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:
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

November 30th

It took us a while - but we finished the painting. Got up at 8 - started painting at 8:30 and finished at around 1:30PM. So in total we had about 13 hours for painting the living room - the hallway and the kitchen. The final result is nice - everything is white were it used to be green.
Now its 3PM - finished the cleanup. I was supposed to pick Jessica up at 5 but here plane got delayed till 1AM - bummer. Well - gives me more time to do other stuff - whatever that will be.
Before I start just writing something to add more text to this entry I better stop and present the latest pictures of today.
Bye bye
Sitting on the fine dining chair - painting the hallway This is the final brush - finally done!
Now this wall is finally really white That was the nasty part - the doors and all the edges
Our "home office" And the finished hallway

November 29th

What a day. Well - lets wind back to yesterday night. My original plan was to go salsa dancing at night. At around 8:30 I decided to take a short nap. At 11 - thats when I woke up again - I decided that its better to stay in bed (after looking into the mirror - I really looked like I needed the sleep).
The good thing about getting to bed early is that you are fully energized in the morning. So I got up at 7:30 and enjoyed a good 1.5 hours run through Cambridge. When I came back it was just time for coffee (9AM) and then the "real" fun started. Painting the appartment. I started with the primar. This should help to block the green color that we had before. I thought that this should be an easy job and that I am done after a couple of hours. Well - 8 hours later - I finished putting up the primar. While doing that Stephan got all things arranged and bought that we need for the 3rd floor in the new house.
We finished the day - as usual - at Christohpers: Burger and Beer - yeah baby :-)
Now its really time for salsa - it will be my last Havanna Club night for a while as I will be home in Linz next weekend.
The plan for tomorrow: Getting the real color on the wall in the morning - soccer from 12 to 2 - picking up Jessica and Lydia at the aiport at 5.
Thats it - here are some pictures from today
Our message exchange: no coffee grinding before 9AM :-) Getting the edges taped
Painting the bottom edges Painting the top edges
The same wall - a couple of hours later Stephan opening the cable hole that I accidently closed

November 28th

Hauling lessons learned!!
Today was the day where we moved most of the furnitures from our appartment to the new house. Got up early (well - kind of early - 8AM or so). Drove to UHaul to pick up one of their trucks. Stephan drove it back to the appartment - I parked it on the street. Never having to deal with such a high vehicle I only looked in the rear view mirrors to check if I am not hitting any other cars or maybe the sidewalk - which I didnt do. But it seems I slightly "kissed" the tree :-) - but nothing happened
We got packed the stuff in about an hour - with some help of a guy from school. Then it was time to drive over. This time I drove the truck. I thought I am pretty smart and chose a new route via Storrow Drive. As I was driving on Storrow - getting closer to Brookline I saw this sign on the road saying: "Bridge coming up - 10' clearance". In the same second I looked at my left side mirror which showed a label on the left side of the truck saying: "Clearance 11ft". Well - I did the math pretty quickly - and the result was not a bit shocking. At least my heartrate went up and the adrenaline came in. And - there it was - the bridge. I tried to slow down as good as possible. Having a lot of traffic behind me I didnt want to fully jump on the breaks and cause problems. I finally decided to just go for it and drive under the bridge with about 30 miles. Lesson learned: either the signs on the road or the label on the truck is wrong. Whichever is wrong - THANK YOU for being wrong!! Made it under the bridge without a problem.
When I arrived at the house Stephan opened the back of the truck. Next lesson learned: always make sure that you DO NOT HAVE MOVING PARTS. We had one closet that made it all the way through the truck - luckily it only smashed the glass of one picture. Other than that it caused no damage.
Unloading was pretty fast - no incidents while doing that. Then I drove back the truck to UHaul to return it. Of course I forgot to fill up the gas tank. But - smiling and not mentioning it helped - no extra charge :-)
On the way back we stopped at Crate & Barrel where we found a sofa for the 3rd floor.
Coming back into the appartment gave both of us an odd feeling. There is just not much left - except a table - two stools - and a matraze where I can sleep one.
Ok - enough with the stories. Time for getting a haircut. I was kindly reminded by a friend from home that I really look lovely in those pictures with Jessica - but that it is really time for a haircut :-)
bye bye
Collateral Damage - fortunately it was only the glass that was broken Should have read the sign before I went on to Storrow Drive
Empty living room in the appartment Not a whole lot left in my bedroom

