Friday, 21 December 2007

my christmas day

i just read another blog where the writer called everybody to write about how their christmas looks like, how they spend their christmas day or days. so that's what i'll try to do here:

on the morning of the 24th of december, my father usually puts up the christmas tree in the livingroom, which confuses our cat tremendously, each year again. my mother fetches all the christmastree-decorations from the cellar, and even the lights. then my younger brother Till puts up the lights and i decorate the tree.
we don't have any special lunch that day, as everybody is still really busy preparing the last presents or whatever we have to do. around two or three in the afternoon, i usually go and visit soem friends of mine, tine and jochen, in the neighbour-village. depending on the weather i either walk there, bike or take the train. this has been a tradition for at least 7 years now, i think, and it's really nice. we sit with their family and drink tea and talk and eat biscuits.

until last year, i always left them at around halv past four at the latest to go to church and attend the service there at 5pm. this year, we will - for the first time in my entire life - visit the service at 10pm instead, but i'll still have to leave tine and jochen around halv past four to be home for dinner.
dinner on christmas eve is usually something that doesn't take long o prepare, we have had raclette, but also cheese fondue or sauseges with potatoesallad, depending on what ideas my mother had. before or after dinner we go and get the presents and put them under the tree (the time depends on whatever we think is suitable..), and my father takes out some old or newer record to play - he even has som sort of really old thing to play special sorts of records with, but i don't even know what it's called in german..
anyway, we eat and spend the evening in the living room, with a fire in the well, closed fireside=)
at some time around eight we start handing out presents, which happens usually in the way that my brothers and me go and search for presents and hand them over to the person who is supposed to get it. then it's the huge unpacking session and everybody is watching, which is really really nice, and then, if there are things to be used in one or another way (such as games, cds, dvds etc.) they have - of course - to be tried out. also, my parents take out books with christmas-stories and read one or two of them.

on christmas day then it's a big dinner at noon with my grandmother and her companion, and coffee in the afternoon and a walk through the village (if the weather is nice)...

i guess i have forgotten and mixed up a whole lot of things, but they are changing each year anyway, so it won't matter...

Thursday, 20 December 2007


next year in march, i'll have lived in the 4th apartment within nine months - i never moved that often in such a short period of time. why that?

well, the guy who i share my apartment with right now (or better, he shares the apartment with me) is supposed to move out in the end of march, as the owner of the house wants to renovate the attic which is directly above the apartment. nothing wrong with that, but.
the thing is, he already knew about this when i moved in, but didn't tell me then. quote: "well, i couldn't tell you then because you wouldn't have moved in if you had known".
and the best thing is, if i hadn't heard from somebody else living in this house about that we might have to move out some time sooner or later, he wouldn't even have told me now - as a matter of fact, he only told me after i asked him if what i had heard was true.

(oh, and did i write that i got exams in january and a paper to write in february and that i actually don't have time at all for moving and packing??)


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

christmas gifts

this year, i really tried hard to have all christmas presents ready before december.. of course, i didn't manage, but at least i knew what to give away. as i still haven't bought everything (just, almost..) i really have to get started, and i also need to get finished those presents that i make on my own - liqueur.

in the end of october, i got the thought that it would be a lot of fun to try out some of these fruity alcoholic stuff, and when i thought a bit more about it, i decided to make not only a little bit, but so much that it would be enough to last for christmas presents.
so i obtained a lot of fruit (rosehips, quinces and plums), huge glasses, a considerable amount of strong liquor, some raw sugar and some spices as well (such as cinnamon-pieces). i cut down the fruit into smaller pieces (well, not the rosehips, those i just cut of the ends) and stuffed the pieces with sugar and spices into the glasses - two with quinces, two with rosehips and two with plums. then i filled the glasses up with different sorts of booze (vodka for the plums, korn for the quinces and brandy for the rosehips) and put them under my desk.

they were standing there until today, but now will be the time for truth - did everything go well?? (of course i've already tried all of them earlier..)
anyway, today i'll take out the fruit and spices and fill the liqueur into nice bottles to take to my grandmother and my parents. i really hope they'll like it..

