I don’t know when I’ll be able to write again, I’m going home for the holidays now. Therefore:

MERRY CHRISTMAS (or whatever else you are celebrating, if at all ;)) AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

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Stereophonics – Maybe Tomorrow

I’ve been down and
I’m wondering why
These little black clouds
Keep walking around
With me
With me

 

It wastes time
And I’d rather be high
Think I’ll walk me outside
And buy a rainbow smile
But be free
They’re all free

 

So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home

 

I look around at a beautiful life
Been the upperside of down
Been the inside of out
But we breathe
We breathe

 

I wanna breeze and an open mind
I wanna swim in the ocean
Wanna take my time for me
All me

 

So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home

 

So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home

 

So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow
I’ll find my way home

Movie-Mania

Ok, my last two posts were about movies, this one will be, too, but as I won’t have time to go to the cinema for at least until Tuesday, I guess, next time you’ll read something else. Probably about what I’m reading now (Siegfried Lenz – “Die Deutschstunde”, Tad Williams – “Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass”, Angela Baron & Michael Armstrong – “Human Capital Management”), probably not.

Anyway, yesterday I went to the cinema, again. My partner in crime: K. Maybe she will wake from her blogging coma to post about the movies we saw yesterday because they were really good. Made up for the two bad ones I saw before.

To not keep you on tenterhooks (I love that word) anymore: We saw “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” and Becoming Jane.

Mr. Magorium is just wonderful. Although there was a slight technical difficulty (after the advertisement we just got a black screen for about 10 minutes), it definitely was my highlight of the week. I laughed, I cried, I watched the colours and the lack of colours with fascination and I saw the saddest stuffed animal ever (even though K. claims to have seen an even sadder one – I can’t really believe it). Eric, the little boy and hat collector (played by Zach Mills), is sooo cute (I wonder why jug ears are cute when a boy is 12, but not anymore when he’s 22…). Never heard of Jason Bateman before (though every time I see/hear the name Bateman I have to think about American Psycho) but he completely convinced me as the accounting mutant, especially in the scene where he plays with Eric in his room. Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman play just wonderfully and altogether it’s the perfect Christmas story.
Go and see it RIGHT NOW! (Ok, you may finish reading this post first…)

[Warning Spoiler!]
Becoming Jane
is beautiful. Sad, witty, well played. It gave off the vibe of her books, although the obligatory happy ending is missing. You keep on hoping until the end. Anne Hathaway plays well, very passionately. James McAvoy was as he always was – perfect actor, but I’m still not sure about his looks. (It was the same in Atonement – one minute I think that he’s oh-so-good-looking, the next I think he will be, when he’s older, and the next I think he never will reach the good-looking-status. [I just saw his picture on the imdb… oh my… he really should change that…]) The casting for the supporting roles was amazing – Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, and also the not so famous actors were perfectly chosen: Joe Anderson (I was sure I saw him in another movie before but after looking on his site, on the imdb as usual, I don’t think I have), Laurence Fox, Leo Bill and Ian Richardson.
Again, I laughed and cried and thought about what I would have done in her situation. *sigh* Beautiful.

Disappointment

I went to the cinema again on monday. I wanted to see The Golden Compass. I had been looking forward to seeing this ever since I heard they made the movie. The book is great, and the cast was really good… what could possibly go wrong?

Well, obviously, Chris Weitz found a way. To quote Jamie Sutherland (from his comment on the imdb): “But the soul of the story is all but gone. Gone is the mystery; the slow, developing understanding of a person’s bond with their daemon; and the gentle, calm introduction to each character and their entwining relationships. Granted, such a complex story was always going to be difficult to adapt, but surely restricting it to such a short-time span (114 minutes) to tell the story just increases that difficulty. By ripping out the very things that made the novel so spell-binding and original, we’re left with an ultimately quite hollow, shallow and self-conscious movie, which is more interested in showing off it’s (admittedly breathtaking special effects) than telling an interesting story.”

(Warning: Spoilers for book and movie following!)