November 27th

How we spend THANKSGIVING? Moving to JP
Its Thanksgiving - one of the biggest holidays here in the states. Its celebrated on the forth thursday in November - not like other parts in the world where it is celebrated in October.
Its really interesting. People tend to visit their parents over the extended Thanksgiving weekend. As most people are at home having turkey and cake and as most businesses are closed today - the typical busy american town/city turns into a quite place. For me it feels like a typical sunday at home (Austria) where shops are closed and there is just not a whole lot going on.
Stephan and I of course had non typical thankgsgiving plans. Well - we started traditionally. Actually already last night. I had a Turkey Burger at Christophers and later we had Egg Nog (with a special shot) at home. In the morning we started with Pumpkin Cake and Coffee while packing more stuff to move over to JP. At noon it was time to pick up "Bernice" (check out the pictures below and you will know whom I am talking about). In the afternoon we hauled 4 more boxes and some artwork over - stopping at City Feed for a Turkey Sandwich.
After we finished unpacking the new stuff we fixed the new mail box on the outside wall and tested the jets in the bath tub on the 2nd floor - they work great :-)
Now its time to enjoy the evening. Seems we are going to see the new Bond movie.
Tomorrow is going to be day we move the heavy furniture over. After that - the only things that remain in the appartment will be a table - 2 chairs and our beds. All of that will be moved somewhen in december when we got hooked up with internet and when the 3rd floor has been finished by the contractor.
But enough of my stories now. Here are some pictures. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
Monday night at Christohpers with Jessica Eggnog with a shot Bourbon
Packing boxes in the morning Pumpkin Pie
Moving is exhausting :-) Thats Bernice - she is a good girl :-)

November 25th

What happens when the bus doesnt show up?
I asked myself this question at 7:10PM when waiting for my 6:40PM shuttle bus (which is the last of the day) that was supposed to bring me from the office to Alewife. Fortunately I was not alone - another guy was waiting as well and therefore it was easier because we shared the pain. At 7:15PM the bus finally arrived - yahooo :-)
Last night I introduced Jessica to the very basics of Christophers cousine: This includes Julius Echter and Assorted Nachos. She likes both :-). We also figured out that two beers are probably enough for her :-)
Below are some pictures of a party that we have been invited over last saturday. Most of these guys/girls are her friends from the University.
Now its time for salsa dancing and then I there is only one day left before Thanksgiving.
bye bye
Party Pic#1 Party Pic#2
Party Pic#3 Party Pic#4 (look at all these tatoos)
Party Pic#5 Party Pic#6
Party Pic#7 Party Pic#8

November 23rd

Another weekend of Moving to JP
Its been another weekend of lots of moving - basically moving boxes from Cambridge to JP (=Jamaica Plain). Thanks to Jessica for giving us her car we could haul many more boxes to JP than we would have been able to using Stephan's car. Slowly but steady our appartment gets emptied out and the more and more stuff is piled up in the new place - as you can see from the pictures below.
Whats the plan for the week? Work from monday to wednesday - Thanks Giving weekend from thursday to sunday. Stephan ordered a big U-Haul truck on friday - thats when we get most of the furniture moved - with the exceptions of our beds and probably a table. As it may take a couple of weeks to get cable access in JP we want to stay in Cambridge till that is done - because - you know - life without internet is kind of odd :-) (sorry - but true)
Thats it. Time for Christohpers
Tile Shopping in the Tile Showroom in Watertown Sandwiches for Lunch on a provisionary table
Lots of boxes in the new basement And boxes in the appartment - ready to be moved

