A few years a go when I lived in the WG, there was this kind of wierd guy, Pano (I may be misspelling that), living in the basement who plaved violin in the band for the local theater. You never really saw or heard much of him at all except when he would play his violin. Sometimes he was a complete asshole and would yell at me for no reason. And back then when my German was not that good, I didn’t know what he was going on about. I thought he was gonna flip out and stab me or something.

Once I was taking out the trash to the big dumpster in front of the house and as I had the lid to the dumpster open he laid into me about making sure I shut the lid properly and then he came over and shut the lid for me before I was done putting the trash in.

“Um , I’m not done yet. Can you please open the lid back up?”


So I opened it again myself and bent over to pick up the trash and he closed the lid again before I could put in the garbage.

I then verbally tore Pano a new asshole in English. It felt good. I could express myself perfectly and vent some steam at the same time. The best part was that he didn’t understand (not perfectly anyway) and I didn’t really offend him. He just gave me a look like I was crazier than he was and walked off.

I’ve been thinking about that incident for the last few days. I wish I could take it back. Last week Pauno didn’t show up for work for a few days and nobody heard anything from him. He was discovered dead in his apartment in the basement. Cause of death was liver failure due to hepatitis. That’s what I heard anyway.

D’oh! Sorry about that Pano. I didn’t really mean it. I always enjoyed your violin playing. It was like a free concert in the next room.

I went to a party last night where I saw some friends I haven’t seen since before the election. Sometimes it’s annoying to be the token Ami in the crowd. Multiple conversations went along these lines:

German acquaintance: So what do you think about the election?

Me: Sucks.

German acquaintance: How did you handle it?

Me: Got drunk

German acquaintance: Does it make you sad/nervous/scared?

Me: Yes

German acquaintance: Did you cry?

Me: Maybe. Too drunk to remember.

German acquaintance: How could this happen? Are they dumb? That couldn’t happen here.

Me: I don’t know. Yes and no. Look at the German State elections a few months ago where the super right-wing party won seats in the state parliament.

German acquaintance: How could a reasonable intelligent person vote for him?

Me: I don’t know. They were scared/uninformed/gullible.

German acquaintance: Don’t they see the news/Internet/TV? Don’t they see what’s going on?

Me: I don’t know. I guess not.

German acquaintance: Don’t they have any clue how this makes America look?

Me: I don’t know. I guess they don’t care.

German acquaintance: I heard there was Voter fraud with the electronic voter machines.

Me: I heard that too. I think it’s bullshit. However, I think they should carefully audit the results so that they can determine how accurate they really are and improve the software.

German acquaintance: Does it make you homesick?

Me: Hmm, equal parts “I miss my friends and family” and “I’m glad I’m over here”.

German acquaintance: Are you sick about talking about this?

Me: Yes. Shut up and dance, Arschkrampe.

M is in Ireland with a few of her girlfriends. I’m sure it’s getting out of control but I don’t need to hear all of the details. I wish I could say I’m up to my armpits in hookers and blow but i can’t. I’m here all alone which means I will temporarily convert our apartment into Chillmost Studios. I can set up mics, stands and amps in the bedroom. Then I can run the cables into my “control room” and have a little isolation. Then I will exact my revenge on our Jerry Springer Show guest-like neighbors.


I need to get my own place. Or M has to go out of town more often.


ps: The other Chillmost. Be sure to check out the text above the windshield.

ShotgunGuide- Official Rules for Calling Shotgun

ShotgunGuide- Official Rules for Calling Shotgun:

“Section III – The Survival Of The Fittest Rules (a.k.a The Bastard Rules)

1) If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival Of The Fittest Rules on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules, excepting 1.8, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever can take it by force.

2) The driver must announce the institution of the Survival Of The Fittest Rules with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.

3) Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer to rule 1.8.”

I went to the Deutsches Panzer Museum (German Tank Museum) on Sunday. It was interesting. There were lots of a Tanks from the Third Reich and a few American (a Sherman Tank nicknamed “Battling Bitch”. Yeah that’s right) and Russian ones as well. My favorites were 2 Swedish models (Uh-huh huh huh. He said 2 Swedish models. Cool). Somehow the streamlined curves and dark grey body made them look more modern, huge, and menacingly bad-ass than the others. Actually they kind of resembled Humvees that were 4x as big.

The smell in the halls in which the tanks were on display smelled like my grandma’s garage. At various points in time my uncles stored/abandoned perpetually oil-leaking autos in her garage and I instantly remembered the smell of motor oil on concrete when I walked into the exhibit hall.

Also very interesting was an exhibit of German military pistols, revolvers, machine guns. There was also a collection of German military uniforms and medals, including those of various ranks from the Third Reich. This was especially interesting because of the way old Nazi memorabilia is handled in present day Germany. As one can well imagine, anything having to do with Nazi Germany can be a touchy subject. Most remnants of nazism have been destroyed or gotten rid of although I know a few people that still have medals their grandfathers received in the war.

Now, as far as I know, it is not illegal to possess old military/nazi memorabilia. Some people I know said it might be illegal just to own a flag with the swastika on it, but they weren’t sure. It may be illegal to sell it. I’m not sure. I think it depends on who you sell it to. In any case Ebay wants no part of it. Once again I am not a expert in the matter. It is definitely illegal to display a nazi flag in a public place without it being in some sort of historical/educational context. For example do not fly the nazi flag out in front of your house. Obviously illegal. However, displaying the flag in the context of a German military history exhibit is generally okay. Showing Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph Des Willens” just for the sake of showing it, is probably not a good idea. Approaching the film from a media/cinematic point of view is probably okay (but sometimes still controversial). Most serious students of media or film has seen it. The cinematography was really quite groundbreaking for the time.

I digress…

So when I walked into the exhibit and saw all of the Nazi uniforms along with a huge Wehrmacht flag with a swastika on it, it was kind of weird and creepy. There were medals and certificates awarded and signed by “Der Führer”. There was also the field uniform of Rommel. It was kind of like the creepy scene in Indiana Jones when he is in Berlin at the book burning with all the nazis around except I wasn’t in uniform myself and I didn’t get der Führer’s autograph.

Then of course the museum experience led to the usual retrospective inner reflection about how in the hell could something like that happen and how can we prevent it from happening again.