June 30th, 2011

To end the month of June...


We were driving home from base and came upon an interesting scene - a field FILLED with sheep.

Now, coming from the midwest, I am used to fields of cows and even a few horses. But, I have never seen a field so filled with sheep. There were so many, I literally gasped at the sight of them. In fact, I gasped and we quickly  passed them by. At which point I asked Daniel, "You wouldn't turn around, wouldja?" To which he replied, "I guess," and spun our 20 year old mercedes around, spinning dust around as we went.

Upon taking the picture I did not hear any "Baah"s. But, I did see a couple Germans looking at me like I was crazy while I took pictures of their sheep.

June 26th - 29th, 2011

You know what always provides picture opportunities? Kittens.

June 26th, 2011

Bootstrap is much more interested in Barnacle's toys than his own. Granted, I only got him a 4 pack of little rainbow-colored mice. I think if mice really were purple and green and orange I probably wouldn't be so freaked out by them. But, you could probably say that about a lot of creepy-crawly things.

June 27th, 2011.

In unison! "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww"

P.S. I may or may not have put him in there.

Now, the darker side of having a kitten. June 28th, 2011

I have scratches over 90% of my body.

Ok, that's overstating, but still I have scratches all over, because Bootstrap thinks I am a tree and needs to latch onto my bark in order to climb me. He's like a mini godzilla and I'm the empire state building. The only difference is, I can rip his little claws out of my skin and put him back on the ground to terrorize the villagers.

But, seriously, I took a bath today and the first notable sensation was not relaxation, it was "FUCK THAT STINGS!"

To break up the Bootstrap parade: June 29th, 2011.

Here is his pathetic face, to get me to play with him. Barnacle doesn't seem to care that there's a new kitten in terms of his not getting as much attention. Rather, he scours the house to find Bootstrap and "play" with him.

Really, playing between Barnacle and Bootstrap is Barnacle poking his nose at Bootstrap and Bootstrap swiping his deadly claws at him.

June 25th, 2011

Today's picture makes me laugh. and laugh. and laugh.

The looks on their faces is perfect. And so, so hilarious.

Barnacle and Bootstrap spent the day figuring each other out. Bootstrap doesn't lorve Barnacle yet, but I think that has to do with the fact that Barnacle is like a million times bigger than he is.The kraken is also much more excited to see the dread pirate Bootstrap than the pirate is to see him. So, Barnacle gets a little over zealous. However, Bootstrap isn't terrified of Barnacle, he doesn't hide from him - he just hisses and scratches his nose. Meanwhile, Barnacle seems to understand not to bite Bootstrap, but that doesn't stop him from jumping around him like a total freak.

Hopefully soon Barnacle will lose interest and the pirate and the kraken can live on peaceful waters. Mostly because I'm sick of watching them like a hawk lest playtime turns to attack on the high seas.

June 24th, 2011

You know what will cheer you up after a bad night?

Your sister bringing you a (free) kitten!

Behold, Bootstrap! We got him from someone in Mannheim, and my sister, Emily, and brother-in-law, Matt, were awesome enough to bring him to us. Apparently his mother was neglecting him and that's why the people gave him away - so he's really small and skinny. We're feeding him milk because he hasn't started eating kitten food yet.

I've been wanting a kitten for a long time so I'm psyched. But, it's going be awhile before Barnacle and Bootstrap will be friends. Mostly Barnacle wants to play with Bootstrap and Bootstrap wants to hiss at him and run away. Oh and credit goes to my sister, Renee, for the awesome name idea.

So, now my house has a pirate and a sea creature. Soon, I'll wake up to the sounds of plundering and cannons.

June 23rd, 2011

Not the most cheerful day.

This pyramid of used tissues is only a portion of the ones I actually went through.

I would like to be able to tell you that something tangible actually happened, that maybe Barnacle fell down a well or something - at least that would be some excuse for my hour of blubbering and sobbing. However, I merely had a meltdown over my unemployment.

Being a college graduate does not seem to be getting me very far. Except by allowing me to correctly describe my state of turmoil.

Mostly, moving to Germany seems to be providing me with more challenges than I foresaw, and I'm not exactly handling it as maturely as possible. But, I never claimed to be very mature.

My rational brain understands that this will pass. Until then I need to buy more kleenex.

June 21st - 22nd, 2011

As I am perpetually unemployed (can you detect the self pity here) I should be able to update more often. So, here I am, at 12:30 in the morning, posting.

