Thursday, January 31, 2008

I always thought

... starting to walk on the legs only was a mistake.

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Now I see I'm not alone.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Star Wars again

And another Star Wars parody:

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But what would the noble rebels have looked like, had this been the Death Star?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Vampire Cat strikes again

Now she has slept ...

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... the Vampire Cat is up to no good!


A few weeks ago I learned about a project, a book with about 10 short stories (well, about 20 pages each). I decided to get a story in as well, but I lacked inspiration. Not any longer.

I just didn't know what kind of fantasy story to write. "Thorns" was too short and in English, so I'd have to translate it. I had nothing else on my hard disk I could salvage for the story. Until yesterday in the evening when I went to bed, I had no idea what to write.

This morning, though, when I woke up, everything had changed. I could remember the remnants of a dream - a strange dream, even from my personal experience. I had dreamt I was a dragon guarding its hoard. Within the time I needed to get up and ready to leave, I had penned out the story in my head.

"Ein Drachenleben" (A Dragon's Life) will be the title. It will encompass the life of a dragon from birth (well, hatching, actually) to death, telling a couple of special scenarios. 'My' dragon will begin to fly at the age of 10, will be able to breathe fire after 100 years of life, will mate, will gather a hoard, will fight humans. Some help for the finer details will come from books and other sources, maybe even the internet, surely the DVD "Dragon's World" which is highly interesting. I always found the 'mating dance' pictured there breathtaking, but I'm not going to just copy it.

So I now have the inspiration I need and writing about 20 pages won't take much longer than a week or two. Sometimes life is just great, eh?

"Sleepy Hollow" and why I like it

The Tim Burton version of "Sleepy Hollow" is one of my favourite movies. Some people might nod knowingly now and say something like "ah, Johnny Depp" - and, well, they wouldn't be completely wrong - but not completely right either.

I've always liked the story of the headless horseman, saw the Disney version (in which the school teacher - the original role of Ichabod Crane - really looks ridiculous) as a child, read the original story by Washington Irving.

And as far as actors are concerned, "Sleepy Hollow" has a lot to offer, too. Want some examples? Christopher Lee (too many well-known roles to mention here, most well known as "Dracula" or, these days, as Saruman from "Lord of the Rings") as Judge in New York, Ian Richardson (Senator Palpatine/the Emperor in "Star Wars" I, II, III and VI) as doctor of Sleepy Hollow, Miranda Richardson (by now known as Rita Skeeter in "Harry Potter" IV and V), Christopher Walken (will always remember him in "God's Army"), Christina Ricci (loved her as Wednesday in "The Addams Family") and, of course, Johnny Depp.

And, just as a little treat, the horseman himself is actually German - even in the original story. The "Hessian" he is called. That's an area in Germany, not too far from where I live.

What I like most, though, is the whole look of the movie. It's dark, it looks almost sketchy sometimes. Most of it seems to be in sepia tones. The surroundings of Sleepy Hollow look surreal, not only the gallows tree. There's Ichabod's strange instruments, the dream sequences, the fighting scenes, the many times the hero looses his consciousness in the movie (must be the most-fainting male leading character in a horror movie). There's deceit, betrayal, but also bravery and love - everything a movie really needs, especially a good horror movie.

I've liked most Tim Burton movies I've seen so far (even "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which isn't really 'my' kind of movie at all), but "Sleepy Hollow" (together with the two animated works "A Nightmare before Christmas" and "The Corpse Bride" and his experimental animated short "Vincent") is my favourite. It draws me in every time I see it, even if it's as a small window on my computer screen while I'm doing other stuff. (Like writing a post about why I like the movie.)

For me "Sleepy Hollow" represents the perfect blend of horror and fantasy, taking the audience into a world far away from them (in time, if not in place) that's both realistic (to a certain degree mirroring the world in which the original story was written and set) and absolutely fantastic (with a dead man without a head riding out for revenge).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Good news

... for my friends in a blizzard:


I might not eat them, but would I let them live?

There are days

i am utterly astounded, loldogs n cute puppy pictures - I Has a Hotdog!
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... when this dog would not be astounded of me.

A coincidence?

Last weekend (well, the weekend before this one) I wrote I was going to watch "Blow Dry" on DVD. I did. This Saturday I went to the hairdresser to get a haircut. Coincidence?

Well, yes and no. Yes, because I wasn't inspired by the movie (as good as it is) to get a haircut, I need to go to the hairdresser at least once every 12 weeks (once every 8 weeks is better) and it was time again. And no, because watching the movie put the principle of getting a haircut fresh into my mind. And then I peeked into my favourite hairdresser's shop on Saturday and it was almost empty. What more signs from fate do you need? Naturally I went in and got myself a new haircut. (Although the hairdresser who did it, didn't look like Alan Rickman at all - for starters, it was a woman.)

