Roland Dürre
Saturday December 24th, 2016

(Deutsch) Frohe Weihnacht

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

+On Thursday, at 11.50 a.m., in the fully packed “facility cafeteria”, Hubert Spiegel related the strange circumstances that led to the disarmament of the mysterious “mirror devil”. He started a little awkwardly by saying:

img270

“Well, you know, I am not really a patient of this “facility”! But my mom is! At her own instigation, she was admitted here five years ago! You may not believe this, but she liked the pasta soup served in this “facility cafeteria” so much that she refused to go anywhere else. Now isn’t that really mad?

Well- and now I come for a visit as often as I can. But then, you do not always have time, do you? After all, we all have to really work hard. Basically, none of us has a money machine at home, …

Aside from this – even if that may now sound a little strange – I am not one of the loonies residing in this “facility”!

But then – and I admit this quite frankly – sometimes in the morning at six when I am standing in front of my mirror in the bathroom and looking at this “stranger’s face” that smiles back at me, I start wondering if I, Hubert Spiegel, perhaps am mentally handicapped after all!

Neither am I all that sure if the person I see with that huge stupid grin on his face is actually me? Or maybe that is someone else altogether? Perhaps a “Peeper”? Or even one of those “stalkers”, as they call them in America…

Are you also familiar with the sensation that a stranger’s face follows you each day into your bathroom? Until you are standing in front of your mirror? The only thing that has proved to be helpful for me is sticking out my tongue at him!

So!!! Yes – I have to really do some prolonged asshole licking…

Because if the other one also gives me his asshole licking, then I know at least that he is no better than I am, which means there is no need for me to worry about him staying in my bathroom – if that is what he wants, he is quite welcome!

Now isn’t that really cute?

Well, you know, as time goes by, you simply come up with a few tricks, don’t you? After all, one is not totally brain-damaged! But just to be on the safe side, I regularly do the “ear-splitting test”!

Are you familiar with it? Because it is certainly of good parentage …
You would not believe how long this “ear-tip-stranger” needed before he eventually understood about the test and then managed to convince me that he really is not the evil one who wants to harm me! Because if there is one thing I really hate, then it is those poofters: I detest them as much as the devil hates holy water!

Anyway, initially it was always like this: whenever I gripped my ear and simultaneously stuck out my tongue – as did the guy opposite me – and whenever I then took hold of my right ear with my right hand – because I had to know, what the other one was going to do, didn’t I? – then that other devil always took hold of his left ear with the left hand … which means he did exactly the opposite of what I did? Can you imagine? Every single time…

Initially, it really almost drove me crazy! I simply could not believe that this stupid fucker was not capable of mimicking something as easy as this, instead doing exactly the opposite? I really found it unbelievable…

And, to be perfectly honest – I then started taking my orientation only from the lolling tongue. At least there I could be sure that I am really only dealing with the moron I knew…

But it was definitely no easy task!

Because as an extra devious plot, the idiot actually sometimes took his right hand to grip his right ear!

Yes – that is really what he did! But do you know when he did that? He did it exactly all those times when I touched my left ear with my left hand – that was exactly when he used his right hand, the trickster – and at no other times! Not ever at any other time…
Mind you, we are talking at six in the morning, and every morning – except Sundays – because I never wash on Sundays, nor do I even enter my bathroom! After all, Sundays are the days when I use water in the church for getting my skin wet – holy water!

Well – if you experience this kind of shit every day and then do not get mad, you are either completely gaga or – pardon the language – you are fucking way beyond caring!

But then, as I am sure you can easily imagine, I miss nothing. After all, who do they think I am? I am definitely not my mum!

Yes – if it had been my mum, then this devil in the bathroom would have been able to continue until doomsday. She would not have fought it; after all, she always was an easy pushover for all strange populist leaders.

But that is where I am different! I am far too street-smart to become thus victimized …

Would you like me to tell you how I won over this pig last Tuesday?
At six in the morning! In my bathroom! I bet you will never guess, although it is basically very easy if you think about it!

