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What Happened and Other Stuff

Cloudyskies
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A few months ago, I reacted negatively to a potent neuropeptide, which plunged me back into bedbound bizarro world where I remain today—disillusioned, frustrated, and bored—with the added side effect of an increased appetite on par with that of a black bear. Since then, I have been questioning...
Cloudyskies
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For all the criticism Frankfurt, Germany, receives from its native naysayers who regard it as one of the less desirable German cities in which to live, there’s something to be said for the small city vibe that is captured quite nicely by a varied restaurant scene. In fact, I think my wife had...
Cloudyskies
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What’s one of the quickest ways to develop hatred for a complete stranger? Unwittingly inhale one of their farts. It’s a surefire recipe for the abhorrence of your fellow man. But take that poop out of the equation. Then what do you have? Hopefully it’s an unbiased opinion of that person...
Cloudyskies
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Hot cars, hot women, savvy marketing, and motley themes—the Frankfurt, Germany, Motor Show brings massive crowds to the city for Frankfurt’s largest and most international fair. And like two magnets, we were instantaneously drawn to the big event. With the afternoon free, our plans for the show...
Cloudyskies
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Garden variety smells lingered throughout the metropolis I called home. “It smells really weird around here” was a tired expression in my world. Just as it’s routine to put your shoes on before you leave the house, it was equally trite to find a stink cloud hovering above you during a stroll...
Cloudyskies
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The German word manchmal means sometimes. I’d never heard a person use this word so much as the preachy, loquacious guy in my German class, who I happened to notice standing behind me at the train station one day. Almost instantly star-struck by the man I would commonly refer to behind the...
Cloudyskies
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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...

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Cloudyskies
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