December 2007

Where Next?

Berlin Underground

It’s the last day of 2007 here in Berlin, several places around the world (namely those near Australia) are already enjoying 2008. I can’t wait for it personally. That said, my flat mates here in Berlin take off for their respective corners of the world on the 2nd, and I think I have to be out by the 4th, though I don’t return to the US until Jan 14th via London so I’m trying to decide where to go in the meantime. My thoughts are the moment are:

1) Berlin -> Hamburg -> Edinburgh -> London
2) Berlin -> Cologne -> Belgium -> Amsterdam -> London
3) Berlin -> Dublin -> Cork ->  Dublin – London

There are bonuses to all of these options, and I’ve got friends to see, places to crash in many of them. Others not so much. I want to get to London by about the 10th so I can spend a few days there as well. Hmmm..

laid up

The other night I decided not to be a pain in the ass vegan while getting food with a group of folks after 24C3 and we ended up at a Stake House. I knew walking in my choices would be slim to none and after talking with the waitress this was confirmed. Esther was kind enough to explain the diary thing in German and she went to the kitchen to check what might work. A side order of “wok cooked vegetables” was the only option, which I took. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as dairy free as I was lead to believe as about 8 hours later I was wrecked. It’s not the worse food poisoning I’ve had by a long shot, but I’m out of commission for sure. I slept the majority of the day and keeping my fingers crossed for improvement by tomorrow. It’s New Years I’m going to be totally bummed if after all this planning I miss everything because I’m unable to move.

Apologies to everyone going forward, but I’ll be passing on any trips to to restaurants like this in the future.

Reporting from Berlin

coat room

Someone snapped this shot of several of us crammed in the “3rd bedroom” at our apartment in Berlin. As you can see calling it a bedroom is a slight bit misleading as it’s much closer to a larger closet. Or maybe a smaller one. Luckily not all of us are living in that room. Unluckily I am. My pics from 24C3 can all be found in this flickr set or simply watch the “Berlin” tag on my stream. I’m also going to be contributing a bit to Berlin Metblogs while I’m here though that will be more local, less nerdy / personal crap. While at the conference, which runs the next 3 days I have a DECT phone, which you can reach from any other DECT phone at the conference by simply dialing my extension 5859 which spells out LULZ, or you can even call in from around the world at 04615056623 5859, long distance phone charges will apply of course. That said, please remember the time difference if you call, as well as know that it only works while I’m in the congress building. Otherwise, more soon.

And a good day to you

In the past few days I’ve gotten a handful of super nice holiday e-mails from friends packed full of all kinds of nice things that I wish I’d been considerate enough to think of sending to my friends, family, and loved ones (none of which overlap of course). Every time I got another one I thought that would be the catalyst to get me to do it however every time I started I thought what I was writing sounded dumb and then started worrying about all the people I needed to send it to and who I’d forget and if one group of them would get the same jokes that another group of them would get or whatever. And then I’d delete the e-mail and go pretend to do something more important.

The truth is my friends, family, and loved ones are the single most important thing to me, each one more important than the others (don’t try and figure it out, just run with it) and nothing I could ever say would encompass exactly how I feel. What I do want to say is thanks. Thanks for everything, the good, the bad, all of it. The pats on the head, the kisses on the cheek, the kicks in the balls. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, I wouldn’t be who I am right now with out each and every one of them, and each and every one of you. For that I’m eternally grateful. I’m sure I’ve never told you all that in person, and no matter how much I intend to as I write this I’m pretty sure I will continue not to going forward. So be it. You know who you are, and I really can’t thank you enough. I hope no matter what you are doing today, and this week, that it makes you smile and that you can get away, even for a few moments, from whatever bullshit you have to deal with the rest of the year.

xmas card

Reindeer Games

One of my daily stops on this wild web is my recent activity page on flickr where I can see which photos I’ve posted that people have commented on. Recently I was talking with a few friends about the different uses of flickr, some people use it as a showcase for their best photography and others use it as a bit of a window into their lives. I fit in the latter category, and so it’s interesting for me to see what people think about what I saw or noticed enough to put online. Yesterday there was a new holiday wish posted on this photo:


It was an innocent enough comment, but I really wasn’t something I was expecting. Not so much the comment, but seeing that photo. You see, that photo isn’t recent. It’s from last year, Christmas eve on 2006. I’m not really sure where I’m headed with this post so if it seems scattered please forgive me. For whatever reason I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas. I mean, I appreciate the concept of what it all stands for but it always struck me as the kind of thing people should just be doing all year around, not just on one day at the end of the year. Plus for the majority of my life the entire holiday season was filled with some kind of family related stress. This wasn’t anyone’s fault, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining because I know everyone always had the best intention but there’s something about being worried if you bought someone the right gift so as not to hurt their feelings, how to react if someone didn’t buy you the right gift so as not to hurt their feelings, how to react if someone bought you a gift which tells you very clearly they don’t know who you are at all so as not to hurt their feelings, who to spend what time with so as not to hurt their feelings? See the theme here? Rather than just relaxing and enjoying friends and family this time of year has traditionally been, for me at least, a lot of juggling so as not to hurt other peoples feelings. The cliche about needed a vacation after a vacation was never more true than when I’d return from Christmas holidays. Plus all the drama about the consumerism of it – are you buying gifts for everyone you should be, are those gifts in the right price range, what about people you bought gifts for last year but haven’t seen since, is it rude to not spend money on them this year. It goes on and on. I couldn’t wait for it to be over, really.