Today was an exceptionally quiet day. It was almost as it was when I started here, with full days when nobody would ever find his way up to the library. Today it was less than 10 people, I am sure.I did some stuff that came by mail, but mostly it was back to the school history.

I corrected the first layout draft of 2001 to 2003 and 2005. Doing that, I noticed we had forgotten an event in 2004. So after just having been working on 2004 yesterday, I had to again. It was just a few lines of text though, and some pictures, I hope it won't screw up the layout too much.

Then again my predecessor called for another correction. This time it was really minor and will not have any influence on things, but it is annoying anyway. He doesn't seem to be able to understand what a deadline is. But he isn't the only one, really. Betty, who does the layout, is really relaxed now that the end is near, without realising that there still is a lot to do and she'd better hurry. Or at least move a bit faster than her usual speed, which is about the speed of a snail with a broken hip.

I called Alexandra and said I wasn't fit for sports today. I do have a horribly sore throat and I suppose I am developing a cold, but honestly I would have been able to do some exercise had I pushed myself. Instead, I decided to do a bit more of the extra hours I need to build up my comfortable buffer of "I take a day off when I like to because I work way too much anyway".

This weekend, both Katrin and another coworker will move out of the apartments they shared with their long-time partners. The more I hear about Katrin's moving adventures, the more I wonder how she has survived to be 27. The one now is something like her fifth or sixth move in the past 9 years. All in pretty much the same town. She still hasn't sorted out the trouble with her last landlady. At the moment, she's having trouble with the current one and the mother of her ex-boyfriend. (I kid you not, this guy is over 40 but everything where money is concerned is handled by his mother.) She hasn't officially moved into the new apartment but is spending hours there cleaning what sounds like a horribly dirty kitchen. And when I told her to be sure to go through the apartment with her new landlord and make a list of all faults, she seemed very much surprised. Strange, we do that all the time with our tenants. It is the best way to give both parties a bit of security. The tenant can move out without being charged for repairs of damages he didn't cause, and the landlord can prove if a damage was caused while a certain tenant lived there.
Then there is the trouble with the money. In Germany, if you rent a place you have to pay two or three months worth of rent as "Kaution" on top of the regular rent. That way, if you leave without paying your rent at least the landlord has that, and if you leave damage behind the repair is paid out of that money. When Katrin and her ex rented that apartment together, both paid a part of the Kaution. Now Katrin moves out, but he doesn't. The easiest and cleanest way would have been if both had terminated the lease agreement and he had made a new one with the landlady. Unfortunately, only Katrin did that, so now the problem is that she still has two out of the three months of cancelation period. In this time, the landlady could theoretically ask the rent of her if the guy doesn't pay. And he could theoretically demand half of the money from her. Also, he refuses to give her back her part of the Kaution (is deposit the right word?), and she doesn't feel like argueing about it anymore. So there's about 600 Euros she loses in that, and then on top of that she's supposed to pay those last two months of half the rent.
To add to that, she leaves some of the furniture they bought together in the apartment, worth about 1000 Euros. Her ex-mother-in-law said she'd give her the money only after she's definitely moved out. Meaning if ex-MIL doesn't pay, Katrin will have no way to take some of the stuff.
We told her not to do it because it's just crazy, but I think she does it anyway.

If this is just a normal move for her (besides the breaking-up part) I don't wonder anymore that she's complaining about having no money.

The more I think about it, the more I am happy to have seen the other side of the story so much growing up. I know how landlords think, basically. And I have a pretty good idea of what they can and can't do. So hopefully, once I actually move into an apartment, I'll be better prepared for it.

I have been singing a lot of Bowie to myself lately.

Oh, and I rearranged my room. I got a shoerack and a TV stand from [ profile] linnapaw and had to rearrange everything. Now I have one table sitting in a corner with a bookshelf on top of it. I need all the three bookshelves I have (though usually it's only one per person, meaning - as I have a twin room - I am supposed to have no more than two), but I don't use both tables. But I don't feel it is okay to simply throw one out or put it in an empty room like so many others do. After all, my room is a twin room, it is supposed to house two people and if I do get a roommate, she might want a table.
I need to take pictures of the new arrangement and post them. I like it, actually.

