silliness

What do you suppose this means?

I’m not going to write about the impeachment acquittal right now. It’s Valentine’s Day and Sunday and I’m just not in the mood. I’m not the least bit surprised by the outcome… and yes, I am disgusted, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Instead, I want to write about another one of my bizarro dreams.

TMI– I am in the midst of my period right now. That means I had a rather restless night. I got up probably half a dozen times to use the bathroom, which is pretty much my custom when Aunt Flow is making her presence known. The sad thing is, we had nice clean sheets. I usually sleep very well when the sheets are crisp and clean. Not so much last night.

Anyway, in the wee hours of the morning, I had a weird dream. I don’t remember everything about it. What I do remember was that I was in an airport. It seemed kind of like the Stuttgart Airport, only it was a lot more expanded than I know it is at the moment. Also, there was a lot of wood paneling everywhere… and soft lighting. That is not like the Stuttgart Airport at all.

I dreamt there was a hotel at the airport. I had made arrangements to stay there. I got off the plane, tired and cranky, but then somehow got turned around and couldn’t find my bags. Bill and I also weren’t together. He was coming on a different flight later. So I went searching for my bags and was told they were in some room. I think the room was called the Oracle Room– a brown haired, brown eyed bearded man, pushing a push broom, told me. The guy was friendly, but kind of no nonsense.

So I got my bags and checked into my hotel room. Later, I went out for awhile, and when I came back, there was a strange woman about to open the door, as if she had also been assigned room 40. I told her that was my room. She argued with me, but then left with a resigned sigh when she noticed all of my baggage already there.

It was about time for Bill to arrive, so I went searching for him. I finally found him and we ended up on some kind of weird transport vehicle on the tarmac. It was kind of like a motorcycle, only we had no helmets. The thing ran on its own power, so we were horrified as it careened under a jet and propelled into a barrier. Bill’s legs were crushed. He was screaming. I was screaming. No one would help us.

Bill and I finally somehow got into the airport. Once again, I had to go looking for his bags, which weren’t in the usual baggage claim area. I stopped some guy who looked like he worked at the airport. He had scraggly hair and was a bit overweight, wearing a dirty white tuxedo. I asked him where to find the bags and he laughed at me and walked away. Then I saw the guy pushing the broom, who explained that the bags were moved, again to the Oracle Room.

Suddenly, the airport was full of people. No one wore a face mask, including me. And I distinctly remember thinking that I was going to get COVID-19 and probably die of it. I got the bags and, at about that time, woke up.

I seem to make a habit out of having weird dreams on Valentine’s Day. According to my Facebook memories, this was the one I had last year…

I had a very vivid dream this morning involving Nicole… I went to her house and there was a lot of gymnastics equipment set up. She was having a birthday party for some kids. All of the kids were on the autism spectrum. She came out with a cake made entirely out of unusually flavored Pop Tarts. She told me which ones I could take, since a few were especially for certain kids who liked certain flavors. I remember one special Pop Tart was mint!

Nicole is an old neighbor of mine and a friend. She’s a wonderful mom and a very good friend to a lot of people… one of those folks who is blessed with many allies because she is such a good person. She’s one of the few neighbors I’ve had and have actually really missed over the years. When I posted about that dream last year, she clarified that making a Pop Tart cake would make her the coolest mom on the block… and that I would be welcome to take any Pop Tart I wanted. Where the Pop Tart reference comes from, I will never know. I haven’t had one of those in ages.

Well… we usually do something special for Valentine’s Day. In the past, we’ve gone to a beer spa in the Czech Republic and we’ve gone to France a couple of times. In fact, we went to France in 2019 and 2020, mainly because Valentine’s Day coincided with President’s Day weekend. Most years, if we don’t travel, we have a nice dinner somewhere in a restaurant, although last year’s Valentine’s Dinner was not romantic at all. This year, I’ll be lucky if I get a Five Guys burger… which actually suits me fine, I guess. I’m pretty tired of this lifestyle, though. I miss traveling and new experiences. Maybe that’s why I dreamt of the airport… not that I especially want to fly under these conditions.