Well – last Tuesday – when I again stood in front of the grinning bastard – with my tongue lolling out down to my tits – and this devil also sticking it out – here is what I, the wise guy, did:
I moved my right hand to my right ear – but when the other one only grinned and moved his left paw towards his left ear – I moved like lightning and got my left hand to my left ear – which meant the stupid guy on the opposite side had no choice but to also grab his right ear – just like he always did…

And, people, I really wish you could have seen the stupid face this idiot with his lolling tongue suddenly made – with both paws holding both ears – exactly like me – and gone were the times of “left” and “right”, etc…

I can tell you, for me, this was an absolute hit on the head for liberty!

Because all of a sudden it dawned on me that this freaking idiot had just been tricking me all the time with his “right – left – turn” – and that he actually had been nobody else! No, absolutely not! In fact, it had always been me and me alone! Yes: me, me, me – opposite of myself – and with nobody else involved.

Can you imagine?

And what do you think how hilarious we found it and how we burst out laughing as soon as we discovered it! We fell over with laughter – both of us – and we truly went overboard and never seemed to be able to calm down… it was truly mad – really!

And now I am sure you will understand why I came here today!
Actually, I absolutely need to tell my mum about it! Even if it means she will start fretting before I start because she wants her pasta soup!

But she absolutely has to know that there has never been a stranger in my bathroom – never ever! It was always only me – and even me alongside me …

So, here we go and good luck to you all – but now I need to go and see her! She needs me!“

KH
(Translated by EG)

PS:
The author will relate this story (in Viennese dialect) during this year’s Halloween event of the “Authors Group TwentyTen” in the Hanau Olof Palme Haus.

Roland Dürre
Monday June 13th, 2016

Project Peace – Roland!

This year, I started the project PEACE. I already told you before mentioning the great   contribution made by Jolly why I think the project PEACE is so important any why I want to focus on this project in the future.

There are so many things this project needs:

A unique logo and the best of all manifestos. A lot of money with the potential to reach a billion persons (which is google’s criterion for its applications). A great “community”. The best partners from all sectors (film, photography, art, marketing, media, music,…), ideas for the coolest activities for peace. And the right kinds of activists!

I am currently thinking about what to put into the manifesto. Here are a few pieces of the mosaic I am experimenting with:

In a very basic way

Peace is the only way!

Peace is the basic requirement for everything else!
Peace has no need to justify itself!

A little longer

YES!
Peace is possible!
We badly need PEACE!
We live in PEACE with ourselves!
We live in PEACE with the world around us!
We work hard towards PEACE!
There are many of us!
It can be done!

AND

If you want PEACE, you need no justification!

Or

Peace beats war!
Humanity beats inhumanity.
Love will always conquer hatred!
Tolerance will always beat intolerance.

Which means

No tolerance for tolerance!
War against war!
Hate hatred!

But these are only ideas and proposals of mine. I look forward to your ideas. Thanks a lot!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 12th, 2016

Project Peace – Jolly!

Earlier this year, Jolly and I started the project PEACE. The video you can watch below is a wonderful result of our kick-off meeting.

It is a little longer than 61 minutes for you to absolutely enjoy. You will get positive inspiration and many impulses. So why don’t you take a little time and one of several beloved partners and just watch it? Find a comfortable position and relax in front of the screen.
🙂
You really want to totally relax – for those of us who like their alcohol, why not with a glass of red wine?

Because Jolly is really an exceptional person and first-class mentor. Consequently, his seminars and presentations are the reason why many people have become happier and more successful persons. I am one of them.

The project PEACE is the most ambitious I was ever involved in. We are at the very beginning and what we need is friends, partners and supporters.

I will also constantly write in the IF blog about our progress in terms of ideas, concepts and activities of the project PEACE. So far, all I know about it is that I never did anything more aspiring. For me personally, it is the greatest possible challenge.

The next thing I want to do is publish my kick-off presentation in the IF-blog!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

I am glad to announce that now the video recording of the great presentation by Bruno Gantenbein at the St. Gallen IF Forum of July, 23rd, 2015, is available on youtube and can be watched by all of you:

The presentation ”Learning in Innovation“ held by Bruno Gantenbein at the IF Forum left me deeply impressed. Many of the audience felt the same. But some who also were very impressed by Bruno’s theses came back with the important reply that what he spoke about was not something “normal people” can live in a “normal life” in the “real world”. Because your normal Jim and Jack cannot really manage it. And it simply cannot be done. Once in a while, it sounded really like people were despairing.

