and some therapy.  And I don’t like this at all, in case I didn’t make that very clear.  In fact, just knowing this exists and then commenting on it just made me want to go have myself relations in which I teach someone a lesson and there is NO CUDDLING involved. 

Now where is my whip and stop hugging me.

Dirty south

Due to a family issue, I am heading to the dirty south for the weekend. Bought my ticket at midnight and am on a flight 11 hours later…will be meeting Katie in Hotlanta (haven’t seen her in 5 MONTHS) and then we are going to take care of some Smith business in Louisiana for the weekend.

Be back in germany 0900 Monday.

Life happens.

Why I don’t write romance…

I didn’t think I was going to post tonight because I was feeling especially quiet tonight, but then after some tea, a little Timbaland “Morning after Dark” and some online writing research, I found I have plenty to say. 

I don’t know who has been writing romance novels these days (outside of Danielle Steele, she’s old school awesome) but you’d think it wouldn’t take a genius, at least not for those paperback versions, housewife porn, or whatever they’re passing for these days.  Unless you’re a few things: awkward, a prude or are your jage has been collecting dust, or the horror, all three combined.  I would assume that if you can screw, you can write about it. 

So I’m working on a new piece that is supposed to involve some sort of love story and some sexy time and so I’m in the middle of writing it and I get stuck.  I’ve got the essentials down…guy falls for girl, tension ensues, cue the cold rain scene, time stops, toss in some vodka,  a dark alley, and twisted sheets with the rising sun and fuck, you’d think I’d have it all but then jeeez,  I’m stuck.  I have to get the wet naked people to the hotel bed and make them look sexy and I don’t suppose I’ve ever pulled that trick off and so how the hell am I going to make fake people master something I’m sure I’ve never done myself?  My episodes would probably be more comic book appropriate because I am so very awkward sometimes.  Like laughable awkward.   I like to think it’s cute. 

  So, the funny, dysfunctional, sad…I think I can do those.  Make others hot in the pants?  Don’t  know, never tried.  Figured there had to be an expert out there somewhere and ugh, I haven’t found one.   The things I did find?  That are really entertaining….

1.  Don’t make organs sound too clinical.  Organs?  I feel like I’m in biology class.  I suppose in real life I stick with dick, cock, and anteater, all depending on who I’m talking to and what I’m talking about.  I think from what I’m reading, I’m being told those are too clinical.  What is suggested instead is manroot, velvet sheath, hot rod, throbbing flesh and anything that starts with the word “bulging”.  WHAT?  What the hell?  When would I ever use any of those in a sexy conversation? There isn’t enough gin in this world to make me grab or talk about anyone’s manroot.  Ekkkkkkkkk (that’s me gagging)

2. Do have sexual tension.  I’m confused.  I thought this was a given. Remind me if I’m wrong or out of practice but isn’t that called The Chase?  Isn’t this why most people end up bedding each other?  (I love the phrase ‘bedding someone’  lately, who knows why)  Oh, I bet I can do sexual tension.  I’ve given the sex eye a time or two in my life.  Can’t wink, but sex eye, sure.  Game on.

3.  Use Dialogue.  Ok, this is something I’ll admit that I”m not great at.  I don’t ever do this in my regular writing, unless I have to.  I prefer to just narrate things and stream of consciousness it.  Not so great and the back and forth chit-chat.  Take the example I found online below….I’m not judging this book or the actual exchange, really, but oh good god.  This isn’t something I’d write.  Is this what people say to each other behind closed doors? 

(disclaimer:It’s not the author below that’s I’m judging, It’s the character…keep that in mind so someone doesn’t get all pissy with me and sue me)

“You wanna get together?” he asked in a low voice that had her wanting to melt on the floor until she became nothing more than a puddle at his feet.

Managing to swallow past the baseball lump in her throat, she choked out, “To do what?”

He shrugged. She wanted to reach back, carefully unlace the leather strap holding his hair in place and touch him.

“I don’t know. Bake cookies. Read Arabian Nights. Watch old movies.”

Maybe it was foolish or childish, but she couldn’t help asking, “Are you serious?”

“Why not?” he said on a roguish grin that made her dizzy with her own desire. “I haven’t had a good cookie in a long time.”

She was reading into it. His tone wasn’t downright lewd. Was it? God, she was so excited, she was afraid her heart would beat right out of her chest…or she’d do something stupid like throw herself into his arms and scream, “I love you, I love you, I love you!!!”

