Tuesday, 27 November 2007

First of all let me assure you that this is going to be a bit more upbeat than last week. Just a little crisis there, nothing to worry about... But thank you all nonetheless for all the messages of support and Facebook hugs and whatever else. I was surprised that so many of you actually still read this.

This week I actually wanted to write about Thanksgiving as I do also have quite a lot to be thankful for, but there has been something else on my mind for a while so I will report on that first. And I am very thankful for what I'm about to write too, so there you go. But enough introduction, here we go.

I think it goes without saying that I probably must have the worst possible German accent ever when trying to speak English (or any other language for that matter) and I would expect more people to approach me to do voiceovers for Audi (yes, I can say Vorsprung durch Technik the way god meant it to be said) or play some Nazi Hauptmann in their play or commercial (all things considered, I'm too small probably and don't have enough facial hair).

Alas, no. I have only been here since July, but it seems that I have already built a certain reputation about my English writing skills. Apparently I'm the man to see if you need an email or a letter written in English to anyone, especially if you are trying to convey to the recipient that you are not exactly happy with something.

Even wilder, recently I got asked if I could help write somebody's Business Plan to convince the bank to hand over the money to realize someone's lifelong dream project. I don't know if it gets any more serious than this.

So, these days I'm writing cover letters, look over CVs, correspond with solicitors, various banks and landlords and, my personal favorite, write the text for somebody's CD booklet. How cool is that?

All this has come as a surprise to me. Back in my old job I was notorious for writing emails that did not exactly enhance teamwork, or at least so I was repeatedly told. Thus, I would never have guessed that people would want me to put their correspondence to paper. But, make no mistake, so it is.

Just the other day somebody said to me something like: Thanks man, you write one mean letter.

These are probably not exactly the words that were used, but that was the gist of it and this is what got me thinking.

Why? Well, because this is exactly how I think about the letters that my dad writes.

Whenever I read a letter my dad writes to some unfortunate creature, I usually think: Whoa, I'm amazed the paper doesn't curl up by itself.....

Finally I have found something that I'm considered good at. Something just like I think my dad is good at doing.

Now, I can see you think: What the hell does he mean and where the heck is this going? Let me explain:

I will have to speculate but I think most boys will go through some of the following phases at some point during their lives:

- Your dad is sooooo cool and strong and funny etc. (I think this phase is generally reserved for age 2 - 4)

- Your dad has no idea what is cool whatsoever and can't possibly ever been young himself (age 5 - 25) ....

If you're lucky like me, there is an additional phase:

- Your dad might not be cool exactly but at least he is coughing up the money for a decent education, so that's okay, isn't it?

Depending on the outcome of these phases and also depending on your general relationship with your parents either one of 2 things will then probably happen in some sort of variation:

- You try to be as different as humanly possible from your dad in what you choose to do for a living, the way you lead your life, who you vote for etc. or

- You try to beat your dad at his own game and get a better job, make more money etc.

It goes without saying that this will have rather varying degrees of success.

In my own case I have been at option 2 for maybe the last 8 or 9 years until I realized 2 or 3 years ago that while I would like to achieve what my dad has achieved I probably have no prayer in ever doing so.

To start with, he holds a PhD, so unless I wanna go back to school for a good while, that's out.

Also, he's not only holding down his normal job on a day to day basis, he is also the author of such important books like "Your Companion to English Literary Texts, Analysis and Interpretation of Narrative Prose" or the editor of "Mittelhochdeutsche Kurzgrammatik". For all I know these titles might even mean something.

He is also a skilled entertainer and gambler and I think is rather popular with most people.

In addition, he owns a massive house, brought up 3 boys that must have cost him more than just a few hairs, even though this has to this day not stopped him financing their little (mostly not so successful, but still rather pricey) adventures.

See what I mean? How the hell would I ever be able to do that? The clock is ticking you know.

However, apart from the already cited English writing skills, I seem to discover more and more stuff that seem to make me become more and more like my dad.

Just like him I'm just a tad impatient, prone to napping in inappropriate places and women (in my case my boss and my neighbor) seem to prefer talking to me when they are in a different room (a trick that my mother has successfully used over the last 30 years to drive my dad bonkers).

