Tuesday, June 30, 2009

photo blog: from the garden

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- or playing with pol filters.

These pictures where taken the same day and while the clouds looked quite dangerous at same point and it st
ayed windy, the thunderstorm never came.

the marguerite waving at me ;)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Halftime at Wimbledon

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Serena and Venus Williams Sisters made it both safely into the 4th round (remaining 16), just like Amélie Mauresmo who was only seeded 17th.

Dinara Safina, who lost the finale of the French Open to Svetlana Kuznetsova, also made it safely to the fourth round. Will the current number 1 in women’s tennis pull through and win her first big tournament?

Head over to eurOut to read the entire article.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

my non particular reason crush - Amelie Mauresmo

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Ok, I lied, there is a reason. Amélie made it to the fourth round in Wimbledon, and while you can look at pictures from recent matches - incl. some with her doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova, on her homepage, I wanted to share the following ones with you. I directly admit, my.shallowest.post.ever

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Favorite Songs - Eurythmics with a hint of Sharleen

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While I was picking gooseberries and struggeling with their dangerous thorns, I had to think of the Eurythmics. I've tolerated Dave Stewart but the one I've only ever really liked of the Eurythmics, is Annie Lennox.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a good live video, which gives the song, their performance and Annies singing proper respect.
I know they must be out there, I own the DVD's.

While I was looking for a video where Annie is wearing leather pants, like in this one

- cause I had something very specific in mind. I also wrote the title of this post before I had found all the videos. So while I was looking for videos I came across this one, a performance at the Grammy Awards

The original end I had in mind for this post went like this "around that time, there was only one singer who wore leather pants as well as Annie Lennox". Now I have to end it like this

Now, Annie, Sharleen did this way better!

And a live version

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 25th – RIP

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June 25th 2009 will be marked in my book (I don't have a diary or write one and this blog isn't one) as one of the weirdest days ever. I know things happened before 5pm (GMT +1 on summertime), but that's when this day turned for worse.

Natazzz informed us that news had broken on Belgium TV that tv-presenter Yasmine had died. A suicide, a measure I've never really understood but this is not the right place to engross these thoughts.

News of the death of Farrah Fawcett followed shortly afterwards. Though it didn't surprise me, I was still shocked that it happened so quickly. The news that she and her longtime partner Ryan O'Neal thought of getting married told me that they had run out of hope. That she died only a couple of days later is still a blow in the guts.

This morning, while catching up, I learned of the death of Michael Jackson. The news broke on twitter, but everybody was thoughtful and waiting for confirmation from serious sources.

They were right in doing so, cause only shortly afterwards news of the death of an actor made the rounds – this one was a hoax. How horrible is that? Playing with the emotions and empathy of people is just downright awful.

I know that Ed McMahon died too, but I've never really heard of him before. Whereas Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson accompanied my youth; before Michael went totally crazy – and sometimes even then – he made some really good, extremely awesome music.

And Farrah Fawcett – show me the lesbian who was not a fan of Charlie's Angels? I should give this some thought, if these three Angels weren't at the source of my still ongoing love for crime serious with women detectives?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

treasures from the interwebs

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more writing, more surfing, more pictures, more findings. I found the following creations on a mexican gay site, I really want to learn how to do this!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

music – interpretations and cover versions

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Those with a good memory will remember that I already posted the following song once, back then I didn't know how to include videos into blogposts.
And I simply don't need any reason to post videos showing Ina Müller any time ;)

or by Pink

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

tech talk

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Yesterday felt like xmas in summer.

The reason for that was not really funny and gave me a fright on Saturday and much work on Sunday. Saturday morning I realized that the NAS wasn't running, at first I wasn't that surprised cause there was a power outage on Friday evening, and because those happen frequently and sometimes repeatedly I've programmed all computers not to reboot when the power comes back.

