Monday, December 31, 2007

2008

A little after 8am on the last day of 2007, a year I am still, quite frankly, ready to be over. I was ready for it to be over when I got on the plane to come to California over two weeks ago but I'm glad I've had the past two weeks here to hang with friends, meet some new people and gain some perspective on my life. 2008 will be a better year, it has to be because 2007 included two things that were devastating for me: the end of my relationship and the decision by the German Social Security System to declare that I have to pay them everything back, starting now. Actually, the end of my relationship didn't devastate me but it was definitely not what I wanted and the social security thing didn't devastate me either but it's going to cut significantly into my fun money.

2008 is going to be a different kind of year for me. I have not begun a year single since 2000 (and I had a girlfriend starting in February of that year). One of my roommates is moving out for a year in February to go to Australia so I'll be living with someone new and I can only hope that they are cool (and have cute friends!) and easy to live with. I've quit one of my highest paying jobs and will have one or two new jobs for next year. I'm going to work on a book in earnest, something I have not done for a few years. I've got a long, solo trip planned to Central America, Easter and Pentacost are not yet planned but something is going to happen, whether it's Romania, Morocco, or even a timeshare in Spain or a last-minute trip to somewhere like Tunisia or Sicily or somewhere new (even if it's not a new country, per se). I'm going to try and eat at home more often and exercise more. I'm going to California for a couple of weeks with Chick A and that is going to a damn good time. She's never been to the States and is going to love it here. I hope to start doing more events (that cost less money to organize though I will do another Groovement Festival-like thing sometime in 2008.

Most importantly, 2008 is a test for me. Can I still like Freiburg even though the reason why I went there doesn't exist anymore? I believe the answer to be yes but, and this is crucial, if for any reason the answer is not yes, I have to be willing and able to seek out new possibilities and directions for my life so I don't get stuck in a rut there. Any future moves will NOT be to California but rather to another European country most likely, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, something like that but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's see how Freiburg is first.

I need to learn to be more independent (again). My relationship with Assiyeah both had us independent but after she broke up with me I felt the co-dependence kicking in and I need to not need anyone anymore. That's another reason I went ahead and bought those plane tickets to Central America, regardless of what my life is like in 7 months so that I can know that I am, indeed, living MY life. That's what 2008 is about, MY life.

Happy New Year!

The almost end

It's 8pm on Sunday, the Simpsons are getting ready to start and it's a mellow Sunday(as of now). We visited relatives today in Redondo Beach, saw a movie and dropped my aunt off at the airport. It was so great getting to see her and she and I had a lot to talk about.

Tomorrow night is New Year's Eve. I'm most likely goin to Boscoes because it's close, my friends will be there and I'll be able to sleep in my own bed (unless I get lucky, hahahah). I'll give you guys a retrospective of 2007 tomorrow and some of my 2008 goals and dreams.

Hope life is treating ya'll well...see some of you soon, and some of you, well, see you.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Auntie Annie

is in the house!!! I haven't seen her since August in Portland, Maine and today she and I are doing some shopping and then there will be a dinner at my parents' house with a bunch of friends and then those friends and I are going to Boscoes (big surprise, right?) for dollar beers and to get our buzz on. I think it could be me, Mooney, two of his friends, Nate, Chad and some of his friends already that is like almost 10 people. Just imagine how much fun we're gonna be having. I hope not to have too much of a headache on Saturday because some family is coming over at noon for lunch and I have a date on Saturday night. I don't have any expectations from the date but it's always nice getting to know another woman, ain't it? Have a great weekend, ya'll!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Central America, baby!!!!!!

It's official, friends and family! Your beloved crazy friend Jason has just spent 378 dollars for flights to Central America! Here's the basic info:

August 1, 2008
LAX to San Jose, Costa Rica (with a stop in San Salvador)

September 11, 2008
Guatemala City to LAX

This is huge, my longest solo trip since Fall 1999 and it's a big carrot for me to focus on 2008 and make it my year. I already have 3 weeks in CA planned in February and now a 6-week trip to Central America, some new countries and a language I can already speak some of. I can't wait baby, woohoo!!!!!!!

