Thursday, June 29, 2006

schniposa part two

for some reason, this ain't gonna make sense yet. go read the entry below this one first...












ok, ready? schniposa is breaded pork that is fried, served with fries and a salad.
SCHNItzel
POmmes
Salat

schniposa in 5

Not even every german person knows what 'schniposa' is. And because mine is almost ready, I've only got five minutes to explain this to you, pausing as a mild but lasting ripple of thunder grumbles. Simply explained, it's some of the best 5 euro you can spend in life, particularly on a Thursday night when it's been a pretty intense week and the next 5-10 days are really gonna be off the hissauk, yano what time sayin? Lots of work, and periferals, like moving some stuff over to the new apartment, giving tests, watching football and trying to figure out how to get ready to go to south america as it approaches like the biggest, most exciting meteor to head my way.

We are travelling from Buenos Aires to Lima and we have 55 days to do it. We leave in 29 days. Holy shit. holy shit. I've never been to south america, only been around north america and europe. It's a completely new experience and at 32 years I gotta say that completely new experiences, especially one of a travelling nature (see Ukraine, Slovakia, Greece), get me excited about life. I really feel like -- oh shit, I gotta get my schniposa...I'll fill you in in a minute but don't worry, I'll try and the newer (above) message not so revealing! ciao!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

what a difference a day makes

exactly 24 hours ago, I was in the middle of celebrated chaos, just after the German victory over Sweden in the World Cup. We'd been kicking ass, those of us watching I mean, Gregg, Masha, Janet, Maya, Whitney and me. We met 3 English guys and we showed them Jaegermeister. they liked it.

we finally got home about 2.30 and i was pretty trashed. today i boxed up my books (3+ boxes' worth) and took down a bunch of my pictures/postcards and kitsch on the walls. I organized some papers and smaller boxes I have, and now think that this is how this move is going.

I have not moved in more than 3 years. I haven't lived in a place that long since I lived got out of high school, 14 years ago! I've got so much stuff but not really, but i've got to break down and box all of my posessions here in europe, transport them down an elevator, about 50 meters down the street and then up 4 flights of stairs. It ain't gonna be easy but this amount of change at one time is tripping me out a bit, with the trip to south america, the end of the semester which means many tests, the world cup taking most evenings in the beer garden, the move, and my work permission which i still have yet to hear a freakin' word about. Can you imagine that I gave them this letter almost 6 weeks ago and nada. It's like they've forgotten about me, when in reality my life here is hanging by threads. I just don't know how thick the threads are. Just a simple "nein" from them is going to complicate my life greatly and it's going to anger me. Anger is not the right word. I'm mad, disillusioned, disrupted, and insulted even. I'm starting to sound like a sunday preacher so i'll calm down but there is so much going on in my life that having a beer in the evening with students while watching football is one of the few things keeping me grounded somehow.

Not to mention that I need to move the photos from my exhibition to another restaurant, and have to prepare for the ones in south america. Speaking of which, argentina and germany play each other next Friday at 5pm and just after that i'm going to a concert of a spanish hip hop pop group called Orishas.

I could go on and I guess I will. I found so much crazy stuff while going through my papers, old stickers from my childhood, and 3 year old bookmarks hidden between golfballs colored as baseballs and footballs, and bottle caps and fake gold, business cards matches, so many old postcards written by so many friends from all over the world and did I mention books already?

I made 2 new photo albums this weekend. It got 8 photo albums consolidated to 3. I'm pretty happy about that. That was pretty much the first start of my move. I guess you get a little insight into my soul right there...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

not a normal life anymore

the following email was just sent to buenos aires, argentina


it's about 11:20pm here, I have to be on a train at 9:08am tomorrow for work but I will send you the pictures tomorrow evening so hopefully before you leave work tomorrow. Also, send me your phone number and office address and I'll prepare the photos to be sent.