It's raining.
We had guests this afternoon. A couple my father considers friends, even though the relation would be called business contact by anybody else, at best. But that's about as close as my Dad gets to having friends.
Anyway, it was quite an experience.
He, with a haircolor that neither fit his skin color nor look anywhere near natural. She, with a typical hairstyle, the one any village hairdresser learns best and then tries to sell to every female customer, and in a costume in bright orange that looked in style and fabric as if it had been a parachute in a former life. Not quite perfect for her rather well-fed figure. Also, she was wearing golden sandals and had pink nail polish on her toe nails. Not that I can't tolerate nail polish, but why not chose a color that fits your outfit.
So much for first impressions. But it got only worse once they started talking. He wasn't too bad, but she kept on uttering these dogmatic statements about just about everything. Like a female version of my father. But unlike him, she had this touch of humor, even if it was the kind of humor that never can keep the boundaries of good behavior. Telling dirty jokes at the coffee table with three adults you've never seen before, and the jokes are on them, is nothing I'd ever do. But while we're talking about the three adults they had never seen before (my brothers and me), there we run into a whole new problem. (Related to the fact that, unlike English, German has two versions of "you". The formal "Sie" and the informal "Du". While "Du" is acceptable when talking to kids and to friends, everywhere else it's "Sie") Now, these people and my parents use "Du" and their first names when talking to each other. With us, they were unsure what to do. We are adults, but we also are the kids of friends, putting us in the "Du" section. I hate it when people use "Du" with me. I wouldn't mind that much with English speaking people, it seems more natural, especially with Americans. (Maybe because they don't grow up with that distiction.) But from the average German, I expect to be treated like an adult. And that includes not calling me by my first name just because.
But it was good to have my brothers there. Sometimes, we just looked at each other and knew exactly what the others were thinking. We are terrible at that. If we consider guests to be incredibly stupid, especially my younger brother and me, we start making little mean remarks about them, sometimes just exagerating what they said. It was interesting to see my father fall into the same style of talking as out guests did. When they were discussing the relation between prize and service in different German towns ("In Berlin, you really get something for your money. But Munich is terrible." "Oh yes, and Stuttgart is just like it, if not worse." - No kidding, this is pretty close to the actual conversation.), I just had to sit next to mom and whisper in her ear "Now, I didn't like the shops in Nice at all. And Monte Carlo was just a rip-off!" in that same tone. It was too ridiculous to hear these guys talk like that, as if they were some nobility talking about their last trip to St. Moritz while watching the races at Ascot.
I just needed that kind of bitching, I couldn't help it.
I know, it's terribly impolite. I try to stop me, usually, at least until the guests have left. (Unless it's family; they'll come back anyway, no matter what you say. Believe me, I've tried.)
I suppose the main problem is that I don't like doing this, inviting people over just because they might be useful someday. It is a type of relation I don't want. I know that it is important to have contacts, but if I don't get along with the people, they can be as important as they want, I still won't spend more time with them than necessary. It costs too much nerves and self respect to ever pay off.
Maybe my views will change once I realize that this is a luxury I can't afford. But I'd rather work on a low paid job than somewhere I got to because my Daddy knows somebody who plays golf with... who plays cards with... It just isn't my style. I don't mind using my own contacts as much. The people I worked with in my internship told me about the job I might be getting. But they did so because they know me and they know what I can do. And when they said that I was fit for the open position, they didn't do that just because they liked me, but because they knew I really am.
But if I use these semi-private contacts, these people don't know what I can or cannot do. Gosh, they don't even know what I am! Like the interview thing I'm going to have tomorrow, a contact my father asked one of his "friends" (business contacts) to make. That guy has no idea what he could probably want with a librarian, and I don't know, either. Driving me crazy that I still have to do it, but my father wants to feel like he's helping me get a job, and I didn't want him to think that I reject him and his help. I would do that, reject his help, if it wouldn't hurt him. But he would be hurt and never talk about it but just sit there sulking for weeks and think about how ungrateful his children are. I'm not, I just don't need that kind of help. I had good results, and I have my one contacts to use. It's not that I don't appreciate what he's doing, it's just that I don' need it and don't want it. The idea might be nice, but it gives me the impression that he thinks I can't do it on my own.
Gosh, what a turn from bitching about our guests to that discussion I'm having with myself. But that's the way I think, and what you are reading is, as the title of my journal promises, whatever comes into my mind.
I got a call from a dear friend yesterday. He told me about a little barbeque/salad (more salad than BBQ, as we don't have a grill) party a friend from university is hosting. Apparently, it's open for everybody. My friend's been invited, I haven't.
Easy solution: I live in another town, so maybe the person who organized the party, S., figured I couldn't come.
BUT: another student, J. - who is kind of my favorite enemy - living in the same town has been invited.
