Hey It’s Friday! Let’s Dance Austrian Style!

Hello Dear Readers!  Well it’s Friday which means it’s time to fish something out of this blog’s archives in honor of this blog’s lazy streak!  Let’s see . . . oh here’s a blog about Austrian Folk Dancing to start your Friday off with a kick!

Save Room for Shuh

“Sometimes I just want to haul off and punch you!”
“What? But wwwhhhyyy?”

I found a wonderful Viennese Folk Dancing LP at the thrift store for us to examine more closely.  Let’s take a little look-see, shall we?

“Ya, we’re folk dancing, ya!”

The back of the album tells us that this collection of Viennese dance-songs are sung by Austrian man peasants while other Austrian peasants perform intricate Viennese folk dances.

Well, now!   Doesn’t that sound like a fine kettle of Neujahrsschießen?

I may not know much about the country of Austria, but that definitely doesn’t stop me from thinking I do.  Here’s my best guess about what the Viennese songs and folk dances might be about from what I can glean from their titles.

First up is the hauntingly beautiful Viennese Folk Song Entitled:

Hochzeitmarsch aus Ebensee (from Tanze)

This ironic folk dance opens with the Austrian peasant, Hoch, who is wading in the marsh when he becomes stuck in the mud clear up to his eben, see?  And a beautiful peasant girl, Aus from Tanze,  grabs him — and in a series of complicated twists — manages to free his eben, see?

The act of which paralyzes Hoch for the rest of his life, even though Hoch inexplicably retains the full use of his eben, see? Which is probably where the irony comes in but nobody is really sure what’s going on so maybe not.

Next is the surprisingly poignant:

Schuhplattler (from Bauernmusi)

Austrian Peasant, Mrs. Butterhorn, dances exuberantly past all the young maidens in the village of Bauernmusi carrying a large plattler of schuh.  The maidens  jump and twirl for joy as Mrs. Butterhorn carries her plattler of Schuh through the village square where they all gaily sit down at the annual Neujahrsschießen Feast!

Everybody partakes heartily and dies shortly thereafter from food poisoning which everybody blamed on a bad batch of Schuh.  Things are pretty much downhill from there on out.  If you ever decide to go to a live performance of Schuhplattler, definitely plan to leave at the intermission.

And finally, a story that is near and dear to all our hearts:

Guggu Polka

Of all the music and dancing performed on this LP, Guggu Polka is perhaps the most well-known.  We join our revelers just as Austria’s most famous seafaring explorer, Guggu Polka shimmies his way into town in celebration of his historic discovery that there is absolutely no way to get to the ocean from Austria.

His crew of 18 sailors do a fantastic kick line while dragging the would-be seafaring vessel christened The Hokey Pokey along behind them. Then the villagers put their right foot in and put their right foot out and that’s when Guggu Polka trips and dies.  It may not have a happy ending, but sometimes that’s what it’s all about.

Until next time . . . I Bauerngalopp you

“That’s the lamest high five I’ve ever seen.”

5 — The Perfect Answer to All Your Problems

I woke up this morning with a stomach ache in my back. Well, that’s what it felt like, anyway. I was kind of sick to my back, if that’s possible (I’m here to say it is).   But I’m feeling better now.  I ate some oatmeal and drank some coffee and took some Ibuprofen and now my back isn’t aching at all.  Ibuprofen is magical.

It’s weird too because as I write this, I’m reminded of the dream I had last night. I was driving my kids to school.  Naturally, I was driving backwards, and when I tried to stop to drop the kids off, my brakes wouldn’t work and we just kept on going right past the school backwards. You’d think panic would have been in order.  But no, instead, I thought, gee, our house is a lot closer to the school when you drive backwards.  It’s much farther when you drive frontwards (if a word).  How much farther?  My subconscious didn’t specify.  You see, it’s not very good with numbers and neither am I.

Oh, I know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide just fine unless you’re one of those perfectionists who expect the right answer every time — exactly.  I say what’s wrong with eventually?  

It’s not that I don’t like numbers.  Individually they’re fine.  In first grade I remember enjoying the process of learning how to write numbers.  My teacher said when you write a 5, you make the bottom part first and then add the flag on top.  So number 5 had a flag eh?!   I rubbed my first grade hands together; finally, we were getting a glimpse into the personal lives of numbers!

