Thursday, February 23, 2017

No WiFi...

Well, we have it, but it doesn't work too well.  So my posts may be very light until we get home.  Maybe that's a blessing!  There will be a lot of posts in a few days, though.  Got stories aplenty.  And there's always my back catalog, too.

I look forward to ranting about my uncle, at the very least.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Burgundy bound...

Today we are packing up and leaving Ribeauville for St. Marcelin de Cray, which is a very tiny place near Macon.  It'll be nice to change our scenery again, although yesterday was fun.

Last night, I finally told my uncle to stop sending me political bullshit emails.  I did do in a rather impolite way, basically offering a verbal ass kicking.  Maybe it was a shock, but dammit, I'm 44 years old and tired of respecting my elders.  My first response was somewhat polite.  He sent me an email about Trump and Pence and I wrote that I wasn't impressed with either of them and would like to see them go.

He wrote back and called me a nutcase.  He also said that I'd change my mind. I responded that no, I really wouldn't change my mind and he needed to stop sending me that shit.  Then I told him to take me off his email list or risk a verbal ass kicking.

I then got an email from my sister, who I think was both shocked and amused by my antics.  I told her I don't care if they disown me, since I have been feeling rather disenfranchised from the family, anyway.  I'm sick of tolerating shit in order to keep the peace.

Ha ha ha...


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It's just a cake...

I ripped off this photo from Facebook.  It's been around awhile.  Last year, I shared it on my timeline and got a lot of disgusted comments from people.  Because I like to be provocative sometimes, I also shared it this year...


If this is yours and you want me to remove it, let me know...  But I won't remove it just because it's gross looking.  I have a point to make.

At first blush, this photo is shocking.  The "baby cake" is very realistic looking and it looks like you're hacking up an actual infant.  I will admit, I was grossed out when I first saw this cake.  A lot of my friends were actually angry to see it.

However...  if you stop and think about it, this is actually a really amazing creation.  And it is really just a cake.  You're not hacking up a baby.  You're hacking up someone's artistry.  At least they had the decency not to use strawberry or raspberry filling.

I still probably wouldn't eat this if someone served it to me.  It's disturbing and weird.  However, I admire the creativity that went into this... even if it kind of ranks up there with the tasteless Cake Wreck I wrote about a few years ago.  


Fasching is not felching...

Right now, it's fasching season in Germany.  Lots of very Catholic towns have flags strewn across their streets and parades going on.  In Baden-W├╝rttemberg, where we live, people are dressing up in scary costumes and marching in parades.  I've heard that in Bavaria, where our landlady is from, the costumes are more silly and cute than scary.  Despite having lived in Germany for awhile now, Bill and I haven't yet attended a fasching parade.  I don't know why.  It could be because I don't like crowds.

Anyway, lots of people in the local community are interested in fasching.  There's been a lot of talk about the parades on Facebook.  And every time I see the word "fasching", I think of another word.  It's a word that I don't recommend looking up because it means something really disgusting.  If you don't know what "felching" is and you have a weak stomach, I really recommend leaving yourself in ignorant bliss.  Every time I see the word "fasching", I think of "felching"... which is a lot scarier than people dressed in weird costumes.

You may wonder how I learned about felching.  It's actually kind of a funny story, which is the only reason I'm writing about felching in this blog.  I would not want to engage in felching, you see.

Back in the late 1990s, I worked as a waitress at a really nice restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I had two male friends who were waiters.  One of them was flamboyantly gay.  The other was straight (and even married with a family), but could pass as gay.  They were a lot of fun and got me through many a tough shift.

Anyway, one day I was working with the gay guy and he said sarcastically, "Oh, here comes Mr. Felcher!" as he noticed our straight friend coming in on his day off to pick up his paycheck (which was probably $0 because it was used to pay taxes).

"Mr. Felcher!  That's funny!" I said with a laugh.

"He loves felching." the guy continued.

I didn't realize this was an inside joke between the two men.  I innocently asked, "What is felching?"

By that time, our straight friend came over to say hello and he said, "You want to tell her what felching is?"

So my straight friend told me with a very straight face what that word meant.  Naturally, I laughed about it, but it really is gross.  I repeat, don't look it up unless you can take it.  I mentioned in a local Facebook group that the word fasching made me think of felching and warned people not to look it up.  One guy didn't listen to me and now, like me, he's a little bit wiser about the ways of the world.

Incidentally, after learning about felching, I became a part of the inside joke.  My two guy friends and I used to make up songs about felching and sing them to each other in the kitchen as we prepared bread boats and hot tea.  That made waiting tables a hell of a lot more fun.  Hey... whatever gets you through the night, right?

