Monthly Archives: November 2011

the real housewives of linz

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I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this whole “housewife” style of living at first. (I know I’m not a wife, but “housegirlfriend” just sounds too lame.) It’s really starting to grow on me though. I get to stay up late, sleep in, bake all day, hang out with friends, and drink at my discretion…and my discretion only.

This weekend was the ultimate since the boys took off for an away game, and left the wives and girlfriends to fend for ourselves. So we did what we girls do best: food and booze. I mean gossip and games. I mean baby showers and charity work. I mean all of the above. Hey, when the cat’s away, the mice will play!

Saturday afternoon, we all headed to one of the ladies’ baby shower. We spent all afternoon eating goodies (cookie dough and gummy bears) and talking about things like diaper rash. All of the little ones were abuzz too… playing trains, jumping on the couch, and tickling each other. Have I mentioned that babies/kids are big with the Black Wings? Out of about twenty women there, I was one of three without a) a child or b) a bump. Okay, I had a bump too. But it was from the cookie dough, not a baby.

On Sunday, we went to another one of the women’s places to decorate Christmas ornaments. They weren’t just any ornaments, though. The decorations we made will be part of the prizes at the Black Wings Ladies’ raffle this year. Prizes! My handiwork (which is realllllly not too handy) will be given as part of a raffle prize. HAHA! I pity the fool that wins the one I cooked up. But it is all for a great cause… All of the proceeds from this year’s charity will benefit the „Familienerholungsaufenthalt“ project, which helps families that have children who are battling cancer. If you have a chance, check out our group on Facebook: Black Wings Ladies Charity. Here you can see what we’ve been up to and the events that are coming up next. And for those of you who can’t make it to the events, you can donate to the cause, if you so choose.

Okay, enough with the charity plug. Back to my weekend.

Sunday night after craft time was over, we ordered pizza, popped a few bottles of wine, and did some serious phrase-catching. We had a great time. So great, that the next day nobody woke up until 12:30. Mike and I went out to lunch with one of his teammates, and the three of us headed to the Christmas market afterward to meet up with more friends. Glühwein, beer, and crepes, and then we went to the bar. Rough life! Not a whole lot went on yesterday, but we are starting to prepare for the holidays. We put together a make-shift guest room and rearranged furniture in another room. We’ve progressively been putting up Christmas decorations, and I am testing out new recipes too. Biscotti and a Linzer Torte are next…wish me luck.

Tonight we have German class. It’s only our second meeting, and I can already tell how awful and hilarious it is going to be. Last week, the teacher handed out a skill test to see what kind of morons she was working with, and let’s just say it didn’t go over too well. There were 15 of us and the highest score was a 33 out of 50. 66%. D+, if you will.

Anywho, I’ve gotta run. I have some housewifery to attend to and a language to learn. Adios people, happy Wednesday!

thank you, thank you. thank you very much

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Happy Thanksgiving, cats and dogs! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and food. I have to be honest, I’m getting a little teary-eyed wishing I was home today. This year I am on my own, and I’m a little concerned Mike and I will end the night in a poison control center. I would do anything to spend the day at my Grandma’s house with the rest of my family, cuddled up to watch football after a nice, big meal. And by watch football, I mean go into a food-induced coma…and only come out of it to eat more pie and/or green bean casserole. Anywho, today is about being thankful for what you have, not wishful for what you don’t, so I’d like to take this opportunity to give thanks for the things I love (and miss) the most.

My family–I love you all and miss you like crazy. I want to bear hug the shiz out of you.
My friends–if I named you all individually we’d be here all night (…) so I’ll just say from BC, Canada to Miami, Florida you are all amazing and I hope you don’t miss me too much. I suppose I’d also bear hug you guys if I got the chance.
My health–knock on wood
My happiness–which of course, is a result of all of the stuff/people I’ve already listed.
Hockey–*sigh* Even though I don’t understand the sport, I wouldn’t be living the life I am now without it.

Okay, enough of this gooey shhh…..ow of emotions. I’d like to now celebrate this holiday with one of my favorite Thanksgiving tunes. Does anyone else remember the song “Very Fine Turkey?” It goes a little something like this:

I’m a very fine turkey and I sing a fine song:
gobble gobble gobble, gobble, gobble.
I strut around the barnyard all day long
and my head goes bobble, bobble, bobble!
And when Thanksgiving Day comes round
gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.
I’ll go and hide so I can’t be found.
Then my head will still bobble as I gobble!

