January 31, 2011

And the winner is...

The moment you have all been waiting for...the winner of the TexaGermaNadian First Annual Winter Wonderland Blog Header and Button Custom Designed Extravaganza (Wow, I don't remember it being that long when it started out. That really got outta hand!).

Before I announce the luck lady who won, I want to thank you all who participated and also thank all my readers and followers who have been so great this last month. You're (What a dumbass, I made the mistake that I de-friend people for making, sorry!) Your comments really keep me going. It makes me smile every time I look at the blog. So thanks for making my January not quite as bleak and dreary as it could have been!

Now, onto the the announcement...drum roll please. The lovely winner was:

Yenta Mary at Food Floozie!

Whoohoo! I wrote all the participants down, added any extra entries they might have had for extra postings on their own blogs, and then used a random number generator to do the dirty work. The number 5 popped up, and sure enough she was  listed on that line. (And for those of you who don't believe the validity, I will promptly send you the proof and an internet punch for doubting me).

Congrats again to Yenta Mary, I can't wait to get designing for her!

So, onto our little mini trip today (Hey, that's one thing that I have actually done for my Project: Do Me!)

Mondays in the German hockey world are pretty quiet. It is the day that most teams don't have practice or meetings or anything. A pure day off. We tend to lay around, nurse our Sunday night hangover, and general stretch the Zombie Sunday into a Zombie Monday.

But today, with it being the HUBS' BIRTHDAY (See, I did make a shout out to ya!) and with his parents in town, we ventured our for a mini day trip.

Although it was quite cloudy and hazy - it has been such a damp cold lately, those days when you can't do anything to get your bones warm - the hubs insisted on hopping over into Austria to ride on the Pfänderbahn, the local mountain gondola. I kinda figured we wouldn't see much on the ride up with this weather. I mean, we couldn't even see the Alps from our place; our friendly neighborhood mountains that line the southern horizon. I know right, boohoo for us and our sad and sorry life.

Yeah, a clear winter day....not.

But regardless, it was birthday boy's choice. So we made the quick drive to Bregenz, Austria, an absolutely beautiful lakeside resort town right on the German border. This town was actually featured in the latest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. The Seebühne, or lake stage, made an appearance, and apparently one of the movie's chase scenes was filmed right there in the middle of town. I can tell you one thing, this town has some mula!

Ok, back to the gondola. The Pfänderbahn takes you on a quick six minute ride up to the mountain station on the Pfänder, which is just over 1000 meters. So not too high, but the view, at least when clear, is absolutely stunning. In one glance you can see the panorama of Lake Constance, the Austrian Alps, the southern shore of Germany on the Bodensee and the northern shore of the Switzerland border. It really does make Pfänder one of the most famous lookout points of the region.

Gorgeous. And obviously not a picture from today's trip.

From the top, apparently, you can go skiing, snowboarding, sledding,  snow shoeing, or, as they put it, "fun cross country skiing", which I think is an oxymoron. We did none of these. We walked out the exit, got disoriented in the cloud of fog for a minute or two, and promptly went ran back inside the waiting area for some delicious coffee-automat hot chocolate. Mmmm-mmm. Such troopers.

Really, what would you have done?!

I have been up there on a clear day, and it is worth every penny to see the sights. If you ever find yourself in this part of the world, I would consider it a must-see! Check out the website (in English, awesome) HERE.

All bundled up waiting for the gondola

Tonight, we are headed to a steakhouse for the hubs' b-day dinner. My stomach is already growling at the though of some good ol' American style grub.

I promise more fun things for the beginning of February. I have some great ideas for posts this next week. Be sure to look out for "Things that Germans think are American, but just have missed the mark by a mile", "Recycling in Germany: The best way to get yelled at for doing something wrong", and "Why every country we travel to goes broke or riots within the year".

Have a great Monday bloggyland :)

January 30, 2011

Zombie Sunday 1/30

A month of Zombie Sundays has come and gone! 

 And man oh man am I glad that January is winding down! It always does seem to pick up at the end of the month. A birthday celebration for the hubs, then straight into a short and busy February. There is the super bowl, we have tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show (yes, they actually came to our little town, bizarre!), and I am crossing my fingers for a girls mini getaway. And then March will be here before we know, playoffs will start, and thank tha Lord, spring will finally arrive!

Unlike the usual Zombie rambles, I have actual content for today's post. But, don't worry, I am still slacking a bit because I have been saving these up the whole week for an easy-peasy Japanessy post today. Ok, so maybe its more like a tame vegetarian zombie and not so much a Night of the Living Dead zombie.

WARNING: Shameless Plugging! :) First off, I want to remind everyone that today is the LAST day to enter for a chance to win a custom blog header and button in my giveaway. DO IT NOW (of course if you want a new blog header, haha). If you don't know about the giveaway, full details can be found here. I will announce the winner tomorrow, and am looking forward to designing something special for one of ya'll!!! And thanks to all of ya'll already participating. My first giveaway is going great!

Project: Do Me 
So, the lovely Ms. KY over at Travel Babbles had a great idea for a mini mental makeover. Her project, titled the sassy and clever "Project: Do Me" asks readers and writers to think about their happiness goals for themselves.  Because, as she puts is so wonderfully, happy girls are the prettiest girls.

This is such a great idea. There is never a bad time to step back and take a look at your goals for yourself and for your happiness. So, she asks, what are your goals, however lofty they might be, for your well-being on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis? These had me thinking. I consider myself a pretty happy and at-peace gal. This year in Germany has really allowed me to be that way (or maybe taught me to give up all hope and just stop caring??! haha, jk). So, here goes my goals, always changing, but always heading in one direction: happiness and a better me.