Books

hey all,

I caught a buzz last night at Boscoes with buddies and actually hung out with a minor star last night, a dude from 98 degrees, the band that Nick Lachey (Jessica Simpsons' ex-husband) is in. No need to mention his name or anything but he was a really cool dude, down to earth and we talked about places in europe and chicks...I sang karaoke "California Girls" and changed some of the lines to "I'm glad there not all California girls" and a line, "The Italian girls, with the way they kiss, they keep me up at night", hahahah! I was having a good time. I also sang "Paradise City" by Guns n Roses, "Yakety Yak", and "Leroy Brown" but changed it to "Jason Brown, the baddest man in all orange county"!

I changed my plane ticket today at the airport and maybe, just maybe don't have to pay the hundreds of dollars to change it for some reason, that would be sooOOOOooo cool if I didn't have to pay. I then went to Borders to buy a bunch of books and dvds and stuff:

**A map of Central America
**Let's Go: Central America
**West Wing Season One
**Weeds Season Two
**an Orishas cd
**a Black Crowes acoustic cd
**a book about the transatlantic cable
**a book about the constitutional convention of 1787
**a book about how Bush has subverted the constitution

and some other stuff...

I got a haircut (not bad), had lunch and then argued about politics with the folks for a half hour while King of Queens was on and then went jogging and then helped my folks clean up the house a bit. I'm goin to Best Buy soon and then taking the folks out to dinner. I'm playing golf tomorrow, have friends coming over for a barbecue on friday and then goin to dinner with a friend on saturday and then we'll see...good weather is good!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Holidays

I don't believe in the War on Christmas. I say Merry Christmas to some people and happy holidays to others. That is not a war. I think people use the word 'war' too easily. Sorry for being sensitive to the fact that the person I say Merry Christmas to might not actually celebrate Christmas. It's not a big deal either way so with that in mind...

Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas!

cheers from 72 degree California!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday afternoon

Ahhh, got the house to myself for a few hours, my parents just went to a play to see the Rockettes. I'm watching some football, going jogging in about 20 minutes and then I'll probably chill out in the backyard for some of the afternoon, try and get some sun and feel like I'm on vacation.

Last night I went out kind of late for my OC life, about 11pm. Nate picked me up, we went to the Irvine Spectrum to the Yardhouse, a place with over 200 beers on tap and met up with Shavid, his fiancee Steph, Ryan and a guy I had not seen since high school, Todd. It was a great time in a somewhat chic bar but we hung for a couple of drinks and then went over to Boscoes where there were some drunk-ass people there. There was almost even a fight, too!

Well, just wanted to give a little update on life here in beautiful southern california. Hope you are having a relaxing sunday as well! cheers...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The NY Ninjas

Last night I saw a band called the NY Ninjas at Boscoes. They rocked. They all dressed up as ninjas and the songs had great titles like "Trying to Get Sober". I love Boscoes because I ate something and drank the whole night and my bill was 16 bucks (should have been around 40 at least) so I gave 10 bucks tip. I also saw some friends from high school I hadn't seen in ages, Ryan Holland, Rob Hart, Cengiz Tekin, Keri Kneblhard (sic) and Lorie Pope nee Hodge. I had seen everyone except for Lorie in August in briefly but Lorie I had not seen in at least 5 years I think. We all had a great time and it was good to see them. I have less and less in common with them but that's normal as time goes on. We all develop singularly but it was great to see them, glad to see they're doing okay.

Today? Well, I'm probably gonna hang with the folks today and maybe go out to dinner with a girl tonight I met yesterday or I'll hang with Nate and Zach and some other friends, we'll see. Christmas is coming and I have to get into the spirit. In fact, that will be my main goal today!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Windy

It's windy as hell today. I'm still hoping to get motivated to go jogging but we'll have to see. Last night the Rams lost to the Steelers but it was a good game and it was cool to have dinner with my folks and Lynne and I also got to see Zach, Russ, KC, Chris and Brady. I wasn't in the mood to get crazy last night because I have/had a feeling that tonight could get a little crazy. There is some live music at Boscoes and I'll probably get a ride home from whomever is closing the bar tonight, that's a sign of a good time, I hope! When you know that you'll be at the bar when it closes, that's a sign...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Now I understand gangsta rap...

"Fuck the police" has a different connontation for me now, I finally get what the gangsta rappers in the last 80s/early 90s were talking about but I digress. Let's talk about Tuesday night first.

