L.A. Story

The movie "L.A. Story", probably one of the most funny ever being created about Los Angeles, CA, USA, also was the inspiration for me when I went to visit the City in 2004. It was at a time when I was unemployed and my brother Aiken needed a PA for his work at "Gottschalk America", a show about german host Thomas Gottschalk and his impressions of the US, especially L.A., the city he resides in.

I wrote this weblog to report my activities and to ease people at home. With it they could retrace my steps and thoughts and feelings, something my mother actually complained about afterwards. It's written not journalisticly, but gonzoic, and I added editorial comments and pictures.

The trip helped me a lot, made me believe in my possibilities to work with texts and write speedily, and thus cemented the way for the following applications, resulting in my apprenticeship in Hamburg and ultimately to my now-profession of editor.

Since it is time to change my webpage entirely, I will start by making the L.A. Story one of my projects - and the only one for years to come, I guess, that's finished.

Please also check out my brother's website, you can't find a better cameraman, I at least don't know any.


This is my L.A. Story. Dedicated to the movie starring Steve Martin, I will report about my trip to Los Angeles, California.

First of all I want to tell you how this came to be, anyhow.

My brother Aiken, cameraman and american, working and living in Los Angeles, came over for Christmas 2003 to visit family. I, living in Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, went to Freising, Bavaria, to visit my parents. So we met.

As you should know, my brother is a workaholic. I am not, as long as it is work (definition: not fun) and not joy (definition: fun). He threatened me to try getting some time out and apply for working as a Production Assistant (PA) for "Gottschalk America", a german television show starring quite famous german showmaster Thomas Gottschalk showing the U.S. of A. to Germany. Te first episode, by the way, was delayed because of the outbreak of Iraq war. Bad luck!

Now they're working on additional episodes, which will be broadcasted on second german television (ZDF) this year. Aiken was promised to get a personal PA so he can concentrate on his work. He suggested me.

Between watching "Twelfth Night" with my favourite buddy Jules, I called Simone, producer of the show, in LA. Some hours later I got the job. My family is paying the trip, Aiken is looking for a place to stay. Everything went quite fast - I hadn't more than one and a half week for preparation.

After a lot of difficulties including my brother suddenly getting seperated from his wife and the internet connection at home going down to a fabulous 0,75 kb/s, I got my ticket, my passport and a lot of silly advice and cash money. About one week passed to arrange all that. I get to rest one day at my uncle Kai's place in Hamburg to get to the airport early at 25th of January 2004, to take-off to Los Angeles.

Mental preperation included "The Big Lebowsky" (they have a shop named like that in Hamburg), "L.A. Story", "Get Shorty", "Happy Tree Friends", "Twelfth Night", "Bringing up Baby" and the complete series of "Cowboy Bebop" in japanese with english subtitles, "The worst-case scenario survival handbook", which my brother gave me as a birthday present, and after writing my last will and testament and leaving it together with a letter for Jules, who will take care of bills, mail and other stuff back home, I feel ready to go.

Although I am excited and quite frightened, I look forward to the trip. It can only get better, for my imagination always thinks about the worst case first.

I will update this site during the whole trip. Anybody who wants to know what is happening around me, to me and by me during the 2-months-trip can read it here. Estimated time of return is 26th of March 2004. So far.

May the power of the fake One Ring my Grandma gave me for christmas protect, lead and consume me! See you around, Germany! I have to explore enemy territory!


January 23, 2004

On January 24th I will leave my home. Again. I didn't get to stay three whole weeks at home after Christmas.

On January 25th I will take an airplane to Paris Charles-de-Gaulle,, starting at Hamburg. Afterwards I will have a nice little flight to L.A. visiting my bro Aiken and working for Gottschalk America as a PA - Production Assistant.

I am excited.



January 24, 2004

I'm staying at my uncle's and cousin's place in Hamburg. All went as planned. Ridiculously. Whoever would've expected they wrote a MR on my ticket, as it should be, and not MS, like in the letter they wrote me. I got my ticket, I got something to drink, I got a computer and fast con. I will try to update this site the whole trip along. Supposedly not tomorrow. I have to get up early and catch my flight to Paris CDG, then to LA. After arrival I will have to get arranged where I am staying. With my brothers wife or with my brothers. Or somewhere else? Who knows?

Man, excitement! Didn't take such a long trip for years, and never alone. My rucksack is packed, my magic cards and my CDs with datas and mp3s are the only remainings from my old life accompaning me along. I was told to leave my cards behind. I go to the motherland of Magic the Gathering and leave my cards? FORGET IT!

Well, time to get me some breakfast. It's nearly noon! I could use some sleep, for my roommate and one of his girlfriends got me to sleep ony 3 1/2 hours, and I just had short naps in the train to Hamburg. But I rather eat and update this site. More fun!

Another update. I got food. Plenty. Sausages with Tatoes and Sauerkraut, and Pizza. No Kahlua here. Nobody has Kahlua these days. It's a crying shame. But even if it costs my last cent, I will drink White Russians whenever I can, wherever I can. Alena, cousin of mine, told me Big Lebowsky is a clothing shop. I am even more disappointed.

Quite stylish that one of the last things I ate in Germany contained Sauerkraut. And that one of the last shows I watched on TV was showmastered by Thomas Gottschalk. I doubt I will skip "Genial Daneben", a very nice show in private german television. But I want to write a little.

Now I am listening to Mark Knopfler's soundtrack of Wag the Dog and write on the ninth chapter of my book "Songs of Hatred" (in progress). I finished another two chapters here. This one will be a workover. Man, this is fun! As soon as Elvis has left the building, I mean I leave my home, I get the urge to write! Suppose I will make BIG progress as soon as I get a laptop.

Tomorrow it's early to rise. Now hearing Marillion - White Russian. You can guess why. If you can't drink it, listen to it. I got my ticket in my pocket. Some hours of sleep, then check-in at Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel airport, 2 1/2 hours of wasting my time (suppose with playing cards, eating and juggling, for I don't have a laptop!). As I said, tomorrow there will be no update, if nothing special happens.

Granny called, and Dad called. The good advice aren't as good anymore when you hear it the tenth time. Or the hundreth. Thankfully my Dad didn't give any advice. Bye to all! See you in L.A.!


January 25, 2004

Well, here I am, updating anyways. I'm sitting at my brother's computer in his flat where he is not living anymore, and atm strolling around like an uncertain tiger. Flight was...well, it could have been worse, but it was bad enough already. I forgot my cellphone at my uncle's. I forgot to get an adress in L.A. and therefore had to wait hours at the airport immigration check-in at LAX until some bad-tempered lady looking like Barbara Streisand on a bad hair day got the adress from Aiken. She said to him I freaked out. What do you expect? Only Gestapo is worse! Man!

Shockingly, really everybody who is looking some sort of arabic or african has to leave fingerprints and photos. What for? To identify them easiler after the suicide bombing? Gimme a break!

But whatever, here I am. L.A. is so freaking big! And so strangely warm! This REALLY is a foreign country, not comparable with trips to London or Paris. Everything is different. For example the treffic lights are on the "wrong" side, which is much more practical. And you are allowed to turn right on red traffic lights if the way is free. Everywhere. Not to mention palm trees and 24/7 stores like 7Eleven.

I'm just here for some hours, and after having a rush hyperspeed tour with my brother I'm dizzy already. This will take some time to get used to this. My biggest matter is food, Kahlua (what else!), updating and getting a way to let my symbol printed on a supersized black T-Shirt. I would like to write some chapters on my book, but jet-lag is kicking in, my orientation system is going nuts and I'm starting to shake. Might have something to do with the tons of food I got myself on the plane and the five wodka, same place.

I started to take some pictures. Mostly nonsense, but I will try to get them on ASAP. Will take even more. In the end this is going to be an arkward report, I'm telling you that!

Did you know...ah drat, I just deleted half of the article by misclick. Anyways, did you know that Air France is the only airplane where you cannot get Campari? I had to skip to wodka. And spoiled Tomato Juice and wodka when we got into a turbulence. Need to clean my favourite black jeans. Only alternative is marine. And I am not ready to face a arkward strange city without wearing black!

I'm even more tired now than before, because I have to write all this a second time. I will go to bed at 9 pm, planned getting up at 6 am. To get breakfast. Wai~! Crazy lifestyle, I love it. Pity it is just normal in this crazy town. Aiken told me Simone told him my site is certainly all black. Gimme a break! There are no black levers written on black on black, and when you pull them a black light flashes black and informs you you pulled the lever! There is still light at the end of the tunnel. Of course it's only the train rushing towards me, but it's a start!

I finished reading "Salmon of Doubt" and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" on the planes. Now I just have "The Worst-case scenario survival handbook" left. Which I already read a little. I hope my book will take big steps forward here. But first I will take big steps toward water, television and bed. I am all alone, because Aiken left some time ago to meet some bud in one of the thousands of coffee shops around here. Will see him at breakfast.

Anybody who knows me knows that getting up early is NOT my style. But since this is 9 hours behind, suddenly my way of life is fitting to the daytimes! Still jet-lag is hitting me badly ATM. Not because of the time change. Because of the impossibility to sleep in such unconfortable seats and all the shaking around which is making your head really spin after a while. Well, trains are worse I presume.

See you tomorrie, alltogether! I am doing fine and am save and sound and legally in the United State of Paranoia. Have a good night's sleep. Abd if you find it interesting, drop me a line on


to give me some feedback.



January 26, 2004

Well, first day passed, and I am sooo tired. But nevertheless, update.

It started with actually getting up at 6 am to take a shower and get breakfast. Of course, I didn't quite get the description my brother gave me, and walked till Washington BLV until I realized this must be wrong. So it was 7.30 till I was at my brothers.

After breakfast at Café 50's (unhealthy food, man, I hate sweet stuff at morning!) we went shopping. No shop in L.A. that isn't selling food opens before 10 am though. So we went through a mall with only food to buy. We didn't buy anything. I wonder if anybody can die of sugar poisoning. Whoever gets to do that, he must be american.

Afterwards we went to Big&Tall, Target, 7Eleven, Ralph's, Dress for Less, Costco and such. I got new trousers, a map (important), a leatherman (important), a basketball (extremely important), new shoes (extremely painful for feet), water, food, everything one needs. Then we went to the production office of Gottschalk America. Simone is really nice but totally working, but still fabulously good looking for that. Andi, who is now honorably mentioned as he wanted to be, is some organizer and researcher, according to what I saw when he discussed with Aiken. Amy is a curly girl and I don't know more. Aiken told me, but I forgot. Will ask another time.

Well, after fast-checking the equipment Aiken had at the office I went for a walk home. Aiken wanted to do stuff and I thought of changing trousers and such. At home I met Elke. I already did, but that was around midnight and I just asked if she knew how the light at my bed went out. Not that I had cared, I was so tired, it could've been the sun aside my bed and I wouldn't have noticed (actually, if the sun would suddenly materialize aside your bed, you wouldn't have time to notice anymore). When I played her some mp3s I had, she was totally fascinated. Strange! She didn't seem to know JBO! Nor In Extremo, Corvus Corax, Fettes Brot or Fred Bertelmann. Last one isn't really important to know.

Well, it was rather short here, because Aiken picked me up to go to the gym. But first we went shopping at some natural shop. Big, and small for the big shopping cars, and all nutrition stuff, and still nothing compared to german food. I will starve or get fat, that's the deal here. Anyways, bought some fruits, a little muesli and no-fat milk.

The Gym. I hate it that my left big toe is infected again, and my feet hurt from the silly one hour walk of the morning and such. Whatever, I found out I still hate spinning machines. Lying spinning machines are ok though. The we went training muscles - especially my legs need exercise, arms are still cool in power. In the middle of training Aiken realized that he wanted to go to the machine shop, dropped everything and we rushed.

Of course, as in L.A. Story, we arrived late and were the first ones. No surprises there. Surprise was the fact that we shouldn't carry machines but paint them. Aiken drove me home before again skipping going to the movies. He wanted to see some movie by the Coppola-girl starring Murray I have never heared of. Won a Golden Globe anyhow. Many Golden Globes. Well, will see if it is interesting. I don't go into movies unless I know what they're about. There's a movie starring Christina Ricci running though.

So, I got the time to get my shoes off. I played a lot of mp3s and copied them to Aiken's Temp. Elke seems facinated by my music. It's nice to see grown-ups acting like children when they are fascinated. She is working atm, wants to go to bed soon though because she is really tired. I feel the workout and the day in my body, too. I passed my website-adress around a little. Supposely I will get a lot of commentaries soon, heh.

Okay, off I go. Tomorrow is day off in the morning, no work this week anyhow. Will stroll around, whatever my feet will allow me. Nighty-night!


January 27, 2004

Well, just returned home from cinema. Watched "Lost in Translation" with my brother, because it got nominated for academy awards and won so many globes. Well, it's a nice one, quiet, no big action, scoring a lot with the differences between America and Japan. For a german one perhaps not that easy to understand, for both are strange to us. It is a nice movie and worth the nomination - but I would rather see another movie win it. And, by the way: "LotR - Return of the King" is NOT good enough to be even nominated!

Well, today I got up late, at 9.15 am, then showered, breakfast, read the Darksteel Spoiler List (Magic) and some websites, including Megatokyo, David Horsey on the Seattle Post Intelligencer Commentary and Queen of Wands. After that I looked for shops retailing Magic-Cards around here. It took me at least half an hour to find some. I considered it too late then to go to the Santa Monica Center, a big mall, so I stayed home and watched "Days of our Lives" and "Hercules" on TV. Man! "Days of our Lives" is one of the WORST stuff I have EVER SEEN! Even the guys at Gamestar make better bluescreen scenes!

Well, anyways, many programs! A lot of youths in Germany would never leave the TV anymore. I did, though, because Aiken dropped by, we made laundry, pumped up his bicycle (I forgot how uncomfortable these things are. And yesterday I sat on a fucking spinning machine and already forgot???), I checked out that you actually CAN forget how to ride a bike, and then we went to his store room. Imagine a whole place of giant size with cubicles as big as garages by us, hundreds and thousands of them, and you pay a small amount of money to stuff your unused stuff into one and lock it up safe! In Germany unimaginable. A pity, because you get to move a lot easier with that.

Okay, Aiken had to go to an appointment then, so he dropped me at Elke's and I grabbed my rucksack and went on the road. At 7Eleven I bought myself a pint of Sunkist (It's like the orange juice we know, but loaded with sugar even beating Fanta, in a weird color and a lot of water included of course) and a banana. Then I went to the Big Blue Bus stop and drove to Santa Monica Centre. You can ride the Bus anywhere here with 75 cents (three quarters), change lines pay an extra 25, and you can go everywhere. Really nice.

What do the americans think they are eating? I get sick every time I see or smell the food around here. It's so gross, compared to that german McDonalds and Burger King are healthy and natural! But prizes for food are LOOOOOOOOOOOW here if you buy the junk, so that is catching. Will eat a buritto sooner or later, and also some real burgers. ATM it's not my taste.

Anyways, the reason I came up with this is that the Santa Monica Center has loads of fastfood shops around and it smells like that of course. But it's three levels of shops. On third level is a games shop, but it's closing soon and gave discount. I bought two Deck boxes with "Angel of Vengeance" on it - one for me, one for Hagen Knosher, who will have to kiss my ass for that! - a dice and 3 "Pinky Hi-Bounce" balls to juggle with. Then I walked the Santa Monica Boulevard up to 16th street (starting at 3rd - believe me, LONG walk) to check out Santa Monica Sport Cards. There I bought three commons - Hymn to Tourach, Soldevi Adnate (grrlz picture) and Lost Soul original Legends for 49 cents. I asked both retailers where you can actually play cards. Only shop named twice is on Lincoln/Washington. Will check that out.

Well, I took the BBB back to Santa Monica Center, called my bro's wife Elke to call my bro I'd be waiting at the cinema and checked a local book and music store for MCs. Of course, none anymore. Modern life has started to ignore my good ol' 80s walkman. I forgot to bring other MCs than the one I got with me, that's why I was looking. Then we went to the cinema, which is REALLY expensive, dropped by 7Eleven to buy some water and made plans for tomorrow, where at 8 am gym is planned. That's why I am heading to bed now.

Okay, see you soon!


January 28, 2004

Okay, another day ending. It's 9.30 pm now, time to update!

Well, day started with me sleeping too long, calling Aiken at 8.10 am instead of 7.45 am. Wasn't so hard. We went to the gym, made my membership for two months and just wanted to start the workout when Mark called, a friend of Aiken's. He made an appointment to be picked up at 11 am, so we went to breakfast burittos instead and pushed the workout to afternoon.

After another demonstration of the total unhealthyness of american food (Buritto is tortilla, made of corn, this one was containing cheddar cheese, potatoes and onions roasted in fat, ham and fried eggs, and I think it's rather untasty, and too large for breakfast) Aiken dropped me at home where I packed my rucksack for a trip to Lincoln/Washington to check that shop out I heared of. I didn't find it, and when I asked at In'n'Out burgers (and got me a sip of 7up) they didn't know either. So I went one street further to the Marina del Rey Centre, a small mall, where I went into a rather big book shop to read some travel guides about Germany. It is SO funny. Would have bought one if the 13.99 bucks wouldn't have scared me away.

Then I went cross the place to Baja Fresh (Speaking Baha), to get myself a real buritto this time. Cost me close to 6 bucks, but it was soooo tasty. Meat, cheese, vegetables, avocado sauce, yummy. I ate it at home, because in a most lucky coincidence Elke just came in and got herself a big salad for lunch. We drove home together, spared me 75 cents for the bus and a lot of time.

At home I packed my stuff for workout again, while Aiken walked in, made mails and such. Then we went to the gym and had a workout, this time cardio (30 minutes lying spinning machine), legs, bizeps (I am so weak!), breast, belly and back. I feel a lot of muscles right now, but I drank a lot of water, so I suppose won't be so hard tomorrow. We will make another 30 minutes of cardio tomorrow morning.

After that we went to Aikens garage and checked equipment. Tomorrow we have a shot on Wolfgang Puck, the pizza king, who holds a press conference. First time as a sound guy for me! I am quite excited. I just hope I do everything correct and don't forget too much of the stuff I crash-coursed today. Well, then Aiken went to dinner or go home, whatever comes first, and dropped me at Washington/Walgrove, where at noon due to Internet I located "The Bullpen" to be rather existing. For a non-existing shop can't hold drafts sceduled next friday. I just missed it by around 50 metres at noon - and was on the wrong side of the road.

Well, I went in, watched some hockey and with a lot of pleasure a lot of 1-bucks-rares and tables. Pity nobody was there, but the shop assistant told me at 4.30 pm on Fridays there's Friday Night starting, and the draft will start at 6.30 pm, costing 12 bucks. So I got me eight rares for eight bucks (and I suppose they were worth it!), and then went home by foot. I dropped by a liqueur store to check on Kahlua and Wodka. Well, I was wrong. On the Kahlua bottles (which look exactly the same as in Germany) it sais "Imported from Mexico" (Germany: "Imported from Los Angeles, CA") and they cost freaking $ 29.90 for 1 litre (Germany: 13 Euros for 0,75). They don't have Moskovskaya, but Polnish Vodka at 35 bucks for a litre. I suppose I won't drink White Russian here. A crying shame! At 7Eleven I got me a Squishie (actually a Diet Pepsi Slurp, but close to the famous Squishies from Qickie Mart in The Simpsons) and at home started to check out the sound equipment again.

After testing it twice - once for precision, once for how fast can I build it up to work - I packed everything and putted it in front of the closet for tomorrow morning. By the way, we realized "LotR - The Fellowship of the Ring" is running on TV (imagine that in Germany!), but I know that movie blind in sleep and backwards, so I suggested to watch "Finding Nemo" (DVD long available here), "Blade Runner", "Romeo and Juliet" or "Pirates of the Caribbean". Elke wanted Caribbean, so that's whats running now.

Elke went to bed now, and I will go soon, too, for tomorrow it's Gym at 7.30 am and then we have to do a lot of things. First the shooting till noon, and then we eventually go to the set of "Cursed", a 50-million-dollars production starring Christina Ricci, which is in the final week of shooting (followed by a lot of cutting and stuff). A friend of Aiken's, Eric, is shooting there, so we may perhaps drop by. Would be cool to see a 50-million-dollar-set. And I'm not expecting to meet sweet and wonderful Christina Ricci. Celebrities are best to be left alone. I'm no fanboi, I try to respect people. And what do I actually know about Ms. Ricci? We all just know her from movies.

Well, off I go. Perhaps I can even get some money tomorrow! And check out how the Kahlua imports work out. Adios!


January 29, 2004

First of all, I was at the set of "Cursed". And yes, Christina Ricci was there. And my left arm hurts like heck. And no, one has nothing to do with the other.

I doubt Christina would like this commentary if she read it, but well, she is a "major hottie", if I may citate out of "Small Soldiers". Actually I was quite surprised. She is really small, tiny, in every sense of definition cute for me. But like Visara, "Her eyes are her strongest feature". I was only five meters away from her once, all alone standing on the set wall. She was talking to some production guy and her glance straved through the area once or twice. I'm no fanboi creating silly stories about that, she barely even noticed me. But I got a look at her eyes. There is no jewelery as beautiful as the eyes of a woman, and Christina is really rich in that kind of way.

I got the daily wrap as well, and talked about a lot of people around. It was actually the last day of shooting. All information you can find on the Cursed Fanpage must be enough. I won't leak more information right now. I just can confirm that Scott Baio is really playing himself in "Cursed", and that the whole movie really looks similar to "Wolf" with Jack Nicolson and Michelle Pfeiffer. We will see how all turns out in the end, and especially which one of the three shootings I saw before lunch will make the final cut.

Anyways, let's start at the beginning, shall we?

In the morning I got up, put my black plastic security suit on, my gas mask, leave the cellar and go to work (recognized? It's Bananafishbones's "Easy Day" start). Actually I got myself some oatmeal and an orange for breakfast and then got out with rucksack full of gym clothes, a bag with camera and a bag with sound stuff, not to forget the mixer. I wonder how I did all this today, for my left arm hurts like no good because of yesterday's biceps workout. I met Aiken at the garage. He got throatache, so he had to get medicine and was a little late. We packed mixed and light bags, putted all in the truck and went to gym.

After a short 30 minutes cardio on the spinning machine (I hate it, my knees hurt so much at the start) I barely made it back to the car. Aiken got a call from Bettina, producer of the stuff we made for ProSieben, that we should if possible arrive 15 minutes earlier. With some real magic (using a freeway is lottery in Los Angeles) we made it on time. After we heaved all stuff to the 5th floor I had to run to the parking lot again to get 3 tapes - Aiken and I forgot to bring tapes up as well.

We interviewed some organizator of the Academy Awards Diner, then waited to interview Wolfgang Puck himself in the kitchen presenting the food - sorry, the gala diner worthy of the Academy Awards Show. Afterwards we interviewed some guy from ABC7. So if you see the presentation of the friggin food in Germany on ProSieben, you know that I was the soundguy standing behind my brother with mixer in hands or the long range stick high above my head (in the kitchen I had to use the pole, which I still remember as a really painful memory for my left arm).

Okay, we packed up, Aiken was kinda satisfied with my work, and we drove to the set of "Cursed". We met Eric there, the friend where Aiken slept some days ago. He was set photographer, making press photographies and also for DVD. I hope he gives me one picture of the scene I saw as I asked him for. Will publish it here, as soon as I get it and it is legal to publish. I know journalism. Respect should be really appropriate, we are not children who want a little more.

Well, we had meatballs there, we met many interesting people, we had lunch there, and I can say Judy Greer is a really nice person and really good looking. She was so friendly and kind, whatever one did, if they pushed the shoes in the right position (as Aiken did) or just went out of the friggin way (as I did). She even ate with all the crew in the lunch hall. Christina just appeared and disappeared, more like the vampire-like characters she is famous for instead of crashing through walls kinda like werewolfs do. I saw her double all the time. Funny. The color of the hair really comes close to Mel. But she is a giant compared to Christina. Which shall not be any negative statement. These eyes are wonderful.

Don't get me wrong. There were hundreds of really beautiful women around the set! But I don't like to differ in that kind of way. Ninety percent of the girls in that age look beautiful to me, and nearly one hundred percent at a major blockbuster movie set! Christina has the bonus that I know her from Wednesday on, but still she looks not that adorable compared to Judi Greer or even a lot of the extras in the back! But she has...something. In her eyes. Ah, maybe I'm just a stupid fanboi after all.


(Editorial Comment: The last day of principal photography on "Cursed" I witnessed wasn't really the last day, as this interview of Christina Ricci on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" prooves)



Then we went to Glen, if I remember the name correctly, a guy looking like the one of the "Cavaliers" out of "The Big Lebowsky" that is threatened to be shot by John Goodman because he doesn't write down a zero for over the line. He is very nice, and after he got his steadycam arm back Aiken lended from him he showed us around the studio a litte. He works at a 3D-Studio where they're actually working on "Scooby Doo 2"! Aiken complained about it being so dark. I felt like home. Computers and darkness.

Afterwards we went to a firm called VER, where you can rent equipment. "Gottschalk America" has rented some PAL cameras there, and Aiken came to look at one and get used to it. He explained me some things about it, too, mostly where the switches are here, different to the one we used today (which was a Betacam). But he himself took a manual with him to get used to the menu.

Then we dropped by at Costco, where I had a look around. Still a strange place, such very big amounts of everything. Who needs 197 "Snickers"? We didn't buy anything and then dropped by at Mark's, who was making the final color adjustment on a movie called "Chi of Love" for which Aiken made shots in Portland. Again a dark studio, big monitors, food (a bit of Kookoochoo Chicken, didn't touch the unhealty stuff though brought Elke a muffin), cosy chairs. Life isn't bad as a guest. The movie is a little too spiritualized for me, but well, suppose it has to be by order of somebody.


(Editorial comment: "Chi of Love" turned out to be independent esoterical hit "What the Bleep do we know")

After another drive to Beverly Hills (the rest of the time we were at Burbanks, Hollywood and Glendale, I think it is called) we brought the stuff Aiken rented (mixer, cam, support) back to Ben. Then we finally drove home, again half freeway, half city. And home I am now.

Okay, now I will try to convince my arm NOT to kill me tomorrie. It's really trying hard though, it's nearly unbearable, and normally I can bear a lot of pain. Perhaps I will watch TV or look through my magic decks (or both). And read the call sheet of "Cursed". Tomorrow it will be gym again, but the when is not clear yet because Eric suggested Aiken to help him on a photo shooting in Hollywood again. And I don't know what my muscles will do. Hopefully I get to try a little basketball in the afternoon before I go to Friday Night Magic at "The Bullpen", Walgrove/Washington, at 4.30 pm.

All in all I'm really exhausted, and really happy that I saw some celebrities. I mean, I really tried not to act like a stupid fanboi, to look like an at least quite respectable person at the set, but well, Christina is Christina. Heart beat raising to cardio ratios. It is really a pity I'm just a noname there. How would I like to get rid of my stupid shyness and get in contact with persons, especially women, on a normal of not friendly basis, even though they are totally fascinating to me?

By the way, I don't speak the way I write. I seldom have the guts to do that. Selfconfidence is not one of my strenghts. And it needs more than a gym to work that out. Would like to write on my book, but here I'm always too tired, and I got no laptop (hint with the Empire State Building). Have a good night's sleep!