Last year, we went to Strasbourg, France for the annual wine expo, in which representatives from wineries all over France come to sell their wares. It was our first time going and it was overwhelming, but fun. This year, they have postponed it until June. The French are serious about their wine. We came home with about 40 bottles. We should have bought more, but Bill was worried about transporting them and storing them.

I’d like to pick up some more Pommard wine, myself…

Ah well… maybe 2022 will be better. For now, enjoy your VD, and may all your weird, vivid dreams be harmless.

I always do…

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celebrities, dogs, funny stories, music, true crime

Shit happens.

I decided to take yesterday off from writing. It was mainly because in the wee hours of Friday morning, I awoke at about 2:00am and had trouble getting back to sleep. I had been having an erotic dream. I don’t have a lot of those anymore, so I was disappointed when I woke up. Weirdly enough, I dreamt I was having sex with Wil Wheaton. I have never even thought about having sex with him, so I’m not sure where that came from. Maybe it’s because I was recently triggered on his page. He’s definitely cute, but we’re both happily married to other people, so I doubt that’s a dream that will ever come to fruition.

Once my eyes cracked open, I got up to go to the bathroom. And then– sorry for the TMI– but I got a case of the shits. After I was finished, I left the bathroom and noticed I smelled it in another room, only it wasn’t of the human variety. Arran, bless his heart, sometimes poops when he sleeps, so I thought maybe that was the issue. But I didn’t see any evidence of that, so I checked on Noyzi, who was in his bed. The smell of poop also faded downstairs, so I could tell he wasn’t the culprit. Noyzi still doesn’t venture upstairs on his own.

Then I went into my office and, though I wasn’t wearing my contacts, I could see a fuzzy, stinky, brown puddle on one of my nice rugs. It’s one that doesn’t get walked on a lot, so it’s still pretty pristine. Arran had gone in there and dropped some diarrhea. Bill got up and cleaned up the mess while I let the dogs out. Noyzi went out and pooped, too… and it was at that point that I realized we all must have eaten something bad. Later on, Bill also had a touch of the shits. My guess is was the chicken from the chicken man, who sells his wares on Thursdays. This has never happened before, so I count it as a “one off”, as the Brits would put it.

In any case, I was kind of tired yesterday and not in the mood to write. I also find that when I take a day or two off, it’s good for my brain. Gives me a chance to refresh. Gives my readers a chance to catch up, if they want to… not that many people do. Right now, it appears I have lots of folks interested in my posts about Jocelyn Zichterman, Scott Drummond, Richard Jahnke, and Erin McCay George. These are all mostly book reviews, which rarely get a lot of attention when I first post them, but later attract readers. That’s one reason why I’ve been reposting stuff from my original blog. The book reviews are fairly “evergreen”– as in they attract views and money, if this blog were monetized, which it’s not. I post the book reviews as a “service” for the interested. Sometimes I read and review books that others are interested in but may not want to buy or can’t borrow.

I spent all day yesterday watching Snapped episodes from 2013. If I were still writing my old blog, I might write about some of the cases I saw on that show. Like, for instance, Nancy Gelber’s case… I found her a fascinating subject. She’s a wannabe author who self-published a novel called Temporary Amnesia, which boasts a very complicated storyline that she claims she dreamt up when she was a teenager. She said that’s where a lot of her ideas come from– her dreams– which are apparently even weirder than mine are.

Nancy’s book is on Amazon.com and it gets terrible reviews. I would probably hate it, and I sure don’t want to spend the amount of money they’re asking for it, especially since Nancy Gelber is a criminal. However, as someone who is interested in psychology, I found her very interesting to listen to. You can tell that beneath her cheerful, chatty demeanor, she’s a hot mess psychologically. Gelber tried to have her ex husband bumped off, but “hired” an undercover cop instead of a real hit man. Then, she claimed that she hadn’t known what she was doing.

