Tuesday, July 31, 2007

5.03am

Assiyeah gave my roommate a letter to give it to me to read when my trip today began. Naturally I had to read it immediately. It contained very few clues actually, just the following:

1)We'd grown apart.
2)She loved me more like a friend now.
3)She didn't break up with me for the guy.

It took her five pages to boil it down to that. I couldn't sleep tonight because I was just thinking that that was it, that was her final attempt to explain why she allowed our love to die and end a five-year relationship without talking to me or anyone about it. Super.

So I got up at 4am and wrote her a letter back. I'm not sure what it's going to prove but it just so she could see that I could have handled that shit face to face months ago. She said, thanks for not getting mad, when she told me that something had been going on with that other guy for awhile and I wrote her and said you could have told me that on my birthday and that's how I would have reacted. I know that shit happens and people do stupid stuff but her being honest on that day back in May might have been the best birthday present she could have given me even though it would have been painful. I was willing to make the relationship work. I told her we had two different relationships from our parents to use as examples. Hers, which were married/together many years and when it got dull her father found another woman and is living that life now and you have mine, who have been married 35 years and I'm sure it hasn't always been easy but they've tried.

Assiyeah and I never "tried" at our relationship. We just let it cruise along and for awhile I thought that was one of the best parts of it. When one of those two people began thinking that it's not working as well as it could have or the feelings change, well that's the one Achilles' heel to the relationship. Her letter didn't actually help clear anything up. It just made me feel more frustrated that these two, very normal things could have been worked on together and made into an even better relationship. As it is now, who knows? I am off to the States for the first time in almost 7 months. This is the beginning of a busy next 10 weeks, I'm curious to see how it will all go down. Please god, please, put some nice, relatively easy women in my way as I scuttle around the States for a month!

I gotta shower, it's going to be 23 hours of travel and I don't wanna be that guy who stinks on the plane...

Monday, July 30, 2007

The last full day for 4 weeks

So, my last full day in Germany for over a month began around 7.48am and was cemented by 8.02am when some dudes started jackhammering then. I was jogging by 9am and in the city by 10.30am. I dropped off one invoice worth 1000 dollars and another worth 100 dollars. I cut my photos so they could fit the holder I bought for them, had lunch with a friend and then went to Jos Fritz to let them know that someone is coming by to pick up the photos this week. Someone who works there bought two of them and I gave them a super sweet price but it was 70 bucks I wasn't planning on having so that's good. I used that money to buy my train ticket for 6.52am tomorrow to the Frankfurt airport. Then I went home.

I chilled for awhile but just didn't feel right. I think I have somehow been under the weather a few days, was jogging in the chilly and sunny weather this morning and been sweating quite a bit today. I napped for about an hour or more, relaxed some and then went across town to pick up a nightstand from a student. One less thing to buy, right? Of course there was construction going on and so I had to walk the relatively awkward and heavy nightstand for 5 full minutes up a hill to get to the next tram stop and then when we got to my stop another 3 minutes and then up 4 flights of stairs and that had me sweating plenty good. I'm going out for dinner and drinks in a little bit and hopefully to be in bed by 11.30 because I'm getting up at 5.30am tomorrow.

I saw Assiyeah and two of her cousins today walking in the city as I was going to get the nightstand. It felt like I was dead watching her live her life without me, it was very surreal. I promise in September I'll have better things to talk about, I hope.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Party lion

So you know in English we saw "party animal" but in German they are much more specific. You are a party lion. That was me the past two nights. Let's talk about last night...

I went to dinner at Walfisch with a friend who also had just broken up with his girlfriend. I had what might be my last Schniposa for a month and I know the cook there and he hooked it up big time. We had a couple of beers and then a Jaegermeister and then we went over to Swamp where the Belgian band The Dump Brothers were playing. That was the band I saw at Augustiner Square on Friday night and it was cool to hang out with them again, have some drinks, catch a buzz and then they started playing and it was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted, what I needed. I danced my ass off for about 90 minutes to every single song and it made me think how ironic life is. I didn't go out dancing with Assiyeah that often, it wasn't really my scene but actually I really like dancing, but preferably to live music for example and she enjoys DJ music. The band had a great groove and I drank my beers, met some nice people and found myself still standing in the bar at 3.20am buying drinks for people. I paid in Swissfrancs and gave a big tip. I'm not sure if I still owe money there but you may have forgotten but I live in the building where Swamp is. I literally just had to go up the stairs and it was great. I slept until 12.15pm.