But I've had more 'coincidences' like this one in my life. Take, for example, the time while I was still studying. Among the lectures I took was one about vampires in literature and movies. (A very good lecture, actually, which probably was why it was so full.) At that time - just as today - I was reading "Discworld" novels. A new novel came out during those six month and which one was it? "Carpe Jugulum" - a novel dealing with all those ideas humans have about vampires. A new vampire movie was out as well. (Well, vampire movies come and go in waves.) The blood-sucking fiends seemed to be everywhere around me.

It has happened again and again in my life - can't even remember all the 'coincidences' like that clearly. And it has been useful.

As I wrote before, I've gathered knowledge in some pretty strange areas. Like magic, sharks, the more elusive areas of history. I started to read and later on write in English just for fun (and so I could read novels earlier and publish my stories online for a larger audience). Now I've got a job because of it. Other knowledge has come in handy, too. (Well, didn't have to deal with sharks eye in eye yet, but history and magic already were useful already.)

Got my first job in telemarketing, because I'd studied computer science and information technology for a while. Got my flat, because I wanted to move out at the right time and my parents knew my landlord. Coincidences...

Life can be strange sometimes and it's never wrong to learn something, if you want a morale to come out of this.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Muses

... of theatre ...

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... in a modern form.

Weekend update

And here we go again, the weekly weekend update.

  • DVD to watch: Nothing special this week, but I'd like to watch "Sleepy Hollow" once more.
  • Book to read: "The Surgeon" by Tess Gerritsen
  • Game to play: Nothing planned, maybe "The Sims 2" - still working at my neighbourhood.

Apart from that I'm planning to write, to continue my stories and maybe also write a couple of blog posts, so keep your eyes open next week.

Friday, January 25, 2008


That's why I don't play mages in rpgs:

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You're always vulnerable to close quarter attacks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


... from the Discworld-novels wouldn't like this picture.

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But then, he doesn't like his name either.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


My boss always says something, and this proves it right:

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"The devil is a squirrel"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not any longer

... luckily ...

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... I'm working in telemarketing. Import is so much more interesting.

Missing: Creativity

It's strange, really strange. When I really have time to be creative, I usually don't get the ideas. (And the idea to this post was sparked by Elisabeth and her post about Multitasking and Creativity.)

Take my current work situation. We don't have much to do (which is absolutely atypical for the company I've just started working for - or so my boss tells me). Therefore I quite often get sent home early. That is okay by me - being at home and able to work on my stuff is much better than sitting in the office and waiting for something to turn up. But I'm more creative - usually at least - on days when I work my full eight hours and come home afterwards. Well, days like yesterday are an exception - I was home early and creative.

On the other hand, my little horror novel "Phoenix Song" (published here, search for the title or my nickname "Cay Reet"; it's also online at "Geschichtenschmiede", but the site itself is in German, although the story is not) was written while I was unemployed for a mere month. It's only about 80 pages, but then, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" isn't longer.

So I didn't write as much as I could have written (there's two crime novels waiting for completion on my hard disk) during the last year. I wasn't missing time, I was missing the drive to write and the creativity necessary for good writing. Instead I tended to my blog a lot.

To write good fiction, it seems, I need some stress - or a limited time resource. Then the fiction gives me a way to escape it, so I hope the drive to write will come back, now that I've got steady work again.

So what will I write? I'll definitely finish my crime novels one day - but they're both in German, the older one over a hundred pages long already. I'll also write a new Fantasy short story in German, as I've got an offer to maybe publish in an anthology (but I need a good plot first, the one from "Thorns" will not work again). Then there's "Teria" (*whistles innocently again*). And there are two fan fictions I'd like to finish: "Opposites Attract" and "Blood and Honour". "Surely not Barbie's Diary" also falls into that category for me - it's a fictional diary, after all. And whatever my sometimes over-imaginative mind might throw at me in the future...

Currently I'm not missing creativity ... and I hope it stays that way.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Kiss me

I did ...

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Never trust an amphibian.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


And once more, Kate gave me the link to a nice quiz:

Your results:
You are Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)

Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
River (Stowaway)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Medicine and physical healing are your game,
but wooing women isn't a strong suit.

Click here to take the Serenity Firefly Personality Test

I like Serenity, by the way.

Captain Hook would like to hear this

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... but Peter Pan is still around.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I bet on the shark

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... even if they get a bigger boat.

Weekend update

After my first complete week of work, the weekend has finally come. And I've even got good news: The first post for "Surely not Barbie's Diary" is ready and out. And now back to the weekend update:

  • DVD to watch: "Who framed Roger Rabbit" and "Blow Dry"
  • Book to read: either "The Surgeon" or "The Bone Garden", not decided yet
  • Game to play: "Blood Ties" and "Turbo Subs"

That's it for now. But more is to come after a weekend to compose some more posts.

Ever met Dr. Mabuse?

I should hope not.

I'm not completely sure if this super villain is known outside Germany, to be honest. Even inside Germany, many young people probably have no idea who he is - or rather was.

It all started in the 1920s when a man named Norbert Jacques invented a character named Dr. Mabuse, a man who could control people with the help of his hypnotic abilities - and who, naturally, used this power to gain wealth and influence, even becoming the head of a crime syndicate. Two movies were produced at that time, loosely based on the novels, by one of the most renown directors of German movie history, Fritz Lang.

Afterwards, nothing happened for a long time. The novels (which aren't very good) were forgotten and the movies (without sound, as usual during the 1920s) shared their fate. Then, in the 1960s, German movie companies were searching for new movies to produce and stumbled over the original Dr. Mabuse movies. While the originals are very much rooted in the time they were written in, the main character was not. So Dr. Mabuse was transported into modern times (something which also happened in the 1940s to Sherlock Holmes, nothing new there) and appeared in another six movies. Three more were planned, but never produced after the last two movies to appear weren't the success they were supposed to be (rightfully, they're not very good).

Dr. Mabuse became not only a master of hypnosis, but also a master of masquerade, appearing in various masks (meaning various actors played him - it's the same with "Fantomas" in the three movies named after that villain). He always had new methods to endanger the world, from simple weapons to drugs to invisible villains to mind control to death rays. Some of those ideas - while outdated today - were quite modern and even bordering on science fiction at the time of the movies. In the fourth movie, Mabuse died - inside an asylum, after he had lost his mind -, but that did not keep him from causing more mayhem, controlling the minds of first his psychiatrist and later on another man. With that little twist, the stories even took a turn towards the occult.

Unlike the many Edgar Wallace movies produced around that time, too (there are probably more Edgar Wallace movies than there are Edgar Wallace novels...), the Dr. Mabuse movies had little to no humour (although some of the ideas are quite amusing today, but then, I've never laughed louder during a horror movie than the first time I watched the 1932 version of "Dracula" starring Bela Lugosi ... that bat! ... and that spider!). Because of that, they still work quite well today. Okay, computers do no longer need a whole workbench to work. Okay, today a police inspector would use a mobile phone to call for help, if he found himself in a tight corner. But apart from the necessarily outdated things (no wonder after almost 50 years...), the movies still work today. With a little modernizing, you could still make them work today, the basic stories aren't outdated.

So, on the whole, I wouldn't want to meet Dr. Mabuse.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hard to guess right...

You know that game, don't you?

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Now, which one is it?

Enough Profit?

Admittedly, I'm probably not the right person to talk about high profits. I'm rather working on the lowest end of business, being temporally employed. But there's one thing I've often wondered about: Is there such a thing as enough profit?

I've been thinking about this more than once in the past. Currently I'm thinking about it, because Nokia has just announced to close yet another plant in Germany. It doesn't really touch my own life - I'm not working there, it's a couple of hundred kilometres from my hometown. It touches the lives of a lot of other people, though. There have been a lot of people working at that plant and they've been doing overtime until quite recently - even though the management already knew they were going to move.

For a long time the company has produced cell phones there. Some of the workers interviewed in a special I saw have been working there for ten years. And, even though admittedly the additional costs for a worker in Germany are quite high, the company has also reaped benefits from the local government. They were a major employer in that area and thus entitled to tax cuts and other niceties. Now they're moving the plant to Romania, because it's supposed to be cheaper.

Now, I'm not really the reincarnation of Karl Marx, but I do believe that companies should not be allowed to completely do as they pleased. They should not only have to watch their profit margin, but also the impact their actions have on, say, the area they produce in.

As I mentioned, Nokia was a major employer in that area (just as Siemens once was a major employer in my hometown, but that's long past). The closing of the plant, therefore, means that a lot of people will loose their jobs. And, as a major employer in that area will be missing, they'll have a hard time to find a new job.

The only reason for the closing of the plant, on the other hand, is the profit margin. They didn't make a loss in Germany, but they could make more money in Romania, because work is much cheaper there. Romania still is one of the poorest countries in eastern Europe (unlike, say, Poland or the Czech Republic which are doing quite well). People there will indeed work for little money. But they won't be able to purchase the products they're making.

