upps … or: You and Me and Karma makes Three

Sometimes it seems a whole lotta karma can be set in motion with the slightest of triggers. In my case this was a very short word. Well technically not even a real word. Just ‘upps’ (german for ‘whoops’).

It took me some time to figure out the astrological triggers. Rather unsurprisingly all four of the ‘usual suspects’ were involved – namely Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Now, this is something that shakes you to the core and turns your world upside down. I had a long talk with N.Y. based astrologer Dawn Bodrogi about this and she said “everything is in motion and changing, it’s funny that you’re sounding completely calm about it”. In a way I really am. In a way I’m not. But I’m trying to make the most of it. The road to enlightenment and / or personal evolution isn’t straight. There is no ‘finish line’ in sight. Maybe it’s behind the next corner. Maybe not. But if I don’t keep moving on, I’ll never know.

While musing about my chart I was doodling planetary symbols and had – out of the blue – the idea to get a very special tattoo befitting this whole situation. I’ve been fascinated with tattoos since my dad got one, when I was about 12. I made it a rule, that every idea that got into my head had to last at least for half a year. With my erratic Gemini moon – so far – none of them did. But since the fascination for astrology is as old as the one for tattoos for me, this seems to be a solid enough basis😉

The idea I finally came up with consists of the symbols for Neptune, Infinity and Saturn. As it’s an infinite task to successfully combine one’s dreams with reality. One or the other will always get in the way or have the upper hand – at least for a while. And then the dance begins anew.

When I made the final sketch – which I’m about to discuss with a local tattoo artist in mid april – I suddenly realized, that the little, not even real word ‘upps’ somehow made its way in the drawing as well. Karma is some cunning bitch.



12th Night.

It’s december 25 and I’m preparing an interesting ritual for the 12 following nights. Those twelve nights from today until january 6 – the shakespearian 12th night – are called “Rauhnächte” in Germany, which actually refers to the word “Rauch” meaning “smoke”. In “the old days” people used to burn essences to clean the house of evil spirits in those nights and prepare for the next year. Each of those twelve days and nights represents a month of the year to come.

My mother gave me a book about those and other traditions some years ago, but it was only last year that I read the part about the ‘thirteen wishes’ and gave it a try. Here’s is a link for German readers to this part of the book.


So here’s what I’ll be doing now:

I’ve prepared 13 little pieces of paper. Now I’ll be meditating about things that would make 2016 just perfect for me and then write one of those wishes on each of the little snippets. Then fold them so that I can’t read the wishes anymore and they all look the same and place them in a little box.

Today, when it got dark, I’ll draw the first wish (don’t open it!) but take it outside and burn the paper in a small fireproof bowl. Afterwards I’ll throw the ashes under the Linden Tree in the garden and finally I’ll thank the four elements for their assistance in this ritual. This will be my procedure for the following days. On the evening of january 6 the thirteenth wish will be left. This is the only one, which I will open and read. The fulfillment of all the other wishes will (hopefully) be taken care of by the universe, but it will be my own task to make those last one come true during the new year.

I had the most bizarre, lifechanging and wonderful 2015 – so obviously I’m going to do this again and I’m inviting you to do the same.

What will make 2016 perfect for you? Start writing.

• strips books & kindle THINGS FROM DINGS

My 4month-blogiversary … featuring my report from “Hofer Filmtage”

Last week I did something I hadn’t for the past 17 years:
I went to a small town in northern Bavaria to see quite a lot of german or international movie premieres (in fact 18 long feature films, 2 one hour features plus 8 shortfilms during the 4 days of my stay) at the 49th international “Hofer Filmtage”. I was a regular attendant there from 1988 to 1997 while I was still working at my brother-in-laws cinemas, but since then I went on a hiatus.

So while I was – in a way – going back in time there, meeting a lot of people from the past, it was actually the day Marty McFly returns “back to the future” … pretty funny coincidence – if you believe in coincidences, that is😉

Anyway – I’d like to give a quick review of what I’ve seen there – have fun!

