Dienstag, Mai 01, 2012

it's been a while ...

... but there is so much to talk about, so I might give this blog a try again. another resolution for this year, then, given that I am so brillantly on track with the ones taken on new years eve (it was mostly about taking less responsibility at work, re-start indulging with alcoholic drinks, hanging out with friends a lot more and having more fun generally).

oh, and I try not to be too serious ;-)

Sonntag, Juni 28, 2009

something I like to share with all the people reading my blog. just because.

thanks to the ones reading my blog that I did not mention in my last post.

a "scusi" to Phil from practicality blog. haven't been visiting u for ages, but I did catch up now. sorry to hear about your loss.

myself, I just lost my godfather. he had a heart attack last year, got a bypass, there were complications, he was in intense care for weeks, they had to take his leg off, he got an artificial leg and went into rehab. he was pretty happy there at first, laughing at the psychologist, having a good time. then the shock set in, about not recovering as speedy as expected, about having lost the leg, about not being able to join carneval except for a lousy afternoon in a wheelchair.

then there were complications again, and he recently died of Blutvergiftung - poisoned blood, kinda.

he was always a heavy smoker, always up for a good laugh, full of energy, passionate for BMW, and carneval in Basel were the three days a year he gave loads of energy to. the rest was diving, reading, driving, drinking, enjoying life.

the thing that troubles me is not so much that he went away now. he had a good life. his wife will manage - though in grief, she manages already now. but to know that at the hospital, they messed things up... that there are different departments treating different sicknesses, and that they neither care nor are forced to interact with each other. one doctor actually said, "we were so focused on his leg, we forgot to treat him for his heart as well".

I guess it happens. it probably happens far more often than any of us would ever want to know. that we perfect one thing, but forget about the other. it's an old wisdom, that good doctors treat their patient as one person with heart and soul, with personality and biological characteristics. we also know that in today's world, this is not the case unless you pay a fortune for your own private clinic. I know that in Western Europe we are still immensely privileged to even have doctors treating you.

just wanted to share with you. not going anywhere specific, except perhaps... hmm, getting a lesson out of the story... be there for people in need, so they will be there when you need them. eg, to speak up at the bedside and protest against a god in white who just read your patient history for the first time.

Montag, Juni 22, 2009

random thoughts

... I will be buying the new MacBook Pro, 15 inch. my first mac, and I am not even really convinced that I'll be happy with it. but everybody tells me it's more than a hype, more than design, really good. let's see. I can still go back to some "wurst und brot maschine" later...

... and my laptop here is really going nuts. it keeps shutting off in the middle of anything or nothing, and sometimes I don't even manage to get it started again. time for a new one.

... work is fantastic. it was worth coming back to switzerland for it. will have news soon, but cannot post about it yet.

... I've just spent three weeks in argentina. the meat is just extraordinary. otherwise, it confirmed once again the old wisdom, Earth is a beautiful planet, no matter where you go.

... facebook is great, but the bad thing about it is, that it stretches transparency to a point that people forget about privacy and decency. some become utmost childish, and cancel u from their friends list - the low point is reached if u send a message with the finish line "have a nice life"... childish, indeed. where have the good old times gone, where u just stopped interacting with someone? or, if u really felt the need to say something, you would choose to say it to the persons face? but maybe those times never really existed. who cares :-)

... it love facebook status updates, though. I just wrote yesterday that I am thinking about the issue of PMC - private military companies -, the good and bad aspects about it. got a few reactions from friends. one white, one black, one making fun of it.

... I am glad that I can entertain myself by thinking about issues, looking at different angles, trying to argue for and against things. sometimes I don't like that I have arguments for the side I am actually not on with my heart. gotta find arguments there why to follow your heart or head in such cases...

