My madcap adventures in Germany during my year as a Fulbright Scholar.

25 April 2007

And she's back

Finally, after almost two weeks, my computer came home!

As written, I used my computer-less time to catch up on reading. So far I've totalled more than 2500 pages:

  • The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac

  • Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

  • Silas Marner by George Eliot

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

  • Tent by Margaret Atwood

  • Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton

  • The Gods Arrive ditto

Plus more than half of A Journal of the Plague Year (Defoe).

It was lovely to take time off and just read.

For the most part the books I read were very good. The Mark Haddon had a unique narrative voice and was a fun read, but I don't quite understand why reviewers swoon over it. It's not that good; it certainly can't hold a candle to the rest of that list.

But, man, Defoe is dull! He's describing death on a large scale, mass graves, and ox carts rolling through the streets of London, full of corpses ("Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!), and yet it's still an insufferable, dull, rambling, moralizing mess... And it made me praise God for standardized spelling, which is odd, given that I don't believe in God.

But the god who gave us standardized spelling is a merciful god indeed.

I'm hoping to maintain the reading streak for a little while longer; I still have a pile of books from the library, waiting to be read. I might skip the Moll Flanders, because I will claw out my eyeballs if it's as dull as the other Defoe. At the very least I will seek out an edition with updated spelling and capitalization. I just don't see the pointe of suffering thru uneven Speling and capitalized Nouns any longer.

I'll be posting a bit more about what I've been up to lately when I can. I'm going out of town for the weekend, though, so you'll probably have to count on another hiatus. Sorry.

12 April 2007

No blogging for me

My computer is broken! It's been in the shop for less than twenty-four hours and I'm already going crazy. No email! No wikipedia! No google! No way to charge my iPod! No blogs! No Flickr!

On the plus side, I actually managed to write in my journal and read a book yesterday.

So... I'll be taking a few days off from blogging until I have my laptop back.

Go read a book until I come back.

09 April 2007

Run Away!

Here's my completed Easter knitting project.

While it may look like an innocent bunny mitten, it is, in actuality, a vicious Killer Rabbit!

Run Away!!!

08 April 2007


Here's to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ by consuming as many chocolate-covered pagan fertility symbols as you can!

And here's a sneak preview of an Easter-related knitting project:

I'll post more when it's finished.

Frohe Ostern!

05 April 2007

Ausländer and ornithology

Most of the time I'm here, my life goes on in a completely normal fashion. I take classes, study, spend time in the library, write, blog, take photos, knit, procrastinate, but sometimes I have moments when it really hits me that I'm in a foreign country.

I'm becoming inured to the drinking in public and when warm weather rolls around I'm sure I will become accustomed to the public nudity. But some things still strike me:

There's seeing public art that just would not be tolerated in the United States,

having your time wasted by people who mindlessly following rules and protocol, including making out a receipt

for €1.50,

and having a landlord who doesn't hesitate to corner you on your way up to your apartment and ask invasive questions:

"I can't help but notice you've lost a lot of weight. My wife, you see, she's a bit fat and has tried everything. What's your secret?"

"Well," stammering in an embarrassed manner. "I just walk a lot."

"That can't be all."

"No, I mean, a lot a lot."

On a completely unrelated note, any idea what kind of a duck this is?


04 April 2007

Spot the error

Here, I'll give you a hint.



03 April 2007

life of an academic

If I'm serious about pursuing this whole academic schtick, you all might want to consider investing in 3M.

This is for one article. Imagine how many I'll go through writing the dissertation.

To diversify your portfolio, you should also consider investing in whoever produces binder clips.

With the deadline looming I finally managed to finish this project. It's a huge relief, and I'd hoped to be able to spend the next few days catching up on everything I've been neglecting--blogging, knitting, letter- and email-writing, laundry, shopping--but instead I've come down with a nasty cold. Figures.