November 22nd

Early Saturday Morning
Oops - its been a while since my last update. As it is early saturday morning and I am waiting for the coffee to finish I take a time to fill you in in the last days.
The pictures below are from a special night at Evoo Restaurant. One of the ladies who is doing a chef program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts cooked a nice 3 course dinner for the regular restaurant guests.
Besides that event I was busy at work and busy at the dance floors throughout the week. Now its saturday morning. Just dropped of Jessica and Lydia at the airport heading south west. After breakfast its time again for Jamaica Plain. We need to get the living room cleared out a bit so that we can haul in the stuff from our appartment next weekend.
I think thats it. The big thing next week is Thanksgiving. Its one of the biggest holidays here in the states. Thursday is off and usually people also take fridays off - giving you a nice 4 day weekend. And - guess what - in only two weeks from now I will head back to Linz for 2 weeks of work in the Linz office. Looking forward to it.
Thats the update. bye bye
Entree #1 Entree #2
#Desert #1 The menu

November 18th - 2nd Entry

Its all about Service
Its just different here in the United States - its all about service - and I really like it. So I had my flat tire on my bike. I got home earlier today to get it fixed. I hoped to get it fixed within a day. So I took the bike to the bike shop. Before I could even say a think my bike was already fixed - it was amazing! It did not only take 5 minutes to get my rear tire fixed - yahooo. So I am good for a bike ride tomorrow in really cold conditions - right now its about 2 or 3 below ZERO - brrrrr.
Besides my "bike adventures" I had a great evening with some of my former colleagues from my old company. Its been great seeing them again. As we had a couple of beers I wanna make this entry short - dont wanna write bullshit here :-)
Mike and Steve Mike, Russel and Steve

November 18th

out of air
Just a quick note today - well - probably there will be an addition later tonight after my "Segue-Reunion" meeting at Christophers.
Yesterday morning I hoped on my bike as usual - it was pretty chilly outside - just a bit above freezing. The first kilometer was horrible - for whatever reason it seems that riding the bike was so much more exhausting than the weeks before - maybe because of the soccer match on sunday? I thought - well - maybe its getting better. Unfortunately it didnt - so I really struggled with the remaining 16km. Arriving at the office I figured out why it was harder than usual: there was just not a lot of air in my rear tire and for whatever reason I didnt realize that earlier.
So on my way home I got it pumped up - they charged me 75c at a gas station to get air - and then I was "flying" home. Today in the morning I hoped that everything will be fine again - but no way - the tire is totally flat now :-(. I know - this story is not really interesting - but it was on my mind - so I thought I may just write it down.
So I took the bus to work. Hopefully I get back early tonight so that I can the bike fixed before heading out to Christophers. Seems the weather will be fine the next days. With fine I mean its sunny and dry - but actually its going to be VERY VERY COLD.

November 16th

Day 3 of Moving
Well - what an interesting day on the road. Stephan and I shared our frustration about spending 90% of our afternoon time in the car - instead of getting things done. How come? Well - big city traffic is not always running smooth - even though it was a sunday. Then we had to drive from one end of the town to the other because we didn't got the stuff we hoped to get at Home Depot. In the end though we got our additional shelves so that Stephan can start arranging his kitchen equipment in the basement.
Before this "Day 3 of Moving" I had my regular sunday soccer game. Due to a cold front that came in last night it was much colder than I hoped. The hot shower afterwards felt like ice pickels on my skin - brrrr.
After our "Day 3 of Moving" I went to a Dinner/Birthday Party hosted by Christina. She made a delicious Paella followed by birthday cake.
Looking ahead to this weeks schedule: Segue Reunion on Tuesday, Salsa on Wednesday and more moving on the next weekend.
Good Night
The Paella The birthday boy - turned 28

November 15th

Day 2 of Moving
Saturday was the 2nd day of our project "Moving to Jamaica Plain". The whole day was dedicated to the kitchen. We unpacked many many boxes with kitchen equipment, glassware, dishes, ... - it was again amazing to see how much stuff there is from Stephan's old home. The fun part of it all was of course unwrapping stuff that was wrapped in bubble wrap.
I stopped working at the house a bit earlier because I had plans for the evening. Dinner at 51 Lincoln and after that watching the musical Into the Woods. I was surprised how easy it was to drive from JP back to Cambridge. I guess I was lucky. It only took me 30 minutes - the day before it took us almost an hour. Poor Stephan had to take the T as he gave me the car to drive home earlier. He got caught in the rain on his way home. Good thing though is that we now know that it only takes 40 minutes by T from our new house to Christophers :-)
As already said - the evening was great. Good food, great play and good company. The thing that was a bit annoying is Jessica's new GPS device. It seems to have no volumne regulator and it comes with a rather annoying american english female voice. The only thing that we managed to do was to change the language to british english. That changed it a little - but not a whole lot.
Now its sunday morning. Seems the rain is finally gone - which is great for my soccer match at noon.
Thats the story for toda - cheers

