Monthly archives: June 2012

the au pair chronicles: the swarm

This is post number 17 in the au pair chronicles—and the first new post I’ve written for the series since February 2010. Maybe, just maybe 2012 will be the year that I manage to finish writing up the whole epic tale. If you missed any of the previous installments, you can find an index of the entire series here.
Expats tend to swarm.  It’s a survival tactic really.  If somebody were to drop you in the middle of the ocean, you’d swim for shore.  Except that “shore” in expat terms is “a place where I can meet other people who speak [...]

i steam, you steam, we all steam for ice and steam

Why hello there.  Long time no see.  At least it feels like it.  Long time no long rambling post or Wagenplatz this or baby that or daily life something or other.  But here I am.  Baby Pickles is watching Papa Pickles play banjo, and I am here to play keyboard.  It kind of depresses me how much of my joy hinges on staring at a screen while touching a connected piece of plastic with both hands.  But alas, computers have shaped my writing process, and writing by hand is now irritating.  A strange evolution for a semi-luddite.  Life’s contradictions, eh?
Summer [...]

hereye hereye, black diamond becomes the battenkill ramblers

It happened weeks ago, months now, but internet tasks are done in slow motion.  Remember my band, Black Diamond Express Train to Hell?  Well, we changed our name to The Battenkill Ramblers after the Martin section (so as not to be confusing I’ll explain: we had two people named Martin in the band) decided to jump ship.  Or train as the case may be.
And then there were three.
Turns out the change has been really good.  Sure, things sound a little different with two instruments out of the picture.  But I like the parred-down sound a lot, and a three-headed band [...]

a tiny house with a tower and sweet windows

Mmm Bauwagen porn.  I love me some tiny houses, and I particularly love me some Bauwägen.  This past weekend we played a concert in Hanau, and this little beauty was in the backyard of the house where we stayed.  She’s not finished on the inside, but *insert impressed whistle here* she sure looks good so far.

and now for something completely different

Did you guess it already?  If you remember this post, you might have after reading what I posted yesterday.  I always start getting smitten with the cities I’m living in once I know I’m leaving.  Nothing like moving to make you suddenly appreciate all the finer points of the place you’ve been taking for granted for four years.  Yes indeedy, we’re moving.  To Frankfurt. What?!
Just saying that out loud (or typing it) makes me chuckle.  The Beard hates Frankfurt.  He’s never had a good word to say about it, and yet the move was his idea. What?!  And that brings [...]

an ode to mainz

When I first moved to town I didn’t even really like Mainz.  What I liked was the community that I would be living in, and the lack of an hour commute between me and the Beard.  Long distance relationships suck, but I was willing to have one with the city of Frankfurt.  Expats love to hate on Frankfurt, but I love to love on it.  I can see how all the banks and faux New York-ing might put a body off, but it can be quite charming once you take the time to get to know her (as they say [...]

the wagenplatz in photos

The fact that the university will likely be relocating our community in the next couple of years has me snapping more photos than usual in an attempt to capture the magic of this place before it’s bulldozed. This is the second set in a series of photo posts I will be sharing over the next months. You can read about why they want us to move here or see the first set of photos here.

happy birthday, i hate you, goodnight

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 [...]