Category: Life in General


If you ever get a chance to sit down and read a very off-color, but at the same time inspiring and uniquely honest book, read this one for sure.  I don’t even read.  Ok, let me rephrase that.  I hardly read.  If I do read, you can best bet it’s not a book my teacher tells me to read.  I absolutely hate reading a book that is assigned (with the exception going to Catcher in the Rye), and that completely turned me off to literature.

Then today in between classes I went out for some me-time and drove out in the countryside, and then I stopped at the library to grab a book on photography.  On my way to the check-out queue,  I saw a yellow book!  Then I noticed it was in the subject area that I prefer the most-travel tales.  And me being me, I grabbed the book, read the back and ran with it.

Why not? Heck, it’s good to sit down, get your mind away from twitter, facebook, gmail, and all those electronically mind-numbing creations which keep you tied down to your notebook PC.  That god damn notebook PC… Oh how I wish you were screwed to my desk.  “Portable” is the worst invention in this case, because you can take it wherever you go, wherever you feel the most comfortable while being lazy.

Sadly, this is not a rag ‘n rant on that, but rather an epiphany.  I’m going to read this book, and I’m going to read another one after.  Which one? Dunno yet.  Suggest one to me, I dare you.  Heck, I might even attempt getting back into shape…!

But this book is a good one, that’s for sure.  And I’m only on page 15.  It’s the stories of a man who was not allowed to write what he wanted to write, as a travel writer.  He has to write what makes travel look like its meant to be traveled.  He “wanted to write about travel the way [he] experienced it, not the way the travel business wants readers, wants you, to imagine it is.  The presumption that readers have the intellectual curiosity of a squirrel monkey and the moral range of an Amish yam farmer has worn thin.  This book is a small effort to correct the travel industry’s bias against candor and honesty.  Or at least a way to pay it back for both the good times and the trouble it’s given [him].”

And with that, my friends, I’m out.  I’m actually going to step away from my computer, and have myself a nice read.  Heck, I might even make a cup of hot cocoa or tea.  You never know…

Advertisements

So two posts in one day… this is number two. (see: number one, Photoooography)


Hmm, what else happened this week.  Oh yeah, yesterday!  Two words:  car accident.  And a pretty brutal one at that…

After school yesterday I took the motorway over to rt 22 and got off at the 15th Street exit, towards Allentown, and got off at Fairmont Avenue, because I was driving to Dan’s Camera City to get some film for my new camera.  On my way out, I decided I would turn left and go down 15th Street into downtown Allentown to go to the library and take out some books.  I approached the stop sign, and all was well.  Though there was heavy traffic, I deemed clear to go, if I hurried… It was pissing rain out, so obviously my car tires didn’t react right away to my accelerating, so that probably didn’t help much to my situation.  All of a sudden, in the middle of the street, WHAM.  Damn! What happened?! I was stopped, in the middle of a busy busy and very wide intersection!  All I see is clouds of smoke everywhere.  My first instinct was to get out of the car ASAP, smoke could mean fire!  After coming out of the shock, I start moving trying to get out of the car.  then I realize, hmm it might be helpful to put the car in park and turn it off… so I went back to my seat and threw it in “P” and switched the car off (Though I’m sure it was already off because of the impact…)

I climbed over the console and scratched my way out of the passenger side door… I immediately ran over to the second car, the one who T-boned me in the driver’s side, to make sure all was ok.  The driver’s steering wheel airbag deployed, his nose was gushing blood.  I didn’t have a cellphone, so I had no way of calling 911 nor could I call my mother.  Thank goodness for the Good Samaritan who was trying to turn left onto Fairmont, the street I was coming from, as she parked her car in the middle of the road and came out to help us, when everyone else was just passing by not even slowing down.  She called 911 and let me use her phone.  We got the driver napkins and tried stopping the bleeding until the ambulance arrived.  Took forever, considering we were at 15th St and the hospital was at 17th & Chew, not too far away.  But when they finally came, the firetruck accompanied.  They took the driver away, but he could walk to the ambulance.  I told them I was fine and didn’t want to go to the hospital (which I will later find out was stupid of me, because obviously I wouldn’t’ve had to wait in the ER later if I just went in on the ambulance…)

Then the cop came.  I don’t even recall him even asking me if I was at least ok… he just asked what happened.. I said, Well, I turned left and got struck.  That’s all I said… He then asked me for my name, number, birthdate, insurance stuff and that was bascially it… since the driver of the other car was already taken away on the ambulance, the cop couldn’t get his statement until he went to the hospital.  In the mean time, the passenger who I haven’t mentioned yet, of the other car, was in the back seat.  When my mother with my brother arrived, they noticed that the passenger int he back seat seemed to be rummaging through the car.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he vanished.  Simply vanished.  Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. He simply fled!