Weitz decided that in his script there would be no need for the subtleties, grey areas and religious references that make the book so complex and intelligent. Also, chronology according to the book is for losers because then the whole thing doesn’t end with a battle. There where some differences I did enjoy, like the green fire and the “carriages” – I am not sure if Pullman ever described them that way but it added to the different feel of the world.

Starting from the top, the biggest differences between book and movie:

Serafina Pekkala gives the entry speech, explaining the world. Daemons.
Ok, it probably is rather complicated to get the concept of daemons if you haven’t read the book. Especially with that script. I guess, my approach would have been to let Lyra explain, but I can live with Serafina doing it. Fine by me. The only thing that’s sad is that you don”t gradually learn about the connection between humans and daemons but such small things as the big taboo (Humans are not allowed to touch the daemon of another person) are hardly mentioned at all – you have to guess the devastating effect from Lyra’s reaction in Bolvangar.
On the whole, the connections between humans and daemons was sadly negleceted. That the daemons are supposed to reflect their person’s personality is something you have to guess, again.

Not the Master of Jordan College poisons Asriel’s wine but someone from the Magisterium.
First thing to be cut so that Weitz can be happy with his black-and-white world… The Master’s kindness is never even questionned.

The Magisterium.
The Magisterium is not religious anymore. It could be anything – a political party, a government, anything in power. I think Weitz didn’t want to scare away the catholic/religious viewers but now the Magisterium is such a vague thing that you don’t really know how to handle it.

Iorek.
Iorek didn’t kill another bear in a fight and therefore broke the rules of Svalbard and had to leave. No, that would have been too much grey (although even in the book, the other bear was poisoned to not give up even when Iorek had proved superior). No, Iorek now was defeated in the fight (by Ragnur), had to leave Svalbard in shame and gets dangerously close to drown in self-pity.

Mrs. Coulter.
It’s Mrs. Coulter who tells Lyra about Ragnur’s obsession with daemons, something she would have never done in the book – she’s much too calculating for that there. Also, she’s the one to tell Lyra about her being her daughter. (Lyra guesses that her father is Lord Asriel which was not really logical for me.) Nicole Kidman plays her really well (even though I had the feeling that she’s not too comfortable with playing without having the daemon right there) but there’s something about Mrs. Coulter that just doesn’t fit.

Lord Asriel.
Well, Daniel Craig really has the character down. It’s great to watch him swaggering about. But they made no mention of Asriel actually being a pretty big asshole (in the first book anyway). Part of it definitely is owned to the fact that they cut the ending (what a stupid idea was that anyway?). But he’s never the rude, egocentric guy he’s in the book.

Tony Makarios / Billy Costa.
In the first ten minutes, when Billy talks about his daemon Ratter (in the book, it’s Tony’s daemon), I thought “oh no, they cut Tony and will kill Billy instead!”. And that’s what happened. I probably could have lived with that, if they hadn’t really ruined the scene where Lyra finds Billy. One of the saddest things in the book, which regularly makes me cry, was Tony, hanging on to the dried fish and crying for his daemon. When Lyra brings him back to the gyptians (in the book), they are so shocked about someone not having a daemon (Pullman stresses it more than once that that’s like having no head), that at first they don’t even want to go near him.
In the movie, you hardly have time to realise the implications when Lyra finds Billy. And then, when they arrive back at the camp, Ma Costa just hugs Billy, no shock, nothing, telling him that they would find Ratter. WTF? Is it possible that they can reattach him or what? And right after that, the attacks start. No time for a tear-jerker death scene.

Summarising:

The cast is fabulous – leading actors as well as actors in supporting roles. The special effects and the art design is really beautiful. The script is crap and Chris Weitz should be forever ignored for it. Watch the movie, enjoy the view and read the book afterwards and enjoy the story, the depth and the characters.

By the way:
I took the “Meet Your Daemon” test at http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/ and my Daemon is Boreallus, the Snow Leopard. My profile reveals that I am dependable, responsible, modest, solitary and humble. :)

Free Rainer

Yesterday, I went to the cinema and saw Free Rainer (in English: Reclaim Your Brain). It’s a German movie with Moritz Bleibtreu, one of my favourite German actors (because he can actually act, a rare thing in the German movie biz) by Hans Weingartner (he also did Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei or in English, The Edukators), an Austrian director.

