Sonntag, 25. Dezember 2005

My Christmas presents

My sister gave me exactly what I wanted – well, almost: Vanilla Spice shower gel from The Body Shop that I’d heard about from jeopardygirl. She was right, it smells absolutely delicious! It’s a quite big bottle although I only wanted the smallest one there is, but it’s okay. I filled some of it into another bottle and I’ll give that to me best friend so she can try it, too. My sister also gave me a coupon for a make-up session/consultation (or whatever you call that) cos she’d heard me complain that I wish I knew how to apply eye shadow correctly etc. I’m so glad she did that and I’ll try to get an appointment asap.

I also got a new set of 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade puzzles. I think the colours are a bit different than in the pictures I've uploaded. I love them, but I’m afraid they’ll be very hard to do cos they’re … well, not exactly monochromatic, but there just aren’t as many different colours as in non-winter pictures where you have green grass, blue sky, trees and flowers of all sorts of colours etc. Oh well … we’ll see how it goes. Here's what they look like:

I also got the first season of Lost on DVD. I have watched parts of the extra features already (the ones under the heading “Departure”) and totally loved them, especially Matthew Fox’s photographs from the set and him talking about them. J.J. burning his unlucky red and white shorts was fun to watch, too.

And I got a lovely calendar with photographs of Canada. It’s a calendar with one postcard for each week. I’ve had this type of calendar for years. (It’s the Harenberg Sehnsuchts-Kalender if you want to know exactly.) It always sits on my desk and I’ve already got loads of postcards of Ireland, Scotland, England, Denmark, Sweden, the USA, Australia and Tuscany. Don’t ask me what I’ll do with all these postcards. I just like having them. I’m a hamster (or a pack rat or whatever you call that) and I can’t throw anything away.

As to what I gave to other people, my sister got the Harry Potter 5 audio book. I've never heard any of them, although they're supposed to be very good. Have to ask her to bring it with her tomorrow so I can listen to it for a bit.

My parents got towels that match the colours in their redecorated bathroom from me and my sister.

My colleagues at work got candle holders and what my friends are getting I'm not saying.

Merry Christmas

My Christmas was good. Maybe I should explain that in Germany we celebrate on the 24th. The gift giving takes place in late afternoon, at around 5 p.m. - at least in my family. We used to go to church before that, but now we either go to church at 10 or 11 p.m. or not at all. My dad and I decorated the tree on Friday. Yesterday, my sister and her boyfriend came by for coffee, then we played a board game (Der Palast von Alhambra) and then it was time for presents. The day as a whole wasn’t very Christmas-y for various reasons (No snow, and I watched my video tape with the Juanes concert that was on TV last week. Latino music sounds more like summer than winter, as you can imagine), but it was a good day nonetheless.

The 25th and the 26th of December are national holidays. One of the traditional Christmas meals is Gans mit Kloß und Rotkraut (also called Rotkohl or Blaukraut). In English, that’d be goose with dumplings and red cabbage. I won’t try to explain what kind of dumplings we’ll have cos there are so many types that I get confused. So I’ll just say we’ll have the ones most common in this part of Germany. We normally would have had this dish today, but as my sister and her boyfriend couldn’t come today, we’ll have it tomorrow.

So much for food traditions. Let’s move on to TV traditions: one of my favourite films EVER has started becoming a Christmas classic. I don’t know which TV channel started it a couple of years ago, but it’s on a different channel every day at the moment. It’s called Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel and it’s the Czech version of my favourite fairytale Aschenputtel, i.e. Cinderella. The film is from 1973 and it’s absolutely wonderful. Cinderella is a bit of a tomboy in it. She can ride horses and hunts and shoots like a man. The film is set in winter so it fits the Christmas season. The music is great, too. One of the best scenes is when the carriage in which the evil stepmother and her spoilt daughter sit gets stuck in a huge puddle of mud and the prince stops trying to pull them out when he realizes the girl is not the one he’s looking for. A great fanpage about the film can be found here (there's an English version there, too).

There’s another film I watched yesterday. It’s an American TV movie called A Season for Miracles starring Carla Gugino and the very cute David Conrad. I first saw him in the short-lived TV series Relativity (called Beziehungsweise in Germany). He played a young architect who falls head over heels in love with a woman he meets in Rome (Italy). Of course, she’s about to get married to someone else etc., etc. I loved that show. Then he had a recurring part in Boston Public and was a regular in Miss Match where he played Alicia Silverstone’s love interest, but that show didn’t even get a full season order either, unfortunately. Anyway, David Conrad was in that very kitschy Christmas movie so I couldn’t help watching it. I had already seen it last year, but that was on the night when I was getting sick and so I was heading for the bathroom every 5 minutes and couldn’t fully enjoy the film. Here's a pic of David Conrad:

Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2005

Das Mysterium der Weihnachtsgurke/The mysterious Christmas Cucumber

Vor ungefähr einer Woche las ich in der Zeitung, dass die Weihnachtsgurke DER deutsche Exportschlager in die USA ist. Ich hatte keine Ahnung, was eine Weihnachtsgurke ist und fragte meine Kolleginnen, die schon davon gehört hatten und sagten, es sei ein Weihnachtsbaumanhänger. Ich fand das Ganze total lächerlich. Was soll denn bitte so eine Gurke am Baum? Da fehlt doch komplett der Bezug zu Weihnachten!

Heute morgen las ich dann in einer anderen Zeitung, dass es zu dem Thema schon vor einem Jahr Berichte in den Nachrichten gab. In dem aktuellen Zeitungsartikel hieß es u.a.: "Nach der Schwarzwälder Kuckucksuhr und dem erzgebirgischen Nussknacker ist die deutsche Weihnachtsgurke ein Bestseller in den USA.“ Die Dinger sind aus grünem Glas und werden zwischen dem anderen Baumschmuck versteckt. Das Kind, dass die Gurke findet, dürfe als Erstes seine Geschenke öffnen, so der Zeitungsartikel.

