#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Haing Coffee… On December 17

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d offer you a chocolate Macchiato or a steaming mug of mulled wine to get into the Christmas mood! Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away?? Where did the year go?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week has been all about Christmas presents for me. It all started with me receiving a mystery envelope, that contained a Doctor Who charm bracelet. This time there was a note, and it came from my bestie! She really does know me.

All week I’ve been trying to find presents for my family members. And I am happy to say that except for one I still have to pick up, I’ve got all of them together now. It’s such a relief, now I just hope my family likes them.

My Secret Santa parcel has arrived and it came all the way from Utrecht, the Netherlands. And boy, did my Secret Santa Marleen spoil me! Just look at all the amazing stuff she got me:

My #tbtbsanta Secret Santa presents from Marleen! @theliteratigirl

My #tbtbsanta Secret Santa presents from Marleen! @theliteratigirl

I love all of them so much! Now I just hope that my own Secret Santa liked what I got and made for her! I’ve been checking her social media bút she hasn’t posted yet, but through parcel tracking I know she has received it!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I attended a classical piano concert last night. My friend, Hungarian pianist Elöd Ambrusz played his second solo-concert here in Germany, showcasing the works of Liszt, Schumann, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, as well as an on-the-spot Jazz Improv of Silent Night as an encore. He was incredible and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that his auditions at some of Germany’s top universities and music academies next week will be successful. He is already one of Hungary’s top young pianists as a student of an elite Budapest music high school, and his concert last night was proof that he has truly mastered his instrument. Because Elöd’s father works for my dad and we’ve known the entire family since Elöd was born, the entire office was invited for gulash at my gran’s house after the concert, and it ended up a really nice night with easy conversation, music and gran’s home cooking for 10 of us.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I tried to get press coverage for Elöd’s concert and sent a note around to the publications in town, asking to be added to their cultural calendar and suggesting reviews and/or interviews. I even provided info on how to contact Elöd, that he’s fluent in German etc. While the two main daily papers didn’t follow up, a “news outlet” that’s pretty controversial to start with sent me the rudest reply. And not just some “reporter”, but the CEO. He went on an all-out attack, asking whether what I sent was meant as a press release and suggested I got my M.A. from a gum machine and he didn’t want to read all that. Well, my email included the flyer that had the main info on it, I just provided additional info and it came from my private email, not from any official capacity as event organiser or PR person. And as far as press releases go, I have had to work with far worse. It took all my willpower not to respond in the heat of the moment, because in the end I guess I’m more professional than him. But he chose the wrong person’s leg to piss on, and asking around with friends and family (some of whom hold political positions in town) revealed that he treats everyone this unprofessionally. So instead of giving him the satisfaction of rising to his bait, I’m doing something else. Guess who will have official complaints lodged against them with the German press council and the German Union of Journalists? Two can play that game, mate. And unlike him, I DID have journalistic training. He runs a glorified news blog that publishes press releases verbatim (maybe he didn’t like mine because he would have had to rewrite it) and aggravates everyone he comes into contact with. Because he holds a position within the GUJ aimed at young journalists, I will simply ask whether behaviour like his is really the sort of example a role model for young journalists should be setting in his official GUJ capacity and provide a screenshot of his unprovoked outburst…. That should land him in a bit of trouble. Especially because I will ask those who have been treated like this by him to report him as well. And because we’re fairly well-connected in this town, we’ll be suggesting that he and his organisation get blacklisted and removed from media mailing lists of all groups, activities and events we are in some way connected with, even if it’s just friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend. Might even mention his conduct to his sponsors – pretty sure they would not appreciate being treated like that either. If he lashes out at a civilian who informs him of a classical concert like this, I can only imagine how he treats others who have to deal with him and genuine news sources. As I said, two can play that game. And frankly, he’s exactly the sort of journalist I hate the most, because his behaviour reflects badly on all of us who are trying to do their job well.

Anyway, that’s it from me for this week. I’m not usually this vindictive, but I simply don’t tolerate crappy journalism and rude behaviour. How was your week?

Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well. I’m sure they’ll love to see you too!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?


