February 28, 2011

This one's for my Sonic lovers

So, I have a fun treat for ya'll tomorrow. I really enjoyed making the Canada Quiz about a month ago, and I think ya'll enjoyed it too. Right now I am compiling a quiz/weird info sheet about good ol' Tex-Ass. Because, you know, us Texans aren't annoying enough with our "Everything is bigger and better in Texas" attitude. :) So you will have to look out for that tomorrow!

I wanted to write super quick to say that I just saw that my bloggyland friend Mollie over at OK in UK passed on, what she likes to call, some "Internet Herpes". Haha, I can feel some of you cringe after that one. I really love getting awards, I love that someone took the time to think of me and TexaGermaNadian, but Mollie and I both agree that these dumb rules that go with the awards are just a bit much. No one wants to really know 7 random things about me, for the 18th time. 

Best New Award. For those of you who know who Moltar is, you are sooo jealous.

So Mollie came up with her own rules. And for that, I felt obliged to participate. Since there are no Sonic Drive-In's here in Germany (and it seems that Mollie might be the only person in the world missing Sonic more than I am), I had to get my main man Bruno to step in for me. 

OK in UK, this one's for you! 

WTF?!? (And it's not that it is particularly funny video, just fits the rules!)

Sorry, I think he might drop an F bomb. And if ya'll didn't already know I was weird, now ya do :)

February 27, 2011

Zombie Sunday 2/27

Happy Zombie Sunday Ya''ll! 

First off, I just want to say thank you one more time to all of you awesome bloggers who linked up with the Storytellers Blog Hop! What a success, and it was all thanks to ya'll. It was a better turn out than I could have ever hoped for. I found some great new reads, and I hope you did too!

I plan on doing the hop on the last weekend of every month. Don't want to over do it, so I think that should be good. So, if you are interested in participating in the next hop, mark your calendars for March 25th and 26th. 

One scheduled at the end of every month!
In the mean time, if you want to check out those blogs that linked up to last hop, have a look at the Storytellers Blog Hop link over in the right had column. You won't be disappointed (or have to close 10 windows because of coupon/giveaway sites :))

Here's a run down of my Zombie Sunday ramblins:

*Looky what I found at the store here!! First time I have ever seen them in Germany. They even had the sour kind, which are my fave. But, I got my hopes up. They were definitely not the same as American Skittles. Should have known better when I saw they were made in the Czech Republic. Blech.

*Why isn't the Blogger Dashboard set up better?? I would love to get a comment 'feed', in a similar fashion to the facebook homepage, of all the responses to comments I have left on mine and other blogs. Wouldn't that do a world of wonder for increased exposure and loyal followers?! Just throwing it out there, blogger!

*Saw another American style product at the grocery store. It's called "Nick's Peanut Butter" and is of course decorated with a stars and stripes motif. Oh, and it has a great motto "The American Way of Life". Yes, I guess PB can really sum up the history and lifestyle the entire population of the U.S. of A. Uh-huh, sure.

Nothing says American Pride like squished peanuts. (source)
*We FINALLY got good internet...nothing like doing so at the end of the season. We had pretty awful internet at the beginning of the season, then O.K. internet, but with very, very small usage limits, and now we finally have a fast connection that will work for us out here in BFE. Seriously, mini computer cele! I mean, I think people in Egypt during the communications blackout had more online access than we did at times. You think I blog stalked then...ya'll get ready :)
I was this happy. But more joyfully so, rather than looking like I was about to blissfully murder the computer. (source)
*Speaking of the end of the season, only three more games left!!!! One this evening, then two next weekend and then the regular season is over. Where did February go?! I am already getting psyched up for playoffs. Bring. It. On!

Probably going with a face painting scheme like this, whatcha think!? It's not too crazy, is it?? :) (source)

Have a fabulous Sunday, bloggyland. Go Zombie for me :)

February 26, 2011

Still Hopping Over Here...ok, this time officially lame

I promise, short and sweet (what?! You guys should be thrilled :)). The Storytellers Blog Hop is still open for the rest of the evening, so if you haven't linked up yet, I would love to have you as an addition to the group! I have read so many new and great blogs, and I hope ya'll have had a chance to do so as well. Can't thank you enough, you awesome bloggyland peeps. I am once again so thankful that I have found such a supporting an amazing group of people. :)

Check out all the links in the post below!

February 25, 2011

Storytellers Blog Hop

Welcome to the Storytellers Blog Hop!

Glad you stopped by, really :) I am thrilled to host a hop where you won't have to close out every other window because of coupon deals and worthless advertising. One where you don't have to navigate through the mess of 'save a measly 15% percent for something you never wanted' blogs.

I've been wanting to host a unique blog hop for some time now, one that caters to blogs that tell stories, and have actual real content. It doesn't matter whether the 'stories' are fact or fiction, told with words or pictures, consist of ramblings or thought out chapters, or lighthearted or serious. This hop is for real bloggers with real stories. No advertising, give aways, reviews or coupon sites.

