Category Archives: USA

Homeland and all that it implies.

More Life List Items – Double Check.

To Do (in) Life List Item # 13. Go to Bourbon and Branch and # 21. Have Drinks at the Tonga Room (before it’s gone).


Both of these are long checked off but had never been accounted for. Being 7 1/2 months pregnant, it’s fun to revisit less sober times. I am soo looking forward to my first cocktail and a whole bottle of wine just for me. Until then, memory lane must suffice.

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Happy Friday

If you have seven minutes and either some headphones or an office mate who doesn’t mind, this virtual ride down San Francisco’s Market street is a ride worth taking. The video, shot from a streetcar in 1905 (before the quake), takes you down towards the Ferry Building and captures all the quirky driving and pedestrian antics of the time. Be sure to listen to the music too.


(thanks to sfgirlbythebay for the link)

I have failed Travel 101

It’s 3am and I know where my head should be: on my pillow. Well, it’s not.

These last few nights it has been a struggle to stay up late enough to get ourselves back into normal sleep patterns.  We got back on Sunday morning and should have been in good shape. Our business class upgrade (with miles of course) netted us cushy sleep couches and an opportunity for Oliver to show me his new favorite place on Earth: The Frankfurt Lufthansa Welcome Lounge.

People, if you have the status or at least a business class ticket and are landing in Frankfurt before 12:30, get yourselves over there.

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Why can’t vacation last forever?

Been spending the last two weeks in the US, visiting the family, setting things on fire, and drinking and eating everything in San Francisco. Will be back next week, fat (regrettably), happy (definitely) and relaxed (hopefully).

Until then…

Waiting for you Like an Empty Page*

Here’s a common experience for American expats moving to German-speaking Europe. Also a topic specific in particular to women from my generation. (*Note – I retitled this after I couldn’t shake the feeling that “Small and White, Clean and Bright” had racists undertones and Nazi echoes… which it might have, given the topic of the film. Either way, it’s much more provocative now, don’t you think?)

I came across a Sound of Music discussion online that led me down a path here. What caught my attention was a youtube video of the Edelweiss song. If you can stand to hear about it, read on.

Ah the Edelweiss song.

Imagine for a moment: you grew up watching that movie (all chopped to hell on non-cable TV but whatever).

You drowned in the eyes of Captain von Trapp and then dutifully also developed a crush in the more appropriate young Rolf (who in real life also painted your parents’ house, hows that for Hollywood glamour?).

Many years later you grow up and fall for a tall blond German with a strong jaw and blue eyes.

You go to visit him for the first time and drive straight to Austria, through Salzburg, to the alps where the famous flower grows along the roadside.

And then, as you’re there getting to know one another, BAM! You learn, no one’s  seen or even heard of  the damn movie over there and the friggen song is a Rogers and Hammerstein concoction for the film. Continue reading

Exit stage right

So we left off with a countdown about to begin. Now it’s started. Looks like some things really are going to change around here. Before he flew to the US this afternoon, Olli drove a few hours out of the way to meet a new boss and pick up contracts. He’s on a plane now to go hand over some projects to his successor (and briefly enjoy my old city, see friends and meet up with my parents; I’m completely jealous again). When he returns on Sunday, the following week will be about tying up lose ends, canceling the apartment and finding temporary housing near his new job about a two hour drive away. Work starts March 1.

Just like with China, it’s all been very vague until the last few weeks, and now it’s all moving quite fast. I’m still figuring out my own exit strategy and what I’m going to do. As much as I hate it right now, I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around the idea of quitting my job. Part of me stubbornly wants to finish a few open projects and leave everything neat and clean when I walk out the door. With things are they are right now it also feels a bit risky to walk away from a sure thing into the unknown.

I have to double check my contract but I probably have to quit next week and be done April 1 or wait and give notice for the first of May.

Lots to consider.

Checking it twice

Making a list, checking it twice.

The countdown to vacation has reached the single digits and I’m so looking forward to it, and at the same time so dreading the days between now and then. So much to do, and no time to do it in and all of it work-related (read: stressful).

These last six months have been a real personal eye-opener. I’d think I was the worst project manager in the world if I didn’t have a co-worker on another continent sharing the pain and grumbling as loud. Misery in this case finds a modicum of sanity in having company.

Otherwise I’d have completely lost it in the last weeks (and already been teetering on the edge a time or two, as those close to me well know). Still, I need to learn to let things go. Silence here has meant volumes.

I’m so looking forward to seeing my family and ground myself on the old familiar surroundings of home.

… And then I plan to dose myself well with dust and a wee bit of debauchery to put life back into perspective.

Never again should sleep be lost over others’ mistakes and timelines out of my control. Time to shake it off and get out of here.

Can’t happen soon enough!