Friday, December 23, 2011

Ring-A-Ling Ring-A-Ling

For the past couple of days, I've been thinking heavily about what I recently heard a weatherman say about snow. Snow is an annoyance or an adventure depending on your point of view or your age. Pretty poetic for a forecaster, don't you think? I imagine this could be applied to just about anything, though.
Perhaps, I've grown a little cynical, but lately things seem less adventurous and more of a annoyance. Maybe it's the fact that I turned 45 this week or because it's the holidays. Maybe it's a combination.
I was shopping the other day and found myself getting really annoyed. As I waited in line, the muscles in my neck grew tense and beads of sweat rolled down my back. It was then that I realized the song that was playing. It was Silver Bells.
That song conjures up the worst of Christmas memories, worse than the Ronco Bottle And Jar Cutter, a gift from my dad one year, which is a different story.
This song is psychological warfare to me. Keep this in mind when you need me to surrender the compound.
In the first grade Christmas pageant I was cast as a Silver Bell, not Susie Snowflake, and most importantly, NOT The Virgin Mary-the most coveted role among all 6 year old Catholic girls. This seems rather absurd, now that I think about it.
Had those nuns known the repercussions of casting be as a bell and not The Virgin, my life would have been completely different. I wouldn't be sweating like Pavlov's dog every time I hear a ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling . I think he salivated, but either way there was a bell involved.
Things would have been different alright.
Who knows, I may have even liked the snow.
Soon it will be Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegetable With No Cream

The German word for snow is Schnee, when pronounced correctly rhymes with the English word, knee. When we lived in Germany I found it amusing that something so dreadful that could last for months on end had such a cute little name. It sounded like a petite sneeze. A sneeze is defined as a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the mouth. No offense to the Germans, but that pretty much sums up the rest of the language. Not a series of sneezes, but convulsive expulsions. In the three years we were there, I learned a few words and could fake my way through a conversation. I knew when to nod and laugh. The Germans learn English in school and welcome the opportunity to show off their multi-language skills, therefore, I learned to speak English with a German accent.
The one phrase I had down was what kind of dog I had. This I had to recite to every passerby on our daily walks. After a while, I thought I get creative and add a little more to the phrase. My dog's name is Sienna. She is a mixture breed and she has no teeth. I said this phrase for the first two years and always felt so proud of myself. I was speaking German!
One day John was with me and I felt like showing off. Since he spoke perfect German and taught himself, well...whatever, he laughed and asked if I really knew what I was saying. Of course, I added," my dog is a mixture and she has no teeth". Except I had the two most important words wrong. The word for mixture is Gemisch and I was saying vegetable, which is Gemüse. The word for teeth is Zähne and I was saying cream, which is Sahne. Hello, this is my dog Sienna. She is a vegetable with no cream.
Now that we live in Ohio and it's sneezing outside for the first time this Winter, I wonder if the people in our little German village ever ask what happened to that woman who walked her dog that was a vegetable with no cream.