I went over to my buddy KC and Chris' place. We watched the Lakers game, listened to some music KC was writing and then around 9 we went to Boscoes. It was already pretty busy and the karaoke scene was in full effect. We sat at the bar and had some wings and beer. It took awhile for me to get my karaoke vibe in me but it went pretty well. I sang a couple of songs, one being "Because I got High" from Afroman and the other song was "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys. I saw people I knew from previous times there including this dude Jorge who's got tattooes and long black hair and big earrings but I gotta give it to him, dude seems like a chick magnet! hahah

I had definitely caught a buzz by the time we left and went back to KC's and promptly fell asleep. I was a bit hungover for my doctor's appointment and then I came and relaxed for an hour before picking KC up to get some food and we chilled all afternoon at my house, watching "Shallow Hal", some with my pops before trying to pick KC's car up at the shop but it wasn't ready so we took a loner and went back to his place again. His roommate Chris had just come back from an interview at a ritzy hotel to be a bartender and then we went over to Forest Lanes to go bowling for one of KC's work Xmas parties. I hadn't been bowling in a couple of years and it really tripped me out who goes bowling, some strange folk to say the least but we had a good time. I bowled a 111 and 99. Yeah, I know, I kick ass.

Then we went to a new place called The Stationhouse Grill. It's a small place but they have hot waitresses dressed up like cops. It was jarring at first, I couldn't really concentrate on what was going on but then I saw a dude drinking a jello shot off one of the policewomen and I thought, yes, that is how I want to spend my holiday. They were a dollar a shot. The chick, Renee, said no problem. She had to bend her knees a bit because she was a good 4+ inches taller than me but that first shot was so good I ended up having 2 more. Those were arguably the highlights of the trip so far! hahaah And we met a dude named Matt who had just been in Iraq and had been stationed in Germany. I gave him one of my Groovement Stories books and he was stoked because he was flying to upstate the next day and wanted something to read.

I got dropped off by around midnight but still was awake around 6.30am this morning, much to my chagrin. My plan today is to wrap presents, write in my journal, go running if the weather isn't so bad and maybe even head up to the airport to change my ticket but I have a feeling I'll wait until next week.

Happy Thursday to ya'll, the Rams are playing the Steelers tonight and we are all gonna meet up at Oggi's for the game, ciao!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

tuesday

I won't be going jogging today because I'm goin to work with my parents in order to earn a little bit of money so that I can spend it wisely, like on beer and food tonight at my buddy's bar, Boscoes. They have dollar tacos all night and 1-dollar beers from 7.30-8.30pm so I hope to be there for that and they have karaoke starting at 9pm. I had such a damn good time doing karaoke the other night that I figured, what the hell, why not doing it again? I'm not sure what songs I'll do but I'll try and give ya a full breakdown tomorrow!

cheers

Monday, December 17, 2007

Miscellaneous

I am awake at 7am. That's probably because of two things, one being that I am still a bit jetlagged from the trip from Germany and also because on Saturday night I went to bed so late and didn't get enough sleep. I was probably asleep by 9pm last night.

My dad's birthday dinner was fantastic, and I got a funny polaroid picture of them cutting my tie off, you will guys love it when I can get it on in a couple of weeks. Besides my parents and me, there was Lynne, my mom's best friend and her two daughters along with one of the husbands and a 1.5 year old boy of the oldest daughter. We were a great little group, had some fun and some damn good food. I had a ribeye steak and I couldn't finish it and will be having it for lunch after I go volunteering with my mom and dad today, giving out some free food to families in need. I'll try and go jogging again in the afternoon and then probably take it easy tonight with the folks because I'll be up again at this time tomorrow because I'm going to work with my parents to earn a bit of spending cash but I'll probably just spend it on a big night at Boscoes again this weekend!