Nur wenige Stunden später hörte ich dann auch noch einen Bericht im Radio darüber, der mehr oder weniger dasselbe sagte, allerdings noch hinzufügte, dass die Amerikaner glauben, es handele sich um einen alten (nord-)deutschen Brauch. Ah ja. Nur hat zumindest in meiner Gegend noch kein Schwein davon gehört. Ich frage mich jetzt natürlich, welcher clevere Geschäftsmann die Weihnachtsgurke erfunden hat oder woher die Idee überhaupt kommt oder ob es diesen Brauch vielleicht doch irgendwo gibt. Wenn ich was raus finde, werde ich es hier ergänzen.

(Foto von barockschloss)

English version: 
Recently I read and heard several things about something called the Christmas Cucumber. Apparently, it is made of green glass and you hang it on the Christmas tree and it’s one of Germany’s most successful exports and already sold out this year on some Christmas markets.

The story also goes that it’s an old German tradition and that the child that finds the cucumber among the other decorations gets to open its presents first or gets an extra present. Now, the interesting thing is that I have never heard of such a tradition, at least not in my part of Germany. I’m wondering where this “tradition” came from or who came up with the idea of the Christmas Cucumber. As far as I’m concerned, this whole thing is a ridiculous cos cucumbers have nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever. But I’m curious and I’ll try to find out more and I’ll post it here if I do.

ETA: it's possible that this ornament is called pickle and not cucumber in English. See here but consider yourself warned cos I've never seen an uglier Christmas tree ornament!

Dienstag, 13. Dezember 2005

Recap der letzten Tage

Erst mal möchte ich was zur WM-Auslosung sagen: die Show war ja wohl Panne. Was sollte bitte dieser holländische Zauberer?? Juanes fand ich gut, auch wenn mir nicht klar war, was er da macht. Bin mir nicht sicher, ob Beckmann meinte, er wird das offizielle WM-Lied singen. Ich hatte erwartet, dass die WM-Spielorte vorgestellt werden. Denkste. Den Film von Wolfgang Becker fand ich ganz gut. Heidi Klum war okay. Die Auslosung selber war lang und weilig, haha. Na, jedenfalls lang wegen der ganzen Regelerklärung. Zu „unseren“ Gegnern kann ich noch nicht viel sagen. Polen ist sicher nicht zu unterschätzen. Aber ich bin eh für die Dänen, auch wenn die leider nicht mitspielen.

English version: the draw for the football (or soccer to you Americans) world cup 2006 in Germany took place on Friday. If you watched the show … please forget it quickly. We could have done so much better. The magician who performed was from the Netherlands, the singer from Latin America …. I’m confused. No wonder Germans are depressed. The mascot Goleo looks stupid, too. Argh. How embarrassing. As to the draw itself, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how strong certain teams are because I simply don’t know.

Jetzt zu Samstag: Da musste ich arbeiten. Da ich hier nicht sagen kann oder will, wo ich wohne und arbeite, ist es etwas schwer, trotzdem was zu schreiben. Ich hab jedenfalls bei einer Veranstaltung mitgeholfen. Es war ganz okay, nicht so viel zu tun oder so hektisch, wie ich befürchtet hatte. Und ein paar „Promis“ hab ich auch kennen gelernt, allerdings leider keine, auf die ich selber total stehe. Obwohl, war vielleicht auch besser so … : )

I had to work on Saturday. Can’t/won’t say where, just that it was some kind of concert where I helped out. It wasn’t as chaotic or stressful as I had feared, so it was an okay day. I even met some German “celebrities”, but none of my personal favourites, which was probably better cos otherwise I would have turned into some blushing fangirl.

Sonntag war dann ruhig und ich hab mal wieder das Weihnachtskartenschreiben den ganzen Tag vor mir her geschoben. Abends hab ich dann schon mal eine Vorauswahl getroffen und zumindest einen Umschlag beschriftet, wobei ich mich natürlich prompt verschrieben hab. Die dazugehörige Karte ist immer noch nicht fertig. Ich will halt etwas mehr als „Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr, und tschüß!“ schreiben. Seufz. Gestern ging das dann weiter, aber dass ich parallel 3 Sachen im Fernsehen geguckt hab, hat die Sache auch nicht erleichtert. Selber Schuld, ich weiß ….

On Sunday I tried to start writing Christmas cards, but didn’t quite succeed. I picked some cards and wrote an address on one envelope. Go, me!! LOL. Last night I was too uninspired to write the card itself. If I keep going this slowly, they’ll never arrive in time.

Heute geh ich zu ‘ner Freundin, die letzte Woche Geburtstag hatte. 3 andere Mädels kommen auch noch. Wir kennen uns alle von der Sprachenschule, auf der wir vor ein paar Jahren waren. Hoffentlich wird’s nett. Ich fühl mich heute ziemlich beschissen …. Kopfweh und noch ein paar andere Scherze. Na ja, mal sehen, ansonsten mach ich mich früh vom Acker …

Tonight I’m going to a friend’s place. It was her birthday last week so she’s having a little celebration with me and 3 other girls. I know them all from the language school we attended a couple of years ago. I hope it’ll be a nice evening, although I feel kind of bad today. If not, I can always leave early.

And one more thing: I can’t stand my current template anymore!! And I don’t like the others Blogger offers either. I’ve also looked at other template websites (such as blogfrocks) and couldn’t find one I liked. Argh. I’m open to suggestions, although I'm not even sure I know what I'm looking for. I've been trying to find something Christmas-y, but couldn't. Something winter-y would be okay, too. If anybody knows any good sites, please let me know.

Donnerstag, 8. Dezember 2005

10 random things about me

Cissa tagged me, so here goes:

I drive a silver Opel Corsa. (Opel is part of General Motors. In England, they have the same models, but the brand is called Vauxhall, I think.)

I can’t remember the last film I saw at the movies. It’s been more than 3 months. Very unusual for me. Hm. I know I saw Madagascar and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. That sucked despite Pitt and Jolie.

I hate the smell of food and cigarettes in my clothes.

I hardly ever wear perfume or jewelry.

I’ve got a B.A. in media studies.

I often start things and don’t finish them. Books, for example.

I can get obsessed with things pretty quickly, but these obsessions fade after a while. Most often, I’m obsessed with TV shows. Especially if they’re by J.J. Abrams, the genius behind Felicity, Alias and Lost. Still haven’t forgiven him for the 2-year-leap at the end of season 2 of Alias. But that doesn’t stop me from loving Lost.

My eyes are green-brown, although most people think they’re just brown.

I have worn glasses since elementary school. Never tried contact lenses.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing a couple of old friends from college again at the end of the month.

Eigentlich wollte ich mehr auf Deutsch schreiben. War wohl nix. Na ja, was soll’s…

Montag, 5. Dezember 2005


Hier ist ein Bild des 1000-Teile Puzzles von Ravensburger, das ich gestern abend angefangen habe. Es gehört eigentlich meiner Mutter und wir haben es letzten Dezember schon mal gemacht. Ich finde das Motiv echt schön. Allerdings glaube ich nicht, dass ich vor Weihnachten mit dem Teil noch fertig werde. Aber ich brauchte gestern während Stirb an einem anderen Tag, dieser furchtbaren James-Bond-Materialschlacht, einfach nebenbei was zu tun. Übrigens bin ich jetzt doch froh, dass Clive Owen nicht der neue James Bond geworden ist. Die neueren Bond-Filme haben null Handlung, einzig die Anzahl der Explosionen zählt. Ich habe nix gegen Actionfilme im Allgemeinen, die können manchmal schon unterhaltsam sein, aber Owen ist für so was zu schade.

English summary: above is a pic of the 1000-pieces puzzle I started doing last night cos Die Another Day on TV was so awful that I needed something else to occupy my mind. And BTW, I'm glad Clive Owen is not the new Bond cos his talent would have been wasted on these absolutely pointless action movies.

Freitag, 2. Dezember 2005

Random blah blah

Jeopardygirl wanted me to post a new entry (and it's really time for something new), so here goes:

First of all, a couple of things I wanted to say (and should have said in my opening statement):

I’ll try not to use my real name, not even my first name, and I’m not going to say where I live in Germany. I’ll be more mysterious that way. Haha. No, I don’t know … I mean, you never know what kind of weirdos are out there, right?

What else? Hm … I’m such a couch-potato. My sister and some friends went to see In Her Shoes (with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette) last night, but of course I decided to spend the evening at home in front of the TV. The film that was on wasn’t as good as I had expected. One reason why I didn’t want to go was because I thought “If I can’t see Harry Potter 4 ,I don’t want to see a film I’m less interested in either”. The thing with HP 4 is, my sister saw it with her boyfriend about a week ago and she wanted to go see it again with me, but in English, if possible. And the biggest theatre in town was playing it in English, which they don’t do often. We wanted to go on Sunday. But of course it’s not playing anymore. She doesn’t want to see it in German a second time and I don’t want to go see it alone, so I’ll have to wait for the DVD. The whole thing with my sister and HP made me a little mad anyway. She doesn’t read any books and wasn’t interested in HP at all when I tried to get her to rent one of the films on DVD. But as soon as her boyfriend says he likes the films or books and they should watch them, she does so. Argh. Okay, I have to say, the good thing is, she bought a DVD box with films 1-3 so I can borrow those. And I can talk to her about HP now. She had all sorts of questions after film 4 so I had to get the book out of the shelf and read some chapters again cos I couldn’t remember. Now she wants to know how it all continues. I’ve already got books 5 and 6 and have now started reading the fifth (although I do have a couple of other unfinished books lying around). She now wants the audio-book of volume 5. Those are expensive. I’ll see if I can find it if I go shopping tomorrow.

Which brings me to another topic: Christmas. I wanted to start writing cards last weekend, but as soon as I switch on the computer, I’m not getting anything done. I’ve also wanted to send a parcel to a friend for weeks and haven’t done it yet. Grrr. Stupid me. I need to make a list. I also want to go get my hair cut before Christmas. And I can forget about next weekend cos I’ll have to work on December 10. Hm, but then I might get Monday off … that would be good. Anyways, I’ll try to do some Christmas shopping tomorrow. Buying presents doesn’t get easier when you don’t know what you want to get someone. Harumph.

Anybody still reading? I’m just typing my thoughts down and am probably not making much sense. I’ll stop here and go back to work for a little while before I’m off. Nice weekend everyone!

Sonntag, 27. November 2005

a South Park version of me

Here comes my first attempt at posting a picture. Uploading didn't work with Opera, so I'm trying again with IE.

Hair never looks quite right, but it's probably the closest it gets to my real haircut.

Let me introduce: Thomas Kretschmann, actor

I’m probably gonna sound like I’m just jumping on the bandwagon now or whatever you call that (because he’s been getting a lot of media attention recently, I think) but I’ve really known and liked this actor for a very long time. He’s in the upcoming remake of King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson from the LotR trilogy. I had heard about this project, but didn’t realize it was coming out so soon (December 14) until a couple of days ago. I haven’t seen the old King Kong movie so I don’t think I’ll watch the new one, but anyway, Thomas Kretschmann is definitely worth mentioning so here goes:

He’s 43, but looks younger, I think. More like 37. He’s got 3 kids, but that’s all he said about that in a recent TV interview. I don’t think he’s married and I have no idea who the mother of his children is or if they’ve all got the same mother. He was a professional swimmer in the former GDR, i.e. Eastern Germany. He couldn’t stand the political system so he ran away in 1983. He said he knew there were 3 options: making it, being imprisoned or being shot dead. He didn’t tell anyone about his plans and he was aware that he might never see his friends and family again. So it certainly was a tough decision to make. Thanks to the wall coming down and the following German reunification he could see them all again. Kretschmann got to West Germany via Hungary and Yugoslavia or something. Sounded like quite an adventure in the interview I saw.