To be honest, I've never really understood the principle of moving plants to countries with low wages, just to save some money in the end. If a company produces things people really want to buy, then the sales should be high enough to finance the expenses. (And create a nifty profit, too.) If a company doesn't produce things people want to buy, then maybe it should consider producing something different. As far as I know, this is something of a principle of a free market (as opposed to the planned market of, for example, the former GDR). But then, what do I know? I'm not a manager, just an employee.

Yes, you can make more profit by producing something with less costs (and at some point, the only way to lessen the costs will be to lessen the costs of your workforce). But people are not only producing the goods, they're also buying them. And to buy something, you have to earn money beforehand. So if you put people out of employment, you shouldn't be surprised if less people are able to buy your goods. And if you produce goods for less by moving to a country where people earn less money in wages, you have to realize that those workers will never, ever be able to buy those goods.

This, I think, is something which the managers of various companies (not just Nokia, but they are the current example) do not realize.

Unlike the highest management of various companies all around the world, I think there is such a thing as "enough profit". And we'd live all better, if managers did realize this, too.

Catastrophes a plenty

Yes, there is a chance that a huge city like L.A. might suffer from a major catastrophe one day. There might be an(other) earthquake, a tsunami, some terrorists, a meteor shower, fire or something else. But now, imagine every possible catastrophe hitting the city at the same day.

That's what the game "Bad Day LA" is about. In the role of Anthony Williams, a former artist's agent who's been homeless for quite some time, you have to survive this day. First there are planes crashing into LA, each of them carrying terrorists and a gas that turns humans into zombies. Then, once you've reached the first 'safe house', a school, there's an earthquake. On your way to the hospital you're not only attacked by terrorists, no, there's also a meteor shower. Once you've boarded a train, it crashes into a truck, leaving you to deal with a group of drug dealers and a neighbourhood on fire. And even after you've managed to get on a plane leaving L.A., it's not over. The plane is shot down and you find yourself in the middle of a gang war. The boat that should take you out of the city is pushed back into it by a huge tsunami and while you're making your way to a helicopter, you meet a group of bank robbers. And, as if all of this weren't enough, the guy with the chainsaw you thought was on your side turns out to be the general of the Mexican army which has come to take over California. And after that you're right in the middle of a crowd of zombies, trying to manually activate the failed "zombie bomb" while the rest of your group is escaping.

One hell of a day.

Like everything in which American McGee had his hands, "Bad Day LA" is fun in a 'strange' way. Yes, it's full of blood and corpses - although the whole look of the game is so much comic-like, you'll not take it more serious than, for example, an episode of "South Park". Nevertheless, 'right' behaviour is rewarded and 'wrong' behaviour is punished by the game. For almost every action (except for running or jumping) you get either smileys or frownies. 'Healing' a zombie (whether by giving it a shower with a fire extinguisher or simply killing it) earns you a smiley, lowering a meter showing how 'dangerous' you are. Killing a normal bystander, on the other side, will heighten that meter. The more dangerous you are, the less people will help you (for example showing you the right way), they might even attack you. Smileys, on the other hand, mean you're going to get more help throughout the game.

The game isn't very difficult, especially as you will not 'die' in the game, you will simply life again whenever you go down with no health left. While some might think it stupid to create a game like that (and while higher difficulty levels than the one I was playing might change that), I found it rather useful. That way I could advance without always cursing about the moment I should have spared to save the game.

"Bad Day LA" is a game to spent some time with, provided you like games by American McGee (I'd personally also recommend "American McGee's Alice") or cartoons like "South Park". If you don't, it's not something for you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What was that saying again?

Just because you're paranoid ...

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... doesn't mean they're not after you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If not the best

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... then at least the largest ...

Updates on my projects

Okay, so let's make this a real update on my current projects.

  • "Feminism Wow!": The basic work is done, but there's new posts coming up now and then.
  • "Surely not Barbie's Diary": I need to sketch out a storyline, otherwise I'll run myself into a dead end again. Might take a few weeks, now that I've got less time to work on it.
  • "Teria": *Whistles innocently* I haven't really, willingly stopped writing this, but currently I'm not actually working on it.

I'm also still working on two fan fictions, but they are both not progressing a lot. Then there's some shorter stories and two crime novels.

My main problem? I get distracted too easily. My mind is kicking out new ideas too fast, most of the time. Therefore I find it difficult to actually finish a story longer than a couple of pages (my longest finished story has about 150 pages). It's not that I'm running out of ideas, but it's taking too long and other ideas take over while I'm still working at it.

There's a lot of other things to do as well and the day only has 24 hours. And now, as I'm working again, there's less time for all those things than before.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kate again

And again I have gone through a quiz because Kate did it before and I was curious. (What can I say? I must have been a cat in another life.)

My Erotic Personality is The Student. Take the Erotic Personality Quiz on and discover yours!I took Sage Vivant's Erotic Personality Quiz and discovered I'm a Student!

What is your Erotic Personality? Find out now..

Personally, I think we're all students.

Vampires among us

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And vampire blogger knows: not before you have to.

Weekend update

And here we go again, the weekend update returns. (Believe it or not - I wrote this on Friday and forgot to post it. One of these days I'm going to forget my head somewhere.)

  • DVD to watch: "One Two Three" (very funny, very old movie)
  • Book to read: "Mit an Wahrscheinlichkeit grenzender Sicherheit", a funny book about statistics (maybe I'll also read "Der Schein der Weisen" again, it's by the same authors and on the same topic)
  • Game to play: nothing definite

In addition I'll really start working on "Surely not Barbie's Diary" this weekend. It's time.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Political Statement

Politics can put a lot of people to sleep.

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Dogs, too, by the look of it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cat vs. Bird

This picture bears the question:

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Who will eat whom?

Thursday, January 10, 2008


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No further comment needed.

Dancing through life

Down at the Ozdust...

If only because dust

Is what we come to...

Nothing matters

But knowing nothing matters

It's just life...

So keep dancing through...

Lyrics of "Dancing through life" quoted from the booklet of my "Wicked" CD

To be honest, sometimes I seem to others to be doing just that - dancing (though not dancing very gracefully for sure) or sleepwalking through life, seemingly ignorant of the problems. And sometimes I wish that were true.

In fact, there are times when it is true for me. I am good at putting my worries away when they get too huge. I can ignore them, concentrate on something else. But that's not the same as 'dancing through life' in that song. My worries always come back.

I'm a worrywart, sometimes. I worry about things I don't really have to worry about. Like what I would do if this or that happened (even though it's unlikely it will happen and I know I'm good at improvising). And I spent hours or even days worrying about those things. I could do better things with my time, really. I mean, between the new job, becoming a web-master, blogging (three blogs and my third isn't really ready currently, either), reading and writing (and I should sleep a few hours every day, too), I could really do with a few more hours spent productively - I'm not even mentioning the days here (oops...).

On the other hand, that worrying and thinking about solutions probably makes me such a good organizer. I'm trained in going through possible scenarios and their solutions at highest calculating speed. I just wish I could stop doing too much of it while it's not necessary.

On the other hand:

Blithe smile, lithe limb

She who's winsome, she wins him

Gold hair in a gentle curl

That's the girl he chose

And heaven knows

I'm not that girl...

Lyrics from "I'm not that girl" quoted from the booklet of my "Wicked" CD

I wouldn't want to be such a superficial girl (well, woman) either. I just will have to balance it out, the worrywart and the blind fool (actually a jester ignoring danger is the main motif of most "The Fool" tarot cards) dancing through life without looking at the consequences.

Do a little more dancing through life, at least metaphorically, and a little less worrying - sounds like a good plan to me. Or maybe I should put it more philosophical: I should learn to live in harmony with the Dao and flow through life like water through a river. Ah ... philosophy!

I've got a new job

... or at least that's what it looks like at the moment. After a year with only a few weeks of work here and there every now and then, that's a really good thing. And it's not even in telemarketing.

I'm rather glad to have found myself a new desk-job (getting one isn't easy in Germany when you haven't really learned it - and I haven't, I went to university instead, silly me). I'm working in the import department of a logistics company now - interesting job and you don't have to talk to people over the phone for eight hours every day. Nevertheless, I will continue working on my web-master and I will also pull through with my other plans (including the two new blogs I've started). Nevertheless, I might not be able to post as often as before. It takes some time to write a new post and I won't have that much spare time at my hands now.

In addition, the company is situated basically next to a huge mega-market, so in the future I can do my weekly shopping on the way home. There might also be a few hours of overtime often enough, adding a few more days I can take off later on. I don't mind working overtime if it doesn't mean talking to people over the phone some more hours.

Funnily enough, I mainly got this job because my English is good - so watching movies in English, reading English books and writing this post (and other stuff) has actually been good for something. An experience I've had before, with various things I just did 'for fun'. But that's probably a topic for another post.

I do have an outlook for the future now, something besides becoming a web-master and hopefully publishing a book some day. That doesn't mean I'm giving up those dreams. It just means I can earn money regularly in a job that doesn't get me down while working at them coming true.

