Thursday, June 28, 2007

8 things plus 2

sarah tagged me with Reveal 8 Things About Yourself
soooo ... here goes:

1) i always have to tell new students to please NOT drink red bull in class, because the smell makes me *really* sick. instantly.

2) i have never bought a glossy magazine like elle or vogue in my entire life. nor have i read one.

3) i liked walking to school and back home alone when i was around 9, because i was making up stories about a pair of sisters and their friends, complete with dialogue and all. a book i never wrote down. (not that the world missed much. *g*)

4) i "ran away" from home once, when i was 19, and disappeared for about 30 hours. i can't say i'm very proud of that.

5) when my mom told me she'd signed me up for ballet at age 7 or so, i threw a really bad tantrum. i remember the kicking and screaming and hysterical crying. and no, i did not suddenly love it on my first day in ballet class.

6) i once spoke to singer feist for a few minutes. she was lovely.

7) during my 1989 summer job at a small hotel in the austrian alps, my boss' father once asked me to go wake up his son, then around 30. i tried to somehow talk him out of it, but not a chance. so i went to knock on the guy's door, and thought i heard a yes, or "come in", or something of the sort. so i opened the door, and found that a) nobody had actually said "come in", and b) the rumours were true: the boss *was* sleeping with the young single italian lady staying at the hotel ...

8) I LOVE hipp’s fruit jars for babies. yummy stuff. *g*

i tag collin, colleen, nicole, john, and kristy.
if they let me. ;)

* * * * *

i received kristy bowen's fever almanac this week, and i am enjoying it.

and today i got my contributor's copy of envoi (the five poems were accepted about half a year ago). yay! it's looking good. arlene has four poems in it, too, so: good company.

song of the day: wish you were here by pink floyd.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


südbahnhof / south station, vienna

song of the day: oh yeah by roxy music.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

the good, the bad, and the ugly

or rather: the ugly, the bad, and the good, in reverse order.

i had my purse stolen yesterday. at least i assume it was stolen. i cannot for the life of me figure out how, but i cannot imagine that it fell out of my backpack either. i had it at the bakery, two stops from home, and when i wanted to pay for my raspberries across the street from my place, it was not longer there, and my backpack's zipper was about 15cm open. i know who was next to me on the underground train, and no, i did not have the backpack on my back, but on my side, and i really have no idea how anybody could have got the purse, because it was at the bottom of the bag. it had to have happened between the first two stops, because after that, there wasn't anybody around me, and i did not stand on the elevator up either, but walked.

i was in shock at first, and then, at home (after the nice lady where i always buy my berries had practically forced the box of raspberries on me), i had a bit of a crisis. (and yes, that is understatement.) all my credit cards, train card, vienna travel card, driver's license, atm card, and of course 70 euro in cash (WHY WHY WHY did i have to go to the atm the previous evening?) - gone. apart from the hassle, it means financial loss, which is hardly what i need this year. sepp was kind enough to come over and lend me some cash to tide me over. now, of course, i am worried sick that somebody will come and break into my flat. i *know* it is not likely, but. but.

i'm really tired. whichever way you look at it, this has not been a good year. and that is putting it mildly. i am in "i wonder what will go wrong next?" mode again, like back in february.

* * * * *

our recent heatwave brought about a bad, bad storm last thursday evening. i had to leave work to go to my english class around the time it hit vienna, and i have never seen anything like it. the sky went black within minutes, and i could barely see anything on the way to the train station, what with a huge dust cloud coming my way. i had sand between my teeth even hours later. branches snapped off trees, and i *was* a bit scared. i got caught in the pouring rain on the way to the english class, and was pretty sure nobody would turn up anyway, but i had to wait a while. i was right. and then i was stuck. no trains, no underground, so the tram was the only other option to get into the city centre. it stopped twice though, because the power went out: once we waited 15 minutes, once about 25 minutes! then i decided to take a taxi the rest of the way. even so, it took me 90 mins or so to get home, instead of the usual half hour! i was shocked to see so many trees damaged on the way, some had just snapped in half, and i am talking big trees; there were branches practically everywhere. at home i found out that three people had been killed: a crane operator died when the crane toppled over, a woman was killed by a falling tree, and outside vienna, a tree killed a man in his car. such things are rare here. the whole thing did not actually last long, maybe an hour, but it was spooky.

rain and hailstorms on friday evening, more wind, but not as bad as on thursday. the weather has been mad.

