:Insert Inspirational Phrase Here:

The place where thoughts get thought out. Or something like that.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Working

Yeah, I'm working right now, kinda, so maybe I shouldn't be taking the time to post.

Screw it.

I've been working here in Germany for near two weeks now, and I think I've just started to adjust to working under yellow light. All the time. I know for sure that I've gotten used to getting dressed for the clean room. It doesn't even seem like a hassle anymore. I must say that I really love my job, though. The work is pretty much everything that I've wanted to do since I was a kid.

Except for that whole not flying combat jets thing. But I think I'm over that.

Anyways,I've got to thinking, and I wonder why is it that some people (wouldn't want to over-generalize here) can't seem to accept the behaivior of others. And no, I don't mean wondering why some people act like total jerks or complete assholes.

I'm wondering why some people can't just seem to accept that others really do care for them, and that they really, genuinely do have feelings for them. They're always waiting for something to go wrong, or for "the other shoe to drop", as someone close to me likes to say. I've seen this kind of suspicion throughout my life, and I could never really understand it.

Isn't it enough to say that I'll do nice things to make you happy? Does there HAVE to be some ulterior motive?

I guess there does, doesn't there? It can't really be something that's pure, anymore, something that doesn't look for an outside reason.

Maybe I can't be nice to everyone that I want to be nice to, just cause I want to make them happy. Maybe I'm not allowed to make anyone happy without some kind of benefit for myself, and some kind of loss for the person I'm trying to please.

Fine.

If that's how it's going to be, so be it. If certain people expect me to have some kind of sinister plan in the making, some kind of diabolical scheme that requires me to USE and MANIPULATE others towards my own ends, then that's exactly what I'm going to do.

From now on, I'm only being nice to people to use them. I'm going to take advantage of them like they've never been taken advantage of EVER before.

I'm stealing their Magic Spirit Jellybeans.

So, here's how it goes: the one to control the Jellybeans controls ALL! (Yeah, you heard that right capital A L L, as in everything, all stuff and all the people that own that stuff... you get the picture.)
So, if you catch me being nice to you, in any way shape or form... and you have some sort of suspicion, or you just can't handle it (cause no one's just been nice to you before), it's because I'm REALLY stealing your Magic Spirit Jellybeans without you knowing it. You see, the only way that you can take Magic Spirit Jellybeans from another person is by being extraordinarily nice to them. It's the only way to steal them, and they lose their Magic if they're not stolen.

So there. That's my master plan.

Can we get on with our lives, and past the whole "you're nice to me cause you're using me" thing, now?

I'd better get back to work. Lasers don't align themselves... regardless of what people say.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

An American Asshole In Germany

Kudos to you if you get the film reference!

Do they even make those any more? Ah, well, just stay in that position until a new civilization arises that needs snacky treats. Then they will invent Kudos and you can have some. (Even more if you get the literary reference.)

So, I go to the supermarket the other day, (which, locally, is known as the MiniMal), looking to buy some food and drinks and such. I step inside and shop for a little bit, when I suddenly realize that I've picked up more than I can safely carry. At first I do the Irrational Guy Thing, thinking that maybe I'm strong enough and tough enough to just carry all of it, pain be damned.

That lasted for all of two seconds.

Feeling like a little kid, I put all of my groceries thus far on one of the random shelves that I happened to be near. I resolved to go right outside and get myself one of those neat little baskets that you find in your local Ralphs or Albertsons.

I check near the door. No basket.
I check near the checkstands. No basket.

A little irritated now, because I see OTHER people holding baskets, even though they don't seem to exist, I figure I'll just BRAVE the WINTER CHILL that I just know is waiting for me right outside the door. The idea is to get one of the neat little shopping carts that I know are standing right outside the market.

Realize, I'm in Full Guy Mode now.

So, anyways, I get outside and look at the empty cart rack standing right outside the supermarket (or Markt, as they say).

Before despair can fully grip his cold grasp upon my heart, however, a beacon of shining hope appears before me in the form of a middle-aged woman, returning from the parking lot with an empty basket. Though the language barrier prevents me from having a real conversation with most of those around me, her intentions are both universal and clear: she's going to return the cart!

Oh, joy! Oh, glorious of days!