The ideas for the exhibition sounds great, please remember I am not a rich person when making plans for drinks and food. I can afford 50US dollars for food and drink IF viavia can help advertise for the exhibition because I know no one in Buenos Aires.

Except one person. A friend of mine, a Canadian girl who normally lives in Cusco is in Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks I think. Ironically, I also plan to do an exhibition in Cusco, Peru with the same photos in September when we get there in our trip. It might be nice if she could meet up with you for a coffee, talk about the exhibition and how you're helping to make it happen so she can do the same thing in Peru, ya know? I'll call her this weekend and tell her to try and get ahold of you. I'm almost positive she speaks good spanish, by the way.

I'll be in touch.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

39 days

I’m trying something new. I’ve got the laptop on my lap, sitting on the uncomfortable sofa with the France/South Korea World Cup game on in the background. What’s great is that I can type without looking at the keyboard so actually I can watch the game and just type my thoughts. It’s Sunday evening, the end of a fine weekend with lots of heat, supposed thunderstorms and soccer. A friend of mine is moving to New Zealand next week and we went out to dinner with him and some other friends last night and then went over to another buddy’s place to watch the USA/Italy game. Man, that was a good time. It ended with me having a beer at the O’Kellys afterward and riding my bike home sometime after one a.m. The girls were at a concert last night, a German hip hop show that apparently didn’t start until 1:30am. My roommate was so “hacke” last night that she said she doesn’t remember much from 10pm to 1am. I thought that was fantastic. I’m pretty sure that’s happened to me before…you’re probably saying to yourself and you just might be right.

I haven’t had this much change in life at one time in more than three and a half years. Assiyeah and I are leaving for Buenos Aires on July 27th, a mere 39 days away. By the time we leave on that trip, here is some of what I need to get done:

Grade about 6 classes’ worth of tests
Organize moving out of the apartment
Organize the new apartment so when we come back 8 weeks later, we’ll have a place to live in.
Take care of my work extension. I just received a 90-day extension this past week but only because there has been no word from the Foreign Authority about my status. This problem has been going on for quite some time, nearly three months.
Set up my schedule for Fall 2006
Take a look at my finances, what bills I will have while gone for 2 months and with which accounts things will get paid, and how we’ll get money while in South America.
Shuffling up of the possessions. There’s a good chance some clothes might not be part of my wardrobe in the fall. I just would like to shed some stuff. I love it all or I wouldn’t have it but this move is going to mean many things. Our room is much smaller but also much cheaper. Much cheaper. It will also be a bit louder and there’s no elevator. We’ll be living with another girl so it will be Caro in one room, Assiyeah and I in another, a third girl in the third room and then a small living room. We have a table against the wall in our small kitchen nook to eat at. It’s a definite step down but it’s going to have other repercussions. I will be saving 100-150euro/month just on rent. That could mean 1,500 euros in a year. That could mean many things. That could mean all my taxes paid for, another nice little trip. And I would have to sacrifice and live in a lesser place but I think I feel lucky to have this opportunity. I should plan to do something crazy with the money that is saved. Like go to Hawaii or Nepal. That would be awesome, to take awesome on a two-week all inclusive holiday in one of those beautiful resort areas. But on the other hand we could travel through Eastern Europe, like Istanbul to Freiburg over a month. That could be an awesome time.

But I digress. I will be in South America for 55 days. That’s quite a long time to go on holiday when you’re 32 years old. I’m not sure if I should feel apologetic about it but hell no, I earned that shit. I’ve been planning for it for more than a year and it’s about to come to fruition. It only makes me think about what I could pull off next year.

