A period

October 30, 2009

Franziska will be in Honolulu for the next six weeks.  I’m starting a new regiment on Sunday, November 1st, for better or worse.  It might not be the most interesting month of my life, no offense to anyone who has a good time with me in November, but I will be focusing on some of the behind the scenes work in life, improving my German, working out, writing, reading about renewable energy, stuff that would have trouble competing with going down to walfisch and eating a schnitzel and drinking a few beers.  Don’t get me wrong, there will still be some beer in this belllay, but for that one month, and letting it spill over into December, I will focus on these things.

30 days:

everyday writing in German in my journal

20 workouts, whether jogging, fitness studio and 30 minute workout at home

20 days of writing Newropean

20 days of concentrated reading of German or practicing grammar

14 days of work

I miss Franziska, but I’m really happy for her and am glad I got my own things going on right now, this is one of those periods where I have shit to get done too.  The pats 5 years I have had a life that challenged me enough that I could pursue various leisure activities like travelling through Central America and now I want to challenge life more for awhile. It’s just gonna take a little effort to get the ole engine started up!



Some updates

October 21, 2009

For the past week my neck has not been too kind to me, it’s like I slept funny on it and it was hard to turn my neck all the way to the right and left and back. It got a bit better but I noticed it was worse today so I made an appointment.  I have been to the doctors at most 1 time a year the past years and now I have a dentist appointment on Friday and an appointment with the orthopedist on Tuesday.

I contacted a couple of energy consultant companies about getting an internship but it didn’t work out.  A friend of mine’s mom is in the forestry industry and may have connections at the Renewable Energy Management program that I want to do next Fall.  Connections are good. 🙂

I finished typing chapter 11 of The Newropean.  Franziska is the only one who has read it so far and I think she likes it, though to be fair she is in love with me and so she might be biased.

This is my first full work week in 3 months and it is kicking my ass.  There is still one loooOOoong day left too.

Oli and Fox are having a big party this weekend and I’m sure it will go on long after Franziska and I have gone to bed but that’s okay but we’ll make our appearance, have some beers, some laughs and head out when all the slutty chicks show up. hahahah

I have a new exhibition at Oma’s Kuche in a month and need to order the canvas and it’s going to be 330 euros.  That is like 500 dollars I’m going to spend to produce some art and make a nice evening out of it.  More info soon.

Solar Summits

October 15, 2009

I was an excellent imposter today.

I met a journalist outside the event this morning at 8.45am, and walked into the beautiful wooden hall, warm lighting, a large screen for presentations, very organized.  I had a small bottle of bubbled water and listened to 30-minute presentations about damn, so much, here is a basic impression:

*a net zero development in Toronto and one in Abu Dhabi, and he went into detail how the wind, temperature and sunlight were all scientific pieces that led to the puzzle of having short, thin streets to minimize the hot wind and the punishing sunlight.

: Someone asked later about how you can be sure that the building will be deveoped  according to the plan? The dude’s answer: Well, I develop the building and we have to assume that the building will be built according to plan.  Uh huh.

*A new German Building Council certificate that is based on a complex algorithm with like 50 categories, some of them mathematically derived and others rather subjectively.

: Someone later asked about how there is a Dutch and American certification system that is less bureaucratic and why this German version would succeed? Answer: Well, we’ve taken those original ideas and improved them.

*A presentation from a guy from the Lawrence Berkely Labratory about advances California is making and has been since the 70s.

*A presentation by a guy from Lausanne about some thin, colored coating on solar panels that can be used as facades for buildings.

*A complex, slide-heavy presentation from a professor of Wuppertal about many different factors for solar panels.

*There was an Australian guy who talked about different ways of ventilating the attic and how to make small changes to make advances as well as the whole solar panel thing.

Lunch was beef strogonoff and/or pancake canneloni in marinara sauce, a couple of vegetable salads, slices of different breads with sodas, juices, beer and wines (I had white wine) and then for dessert I had rote groeze, a Swiss dessert of raspberry and other tart fruit compott with vanilla sauce.

I had a ten-minute discussion with the two English-speaking presenters, the guy from Lawrence Berkeley Lab and the Australian guy.  It was a very lucky, fleeting moment, two of the most knowledgeable men on solar energy in the world, and I wanted to ask a bunch of questions but 90% of them would make me look foolish so I only asked 33% of those. 🙂  They made an interesting point that my psychology degree could help me in the idea of persuading people to comprehend the urgency and momentousness of the occasion.  Part of my niche in the Renewable Energy industry could involve me convincing local governments with private partnership to get involved in a mixture of research and implementation, capitalizing on the advancements that have already been made and are available commercially while reinvesting some profits to further more research to push a new wave of converts now that this second generation has seen and known people who will have gotten something like solar panels on their city hall or convention center.  They can be persuaded that more advancements have been made that make it cheaper and more efficient.

