Monthly archives: January 2012

expat life: sending packages to germany, or woe be you customs office

Friday morning on my way to the Mainz customs office, I would have looked like a raving lunatic had anyone else been around to see me. “God damn fucking assholes,” I muttered loudly as I hobbled down the empty street leading through an industrial park to their offices. “Holding every damn package anyone sends to me while I’m pregnant. Because walking is just so much fucking fun right now. God damn bleeping bleepity bleep bleeps.” Why the customs office doesn’t just open the damn packages they confiscate, look at them, and send them on I [...]

birth prep classes and the alien game

When I find boredom creeping up through my limbs, I play what I call the alien game. To play, you look around and imagine how what ever is around you would look to aliens fresh out of the hatch. I imagine that it’s human procreation that would most baffle the aliens, assuming that they did’t happen to have a similar biological casing.
I imagine an alien returning home from an observation trip to Earth to give a lecture on what he/she/it/Zarlgdar learned and describing human mating rituals as he/she/it/Zarlgdar had understood them: “…and once they find a partner, they [...]

moving to germany: frequently asked questions

Blogging is a contradictory sport: simultaneously solitary—me, typing alone at my computer—and yet so social—with comments and e-mails coming in from the interesting folks—you—on the other side of this screen. A lot of aspiring expats have sent me questions about how I ended up in Germany over my blogging years, and today I figured that the time had come to put my answers out there in an easy-to-reach place. If five of you bothered asking, then I bet at least ten of you would be interested to know. At least.
These are the top four questions that readers [...]

diy project: baby shelves and the fold-down changing table

I’ve done it, I’ve finally done it! Someone took a trip to the building supply store, brought me back some screws and some wood, and I built the baby-crapola storage shelf and fold-down changing table. Except I (cough cough) haven’t added the fold-down table bit yet. But who cares! All the baby crap is finally neatly in place, and now when she shows up we won’t be digging through huge piles on the floor! Just that thought alone makes me feel very calm. Plus now I can almost see the bed in my Wagen. [...]

black diamond express train to hell: bunker syndrome and recording

After three and a half days in a windowless bunker, you lose track of time. Have I been here for an hour? A day? A week? There’s no way to know for sure.
The bunker that played set to the recording of our new album felt like the set of a horror film. Bare concrete walls, long hallways with flickering flourescent lights and rows of closed metal doors. Every once in a while a creepy doomy metal band would practice for a few hours and provide an appropriate soundtrack. At first I was kind [...]

black diamond express train to hell: a new album and a video

Huzzah! At long last the day has come. I am in Frankfurt with Black Diamond Express Train to Hell recording a new album, carving our new songs into the pavement so we can finally share them with people wide and far. Not to mention FINALLY bring out an album after two years of schlepping around the same old demo, despite having made enormous leaps and bounds since musically. See, that “huzzah” was well earned.
While we were spending the weekend frantically polishing almost-finished new songs for the album, a nice fellow came by to record some of [...]

winter in the year of the apocalypse

The sun is shining and it is hailing, and any minute now I’m expecting a rider of the apocalypse to show up to try to sell me a magazine subscription.
On New Year’s Eve over 3,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Scientists have since reported that the event was probably caused by collisions that occurred as the result of fireworks, that similar events aren’t all that uncommon, and that there’s nothing apocalyptic about 3,000 black birds falling from the sky at one time. Certifiably apocalyptic or not, the imagery certainly matches the mood that the [...]

SOPA protest

Today websites across the virtual land are blacking out to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) up for a vote in the United States that could make it really really really hard for a lot of folks to continue to run websites without getting sued to pieces.
From what I’ve read so far, it sounds like a bad idea, and far too far to go in the name of stopping online piracy due to the negative effects it could have on millions of non-pirates. For the record, I would have blacked out Click Clack Gorilla today in solidarity, but [...]

what would david bowie do?

Ch-ch-ch-ch, oh nevermind. Welcome to my round-a-bout way of saying “Hey look! I made some changes! Aren’t they neat? Do you like them? Should I do anything else?”
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, I swapped out the mass of text that used to populate the sidebar and put in click-able pictures instead. They amount to the same thing (all of the text now lives on my previously un-reachable about click clack gorilla page). But in my humble opinion they look a hell of a lot prettier. Call it [...]

bauwagen life according to

In search of interesting Bauwagen illustations this morning, I happened upon an interesting article about Wagenplatz living. I felt compellted to share it with you despite its being in written in German because it is accompanied by some ancient pictures of our community—pictures from the time before the university kicked us off of half of the land and put a really ugly chemistry building where a lovely bit of green used to be. You can see the article and pictures here. Click through the blue numbers beneath the picture to see all five shots.
According to the article, [...]