Cocktail Party Donts: No Religion, No Politics! And my Apology…

October 9, 2013

I should and could have known better: You stay away from religion and politics in situations that call for a friendly, slightly superficial atmosphere. Like e.g. at cocktail parties. Or their social media equivalent: Facebook. (Don’t take it personal, Mr.  Zuckerberg… some party! A multi billion dollar party, actually. Kudos, Sir! What? Wall Street had that one covered? Anyway…) However, with my compulsive sharing-every-thought-every-minute disorder I couldn’t help it – and voiced my opinion on one or the other topic, and oftentimes on matters, I didn’t have all the facts in first. Like US politics, for example. Or how they (don’t) work. Like, where or when the POTUS should have delivered or missed out on. Fact is: I don’t know shit. Or if I did, it’s a slightly different kind of shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong: Shit is shit here in my country as well. And from the smells of it – yeah, a big turd all the way, too! But still not the same turd and not flushed down the same W.C.

Fact is: I grew up in a different country. While a thing or two could be said about having gotten americanized from early on – can you say syndicated TV shows? AFN radio? Troops stationed in our backyards guarding nuclear missile launchpads? – and while some even go at lengths to prove that we’ve never been a sovereign nation after WW II ever again, it still is and was not US soil. The point being: The mindset used to be different. The inner workings of our government and their politics were different. And the “people’s identity” – if there was such a thing to begin with – is and was different, too. I think, I have understood that Americans don’t wait on their country to do something for them, but instead make things happen for themselves – and expect their administration, their country to stay out of their way doing so. I think, I have understood that families provide for themselves and don’t expect their nation to provide for them. Hard working people, the American Dream, you make the bed you lay in and all those good things. While “we” tended to expect our politicians and their politics to take care of us in cases of emergency. Good, hard working people here as well. People, who show up at their 9 to 5 jobs for the bigger part of their working lives in order to generate some modest as in: carefree wealth and maybe even modest property for themselves. But in return, we used to trust our politicians to know our needs and requirements and for the first to take care of those. Like public healthcare, pension funds, all sorts of insurances keeping you out of harm’s way should something unforeseeable ever happen. Kind of a “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” sort of  a deal. I would have to stress: It used to be like that when I grew up. Now, some 30 years later, things aren’t the same here anymore, either. But before I really get into a drawn-out debate over exactly when things fell to the wayside in my country and where the chips landed, let me say this:

Pardon my ignorance! And I apologize for having hurt one or the other’s feelings with any of my posts in the past.

But… I can’t promise it won’t happen again. This probably is, what intercultural communication was all about: You understand a people’s identity and respect their feelings about the first. I have not always followed that paradigm. And while I’ll surely try to do better in the future, I can’t guarantee anything. With every issue, there is a plethora of aspects and facets to them. And maybe not. Maybe it’s indeed become a “follow the trail of money” world – or has been that kind of world all along. Be that as it may. What I’m trying to say is: (Try and ) Don’t take anything personal. It’s not. There are great and wonderful people everywhere. And each nation or culture has their share of a-holes, too. So, after all – things aren’t all that different altogether when you drill them down to the human level, aren’t they?

Peace,

w.


Instant Gratification? Anyone? | wesboundmusic

September 27, 2013

Instant Gratification? Anyone? | wesboundmusic.


DBT-Emotion Regulation

June 14, 2013

DBT-Emotion Regulation.


Surreal.