January 30, 2004

An early update today, for it is now 11.27 am and I'm home again from gym and breakfast.

Yesterday I watched my first episode of "The Apprentice" and didn't really like it. Afterwards I zapped a little and then turned the TV off, because I really was tired and had to get up before 7 am. Aiken planned gym again.

I slept difficult, for my left arm, which is more cramped then just hurting because of training, got a serious pain. In the morning I packed my stuff at 6.45 am, and got dressed while Aiken checked mail. Workout wasn't so bad anyhow, but my arm hurt all of the friggin time.

Then Eric called and it was decided I don't go to the set but get home instead. First we went to get some breakfast at Café 50's again. Aiken made a quick takeoff, I read a little about the offers of Fry's (a computer and electronic superstore) and then walked home. ATM I am watching "Murder, She Wrote", the german title is "Mord ist ihr Hobby". Perhaps I will switch back and forth between that and "Xena". I like Lucy Lawless.

Everything else will turn out during the day. I have to massage and stretch my arm all of the time, or it immediately cramps harder again. So silly, but well, can't change anything about it right now. In the meanwhile I'm thinking a lot about the set of "Cursed". I kicked my shoe's backs outside, and an extra grrl that passed by made some funny comment about it. I liked the looks she gave me, though. And I kept my mouth completely shut. I am so uncertain with girls, especially with my brother around (standing aside me), and in english I also tend to choose the wrong words (whatever is NOT equal to Wieauchimmer). And of course, Christina Ricci and Wes Craven are still in my mind. I really hope the movie will be great. Script writer was the same as for Dawson's Creek and Scream 1-3.

Okay, will lie down a little, massage my arm, watch TV, and then decide what to do until 4.30 pm.

So, here I am again! It's nearly midnight! You always forget the time when you start playing Magic. Now I watch "Ghostbusters" on TNT after missing another episode of "CSI".

Well, the day went off as planned, but different. I went to bed and massaged myself, but fell asleep watching girls college basketball. Man, San Diego needs a better trainer, such beginners faults! Well, as it goes, I woke up past 3 pm and decided to have a lunch and then go playing. At Subway I got a Veggie Sandwitch and at In'n'Out a Diet Pepsi. Then I walked over to The Bullpen and watched Rangers vs. Sabres until the first people came in. I just see that TNT will broadcast "The Matrix" tomorrow at 8 pm. Imagine that in Germany.

Well, I had a talk with a mother about America vs. Germany and such, especially sports and games, for she brought her son here, and my mother, well, isn't that happy about me playing games. Anyways, I played some nice Standard and Type Fun games, sold a Storm Seeker from 5th for 2 bucks to a kiddy (he wanted it!), and then entered the draft.

Okay, now it get's more specialized, so most of my few selected readers will loose trace here, but I drafted a nice deck being so unlucky that two beginners were left and right on the table, didn't read my signals and drafted the friggin same colors as I did. I still ended up with a decent deck. First round I beat the crap out of another beginner, second round a guy named Bart layed a Spikey with 2 Bonesplitters Game 2 and I got into a 2-Mountain-all-hand-white-or-above-2-mana-Screw. I lost 1:2, and because it was single elimination, I would've been out of here. I gave my lands back and started playing casual, when I got the news that my opponent went home and forfeit the game to me! So I was in again!

Lands back, deck rebuild, face my opponent and start with a serious flood. Well, I thought that's it, but as always when I do that, it turns out differently. Game 2 he was killed by my 2 Blinding Beams, and game 3 a Spikey equipped with Bonesplitter and Scimitar was his end. Combined with some Blinding Beams and Gauntlets to help out.

Match 4, Semifinal, 2 trips to Paris, Flood, Game 2 overran. I had to play another one though, because 3rd place won 10 bucks to spend in the shop, a real fortune. I faced a nice weirdo kind of guy reminding of a Goth-Punk-Mixup with american positive attitude (one could call him Freekazoid) and surprisingly clearly gave him a taste of my flyers equipped with my 2 Gauntlets game 1 and my Spikeshot game 2. So I won 10 bucks, spent it for some One-Buck-a-Rare cards (I couldn't take the money out of the shop and it's better than boosters), and went home. Third out of 21 is a good start!

So far that's it, nothing else happened. Aiken seems not to have returned here in the meantime, for my rucksack is not here. My sporting stuff is in it though, which is quite a problem. I wanted to go playing Basketball tomorrow between 10 am and 1 pm, but without sporting clothes and my water bottle? Gonna pass by anyways. Nothing is more expensive here than water in bottles, though.

Okay, I will sort my cards and head to bed, watching some movies. Seeya!


January 31, 2004

Nothing new on the western front here. It was a totally lazy day for me, and that's a good thing. I needed some rest from the days before, the culture shock and all.

Plans to go playing basketball went to waste when I discovered a channel showing "Harry Potter I" till the early morning. Then I slept, slept, slept, with breaks, till noon was over, breakfasted a very small bowl of muesli and watched "Star Wars Episode 2" (on TV!), before I went for a nice long walk to "Taco Bell" for lunch. Down to my last buck I came out, walked all the way back home, where I arrived at late afternoon.

Aiken called, and we made plans for the evening, which he cancelled later on because of some important meeting he forgot. We will go to the gym tomorrow morning. I somewhat look forward to it. My left arm got far better today, and I get the good feeling of used muscles instead of the bad feeling of cramped muscles.

After watching the 4:4 between "Carolina Hurricanes" and "Detroit Red Wings" I went to wash my clothes. After a walk to "7Eleven" to find out that unemployed guys are very bad tempered and snacks are not at all cheap here I went to write a little on my book. I decided already to make it a row of books, including my fragments for the story before that and following some ideas I got. I corrected chapter nine, making it a little bloodier and more old-medieval-flavoured (so I hope), started chapter 10, but made the fault of putting in the DVD of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Chinese with english subtitles, but who cares, it's a great movie. And such a sad ending, the chinese can't be the happiest of all people. Only very old martial arts movies have happy ends. And not even all of them.

The FE Action Channel just finished "Blade 2". I am happy I didn't see that one, I don't know Episode I yet. I just saw a girl vampire die in the sunlight. Thanks for reminding me of Mel, Wesley, it's too late for clear feelings here! Okay, I lied - I am always thinking of Mel, and thought about her the complete "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", when I saw that strange woman walking out of a second hand shop at Lincoln, and occasinally all of the time. Still, seeing a vampire die reminds me of how I met her first. Anyways, It's close to midnight and I will go to bed now. I hope tomorrow I will get some money lended from Aiken, for I am totally broke now. And especially food (and very especially healthy one) is really espensive here, as I told you before if I remind correctly.

Anyways, wish me a good night's sleep. By the way, if you go to a fast food restaurant here, you get your cup and fill it yourself with whatever you want - and as often as you want, as long as you don't leave the restaurant. That is SO cool, I completely forgot about that. Germany is so customer-unfriendly compared to that.



February 1, 2004

Well, this was close to be another relaxing lazy day, if not for "Natural Born Killers" on the Action Channel. It's so SICKSICKSICK, I LOVE it! Such a sick movie, I know a lot of people who would love this movie if they haven't seen it already. That went till 2 o'clock at least, and afterwards I watched the beginning of "Romeo & Juliet" until I was too tired. Nevertheless I got up at 8.45 and went to gym with Aiken.

I get the feeling it gets easier every time. Tomorrow next time by the way. After gym we went to several stores buying absolutely nothing and had breakfast while listening to 80s music. The terror - after "Cindy Lauper" and "Ace of Base" there was NENA! "99 Red Ballons"! What must I DO to flee from this MUSIC! I HATE it! Nena is SO bad!



(Editorial comment: Nena later voiced the dragon Saphira in the german version of "Eragon", making it even worse than the english original)


After my brother understood the hint views I gave him when he started whistling Nena we went to an outdoor shop and looked around. Aiken bought some program of I don't know what. I had a good time relaxing. Then he dropped me off at home and went to the beach for a sunbath. I looked around my mails and several webcomics, changed clothes and went to the beach myself, walking down Brooks Street, then the beach promenade filled by crazy people to the Pier, from there up to the Santa Monica Place (Mall), chatting with the shop owner of Wizards and one of his employees, a descendant polish jew, which gave me a slight remindal of MacHall's writer, also in intelligence, knowledge and urge to talk, and then went to Puzzle Zoo, donated 5 bucks on the way to some guy collecting for Aids (he said), talked there about Magic, met on the way back a guy with a Bongo headed for drum class and identifying me as (former) dice-and-paper-gamer, and we had another talk about how fucked up this country is. Seems Bush has not many friends in California!

I decided not to eat in the mall due to expenses, walked around it to Colorado, up to Lincoln and down to "Jack-in-the-Box" for food and change for the bus. That may not be that long for you, but I went at 3.30 pm and came back at 7.30 pm, and was on foot most of the time, whistling silly tones and being glad I took my water bottle with me. I had my rucksack packed with my basketball, but didn't see a court on the beach.

Well, that's about it. I think it's really nice here all in total, but have to watch my money a lot. Food is REALLY expensive, I have to find a way to eat few carbohydrates, eat a lot and spend few money alltogether. Which will be a task for tomorrow.


February 2, 2004

Early update today, for tomorrow I have to get up early. So far I went to the gym, shopping and cooked myself a meal while watching "X-2". Suppose I won't do much more stuff today, perhaps look at the light's stuff with Aiken later, but heading for bed early. First of all I'm very tired, and second I have to get up at 5.45 am tomorrow to visit a Kid Rock Music Video shooting where Aiken has a steadicam job. I will be nice and quiet, and hide myself.

Aiken called and said, if I remember correctly, we will be busy from tomorrow on. I look forward to it, but still feel displaced in this country, and this city. Most people here are straight, and while nice and all, they scare me with their up-front-kind of humor. I'm not used to this, and I'm too fragile in confidence to deal properly with it. Hopefully I will find the selfconfidence to sell myself good. Till now I rather stay quiet, watch and learn. If I wasn't forced to talk, I would keep my mouth shut all of the time.

Suppose that is different than most people know me, but all this is new, from the bed to the gigantic city. I am like a kid, exploring all of it, but being aware that the oven might be hot.

By the way, Aiken accused me of being an alcoholic after reading this. That is not true, of course. I just like White Russian, and I suppose alcohol would make me a little more relaxed and open for differences, more innovative and such. Still, I will wait till I come home, for Kahlua here is just too expensive, and till now I got no one to drink with. I have problems, but not the one that I am drinking alone.

Okay, another update, this time late. Lazy Day included two times "X-2", and afterwards a call from Aiken who picked me up to pass by Fry's. That's some gigantic electronic store, where you get all stuff that needs electronic power and is popular, like DVDs, consoles, PCs and components, stereos, everything. YOu can even test the stuff.

Then we went through rush hour to Erwin, Aiken's collegue from Switzerland, to borrow a steady cam arm. Man, Mel would have loved this. Look out the window, to the right - only houses to the horizon. Look to the left - the same. AND! It never rains in Southern California? HAH! Cats and dogs! The storm was predicted at the news in the morning (I watched it in gym), but wow, it rained like I know it from home! Wonderful, though, and a rush hour is nice. Once. Aiken didn't like it, which I could understand.

So, now I am home again, and it's 1 hour later than I wanted it to be. So off to bed I go. See you all tomorrow!


February 3, 2004

Okay, I am tired (zu Deutsch: gerädert), so I will make this as short as possible.

First of all, yes, I got up at 5.30, and yes, I was at the set of "Cold and Lonely" by Kid Rock. First we went to Downtown Los Angeles, a little South, and shot in front of a green building. Some strange landlord-stuff and such. YOu will see it on MTV, I guess. The song itself reminds me of "Don't let me down" by the Beatles, and since then I got that song in my head.


Me Cam

(Editorial Comment: Me and Aiken's Steadycam on the first location of the Kid Rock video. I could never use that thing)

Location change brought us to Little Tokio, where we shot on a parking lot and in front of a former japanese cinema. That was where I actually met Kid Rock, mostly by accident. I was standing in front of the Inshallah Art Gallery where they held a photo shooting for a skateboard magazine, when he just walked by. I asked him if he was supposed to walk here, and he said, he didn't know but just walked around. An assistant got him back immediately, but another experience of how normal stars can be. They also can be just lost.

Well, the set food was good, but, as Aiken said, low budget, as everything on the set. That was strange, because he got a lot of money for it, and Kid Rock is no small guy anymore, is he? Anyways, I met some nice guys, especially the two extras who will appear in the video and Roger, the craft service guy. And, not to forget, I talked to some guys at the photo shooting in the gallery (the bar door was locked, so they couldn't get out), especially a girl named Corny (sure) DeBelvere (not sure). And of course, I didn't get any number or possibility to reach her, especially because I didn't ask. I am so stupid. Well, certain people know how I react on black leather corsets, black trousers, long, dark hair and a lot of very nice shaped skin.

All in all it was just a lot of watching, talking to guys, sometimes listening music, getting a lot of food and arguing with the producer if or if not we could take pictures. We got at least some, none with Kid Rock though, because that stupid assistant ran me right through and stopped me even when I had the permit!

Well, afterwards we went home, just escaped the rush hour at 4 pm, and then got to Gottschalk America where I met Nanni the first time, a tall and very good looking woman which really is called like that because of the Hanni and Nanni books from Enid Blyton. When she was young she went to a border school, and because there was a Hannelore, Hanni and Nanni books were very popular back then and her normal name, Ingeborg, was too weird for the girlies, she immediately got called Nanni. Andreas, who hates to be called Andi (a billion apologies, but as he could see, Aiken called him that way, and I just copied that), is actually a full-time producer (Redakteur, according to Elke, means producer here) and still a very noble guy who has the tough job to scout locations tomorrow for the shooting on Friday - about girl gangs.

One thing I must say about Simone. She seems a very different woman sometimes. I saw her in another angle, with different light, and watched from the kitchen. She looked totally different then the first time I met her. Still adorably beautiful, but different. This is somewhat strange, and I would be curious how many different sorts of pictures would appear when she would make a major photo shooting. Ah well, maybe I'm just tired.

By the way, because Aiken is always criticizing, this site and all my opinions, judgments and experiences are totally subjective. Only from my point of view all this appeared like that, and, as everyone else, I very often remember slightly or totally different than it actually was. It just occured to me that way, or I just remember tiny details and project them on the whole situation. I don't wanna hurt or insult anybody here, and if I create that feeling by anybody, I apologize.



(Editorial comment: Consider this Gonzo)


Okay, the batteries of the two PG150 cameras are charging right now. Tomorrow we shoot an interview with Lionel Richie where I'll be soundguy again. First time by remote, though. Gym perhaps in the evening. The day after tomorrow the second season of Gottschalk America enters principal photography if I may say that, for it is no movie but a series. It will be about some homeschool-stuff, a granny teaching her grandchildren-twins at home, which now go to a diplomats school. Day after there will be the all famous girl gangs on schedule, a late shot. Saturday is something, Sunday is something, we are completely busy till the 19th, where Aiken is going to Miami, without me, for one week.

All in all I feel it like a real torture that so many beautiful girls run around in this city, and that so many are so nice. What shall I do? I'm not that type of guy who gets along with that! Anyways, Andreas suggested I turn this page around (news on top). Will do that now.

Afterwards it's bedtime, for early to rise, early to shine tomorrow again! Seeya!


February 4, 2004

Tired updates are never good. And this day ended not good either.

I got up early today, Aiken woke me up though when it was time to go. We had plenty of time, and I closed my eyes in the car a little (no, I was not driving). We went for a breakfast omelette and then to a villa on Franklin/Normandie. After waiting a lot of time and preparing some stuff we went to some Thai or Korean (I suppose it was Korean) part of Downtown Los Angeles. Lionel Richie was shooting his new music video for "only for you" or "here for you", I don't remember. He's a really nice guy, the sun was shining, and after some sound problems all worked well till lunch break. We interviewed Lionel Richie twice, Aiken shot a lot of footage from the set, Bettina was nice as I knew her from the Wolfgang Puck shot.

I had plenty of time to stroll around and look around, but the sets get less and less interesting every time I visit one. Mainly most of it stays the same, and even if I am working sometimes, I still got too much free time. Lunching we went to Dennys where I ate a Ceasar Chicken Salad. Afterwards we went to the villa again, where it was waiting for me again before we brought our equipment up to set up in a corner.

Again it was a set for the music video, so there wasn't much space and Lionel Richie was busy all the time. I had to use the boon, a long-range stick to put the microphone on, and I didn't manage to hold it without shaking all of the time. My left arm just didn't want to! Anyways, in the end it was ok, but I have to improve at that. The boon will never become my favourite tool, I can tell you that much.

After that interview I had nearly nothing to do. Normally I just sat at the pool (most of it was overcovered with a big, wooden stage to set lights and such, but a small bassin was still open) and did nothing, waiting for something to happen to or with me. Aiken got footage sometimes, but that was it then. After we found out where the craft service was, I spent a lot of time there, eating carrots, talking to the craft service girl, just to get the time around, and she seemed nice.

After a while we did a hosting for Bettina, which will get her own show. I was quite surprised by that, but well, I hope it runs good. So if you see a show in German television about Bettina in Los Angeles, you better watch it. Anyways, after that I had absolutely nothing to do - and so did the rest of us, most of the time. There was a little arguing between Aiken and Bettina when we reached overtime, but I suppose it was also because of shere boredom. Another cameraman, Helmut, working for an UK team also interviewing Lionel Richie, was there, too. Aiken knew him from different shots, and he was really nice. But all in all it was just boring, for dismantling one set and rebuilding another took so much time, and all the footage we shot late, which was not much, I must admit, was just because of that.

Later on Chris, the steadycam operator from the 3D-Graphics-company we visited on the glorious "Cursed"-day, passed by to get his steadycam arm. It just got too late to bring it to him, and he was in the area anyways. He is really one of the nicest guys I met here so far, really cool and really good to talk to. We even stayed in front of Aiken's car some time to talk.

I have to mention another incident, which was so embarassing for me I still feel completely shocked and ashamed, and I will really take this blow as a warning for the future times, not only here. Bettina told Aiken something, and Aiken called me into a quiet corner and told me I was ought to stay away from the craft service from now on, because the craft service girl complained to somebody that I was too much disturbing for her or sth. This wasn't even second hand, it was at least third hand, and it made me totally angry and in the same time hit me like a ton of bricks. I talked to her a lot, I have to admit, but I was bored, she seemed nice and told from herself, and most of the time I just was there, listened to her Bob Marley music and ate some carrots, waiting for anything to fucking happen.

First of all, I have to admit I just didn't see I was disturming or offending her or whatever (and this whatever is deliberately, for now I don't really care anymore). This is embarassing for me, and I'm very sorry for that, but can't tell her anymore. I will stay away from her from now on, even if she is craft service for some other set I might visit. It also shows me that my sensitivity, especially when bored and lonely and tired and anything, is still quite equal to not existing. This also is embarassing for me, for it shows me a real weakness of my own personality that still causes extreme problems.

Third, and this is in fact one of the worst problems, since I don't know how Bettina heared from it, i must assume that at least one other person, most likely high ranked in the production of the video, very possibly many others know about me offending the craft service girl. Since I never ever wanted to do that nor try to do that nor ever intended to look or behave bad on my third set in total, I feel so ashamed, weak and miserable I can't even find other words for it. This is murder by talking, and a bad reference if I ever try to get serious in doing soundguy. I will watch my back from now on, and most likely not connect as fast to people on sets anymore. People here are friendy, but most of not all of it is a straight-in-the-face-and-smiling LIE. I have to learn that lesson.

And fourth, and that is really something that makes me close to totally mad, I hate dishonesty. I don't know how many frigging peoples she told that, but the easiest way is to tell me, screw how I may react to that. It would be honest. In my eyes she dropped below zero in performing such a stunt. I know that from certain girls I knew in my life, and it's just a plain sign of total dishonesty, and also a severe lack of courage and behaviour. It is in fact insulting a person, and I absolutely hate that, even more when I am the target of all this. I won't say victim, for it was my fault in the first place, but I feel offended myself.

Now I got this extreme, unstoppable mix of feelings inside me again, the mix of hatred (resolving in anger) and shame (resolving in resignation) that haunted me for so long already, especially in my attempts of talking to girls. I didn't even try something for pity's sake! Oh man, and all that while I'm tired and lonely anyways. I don't think I'll forget it. This is one of the worst incidents that ever happened to me! I try to do my work properly, serious and not to behave bad in ANY kind of way here, and I manage to get something like THAT. This is far more idiotic then anything I pulled off here, and, to be exact, I pulled off some VERY idiotic things already.

I just hope a good night's sleep will help me a little to get over this. If not, this will again be a serious blow against my selfconfidence that turns into a long scar. We wanted to do several other things today, gym and such, but all that was canceled because we couldn't leave set till 10 pm! If we had left at 4 pm, nothing would ever have happened. I feel so bad. At least Aiken, Chris and I stood together after that for at least twenty minutes and talked about that and other problems with girls and dating and stuff. Didn't really help me, for the damage was already caused, but at least I didn't get the feeling that Aiken is angry at me or something. Still, I feel totally miserable.

Okay, I will go to bed. Tomorrow I have to take a shower, I am sticky and I didn't shower for 2 days for gym always skipped. I also have to repair my shirt (lost two buttons today) and to wash my clothes. Please, don't let it get that late again tomorrow! And fucking please, no more girls in my entire LIFE!

F34R 7|-|3 C|_|73 1s



February 5, 2004

First day of work at Gottschalk America is over. I woke up late, took a shower and had to run for it. 25 minutes from home to office is good, but 45 would have been much more comfortable. I wasn't late though, we packed the gear, I met Casey (PA) and Andreas (Soundguy), and we hit the road.

Andi and Casey are really cool guys. Andreas is born Hamburgian, Casey Texan. So far all went well. We shot some school busses and children going into school. Then we wanted to shoot at Barneys Beanery, but the owner just didn't tell that he had also another production shooting a commercial there. All was full of gear, and so we had no choice but to skip that one. Andreas (Editor/Producer) and us went to Rodeo Drive to get some impressions. Not much to do for me but to change one tape and carry some gear around.

Then we went lunching at Baja Fresh. After that we went to a private residence, the residence of Noelle, her mother and her twin doughters, to be exact. It was about homeschooling, but only Andi and Aiken went in to do the interviews, so the girls (6 years old) didn't get disturbed. To disturb those hyperactive girlies seems rather impossible for me. But I suppose the size of the room was the better reason. Noelle is one really good looking woman, and nice, too, as far as I got to know. Casey was totally posessed. And Aiken even got photos.

Afterwards we went to a comic book store called "Golden Apple" to shoot Stan Lee Comics and interview the owner. I strolled around the shop, with many sad memories of Mel (favourite comics: "Lady Death" and "Purgatory"), and also weird feelings about all those really beautiful drawn girls on the cover - not to mention the two real ones in the shop, one customer, on employee. And I found out that one of the german comics they sold - probably the only one - was König's gay men. Strange.

We wrapped up, went to the office, I delivered the tapes and started loading the accu. Then I got my call sheet for tomorrow and went home. Aiken will pick up Anouk, a canadian girl that visited Mom and Dad during cristmas, and who is dropping by for three days. Her mom is working for Air Canada, so she has free flights to nearly everywhere. Jetting around like that must be fun. I wonder if you get miles and more for that.

Tomorrow's call sheet shows the following: We have call time at 10.15 am, so Aiken and I go to the gym first and then have breakfast with Anouk. We meet some girl named Adela with the team, all about girl gangs, shoot her with makeup, on different locations including a cemetary (I like cemetaries!), do some B-Rolls (impressions, no interviews), and later some car freaks at a hot rod meeting. Planned wrap is at 8.30 pm, still earlier than Richie, though. I hope saturday doesn't get too late, and starts a little later. We'll see. Normally I have to work till 14th straight.

Now it's bedtime, for gym at 7 am. Adios!

February 6, 2004

No day without update. A lot happened, but I have to be fast.

I got up very early to meet with Anouk and Aiken to go to the gym. After workout we went for breakfast. Anouk still is a very nice person, especially right now, where she is so relieved to be in the sun and with us two guys. We dropped her off behind the office and she went to the beach while we went working.


Anouk Me Aiken

(Editorial Comment: Anouk, Me and Aiken. I asked later on and Anouk confirmed that the kinda weird expression is unvoluntarily and caused by the rare L.A. sunlight on her canadian skin)

Casey got his cowboy hat now, as he was expected to. Aiken told me about Casey the Texan, always wearing a cowboy hat, and yesterday he didn't have one. Well, now he has. Perhaps not the best thing to do actually, for we were shooting gang girls all day.

Just to stop misunderstandings - shooting means filming, recording on tape through a camera. I know by Aiken about a cameraman who actualy got arrested at the airport because he answered the "What is your business here"-question with "We are going to shoot a pilot". That means recording the first episode of a possible TV series, NOT killing an airplane captain. Well, obviously saying it that way was stupid anyhow. That remings me about another thing. The german movie "Die wunderbare Reise in einem verrückten Flugzeug" is legendary for Casey (who loves german words) and the rest because the English title is just "Airplane".

Okay, after we got that straight, let's continue. We drove to a really messed up neighborhood, Downtown Los Angeles again, the place where you can get every drug just at the street. We were there at around 11 am, and we already saw junkies and crack-whores. Totally messed up people, really hard to describe that. Aiken, Andi and Andreas (producer) went to meet a girl that is getting out of a girl gang now because she is pregnant in 4th month and just want to do that stuff anymore. She sold drugs since she was twelve, lost a sister pregnant in 9th month because she catched a bullet meant for her boyfriend, father dead, brother in San Diego Jail with three times life sentence, a story I didn't hear before. Mel, you are harmless, come back.

They made B-rolls in the apartment of her and her mother, Casey and me waited outside, talking about god and the world and listening music or watching crack smokers, dealers and hookers. When this was over we drove to eat something close to the cemetary where her sister and father are buried. After lunch we shot there, I stayed in quite a distance and read - as always - the inscriptions on the stones. All stones were flat on the ground, only the gang members section close to the main gate had real headstones (tombstones). The place was open, flooded with light, few trees, nothing I'd call a cemetary, that's a park with plates on the grass. I like dark, ivy-overgrown, treegrowing cemetary behind dark walls and iron gates, with a lot of tombstones and crypts. European graveyards.

Okay, then we went to Downtown to meet an ex-gang member named Susan who is helping other gang members now to get out of the gangs. The gang girl we met is one of her clients. First we met Stefan (producer) and Simone (producer) in the city. We went with Stefan to a park (Editorial comment: MacArthur Park) where Aiken, Andi, Andreas and he made some B-Rolls again. Then we drove Andreas (producer) to his car and he and Aiken drove to Susan. We and the gang girl went to the metro station to get her sister, and then drove around in wild circles due to misunderstandings just to go back to the metro station again to shoot some dark light b-rolls with girls and Susan. I always stayed with Casey. I wasn't really afraid, as long as nobody pulls a gun on me or is skilled to use his knife I don't really fear about myself. But too many people in one place in that neighborhood is causing suspicion, and we didn't want any trouble. Even Andi came back after a while to reduce the crowd around Susan and the girls (I actually never met Susan because of that).