... another interesting thing, I discovered lately that of the seven sins, there is one that does not apply to me at all. but then again, I don't even manage to list the seven sins... lust, voellerei, geiz, neid, wut (wrath), ... ehm... hochmut, faulheit.... guess which one does not apply at all.... of the others I am more or less guilty more or less often :-)

... I have this blog almost exclusively to talk to hafez and worldman, a little bit for Peter Casier and Benedikt. don't think that anybody else ever looks at it for more than a fleet second. that's okay :-)

Samstag, Juni 20, 2009

I don't seem to manage to embed this thingy... what I want to say is


check out http://refugeedaylive.org/

Montag, März 30, 2009

no reason to complain at all

job is almost as good as on paper

found the absolutely fantastic great apartement I was dreaming of (well, I did not exactly dream about apartements at any point in my life so far, and Bern would not be the place either, but still)

having a fabulous time with my parents

looking forward to visiting Argentina for almost three weeks, together with the best travel partners I know (my parents)

loads of people are happy to have me around

I just miss New York... the City... miss it so much that when I think about it, it physically hurts. so, I am very successfully not thinking about it. really: it's not the people. one can be in touch from any place with people all around the globe. it's not the culture, there are things to do here as well. it is just the vibe of this city. god, I never loved a place that way before...

otherwise, no reason to complain at all. trying not to be ungrateful, trying not to complain as there is no reason to, it's just a few minor turbulences entering the atmosphere again :-)

Dienstag, März 10, 2009

welcome back Hafez!

du solltest an die Jahrestagung der Humanitären Hilfe kommen, Freitag 28. März!

Mittwoch, Februar 25, 2009

maybe I should avoid the news

talking about the news in Switzerland, the Tagesschau, 10 vor 10, BaZ and other mediocre sources.

You spend a lot of time with biased, pre-judged and narrow-minded selection of news, strangely presented. It doesn't surprise me that Switzerland is not half as open, democratic and value-based as it claims to be. I even understand how it happens, and I find it difficult not to be sucked into the same dull but strong stream.

my problem is just, I am not happy with left or right either. I just miss individual thinking, tolerance without accepting everything. I perceive it as so swiss to teach all the time, everything has to make sense, and it is very clearly defined what goes and what not. 

I am so happy meeting all my friends here back home, and I look forward to my job, but I am a bit scared that I might re-integrate too much and become another Besserwisser...

Dienstag, Februar 17, 2009

a bit bumpy, but not too bad

the title is the description of my re-integration process back home :-)

I do feel a little home sick for new york. I only realised now how much I love new york. that is not a big surprise. I am generally rather slow on the emotions side, on realising who would make a great friend, or even realising that the guy(s) I spend time with are growing on me. I hardly ever get what I mean to others, unless they tell me straight forward - which happens at times, but not often enough :-)

that is why it is so good to have farewells... it makes you think about it, and say it, and it goes a two way road. it ends up, in my case, with feeling somewhat homesick at home. the curse and blessing of being home in several places!

I'm NOT complaining. I'm still doing fine. I am a little nervous though, I've been to the gynecologist before leaving NYC for routine check, and some tests were showing abnormal results, so I have to go again now to find out if it was just a emotional "Ausrutscher" (lol), or some minor infection to be treated, or even something potentially serious. Knowing myself, I did NOT google anything, NOT trying to find out what it could be, and buried myself in blissful ignorance.

so, integration at home is going fine enough, a little bumpy, but the real bumps I guess lie ahead. I'm gonna take them one at a time, with a little help from my friends.

Montag, Februar 09, 2009

looking forward to getting home again

time to leave :-) still not time to settle down!

New York is the one city, and I will dearly miss its diversity and possibilities. I will also miss some very good friends.

but all in all, I want to move on. and going home is a nice perspective for the next about 3 years.

"home is the place where you know you are loved" - so it is several spots on this world that live up to this description for me, but Basel/Bern is gonna be a particular strong love spot :-)

Donnerstag, Januar 22, 2009

some thoughts

I was reading an article on mass executions in Iran, and realised with a little shock that I tend to forget how reality is in other countries.