This wasn’t what I watched on Snapped… it’s another program about Nancy Mancuso Gelber.

It’s actually interesting to watch this show, as opposed to the Snapped episode. It offers more of her ex husband’s viewpoint.

What a piece of work!

Nancy says she’s going to go to hell… and admits that having her husband offed is a “horrible” thing to do, as she laughs. On this show, she seems a lot more sinister than she appeared to be on Snapped. If you see her on Snapped, she seems a lot more pleasant and normal. How scary for Jody Gelber, her ex husband. I wish I were more of an expert in psychology. She seems like a fascinating subject. I’d love to know what her DSM V diagnosis is. My guess is narcissist, for sure.

Busted! If you listen to her fake reaction to the lie that her husband has died, she sounds like a really bad actress.

This morning, after I watched the YouTube videos about Nancy Gelber, I watched a couple more about Diana Lovejoy, who in 2017, fainted when she was found guilty of murder for hire. I’m not familiar with her case at all. I just found her reaction to the verdict fascinating.

Wow…
Off she goes to the hospital… complete with handcuffs.

I probably should get back into reading more true crime, now that I’m less interested in politics. To be clear, I’ve never been all that interested in politics. I was just horrified by four years of Donald Trump and his delusional political theater of the absurd. Trump is now reportedly refusing to refer to himself as a former president. His new legal team is referring him to as the 45th POTUS, which is technically correct. BUT– their main defense in the upcoming impeachment trial is that Trump is no longer president and therefore can’t be impeached. So which is it? Rachel Maddow has a good chuckle about it in the video clip directly below this paragraph. If you ever wanted a textbook example of grandiose malignant narcissism, Trump is your guy. By the way, as far as I’m concerned, Trump was never MY president. 😉

And finally, I probably could opine about the recent uproar regarding country singer Morgan Wallen, who was caught on video drunk and uttering racist epithets in the middle of the street with his rowdy friends. He’s facing a lot of backlash… more than the idiots who stormed the Capitol last month, actually. Looks like his fans are still buying his music, even though he’s no longer eligible for music awards and his label has suspended him. I remember when the Dixie Chicks pissed off their base by dissing former President George W. Bush at a concert. They were quickly canceled by a lot of their more redneck fans and country radio. Morgan Wallen uses the n-word and many of his fans are still fine with him.

I hadn’t heard of him before this happened. I do remember reading about Morgan Wallen being canceled from a gig on Saturday Night Live because he was caught on video partying with a bunch of people while unmasked. SNL canceled him because his appearance would put a lot of people at risk. And now, they have another reason not to have him play.

I’m not big on cancel culture. I think people should have the ability to redeem themselves. Morgan Wallen, at age 27, is probably too old to be acting like a drunken frat boy, and I did see and hear the video… and there is no excuse for his behavior. I don’t know that it should ruin his career forever, but I do think that if you’re lucky enough to be able to make a living in the arts, you owe it to yourself and everyone else to realize that with that platform comes responsibility. And, sad to say, it shows an ugly side of him. Clearly, he’s comfortable using that kind of language casually, which is too bad. It’s not the word itself that is offensive– it’s the attitude and meaning behind it. And the fact that so many people are protesting about Wallen’s “right” to free speech and missing the fact that with that right comes responsibility. Yes, he has the “right” to say what he wants. BUT that doesn’t excuse him from consequences. Wallen needs to grow up.

Last night, I was listening to old school Chicago and marveling. I can’t name most of the members of that band. I’m sure being in Chicago, which has been around for many decades now, paid off handsomely for a lot of the members. It occurred to me that is a band– along with so many others– like Earth, Wind, & Fire, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, and Three Dog Night– comprised of people who are passionate about music rather than just money and fame. It occurred to me how much time, dedication, effort, and TEAMWORK goes into making that tight sound. These are very talented people working together for something awesome, not to be rich and famous. I’d like to hear much more from people like them, as opposed to privileged, clueless, jackasses like Morgan Wallen. Just saying.

