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Who could it be?
I'm no average woman and I don't have an average woman's interests. In this blog I hope to share my interests with the readers, so expect posts about society, computer games, literature, movies and TV ... and a few others, probably.
Today I heard “Junge”, one of the latest songs of “Die Ärzte” twice. I didn’t mind it, though, it’s a good song. The video only runs (funnily) censored on the German stations, though. Personally, I’m not completely sure whether it’s really that ‘Dawn of the Dead’-esque or whether it’s another stunt by the band. (Ever since a porn star played the head of the censor’s office in the video clip to “Bitte, Bitte”, I’m prepared to consider everything a possibility.)
Now, I don’t even know if the band is widely known outside Germany. Only singing in German isn’t necessary a clue to not being known in other countries - Ramstein prove you can sing in German and be popular with people in the United States (and elsewhere).
I started to like the band rather late - compared to my classmates who really liked it between 13 and 18, or so -, but today I like them for being uncomfortable for German society.
Born from the punk generation in Berlin, “Die Ärzte” never sung the usual ‘everything’s wonderful in life’ pop songs. Their songs were about ‘abnormal’ sexuality, about society’s dark sides, about the stupid things happening in Germany. They sung against Nazis (for example in “Schrei nach Liebe”), about the favourite German island of the snobs (“Westerland”, one of my all-time favourites). I also like this text - although I don’t know the title of the song:
Es ist nicht deine Schuld,
daß die Welt ist wie sie ist,
es ist nur deine Schuld,
wenn sie so bleibt.
(Translation: It’s not your fault the world is like it is, it’s only your fault if it stays like this.)
Their songs quite often are surprisingly truthful... After all, the text above is absolutely right. What happened before we were old enough to change something, is not our fault. But leaving it as bad as it is, that’s our fault.
“Junge” deals with the sentences most teenagers hear from their parents at one point of their adolescence: “Must you wear such dreadful clothes.” “Can’t you be a bit more like the son of our neighbour who’s always nice and learning and successful.” “Why don’t you do something with your life.” And so on. I’m sure, all of us have heard those sentences (or at least similar ones) during adolescence. The music is as good as always (I like it a lot - it’s the right mixture of hard beats) and the video clip is ... surely artful in a not very common way.
Although the censored parts (done quite funnily with characters from kid’s cartoons and so on) suggest a lot of violence and the whole video obviously is a homage to “Dawn of the Dead” (or maybe “Shaun of the Dead”, but that’s another story entirely). Actually, the video suggests a lot more cruel details by pasting them over with bright-coloured pictures (on a monochrome background, as the video is in black and white) than it would probably show uncensored.
Anyway, I like the band a lot and hope they continue making ‘inappropriate’ and ‘uncomfortable’ songs.
Even before Eastern, we have the Weekend Update!
In addition I will relax and I might also write a few more posts. We’ll see.
Are you sure?
Years ago, when I started playing computer games for real, a game really got me hooked: “Alone in the Dark”. It was one of the first action adventures, combining riddles and objects with fights and jumping in a 3D environment. Seen with today’s eyes, the graphics of the first game of the series aren’t very good - and the zombies look rather cubic and have sharp edges. But the game itself, with enemies that suddenly appear, with a constant lack of ammunition for the weapons (you really learn to love a sword under those circumstances) and a whole house full of ghosts, demons, zombies and other monsters, still is one of my favourite memories. It took me ages to get past all those monsters and finish the game - but I made it.
The same does not go for the second game in the series, looking pretty much alike, but being a lot more difficult. I never got past the hedge maze there - and after hundreds of fruitless tries, I just gave up. So the secrets of Hell’s Kitchen (a manor where the second game was set) remained unsolved. There were too many fights in this one and I got fed up with constantly dying. Unlike many other games in which I have died one heroic death after another, I never had a feeling of getting anywhere. I can live (well, in real life) with dying a lot in the digital world, provided I see a success between the deaths.
The third game completely passed me by. Neither the story nor the looks (which reminded me a lot of the first one, although there were three years or so in between them) appealed to me.
It took a long time (about ten years), before the fourth game came out. While the main character - private investigator Edward Carnby (you might know him from the movie with the same name) - basically remained the same, the whole game play was overhauled and the game looked and felt a lot better. Still it was easy enough to die, but at least I got somewhere between deaths.
There’s a fifth game in the making ... and I’m really interested in what will become of it.
I also liked the movie - although it admittedly falls into the category ‘blood and gore’ which I don’t see as the best. But the effects are good, the story is solid and the actors aren’t bad (though how the dark-haired PI could turn into blond Christian Slater is above my understanding - it’s not as if there aren’t any good-looking dark-haired actors around). And the games never once mention he’s got some supernatural powers...