“You know how to bake, don’t you?”

Wendy laughed slightly. “I make a mean chocolate chip,” she told him, breathlessly bold.

“Mhm. My favorite. The whole bag of chips, right?”

His arm slid down and then his fingers tangled with a strand of her hair.

Oh now! Just take me now. Pick me up in your arms and take me to your cave. I surrender.

“But of course.”  (taken from Reluctant Hearts by Karen Wiesner )

THE WHOLE BAG OF CHIPS, RIGHT????????? WHAT?  Did he say that? Oh, wow.  I tried to picture me in that situation, which is what I like to do during sexy scenes in movies or books-picture myself as the heroine, of course.  First of all, she knows “to do what?”  We always know what “to do what” means.  Does “do” have a new meaning?  Bake cookies?  Meaning cookie is code for snatch?  Ugh.  If someone offered to bake cookies with me, my first thought would not be, I love you, I love you, I love you.  It would be, I’m not a Keebler Elf.  Make your own goddamned cookies and take off your pants while you’re at it. 

 I can’t even finish this post.  The bag of chips thing was too much.

Operation Unapologetic Moxie

This weekend I’m really excited about a project I’m working on, and I’m hesitant to tell anyone about it until its  finished, but I then I figured that in telling people, it’d keep me motivated and hold me accountable.  So….OPERATION UNAPOLOGETIC MOXIE!!

Not Moxie my dog, featured here, looking as pretty as ever.  Unapologetic Moxie, my new website, will be at www.unapologeticmoxie.com, when it’s done–hopefully next week. So hooray!  My very first domain name.  How fantastic. 

The main purpose of the site is to host “The Chronicles” and display my writing samples, the pictures I take and maybe an “All things Heather” page, which I think I’ll work on tonight.  I don’t have anything to sell and the only thing I’m an expert on is all things random, belligerent and inappropriate, so  I’m sure the site initially seems narcissistic and shallow to a lot of people, which I get, but that’s not the purpose.  The purpose is a push on my part to actually create a ME brand so that I don’t have to work for other people for the rest of my life and instead I can be a slave to myself, my pencils and blank sheets of paper.  I want to finish this book I’ve been working on.  And this time I’m serious.

So, I didn’t intend for this post to be an explanation of my new site.  I instead just wanted to explain the name of the site, Unapologetic Moxie.  I was explaining it to a friend the other day and in doing so, I realized people might think I’m obsessed with my dog, which yes, is a true story–but not the case here. 

In the spring of 2008, I decided I wanted a dog of my own and started a search for the perfect companion.  I don’t do puppy stores and we work too much and socialize too much to be fair to a puppy, so we decided on a shelter hunt.  We looked for a while, looking for shibas and chows and then in the end, another Australian Cattle dog, figuring it would really be the only breed of dog that Dante wouldn’t eat in one bite (he’s really out of control, that one).  And so then we saw a picture of her and I knew she was probably the one.  I went to the HART dog show near Dulles and found her almost instantly.  She was beyond shy and petrified, making no eye contact and sitting in one spot, shaking and refusing to leave Nancy, the woman who had been taking care of her for two months while they looked for a home for her.   

We introduced her to Dante, which is a frightening experience in itself, as there is always an 89% chance that he might lunge straight for a neck, or at the very least give a good face chomp.  (he’s really so sweet, though.)  Neither of them seemed to care about the other.  Nancy encouraged me to walk her, get to know her, see if she took to me.  She didn’t.  She didn’t want anything to do with anyone but Nancy.  Nancy walked away, Moxie cried and watched her, ultimately ripping out of her own leash to run off and chase her.  I was unhappy and jealous and started to pout.  Why didn’t she LIKE ME LIKE THAT?  I was irrational, having just met her, but I’ve never had that bond and I wanted it.  While we waited and stalked my new best friend, the HART people told me this little dog’s story. 

