January 29, 2008

I love a 2-minute phone call that will be worth 1,630euros. 6 days of work for 2 months’ living. Hmmm, I wonder why I’m not moving back to California just because the love thing didn’t work out…


An update, if you can call it that

January 27, 2008

So I’ve made my first payment to the German Social Security, that you know. Of course they don’t know that because they apparently have yet to receive the payment, nor the form I had to fill out explaining all my expenses per month so they could determine how much to tack onto the 195euros/month I gotta pay these (smile) SOBs. Hopefully it is no more than 50euros/month so that I can still take lovely ladies out to eat, buy someone a drink, go to concerts, allow me to self-publish short stories and organize large events and in a more extreme specific way, afford a gram of marijuana while in Amsterdam in April for example. They’re small things but they make up my life, or at least what I like about it. Eating out, drinking, travelling, art, events, concerts, fun. I don’t want them to take that from me. But I digress.

My passport has new pages in it, the second time I’ve gotten them added, the first being in Krakow, Poland in April 2005. It’s so petty but I’m a bit proud of myself that I have used my passport so much in 7 years that I have neede to extra pages put into it twice. True, I don’t have a jetski, a television or even a car but I got that. Anyway, my current 90-day extension to live and work in Germany expires on March 13th. I will show that by then I will have made 3 monthly payments to the German Social Security and ask for a 2-year extension. They told me I cannot have the permanent residence until all 60 months have been paid. Hmmmm, 12,000 euros paid to someone, sure, no prob, I’ll have it done by the time Germany gets the World Cup again in like 30 years! hahhahah Nah, it’ll take more like 8-10 years for me to pay all of that back and it pains me to think that I might have to wait YEARS before being allowed to live and work in germany permanently but it doesn’t matter, I’m living in my life and I’ll let them do what they need to do to answer to superiors. I don’t have superiors to answer to. I have people I have to deal with. Big difference…

I’ll be in California in less than 3 weeks, I cannot wait! Good weather, Boscoes, golf perhaps, beach, not to mention visiting that crazy bastard mooney for a night or two. Boy I hope he gets laid soon! hahah But then again, I should hope the same for me too…so I guess I’ll meditate a bit and see what I can do.

You know you’ve gotten used to living in Freiburg/Germany when…

January 23, 2008

1)You know you’re riding your bike on the wrong side of the road and you don’t care when someone honks and berates you.
2) You ask other people about their WG-Putzplan (shared flat cleaning plan).
3)You think 10% is a good tip
4)You actually enjoy learning strange and obscure dialect words.
5)Fastnacht (Carnival) doesn’t freak you out anymore.
6)You drink coffee with someone who helped you move something heavy (instead of a beer).
7)You think it’s normal for people to eat bread and cheese for dinner, even if they’re not in jail.
8)You think 2 minutes late is unacceptable.
9)You complain when Tacheles (a bar) kicks you out at 5am.
10)You stop and think about which trash can a kleenex, tea bags and toothbrushes go into.
11)You don’t remember the last time you won an argument with a German.
12)You know not to call someone during Tatort (like Murder, She Wrote).
13)You don’t use the word ‘date’ because is scares girls.
14)You think it’s normal for someone to never share personal details of their life with you.
15)You can’t remember the last time you drove a car.
16)It doesn’t bother you shops are closed on Sunday.
17)You make an appointment to hang out with a friend 3 days ahead of time.
18)You have a vague guilty feeling you should be more productive but you aren’t sure how.
19)You consider sitting outside at a cafe, merely because the sun is shining regardless of the cold.
20)You start saying hurtful things to people without knowing it, because you’re ‘just’ being honest.
21)You try and use logic when dealing with emotions.
22)You know what “Malla” (Mallorca) is and you are glad you have never been there.
23)You don’t trust Schwaebisch people but you don’t know why.
24)Wearing the same pants 3 days in a row seems normal.
25)You think of your life in terms of space between holiday periods.
26)You like to think that Northern German people feel as foreign here as you do.
27)You have an opinion on whether Sido (a rapper) should have taken his mask off or not.
28)You know what time your bus or tram leaves at all times.
29)You start saying “gell” or “weisch” at the end of everything you say.
30)You start telling people you are a Bobele too.
31)You don’t think it’s strange for a tv show to start at 6.05pm.
32)You know what a Nuss Schnecke is (a pastry).
33)You know what a Schnecke (hot chick) is when talking to guys.
34)You start saying “Was geht denn ab” (what’s up?) to everyone in your life.
35)You know what Hartz4 is and you think that’s what he should get.
36)You know what “schniposa” is.
37)You realize German people are just as ignorant as American people.
38)You feel annoyed when people trying getting on the tram/bus when others are still trying to get off.
39)You feel pressure when bagging your groceries at Aldi.
40)You don’t think it’s strange that there is a dog next to you at the bar.
41)You have heard the song “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” more in 5 years in German than the rest of your life combined.
42)It’s okay to accuse someone of being like the Stasi if they come from the west but Gestapo is out of the question.
43)You don’t think it’s strange to see a sign “Im Sitzen Pinklen” (Sit when you pee) in someone’s bathroom.
44)You actually look at your shit before you flush it.
45)You go weekend food shopping as if getting enough for the end of the world.