To me, it seems the reason is that
“most people cannot really imagine living in another world than the one we are living in“
and that
“we are no longer capable of distinguishing between what is important and what is not important. Consequently, what is unimportant is dominant in our lives.“

To me, this seems to be the major problem both for us and our society. A degree of external control through marketing and lobbyism as we never had it manipulates us in a totally new way. It is totally different from, but certainly no less dangerous than, for instance, religious indoctrination of persons in the Middle Ages or, if we are unlucky, the manipulation as practiced by the Nazis.

The formatting of our lives through a super-powerful but not tangible system took away our autonomy. Now we get nervous and start talking change. Yet we lack all desire to start another life outside our comfort zone. In fact, more often than not, we are not even capable of imagining such a life. For instance, the strength to develop utopias for the future seems to have left us. Looking for values and visions no longer plays a role in our society. In fact, if we do look for visions, it is actually something others are belittling us for. The attempt to re-create a new “social consensus” is smothered in the very first stages. Consequently, we assume that the status quo is true and there is no alternative.

We no longer have the courage for change. We accept our dependence and are happy to be “enslaved”. Be it by technology or as our social concepts of life (our lies of life) determine it. We believe you cannot live without a car, a TV set and electricity all over the place. We believe in the omnipotence of medicine. That the federal administration must and has to guarantee our security and safety. And that the planet will certainly find a way to survive it all.

Except that so many of the things we take for granted can be easily disproved. There is no absolute security. We experience it all the time. The sudden death of an important partner or a surprise illness totally throw us off balance. We can easily fall victim to some mishap.

But then, there are also harmless examples. The stamp collection we inherited
from our grandfather that was so precious, but for which now not even the wastepaper trader is prepared to pay, shows us how difficult it is with security. Many things that used to cost a lot are totally valueless today. I made the same experience when pay day came for my direct insurance. What a discrepancy between the money I received from what I had expected when, decades ago, I first signed the insurance contract. Instead of the imagined free-hold apartment, the only thing I got for it was a medium-size car…

Regardless of all this, the (alleged) security of our modern financial world suggest for some that we actually are in total control of the risk of our material life through retirement money and savings. Except where will the Euro be ten years from now? Will we be able to solve future problems with it? What will money be worth? Have we not learned a long time ago that “you cannot eat” money? Especially if it is just virtual money and perhaps out of the blue will have to be shortened by the occasional digit.

To make up for it, we capitulate for fear of terrorism. And we are prepared to sacrifice our present freedom for these kinds of mind games. Sacrificing freedom for what we believe is an investment in increased future safety! And we are even prepared to start a modern (crusade) war for it.

This is how we follow the stupid and brazen battle cries of politicians and economic leaders who, more often than not, are no longer sane. We swallow pointless laws they serve us with, regardless of the fact that we know those will do more harm than good. And we surrender before the stupidity of our “representatives”. In fact, I actually yearn for a German or European Spring. But I do not mean one triggered by hunger or poverty like the one in Northern Africa – which inevitably dooms it.

Why do we believe them when our politicians tell us that “without the Euro, there would be no Europe” and that the so-called “Grexit” would ruin us all? Why do the politicians tell us such fairy tales? We know as well as the politicians that the Euro is good for those who stand in the light. And it is detrimental for those standing in the shadow. Just as we all know that the exploitation structures, both globally and within Europe and Germany, must fail or cause conflicts, either in the near or not-so-near future.

But we get the impression that we cannot do anything about it and perhaps that is really what happens. Also, we no longer have the courage to oppose the structures of the administrative and economical systems that rule over us. And we no longer stand up against this, even though we know that human beings – which is we! –, and not system interests that have de-personalized and de-humanized themselves, should be the centre of the society, politics and economics. First and foremost, the economy and the state must serve the interests of the people. Just like it is written in the Bavarian Constitution.