*Go to bed earlier, at least at a reasonable time
*Spend more productive time online and less mindless wandering

*Call or lengthy email a different friend every week (ugg, always my goal, rarely happens)
*Dust off my old German books and at least review vocabulary that has been slipping
*Meet with the gals once a week for lunch, coffee, etc.

Hmmm, this one is a little harder to think of...
*At least for the next month, take better care of the skin on my face. I feel like a pizza right now! :)
*Take a mini-vacation/trip somewhere new every month. Even if it is just a day exploring a neighboring town. I need to take better advantage of this whole Europe thing!

*I really have a great feeling about this year (what's new, I say that every year :)). But this one's different. We are finally feeling normalized in Deutschland, our relationship grows deeper every day, and everything else just seems on the up and up. So my yearly goal is to remember how I feel right now, remember that this year, just like all the rest and all to come, will be MY year. If I can keep that on mind, then the rest will just have to fall right into place.

If you too would like to join Ms. KY's project, hop on over to Travel Babbles and link up your upcoming post. Thanks again girl, it was great to express that on 'paper', I have a feeling it will keep me a bit more accountable!

My very awesome in-laws are in town for a couple of days, which is so nice! They regularly make business trips to Germany every year, and we are lucky that they can swing down here to see us before their meetings start up . I am really, really happy they are here and looking forward to catching up with them in the next few days! I might be a little more MIA than usual. I think you'll cope! If you want to see a very old post, you can have a look here and see when my in-laws came to visit us two years ago. Back when the blog was just a baby...well, really, it still is.

And last, but certainly not least awesome lady Mollie over at OK in UK passed on a super cool award. Woohoo, I got the LOL Award!!! You're the best Mollie, and I look forward to your sarcastic-ass posts and comments every day :)

I promise to pass on the award soon enough. I'll do a 'funny day' post or something of the like. And since I have already done the random things about me list for the Stylish Blogger award, I won't bore you with another seven. I think one should do the trick....

1. Much to my mother and father's chagrin, my first word was "kitty". I also have loved cats, and really all animals. But we always had kitties (ok, badass cats I might add) so they have a special place in my heart. And even though I consider my twisted humor above this - can't believe I am admitting this right now - I love those stupid 'LOL' and 'Can I has Cheeseburger' Cats. Call it my one guilty indulgence.

(So, I probably lost half of you with that one, but if you are still here, keep reading. Not much more to go :))

Also, I promise in the next week to add a blog roll list to the side bars, with categories, and that will hopefully suffice as my "pass it on" list for now.

AND I can't help but steal her line at the end of the post:

Believe in your dreams, people!

Have a great Zombie Sunday, ya'll :)

January 28, 2011

You DO Know German

Gather round children. Do I have a treat for you today! Did you know that YOU know German?!? I mean besides the obligatory "Heil Hitler" (can I even write that?!?) and Brüno's "Ich Don't Think So", which sadly has only one word of German in it.

It is not an easy language. But really, learning any language other than your own is pretty tough. There are some weird things going on in Germans, though. Oh, how I love when the Deutschers place verbs at the end of the sentence. Imagine saying "Would you like later German speaking practice?" and trust me, that is a fairly simple example of this nonsense.

Plus, the Germans like to take three, four....eighteen words and smoosh them all together into one word. For instance, there is Fernsprecherteilnehmerverzeichnis, which if I have broken it down correctly, means Phonebook. Weird, because the German word for phone is 'Telefon' and the word for book is 'Buch'. Could've been soo much easier, but noooo.

Although I am being a little hard on the German language, I do feel lucky that so many German words were morphed into fairly common English words. We use them seamlessly in everyday conversation. So yes, you too know German. Get our your resume and add it on now!

For example, I know you know the German words for 'lightning' and 'thunder', you just may not realize it. Reach back about a month ago and you will find the answer.

"You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?"

Yep, 'Donner' is thunder and 'Blitzen' is lightning. Puts a whole new meaning on 'getting blitz', doesn't it!

Of course there is:
Kindergarten - literally a place for children to grow.
Doppelgänger - your identical double in the world.
Briefcase - 'Brief' coming from the German for a letter.
Spiel - From the German word for Play or Game, it means to tell the whole, lengthy story.
Schmutz - literally the word for dirty.
Schuss - ever heard someone describing the way they ski by going "schuss, schuss, schuss" Well, little did they know that they were explaining in German, because it's the German word for skiing. 

And even more:
Various Sources: 1, 2 and 3
Sounds easy, right?! Wrong. There are so many 'false friends' that I am sure I embarrass myself even more with every passing German conversation.

Some examples of good ol' German false friends are:
Lied - which is a song
Gift - poison. Makes you think about where we got that word?!
Pickle - pimple. Don't ever tell a German that you would like pickles on your hamburger.
Handy - cell phone. But sure, I guess it is handy at times.
Bad - bath. I kept seeing this on town signs everywhere. Bad Kreuznach, Bad Hersfeld, etc. I just thought the villages were being punished.
Bald - soon. For some men, you will be bald bald enough.
Fast - almost. That one still gets me.
Menü - meal. The hubs' favorite order, "Ein BigMac Menü mit Cola, Pommes und Ketchup"

And my all time pet peeve, DAS BOOT!!! Ok, I get it. I am a big fan of Beer Fest too. I think it is hilarious to watch someone drink out of a large glass boot. But really, you are shouting "THE BOAT" and it is getting on my nerves. While you are wearing your skank-a-licous Dirndl at your fake Oktoberfest, why not add in a touch of authenticity and yell out "DER STIEFEL". That should get those Germans going. 