Anyway, I’ve seen him in many films on German TV. I can’t remember any particular one at the moment, but he’s a good actor. He’s also been in quite a number of international productions, such as The Pianist by Roman Polanski (for which Adrien Brody got an Oscar, I think). Kretschmann’s part was smaller than I expected, unfortunately. He was also in U-571 (with Jon Bon Jovi and Matthew McConaughey) and he said these 2 films were the reason why Peter Jackson wanted him for King Kong. He will be on US TV soon in a movie about Pope John Paul II, or rather, he plays the Pope. Oh, and he was in Der Untergang (Downfall, about Hitler’s last days) which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscar’s last year.

In the TV interview I noticed quite a few things Kretschmann seems to have in common with Christian Bale: they’re both not good at auditions cos they can get into their parts much better when they’re in their costumes on the set. And they both seem to be very dedicated and determined actors. I hope these two will be in a film together someday.

Freitag, 25. November 2005

Snow-blogging, part 2

Letzte Nacht kamen ca. 10 cm Schnee vom Himmel. Hatte ziemlich Schiss, mit dem Auto zur Arbeit zu fahren. Meine Eltern meinten, nur die ersten paar Meter wären schwierig, weil spätestens im Ortskern geräumt wäre. Haha, von wegen. Bis zur Autobahn war die Fahrbahn mehr oder weniger schneebedeckt, aber es ging besser zu fahren, als ich dachte, weil kein Eis drunter war. Nur einmal beim Abbiegen bin ich etwas aus der Spur gekommen und hätte fast einen von diesen schwarz-weißen Pfosten gerammt. Allerdings hab ich für die Strecke bis zur Autobahn, für die ich sonst 10 Minuten brauch, 40 min. gebraucht. Toll. Auch auf der Autobahn war erst mal 50 km/h das Höchste der Gefühle. Nach einigen Kilometern wurde es besser und man konnte wieder ganz normal 80-100 km/h fahren. Allerdings sieht mein Auto jetzt aus wie 'ne Dreckschleuder, weil die Fahrbahn total nass war und es tierisch gespritzt hat.

Insgesamt bin ich nur ca. 10 bis 15 min. zu spät ins Büro gekommen. Und jetzt scheint schon wieder die Sonne, d.h. es taut und der Schnee bzw. das Wasser plätschert vom Dach runter.

Ach ja, und es gab einen total seltsamen "Regenfleck". Sah aus wie ein Regenbogen, war aber nur punktuell am Himmel zu sehen. Hab ich noch nie vorher gesehen. Sah aber schön aus. Soweit mein "Schneebericht".

English summary: we had about 4 inches of snow last night so it took me about twice as long as usual to drive to work. But it wasn't that bad, no ice on the streets or so. Sun's out, so the snow's melting away already.
Oh, and, no, I'm not gonna post a snow report every single time it snows. At least I don't think I will, but who knows. You have been warned.

Mittwoch, 23. November 2005

Another quiz (this is fun!)

Your Birthdate: December 31

You're a pretty traditional person. If it's lasted, it's probably good.
You seek stability - both in your career and your romantic relationship.
In return, you're very loyal and predictable. Which is usually a good thing.
Without a partner, you feel lost. Being with someone is very important to you.

Your strength: Your dependability

Your weakness: You hate being alone

Your power color: Midnight blue

Your power symbol: Shell

Your power month: April

Okay ... I hate being alone and without a partner I feel lost?? You gotta be kidding me. If that was true, I probably would have killed myself a long time ago.

I'm dependable, well, I'd say that's true. Predictable sounds boring, though. Hm.

Midnight blue as a color is okay.

Power Month April?? My current job ends in March, so I don't think that'll become true.


Your Personality Profile

You are dignified, spiritual, and wise.
Always unsatisfied, you constantly try to better yourself.
You are also a seeker of knowledge and often buried in books.

You tend to be philosophical, looking for the big picture in life.
You dream of inner peace for yourself, your friends, and the world.
A good friend, you always give of yourself first.

This is so not me at the moment, or at least the first sentence certainly isnt't true. I just wanted to try out including this blogthings thing in a post. And it seems to work. Still have to figure out how to post pics cos I made a couple of South Park versions of me (with this South Park Studio linked in the sidebar) and I'd like to post them. I think I need a software called Hello. Hm. As if I didn't have enough things to do for the weekend ... I really need to write a list .... Argh!

Sonntag, 20. November 2005


Borrowed the 3rd Harry Potter film on DVD from my sister. Really really loved it. Must admit I don’t remember the 2nd one very well. The 1st one was on TV recently, so I do remember that. Anyway, I found The Prisoner of Azkaban to be full of great ideas right from the start when Harry blows up Aunt Marge like a balloon. Then there was the purple Knight Bus, very cool as well. I liked the shrunken head, which was not in the book, I think. Also liked the way the Book of Monsters turned out on the screen. It was like an animal or some weird creature, biting and spitting out bits of paper and hiding under the bed. The dementors looked good, i.e. very scary. Very much like the Nazgul or Ringwraiths in The Lord of the Rings, though, but I won’t go into the similarities between the 2 series or I’ll never stop. Buckbeak turned out very well, too, I think. The only thing I didn’t really like was the way the werewolf looked that Lupin turned into. Very un-wolf-like, IMO. That’s all I can think of now.

There’s also a disc 2 in the set my sister has, and it contains lots of good extra features. Couldn’t figure out the interactive games, though, but the interviews and behind-the-scenes clips – such as a look at the animal trainers, at creating Buckbeak etc. – were very good. I didn’t watch all the interviews, but I really liked “the kids” as they seem to be referred to, i.e. Dan (surprised me they call him that instead of Daniel, which really isn't such a long name), Emma and Rupert. All 3 seemed to get along really well and appeared to be down-to-earth and still not used to their success and fame. Gary Oldman’s and David Thewlis’s interview together was great, too.

Um, yes, as always, I’m rambling on and on. Wanted to write a paragraph about the Batman Begins DVD, but I’ll save that for later cos I’ve only just started watching it anyway. Let me just say that there’s at least one little snippet of an interview with Christian Bale on disc 2. I think I’ll never get used to him speaking with an American accent. It always seems unnatural to me, no matter how good he is at it. In this interview bit he talks about the time before filming started and he quotes an English crew member who said something like “Are we shooting Fatman or Batman?” because CB had gone too far in putting weight back on after losing way too much (IMO) for The Machinist. Anyway, CB quotes this crew member and the English accent he uses when doing that is so funny!

