Notes from Germany

I am an American expat living in Germany. It's a far away land on the other side of the ocean. It's interesting and often weird here. If you read this and want to comment then email me at blog(the at symbol) If you find any spelling or grammar mistakes, you can keep them.

Monday, September 29, 2003

PB & J

The weekend was uneventful except for..peanut butter. I bought a jar of PB on thursday. Peanut butter isn't too popular here but it is available. I was feeling nostalgic for some peanut butter based meals this weekend. I made PBJ sandwiches on toasted bread, ummm. And spread it on some celery sticks. MMmmm. And PB & banana sandwiches that would make Elvis proud. Athankya. Thankyaverymuch. Meike didn't believe it would taste that good but she kept making more and more sandwiches.

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Sunday, September 28, 2003

Ich schreibe heute einen Eintrag auf Deutsch. Warum fragst du vielleicht? Weil ich das kann und ich muss, um mein Deutsch zu verbessern. Ich hab das Gefühl, dass ich langsam verliere, meine Fähigkeit Deutsch zu sprechen. Ich kann zwar fast alles noch verstehen, aber in letzter Zeit habe ich richtige Probleme mich auf Deutsch auszudrücken. Ich muss mehr auf Deutsch schreiben und auch mich mehr mit Leute auf Deutsch unterhalten. Ich wollte eigentlich einen fortgeschrittenen Deutsch Kurs bei der Volkshochschule hier in Lüneburg machen, aber die Kurszeiten passen mir und meinem Zeitplan überhaupt nicht.

Dieses Wochenende gibt's nicht viel los. Ein Bekannte von uns zieht nach Frankfort um, um ein Praktikum dort zu machen. Gestern hatten wir eine kleine Abschiedsparty. Das war nett aber meike und ich sind ziehmlich früh nach hause gegangen, weil wir so müde waren. Ich habe ein paar Änderungen auf der Webseiten gemacht, and ein paar CSS Fehler korrigiert.

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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Designed this party flyer. If your in the neighborhood you should try to make it. Back to The Boots

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Here is a list of German words I have trouble pronouncing:
1 sich erinnern
2 Tragödie
3 Eichhörnchen
4 Psychologie and other sciences. It?s just something about the -ology on the end.
5 einfügen
6 folgen. It always comes out sounding like vögeln. That can have embarrassing consequences.
7 Erhöhung
8 Milch
9 Molkerei

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Just got this in the mail from Concerned Artists & Activists:


Dear Friend,

We write you as artists and activists who believe the Democratic Party is at a
turning point.  Jim Hightower says it best -- when asked what he thinks of 3rd
parties, he says: "I'd settle for a second party."  So would we.

We want a Democratic Party that offers a real alternative to the Bush
Administration agenda of corporatism and war. 

We want Democrats to stand up against the Bush Administration's war in Iraq,
and the continuing occupation which is so costly in lives and resources.

We want a Party that stands up for genuine universal health coverage and for
expanded educational opportunities and environmental cleanup paid for by cuts in
the bloated Pentagon budget.  Our country's military spending now rivals that of
all other countries in the world combined.  Yet most Democratic presidential
candidates have declared the Pentagon off-limits to cuts.

We want a Party that challenges NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and a
system of global trade that enriches multinational corporations as it drives down
environmental and labor standards around the world.  Unfortunately, most
Democratic presidential candidates supported NAFTA and/or the WTO.

We want a Party that says no to failed criminal justice policies such as the
racially-biased "drug war" that has depleted state budgets while fueling the
prison-industrial complex.

If you agree with us on what the Democratic Party should stand for, there is one
sure way of telling the world: Support Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic

Dennis Kucinich is a unique and courageous member of Congress -- the first
presidential candidate to oppose Bush's war in Iraq, and one who has never
wavered in his opposition. 

He's the only presidential candidate who voted against the "USA PATRIOT Act."
We know Dennis.  We admire him.  We endorse him. 

If you agree with us on what direction the Party and our nation must take -- even
if you aren't endorsing Dennis yet -- please consider sending a donation to help
him spread his progressive Democratic message to more and more people.

Contributions are needed now, as the Sept. 30 is the financial filing deadline --
and your donation to the campaign is doubled thanks to federal matching funds.
It's quick and easy to donate.  Please do so by clicking here:

Join us and Dennis in telling the world that only a Democratic Party with firm
principles can inspire and win. 

Thank you,
Ed Asner, Ben Cohen, James Cromwell, Ani DiFranco, 
Barbara Ehrenreich, Elliott Gould, Mimi Kennedy

For more information on Dennis Kucinich:
Please forward our email to others who share our concerns and values.

