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2003-10-02 - 12:09 p.m.

October Wende blues

I don’t know if it’s the weather or the stress, but I’ve been a cranky mess the last two days. Having just consumed a half a cup of lumpy-floury cold cream of asparagus soup has not improved my mood any. Part of me thinks it’s the weather. When you look out in the morning at the impending dawn (at 7am) and realize that this sloppy grey color is actually going to stick around the entire day…..even the cats begin to whine.

The other possibility is the stress at work. Yesterday my boss Attila - who vanished sometime back in August when she up and moved to another country – called out of the blue to pressure me into officially resigning my contract here at the Institute. Before my body is even cold, Attila wants to start the paperwork to fill my position with someone else. Now, how Attila intends to supervise this person from abroad for the next five years remains a mystery – but perhaps it is better for the new person anyway that she remains at a safe distance. But the trouble is that Attila cannot initiate a new contract until I formally resign, and I refuse to formally resign until I see my new university contract in the USA. Would anyone in their right mind resign before their new contract was official?? And her pressuring me is entirely illegal Legally, I am not required to resign until six weeks before I wish to end my contract, which would be sometime at the end of December. So now the fun begins. I know that she is now going to try to make my life miserable for the upcoming months, it is only a question of how. This means I have to be in top form at work until I leave.

Never before in my life have I actually fantasized about going in and telling off my superior before leaving a position. Yesterday I daydreamed about berating her for wasting the productive energies of her group, which is full of talented, skilled, intelligent people who would move the world for her if she weren’t so personally insulting to us. My fantasy ends with a plea, my urging her to seek psychiatric help. Okay, so, it’s probably a common fantasy. But it was new to me.

Anyway, this whole situation started breeding a rather uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that is still hanging out there today - aided and abedded by the lumpy asparagus soup no doubt. But last night I dreamt that my parents and I were stalked and chased with knives and guns, by a mad person resembling a one-eyed Robin Williams with a beard. So maybe this is the source of my October blues.

Anyway. Tomorrow is a big German holiday marking German reunification, which means we all get a long weekend. As I was sitting at the haircutters this morning, the shop owner called to a departing customer, “Have a nice holiday!” This lady mumbled on the way out, “There’s nothing to celebrate.” Wow. As a semi-outsider the reunification of Germany is still a holiday I would romanticize. But given the current economic conditions here, I guess the entire country has October blues.

Most of the Germans I know will celebrate the long weekend the way anyone should – big meals with family, trips to the coast or to Paris, sitting at home in their manicured gardens… Not me. I’m about to cram myself into a bus with 49 other wind musicians to spend the weekend playing a musical concert with the Schott Blasorchester in scenic Mainz. I have a cold. I am stressed out at work. And now there is the chance that I might have to see Roderich in his underwear. I wouldn’t say that I am exactly *dreading* this trip….but it comes at a time when I wish I could just curl up in a little ball under a blanket and not be seen by anyone for a little while. Sigh.

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