I bet you are wondering how I could have a bigger weekend than the combined Ladies Poker Night/Project Goes Live one last weekend. Well this was long in another way. See I hopped a train on Sunday afternoon to see my friend Kent perform in Berlin. He programmer who writes electronic music..um…making software. You know the software that NIN and Depeche Mode use to make their music. Works for one of two dominate companies in the industry, Native Instruments (NI). Anyhow, he is also a musician himself (u6i) and I went to see him perform. It wasn’t anything like I expected. It was, in his words, ‘a chill out room’. It wasn’t a ‘club’ like one imagines a club. It was like a giant living room with people hanging out on couches with coffee tables. No coffee though (the only thing could have made it better). There was even a guy, Ryan I would discover later, reading a book. The first performer played really relaxing electronic music (I will not assume a genre because I am quite poor at these things) and displayed random-ish geometric shapes and lines on a wall using a beamer. I really wanted to go look at the equipment, multiple laptops and monitors and what looked like a server, but I wasn’t sure of the etiquette so I hung back. The crowd was artsy and IT-ish. If you don’t know what this is like, I can’t help. It’s just one of those things. They were all minimalists and I was glad I wore my Converse. So some of the music sounded a bit too ‘Fusion Jazz’ for me and we all know how I feel about that, but most of it was really wonderful. Very ambient noise (which is a good thing in my words) and I enjoyed the relaxing nature of it. My mind wandered. I tried to interpret the music and the images. I found myself trying to figure out what I was to do with the music but it really didn’t seem to matter (which was later confirmed, see next paragraph). It seemed like I was just suppose to feel the music and experience it that way. It really was incredibly relaxing, like I could do it once a month and then go home and sleep for days. It seemed to take me down a level. In a completely foreign environment I felt completely at ease. I was a bit afraid of falling asleep, though only for the fear of committing a social faux pas. I really only started yawning at like 3 am (arrived at 22:30). I think with a room like that in Stuttgart, once a month, I would be an entirely different person, far less high strung. Can you believe I might have found my vehicle to relaxation in an unmarked store front in Berlin?
After a while I decided I wanted to talk to some people that looked like they were use to this environment. I walked over to three guys who had been having a very animated conversation and as a result seemed like they would be willing to share their impressions of the place with me. Amusingly enough, one was an American, Ryan. He works for the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, though that isn’t how he ended up in Germany. He just likes it there. Jan is the owner of an IT company that provides backend service provider systems. Diez is a student and works for Jan. He is 27 years old and figures he has another year to go. Of course his student status kicks ass over any student status I ever had. He gets up at noon, works for Jan as a code junkie, loves what he does and gets paid very well for 4 hours of work a day. Jan would love this student status too, who wouldn’t really, but wanted to start his own company. I inadvertently insulted Ryan right off the bat. And though he’ll likely never speak to me again, I’m going to share what happened for continuities sake. So, the three of them had very distinct looks to them, at least to me. Diez looked like the technical guy. Something about his body language and animation. Jan looked the part of the intellectual. He was wearing a cardigan and button down shirt. His cardigan had pins on it. It looked very literary from where I had been watching them. And then there was Ryan. And though I will admit he was the guy reading the book when I walked in, he looked like an athlete to me. It was something about his build and the body language. He looked athletically svelte and seemed to move fluidly. Unfortunately, this offended him. He challenged that he was reading a book when I arrived so he couldn’t be a jock since they don’t read. This, to me at least, shows why he didn’t like being seen as the athlete. They are dumb to him. On the other hand, I see athletes as very focused individuals. People who have the patience and intelligence to worship their bodies to perfection. OK, perhaps some go overboard with the doping but snow boarders are athletes and they are cool. The original reason I went to talk to them was to find out what one is suppose to ‘do’ at these events like this. Jan thought this was very American of me. He says Americans are all about ‘doing’ as opposed to seeking to go somewhere. We talked about how even universal signals, like the smile, can have vastly different emphasis or even meaning, in different countries. Ryan and I got into a conversation about relationships and marriage. The ‘why get married’ argument. I feel it is a symbol to each other. At least that is what matters about it. I don’t believe you have to be married to be ‘one’ with your significant other, but getting married is a symbol that one CAN express to their significant other. Of course Patrick and I did it impetuously but it ended up working out and to me it is now a symbol of our oneness. In the end, I was a bit bummed he didn’t have a girlfriend. Somehow he seemed turned off by the idea, which is a shame because I think he would make a great boyfriend. Sorry girls, I don’t know his last name so I don’t know if I will ever hear from him again so I can’t introduce you. Diez and I were the last to leave. Since my train didn’t leave until 5:30 (yes AM) I was glad he hung around. We talked about the CDU/SPD and what one has in common with their friends and his knees (very worn out from so much snow boarding, sailing and skating). He says that, to him, the only worthy cities in Germany are Koeln (wear he grew up), Hamburg and Berlin. I would tend to agree, based on my experiences thus far. Makes Stuttgart sort of one of the nicer villages, which is really what it feels like here. We talked about what was strange about the SchwÃ¤bish. I said they are very focused on making money and buying a house which made him laugh because there is, apparently, a rhyme about the SchwÃ¤bish that says exactly that. Anyhow, they were all very cool and it was great to meet them.
An editor in DC referred to the Religious Right as the ‘Extra Chromosome Crowd’. This is because many diseases that result in mental deficiencies, such as Down’s Syndrome, are the result of an extra chromosome. I think that’s cute but sort of insults people with Down’s because they aren’t malicious and the Religious Right (and wrong!) are.
So the other thing about my weekend was the skirt above. It is a Toni Gard and I have been watching it ALL season. Just waiting for it to go on sale, which it finally did! Patrick scoffed at it on the hanger but after I put it on he was reminded that he doesn’t do the thinking anymore because I am always right! Cheers.
p.s. if you are looking for the Kitty Kat outfit follow the blue word…