Sunday, May 31, 2009

music – interpretations and covers

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There are many great songs out there and even before our days there have been some great singers too. Many of those songs are a reflection of their time and some of the greatest songs suffer from the same deficit, at least in my eyes, which is that female singers were not allowed to "belt out" the songs, the vocals sound suppressed.

Sometimes we're lucky enough that those singers interpret their own songs differently, when they're still performing or still alive. And sometimes new singers come along who still have that raw notion in their voice and songs that sounded "clean" before suddenly give me goose bumps.

Let me start with "River Deep, Mountain High", which I first heard on Sandra Bernhards ""Without you I'm nothing", then I was lucky enough to zap into a screening of Annie Lennox' famous concert at the Montreux Festival. There's this series of EP's "Cold" "Colder" "Coldest" that include some of those live-songs, unfortunately they've been unavailable for a long time.

It's only much later, after having seen the movie "Tina" (with Angela Bassett) that I realized that the original version was by Tina Turner.
And here we go again, the original recording was "nice", but later live-performances of that song are "stunning".

Listen and watch for yourselves.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pet talk - Blacky

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My first pet talk was mainly about Maxi and Wölkchen, this time I'll concentrate on Blacky.

Blackie isn't entirely black, her belly and chin are white and she wears white socks - in different lengths.
She's a year younger than the other two and only half their size (and weight), she's a Swiss export and we often joke that this is the reason why she's so small. On the other hand she just might be a normal size and the other two huge.

Blacky has been very shy from the beginning and she instantly claimed me as her mother. She was already 4 or 5 months old when we got her, but really small, she was small enough to nestle in the crook of my arm. She's grown since then, though new cats seem to think she's part of the neighborhoods cat kindergarten. Each spring she's followed by a new playmate;) At least until about three years ago.

Suddenly one winter this cat decided to turn into a housecat. She still loves to lie on the window sills but she hasn't been outside once this spring.
Since we renovated my office (which doubles as the guestroom) and put in a roof window in the process, Blacky hardly ever leaves the room, she's claimed it as her own:) She follows the sunlight and changes places often enough to have her belly warmed by it. When I leave the house or come back she sits at the window and observes me. When I'm at my desk writing she wants to sleep in my left arm. She's the cat to sleep under and not on the covers ;) and she must try everything I eat, she's especially fond of fresh cheese and Häagen-Dazs ice-cream.

Trying to get her into the carrier needs a strategic approach. I have to act as if I was settling in, cause if I stay in my outofthehouse-wear she always seems to know what's up and disappears in the farthest corner under the couch or bed. I've got to surprise her, wrap her tight on a towel and get her into the carrier quickly. There's no other way to fit her through the opening, she stretches all four legs as far as possible and has scratched me with her tiny sharp knife claws more than once, and shredded more than one t-shirt, incl. my favorite (and only) Cowboy Junkies t-shirt.

Friends call her the phantom cat; they don't believe that she exists, as she is always hiding. The pictures are proof enough :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

action movies

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I confess I'm really into action movies. It's not always been like that but watching Speed, Stargate and Terminator 2 on the biggest screens in Europe (Le grand Rex, Gaumont Italie and UGC Normandie) completely changed my viewing style.

Speed was a revelation and I often said it felt liking having watched three movies in one. I'd never seen any movie like this one before, it was also one of the first action movies where a woman was displayed as the hero.

What I like in action movies is the combination of muscles and brains; I don't need blood and many dead people. Choreography of martial arts fights are way more interesting. You're right I own both Tomb Raider movies on DVD. Movies like Mission Impossible also attract me in a strange way - I loved the series and the movies found a great way to combine geekdom with action :)

That's probably the same reason why I liked the Indiana Jones movies and the more recent National Treasure.

Looking back though, it looks as if I had a thing for movies with tough women? Why not!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Movies and tv-shows – my „un“favorites

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Let's first establish the fact that I love movies and watching them. There are just some I will never watch and even if they were the only movie left;) Not only am I known to not being a romantic person, what I really despise are romantic movies. Especially those that tell no other story that of straight-love. Ugh.

My favorite hate-movie is Titanic. I know, there's the story about Titanic, the crew, the passengers, the fight for life – and Celine Dion. I can't remember when that or what happened, I guess I even sort of liked her at some point, but at some point her music started sounding sterile, without soul, you could physically hear how much the production of the album had cost through the songs – I don't even change channels when she comes on, I switch off.

