Puking, Practicums, Personas

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I’ve learned a few stomach-flu related German words this week. Diarrhea is ‘durchfall’ which literally means ‘to fall through.’ So logisch, this German language.   “Kotzen” is to puke. Anyway, now you’re all set in case you visit and get sick.  🙂

We’ve all taken a turn with it since Monday and since I’ve been feeling so funky, my thoughts have reached out to other things that generally make me want to vomit. Like, canned green beans.  (The fresh ones are fine.)

Another one that comes to mind is student teaching. I’ve been reflecting on that a lot, lately, and I’m not sure why.

At the time, I was twenty-four years old. Talking to a class full of students terrified me. And, you know, that’s sort of a thing you need to feel okay with if you’re in the profession.

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The Weekly Spazieren

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The German word for walking is ‘spazieren’ and they’re really into it here. I know walking is a universal pastime, but Germans get all decked out in matching Jack Wolfskin outfits and use walking sticks to navigate the suburbs.  It’s definitely on another level, let’s just put it that way.

In fact, on Monday I was waiting for my tram and a teenage girl and boy approached. They were reading an ‘Eppelheim Info’ sheet and the girl said (in German, obviously) “Look! There’s an organized walking group leaving from Cafe Creme tomorrow. Maybe we should check it out!”

I don’t know much, but for some reason I can’t imagine your typical teenager getting so hyped up to go on an organized neighborhood stroll.  But, there you have it. (And I think it’s awesome!)

Since I’m on what was supposed to be a paid maternity leave this year, I do my own fair share of ‘spazieren.’  Every day Laken and I take at least one walk around the neighborhood.  And, I’m always spying quirky things.

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Asparagus and the Art of Delayed Gratification

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Asparagus is a great word. If I was a vegetable, I wouldn’t mind being called asparagus.

(I bring up asparagus—sorry, the word deserves a space in each of the three sentences I’ve written so far—because it’s in season right now. Just an FYI, the German word is ‘spargel’—pronounced ‘shpargle.’)


Not the most attractive vegetable.

The fact that it’s in season over here in Baden-Wuerttemberg might not seem like a big deal to most people reading this, but I’ll tell you what. It’s a big freaking deal. Germans refer to it as ‘white gold,’ if that gives you any idea of the value they assign it.

I was curious about why it’s known as ‘white gold’ so I did some intensive Internet research and learned that it all goes back to Louis XIV who decided he had a hankering for the vegetable. It was served to noble people at lots of fancy- schmancy dinners. And, for the longest time they kept it all for themselves and wouldn’t share because they’d claimed it as a rich person’s veggie, like the rutabagas or sunchokes of today. (I have no idea what rutabagas or sunchokes even are. So, I assume they’re reserved for rich people. Bastards.)

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A Success Story for the Infertility Boards

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(This is a piece of creative nonfiction that I did this week.  I really felt like writing about the fertility treatments we went through, and once I started I couldn’t stop! A lot happened–it was an intense time in life.  Anyway, that’s why this is just a bit longer than anything that would qualify as a ‘blog post.’)

Recently I was out walking in the nearby fields and saw this chalkboard set up in front of a plant shop. Top left it says, “Mein groesster Wunsch ist” which means, “my biggest wish is.”

I read through the wishes and noticed that ‘Schnuffis’ appeared twice. I’d never heard of the word, but since two people on one board used it to describe their greatest wish, I figured it’s important. I could only find it on Germany’s Urban Dictionary and it means, “A combination of kissing, nuzzling, and sniffing all at the same time.” Which sounds interesting, I guess.

The sample sentence they offered is, “Every day I give my fat bunny a good schnuffing.” Um, okay.  Awkward.

Anyway, among the wishes for money, healthy grand parents, and a random thought about someone named Nils being an ‘ass face,’ I was especially touched by the one to the very left, just below what looks like a pointer finger tied over with string.

It says, “Ein Baby mit meiner Partnerin!”

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My Lies Are White Or Neon Green

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I tell white lies from time to time. I’m a white liar.

Here are some of the pale little fibs that find their way out of my mouth;

  • How much something cost.
  • Details to make a story better, funnier, scarier, etc. (Not in this blog, though, obviously.)
  • The actual portion size of something I ate when I type it in to My Fitness Pal.
  • If someone is telling me about something that happened, and they say, “He looks a lot like that actor in the show such-and-such. You know who I’m talking about?” I’m likely to say, “Yeah!” even though I have no clue. Just to keep the story moving.
  • When someone asks if I did something I was supposed to do and forgot.

I know I’m not alone in this…right?

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Ich habe den Liebster bekommen!

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About a month ago, I was nominated for what’s known as the Liebster Award by three members of my new blogging circle (Halfa1000MilesCaledonAcres, and Still Not a Journal.) It’s an online blogging award presented to one blogger from another. It’s awarded to newer bloggers who the nominator finds worthy of recognition. It helps build community and helps fellow bloggers (and their subscribers/followers) find new content.

(FYI–I just ripped that whole description off of Half a 1000 Miles page, and I hope that’s okay? I think it’s the description that goes along with the award title, right?)

Anyway, this is awesome, and I’m really thankful to say the least! I started this blog mostly to get back in the habit of writing, find my ‘voice,’ and try to improve, etc. I know this sounds weird–but I didn’t really expect anyone outside of my family or a few friends to read it.  Mostly I just wanted a pretty internet page to decorate and file my writing on. 🙂

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

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As I mentioned in my last post, we’re in the Canary Islands right now and I’ve set a little challenge for myself. Can I write a series of posts that are less than 5,000 words? Even, dare I say it, 750 words?

We’ll see.

While I’m feeling ambitious, why not tackle a massive and depressing/uplifting topic, depending on your beliefs? Like, what is it like to be dead?

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Yikking and Yakking

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This week we’re spring breaking in the Canary Islands (Spanish islands off the coast of Africa, in case your knowledge of geography is as questionable as mine.) This is a good thing for seven million reasons, but it’s also the perfect time to put myself to the ultimate of tests.

I’m going to try to write a series of short posts.

Like, actual blog-sized posts that people can read in one sitting.

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When I was a kid, my dad made up a bedtime story every night. I still remember one about this skunk who was always ditched by his friends because he smelled so bad. They liked him, but they’d hang out and eventually the stench got to be too much. So, then the skunk’s birthday came around and everyone felt guilty because, hey, he was a decent guy, they knew they should throw him a party, he always went to their parties, etc. But what about the smell?

My dad built up to the climax really well. He got in to that skunk’s mind and how insecure he was. How hopeful he was that he wouldn’t be passed by on his birthday, of all things.  My anxiety was through the roof by the time the big day came around.

And…we weren’t disappointed! The local owl (who, of course, was super wise) organized a surprise party and EVERYONE EXCEPT THE SKUNK WORE NOSE PLUGS SO IT WAS PERFECT FOR EVERYONE.  God I loved that story.

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