Monday, July 31, 2006

Height of Summer vs. Weight of Unemployment

Back in Denmark after almost 2 weeks in Austria, visiting my Dad. He lives in Strobl bei Wolfgangssee in the area of Salzkammergut. Love those names.

We were there during the European Draught which is a fair title for the 3 weeks of high sunshine and almost unbearable temperatures all over the continent. Dad's balcony peaked at 36 degrees one afternoon - but at least you had a nice view of the mountains and 2 minutes walk to one of the cleanest lakes in Europe.

One weekend we did a get-away to the southern part of the country, on the border of Steiermark and Kärnten. We had booked 2 nights at the Seehotel Jägerwirt in the valley of Turracher Höhe. A small, quaint mountain valley at 1760 meters - by the lake of Turracher See.
The place is targeted at families with kids, and offers sublime facilities including extensive playgrounds, pool areas, wellness areas (3 saunas!) and deicious food buffets and evening menus. You can even put your kids into an in-house kindergarten if you need a break. That seemed a bit escapist to us, though. Hopefully, you're actually there to spend time with your kid(s) but I guess mountain treks might be a handful for smaller children.

Anyway, we relaxed and swam in the lake and went up a mountain lift, had a view of the southern mountain ranges, and came speeding down again on a little monorail rollercoaster. Great fun! I can only recommend the place and the concept of "kinderhotels" in general. This particular place was not the cheapest - there are many price ranges depending on access to facilities and hotel services.

Before this, I went 3 days to Copenhagen with Thor. Dragged him along like bagage - our first Dad/son trip. It was great fun and it meant a lot to me. To be on my own with the kid put more work my way, of course - but it definitly also made our interaction more deep and direct, which a dad can miss during the first year. I visited old friends Lars and Caroline and their cute baby, Flora. Lars will forgive me for calling him an insomniac Zombie - but I remember those nights of the Living Dead, vividly ;)

Other than that, I LAN'ed with a lot of the mates this weekend. The days of summer go by quickly so it was the only real chance to meet the guys. Of course, we played World of Warcraft (Darksorrow server, alliance) - much more fun in a real life social setting. We also ate and drank a lot..!

Today I'm pondering my moves. I'm almost halfway through my C.V. and it's looking fair. I need to work on this the next days, even if I still feel like I'm on holiday. Funds are drying up and I am getting excited about finding a good job, following the recent demise of the Sektor4 fellowship. My biggest concern is actually salary. I feel like I am worth at least 32k a month because of my experience and broad achievements the past years (bear in mind, these are Danish wages). Still, it will be a problem to find a position that can exploit my experience well enough to allow me that kind of starting pay. I feel fairly confident that I can argument it, though. I'm just not sure how well I will handle the bargaining process...I'm usually annoyingly generous. However, I'm getting sick of earning nothing so I need to be adamant! Any heavyweight arguments or similar experiences are welcome in the comment section!

Alongside the formal writings and application channels, I'm going to contact some of my past acquaintances and contacts. Usually, networking lands you the better deal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Life in a bubble

Got back from Roskilde 2 days ago - boy, what a venue this year. The weather was amazing, the music was amazing, the girls were amazing, everything was amazing.

Even the hangovers were amazing, especially on Saturday. But I pulled through and might mention the best musical experiences of this year: Veto, Gogol Bordello, Looptroop, Whomadewho, Tool, George Clinton, Arctic Monkeys, Coldcut, Franz Ferdinand. This is about two thirds of what I got to see - so the general quality has been very good this year, in my opinion.

First prize, however, goes to Roger Waters and his band - doing the Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" special show with quadrophonic sound system, multimedia imagery, and an intense presence. I was frequently struck with awe during that show.

Right now, I'm trying to get my hands on as much Pink Floyd as possible. That experience was very likely the best audiovisual venue I have experienced (maybe not the most dramatic or action-packed gig but by far the most beautiful).
The sound was astounding and several times I could just stare into the huge video screen showing more or less abstract images, thinking about why I never really heard any Pink Floyd before now.

I hope maybe to obtain the set list from the Roskilde Festival website...but from now on I'm lobbying for the thing that Depeche Mode's got going on their website, which offers the possibility of buying an exact copy of a specific local live recording (MP3 or CD). This ought to be possible at Roskilde, too - especially because the larger Roskilde venues are often specially tailored by the playing bands.