Not Tonight, Darling

It’s a beautiful evening, clear blue sky with high thin clouds, ein Wolkengespinst, not too hot, not too chilly.
And I feel old. Tired to the bone. It was the last drive of the week, even for this month, two weeks off for Pentecost, the wonderful feast of the Holy Ghost. Would be nice if he could drop by … wonder if she/he/it can manage this time, but I doubt. I guess we’ll have to soldier on. Sorry if this sounds a little hopeless, I do not want to drag you down, venerated reader, it’s just me, who feels a little worn.
I just want to sleep, undisturbed, and long enough. I want to wake up and feel relaxed and strengthened, not knackered and as exhausted as six hours before.
It is not the work, what is surely not overwhelming. I felt some anger over the last few days, on several occasions things I can not change happened to me, none of it a major disaster, each and single one something to forget, but it adds up a bit, and makes me feel irritated. And the little wheel in the head keeps on spinning, what leads to a disturbed sleep, and more irritability.
On the other hand the boys had some good time when I drove them, we were happily chatting, joking and even singing, a big difference from older times, when there was mostly silence while we drove with my first co-driver (the matriarch) on this route. Co-drivers came and went for some time, until the actual one came along. She’s accepted now, but overly protective, and comes over as a bit harsh sometimes ; but she relaxes, slowly.
I should take care of my kitchen sink, the water flows down only veryvery slowly, so there is some blockage in the tubes. But I really do not want to spent this evening crawling on all four under the sink handling some greenish fatty glob. As exciting as this may be for a non-handy-man like me with all that instant satisfying success, not tonight, darling. Also I should screw my bicycle back together after I repaired the tube of the front wheel – again, as rewarding this may be, not tonight : I just want to have a glass of wine or two, and relax & unwind.
Finally a project I can manage, after all.


Bumbling Along

There I sit, and ponder my future.
It was nice to drive today, to get the vehicle home, and leave it in its place for the next two weeks : Easter holidays, what a good invention. We all were weary, time for a break.
I bought some necessities, went home, and called it a day. Tomorrow I’ll have to take care of my household, I’ll write an application, and sometime later I will go travelling to Suebia, maybe on Sunday or on Monday, no stress.
The Knights have always been good to me. I like my job, and I have a good rapport with my boys, my passengers, the parents, the colleagues. Some months ago we were greeted by custom officers in the morning when we drove into the “Zentrum” where our kids go. The officers looked at us, we looked at them – for me, it was that. Nobody asked me something. Some other colleagues were picked out, I think they simply counted the coaches, and went for every fifth or so.
The last pay was lower than usual. In the case of my co-driver and me not too much, but lower, for no obvious reason. I was told, when I started, that there is a formula (it is part of my contract) so that it is absolutely clear & comprehensible how the monthly pay is calculated, and what to expect every month – also & especially when we do not drive through vacancies. It depends on one’s “Tour”, mileage, time, the effort ; hours, and minimum wage. It was good practise and worked through the last years, gave security to co-driver and driver : You simply knew what to expect.
But the customs saw this different. Without boring details, it boils down to that there is now a factor of chance, something accidentally, that was not there before. And it is always to our bad. It simply means that one can not count on a fixed income by this job anymore : It can become obviously and noticeably less. Of course not more. And because this depends not on the personnel in the vehicle – we are simply there and do our job, for heaven’s sake ! – it is a bit of a gamble now. Nobody likes this.
Additionally, it hurts that this change was communicated very badly. Basically not at all, and tempers flared a bit in mid-March when all of a sudden less than expected (and promised) money came in. There was a big “Sorry – my mistake, at all !” by the man responsible, but it left a bad taste. The climate changed. And, what is worse, there is still no clear explanation.
Because of all this I have no qualms of writing an application for a job in a totally different region – it is Suebia of course, as you, venerable reader, may already have guessed – and have no scruples to make plans for moving. I am not totally “inept of life”, like Benjamin was, but a lot of things need to be taken into consideration – and I have to make meself familiar with these things, simply because I am basically a territorial, non-moving entity. But æons ago this blog started when I moved here, so it is not impossible that I will move again. I just need a chance, and I must be attentive & keen enough to see & grab it.
I only hope that my brains are still up to task.

