Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010 - German Lessons... The continuing Saga

Finally, now that the weather is beautiful (no I am not complaining about that) I have learned how to say the weather is schlect!  Let's just hope that learning that doesn't jinx me, because frankly we have been on a roll of schön Wetter and I don't want that to change anytime soon.  At least not before the weekend.  Althought I kind of like the sound of the word "schlect" and might just run around saying it for no apparent reason.   Maybe I could just mumble it to myself "schlect", "schlect", "schlectity, schlecht, schlect".   Fine "schlectity" isn't a real word, at least not that I am aware of but that's never stopped me from butchering a language before.

Today it was just Peter and I in class and Peter is showing off again, having entire conversations with the teacher, of which I am finding I can follow 50%.  So in the grand scheme of things I'm doing pretty well.  As long as we are talking about the weather, mountains, and sports.  Maybe I should say as long as Peter is talking about those things.  I am still experiencing the brain meltdown when the teacher poses a question to me.  Even a question Peter just answered.  The teacher is resorted to lots of repitition for me.  Which means she makes me answer the question 5 times in a row.  You'd be impressed, the 1st time I look like a deer caught in the headlights as she drags the response from me.  The second time I repeat it perfectly.  The 3rd time I've obviously had a small seizure immediately prior to responding because suddenly I have that deer in the headlights look..."What was I saying?"  "What was the question?"  "Oh God, isn't it Peter's turn????"

I like this teacher, she's actually gotten quite good at reading my facial expressions as I work through the thought process.  Of course I'm almost positive a blind person could see the process going on as well.  Panic, followed closely by tentatively thinking I might know the answer, to throwing caution to the wind and just giving it a whirl, finally to the look of hope... am I even close, immediately followed by.  Damn it all, try again.  When I finally do get something correct you can see the relief on the teachers face who is trying to encourage me and keep me engaged.

Homework, the calendar, days of the week, wetter, the season, and sports.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010 - Colmar Continued and then some

While we were in Colmar it once again brought to light that I am surrounded by street signs that make so particular sense to me.  Although, some of them are just logical, but where's the fun in that.  I prefer to go with my first reaction to the sign:

Sure this one "could" just be a detour sign, but I couldn't help but wonder: Why are they introducing math into the driving experience and is it all deviations that are supposed to head to the right or just standard deviations?  How do you know if you are in the standard deviation if you don't know the group that was used to determin the deviation?  It's just too much for me.

We also found this very useful street sign that ... just incase we needed to know what direction to start walking in to get to Washington.  We just aren't sure if that's Washington State or Washington DC.  Maybe we should just head to Princton, it's much closer

On Sunday we went to a Sausage and Beer Hall for dinner.  A friend of L's was in town for a wedding so we met her and her fiancee for dinner.  They were extremely nice and we had a lovely time.   Oh, did I mention that they (the beer hall) has a speciality?  Sausage on a Sword.  Yes really!  It's a meter long sausage that is served on a giant, ok a meter, long sword.  We were not willing to order it despite the fact that they say it serves 4.  That just seems like too much sausage in one place.  However.... someone else in the restaurant DID order it, and I took a picture.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010 - So much to say so little time…

The weekend part 1

Saturday L and I took a drive to Colmar France. Fortunately we have a GPS unit built into the car so it can pretty much direct us where we want to go. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that I can either drive or spot road signs; my ability to successfully do both is about 50/50. Needless to say I made a couple of, fine 3, wrong turns or missed turns/exits which extended our 90 minute ride. However, as my father would say, we did manage to foil the kidnappers. Certainly no one would have expected us to take the long scenic route around the edge of Switzerland to get where we were going. Fortunately, it was a gorgeous day and we were not in a rush.

Once in Colmar, we wandered around the center city enjoying the sights. Some observations:

I knew that the French were into lingerie but I have never been somewhere where they had so many brassiere store.  There was the brassiere arcade which I really don't get.  Do I need to play space invadors while buy a bra?  Then there was the Bar brassiere.  If I need to be intoxicated to by a bra then maybe I am in the wrong place.  And at least 5 others:

Fine so I misread the lable of these stores, but it's what went thru my head as we passed them.

