Thursday, February 21, 2008

Erkältungsbad Spezial...and a mushroom

I am happy to report that my epic cold is now history. I'd like to say that its disappearance was due to my use of the whiskey medicinal:

but, sadly, it's not true. I actually got sicker after the whiskey/cupcake/devastating book combination. Like any good stoic, I attempted to carry on, but the illness somehow seeped into my brain and made me a little crazy for a few days. I did things I've never done before; for example, I got all the way to work before realizing that I'd left the toaster oven--in which I attempted to make some comfort food before heading to work--burning at a monsterously dangerous 400 degrees. This forced me to run back home in the pouring rain, where luckily, although the food materials were burned into chunky, smouldering bits of charcoal, I hadn't incinerated my entire apartment. Later that day, however, I left my beloved, purchased-in-Potsdam, Germany kugelschreiber:

behind in a public area at work. Although I like to think I am not a materialistic type, I was surprisingly dismayed. I loved my Kuli--such a perfect fine blue ink, so satisfying in the hand, so beautifully engineered...and gone. I did all the normal things one does in such situations: retraced my steps, asked others who had been in the vicinity, sent a few random emails inquiring about it. Nuttin'.

Dejectedly, I returned home, chest heaving, nose dripping, head pounding...and suddenly remembered that I had purchased a real medicinal on sale in a drugstore in Berlin.

Although purchased in the warmth of a temperate German summer, I somehow had the feeling Herr Kneipp might come in handy someday. After reading the difficult and alarming instructions auf Deutsch--something about not sitting in the Erkältungsbad for more then 10 minutes or running the risk of corroding one's skin--I slid into an extremely hot bath, literally wallowing in self-pity.

So what happened? The next morning I awoke. Lo and behold, I could breathe through one nostril! Then both nostrils! I was cured!

Even better? A kindly co-worker read my email, looked in his satchel, and realized the fine pen he'd found on the floor was mine. I took my reclaimed Kuli for a celebratory hot chocolate at the City Bakery today, where we toasted our reunion with a ginger hot chocolate...but only after I requested that the befuddled chocolatier place a "mushroom" in my drink. Mushroom/ you think a severe Erkältung can cause brain damage?

Friday, February 15, 2008

2008: Es ist was es ist

I know, I know. I am the worst blogger ever. I've said it before, but now that I've let an unprecedented two months pass by without an update, I feel even more that it is true. I thought several times that I would perhaps just let the blog die a natural death, as my interest has waned somewhat...but then in the past week a couple of people have asked me about it, and I've been feeling oddly reflective, so you know, why not throw my hat right back in the ring?

I have to warn: today is probably not the best day for my re-entry into the blogosphere, as I am suffering what I firmly believe is the worst cold I've had in several years. I felt that I could deal with this when it came upon me on Tuesday, but last night when my nose started literally dripping in my German class (right when we were reading a special Valentine's Day edition of Erich Fried's Was Es Ist, no less!), I couldn't take it anymore. I came home, drank a shot of whiskey, ate a Valentine cupcake, and retired to my boudoir, where I made a jarring mistake of continuing my reading of A Woman in Berlin, which documents multiple instances of mass rape and brutality on the part of Russian soldiers invading WWII-era Berlin. Gulp! What was I thinking? That's not very all.

Needless to say, I've been having a nerve-jangling day as a result. But otherwise the last couple of months have been refreshingly calm, and 2008 is starting out pretty well...on a personal level at least. (Let's ignore for the moment, shall we, that the economy is tanking, thousands of people are losing their homes, legions continue to die in Iraq, and...well, you get the idea.)

I began the new year on a very industrious note, making new curtains for my kitchen:

baking bread:

and making a small attempt to get my lazy ass back out there, politically, that is.

(Washington, DC, January 11...)

I can't say as I've really made any resolutions for the upcoming year, aside from a rather vague sense that I really shouldn't enjoy watching Make Me a Supermodel. Was anyone else disturbed by Perry's semi-abusive Valentine screaming at his girlfriend? "TELL ME YOU LOVE ME AND WANT TO BE WITH ME FOREVER!"

Clearly, someone needs to be reading more Erich Fried. But I guess aspiring supermodels don't do that.