Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year everybody!

May 2010 be full with joy and health for all of you!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my 50th post...

I want to use for something special and I think this is important enough to be special:
Yesterday I got myself tested as a stem cell donor.
I wanted to do this for a while but somehow I never got around to do so...you know how that works.
Well, before I went home for Christmas, I finally registered online and when I came back I already found the test kit in my mail.
I could do it all at home, just swap the inside of my cheeks with the cotton swaps they sent me, let them dry, put them back in the envelope with my signed consent form, and off it went.
I didn't even have to pay for postage.
Yes, now it is that easy!
You don't need to make an appointment to get your blood drawn to get registered anymore. You don't have to go somewhere, just register online (I guess you as well could call), wait for the test kit and then send it back.
I think this is such a great and easy opportunity to help somebody and there are so many more donors needed.
For now I am just in a database and if somebody who matches my information is in need of stem cells, the organization will contact me, some more tests will be done (at this point there will be blood drawn too) and if everything works out I can donate my stem cells.
Maybe they will never need me to donate.
That is great too, since this would mean, that my genetic twin is healthy as well. :)

Click the picture to learn more about the dkms and stem cell donation...

DKMS


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

To all my followers, visitors and people that just happened to stop by:

Merry Christmas!!
Enjoy some quite, peaceful days with you loved ones!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

home for the holidays

Yesterday my Mom picked me up to go home for Christmas.
The reason that she came all the way down to get me was that she got me a little oven and a shelf to put it on for Christmas and it would have been an impossible task to transport it all by train.
So she came down, I assembled the shelf, we set up the oven and off we went.
The trip took 8 hours, including some stops.
After getting out of the car I went straight to the backyard to play with the dog.
The poor guy had to tag along the whole trip because my Mom went to visit her sister on Sunday before she came to get me on Monday.
So he spent more time in the car than he liked but still, he was glad that he was not left behind somewhere.
So, back to the backyard.
We played with his ball and he had a blast.
He was running and jumping around like Bambi on speed. :)
SO funny to watch.
Today I slept in, then started the laundry.
That's how I like to go on a trip: No washing and preparing the clothes before, just pack the dirty pile and wash it at my Moms house. :)
I do appreciate the proper time this machine takes (laundromat does like 40 minutes only) and the fact that the stuff dries faster and does smell better not worse when I take it out of the machine.
Plus it saves me 2,50 Euro. :)
And I can wash all my clothes and hang around in my jammies til the stuff is done. :D
I just put the clothes that I will wear today in the dryer.
Now I will go and take a nice BATH. *yay* for bathtubs!
Later today my Mom and I will do some (or some more) shopping.
Right now she went to work to finish some stuff there after dropping off the dog here.
She had an appointment in the morning and he got to go too.

On their way back they stopped for a walk and there he lost his last ball.
So this is a pretty sad day for him.
He does not know yet but he will realize as soon as we go out again.
Maybe Santa will get him new tennis balls.
I mean he was pretty good all year. ;)


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

you gotta be kidding me!

Since Friday was the last day of school this year, there was no language class on Saturday.
So this is the first time in quite a while that I have a complete weekend off.
I slept in, then I cleaned my apartmentpart of my apartment , took a shower and then walked over to the bakery to get me a cinnamon roll. They are my finding of the week. Of course they don't get anywhere near Cinnabon but they are delicious anyways.
So I got me one of those, walked back home and had a late breakfast.
Then I bundled up to go to town for my Christmas shopping.
To sum it all up: Next years Christmas shopping will be done online!
There were so many people out there, way too many...
First I went to an electronic store, looked at some stuff there and then walked over to Staples (yes we do have Staples here and I love it!!) and looked there.
I found gifts for both of my brothers. Actually the gift for one of them and part of the gift for the other one.
Then I waited outside in the freezing cold to take the bus to the city.
In the city I first walked around to locate the stores I wanted to go to.
I have to say I LOVE this city. They not only have 2 (or 3, not sure) Starbucks, they also have The Body Shop and Lush. Sweet.
I didn't go to too many stores but since the shops are spread over the city it took quite a while.
And it was cold.
In between I gobbled down a slice if pizza in less than a minute because it was cold and I had to take my gloves off in order to eat.
I still felt hungry so I went to McDonalds and got me some fries, which I ate while standing in a corner.
No seats available, place crowded.
The whole city was crowded.
After getting the presents for my Mom, I went to Starbucks for a little treat.
Here is where the post title comes into the game...
The barista told me that I couldn't have a sleeve for my cup since I was wearing gloves and that should do the trick.
At first I thought he was joking but he was not.
I had no grip on the cup with those gloves but I could not take them off either since it is so friggin' cold here.
This was the first time I went to this Starbucks and certainly the last one....
I am just glad that there is more than one Starbucks in this town. :)
After this unpleasant experience ( I think I am safe saying that this would not have happened in the States) I went to one last store, where I didn't find anything but a nice giftbag.
I am not completely done but I didn't feel like taking the train for 30 minutes to get to a store similar to walmart to look there.
I know I will find something for my brother there but since there are branches of this store near where my Mom lives, I will just go and look there, when I am home for the holidays.
I went back home and didn't do much afterwards.
Just watched some TV (numb3rs) and this years holiday episode of NCIS, then went to bed.
Today I set the alarm to get up in time to get to the bakery (they are open from 7-11 am on Sundays) just to find out that they don't have the cinnamon rolls on Sundays.
Great.
So I ended up with some other stuff which I will eat during the day, while relaxing, some more cleaning and watching sports...

Hope you all have a nice Sunday!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

today I am just plain annoyed

I got the chance to look at the test I failed last week and I did some pretty stupid mistakes there.
And it was a mean test but without the mistakes I would have passed.
Well, I guess I have to do better next time.
The other thing is my landlord.
I asked him to fill out a form for me which I would need to get some financial support.
First, I waited like forever and then he showed up yesterday to tell me that while collecting the data requested on the form, he found out that I didn't pay enough rent.
I was like WT****?? I mean I am living here 3 months and just when I try to get some money for support he finds out that I need to pay more?
He said that he calculated with less space than I actually have.
Want a piece of that cake, huh??
He said, if I wouldn't get the financial support (Wohngeld for my German readers) he won't change the rent.
Maybe he wanted to be nice, I just got suspicious.
Well, I decided to wait til he brings back the form and shows me the calculation.
This happened today.
He dropped off the form and the calculations and while going through them I found three (!!) different numbers which are supposed to be my rent...
The form which I would have to hand in has the medium amount on it, I currently pay the lowest amount and then there is another amount which is the highest and if I got him right, this would be the amount I should actually pay.
I have to go through that stuff again, my Mom will have a look and then we will decide what to do.
The easiest way would be, that if we find his calculations to be correct (and now that we're on it we will measure the whole place as well) he just writes me a form with the correct numbers.
I can accept that if there was something wrong in the calculations, than this should be fixed of course but I don't know, why he made up some numbers for the form that I have to hand in...

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Finally Friday

well, that does not mean weekend yet, but at least I can slow down a bit.
After changing the design on Monday, I turned everything off and hopped on the bus which took me to the station where I hopped on the train which took me...well, you know.
Math class it was and that was it for Monday.
I went back home, to do school stuff.
The rest of the week was the same, lessons and learning.
On Wednesday I went to the city,for shopping and lunch after school.
Actually I went to the store to pick up an outdoor coat which I had on hold there since Saturday.
And it was a good choice to let them hold it.
When I got back there on Wednesday, all the other coats were gone, even the rack wasn't there anymore.
So I felt lucky, when I picked up the coat, paid and then went to lunch.
The lunch was at McD. *g*
I sat there, silently laughing about myself.
Back in the day, when I made big money *haha* (as an AuPair) we would do such an outing like once a month but would come home with more than just one lousy bag. :)
I kind of missed it.
I also miss shopping in the States in general, especially the sales which were going on all the time.
In fact I did so much shopping, that I went home with 4 huge bags. I got there with 2, from which one had presents in it, which did not come back to Germany with me.
But this is another story about a scale which didn't work right, a last minute trip to Target to get the fourth bag and throwing away stuff in front of the check in counter at Oakland airport...
So back to Wednesday and McDonalds.
While sitting there I realized that even though it would be nice to have more money, I actually really like my life right now, all the studying stuff and having my own place again.
Since there are some things just wrong with the education system here in Germany, I joined some thousand students to demonstrate on Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday morning I failed a test but since the questions were just mean I am in good company.
After the demonstration we went to a fellow students place, had some drinks there and had a nice evening.
I got home late, went to bed even later and had to be at the lab at 8 am.
See the pattern? Seems to become a habit.
Well, we managed to get through the day and again I stayed til the end, the good student that I am. :)
When I got home around six I went straight to the store and got the ingredients for chili about which I was thinking the whole afternoon.
I as well got some bread, the kind that ran under the label "healthy" in my hostfamily.
Actually it is whole grain sandwich bread.
And that's what I will do with it: Sandwiches. Tuna to be exactly.
Therefore I as well got me a can of tuna.
I did not remember it being that expensive.
I have to ask my Mom tomorrow, how much it was back in the day when I was a kid and my parents used to make those delicious sandwiches.
Back home I had a hard time deciding if I should do the chili or the sandwiches or just do both and eat the chili later.
I ended up just doing the chili but it will be sandwiches tomorrow for lunch. :)
Can't wait!