On another note.  While we were wandering around we saw this:

L and I were initially taken aback, trying to figure out what the heck this was all about, then we realized that this was a bachelorette party of some sort.  To think I've met people who are puzzled by why we would have a "wedding shower" where the bride and all her guests would feel the need to get clean. I think I'd take the shower over the bunny outfit. Then again we discovered much later that she had the easy part, because we caught up with this:

I don't know if you can see it but there is a woman removing a strip of wax/paper from his upper thigh and I think she gave him cash to let her do that.  Why???  You would have to pay ME money and I'm still not sure there is enough $$ in the world for me to wax a total strangers err butt.

My guess, he's raising money for the honeymoon?

He must really love her...

Friday, June 25, 2010

June 25, 2010 - Questions and Other Random Conversations with Myself

I’ve heard it said numerous times and I have to agree, there is nothing better than starting your day with the breakfast of champions: A brownie and Coke Zero. What? It’s Friday and I continue to do what I can to support the local economy. It would appear that the woman at the farmers market is starting to recognize me. I’m not sure what’s more memorable? The clashing outfit that I tend to wear or the fact that I show up at 8:30am ask for a brownie and then head out.

Last week I watched the workmen building this crane.

I should say I watched a much smaller crane offload the pieces for this one. What I really wish I had seen was the assembly. Now take a look at this cabin.

 Someone actually sits in this and operates the crane. The other day I watched a guy setting up the cables from up top. My question(s):

How does the guy get up there?

What kind of psychological testing do you have to pass that says “Yep, he’s your man, loves to be hundreds of feet in the air with nothing between him and the earth but a plastic bubble”.

Speaking of, I discovered an incredible similarity between Swiss Construction sites and those in the US. They are both equal opportunity employers: someone has to hold that sign on a stick to tell cars when to stop or go. Are there any female construction workers out there who get to operate the dump trucks or the cement truck, maybe the jack hammer?

This little guy is on the landing of the second floor of the building across the way.

He reminds me of that martin on the Bugs Bunny episode, except this guy is red, more intriguing to me, and well, less dangerous. Unless of course you trip over him and fall down the stairs.

Yesterday was someone I knows birthday.  At least I think it was.  I have no idea why June 24 sticks in my head but it feels right.  So if it was you... Happy Belated Birthday

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010 - At Last

We've had two days in a row when the sun has been out and bright. 68 degrees F or 21 degrees C.  Since today is also the day I meet up with Colette to go "running" I decided to bring the beastly boy along.  He's been a bit rambunctious lately not having gotten any extended walks in quite some time.  I considered bringing Jesse along as well but decided that was too much to handle today.

2hours later, I think I have sufficiently worn the boy out.  What I've noticed is, you don't quite feel lost when there are two of you, Colette and me.  Not Ernie and me, I still feel lost when it's just me and the dogs.  We thought we knew where we were going, and we did for awhile.  Then we took a couple turns and ended up at a rifle range.  Which once again made us think we knew were we were.  Wrong again.  The good thing is, we know we have to go "uphill" to get where we want to be.  The bad thing, we could end up the wrong hill.  We finally end up on a road I think I am familiar with, only to be proven wrong.  So we head back out onto the "scenic trail" which is a big marked trail so at the very least you know you will end up somewhere.

Finally we admit that we haven't a clue where we are but know we "must" be heading in the right direction when we suddenly come across the Vitaparcurs (no idea if I spelled that correctly).  The exact spot where I was lost that first week or so we moved here.  Woo Hoo!  Yes I was excited, having been lost here once before means that I am not lost today.  A quick pat on the back and we headed home.

Now I think I need to pack my feet in ice and the boy is sound asleep behind my chair.  He's probably going to expect that kind of walk again tomorrow, but Jesse has to come as well.  Oye

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010 - German Lessons... A Lesson in Humility

Monday I was feeling pretty good after class.  So much so that this morning I popped into Sprugili (a fantastic chocolate store) and in my best German, ask the woman behind the counter if she understood english.  Now I knew that she must but it's my first foray into public and attempting to say anything except "I'm sorry I only speak english"... in english.  I'm happy to report that we had a productive and successful exchange.

