Monthly archives: May 2012

gorilla mama: pickled shorts from no time to blog land

I spend most of my day in close physical contact with Pickles: wearing her, holding her, laying next to her, nursing her. So when the Beard comes home, and I give him a hug, his head strikes me as being grotesquely huge. We are all grotesquely huge, us adults, in comparision to these little slips of people we call babies.
One day I read in a book that at three months babies can hold onto things. I gave Pickles a rattle and all of a sudden she was holding this rattle. It was the tiniest thing, the most normal thing in [...]

german food: an ode to spaghettieis

Have you ever hunkered down over a plate of spaghetti and thought to yourself “you know, this would be better if it was made of ice cream!”  No?  Yeah, me neither.  That’s the stuff I expect from the Willy Wonkas of the world.  And apparently Dario Fontanella is an honorary Wonka because, though lacking in the department of chocolate rivers, oompa loompas, and candy landscapes, he asked and answered this very question in Germany in 1969.  The result was spaghetti ice cream (Spaghettieis), the most delightful and whimsical ice cream creation I have had the pleasure of guzzling with abandon.  [...]

snapshots from bottom street

Those of you who have been reading for a while will remember the au pair chronicles—a serial about how it is that I ended up in Germany and what it was like spending 10 months au pairing for a insanely rich family in Frankfurt am Main. Well, I’ve been busy writing new installments to share with you during operation whirlwind baby. But since a hell of a lot of new readers have become regulars since I first began the series a year ago, I thought I would start by re-publishing the series thus far—both to buy me baby [...]

preconceptions: another outside perspective on wagenplatz life

Today!  Another guest post from Fish in the Water about her interactions visitng the Wagenplatz!  This one revolves around the reactions she gets from folks back home when she tries to describe a form of living nonexistant in America (not that many Germany wouldn’t react in exactly the same way…I’ve told Germans about Wagenplätze who’ve never heard of them before as well).
In this culture, it is a vast understatement to say we generally have difficulty communicating.  We all come to conversations with preconceived notions that are often based on inaccurate information, and instead of listening to what’s being said, we [...]

trash to treasure: a dumpster-dived floor

Way back in February, before Baby Pickles had arrived and when there was still snow on the ground, B brought a new Bauwagen back to the Platz. It looked like this.  He needed more space, and he had been planning on doing the inside up real nice.  But, whoops, no money.  So the trash collecting began, and bit by bit, he pieced together a patchwork floor that, in my humble opinion, looks much awesomer than any regular old orderly looking purchased flooring ever could have.  And it has a chess board!

gorilla mama daily life // tiny house, tiny baby

Every once in a while I like to do a day-in-the-life post to give you all an idea of what it really means to live in a squatted, intentional Wagen community, to try to get past any romanticization and directly to the nitty gritty details.  You can read some others here and here.  I just re-read them both, and I was totally awed to revisit the way my life was pre-baby.  And now here I am, typing next to a sleeping three-month-old Pickles.  Wow and wow.  This is loosely based on last Thursday, though this is more of an average [...]

cyprus: escape to larnaka

Those of you who have been reading for a while will remember the au pair chronicles—a serial about how it is that I ended up in Germany and what it was like spending 10 months au pairing for a insanely rich family in Frankfurt am Main. Well, I’ve been busy writing new installments to share with you during operation whirlwind baby. But since a hell of a lot of new readers have become regulars since I first began the series a year ago, I thought I would start by re-publishing the series thus far—both to buy me baby [...]

gorilla mama: when your partner is off on tour with the band you’re not in together aka project meltdown

Eight days.  It doesn’t sound like a long time, and it didn’t sound like a long time when, while still pregnant, the Beard asked me how I felt about him going on tour with one of his bands for eight days when Pickles was about three months old.  “Fine!” I said.  “Shouldn’t be a problem.  I mean, who knows, but why not?” Ha!  Hahahahahahahaha!  Yeah right.
Now I know that five days is my approximate limit for single parentdom of a three-month-old baby.  On day five I have nothing left, so when Pickles chooses day five for an hour-long screaming marathon, [...]

the path to escape: renouncing becomes reclaiming

This is part two in a series.  You can read part one here.
I had always wanted to spend time outside of the United States, but I hadn’t wanted to do it by spending a college semester abroad.  I loved my school, and I felt like spending a semester somewhere else would be a waste of a chunk of the only time that I would ever spend there.  I would go abroad later, I said, once I’m finished studying and on my own terms.  From the sounds of it semesters abroad were a lot more about drinking, avoiding classwork but getting [...]

an outside perspective on bauwagen life

In April my cousin aka heart sister aka Fish in the Water came by to visit and meet Baby Pickles.  While she was here she stayed in my Wagen aka Trash House aka my kitchen and workspace.  Back home again, I asked her if she would write something about what it was like for her to stay in a Bauwagen for a week.  Turned out she already had.  So without further ado, her thoughts on Bauwagen life.

the real thing
There are some moments you are simply happy to be alive. I find these occur more frequently when you’re living your life [...]