The system of the oligarchy of the parties (Oligarchie der Parteien ) – see Jaspers -rules over us and the morals of mercantile metric in economy sharpens the boundary conditions of our behaviour. Thus, the systemic mills will continue to grind, making the restrictive nets of bondage tighter and tighter. It happens in small portions, which means that we often do not even notice it and almost consider it normal.

Consequently, here is what we need to do:

Let us also get back to remembering that we, as “natural beings” are also part of the “natural world”. To be sure, the “cultural world” we created makes some things easier for us, but it also took a lot from us. It made us lazy. And we forgot that the price we are paying is rather high.

As I see it, we should return – and radically so – to thinking about whether, perhaps, we could also live in other worlds and probably even be happier living in other worlds. As you all know, my favourite example is the “away from the car” and turning towards active freedom through “active mobility”. Yet it is just as important to take a close look at the working and living conditions we subjugate ourselves under, be it in social systems such as families or otherwise. We need to question all that seems self-evident and draw conclusions from the answers. Formerly, one would have said: Destroy what destroys you.

Part of this is also to live a “life in harmony with nature” as Seneca formulated it. And he meant more than just the biological nutrition process and the preservation of the environment. He also meant we need to listen to our inner voice.

After all, Seneca was a great teacher who wanted to help his pupils on their way to become successful and happy persons. So let me finish this article with another sentence by Seneca that might perhaps make it a little easier for us to start travelling towards other worlds:

“It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It is because we dare not venture that they are difficult”.

Yet – there is hope. What is currently happening on the internet is actually something I rather delight in.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Präpariertes menschliches Gehirn

Human Brain

A short time ago, a very good friend of mine who, like myself, is the founder of an enterprise, told me something that gave me pause. He informed me that in his enterprise – actually quite a successful enterprise, which is way beyond being a start-up – the following scenario can be observed:

“The four active founders no longer see each other as often as they used to and whenever they do see each other, they talk about the few negative things, instead of the many positive things that happen.”

This information, which actually was meant only at an aside, fell on very fertile ground with me, because it reminded me of my own experiences. After all, this rather considerate founder has a huge amount of sensitivity and awareness – which I probably had a lack of in a similar situation.

It is exactly those aside noises you often only perceive “subconsciously” that may sometimes be extremely important. Noticing this kind of thing and then proceeding to actually act in the right and in a most determined way is what makes a wise and successful entrepreneur.

Discoveries such as these must not be ignored, even if they seem to be harmless enough. Actually, they must initiate a high degree of watchfulness and mindfulness. After all, we have to nip things in the bud.

It is never an easy task to keep a team together, even if we are only talking four persons who (allegedly?) work “at eye level” and seem to treat each other with respect. Because as soon as humility loses priority over what (for me) is the almost “never-ending” task of leading an enterprise – or rather leading people -, the downward spiral will quickly start its work.

In such difficult situations – even if you only see the very first forebodings – you probably need very prudently designed measures. Yet even those measures might not necessarily be a success. Because with these solution approaches, success is the one thing you can never guarantee.

Human beings are full of mystery, and even those mystery factors change over time. Frustration and anger are elemental emotions nobody can actually switch off. They influence both your own and the other person’s way of thinking. And, when all is said and done, everything happening in the brain is a series of mind games leading to the most diverse and often incomprehensible constructs. And probably nobody can really understand them rationally.

Consequently, it is an illusion to assume you can understand it all and therefore act prudently. This means that, as the years go by, a huge amount of contentedness can turn into discontentedness for some persons. Said discontentedness might actually not be rationally traceable, yet it can have dire consequences. And even the best knowledge of disciplines such as philosophy and psychology, but also neurology, cannot really help.

Because, after all, those “life sciences” cannot describe the complex inside of every person, either. They teach us to think about how you should live. But that is all they do.

Consequently, the only thing that can help is attentiveness and openness. You need to remain alert in life, let love prevail and remain true to yourself. And you need the courage to try new things. Along with being prepared to give more than you take. All of which is, indeed, quite difficult.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here:Drehscheibe!