I was grateful to have their time and the American I will write soon to try and have some contact with him.  I was really lucky to meet them.

The journalist I was accompanying today said she was leaving after lunch and I did the same.  I had already hit information overload so I left, grabbing some schwag on the way out, a pad of paper, a couple of pens, a eyeglass cleaner and two wordless dictionaries.

Should I go back tomorrow? I’m 90% sure that I would be let into the conference again.  I could be overwhelmed for a couple of hours and then go to the gym in the afternoon.  It probably would be wise of me to go but damn, it’s pretty intense.

Still though, a very successful day in a new arena.

New Career Plans

October 11, 2009

I’m going to spend the next 2 days trying to learn a good deal about solar energy and solar panels and  then possibly spend Thursday and/or Friday at a big new international conference called Solar Summits.  I plan to meet a lot of people and try and make some impressions.

I want to contact the company in Waldkirch who is doing a “green” room for Freiburg at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai.   I want to try to weasel my way into an internship there and say that I could be in Shanghai to help man the stand and act as a native English speaker because for sure the conference will be in English and I bet these guys can probably speak reasonably good English but still…maybe I could give some English lessons there for the chance to also have an internship there.

See if there is a southern California-based company that focuses on solar energy, see if they need a representative for them in Freiburg, an internationally-renowned environmental city.

I will start the German language exam studying in November, and the exam is in May, exactly when the deadline to apply for the university.  I have to catch up on what the cutting edge of renewable energy even looks like.

But it’s 1.07am now and it’s time for me to go to bed.  I wonder what will happen tomorrow. 🙂


October 2, 2009

October second, life plowing ahead slowly but surely.  I’m in the process of shedding – clothes, possessions and hopefully a bit of weight.  Going jogging soon, and have been exercising almost everyday since I got back.  Then again, it’s only been six days so we’ll see.

I’ve gone through my closet and pulled out one bag’s worth of clothing and shoes.  Two pairs of shoes, a couple of pairs of pants, some shirts, socks, etc.  It felt good to throw them in the bag with a little voice in my head saying “You still want that stuff” but of course that side of my brain conveniently forgets the closet full of clothing.  I’ve got about 7 pairs of jeans, 7 pairs of cords/dress pants, 15 underwear, 20 pairs of socks, 30 dress shirts/hawaiian/cowboy shirts, about 12 t-shirts, and let’s not even get started on the winter stuff.  I”ll be going through that when I pull it out in earnest in the next week.  That said, getting rid of a bag of clothes is a drop in the bucket and that’s why it’s so easy to get rid of it.

That said, I have a tie-dye t-shirt from may 1998 that is falling apart and I can’t seem to get myself to throw it away. I want to do something with it, like cut out a pattern from it and use it because it was beautifully done, traded for some grateful dead bootlegs in central pennsylvania somewhere.

I could probably shed some books too but that’s tough, because Franziska likes to keep all her books and I’ve gotten rid of dozens over the years but it is really nice to have them all.  I want my library someday to books I’ve really read and plan to read rather than having something that looks like a trap door into another room.

On a different note, I may have some trouble with the tax authorities here and I’m looking forward to it, an audit of my finances for last year.  I’ll keep you updated but basically I know that even if I lose all the money I’ve worked so hard to save here, I still want to stay.  I want to live in Germany and be part of society.

I’ve also been doing some research on programs here in Germany, many of whom start next October.  It might even be a university program on Renewable Energy Management.  I may not have the scientific background but I think it’s something that could interest me.  I’m not looking forward to studying for this german-language exam in May but it’d be a start and help me get into the feeling of studying for hours at a time, something I haven’t done since before a blowjob rocked the political world.

I had a meeting yesterday for a new photo exhibition, at a restaurant called “Grandma’s Kitchen”.  I had an exhibition there two years ago and it went pretty well.  This time I’m planning on taking it to the next level by having these photos printed onto canvas so they look sharper.  I’ll let you know when that gets finalized.

That’s just about it for the past couple of days, going to meet some friends this evening I haven’t seen in 2 months, looking forward to letting my hair down a bit. 🙂