This smells like teenage clique type of problems.
Both my friend and I like to cause trouble, so he called me to invite me, and I will show up with him at the event. Just for the fun of seeing the kids' faces. It might be all coincidence, no insult intended or anything. S. is really nice and not at all the kind of person who'd do this kind of thing.
J. would, though. So maybe she was supposed to tell me, and didn't. Usually she wants me to drive her, as she doesn't have a car and I do, but she didn't call me to ask. Which looks as if she knows I'm not invited, being responsible for it or not.
I feel like a tenth-grader again with these games.
I went to the public swimming pool again today, my brother inviting me. He just came back from a triathlon this weekend but fears he might not do enough training while he's on vacation with us, so he went swimming today.
Anyway, I kept some kid from stealing my brother's board (a little nifty, floating board he uses if he wants to work on only arms or only legs to keep floating in the water). The kid took it just when I was reaching that end of the pool, so I just yelled at him to drop it and he did.Made me feel good. I love to yell at kids.
This place has diving platforms for three, five, seven and ten metres. I climbed up to jump from the three metres, usually I don't dare to go any higher up. Reaching the platform, I found out why nobody else was jumping from there. It was closed. So I could either go back down and look like a sissy or go higher up. I chose higher. I stood around on the platform, five metres above the water. I dried almost completely, watching kids half my size take a run-up and jump. I saw people fly by who had jumped from even greater heights. Darn it, I was scared. But I have that personal rule never to go back down the stairs. If I went up there, the only way down is jump.
So I did, eventually. Probably not very gracefully, but who cares, really. I had some problems with my ears afterwards, one hurting really bad. So I don't think I'll ever do that again. But now I can say I did it, and if I ever come into the situation where I have to do this, I know that it is possible. I feel about this similar as about running a marathon. It might be a rather stupid thing to do (with the marathon, it's not as if you are doing anything at the end of running 42 kilometres, like going shopping or sightseeing or something), but it is a way of proving that my mind rules the body, not vice versa. It made me feel strong and brave and successful to jump down there, beating my fear.
One day I will run a marathon. Just to see that I can.
I have been cleaning out my CD shelves, being inspired by [ profile] chickbrarian. Now I'm listening to some CDs I haven't played in years. I have also found some I'm going to try to get rid of and make money out of them, to buy other CDs. My taste in music has changed and I feel my CD rack should show that.
I do not like public pools.
For several reasons.
First, you have to pay to get in there. And if that wasn't bad enough, they only open at 10am. Oh please! Half of the day is over by the time you finally get into the water.
Secondly, other people. There are the ones who swim disgustingly slow, wearing sunglasses that shouldn't become wet, exchanging recipes and telling each other about their latest diseases and illnesses. Great. That's exactly what I want to know about people I've never seen before.
Then there are the teenagers who discuss their personal problems and relationships. Or who play around with their girlfriends, trying to pull down her bathingsuit or bikini bottom. If you do, please remember what your girlfriend looks like. Don't pull on the next bathingsuit you see.
Then there are the sporty guys, all potential Ironman participants, the guys that do three lanes why us normal mortals do one. Which is fine with me, as long as they look where they're going. Usually they do, and don'tbother the other swimmers much, so they're the least bothering kind of people.
The kids are worse. The ones who just learned to swim but mainly spent their time jumping into the water from the side, not paying attention wo whether somebody's swimming there. Their parents should tell them that it's dangerous to jump on somebody else's back.
Who else? People who swim across. This is not the way you're supposed to swim. OK, so if 50 meters id too far for you and you need to swim across, be careful where you're going. As this category of people oftentimes is the same as the first one I mentioned, they don't.
There are people who think everybody should get out of their way, even if the person coming right at them is doing backstroke and therefore cannot see where s/he's going. If you can see where you are going, that just watch where you are going!
The most obnoxious category, though, are the people who try to deny the passing of time. You should not wear something that was invented after your birth. Women who might have been beautiful sometime before WWI should not wear bikinis. Especially not white ones, as these have the tendency to become see through when wet. If you are male and over 50 years old, you should not wear something that looks like a bikini bottom for a 20-year-old woman, if it's possible to see it at all underneath your belly.
I don't really care if somebody's fat, I just don't want to be forced to see it all the time. And if your belly hangs low enough to hit your knees, it's time to start a diet.
I keep seeing tattoed women older than my mother. Makes me wonder how all the pierced and tattoed girls my age will look like when they are 50. That is something they should consider before having somebody inject ink in their skin. If the beautiful eagle you have on your backside starts resembling a goose, it's not sexy anymore.
OK, so I'm intolerant. I don't believe the human body is as beautiful as many people think it. And I don't think it brave or a sign of self-confidence to show every bit of your body to people who really don't want to know.



August 2012

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