So, are you really alone in the dark? Or is there something just outside the circle of light?
Didn’t I mention once I like train rides? Man, that was a long time ago, really.
No, seriously, I still like train rides, but I’ve found a train station I can hate with all the enthusiasm I can muster: Darmstadt-Eberstadt.
I went there today for my seminar (and decided on the way home I’m going to drive by car tomorrow and on Wednesday). Where can I start with why I hate that station?
It looks as if it hasn’t seen a hammer or bucket of paint in aeons. I guess if I were looking for the place where the apocalypse has started already, I would have found it. No place can be that derelict and still functional without the help of the powers of darkness.
The platforms (which are quite low in other train stations, too) are so low, a snake would have to look down to see them, honestly. I was standing in front of a train and the lowest step of the wagon was somewhere around my belly button. (Please, don’t ask how I managed to get inside!)
The way down from the station to the nearest road is quite steep, too. I don’t even want to imagine what would happen if you let go of a baby buggy on the way down.
So I’m driving by car Tuesday and Wednesday (I’m writing this on Monday evening, mind you). And the route planner I asked online even told me it would take about half the time (or less) to reach my destination. Well, after all, I save about sixty minutes anyway (that’s the way to the nearest train station from my home, the way to the house where the seminars are held from the train station in Darmstadt-Eberstadt and back, of course). It’s parking right by the building and five minutes from my home to that of my parents where I keep my car. Wohoo!
Doesn’t look that bad any longer, does it.
...don’t mind me.
It came to me yesterday while I was making my dinner. I drank some orange juice and wondered about the word ‘juice’ and the German equivalent, which is ‘Saft’. Basically it means the same - although in different languages, of course.
But while a juice shop (if that word does exist) would not be anything bad - just a place where you can buy various types of juice (apple juice, orange juice and so on, add you favourites here) -, the German “Saftladen” doesn’t mean the same. Although the word ‘Laden’ means ‘shop’, a “Saftladen” is not a place where you can buy juice - it’s a shop where you can’t buy anything that’s worth buying. We Germans use this word when we want to tell someone their shop is crap.
Aren’t languages interesting? Next time on “Just language rubbish”: Why ‘
address’ and ‘become’ are false friends to Germans.
And again it is time for the weekly weekend update. This week:
Apart from that I prepare myself for the seminar I’ve got next week Monday to Wednesday.
I wonder if there still would be that much talk about Julius Cesar, if he had not been killed, but died of natural causes after leaving office. (There are even some theories as to him having come up with that death himself, after he realized he was terminally sick and would die slowly and painfully anyway. After all, stabbing still is quicker than a disease, but you have to be a bit special to think about such a way to go.)
Nevertheless, it never hurts to remember to BEWARE OF THE IDES OF MARCH.
and couldn’t stop laughing for quite a while.
(For those of you who haven’t had any contact with the comic and the special dialect of the Jägers, the dialog translates like that [left to right, top to bottom]:
“I will teach him how to impress the girls.”
“I will teach him about the birds and the weasels.”
“And I will teach him how to avoid those two.”
“Ah. Then he may have a chance.”)
“He” in this case is Gilgamesh Wulfenbach (usually called ‘Gil’ by most people, though), and insanely in love with Agatha Heterodyne, the title character of the whole comic. (Insane is also a word to describe some of his moods, as he’s a spark [a mad scientist] - like Agatha herself. )
Currently, I even use a phrase of his from the comic as my signature for the forum I regularly post at:
“If being like YOU is the alternative - I’ll GLADLY take evil.”
(Gil’s father Klaus - who currently is basically out of the picture after a carousel fell on him [don’t ask...] - is the bad guy of the story, sort of.)
What I like most about the comic, though, is the good story and the humour. And I like that phrase, as it describes me and my mindset (when faced with certain fundamental-thinking people) so well.
The Apple “iphone” reminds me of a novel I read years ago (while I was still at school): “Phule’s Company” by Robert Asprin (I’ve already written a post about his “MYTH” novels). The books of the “Phule’s”-series are his tribute to science fiction, one could say.
Now, I hardly will own an “iphone” in the near future (not before I make my first million or so with my novels, that is) - and, honestly, I don’t need one, I use my own cell sparsely, if ever. I’m no businesswoman, neither am I another person who needs to basically carry her whole office around. I’m just a simple office worker, nothing more.