Then there are those movies that won every possible award or those who were a major success at the box-office and I can't even stand to sit through until their end. To mention just a few: Chicago (only one song for Queen Latifah?) and No Country for Old Men (too bloody). We didn't finish I am Legend (though the sound was really great) or Volver (too overwrought). The Departed was ok, except for the ending. Was that really necessary?

As for tv-shows I try to stay away from every story that is not finished within 45 mins. Translated this means, I like crime series because most of the episodes can be watched as standalone episodes. My most hated tv-shows therefore are soaps, even more the daily soaps.

So this is the point where I have to confess that – yes – I have never seen a single episode of The L Word. Do you like me less because of this? When it finally arrived on German television, it was buried late in the night, starting at 11 pm, which is really hard to stay awake when you get up at 5 am. Then I tried DVD, I own 4 complete seasons and never got around to watching them. This being more or less a soap, I always found other series I had to watch first. By now I know that I missed some cool ladies, though I probably would have stopped watching when Erin Daniels left the show, from the few things I know, she would have been my favorite woman on that show.

Posting this pic so you know, that I know what I'm talking about ;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

watching tv-series

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Apparently I was mistaken; they're still showing new episodes of NCIS. Yesterday's episode didn't pick up the open threads from the episode before, but next week is the last new (s06e14) – followed by reruns until forever probably. I've really liked this season so far and wonder what kind of secret they'll be digging up about the new director – there's something going on, hints have been placed all over the episodes. As long as Ziva stays on and has some good moments….*cough, I don't care.

I hope that ZDF will start airing new stuff in their Sunday-Night-Crime-Slot, waiting anxiously for Wire in the Blood and Waking the Dead. I know, I never mentioned Waking the Dead before, it's another British show, in film length and shows the work of a Cold Case Unit, involving some really awesome forensics and a psychiatrist. British detectives, a least the "SI"'s apparently need to be grumpy, which is also the case in the show, he's still likeable – sort of. Guess that's because the role and influence of the psychiatrist on the team is such a strong character.

Sue Johnston

These two left after the last season, the detective was killed in the last episode and I don't know what happened to the forensic's specialist.

I already checked, this week we'll finally have a new episode of Numb3rs, all those interruptions by soccer matches seem to be over :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

pet talk - visiting the vet

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This being the first post of - hopefully- a series of posts, I'll start with some background information.

I am a dog person but I fi
rmly believe that you shouldn't own a dog when you're gone ten or more hours each day. That's why we got cats - yes two at once. We wanted them to stay inside and everybody tells you if you don't want to redecorate every six months better get two of them. So we got two, sister and brother.
They were already nine mo
nths old when we got them, somebody working in the same company as g and the funny thing is that their mother was a kitten of g's late cat.

The cats' characters were totally different from what they had told us, but except for their dislike to travel by car they changed in positive ways. They were cute which each other, sleeping together in the same basket, grooming each other and so on. This changed because nowadays the two hate each other ;) Being eleven years old though they're starting to mellow again. They didn't stay indoors for long. Neighbors' cat Elliot started teasing them by parading on our terrace while the cats where inside trying to get through the windowpanes. Soon it became impossible to keep them inside and after both had jumped out of the window on the first floor we installed a cat flap in one of the basement windows.
Even when we moved we didn't manage to make them stay inside for more than two days ;)

Back to the point

Trips to the vet always put a strain on my patience. Not only that at least one them manages to get injured before we go on vacation - no once I even had to go to the emergency on xmas eve. When I want to put Maxi in the box, I need to put on protective gear (thick winter jacket and gloves). Wölkchen is easier, especially when she's currently in pain she almost walks in on her own.

Getting Blacky (yes, there is a third cat, nicknamed the phantom by friends and Madame Rapide by the vet) is a different story altogether which will be tackled in a different post.

Wölkchen suffers from arthritis in the hip-joints (longtime result of an accident) and we've tried different treatments but about two times a year she seems to need a shot. I don't know how that happens or why, but sometimes it just gets worse from minute to the other (yes - I already considered that she might be putting on an act). Thursday morning she was ok, I even saw her jump up on a bank and Thursday evening she was limping extremely and almost didn't make it up onto the couch. There wasn't much improvement on Friday, so we started on another adventure to vet.

