Sunday, February 28, 2010

Turn on the hockey game tonight

If you're in Germany, turn on Eurosport now to the US-Canada hockey game. There is a commentator with a truly unbelievable American or Canadian accent. I've never heard anything like it on TV, and actually, not much like it in person either. My German teacher would cringe. It's hard to believe someone can be so fluent in German and not adapt any of the pronunciation at all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Night Tidbits

* I got a survey from TK (my health insurance) in the mail today. They wanted to know what I thought about their insurance. I figure all the Germans who respond will have complaints because they've never experienced Blue Cross Blue Shield, so I happily marked my satisfaction in every category and returned it right away. :)

* I saw these strange things at the Rewe today and bought them out of sheer curiosity. I never heard of "Viking rolls" before. I don't know what I was expecting, but they weren't it! The white stuff is a thick marzipan layer, and there's (white? yellow?) cake inside! It looked like layers instead of a roll, but it could just be squished from all the processing.

* Cancer is no amusing matter, but I have to say that I love the German equivalent of "malignant neoplasm" - bösartige Neubildung. In my mind I'm translating it more like "scary-type new formation" - I guess that could be what the Latin basis of the English words really mean anyway, but it just doesn't have the same impact. In medicine, German generally has a lot of its own words for diseases and other terms which in English mostly come from Latin. Chemistry seems to be the opposite, though! Where English has its own terms for some elements that cause disconnect with the periodic table abbreviations (potassium, for example), German's version comes from Latin (potassium = Kalium - K on the periodic table!).

* Has anyone been following the Amy Bishop case? Most crime news doesn't hold my attention for more than a day but this one seriously disturbed me so I've kept reading. I wasn't impressed with her lawyer saying some BS in the news the other day along the lines of her "Harvard mentality" being a factor. Excuse me? Is this guy trying to say that graduating Harvard can induce you to feel entitlement on a level that leads to shooting up your colleagues? I wasn't cringing alone. Alas in that search I also found plenty of people who really believe there's something inherently wrong with anyone who's gone to Harvard.

* A preview of what else I need to get posting about:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010




Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Year's Eve / Silvester

*Found something in my drafts that I forgot to post!

T his year, we spent New Year's Eve (known here as Silvester for the saint, whose feast day is December 31) with a couple of friends here in Heidelberg. The bizarre highlight was something my husband found at the store called Bleigiessen.

The package contains a spoon and six hollow metal (lead?) shapes that are relevant to the holiday - a cork, a champagne bottle, etc. Each person takes one of the shapes and, using the spoon, melts it down over a candle.

After it melts, the metal is dropped into a container of water and solidifies into a shape. The shape it makes is supposed to tell your fortune for the upcoming year. The back of the package lists all kinds of cool shapes and what they are supposed to mean, but ours all came out about like this. A golf club? We'll play a lot of golf in 2010? A rag? A raindrop?

Still, it was kind of fun. Maybe there's a special art to getting it to make cool shapes?

Also, I seriously wonder if it's lead! It didn't say on the package! Ew.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Three things that are so cute they might be bad

1. Wernigerode's Rathaus.

2. Skirts from Made With Love By Hannah. If we still lived in the US I might own one by now. But I'm afraid they'd be found ridiculous in Germany. (I think one thing I miss the most about the US is the fashion variety. When I saw embroidered blouses in Budapest, I thought, sure, I'd wear that. In the US. Not here. I'd get laughed out of town.)

3. Discovery's song "Carby".

What's your verdict on each of the three? Cute? Or too cute?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Map of European Alcohol Habits

I got a kick out of these maps featured yesterday on Strange Maps. The first is a little too simplified, but I like the second, which shows Germany's wine regions, and indicates that this country is not all beer, beer, beer! People are always asking us about German beer, and to be honest, I know pretty much nothing about it (though my husband has done some..."research"). I take the wine just about any time.

In other news, I'm trying to buy plane tickets for a slightly complicated itinerary back to the US in May - flying to Des Moines on the way there, and flying back from Chicago. Does anyone know a way I can force a search to consider non-stop flights on just one leg of the trip? I can't force non-stop for the whole itinerary because on the way to Des Moines there is no such thing - but it's showing me one-stop itineraries both ways - never giving me non-stop flights between Chicago and Frankfurt. Which I know exist. Some itineraries even put you on a little baby-jet for a leg between Chicago and Boston! WTH? I hate flying with the fiery passion of a bajillion trillion suns, so one less flight is something I'm willing to pay a certain amount to get....