Hello World, v.2017

Seems as good a time as any to start a new blog, better than some.  Working on a couple of (well, a few) projects with NEAT Stuttgart: _Just So Stories_, in an awesome adaptation by our ringleader, Charles Urban; The Tolling Thunder Review, a Dylan cover band that is performing around Stuttgart as we can; and the _Nick Danger, Third Eye_ play from, that’s right, Firesign Theatre.

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Martin and I are playing some together.  We have our own band, 4 Strings ‘n Sheet Metal, but his gigs and practices with Comedian Jazz Quintett and mine with NEAT have put a dent into our other practice time.  We’re looking for a few other musicians to play with around Stuttgart or Leinfelden-Echterdingen down the road, but it’ll really be down the road for now!  We’re not playing with the Stäffeles Banjo Rutscher any more, but they’re fun to watch, and you should go if they’re in your area.  We’ve also played some pick-up stuff with the Nonnos, who often practice at Michels Besen in Degerloch (that’s the place on the right side when you do the Google search, even though he does not have a website).

I applied for an online job a couple of weeks ago, and it prompted me to update my tired old resume.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through whatever their first round even was, but I did like the name of the position I was applying for, and I think it really fits the way that I do consulting: Happiness Consultant.  One of my work buddies saw it as a glorified customer service position for which I was extremely overqualified, but hey, I’m not too good for good work.  And good work at good companies, even in entry-level positions, generally leads to my being promoted to management or other responsible positions.  It’s happened regularly, and I’m proud to be that kind of employee.

I’ve found some of my old work in pursuit of the Ph.D. that I had to abandon, and dammit, it’s good.  Both projects I had to submit.  And the one I submitted before my exams, before I knew everyone I was working with was leaving before I could finish.  So all damn three are pretty f-in’ good, and I will pick up the work on them and see where they go.   The first one I started uses ancient Greek terms of rhetoric and examines how they will hold, or not, in online environments.  The second one was called, “Defrag Yourself!,” and it playfully addresses a very serious issue: what happens when you have embarrassed yourself or exposed yourself or your business to ridicule, shame, or legal action because of something you or someone else posted online, and arguably more importantly, if you’ve not yet done so, how to avoid it.  The third one studies how writing is being taken up in virtual worlds in ways that could promote community action.  The research for this one led to my opening the Second Side Community Writing Center and group in Second Life (my professional avatar is Deanya Zenfold), where writers from anywhere in the world can get help on any writing project they have from real qualified writing teachers like myself.  🙂

I’m learning more about the health care system here in Germany as we negotiate doctors’ and dentists’ appointments: nothing serious, just regular stuff.  Went to the dentist for the first real time in 30-some years a couple months ago; I left the U.S. just as the ACA was coming into effect, for better or worse.  (Yes, as my group used to say, opinions are like butt-holes; everyone has one.  I have yet to decide if discussion on the topic can be fruitful.  I am, however, considering putting in a bid to run for President of the U.S. in the next election.)

Did I mention that I’m still learning German?  It goes slowly, but I do make progress.  I also find good resources and figure out ways to use them to help myself learn better, so I’d like to share those here too, as well as just keep the bloody links here so I can remember them for myself.  Although I am enjoying Google Keep for my own personal space, it’s not easy to share on.

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We’re watching and reading and playing Shadowhunters and Conan-related media and games.  My characters in Second Life at the moment are a Shadowhunter named Chatelaine and a Barbarian Fighter named Der.  I am also still looking to play my Halfling Thief in Mhirdrun.

A few odd jobs I want to keep doing: updating and promoting my cousin Ludy Wilkie’s work–he’s a historical playwright, and he should be much better known.

Is that all?  time to clean the cat boxes?

Oh God, this whole thing reads like a German Christmas letter.

 

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