Thursday, April 27, 2006

Will I look like this soon?
Probably. Now that the weather has gotten quite summery, all the babies who live in my building are hanging out in the yard and screaming for no apparent reason. It scares me a bit, considering my own impending arrival.

The other day at work, a male colleague was asking another colleague of mine and me how exactly one knows when to go to the hospital when expecting a baby. His take on the situation was that it seemed like a good, safe idea to go a day or so early. My first thought was "hasn't this guy seen any films where people have babies?" My second thought was "how are you supposed to know which day is the day before you're going to have the kid?" Okay, so films aren't the most reliable source of information on this subject, for example, the water doesn't usually break right around the time you need to head off to the hospital to have the little guy. But in films they do show people timing contractions, and when they are a certain time apart, that's when you should start on the way to the hospital (or wherever you want to have the kid).

Enough on that subject. Here's a little something from Germany that cracks me up every time I see it. It is a real catalogue for baby stuff, and that is the real name.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

All we can do now is remember you, White Rabbit

It was clear that it was just a matter of time. White Rabbit's demise had been impending for a time, but he held up for longer than expected. I was informed a couple weeks ago that the inspiration for this blog's name had been sandblasted away, and after having a look for myself, I must confirm that this is true. This building or renovating or whatever it is they are doing to those buildings up off Tannenstra├če opposite the MDR buildings has been going on for at least a year, and the outer plaster has now been removed from the buildings, and in the process, so has White Rabbit.

But there are still other rabbits to see out on the streets!

like Schoko...

...or Drunk Bunny...

...or if you're really lucky, you might just find a Bunnee on the street!
(okay, so this one I ripped off from Found magazine...)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Goats don't like garlic.

"You're not allowed to feed the goats!" scolded an old lady who'd been hovering around, and then with incredible speed came over to me, swatted my arm 3 times, and then informed me of this half-truth. You see, at the Dresden Zoo, you are allowed to feed the goats, but only with feed from the feed machine, for which you have to pay. We just happened to have some garlic with us, and wanted to see if they would eat that, too. I mean, they are goats, and goats eat everything, right? Well, not these ones. They took the garlic all right, as they take everything from an open hand, chewed it approximately twice, then screwed up their faces and spit the garlic right out. Hm. You would think garlic tastes at least better than a tin can, but apparently not to a goat!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wer zu Ostern mit den Eiern spielt, bekommt zu Weihnachten die Bescherung.

The somewhat less charming English translation of this bit of German wisdom would be:

She who plays with eggs (what's really meant is "balls") at Easter gets her present at Christmas.

My students told me this yesterday and said "You were playing with the eggs too early!! hahaha!!"

Yesterday I was just out for a quick hop in the yard because the sun was shining. You will note my adherence to the leash law (which is really for dogs, they're the ones who make trouble). Then along came this guy,

no leash, sniffing in my face. My keen bunny instincts told me he was bad news, so I took off, slightly disadvantaged by my harness and leash. Fortunately, it was a cheaply-made leash which promptly broke and I took cover by the trash cans. I think my owner was more worried than I was, she said some expletives which she normally doesn't, and came looking for me, after risking her own safety by restraining the dog until the owner showed up with the leash. I let her catch me, because she seemed pretty wound up. After that, me and Wee retreated to the safety of the balcony for a bit more fresh air. The good thing that came out of all this was that I got a cool new 5-meter long retractable leash!

Friday, April 07, 2006

My Favorite Thing About Easter

Call me a heathen, and you wouldn't be too far off. You know I'm not religious (or if you didn't, you know now), so I can't make up any hokey stories about the meaning of life or anything here, my favorite thing about Easter is really the Cadbury Creme Egg. I love the font on the packaging, I love the little chicken on the foil, I love the Cadbury bunny. When I was little, the creme eggs were the most exciting thing in my Easter basket, because they were always a little bit hidden because they are so heavy that they sink into the Easter grass. They were something that I saved. I first savored the different colored jelly beans, always searching to the bottom of my basket for the best ones (definitely red, orange, purple or white), always leaving the weird tasting colors like green or yellow and the bitter black ones for last. Usually the marshmallowy things were next, and the chocolatey things, and the creme egg was always saved for a special moment, when I would carefully peel off the foil (the best creme eggs are the ones where the foil doesn't stick to any sticky creme egg juice seeping from the egg, this means the fondant filling will be runny and soft, not hardened). Mmmm. I remember holding the heavy creme egg in my little hand, and how heavy it was compared to the other candies. This was clearly a sign of its goodness.

Now that I've gotten older, I think I've experienced some Easters with no creme eggs whatsoever, but I've blocked these from my memory. My mom knows what's important in life, and she sent me a box with a four-pack of creme eggs this week. My youthful savoring of the creme eggs has changed to a ravenous devouring of them, but I still enjoy them in the same way. But before I got my hands on my delicious creme eggs from over the ocean, I encountered a person with no reverence for creme eggs whatsoever: the postal delivery man. I'm sure he threw my creme eggs on the floor. The corner of the box was clearly dented, and I witnessed him throwing down an armload of packages for other people in my house when he came to my door. Actually, he didn't just come to my door, he ran to my door, as I've since seen him do in other parts of the neighborhood. Plus, I've heard the telltale crash of boxes when he enters a house. So this is normal practice for him. Is this guy crazy? Does he not know what precious cargo these boxes could hold? You can't buy creme eggs in this country, so obviously he has no idea what kind of blasphemy he is committing, but still, it isn't right to mistreat any package that way. Anyway, as soon as I saw him throw down the boxes, I thought "This can't be good". And then I saw on the customs slip on my box that it contained creme eggs. And the first thing I thought was "They're cracked." In my mind's eye, I could see their cracked chocolate shells and fondant running out, others with the foil sticking to the egg, a telltale sign of horrible disappointment. And sure enough, the top of one was broken, so broken in fact, that there was a hole, allowing air to reach the normally pleasantly highly viscous fondant, making it slightly hard. You see, the best way to eat a creme egg is to bite off the top, and suck the fondant out. But this isn't possible with a creme egg in which the fondant has experienced this kind of air exposure. You might as well just throw it away. But I forced myself to eat even that creme egg, because, let's be honest, I can't just go out to the store and buy some new ones, peeling them one by one until I find the best. And I'm certainly not in England, where they have vending machines in the train station selling creme eggs!

And now you can even knit clothes for the creme egg. OK, this person didn't put a creme egg in the picture, but if you go to the pattern for these, you will see that the name is "Cadbury Bunny Pattern". Obviously, this is a person with a passion for creme eggs. A passion so great it has driven this individual to dress the creme eggs. I think that's fantastic.

Monday, April 03, 2006

High Water!

In many parts of Saxony and Bavaria, there is springtime high water and flooding at the moment. This year there's more than there normally is, because there was a great deal of snow this winter, plus it got warm quickly and rained at the same time in the Czech Republic, sending an awful lot of water our way. This has caused a lot of headaches and concern for many people who live near the river. Hopefully this weekend was as bad as it will get, there are plenty of people with water in their basements and who've even hadto leave their homes . Here's a look at things here in Dresden on the Elbe...

This view of the city may look normal, but usually there is a lot less water.

This is about all I'm capable of at the moment.

We're practicing...