to resist despair, in this world, is what it is to be free

Entry #1550, Mon, December 17, 2007, 21:53 CET (Life in General)
(posted when I was 29 years old.)

Sometimes the German opinions I encounter on America and Americans just get to be too much to deal with. I didn't think I'd have to spend so much energy defending my country and my heritage. I didn't expect that I would care this much. But when otherwise liberal Europeans decide to paint 300+ million people with one stroke of the same brush, I just can't help but get defensive.

Steve: it's Randy's type of game
Randy: it has breasts?

In Connecticut, Annie and I had a great day together. All our relatives went off on various other adventures, and the two of us did some sibling bonding. We set ourselves a few goals: to drink mojitos (Annie had never had one), to go bowling, and to beat the Monkey-tossing game at the bar by our hotel.

For the most part, we accomplished our missions. We didn't go bowling on that day, but we did find a bowling alley. It was full, so we came back later instead, and brought Mom along as well.

I'm blessed to have three wonderful and diverse sisters. I have three very different relationships with the three of them, though. I am incredibly excited to be flying to Korea to visit Mamie on Thursday.

Diana and I have a different relationship, primarily because she was seven when I left home. I've had a lot of fun chatting with her on IM in recent months, and am heavily lobbying for her to spend a semester in Europe. Preferably in Germany. :)

So yeah. If drinking mojitos on a weekday afternoon, in a random restaurant, after having failed at your first several attempts to find some, isn't a great sibling bonding experience, then I don't know what is.

So I never really did write up any details of my trip to the US. It's been a month now since I got back... so here are some highlights in list form:

  • Spent a week in Chicago with Mom, Dad, and Annie.
  • Met Annie's boyfriend David.
  • Saw two improv shows of Annie's.
  • Saw Navy beat ND. (OK, so maybe that's not a highlight.)
  • Hung out with Branden, Randy, Kelly, and others in Albany, NY. Had tasty beers at Mahar's. Ate taco bell twice in one night.
  • Hung out with Sara in Lee, MA and in Hartford.
  • Saw a whole bunch of family in Hartford.
  • Stayed at Annika and Steve's in MD. Got lost on my way to their place due to lack of internet, cell phone, or directions. Finally found a CompUSA where I could get online and determine where I was going.
  • Saw Rod, Patrick, Lisa at a games night at Annika and Steve's.
  • Met up with a bunch of (ex-)netViz folk: Brad, Jason, Jan, Dave, Yama, though not all of them at once.
  • Hung out with Meg and got to see Janis (!!!!!!) and meet Myles. Just barely resisted the temptation to kidnap Janis.

I think that covers the highlights. It was a good trip, though quite hectic. It was good to see all the people I did, but it is quite a bit of effort, and I failed to make all the meetups happen that I was trying for. Not having constant cell phone and email access made things even harder. For my next vacation I only have one person I want to see, so that should make things easier...

Work is a bit overwhelming lately. We've got a lot of projects going on, and lots of travel for me. In general this is a good thing. But sometimes I miss the stationary life of a developer. Two new people start next year, but I'm sure we'll have them busy in no time.

I have 13 days of "Resturlaub" that I'm taking into 2008 with me. As an American, I apparently suck at taking 30 days of vacation in one year. This means I have 43 days for next year, 13 of which I have to take during Q1. Or something. I honestly seem to find it difficult to take that much vacation.

Germany does have its advantages, I guess.


Nobody has rated this entry.

Comments for this log entry:

by junodog (Mon, December 17, 2007, 19:45)
Come and visit Montana. Problem solved.

Resturlaub by Nairubi (Mon, December 17, 2007, 22:48)
Wibke, Penny, Koschels, Muellers - lots of people to see and places to go near home.


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