insert something about time has passed yadda yadda
I am doing so many things at the moment but still I feel like I don’t have anything to tell on this blog. Yes, the house is coming along fine, yes, at work I do work that sometimes works, yes, I eat all of the things.
Instead of going through all those things in detail, I want to tell you just about a few of the key events.
First: the garden. We’re in it on and off almost every weekend, and it comes along nicely. Right now, it looks like a war zone from all the digging, but very soon everything will be green and blooming like in our front lawn below. I chopped so many roots with an axe. I feel really prepared for the zombie apocaplypse now.
On the rainy days (or the days I felt like not being in the sun (as a German I’m rather used to grey skies and a slight dribble of rain)) I spent my time in the basement. I showed you earlier how I built my workbench. Now, I put it to good use and built a chair. Here is a glimpse at it, I will put together a dedicated blog post once it’s painted and finished.
On another day, we headed out to Leipzig to meet Doro’s father, kind of halfway between Berlin (us) and Dresden (him). Arriving on a Sunday we were not so surprised to find that everything is closed, but still it left the impression of a rather dull, but pretty city. There were soooo many old timey style cafés and a museum. In fact there’s more, but we didn’t feel like exploring the depressing stories of the Stasi or the Wave Gothic Treffen Leipzig. Our museum featured an 8 bit wall tapestry of the GDR.
Leipzig was fun and all, but it was freezing. As soon as the sun finally bathed Germany in warm, cancer-inducing UV radiation, we headed out to a lake near Berlin, er with our friends Julia, and Gregor. The two of them are breeding and expecting a new person to crawl out of one of them and we used the weather and the occasion to document her size and content before everything will be dominated by the lack of sleep and teaching the baby not to die from stuff.
It really was a beautiful day, we picknicked and walked and photod, it was just perfect. Oh, and we met a goat.
Now I am sitting at re:publica, a hipster/tech/web/society/marketing/hacking conference. This is the third time now, that I took part in it, and this year, it is with mixed feelings. While the last years were filled with inspiring talks, this year is a bit of a letdown. The level is really low, so if you know a little bit about a topic, most talks concerning that topic won’t teach a lot more. Bit of a bummer. But (I should not start a sentence with “but” says Tegan, but I am known for “there’s always a but”. Everybody is expecting my but.) this year I changed my approach and entered the “networking” stage of re:publica visits. I talked to a number of people I only know from the internets, and every single encounter was not only pleasant, but very enjoyable. I guess the biggest impression was left by my encounter of Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, during a Q&A session (with kids doing the Q and him doing the A) and a following book signing session. When I told him about my work as a researcher he got excited and we spent a couple of minutes talking about chloroplast biogenesis, its usefulness in technology and wondered why poison ivy is so nasty to the skin. While I couldn’t answer it back then (now I know that an oily substance on the leaves’ surface partially denatures membrane proteins of skin cells, inducing an auto-immune response, making everything itchy) I really liked how he just can’t stop asking questions and wonder about the things in the world.
— Dorothée Schwartzmann (@UXdoro) May 2, 2016
So, #rpTEN was great for getting in contact with people, with the downside that I can’t link to many super exciting videos as I could do last year. On the upside I met Jan Karres, Marcus Richter, heilige Johanna, Randall Munroe and could closely listen to many other people. I could play a little with HTC Vive VR and loved it, and I could finally see Gästeliste Geisterbahn, a comedy podcast, live.
I’m not sure just yet whether I will return to re:publica. Certainly, I will keep contact to those I finally got to know in person.