Sunday Music

Sunday Music

Here I sit in my dusty and cold book repository. Dusty because I simply did not get meself to hoover the rooms for some time, what I regret now, because I do not want to have silly small “things” on the soles of my feet when I go to bed. Cold because I switched off the heating sometime last week when it became over 15° C and more outside, I forgot to turn that thing on again. Over the next days we will see the temperature drop to the freezing point again. I felt pretty cold & damp when I came back home this evening. Of course I had been travelling to Suebia again.
A quick glance in the fridge showed me cold white emptiness, such must be Canada on a bad day. With the notable exception of a piece of cheese that was heroically stinking against all and everything – I never thought that a piece of run-of-the-mill-brie would develop such a personality.
Among tons of nonsensical emails was one that made all too much sense. My old professor sent me the draft for an obituary on his colleague. We came in contact some weeks ago since he had recovered from a severe illness, and this necrology is overdue.
I studied under the deceased, and now helped to piece together this part of the institute’s history, name old colleagues etc. And en passant opened a can of worms of memories. Memories I do not want to have, things I want to forget, images of persons I am not in contact with anymore, and – GOd ! – a long list of people I knew and who already have died.
Sometime in this week I will walk over to the institute and simply drop by. There is a new head now, a new ruler, I do not know much about her. I only hope that she wants to stay, and make the whole operation her own, regardless of her scientific or philosophical position – these are things to be discussed – , but what the whole thing needs is another long streak of continuity. As it was under my old prof for 25 years, and his predecessor for nearly the same long stretch. After the master’s retirement people came and went, it was no good.
In one case I went out in anger, literally fuming, I made no secret about my feelings. Not that this had any “impact”, I never was in a position to have any “impact”. But … well … The guy, who caused this, already drunk himself to death. Again successors fumbled on and off : It is time for a new Queen Now !
And no – I am not speculating on a position at the new court, seriously not !
Madame scientia (pretty much like her sister fortuna) is a damn – insert your curse word of choice for an alcoholic lady with dubious moral settings. I learned some time ago that I am not fit for this. “This is what losers say” you may mumble, and perhaps you are right. But honestly, the kind of infight I watched among “civilised” people in academia was enough to drive me away. I do not regret this, even when the other things I tried were not as successful as I had wished and hoped for.
What counts even more : The university I studied at, and where the seniorissimus and the deceased were employed at and spent their academic lives – this university is dead. After 1989 something happened here – I speak about the Western Germany university, even the whole educational system. The whole system changed.
It is not precisely explained with the slogan “Bologna Process” and what is connected with this, it is more. I have only a faint idea about this, and I seriously do not want to think about it now. It may be connected to my observation that I’m kinda “out of time” now, I do not fit in any more. In earlier times I could vanish in the herd, simply go unseen, this is nowadays at least more complicated than it was. But there is always the possibility that I am just plainly mad.
Anyway, the obit the seniorissimus sent me needs some touches – some wording & phrases are too strong. There shines something through I’d not want to be shown. Of course I know that he never shied away from confrontation, but I also liked the man who brought me into this science, and under whose guidance I finally reached my academic grade. And yes, I am proud of this grade.
It is an irony of history that a) nobody nowadays really knows what this grade means (hey, after all i received an official document from the philosophical faculty where they describe what they think of me & what I am possibly capable of, with seal & all !), that b) there is basically just one institute left (this one here !) that still carries the name of the science or field in its name, and that c) a nearly ninety year old man and a bus driver write the obituary of a philosopher who more or less by accident slipped into a unique role at a German university’s institute.