Day 1 – october 20:
On the opening eve of the festival traditionally a new german movie is shown. This year it was “One Breath” (Ein Atem) from Christian Zübert. The film just had its international premiere at TIFF (Toronto int. film festival) and I don’t know, how successfull it was there, but over here the reception was not really enthusiastic. It was not the actors fault, but the story of two woman (one from Germany and the other from Greece) that obviously should’ve reflected the economical crisis between the two states, was sadly way over-the-top.

Day 2 – october 21:
Every year there is a retrospective – this year the festival had invited London cult director Christopher Petit, who’s first feature film “Radio On” was shown at Hof back in 1979.
So obviously I had to go and watch this one and also another called “Chinese Boxes” featuring Robbie Coltrane and Gottfried John, shot in Berlin in 1984. The director attended every screening and willingly answered lots of questions from the audience with just that wonderful deadpan understatement attitude only a Brit can pull off. Like: “The film was shot between London and Bristol on Ilford (the negative material) and Guinness.” about “Radio On”. This film is actually more like a really strange black and white video clip for early music from David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Devo, Ian Dury, Lene Lovich and the like also featuring an appearance from Sting (who wasn’t famous when they shot the film):

Later on I saw a wonderful documentary about famous pianist David Helfgott “Hello I’m David!”. I’d seen Scott Hicks film “Shine” which got Geoffrey Rush an Oscar for his performance as David about 20 years ago in Hof, too, so I was looking forward to some information about the real David Helfgott and I was not disappointed! The film shows really fantastic concert appearances as well as his private relationship with his wife Gillian (who actually is an astrologer – and she talked a bit about what was going on in her life, before she met David, that was really interesting for me).

A quite funny movie was “Internet Junkie” the first long feature film from Israeli director Alexander Katzowicz. Shot in Argentina, Mexiko and Israel and (at least at the festival) shown in spanish, english, hebrew with english subtitles. To summon this up without disclosing too much you just might say “Sex, Pugs & Internet”😉

The last film I watched on that 2nd day was “Vincent n’a pas d’ecailles” (which means: Vincent hasn’t got fish scales). A nice french boy-meets-girl story with a little twist: as the boy in question develops super-powers once he gets wet😉

Day 3 – october 22:
The day started with two one hour long diploma works from students of two different german film academies which were both pretty good:
“Henry” a sort of “Amadeus” set in a catholic boys music boarding school and “Zweite Hand” (Second Hand) about a twin, that takes the place of her sister who’d died under mysterious circumstances – not her best idea, as it quickly turns out …

Next I indulged in my passion for argentine tango: “Ein letzter Tango” (Our last Tango) tells the tale of the most famous Tango-couple of all times: Maria Nieves and Juan Copes and their love-hate-relationship. Historical filmclips and recent interviews with both of them, as well as their story re-told by young Tango dancers (amongst others, famous Pablo Veron) create a wonderful film – a must see for Tango fans! Here is a link to the trailer:

Another german first feature film from Arne Körner “The Bicycle” also told a difficult love story about a young couple who wants to put their staggering relationship back on track by visiting Paris. A song from the film stuck with me for quite some time:

Because I studied architecture, the name “Eileen Gray” matters to me, but lot of people only associate the famous “adjustable table” to her. That this is a grave mistake, because she did so much more, becomes clear after watching Marco Orsini’s great documentary about this really remarkable woman – designer & architect “Gray Matters”

The late night feature that day was a really funny german crime drama from Maximilian Buck – called “Trash Detective” and announced as “the next best thing to Fargo”😉 In a small village, Susi, the pretty Miss-Southern-Germany-to-be vanishes. Nobody believes village hobo Uwe, when he says that he saw her dead body and lots of blood in a green car somewhere in the woods while walking home drunk at night. So Uwe is trying to solve the crime by himself … with hilarious and sometimes rather painful consequences for him.

Day 4 – october 23:
Among the documentaries that were shown this year was a great number of music films. I’ve already mentioned the two about Helfgott and Tango and on this 4th day I saw three more:
Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” a homage to her rat terrier Lolabelle and a story about love and death accompanied by her somewhat signature “sound-carpet” – dedicated to her late husband Lou Reed.

