Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Music Challenge (17): A song that you hear often on the radio

I'm not a radio person. When I'm on my own I spend most of the day in quietness and when I feel like music I pick a cd. But at my mum is very much a radio lover so I'm passively listening to a lot of radio...a lot of SWR4...the Germans will know what that means. Radio for old people playing nearly only German oldies, pop and folk songs...yeah, you can cringe now ;-) But I'm so used to it by now listening to all that shit makes me feel at home. A negative side effect - I can sing along with the majority of tracks and get nasty nasty earworms.

Die Flippers: "Bye Bye Belinda"

Back to Black

Although it wasn't unexpected and of course is overshadowed by the horrible events in Norway - I was truly shocked by the news that Amy Winehouse has died. "Back to Black" must be one of my favourite albums of all times, I like(d) her for the cool attitude and weird style. For the fact that she made it trendy to wear soft pink ballet flats pretty much anywhere. For making me think that tattoos are actually stylish and pretty. And for opening a new chapter in music history so people like Paloma Faith, Adele or Duffy could follow...
Being a member of the 27 Club might sound exciting, I'm sure she would have been better off alive and singing....

Here a beautifully written piece on her death by Russell Brand (who is surprisingly sane in this one):

For Amy - Russell Brand

...goes round and round

 A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a mascara on Grazia UK's Facebook page. Always great to win something!
Yesterday I gave it a proper look for the first time and had to laugh. The mascara has a battery in it and rotates!!! Have to confess I haven't tried it yet and maybe the effect justifies it, but: how lazy does one have to be to need a mascara with a rotating brush!?!
Anyway, well excited about trying it out tomorrow now :-)
If anyone wanna check it out (but don't be disappointed, it's only rotating not vibrating lol):

Bourjois Volume Fast Perfect Mascara

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Music Challenge (16): A song that you used to love and now hate

I'm sure there are others and I can't say I really hate this now (I mean, how often exactly do I come across it nowadays? Never). But I just wanted to show how old I am...and how bad my taste was back in 1888 :-) When my biggest joy was watching the Mini Playback Show and re-enacting it the next day with my best friend Maria during the school breaks...those were the days.

C.C.Catch: "Heartbreak Hotel"

Friday, 22 July 2011

Music Challenge (15): A song that describes you

A difficult one.The only one that vaguely fits is this one. A German song about a woman who seems to be content with her grown-up life but reflects that it would have been nicer and easier if she would have been popular and not an outcast when she was 16...
Ok, it's not at all that dramatic with me but when I was 16 I definitely was a freak and sometimes wished to be "normal" and belong to the school's cool crowd.
Anyway, now I look at some of them and suddenly realize that now I'm pretty cool compared to them. Yeah :-)

Annett Louisan: "Chancenlos"

Pas de Deux


I want this skirt. Got the new h&m catalogue this week and absolutely adore most of their new things! Lovely colours and lovely shapes...unfortunately I don't have the space, need or money to get anything new at the moment. But this skirt makes me wonder...my inner ballerina wants it badly. Lovely shade of pink. The German in me (rational, outspoken and realistic) says that mid-lenghts are so unflattering and this skirt will make a already not small behind look enormous...maybe the sales will decide for me.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Music Challenge (14): A song that no one would expect you to love

Eminem: "Lose yourself"

no more comment needed as I really don't think you expected that from me. But liked the film and fell in love with the song. See, I'm actually much cooler than everyone thinks ;-)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Music Challenge (13): A song that is a guilty pleasure

I'm not a christmas person. I had times when the 24.12. meant the worst day of the year for me. Now I can live with it and ignore it more or less but the prospect of being closer to christmas compared to the time gone since the last one does not excite me in the slightest...
Aaaanyway, my guilty pleasure (out of various as I can resist anything but temptation ;-)):

Slade: "Merry Xmas everybody"

This song reminds me of my first pre-christmas time spent in England where everything was exciting and new and I shopped like mad. It showed me that this day doesn't have to be all gloomy and serious in a German way but light and fun! I love it and don't mind listening to it 365 days a year :-) If that's not a guilty pleasure I don't know...

