written.

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The Tegan-woman pulled one of these old tag thingies out one of her many robes and tagged me to answer a few questions. Evil as she is, she stated I would be to hipster to do it. Jokes are on her as I am a hipster AND will also do this. ha.

So let’s do this.

1. What am I working on now?

I don’t know in which regard this question is posed.

Right now I am in the second month of my PhD at the MPI-MP in Golm. I work there on the interesting and fascinating process of how many many tiny proteins find together to build one larger complex that has the power of pushing electrons in other molecule’s faces. (I really hope I didn’t make a mistake in this oversimplification) The work is exciting and I prefer it over anything I have heard so far about the corporate world for engineers out there. I probably would be working in a waste treatment plant if wouldn’t be interested in plants and science.

Outside of work I do not really work. I have lots of stuff to do, but none of it is really exciting. I am a boring person. I am playing around with a raspberry pi cloud server at home, develop a film from time to time and write things into the internet. That sort of thing.

Next!

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Again, I don’t know the asker’s intentions. Tegan, didn’t either. But as I have to prove that I am smarter (I really am!) I will write more.

In the academic field my work is mostly characterised by the fact that I work on plants. All my friends from university are stuck now with human or mammalian biotech, killing rats, infecting eggs with viruses and are always afraid of contaminating their experiment with their own DNA. I got the turn early enough to not worry about killing squeaky things and I do my PCR without gloves.

Within the plant field I am not doing anything special. I am a drone like you and me.



3. Why do I write what I do?

Finally something whose answer does not result in gobbledygook — what an amazing word.

The internet has seen my writing skills several times already. Somewhere in its darker corners 4 or 5 half-hearted attempts rot quietly. Directly before starting this very blog I had (and kind of still have) a tumblr. Before the tumblr I used flickr. Before flickr there was deviantart (kudos to the one who finds it). Kind of at the same time of deviantart I started several blogs to put my written stuff there. Before I did that I wrote for my school’s newspaper. Before that… I spent my German classes writing stupid stuff. Mostly gangster rap.

The point I try to make here is that I always had an urge to create. I tried drawing, a lot of photography, digital stuff and writing. Most of it was quite mediocre, but I wanted to give it a try. I did some awful terragen pictures. In the end I stuck with two things: photography and writing. Or blogging. I never wrote a decent short story or a novel. I always liked myself in the role of a commenting sarcastic observer. Not the most difficult role to play as I never have to prove that I can do better than those who I criticise. One of my first bits was on the stupidity of the German Ordnungsamt who fines people for all the little offences like littering, riding a bike on the walkway or putting tables 10 cm too far away from the store front. They are an easy target. I was young and went for the easier stuff. Not long ago I wrote about the stupid comments on the web and back in the days I was one of those smartasses. In my defence, I was just 16 or 19 at the time, a time made for being a smartass.

Today I try to be first more constructive and secondly I try to add something to the discussion or at least express my point in detail and with reasoning. I see some of my stuff as elaborated comments on things of recent or general interest and I try to write in a way I would like to read it if someone else would have written it.

I write the stuff I write because I want to write. On the way through the city I often think of events, people and stuff I want to spend more thoughts on. And from time to time I do that which results in turn in one or another blog post. Not everything goes past the scrap stage, I might have low quality standards, but I have some. The simpler thoughts that can be condensed in 140 characters are pushed to twitter and from there to facebook and from there to the wastebins of my friends there, but twitter works quite well as a vent for the little things I think the world needs to know. (like shawarma. The world must know about shawarma!)

The last thought on this topic: I do enjoy language. German, being my first language, has a lot of room and potential for clever wordplay and the more I learn English I do enjoy it as well for its grammar, sound and wit. One of my first English books was besides the obvious Potter a play by Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. I remember laughing out loud in the subway where I read it because of the humour and sarcasm Shakespeare uses so skilfully. By writing this blog I try to practise that understanding and use of language. I don’t have the ambition to compare myself to any of the big writers but I like to develop a better feel for how to express detailed thoughts and ideas.

Phew. Let’s see what’s next.

4. What is my writing process?

Some of my workflow has already been briefly mentioned above. If my post is not about events that I just describe — like travel documentation, food and event related things — I usually start with an idea. Most ideas happen when I am outside, quite often when I am more or less annoyed by people in public. Sometimes it is an uttered sentence, an overheard discussion or an ad on a billboard. I take the idea and form it into a sentence and start turning it around, pushing it back and forth and building many central points. If I don’t decide that the idea is trivial I then sit down at my PC, fire up the wordpress and start writing. Some texts just flow through the keyboard into the internet and need nearly no more work. Others are reread once or twice and revised until I am at least not ashamed of them any more.

As most of my blog posts are about photos I revise them beforehand, do some rough editing on the RAW files and select a few to load them up here. I then write a more or less interesting story around them. This is usually the right time for lame puns.

Then it is only a matter of pushing “publish” before the whole of the internet doesn’t read it.

Oh, that was it already. Now would be the time to tag people, but I honestly do not know anyone to tag. Tegan is the only being I personally know who reads me and who also happens to have a blog. She did this already — so I become the dead end for this tag. Rest in Peace.

EDIT: I was kindly reminded that my readership is approaching 2! So Vanessa, if you feel like it, go for this set of questions!

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Hi. I live in Berlin, I write about food and photography and everything else. I am a plant scientist and I studied biotechnology in Berlin. I am younger than some but older than others.

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