Saturday, January 30, 2010

Definition of "Happily Married" – Month Nine

Happily Married is sitting in a not-so-great funky Chinese restaurant that is too warm, with my belly uncomfortably full, and looking across the table at a baby-faced young man who is wearing a goofy shirt, and laughing with a full mouth at a joke that wasn’t a joke and thinking, “I should really marry this one”.

And then realizing I already did.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Power of the PS3

I gave the Mr. a PS3 for Christmas. For those of you from my tribe (the non-geeks) out there a PS3, also called “Playstation 3”, is the top of the top for video game playing these days. Cheap it isn't but the Mr. so rarely joneses after something for so long, that I splurged with our money and surprised him with it on Christmas Eve.

He was thrilled. I was thrilled. Everyone was just thrilled.


Until the Mr. and his brother began to claim that for the PS3 to work, we can't have one of these

(our TV isn't this old. Its maybe one generation younger)

We need one of these

I was not thrilled, assuming that this verbal exchange was another example of the Mr.'s very charming inability to use the English verbs "need" and "want" correctly. Silly boy, always confusing them. Charming really. The Mr. was not thrilled with my reaction.

However, upon plugging in said PS3 into said TV, I was proven wrong. It is truly need - the Mr. is rapidly going blind while defeating zombies in Resident Evil Whatever-Number; exploring hand-to-hand combat in Tekken; and rescuing some world in that Other Game With The Creepy Name. The Mr. was thrilled I said “need” and I was not thrilled at the sound of our money rushing towards the technology store.

Long story, short: Wish us happy shopping.

Interesting side note: although forced to sit almost on top of the TV to see basically nothing, males are lining up outside and inside our apartment to exert extreme effort on plastic buttons. Exhibit A:


Lessons learned: Non-geeks out there, go geek shopping with a geek. Never alone. You don't know what to ask and your surprise gift for someone else might just end up surprising you. And buy extra beer for all the good people that will be around and enjoy the ride!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The Mr. and I are very sad because our little, gangly, bitchy, whining, demanding, unfriendly, extra-cuddly, in the end very trusting Peewee kitty was put down today. In the two years we lived together, she went from a worn-out, starving, very sad kitty to a peppy, curvy, friendly kitty that loved us both very much.

We gave her two good years, far more than she would have ever had in the wild or in a animal shelter. We gave her a safe place and let her personality explode. And she gave us laughter, responsibility, tears, joy, frustration, and years of memories.

The doctor was good to us both. During her last moments, I was next to her, touching her, and talking to her. She laid peacefully, with trust, as first the vein was prepared and then the medicine entered her bloodstream. She was gone within seconds but I stayed with her, alone, for a good while. It takes a long time to say goodbye. I was lucky to have that special time with her, alone.

I understand now why way-back-when family members were each given a few moments alone 'in the drawing room' with the deceased' body. Those moments - those words - can't be shared with anyone else. There is a freedom, a blessedness, a privacy in that one-sided conversation that cannot be explained - even when that conversation is with a cat.

When my papa died last July I had very few, very precious private moments with him while he was still alive. Although we had already had a goodbye conversation in May, in those few moments I promised him what I thought he wanted me to promise him. And I meant and mean every word. But I limited myself too, because he was there in body and in spirit. He was suffering, he was getting ready for a journey that I won't understand for (I hope) a very long time.

And after he passed away and he was rolled out, tucked under a brilliant quilt he would have most likely admired if pointed out to him, I kissed his cheek as I had a million times before, when it was still soft, still so warm, still able to smile.

I am thankful for those experiences. For those moments. But I do believe that when I die, I will write into my will that each member must be offered the chance to sit with my shell 'in the drawing room' for just a few minutes. Alone. Maybe more people are like me and will have just a few more words to say in a blessed one-way conversation.

And I will make damn sure that I'm there to hear every word.

Rest in peace, Peewee Mädchen.

You will always be missed, Paps.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 80s revisited

This past weekend the bigger Steinbach clan was invited to a 40th birthday party. The 1980s was the theme and we all got into groove. Here we are:

I doubt anyone has ever looked quite as good as us.

And this is my far-too-attrative-for-her-own-good sister-in-law :D

And the birthday boy rocking it Cinderella style:

And just for good measure:

Notice that Peewee got herself right into that pic?


In Celebration of Sushi!!

In celebration of Sushi!!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years Eve!

New Years Eve in Germany has a certain charm. First there are about four weeks of everyone asking everyone what they are doing on New Years Eve but not making any concrete plans unless plane tickets are involved.

Then in the last three days suddenly everyone has definite ideas of what they want to do and still no plans. On the second to last day everyone finally has their plans....sorta. You really only know if people have finalized their plans when they show up. :D

The usual night looks like:
1. Dinner together to eat and drink far too much. This year we hosted at our house with raclette.
2. The entire group scrambles towards an open area with X bottles of sekt and X*30 fireworks. For the next 20 minutes everyone puts off the fireworks with more or less success – and the people in the area duck and weave with astounding success considering the alcohol content*

Yes, you read that correctly: drunk people with their families put off fireworks and everything works out just fine. Each and every year. In fact, in my five years of celebrating New Years Eve here I’ve never experienced something as little as a broken sekt glass. I have, however, dramatically improved my duck and weave moves.

Hope your entry into 2010 has been fabulous! This is going to be a good year.

*on a side note, I’m pretty sure the average German could teach a number of NFL players about the duck and weave move. Especially with full hands.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great New Years Eve and here's to a fabulous 2010!

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