[january 10, 2005 - give me a leonard cohen afterworld...]...well, long time no hear. sorry for that. today the university started again. that is: the seminars started again. i've been working all the past days to be able to give thomas the first part of what will be my future dissertation today. i could give him the introduction (9 pages), the critical reception of cohen's works (27 pages) and the bibliography (8 pages). we'll see what he'll say...
x. and i went to Brussels on friday! it was x.'s christmas and birthday present from me: two nights at the hilton :o) so we arrived on friday and left sunday evening and it was great. although i'm pretty tired now! we walked for ten hours each day! but it was a lot of fun and Brussels is such a beautiful town! staying at the hilton was nice, as well. though we both decided that we need to get something else to dress the next time we'll be staying there :o).
well, whatdoyouknow! janine, a former student of mine and friendly supporter of the 200 lurkers ordered another five copies of "the space and the sea" :o)
there's a lot of work ahead: on wednesday i have to give the annual media lecture, then a seminar on hypertexts and in the evening my own seminar on new historicism. we'll also get this semester's exam essays tomorrow which have to be corrected. and then all the next two weeks there are oral exams where i have to write the protocols. on thursday in the colloquium we'll talk about a text that i have suggested: dennis lee's "savage fields" - an essay on beautiful losers which one might translate into neo-materielist terminology. so i need to prepare this thoroughly as well. sigh. i'm soooo glad when the semester's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
plus there's the second christmas present that x. got from me. well, actually it's a present for myself :o) it's a 200 lurkers concert. which i still have to rehears!
princess superstar is still in mexico. hope she's having a great time!
[january 11, 2005 -it's dagmar's birthday today and it was tara's last week. so happy birthday to bielefeld and tübingen. it's tuesday night, 20:49, which i can see ON MY NEW WATCH!!!!! it looks even better than on the fossil website. thomas brought it for me from the us because you can't buy the model i fancied here in europe. so i've got a pretty exclusive watch now :o) tomorrow is hell day: six hours of teaching, starting at nine and ending at six thirty. and then the day after tomorrow we will talk about cohen and dennis lees' "savage fields" in the colloquium, which means that i better am prepared! anyway. got to work now. see you!
[january 15, 2005 - and thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes...]another filled out feedback form has arrived :o) !!!
listening to jennifer warnes' album with cohen covers. a lot of things gave happened! it was the hell of a week! meetings, lectures, seminars, exams, new colleagues... this months, stephanie and nadine started to work for thomas. they are the two new student workers who will replace princess superstar and achim in a couple of weeks. both achim and the princess will start working at a school, even though achim had the offer to stay at the university and do his phd in linguistics. but he decided against it, unfortunately. so right now achim is trying to teach stephanie and nadine everything they need to know about the pcs and the network and the macs etc.
in the colloquium this week we were discussing "savage fields" which i had proposed because i want to use it for the dissertation. and it helped me a lot, i think. we had a fruitful discussion about it which i taped :o) all day yesterday i was assisting thomas doing the oral exams and on my desk right now there's a big pile of exam essays that i still have to correct. on monday i'm part of a commission that will decide about who will get a vacant job at the department. which is not a pleasant situation to be in because bernd had applied for the job and a certain amount of diplomacy will be needed to handle all the professors some of whom are not really on friendly terms with thomas, if you know what i mean.
princess superstar has returned from her vacation in mexico yesterday, and x. and i will meet her tonight and exchange anecdotes about brussels and mexico.
the media lecture on wednesday didn't go the way i had planned - somehow the students were very restless and there was quite some noise in the auditorium. actually i had hoped that the lecture would be kind of interesting - at least that was the impression i had from the last time i did it. but this time the atmosphere was different, unfortunately. the seminar after that went better, though. and in the evening my own seminar was really okay: lots of discussion and attentive faces. unfortunately the greenblatt text i had chosen for a general introduction of new historicism wasn't really about new historicism at all .. nina had suggested it and i had trusted her advice! heads will roll! ;o)
okay, and here is the big story you're already waiting for:
i'm not quite sure whether i have mentioned it already during the past months, but somebody is stealing equipment at the university since november. two very expensive projectors have been stolen, a video recorder, a dvd player, and also my wrist watch. the thief seems to have the keys to all the offices because he didn't have to force his way into the rooms. and after they had stolen our precious, style award winning sony projector and my watch i set up a camera in my office. you know, we have these small web cams and they have a motion sensor - so i timed the program that it would record everyone who enters my office during the night. and then i took my old, broken watch (actually it's somebody's watch which i had forgotten to give back to her...) and i placed it in the expensive wrapping of my new watch that thomas bought for me in the states (and which i really, really love!) and i placed it as a bait on my desk.