After rebooting though the NAS still wasn't available and that's when the trouble started. The system said "no disk" and G said "oh no, where's my data?!" Most the files we need to use both were stored on that disk. The rest – pictures, movies and music where just backupped there for easier access.

The rest of the weekend turned out to be very technical. Removing HDD from NAS, inserting it into PC, understanding the file format and finding a program to make the disk readable.

I learned everything I never wanted to know about ext3 partitions but all that counts was that I was able to recover all of the data. Because those programs couldn't find any errors on the disk, but the NAS was still insisting that the disk was broken, I decided that it was in the fact the NAS that was broken and quickly got G to agree to buy a new one asap.

I found one from Linksys but a visit to their forums convinced me to wait some more time to get their newest media hub. It's very tempting, but has only been available for a couple of months and is still suffering from minor problems.

We headed out to a huge electronics store yesterday morning, and though I had in mind to get a NAS with two HDD's I settled on a model with only one (Buffalo Link Station 1 TB). Those models which allowed the installation of several HDD's didn't have the media-options. I decided to go with more functionality and need to rethink and seriously setup a backup-system for the rest of our data.

The rest of what we bought falls into the category "do you really need that?"e.g. yet another satellite receiver, a power cable for an internal SATA-disk, and many many dvd's that were on sale. Oh and a case for G's iPhone, cause the one I ordered was to be delivered around mid june. Yesterday evening I received an e-mail that it has been shipped :-)

After the exhausting shopping we both had our first Subway-Sandwich – yummy :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Better smoke than kiss a girl?

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A couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on March 31st, the European Commission launched version 2.0 of their campaign For a life without Tobacco. This campaign is scheduled to run through 2009-2010 and focuses this time primarily on young persons and young adults.

An interesting aspect of this campaign is the fact that the target group was asked to help with its development

“This campaign is being fully developed with the help and advice of the target group: both individuals and youth organizations. For example, the idea for one of the new TV spots has come directly from an Internet consultation with young people.”

I didn’t know all of this when I saw the first short-movie of this campaign. I didn’t even know that it belonged to campaign urging people to think to stop smoking or not to start at all. The first time I saw it, I was that upset, that I even didn’t remember the internet-address shown at the end.

I was too busy complaining and thinking “WTF, that’s totally homophobic!”

The campaign includes three short movies, and it’s the first one I want to mention here. You can watch all three of them on the website accompanying the campaign. The site is available in 22 languages.

“As this is an EU-wide campaign, the strategy will be fine-tuned at national or even regional levels according the cultural and social needs”

The movie shows a girl, who whenever being offered a cigarette jumps on the guy next to her to kiss him.

The last scene shows her with two other girls and when being offered a cigarette by one girl she starts turning to other girl and stops.

And the off-voice says “Nice try, Anna, but for an advice that really works, visit help-eu.com”

It’s okay for a girl to kiss boys to avoid smoking, but not to kiss girls? There must be another way to follow through with the idea of this movie.

Please leave your suggestions or other “strange” advices – as requested - on their website.

The idea behind the campaign is highly innovative and I simply can’t believe that advisors let this go through. After all this is an initiation of the European Union!

As far as this short-movie is concerned, thumbs-down from eurOut.

Originally written for and published at eurout

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sunday morning musings

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Ever since I "moved out", Sunday mornings have been my favorite part of the week. As soon as my presence was not required anymore at the family breakfast table, I became an early riser. I don't do much; it's my personal version of celebrating slowness, my own slowup which only requires me getting up.

When I was living in apartment, I took a book and my walkman (you know the thing you needed before mp3) with me and headed out to a park.

Nowadays, whenever weather permits, I take my cup of coffee and go out onto the terrace. This morning though with only 13 C° (55 F°), which is way too cold for June, I'll prefer to have my coffee inside and watch the Sunday morning rerun of my favorite talk show with my favorite talk show host.

Then I'll be probably awake enough to start research for a new NAS; the old one crashed yesterday, but at least I was able to recover all the data on the disk.

