Sunday, February 27, 2011

55/365 Thursday, 02/24/2011

Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables. And this is probably my favorite way to eat them: oven roasted in a cast-iron pan with plenty of salt and pepper and a bit of olive-oil--and for the last 5-10 minutes with about a quarter cup of shredded parmesan cheese on top. Yum!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

54/365 Wednesday, 02/23/2011

This is my "recreational" reading at the moment. It is going very slowly--usually only a few pages before I go to sleep. Das Glasperlenspiel/The Glass Bead Game or Magister Ludi  was Herman Hesse's last novel--he worked on it from 1931 to 1943. It was published in Switzerland. It is a strange book and I have already started but not finished it once---which is something I do not like doing. The only other two books I have started but not finished in recent memory are Musil's Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften/The Man without Qualities and W.G.Sebald's Austerlitz, both of which I hope to go back and reread and finish in the not too distant future. I'm getting more into it the second time and I do find it interesting. I read Hesse mainly for the ideas, I do not find his writing style as compelling as that of either Thomas Mann or Franz Kafka, but his oeuvre is still interesting. And also quite teachable. I've taught "Narcissus & Goldmund" numerous times in translation as part of a Freshman Seminar centered on "Concepts of Friendship in German Literature". I've also taught Siddhartha once to a small class at Wabash College. (Many moons ago it must be said!).
Since Hesse wrote The Glass Bead Game from 1931-43, he must have had the Third Reich in mind as the kind of society the book is disdainful of. And Hesse being Hesse means his vision of a future utopia (so far at least) is rather medieval and ascetic. I am intrigued as to how he is going to write a whole novel about this one expert game player. That's kind of what is keeping me reading. I may report back on how it is going at a later point.

53/365 Tuesday, 02/22/2011

I added this particular picture instead of some of the others from that morning's "shoot" because it will remind me of the beautiful sparkly, pink light that emanated from the branches of the tree. The picture does not really do the actual phenomenon justice, but it will remind me of it when I see it. I was very tempted to put on my boots and go outside and I sort of still regret not doing so. On the other hand it was a VERY cold morning and so I was reluctant to head out in my pj's -even with a coat and boots. We simply have the best sunrises around here. (I remember seeing spectacular sunsets in Indiana...)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

52/365 Monday, 02/21/2011

I was going to post a postcard of a painting I like by a 19th century German artist, but I just couldn't resist this cute close-up of Georgie's ears. When he sits on my lap I admit I take a lot of pictures of him--most of them not good at all. But this one, this one I liked. And if I really wantd to, this being my blog and all, there is nothing to stop me (except not wanting to waste too much time blogging) from posting the other picture as a "two-for-one" now is there? We'll see.

Monday, February 21, 2011

51/365 Sunday, 02/20/2011

Yesterday was a snowy (and later on icy) day that prompted us to stay indoors and enjoy our Trader Joe goodies. This was my lunch--and it probably one of my favorite lunches/meals: smoked salmon and cream cheese on a toasted bagel. The TJ bagels are only so-so, but they do always have good smoked salmon. As I recall you could get a smallish pack for $3.99 or sometimes even $2.99. There were none of those there yesterday so I had to go with a bigger more expensive packet--it is very good!! Because it was a wintry Sunday And I knew I wasn't going anywhere I decided to have a Mimosa with my Salmon bagel--yum!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

50/365 Saturday, 02/19/2011

Yesterday was a fun day! We drove to Ann Arbor, which is about 50 minutes east of Albion, right along I-94. I got my haircut (I don't like any of the hairdressers in Albion). and after that we met up with our friends from Toledo (which is about the same distance Ann Arbor in the other direction). We had a very nice lunch. It was good to catch up. After that we of course had to hit our favorite supermarket: Trader Joe's. It was packed!!! I think maybe due to the dire weather predictions for today (which are proving to be somewhat true so far--it is snowing fairly heavily and later on there might be some ice-precip...) I don't think I have ever seen Trader Joe's that busy. We got a lot of stuff including a nice selection of wines. We also like their coffee. And after that it was time to head back home to Albion.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

49/365 Friday, 02/18/2011

For some reason our two girl cats Sophie and Mieze both love to sit in boxes. I think Sophie is the biggest box lover, both in terms of her size and how much she loves them. And she especially loves to show how she can fit into boxes that I am always convinced will be too small for her-like this one - a shallow box from Amazon that I thought would be perfect for little Mieze. But the minute I put it down Sophie jumped right and and made herself comfortable in it...It is a bit of a tight fit - but I don't think that bothers Sophie! In the meantime I have also seen Mieze sit in this one and she does have more room to maneuver...

48/365 Thursday, 02/17/2011

I spent a lot of time at my desk today and Mieze came and kept me company! she likes hanging out on my desk.

