The featured photo is a screenshot of what I think is the TV we bought. It’s a LG 43 inch “thin” TV… kinda no frills. Cost about $300. What a bargain.
As most of the United States swelters in a heat wave, I’m sitting here in Germany with the air conditioning turned off and the windows closed. Why? Because at the moment, the temperature is hovering at around 53 degrees. That’s very unusual, even for Germany. In about a month, it will probably get chilly for good until the spring.
We had a lot of rain over the weekend, and on Saturday, our washing machine went out of commission. I was also not feeling very well, thanks to too much vino on Friday night. So Bill stayed in and used a grinder to pulverize some barley for his latest beer brewing effort. I watched videos on YouTube, fuming that the TV was acting up.
As I mentioned yesterday, I ordered us a new washer and dryer, and they should be arriving at some point tomorrow. I suspect they’ll be a nice upgrade for us, as they aren’t super cheap, and they’re a little bit bigger than what we’ve been using. Granted, we’re just two people in our household, but having a small washer is not so great when you have to wash the linens or dog bedding.
We also bought a new TV yesterday. This isn’t super exciting, really… We ended up going to AAFES to see what they had, hoping to find something that would fit in the relatively small area where we’d put the last TV. I was shocked to find that aside from one 24 inch computer monitor sized TV by Westinghouse, AAFES had nothing smaller than 43 inches. And they only had one model, an LG… the very same company that made our soon to be departing washer. Actually, we did get nine years of service from the washer. And although it’s a pain to buy new large appliances, buying them usually does result in a lifestyle upgrade. Still, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t wishing I could get one of the 50 inch TV models they had, with the really good, crisp, clear picture. It seems if you want that level of quality, you have to buy a TV that covers your whole wall!
Seriously, though… I grew up with big, boxy, cumbersome TVs. The one we had at our house for decades was a floor model. It was a piece of furniture, in and of itself. It had no remote control, and to get it to work, all you had to do was plug it into the wall and adjust the antenna. Later, we got a cable box for it, so we could watch HBO and such. But to change the channel, you had to haul your ass over to the TV and change it manually… at least until my parents finally bought a VCR, in 1987, and that could also double for remote control purposes.
My parents had a spare TV in the bedroom, but it, too, was one with dials on it that had to be turned manually. It wasn’t until the late 80s that my dad bought my mom a TV with remote capabilities. And none of our TVs were huge, like they are today. I remember, my first week of college, in 1990, the awful roommate I had for just one week had brought a 25 inch TV that I thought was HUGE. That would be considered positively puny by today’s standards.
The TV we brought home yesterday gets pretty bad reviews. It’s still an upgrade over the Philips model TV we’ve had since 2013, if only because it has a better picture and you can connect it to an app. The app, of course, sucks balls. I knew it was going to be a problem when I tried to input my information into the TV itself and it wouldn’t let me set my home country to Germany. But when I downloaded the app, it knew I was in Germany and addressed me in German… and when I made my account, it gave me a button that said, “return to home”. But when I tried to do that, nothing happened.
The remote that comes with the TV also sucks. I think it’s because they have a different remote that you can buy separately– the “magic remote”, which gets mediocre reviews. I don’t really use the TV remote much, anyway, since I have Apple TV. Still, it’s a pain when I need to use the TV remote to upgrade software, or whatever. With Apple TV, the new television works well enough for my purposes, which is mostly watching downloaded movies, YouTube, and Netflix.
We bought a separate stand for the new TV, because it’s on top of my dresser and it came with two “feet”, rather than one large footprint. The single stand works better, because the TV is at an angle, and my dresser is kind of narrow. We have to angle the TV, because we live in a German house with sloping walls/ceilings… which is also why we had to settle for a 43 inch model. A bigger TV wouldn’t have fit in the space, unless we managed to mount it on the wall. Neither Bill nor I have the tools or the handiness quotient to mount the TV on the wall.
I realize I’m doing a fair bit of whining, here. I should be grateful we could afford to buy the TV and were able to find one in a suitable size, on a Sunday, no less. We have a car that was big enough to accommodate the TV and we were strong enough to carry it into the house and up the stairs to the bedroom. And we did use it to watch Airplane! last night, which was fun to see before bedtime. I never get tired of that movie… and thanks to the new screen, I noticed a couple of things I’d never noticed before in the countless times I’ve see Airplane! since 1980, the year it was made. I used to watch it repeatedly on HBO, back in the early 80s.
