Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy 25% to Me

I have a file on my computer where i keep all sorts of little notes, comments, uncompleted blogs and quotes. This afternoon i was skimming through this file and i ran across a blog i started around Christmas time. It was essentially a list of things i missed about the states and couldn't understand about Europe. Here's a few.

Too many coins!

No headbangers ball. No metal mania. No SNL. No Weeds. All great shows.

Roundabouts are good

No shopping for anything on Sunday.

No George foreman grill!

There were a bunch more but i got a kick out of reading it now because if i had to do it again, none of those things would be on there. I've pretty much given up TV. I eat a steady diet of sandwiches and soup. (Sidenote: it's possible to cook soup directly in the can on a stove if you A, remove the top and B, stir regularly. This saves washing a pot, but don't try on gas stoves. Or rather try it, and let me know how that works.) Roundabouts still are good. In fact now i would even go as far as to say excellent.

Today officially marks the completion of 6 months, or 25% of my contract over here. I admit, i have mixed feelings. On the one hand it went by extremely quick which is no doubt an indication of how the rest of the time will be. But on the other hand, it's been a helluva 6 months. The Lichtenstein government felt it a big enough event that they actually closed down the country today, Switzerland too. The “Official” reason is a bank holiday, but between you me and the wall, i know people. I'm kind of a big deal here (sorry to steal your line Mo).

I had a pretty great long weekend. Friday night i went out with some of my new friends here and, well, lets just say tequila is evil and i got home the next day at 2:30PM. Gotta keep things PG, my little cousins may see this. As you can probably guess, Saturday was pretty much a waste of a day consisting of a healthy diet of water and Tylenol. Sunday however, I got a tip that the canton of Appenzell was holding their yearly Landsgemeinde (thanks Ang). It's pretty wild, essentially everyone gathers in the town square to vote on various legislation. It's been going on for hundreds of years but today there are only 2 cantons in Switzerland that still hold these public votes. Naturally there is allot of traditional clothing, songs, etc, but one of the coolest parts were the swords. It used to be that men (not women historically) would vote by raising swords. To this day, many still bring them. Despite my taunting and precision cheese ball throws none were willing to do any sword fighting. Damn neutral Swiss.

To round out the weekend i spent today hiking and riding my bike, and of course writing this. Brace yourselves, it gets a little long winded at times and I'm gonna get a bit introspective here. Consider yourselves warned.

I didn't come here with many expectations mainly because i had no idea what to expect. I came with skis, my guitar, clothes and an open mind. These last 6 months have been full of highs, lows, good times, lonely times, new faces, old faces and a slew of other experiences that i never would have expected but were nonetheless worth every moment. It was tough to leave Michigan, i had a pretty good thing going over there. But i felt like I had stagnated. Before settling in Troy i was on my 11th address in 8 years. Nomadic? I suppose. The year before i left to come here i had nightmarish visions where 20 yrs from now I'd be doing the exact same thing with the exact same people at work. I see those people at work who are coming everyday, just as they've done for the year before this one, and the year before that one, and it depresses me. Makes me think of that guy in Joe vs. the Volcano. An underrated movie by the way. Back on topic..that's just not for me. So this gig couldn't have come at a better time. I try not to talk too much about work, after all i don't wanna get “Dooced” here. Besides I'm technically still with the same company, albeit at a slightly better location and pay scale.

So 18 more months. That seems like a long time now but i guarantee that it will fly by just as fast, if not faster than the previous 6 months. I've got allot of things planned; the LeMans race, a trip to Spain (I promise Jenn), F1 Hokenheim, Vienna, Red Sea diving, maybe Australia and no doubt many few others. There really are too many things to see. Curse this spectacular location.

Well, lets wrap this up. I have no idea what i will do when i get done over here. Stay? Go? Go where? Retirement sounds good. Indications thusfar point to me being able to sign on permanently here, can i really go back to Detroit traffic? I wouldn't mind starting my own business (plan will be ready next week Bri). Who knows, there's plenty of time to figure all this out. Tomorrow AM it's off to Germany for a meeting. I think I'll eat some pork knuckles and maybe drink a Weiss beer for lunch. Yes, that sounds nice. Only in Europe, only in Europe.

I got some good pics over the weekend, but the app to load them is malfunctioning. Ill try again when i get back in town.


Aventius said...

Haha.. nice.

I have a gigantic folder of items... with links, text files and pictures. I'll probably never do anything with them either.