* * * * *

austrian singer/songwriter georg danzer died at the age of 60 last thursday; he was in the business for 40 years, extremely prolific (35 studio albums and dozens of songs for other singers - in german and viennese dialect), a poet, and someone i quite liked. made me dig up some of his songs again; good thing, too.

* * * * *

the good news is:

my poem Promethium (Pm) - The day I fell in love with a thief is now up in the kaleidowhirl summer issue.

lily magazine has accepted a piece for their july issue.

and i found out that i can tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue.

song of the day: ruaf mi ned an by georg danzer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

and the spare copy of "redactions" goes to ...

... collin kelley! :)

22 cherry tomatoes were in the box.

thanks for playing, everyone!

song of the day: the beatles by devendra banhart.

Monday, June 18, 2007

why is it that a girl ...

... sets out to buy a light bulb, an ink cartridge, a pc cable for the new phone, and a few things from the chemist's and grocer's, and returns home with said articles PLUS photo paper, cd paper sleeves (okay, i'll need them in a week anyway), nice green envelopes, the "ice age 2" dvd (another one i am soooo going to use in one of my english classes *g*), chocolate, a red ring, a black choker, two red&white hair clips, two ear studs (okay, i have been meaning to get some for about 18 months now), black mascara, and "eden green" eyeshadow (the first eyeshadow i've bought since, um, about 1993? never used it when i wore contacts)? but then again - i *did* resist a second ring, and did not even look at cds or go through any more dvd racks.

at the supermarket, i was about to pay with my atm card, when i was told the machine didn't work. i hate it when that happens - of course i did not have enough cash on me, so i had to go to another checkout counter. i often have less than 10 € on me these days; usually the only playce where i pay cash is at the bakery on my way to work ... i think that is still unusual in austria, people tend to like cash hereabouts, and many shops were reluctant to accept atm cards at first. one supermarket chain didn't accept them until 2 years ago!

* * * * *

now for something completely different: i received my two contributor copies of redactions! yay! some familiar names in this issue: kelli russell agodon, jason fraley, jeannine hall gailey, nathan mcclain, steve mueske, gerald schwartz.

since i have two copies, and a girl only needs one, i am giving one away - to the person who comes closest to guessing how many cherry tomatoes there were in my 250g box today. i'll give it until thursday evening my time. leave your answer in the comments box. (if two or more people happen to guess the correct number, i'll give it to whoever comes and cleans my windows. *g*)

song of the day: gravity by john mayer.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

another national park

exactly six years ago, i got married in church, and around this time, our wedding party was in full swing. yesterday, on the anniversary of our civil ceremony, sepp and i signed the papers that i am supposed to drop off in court on monday, to file for divorce. it was decidedly more fun six years ago. *s*

in need of distraction this weekend, i went to illmitz today, a small town in burgenland, to explore some of the neusiedler see (lake neusiedl) - seewinkel national park. not all of the park's actually in austria, a part of it lies across the border in hungary. the landscape's quite unique - steppe, with lots of small salt lakes, apart from lake neusiedl itself (no more than 1,8m deep, surrounded by reeds) - which serves as a habitat for about 300 species of birds as well as other animals.

i know next to nothing about birds, but i saw - and heard! - some i had never seen before, i'm sure. i also got to see geese, a rather big rabbit, a deer, beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, the white albino donkeys they're breeding, and some of the storks that the area is so famous for.

it was quite a hot day, and i was grateful for the breeze. back home i found out i got pretty sunburned - that's one of the problems when you live alone. there are parts of your body that you cannot really reach properly. ;) i've got the craziest pattern on my back now, what with the spaghetti straps, and backpack straps, and so on. *g*

i thought i'd walked about 13,14 km, but according to the map, it was around 18 km. good exercise. :)

of course i took tons of photos again, here are a few:

more photos

song of the day: what light by wilco.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

amid the grumpdom and blahness ...