Game of Chance

Inspired by a book about statistics I'm currently reading, I did a few calculations about the lottery as it is played in Germany.

First the basics, so you can understand what I'm going on about. In the German lottery, 6 numbers out of 49 (numbers 1 to 49, obviously) are drawn each week. Having all six of those numbers is something a lot of people - including my parents - dream of. Inspired, as I already said, by that book, I started doing some simple calculations of my own about the chance of really having all the right numbers. Statistically, the chance for six right numbers is 1 to 13,983,816. Makes the so-called 'impossible' chance of "one in a million" look rather possible, doesn't it? Still, statistically, if every person in Germany played lotto, six of them should win (the population of Germany consists of about 88,000,000 people). But not all people are playing (I, for instance, don't) and life is not a statistic. There have been times when 12 or more people won and times when nobody has had the right numbers. That's real life for you.

Now I have been wondering - and calculating - what chance in percent you have for each of the six numbers drawn to be yours. This is what I found out (provided every time one of 'my' numbers was drawn):

  • when the first number is drawn, all 49 balls are still in the machine; each number has a chance of 2.04 % and the chance of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 12.24 % (as all six numbers are still in the machine)
  • when the second number is drawn, 48 balls are left in the machine; each number has a chance of 2,08 % and the chance of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 10.42 % (as five numbers are still in the machine)
  • when the third number is drawn, 47 balls are left in the machine; each number has a chance of 2.13 % and the chance of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 8.51 % (as four numbers are still in the machine)
  • when the fourth number is drawn, 46 balls are left in the machine; each number has a chance of 2.17 % and the chance of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 6.52 % (as three numbers are still in the machine)
  • when the fifth number is drawn, 45 balls are left in the machine; each number has a chance of 2.22 % and the chance of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 4.44 % (as two numbers are still in the machine)
  • when finally the sixth number is drawn, 44 balls are left in the machine; the chance of each number and of one of the numbers I bet on to be drawn is 2.27 % (as only one of my numbers is still in the machine)

As you can see (if you survived that list of numbers I just wrote down), the chance of each number to be drawn is rising slowly and slightly, while the chance of one of my numbers to be drawn is descending really rapidly. In other words: the more of 'my' numbers are actually drawn, the smaller the chance to actually get one more of them.

If I were playing lotto, my little experiment with those numbers would put me off it really quickly, to be honest. But I doubt it would put my parents off. Hope springs eternal, as they say - and it's the last thing to die.

And the combination of human intelligence - as opposing to logic -, a hope and a little greed makes sure people still play lotto every week.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reminds me

... of my former jobs.

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I looked just as happy while doing them.

Living Forever

A rather funny headline for an online article on one of my favourite magazine websites caught my eye today. Translated: Four things to do to live longer.

Now, I personally think, there's only one thing you need to do to live long: don't die. Everything else might or might not work.

But such headlines can be found quite often: How to live longer. How to stay young longer. How to stay healthy. One thing is strange, though: To stay healthy, you have to do various different things depending on what article you read. Actually, I can remember a song by the band "Genesis", created more than 15 years ago, in which they also sung about how the ways to stay healthy and live forever were always changing. So which way is the right one? And can anyone who's been following the 'wrong' way for a long time actually sue someone else, because it turned out he wasn't doing everything right to live long?

But, even if you do everything to achieve a long life, there's never a guarantee. When it's not a disease, it can still be an accident or just bad luck. On the other hand, there people around who are never heeding to any advice and still live a very long life.

So I stay with my tip for a long life: avoid dying!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Memory

… of a MAD series ...

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... and I bet they're still at it.

Monday, January 07, 2008


... the choice of replacements ...

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... leaves something to be desired.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mad about

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... all those tourists taking photos.

About my plans

As I promised yesterday in my "Weekend update", I'll write a few sentences about my plans for this blog (and the other two) in the future.

Yesterday I did register a third blog (or rather, I re-registered the "Surely not Barbie's Diary"-blog [Just realized I re-registered the blog with a mistake in the address, but then, so what?] which I had for about four weeks in February/March last year - after David asked why I had stopped writing it). You might also have realized that I changed the layout of this blog - after more than a year. What can I say? I felt like it.

The basics of my "Feminism Wow!"-blog are almost pinned out (only missing the post about Eva Herman, but I'll do that one this weekend, too). From then on it depends on society and politics how often this blog will grow new posts. Although, admittedly, an MTV-special about computer games inspired me to do a post about women and computer games this weekend, too. It's a topic I always considered worth writing about.