She came to them after being found in an alley, I think in West Virginia.  She had a shattered pelvis, broken in three places, couldn’t walk and they thought she had either been kicked by cattle or hit by a car.  Upon bringing Mox in for x-rays, the vet found that Moxie had a stillborn baby in her, which would explain why she was so sad, why she hoarded toys, why she was so territorial, even when in pain.  She didn’t understand that her baby was gone, maybe because it was still inside her.  She was on bed rest for six weeks in a foster home, where she had a few unexplained seizures and did her best to play with the other dogs.  “We’re not sure if anyone will ever take her,” they told me.  “People don’t typically take dogs with seizure problems and her hips won’t ever be as good as new.  People like dogs that can run, and Moxie won’t ever be able to run like other dogs.”  A looked at her and felt so sad for her.  She was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen and I didn’t care if she couldn’t run fast–neither could I and people like me.  I would take her home when she was ready and we’d be new friends.

  And so I stayed there, for about four hours, trying to walk her, just sitting with her, and petting her, saying her name, which at the time was Mitzi, which wasn’t very fitting, considering that name I think is typically just reserved for blue haired, card playing old women who smoke unfiltered menthols, wear bangle bracelets and smack gum while wearing lipstick named “Cotton Candy.”  She wasn’t a Mitzi.  At the start of hour five, the volunteers came over to me and asked me if I’d like to take her home, at first for a trial, but then for longer, if the dogs got along and if I didn’t find her to be much trouble.  And so we bought her a big girl bed and a leash and she sat in the front with me, shaking the whole way back to Old Town. 

The first two months were terrible for her.  In her first weeks, I was sure we’d have to bring her back.  She stood alone in a corner for days straight, crying and shaking, just staring and refusing to be touched.  She didn’t come, she didn’t sleep, didn’t eat.  She just stood, shook and looked so sad.  I tried hugging her and she’d snap and growl and turn away from me.  One night, after a long night of cocktails, I pulled her up on the couch with me and tried to cuddle with her under a blanket.  She bit me in the face, made my cheek bleed, making me cry like a drunk girl and she hopped off the couch.  She hated me.  I told Chris if she bit me on the face again, she’d have to go back.  I like this face and she apparently didn’t and that was just not going to work out for us. 

Then we went on vacation to Costa Rica, leaving the dogs with friends.  We came back to find that Moxie had hurt herself while we were gone, they weren’t sure how, but she couldn’t walk, was crying in pain and no one knew what to do.  I brought her to the emergency vet and was told an hour later that Moxie had shattered a disc in her back, and without back surgery, she’d have to be put down, as she’d never be able to walk again and the pain would be too much for a dog so small and so young.  I felt like I had been knocked down again and was devastated. 

I had just named her Moxie before we left for vacation and I named her Moxie for a reason (finally connecting this story to my website, i know).  My dad had died six months before I found Moxie, and in a sense, she was a replacement.  She was something I could love and take care of, she would stay and never leave me and I would be the same things to her in return.  This probably sounds insane, now reading it, as this is the first time I’ve sat down to write this in full….But that was my truth for the time being.  I was lost without my father.  I was angry and resentful and helpless and scared and not much mattered to me at the time, but this new dog mattered to me and I felt happy when I saw her, something I hadn’t felt for a few months.   I looked up names for her in books and on websites and nothing seemed to fit.  She seemed like a Foxie or a Roxie, but neither was quite right and then it hit me. 

Growing up, my father used to tell us something (a lot of things, actually, but just this one thing for the purpose of this story) that stuck with me, and after he died, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  He told my sister and me over and over again, “The Smiths have moxie, girls.  Remember that.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you different or take it away from you.   We have moxie and we stick together, because we’re Smiths.”  It never meant anything to me when he said it when I was young.  But after he died, it meant far too much to me, but by then, it was too late. 

Moxie: The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. Pep. Vigor.

She would be Moxie.

By this point, there was no way I could let her die too, knowing this one wasn’t my fault, but not caring all the same.  She would have her back surgery and she would come home and she would be my Moxie and we would be just fine.  And so she did.  The shelter ended up paying the $5k for her surgery and two days later, I went to visit her at the hospital.  She was in a room by herself, bundled up in a baby’s blanket, an IV in her arm and her back shaved and sewn up tight.  She saw me and perked up, the very first signs she even knew who I was or cared, and I was happy.  I sat with her for an hour, hugging her and talking to her and crying, because I was seriously losing my mind over this little dog that was now the center of my world.  I couldn’t go back for the rest of the week.  It was too painful to see her so sad and so helpless.  I was the first one there, though, to greet her when they let her come home. 