Friday out until 4.15am
Saturday out until 3.20am

I guess that's enough to call me a party lion for now. I feel slow and I'm conflicted because the same band is playing again this afternoon and I don't know if I can handle it, I wanna chill out all day and pack and organize some shit but we'll see...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My new life

I wasn't in the mood to go out. I needed to organize some stuff and I also had a private lesson at 11am this morning and Assiyeah was coming over at 12.30pm to go through our things and figure out whose is what. Fun. Anyway...

A teacher called to see if I wanted to get a beer so I said yes. We bought 5 years and then sat in a park and talked about life and sex and politics and we also watched a wino on another park bench across from us, maybe like 30 meters away slumped over and then trying to roll a cigarette and standing and looking like he's peeing and then slumped over again.

After awhile, my buddy had to go so I walked over to Augustiner Square. This is one of my favorite places in my favorite place on earth. It's one of the epicenters of my universe and it was my first time going there as a single guy. It felt strange because there I was, sitting alone on the steps with maybe 30 other people, all of them in couples or small groups. Then two guys started playing some live music with an upright bass and a violin and it was actually quite groovy music and I immediately went to sit closer to where they were playing. Then I met a guy from Argentina. And then two guys from Mongolia. We were catching a buzz and having a good time. Then a second band started and they were kick ass. They were 4-5 pieces, with horn, upright bass, guitar, percussion and it was roots rockabilly and an amazing groove. I literally went up and stood right in front of them to catch the vibe while all of the germans were sitting and either listening and enjoying or listening passively or just having their own conversations.

It turns out the second band was from Belgium. They were "brought" here by the drummer of another band I saw a couple of weeks ago on that fateful night when I learned that something in my relationship was horribly wrong. I got to know these guys and it turns out that they are playing in Swamp tonight. You may not know this, but there is a bar called Swamp and I just happen to live above it. So this band that I was totally digging last night is going to play again tonight in the bar at the bottom of my building. I'll be there with bells on. We made plans to eat dinner at Walfisch together.

I also saw a student of mine, a very attractive girl who most definitely out of my league. Her boyfriend broke up with her a few months ago and I remember giving her some advice which she proceeded to give me last night. It was really nice talking to her and she seemed genuinely interested and sympathetic to my problems.

I also went to O'Kellys and saw an Australian guy I know who is moving to Norway soon. I dragged him to Jos Fritz to see the photos and then I sat with a couple of women, one who is gay and the other who was bi. Finally about 3am it was time to go home but I met other people but then I saw a Spanish girl who also works at O'Kellys and she was with a couple of friends and so we had another drink. They were with a couple of Italian girls, a Portuguese guy and a German girl.

I finaly got home around 4.15am, slept until about 10.15, took a shower, had the private lesson and then Assiyeah was here, it was tough but it's over and she will leave me some furniture which is nice of her and now I'm alone in the apartment, hungry and in about 5 hours I'm going to be having a good time again.

That was my first Friday night single in 7.5 years. I guess I'm going to be okay.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's official!

I, your faithful confidant, will have more than 100 days of vacation for the third year in a row!!! First, the new trip that put me over the top...

As you know, I have been listening to Ryan Adams' new album "Easy Tiger" incessantly lately, so much so I have felt like a teenager listening to the same song over and over again for weeks but it's a whole album and it's been 5 days but anyway, while doing a casual search today I see that Ryan Adams will be playing in London on November 16th. I have had this feeling quite a few times in the past 4 years. I immediately went to easyjet and ryanair to find out about prices for tickets. A Thursday to Sunday is usually when it is at its most expensive but it was reasonable. I could have gotten cheaper tickets from ryanair but I would have had to fly from Karlsruhe which is a two-hour bus away, about 50euros, but flying from Basel is so much more convenient but they cost 80euros. I have a job, I thought, convenience for 30euros, and the answer is absolutely so. Then I checked the website where to get the tickets but I wasn't able to buy them because I didn't have an English address so I enlisted Maya and she was on the job. One of the best things about her is that once you set her in motion, she is at her best. She may not be the most self-motivated person I know but man, when you need her help, she rolls up her sleeves and 5 minutes later she had tickets for the concert and I had tickets to fly to England for what will be just 6 weeks after going there in early October. It was impulsive and it was what I am best at.