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

kino kino

it's december, outside it's not even white, just grey and rainy, perfect cinema-time.last week i went to see two totally different movies in lüneburgs most charming cinema, the scala.

on thursday, together with a new acquaintance i went to see ulrich seidl's "import/export", a disturbing and hopeless picture about two young people looking for a way out of their miserable place in life. olga, a young mother from ukraine working as a nurse doesn't earn enough to live on, so she tries to make some extra money with online sex-services. it doesn't work out really, as she cannot understand anything of what the austrian callers expect her to do in front of the running camera. then, she recieves a letter, offering her to start a new life in austria - where she ends up as a cleaning woman in a hospital for elderly people, struggling with her impulse to take care of the patients, suffering both verbal and even physical attacs from a jealous and racist nurse.

the other part od the story follows a young austrian called pauli, who loses his job as security guard after a humiliating attac by a gang with immigrant background. he ows a lot of money to different people, including his stepfather, and after some weeks being unemployed, pauli has to follow his stepfather to ukraina, where they are supposed to put up chewinggum-machines and one-armed- bandits. he feels a deep digust for his stepfather who uses the time they got free to teach pauli the easiest way to find girls to fuck and who constantly displays the power he got over other people. in the end, pauli decides in the middle of deepwinter-ukraina to leave this life behind himself and start all over in that country totally strange to him.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Far away

i really miss a. a lot.
a few minutes ago, he sent a link with this comic here:

and it's just so true.
(i don't know who did the comic, but here is the link.)

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Ach, Glück - Monica Maron

tonight i went to a reading with the german author monica maron, who read out of her newest novel "Ach, Glück". it was part of a reading-series called LiteraturNord, the third part to be exact, and of all three readings up to now it was the most solid one, but also the most proper and, i have to admit, the most boring.

the book itself was easy and nice to read (if you don't know what to give your mom for a christmas-present and she likes to read - take this one!) , had some depths in it and just the right amount of comic moments, and it gave me something to think about. questions i consider important popped up in my mind while i read, about what it is that i want to do with my life, how i want to spend the time i have here and if i'm really living my own life - or somebody elses? what is it that makes my life worth living, and what to need to do to spice it up more? where am i stuck in old, quaving traditions and conventions and how did i end up there?

unfortunately, the author wasn't at all interested in answering questions afterwards, but didn't just say so. she showed that she was bored by the questions, but still tried to answer them, as part of the necessary process of the LiteraturNord, which is not only a series of readings but also a tournament where a jury and the audience give a price to the "best" of six authors. the atmosphere changed all the time between really stiff and kind of humorous (mostly when the author once again blocked a question by "well, i really can't answer this, it's just part of the writing process" or "of course she returns to the dog, i wrote that"), which felt kind of funny. i guess i mostly felt sorry for herr kramer who did his best trying to moderate the non-existing discussion..

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

i hereby declare it to be unisex!

last friday, on my trip to oslo, i couldn't get myself not to walk through the tax-free at bremen's airport and check out their perfumes. actually, i had been looking for some new fragrance for quite some time now. i am still really content with my "eau par kenzo", which feels sporty and refreshing, but already last winter i felt i could need something new, something that felt a bit warmer, more spicy and less fresh. for some time, i had been walking about "l'eau de cartier" (i guess i got a thing for watery perfumes, my first one being "cool water" by davidoff, the second one the above namend water by kenzo and now cartier's water..), which i also found at the tax free and thought i'd test it one more time, but..

directly next to the flacon, they had another one, as well by cartier, "déclaration", which i thought i might test as well - and it tested good. real good. i liked it so much that i bought it, more or less directly (well, after consulting a total stranger by putting my wrist under her nose and asking "what do you think??"). as i myself am rather untalented in describing perfumes, i quote some online shop selling the thing: "A fragrance introduced by the sensuality of birch wood, bergamot and bitter orange; juniper wood and artemisia mingle with cardamom, underlined by cold spices for the middle note; the base note finally emerges, sensually, releasing oak, cedarwood and vetiver, as an echo of the birch wood."
anyway, it feels warm and spicy and elegant enough to use for theatre or opera (and university as well=) and those who i asked all thought it fitted me well. the only thing that really made me wonder now was that when i was looking for a description of the fragrance, all onlineshops seemed to think it was a perfume for men??
i guess they all got something wrong, so now i hereby declare it to be unisex!!

