Saturday, June 25, 2011

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

In mid November 2002 I was sitting in German class trying to conjugate verbs with all my might. There I was memorizing a huge list of present perfect tense verbs and participles (to swim: geschwommen, to work: gearbeitet, to die: gestorben) when a voice comes over the loud speaker. "Will Anneke please come to the front office."

Now something to know about me I was in high school, what they call a "goody two shoes" a "suck up." I never got a detention, I was rarely late for class and I never abused the restroom pass. I sat in the front, paid attention in class and turned in all my homework on time. So I had no idea why little old me would be dragged into the front office. I didn't have a dentist appointment, I didn't forget my lunch at home, I hadn't left the stove on, so I had to be in trouble.

I shuffled out of my seat and made my way down the A wing hallway, past the poorly drawn murals and dented lockers. I walked past senior bench and the cafeteria and went into the front office. My sister Heidi was standing in front of Mrs. Gonder's desk with a grim look set on her face. Heidi said, "Anneke there's been a family emergency so I'm going to take you home." I was too afraid to ask what might have happened, maybe I had left the stove on after all.

Heidi and I walked in silence out to her green firebird. When I buckled my seat belt I was on the verge of tears. "What happened?" I quibbled. Heidi looked at me and burst out laughing. "Relax, I'm kidnapping you, we're going to see the new Harry Potter movie, it came out today!"

Heidi and I had an excellent time at the movies (even though Dobby's CGI looked a bit weird). She came to my school, freaked out a "goody two shoes" and made me feel ok about breaking a rule once in a while.

Heidi, even though you're far away in Wyoming I hope you think about your little sister. I know I think about you. Happy birthday!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Papa can you hear me?

 7 Bad-ass things about my Dad. 

1. He has never forgotten where he came from. 

2. He is compassionate. He not only excitedly makes kiva loans, he made me an account too.

3. In his spare time, he fixes broken cars for single moms.

4. The 70's.

 5. Led Zeppelin, Eminem, and Franz Ferdinand are all on his iTunes. 

6. He once smuggled contraband under the iron curtain and did wildly democratic things under the noses of the commies. 

7. He's the smartest guy I've ever met.

Love you Dad. 

Thanks for raising me and stuff.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Awkward Abroad

One of my great ambitions in life is to travel. I want to see oceans, mountains, and forests. But if you have any inkling of how weird and out of place I am in America, it's so much worse abroad. I lumber about wearing a stylish fanny pack, asking questions loudly such as "where is the city hall located?" I stick out like a thumb that has been smashed with a mallet.

In a few short weeks I will be traveling to the continent. I will slap a large Canadian sticker on my backpack and trudge across Europe. But before all that comes the planning, packing, and panicking.

Planning: I have a notebook full of lists, information about youth hostels (Free of Eli Roth), local customs, exchange rates, local festivals and the number of the US consulate. I scanned two copies of my passport in case I lose it. I wrote a living will (Zach I bequeath you my iPod stereo).

Packing: I have been pre-packing (praking) for about a month now. I bought space bags, I made a list of every item of clothing I will require. I made intricate charts estimating how much crap is coming home with me. I carefully chose which pieces of luggage will be accompanying me on my (mis)adventure.

Panicking: What if I get kidnapped in Prague and funneled into the sex trade? What if a gypsy curses me on the London underground and all my hair falls out? What if I forget to pack underwear? What if I get food poisoning? What if a volcano explodes next to the bus terminal I'm sleeping in?

When all that is done I'll be on my way, neurotically careening across the old country. I will accidentally insult time-honored cultural traditions, fall down in large crowds, take cheesy pictures of me holding up famous landmarks, and make a fool of myself.

It's going to be awesome.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Incisor Insights

I only floss because I don't my dentists intimidate me. There you are. Immobile. Lying back in that chair with the harsh light blinding you. This doctor has sharp, pointy objects haphazardly chipping away at six month's worth of plaque. "Of course Dr. R, I've been flossing. Heh heh, I got those ones with the handles."
What would you say to a lady holding a utensil that looks like a sci-fi alien dagger? "I brushed for two days before this appointment. I will brush for exactly six days after this appointment. Also sometimes I'm too tired and just use mouth wash instead of brushing."

I think not.

If you'll excuse the expression, I lie through my teeth.