Traurig, Ich esse nicht Rindfleisch
Sadly, I do not eat beef

Sun, 25 Mar 2001

Excerpt from an collegue organizing food for a recent meeting:
I'm collecting the money for the Pizza and drinks.
Please notice that based on lastest news on meat, the
Pizza will be a veggie, sorry for the meat eaters :(

I have stuck to my no-beef diet. And they don't eat much chicken here. So I've had a lot of pork lately and a lot of vegetarian fare.

A group of co-workers (all the Spanish-speakers -- what is up with me?) and I all went to the movies on a recent Sunday night -- for some reason, the local cinema was showing "Rushmore" in English -- not even German subtitles. I love that movie. They seemed to enjoy it as well. Afterwards, we went to a Brazilian-themed restaurant in Bad Godesberg that I loved -- can't wait to go back!

I am soooo disappointed that I didn't see "Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon," before I left the U.S. Huge mistake. Because it's in Chinese and, therefore, even if it's subtitled instead of dubbed, it will do me no good, because -- it will be subtitled in German!! DAMN!!!

I went to Bonn the day before the movie and met up with a co-worker, then she drove her mother and I to a home and garden store. I bought a few things -- hangers, wastebasket, hooks -- but she and her mother really went to town. Her mother is hilarious -- she doesn't speak much English, and she speaks NO German, and she doesn't really like Germans. She totally knows what she wants, and has very, very particular tastes. She was cracking me up as she judged each and every item in the store, and walked through the store with complete focus and determination.

Then we went back to their apartment, met up with two other co-workers, and had a nice late lunch. By the end of it all, her mother was saying something like "Mi casa su casa, Yo es su madre aqui" -- My house is your house, I am your mother while you are here -- and I, ofcourse, had to fight back tears. People are so wonderful sometimes....

A couple of weeks ago, I sent Mary a listing of SXSW bands to see. Going over the list of who was playing just about killed me... the festival starts this week. I can't believe I'm missing it....

My Nigerian co-worker came in one day and spent 30 minutes trying to convert me to Christianity (Catholicism in particular). He's distraught that I'm not a Catholic. Even if I were a "fallen" Catholic, I'd be okay, because that would mean I'm still a member of the church (he pretty much thinks that, unless you've been excommunicated, you are in the Catholic church for life). He's a sweetie, but he's amazingly naive.

Later that same day, I explained to my co-workers the phenomena that is UK Basketball. They were intrigued. They had no idea. They thought all Americans did was watch pro ball (YUCK!). And, ofcourse, my Nigerian co-worker made the mistake of saying pro ball was "better." He'll never be the same now, I fear... he just seems to always say exactly the wrong thing around me. But I still really like him. He's a gentle soul. A gentle soul that's going to run screaming the next time he sees me.

I'm rather hungry for reading material. There are bookstores everywhere here but I haven't had much luck with finding English-language books. I've read "The Sound and the Fury" (I'd never read it before, and it was a good choice to bring, since it's NOT a quick read); Anne Marino's novel, The Collapsible World (available on or from your favorite independent bookstore -- reading it made me feel like I was back in San Francisco); and the Winter issue of the Oxford American. I just got "Stones from the River" in a care package from home, so that will tied me over the weekend. But if I finish it, and my other books aren't here, I'll have to suffer through a book of short stories by Jimmy Buffett that a parrot head friend loaned me.

It rains almost every day, for just a little while, usually, but only twice so far while I was riding to or from work. It's snowed a few times as well. Three weekends, it's also been well into the 50s. We haven't been able to walk along the Rhein for many days -- it's flooded. It happened so slowly -- I just kept noticing that the ships seemed to be higher than I remembered. The water went up over the benches on the hike and bike trail. Then it went down. Then it went back up. And now it's creeping up streets and steps. The ferry isn't running anymore, because the ramp and road to get to the ferry is flooded. It's spooky. I live on a kind of cliff, so I'm not worried about my stuff or the boys. But work, including the castle, is not as high as my apartment. I will probably have to go ride down there and see just how bad it is.

More later . . .

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