So now I head to German class and I'm feeling pretty darned good.  I did my homework, I reviewed the past lessons, I've had chocolate for lunch.  What could possibly go wrong? 

Class begins, the teacher says hello, I respond properly.  Woo Hoo! I'm on a roll.  We have a new guy in class, whose name I have already forgotten.  It seems that he started German lessons a year ago and took a break.  This does not bode well.  Turns out he even makes Peter look like a beginner, but not by much.

Class today consisted of us "conversing" and doing repitition.  The teacher asks a question I answer.  I ask the same question, Peter Answers, Peter asks the same question, new boy answers and so on.  Now you would think that I'd catch on considering we are all repeating and responding in almost the exact same way.  Not so much.  I'm not sure if I had eaten ice cream for lunch if I could have replicated the brain freeze any better than I did with just chocolate.  I couldn't keep straight if the teacher wanted me to answer as if "I" was responding for me, or if I was supposed to be responding as if "he, him, his, her, she, they" knew, know, or see something.  Then when I understood that I was responding for myself, I would mess up the masculine or feminine response.  It took until the very end of class for me to catch on that class was "I" versus "They or Them". 
Can I see the glasses.  "Nicht"
Can Peter see the glass, "ja" 
Does CAB need a shot of whisky?  Oh wait she didn't ask me that.

She did make a rule that the boys has to stop using the "familiar" tenses and stick with the "formal" tenses.  Why?  Because I finally spoke up and said I was getting confused because the guys were using words we had not learned.  Damn men

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010 - Switzerlands Most Wanted

Yesterday I had my German Lesson, and this time it was a bit different.  No one else showed up for class.  My initial reaction to this was "fear".  Who was going to recover for me when I had that ongoing brain freeze where nothing fires and there is no communication between my brain and my mouth?  Well, it turns out that it was one of the least stressful classes ever.  Now I'm hoping no one shows up to my next class either.  It would seem that I don't get nearly as stressed when there isn't an audiance.  To think, I voluntarily went with a group session thinking I would make friends.  Live and learn.  What did I learn?  Well, if I am ever mugged or the witness to a robbery I will be able to describe if the perpertrator is tall or short, the color of his eyes and hair, if his hair is long or short.  Most importantly I can say if they are "hubsh" (pronounced "hoops").  The instructor says "hubsh" is "Wow"  My reaction is "wow" as in "wow they are good looking?" or "wow, they were really hit with the ugly stick."  Her example - Angelina Jolie = hubsh, Chairmain Mao Nicht Hubsh

If course that means if a police sketch artist were to draw my version of the villian they would get a stick figure with blue eyes, and long straight blond hair.  Maybe black hair because I can remember the word for black.  Unfortunately I would not be able to tell the polezia if the villian ran down the street and took a right or left.  I missed that lesson when I was in America.  Of course now I can't get the image of a crazed stick figure running down the street after robbing Credit Suisse.  Do you think the Swiss have something to the equivilant of America's 10 most wanted?

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010 - Gulf of Mexico

Ok sure this has nothing to do with my European Adventure but it occurred to me while I was making dinner and used a too much oil so I used that trick my Mom taught me to dip paper towel into it and it absorbs the oil off the top. So why don't we send a bunch of that Brawny Paper Towel down to the gulf of Mexico, isn't that the one they advertise is made for big spills?

June 21, 2010 – Weekend Roundup/Not Quite the Zoo

As you might have been able to guess, it rained… poured even. All weekend. So we did a little snail hopping. Yes the do hop, fine actually they roll a bit when you accidently kick them. We had planned on taking a day trip Saturday but decided it was a better day for napping and reading. It could have been a good day for a fire except we don’t have any firewood and I don’t know how to open the flu.