Admittedly, I didn’t remember the whole thing on my own… I had to look up the second verse. But I do remember Miss Truax (my first girl crush music teacher with hair fluffing to the heavens) teaching us the lyrics and choreography. And I even more distinctly remember wanting to show off my mad vocal skills and new song as soon as I got home that day.

Miss Truax, my idol

Of course, it wouldn’t have been fair to preform just for my mom, so we waited impatiently until that evening when Dad came home from work. Buuuuuut it was 1995 and our camcorder (haha) needed to be charged before each use. So we did our nightly routine, eating supper and taking our baths, and when we were finally dressed in our homemade dog jammies (thanks Mom), it was go time, and I didn’t have to hold back any longer.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I was a pretty laid-back kid. Until I got in front of a camera. I was a show-child, you see, and when I saw the little red light start to blink, it was my time to shine. When my dad started to film that night, the rest of the world disappeared. It didn’t matter that my big brother knew the routine too, and was singing right alongside of me. It didn’t matter that I sucked at singing and was making a fool of myself. I strutted around the room like the little turkey I was (in more ways than one), and couldn’t have been prouder of myself.

I hope this year’s Thanksgiving is successful and that the food doesn’t turn out to be a disaster. But if it does completely blow, who cares? There’s always next year. Plus, my back-up plan is to break out in song and dance.

the hap-happiest season of all

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Well, I think it’s officially THAT time of year. The most wonderful time of the year. Time the stores put up the Christmas displays. Time I can listen to and/or belt out carols 24/7. And time when I can somehow incorporate Christmas into every conversation and nobody can tell me it’s too early. God, I love this time of year!

I typically get excited for a holiday about a month before it hits (I was brainstorming Halloween costumes in August, forchrissakes), but this year I caught the Christmas bug a few weeks early. So of course I was especially excited when I realized the time had come. There’s still a week until Thanksgiving. You’re getting ahead of yourself. Oh wait. No I’m not! They don’t celebrate that holiday here and Christmas markets have already been set up. Hell yeah, the floodgates are officially open.

If you’re wondering why I get so pumped up for this season (aaaand even if you’re not) I’ll fill you in: cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. These are a few of my favorite things.

Waaaait a minute. That wasn’t right.

  1. Cookies, in general, ALWAYS win my heart. Add in the fact that they’re covered in sprinkles and shaped like cute little snowmen and I’m done for.
  2. Pine trees smell good.
  3. Snow. As long as I don’t have to shovel it or drive in it, and as long as it’s not down the back of my coat.
  4. Hot cocoa and mittens to keep me warm.
  5. Christmas lights sparkling on the tree and glittering around the house are just. so. cheery.
  6. Home Alone, Elf, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
  7. The music (duh!). Oh how I wish the radio waves for 104.5 would be picked up in Austria. Delilah, I’d even consider listening to your horrible, sappy, borderline sexual broadcasts.
  8. Um… presents.
  9. Christmas dinner, gathered around my Grandma’s huge, beautifully decorated table (who am I kidding? I still sit with the kids), surrounded by food and family.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m a little sad I won’t be back in Iowa to celebrate with all of my friends and family, but this year’s changes are sure to bring some new excitement to my list.

  1. Family. A month from today my dear ol’ mom and dad will be here! Mike’s parents and brothers are coming too. It’s going to be a full house… McAllister style.
  2. Christkindelmarkts. I can’t think of any better way to get in the holiday spirit than to wander around a city square filled with sparkling lights, ornaments, spiced cider, and warm treats.
  3. Spiked eggnog AND glühwein. ‘Nuff said.
  4. Do I really have to say it? Austria! Realizing that I’m spending Christmas in Europe makes me so excited I might just wet my pants.

Woah, would ya look at that? Two lists in one blog. I really do spoil you people. Consider it an early Christmas present.

czech, please!

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I know. I know! I’ve been slacking big time on the posts lately. Right, okay people I get it but I’ve been trying to live it up in Europe almost 30 days now, okayyyyyy? Throw me a frickin’ bone here!

The past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun. The guys got four days off from practice last weekend, so Mike, Brian, Kelsey, and I headed off to Prague. The trip started of a little iffy though. The murky sky, the gangly/deserted roads, and the fog that kept us from seeing further than five feet from the car made the perfect backdrop for a horror film. I was waiting for a mob of people to come walking out of the cornfields and bring us back to their house of horrors. Seriously.

And in my brain I was listening to the movie trailer that was seemingly our destiny:
This November…watch. As four unsuspecting tourists get the ride of their lives.
Scrrreeeeeechh……..CRASH!
“What just happened?”
“I think we hit something”
“…I think we hit someONE”
Czeched Out. Coming soon to a theatre near you.