For those who are curious and want to read an entertaining and informative blog post about felching (that I didn't write), click here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

France is agreeable...

I felt better as soon as we crossed into French territory yesterday.  I don't know what it is, but the more times I visit France, the more I like it here.

We checked into our "gite" yesterday and made ourselves at home.  Then we had a big dinner at a nearby restaurant... lots of comfort food.  I had ham and vegetables and Bill had a baked dish with Munster cheese, bacon, and potatoes.  We had to bring the leftovers back with us!

This apartment is large and there are steep stairs leading to two extra bedrooms.  Bill's mom was supposed to be with us, hence the larger pad.  I think if we come back, we'll rent the bigger place anyway.  It wasn't much more expensive and it's a bit more comfortable.  The dogs are weirded out by the steep stairs, though.

Travel always makes me feel less stressed.  I think this will be a good week.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Beware of dog!


We bought this sign to scare off would be intruders... 

Lately, there has been a rash of burglaries in the communities not far from us.  Although I think it's fairly doubtful that the Eastern European gangs who have been breaking into houses will hit our town this week, we did decide to invest in a "beware of dog" sign for our front door.  

Zane and Arran will be coming with us on our trip this week, but they are around most of the time.  They are loud.  I doubt they would ever seriously hurt anyone, but they are good watchdogs.  So we might as well warn would be thieves.

The sign basically says:

Careful!

Free roaming dog!

When the dog comes, take off your clothes and wait for help.  When help doesn't come, good luck.

It was the only "beware of dog" sign Bill could find yesterday.  I rather think it suits us perfectly.  

Time to get cracking on my packing.   

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I have reached my weekly quota dealing with stupid people...

It's true.  I've had a week that has been more annoying than most and was somewhat exacerbated by having to deal with stupid people.

It started with the news that Bill's mom can't visit us because she's injured.  That's not her fault and I don't think she's stupid because she hurt herself.  It's just that the event put a damper on the whole week.  For a couple of days, Bill was fretting that his mom might need his help and we're thousands of miles away.  Granted, there are some positives.  Bill's mom doesn't have dementia, for instance, and she has a job.  But for a couple of days, we were actually thinking we'd need to do something drastic to help her out, even down to having her declared Bill's dependent and bringing her over here to live with us.  I think I'd be okay with that, but it would be a major logistical event.  We were genuinely worried as well as very sad that her trip had to be cancelled.

Next, was stress over the dogs.  I was worried because I thought there might be signs that Zane was getting sick from mast cell cancer.  But then Arran started throwing up.  We figured out that the problem was the ricotta cheese Bill bought.  We mix the cheese with fish oil as part of the anti-cancer diet they're on (Cleo's diet).  The stuff Bill usually gets wasn't in stock and he got some that must have been stronger.  The end result was a big mess on my rug and outside on our walking path.

Next came the stupid SingSnap drama.  I'll be honest, folks.  That situation annoyed me a lot more than it should have.  I actually ranted a bit about it last night to poor Bill.  It wasn't so much that particular situation as it is the overwhelming theme in my life that I'm supposed to be "nice", "grateful", "polite", and "stay in my lane".  But other people are apparently free to say whatever they want to me in whatever tone they wish.  If I say something in protest, I'm being a "diva".  If they accuse me of being a "diva", especially if they don't even know me, I'm supposed to smile and go away grateful for the correction.

It's bullshit.  This crap has been going on my whole life and the older I get, the less tolerance I have for it.  And so, because of that, I end up in ridiculous online dramas with people I don't even know over things that shouldn't matter.  But even as I remind myself that I'm getting annoyed over something petty, I realize that I still feel upset and irritated about it and the problem is getting worse, not better.

For instance, today's blog post title was my final Facebook status of the evening.  Most people were pretty funny and asked why I hadn't reached that point by 10:00am on Monday.  My response was that I neither have a job nor children.  But then I got a very "helpful" comment from one of my relatives who advised me to surround myself with "pleasant" people this weekend.

I will admit that the "advice" immediately irritated me.  First off, I have just written that "stupid people" are annoying me.  If that's the case, why would I risk surrounding myself with people who might end up saying or doing stupid things?  Seems to me I need a break from people, not a party.  Of course, most of the people I "hang out with" are online.  So the obvious cure, then, is to go offline for a few days.  But like so many other people, I am kind of addicted to the Internet.

Secondly, like many men, my relative is trying to "fix" the situation.  The situation doesn't really need fixing.  It is what it is.  It's not going to change.  There will always be stupid people around and they will always annoy me.  And telling me to hang out with "pleasant" people is stupid advice.  I'm not feeling very pleasant myself, so why would anyone in their right mind want to hang out with me?  Why would you suggest that I inflict my curmudgeonly attitude on pleasant people?  Nope... I think what I really need is some time meditating somewhere or perhaps a good power fuck.