I did consider ordering a TV on the economy, or just going to Media Markt to buy one. But at some point, we’ll probably move back to the USA, and the TV we got yesterday is a US model. Plus, I was just in a shopping mode yesterday, and I didn’t want to wait until next weekend. Buying a new washer and dryer put me in the mood for a new TV. Somehow, I suspect the new TV won’t last us ten years… but the one we bought wasn’t all that expensive. It was the very last one AAFES had in stock– the only one that wasn’t huge. And the guy had to go in the back and ask the manager if he could sell it, because it didn’t have any price tags on it, or anything. A 50 inch TV might have worked… but it would have been a tight squeeze.
One good thing that came out of yesterday’s adventures was that I finally had a reason to dust. We cleaned up the furniture in the bedroom and even vacuumed behind my dresser, which really needed an evacuation of the many dust bunnies hiding behind it. I also threw away some trash that had been taking up space.
I may call myself the “Overeducated Housewife”, but I’m not really very good at keeping house. I’m a bit of a slob. I’m not a filthy slob, mind you… I clean the toilets, take out the trash, do the dishes, cut the grass, and do laundry, among other things. But I’m not one for dusting every day, washing windows, or vacuuming more than once a week or so, except for special situations, like yesterday. And I don’t spend more than a day a year doing things like cleaning baseboards, scrubbing drawers, or using a toothbrush to clean the grout.
I’m sure our ex landlady really hated that about me. I think she assumed that since I didn’t have a paid job outside of the home, or children to raise, I should have been spending all day keeping her rental house absolutely spotless. My mom kept our house spotless. You’d think I would have inherited that trait from her. Unfortunately, all I got from my mom besides my looks, dry wit, and practicality, is a flair for making music.
I never went to the ex landlady’s house, but Bill told me it was immaculate. Sorry… I just don’t have that level of obsessive compulsiveness, nor do I think for over 1600 euros a month in rent, that should be expected of me. I do like it when things are neat, but unless I stay very vigilant, at my house, they inevitably end up cluttered again. I just don’t care enough about not living in dust, dog hair, and clutter to spend all day preventing it from accumulating. When you live with dogs, constantly trying to keep things super clean is pretty much a pointless exercise, anyway.
I actually think our ex landlady hated a lot of things about me. It showed in the consistently and blatantly disrespectful way she treated me. I’m sure she saw me as fat, stupid, lazy, and slovenly, while the tenant before me was her ideal… and someone, I think, she once thought of as a surrogate daughter. Interestingly enough, I’m still here among the living, and former tenant isn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if ex landlady resents that situation, too. She probably feels abandoned and betrayed, because her “ideal” American tenant offed herself, while the ones she liked a whole lot less are still here, in her country, and doing well enough to buy new appliances.
I try not to think too long and hard about that situation, because I find it nerve wracking and upsetting. I mean, it’s the stuff of novels, what we went through… and maybe someday, I’ll write about it. Especially now that former tenant is no longer monitoring my online activities and trying to tell me what I can and can’t write about on my own space. I did enjoy living in our last town. Sometimes, I even really miss it. But I sure don’t miss the constant fuckery, frequent reprimands and lectures, and regular interruptions of my daily routines… or the fact that in exchange for comparatively low rent (for Germany, anyway– not for the US), we also got a few people who would not, and could not, respect our privacy, even though we were very good about paying ex landlady early and not bothering her unless it was absolutely necessary.
Ah well… that’s what I get for writing a blog that isn’t 100 percent as dull as dishwater. If I just wrote about the lint in my navel, no one would care, except the fetishists. And lots of people don’t like me, for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they wish I’d trade places with former tenant, who was very pretty, athletic, accomplished, and well liked, but apparently was also very troubled and, I fear, quite fake. With me, what you get is what you see, right?
Anyway… tomorrow, I hope Bill will be able to stay home until the delivery guys get here with our new washer and dryer, just to make sure everything gets set up properly. I don’t know if we’ll get nine or more years out of these new appliances. It depends a lot on what happens in the next Presidential election, I guess.