She wasn’t using her back legs when they released her, and they warned me she might never walk again–a complication of the back surgery.  I was sure she would.  I walked her to the car, her back legs being held up in a sling, telling her it’d be ok…we’d fix her up and she’d be good as new.  And we did.  I walked her every day in that sling and kept her in her cage as long as I could, but by then, she was beyond affectionate.  I was her new favorite person.  She felt safe with me and I had helped fix her and now it was me she ran to (hobbled) and it was me she couldn’t stand to be more than two inches from and she kissed my face all the time, usually as she planted herself on my chest, not caring that she blocked the tv or made it tough to breathe.  I didn’t complain, though.  She was exactly what I had hoped for and I was just happy to have her home.

She doesn’t run in a straight line–her hips swing from side to side and she trots, like she isn’t sure which animal she is.  She backs up at top speed, also not in a straight line, probably because her hips are crooked still, which I tell her every day makes her special. 🙂  She is pushy about cuddling with me on the couch at night and she hops in place when she’s excited.  She snorts like a pig when she’s happy and when scared, she drops to the floor and curls up like an armadillo.  She follows me everywhere, and I can’t complain, really, because I’d be sad if she didn’t.  I love, love, LOVE her.

And so that is Moxie…her story and my reasons for the “Moxie” part in the website name. 

And Unapologetic?  Well, that’s just who I am.  Life is too short to strive for perfection.  Besides, the perfect are never happy.  Instead, I want an utterly chaotic, colorful, brilliantly imperfect life.  That is something I can be proud of. 

And so there you have it….Operation Unapologetic Moxie.   Coming soon!

A day of good timber…

So today we opted to stay home and do yard work, instead of driving south to Lake Bodensee for the day.  It was 50s and breezy but overcast for most of the day, and if I’m going to go to the lake, I want it to be warm and sunny.  And so we stayed and tended to the yard and the flowers and the overgrow brush that grows far too fast here. 

It felt nice to be outside, working in the yard, smelling of coconut sunscreen and going gloveless as I ripped the earth from the ground, with music blaring in my ears and the sun beating down on my shoulders.  I’ve been a bit down since losing my Nana recently, considering each family loss I’ve had in recent years comes with a level of dysfunction and sadness that’s often tough to bounce back from.  It was a good thing to be outside today, working and releasing a lot of pent-up energy and regret I had tucked away in the past few weeks.  A little hard work is good for the soul….

 And I love doing yard work, sweaty and red-cheeked as I jump on shovels and hack at the earth with hoes and picks.  I love cutting the grass and then walking on it with bare feet, smelling it sweet and lush and feeling its soft cushion tickle my feet as it slips between my newly pink  toes. 

I love planting and potting and digging and watering, pruning and clipping, bagging and hauling.   Working outside is honest and rewarding and simple and peaceful and each time I come in from spending hours outside, working and relaxing, I remind myself of how I take all this for granted sometimes. 

I’m not much for city life and today was a perfect example of why I’m just happy to be here, in Germany, enjoying the weather and the country and all the things that come with it. 

Being outside all afternoon made me think of another poem I love and for me this week, it’s very fitting.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good timber does not grown in ease. 

The stronger wind, the stronger trees,

The farther sky, the greater length:

The more the storm, the more the strength:

By sun and cold, by rain and snows,

In tree or man, good timber grows. 

–Edna Groh

 

Inspiring riddles…

Tonight I’m spending the night in my office, alone with sweats and tea and a new project and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve been a little distracted lately, a lot sick, and I need an outlet for my energy and the endless hours I’ve had to just daydream.  An idle mind is lots of trouble, you know….

And this not going out, healthy living,  is actually fantastic and is really working out in kicking off spring. 

Spring.  Not my favorite season, but I’m all for new beginnings, the sprouting of green, and the flowers, yes, I love the flowers.  What I also love is this poem, “The Riddle of a Strider”, from The Lord of the Rings.  I don’t love the movie and I didn’t even know it was from the movie, but I love it all the same.  And so when I found it today, tucked in a book, I thought to post it.   I’m not sure why, exactly, but when I read it, it gave me that stirring of inspiration–or maybe that was just me being woozy again.  Either way, I thought I’d share. 

The Riddle of a Strider

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

 

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken:

The crownless again shall be king.

Freedom!

 This is me, today, not in the hospital.  After leaving the Krankenhaus, I went to Wiel der Stadt, a village by my house that has pretty flowers and a great grocery store.  It is sunny, 60s and breezy, and I am happy. 

