Tag Archives: Oregon

My German Wife’s First Encounter with ‘Kitchen Kaboodle’ in Portland, Oregon

kitchen-barista-supplies-expensive-nice-extravagant-germany

“That spoon costs $25? BAW HAW HAW HAW HAW! Oh, you’re serious…” — Photo by Thomas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/_-o-_/)

Shortly after we were married, The Wife and I opened our wedding presents and were immediately shocked into generosity-comas. We were very grateful for the gifts we received from our friends and family members, especially because we were about to move to Germany and start a new life there. We needed all the help we could get. But before we left the States, we had to make use of the gifts we would not be able to use in Germany, like the $50 gift certificate we received to Kitchen Kaboodle.

Kitchen Kaboodle is a locally-owned kitchen, furniture and bath store with five locations in Portland, Oregon. It’s actually very well known for its wide selection of quality products, all of which are so far beyond our budget they’re practically in orbit. The word ‘kaboodle’ comes from the expression, “the whole kit and caboodle,” which can be interpreted to mean, “everything and more.” It’s a funny sounding name, so you can imagine my German wife asking me, as we parked our car and crossed NW 23rd…

THE WIFE: “So what do they sell there at Kitchen Kah-Doo-Del?”

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Culture Shock 11: American Man Blindsided by Spring Allergies in Hannover, Germany

bee covered in pollen in a flower

Welcome to Germany, where noses run like rivers and the sneezes are free. — Photo by Lennart Tange (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lennartt/)

I have always suffered from hay fever. Every spring, between May and July, my allergies go nuts. And I’m from Portland, Oregon, mind you, which resides in the valley between the Cascade Mountain Range and the Pacific Coast Mountains like a breakfast bowl full of pollen spores.

Portlanders know all about seasonal allergies. My friend Looney Tunes moved to Portland just a few years ago and said, “I thought I was going to die.” That’s how hard our pollen count schooled him. It took him to school and fed him crackers.

My other friend, who I will call “Midnight in Wyoming,” moved to Portland and said of his resulting allergy attacks, “I wanted to shoot myself in the head.” (I’m not sure we can take this seriously, however, coming from a man who dances the Electric Slide.)

As a native Oregonian, I’m accustomed to allergy attacks. They are an annual norm for me, but I thought things might be different in Germany. Perhaps the trees will be different there, I thought. Maybe the flowers and grasses will make a kinder, gentler brand of pollen. Oh no, they have the same shit over here, and it’s working me over like it hates me. Like I slept with its mother… Ivanna Sneezeonyourwiener.

sneezing picture

“Achoo!” “Oh dear, Gesund–” “ACHOO!!!”– Photo by Inf-Lite Teacher (http://www.flickr.com/photos/87328375@N06/)

Holy mother of Joseph, I wake up feeling like hell every morning; my eyelids fused together with tears and eyeball honey. My throat is so itchy I feel like I swallowed a blond-haired, blue-eyed hairball. I sneeze like 15 times before my Earl Grey is done steeping (and yes, I put milk in it like a total fruitcake. Whatever man. I’m 1/4 English).

What in the hell, Germany. Clearly you do not respect my generic, Costco-purchased Claritin. I brought this shit all the way from the States, where we don’t have to talk to a pharmacist to buy a bottle of NyQuil. Where we enjoy so much freedom we can buy DayQuil and NyQuil and take them both at the same time.

Anybody else gettin’ nailed by allergies right now? What’s a red-blooded American supposed to do against pollen spores the size of soccer balls? Why am I mixing metaphors like an inebriated Irishman? Oh, hello beer stein full of sweet, golden Pilsner — why yes, you are just the medicine I was looking for.

And now, Dear Reader, I would like to invite you to watch this video I made. It’s a rapid-fire compilation of my sneezes over the past week. I only managed to record about half of them, since sneeze attacks come on super fast and my iPhone takes forever to switch into video mode, but here they are, in all their eye-watering, head-pounding, snot-rocketing glory. (Warning: video contains minor swearing.)

Click here to learn more about the term “Culture Shock.”

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Pictures: Instagram, Dead Fish and my German Wife

Small Mouth Bass Trophy Stuffed

"Hey there, you big sexy."

As you know, I recently discovered Instagram; an iPhone app which allows talentless hacks like me to apply trendy filters to any photograph and create superficially engaging imagery. I’ve been using Instagram to take pictures of all sorts of mundane things around our house, including a pair of stuffed bass, depicted horrifically above.

It is with no small amount of pride that I inform you, dear reader, I actually caught these Smallmouth Bass with my own two hands. We were on the Lower Deschutes River on a guided fishing trip, using lures like Rapalas, Assassins, curly tail grubs and these bizarre half-frog things I would rather forget. And though I am not a fisherman, I am positively lethal with a Rapala [pictured].

Rapala fishing lure

My weapon of choice. Don't be fooled by its vacant stare. – Image courtesy of carpcatchers.biz

Anyway, the fishing trip included complimentary taxidermy service, so I had those two handsome devils stuffed and mounted, and then I placed them on a shelf directly above our toilet (or toilette, as my wife calls it). Now, I have no problem pooping beneath a couple of ichthyo nightmares, but my German wife sure as hell does.

“We take this down when we have company,” she said while exiting the bathroom. “Cool picture though.”

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