Link to any post you would like. You don't have to come up with a 'story', you don't have to do anything special, you just link up your blog and be you.  
Your blog is your story, so let it shine!

Only. One. Rule. Please, no sites that specialize in ads, coupons, giveaways, etc. There are many blog hops just for you, but today, this hop isn't one of them. Sorry guys.

Other than that, there are no rules, no 'follow' musts, only an easy outlet to stumble upon new and interesting blogs.

And since I am fully aware of the irony of me hosting blog hop about 'content only, storytellers' sites, here are a few of my favorite posts: You DO Know GermanWhy Darts Rock, No Really, I'm No Prude, But..., and Gypsy Weddings!

Thanks bloggyland for being great! Have a 'hoppy' weekend...so lame :)

February 24, 2011

Under the Grecian Sun, Part 3 (and last)

Before I wrap up my (long winded) story about my adventures in Greece, I want to give you a quick reminder about the "Storytellers Blog Hop" happening this Friday and Saturday (Feb 25th & 26th). 

I've been wanting to host a unique blog hop for some time now, one that caters to blogs that tell stories, and have real content. It doesn't matter whether those stories are fact or fiction, told with words or pictures, consist of ramblings or thought out chapters, are lighthearted or serious. The hop is specialized for these kinds of blogs, and those sites only. No advertising, give away, review or coupon sites. Just real blogs from real people.

There are no rules, no 'follow' musts, just a chance to read some new and interesting blogs. I hope to see you all tomorrow for the hop!

Under the Grecian Sun, Part 3
(Part 1 and Part 2, if you are so inclined:))

I can't come down on all the guests and say that every single one of them were difficult. Some of them were really pleasant and wonderful to be around. They made my job enjoyable. I was lucky to have an easy-going group the first trip and the last trip I directed. It bookended the job in a positive light. But those middle few trips were, well, interesting.

And it doesn't take much time for the one or two bad apples to start spoiling the bunch. Without going into too much detail, because I definitely could, I'll give you a couple of these 'interesting' situations. One group that sailed the high seas were in their 80s. I have nothing against that, but they were definitely not fit to be doing what we were doing. Plus, they liked to talk about their bowel movements, or rather, lack there of. Oh, and the one witch of a lady told me that I cut bananas too loud in the mornings (???) and that maybe one day I would learn to do it correctly. What a sweet woman...

Another larger group (there were actually about 50 from the same group in this one flotilla) were just strange. They thought it was soooo funny to snap their fingers at me. Something that was a joke, but got old real fast. I also had to deal with drunk marital fighting between one of the couples. The husband would just leave, go off for hours alone, and I found the wife crying in restaurant bathrooms a number of times. Didn't know marriage counselor was on my job duties as well. Not judging though, I know fights happen. Just awkward.

Another group, spurred by the bad apple on board, riled themselves up and waited for one of the crew members to come back to the boat that evening. Lucky me, I was first to return. They jumped all over me, furious about something as little as what time we were leaving the next day (a few hours later because of a storm). Like I had anything to do with that! Weirdos.

Another small group, who was chartering their own bare bottom boat, complained about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING the moment they got to the Athens harbor. One of the ladies, while trying to board their boat, fell into the water at the Athens harbor. I cannot even describe how disgusting and filthy the water in a big port like that is. I don't want to be as evil as to say it served her right, but.... :) Somehow or another, they ended up being charmed over by the end of the trip.

Nahhh, but even with these groups, they couldn't ruin the beauty of the islands. Here is a quick run down of the all the islands in the two week trip. 

Athens - the start and finish of the trip. Nothing to behold at the harbor, but anyone who has visited Athens will know what an impression the city can make.

Aegina - the first of the islands, and closest to Athens. Aegina is known for its pistachios (so good!) and for the Temple of Aphaia, one of the few temples left with a second story of columns still intact.

Poros - breathtaking harbor to sail into, the hillside of Poros is dotted with colorful houses that shine in the sunset. We would wind our way up hundreds of steps to the clock tower for a view of the whole island and port.

Hydra - my favorite and the most beautiful island in the chain. No cars are allowed on hydra, only donkeys! The scenery looks like its straight from a Disney movie.  I would get 'lost' for hours wandering the island.

Milos/Kleftiko - ever heard of the Venus de Milo?! It was found in the early 1800 by a farmer. The statue was hidden for centuries in a buried cave. And Kleftiko is Greece scenery at its finest. Tall pillars of withered stone raise from shallow, crystal waters, which make for a memorable snorkeling afternoon.

Ios - known for its wild nightlife, with over 100 bars in a single, narrow street, Ios never failed to disappoint the partyers in the group. It is also the alleged birthplace of Homer, the ancient mythological bard. Us crew would get a much needed day off in Ios, and I even found a group of people to regularly play beach volleyball with every week. 

Santorini - from Ios, guests would take a ferry to the absolutely beautiful and iconic island of Santorini. The famous caldera is a sight to behold; it is rumored to be the lost city of Atlantis, ya know! If you just go for the sunsets, you will be impressed. The sun melts into the most beautiful colors, and sinks into the glowing horizon and makes you feel as if you are standing at the edge of the earth. It took my breath away every time.