Music Challenge (12): A song from a band you hate

As others doing the challenge before I find it a bit too much to actually hate a band. I can dislike them...and then simply ignore them by not listening to their songs (which is easy as I don't listen to the radio). A band I dislike is the German band "Die Ärzte". I know that they have a huge fan crowd and that their lyrics are oh so funny and the live shows amazing but: I don't like them. I think they are ugly (oh yes, I can be superficial sometimes) and I just don't like the whole attitude. One song I do quite like though and that is:

Die Ärzte: "Schrei nach Liebe"

Monday, 18 July 2011

Possession by A.S. Byatt

A book I have spend quite some time with now. I had to read it for a uni seminar and so it was part of my final British Studies exam now as well (which went very well...and was the reason I hadn't got enough time for blogging recently).
Although A.S. Byatt has published quite a lot until now and even won the Booker prize for "Possession" I had never heard of her before I have to admit.

First a quick summary:

Obscure scholar Roland Michell, researching in the London Library, discovers handwritten drafts of a letter by the prestigious (fictional) Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash, which leads him to suspect that the married Ash had a hitherto unknown romance. He feels compelled to take away the documents secretly - an unprofessional act - and begins to investigate. The trail leads him to Christabel LaMotte, a minor poet and contemporary of Ash, and to Dr. Maud Bailey, a modern LaMotte scholar and distant relative of LaMotte's family, who is drawn into helping Roland with the unfolding mystery. They become obsessed with uncovering the truth and unearth more letters and evidence of an affair between the poets, and their own personal romantic lives - neither of which are happy or even satisfactory - develop and become entwined in an echo of Ash and LaMotte, whose story is told in parallel to theirs.


Where to start!? It is definitely one of the most complex books I have read so far!
While reading it, my feelings towards it were quite mixed. I liked the story and had no troubles getting into the plot. I like Byatt's thoughtful, extremely detailed and beautiful language.
The downside: The book includes many (fictive) Victorian poems as well...and unfortunately I'm not a big fan of poetry. So I caught myself skipping some of them...But I promise I will give them my full attention and concentration when I will re-read the novel (which will certainly happen one day!).

The Victorian characters are presented in-depth, the modern ones are more stereotypical and two-dimensional. There is a lot of parody going on but probably not everyone will understand it. It's an absolute feast for lovers of fairy tales, myths and intertextual references in general - if you don't wanna know about that you will miss out a lot and might get overwhelmed more than once.
The plot is well crafted but for me it had a bit too much of a Dan Brown feel to it towards the end.

Of course I'm biased as I did read a lot of secondary literature about it while preparing for my exam.
The more you find out, the more you discover in the story...a book with some lengths but stunning in literary terms while still being entertaining enough for "normal" readers.
Not an easy read but so worth it (and so much worth it than watching the film adaptation)!

Music Challenge (11): A song from my favourite band

I really had to think about this one. I like quite a few bands and might even have a favourite band time to time but THE one? Hmm...could be The White Stripes, could be Oasis...or Bon Jovi...or...
So for this one I decided on Franz Ferdinand. I like most of their stuff and can spend ages on youtube watching there videos, adoring their style and attitude.
And this song is extra nice as it reminds me of a sunny afternoon in winter some years ago when I first climbed up Primrose Hill. I took some beautiful pics of the sunset and later added this song to make a slide show thingy out of it. Funny how we sometimes make connections were there in fact weren't any.

Franz Ferdinand:  "Eleanor put your boots on"

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Music Challenge (10): A song that makes you fall asleep

I can't say I ever fell asleep while listening to this particular song but it's going on a bit, isn't it?! Especially
if someone decides to sing the full version in a karaoke bar...still like it though.

Music Challenge (9): A song that you can dance to

I might be a ballerina trapped in a rhino's body (yes, I never was a skinny girl and still there was a time when I dreamed of becoming a classical dancer, haha...) but I have never seen a club from the inside. Honest. So no "social" dancing for me. But I went to the usual ballroom dancing lessons when I was about 14years old and enjoyed it (the dancing, not the forced smalltalk, first romances of other people and the sweaty palms). My favourite dances were and still are ChaChaCha and Rumba. I never have had the occasion since to do some "proper" dancing but when I listen to that version of the song I can at least dream about it.