To give this week a positive ending, we got back a lab report with a desirable mark on it. :)
Tomorrow morning I will have a doughnut again go to language class and then it is finally weekend for me.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Just had to change the layout since Christmas is coming soon.
Maybe I will adjust it a bit further when I get home but now I have to get going...

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

divine revelation

That is what I experienced today.
On our way to language class me and some fellow students stopped at a bakery.
There I got myself a doughnut and I have to say this is the best doughnut I. ever. ate. in. my. life!
I ate many doughnuts til now and while I loved the doughnuts they used to have at McDonald's back in the day and while I really enjoyed Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme as well as the ones from 7eleven and those from Safeway I have to say this one outran them all.
Maybe it was because it was really freshly made, I don't know.
What I know for sure is that I will certainly go back and have a few more while living here. :)

As I mentioned the two murderers in my previous post, I am happy to report that they are caught and locked up again and I think nobody got hurt while they where on the loose...

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

There is a killer on the loose...

...actually it is two of them and they escaped from the prison in Aachen on Thursday.
They both got life and now they are on the run.
Looks like they had help from the inside who opened them doors and provided them with guns and ammo.
They took several hostages, but they didn't kill anybody yet.
Do I have to point out that I don't like that?
Well....I really DON'T like that.
I am scared and pissed.
More pissed than scared I think.
I mean, they are obviously moving away from my town so chances are low that I will ever meet them.
But I am really mad at the guard that obviously helped them.
There are no details released on that yet but the guard was arrested.
I don't know if it was for money or because they threatened him but either way he made a wrong choice.
I hope that the guard will be held responsible as well for whatever they do while they are out there...

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

This week is over...

...finally!
It was an exhausting week.
On Monday we had chemistry lab in the AM.
Everything went smooth there though.
On Thursday and Friday there was lab too, but it was not chemistry, it was something I am not sure how to translate, I think I can say analyzing materials.
We got some materials and had to run tests on them to find out what they are.
In fact they all were plastics but we had to figure out the exact type.
So we weighted and measured the stuff, tried to scratch it, break it, burn it....
It was quite interesting.
But this was only one of four experiments which we had to do in those 6 hours given. (3 on Thursday, 3 on Friday).
We also had to do microscopy and now I can officially say, I HATE microscopy.
We also had to draw what we saw and since I am impaired in the art department, I had a really hard time there.
Finally the supervisor had mercy and signed my poor drawings so we could move on.
On Thursday night I went out for a few drinks with friends since two of us were celebrating their birthday.
It was a great evening, this was the first time I went out for drinks since I moved there.
Remorse kicked in, when the alarm went off at stupid o'clock next morning since we had to be in the lab again at 8 am.
But somehow we made it through Friday.
I even stayed til the last lesson which was over at 6:30 pm.
But I think who can party also can study, so I didn't go home to go to bed.
Today I was up early again.
Saturday morning I take language classes.
I met two of my fellow language students at the train station where we waited for our train until we heard an announcement that the train would not come because the tracks were closed.
Somebody decided to end his life by jumping in front of a train.
I feel sorry for everybody who is so desperate that he thinks taking his life is the only way out, but there are many other ways to do so.
Jumping in front of a train does not help make people feel sorry for you...
Well, anyways, we had the choice to do a detour via Cologne which is the exactly opposite direction or take a bus which would leave us 45 minutes of the lesson to attend since the bus ride takes an hour. And option 3 which we picked: going home. :)

So I went home and went through my normal routine which means cleaning the place.
I then proceeded to the laundromat, which I usually do during the week but this week there was just no time.
So I went there and did two loads.
One was my normal clothes and one was my lab coat.
There is a story behind that coat.
In the beginning we were told that we would need to have two lab coats.
We could buy used one from the student body or order new ones through them.
So I went there and looked through a whole pile of lab coats.
Some were really hideous. I think I mentioned them before.
Well, I found one coat in my size without holes and without writing and drawing all over it.
It was just a bit stained and yellowish like white drapes would be after they hung for several years.
According to the student body the coats underwent some kind of cleaning, so I just used it right away.
I also ordered a new coat.
By now I never have worn the new coat for which I paid 20 Euros.
I like the other one much better, the new one looks weird.
My fellow students agree on that.
Well back to my current lab coat.
On Friday I wore short sleeves underneath and when I took it off after the lab session I saw that my whole arm was red.
So I decided to take the coat home and wash it.
And then the miracle happened.
It turned white again.
Wow.
This was my excitement of the weekend. :)
Tomorrow I will sleep in.
All the alarms are banned from my bedroom, the shades will keep any light out and I will just sleep til my body tells me it is time to get up.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

bad blogger

I know, I know.
And there is no real excuse.
Time just goes by so fast.
Getting up early, getting home late, running errands, doing homework etc..
But I did clean my apartment after my last post and it took me over two hours which is a lot for such a rather small place. :)
I am fully recovered from the allergic reaction/swine flu/heaven knows what a 3rd doctor would have found.
But now I have a runny nose and a nasty cough.
What happened to my immune system??
The runny nose is especially annoying since we have a lot of lab work this week. Ever tried blowing your nose while wearing rubber gloves?
Sorry if this is TMI. :)
Beside this there is not much going on here, but this is already enough I think. :)
I would love to write more interesting, funny or witty posts, but I can't make up anything, right?
In town they are already setting up the Christmas market and I am so looking forward to going there!
I am not really in the mood for Christmas yet, even though I already indulge in Lebkuchen. :)
I have to confess, I got the first packet, when they came out in September.
But I think it will be fun to stroll over the Christmas market, Gluehwein and or Starbucks coffee in hand and look at all the pretty things that will be offered there.

One funny thing that happened at the library yesterday:
I had borrowed a book, which I already renewed once.
So yesterday I went to the library to ask if I can renew it again.
Sadly, the lady told me that they have a "only one renewal" policy and so I turned the halfread book in.
After this I went to the shelf where I found it last time and waited til the lady came and put it back there.
I then grabbed took the book and went and borrowed it again. :)
So I have it for another 4 weeks and then I can renew it again and hopefully will be able to finish it this time.

Hopefully I will be back with a more interesting post soon. :)


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

opening my own pharmacie

By now I am almost able to do so.
I was really sick over the weekend.
At first it looked like the swine flu but then it turned out that it was "only" an allergic reaction, which gave me a fever of 103,1 F (39,5 C)
I have no clue where it came from, but it affected my leg and I was not able to walk properly until I finally got hold of a doctor on Sunday, who prescribed something that really helped.
On Saturday I already got me some stuff from the pharmacy.
On Monday, I went to my primary care provider who prescribed something else.
So now I have quite a nice collection here.
My apartment is a mess because I was not able to do anything during the weekend.
So now as I am better, and already went back to school today, I am off to clean now and then it is homework.
Just wanted to show that I am still here. :)

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday

My Sunday was not boring but I did not do anything exciting.
I did homework for English, math and chemistry, watched the Formula 1 race and stayed in my pjs all day long. :)
I only took them off to take a shower. :)
I also had normal food again today.
I have to admit, I already started yesterday with a snackthing and Halloween candy.
There were no trick or treaters here so I have to eat all the stuff myself. Boo. :D
Today I also had my first coffee after going without coffee for almost a week.
Boy, that was yummie!
It is Sunday night and all the crap stuff I ate yesterday and today stayed were it was supposed to stay, therefore I am happy to announce that I am cured. :)

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

This was a tiring week.
I didn't sleep enough and I got sick as well.
I caught a stomach bug.
Normally I don't go to see the Dr for something like this but this time it was BAD.
So I went to see the Dr on Thursday.
I called in on Tuesday to schedule an emergency appointment.
Needless to say, I already felt better on Thursday.
But I didn't eat much since Tuesday and on Thursday, she gave me some more instructions what to eat and what not.
I also got some medicine.
She also said it is a good idea to eat special diet for 5 days or so.
Since I already started it on Tuesday I decided that tonight I will be allowed to have some real food again.
But I think booze wouldn't be a good idea, and that's why I will not attend any Halloween party. :(
I did get some candy, just in case some kids show up, but secretly I am hoping that there won't be so many so there is more candy for me.
Am I a bad person now?

