27 July 2010

Eva Herman

Na toll, mit Eva Hermann hat Deutschland seinen eigenen Pat Robertson gefunden.

Diese xxxxxx xxx.

Es wäre doch toll, wenn ihr aktuellster Artikel . . .

Für die Zukunft wurden jedoch Weichen gestellt: Denn das amtliche Ende der »geilsten Party der Welt«, der Loveparade, dürfte mit dem gestrigen Tag besiegelt worden sein! Eventuell haben hier ja auch ganz andere Mächte mit eingegriffen, um dem schamlosen Treiben endlich ein Ende zu setzen. Was das angeht, kann man nur erleichtert aufatmen! Grauenhaft allerdings, dass es erst zu einem solchen Unglück kommen musste.

. . .  auch ihr letzter wäre . . . im Sinne von es soll der Anfang des Endes ihre jounalistische "Karriere" sein.

25 July 2010

Sunday Morning Sadness

Sometimes the world sucks, according to me . . . and this morning it sucks big time.

My thoughts are with the victims of the Love Parade disaster in Duisburg yesterday. The story is particularly difficult for me because I suffer from an acute fear of crowds, and the injuries and loss of life at what should have been a happy and carefree event strike me as particularly meaningless. Although it may seem a bit silly to get worked up over people that I don't know, I'd like to think that's what makes me human.

In any case, Simon and Garfunkel are my go to guys when it comes to stuff like this. The marriage of lyrics and music in this song is perfect. So whenever the world gets too heavy, I play this song, close my eyes, and pretend like Art is singing to me.

It helps.

23 July 2010

Janelle Monáe . . .

. . . has single-handedly restored my faith in the music industry . . . which is a HUGE exaggeration, I know. The music industry still sucks, but I think you get the point. In any case, I thought Ms. Monáe's "Tightrope" video was cool, but "Many Moons" is stunning!

That horse made me think of Santogold, though . . .

Thanks for the link babe!

20 July 2010

The "Other" Diversity

Ross Douthat has an op-ed piece in The New York Times, titled "The Roots of White Anxiety," in which the central thesis is that elite colleges and universities in the United States could do a bit more to stem the tide of "white anxiety" by recognizing that diversity isn't just a matter of skin color or ethnic background.

This cultural divide has been widening for years, and bridging it is beyond any institution’s power. But it’s a problem admissions officers at top-tier colleges might want to keep in mind when they’re assembling their freshman classes.

If such universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there’s more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more R.O.T.C. cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.

Yeah, perhaps the US would be better off if Glenn Beck* and Sarah Palin had gone to Harvard . . . though I doubt it.

I was accused by one of my high school classmates of having been accepted to UNC-Chapel Hill (in 1978) because of affirmative action. It didn't matter to him that my SAT scores, grade point average, extracurricular activities, etc., fit the requirements for acceptance. For him, I was black and that must have been the only reason. He was white, and I had taken "his" place.

So it is with a certain sort of resistance that I read pieces like Douthat's, which may have a legitimate point to make, but in fact take me right back to my homeroom class at John T. Hoggard High School and an asshole in the R.O.T.C. who blamed me for ruining his life.

Whatever, dude. 

*He apparently dropped out of Yale after one theology class.

17 July 2010

Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66

While I appreciate the sentiment behind "whistle while you work,"

I can't whistle . . . at all . . . which is very sad, but we'll save that topic for another day. Not being able to pucker up and blow something tuneful is hardly a problem, however, thanks to my wacky iTunes library . . . also a topic for another day.

In any case, I am in a Bossa Nova mood today, which may or may not have something to do with my neighbor who appears to be in a techno mood EVERYDAY. No worries. I've been rocking the bossa nova for the past two hours, so either he has gone out to play or he has succumbed to the power of the mighty Brazilian cool, because now it's all quiet from the courtyard. Yeah, baby!!

So, I'm going back to work now, but leaving this musical offering to let you know that being chained to my desk does not suck.

