First Susanne became obsessed and then I decided to offer a new blogging course

Ken at Axioma

You have your people. I’m sure you look around your circle of friends and say to yourself, ‘I love what they’re doing…wish I could help them out more.‘ Well, as much as you love your people, and I’m sure you do, my people just keep creating new things and I want to do what I can to let everybody know about them.

One of my people – one of the better ones, I might add – is Susanne, and she’s recently become obsessed with blogging and social media. I looked on with both amusement and pride last year, as her first blogposts started showing up on my newsfeed.

Here’s her most recent post, and I’m sure you’ll see why I find her writing so endearing: Desperado (by Susanne Plassman) Leave it to her to take a topic like suicide and make it inspiring.

I reached out to her and said, ‘Hey, I know something about the whole blogging lark, so drop me a line if you need any guidance.

Almost immediately, she responded with, ‘Yes, let’s talk! Am besten Gestern*!‘ That’s how she is, by the way. A theatre chick with all the positive associations in tow.

Susanne and I are conspiring to do some projects together and I’m sure I’ll be talking about them here and on social media, but in the meantime…her predicaments while getting started in blogging made me think, ‘There must be so many other locals who need some tips and pointers on this whole social media thing.


So, I talked to the language school Axioma, which is centrally located in the Maxvorstadt district of Munich, and we’ve decided to offer a course in social media. Here’s a link to the Social Media / Blogging von Anfang an course. Click on it, and see how much of your high school or college German you can remember.

*rough translation of ‘am besten Gestern‘: I need this yesterday!





Beamers & the real power in Bavaria

Church and State in Bavaria’s Hauptstadt

Please turn on the Beamer, so we can start the meeting in time,’ my colleague says. 

Huh? The Beamer?

Are they giving me a company car? 

Wow, I like the direction this is going. 

Nope. Not a chance. Instead, this is another example of them having funny English-sounding nicknames for things that those of us with an Anglo mother tongue would never have thought of. Another false friend

In this case, it’s what the Germans call an overhead projector. A Beamer

I’m not kidding. 

It ‘beams‘ they assure me. Like ‘beam me up Scotty‘, but for real. It beams their presentations and visuals up on the screen. Hence Beamer

What makes it a false friend, though?

Well, we already use Beamer for something else. Not sure about the Brits or the rest of the Commonwealth, but us Yanks? 

We use it as a nickname for a BMW. That’s right. If you’re tooling round in an auto made by the  Bayerische Motoren Werke, that’s a Beamer, baby!
Now I’m looking back at the above photo with the church at Mariahilfplatz. Beam me up, indeed. 

give my pinky over there a workout

typing warmers…are those pieces of bread?

Have been humming Tom Petty‘s Learning to Fly for the past few hours, but instead of ‘fly‘, I’ve been inserting the word ‘type‘ in my thoughts. Why?

Because I’m learning to type, of course. Well, relearning. I’m the sort who normally veers toward the things that come easily to him, and typing was never one of those things. I know where my fingers are supposed to go, but normally I revert to a very weird system of hunting and pecking.

That’s a nice euphemism for the way I conduct myself in romantic matters – hunting and pecking, but that’s a topic for another blogpost. This is about typing, dammit. Not typing as metaphor. Not describing my typing, or lack of proper typing, as an indication of not playing by the rules.

However, now that I think about it, that’s exactly what it is. When I was a child, it was explained to me, ‘Here’s where your hands go, and these fingers go to these keys.‘ What’d I do instead? I wanted to play music…not worry myself with boring typing.

I can play the natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales in all twelve keys, but get my fingers to stay in the right place while I’m typing? No thank you.

Before I moved across the country to go to college, I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit typing. I thought term papers would be coming at me at every turn, so I thought, ‘Now’s as good a time as any to get the typing thing sorted.‘ Did I, in fact, sort it? Well, judging by the fact that I’m still relearning to type, no. I didn’t stick with the typing until it stuck. Here I am again.

The piano I can play without looking down at my fingers, so why not the computer keyboard? To add insult to injury, I’m typing on a German keyboard. In addition to all the umlauts over on the far right-hand side, which are bound to give my pinky over there a workout, they’ve also switched the ‘z’ and the ‘y’ from what I was used to on the English keyboard.

Actually, I’ve lived here long enough that the prominence of the ‘z’ in the German language, as well as the virtual dearth of the need for the letter ‘y’, has become less and less of an issue. I suppose the switching of these two letters only truly bothers me when I’m forced to write on a Yankee keyboard again. Put a feather in my cap, and all that.

So, while the rest of you are out enjoying a beautiful summer’s evening, I’m sitting here with my fingers hovering in their proper placement. I don’t yet have the hand warmers that’re pictured above, but who knows…maybe by the time the winter comes, those’ll come in very handy. Heh heh, he said, ‘Handy.’

Or even better, maybe by then I’ll be such a master typist, that my voracious skills will keep me warm. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?