Paros - sun drenched, hot and known for world class wind surfing. The island of Paros also has the beautiful "Church of 99 Doors" a quiet respite from the other hustle and bustle islands.

Mykonos - I can't tell you how much I love Mykonos. Great beaches, world class shopping and fashion, wild nightlife as well as a hopping gay scene, this island has it all. We rented a 4-Wheeler and scooted around the island easily that way. And be sure to watch out for the gargantuan pink Pelicans and iconic windmills.

Kea - the last stop of the trip and by far the quietest island. We would hike for about an hour up into these ancient farming fields. Every single piece of land here is terraced, some of it new work and some of it thousands of years old. A Petrified Lion awaits you at the end of the hike, and I don't think anyone is still sure why it is there in the middle of no where. 

I guess that just about sums up everything. Greece will always be in my heart (and the thought of the delicious food making my stomach rumble). Thanks to that awesome opportunity, I will never forget the beauty of the Aegean islands.

If you are interested in learning more about this fabulous trip, visit Poseidon Charters for further details! You won't be disappointed.

February 23, 2011

Under the Grecian Sun, Part 2

I knew that returning to Greece to work on the same sail boat I had vacationed on the year before was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. No matter who I had just met :)

I don't think the (then future) hubs was super thrilled about me accepting the summer-long job in Greece. Actually, I remember him being a bit pouty about it. But this was something that I knew that if I didn't do, I would regret it for the rest of my life. Plus, there was already something so special between us, that I was really confident we could get through a few months apart. He was going back to Edmonton at the end of the season, and from what I had heard about the place, I knew he wasn't going to get into too much trouble without me :)

So May rolled around, I quit my job in San Antonio, made a last minute trip to Canada to say bye to the pre-hubs, and was off to see what Greece held for me.

I can't lie, the first few days were miserable. I had an awful feeling in my stomach, that kind you get when you just know something is wrong. Unable to get the pay phones by the Althens harbor to connect to home, I was stuck without hearing the pre-hubs voice for some time. Or at least it felt like a long time. I had doubts about the job, wondering what I was doing there. But I manned, I mean womanned, up and told myself that this is what I signed up for and this is what I was going to do.

The guests arrived soon after, and that first group was great. They really made me feel at ease and I jumped right into my position as program director. Pretty fancy title for someone who cooks, cleans, guides guests around the islands and helps sail.

I sound like such a whimpie saying this, but this job in Greece was by far the most difficult and demanding job I have ever had. Some, not all, but a good amount of the guests felt entitled the moment they stepped on board. This wasn't some all inclusive trip, where you're catered to at every moment. It was clear from the get-go that everyone pitched in to help do a job or two each day. But nonetheless, some felt the need to boss me around, or even, one horrible lady, to yell at me. Don't worry, I gave it right back to her, ha! I was the first one up in the early morning and the last one to bed late at night. It was exhausting. But with the breathtaking island scenery I woke up to every morning, it was well worth it.
Amazing Hydra Port
No matter how busy I was, I still couldn't fully get my mind to stop terribly missing the pre-hubs. He had joked around about coming out to Greece for a week or two to see me (and get a discounted price on a wonderful trip). I  had mentioned something to the captain, to see if he was even down for the idea. He wasn't all that into it,  but at the same time was interested in having another Canadian, and a hockey player at that, along for the ride. I am sure the thought of an extra paying customer didn't hurt either!

I had called the pre-hubs one evening for a quick conversation. I didn't have anything too important to say, we just liked chatting almost everyday. Then, right as I am about to let him off the phone, he casually drops an "Oh, by the way, I am coming to Greece. See you in a week!" WTF!! I didn't think he was really going to do it. But a week later, we pull into the port at Ios and there is he was,  my pale Canadian man, standing on the docks. How amazing is that!! 

And don't ya know, he fit right in :)
 And boy oh boy did I need him. He stayed in Greece for 10 days and it was so perfect. The guests on board when he came were being ridiculously difficult to deal with. They were losers, for lack of better words. If he hadn't have come to the islands to see me, I have a feeling I would have gone back home to see him (I guess in some ways it back fired on him, haha). 

As we hopped around the beautiful sun-baked islands, and realized that our first vacation together was a honeymoon dream for most couples. We partied in Ios, known for its looong row of bars. Wine tasted and tooted around in a Smart Car along the cliffs of Santorini. Sunbathed his paleness away in Paros. Took a 4-Wheeler around in Mykonos....and somehow ended up on the nude/gay side of Paradise Beach. Ha. Saw the Lion in Kia and ended the trip on a lovely note in Athens. 

It still amazes me that he came all the way to see little ol' me. I guess he, too, realized that there was something special there. When he went back to Canada, he left me with the strength to deal with those 'characters' on board and confirmed my already sneaking suspicion that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

Part 3, the finale of my Grecian summer coming tomorrow. I'll talk about the crazy guests, my 'living' quarters (Umm, I slept outside), and a short guide to the islands the boat visited.

