At least for one post.
Our babbling baby has proven herself to be one of those babies who start right off with complete sentences with distinct intonation - but no discernible words to those of us listening. Many of the other babies (they're almost a year and a half old; I don't know if "baby" is really the right term) already have a vocabulary of (relatively) clear words. But they communicate with just those individual words and there's no rhythm. So with these minis we know what they're referring to; with Chloé we know that she's asking a question or making a statement. Fun either way.
I've decided that I'm ready to live in a climate of perpetual summer. I found my three years in San Diego meteorologically monotonous, but that was then, and this is now. Cold weather is for the birds. Or not. Let's say I'm like a bird and I'm going to fly away before the snow falls. Or not. At least not until I write my bestseller and become financially independent and buy a villa on a Caribbean island. I will fear no hurricane. I will try to eat fish. And I will dream.
Also climate-related: It's uncommon in Germany to own a (clothes) dryer. Given the low temperatures and humidity, I'm surprised by this. In my (dryer-less) house, I have to zig around the drying racks for three days before my clean clothes are wearable. The pro: increased shopping opportunities.
I'm being haunted by names on Facebook. You find one "friend" from high school and suddenly more and more names are appearing on your screen, names you thought (or hoped) were lost to time. Sometimes it's exciting to be reunited with these names, but then you have to ask, what role can ghosts play in my life? Especially ghosts 10,000 miles away...
Like a good American, I voted. Small print: for the first time. But better late than never. And better when it might actually make a difference.
Also election-related: A German woman (a cashier in the supermarket; needless to say, I don't even know her) asked me who I voted for, and then indicated that McCain was the wrong answer. Apparently the wonder didn't show on my face because she continued to look inquisitively at me, but I thought, wow! Is she really asking me this question? Is politics no longer a taboo topic? But then I remembered someone (another German) launch into a lecture about the malfeasance of George Bush (this was a couple of years ago). Then, as well, I was shocked to hear this man (who I also barely knew) being so imprudent with his intense opinions. I happened to agree, but I knew of a number of people who didn't, and what would happen if this guy talked like that to them? Anyway now I wonder if the issue is a German one (they, and the language, are generally very direct, much more direct than Americans and the English language), or that people feel they have the right, even the obligation, to disagree openly with the policies and attitudes of the American government? I don't know.