Oh, and: Yay, normal HTML tags work, too! Writing < b > is so much shorter than < strong > (without the spaces, of course). (And yes, I'm still using Opera to browse the web and it doesn't show the formatting buttons.)

Freitag, 18. November 2005

First snow!

The title says it all, more or less. We've had the first snowfall of the year this afternoon. It looks pretty, all the trees outside are covered in white. I'm still at work. Don't know if it snowed where I live, too (about 30 km/20 miles away), but I think so. Hope I'll get home safely. My car has Winterreifen (tires for winter) already, but you never know.

Dienstag, 15. November 2005

just quickly...

As you can see, I've changed the template cos the old one (TicTac it was called, I think) looked too much like summer or spring with its fresh green and orange colours. So this now fits better for autumn and winter, I thought. Didn't dare to use a template not offered by Blogger itself cos I still don't know how to do certain things.

I wish I had more time to post more often. I really find myself thinking about new entries all the time. I'd like to post how much I hate driving in the dark, for example. Sounds exciting, right?! Kidding ...

Anyways, gotta get back to work.

ETA: just realized that Jeopardygirl uses the same template, but in pink and purple, for her NaNoWriMo novel .

Looked at the website for Christian Bale's new film The New World (which opens on Christmas in the US, I think). First impression after watching the teaser: looks like a cross between Last of the Mohicans and The Thin Red Line. Bale's nowhere to be seen, unfortunately. Just Colin Farrell and Pocahontas.

Sonntag, 13. November 2005

Working at the fair

Recently I worked at a big consumer fair for 9 days in a row. The regional (or local) radio and TV broadcaster I work for had a sort of “fair studio” there, i.e. a stage for quizzes and performances for the audience and a kitchen on a smaller stage next to it where chefs from local restaurants cooked a meal twice a day and people who had won tickets from local newspapers or our TV and radio shows could eat for free. It was pretty much like those numerous TV cook shows. There were also several camera men who filmed what was going on on the 2 stages and it was shown on one big screen at the side of the big stage and several TV screens all over our “area” at the fair so everyone in the audience could get a good view.

My job was to put up posters with the programme for the day in the audience area and backstage, fill balloons with helium for decoration and to give to visitors, put flyers on chairs and tables or hand them out to visitors, take pictures of the performing groups and interview guests and the chefs for our website (although the stupid webmasters used photos from last year mostly, which I wasn’t happy about cos I tried hard to get good photos and not being in the way of the camera men / staying “off screen” at the same time), help carry equipment and props on stage (tables and chairs, Aufsteller – no idea what that is in English), etc. etc..

What was hard for me to take, especially on the first few days, was the smell of different food wafting over our “area”. Sometimes it smelled like a fish restaurant, sometimes like at a fun fair (various candy smells) and so on. My feet hurt at the end of each day, too. I liked being allowed to walk in doors that had “Authorized personnel only” (Zutritt nur für Befugte) signs on them. One of the hosts was great. He’s a radio presenter/reporter and I’d worked with him before. He talked to everyone backstage and showed genuine interest in his interview guests and the cooking. The other host wasn’t very popular with basically everyone working backstage. He didn’t say hi to anyone, didn’t ask our names and once just shrugged his shoulders when I told him about the arrival of some guests. Pfft. After all, he needed to know who had arrived cos he needed to talk to the guests before their appearance on stage so he’d know what to ask them or what they wanted to talk about. He seemed so arrogant. And when he was the host for the day, we could never keep up with the schedule cos he kept blathering on for ages. He’s a TV presenter, of course. Only proves once again that radio people are nicer and more down to earth than TV people. I didn’t want to believe that when I first heard it, but it really seems to be true. Fortunately, the department I work for (public relations, press or marketing or whatever you want to call it) is in the radio building.

On the 9 days, I went by public transport. Normally, I go to work by car, but the fair center is in a part of town that I don’t know very well. I don’t like driving to places I haven’t been before and I don’t like driving in the dark. Okay, I had been there before, but my last visit to the fair with my parents was years ago so I didn’t remember how to get there. Going by train was easy cos there was an underground station just outside the main entrance and the train connection was okay (I had to change trains once). The train station is about 5 km (3 miles) from where I live. On the first day it was so foggy that I still don’t know how I got to the train station safely. Sitting on the train for about 30 minutes gave me the chance to listen to some of the CDs that I’ve bought lately but haven’t really had a chance to listen to. One of them was Coldplay’s “X & Y” album. It’s very, very good, but what I don’t like about them (and the same goes for R.E.M.) is that their CD booklets don’t include the song lyrics. So don’t ask me what their songs mean cos I have no idea. Okay, I admit that knowing the lyrics doesn’t necessarily mean understanding them, but it would make it a bit easier. And yes, I know that I can find all the lyrics on the internet, but I don’t have a printer connected to my computer at the moment, and it would take a while to find the lyrics, copy and paste them into MS Word, format them the way I want them, save them on a disc, go into the other room where my old laptop computer is (to which the printer is connected) etc. etc. Sorry, rambling mode … Anyways, Coldplay are great.
I also listened to the new Robbie Williams CD, “Intensive Care”. It’s not as bad as some reviews said, but I haven’t quite got used to it yet. Don’t have a favourite song yet and still like his other albums better. And I still haven’t watched my tape with his live performance in Berlin, which was the world-exclusive CD launch concert or something. But then, I still haven’t watched the tape with the concert in Knebworth (England) from the Escapology open air tour 2003 either although I did go to one of the German gigs of that tour and totally loved it.
Another CD I listened to was “Chariot” by Gavin DeGraw. I read about him in Zach Braff’s wonderful blog, but didn’t know any of his songs. At least I think I didn’t, although “I don’t want to be” apparently is the theme song to the WB show One Tree Hill and I think I’ve seen the pilot episode of it, so I must have heard it before, but I didn’t remember it. Then I heard “Chariot” and “I don’t want to be” on the radio and was hooked. The album is great. He does sound like Maroon 5, but I don’t mind cos I like them as well.
And then there was Nek’s latest album. It’s called “Una Parte Di Me” (a part of me). He’s an Italian singer. I think he says he’s the Sting of Italy, but I don’t think he sounds a lot like Sting (although I wouldn’t mind that). His real name is Filippo Neviani, I think. Don’t know why he calls himself Nek. K is not a common letter in Italian. Anyway, he’s got dark hair and blue or green eyes, which is often a sexy combination, and very much so in his case. His albums sound very much alike (i.e. he doesn’t re-invent himself with almost every album like Robbie Williams or Madonna), but I don’t mind. “Miss California” by Dante Thomas was just on the radio. He did a duet with Nek on the “Le Cose Da Diffendere” album and both my sister and I love this song very, very much. It’s called “Cielo e Terra” (Heaven and Earth, although it could be sky and earth as well cos most languages don’t make a difference between sky and heaven, i.e. have just one word for it) and I could listen to it all day.