P.S.1
I took the picture from Wikpedia: 
„Frontal lobe animation“ by Polygon data were generated by Life Science Databases(LSDB). – Polygon data are from BodyParts3D.[11]. Licenced under CC BY-SA 2.1 jp through Wikimedia Commons –

Roland Dürre
Tuesday July 14th, 2015

From PM Camp via BGM to John Izzo…

In my life, one of the nice things is that, more and more often, I meet persons I rather like. I make new friends all the time and I always learn important things from them.

Here is an example: in 2011, we had the first PM Camp in Dornbirn. It was a huge event – both for me and, so I believe, for all the other participants. According to the feedback we received, (almost) everybody went home happy and content. Including myself. After all, I had met many persons who take a serious interest in project management, leadership, entrepreneurship and much more. And, basically, they all want to live a meaningful and successful life.

Then we really got under way with the PM-Camps. In Vienna, Zurich, and many more German cities, they have now become a regular event. And their number increases all the time. People and communities build networks. And, again and again, some of them became my friends.

This was also how I first met, learned to appreciate and now have come to love Dr. Marius Poersch. He takes his job as a doctor rather seriously. In a famous hospital, he helps people who burnt themselves out dealing with “modern work-life stress factors”, people who have more and more stress or even suffer from a psychosis already.

By now, he has come to the conclusion that, indeed, it is an honourable task to help people and support the healing process. Yet he is also driven by the awareness that, for many people, it need never have come to what it came to. If only – well, if the living and working environment were just a little different and the potential of suitably adapting were a little better.

And since Marius wants to be more than just part of a “repair shop”, one thing he did was establish an institute (www.erwerbscoaching.de) where he does research with equal-minded persons, examining how people might be enthusiastic and work through their entire work-life without sacrificing their own balance and starting to get psychotic. In short: he is looking for a work and life environment where a sustainable and full life is possible.

However, he also does research on the other side of the coin – namely what sort of individual concept in the sense of life goals and life style you should have in order to live a positive life that enhances your existence.

In order to promote this goal, he developed a method rather similar to the one described by John Izzo in his book “Five Secrets”. He interviewed senior citizens who worked an entire life long and who now, being retirees and pensioners, still and again involve themselves in various ways with civic affairs. His reason for taking that group of persons as interviewees is that one can assume they know a health recipe that, for example, will also prevent burn-out.

A good friend of mine – Dr. Andreas Zeuch, known way beyond the PM Camp environment as an author and entrepreneurial consultant – introduced me to Marius.

I was chosen as one of his interview candidates. So, on a nice and sunny afternoon, we met in Stuttgart and talked. Conveniently, it was just before the Stuttgart PM Camp started.

I was curious and also a little excited about what I was going to experience. The afternoon turned into a beautiful evening and later a wonderful shared breakfast. Even as we talked, many things out of my own life became suddenly clear. Later, Marius explained the technological background of his method, as well as his procedure. And that gave me even more insight into myself.

A few days ago, I received mail from Marius. Inside the envelope, I found the aforementioned book. I was truly delighted – after all, I believe I found a true friend in Marius, and gifts sent by true friends are always a special delight for me.

I finished the book quite quickly. Even though there is no doubt that it is a little American and extra detailed, it is exciting to read – and it is an important piece of literature for persons prepared to think about their own lives. For me, all the ideas, conclusions and demands formulated in the book by John Izzo make complete sense.

The title of the book is:
“The Five Secrets You Should Have Discovered Before You Die”

As I see it, the title says it all. And I also gave a short overview in my last IF blog article. I truly recommend that you read it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I know that Dr. Marius Poersch is still looking for more interview partners for his project – and I would certainly like to support his work. So if you know any senior citizens who, after all their work life, remained healthy and enthusiastic, why don’t you inform me? I will gladly forwards the contact data.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday February 26th, 2015

Fateful Siesta

Carl and Gerlinde (XLI)

ZZZVimg171Why had it had to happen at this of all occasions? Why when Carl had, at long last, taken his Gerlinde along to the lingerie and underwear fair “Five Elements”? And it was certainly no surprise that, afterwards, Gerlinde was not only disappointed, but also angry!

God, how often had she tried to persuade Carl to take her along when he went to this famous underwear fair where he organized the most bizarre exhibitions with the most crazy ideas and other shebang for TRIGA every year. And where, smiling practically at the push of a button, he always ran up to form like a yeast doughnut in hot oil between those hysterical, cold, long-legged underwear dolls.