Well, that about does it for today. Gotta finish the laundry and practice guitar on this dreary Saturday.

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musings

“We wish you would just leave…”

I had a strange dream this morning. It was strange because as I was dreaming, I got the sense that I was experiencing a memory. Like, as I was having this very vivid dream, I was remembering something that happened in a different dream. For all I know, the “memory” I was having was actually something I dreamt this morning, but I got the sense it was an old memory from a dream that happened months or weeks ago. Who knows? The mind is a weird thing.

The dream I had involved my being in college. For some reason, I’ve been having a lot of college related dreams recently. I was an English major, as I was when I was a college student. For some reason, I was at a banquet of some kind, and there was a group of women at another table. They were kind of bitchy to me. I noticed them looking over at me, rolling their eyes, and being nasty. This has been kind of a normal experience for me throughout my life. I often don’t fit in to groups.

In my dream, I remembered that at a prior banquet, I’d gotten upset about something and made a scene that caused a ruckus. These women apparently hadn’t forgotten. They were jeering at me from afar.

Suddenly, a waiter appeared in front of me. He looked Italian and was kind of pudgy, with big, sad, brown eyes. He poured some water for me and handed me a note. I read it and immediately became enraged. The leader of the bitchy girls club at the other table had written a mean-spirited note to me that said something along the lines of, “You’re so inappropriate. We hate having you here because you embarrass us. We wish you would just leave.”

Just before I woke up, I remember reading the note, getting really pissed off, and making a huge scene. Then I stormed out of the banquet, cursing those bitches who sent me the note.

I woke up this morning and had to sit there in bed for a minute, trying to remember if this had actually happened when I was conscious or if it was just a dream. I eventually concluded that the scenario I dreamt about never did happen in real life. However, there have been times in my life when I have gotten that sentiment from people. Most of the time, the people who have expressed that sentiment to me were people I didn’t care that much about anyway, but sometimes it came from people I thought were friends or loved ones.

Very interesting… This video is more about racism and bullying, but it definitely shows the shame decent people feel when others are cruel. I think it was shared by Upworthy in 2015. I had to unfollow Upworthy, though, because too much of their stuff was shaming.

I was reminded of a video a friend shared with me a few years ago. It was about a guy who got a note in a foreign language, in this case, Lithuanian, that he couldn’t understand. He asked native speakers to translate it for him, and they hesitated because what was written was mean-spirited and cruel. It was a “hate” note. The video was actually an experiment that was being done to show whether or not people had empathy. It was interesting to see how the people reacted when the man, who could only speak English, asked the Lithuanians to tell him what the note said.

I think empathy is lacking in a lot of people. People usually have the most empathy for the most innocent. I notice that this time last year, many of my Facebook and some blog posts were about abortion. A year ago, that was what was all over the news. Many states were trying to pass incredibly strict anti-abortion laws that were only in favor of the unborn. They had no understanding or compassion for the woman carrying the fetus. I suppose some people might rationalize that abortion is the ultimate rejection… when a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy, she is rejecting life for an innocent being that has taken up residence in her womb. To some people, it’s the ultimate “We wish you would just leave.” note.

On the other hand, women who make that choice are often made to feel shame and dishonor. It doesn’t matter what her reasons are. To some people, women who have sex and get pregnant should be ready to be mothers. And those who aren’t ready and consider abortion are not worthy of compassion and kindness. Evidently, even people who are confronted with tragic situations, such as the life of the mother being threatened or the developing fetus being so malformed that giving birth would be cruel, are not given that consideration.