Now the thing that did it for me was that I have started teaching last week. I'm not certain yet, but I think I like it. I have not really had the urge to expel one of my students by means of a window yet, but I can easily see how you get to the point and could not blame my dad any more if he would throw them out in boatloads.

So, before I go rambling on forever, I guess I am happy to report that I'm becoming my dad and that I'm not in the least worried about it. I guess it does not necessarily skip a generation, like he likes to say.

So, thank you Dad, everything done in the last 32 years is much appreciated. And Mom, just give me a little bit and I will hopefully list how I am like you as well.

Belated happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Tuesday, 27 November 2007 02:20:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
 Sunday, 18 November 2007

Sorry guys, been very busy lately but just now something happened that first made me think and then sit down to write this. I was thinking about writing this in German as it might only be relevant to a small group, but then I decided against it. Very few, if not nobody of you will be able to connect to what I'm trying to say anyway...

I think I can honestly say that I'm generally not someone who tends to be homesick. I don't call home every few days or any stuff like that and I get along just fine. I'm okay, wherever I am. Most of the times anyway. A few times however, it does hit me, and then it is usually is quite strong. Today is one of these days. I believe it's down to a combination of factors...

I have an exceptionally busy week (the boss is away you see) that is far from over and I'm drowning in work. To top it off, I'm Manager on Duty tomorrow, something I've grown to looking forward to about as much as a visit to the dentist (even though it must be said I do have an excellent dentist).

That in itself is probably not so unusual, but I did screw up a few things this week that now need fixing and I'm not particularly good at that. In one particular case involving a pretty lady it unfortunately seems even beyond fixing.

Moreover, today is my brother's 30th birthday and I somehow can't get rid of the feeling I should be there with him and the rest of the gang.

Happy Birthday Runzel! Thinking about you in a land far far away. Hope you have a good one.... I wish I could be there...

I also missed the stag night of one of my best friends' last weekend, but as I was in New York, that somehow seemed an acceptable exchange. Of course it is not. Can someone please report what happened?

Anyway, it's a Saturday afternoon and after having spent 5 hours at work, I'm sitting at home trying to prepare a presentation. Powerpoint is not something I would call my friend at the best of times and I have trouble concentrating anyway. I'm thinking about how stupid you can be, how I'm not cut out for my job, that I will never understand girls and god knows what else. This I actually do a lot.

What is different this time is that I have iTunes running in the background which is on Shuffle so it's randomly sifting through the about 1000 songs I have on my laptop. Now here is what happens when I have all these thoughts going through my head:

iTunes selects a song from a band called Haindling called Irgendwie und Sowieso. This is the name and theme tune of something of a cult Bavarian TV series and it triggers a serious bout of homesickness. I cannot begin to explain. Those of you who know the song and the series and have been away for a while might understand.

I used to watch this program quite a lot because like nothing else it manages to bring across what a great feeling it is like to grow up in Bavaria, where, for the lack of better words, the world is still in order.

I think the last time I watched more than one episode must now be about 6 or 7 years ago at about 3am guarding a Maibaum with my mates from the fire brigade. Again, I couldn't begin to explain.

Liebe Freunde und Kameraden,

Ich würd jetzt so gern mit euch im Stüberl oder sonst wo in Erding sitzen und ein Weissbier trinken (es gibt hier kein Weissbier!!). Ich weiss es klingt albern, aber ich vermisse tatsächlich um halb drei in der früh aus dem Bett zu rollen um dann halb die Treppe runter zu fallen um 3 Minuten später einen Einsatz zu fahren. Ich bin in Gedanken bei euch. Es gibt nichts was eine sinnvollere Beschäftigung wäre... Glaubt mir, auch wenn vielleicht grad keine Bahn fährt, ihr wohnt in einem wunderbaren Fleckchen Erde und wenn wieder mal ein Maibaum fällig ist, sagt Bescheid. Wir können die ganze Nacht Irgendwie und Sowieso schauen....

Und Wuschi, ich weiss ja nicht ob ich zur Hochzeit eingeladen bin, aber bitte jede Menge Vorwarnung geben!!

Missing you all like crazy!!

Sunday, 18 November 2007 01:21:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |