What I’ve done since the last time I blogged (last week just before #DigitalFreeSunday) – a long strange trip it’s been

It’s been another hell of a week, but I knew it was coming. So I planned accordingly.

Quite a few things fall by the wayside when my life gets too busy, but the first thing’s blogging.

I’m still writing, of course. Both professionally and privately. I’m working on a project right now that’s a dating book. Not kidding either.

My friend wrote a book, that I helped him on, and it did so well, he’s writing another. It’s a trip, actually. A long strange one.

To be candid, I should be over there working on his stuff right now. Instead I’m here – telling you about my crap week.

After my emo tirade last weekend, in which I created a title with predictive text. now I’m just purposely making weird hashtags in order to maximise the SEO and all that.

See, I purchased a book about becoming an awesome blogger, which I am not.

Most certainly.

Not.

It said to use a lot of #hashtags that my reader could find me.

Tell me, dear reader. Did you find me via #hashtags? Or do we know each other in real life.

The book also said comments are important. I don’t know why comments are so valuable. Is this a dialogue? No, it is not.

I’m a benevolent dictator here at the miscellaneous blog, but I’m not too benevolent.

The right amount of benevolence is what I preach here.

However, the book informs me that comments mean people are engaged with the blog.

Please don’t become too engaged with the blog, though. Please.

Leave your little comments and be on your way. You’re testing my benevolence, by the way.

This online marketing lark has been just that. A long trip going apparently nowhere.

Signifying nothing. A long strange trip, after all.

(This post is dedicated to Phil Leah)

Hahahahaha … you know how to make a nice shot and you can get a better place for it

Help me find Paco

That title is completely computer generated. Just typed ‘Hahahahaha’ in & then used predictive text to create it.

Someone told me recently that nobody read content anymore. It was a graphic designer or website builder, so it’s clear they’ve got another agenda than I do.

Why even write.

A blog? Really?

It’s 2020 — who writes blogs anymore? Who even reads anymore?

Really.

Why is there a photo of the Dom in #Wuerzburg?

No reason.

To point out the futility of all of this.

Do we really need more content?

Really?

I doubt it.

A lot of Sturm & Drang, and none of it makes much difference. Prove me wrong.

Continue reading “Hahahahaha … you know how to make a nice shot and you can get a better place for it”
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Put your devices away…machines aren’t people

we’ve come to steal your attention

There’s a line in a newer Cat Stevens’ song where he makes some weird reference to putting machines behind us. Since Advent, Miriam and I have tried to do a digital detox.

Eventually, we’ll get to where we don’t even look at our little machines (phones, tablets, and computers) on Sundays, but at this point that’s too much.

Instead we do a social media detox, where we don’t post anything for a whole day. I’m sure my loyal readers miss me those endless hours when I’m not available (sarcasm intended), but as Miriam says, ‘Schade.’ (too bad)

Whatever photo I’ve taken of my sandwich is going to have to wait to be posted until Monday, or simply not at all. How are you supposed to know what we had for lunch today?

Well, you could just call and ask me.

That’s why we haven’t yet given up everything on Sundays, but that is eventually the end goal. Nowadays, we still use our devices to call and stay in touch. In the near future, we won’t even do that. We’ll just be gone.

It’ll be fine. You’ll be fine & so will we.

This social media lark is just that. It’s not serious. No matter what you’ve been told. Nothing going on online is more important than the people sitting in front of you.

Today, my family takes precedence. Period.

Everyday, actually.

It’s just that today it’s more pronounced.

More obvious.

Let’s do it again and again

A photo of Miriam and me showed up in feckbook’s algorithm today. Exactly two years ago today we were back in Liguria, where the progeny was most likely conceived, and we were madly in love.

The memories keep coming — it’s not all smiles & joy, but I suppose that’s the nature of social media. We tend to try putting our best foot forward, or at least I do.

If I air my dirty laundry here, I’m certain to put out far more positive, uplifting stuff to balance out the sadness. This last 2 years has been a roller coaster like no other I’ve experienced.

Regularly, I think back to that scene in the movie Parenthood, where Mary Steenbergen & Steve Martin’s characters are in their kids’ school auditorium and their youngest has gone ‘off script’ & is tearing the scenery down in the process of ruining the school play.

The mom & dad are shown as if they’re on a roller coaster — it’s an astonishingly good metaphor for marriage & life, now that I think about it.

She’s laughing & enjoying the ride, while he’s having what looks like an anxiety attack. He’s terrified of what others think and that his kid needs more therapy and isn’t getting better anyway…he’s essentially sitting in a puddle of his own worries & self consciousness.