Long plot outline (Warning: Contains Spoilers!): Rainer (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a creator of TV shows like “Who gets the Superbaby?” (where a woman choses between three man to have a baby with. The last test they have to face is a race of their sperm. Then the woman and the winning-sperm-man go to a hotel for 28 days and hope to get her pregnant…) and “Report 24” (a pseudo-news-report-show where they have no problem to interpret the facts rather freely…). He’s young, successful, good-looking, has a big apartment and an attractive girlfriend. He’s constantly on drugs and doesn’t give a shit about anything else than himself. In the beginning, he gets into his car (something expensive and sporty), hits a police car purposefully, gets some Vodka out of the glove department, puts on some rock music and, surprisingly, hits another car. Three hooligans get out of the car but Rainer gets a baseball bat and starts hitting his own car, destroying more or less what’s left of it, freaking the hooligans out. Than he just drives off (yes, the car is still able to).

In between, we get glimpses of a young girl (Elsa Sophie Gambard), camping near a lake, swimming and handling a knife pretty well. She gets out a news paper clip with a picture of Rainer, announcing him to be at an award ceremony.

Rainer and Anna, his girlfriend, get ready for the ceremony. Anna wants to have a show at Rainers TV station and he promises her to talk to his boss, Maiwald (Gregor Bloéb).

They arrive rather late at the ceremony. The girl we’ve seen before waits for them there. She asks Rainer if he’s the one who created “Report 24”. He says yes but obviously doesn’t know her and is confused. She has a knife behind her back but isn’t able to pull it out, instead she just runs off.

Anna and Rainer enter the ceremony where Rainer gets high praise. Then he and Maiwald and their girlfriends set out to get something to eat, somewhere else. Rainer excuses himself before they arrive at the restaurant, saying he forgot something in his car (he did – his cocain). But he doesn’t return and Anna spoils her chance to get a job at the TV station.

Rainer gets lost somewhere in the bars and in the early hours of morning tries to find his way home, albeit totally drugged, drunk and almost falling asleep. He gets into his car and drives off.
The girl followed him. When he stops in the middle of a crossroad because he dropped his cigarettes between his legs, she hits him with her car.

Rainer almost dies in the ambulance. During a short time when his heart stops beating, he has a nightmare: He is in a TV show and the audience is really brainless. The host of the show asks them if Rainer really should get the operation he needs to survive although it’s his fault that TV made the stupid. They are supposed to push a button to decide but if they don’t get the right one, it’s no problem, because it isn’t their fault anyway. Horrified, Rainer tries to call out to Maiwald but he’s just making out with Anna and laughing. The audience decides that Rainer should not live. Maiwald and Anna come to say goodbye, Maiwald telling him, don’t worry, it wouldn’t have been real doctors anyway.

Finally, Rainer wakes up. He lies in the hospital and Anna is sitting by his side. They don’t talk and she soon has to leave. Rainer is depressed and thoughtful. He wanders around in the hospital and finds the girl who hit him with the car. She was pretty badly injured as well. He goes into her room and she wakes up, startled and scared to see him. He tells her that she couldn’t possibly hate him as much as he hates himself. Then a nurse comes in and ushers him out.

When he returns to her room some time later, she’s gone. But he finds a news paper clip with a picture of a trainer who was in his show “Report 24”. In the show, they said that he used doping. After that he lost his license and killed himself. His granddaughter (the girl) said he never did use it.

We see some flashbacks of the girl and her granddad and then we see her crying (in the now).

Rainer goes home. He decided he wanted to do some good TV shows and starts a new show with the title “You Should Know That”. They start with a report about the fake testimony which more or less started the first Irak war (the nurse talking about the Irakis killing the babies). But when they check the viewer’s quota, it’s the lowest of all.

The next day, Maiwald tells Rainer that they will cancel the show. Rainer and Maiwald get into a big fight and Rainer resigns. Rainer gets obsessed with the quota. He finds out that in Germany there’s only 5.500 quota boxes, therefore there are only 13.000 people determining the program of Germany as a whole (and none of them foreigners). He’s convinced that the quota is faked.

One day, the girl, Pegah, as we now find out, shows up at Rainer’s apartment and apologises. He tells her she shouldn’t and asks her to help him.

Together they drive to a small town in Germany, where they find a hotel. Then they both go to the IMA (Institute of Media Analysis). Pegah waits in the car while Rainer takes the tour and steals the quota box on display there. On the way out he gets caught by a security guard but Pegah is able to convince the guard, Philipp, that they are on to a big conspiracy and that he should join them.

They drive to Philipp’s. He has all kinds of documentation about different conspiracies there and also a book about “socio phobia”. They tell him about their plan: First they wanted to check if there were any cables in the boxes (Philipp confirms that there are). Then they wanted to call everybody and check if the quota is faked or not but they don’t have the addresses of the people with boxes. Philipp tells them that he has the addresses. Rainer gets so excited, he starts crowding Philipp who flees to the bathroom. Pegah and Rainer leave and go back to the hotel.

Later that night, Philipp shows up there and tells them that he wants to be a part of their group. He brings them the addresses. And together they party.

The next day, they start calling the families with boxes. By asking them to change the channel and simultaneously watching if the quota changes, they find out that it really is correct.

They are desperate and want to give up. But Pegah suggests that they should exchange the boxes and start making the quota themselves. Rainer sells his flat to get some money, they order the boxes from Switzerland and find five unemployed guys to help them, who all start living in the hotel, where they also put up the computer HQ. They want to exchange a thousand boxes within two months. Everthing looks great.

But after the first day, everything’s different. One guy almost burns the house he’s supposed to exchange the box in. Another one destroys a table and a piece of art. Another one falls off a ladder and also destroys a table. One guy (Bernd) gets drunk with the woman who lives at the appartment where he exchanged the box. When he drives off, he hits a bus station. The police brings him to the hotel and asks Rainer for 50.000,- € bail. Rainer refuses to pay as it would be their last money.

The other guys, including Philipp and Pegah are disappointed in Rainer because of this refusal. They take off. Pegah and Rainer have a big fight where she tells him how he let them all down, that they were a team.

Rainer decides to bail Bernd out and word spreads among the guys who all come back together again. Rainer tells them that that was their last money and that he couldn’t pay them any more and that they have to quit.

But they all want to stay and have a new plan: Instead of exchanging the boxes, they would simply redirect the signal the boxes send out, change it and then send it back to the IMA.

They start working on that and soon have enough households “liberated” to be able to change the quota. They start by putting down TTS, Rainer’s former employer and then they begin to rate the “good stuff” like documentaries, famous movies and so on (here, Weingartner puts in a reference to his movie “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei”).

Of course, this doesn’t go unnoticed. TV stations start changing their program and TTS’ CEO tells Maiwald to do something about the quota or else he’d get fired.

Pegah and Rainer get closer. Rainer reveals that he doesn’t know how to swim and Pegah starts teaching him.

We also get some interviews with people on the street. There are some who think that this change of program is great, some who think it’s not. As we get more and more interviews, there are more and more people who are in the park, reading and talking, a guy throwing a remote control instead of a stick for his dog and one woman telling us that usually she would have been in front of the TV now. But instead of watching TV she now enjoys a walk at the Elbe river.

Meanwhile, Maiwald remembers that Rainer was obsessed with quota before he disappeared. He asks Anna, who started working at TTS since the quota changed, if she heard anything from him. But Anna hasn’t, so Maiwald calls in a favour and has Rainer located through his mobile’s signal.

Maiwald shows up at the hotel and finds the equipment used for the quota change. When Rainer returns, Maiwald tells him that he won’t tell anybody if he just raises the quota for TTS again, 10% over the next couple of weeks. He would even pay them 100.000,- € per percent. Rainer is angry and tells him to leave. Confident of his victory, Maiwald does.

That night the group has a crisis meeting. They discuss their possibilities, some think that they should raise the quota, some don’t. Pegah says that the end of every revolution is money.

When Maiwald gets into his office on Monday morning, his secretary shows him the quota – nothing changed. Maiwald gets fired by his boss, who doesn’t believe him when he tells him about Rainer’s project.