Sunday there was a brief break in the rain so we took a chance, hopped a train and headed to the zoo. You guessed it, we didn’t make it to the zoo because….. it started to rain again and with a high of 52 degrees (Fahrenheit) we weren’t up for wandering around outside. However, not all was lost. We got off the train and went to the Outback for lunch. For those of you living in the U.S. this is not your neighborhood Outback. Although I think it is the same company. The menu was very different and I decided to be somewhat adventurous. My choices: A burger, alligator on a stick, Ostrich, Emu or chicken. I immediately ruled out Emu because I have no idea what an Emu is, I thought it was a small llama but L thinks it’s a small bird. Regardless it sounds too close to “Ewww” so I took a pass. I also ruled out chicken because I eat chicken almost every day. Then I ruled out the burger because we were making those for dinner. Which left me with Ostrich and Alligator: I went with the Alligator on a stick (actually three sticks). I don’t know that I will voluntarily pick this again. It was ok. Sort of looked like chicken tenders on a stick but has a different consistency; like minced crab meat. Oh, and no it did not taste like chicken. I’m not entirely sure how to describe the taste other than it was not a powerful flavor but seemed a little like fish. My overall reaction was, “I’m not sure I enjoyed the texture.”

So here are some pictures I took of our “Not Quite the Zoo” trip

I took this next picture specifically with our friend Annette in mind, who I classify as a biking nut.  (I think when you bike in upper state NY in the winter you exceed the limits of "enthusiast")
The Bike Parking Lot in Stadelhofen

Then there was the candleabra in the Outback (Diane this one was with you in mind)

Now I have to get ready for the dreaded German Class.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18, 2010 - Noah's Ark

It continues to rain here in Seattle, I mean Zurich. The silver lining in all this rain; the beasts got to try out their new rain coats.
"Mommy why are you making wear this thing?"

"Whatever, I'm good"

I was a little worried last night when we strapped the coats on them.  The boy seemed a little puzzled and when we finally got outside and to the park he seemed even more confused.  It's not that I want to have a bathroom conversation, but here goes.  The boy wandered around a very long time trying to seemingly trying to figure out the logistics of the jacket: "Do I lift my leg with this thing on?"

Jesse yet again, completely unphased by any of these torture devices we put her through.

I have to say the coats made a fairly significant difference in keeping them dry-ish.  Now if I could find doggie-rain boots that covered their legs (picture the red boots kids wear) I might have the battle won.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010 – the Lost Day

I admit right off the bat that this post is going to be a bit of a ramble/random flow of consciousness, hopefully you will be able to keep up.

First, let me apologize for a lack of a post/adventure yesterday. It was quite the “lost day.” I had German class and we have an entirely new teacher (to us). Which as you may imagine gives me yet another opportunity to show off my incredible skill and command of the German language. However, as it turns out, although I struggled I didn’t look entirely like was operating with a severe brain injury. That or the teacher is much better at hiding her shocked “how did this woman get in here” look. I have quite a bit of homework and catching up to do from my week away.

The rest of yesterday was spent working. We brought up a new server so I had to get SQL server up and running as well as FTP access. That doesn’t make any sense to you? The frightening thing is that it only makes a little bit of sense to me, but I managed it. Then the remaining part of my day was spent troubleshooting issues and upgrading a client database (which I need to finish today). Nothing exciting but significantly time consuming.

Books – I just finished reading “The Girl Who Plays with Fire” and the ending was a bit dissatisfying, only in that sucked me in so now I feel compelled to read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest” immediately. My original plan was to wait a bit and read something in between.

Last night we took the dogs out for the final “outing” and the beastly boy ended up nose to nose with a small lizard; black with bright yellow markings on its sides. Yes, it startled me, and I managed to muffle a small scream. Less because the lizard was there and more because I was afraid he would pull a Jesse and try to pop it into his mouth. By the time I leave here I may have a new phobia that replaces spiders. Random Creepy Crawly things that might end up in a dogs mouth and have to be fished out. Oye.

Ducks… can ducks breath under water? Or do they just hold their breath for significant amounts of time while they scavenge the bottom of the river for food?

I want to go exploring this weekend, I just need to decide where.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010 – Insanity

While we were home I got my hair cut (happy dance) and the gentleman who cuts my hair was telling me about the “Insanity” workout by Surprisingly I was intrigued. I usually have no interest in these DVD type workouts, typically designed for someone to buy, get bored and later use as a drink coaster. However, after listening to D talk about the workout and doing some research I decided to I would give it a try. Something to supplement my gym workouts, and I have no illusions to having a “beach body.” Should I suddenly be overcome with the urge to find a Swiss beach this is the body I’m taking.