Friday, February 18, 2011

47/365 Wednesday, 02/16/2011

I have enjoyed re-watching The West Wing--especially the first Aaron Sorkin scripted seasons 1-4. The last seasons are still watchable but just not as fun as the first ones. Part of it is that it is the end of the Bartlett era and so the focus has to shift away from Sheen/Bartlett.

Today I didn't spend a lot of time with my camera so this is the shot that made it in!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

46/365 Tuesday, 02/15/2011

Another sunny and slightly warmer day. I didn't go outside much, since I'm working on my book-review (which involves reading the book..) I took this from the bedroom window of a long freight-train that was pasing through. There was a mini-traffic jam behind it, but that didn't last long. No such thing as "heavy traffic" in our little town...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

45/365 Monday, 02/14/2011

This was my lunch on Monday. I had been looking at pictures of "full English breakfasts" on flickr and decided to make my own version. Used the chewy German bread I buy at Meijers and my turkey lunch meat instead of bacon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

44/365 Sunday, 02/13/2011

On Sunday I got up and did something I have not done in a very long time--I worked out to one of my workout videos! It was good and it made me feel better all day long! On Monday and today (I'm writing this on Tuesday) I did a shorter workout that I have on DVD. It's a Margaret Richards of PBS "Body Electric" fame...that I did fairly regularly as a graduate student at Northwestern. She was funny and the workouts were short but good. Oh no I can't get that stupid "Body Electric" theme song out of my head now!!I also did the yoga workouts with that nice southern lady, whose name I cannot remember. I remember how nice it was to finally get a little television in my dorm room! (what a luxury!) Margaret says you should rest on the fourth day, which I will probably do--but I'll try and go for a walk. We also have a lovely elliptical exercise-machine that is woefully underused--but if I can keep this up I will incorporate some time on the elliptical as well. So I put this picture up as a reminder- if I don't keep it up I will be reminded about how I wanted to do so!!

43/365 Saturday, 02/12/2011

This was the Valentine's Day display that I discretely took a photo of when we went grocery shopping on Saturday...Cute but kitschy....Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

42/365 Friday, 02/11/2011

This train stopped right there on the tracks for about an hour in front of our house. I did some research and there   are whole flickr groups and web-sites devoted to pictures of these types of trains. (Norfolk-Southern, Conrail). Here's a bit of info about the "Operation Lifesaver" locomotive.

41/365 Thursday, 02/10/2011

I ventured out on this bitterly cold (but sunny) day to replenish our bird feeders--since I had seen a lot of birdies hanging around the feeders that morning. It really was cold and there was a lot of snow in the back yard! It was pretty though, since the sun was out.

40/365 Wednesday, 02/09/2011

This is probably my all-time favorite meal made by Bill--he always gets the pizza just right!! It always tastes delicious! He hadn't made one in a while, so I was glad when he agreed to do so

Saturday, February 12, 2011

39/365 Tuesday, 02/08/2011

This is how Sophie likes to sit on us. She rarely is content with sitting on our laps, but rather likes to sit on our chests. On occasion I have woken up with a heavy weight upon my chest only to find Sophie sitting right on me in a perfect cat-loaf...She is quite heavy! When she does this it is as if she is claiming ownership to us (as well as showing us her affection and also demanding affection back!) She's a sweetie.

38/365 Monday, 02/07/2011

Every Monday I teach two school students beginning German. It's fun! I try and have some kind of sweet for them that is from Germany. This week I had little Toblerones for them--the swiss honey-almond chocolate that is shaped like a mountain. The black binder is my class folder.

Friday, February 11, 2011

37/365 Sunday, 02/06/2011

This was what I got when I went to the only "silent auction" I have ever been to. It was at the Albion college library and it was a lot of fun! If I were rich- books (old, rare ones) are probably something I would spend a lot of money on! I was excited to win this old German encyclopedia. It isn't in the best of shape but I still love it! It is a copy of the third edition of the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, published in Leipzig from 1874-78. As I recall there was a mild bidding war, but I still got all 15 volumes for $25.00. It has lovely maps and illustrations too.

36/365 Saturday, 02/05/2011

Yum yum yum - this was a very good meal made by Bill. It was a lot so we both made sure to only eat a light lunch! I do love avocados!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

35/365 Friday, 02/04/2011

I actually wanted to post a picture of our downtown movie theater that is in ill-repair as my picture of the day--but this one seemed to me more fitting to the theme of the blog--it is a picture of my everyday life--sitting with Bil eating our "Subway sandwiches" that we had gotten for ourselves and reading the newspaper or the NYTimes magazine in my case. I only get the Sunday NYimes and it usually lasts me the whole week. This longish article about Assange was very interesting--he really is a character! And I liked the different illustrations of him that went along with it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

34/365 Thursday, 02/03/2011

This was a cold but sunny day-I had to run an errand at one of the Albion buildings and so I took advantage of being outside (if only briefly) and took this shot. I worked as a German professor at this college for 7 years, from 2003-2010. My first year I was a Visiting Assistant Professor, i.e. not on the tenure-track. The next year I was hired as a tenure-track professor. Everything came tumbling down for a whole plethora of unsavory reasons when I went up for tenure in 2009.