On the other hand, you had to admit that this really outrageous thing would never have happened if Gerlinde had not been there. Because without her, he would never have siesta-ed and consequently would never have been confronted with this more than strange situation. A situation that might well have been instigated by the competition. Or by the NSA? Or the KGB? Well, you never know, you know!

But well, all those ’if’–s and ’then’–s were not going to do any good now when the ’stable door had been locked after the horse had bolted’, were they? Of course, the ’horse’ was meant in a purely metaphorical way, since there was no horse involved.

On the contrary. In fact, this entire unparalleled scandal in the famous Berlin Four-Star Hotel during the 11th Fashion Week was all about how to best prevent the activity that could cause ’possible birth’- albeit of a child, rather than a horse.

Mind you, this ’possible conception’ was, of course, only of virtual nature, since Gerlinde – thank God – was far beyond the age where such an aspect could possibly mutate into an unwelcome real surprise.

Yet there had definitely been more than enough demand on this late morning for the kinaesthetics and exchange of fluids usually preceding such a procreation process on both sides. Absolutely! And one had also seen it as the ideal prelude for the siesta urgently desired by Gerlinde on this second day of the lingerie and underwear fashion show. After all, the evening reception given to entertain the international and national customers on the previous day had lasted until early this morning, bringing with it many delicacies on the rich buffet which were consumed along with costly alcoholic beverages. The lively organiser Carl and his charming company Gerlinde had definitely partaken …

Consequently, a few quiet minutes – or even a quarter of an hour – definitely seemed like a tempting idea to both of them around noon.

And Gerlinde would not have been Gerlinde if she had not only immediately succumbed to this temptation without reservations, but also enriched them in no time by practicing a few rather exquisite fantasies every equestrienne would have been proud of. 
It seems like the dressage numbers displayed actually demanded absolute concentration from both horse and rider.

How else could you understand that neither of them noticed how suddenly, not at all far away from the ’king-size bed display parcours’, a young inconspicuous hotel employee – so it seemed – not only watched the exciting dressage artistry with a bowed upper body, a red face and fascination, but also worked most enthusiastically on his iPhone …

It seems that, somehow, Carl must have spied a shadow from the corner of his right eye, because there was an involuntary movement of his head to the right, but only so slightly that the equestrienne who was working with a lot of concentration was not distracted in any way.

And suddenly what he saw was a pair of nosy eyes over a good-natured smiling mouth. Actually, the full head of blond hair of this young gentleman sitting above a youthful, not at all fearsome face like a little crown even added another air of normality to the entire scene.

When the young man, totally fearlessly, put his right index finger to his lips in order to signal Carl to – please – please – remain entirely quiet in order not to destroy this wonderful scene by an inconsiderate move, this, too, fit perfectly into the image …

In retrospect, Carl was almost ashamed about having offered no resistance at all to the directions of the strange young man and instead having permitted Gerlinde to finish the last step of her supernatural dressage! But then, there was not really an alternative for him in this breath-taking moment, was there? Everything was such a matter of course in this harmonic procedure that he lacked not only all concept of terminating it, but also the strength to do so!

And Gerlinde’s cathartic yell of joy shortly afterwards also proved he had been right! It had been an eternity since he had last heard such a joyous outcry over several thirds that seemed like it never wanted to end, accompanied by a cascade of gurgling sounds in between! In fact, perhaps he had never ever heard it in exactly this way?

The same was obviously true for the unknown young gentleman who seemed to be sponging up everything with sparkling eyes and a face that showed the highest degree of rapture. Immediately afterwards, he disappeared just as noiselessly as he had come…

With a slight degree of surprise, Gerlinde – still breathless – registered that Carl suddenly lifted himself up from the ’shared show-riding course’ and hurried to the door, locking it with the words: it is not secured! Shortly afterwards, however, purring like a cat, she fell back into a deep, refreshing sleep in Carl’s arms. …

Only later – unfortunately before Carl – did she discover the inconspicuous warning written on yellow folio-format paper on the table: 
In case you are toying with the absurd idea of informing the hotel management, this little equestrian episode will be available on You Tube within a few minutes.

