It’s Wintertime

I realize that news of my life in Cologne have been a bit sparse. This is mostly because all you people who think living abroad is really glamorous, are wrong. :P I wake up and go to work every morning in a world full of people speaking another language, spend the day photoshopping images or other tasks, come home, have dinner, chat with my friends on IM, watch the Daily Show or something else, write an email or two, and go to bed. On the weekends I buy my groceries before the stores close so I will have food on Sunday. I read or talk more with friends/family, and take care of housekeeping things. Sometimes I have a design project, and sometimes I go into town and wander around the tourist area for a couple of hours. Many weeks I’ve been invited out for a fun evening with a coworker or two and their friends.

Here are some assorted pictures from this time while trying to stay on top of life, because some of them are getting old and I am not managing to post them in their own articles.

Southern Entrance to Cologne Cathedral

Quite a while ago, I went and visited the Cologne Cathedral. One of the things I found amazing was how it felt centuries old, and how you could smell the dust, and of course, the stonework is unbelievable. When you stand there in person and look at it, it doesn’t look like it could have been made by human hands.

Oooh a rib vault. Look, I learned things in church architecture class!
I can tell from the pixels and from having seen many churches in my time.

Two projects I’ve worked on have gone to print:

Our ad on a poster column – we designed a whole range of things for this film weekend including buttons and postcards. The candle Christmas card I did all-but-on-my-own came in too, which is super exciting. The idea is you fold it into a triangle with a tea light in the middle. My first professional print run! I concepted, designed, photoshopped, and laid these out with feedback and management from my coworkers.

 

I’m pleased to report that my money and personal difficulties are more or less sorted out now and I found a pretty cool RPG group that meets on Tuesdays about 15 minutes from my apartment. This is a really great development because now I have a few people outside of work to hang out with and be nerdy with, and so far we are good at putting up with each others’ idiosyncrasies, which makes me feel welcome. The DM and one of the other players are also close enough that we can get together outside of game nights too. Suddenly I have people to hang out with multiple times a week!

The game is Midgard, which is a German game similar to Dungeons & Dragons but better. Sadly it has nothing to do with Norse mythology beyond whatever seeped into Tolkienic typical fantasy mythology. It’s mostly a D20 system with a D100 check system. I play a “Waldläuferin” – she’s an escaped serf turned-Robin Hood-style Ranger (or perhaps “Aragorn as far as the Breelanders are concerned” – at any rate, she lives in the woods and is kind of a vagabond), and the others are an upper-class Wizard in a mysterious dwarf-made mask; essentially a Spaniard/musketeer Paladin (complete with romantic/chivalric sentiments); and what I guess is an African-inspired Sorceress from another continent (her player has been absent though). The DM also runs a PC for one of the players who hasn’t been there – I don’t know what the character’s class is because mostly he has terrible luck ordering food (haggis, bad fish, etc) at the inn and spends the whole day being sick instead of adventuring with us. We have yet to take down awesome enemies but I’m holding out hope! So far we are investigating a series of mysterious medallions with owls on them, and abductions of many of the town’s beggars. Also the male characters keep being accosted by the innkeeper’s many hideous-but-forward daughters, which provides me much entertainment.

I’m looking forward to next week’s installment!

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