Saturday, March 24, 2007

Remember White Rabbit

Yesterday morning when we arrived home from Willy's Friday morning appointment, I noticed that Little Wee was lying strangely on the bunny rug. She didn't react to me at all, and upon closer inspection, I discovered that she'd passed away while we were out. Thinking back, she had been behaving differently in the past few days, like sitting in the corner and looking at the wall, rather than out into the room as usual. And she'd been sitting a lot in the bunny house, which is usually Waboose's domain, being the scaredy cat that he is.
Little Wee was only four years old. I'd had her since she was just a tiny baby bunny, and she grew into a pretty white rabbit.

But at six months of age she came down with a case of tilt head, from which she never completely recovered. Sometimes it was better, and sometimes it got worse, but all in all, her quality of life was good, though she was the butt of many jokes. She always played and fought with Waboose, ate, drank, and was also always happy to meet new people, even if they did say mean things about her tilted head. This illness was probably the cause of her early death, because even with a good quality of life, the disease does shorten a bunny's life expectancy.

Wee leaves behind her human family and her bunny husband, Waboose. They didn't have any children, because Waboose was neutered as a young buck. Wee did try to have a baby with a previous boyfriend (Najimo), but that pregnancy resulted in a stillbirth.

Now we have to observe Waboose carefully, because he's never lived alone before. Before I saved him from a certain death in the jaws of a crocodile at the zoo, he had lived with his mom and siblings, then he always had Wee for company. Even when Wee was away for a matter of hours at the vet, he always showered her with attention when she returned. This could prove to be a very difficult period for Boose.

Goodbye, Little Wee.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

If looks could kill, I'd be a murderer.

I just saw my least favorite neighbor a few minutes ago, and it seems he's moving out. But even in moving out he's made me so upset that I am shaking. The trouble is, he parks his trashy, rusted out car right in a place where it's impossible to enter or exit my house. If he parked one meter farther in, it would be no problem. But no, this exceptionally clever brain surgeon of a man manages to park right in a place where it looks like maybe you can get past, but, no, you can't. Complicating this problem is that I and several of my neighbors have children whom they transport in strollers, we also have a neighbor who uses crutches all the time. For us it's an especially irritating conundrum, leading to yelling and very angry people.
On Sunday, after returning from a shopping trip at the supermarket in the train station, which is upsetting in itself because it's the only supermarket open on Sunday, and is therefore full with lots of, um, interesting characters, I could just barely squeeze through the entrance to my house with my bike because of this parking primadonna. I dawdled around near the door to the house, waiting to see who this person is, and sure enough, it was the usual suspect. Due to my trying trip to the supermarket, and my lack of anything to eat that morning, I flipped out, telling this guy that that's a stupid parking spot, that there are people here with strollers who need to go through, and that it doesn't matter if he's leaving in "just a minute" as he claimed, it's a stupid place and is just not acceptable.
And just now, I arrived back with my stroller, and who is parked in exactly the same place yet again? My genius of a neighbor. This time I just demanded that he park in a different place, which he did, and said no more, just giving him the dirtiest look I could muster. And boy, when I came in the apartment and caught a look at myself in the mirror, I frightened myself.
Then who was lingering around the yard just a moment ago? Two of my neighbors with their babies because they can't leave. I went out onto my balcony and suggested they take a nice full diaper and smear it on his windshield. I, unfortunately, don't have any on hand at the moment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicago smells like chocolate!

Today while out for a walk along the Elbe in the summery March weather that we are having, I was listening to my favorite radio show, This American Life, on my headphones while a certain someone was taking a nap in his stroller. I was listening to the episode "In the Shadow of the City", and in the third act, a speaker started talking about a bridge in Chicago that smells like chocolate! This really made my day, imagining walking through town being trailed by the smell of chocolate...when they reported that someone in the city actually complained about this smell, causing an investigation into the chocolate factory which releases the cocoa powder, and ultimately leading to trouble for the chocolate factory due to fine particle pollution from cocoa. You can read more and see a picture of the chocolatey bridge here.

Here in Dresden Neustadt, we have a toothpaste factory that also causes certain streets to smell minty fresh sometimes, and at the most interesting times: occasionally in the morning, when you should have fresh minty breath anyway, once in a while later in the evening, which can really refresh you and wake you up better than a stiff cup of coffee if you've just been out for a heavy dinner. I used to live directly adjacent to this factory and I loved sometimes opening my windows to be met by a wall of minty freshness, I can understand the speaker on "This American Life" who said it was like 1000 little stabs to the heart to know that the chocolate smell would be gone in the future. But is this toothpaste factory perhaps the cause of some of the fine particle pollution that we have here? Could it be that a limit on the number of automobiles in this neighborhood would do very little to no good in reducing the fine particle pollution here, when the real problem is a toothpaste factory? Maybe they should just move the fine particle testing station away from its current location on a busy street to the park, as one city did, and the pollution would probably drop dramatically all by itself!

