Chillmost 2006 Year End Wrap-Up

A year ago today I was having a heart attack. Yeah! The aftermath of that was definitely a defining experience for me this past year. 3 hospital visits and a 3 week Reha stay, lots of pills, needles, blood, poking, prodding, hoses, tubes, not to mention lots of anxiety and just a general feeling of WTF?…. and I’m feeling pretty good. I go jogging at least twice a week. I quit smoking. Well, I still might sneak a puff from someone every now and then, but that has become a seldom occurrence. I try to eat better and drink more water and less alcohol.

Chillmost’s favorite albums of the year:

  1. Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth
  2. The Greatest by Cat Power
  3. Awesomer by Blood On the Wall
  4. Dozemarypool‘s eponymous debut

Other year highlights include…

  • Visited the following places:
  • Turned 30
  • Purchased Fender Stratocaster
  • Quit band of last 5 years
  • Started search for new musical directions

The trip to Rome was one of the highlights. That was a lot of fun. Another bright blip on the timeline of 2006 was my friend Bob visiting me from New York. We braved the Hamburger Reeperbahn, the Berlin party-scene and the Amsterdam red-light district. It was a whole lot of the kind of fun you don’t blog about.

And of course, I rocked. Hard.

Das Lü-Syndrom

First time visitors to Lüneburg and new residents may notice that a lot of the city’s buildings are crooked. This is due in part to the old salt mining industry that made the city very wealthy in the Middle Ages. Here is more information about this from Erik Meinhardt (pdf, loads kind of slow, pg. 28).

When I first lived in Lüneburg I lived in a WG. Our building was so crooked, that when you chopped vegetables or fruit in the kitchen, you had to hold on to them tightly or put some sort of barrier at the end of the table. If you let go of a tomato or an apple, it would roll off of table, across the floor, out the door and into the hall. Then, if Steffi had her door open, it would roll into her room and clear to the other side of the house. Good thing she didn’t have a door leading to a balcony, otherwise the fruit would probably roll across the street into the park. Apparently, the neighbors in the apartment upstairs had the same problem because we could hear it happening. First we would hear a thud and then the sound of whatever it was that was dropped, rolling across the floor, followed by the sound of feet shuffling as the person chased after it.

While searching on YouTube I found what appears to be a student film with a humorous take on this phenomenon. It is in German, but the sight gags are pretty funny.

Das Lü-Syndrom: Part 1, Part 2.

Mit Schuß Bitte!

I have just a few presents left to shop for. Shopping in the Lüneburg city center can be quite annoying at this time of year. The Marktplatz is packed with people doing the same thing I’m doing, namely getting their last minute shopping done. The bonus of all this is stopping for a nice hot Glühwein on the way home.

You gotta watch it with that stuff though. Too much of it will have you puking into the Ilmenau.

Hier Wohnt Keine Matilda!

Prostitution is legal in Germany. Every town has its scene. Hamburg has the Reeperbahn and red-light district. Berlin has Oranienburger Strasse. Even little Lüneburg has a small street offering käufliche Liebe out in the open. Most of the action is supposedly in small 1 or 2 room brothels. In the street where we used to live, down about 5 houses, there was a Puff. It was very discreet. There was never any shady antics going on other than a few sheepish looking guys nervously waiting around after they ran the doorbell. No one, at least in Lüneburg and as far as I know, has made a fuss or tried to have them shut down.

Apparently there is also a brothel 2 doors down from our new place. Certain clues gave it away: Red lights in the window, a few nervous looking fellas entering and leaving 20-30 minutes later, and the names on the doorbell keep changing every few weeks. It is still very discreet and doesn’t seem to be causing a problem.


Last week M. was home alone when the doorbell rang. Thinking it was me, she opened the door excitedly. There was a nervous looking middle-aged guy wearing glasses and a hat standing on our doorstep with his face in a shadow.

Uh, ist Matilda da?

Hier wohnt keine Matilda!


The poor schlub probably thought he hit the jackpot there for a second.

Oh wie geil! Wah-wah-wee-wah!

I can imagine that he was disappointed when the door slammed in his face and he realized he was at the wrong address.

Oh Scheisse!

Es ist warm

No Winter for Europe via SpiegelOnline

Only two weeks before the official start of winter, Europe is sweating. An unusually warm autumn — which was last week credited for Germany’s fourth quarter economic surge — is forcing ski resorts to market hiking holidays, and bears to seek out places cold enough to hibernate.

Won’t somebody think of the bears?


The Goethe Institute held a competition to find the word that would most benefit the English language.

Elaborating she said that “one-track specialist” was not quite right because “a specialist is nobody you would call an idiot. A one-track specialist is somebody who knows a lot about a particular field; a Fachidiot as well.”

“The difference is that a one-track specialist still notices what is going on around him, in the world which has nothing to do with university. A Fachidiot simply does not, or not anymore.”

Read more about it at the EU Observer.

This might seem like what English speakers would call a nerd. I assure you, it is different. An Übernerd perhaps? It’s like Gemütlichkeit. Yes, it can mean cozy or comfortable, but it just doesn’t hit the nail on the head.

This article also mentions one of my all-time favorite German words: Backpfeifengesicht – a face that cries out for a fist in it. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Arschkrampe.

Here is more info about so-called “migrant words” that have German origins.

Here’s a secret for those who kept reading this far….

Germans, when prefixing a word to get the meaning that is intended by English speakers with the prefix Über-, would probably use Ober- instead. In some cases Über- might work, but I find that Ober- is used more often by the natives to express the desired meaning.

At an American office, you might here this: I dunno how the server should be configured. Let’s ask whatshisname in the basement. He’s the übergeek around here.

German: Keine Ahnung wie der Server konfiguriert werden soll. Frag mal den Heini im Keller. Der ist hier der Oberfachidiot.

If you are unsure, just use Mega-. It works both ways and usually leaves no doubt. Hää Alda, Du bist ja ein Megatrottel!

Back to the Business at Hand

For those that didn’t know, I went to the US for a short visit last week for Thanksgiving. It was my first time celebrating Thanksgiving since 2000. I have been here that long. I went to St. Pete Beach in Florida and visited my parents. It was unfortunately a short visit but it was well worth it. When I got back the Weihnachtsmarkt and lights in Lüneburg were in full swing. Now that I have been back for a week, I have noticed that the weather is really warn considering it is already December. I had a Glühwein the other day with a few friends and it felt weird drinking it while not freezing my ass off.

I’ve been jogging with a group for the last 6-7 months to keep in shape. I think I may have messed up my right foot. After I have been sitting or laying for a while and then I get up, it hurts when I put weight on it. After a few steps and stretching it out, it feels better but I went to the doctor yesterday (waited in line for 2 hours fo a 10 minute meeting) and got a prescription for shoe lifts for running. While I was there I had a whole list of ailments for which I was sure to get ärztliche Überweisungen (I swear, once you hit 30 you start falling apart). As far as I know it works like this here: If you have a problem you have to go to your normal family doctor before you can go to a specialist. Even if you know the doctor is just going to give you a referral, you still have to get it from him first before you can go to the specialist. There may be some exceptions; I don’t know. I also don’t know if a semicolon belongs in that sentence. Maybe, maybe not. Read the disclaimer above.

Right now I am listening to Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on vinyl. Earlier I was listening to Willie Nelson’s forgotten concept album “Tougher Than Leather”. It is really good. Meike got these records at a flea market a long time ago but I only just listened to them for the first time after hooking up an old record player she inherited from her grandmother. Yeah.