Thursday, August 31, 2017

6 Things I Learned in August

Taking Emily Freeman's lead to share things I learned this month - from the silly to the strange to the sometimes profound. I was surprised how much I missed doing this last month, and I've been looking forward to this all of August. Yes, I look forward to strange things.

1. Minions make me really happy.

I don't know if this is true in the states, but over here minions are everywhere. After I pointed them out in advertising for the umpteenth time, Mom said "I had no idea you loved minions so much."  Not sure if I love them or not, but they certainly make me grin whenever I see them. I think it's the yellow + the crazy + the happy.

2. apple cider vinegar + dish soap + water = fruit fly trap. 

Part of the cultural adjustment in moving to Germany is separating out trash - Germans are masters of recycling. I actually really enjoy having a separate bin for kitchen waste, but it attracts fruit flies like nothing else. I did some googling and found this simple recipe for a fly trap. It hasn't totally solved the problem, but we've gotten rid of quite a few of the nuisances this way.

3. The iPhone activity pedometer is totally unreliable.

I finally jumped on the iPhone bandwagon after four years of resistance. (A Target associate was flabbergasted right before I went to college when my dad explained his problem: he wanted to buy me an iPhone and I absolutely refused to get one.) So of course now I'm trying out all the new gadgets. The pedometer? It informed me after a 90 minute walk that I had gone just under 1 mile. Ha. No.

4. Pocahontas quotes the Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

I've been reading a survey of philosophy and discovered to my surprise that the line "you can't step in the same river twice" is actually not original to Disney songwriters but rather to Heraclitus. Somehow I missed this fact in previous philosophy surveys. You learn something new every day if you're lucky. (For the remainder of that particular day I had Just Around the Riverbend stuck in my head.)

5. Speaking of songs that get stuck in your head, there's a German term for that: Ohrwurm

Literally, "ear worm." How's that for a vivid image of that aggravating song that you can't get off your mind?

6. Project Gutenberg is a goldmine.

My kindle usage has skyrocketed since the move, and I've rediscovered Project Gutenberg. The newest gem I discovered on it is that they have all of the Anne of Green Gables books! (All, that is, except Windy Poplars. What's with that?) So many classics.

7. If you want to strike up a friendship, compliment the person's haircut

Bonus: Here's a picture of when we moved to Germany 11 years ago. We thought we were so old. And now I look back at my 11-year-old self and mentally pat myself on the head.

What unexpected things did you learn this month?


  1. For my 20th birthday my family threw me a completely minion themed party...from the decorations to the cake to the decor. So crazy because I really did not enjoy Despicable Me or the Minion movie that much but those little guys just make me so happy! So...I hear you and would totally have bought the Minion Nutella.

    p.s. Here you go: You're welcome. :)

  2. That's so funny, I literally just heard the reference to earworm this week. It's such a revolting, yet strangely fitting, image. 😲