Dienstag, 8. November 2005

9 Layers of me

Working 9 days in a row is over. Yay! Got Monday and Tuesday off work. Yay again. Still, the days are just too short (i.e. I still watch too much TV or tape too many shows so it's hard to catch up with the latest episodes of Lost, Ed, Judging Amy, etc.).

Topic: Read Secret Earthling's and Cissa Fireheart's 9 Layers and wanted to write down mine.

Layer One

Name: bilingualblahgirl

Birthdate: December 31, 1975, 9:13 p.m. = 21.15 Uhr (I think)

Birthplace: Germany

Current Location: Germany

Eyes: green and brown, although most people think they’re just brown

Hair: light brown (dyed a darker shade of brown with some highlights at the moment)

Height: 5' 2" (I think) = 1,57 m

Right handed

Zodiac sign: Capricorn. Aszendent weiß ich nicht.

Layer Two

Heritage: Don’t really know. German, I think, and probably Polish from both my mum’s and dad’s side of the family. My mum’s maiden name definitely used to be Polish and her family had it changed before Hitler started persecuting Jews and Poles. So now everybody who’s got that name is related to me. We even have some relatives in the USA. One of them e-mailed my aunt last year but they didn’t stay in touch for a long time. I looked for them on the web a while ago. I think most of them live in Wisconsin.

Shoes today: Just socks at the moment. The shoes I wear indoors are some kind of Birkenstock copy.

Weaknesses: I always find it hard to describe or categorize or define myself. Hm … being shy or not having good social skills, making things more complicated than they are, not taking chances, i.e. being afraid of too many things, etc., etc. Why is there no question about my strengths? That’s kind of unfair, isn’t it?

Fears: Not finding a job when my current one ends in March 2006, hitting another deer or other animal when driving in the dark, and a couple of other things that are too personal to list here.

Perfect pizza: I like pizza Hawaii (ham and pineapple) and pizza with mushrooms, sweet corn, zucchini and red pepper (and cheese and tomatoes of course, but I think that goes without saying).

Goals: find a job, get an apartment of my own.

Layer Three

Your most over-used AIM phrase: I don’t IM a lot anymore, so I don’t really have one.

First waking thought: “I wanna stay in bed a bit longer.” Very original, right? ;-)

Best Physical feature: Don’t know. My waist?

Most missed memory: Spending a lot of time with my best friend at college. We hardly see each other anymore at the moment because I live too far away.

Layer Four

Pepsi or Coke: Coke.

McDonald's or Burger King: I don’t like the fries at McDonald’s, but I hardly ever to go either of them and I hardly ever eat burgers at all.

Single or group dates: I don’t go on dates very often, so I can’t really say.

Adidas or Nike: I never had a pair of either of them. If I was patriotic, I’d have to say Adidas.

Lipton Iced Tea or Nestea: Neither. I make my own lemon or peach tea in the summer.

Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate.

Cappucino or Coffee: I like both, but don’t drink a lot of coffee. Never more than 1 or 2 cups a day. I like tea, too. Just bought a cherry flavoured rooi tea that smells delicious. Haven’t tried it yet, though.

Layer Five

Do You/Have You/Did You:

Smoke? Never.

Swear? Yes. I say “Herrgott” or Herrgott Sakra” a lot (don’t know where that came from , I never used that word in particular before), although I always remember my grandpa not liking it at all when I used swear words that abused the name of the Lord.

Sing? I like to sing along to music in the car.

Shower everyday? It depends. More like every other day. What’s next, how often I change my underwear??

Ever been in love? Don’t know. (Thank God no one said there’s a limit as to how often you can use this answer, ha ha.)

Want to go to college? Already have.

Like High School? It was okay.

Want to get married? Do you want me to make a list of the pros and cons of marriage as an institution? I’m kind of undecided about it.

Believe in Yourself? Sometimes.

Get motion sickness? Sometimes.

Think you're attractive? I like how Jen put it. I kind of feel the same way, although probably a bit more negative about myself.

Are you a health freak? No. I don’t do any sports, but try not to eat things with loads of fat in them.

Get along with your parents? Yes, I guess. Judging from what I hear from friends sometimes, I can’t complain. My mum is a control freak, though, which isn’t the easiest thing to live with.

Like thunderstorms? Not really, they’re pretty frightening.

Play an instrument? I can play the Bockflöte. What’s that again in English? Register or something strange like that. I don’t play it anymore really, only around Christmas with my sister. We play “Macht hoch die Tür” zweistimmig (she plays the melody and I accompany her) and always end up laughing our butts off cos there’s one part we never get right. I wish I could play the piano.

Layer Six

In the past month: (Does that mean the past 4 weeks or the 1st week of November?)

Drank alcohol? Yes. A glass of wine, or two.

Smoked? As I said before, never.

Done a drug? No.

Made out? No.

Gone on a date? No.

Gone to the Mall? No.

Eaten an entire box of Oreos? I don’t know what Oreos are, but normally I don’t eat whole boxes of cookies or chocolates in one go.

