Thursday, July 28, 2005

Switzerland Is An Ursine Country Again

It has officially been conformed by represents of the Swiss National Park that there is a bear in Switzerland. As someone who has an ursine approach to life, this is thrilling news.

Although last week, I saw a big brother of the newest Swiss citizen in Siberia and I did not behave like this:
  • Stop, stay calm and quiet, and make no sudden moves.
  • Stand your ground - do not turn your back on the bear - sometimes a bear will bluff charge several times.
  • Back away slowly, speaking in a calming, monotone voice - you want to show the bear that you are being submissive and want to get out of "It’s" territory. Do not turn your back.
  • Keep a cool head - try to stay calm, do not yell or scream.
Actually, I run for the camp. Luckily, the bear was even more scared and run into the opposite direction as soon as I started running. Maybe, it did help that we always had at least several hundred yards between us.

Enough about me and back to the Swiss bear. Why did it choose the Swiss National Park? Almost everything that makes any fun is prohibited there:

Do not leave the marked trails
No dogs, not even on a lead
No winter sports, nor cycling
Do not remove anything
No overnight stays, not even in the parking areas

Out of Tune

There is the perfect summer all over Zürich and coincidentally I'm spending some days in this town that Philipp Tingler describes in his new book Juwelen des Schicksals (Destiny's Jewels) as a kind of mixture of La Prairie and Nero's Rome. Nevertheless, I'm despairingly, despondently, forlornly, hopelessly, desperately lost. My problem is that I haven't yet found the tune that perfectly matches with this summer.

My favorite tunes right know are on Blinking Lights And Other Revelations by the breathtaking Eels. Unfortunetely, it's not quite the music that I associate with stoling in a rustic bliss through Arcadia or watching perfect bums passing my towel at the local pool. I've tried many things, but nothing really fits. My hopes will gone to blazes quite soon. Please help!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gartered Wellington Look

Far better as early adapting is setting trends. The trend I'd been setting in the remote region of north east Siberia is the long expected fusion of British aristocracy with plain fetish.

The look concentrates on the below waist area. It consists of as long as possible Wellington boots worn over a pair of yellow oilskin trousers. The gumboots are kept in position by a pair of garters. A garter-belt is not required, a wide leather belt is much more suitable. A black water-repelling top is recommended.

Silly Geek Chic Season

When David Tennant takes over the role of Doctor Who later this year, it will be in what BBC describes as "geek chic". This is supposed to look like just-got-out-of-bed, dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards, only-thing-I-could-find. For the ones who still don't get the picture: like the type of man Kate Moss might date, kitted out in a brown pin-stripe skinny and crumpled suit, white shirt - unbuttoned at the collar - a loose tie and scruffy white Converse trainers, finished off with a long brown trench coat, a cross between old hack's Mac and flasher attire.

Huh, I've got already a pair of white Converse trainers. However, I'm not quite sure if I quite like to date Kate Moss... Whateva, I'll give it a miss. It's too obvious the work of some PR wankers trying to take advantage of the silly season (or Saure-Gurken-Zeit as wee called it). Neighter geek chic nor chic geeks will save the galaxy anyway.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I will not go as far as citing Whitman, but if there is any man in the world I would trust my life it's Juri Smirnov from Syrjanka.

Picture by Tigresa.

I had again the honour to be on Juri's raft on the Rassocha river for about a week. It's even an honour to meet him once in a lifetime, but paddling under his command makes me one of the most privileged persons alive.

Flying Domodedovo

I've spent some days in Siberia and had the opportunity to fly with my old friends from Domodedovo Airline - that is with a Tupolev Tu-154M.

The Tu-154M is a great plane. However, the entertainment system had not been included in the requirements. Nevertheless, there were some Safety Instructions, which made good for that slackness:

The Tu-154M is a not only a great plane, it's also very reliable. Unfortunately, Boeing and Airbus somehow ruined the reputation of airplanes and Domodedovo Airline was forced to put this Safety Instructions on board:

As usual, the Safety Instructions made heavy use of pictograms. The interpretation of pictograms is not always easy. Some did only reveal the concept they are representing in the course of the flight, such as:

This pictogram must be interpreted as Do not smoke outside of the lavatory. Even the flight attendants did obey this and went into the lavatories for their fag.