From the moment I put her into the box she didn't stop crying. Or shouting. Or screaming. Or singing. Sometimes she even speaks. In German, dialect unknown – "dooolll" (great). She didn't stop when we got to the vet, nor in the waiting room. I was lucky that the three dogs that were already there (Golden Retriever, ChowChow and a young Lab) were quite well behaved, though the Lab had a crush on the Retriever ;) At some point she got tired of crying and went to sleep. Inside the vets room she didn't want to get out of her box, but that's not uncommon with cats. When I wanted to demonstrate her limp, there was almost nothing to be seen. Well she was more crouching than walking, but it still looked better than at home. As she is no stranger to this vet, she (the vet) knew how to treat her and what to check to get the real diagnosis. Warm, summer days – like those we're having currently – normally ease the pain and don't worsen it. So there was still to be found out, if she was in a fight, had hurt her leg or if she was having an untypical pain attack. It turned out to be the latter.

Onto the balance (13 pounds, if you're curious) and then Wölkchen decided it was enough already and hid in a corner. Growled like a tiger when I tried to get her, and I know when that cat threatens me. I asked the vet for a broom, but she called the assistant to a/get the BIG gloves and b/get that cat onto the table and c/hold her while she gets the injections. At least the cat is now up-to-date on her shots too ;) And she already moves better, tried to kill her scratching post twice this morning.

Wölkchen is such an elegant cat, sometimes there is a delicate, aristocratic air about her, she isn't one to jump on your lap, no she cuddles up next to you and then lays her head on your arm or leg. And then at the vet, she's the most unfriendly cat everybody's ever met. The vet calls her the "bad mood cat" ;)

She's just a cat, a typical cat with her own mind and who plays humans like a piano ;-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

photo blog: alien?

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From my garden

Isn't there a striking resemblance to alien? The dark red one is called Akelei (Aquilegia vulgaris)

pictures are mine

Thursday, May 21, 2009


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That's so typical for you - is what my girlfriend said after my latest adventure. What outrageous crimes did I commit? Nothing extraordinary just the typical stuff. This time it required a trip to Mulhouse to the Sous-Préfecture (sous as in under and not money).
Last year I bought a new car and with the border being so close and this being the European Union, I bought my car in Germany. I didn't even save money on this, the reasons for this decision lay elsewhere. E.g. Alsace is the region of Peugeot and whenever I tried to buy a car in France there was something wrong, crying foul.
And the next dealer for Toyotas is in Mulhouse which is not that far but it involves stress and going into districts I don't really like. The German dealer is even closer and we've only heard positive stories about him.
Plus they employ somebody who does all the necessary administrative walks on the French side.

Long prologue but I'm coming to the point.
One of Sarkozy's first moves was to introduce a new tax "Eco tax" (seriously I don't know why it's called like that, this should be applied to older and not to brand new cars).
Apparently, that's what they told me, its amount is tax-deductable. Beginning of May and the tax forms finally arrived - what I couldn't find is the paper for that Eco-tax. When I called my car dealer they told me that I had to go to the prefecture to get another copy.

G insisted to come with me and also strongly suggested going Tuesday whereas I had wanted to wait until Thursday or Friday. Guess what had slipped my mind? Thursday is a holiday and besides Easter and Xmas one of the few, which is a day off not only in Germany but in France too.
I gave in and we went yesterday. I had looked up the opening hours on the Internet but it didn't even cross my mind to check the address nor the route.
Last time I went to Mulhouse was before the tram era. Some things still looked familiar but I admit I had my doubts when directions lead us a new way.

I've got quite a good sense for directions and my gut told me to go slightly left but they (directions) were taking us right and even further.
In the end we arrived after having gone half circle.
A parking spot was easily found, in the doorway I remembered that I had forgotten an important paper and had to go back to car. Back at the Préfecture they were sticking a note that they would be closed this Friday!

G had already taken a number and there were about a million numbers between ours and the last one called. So I did the only totally untypical thing in this affair and went to the reception desk and asked. Besides the fact that I couldn't remember the proper word for taxes I was talking about (impôts des revenues) this went smoothly. The guy didn't know what I was talking about, asked me if I had my carte grise with me and showed me a field on it, which said that this tax had been paid and even which amount. He was unaware that this was deductible from the taxes, which I ignored - after all this was the Préfecture and not la Trésorerie ;)

Don't ask what G things of this unnecessary trip. She had me stop at a nursery on our way home where we bought some tomatoes and herb plants for our garden.

