My Diary

I've split my diary now to individual months - so - the default page will be the diary of the current month. Here are the links to the other entries so far:
October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010
May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009
November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009
May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008
November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008
May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007
November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007
May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006
November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006
May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005
November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005
May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004

September 26th

With a little help from my friends :-)
This was one of the many songs that Ulli, Klaus and the other members of "Soundhaufen" performed last night at the "Surprise-Welcome-Home-and-Birthday-Party". I keep smiling when I think about last nights events. Klemens organized a party. He did a pretty good job over the last couple of weeks to make me believe that it is going to be a small party with my closest friends in Gallneukirchen. He even sent me shopping for a six-pack of beer and 3 kaiser-rolls - which was a perfect final pitch from his side to keep up my believe that it is going to be a quite evening with a handful of friends. Long story short: When I drove to their place I saw the 15+ cars parked - including the car from my parents who played their role in this disguise pretty well as well :-). It was an evening with many friends that showed up, great food and drinks and a Live-Band - JUST AWESOME!!!
THANKS Klemens, Gabi, Doris, Robert, Sandro, Ulli, Klaus, Petra, Irene, Thomas, Didi, Sandra, Didi, Meli, Roman, Marion, Birgit, Mario, Hanna, Mom, Dad, my sister... and all the others. As I tried to say yesterday: It was a great experience in the US - and the decision for a continent was not easy - but - with friends and family like this I know that it was the right decision and I am happy to be back :-)
Now its time to get ready for SAMOS. Everything is packed - which is fortunately not a whole lot: 2 sets of underwear (one for the way to Samos and one for the way back), bathing suit (thats what we will wear 24/7 during our time on the boat), sandals, some shirts and a set of warm and water resistant cloths. Thats it - we guys dont need more for a week on a boat :-)
With that I end this entry and hope to have lots of great pictures in about 8 days. Here are some pictures from yesterdays party and my bike ride on friday which brought me to the GIS, Kirchschlag, Hellmonsoedt and Altenberg. SAMOS!!!
Enjoying a glass of Most at the GIS Restaurant We austrians like our dark bread with lots of toppings :-)
They are not dead - just relaxing: Happy Austrian Cows View from top of the GIS towards the Alps
Through the woods ... ... and along the fields
Somewhere near Altenberg with a view towards the industrial side of Linz From the same spot looking towards the Muehlviertel
"Soundhaufen" - great job guys!!! With Tom and Irene
Our band - ready for the groupies :-) Of course there was time for some Disco-Sam-Sas :-)

September 24th

Lots of lessons learned this week
I couldn't have picked a better week for moving back to Linz. The weather turned out to be perfect - cool nights - but pleasantly warm days with sunshine and temperatures above 20 degrees. Perfect for biking: I already made it to Gallneukirchen twice, once up to the Poestlingberg and today its time for the GIS. Seems that the weather is changing this weekend - which doesnt bother me that much as we are flying to Greece on sunday :-) - lucky me!!
Now - to the new lessons: My plans for making changes to my apartment become clearer. Instead of just the one change I had in mind (removing a wall to combine kitchen and dining room) - I may end up with a much bigger project: Redo the bathroom (replace the tub with a shower to get space for the gas-thermal-unit), adapt the kitchen (definitely need more space for cooking), remove the wall (as initially intended), redo the wooden floors, maybe take out another wall in the entrance area. Lots of possibilities. So I called a company to help me with that - in 2 weeks from now we will have our first meeting to figure out the details. In order to get started I had to get the original building plans of the apartment. That was my first lesson learned: Up to the Magistrat with a Vollmacht from my aunt to get access to these plans. I learned that - somewhen back in the days - there was a bomb damage to my building (scary thought).
My second lesson was much more fun (but also embarrassing): Living with a chef for almost 3 years you would think I know the basics of cooking. I picked this recipe on the web for singles. It is a german website. Germans have certain different words for things like ingredients than we austrian. The word in question on this recipe was Sahne which translates to Rahm or Obers in Austria. Well - I bought Rahm - but not the one I needed for this recipe. I picked Sauer-Rahm. I wasn't so sure about it when I bought it - so I asked the lady at the register whether this is what the germans call Sahne. Her response: Well - I am a woman - so I probably should know - but I have no clue :-). Long story short: the Garlic-Creme-Sauce didn't come out the way I hoped :-)
Other highlights in the last couple of days: Met Udo and his Julius (handed over a present from Stephan), met with my "former team" (Stoni, Lexx, Ulli) and explored the City of Linz with my bike. Its always amazing to bike through the narrow roads in parts of the city I am not too familiar with - many interesting buildings (and sometimes people) to see :-)
Whats coming up? Birthday party tonight, surprise party tomorrow, Munich and then SAMOS on sunday - and - we might be on the 19 Uhr Oberoesterreich Heute Show tonight (friday). While sitting at Klosterhof last night the ORF Filmcrew got some footage for a story tonight (watch out for a red BOSTON shirt) :-)
Getting ready for cooking dinner: my iPad gave me instructions :-) Almost came out the way it looked on the picture :-)
Another early morning shot of the danube Linzer Landhaus
With Udo and Julius - handing over his first Book about Beer :-) Danube upstream - taken from the Schlossberg
Pöstlingberg on top of the hill Danube downstream towards Urfahr and the Muehlviertel
I got the last Luitpold at Klosterhof for the season (kegs are empty now) Berner Wuerstel - simple - but good
Hauptplatz at Night Dreifaltigkeitssaeule on the Hauptplatz

