Monthly Archives: November 2001

blah

Wow, dull week at the office. The reorg goes on and nothing happens. Did I tell you all I have a “coach”. She is sort of like a business therapist. We got to talking about the reorg. It was tied up in a conversation about not liking the feeling that I am kissing some managers ass when I am nice to them but don’t really want to. I know how to placate a manager to “get my message heard” but they don’t really hear my intended message. They hear a watered down one. So anyhow, I didn’t talk to a manager this week about my feelings regarding the reorg. I went to a intermediary. The coach says this was great. I had found the best way to get my message to management. No, I said. I was just covering my ass. Management says they have an open door policy but I don’t believe it. I don’t think they want to hear my truth right now. My coach says, ‘Well yes you have to determine whether they are ready to hear something and maybe wait. The new head manager is new at their job and needs time to grow into it. They are only human. “No!” I said. “When you are at that level of management you don’t get to grow into your job. You have to be ready to drop and run.” “But they are only human” responds my coach. “But they are management. They are paid and scoped to be management. I expect them to perform. At least communicate”. So this went on and we determined that I am not going to change my position. I hold people to a high bar, just like I do myself. Anyway, I had dinner with my friend Friederun and asked her what she thought. She agreed with me completely. Was Carly allowed to “grow into the job”. No. In all the interviews I have been on there is no death like saying something about growing into the job. Starting slowly and observing is deemed as weak. Acting out of the gate and being wrong is seen as a reason to be fired, so you have to be good. Then today as I was riding the s-bahn home and I read an article in Details magazine about being “the asshole we love or hate”. They made reference to people we expect to say jerky things and we either hate them or love them. The two examples were: Jerry Fallwell (Liberals and Gays caused God to punish us by letting 2 planes fly into the twin towers), the asshole we hate and Ronald Reagan (trees cause more pollution than autos), the asshole we love (speak for yourself Details mag). Then the author goes on to mention that we seem to allow, for some ridiculous reason, Presidents to grow into the job. He mentioned how Dubya has had his polls go up because he seems to be growing into the job well. I expect more from my management and my president. I remember how angry the press corps were when Clinton didn’t do anything for the first 100 days. They catnapped Socks even. But at least he didn’t say stupid things to pass the time (Clinton not Socks) (Yeah ok there was the ‘inhale’ thing and the ‘sex with this woman thing’ but I am talking about his job not his hobbies. I’m not overly impressed with Dubya’s hobbies either). This is an awfully long paragraph. So what have we learned? I have high expectations for management and myself, I see a business therapist, I think Dubya is a moron even if at first he was doing a good job (not including calling the terrorists ‘folks’) in the beginning. He seems to be getting arrogant now. Ok that is about it for that.

I read a hysterical quote about he song “Killing an Arab” by The Cure. Go see it on my quote page.

This is the dress I wore to Brett’s wedding. You know the one I got on sale in Paris and had to go all the way to London to find a sweater that would match? A very expensive outfit in the end. Too much actually. Going to have to wear this one to a couple more weddings. I definitely stood out, in a good way.

Ok. I’m done. ~The End~

fastidiousness

What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, runs over the neighbor’s dog? What fits on your back, tastes great as a snack? It’s log log log. It’s log. It’s log. It’s big it’s heavy it’s wood. It’s log. It’s log. It’s better than bad it’s good. – I just felt like singing that.

I’m on one of my neatness trips these days. This means I have an overwhelming need for things to be clean, shiny and in their correct place. And Patrick has to help. We even washed out the cat boxes. Changed the sheets, washed the cat box rugs, wiped down my vibrator and straightened all horizontal surfaces. I even cleaned the kitchen for the hell of it. Patrick sees one dish in the kitchen and it is too much. I see a pile of dishes and see an organizational opportunity. As long as everything has been soaked (thanks Mom!) it’s a piece of cake.

Had a hard time maintaining enthusiasm at work this week. Probably worked an average of 6 hours a day with a mere 2 of them being productive. I swear I’ll get back into it next week. The “project from hell” is getting closer and closer to being canceled. But it just isn’t quite there and as a result we actually have to start coding. It’s ridiculous really. I can’t really say anything about it since it is company confidential but it is enough to say that it is a good idea being implemented badly.