and when i returned on thursday morning i switched on the monitor of my pc (which wasn't switched off during the night because the camera was attached to it) and a pop up window very kindly informed me: "your hard drive has been formatted".
i was shocked! first i thought this would be a joke, but then i realized that the entire "user" hard drive with ALL of my data, all of the work for the seminars i did during the past five years had been deleted. erased. formatted. gone. apparently the thief had come into my office, has stolen the ibook that i had locked away and that is gone now, had realized that the pc was on, had switched on the monitor and seen how the camera was just recording his stealing stuff and had then formatted the hard drive to destroy the evidence.
we called the police immediately, but of course they couldn't really do anything. they couldn't even check for fingerprints because they said they wouldn't get any significant material from the keyboard or the mouse or the handles of the drawers. but we asked the computer center of the university to restore the data from the hard drive, which they might be able to do. so then i will not only regain all my personal/professional data but also the film of how the sucker is fooling around with our property! and if the computer center can't do it thomas has agreed that we will send the drive to a professional data recovery laboratory.
you might imagined that this threw me off the track for a couple of hours! but it's just so laughable! the thief is taking high quality media equipment almost week for week, and not only in the english department. and nobody seems to be able to do anything against it. even THOUGH we have a security service that is supposed to guard the offices. but they only patrol once at night through the building. and probably it's even one of the guards because it must be someone who has a key that fits to all the offices on all the floors.
anyway, i'll keep you updated about how things will develop. one thing is certain: people have never been more sympathetic than during the past two days: everybody came up to me and told me how outraged and sorry they were.
okay, i've got to keep correcting the essays: the week-end will be pretty short again!
[january 17, 2005 - i still dream of organon / i wake up crying...]wow! massive nightmares: woke up from the sound of my own panic struck breathing. i dreamt that i was at nadine's place (my bielefeld friend, not the new colleague) and her apartment was in cologne. we were on her garden terrace and suddenly i knew that x. had left me because she had returned to her ex boyfriend, which took me by surprise and did not take my by surprise. i was hit in the stomach but at the same time i thought: i knew it i knew it i knew it i knew that this would happen! and i ran back and forth on the terrace and nadine was sitting in an inflatable pool (you know, the one that you can set up for your kids in the garden in the summer) and it had only 30 cm of water in it and a bucket filled with bananas. so i was pushing her into the pool because she didn't really care about what i was trying to tell her, and i ran around and i thought: i knew it i knew it i knew that x. would leave me and it felt perfectly real and perfectly painful and when i had woken up it took me a couple of minutes to realize that it had only been a dream and not reality and not a prophecy. just some bad, screwed up pictures and sounds, the result of too much dinner and a general sense of concerndness with my life. x. was lying next to me in the dark, being somewhere in her own dreams and i reached out to hug her and secure her presence and i wished that there weren't any blankets or covers or sheets or pajamas between us and on us to be as close to her as possible. got up then because i couldn't sleep anymore. felt empty and afraid the entire morning.
thank god a very hectic day kept me from reflecting about the nightmares today. first commission meeting, then essay corrections and attempts to restore the lost data on my formatted hard drive and more thomas specific work. unfortunately we didn't manage yet to restore the camera recordings yet and it is doubtful whether we will at all. however there could be a slim chance to get back my personal data. so keep your fingers crossed.