September 22nd

Same Old - but Change is in the Air :-)
Its easy to come back to a place that hasen't changed a lot since I left. Family still loves me (at least I hope they are not just pretending :-)), riding the bike through the Muehlviertel is still awesome and my aunt Mitzi still has the same stories to tell :-)
But some change is in the air: Austrian Bars & Restaurant over a certain size have to have non-smoking and smoking areas. As for my salsa place on mondays - Remembar - it feels like a huge improvement (well - basically just the way salsa dancing is in the US) - you smell when you go home, but not because of the smoke ;-)
After living in the appartment (owned but not inhabited by my aunt) for more than 10 years now (excluding the time I spent in Boston) - it is finally time to make some changes here as well. Living in the house in Jamaica Plain gave me some ideas on what changes to make in order to make the appartment "more home". Its not going to be easy to make all these changes (space is limited and there are some things I need to negotiate with my aunt) - but I am getting there. First easy improvements have been made this week. Now its time to get some offers on ripping out a wall and adding a bar to the then combined kitchen and dining room.
I also started fixing some things in the appartment on my own - with the result that I almost flooded the bathroom :-) - it was a good lesson learned.
Time for pictures, more coffee, and then a bike ride to my parents - need to enjoy the beautiful weather as long as it lasts (winter is coming soon)
Stiegl in a Sam Adams Glass - perfect match :-) Cooking with my sister for our family reunion on sunday
Enjoying breakfast on the rooftops of Linz Disassembling furniture in order to move it around
The new bedroom The new living room - had to move the bed out of there
Hauptplatz in Linz with a new Art Installation part of Trienale Walking over the Nibelungenbridge
Danube with the Muehlviertel in the background Awesome view from Sandros Appartment - all the way to the Alps

September 18th

Dahoam is Dahoam (Home is Home)
Saying Good Bye is never easy - but it is easier when you know it is not a good bye forever. Even though I had to say good bye to Boston and all my friends there - I am sure I will be back to visit. Skype, facebook and this website also makes it easier to stay in touch and up-to-date.
On my last day in Boston is time to say farewell to the office. Lynne - one of my colleague - is mainly responsible for the nickname I had in the office: Stinky. Now - let me explain. I think it is because of me coming in sweaty and stinky in the morning after my bike commute. It may also have to do with my sandals that I wore in the office - maybe it was the believe that my socks were smelly and that this smell had an easy escape :-). To let my legacy live on I found the perfect present for Lynne: my bike shirt (of course not washed after my last ride in) :-). Easy to remember me know - just take a sniff on the shirt ;-)
For "Last Supper" with Stephan we had a great sandwich from ULA Cafe and a Julius Echter Weizenbier. After exchanging farewell presents (thanks Stephan - yours should help me in my role as US Beer Advocate) it was time to drive to the airport, have a final beer at the bar and then say Farewell.
Over the last years while traveling between the US and Europe I developed a routine when coming home. Thanks to my friends Barbara and Juergen I always get picked up by them - giving back my car that they took care of. On occassions more people show up to welcome me - such as parts of my family or friends such as Sandro. The routine continues with a drink at the airport and then driving back to my appartment where I am always welcomed by my aunt who is already anxiously waiting for my arrival. After hearing her latest stories its time to meet more friends - usually at a local bar. This time we met at an Irish Pub to watch our austrian soccer teams playing really bad against other european teams. Thanks to the jetlag I am usually pretty good with going out late on the first couple of nights. Thanks to Sandro we managed to hang out till 3:30 - hitting different bars and on our way home stopped at different food places to get great austrian fast food - which would be Leberkaessemmerl and Bosna :-)
Friday night was salsa night - first time back on the dancefloors in Linz :-). Today it was time to see my friends Irene and Thomas. Spent some hours helping them to move to their new appartment - and - first time for me to see her knowing that she is going to be a mom soon :-);
To complete a perfect home coming routing I had to take my bike out. I decided to ride it up to my parents place as I havent seen all of my family at the airport.
Now its time to say good night - kind of want to force myself to bed as it is going to be a long day with the family tomorrow - and - in the evening - time for a final meeting with my Sailing Crew: NEXT SUNDAY - ONE WEEK SAILING IN SAMOS (GREECE). Adios
Leftover: beer shopping for the farewell party Leftover: birthday cake in the office for Gerry and Me
Touchdown Munich at 10AM - time for a beer Enjoying an evening with my friends Didi, Didi and Sandro