Although it was already 6.45 pm, we still went to a hot rod show. A lot of absolutely wonderful cars were there on the parking lot of a burger place. I liked the corvette and the old mustangs the most, fast cars totally black. A lot of chicks were there, too, you know, girls that just love the car and give a fuck about the guy they have to deal with to get in one. We shot a lot of short statements with car owners and a lot of cars. Finally we went to the office and wrapped up.

Aiken and I met Anouk soon after and we went to the Antiqua Italian Restaurant where we ate for dinner and talked about work. Aiken and I had a long discussion about tone and the way to talk to each other, and especially because I freaked out when Aiken told me Bettina told him that I should just vanish in the back when Thomas Gottschalk, who will be with us since tomorrow, is there. All because of that stupid craft service girl. I found out now why she actually thought I was stalking her. She went to the bathroom and I went to the equipment then to guard it again, and she thought I was following her. There was only one fucking hallway, for crying out loud! And Anouk also said american girls are just far to dramatic and paranoid in that kind of way.

Still, this incidence is totally hitting me, because the word is spreading as you can see, but mostly because I really tried to be friendly and comfortable and all, and got the total opposite out of it in the end. What DO I have to do that girls don't totally dump, accuse and hate me?!? Even if I'm friendly I cause that? I'm seriously thinking about getting gay, or at least bi. I didn't even want a relationship, far from it, I only love one girl at a time, and I don't really need a bed partner or sth! I wanted to make friends! Man, it starts over like in fucking high school. I absolutely love girls, but I hate them because they react like that to me.

Anyways, now I am at home. Tomorrow there's call time at 9.15, so I better go to bed now (midnight). It's not much of a day though. Some dog yoga stuff (yeah, really) and then out to Los Angeles Comic Book Convention! Gonna have a look around there if anyhow possible. I wanna see if they have Megatokyo books.

Catch you later!


February 7, 2004

Da pain.

I'm watching "Crossing Jordan" right now on Art & Entertainment, wondering about the voices and the more than fabulous voice actors in the german version, and that I actually know the episode. Today was a nice 10 hours day, starting at 9 am, ending at 7 pm.

I got up, got ready and out a little late, but nothing really matters. I arrived after 9 am, packed the stuff we needed and we went to meet Thomas Gottschalk at a park in Hollywood. He is a nice guy, though, all the warnings from yesterday were unnecessary. He's the celebrity, and he gets dealed as a celebrity. PAs don't mess with celebrities, they just bring them some water.

Anyways, we were shooting Dog Yoga, some really weird stuff. Some of the ladies were nice, though. Pity I absolutely don't like dogs. After interviews and presentation I walked up and down a hill three times with gear and stuff. They shot some wonderdog called Chalsee and her owner, who won a pet star prize with it. She had some really nice tricks, but actually, I didn't enjoy it really. Just a little too fatigued.

Well, then we drove to Jeff Zugale, ElfQuest artist, who now draws a different comic named Kindergoth. I luckily didn't get to go in there, but me and Casey got some lunch from a screaming expensive italian restaurant at sunset. The most expensive sandwiches ever, and they didn't even taste spectacular for 7 bucks each.

Aiken called in between and told me that Zugale was signing comics. I said he should sign my two copies for Mel. I am such a romantic fool. Suppose she will never get them. One was just signed, the other one actually with her name on it. I didn't get them so far, Aiken left them in the Van, and I just asked too late. Doesn't matter, it's a day.

Then we went to the Los Angeles Convention Center in Pasadena where there was a comic book convention. Small one, actually. I got to shoot some pics with the minicam, didn't get any real good ones though. It was short, and we got out quite fast, luckily though. Some goths, especially a guy with a girl (acting as master and slave), were really giving me a hard time. Once I start thinking of Mel, I just can't the fuck stop it.

By the way, in the beginning we were on tour with Kevin and Elmar. Kevin is another PA, Elmar B-Camera operator, a German from Krefeld. The two were with us at the park and then went to shoot some B-Rolls somewhere else. Both are really nice. It is really hard to meet totally not-to-like person in this production.

Okay, when we were back at the office Anouk came by. I fixed the tapes and registered them, while Aiken talked to Anouk, put the batteries to charge and such. Then we went to Santa Monica, walking down the promenade and ate at a sushi bar. Strange to eat raw fish. Some of it was quite nice, but the prizes aren't really worth the taste. I had to tell Anouk and Aiken about Mel. They were really freaked out of Vampire Live Action Role Playing. Very funny. I couldn't completely finish it, because I always straved to other topics. In an open Apple store (yes, 10 pm Saturday, labour guilds!) I could show them her and my pictures on the net, which freaked especially Anouk because she was totaly not able to identify me without the beard.

After she stepped on my infected left toe in a clothes shop (I really screamed, and when I came home, it was totally messy. A real pain, and the reason why I wrote pain on the beginning of today's report) we went home. Actually, they dropped me off home. Anouk is leaving tomorrow by train to San Diego, but wants to come back one time again before I leave. She is so nice, soft, gentle and weirdly anormal. She really likes me. That is very anormal. But she's totally freaked out by spooky stuff, and that is weird to me as well, of course, because I'm really used to sadness and darkness.

Anyways, the call time tomorrow is 11am, but I will call Aiken at 8.30am to check out how to get to say goodbye to Anouk for now. Call Sheet says it's going to be a late day. First some B-Rolls of Gang Girls and Miscellaneus, then Wolfgang Schneider, local radio DJ, and his show, including Thomas Gottschalk who will be a guest on the show. Wrap is 8.30pm, so I suppposely will not be home before 10pm.

As long as I got something to drink, all is well. My dreams and thoughts are keeping me busy anyhow. G'night!


February 8, 2004

Okay, news is, the day went different as it was planned.

First I got up at 8.30 or so, becase Aiken and Anouk came by. We brought Anouk to Los Angeles Union Station, a gigantic, architecturally wonderful designed train station which is nearly not at all used. I never saw a train staton so empty on a sunday, never mind such a big one in such a big city. And, don't forget, there is NO OTHER train station in Los Angeles but this one and that single Metro line. Every German city planner would get a stroke. But well, automobile and oil lobby, the former red lines were dismantled by Firestone to support cars and freeways. Who framed Roger Rabbit?

She took the train to San Diego, which was closely named to Anthrax (Amtrax), and we got back. A pity she left, we had some quality time, and she urges to get me envolved in adult fun stuff. We'll meet again, me suppose.

Anyways, we then got home again, where I had oatmeal breakfast and then walked to the office. There I was suggested by Simone to stay and view and copy tapes instead of going on the road. For a difference, I thought, that's okay, Aiken didn't disagree, and so the guys left without me. I started viewing tape by tape, copying tape by tape, writing tape by tape. Elmar came by and shot some collages of Marvel Comics, which was a shame because 3 times in a row Kindergoth is not very much of a change. And the tapes can get boring, especially with Dog Yoga stuff or B-Camera B-Rolls.

Day didn't change, really. In between I got ridiculously bad pizza for ridiculously high prices, Elmar left to shoot some stuff with the others, Simone and Stefan went, and I was alone. I ate good and bad stuff, drank good and bad stuff, and watched tapes, wrote down timecodes, as I did before. This went till around 9 pm, when all came back. I finished with only 3 of 13 tapes left to view and none to copy anymore, put all batteries to charge and got Elmar's tapes. Only two, because his camera was stolen at the university, with the Marvel comics tape in it. Aiken didn't know where his tapes were, because Andy made his assistant for the day, and he doesn't care about anything but his work.

Even more strange was the stuff he told me. Simone seems to think Aiken does not concentrate enough on his work when I'm around. Aiken thinks that is the end of the energy gaining process of a male cow. I really don't wanna take part in such discussions, but actually I really don't wanna sit in the office for the next 14 days, especially because they already have an office PA. I rather be on tour. For another day it's no problem, for I want to finish what I started, but then I'd rather be on tour with the guys again. I'll see tomorrow what will be decided.

I just got the adresses call sheet today, so I don't really know much about what will happen. A shop on Sunset is all I remember right now. If I want to go to the gym I have to get up at 6.30 am, which is also in jeopardy, for I don't really feel like it. Depends on how I sleep. Call time is 9 am.

Now I will watch "Indiana Jones Part 1" and get to bed. I miss Mel so much. Saw her picture again today. It is hidden in my stuff. I showed it Elke. I miss that dark angel so much, I don't know why. Anyways, I hope I can sleep even if I saw Dog Yoga and Pet Star shots six times today. Adios.


February 9, 2004

I ruined my camera assistant career. Oh, I love it, I am so good in ruining something.

I skipped gym and rather slept a little longer, not enough, but longer. I watched "Indiana Jones Part I" yesterday (and am watching Part II right now). Anyways, Aiken called for he needed a camera bag, but Elke still slept, and he dropped by to spare me from sneeking in foreign women's bedrooms. That spared me half an hour walk, but ended in being late after all, for parking on mondays seems rather impossible. I was in the office today as well as yesterday. I wanted to finish my work on copying and watching tapes to write down the time codes, and Simone needed the help. So I sat from 9 am to 7 pm again, writing timecodes, copying tapes.

In the end I heared form Aiken, who talked with Simone, that she is so satisfied with my work (19 tapes in 2 days), that I get paid if I work in the office further on. Well, there goes my camera assistant job. If the payment is okay, I will of course work office.

Nothing special happened. I listened to a lot of classic rock while watching the tapes, imagining long roads, romantic evenings and somebody I know. Jules is totally confused that I still think of her, being 15.000 kilometers away and having enough to work. It's all just illusion, dreams and nightmares. There is no hope.

I definitley have to bring along a book or something for this kind of stuff. A pity I can't write on my book. Actually, I will upload the newest copy, just in case I get a hold on a computer or something. What else? Nothing really special. I suppose some quite monotone days lay ahead of me. I met Alex the first time, the actual office PA. Crazy situation, hm? Well, perhaps I can pay back my parents or even get some money out of this.

At home things go from bad to worse. Router seems new, but Jules reports, internet is still low. What on earth are you doing to my computer?

Does anyone believe in god who reads this? Or gods? Pray for me. My loneliness is killing me. Tomorrow gym 6.15 am. See you around.


February 10, 2004

Heya, me again from Los Angeles. Another day of office work done. I overslept in the morning. Aiken waited to fetch me up, but I failed to find the phone (there was another one, I just didn't see it). Anyways, I went after work and walked home. Quite a walk, actually.

When I arrived at the office, I continued to copy and watch tapes. Food is good, and with magic cards and comics I can last there. Actually, tomorrow I will be on tour again, if everything goes like my love grows. I finished a lot of work today, so I am quite satisfied with me. And I found out that there exists a third "Kindergoth"-Comic already I do NOT possess. I need to get that one. Best signed for Mel.

Well, what else? I saw a girl in the gym I saw and talked to before. But she didn't even look at me. I had to skip leg work, for the two machines were always taken. Gym was very crowded. And the way back was long. Anyways, I heared from Elke that she will gift me her old apple laptop. If I can get any program to run there that uses files as well as IBM-PCs, I can finally write on my book on travels! That would be a dream come true. A pity it isn't an IBM-Laptop in the first place, but I take what I can get.

I am sorry for these short updates, but no thought I thought today was new, and most of them, or at least some, you already know. Tomorrow there will be more to tell if everything runs well. And I want a label-maker like they have in office.

Indiana Jones hunts the Holy Grail. Adios!


February 11, 2004

I try to convince Elke that this grrlz-being in the movie "Almost Famous" is more 12 than 16 years old. The actress is probably 25. Man, talk about lolita. This movie is distracting me. But it's fun.

Office started the day, and gang girls ended it. Actually, it ended with Hugh Heffners number one whore, but still, watching over Thomas Gottschalks car after strolling around with Alex in this crazy neighborhood that keeps the execs freaking out was the high moment on my day. I hope I don't get sick from the "Langer's" sandwich. So far everything's well.

Hugh Heffner is a decadent man without ANY style I could appreciate. His girlfriend on the tape has the most empty eyes I have ever seen in my entire life, including the downtown crack whores. This is not fun for me, and it never will be. For me, life has a value, a real value you can only get from an intelligent girl with empathy, with real emotions, who uses not only her body, but her mind. That's everything I have to say about that. And that his tennis court is totally senseless. No "ugly" nets. Where do you find the balls in this labyrinth of hedges? The TENNISballs.

Segway is going to be a nice story, Andreas promised me good shots. I will see them. I like copying and writing down codes. I get to see EVERYTHING they shot. In two to three angles. Every word they say on camera. I like that. I am a control freak after all. And I like good stories.

Oh, Hauke called at the office when I was out. Amy left a message, and I called him back. He sounded tired, but he liked what I told him. He can't view my website. A real pity. Aiken promised to send a copy. I suppose his protection is also blocking my mail adress, as well as my freaking geocities-website.

What's about "Almost Famous"? It's a nice movie. Acutally it's a wonderful movie. The main character is really nice. Another guy I would've been liked to be. A pity I am just a writer, aged 24, with no real breakthrough and abilities he can't properly use to make money. At least enough to get myself a living. Some respect. I suppose all I wanted, ever wanted, is to be respected for what I really am. A thoughtful, empathic, in his heart very nice guy who just hasn't the looks like some others, but really, who cares about looks? Especially these days? I am something for the moment. But I could develop to be far more for life. Or at least some months.

This movie is making me sentimental. Enough for today. I am still living in a culture shock (as Andreas pointed out at least five times when we drove home) and thinking about my place in this world. I am afraid to look at it as a whole, as I did before. I miss this view. But I always feel not strong enough anymore. I want to wake up from this dream of adult-age. Perhaps that's why I look at a totally unreasonable grrl-being that is absolutely messed up, especially with her life. I need that. I need the chaos of life again. I need the strenght I had before, the easy-going.



February 12, 2004

Office work done. It's close to 6 pm, and I'm home already. Since I am working on three screens now (including the notebook, yay!), which gives me severe eye damage. Not to forget the nice allergic reaction I had this morning due to the sandwich I had yesterday. Besides of copying tapes and watching them I now also write time codes into the computer. I got more to do, not more change, but at least I seldom have time to think now. Well, actually enough, but I got more to distract me, which is quite fine.



(Editorial Comment: My workplace at "Gottschalk America")

I want the day tomorrow off, but as it seems, I will visit the office shortly and then take the late afternoon off to go to the magic meeting. Day after tomorrow there is a pro tour qualifier in Costa Mesa. Perhaps I can make that one.

The "Fifth Element" is so WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIRD! Totally cooooool! A pity I missed watching it with Mel in Hanover. I'm watching it right now. And it'll not be the last one, promised. By the way, my eBay account got closed out of one reason or another. Will check that when I'm back in Germany. Which therefore can take some time. They say unpaid bill. Before they said pay it next time. They are sooooo weird. But not as weird as this movie.

Okay, movie is over. I took a long break to watch it. It needed my attention. Mila Yovovich is goddess-like in there! Now I'm watching "The Fugitive". "Auf der Flucht" is the German title. I'll go and get myself a sandwich or something nice for dinner. Then I will have the change (7 quarters) to wash my laundry. And then I got fresh laundry tomorrow. Which will set me in a good mood. So I don't take losing Magic games that serious.

Hm, I supposely have Saturday and Sunday off. I will look around what I can do. Saturday the qualifier perhaps. Depends on where, when and how much of course. And I have to go shopping. My black jeans ripped apart. They were new, and new jeans always rip apart between the legs sooner or later. Sooner if you jump around that much with them as I did here. And my vest pocket ripped, too. Old age. I need some t-shirts as well. Not to mention that I would like to get something for the gym.

Okay, off I go. Evening will take long. And Elke is very sad. She sent a mail because she thought she was rude to me when I talked about girls. She wasn't, though. I'm just not sensible, and she is a good actress, covering her feelings. Something must really have reminded her even more about Aiken then normally. Poor girl. Nothing really works out in love, does it?

See you tomorrow.


February 13, 2004

Hey! Most of the day in the office, and I have a lot to tell anyways!

First of all, I don't believe in Fridays, especially not in the ones with 13 on it. I once wrote an English Grade A at a friday 13th.

I got up really late today, that's wonderful to do sometimes. And I'll do it again tomorrow. I decided to show up at the office nevertheless, hoping to get out a little earlier. Screw it. The Camera 2, a Canon, is acting strange. On the last tape of yesterdays Second Unit shooting were digital faults that made the tape completely useless. I tested it with another tape, and it repeated. But in the camera you couldn't see it. Aiken came by and even he didn't know what's the reason. We copied the tape then by Firewire directly from the camera into a new Divitape.

All that stunts blocked the copier for some time, and I couldn't finish copying the tapes from yesterday. Also, a tape from yesterday and one from today didn't properly copy, which forced me to do that again, also a loss of time. But I finished writing down the time codes, but from tape 8, which time code sheet has suddenly disappeared from one reason or another. And I had to label all new tapes, 39. But I got a Fantastic Four comic from 1993 signed by Stan Lee with my name on it. Better that is, I don't think Mel likes the Four.

So I missed leaving with Aiken to the gym, but went directly home later on and gladly made it to the draft anyways - thanks to Elke, who drove me to the Bullpen. I traded me some cards, for example a german limited Demonic Tutor (yeah, I had to drive to America to get a german limited tutor???), an Underworld Dreams from Italian Legends, and two Kor Haven. I lost 2 Oblations and a City of Brass out of 8th today and some other cards, most less fine than fun. All in all I'm satisfied.

In draft I got a really fine place. My decision to go for blue after drawing my first card - Quicksilver Elemental - was good. In the end I had 2 Skullclamps, 2 Vedalken Engineers, 2 Darksteel Gargoyle, 2 Spire Golem, Loxodon Warhammer, Juggernaut, Steelshaper Apprentice and a Fabricate. Went through the first two rounds like hot butter around a knife, then lost 1:2 in third to a guy with 14 removal spells. He is the most unsympathic player imaginable, a real pain, he must have serious problems in his life. The tournament was not sanctioned, so I didn't win nor lose rating, but I missed prizes by one round.

After playing some fungames I went home, and now I will watch "Fifth Element" for the 3rd time and perhaps consult my laptop. Perhaps not. I'm quite tired. Tomorrow in the afternoon I might drop by at the office, for Simone is there and it is not as closed as Amy wanted me to believe. But I could take Saturday and Sunday off if I want. Don't really know. The payment still isn't cleared. I have to inform Aiken, Simone wanted to talk to him about that. And I will go to the gym tomorrow for sure.

The people at the office get more weird every day, by the way. Stefan declared that the theme song of Pippi Langstrumpf is his song. He doesn't like it but he always whistles it. When I made the testshot, Amy performed a really weird ballet parody from one door to the other. And Simone acts totally cute when lunch food is there.

Okay, see you later then!


February 14, 2004

Hooray! Another Valentine's Day gone by and I didn't get a freaking valentine's card or even a greeting. Celebration! Valentine's Day is a cursed day. Every Valentine of the 2? 3? I got went very, very odd. And the last two ended in complete disaster. Valentine's Day is just the biggest farce in the world, closely followed by Christmas.

Okay, I made it a lazy "I like sleeping" morning and watched "Digimon", "Pokemon" and a new episode of "Yu-Gi-Oh", from the third season that is not yet released in Germany, and I only knew the first episodes in japanese. At the beginning of "Red Sonja" I went to the shower and then watched Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger performing in a classic but still absoloutely low movie. I love those movies, they are SO funny. Then I got some breakfast, while Elke left. After some corn I prepared a long lunch, watching the rest of "Fifth Element" (I stopped at the diva's song yesterday because I nearly fell asleep) and "Finding Nemo" again.

There are three reasons why I don't really like cooking. First of all, it just takes too much time. Second, all your clothes smell like food afterwards. And third, the end result seldom if ever tastes the way you actually wanted it to. Well, it tasted quite allright in the end, and after eating I fell asleep watching "Mortal Combat".

Aiken woke me up to get me to the gym. I hate being woke up, especially when I was actually sleeping. Simone's call on the machine was also a little disturbing. She waits for the time code files which I still have no real idea how to get it to her. I would have to send 15 mails or to waste a cd-rom for less than 200kb of data. All because I only had the laptop I got from Elke to write it. Perhaps I will sit down today and copy everything into one file.

I just saw "Minority Report". Better, the end of it. I came home from gym by foot. Just did 15 minutes of Cardio, so I was fit for the walk home. Actually, I wanted to do more, but the music was just this soft cuddle and relax and smooching modern Blues junk, so I just wasn't in the mood. But I did a lot of back and triceps workout.

I found a different way home and now will warmup the rest of my lunch and watch something, perhaps write something. Tomorrow I will perhaps go hiking with Elke before I get to the office. Elke is really sad these days. I think I even heard her crying. Luckily I never try to cry. I got some money from Aiken, my payment for the last soundguy-job, which will help me out the next days for sure.

Okay, off I go for a nice evening at home. See you!


February 15, 2004

Day over, time to think about it.

After sleeping long I went hiking with Elke. One and a half hour through the hills, on dusty desert ground. It wasn't really a nice environment, although Elke and I saw a bunny rabbit. Elke was so fascinated by that she immediately messaged Aiken and later on thought about taking japanese archery classes to shoot bunny rabbits. I only know ONE person with similar thoughts (besides me, archering was also the first thing I thought about when I saw that bunny). The forests look so boring from above, like on one of the forests from 5th Edition in Magic. Now I know why they drew it like that.

Anyways, it was a nice walk, I still feel it in my legs. Afterwards we went to the beach and waited for the Thai Food Restaurant to open. A big lunch later we drove home and I solved the convert-files-from-Mac-problem with RTF. The REICHSTEXTFORMAT is really good, Nightwind also uses it all of the time. Aiken came by to get some stuff he needs for Florida. He's leaving tomorrow morning. I burned a freaking 306kb-from-700mb-CD to get them to the office. So silly. Aiken then drove back and I went with him.

After copying some DVs, writing 5 more time codes and losing a kicker-game 6:10 vs. my brother, I went home again. It was late already, I arrived in the late 7 pms. Then I watched an episode of "Crossing Jordan" and copied and sent the 5 files over to Simone. Now Elke is torturing me with the smell of Sushi Aiken brought while I watch "Shrek" running on NBC. I can at least name three girls who said I am Shrek after they watched the movie and got to know me. No real connection to the princess so far. But actually, I don't really want a princess. I am satisfied with a Dark Angel.

Okay, I will get myself a Veggie Sandwich when Elke wants to watch "Sex and the City". I saw one of the episodes. Yuck. Just not my taste. This Sushi Smell makes me awfully hungry. And then I will relax on the bed and perhaps write a litte. Got some nice ideas for Song of Blood and Song of Hatred (the first two books I write on) in my head. I really hope I can get at least one of them finished this year. Will see how I feel when I come back to Allemagne.

Kai has to send my cellphone back to my place. And I can't send Rid his money, for I didn't cross out some used TANs and now Jules, who tried to send the money, got my online banking blocked. This is REALLY annoying me. Even more than this silly eBay-block.

Okay, I will get going now. My buddy Yoshi (actually he is general secretary Srdjan Jovanovic of the SKPVSSGS, but studies in Atlanta disguised as Yoshi, the white, green-spotted Dino from Mario) plans to meet me in second week of March when he has Spring Break and sent me a mail. He is also reading this and will not be very happy that his true identity is revealed. Have to write his college the adress of this one.

Tomorrow office at 9.30 am or so. I got a key now (yay!), and so I can adjust. Hopefully I get off a little earlier so I can go to the gym and spend some time otherways, like basketball or such. Today I skipped gym for I got out that late, but that will not happen tomorrow.

Sweet dreams (are made of this)!


February 16, 2004

President's Day is ending, and I didn't see a single president. I am very much disappointed. Isn't this the day where the dead presidents of the United States are supposed to raise from their graves to haunt the living for not fulfilling their orders they gave when they were presidents?

Anyways, I got up really late, mostly because I totally overslept. This heater is far too hot, I just couldn't fall asleep until 2 am. Of course, "Daredevil", "Rush Hour" and "Eyes Wide Shut" may have helped a little. "Eyes Wide Shut" even made it on my imaginary DVDs-to-get-list. Mel would have loved it.

After cleaning up a little for Elke was expecting visitors and getting ready I arrived at the office, two hours later than I originally planned, just to find out that we were out of blank VHS-tapes. We ordered some, but they will come tomorrow. So I made it a little easier, wrote some time codes and wrote some other things. I even started transcripting the Roland Emmerich interview, until by trying to save it my program crashed and deleted the work. Then I just went home. I suppose the guys forgot to take the battery chargers before they went to Miami today. Hopefully they left them on purpose.

The office day was torturing. I had to think about Mel all the friggin time, and I don't know why. I even wrote some sentences on Song of Blood, but that think-about-Mel-stuff still didn't leave. Srdjan message he's coming by the exact week Aiken and I have already three jobs, perhaps four. We'll arrange something for sure. Aiken and I had a discussion about what to do in March the day before yesterday. Man, even being here is exciting for me, and my fantasy always was limited as everybody knows. Why would I fantasize mainly about Mel if it was otherwise?

After office I went to "Ralph's" to buy some cereal, bread and donuts. Eight Donuts for 99 cents, not bad. Still, they taste awful, but you can eat them. Then I went home, checked for some webcomics and found out that Seraphim and Piro from Megatokyo got married. Of course I immediately switched into freak mode. I mean, please, if they think their life isn't challenging enough and they need a whole shitload of more problems, including ruining each other's life and freedom for years to come, they shall do it. Perhaps they need the taxes reduced or something. Piro seems to be a deadly romantic guy, so I suppose it was Seraphim who tempted him into this nonsense. But anyways, I always get into weird mode when somebody arounds me starts marrying for no reason. And taxes, I may say again, is the only reason nowadays.

Elke was so kind to drive me to the gym. I spend 20 minutes on the cardio and then worked out biceps and chest. I hate chest training, it's SO much weaker than back training. Must really work on that. I also thought about what it actually does for the looks. I mean, I will never be Mr. Handsome, that is for sure, even if I had a really thin body (which will never happen). And that I can't really score with the emotional or intelligence factor either as I already proved many times is also known. So it is just the difference between fat without muscles and fat with muscles. I like muscles, but I just like to eat too much. I am a meat guy, and I am a noodles guy, and a pizza guy. And I like greek food, and Kebab, and cheap pizza and cooking bags with rice. And sometimes something sweet. Since girls aren't so much available in my life, I mostly stick to White Russians and ice cream and candy bars and candy and whatever. Men in my family die early anyways.

After workout I had a nice chat with Jason, the guy I made the contract with when I first came here, and walked home afterwards, arriving at 9:30 pm, half an hour later as planned. Elke is in bed, playing with her laptop as always, and I will hit the couch and watch "Fifth Element" (of course). I wil also drink some water and sooner or later fall asleep, hopefully without heavy dreaming as last night, where every dream I had went out bad or unsolved.

Tomorrow I will hopefully be a little earlier in office. Transcripts are waiting for me, a really silly work, but it has to be done, sais Amy. I wonder who would have to do that if I wouldn't do it. Anyways, I hope I can report something different than office, Mel and gym tomorrow. Something more exciting. So far this city is just a big version of a bad soap opera.



February 17, 2004

Almost forgot to update today!

Most of all that must be a reason due to the absolutely boring day. Well, not my thoughts and feelings though, they took the chance to keep me extremely busy. I woke up after some terribly disturbing dreams, which still haunt me, and came late to work for I again overslept.

There I discovered the tapes they sent were only 30 minutes, not 60, as we need them. Didn't matter, for I could copy the last three master tapes as well as finishing copying the dubbed tape 55 we had to copy from camera. The rest of the day was totally spent in transcribing the Roland Emmerich interview. And I mean totally. It's humming in my head. That is so much work, I pity everyone who actually does that for a living. Strange thing is, tomorrow are two more tapes waiting for me to be transcribed, and this time it's English.

Anyways, I came home a little earlier, but I rather spent it fighting my headace with large amounts of water and small amounts of bad television program. Now I watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" on DVD. Again.

Well, and that's about it. I thought of Mel all of the friggin time, if I wasn't concerned about the weirdness of my dreams. Hopefully this will be over tomorrow. I wrote to an old friend who lives in Freising, but she didn't write back till now. I also didn't get a response from another girl living in Freising for quite a time. Met her on New Year's Day, wrote a mail, she wrote back, I wrote, she wrote back, I wrote, end of file. People seem to forget me already, especially females. I don't like that side-effect of my impact on girls.

Tomorrow will be another boring day, only changed by again going to the gym. If this was Germany, I would consider this normal. But it isn't Germany, and that's what's concerning me. Normally there should be something to do that doesn't cost money and spares me from screens of all kind. But after work I'm tired and somewhat through the wind. And I am not really in exploring mood anyways.

I hope the thoughts in my head will be banned by an incredibly bad nights sleep. They get replaced by other thoughts, but these are REALLY annoying, really, REALLY annoying. See you around.


February 18, 2004

Another day without many highs and some irresistible lows.

I wanted to take Friday off. That is canceled due to the gang coming home tomorrow evening, which means I am needed in office at Friday. I just came one hour late today, due to the mail Jules sent me. All in total it was a 300 Euro bill, mostly for stuff I thought was already cleared, like the whooping too high electricity bill. I should move to Berlin.

Anyways, I transcribed more than half of the Hugh Heffner interview and wrote some sentences for Book Two in between to relax my brain. Still I was tired the whole day. Such annoying work. I even start to think that Heffner is not the silly old man I thought he was, just not in any ways somebody I could follow. The continous thoughts about a certain grrl-being are getting more usual again. I dreamed of her last night. If it wasn't just a straight freaking illusion I would really go mad.

At least most of the really disturbing thoughts have disappeared like I thought. My mom sent me an eMail, too. Nothing special there, just a little worries about me coming late all of the time. I have to point out here that late means late for my time, not late for any time they give me. They don't say when I have to appear, so I can't really be too late.

I wanted to go to the gym today, honestly, but I had to wash, and that always takes time. Especially because Nanni wanted some files and I tried to call her the whole evening, jsut to get an operator and several fax machines on her phone and the mailboy of a guy named Enrique on her cellphone. That took some time, and Elke couldn't drive me because she is up to her head in work. That meant 1 1/2 hours only getting to the gym and back, means 3 hours at least in total workout, and that is just not good to combine with the 1 1/2 hours of washing.

So I watched TV, even if I wrote to my mother I wouldn't include it this time, but that was before the "call Nanni" trouble. I like "Blade Runner", it's so sad and gloomy. Afterwards I watched an asian fun movie called "Vampire Effect" on FE Action, starring Jackie Chan in a guest role. Really funny, and a lot of product placement to pay for the special effects. Imagine an asian version of "Blade" combined with "Matrix", and then you got it.



(Editorial comment: The international title of the movie is "The Twins Effect" and it's a highly recommendable asian vampire comedy)


I was also thinking about my future in Germany. I totally got a beat when I saw some pictures of Irish and Scottish Castles while straving over the channels. Green grass, grey sky and ancient buildings, that's my world. This isn't, all this dumb, cheap houses, strange products, overloaded with commercials and cars and not good tasting food. By the way, it rained today, nearly the whole day. FOrget "Never rains in Southern California", just untrue.

Gosh, i just saw a "Girls gone Wild" video commercial on TV. All censored. Compare that to German sex commercials, there are even more offending cmmercials in between the afternoon kids comics! Puritans, Hugh Heffner is so right, totally paranoid. Now I watch a little Jay Leno, subtitled in spanish. So many channels, and the program still is that bad!

Well, time to go to bed. Oh, to take the "thinking about my future"-part up again. I thought about what to do when I come home. All these troubles just waiting, small room, no job, a lot of debts to pay, no real future, no girl waiting, especially not the one I want to be waiting... I'm not really strong. I'm very fragile, especially after the last three years. The work here keeps me up, but I still don't know how much money I will get for it, and all of it goes to my parents to pay the trip anyways. I feel very insecure right now. So depending on others, and not at all being able to master my life alone. I am scared like a little kid who suddenly has to face a world it just doesn't understand. I just can't deal with money, I'm a gamer, and a dreamer. Is there any use for me where I can really get my talents used and get respected for what I am? And is there anywhere a girl I can really love and that will take me as I am, totally not used to partnerships or relationships, and therefore screwing everything up that seems so normal for most?

Well, I have no solution to these answers. Perhaps if I wasn't so tired all of the time. I sleep bad at nights, and even after eight to nine hours of sleep I still yawn the whole time. Next try coming up. Seeya.


February 19, 2004

Day doomed, ah, finished.

Okay, I came late, of course, well, later than I actually wanted to, but at least I did a good job and I wasn't tempted to fall asleep.

I finished the Hugh Heffner transcript, got 2/3 of the Taschen transcript done and finished another time code for tape 54 that Nanni took before I could do a time code. We had Dagwood lunch and I went around everything that even was close to pizza, which was a good choice. I chose pasta, which wasn't a good choice. The only thing they really can do is salad, even their garlic bread is insulting me. If that is New York pizza, I am not going to go there. Well, not because of the pizza.

Well, after work I checked out the internet for an hour and then walked up to the gym. My left leg hurts all day long, and I don't know why. I just did 15 minutes of fat burn, which was even easier due to "Jeopardy!" (the exclamation mark belongs to the show logo) and the Flyers loosing 3:4 against the Bruins, which is good for the Maple Leafs according to the Eastern board. I like back and triceps workout, you get the feeling to be actually strong. I powered and really got to sweat. Next time it will be biceps and chest again, which is a pain, for I am not only literally weak on the chest.

What else is to say? Television program today is even weaker. I was forced to see the end of "Apprentice" because Elke watched it. And the bitch didn't get fired (in the show; Elke is as sugar sweet as the cakes she doesn't like). I like that Heidi-grrl being in the show. Reminds me of somebody. Now I watch "Without a Trace" (Spurlos Verschwunden, runs on VOX in Germany), which at least won a Grammy for best actor in a TV series. Another channel shows "Lord of the Rings Part I", but I can sing that backwards in sleep. Some channel that didn't work for a while now work again, strange for me and Elke likewise.

Oh, yeah, I shouldn't write on anything in my book, especially not about servants and ladies, when I was transcribing a Hugh Heffner interview. It gets R-rated. And if fantasies were under penalty, especially in this country...

I watched some seconds of the 10 pm news on channel 9, but I switched fast. You call that news? Topic was some female teacher being prosecuted for child abuse and dadadadada a minor. Was said to have a relationship with a 16-year-old girl out of her class. Some nothing-at-all-saying statements of a student and a collegue, and some ex-neighbors digging up some trash that can or cannot be true. This is worse than BILD, by far worse. Problem is, I know some people, even in Germany, that believe every trash that is broadcasted on television. Such journalism should be persecuted, hanged and six-feet-deep buried.

Hm, what else? Oh yeah, Jules wrote me again. I have to change my health insurance. They want more money. A reason to switch. Will check out some, always wanted to try the BKK MobilOil, will call one day. And the poor man is concerned about what I write here about my feelings. He said, wait..."I am used to you being not in good mood or having a different view of things, but at least there were shifts". Well, not really, bro. I am just shifting all of the time. Actually I am mostly in good mood, for I know how to get some good mood, but all that good feelings are gone as soon as I have to deal with some things in my life, like women, love, money, future, past, goals, looks, behavior, other people aso aso.

I really don't feel to talk about it, but I think I can't manage most of these problems alone anymore. I tried to run, I tried to face them, I tried to think and feel about it. There is just no solution I can see. And all the solutions that are so conventional and so normal and whatever I heared and sometimes even tested. But I can't believe in them, and if I can say anything about me, than that I am really bad in making things resolve I don't believe in.

Actually, I often think about if this is really true. I am good in many things, including a lot of thinks I hate to death, like transcribing interviews with somebody as arrogant and overconfident as Benedikt Taschen. I just need my breaks, and I need distraction of something I like or something I like that I work for. But I'm good at it.

Strange. I can't stay here, and to be honest, I don't want to stay here. This isn't my world, and I'm not willing to be more than a visitor in it. One could say me wanting to move to Berlin is close to be a suicide attempt. Especially people who know me can remember that I absolutely hate this city. But sometimes it is the environment you like the least where you find the most stuff you like to work for. If you want to protect yourself from the outer world surrounding you instead of being open and interested in it - and therefore distracted.

It's also the feeling to be one part of a whole that better not fails, or the whole will be worse, significantly worse, that I like about working in the office at "Gottschalk America". I know many people started relying on me and profit from my work a lot. And I still get the feeling, if it gets hard, I can even do more. A little burn-out then, and you need some time off and to relax afterwards, but still, if I'm needed, I'll be there. Don't panic. If I can get a job in Berlin, for example for a television production, somewhere in the office, there is a high possibility I will move there. I can write everywhere but at home, as it seems. And if I could pay my own rent, some small, insignificant flat somewhere, and could try to start an own life again, many years later than all the average guys started it, I would at least catch up a little.

But in my heart I'm a real dreamer, lost in worlds most people can't see. I'm really good in some very real things, but my best abilities is designing pictures in my head connecting to stories that never happened, in worlds that never existed. I always think about me and Mel, and I think one reason why we would connect so good sometimes and would not at all connect in a relationship is that we are both dreamers. I'd like to get more experience, but it might already be too late right now. There are few girls I would ever trust again, and she is really not trustworthy. But I trust her, I would trust in her, and if it costs me everything, I was a fool, but I still would be happier than all the guys that left her. At the moment I feel totally miserable.

I really hope I live to the days they can connect a human brain to a computer, where it can design pictures, create movies and texts just by thoughts. If I stay out of the internet then I'll perhaps get the success I am waiting for. Very often I am not satisfied how I transcribe the pictures and stories in my head to paper or computer. I know better people are out there, and I just want a piece of the cake large enough to be proud of myself, and of many people around me that invested so much time, money, trust and love in me to be proud of me and of themselves, having the courage and the foolishness to do it.

World is no funny place to live in, especially not the human world. I hope one day I can describe the world as it will become, as detailled as I can imagine it. One thing I liked about Mel was that she was stretching my borders of thinking and feeling about the world, introducing me to ways of life and people I would NEVER have encountered if I had stayed to be the good boy. I would so hope for a world where we can be together the way I dream of it. Some dreams turn into nightmares when they become true. Mel was a dream, and when she became true, it seemed like a nightmare. But in the end it turned out as in many aspects the sweetest dream I ever dreamed. Supposely that's why I continue dreaming it in some nights.

Well, time to get some rest. Tomorrow the whole gang will be in the office again, and that means stress, a lot of work, people trying to give me responsibility and disturbing me by running outside and inside all the time and not, as I always suggest, limbo-dance under my headphone cable. And in the evening I wanna play Magic again. I love that game. I'm quite good in it, and I'm honored for my skills and my totally weird ideas there, which gives me a feeling I actually never really had when I was roleplaying.

Keep your heads up. I'll do fine someday. It's just not nowadays.



February 20, 2004

Man, this day is already over, isn't it? Late update today.

I started with answering to a mail of my fathers regarding the money issues. I can't really help there, I'm fucking 15.000 kilometers away from the scene. Still this is annoying. Especially because I don't get that much money here. Don't know how much, when or even if I really get paid for my office work. Well, count out the if-phrase, but the when and how much still is in the room.

After running into Aiken on my way to work I missed my self-made ETA by 30 minutes. Didn't matter, though: The gang wasn't there completely, Casey dropped by shortly to get some gear back to the VER lending company. I transcribed Taschen and finished copying all tapes that came from Florida, which were quite few actually, regarding the stuff they shot before. Well, I still have 7 tapes to write time codes for till Sunday, so tomorrow will be a busy day after all.

Okay, then I went home, left the four kilograms of laptop on the bed, grabbed my dice box (I forgot to take to the office, actually I didn't want to go home) and went to Magic. Of course I couldn't finish a 3-player-round before the tournament started, and in that I even got a bye. In the meantime I tested one of the worst draft decks I ever played, but what the heck, I got some decent rares, so it wasn't a total loss. I lost Round 2, and quite badly, but that made some space for a nice 4-player-round where I forced two players to conceide and one to go through 5 subgames in total before he lost to a Spectral Lynx attack. Afterwards I wanted to play a Type 1 against some guy, but two of the real idiots (which exist always in every game shop, especially in Magic, for it is a game that supports and rewards unfairness and copying) distracted him so much he just twice conceided. He had a Type 1 tournament deck, so it wouldn't have been much of a chance for me anyways. Although his two Eater of Days game 1 (which I just twice killed or removed) gave me an unbeatable advantage.

Well, then I went home, finished watching "Finding Nemo" while looking through websites and now am watching "Blade Runner" again while writing this. I thought the usual thoughts as every day, but not so strong today as normally, mostly, I suppose, because I was working and because Magic distracted me. I love the game, especially how I use to play it - weird and funny. Now I get tired and some thoughts come back again, but again less than normally. Well, tomorrow will be a busy day, and I didn't write a thing on my book today - supposely because I was busy and preparing for Magic and I don't really wanna read what I wrote the day before. Or continue it. I get such strange thoughts that I learned better to keep hidden rather than to provoke them.

Okay, see you then!


February 21, 2004

Okay, it is 1am on Sunday, so this is the latest update EVER. And it will be even later than normally. But let's start at the beginning.

No, no, nothing happened to me, I am still alive, and I had a chaotic, but very nice day. I woke up after sleeping very unresting, in between cutting my left toenail because my toe hurt like heck, keeping me from sleeping. Then I checked mail and discovered I got none which disappointed me heavily. Anyways, I went to work, started writing time codes and copying the tapes of a russian television station Andreas gave me long time ago. After 3 tapes I discovered something must have changed the setting on the video recorder yesterday, because the last 4 tapes and the tapes I copied today were not fitting NTSC. So I had to start over again, finishing the tapes just in time (at around 6 pm) to help a little getting the party started.

Yeah, party. I didn't know about that either. It was some kind of final meeting of some of the crew. In the end some didn't made it, so it ended up to be me, Casey, Aiken, Nanni, Simone, Stefan, Alex, Amy, Casey's wife Jessica and Bettina. We had Indian food and cocktails mixed by Simone, me for example two Caipirinhas. I had to steal a bunch of straws from Baha Fresh for we hadn't enough.

Casey brought his guitar and some songs on CD, I played a little, Casey played a lot, and we talked. Aiken showed around photos on his laptop, we played a game, it was fun. The game was Shahrazad, actually, very fitting. Everyome had a bandage of toilet paper around his or her head with a name on it, and we had to ask yes-or-no questions to find it out. I was second last with John Wayne. Simone was last with Sean Connery. I gave her the name, and that is actually strange. I wonder how long it would have taken if I hadn't thrown away my first choice, Friedrich Nietzsche. Stefan was Julius Caesar, Aiken Marlene Dietrich, Amy Cleopatra, Bettina Ben Affleck, Nanni Norman whoever, some guy working in Germany for the production, Casey was Lincoln, Jessica Pluto the Dog.

The Team of "Gottschalk America"

(Editorial comment: The Team of "Gottschalk America" in parts at the evening of the wrap party:

Top, left to right: Amy (office power), Stefan (head of production), Casey (PA, driver, Schlumpfinchen-expert and Texan for the books), me (PA); bottom, left to right: Aiken (Cameraman), Simone (Head of Production), Nanny (Producer), Jessica (Casey's wife) and Alex (PA). The boss is pinned as a picture on the wall in the back, if you can make it out)

Casey was nice enough to drive me home, so I came just minutes before Elke came home as well. And seconds later, I just went to go to the computer to write this and to watch "Robin Hood - King of Thieves", the power in kitchen and parts of the living room went away. We tried everything, but those parts still have no power. So no TV, Elke has no power for the computer, the DSL went away, so no Internet, a couple of lamps, the microwave and the fridge don't work anymore. But Aiken's computer in the living room, the telephone and the lamp at the computer still work. Same the power box where I plugged in my laptop (writing on it right now).

I am curious if we get some power tomorrow. It may depend on the rain, Aiken guessed (Elke called him), for it was raining all day long (it never rains in Southern California, dadada...). And it's still raining. So I just thought about Mel a little, a lot about reconstructing my decks while I was waiting for the videos (which, as I discovered later, was totally futile), and otherwise had a nice day. I finished chapter ten of Song of Hatred, making it a little more PG 13. I also discovered that there is close to no censorship in russian television. People even died in the videos Andreas gave me. I suppose he imagined something else than that. But he'll see for himself.

Oh, of course I have to mention the world receiver radio I got as a present from Simone. Everybody got one, wrapped in Playboy paper and designed by Porsche. I'm now listening to my favourite radio station here, 93.1 FM, classic rock all over, with some long commercial breaks. I am using the maglite I got with my leatherman to see a little, but most light is coming from the computer, which reminds me of home. For everybody who doesn't know my home, I got but one light in my room, a small lamp on my bed. The rest, especially in the evenings and at night, is just light from the computer, making my home quite cosy. Would be cool though to finally have the lamp installed I have lying around on my table and my cupboard.

I also forgot to mention Anna Maria's Psychic Tarot Cards, a Chapel-like shop on Lincoln I always pass while going to Magic. Yesterday I really recognized it. Strange thing is, if it wasn't psychic, but psycho, I would really be interested. But if I ever see the Open-sign illuminated, I will at least look at it. Curiosity kills the cat.

Well, I will check the power grid now and then sleep. Tomorrow is no office, and I'm glad for it, for I will be totally sleepy for sure. Problem is, how do I get to update the silly site? Well, I'll see. Aiken will drop by tomorrow to check the power. I wanted to go to the gym today, but I will do it tomorrow instead. I took some pictures and will check if I can get pics from positives here. But first there will be sleep.

See you all later!


February 22, 2004

It is half past noon and everything's back up. I posted the update from yesterday as I wrote it on my computer. In the morning the power grid still didn't work, even Aiken seemed not being able to fix it. I took it as the ultimate excuse to sleep till noon. Hey, I went to bed at 2 am, what do you expect?

Anyways, I got the day off, so I helped myself to some melting ice cream while Elke called maintenance. She left at 12.05, at 12:10 the guy from the maintenance came and at 12:15 the power was back. Something outside had snapped, he said. No problem for him. Yay!

So I posted the updates and am watching "Robin Hood, King of Thieves" now, as I actually wanted to do yesterday. Afterwards I will take a very much needed shower and then take a look at this city, perhaps finally get some picture postcards from L.A. or something. Oh, yeah, and the gym. Yeah, the gym...

Well, gym has to wait for another visit. It was raining, raining, raining all the fucking day. The program at 8.40 pm (I watched new Simpsons-episodes) was interrupted by a flash flood warning. A red bar running above a black screen on all channels with somebody speaking through radio giving out the warning. This country isn't used to water coming from above. Strange it isn't just acid.

Okay, after I watched "Scooby-Doo" I went out anyways. "Scooby-Doo" the movie, by the way. So I took my new world receiver radio, turned on 93.1 FM for Classic Rock and went through the rain which decided to get stronger and stronger. When I arrived at "The Bullpen" I was dripping. And because the rain just kept on coming, I stayed, looked at 1-bucks-a-piece-rares and played a little Magic. Well, in the end I collected some free Yu-Gi-Oh! cards from the employees, just for the fun of it and because I know a girl who would like the art. Who wants to look them up: It's "Lady Assailant of Flames", "St. Joan" (yeah, the one with the Arc, oh, no, of Arc), "Marie the Fallen One" (she will LOVE her, and she in fact is one of two creatures you need for fusing "St. Joan", whoever knows the fucking game), "Pixie Knight" (yeah, I had the same look on my face when I read that) and two "Skull Lairs" (which I just took for fun).

After watching a little playing "Yu-Gi-Oh!" (first-turn-wins were all over, it's like Urza's Saga summer!) I got myself a box of Tempest (for free! By the way, just the paper box, no cards or boosters, heh) and went on. It stopped raining, luckily. I droped by the "In'n'Out" burger where I got myself a late dinner (and a lunch, I was friggin starving). Then I went on the walk home, where I arrived just in time to see Elke leave for a ladies night out with her friends. She planned on watching the final episode of "Sex and the City", getting drunk and perhaps not returning tonight. And I stay at home, how very strange. Well, most parties in life are going on without me. And I still don't like "Sex and the City".

Well, I am down to my last six bucks, but one dollar is resting here in quarters. I discovered that on some quarters are symbols of the states. Yesterday I got Vermont, today Indiana, Rhode Island and Virginia. Yay! Only 46 states to go! Well, anyways, I got some quarters to get my laundry done tomorrow. Tomorrow is also work again, that means free lunch if everything runs as planned. I found yet another psychic shop on the way to "The Bullpen". "In'n'Out" burgers are really good, very nice burgers, Germany is junkfood against that. Regarding burgers, I mean.

Anything else? Today were Screen Actor's Guild Awards, one week before the Oscars. I just saw a bit while I was at "The Bullpen". I want to go to Costa Mesa next weekend to play the Sealed Pro Tour San Diego Qualifier. We will see how I get the money for that. Perhaps I have to change my Euros for that. I love my new radio, and I'll look through my decks a little before I go to sleep. I'm hungry as a wolf all of the time, and don't know why, but I will stop myself from eating more. Hopefully. They showed "Desperado" and "Vampire Effect" again. "Desperado" was censored. Man, puritans all over here. Well, Germany isn't very much different in that.

Oh yeah. Today in the shower I thought of a storyteller's career in Ireland. No fucking clue why, Ireland is swarming with storytellers. I suppose I thought about it because of "Robin Hood". Oh yeah, found out, it is the Special Extended version, so many scenes I didn't know about, and it is called Prince of Thieves, not King of Thieves as in Germany. Strange, eh?

Okay, I watch it now, and will look through my decks. See you all tomorrow. If no power grids fail. Adios!


February 23, 2004

Yay! I have it with being late the past days.

Okay, I came late to work. But I came before noon, just to point that out. It wasn't really much before noon, but it was before noon.

Simone and I went through the tapelists and we discovered that she missed more than a dozen. But I had them, though. And we missed the copies of two master tapes which brought me close to a panic until Nanni told us on the phone that they were under the second television in the backroom of the office. I was so releaved.

Anyways, we have around 70 tapes (74, to be exact), and I have to actualize all time codes on another laptop, this time an office laptop using Word. I finished all tapes she missed, and the first nine of the others, but the really big ones are still missing. Pet Star. I hate Pet Star. After that I got some transcripts to do and some transcripts to actualize with time codes. Well, I didn't do that before, but I just didn't know that it has to be done that way. I thought about it, actually. But it doesn't matter, I can write time codes really fast.

I finished work at 6 pm, not without being traced down by Aiken that I go to the gym. I wanted to go anyways! Man, man, man. Well, I did some internet stuff and then left for the gym at 7 pm. My new best friend - the portable radio I got - played on 4 channels mostly slower music, and I was somehow exhausted, so I arrived at 8 pm instead of 7.45 pm. After 20 minutes Fat Burn and no leg workout I pulled off a really hard workout on biceps, breast, lower back and stomach. T' will be pain tomorrow, mate!

Arrived home way after 10 pm and found a note that Elke wants to kick me out. Well, before 11 am tomorrow, when she has a client. No problem, wanted to get up early anyways. I had to do laundry, though, and it still isn't done. It is past 1 am. At 1.30 am I will check if it's dry. But I have to get up at 8.30 am lately, which means less than 7 hours of sleep if all goes well. And things have the tendencies to go wrong these days.

We have to be out of the office till the end of the week. Supposely that's Friday. I have to hurry finishing the work I got today. Will cost me at least two days, most likely three. And my money does not grow on trees. We will see how all develops. So far I'm looking at a long week of quite annoying work. Will numb my brain with music and hopefully get through it.

Oh yeah, I dreamed last night. Nothing new on the western front there, but I dreamed of my cousin Alena! And that is VERY surprising, especially because this dream was very interesting, to say the least. Pity I can't really write a story with her as a main or sub char. She is a very complicated young lady. Actually, cut out that lady, she is a sarcastic little girl with a tongue sharp enough to cut dense fog, combined with an unexpected but quite realistic beauty. I knew her as a child. She has changed. On the outside. Well, if I get to live in Hamburg one day or another, perhaps we can meet casually, drink some coffee or something, and I listen to her talk. Just to know her better. So many interesting people in my family.

Well, seven minutes to go before I check the laundry. I better get going. Wanted to check some old posts for spelling and such. See you all tomorrow.


February 24, 2004

'Tis a weird country!

Don't be so curious, I'm watching commercials, what do you expect as a reaction on the 3rd collectors series of Mighty Beans? Well, I got into bed at 2 am as I thought. After I decided to be a little late Aiken called and really started to piss me off on being late in office. It's not his job, it's Simones, or Amys, if somebodies. I'm not working good when I have too few sleep. And I'm absolutely unstandable if anybody gives me that attitude when I'm barely awake. A person's sleep is sacred for me. And I'm really pissed off by his threat to call now every day. If they fire me the last two days of office, please let them do so. My work is quality. I let it speak for me, NOT my brother.

Anyways, on my way to work (I was going to get up anyhow, just not in such a foul mood) I met Alex who was late, too. He picked me up and I got even earlier. After I started working on the laptop writing time codes and listening to music on my new radio he called me for he couldn't find the transcripts he made today. You must know, transcripts are a hell of a work, and it was one days work gone. I launched several searches, but was close to give up hope myself. No track in the used files and recently opened documents.

Only by a full detail search on the complete workstation including all hidden folders I found it. He created his complete folder accidently in his temporary internet files - of his documents folder, hidden in IE5. Copied all of the stuff on his Desktop. Got some bakery from "Starbucks" as a reward. That's the good thing about Windows. Good old DOS tradition, everything leaves traces if you know how to search for it. Pity they make the search so hard.

Afterwards I numbed my brain with music and wrote time code after time code, as predicted. Took me all day, with few breaks when Casey dropped by and when lunch came. Sushi again, but I got some lunch box, enough food allright. Well, the day ended quite relaxing. I sent the files over (over 60 files, it is such a pesty work, btu it's done now) and showed Alex my internet site and my email adress to get the templates and transcripts I have to work on by tomorrow. And I showed him the picture of Mel and some of my Vampire pictures I have.

Okay, Alex was kinda curious about it, but he seemed very interested. A very nice guy. And I'm not writing this just because he said he will read this site tomorrow, honestly. No, realy, it was hard to find anybody in this crew that was not to like. Even if some had their personal qualities hidden under some sort of rough surface, all were really nice to me. Especially Alex, Casey, also Simone, Amy, Stefan of course, whom I never saw in a bad mood, Andi, whom I saw far too few for my taste. Really super crew.

