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How I Did Not See the August 1999 Eclipse

How I Did Not See the August 1999 Eclipse

Old Apr 30th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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How I Did Not See the August 1999 Eclipse

Since some of you have enjoyed the amusing tips thread, I proffer this one on how not to see an eclipse. I sometimes write things in my alternate persona of "YentaKvetch", just to assure you that Yenta is me.

Here goes:

YentaKvetch was in Europe in August 1999 and was determined to see this extravaganza. At the time she was home exchanging in Hamburg in the north of Germany. The only solution was to drive south into the zone of totality. Taking a train was out of the question. The trains were booked at 150% of capacity. YentaKvetch was not crazy about driving.

As luck would have it, YentaKvetch has a friend in Berlin and we set out to see the great event, known in German as "sonnenfinsternis" together. On August 10th we drove all day and settled in a small hotel in the area along the Rhine, but way out in the countryside away from the tourists because the hotels were cheaper.

Well, August 11th arrived and the two of us--along with half of Germany--set out for the zone. We settled on the little town of Pirmasens near the French border. As we drove into the zone the clouds magically began to clear. Was YentaKvetch actually going to see the great event?

We arrived in Pirmasens, found a parking space, and YentaKvetch whipped out a tube of eclipse glasses she had brought to Germany with her. In order to be certain to have the special glasses and not burn out her eyeballs, she had purchased the glasses in the United States. To do so, however, she had to buy 50 pair of glasses--as though she were a wholesaler. While some had been given away to friends before the eclipse day, she did have at least 35 pairs left.

Now, YentaKvetch had the last eclipse glasses in Europe--and YentaKvetch knew it. All the news programs stated that none were to be had for blood money. YentaKvetch was deluged with buyers the moment she took those eclipse glasses out of the mailing tube. "6 marks," said YentaKvetch, quickly figuring out what three times the price of her original investment would be. As the moon began to eat up the sun, the glasses went like hotcakes.

Only one person complained stating that they had previously been given away for free. YentaKvetch explained that YentaKvetch's glasses were not free. He bought. Then there was one guy who tried to bargain with YentaKvetch in German--and it was obvious that his German was even worse than YentaKvetch's. He was an American. He bought too.

As the eclipse began to proceed to totality, YentaKvetch's friend poked her and pointed to the sky. Ominous clouds had appeared in the East. "We have 5 minutes," he said. And he was right. Five minutes later the heavens opened up. YentaKvetch had seen 70% of totality, but that was about it. For YentaKvetch the eclipse was over. She and her friend made a hasty exit from the central square in Primasens wary of irate buyers of eclipse glasses that were liable to attack at any minute.

Everyone was laughing at the ridiculous situation. Everyone was also soaking wet. Well, leaving the square YentaKvetch tripped on one of the cobblestones and down she went. Her friend wondered why YentaKvetch's legs were crossed when he perused her seated unceremoniously on the pavement. Well, you see, YentaKvetch's pants were wet from the rain--but that was not the only reason.

Repairing quickly into a bar for a drink, YentaKvetch watched the eclipse from inside, running out at totality to say she'd been there--even if she hadn't seen it. When the sun began to come back, the hardy souls in the central square of Pirmasens began to cheer. They were even wetter than YentaKvetch, although not, perhaps, for the same reason.

So that was how the "sonnenfinsternis" became for YentaKvetch the "sonnenfinsterNICHT"--and the subject of a hilarious story that will be told again and again every time the subject of the August 11th eclipse is brought up.

In 2081 YentaKvetch plans to be in Europe for the next total eclipse. She will, however, be carrying souvenir caps and t-shirts as well as 1,000 pairs of eclipse glasses and cheap raincoats. Heck, if she'd done that in 1999, she could have paid for her whole month in Europe rather than just the trip from Berlin to Pirmasens.

After the eclipse (or noneclipse) ended, YentaKvetch repaired to a bathroom for clean up, after which she ate lunch with her friend. They then faced the world's largest traffic jam to drive back to Berlin. They laughed about the eclipse glasses and the rain all the way back.

In 2081, YentaKvetch will wear Depends.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 07:24 AM
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I made a trip in August with the plan to see the eclipse, and had bought a piece of glass from a welding supply house here so that I would not burn out my eyeballs. I was staying near Ulm, but I was sent to stay with other relatives near Weil der Stadt, where Kepler was born, as there was to be a lot of celebration. Well, we stayed at home, this cousin and I, watching TV until there was just a bit of light in a dreary day, and I saw just a tiny bit. We watched the TV coverage, and someone taped it for me back near Ulm. When I returned that night, they, who had sent me away for the day, had actually seen a bit, and friends in Munich saw it, but I, who traveled such a distance, really only had the thrill of watching it on TV. I won't be around in 2081.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 02:15 PM
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Lauren dear, don't give up the day job, keep the writing as a sideline, and preferably a sidelined sideline!
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Old May 1st, 2004, 04:03 PM
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Actually, I occasionally make money writing. I have had pieces in "The Washington Post" and "France Today"-- among other places. If I had the time I believe I could do quite well writing but I don't have the time.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 05:02 AM
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Big names there, big names indeed!

