Thursday, March 29, 2007

We're on our last day in the "mothership" - so much left undone and that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomache although I know that tomorrow at lunch I will be with good friends I haven't seen for months. My hair is softer, my skin is clearer - is it the chlorine, the soft water, the Dail soap, or is it just home?

The NJ DMV is populated by at least a few idiots. How many of you know what to do with an umlaut in English? Mueller - anyone? That's not what the fine folks at Motor Vehicle Services thought. My marriage certificate (already in English) would have to be translated by the consulate. I explained that they do not, nor have they in the recent past offered translation services, but she was not to be moved. So we called New York. U umlaut to UE is common sense and everyone knows that - there is nothing we can do for you.

So we were sneaky and evil and went to another office. No problem. She squinted, she asked her supervisor and she issued me my new license.

vici, vici, vici

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Life has been so hectic. I am sorry for not blogging and not responding, but here I am taking the last train in this morning and I have to leave early this afternoon to buy Manhattan eye shadow at DM, which apparently isn't available in Costa Rica. :) It's ok, Laura.

The girlie weekend was great. I think I will be chewing on some stuff for a long time. And now, I will be disappearing again til I am back on the other side of the pond.

take care - bis bald!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

O brave new world, that has such people in it!

I saw some Hasidic Jews (sp?) in the train tonight - they weren't speaking English but my initial reaction was the same as I have often had with African-American looking people here (who then turned out not to be African American).

I think --- ooooh someone like me! I feel like I am home when I see them. My only conversation I ever had with actual Americans here outside of the University didn't go well. They were really jerky to me (and not members of the aforementioned groups). Sometimes a girl just gets a little homesick.

And then the guy in the seat in front of me was carrying a backpack from teh 6th annual international conference for toxic cyanobacteria.

Perhaps diversity isn't only to be found at home.

*** I am sure this offended someone, and that isn't my intent. I realize the ridiculousness of the feeling and that's why I am even mentioning it. Even if the gentlemen I saw in the train were from NYC, I doubt they would appreciate my enthusiasm. I've seen more people here with turbans than I have with unshaved side-burns.

Beware the Ides of . . .Oops, too late!

Actually, everything was ok. The worst thing I did today was not be able to understand someone's name on the phone. After having asked him to repeat the company name, I just gave up. Unfortunately, the person for whom the call was intended decided he would call back and it wasn't who he thought it was (right company, wrong guy). Situation, ultimately resolved, but I cannot understand a thing people say at the start of a telephone call - yes, that part of the call where they announce themselves and generally mention everything I need to be writing down in all of 0,35 s.

But really, that's not that bad. No, it's not my job to answer the telephone, but everyone is supposed to if the secretary is busy, and at the moment, she's not busy, she's recovering from a car accident.

On to Caesery-like thinks. . .
The Ides of March is about the only thing I am superstitious about. We read a heap of Shakespeare in highschool and a long time ago in college, the comedy theater group ran a fundraiser where you could donate and "betray" a friend on the Ides of March. Fill in the "Name of the Betrayed" and the appropriate lecture and lecturer and if permission was obtained a group in togas entered your lecture, announced that you had been betrayed and proceeded to "stab" you with plastic forks. Someone in my class betrayed our unsuspecting prof. Dr. Otto, not that you will ever read this, but you are a good sport.

I proceeded to get into a serious car accident on the Ides of March that year, for which I was responsible and in which, thankfully I was the only person hurt and not seriously. I had too many people at the hospital to take me home and I still have the stuffed bunny my friend Micah gave me. It is one of my most prized possessions - a reminder that there are people who will still love me, no matter what kind of mistakes I make. (and it was a mistake - inexperience and a badly designed intersection which has subsequently been completely realigned).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not much new in Moose-land. The weekend was full of driving. Autobahn and city driving on Saturday- more starting on a hill on Sunday. I managed to stall out down town, but this time my hysterics were all on the inside. This is important :).

Work is better and worse. Despite my many revisions and D's revisions, nothing remains of the report I wrote. The report was entirely re-written by the boss. The aren't acting like they are going to fire me - they wouldn't be spending this much time with me if they didn't feel it was still possible for it to work out.

Even thinking worst case scenario - Reasons to stay as long as I can there
1.) I can view it as a short course, I am learning so much, plus I will get a little money out of it.
2.) I need it for my resume.
3.) If it gets really bad, we can adjust our life planning - but not until I've stuck it out a while.
4.) It is better now than it was the first few days.

Not enough sleep and D. is out of town. I am taking my first night off in a while and indulging in a little DSG9, the silliest show in German TV.

In other news:
I saw a man in full-on Lederhose this morning in the train station. I don't live in Bavaria-it was the equivalent of seeing someone dressed like Big Bird walking through the train station.

I shared my commute with a friend this morning who was on his way to the airport. Lucky surprise that I took a later train.

Does anyone know of anything fun to do half-way between Philly and DC? (Something my vegetarian friends can do - so a crab restaurant is out.)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's all about being ready to drive someone else's standard shift car from a red light on a hill. I haven't entirely got the two feet, two hands, hand-brake thing down. Fortunately, I err on the careful side and stall instead of rolling backwards.

Work was really bad the past few days. (Almost fell in the bedroom last night trying to get around the drying rack - I regained my balance and didn't knock my head against a drawer. I was sorry I couldn't get myself krankgeschriben. Now that's a bit messed up.) Today was not as bad and I feel nearly euphoric. Wacky, huh? We found a binder that had been missing.

Again - today was alright. We will see. So on to some other stuff.

Why are things for little girls marketed in the exact same color of pepto bismol pink all over the world?

Does champions league soccer really matter to anyone?

I met my husband for the first time two years ago tomorrow. :)

and to wrap it up
International Frauentag, Schmauentag

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On the autobahn as a driver for the first time ans lived to tell the tale. . . well at least to report it here. Spent some time the past two days with farmers - wow, is that an dialect to deal with. Some strange goings on with a colleague as well. Does he keep directing me inappropriately because he doesn't know himself? Boy, I sure hope so.

Practiced driving for 2.5 hours tonight. I still stall out when I have to use the hand brake starting on a hill. Otherwise, it is generally going well.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yesterday, slept a lot, went grocery shopping. Today slept late again, went to lunch at the in-laws, practised driving (got to get used to the whole manual transmission thing), and now I am spending a couple of hours working on translation tasks. As my week nights now consist of showering and laying out clothes and lunch for the following day before going to bed, I had better wrap up what I can and announce the end of my availability for this kind of work.

Re water contained in tall structures and towns containing such structures.
I have no idea what the place is like. It's only day 2, but I may get to know the place well. I may well be spending 12 hours a day there.

sorry so stressed, but i gotta go

Thursday, March 01, 2007

So I am not fired yet. Everyone was really nice, but I knew that already. What remains to be seen is whether I am up to the tasks that will be mine. I came home and cried, a lot, but I am feeling a bit better now. Tomorrow is Friday, after all, so there is a lower limit even if I am going to start working on my first report. First day, two projects and no clue.

On the way home, I walked around a bit. There was a symbol of the city I was in that was illuminated and the wet pavement around it shone in the light and it was also clear that this job just one part of life and even if it lasts a few years, it won't be forever. As long as I am happy with where I am going at the end of the day, and I am than I can keep slogging, at least for the moment.