I walk up to her, going to intercept the cart before she can put it away (and thus preventing some unseen rival from superceding me in this battle for cart supremacy) and she does her best to avoid me!

Oh, cruel fates!

Still, she seems intent upon returning the cart.
As she pulls it into the rack, I once again attempt to take the cart. Annoyed, she looks over to me and spouts something in German. Something loud and somewhat angry, I would say.

Now, a quick aside: I don't know if it's just me, or a general Asian American thing, but now that I'm living (however temporarily) in another country, when someone says something completely unintelligible to me in their native language, I automatically shy back, totally submissive. Guy Mode Off, you know?

(Maybe it's some of the Japanese in me reacting in some way to a weird form of Gaijin Smash.)

So, she talks to me and I shy away, completely embarrassed. I feel that maybe I've acted in the way that the "Typical American Asshole" suppossedly acts when in a foregn land. She locks up the cart, using a little chain that's attached to the cart rack.

It's only then I notice the little coin pop out of the handle of the cart.

She holds it up to me as if to say: "Look, you American Moron, I just wanted my money."

Oh.

I get it.

And they say I'm a genius, huh?

Eventually, the little middle-aged woman understands my total lack of understanding. With a little bit of pantomime, she shows me that, in order to use the cart, I basically have to make a little deposit.

Thankfully, I'm able to make my little 1 Euro deposit and use the damned cart.

I still can't believe that you have to make a deposit to use shopping carts around here. Or that they don't give you shopping bags.

In fact, now that I think about it, the checkstand clerk probably has a hell of a laugh watching me try to put groceries in my little shoulder bag before she mixes my stuff with the stuff of the next person in line.
Yeah, she checks it through that fast.

If I ever rule the world, I'm going to make sure that there's baggers at every checkstand, with free plastic bags and carts that you don't have to worry about a deposit for. It's all we need for world peace and understanding.

Or maybe I'm overreacting a little.

Nah.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Fourteenth of February

It occurs to me that I should probably post something about the fact that it's Valentine's Day today. I mean, it IS a holiday, so I should at least recognize the fact that it's being celebrated all around me. To do otherwise would be extraordinarily self centered.

But then isn't posting something about how un-self centered I'm being in noticing other people being somewhat self-centered?

Ah, well, I digress.

To those out there who I want to hear it. Happy Valentine's Day. I love you and couldn't live my life (no matter how good it is) without you. You know who you are.

To anyone else, (of the female persuasion, of course) who might be feeling lonely, Happy Valentine's Day to you too. From a total stranger, who nevertheless feels that no one should be lonely today.

Don't worry, there's someone for everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. You'll find that person.

It just takes time. And luck.

And, lucky me, I found the Jackpot.

A German Castle

I saw a real live castle the other day. It was big. It had been razed, burnt to the core. On some parts of it, you could still see the scorch marks that the flames left on the stones. Towers and whatnot were broken, vital parts of them strewn along the ground like children's toys. The new caretakers seem to have preserved things pretty well. Although nothing was rebuilt, what was still standing had iron railings and such in place, keeping the rest of it from falling into further ruin.
It made me think.
Was the place that I was standing the same place that someone died?
Did some brave soul stand his ground against a charging steed? Did he hold his sword high, willing to strike down this stranger who came to threaten his home and his loved ones? Was he a hero, falling in honorable combat? Was he a coward, fleeing from the scene only to be struck from behind?

Admittedly, I don't know any of the history of the castle, and not knowing anything about it, I don't think I could really say what happened there. I know I could look it up, find out the circumstances during which the castle fell...

But I don't know.

I think I like the idea of my brave defender, dying against a superior force, but courageous enough to stand his ground and give his loved ones enough time to escape.

I guess its just the escapist in me, eh?

Neat New Things

Yeah, let me dust off this old thing and see how it goes.

Just a fact: German keyboards suck. You'd think that only switching the places of a couple of keys wouldn't be a big deal. You'd be surprised.

Yeah, if you're reading this, here's some advance notice:

I plan on storing my rambling thoughts here. Ideas, impressions, memories and observations. It might not all make sense, or even be coherent sentences, so you've been warned.

Just so you know.

By the way, don't be afraid to leave a comment or two. It's always good to hear from people.