September 13th

It still hasn't kicked in
Less then 48 hours left - and it still doesn't feel like it is really going to happen. Probably because I've moved back and forth so many times and I kind of got used to saying good bye and hello again.
Nevertheless there have been more good byes and more of the "Last Timers". Its been the last time to go Salsa Dancing at Havana Club. The last time going to the Tavern after Salsa to hang out for one more hour before the bars close at 2AM. The last time going to see a movie with Stephan - we went to see The American. It was definitely not the movie I expected based on the previews. But - I have to admit that I liked it. I felt like an independant european movie - with George Clooney in it :-)
It was the last time at the Milky Way - which is the bar that has become "our neighborhood" bar here in Jamaica Plain.
Its been the 3rd but also last time to participate in the Alyssa E. Correira charity road race. Just as we did the previous two years we got up early sunday morning (6:30AM) to drive down to Bristol, Rhode Island. The race started at 9AM and went over a distance of 5km. Not that long, but, after only 3.5 hours of sleep and with nothing else than 3 cups of coffee and half a donut it was harder than expected. It is of course not about winning - it is about the good cause and about raising money. After finishing in the Top 3 last year I hoped to do the same this year - and - I succeeded :-)
Tonight it was time to say Thank You to my colleagues. Went out to Joe Sent Me in Waltham and hung out for a couple of beers. Thanks for the more than 2 years with you.
Time for some pictures and time to say good night.
Before the race After the race with Sharon (a close friend and organizer of this event)
Won two medals and a basket full with wine :-) The Latin Quarter Pizza at the Milky Way - yummie
With our bar tenders - will miss you Finally some Caipirinhas in our house - first one this season

September 11th

9/11 - a day to remember - a day to say good bye to more friends
9 years since this tragic event that changed and shaped our world. Thats all there is to say - lets hope people set aside their problems and instead of doing stupid things (like burning books) - use their energy to create instead of destroy.
Friday night was the last time for me to go to Christophers. Stephan and Chez joined me for Nachos (as you can see - they still dont look good on a photo - but taste sooo goood :-) ). After Christophers we stopped by at the Culinary School to say good bye to Ramsey - he just finished teaching a class and let us try some desert that his class made - yummie.
Friday night is also Havana Club night. Really busy this time with several friends of mine who showed up to get a final dance with me and to get a farewell drink in the Tavern after dancing. Thanks for showing up: Incanc, Joanna, Raj, Bobby, Lena, ...
I've been asked multiple times if I have already packed and whether I am ready to go. Well - to be honest. There was not a whole lot of time to think about the whole moving home yet - its been very busy. I try to do some "test packing" on sunday night. My plan is to get everything in my two bags - the same two bags I used when moving in 26 months ago.
Time for pictures and time to get ready for a sunny saturday afternoon, another night at Havana (my real last one), the charity race in Rhode Island tomorrow and - I am sure there will be lots of other stuff to do to. Bis bald
Assorted Nachos at Christophers - try it if you ever get the chance Chez and Stephan checking out the work of Ramsey
The birthday boy in the middle One of the few pictures with Raj where he does not close his eyes :-)
Incanc - remember the great talks we had Thanks friends