I hadn’t actually meant to write about abortion or racism today. I really just wanted to put that vivid dream down in my blog, since I know I’ll forget it soon. I had forgotten all about that racism video from 2015. Bill often tells me that dreams are your brain’s way of dumping the trash. I’m not sure where that dream came from this morning… although I have experienced people being mean to me. I’m sure I’ve been mean to people, too. Sometimes, I’ve been accused of being mean, when I wasn’t… which is very upsetting to me. I don’t enjoy being mean, even if I am sometimes pretty irritable and cranky.

Ah well… time to write a fresh book review.

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musings

Sometimes the truth is in our dreams…

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of weird dreams. Most of them have included our dearly departed beagle, Zane, who died on August 31, 2019 of lymphoma. Zane’s death and subsequent “visits” haven’t followed the usual pattern that seems to happen after Bill and I lose a dog. Most of the time, I get a lot of “visits” in my dreams or otherwise just after the dog has died. With Zane, it took a few weeks before I started to “see” him in my subconscious. I have a feeling that it’s my brain telling me it’s time to find another pack member… or maybe it’s the spirit of Zane encouraging me to give another dog a home.

Unfortunately, adopting a dog in Germany can be problematic for Americans, particularly if they are affiliated with the military. Many of my countrymen have ditched their dogs in German shelters, which leaves a terrible impression. It’s understandable that Germans would assume Americans are irresponsible regarding pets, although not all of us are. Some of my friends have adopted dogs in other countries, or from other Americans. Some have purchased dogs from breeders, which I would prefer not to do. I have a couple of German friends who are rooting for Bill and me and, perhaps, will vouch for us if we attempt to adopt from a German source. In fact, I have one German friend who keeps sending me pictures of dogs who need homes. I plan to start looking after the new year, though, because we are planning a road trip to France. Also, we need to have a better idea of what’s coming up in the future. We could end up having to move or something.

Anyway… Arran’s personality has changed since we lost Zane. He’s a bit clingier than he used to be. He now sits by the door at about 5:00pm, knowing that’s when Bill usually comes home. He’s better behaved, too, since he has two humans who lavish attention on him. It’s been kind of nice, although I think he likes having other dogs around… especially if he can be the boss. Zane wasn’t a fighter, per se, but when he wasn’t sick, he didn’t let Arran be his boss. That caused insecurity and conflict, which I think is what led Arran to act out at times.

The ghost of Zane isn’t the only one wondering what the future holds. Last night, our landlord came over to talk to Bill about the annual Rechnung. This is an accounting that is legally required to be done between the landlord and the tenant. It shows how the Nebenkosten (money for other costs) was spent, and gives Bill the chance to reconcile any discrepancies. Bill will sit down with the landlord and they will discuss it together, rather than simply get an email with a bill for money we owe and no accounting of how the money we paid was spent.

We have no complaints whatsoever about our current landlord, who is also our next door neighbor. He wants to do business with us and it shows. He’s always kind and respectful, and has never shouted at me or blamed me for things I either didn’t do or couldn’t control. His house is updated and basically in great shape, so we really haven’t had many things that have needed to be repaired. When we have asked for repairs, he’s been fair and hasn’t freaked out or immediately accused us of negligence. He gives us free firewood and asks us how we’re doing, and he truly seems concerned about how we answer. He seems to like our dog(s) and doesn’t seem to mind Arran, now that Zane is gone. Even if he doesn’t like Arran, he doesn’t make it obvious. He also doesn’t seem to care about how I spend my time or whether or not I meet his wife’s housekeeping standards, not that I know what they are. That is a true gift. Blessed are landlords who live and let live, and don’t meddle in their tenants’ business.

Our next door neighbor on the other side is also nice. She has a super cute Labrador Retriever named Levi who is just a sweetheart and always comes over to say “hi”. She is also encouraging us to find a new hound.

