tropical depression

Me and Dean, we've been downgraded. Much more fun to throw back a cocktail or twelve and bash up some beach front, than sit sullen in a gray apartment looking at a laptop. But we pay the price for our revelries. My personal Grecian god mourns, here; thing is, I've got to keep sacrificing goats and the odd P'berg child to keep him around, now that the Island Bug has struck. And how could it not? Vitamin D is a more generous drug on the 37th parallel than it is up here on the 53rd; I like the glow such hangovers give. I'm laughing at myself, remembering pre-teen times when I held on, white-knuckled, to the slipping days of summer -- and here I am again, pre-40s, doing the same.


i'll be good

What cobwebs. I was actually happy that summer had disappeared, given the soul-crushing paralysis of deadlines that Must Be Met before we can run away to Vacation, as it's easier to sit at a cluttered desk when it's dreary. But before we pack and bumble along like the rest of the pasty hordes from Northern Europe to coasts of shores and 45 degree temperatures (pasty hordes + inferno heat = exploding marshmallows) Berlin has generously offered another week of summmer (hurrah!) before the rain comes again (boo.)

And everyone was at the Mauer park on Saturday, the kids and the kites and the punks with dogs. A festival for Footbaggers (footbag is apparently a hackysack. I thought it was a sock.) Another festival for progressive women musicians who sing about progressive things. Or something along those lines; John knew about it. (making him more of a progressive woman than me?) Bike vendors tumbled over brat vendors who screamed over independent artists, who scribbled profounds words like, "Capitalism sucks" on postcards, then, uh, sold them to Spanish tourists; just another normal day in the park.

But lest you think Berlin is a hotbed of anarchy and free sausages, think again. The Ordnungsamt was on patrol. Really. There's an "Office for Order," and they have T-shirts to prove it. Two small squadrons poked and prodded the Wiener man for his papers, then stuck it to a bike seller who seemed a bit put-off about the possibility of having to ride 20 bikes away at the same time. The hand-painted sandals seller looked about to bag her wares and run. The patrol thankfully didn't descend Paris-police style, with batons waving (and at least in the Parisian version, fake Gucci bags flying), they politely yet sternly asked for the required dead trees in triplicate. And considering most vendors sell crap wearing nothing more than a fanny pack and a pair of neon-orange running shorts, there was a slim chance of papers being procured.

"Wir k├╝mmern uns um Sauberkeit, Ordnung und Ruhe," or so goes the Ordnungsamt pledge. We scurried away for fear our dusty feets might fall under some prohibited code according to the Ordnungsangelegenheiten. Or, Things that are Just So. So watch it.