Which brings me to the next point:  for those of you who weren’t aware, yesterday was 4/20.  This day has long been recognized among teenagers as “National Pot Day” (Obviously, in this case, pot meaning marijuana)  When I saw the driver the first time, after getting out of my car, I had noticed the guys eyes were pretty darn red.  Later I found out from a nurse friend of ours, that it is POSSIBLE the redness was from the airbag dust… but the fact that the passenger was rummaging through the car and then simply fled, that makes me even more suspicious that pot could’ve been involved.  What pissed me off though, was the fact that the cop had no interest in the fact that there was indeed another passenger and that he fled… So later that night I spent time on the phone making calls to the Headquarters of the Allentown Police trying to pass along the message that I had more information on the accident… I have yet to hear from them.

So from an Insurance Agency’s point of view, I think I seem to be at fault, since I was at a stopsign and pulled out into moving traffic… But speeding was definitely a factor, and I don’t believe the dude had his headlights on, and since it was pissing out he should have had them on.  If he was under the influence of marijuana, that’ll definitely help my case… but I doubt we will ever know.

Thank goodness this kind lady stopped to help… she was so sweet, she told me “I have a 17 year old son, and if this had happened to him, I would hope someone would stop to help them too…” She let me sit in her car, even th ough I was drenched, because it was pouring out… Later that night, since I used her cell to call my moms cell, I had her number so I called her to thank her for helping, though she didn’t pick up-I just left her a voicemail.

I went home and changed and then we went to the hospital anyway just to double check that I was ok, and for insurance reporting reasons… I got the whole neckbrace treatment, then once they found out I was T-boned instead of simply rearended or something, they threw me in a wheelchair and gave me a little more priority… Turns out no bones were broken or anything, but I would definitely be sore.

I learned that I am very lucky for being in a Volvo.  Volvos for life, that’s how the saying goes… And there’s another saying, something about Volvo’s being like tanks… Everyone told me that I’m lucky that I was in a Volvo, otherwise I would’ve been severely injured… I didn’t even know I HAD side airbags until today, and thank god I did!

So today I got a phonecall from insurance, today I will have to pick up my incident report at the HQ, and today I made some phonecalls trying to suggest or complain or recommend, I don’t knwo what you’d call it, that someone install a traffic signal at that intersection… You can tell it’s a bad intersection, and its on a bit of an incline AND a curve so obviously it’s hard to see oncoming traffic.

I was driving on the blue path, he was going north on 15th St.

I was driving on the blue path, he was going north on 15th St.

So yeah, I’m just sore with a really stiff neck and hobbling around doped up on painkillers, but I’ll be ok… let’s see what happens with insurance…

T-boned.

T-boned.

T-boned II

T-boned II

On a much brighter note, I completed my video [http://vimeo.com/4172284]  on NYC, and speaking of, another trip is in my future because TODAY I GOT THE PHONECALL FROM THE GERMAN EMBASSY, I WAS AWARDED MY RESIDENCE/WORK PERMIT!! So I’m just waiting for a document in the mail and then it’s all A-OK to go up to Manhattan and pick up my visa! That should happen next week or so!! So more on that when I get it…

-Zac.

Vending Machine Mishaps

Vending Machine Mishaps

Today is a short post.  Why? Because I’ve had a long day!  Distractions keeping me from doing homework, that’s the main culprit!  Mostly it’s the internet, it really gets addicting.  Finding new stuff is so, well, exhilarating!  From following the winning agents of the Ford Fiesta Movement (see this article to watch some video footage of the NYC’s Times Square kick-off event) to apartment searching, from website designing to job searching.  From randomly stumbling across a random website where you just talk with strangers, to well… porn.  (joking)   What else have I found on the internet?  Ah, it’s too late in the evening to be able to recall it all…

Another big event happening in the past few days, well, put it this way.  It’s April, right?  April 8th, 2009 to be exact.  Well past the beginning of spring.  WHY IS IT SNOWING.  Did someone forget to tell the North East Corridor that it’s SPRING already!?

As said on my last post, I took film clippings while in NYC the last time, and I am teaching myself Final Cut Pro by trial-and-error, and am making a short video about NYC.  And I started it today in the Mac-Lab on campus, and it’s already almost done! It should be up by Monday, when all goes as planned.