More coming soon…

6 months

January 21, 2008

So I have been officially single for 6 months today. I wasn´t sure what to think about it at first but I distinctly remember an emotion that I had yesterday while I was lying in bed hungover trying not to think at all. It was a moment of ´thanks´that she broke up with me because I have had some great times with Chick A in this time frame and not to mention some of the other interesting women I have met and been on dates on and the nights I was still out at 4am when I normally would not have been. I am going to be okay. I have got a lot to offer that a woman wants, and I am not even worried about it. Things are going well for the most part.

And I have been a lot of places since then. I went to the states for a month just afterward, then to spain for a week, london twice for long weekends, amsterdam and then california again for a few weeks. I had 4 photo exhibitions, saw some great concerts and have been on some dates, some better than others but still, I am getting myself out there. I quit one of my highest-paying jobs because of student apathy. I am now paying into the German social security system which I am not too stoked on but i do want to be here legally so that I can be as free as I feel when I walking around town drunk at 3am with nothing but possibility ahead of me.

What about the next six months? Now that is a good question. I would very much like to try and get work on A Humorous Guide to Leaving the Country done but it has been slow going. I need to focus on what the book is about and just start writing. I am going to try and organize another couple of parties, see some concerts, visit some places (california and amsterdam are the only two that are official but Easter and Pentacost are still wide open). I have been working out and eating better, and I want to enjoy the friendships I have made in the past months and basically be me. I was having some trouble in the Fall being myself for many reasons, none of which need to be repeated if you ever read this blog but it is getting better. I am getting better. It has been six months, not enough to say, hey J, you’re all better now but at least enough to say, good to see you’re not all fucked up still. Keep going, J, you are getting there. But don’t forget to appreciate the journey along the way.

After the next six months, I have an epic trip to Central America planned but more on that later after I do some other stuff in the meanwhile. Cheers, ya’ll…


January 18, 2008

I just bought two tickets to see the Black Crowes in Amsterdam on April 11th. I’m so excited, this will be the 27th time I will have seen them and it’s like going to church for me. Tickets were a bit expensive (55euros/each) but I don’t care. I don’t know who is going to use the second ticket and I don’t care. Either someone will come with me from Freiburg or I’ll sell it to someone outside the venue before I go in, lots of possibilities.

