Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

K and I are at my parents' place to celebrate with my family. We are traditionally having our Christmas Dinner tonight, on Holy Eve (as pretty much everybody is doing in Germany), and then later on we are going to unpack our presents. My sister, her husband and my nephew will be here as well, plus my parents, K and me; so we'll have a full house.

There are two Christmas holidays in Germany; well, two and a half to be precise. The day of Holy Eve is half a holiday, starting at 2 p.m., and then the 25th and the 26th are holidays as well. Shops and offices are closed, restaurants, pubs and caf├ęs are open though. The first Christmas holiday (25th) is - in my family - traditional more of a family day. We are having Wiener Schnitzel for dinner, and in the last few years I was the dessert maker. Last year we had a Lebkuchen-Tiramisu, and this year it's going to be Panna Cotta with Passionfruit sauce. The second holiday is less of a family day, and there's no big meal. Usually, my dad buys some Irish smoked salmon shortly before Christmas (he knows a guy in Ireland who sends him the salmon), so we're having that on the 26th.

I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas time! Enjoy the holidays, and in case I'm not back before New Year's, have a Happy 2007!

Yours,
Dorothee

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yay!

Finally! The meeting at university came and went, and I went quite well! I had my usual nervousness, but it wasn't as bad as it was before (that was what I was afraid of), and after the meeting I felt that I'm not as dumb that I thought I was. (We had to present the outlines for our papers, which is supposed to be 80-100 pages.) That was the reason why I didn't go to knitting group last night, because I wanted to talk my outline over with K. I couldn't have stayed there with a good feeling, it would have felt like being on tenterhooks. Originally, I had really wanted to go there because it was the last time this year that they were meeting; but this was worth it, as the university meeting was absolutely necessary.

So, that means I can relax a bit now! Although tomorrow is going to be stressful... K and I want to do a bit of relaxing, coffee drinking and freshly squeezed orange juice-drinking in the morning (as well as sleeping in a bit), then we have to go get some Christmas presents (at least we know what we want to get), clean the apartment before we go to my parents' place Friday morning. Plus, I need to wrap some presents (I bought this nice wrapping from Ikea) and make some more cookies. I had prepared the dough already, and I'd like to have them done before Christmas. K might help me, if I get lucky. And the real holiday stress starts on Friday...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cookie Monster

First of all, thank you all for your comments on my last post! I meant to answer each one individually, and I'm trying to still do that. Please be patient!

I know, I haven't been around much lately. There were lots of things to do... first of all, I really needed to (and I still need to) work on my thesis, because I have a meeting with my professor next week. I know it's a necessary appointment, but I'm not so looking forward to it.
Then I looked into job offers, although I don't really have the time for that. The problem is, that I only want to work one day per week because my thesis claims the rest of my time. The next problem is, the deadline for the thesis is in early April, and then there are more written and oral exams following in June. So, I'll be pretty busy in the first half of 2007... and that's not the best condition when looking for a new job, especially as I'll be having the student status until the end of September only, if everything works according to my plan.

You might wonder why I was fired in the first place... a former employee is coming back from her baby break. The thing is here in Germany, if a female employee is going on baby break, she can set a date when she's coming back into the company, to work either full-time again, or part-time. And the employer has to guarantee her a workplace.
So far, so... well, not good, but fair enough. I know the lady who's coming back, she's really nice and I know it's not her fault. The one I'm really angry at is my boss. He's the head of our department, and usually he's really really busy. I usually don't see him very often, as he's out of the office quite often, and I'm only there once a week anyway. And when I'm at the office and he's there too, he doesn't even say hello to me. So, I haven't spoken to him in months now.

The day they fired me, he was out of the office too, and so my colleague (she's my direct "boss", I do the preliminary work for her) had to do his job and fire me. The thing is, she is really content with what I'm doing - as is the rest of our department, apparently including the boss of the dept. - and she doesn't want me to go. But she's not the one who makes the decisions.
Plus, the layoff came totally out of the blue. I had no idea that when my former colleague would come back, I had to go! If they had told me a few months earlier that it would come like this, I could have had the chance to look for another job. As it is now, with my deadlines and exams and tight schedule, and me being a student for not much longer any more, it will be extremely hard to find an equivalent job. And that's why I'm so angry, my boss fired me - wait! HE didn't fire me, to be exact. He had me fired; he didn't even have the decency to talk to me himself. He was back in the office last week when I was there too, but he was too busy with other stuff. So, no talk. I wonder if he considers student work as work at all.
I guess he doesn't even know that I'm working on my thesis right now; how can he when he's too busy to talk to me? He's even too busy to talk to the full-time employees of the department. Whenever they need him, they're on the edge of their seats to jump up quick enough when he ever hangs up the phone, or the door of his office opens. My colleague even said, maybe he would also talk to me about it... some time. But she said she doesn't believe it. Neither do I. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!! What a bugger!
Oh, and I did send out two applications this week: one's for an internet research job, but they had so many applications so I have to do a test (=free work for them), and the other was for a job that doesn't exist (yet). A lady from the German knitting group opened this opportunity for me, but I didn't get a response so far.


Up to more pleasant news: Wavy is done! The day after I finished it, the weather got cold: perfect timing! So, I didn't have the time to wash it, or block it, and I don't think I will. I like it the way it is! I don't know how long Wavy is, but it's almost twice as tall as I am; I used almost 5 balls of my LYS's home brand yarn.


modelling_the_wavy, originally uploaded by d.knit.

I'm my new model. And I do like my new winter coat!


In between working for university, office anger, the usual house work and trying to come up with Christmas present ideas, going to therapy and baking Christmas cookies are the things that are positive and relaxing. Well, okay, therapy is somehow relaxing as I get to lie down for almost an hour, and baking cookies is kinda relaxing even though it's quite stressful as well. Here's what I did last:


cookie_tray, originally uploaded by d.knit.

Snowflake shaped chocolate Christmas cookies with pink lemon icing. I know, I'm a cookie monster.



cookie_closeup, originally uploaded by d.knit.

Yummy! A cookie! With a silver sugar pearl.


K and I went to visit my parents in early December, to have a late birthday celebration for me. On our last day we went out for a walk in beautiful and pretty warm weather. We even picked some apples!


redapples_bluesky, originally uploaded by d.knit.

Nice red apples, aren't they? They tasted quite delicious.


K's sweater is growing, the back part is at the sleeve decreases. It might even get done this winter! And I haven't forgotten about the baby bootie instruction, I just don't get to it right now. I will post it eventually. Promised!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

News

...but no pictures yet.

On Monday, I picked up a packet at the post office (because K and I went to my parents' place over the weekend), and it was a birthday present from my friend Andreas. Inside was "Last-minute knitted gifts", from my amazon wishlist. Thanks, Andreas!

I finished my Wavy scarf last night, at knitting group.

And I got fired yesterday.