Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.

I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon for a marketing position with the Drug Information Association-Europe, in Basel.

Also, I have successfully moved out and informed the village they'll no longer have the pleasure of my company. I WOULD get a local job interview the very same afternoon I finish officially moving out of the country, hmm?

Raphael said "your whole life is last minute!" but I'd just like to point out it is not my fault this time. :)

Moving out would have been extremely stressful if hadn't been for the help of Lukas, Gina, and Lucy. Lucy cleaned my windows inside and out, Gina scrubbed cupboards and drove my final load to the city, and Lukas moved all my heavy stuff and drove me all over town dropping off clothes and boxes and recycling. And now I am encamped along the corridors of Valda and Elaine's house. Do I have generous and self-less friends, or what?!

Gina, working on the cupboards:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

packing up, moving out

The disaster zone also known as Stephanie's apartment:

I forgot what a bother it is to move...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunny Basel and Rainy Luzern

I feel like I ought to say something interesting, but instead, some pictures and a song will have to do.

On mom and dad's first full day of sight-seeing in Basel, we enjoyed the view overlooking the Rhine from Pfalz, behind the Munster. It was HOT that day! See the first bridge in the background? That's where my eggshell-blue-with-stars-on-the-inside sleeping bag and I plan to move, in the event that we don't find a job. Of course, in Basel we stopped at all the obligatory places, including the Spalentor...

and Barfi.

and we had lunch by the Tinguely Fountain in Basel. Dad was impressed with the fountain's moving parts only until he figured out that they weren't water-powered. Then it was just your garden variety, sorta-artsy metal with motors. :)

We went to Luzern on foggy, damp day. My britches were soon soaked from hem to knee.

The flower boxes on the bridge were worth the trip all on their own, I thought! Even on a rainy day.

We stepped into this church to get out of the rain. A traveling high school or college choir had the same idea at the same time, and since they were in such a lovely place (or maybe because the acoustics were irresistible), they sang a couple songs for the rest of us as we all stood around with our collapsed umbrellas and soggy shoes.

With just a few hours left before our train home, we decided we didn't really have enough time to adequately explore the Transport Museum. We headed for the Richard Wagner Museum instead, because I wanted to see their exhibition about the pioneers of Swiss hiking who criss-crossed the alps when there were no yellow signs to tell them where to go or how long it would take to get there. Wagner liked the mountains. I reckon long hiking excursions were his way to clear his head temporarily of his many complex and doubtless stressful relationships. He had a house on Lake Luzern, and today it's the museum. Now, if you're ever in Luzern looking for the Richard Wagner Museum, please note it's a long, long walk from the train station. We had the address and knew the general direction, but, after walking for ages, we thought we must have missed it for sure. Fortunately, there was a gas station nearby. Mom and I just popped in there and consulted a map of Luzern. Then we put the map back, smiled at the teller, and left without buying anything. We found the Museum, and this very large bust of Wagner himself.

Other highlights from our trip to Luzern would have to include the extendable dam. Why didn't they just do that at Bonneville or Grand Coulee?

Lastly, for someone who doesn't like sap, I like some awfully mushy songs! David Gilmour sings "The Dimming of the Day":

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I may be going nuts.

Or...I might just be demonstrating fascinating signs of stress. A couple months ago, I had an odd dream about my teeth falling out for no reason. Really, no reason--they just fell right out of my head. I mentioned it to Rebekkah, who said, oh, that's a very common dream associated with anxiety. Hmm. Interesting, I thought. I was feeling anxious about a particular set of circumstances, so it seemed plausible. I haven't had any more strange dreams, but my latest abnormality is a twitching right eye. It's been throwing fits for a couple weeks now...and a quick Google search has just assured me that it's probably fatigue and stress and not a brain tumor (as I was beginning to suspect).

Whew! At least that's one less thing to stress me out!

Monday, August 16, 2010



I know you thought I fell off the face of the earth. I had to change the background colors so you'd notice something was different and actually read this! I am back, and I have about 15 mostly unrelated thoughts, ideas, stories, and ambitions to share with you. I won't write all of them today. Let's start with a quick summary of the most important and/or interesting bits since last time we spoke: I've finished my MA in African Studies(longest MA in the history of the universe!). It was a privilege to travel with my parents for three weeks (and I'm so thankful they could come). I went shooting with Raph and I'm now on friendly terms with the M16, however it turns out I'm a lousy shot at 300 meters. Well, not TERRIBLE. I have it on good authority from Stephan that my score would be passable in the Swiss military, but I clearly need practice. I'm considering applying for a Fulbright scholarship to do some more work on Hydro-politics in South Africa (mostly because I'm having trouble finding a job, and a Fulbright--henceforth referred to alternatively as a voll bereit, mann--is a paid, productive, and fairly interesting alternative). In September I will mostly be drawing. Hurray!!

Now on to other things. I think I've mentioned my respect for John Green of the Vlogbrothers youtube team. He's an author of young-adult fiction, but I enjoy his thoughtful, intelligent and often funny videos that he records for his brother and their mostly teenage audience. I like the way that he pulls together topics that would appear unrelated to make one good point about something. Take for example, this recent video: Other people who do this quite well include comedian Stephen Colbert and essayist Anne Fadiman. I've mentioned them before too, I think. (Watch Colbert's great piece on "being known," social media, and the meaning of the human experience HERE. It's better than John's video, in fact, but...perhaps a little crass for some people's taste. Anyway, I find these people quite inspiring, and I had an idea a while back for a small collection of essays about Switzerland which I'm starting to work on a bit. I hope that they'll have a similar mix of personal experience, humor, and observations that will stand out from the average crowd of "American living in Switzerland" writings. More on that if it goes anywhere.

And... That's good for now. Work beckons. Bis spoeter.