Happy Hump Day!

February 22, 2011

Under the Grecian Sun, Part 1

I'm going to be honest with ya'll, there is nothing new to report here. It's still snowing, it's laundry day, I had class this morning, blah, blah, blah.

So, in honor of the upcoming "Storytellers Blog Hop" I thought I would share with you a memory that is close to my heart. A trip of a lifetime, if you will. It is about my two summers spent basking in the Grecian sun. That, and I am hoping a story about hot summers will jump start warm weather here. Hey, it's worth a shot!

Here is part one of a three (maybe two, can I fit it all?) part story. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the past (cue eerie music and Wayne and Garth frantically waving their hands into a dream sequence "dilttilido, dilttilido, dilttilido")

Grecian Adventure, Part 1:
Looking back 5 years ago, it is hard to imagine how my life turned out the way it has. That was back in the days when I knew nothing about hockey, Canada, or even how to pronounce Saskatchewan. Still kinda don't :)

There were only a few months left in my last semester as a college student. And they lazily drifted by. I had just enough credits to keep my scholarship, but all the work was already behind me. Needless to say, I had a great time really making the most out of my last year at that university. 

Talk about 'bright' futures :)
It was about this time of the year when most of the seniors started planning their trip-of-a-lifetime-before-a-lifetime-of-work extravaganza. Some planned to visit South America, others wanted something more local, maybe a summer in New York, but the majority of us kids (like it was soooo long ago, lol) wanted to see Europe. Whether we had planned to backpack and hostel or proper hotel it up, we were determined to have one last fling before the big girl world took this open opportunity and freedom away.

While others thought about how many countries they could see in a month's time, I had only one place in mind: Greece. 
Since my first semester at that liberal arts university, I had fallen in love with Classical Studies. I am sure my parents weren't too thrilled when I told them I had switched my major from Biology to Classics.  But hey, that is what they get for sending me to a hippie dippie liberal arts school :) There was something that I found so mesmerizing about Ancient Greece and Rome. Between the mythology lectures, ancient life courses, and intensive classes in Greek religion, I was engulfed by the past. And I just knew I had to see the ancient ruins in the birthplace of civilization. 

My boyfriend at the time was also planning a trip to Europe. He wanted to start his way down in Greece or Italy and work up to northern Europe; a six week trip to see it all. Perfect, I thought, I will see if we can maybe backpack together in Greece and go our separate ways from there. He shot that down as fast as I could get the idea out. Great guy or what? Blech.

So, I called my mom, obviously a little upset that this guy I had been dating for a while now would not 'let me' tag along with him. Like I was a puppy dog or something. But little did I know, that he did me a huge favor. Because of how he reacted, my mom basically told me to screw him - of course in nicer words than that - and take my own trip to Greece as a graduation present. I couldn't believe that she had suggested that! I mean, I realized that I was technically an adult at this point, but still, me, the only child, going to a foreign country...by myself! If that guy hadn't been such a douche, I would have never gotten that chance.

The planning and booking happened all so quickly. I narrowed my trip down to one week in Athens and surrounding area, and two weeks aboard a 80 foot sail boat around the Greek islands. It was a crewed trip, and had other guests on board, that way, I wouldn't be alone the entire time. It was one of the best decisions I had ever made. 

I was completely awestruck at the Acropolis, could not believe that I could actually touch the Parthenon. I spent a day out in Mycenea, wandering the ancient ruins. I knew it all, like I had been there before. I discovered the modern day quality of the acoustics at the Epidaurus Theater. I walked the Agora and the Stoa, wandering about what conversations took place here 3000 years ago. I was in heaven just wandering around the old stones.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I boarded the sail boat for a trip of a lifetime. The other passengers, just 10 of us on a boat, and the crew were amazing. They made the trip great as much as the islands did. We hopped to 12 islands in two weeks time. They were big and small, loud and quiet, and all spectacular.

I could go on for days about how amazing the Cyclades are. I will never forget those islands. 

By the end of the trip, I felt that I had had enough sight seeing time before I had to start looking for jobs and working my life away. I took my experiences with me back to San Antonio and started 'normal' life up there again. I had such a great time with the the Aussie girls working the boat and the travel company director, who was Canadian, that we all stayed in touch over email that fall and winter.

Then in the spring, I received some of the best and most exciting news ever. The director wanted to know if I would like to come back to Greece and be a program director on the sail boats for May, June and July! How could I say no to such a wonderful opportunity like that?! Not everyone gets to live the island life and get paid doing so. I took the offer almost immediately and was thrilled.....except for one little thing.

Did I mention I got the job offer the same week I met the future hubs?? Talk about timing :)

Second part of my Grecian Adventure coming tomorrow. Have a great Tuesday!

February 21, 2011

Snow Ruined Skiing

Denn ich will skifahren
skifahren ist das beste, was man sich vorstellen kann

Oh wait, it is snowing like crazy and waaay below freezing?!