... that seems to have taken possession of me yesterday (headache, pms, temperature, impending divorce, temporarily disappeared and undelivered passport, muggy city, and suchlike), some good news:

one of my favourite magazines, pebble lake review, has accepted one of my poems (you've been flirting again)! it'll be published in their summer issue, and i was so thrilled, i was grinning at the computer screen for at least 15 minutes.

i came across some terrific music today, by kristin hersh, cat power, pink martini, wilco, laura veirs, and others.

and - i owe a few smiles, chuckles and even hearty laughs to the master de-grumpy-fier; thank you again. (he knows who he is. as for everyone else - i'll ask whether you can book him. *g*)

here's a little "oinkment" - for sarah. ;)

song of the day: lilly by pink martini.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

walking among the nameless dead

i finally made it to the cemetery of the nameless yesterday afternoon. it's situated near an industrial port, it's tiny, and definitely worth a visit. i thought i'd get caught in a thunderstorm, or at least in the rain, because it started to drizzle when i walked down the road from the bus stop to the cemetery, and there was thunder, and lightning on the horizon, but i was lucky.

most of the graves don't bear a name, some simply say "nameless". the people buried there were found dead on the shores of the danube near the port; people who'd committed suicide, drowned, been killed - many of them were never identified. one of the saddest graves is that of an 11 year old boy who was murdered in 1904.

i took tons of photos on the cemetery ...

... and also of the old buildings (mills, warehouses, etc) of the alberner hafen (the port).

on my way home, i walked around a market in simmering (vienna's 11th district), or the remains of it: deserted shops, smashed windows, graffiti on the walls, pigeons nesting everywhere.

more pictures, though not all 165 i took ... ;)

i seem to have overdosed on poetry. i don't feel like writing, and i have noticed that when i am out and about, i seem to see things through the photographer's eye, not the poet's. and i have not touched a book of poetry in about a week now - after months and months of reading nothing but poetry (not typical of me, really, because i normally need to read novels as well). perhaps i simply need a break. i received an acceptance note from eclectica, two of my poems will be published in their july issue.

song of the day: bastardo by charlotte hatherley.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

32872 days - happy birthday, liebe oma!

my "oma" (granny) turns 90 today (12 june), so the family and some friends got together on sunday to say happy birthday. my uncle erich, his partner eva, my cousin anna-maria came from vienna (her sister was away on business); my brothers markus and martin were there; oma's caretaker henriette and my grandmother's old friends helly and rita joined us, as well as herr and frau rabitsch, friends of the family.

my dad wrote a loooooong poem for my granny, in our carinthian dialect, which was all about her life, from her childhood years as a real tomboy up until now. it was great fun, and it was lovely to see the elderly ladies giggling and laughing. :)

shame that oma's sister was not there - she is 98 this year. her son thought it might be a bit much for her to join the dinner party, although she's doing really very well for her age, a model of positive thinking.

it was nice to see my cousin again, we never ever see each other even though we live in the same city. she's fun.

here are a few photos:

my dad reading his poem for oma ...

... and me, finding it funny :)

oma and her friend helly being very amused

oma with her friends helly (left) and rita (right), and my mom

family & friends:
back: oma's friend rita, frau and herr rabitsch, me, mom, helly, anna-maria, eva, erich, martin
front: henriette, oma, markus

more pictures

song of the day: happy birthday to you! by the whole family and friends :).

Saturday, June 09, 2007

a piano's homecoming

tori amos has once again found her way to vienna, and brought "her" home - her piano, that is. no matter how many times i see her with that bösendorfer of hers, i am fascinated by the relatioinship the two of them seem to have. tori does not just play piano with her hands, she plays piano with her entire body. and it is pretty obvious she does not think of the instrument as an inanimate object.

it was my first concert in the new concert hall added to vienna's stadthalle, a venue i don't like all that much for concerts; but this new part is much better. it's got a nicer atmosphere, and the sound is definitely better.

before tori came on stage, seth lakeman played a few songs - my friend babs and i both enjoyed those, and were quite impressed with his playing the violin AND singing. check seth out on myspace.

here's tori's setlist, courtesy of

Act I – Santa

* Body & Soul
* My Posse Can Do
* Programmable Soda
* Secret Spell
* Dragon
* You Can Bring Your Dog


* Professional Widow

Act II – Tori

* Big Wheel
* Caught A Lite Sneeze
* Liquid Diamonds
* Cornflake Girl
* Doughnut Song
* Glory Of The 80s