And so now I will spend the rest of the afternoon drinking iced Nescafe, outside, answering work email and breathing fresh air into my (still) fragile little lungs.  I have orders to be home from work until April 19 (fantastic!) and would say it’s slightly excessive, if not for the fact that it was followed up with, “We’re serious.  We wouldn’t want you to have a setback and be back in here next week.”  Oh good god, no, we don’t want that. 

And so I have no random thoughts for the day.  Just sun, relaxation and welcoming myself back into the real world.

the TB report, Results

I am TB free! This is good for a few reasons–they can’t keep me here for a month longer, it proves I haven’t been banging convicts or licking poles, and I don’t have to go steroids for six months, though I was willing to take part in that experiment for no other reason than boredom.

The white coats came in at 7am to give me my medicine and tea. At 8am they came back again, for more blood, which has me under the impression that I’m being used to feed Germanic vampires, but then again, maybe I’ve just seen too much True Blood. The blood giving went all wrong, as it always does. The more they jabbed, the more I started to sweat. After ten minutes of finding no veins, I knew what I was in for. I could feel it in my throat. My ears popped and I could see the blackness and with one more jab to the top of the hand, I threw up my tea on the table and passed out. Then I cried like a sally and put myself back to bed.

This is really getting old. I look like I have track marks. My hair looks like birds live it in and you’d think a tb hospital stay would be a great jump start to bathing suit season but those blasted peanut butter cups I’ve stashed have limited my loss to seven pounds, which any old flu could have managed. Boo.

At the very least, my liver is confused but ecstatic. Selfish liver, considering its one month til spring(beer)fest…ugh.

That’s all for now…

the TB report, Sunny Monday edition

Regardless of the fact the I’m STILL in the hospital, the birds are chirping, the sun is making its way through the clouds, the Sox won on opening day, and I’m still kicking in the TB ward. And so happy Monday.

I’m doing my best today to stay positive, as I was told this morning I’m probably not leaving before Thursday and even then, I’ll be home for at least 1-2 weeks recovering. Really? I’m lazy’s biggest cheerleader but jeez. 2 more weeks of this? I need to get out. I HATE to be contained.

I want iced coffee (big dreams here, in the land of no ice) and I want flip flops (toe painting was last thursday’s craft of the day) and I want to get in my car, turn up the music (kings of leon) and go to the coast and keep the windows down. I want to wear cotton skirts that blow with the wind and barely there tank tops, sans undergarments (I hate them). I want my skin to tighten and sting with salt and goose bumps all over from seas yet to be warmed. I want to sun my milky skin and see freckles and pink cheeks in the reflection of a bar that serves wicked mojitos until the sun comes up.

Those are things I want. What I have is my sweats, my ipod, my sock-boots, my little hospital bed, the patience if a five year old and an imagination that is insatiable, colorful and tormented.

And so I’m teaching the German nurses about the American way. So far I’ve introduced them to peanut butter cups, thin mints, cheez-its and Robert Pattinson (who I actually think is a Brit, but they don’t know him or the difference). Yesterday I was very excited about opening day and so I gave them a crash course on my favorite rivalry, Sox v. Yanks. It was lost on them, though. I won’t be talking baseball anymore in the tb ward.

I told them about Maine, which to them could have been Narnia, about the beaches and the woods and one made a snapping claw and I rewarded her with a peanut butter cup and said, Loooob-ster, slowly and with a look of importance. I take lobster seriously. Nurse Maggie shouted, “oh! Lobster!” With a look in her eye of longing, and I understood instantly when she said, “30 years ago I tried lobster, when I was 30. Never again.” Well, it just broke my heart. It was like she’d once been kissed in better years, sweet and rich, and then left only with the memory of the lobster that once was. After vowing never to tell her about the year I ate 5 lobsters in one sitting, (summer of the 2.75/pound lobster–2008) I made a mental note to find her a lobster, cook it and bring it to her.

Then one of them set me off. I drew a map of New England, to show them where I’m from, and one of those vile hags dared to say, “oh, like Canada.”

No, not like fucking Canada. Not LIKE CANADA AT ALL. My inner monster started shrieking and my head almost exploded. “No, nothing like Canada.” I was trying to be nice to the sleeping pill keepers but this Canadian shit was making it increasingly difficult.

“What’s the difference?” The evil one smirked and I made a note to never bring out my cookies on her shift.

