Things to do while home sick in bed

  • Program cell phone to play Innagaddadavida when it rings. Next challenge: Black Dog (tough)
  • Spend 8 hours trying to install Mysql on iBook. Realize that it is installed just fine but you made a syntax error 8 hours ago and you’ve been trying to fix something that wasn’t broke in the first place.
  • Reinstall TYPO3 and realize that after all that bullshit you installed the wrong version of Mysql, start over
  • wait for to work for just once when you want it to this week.
  • Cough
  • Sneeze
  • blow nose


Good news:

  • I am an uncle. On Thursday, March 24th, 2005, my sister Betsy and her husband Jorge had a baby girl: Yness Sofia Martinez. Yeah!!
  • My brother Ben turned 20 on Easter Sunday

Bad news:

  • I am sick with a big thick snotty cold.
  • I was in bed for most of the weekend and will probably have to miss work tomorrow as well.

On a completely unrelated topic, I think “No Quarter” is my new favorite Led Zeppelin song showcasing John Bonham’s drumming skills. It’s not too fancy, but he hits all the right notes in all the right places.

Home Sweet Studio

An interesting article about the increasing number of home studios and the effect this has had on the the bid recording studios.

There’s a tambourine in Adam Pierce’s bedroom, two upright pianos and some Balinese gamelan instruments in his living room, a Celtic harp near his television set. Piled up next to the basement stairs are four drum kits in their cases. Take a left at the laundry room and there’s the recording studio, a low-ceiling den where drums, a guitar and a vibraphone are set up and battered amplifiers and reverb units are stacked against a wall. The control room, where Mr. Pierce records nearly everything on an old 16-track reel-to-reel tape recorder – 13 of the tracks still work – is a few steps away. It smells a little dank, since bathroom pipes run behind the mixing board.

3 Articles

Here are three articles from the English version of the F.A.Z. . The first two deal with the serious and sad plight of many Muslim women living in Germany and other European countries. The last article is an American’s light-hearted account of his experience of returning home after living in Germany for a few years.

Putting an end to the multicultural dream

Sometimes an issue hangs in the air for a long time. And then, from one moment to the next, it captures everyone’s attention. When that moment comes, people wonder how the topic could have been ignored for so long.

‘Honor’ killings shock Germans

Since the murder of Hatin Sürücü on Feb. 2, the German community has turned its attention to previously taboo subjects, such as forced marriage and violence against women in Turkish homes. Sürücü, a 23-year-old Turkish woman, was shot down at a bus stop near her home in Tempelhof, a suburb of Berlin.

You’re so German!

It was my first trip back home to the United States in almost two years. I hadn’t started wearing strange color pants or Birkenstocks yet, so I figured I hadn’t changed that much. But oh was I wrong!

Éireann go Brách

Oh Look! Blogger is working today.

On Monday a coworker celebrated his 30th birthday. Because he is still unmarried he had to sweep at the Marktplatz. It works like this. Any man who is still unmarried by his 30th birthday has to go to the Rathouse in his hometown and sweep a huge pile of dirt/sawdust up. He is usually slightly drunk to begin with and dressed in some ridiculous outfit. He has to sweep until all the sawdust is all swept up or until he gets a kiss from a virgin. If he gets a kiss, the person who turns 30 next has to finish the job.

T. was dressed in a bright orange shaggy jacket about 10 sizes too small, a furry Elmer Fudd-like hunter’s cap and huge round black sunglasses. So in other words, he looked like a member of Dee-lite. The sawdust was laid out in the shape of a big 30 and there were 30 small bottles of liquor (schnapps, jägermeister, etc.) buried in the debris which he had to drink as soon they were discovered. He was almost done with the sweeping up the 3 when a big dog belonging to someone in attendance ran up to the plastic trash bag and tore it up spreading sawdust everywhere. Heh.

Seeing as he is a native Lüneburger, lots of childhood friends and former classmates showed up to watch him make a fool of himself.

As the small bottles of alcohol began to take effect he started harassing any woman walking by, who by any slight chance might be a virgin:

“Hey, that kid adopted?”

“Please give me a kiss. No? Fine, I’ll die from alcohol poisoning then, thanks alot.”

“Ever kissed a boy before? Now’s your chance.”

Finally some cute girl around 19 gave him a kiss. Whether she was a virgin or not, we’ll never know, but needless to say we all had our doubts.

How Germany Can Drive You Crazy

Oh man oh man!

I know exactly the frustration this American guy went through to get his German driver’s license.

“Germany recognizes only the licenses of 24 U.S. states that have taken the trouble to negotiate a reciprocity agreement. If you come from one of the states that hasn’t — in my case, New York — you’re out of luck. [Ironically, clueless U.S. tourists can drive all they want, but permanent residents, fluent in the language and immersed in the culture, need a license.]”

My last American license was issued in Connecticut and they have some sort of agreement with Germany so that I only had to take the written test. The thing that pisses me off though is that he didn’t have to give up his American license. I did. 10 minutes of arguing with the life-sucking force of German bureaucracy didn’t help. I no longer have an American driver’s license. Every time I go back I forget to get it renewed. Bah!

Des einen Brot, des andern Tod

Bonkers over Bread | Culture & Lifestyle | Deutsche Welle | :

“Germany has more kinds of bread than any other country and every year new varieties are released to an enthusiastic public. They call bread the staff of life and indeed, Germans would have a very hard living without it.”

This is true. Brot is everywhere. So good luck with that Atkins diet if you come to Germany. Maybe that is why that fad never seemed to have caught on here. Give up bread? Das kannst Du vergessen! However, the article does say that low-carb bread is gaining in popularity with the health conscience crowd. Low-carb bread? That is like having dehydrated water.

In America there are mainly three kinds of bread: white, whole wheat and rye. If you can find a real bakery you can probably find other varieties as well but the selection is never as diverse as it is in Germany.

Not saying it’s better or worse, just different.

Random German vocabulary: The German word for supper is Abendbrot literally “evening-bread”.

Blogger Sorta Sucks

I made some template changes and then republished all the blog entries but when I do that Blogger likes to replace umlauts and apostrophes with wacky symbols and nonsense. Damn. So if you see strange symbols, don’t worry. I know.

There is a bar here called, wait for it…..wait….The WunderBar (sigh). It had to move shop recently due to a conflict with the previous landlord. They were supposed to have the grand opening in their new location last night with free music and booze. Unfortunately there were some problems with building permits and bureaucracy so they cancelled it. But what about all the people that showed up? Well they still provided free booze. That was cool.

The place was not at all close to being finished. It still looked like a construction site on the inside. It reminded me of some rave I was at once in an old house that was being renovated except there were no glow sticks, pacifiers, stuffed animal backpacks or cracked-out kids dressed like Japanese manga characters. It was definitely and older crowd.

A long time ago I discussed getting my own radio show. It didn’t happen for a variety of reasons:
1. I forgot about it.
2. The guy I discussed it with forgot about it.
3. I didn’t have time.

I saw him at the party last night though and he said I can still do the show whenever I want. I just have to call him up and let him know when I have time. Ganz locker Alter. So hopefully I will get that going when things calm down at work.

Oh, Hello There!

I got linked to by BusinessWeek last week. Check it out!: Blogging’s Cure for the Expat Blues.

“ONLINE THERAPY. The big question: Is anyone reading Dispatches from France, An American in London, Notes from Germany, and the rest? Apparently so. Quoting the traffic counter at Dispatches from France, Vivi says she gets about 100 readers a day. Other expat blog writers report similar numbers.”

100 visits a day sounds about right. Thanks to this article I see I got about 400 visits a day last week and it has slowly tapered off. Those 15 Minutes are up.

I don’t really know why I started this blog. I’ve never considered myself a particularly good writer and I’ve never kept a journal longer than a few weeks. The website was here before the blog. I had to build it for a course I took at the nearby Uni. It is good to let my family and friends know what’s going on. That wasn’t necessarily my intention when I started it though. It’s cool though that it turned out like that. I started it after I had already lived here for a while. I was already past the culture shock and had pretty much gotten used to the language and customs.

As far as the blog goes I don’t care how many hits I get, I don’t care who reads it. On the other hand, I am careful about what I write about. Because of my visa situation I can’t really risk getting “Dooced”. Like most of the other expat bloggers, I have a lot of stuff going on in my life that I don’t/can’t blog about. It’s nobody’s business but mine and it would probably interest no one. The concept and thought of family, friends and strangers reading what I write is kinda cool though. It would be interesting if I got thousands of visits everyday, but I don’t consider myself that die-hard of a “Blogger” to promote the site and provide the sort of content that would keep that many people coming back.