Went to see a cool British band on Monday night called Therapy? They have a cool song called “Suicide Pack” The chorus goes…Suicide Pack, Suicide Pack, You go first!…clever huh? Anyhow we were there with my friend Friederun who is looking for the man of her dreams. Problem is her standards are set a bit high. She wants a man who:
1) Is at least 1 meter 85
2) Has a good job/is intelligent and driven
3) Is good looking
4) Listens to bands ranging from NIN to Placebo to Bush
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a guy to fit all four of those categories? Oh, he can’t want his wife to stay home and take care of children either. I mean the first 3 are possible, though the pool is small. But add a more hardcore music interest and you are going to have to make him from scratch. I don’t think the Donald or any of his friends have been to a Marilyn Manson show in a while. Anyhow, I offered to start asking around at this show to see if anyone fit the bill. She wasn’t thrilled by the idea. I walked up to the guy selling t-shirts anyway and explained the situation to him. He asked about me and why I was in Germany etc and then assured us that yes Friederun’s man of her dreams was at that very show. With the exception of the 1 meter 85, he said that he himself fit the rest of the list. Friederun was not convinced but the whole thing amused her and I am sure she will be more careful next time she shares sensitive information with me.

Harry Potter started this week and we went to the midnight show at the English version theatre in Vaihingen. It was great. It was JUST like the book. There were small scenes from the book missing. There was only really one scene in a class but it was exactly like the book with what was there. The only thing they changed was Hagrid’s dragon. He gets one but the resolution is different. Anyhow, I liked it. Harry wasn’t exactly as I imagined him but others thought he was perfect. I’ll go see all the movies but if they hadn’t made them, that would have been ok because my mind did fine with the book itself.

I’ll try to be more stimulated next week and deliver a more inspiring talk. Tah tah.

observation

OK so I made a cultural observation today. While I was in line trying to buy my mom a Christmas gift a German woman came up and butted in front of me. This comes as no surprise to me since German’s are rude like this all the time. I have been told that the French and Italians are worse but since I live in Germany I will complain about the Germans. Now before my German readers send me hate mail read the rest. Anyhow, I was thinking, why are Germans so rude in stores? Americans aren’t rude like this. OK at Christmas it can get ugly due to stress. Of course at the Nordy half yearly shoe sale it can get down right violent but that is for unique items. Today we were simply in line waiting to ring out! Anyhow, I was thinking how superiorly polite Americans are shopping but then realized that this is an interesting paradox. Americans are polite in public, treating everyone equal, talking about equality and such where in reality Americans are out for themselves and no one else. Our whole economy is built around it. I buy a stock hoping it will go up and I can find someone willing to pay more for it even though they will never actually get a return from the company it is from. They will simply hope to find someone willing to pay more, and so on. In Germany, they talk inequality, they are rude in public but their constitution in itself provides for a certain equality by evening out the wealth and the freedoms. In short, Americans are facetiously equal on the outside and Germans are truly equal on the inside. Sort of. It’s a theory. I still like being an American (except for the fact that in a recent poll, 60% polled said they would approve of the use of nuclear weapons, God help us). I still think that I have the capacity for great generosity and compassion BECAUSE I am an American. I just couldn’t help wondering.

So now to follow on in my intrinsically American nature…I got a fabulous Grabriele Strehle dress on super sale today. More than 50% off. It is purple and will look divine with my purple cashmere coat. Yes I wear purple. Yes I am old.

Like my look above? I have no idea wear I got this dress. Probably Buffalo Exchange in SF or something, years ago. I found it in Christine’s closet while I was home for Halloween. I got lots of comments on my legs, that so much of them were showing. Everyone enjoyed the outfit though.

Let’s see. We were supposed to go to NYC next week for Turkey Day. We canceled our reservations because the American airline industry seems to be out of control. We were flying United but I don’t think it matters. People are rushing around so much they are making mistakes. So we are hoping something reassuring happens before we are to fly home for Christmas. Not sure what to do if nothing does. I don’t really want to stay here. We could go to Budapest I suppose…

That’s it for this week. The first paragraph took all my brain power. It wasn’t even that good. Sorry.