September 8th

Always look on the bright side of life - makes it easier to get through the rough days
Waking up after 4 hours of sleep, with a sore throat, 30 minutes to get ready to get on the road, bad traffic due to rain, computer problems before a client meeting and lots of other stuff that happened today. The best way of dealing with it is to just look at the bright side :-) - its going to be a sunny day tomorrow and I can ride my bike to work - yippie yeah :-)
After saying farewell to my friends who made it to our labor day party on sunday it was time to say good bye to more people on monday evening (last time pub trivia for me at Johnny D's) and on tuesday evening at Ryles. One more week to go - but its still so far away - thanks to work who keeps me so busy that I dont have the time to even think about moving home (is that good or bad - I dunno)
On monday it was also time to say farewell to Sarah who moved back to Illinois after spending the last couple of years in Boston. She also "celebrated" her farewell at the party as we do share many of our salsa friends. At the final good bye on monday she showed up with a nice sweet treat that made saying good bye a little easier (check out the picture below). Have a good trip home and a great trip through Europe!!
Last week I was reminded about some of the struggles I had in the beginning when I moved in. I was reminded about it because Alois, who just moved to San Francisco, ran into some of the issues I ran into. We both figured out the hard way that it is not easy to get things done without a social security number or with a non american credit card. If anyone wants advice on this let me know.
Now its time for me and my iPad to walk upstairs on the 3rd floor - need to enjoy the remaining evenings hanging out on the couch watching 2 1/2 men, my old house and other shows. Gute Nacht
My british friend Warren who I just learned is producing great music My home office environment: iPad, iPhone and my new Dell
Mikes Pastry - really good Italian pastry Leftover from a night at the tavern with Paul and Ardy

September 6th

Farewell - Labor Day Party
Thanks to all my friends who could make it to our Labor Day/Farewell Party. We started at noon on saturday with the finaly preparations. I think we finished at 1 or 2AM (based on what I've been told).
We had great food, great weather, good conversations and some salsa dancing. As my body and mind is still a bit slow today I keep this entry short and just say THANK YOU BOSTON. Here are some pictures
Grilling the salmon for the salmon-pasta salad First guests getting their first round of hot dogs and salad
Sarah and Stephan - two of my most important people in Boston Enjoying the late afternoon sun: Chez, Sarah and David
We also invited our friends Sam, Sam & Sam :-) The later the evening the bigger the crowd
Good bye Birdie Good bye Nate
Barefood salsa on the patio - great for the feet :-) Chez
Yes - there was food And we also had to bring out the Schnaps
With our neighbor John With Ardy and Stephen
Sarah and David Eventually the party moved indoors

September 4th

A tribute to my bike - and - Where was Earl?
I little over 2 years ago I walked to the local bike shop on Porter Square to get a new bike. I just moved back to Boston and thought I am only going to stay for 6 months. I didnt want to spend too much money on it and therefore would have gone with the cheapest option. Stephan convinced me to put a bit more down becuase "you never know how long you really need it" - SMART ADVICE!! 2 years later I am happy that I spent $300 (still cheap but not too cheap). Today I went out to a ride with Eric - biking through the Blue Hills. We did this once last year and back then I was surprised how well my bike did on those mountainbike trails. Same today - Job well done :-) No rock was too big, no trail to steep. On my way to the Blue Hills I also crossed another milestone in terms of mileage on the bike: 6000km (~3700miles) in the past 2 years. I biked most of it on my way to work and therefore saved a lot of gas and it allowed me to stay fit while drinking all this beer in the evenings :-)
The other "big event" - at least according to the Storm Team of News Center 5 - was Hurricane Earl. Thanks to the news station we knew that there was a hurricane - fortunately for us here in Boston we only got a little bit of rain - that was all. It all happened last night with bands of rain coming through. Today in the morning - all sunshine and very comfortable temperatures - just perfect.
Tomorrow its time to say farewell. We are hosting another Labor Day Party (Labor Day is the holiday on monday). It is going to be the last big event and the last time I am going to see many of my friends here all together. Looking forward to it. Stephan already did his magic in the kitchen today to get everything ready. I did my magic in the liquor store :-)
Happy Labor Day Weekend - and to my salsa friends who made it to the New York Salsa Congress: Enjoy the time in the big apple - you will miss a party here in Boston but I hope to see you once more on the dancefloor next weekend @ Havana Club.
What a good bike Exhausted but happy after our ride