Saturday, August 30, 2008

in case anybody's been wondering ...

... yes, i *am* still alive. just. ;)

i've been "on holidays" (from the teaching jobs) since saturday, but in fact i have been working my a** off translating the armenian massacres in ottoman turkey. ka and i still have not received it as a word document, so we cannot use the computer aided translation tool, which makes it all a little more difficult. but i have done over 60 pages now, and i am pleased. i work best at night, so there have been a few late ones ...

i manage to still have a little bit of a life in between though: i saw gudrun and the kids, i met my new italian friend luca and his lovely bike aloisia twice, and i had a lovely evening at nathan & ka's with ronnie and erin and nathan's dad. there are of course pictures, but ... no time for editing and all that. and sometimes a girl needs to have fun, too. ;)

today i was at a heurigen just outside vienna for poetry and music, many of the usual suspects were there. i read four poems, two of them accompanied by martin schönlieb (flute, guitar).

green, with a touch of autumn

the secret meanings of wood

nathan, sort of.

while it's been hot again lately, there is more than just a hint of autumn in the air in the mornings and at night. i made myself a little sunny office in my livingroom so that i'd get some sunshine while slaving away:

my sunny workplace

monday morning i'm off to carinthia to see my parents for a few days. i hope the weather is okay, i really need fresh air and space and nature, though i doubt i'll be able to relax, what with work work work at the back of my mind ...

song of the day: sweet darling by she & him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

powderfinger & other things

and there i was thinking that august would be relatively quiet. well. turns out i was wrong. georg, our project co-ordinator, has been on holidas these three weeks, and i had to take on some of his responsibilities, which kept me particularly busy the last three days. lots of administration stuff. not really very exciting.

ka and i still haven't got the electronic version of the book we are translating, which is NOT good, because we want to use a CAT tool (computer aided translation). september will be crazy busy.

i also taught two english classes this week, one called "laughter is the best medicine", the other about new zealand. the students seemed to enjoy it, and that's good. :)

last thursday i was at a nice little gig by steve gander & the dangers of shakti here in vienna. it was a fun night with good music and a lot of laughter. i took photos but have not edited them yet. too much other stuff to do.

on sunday i went to the lovely days festival in wiesen (burgenland) for the first time, thanks to a friend of mine. it was the perfect day for it - sunny and warm, but not unbearably hot, no rain. we missed most of hans theessink's performance, which was a shame, but we didn't think they would actually start that early. i was rather disappointed by adam green's performance. i'd seen him three times before, and the other concerts were most definitely better, the first one i saw the best of all. or maybe it just didn't work as well in that setting. wishbone ash and the waterboys were okay, but if i'd had any say in it, i would have put hans theessink on just before the main act, neil young.

and neil young was fantastic. it was the first time for me, and i was - and am - impressed. the man can play! and it is always a joy to watch musicians who are obviously having fun. he sang older and newer stuff, even heart of gold, my my hey hey, helpless and a favourite of mine, powderfinger. if you have a chance to see him, do.

song of the day: powderfinger by neil young.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

weird wedding

i have finally edited the pictures of the copulate and populate video shoot with steve gander and the dangers of ..., and uploaded "some" of the pics to my flickr site. here are a few shots to give you and idea of what was happening at the weirdest and most colourful "wedding" i have ever been to - and to make you want to see more.

"the real messiah" - aka "father steve" - aka steve gander

the groom

the bride

smoking with both hands

copulate + populate

a new (miss) hamlet? "to copulate or not to copulate ..."

shake it, baby, shake it!

song of the day: jokerman by bob dylan.

Monday, August 11, 2008

it's monday ...

and i overslept. and was out the door within 15 minutes, because for once my hair did not stick up in all directions. boring admin stuff most of the morning. yawwwwwn.

met my friend birgit for much-needed girl talk and just-as-much-needed ice cream. :)
yesterday, much-needed and long-awaited girl talk with my friend sabine. exchanging dating stories is actually quite fun.

men are weird. unreliable, too. cowards. and did i mention, weird? yes. well. but someone told me yesterday that he's been stood up by girls a few times lately, so it must be the fashion.

this - the sun, the moon - was something i enjoyed in the company of a reliable and just-the-right-kind-of-weird man last wednesday (click to enlarge):

no poetry. but one acceptance from a zine i had long given up on.

and hey, the sun is shining, and my hair is newly hennaed.

song of the day: wildwood flower by emmylou harris & iris dement.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

happy things:

fun video shoot for steve gander's song copulate and populate on sunday afternoon - the weirdest "wedding" with the craziest guests ever. tons of photos (i was the "official" photographer! bliss!!), will post a link when they are online.

lovely to catch up with nathan and ronnie and harold on sunday during and after "work".

i talked john siddique, poet and friend, into coming to vienna in october (not that this was a difficult thing to do), and we are doing a reading together! yay!

