Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What a merry merry season!

Klitzer klitzer auf den Straßen,

neue Torte erfunden,
Finanzkrise my ass.

Friday, November 07, 2008

come out to play ...


Old traditions never die, they just become slightly annoying. But for Old Times' sake:


... Klatschki Frieden....!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My friend Destiny and I

...have not been on speaking terms lately. I felt neglected. I know she has a lot of people to take care of, but I really felt left aside. She hadn't swung her sledgehammer for me in such a long time.
It must have dawned on her that she wasn't behaving all that considerate, so she exchanged her hammer for a bouquet of flowers and slapped me right across the face with it when I was least expecting it (because that is always when these things happen).
And all of a sudden I find myself dancing throught the city streets, my silky hair shining like a prize winning show cow's and smelling of wild berries. The sun is shining, I'm singing old Jennifer Rush songs (don't ask), checking my mail every ten seconds and spend a whole morning combing the city for Ocean Spray and Miss Europa Disco Dancer. My place is neat and tidy for the first time in weeks and I can't remember when last I had so much spare energy!
Sometimes it only takes a little to get you back on track. Like a bouquet of flowers across your face.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No brain, no pain...

In Maischberger's talkshow, Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis (dammit, 300 years ago in France, she would have been decapitated for that name alone), who for some reason that is absolutely unknown to me seems to be of some kind of interest for German TV, recently proclaimed that she saw the conteraceptive pill as a form of abortion.

She also believes that condoms are not even the appropriate means against AIDS, in her opinion, "to prevent AIDS is to shag less". She advises her daughter not to take the pill and prefers those mothers with kids from ten different fathers to women who are childless due to abortion.

Wow. And I thought it was 2008. Unbelievable that a couple of hundred years ago, these people would have had the power to actually inforce their screwed ideas on normal people like us, people who might not have been born with Princess as their first name.

Dear Princess,
please do me a favour and take a stroll around, let's say, Marzahn, where girls are triple and quadruple mothers by the age of 20 and where of the four fathers, NONE is anywhere in sight. Where girls don't have any other kind of education than being teenage moms, living with their 30 year old mother and are highly likely to not produce anything but more teenage moms without jobs.
Oh, and, please, have that AIDS reference translated into Kiswahili, will you?!

Would it also count as abortion if somebody pushed her off a roof?
I wish her parents had used contraception 49 years ago. Well, they must have taken something at the time, as their daughter was obviously born without brains.

Oh, and by the way, my friend Sarah has been working on a project for World Contraception Day and they have produced a couple of funny clips you should check out:

The Party
The Lift
The Messenger

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Of age, fabric softener and of LIFE itself

I'm a victim. A vicitm of this culture's ruthless advertising habits.
Today and for quite a while already I had the notion in my head that what I really needed was fabric softener. I have never bought or even thought of buying fabric softener in my life (quite possibly due to some late eighties ad suggesting it was bad to use it).
But lately I find myself wanting my laundry to smell nice when it comes out of the washing machine and also stay that way while it impatiently awaits being worn.

Anyway; I wanted fabulous smelling stuff that would turn my clothes into a pile of...fluff the kind you would throw Teddies in. Not that my laundry smells in any way bad when it comes out of the machine, I just wanted it to smell of ... rosegardens? Summer breeze? I really don't know, I only know that all of a sudden, after twenty eight years of immunity, I thought of fabric softener as a necessary utensil to have.

I reckon this is another one of those phases you go through when you get older. Other people might turn to bleeching their teeth or buying organic food or turning to classical music for no apparent reason. It's what my little sister calls "doing adult stuff". (In the particular situation she coined that expression, the act of doing adult stuff was me buying a toaster...)
The point is, suddenly I acknowledge the existance of things I must have come across a thousand times, but now they get my brain to think about them. And I guess we all come to that point in our lives. In other words: we all have our fabric softener, even if it is bleeched teeth.

Whatever, back to my victimhood.
There I was in front of the supermarket shelf displaying a small but carefully selected range of fabric softeners. I had already put Kuschelweich in my trolly, when I watched my hand putting it back and going for the slightly more expensive version by a rival company, who promised my undies would smell of the sweet and mysterious scent of the Sahara desert. Because "When the desert turns red in the evening sun and the air seems to glow, you get the feeling that almost everything is possible and that everything can happen..." (It REALLY says that on the back of the label!) I want that feeling! Also they put their product in a flash red bottle, instead of a dull baby blue one. HOW COULD I RESIST?????

I admit! I am a consumption slut! I want the smell of Sahara in my clothes! I buy washing up liquid as long as there's plastic fish swimming in it or at least flower stickers on the back. I will prefer products showing Arne Friedrich's face on them to those who don't anytime! While all the time I know that I'm acting horribly stupid and could probably also save some money if I only chose the dull baby blue version of life. This whole consumption thing sometimes works so well on me I feel like I'm floating above my body, watching myself doing everything the advertising industry wants me to.
Maybe I just know too many people who work in advertising. "Hahaaa, I know you're trying to manipulate me, I know the way you people work! ... Give me that really expensive tooth paste with the glittery bits in it, willya...".

The irony is: Sahara scents don't even seem to smell that sweet, as I discovered when, upon coming home, I dipped my nose into the bottle in joyful expectation. It smells like ... fabric softener really. Hm.
I guess life wanted to tell me something. Something about my consumption habits, I just don't see the message cleary.
Next time I'll go for Summer Breeze.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Highland Serenade

The remnants of once monstrous evil smells still linger in the rooms.
The washing machine has been doing double shifts.
Flocks of Tesco bags cluster in the kitchen drawers.
...and my bank account moans a silent lament.
In short:
I'm back.

Truth is, I have been back for a couple of days, but it was only today on my way back from Aldi that my brain caught up with my body and reunited we look upon the neatly stowed away camping utensils and piles of accurately folded clothing.

The water heating system doesn't work, my pay has not been paid, two papers await being written and I need to teach some private lessons in order to afford the toilet paper.
Yes, the vacation is definitely over.
But still memory lingers. (I know, this is the second time I use this word but I just like it so much, so there, whatcha gonna do about it?!) My nose still seems to smell the heather, the vast mountain panorama is still almost in front of me and my feet will certainly never ever talk to me again.

For a detailed account of my trip, come over for a cuppa or just utter the magic words (anything containing the words "Scotland", "Highlands" or "camping" will certainly do) and I will keep you entertained (or at least keep talking) until the tea turns solid, but in this here entry, I will but shortly intruduce you to some of the best people, places and moments of my first encounter with

The West Highland Way:

Three singing dutchwomen I met on the train to Fort Bill:

Colin, a guy from Dundee whom I met above Blackwater reservoir and who insisted on carrying my backpack down to Glencoe:

Lovely Laura, his girlfriend:

Taking rest on a patch of grass next to wooden bridge crossing a gargling creek. Probably my favourite place in the world.

"Erbsenkopp" they used to call me:

15 minutes from Kinlochleven I asked two gentlemen to take a picture of me so I could prove
a) I was really there
b) I did look like a gay donkey

Ben Nevis, eight o'clock in the morning:

Ben Nevis, half eight in the morning:

Ben Nevis, ten in the morning:

Most days I was alone with THAT for miles on end:

View from out of my tent in Kingshouse, Glen Coe:

The Devil's Staircase and my more than slightly swollen hand:

My favourite place in the world: Glen Coe; I spent about an hour there, just looking around. Recommendable: the water from the creek.

Morning mist in Glen Coe, about eight in the morning:

And here endeth the trip: I took a train that took my back to Glasgow and next year, I'll do the rest of the way.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We cherish thee, your Chiliness!

No, not talking about the weather, this is much more profound.

