Just one more thing I wanted to read before I actually get something done

 

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Sometimes just want to wasch your brain and start back at zero, don’t you?

Rarely do I want to repost something word for word in its entirety here on the old Miscellaneous Blog, but today I desperately want to do exactly that.

I’ve got tabs open on my laptop with articles I’d like to read and blogposts on which I’d like to comment. I’ve been devouring pieces about time management since the new year began, and I’m knee-deep into various Thirty Day Challenges.

It’s too much. I give up.

No, I mean it.

Here’s one of the many things that really spoke to me in my daily attempt not to get bogged down:

Addicted to Distraction

I know it’s from waaaay back a few months ago. That’s an eternity in the online world. Do you know how many hours of content have been uploaded to YouTube since this Opinion Piece was published in The New York Times? A lot, I tell you.

I could make a rough estimate if I looked up the data and did a bit of calculation, but what’d the point of that be? Why am I so obsessed beyond reason to know that specific piece of information? Does it benefit me or anyone?

Don’t get me wrong. If I’m making an argument and want my point to be convincing, of course I want to employ facts in said reasoning. Come on. There’s plenty of knee-jerk palaver floating around. I’d prefer not adding to the noise, I promise.

Yet I’d like to cut down on the barrage of information. Tony Schwartz the author of the above mentioned article, makes the point so well that I’ll just give you a taste of how he phrases it:

‘Endless access to new information also easily overloads our working memory. When we reach cognitive overload, our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory significantly deteriorates. It’s as if our brain has become a full cup of water and anything more poured into it starts to spill out.’

I like that simile, so I’ll just leave that with you as I move on to the next thing.

I’d like to believe all of this has cured me from my time-wasting habits. Wouldn’t that be lovely. Instead there’s just one more thing I wanted to read before I actually get something done.

My beautiful heathen

 

drinking tea with My Beautiful Heathen

 

Nearly as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve been trying to avoid talking too much about twitter. For one thing, it’s incredibly boring if you’re not already there. So many people with whom I interact in my daily life ridicule the medium, and I gave up long ago any hope of changing their minds.

I did have a blog before twitter and like many blogs, it simply died on the vine. I had some decent content there about living abroad and whatnot. Curiosities and my personal take on anything that struck my fancy – the blog was read by very few people and I suppose that’s the nature of many people’s first forays into blogging.

Then there were a few years where I primarily blogged about tea. When people hear that, they often give me an incredulous look and ask if that’s even a thing. Indeed, it is. There’s quite an active community of tea bloggers the world over, and because of the above-mentioned writing, I know a good number of them, albeit virtually.

Tea people didn’t read my tea blog for information on tea. As a matter of fact, my writing very rarely provided any useful information on the subject. I was specifically writing to the non tea drinkers to attempt to lure them over to the leaf. And my unorthodox approach to tea blogging didn’t hurt me in that community either. There were plenty of informative blogs about how long to steep your tea; I was offering something entirely different.

Because of the stereotype of little old ladies drinking their afternoon tea, there was a rather whimsical moment in which a fellow tea blogger struck upon the idea to aggregate the musings primarily of us more masculine tea lovers. Without consulting us, he created a page called the Beasts of Brewdom. It still exists if you insist on going and looking for it. You might even find some of my long lost posts over there.

Oh, look. I found a link: Beasts of Brewdom

Recently, I was asked to contribute something and here I’ve finally gotten round to it. It was a writing challenge, which I didn’t entirely understand, but my challenge came in the form of a tweet. Here it is if you’d like to see the original:

The offending tweet

If you couldn’t bother to click through, it said, ‘…ohh Beasts! I challenge @lahikmajoe to write with ‘My Beautiful Heathen‘.

Well, if you know anything about heathens, you know they shouldn’t consume too much caffeine. My tea cabinet is almost devoid of any herb tea, but this is one of the only exceptions.

Hamburger Schietwetter Tee…for an ugly rainy day. A perfect opportunity to stay indoors with just such a cuppa.

There. Challenge accepted and fulfilled. For those of you who might be confused by this blogpost, I’ll be returning to the regularly scheduled Miscellaneous Blog in the next several days.

Shedding the Kummerspeck

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Why do I find myself going back again and again to photos of my trip to Seville?

It’s not only that it’s such a beautiful place – I’ve seen my share of those. There’s something about Spain in general and Seville in particular.

So this is a bending, sunlit corridor. At this particular moment, it seemed like the way to approach the blog this evening.