[january 19, 2005 - and doesn't the tree / write great poetry?]busy day. it's 22:12 and i'm soooo tired. my seminar went pretty well today, i improvised a lot because i didn't really have the time to prepare it properly. still it was okay. lots of discussion and attentive faces. almost as during nerve bible concerts, only that the students don't move their lips to the lyrics :o) today my pc returned with the restored data. fortunately the experts of the university's pc center managed to save almost all files, as far as i could see by now. they also found out, that the thief formatted the hard drive at 21:24. and the camera was programmed to record every motion from 22:00 to 8:00. which means that it didn't record the motherfucker in the first place. and which also means that he didn't fool around with my pc because he wanted to destroy any evidence but because he just wanted to teach me a lesson! simply to annoy me! i hope they'll get him some day!
thought a lot about writing songs tonight. it would be nice to be in a band and be creative again. i use too much of my time and energy on the job. is it worth it? no point thinking about it. no point worrying. no point thinking at all too much. it's funny - i keep my mind busy on one end only, in one place, keep it working so that it won't have a chance to reflect and think about itself and its needs and its desires. i don't know. i simply want to do what i can do best. and if it's what i'm currently doing eleven hours a day or more that's fine with me. but somehow somewhere in a hidden corner of my body there's something that tells me that there might be more. "give me more line. give me more line! i've got to find my tropical island, i've got to find..." you know, it's just that i don't want to regret anything at the end of my life. but i guess that's pretty much asked for already.
[january 21, 2005 - gonna dig a coal mine / climb down deep inside / where my shadow's got one place to go / one place to hide]great riff, great melody, great production. longing and loss and a happy tune. am on my way to x after having a drink with blane, achim, gordon and susanne. very nice. very relaxed. now: strain, almost and thoughts bent by alcohol, the feeling of being lifted up, of being pulled up but being nailed to the floor at the same time. that's why good music fucking hurts me. glad to be with x. soon. got to go off.
wrote the above paragraph yesterday night. actually it was pretty nice yesterday night, because we decided spontaneously to all have a drink together. that is: all the people who were still working at seven at night. it's almost like family. today the linguistic department had an "open house" party in the evening which was nice as well. lots of food and wine. achim and i installed a new surveillance program today. so now we can monitor the offices at night and the images are uploaded to the server directly - no chance for anybody to destroy any evidence.
i'm tired. it's 21:05 and x. will come soon. outside it's raining and stormy and cold. weather that makes you crawl into the bed and stay there forever. realized that i am a bit disappointed. i had worked so hard to have the two chapters finished by the time that thomas had returned from the states, and now he's leaving again for l.a. soon, and he hasn't even said a single word about what i have written. what does this mean: that he didn't have the chance to read it that it is so bad that he doesn't know what to say about it? i wish i had gotten any feedback. so that i know that i'm on the right way.
in two weeks achim and princess superstar will leave for good. they both start with their jobs as teachers. which is sad. achim even had the chance to get a part-time job in the linguistic department and do his phd there, but he decided against it after weeks and weeks of considerations. i somehow understand him and envy the princess and achim for this clear cut and secure future. they will become good teachers, they will have secure jobs, they will get a good pension and know that they will not have to deal with existential worries any longer. i will miss them. the office will be a different place without them. :o(
[january 26, 2004 - ]just a short note to let you know that i'm still alive. and wow, what a prompt reaction. the day after complaining here that thomas hadn't commented on my first chapter he said: we've got to talk - i've read your stuff. spooky! anyway, he liked it. and he didn't really have many suggestions regarding the content - so i think he must really think that it's okay.
it's 22:02 already, x. is lying in my bathtub. we're going to meet her ex ex ex boyfriend tomorrow. hey, i'm SOOO looking forward to it! today thomas lectured about pink flamingos, a film from 1972 by john walters which deals with all sorts of abject things. like sex with animals, fetishism and all kinds of bodily fluids. the last scene shows one actress eating the excrement of a dog. of course we made little film clips that he showed during the lecture. "hm!" he said while we were cutting the scenes "did i mention that today a school class will come visiting the lecture?" we have this from time to time that a high school class comes visiting a lecture. the last time he was talking about lolita and was showing all kinds of clips and david hamilton images. and today those abject scenes of bizarre sexually explicit content.
my seminar went well today. i'm tired now. and hungry. and tired. i
need the semester holidays. i could sleep for a week in a row. on friday
the people who have passed and not passed the intermediate exam will come
to my office hours. sigh.it's always hard if you have students who failed
or even failed for the second or third time.