As far as "Surely not Barbie's Diary" is concerned, I have to pin down the story - as this is not going to be a 'normal' blog about facts (or my thoughts about facts). By creating a basic story with basic characters (and ignoring whatever background story Mattel might give to the "My Scene" characters), I should be able to avoid the problem I had last time (having no idea what kind of diary entry to fake next). By pinning down the story beforehand - or, at least, a basic story line -, I'll be able to hold on to this diary, even though it won't grow as fast as this blog does.

But then, "A not so average woman" will stay my main blog with all my thoughts in it - and all the funny pictures as well. Unless, of course, the funny pictures have something to do with my Barbie Diary or with Feminism...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Weekend update

And, just as last year, the Weekend Update.

  • DVD to watch: I just bought season 4 and 5 of "Gilmore Girls", so hazard a guess.
  • Book to read: "The Physics of Superheroes" by James Kakalios
  • Game to play: "Dream Day First Home" (the third "Dream Day" game I've gotten)

In addition I'm going to write a post about the changes in this blog, the blog I already dismissed and the new blog I just started.

Hide and seek

Playing hide and seek can be difficult ...

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... or not.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My pet has arrived

Finally, after all those decades ...

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... my pet has found the way out of hell. Good thing.

I'm doing it again

After my abysmal failure with "Surely not Barbie's Diary" (a second blog that lived for about four weeks or so), I've started an additional blog again. But this one will not contain made-up stories from a plastic doll - hopefully.

The new blog was named "Feminism Wow!" by me - a reminiscence of the "Catholicism Wow"-campaign in "Dogma" (there really is such a campaign going on, as I found out while doing some check-up on Google for my new blog). I've written a long post about what the blog is for, so I could just leave it here, but I'm going to repeat the basics, so you can decide whether to go there yourself or not.

The goal of the "Catholicism Wow"-campaign in "Dogma" is to change the image of Catholicism (something really necessary these days). And the goal of my new blog is to change the image of Feminism - because to most young people these days Feminism is something dirty. Girls don't want to be feminists and boys don't want to date feminists, it seems. But being a feminist and fighting for equality does not mean hating or fighting men. And that's what the new blog is for: showing the facets of Feminism that have nothing to do with 'hating men'.

So, if you're interested, just check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Talk about undercover

If this cat can pull it through...

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... then I can infiltrate the German Bundestag.

Some things should be left in the shadow

... and the movie "Shadow Creature" is right at the top of the list, seriously. This is why you had to wait for this post until the second of January. Here it is.

Okay, where to start? The monster, I think, 'cause it's the only thing in the whole movie that's no crap ... oh, and the background music is not too bad, either. But for the rest ...

The German synchro sucks. And that comes from someone who can find one good thing in about every German synchro she's ever heard. I guess, if I went to a pub and pulled out the first ten or so drunk, promised them a place to smoke inside (new laws in Germany prohibit smoking inside pubs and bars and so on) and then made them redo the synchro, it could only get better. Can't say anything about the original voices, though, as they are not on my DVD.

And the acting! If I took the same ten or so drunk and filmed the movie with them in my backyard, it couldn't be worse. If I went to the pet store and spent fifteen minutes filming various fish tanks to cut in from time to time, it would probably be better.

When it comes to the story ... well, you know that saying about six thousand monkeys and their typewriters rewriting Shakespeare in six thousand years? Three monkeys with three typewriters could write a better script in three years, honestly. And they could spent one of those years doing whatever monkeys like to do.

Wait a moment, now that I think about it: The special effects aren't that bad, either, although the movie is from 1995 and the special effects usually are the first thing that gets old about a movie.

I've watched quite a lot of horror movies - and some of my favourites are b-movies. But compared to "Shadow Creature" even a movie like "Monster Shark" is big cinema. And I can't believe I've written that ...

It's not the humour they've cut in (and this movie features the only cop I've ever seen barfing right next to various corpses), humour and horror work well together. The more the laughter relaxes you, the more the next scary scene will make you scream. Easy math to do, isn't it? But the movie seems to be torn between humour (sometimes clearly involuntarily) and horror, as if the writers and director could not decide to do with their money and time. Obviously the final decision was wrong.

So if you ever happen to see that movie at your local store, don't pick it up ... unless you need something to torture someone with.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Could I have this one

As an update for my computer, could I have this one?

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I'm sure it's better at finding files than my windows search function...

Happy New Year!

That's it, 2007 is history. Quite recent history, but history nevertheless.

And, as this was the first year I completely blogged, I wish everyone who has read my posts, commented on them or not and enjoyed them:

Happy New Year and lots of luck for 2008!

Monster Watch

Oh, look, Nessie is taking a well-earned vacation ... and has found a replacement.