Various Sources: 1, 2, and 3

And one last story that I have to tell. I taught an advanced English class last night. (I'm so smart, I know. haha) It was with one of the nicest German men I have had the pleasure of meeting. He is so soft spoken and polite, about in his 50's and really pushing himself to learn English for his job. He works for a big software company as a Marketing Manager and he was telling me all about this Messe, or Exhibition that his company is going to in March. I tried to keep a straight face when he referred to himself and other company employees that would be joining him at the exhibition as Exhibitionists. Haha. Poor guy, I would have made the same mistake. And then I of course had to tell him what an Exhibitionist was, yeah, that is never awkward.

Only a few more days left, have you entered to win a custom designed blog header and button??? If you haven't yet, click here for more details.

January 27, 2011

Even if it is 'sooo cute'

Thanks to my Yahoo! homepage, I have today's post. And as much as I am an animal lover, some things are just plain silly. I realize I might be alienating some of my readers with this one, but it cannot go unsaid....

No, no they effing don't.

(Or said even more eloquently by Dale Sturtevant "...keep in mind, you're a f--king dog!")

and if you don't know who Dale Sturtevant is, be sure to google him and watch his 'training' videos :)

January 26, 2011

Compliment Sandys for Everyone

I can pretend it's spring already, right?! I am longing for a day without a heavy winter coat, a day without Deutsch, a day at home by the pool. The dog days of January are upon us at the moment. What we like to call Groundhog day. The hubs gets up, he goes to practice, I have class, we mindless watch horrible television, I hop around bloggyland. I don't enjoy the winter. I am not one of those sassy Germans that gets all bundled up and cross country skis across our front lawn like it is the most beautiful day they have ever seen. Nuh-uh, no way. I live in my blanket, lounge in my robe and hibernate like a good little bear until the first signs of spring emerge. 

Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.

But, even though the weather outside is effing depressing frightful, that doesn't mean I can't start springing things up inside. Inside my apartment and inside my head. Time to toss those wintery thoughts and bring on new buds of ideas and ideals. Does that mean I will be a chipper little forest creature the rest of this blog?? You bet you ass there is no way that will happen. That's not in my nature.

But maybe it can mean that I can vent a bit, let some things off my chest, and then also give a word of praise or two in the meantime. Clear my head, clean up the cobwebs in my mind and get ready for the spring. Inspired by the great ladies over at FTLOB, I am ready to clean out my closet!

Instead of being a totally negative Nelly, I think I will use the "Compliment Sandwich Technique", where you sandwich one bad point between two good points. For instance, I really like sandwiches, but I really, really hate the term "Compliment Sandwich Technique", although it was pretty helpful for me to get ideas for this post. See, wasn't that easy??

Good: Hey facebook you've been doing a really great job lately for a lot of people out there. I wanted to thank you for keeping me in touch with my close friends scattered throughout the United States. For a sometimes homesick Texan in Germany, it is a life saver!
Bad: Well, I think we might have to part ways soon. Its not you, its some of your loser users. I don't care what the shit you did all day long, what dumb indie band you are sooo into right now, or that you can recite song lyrics and pass them off as your own words in your status. (said much better here). Also, I want to punch (think positively) am slightly annoyed by the Mommybookers out there. Don't get me wrong Moms, I love seeing pictures of your kids. Your son and daughter really are precious. But when I have to log onto facebook and see that your kid is running a fever, has a dirty diaper, learned to wear big girl panties, or that your doctor told you it could be any day now because your freakin' cervix is getting soft I want to defriend you immediately.
Good: And on that note, thank you facebook for the hide button. That too is a life saver!

Good: I love my generation. We don't quite have the middle-management aspirations of Generation X and we aren't exactly the Hannah Montana crazers of the younger ones. We were born in the middle of a technological boom, torn between writing notes in high school and sending emails in college. We don't take no for an answer, we want things our way, and we are all pretty dang creative.
Bad: But let's be honest. In this whole texting, emailing, chatting lifestyle, we are losing the ability to have real relationships face to face. Many struggle to be sociable at live functions, and for the extreme, some have a hard time living outside their video game avatar. Quit resolving your problems through text messaging, have you noticed it doesn't work? Don't ignore emails, just don't. It is rude, it is happening more and more often because it is too easy to do. And please, for goodness sake, quit airing your dirty laundry on facebook. Divorces are bitter, we get that. Take the high road and leave the internet name calling and bullying behind.
Good: Ummmm, well it felt pretty good to get that off my chest, does that count as the bottom loaf in my sandwich??

I am blessed that I get to travel around the world as such a young age. I am free to discover and immerse myself in different cultures, to learn new languages, and to meet people that I would have never had the honor to meet before. I think some hockey wives (not any of the lovely in bloggyland) will argue that this kind of hockey life closes more doors that opens. I strongly disagree. I am not 'putting all my hope and dreams on hold' while we live abroad. I am building new paths in life and growing my dreams to even bigger sizes than before.
Bad: I am scared for the day that I go back home, and it won't feel like home anymore. We always plan to live in Texas when this traveling is all said and done, but in the hockey world, nothing is a constant. What if I will never live in Texas again? Now that frightens me (see, I can do vulnerability without being a wiseass!)
Good:  This lifestyle has made me and the hubs closer than we could have ever imagined. And it is only the beginning. I guess as long as I am with him, I will always have a home.