I lived there, but I forgot. I saw Kosovo from inside and from peacekeeper perspective, I lived and worked in Afghanistan, I've been to Darfur. I experienced Ghana. I saw Georgia in a troubled times with eyes wide open. I know the difficulties that people face around the world because I work on those issues. Because I keep myself informed. Because I care.

and still, life in the United States lulls you into a strange state of mind. I have to get out of here!!! with so much navel-glancing around here, even when WORKING on world affairs one tends to get lost in shopping and attractions, in brunch places and excellent food, in a thousand cultural events and books and movies and plays and operas. One starts paying attention to fashion, enjoys shopping (I turned from a rather male shopping-for-practical-purpose into shopping-is-relaxing-and-fun person - unbelievable to me, but true). I've done and explored so many things and enjoyed myself fully, from sports to meeting people to do new things such as taking helicopter lessons.

and over all this excitement, over watching Deadwood and The Wire and Mad Men and Six Feet Under and going to the gym on daily base, having a personal trainer and a personal masseur who does home visits - shit, I was just leading a fabulous life.

don't get me wrong. I love it. but, reading this article mentioned above (and it could have been any other), it just hit me. maybe the Obama cult has to do with it. as diverse and fascinating as New York is, it is too close to the United States ;-)

all the excitement here makes it so easy to forget how real life in majority of places on this planet looks like, and even if you do follow a range of media incl. Stratfor and even if you try to think for yourself and question things, you end up following the mainstream to a certain extent - another pathetic sheep running in the crowd. thinking that our economic problems with restaurants only half full during restaurant week actually are really important and rightfully top of the agenda.

thing is, it just sucks not allow yourself to take an extreme stance to things. it would be so much more easy to think black and white. it is a difficult balance, taking seriously the problems of the admittedly squeezed middle class, and not being that annoying bitch putting everything into "be glad you have a roof over your head" perspective and therefore just plainly annoy people who do face problems... real problems. but then again, some of the problems stem from their feeling to be entitled to so much - probably after having been spoilt for living in brillant conditions so long... or wanting to be spoilt because this wish is created by consumer society here... media playing with greed and egoism and envy and making people forget about what Obama calls the "old and true values".

economic troubles in the West undoubtedly will have a severe impact on developing countries and humanitarian aid - and while governments/people have not been overly generous in good times, having financial troubles sadly might not lead to more understanding followed by more sharing either. this means, yes, restaurant week with empty restaurants is a symptom of a problem that needs to be top of the agenda.

ah, the difficult balance between self-flagellation and hedonism!

Donnerstag, Januar 15, 2009

lol I guess this is most def pix of the week!

all are safe and sound. hooray to a great pilot for bringing that plane down so smoothly and cheers to the flight attendants - it happens rarely enough that they are more than mere service personnel.

Montag, Januar 12, 2009

Montag, Dezember 29, 2008

very clear words from SG Ban Ki Moon on Gaza

Statement of the Secretary-General


I am deeply alarmed by the current escalation of violence in and
around Gaza. This is unacceptable.

I have been repeatedly condemning the rocket attacks by Hamas
militants against Israel. While recognizing Israel’s right to defend
itself, I have also condemned the excessive use of force by Israel in
Gaza. The suffering caused to civilian populations as a result of the
large-scale violence and destruction that have taken place over the past
few days has saddened me profoundly.

The frightening nature of what is happening on the ground, in
particular its effects on children -- who are more than half of the
population -- troubles me greatly. I have continuously stressed the need
for strict observance of international humanitarian law.

I am also pained at the death, injury and damage to United Nations
personnel and premises as well as to others associated with our

All this must stop. Both Israel and Hamas must halt their acts of
violence and take all necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties. A
ceasefire must be declared immediately. They must also curb their
inflammatory rhetoric.

Only then can dialogue start.

I think regional and international partners have not done enough.
They should do more. They should use all possible means to end the
violence and encourage political dialogue, emphasizing peaceful ways of
resolving differences.

Arab Foreign Ministers are going to meet soon in emergency
session. I urge them to act swiftly and decisively to bring an early end
to this impasse. At the same time, other world leaders must also step up
efforts to support a longer term resolution of the issue.