Xmas is getting closer and I'm slowly getting into the mood, even with 70 degree weather! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

9 hours of partying

I got picked up at 5.30pm last night by my buddy Nate. We went down to Jalapenos, a new Mexican place off El Toro Road and waited for our buddy Erik, a guy we went to high school and college with. The three of us drank some beer and ate great food while sitting outside in the chilly yet warm enough evening. We then went to Boscoes, my buddy's bar. We were the longest lasting customers of the night (I was at, at any rate). We played some pool, drank beer and it was 3 hours before some people really started showing up. We had caught a buzz by then. I sang a lot of karaoke. Here are some of the songs I sang:
1)Wind of Change - The Scorpions. I dedicated this to all of the German people in my life who make me feel more uptight than I really am.
2)Date Rape - Sublime. This one I dedicated to the bartender who had casually accused me of slipping her a date rape drug four months ago. She was clearly embarassed yet owning up to the thing when I went up to her and showed her the slip of paper and said, I was thinking of seeing this song. Classic Jason!
3)Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper. The karaoke dude complimented me on my back to back Date Rape/Girls Just Wanna Have Fun combo. I made the chorus from time to time Oh boys just wanna come...
4)Celebration - Kool and the Gang. The band I was in in college, we used to play this song sometimes and it got some people dancing.
5)Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 - Bob Dylan. They'll stone when you're trying to be so good...

I ended up getting home around 3.3opm and it was an epic night for me. That one night made the whole trip back home worth it. I had given some photos to people when I was here 4 months and 3 different people (two of them chicks) came up to me and said (I shit you not), I was so happy when I saw you here tonight, I didn't know if I was ever going to see you again and thanks so much for the photo, it's up in my apartment and I love it. I needed that SOOOOO much because the last months (years?) I have often felt like people had a good time hanging out with me or were happy to accept t-shirts I had made, small books I had published, photos I'd developed and then I'd never hear from them again and that's okay, I have enough in life to give but it was so rewarding last night to get feedback from people. My bartab was 62 and I tipped 15 bucks. I had a great night last night.

Today is my dad's birthday, we're going to a steakhouse where if you wear a tie then they cut it off because it's like a rustic, cowboy place. I'm planning on wearing a tie so they can cut it off. Cheers, ya'll!

p.s. I spent a couple of hundred dollars yesterday changing my plane ticket to stay 5 days longer in California. I was thinking that spending the New Year in Barcelona alone might not be the best thing for my soul right now. I'm all about making personal statements but I need some recovery and home time to start adding the wonderful accoutrements to my soul that'll make it a nice place to hang out for awhile...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back in the USSR

I was inspired just now to write about something. Apparently someone whom I can't contact posted on one of my blog entries about places to go and see in Freiburg. I didn't know he had asked the questions (I don't think) until just now but he was nice enough to write another response denouncing me for being a taker. Yawn...

Anyway, I entered the United States today for the first time in 3.5 months. I was poked in the chest by a border police when I was trying to walk into the baggage claim when he apparently wanted some line when there were only 3 of us. Hello, Police State! Four times I heard on the overhead that the Homeland Security Terror Alert level was Orange. I was in the bathroom the first time I heard it and I just said "shut up" to the overhead. What the hell, man.

It's good to be back in OC, I think, I have needed California for awhile.

If anyone would truly like advice on what to do and where to go in Freiburg, leaving a comment on my blog is not the best way to contact me. I am not alerted to people posting comments. You can email me directly at jasonconga@yahoo.com . Sorry if I don't write back, it's nothing personal, right?

Hey backintheussr, check out the blog entry you "commented" on. I gave you some advice, some of which was sarcastic and some of which was obvious. You are happy to take whatever advice you like. No hard feelings, cheers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Beer with buddies

hey ya'll,

got a private lesson starting momentarily, just wanted to let ya'll know that i am going to have some beers with some buddies tonight, something I have not been doing enough of lately. And goddamn, am I excited from california! I just zipped up my big bag that I'm bringing home and can't wait to be there, put on some shorts and go jogging. I know it sounds very weird but I hate this weather (cold, gray, wet) for exercise, it's just so damn hard to get motivated. I'm gonna try and do some exercise every day while I'm home in CA. Don't know if it will happen but it's in the works. I still have to find a gift for Jake, Amy's kid and teach a bunch tomorrow. I'll be up around 5.30am on Friday and it will be a long ass day to bring me to california but it's so worth it. Sing with me, California, California, here we come!!!! I'll be getting up for that journey in 36 hours!

