This weekend we bought a Christmas tree and decorated it together. This is not the first year that we've gotten a tree, but I consider this one special because it was the first one we did together while married. Our first legitimate Christmas tree, if you will. (Joke!) I had thought to mark the occasion with Christmas music and eggnog, but we forgot to buy eggnog at the store, we both dislike 99% of all Christmas music, and also we didn't have enough lights for the tree and had to stop in the middle and buy more, so... well, when we finally did decorate it, it was in more of an efficient style than anything else, and the football game was on in the background. Go us.
But the tree itself is lovely. And the purchase of it was about 994568275937 times easier than last year. My sister helped us transport it (as last year), but this year, instead of going to Home Depot, we pulled into the first suburban tree lot that we found, and it turned out it was full of lush, glorious trees. We picked one out, they tossed it in the back of our truck, and we were on our way. The whole thing took under ten minutes. It was fabulous.
Anyway, we decorated the tree in our own unorthodox, unromantic way, and then we fought over who got to photograph it with the D90. OK, not really. But we both do love that camera. Torsten took the regular shots and I played with the macro. And really, it was playing, and for basically the first time, which is why I have very little to show for it. But here's a couple of my favorite shots, and you can find a few more here.
Also this weekend, I finally got around to installing the German Rosetta Stone course that I got through work and doing the first couple of lessons. This course is so, so much better than the one I tried last year. It starts at the beginning! It makes sense! It's interesting! It combines lots of different lessons into one without being overwhelming! I understand what I'm doing and I feel like I've actually learned something when I finish each lesson! All of these, you understand, are ways in which this course differs from the last one I tried.
But here's what pisses me off. German is HARD. I mean seriously, three genders is bad enough anyway, but then the really bad part is that the genders aren't straightforward like French. OK, French genders are somewhat random, but at least certain words have the obvious gender, like, oh, I don't know, "woman" is feminine and "man" is masculine? In German, "girl" is neutral. ARGH. And, in French, adjectives change depending on the gender of the noun they modify, but only in one way. So a man is "intelligent" and a woman is "intelligente" with an added E. The end. But in German? Let's say we're talking about a red apple. Well, the apple can't just be RED. It depends whether it's "a red apple" (roter) or "the red apple" (rote) or "the apple is red" (rot) OR "I have a red apple" (roten). DOUBLE ARGH.
So, my plan is that since this time the course makes sense, even if the language itself is difficult? I'm going to stick with it and really bloody learn some basic German for once, but I am also not going to allow Torsten to TELL his parents that I'm learning it. That way, there will be no expectations. And the next time we get to Germany I can casually drop some German in conversation and give them a happy surprise. Assuming, of course, that I ever learn any. Which is not a guarantee.
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