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 Thursday, April 20

Ah, update time, I see. Been working as much as possible, since we are going to Germany after all. Almost everything is booked and secure. All that remains to deal with is the hotel room in Amsterdam, which I hope J has booked already, a quick call to the cat lesbian, and getting the rail passes, which our German connection might have to get for us there anyway. It's the short version of the trip, since we po', but we will get to see a Dutch game (vs. Serbia/Montenegro) while we're in Amsterdam and a German game (vs. Poland) while we're in Berlin, and that should be fucking cool. All the major cities in Germany are going to have big screens up in the public squares and I hope the same will be true for the Dutch game in Amsterdam. Even if we have to squeeze into a bar or something to see it, I imagine the atmosphere will be, um, notable. They actually care about this stuff over there and it'll be neat to see how much life stops while the team is playing. We'll actually be in the stadium to see the Yanks do whatever they do against the Czech Republic and Italy, and that might be kind of interesting too.

I finally got my mitts on a proper Pimsleur German course, so that's been my soundtrack these days. It comes back pretty quickly, so I'm racing through the lessons, one and even two a day with no repeats. I am so sad at what is happening to my Dutch, though. I have to stomp on it pretty hard to get the German to really stick, and I hate that. Especially since we'll be in Amsterdam for a couple of days at the beginning and this would normally be a time of great practicing. I promise to go back and seriously wallow in Nederlands once this trip is over. I wish I could figure out how to compartmentalize them better, label one red and one green in my mind, something, but they're so similar they overlap, and to remember a word in one seems always to require forgetting it in the other.

We're pinching pennies, of course, especially after the tax debacle of this week (how, how can we owe so much when we don't make any money and don't get me started on how bitter I am about what they're gonna spend it on) but I did buy a new toy and recommend it to anyone who likes a damn fine cup of coffee. Under 30 bucks, uses paper filters but you can reuse them a zillion times so the little pack of filters that comes with it is a lifetime supply. Lightweight, compact, sturdy, makes a lovely cuppa faster than any other method I've seen, no French Press sludge, no electricity, no energy at all other than your own elbow grease and whatever you do to grind the beans and heat the water. And it's easier and quicker to clean up than any other method short of getting someone else to do it. I'm sold. I read a then-42-page thread (it's now up to 48) at my favorite coffee geekfest wherein the inventor got involved and was helpful and informative and receptive to suggestions. I wish that happened more often, and it's a big reason I got the thing. For now, we're going through a lot of coffee playing with it. I intend to bring it on our trip. B will agree by the time we go. I also forsee buying a few more of these things in the future. I'm gonna try out the hot water dispenser at the dojo next week and see if such a thing would be practical there. Three days of everybody skipping the green aprons down the street and it'd be more than paid for. It's just a question of who would clean it. (a question to which the answer is: Me.)

My new plan for getting us out of the current financial funk: heavy use of eBay and Freecycle to move some under-loved stuff along. It'll do wonders for our karma, our feng shui, and our bottom line. And hey, it sure beats working. I got blindsided this morning from the moment I walked in the door at the temp job. Apparently an entire huge telecommunication corporation ground to a halt because some corrections from last night weren't finished yet on this document. You may have heard about it on the financial channels. Brought to its knees. By me. Oopsie!

It's frightening how seriously some people take their jobs, jobs which are really and truly about nothing. The time stamps on this one drone's constant emails vividly tell the story of his non-life. I pity him.

9:57 PM

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