I do think the landlord was a bit worried that we’re planning to move, since he knew Bill went to Poland on business last week and I accompanied him. He’s heard about Trump’s desire to expand our military presence into Poland and, perhaps, build a “Fort Trump” there. I guess he figured we were househunting, since our Poland trip was business based for Bill and I accompanied him. He jokingly asked Bill if we were moving… although actually, I don’t think he was joking. I think he was probably legitimately concerned that we’d move and he’d have to find new people. He seems happy with us and, I’m sure, each time he has to find new tenants, there’s also the worry about what kind of people he’ll have as neighbors as well as whether or not they’ll pay the rent on time.

We are not planning to move, at least not at this point in time. I went to Poland with Bill because his trip happened to be at about the time of our wedding anniversary and Poland is kind of a cool destination now. Bill likes having me with him when he travels for business because I get to see and do new things and write about my experiences. We also like being together and miss each other when Bill has to travel. It’s possible that someday, we might end up living in Poland, but that’s not in the plans at this point. On the other hand, two years ago, we didn’t know we were going to be leaving Stuttgart within a matter of months. I didn’t actually want to leave Stuttgart, because despite everything that happened, I liked it down there. Even though the traffic sucks, I know my way around. The landscape is beautiful, and though some of the people are crotchety and litigious, I kind of knew what to expect. I had no idea that the grass would be greener in Wiesbaden. You can’t miss what you’ve never had, right?

As of today, we’ve lived in our current house for a year. It was a year ago that the movers packed us up and Bill and I caravaned to Wiesbaden. Although we are in a much better living situation, it’s taken about a year for me to process the living situation we were in previously. I think it came out in my dreams this morning.

I dreamt that Bill and I went to a restaurant that we had been looking forward to trying. From the get go, the service wasn’t very good. We were seated at a table near a large party. The wait staff kept charging us extra for things we didn’t order. They were slow, and their table maintenance was sloppy. The staff was also eavesdropping on our conversation and gossiping among themselves. The food was somewhat attractively presented, but overpriced and not that tasty.

Still, even though the signs were there that we should look for another restaurant, we hesitated to go. “What if the next restaurant is even worse?” I asked Bill, as we watched other patrons get up and leave in disgust.

“Yeah, this isn’t really so bad, is it?” Bill confirmed. “I mean, at least the dishes look nice.”

We sat there for a few more minutes, resigning ourselves to settling for an overpriced meal served by surly, disrespectful wait staff. I mean, at least we weren’t hungry, right? But we certainly would have appreciated a better meal, served with more respect and less attitude and at a fairer price, without a bunch of bullshit upcharges.

Finally, a man at the big table full of loud people came over and said, “Come on with us. We’re moving to another restaurant that has better food at a more reasonable price. You might pay more, but you’ll get what you pay for and then some.”

“Hmmm… I don’t know.” I said. “What if it sucks even more? I don’t want to have to pay more for an even worse experience.”

“Could it get much worse?” Bill asked.

“Um… yeah, actually, it could.” I said. “I mean, at least the roof isn’t leaking, the toilets aren’t overflowing, and there aren’t any rats running around.”

“But what are the odds it’ll be worse?” Bill asked.

I had to agree that it wasn’t likely that the next place would offer worse food or service. Why was I fighting to keep eating at a restaurant that didn’t seem to want me dining there? I decided it was worth the risk to move on to the next eatery. So we got up and left the table, even though the wait staff came running after us with a bill, demanding payment for other things we hadn’t ordered. We all went to the next place and, indeed, it was pricier. But the host smiled, welcomed us with a glass of bubbly, sat us down at a nicely set table with stylish silverware and china, and asked us how we were doing. I woke up just as we were about to tuck into a lovely holiday dinner.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have agreed to bake Bill’s favorite chocolate cake. I haven’t made one since we moved last year, even though this house has a brand new oven (as of last year, anyway). I guess I’ll head downstairs and start baking in a bit, even though the house already smells lovely since Bill set the Crock Pot with tonight’s dinner.