Domodedovo Airline does also keep an eye on the moral values. I reckon, that's why they added a pictogram for Do not hold your cigarette like a bloody pooftah:

A lot of things are prohibited during take-off and landing. Luckily, I haven't got a car. I might had brought it along:

In the section During flight, a drill for mothers was announced. I did missed that one, I must have nodded off:

A lot of things are prohibited as well during Emergency landing/Ditching. Especially, the Nylon thing might be quite discriminating for cross-dressers:

Chivalry is required from the men and grace from the women when leaving the plane via the emergency exit next to the wings after Emergency landing/Ditching:

.. and gals, don't forget to put back on the high-heels before you intend to leave the plane.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Postpone Any Celebrations

Last Friday, SAL issued the diploma for my flatmate Tigresa. She may now refer to herself as Journalist. Besides for the really humdrum sentence analysis, all grades are just brilliant. We are excited at Gomad Mansion.

Journalism is a trade with a long tradition. Great names are associated to it. Think of Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw and Julie Burchill. Tigresa does not make it easy for herself. But she's up for it for sure.

However, please stop sending cards, cakes, champagne, wine, booze, sweetmeats, invitations, SMSes, eMails and similar stuff until July, 25. Tigresa will be in Siberia and will be just unreachable. It would be a waste. Nevertheless, after the 25th of July you are free to send as much as you can. Short-term indebtedness is always an option.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Me debo ir o quedarme?

As I told you, I had a clash* with my boss the other day. His boss managed to calm the waves, last week. However, I've been at that place for almost six years and it's time to ask The Question. Asking question to the mirror is something for evil queens only. Hence, I contacted a friend, who is an I/O psychologist, for support.

This evening, I went for my first session. The good news is that he's willing to do the first step with me. The bad one is that I'm supposed to do some work too. That is, he gave me three questionnaires for a psychological analysis of my personality. I have to answer all of them within 24 hours. He will then analyse the response and we're going into the second round right after my Siberia trip. The three test are:
  • Vocation-Structur-Test, depth psychological approach, 190 questions
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, also depth psychological approach, 90 questions
  • Cattell's Personality Factor Test in the revised edition, 184 questions.
As if this has not already been enough, I've also received a book about networking. Maybe a good choice, because I'm not very good at this, even though networking led me to the psychologist in the first place.

I've asked a simple question (me debo ir o quedarme?) and I've received 464 more to answer and a book to read. Almost a chain reaction as in nuclear science. Maybe I should head in that direction. It's supposed to go into a renaissance. But I've been there already. I want something new and cool, though.

* cultural reference: Me debo ir o quedarme? = Should I stay or should I go?

Getting Ready

On Wednesday, I'll be a bad lover again and leave Gatín alone back in Switzerland. Together with my flatmate Tigresa, I'm going on a pioneer river rafting to north east Siberia on the Omuljovka river in the Kolyma region. Some Siberians are going to find out whether this river can be used for tourist purposes. Tigresa and I are among five Swiss, who will serve as crash test dummies.

[Satellite Picture]

We will fly via Moscow and Yakutsk to Syrjanka. The last leg will be on a Antonov 24, a plane that could make it into any Indiana Jones film. At Syrjanka, a MI-8 helicopter will pick us up and drop an hour later at the banks of the Omuljovka together with the rest of the crew and the rafts. For the next seven days, we will probably not meet a single soul on our way down the river. At a parallel river, I saw once a bear. But usually, one is far too noisy to meet a lot of animals. However, I hope we will catch a lot of fish. There is no better food than the one direct from an unpolluted river. After the week on the river, the helicopter is supposed to pick us up again and we'll return to Switzerland immediately.

But the biggest obstacle will be to leave Switzerland together with Tigresa. Right now, she's involved in the cap drivers' strike at Zürich's airport. I hope she's not going to spend our departure in custody. Touch wood.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

What Breed Are You?