* Improv
* Upside Down
* Mother

Band Returns

* Father’s Son
* God
* Code Red

First Encore

* Precious Things
* Pancake

Second Encore

* Bouncing Off Clouds
* Hey Jupiter

i did expect there to be some of her "noisier" songs, after listening to her new album, american doll posse, quite a few times, although i was not at all sure which she would choose. it was a pleasant surprise to have her play something off her older albums as well, and perhaps not the obvious choices; it was quite a good mix. she gets an extra point for playing god, which is such a fantastic song

God sometimes you just don't come through
God sometimes you just don't come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
God sometimes you just don't come through
and hey jupiter, one of her songs i could never get tired of hearing.
thought I knew myself so well
all the dolls I had
took my leather off the shelf
your apocalypse was fab
for a girl who couldn't choose between
the shower or the bath

i loved big wheel, it is quite a sexy, sassy, powerful song, i find, especially the way she plays it (see above re entire body).
So baby maybe I'll let your
Big wheel turn my fantasy
Don't you throw your shade on me
I've been drinking down your pain
I'm gonna turn that whiskey into rain
Wash it away
Wash it away
Wash you away boy
it was also lovely to hear programmable soda, caught a lite sneeze, cornflake girl (which, of course, was the song that made me fall in love with her music many years ago), and upside down.

she was not very chatty yesterday, only said it was lovely to be back in vienna, and that it had been a while (too true), and it was like coming home. i've seen her very talkative and rather quiet before, you never know what you'll get. *s*

of course, while the musicians she works with are great, and the music is wonderful, i still love her best when it's just her and the "böse".

i did take some pics / videos with my new phone, but am not sure how they turned out. i tried to buy a pc cable yesterday, but gave up after four places told me that no, they did not have that at the moment, but to try next week. sigh. i'll try and find some pics online though.

meanwhile, here is a video, enjoy. (love tarantino's intro! *g*)

song of the day - pretty obvious now, is it not: big wheel by tori amos.

Friday, June 08, 2007

an afternoon in the donauauen national park

i went to see nadine, one of the students in my last computer class, yesterday afternoon. she lives in hainburg, about an hour by train from my part of vienna, and i'd long wanted to go out there, to take a walk in the danube flood plain national park that - according to the national park website - protects the largest natural riparian wetlands in central europe and stretches from the outskirts of vienna to those of bratislava in slovakia. i didn't know you can actually see bratislava from hainburg!

nadine and i were out and about in the meadows and woods along the banks of the river for about three and a half hours - and all that in about 32C (90F). it was fun, quite beautiful, and good exercise. we really deserved some cake and wine afterwards, at nadine's. :)

shame that nadine's moving to doha next month - i don't think we'd ever run out of things to talk about!

here are some pics, more on my flickr pages:

tori amos concert tonight! yay!

song of the day: the power of orange knickers by tori amos & damien rice.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

an afternoon in the city

took a walk in the city today - museumsquartier, hofburg, volksgarten, parliament. here are a few pictures:


song of the day: military of the heart by naked lunch.

Monday, June 04, 2007

in the neighbourhood

i went for a walk around the neighbourhood yesterday afternoon, took the camera with me. here are some impressions:

i am flickr-ing now, so if you want to see more of my neighbourhood, follow this link.

song of the day: neighborhood #1 (tunnels) by the arcade fire.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

catching up

i have been off work since thursday: finally met gudrun for a chat, a walk, and some frozen yogurt. of course baby jakob was there, too:

here's a picture i have been meaning to take for a while now, but my older cameras just weren't good enough - with the new zoom it's no problem:

after my english class, i met gini who was one of my colleagues way back when i was still a web designer working for since we had not seen each other for a long time, we had lots to catch up on over our mexican dinner. afterwards - the moon behind tree branches, looking as if some night creature had bitten into it repeatedly:

yesterday i was feeling sick and i had an upset tummy all day. i still went to have my picture taken for my passport application. i bought a couple of shelves and assembled those in true DIY queen style, moved books and other stuff around, watched some french open, and slept a while, still not feeling well. and so i missed out on the last open mic before the summer. :(

today i am finally saying goodbye to my old mobile phone: it was the first one i ever got, well over 5 years ago. now i have one of those fancy ones with which i can take photos and send them, shoot videos, surf the web, receive email, listen to mp3s and the radio, and - i suspect - still make phone calls as well:

song of the day: past in present by feist.