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!
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