Monday, September 29, 2008

Someone in My Life is a Dweeb

For you, the public, as my jury:

When I was back home there is a certain person in my life (who I will keep nameless) that stopped talking to me for some reason.

I say some reason because while this person has told other people why they(the indirect pronoun) stopped talking to me, I still have not been told directly.

I can speculate however.

And here is my side:

After deciding not to call this person anymore after being hung up on when I tried to call my first day home (one hour before they normally wake up) the only time I ever got a request to hang out was when I could do something for this person. (Fixing computer, etc)

Now, I have no problem with this at all. I am simply saying that to hang out "just to hang out" was never implied.

Now let me digress just for a moment. I am a morning person. And with jet lag, I was REALLY a morning person. I was up at 5 or 5:30 and by the time 8 rolled around, I was totally stir crazy.

I met my friend Lou for coffee some of the days because his hectic lifestyle has him up and going to work at 7:30.

Perfect for me.

But when 9:00 came, I was on the other side of the city, often running errands, and for me to "just" come over (the computer thing) wasn't really possible.

Now, this person could have gotten up an hour early once or twice in my 10 days in the U.S.. If I am expected to just drop what I am doing when they want me to, they'd better be at least willing to do the same.

So the last day we spoke I was already on my way out to run some errands and I got a call from them. They asked me if I could "come over to fix the xyz computer problem". I said I was already out on the other side of the city but would call when I was done and could then meet up. Well, the errand took way longer than thought and I missed the chance to meet up with them. So, I went to a wonderful beer store and spent 10 dollars on imported german beer and left a message that we could meet up when they finished work for a beer or two.

No call.

I tried the next day. No answer.

The next day, no answer.

Now...passive aggression is not the answer to anything. How am I supposed to know what I did if I am not told??!!

Plus, this person is over 30, so I can't understand that either. Grow up...hello??!!!

Now, I know I am not perfect. Far from it, actually. But how anyone can tolerate this behavior is amazing. 

I was informed that they thought my friends ran my schedule (hello???...when did you ever plan anything with me?) and to a point that may be true. Once I was stir crazy, if I had other people to meet, and I was already out, I did it. Shit, I was hung up on once and their "normal waking time" maybe isn't from time to time. Am I supposed to wait around for a call that may not come? Is that fair?

I feel emotionally manipulated...or at least that I should feel guilty for something that I really feel isn't my fault.

I know that there are 3 sides to every story, I tried to be fair and balanced with my story.

What do you all think?

In any case, how they are acting is really dweeby.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

R.I.P. Starbucks Greece

I remember about 10 years ago when it was first opened.

Hell, I'd even worked there a couple times to help out.

It's a shock that "the Borg" has decided to close one of its stores and it happens to be the closest one to my house. I could walk there in 20 minutes or so. 

The Starbucks in Greece has closed. I had to go there on their last day to get one last coffee there. I met my friend Lou there as well. He felt just as obligated to snag one last latte.

It's sad, really, when a neighborhood institution like a café (any café, not just a huge corporation) closes down due to the fucking paralyzing construction on the busiest road in the world.

Other companies have moved or closed down as well.

I'll miss the familiar neighborhood café, but gladly, there are 2 more in the area. Sadly, however, I'd need a car to get to them.


Back Home Safe and Sound

I'm home now.

It's quite amazing how much of "the German" you can tune out when you have an iPod on. I didn't have to worry about anyone talking to me. It's ok, the Germans are usually pretty "hands off" anyway.

I tried to stay awake til my normal bedtime but couldn't. I went to bed at 8 and woke up at 9AM.

That's 13 hours. And if you know me, I can never sleep more than 8. Amazing.

But I had a strange dream that kept going even after I woke up to pee: I was somehow convicted to death because I shot someone (but didn't really, I was framed). It went right up to the moment where I had to go to the chair (at least that is what I was telling myself in the dream because I didn't actually see it) and somehow escaped (someone raided the jail) and was on the run for the rest of my sleeping moments (but not really because I met friends to play pool).

Then I woke up to realize I was in Germany. I have no idea which is worse.

I have no idea if that is a metaphor for my life here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back in Sausage Land

Hey all.

I made it to Munich at least. I am sitting here waiting for my 11:25 flight staring at a 9:00 flight to the same city but alas, I cannot get on due to my luggage being checked in for the 11:25 flight.

*sigh* welcome back to the land of the inflexible,

And, to get a wonderful internet connection, I have to pay 8 euros for an hour of internet.