 On a scale of 1 to 10, the number 5 quickly became my number 1 number.  And the confusion didn’t end there.

Soon we were having numbers interact, but not in a fun way.  Maybe because you can never please numbers.  They are very set in their ways.  Everything has to be just so.  It was all just a little too cut and dried for my tastes.

Later, they tried to trick us into liking numbers by making up story problems. 

Megan’s school is 4 blocks away.  Megan’s Mother is driving Megan to school backwards.  Her brakes are out.  How long will it take Megan to eat the 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in her lunch box and how much will she weigh when  her mother comes to pick her up driving  frontwards (god willing) when school is out at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Anyway, by the time I got to ninth grade algebra at Fisher Junior High School, I was officially the dumbest student in the class.  Mr. Van Curen tried to teach me algebra, but I was a hopeless case.  He’d say A = 12 and I’d say why don’t you just leave out the A altogether and just say 12?  To which Mr. Van Curen would furrow his dandruff- sprinkled brow and say again, Yes, but  A = 12. 

I think he might have been Nigel Tufnel’s dad.

Until next time . . . I love you

The Ark Storm

“There’s supposed to be a Storm to Remember coming this weekend!” my mailman warned.

Really!  I’d better get my camera out for this one.

Devastation caused by The Storm to Remember!

For the hearty souls who brave the threat of a major earthquake each and every day, Californians are surprisingly wimpy weather-wise. 

 For instance, rain is something out of which all California children must be kept. 

 What if they were outside, say, walking, say, and it started raining actual raindrops?  They are wet you know, and they are hurtling to earth at death-defying speeds. 

Yes, it’s true the average California child has lived through six earthquakes so far, but that’s nothing when you compare it to getting slapped in the face with a bullet of H20.   Every Californian knows a thing like that could cause permanent nerve damage!

In Seattle, where the sun shines so rarely it’s often mistaken for Venus, it’s just the opposite. 

Weather exists only as degrees of dampness.  So Seattle-ites whip out their sunglasses the instant the sun makes an appearance.  They are quick on the draw, these Damp People. 

You’ll be driving along on the Seattle freeway when suddenly the sun appears, ufo-like, from behind a rain-soaked, humidity-filled fog bank.  You quickly glance over at the cars on either side of you — and what do you know?  The drivers already have on their sunglasses.  Huh?  Why do they even own sunglasses?    Five seconds later, when the sun dashes behind a 120-percent-chance-of-rain cloud, all sunglasses are quickly removed, twirled between thumb and forefinger and expertly returned to holsters.

Now Weatherians (new word I just made up, feel free to spread it around but be sure to capitalize it) gleefully tell us that California is long overdue for a super storm called the Ark Storm.  Experts (people who hang out at Ark Storm scenario summits) tell us that the last Ark Storm hit California in 1861 causing a flood of such epic proportions it wiped out the entire 1861 California Cattle Industry estimated at the time to be 7 cows, 2 chickens and a pig.

Devastation of the 1861 Ark Storm!

Some experts who were actually listening at the Ark Storm Scenario Summit remind us that two really Stormy Storms hit Northern California in 1986 and 1997. 

Devastation of the 1986 and 1997 storms!

Even though I was unlucky enough to be living in Northern California during both of these horrific storms, luckily I didn’t notice them. 

But being a True California, I’m just sure I drove my kids to school both those days.

Until next time . . . I love you

Tiger Wooda Shoulda Coulda

First thing this morning  my husband had the Golf Channel blaring.  Of course, even when the golf channel is blaring, it’s not all that loud.  In the world of televised sports, golf  is the least annoying, usually. This morning there were two guys on who were doing a radio show at the same time it was being televised.  I guess because they were on the radio AND TV, they felt they had to talk a little too loud.

And they never utter anything that isn’t directly related to golf.  Their ability to stay on topic is unheard (I wish) of.  This morning they were discussing the new Master’s Video Game that’s coming out.  They were saying how realistic it is and mentioned that the video game includes all the bushes and trees just like they really are so players can really experience what it’s like to really be playing at the real Masters. Apparently their target customers are those who don’t get out much.

Then they cut to Golf  Headline News where the big news of the day is some golfer’s infected toe.  The golfer was wearing a sock , but that didn’t stop them from getting a close up of it.  They zoomed in to where the toe would more than likely be located within the sock and, sure enough, you could see some discoloration on said sock!