Plenty going on in the world of lahikmajoe presently. For one thing, I’ve got family visiting. That’s often good for a bit of fodder for the old Miscellaneous Blog. After that, or during their visit, the World Cup kicks off.

I could tell you I think Argentina has an easy draw and they’ll waltz through their group, but everyone knows that. Not very optimistic about the chances of the United States team, but every four years the fans get their hopes up. I’d say Germany was an early favourite a year or two ago, but they seem mismanaged of late. We’ll see if they can turn that around. I’ll certainly be cheering them on. I’m always for my adopted homeland. It’s a thing with me.

Otherwise, the weather has turned warm, or warmer, and the mostly beautiful of Munich have begun their annual shedding of Kummerspeck (‘grief bacon’) and clothing of nearly all sorts. I suppose I should talk about those last things at another time – hopefully soon.

 

 

shameless self promotion

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This photo says enough that it really doesn’t need any text…nevertheless, this isn’t a photo blog. Find the appropriate words below.

Was about to say that I hadn’t talked about turtles in a while, but I went back and looked at my earlier posts on this blog and there’s nothing turtle-related. Not a damned thing.

Which is a bit strange, because I’m really into turtles.

And?

There’s a beautiful human female riding atop the turtle. Not in some inappropriate and potentially embarrassing way, either. As a matter of fact, I doubt you could misinterpret this lady and her motives. As beautiful as she might be, everything about her seems pure.

Wait, what are you blathering on about lahikmajoe? Is there any method to your madness?

Well, sort of. In a roundabout way.

See, I’ve been doing quite a bit of freelance writing and editing lately, as well as translating and proofreading. It’s been a bit of a boon, to be honest, but the sad reality is that I haven’t had much time for the whimsical that I typically find myself writing here.

The curious thing is that a good deal of the work I get is from people who first come here to look at samples of my style. Or they find old posts from the teablog if they’ve been able to circumnavigate their way around the patio furniture nonsense, that is.

If that last reference is lost on you, take a look at patio design ideas, and you’re guaranteed to be on the same page with me at least once in the last 10 minutes.

If more people are coming here to assess my writing, wouldn’t it be logical to make the writing more serious? More commercially viable?

I’m not against commerce. I’m not above shameless self promotion.

The thing is: if I’m already generating some sort of interest by simply writing about whatever the hell I want, and this is a personal and rather miscellaneous blog to begin with, shouldn’t I keep doing what got me here?

What I’ve noticed recently is that the more I write for other people, the more essential it is that I persevere in entertaining myself hereabouts. A pristine woman and the turtle beneath her is as good a place to continue as I could imagine.

If a handful of you enjoy it? Well, that’s lagniappe.

 

so blue I’ve got the greens (searching for a flat in Munich)

'A Hund ist er scho...'

I’m sure this guy’s got a place to lay his head…somewhere in Munich those dogs have little Dachshund beds…

 

'A Hund ist er scho...'

‘A Hund ist er scho…’

Not sure where I first heard that line, but I think it was a singer one night in San Antonio at Jim Cullum’s place down on the Riverwalk. I’ve always loved the imagery.

Most of you think the the Blues are bad, but you ain’t seen the Greens

To be candid, I’m mostly cheerful in my day-to-day life and not much gets me down. Really. Part of me wants to say that I’ve been too busy to blog, but if I’m really forthright…I don’t want to complain.

My thoughts over the last few months have been entirely related to real estate, and after a while it gets rather dull to talk to such a person. A person such as myself in this situation. Anyone who’s looked for a flat in this town has sympathy to spare when they hear what I’m up to. It’s simply not easy. Not at all.

Ostensibly, there are not enough places to live, and  companies are relocating their people to Munich all the time. As if no-one’s told them that there’s no available flats in the Bavarian capital. Please, tell your people to tell the domestic and international firms sending their employees to Munich to cease and desist. Don’t just cease. Please desist, as well.

Here’s the thing, though. People not only move to this town every damned day, but they find places to live. It’s true.

There are more places than you might think. There are landlords and property managers begging for good tenants. There are investment properties sitting empty, because  the right person to live there simply hasn’t been found. That gives me pause, ya know?

So, rather than avoiding my blog because I simply don’t want to moan and complain all the time, I’ve decided to talk about my search for a flat in detail. I’ll leave the best and worst of it here on my Miscellaneous Blog (what was formerly called a

). What’ll likely happen is that I’ll find something temporary, that allows Ella and Louis to live with me once again (they’ve been at the Hundepension for nearly three weeks), and that’ll buy me time to find the ideal place.

