Thursday, July 25, 2013

He Called Me a Nerd

A couple days ago, I opened Twitter to find this:

In case you can't tell, this tweet was meant as a compliment and that's absolutely the way I take it.

What might make me a nerd? Maybe blog posts like this:

Or tweets like this:

Or bookshelves like this: 

So call me a dork, but being included in @CopernicusNerd's tweet was lightyears better than being asked to sit with the cool kids at lunch.

Cue uncertainty.... 

Despite being flattered, I worry the others will find out the truth. I'm not really as nerdcool as they are.

I love science fiction and write about aliens, but I'm going to come clean and let the cards fall as they may. Here are the sad, sad facts:
  • I'm an absolute failure at computer games.
  • I've never gotten into comic books.
  • I just barely played D&D, and that was *gulp* decades ago.
  • And although I'd kill to get my picture taken with Chewbacca, I've never been to ComicCon. 
There you have it. I'm a nerd wannabe. At most, a nerd apprentice. 

Does anyone else feel that way? Like you're always trying to be as athletic/musical/creative/nerdy/smart/tough as your friends?

Anyway, @CopernicusNerd, thank you for including me. Despite my unworthiness, I aspire to be as amazingly nerdy as the rest of you someday.

Now, does anyone want to watch Firefly with me? Um...yeah, again

Friday, July 5, 2013

Somewhere around Hobbit-sized

image courtesy of
I'm 5'1".

When I was in high school, that one inch was very important to me. I'm not sure if it's true, but I'd read somewhere that being under five feet tall officially labels you a dwarf. I really didn't want to be a dwarf.

Now, I rarely think of my height at all. It doesn't affect my confidence. It doesn't affect my work. It doesn't affect my social life.

I only notice it when:
  • I use tongs to get drinking glasses out of cabinets.
  • Almost every pair of pants I find needs to be hemmed because there are very few petite sizes in Germany.
  • I drive our VW Touran, and I need a pillow to push me forward in the seat or my leg gets tired from stretching for the gas pedal.
My daughter appears to be inheriting her height from me and not her father. Like it was for me, she is the shortest child in her second grade class. In fact, many kids in first grade are taller. In Karate, all the other kids are taller. In Soccer…you get the picture.

The absolute worst: people constantly comment on how her little brother is almost taller than she is. She really hates that.

Since she's an analytic thinker, she brooded over how tall she'd be someday as a grown up. No amount of me telling her there are advantages (more comfortable in an airplane) made her feel better about it.

But something cool happened the other day. My daughter's second grade teacher is also the principal at her school. He's probably over six feet tall. The district school administrator came to observe him teaching, and he introduced her to the class as his boss. The boss of the school's boss, so to speak. This woman was my height.

My daughter raved about the fact that this tiny lady was Herr Reinbold's boss. Suddenly, height was a non-issue for her.

Since my daughter tends to overthink things, I figure she'll someday forget how happy she was to see this district school administrator. I thought I'd get a list of arguments together of why height doesn't matter or why it's easier to be "too short" than "too tall". Besides my airplane example, does anyone have a suggestion?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

An Expat's 4th of July

I've lived in Germany for...please wait while I calculate...eighteen years now.

Eighteen years. 

I need a deep breath to comprehend that.

In theory, I knew this week contained the 4th of July. Coworkers in my company's offices in the States bragged about informed us early this week of their upcoming four-day weekend. 
Image by Teerapun /
But I admit I forgot this morning.

The kids still went to school. My husband hurried to his office. And since I don't work on Thursdays anyway, I was happy to go get my hair cut. Beyond that I had a trip to the bank, shopping, preparation for a picnic tomorrow, picking up the kids, arranging playdates, etc. Normal, everyday life.

So I forgot it was the 4th of July until I turned on my laptop. Facebook and Twitter both reminded me. I read about dogs freaking out because of firework noises and EMTs working long hours at parades and festivals. I saw people post the Pledge of Allegiance and pictures of flags.

And I detached from it all.

I'm definitely American. Even after so much time, I still feel a difference between me and the Germans here.

But when I visit family back home, I feel a difference between me and Americans too.

There's so much for America to be proud of. And a fair amount to be ashamed of.   

Sometimes, being far away is almost a relief, because I don't have to hear the political mudslinging and violations of human rights and crazy celebrity stories and people suing for millions of dollars because their coffee was hot.

But I also miss a certain "laid-backness" (yes, I'm sure that's the technical term), and an openness and a sense of hope that I think are very American.

Where's this post going? *shrugs* Guess it's just the ramblings of someone who has lived far away for a while.

Today, I hope everyone in America has a great Independence Day. Enjoy the BBQs. Enjoy the fireworks. Enjoy the long weekend.

Everyone in the rest of the world, have a great day too.

How did you spend the 4th?