April 10, 2013

Moments like this feel as if someone had dropped a brick on your head. There’s this dull impact, that instant of being stopped in your tracks, you’re perplexed and in a daze. It just doesn’t feel all real. It sounds like a cruel joke. You hear the words, yet can’t make sense of them at first. The voice on the other end of the line keeps cracking down in tears and your mind balks at their meaning, while you’re frantically trying to access the registers of your memory to find the right words to say. “How can I help? Let me know, if you need anything.”
The phone call lasted only a few minutes. You get up, walk around, look outside. The irony. A spring that seemed intent on never coming is now finally making it to our parts. There’s the typical white clouds and blue skies, which are the colors of the state’s flag and which her natural citizens are so proud of. The beautiful weather suddenly turns into a mockery of the message received.
“She died about two or three hours ago. There was nothing they could do for her. The aneurysma had flooded her brain and stopped the breathing. They resuscitated her for more than 25 minutes, but she would never start to breathe on her own again.” Images of tubes and wires and medical staff dressed in white penetrate my imagination. “We’re about to leave her and go over to her flat to look for further instructions as to how to proceed according to her will”, the tearful voice stammers on the other end.
I had meant to go see her on one of the coming days. While I had talked with her on the phone many times, the ugly truth is, though, that it took me mustering all courage to go see her, fearful of what I might be confronted with. I guess, my subconscious knew this could come any day now and wanted to hang on to images of her in better days. Days like this summer break from school at around age 16. She had landed a summer job for me with her employer, so I’d get to taste an environment that was all different from the small city life I was used to. I must say that the annual summer break was always a most welcome change of pace in itsself. I seemed to become a different person altogether on the very first day after school was out. And this time, I’d have all kinds of new adventures and experiences, I’d get to try myself on a real job in the big city, getting familiar with bus stops and the street car directory, the ticket system, in short: I’d get to experience and adjust to a routine most adults lived by day in, day out. I’d become a little bit like one of them!
After I had unpacked and settled in to her comfortably furnished flat in a large appartment building, we’d sit on the balcony, had a beer together and talked until sunset. This would become our almost daily routine after coming home from work: We’d sit outside, order food in or enjoy what we had picked up from the store on the way home, we enjoyed our meal and a beer or two and had conversations that sometimes went until after dawn. I was under the impression that she enjoyed these hours almost as much as I did. I think, she said so at one point.
I would often grab the bike then and go for a little ride to the nearby airport, place myself at the top of the runway and watch the planes come in and touch down.
On the job, I was free to pick whatever department I felt like exploring. I’d usually start in the bakery in the mornings and enjoyed the smell of fresh baked loafs of bread, French croissants and a piping hot cup of espresso the supervisor lady would sneak in for us. After a little second breakfast it was all hustle and bustle until noon with patrons flocking to our little counter. I would then grab lunch at the cafeteria and usually walk over to the park for a little walk and rest. Afternoons usually started at the pastries counter and after another hour or two there I’d assign myself to other tasks, whatever was needed. We’d meet for closing hour and then took the bus and street car back home, which would take anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Then dinner and our personal beer buzz, my bike ride and heading downtown on weekends. I had a first taste of feeling free and I loved every minute of it! In retrospect, I think this summer very much lives up to a formative episode in my life, of which there are just so many. This was definitely one of them.

I owe it to my late aunt to have lended me a hand in growing up to be a man. By landing me this summer job and letting me stay with her away from parental scrutiny, she bestowed a gift on me I will treasure forever. While I’m deeply saddened over her passing, I’m glad on her behalf that she got to return to her own appartment for another little while after gruelling months of intensive and later rehabilitative care. She had so looked forward to being in her little flat again and kept her spirits up by being resolved on tending to her small patch of garden downstairs. Except for the very last few days, she was at peace and happy again. I would like to think that she completed her journey in these spirits.

Rest in peace, Aunt Carol. And – thank you.


Winter Recedes, Spring Approaches by renovatio06

March 22, 2013

I feel blessed that I get to live here. I’m truly grateful for it. I never get tired of walking or riding the bike along the lakes here with or without taking pictures, but taking in all the beauty and silence. In particular today, I had a magic moment in the afternoon, when I sat in that wooden “chair” that’s among the picture, enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my face, a breeze and the soft sounds of little wavelets collapsing on the shore. There was bird song and the sound of the wind and waves and for a while I allowed my mind to become totally quiet and drift away, just listening to those sounds. This is wonderful and the healing quality of such moments is very powerful. Those are the moments that I feel some peace inside of me, moments filled with reassuring peace and love and appreciation for this wonderful mistery of breathing and living. I hope, you can dream yourselves to these places and into these moments when looking at my pictures.

Winter Recedes, Spring Approaches


March 17, 2013

wesboundmusic

This excellent Teen Jazz Interview with Composer Andrew Balogh – YouTube. by Shannon Kennedy, who asked very intelligent questions, answered a lot of questions for me, which I wasn’t able to answer myself without going there and finding out and possibly falling on my ass. No need to do that any more. I now know without a doubt where I don’t stand and won’t stand any more in this life. Acceptance just took on a whole new meaning. Didn’t see this coming, but o.k. (I think).
I can subscribe to everything Shannon and Andrew say and that’s pretty much how I’ve operated myself many years ago – when the passion was there. It’s no longer there, I’m simply too frustrated with life in general and with how the business goes in particular. I just don’t wanna do it any more. Since I’m an “all or nothing at all” kinda…

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PHOENIX – Armageddon – The Longest Night

March 2, 2013

PHOENIX – Armageddon – Die längste Nacht.

An incredibly exciting docu piece on the global scenario after an asteroid hitting the earth. No, this isn’t going to be a very comfortable one.

However, I found the most impressive piece of info in a side aspect coming from scientists’ deliberation on criteria that decide which organisms have the best chances of survival after an impact and given the dramatic climate changes following it. They mentioned the wood frog, which is able to survive for up to eight months while being completely deep frozen! It owns this incredible ability due to the fact that its organism is capable of releasing an endogenous anti-freeze fluid from glucose and urea, which also prevents ice crystals from forming within body cells, so that contrary to the human organism there is no cellular – and irreversible – damage. Thus the frog can defrost without suffering any damage to its body! And during the deep freeze period, heart and blood circulation come to a complete halt so that there aren’t any detectable body functions during that time!

Apparently, cryopreservation draw from some of these findings, although there is currently no way to completely avoid cellular damage in the preserved body or organ.