....denn ich will couchsurfen
couchsurfen ist das beste, was man sich vorstellen kann!

Wait, not exactly what I meant either (source)
So yeah, we had planned to go skiing today. There are some really nice resorts nestled in the Alps that are only a short hour away. But the snow came back for yet another visit last night, and doesn't seem to be in a hurry to leave. So not only is it crapping snow, hard, but the forecast for up on the mountain says that it might get down to -17° Celsius this afternoon, which is about 1° Fahrenheit. Yeah, I don't think so. 

Back in Texas, we used to make the 10 hour drive to New Mexico for skiing trips during winter and spring break. NM isn't known for great snow, but us Texans didn't know better and could care less. We were happy to hit the slopes... often in T-shirts during the slushy month of March. So I am not sure I am built for skiing in this cold of weather. And judging the way the hubs got up, looked outside and promptly jumped back in bed, I'd says he wasn't built for it either. 

Ok, we never wore this little of clothing. Otherwise we would be freezing balls out there! Haha get it?! I'm hilarious AND mature. (source)
I do feel guilty we haven't gone yet, but then again its not like he has a ton of totally free days during the hockey year. I was surprised to learn that the slopes are open until April 25th, which I find ridiculously late. So maybe we will have a chance to go again. 

I'm only going if I can wear this and yell the lyrics of "God Bless America" the whole way down (source)
I think this winter relapse is partly our fault. Last weekend, when the weather couldn't have been nicer, we planned a BBQ for this Sunday over at a friend's place. On the drive over to his house yesterday, it started snowing. I blame it on us trying to actually organize something fun in the season.

Since we are being babies about the weather, I am trying to convince the hubs to go to a Therme Bad, or indoor heated pool and sauna land, this afternoon. I am up for a little more embarrassment today! Oh, and being totally weirded out by naked strangers and their bare lady and man parts.

Have a great Monday, and *stay warm out there!

*doesn't apply to all you Texans who have bragged about the 'beautiful weather' you've been having. In your case, stay cold...hearted. :)

P.S. - I am all about Free Trade: Wanna swap sponsor buttons?! 

February 19, 2011

Your Fans Suck

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Loud drums beating in sync.

Colorful flags waving wildly.

The cadence of organized chanting.

Intimidating yelling in a strange language.

Sounds like the front lines of a foreign battle, doesn't it?!

Nope, just pregame intros at a European hockey game. And it is awesome!

I had no idea what to expect at my first hockey game in Germany. I remember walking into the arena and being blown away. It was so loud and the people were so involved. It was great, and I really was left a bit speechless. The fans in that rink three years ago were wild. Multiple drums on different corners of the rink. Loud, yet organized cheering. You knew they had met up to practice all the chants they come up with. Mix that in with LOTS of beer drinking and an arena that was more metal barn than rink. And that wasn't even when their team scored a goal. Can you imagine the insanity then!? 

What an awesome mood to set for a game! *not the rink then, just an example (source)
Yeah, good luck to any team that was on the road there. You didn't stand a chance.

Back in North America, pro rinks are fairly quiet (I have heard college rinks are loud, but never having been to a college hockey game, I don't know). When we would go to the hockey games at home, it was usually a fairly mundane deal. You could look around and see that it was more of a social event rather than a chance to really get into the action. 

People sit on their hands, sip their beers and cheer for goals and boo at bad calls, but very little in between. I don't know if I could go back to watching hockey like that, it's just too eerily quiet.

Mimicking themselves after the crazy German soccer fans, the ice hockey fans go all out preparing for the games. They practice their chants, and there are a lot of them. In most cases, the announcer at the game only says the first name of the player, and the crowd chimes in with the rest. And they all know the names by heart. 

Get into the cool club with a scarf (source)
They have professional looking posters and flags made. You just aren't part of the group unless you have a scarf to represent your team. And everyone wears a jersey. Some even wear two; one on normally, and the other tied around the waist so that both names show. I guess it's just in case they couldn't decide who was their favorite that day. 

Can you imagine the money spent in these fan clubs?! (source)

Everyone knows when to say what, when to clap in rhythm. Heck, even the our arena plays this one German song when the other team gets a penalty. And everyone, I mean EVERYBODY (especially the kids), knows to yell "Arschloch" at the end of it. Have a guess at what that means, isn't too hard to figure out.

But of course, it can get out of hand. In the hubs' game just last night, a visiting fan was hit pretty badly in the eye with one of the flags. He was tended to and had to be taking out of the rink.

The hubs has gotten pelted with various things on the ice, usually a rain of empty plastic cups from those really trashy rinks. Fans have even tried to fight him and his teammates when they were coming off the ice. Not joking. Hey buds, maybe not the smartest idea to fight a guy with a helmet, full padding, sharp skates and a weapon. Stay sober!

(if for some reason it isn't working, check it out here. I thought it was still worth sharing!)

Here is a video of some angry fans I found from a years back. This video scares me! (BTW, whistling in Europe is booing). Why is the announcer yelling like that!? He is actually wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lovely.