November 14th

Starting to Move-In
Yeah - finally - we are starting to move into our new place in Jamaica Plain.
The movers came at 10AM - bringing all the stuff from the Cape. Its amazing how many boxes Stephan had in his old place - even though he already cleared out stuff before he moved all of it into storage. We started by moving all the boxes into the kitchen, living room and basement. In the end the living room was extremly packed. It took us a while to sort out which stuff (mainly old cookbooks and records) to put in the basement - at least temporarely - in order to get some space in the living room.
The first "moving" day was good - got a lot of things done. Going to continue tomorrow.
At night (that was friday night) we went to listen to Jessica's reading. It was impressive to hear her short story which discucced a topic that was definitely not easy to handle - especially for her. After that I hung out with a group of writers (poets and fiction writers).
Now its almost 3AM. Just came back from, well - lets call it a quest: The task sounded easy: driving home Jessica. It turned out that the main roads in Boston are closed for maintenance in the middle of the night. On top of this the police checked drivers on the detour for alcohol and - I almost ran out of gas. But in the end everything worked out well with a lesson learned: do not take Storrow Drive in the middle of the night - and - make sure you know which gas stations are opened at 2AM :-)
Thats it - time for bed. Here are some pictures of the new place
Clearing the driveway for the movers Boxes in the kitchen
Boxes in the living room The kitchen
The moving company Jo Ann and Stephan - checking out our garden
The left part of the house now belongs to Stephan Celebrating with Sparkling wine

November 13th

1000km on my bike
I have my first 1000km on my bike's speedometer. Crossed this threshold yesterday on my way to work. From the 15 weeks that I've been in the states I had about 8 to 9 weeks actively in Boston - the rest was spent somewhere in the country being on the road for my company. That means that I have a good 100km per week on the bike when I am here - sounds good to me.
Taking the bike to work however is getting more and more a challenge for me. The first thing is the weather. Its mid of november now and the temperature in the morning is far away from being "comfortable". This week it has been somewhere between 0 and 5 degrees in the morning and about the same in the evening. The other thing is daylight. The mornings are still fine. Since we changed the clock back an hour I have enough daylight in the morning. But its dark at 4:30PM meaning that I have a long ride home on heavy traffic roads at night. But so far it was good.
Now the really cool news: Stephan is officially an owner of a house in Jamaica Plain. Tomorrow (friday) I took a day off so that we can start moving into it. First thing on our list is to assembly the shelves we bought last weekend and then we need to check out what stuff he had in storage from his old place.
Should have some pictures of our new future home this weekend. Time for a beer now - PROST.

November 11th

Veterans Day
Today is Veterans Day. Unfortunately its not a general public holiday - only schools, post offices and other public institutions were closed.
I had a great moment last night. Lydia - the 4 year old daughter of Jessica - said: "you are cute and I like you" - isn't that nice? I loved it.
What else is going on? Well. Tomorrow - 12th of November is the big day for Stephan. At 1PM EDT he will officially be home owner of a house in Jamaica Plain. On friday we are going to start moving. I am taking the day off because the movers haul in the stuff from his old house on the Cape. We are goint to finish early. Wanna get the shelves assemblied that we bought on sunday before his stuff arrives. Its going to be exciting - new house - stuff coming in. I hope we dont forget the beer to PROST to our new home :-)
Friday night will be dedicated to Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction. Jessica has a reading at my local bookstore in Porter Square. Looking forward to that as I have not yet read stuff from her. Now - with the reading - I can actually listen to her reading her own stuff.
Thats the update. Time for a beer - a short nap - and then salsa at Ryles.