This morning, I had a talk about horse breeds with my flatmate Tigresa. She's an excellent equestrian. My personal horse riding experience is more like a long record of falling off horses. I'm definitely better at riding bikes and men. Whatever, let's have a deeper look into what kind of breeds we are:

Tigresa is a Hanoverian, a warmblooded horse originating in Germany, which is often seen in the Olympics and other difficult English style competitions. It is one of the oldest, most numerous, and most successful of the warmbloods. Originally a carriage horse, infusions of Thoroughbred blood lightened it to make it more agile and useful for competition. The Hanoverian is known for its wonderful temperament, athleticism, and beauty. However in the morning she's a Przewalski, also known as the Mongolian Wild Horse.

My beloved Gatín is clearly an Andalusian, one of the purest breeds of horses in the world today. They are compact horses, yet very elegant. Their legs are clean, with good bone, and they have a high, round action, which makes them particularly suitable for High School Dressage.

If I'm in a bad mood I'm a Camargue, but most of the time a Pinto, which are supposed to be intelligent and willing. Pintos are muscular animals that are heavy but not too tall, with a low centre of gravity for rapid manoeuvrability, and powerful hindquarters suitable for rapid acceleration and extreme sprinting speed. I'm not so sure about this, though. Unfortunately, I'm not a Trakehner, the most pure of the warmblood breeds.

Friday, July 08, 2005

SL: The A-List

This is the second entry of the Projekt Sprachlust kind.

A lot of English is already implemented into German. You've just to adjust the pronunciation a bit. Let's start with the A-List:
  • abgefuckt: heruntergekommen, verwahrlost
  • abgespaced: ausgeflippt, verrückt, weltfremd
  • abturnen: anwidern, lästig sein, siehe auch anturnen
  • acid trip: Drogenrausch (z.B. mit LSD)
  • action thriller: Reisser (aktionsbetont)
  • adapter: Adapter, Anschluss, Zwischenstück
  • additive: Zusatz
  • administration: Verwaltung
  • aerobic: Pop-, Tanzgymnastik, Gymnastik
  • affair: Affäre, Liebschaft
  • afro look: Afroschnitt, Afroverschnitt, Kraushaar
  • after-shave: Rasierwasser
  • agenda: Tagesordnung, Notizbuch, Plan, Terminkalender
  • agreement: Abkommen, Absprache, Einklang, Übereinkunft, Vereinbarung, Vertrag, Zustimmung
  • air bag: Prallkissen
  • airbrush: luftpinseln, sprühmalen; Spritzpistole, Spritztechnik
  • air-conditioned: (voll-)klimatisiert
  • alcopop: alkoholhaltiges Mischgetränk
  • all-rounder: Alleskönner, Rundumbegabung
  • ambulance: Krankenwagen
  • American way of life: (US-)Amerikanische Lebensart
  • anclicken: anklicken
  • antiaging: Fit im Alter, Jungbleiben
  • Antibabypille: Empfängnisverhütungsmittel
  • anturnen: anregen, begeistern, erregen, in einen Rausch bringen, Interesse wecken, reizen, siehe auch abturnen
  • anyway: jedenfalls, sowieso, wie auch immer
  • appeasement: Beschwichtigung, Beschwichtigungspolitik
  • application: Anwendung, Programm
  • appointment: Termin, Treffen, Verabredung
  • aqua fitness: Wassergymnastik
  • aqua jogging: Wasserlaufen (sportlich)
  • aquaplaning: Wasserglätte
  • aufsplitten: aufspalten, aufteilen
  • ausloggen (sich): (sich) abmelden (im Rechner, im Netz usw.)
  • Autocross: Geländerennen, Gelände-Wagenrennen, Querfeldein-Autorennen
  • auto reverse: Bandumkehr, Selbstrücklauf, Selbstrückspulen
  • Auto-Stop: (per) Anhalter
  • award: Auszeichnung, Preis
Source: Der Anglizismen-Index

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Projekt Sprachlust

Yesterday, Gatín and I had coffee together with Ms & Mr Mac. Actually, it was coffee, fruit cakes and a bottle of an Australian Botrytis Semillon. We enjoyed the company of the Macs. They have got loads wit and repartee.

