Thursday, March 01, 2007

Catching my breath

We had a great time with Zack, pictured here with Flat Laura in Schramberg's giant castle. It was an interesting town - it shut down entirely at two, meaning the only place we could get a bite to eat in the afternoon was in the local fancy hotel. The owner, entranced by Zack's Roots-like quest, talked to us for a good fifteen minutes, using up all of Zack's miniscule German vocabulary several times over in the process. That's what I like about small-town Germans - they don't really care if you can't understand them, they're just happy you're visiting them. Anyway, this guy gave Zack two books - free! - and Schramberg's history to give to his grandfather.

Now Zack has departed, and now we are preparing for our friends Daniel, and his family. In fact, they’re already in Paris, scheduled to arrive here Sunday.

Daniel recently became the interim editor of the McGill News* and is also the guy who signally failed to hire me for the associate editor position at the McGill Reporter, a decision for which I may eventually become grateful.

In any case, they’re here for a week and are a more generationally diverse group that any of my previous visitors (the younger daughter is seven, the older almost 15) so I’m wracking my brains for appropriate things for them to see. My own tastes lean to Medieval castles and churches but that is not, I am given to understand, for everyone. Fortunately, a mini-fairground complete with carousels and cotton candy has manifested itself next door to our apartment so Daniel should be entertained.

My problem with entertaining guests is –as Anna and Zack will both attest – I am a bit of a martinet. Anna’s friend Babet and Zack both developed serious blisters after enduring my forced march around Strasbourg. I’m not much better in a car, stopping at every postcard-esque village and romantic castle ruin in sight: “Do not ask questions! I will tell you what you need to know when you need to know it! NOT before!"

I’ve also been a bit spoiled by recent company. After all, Flat Laura appeared to be fascinated by our visit to Kaysersberg, home of doctor, theologian, organist and 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer.

* Interestingly, Daniel's visit here means I will be procrastinating from an assignment he gave me for the News.** Wonder how that will play as an excuse?

**Also interestingly,*** between the News and the Headway-like CRNS International for which I am also writing, it’s like I never left McGill, minus the fun colleagues, Friday beers and lunatic office politics. Let me tell you, it’s no fun gossiping about your co-workers when you’re talking to a mirror while the other mirror is out of the room.

***Does anyone know the style-guide on foot-noting footnotes?**** As this is a bad habit I’ve picked up from reading Julie’s blog, I look to her for an answer.

**** I'm done now.


julie said...

I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about.*

* Meaning I have a suspicion, but I'm choosing to ignore it.**

** Meaning I know damn well what you're on about, but I have no idea why I do what I do or if it's right. Can't you all just accept me for who I am?***

*** You know, love me, love my footnotes. Besides, my friend Rebecca started it.****

**** Can't link to her blog directly from the comments on your page, sorry.*****

***** OK, I'm not sorry. And yes, I'm done now.

Anonymous said...

Am I only "reasonably attractive"? Actually, looking at that photo, I am begining to think that my self-image is a bit outdated. Older and uglier...