Monday, November 30, 2009

Daily internet fix... and Chrismas nostalgia

Today was the transfer day from my previous internet provider, AOL/Alice does AOL call itself Alice in the USA now, too?) to t-online. I have been a fan of aol for YEARS, yet their system didn't jive with my Vista and their supposed flatrate was odd.... I had to log in every time I turned on the comp. So, I changed.

I feared there'd be problems. This morning I couldn't get my daily fix since Alice had already shut down. But I could put in the needed codes for my connecting box and voila! When I got home from work, my internet was up and running WITH NO WAIT AND/OR glitches!!

I had a long day today so I'm already about to shut down (at 07:30 pm!).

Here's another nostalgic picture of Christmas past for your enjoyment... my older brother, Bob, and me, I believe in 1954..

Have a great week everyone!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

More old dance stuff.....

I've wasted spent most of my time this weekend scanning more photos and re-doing my dancing homepage. I ran across some photos that I thought you might all enjoy.....

This first photo shows how much fun dancing is. My partner and I were doing a square dance... and the dress I'm wearing is another one of my "creations".

This one was taken at one of my very first performances in Germany, I believe in 1972 or so. Again the costumes, Ukrainian, I made myself.

This costume was inspired by Hungarian designs.

I'm hoping that when I retire (in 2 1/2 years) I can get back to sewing.

Yesterday I visited Regina to pick up my documents for the cruise in December. My flight to Teneriffe leaves Frankfurt at 3:00 am in the morning!! geeeez what an odd time!

Well, the weekend is once again over.... *sigh*


Friday, November 20, 2009

My first dance group.. and games of fate

My new printer is finally hooked up and working great! The other day I started scanning photos and it went so well, I almost forgot to go to bed! Guess what I'll be doing this weekend.... heehee

The photos are old ones of my folk dance classes, in particular the FIRST group I taught in the mid 70's. It was a group of young people, all members of the Catholic Youth Group of our local church. I got an interest in scanning them after meeting Monika. Eh, I think I forgot to tell y'all about Monika....

Last Thursday I stopped my daughter's new apartment on my way to dance class. I was early and she was off bringing the kids to gym class. Since I had some time to kill, I thought I'd take my camera and go for a walk around the area. I got out of the car and saw a couple walking my way. The gal and I stopped dead in our tracks.... we both recognised each other immediately, in spite of having seen each other once in the past 30 yrs! It was Monika, one of the young gals from that afore mentioned dance class! We fell into each others arms, then she introduced me to her hubby. They actually intended to walk a different route, but like with me (I had almost stopped at a local café for coffee but didn't), fate made our path's cross. As it turns out, she now lives just around the corner from Regina's new apartment.

Soon Regina arrived and I asked her if she remembered Monika. She thought a moment but couldn't place her (well, she was just a baby back then). When I told her it was "Mo-kee-da" she knew who I meant! You see, Monika used to babysit Carsten and Regina and Carsten couldn't pronounce "Monika" but would say "Mo-kee-ka" instead! This was so fun.

Anyway... this is the picture I took way back when (yes, that's me front row center lol), 1975:

Monika is back row, third from the right. And this is her leaving the stage after my group performed a Can-Can for a Fasching (carnival/mardi gras) event:

and she hasn't changed a bit!

Have a great weekend everyone!


P.S. I made those Can-Can costumes, as well as the guy's shirts in the top photo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump Day... again!

The first time I heard that expression was in LoupyLou's journal long ago, but it's quite fitting. The week is once again half over.... where does time go?

I have a short break before I drive off to my dance class. Tomorrow then same same.

this coming weekend is nothing particular planned. I do have a number a projects that need attending to. Maybe I'll actually get something accomplished!

This is just a rambling entry. Normally my entries have more "substance"!

Take care everyone!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Work and Play Weekend

It's now 10:30 pm and I jsut returned from a dinner party with Karen's bollywood dance group. It was very nice and they danced a bit, too. I think I really must join one of her classes!

Shiana and Priyasha were also there. I managed to get lots of cuddle time with Priyash..... Shiana was too busy playing with some of the other gals... or dancing along (which I filmed and will be uploaded soon to share). Next Saturday Karen, her mom, and the two babies fly home to Mumbai, India for three months! The do it every year so they can spend Christmas there and Karen can learn new dances. My son will follow just before Christmas to spend the holidays with them. So I won't get to see them again until FEBRUARY!

Tomorrow morning no sleeping in for me. I have to pick up the business car at 8:00 am and drive an hour to teach a class. I probably won't be home until around 3:00 pm. The new gal at work is joining me so that'll be nice.

So, that's just a small run down about what's going on in my world. Have a great Sunday everyone!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

20 years ago the wall fell....