So now the particulars, how the breakdown of more than 100 days of vacation looks like in 2007:

1)Jan 1-5 California (remnants of Xmas vacation) 5
2)Feb 16-Mar 5 Turkey 17
3)Apr 4-15 Berlin/Budapest/Vienna 11
4)May 24-Jun 3 Montenegro 10
5)Jul 31 - Aug 29 OC/SD/NYC/BOS/PHI 29
6)Sep 14-22 Andalusia, Spain 8
7)Oct 3-7 London 4
8)Nov 15-18 London 3
9)Dec 14-29 Southern California 15

That, my friends, is 102 days I will not be in my town because I will be somewhere. 2006 I had 106 days of vacation and 2005 I had 126 days of vacation. How could I possibly leave Germany?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An email I just sent to an old student

hey,
My girlfriend broke up with me last weekend. I couldn't fucking believe it. I haven't been single since February 2000 (5 years and 2.5 years) and am sort of in shock but luckily I had plane tix to go to the states for August, 2 weeks in socal and 2 weeks on the east coast and it's going to help my soul so much it's crazy. I wll move back here to freiburg at the end of August and her stuff will be gone from our room, I'm going to buy a bed (I am 33 after all) and try and start my life over in a foreign country where I have no official connection to anymore.

I'm not totally sure I just told you all of that. I think it's because I'm an open person, I like who I am and think of my life as something that is organic which means it's not so structured that I have to go through a formal "sadness" from the relationship. Of course I have cried 20 times in the past 4 days and I'm sure there are 100 more in the next month but I am going to be better soon and it's going to be a completely new life sort of. I loved her and only wanted to make her happy and that's not what she wanted right now. What can I do?

Anyways, my favorite singer/songwriter Ryan Adams has a new album called Easy Tiger and it is beautiful, haunting and sad music but a lot of is about my exact experience and it reminds me how important music is to me. You should check it out.

You got plans for the summer?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We'll see what happens

**Disclaimer** This post is mushy and awkward and intimate and might turn off some people who only want to hear about my last trip or about me getting drunk in the middle of town on a Friday night. This is my blog and there is unfortunately nothing more important for me to blog about than me trying to get over having my heart broken. Continue at your own peril.
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I'm here again because I have to be. I think about 5 people are reading my blog regularly and I have been writing in my journal but it doesn't seem to be enough. I have gone though so many emotions the past few days and it's tough walking around Freiburg thinking of all the places we have been together. I had 4 beers last night with Johanna and it was really nice to hang with her. But I need some intimacy. It doesn't have to be sexual in nature but I need someone to put their arm around me and tell me that they like me, they feel comfortable around me and that I am a good person. I know all of these things, I'm actually convinced that I have one of the best lives of anyone on earth, that is, of the mortals who don't grace the covers of magazines or hollywood films. I make enough money to live a nice life but in reality it is a small amount of money. That's the thing. 30,000 US dollars/year and I'm living like it's 60,000 back home. I eat out when I like, have free time I enjoy wasting doing nothing while still accomplish more than I ever could back home. The only real difference for me back home and here is that back home I would be in much better shape and unfortunately, with the weather and food choices here, it's been much harder to keep in shape. I can do it and it'll be good for me but it's hard to get started losing 15-20 pounds. It's so crazy, I have like money laying around my desk, like 150 bucks that I don't even need or know what to do with, I guess I'll bring it home and exchange it or I'll buy some stuff here for the journey home but it's so weird that I had everything I wanted in my life and now it feels like everything I still have has little value. That's a sign of a lower self-esteem. I'm not depressed, I'm just up and down and vacillate between angry and sad and trying to self-medicate and having trouble sleeping and only looking for tuesday morning when I can get far far away from here but then again, I can't wait to get back to start my life over. I have the remnants of our relationship in this room and I desperately need it out of my face so I can begin healing. Seeing pictures of us from 4.5 years ago and 2 years ago and 1 year ago on her closet just make my heart crunch and I start to feel the thin veil of denial dissolving and I'm left with the love I felt for someone not being necessary anymore. It's such a fucking shame, I really and truly loved Assiyeah Joers and it makes me tear up thinking about it but that's the way shit happens. I kind of did the same thing to my last girlfriend in Pennsylvania to be with Assiyeah so I have a much better appreciation for what I did to her and I wrote her an email today apologizing for that.

I don't what to delve down into the depths of taking anyone who likes me. I'm way too cool for that. I have a great life and a bright albeit completely uncertain future. I definitely need a holiday and I've been thinking more and more than next summer is going to be something huge. Maya suggested visiting Janet in Korea and seeing some of Asia and I could totally be down for that but also the idea of Central America really entices me. I am attracted to the possibility of improving my Spanish more and seeing more of Mexico but I'm open. I wanted to share all of this with Assiyeah but she doesn't want it. How do you give something special to someone who doesn't want it? You don't.

