Friday, April 28, 2006


The birds are gone... all of them. I came back to the apartment this evening and there was birdy fluff all over the flower box, half the nest was on the balcony and the birds and eggs were all gone from the nest. I feel so horrible. I'm the person who stayed up all night long to take care of sick guinea pigs, took a 17-year old fish to the University of Pennsylvania Vet Hospital and whose dog had an ACL replacement. But the birds I could not help:-( I had such a fun afternoon and evening and now I am in a funk.

I suspect that one of the big ugly-ass German birds who are so giant they sometimes walk down the street probably ate them. I'm so angry, I could punt one down the street right now if I saw one!

So tomorrow I will be planting flowers, both because the Christmas greens look ridiculous and in memory of my little bird family.


***Breaking News***

The baby birds were born last night!!! Well at least 2 or 3 of them were born last night, it's difficult to tell whose fluff is whose. More later, I should actually be heading to work right now, but I just couldn't help but share my exciting news.
Happy Friday!
there are definitely two babies in this picture. You can see the one pair of eyes, then there is a baby to the left. There might be a baby #3 in the front of the eyes, but it is hard to tell. I don't want to upset Gabi and look at the nest for too long.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reality TV

It is embarrassing to admit, but I watch a decent amount of reality TV. But hey, the first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem,

Anyway, I had my first encounter with a reality TV star on my way back to Germany. The guy sitting next to me (in my comfy exit row) was flying to Berlin to be the vocal coach for a boy band series that will be airing on German television. He was fascinating to chat with! We talked almost the whole way to Berlin about the music industry, reality tv and how he got his start. He worked on the first season of the series too, and said that he would instruct the singers in English, then taping would stop and the director would tell him how to say the same thing in German and then taping would begin again. (Because that’s reality, right!?) As a side note, this phenomenon of having a non-native speaker say something in English and then German might explain my favorite German reality TV star, Bruce, from Germany’s Next Top Model. He was the walking/runway coach and spoke some of the best Denglisch (Deutsch and English) I have ever heard. While trying to say that one of the candidates had “come to the end of the road,” he said, “sie ist am Ende der Autobahn gekommen.” Priceless!

All of this might make my plane buddy seem bad, but he was one of the most genuinely friendly people I have ever met. He was excited to learn more about German culture and language and his biggest concern was that he would offend his German hosts if he did not drink beer. He was also all excited to tell me about his work with Seeds for Peace.

I guess reality tv and its “characters” aren't always what they appear to be on a number of different fronts.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Four and Fore

Here's the latest picture of mama bird. I think she is definitely a finch. By my count, the first baby could be just four days away!

(Watch out Michelle and Anika, here comes Erin! Ha! Not with a back swing like that. But alas, the season is young:-))

Fore was what I should have yelled a couple of times at the driving range this evening! No, actually today's visit to Global Golf Berlin wasn’t too bad for my first attempt of the season. After hitting a pole during my first practice swing (oops!), I hit a bucket of 40 balls, didn’t wiff and was happy with direction most of the balls took (because of course they have minds of their own sometimes;-)) You certainly can’t beat the view of Potsdamer Platz!

the recently moved balloon ride gives you a great birds-eye view of Berlin

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Nordic Walking

With wonderful spring weather having finally arrived in Berlin, I am enjoying running in the park that stretches from my apartment into Kreuzberg. Running gives me time to ponder my life and see new sights. One of these sights, however, has me completely baffled: Nordic walkers. Nordic walking seems to be the latest fitness fad in Germany and involves power walking with ski polls. Who needs ski poles to walk around a flat park in the middle of Berlin!? Honestly, I think this is the German version of Americans driving SUVs in the city—COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY! (Yes, I sometimes drove a Jeep around DC, but I was always aware that it was somewhat ridiculous.)

Anyway, there are supposedly some health benefits, but I think people should just swing their arms a bit more if they want to get up their heart rate. Furthermore, many of the people I see walking are loaded-down with either giant fanny-packs (like the Man Purse, always a no-no) or Camel water backpacks.

DC readers, are there Nordic Walkers in Rock Creek Park? How about elsewhere? I surely hope not!

In other news, Anuradha suggested that Wilma is not a good name for my bird. So I am now leaning towards Gabi, which was my German name in high school or Uta, which was my sister's. Any suggestions? I feel like there might a cooler German name out their that I am not thinking of.