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Bonus feature: a VERY HOT Eartha Kitt introducing the band.

16 July 2010

Booze Bra

Okay, it's officially called The WineRack, but everybody's calling it the Booze Bra so I feel no need to buck a trend here. Nomenclature aside, however, let's cut the crap and get to the point:

What the F**k?

No, really. What the F**k??!!


Apparently, it only comes in Small and Medium, and that's actually quite practical since it increases the bust two cup sizes once it has been filled (it holds 750 ml—a full bottle of wine) and Large girls don't need those extra inches/centimeters anyway.

The market here would seem to be the kind of folks who . . . aw hell, it doesn't matter does it? I'm sure this is a further sign of the decline of Western civilization and would much rather see Booze Bras banned than burkas . . . the mere mention of which has led (of course) to the completely inappropriate (but normal given my brain) visual of the Booze Bra under the burka.


I'll just blame it on the heat.

Apropros of Absoulutely Nothing . . .

13 July 2010

And You Think Your Job Sucks . . .

Pity the poor guys sent down to clean out the "four-foot wall of solid fat" in the London sewer under Leicester Square. Quite literally a shit job, if I ever heard one. Story here.

12 July 2010


I'm from the South, which means (among other things) that I believe in the healing powers of homemade lemonade when it's hot . . . and it is currently very hot in Berlin. Now don't get me wrong, after that whupass winter we had, I'm not complaining about the heat, just looking for ways to get through it until it passes.

I bought some lovely looking lemons last week, and I'm not sure what I wanted to do with them, but today they were practically begging to sacrifice themselves. So here's a lemonade recipe for anybody else out there who might also be in need.

Squeeze the juice of four large lemons and set aside. Put one cup (226 g) of sugar in a saucepan on the stove, add one cup (240 ml) of water and bring to a boil, stirring regularly to dissolve the sugar. Once the syrup has boiled let it cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Once the syrup has chilled, add it to a pitcher with five cups (1,2 L) of water and the lemon juice. Stir. Fill a big glass with ice, add lemonade, and enjoy!

Makes 6 cups or 1,4 liters

10 July 2010


I saw this poster in a subway station recently:

Roughly translated, the text reads, "What story is hiding behind your clothes?" The campaign was part of an action by respect.de.

Whatever you may think about the imagery, the poster is a provocative way of delivering the Fair Trade message, or at the very least of making us think about we wear.

Well done!

08 July 2010


Rob Fitzpatrick has a piece in today's Guardian about Qwitter, a service that will notify Twitter users when they are unfollowed. [Note: If you were expecting me to blog about the match last night, I can't—it's just too soon.] I don't have the faintest idea about Twitter, but this article is amusing enough. What is particularly silly, is that Fitzpatrick has no qualms himself about unfollowing people, but seems to be genuinely confused when he in turn is unfollowed.

Social networking has indeed "come full circle" as one of the article's commenters says. I'm catching a visual of a guy at a 1960s-era cocktail party (the high point of cocktail parties in my opinion*). He's standing in the middle of a circle of smartly dressed people clutching martinis and Old Fashioneds (do people even drink Old Fashions anymore?) and just as he's about to reach the punch line of the joke he's telling, everyone turns their back to him, striking up conversations with each other. That must be what Qwitter is like.

I'm glad, no really glad, a similar service didn't exist for Facebook. Or at least not while I was on Facebook.

At some point, I need to address Facebook in depth, I realize this. In the meantime, let's just say how awful I think it would have been to receive daily emails with the headline: "See Who Unfriended You!!" or "These People Don't Like You Anymore!"

Seriously, who could resist that?

*This is perhaps also related to the fact that I'm reading a William Trevor collection at the moment . . .

07 July 2010

Paul, the Octupus Oracle

Here's hoping that stupid octopus is wrong about tonight's Germany vs. Spain match . . . If not, he could end up like this:

Ready to be chopped and turned into a lovely salad.