This was the time when Carl, to his huge regret, had to confront Gerlinde with the unwelcome truth – and thus make the “Five Elements” fair something she would never remember fondly. 
Basically, it was a pity, because the rest of the week, too, had been rather glorious: the underwear sector of TRIGA, which had just recently suffered serious problems, seemed to have really recovered…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday November 13th, 2014

Blessed be the Unhappy…

Carl and Gerlinde (XXXVII)

Oh my God – why did it have to happen after this heavenly steak with champignons and broccoli of all times? Even the Riesling had been exactly the right temperature. Which was not a matter of course with Gerlinde. But today: perfection – the temperature! And then this…

Well, it all had started going wrong as soon as Carl had returned from the office: totally unexpectedly, Gerlinde sulked and pursed her very red small mouth after the fleeting welcoming kiss, remaining in front of him and not uttering a single word. The demanding stare she gave him during this mute gesture was actually a little embarrassing. Eventually, Carl ended this grotesque prologue, pretending he needed the restroom!

However, he was well aware of the fact that the culmination of the drama still lay ahead…
Mind you, this was on a day when the company, too had been catastrophe city! To be sure, the ever-enthusiastic sector leader Dr. Osterkorn had initially shown the seventeen Power Point slides with their display of permanently decreasing orders in all sectors of the TRIGA underwear sector without comment, but then he had continued by without any warning projecting in the most brutal way the full dimension of the ’Russian Underwear Catastrophe’ on the screen like lightning had suddenly struck!

After all, since Putin had decreed an import, production and sales ban for all lace underwear in the entire Eurasian Economic Zone earlier this year, there had been practically no more orders from the two Russian underwear wholesalers ’ARMED’ and ’Suwen’! The entire business exchange with Russia had broken down from one day to the next. And all this just because Papa Putin believed he had to take care of both the Ukraine and the health of his compatriots! After all, those non-perspiration-absorbing lace panties and satanic high-heels gave his already terribly vodka-stricken people such unexpected suffering: basically, the fascist scourges of humanity ’inflammation of the bladder’ and ’foot deformity’ were even threatening to decimate the number of Russian females …

Carl hesitated!

Should he really start complaining about all this shit from the company in front of Gerlinde and thus spoil her mood? After the very strange stiffness when she welcomed him home, she was now actually again very lively, parading in front of him and teasing him with delicious snacks. And most likely she was also wearing one of her entrancing lace panties, such as Putin did not like at all – well, he was pretty sure…
No, he was definitely not going to spoil her mood!

He was far too tired and washed-out!

In fact, the most attractive idea at that moment would have teen to not utter another word and not have to share anything with Gerlinde – not even this delicious Riesling – and spoon up this superb meal while listening to Country Music… However, the red lace panties were unstoppable: Carl had only just given the tender steak its due between his teeth, added his saliva, moved it into his stomach and extinguished its fire with three glasses of Riesling, when Gerlinde assaulted him with the question: Are you Happy?

Carl toasted her, trying to appease her and ignore the question! In fact, he – regardless of actually now being absolutely incapable of swallowing another bite – even went so far as to ask her if, maybe, she still had a ’Little Something’ to surprise him with by way of dessert.

”Of course”, Gerlinde impishly said, “I would like to know if you are happy, Carl”?.

“Does that mean my dessert is something to bite into? Meaning the question ’Am I Happy’?“ Carl was now intrigued.

”Yes!“

”Whatever makes you ask such a thing?“, Carl irritably said.
”Well, you know, I just would like to know? In fact, Hannelore is not happy!“
”But then, this is hardly a surprise with this eccentric cow“! Carl enthused.
”Why are you so aggressive all of a sudden“?

”Because I suddenly get the impression that, again, someone wants to plant disharmony somewhere! It would not be the first time, would it?“ was his acid reply.

”Carl, you must not be so supersensitive! Can I not even ask a simple question?“

”Ok, Gerlind. Fine. Ask as much and as long as you like to about ’happiness’! But please do not expect me to literally drown in ’happiness ’ while you go on about it! To be perfectly honest, I would find it a pity in view of the wonderful steak inside me. In fact, I actually do not know what this ’happiness ’you are inquiring about is supposed to be, or not to be?”, Carl was now annoyed.

