Thursday, December 4, 2008


Friday morning December 5th

darn it! for sis-o-mine's yesterday birthday I had, on Monday, ordered online a Scandinavian Advent candle with days marked on it and every day the family sits together while the candle burns down one day's markings worth. She'd wished for it and hadn't found, so I was especially pleased to have found it for her - and to have it sent from the States to the States while I sit here in Berlin.

But nooo, this morning I had e-mail that they had tried to call me in the States, where I am not, to say that the candle holder I had ordered to go with it was out of stock, so they were sitting on the candle too. So instead of lovely going-together set, with wooden calendar numbers for the days of Advent, happily arriving at my sister's house in plenty of time for birthday, instead there is just lone candle, arriving late.

(It's OK, I wrote sister all of this already so no untoward secrets are revealed in blog.)

Movies we've seen

with hubby and sis-in-law last weekend, Pazar: a movie in Turkish that we saw with German subtitles. A small-time hustler wandering out in the Azerbaijani hinterlands. some glorious landscapes and some wonderful characters onstage.

with Felix night before last: Quantum of Solace, in the original English. You may have heard of it. Most recent James Bond film. Ever since my marriage almost imploded in 1995 I have been able to watch violent films. The male members of my immediate family tell me James bond movies aren't real violence, but it looks like real violence to me, but no matter, I can watch it now.

Felix has no trouble watching it, now why is that? Anyway, we had a good time. Wonderfully sumptuous big movie theater, plush seats, assigned seating, and they gave him an Advent calendar, with chocolate inside no less, promoting some movie or other. He was thrilled with that. After I went to all that trouble wandering around town looking for one for him!

I ask you. But that's what we've been to see in the last bit.

Weight Woes

didn't find a decent / reasonable Advent calendar for Felix with nice pictures and good milk chocolate behind the windows you open (there were kinds with wonderful chocolate but not milk chocolate) - in fact I spent most of a morning wandering around stores looking/thinking about this but nooooooo; a. lots were sold out already (the kind with Legos and stuff); b. lots had fancier chocolate as I said, not milk; c. I got overwhelmed there was so much stuff.

So I got a very nice plain Advent calendar with three little kids dressed as an angel, a shepherd, and a Virgin Mary with baby, iillustrated by Quentin Blake who does the Roald Dahl books, and then I got all kinds of chocolate, milk for Felix and other kinds for other family members, and put them in a bag in a safe hiding place and put out a bowl to put new things in every day.

Well, if you know a little bit about me maybe this wasn't so great. Last night I felt awful and had gained, again, 3 kilos (it's the same 3 kilos over and over again, fortunately, but still it is tiresome). Today I've sworn it's no chocolate at all and fruits and vegetables like there's no tomorrow. Hope it works!

51,567 words

yes, I won NaNoWriMo! Thank you to all of you who were so wonderfully supportive.

What it means that I won: no money, no glory. I get on a list. 21,719 other people also won. (Out of 119,000-some around the world who signed up.) In this, NaNoWriMo's tenth year, a larger percentage of people finished than ever before (except for the early two years with like 10 or 25 people, a statistically not so good sample).

What it really means: got my 50,000+ words posted before midnight November 30th.
had to think up a title (came up with Who Came and Who Went)
got wonderful writing practice through the month of November and can't wait to get back to it
met some people in a cafe to do writing on Saturdays and we are going to keep meeting

So, just wanted to say it. More later.

Just do it, take two: blogging

I've been noticing on the Huffington Post that there is a Guide to Blogging being sold there which I was wanting to get - I need it, right!? 

Anyway, this morning online I happened on Arianna Huffington herself being interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show - encouraging us all to blog, telling us there are 50,000 new blogs starting every day. Can it be?

Here's the link: and once you're there you scroll down and there she is. Sorry I can't seem to figure out how to get a more helpful link.

Here's how I saw it:  her Greek accent was delightful; Jon was a real nuisance for not letting her say what her secret passion was even though she tried to start saying it like 5 times; Jon Stewart is pretty funny.

But it still didn't answer a lot of my questions and wonderings about blogging, so I guess I do have to get the book.

Just do it! and Happy Birthday!

I think I have to learn and repeat over and over: can't catch up with the past! Just move forward through the present and into the future!

So I cannot wait to blog again until I have the requisite 9 and a half hours to catch up on all the days and lives and minutes in which I didn't blog.

So I say hello to you today from wintry Berlin, where the lakes are slushily frozen, where the main shopping streets are wonderfully lit with lights and stars and not so wonderfully with kitschy fat Santa Clauses stolen from some American idea.

Hello to you from wintry Berlin where it is December 4th and I am celebrating my big sister's 51st birthday in Austin, where she is settling into her new house and new life post 4 years in Addis Ababa. 

Hello and good-bye and on to the next post!