I tried to think of a few good stereotypes to help my cause–my lack of balls comment, but they thought I was saying something about testicle cancer and my point was lost. I tried the “they’re kind of like having an insecure, boring, younger sibling” trick, but that didn’t work. I tried to explain my dislike for the french-canadians in particular (1/4 of my family being french canadian so RELAX) and their eyes lit up, but I assume only because they thought I was talking trash about France, which I was not. I just left it at a comparison between the Schwabians and the non-Schwabians and they nodded solemnly, as though I just pointed out a very important truth.

I never said I was rational or fair. Just outspoken.

There was one last important lesson of the evening…I asked Maggie why she was the only nurse on the floor and she reassured me it wasn’t so bad, with her Jumper around. Jumper? She wasn’t wearing a jumper. I must have looked confused because she thought hard before coming up with helper instead.

“Oh! You mean a candy striper?” I asked, delighted to know what a jumper was. Now she looked confused. How to explain..
“Mmm, I think 30 years ago, American jumpers wore white nurse suits with pink stripes. You know, like a candy cane.” Then I curved my arm over my head like a hook and hoped I looked like a candy cane.

“Oooohh. Candy stripper.” Ha ha ha. Teaching Germans CAN be fun. 🙂

“No, STRIPER. Like the fish.” Ugh, we weren’t going anywhere with this.

“I will have to tell all my friends about candy striper.”

I really hope she says stripper.

the TB report, Easter Sunday edition

Let the church bells ring and Jesus lovers cheer loudly—I am released for a few hours for Easter!  Hoooooooooooorray!  The hospital has made good on their promises and I am out for 8 hours.   I wrote out my own permission slip (my remedial German is really improving, I am so teach yourself smart), pulled on my jeans and lipstick for the occasion, packed up my day bag and waltzed right out the door with a wave and a “Frohe Oster!” and I was out the door.

 And this, THIS is what the outside world looks like.  Ahhh, I almost forgot. 

And so what do I have planned today?  Well, I’ll lay it out in pictures. 

I did this already.  Which was great.  And I took a walk in the woods, an attempt to build the lung capacity and make Moxie lose a few lbs.  Seriously, we could bake her today and no one would know the difference.  As of last week, we were calling her Honey Ham, so it’s relevant.  But no, we are not baking her.  Instead, the ham is in for 5ish hours, brown sugar, pineapple, maple glaze and all.  I am excited, tickled even.  Everyone knows how much I love Easter ham and it’s even better when I’ve been subjected to hospital fare for 5 days.  (ok, not really, I have been delivered treats on a regular basis)  So the ham is in and I’ve been lying on the couch, drinking espresso (which is not offered at Resort Krankenhaus de Sindlefingen) and playing on the internet, which I feel like I haven’t seen in foreeeeeeeeeeeever.

I also took the time to take a few pictures of the pretty flowers that have sprung up this week in my absence.  I’m disappointed that I’m missing all of the blooming and frowing and freening and such but maybe, just maybe I’ll be out this week to watch from my window.   Last night I got all moody with the world, feeling all sorry for myself about the sickness and whatnot, but then after a few delightful emails and phone calls, I’m back on track.  So thanks, friends.  I really do appreciate the emails while I wait to see if I have TB…which I will know on Tuesday, for all of those interested. 

Interesting facts about TB, by the way.  Apparently you can get it by banging a convict or licking a pole.  Or so say my friends.  A handful wanted to know what prisoner I bedded, thanks, but I gave up bad boys for Lent, girls.  And then my sister Al asked if I had been licking poles like a special kid.  Ha. No, not quite.  The only other way to get TB is if someone spits, licks or hacks on you (likely) or if you drink unpasteurized milk (not likely).   Also, for the record, I cannot give anyone TB until it has home-brewed in me for at least 4 weeks and then it’ll be good for the spreading.  Just kidding, no spreading.  But that’s good news.  Considering I’ve probably only had it 7 days if at all, I still have at least three more weeks to kill it before I give it away like candy.  Fun.

And so for now, still the start of Easter for most of you, I’m going to take advantage of my shower that steams and my couch.  I think I just may do an evening edition later….we’ll see. 

So Happy, HAPPY EASTER to everyone….oh, one last thing.

Fuck you CC.  Fuck you, Yankees. 

It’s OPENING DAY and it’s SOX/YANKS on Easter.  Thank you, Jesus.