Porky Pine

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About Porky Pine

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  • Nationality American
  • Gender Female
  1. When is an invitation not an invitation?

    You are not the only one. I have the reputation of being a Chatty Cathy, but that is only around certain people. At parties or in groups where I don't know people, I can be (to my mind) excruciatingly shy and bad at meaningless small talk. I was chosen to give a Bible reading at a wedding once in Austria, I only knew a handful of the many wedding guests, and I died a thousand deaths before I was through reading the verses. But I'm glad I made myself do it anyway.  
  2. When is an invitation not an invitation?

    Quite beautifully said, arunadasi. From everything you've ever written here at TT, it is hard to believe that you are incredibly shy. All the more kudos to you for going out of your comfort zone and making that heartfelt and well-received wedding speech.   Although I made a rather negative comment a bit back on this subject, I must add that when I have attended such events, it has obviously NOT been for me, but rather for the person who the event focused on. That applies to attending graduations, birthdays, weddings and yes, funerals. Life is NOT all about me, nor should it be, and I usually find that by attending these events from time to time, I don't give up any sacred part of myself or make myself a doormat for others---all things in moderation, of course.
  3. When is an invitation not an invitation?

    I  think that there's a lot to be said for marrying someone whose parents are (sadly?) deceased. Because of that very fact, I might have dodged a few bullets . . .
  4. When is an invitation not an invitation?

    I've been to a number of Konfirmationen and Firmungen since living here in Germany. They are long, drawn-out, rather boring affairs but I have always gone because my presence--but most of all my gift--was expected and "when in Rome, do as the Romans." I tend to be a bit of a "go along to get along" type of person but I wish I had bowed out at times with a good excuse and just sent a gift, as it would have saved me considerable time and expense. What has struck me the most is that almost every single child involved in these religious ceremonies had/has absolutely no desire before or afterwards to darken the doorsteps of their particular church. I grew up in the Deep South, attended church regularly, and went through a similar church "rite of passage" with no monetary/materialistic gifts involved. The reason for going through the ceremony and the classes preceding it was of a strictly religious nature. IMO this is a nice, accepted way in Germany for kids to rake in some rather good money, and has little or no religious significance for the participants. The last Konfirmation Mr Porky Pine and I attended involved a car rental, a 4 1/2 hour drive each way, a hotel stay and the obligatory monetary gift for the participant. That young man, like so many before him, has yet to thank us for our €€ gift, which possibly disappointing to him, as it was less than €100, or thank us for our presence at his ceremony. If I'm invited to another one of these affairs, I plan to be busy washing my dead grandmother's hair for the 99th time or taking my non-existent herd of cats out for a long walk,  and I will probably and most conveniently forget to send a monetary gift as well.  The absence of the latter will be noticed much more than the absence of my physical presence, of that I am certain.
  5. Collect call to the US from Germany?

    You can try this but I cannot guarantee you that it'll work (it's from the Rick Steves' travel site): You can make a collect call from Germany via AT&T's international access number: 0-800-225-5288. Press zero to speak to an operator to arrange it. http://www.att.com/esupport/traveler.jsp
  6. Really? Counterfeiting a high school diploma (which is admittedly not worth much education-wise) is your idea of manning up to take care of business? Counterfeiting is counterfeiting. Period. I wouldn't do it.
  7. Is this a standard Ryanair announcement

    Actually, I'd say that car traffic would be messed up due to the hoopla of ANY major head of state coming into Brussels for a Nato summit. Wasn't any different for dear old Obama, dear old Billy Clinton, dear old Helmut Kohl, dear old John Major, etc coming into any city for a political summit. Won't be any different in the future, either.
  8. Please translate

    "Schleich di" has to be one of my all-time favorite Bavarian sayings.
  9. I heard about this just before going to bed late and woke up with a heavy heart. So tragic, so heinous. Bringing Trump into the subject, however, is senseless IMO. Terrorist nutjobs do what they do, because they are driven by terrorist nutjob "ideals".  
  10. Colleagues tell me that my German sucks

    I think I'd be tempted to say to them in English, "Obviously, constructive criticism is not your strong suit." Preferably, rather snarkily yet not possible in a work environment, I'd want to add, "But being an assh*le is."  
  11. How do I get out of paying Church Tax?

    IMO church tax = life in paradise or getting out of church tax ≠ soul burning in hell/purgatory is a complete disconnect. The former is a part of a prevalent mindset in Germany that only serves to keep those church tax coffers filled. Interestingly enough, I have never seen so many financially ailing churches, despite all the tax collected. Methinks there could be a better system . . . I'm a Christian but fortunately not a member of one of the standard "church flavors" requiring me to pay German church tax . Ergo, I escape the church tax.  When I do go to church here, I put money in the collection plate. Which is also no guarantee for my soul not burning in hell, a prospect which I'd rather not entertain, and most certainly not on a Monday which is already shaping up rather sadly.    
  12. Excel spreadsheet_sale of US mutual funds

    @PandaMunich Thank you so much for your answers! I really appreciate it!
  13. Excel spreadsheet_sale of US mutual funds

    Thanks, Starshallow. Yes, I do have a Steuerberater, unlike so many others who do their German taxes themselves, I wish I could handle mine on my own but I can't and won't even dare try for fear I'd mess things up and be penalized. My questions now aren't related to any mutual fund prospectus or yearly reporting of the mutual funds, as this background research was already done quite intensively years ago. All has been good that end so far. 2018 ushers in a new era of taxation of domestic and foreign mutual funds. I've got to do my homework on that as well.   I'm trying to make sure that this extra Excel spreadsheet contains every single piece of information even remotely necessary for the sale of these 2 mutual funds so that the Steuerberater doesn't have to add data, which adds to that bill.  Something tells me I might need the exchange rate for each acquisition date of each lot of shares, but I'm not 100% certain. As for manually calculating mid-point exchange rates and doing the time-consuming work of entering them on future Excel spreadsheets, if that is what I have to do, I'll do it as as to avoid potential hassle. But I sure would like to get around it if at all possible.
  14. Excel spreadsheet_sale of US mutual funds

    My apologies, El Jeffo. I had no idea that putting the @ sign on a user's name was necessary for them to see it. I appreciate you doing that, as I need some clarification really soon.  
  15. Excel spreadsheet_sale of US mutual funds

    Why the sarcasm, El Jeffo? EDIT: El Jeffo was being helpful, not sarcastic. I was jumping the gun.  My brain is fried. I need a gin and tonic, now.