Tomorrow, November 9, Germany is celebrating the fall of the wall between East and West Germany. Yes, it's been 20 years!! It's so hard to believe. The TV stations are full of reports on experiences before and after the fall.... some real horror stories about what some people went through in former East Germany. And the culture shock during their first days in the west! And their expectations.......

Today there are still some "walls", still psychological borders in the way of thinking and living. We in the west are still paying a percentage of our pay to help build up the new States. But now they are often in better condition then the west! Now, finally, the government is realising this and that money will go where it's needed, whether East or West.

The biggest problem in the east is the high unemployment and lack of jobs... many young folk going to the west where jobs earn more. But it's getting better.

I visited West Berlin once before the wall fell, flying to and from it with Pan Am airlines. Since then I have been to Berlin a number of times, as well as other former East cities like Leibzig, Dresden, Erfurt, Weimar, Eisenach, Schwerin, etc. Once I even took a tour with my car for a whole week... all by myself. It was fun, and interesting.

I really should get some of my photos from that trip scanned... I'm waiting for my desktop to come back from my computer guru. I'm still having "adjustment" troubles with my mac!

I didn't do much this weekend. I have so much that needs to be done, but I just couldn't get my butt moving. So I messed with my computer and was just generally bored instead of taking advantage of the free time. *sigh* Oh, well.....


Friday, November 6, 2009

Busy days... I need a drink!

Is today really Friday?

The past days have been, well, exhausting (so what else is new?). Some of you may have missed me stopping by.... I didn't have much time to come online and I can't log in at the office any more.

Wednesday I had an important meeting with my boss and another coworker outside the office. They were able to drop me off at my apartment afterwards and I had exactly one hour before driving off to dance class. That went really well with 16 people showing up so we practive an American square dance with TWO squares! that was cool...

After work Thursday I went home, changed clothes for a date with Wheelie. We went to our favorite restaurant, which may have to close soon due to the economic crises and people not going out to eat so much (plus TOO many restaurants around, most not half as good as this place). After that we went to the movies to see "Pope Joan"..... it was excellent!!

Wheelie and I both took today off as a vacation day and we had originally planned to drive to a nice romantic hotel to stay until Saturday. We hadn't had a chance to do it all summer and this weekend we both could finally fit it in.

Luckily we didn't reserve a room because my son called and asked if I could babysit today. Karen's mom became badly ill and had to go to the hospital. Karen didn't want to drag Priyasha with her and Shiana needed to be picked up at kindergarten around 3 and poor Carsten can't get off work (he's self employed and works on a project for a European weather satelite space authority). Sooooooo, we changed our plans and I spent from 11 to 5:30 at their place, driving first Karen and her mom to the hospital, then picking up Shiana later and then her dad, and then staying at the house again while Carsten picked up Karen and her mom. I used their car since it has the kiddy seats installed.

So my vacation day turned out quite different then planned, but family emergencies have priority. Oh, and it doesn't look good for Karen's mom. In 2 weeks she flies back to India with Karen and kids and will continue treatment there. Carsten will follow just before Christmas for about 3 weeks, Karen will return with the kids in February. They do this every year.

At least I have no plans for the weekend.....


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Norhtwest fly by...sing it baby!

I just found this version of "Leaving on a Jet Plane", re-done in "honor" of that flight by Northwest that flew by it's destination.

In some ways it was a too serious incident to laugh about, but sometimes humor helps...

Tweeting on a Jet Plane

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dorrie, Dory, Dori... what's in a name?

On Saturday I started getting bored and decided to google my name and see what happens. Of course my own homepage and stuff came up.

My first name, Dorrie, is actually short for Dorothy. Dorrie in itself is not that common, but common enough that the domain was already taken so I had to settle with for my homepage (.de is for "Deutschland"/Germany).

My last name, Van Cleef, is pretty unusual, too. Most people think right away of Lee Van Cleef, the bad guy in many Italian westerns. Nope, not related.... and not related with Van Cleef & Arpels, either... DARN! And yes, Van Cleef is my maiden name.... I took it back after my divorce. My dad was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, so I actually brought my family back to the old world.

At facebook I use my real name, Dorrie Van, imagine my surprise when a name popped up on that google search: Dori Van Cleef ..... and it wasn't ME!

Yep, there's another Dorrie/Dori Van Cleef on facebook! I immediately sent her off a note and a friend request, which she accepted. If I understood her right, Lee was one of her uncles... and her favorite uncle is a "Robert" Van Cleef, just like my older brother.

I thought it all so fun..... and weird.

Dorrie, the one and only!

P.S. my brother, Bob, had a dispute with Van Cleef & Arpels because he had already dabbed the domain which they wanted. He had to prove that it was really his name and then he got to keep it.