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I just wonder if tourists will take the Loch Ness Dog serious...

Now you're laughing

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But wait until it's after you...

One-word answers

The second meme I did last year. It's not specifically for Christmas, so feel free to copy whenever you like.

Yourself: complex

Your partner: non-existent

Your hair: dark

Your mother: practical

Your father: philosophical

Your favourite item: books

Your dream last night: strange

Your favourite drink: water

Your dream car: blue

Your dream home: apartment

The room you are in: living-room

Your ex: huh?

Your fear: injury

Where you want to be in ten years: around

Who you hung out with last night: nobody

What you're not: skinny

Muffins: sprinkled

One of your wish list items: inspiration

Time: around noon

The last thing you did: watching TV

What you are wearing: comfortable

Your favourite weather: stormy

Your favourite book: lots

Last thing you ate: brunch

Your life: surprising

Your mood: relaxed

Your best friends: disappearing

What are you thinking about right now: sun

Your car: green

What are you doing at the moment: blog-writing

Your summer: great

Relationship status: free

What is on your TV: documentation

What is the weather like: cloudy

When is the last time you laughed: yesterday

21 Christmas Questions - on New Year

I did this meme - and the other one that'll be right above this one - last Christmas as well. Only this year I didn't get around before New Year.

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Well, I looooove hot chocolate, every day of the year, so what do you think?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just put them under the tree?

This year he wrapped them, last year he didn't.

3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?

I don't have a tree and live in a flat, but if I did decorate, the lights would be coloured.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

No, because that's not a tradition in Germany - and I would a) not know where to get some anyway and b) not have somebody around to kiss underneath it (boohoo). (That's actually last year's answer.)

5. When do you put your decorations up?

I don't have any decorations, but if I did, there were some I would put up at the beginning of December and some I would put up during the day of Christmas Eve. That's traditional in my family.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

My mother's cooked rabbit, it's always delicious. Plus, I don't have to cook it, because it comes with spending most of Christmas with my parents. (Also the same answer as last year. Isn't it nice some things remain the same?)

7. Favourite holiday memory as a child?

The years before my grandmother died when I was ten. It was so great when we would go around the house (my parents and some of my mother's relatives live in one house) and visit all the others, finishing with my grandmother on the ground floor. After she died, the family started to break apart. (Another answer that can stay.)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Well, first of all we don't have Santa Claus in Germany, we have either the 'Weihnachtsmann' (who's very much like Santa, anyway) or the 'Christkind' (in the area of southern Germany where I live). I guess I was about seven or eight when I realized my parents actually bought the presents and put them under the tree. I wasn't really told, but I think that year I stumbled over some presents when I was playing hide and seek with somebody. (And another one.)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

All of them actually, that's the way it's done in Germany. We do get our presents on Christmas Eve. (One more, this is getting boring, isn't it?)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

As I don't have one, I don't decorate it. Again, if I had one, I'd do it rather colourful, as we've always had a lot of different-coloured items on the tree.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?

I love snow as long as I don't have to go out much and don't have to mind the walkway in front of the house I live in.

12. Can you ice skate?

No, I can't even roller skate. I'm not very good at sports as a rule.

13. Do you remember your favourite gift?

Absolutely. It was a book my parents wrote and drew for me themselves. I still keep it and remember fondly how jealous my friends were... (Still the same answer, again)

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Spending time with family and friends and thinking back on the last year. Some meditation, you might say

15. What is your favourite holiday dessert?

My family's very special brand of Christmas cookies, you can't get them anywhere and nobody else does them like my mother. (Yup, you guessed right, same answer as last year again.)

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Spending the afternoon of Christmas Eve with my parents. (Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie. Does anyone reading this know "Dinner for One"?)

17. What tops your tree?

Again, nothing, as I don't have a tree. But my parents had a very beautiful glass top that looked like a turned-over ice-cream cone with a hole cut in.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?

Giving, not because it makes me look like a nice person, but because I like the challenge of finding the right gift for everybody. It's not easy, as I've written before. But I would be the world's biggest hypocrite if I said I don't like receiving, wouldn't I? (Same procedure as every year, James. Same answer, too.)

19. What is your favourite Christmas song?

Well, anything that's not "Last Christmas" (though I managed to escape the song this year, lucky me). Traditional Christmas songs will get me as much as rock songs with a Christmas theme.

20. Candy canes?

Not traditional for Christmas in Germany, but I like them.

21. Favourite Christmas movie?

First of all "The Nightmare before Christmas", I just love the story. In addition I enjoy watching two Austrian TV-movies every year: "Single Bells" and "Oh Palmenbaum". (And, at the end, another answer left over from last year...)