Maiwald calls the police and they raid the hotel. But Rainer and everybody else just left.

The group is at Philipp’s uncle’s house where they are in hiding. They think that they haven’t had enough time to make the people want to see the good stuff (just as they were made to want the bad stuff). They are discussing what they should do. Continuing won’t be possible as the IAM certainly discovered how they manipulated the quota.

Bernd goes to buys some cigarettes and news paper. He reads it and then comes running back to the group, showing them that the quota was still the same although they hadn’t done anything for the past couple of weeks.

They start celebrating. Rainer goes outside and Pegah follows him. They kiss.

Newly motivated they set out to a town in Germany, which is said to have the most representative population. There, everybody goes shopping with a chip card, that saves the data about what they buy. In this town, it is decided what is going to be sold in Germany. They start working at the supermarket there and manipulate the data.

Well, after this lenghty description, here’s my comment about it:

The acting was exceptionally well for a German movie – I don’t know if I just notice bad acting more easily when it’s in German (it is my mother tongue after all) or if it’s really rare in the German film biz to have good actors. Anyway, in this movie it was well done (and if I think about Stipe Erceg in “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei” that’s also not always the case in Weingartner’s movies).
Unfortunately the actors had to fight with cliché after cliché being thrust upon them. The cocain-sniffing, not giving a damn about anything media guy, the socio phobic computer nerd who spends his time with conspiracy theories (by the way, Weingartner should probably talk with the psychiatric association – he obviously has buried somewhere in his movie a miraculous cure for a psychosis, seeing as Philipp is socio phobic and then a couple of weeks later he isn’t anymore, not really anyway) and the revolutionary who is just a hurt little girl inside. Characterisation gets a little better towards the end, at least for the main characters. Sadly, it’s not enough to give them any depth.

The directing style was very conservative – the initial characterisation of Rainer, the news paper clips or the raid – there’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s not badly directed but in connection with the “revolutionary” content (not the content itself being revolutionary – we’ve all seen movies about the bad bad media biz, but the film being about revolution) it could have used some more revolutionary directing.
As in “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei” (I’m sorry for the constant comparison between those two movies but they are so similar, not only in style but also in content that it just forces itself on me :), Weingartner uses lengthy monologues to explain why revolution is good/necessary/the thing to do, which can and does get boring.
Fortunately, there are some funny scenes, although he sometimes tries to hard.

The morale of the story is inconsequential at best. Because it obviously is a victory for everybody that people stop watching TV altogether to read books or to go for a walk: So bad TV makes people stupid and good TV makes people stop watching TV?
Also, Rainer stresses more than once that you should trust people to be able to handle intelligent TV. But by manipulating the quota, he doesn’t even give them a choice. Isn’t his approach to force-feed them the good stuff as bad as force-feed them the bad stuff?

Summarising: Not the best movie I ever saw but I definetly saw worse.

Flying Pickets

Yesterday, I was on the Flying Pickets concert in Wiener Neustadt. It was really nice.

Highlights: Fast Car (Tracy Chapman), one of their first songs (Working in a Coal-Mine?) [at the chorus they always go “whoo” and jump and it looked really gay… which I found funny because when I think of men working in coal mines it’s usually straightness in its worst and purest form] and of course Only You.

The first time I saw them was about 15 years ago. I remember only one thing, they sang “I Got You, Babe” and the bald guy had the line “and if you say my hair’s too long…” I laughed my ass off.
Anyway, since then not one member stayed the same in the band (I did some research on this. There’s one guy who’s been a on/off member from 1991 but I don’t think he went on tour with them…). But they do have a bald guy (the bass) again. They didn’t do “I Got You, Babe” but if they did, I guess the joke would still be the same :)

Weird, how a band can not retain one single member but still be the same band, doing the same music and having the same people go to the shows. That’s probably a British thing though, seeing as they’re doing the same with the Sugababes.

While I did my research, I also found out that not even “Only You” is a Flying Pickets original. I always thought it was. How very disappointing. But it was made up by the fact that after the show they went into the foyer (the concert was at a theatre) and signed the CDs they sold. I guess you can only do that when you have concerts in a quite small location and with singers/performers who don’t have the usual teeny crowds fainting all over the place (I have a picture of Robbie Williams in my head trying to do that and getting ripped to pieces by the few girls who didn’t faint). However, being able to do it without any threat of dying doesn’t mean that everybody would.