I sang karaoke last night at an Irish pub in town. It’s funny because the first song was a bit inappropriate with at least 3 university students of mine there but it was Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 with “they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good”. The people were still getting warmed up to the evening and so the reception was luke warm but there were so many freakin people singing karaoke that I only got to sing one more time and it was about 2 hours later and the place was more packed and the people much drunker then and I sang Celebration by Kool and the Gang and it went over amazingly! There were tons of chicks right up front dancing and one of them got on the stage to continue singing the song with me and then I was just on the stage with my hands in the air like, check me out, i’m so fucking good at karaoke that some chick just jumped on stage to join me and her friends all loved it and then the karaoke dude came over and chastised them for singing and blah blah blah and so they got off the stage but then I brought the microphone over to them so they could sing with me. That was a damn good time. 🙂

Now I’m hoping to get up soon and take part of my bed back to IKEA because it sucks. They will probably try and tell me that it is more than 90 days since I received it and I just hope that I don’t have to make a scene. I’ll keep ya updated, cheers!


January 13, 2008

thursday just chilled, friday night went out with other teachers and made the smart move to go home around 1.15am, just when the night could have turned into some fuller and more sinister and last night went out with some friends for a birthday party and whooped it up dancing to reggae music until after 4am. Just got back from jogging, playoff football tonight, have a bunch of shit I could do but just wanna chill, watch a LOST episode, maybe vacuum, I could do some schoolwork but I’m not motivated so it looks like the lazy dude is gonna win.

cheers, ya’ll!


January 10, 2008

Went to bed at 3am. Woke up off and on through 8pm, took a shower, shaved and rode my bike into town, got some papers from my cubbyhole that I never look in and then went to the university library. First I wanted to go the ATM but it had been moved, a convenient one that i just brought a special ATM card for and then had to find another one. It turned out to be one I’d never been to, didn’t even know it was there. I got 20euros, went back to the library and made a beeline for the cafeteria where I bought a double coffee and pretzel for 2.30euros and hustled it back to my classroom. It was 10.01am and my class started in 14 minutes. I had more time than I’d thought.

I only had to sit on the side of the classroom while 3 students were in control of the day’s lesson. They chose the smoking ban, alcohol and drugs as topics. I had to do nothing. Then had lunch of turkish burrito (yufka) in what turned out to be perfect weather and sun. My second class was a presentation on the Simpsons and I had to do nothing again but write down their mistakes, which at times is “harder work” than actually teaching/talking. Had a 30-minute break and made photocopies for the third class. I brought in the Sunday edition of the LA Times from December 30th in all its bloated glory and I had each student hold it and pass it on to show its girth. Then I opened it up and gave each of the 13 people a section of the paper, whether it was the front section, sports, calendar, travel, real estate, comics, etc. we spent the next hour with them just looking at the newspaper. i ended up switching it up so that each person could pretty much look at each section, even if some were actually boring. But they also looked at all of the ads inside, compared prices and it was actually a great experience. They were all really, peacefully enjoying the experience of spending an hour to look at a big newspaper. Their homework was to find an article or something of interest and bring it in next week.

Then I met a student for a beer at 4pm but i only drank spezi (fanta and coke). Then I went to Chick A’s and for an espresso which was really nice of her because I needed it bad. She has this crazy important job competition interview in 3 weeks in Brussels and is really focusing. It’s impressive, really. And then gets to go to Calfornia with moi for a couple of weeks, world, get ready for how Chick A and yours truly rock the world. We’ve taken having a good time with dinner and drinks to a new level and we’ll show ya’ll how it’s done! hahaha (I’m glad I’m finally off work. Let me get back to my day.)

I then rode my bike over to a university building and had a class with 11 chicks who are students taking a pre-intermediate class. They are from Kazakhstan, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Japan, China, Korea and Bulgaria. I’m not shitting you. It was a lot of energy entertaining them after my day but I did ok. I rode my bike home, got home at 7.40 heated up the leftover chile con carne and i am so happy to be in the nest.

So that was my day, at least until 8.30pm. I still have to do the dishes and clean my room but for now I’m here. Cheers