Well, happy Halloween everybody!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

I know...

It's been over a week again.
But either nothing happens or too much to fit in some time for blogging. :)
Right now I should do my math and chemistry worksheet but I figured I could let them wait a bit longer.
Last Monday we got the mark for our first lab report, and what should I tell you, it was one of the best. :)
Last Thursday we had a practical class on fingerprints.
We got to take our or better our lab partners fingerprints, we secured traces and compared them to the fingerprints we took, the whole stuff like on TV with the powder and the foil and stuff.
That was a great day!
Those are the two events of the week that are worth being mentioned here.
Beside this it was mostly classes, exercises and homework.
Today I went to school for only one lesson.
I got to sleep in but right now I feel really tired again. *ugh*
I better get back to math and chemistry before I lose my motivation.
On one of my prior posts I said something about a new design... well I am working on it but it is not working like I want it to work and so maybe I will skip a fall/Halloween design and just start Christmas a little early.
We will see....

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

crazy/busy week behind me...

Last Saturday I got up early, went to language class and then back home to meet the guy that finally connected me to the world again.
I then enjoyed some short hours of internet, went to the store and then went to a birthday party.
We hat a great time there and I made it home only in the early PM hours of Sunday. :)
There I found out that the heat didn't work and I had a very chilly Sunday.
On Monday I had school til 2:30 pm and was home by like 3:30. I had so many plans what to do with the rest of the day (exercises and stuff) but when I arrived at my front door I had to realize that I would have to change my plans.
When I put in the key and turned it, nothing happened.
That's right, nothing.
I could turn the key again and again, but the part of the lock that turned with the key didn't get any grip inside the lock and therefore I was unable to open the door.
I rang all my neighbors doorbells but of course, nobody was home...
So I called my Mom, and asked her if she could google my landlord, since I had his phone number but it was inside, next to the phone.
I had to call him in the AM because the heat didn't work and had to google him myself then.
So my Mom googled him and called me back.
Then I called him and he didn't answer the phone, just like in the morning..
I left him a message, just like I did in the morning.
Then I took the next bus back into town, since I had to go to the bathroom really bad.
Actually I already had to go, when we left school, but I figured I would just go at home. *haha*
So, back to town I went, rushed into the next McD and did what I had to do.
Then I strolled through the stores for a while to kill time and stay warm.
Around 6:30 I went back home and found my neighbors in front of the house, who couldn't get in either.
I tried to call the landlord again and this time he picked up.
He came right over and took care of the lock.
15 minutes later I was back in my apartment which soon warmed up since he took care of that as well.
On Tuesday me and a fellow student made a trip to IKEA after classes were over.
We spent like 5 hours there and she blew a lot of money.
Since I already had my big moment at IKEA a few weeks ago, I kept it low and only spent the amount that I had on a gift card. I even have 3 Euros left on there.
I am so proud of me. :)
Since we went there by public transportation, she wanted to get the bigger stuff delivered.
But first we had to pick up one piece, that was not in the shelves since there is such a low demand for it.
After we spent 30 minutes in line there, we spent some more time in line at the transportation desk.
When it finally was our turn, the guy compared the to-be-shipped items with the receipt.
First we thought he was teasing us when he told us that one item is not on the receipt.
We double (her) and triple (me) checked the darn paper, but no, it was not on there.
Means the cashier didn't scan it.
So my friend had to take the thing back, through the whole store to pay for it and get a receipt.
In the meantime I waited and tried my best to give the transportation guy the information he needed to speed up the whole process.
We finally made it out there at 8 pm, just to discover that the last bus back to the subway left at 7:30 pm.
This doesn't make any sense since it is the IKEA- line and IKEA is open til 9 pm but oh well.
Fortunally the bus in the opposite direction was still running.
So we took this one, got to transfer to a subway line and were able to get back home just a little later than anticipated.
On Wednesday morning I forced myself out of bed to meet my lab partner at 8 am to finish a protocol which was due on Friday, just to discover that we misunderstood each other and she wasn't there.
When she finally showed up she was really apologetic though.
The rest of the week was busy with lessons and lab work.
Today it is Sunday again, and I have to finish some excercises and then find something relaxing to do, which will probably include a new design for my little blog here. :)


//edit: Actually I found plenty of stuff to do and now I have to do those exercises.
Wish it was the other way around and I could relax now.
Doing nothing is exhausting. ;)

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

finally back

Now I am finally back!!
the phone company screwed up several times, but now I am back!
Below is an entry that I wrote on Tuesday while still looking forward to being connected that day...

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a little catch up (which I wrote a few days ago)

It is Tuesday, Oct 6th 09 and I am writing this offline, in hope of being connected again the latest by tonight.
Today is the day this should happen, they said.
My phonenumber is already available, I just can't take the call yet.
The days before I still got a voice telling me they don't know that number, when I called it from my cell.
That changed now, so I think this is a good sign.
I didn't write in a while, because I had no internet and I didn't feel like sitting in internet cafes writing long entries.
I didn't write offline to post when back online either.Bad me. :)
Well, what happened after my last entry?
I spent the whole week packing. Well that sounds more than it was.
But let me put it this way:
By Saturday I was all packed and when my Mom got home in the afternoon, we stuffed the room and off we went...
We stopped at a supermarket to get me the first food, cleaning stuff etc and then we spent like 6 hours on the road, plus a stop for dinner.
We got here around 11 pm, carried the stuff in, pumped up the airbed and went to sleep.
I was sleeping on the airbed the first week, which was not very comfortable but better than the bed my landlord offered me.
They thought about renting out this place furnished, but I opted to bring my own stuff.
We agreed that I keep the stuff that was in here until I get my own and that was ok for the first time, but now I am happy that I have my own nice furniture.
So back to the first weekend here.
First thing we did on Sunday morning was setting up the coffee maker. :)
After breakfast mt Mom left and I unpacked the kitchen stuff as far as I could.
I have only limited space in my kitchen cupboard.
After this I went out to explore the town.
Well, mainly to find an internet cafe, which I did after a good while.
First thing I did here was ordering my landline and internet and being mad at myself for not doing so earlier.
But when I checked the homepage before, it said that it would be easier for them to get me a new landline if I plug a phone into the wall, dial any three numbers and listen to
what I hear there (supposedly a number) and let them know this number during the process of ordering my new connection, so I waited until I got here with a phone in tow.
I didn't bring one when I went here to look at that place and sign the contract, stupid me.
So on Sunday morning I plugged in the phone and heard....nothing!
Right, nothing.
And I didn't have the number of the previous tenant which would have been another option to put in there, because he took it with him, when he moved, as my landlord told me.
(previous tenant is the son of the landlord)
So, while doing the ordering on the internet, I called the hotline that was shown there and asked, what to do and the lady said, "Oh just leave it empty".
So I left it empty and sent everything and was told that the estimated date of connection would be Sept 28.
Not that bad, I thought.
A few days later I got the letter which told me the right date...
Well, back to Sunday.
I checked my mails and stuff too and I got a message from a future fellow student, that asked if I would like to meet for a drink or so.
I happily agreed, and so we met for dinner.
We had a good time and I found my future lab mate. :)
After this I went home and to bed.
The next morning we met again, at the station, to take the train to campus.
Soon we gathered some other new fellow students around us.
The welcome speeches were nice, everybody told us, how lucky we can be to be at such a great school and what opportunities we would have.
And they told us, how happy they are to have us there.
After this was over I went to the store and got myself a cable that I needed to get the TV running.
Imagine how boring the first days here were.
No TV, no internet, and I left the books and dvds at home, because space in the car was limited and they were nothing I would need right away..haha.
The following two weeks were filled with instructions, what to do and not to do in the lab, whe had a fire drill, including the use of a fire extinguisher (well a fake one that
was filled with water only) and putting out a burning person (which was a dummy of course!)
Looks like there are lot of dangers in the lab...
And we went to the maths bridge classes which should help to get the minds into math thinking and catch up on or remember stuff from school.
On the weekend (26th/27th) my Mom came back and we made a trip to IKEA.
Well actually we made two trips but the second one she did alone to pick up the closet which would never have fitted in with the first load.
It took us like 3 hours to find all the stuff, pile it up in two carts and check it out and then it took us 30 minutes to get it into the car.
The fact that my Mom had to bring the dog, because my brother, who was supposed to watch him over the weekend, let her down, didn't help much.
We couldn't leave him in my appartment since he has some issues, separation anxiety that is.
He is from the shelter, somebody abandoned him at a autobahn reststop shortly after Christmas and now he is always scared to be left behind somewhere.
He can stay alone at our house for some hours now, which is a huge accomplishment for him, but leaving him in a place he doesn't now, all by himself? No way!
So he had to come.
Now imagine hauling home a load of furniture and a dog that is so big that he normally haS the trunk of my Mom's station wagon for himself...
We made it home safe and after unloading all the stuff my Mom went back to get the closet.
She only got half of what we planned because we needed two frames and they only had one left.
While she was gone, I started to assemble the furniture.
This is the best part about IKEA.
I just LOVE to put together all the furniture afterwards!!
This time it was not that easy because the dog didn't feel comfortable about the fact that his human left him in this strange place and he tried to sit in my lap all the time.
After a while he finally calmed down and I was able to put together a shelf and start a chair, the night stand and the kitchen table until I got to the point where I needed
the screwdrivers that were conveniently stored behind the front seats of my Moms car.
So I had to wait until she got back and then we finished those.
We also did the second chair, the bed and the desk.
The closet we left for Sunday.
On Sunday we built said closet and my Mom went home again.
I busied myself with emptying some boxes I think.
This weekend also was an important weekend for the whole country since it was election time!
I cast my vote already some days ago by postal vote.
Let me put it this way: I don't like the outcome but it could have been worse.
At least people got their brains back in time and didn't vote the NPD in.(and as I heard, they lost, compared to the last election)
Last Thursday we had an English test and I was not that happy with the result.
I think I should have done better after spending 2 years in the States.
The grammar part was not that good, but I did great on the vocabulary part.
That is a small comfort.
My overall result still put me in the best group.
I now have to find out if I can do two languages, or if I have to choose between English and the other one and if my score allows me to choose at all.
Some say I can do two languages, some say I have to pick one...
I also got myself a lab coat, a used one for 5 Euros.
We are required to have 2 coats, but I ordered the second one new, since all the used ones really looked like that, used.
It took me like half an hour to find an acceptable one that didn't have sweat stains as big as dinner plates or some writing like stupid idiot all over the back on it.
I think that is a good compromise.
On Friday me and some fellow students went to Cologne to see the exhibition Koerperwelten.
I was mightly impressed, this was better than any biology class!
Over the weekend I didn't do much.
I slept in, cleaned my place, unpacked so more (lazy me) and then went out for an adventure.
I wanted to do a little hike but by the time I got to that place I was worrying it would get dark while I was there. Beside that, the weather didn't look that nice anymore.
So I postphoned the whole thing.
I went back to town and walked over the little fair thing they had there.
It was October 3rd, our national holiday, so of course all stores were closed.
But they were open on Sunday from 1 to 6 pm.
So I took a stroll through the stores then.
I also found some nice stuff which I might get myself.
I mean, everybody needs a calendar, right?
And I think the one I picked would look great over my kitchen table. :)
Yesterday we had yet another instruction and then, finally, the first lesson.
Math it was.
And we were told that todays lesson was cancelled.
All the other things for today were already cancelled but math wasn't.
So we were really happy to hear that!
I was especially happy because I went to a concert last night and it would have been a pain to get home very late and get up at stupid o'clock to go to math class.
I went to see Green Day!
I saw them back in 05 (?) when they were in Berlin for live8 but that was only a 15 minutes show.
Last night they played 2 and a half hour!
Great music as expected.
But there were some things I didn't like.
First, when it says 8 pm on the ticket then I don't expect the support to already start around 7 pm.
For me the support band is part of the concert and when the ticket says the show starts at 8 pm then I expect the support to start at 8 pm.
Green Day themself didn't start at 8 iether though...
Then I had a great place. Great to watch hockey games and stuff but baaad to watch a rock concert.
I would have needed binoculars to see what is going on on stage.
But I also think that I should have been in the crowd right in front of stage.
I think I am lucky that I still got a ticket but still...
And there were a few to many "Are you readyyyyy Cologne??" and stuff, but beside that, the concert was great.
I got home around 1 am, and was really happy that I was able to sleep in today.

