Monthly Archives: November 2002

mom things

Let’s start with the light things. Here is the phrase that German’s have for the Schwaebish that I learned from Diez:

“Schaffe, schaffe, Häusle baue” which translates to “work,work, build your house”

It’s true too.

This is the Stewardess Hat I was telling you about last week. Fabu, eh? This is my ‘Coffee. Tea. Or me?’ look.

Remember http://www.jamesryananderson.com ? Well the logon to his personal pages is texas and the password is bull. He gave me permission to tell you that. He’s had some entertaining adventures and interesting facial hair, so take a look.

Please check out my KAOS page to take a peak at some satisfied cookie eating customers. There are Jean-Francois’ children Chloe, 6 and Lucien, 11. Chloe’s unbiased opinion of my cookies was ‘Oh, des cookies! J’adore!'(pretty self-explanatory even in French). Lucien’s reaction was a bit more 11 year-old boy, ‘Je peux avoir deux?’ Roughly translated as ‘I can have two of them? ‘ Jean-Francois was one of my team members on the HUM project that went live this month. He is a great project manager and I learned a lot from him, though I bet he didn’t notice. He is a cool guy in general too. VERY cool hair.

Please also take a gander at my HAIR page as I have a shot of Figen, my colourist and her lovely assistant Philip. OK he isn’t officially HER assistant but he is a pre-graduate assistant who helped with my colour this time. They did a fine job dealing with my little colour mistake this week. I brought them a pink that was simply not pink enough and they didn’t want me to leave until it was fixed! So I came back and we tried again and now it is just fab. Philip has an interesting story too. His parents are hairdressers and he swore as a child that he did NOT want to follow in the family biz. But when he was 16 he went to a Toni & Guy show in Berlin with his dad and was knocked off his feet. When Anthony Mascolo came down the stairs the crowd went wild and Philip saw the amazing beauty in the work that Toni & Guy does. OK so he probably won’t do exactly what his parents do, they live in a village between Lake Constance and Stuttgart, so you can imagine their cliental, but he will keep the profession ‘Friseur’ (German for hairdresser masculine ) in the family. He is really cool and his English is just perfect. Figen has been all over German and took master classes at Vidal Sasson up north even. I speak German with her because her English is very limited and she is VERY nice to me about my German skills. I was trying to explain how we thought it would be really funny if Jack Osbourne came home one day and declared himself a born again Christian, but I couldn’t quite get the concept across. She’s very talented with colour and I highly recommend her.

Had a strange dream on Friday morning. I was at a school, it felt like college but very small. NIN was playing on campus and I had a ticket to go. Some people I knew wanted to trade tickets because they wanted a friend to sit with them. It was just an equal swap, they said, and since we weren’t friends, I just knew them, I agreed. The seat I got was F10. I remember that specifically. Anyhow, the seat ended up being like right up front! Some how. The weird thing was NIN had a brass section at this point. So there are playing and everyone is cheering and dancing and then on the last song, Trent jumps into the audience and disappears. And then the show is over. At this point, myself and another girl, whom I didn’t really know, are looking for Trent. Or rather how he got out. We sort of followed a path under the chairs that we think he crawled through. We went out one set of doors and it was the parking lot. Lots of people hanging around, not many people leaving. So then we go back inside and look at the path again only this time we go out another set of doors and find ourselves along the path the band takes to and from the buses (buses because remember NIN has a brass section now). Two bouncers rush up to us like they are going to throw us out, but they don’t. They get all smarmy and put their arms around us. Next the trombone player from the brass section comes out and walks over to me. I am still looking for Trent and can see him walking off toward the buses. The trombone player, who’s name I didn’t get, and I start talking and walking towards the buses. I am telling him about being a bando in High School and college and he is talking about being a trombone player in NIN. He is very sweet and seriously cute, so as we are walking along, we sort of lean over and kiss lightly. From behind me I hear Trent yell. ‘Heather and Blank sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G’. I turn and he is sitting in a convertible with a baseball cap on laughing at us. I sort of give him a dirty look and keep walking with the trombone player. It is so weird that he didn’t really have a name. Anyhow, the dream ended there. I woke up and thought ‘got to remember that’ and went over it in my head.