06 July 2010

Eggplants aka Oil Sponges

Last Friday, I made Nigel Slater's wonderful classic ratatouille recipe. It looked like this before it went into the oven:

And all I can say is that the camera was the last thing on my mind when it came out . . .

According to Mr. Slater, the trick is to handle each vegetable separately, rather than throwing them all together like a stew. So each one has to be cooked lightly in olive and then transferred to the baking dish.

Which brings me to the problem of eggplants. If anybody out there (and yeah, I'm looking at you Ed Ward) knows a trick for preparing sliced eggplants so that they don't immediately suck up all the oil the minute they hit the pan, I'd like to hear it . . . or read it. I tried the "drenching in salt and letting stand for an hour and then rinsing them off and patting dry" method, but I wasn't too terribly impressed with the results.

What say you, cooks out there??

Oh, and I served the ratatouille with this. Delicious!!

Happy Belated Birthday USofA!

As my Grandma used to say, keep living, one day you'll get your shit together . . . Okay, my Grandma didn't say "shit," but I'll bet she thought it really loudly. She, who refused to use the "Colored" toilet whenever she had to go to the courthouse to take care of business related to the farm.

In any case, here's a belated greeting to you for your 234th birthday from Jimi:

It is sent with the hope that you keep trying to live up to the promise of your potential, despite the crap that the bad guys continue throwing at you.

05 July 2010

In which our Heroine decides that they can ditch Bond as long as Daniel Craig promises to keep making movies . . .

My first reaction to this story was "Hell no!" But aside from making me chuckle, in the end I found the reasons for ditching the Bond series compelling enough.

They ignored, however, the worst part of Quantum of Solace: the unbelievably awful duet by Jack White and Alicia Keys for the title sequence. I'm laying the blame for that one on Amy Winehouse's doorstep, though. She and Mark Ronson would have come up with something decidedly better—granted, worse would have been musically impossible—had she not been going through her . . . um . . . whatever it was she was going through back then. In any case, the White/Keys combo, which I heard on the radio a few weeks before the film was released and thought was a joke, represents what sometimes happens when really cool people hook up to work: nothing.

But back to Mr. Craig. He doesn't have to be Bond. He just has to not get fat and weird. And yes, scruffy is perfectly okay:

And indeed, Mr. X also suits me just fine:

Yeah, come to think of it, who needs Bond?

Neo-Nazis and the German National Football Team

Apparently they hate it. And not just Özil, Cacau, and Boateng, etc., but the Polish contingent (Podolski and Klose), too.

Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski (image courtesy of dpa)

This is very good news. For while I am cheering for Germany to go all the way, as far as I'm concerned they've already won, if for no other reason than illustrating that Germany is a lot more diverse than people (and not just the assclowns on the far right) realize.

Well done!

03 July 2010

Congratulations Germany!!!

This post is dedicated to Germans citizens with migrant backgrounds who have been harassed by anarchists for flying the German flag in support of the German national football team currently kicking ass in South Africa. What a miserable case of damned if you do and damned if you don't: not German enough for the fascists and too German for the anarchists. More about it here.


To that idiocy, I say this:

Go ahead and wave your flags y'all!!

01 July 2010

Ryanair Sucks

Whether they get away with this or not . . .
Ryanair itself admits both ideas – for standing room and paid-for toilets – were in the "very early stages". It first mooted the plans a few months ago when it was in talks with Boeing over a new order for planes. The order didn't come off, said a spokesman for the airline, but it is now in talks with the aircraft manufacturer over the idea again.

. . . they should be boycotted for even thinking about it. Guardian article here.

Ayobaness! The Sound of South African House

While this World Cup has certainly been entertaining, here's another reason to pay attention to South Africa:

I was given a copy of the CD today (thanks babe!) and it's a brilliant collection, combining house and hip hop (rapped in Shangan, Zulu, and Zhosa). Details here.

This could very well turn out to be the sound of my summer . . .