yesterday evening i had a very good phone conversation with someone i quite like, who was not doing too great, and he told me today that he was feeling better because of me. now if that isn't lovely feedback ... :)

i had a very pleasant late afternoon/early evening: at shakespeare & co, a wonderful little bookshop in vienna's first district, i spoke to gerti (who runs it with her children) about having our reading there, and she was all for it. we had an interesting and really lovely - and rather long - talk, and after she'd heard what i do for work, she said "okay, i have to ask you straight away ..." and she told me about a street fest in the neighbourhood of the bookshop, which is the oldest part of vienna, dating back to the times of the romans. it will be held on 13 september, and she asked me whether i was interested in doing some sort of poetry "workshop" or project there, and so i told her about some ideas and experiments i do with my english classes, and she was totally happy and excited. so. i will be there on 13 september. :) we started talking about leonard cohen, i mentioned i had a ticket, she said she didn't, and i asked if she wanted my brother's spare one. she thought i was kidding. so - she is buying the ticket, or rather, her children will, for her birthday. very successful and productive meeting, don't you think? when i wanted to buy an alice in wonderland notebook, she gave it to me as a present, and i left her a copy of the secret meanings of greek letters.

i bought a book called must try harder - the very best howlers by schoolchildren (which i can use in english classes), and here is my quote of the day:

Poetry is when every line starts with a capital letter and doesn't reach the right side of the page.

oh, happy birthday to rachel! rock on, girl!

song of the day: that's not my name by the ting tings.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

sunday morning visitor

waking up at 06.30 on a sunday is not my idea of fun. especially not when i went to bed at 02.30. but. had i not woken at that time, i would not have made breakfast when i did. and it was just when i had poured my chocolate flakes into a bowl that i met ... max. gave me a bit of a fright when i saw a rather big something moving out of the corner of my eye. but when i saw it was not a giant spider, nothing stood in the way of a friendship for life. or at least the next half hour. so.

meet max:

on board a sheet of paper, i transported max to my livingroom's windowsill. she (pretty sure it was a she, now that i have googled tettigoniae) had one of her many breakfast stops,

then went across the bridge ...

... and stopped, apparently not quite sure what next.

after a stopover on my window, max climbed back across a couple of flowerpots and - took a crap:

at least she had the decency to look sheepish!

then, max jumped onto one of my shelves and met tommy (this is the cd cover of tommy by the who) ...

... did her morning toilette ...

... and successfully escaped me for quite a while, exploring my shelves.

here's max on top of the world,

playing peekaboo,

but then she got ready for takeoff. here is one last picture of her on her launch pad, before she flew off into the tree in front of my window.

i would like to thank max for being such a patient model - i took about 130 photos, and not one complaint (unless that crapping onto my windowsill should have told me something?)! unfortunately, max did not give a permanent address, so i cannot put you in touch. but maybe she'll come and visit you too.

and for those who are wondering what exactly max was ... i am not 100% sure, but she most closely resembled the tettigonia viridissima or great green bush-cricket (grünes heupferd in german). but if anybody knows better, please feel free to leave a comment!

song of the day: max by paolo conte.

nice people and not so nice people

yesterday was my last day with the english II class - another eight weeks over in what seemed like the blink of an eye! my students gave me a mandarin tree, now called amy, and a couple of frogs (not real!) that i can try to throw at the wall if i feel like it: ferdinand and floggy. and chocolate and candles. :) we threw a farewell party on the last day, of course. ;)

i have recovered from being ill, and the weather is now back to summer, very hot, too hot to be working in stuffy rooms or spending more than three minutes on the u1 underground trains. thursday evening i honestly thought i'd pass out in there. ugh.

but what other way to get to my date? and that thursday evening was most definitely worth it. a perfect summer evening on a terrace, stars out, and late at night a bit of mist hovering just above the ground on neighbouring fields ... a candle, a couple of drinks, pistachios and chocolate, good music ... relaxed conversation, laughter ... and the rest, my dear readers, will not be disclosed (no, not even for the sake of science, valerio! *g*).

but ... tonight this girl here is not quite so thrilled and wondering where exactly it says "please piss me off!" or "show me how much of an asshole you can be!" - or is standing women up and generally behaving like complete bastards the latest fashion among men?? in this particular case, maybe i should have seen it coming. maybe so. but that does not make it right. by the time it became obvious that the man in question had better things to do than stick to his promise, it was too late for anything else, so i spent the evening at home, working, and chatting. sometimes i really am beginning to think i should give up on men altogether.

no new poetry. but i now have copies of alex stolis's and my chapbook signed by us both, so if you fancy a chapswap or would like to buy one of these (rare) copies, get in touch!

we've received our copies of the book about the armenian massacres in turkey, so i have started reading and taking notes, and we will decide soon which parts will be translated by ka and by me respectively.

i am re-reading cecilia woloch's late, and some of the poems choke me up no matter how often i read them. such great work. and i still have tons of (chap)books piled up that i hope to get around to reading soon: latest additions are ivy alvarez's mortal and sam byfield's from the middle kingdom.

off to bed now, i am an official photographer at steve gander's videoshoot for copulate and populate tomorrow (today, really)!

oh, and: me!

song of the day: salsa caliente by marisa monte & cesaria evora.