No? Damn. Maybe having watched “The Mothman Prophecies” the night before had upped my paranoia a bit and made me a little unrealistic, but either way, I was freaked. So of course I was relieved when we finally we made it out of the smog and arrived at our first destination alive.

The little town of Český Krumlov was really neat. It is a historical town known for its castle and the downtown area has been recreated to look medieval. We did some sightseeing, walked around a bit, and ate lunch before heading off. The drive into Prague was a lot less eventful, except for the part where the GPS (me) guided Mike into a construction zone. Drove right through the “road closed” signs and into a muddy lane that we thought was the highway. Huh. The Czechs do their roads quite differently, don’t they? But we arrived in the city safely, nonetheless.

After we checked into our tiny little hotel room (with two twins and a pull-out couch for beds) we headed out for the night. We took the metro downtown, where we checked out a wine tasting festival, had a few drinks, and got to see the skeletons preform their weird little dance on the astronomical clock. The next morning, we were all about sightseeing. Mike and I climbed up the St. Charles bridge tower and got an amazing view of the bridge and castle. We brushed up on our history of Prague too, and watched a little video on the city’s monuments. We headed back down to cross the bridge, which was covered in street vendors and other tourists, and got a bite to eat on the other side. The castle and church were ornately designed, and we wasted the rest of our afternoon hanging around there. Oh, and we watched some little crooks swiping money out of the fountains.

Can you believe those worms!?

The rest of the trip was consumed with shopping. I had a very concise list (which wasn’t actually a list at all). All I wanted was a nice, warm pair of winter boots. We hit up approx. 214 shoe stores, and ask me if I got what I needed. Nope. Ask me if Mike walked away with an armload of goodies (even though he didn’t need anything). You betcha. Life’s not fair people, life is not fair.

On the final day of the break, Mike and I visited the Mauthausen concentration camp. This camp is only 25 minutes from where we live, so it was on my must-do list. Mauthausen was considered a “category three” camp, which meant that it was one of the most intense and unforgiving. Visiting the camp was quite an experience, and we really got to see it all: where the prisoners worked, slept, ate, bathed, and died. It was a little eerie, and very humbling. We even walked on the “stairs of death” to the rock quarry where many prisoners spent their days working. I’m stopping here with the details, but I highly suggest researching this camp. And if you ever get the chance to visit one yourself, take it.

That’s a wrap. Now go on and stop begging me for more posts, I’ve got a life to live (Just kidding, keep begging. It makes me feel like a celeb)!

ahoy there, mateys

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Today marks the two week anniversary of my European adventure, and honestly I can’t believe it’s already been that long. I’m finally getting my shiz together and am starting to feel a little more adjusted. That’s not to say I don’t still feel like a fish out of water, but I am starting to get down a few routines. Plus, Mike and I have made a few runs to IKEA, so the apartment is feeling less and less like a frat house every day. And he may disagree, but I think we are figuring out how to live compatibly. Making dinner is usually a team effort, and when I can talk him into it, he helps me clean the place. We still have some work to do (someone keeps forgetting that he lives with a lady and that ladies don’t pee with the seat up), but we’re getting there.

I have been keeping myself busy with all kinds of projects around the house, and quite frankly, I’m impressed with myself. I’ve been doing all kinds of domestic things like sewing curtains and comforters. Okay, okay! I lied. The curtains just needed to be ironed and hung and the comforters stuffed in a duvet cover, but still. I’ve been cooking and cleaning every day, and have been crafting a little too. Right now, I’m making a wreath to brighten up our front door and spread the holiday cheer.

Yep, I’m already in Christmas mode. Fa la laaaaaa!!! And it makes me want to sing. Sure we have a full two months to go, but who cares?! Christmas time is the most vun-dah-vul time! Oh, but before I get ahead of myself, let me update you on Halloween. Mike and I went to a party at some of his teammates’ apartments, where we ate too much, drank too much, and cat-walked all night.

From what people tell me, I had a blast.

Just kidding.

I had a great time though, really. Mike and I dressed as pirates and made horrible pirate jokes all night. I met most of the people from the team that I hadn’t yet, and everyone is fantastic. The night was in the style of a progressive dinner party, where the group traveled from one apartment to the next for each course (drinks and appetizers at the first place, main dish at the second, and desserts at the third). And dinner even came with a show. The hosts had set up a runway in the middle of their place to provide some mid-meal entertainment. By the time the night was over, we were all fat and happy.

yo ho and a bottle of wine, it's a pirate's life for me