”Maybe you could be a little less theatrical?“

”Of course! Yet I truly have no idea what you mean with ’Are you Happy’?”, Carl said indignantly while in vain seeking consolation with his now room-temperature Riesling.
”How should I know? But then, in adverts, all people are always happy, too, aren’t they!“

”Do you mean this heavenly ’purgative happiness’ of the no-longer-quite-young blond woman whose intestines are de-knotted ’giving her happiness’ in each one of her advert appearances?”, Carl provocatively asked.

“Yes, that is one of them!“

”Or do you mean the beaming grandmother who, thanks to Voltaren, suddenly re-discovers her grandchildren, because now she is able to go down on her knees?”, Carl continued.
”Her, too…!“

”Well, I am sure you are aware”, Carl went on, “that in all these examples, it is always women who become spontaneously happy – never men?“

”Carl, as always, you tend to simplify! In fact, there is actually ’happiness ’ beyond adverts which also very much concerns men?“

”I am all ears …?“ Carl pointedly.

”For instance the often thematised happiness of love?“

”Hm“ grumbled he.

”Or, to put it bluntly: are you now happy with me – or are you not?“

”Oh my God – Gerlinde, now what is this about? I assumed this topic was one we really had dealt with once and for all?”, Carl lamented.

”Then why don’t you just say ’Gerlinde, I am happy with you’!“

”Certainly! Don’t you know this by now”, Carl was getting bored.

”In that case, you actually know the meaning of ’happiness ’?“

”I probably have a vague idea, Gerlinde! And I am sure it has a lot to do with security and contentedness, if you like the sound of those words”, now Carl’s words sounded almost ceremonial.

”Does that mean that you are at least content with what I have to offer?“

”Yes – if that is how you want to call it! But then, I am content with everything around me, my dear Gerlinde”, Carl added sentimentally, “among other things also how nicely you keep everything clean, also with this half-empty bottle of Riesling which will soon be empty, and, of course, also when we will afterwards go to bed… “

”Are you saying it in that order – cleanliness, Rieling, bed – randomly, or is that something you chose very deliberately?“

”To be perfectly honest: I rather like this order”, Carl was now surprisingly self-confident, “somehow or other, it is just correct and also important for me if I am supposed to feel something like ’happiness ’!”

”And do you think your order could cope with a slight variation?“

”What variation do you mean …?“ Carl hesitantly asked.

”What I mean is the slight variation: – cleanliness, bed, and then Riesling! If you chose that order, I could actually also find a little happiness once in a while!“

”A-h-a“, Carl moaned. This was the moment when he started regretting that the meeting about the poor TRIGA ordering situation was no longer under way…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 2nd, 2014

CANZONE 11

I often tell you about Arcis-Vocalisten concerts. Evelyn Gemkow (EG), who is responsible for our blog translations into English, is a member of the choir.

However, there is another “singer” among the IF author team: Axel Maisch. He has been friends with me for a long time and works at InterFace. A short time ago, he joined the vocal ensemble CANZONE 11. They were founded by Tanja Wawra in 2011 and are now 16 female and male singers from and around Munich.

FlyerSIE&ER,28.10.14In their new concert program, CANZONE 11 chose the meeting of the sexes as their focal topic! It is all about

“her & him”

After all, the inexplicable and often so tragic meeting between man and woman has inspired the poets of all centuries to write the most wonderful words, to paint the most charming pictures and to come up with the wildest metaphors.

Consequently, it is more than understandable that composers, who draw images with music and interpret words with sound, could not resist taking up the idea. They filled it with sound and never stop interpreting it anew.

The core element of “her & him” are the love songs by Johannes Brahms, in addition to works by S.E. Johanson, G. Holst, J. Mäntyjärvi and Nils Lindberg.

The concerts will be on November, 22th, (in the Augsburg Zeughaus) and November, 234rd, (in the concert hall of the “städtischen Sing- und Musikschule”).

For more information, click here for the Canzone 11 website Canzone 11 or enter Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Canzone11).

RMD
(Translated by EG)