Welcome to the land of nothing ever, ever, being free. I already miss free wifi everywhere in the USA.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Ironically, there is a free "coffee station" where I can get unlimited coffee and tea. So I can't complain about everything...just that it's not Starbucks coffee.

Surprisingly, I am not that tired. I was able to sleep for about 6 minutes on the plane and the flight seemed to go quickly. The sunrise view from the plane was amazing. It looked like a rainbow in the horizon.

I already miss what routine I had developed in the states. But I have my own here and that should be good enough for a while anyway.

I can say that so far, I enjoy the tameness (if that is a word) of the Germans. Compared to waiting at a gate in the US, they are much more reserved and quiet. I can do my own thing and it's not a problem not to talk to anyone.

Having said that, I had a really great conversation with 3 people at a restaurant in JFK where I paid almost 40 dollars for 2 beers and a meal. But the conversation was worth every cent...and the food and drinks were also good!

Well anyway. I will definitely write more later and post some photos. I just wanted to write some things here while my thoughts are semi-fresh and partly cohesive.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How Time Flies...

It's my last full day in the states.

It's been a great time this time. The weather has been really great and I have been able to meet up with some friends.

And eat.

My god, have I eaten a lot. (Pete, I need a squash game or 10 to get back into shape!)

But, I have enjoyed every minute of it.

On Monday, my parents and I went to Niagara Falls. I haven't been there in a long time and since I wanted to try out my new camera, why not go somewhere scenic?

The place has changed quite a lot in the last 20 years. They have really renovated the strip right along the falls. I remember it being kinda dingy and now it's not so dingy anymore.

At my protest, my parents dragged me onto the Maid Of the Mist—a steamship that takes you basically into the falls. I had never been on it before and thought of it as a tourist trap.

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was the best thing I have done here. I cannot do the feeling justice by putting it into words (but I'll sure try). Once the narration finished talking about the statistics of the falls and who tried going over in a barrel, etc, they steer us to horseshoe falls and the boat driver just sits us next to the falls and you hear "ladies and gentleman, this is Niagara Falls" and then you are surrounded by the sheer force of nature. Powerful. Indiscriminate. Beautiful. The narrative stops and the falls speak for themselves. It was absolutely amazing and I was on the verge of tears because of the beauty.

And I have never, ever, been that emotional about nature before.

I had the wonderful opportunity to help my friend Lou shoot a wedding as a 2nd assistant. He had a main assistant but let me come along to see how it's done and to try out my new camera and lens. It was probably the most humid day of the year—probably in my life— due to the hurricane. Yes, we feel the hurricane even way up here. But it was quite interesting and fun to see the power you have if you carry around a huge camera. The bride feels like a rock star and the guests made comments later that the 3 photographers were impressive. Nice.

I saw only one movie so far: Batman. I saw it in Germany, but dad hadn't seen it yet and they were playing it in an IMAX theater. I am glad I saw it because the picture and sound were so much better than in Germany.

I got a chance to see my brother's band as well and I am glad I did. He gave me his CD and the content kinda sounded all the same. But the live stuff was quite good and more diverse. I am looking forward to the 2nd demo.

I am a bit disappointed in the nightlife here. There are things to do but not many people get out really unless they are die hard fans. I hope it gets better someday but I don't know how since people have to drive everywhere and therefore cannot drink. (public transportation...hello?)

Anyway...I wil be sad to go tomorrow. I'll have to get back to my normal life in Dresden but at least I'll have had a nice time here and can bring back a new camera and lens!

Monday, September 15, 2008

What I and My New Camera Can Do:


And at the request of my buddy Dan, here are the numbers:

Aperture: f/32
Shutter speed: 1.6 sec
ISO 100
Tamron 17-50mm at 17mm
Canon 40D

Processed using Aperture2


Thursday, September 11, 2008

USA Day One

Hey all! Well, I am here! After all the traveling and all the sleeplessness, I am here and it's great to be home so far. I had a few things waiting for me already and here they are:

Yup, I am so happy to have a new camera and lens. Crazy, actually, that I have bought such a "professional" camera. Now I almost feel obligated to try to make money with it.

So far my trip as been really great. I started my time here out with a delicious steak dinner, visiting some old friends and going down to the beach to try the new camera out after visiting my brother.

On a sad note: the Starbucks right near where I live is closing. Sure, there are 2 more right near it, but what am I supposed to do??

More to come later.