During the past few days, I have spoken to the principals of the
Quartet, to regional leaders including Prime Minister Olmert, Foreign
Minister Livni, President Abbas, President Mubarak, President Assad,
Prime Minister Siniora, Prime Minister Erdogan and Secretary-General of
the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa, and to a number of other
leaders, in order to underscore the need to restore calm in full. I
shall continue these efforts personally as well as through my envoys in
the field.

I reiterate my call that unhindered access should be ensured for
the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations, through
the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
[UNSCO], United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East [UNRWA] and other agencies on the ground have been in
continuous contact with all relevant authorities and mobilizing
themselves to provide much needed assistance and alleviate civilian

I expect all parties to fully heed my call. In particular, Israel
must keep opening all border crossings necessary for the continued
provision of humanitarian supplies. Israeli Government leaders have
given me a guarantee that such supplies and personnel would be allowed
entry into Gaza. This cooperation must continue on a rolling basis in
the coming days.

My colleagues, John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General of OCHA
[Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] in New York, and
Karen Abu Zayd, Commissioner General of UNRWA and Maxwell Gaylard,
Humanitarian Coordinator, UNSCO, through video links, can provide a
further update on the humanitarian situation and our work in the area.

Thank you for your support.

New York, 29 December 2008.

Samstag, Dezember 27, 2008

my heart weeps for Gaza

I don't care who started what when and why. history will never let this place come to quiet, and all involved have failed miserably.

I'm tired of sarcasm and cynicism as well. as it is not possible anymore to close my eyes, I retreat into myself. just, I lost faith in the saying "the first peace with yourself. the second with your neighbour. the third among nations" -

but then again, I have received a wonderful compliment today. I am blessed with many friends and wonderful family, and I am having a great life. I am happy. and today a friend told me in an email, "each mission leaves you with new stars in our constellation/galaxy. like you."

thanks to the many stars in my life. I adore every one of you.

Mittwoch, Dezember 10, 2008

play to help; or; a great pretext to procrastinate

thanks to Peter on the road to the horizon for the link!!

UPDATE: I am on 834 per game now. gotta stop this. btw, am going to las vegas next week!! am somehow scared at my ability to control myself when gambling.....

Donnerstag, Dezember 04, 2008

I feel pleased with that outcome.

We think http://sharingmeanscaring.blogspot.com is written by a man (62%).

this is what I found out using the Gender Analyzer site that Phil from Prac's Blog found somewhere in the world wild web :-) come on Hafez and Worldman and Travel Peter, try your blogs as well. guess with all the articles that Hafez is posting it will be a male outcome...

yeah, how do they want to determine it anyway? style of writing? short speech? being to the point? or even the amount of swear words vs. romantic expressions? I guess then I scored high on the male balance with my last post on Deadwood, though this serie has a beautifully crafted baroque language that is seeking its equal to day... ah I still fall miles short in my attempt to fuckin' brushing up my lingo.

btw, Phil, don't worry. Obama will do a fine job. McCain would have done a fine job as well. both are people that reach out over party boundaries, and both are end of the day not that different in policies - McCain never having been a typical Republican. too bad he chose such a horrible running mate... but anyway, time passes, challenges arise, and it is the job of more than one person to put things right. too bad that one person can fuck up quite a lot on his/her own, though.

good night, and good luck!


I can't believe it! Hafez got a 50% result, saying his blog is gender neutral, while Travel Peter gets 60% female and Worldman 63% female!!! now what is going on here? either the gender analyzer is screwed, or, I'm the only one with balls around here!!!


Dienstag, Dezember 02, 2008

'scuse my ill humour, certain people wear on my fuckin' nerves

I'd love to quote much more of this show... but you have to see it to really bathe in the language, and not just be crude...

this post is about above band of cocksuckers. ha! I just LOVE Al Swearengen. and I love all characters because none of them is a classic flawless hero...

apart from the fact that it isn't TV, it's HBO.... it's also gritty, dirty and foul-mouthed. this is good stuff. I took below from a blog called Vivid Verdicts, kudos for a good synopsis!!

so, Bene, Peter, Peter and Hafez. if you want to know what I am doing, I am working during office hours (or less), go to gym almost daily for at least an hour (this is the most scary habit I've ever acquired in my life), I quit smoking without realising it, but to make it up and not become too much of a saint, I deeply immerse into TV series. Rome, The Wire, The Office, 24, Sopranos, Six Feet Under is all GREAT. but the absolute star is the following:


For fans of: The Godfather, Shakespeare, Robert Altman, The Sopranos, 19th-century literature (...and in pumuckls' opinion: adventure, Wild West, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Zane Grey and strong language...)