After recovering from yesterday’s jet lag (why is it called that?) I set up my computer and popped in the “Fit Test”dvd.

Things I’ve learned from the DVD Fit Test:

(1) You really can work up a sweat in 25 mins

(2) As they say in 1984 – My fitness level is double plus ungood

(3) When you are jumping up and down the dogs think you are trying to play with them

(4) Along those same lines; it’s difficult to do a pushup when the beastly boy is pushing his nose in your face with that “Are we playing now?” look.

(5) I have to do these exercises in the cellar so I don’t disturb the downstairs neighbors. All I could imagine was them in their kitchen wondering what elephants were doing in our apartment

I think that about covers it for today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010 - We're Back

Well we flew home (back to Switzerland) last night and arrived bright and early this morning.  Funny I say we're going home when I talk about going to the US and going home when coming back here.  Well you'll figure it out.  The flight was essentially uneventful.  L flew business class and I flew cattle.  We tried to upgrade me but the plane was full.  No biggie, I took my meds and figured I would sleep most of the flight, and I did... sort of.  I was sitting next to this very nice Texan and our plane was 2 hours late taking off, but I still took my meds and proceeded to doze off.  Um, have I ever mentioned that the prime time for a night terror is during the first 20 - 30 mins I'm asleep?  We'll sure enough I actually fall asleep and about 10 mins into that lovely state someone made an announcement on the loud speaker.  Oh and they were VERY loud.  Which startled me, resulting in my .... screaming.  I startled the the nice texan next to me and the rabi and the other gentleman sitting infront of me.  All I could do was apologize to the texan and explain I have night terrors.  Then I pointed out the silver lining; I hadn't tried to run down the aisle screaming.  I'm fairly certain if there were any air marshals on board that I would have been tackeled and shackled.  The Texan laughed and then in all seriousness I had to say "No really, if I do run down the aisle screaming, please just tell them I am asleep."

Near the end of the flight L came back to see how I was doing, I told her I had a minor event.  She said OMG, she heard me scream but thought it was someone up further in the plane.  Nope, that was me.  LOL

Oh and I am happy to report that we picked the dogs up from "camp" they both had baths and look good.  None the worse for wear.  A very good thing so we have reserve times for them to go back to camp in November and December.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10, 2010

I realize I have been a bit negligent with the blog this week.  We arrived home on Saturday and have been catching up with family and friends.  I've also been trying to get as many house chores completed as possible.  Life is good, I missing the dogs but hopefully they are enjoying "camp."  We head back to Switzerland on Sunday so we can free the beasts Monday morning

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 4, 2010 - Friday

Do you know what that means? Yes, I went to the Farmers Market today and I am extremely pleased to report that today the woman had brownies; delicious, moist brownies. Now times are tough everywhere and I considered it my civic duty to buy a brownie. Really, when you think about it don’t you buy lemonade from those little kids’ stands in the summer? If for no other reason than to make them feel good? Exactly! I had to show my support. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was craving a brownie yesterday and there were none to be found. So today, I had a brownie for breakfast and I’m proud.

Tomorrow we head home for a week, which means that I will miss two German classes. I did ask the teacher what I would need to review so that I could attempt to stay up to date. Lord knows I do not want to fall any further behind than I already am. Not that I am behind, you know what I mean. How much more foolish would I look if I didn’t do any homework? There would be no catching up.

So today, do laundry, empty the trash, recycle the recyclables, prep the dogs for “camp” and pack. The key to packing, bring very little and return with a suitcase full of stuff.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3, 2010

I’ve started to explain to the beasts that they are going to be going to “camp” soon. I will admit that on more than one occasion I have referred to the kennel as “the pound” until L started calling it “camp”. Camp seems so much nicer and definitely nicer than my erroneously referring to it a, that which will not be mentioned again. Anyway, when I tell them about “camp” the beastly boy cocks his head and looks at me intensely, as if he’s really grasping what I am saying. Of course it’s also possible that “camp” and “cookie” sound so similar that he may just be trying to figure out why I won’t just shut up and give him one already.