I could have stayed on for one more year, but after all that had happened I decided to resign at the end of 2010. I am glad I did, even though I forwent an extra year's income (and even more important-health insurance!) But I'm still glad I did quit because I think I have been able to move on much quicker than would have been possible if I still were working there. Money is important but it isn't everything!

Monday, February 7, 2011

33/365 Wednesday, 02/02/2011

Hans was getting impatient and so this is what he does: sits on whatever seems to be holding my attention at that moment and giving me "the look" if to say: I will not be ignored, I will hypnotize you with my beautiful green eyes and you will pay attention to me..."Or else...."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

32/365 Tuesday, 02/01/2011

I don't think I was/am the only one thinking: "Is it February already?" Didn't the year just begin? What happened to January? This is a picture of the little pdf calender I bought on Etsy--I just print out the month I need. (It was sent to me as a zipped pdf).

31/365 Monday 01/31/2011

This is the only I picture in my possession of my mother as a young adult and her mother, my grandmother. There is one more picture of them, but my mum is about 3 in that one. This picture was taken in Christchurch, New Zealand where my mother attended the University of Canterbury, probably from 1948-1952. (She was born in 1930). She had attended boarding school at Nelson Girls Boarding School (now it's Nelson Girls College) in Nelson, a town on the northern coast of New Zealand's South Island. I know they had a difficult relationship after my grandfather had died in the war (he was killed on Crete in 1941). I remember my mother talking about feeling bitter about having been sent off to boarding school--and jealous of the "day girls" who got to go home to their families after school.  I remember her also telling us that when her mother sent her there she was the youngest girl to be boarding there. That must have been rough. I have a feeling this would be one reason why she would not have enjoyed the Harry Potter books/movies--she was always sceptical of depictions of boarding schools, especially by people who had not attended one themselves.

I do like this picture of the two of them, which must have been taken around 1950. My mother emigrated to Australia in 1954 with her first husband. My grandmother passed away a year later. Her name was Mamari Augusta Lockett née Taylor.

One more interesting tidbit: Christchurch was the setting of the infamous 1954 Parker-Hulme murder and court case which Peter Jackson turned into the film "Heavenly Creatures".

Thursday, February 3, 2011

30/365 Sunday, 01/30/2011

Ah yes Sunday--the morning was fine but the afternoon was a bit stressful. I am learning to drive. In my case my main problem is overall nervousness and anxiousness about driving. I CAN drive by now (I've been practicing since August!!) but I still am nervous about it. When I do drive I find it completely taxing and after I have driven I'm completely befuddled ..even when everything goes well (which it usually does).  Imagine finding something ( a task) that A LOT of people seem to take completely for granted, difficult, scary and extremely nerve-wracking--that is how I feel about driving right now. And the winter weather is not helping! On Sunday I had my first lesson with my new teacher.  For some reason I always drove very well with my first teacher--but when time came to do the little "parking dance" on my own as part of the driving test (with no teacher or tester) in the car - I did not do well--I realized I had never sat in the car on my own, let alone done the parking dance...I over-corrected and failed the exam miserably--not even making it to the actual road that was a bummer.

On Sunday I sat in the new teacher's car while we reviewed the rules of the road for almost an hour--doing this made me more and more nervous. I wish I could have conveyed how nervous this was making me...after going over the rules I drove all around Jackson, Michigan trying to do all the things she had told me to--it was hard, and stressful. I did ok, but I could tell it was wearing me out. I was very glad when it was over. I'm not really looking forward to my future lessons. (But I will take them).  

I met Bill at the Panera café and we went to the Meijer to do our weekend shopping--it was about 6:00pm, much later than we usually shop. I remember feeling discombobulated and tired - sort of jittery. But at least I remembered to take a picture!!

29/365 Saturday, 01/29/2011

Saturday was a quiet somewhat snowy day. We stayed home. I decided it was a "baked ziti" kind of day--a day for easy comfort food...This decision may have been influenced by the fact that we are re-watching the Sopranos. We stopped watching at about Season 5, probably because we got busy or didn't have access to HBO anymore. So it will be fun to see the last seasons for the first time after having re-watched all the other ones. I still cannot figure out why the show is so compelling but it is-the characters, what they get up to, how messed-up they all are and how they all bounce off of each other is just very interesting to watch. It turned out I did not have any baked ziti so I made baked radiatore instead. I've decided I'm not a big fan of that shape--I like the simpler ones like penne and spaghetti or linguine. Sometimes I like bowties/farfalle.