But the “iphone” (or, rather, the advertising for it which I saw) reminded me of how much our technical possibilities have changed over the years. When Asprin wrote the “Phule’s” novels (at least two of the three I’ve read), the idea of a small device, not bigger than a paperback novel (Apple’s new phone is even smaller) that can hold your notes, get you online wherever you are (well, if it’s somewhere with a connection to the cell network, of course), serve as a phone, get your emails and so on, was real Science Fiction. Nobody would have expected such a device to be (almost) affordable for everyone (wait a few more years and you’ll have to walk past a mobile shop quickly to avoid “iphones” being thrown at you). The commander of a squadron of space legionaries (like French Foreign Legion, just with less sand and more space) owns such a thing - but then, he’s a millionaire.
But then, some years ago, nobody expected almost everyone to be able to afford a cell phone. And nobody would have thought the internet would become such a big thing, when it was invented as a means for scientists to work together. Computers you can buy in a shop today do things that were next to impossible for the huge main frame computers twenty or so years ago. It’s really amazing, when you think about it.
I can still remember my first computer, a simple one, starting up with a disc (though it was 3.5” already).
One of the first games I played on it, by the way, was “Pirates!” (and I never got anywhere, I just couldn’t navigate ... so Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Hector Barbossa are safe from me, I guess). By now I’d say the graphics were dreadful ... but then, for that time they were quite okay. I even managed the fencing part, but the navigation always got the better of me - which is quite bad, if you’re trying to actually board ships and later on sell the loot ... hard to sell anyone anything, if you can’t find a harbour. (Kate is so going to laugh about that...)
And I remember installing the first “Discworld” game (still one of the best for me, although I like “Discworld Noir” more) from 20(!) floppy disks (took ages).
The third computer I had was the first with a CD-drive. By then, games on CD were quite the rule. (But I’m not going to tell you how abysmal I was behind the controls of an X-wing.)
And now? I’ve got two DVD-drives (one for burning and reading, one for reading only), two hard disks (which are far bigger than the first one I had), a 3D-graphics card, a CPU that’s faster than everyone would have thought possible when I bought my first computer. I won’t even mention the masses of RAM... (Or “Windows”, but for other reasons entirely.)
Technical means have evolved a lot during the last twenty years or so, that much is for sure. And that was what I thought about after that “iphone” advertising.
Well, you don’t go online for one day and strange things happen to you. As Kate tagged me - and it’s been some time since the last meme - here we go:
I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments, what is it?
1. Produce: tomatoes
2. Bakery: cookies
3. Meat: steak
4. Frozen: pizza
5. Dry goods: tea
Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?
2. short pants
3. swimming suit (let’s just hope we’re not going to Antarctica)
If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 4 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?
1. Mr. H.’s number has changed, try the ...
2. There’s another box missing here.
3. Wasn’t it half past ten ages ago?
So, what 4 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you probably wouldn't be in the best mood?
1. Do a quick check of my favourite websites.
2. Spent some time writing.
3. Get about 7 hours of sleep (at least - the more, the better).
4. Brush teeth.
You're driving down the road, and suddenly you're hit with this sense of road rage. What 3 factors probably contributed to it?
1. Senseless overhauling (just before you have to stop at a traffic light anyway).
2. People misjudging the speed of my car and pulling over way too soon.
3. Slow trucks with insecure load.
Sweet, you just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?
1. Reading a good book
2. Going for a walk
3. Playing computer games
4. Listening so some good music
5. Watching a good movie on DVD (or two)
We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?
1. Fish (sharks or piranhas for preference)
3. Spiders (or other venomous insects)
You just scored tickets to the taping of any show that comes on T.V. of your choice. You can pick 4, so what are you going to see?
(As I live in Germany, my choices might be a bit outdated.)
2. quer (a German political magazine)
3. Navy CIS
4. The 70s Show
You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavours can I pile on for ya?
Somebody stole your purse/wallet…in order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?
1. Fluffy cow key ring
2. Yellow promotional ball pen (“Norton Antivirus”)
3. Red promotional cloth shopping bag (“Central Apotheke”)
4. Red and violet purse with a small devil in the lower right corner
5. Foldable red umbrella
You are at a job fair, and asked in what areas you are interested in pursuing a career. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 4 careers would be fun for you?
1. Marine Biologist
2. Police (or Private) Investigator
4. Parapsychologist (or Ghost Hunter)
If you could go back and talk to the old you, when you were in high school, and inform yourself of 4 things, what would you say?
1. Permanent records aren’t permanent, whatever they say - so have fun!
2. If they don’t like you the way you are, they aren’t worth spending time with.
3. Computer science and psychology will come in handy.
4. You have more talents than you think, trust the future.
Basically everyone who reads this ... okay, you’ve been tagged!
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have another weekend update.
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to get a few more posts written. Won’t promise anything, though.
And, once more, the weekend update for this week. Though there’s not much to tell:
I’ve been working on a story for most of my spare time during the week, so I’ll continue with it ... and I thought I was done around Thursday - go, figure.