I'm pleased you don't have more time to torture us with your writing.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 07:05 PM
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"I'm pleased you don't have more time to torture us with your writing."

Of course, mkingdom2, no one is holding a gun to your head to force you to read any of my posts. Also, of course, you are driven to do so by your inner demons--such as they are--and also to put up nasty cracks to all of them.

Did it occur to you that, when you make a nasty crack, you give posts greater exposure because they go to the top?

So, thanks. And, no, mkingdom2, I don't care what you think about what I write. I rather value more the opinion of newspapers and magazines that have chosen to publish pieces by me.
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Old May 2nd, 2004, 09:38 PM
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As everyone here knows, you (and all your "alternate personas") have been thrown off nearly all other web travel forums to wit BParis, AOL, Epinions, and many others, you name it (except, so far, IT, but no one visits there ever because of you and maybe the very new Elderhostel).

Gee, but m_kingdom2's posts do, indeed, go to the top, whereas you have managed to have entire subjects to which you have responded with your vitriol deleted from this forum in their entirety.

This, it would seem, is your very last outpost for "expressing" yourself, until it all gets removed... NO ONE cares about what you write. Those newspapers and magazines have no particular "opinion" of you, lest it is "newsworthy" that yet another innocent and helpless child under your "court appointed" care has failed to thrive, though you have collected your fee and expressed your "opinions".

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Old May 3rd, 2004, 05:25 AM
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I nominate all the posters on this thread as outstanding candidates for the upcoming reality series entitled "Fodite Food Fight"
 
Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:13 AM
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Well, sorry I responded...
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 07:45 PM
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Actually, "LeilaMcT" [actually DJKBooks}, if you bothered to check epinions.com, you would see that I still have plenty of pieces there under the name "YentaKvetch". I merely stopped writing for them when stopped paying.

If you weren't interested in what I had to say, DJKBooks, why did you just have to respond? Loose screw I guess.

And thanks to all of you for continuing to bring this funny story to the attention of others by constantly sending it to the top--even if you do it with vitriol.
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Old May 4th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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Actually, LSKahn, I am not "Leila". Unlike yourself, I have only ONE screen name, logon, everywhere, as you well know. I have no multitudes of "alternate personas". So, keep guessing as to whoever wishes to set everyone straight with regard to you.

So curious that you would "thank anyone for continuing to bring this story to the attention of others", when the only one, Karen, regrets having responded.

That you allegedly "stopped writing" for Epinions when they "stopped PAYING" is a big fat lie (though curious), since you were totally BLOCKED from further contributions. Not to mention BParis and many, many other web forums.

As you well know, AOL, unlike Fodor's, has BLOCKING capability, and there is a huge behind the scenes effort to encourage everyone to IGNORE/BLOCK you. Though you apparently delight in "expressing" yourself all about, only the odd newbie, upon who you pounce (with e-mails and IM's), until they are promptly advised otherwise to avoid you, responds. Regretfully.

Why I bother to respond here is that you are somewhat unavoidable, until the entire Subject (ultimately) gets deleted. Or, insiders let everyone know they are taking their chances...
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Old May 4th, 2004, 08:37 PM
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ttt, just for the vitriol, and for posterity, and for DJKBooks who never ever meant anyone any harm.Who, actually, authored the Food Glossary to Paris that is so coveted on this website.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Lauren, "YentaKvetch" is calling for you!
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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DJK, I'm not taking sides in this low argument, just FYI: Fodor's HAS the blocking capability. There is a San Jose weirdo on the USA forum, s/he is being blocked repeatedly (comes up with different ISPs, so we were explained by Fodor's).
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Old May 5th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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IMHO, this is all much too do about nothing.

This story was marginal at best. It was stiffly written and not funny. We have all seen much better on this forum. There is no demand for a repeat performance.
 
Old May 5th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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What, pray tell, is a "vaulted food guide"? Is it one which unlocks the secrets of good eating, or perhaps is leaps and bounds ahead of the pack?

Just asking.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 10:56 AM
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I think she's slipped back into "yentakvetch" mode there.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:28 PM
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I'll tell you all WHAT here - my French Food Glossary is absolutely and positively incredible - a must have if you are lucky enough to acquire same - just for the asking ([email protected]).

Anyone here can easily determine who has something useful/interesting to offer and who has nothing whatsoever that spend their time endlessly carping.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Why, dear DJKBooks, would you post your email address with an offer of a French food guide on a thread about seeing an eclipse in Germany?

It certain isn't because you want maximum visibility, is it?
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Old May 5th, 2004, 11:40 PM
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blah blah blah
somebody post a series of extreme expletives so the whole post gets deleted and it saves further blah blah blah
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