Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Trippin' Balls

...not me, our cat. She was doing the typical cat thing -- running around like a lunatic, suddenly stopping, pouncing -- and I thought she was just being a jerk, but then I saw her eyes were almost completely dilated. I don't know if she got into something (one of the bugs seeking refuge in our house?), or if that is what normally happens when cats act like they have a ghost chasing them, but I'm hoping she'll calm down and maybe take a nap or something.

I gave my bangs a whack the day before I was notified about the job interview, and the rest of my hair was so long it was getting wrapped around my neck while I slept, so I was in desperate need of a haircut. The place I had gone to a couple of times before did not make me happy (refusing to cut bangs into my hair, not trimming my bangs after I had given myself bangs), so I called another place even closer to our house (a 2-minute walk instead of 4) and the stylist had an opening at noon yesterday, so I went. The book of hairstyles she showed me was a bit, um, dated, but she actually listened to what I wanted, while also making some suggestions herself, and we agreed on a cut. I liked the stylist, and I got a good vibe off the salon itself, so I think it is going to be a better fit for me, even if I now look a bit like the lead guitar player in an East German rock band from 1984. Before she started on my bangs (like I said, whacked), she muttered, "This is going to be a challenge", but she gamely took them on, and they do look better now. As I left, she repeatedly urged me to let her trim my bangs, I could pop in any time, etc. She literally said "Bitte bitte bitte" at one point. So I think I now have a stylist, and I have a week for my hairstyle to settle in before my interview.

Every November, I start reminding myself of how old I will be on my next birthday, since I hate surprises. That gives me a few months to get used to the idea. John thinks this is weird, but he also has no idea how old he is, so point to me, I think. 45 45 45... I weirded myself out the other day thinking about my older cousin creeping up on 50.

I'm writing this more as a way of remembering than reporting, but our neighbor suddenly passed away over the weekend. John and I saw a hearse parked in front of our house Saturday evening, but we didn't know who they were coming for at the time. Our neighbor was 86, but he had been in good shape and mentally fit, right up until he had a massive heart attack and died on the spot. I passed him Saturday afternoon on the street on my way to the store, and apparently he went home soon after that and had a heart attack while his wife was in the next room getting his lunch. He was such a nice man, and he befriended John over his gardening efforts and always had a kind word about his shed-building project. He and his wife were a fixture in our street, and we saw them out and about together all the time. She is not doing well, and we are all very worried about her.

Nee in Germany

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bit of a surprise

I mentioned previously that I had applied for a job, but that particular job got lost in a departmental shuffle at the company. After that, the company implemented a hiring freeze, I heard from a friend, who also encouraged me to keep applying, which I have done 2 or 3 times since the spring. The last posting was the one I was most interested in, due to the type of work, but a couple of weeks after sending off my application, I did a bit of googling and found an article from a German business magazine warning that the company probably would not end their hiring freeze before the start of 2018. That allowed me to mentally shelve my application and prepare for another automated rejection once the job posting expired.

So imagine my surprise when my cell phone started ringing last Friday afternoon (no one calls it but occasionally Hannah, and she was at work). I have an interview next week!

via GIPHY


I shouldn't brag -- except as my friend at the company says, I should think more like a man! And men don't say that, haha! -- but I know I can make a good impression in person to back up my application materials, so I have a very good feeling about this.

The timing is also good for me. Even if they decided on the spot to hire me, it is unlikely the paperwork could go through before xmas. My sister needs to have surgery, and I want to be there to help out, but she doesn't have a date set yet. She may have a date after her next doctor's appointment, though, and that is 2 days after my interview; I have my fingers crossed that she can get a date in December, and then I shouldn't have any problems going for a couple of weeks.

Obviously I am all discombobulated and such, which is why I am typing this instead of translating. I still have ca. 12k words to go to finish this book, which I would like to get done quickly, but my brain is not helping with smart-making!

Nee in Germany spends a lot of time discombobulated

Monday, November 13, 2017

Update in photos

It's that time of year again, when John gets out his down comforter, and I get out this purple monstrosity:



When John saw it on me this morning, he basically said, "Noooooo!" And literally said, "Why couldn't you send that home with your mother?" Too bad, so sad.

We had a pet bat for half a day. More accurately, we had a bat lost in our house that took refuge behind Hannah's baby picture on the wall. When the sun started going down, I put it on the windowsill outside, and I guess it eventually took the hint and left.



The river has flooded again for the first time this winter, so John had to go warn our paying guests to move their car or risk getting towed or washed away.



And we had our first snowfall, too, although it was actually rain changing to snow and back again, multiple times, so there was no chance of it sticking around. But I figured I ought to document it.

--Nee in Germany is killing time while waiting for said guests to check out this morning so she can get back to work

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Unexploded Nee

Well, turns out I am not working as a tech writer at the moment. The company I applied with is so dynamic that there was a reorganization before they could hire me, so there was no longer a job to hire for. It was very upsetting at first, but a friend who works for the company feels confident I will find a place there in the long run, so I am trying to be sanguine about the whole thing. In the meanwhile, I have finished translating one book and have started on another.

John and I have gotten into the habit of filling our terrace with plants in the summer. Most of them are seedlings we want to keep a closer eye on or want to protect from snails & slugs, like these chili plants I bought John

Tabasco chili

But some probably have a permanent home there, like this rose "tree" John bought me

rose tree

Still, I need to get up in the garden today and give my potato plants some TLC.

We are hosting a young man from Sweden while he attends language school for a few weeks this summer (son of a friend of a friend), and it is a bit weird having a teenager in the house again. He's mature and mostly self-sufficient, but he is just young enough (and inexperienced at traveling by himself, plus didn't speak much German when he arrived) that I find myself mothering him. Makes me appreciate having a grown child even more!

Luckily, our friends have a daughter his age, and she was kind enough to take him around one afternoon at our request, but they hit it off so well that he has been included in gatherings with her friends the last few days, which has made him feel less homesick and more confident in his language-learning abilities. Shacking up with someone who speaks a different language is probably the best way to learn another language, but making friends is good, too.

He is also lucky that he arrived after I stopped being in puffy rage mode. With my IUD, I hardly ever have a period anymore, but I still do occasionally get PMS (basically). This last time has really brought home to me how the body can make chemicals (hormones, etc.) that will fuck up your brain, and you might not even notice the change, at least not at first. I am usually a pretty cheerful person, and love a laugh, but when the last wave of hormones struck, I had no chill. Hell, I had negative chill. Reading Wil Wheaton's tumblr and blog, I can see the parallels with mental illness. I realized I was not myself and was being a jerk, but the best I could do was apologize to John and just try not to let my knee-jerk responses out. Oh, and hope that it would pass sooner rather than later. I think I have come out the other side; luckily, it is about as infrequent as my periods, so I hope I won't see it again any time soon.

Nee in Germany was puffy but she struck like a cobra

Monday, March 27, 2017

Can't hold back any longer

I am not yet ready to post about this on fb, but no one is going to read this, and I am going to explode if I don't blab it to someone besides John, so here goes:

I've got a very promising interview for a tech writing job next week.

via GIPHY


I took a couple of language tests on-site a week ago Friday and got to meet some of the members of the team that is hiring, but not the boss. Now I am set up to meet the boss and the team next week, and the team member who set up the appointment made it sound like she really hoped to snag me.

AIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I am so ready to be done freelancing and adjuncting. But there is a lot to wrap up before I can start working full-time for someone else, so I needed to get this out so I can get back to all of that without exploding.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On the up-swing

I just want to brag that I managed to move my hard drive over to a solid state drive without fucking it up! (Okay, I didn't manage to change the partition sizes on the first try, which was part of the reason for doing it in the first place, but I figured out how to fix it.) It only took me about 12 hours total (minus all the research and parts ordering in advance). I'm going to keep patting myself on the back for another day or 2, ok?

I was reading somewhere about organization systems, and how the best of them are only as good as they are a good fit for *you*. That totally made sense to me. I'm not a big smartphone user(1), so it wouldn't make sense for me to decide to adopt a smartphone-based system. I have been trying to come up with a unified paper system, because I love paper and writing by hand, for a while, and it was only recently that I came across the Bullet Journal. Hannah had ordered a hardback, full-sized journal that she couldn't use after all, so I had the perfect starting place, and it has been working for me pretty well so far.

(1) My cheap Android phone is chock full of bloat, so I am down to Google-everything and WhatsApp, and I *still* don't have enough space for updates (!).

The previous point also applies to exercise. If you don't enjoy it, you won't do it. I *really* need to do it, so I've been trying out step aerobics and dance-based exercise routines. Luckily, a friend shared a tip about the Fitness Marshall, and I've got about 3 songs I play through. I fell off the wagon recently, but once I have gotten through my colonoscopy this week (woo!), I plan to get back on the wagon.

Nee in Germany has a lot of work to catch up on now that her computer is back up to snuff

Monday, January 02, 2017

Quick check-in

Had our first snowfall this morning, but not too much. Now I'm making chicken and dumplings and thinking about crashing in front of the tv.

Nee in Germany needs to pull herself together