Trying to summarise my rather incoherent thoughts revolving around the concert: The Flying Pickets know how to sing, they have a good show almost without any technical fuss and they are really likeable. And the music, albeit not their originals, is great.

Questionnaire frenzy

Questionnaire #1

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
My colleague, B.

2. What were you doing at 08.00?
I was under the shower…

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Avoiding work by searching for questionnaires to answer

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Who’s still thinking about 2006? … Started my new job. Started a new uni, quit my old one. Started another new job. Became godmother. Became aunt for the second time. Did my first real training (as a trainer).

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Wiederhören.

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Coffee (3 cups) and water (1/2 l up to now)

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Black/grey/silver

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
lunch

9. Where were you last night?
At my company’s birthday party (see entry below)

10. What color is your front door?
brown

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet.

12. What’s the weather like today?
It’s sunny and freakin’ cold.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Rasberry

14. What excites you?
antici…pation, male upper bodies … what the hell … male bodies :), when someone nibbles on my ear (I hope this question was meant in a sexual way or it would be rather embarassing… O_o)

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Thinking about it but lacking the courage to really do so.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
nope

17. Do you talk a lot?
When I’m in the mood, but that’s not very often.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
I have other series to watch. Quality ones.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
A couple of Stefans (Steven in German) and my guinea pig’s name was Istvan (Hungarian for Steven)

20. Do you make up your own words?
Sometimes. Especially names. But mostly I borrow words from other languages if I need them.

21. Are you a jealous person?
Very, very rarely… of my brother. But usually no, not at all.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
As you might have noticed, I don’t write real names here. But one of my sisters’ name (multiple sisters not names) starts with an A…

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
K (see Deadra’s blog)

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
A, my sister

25. What does the last text message you received say?
ja (yes)… that’s the whole text.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
no

27. Do you have curly hair?
not really. It’s not 100% straight, but it’s too straight to even call it curly-ish.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Wr. Neustadt, tonight, for a concert

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
My colleague, E.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
nuts

31. Will you get married in the future?
Not because of me… I might decide that it would be practical for legal issues or probably my future husband (whoever he is) will want to get married. I’m not opposed to marriage but I really don’t care.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
If we are talking cinema, then the only movie I’ve seen in the past two weeks is Beowulf which had a great script but the director was bad and Ray Winstone has the facial expression of a dead clam. On TV, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean which is just wonderful.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?

This sounds like a question from high school… There are a couple of guys I’m attracted to, but nothing serious… The last time I was serious… well, the guy has a girlfriend and lives on the other side of the world. Let’s just leave it at that.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Saturday, I think. Having no time at home (and a cleaning lady, hehe) pretty much spares me doing the dishes…

35. Are you currently depressed?
Not really. Wait, let me ask my therapeut.

36. Did you cry today?
No. (Seems my hormones lost their chokehold over me.)

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Because I’m an obsessive questionnaire answerer and I really, really don’t want to type in the business cards I’m supposed to type in…

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Anyone who wants to fill this out – be very welcome and let me know!

 

Questionnaire #2

1. What is your favorite word?
Aluminiumminimumimmunität (but only handwritten)… sorrow (It makes the pictures in my head really flow…), thingy

2. What is your least favorite word?
Erziehung (it means education, upbringing, breeding). I don’t like it because it derives from the word Ziehen (pull) and somehow implies that you have to pull children in the right direction, in the right way. I don’t think that children should be pulled. But that’s a topic for a very long discussion I’m not getting into right now.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A good book, good movies and good music. Sometimes all I need is a piece in the newspaper or a certain word or a picture I find fascinating. I guess, anything can turn me on creatively, it just has to touch me somehow.

4. What turns you off?
Not having time to (re)act on my impulses or to think about a certain idea.

5. What is your favorite curse word?
Well, the one I use most often is “fuck” (although I’m thinking about starting to use the SA forum version “loving caress”) but the one I like the most is Saubär (Dirty Bear, sow bear) and Grottenolm (axolotl – I think I have to add this to my favourite word section), they have a certain love to them.