Eaten sushi? No.

Been on Stage? Well, that could be a yes if you count working backstage and helping with carrying chairs and tables and decoration on stage.

Been dumped? No.

Gone skating? No.

Made homemade cookies? No.

Skinny dipping? You gotta be kidding. Of course not.

Stolen anything? I took a couple of pens and notepads with me that the company I work for gave away for free at the fair where I worked for the last 9 days. In most cases, I asked if I could have the pen or notepad or other small giveaway, so I don’t really think that counts as stealing.

Layer Seven


Played a game that required the removal of clothing? Might have. Don’t remember for sure.

Been trashed or extremely intoxicated? No. (So I guess I should be able to remember the answer to the question above, but I really don’t.)

Been caught "doing something?" I don’t know what you mean.

Been called a tease? Yes, I think so.

Gotten beaten up? No. At least I don’t remember it. Oh, wait, does fighting with my sister count?

Shoplifted? Not really.

Changed who you were to fit in? I try to wear clothes that fit the occasion, but I can’t really change who I am. Do I sound like a philosopher now? Hm. Now I think I don’t understand the question.

Layer Eight

Age you hope to be married: I have no idea. 35?

Number and Names of children: I don’t have any yet. I don’t want more than 2, I guess. Or maybe none at all. I like names you can use in different languages, like Sarah or Sophie/Sophia or Anna or Hanna or Lena. For a boy, I don’t know. I also like Gaelic sounding names like Moira or Fiona or … I just can’t think of any male names today obviously … Anyway, I wouldn’t give my kid a name no-one can pronounce. I don’t want a too common name either, though. Okay, enough about that…

Describe Dream Wedding: I’m very pale so I’d probably look even paler in white. Now can we please stop talking about marriage and children?

How do you want to die? I guess most people want to die a more or less painless death, and I’m no exception.

Where do you want to go to college? As I said before, I already went. My university was founded in 1965 (I think), so the buildings were very ugly. Pure concrete. So it’d be nice to see what it’s like to go to an old university with a lot of tradition. Something like Heidelberg or Jena or so. Or on an international level, Harvard or Yale or Oxford or Trinity College in Dublin. Not that that’s ever going to happen, but never mind.

What do you most want to be when you grow up? Happy. I’m beginning to think these questions are for 15 year olds because they assume I’m not grown up or married yet.

Country you'd most like to visit? Australia or New Zealand.

Layer Nine

Number of:

Drugs taken illegally: Zero.

People you trust with your life: Not many. Maybe 5 or so. What’s meant by “trust with your life” anyway?

CDs owned: I’m not sure. Maybe 100 or 150.

Piercings: None.

Tattoos: None, and I don’t want any.

Times your name has appeared in the paper: Hm. Never, I think. But I think I’ve been in 2 group photos.

Scars on your body: Don’t know exactly. One on my forehead, a couple of very small ones on my arms, and probably some more.

Dear computer, please don't eat my post again!!

Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2005


Heute abend im Ersten kommt ein Film mit meinem neuen "Liebling" Misel Maticevic. Sehr guter Schauspieler, und total sexy, wie ich finde.
Boss is coming back. Uh-oh.

ETA (= edited to add, but I'm not sure if this is a commonly used abbreviation or if it just exists in the TWoP forums. Ups, ich war ja eigentlich gerade beim Deutsch-Tippen. Jedenfalls kam gestern dieser Film .
Hab ihn bisher erst halb gesehen, weil ich dann zu OC umgeschaltet hab. Hab Maticevic schon in mehreren Filmen gesehen: Das Zimmermädchen und der Millionär (Sat.1), Kalter Frühling (ZDF), Hotte im Paradies (arte/Das Erste), Emilia (Das Erste) usw., und fand ihn in allen Rollen sehr gut und v.a. sehr wandelbar. Und männlich : )

English summary: yesterday I mentioned a film with an actor I really like (name in bold print), today I added some more info and a link to an article with pics of the actor.

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2005

Blog on my mind

As I told a friend earlier today, I almost called this blog "Latest Obssessions" or "Temporary Addictions" or something like that. Now the blog itself is my latest obssession cos last night when I was trying to get to sleep, I was composing new posts in my head. Hope that won't happen every night from now on ... but if it does, it's not so new to me cos I think I've kind of written a mental book before (mental book sounds stupid, I can't remember what it was exactly, maybe some kind of autobiography or so) and I've had imaginary conversations with celebrities in my mind (not only when I'm trying to fall asleep, though). But I guess everybody does that.

Someting totally unrelated: I really like Madonna's new single Hung up. Heard it for the first time on the radio last week on the way home from work. Noticed immediately that she uses a sample of an ABBA song, but it took me almost till the end of the song to figure out which one (Gimme, gimme, gimme). I love ABBA. Me and my sister often listen to our dad's ABBA tapes when we're sitting in the back of his car together. And we sing along loudly.

Und jetzt noch was auf Deutsch: Wolke Hegenbarth ist so nervig. Welcher Idiot besetzt die siet Neuestem dauernd in romantischen TV-Komödien? Ich kann sie echt nicht ertragen und muss abschalten, auch wenn ich den männlichen Hauptdarsteller ganz gut finde. <- That's me venting about a German actress I really dislike. Can't watch a romantic comedy with her even if her male co-star is very cute. One of those films is on TV right now, that's why I'm mentioning this.

Who to tell?

Difficult question, I think. So far, only a small group of American and Canadian girls know about my blog. They (and I) are (former) Baleheads, i.e. fans of British actor Christian Bale. We were all members of his official mailing list at Yahoo! Groups, then started e-mailing and chatting privately and have kept in touch over the course of 5 years. So they’re the ones who know, mainly because 3 of them (AFAIK) keep blogs, too, and one in particular inspired me to start (or was one of the reasons why I started) this blog. (I’d been thinking about starting one for a year or two, had looked at different blog or online diary providers, had thought or read about the pros and cons but in the end – as with so many things in my life – hadn’t taken the decisive step. Decisive step sounds very much like a literal translation from German, but it should be clear what I mean.)