We really should have enjoyed this past year more than we did, but the truth is, we’ve been recovering from a massive mind fuck. A year ago, I tried to be hopeful, but I knew craziness was coming, and it did. I spent a good portion of the year looking back on stuff and wondering if I really was as horrible a tenant as I was made out to be, even though no one else has ever had the level of complaints about us as our former landlords did.

When I lived in Armenia, three of my four “landladies”, for lack of a better word, wished I were a bit neater and better about housekeeping. We’re talking dusting, putting away clothes, straightening clutter, making the bed, and what not– stuff that makes the house look neater, but isn’t necessarily a matter of health, safety, or hygiene. I am not a filthy slob who leaves dirty dishes in the sink, lets the trash pile up, or allows the toilets get nasty. But I don’t bust my ass to make sure the house is constantly tidy, because frankly that just doesn’t matter to me. As long as things aren’t gross, I don’t care about dust or clutter. I feel like I’ve outgrown needing to be lectured about keeping my room clean, especially when I’m paying. Besides, even though I’m not a “neat” person, I have seen the living conditions other people live in that make me look like Mrs. Clean. I’d say my housekeeping is pretty average.

Three of these four different women in Armenia who were my landladies also used to regularly let themselves into my space and help themselves to my stuff, too. The daughter of one of them “borrowed” some of my cassette tapes without asking, which I later had to retrieve from her bedroom. The son of another ate my food and left the dirty dishes in the refrigerator. The younger brother of a third got into my colored chalk and broke all of the pieces. It was fine with them that they were doing these things– ripping off my personal property and getting into my personal business– but I was expected to be perfect, follow their orders, never complain, and keep paying by all means, and they had no qualms telling me this to my face.

All of these women had the same attitude that they were doing me a favor by renting me their space, rather than my doing them a favor by giving them a regular source of income. They acted like I was a child who was an “ungrateful guest” rather than a fellow adult in a business relationship with them. They had no issues invading the space I was paying for and nagging me about what they considered were my lax housekeeping standards, yet they didn’t see that letting themselves into my apartment and eating my food and leaving dirty dishes or taking my things was extremely disrespectful. Also, I was paying them a hell of a lot more than any Armenian would have, and I wasn’t constantly yelling at them about my legal rights or calling them to fix every little thing.

My last landlady in Armenia also falsely accused me of “theft”, claiming that I didn’t pay her the rent one month. But that was impossible– I had a record of it, and her father was always there on the first to collect the money. She actually accused me of lying and falsifying the documents, which certainly wasn’t true and was nothing she could prove. All she could do was accuse me of theft and expect that I would be so upset by her false accusations that I would simply pay her just to shut her up. I think she assumed that I was a wimp because, at that time, I cried easily and seemed depressed and sensitive. She thought I was “rich” too, and she could steamroll me by being a bully and yelling at me. All she did was strengthen my resolve to see that other Americans didn’t rent from her. I told everyone I knew about her business practices, including her former employers, the Peace Corps. In the end, she ended up costing herself a hell of a lot of money in lost rent, since her next tenants were locals who would never pay close to what I was paying for her apartment on the outskirts of Yerevan’s center.

Well… I can’t help the way other people conduct their business. I can only help how I conduct myself. I do the best I can. I don’t always please everyone, so there’s no use trying, especially when the other party is never satisfied and doesn’t show me mutual respect. I think 2020 will be a better year, because we’ve moved on to a better venue. Hopefully, we can stay awhile longer and add a new family member. I intend to start enjoying Germany again, regardless. My dream this morning spells it out. Sometimes you have overpriced meals served on Farberware by disrespectful wait staff. Rather than risk indigestion and a lightened wallet, it usually makes better sense to cut your losses and move on to a more appetizing location, if you can do it. We had the opportunity to do it last year and made it happen, once we realized that we shouldn’t keep paying people who didn’t really want to do business with us.

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