OK, so now, about my mom. She and I aren’t communicating real well right now. In fact, not at all and I am seriously pissed off. You all know about the boyfriend drama. Well, I am completely willing to admit that I feel threatened by him (not him the guy since I have never met him but him the concept because it has put my mom’s behavior in a new light) but I don’t think it is fair that my feelings and insecurities are being treated as if they are insignificant and wrong. I was actually told to go see a therapist while I was in SB over Christmas (so what if it was my brother’s idea, thanks Andy). None of us have seen this man professionally in over 15 years and why the hell do my feelings, as strong as they are, mean there is something wrong with me and I should see a therapist. Typical of my family to want to avoid dealing with each other and deal with a therapist instead. I have always been the confrontation type. Black sheep. Anyhow, I have been trying, on several occasions, to establish some special mom/daughter contact. I have offered to pay for a spa in Europe and a day at the spa in SF or just a trip to SF, a flight to NYC for Thanksgiving and for all these things I have gotten excuses. Once I got a comment of ‘it would be nice to go to the city with you’ but nothing of real substance. No commitment. A lot of talk about money. Pardon me, but I seem to think that I offered to fund most of this. No, ‘oh I want to see you but I can’t afford it, but if you were willing to buy the ticket, we could go X week in X month’. That would have been nice. That would have said ‘when I say I love you and Andy more than anything, I mean it and I am willing to back it up’. Of course I am going to get the criticism, ‘why does love have to mean money’. This has nothing to do with money. It has to do with time. What I have always asked from my parents and never got from my dad and seemed to get from my mom but on her terms and now when I ask for a little reassurance, I get excuses. It hurts. Terribly. A few years back, in our marriage, Patrick and I had a problem because he said that he loved me, but he wouldn’t actually do anything. He would just sort of sit there and wait for me to do something. Oh, but he loved me. It felt like he loved me like one loves a picture or a statue. I was there and thing for him to love and adore but not interact with. That isn’t a relationship to me. Might not even really be love, but that didn’t really matter because the problem wasn’t our love, it was out relationship. We solved that problem and now Patrick and I have all sorts of fun. Is my mom’s love like Patrick’s was? I am quite sure if something really significant happened to me, she would be at my bedside in a heartbeat, but does it have to come to that? Don’t people always regret not making the effort after that significant event has happened and it is too late? She said after she and Ken broke up and then got back together, that he articulates himself well and she doesn’t and it’s hard, etc. She made the effort with him. Why won’t she make the effort with me? Sure, I want to believe in the words I hear, but I learned young and continue to learn most days at the office, that talk is cheap and it is action, effort, and behavior, that really means something. So I am asking for some action, some effort, some behavior, on my dime if need be. I want to hear something like, ‘I really want to go to the city with you and be girls, let’s do it this day and I want to go here and there and maybe you can see if you can find a spa on-line cause I haven’t found anything and it’ll be great.’ I want to hear that instead of excuses. And I won’t even go into the other flat out rejections I have felt since the boyfriend appeared. We won’t go into the staying at the house thing or the ‘you better not come home’ comment. I’ll be willing to chalk those up to misspeak if I could just hear something reassuring now. See the effort now. If not. Well. Cheers.

a pink phase

My goodness I bought the MOST fabulous hat today! I call it my Pink Stewardess Hat. You know the hat’s stewardess use to wear in the 70’s? Sort of like French Police caps only taller? Well this one is light pink and fuzzy! So jaunty! It’ll be up next week. This week’s outfit is as a result of that overwhelming desire one has in the dead of winter to wear summer clothes. I didn’t actually go outside in it. I just baked cookies in it. Which didn’t go so hot, but more of that below. I got the tube top, which is also fuzzy, from Zara, the very Express like store here in Germany. It was a bit too big, so I washed it in HOT water and then subjected it to some serious dryer time. It shrank nicely. (I learned this trick the hard way in High School with a light purple wool Esprit turtleneck sweater, remember that Mom?) And at 7 Euro it seems like a good deal. The only problem with this outfit is that it did not save me from touching my stomach with the hot cookie sheet and getting YET another burn mark. People are going to start think Patrick abuses me (when all my faithful readers know it is the other way around.) Anyhow, I enjoy the cute and punk rock nature of this outfit.

So for those of you not on my project and getting my regular updates, I had a crisis last week. My chocolate chip cookies were ugly! They flattened out completely when I baked them! 3 dozen down the drain! And I was behind on my ‘post project cookie thank-you’ mails! I mean, come on, lose my touch with chocolate chip cookies?! What else can I do? Nothing! No one would ever come to another one of my meetings! As you can see, I took this seriously. Patrick and I calmly considered the problem and hypothesized that the margarine was too warm when I mixed it in the batter. So if the margarine is too warm, the batter is too airy and the cookies bake flat. They taste ok but not perfect as they should. We decided this was a likely cause as Patrick had cleaned the refrigerator the previous weekend and turned it off only to then realize he couldn’t remember what temp it was suppose to be set to. He set it for 2. Not cold enough. I jacked it to 6 and the soup frozen. So did the egg yokes, but damn was my batter solid. And after adjusting the time and temp of the oven a bit, near perfect cookies. Of course now I am totally paranoid and asked Patrick like a million times if the newly baked cookies looked right. ‘Yes, honey, perfect’. Whew. So 11 (I burned the last one) dozen and 70 Euro later, 9 boxes of ‘Cookie Thanks’ are on their way to destinations around Europe!

Well as you will all remember from last week, I met Diez, Jan and Ryan at Kent’s ‘show’. You will also remember (or read in the archive) that I didn’t know Ryan’s full name or email or anything though I thought he would make pretty good boyfriend material if this ‘not warm to relationship’ issue that I had a feeling existed could be eliminated or proven false. Well thanks to Diez (Yeah Diez!) I have James Ryan Anderson’s web address. It’s simple really… http://www.jamesryananderson.com There are Steer on it cause he is from Texas originally. So far it doesn’t seem like Diez has a website or I would lend that. He’s cool too. Anyhow, I did get Ryan’s permission to quote his site so don’t be afraid to check him out.