Cu l8er

Friday, June 19, 2009

fan crush

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Yes, me too, I succumbed and joined the ranks of those becoming "fans" of really famous people on facebook and twitter. I don't follow everybody, especially not on twitter and especially not if those persons are dishing out a million tweets of selfpromotion a day – I am very choosy. Every day in life.

So far I've limited my eaves-dropping on the life of the rich and famous to two people – Jane Fonda and Marlee Matlin. I've even read – with great pleasure – some of Jane Fonda's recent blog posts. Barbarella goes Bionic Woman, and while you hear other people complaining and bitching Jane Fonda tweeted from Paris from the set where she was shooting a new campaign for L'Oréal and the next day she was already at the hospital preparing for her knee replacement.

Marlee Matlin's style is completely different; she mixes tweets about the daily struggles of raising kids with charming tweets about her book and regular political posts. And that's she's an advocate of gay rights is just one of her many facettes. She recently started "caption action" because Netflix doesn't think it necessary to include captions to most of their movies.

The cutest tweet of all was the following one

gotta love her for being nice!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

photo blog: from the garden

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All of the following pictures were taken over the last days in my garden. The next jam-production is only a question of time.

While I like flowers it's this side of garden I like even more. The bushes and trees go through the biggest transition, each spring I think "Oh no, that one didn't survive the winter" and then after a struggle in March/April most of them pull through.

Blackberries, they take their time. Each year.

Black current, I love their flavor, even the leaves smell like their fruit.

Raspberry, we do have different sorts which give us fresh raspberries from June till September

Golden Raspberry, finer and sweeter than ordinary raspberries.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

music – interpretations and cover versions

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Tarata is a french music show, with live musicians and there's always a suprise guest doing a duet with the main artist.
If you don't know this show, please check out their website, where they recently uploaded videos from the older shows, going way back til the early nineties.

I haven't bothered to look up the guy in this clip, his partner is Sharleen Spiteri and they performed "I heard it through the grapevine" in the show on November 5th, 2008.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

food - making jam

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There are some things in the kitchen I never do and there are things I excel in but many others are afraid of. I will spare you my thoughts on the psychological and historical aspects of this. It's quite simple with me – I'm only good at making what I also like eating.

I'm not even trying to remake favorites from my childhood that never works. I've developed my own style and try to combine this with remembrances from when I was little. One of my favorite "dishes" until today remains fresh made jam on still warm bread.

The white stuff is cream cheese, I don't eat butter.

Everybody said to me "making jam is extremely complicated" and judging by samples I received from friends, I really believed them. There are many things that can go wrong, but the most common – and in my eyes the most offensive – mistaken is when the jam is almost liquid! Huh? And you give that away as a gift?

One summer, when we were drowning in raspberries and blackberries, I decided to give this a try. Like with many other things, first came the intense research and then the actual jam-making. Guess what? There's no secret in it. Simply don't try to discover your dietary conscience, i.e. don't start skimping on the sugar, follow instructions to the bone and you're good :)

My best experiences were with preserving sugar 2 plus 1, which translates into 2 parts of fruit and 1 part of sugar.

The only area where I go creative is the combination of fruit I use. In addition to those mentioned above, we also have gooseberries, black red and white current, etc. Most often I use the blackberries as basis and add whatever is available. And they go really well with all other fruit from the plum-family and with pears. Recently I added bananas (roughly one-third) which came out extremely delicious.

Now I want to have fresh bread with jam :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

the perfect gift

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It's that time of the year again - girlfriend's birthday. And those of some other people too.

Presents are really important to G, coming right after birthday congratulations, they don't have to be big or expensive it's the thought that counts and she likes the unwrapping ritual. This is why I often tease her with the wrapping - creating a form that has got nothing to do with the content at all.

I always have a hard time choosing the perfect gift, also because of one rule which I always apply - I never buy anything I wouldn't buy for myself. I'll make compromises where the color is concerned but that's about it.

The most impersonal gift you can make is giving money, unless they asked specifically for it to buy something big. What I truly like are gift cards. I'm an avid Internet shopper and when you're not around me daily, chances are high that you're giving me something I already have.

And you can even vary the gift cards depending on the current needs, e.g. when my brother married I gave him gift cards from IKEA.
Then there are cities that offer them which means you can shop and pay with them in almost any store you want.

To me gift cards are not an excuse or even a sign of disinterest - next to geeky gadgets - they're my favorite gift.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

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Last Sunday I voted for the first time in France. Not for lack of wanting to, more for lack of knowing the French system.



Moving from one country to another is really easy when you're a European citizen. But exactly this - being a European citizen - also works in your disadvantage - everybody thinks you know how things work or are supposed to work because you're from Europe. Trust me - you don't.

When we wanted to register for the European elections in March 2004, we were told we were too late! Registration deadline was December! WTF? Germans can register up until a few weeks before; and don't need to register at all for German elections; being officially registered makes you eligible to all elections. In France you need to register for the elections, even the national ones – and you do this at the same place where you need to register when moving there - so why not combine this?

And while I'm on this topic, where is the logic of allowing me to vote in regional but not in national elections? Why force me to vote in an electoral district I’ve only lived for 16 months before leaving for France? Bite me!

But back to last Sunday. Sunday? Why not Thursday? Like the Dutch or British?

Ok, ok – back to last Sunday.

Before heading out, I made sure that we had both our passports and election cards (as in I was carrying them) with us and checked the address in Google Maps. Google Maps wasn’t accurate, telling me a/the distance was 700 meters while being 400 meters max. and b/to turn left where we had to turn right.

We still made it though :-) There was a guy checking the cards and while handing our cards over to him, I said that we needed his help, because we didn’t know how the process was in France. Ok – so I lied – a bit, I didn’t want to believe what my girlfriend had told me.

The guy saw the cards “oh, européennes, c’est compliqué” (Europeans, that’s complicated) and went onto explaining; the only complicated part was that he needed to see our passports, that was it. He patiently explained how to proceed and when I turned to G asking her in German “did you get all of this?” he explained all again in German.

There was a table with all the flyers of the parties participating in this election. You were to take one or more of them with you into the cabin. There you had to fold the flyer of the party you wanted to cast your vote for into a teeny tiny envelope and put it into the ballot-box.

Did I mention the only people in that room were us, the people helping with the election and an older citizen who came in shortly after us and who had refused my offer to pass in front of us? Nevertheless I almost choked when guy #1 called to his colleague down the hall “eh Jean-Luc, voici deux européennes qui n’ont jamais voté en France” (hey Jean-Luc, here are two Europeans who’ve never before voted in France) and that he should help us with any questions we had.

Because I knew which party I wanted to vote for, I only took one flyer with me. G said, we should have taken flyers from the other parties too, now everybody knows what we voted. Everybody = 5 people ;)

The ballot box had a counter which is how I knew we were voters #20 and #21. Before putting the envelope in the box though, we had to sign a list and our still virgin election cards received their first stamp.


I’m quite happy, yet still surprised, that the party I voted for (an alliance of several parties called Europe Écologie) came in second place in my town and even in my department. The turnout was extremely deceiving with only 32% (national turnout was 40%)

Looking at the detailed results, there’s one thing confusing me – if we were only to put in those flyers into the envelopes and the cabins didn’t provide any pencils, how is it possible that some voters voted specifically for a certain person?

As I learned via Facebook that other election offices were providing electronic devices for voting, I’m sure the procedure will have completely changed until the next election.