Taxes will be finished this weekend, they're due end of next week. If you think that I'm late you're wrong we always have to wait until the forms are delivered which also state the due date.
Not my favorite task though.

And tell me again – why do I have a mobilephone with GPS?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Technical: playing around with blogger-templates

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I'm not really happy with this blog's template, also because I have some technical problems with some of the widgets, e.g. the eurout-logo is actually animated and I've got no idea why it's not animated on my blog.

I'll be fooling around with some templates, which won't affect this blog, as I created a test blog for especially this reason.
Finding a template which works with blogger and suits me personally is not as easy, e.g. I really care about the right colors and am looking for something which is easy on the eyes, incl. not having to read black on white.

Currently I'm favoring this one

Feel free to leave comment with this post and thanks in advance :-)

Eurovision - my thoughts

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It's over - finally - the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) that is. And those who still thought this was about the best song or the best singer will perhaps finally change their minds.

I feel sorry for France, Israel and Sweden, cause their singers were the best.
Israel - Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Semi Final 1 - BBC Three (Final Place 16th)

France made the 8th place and from what I read, this is the best French result in years and Patricia Kaas also attracted more viewers than before which is why France calls this year's participation a succes. The Swedish song took a different a different approach, but why not try something else when copying old songs (like some do) doesn't bring the expected success?
What I don't get are those disco beats and oompa oompa is not really my kind of music. So it will forever stay a mystery to me how Finland made it into the final and came in last, whereas Andorra did not (btw, the singer is originally from Denmark).

Eurovision 2009 Andorra - Susanne Georgi

or why didn't Ireland survive the semi-final?
Ireland: Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy - Et Cetera

It's a good sign for the quality of the entries that Iceland came in second.

Yohanna - Is It True (Iceland) (Final 2nd Place)

And did you take notice that most of the points where attributed to the first six entries? How do you define a middle field, when the ninth place was the last to get more than 100 points? In my eyes people saying that germany's result was better than last year didn't look at the points.

Honestly I don't care, what I care about is that Norway will host the next ESC, which is one of best news in years. And it doesn't hurt at all that Norway is one of Europe's gay-friendliest countries :-)

I kept the best song of the entire contest for the end, Estonia - the secret winners.

Sandra Nurmsalu & Urban Symphony - Rändajad Estonia (Final Place 6th)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Watching TV-series

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I started this morning wanting to write about ESC (Eurovision Song Contest) when I made the mistake of looking into my tv-recordings folder. Instead I started the day by watching some tv-series, I had started watching most of them but fell asleep shortly before the end. Not because they were boring, but because I didn't care to zap during the commercial breaks, which is something that puts me to sleep regularly. I lower the volume and off to the dreamland I am.

When channels started to air new episodes some weeks ago, I seriously intended to blog about them every week. I quickly grew tired of this, there was nothing really interesting report and I refuse to simply summarize the episodes. What upsets me though is that airing of Numb3rs has been interrupted for the sake of live-soccer-matches; they showed reruns only for the last weeks. Not much fun.

And now the "new episode season" seems to be already over. CSI Miami stopped in the middle of the season, CSI Las Vegas apparently too, Law & Order New York (SVU) ended last week, Criminal Intent reruns have been going for weeks and apparently NCIS also stopped yesterday and none of the last episodes were a season-finale episode.

That leaves us with new episodes for The Mentalist - a show which I didn't like in the beginning but I'm slowly taking too, Fringe - a show I loved from Day One, Bones - no need to say anything about if you follow me on twitter (I love it) and Life.

I've really come to appreciate sidereel, which introduced me to Lie to me, a show I like just as much as Fringe.

I always seem to forget to mention Cold Case, a show I truly like for the stories. I'm missing Criminal Minds, The Closer and Without a Trace. There are still some unaired episodes of Wire in the Blood, and despite this being a series I more think of the episodes as movies because of their length. And of Simone Lahbib.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Video of the Day: IDAHO 2009

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The site organizing the IDAHO 2009 challenge suffered from a DDOS attack on Friday, which was a clear homophobic attack. Unfortunately they were not the only gay-site and I sincerely hope that all sites are back online again and that all of them have the means to find the culprits and file complaints against them.

Friday, May 15, 2009

International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th)

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I have to admit, I ignored mentions about this for several weeks, just because it was about IDAHO, took me some time to understand that this was not about some state in the US, but simply an acronym.