It is so crazy and loud in the rinks that I wince at the volume of it all. But I wouldn't have it any other way. And I don't think the hubs would either. Talk about motivation on the ice!

Jump around in the video below to get a bit of a feeling of the madness I am trying to describe. If you ever find yourself in Germany, hockey fan or not, you have to check out a game. This party is worth going to!

February 18, 2011

Short and Sweet

Quick post, and perfect for Fab Friends Friday over at FTLOB. Just when I lose hope in people over here, I find someone who is so lovely and kind, that they restore my faith in goodness (ok, maybe it wasn't that profound, but ya know...)

It's not that the Germans are mean spirited or anything like that, but coming from the South, we tend to 'over-sweet' our emotions, and I really miss that at times.

I went to the gym this afternoon, after running about 500 errands I had put off this whole week until today. I made it there with just enough time for a quick cardio circuit and to make it home before the hubs left for his game tonight. I opened my bag to see that in the dim lighting of our bedroom, I had packed a sports bra and two pairs of shorts....and no shirt. Shit. Or Schade, the polite way to say 'bummer' in German.

Right about then, the only other lady in the dressing room came around the corner. She asked what was wrong, I told her that I was an idiot. And without one moment of hesitation, she offered me the extra shirt she had packed. I don't know this lady, never seen her before at the gym. And here she was lending me her really nice workout T-shirt, because she 'didn't want to see me drive all the way home to get mine'. She quickly game me her name, and said just to leave the shirt at the front counter when I was finished with it. And that was it, like it was an every day occurrence for her.

Dammit, now that I think of it, I forgot my headband and leg warmers too! (source)
How nice and thoughtful and trusting is that?! The Germans have a reputation of being 'cold', at least when you first meet them. Hey, these aren't my words, even the Deustchers will tell you that. But when it comes down to it all, there are nice and kind people all over the world. I am lucky to have run into this one today.

I might not see that lady ever again, the gym is big and we will be gone in a month or two. But the kindness that she showed to a complete stranger will leave me with a smile on my face for a while. Again, vielen Dank!

Sorry for another sweet and sappy post, soooo not like me. But thought it was worth a mini-share today.  Maybe I shouldn't have written this mean spirited one a while back. Whoops!

ALSO, and definitely last but not least, I really, REALLY want to thank everyone for your lovely comments and enthusiasm for the "Storytellers Blog Hop" I mentioned yesterday. Ya'll couldn't have been better. Honestly, thanks for the great feedback. Go ahead and mark your calendars for next weekend Friday Feb. 25th and Saturday the 26th. That way I can get those week bloggers as well at the weekend warriors included. Can't wait for all of us 'storytellers' (ehhh, still think its a little corny sound, but whatevs) to link up! If this goes well, might have to make it a regular end of the month feature.

Hope everyone else is having a good Friday, link up with the hop over at FTLOB and share a friendly story!

February 17, 2011

ZigZag Donnerstag

(Random Ass Thursday didn't have quite the same ring to it)

Here are some random things that have recently come to mind:
*I would love to start hosting a content-only (as in real stories, photos, etc) blog hop. I like blog hops, I really do. It's an easy way to find new and interesting blogs. It opens lots of doors in bloggyland. And no, for me it isn't about this whole 'following" mess. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, follow me if you want, forget me if not :)

But there are so many hops I have visited recently that are completely bombarded with non-content sites. I have nothing against these 'blogs' (really, can we call them that at this point?) that solely have advertisement after advertisement, and nothing more than giveaways, coupon and reviews. They can be very informative and helpful, if that is what you are looking for. But I think it is time to have a Storytellers Blog Hop. With only one rule: you must have more stories, photos, what I would consider real content, than giveaways and reviews. What do you say, blog writers?? Would you participate?? Maybe one on the first of the month?
I'm thinking...

Or is that too corny?

*Yet again, another gem from Yahoo! News. According to them, fanny packs are making a come back.

Yes! I knew I kept my neon green D.A.R.E. fanny pack for a reason. Think Michael Kors would approve of this one!?

*Just booked me a translating gig! I have been interested in doing this for some time now, trying my hand at it in private. But right now I am working on taking a local hotel's information in German and making it sound all nice and neat sounding in English. Sad, but I am really excited to do this. Hey, you never know, I could find a new calling in Deutschland!

*Had to rescue the baby goaty's life this week. Like the good goaty momma I am, I heard him crying outside. He was trapped in between two fence boards and was choking himself out. Poor thing, I really was so scared for him! But I managed to help squeeze him out rather easily. Every time he bleats at me now, I like to think it is a little goatie thank you.

Be careful out there baby goatie!
*And last, but certainly not least, I am sad to say that Len Lesser, better known as 'Uncle Leo' on Seinfeld, passed away yesterday. He delivers one of the funniest lines in Seinfeld history. One that my family likes to quote from time to time. Uncle Leo is knowingly stealing things from a store and is convinced no one will prosecute him because he is old. When he gets caught, he says, "I'm an old man. I'm confused! I thought I paid for it. What's my name? Will you take me home?"

