January 2011


A Mismash of Many Things!

I’ve had a pretty busy week – Actually it’s been a fantastic week.

I can only think of two “negative” things: First, I banged my leg into a table Tuesday evening –pretty hard—it took me 2 minutes of cursing before I could move again—and it hurt enough to noticeably bother me through Friday. It’s still a little tender even today, but only if I touch the area I banged.

The other negative thing? Well… I won’t go into it for now other than to say, it’s not actually negative. It turns out to be a compliment.

Meanwhile, lots of stuff has made this week absolutely fantastic—and I present them in no particular order, other than the order it has come to mind—although the first item is really the best item in the list.

First, I moved to a different office. Mind you, I am grateful to my employer for hiring me. I realize it’s not easy to create a job from scratch—a whole new line—in a public institution, but it was done for me. And I am thrilled to have an office with interesting work and the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people who not only come from around the world, but also do research on an incredibly diverse set of interesting topics.

From the first day, I’ve been the only person in an office with four desks – a gigantic office, but it’s made me nervous. While I think I could work with other people around, I doubt that the meetings I hold, which last for an hour at a time, 3 or 4 times a week, would have been appreciated by office-mates.

So it was a thrill to find out that I have been assigned a new office: an office for one.

Happily I’m still on the top floor, facing the courtyard – with windows, and a view of the world’s largest tethered balloon—but only when it’s at the top. That said, I would have been just fine with any of the other possible offices.

Other fantastic things include:

  • Seeing “We Want Sex” (in the rest of the world: Made in Dagenham) with Snooker in Berlin. The movie is about the efforts of women working for Ford in the UK to earn equal pay for equal work. Seeing films like this help remind me of how far we, in the western world have come—and how far we have yet to go. There’s no sane reason that women should earn less than men for equal work.
  • I stopped by the Berlin Nike Town today – I was planning only on window-shopping as I’m heading Stateside in a few days, where I can buy the same Nike products for a lot less. However, I actually bought a couple of items: a Dri-Fit Shirt and a pair of Dri-Fit Shorts: each were 50% off—and I’d certainly rather pay 15€ for a shirt than 30€. I doubt that I can find the shirts for 15€/$20 in the States. I realize I’m not an athlete and I’ve only been working out for two months, but there’s a huge different between the Nike Dri-Fit clothing and the generic Wal-Mart/Target brands that claim to wick moisture away from the screen. Not that I’m ever remotely dry at the end of 50 minutes of cardio.
  • I bought 6 T-Shirts for my Wyoming friends and their children in the United States. Only four are going with me on this trip, 2 are for a later trip. I must thank 50% of my DNA for recommending a cool T-Shirt shop out in East Berlin. It took me something like 30-40 minutes to get to the shop from my office.
  • My suitcase is essentially packed for my trip to the States. I bought one of my friends a calendar (he’s getting it a couple weeks late) – but I forgot to take into account its size. It’s too blasted large to go where I want it to go, so, consequently, it’s taking up a lot more space than it should. It’s for my Heterosexual friend in Bloomington. I might end up mailing it from Denver in order to free up some space. I hope he doesn’t object to the homosexual nature of the calendar.
  • It was reported yesterday or this morning that Apple is going to open an Apple Store in Berlin—the site’s been selected. I’m so looking forward to being there for the opening—although I was warned, “A site was chosen in 2009 for a second Apple Store in Hamburg, and it’s not open yet. You might have a long wait…” by @PapaScott.
  • Deutsche Post dropped the price for mailing letters and postcards to the USA!
  • Finally, Der Irische Berliner’s Nipper finally arrived. Congratulations to the happy Mother, Father, and Fionn.

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