31 December 2005
The book's author, Jonathan Safran Foer, also wrote Everything Is Illuminated.I'm listening to that now on CD. It's quite intriguing and at the beginning, especially, it is hilarious -- particularly the narrator, a Ukrainian named Alex. There are flashbacks as in Extremely Loud but in this book they are more helpful. The main character, or "the Hero" as Alex refers to him, is in the Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. The story unfolds slowly and it breaks your heart.
28 December 2005
Butter sculpture. (All those carving lessons, finally paying off.)
Sophie and Billy enjoying the spoils. I whipped around, ran into my brother and he dropped a full, kiddie-sized plate, on the floor. My other brother went in for the catch, missed, and was scalded by a flying meatball. (The injury wasn't serious.)
These Christmas lights have been up every year as far back as I can remember. The steering wheel doesn't make the best tripod. Pretend you're not wearing your glasses.
I think the out-of-focusness of this one makes it artistic.
20 December 2005
To hear the list of hobo names read aloud, click here. I like Staniel the Spaniel, Giant Batwings Roland, Salty Salty Friday, and Mr. Wilson Fancypants. I wish my name was Mr. Wilson Fancypants.
19 December 2005
From one of his op ed's, posted on the Speaking of Faith site:
By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God's truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth.The faith trotted out by the "Christian right" isn't anything like the Christianity I know. The Christianity I know isn't cruel or mean-spirited. It's the about loving your neighbor and standing up for the opppressed.
We reject the notion that religion should present a series of wedge issues useful at election time for energizing a political base. We believe it is God's work to practice humility, to wear tolerance on our sleeves, to reach out to those with whom we disagree, and to overcome the meanness we see in today's politics.
For us, religion should be inclusive, and it should seek to bridge the differences that separate people. We do not exclude from worship those whose opinions differ from ours.
The last couple of weeks on Speaking of Faith has been on Einstein and ethics. Very interesting!
14 December 2005
A couple of hours later I was down the hall from the snack counter and noticed the box on the counter. "Hey, that's my box," I thought to myself. Several of the items inside were open and obviously being eaten. I walked back there to be sure. Sure enough. I busted a gut at my chumpness.
The people who dove into it felt really bad. I told them it was my own fault for leaving it, open, on the snack counter. And, I said, it would keep me laughing all day. I left it out in my area for co-workers to finish off. Everyone thought I was being so nice. Mmmm... yah... I brought it in for all of us to enjoy!
Here's what it looked like after we'd been at the box for awhile.
12 December 2005
This story came around on e-mail the other day. I thought it was so incredibly sweet. Then I deleted the e-mail by accident. I searched for it online and was delighted to find out, via snopes.com, that it's true!
These twins were only two pounds at birth (1995). One wasn't expected to live. A nurse put them in the same incubator and the stronger twin put her arm over her sister. The sister's heart rate and temperature began to stabilize. To read more, click here.
At www.snopes.com you can check out all the parking-lot safety, latest scam, etc., e-mails.
11 December 2005
- Chicken tikka masala
- Combination plate at Jerusalem's (shawirma, hummus, falafel...)
- Guava juice
- Cheese and tomato sandwich on olive basil bread from the deli in Thun
- My grandma's rosettes
- Red licorice
- Dark chocolate
10 December 2005
(Reuters) - The British embassy in "He puked his guts up? Nice...,
Germany launched a new website for the 2006 World Cup on Friday that includes handy German phrases for Germany fans, such as "He was sick as a parrot" or "He puked his guts up." England
In Praise Of My Bed
At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright.
Now I have unclasped
unzipped, stepped out of.
Husked, soft, a be-er only,
I do nothing, but point
my bare feet into your
feel your quiet strength
the whole length of my body.
I close my eyes, hear myself
moan, so grateful to be held this way.
by Meredith Holmes from Shubad's Crown (Pond Road Press)
09 December 2005
Friday -- endlich (finally)! It's been a long week and I feel as if my brain is in itty bitty chunks. Even this morning while I tried to have some devotional time it was one "Where's Pam?" moment after another. "Thank you... question... oh look, that book spine is pretty..." Close eyes. "Musing... I wonder if we're going to Fun Sisters or Sister Fun today?"
On one hand, I really like having a brain that flits about from one thing to another. Today it was just annoying. Reminds me of my five-year-old nephew who suffers from the same malady. His parents would say, "Cale, focus." His reply, "I hate it when you say that."
Have a hankering for a little German Christmas music? Go to Weihnachtsradio and click on the Windows Media or Real Player icon. A few too many songs in English but a good listen nonetheless. If you're really lucky, you'll get to hear an annoying version of "The Little Drummer Boy," "Weihnacht faengt an," by Wolfgang Petry. Or, "Oh du froehliche," sung by Roger Whittaker. (I never said it was all good music.)
Here are some fun things I learned at German class yesterday:
- Man rauft sich die Haare
tear one's hair out
- Salat statt Kohl
salad instead of cabbage -- a play-on-words slogan used against Helmut Kohl when he was running for re-election
- Faules Ei
something to call a lazy person -- literally, lazy egg
- der Stubenhocker
someone who always stays inside
- der Faulpelz
another word for a lazy person -- literally, lazy fur
an adjective meaning completely pooped or stressed out -- comes from the word that refers to the part of the washing machine process when all the water is sucked out of the machine
- Du gehst mir auf den Keks!
you're driving me crazy -- literally, something like "you go me to/at the cookie"
- Ich schlage mich etwas aus dem Kopf schlagen
I drive something from my mind -- "aus dem Kopf" means "ouf of the head" and schlage means "to beat."
06 December 2005
I drove out to Keeley Island in SW Minnesota for a presentation on marketing. I got there in the dark on Monday. This morning I woke up to a winter wonderland! It's a beautiful place, despite the cold (4 degrees Fahrenheit this a.m.).
Because it was a long drive I rented a car (it's cheaper for the company that way). The rental place screwed up so instead of a small or mid-sized car, I got Dodge Ram 4-door truck. It's ginormous! I'm not used to driving anything that large and it does go against my environmental bent. I'm happy to say that I didn't take out any pedestrians or mailboxes.
It's amazing what creatures of habit we are. In my car there are spots for everything. In this truck I lost so many things over the past day and a half. It didn't help that all my winter accessories are black, as are the seats and floor in the truck. Good thing Sophie has a bit of white on her. I might have lost her in there too!