Coldplay/Rhythms del Mundo: "Clocks"

Black Swan

I saw this film a few months ago and to be honest I'm still unable to form a clear opinion about it.
Although I think it is pretty well known (as Natalie Portmann won the Oscar for playing the main character), here a short summary:

Nina (Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. (source: imdb)


I am a big ballet fan so I simply had to see the film. What made me hesitate was that parts of the film were described as creepy and I am so not a horror film fan ( e.g. when I was small I was terrified of the care bear film...).
A film with a dark side, set in the ballet milieu, with the enchanting Tschaikowski music, a blurring of reality and fiction and good actors - I was determined to like it.
It is a good film...but I found it too dark at times. You leave the cinema all wondering about what is true and how horrible it must be to get mental problems as Nina has (at least that was on my mind). The scary bits were quite scary, there are some pretty disgusting scenes too but the worst bit is that constant baleful atmosphere. I think I have a pretty good idea of what the ballet scene can be like and that it is not all pink, and sweet and elegant but I don't think I would like to see  "Black Swan" again too soon.
Especially the bits were she transforms were too much for me and spoiled it. As much as I love all the (positive)  weirdness and transformations in "Amelie", if they turn dark it is really not my cup of tea.
And if Portmann deserved the Oscar? Not sure either, she looks scared and haunted in the film...from the beginning to the end, hmm.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Music Challenge (8): A song that you know all the words to

there are several others (like e.g. "Wonderwall") but this one came to my mind first - no need for further comments I guess.

"Summer of 69" by Bryan Adams

Monday, 11 July 2011

Music Challenge (7): A song that reminds you of a certain event

Ok, this is only funny if you understand German.
But I love the German comedian Hennes Bender...I find him extremely funny and as a plus he looks a bit like my husband (who will be not amused if her reads that here ;-)).
Some years ago I went to one of his live gigs in a very small and cosy venue in Wiesbaden together with my best friend. We sat in the second row and had a great time...and then he played a ringtone saying that probably no one in the audience knows where the music originally is from. I knew it...and I was such a nerd that I had to say it...the ouverture to "Guillaume Tell" by Gioachino Rossini. He was delighted and wanted to know my name. So far so good. He knew my name and I learned that whatever happens, a comedian should NEVER know ones name. When the episode that you can see in the video came, I was his dance victim. And I so didn´t want to so he in the end had to find another dancing partner. I was embarrassed...but it was my own bloody fault for being Mrs. Know-it-all. And I still love Hennes Bender and think I should have been more brave back then :-)

The song is "Dreams are my reality" by Richard Sanderson

Music Challenge (6): A song that reminds you of somewhere

Our school skiing trip to Neukirchen, Austria in grade 8.
I didn't want to go, was afraid of homesickness. I was (/am) so not sporty so my interest in skiing was non existent. 10 long days away from home with a pubescent school class full of wannabe- romances and their failures and several half-hearted suicide attempts of girls standing on my balcony handrail...it was as annoying as it sounds, I didn't get involved and dreamed of going to theatre instead and being back within my own life. And while skiing (which sounds way posher than the reality was) I had this song on my mind...always, no idea why apart from having heard it on a Kuschelrock compilation.

"'74 -'75" by The Connells

After 10 days of terror, homesickness, gruesome food and nearly breaking legs we came home again and I kissed the ground. I hate Austria since then...but I still like the song.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

I finally won something in a blog competition...

...and it is this lovely (and very suitable for me concerning my hobby) necklace :-)

Thank you, Sarah and Lisa from Lebeberlin !!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Music Challenge (5): A song that reminds you of someone

2004 I worked at a local theatre festival and went to Frankfurt to see a Finnish play. One of my best friends came as well and brought her best friend, J, who I never met before. We all got on extremely well and formed a friendship trio. I found out about their love for karaoke and it didn't take long until I joined in. One summer we spend at least 3 nights a week together touring the pubs and bars of the the region for karaoke evenings. We had a lot of fun and I even started singing as well (although always with at least one partner, never alone).  Their favourite song which they nearly always sang was:

"All for love" by Bryan Adams, Sting and Rod Stewart

Although it never was as intense again as during that one summer filled with music, long conversations and train rides, films watched together and nights wasted playing Cluedo, we still had a lot in common and spend an awful lot of time together. As time went by it became harder to see each other regularly. Me being often in England and falling in love, they being busy graduating from uni. J forgot my birthday, me being extremely sensitive when it comes to that deleted her in my first rage from a social network profile. She was pissed of and so was I. No one wanted to make the first step again, our poor third member was trying to mediate the situation. I finally wanted to make a change and apologized. We have met again, rarely, it always has been nice but that special bond was gone. I tried to stay in touch, to revive that old trio but so far it hasn't worked out again...but when I hear that song (which we never actually sang all together) I will always think of the great times we had (and the knowledge that friendships are not always forever).

Friday, 8 July 2011

Music Challenge (4): A song that makes you sad

The REM open-air concert in Wiesbaden, 2003. I went because it was just around the corner, hardly knowing any songs of them. I had a broken heart...a very broken heart...a freshly broken heart...was full of valerian and St. John's wort which didn't help a thing. And then this song came up...sort of comforting just didn't realize it back then.

"Everybody hurts" by REM

I like it...but I will always think back of that time when I felt so rotten...

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Music Challenge (3): A song that makes you happy

One of those songs that instantly pick me up and make me more happy and energetic is this one. First cause it makes me think of one of my favourite films "The boat that rocked" and second as it comes from a time I rather would have lived in.

"All day and all of the night" by The Kinks

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Music Challenge (2): Your least favourite song

Again, there are too many songs in this world with are unbelievably bad, annoying, upsetting, etc.
My spontaneous idea when I heard " least favourite" :

"Umbrella" by Rihanna

Hate the song, hate her voice which sounds more like a rusty watering can and hate her whole attitude. And what makes it the worst: the fact you hear it once and then it is stuck in your mind for the whole day...ella, ella, ella, ey, ey, ey...arrrrrgh!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I wanna be like Grace Kelly, yeah

before the next big royal wedding of the year is completely forgotten again, here a collection of things that I noticed (of coursed I watched it with a lot of anticipation):

1. The live commentary by the ZDF - a desaster. So many mistakes, so much bullshit said (who thinks that Jutta Kleinschmidt - a Paris/Dakar driver who happens to live in Monaco makes a suitable guest reporter for a royal wedding?!?), they missed exciting guests, and embarrassed themselves with the (Freudian) mistake of saying "Trauerfeier" (funeral) instead of "Trauung" (wedding).

2. Monaco itself - I don't care how often I get told how beautiful and safe and lovely it is. For me it looks like a Brasilian ghetto and if I would have the millions to belong to the it-crowd I would for sure find somewhere better than a shoebox apartment in the 24th floor with a racetrack to my feet.

3. Prince Albert - dressed in white. Not sexy.

4. Princesses Caroline and Stefanie, horrible. Common. Arrogant (e.g. Caroline´s daugter!!!). And Stefanie looks more and more like a man which can´t be a good thing.

5. Jean-Michel Jarre without a tie, sunglasses on and on the phone while waiting for the ceremony to begin. Lacking any respect and taste.

6. VIP guests taking photos during the ceremony. For fucks sake, you are supposed to be an a-list celeb - you should be the star and not play the paparazzo.

7. Many many mismatched hats and dresses...looks like some got surprised by the sunny weather and the dresscode.

8. The music, kitsch.


9. The bride. Beautiful veil, boring rest. Desastrous baby blue outfit for the registrar´s office. Face expression like a cow, a cow attending a funeral...will that marriage last??

But all in all I can´t get enough of royal weddings. And it was nice to see the other royal couples again.

Music Challenge (1): Your favourite song

As it is absolutely impossible for me to just pick one song now, I decided to pick the first suitable song that comes to my mind for the challenge and still think it should be a weird mix at the end.

So, my favourite song is:
I just don't know with myself by "The White Stripes".

Even after using it in a uni project years ago, I still love it. And the video of Kate Moss, now mostly blocked by annoying youtube for being "inappropriate", pfff.
Anyway, great mix between a ballad and a rock number, great song and I simply adore the White Stripes (too bad they split...). And it helps that Jack White is sexy, in a weird way...:-)