Monday, 3 December 2007


back in lüneburg, after a wonderful weekend with a. in oslo. he moved into a new apartment last wedneday, so i helped him unpack a bit and, most important of all, build up his new bed. we just love swedish furniture to build up on your own=) not complicated at all... öhhhh...

it was a.'s birthday on saturday, so the plan was to invade the cinema "colosseum", which lies about 50m from his new place, and see "beowulf" in 3d. the cinema has, as far as i know, the world's greatest thx-hall, with 978 seats under a huge cupola. gorgeous! if you are looking for THE cinema-experience and you happen to be in oslo, go there. it's worth it. unfortunately, "beowulf" wasn't to be shown in the big hall, but in a smaller one, but that wasn't the worst thing: when we went there to buy tickets (the online selling was out of work) during the afternoon, they had problems with one of the ticketprinters, but instead of telling the people who were standing waiting what the problem was and to ask us to go to another ticket-counter, we were standing there for about 20min at least, getting rather pissed. the result was, that we went without tickets, and in the evening when we came back, the movie was sold out. bad luck. even more bad luck was, that our alternative (the new western with brad pitt with the horribly long title "the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford") had started about 30min before "beowulf, in another cinema. we decided on renting a movie instead, which was to be (after aproximately 45min of undeciding discussions..) the last james bond, "casino royale". good entertainment!
anyway, the plan to see jesse james on sunday and beowulf on saturday was gone, and as a. really wanted to see beowulf, we decided on one more try, got lucky and purchased two tickets. after the additional purchase of snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic - we are still in norway..), we got one of those fancy 3d-goggles outside the hall and tried to find our seats, which were somewhere in the middle and surrounded by a lot of people. we even managed to sqeeze through the masses to get there and sit down, and after about 15min of boring norwegian commercials and one (!) trailer, we were finally allowed to put on those fancy glasses and enjoy the movie.
well. enjoy and enjoy. while my nose was exposed to rather unpleasant smells (think "unwashed dog") from the right (it was not a.!!) and had to endure the weight of two pairs of glasses for almost two hours, my eyes got pretty soon irritated by all those 3d-effects. at times, the 3d was done really well and felt like something exciting and interesting, but most of the time it was too much we-want-to-use-this-effect-as-much-as-possible-in-your-face. then - well, i'm not very much into seeing ugly things, like slimy stuff dropping down of some monsters foul mouth, so grendel wasn't a nice experience.

most of all, i guess i was disappointed that the filmmakers didn't use the potential the story had, there were large time-gaps and basically no character-study or -development at all. a bit more focus on story/plot and characters and a wee bit less on the technical side (cgi-animation + 3d = no need for a good story??) would have helped. but that's only my opinion, and as a. said: "for you, the best movies are black and white, coarse-grained and by alfred hitchcock." he definitely had a point there...

Thursday, 29 November 2007

blood and bones

i just listened to SjMcArdles "new" songs (well, they're not so new, it's just i never listened to them earlier - shame on me) on his myspace page, and decided to promote him and his music a bit. it's been quite a few years now since his first album "lancelot", and even 2 years or even more since "year of the tiger", and now i'm eagerly waiting for his new album, which is a project being written and recorded in nashville. it's described as "futuristic roots music", think 16 horsepower, helldorado, irish folk, leonard cohen with some electronics. and sj's wonderful voice.
listen into "blood and bones" here!!


i just stumbled over a site on the net which i have to say i really like. i love making lists, and always have wanted to catalogue my books (and dvds and cds).

the site i found is called librarything, and you can get an account (for free) and, very easily, add books to your virtual catalogue. it's perfect! or, at least, almost. if your book is not to be found in any of the 99 online sources you can chose to search, you're just unlucky. or at least, i didn't find out any compensation yet. but probably i just didn't find it yet. and until then - i still got a whole bookshelf to add...

oh, and one other nice thing is that you can write reviews about books, and connect other users you know (or maybe don't..) and i don't know what other functions there are, but there is a whole world of books to explore.
for me, it's like my imdb-account (a catalogue of basically all the movies i ever saw up to now) or my account on that swedish site where you could put all your cds in a virtual catalogue. i have to admit, i didn't use that site very long or often, but imdb is something like a bible of movies, at least in combination with the swedish site filmtipset.
i love it. maybe i should have studied to become a librarian after all??

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

art and its market

i learned 2 things in class today:

a) if you, as a private person, want to sell a piece of art, you don't need to worry about taxes (in germany). you don't have to pay taxes for making money with arts, as long as you are a private person, meaning as long as you don't work within the arts-market or as long as you are not the painter of the picture you want to sell. good to know!!

b) if you want to sell a stolen picture, make sure it's not one of those overly well-known pieces of art (before you steal it, of course), because then, you won't even need a black market to sell it. if the picture is not famous, nobody will write about the theft in the press (or, even if, will remember after half a year), and so, most of the gallerists won't even notice if you sell them a stolen picture. nice, eh? good to know...

i guess i should see that nice movie again, the one with audrey hepburn and that guy.. "how to steal a million"...

oh, and about black markets, in case you need one: don't search north of bavaria. the more sun the more black market... the third thing i learned in class today =)

palazzo reale II, david lachapelle

this weekend, i finally hung up the poster i bought at the second exhibition i saw in milano at the palazzo reale, an exhibition with photographies by david lachapelle. i went to see the exhibition together with rana and some of her friends, but as everyone had his or her own pace, i basically saw most of it on my own anyway.
the exhibition was some kind of retrospective, it covered a huge part of lachapelles work from "lost" pictures from the 70s via star-portraits and musicvideos of the 90s till his most recent works. it was not sorted chronologically, but rather following different themes that come up in the course of his work as a photographer, with the result of a highly imaginative and to a certain extend complex show.

there were a lot of pictures which i liked for totally different reasons, some for the energy which was displayed, some for their sheer beauty, some others for the colours, and all of them for giving me a lot to think.
the most interesting, i thought, was a series in which he cited classic pieces of christian art, like the pieta in st.peter in rome, with courtney love as the maria, some young man looking like kurt cobain on her knees. there were other biblical themes to see as well, all of them in contemporary settings such as new york and in bright colours.
another series that fascinated me is called "awakened", a series of whole-body-portraits of people under water, fully dressed. the colours were bleak, which is a strong contrast to most of lachepelles other pictures, and it never seemed to be quite sure if these people were really alive.

the picture i bought as a poster for my room is, i think, part of a series called "small landmarks", a series with beautiful models with big hair in blonde and red in a park with miniature models of castles and other landmarks. it is called "collapse in a garden"...

Monday, 26 November 2007

peter grimes at staatsoper hannover

yesterday, i went on an excursion with around 40 other students from my university to the opera in hannover to see benjamin britten's "peter grimes" in an inscenation of Barrie Kosky. i didn't really know what to expect, even though i had read the wikipedia-article about it earlier in the day. i cannot really say that it will become my favourite opera of all times, but it made some impression, and it gave me a lot to think about.

the piece is, in short, about the fisherman peter grimes and his relationship to the villagers/townspeople of "the burrough", who despise him and make fun of him. the tenor who had his role seemed to be perfect to impersonate this man, he was both ugly and frightening, but still to be pitied in his lonelyness. peter grimes is a man with dreams about a better future for both himself and a teacher, ellen, whom he wants to marry as soon as he has made enough money so they can live well together and without being the subject of people's gossip. all the same, he is a brutal man, beating up his apprentice, never giving him a minute of rest from work and finally causing his death by sending him down the slippery cliff to get the boat ready for fishing.
earlier, he had already caused the death of an other apprentice of his, which was decided by the court to be accidental, but none of the villagers believe this and call him a murder. during the play, they form a mob to lynch him i the end, which doesn't happen because he sails out on the sea to sink himself with his ship (one of his two only friends advised him to do).