This life is no dress rehearsal, I’ve often heard it said. You get one shot, and as much as I’d like to believe in reincarnation, the skeptic in me wins that argument I periodically have with myself.

Miriam recently mentioned that you people out there get the best version of me, but she has to deal with raging asshole. It’s true. My words, not hers by the way.

In a perfect world, I could act nearly as well in my daily life as I pretend to here online. My goal is to show as much of my authentic self as I can manage, while still respecting my family’s and my own privacy.

When I get off this roller coaster one day, I want to be screaming, ‘Let’s do it again! Again, again…let’s do it again!’ Which is my very logical argument why we so desperately want to believe in reincarnation.

To be continued…

The progeny & the local team (Greuther Fürth) where Oma & Opa lived last year at this time

Well, we didn’t make it to Mahag by Monday morning, as it’d been planned. I suppose Miriam called them, but at this point in such a ridiculous story? I just don’t know.

Long story short, you’re begging of me? Other than that we didn’t make it to our appointment? You mean: what happened up until that point? And why on God’s green earth would you make such a plan & then not actually show up?

No idea how to answer any of that. Short story but just a bit of backstory? Ok, I can manage that.

Oma (Miriam’s mama) passed on this year, and quite honestly, we weren’t sure how Opa (der Günter) would deal with such an elemental change in his life.

To be fair, he’s managed the whole thing mostly magnificently. For fifty years, he was married to die Margarete, so he’s never had to wash his own clothes or manage normal, mundane household tasks. He’s always had a wife to do all of that.

However, now that she’s been gone several months, der Günter has managed his newfound bachelor life that of an old pro.

Why didn’t we make it to our appointment with Mahag in Trudering? Because we needed to go get Opa, so he wouldn’t be alone for his first Xmas without his lovely bride.

Thats why.

To be continued…

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Do as I say, not as I do

Miriam & I have had a week — the good, the bad, & even a little ugly in a few choice moments.

The progeny, on the other hand, has done swimmingly. She’s already walking, albeit full toddle most of the time, and her talking makes sense, but only to other babies.

This time of year is really amazing, if you pay attention, because some people are ready for the holidays while others? Not so much.

Look around you while others are rushing round to & fro. Watch how people behave when they’re stressed.

If I’m candid, I’m exactly the same. I was furious at the Mahag guy (that’s our local VW dealer) today, & Miriam was there to try putting Humpty Dumpty back together again after he fell from the wall.

I went full tantrum, because they reminded us repeatedly of ‘our appointment’ via text. When I arrived, they suddenly acted as if they knew nothing of us & our new Autoschlüssel (key change). Oh well.

I tried rolling with the punches, so I just did some work while sitting next to a burbling brook of a baby playing next to me.

There was another 1/2 hour before it appeared anyone was interested in helping, but when they did? It was excellent service. Really.

Good job, Mahag. Thanks.

I got home, made lunch for all of us, as Miriam was in the office all morning & we NEEDED sustenance. After that, I announced that the new key didn’t even work.

I’d figured out on my way home that although the key itself was right, the remote control function that opens & closes/locks the car was non functioning. Huh…ok.

Turns out that I had a typical expat-related misunderstanding, where I told the guy I knew our spare key didn’t work, & he said to me that there was something wrong with the electrical system – that the new key wouldn’t work.

My German is good when I’m not stressed out. It’s also good when I’m not talking to Bavarians. Sometimes I think northern Germany would be easier speaking/comprehending-wise.

So here we are. We had an appointment for after Epiphany, but they heard me cursing & spitting in the background, so apparently we’ll be dealt with first thing Monday morning.

Ok, I was a jerk. To the Mahag guy & to my wife. I was nice to the baby, but if that’s the low bar I set? Being nice to babies.

Even Jeff Goldblum’s nice to babies, & he’s the worst person I know. Sara knows what he did.

Be nicer to people while they’re Xmas shopping – whether alongside you or if you’re a Spätshopper (late shopper) & you still need just a few more gifts.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Summertime…

…and the living is easy…

This photo isn't from the summertime, but I'm sitting here imagining living closer to old friends like Marin in the photo or so many other friends from high school. Or in this case as far back as middle school. Marin and I met while riding the bus to Lanier Middle School, and that's where I met Casey, too. She's made a life for herself & her family in Lubbock, Texas. That's far from everything, by the way.

Why do I dislike summer? Sometimes aggressively, even. What's my problem?

The usual stuff. It's too hot. I'm busy with both work and private life. It's manageable.

Wonder if I could ever withstand a Texas summer again. Hope I never have to find out.