Three, extremely random, things I can try to leave in the past, place them in my mind's Goodwill box, and not linger over. I have never been one to dwell too long on the bad. I consider myself a good adapter, a good 'living in the moment' kind of gal. Even if that moment right now I want to drop kick the weather for dumping another healthy amount of snow :( 

Here's to your spring, I hope it finds you ready and blossoming with new ideas!

Have you entered to win a custom designed blog header and button??? If you haven't yet, click here for more details.

January 25, 2011

Stick Girl

In the last couple of weeks, I have seen more than a handful of bloggers answer the question "Why did I start my blog?" Some writers have a profound reason, often struggling with a loss or something painful in life. Some are just around to make us laugh, and still others are just there, reposting pictures and articles, but nonetheless entertaining.

I started TexaGermaNadian over two years ago. We had just moved to Germany, and it seemed like a good way to record my account of this weird hockey world. I posted sporadically (yes, the movie Clueless taught me that word) and it dealt mostly with pictures and short stories about our day to day life. But I really couldn't have handled much more than that, if that makes sense and doesn't make me look like a total slacker.

I needed that first year to really adjust to life over in Germany and our new life as husband and wife. I mean, let's not make it easy on ourselves or anything. The joys and stress of getting married, moving to foreign country where neither of us spoke the language, learning this style of life crash course style. Not always an easy one looking back on it. 

Now, three years in, I still feel like a foreigner, and think I always will. But things are waaay easier with each passing minute. We just know how things work, or don't work at times. We are much better at just going with the flow, and much much better at German. 

So, I guess I don't really have a solid reason for starting the blog up again. I think I just felt the need to tell a bit of our story and our wacky German encounters. It really is more for me if for anyone. I know I will enjoying looking back on the blog in 10 years and remembering what it was like living over in Europe. And its not totally boring...right?! (crickets)

So, I can at least share with you the story of how I was just destined to be tortured involved with hockey my whole life. 

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, roller blades were about the best thing around. In-lines were so cool, if you didn't own a pair, you pretty much didn't exist in my neighborhood's book. We would have skating races, time ourselves weaving through obstacle courses and we practiced and practiced the lamest tricks ever. It's not even fair to call them tricks, anyone can turn in circles. And yes, us southern babes even play street hockey.

Like we even knew the rules of hockey, I am pretty sure none of us had ever seen a game. But we were from Texas, not Canada. We knew about the Quarterback Sneak and Play Action, not Icing and High Sticking. But it didn't matter, we had a passion for street hockey. We'd race home from school and strap on our in-lines and hit the pavement. Oh, and elbow pads and helmets were for suckas, yo.

And the best part of it, is that we used our neighbor's dad's golf clubs as hockey sticks. Yeah, he really loved that! Nothing could stop us, we just loved to skate around and whack the puck around like fools.

That is, until this spoiled brat got a nice set of real, wooden hockey sticks. Like freakin' Christmas! Now there was nothing stopping our hockey skills. And word of our 'real' equipment spread fast. Soon enough, the older boys (like maybe 11 or 12 years old, tops) that lived on the next street over were coming by to play hockey with us. Did I care that they were using me for my hockey sticks? Nope. I was ten, and loved that these super cool older boys were coming to hang out with me. 

 Yeah, I bet you were excited too, girl!

That is, until a couple of weeks later. I guess we didn't go outside that day to play street hockey. I can't remember why exactly, but I do remember those dreamy older boys knocking on our front door that afternoon. My mom answered the door and I peeked down from the upstairs loft. I remember thinking, "oh man, they came to MY house to see if I could play!" Swoon.

It wasn't until they opened their mouth that my dream was shattered. "Hi, can, um, um, Stick Girl come out and play???". Stick girl, STICK girl. They didn't even know my name. I was just stick girl. Big let down. 

I didn't go out to play that day, and if we did play hockey again, it was just with my friends who weren't - at least blatantly - using me for my sweet hockey equipment (say that last bit with a lisp to get the real effect of just how cool we were).

And of course that story gained even more significance after I met the hubs. Funny how certain things stick out in your memory like that. But, it makes perfect since now. He is my stick boy, and I am his stick girl. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

BTW, interested in winning a custom designed blog header and button??? If so, click here for more details.

Tasty Tuesday

I'll make this one super quick, another is soon to follow. But I at least wanted to participate in the "Tasty Tuesday" FTLOB blog hop in a proper way. This Baked Artichoke Dip is my all-time go to when it comes to parties, get togethers, or just lounging around the house in need of a good snack. It the perfect balance of creamy and savory. And with it being really low in calories, you can't go wrong! And no, I don't have an accompanying picture, but maybe I'll make a post with full details in the near future. Then again, I always devour it too quickly before the camera is ready. Hope ya'll enjoy and have a delicious Tasty Tuesday!

Baked Artichoke Dip 
makes 2 cups

3/4 cup dry curd or nonfat cottage cheese

1 tablespoon unbleached flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic

1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated nonfat or reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

-Place the cottage cheese, flour, lemon juice, pepper, and garlic in a 
food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  
-Add the artichoke hearts 
and all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, and process until the mixture
is slightly chunky.  
-Coat a small casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

-Place the artichoke mixture in the dish, top with the remaining Parmesan,
and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and
the top is lightly browned.  
-Serve hot with whole grain crackers,
 chunks of sourdough bread, or Pita Chips.  (or my favorite, with vegetables!)
Serving Size:  1 tablespoon, about 20 calories

(recipe courtesy of dwlz.com)

January 24, 2011

I'm Feeling Generous!