Thirdly, when I thanked my relative for the advice, he claimed it wasn't advice.  Uh...  here's a screenshot of Dictionary.com's definition for the word "advice".


Seems to me that telling me I need to surround myself with "pleasant people" is advice.

Yes, I know I'm being anal retentive and should be more laid back about this, but that is a symptom of my condition, no?  I'm feeling irritable, edgy, and overwrought over dumb shit.  I'm feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, and bored.  I wish I could be more Christlike, but dammit, I'm human... and probably hormonal.

Which brings me to the last thing that has annoyed me this week.  I just read a story on Today.com about a Utah family who brought their three year old boxer mix to a shelter.  The dog came with a notebook full of notes written by one of the family's kids, who was heartbroken that his dog was being given up.  The family's reasons for giving up their active, healthy, beautiful canine family member?  They have young kids in the house and the dog is "unaware of his size" and "plays too rough with the young kids".  

I want to ask these idiotic parents what they were thinking when they brought a young boxer home.  The dog is only three and they have "young kids".  Did they not realize that young dogs like to play and have a lot of energy that needs to be burned off?  Did they not realize that boxers are big dogs?  Did they not know that they have small children?  Did they make any attempt whatsoever to train that poor dog who lost his family?  What about their little boy, who loved the dog so much that he sent a book full of instructions and notes for the dog's next family (if he is lucky enough to find one)?  They have just taught their kid that family members-- particularly those that aren't human-- are totally expendable.  

But even as I write this and feel somewhat outraged, I know that I'm not familiar with the family and I shouldn't judge them.  There may be more to the story.  Moreover, as heartbreaking as this tale is, the fact that the dog got on Today.com will go a long way in helping him find a more suitable home.  I have two lovely dogs who didn't work out in other people's homes.  Had they not been given up to beagle rescues, I wouldn't have them in my life.  I might have two other dogs, but I wouldn't have Zane and Arran.  I do think it's better for people who can't care for their animals to find a better home for them.  But I also think that when it comes to adopting pets, people need to exercise more common sense.  And maybe that's why I'm so irritable... because there seems to be a serious dearth in common sense these days.  It's frustrating and annoying and makes me wish I could be beamed up for awhile.

Well... at least there's France and we're headed there tomorrow...    


I feel a little like Clark Griswold today.




Friday, February 17, 2017

Bill's last Christmas gift finally arrives...

Back in November 2016, Bill told me he was excited about a newly developed high-tech kitchen appliance.  Priced at $129, the Anova Precision Cooker looked like something a geek like him needed to have post haste.  Off I went to order it, but there was a dilemma.  Should I get one for the United States or Europe?  Ultimately, I decided on getting a 220 version, because it looks like we could be living in Germany for awhile (as of today, anyway).

Next, I had to determine where I wanted the thing sent.  Originally, I was going to have it sent to Germany.  But then it occurred to me that if I had it sent to our house, I could be hit with a bunch of customs fees.  I don't mind paying those if I know what they are ahead of time and have the money on hand.  Unfortunately, it's hard to tell how much you'll pay and I don't routinely keep cash in the house.

So then I thought maybe I'd have it sent to APO.  But I couldn't have the thing sent to APO, because the company wouldn't send things to APO.  I had it sent to Bill's mom in Texas instead.

A couple of weeks later, I got an email letting me know that the precision cooker was backordered and it would be a couple more weeks before they could ship it.  The email indicated I could cancel the order if I wanted to, but I knew Bill was really wanting that new tool.  To their credit, the company delivered the cooker to my mother-in-law on December 23rd.

Four days later, mother-in-law put the new gadget in the mail to our APO.  For some reason, she wrote that the box was full of books instead of an electronic item.  It got put on the "slow boat" because it was considered media mail.  Consequently, Bill's new toy just arrived yesterday.  That's February 16th, which I guess makes it more of a Valentine's Day gift.  And it's just in time for us to leave for the next week.  On Sunday, we're packing up and going to France for the week.  We'll spend three nights in Ribeauville, then move on to Burgundy for four nights.  I'm really looking forward to it, even though the dogs will be with us.


Bill's new toy...

Bill also got new beer brewing equipment last week that he can't wait to break in.  I'm sitting here thinking it's time to expand my own interests.  The SingSnap SNAFU makes me think it's time to make music somewhere other than a stupid karaoke site with idiots around.  

Anyway... it'll be fun to see what Bill does with his new toy.  Maybe it's time for me to invest in a new toy, too.  ;-)