My name is Jason and I'm 33 years old. I just had my heart broken by the woman of my dreams and I have to start my life over. I know that I can make my life even better than it was before, and more focused and attempt to put my life into the next bracket of cool people, by getting my photography out there and reworking some of my books and getting together another event, whether it be fashion or a battle of the bands but I want to do some more creative stuff and remember what it is I like about myself. I thought there was everything but for Assiyeah to fall out of love with me with me having very little idea (I had suspicions that things weren't okay) says something about me. Was I blind to her failing affections or did I choose not to see it? I have no idea and I guess it doesn't really matter. A student told me that in German you can say: Other mothers have beautiful daughters. And I hope they're right. I'm just scared to have to get to that point again of becoming guardless in the relationship, where you are completely open to hurt but you know what, of course I'll get there again. The only way to truly love someone is to be willing to get hurt. I have so much love left in my heart. I'm excited but scared about my future. I always had the thought that as long as I am with Assiyeah, my life was going to be great. I have to change that thinking now. My life is going to great anyway but fuck her man, I just wanted to make her happy. I guess I have to make myself happy now. But wait, I've been doing that the whole time! I will keep on keepin on and trust me, there is no need to worry about me. I know that what is happening to me is completely normal and unfortunately quite common. I'm just trying to work through the experience as best as possible so that I won't be too damaged for the next person who wants to try and love me.

I'm sorry it didn't work out, Assiyeah, I wish you all the best and I don't know if we can be friends. If we ever are, it's going to be on my terms and not yours because we spent a good portion of our relationship on your terms which was fine for me until you started kissing some other jackass without telling me. Cheers to you, I hope he appreciates all you're going to bring to that relationship. Yes, that was sarcasm. It's called a defense mechanism, concerned reader, fear not! I'm going jogging soon, then drinking a beer with some students and then dinner with some teachers from the university then I'm going to meet a friend for another drink and then we'll see what happens.

We'll see what happens. That line means a lot more to me now...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Exhausted

I went to bed after 12.30am last night and kept thinking for who knows how long and was up at 7am. I am exhausted and I still have some stuff to do this evening. I had a nice breakfast with some students, then taught 3 classes and now have to leave in another 30 minutes to have a drink with some students and then meet a friend for a drink and then I'll probably come home and relax.

I am sure that I am suppressing some of my sadness and using it as anger but that's how I feel. I don't know how I could possibly be with her again after the shit she pulled. Now that that is how I feel (and it could change after a month but she would have to be singing a much different tune) and so I need to think that I am single. I have to make the most of it. I need some good times to make the pain I feel to subside a little. I'm sure it will be painful to see her again, when we meet about what of OUR stuff does she want and when I come back at the end of August and her stuff is gone. It's a real fucking shame, she opened up Pandora's Box and all hell has flown out. I want to find out if other women could be attracted to me. (Don't answer that!)

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee again. The dude can't act. Is he that stupid? Hmmmmmm

Monday, July 23, 2007

Easy Tiger

Sometimes an album comes out and it fits the perfect moment for now. This is at least the second time that a Ryan Adams album is the perfect album for the time being. The first was "Gold" which came out around September 11th and of course it was recorded before that day but his first video which came out like 2 weeks after 9/11 was called "New York, New York" and had the twin towers in the background and I remember that Fall that I listened to that album so much, it had so many perfect feelings and emotions encapsulated on one cd.



Well, he's done it again though this time it's more personal. Here I am, my 5-year relationship essentially over, and I'm left with photo albums and memories and feelings just surrounding me in our small room which she doesn't live in anymore. She's so stupid. I tried really hard to make her happy and she let herself get into so much trouble internally that it was impossible for her to talk to me until she could just run away and into the arms of someone else.

Unfortunately I lost the second half of this post about my future and what I am going to do this evening and in general. the short version is I'm going to jog soon, clean up some work papers and have a private lesson from 7-8:30pm and then eat something and call my friend Maya after that and then go to bed early because I have a long ass day tomorrow.

I was thinking about how I wanted to do something special for Assiyeah next summer after she finished university as a graduation gift, like 2 months in Asia with one of the months totally chilled and relaxed and the other money more active and visiting cities and what not and now that has all been throw up in the air. So now I had this idea and now I want to find something amazing for me to do for myself next summer, something that will remind me of how full and rewarding my life is and I thought that I could spend 8 weeks heading west next summer, with about 2 weeks at home in California and about 6 weeks in Central America. I can already speak some Spanish and maybe a two-week class somewhere and check out some new countries with a language I can already speak some and me needing to be in complete control of my life. I travelled alone to Ukraine/Baltic States, Norway and Montenegro the past 3 years alone and while it was interesting, it wasn't the same without Assiyeah. I either need to be with her and travel with her or travel alone and be free to do what I want. So I guess I planted a seed today. When the summer 2008 semester is over, I might be flying to Los Angeles, hang for a week and then fly to Mexico City or a Central American capital and travel around for 6 weeks and then come back to LA for a week of relaxing before going back to Germany. It certainly sounds like a nice carrot to hang out in front of me to get me focused on what I'm doing again...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's over for now