D'you know who's taking over the world? Anthony "Scar Tissue" Kiedis. He's present everywhere these days. Not physically, alas, yet omnipresent in junk TV.
Through meticulous empiric research I found out that there's a Chili Peppers song used as musical background in German crap TV AT LEAST once every ... oh, all the time. Coincidence? I think not!

There must be some kind of plan behind this. Some elaborately set up conspiracy to take over the world which I haven't managed to figure out the details of yet. Cause that's the thing really, isn't it, with elaborate conspiracies aiming at world power: you only see through them when it's too late, when the child has fallen into the well, a saying which sounds even more stupider in English than it does in German.

So, you innocently ignorant people out there: prepare yourself for a rule of chaos and mayhem. I'm reading this guy's biography at the moment and I've got a sneaky feeling this is going to be epic!
(Taking every available and unavailable drug there is, jumping off rooftops into swimming pools - and missing!, wearing socks in unusual places and consuming large quantities of unpaid-for alcoholic beverages only being some of the notions that come to mind for our future world-constitution!)
And also prepare for the counterfeit on coins around the world to look somewhat like this:

All in all, I think the world could be far worse off than having this guy as a king. So,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the mood for

19 days to go and my mind is filled with megabus easyjet standard fare national express outbound date of travel blue hostel guide central station NORTHBOUND single or return once more. I spend much more time then I should looking up train connections, bus schedules and all kinds of fares, because planning well is almost being there already! Climax of the day is buying SOCKS (hiking socks, obviously).
So if you catch me muttering something like "15 and a half days to go, hihihihi", at least you now what the heck I'm on about.
I'm loving this!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Explanatory note for all those interested: (yeah, that's you, Keith!)

the P/Q formula

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

learn something new every day - reloaded

... aka: learn something old every now and then.

Today I did both, learning new things AND old things.
The new thing I learned today is that the Vietnamese-French pidgin, the Tay B'oi, doesn't use articles. A piece of linguistic wisdom which is expected to have, let's say, minor impact on my future life.

The old thing I learned today was to solve equations with two unknowns. I should have learned how to do that in tenth grade, and I tried, I really did. But the much hoped-for enlightenment just wouldn't come. Until today.

While my frech students were busy with a complicated task I gave them, I was reading the script of the MSA maths exam that was lying around on the table. (Apparently, somebody uses my favourite classroom to teach maths!) I was able to solve the first two tasks (yahoo, just as in my maths abitur!), but I got stuck with the third one, an equation with two unknowns. I got halfway through, but for dear life just couldn't remeber how to get rid of the scond "x". Needless to say, that circumstance drove me nuts. So I asked my collegue (one of those who apparently teach maths in my favourite classroom) and he told me "Piece of cake! You only have to use the p/q formula!"
Right! The p/q formula! Silly old me, why hadn't I thought of that myself??
He then noted down the p/q formula for me and I was succeeded easily to solve the task.

I think I could understand maths now. A circumstance which could have had a MAJOR impact on my future life had it occured 15 years ago.
So, about this maths Abitur thing ... could I do it again maybe?
Had I had a better understanding of maths back then, I would have had much better marks. Which means I would have been much more confident in my mathematical abilities. Which means I wouldn't have let my disbelieve in myself stand in the way of me applying for pilote training. Which means I might have become a pilote. Which means I would earn lots of money now, see a lot of the world (especially from above), have a fancy apartment and never even worry about such things as Tay B'oi.

But then again, I probably wouldn't know all of you guys, so screw that!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

An encounter of the Cave kind


and after:

I'd really like to tell you every detail of this concert, but, honestly, I used up my
quota of x-rated words on the concert and also you really mustn't use this kind of language here where minors could read it. Let me just put it like that:
the words "WAS?!" and "STRASSE!!" will forever be sending hot and cold shivers down my spine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Es passieren so viele Dinge in meinem Leben

Heute nämlich, dass an dieser Stelle (aka ganz oben) in diesem Blog ab heute eine neue Rubrik in Erscheinung tritt. Es handelt sich um etwas, was mich nicht nur aber auch in letzter Zeit viel beschäftigt.
Ich präsentiere also zum ersten Mal:

Das Suspekte Wort des Tages,

wobei sich "suspekt" natürlich nicht nur auf das Wort an sich, sondern selbstverständlich auch auf dessen gedankenlose Benutzer bezieht.