I don’t have a lot of money in savings. It’s enough to get started in another town for sure but it could be more. I spend that money on traveling. I’ve justified to myself that it’s totally worth it and actually worth every single penny. Especially now with my photo exhibitions, it’s quite feasible for me to write off a good portion of the these expenses to make the exhibition happen. I should be picking up the photos tomorrow. The 4 copies of the 17-photo exhibition at 30cm X 45cm will cost me about 150euro. That’s a shitload of money. I can’t believe like I’m just going to cruise into my local DM (like Long’s Drugs or Sav-On) and pick up 68 photographs for that enormous sum. It’s actually a good price but a good chunk of change. That is a day’s work, I tell myself and suddenly it doesn’t seem like as much. So what, that’s how much I earn in a day sometimes, it’s worth it. What if I sell the photos? Ha, what then? Nah, I won’t focus on selling these photographs, I just want to exhibit them and be able to look back on 2006 and say, Jason, you have successfully put on five photo exhibitions this year. You’re learning how to exhibit your art. You’re traveling while doing it. I think that any trip of longer than a week could have an exhibition in it. We thought of going to Spain or Portugal for Easter next year. We talked about going to Hawaii. Do I want to explore some part of Asia? Where in the world is a pleasant place in August and September? Or should I save that 5,000euro and do something else with it? Why do I need to save that money? I am trying to enjoy my life as much as possible and I think that I am so lucky to be in the position of where I am, working self-employed in the middle of Europe, traveling like mad, expressing myself artistically, often using 3-4 languages a day, although sometimes just a sentence or two but still.

So things are changing. But I think that the changing is the best kind, self-induced. I’ve put these pressures on myself, changing my living arrangements and there’s a lot of stress trying to get ready to leave an apartment while heading out on a 55-day trip and coming back to a new apartment just 70 meters away?

It’s almost halftime of the game. I’m glad that I’ve tried writing while on the sofa. It’s a new experience and I think I could do more work like this, without having to write it down first but I never want to forget that when it comes to writing, mostly I think I am a writer, someone who writes, not types. But this could be another way to get stuff done and it’s forever in a saveable format immediately. I couldn’t imagine only working this way but it’s different. I like learning new ways of doing things. It’s the variety constant. Or something like that.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Some recent photos below and...

In 6 weeks and 3 days, Assiyeah and I are flying to Buenos Aires. There's a lot to do before then, including working a lot, getting ready to move, perhaps get some shots , enjoy the World Cup and my life, try and lose a few pounds before I go and organize my life in general. Do you ever have that feeling? That somehow you're not as organized as you could be? I have so much stuff, and little knick knacks and I want to pare it down before we move.

The US soccer team looked shitty in their game against Czech Republic tonight. I was mad that I paid 6euro to take a taxi up the hill to a buddy when the bus timing was bad only for that game. But he did feed me some excellent chile con carne so that was good...

All right, gotta work in 10 hours, ciao!


Where we stayed in Utrecht, an old Mercedes Benz dealership...


An aftershow pass from one of the greatest rock concerts that has ever happened in the history of the world Feb 16, 1997


Chris, Mike, Russ, Brady and Zach, some of my buddies back home


some more photos in Bolhoed in Amsterdam


The view of 2 of my photos in the cafe in Amsterdam


Caro, Assiyeah and I at my birthday dinner

Sunday, June 11, 2006

the last week and change

I worked my ass off on Wednesday, a bit on Thursday and some on Friday and then Saturday morning we drove to Muenster, Germany for the beginning of our week in Holland. We spent a few hours there and then took a one hour train to Enschede, Holland to visit Assiyeah's friend studying at an art school there. 3 nights there and then we went to Utrecht, a town I must say kicks absolute ass and I would be happy to plan another holiday there. Then we went to Amsterdam for 3 days. It was my 5th time there and I even had a photo exhibition there. You can go to Bolhoed Cafe at Prinsengracht 60-62 until mid-August in Amsterdam and see some of my photos on the walls there. We flew home last night and now I have all Sunday afternoon to chill out. I need to do some lesson plans for classes this week, do some more writing and figure out which photos I'm going to use for my photo exhibitions in Buenos Aires and Cusco in Peru. I need to get them developed this week so I can mail them to their destinations so I don't have to cart them around South America, ya know? I'll give ya a full "Week in Holland" story when I get it finished but the weather is so nice AND there is World Cup soccer so...