Here are a couple articles about the smelly chocolate factory:

An End to a Sweet Smell in Chicago

Chocolate Smell On EPA Hit List

Thursday, March 08, 2007

"I'm not vegan, I'm an orthodox."

Patrick F., 2007

Frauenkirche, 2006

This is a real comment, and a real comment from the best day of my life. People say your wedding day is the best day of your life, but I disagree. Although I can't really say, as I haven't yet actually had my wedding day. But anyway, today was pretty good. I taught this morning, translated this noon, and the whole afternoon I prepared my exhibition. My art exhibition. I have never had an art exhibition before, and maybe your saying, "Sarah? She's not an artist, she's a teacher!" Okay, you're right, but I did study art as well as German and teaching, and I like to draw and paint and all of that, and finally, I had the opening of my first exhibition. So maybe now you're saying, "She studied art and never had an exhibition? What kind of studies are those?" Those are American studies, and as an art minor, you don't need to exhibit. But I must say, it was pretty fun, despite me being so nervous that my work was bad or uninteresting. To have many friends, acquaintances and students arrive to look at my work and socialize after hours and hours of solitary work was very gratifying. It is also a really great feeling to organize a full evening with readings, music, food and drinks and to have so many happy guests. So, thank you to everyone who came, and especially thank you to the people who helped me get everything ready , supported the exhibition and publicity, and helped with the entertainment this evening! If you couldn't come, you can still check it out until mid August!
Dear Students,
Please avoid using online translating machines. I know it seems like an easy way to get your English homework done quickly, but really, you just end up sounding silly. Please read this article if you have doubts about my advice:

In English

Mexico city - which Mexican Manuel Uribe, one of fettleibigsten humans of the world, has after five years for the first time its house in the northMexican city San Nicolas de loosely Garza left. In a steel bed with wheels Uribe was pulled by the roads, which he had so for a long time not been able to enter, because he had become heavy 550 kilograms and any longer move could not. He announced to create a donation to the assistance from over-weighty patients to. The trip to fresh air had become possible, because Uribe 205 Kilos abgespeckt and only 345 Kilos on the balance brings. In presence it gave itself its family with a radiating smile convinced to learn to go still before the end of the yearly again. It will remove further 100 kilograms among other things with the assistance of the foreign medical profession, in order to reach this. For the donation "Manuel Uribe" he asked for support from the entrepreneur shank the region and the population. "I would like to help those, which do not create it from own strength, because they do not have the financial means and also not the information", said Uribe. "the Fettleibigkeit is an illness and its treatment is expensive." Humans would have to learn, how they would have to nourish themselves, in order to be able to live healthy. Uribe, whose case admits country-wide is, is treated for one year with the support of the health authorities of the Federal State Nuevo Leon. Also it is treated by the Italian physician Giancarlo de Bernadini, who removed for it among other things fat bulge at the legs (dpa)

Translated using a copy and paste translator on the internet from the following German article:

Okay, if you don't speak any German, this can help you get a general idea of what this article is trying to say. But when you really read it, it just sounds crazy. You are constantly distracted by the strange formulations and this can't be taken seriously, though it's a serious article.

Sincerely, your teacher,


Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm begging you, please don't take me so seriously.


Eine Ausstellung von Sarah Reader
Fotografie, Zeichnungen

Ausstellungsdauer: 8.3.2007-16.8.2007
Vernissage: 8.3.2007 / 18 Uhr


Könneritzstr. 31, 01067 Dresden

Mo-Do 8-19 Uhr
Fr 8-17 Uhr

Okay, you can take it seriously that I'm having an exhibition from March 8th to August 16th, and that the opening is on the 8th of March at 6 pm, and that it is at this school and all that, but this picture, well, I hate to be so overly clear and possibly insult your intelligence, but please don't take it so seriously. It's meant to be a bit ironic and sappy and funny. I mean come on, don't you laugh when you see a typical Bavarian saying clashed up against an American flag? Not to mention an American wearing a striking pink ensemble jaunting through the image?

This is a real, original photograph, I did not alter it at all. It's not a collage, I found this place exactly this way in Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA. But don't think I feel all patriotic or anything, this picture doesn't particularly warm my heart, I really just find it funny. I think it is a curious juxtaposition of what could be seen (and often is seen) as "typically German" by Americans, and, well, a truly typical scene from Smalltown, USA. That's all. This is not some statement like "let's all go to Oktoberfest!" or "God Bless the USA!". It's an observation of a somewhat strange scene, cliched as it may be, but again, not meant to be taken so seriously.

I guess I should have told this to the person at the shop where I wanted to leave some cards. I asked if I could put out some cards for my exhibition, and she wanted to see them. So, I showed her the card, featuring the above photograph, and her eyes got all wide, and she started shaking her head dramatically, and she said "No, no, sorry," quite emphatically. Huh. I was a bit dumbfounded, and went back outside where my friend was waiting with Willy, and my friend asked, "What's wrong? Why is your face red?" and I recounted this story. Oh well. I guess this is just my first experience as a misunderstood artist! Now I can be all dark and moody, because people just don't understand me. (Don't worry, you don't have to take that last sentence so seriously either.)