Heute also:

Römisch 1: "Fernseh" anstatt von "fernsehen"/"Fernsehen" oder auch "TV". Aaaarhg!

In die gleiche Rubrik gehört natürlich auch das von mir seit langem empört angeprangerte "Sose" anstelle von "Sauce".

Ey, Leude ... NULL!!!!
Ich möchte alle an der Rettung der (deutschen) Sprache Interessierten bitten, zukünftig einen zehnbändigen Duden mit sich zu führen um diesen im Zweifelsfall als Projektilwaffe einsetzen zu können. Denn wer dumm sein will, muss fühlen. Oder so.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

On the ambuguity of loss and the supremacy of R.a.R.

Time to get philosophical for a change.

Fact: I hate loss. It makes me feel like a toddler all over again, like the time my mum threw away my favourite record because it was covered in scratches from playing it too often. I can't have been older than four, but I still see myself running after my mum, crying my eyes out as she walked down the driveway to the garbage bins with my record in her hands. I remember her resolute face, determined not to let my crying impress her (something she alway was paricularly good at - and actually in most of my memories, my mother is wearing this resolute expression). I remember the sound as she broke the shining black disc in two and shoved it into the bin.

A quarter of a century has passed, but the memory of this helpless feeling is still engraved in my mind.

Or the time a couple of years later, when I lost my favourite teddy bear in the train. That must have been the single most traumatic experience of my childhood.

I'm grown up now and should be able to handle these things in a more adult way. But the truth is: I'm not really. Loss still makes me feel just as helpless and paralysed as it did when I was six.

These last two years saw me losing big time; I lost love. I lost my best friend. I lost my car before I even had it (which may sound trivial, but those who know me well understand that it is anything but trivial). I "lost" my bike!!

A precious friend told me not so long ago that I was getting cynical and although I don't feel that, I couldn't help thinking "Well, who wouldn't?!".

I am determined not to let these things get on top of me, but sometimes I feel that working my way out of these rainclouds is like trying to swim in quicksand; I'm moving full speed - but to what avail?

Lying on the couch of my own inner psychoanalyst while at the same time sitting next to myself, analysing the shit out of me, I have come to focus on the assets, on the things that are still there. And it eases my mind a great deal to realise that everything is not so bad - not so bad at all! In fact, I'm doing great. I have learned to be content on my own every once in a while and, really, I'm getting a lot of things done. And whenever I don't have work to do, I spend a lot of quality time with my real friends.
Still: I have changed. I wouldn't say I have become cynical; but harder in a way I guess.

In a couple of weeks' time, I'm going to a Nick Cave concert. When I saw it being advertised, I thought there was no way I could go there without him (he who shall not be named). Then I mentally slapped myself across the face, telling myself that him being gone doesn't mean that the things we shared and that were important to us are gone as well. And again, the same precious friend made me realise that sometimes you just have to let people go in order for them to make room for new great people. That's not losing - it's just taking care of yourself.

So even if he's gone and although it took me a long time to come to see: Nick Cave (representative for many other people and things) is still there and I feel like I have finally opened my eyes to see clearly.

Because into my human heart life filled me
With love up to the brim and killed me
And rebuilt me back anew with
Something to look forward to...

...and anyways: Rock and Roll always wins...!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Berlin welcomes back in town:


The sunglasses are back out and we wear the season's first sunburn with pride and dignity. Having said which I shall proceed to fall silent and let the pictures speak for themselves: