Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Since returning to Münster in the end of December, we don’t have too much to report that is of any interest. I completed the school semester at the end of January and have mainly been in research mode since then.  Research mode basically means that I have been locked in my office working on research projects for my dissertation, only pausing to come out to eat, sleep and occasionally bathe.  I have thought and written about the greek letter ‘theta’ more than I ever thought would be possible, thanks to a project I am working on that analyzes bias.  If you would have asked me 10 years ago what theta was, the most technical answer I would have provided would be that it was the sorority at Florida State with the highest ratio of good looking blondes.  If college Bryan could see me today, he would have given me a wedgie.

A couple of weekends ago, we took a break from hibernation and enjoyed one of my favorite times of the year: Karneval season.  I was really excited this year because: 1. Our apartment in Münster-Hiltrup is on the Karneval parade route for our city and 2. Dylan is at the age where he should be excited about the parades and subsequent candy that is passed out to the kids. 

The first part actually played out like I thought it would.  We have some pictures of us on the day of our towns Karneval parade. I dressed up as a lion. Dana was a beer mug. Dylan was, well, dressed as himself.  For some reason, he was not into the Karneval season as much as his parents were.  He even refused to dress up for his kindergartens Karneval party.  When we asked him if he would like to at least color his hair for the festivities, he looked at us like we were the dumbest/most uncool people in the world to even propose such an idea.  I didn’t think kids gave that look to their parents until they were at least 12 years old. 

Anyway, Dylan enjoyed the first half of the parade, but wanted Dana to take him upstairs before the second half started.  That left me standing there by myself picking up candy for Dylan. 

Getting the party started on our balcony!

Dylan, dressed as "himself"

Even Brady got in the spirit!

Best view of the parade: our balcony.

It's time to go inside now.

This contraption is not really comfortable for either of us.

Undeterred by Dylan’s antics, I thought he would like it better if we went to the big children’s parade in Cologne on the Sunday before Rosenmontag.  Maybe if he saw a bigger parade with more people, he would come around on the idea.  ‘Only’ 250,000 people attend the Sunday parade in Cologne, compared to the 1,500,000 that watch the parade on Monday, so as a responsible parent it seemed smart to go on this day.  Dana called me ‘Clark Griswald’ due to my blind optimism that this was a good idea. She elected to stay home with Brady. 

Again, I wore my lion costume.  Again, Dylan dressed up as himself. 

Dylan really enjoyed the train ride there, even as the train became packed with passengers to the point where we couldn’t leave our seat even if we wanted to.  Unfortunately, Dylan was instantly thrown into a bad mood once he learned that we had travelled on a train for two hours for another parade.  It was immediately evident that he didn’t want to be there.  Even Clark Griswald himself understands, “Daddy, I want to go home now.”  I made him stick around for about an hour to watch the parade while he pouted the entire time.  I had printed out a parade route map so we could walk to the new extended parade route that I assumed would have less people.  That actually worked out really well. Dylan didn’t have too much competition for a lot of candy if he really wanted to make a haul. 
After our train ride home, Dylan was so excited to tell Dana about our adventure.  The highlight of the trip as told by him?  Peeing in a corner under the bridge outside the train station because the bathroom lines were too long.  Go figure.
Dylan sleeping on the way home from the Köln Karneval parade.  It's exhausting being a poor sport.