So, looks like my Zombie Sunday successfully turned into a Zombie Monday. We stayed up way too late last night, which definitely accounts for my sleepy expression today. I better get my butt into gear before my 6pm class! It was a pretty entertaining evening, though. The hubs' team won last night, whohoo! Football was on, waaaay too late I might add, but hey, anything for a taste of home, right!?? And I might have had one too many glasses of wine. We was partyin'!

Last week in general was a really great week for me in bloggyland. I was featured on FTLOB, met a lot of really fun and funny new bloggers, got to take part in Product of Silence over at Wait in the Van, and I feel that a lot of doors are opening because of TexaGermaNadian. I couldn't be more pleased with things right now. I have met so many amazing people in this strange little world, it has been awesome.

Maybe it is the fact that I have had a good ol' blogging time this month, or the fact that January is almost over (mini celebratory dance!), or maybe its just that I am so dang sweet. Whatever it is, it is making me feel quite generous. I want to give back a bit. So, TexaGermaNadian is hosting a give away!!!

What, pray tell, will I be offering to one lucky winner. Well...are you ready for this...are you sure...are you sitting down??? The winner of TexaGermaNadians very first give away will be a custom designed header and blog button! I dabble in graphic designing, and I am not too shabby, if I do say so myself. (I have designed many-a-things, like most of the stuff you find on this blog), and if you are the lucky reader chosen, we will collaborate and get you that new header and button you have just been dying for! Here are the very simple, very easy to follow rules:

1. Entries will be chosen at random early on February 1st, 2011, Monday, January 31st. 

2. To obtain an entry, I would prefer if you were a public follower and leave a nice little (or mean, I'm ok with that) comment below. One comment will get you one entry. A hundred comments will get you blocked from my blog. Please only one comment below, if you can contain yourself.

3. BUT if you wanted to obtain another entry, you could mention something about this give away in a post on your blog between now and January 30th, and link back to this entry. That will count as 2 entries.

4. AND if you grab the give-away button above and embed it into you site, you will get an EXTRA TWO ENTRIES. (for numbers 3 and 4, please leave me a comment saying you did so, or I may never know!)

So, if I am counting correctly, the most entries you can have is 4 total. If you are the lucky winner, we will correspond through email about your new visions for a header and accompanying blog button and I should get the final product to you in a week.

So, I hope this is successful, and I hope someone really deserving wins a mini make-over for their blog. If you know anyone else who would be interested, please spread the love and the word :)

Happy Monday ya'll!

January 23, 2011

Zombie Sunday 1/23

Run for your lives, It's baaaaack! 

Sit back, relax and munch on some human brains as you zone out - I heard they're good for hangovers - and enjoy your own Zombie Sunday.

I've decided on a hodgepodge of pictures today that I saw/discovered/found amusing. Just call me The Chive Knockoff. I don't care, I'm off to the hockey game to down a few Glühweins, chat with friends, oh and to cheer on the hubs :)

I need to do a whole post about things that Germany thinks are "American" or "Texan" but seem to miss the mark. Consider this picture a just a sample of the upcoming post. Yes, German McDonald's connoisseurs, us Texans are soooo crazy, that we put nacho chips on our burgers. Mmmmmm, I can almost feel those sharp tortilla chip corners scraping the top of my mouth as I take a big bite. ¡Deliciouso!

I saw a lady at the gym this week rocking the 80's style leotard THONG over her bright blue neon leggings. I about died. And unfortunately I don't carry a camera with me on the treadmill, weird, I know. So you will just have to imagine this below, at a German gym, on a 50 year old. You're welcome.

Found out that there is a junior hockey team named the Lindsay Muskies. Great way to honor my name (spelled wrong, but still) and my smell I guess. Haha, just kidding, I smell like roses and you know it

This guy. THIS guy. He got this tattoo because he was a big fan of the hubs' team in Arizona. Did I mention he got it before they had actually won the championship? No pressure.

The hubs managed to get a slight fracture in his clavicle towards the beginning of the season. He was completely fine, just a little pain. But he wanted to find something online that could tell him how to properly treat the fracture so it would heal quicker. He typed in "How to treat a hairline clavicle fracture" and this is what he got (check out the highlighted answer):

And last but not least, I have to share this mini-story with ya'll. Another funny thing about our time in Arizona, it really was never dull. After the guys won the championship, the team held a big pep rally. The whole area was invited to come down to the rink and meet the players, take pictures with the guys and hold the cup. I am not one to hate on fans or anything like that. Yes, some can be a bit much at times, and others downright rude, but for the most part, anyone who supports the hubs is a friend of mine. That being said, there are some really trashy fans out there. 

This mother with her three daughters walks into the arena. They were decked out in these new T-Shirts they had made in honor of the guys' championship season. Nice, I thought at first, until I actually saw them up close. The mom's and the two oldest daughters' shirts read "Arizona Sundogs Hockey Ho". The daughters were probably all of 17 and 15. And then the little one, maybe around 10 or 11 years old, well she appropriately had added "In Training" to the bottom of her shirt. I mean, let's not be vulgar or trashy or anything ladies. Way to keep it classy!

(I really, REALLY pride myself in facebook prowling and I just knew I would find a real picture of this and not have to mock one up. Sadly I could not find these people or a picture of their infamous T-Shirts.)

I also want to give another quick thanks to Ms. Mal over at Aikuli Because Life is Beautiful. She is such a sweetie and linked me up with her Versatile Blogger Award. Mal, I don't know how you do it, blogging while in college. I don't think I could have managed it with all the classes, studying, partying, skipping classes, mixers, etc., etc. Heck, I could barely manage to change out of my pajamas for class and I thought last night's makeup was totally suitable for the next day's class. Who was I!?!

I am honored that you thought of me. Thanks again!!

January 22, 2011

Dear 1998 Me,

So the very funny gal Kristine over at Wait in the Van is featuring her "Product of Silence" series today. She explains the idea behind it all: "Each month (or so), I choose a passage, quote, poem, photograph, or event to inspire a post that will take me to a new place with my writing (I like funny, but I like writing, too).  I then begin the post by sharing that prompt." The prompt for this month was "a letter you never intend to send."

I kept trying to come up with clever ideas of whom to address this letter to. I could write to people in my past that wronged me, weird people that bother me in Germany, a long lost friend. But I kept coming back to my original idea; send a letter to your 14 year old self. I don't intend to send it, because, well, I can't. Sadly time travel has not yet been invented. So, I wrote a simple note to 9th grade me. Yep, just like ones I used to pass in the hallways back then. I hope she likes it, and I hope ya'll enjoy a little something different today :)

January 21, 2011

No Clever Title Today

Happy Friday bloggyland! I hope everyone had a good week and you are looking forward to a kick ass/lazy ass weekend.

I feel like my most recent posts have been quite lengthy, so I'll spare you this Friday and make it short and sweet. Well, as short and sweet as I can manage :)

If you have a look up top, you will see that my pages have changed around a bit, and will hopefully be fully finished and all nice and shiny looking by the end of the day.

I wanted to add a section on TexaGermaNadian that included helpful links and tips for everyday life in Germany. It is listed as "Surviving in Germany". Nothing profound, just a few things that I have stumbled across in the years we've been here. At least those that I deemed good enough to share with my ExPat audience. It will be a constantly growing project, with updates coming here and there. And I am always open to new suggestions for the page. If you are interested, have a look, and I hope it can be of some assistance to those of us living the foreign life. I know it won't be too terribly intriguing for anyone back in North America, but bear with me ya'll :)

Also, I was thinking about some 'theme' days I wanted to do in the near future. My idea was to have a reoccurring blog post titled
"Awkward Things I Did as a Kid". Don't get me wrong, I wasn't one of those weirdo kids that picked their scabs in the back of class (you are welcome for that image!), but once I had my mind set on doing something one way, there was no changing it. And thank goodness my parents didn't try to stop me, they were great letting me be myself and find my own style in life. So, I think this 'theme' would be even better with accompanying pictures, so either it will be a long distance project with my mom, or will have to wait until we are back in Texas in a few months. 

What do ya'll think, would anyone else be interested in this themed day as well? Come on, aren't you dying to show the world how awkward you were as child/preteen?! Maybe I could even feature the best 'entries' on a monthly blog post. Ok, just thinking out loud now. Moving right along...

Last but not least, I thought this was too funny not to share. I have been on a graphic designing frenzy lately. I am no artist, but for some reason, in photoshop/gimp I can at least pretend like I know what I am doing. I designed the little TexaGermaNadian buddies above last year and am still pretty proud of my work. But, knowing me, I will be hard on this kick for a week or two, focusing 100%, and then not open the program for another year. Its pretty typical, I get like that with little side projects. Hey, the hubs' should just be glad that I haven't gotten 'bored' of him yet and put him away on the shelf :) haha, just kidding.

So, I was looking for a line drawing of a hockey player, something I could reference to in my own computerized creation. I googled 'hockey player' and of course this was one of the results I got:


I am pretty sure there are NO hockey players (yes, I see its field hockey, but I don't care) who would A. ever dress like that, B. be rocking the hip out, thumb tucked into the waistband pose and C. hold their stick in such a provocative and 'come hither' manner. I mean, I guess this guy is pretty hunky for an 80's lad. But let's just say that he might want to stay off the ice and stick to Fire Island. Something tells me that I won't be using this picture.

OH! And one more thing, I almost forgot, I will have a bit of a different post up here tomorrow. You'll have to keep an eye out for it. I am linked up to this blogging lady's hilarious and great site for a something special she is hosting on Saturday. I know I am being vague, but aren't you intrigued?!? Have a good weekend!

January 20, 2011

Aaarrggg, Happy Birthday Matey!

Uggggg, woke up this morning to see that the snow was making its comeback...big time. What was I supposed to think, that there would be Christmas, New Years, and then spring? Too good to be true. Winter once again is upon us, but thanks for the little taste of spring weather, Deutschland. It was good while it lasted!

I had a nice little chat with home yesterday. Not that we don't talk that often, but since our internet doesn't allow Skype (read: because of our sucky-ass internet in the boonies, we are cut off from friends and family), it is less often that I would like. Yesterday was my dad's birthday, and I wanted to wish him a good one. He sounded like he was having a pleasant and relaxing birthday!

I had sent the link to my blog a couple of weeks ago to my parents but didn't know if they were following along or not. My dad told me that he had read every entry, so I guess this means I have to watch what I say. Gotta be careful, I would hate to embarrass them when they are reading this blog. It would be scandalous if I let out something like the fact that he was my mom's college professor. Nope, can't let that happen :)

My parents came to visit us in Germany over Thanksgiving!

But back to the subject of birthdays. It's funny how they 'lose' their excitement as you grow older. Instead of celebrating bigger and better, which in my mind makes more sense; "I've made it this far, let's party.", many people are dragged down by the fact that this made up age thing hinders their ability to act young. I hope I don't get that way, I love birthdays.  I am still over-the-moon when my special day comes up, but that is just mostly because I am a spoiled brat. Hey, its the hubs' fault really. He choose to make our first birthday together insurmountable. 

We had been dating for only about 4 months when my bday came around. Even though my birthday was only fairly soon into our relationship, we were well past the typical 4th month stage. (Thank goodness. Those first few months might be butterfly fun, by holy cow, I hate that 'out of control' exciting feeling. Makes me want to barf)

And boy oh boy did he outdo himself with this one. He had secretly planned an entire weekend getaway to the Canadian Rockies! Since we were up in Alberta for that summer, we drove over to Jasper, hiked along the Maligne Canyon trail and saw the beautiful waterfalls. The cabin we stayed in had this amazing view and was so freakin' sweet and cute. Then we traveled down to Lake Louise for lunch at the famous Fairmont Hotel. I ate my $30 sandwich over looking the translucent powder-blue glacier water of the lake. Gorgeous. Following a trip to the glacier, we continued our path south to Banff National Park where he had another surprise waiting for me. The hubs' booked a couple's massage at the well known Banff Hot Springs and it was ah-may-zing. 

Lake Louise 2007. We look shabby, but the beauty behind us makes up for it

You see, it's not me, it was his own dang fault for out doing himself on my first birthday together. He set the bar too high, rookie mistake.

So flash forward two years later, it is my 25th birthday and again he wanted to do something special. He has a hard time surprising me, I can usually guess every present he gets me at Christmas without even a hint from him. Just call me the Future Present Psychic. So being the love that he is, he wanted to recapture the Jasper/Banff birthday extravaganza with out the price of the Canadian Rockies hideaways.

Knowing how much I love the beach and sunshine, he decided to take me to a pretty well-known Alberta weekend getaway spot, called Sylvan Lake. July can be chilly up in Alberta if it wants to be, but we lucked out and had beautiful sunshine the whole weekend. He had booked a room at the "Beach Front Resort" and all was set and ready to go. The hour trip south was easy and we arrived in the, hmmmm let me see how to put this, unique town that is Sylvan. We drove up and down the main strip, unable to locate the place. It's probably because we were looking for someplace actually habitable; not when we needed to be searching for.  

 I guess it was a little unrealistic to expect this

Finally we saw the sign for the Beach Front Motel. Ahhh, we made it, we were excited. Until we actually had a good look at the place and realized that it looked like the Bates Motel, only dirtier and with weirder owners.  It was FAR from a resort. This place was downright trashy, but it was too late, we were there. And already cracking up at how this trip was going.

And this is a picture of it looking fancy!

The temperature that day was upwards of 90 degrees, unusually warm. And of course the air conditioner in the room didn't work. In fact, the heater was stuck in the 'on' position and helped to spread wafts of warm breath-like air throughout the stuffy room. I tried fidgeting with the thermostat, which looked like it was produced in the 1960's, and it of course popped right off the wall. White powder, which we still don't really know what it consisted of to this day, flew everywhere. I appropriately yelled "Anthrax!" and since we already had the giggles, we were now dying laughing.

I went over to the 'front desk' of the Beach Front Trailer Park (basically the living room of the grouchy owners house) to buy a couple bottles of water. The man sauntered out from the back and without a word of 'hello' or 'how are you, eh?', he just blurts out "It's hot here today. And you know what happens when it's hot?! People go to jail." I didn't know what to respond with. So I just go "I'm not going to jail". He did not seem convinced.

Our 'neighbors' at the Beach Front Federal Prison were illegal aliens that found work up in Alberta and made a nice little home at the place. The group of them upstairs had, no joke, 10 people staying in a one bedroom hotel room. It was all very entertaining.

And then came dinner. We drove up and down the main strip looking for a place that wasn't fast food or a scuzzy greaser joint. Right along the water this nice, new building appeared and it was by far the nicest looking place in Sylvan. The hubs jumped out of the car and ran in to make reservations. Done and done, we were set for the evening, and I was excited to have my quarter of a century at a nice restaurant over looking the sunset on the water. So, back to the boiling hot hotel room, to shower, re-sweat back into my hair as I blow dried it, and watch my make up melt down my face as soon as I applied it. Looking good.

But we were eventually off to dinner. Birthday dinners are my favorite. You can pig out, drink too much, and then order dessert and no one can say a word. We walk into this pretty little place and immediately I am literally bent over at the waist from the laughter. It was too much to take. You see, when the hubs ran in to make reservations, he didn't notice anything about the restaurant. And as it would turn out, my nice birthday dinner was at a pirate-themed restaurant. 

There were treasure chests fill with booty, wooden statues of Blackbeard and Long John Silver swinging from the rafters, and to top it all off, the waiters were dressed in their best swashbuckling attire. My oh my, it could not have been any better. We got fully into it, yelling "Aaarrggg", pretending to sword fight, calling our waitress various pirates names, then after the margs were flowing, referring to her a 'wench'. How could they not have loved us there?! Haha. 

Pictures from the restaurant...would I lie to you?!

Its just what every little girl dreams about, a pirate themed dinner for her 25th birthday. (And BTW, what is up with us and themed restaurants lately?!)

I really can't say I have had a better birthday dinner, though. Like always, we made the most (and made fun) out of everything we did. I am lucky my life is filled with laughter.

So, full from a pleasantly surprising delicious dinner, we headed back down the road to the Beach Front Shanty Town. We sprawled out in our beds, in separate beds. Yuck, it was too hot to even touch one another. The hubs flipped on a baseball game and we fell asleep. Pure perfection. 

One more round of margs, wench!

It might not have had the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, but it was definitely one birthday trip that I will never forget.

January 19, 2011

Made my day!

Ok, real quick (my 'real' post is below, keep reading)

Ahhhh! I feel so honored. For The Love of Blogs featured TexaGermaNadian today! If you haven't heard of FTLOB, please go check it out, it is an awesome resource for building your blog. Plus it has some amazing followers :) Thanks so much to the organizers of FTLOB!

You're Invited to a Gypsy Wedding

Sweet baby jeebus, just when I thought Reality TV couldn't get any trashier, funnier, or weirder (in other words, awesome-er), a new program comes out and exceeds all other reality television shows.

I have always been a fan of reality shows, not going to lie. And I am happy to know that there are other bloggyland friends out there that have the same obsession as I do (yes, HW, I'm talking to you! I feel like we could have a monster reality TV marathon...and it just might be the best day ever!). If I am going to sit down and spend my time watching TV, I want to be wildly entertained. I don't care to get learn-ned anything, hello, that is what stumbling around the internet is for. I want my mind to be gooped up and mushy as much as possible after watching this garbage.

So, back to this reality show that premiered last night. It's like the producers of the show reached into my mind and knew exactly what kind of filth I was looking for. Imagine, if you will, a huge cosmic clash between three already ridiculous reality programs: 'Little Miss Perfect', 'Bridezillas' and 'Jersey Shore'. Sounds too good to be true?! Well its no joke, this sh*t is real, yo. It's called "Big Fat Gypsy Weddings" and yes, you are welcome for me changing your life. :)

 Could you imagine?!

'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings' or BFGW is a new series on Channel 4 on British Sky. It follows the lives of young gypsy girls, or 'Travellers', which I am assuming is their P.C. term? From the moment a Traveller girl is born, she is expected to be thinking about her wedding. She dreams about her dress, bridesmaids, her wedding Caravan. Yep, just like those Pikey clans in the movie 'Snatch' the majority of these Travellers live in Caravans parked at camp sights. 

You must be thinking "Oh, that is kind of sad. Here these girls dream about their wedding and must have no money to make it a reality." But you'd be dead wrong. I have no idea where the money comes from to buy all the, hmmm let's see I'll be nice with this word, extravagant things needed for the wedding, but it somehow turns up. And for the girls' wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses they don't spare a dime.

You would not believe the dresses. They showed ones the lit up, dresses that had the bride and grooms name written out in glitter, sheer corseted dresses with crotch-high slits, others that weighed as much as, if not more than, the bride herself. 

Wow, just wow.

These gowns are extravagant. They make any ol' Quinceañera look like a typical birthday party down at Chuck-E-Cheese.

While the Traveller  girls might be dreaming of their wedding their whole life, they don't have to wait too long to make their wishes come true. Most Traveller teens are married by the time they are 16 or 17 years old. They have never spent a night away from home, which results in many tears shed at the end of the wedding.

Take Josie, a Traveller girl who was featured in last night's episode. She is 16 years old and the oldest of 9 kids. She is more tanned than Pauly D on Jersey Shore, wears about the same amount of makeup as any pageant girl, and dresses similar to a street walker.  

But that's all about to change, because she has met the love of her life (shoot me NOW if I had married my 16 year old boyfriend). Josie dated her boyfriend for one month before he popped the question. Now engaged for 3 months, they are ready to get married. He is the ripe old age of 19, ya know.

Apparently the Travellers live by a high moral code. No sex before marriage, which I guess might account for the teen weddings. No Traveler girl can be seen out alone, she must always be with other girls. Oh, yeah, and the most moral thing in their code, an act of puppy-dog love called 'Grabbing'. In this ethical standard its totally cool to physically force a girl to make out with you. Yep, sounds like they are living the holy life!

During 'Grabbing', a boy is allowed and encouraged to physically pick up a girl that he likes, drag her to a dark corner, and hold her down and twist her arms until she gives into a kiss. God, romance is so sweet and innocent when you are a teen.

But, back to Josie's wedding. She described her bridesmaid dresses as "highlighter pink". And they were in fact that bright.  Her dress, which was not to be outdone by her attendants, weighed 5 stones (And for all my American friends, a stone is 14 pounds, so that makes it a 70 pound dress.) and had a thigh high cut out in the front, to 'give it that certain Spanish something". Just sluttin' the look up all together. 

Classic style of wedding dress!

After the wedding, Josie is expected to be a stay at home wife, to cook and clean the caravan while her husband is out making the money. What else could she do though, she left school at age 11 to help around her own house.

In a society that most of us would think was outdated, male dominated and degrading to young women, the Travellers seem very proud of their lifestyle and 'customs' (even if those customs would be considered rape-like in most societies). 

Nooo, not over the top at all

They let camera crews in to document their culture and rituals. I don't know if this will fair well for the Travelers.

Unfortunately, I don't think the show airs back home in the U.S., but if you ever get a chance to watch this show, you will not be disappointed.

Any program that opens with the announced warning of "Pink bridesmaids, extravagant dresses and strong language" is worth its weight in gold.

(want to check out a small preview of the show, click here for a quick clip. You'll be hooked!)