What’s it about? A period drama set in the real town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the late 19th century, created by David Milch (NYPD Blue). Although easily labelled as a Western due to its setting, Deadwood has precious few shootouts and no taciturn, upright heroes, except for deeply flawed ones. Rather, it’s a nigh Shakespearean character drama about the creation of communities and the birth of modern America.

Who’s in it? Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard), Ian McShane (Sexy Beast), Molly Parker (The Centre of the World), Brad Dourif (The Lord of the Rings), Keith Carradine (Nashville), Powers Boothe (Tombstone), and many, many more.

Why it’s great: In its three seasons, Deadwood never fell into the repetitious trap of The Sopranos. The transition of Deadwood from outlaw camp to fledgling town demanding order of itself means that the show and the power relations of its characters had to fundamentally change, best embodied in the legendary performance of Ian McShane as saloon owner and unofficial town overlord Al Swearengen (pumuckl comment: yes!! yes!!! YES!!!), who begins the series as a Western villain but transforms into one of the most nuanced and sympathetic misogynist powermongers ever to grace the screen. Swearengen is out for himself, but is deeply invested in the camp in ways he can’t fathom, and will protect it from incursions and ally with former enemies to do so. Is it pride, or unquenchable human compassion?

The entire cast is sublime, from Molly Parker’s resourceful but haunted Alma Garrett to William Sanderson’s marvellously greasy E.B. Farnum. And despite the renowned language and violence in Deadwood - no show has ever sworn this much, so be warned - it is actually a warm, deeply moral show and hardly a boy’s own affair. This is not David Chase’s stark Sopranos vision of today’s world, explored through its reprehensible though fascinating characters. There are moments of aching poignancy amid Deadwood’s coarseness – a mother desperately running for one last look at her dead son; Swearengen’s guarded inferences about his horrific upbringing - and no show or film has arguably made swearing sound as beautiful as it does here. The baroque, majestic dialogue, littered with profanities, is finer than any television series in history – it’s hard to imagine how the writers had time to consistently craft lines of such profundity. It’s said that every episode of Deadwood must be watched at least twice – once for the story and characterisation, and once just to bask in the language.

Deadwood is a transcendent gem that has scared many off with its harsh and grotty exterior. In truth, you won’t find a more enriching and transporting series. If this were literature, it would have won the Booker, and it’s riveting too.

How much is there? Three seasons of 12 one-hour episodes are all available on DVD. More were planned, but HBO controversially scrapped them due to expense (this has since looked foolish as it was one of their highest-rated shows after The Sopranos, and nothing has come close since). They then promised two TV movies to wrap up the storylines to appease fan and critical outrage but eventually reneged on their word. Thankfully, the resolution is still somewhat satisfying.

Give season one at least 5 episodes before you pass judgement. The first episode barely resembles what’s to come.

Montag, Dezember 01, 2008

giving up this blog

I think I am giving up this blog. I hardly post anymore. guess I'll return to my private diary.

but before that, I just want to half-share a little mean joy of mine.

sometimes, there are persons you are working with that you just don't like. you don't appreciate. some slick arrogant self-righteous people that shine at aperos and are always funny, but in truth are just seriously immature.

if that person is advancing in the same workplace, you just wonder 'why is it nobody sees that s/he is actually not bloddy doing anything but just riding opportunities and making friends with influential people?!'

but sometimes, gloriously, things turn. something happens. the slick arrogant bastard cannot hide incompetence behind jokes anymore. and does NOT get the job.

it feels so fuckin' good. I'm not even trying to justify it saying it's better for organization etc, I just so much enjoy someone not getting what s/he does not deserve. period.