What Happened and Other Stuff

What Happened and Other Stuff
I think I was trying to sound allegorical or something here. I couldn't think of an original ending. Ideas are welcome ... Walking through a tall grass field, a young man, looking upward, searches for a sign that will indicate if he is moving in the right direction. At that moment, the sky is...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Have you ever thought about living in a foreign country? In a way, when as a child I imagined living somewhere far away from home, I had. For some, the thought of living abroad crosses the mind while watching a movie set in another part of the globe: one glimpse of that exotic landscape and it...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
BURGLARY When I was around ten years old, our house got burglarized. My mother and sister were out somewhere, but my father, my brother, and I came home from Sears in time to hear that someone was in the house, more specifically, downstairs in the basement. We had just pulled in the driveway...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Frohe Weihnachten means Merry Christmas in German. My preoccupation with this newly learned holiday greeting squandered every potential opportunity I might’ve had to speak the little German that I knew. It seemed as if it were my crutch—saying it as annoyingly often as possible—during my holiday...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Everyone knows how unfortunate a visit to the DMV can be—whether it’s dealing with incompetent personnel, not having the proper paperwork (although you have what’s necessary and more), or having to wait in line for several hours. Well, I’m here to say that I’d discovered the DMV’s Granddaddy—the...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Back by popular demand (well, just Rufous, actually), my Germany stories … I’m the John Bosley in this story, the father figure to the girls. The mission was a sightseeing tour of a Roman fort in Saalburg, Germany. I accompanied “Kati” and her angels on this particular expedition, albeit my...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Sounds of a galloping horse? Nope. It’s a woman in heels, on a cobblestone street. That’s when the pressure builds—when paranoia sets in because you don’t know where you are, and you’re being followed by the stark German lady wearing her Deichmann (German shoe store) best, a situation that’s...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
My experiences while living in Germany again, as an American. This time, a wedding… Considering the work that’s required to fulfill the many traditions in a typical German marriage ceremony, the country’s divorce rate really should be much lower. Hochzeit traditions vary from region to region...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
The Question: While in the confines of a foreign country, what can one do to celebrate America’s Independence? The Answer: Commemorate in one’s own special way. As an American in Frankfurt, Germany, it was incumbent upon me to sing songs of patriotism and wag my tail in celebration of my...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
I arrived at Berlin’s Tegel airport at eleven in the morning on a Saturday. The American Tourist suitcase by my side, the previous year’s Christmas gift from my mother, was bursting at the seams. Standing there, slumped, hand in my pocket, I had a heightened sense of awareness by the fact that I...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
It’s chocolate madness and the European Parliament’s favorite chair. From the beauteous Grand Palace—the imposing central square cluttered with tourists—to the omnipotent Royal Palace of Belgium, there’s no shortage of assorted cuisine and delectable chocolate in the capital of Europe. If you...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Seven dollars. It’s what I had in my wallet, which my son Thomas, 6, hurriedly snatched from my dresser drawer. “Papa, Papa, can I go get an ice cream? Please!” “I’m too SICK to go with you. I don’t want you going outside alone!” I said. “It’s no problem. There are adults outside!” “Uh …...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Germany is said to have hundreds of different kinds of cheese. It’s no surprise, then, that the country is the European leader—the Big Cheese—in cheese production. I have no qualms about this whatsoever. I happen to come from the cheesiest producing nation in the world, and I’ve also had my...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
My least favorite friend, who once compared my illness with his inability to quit smoking, said to me via group text that “Stephen Hawking was driving a wheelchair around with a straw and he still managed to be a useful member of society,” implying that I should be doing more with my life. The...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Unfurnished apartments in Germany come equipped with next to nothing. That means no closets, no kitchen sink, no cabinets, no oven, and no refrigerator. So, mostly it means empty rooms. The bathroom, however, does come with your standard European toilet, shower, and sink. I’d never valued the...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Ever since Grandpa shoved that first glass of vino under my schnaz, and Grandma scratched together that first scrumptious batch of homemade ravioli, the land of my family’s ancestors had been patiently waiting for its precious grandson to arrive. The day had finally come. Move over Don...
What Happened and Other Stuff
Publishers and media companies throughout the world came galloping into town on their respective horses to become players in the Frankfurt International Book Fair. With a long lasting tradition that goes back more than five hundred years, it’s a veritable pissing contest between publishing...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Of all the great songs on my album of survival at those innumerable family sleepovers, there’s that especially creative yet shameful one that shall forever be stuck in my head. It’s true. There are times when I still have difficulty with the guilt from that evening. And even the slightest...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
In America, everyone carries his or her own personal water bottle or coffee around. You’ll see people with them on the streets, in cars, on public transit, and in shopping malls and supermarkets. That’s not the case in Germany. A personal pack of tissues (or snot rag) is the norm; one must...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
I came across an ad on Facebook for a book about The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, USA, in 2003 that killed 100 people and injured many more. Among them was one of my co-workers named Stacie. I remember talking to her on the phone just hours before she was to attend a concert there...
Cloudyskies
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