Cheers!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mulled Wine

They have something here called gluehwein and we call it mulled wine though i didn't know that until i looked it up. it's hot, sweet red wine with cinammon and orange. I drank one with 3 students tonight, a guy from the Ivory Coast, a dude from Chile and one from Turkey. We shared a nice 45 minutes together in the cold slightly rainy Xmas market, talking a bit about our lives and they asked me many questions about California and we talked about their countries. We were all foreigners and it was nice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Great Night to be Alone

It's raining outside, everyone is doing their thing, there is a room full of german chicks in the next room watching "Lost". I got a long day tomorrow that will have two classes and two "classes" where we drink something. Tuesday has work until 3 and then a work Xmas party and then at 6pm another private lesson and then at 8 meet some buddies for beers and then Thursday try and get another 90-day extension of my work and residence permit and work a full day until 7.30pm and then grab some grub with Chick A+ and on Friday at 6.23am I'll be on a train. I'll arrive home in Orange Country, California 23 hours and 57 minutes later. I'm listening to Howard Stern online, getting ready to sort some papers and get to bed early because I gotta get up at 7am tomorrow.

cheers

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Festival definitely groovemented...

10 sentences about last night, in no particular order of importance...



10)Modern Earl had a 70-year old jazz drummer who had just trained in from Paris (4+ hours away).
9)My bar tab last night was 138 euros but they let me pay 135.
8)I lost approximately 450 euros on the event.
7)I was standing in the front of the stage the entire evening, often with other people 5-10 feet behind me, "rocking out with my cock out".
6)I had the help of so many people that put this together on the evening: Rebecca, Alex, Martin, the bartenders last night and Victor who worked the door and others.
5)65 people paid 4euros each for the event.
4)Chick A+ was not only wearing the sexiest skirt in the entire goddamn building but she got all her roommates and even a bored-looking roommate to come and pay for the event and she's totally gets my respect for repre-sentay last night.
3)Modern Earl saing "Sweet Home California" for me.
2)Alex and I, now known as Jsex, performed two songs in the band change.
1)It just dawned on me that basically I was willing to pay 1000 euros to throw a huge party for myself last night and let other people take part in it for a small fee.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Groovement Festival -- One Night Only!

So I'm fucking nervous as hell, it's 11.24am on Saturday and tonight I have what could be the biggest event I've ever organized, something called The Groovement Festival. I've got a reggae band and a country band and a photo exhibition and a Q&A session about hospitality club/couchsurfing. And I've published a collection of short stories for the event. I've got 1000 euros invested in this evening and I don't know if anyone's coming.

The country band has come from Berlin which is 500 miles away (true, they booked two more gigs in this general part of Germany but). I've been working on this event for like 3 months and I don't know what's gonna happen. It costs 4euros to get in and this is a college town and it could turn many people away or maybe the weather or maybe just laziness or maybe even another event in town. My one roommate has her last big test on Thursday (and somehow she can't even come for one or two hours and not get drunk and just look at the photos and shit) and the other roommate said she doesn't know if she's going to come. That kind of pissed me off. If neither of them come tonight, it's going to be a chilly vibe in the apartment next week.

Anyway, have you ever put yourself out there before? I've done lots of events but none of them ever had the opportunity to potentially be so big. I'm hoping ideally 200 people will come. You have to remember that I'm a teacher at the university in this town and I've told my students that I will not only be peforming a couple of songs with a friend but one of those songs will be me rapping over my buddy's piano playing. That song is called "Fuck It".

I wish I could stream the evening for you guys but you can find some sound/info on the two bands playing, they both have myspace pages: The Uplifters and the other band is Modern Earl. I think some of you might really like Modern Earl, it's country but with some humor thrown in there. Think Gods of Cock Rock a bit... And they do covers of T for Texas, Sing Me Back Home and a slow version of You Shook Me All Night Long.cheers and wish me some luck, I'm lying in bed, drinking coffee from my sexy amsterdam mug and thinking please god, make tonight not so horrible for me!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

86

Dec 31 - Jan 6 Barcelona 6
Feb 15 - Mar 7 OC/Vegas/SF 21
Jul 25 - Sep 21 Central America 59

I'm out of control. With 2007's end fast approaching, 2008's holiday schedule is slowly being followed in. I just realized that I already have 86 days' holiday planned for 2008. Add the two weeks home for Xmas 2008 and we've already got 100 days' holiday for what will be the fourth year in a row. Should I get a tattoo or something that? Jesus H. Christ! This is not to brag at all, I know how fragile the ecosystem that allows me to exist is, but oh my god, I am a lucky SOB! I never say that about myself, I know how I like to put myself in the position to cross luck's path but ...