November 9th

A weekend (mostly) with Jessica
Its been a great weekend - unfortunately its almost over. It started as usual - Salsa at Mambos. Its been a great night - great dancers - great music - lots of sweating :-). As Jessica was parked a bit far away from Mambos I walked her over to her car. The "unreal" scene that we saw when approaching her car was a smashed window and a stolen GPS. Boston really is a nice and secure city - but it seems that these things can just happen everywhere. After calling 911 (got instructed to file the report in the morning) we got rid of most of the glass splitters on the drivers seat so that we could at least drive home. Temporarely fixed the window with plastic bags so that the rain wouldn't damage the interior of the car.
Fortunately the insurance company made it very easy for Jessica to get paid for the damage.
So - after that "experience" we started our originally planned program. Checking out the new exibition at the Museum of Science. Its been fun checking out all the Mythic Creatures - especially with Lydia who really is into unicorns (much more than mermaids or dragons :-) )
At night we went out for dinner to The Melting Pot. Lots of Fondue - very delicious - and I have to say thank you again for the the special surprise!
Today - sunday - started with breakfast at Starbucks - followed by soccer and then shopping for the new house. Its only 3 more days till Stephan will officially become a home owner again. On friday the movers will bring all the stuff from his previous house - that means that there is a lot of unpacking and organizing to be done next weekend.
Well - thats the update. Here are some pictures from the past days and from the weekend before (sightseeing through boston)
In front of the Steaming Kettle Starbucks Memorial next to the North End Chapel
Jessica at the Frog Pond Me - feeding some coffee to the Frog at the Frog Pond
Got our beer stock refilled on friday - some new brews Walking on Arlington Street on friday night
Smashed window - stolen GPS At the museum of science: tried to balance 6 nails
Isnt that cool looking? Energy bowl at the museum Nice food display at the Melting Pot.
Enjoying our food and wine (actually Austrian from the Kamptal) at the Melting Pot The nice suprise: Doesnt happen very often that a guy gets a rose
Testing door carpets at Lowe's Testing the new beer selection at Christophers

November 7th

Welcome weekend - what do you have to offer for me?
The week kind of flew by - of course overshadow'd by the presidential elections on tuesday. So most of america (and probably the world) is concentrating on Barack Obama - lets wish him the best for the challenges that lie ahead. Personally I recently started concentrating on somebody else and I am looking forward to the spend a lot of time with this person in the future. Like tomorrow - its going to be a day with different activities. We will first start out at the Museum of Science to see the current exhibition about Mythic Creatures. After that we are checking out the Melting Pot.
Sunday is soccer day. Havent played in the past 3 weeks so its really time to play again before the winter actually makes outdoor soccer not as enjoyable as it is now. The plan for the afternoon is to check out the public transport options to our new place in Jamaica Plain. Wanna see how long the ride on T actually is.
Well - that being said I hope to present some pictures tomorrow from strange mythic creatures (talking about unicorns and dragons, not about me and jessica).
bye bye

November 4th - Presidential Update

Its been an interesting process to watch the news. The numbers of the different states came in and it was very soon clear that Barack Obama - representing the Democratic Party - is going to be the next president of the United States. Now its 1:30AM and there are still people out on the street celebrating and cars driving by honking. Its a scene that is definitely very different to the scene that you would see after an election in Austria. Cheers

November 4th

Its about 2 hours till the first "real" numbers from the individual US states come in and will be presented via all the different news networks to the US public and to the World. As there is no more to say about that now lets talk about other stuff.
The weekend was great. A long brunch on saturday with Bernd and later at night hanging out with Andreas to check out RocknRolla and then some drinks at the Freedom Trail - ending up in The North End where we spent 3 or so hours in a nice italian restaurant. We finished the tour with a walk through the two big parks in Boston (Boston Command and Public Garden) - had a quick peek into Cheers before we made our way back to Park Street via Beacon Hill.
At night it became obvious that I probably had a bit too much the last night before. The only thing I was capable of doing was watching TV.
Final Funny Notes from the past days:
a) Quote of the Day: "You better get rid of those butterflies - they seem to make you puke" (Stephan on sunday morning after I told him my vodka adventure)
b) T vs. Car: Using the T last night instead of using the car would have saved me time and my reputation as driver :-)
Thats it. Time to go out: its salsa tuesday at Ryles