The International Day Against Homophobia goes back to an idea of Louis-George Tin, today the president of ILGA's French section. May 17th was chosen as the date to coordinate international activities against homophobia as it was on May 17th, 1990, that WHO removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. What started in 2005 with only a small group of countries participating evolved into a day with activities in over 50 countries worldwide. For a full list of the countries and detailed description of the objectives of this day, please read the according ILGA document Taking Action!.

This year, in 2009, the name was changed to "International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia", though everybody keeps referring to IDAHO.

Following the lobby work of the Spanish national federation FEGLTB the Spanish Parliament asked the Government on May 5th to officially recognize May 17th as the "International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia" (hat tip @ ana)

Organizations offer or participate in a wide range of activities and this year's May 17th being a Sunday will probably/hopefully attract even more participants. It's impossible to mention all of them, you don't even find an exhaustive list on the official page, so I'll just give you an overview on the diversity of events and actions.

Another great site is this Canadian one :, which also provides you with promotional banners

You probably all heard about the IDAHO Challenge, which asks you to create a video and submit with the site by May 10th (eurOut reported).

If you're in or around Berlin that day, you might check out a rally and symposium organized by LSVD (German Lesbian and Gay Association) referring to their ongoing campaign to include lesbian and gay persons in the German constitution (eurOut reported).

Also in Berlin, you can participate in the "protect every kiss 2009" event

Some pride events coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, as e.g. in Blackpool or the Belgian Lesbian & Gay Pride in Bruxelles.

There are definitely many more events, are you participating in any these? What do you think of this idea?

This article was originally written for and published at eurOut.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

photo blog: tough day for Maxi -

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no comment ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My „no particular reason“ crush – Marie Labory

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Marie Labory is a French TV journalist who has worked for ARTE Culture, hosting the shows alternating with Annette Gerlach for the last couple of years. The first time I saw on her tv I thought "well if she Is not a lesbian then I don't know who else is";)

Internet resources didn't deliver the expected results and trust me, normally I'm really good at digging. Ok I found out that she had worked for the gay channel pink tv, that was a hint but no proof. There's a certain type of women who appeal to the gay community and who therefore work for gay programs, events, magazines because they are successful at their jobs and not because of their sexual orientation.

Imagine my surprise and joy at finding an article on the French site têtu, confirming my hopes. Apparently she's been out forever :)

The article is about her being the only out female journalist and - here's the actuality angle - today's starting Festival de Cannes and how arte's daily show tries to be different from the others, e.g. Canal +. They're allocating the same space to all three sections of the festival, so we're going to learn more about the movies running at Un Certain Regard.
Looking forward to getting my daily movie dose presented by Marie Labory :-)

Official trailer at ARTE, looks like fun.

First guest will be Isabelle Huppert, president of this year's jury.

Love is gay

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Love is gay? But what's the news in this? In this case, I took some liberties with translation. I don't know what was originally said respectively written, according to a German translation the Russian participant for the Eurovision Contest Anastasia Prikhodko
gave this as an answer in an email when asked about supporting Slavic Pride. The literal translation would have been "love is colorful" but "love is gay" fits so much better.

According to some fan blogs some of the participants are gay (I don't know who and if they are out) and no signs of support for Slavic Pride from them - except for Gordon, singer of the Dutch group, who said that he was going to boycott the show, if there would be aggressions against homosexual activists.

I have to take up the cudgels on behalf of Patricia Kaas whose answer to the question about her support for Slavic Pride was that she hadn't heard of that before, yet everyone should have the possibility to live their life.

It's not been that long that I came across the term Slavic Pride, until recently it had always been referred to Moscow Pride. Nikolai Alexeyev, founder of, has been trying to get official permission for a pride parade in Moscow for years now. Mayor Yury Luzhkov, an extreme homophobe, refused permission repeatedly, for various reasons. With international support Nikolai Alexeyev still organized unofficial pride parades, some of which you probably heard of in the media, e.g. police stood watching skinheads and other militants aggressing and attacking participants of the parade and ended up arresting participants of the parade.

This year though, they had hoped to be granted permission, as they scheduled the pride parade on the day of the
Eurovision Song Contest
and the fear of international TV showing Russian police breaking up the parade would result in a positive decision.
Unfortunately Moscow's mayor doesn't care about this and after weeks of stalling and claiming that he never received a request for the parade he finally came around this weekend and officially prohibited the march. Reason: out of fear of the safety of the participants.
That's not only the most hypocritical reason I've ever heard, this is outrageous. This comes from the same man shouting "satanic" and worse whenever he has the occasion and also called in representatives of the church to help him fight against homosexuals including organizing an anti-demonstration on the same day.

Nikolai Alexeyev will still organize the march this Saturday, May 16th, and as upset as I am about the mayor, I wonder as much if this is really a good idea. After all we're talking about disobeying in Russia, I'd be more than happy when proven wrong, but I fear that this year actions of the police will be even harder.

What do you think? Am I too pessimistic? Would you participate in this parade in Moscow?

This article was originally written for and published at eurOut.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Names – ever think about them?

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Ever wondered what's in a name and what this might imply?

In Germany we have this thing called saint's day and in some families this day is given more attention than anniversaries.
Most of those saint's days go back to religious persons and there are complete books on that topic. If you're from a religious family you probably have a more traditional name, one that can be traced back to a saint.

I recently read that there is a wave of choosing more androgynous names like Luca or Lena though I don't see anything androgynous about either of them. Sure, normally a name ending on an "a" would lead to the assumption that you're dealing with a woman - unless you're facing an Italian name. Italian Luca's and Andrea's are always male. As for Lena (and who is not thinking of Lena Heady at this moment?) nothing modern and androgynous about this one, as it's short for Magdalena - very religious, very traditional and definitely very feminine.

Family names are a different matter, sometimes left open to speculation, e.g. I have at least three versions that really make sense as to where my family comes from. I prefer that version where it would mean "on fire".

And I'll leave you with that thought.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Random Stuff: Questions, food for thought?

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This is not planned as part III to "boring and random stuff about me", these are questions I often wonder about, some are meant rhetorical, some are real questions.

  1. Why do so many lesbian authors choose androgynous names for their characters? Or "male" nicknames? And why do they often pair blondes and brunettes? I can't believe that so much of lesbian fiction is alt- or uber Xena-fiction. (really don't know the difference between alt and uber, yet I'm sure that this is not fanfiction)
  2. Is there really no base-line below which political elections will be cancelled? I can't believe that elections with 30% of attendance can still be valid. Sure, people who stayed at home will have to live with this, but still….
  3. What is the point of having a non-smoking policy on trains but not at the stations?
  4. If I stopped thinking for others for an entire day, e.g. on the road or avoiding run in with those little monsters at the supermarket, will I still be alive in the evening?
  5. Why are most current lesbian plots on TV spoiled by one of them being pregnant, some sooner, some later?
  6. E-books prices don't differ as much as I expected from "real" books. I hope that authors get a bigger deal from e-books as production costs are extremely lower.
  7. I'm beginning to like facebook's "pick your 5" and wonder if there's a possibility to cross post them to my blog.
  8. Dita von Teese is supporting the German Act at the Eurovision Song Contest? Seriously? I'm glad that my tv fees support Patricia Kaas ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

54th Eurovision Song Contest (2009)

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Should we take the results of this year's Eurovision as a prognosis for the EU-Elections? Just kidding ;)

I fear that the German result will not be much better than last year, though I could be proved wrong and that's not because of their scoop of adding Dita von Teese (for serious?) to their performance but because of a change in rules. The juries are back and points will become the decisions of the juries and of the votes called in by viewers. This in hope of avoiding another votes-cluttering of the eastern connection.

I'd say if this still does not help and Germany will still come up last, someone should seriously consider of pulling out of this event. After all, many events have been cancelled due to the economic situation and I hate the thought of four countries paying for the larger bulk of this event while somebody else is having a blast.

Anyways, I don't care as much about the German result as about the French result.

Patricia Kaas, did I mention that she's not only extremely attractive but also a great singer?

Many think that she doesn't stand a chance, just because she's coming from one of the big-sponsor countries. They're forgetting that Patricia Kaas has huge fanbase in Russia. That would be the greatest thing happening – Patricia Kaas winning with the help of her Russian fans. Totally giddy, I know, but still, just imagine…..

Just in case you didn't know, this will be next Saturday (May 16th) and the semi-finals on May 12th and May 14th. Check the official website for details or the channel on YouTube to listen to your favorite songs.

You should also checkout eurOut, especially during the show on Saturday evening.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Random Thoughts: Things that drive me crazy

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Normally I'm not that a person who's much into details, at least not at first glance. But there are some details, especially in tv-series that drive me crazy. Sometimes they irritate me that much, that I stop watching the show altogether. The irritation on SVU was that strong, that I already wrote an entire blog-post on that subject.

Currently I'm watching "La vie est à nous" on a regular basis (read the recaps on eurOut if you want to know more). Marianne looked great in the first episodes and had – compared to the other women appearing in that show – an unusual haircut. Lately she seems to be growing out her hair, a style hovering between boring and slightly ugly. To give the show some credit, it's not the only show doesn't seem to be able to be giving their actresses a decent hairdo.

Do you ever pay attention to what they are wearing in the shows? Sometimes the same outfit during the entire episode (e.g. some "Tatort"s), even when the storyline suggests the story spanning over several days. On a recent episode of CSI Las Vegas the team pulled an all-nighter (plus 24hrs) and none of them changed their clothes once, what do they have in their lockers if not a change of clothes?

I know, that I drive people crazy talking about this; they think that paying attention to these details is weakening the story-line, but hey, especially CSI stories are about details, so they should get them right too. If you don't want me to notice these things, have them wear overalls, or look over to NCIS where Gibbs is constantly drinking coffee, Abby getting her power-whatever-fix and they use non-see-through containers. I never wonder or count how much they've been drinking ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

More boring and random stuff (also known as part II)

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I barely had posted part I, that I already thought about facts I had missed, which is why I instantly started on part II. These points also trigger ideas for "normal" blogposts, which had been awfully scarce lately. Let's see with what I'll come up next.

  1. Missing the "winners" gene, I don't play to win but to have fun, I've been known to give the craziest answers at trivial pursuit just to see the reaction of the rest of the group.
  2. I'm not a very tidy person, but everything I do follows some hidden, extremely analytical agenda
  3. When I recently made the switch from winter to summer shoes, I realized that I own more than 10 pairs of "good" summer shoes and not a single one of them is black.
  4. My favorite reading and viewing genres are crime, mystery and sci-fi.
  5. I can be extremely stubborn, which sometimes ends with me simply ignoring specific persons. Especially when they ended some argument by making a dramatic exit incl. slamming doors.
  6. I do have a sensor for true emotions (that's perhaps the reason why I can't stand soaps) and have major issues with people, especially in professional life, who are clearly showing to which type of communication-skills-seminar they've (just) been.
  7. Lived above a bakery when I was a wee child; until today the smell of fresh bread makes me feel at home.
  8. I hate people who come to ask for my opinion and then try to persuade me that I'm wrong.
  9. This also extends to colleagues who want to know how something should be done only to launch into an argument why this doesn't make sense. If they want to run head first into a wall, let them.
  10. I'm allergic to dust and several fabrics.
  11. I can be a real snob about food especially when it comes to brands.
  12. Sometimes I think that I'm extremely accident prone. The run-in with the black elder seems to have left a scar on my arm.
  13. Several weeks ago I set the kitchen on fire, a towel which was too close to the stove was the culprit
  14. I can remember really weird or unnecessary facts, but it's also happened more than once that I couldn't remember why I had gone down to the basement. Or that I needed to make 3 trips until I had what I initially went for.
  15. I can't take horror movies seriously; but movies about or with real animals often leave me upset.
  16. Ice-cream is my favorite food, especially of the frozen yoghurt kind
  17. I never do "stuff" just because everybody else is doing it.
  18. I never leave house without my sunglasses but have forgotten everything from my jacket to closing the doors and windows
  19. I love to observe thunderstorms.
  20. I'm afraid of crowds
  21. It's been proven on twitter that I'm completely unromantic, at least in ways that are commonly considered romantic. Please refer to # 17.
  22. I care about words, language and correct pronunciation and some dialects make me physically sick. And though I don't really speak a dialect and also cannot place them geographically when hearing them, I understand most of them after listening for a couple of minutes, incl. most Swiss and Austrian dialects, and to some extent Dutch.
  23. I talk to my pets, always ask them how their day was and if they slept well.
  24. Went to Malta and Iceland in the same year, Malta in August and Iceland in December and always wished it had been the other way round.
  25. Spent last Sunday re-watching the latest 5 episodes of Bones for the 3rd time

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Exploring random facts

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Before posting more random, boring facts about me, a post which is already finished, I’ve got something else I need to get out of my head.

I’ve always been a “daddy’s girl”, I’ve got no idea why and there’s no one left in the family with whom I’ll discuss this. Next to being a “daddy’s girl” I also was a “grandpa’s girl”, and there’s nothing wrong with neither of this, I had a lot of fun with both of them.

Most of my pre-teen summer vacations where spend at my grandparents, and with my parents being an hour of a car drive away this meant pure freedom. Most of the family lived in the same city where my grandparents lived, which meant visiting a lot of aunts and uncles. That family had a weird generation gap, at least on my grandma’s side but the youngest were still about 8 years older than me, which is an aeon when you’re only 7.

One of the things I clearly remember is the basement at my grandparents, or more precisely the space allocated to them, as they lived in a house with 3 other families. There where shelves on three of the walls, with one wall being reserved for self-made marmalade and conserves. The fourth wall, right below the window, was reserved for grandpa’s tools including a traditional workbench.

I never understood why my dad let himself talk out of getting this workbench, after grandpa had died and they had to empty the apartment.

Back to being a daddy’s girl. This included some embarrassing moments for him, cause there is a long line of years during which you could bet on me knocking over some glass or cup from the table during meals, this also happened regularly when he took me for his morning pints.

When I was about fifteen, my parents decided to build their own house, which was when the real fun began. My dad had always been very talented when it comes to the “handyman” stuff, which resulted in the financing of the house being based on lots of our own hours. In some ways, that summer was even better than the summers spent at my grandparents. There was not a single day when we weren’t at the construction site and despite me having small accidents every other day; I also learned lots of things.

There are only a few tools which I’ll never use, e.g. I have a weird fear of buzz-saws. Guess I’m lucky that we don’t own one.

But – look at this treasure, and please ignore the clutter around ;)

This post went in a completely different direction of what I had initially intended, so there’ll probably be a part two of this.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Boring and random stuff

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Following a tradition started by Ingrid, continued by Natazzz, picked up by megelder to be taken up by Natazzz again – I feel compelled to bore you with a list of random facts myself

1. I moved about a million times but the last time was about 9 years ago.

2. My favorite place is somewhere in the Provence, not too far from Lavender fields in the garden of my yet to buy vacation home.

3. The modern Tate Museum impressed me more than the Louvre.

4. I lived in Paris for 5 years and never went inside the Louvre Museum.

5. I don’t like beer, except on hot summer evenings when I crave Panaché

6. I don’t like Cola, neither Cola nor Pepsi. My favorite “soft drinks” are water and fruit juices.

7. I’m not a vegetarian, but can go without meat for weeks and I don’t eat red meat.

8. “They do have salads on the menu” is not the reason why I would choose a restaurant. When dining out, I want to eat dishes I won’t get at home.

9. When I cook, the kitchen always looks as if an experiment had gone wrong. I never learned cooking and am most at ease with dishes that get their finishing in the oven. On the other hand, I do have some talents in baking and my marmalades have a large fan base.

10. I am a nerd and a geek and our living room and my office often look as if they were right out of an SF-movie.

11. I love learning about new things and always research those topics exhaustively.

12. I’ve suffered from various degrees of insomnia all my life but my cat Wölkchen was the best cure against it. For the first years, she always slept on my chest and her purring still puts me to sleep.

13. For reasons unknown to me, pets and kids take to me instantly.

14. I’m incredibly shy.

15. I don’t run nor jog, never.

16. I never smoked, not even once. This accounts for cigarettes and joints. But I was high at least once, on “secondary” smoke at a Pretenders concert.

17. Ages ago, my apartment was burglarized. I’d still like to know what they thought of the “Desert Hearts” tape which was still in the video recorder.

18. I’m not into accessories, not on me, not in the house; and this even extents to cooking and baking, you want decoration or garnitures? Not from me.

19. But I love gadgets, mostly from the electronics department.

20. I hate shopping, doesn’t matter if it’s for groceries or for clothes. The earlier I’m done, the better. Despite this handicap I love shopping at IKEA and most DIY-stores.

21. I can’t read maps but have a good sense of direction combined with a very good, almost photographic memory.

22. I’m not good with numbers. No matter if this stands for a date or a phone number, I’ve got my gadgets to remember to them.

23. Despite the fact that I’m often up early, I’m not a morning person.

24. I’ve always had a thing for women older than me.

25. I love coffee; you wouldn’t want to cross my way until I had my first 3 or 4 cups of morning coffee.


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