...and quietly I'm looking over my shoulder, still waiting for the German Social Security to write me and demand basically every penny I have in this country and then some.

Some big balls

Assiyeah came over to watch Lost with the girls last night. She had told me some days earlier that she had a question for me but wouldn't ask me until she saw me. I had some suspicions about what the question would be but waited patiently...

She was coming up the stairs last night and I asked her what the question was. She started hemming and hawing and I already knew what she wanted to ask. I hope you're not asking me to...well, could you? Are you serious?

She wanted me to read her final thesis. This, from the girl who cheated on me for months, made me find out myself and now, 4 months later, as the only English-speaker "in her life", she asked me to read an 80-page paper that she's been working on for months. Of course, if we were still together it would be no problem. I"d be happy to do it but there's something about me that the women in my life should know. I am willing to give so much, even more than they are willing to give and I am happy to do it but when it's over, it's over. She doesn't get to have some aspects of being with me without being with me. I'm not longer mad at her, I am willing to have a semblance of friendship with her but there is no fucking way I am going to read her thesis. No fucking way. It's not even that the question even offended me but that girl has some damn big balls to ask me that question.

Chicks are crazy...

Monday, December 03, 2007

My maroon journal

dude, I'm an idiot. I gave a journal to Chick A+ to type up. She's gonna get paid for it and stuff, and the reason I needed it was to do some prep work for my next book (A Humorous Guide to Leaving the Country). The journal in question was the 7 months before I left for Germany. That is the crux of the first part of the book, no question about it. However, there is a shitload of personal and disgustingly childish love strewn throughout it. Of course I have good reasons, namely that Assiyeah and I were going to more or less be apart for 7 months except for two 2-week vacations together and I needed to keep the love alive in my heart/soul during that trying time. And, well, it doesn't matter the other reasons, but some are clearer and more obvious than others.

Now, there is good shit in the journal and I'll probably end up using about 3-5% of it and that's okay. But of the other 95%, 60% of that is crap. The other 35% is readable but not good. It's worth it for those good spots but I was such an idiot to give Chick A+ that journal. She's dating me and I give her my most intimate thoughts I put on paper about the last girlfriend. That was from 5.5 years ago but that's not the point and we all know it. I definitely was not thinking clearly when I gave her that book. The next one, from my first year living in Freiburg would have been a far smarter choice. She's going to begin working on that one soon and it should be more normal but that red journal she shouldn't have seen. It's not that I am ashamed of one word in there but it would have been better perhaps to not give that journal to a woman I was occasionally sleeping with. Idiot.

She obviously had many questions for me after she was in italy for a few weeks and typed up 100 pages or so of it. I was blown over by the intensity of the questions and the only way we could have had those discussions was if she already knew what I knew and she knew what she knew but I didn't know what she knew. Men are already at a disadvantage at times of heated/intimate discussion but her also knowing all of my intimate thoughts about the subject in question made it intense. We survived those discussions, mostly because I'm an open person but I didn't really get her concerns as much as I should have. I agreed that there was mushy love stuff in there but I thought she had been characterizing it at times rather harshly.

Well, yesterday I started reading what she had typed up and I was mortified. That poor girl had been forced to type some of the worst overflowering of love worship. I'm still not ashamed of it (remember I had reasons?) but jesus, what an idiot I am to give her that journal. The fact that she's even considering sleeping with me again is a miracle and we should ring the town bells to celebrate life!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sunday afternoon

So this is part of my new life. I have been in my room the whole day except for breakfast and a quick run to the grocery store. I have been listening to live Ryan Adams the whole day and relaxing and did a bit of writing. It looks like almost everything in my life is going well, I wrote in my journal today that I would give my life an 85% which is actually damn good considering some of the negative factors in my life. I guess it's not that hard to make me happy, something for which I'm grateful but I don't feel as satisfied with my life as I should. I'm doing all the big things, travelling, the art events, going out until 3-4 am on the weekends, eating out all the time, speaking foreign languages and surrounding myself with pretty interesting people, but it somehow feels a bit hollow at times because I don't have someone to share it with. It's okay, I'm getting by but I think I've been in relationships so long (the past 7.5 years) that I'm used to having someone to share my life with and the other person was always the richer for it. I have all these great things happening but no one to share them with. I have to learn how to be more independent again and it's not even that I "depended" on Assiyeah, far from it. We had our own lives and were relatively independent but that trust that allowed us to be independent in our relationship was shattered when she cheated and broke it off. I felt very exposed, and even more so now because I'm in a town with a lot of young attractive women (I'll get to the point, I promise) and I know this is a good thing (great, actually) but none of them know me, none of them want me, or love me or even like me. I'm not sure any of them even respect me as an English teacher (I teach dozens of attractive women) and it feels so weird because here I sit in my living room with no one to hang out with and that's okay because I'm doing exactly what I feel like doing, surfing the internet and listening to music, and I would also be totally happy to be doing something with another person, even going for a walk in the cold December afternoon, or lie in bed and watch TV or play a game or just sit next to each other and read. I'm not really cut out for single life as much, it sounds good on paper when you're better-looking, in better shape and with more money and less wrinkles. It's been going okay for me, all things considered, but I don't mind trading some of the allure of banging other chicks if one of them is making me happy. And that's what I mean. It's pretty easy to make me happy. And that's what is so distressing right now because I don't feel so happy now. Trust me, this should show you how wonderful my life in Freiburg has been for nearly 5 years that this is the low point of my life here. This feeling, however, is still happier than the happiest moment while living in Pennsylvania 5.5 years ago so it's important to keep perspective.

And that's what this is about. I need to regain my perspective because I still have the perspective of someone who has someone. And I don't. And that's why I keep feeling like I'm falling over, because I'm leaning on something that isn't there. I need to stand more upright again and that has many connotations. It's getting time to do something drastic, not in a bad way but you can see if I'm just willy-nilly buying plane tickets to Barcelona for New Year's one day after coming back from 2 weeks in California and that that doesn't excite the living shit out of me, there is a sense of hollowness there. How can I fill that hole?

Going home for 2 weeks will be of immense help. The warmth, the friends and family, and the reassuring time of year called Xmas where everybody loves everybody.

Working out again regularly will also be helpful. I decided to take my running shoes home to CA and try and go running almost everyday that the weather is good. I don't really have much else I HAVE to do while there so...

Getting past my legal problems in Germany will also help. It's this big cloud hanging over my head and it didn't bother me when I was with Assiyeah, I knew that it would be okay somehow. And I know it will be okay somehow but the legal problems and the probable LARGE backpayment to the Social Security (we're talking about 15,000US here) could ruin the things that Ilove about my life here. Am I really going to pay them back? Am I going to go somewhere else? Where should I go? What should I do there? Why should I go there? There's so many factors that are based on things that haven't happened yet and while you don't want to forego the moment, it's important to have contingency plans. What am I gonna do? Ya see what I mean?

I am floating in a way. I am slowly moving forward with goals of mine but I'm not hungry enough. I don't need to purposely make my life more difficult in order to create something noteworthy, do I? I hope not because I'm 33 and think being 10 years older than everyone in the town is enough of a complication. And they're all German! hahaha Ok, not all of them, but you know what I mean.

Well, that's another slice of my life, hope it tasted like something...

Barcelona

I just bought plane tickets to go to Barcelona for New Year's Eve and 5 nights after that. I am very happy about this impulsive purchase. It cost 53euros roundtrip. That's 75 bucks to fly roundtrip two hours away to Spain. I wanted to start 2008 off with a bang and I think I just gave myself some gunpowder. The thing is, maybe I don't end up going to Barcelona. I am coming back from 2 weeks in California and I could easily chill the whole first week of January before having to go back to work but now I have plane tickets to Barcelona now. That is the plan but I love that if, for whatever reason if I don't go, I'm only out the 53euros, no harm no foul. It was just too cheap to pass up. It's like I paid 50euros for some dude to wait in line to get me tickets to Zeppelin back in the day or something and maybe I don't go to the concert but it's so reassuring knowing at least I have a ticket, ya know?