quiet

Our trip to the US was nice but too jam packed. We had so much we wanted to do, it hardly seemed like a holiday. The wedding was lovely. My outfit was fantastic. The funny thing is everyone else was wearing black. Here I had gone to all this trouble (and expense) only too end up being the only one (besides the bridesmaids) in colour! My new friend Alyssa (John’s wife) said she dragged her son Wolfie (so cool!) to a dozen stores trying to find something in colour but couldn’t and ended up buying black. I had gone to 3 different countries trying to find a light pink cashmere sweater to wear with my dress because it is strapless. I didn’t think a pashima wrap would be enough for the Catholic church. But there again, a number of females in spaghetti straps were wearing wraps. Henry’s wife (can you believe I have already forgotten her name even though she was really cool and excellently fashioned (see memory topic below)) was even wearing fishnets like I had wanted to! Unbelievable. Anyhow, Brett looked incredibly happy and everything was lovely.

Halloween rocked, obviously. Isn’t my costume rad?! Mom was getting a little stressed at the end there because her sewing machine didn’t like velco but she worked it out. I went out with my friend Christine’s son Miles (he was Satan) and got TONS of candy. Only once did I get accused of being too old. Though once I was accused of being the mom. I said “No, I am 10.” Not sure they believed that.

So now we are back in Germany and, honestly, I am a little frustrated. It has been a really rough week at the office. Lots of problems. Lots of jumping around from this to that. Lots of unsuredness. Now it is Friday and the weekend is here. And I am depressed. In the US, where I speak the language, on the weekends I can relax. Go out. Stay in. Make phone calls. Whatever. In Germany, where I don’t speak the language, when the weekend starts, the complications start. For example, I think I have a brow appointment tomorrow at Brueninger but I am not sure and it isn’t in my palm. In the US, I could just call up the salon and ask them to look. No problem. No stress. Ah, but in Germany, if I can even find the phone number, I have to deal with the stress of not

speaking the language. It isn’t that I don’t know how to ask whether I have an appointment or not, it is the follow on, or if they don’t understand me. SO this means instead of calling I have to walk there. And it is snowing. You are saying to yourselves “Stop whining Heather and learn the f***ing language already”. Yeah, I know I should but, honestly (as though I were ever anything else) I don’t want to take the time. There are other things I would rather be doing than spending my time studying German. You are saying to yourselves now “So stop bitching Heather, it’s your choice”. Yes, I know. In following my dual insistence that people do not behave like hypocrites AND if they aren’t willing to do something about the situation, they should stop bitching, I should stop bitching and suck it up (as I often remark to those not willing to do something about the situation). But you know what else? It is my website and I can bitch if I want.

I’m eating dry Boo Berries out of the box as I write this. Ah, the simple pleasures.

OK, so on the train this week, I realized I have like a gazillion passwords. Plus or minus a few. I have different passwords for most of it too. My keyboard lock is different than my NT logon, is different than my CPO-SAP logon, which is different than my PDN-SAP logon, which is different than my Xpress logon, you get the picture. And all these passwords? I remember them. Occasionally I do have to consult my handy-dandy password-protected password program for infrequently used passwords such as my 401K password (why would I want to check something going down?). But mostly, I remember them. Peoples names? Nope. I am HORRIBLE with faces and names. Phone numbers? Random facts about people, once someone reminds me who they are? Oh I remember all those. But Names? Nope. Why is that? Most people say I am a creative person. I use “that” side of the brain, whichever it is. I would think, being creative, a person would be visual and remember faces. So I don’t think that I fit the pattern. In fact, I have some of the strangest combinations of characteristics I think possible. I love transactions. I love balancing my checkbook. I love straightening my sock drawer or rearranging my clothes racks by some other characteristic of my clothing (like length or worth instead of just black vs colour). I love giving presentations. I am a very sexual and extroverted person. I like to help. I don’t like being thanked in public. I tend to diminish my own successes (except cookies, my cookies rock). I have a high standard for myself and others. I wear black. My hair changes colour frequently. I am not afraid. I am afraid. For the most part I am quick witted, though not always, depends on the situation. I am more calm now than when I was younger though I am not sure if it has to do with age or the journey which tends to be age dependent. Seems sort of mixed up to me. So far it is working, for the most part. I still make it through the day. Just today is not fun.

What next? Well as I said it is snowing. So tomorrow I am going to go out and buy the snow boots I have been looking at. I promise that is it too. Even though the stores are open until 8. I’ll probably just come home and play solitaire. Oh well.