Now I am sitting here, typing down this catch up, having some coffee and waiting for the green light on the router to turn from blinking into steady...


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Friday, September 25, 2009

hello!

As you all probably figured out, the internet thing is not working at my new place.
There is a wlan network to which you can connect after you paid a fee.
But it is not working in my part of town.
Bummer.
Now I have to wait until I get the landline which is supposed to be in early October...


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

mission accomplished

Finally!!!
On Sunday we made some more phone calls and spoke to people that offered apartments...
At some point, we spoke to someone who offered a place that turned out to be too far away from my new school.
But then he told us, he might have something else, which is not completely done.
But the price sounded good and so we practically nailed him on his offer and we agreed that I would come down to look at that place on Monday right away.
He even went so far to say if I like it I could sign the contract right away and even sleep in there that night.
So, down I went.
I went to their house.
At first they showed me a rather not so nice place.
Then we went to the place he told me about on the phone.
I liked it right away.
It has two rooms, a small pantry kitchen and a bathroom with shower and sink.
The toilet is in the hallway and I share it with my neighbor, but I think that is ok.
He insisted on showing me another place too, so we went there afterward.
That was a nice place too, but it was smaller and more expensive.
So I decided to take the other one.
We went back to his house, I paid some money and got the keys.
The real contract will be waiting for me, when I get there on Saturday, since his printer ran out of ink...
He then dropped me off at my place (I like to say that :D ) and I started to explore the area.
It might not be the greatest area, but there is a bus stop nearby, there are two stores, a bakery, some places to eat and some other convenient places.
There is a Döner place nearby and I tried one for dinner since the pantry kitchen was not ready yet. The Döner was good and the price ok, good to know. :D
On Tuesday morning I went back home, on local trains again and got here around 8 pm.
Now I am busy getting stuff ready, because my Mom will drive me and my stuff down there on Saturday.
The following Saturday she will come back and we will go and buy furniture.
This Saturday she has an appointment before we can leave so the stores will be closed by the time we get there, so she will come back.
I am really excited right now and busy planning. :)
I even found a way to be online before I get my land line and internet at my new place.
I hope it works as well as they say it will. :)

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

and still no apartment...

At some point last week I made two appointments to look at places.
Since I am just a poor student, I decided to go down there the cheapest way I could which means I used a train ticket called "Quer durchs Land" (across the country) which allowed me to travel all over Germany from 9 am until 3 am the next day for only 34 Euros.
Sounds nice you think?
Well it is ok, the thing is that you are only allowed to use local trains.
So I went down to my new town in 8 hours, changed trains like 7 times and got there around 6 pm on Thursday.
It was around this time that I found the voice mail from the company that owns the place I wanted to look at on Friday which said that they have to cancel the appointment. WTF??
They called me the day before to reconfirm and make sure that everything is set and then not even 24 hours before the appointment they call me?
They do have my information, they know where I live, and they should be able to figure out that this wouldn't be just a little trip for me.
They did ask me to call them back which I didn't do since they have one of those hotline numbers which are expensive and even more expensive when calling them from a cell phone.
And the last time I called, I was waiting for more than 5 minutes to speak to a CSA.
I do certainly know better ways to blow my money.
So I went to the place I wanted to look at on Thursday and it was a nice place, that's for sure, but the previous tenant wanted 1000 Euros for the stuff she would leave in there (eg linoleum, kitchen, a shelf, the light fixtures).
Had she mentioned this amount before, I wouldn't even have bothered looking at that place.
So my two possibilities were vanished in no time.
I then went to the newsstand at the main station in hope to find a paper with ads there but obviously they only come out on Wednesday and on Saturday and since it was Thursday there was no way to get one.
I then went to Starbucks to cheer me up a bit, then hopped on the bus that brought me to the hostel and while walking up to the front door, my Mom called and I was able to vent a bit. :)
I then checked in, discovered that I was the only person in the room and got something for dinner.
When all the kids finally were in bed and I was able to get to the one internet terminal they have there, I searched the web for some more places but without success.
But somebody I know from a forum told me about an elder couple that rents out rooms.
I decided I would give them a call.
The next morning I checked out after breakfast and took the bus to the main station and from there the train to the campus. There I got a little stamp on my student ID which allows me to ride the public transportation in and around my new town for free.
This was the main purpose of going there this day.
I also checked the message boards there but didn't find anything I would want to look at right away, plus I had this elderly couple I wanted to call.
Until today I had the possibility of renting an apartment beginning 11/1. So I figured, I would take the room at the couple's house, stay there till I can get into the other apartment and this would be it.
But then it turned out that I couldn't have to room right away.
I thought that it would be available right away.
And today I found out that somebody already put his finger on the apartment.
The contract is not signed yet but he said he want's to have it.
After looking at the room I went back to the main station, got me an Italian BMT at subway and a raspberry mocha frapp at Starbucks and hopped on the next train, which took me to Duesseldorf where I had to hang out for an hour.
The trip home went well too, except the hour in Hamburg.
I had to wait for my next train home, and when I left the track and went toward the main hall, I already saw some police officers in riot gear. I was asking myself "Oh, who played today?" since this is a very common view in German train stations of towns that have soccer teams in the first league.
But on Friday there was no soccer game...
Nope, there was a riot again... left wing extremists vs Nazis and the police right in the middle.
Obviously most of the action took part in Hamburg itself and what I got to see was just Nazis on their way home and left wing extremist bidding their farewell.
It was really scary. You could feel the tension in the air and from time to time one group chased the other and vice versa.
Not a nice situation.
I was glad when I could get on my train.
At our train station I met my brother who gave me the key to the car.
I finally was home by 1 am and really tired but then as soon as I could settle down, the caffeine, that I consumed because I knew I had to drive home and was already really tired, kicked in and I couldn't sleep.
Bummer.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

spending money

Nothing new so far on the apartment front.
Right now looks like I will go to my new town next weekend, but not to a new place, but to a bed and breakfast or so and look for apartments from there.
This should make it easier and, as I mentioned earlier, I have to be at school on Sept 21rst.
Regarding the title...I don't have a place to stay yet, but I already have a new coffee maker. :)
I also got some decoration, nothing big, just some 1Euro-things.
And it is my brothers birthday today and I got him a present.
When I started, I had no idea what to get him but I found something and he likes it. :)
I also shipped a package to the States and I got a good deal on that (if you can say so regarding postage).
Other than that I looked for apartments and now also for a room to rent for a certain time...
No success on either.
Next try tomorrow.
( btw: I enabled anonymous comments, since I know at least two persons that don't have an account to comment here ;) )
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

busy weekend

I ended up not going to that soccer tournament yesterday.
Actually I was pretty sure I would go, but then I woke up and felt not well.
In fact, I even skipped the workout because of that.
Instead I spent some lot's of time online, looking for apartments, had lunch with my Mom and then some more quality time with her.
We went to Praktiker (something like Home Depot) and got some boxes, and some other stuff.
Then we had a little rest at McCafe and then did some grocery shopping.
We even got a pumpkin which was made into a very delicious stew today.
Today it was mainly unpacking, sorting and then packing.
I went through my stuff in the attic and put together what I will need in my new yet to be found apartment. During the week I will pack up the stuff which I have in my room now e.g. books, CDs and clothes.
We are shooting for next weekend to move me and my stuff down there.
Hopefully I will have a space then.
If this doesn't work out, I will at least be completely packed.
I am a little under pressure here since the orientation weeks start on Sept 21rst and some of the events are mandatory like the lab orientation...
Worst case scenario: I go into a b&b or a hostel for a few days but I am still hoping for a place.
Beside packing, my Mom and I had a nice breakfast and some delicious coffee.
The coffee recipe which I mentioned in my previous post is really great.
We had some in the morning and later in the afternoon.
I am not sure if it is exactly like a Pumpkin Spice Dolce Latte because I am not sure if I remenber the taste right, but heck, it was still awesome.
And so much cheaper then Starbucks, which doesn't carry it anyways. :)
Right now I am writing an applicatio for a student job while watching "Autopsy" on TV.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

There is no bad weather...

...just a bad choice of clothes. :)
Now that fall surely is on it's way the weather is acting crazy.
At least here.
Yesterday one moment the sun could shine through some white clouds while the sky is blue and then in the next minute, everything is gray and it pours like crazy.
Since we have this very demanding dog that wants to play all the time, it happened that he wanted to go outside, while it rained yesterday.
No problem buddy!
I just put on a raincoat and some old boots which are my Dad's old military boots if I am not mistaken and we went outside.
I added a rubber glove to that outfit because the dog has a tennis ball which I used to kick for him.
But recently I found out, he likes it even better if I throw the ball.
Of course it gets all soaked and slimy while he brings it back, hence the glove.
Dressed like this I went outside.
He played nice for a few minutes but then he started to crawl under the bushes where the rain wouldn't get him.
When asked for the ball, he tossed it out (yes he can toss balls :) ) and waited until I picked up and threw the ball myself, before he shot out of the bush.
He then caught the ball and went back under the bushes.
I laughed so hard, he was so silly!
In general he loves water, he would go for a swim whenever he sees a lake or the sea, but obviously he doesn't like to be rained on.
He doesn't like to be hosed down either.
Today there was no rain so far, about which he is really happy.
But you can tell, fall is on it's way.
It got colder over night, it is really chilly now and I would not even think about going outside in short sleeves like I did on Monday.
I like that weather in general but since I lived in the States for 2 years, Pumpkin Spice Latte is an essential part of fall for me now.
Germany is a bit retarded in the Starbucks section and some of my favorite flavors are not available over here. (but I think I should be happy that they have Starbucks at all)
Punpkin Spice is one of them.
Cinnamon Dolce is another one.
When I met some other Au Pairs (former and future ones) in Hamburg last October, of course we went to Starbucks too.
There I ordered a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. After all, we do have cinnamon here in Germany, so I figured the chances are good that I could get a Cinnamon Dolce Latte here.
You know what they said? "It's not Christmas yet" I was like WTF??
I got a Cinnamon Something Frappuchino in the summer of 06 in White Plains, NY and here they tell me I have to wait til Christmas??
Well I ordered something else which was good as well, but still...
At least I can put cinnamon in my coffee at home and a friend of mine gave me a recipe which is supposed to resemble Pumpkin Spice Latte and I will try it out this weekend.

On another note, there is nothing new in the apartment/room hunting.
Yesterday I saw a cute place in the right price range, which was not where I wanted it to be (bigger town near school) but close by (where the school is).
So I called and emailed them and didn't hear from them til today, 8 am, when the nice lady called back to tell me, that the place is available not earlier than Dec. 1rst, which is a tad too late for me.
I will keep that place in mind thought, just in case I end up in an ugly place, but for now I am still without a place to live in new town.
The lady even looked around for another appartment but just called me back to tell me that she wasn't able to find something.
Tomorrow is a Soccer tournament from my old company and I told them I would come and cheer them on but right now I don't feel like going.
There is a Coutry/Western party afterward and it just is too cold outside to drink something.
Beside that I don't feel like I should "waste" a whole day, when I still have to find an apartment.
And it would be nice to spend time with the family, now that I am moving out soon again...
I think I will make a spontaneous decision about that.



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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I know, I know...

I should write more often, but somehow the days went by quickly and I didn't have much to write about.
The week went by pretty quick and in a blink it was already Saturday and I had my last day at work.
I had to come back on Monday though to hand in my parking permit and my ID and I was told I can come back if my studies don't work out.
Good to know.
I mean not that I plan on not finishing my studies or not getting a degree, but good to know that they were happy with my work and I have something like a cushion.

Right now, I am trying really hard to find a job in new town, something part-time and I already sent out an application yesterday but the most important thing is a place to stay.
Yesterday I was told that I most likely will NOT get a space in student housing, so I am trying to line up some appointments to look at places for next week, when I can go down there and look at them.
This week my Mom is on a business trip and I am watching the house and the dog and I don't have somebody that could drive me to either trainstation or airport.
On Monday morning I have a doctors appointment and I try to go to new Town either later on Monday or on Tuesday.
I already have one place which looks acceptable and if it is still available next week, I will look at this too.
I hope I will find some more acceptable places.
Some are just overpriced, too far away or just hideous.
I saw a "room" which had wood everywhere. Floor, walls, ceiling. I bet this would feel like living in a coffin.

Beside this there is nothing else to report I think...time to get a life. :)

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

catch up

Warning: This might or might not become a longer one. Long post!