All I’m waiting for is access to detailed figures from all countries to get really geeky with statistics :)

Originally posted on eurOut.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stupidity – and the award goes to…

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Monday I had – judged by my standards – a really nice shopping trip. Except for that occasion when I wanted to buy a gift-card for ITunes. You might wonder what's so difficult about that? We were in Germany and the card was for a Swiss friend. I asked the guy if I could use this card in any ITunes-shop in any country and he said "Why not? It's via internet, isn't it?"

Uh – working 10 km from the border to France or Switzerland and not knowing…anyway – I breathed deeply and told him calmly that it's impossible to buy from the US-Store which somehow got through to him. Simultaneously we started reading the back of the card where it said "only to be used with German ITunes-Store". Bugger. At least – besides being a dork - he had tried to help.

Tuesday morning we made a quick dash to Switzerland, in hope of getting that gift-card. We started by adding more dvd's to our collection. Then G asked an employee who was busy sorting dvd's "We're looking for the ITunes card. Do you have them here?" – We were in the entertainment section, after all. This woman responded, with a voice sounding slightly slurred "No, I don't know what you mean. Cards? You should head over to the computer department. They will be able to help you". She repeated this about four times and grew louder each time. G and I fled as fast as we could; this situation had a wee dose of surrealism ;)

This was by far the most stupid person I've encountered in a long time.

We ignored the advice and headed to the checkouts where we found the gift-cards right away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Treasures from the interwebs

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There are days, when I spent more time finding the right pictures for my eurout articles than writing them. And sometimes I find pictures or graphics that attract me, but still don't fit the article. Just like the following one:

No, this is not a rainbow in the wrong order. The colors symbolize the voting districts France is divided into. I came across this while researching pictures for the European Election.

I honestly wish I had some talents in drawing, I'd love to have this one in rainbow-order. It even would look great without the ballot-box and envelopes. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Photoblog – from the garden

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Did I mention I like taking pictures? Just in case I didn't until now – I really like taking pictures :) I'm also interested in learning more of the technical aspects of photography or specifically my camera and fear at the same time of loosing "my eye" more motives.

These are some pictures I recently took in the garden and the last one pictures the security guard ;)



(nature in action)

(security guard)

Pictures are mine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

European Elections 2009 - The Aftermath

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Did you vote last Sunday? If you were eligible and didn’t – why?

I did, together with my girlfriend and we were voters number 20 and 21, at 9 in the morning. At the occasion or to be precise, after leaving the polling station, we finally found the campaign posters. No wonder I hadn’t seen them before, they were facing the parking and not the street, as if somebody was ashamed showing them.

But I wouldn’t say this was the main reason the turnout for this election was the lowest ever, with 43,1% (provisional as of June 9th, 11:04 CEST)

Chart – turnout per country.


No, the results, though different from country to country, show one similarity – only parties who concentrated on European topics were able to mobilize new voters. When you look at the outgoing Parliament, there’s only one party that gained votes in this election, the Greens

(Results are still provisional and will only be confirmed on July 15th)

result by party

(Screenshot from data provided on June 9th, 13:31 CEST, original chart can be found here)

Unfortunately they didn’t gain all the votes the other parties lost, as always the non-voting lead to the fact that splintergroups gained largely in this election, most of them attributed to the far right. And these parties based their campaigns on being against Europe, which is a logic I don’t really understand

The big loser is the socialist camp which was disciplined by its voters in more than one country (not only Germany).

This election showed once again, protest voting or refusing to vote out of protest against the current government will make room for extremist parties.

I’d like to give you an in depth view of the results, but so far we only have the bare results compiled by several sites, e.g. BBC, and analyses by countries themselves, i.e. not really accessible to me. If you don’t know which European party represents the one you voted, here’s a good explanation of the coalitions.

The new Parliament will get together for its first session on July 14th in Strasbourg. At the same occasion the fate of the current President will be sealed.

Originally published on and written for eurout.org

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

pet talk - who are you?

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This happened about two weeks ago. I looked outside the window and couldn't believe my eyes.
So, who are you?

My garden, but not my cat. And it got even stranger:

Maxi wasn't lying that far away and he didn't move a muscle.

