Friday, December 28, 2007

Back to Dresden

Today is the day I go back home.

Well, my other home anyway.

It's been an interesting trip home and I have had a good time, but I am happy to be going home again.

I have to admit that it hasn't been the most amazing trip home like it was last year. I guess the circumstances were different last year and I was expecting much more this time.

I dunno. I am a bit let down. But that's life.

So today, I do the reverse trip and hop on that plane for 12 hours and fly my ass back to Dresden.

I hope that all my flights are on time (who doesn't??) and that I get home when I am supposed to.

That's all. I'll check in when I get home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lou and Sophie

Lou is my mentor as far as photography is concerned.

He got me into the DSLR thing, and he got me into the whole world of composition, post-processing and all that comes with digital photography.

So, it's no surprise that when we got together, we did some studio shooting. He's got a studio in his basement, so, using each other as "models", we did some shooting.

It was a lot of fun!

Towards the end, his daughter came down and he picked her up and posed for the camera for about 10 seconds.

This is what I got.

I love it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hi, I'm a Mac.

I just have to say it.

I love Macs.

I am a Mac geek and probably will be til I die.

I have a new MacBook Pro now. It's got all the bells and whistles I could want.

It's shiny and new and I love it.

That's all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For a Limited Time Only

I love it.

I hate it.

Being home this time of the year definitely brings out the consumer in all of us, but when I am in a different country most of the time, I really see how much we consume with fresh eyes, so to speak.

You can't just go to the store to get "x". No. It's "x-times-2-at-50%-off-the-original-price-for-a-limited-time-only".

And in some cases, I love it. But then it gets me thinking about the attitude I see in a lot of people (myself included). And that is: "I'll get 2 just in case I need it".

But the real question is: do you really need it?

And: do you really need 2??

I overheard in a cafe someone who cannot afford their rent this month but wanted to get a Nintendo Wii because it was "at a good price".


I was at the movies with my dad yesterday and he got a drink. It was enormous. I think it was a liter. I made a joke that the drink he had in his hand was a small and he ordered the large (trying to be funny).

He said he won't order a large one because the cup holders in the theater—listen to this—can't hold the large cups.

I was shocked. I thought what he had WAS the large! Who needs to drink 2 liters of soda?

But, it's not all bad. They have these offers with useful things, too, for example: shoes, underwear, glasses and so on.

But for the simple everyday stuff like potato chips (buy one 2 pound bag, get one free!) it's a bit silly.


That's why I love it and hate it. 

Monday, December 17, 2007

USA part 1

My first few days back in the US have been good but also unexpected. Yesterday, a snowstorm swept through and pretty much rendered going outside impossible. We got about 18 inches of snow here and I was antsy yesterday towards the evening and it occured to me: I haven't done any type of exercise since I arrived.

So I tried to go out for a walk.


There are wonderful sidewalks here but no one uses them, so no one cares for them.
Sad, In Germany, everyone uses them and they are poorly maintained at best.
But...I am having a great time so far. I'll check in again in a day or so. 

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back in the USA

13 December

4 AM comes so early! I was terrified awake by my alarm after trying desperately to fall asleep—so often this happens: you want to sleep but are afraid you won't wake up.

The taxi driver was quite friendly to me, he tried small talking but I was just too damn tired for German and kinda let the conversation dissolve. I had to. He also liked to stop at every yellow light...nore money for him, I guess. I didn't care.

So, here I am in the Dresden airport. I'll try to write every step I take. Hopefully my flights will be on time and in 20 hours, I'll be home!

The appetizer:

the 45 minute flight is not even worth talking about. I had barely enough time to drink a cup of water before we started landing. I guess it's a nice warm-up to the 9 hour "main course" I"m about to go through. I am excited. I am happy. I am happy to be on the way, finally, even if it's just a small least I am on the way.

I got stopped by a surveyor who asked me questions about my advertising viewing habits. It was really cool that I understood 8 of the 10 questions completely, and the other 2 she needed to ask me in a different way. I understood the words, just not the overall meaning.

I think I am coming down with a cold. I've managed to doge the bullet so far, but the day I leave for the US?? Come on!! I didn't want to stay health til now. Really. I was hoping to be sick a few weeks ago so I wouldn't have to endure some cold while home.

I hope it's a cold and not the flu. Shit...that would suck.

Boarding begins in an hour and I am surprised at how few people are here. Isn't New York a popular city?? Don't people want to go there? Of course there will be a last minute push and I probably will be sat next to either an obnoxious person or a really big person. Or a really big obnoxious person.

Such is my luck.

9 hours on a plane is a lot. Ok, I know it isn't Sydney or San Francisco, but it's damn far enough! I hope it's only 9 hours and not the 14 hour drama that happened last year. I won't speak German on the plane. I am officially on vacation. No German. No intellect.. Just unadulterated stupidity and least to Lufthansa. :-)

But really, I CAN speak to them in German when it benefits me. Typical how I always weigh the benefits in a situation. Don't we all? Well, I use my English to keep them on guard. It's my turn to relax and not think. Really. I don't want to do any unnecessary thinking!

50 minutes til boarding. How much more can I write? I bought a book about a bounty hunter. I have no idea if it's good yet. It was something to read. I probably won't even open it on the plane. I always do this! I think: "yeah, I'll read a book on the plane" and NEVER do.

Fuck, the plane is overbooked! What the fuck is that??!!

The main course:

I got the flight. Yes, it was overbooked, but since I was up at 4:30 checking in, I had a seat. Way in the back. The flight was pretty typical except for the nice fact that I slept for just a little bit. It's funny how you can divide time when you have nothing else to do on a plane. I kept making up strange math equations for how long it'd take us to get to New York. (there was a status update and told us, I just had to do the math to make sure)

Getting into New York was fine, no problems at all and I even got rebooked to an "earlier" flight with jetblue (for no extra money, thank you very much, American service!)

The dessert:

The problem was, and I think that God hates me, was that New York State was sacked in with a snow storm. Last year was fog, this year snow, next year fire and brimstone...So...the earlier flight wound up being only 45 minutes earlier. But I got in to Rochester at 9:15, my parents were happy, and I slept like a log til my body woke me up at 4 (that's when I am writing this).

So...unlike last year, I got in on the same day, and I am a bit tired, but overall happy to be here for Christmas.

I'll try to write more. I just wanted to let those who do care know that I am alive and everything is okie dokie.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Things I am looking forward to:

  • Seeing my family and friends
  • Going to a bookstore and all the books are in my language
  • SHOPPING (I know it could be a woman thing, but the service in the US is better)
  • My new laptop
  • Starbucks
  • American Pizza
  • Sleeping in my old bed

And if all goes well, in 36 hours most of it will be fulfilled!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Zen and the Art of Pumpkin Bread

I don't know where this entry will go.

I don't have any kind of plan.

But, I was thinking a bit recently about selling one of my electric guitars, you know, since I don't really play in a band now and it's senseless to have two guitars.

Then I even went further and thought about selling both my electrics.

But I can't.

Follow me here for a second, I am not going to say that I am SO good and fate, or whatever you call it, has shown me I should play guitar.

But that is kinda what I am going to say.

See, there are many things that I have tried in my life and few I can say I have loved.

Guitar playing is one. Making coffee is another. So is photography.

"Bob the graphic designer" doesn't sound right. Neither does "Bob the housekeeping guy"

Or the "cookie guy". Or the "trombonist" (although now that I think about it, I regret putting it down...the trombone, not the cookie)

I really cannot imagine my life without a guitar playing some part in it. I am not a guitar god, nor am I good enough to be a working musician. I just like what I play and I have been fortunate enough to have had some really great experiences in bands.

I think of some of my friends/musicians and I can say that THEY are x (x meaning the master of the instrument they play).

I have a friend who was a talented drummer and he sold his drum set and walked away from drumming. That was a sad day because he was a really talented drummer. And I played with him in a band.

I dunno what it is. Maybe my playing guitar is a metaphor for my clutching at my youth, not wanting to let go of it. I have been tinkering with the thing for 18 years, why give up now?...

Maybe I don't want to grow up. Or: I don't want to grow up that much.

I buy into the Buddhist idea that we should be like children in life and look at everything as new and wonderful as I child does. I agree that we try to constantly compartmentalize everything we experience into one thing or another...good/bad/funny/serious/etc. To be a child at heart always. Always young. I like that.

This reminds me of the pumpkin bread I made today. I gave some to Ivana and she told me right away that it is like "somethinginherlanguageIcouldn'tremember" but it tasted totally different and it was shaped different. And I thought that this was funny. She was struggling (not really struggling) to identify with what I had made—something new to her—and she was trying to put it into a box that she knows. Something comfortable.

We all do this. I think it's human to do, but I also think it robs us of genuinely experiencing something truly wonderful.

Like my pumpkin bread.

But I digress.

I guess it's like this: is my giving up guitar surrendering my youth? Or is keeping my guitar denial of my mortality?

Did any of this make sense?