I have to admit I am still a little concerned that they will be alright. Mostly my concerns now revolve around trying to make sure they understand that the beast needs to be fed either by himself or someplace where it is obvious that no other dog will try and take his food. He can be food aggressive if he thinks another dog is going to eat his food, even if he doesn’t want it himself. I think his mind set is, “I don’t want it right now but I might want it later so you can’t have it!” At moments like that it’s just easier to pick up his dish and put it away. Oh, why am I concerned about this? Well the people who run/own the kennel only speak .. yes you guessed it… German… and we all know how fluent I am in German. Although I could tell them I would like a bottle of water with my size 40 skirt. So right after I post this I will use google translate and type something up that hopefully explains in simple language what needs to happen. Here’s to hoping google translate does this properly and doesn’t end up translating it to something like “Dog needs haircut, please shave’

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010 – Eureka!

Today in German class I asked the teacher how to say “Could you speak more slowly please?”

“Können Sie bitte langsamer sprechen”. Now all I have to do is commit that to memory, along with everything else I need to commit to memory. If I am being completely honest I can admit that learning that phrase will probably only have the affect of slowing down the appearance of my lobotomy look.
Monday we learned about clothing sizes and let me just say right here and now. I am NEVER buying any clothes in Europe. There is just something horrible demeaning about having to indicate that I need a size 40. 40???? Gez, in the US I’m a 14 and the fashion industry would say I was a bit hefty. Can you imagine walking into a store and looking for a size 40? Really, if I have to say I am that big then I want to eat as much Ben & Jerry’s as my heart desires.
Although there could be an advantage when discussing weight: “Why CAB, your looking fantastic; how much do you weigh?” Why thank you – I’m currently 74. Oh you want to know 74, what, oh um Kilos. I’d consider using stones as the measurement but who’d believe I weighed only 11? Of course this is strictly a fantasy conversation, no women in here right mind would ask another woman such a question and a man would only ask such a question if he had a death wish, or was your doctor. Even then, have you noticed that the doctors always leave it to the nurses or aides to record your weight? They aren’t stupid.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010 - Observations

Wow I just realized it’s June 1 and that we’ve been here nine weeks; nine weeks and 17½ books later (I’m half-way through “Hester: The Missing Years of the Scarlet Letter). We head home for a week this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing… people. Lately I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time by myself, if you don’t count the dogs.

So this weekend we took the bikes to Greifensee and road about the lake. It’s 12.1 miles and the 1st time I have ridden a bikes since last year. It was beautiful and a sobering reminder about how out of shape I am. Fortunately, the ride is fairly flat and it’s completely off the road so there were no worries about being run down, unless you count other bikers. Speaking of, I have to say that for a society that is heavily into their outdoor activities, hiking, biking, running, skiing etc these people sure as heck smoke A LOT. Even the young kids smoke. I find that concept so incongruous to the seemingly healthy sports activities.

Here’s the other thing that I have noticed and I’m not sure what it says about me, but after a couple of weeks here I started to realize that everyone (seemingly so) is white. I didn’t make the connection until I saw a black woman in town and realized that I had seen very few non-whites. Now I find myself specifically looking for people of color. I don’t think I realized exactly how heterogeneous the US is until we moved here. It felt/feels a little strange to be somewhere that is less so. It seems that I took it for granted that there were people of all shapes, sizes, colors everywhere.

Clothes - specifically, men’s suits. There is a point at which a suit, is no longer “fitted” and is just plan too tight. I do not understand how some of the men I have seen can possibly wear their suit pants as tight as they do.
Hair – Maybe it’s not having lived in a city or this close to a major city before, but there is a large population of people who have funky do’s; funky in a good/interesting way. In addition, there are quite a few women who are fond of dying their hair fire engine red. I’ve also spotted a few young men with “mullets.” It’s still not a good look, but since I haven’t learned how to say “dude, not a good look for you” in German, I just keep my mouth shut and shake my head. Besides I’d hate for them to comment about my tennis shoes, which apparently pegs me as an American right off the bat.
Snails – this is not the observation you might expect. Lord they make a LOUD snap/pop/crunch when you step on one. I’m pretty sure that you would hear them scream if they were not drowned out by the sound of their home collapsing. *cring*