Sunday, January 06, 2019

It's the right time of the year for gettin' philosophical

[In case you hadn't noticed, most of my titles are plays on lyrics to songs from decades ago.]

It is pretty sad that the only time I write anything here these days is when I feel overwhelmed.  To be honest, my only problem is that I have a bunch of half-finished projects preying on my mind, and a bit of post-holiday mess in my house. Plus we have gone mostly vegetarian, but I worry about our nutritional intake, so that is on my mind. And I would like to plant a garden this year, and planning for that is on my mind. There's only so much mind to go around!

Interestingly, work is not on my mind. I don't think I even mentioned work before meeting up with some friends at their New Year's party, and I've only dreamt about it once or twice since Xmas Eve. I am so happy to finally be able to lay my work down when I am not in the office. I wasn't able to do that when I was freelancing.

That being said, there are a lot of changes coming up at work, what with a colleague taking an extended leave and a new person coming on board, plus moving to a new building, and a bunch of deadlines. The only thing I can do is to take it one day at a time.

I remembered that Germans wish every. single. person. they meet after January 1st a Happy New Year, so I may have to carry around a notepad for the next week to keep track of who I've already met with. Between that and remembering who you say Sie to vs. Du, I don't know how Germans keep it straight.

Nee in Germany needs to rev her brain back up

Friday, June 29, 2018

Stupid train, makin' me late

For want of anything else to do since I finished my book and all my friends and relations are unavailable for texting, being either fast asleep thousands of miles away or teaching, I guess I will post an update.

You wouldn't think you could be at a job for 5 months and still be confused 2 out of 5 days each week, but that is the situation I have found myself in. Just when I think I've understood something, I find out it is going to be changed, or dropped, or that it only applies in special cases, none of which apply to us. Even more strange, everyone--including my boss--assures me that this is standard operating procedure at our company. She has even commented on how quickly I seem to be picking things up. (Insert ridiculous astonished emoji.)

Hannah finished her training program and promptly tossed every piece of paper related to it except for her diploma in the garbage. Now she is applying to go college in the fall.

I recently learned there is an American expat group at my company, so I went and had lunch with them yesterday. There was some talk about politics, but I managed to avoid a lot of it. The news the last couple of days has been making my heart race and bringing tears to my eyes, so I am not ready to delve into it just yet, especially with people I just met.

The lack of rain is starting to piss me off. I am not organized enough at the moment to ensure that my new plants are getting watered, and John has kindly been watering them for me when he can, and only slightly snarkily telling me about it. Now we've had two days of likely looking clouds turning out to be lies, and I catch myself cursing and muttering under my breath while walking outside, daring it to rain.

Nee in Germany feels like a nut, but not a coconut, because that shit is gross

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tootling along

I really am amazed at the speed of the postal service here. I dropped an application for a job ticket for the train in the mailbox on Monday for pickup after 4 p.m., and I had the ticket in my hand when the mail was delivered before 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Once I had the ticket, I decided to go back and double check the bus routes and times from the train station to my new job. Turns out, I won't have to ride my bike. There is basically a shuttle to and from the train station to the job site. So that is one less thing I have to worry about before Day 1.

Yesterday I went to meet my author, but he hadn't made as much headway with the manuscript as hoped, so I came home early and painted two windowframes. Even with the set-backs of his tardiness and the time needed for the oil paint to dry, I should have both of those projects done before starting my job.

Today I went and got my hair cut. The last time I went was right before my job interview in November, and the stylist remembered me and my self-inflicted bangs. John wasn't happy that I'd decided to stick with the shorter (not short!) hair style, but I'm the one who has to deal with it.

Now to see if I can find that knitting pattern I was looking at last night. I have some acryl+mohair yarn a friend gave me, and 4 balls have gone into a thick, giant scarf, but I still have 3 balls left.

--Nee in Germany needs to keep busy

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hand-flapping, ahoy!

I'm steadily closing in on the start date for my new job, and I am trying not to freak out. When I freak out, I start to hyperfocus on logistics, so I am now planning out my daily commute. If we still lived in Heidelberg, it would be a straight shot to my new place of employment, but now I will have to take the train to Heidelberg and switch trains. I plan to keep a bike at the train station since my job site is not that close and the bus does not appear to run in conjunction with the train schedule (what?!). Anyhoo, John bought my bike off our neighbor several years ago, and I have never used it, so it is time to make sure it is in repair, etc. I spent some time online this morning looking for a rear light, a bag I can attach easily, and some rain gear. Yesterday I tried out my new bike helmet -- purple! -- and took my bike for a spin. I think I am going to have to get on it even more between now and Feb. 1 if I don't want to show up dead to my office.

I still have some work to do on my final translation, too, plus some painting to do on the windows. I'm trying not to freak out about those things, but I am a natural freak-outer, I am afraid.

Finally, I heard this morning that Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries had died. She is roughly our age (John and me), and something like that really shakes you. It's not that I really knew anything about her personally, or that I can't listen to her music anymore, or even that I've been reminded that I could die young, too, but it is like another thread connecting me to my younger days has been snipped. At some point in each of our lives, if we live long enough, everything that came before us is no longer there, and we only have the things that came after us. Not that there is anything inherently bad about that, but I imagine it is a serious adjustment, and a constant reminder that we're next.

-- Nee in Germany has lots of feelings this morning

Friday, January 12, 2018


Apparently there is a series of Detective Conan movies, so I've got to finish this quick so I can go watch one on tv.

Today I put the finishing touches (finally!) on a book I translated and sent it to the publisher. Yay!

I worked on the last section of the second book I translated, but I'm not quite done. Boo!

I put the first layer of paint on one of the windows we are refurbishing. Yay!

I only missed one day of exercising this week. Woo!

--Nee in Germany likes to count her achievements

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The sun! It burns!

The sun came out today, and it was the most glorious thing I've seen. I ran to open all the curtains to let the extra light in, and I noticed it had been sprinkling. The Germans say the devil is beating his wife when that happens (rain and sun). Later, I heard on the radio that last month was the third darkest December since they started recording hours of daylight in Germany. It sure felt like it! But now that it is less overcast, it is getting colder. Oh, well, if it is not cold in January, when should it be?

That being said, I bought my first spring flowers on Monday to help brighten the place up. They'll be dead soon enough, but I needed a bit of yellow/orange to counteract the gloom.

I'm within 1500 words of being done with my translation. As John pointed out, this may be my last one ever (thank Gnu).

I like to rub my face on my cat, but she doesn't always like it. John could appreciate my statement to the cat "Thanks for not ripping my face off" from a linguistic perspective as a unique utterance, but otherwise he found it weird.

--Nee in Germany picks cold and sunny over gray and warm any day

Monday, January 08, 2018

Nee's Busy World

I feel like I should be drawn as an animal in a felt hat, a la Richard Scarry, with all the errands I was running around doing today.

John had noticed that something was chewing on the plastic sacks of recycling we store in the cellar/garage until pick-up day, but it wasn't every time, so he didn't worry about it. But then we found a hole chewed into a plastic sack of cat food, with a dead mouse hanging out of it, so he set out 4 mouse traps in the cellar. All but one have disappeared, leading us to believe that something else is living in the cellar and feasting on the carcasses we are so kindly providing. So one of my errands was buying more mouse traps and a live trap big enough for a marten (basically a weasel). Technically, martens cannot be hunted, so we are going to try to trap and release any we catch.

(This is what Germans think of when they think of martens.)

In less rodent-y news, I bought John a bunch of ornaments dripping in irridescent glitter for Xmas, but he wanted something he could put on his desk, so when I saw a pillar candle covered in irridescent glitter on sale at the supermarket today, I got it for him. He could have been more appreciative; he's lucky he didn't end up with a giant, glitter covered suppository.

--Nee in Germany is pooped