#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On December 11

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

I am so sorry for missing last week’s Weekend Coffee Share but I wouldn’t have been much fun to be around. I came down with a major cold last Saturday and I’ve spent the entire week on sick leave. I’m better now, my voice is still a bit raspy from my cough, but I definitely won’t pass anything on to you – except your hot cup of coffee of course.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve been redesigning and updating my CV. My sister is overlooking applications at her job, so I got some advice from her  and I think the final version is pretty neat.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that once my eyes stopped being sensitive to light (and the glare of a computer screen) I finally made some progress updating my book inventory. I’m making a list of all my books (so I don’t buy duplicates at shops and flea markets) and next to Title and Author, I’m including the date my version of the book was published, and a mark whether they are First Editions, Signed Copies, whether I’ve read them and whether I have reviewed them. That way I can work my way through the list eventually and add reviews to this blog and keep up to date with my TBR pile. I’m picking up every book I own, and I’m also adding my embossed “Library Of” seal to them. I’ve only done 1 shelf and my Kindle library (with 2 floor-to-ceiling shelves and 2 stuffed Expedit cubes still to go) and so far I’m up to 410 books, 41 of which are first editions and 8 of my books are signed.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I received a postcard from my TBTB Secret Santa telling me that my parcel is on its way and if the post stamp is anything to go by, it’ll come from The Netherlands. I can’t wait!! It’s so exciting to do a bookish Secret Santa. As for the gifts I’ll be giving my Secret Santa: they’ll get books, homemade journals, a calendar, stamps, a sew-on patch, homemade Berlin Bread (Christmas cookies) and German Christmas sweets, as well as a little something for their pet. I sent my parcel off yesterday, so it should get there next week (it doesn’t have too far to go and it’s tracked). I actually figured out I have another Secret Santa, because at the same time the postcard arrived, I got a mystery parcel.

The other day I received a Funko Pop vinyl figure of Captain Malcolm Reynolds because apparently I “need a guy in the house” hehehe. I know who that was from. Then this new parcel included a Funko Pop figure of John Watson, and it did take a bit of Sherlocking (figuring out who I’d given my actual address to as I usually give out the office address, who’d know me enough to know that I 1.) didn’t have this figurine and 2.) love John Watson, and who fit all the criteria and lives in the UK) but I found out that my bestie had sent me this little Baker Street Boy. To be fair, we have a history of sending each other sneaky presents so I had a pretty good guess from the start.

All in all, I didn’t get as much done this week as I had hoped. Obviously, I was sick, but I still wanted to spend my time being productive and catching up on my reading and reviews. I guess that’ll have to wait for the actual Christmas break.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I went to a 75th birthday celebration today for a lady who has been a friend and sort of mentor to me for the last 20 years at the Naturfreunde group here in town.  After a week in pretty much solitary confinement it was great to see some of my best and oldest friends today, have coffee and cake, good conversations and a good laugh. I’ve missed how easy it’s always been between us, no matter whether we’ve seen each other lately or not.  I had a bit of an emotional wobble at the party, though. Birthday lady requested we sing a few old songs, and one of those songs was “Der Wanderer” by Gerd Sorg. I know it’s not my usual cup of tea, but I love this song. It was my granddad’s favourite and the last time I’ve heard this was when his choir (Die Wupperhofer Men’s Choir from Solingen) got special permission from the pastor to sing a rendition of “Der Wanderer” in church at my granddad’s funeral 8 years, 11 months, and seven days ago. So I sat there with goosebumps up my arms and tears in my eyes. My gran still loves this song (it’s her favourite as well) but she hasn’t dared to listen to it since my granddad passed away. My favourite part of the song is the chorus, in which the wanderer or vagabond replies that “you’ve never counted the stars, the beauty of the world remained a dream for you. You’ve never missed the sun, because even when it shines, you barely notice it.” And I’ve got goosebumps yet again.

I know you won’t understand the lyrics, but this is a men’s choir version of “Der Wanderer” as my granddad would have sung it:

So, what have you been up to this week? If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that this is it from me for now. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well, I’m sure they’d love to see you!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?