Thursday, July 9, 2009

Here's To New Friends

Nothing major to write about today. It's been one of those blah-ambivalent days.

You know - one of those "auto-pilot days" - during which you just sorta go through the motions and do just the bare essentials?

I can have one of those, right?

Yet there are a few things I want to tell you about me that you might not know from what you have read heretofore (I love that word! Kinda archaic and "snooty", but I like to get the chance to work it into a conversation when I can):

I like finding out about different cultures and different ways of life, and am very proud of the fact that I have a lot of international friends: Germany (of course!), England, Australia, New Zealand and now, Scotland (my new musician friend Bill Dalziel whose music you heard a couple of entries back).

That is not to say that I don't also treasure my American friends, who occupy almost every state in the Union thanks to the International message board called The Straight Dope (on which I also first met the aforementioned friends from other countries and cultures).

I think I relate to those friends because I identify with them to some degree, being that if they were to move to the US, it would become such an "adventure" for them, much as it was with me when we emigrated here from Germany.

I am very curious and like to learn about new cultures, beliefs and traditions.

For example, I always have eaten "continental" style with a fork in one hand and a knife in the oher, and some folks notice that about me, but don't mention it - probably because it's not such a "big deal" anymore.

There is, however, something they do notice and it never fails to amuse me.

See, I clean my plate when I eat.

By that I mean I don't just eat everything on it - I actually scrape every last morsel or crumb and shovel it from the plate into my mouth!

This has led to comments such as, "Bill, Hon, there's plenty for everybody! Please help yourself!" (This usually precedes sidelong glances from diner to diner and much clearing of throats).

I then proceed to clean my dining space, by "combing" all the crumbs into my napkin, folding it, and placing it in the center of the plate followed by placing each utensil pointing north (never crossed), on both sides of aformentioned napkin.

Pretty anal, huh?

Well no. It's a tradition in my home country to eat everything on the plate, lest one offend the cook (indicated also by crossing the knife and fork on top of each other). And finally, the scraping of the plate doesn't only indicate that the meal was delicious, but also to show that "the more I put into me, the less you must scrape into the bio-bag." Germany is big into recycling (as we should be) and different color bags contain different kinds of waste.

One also never visits for dinner without a nice bouquet for the "lady of the manor". (I know it's "house", okay, so gimme a break. Call it poetic license!)

So things like that interest me, and I gravitate towards them and always give them my full attention - to the point of (like a 5 year-old) asking "why?".

In short, I like to know about people and why they are they way they are.

I wasn't this way as little as a year ago, friends. A year ago I was so stuck on myself you wouldn't have liked me.

I believe this disease (or any fatal disease) has a way of bringing one to one's knees and making one savor every minute and every person occupying whatever time is left.

My friend Becky sent me this (Thanks Fräulein). It's a new "take" on a beautiful old song. Enjoy it and don't forget to click to feed and vote.

The Animal Rescue Site




foodhoe said...

ahh, you have inspired me to comment! I found your blog via searching for info on AD after my mom was diagnosed last year. She is not an open book at all, and in fact I think it traumatizes her to really talk about the disease, so we're in denial. What I find most refreshing about your blog is that you are not in denial and exposing it all. Your comments about cleaning your plate and other social conventions made me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Your blog, HITHERTO, has been ALL-ENCOMPASSING thus far. I'm enjoying the ride, speed bumps and all.

I have always, pretty much, licked my plate clean. Growing up, there were times we never knew when our next meal would be coming. So we ate everything when we had it. I still do this to this day.

Ahh learned behaviors, ain't they grand?

My computer and the Internet, has opened up a whole new world for me, taking me to far away places and meeting new friends, like you.

Loved this original song and now this rendition. Thanks for posting it here.

Adieu for now,

Fräulein, Becky

Bill Craig said...


Thank YOU and the 26 others for bringing so much "class" to this poorly put-together blog!

I have played your version of "Africa" so many times, that I have gained a whole new appreciation for the music AND the words. ESPECIALLY the words! The words (when I think of my OWN life), really "hit home".

Foodhoe, if I can make you laugh (Hell, if I can make ANYONE laugh)then MY day has been made as well! I wish you the best with Mom, and I know she may not always be able to convey it to you, but I am sure she knows she has a loving daughter!

I have lost (and AM losing) so much, what good would being in denial do me.

The rages have subsided, but the anger has not. Sometimes it's so bad that I feel like I'm in Dante's 10th circle of hell, screaming, "Is THAT all you GOT, Mofo???"

Luckily I have Dondra, who can calm down the beast....

Thanks for writing me, Kids!


Margaret said...

Thread drift: yooohooo! Paulding finally moved up to 11th place!

Small things excite me.


Bill Craig said...


Sorry to just now answer, but this hasn't been the best weekend for me.

In regards to your Mom: May I ask how many siblings you have?

I think that sometimes the "mothering instinct" runs very deep, and that's why the "denial". Could this be the case with your mother - she just isn't willing to "let go" yet?

To you and everyone wbo's been waiting on answers to your comments: I'm sorry, but my ass is draggin'.

Not just the "physical one" but the "mental one" as well.

In keeping with my policy of always being "open" with y'all, let me just say I'm having some very deep "DOWNS" right now.

It's getting a bit harder to laugh about this shit these days, ya know?

As Popeye used to say: "Enough is ENOUGH! And ENOUGH is TOO MUCH!"

Thanks and sorry!