Well, it isn't over yet. Andreas comes back on Friday. Till then I got more than enough work to do. I already allow me small breaks to lay my cards and rest my brain and my fingers, for I otherwise just sit nonstop in front of the screen, alone with routine and my thoughts. My fingers start to hurt. Some things music cannot heal. I thought of a cool sentence I want to put into my book sooner or later. "Relax, I'm only dangerous when I am alone". Cool sentence, isn't it? And it fits me quite well, for I always hold myself back in public. Quite the opposite of Mel, I suppose, she is always freaking in public, but meeting her one on one or seeing her alone she is a really wonderful person.

Oh, yeah, me and Alex talked a little about her. Simone said she was a "Gruftie" herself for some time. I never was, but I'm seriously attracted to girls like that. But expecially to Mel. Please don't get me wrong, she looks good, even wonderful in my eyes, but she isn't the best of the best. She has her faults and weaknesses also on the outside, I don't only accept them, but seriously love them. Let's get away from mere physical attraction.

Normally I'm not really attracted by a girl I don't see as a mental, a psychological challenge. She must be a master challenge, for she is following me in my mind. My problem is, other than of course her totally priceless way of loving I experienced and the fact that I lived with her through some hard times that somehow attached me to her emotionally, I just can't figure out why my ratio is betraying me. There is NO RATIONAL EXPLANATION for me being emotionally attracted to Mel in that strong a way. And I'm not even mentioning my doubts if she really loved me at any time.

Well, there are worse thoughts. My low time was when I was thinking about another ex which is not worth a single word. Oh, by the way, I forgot what I wanted to say. Ah, yeah, a lot of mistakes in my reports. Will have to sit down one day and correct them one by one. Will take some time for sure.

(Editorial comment: Since I'm just looking through it, turning it around again and trying to get the worst errors out manually, I can predict two days of ten hours work each to get finished on it)

Okay, today I watched a lot of series. A little "Dexter's Laboratory", a little other series I do not remember, a little "Law and Order". By the way, I discovered, it is jsut the same as the German "Im Namen des Gesetzes". But "Im Namen des Gesetzes" is by far not that popular. Well, and Jill Hennessy starred in some older episodes. And I forgot to get me some food. Now I'm starving all over again. I hope some water will stop it, for I wanted to go to sleep soon.

Okay, guys, that's it so far. Alex advised me to drop Mel an e-mail. She hasn't got one AFAIK. Same idea as Jules had to give her a call. I don't know her number anymore, deleted it from my handy when I tried to forget her and I will NOT be so desperate to look for it on old bills. She may be married right now! I won't disturb her life ever again. And the fact that she doesn't call me although she should know my number does speak for itself. Jules knows what I wish. He's the only one I know who would ever be able to see her again on some silly role playing game event or something. If she doesn't want me (or him, which is also one possibility), I will not return a single step towards her.

Enough sad thoughts about the past. It is time for some presence. I need sleep. See you all.


February 25, 2004

It always rains in Southern California...

Okay, they predicted a storm, and it just was more than just a little shower. No wind, though, at least I didn't recognize it. Too much rain around. I was at the gym and walked home. Aiken drove me to it, so I just got very much soaked when I came home. Now all my clothes are hanging around the heater and I hope they get at least partly dry till tomorrow. I threw my towel over me to secure my radio and my passport, and it worked well. So all could've been worse.

I came exactly at 10 am to the office. Another official one hour late, but I stayed till 6 pm, so I think that's okay. Simone also said it's okay, so I don't really feel endangered. I finished some transcripts today, and only have to fill in some time codes in two and finish three tomorrow. We will see how far I can go, for two are Radio DJ, and that is just braindamaging.

After work I was driven to the gym, as I already told you. But I forgot to mention that I had quite a good workout, starting with 30 minutes of Fat Burn, then 180 pounds leg lifting, 40 pounds shoulders, 110 pounds biceps, 110 pounds compound row, 125 pounds overhead press and 110 pounds pull down bar. After that I made 300 pounds lower back and 150 turns in the sit up machine. All in total I am quite proud, that's very much my limit for now. For the Germans and other people with the reasonable metric system: 110 pounds is around 50 kg, 125 if I am not mistaken 64 kg (I went for 64 kg, so 125 is more likely the wrong number, if there is one).

Well, nothing special, we had good lunch and a nice talk about gay marriages, my interimship and the Hitchhiker's Guide. Aiken and I talked about what is up the next days. Oh, yeah, my planned Pro Tour Qualifier in Costa Mesa is canceled. I have to do soundguy for Aiken at Saturday, job for Gottschalk America. Next one is close to my planned estimated time of departure, so I think I can forget that. I'm very disappointed about that but I have to face it, I'm here to work.

After work I was driven to the gym, as I already told you. But I forgot to mention that I had quite a good workout, starting with 30 minutes of Fat Burn, then 180 pounds leg lifting, 40 pounds shoulders, 110 pounds biceps, 110 pounds compound row, 125 pounds overhead press and 110 pounds pull down bar. After that I made 300 pounds lower back and 150 turns in the sit up machine. All in total I am quite proud, that's very much my limit for now. For the Germans and other people with the reasonable metric system: 110 pounds is around 50 kg, 125 if I am not mistaken 64 kg (I went for 64 kg, so 125 is more likely the wrong number, if there is one).

Another thing. Aiken seems to get a room at Rose and 7th, close to the office and the beach. I shall move into it with him. Elke has a lot of jobs to do, and her office is at home, so I might be disturbing. As long as I can update, I don't mind. I just watched a Kelly-Doll commercial. Now I am SHOCKED. The Simpsons were RIGHT on this one??? Compared to Malibu Stacey Doll commercials there is no big difference! What a weird children manipulating commercial. I will for sure ask the next girl I see in my age if she wanted to be a Kelly girl when she was young. This is a very interesting topic.

Okay, so far that's it. I still have to get a box of milk. And I need picture postcards from L.A. before it sinks into the ocean and is drowned by the rain. Otherwise I thought about a certain girl a lot, but that isn't new, is it? Well, I better get going. I need something to drink and I want to be quite early tomorrow. Ah, by the way, I need to call my buddy Nathan in Indiana. Sooner or later. Better sooner.

Catch you later!


February 26, 2004

Frääääääääääääääääääääääääääääääänds! Yuck.

Ah, after this GREAT opening, here comes the day. Started in trying to turn on the heater and it failed. I even got up one hour earlier than normally to dry my clothes and it fails. So I had to wear totally BLUE today.

But I came totally in time today, short after 9 am. And no one noticed. Same when I come one hour later, or two. So who cares? Anyways, I finished the Hugh Hefner transcript and am TORTURED BY "WILL AND GRACE"! Oh god, Andreas Engisch would love this series. It's so mean, I like it. And John Cleese plays in it.

Back to business, where I had indian food (overspiced as I always think indian food is) and started transcribing 50 minutes of Radio DJ. Suppose I came over 20 minutes. Office will be opened next week as well, so I have time to finish everything. For I don't think I can finish all transcripts tomorrow.

Alex was totally freaked out by my surname. He didn't even believe that my passport is real. Especially when he heared that some of my buddies at home call me (due to Madayar, short Mad, and my surname Assmann) Mad Ass Man. Well, I am 24 years old. Wait a minute...yeah, right, 24 years, had to calculate. At days like this I tend to forget some years. Anyways, they can call me any way they want. I fight with words, and most people laugh about it and accept me as a cool guy because I laugh about myself. Who mocks me gets crushed.

Well, "Will and Grace" is over. You can see how long it takes to write this. Especially when you get always distracted. Right now it is commercial break on an all new episode of "CSI - Crime Scene Investigation". But I love that series, not like "Will and Grace" or even worse, Frääääänds. Okay, where was I? Right, here. I found out by testing all day long that Elke's computer cannot see JPG picture files. I will try to get old programs from the net. And I will ask my Mom to send me some old CDs and Disks with programs or program copies from her old computers to me once I'm home. Hope she can do that. But of course best would be if Srdjan can bring his old laptop for me.

Ah, I wanted to go to the gym, but my clothes aren't dry yet and I got an allergic reaction on the persian food from yesterday, so I skipped. I forgot to tell you that I heared RAMMSTEIN yesterday in the gym. RAMMSTEIN! I even asked to be sure. A song I didn't know, but clearly Rammstein. I told them if they reach In Extremo, Corvux Corax and JBO, I will never leave the building.

Anyways, when I was listening to that radio show of Wolfgang Schneider (the same five around 5-10 times over and over) I thought that a radio station playing such German music would be quite successful. And if you take two hosts, one German, one English, this could be as well educating. And many luzas in this country, many kiddies listening to that music.

Today at "Ralph's" where I bought a pack of Milk for fucking 1.75 bucks!!! I saw a couple of punks or Goths. Could've been both. German prejudices don't fit americans, they mix everything up. Reminded me of how I normally deal with those types (take "out of my way, luzas" as a hint) and of a certain girl. Luckily I had to go to the toilet so I hurried to get home.

Okay, that's it so far. I practiced a little guitar, trying some rythms to find some melodies, just for the fun of it and because the kid in "Desperado" gets told to practice. Now I'll browse the net for old programs. And in the end I will just go to bed and get up tomorrie to get demented by the radio show again.

See you!


February 27, 2004

Actually it's time for bed, but I want to update first.

Day began a little later than yesterday, and no one noticed. The zipper on my bag is broken, so I totally freaked out by trying to repair it for half an hour. Finally I cut the string and so I at least made the most part of it useable. I have to tell my dad to sue the company that gave a three years guarantee on that bags. Two zippers are broken on the small one, the belt ripped off the big one.

Okay, I went to office then, working on the Radio DJ show. After lunch I finished the time codes on the three other transcripts. I suppose I can finish the DJ show the next day. Simone gave me 100 bucks up front. I left 60 at home, used 20 for Magic today, still have 20 in my pocket as backup. As you can assume, I went drafting again today. But first I have to mention that Andreas came in this afternoon. He brought a Lindt chocolate candy for everyone, very nice gesture. And we had a nice talk about how fucking hard it is to transcribe those tapes. It is just the sounds and the mind numbing talks.

Well todays draft went well for me, but I lost in round one against a really good player with a good affinity deck. First game flood, and the demon didn't turn the tide, second game double mulligan (1 mana) and flood. My deck had 2 Echoing Ruin, 2 Shatter, 2 Essence Drain, some other removal, a Myr Matrix, a Rever Demon... Nearly every game I played afterwards with this deck against players who lost I won. Anyways, drafted some decent rares, no loss there. Made some good trades, too. All in all it was a good day to play.

When I went home I watched an old episode of "CSI" I already knew in german and that's it! No, wait, I dropped by the "In'n'Out" burger. What a wonderful place, believe me. Best fast food burgers, decent prices, and even the French Fries are fresh made! And the "Alejo's", where we ordered lunch, mistook my "half a seafood salad" and brought a full one. Still half of it in the fridge. A lot of calamari. Well, we'll see what I can do tomorrow.

Because tomorrow there's a call time at 9.15 am. We meet at the office. The backroom will become a studio where we interview some guy from an against-frivolous-lawsuits-organisation. I do soundguy. Afterwards I will perhaps work at the office, perhaps I get some time off. I will go to the gym tomorrow evening and at sunday for sure, though. And Sunday evening are the Oscars, which I want to see.

Okay, now I will lay down, watch a little "X-Men 2" or something and look through my newly achieved cards. Normally I'll make a common block deck now. The shop owner donated me two packs of blank sleeves. And I bought me some Urza lands to get the mana I need in drafts and for the common block deck. Well, enough of that. All the usual thoughts were here again today, and I didn't sleep calmfully. It's always very exhausting to sleep here. You don't feel refreshed. But I'm working, and that's all I need.

Ah, I remember. I read some Spiegel Online articles today. Kohl made a new biography, Schroeder and Bush are making a new episode of "Friends" (luckily not "Sex and the City") and Bohlen wrote a song even such low creatures as the german American Idols don't want to sing. Even our host was mentioned. Two guests were uninvited from his new show that will probably be tomorrow because they were on german television five weeks before. And the rule sais it must be six weeks since the last TV appearance. How silly, eh?

See you all tomorrow! I need sleep.

February 28, 2004

Okay, a lot of things happened today, and not all of it was good.

First I got up a little late, but it didn't matter for I made it on time for the call time anyways. Short afterwards Aiken came and I checked the sound system. First time I operated by transmitter and receiver, but all went well. Andreas got the man we had to interview, a really nice man who actually has the combination of humor and honesty that makes a good fighter for a justice system.

We shot several interviews and also B-Rolls in the office. One was a Garfield massager with "Don't use while unconscious", one a fire log with "chance of fire", a wood drill with "don't use as a dental drill" and a sun reflector for windshields with "Don't operate car while windshield is covered" on it. Some really weird stuff. Well, after we shot several commercials we left to shoot outside.


(Editorial comment: The organization most likely interviewed for this segment is the "Michigan Law Suit Abuse Watch" (M-LAW), who's Wacky Warning Label contest can be found here.)

First we fetched coffee from "McDonald's". A woman sued "McDonald's" for too hot coffee. Then we tried to get a "Wal-Mart" but failed in the attempt. We were downtown and shot at the Los Angeles County Court House. We went to Santa Monica Pier where we had an overprized undersized lunch and shot some stuff with fishermen and a fishing lure with "can cause injuries if swallowed" on it.

All in all it was easy, but I was sick all the time, the headset of Aikens broke and Andreas now calls me a socialist because I was defending the social democracies of Europe against his capitalistic "business regulates himself"-ideas. All in total I wasn't in the best, but also not in the worst mood when we finished the shots in front of a law firm at Washington.

Aiken went to fetch some stuff, I went back with Andreas and the man to the office where I packed all the stuff in the SUV, carried it up and started wrapping the light kit as Aiken told me to do. Then he came and I had to ask Simone something about something. I forgot what it was. Then I discovered a lone Adobe Photoshop 5.0 for Macintosh CD-Rom on Amy's table. I asked Simone if I could install it on my old laptop, and she said yes. It worked, but Simone had to leave and I couldn't take the CD-Rom with me. So I started the installation program when Aiken came with the packed gear from the backroom.

I was feeling guilty and shocked, for I actually should have helped him more, and asked, why he didn't call me to carry, for his knee was hurt anyways as I already discovered when he was at the shots. He gave me a really bad attitude, being pissed off that I was sitting at the computer instead of helping him and refused to give me a bag to carry. Instead he kept telling me very harsh that he was totally disappointed and so on and so on. He was also willing to drive alone instead of waiting for me, which actually isn't a problem for me, but when I came down to his truck to click him out he still gave me that attitude, and that just pushed me over the edge.

I'm willing to take a lot on my head and to be commanded around the whole day (as Aiken always does for he is the boss at the set for me and he just acts like that, without a single really friendly SOUNDING word, maybe he means it otherwise, but it just doesn't sound like that. I am still uncertain in doing soundguy for I don't have much practice, and I just can't stand being harshly criticized instead of adviced when I just don't know what, IF, I did wrong). But since seventh grade of high school I promised myself that there is a limit. And when it's reached there is no pushing around anymore. Especially the part where he just didn't believe that I was shocked and ashamed and my maybe a little too late but honestly meant offer to help him was no scam or insult, but just true.

Well, I screamed at him, telling him I'm not willing to take a single thing more, to click him out and that's it. I ran up the stairs while he told me better to rebook my flight to get out of here as early as possible because he has no interest in dealing with children. We argued loud and long, and in the end all cleared a little, but I still have to watch my back. He's right in telling me that I'm 24 and shouldn't act like that, but I keep thinking that he just doesn't know anymore how he was when he was 24. And when he sais that I should act like a grown up, he has to accept that I don't want to be bossed around like a child as well.

Well, he drove me home and then we went to the gym. By the way, Photoshop works and I finally can watch pictures at my laptop. Now just a way to play MP3s and an early Word for Mac and all is well. I made a good workout at the gym and we met a vagabond from Germany who heared us talking german and joined for a while. I still don't like chest workouts, but it gets better. Then we drove home, he stayed a while to talk with Elke and I flipped through Spiegel Online and watched a little television. After he was gone I just jumped over to "Ralph's" to get some stuff for tomorrow.

By the way, tomorrow I'll quite surely move with Aiken into a small flat at Rose and 7th. There will be no TV, no Internet and nothing we don't bring. I don't really think I disturb Elke as much as Aiken sais, but I think he just wants to watch over me all of the time if possible. I don't like that, and my limit is close to be reached. I need some free space for myself. I'm used to be alone nearly all the time, and I very much like to SLEEP alone. We will see how we can arrange that. All in total it'll be less than a month, so I suppose if nothing goes wrong I can stand it. But just walking around for the sake of getting out is not my thing. I know that too good from Hanover.

What else? Aiken and I saw a girl climbing out of the window to her boyfriend and supported by another girl when we went to the gym and had to wait at a red light. Some teenage adventure I suppose, unknown for me. The blonde looked really nice and looked at us quite some time. And she had that strange grin on her face that makes me fantasize. I just watch a commercial for Bible Songs for Kids, another reason to think this country is totally nuts. But you can buy deep fried burritos for 25 cents a piece.

It is late now and I'll go to bed. Tomorrow I'll go to the gym, then pack my stuff to be ready to leave and then perhaps stroll around a little. Monday I have office work, maybe my last day. Tuesday Aiken wants me to help at a freebie music video set, as well as friday. And 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th of March are booked with some jobs. Otherwise I hope I get to relax a little and time to think some things over.

See you all tomorrow.


February 29, 2004

Sorry I'm late.

Okay, we moved. I got up late and went to gym even later, which again made Aiken angry. He said I should call after gym, but expected me to go in the morning. I went at noon and came home after 3 pm, when he was at the computer. Whatever, I packed fast and we went to the room.

It's small and I now sleep on a fouton on the floor. Will be comfy enough. Then we watched a little Oscar Red Carpet and then went to Aikens old flat in Westchester to get some money and the deposit he left. He'll get it tomorrow though. After we dropped by "Trader Joe's", some healthy place to shop, we went home and met our landlady. A nice woman allright. I ate my salad and drank most of my apple grape juice that tastes like chewing gum while watching Oscars. Or better, "Award Ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture, Art and Science".



(Editorial Comment: The room I slept in from now on. I slept on the left)

"Lord of the Rings" won a lot so far, and Pirates nothing. Katharine Hepburn was honored for being dead. And the movie I have with her starring is "Bringing Up Baby", in German “Leoparden kuesst man nicht”, translated don't kiss leopards. I like the show, but it's still running, and I will tell you all after it's over. My updates will be irregularly now, I suppose, for no internet here. But I'll write them every day and just post them when I got the chance.

What else? I just saw Leni Riefenstahl in the In Memoriam part of the Academy Awards. Surprisingly, don't you think? I had a good workout today, also because I was fit and fast when I went up. The sun was shining and people were playing sports and good music in the radio, so I only needed 35 minutes. And I made 20 minutes cardio because fat burn was not challenging enough. Although I reduced the weights a little I powered, for example 150 situps in five minutes. I donated myself a Surf City Squeeze for that.

Annie Lennox just got the award for best song. "Lord of the Rings" never lost an award so far they were nominated for. Elke really seemed to be disturbed by me. Pity she didn't tell me. Well, we'll see how everything goes on for the rest of the trip. More than half is done. "Lord of the Rings" just won best adapted screenplay. Only chances for others when it's not nominated.

Sofia Coppola won best original screenplay. Very nice. She seems so original, natural. And the woman who was on the stage but didn't say a word with Peter Jackson and the other woman at best adapted screenplay was beautiful, too. Peter Jackson won best director. Another "Lord of the Rings" Oscar. Charlize Theron won best actress for Monster. I just recognized that "Lord of the Rings" is a masterpiece without a leading actress! There is still hope for my books. Well, actually, since the last story twist, I at least got some good supporting roles.

Sean Penn won best actor! Totally unexpected by me! I wanted Johnny or at least Ben Kingsley or Bill Murray. I didn't see "Mystic River". But he's holding a very interesting speech, honoring the other actors. I should get to see that movie sooner or later, I suppose. But I'm somehow disappointed not to see one of my three favourites up there. A pity, a real shame. I love those three guys.

Well, and that's it. Best movie "Lord of the Rings". Eleven nominations, eleven wins, like "Ben Hur" and "Titanic". As Billy Crystal said: All people in New Zealand are already thanked, people are already moving to New Zealand to be thanked. They are still thanking. And now they present the winners. Pirates didn't get one. A real pity.

Okay, that shall be it. We will see when you can read this. I will get some sleep earlier than today.



March 1, 2004

I'm even later than normally. Part of it is because I'm at a foreign house in the middle of nowhere far away from the places I can normally reach, and with my brother and two women I don't know.

Now you better stop guessing. It's a job thing. The freebie I was talking about yesterday (and you couldn't read about it by now) has to do with it. It's a music video for Bridget, who doesn't want her surname on the website. We have to get up at 4 o'clock in the morning which leaves us with nearly no sleep at all, for it's 11 pm already and we're still around here. We just arrived quarter of an hour ago, though. We're going to shoot in Downtown first and then in some strange park.

Well, let's start at the beginning. I got up at 8.15, left the house at 8.30, got myself a cup of organic coffee and still was nearly an hour early. All the office was still closed, but I got a key from Andreas. So I could enter without problems. I also knew the code for the security system, which was quite lucky. I checked my stuff and found out I cannot update my website from that computer for it cuts my webpage more than in half.

So I have to find another way. Maybe I can do that tomorrow when we get out here earlier or at least Wednesday which will approximately my last day of office. But let's continue. I was releaved of Radio DJ for nearly a day and it was substituted by the Frivolous Lawsuit stuff we shot at Saturday. I transcribed it and wrote the time code, all in the back office for Alex isn't working here anymore and I like it not having to turn my head all of the time to see the TV. I also read myself through any "Spiegel" article I found online to get a contrast to this.

Aiken called in between to get an update. I wasn't able to look at gear with him but promised to be available tomorrow for the freebie. Simone agreed to that. In the end when I called at close to 6 pm he told me a change of plans and fetched me with a white van I hope he just rented. We drove to our place, packed some stuff and went on the road again for we're going to crash at Bridget's place due to a time issue.

We went to the garage and it was raining cats and dogs. It always rains in this country, you must know, I suppose the never is a misspelling. We packed the steady cam gear, tons of it, in the van, and then made a short visit at Elke's for Aiken wanted to get some stuff and to check mails (which didn't work). I found my Silver Surfer (Aiken had it), but my little pinky ball is still missing. I want my pinky ball. It's crucial to me.

Silver Surfer

(Editorial Comment: The "Silver Surfer" I made out of some wrapper's wire and a paper clip I found at work. Aiken liked it so much he took it with him without realizing that I actually made it. I just took a picture and left it in his possession)

Well, then we went downtown and got in another traffic jam, at 8 pm. But it was raining more and more, and there was an accident which causes all Californians to panic and drive at 15 mph. Well, when we came to Downtown we waited in an alley for more than half an hour for the guy who rents the grip. It was a dark alley and it was raining, very nice. Then we went into the house with Craig, an old house which is called Music House and is not in use but by some few people who already may rent rooms in there.

All in total it was totally "Blade Runner". Dark and few flashing lights and rain all of the time. A totally cool set it would've been and a dream house to live in. For me at least. Well, we grabbed a lot of used stuff from the photo studio Craig runs and Aiken turned the car so we could load it fast due to the rivers of the apocalypse running through the alley. When we were finished we drove out to another traffic jam because of an accident and after long talks on the phone by Aiken (sometimes very entertaining for me) we arrived at this house I'm in at the moment.

We just installed the swing Bridget will sit on in the video in the garage and she's making a lot of show because of it. Funny thing that. They are especially pointing out the big differences between me and my brother. This is going to be a fun shoot tomorrow. It would be even more fun if the prognosis wouldn't be rain again. We will shoot on a rooftop in Downtown first, as I said.

Okay, people, I'm really sorry, but the updates will not be at time every day anymore I suppose. Aiken's life is some sort of topsy-turvy all of the time, and in the new flat we don't have internet due to the ridiculously high costs of the one-time-install. I know that from somewhere! Well, I hope I can keep you updated at least a little bit better than right now.

Elke said that the first nights dream in a new home becomes true. Other than a Pumuckl-thriller dream I don't remember anything. it would be VERY interesting to see that becoming true. By the way, Tali, our landlady, is also 24, a mexican masseuse with a really nice attitude (for me) and a really catchy perfume. I can't wait to be home and lonely again so that I don't get distracted all of the time.

Yeah, I'll never grow up. I'm rather straight and honest as I just said to Aiken when he was doubting my comments again. I like the way I act at the moment.



(Editorial comment: In retrospective I hate myself)

See you soon, I hope!


March 2, 2004

This is the latest update ever,. Not only by posting but also by writing. I never wrote an update not at the same day it has happened. And now I'm writing it the next day. I'm sitting in "In'n'Out" waiting for food while I do it.

Well, let's see what I remember. By the way, my writing on keyboard gets worse because I'm using an american keyboard at work but a german one on my laptop. And, even worse, I write far more at work than on my laptop.

Okay, Bridget is a really nice woman with a fabulous bar. I found Kahlua there! Smirnoff vodka and milk was also there, as well as ice, and I mixed myself a White Russian. Too bad I wasn't even in Los Angeles while doing that. So that is still to do. After that and some slices of Domino's Pizza I went to bed. At midnight, roughly. And I woke up at 3.15 am, stood up at 3.20 am. So with falling asleep time calculated and the one time I woke up in between I slept less than three hours. Feels like role playing, but actually, role playing is more fun sometimes.

We left at 4.20 am, later than we wanted due to packing extra stuff they said we have to pack. We dropped by a house to get a mirror and a white board and then we went Downtown to the set. We were the first and, as we later discovered, the only ones who were going to shoot on the rooftop of Roslynn Hotel, a million-dollar-hotel, called like that because it costs roughly a million dollars to buy one. It was built in 1923 - as was the freight elevator, which has to be controlled by hand.

We unloaded all our stuff in darkness and got it up to the 15th floor, also called roof here. While the sun was wonderfully rising - which made Sabrina, our producer, quite unhappy because she actually wanted to shoot the sunrise in the music video - we hung up the swing and prepared the gear. We even had the tent ready and unfolded, and, as I predicted, it did not rain. It never rains when we have the heavy tent with us, you know.

Anyways, we discovered that all three PAs that should be there weren't there. So it was only Sabine (producer), Aiken (DP, which stands for Director of Photography), Tony (camera assistant and a really cool guy) and me (PA, which stands for Production Assistant). Four people shooting this music video. So we skipped the steady cam (which made me quite unhappy because I hate carrying gear up and down we don't use) and Aiken concentrated on Super 16 (16 millimeter, old format).

Bridget came and we started shooting while I was responsible on pushing her on the swing and breaking the mirror we fetched in an attempt to lift it up. So that's another seven years of bad luck for me and a broken mirror I feel guilty about. I still have the feeling it just fell apart in my hands. Anyways, after shooting Bridget from different angles on the swing we shot her walking on the edge of the roof where Tony and Aiken proofed that they are not afraid of heights at all and would do anything for a good shot. We got pictures of that. Bridget had close to nothing on and was both freezing while standing on the swing and freaking out while watching Aiken and Tony doing their stunts.

I was admiring the old hotel on the other side of the street (5th and Spring, not far away from the place where we got the gear, by the way, 4th and Spring). This downtown is so Blade Runner on certain points. Hotels from post war times but totally messed up, once overloaded, now all broken down with twilight persons living in them. A dream, I tell you, a dream for somebody who likes that. Like me.

We were lucky with the weather. A curtain of darkness was hanging in the sky south of us but the wind changed and just blew the clouds away. I also was unlucky by trying to keep Bridget warm. While she had her coat on I accidently rubbed her breast which lead to a Megatokyo-worthy scene of embarassement for me. Bridget was just joking about it. Compare it to the Rhineland-Humor in Germany. I had gloves on anyways so I felt absolutely nothing. But still, this is so embarassing.



(Editorial comment: I'm prooving here that I'm just very skilled to make a complete fool and idiot out of myself on various occasions)


Well, at 11 am we finished shooting on the rooftop, two hours later than planned. But that's just normal for a production, especially a small one, a freebie, with no PA but me. We wrapped up and discovered that the elevator, which was temporarily out of order, worked again, which was VERY good for us. We packed all the stuff in three elevator loads, got it downstairs, in the van and drove to Denny's for lunch.

I was tired as hell, desperately needed a bathroom and hungry for three for I only had a prune and a banana for breakfast and some old candy bars in between. So I got myself a Sirloin Steak with Shrimps and part of the salad Aiken ordered because he was suddenly satiated. Aiken and Tony talked about a production, the production where they met, in Mexico. That seemed to have been a fun thing. First they had problems getting in, then they never had a legal allowance to work so they had to pretend on the airport that they were tourists.

Aiken met Eric Lee there, too. He told it to us like this: Aiken camera bag, case, case, Eric camera bag, case, case. So they introduced each other asking "Are you also on vacation?" - "I don't know". Good stuff for a comic, though. Tony actually draws comics. Later the production nearly lost the crew because the food was so bad and cheap until they improved it, and they had hundreds of arguments with the xp (executive producer), the 1st DP (director of photography, Aiken was second DP and there nearly never was a shot with the B-Camera for the crew was totally undercasted) and the surrounding.

It was a show with stunts, but no stunt team. So one actor got second degree burnings because a boiling hot bucket of bean soup was tossed over him (the top was cold but on the bottom it was so hot Aiken couldn't even hold his hands for long in the remaining stuff on the beach while the actor rushed into the ocean) and a DP got hit by a spear in the stomach thrown by a PA. They wanted to shoot buckets hit by a spear but there was no stunt spear (also surprisingly for the camera crew, Aiken: I beg your pardon? How do we do this, shoot one scene and one week later we shoot the next one when he is out of the hospital?). So a PA threw the spear from close to three feet away (which was very ridiculous) and missed five times (that is even more ridiculous).

Aiken mostly relaxed in the sun with Eric Lee for the second DP was nearly never used and there are quite some times where you just can't be of use in an undercasted crew all spread over an island somewhere in Mexico. They should have made the show about the things that went wrong while they were trying to do the real one. Aiken has the DVD of it, but he sais in the outtakes it's only about the girls. All in total it must've been a totally ridiculous show, but at least Tony, Eric and Aiken met each other. And it was a funny story while we were sitting in Denny's diner in Santa Monica trying not to fall asleep.

Then we went up to Topango Canyon to shoot some more. First we had some argument with the park ranger who just hadn't gotten the permit, but he was a totally nice guy and just let us shoot. Oh, yeah, we stopped at a coffee place on the way, relaxing in the sun drinking coffee while waiting for Bridget who was a litle late again. A pity Sabrina wasn't there. I even suggested to call her, but Aiken just didn't feel the need for it and in the end it turned out she hadn't even a cellphone so that wasn't possible anyways.

We got out less gear than before (lucky me, but I was in a good mood anyways, brain shut down due to tiredness, all went quite automatically) and settled under some trees in the park. Aiken proved that he likes climbing a lot (he first climbed all around the Roslynn Hotel sign on the rooftop in downtown to hang up the swing and now he climbed a tree to look for a good shooting position where Bridget should sit) and I had enough to do. Then Bridget showed up and had only flipflops and a wonderful New Orleans-like dress, but of course that's no setup to climb a tree, especially if you never climbed a tree before and are afraid of heights.

It took quite some while for Tony and Aiken to maneuver her to the spot where she should sit in the end (on Aiken's hat) while I, Chico (her friend and co-producer), her son and Sabrina enjoyed the view (or not). Especially her son had fun in the wildlife, the way kids have when they are young. I was happy to see that. In the end we started shooting and the sun had moved too far so it was only one quite working shot and we had to cut. After some argumentation that ended in the solutions "Bridget has to climb higher" or "We have to put somebody with a shiny board higher in the tree and it doesn't look natural then", Bridget climbed down and we shot several shots at a tree on the ground. I was feeling exhaustion kicking in now, I was barely able to carry three sandbags.

Close before sunset and already reminded by the park ranger we wrapped up and got out of the park. Before that there was a lot of argument about what to do on Friday, shooting in an alley or not or shooting here again or not. I couldn't quite follow it. We went back to Aiken's garage and got out the steady cam equipment. I wanted to get a letter from Jules regarding my health insurance that arrived at Elke's. I called her over Aiken's cellphone, and she didn't respond. When I was about to put it away the cellphone rang and I saw on the screen it was Elke. I answered it immediately and Aiken got quite mad about it, same as me when he was making a scene. As if I would do that when it was anybody else in any other situation! I will, as I said and he got mad about that, too, never touch his cellphone again.

This is really annoying for me. I'm not irresponsible, but in that situation, I took the cellphone with his permission only and only for the purpose to get a connection to Elke, no matter what. If he doesn’t want that, he should rather not allow me to use his cellphone. And in the beginning it was his fucking idea to call her, not mine. I wanted to leave her alone for this could easily wait and I wanted neither trouble nor spend extra time somewhere for my feet burned and I was falling asleep while standing, not regarding I was dirty and fed up with the day. Anyways, it ended like usual. I just have to say okay four to five times for Aiken repeats it four to five times and the discussion ends. I can't win it anyways. In that way Aiken is quite like Mom. I don't even want a discussion for I think there's no reason for one and everything they throw to my head is totally new to me and far from my way of thinking, but they just demand an oath on it to be assured.



(Editorial comment: We love each other very much in my family, but being raised as individuals with sometimes very strong opinions and a fighting spirit in discussions ends in regular clashes of minds)


Well, in the end I dropped off home, carrying his stuff up because he was going to return the gear, the van and going to a meeting. I stayed awake - barely - till he returned for I wanted the door locked and Tali was away as well. Then I slept long and quite good.

Well, that was the March 2nd, and I see you all tomorrow! Adios.


March 3, 2004

Okay, fast update, first one for today.

As you might've noticed, I'm not updating anymore. Several problems occured. The browser on the Mac in work cuts off the original html code, so I had to create a copy. Former site including updates till February 28th is located here to look at.



(Editorial Comment: Now all is on this page again)

I was overwhelmed with work in the last days, same as today, so I had no real time to go to an internet cafe to update. Will do that perhaps later today. All you need to know right now is that I'm fine but my clothes aren't, that I'm doing quite nicely sometimes and that I got no time right now. I wrote the updates for three days ago and the day before yesterday on my laptop and will copy them as soon as I got some time. Yesterday isn't updated at all, sorry. Will do that later today.

I have five tapes to transcribe. Excuse me please.

Wow, that was a long update yesterday.

And I wrote it today, as you know if you actually read it. I wrote it mostly at "In'n'Out", but now I'm home again and watched a lot of nice series.

Yeah, beginning. I got up a little late because I caught some sleep. But I arrived at 10 am at the office, only to find out there appeared four new tapes. Simone was quite unhappy about it. Andreas sent them back by FedEx. If she had known that, I wouldn't have been allowed to go yesterday. Well, I finished transcribing them all today. It wasn't that much and I even could finish three more minutes of the Radio DJ show before I went home. It was hot today in the office and I had a headace throughout the afternoon. Slowed work a little, I fear.

I went home to discover that the Tali-being has in between me leaving and coming left the building. I just threw out my not needed stuff and went out again. First stop was "Rite Aid" to get some toilet stuff. First thing was "Head and Shoulders" anti-oil shampoo with lemon smell (not available in Germany, HD&SD ultmt cln 13.5z 4.49 $), then I found an "Axe Essence" deo spray with an extra Axe Dry sample (both not available in Germany, AXE bdy spry essence 4z, 4.99 $) and then I was looking for any sort of shower lotion (not available at "Rite Aid"). In the end I walked off with a liquid hand soap to substitute (1 SS aroma pmpen/antstr 7.5 according to bill, 2.19 $). I got the one with patchouli essences. Did I ever mention that I react superstrong on patchouli? It's totally driving me nuts. My first girlfriend used it and my last two ones the same. Yeah, Mel is one of them.



(Editorial Comments: First of all, Mel never was my girlfriend. We just lived together and fucked on seperate occasions. Secondly, I want "Axe Essence"! But it's not available in Germany, it never was introduced into our market. We have the McRib sandwich as a regular at "McDonald's" instead. Not a good substitution. And thirdly, I still get mad when I smell patchouli.)

THen I went to "Ross - Dress for Less" to get me some fresh underwear. Ended up with three pairs of "Ralph Lauren" socks (409105816002 PJ BLK/BLK/BLK 7.99 $) and "Tommy Hilfiger" underpants (409109629585 TH BRIEF ACTION BL 3.99 $), both lowered in price due to little faults or something. Will go there another time I think to upgrade that with even cheaper stuff. I don't give a damn about what I wear as long as it is cheap and black and fitting, and the third part is not always important.

Then I wanted to find the internet shop Aiken told me about, but I walked down till Washington (I always walk down till Washington, as it seems) and long before decided to make a left turn to get some dinner at "In'n'Out" where I wrote the majority of the yesterday update while having wonderful burgers. I'll really miss that shop at home. Anyways, after staying there from orders 66 to 16 I went home.



(Editorial Comment: I still miss "In'n'Out")


After loading all my junk on the bed I met Tali who came home and immediately started killing cockroaches in the kitchen. I like her. She strongly reminds me of Mel, she seems heart-breaking interesting. Anyways, she's loaded with work and I can't really complain about unemployment here, too. So she just can't get up the roommate-ad at Craig's list. I will call Aiken tomorrow from the office and hope he guides me through how to do that.

After we talked about the snow in the bathroom (the ventilator is above the toilet and big flakes of dust are falling down from it) we disappeared in our rooms and I started writing this with long breaks whenever something interesting was running. Now I will go to sleep. Tomorrow I want to wrap up the whole "Gottschalk America" office work and perhaps get to do something else before I sit at home, watch series and wait for Aiken to return.

Oh, and of course I have to meet Troy at the gym at 4 pm. He is my trainer, and we have two lessons in my contract with "24 hour fitness". Will be interesting, I think. I'll attempt to get some help with some of the gear I use. I think sometimes I do something wrong for I don't feel so strong but for example back is going easy while chest is going really slow.

Friday shooting second part of the music video. A pity. Hopefully it goes fast (HAH!) so I can get to Magic. More likely I will get to play next week again.

Adios everyone!


March 4, 2004

Here we go again!

Well, at least in parts. I managed to get some of the stuff up that I wrote the past days. More is about to come at the next possible time.

Ok, sorry people, but I didn’t get to make another update for today.

Well, I got up today and went to work. All is wrapping up there and Simone wanted my help. So I fought some time with my mail program and then sent her the unfinished transcript of the Radio DJ show. Then she agreed for me to finish it for only seven minutes were missing. I started and finished it before lunch. In between I sent all my files to my mail account, nearly stuffing it.

At lunch I typed the first four pages of the updates I missed and then helped packing some stuff and carrying stuff down in Bettina’s truck. Then I left, saying goodbye to Amy and walked home to get my stuff. I managed to get from 7th and Flower to Ocean Park and 31st in less than an hour. The gym's there, by the way. I changed and waited for Troy, my personal trainer.

He is a big guy, black, with the some kind or another black favour to cut off words and speak not quite understandable. Perhaps I'm just not used to that kind of language. Anyways, he took some measurements and then we made a little training on the gear to check where I am. Especially chest and triceps went catastrophic for my taste. Triceps was surprising. Legs and back went well, though. Next hour Wednesday at 10 am. And last one, for I only got two lessons in the contract I made with "24 hour fitness".

Afterwards I got home, dropping by "McDonald's" and getting some sort of a mexican chicken wrap for a buck. Cheap and tasty. By the way, did you know that the German "Fishmac" is called "Filet-o-Fish" here? In America, not France. I wonder if it's the same in France...I didn’t really do research on that. When I was in PAris I only ate at "McDonald's", but that was in my schooldays. I forgot.

Well, I came home, relaxed on the bed drinking some of the water I brought from gym (you get water with few chlorine there and I always fill my bottle with it during and after training) and watching shows. The German show “Familienduell” here is called “Family Freb” or something and is hosted by Al from “Home Improvement”, in German “Hör mal wer da hämmert”. Well, by the guy who playes Al. And in the American show they clap all of the time. And I mean all of the fucking time. Before every answer, after every answer and after every confirmation if the answer was right or wrong. ALL the time. And Al cuddles a lot.

In between I heared Tali-beings key and her swatting of cockroaches. I of course went out to watch her killing cockroaches. She's so sweet. I mean, she's so weird, and all who know me know that I think weird is sweet. We talked a little, actually a lot. I got to know some stuff about her. She sleeps like the princess of the pea on four thick matresses and gets back ache because of that. In between I went to the TV again but the program was so boring that I joined the poor exhausted Tali-being in the living room. Later she went out to visit a friend (luckily she wasn’t alone for she locked herself out and left the key in, but I watched the window for Aiken and therefore could get it for her).

I discovered a nice series on "Fox 11" with a little farsight and a lot of beautiful girls and now switched to the new episode of "CSI". Aiken came in between but didn’t do anything else than running around hanging on the phone. And just now Tali came home as well. So it is time to finish the update and get to think about how to sleep, wake up, and how we can work for the office a little and then get to the music video shooting.

Aiken just informed me that I don’t have to help out at the office tomorrow but I will drop by anyways to say bye to Simone. Now he hangs on the phone because of the shooting tomorrow. And I couldn’t do laundry and approximately will not be able to do it till Sunday. So I have to wear the bad looking trousers again, or my sports trousers as I do right now. The other pants, the new ones, are ripped up between the legs, as all my trousers do sooner or later. The more I walk, the sooner. And I walk a LOT here.

Have to switch "CSI" on again. See you later!


March 5, 2004

Yes, yes. It doesn't get any later than two days ago, does it?

Due to Aiken saying I don’t need to get up early I slept till 8.30 am and then got ready to roll at 9 am. Aiken came around that time as well and we packed to get going. I got a "California Cobb" salad at "McDonald's" on the way (very delicious) and a joghurt with fruits (also very delicious). Ah, before that of course we checked by the garage again to grab the equipment. This time no steady cam.

Then we went to Topanga Canyon again, where we first dropped by the nice little coffee place. After we settled at the state park we waited a little while Aiken ran up and down to get service on his cellphone. He failed, but Sabrina came and he could tell her that she should call Bridget to get compressed air and some tapes. She had to drive to a phonebooth to do this. I guarded the equipment while Aiken and Sabrina scouted the location and then we started carrying the stuff over there.

When Bridget finally arrived, Aiken started loading the tape. Super 16 is a sixteen millimeter tape in a metal box that you have to load manually into the tape holder of the camera - and blind, because you have to do it in a dark spot. Tony used a tent, but he wasn’t there (by the way, we had no AC this time and the only PA that promised to be here wasn’t, so it was just me and Aiken). Aiken has a black sack to change the tape inside.

When he was doing it two buddies of his, both ACs, dropped by! He was very much surprised and the two seemed very nice guys. But they were just going hiking in the park. They already thought about Aiken being there but it was their first free day for quite some time and nobody can blame them. Aiken actually called them of course when he tried to get us an AC for today.

Aiken had to correct the tape in between the shots where Bridget was walking between two trees. Then we shot her hand touching the grass, herself in the grass (which took some time for she close to disappeared in the grass) and then we started shooting in the tree again!

Aiken already had installed a ladder IN the tree, tied with three straps to the branches. And he added two ropes for better holding as well. Even I climbed the tree this time, but stayed at the bottom of the ladder (and scratched my left arm while Aiken helped me down). I desperately have to loose weight for I need to climb trees again.

However, Bridget still was freaked out, especially because she had to sit higher than before. We maneuvered her there anyways, and even Sabrina climbed onto the tree to watch the monitor. It was a funny picture, seeing Aiken, Bridget and Sabrina in the tree with only me and the Make up girl still on ground. In between a reflector fell down, hit Aikens head with the metal clamp and my left knee and left foot as well for I was standing right under it where I was checking the camera Aiken got down before that. Aiken also hit my left foot with the ladder moving it while I was still adjusting it after we brought it down and Bridget was intended to climb down on it. In the end it was quite a painful experience, but all in all totally funny.

We shot Bridget three times in the tree, once on top, twice in the middle in different positions. Then we wrapped and drove home. Aiken was nice enough to drive me past a bank to give me 20 bucks of my money. I got 900 bucks in total for my work at "Gottschalk America"! I could repay my grandmother and parents for the flight and still have some cash to spend! Whoooow! Since I couldn't see Simone today anymore I must not forget to write her an email as soon as I get to the internet place again.

And then he dropped me off at the "Bullpen", which was even nicer of him. Aiken was impressed of my impatience regarding that because he had the feeling I'm sometimes far too lazy when I'm working. I was in quite a hurry and barely made it entering the draft as well, but all went out quite well. I drafted some decent rares and byed Round 1. In between I played some test games with others who byed and then I faced a real pro player Round 2. First game his Pristine Angel hit the table and killed me single handed, second game he had a mayor flood and lost fast. So it came down to the third game. I can't remember playing a longer game since the Mirrodin release league online. I stopped his Pristine Angel with the only card I had that actually could do that, Darksteel Gargoyle. In between nine creatures on each side stared on each other while the game stalled. We went to the extra turns and went down to 2 cards in our libraries when he finally used his Icy Maipulator to tap out my two flyers and win the game.

Afterwards I played a little casual, traded a little and talked a little before I went home, got me a small dinner at "In'n'Out" and silently sneaked into our room to sleep without disturbing Aiken.


March 6, 2004

Better late than never, me say.

Okay, Saturday. What happened on Saturday? Well, first of all Aiken got up early to do his laundry. Then he went to check eMails and stuff. All in total more than an excuse for me to sleep till 8 am, when I got up and took a shower to be ready at 8.30 am. Aiken came in between and started packing stuff for his four days trip to Death Valley. He does steady cam there. By the way, I slept as bad as I haven't for a long time. Woke up at least three times, couldn't fall asleep while being awfully tired, really bad. And that without dreaming of Mel - at least as far as I can remember. Actually dreams of Mel aren't bad. I catch myself not wanting to wake up anymore.

We got out at around 8.45 am, like Aiken had planned. At the garage we got some gear for the shooting today and then we went on the road to 2230 6th West where as it turned out, the first of two locations of the day was situated. After some searching we found it, right at the edge of McArthur Park we still know from "Gottschalk America's" Gang Girl shootings. Aiken told me that according to Adela the park is divided between four gangs and their signs and symbols are sprayed everywhere.

Anyways, we waited there and Aiken called Kathrin, second executive producer of the ORF-show "25". In the end she parked right behind us. She reminds me of my cousin Julia, a really nice woman and very good looking. I started checking the sound gear and in between Georg and Natascha Ladek arrived, protagonists of the show today. As Kathrin they were born Austrians, but emigrated to the US a long time ago. After we parked behind the gate of the Samba dancing school we were supposed to shoot in I also met Robert, host and xp of "25", and of course Austrian.

This was one of the nicest crews I have ever worked with. The Austrian humor was all around and all were happy and nice and joking and laughing a lot. Well, we went into the Samba school and met the owner, the Samba Queen (and dancing teacher) and several students. The warmup was performed with a man playing bongos, which was already impressive. But even more impressive were the five boys carrying drums of all kinds into the hall. Young lads all together, they started drumming as if there was no tomorrow. I seldom if ever heared such an impressive performance. The complete dancing lesson (where Georg and Natascha performed in) was held by only the rythms of the drums.

Some of the students were very impressive in dancing already. Especially two of the girls, close on being totally bulimic, and two of the guys showed an impressive dancing performance. My eyes and ears were mostly on the drummers, of course. Sound wasn't needed, so I could enjoy the whole performance while Aiken ran up and down shooting. In the end we made O-Tones (Original Tones) with the owner and the Samba Queen where I twice messed up with the boon, but in the end all went out well. We did that with the drums in the background, which also caused complications.

Then we wrapped and after some discussions about the wethertos and whyfors Aiken and I dropped by the garage to get some tapes while the others already drove out to the valley, second location of the day. For everyone who doesn’t know LA (as me some weeks ago), let me explain the valley. Los Angeles is surrounded by mountains. One part is called the Santa Monica Mountains. Santa Monica isn’t part of LA city, Venice is, so I am quite on the border right now. But Santa Monica is part of LA county. Anyways, these mountains and other mountain ranges form a valley that you can reach if you drive by "Universal City" on the freeway. It gets very hot n the summer, but rooms and houses there are quite cheap because it is so far away from LA city.

Okay, we met the Austrian gang again at "The Habit", a burger place in the valley. Nice burgers, but I still prefer "In'n'Out". My Onion Rings were the hit of the day, though. I substituted my French Fries in the menu with them and close to everyone on the table wanted to taste one. Then we followed the Ladeks and producers to the home of the Ladeks, second location.

Natascha Ladek is a professional wigmaker, and quite famous. She won two Emmys and made wigs for Lucy Liu, Rachel Weisz, Ewan McGregor, Charlie Sheen and several other celebrities. A wig costs 5000 bucks there, and she sometimes makes ten a month. The protocol is obvious. So is the house, a big one with the working place in the garage, a big pool in the back, and very nice furniture. They have a dog, Maxi, half german shepherd, half huskey, and three kids which speak half german and all english.

We shot several stuff in the garage, several stuff in the backyard at the pool and of course interviews with Natascha, Georg and their friends who came by for dinner. Oh, and of course their parents. Natascha is Georgs stepsister and wife, by the way. Her father married his mother. Natascha followed her father and Georg to the states. Anyways, in the end I even got a little bit to eat and after we wrapped my money from Aiken. He then packed his stuff and left the building for a four and a half hour drive to Death Valley with an early calltime tomorrow. Not very nice for him. I decided to reconstruct Magic decks and watched TV for quite some time. In between Tally went and came back. She seemed a little upset about something, but said she was fine, so I wished her a good night and went to sleep.


March 7, 2004

Whew! A day to relax.

Okay, today was the lazy day off. First of all I dreamed of Mel again. Very realistic. That tempted me to sleep even longer. I dreamed of bongo drums and all that stuff, too. In the end I got up late, watched the Dallas Mavericks losing against the Houston Rockets 101 to 98 and then went to do my laundry in the "Wash and Dry" at Rose and 7th. After toying a little with the change machine I washed my stuff and dry cleaned my stuff, wasting some time sitting around listening to the radio.

When I came back supersexy Tali was there wearing a top and a skirt, pure summertime. Ah, by the way, sun shine all day today, must've been a mistake. Well, Tali went off before I could really get somehow distracted, so I decided rather to do my stuff. I saw the Lakers win against the Nets and took a shower before I went to an Internet cafe.

There I took care of the site, formatting it to the original again. Now all updates are on one site again! I also finished the missing updates but March 5 and 6, which will come tomorrow I suppose. I started writing them but then I disconnected accidentially before I could save it. I took that as a sign and checked out mails, Spiegel.de, Sueddeutsche.de, Seattlepi.com and several webcomics. Merlien wrote! That's my penpal from Singapore, and I was very much surprised and even more pleased of her short message.

By the way, I just realized I never mentioned that I layed another shortcut to my site. On http://lastory.madayar.com you can get immediately to that diary! Cool, huh? Well, I'm happy the site can get updated again. Three bucks an hour, that's really cheap around here. We pay for a complete hour, but I can spend that much time easily reading articles and stuff online.

Well, then I went out and felt my heavy, heavy bag. At that time I remembered that I took three Magic-decks and my trading cards with me as well as my laptop, so I went to "The Bullpen". There I actually met a Magic player and we traded and played against each other (I won due to Shahrazad freaking him so much out his fighting morale was down to Zero in no time). Meanwhile I straved through the entire Commons and Uncommons box at the Bullpen and in the end bought a lot of really good cards for only six bucks! I have to look up some cards tonight.

Then I went out and of course crashed at my favourite burger joint, "In'n'Out". This is lunch and dinner and a little bit of Sbreakfast in one, so I enjoyed my burgers and my drink. In the end I arrived at order 5 and left at order 82. Afterwards I went to the internet place again and posted all this. Now I am on my way home. Some good series are on television today.

I also wrote Srdjan. He's about to come along, he said. But I didn't receive more information at this point. I dropped him another line tonight and approximately call him tomorrow if I still didn't hear from him. I also dropped Simone a line filled with thank yous. It was such a wonderful experience and even profitable! Anytime!

Well, let’s see. Only March 6 is now missing. That'll come tomorrow for I want to relax today and write it in the evening at home. I hope everything is fine in Eckernfoerde. Will drop Jules a line. He didn't write for quite some time.

Okay, see you tomorrow then, when I finally get the picture postcards from LA!



March 8, 2004

Well, Aiken is still in Death Valley, so I get to stroll around.

I got up late, but not that late, and watched some news and talkshows while dressing and playing with my Magic cards. Then I got myself breakfast at "McDonald's" (a Fruit and Yoghurt parfait and a Bacon, Egg and Cheese "McGriddle") while writing the March 6th update which is up now, by the way. After lunching at "Taco Bell" (steak quesadilla, bean buritto and taco supreme) I went to the internet place where I'm now as you may be able to see.

Srdjan hasn't written, so I have to call him in the afternoon. Will do that when I'm at the Santa Monica Place. I plan to change clothes (it's hot, sun always shining) and then walk to Venice Beach. From there I will wander to Santa Monica Pier, and "Santa Monica Place" isn't far then. Wanna drop by the "Wizards of the Coast" place. Perhaps get another box. And then at the "Santa Monica Sports Cards" and the Comic Book Store on 3rd Street. Getting Kindergoth if possible.

Ah, I mustn't forget to drop Jules a line. I forgot yesterday. Well, will do that right now. And I will check for several webcomics, magicthegathering.com and news before I go. See you all as soon as possible!

Back at the Internet Place. Srdjan dropped a line. He can't come by to visit me, has to work. A pity. Well, I only got two more days off anyways. Thursday I work for ORF again, Friday I drive to Vegas, Saturday working for ProSieben. So it is not that bad. Still it's a pity.

Well, as I planned I stayed a little at home (for an hour or so) watching justice series at TV and changed clothes. Then I packed my rucksack and went to Venice Beach. After walking to the Pier I dropped by the Wizards store that will close on Sunday. I bought myself four metallic boxes for cards and chatted a little with the girl working there who likes big guys. Has one as a boyfriend.