Thanks for the laughs Unc-cle Leo!

February 16, 2011

Heels and Parkas

I'm not a big girly girl, nor a big label hog, but I never mind a good excuse to get all fancied up for a night out.

That used to be the case for hockey games. Back in North America, in the land of heated hockey arenas, I would love getting dolled up for the hubs' game. I didn't wear dresses or anything crazy like that, but a nice pair of jeans, a cute top, and high heels was my go-to. 

Haha, ok maybe not this extreme at games... yeah not even close. (source)

That was back in the good ol' days when I didn't have to worry about getting frost bite...indoors. The hockey rinks in Europe are notoriously cold. And this Texan does not do well in freezing weather (picked the wrong sport to marry into, I'd say!!)

When the hubs was looking into teams at the end of last year, I had only one request: Please sign with a team with an indoor hockey rink! Because yes, some teams in this league have half open rinks. What do they do when it snows?? Why just brush off the ice during intermission. I can't even imagine the quality of ice during August and April. Sounds fun!

For real, that's outdoors (source)
The rink here isn't so bad, it is nice and new, but then again nothing special. It isn't open, but still pretty dang frigid on those extra cold days. I don't even know why I bother wearing anything cute to the games; it inevitably gets covered up with 16 layers and a big fluffy parka. And don't think I am afraid to bring a blanket to the game, 'cause I'm not!

Muffled cheering is the best! (source)
But now, as the weather is starting to warm up, I can actually wear somewhat normal clothes again. I try not to over do it here in Germany. Us North American wives stick out like a sore thumb as it is. We walk around and you can hear the Germans whisper "Spielerfrau, Spielerfrau" (player wife, player wife). I wore high heels to one of the games at the beginning of the season and people about lost it. "How could she wear those to a game??" Um, because I was watching, not playing, dummies :)

So, as if we don't get enough 'attention' for looking and dressing different from the German fans, I had a nice little wardrobe malfunction last week. The team puts all the families in the front row, not my ideal spot, but whatever. We have to sit behind this little metal bar fence thing. While trying to squeeze my way through the row to the walkway, my favorite pair of everyday jeans caught on a screw on the fence and riiiippppp. It didn't just make a small tear,  but freakin' ripped a good sized hole in my jeans. Not to mention I was wearing these purple warming tights underneath. Looking good. And of course it didn't happen at the end of the game, but during the first intermission. Awesome.

Ok, not the end of the world...but still!

And that's how hockey ruined my life pants. Lol, just kidding babe.

Think I could get the team to pay for these?! Ha.

Hey, if anything, maybe they will think it is some kind of new American fashion. If I see Germans rocking this look at next game, I am totally taking credit.

February 15, 2011

Sealed With A Kiss

I've never really been too into Valentine's Day. I guess it is nice to do something sweet for your loved ones on a special Hallmark day, but my thought is, why save it up for just one day when you can spread it over the whole year?

But that being said, I also have never really had a bad or lacking Valentine's Day. In school, the day was always marked with candy and cards. High school might have brought a flower or two. And then college I honestly don't remember, but I am sure we rang in the holiday with a party or two. And then the hubs cam along. So yeah, they always seemed to be pleasant enough, or at least not a total let down. 

The hubs and I try, at the very least, to go out to eat at a favorite spot for most of our special dates (birthdays, anniversaries, so on). Since we like to take advantage of having an excuse to go out, Valentine's Day is usually celebrated with a nice dinner as well.

Good food, wine and perfect company; what more could I ask for?? Nothing really tops that....well, except for maybe the time the hubs got kissed by a man on Valentine's Day. Best. Valentine's. Ever.

A few years ago, the two of us were enjoying a very delicious dinner at our favorite spot in the previous German town we lived in. It was such a romantic place with intimate seating, quiet corners and candle light. Waaaay to romantic for us knuckleheads, but we were there for the Michelin Rated food. 

Get the theme of kissing yet?
 When we were seated at the restaurant, I remember the table next to us was already finished with their meals and they were already downing after-dinner cocktails. Now, anyone who has ever had dinner in Europe knows that it is never a quick in and out kind of deal. The Europeans enjoy taking their time serving and allow you to really experience the whole evening. I love it this way, it makes it so much more special.

So this Valentine's Day, we nibbled (who am I kidding, gobbled) our way through dinner, sipped through carafes of wine and around 3 hours later were feeling full and happy. That's when the table next to us started chatting it up. We have never lived in a really big German city, so anytime someone hears us talking English they always stare want to know where we are from. I was still fairly new at German, and wanted to practice, so the hubs and I carried on small talk with this nice gentleman and his, count them, 2 cougar dates. 

Aw, we are so cute it is making me sick
And boy oh boy were they hammered. Think about it, they had been sitting there for over 3 hours, just drinking. But they were really nice, and really funny. Kept asking what our astrological signs were and saying we were a good match. Haha, thanks.