Then it was back to our slightly hyped-up hosts where every third word is “Tiger” even though what they were talking about didn’t have anything to do with Tiger — they just can’t help themselves.  From what I’ve observed, these people are trying not to worship Tiger — really they are. It’s like everybody keeps telling them to break-up with Tiger because he’s just not a good guy and they know they should too, but they just can’t bring themselves to actually do it.

They keep thinking they are going to change him and if they just hang in there everything will OK.  Besides, they’ve tried worshiping other golfers, and it just isn’t the same. Sometimes they’ll be strong and say that Tiger hasn’t won a tournament all year, so he’s really getting what he deserves, but then in the next breath they get all worshippy again when they point out that he still managed to make 74 million dollars last year regardless of his sucky-for-him–at-least golf game.  It’s a love-hate relationship with too much love in my opinion.  But then again nobody asked me for my opinion.  Which is why I have a blog.

Until next time . . . I love you

The Dreaded Doctor’s Appointment

I have to go to the doctor today . . wah wah wah . . . well somebody has to make sure these people stay in business.  I recently switched doctors.  Not that my other doctor was bad, as such, I’m sure he was a very talented and gifted guy, it’s just that when I was bleeding in his office, and he and his assistant were commenting to each other on the large amount of blood, I started to feel faint. They wanted to know why  in the world I was feeling faint.  Did I have diabetes or something?

And I let this guy operate on me.  Luckily I was asleep at the time.

I got a new doctor.  She seems smart. She’s a really good listener or at least she’s good at pretending like she is.  The office staff is friendly, and they have People Magazine (the other doctor only had Golf Digest and other icky guy magazines which should have told me something right there).

But I still hate going to the doctor.  I wish I could cancel my appointment, but it’s too late now.  At least I won’t have to have any tests done.  Last time I had to have a blood test done the lady stuck in the needle and nothing came out but air.  So, of course, I had to make a joke about how in the movie, The Jerk,  Navin Johnson sold so much of his blood that finally nothing came out but air.  It was so perfect!  What are the odds of getting to make that kind of a reference in one’s lifetime!  But, as rotten luck would have it, she had never seen The Jerk.  Never seen The Jerk?

I knew there was something fishy about people who take your blood.

My new doctor’s office is in another town and it takes an hour to get there.  Emotionally anyway.  Logically, I know I’ll be able to get there in 40 minutes but I won’t feel good about it emotionally unless I allow myself an hour or maybe even an hour -ten minutes depending on my anxiety level.  Oh sure I’ll be pretty early, which means a longer waiting time, but they do have People Magazine so it all evens out.

Once I actually get into the smaller waiting room (where there may or may not be People Magazines), it’s all downhill from there.  The waiting time in this room is in direct proportion to whether or not you’re being seen for a condition where you have to disrobe and put on a large, stupid piece of paper, or can simply stay seated  in the chair fully clothed and discuss your condition like a sane, rational person who got dressed before leaving the house — in which case the doctor comes in immediately.

Otherwise, you just sit there on the paper-covered table wearing your big, stupid piece of paper looking at the drawers and the stuff on the counter and looking out the window and wondering whether or not people in the other office building can see you.  It seems like they probably can if they wanted to but since they can do it anytime they want they’re just over it.  There’s always a big plastic model of some internal organ or other.  And it makes you wonder if it’s there for your information or if the doctor just doesn’t know his stuff.

When the doctor finally comes in, it’s always a relief.  They always knock on the door first to give you a warning that they are entering just in case you hadn’t been able in the last 27 minutes you’ve been waiting there to complete the task of either 1) sitting in the chair or 2) putting on your large, stupid piece of paper.

Phew!  That was a close one Doc!!

The best part of the visit is when you’re all done and dressed again and making an appointment for your next visit.  You make it and pretend like you’ve just got the greatest attitude about going to the doctor.  You put on a great show to the appointment maker that the time agreed upon will work perfectly for you and there is no way you are going to cancel all the while thinking  to yourself “I can always cancel later.”  When she hands you the  little card you pretend to put it  into a “safe place” in your purse all the while thinking . . . I know I’m going to lose this but they’ll call me and I can always cancel.

I’ll let you know how it goes . . .

Until next time . . . I love you