One with a garden. Or one looking out on the mountains. Or simply one that doesn’t eat most of my savings. We’ll see. Wish me luck.

when you’re not supposed to be a football fan

Grigoris Makos making good use of his time while injured

Was in a conversation recently with a few American friends, and as I’m also one (an American) I found myself getting hot and bothered about some ridiculous assumption these two friends of mine were making about being a Yankee abroad.

Their contention was that being a football fan while living in Europe is an affect. A transparent attempt to fit in with the locals, but one that makes me look like I’m pretending. This of course disregards the 70s and the renaissance of soccer at both the professional level and among kids in the Land of the Brave/Home of the Free. But for the sake of argument, let’s say I have no business following football.

I didn’t grow up in a rough and tumble inner-city neighbourhood of Manchester or Marseilles. My father and his father haven’t  supported a club since time immemorial. I’ve written about it on this miscellaneous blog before, but my family were into baseball. That’s what I was raised watching.

Cincinnati Red Stockings

When I was in music school in Cincinnati, I knew a South African who became a passionate Cincinnati Reds fan. He was obsessed. Although he hadn’t grown up watching it, he had learned the terminology and understood some of the incomprehensible rules that baffle most outsiders.

And unlike his fellow exchange students, who went to school in a faraway land and clinged to the others of their tribe who were similarly so displaced, this guy really got to know the natives. He was welcomed into the fold in a way that few outsiders ever would be.

Did I consider this guy and his experiences when I moved to Germany? Not consciously. Not in a way that I would’ve verbalised. However, I did want to get to know the culture from within.

 

I do want to distinguish myself from the typical ex-pat. Who wouldn’t? Many people live in a foreign country as if they’re doing time in prison. They have satellite television, so they can live in a little bubble that reminds them of home. They have contact with the locals, but on their terms when they feel like it.

It’s a beautiful thing.

So I thought I’d share with you, my loyal readers, my match report and assessment of my team’s season up until now. Is it inappropriate for me to become increasingly more and more obsessed with this football team? Probably.

We lived in Munich when I was a small child, and the neighbourhood where we went to church was down south of the city on a hill above the Tierpark. When I moved to Bavaria in 2001, it was strangely like I was finally coming home.

When you ride the Trambahn down to Church of the Ascension in Munich-Harlaching, you go right by the 1860 Munich training grounds. As they say amongst the fans of my club, ‘Einmal Löwe immer Löwe‘ (once a Lion, always a Lion). The mascot of both the city and the traditional football team is the lion, and you see lions all over the paraphernalia of the club.

Ok, enough build up. Here’s my piece at The Munich Eye:

1860 Munich victorious in Upper Bavarian Derby.

Walking by the Wies’n: from the train station to the Westend

Sunrise on the way to the Wies’n

What a perfect morning it was yesterday. My dogs have turned a corner this summer when it comes to training, and I can leave them off their leads when there’s little traffic. I still have to watch them carefully and am aware it’s still dangerous in a big city. Nevertheless, we have a wonderful time in the early morning when the city’s just beginning to shake off its slumber.

So, the Oktoberfest has begun and I’ve decided to write about it here on my miscellaneous blog. My aim is to share the peripheral stories of the world’s biggest folk festival. Our tour takes us by the site of the Wies’n, which is what the locals call the 2-week event, and through the Westend neighbourhood of Munich.

These guys go round doing odd jobs for people, and they’re paid based on bartering for their labour

These are journeymen, and for hundreds of years they’ve learned a trade by going ‘on the tramp‘, which I assume is where the term ‘tramp‘ comes from. If you’re interested, I’ll do some more research about these guys and write about this phenomenon in more detail.

statue outside of St Paul’s

Now we’re near the Oktoberfest. This guy’s outside of St Paul’s, which is the church across from the Wies’n. I included a photo of it in one of yesterday’s blogposts. Again, I’ll find out who he is if you want me to.

‘Döner macht schöner’

This marketing slogan means that if you eat Döner either life will be more beautiful or you will be more beautiful. Yet you can’t eat it at this location anymore, because they’ve closed shop. Used to be good, though. I promise.

Marais: Geschmackssachen

Named after a neighbourhood in Paris, this is my favourite café in this part of the city. It’s just the right sort of quirky. Ever find yourself in the Westend, step in and have a look around.

There…that’s enough for today. It may seem like this has nothing to do with the Oktoberfest, but I assure you it does. Be patient and you’ll know a bit more about my adopted hometown than you would even if you were here swilling their amazing Bavarian beer.