Another hour passed and we decided that we had made the staff wait on us long enough. Besides, there was no way we were driving anywhere and the last train was coming soon. So, we get up from the table to say our goodbyes to our new found German friends (the hubs doesn't always like that I make new 'friends' everywhere, but this time didn't seem to mind).

The man stands up to shake my hand and goes in for the double cheek European kiss. Something that I am still really awkward at to this day. Then he shakes the hubs' hand and also goes in for the double cheek European kiss. The hubs is secure with his sexuality. He's ok with that...although I am sure the wine didn't hurt.

One kiss on the left cheek, one on the right. And then, wouldn't ya know, the man goes in for the real deal. Yep, planted a big ol' smoochero on the hubs' lips. Everyone is dying laughing, and thank goodness the hubs has a good sense of humor. The man was obviously drunk and just doing it as a joke (something I can tell you would NEVER fly in Texas). 

Yes! Best picture ever. Getting a kiss from a Beluga Whale

It still brings us to tears telling the story, and I have to say, it was probably my best Valentine's Day ever. And definitely one that we will never forget :)

Hope everyone doesn't have too bad of Valentine's Day hangover today. Anything crazy happen to ya'll?!

February 14, 2011

Zombie Monday...oh and Valentine's

Ahhh, you caught me being lazy again :) Took a tiny little break yesterday to enjoy everything else going on in life outside of bloggyland. Gasp! Yes, I do have a bit of a life in the real world, although the hubs might beg to differ. 

Actually, I have been pretty busy (well, busy for me in Germany) these last couple of weeks. We've been really successful at filling our time and for once the end of the season hasn't felt too monotonous. (Only 6 more games!)

The language school keeps upping my class schedule. They don't seem to mind that I plan to stop working in about a month's time. And this past week we got to go see some friends' cover band play at a local restaurant/bar and they were awesome! We rocked out to some good ol' American songs and for a moment there, we actually felt like we were at a bar back at home. Weird!

As for our big night out Saturday...back at Christmas, the wonderful hubs got us tickets to see Cirque du Soleil: Saltimbanco! Believe it or not, they were actually coming to our little town. So strange, but hey, we'll take advantage of it. Once again, those funny little French Canadians charmed our hearts. 

The night was great, and since we usually don't get to do too many normal 'night outs' during the hockey season, it was a fun treat. And isn't he just the smartest, he got away with a Christmas and Valentine's gift in one package. Smart man, haha.

The guys have a whole three days off next week. THREE days, so hard to believe! I'm currently planning a mini get away for the weekend! Gotta take advantage of the breaks when we get them.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I guess I should take a second to wish you all a very lovely day today. I have to admit, I have never been a huge Valentine's Day gal. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy an excuse to have a nice dinner with the hubs, but the day always seems to be just a bit too much, a bit over the top for my taste. Shouldn't surprise any of my regular readers. Not so much of a romantic...or at all...

Tomorrow I have a special "Valentine's Day Hangover" special for ya'll. The hubs and I never fail to laugh our way through dinners. But Valentine's Day a few years ago was really something to remember. And no, not in a romantic night, that is just not our style. But more so an over-the-top, awesomely-foreign, still-makes-me-laugh-to-this-day kind of night. I have been wanting to share this story for a while now, so I am glad tomorrow I will finally get the chance!

(If you haven't noticed by now, I am using today to catch up on just about everything from this past weekend :)). FTLOB featured a section yesterday that dealt with sponsors for a few sites. TexaGermaNadian was listed up there, but it didn't quite explain my idea behind the sponsorship in as much detail as I would have liked. So today, I will add a new sponsor tab to inform those of you who might be interested.

Real quick rundown: On my currently bare left sidebar, I want to feature sponsors. You can be a sponsor of TexaGermaNadian in one of two ways.

1. I would love to swap my 'sponsorship button' with your 'sponsorship button' (don't worry, you won't catch anything, lol), but I would really like to only do this if we have roughly the same amount of traffic (Sponsorship Page will have all of that information).

2. You can have a sponsor spot on the site until the end of March for $5. This will include your very own, custom designed sponsor button that you will be free to use on any other site or anywhere in the future. So really, not only will your blog get  exposure, but you get  a button out of it too. Not too bad of a deal, if I do say so myself :)

Last but not least, I want to give some very deserved (and long over due) shout outs. In the last few weeks, I have received a couple of awards from various great bloggers. I have been awful about taking the time to re-post that information. So ladies, I really am so honored that ya'll thought of me, and I appologize for the late posting.

The very awesome April (even if she is a St. Louis Cardinal fan, haha, jk) from Party of 5 linked me up to a Stylish Blogger Award. Whoop! Thanks so much April, that really did make my day. 

Also, the wonderful Mary from Food Floozie linked me to a Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. I have seen this one around, and I was really happy to be linked to it. Thanks Mary, once again, you rock.

And last but not least, Sherri, the friendly Canadian over at Mommy's lil Corner hooked me up with the Cherry on Top Award. And I wish I had a cute childhood picture to post with my award. Soon hopefully!