6. What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of walking in the snow, when the snow is already a little frozen. Breaths of a sleeping person.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
Hearing one-minute-long bad renditions of good music when I’m put on hold.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would like to be an editor at a publishing company. Or a critic of movies and books. Or both. I’d like to translate books. And I’d like to write some myself.

9. What profession would you not like to do?
Cleaning lady (nobody would be happy with me), working in a call center (especially out-bound).

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“I’m just joking, you were right all the time, I don’t exist.” That would give me something to think about!


Questionnaire #3

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.
I only have one scar, a little one on my right palm. I got it while canyoning. I fell on a rock.

2. What does your phone look like? List your reasons to buy it?
It’s a Sony Ericsson Something Walkman phone. I got it because I love the Sony Ericsson mobiles and it plays music.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?
Batman Begins and Superman Returns movie posters (Well, actually they are on the ceiling). A mirror.

4. What is your current desktop picture?
At work it’s simply blue. At home I got a picture of Hero, the white clothing scene, where Moon (Ziyi Zhang) hugs Broken Sword (Tony Leung).

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?
As much as I believe in straight marriage.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
Starbuck’s Venti Latte and a bed.

7 . What time were you born?
15.35

8. Are your parents still together?
Yes. And happy.

9. Last person who made you cry?
Eric Clapton. “Tears in Heaven”.

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?
Lâncome – Miracle

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?
I’m usually drawn to blond men, with brown or green eyes. But it doesn’t really matter.

12. What are you listening to? Why?
Right now? Just Jack – Overtones. Because I don’t have that much music at work and I really like the album.

13. Do you get scared of the dark?
Not of the dark itself. But sometimes of the things that might lurk in in.

14. Do you like painkillers?
I couldn’t survive without Aspirin.

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Definetly. As soon as I like someone, my tongue’s tied.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
I’m not that hungry right now, but you can always eat chocolate.

17. Who was the last person who made you mad?
My colleague, R. (see entry “rant” below)

18. List one habit you have that has the potential to annoy people?
I crack my finger and neck bones.

19. Who was the last person who made you smile?
Jasper Fforde. “First Among Sequels”: He thought Felix8 might have been another stalker and was going to warn him off, but when he noticed the absence of notebooks, cameras or even a duffel coat, he called me.


Questionnaire #4

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    There is no such thing.
  2. What is your greatest fear?
    Apart from slot-machines? :P That I won’t have enough time in my life to do everything I want to do.
  3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    I don’t really identify with anybody.
  4. Which living person do you most admire?
    My parents. Both of them always went their way and did their thing.
  5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    I put myself under a lot of pressure and when I need a break, I think that I am lazy. Which I am sometimes. But sometimes I just need the time for myself.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Thinking that they are the best in what they do and therefore not listening to others who might have something valuable to say or not accepting criticism.
  7. What is your greatest extravagance?
    My personal library (books and DVDs)
  8. What is your favorite journey?
    I did? I don’t know… I really liked Scottland, I enjoyed discovering Glasgow and Edinburgh with only me and some books as companions. But I can’t say that it was my favourite journey. Just the latest.
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Chastity.
  10. On what occasion do you lie?
    When I hurt someone with the truth and see no reason or way to tell the truth anyway.
  11. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
    I don’t like my hands.
  12. Which living person do you most despise?
    I don’t despise anybody I know personally and people I don’t know don’t interest me enough to give them that much attention.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    ur, cool, anyway
  14. What is your greatest regret?
    So far, I’ve made it through life without any major regrets. I hope to keep it that way.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Literature
  16. Which talent would you most like to have?
    How I would like to be able to sing!
  17. What is your current state of mind?
    unmotivated to do anything productive and tired.
  18. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
    I wish we hadn’t moved that much.
  19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    tough question. Probably just surviving and meeting so many different people and getting along with most of them.
  20. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
    I guess I would be an ameba because I spent my whole life not believing in this kind of things.
  21. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
    Human. Maybe an immortal kind. There’s so much to discover.
  22. What is your most treasured possession?
    My diaries/notebooks/calendars I’ve been keeping since I was 10.
  23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Being helpless.
  24. Where would you like to live?
    In a turn-of-the-century mansion just outside of Vienna. (Is there a millionaire around who would like to give me a present?)
  25. What is your favorite occupation?
    Reading, watching movies/TV and filling out questionnaires :)
  26. What is your most marked characteristic?
    I’m nice, I think.
  27. What is the quality you most like in a man?
    respectfulness (but still speaking one’s mind), sense of responsibility
  28. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    the same as for a man
  29. What do you most value in your friends?
    Their support, that I can always talk with them, they make me laugh and together, we can make every crappy plan happen.
  30. Who are your favorite writers?
    Overload… too many writers at once. To name but a few: Thomas Mann, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Jasper Fforde, Stephen King, Roddy Doyle, Christopher Brookmyre, Irvin Welsh, …
  31. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
    Cyrano de Bergerac. If he counts, he was a real person first :). Thursday Next. Renie Sulawayo. Faramir.
  32. Who are your heroes in real life?
    Isn’t that the same as someone we admire? Anyway, again my parents.
  33. What are your favorite names?
    For boys: Gregor, Jukka, Samson, Seth, Finn. For girls it’s much harder: Gretchen (German, not English pronounciation though), Timea, Johanna, Ada.
  34. What is it that you most dislike?
    The taste in my mouth every morning after waking up. First thing I do is brush my teeth to get rid of it…
  35. How would you like to die?
    In my sleep as a very, very old person.
  36. What is your motto?
    Take life as it is and don’t fret.