Where was I? Right, who to tell? As I said, so far only my “cyber friends” know about it. I don’t really want to tell anyone who I might be posting about in a way they wouldn’t like cos I think I’ll need this blog to vent about things or people sooner or later. So I can’t tell my sister or my co-workers. But I think I won’t be able to keep it to myself for long. Hm. We’ll see. I’ll definitely not use anybody’s real names when I talk about people I know.

I think I should decide if I want this blog to be a way for me to communicate with my friends, sort of like a substitute for e-mails. I’d just have to tell them about it once. Then if they want to know what’s going on in my life or what I think about this or that, they can read it here and leave a comment or e-mail me if they like. The other option would be to keep it secret so I can vent and say whatever I want about whoever I want. Problem: I want this blog to be both. Ah, well, I guess it’ll all work itself out in a while. Now I sound like Scarlett O’Hara at the end of Gone with the Wind. Hate that character. Read the whole big book, and in old writing where an f looks like an s. (It was an old edition from my grandmother.) Anyway, she says something like “Tomorrow is another day” or “Morgen ist auch noch ein Tag.” at the end of the film and it’s not a solution. But I don't have one now so I'll stop here.

Montag, 24. Oktober 2005

Immer noch irgendwie beim Austesten

So, bin jetzt kurzzeitig von meinem geliebten Opera-Browser zu IE6 gewechselt, um zu sehen, wie das "Verfassen" Fenster hier aussieht. Hm, eigentlich wollte ich die Schriftart und -farbe ändern, ich seh aber keinen Button dafür. Keine Ahnung, vielleicht ist das alles in meiner Vorlage festgelegt. Wenn ich mich bloß an meine HTML-Grundkenntnisse erinnern könnte ...

Test: fett Aha, Tastaturkürzel scheinen zu gehen. Was ist eigentlich ein Blockzitat? Und ist das hier alles ein langes Selbstgespräch? *seufz*

Back to English: On the topic of browsers: I hate IE6 because it has way too little functions and features. I've been using Opera since version 7.0 or even earlier, can't remember for sure. And I like it a lot, especially the tabbed browsing and the e-mail/RSS-client and the skins. I'm sure it's a lot more customizable than I'm aware, but I'm okay with the way mine is. As to Firefox, well, the basic version for me just doesn't have enough features, or at least not the ones I'm used to from Opera. So it'd take me a long time to find all the plug-ins I want, and I'd have to update them at different times etc. etc.

Another thing I wanted to try is adding a hyperlink: Great site for skins. I LOVE skinnable applications, such as Rainlendar or aforementioned Norwegian browser. Also love to change the look of Windows XP with visual styles and wallpapers, and you can get fantastic ones from Deviantart.

Enough posts for day 1. LOST is coming up soon. (Another of the millions of TV drama series I am addicted to. More on that maybe some other day. You have been warned.)

Testing BlogThis!

Wanted to mention a film I watched on DVD on Saturday night: Hidalgo with Viggo Mortensen. Viggo on a horse, what else does a girl need? ;-) No, seriously, I really liked the film based on the life of endurance rider Frank T. Hopkins.

Then last night Sweet Home Alabama was on TV. Saw it already when it was in theatres. Like Reese Witherspoon. Oh, and of course Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey. Both so handsome .... Dempsey was so good as Lily's schizophrenic (I think it was that disease) brother in ONCE & AGAIN, one of the best drama series on TV EVER. And Thomas-Nero Wolff did an excellent job with lending him his voice, i.e. dubbing him. Where was I? Right, SHA, cute film.

Also, am in the middle (or almost finished, rather) of watching SECRETARY, a rather strange film with Maggie Gyllenhaal (who looks a lot like her brother, if Jake's her brother, not sure about the way they're related) and James Spader. Terrific performances by both of them, but strange film, kinda Lynch-esque, although the music by Lynch's Haus-und-Hof composer doesn't sound like the music from Twin Peaks. Anyway ... about 5 mins into the film I thought I'd stop watching it, but then I continued and it turned out to be quite good. It's about a masochistic secretary. In the beginning she's auto-aggressive. Jeremy Davies is also in it. He fidgets around the same way he did in Solaris, and maybe also in Million Dollar Hotel, but I don't remember that very well. Both also rather strange films. (Note to self: think of a different word than strange.) In other words: took me several attempts to finish watching Solaris, not just because it was slow and confusing, but also because of a problem with an audio driver on my comp. But George Clooney always looks sooo hot in Steven Soderbergh films, so I did watch it in the end.

It should be clear by now why I've included the words blah blah in my blog name. I like to ramble on and get from one thing to another (vom Hundertsten ins Tausendste, we say in German) without remembering where I started or what my original point was - if there was one at all. Hee. That's me.

BTW, my cold's not better, but I'm determinded to go to work tomorrow and I've got some lemon powder stuff (to pour into a cup of hot water) that hopefully helps. Ich sollte lieber auf deutsch schreiben, wenn ich nicht weiß, wie bestimmte Sachen auf englisch heißen. Ha, und schreibt man Sprachen nicht groß? Na, egal, hab heut schon deutsche Blogs mit schlimmerer Rechtschreibung und Zeichensetzung gesehen ...

Now let's see if my formatting shows ...

Oh, and before I forget it ...

... I don't know how often I'll be able to post in the days and weeks to come. Normally I'm at work at this hour and on weekends I'm only online for about an hour every day. But I probably have to work the 2 coming weekends. So don't worry if there are no new posts for a while.

Also, I was wondering why I don't see the text formatting buttons. It seems that's one of the letdowns of using Opera Browser. Damn. But I love my Opera and don't want to use a different browser.

Opening Statement

Hey there,
I've done it. I guess I can always file it under "stupid things I did when I was home with a severe cold and a headache" if I get bored or nobody cares what I post.

My blog name is pretty self-explanatory, I think. I'll be posting in English and German, therefore BILINGUAL. And it'll be my blah blah.

Okay, enough for now. Just wanna see what this looks like when it's posted.
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