I love Joe vs. the Volcano. The movie great, especially with Meg Ryan in all her different characters... three I think. I also love the reoccuring image of the crooked arrow that can be found throughout the movie. Plus, who doesn't love Orange pop (not sure if it was Faygo... probably not but it should have been)?

Aventius said...

As for roundabouts... I've started to see a few in Michigan recently. There's one in Lake Orion near my house and dear lord did it cause problems at first. People going through were doing like 5 mph but now its almost been a year and people fly through it.

But, how can you not love the Michigan Left?

Mom said...

6 months? I can't believe it's been that long. I have to say that I also have mixed feelings about you being over there. It was great to have a "home base" when we came over to visit. I would love to make lots more trips over the coming years. On the other hand, its definitely not as convenient to call (both the time thing and the $$) and you're no longer a long weekend away. My advice is to make the most of the time you have over there. You've got an amazing opportunity and you'll have a lifetime of memories. You can always extend a year at a time and check out your options. Love....M

Corrigan said...

Spies like us is another underrated classic.
Well Ma, I'm here for (at least) another 18 months, so feel free to take advantage again. I'm surprised you didnt come visit in Michigan more, the magnetic draw of the great lakes state snares many in its net!

Bcorrigan78 said...

I love how Mom's name on Blogger is "Mom". How unspecific! Anyway, I have to say, jealousy abounds in my heart when I think of the grand adventure you must be having. Would I trade places? I suppose if Mo wanted to go, yes I would. But, for whatever its worth, I suppose eventually it all gets to be a little "Joe-ish". The only way to avoid the monotony is to contually find new and exciting things to do, and constantly reinvent yourself. Little brother, we definitely miss you around here, but its fun to hear of your adventures!


Corrigan said...

You wrote that as i did. It's 8 o clock here, shouldt you be working?

I should let you know that my landlords company is looking for computer engineers. He was just complaining to me how there's no good people here. There ya go!

Angella said...

Glad you enjoyed the Landsgemeinde. I thought it was crazy! On the sword thing - one of the main reasons that's not used as your proof of eligibility to vote anymore is because women received the right to vote - in 1991.

I know what you mean about this location...Love it! One of my classmates went to Thailand for our last Holiday and another is headed to Croatia in July..after hearing that, I went "hmmm...." and my list of places to go grew exponentially!

Glad to hear 6 months later you're still enjoying it!

Aventius said...

Russian Interregator #2: Every minute you don't tell us why you are here, I cut off a finger.
Emmett Fitz-Hume: Mine or yours?
Russian Interregator #2: Yours.
Emmett Fitz-Hume: Damn!

such a classic.

IrishCorrigan said...

Kevin, its good to hear you are still enjoying everything. I would love to come and visit, but I'm not sure that I could leave home. Besides, Murphy doesn't speak German (ha ha)

Glad you are having fun--please don't go PG on the adventures of you and tequilla! The details of drunken nights are my favorite part.

We miss and love you back here in the states.

Peepes said...

Joe the Volcano? That's hilarious. Want to break the monotony? Have a kid! Yeah, work's the same, but nothing else is when I get home. Always a new adventure! I would recommend getting married first though.

If that business that you want to start is going to be in Michigan and you need a partner, let me know. I may be interested. I need to get out of Automotive... at least I'm still scoring some good Wings/Pistons/Tiger tickets. Yes I said Tigers. They're 1/2 game out of first with one of the best records in baseball. Don't know how much you're following sports over there.

Have fun and don't enjoy it too much over there. I think that there's some people who want you to come back.... I think...someone...

Corrigan said...

Kids? whoah..not yet. maybe in a few years. I still have the mentaility of a 10 year old.

Aventius said...

many have shown that immature parents do well. the reason? they get along with their kids better. less rebellion.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevie!
It's Erin. I do read your blog, although, like Maureen, I think it would be funny if you described how you passed out and stuff like that. My mom said though that you better keep it PG. If you do end up taking a permanent job there, you can count on me coming to visit, or at least trying to! Uncle Denny said you might be coming home for Memorial weekend. If you do, I can't wait to see you!

P.S. You're funny.

Corrigan said...

Hey Erin..thanks for reading! I can tell i have a very "diverse" audience. Hope everything is goin well stateside...i sent a few postcards your way, hopefully you guys got them.
It'll be fun as you kids turn 18...oh the stories us older cousins can tell! Poor john and lynn.