Assiyeah broke up with me last night. We had been together for 5 years and 2 months and she basically fell out of love with me and got interested in another guy and never told me until I sort of figured it out. I am really bummed that she made such a stupid decision to not talk to me about our problems before allowing herself to get interested in a new person. This new guy has had the good parts of a relationship the past two months, the newness and excitement and stolen kisses and she's been coming home to me and "it's your turn to do the dishes" and "help me hang the wash" and "can you keep it down, I'm trying to study". Doesnt' she think that her new relationship will have the same problems that we had? Most of the stuff she told me last night is stuff that every relationship deals with: loss of passion, feeling of routine, having grown apart and other stuff which makes varying degrees of sense. She wants to try and be with this other guy, I guess.

And I told her that if when she tells him that she wants to try and have something with him and he doesn't make her feel like he is the luckiest guy on the earth, then she's just made a big mistake. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world to be with her, a girl who is moody, bitchy, unreasonable, difficult, always has to be right, gets mad too easily, grumpy in the mornings and stressed way too easily while handling it poorly. I still loved her despite all of those things. I was completely willing to try and do anything to make our relationship better.

I'm going home to the States for all of August and it couldn't have a better timing. I need to see people who have known me for years and hang out with my parents and try and figure out what is going on. I am not going to move back to Calfornia right now. I have developed my own life here in Germany the past 4.5 years. I have my work, my apartment, my friends and life, meaning travel, fun and culture here. Unfortunately the reason I came to Germany doesn't exist anymore. I mean, now I have other reasons to stay here (see above mentioned) and who knows, maybe in two months she will tell me that she made a mistake. Except of course she has too much pride and I had to ask her last night to please feel like she can call me if she realizes she made a mistake.

Now I need to lose 15-20 pounds, start taking better care of myself and plan another trip. Man, I hope she figures out she made a mistake before it's too late. I love her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Inchoate nodus

Two words I learned in my word-a-day calendar. Today's word is descry. Yes, I'm interesting at dinner parties.

I'm listening to the new Ryan Adams' album, "Easy Tiger" and this is my second or third listen and it's starting to grow on me. I'm pooped, it's been a full day, let me tell you what happened:

Woke up at 7am totally shocked awake, needed to really make me wake up this morning but it was raining hard and not very motivating. I was wet and damp and uncomfortable on the tram into town, had a good lesson at 8am, went around the corner and had another good lesson with 4 expensive lawyers for another hour, then walked up another 8 minutes into the heart of town, chatted with two other teachers, one from England and the other from Denmark, then taught a class on WWII to 12 German college students. I was fucking shocked how little they seemed to know about it. I think they just don't like talking about it. I asked them many good questions, e.g., Do you think they should sell Mein Kampf in Germany? or Have you ever been to a concentration camp? They didn't know, not ONE of them when WWII started. Only ONE of them had an opinion about the Reichstag fire in 1932 or 1933. I don't expect you to necessarily know about that but these are major moments in German history. It was an interesting talk.

After that I took the tram home and tried to relax. It's been a super tough last week for me and I was trying to come to grips with the fact that I didn't have to work that night from 6-9pm like I normally have to. I then chilled in my chair in my bedroom and corrected the last 11 tests I will have to grade for many many months. It felt good. Something important that I absolutely HAD to do before I left, finished today.

My roommate, Lena, came home around 2.30pm and then we cooked two pieces of pork schnitzel in a pepper sauce with mushrooms and home potatoes. I then finished the last 4 of the 11 tests, put on my jogging shoes an hour later and had a hot and humid and sunny jog of 35 minutes, took a cool shower and then started to organize some of my stuff, namely my desk area. It was much to cluttered and I wanted to get it scaled down a bit. I think sometimes that Assiyeah and I have too much small chaos in our lives and I would like very much to reduce that if possible.

Lena got home from class around 8 and we made a really tasty salad that had corn, orange pepper, ham, grated swiss cheese and a balsamic vinagarette. Then I went back to cleaning, organizing. Now it's 10.46pm and I'm drinking a beer, officially satisfied with everything I got done today. It's not too often you can say that.

prost!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No, it's definitely July

There still seems to be a lot of stress in life lately, not all of my own doing and hopefully will be better before I go to America for August but for now, I am more or less halfway through my highest earning day ever as an English teacher. It's hard to believe but I could live from this one day's wages for the entire month if that means paying for: rent, electricity, phone, internet, insurance, some food and my monthly transportation pass. That's what I love about living here in Germany. I can sometimes make enough to live (albeit sparingly) for an entire month in one day. That was just never ever possible in California. So, for 9 hours of work today, I will pocket (though I won't see most of it for another 6 weeks!) approximately 366euros which is 498 dollars with the current exchange rate. Think about that. Can you earn 500 bucks in one day? I certainly never EVER could in the States and maybe just for a few days I did when I was doing a bit of work for Bluetorch after it went bankrupt, getting paid 1500bucks for 4 days' work but seriously, I am really happy about that.

I am happy about coming home for August but there's a lot to do about then.

I am happy that next week will be the last time I will have to get up for work at 7am for approximately 3 months! Thank you god!

p.s. If any students are reading this, just forget about the numbers above. It's only play money and not anything that I can spend because it is all needed to pay for the other bills I have! :)

p.s.s. A quick shoutout to Maya for coming to visit last weekend, we had a blast and it was really good seeing her, she still is my best friend in this part of the world and I'm looking forward to seeing her in October.

p.s.s.s. In exactly one month I'll be seeing the Black Crowes in Portland, Maine.

p.s.s.s.s. In two months I'll be on southern coast of Spain.

p.s.s.s.s.s. In five months I'll be in Southern California again. Head down and push through!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Taxi home after 3am

That's a sign of a good night, when you're in a taxi sometime after 3am. We started enjoying the beautiful weather around 4pm, had a beer with whitney, then the three of us (including maya) went to jos fritz where the exhibition was, then o'kellys and then walked around and then back to jos fritz around the time most bars in america are calling last call. We spent another 90 minutes there at that point. I love Germany.

I had a great weekend with Maya, she's one of those rare friends where it feels you never suffer from having spent time apart, meaning that we still totally understand each other really well and know how to get along for extended periods of time. I'm looking forward to seeing her place in England in October.

I am 2 weeks and 2 days from flying to the states.

I am less than 2 months from flying to spain.

I am less than 5 months from flying to california again.

There's a lot of work to do but it's so damn hot, I'm just chillin' like a villain...

Friday, July 13, 2007

My photo exhibition last night!



This was us about 10.30pm last night at the exhibition. I'd have to say it was a success. It wasn't exactly as I had imagined it but then again, what in life is exactly as you imagine it, right?


The weather, thank god, cooperated magnificently. After having rained Monday and Tuesday and part of Wednesday, it was great to have the evening be calm, warm enough to sit outside and for people to relax and enjoy...




Here's a look at one of the exhibition before we opened up. You can see about a third of the photos. These photos are all poster-size and thank god I had them all made so large because the walls were pretty high in the cafe and it gave them a spacious feeling.











Here's Linda giving the opening introduction to the evening. There were about 50 people there at that point. She's a singer in a local R&B band and has a certain stage presence, or at least she has no problem being in front of people.





This was the "social aspect" of the evening, a man giving a reading of some of his experiences in Columbia. It didn't quite fit the mood of what I was trying to go for that evening but still, I was trying to give a cross section of south america and that was part of it. This part lasted only about 8 minutes or so. Then the party got started....




This was a dance group called Emotion that I got for the evening. This piece was called "Jungle" and lasted about 5 minutes, including part of it to that song from Ferris Bueller's that goes, "Oooohhh, yeahhhhh" in a really deep voice. I really enjoyed this, and I think it was something different and fun for the people there. This is when they knew it was time to have a good time.





After I gave my speech about the photos and about why we were having an evening together (which ended in me saying "F*ck the Auslaenderbehoerde (foreign authorities) 3 times), I came outside to see if people were having a good time. This is a very typical scene in Europe when the weather is good but it was cool to think almost all of the people you see in the picture were there because of my photo exhibition.


This is the culmination of the evening: Corina, Jessi, Assiyeah, Johanna, Lisa and Fussil.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No woman no cry

It's 2.40am, put the pictures up on the walls of the cafe until 1am, maya is visiting, and now...

no woman no cry
no woman no cry

you see, i remember when we used to sing

Good friends we have or good friends we've lost along the way, yeah

In this great future you can't forget your past

So dry your tears I say

No woman no cry.

Oh my little sister, don't shed no tears

you see, I remember when we used to sing

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I've been listening to a lot of reggae lately, on internet radio and live last weekend and this song has so many memories for me, it's uncanny how much a song can mean to someone.

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So I've got to push on through

Everything is gonna be all right

Everything is gonna be all right.

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Please let Bob be right, please.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is it March or July or October?

Goddamn it's cold here, seriously, I cannot believe it! I had a scarf on today and it should be the hottest time of year, what is wrong ? Is it global warming? uh-huh...

It's stress time up in this muthafucka, with the exhibition 2 nights away and still some planning to do. Maya, as I've said, is coming to visit. I was late to work today because of the train strike in Germany. Thank god someone from work picked me up and we had class only 30 minutes later when it could have been an hour later because of the train cancellations. I wonder what it would be like if the English teachers striked for "better wages" ....

Tomorrow I'm going to read an article with the lawyers I teach entitled: Gonzales Was Told of FBI Violations. This article will document about the 4-5th time he has lied in front of senators and some of those times were under oath. Can you believe that dumb bastard is still the leading law enforcement officer in the United States? Somehow it's fitting, I think he sums up exactly what is wrong with the law in the United States.

Things are so low now, in terms of the US position in the world that even if some jackass republican wins the election in 2008 (can anyone said voter fraud?), it's going to seem so much better than Shrub aka Chimpeach aka Mr. 26%. And yet we cannot allow the next 18 months to run course with attempting to extricate him and Go F-yourself Cheney from office, if nothing else because the Constitution demands that we do. We have to at least try to impeach them. That will show backbone, something the American people respond to. Unfortunately the Republicans seems to have more backbone than the Democrats but also much less intelligence when it comes to the public good.

I made 425 dollars today. I'm exhausted.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Furtwangen

Finally, the semester in Furtwangen is over! I have to grade the tests, give them their final grades and ship those up next week but I will not have to go there for 3 months! wooohooooo!

It was a great weekend with Lauren, we whooped it up like crazy, seeing live music 3 nights in a row, something that hasn't happened since I've lived here so that should tell you something. It's funny, she left her toothbrush, shampoos, toothpaste and who knows what else here. Our place is a magnet for stuff. Maya's Swedish friend left her phone charger here, Corrie her pillow. Maya's coming this weekend, I hope she leaves something great here!

The exhibition is in 3 days and I'm not ready for it. The weather is crap right now and I'm hoping, praying really, for good weather on Thursday. It could seriously be an epic night, with tons of people there and a real good vibe and cheap drinks and music and everything I hoped. Or it could rain and it's a small affair but could still be fun. I'm looking forward in a way for it to be over but it should be a great time. I'll be sure to put some photos up this weekend perhaps.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

777

July 7, 2007 woopie

haha, I read that this will be the day with the most weddings ever in America. I guess the men will be able to remember the big day easier.

Last night, we went to a party thrown by the Forestry department of the university. They had live music, a great reggae-ska band and I was dancing and drinking and having a blast. I hung out with people from Mexico, Canada, Cameroon, Ethiopia and England last night. The English folks had just played a concert across town and were just chilling and hanging out and we did some shots together. It was so cool, the students that Lauren and I had eaten with earlier in the day were going to the concert from that band, Faithless and then at the end of the night I was doing shots with them at a student party, it was kick ass!

Going to see Die Hard 4 tonight and eat some Indian food, maybe visit the Winefest after that...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mom's birthday!

Happy Birthday ma!

I'll do ya the dignity of not letting the world (i.e. 5 people) know how old, er young you are. I hope you have a beautiful day!

So Lauren made it safely yesterday afternoon, we then went to the Ziggy Marley concert and it kicked ass, even hanging out in another tent (it's a big tent festival) with a reggae dj until just before 1am. It was a kick ass night to say the least.

We went to one of my companies today to give a 45-minute lesson but basically we just sat and ate lunch, it was great. We walked around the city, Lauren bought some souvenirs and now we're at home chillin out for a bit. We'll make some dinner and then go out doing something tonight. I'll fill ya in.

It's so funny because Lauren said she didn't know who Scooter Libby was. I know that if I were living in the States too, I probably wouldn't know who he is either! hahaha

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The end of the fourth

It's 12.26am. I have to work in less than 10 hours. I got a 90-day extension to my work permit today. That's a big deal. They tried to give me 30 days more and I successfully convinced this woman who had never met me in German to give me 90 days. It helped to have a judge from the tax court standing at my side, sort of off to the side to let me do my thing and then he spoke a couple of times and she could see that this story was bigger than her and so she left the room and came back to give me 90 days but of course I had to go down the hall to my normal case worker to get the extension. Thank god no one else in the hall of shame there was waiting for my case worker so I was in and out.

I now realize this new chick (only because the normal boss of my case worker is on holiday) had to ask someone else about giving me 90 days instead of 30 days. I am going to demand to speak with that person the next time I have to talk to my case worker's boss. When she says that she herself is in fact the decision-maker in this case, I will tell her that I am relieved to hear that because over 15 months ago she told me, "Meiner Meinung nach, sollten Sie diese Verlaengerung bekommen." "In my opinion, you should get the extension." If she is the decision-maker AND she thinks that I should get the extension, that should bode quite well for me. More information I want.

Question: With which local politicians did these people at the Foreign Authorities talk to to find this new solution for me, with the back payment to the Social Security? I would like to meet those politicians and talk to them about how they have tried to help and how their hearts are in the right place but I need a new kind of help now, to try and get out of the new situation they inadvertantly put me into.

I am learning more English legalese thanks to the Libby case. thanks, bro.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scoot free

I wish that if I broke the law that the president would commute my sentence. What the hell? The VP's chief of staff is convicted of obstructing justice and perjury, major felonies, especially with regards to the outing of a CIA agent and the president lets him off the hook before he even enters a jail cell.

Here's the left's talking point at least until November 2008:

Paris Hilton did her time and the VP's chief of staff gets off SCOOT Free even though his actions possibly gave the Iranians our nuclear intelligence regarding their country...for free. All in the name of silencing a critic of the war. I have a feeling this is the crux of the whole situation. We went to war in Iraq over what is now widely known as false premises. People know that the president purposely misled us with his now infamous 16 words in the 2003 SOTU address about the Iraqis having tried to buy uranium in Niger. Those were some of the most inflammtory words that should have never gotten into the most important annual speech the president of the united states, the most powerful man in the world. When that lied was carted out in front of the world, the intelligence regarding that little innocuous nugget had already been discredited, for more than 6 months.

It's bad enough Valerie Plame was a covert CIA agent who was outed as if a pawn in some major power grab, but she worked in nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, the very thing that the government was most concerned in leading up to the invasion in March, 2003.

And now, after the VP and Rove were looking like they were going to be possibly indicted or involved in a serious, legal way, Scooter took the fall. Wow, how generous of him, only to have Bush keep him out of jail.

Tomorrow I have a lesson with the most expensive lawyers in town. I'm going to ask them if that doesn't smack of something that Scooter now knows intimately: obstruction of justice.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lauren's coming, work permit and weather

1)Lauren is coming to visit! She's like a cousin to me, and I've known her since she was about 10 or so (she's 24 now I think) and we'd open presents together on Xmas eve with her sisters and brother and other cousins who are all sort of my family too. She'll be here this weekend, we got Ziggy Marley planned on Thursday night, maybe going to a company class with me on Friday, and maybe we'll do something big on the weekend so she can see how we roll here!

2)My work permit expires on Friday. That's my mom's birthday. Can you believe that this shit is still going on? This problem started in late March 2006 and now we have July 2007. More than 15 months of dealing with stupid bullshit for my work permit. Reviewing the case succinctly includes the following basic points: I have plenty of work, I have a tax number, I can speak German, I'm integrated into the system, I love it here. While none of these are applicable according to the New Foreigner Law Handbook, I don't care. All of my students cannot believe that this problem is still going on. They should ask me how I feel about it. I guess I'll get a chance to say a few words about it next Thursday at my 3rd Annual Exhibition in Freiburg. Last year in May, I had the chance to say to about 50 people at the last exhibition: "Fuck the Auslaenderbehoerde (the Office for Foreigner Registration)" twice. A student even came up to me after and asked one of the most classic questions of all time: Jason, what does 'cucumber up their asses' mean?

3)It's July, it's summer, it's cool and gray and rainy. Strange. I just have to pray that the weather on the 12th of July will be friendly to me, please please please!

I got a bunch of stuff to do this week, like getting an extension to my temporary work permit, buying the boards for my photos and put them on so that one major part of the exhibition is finished, I have a good amount of work, Lauren's coming to visit, it's my mom's birthday on Friday and I'll be home at the end of this month, how insane is that?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Scorpions "Wind of Change"

I was at a party last night next to my house and they had a little karaoke machine and we did it up. Highlights were Redemption Song and the Scorpions "Wind of Change". Man, that song gets people singing. Take me, to the magic of the moment, of a glory night, where the children of tomorrow dream away and so on and so on, you get the picture.

It was a blast. I'm exhausted today, having gone to bed around 2:30am and I didn't sleep well. I made the 4 tests I had to make for 4 classes I teach and basically the rest of the day is going to be chillin hardcore!

I got a new job for September, something I don't normally have: a two-week intensive class. What's great is that I will be gone for all of August, come back and then teach a two-week intensive class and then go to Spain for 8 days and then have 4 days of intense oral exams and then I'm going to London for 4 days and then the semesters start up again. I'm a busy boy.

It's great because I can work 2.5 hours a day for two weeks and earn all the money I need for a month to live here...