Oh my…

I should not go out anymore when I have to work the next day. Maybe I’m too old. ;-)

I just made a reservation for a hotel room for one of my colleagues and I actually told the hotel the wrong name. It wasn’t just a typo, it was really a completely different name. Instead of Gröllheimer*, I wrote Maier*.

And this wasn’t the first thing today which, to use Tad Williams, scanned major.

In the morning, I brought my sister’s car to inspection. In Austria, you have to get a license that the car is still fit for road trafic. My sister went there two weeks ago and they told her that she had to repair the brakes which she did and I went there again so that they could test the brakes once more.
Everything went great, the brakes are fine again and in the end I had to pay € 1,45 for the license (a small sticker). I start searching my bag – no wallet. I search the car – no wallet. Damn it, I forgot it at home. I searched the car all over again for any spare change and found € 0,51 which definitely isn’t enough. At this point the mechanic began to pity me (or maybe it was at the point when I asked him if he smoked and if I could pay him in cigarettes). He asked if I could come there again today and I told him that it was like half an hour of driving for me and it would cost me more to drive there than the € 1,45.
So he told me that he’d invite me and even gave me chocolate. I think that was the most decent thing that ever happened to me. (That was the part that didn’t scan. :-) )

*not the real names

80s, fashion and me

Yesterday was the birthday party of my company and as it was the 20th birthday we all should dress up like in the 80s. Which is not too difficult, considering that it’s completely in right now (at least judging from what H&M’s offers – leggins, legwarmers, neon coloured sweaters and so on).
So I bought an “outfit”, a dress, legwarmers and some glittery silver hair ties and was ready to go. It took me about 20 minutes and I had make-up on and had my hair tied in a pony tail (from the top of my head, not the back).
The effect this had on my colleagues was astounding. One first thought that I was hired for the party, to make it look more 80s. Some people told me, I should wear this every day and that I looked ten years younger. And in the end I won the costume contest…

(I’ll post a picture later, I managed to make one single foto all evening and not of me. Thank goodness, I wasn’t the only one who took pictures.)

[Edit: here’s the pic:

80s

I was rocking away at the karaoke machine, singing “Biene Maja” with a colleague. I wouldn’t have chosen this picture if it wasn’t the only one where you could see my legwarmers as well :P]

Anyway, it’s kind of weird… I wasn’t really conscious most of the 80s but I knew the songs, I had the style and it apparently seems to fit me. Which I find horrible because I don’t think that there was an era quiet as repugnant as the 80s (fashion-wise).