Strange days. Now I’ll gulp down a strange beer, a “Nordic Porter” by Störtebeker (with 9.1 % alcohol), and then fall into my bed. Tomorrow in the not so early ddm* (Copyright by Savannah) it’s job-as-usual. Sooner or later it will be necessary to Break On Through, here in a version by Mark ZITTI e I Fratelli COLTELLI – I hope you enjoy the music. Let’s hope for a quiet and peaceful week. And let me tell you – avoid philosophical faculties, it’s been the ruin of many a good man …






Thank GOd, the working week came to an end. It became a bit rough at the edges lately, so a two weeks’ brake is very welcome.
Usually I do not write (much) about my day time job, what should I say ? I leave early, pick up kids, bring them safely to a place, and all in return in the late afternoon. My actual co-driver is not a spotless diamond, but I am neither, we get along well. The only “thing” that is bothering me, and sometimes the boys, is that she has the tendency to create a mess by “speeding up” things. Frankly, she sometimes makes a bloody mess with her over-agitated engagement, she definitely lacks, and could use, deep relaxation.
It would be unbearable if she was in a way “wrong” or “dishonest”, she is not. She actually takes good care of the boys, even too much, like a clucking hen, but sometimes she’s simply too pushy. And then she usually uses the phrase “Ich habe einen Termin !” (I have an appointment !) to make things go faster, what usually has the oldest boy and me sighing and taking extra care, because then something may fail.
This last drive started with a little confusion on the yard, it took me a bit longer than usual to reach the point where my vehicle has to stand. The boys boarded reasonably well, we left a little later than usual.
At the first stop my co-driver jumped out with little boy J and marched to the door of the social housing block, just there was no response : Usually dad or mum wait at the front door of the public entrance, but nobody was seen, no answer to the door bell – and my co-driver came back to the car talking a lot I could not understand. She was completely thrown, and simply did not stop blabbing on and on. We had already waited for ten minutes, and it was clear that something had gone wrong there, so I told her to get inside the vehicle with the boy. I phoned the number I was given to reach the parents, but it was useless ; so I tried the additional number, but the man I reached did not get what I wanted. So I said that I’d take boy J with me and be back in roughly an hour or so. I was really running late now.
Driving on these small roads is usually a nice experience, but sadly a lot of people use them as detours and short-cuts between two or three motorway intersections that are found around this lovely Franconian capital. And on this Frayday afternoon before Christmas, when the travelling weekend was officially declared open, it was a bit challenging, simply because all these blokes from all parts of Germany are not used to our narrow roads – and my lack of “respect” against BMWs did not help. I follow more the “move over basted, I drive in the name of the Lord”-attitude.
The usual commute took a bit longer, where I could usually go through with 90 km per hour on the open road, driving in a nicely formed queue with 60 or less had to be enough today.
When I reached the last stop the phone rung and the man I had talked to earlier called back. So I could explain what it was all about, and he said he’d look for mum & dad. It all works, just needs a bit of time.
My co-driver had been very quiet since she had entered the vehicle again, and when we were driving back with boy J alone, she finally complained that we’d be back an hour later as usual on a Frayday. It came out that this time ! she really had an appointment – she did not tell me what it was, just “We women have so much more work to do in these festive times, much more than men ! TA !” – and she had put that date so close to our usual returning time that even a small deviation would be fatal, running late more than an hour of course …
Is the cosmic force trying to tell her something ? Perhaps, but I doubt she’s listening. Am I just mean ? I do not think so – I do not laugh about her, I do not feel “smug”, like “I told yah!” – this is all nonsense. Perhaps I just wrote this text because I do not want to get pushed myself. In fact, every time I witnessed it,  people got angry and did their tasks slower. Not necessarily better, but surely slower.
So when she’ll push the kids the next time with her “Ich habe einen Termin !” I can turn around and say – “Humbug ! Think about what happened the last time when you really had one !” Perhaps with this thinning-the-herd-attitude of the old God … but I’ll fool nobody, I’m soft as baby poo.
And here is some music, just so.