Archive for April, 2007

A Well Equipped Man

Since Molly was sold I have done my utmost to forget just how much I miss her and how much I miss being a biker. On Friday, however, I got a reminder. One of my students invited me along on a charity run around the inner Ring in Vienna (link above). As they started out from the Burgtheater, just opposite the Rathaus, I could hardly say it was too far away. We live just a couple of blocks behind the latter.

I got to ride pillion with Thomas, not realising to what degree he is involved in these events and that his role was pretty much to stay at the front with the 7-seat-push-bike and take pictures. Thomas’ bike is well equipped with digital camera mounted on the handlebar next to the satnav system, and a well-filled top-box containing all you need to run the editorial sections of Reuters and CNN combined.

Some of Thomas’ equipment which he operated while keeping very slow pace with the 7-seater. The unusual procession received deserved attention from the otherwise so blasé Vienna crowd. Though one woman was of the ‘we-are-not-amused’ type and did her utmost to demonstrate her dislike by shaking her fist and poking her head at us. I love people like that. I find their uptight frustration highly entertaining.

Today, 29th April, he is manning one of the camera bikes in the Viennese Marathon. I’ve tried to spot him on TV, but I guess the cameras are aimed at the runners and not at the other camera bikes… funny how that works…

Today is also our second wedding anniversary (mine and Kevin’s! I didn’t make that clear…). The day will be spent rehearsing ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’, for which I made a silly poster yesterday, and in the evening we will find a cocktail bar where we can drink Manhattans. Just because we eloped to New York and that was how we celebrated after the wedding there. In Brooklyn. While talking to a fabulous barman called Scott who made fabulous Manhattans and was fabulously interested in our wedding as he was getting married 8 months later but was destined to have one of those weddings with 200 of his future wife’s closest friends.


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The Unberable Sadness of Life

I’m so not kidding when I say that this scares the hell out of me.

I actually hate sneaking up on total strangers and taking their picture just because they represent some sort of modern-day freak-show. At least with this lady I didn’t have to sneak; she was sound asleep and I was duly protected by a tram window and the tram’s impending departure. I admit it – I’m a coward. BUT I DON’T CARE! ‘cause – she and what she represents scare the living daylights out of me.

Maybe she doesn’t care either. Maybe she has come to a point in life where Nothing Matters And To Hell With It All Anyway. I don’t know. I don’t know her. But I still took her picture. And I took her picture because it represents one of my greatest fears:

What if everything in my life goes wrong and I wake up to find myself fat and half-naked on a tram stop somewhere in central Europe.

If that were to happen I hope I suffer from severe amnesia so I can’t remember that things weren’t always like that.

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Poster — MY poster!

My poster is going up around Vienna! Ok, so I had a great model, and a good group of people to work with, but IT’S MY PICTURE! The poster on the web-page is a bit drawn, but the posters that are going up around Vienna are really nice – as nice as I had hoped for. Wolf; you’re a genious. Katharina – you’re beautiful. Alina – you’re a great assistant and wonderfully supportive girl. Adrienne – thanks for asking me to do it.

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How could you get a dog and not tell us?!? You KNOW what we’re like. WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL US! WE LOVE DOGS! We can’t have one right now, but WE LOVE DOGS! So… why?

PS How are you all?

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Spring Depression

The Austrians and Germans frequently talk about the Biowetter and use it as their greatest excuse for feeling shit. I thought it was pretty much a big excuse for lazying around, but NOW I KNOW BETTER! I’ve been feeling crap for months, unable to muster up energy to do more than drag myself to the shower in the morning, and for that you should all be grateful, before slowly and painfully sleepwalking to my classes. After a while you learn how to teach in your sleep.

But yesterday I had a migraine during a class. I hate those, and I expected it to take a turn for the worse as is what usually happens when I get one, it starts with light visual disturbances, and from then on it’s downhill all the way until I’m no more than a gibbering wreck begging total strangers to Please, PLEASE kill me!! I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE!

Then the aura slowly lifted, the expected crippling pain was noticable by its absence and the attack was over. I NEVER have migraines as mild as that.

Today I felt fine when I got up. And I haven’t felt fine in a helluva long time. I felt fine. And I repeat, in case you didn’t get the first two – I FELT FINE! And the sun was shining and it was warm like a perfect day in late May and my arms and legs only had their own weight and my mind was no longer buzzing around the boring thought that the rest of my life I’m going to feel shit and when can I stop the bleedin’ carousel and get off? Please?

In fact, I think I might call my accountant and deal with those tax returns. I feel that I have the strength to lift the receiver now.

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What I like about Dooce

One of my favourite online reads is a personal web-page called Dooce. Heather, the author, lost her job over this web-page, but she writes so well she has reached www-fame and is now making a living from it. How cool is that?! I have sent the odd link to friends, and one day I chose an archived post about her daughter, Leta. One response I got from an incredulous friend was:

“Not only do you not have kids – you don’t even like them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What’s going on?

It’s not actually the kids I don’t like, it’s – in most cases – the parents. People who talk about poo ad nauseam (quite literally), or point out any little thing the kid does which only confirms the extreme normality of their off-spring, and all as if they are the first people in the history of mankind to make these discoveries.

So, does Heather not do this with Leta? Sure she does. So why can I bear her warblings and not my friends’? For a start; it’s a web-page. It doesn’t make a jot of difference to Dooce when my eyes glaze over and I start day-dreaming about slitting my wrists. Dooce will not get upset when I gag at the poo, mucus, snot and slobber descriptions, and she will not care one bit that I start browsing for wall-mounted bottle openers or train tickets to hell in the middle of one of her outpourings.

Secondly – she has a sense of humour. For some obscure reason, several of my friends seem to have lost that somewhere along the way to parenthood. Heather writes wittily and with a huge portion of self-irony about her life. SHE’S FUNNY!

Thirdly – it’s not all about Leta. She also has a dog called Chuck.

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…and some woman called ‘K’…

Today Kevin received a letter addressed to Mr & Mrs K Brock. Whenever that happens I always ask him who this ‘K’ is and when he was planning on telling me about his other woman.

These letters are usually from his sister or his mum who simply can’t come to terms with me not having taken his name when we got married. And not just his surname, but also his first name, apparently. Thus I have shown undignified resistance towards erasing my entire identity of the past 40 years for the honour of becoming a small and insignificant addition to him. My rightful place – Mrs K. Nothing left of Ine. Nada. Niente. Nichts. Ikkeno’.

Why on earth they are so hurt by this I really don’t know. After all, my family is not in the least bit upset that Kevin chose to keep his name. And… it IS 2007… not 1907…

I seem to remember from my history lessons about the American Civil War where the slave owners were somewhat miffed at the liberation of their slaves. And I was told there were slaves who willingly remained in bondage for a while also after they were given the option to wander into the dawn of freedom.

Liberation and equality is a slow thing to take foot, also in Europe.

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