Actually, the stranger is quite cute and even bold. He looked right into the camera. And I'm sure about him being a he ;)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

european election 2009

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Only the better part of two days and we will know the results. And while I liked discovering so many new things, mostly because of being the political editor at eurOut.org, I will be relieved when political life won't be dominated by the Elections anymore.

I admit, mostly it was my own fault. Apparently politicians believe that it's sufficient to reach out to voters 2 or 3 weeks before the elections? What about all those voters using "vote by mail"? Don't they have the right nor need to be informed too?

Thanks to Facebook and twitter I probably got more than the normal share of campaigning information, some sources proved very valuable and I'll keep following them.

The other part I cannot really grasp is why is everything different in France? All other countries have one national list; the French have 4 or 5 lists for the bigger regions. And it's so complicated to get information. There hasn't been a single poster in my community. Wednesday my girlfriend received material by mail and mine arrived yesterday! How am I supposed to build an opinion in such a short time frame?

Oh and the postage was paid, something on the letter says it's been sent from the mayor's office. Does this mean my tax money is being used to send material for parties whose names I refuse to write?

Thanks to the campaigns by D66, GroenLinks and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen I learned enough of the campaigns and have known for quite some time who will get my vote.

Tomorrow I'll make my first voting experience in France; I only hope I don't mess up ;)

Friday, June 5, 2009

favorite songs

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Still working on my mix tape and rediscovering some of my favorite songs and albums from back then. So why not share with you?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Favorite food - coffee

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Coffee is my elixir. If I don't get my morning coffee, or if I get bad coffee my day (and subsequently yours) will be hell.
I'm not even that picky, I like strong, short and long variants, with or without milk - it all depends on how it's been prepared.

The only coffee I don't like is that kind that tastes bitter, as if it had been reheated several times. Yikes- not even milk and sugar can save this.

I start most mornings with one or two pots prepared in a Bodum coffeemaker.

Later in the day I'll use Nespresso capsules or sometimes my Philips gourmet cafétiere. This machine uses filters and grounded coffee, the big difference is that the entire load of water is boiled in the reservoir and then pushed through the coffee powder very quickly. This gives you a coffee of intense aroma and - just like espresso - less caffeine.

As much as I love Nespresso coffee, I find it mighty inconvenient that I either have to visit a special Nespresso shop or order it online (which I'll end up doing most times).

Then recently, while shopping coffee for the Philips machine in an ordinary supermarket, I came upon the vast selection of blends for Senseo-machines. Back at home I started the project of convincing G that we needed to get a Senseo machine next. I was quickly successful, but we decided to wait until the Nespresso machine had to be replaced.

Until….we went shopping this week and among the remainders of Mother's day (like so many other things, the French do this their own way, not when the rest of the whole is celebrating) there were Senseo-machines for an incredible low price.

So now we're owners of a Senseo and busy tasting our way through coffee blends.

Tanita Tikaram wrote a song "The cappuccino song" which is featured on the album "The cappuccino songs", unfortunately I couldn't find a video for this song, so you have to contend yourself with an excerpt on last.fm

Oh, and I also love to read books about coffee, or women running coffee shops ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Music of the nineties

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Blame faith (faithfulchosen) and her nineties radio program at crossradio for this post. Her call for "requests ?" made me instantly think of Elastica and of my Brit-pop/Brit-grunge phase. These groups lay the grounds for many that came afterwards and one thing they almost all had in common was that they wrote their own material. There was an unusual rise in bands with female leaders, "leader" in its literal sense and not just as a pretty face.

Very spontaneously I suggested to make a mix tape for Natazzz, (there's something with eurOut, eurOut editors and mix tapes which needs to explored – but by somebody else than me) based on British albums from the nineties – out of my album collection.

First I had to import the albums to my media library and get reacquainted with them. I'm regularly surprised at the wondrous workings of my brain – can't remember where I placed a paper but remember the lyrics to songs I last heard 15 years ago.