And today, one of my biggest fears has indeed happened to me!  What is one of my biggest fears?  Well, it’s a quite dorky one, actually.  And it is when (SHIT! BEN JUST KILLED CAESAR!) <<sorry, I’m typing this while watching LOST!>> your snacking attempts fail.  That’s right.  When you go to a vending machine, there is so much suspense embedded in that simple action, the action of inserting your money in the vending machine, pressing the buttons to retrieve whatever item you are seeking, and the action of that sought-after item being released to your grasp.  How many times does this sequence actually fail?? Well, to me, twice, in one day.  I went to the soda machine, $.75 canned soda, it ate my money and wouldn’t a) register it on the screen, or b) give it back.  Then, I went to the snack machine, and my doritos got stuck.  My $1.00 Doritos.  I had to put in another $1.00 just to get them (because the machine was too wedged in the corner to be able to shake it up)… I could’ve gone to the admin and gotten a refund, but I’d’ve been late to my class.

Can you believe that? I really do hate vending machines, because of that suspense, that 5 seconds while the machine is vending. And it happened to me, twice. Watch how long it takes me to use a machine like that again…

Finally, tonight is a LOST night.  The only way to end a could’ve-been-better-day.

fish

Well, this one goes out to a friend of mine, Chris S.  As all great writers/bloggers occasionally suffer from, (wink wink I’m a great blogger, no bragging intended :P) I have writer’s block at the moment… so I asked him what I should write about… and he said:

Chris does totally amazing art.  The end.

So, in order to preserve his already enlarged ego, (just messin’), but maybe to prevent any further enlargement, I merely dedicate this post to him.  But it really is an amazing photo, and down below is a drawing also from him.  Not only am I jealous of his and everyone else’s abilities, but it just makes me wanna go that extra mile myself to try to teach myself more about that kind of stuff.  Kinda like an inspiration…

So what can you expect from me in the coming weeks?  More travel tips, more rambling about my past trips to Germany, and I want to dedicate a post to all the blogs that I personally follow AKA Stalk and check everyday 😛  So take this post as a message from me, perhaps a warning, that I will be back to a more frequent blogging-mode.

…so keep reading, keep commenting, and keep passing my link onwards!

Here’s to what life has yet to bring, everything that happens that wasn’t expected, to great artists and photographers, and to those who really know what they want in life! (a random collection of what was currently going through my mind! Hey, isn’t that what blogging is all about in the end??)

-ps-expect a full report on my upcoming trip back to Gotham, Friday April 3rd!

“Happiness is like peeing your pants.  Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.


Contract

It’s arrived!! The few leafs of paper which I have been waiting for 3 weeks to get here–my Ausbildungsvertrag.  (internship-thing contract).

Within the envelope and clump of A4-format papers lies the most important information of the year thus far.  When I start, where I’ll go to school, how much I’ll earn, how many vacation days I get, etc etc.

I know I really haven’t mentioned a whole lot about this on my site, because I was mainly trying to catch up my life in pictures until present, but I’ll fill y’all in:

I’m moving to Germany in the summer (which I believe has come up several times in the site) but when I get there, a job awaits me, along with some additional schooling. I accepted an offer of a lifetime.  Ausbildung.  I will work as a Hotelfachmann in a hotel, in the Mercure Hotel Köln Junkersdorf.  3 years, and paid.  Over those 3 years I will be placed in different environments throughout the hotel–reception, event planning, housekeeping, kitchen, restaurant, banquets, payroll, personnel, etc.  And during those 3 years I will attend, on a block schedule, Berufskolleg Ehrenfeld, where at the end, I will get a certificate.

So that’s that in a nutshell.  Just call it the opportunity of a lifetime.  And it’s all happening, for real.

This is reallllllly happening, and I can’t believe it!! It’s so surreal!!

Mommy look!

So, when I experience something funny at work, (i.e. the pretzels and ice cream scenario) I post it here.

Few days ago, a kid sits on those electric wheel chairs for handicapped/elderly etc etc, and screams outloud,

“mommy, look! im an old lady”

that’s pretty much all it was, and it was very funny.  So, as a picture is a must at my blog, I decided to just draw it myself, which was also done at work.

Boy, I love using company time.

-Zac

Pretzels and Ice Cream

Dear gang, it appears I am indeed not the only ‘crazy’ person out there, who enjoys dipping their pretzels in a nice smooth, savory bowl of mouth-watering ice cream delight.  Here’s the scoop:

At work today, someone came through my checkout with two things.  Ice Cream, and a bag of pretzels.  Then, me being me, and how I am, I obviously had to ask them if they were going to be eaten together.  Boy oh boy you should’ve seen the look on their face!  Priceless.  Absolutely priceless.  Then I had to explain that that is how I eat it, dip the pretzels in ice cream.  Thats what my mom does, thats what my grandma does, thats simply what was passed down, I guess.

So then, once again, me being me, I obviously had to ask other customers if they have ever heard of this practice.  So I asked the customer in the lane behind me.  ‘Ma’am, have you ever heard of dipping your pretzels in your ice cream?’ ‘Uh, no??’ Ok, so fine, she also hadn’t heard of it.. But its more of how her children reacted when they heard the question.  They bursted out:

EWWW EWWW EWWW THATS SOOO GROSS, THATS SO DISGUSTING WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING??

and so it went on for actually quite a while.  Ok, yea, maybe like 30 seconds or so, but considering all things relative, pretty long time.  Then I asked this child, who is like 9 years old, what his favorite food is. Answer:

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

What kind of kid likes brussel sprouts???  But nevertheless, this kid and his brother were going on and on and on and on for the rest of the duration of their order.  GROSS.  GROSS.  GROSS.

Have you ever heard of this?

So that was the extent of my extremely interesting day.  See? I did tell you my life is pretty boring.

I google-d this technique, dipping your pretzels in your ice cream, and I found this on the NY Times’s website:

“To the Editor: In reading your article on salt, one gets the idea that sweet and salt together as a dessert is something new. My husband and I were school kids in Philadelphia in the 30’s, and often enjoyed ice cream served with a dish of salted pretzels. It’s a delicious combination.

RUTH RUTENBERG
North Plainfield, N.J.”

See? Not the only one.

May I add one last time:  Me being me, I continued asking other customers.  Most of them came to the conclusion that no, they had never heard of it, but they’d be darn willing to try it.

Moral of the story, you shouldn’t say you don’t like something until you’ve tried it atleast one time.


roxane in the phonebooth!

I’d just like to take this time to tell you that my life is boring.  But only right now, is it boring.  Why? Because it’s 11:55 pm, my dad is on the downstairs computer filing taxes, while I should be doing my homework.  But, thanks to Microsoft, my free trial of Office-the one you get with a new computer-has expired, and I am too lazy to download the illegal one , err I mean throw away my hard-earned greenbacks down the toilet, so Im upstairs on my computer , well, just basically explaining to you why my life is boring.

But that’s not to say when my pop is done on the computer and I can use Microsoft Word, that my life will be instantaneously more exciting, because that’s not true!  Why is my life boring? Well, I wake up, shower, check my email and my facebook, maybe chat with some friends, brush my teeth, and if its a monday or wednesday, I go to class.  If its any of the other 5 days of the week, I’m most likely getting ready to go to work.  Work, I work at the Giant in Trexlertown, but as my great finnish friend Mira calls it, the catmeat market.  (Don’t ask.)

But maybe one can contradict that statement, that just going to work is boring.  When in reality, Giant keeps me on my toes.  Especially days like today, when I was working U-Scan, the self-checkout section.  I experienced just about every kind of person you can think of, nice, fat, old, bitchy, quiet, rambunctious, sweet, dynamic, who knows, whatever adjective you can think of.  But this one lady really got my attention.  She was freaking out at me, why me? who knows.  Well, she was dissatisfied because the tomatoes were under the menu-heading Fruit instead of Vegetables , or was it the other way around, who cares… anyway, this is hardly a reason to get worked up over…

Another lady comes in with her kids,  and tells me she has never seen me before… C’mon, I hardly mean to be egotistical, but, I work usually 6 of the 7 days in the week, and I’ve seen this lady and her kids before.  She had the guts to tell me that I never am cashier on the front end…

And the one man comes up with glazed-over eyes and asks where he put his bread.  I have no clue sir?  Where did you last see it? Let’s sit down, and try to re-trace your last few steps… Ok, you picked up the tomato sauce, then you went a few aisles down and got some toothpaste.  Did you maybe leave it with the toothpaste and dental floss?

See? boring.  I tried livening up the post with some things I experienced today, but it didn’t cut it.

But what does cut it, is right now my wordpress , where I am typing this right now, said for some reason the “didn’t” in the sentence above this one was spelled wrong, so I right clicked, and the first spelling suggestion to come up was dildo. Wow.

I rarely hang out with friends, and I actually rarely watch TV.  But yet somehow I have come to the conclusion that there are not enough days in the week, to get things done.  But that’s just because I always spend whatever free time I do have, on the computer.

You’re probably bored just reading this.  That’s just because you are vicariously experiencing my life, through my blog post.  But I just hope that all my other posts are not as boring as this one!  Hence my title, contributed and quoted from Ms Emily Buck.  (thanks emily!)  My life is boring, so I’m just gonna reminisce about when it wasn’t.


So, lemme tell you know about this little cutie in the picture above, her name is Roxane, and she is the little girl of Brit and Eric, and sister of Johan!  Who are these people? Well, they are the french family friends of Tine (remember her from previous posts?) and her family.  And they lived with us while I lived with Tine, and together, we traversed the great vast lands of Nordrhein-Westfalen (one of the 16 Bundesländer (states) of Germany).  This picture was taken at a Dinosaur zoo type museum park thing.