Here is something fascinating…I cut all my fingernails off. They are all evenly short now. It feels weird. I did it because they were so many different lengths. But since I am use to having reasonably long nails, to have them all short, feels funny. I am not use to feeling my fingertips on the keyboard like I do now. The plan is to polish then something dark, since that always looks good on short nails (too vampy on long nails) but I haven’t gotten around to it. It is totally bizarre being home so early and having time to sit around and do nothing. Seems like all I did for Sept and Oct was work, work, work, so now I don’t know what to do with myself. Stimulating, I know.

OK so I observed two interesting things in Germany this past week. First, one day on the train there was a man with a tie clip that was in the shape of a pair of handcuffs. He was wearing a nice enough suit, had glasses on, short hair, thinning on top. He carried an extra large brief case and underarm portfolio. Seemed like he was ex-cop or military or intelligence who was now doing strategic planning or security consulting. Just not something one sees on the train everyday. The other thing I saw was on the way to Subway in Esslingen on Saturday afternoon (part of our Saturday shopping ritual). Standing in front of the Red Ox Cafe/Bistro was a man, cleaning his ears, with his keys. Lovely. Amazing how people seem to think that when they are ‘alone’, that is not ‘with’ anyone else, they are invisible and no one notices them cleaning their ears with their keys. But they aren’t alone and we do see it.

Lastly you should all go to the fashion page to see my new intro picture. It’s the ceiling of our bedroom. Covered in fashion. Beautiful as far as I can see. Cheers.

a long weekend

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 Schwäbish. 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 Schwäbish 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…

ladies poker night

Happy Halloween! Yep, that’s me in this year’s Halloween costume. I was a bit nervous about wearing it to work but everyone ended up loving it! I did take it off in the afternoon because I went to the gym and I can’t get it on by myself. Isn’t HP a great place? I was recently referred to as ‘a professional’ for getting my project in on time and all. I’m not really, I just dress like this for fun!

Gosh, Ladies Poker Night ended up being SO much more than I had planned. We had 13 grrrls show and 5 very sexy, beautifully adorned in fishnet and latex stockings, boys. There was, in order of appearance, Patrick – splendent in leather bikini, black fishnets and white lacy apron, Sergio – poised beautifully in latex shorts, black fishnets and black mesh shirt, Todd – painted in latex stockings, shirt, top and elbow length gloves, oh and a precious little leopard spotted collar, Scott – our ‘back-to-basics’ boy in black fishnets, some cute black undies and dark green t-shirt, and lastly but certainly the most classically dressed, Emmanuel in black fishnets, white shorts, tuxedo shirt, tie and coat. They were stunning, one and all. So, after a slight adjustment to their new roles, they had to be verbal braced a few times, the boys were very good about anticipating our needs as serious card playing grrrls. There was much refilling of drinks, providing of pizza that Sergio was kind enough, minus uniform unfortunately, to pick up for us at his place of ‘regular’ employment, Puento Fizzo, across the street. As the evening went on we devised ways to determine the most talented waiter. We started with the massage contest. Patrick and Todd massaged the shoulders of Sarah and Sonja (who were chosen by a draw of cards) and the grrrls conferred on who was best. Todd won that one. Eventually the grrrls felt a need for more of a display, so we requested a Pole Dance by each of the boys. Todd and Sergio were kind enough to strut their stuff to Marilyn Manson’s cover of ‘Tainted Love’. Patrick provided me a short Lap dance. Having enjoyed this so much we queued up an obvious Pole Dance song, ‘I’m Outta Love’, by Anastasia. Emmanuel stole the show with this one. A natural mover, he tantalized us with coat shirking and the like. At this point, for whatever, the reason, the boys decided that they would instigate a contest between the grrrls and boys. 3 of the grrrls against 3 of the boys for Pole/Erotic dancing. They were on! Scott, Patrick, Sybille and Peggy were the judges. They took to the giant red velvet couch. Dee, Nathalie and I took the first turn and made it happen to Anastasia. Damn we were fine. Then the boys got up and proved their penchant for dirty dancing to Marilyn Manson. The judges were stumped. It came down to a coin flip and the boys were victorious. Oh it was just wonderful. Really though at this point, how could we go back to poker? The group decided to move on, after the boys changed, to various bars and clubs around Stuttgart. It was a fine Ladies Poker Night indeed. And there are even pictures! But they were taken old school style, so I have to wait for them to be developed and then I’ll scan them and we’ll get them up on the site. Thanks to all the boys for being such excellent sports and strutting their stuff. We’ll do it again real soon, I promise!

So really now, how can I top that? My project has gone live this weekend and things are going well so far. The big step comes tomorrow when invoices start to flow downstream. Cross your fingers! Cheers.