On Monday, June 21st, I noted a gradual change occurring in my hyper, crazy, rambunctious puppy.

He sleeps more. I can't fully explain how much of a relief this is. I think Barnacle will go down in history as the most obnoxious puppy in the world - constantly jumping on everyone, running around the room like a psychotic beast, following me everywhere. I will say that I love my dog - most of the time. But, it's really nice to get some peace and quiet without having to confine him to his crate.

Today, the 22nd, I noted our new sophisticated lifestyle.

We have TWO change jars for TWO different types of currency. Well, really, one's an empty tennis ball dispenser and the other is a cheap piece of tupperware, but change jar just rolls of the tongue a little sweeter.

We are so fancy that we need somewhere to put our American change and somewhere to put our Euros. Mostly, I put my foot down for the jars because I'm constantly playing scavenger hunt for change in my house because it appears my husband has holes in all of his pockets that change just leaps out of.

I honestly don't know how change ends up all over our house, perhaps Daniel is hiding it for me to find in order to add some excitement to my unemployed life.

Squeezing in between the washer and dryer and plieing to pick up an errant quarter is not my idea of a thrilling afternoon. But, it does allow me to drag out my rusty ballet. Swan Lake here I come.

June 17th - June 20th, 2011

Four days to catch up on. Here we go.

On June 17th I documented my ghetto housing.

Here's the area of housing where people like to break glass!

On June 18th, I documented the fact that living in a different part of the world makes for different living.

Here is the sun setting - at 9:30 PM. It stays light out super late and gets light super early. We are in the land of perpetual light, and thus perpetual waking me up at 5 am.

On June 19th I saw another household alliance.

Barnacle's monkey toys are friends, even though he ripped one's face off and the other's throat out.

June 20th.

Aaaaand a cat skull.

June 16th, 2011

Something AMAZING happened today!!

My (adopted) sister-in-law sent me smile cookies!!!!!!

She actually sent me 6 because she's awesome. One and a half are already gone. I'm hoping to stagger the consumption of the rest. I won't be sharing. I mean, my husband said he didn't want any, but I'm not going to push the matter, 'cause smile cookies make me selfish.

For those of you who don't know, smile cookies from Cumberland Bakery in Des Plaines, Illinois are the best cookies in. the. world.

Love you, SIL!!

June15th, 2011

The army consistently says one thing and does another, especially when they tell you your husband will be home at a certain time. So, I wasn't all that surprised when I arrived to pick up my husband from over two weeks in the field - only to find that he was being held for longer than expected. So, I drove around base.

And I stumbled across an impressive flower-bed/ pretty thing. I don't really know what to call it, but it's cool.

I'm coming to the conclusion that Germany makes up for not being the United States by taking a lot more time to make the base prettier with flowers and landscaping. You know, everywhere except where I live - in the ghetto housing.

Still not bitter about that.

June 14th, 2011

Something very interesting happened to me today - hence the early post. I think maybe you should look at the picture before I explain.

My toenail fell off.

Yes, let that sink in. My fucking toenail fell off.

It's one of the grossest and most fascinating things to happen to me. Which is sad.

I'll explain.

If you remember, back on April 26th I took a picture of my toe after bashing it into the door. I knew it hurt, A LOT. In fact, I spent a good five days complaining about it and wincing any time anything came in contact with it. I was worried I broke my toe because it hurt for a good three weeks. But, I suppose it didn't hurt bad enough to go to the doctor - not going was responsible, and oh yeah, forgot to mention, I hate doctors.

Anyway, it turns out that it hurt that much because the toenail died. Well, that's what I'm saying happened because the end of it was black and looked dead - I guess what you call the toenail root was black. I assumed it was just a bruise, but apparently the whole nail decided to give up and heave ho.

Here are the real gory details - I was cleaning myself (a rarity in my unemployed state) and the shower poof thing snagged on the toenail and just like that it just snapped off. Pop! Off comes the whole thing. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt, it just kind of fell off, like a scab, into my hand. Well, rather, it's what I imagine a scab falling off would be like, because I always pick my scabs.

Anyway, I stared in blank horror at the entire toenail sitting in my palm. Yes, not just a section - the whole. damn. thing. I was even more surprised that I wasn't hopping around the shower yowling in pain - which would have been very dangerous now that I think about it. Puzzled by this lack of gut-wrenching, torturous, throbbing pain, I looked back at newly naked toenail bed only to find that it wasn't naked at all. Unbeknownst to me, a new nail was growing underneath the dead nail. It's very thin and softer than the other nails. But, I'm very thankful to this thin, almost deformed nail because I'm pretty sure that the existence of my new Frankenstein nail is the only reason why it didn't hurt like an unholy bitch when the other dead nail fell off. So, thank you Frankenstein nail - you saved me from whining like a baby and probably falling and killing myself in the shower.

Of course, I had to save the nail to take a picture of it for 365, right after sending a picture message of it to my husband (I'm really romantic). So, now you get to stare at it and choke back bile at imagining my toenail falling off. Just picture it. Picture that toenail just coming unhinged like a loose window frame, peeling back from the skin and right into your hand. Picture it, you know you wanna.

Ok, but all that being said, there's really only one way to sum today up. Today my toenail fell. off.

June 13th, 2011

A little introduction to today's blog.

I'm not much of a domestic goddess. If left to my own devices I would spend all day in pajamas and leave my hair dirty and un-brushed. It is only because of my dog and having to take him out in public multiple times per day that I make an effort to look presentable, otherwise I wouldn't leave the house at all.

I never used to cook. My two mastered recipes were cookie bars and pasta salad, and that was only because it's hard to get people to cook those two things for you. Any time I found myself in the kitchen I was generally using the microwave or tearing my hair out trying to create an over-the-top recipe that never turned out quite right.

That being said, I have recently found out that I don't suck as a cook when I don't set my sights on the cooking Taj Mahal. This is a pretty big shock to me, considering I always, always, ALWAYS hated cooking prior to getting married. But, upon saying "I do," I found that I don't really suck at cooking dinner.

That being said, two years ago I would not have taken to the kitchen when I was in a self pitying mood in order to snap myself out of it. There may have been eating involved, but little to no cooking on my part. Alas, it is two years later and I've learned how to use a frying pan without injuring anyone.

So, when I found myself in a state of self deprecation and sadness tonight, I took to the kitchen.

And I made schnitzel. It seemed only fitting due to my new Germanic address.

It tasted a.maz.ing. Just in case you were wondering.

June 10th - June 12th, 2011

To start with - some scenery. June 10th.

I look at these giant trees every day - when I take Barnacle out to take a dump. No one can paint a pretty picture like me, eh?

June 11th I stumbled on something semi-creepy.

I don't know if there's a snail inside or not, but I told myself there wasn't so I could take the picture.

The snails here are humongous and really, really creepy. But, when they're safely hidden in their shells they're pretty. Well, their shells are pretty.

Today's picture is also creepy.

My husband and my dog - seemingly about to make out.

June 9th, 2011

I'm thinking of renaming this portion of Project 365 to "Walks With Barnacle." The reason I usually take pictures at this time of day is because, in case you haven't guessed, it's usually the only time of day I actually get out into the world. Not having a car or a job kind of limits my exploring possibilities. Not to mention, I'm paralyzed with fear at the thought of becoming lost in Germany. I literally only know my way to and from base, and I have been known to get lost with a GPS, so the idea of being stranded and not understanding the signs surrounding me is a little terrifying.

That being said, I hope to have a job soon, and thus will have the opportunity to take pictures in more places. Until then, I'm afraid you're stuck with these.

Throughout our walk, I find Barnacle doing his best impression of Trusty from Lady and the Tramp, the Bloodhound whose nose is perpetually to the ground. Though, I imagine Barnacle's sense of smell is still in tact.

It's this fact, coupled with his pointy head, long ears, and droopy face, that have led me to the conclusion that Barnacle is part bloodhound. I no longer think he's part basset hound, because he's getting too tall for that. I'm not sure if there's another breed thrown in there. The vet suggested he might be part Rhodesian Ridgeback because of the row of curly hair on his back. I've looked up that dog, and it does resemble Barnacle a little, though I've never seen one closeup to really verify.

One things for sure, Barnacle is one weird ass mutt.

June 7th - June 8th, 2011

Ok, so yesterday's (June 7th) picture is a little morbid and creepy.

Behold! A creepy and very dead German frog!

Ok, so, I didn't know it was dead until I saw it in the same exact spot two days in a row, and then, of course, I decided to take a picture of it.

I didn't notice that the frog was gathering dust until I looked at the pictures. I didn't know until then because I had my camera zoomed all the way in, standing a good 10 feet away from the very dead frog, with my camera held out at arms length. I hyperventilated between snapping pictures, and firmly told myself over and over again, "It's dead. It's dead. It's dead."

I don't know what I expected to happen with the frog being dead like that, as if its ghost would accost me. Frankly, I don't know what I would've expected to happen if the frog was alive. What could it possibly do to me? Jump near me? I highly doubt this Germanic strand of frog is poisonous, and even so, I would hope I could out-run a tiny hopping frog.

However, logic cannot be accounted for in this case. I am very, very afraid of this (and all) frogs. I really didn't know that until I encountered one in Germany. Who knew moving here would reveal my fear of amphibians?

Today, June 8th, I took a picture of something that's just funny.

Apparently in Germany dog poop is illegal. I wish I had known this before Barnacle pooped ALL OVER that park.

Well, he didn't really, but I still think it's funny that they have an anti-dog-poop sign. As if that stopped me, considering I took the picture while holding onto Barnacle's leash, not paying the least bit attention to his bowel movements.

June 6th, 2011

Pretty soon I'm going to run out of things to take pictures of while I'm walking the kraken.

But, I did stumble upon something disturbing on our walk today.

First of all, it disturbs me that people are sticking their hands in the grill's ashes to put hand prints on it. The idea of getting my hands that dirty makes me cringe. But, I have a weird thing about having stuff on my hands.

Second, I can't think of why someone would bring red paint to a grill with the sole purpose of writing "HELP" on it. I wondered if it was ketchup, but on closer inspection it was clearly paint.

This grill looks like it was the center of a cult ritual trying to drag in a new member, who happened to be near red paint and could only think to write HELP on the side as an SOS to passersby.

Perhaps I'll start Nancy Drewing all the grills around housing for clues of cult activity.

June 3rd - June 5th, 2011

I had to force myself to update after three days of laziness. I almost didn't, but I made a commitment to - well I guess myself that I'd keep this thing going without posting 14 pictures in one blog.

So, on June 3rd I took a picture while on my daily walk with the kraken.

I have no idea what this building is. But, it looks like an old war building. The exclamation point signs bearing Germanic warnings make it seem ominous though. I could go into what I imagine happened in here, but it might be true, and that would just lessen the comedy.

On June 4th I took my first drive in Germany. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, more about driving my husband's monster hooptie than driving in Germany, but it turns out that the megabeast can be tamed slightly - if I smash the pedals hard enough, and I know my way to and from base after a million times of watching my husband drive there. I am proud of myself for learning at least one route, I am exceedingly hopeless with guiding 1,000 pounds of metal to the correct destination. But, the best part of my drive was this sign.

I assume PETA did this. Honestly, as a meat-eater I find it annoying. But, mostly I found it more amusing, and I found it awesome that I could actually read the words on a sign in this country, because I am very, very bad at understanding German.

But, my very first reaction was, "but...they're so delicious."

Today, June 5th, I asked my husband to test his abilities.

My dog was accosting him yet again, and I asked him if he could still pick him up. Clearly, he can. The last time we were at the vet, Barnacle weighed 51 pounds and I'm pretty sure he's gained weight since. He has about three feet of extra skin to still grow into, a little of which you can see bunched up around Daniel's hand, so I'm sure he'll be gaining weight at a pretty steady rate for the next 6 months and next time it might not be so easy if I ask my husband to heft the kraken over his head.

June 1st - June 2nd, 2011

Yesssss, I am only catching up on two days in this blog! Perhaps I'm on the road to... better blogging? I can't think of anything more clever than that.

Anyway, Germany rang in June with an exceedingly rainy day. However, by the late afternoon it shifted to just a cloudy day so I was able to take the kraken on a walk and on that walk we encountered something creepy.

This drawing is featured on the back side of one of the family housing apartment buildings. I do not know why there is a creepy lion or why he is surrounded by hand prints - but I'm going to assume that the lion reels you in with his charming "hi," and then proceeds to cut off your hands to make prints on the wall with your blood. I never knew Germany was known for lion serial killers, but now I'm on the alert.

June 2nd is a tribute to Barnacle's charm.

While on our walk, Barnacle came across a rather large black German Shepherd. Of course, Barnacle was racing to get to the other dog, and as soon as they met, the German Shepherd proceeded to make out with Barnacle's head. Yeah, what you're seeing is that dogs foamy drool coating the top of his head and his ear. Barnacle's got the charm, yo.