Ms & Mr Mac have been living in Switzerland for more than two years. Nevertheless, they still remain faithful to their origin. That is, they speak English quite a lot and are not that familiar with the local vernacular. Two years is a lot and it seems time to scratch the veneer. It's time for Projekt Sprachlust, especially designed for Chateau Mac.

Let's start with a real nice German word: Lust
Lust ist das freudige Verlangen nach etwas Bestimmtem wie beispielsweise etwas zu essen oder etwas zu tun. Lust im Sinne von Vorfreude wird meist aber nur empfunden, wenn die "Belohnung" vorher schon bekannt ist. So hat Lust, abgesehen von der Lust am Unbekannten, die aber eher mit Neugier gleichzusetzen ist, immer auch mit Konditionierung zu tun.
This was to warm up. Let's go a step further to Wollust:
Wollust ist ein Synonym für extrem starkes sexuelles Verlangen bzw. sexuelle Begierde. Wollust beschreibt eine barock anmutende Empfindung, die als drängend, lustvoll, schwülstig gilt, früher auch als ruchlos und frevelhaft. Wollust ist nicht nur körperliches Verlangen, sondern setzt auch erotische Fantasien frei. Hinter der Wollust stehen mit den damit verbundenen Fantasien starke Triebkräfte und Verlockungen.

Im Christentum gilt Wollust als eine Hauptsünde wie auch die Gier. Die Wollust war einer der Hauptvorwürfe an vermeintliche Hexen in der Frühen Neuzeit. Ihnen warf man vor, dass sie aufgrund ihrer übergrossen Wollust nicht nur Geschlechtsverkehr mit dem Teufel (die so genannte Teufelsbuhlschaft) trieben, sondern auch eifrig gemeinsam Orgien auf ihren Hexensabbaten feierten.
Ready for a bit of Sprachlust at Chateau Mac?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Breeding Discord

Quite some time ago, when 256 MByte memory sticks still could lead to an exuberance of feelings, someone in our department decided to distribute such devices among the employees. I was delighted to receive one. However, it disappeared within no time from my desk. I suspected everyone to have pinched it, but couldn’t convict anyone of the theft.

This morning, I discovered the memory stick in a cupboard behind a folder. I must have put it there so that no one can snitch it. I changed to sackcloth and ashes immediately and began to express my regret to my colleagues for suspecting them. This was a big mistake. Obviously, only a few had been selected to receive a memory stick.


The sockscription by blacksocks is really a handy service and one of the few Swiss e-businesses that is making both money and sense. Sockscription is essential for all of you, who are getting frustrated when there are always odd socks left in the laundry, or when your sock supply seems to consist solely of single socks that don't match. If you socksubscript, you'll receive three pairs of socks through the mail several times a year. Each new pair is guaranteed to match those you already have. And that tedious shopping for socks will be a thing of the past.

I’m not really sockscripting but order occasionally a 10er box. I prefer wool socks. The fabric is gentler to my feet than cotton. However, I use cotton socks when traveling, because hotel laundries don’t handle wool socks as gentle as they should. Unfortunately, blacksocks had so far only cotton socks. But today, I discovered that blacksocks has introduced cashmere-silk socks. I’ll have to give those a try run on my feet.

Friday, July 01, 2005


I would like to chant It's Friday I'm In Love as Robert Smiths from the Cure does so admirably. However, I'm more into Black Francis' Debaser. Don't worry, there are no shadows hanging over Gatín and me. My caring boss is responsible my current mood. Today, he was the perfect cunt. Talking about weird accusations, imputations and hidden agenda - it was all there. I'm the last to cast the first stone, but this time he went too far. I don't assume that I were any better, but he's the one who gets the middle management wage.

Motherhood I'm Coming

I've been to Switzerland for two days and I'm already getting the feeling that I'm being forced into motherhood - Imaging, me with a bairn.

First, I was told by my health insurance, what the implications of the new paid maternity leave are (we call this motherhood insurance - Switzerland did not have something like that, even though, the ferderal constitution promised it since 1945).

Then yesterday, I made some strawberries with sour creme. Apparently, fresa con crema is the favourite dish in Mexico while carrying a developing offspring within the body. How was I supposed to know?