Anyways, then I walked to "Border's Books and More" to get Picture Postcards. I bought 15, just in case. Tomorrow I will send them all over the world. Actually, I need Merlien's mail adress. Then I went up to the comic book store but they hadn't Kindergoth. Pity. Then I went to the "Santa Monica Sports Cards" store and straved through their old cards. I bought far too man but got a good retail and now own a lot of very old cards. I can't wait to get them in play. "7Eleven" just next door provided me with a 40 oz Blue Raspberry Fanta "Slurpie" for the way home. Believe me, it looks like liquified smurfs. I wonder if liquified smurfs also taste like that. Did I mention that Casey loved Smurfettes German Name Schlumpfinchen?

On my way home I tried to reach Elke several times but couldn't. I don't have her cellphone number anyways. Well, as you can guess I chose to get into the internet place, first of all because I wanted to know about Srdjan, secondly because I desperately needed a restroom for quite some time.

I think I will end my day at home, reconstructing decks and watching television. I also have to check my financial situation. Supposely I have to rationalize my food needs. The easiest way to lose weight is to have no money to buy food - or the urgent need to save some money for presents and the trip home.

We're looking up to another boring day tomorrow where I approximately check out the gym and/or the basketball courts around here. I will not update tomorrow (saving money, three bucks an hour is not the best), but perhaps Wednesday evening. For certain an update will come before my trip to Las Vegas. Jules, check out Still Honest for me. Found it through VGCATS.

See you all!


March 9, 2004

Cheap eating can be bad sometimes.

The senseless quote of the day is made, so let’s start it. I got up late again and watched TV while playing a little cards. It's hot again, but cooler in my room. They got a deficit of rain here and a lot of season highs regarding the temperature. In Santa Monica it's cooler than everywhere else, but still too hot for my taste. Now some of you may argue, as far as they know me, above zero is too hot for me. Sometimes that's right, but actually I'm more the 10 to 15 degrees Celsius type. Here they have from 78 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit right now. And they still call it winter. Well, at least they checked that this is too warm for winter.

Anyways, when Tali came home I chatted a little with her and then packed my stuff to go playing basketball. First I passed Ralph's to get me something to drink, then I checked out the courts at Marine Park and at Rose. Finally I chose Rose to train a little. Most of the time three-point-throws. I'm so bad, I totally lost my feeling for that. After quite some while I walked back to Marine, played a little and watched the Baseball game that was going on there. By the way, all of the time my heels were absolutely killing me. They seem not to like all the walking and exercising and all that stuff. Whenever I get up I first have problems even to walk because of that. Same in the morning.

I decided to go home. I wanted to write some postcards but instead I took a shower, layed my cards and watched series on TV. Then I went shopping, again back to "Ralph's", getting a little unhealthy stuff for the moment and some healthy stuff for the next days. I'm down below 60 bucks now. Really have to watch my money. By the way, I walked through thick, dizzy fog. Or smog. I suppose it was fog. But it smelled bad. Well, it normally smells bad on the street. Strange, there are so wonderful places around LA. But LA itself is just plain ugly. Like Roland Emmerich said in his interview with Thomas Gottschalk: "I said to myself, I only want to buy a house that has so much Green around it I can't see LA anymore." I would suggest Montana for that.

The day ended with Tali's ex coming by when she wasn't around. She came five minutes later and told me that guy was her ex. He came another time later on but I just disappeared in my room. Tali wants to handle everything regarding her by herself. I appreciate that. They were still awake when I switched out the light.

Well, that was another lazy day. Nothing new on the western front. Tomorrow I have my second and last trainer lesson at the gym in the morning. And I have to clean up a little for Aiken will come back. Otherwise there's nothing on the list, so perhaps I'll take the bus down to "Santa Monica Place" and sit somewhere writing my postcards.



March 10, 2004

Hey! I got Adult ADD!

Well, I started the day late. A little too late. I missed the bus up Ocean Park to get to my trainer lesson. Came a little late. Troy filed his revenge on the leg press, giving me 15 repeats on 270 pounds. OUTCH! Man, I really had problems standing even 4 machines later. Anyways, a new trainer lesson would cost me 51 bucks. Suppose that's out of the question. But I'll train anyways. I even did some fat burn on the spinning machine after training just to get my legs used to working again.

Then I went to breakfast and lunch to "McDonald's", writing yesterday's update. I still like their Chicken Fatija Roll-Up. Cheap and tasty. Well, then I wanted to go home, but at the "Cock and Bull British Pub" were a lot of people. I asked what game was on, and when I heared it was Real vs. Bayern I dropped in for the second half. Cost me 10 bucks all in total, but it was fun. I met some guys from Germany later in front of the pub, one a writer and one a guy looking for a job. The writer was formerly a cameraman and lightguy, so I gave him Aiken's number. I suppose it was a good idea, but I'll ask him when he comes home.

Then I went home and screwed my plan on going basketball playing in favor of afternoon shows, cards and shopping at "Ralph's". I got some food, especially the bananas and apples back I ate from Aiken. Oh, and I found out you can actually roast formerly frozen burritos in a pan. So my food problems are finally settled. You get four burritos a buck at "Ralph's".

Then I finally finished one of my most important tasks - "picture postcards from LA". That's a song from Joshua Kadison. It even was a single. My ex Schanara will remember it. Although "Jessie" is more popular - from him and for her and me of course. Well, I wrote fourteen postcards, one to each of my roommates, one to Jules, to my grandma, to my parents and my younger brother, to my uncle and my cousin, my aunt in Islington, my buddy in Eggenfelden who's attempt to kill one of the most hated residents of his town with a truck full of pickles just failed some weeks ago, well, as it goes. I suppose it'll be more in the end.

Oh, I can hear Aiken return. Time to sleep and talk some business. Perhaps not in that row. He seems to be awfully tired. Just told me it had 34 degrees celsius today in Death Valley. He want's to take a shower and then bed. Seems like bedtime right now.

See you all later!


March 11, 2004

I got boon problems...

Seriously, working with the boon is really enerving for me. Especially because I sometimes slip with it. I just don’t trust this thing. But it seems one can’t just get rid of it.

I woke up a couple of times today. Dreamt quite weird and quite uncomfortable. The always barking dogs from the other side of the street didn’t help as well. Aiken got up early and got the camera, I got up at around 7.30 am and had to skip breakfast. Sometimes I ask myself why I actually get this silly cereal if I never get to eat it.

By the way, sounds of ORF and giving Aiken’s number to some Germans was totally okay, so I am releaved. Anyways, we got to the garage and Aiken cleaned out the back of his truck for me to sit in. Then we went to get Kathrin. She sat in front and I in the back, which was very uncomfortable at the beginning, but after some time I adjusted to it. Kathrin also told us breaking news about a bomb attack on Madrid Central Station with hundreds dead and wounded. I will have to contact Dopash, my buddy in Spain, by mail. It’s like mills on his water...what? NO! Water on his mills regarding Aznar. He hates the premier of Spain for intervening with the Iraq war, saying there are enough terrorists in his own country.

Anyways, Kathrin was in “weird mode”, as I call it when a sudden incident switches something inside a normally calmful brain to “act strange”. She was a lot of fun today, I tell you! We drove to the IFA or AFI or whatever, I forgot. Some institute or academy for cinematography and stuff. Our talent, today represented by Nadja, studied there very successful after leaving Austria and now even starts making real movies. Before that she made short movies.

The institute was close to Griffith Park, and I started unpacking and readying everything while Aiken and Kathrin went down the stairs to check location and the others. Then we shot in a screening room by using transmitter mike and camera on tripod. All went well, although we were a little late for the second location.

After driving on 101 North to Tampa Blv we arrived far before Robert and Nadja, who were meant to follow us but drove a different direction from the very beginning. Sound wasn’t needed so I played a little drums with Jazzman, who was a driver for Robert (actual profession actor, purpose for production unknown) and talked a lot with people while Aiken shot Nadja and her trainer on horsebacks. He even rode a horse, but I didn’t see it. Was around the corner.

Then we drove to the next location, somewhere on Melrose Blv, a Vienna Cafe. We arrived first again (using the right exit while the others chose to continue on the freeway for one reason or another), but our shooting was delayed so we all got a quite good and rich lunchtime at the cafe. Reason of the delay was Aiken wrapping his laptop and thereby accidently locking in his carkeys. Not in the car, in the trunk. He built the trunk himself, made it quite safe and only has one key for it. So the locksmith had to come and made another key to open it.

After this delay it suddenly had to go fast. The quicklock of the cable leading from mixer to camera jammed somehow, so we just used boon and camera in the beginning to make an interview with one of Nadja’s friends who had to leave soon. Then I fixed the silly cable somehow and we shot with mixer again. All was inside the cafe, first in the front, later in the back office. In the front I had real problems with the silly boon, two takes had to be repeated because of me messing up, holding the boon too low so it could be seen in the frame.

I have to mention the astonishing beautiful ladies running around there. Especially the waitress was a mix of austrian blonde and texan blond, wearing a far too short skirt for my taste (I can’t work under these conditions!) and cowboy boots. Anyways, Aiken shot several B-Rolls and we wrapped up, again fast. I labeled the tapes, gave them to Robert, and we said goodbye to Robert, Jazzman and Nadja and drove off.

As I said, Kathrin was a lot of fun today. We went to drop off the rented gear at Ben’s place, then went to Yuri to get some rented gear for tomorrow. In between we visited a gasoline station for gas and cigarettes. I think that is not a good combination. Then Aiken dropped me off home and drove Kathrin home. I also got the camera to carry it up to our flat.

I decided to do my laundry and stayed a little in front of the TV to watch Jeopardy!, Family Feud (the show with Al, Familienduell) and Simpsons while changing clothes and packing them in two different bags. After I went to the laundry I realized I forgot the detergent. So I went back to get it and now I am actually sitting in the coin laundry, listening to my radio and waiting for my laundry.

I found the coating of my battery box at the radio in Aiken's soundbag, where I supposed it would be. I lost it at the first ORF shooting and since then always had problems with the power supply. I still miss my favourite pen, a silver metal pen that accompanied me through a lot of goods and bads. Must have lost it at the samba studio, which means lost for good. I mourn for it.

I also didn't get the postcards to the mail office. Will do that at the next possible occasion. Anyways we have to be in the car tomorrow at 4.50 am. Maybe I may actually drive a little tomorrow! Yay! As I said, shooting for Galileo. So I better check on my laundry.



March 12, 2004

People, I didn’t know long working days.

And I'm actually writing this today while I should sleep! Anyways, we got up at 4.15 am, Aiken earlier than me of course, but we left in time. We fetched Nadja, our producer, at a hotel in Santa Monica. What a nice girl. All girls we get as producers are in their thirties, just the right combination of grown up woman and sweet girl.

I was sitting in the back, and even with me using a inflatable pillow the road trip to California Speedway in Ontario was really painful. Gosh, this would take too long. The day was so long, and I have to get up early. Sorry, folks, I have to stop here and continue some other time.

Okay, now that it's over I can tell you. I have to tell you. The experience is just too much for me! I suffer! Suffer heavily!

Naw, it just was a lot of work. At the California Speedway, a racing track in Ontario, we first shot the bots. The story was about autonomous vehicles. An organization named DARPA who for example had it's hands in inventing the internet, held a grand challenge. Anybody who could actually build a vehicle that controls itself and needs no remote and no driver to find it's way could enter the competition. The grand prize was one million bucks. The racing course was going to be from Barstow, California, to Prim, Nevada, across the Mojave Desert. Purpose was to invent autonomous vehicles for the military!

All in total some above 20 vehicles entered the competition and the qualifying. In the end 15 teams passed the qualification which was announced today, and that's why we were at the speedway first. Nadja made out two teams which we would shoot mainly. One was Caltech (California Intitute of Technology) entry BOB, and second was Digital Auto Drive (DAD). While Nadja was unsatisfied with the behavior of the Caltech team leader, DAD and it's main leaders Bruce and David Hall gave us the perfect show.

We shot the weird vehicles before they were wrapped at the California Speedway and then went to Barstow. The trip was so painful for me. The back of the truck is just not made for me. After arriving at the "Slash X Café", start of the race, we shot several teams, got statements and witnessed the final tests of the cars. They really drive only on computer programming, by itself, following GPS coordinates. Well, at least they started driving. Some were just too much in development to go further than the first meters, two crashed into the barriers. Team Caltech broke a steering grid and had to work all night to replace it. Team DAD had problems with the GPS system and got one hour of sleep because they had to get a new one.

We also started to take Anthony big in our shooting. He was the young lad who invented the first autonomous two-wheeled vehicle, a motorcycle! And he was friendly and open and cooperative, so Nadja was totally satisfied shooting with him. Well, the day mostly was running my feet totally flat, getting roasted in the sun (Nadja got terribly sunburned) and in the end I couldn't walk anymore. My feet hurt so much. After all shooting we drove to the hotel, arriving at 8 pm. The hotel rooms were given away for we didn't confirm them, but we got some others. Then we went shopping, eating at "Coco's" and afterwards to bed. The first time I was allowed to drive the truck for my legs and back were sore enough. It was around 10.30 pm when I turned out the light.


March 13, 2004

Normally my days don't end at 1.30 am. Today it started at that time.

I woke up late, at 1.20 am. With fast wrapping my stuff I came to the truck at 1.30 am, with Aiken and Nadja following shortly. I drove around the city of Barstow for we wanted to get breakfast, but all we got was a coffee and some beef jerky at a Chevron gas station. Then we went to the "Slash X Café", shooting the first interviews. It's desert in the dark, just very, very cold, and my feet were already killing me although I bought myself inlays the day before to protect my heels a little. It helped, but not much.

While dealing with giant condor moths, the cold and my pain, I soundassisted Aiken within the first interviews of the day. The teams were getting the CD-ROM with the waypoints, about 2500 on a 142 miles course. They had two hours to get them into the computers. Caltech and DAD were busy, and we shot them working. The rest of the time we stood around, later sat around for we borrowed a chair from the Blue Team (Anthony). The people gave us a hard time not allowing press at certain places. We shot the cars brought to the racing track when the sun rose, we shot several interviews and we stood around a lot and then had to go shooting quickly which was difficult, especially for me, for I was freezing, totally tired (and therefore freezing), and in pain (which also caused me freezing, I suppose).

After we arranged ourselves at the press part of the starting point I had much more free time. There were also chairs for free! Service! I had talks with people from different magazines, especially a man from "C'T" Germany, who gave me a contact there! Whee! I got caught by an evil cactus. Twice. And many others as well. A security guard even had to pull a complete part of the cactus out of his leg. Yesterday I witnessed a guy from the Red Team who fell into that cactus with bare legs first.

Well, we witnessed the first starts of the vehicles. The first four went fine, and for the first time Aiken complained about a shot ruined by a boon coming into the picture, and it wasn't mine! The soundguy from CNN didn't watch his boon and ruined Aiken's try to get the come-in of DAD. Before the start of DAD the battery of the camera went dead, and we had to exchange them as fast as we could. All went fine, though.

Well, after I got some more fresh batteries from the truck, returned the chair to Anthony’s place and passed a restroom I had some free time. Aiken wanted to know if we could get stuff at the café for to go. They made the fault letting me look at the menu before I could ask somebody. French Fries and French Toast was called Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast. Therefore we didn't buy anything there. Suppose it was just the German reaction on nationalism. I would NEVER buy at places who have that.

Then we just shot start after start. There were vast delays due to several bots shut down. The Red Team, an university team who had four million bucks of funding and started first as the favourites, crashed at seven miles. Their wheel got caught between rocks after their navigation system went off the track and the spinning wheel was smoking and in the end totally ruined without getting them out there. Also the second placed bot ended at seven miles, and Team Caltech on third broke down after one mile due to a mechanical fault of one reason or another. Team DAD, on fourth place, did very well until they drove down a hill at five miles an hour, the wheel got caught between rocks and the engine didn't get out of there anymore.

It was a pity, for in the end the driver only had to tip the gas pedal to get them out of there. But the bot couldn't handle it, and after two hours they gave up, after six miles. The Golem Team, one of the teams favoured the least and second last starters of the race, made it to five miles, fourth all in total. All others broke down at 1 mile or less. Some couldn't even leave the starting range, one flipped over, two hit the fence or the barricade at the start, two withdrew. One team due to hydraulic pump failure, the second was Anthony who just couldn't get it started.

But he tried to demonstrate by remote, which went horribly wrong. After three feet the motorcycle just fell on the ground. He had forgotten to switch the stabilizing control on. A mistake only because he was so tired after a night of no sleep at all. He was giving himself a hard time because of that, and Nadja and Aiken suffered with him. I was sitting in a chair relaxing my feet. Afterwards we wrapped our stuff and I got to drive again. We went to a "McDonald's" in Barstow to get lunch and Aiken drove the first miles on the freeway while I was eating my salad in the back. Strange, immediately my feet started to hurt even more. Well, at a rest place on the freeway similar to our Rastplatz we switched positions and Aiken went to sleep a little.

I had hell of a hard time to stay awake. The freeway is endless, most of the time straight to the horizon, and only desert hills around. I was so tired, and I even drove out to another rest place past Baker to get some coke in my stomach and water in my face not to crash. In the end we arrived at Primm, Nevada, final destination. Aiken parked the car at the Buffalo Bill Resort, a big casino there which even has a rollercoaster. Of course because nobody made it past seven miles, there wasn't much up there. All meetings would start at 6 pm to 7 pm, and it was 2.30 pm. We interviewed Bruce Hall again who said the first ten miles of the course were the hardest and next time it better be the other way around, as well as a live coverage for nobody could actually see the cars on the track. Otherwise he was very satisfied, but a little unhappy about the way they went out of the race.


(Editorial comment: I have since worked far longer hours under greater stress as an editor, remembering a week where I came close to 80 hours in four days, one day being 22 hours straight, but I wasn't in constant pain. I still remember that car drive through the desert as my most shocking and horrible experience behind the wheel.)


Then we just sat, drank coffee and Nadja and Aiken cellphoned around while I relaxed and read the program given out there. It was decided I drive back with Juri, which is short for Rene Jung and Thomas Rist, not a name as I actually thought. Rene Jung, from whom we lended the camera equipment, was shooting for 3Sat there (we had nice ProSiebenSat1 Media AG passes) and passed by. I grabbed my stuff and went into their truck for the long trip home.

Suppose I talked too much there, but I hope in the end nobody took it too bad. Rene even asked me of Aiken and I could make second team at the E3 in May. God I would absolutely wish to do that. But that's something I have to see. We passed by a Starbucks where I got iced coffee and the "In'n'Out" at Barstow. Rene told me some secrets. You can order differently made burgers if you know how. For example animal style is differently made beef with roasted onions. And you can order bigger burgers. I ordered an animal style cheeseburger and a 4-by-4, a burger with four pads. I took that one with me for dinner.

After a long trip Rene went to the theatre, his assistant drove his producer, Dagmar, home, and then me. I forgot my DARPA cap in their truck. Have to get it back, it cost me 15 bucks! Well, I went into the flat, changed, Tali came home, I asked for news (none) and wished a good night and then turned on Dr. Dolittle on TV. At around 9.30 pm I just fell asleep.



(Editorial Comment: I gave them a horrible time, I seem to have talked constantly. The day is kind of a blur, I don't remember much from the drive, I can barely make out the "In'n'Out" in my head, even after reading about it. Aiken gave me a hard time several times afterwards about me talking too much, and I'm truly sorry about that. I guess it's a little late for apologies, hopefully they at least enjoy my DARPA cap, I never got it back.)


March 14, 2004

I slept till next Tuesday.

Well, at least some time close to it. It's now 19.48 pm, I'm sitting at "In'n'Out" finishing all updates from the last two days and today, and am still tired. I slept with some breaks till 11.30 am. That's around 13 to 14 hours! But my sleeping times were just too short and I was so exhausted. I took a long shower and watched some basketball while getting dressed (the 76ers lost against the Pistons 69 to 85). I actually wanted to eat a bowl of "Raisin Bran", but my milk which just stood in the cupboard and not in the refrigerator totally clumped to cheese. I spent around half an hour getting rid of it in the partly stuffed drains in the kitchen.

Then I grabbed my bag and went to the "Bullpen". I thought it was a good time to check on some Rares, Uncommons and Commons I want to take home to trade, sell or play. In the end I invested twenty bucks there. But I got some decent cards. It was hoped a draft could start, but in the end not enough players showed up. Next Friday will be my last chance to draft here, I suppose. And next Sunday the last time I can check on cards there, so I thought, let's do it now.

Another guy, Gerrard, was there and we played several games. He plays Red Green LD, no new thing, and after my counter showed it was too slow I played my standard deck and killed him 2:1. Afterwards I got myself some animal style cheeseburgers, went back, chatted and build a kiddy a little starter affinity deck (he got three boosters and a Tournament pack as I suggested to him and the most playable colors were blue and black), and then went here.

So you see it was a totally lazy day and I am glad about it. After so much time I think I deserved the rest. Tomorrow I will finally send away the postcards, perhaps go shopping for a new trouser and well, who knows. Oh, yeah. Gym of course.

I brought home a tan from the Mojave desert. I didn't go to Vegas, obviously, but at least to Nevada, and I drove a freeway being totally tired. Wonderful achievements. I will now pack my things and go for a lazy day at home in front of the TV with my magic cards - after I posted all this and check on mails and stuff.

I just found a small article about the DARPA grand challenge on "Spiegel Online". Of course not half as good informed as I am, but still. You can read it here if you can read German.

And it seems I return into an unsafe country of Europe. It is cowardous to be glad that we didn't fight the Iraqi war and therefore aren't prime targets for terrorists, but still, I'd rather not see a bomb in Germany sooner as 2006, after the new elections that the socialists will loose for sure and the conservatives will win for sure. And then the new foreign politic of Germany will also take our country into the terrorist attack wheel of fortune.



(Editorial Comment: I guessed wrong, the conservatives won by barely 0,1 percent and had to cowork with the social democrats to get Angela Merkel to be our current chancellor)


See you all around!


March 15, 2004

A lazy day gone by.

Actually, my shoes and my head don't think it was such a lazy day. I got up very late and watched some TV while playing cards till noon or so. Then Aiken came home and we talked about the plans for the next days, including that I might drive to San Diego. Then I got out to go to a post office and to get breakfast.

First I went to "McDonald's" and had an extended breakfast, regretting that I didn't take my laptop with me. Could have written this then. But well, I made the right decision. I went till Third Street Promenade and back without finding anything else but a major headache and sore feet again. Nevertheless I went to "Ralph's" and bought two bottles of liquid, a small pack of milk and a yogurt. Then I went home and lay down for some time because of the fucking headache.

I watched some afternoon cartoons while having an early dinner eating my raisin brans with my milk. Then I tried to catch some sleep, but Aiken came in. He was talking to Hauke on the phone and I took the opportunity to talk to him. He was sad that I couldn't visit him, but I already plan to go to the east coast as fast as possible. I was watching Simpsons and getting ready to go to the gym. We said we will meet there after Aiken met some friend for a coffee. I went to Ocean Park and walked several stations, but still had to wait for the next bus. Then I started a short cardio and worked my muscles as Troy showed me, including 270 pounds of leg press. It went better than last time.

While I was at the back machine, Aiken came in. He was late and we said that I would finish my workout and then meet him in the car. We drove home and I was checking on the TV, but there as nothing I wanted to see. Aiken was working on his laptop, and I just fell asleep.

Well, some updates on yesterday evening. Aiken gave me a really ernest discussion because I gave Nadja "additude" by saying I don’t label tapes for the first time and then didn't label them in the end. I wanted to do that in the end, but then there was the fast wrap up and move with Rene, and I told Aiken I didn't label the tapes, and he said ok. I should have demanded some time for that, but I was tired and wanted to go home. Of course this was my fault and I still regret it a lot, for I promised to do so and didn't.

All in total I more and more get the feeling I won't be Mr. Superstar in that business, whatever happens in the future. I'll be very glad when I get home and can start looking for jobs more fitting for me, something that includes more writing than just labeling tapes. Ten days to go.

See you all!


March 16, 2004

So far nothing special.

I got up later than I should after sleeping before 10 pm, but I had some arkward dreams. Some would be worthy to make movies out of it. Nice vampire battle including Tremere rituals, very inspiring and intelligent dream. And one was some sort of a skipping in between three computer games. Also very nice, for the games don't exist in that way.

I sat and played cards while watching or better listening to morning shows when Aiken came in. We had a weird discussion about the trash can emptied out, and then he started building some racks for the door while I was looking for busses to Melrose. I want to get to the "Golden Apple", but it seems I have to check that online. Will do that now and afterwards get some milk and a yogurt at "Ralph's" to have a cheaper breakfast. I have to watch my money. Closely.

Just found another ncie webcomic through a link at MacHall, called Alpha Shade, which seems to deal with first world war stuff. I just write it down here so I remember it.

It's not about WW1, but some mix between fantasy and WW1, and very nice made homepage. Will enjoy this once I am home. Trip to San Diego costs 50 bucks, dunno if tax included or not. Will see how I can plan that. And I ordered some funny DVDs. "The Philadelphia Story" is only available on VHS. Gosh, that's so enerving.



(Editorial Comment: In the meantime "The Philadelphia Story", known in Germany as "Die Nacht vor der Hochzeit", has finally been released on DVD)


Time's running out. See you later!

Whee, an update at the same day it happened. And I can't even post it.

Okay, you know it till noon. What happened next. Well, I decided against going to Melrose and pro watching cartoons and eating food after I visited "Ralph's". Reminds me, I wanted to look on the bill to check why I lost over five bucks in that shopping. Then I went playing some basketball, around after "Jackie Chan Adventures". I like that one a lot now. Jade, who plays Jackie’s daughter, is just a totally sweet chaos kid.

Basketball went well, at least better than the last time. I had far more hits, but my quota could be far better I suppose. I played around an hour and then headed home for I wanted to go to the gym. And you may not be too exhausted when you want to go to the gym. The way up and down is close to two hours. It was foggy anyways, and getting cold.

When I arrived at home I got the last ten minutes of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and then watched news. In between there were breaking news. A small plane from Santa Monica Airport (which is in the middle of the houses and close to the gym) crashed at Centinela, missing the gym by a few hundred feet. Only the pilot was killed as far as I know right now. Caused by the fog, they say. ABC7 was totally weak in getting footage. They copied some from FOX11, as I found out because a. it was the exact same view of the scene and b. for a short time the reporter of FOX11 on the scene came into the picture before it was cut. Is that all they have? Bid me two hundred bucks and give me a car, and I am up there in no time. Okay, camera might be a problem, but still, it is not that embarrassing as obviously taking footage from some other station.

Luckily FOX11 stopped the news center to broadcast something far more important - "The Simpsons." Lisa as an environmentalist, Bart as a Thai Menu Ninja. If I have ever seen this episode, it was only half and long time ago.



(Editorial Comment: The episode is called "Lisa the Tree Hugger")



After three quarters of "King of the Hill" (which, by the way, I don't think is funny, because it is too much true) and "Family Feud" (same time, different station, KCAL9) I went to the gym. I worked out, not as hard as before, but okay. Perhaps I go tomorrow. I found a black and red backpack at the low back extension machine. And a key, same place. Gave it to the front desk. A pity, no bomb. And I had a talk with a guy in the shower about choices. Either eat what you want or look how you want to look like. I think that choice is just mean.

Well, I walked home, slowly and relaxing, for my right heel was hurting again. I got myself a very late dinner at "McDonald's", small one, but still, I couldn't help it. I just was hungry, I wanted something small to eat. Should have taken the Chicken Fatija instead, I know. But it was a question of amount. Well, I came home, Tali was rearranging her living room, Aiken did some stuff on his laptop. We talked about what he will do tomorrow (shooting till noon) and about the crash. Then he went to bed after telling me the go tos in the file I brought with the directions in it. The convertion just cut off that parts. Then he went to sleep and I'm now sitting in a half dark living room, Tali just said good night and I will finish exactly this and another sentence and will go myself.

See you all another time!


March 17, 2004

Happy St.-whatever-reason-we-need-to-get-totally-drunk-Day!

Yeah, dry and sober on St. Patrick's Day! It could be worse. I could be dry and sober on all the other days of the year as well. Day began late as usual. Weird dreams keep haunting me all over. This time some sort of a celtic one again. Or viking. Something in between. I forgot till now. But it was interesting.

After an extended breakfast containing two bananas and two burritos I started wrapping for my trip to town. First I went down to Ocean Park, where I met Jason from the gym! He just bought a new car and gave it for a check or repair or something. That was fast, a Lexus that has window problems after three days. By the way, Lexus is a company owned by Toyota.

Then I took the Blue Bus 8 to Westwood/Santa Monica, where I had to wait a long time for the Metro Line 4 to Santa Monica/Doheny. Of course I missed the fucking Melrose Avenue but walked on Santa Monica past a big money set till Robertson and then went down to Melrose. That's a long Avenue, and I had to stop to buy me something to drink and my lunch - a carrot cake. That is a small frosted cake we also had for catering as we worked at "Gottschalk America's".

After passing some high school I finally arrived at my destination, the "Golden Apple" comic book store. I even saw the owner, but he didn't recognize me and I was just not in the mood to push it myself. So I just bought myself Kindergoth #3 and then was tempted by the latest issue of InQuest Gamer till I bought it as well. For that I sat in front of the shop a little, reading Kindergoth and Inquest for about an hour. Luckily I had everything but Shirt and Shorts in my backpack, for it was sunny and warm. When I left it wasn't, for a marine layer is over Santa Monica for some days now. That's where all the fog comes from.

Then I packed my stuff and went to Robertson/Melrose to the Bus Stop of Metro 220. Luckily that one took it’s time so I could eat my carrot cake and get my clothes on again. I decided to go till Mindanao/Lincoln and walk from there. Saved me 25 cents. I was far over budget already anyways. In the bus I tried mind induction at a girl sitting in front of me. It obviously didn't work. The way home was very long and I passed two bars where they had St. Patrick's Day festivities. Oh yeah, on Melrose there was a place, totally dark windows and everything, where it was open and all over with St. Patrick's Day stickers as well. I think it wasn't a bar. I already forgot the name. It was on a sign in front of the place, not on the place itself and everything.

Okay, when I arrived at home I decided to lay down, watch "Simpsons" (right on time, it was 6 pm when I came home) and "King of the Hill" before Lakers vs. Clippers started. In between Aiken came home and later left again. He was invited to some St. Patrick's Day party in a pub or something. I watched Lakers vs. Clippers first half and then went shopping at "Ralph's" for exactly three bucks. Two pieces of bun rolls or something for dinner and eight burritos for food tomorrow.

Then I finished watching the game (Lakers won with three points advantage, next game vs. Clippers on Friday, same stadion (Staple Center LA), but this time at home (Like 1860 vs. Bayern), and I won't watch it for I want to take the last possible chance to draft at the "Bullpen") and watched "Kingdom Hospital" and News. In the end two people, an elderly pair (pilot 70), died in that airplane crash. They shouldn't let people like that fly. Especially not blind. In Santa Barbara there seems to be another sniper. Several attacks on cars on the 101 Freeway. And of course the fight between JFK (John Ford Kerry) and George W. Bush is on and fought dirty.

"The Simpsons" episode about the tennis court (Editorial Comment: Tennis the Menace) was on at 11 pm, much to my surprise. But I had to stop it through 2/3rd of it because Aiken came home. I just turned over and tried to sleep, but in the end that took some time. By the way, when Tali came home she was very concerned about the balcony door. We shouldn’t leave it open when we leave. She is paranoid of being broken in and robbed. Seems it happened to her in every room she lived in.

Well, that was the day when I bought Kindergoth. See you tomorrow!


March 18, 2004

The age of the day is sometimes, but not always responsible for the lack of information about it.

Well, I got up quite early and started making me my extended breakfast, this time a whopping four burritos. I am quite full, although I miss flavor and taste, something like, mmmmh, fruits. But I don't have any fruits anymore. I know, now one could say, well, why did he eat all his bananas yesterday? Answer is, because they both fell off and therefore should be eaten.

In between Tali came out of her room, sleepy-headed and in a risky combination of dark wool pullover and blue-white night gown. She later cleaned up her living room and kitchen while I cleaned my plate and pan I used. She asked me how long I will stay in America, I said, exactly a week. She was surprised by that. I trash talked a little about getting a job and so on, but she seemed not to be interested. I think she will be quite happy when I move out.

I had another arkward dream, this time again some sort of celtic/viking stuff, but more like a strategy game like environment. We fought and defeated an attack of the Austrians. A pity I didn't dream on, but I woke up and thought about it a long time. Could've been a nice idea, at least for a comic.

Oh yeah, regarding comics, I thought about getting some of the t-shirts I saw in the back of Kindergoth #3. Suppose I won’t, 17 bucks for a 3X is tempting, especially in totally black with a cool imprint, but well, I think I will see about that later on in my life. I watched a little NCAA College Basketball. They are in the playoffs there. I saw some interesting moves. In the end I packed my laundry stuff (I close to had nothing left) and went out. Tali wanted me to take down the garbage, so I did (I feel like married the way we half avoid, half don't).

Then I went to the coin laundry playing a little "draw a state" at the change machine. Invested three bucks, got on new state and one I already had. Now I am up to 17 states and a special version of the quarter dollar. I will take Vermont home, I suppose. But that’s it. Aiken also collects these and I don't have any use of them when I am at home. Vermont was the most interesting anyways.

I just bought a "Smile"-card from a mute (or so he sais, HA!) for 50 cents when I was at the dryer. I am just too weak hearted for this silly world. Well, when my laundry is finished I will go home, most likely change my clothing to shorts, t-shirt, basketball trousers and my blue vest again and then go out, taking a water bottle with me and playing a little basketball. Afterwards I will most likely go to the gym sooner or later (most likely later, around the evening). Although I have to watch the time. Would regret to miss an episode of "CSI".

I'm looking forward for tomorrow. I know I will invest around 20 bucks for a meal at "In'n'Out" (the last time) and the draft at "The Bullpen". Before that perhaps basketball. A good day! Oh yeah, and on Saturday I will try to pass by Eric and his gang playing at Marine Park. And no, there is no connection in me training there. None at all!

See you all later!

Well, in the end the day turned out to be a very bad experience. Aiken told me that he spoke to Nadja and she said the sound on the DARPA shots failed. Camera mike got better or equal sound. I feared that but I still feel miserable about it. Aiken and I had a long talk about that and afterwards I went throwing some baskets, but that didn't really help. I don't think I'll seek a future in that job. I'm good in some things in my life, and most of the things contain gaming and writing. At least I hope that.

In the evening I came home, watched a little "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and "Simpsons" while Aiken was making taxes. He had all his stuff in the living room, including the TV. When he was at a break I watched "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and we watched "Simpsons" together later on. In between I was writing a little on my book and playing cards - as always.

After "Simpsons" I went to the gym but reduced it to nothing more than 50 minutes on the spinning machine while watching the finals of the US Poker Championships and doing a little muscle works. With playing basketball I always get some exercise, and my feet are killing me nevertheless.

When I came home Aiken was in bed already and I joined shortly after.

Tomorrow is draft day and on Saturday basketball. See you all later!


March 19, 2004

Well, the day of the decision. Last draft ever. Here.

I got up late and relaxed watching silly TV shows. Then I went out for a little basketballing. Still training for Saturday. I doubt I will be good enough though.

Then I stayed at home for the most of the afternoon. Aiken told me he would be at home at noon yesterday, and I still needed the money for the draft. I watched my brain numb through several shows and then packed my stuff to get ready. Aiken gave me his calling card numbers the day before in case I want to call him.

On my way to the "Bullpen" I stopped at a phone boot and called him. He was expecting the call and offered to meet in front of the shop at 6 pm. Since it was around 5 pm and I need 3/4 of an hour to get to it, I agreed. He was perfectly on time but left the cinema early for it. I felt very sorry for that but couldn't do anything against it anyways. He went off and I entered the draft.

A pity I couldn't make a trade before that, but it was just too high a loss for me if I had. I wanted to get some special cards before I get back and trade them there. Well, in the end the draft gave me a Chrome Mox and I even won Round 1 before losing Round 2 quite clearly against a speedy deck that in the end won the draft . There only were 16 players, so that wasn’t so bad a chance to win something, but the Mox saved me a lot anyways.

During the draft and afterwards two of the most pesty people in that shop were picking on me all of the time again. But well, Magic just does attract assholes in a certain amount, especially when played for money. I was quite happy when they left. After some casual games I went for some eMail addresses and then left the shop. I will go back anyways on Sunday to check out some cards and say adios to some of the crew.

Afterwards I went to "In'n'Out", also for the last time. Ordered a Four-by-Four and a Cheeseburger Animal Style together with a small drink. Sitting there reading InQuest while eating I recognized I'm just not used to eating a lot anymore. I really stuffed myself with that!

It’s always the same, I came back home late and the next thing I do is get into bed. That is a little boring, but well, it will be over soon. I had to get into Aiken's room silently and I think I managed that quite well.

Well, tomorrow there will be basketball going on in Marine park. So I hope to get into it again. And of course it is good not being able to eat so much.



March 20, 2004

Well, what a busy day.

I got up at 8 am or so, in time, but still in the feeling of being a little late. And being tired because I just can't sleep well here. Anyways, I packed my stuff while watching NCAA games in the morning. Sweet 16 have begun. Then I went to "Ralph's" to get breakfast and soda, ending up with only soda for breakfast buns weren’t there.

Afterwards I had to go home again because the toilet called. I threw out one of my sodas and then finally went to the court. Some guys were already there training, and I joined throwing some baskets. First lesson I got trained was how to throw the ball more properly, using the wrist to guide it. Later they suggested to play five vs. five on full court going to eleven baskets for the winner.

I played center as I'm forced to nearly every time. I don't like that position but in this case it was better after all because I'm not into the shooting anymore. I made two baskets and five to six rebounds, including the basket that won us the game, so I was satisfied. When I blocked a guy to give my man free space to go to the basket he just ran through me and we both landed on the ground. My knee and right legs skin was hurt, but I just continued playing

After a short break we continued playing and this time we lost 11:13 after a lot of argumentation about the score (which was 10:10 according to me and the opponents just made the 11th basket) which was heating up for about five to ten minutes. I didn't do well in that game anyways for somebody stepped on my right foot as well and the knee started to burn (sweat in the wound).

Then we had a break I used to clean the wound a little. Two other teams were playing and we faced the losing team of that one. I already had to jump and run five minutes to stop my feet from hurting. Well, this team had a tall guy and I had to cover him which failed once and caused us to rearrange the man coverage. Now I got a small guy and another player took care of the guy. That was also the guy who again started a wild discussion about scores and foul or no foul and if foul basket yes or no and so on and so on. I suppose he was angry as well because he missed nearly every lay-off attempt he made.

Aiken was there as well. First I didn't see him, but suddenly I recognized him sitting on the bench next to the field, taking pictures of me. He later told me Eric called him because he was playing tennis and saw me playing basketball. He dropped by and took some pictures hidden behind a tree, but an actor called Don Cheadle was playing, too. He got nervous, so Aiken switched positions and later explained to Don that he was no paparazzi but just a brother taking pictures. I will get these pictures and of course post them here when finished.

L.A. Marina Basketball

(Editorial Comment: Me playing Basketball in the Venice Marina in 2002)


L.A. Basketball 2

(Editorial Comment: Me and Don Cheadle, back then best known for "ER - Emergency Room" and since has proven his talent in multiple hit movies like "Crash" (Germany: "L.A. Crash"), "Hotel Rwanda" (Germany: "Hotel Ruanda") and "Ocean's Twelve" as well as "Ocean's Thirteen")

We won the game 11:10 in the end, and I did some rebounds, a steal and the deciding block. Blocked a man free, his lay-off failed but the argue man got the offensive rebound and finally hit a lay-off again, winning the game. Afterwards I said bye and went home for I knew I wasn't good enough anymore to play. My feet and my leg were killing me. They play every Saturday, and it's a pity I can't play anymore.

When I came home I discovered two injuries on my right second toe that already ripped open. After a while I got cold and then finally took the shower I didn't take before for I was just close to falling down. Strange thing is, I had to go out getting something to eat afterwards for I hadn't eaten the whole day. I used a "Ralph's" receipt coupon for Subway to get me a Carne Asada 6-inch-sub and another 6-inch-sub together with a medium drink. First of all the big commercial action they are doing for the Carne Asada sub isn't paying off, I think. It doesn't taste that good. And secondly, I only could finish the second sub half and had to take the rest with me. Man, I'm just not used to eating anymore.

Afterwards I went to the "Bullpen" and checked out the commons and uncommons box for the last time, taking enough for two bucks with me. I also played a little game I lost quickly after an insane land drawing hand scared the two other players so much they started killing me before I could draw anything else but lands.

I walked home and felt the bad of this bad idea for my feet were killing me again. When I came home I just watched a little TV until Aiken came and told me about the Don Cheadle pics and such. He left short after because of him leaving at night for his diving at Sunday with Kathrin. I later went to get some water when I met Tali who was lying on the couch in the living room smoking.

She had arranged a lot of stuff in there lately and made it really cosy and all. I was heavily drawing my right foot because of my knee burning and my foot hurting insanely. I already met her before leaving for food and told her my right foot is messed up, but she asked again. I love it when nobody listens to me and especially doesn't believe what I say. She said I should take care of it and I did by just hitting the fouton for as long as I could, making it a long TV night. I saw "Tarzan" form Disney when Aiken left. I saw "Andromeda", I saw "Mutant X", I saw a lot of nonsense, really.

The worst thing I can still recall is a show called "Cheaters" where inloyal partners are followed and caught cheating on their partners. That reminded me heavily of the time I found out I was cheated on for three months. That was so painful I made heavy mistakes nearly leading to a lawsuit from my former girlfriend's side. Since then I'm just paranoid and don't trust myself or any girl to be different than that. I really thought I could trust her. I really trusted her, the last person I thought would betray me. I suppose my knowledge of the human mind is still below zero.

Nevertheless, I fell asleep sooner or later.

Only a few days are ahead of me. I want to go playing basketball on Sunday as well, nevertheless my feet are killing me. Elke doesn't want to go for dinner with me and Aiken. Seems it really gets hard between those two. I don't think it has anything to do with me. I hope I can see her on Wednesday or Thursday when I fly back. My Pinky ball is still missing. Aiken and I want to go eating on Tuesday and having a brothers day on Wednesday, perhaps driving to Santa Barbara.

I also have to start thinking about how getting back from Hamburg to Eckernfoerde. I got my 45 Euros resting in my closet, of course.

See you people!


March 21, 2004

Long night, long sleep.

I got up really late, close to noon. My feet are still killing me, so I started the day by watching the Mavericks vs. the Nets. Dallas won against New Jersey. Close. In between I went to "Ralph's" to get me some buns and burritos. I had breakfast and lunch in one and then went to play basketball.

A bad decision can also make fun. I played a two on three and later a four on four full court till 50 that we lost quite clearly. Most of my teammates were latinos and so it was close to impossible sometimes to communicate with them, which also didn't help our situation. But it was fun except some of our opponents being just regular assholes. You meet those all of the time.

Afterwards I just changed the shirt and went to the "Bullpen" directly from the game. Man, another bad idea. It took me an hour this time to go there and my feet were burning. I checked out the one rare a buck box, taking the last card with me I will ever buy there. A Thrashing Wumpus. Then I said adios to the staff there and went home which took me nearly as much time. But I found a quarter crossing Washington and Lincoln.

At home I watched the last seconds of a close game between the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings. Seems the Ducks came back from an early 0:3 to a 8:6 victory. Two new "Simpsons" episodes came along as well as Aiken. Seems he just went diving once. Twenty centimeters. Kathrin had problems with her mask and all the other divings they were just lying in the sun. In the end it was a waste of money but still seemed fun, although I actually hit it wrong when I asked "How was dating, er, not dating, diving!".

Aiken gave me his digicam so I can make some pictures tomorrow, although I want to spend the day writing and resting my feet. I realized that "Crossing Jordan" was going to be on 10 pm, not on 9 pm, but Aiken was so nice and fell asleep halftime through "Alias" (which he actually wanted to see) and I got to see "Crossing Jordan" in the darkness. I think she gets prettier. I suspect foreign help with that.

After that of course I just went to the toilet and then to sleep.

Well, tomorrow will be a lazy day. I want to write some of these updates. I haven't written a lot of those for some time. Perhaps I go to the gym. And perhaps I will take some pictures.

Sweet dreams!


March 22, 2004

Bad night, but in the end I could actually sleep.

I still dream weird but at least I don't remember it anymore. Somebody played alarm clock for the whole neighborhood by getting his car alarm off several times. I hate him now. After that I actually caught some good sleep. And got up at 11.30 am.

After some judge shows I went for shopping. Yes, if possible I shop every day. Enough for the day and the next day, if possible. This was just for two bottles of soda. Oh, of course after my three burritos. I can’t wait to get home for real food!!!
Well, after that I just barricaded myself into the room and watched TV while doing nothing, playing cards or writing updates. For a lot of time. Actually till right now. Aiken came home when the "Simpsons" were running. He gave me Heather Bach flowers to test out. And is now looking at a camera. He wants to go location scouting to Downtown at eight. I will go to the gym later on perhaps. "Will and Grace" is running a lot with the gym as one of the sets and I'm thinking about that again...

Well, didn’t go to the gym, instead to "Ralph's", getting myself some food. Believe it or not, I'm not able to eat a complete candy bar anymore. Either I have lost my taste completely or I am really getting used to not eating anything. Anyways, I watched some catastrophy movie. A little bit too sentimental and perhaps it's not a good idea to watch a movie about an airplane crash before you fly home. Afterwards I watched the first three "Mysteries, Lies and Downright Stupidity", a show that should be called downright stupid. Of course men feel a greater need to have sex than women, where did they find the statement that women feel a greater need for sex? Nonsense.

Tomorrow is the second last day. I will go to the gym, and I have to check out some times when movies are running in the "Marine Plaza" and on Third Street Promenade.



March 23, 2004

Sleepy head I am.

Seems I take the opportunities to sleep a little too easy. I slept very long. Especially at night I sleep bad but in the morning I sleep rather good, so I always sleep long in the morning.

After eating and watching some news I went to the gym. I shortened the exercise a little for I didn't want to waste too much time. Warmup was short for I walked up quite fast, and I worked my muscles hard before doing a little stomach and back. I also did 180 and 270 pounds of leg workout, which worked better than before. But still I cannot push through 270 pounds 15 times without pause. In the end I made some pictures of Jason and the gym and went home.



(Editorial Comment: Jason from "24 Hour Fitness", best contact I had there)

Actually I wanted to go to "Marine Plaza" directly, but my feet were killing me again. I think the new shoes which already start falling apart, are the reason for most of the pain. My other shoes I brought from Germany I can tie very tight around my feet and so I don't move around in them that much.

I saw Tali arrive when I left with something that looked like a jungle in her car. I returned and saw the jungle in the living room now, with Tali in the kitchen cooking. I changed shoes, relaxed a little on the bed and then went out to Marine.


Living Room

(Editorial Comment: Tali made the living room pretty, the jungle's missing here)

I walked down to Marine and wrote down the times of the cinema there. I must have been blind or distracted by "Bad to the Bone" running on the radio, but I wrote down the false time for "Taking Lives". Not 8.20 pm, 9.20 pm it should have been. I wrote down 8.20 pm and that would cost me later on.

But first I went to the bus station and drove to Third Street Promenade, writing down the times and movies there. I realized that "Passion of the Christ" in capital letters is the same as "Pirates of the Caribbean", POTC. Conspiracy! Anyways, I took the bus home and again got hit by the back doors of the bus. I hate the busses here. They always hit me with their back doors when I want to get out.

Anyways, I came home and Aiken was already there. I told him the times and found out he wanted to go in the afternoon. Pity, I didn't write down before 4 pm. Well, we watched television and Aiken talked with Eric on the phone. We decided to go to the cinema, "Taking Lives", and guess: Of course, 8.20 pm, as I thought it would be shown. We went out and met with Eric at his house, getting in his wife's car and driving to Marine.

Aiken discovered when we were passing the cinema that it is running on 9.20 pm, not at 8.20 pm. We went to "Panini" and Eric checked on the movie phone while we were drinking coffee and eating chocolate cookies. I really was mistaken, and Aiken mocked me with that a lot. But well, I had worse, and when I said "You can pick on me, but then I drive home", he said "Why do you want to drive? It is scary when you drive." I said "Well, if I drive, I get to scare you for picking on me, or otherwise you don't pick on me".

We went to a big sports store and Eric bought a pair of shoes and three pairs of socks while we were looking around. They had a lot of stuff there, even paintball and airguns. Funny shop, we might pass there tomorrow again.

Afterwards we decided to drop by "Ross". They were already picking on being closed, but the door was opened and we checked for bags for five minutes before we left. Cinema was out of the question because Aiken was too tired and both Eric and me didn't care if we go or not. So Eric drove home, we changed into the other car and drove home where we went to bed. I watched a little TV while Aiken was checking through pictures and in the end he started sleeping and I took some time to fall asleep.

Tomorrow is brother's day, we want to go eating and to the cinema. Oh, and I want to update.



March 24, 2004

Quick update now. Took me a looooong time, but updates from March 16th to March 23rd and today are up now!

I woke up around 3.45 am and couldn't fall asleep for 2 hours due to a car alarm always going off and on and due to I was awake. I listened a little radio and then finally fell asleep again, catching some sleep in the morning. Aiken came on 9.30 am and told me Eric will pick me up at 12.30 pm to meet with him in Hollywood. Cinema and a picture gallery or something. I wrote some updates and now will dress fast and go to the internet shop to update this.

Afterwards I will meet Eric and after cinema Aiken and I will go shopping for some stuff. I decided to loan 50 bucks from Aiken to get me a bag and a pair of trousers and a book and a head band. And I'm looking forward to actually good food!

See you all in a moment!

Wow, mails all over. My buddy in Madrid is fine and happy not to have that premier anymore. My buddy Srdjan in Atlanta is trying to rob me and to date a German grrlz being. My mom is concerned about my feet, the rest is concerned about my money. As usual.

Have to be fast for I want to get some food before I meet Eric. By the way, approximately no update till I get home. Sorry! I have to get my ticket out of Aiken's garage as well as the rest of my stuff. And I still don't know when to wash.



August 7, 2008

Well, this was my L.A. Story. You miss the last day. I will try to fill it in.

I remember going to the cinema. We had the choice between "Dawn of the Dead" and then-surprise hit "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". We watched the latter, much to our enjoyment. It's a beautiful movie I ever since recommended. In Germany it's called "Vergiss mein nicht" and never was properly advertised. Still is my top pick for romantic movies. I remember getting very lovesick because of it, much more than I was before. And, as you can read, I already was lovesick nearly the whole trip long. I saw "Dawn of the Dead" later, and just was shocked how boring it was. Just a terrible movie. I recommend "Shaun of the Dead", though. Really a good romantic comedy with Zombies.

After cinema I went shopping. The headband I bought I lost shortly afterwards. The bag I still own. Also the ripped shoes I bought are still in my possession. Then we went home and I started packing.

While fooling around and watching TV and deflating my basketball (which I also still possess, the leatherman as well), the probably best picture of me in L.A. was made by my brother.




Well, I packed, we got to LAX on time the next day, and I said goodbye to my dear brother. I later talked with im on the phone from the airport, and honestly had to fight my tears. I'm a weak person and was weaker then, and it's just hard to leave your brother again when you lived nearly side by side for two months.

I bought a little plushie wolfy at LAX. And I listened to the radio a lot. When I did, I met a french girl who asked me what song I was listening to (It was Santana featuring Rob Thomas - "Smooth") because I was literally dancing down the isle to the plane. Wedidn't get to talk in the plane, but afterwards a little, while I changed planes in Paris and she stayed there. I never heard of her again.

The flight went rather bad, as far as I can remember, I was cramped into my seat, and I had to watch "Last Samurai" three and a half times. The plane was booked up to the last seat. I tried to get my legs some space occasionally, walking to the back door and enjoying the space there. There was a man in a hospital bed in the plane, too, he took up several rows on the left side. Poor guy, must be terrible to be transported that way.

The flight to Hamburg went smoothly, I caught the bus from Hamburg to Kiel and then the bus from there home.

In the end it was a worthwhile trip. I learned a lot, mostly about myself, the fact that I can work if I want to, and I can actually be useful. it took me a month to write some applications again, but one hit the spot and got me my apprenticeship in Hamburg. Since then I know that I can actually write.

I saw Mel again on two seperate occasions, but didn't manage to give her the Kindergoth comics which are since in my memory boxes. She's doing fine and the days of my crush on her are probably finally over. I never had a crush that strong ever again.

I kept my infected toe for quite a while since, finally getting it checked in Hamburg when I had to go to the chirurg anyways. He cut off one third of the toenail which had grown into the flesh. Never had problems ever since.

The problem with my feet still exists, but the inlays for my shoes a doctor prescribed me helped a lot. I need new ones, though.

The most haunting things out of the L.A. trip are bad ones, I fear. my fuck-up at the DARPA Grand Challenge second day, my embarassing moments, my arguments with Aiken, my incident with the service girl. I best remember the guys at "The Bullpen", especially the owner, the "In'n'Out" burger where I wrote most of my entries into the laptop and of course Aiken and I working.

While reading and editing this report I realize that I acted like an asshole more than once, had a slacky working habit, and was silly enough to go to the U.S. with an infected toe instead of going to the doctor's, and also not checking on my feet hurting after long walks beforehand. It would've spared us all a lot of trouble.

I also learned that I'm just a complainer and a sissy sometimes, and that I looked ugly back then and still do now, despite having a tad better t-shirts (now dressed by Megagear.com).

As I said before, I learned to look down at myself once again.

All in all this trip changed my life more to a working habit, and right now, as I am unemployed again, it helps me reading about that time and knowing that I'm not as low as I was back then. This trip ended two years of suffering, self-pity and self-chosen isolation. And before I ever reach that level of indignity again, I'll act otherwise.

I have to thank my brother for everything, he made this possible, he worked hard for me and it was his effort that kept me up and running. I hope he at least took some good out of my visit as well and it wasn't all bad for him. I'm very thankful.

I also have to thank "Das Haus/Neue Sentimental Film" for the opportunity to help a little and learn some confidence in it, the guys who played against or with me in both Magic and basketball, Jason from "24 Hour Fitness", Tali, my brother's wife Elke with whom he is back together again, as far as I heard, and all the others that were nice to me despite me not being a nice person.

Ever since fingerprints and headshots are mandatory for any non-american visitors, I never set foot on american soil again.

The End