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Had a show the other night in the small village of Hoopte. It was a big party with lights, video projectors, stages, sound systems, beer , bratwurst, motorcycles, and go-go dancers.

A few things that rule:
Star Time 4 cd box set from James Brown. Ugh!
Hitsville 4 cd boxset from Motown.
Döners with lots of goat cheese.
Cola with Jägermeister.
Tube amps.
punk rock girls.
punk rock girls with cute glasses and tattoos.
When shit works the way it is supposed to.
When your 10 cents short when buying something and the cashier doesn't sweat it.
Second song on FooFighters album "one by one". The one where Dave Grohl and Jack Black are in the video together.
When you are playing together with other musicians and you get that groove and it feels good.

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Really weird weather here today. First it was raining really hard but the sun was shining bright. Then it was super stormy and dark without a drop. I took a picture of some windmills on my way home from work.

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Monday, September 22, 2003

Awww yeah. Cha-Cha-Cha-Changing up the colors with some CSS. It's so easy. Let me know what you think.
Nothing new coming to my mind right now. Its thundering and lightning outside. I probably shouldn't be on the computer. Oh I know what to wite about. Something that has been irritating me for the last week und zwar...

Now I hate to say I told you so, but I did. The reasons for going to war in Iraq were completely bogus. The American people were lied to and so many innocent americans and Iraqis had to die. It's sick. The two main reasons were Weapons of Mass Destruction© and Saddams involvement with 911©. Time, the great teller of truth, has so far not revealed one iota of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Dubya, the great king of monkeys, has just recently admitted that there is no connection between Saddam and 911©. But what is this? Its from the White House's very own website.

Hmmm. Look real close at point number 2. Does that mean he lied to congress? I am not a lawyer but it seems a little shady. Then again so does everything else about this presidency. So. Anyway. It makes me angry that so much life was wasted (on both sides), so many resources squandered, so much sympathy and good will towards Amerca simply pissed away. I don't understand how this guy is not already impeached. Clinton gets a blowjob and its a constitutional crisis, but Dubya sends thousands of young men and women off to a foreign land to fight a bullshit war for the political and economical gains of his friends and there is not a revolution going on? not even an armed skirmish? America needs an uprising. I don't get it. I just don't get it. That would never happen again in Germany. It happened here once and it will, I hope to God, never happen again. Europeans have seen what happens when leaders run amok with unchecked powers. I've heard a few Americans say that they don't mind giving up some freedom so that the man can better protect them. Yeah, thats what the germans said after Hitler brought in some sweeping changes after the Reichstag was firebombed. At the time the communists were blamed but history has shown that it was actually Hitler's henchmen.

I know the constitution is supposed to provide a legal and stable way for the people to swap out unfavorable and/or dangerous leaders, but it doesn't seem to be working. If all of America's veterans went to war and fought to protect the freedoms and stabilities offered by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I don't understand how Americans let this kind of shit keep happening. When politicians in Germany are found to be doing something shady their careers are over in about 2 days. Perhaps it has something to with the history. Get the diseased apples out of the bunch before the rest go bad. Don't get me wrong. Not all Geman politicians are angels. They are politicians. Of course there are a few snakes in the grass. There just seems to be a sense of accountability in the German political system that's all.

Manno, Jetzt bin ich schlecht gelaunt. Verdammte Sheiße.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Optical illusions. I should go to bed.

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Happy Birthday Betsy!!!

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Monday, September 15, 2003

This weekend in Lüneburg was the, excuse me, Das Oktoberfest. It is nothing, so I have heard, compared to the real Oktoberfest in Munich. There it is inadvisable to look under the tables unless you want to look at a flowing river of puke and piss. In Lüneburg it was not so intense but interesting none the less.

On the first night, me and Jens didn't go the Das Oktoberfest but instead went on a short pub crawl at the end of which we decided to stop at a Kneipe called "Zur Neuen Sülze." Usually this place is pretty tough but tolerable. I had a really interesting birthday there. What we didn't take into account this night of course was Das Oktoberfest going on about half a mile away. When the tent closed down at about three am, those who were not yet drunk enough came over to finish the job and do it right. Whenever I go there they are always playing really bad 80's shit. I like to piss people off by putting "Playing With Fire" by The Rolling Stones and anything from James Brown. Last weekend was no exception. In went the Euros. We got some fries and sat in the corner out on the deck to observe the going-ons. This night was especially colorful. Nazi skinheads on one side staring down the Turks, Turks on the other side staring down the skinheads, and Hells Angels just waiting for the fun to begin. People making out and getting naked. Unfortunately it wasn't anybody I would like to see making out and getting naked. Then some really funny guy (sarcasm) was pulling down his pants and farting in peoples faces. He was really amusing himself. I'll think I will hold off going there for a while. It was a little traumatic.

Oh yeah. Back to Das Oktoberfest:
It was basically a fun fair with rides and games and a huge tent filled with long picnic tables, a non-stop oompa-oompa band in the corner, and lots of waitresses with medieval cleavage serving up the beer. So we went in and had a small beer. In the case of Das Oktoberfest, that means a half liter. We also had a few tasty sausages with mustard.

Fairs and carnivals always bring out a certain element of society that you usually don't see that often. I mean, where else does one go to see a family of mullets? I'm not just talking one or two. I mean the whole family. 4 smaller mullets all following the Alpha-Mullet? A fun-fair/carnival of course. Where do they hang out during the day when there is no carnival? It's not like they follow it around, thats what the carnies are for (Another social stratum in and of itself). Anyway, I digress. I'll publish my essay on German Mullets some other day.

The highlight of my short visit to das Lüneburger Oktoberfest was during a song from the oompa-oompa band. Some elderly fella apparenly thought it was a group participation sing-along and proceeded to jump alone onto the table. After 5 seconds he fell onto the ground and immediately stands back up, uninjured, minus toupeé. He promptly picked it up, dusted it off, and plopped it back on his head. Needless to say it looked very unnatural after that. Sorta like a critter, or a tribble, or..something. I'm sure he had fun though.

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Well, I was trying to take a pause from the news and other assorted media because it was just driving me crazy. It is just so depressing. The Man In Black, Ritter, and this:
I for one welcome our new Orwellian overlords.

Or this:I would like to support such a program but I can also understand why a lot of kids might feel the way they do about America's past and especially America's present. Take a look at this article published the day after in the Guardian concerning thousands of top secret documents that have been declassified in the last 5 years:Oh it gets better....Read the article and then ask yourself how it feels to be a proud American. That is if your were lucky enough to be born in the middle of the North American continent. I'm all for teaching kids to love their country. It's that love for one's country that should inspire them to make it better, but hell can you blame them for saying, "Aw fuck it"? I don't understand how when people hear about what went on in Chile, Viet Nam, Afgahnistan, Iraq, Central America, Panama, Etcetera, et-fucking-cetera, that they don't get mad and demand that heads roll. Innocent people being killed for economical gain is not what I was taught to be American Values. Future History Teachers of America! Can we get some Truth? Die Zeit ist reif für eine Revolution.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

War of words Interesting article about English words invading the German language. Sometimes I hear words that are obviously English but I have no idea what they mean because they are used in a completely different context. This is especially common in the IT sector, in which I work. Often I have no idea what someone is talking about and half of the words are in English. Kids on the street here are all about cool English phrases. "Whazzup" They often sound like they are trying sooo hard to be cool and I just laugh at them with bored amusement. I also hear tough guy english phrases translated directly into German. For example: aufsteppen for Step off! or "Ich werde dich kappen" for "I'm gonna cap you." German kids with blue eyes and blond hair dress to the nines like hard-core thuggin' gangstas but they have no idea that if they were to be seen like that in SouthSide Chicago or in Compton they would have their lilly white asses handed to them so fast. It is so weird how American pop culture is so prevalent everywhere. Not a put down. Just an observation.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

There is not much new going on here. I've been having a couple of hard weeks at work. I wish I could get into it here but I can't. I've been putting up with way more than I have to. I've been pushed real close to getting up and walking out. There is a stupid little stamp in my passport called an "Aufenthaltserlaubnis" that won't let me do it.
Hello Rock. Say, do you know my friend Hard Place?
I did go to the Handwerkerstrasse in the Aldstadt here in Lüneburg on Sat. The Altstadt (old city) is the oldest part of Lüneburg. All the buildings and houses are carefully restored and they look really good considering they are all like 600(!) years old. Anyway, they blocked off the streets and even covered up all modern street signs and lights. The local craft guilds set up traditional workshops and hawked their wares. There was local brewed beer, traditional medieval food (uh no thanks, the chunky mustard looks a little too traditional. I'll pass), and even a witch being dragged through the streets. Fun for the whole family.
I finished the Harry Potter book. Not bad, not bad. Little bit more psychologically dark than the others. Lots of British sayings like nutter and blimey!. They even say "Damn" and "Hell". Sweet.

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Thursday, September 04, 2003

Here is a great link concerning the false notion held by many Americans who believe that Saddam Hussein was in some way responsible for Sept. 11. If you are one of the 45% of Americans who believe this, you are wrong and have been lied to. Have a nice day.

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Here are pictures from my trip to America.

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