Let's start with Monday.
On Monday there was nothing remarkable except the fact that I worked late.
Means, I had a customer on the phone who was not done by 10 pm.
Since I am nice (and there are rules) I stayed on the phone with him until the problem was solved.
I was driving so this was no big issue. My Mom hates to wait when she picks me up.
One time she had to wait like 40 minutes and was SO NOT happy with that.
Well, back to Monday.
I hurried to the car and went to the branch of my Moms bank which I know.
There are more but I don't know where they are.
I had to get an account statement which shows that I paid the university fee for next semester.
I expected my pay for Saturday but the fee was supposed to be transferred Friday at the latest, so I asked her to do it for me.
Of course I paid her back but now I had to get her account statement from her bank.
So, I arrive at the bank just to see a sign "out of order".
Not good.
I asked my Mom to find out if there is a branch near the airport, just in case something goes wrong.
So I was more than happy to get home that night and find a note which said that she found a branch "near" the airport.
I went to bed and had a hard time falling asleep.
Very bad since I had to get up at 3 am.
We had to leave at 3:30 am to be at the airport for the 5am check-in.
We planned on having breakfast there while waiting for boarding-time.
So we got there in time, but unfortunately without finding the branch of the bank before.
I checked-in , we tried to figure out the way to the bank and then we went outside, grabbed a taxi and off we went.
The driver knew where the bank is and got us there and back to the airport just in time for the boarding.
So I kissed the idea of a nice breakfast with my Mom good-bye and went through security.
I then got me an insanely overpriced coffee and ate the cookies that where in my bag.
The flight went smooth but was way to short in my opinion.
After a happy reunion with my suitcase in Cologne I bought a ticket for the shuttle bus and went to new town.
There I ran around for a while to find a copy shop which I had looked up before.
Of course I didn't find it.
So I locked in my stuff at the central station and went on the train to the place where the part of my new university is that also has the administration office.
The school is spread over 3 cities and has only 1 administration part.
So I went there to see where I would have to go to enroll the next day and to meet some fellow students that might become my roommates.
We are thinking about sharing an apartment and since we were in town at the same time we figured it would be a good idea to meet.
Initially we met on studiVz which is kind of a German version of facebook.
I do prefer facebook though.
We ended up being only 3 persons: a future fellow student, his buddy that already is a student at new town University and me.
The buddy was able to give us a little insight into student life in new town.
After eating at our university canteen (*yuck*, I hope the canteen at our part of the school is better) we went back to new town city and hung out at a beer garden right next to the river Rhine.
A really nice afternoon.
At around 7 pm the guys brought me back to the central station from where I took a bus to the youth hostel.
I booked a single room this was a really smart decision I think.
I had my privacy and quiet and full power over the bathroom and the shower in there.
So after checking in I went straight into the shower.
Afterward I had a pizza for dinner.
The hostel has a bistro thing there, and the food was good but pricey.
I looked up again the copy shop again and found another one.
Yes the hostel has internet, another plus.
There is only one terminal besides wlan which is a minus. :)
I went to bed at 9:30 pm and slept til 7.
Just what I needed after the short night and the full day.
Breakfast at the hostel was ok, it was funny to watch the people and their behavior while eating.
Then I went back to the central station, and to the copy shop which I did find this time.
Then I got me a smoothie (good but nothing compared to Jamba Juice), went back to the station and to the school from there.
I took my luggage with me.
The original plan was to lock the luggage at the station, take the train to school, enroll and then come back, get the luggage and take the shuttle bus again.
But the buddy told me that there is a better, faster and cheaper way to the airport.
So I happily followed his advise and was back at the airport around noon.
The enrolling went smooth, all the papers were ok and I didn't have to wait at all.
The lady there told me there were over 500 applications for 60 spots and so I am happy (and proud) that I got one of the spots right away.
Well back at the airport I had plenty of time so I found myself a nice spot, sat there, read my book and ate the lunch that I bought at the supermarket near the school.
I was the first in line to check-in and after I went through security (mean people there) I got me some magazines and sat around a bit longer.
The flight back to Hamburg was, again, to short.
From Hamburg I took a train and my Mom picked me up at the station here.
My first impression: I do really LIKE my new hometown!
After all it is a city :) and it has a subway, trams and busses and I get to ride them for free with my student ID.
There are nice little cafes, river Rhine is there, and it has Starbucks!
Maybe I even find a job at the Starbucks there. We will see.
The rest of the week was ok but I think I have to spread the word of me leaving myself.
I was hoping by now the gossip would have done the job after I told some people, but nope.
Yesterday I received my student ID and a letter which doesn't exactly says it but sounds like the loan for the tuition is approved.
Today my Mom and I went to Karl's Erdbeerhof (Karl's Strawberry Farm) which is really nice.
As you can tell from the name, they have lot's of strawberries there. :)
But there is so much more, delicious food, artsy stuff and lot's of things to do for the kids that I don't have. :)
But we had a good time there anyways and it is really nice done there.
They also have a butterfly house.
If you, my faithful reader ever get the chance to visit that place (I think they have some "branches") then you certainly should go there!
Tomorrow starts my last week of work at the call center.
I would have to work til August 31rst but I had two more vacation days to use up, so I decided to make a clear cut and finish with next Saturday and took of Monday the 31rst.
The other day off will be on Wednesday, so hopefully this will be a relaxed week.
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new design

as you can see.
I will be back later today with a little catch up including my trip to my new hometown to enroll at university...

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

If shopping is a crime, please arrest me!

On Friday I handed in my notice, something which I really loathed.
On Thursday I got my first performance review and had a nice talk with my supervisor and then on Friday I quit.
Bad timing.
I asked my supervisor if she had a minute, explained everything to her and then gave her the already written notice.
She was really understanding and congratulated me on getting this spot.
Well, so this is done, I will work there til August 31rst.
I also started telling my coworkers on Friday and I am relieved that I can talk openly about it now. :)

About my topic:
I plead guilty in all points.
Going to TKMaxx and getting a GREAT deal on winter boots and a coat...guilty!
The coat was 79 Euros and I got it for 40 Euros.
The boots were 95 Euros and I got them for.... 20 bucks!!
Going to Berlin to meet my friend and hitting the mall which is the closest to an American mall I saw since I am back in Germany....guilty!
If you want to check it out: Alexa They even have a real food court there.
Browsing the stores in Berlin Main station (and of course buying something there )...guilty.
Going to Starbucks 2 times within 8 hours ...guilty!
So, if shopping is a crime, please arrest me. :)
I really enjoyed doing some shopping and spending MY OWN money.
I got paid on Friday which was really nice.
I made some more Euros then expected.

After the mall we went to the German-American Volksfest near the US consulate.
I was really looking forward to it since the description on the homepage sounded great but it was kind of disappointing.
I was really looking forward to a corn dog but we searched the whole place and didn't find any.
I first had a corn dog on Coney Island and it was delicious.
Then I moved to the west coast and somehow I didn't have the chance to get one there.
Then on a flight I think from New York back to San Francisco I had some Nathan Mini corn dog things at the airport and they were good but not as good as the one I had on Coney Island.
After that I didn't have another one.
So I was really excited about eating one at the Volksfest and then they didn't have any. Bummer.
We had some other food there and played some bingo and then we left.
The entrance fee was 2 Euros and that was the main difference to "normal" German fair things I think.

So we went back into town, spent some time at the main station which is almost a shopping mall itself and then we headed home.
I had a "Schoenes Wochenende"-ticket which allows me to use local trains all over Germany all day. I even can take up to 4 people with me. The ticket cost 35 Euros and I met somebody here at the station who wanted to go to Berlin too, so she gave me some money and I took her with me.
She also tagged along on the way back home and gave me some money again, so I went to Berlin and back for a really good price. :)

Today I didn't do that much, filled out some more papers, baked cookies and just relaxed.

I also get to welcome follower number 2, welcome Biggi !

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I was lazy

Well not in general, just blogwise.
The past two weeks went by really fast.
I went to work, did stuff for school (the 3 assignments got really good grades which makes me happy) and kept myself busy organizing.
In order to enroll at the new school, I need various papers.
One from my health insurance that states that I am insured with them, one from my old university that certifies that I did not fail an exam 3 times and therefore wouldn't be allowed to take another exam in this subject and one that shows the grades I received in the subjects there.
After all I will stay in the sciences field so that makes sense I guess.
As of today I am happy to report that I got all the papers on the way, they will be send to me and get here before I head down to the school to enroll.
The date is next Wednesday.
I booked a flight from Hamburg to Cologne for my appointment because this is cheaper than traveling by train and faster and there is no connection that can be missed. :)
This week I am only working from 3 to 8 pm which is nice, I get to see daylight after work. :)
Thinking of leaving this place makes me sad, I didn't think I would grow so fond to that place and the people there..
I didn't tell anybody yet but I have to send in the paper this week. *sigh*

On a happier note I can welcome my very first follower today! Thanks for following Mom in High Heels !

I get I will start to get down my old books soon and have a look at chemistry and stuff before school starts.
Actually I am kind of looking forward to getting them down. :)

I know, this post took even longer than the previous one and I hope the next one will not take that long!