at some point during the story he is asked, why he won't move to another place, where people don't know him and won't gossip, to start a new life. his answer is, that he is rooted where he is and therefore cannot go. another answer implied by his actions is, that he hasn't given up on his dream to be able to change the villagers picture of him, a dream which is as impossible as to escape the gossip, which probably would follow him wherever he went (if he moved someplace else). it's a situation in which he can only lose.

both the stage-setting and the lighting, but also the singers' make-up reminded me a lot of roy andersson's movies "songs from the second floor" and "you, the living". the opera also contained some of those movies' hope- and helplessness. it was said that there were more than 500 wooden boxes on the stage, all in all, as background and part of the different locations. those boxes almost had a life of their own, haunting peter grimes together with the villagers, and in the same time being his home.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

palazzo reale I, vivienne westwood

when in milano, i saw (amongst a lot of other interesting things) two exhibitions at the palazzo reale, which lies next to the duomo.

the first one i saw (and went to see on my own) was about vivienne westwood, her life and, most important, her fashion. the exhibition gave the right amount of information about her life to understand her development within the fashion world, and especially the development of her style. it was interesting to see how her working-class background influenced her especially in the beginning of her carreer, when she and her first husband created the punk-look, and how her reading about fashion and its history gave her new ideas all the time.

it was amazing to follow the rooms of the exhibition, which was sorted chronologically, and to see how she picked ideas from pictures she saw and books she read during the time, and how she wasn't afraid of copying, thus creating her very own style. i think i only saw one or two dresses i could think of wearing myself, but that's not really the point. i guess her fashion is art, much more than that of any other designer i saw until now. her dresses seem more like sculptures to me, some are surrealistic, some others really baroque, while her shoes look really futuristic. she is so creative and so eccentric, i just have to admire her...

Saturday, 24 November 2007

the last unicorn

some time ago, i bought the dvd of the movie "the last unicorn". the film is one of my childhood-favourites (along with both the disney- and the 1938-Errol-Flynn-version of robin hood), but i always felt like i couldn't really remeber it. so, yesterday i took my time to watch it again after at least 15 years, and i have to say that it hasn't lost any of its magic at all.
the music feels - even though it is a bit kitschy - timeless (and, as i watched the movie in the original with german subtitles, i finally understood the lyrics of america's title-song...) and the voices (in the original) match the characters extremely well. Above all, i loved christopher lee as the evil king haggard (i just fall for dark voices..) and mia farrow as the unicorn, but alan arkin did a nice job as well.
the animations are said to be an hommage to the early disney-animations from before the 60s, but they seem, as a lot of asian (probably japanese) people were involved in the making, influenced by japanese arts, such as hokusai's "the great wave". the film has so much grace and lightness in it, i was just amazed.
i also read that there was to be a remake with real actors, but as i couldn't find any information about when or where or who, i guess it was just rumors...

Friday, 23 November 2007

just. start. writing. again.

well, after a real good long weekend in milano, i finally decided to finally start writing my blog. it's not as if i never blogged before, actually i do that quite frequently on, but i kind of never find the link to my page there and as well, i write in swedish, which is rather unpractical if i want other people to be able to read all the nonsense i got to say. so now, this is it. i hope everybody enjoys it.

i'm not quite sure what it is i'll be writing about. you know, some people write about their journey somewhere, others about food or film or whatever it is they are interested in. like maybe motorcykles or frogs or the daily weatherreportanalysis. first i thought, i'd write about different things withing culture, after all, i study culture, and you could press basically everything in that drawer. on the other hand i do know myself and i'm pretty sure the whole thing is going to be nothing more and nothing less than a more or less accurate, picky and not at all regular diary. still, it will include my thoughts about christmas (it's coming closer..), film, arts, theater, fashion, food and everything else i got an interest in.

for today, or at least, today around eleven in the morning, i'll content myself with this and the fact that i'm already late for my lunch with dagmar att the university. and i hate my computer for being so stupidly slow at times.