Another surprise was me realizing that I do own more than two albums by guys and that while I was only looking for albums from the UK. My music collection is very eclectic but I've always preferred listening to women's voices. I found albums by Blur, Edwyn Collins, Radiohead, Supergrass, Suede and Prefab Sprout.

So far I've re-listened to Elastica, some Echobelly songs, Sleeper, Lush, Blur – well I own more than one album of each group ;) And I already know my next mix tape – American grunge from the nineties ;) Though I first need to finish this one.

I vividly remember the Elastica and Echobelly concerts. Echobelly's bass player was a lesbian (Debbie) and the venue they played was really, really small – after all it's was called "the world's couch", it was like any lesbian party, only with a live band playing. *g

I'll leave you with a typical song from that time:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

favorite language

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A couple of days ago there was this poll on facebook about your favorite language. Mind you, there were only five choices but the selection included some of the language I speak.

English, French, Spanish, German and Latin.

I took Latin back at school and hated it. I only wished I had come across Rita Mae Brown's "Starting from Scratch" earlier; I'm sure those classes would have been more fun.

German is my native language and I've lived in many different regions in Germany and sometimes hate how certain dialects but also groups of people butcher this language. It's not the most romantic language and it doesn't sound sexy when spoken, but it gives you so many possibilities with the times and nuances that I don't really understand why people would voluntarily reduce these possibilities.

English is a different matter; I learned this language at school, like most Europeans. I'm still regularly surprised when I meet people with five and more years of English classes, who are not able to speak the language.

I admire the Dutch and Scandinavians cause all I've ever met with those nationalities mastered this language to a level I'll probably never will.

And still I chose to write most of my blog posts in English, to the dismay of some (sorry, I'll try to write more in German in the future). I started reading books in English when I was about 16, discovered English tv-channels at about the same time – thanks to a satellite dish and listened for a long time exclusively to music with English lyrics.

So what's my favorite language? I'd love to speak Spanish, started this some years ago but never got far due to lack of time. Apparently I got the basics right – this might also be related to the despised Latin – cause I do understand bits and pieces of it, especially when written or when spoken by my brother-in-law (though that's a mix of Spanish and Catalan)

Surprise, surprise, it's French. I loved the language already before I was able to speak it - only some more years and I will have spent more years of my life in France than in Germany. There are many different dialects as well, not all of them sound nice to my ears and yet I still love this language.

I didn't have the best education at school, too much about using the right vocabulary and grammar, but once I got over this, I really had fun speaking this language. And the French didn't mind mistakes – ok, they were a special crowd and I sometimes felt as their mascot but those were great times.

French is very melodious, no matter from which region the speaker comes. They have preserved their origins by some harsh rules (specific amount of French songs on radio, etc.), but it's only done them good. The language is always related to a certain "savoir vivre" and "joie de vivre" and even though I hate writing the language, French is my favorite language.

And I love Paris, but that's a different post. This picture was taken in the Jardin des Tuileries (that's the park attached to the Louvre), looking onto the Place de la Concorde and the Tour Eiffel in the background.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Food: it’s all about….

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The colors? The preparation? The taste?

For me it's about all of that together, though I like the combination of contradicting flavors and colors are equally important, read more about his in my previous post My obsession with food and it's colors.

While cleaning up my iphone's photo cache I stumbled upon many, as in tons of, pictures of fruit salads. I do eat other things, but fruit salads seem to combine the best color compositions.

Don't you think so?

And my favorite picture:

There's some other use for strawberries, as demonstrated in the following pictures

And the finished product ;)

This is not a clafoutis, just in case you were wondering – I simply used a special pudding for baking.

And the last picture for today

Can you guess what this is, or better, going to be?

All pictures are mine, and except for the last one taken with my iPhone. The last picture was taken with a Canon Powershot S3 IS.


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