German words and not talking opera

IMG_1395
She looks somehow optimistic, doesn’t she? What’s that she’s holding in her hand anyway?

You know, it can be a bit odd when you tell someone you like living in Germany. The person cocks his head, and either says it outright or visibly thinks, ‘But you could live in Spain or Italy…or anywhere. Why Germany?’

Then you admit that you actually enjoy speaking the German language…oh, and that you genuinely like the people.

The person you’re talking to cannot fathom that last bit. It is simply unfathomable.

Germans are boring. Everyone knows that (they’re not boring, but stereotypes are persistent). Actually, some Germans are painfully dull. However, I’ve met some Brits and dare I say even more Americans who’ve got the personality of drying paint. Every culture has its share of the socially inept. The comically uncurious.

Germans are humourless (aside from slapstick – many Germans adore Mr Bean, after all – the German sense of humour is  utterly language dependent…you’ve got to know the parlance to get the jokes). They’ve got a sense of humour. Do some individuals take themselves too seriously? Well, sure. Of course. I avoid those. I seek out the ones who see the lighter side of life here. The ones who can laugh at themselves.

And finally? Germans are orderly rule followers. Well, this one’s kind of true. It is true. There are exceptions, but on the whole there is a social order here. People do what they’re expected. They break rules and sometimes they lie, but for the most part rules are there to be adhered to.

Is that so horrible?

It’s rather good for someone of my ilk (a bit whimsical) to live in a society where things are reliable. If a German tells you he’s going to do something, generally that something gets done. It’s sort of refreshing.

What got me thinking about all of this? Well, I read this very funny page by Ed M Wood:

My Favorite German Words, My Barber and I

Go ahead. Click on the link above. It’s not going to hurt you.

There’s so much in here I can relate to. The words he chooses are some of my favourite. The way he winds the story of him and his barber through the list of words? Yes, I like that, as well.

My friend Amy has one of those calendars where you learn a little bit of German everyday, and she regularly regales me with the more ridiculous things that the damned thing is trying to teach her. If you think Ed M Wood‘s article is funny, you should hear Amy arguing with her German calendar.

Here’s the one from yesterday:

 

Quatsch keine Opern!
(Translation: Be brief!)
Literally? “Don’t talk operas!”
I like that a lot. Don’t talk operas for goodness sake. Not bad advice.

 

A year? It’s been a whole year?

Blowing out them candles…

Has it been an entire year? Quite a lot has happened this year since I started this blog.

I’d taken a few stabs at blogging (unsuccessfully) and still have a teablog that gets a bit of attention. I should do more over there, but my friends who’re tea fanatics seem to be patiently awaiting my return to regularly updated teablog posts. We’ll see. I’ll get to that as soon as the world slows down.

To what do I attribute the (meagre) success of this here Dachshund Blog?

The tight-knit and hilarious small blogging community of which I’m a part. These folks are awesomesauce. Amy Durant, who’s really called lucysfootball over there on her site has probably been the biggest inspiration and the kindest support. She’s said so many nice things publicly and been a tremendous friend behind the scenes – I can’t begin to return the favour. If you’re lucky enough to be Amy’s friend, you know what I’m talking about. She’s tenacious about showing her people how much she cares.

Thanks Amy.

Oh, and if I thought it’d do any good to tell you to write shorter blogposts, I’d do so. Sometimes I’m halfway through one of your rambling soliloquies, and I have to go make a sandwich to make it to the end of your text. I shouldn’t be complaining. Think about it: at least I got a sandwich.

Probably my favourite blog of all time is The Best Self-Help T-Shirt Catalog Ever!, which is written by the sardonic Lisa Galaviz who’s a bit hepped up on Cheetos and Bathtub Gin. More power to her. She’s one of the best things on twitter if you’re attention span is too short to read an entire blogpost. Here – check out Lisa Galaviz over there.

Then there’s Andreas Heinakroon. He’s a proud dad and an above-average scientist and a swell guy. Over the last year, Andreas and I have communicated more on twitter than most people do who live near one another in the same neighbourhood. Recently, I had some unfortunate news, and his compassion and concern for my well-being were evident in his 140-character messages. Great guy.

His blog is inventively called http://heinakroon.com/, which is convenient, because that’s the guy who writes the thing. Go read it NOW. He’s a much better writer than he lets on.

I could go on and on, but I won’t.

That’s a list of three very funny writers, who just happen to be blogging for the ridiculous hell of it. You think I’m funny/informative/a bit mad, right?

I can’t hold a candle to these yahoos. They’ll be yahooing all the way to the funny farm.

At least the funny farm will be enjoyable and there’ll always be enough to read.

Happy Blogiversary to ME!!!

Here’s to another great year.

where to store your meat

rotisserie meat

So I’ve tried writing about serious topics here, and gotten very little response. I’ve included a bit of whimsy, and that attracted some dialogue and then some.

To be fair, what’s one to say in response to not very anonymous? That Shakespeare didn’t really write the plays? Please. If you really believe that, you and I are already on opposing teams. Or more recently, I wrote about press freedom in something rotten in Hungary. What stirring commentary might that trigger? That you really like censorship? Actually, that might be an challenging point to attempt to make.

Lisa Galaviz has been doing some important yet unappreciated work when it comes to Quantum Weirdness. She knows how to forget her blog voice for a post or two and alienate her readers. I could learn a lot from her.

When it comes to my teablog, I have a voice that I’ve developed. I have a feeling for what I do well there. Here? Not so much. I know what I like to write. Some things have come pouring out of me onto the screen, while others were a bit more laboured. That part I have some say in. On the other hand, what resonates with others is completely beyond me.

But the things I’ve gotten the most mileage out of had to do with defecation. And dogs. Oh, and vomiting. Bringing those together might possibly be blogging gold for me. Well, I already wrote about the second and third in chocolate spewing forth. If I wanted to play it safe, I’d keep writing variations of that.

I was reading Amy Durant‘s blog earlier (you might know her as @lucysfootball) and she was going on and on about a stomach bug in I think it’s fairly likely I’m either dying or pregnant with a magic dream tractor baby. It reminded me of something that happened recently in France, and it includes at least one of my target topics. Maybe two if you’re generous.

Don’t particularly like eating chicken, but I was persuaded to have some of the rotisserie variety that’s pictured above. It was New Year’s Day, and few places were open. I made an exception. Just this once. And the result?

Was up half the night wishing that chicken had been cooked at just a bit higher temperature. Or that I hadn’t eaten it. Not too much to ask was it? Well, apparently it was. Who cares, right? Everyone gets ill at some point. And what’s the big deal about losing a bit of sleep?

I completely agree with all of that. Nonetheless, while walking through the streets the next day, here’s what I saw:

windscreen meat

In case it’s unclear what that is, that’s a hunk of meat on the front window of some Frenchman’s vehicle. At this point, I began to wonder about food storage in this beautiful country.