Sleepless in Penzberg

It is 5:20 am local time and I just woke up. :/

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The final countdown…

Today’s the day… and the last one for me in Pleasanton…
Yesterday, Sunday, was awful… working on the thesis and the presentation for Monday (today) AND packing all my belongings into two giant suitcases. Turns out it was a good thing to buy a second giant one. I hardly fit everything in there…
As expected, I didn’t get much sleep during that last night and to make matters even worse I had to go to the dry cleaner’s to pick up the stuff that he should have delivered on Saturday!!! So, the day didn’t quite start that well, but it got better from there.
Having a short breakfast with some colleagues, then refining my presentation and ultimately giving the presentation to a group of six people. Actually, I was kind of surprised how well the presentation went, since I was kind of tired and that usually decreases my English skills an awful lot… But I can’t complain, I think (and was told) I did well.

“After the game is before the game!” and so right after the presentation I set off for one last, final, ultimate game of soccer. It was a really good game and I even scored (I have to confess, I had not done so in some time)! Maybe people were just afraid of me because of Friday’s incident and didn’t want to get in my way… 😛

After my last, final lunch in the cafeteria, I got together with Robert to get him up to speed on all of my tasks and to do the final performance evaluation. I think Robert was evenly scared (like the soccer team) and gave me good grades and comments on everything. 😀
And it wouldn’t really have been me, if I hadn’t had a little something for my boss…

A little homage to the youtube-clip I posted a while ago, which both Robert and I think is hilarious! 🙂

The afternoon flew by pretty fast and I was running out of time, since my pick up service was scheduled for 5:30 pm. So I said my goodbyes to my colleagues, whom I have grown really fond of. That was a very hard thing to do, since I really enjoyed my stay here and working with all of these kind and supportive people…

Ultimately, with a little delay, I “boarded” my pick up service and submitted to destiny/ destination. 😛
Checking in and going through security went really smooth, even though my suitcases weighed 25 (!) and 22,8 kg. Phew! 🙂 Good thing, people aren’t as strict as in Germany around here. 😀

Anyway, it is 8:18 pm now and they’ll start boarding the plane shortly. I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of my new American friends and colleagues for making this trip both possible and the most fantastic and enjoyable thing EVER! I sure won’t forget you and everything we’ve “been through”. 😉
Take care!

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Paintball Showdown!

Last weekend, last Saturday, last paintball match in California…
We met up at 7 am and went straight to the paintball site in Sacramento. On the way there, I had my first “Maccy D” breakfast… 😉
The paintball site had a total of six fields (if I remember correctly), of which three were air fields (with obstacles pumped with air) and the others were standard fields with wooden and concrete obstacles.
We only played on the air fields, though, which was fun because the games were extremely fast-paced and you always had to watch your angles because the air obstacles didn’t provide that much cover. We had lots of fun and managed to play about almost 20 games.

To make the day even better, Billy gave me my very own original paintball jersey!! 🙂
I paid him back by surrendering him (and shooting him later, too). This is German gratitude at its best! 😉

In the way back home, we made a stop at “In’n’Out Burger” and ordered three “double doubles” (double meat, double cheese ;)) which were surprisingly good!

In the evening I went to the movies one last time and watched the hell out of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the world”. I love those movies where, after only 10 seconds, you know that the money was well-spent. This one was one of those, although probably not for all audiences… (lots of old-school video game references)

Headshot 🙂

The Gang...

Gettin' ready...

I was NOT surrendering 😛

A little dance on the field to confuse the others...

Billy and I

Neither was it hot, nor was I exhausted in any way! 😉

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About Soccer Socials and broken noses…

Today, second to last working day and second to last soccer game, we had our soccer social after work at 4:30 pm. Everything went just peachy until that one guy pissed me off and I just hit him and broke his nose… 😀

Well, it wasn’t quite like that, except for the outcome. I outran him, but wanted to turn around with the ball and as I was turning my head he was just too close or something and my forehead hit his nose, making an excruciating sound! I have never seen anyone bleed that badly… we eventually had to call 911 to get him checked out. His nose was definitely broken… 😦 So after the ambulance left he went home to rest. I felt SO sorry! Why does stuff like that keep happening to me (well, at least it wasn’t MY nose, but still…)??

We still had the BBQ afterwards (for some reason, nobody wanted to play soccer anymore :P) and it was nice to chat with all the nice people I got to know in such a short time. We broke the thing off at 9 pm as it was getting dark and increasingly cold.

Our soccer family (the third kneeling guy from the left is the one who got away with his nose broken)

That's the nose-breaking spot

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The 6th anniversary of my 18th birthday

Yesterday, it was time to celebrate yet another birthday of mine.
But it wasn’t just any birthday, NO, it was the longest birthday EVER! 😀
It lasted a total of 33 hours (because of the time difference to Germany).
Anyway, so my colleagues from work took me to downtown Pleasanton for lunch, to a place called “Stacy’s”. On the way there, Catalina told me, her husband had got food poisoning at that place… AWESOME! 😉
Well, the food was actually very good and we had a really good time there (they even sang “Happy Birthday” for me AND I got ice-cream! :))

The rest of the day was rather unspectacular. Working ’til 6 pm, coming home to a not-working internet connection… Yeah, well… you can’t have everything.
But still, thanks to everyone for all the nice messages and congratulations.

The birthday committee: Heather, Ann, Pantea, Robert, Lionel, the rude German guy, Catalina

Florentine Ravioli

Me laughing...

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My 21-hour-Yosemite-trip

It was already very short notice and I struggled getting everything together, but eventually it seemed to work out… I had organized a tent, a sleeping bag, a flashlight and (even cooled) supplies for one and a half days.
My trip started at 2:30 in the morning which was the time that I left for Yosemite (please take notice that I was even half an hour ahead of original schedule!!). My plan was to get there at 6:00 for the sun rise.
Anyway, “fate” had other plans and closed one of the roads on my way and made me get there late. So when I arrived at Yosemite, the spectacular view of the sun rise had already past and I was left with plenty of time until the camping sites even opened. BREAKFAST!! 😉
At around 8:00 I found myself getting in line for one of the first-come-first-serve-camps, ~35 people in front of me. After more than an hour (!) of wait out in the sun, I had advanced 2 (in words: TWO!!) steps with no visible progress whatsoever (I didn’t see anything happening in the front). Getting impatient and angry, I left, thinking I’d just find myself another place… FAIL! I did not… 😛
At some point all the campsites had signs saying they were full (some even had three, one actual sign, a printed one and a hand-written one, right next to one another).
After even checking out some places outside of Yosemite, I decided to just go ahead and see the stuff I had come to see, noticing that the park was getting more and more crowded… until one even had to wait in line to get parking at the vista spots.
However, I saw Tunnel View, Bridalwell, the lower Yosemite Fall, Glacier Point and about half of Tioga Road (+a rather large area of Yosemite Valley which I explored on foot).
After sunset, I started my journey back home but man, was I tired… That actually wasn’t the sanest thing to do…I hardly made it home. (I arrived at 11:30 pm)
Summarizing, the trip was definitely worth it and I found the waterfalls to be most impressive (AND there are cute squirrels EVERYWHERE!!! :)).
But I’ll start babbling now and show you some of the pictures, my camera was nice enough to take for me…

2:28 am, not amused!

Now we're talking: my ride for the day! 🙂

At the lower Yosemite Falls

These stations and busses were like everywhere, so one didn't have to walk or drive to most of the places oneself

Bridalveil Fall

On the way up to Glacier Point...

...some spent the time wisely! 😉

Glacier Point View

Did I do that?! 😛

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So, uhm the last big thing left to do around here (besides soccer and my thesis :P), is visiting Yosemite National Park.
I rent a car, picked it up today and in a few hours (aprox. 4, to get there in time for the sunrise) I will start my journey, packed with supplies, a tent, a sleeping bag and lots of craziness!
I don’t have any reservation for a camping spot yet, but we’ll see how it all works out.
I have to say, I’m really excited! 🙂

So, uhm, if you haven’t heard from me by Sunday… 😉

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