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Monday, July 27, 2009

This has been a real good week for me :)

Beside some wackos in the line my week could not have been better.
It feels like I've been working at that place forever now.
Usual routine everyday.
So it's about time to quit.
Yeah, that's right, I will (or better have to) quit.
You wonder why?
Well, I got some exciting letters last week.
I got accepted into the Early Education program AND into Forensic Sciences.
Guess what I picked. :)
I love kids but I love being in the lab as well...
So...Forensic Sciences it is.
I am uber-excited and could hug the world!
On a sad note it will be tough to quit that call center job because I met some really nice people there. (I didn't tell anybody there yet)
I have to quit because I have to move.
Sad.
But I am looking forward to a new chapter in my book of life.
There are some unsure things money wise but I am optimistic that I will find a job there soon.
Obviously I will not be able to do 40 hour weeks but I should be able to buy me food...
So I kissed the idea of going back to the States and visit my families next spring good bye. :(
But in the end it will all be worth it.
At least that's what Jillian Michaels keeps on saying on the 30 day shred dvd.
Yes, I admit, I am doing the shred.
And I love it.
I lost like 5 kilos since I started and am looking forward to jeans shopping after the next 5 kilos. :)
Right now I am on a break since I hurt my back last week.
I did not workout for 3 days now and will start tomorrow again.
And I got the results of my second written assignment for my law studies.
I am really happy with that note!
I will try and keep doing the law studies beside the Forensics and working, but Forensics will have the highest priority.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I've been busy

...that's why it took so long to write another post.
Right now I take the time to post while my pizza is in the oven.
Last Tuesday was my first really real day at work, I was on my own for the first time.
Of course I could always ask somebody but I had my own line and my own customers.
And I have to admit, I was really nervous and felt sick, but then it turned out not being so bad.
Of course I had to ask coworkers a lot and still do have, but it's getting better every day.
The routine is already kicking in and it feels like I am working there for way longer than a week now.
The nice thing is, I don't get bored, because each customer has another different problem.
Sometimes I feel like screaming when I have somebody in the line that barely knows what a computer is and I have to explain how he get's his internet back to work or someone whose language or hearing is impaired but til now I was able to deal with everybody except one.
I won't go into details here, that would not be nice but I was happy to get rid of her...
But there are also those great moments when people are so thankful that they are connected again.
So after one week I can say I like my job. :)
Beside this I was busy writing this assignment for my studies.
I don't feel so confident about this one but (and that is the good thing of not being an official student yet) I can take part in the repeat assignment and then just pick the better grade, if necessary.
I have to go and take care of my pizza now and then go to work.
I hope my next post will not take a week again...


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Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday

Friday we repeated many things, did some more pretend calls and had kind of a good time.
You could feel that everybody was more relaxed since two weeks of learning came to an end.
In the evening my Mom and I went to a little barbecue thing , organized from the party I ran for in municipal elections.
Even though it rained like crazy we had a great time because it was a really neat location.
On Saturday all the excitement started, I made my first call and spoke to the first real customers.
Despite me being nervous like hell it went pretty well.
But there was this one lady who was really mad, she was really mean and didn't even give me the chance to say anything.
So my godmother took over.
But beside this the day was ok.
Sunday was a really lazy day.
I did a little bit for school, watched the F1 race, went out for a nice walk with my Mom and the dog and then just relaxed.
Really nice.
Today I have a dentist appointment right before work...Then I will start working at 3 pm until 10 pm.
Luckily I already did my workout for today so I can go right to bed afterward if I feel like it.



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Thursday, July 9, 2009

almost done

We are almost done with the schooling thing and from next week on we will work with real customers.
So exciting!
Tomorrow is the last day of teaching and then on Saturday and Monday we will start the real thing.
Saturday we will mainly listen to our "godfather/mother" and maybe have our 1rst real call. On Monday we will talk to customers for sure.
I think I learned a lot during the past days and am really confident that I will do at least ok, if not even better on the phone.
I decided to work the late shift because I found it very hard to focus on my studies after 8 hours at work and I hope I will be more successful if I study in the morning, then go to work, come home and just relax and go to bed afterward.
Plus, I get some more hours of sleep in the morning. :)
If it turns out that I will stay in this job for a while, I will get myself my very own car which is really exciting of course!


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

update

Here's what I've been up to these days:
As you can read in my previous post, I have a job now.
That kept me quite busy the last week.
On Monday, I went to sign the contract.
On Tuesday I started the 2-week-training.
It is pretty interesting and I learn a lot there, which I will be able to use later as well as in private life too...
The bad thing is that last week the weather was awesome, means pretty hot, and the room at work has an air condition which was just installed and is not working yet.
Being stuffed with 11 other people in a small room while it is really hot outside is not good for my attention...
The class is from 8 am to 4 pm for 14 days and then we will be allowed to talk to real customers.
Actually I am looking forward to this and I think while dealing with real problems (and not just sit and listen) time will go by really fast.
Class is on Saturdays too and work will also...
We will see how that will go.
At work they have free coffee and tea which is a plus!
Now while we have this training thing there is also water and juice but once we really start working, we have to bring our own water.

After work/class I didn't do much. I tried to squeeze in a bit of Business Law, but it didn't work that well.
So today I got the assignment ready and it will go in the mail tomorrow.
Later when we really work, I will most likely do the late shift, which means I can (and will) study and do my workout and other stuff in the morning, work til 10 pm, then relax a bit and go to bed.
I think this will be a better match for me.
As I said, I can't wait to start working. :)

The past week, the weather was awesome and today, when I actually have the time to hang out in the backyard with the dog a bit, there is rain. :(
But I think I will find some other stuff to catch up on.



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Thursday, June 25, 2009

a GOOD day

Today was a really good day.
In the morning I discovered that my workout starts to pay off.
Later on I got a call.
Yesterday I went to an accessment center where the employment agency sent me to.
I thought I did pretty good but didn't expect to get the job.
But today I got a call and they want me, so from next week on I will make own money again! I won't get rich though but it is a great feeling to be useful and work. :)


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Sunday, June 21, 2009

weekend

On Saturday I slept in.
After my breakfast my Mom and I took off to go to IKEA.
I have to admit, I love IKEA. :)
We walked through the exhibit on the top level first then had lunch at the restaurant (I had delicious vegetable lasagna with broccoli sauce and salmon steak) and hit the market hall afterward.
That is our usual routine.
We had a good time making plans for my future apartment (of which I even don't know in which part of Germany it will be) and got some other stuff.
Now I have one of those little milk beater things again, actually I have two now because we bought two of them.
On Saturday evening we had a little barbecue here to celebrate that on that date 2 years ago, my brother survived a horrible car accident.
Actually it was a pretty close call.

Today my Mom and I went to a really nice place, a bit like a craft fair, a bit like a farmers market, outdoors restaurant etc.. ( http://www.bauernmarkt.de )
A really nice place and especially great for families with children, but grown-ups can have a great time there, too.
And the food was delicious.

It was really nice not to have an online test this weekend.

Tonight I will just watch some more TV and then go to bed early (hopefully)

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Friday, June 19, 2009

a bit more


First of all, I remembered what I wanted to write about in my last post.
I went to the employment agency last Friday.
I originally signed up with them because I was hoping they could help me find a job.
Haha.
Well I am still in their system and obviously that is good because I need to be in their system while unemployed because that has something to do with the retirement checks I may or may not receive later.
Which might not be enough to live from anyway but that's an other story.
So I am in their system and had to show up there last Friday and prove that I did write applications.
So I did.
Now this lady told me, that I have to apply for mini jobs as well to be able to remain in the system.
I told her about my plans and that I will go to school again in fall and was hoping they would just leave me in the system til then.
I mean I don't get any money from them anyways.
But no, I have to apply for jobs.
No big deal if I had a ride to get there.
She said I HAVE to get there somehow, take the bus or whatever.
But who would hire somebody who could work on exact two days a week for an exact amount of time?
Oh well, I will try and then she will see what happens.
I mean I won't even be able to switch hours or something.
Then she gave me some uninformed advise and I got pretty mad at them.
Nothing I want to elaborate further here.
After I was done with them I went to the store and there I ran into a guy I went to highschool with.
We graduated 7 years ago and he is the first one I saw since then.
Interesting how different life can be for different people...


Another thing on my mind is that I am back in Germany for a year now.
When I stepped off that plane on June 18 2008 I didn't think that a year later I would sit around unemployed and would still live at my Mom's house...
But I know, next year at this day I can say something different, I made up my mind and accepted that I can't have what I really wanted ( I wanted to become a nurse but I have some back issues and was told that I won't last long in this field with this history).
When I first heard this I was really sad and disappointed.
I mean I knew about my back but I worked hard as an AuPair, carrying different toddlers around for two years, help my hostfamily move etc and then I hear something like this.
I know as a nurse you have to lift heavier things than toddlers sometimes but still...
Now I am still sad but I accepted it and am looking for other things now...
Well I am back in Germany for a year now and I still miss the US and my hostchildren.
Of course it is nice to speak to them on the phone but then they are begging me to come back and if I had the money I would get on the next plane...

This entry is pretty confusing I guess and I apologize but that is what is on my mind right now...



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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

it's been a while....

I was quite busy the past days.
There was this assignment which I finally finished today.
It took lot's of my time, not only the writing, I spent many hours discussing the case with my fellow students...
Beside this I didn't do much.
On Sunday my Mom and I took the dog to the beach and he had a blast. :)
On Saturday I got the rejection I from the job I was interviewed for some weeks ago.
But I was not really surprised.
There was so much more I wanted to write about but right now I can't think about anything....


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

Sunday was election day here in Germany for the European parliament, and here in our community also for Major, municipal council, and county council. I ran for municipal council. I did not get elected but I was surprised how many people voted for me. :)
I am not happy at all with the county council, some stupid people made their xxx next to the wrong name and so we have two Nazis in there now. Not enough that there are already Nazis in our state parliament ,no now they are also in the community council.
Time to get outta here.
That is the part of our democracy that I don't like.
Everybody knows what they're up to but nobody can do anything as long as they don't break the law...
Well I don't want to go to deep into it now, but if anybody wants to talk about it, feel free to contact me.
On Sunday I also did some phone calls. First I spoke to a friend of mine that I didn't see for almost 2 years.
We met as Au Pairs in New York and while I extended, she went home after one year in August of 07.
We spent a really nice hour talking about good old times and that was really nice.
We also made a plan to meet at some point in August in Berlin and I am really looking forward to it.
Later on on Sunday I watched a movie (Die Hard but the German version) and then at around 2 am I figured it would be a nice time to call my last host family in California.
So I spent a nice time on the phone with them.
I especially liked the part where they told me that the kids still talk about me a lot, even more then about the Au Pair they had after me. :)
After I got off the phone I went to bed - and was wide awake til 5:30 am. The phone then woke me up around 9 am and afterward I was not able to go back to sleep.
So the Monday was practically wasted since I was tired all day.
In the evening I took part in another test and then stayed up late again since I was not able to go to sleep.
On Tuesday I slept til 1 pm and wasted the whole morning which I would have needed to make some phone calls.
A good part of the day I spent with writing a list for the employment agency.
They want to see my efforts to get a job.
Unfortunately some of the data I needed was (and still is on a memory card). Since I broke the card reader there is a problem with getting that data back.
I intended to fix it myself but needed I screwdriver which I couldn't find so I had to wait for my Mom to get home.
When she finally came back she found me a screwdriver.
It even fitted the screws and I was able to take 3 of 4 out.
The 4th did not come out at all.
I guess I damaged it when I tried to use a knife on there in my impatience.
So I had to try something else.
I dug through my stuff and found the very old camera that card came with.
And after I found an usb-cord to connect the camera to my laptop and after I charged the battery, I discovered that there is no software for this camera to use on Vista. So I went to bed happy...
Today I will try to connect the camera to my Moms old computer and see what happens...
I also have to make some phone calls and do some other stuff so I guess I won't be bored today... :)


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Saturday, June 6, 2009

mad

Today was just another online test and I experienced some difficulties which nobody else seem to have.
This made it impossible for me to finish the test properly and this really annoys me.
The good thing is that there are 6 tests per subject so I have 5 more chances to get good results.
But still...something like this should not happen...

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

results!!!

Today I got the grades in the first subject and I have to admit, I am more than happy!
My two best marks were 1.7 and 1.3 which makes an average of 1.5.
Together with the written assignment which I still have to write and send in this will be the final mark for this subject.
Means I will pass the subject no matter what.Of course I will do anything to get a good final grade...


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Monday, June 1, 2009

yet another design

I can't help it, I was bored and hat lot's of fun doing this...


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the weekend

My weekend was pretty calm, I had a test Friday night and one Sunday morning.
On Saturday I went shopping with my Mom and I got 10 pairs of sneaker socks. A few weeks ago I got 5 pairs from Tchibo and somehow I have only 2 pairs left.
So I got 10 new pairs ( a pack for like 9,95) when I spotted them while standing in the checkout line at the shoe store.
In the evening we did some barbecue and that was it for Saturday.
Yesterday we went to a flea market where the best thing was the Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia which I got a the nearby Subway...
Today we will do some more BBQ-ing .
And I started plan B.
I applied for a degree program at an university of applied science. (well got it ready and it will go in the mail tomorrow)
No further details here since I don't have the spot for sure.
Plan C is also available now: A degree program at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Environmental Engineering.
There I will get a spot for sure since it is free (means no NC or stuff).

So I am pretty excited about where I will end up...
I will know for sure at some point in the end of July I guess.
The deadline for applications for B is July 15 and I think I should hear from them shortly after....


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Plan B

It looks like it is time for plan B.
The first part of the job interview thing on Monday went well.
We were greeted and then they explained the plan for the day.
At first we had to write a little text about our CV which was good.
In the invitation they said we would be supposed to present the CV so I thought it would be more like an oral presentation and prepared for that.
So all I had to do was to write down what I planned to say and that went smooth.
Afterward came some discussions.
For the first we were able to pick a topic (school uniforms) the second ( religion classes at school) and third (Are appointees (that's what leo gives me for "Beamte") still modern) .
The first one was really good, the second one was OK and the third one sucked. :D
Nobody found really good arguments.
We were a group of 7 there.
And 7 spots are vacant, so they do the testing in groups of 7 so nobody would feel like he has to fight since there is a chance that we all can get hired...
Well after the discussion was a break and then the group got an assignment to solve together which went well too I think.
After another break it was time for the interview.
During the observing part there were 6 people to watch, the interviews were with 2 persons and the applicant.
Since I had the longest way home the let me go in first.
And this is the part where I always get problems.
I can be as prepared as I wanted, I can't think clear in there...
Due to my performance in there I guess, now it is time for plan B.
No details on that yet, since there is nothing sure yet, though.

After the interview I went back to my friends house, where I had spent the night, changed into more comfortable clothes and picked up my stuff.
I left my suitcase at the train station (they have lockers there, what I really missed in the US) and went into town.
The last time I was there, I saw a Lush store while riding the street car.
I wasn't able to find it back then which was a bummer, since I planned to get my Mom something for her birthday there.
Well her birthday was in April but since I don't know when I will be in this city again (as I think I won't be moving there anytime soon) I decided to give it another try.
And this time I found the store, bought her something nice and got a free sample of some soap for myself.
It is sitting on my desk right now and smells just delicious.
After the Lush store I grabbed a bite to eat and then proceeded to Starbucks.
There I tried a new drink (Blackberry Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino) which was really good and headed back to the station.
I even made it home in time to take another online test. :)


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Saturday, May 23, 2009

just a quick note

Just finished another online test and I would really appreciate to know the results but that will not happen until all tests are done...

I am still working on my concept to convince the people on Monday that I am the perfect person for the position and they will be doomed if they don't hire me. ;)
Later today I will go and get my hair done, all for Monday. :)

Nevertheless I have a plan B if I don't get this job, and I have to confess, the more I think about plan B the more I like it.

But I am still putting all my effort into the job interview on Monday, after all plan B is only plan B. :)


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Friday, May 22, 2009

and Friday again....

What happened since last Friday?
Not much...
I did some more tests. 5 down 13 to go....or 12 since I know that I will miss the appointment on Monday, because I am on a job interview (out of town) that day and will not be back in time for the test.
I hope that I am good enough in the 5 other tests for that subject.
Yesterday we hat a thunderstorm and our dog always freaks out with all the noise outside.
He doesn't like fireworks either.
So I spent a good amount of time sitting on the floor and holding the poor baby.
Too bad that the poor baby has like 70 lbs and would rather sit in my bed.
I didn't let him and so I had to wrestle him down several times.
That's why I took 2 showers yesterday. :)

Today is May 22nd and on May 22nd in 2006 I set my foot on American soil for the very first time.
That's the day on which my biggest adventure so far started and I became an Au Pair in the USA.
I thought I was well prepared but little did I know. :)
I had 2 awesome, amazing years, of course with ups and downs, I met lot's of great people, made new friends and saw so many things I never dreamed of before.
I traveled up and down the East Coast, then moved to the West Coast and saw many things there.
I went to Hawaii, Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas and so on and so on.
I need to make a separate post one day about all the trips I took. (or I just should finish my homepage about my 2 years in the US)

So since I had such a great time in the US today is kind of a sad day.
I am not happy with my life right now and that has to change, but more on this topic later when there really is something changing.

For now I am preparing for yet another test tomorrow and then on Sunday I will go on a trip to the town where the job interview takes place on Monday.


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Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday...

It is Friday afternoon and I am sitting at home, waiting for 8 pm when my 2nd test will start.
The first one was on Wednesday, 8 pm also.
The tests always are 2 hours and then the questionnaire will disappear from my online account again.
There are 6 appointments per subject, but even though you only have to actually pass 2 of them you better take part in all 6 because they won't publish the results before all 6 tests are over.
It is not that you just jot down what you remember, it is that you have to actually use your skills.
And since you don't know if your solution is perfect or just sucks it is a pretty high risk not to write all 6 tests...
There are 4 subjects this semester but for one they are not sure how they want to test, so til now it is only (*coughs*) 18 test....


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