German Jörg Steineck spent 10 years with various musicians from Coachella Valley to make “Lo Sound Desert” a powerful portrait of Californias alternative punk rock scene.

And american director Amy Berg spent an almost equal amount of time to put together original footage and recent interviews for her intense portrait of Janis Joplin: “Janis: Little Girl Blue”. The “Mercedes Benz” song used in the trailer is actually only used in the trailer – as the film tells Janis’ story from the beginning and this song was recorded only 3 days prior her death on october 4, 1970.

Another remarkable film – dealing with the problem of men abusing women in indian society – was “Angry Indian Godesses” from Pan Nalin. It doesn’t have the power of Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding” but regarding the situation in India, I think it is an important and overdue “Bollywood”-take on these issues.

Because there always is one … here is the one movie I walked out after an hour “8 Seconds” (8 Sekunden – ein Augenblick Unendlichkeit) from Ömer Faruk Sorak. It tries to tell the (true) story of a very imaginative turkish girl growing up in Berlin. I really couldn’t bear the mixture between her surreal dreams and the rest of the plot slowly transforming into a rather trivial german comedy. Nevertheless, here’s the trailer:

Day 5 – october 24:
My last day brought another nice french comedy about a man in a midlife crisis, Bruno Podalydes “Comme un avion” (Like a plane / Nur fliegen ist schöner).

And a hilarious german movie about the strange events occuring at an East Berlin police station a year before the fall of the wall: Bernd Michael Lades’ “Das Geständnis”.
Sadly there’s no trailer available for this one – it was one of my favorites🙂

The last film I saw was John Crowleys “Brooklyn”. Eilis, a young girl from Ireland emigrates alone to the U.S.A. in the beginning of the 1950s. The film then tells his boy-meets-girl story with some drama and a happy end. Nothing special, but beautifully shot and with a rather taking leading actress (Saoirse Ronan). So, in the end this one was “one for the heart” – works for me😉

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Everything goes better with music – or: a musical german “first aid kit” for Richard Armitage

I really hope “Berlin Station” writer Olen Steinhauer will include bits of German into the script.
Richard’s Russian in Spooks sounded pretty good to me, but I was a little less convinced from his French in “The Impressionists” and in the Heyer audiobooks. So if he is to say some lines in German, maybe he should follow Mad’s example “… after a couple of beers I speak it pretty good”😉

In any event I hope everyone has learned from probably the worst German movie line fail ever: Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” when he commands “Schiess’ dem Fenster!”

To get this straight: you could say “Schiess dem Fenster in’s Glas” (Shoot into the window’s glass – which nobody would say ever), so the only correct alternatives are “Schiess auf das Fenster” or “Zerschiess’ das Fenster” or “Schiess das Fenster kaputt”. While in English noun articles are a/an or the, in German this is more complicated because the correct article depends on if the noun is male, female or neutral. So in German “a man / the man” would be “ein Mann / der Mann”, but “a woman / the woman” is “eine Frau / die Frau” and to finally return to Gruber’s shitty line “a window / the window” would be “ein Fenster / das Fenster”. To make it still more complicated, you’ll also have to decline the articles in German …
So a sentence in which you could use “dem” (dative) – and which makes sense – would go like this “Schiess’ dem Mann ins Bein” (“Shoot the guy’s leg”) and to completely mess with your brains out there, in case it’s a woman’s leg it would be “Schiess der Frau ins Bein”.😉

An old German saying is: Mit Musik geht alles besser – Everything goes better with music. People who are stuttering when speaking are “cured” when singing and I found that it is easier to pronounce foreign words when trying to “parrot” singers. I’ve just started to re-new my piano skills from 30 years ago – and it was kind of creepy, that I instantly remembered tunes I’ve last played as a kid of 10 years.

So – for anyone who wants to get into a “German mood” here are samples from various German Bands who all sound very different and although actually nobody speaks like Till Lindemann from Rammstein, Jan Delay or Max Raabe in real life I’ve added them for “flavour”😉
2Raumwohnung (meaning: 2roomflat) “36 Grad”
A wonderful “summer in the city” song à la “Buena Vista Social Club” – 36 degrees celsius are 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peter Fox “Fieber”
In Peter’s music there are lots of oriental sounds, which are really typical for Berlin Kreuzberg. “Meine Stadt hat Fieber” means “My city has a fever” so this is his take on summer in Berlin😉

Lisa Bassenge “Nur fort”
Lisa is singing about leaving town together with her love head over heels and drinking tea with crocodiles. Saw her and her great Jazz Combo live 2 years ago – they’re really good.

Annett Louisan “Das Spiel”
This song is from a woman who likes to “put it about” – “ich will doch nur spielen” means “I only want to play” – so in the song she tries to apologize to her latest fling, because she realized too late, that for him their affair was dead serious, while she “only wanted to play”.

Die Ärzte (meaning: The Doctors) “Junge”
Die Ärzte were popular in the 80s and still have a huge following in Germany. This song is from concerned parents giving tips to their boy (“Junge”) how he should lead his live to please them. They are complaining about his friends and the music (referred to as “Lärm” which just means “noise”) he’s listening to and thus reducing him to a “walking dead” in the video😉

Ideal “Blaue Augen”
A song about someone’s blue eyes “Doch deine blauen Augen machen mich so sentimental, so blaue Augen wenn du mich so anschaust wird mir alles andere egal, total egal.”
“Your blue eyes are making me sentimental, such blue eyes, when you’re looking at me I don’t care for anything else any more.”

Rammstein “Engel”
Rammstein are explaining here that it’s no fun to be an angel “They have to cling to stars to not fall from the skies … god knows I don’t want to be an angel”. Their live shows are famous for excellent pyrotechnics, this one is a really nice example.

Sportfreunde Stiller “Ein Kompliment”
This song is just a wonderful declaration of love: Ich wollte Dir nur mal eben sagen, dass Du das Grösste für mich bist. “I just wanted to tell you that you are the greatest for me.”

Die fantastischen Vier “MfG”
“Fanta 4” are a very successful german “fun” hip hop act. This is a song about the many abbreviations used in Germany “MfG” is used at the end of a letter meaning something like “Best regards”.

Jan Delay “Sie kann nicht tanzen”
Hilarious vid full of famous dance scenes. Jan is praising his new love’s looks but then there’s one problem: she can’t dance😉

Rosenstolz (meaning Roses’pride) “Lass’ es Liebe sein”
“Leave everything behind, start from the beginning, because love is everything” … trivia: the couples making love in the video to this wonderful song are real, therefore it is banned in some countries, so you might have to agree that you are aware of “probably offensive content” before watching.

Max Raabe “Für Frauen ist das kein Problem”
In which Max admires women’s multitasking abilities😉

• play it again Sam • RAw musings BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Bingewatching … Doctor Who

When it comes to Doctor Who I’m very much like Sheldon Cooper:
Source: ShitSheldonCooperSays on tumblr😉

Despite being a cult series since the 60s in England (and in fact the longest running sci-fi show of all times), the Doctor was really practically unknown in Germany until the early 90s, when I saw my “first Doctor” – which by then already was in fact the 7th: Sylvester McCoy. It was love at first sight😉 Sylvester still has a special place in my heart and I was very happy to see him again in “The Hobbit” as Radagast. I really just thought about checking his horoscope today: he is a Leo with an Aries Moon (just like my husband), born on august 20, 1943. His ascendant is on my anti-Vertex, Sun opposite Sun, Moon sextile Moon, each’s Moon trining the others Sun, so no further questions, your honor – I really like him😉
My favorite episode with him was “The Curse of Fenric” … which seemed somehow a bit inspired from Carpenter’s “The Fog” to me: creatures coming out of the sea and some old viking relic … pretty creepy and pretty cool.

Sadly, after him there was only the movie with Paul McGann (which I never saw) and then the Doctor went into a sort of forced hibernation and only came out all shiny and new again about 10 years later. “New Who” launched in England in march 2005. This time the Germans hopped on the train only 3 instead of 30 years later (sigh) but chose a horrible time for broadcasting: sunday afternoon, like this was a mere kids-show (sighsigh). So, probably because of the shitty time it was on German tv they only showed the 1st and 2nd season and then quit again. (AARRGHHH) When they finally chose to catch up and first showed season 5 at the end of 2011 (!) and then finally season 3, 4 and 6 in 2012, I had long gotten all the english DVDs and found a way to watch the latest shows on the BBC iplayer. Meanwhile the Doctor is actually rather popular in Germany too.

Since “New Who” celebrated his 10th this year and I was bingewatching season 8 (and the first ep of season 9) in the last two days (nights), with the new 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi (and enjoyed it very much), I thought it might be time for my personal “best of” episodes from this last 10 years.

Because I really wasn’t following sunday afternoon’s tv schedule back in 2008, I just saw coincidentally that there was a new Doctor AND that this 9th Doctor was Christopher Eccleston – I only had seen him in “Shallow Grave” before, but from that I was convinced that he would make a fantastic Doctor. Loved the brilliant trailer I found on the web (and his northern accent) but of course it was only possible to watch the dubbed version on tv in Germany (sighsighsigh).

My favorite episode with him is the two-parter “The empty child” & “The Doctor Dances” in which he encouters a strange gasmask wearing kid & the hilarious Cpt. Jack Harkness (who later got his own show “Torchwood”) while in London during WW2 – written by Steven Moffat (“Coupling”, “Sherlock”).

At lot of fans were complaining about David Tennant who followed as 10th Doctor after Eccleston (who only did one season) … but in the end almost all were pining after him😉 He did 3 full seasons and 4 additional “special” episodes. I particularly like “Tooth and Claw” from season 2 (Queen Victoria & Werewolves). And then there was season 3: this whole season was gold. “Martha” was fantastic as the new companion and my favorites from season 3 are the first episode “Smith and Jones” … where Martha has the best reply ever to the Doctor’s iconic “I’m the Doctor” introduction: instead of “Doctor who?”, she just smiles and says “Yeah, me too if I ever pass my exams.”

and then “Daleks in Manhattan” where they created a whole Vaudeville act with this wonderful song:

And of course “Blink” … again written by Steven Moffat and the reason why I’m not comfortable anymore when I see statues somewhere😉

It’s also in season 3 that the Doctor’s arch enemy the “Master” shows up again (first in the form of Derek Jacobi and then he regenerates into John Simms who turned out to be a very convincing, brilliant minded and total lunatic Master).

Season 4 started with a new companion who had already made a guest appearance in a previous christmas special: Catherine Tate as “Donna”. I only recently got a little pop keychain from a little “Adipose” which are the cutest Who-monsters ever and the secret stars of her very funny first episode “Partner’s in Crime” … don’t trust diet pills which are advertised like “The fat just walks away” – well because it really does😉

Steven Moffat wrote again one of the creepiest and best episodes “Silence in the library”

And both actors also made an appearance in a really hysterical Red-Nose-Day sketch:

Next, the 11th Doctor: Matt Smith – with a fetish for fez and bowtie. Again, a lot of fans were not so happy with him in the beginning, but despite being the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, he really nailed it. I could see a lot of the 7th Doctor’s wit and crazy edginess in him and the first episode in which his next companion Amy is introduced was as hilarious as creepy – a classic “Who”. Though “fishfingers with custard” didn’t made my favorite food list😉

Neil Gaiman wrote a wonderful episode in which the Doctor encounters his Tardis in human form “The Doctor’s Wife”:

In episode 6 of season 7 – the creepiest christmas episode ever: “The Snowmen” with a pretty evil Richard E. Grant the Doctor’s next companion “the impossible girl” Clara Oswald takes over.

I was lucky, that the Doctor-fever had reached Germany in time for the shows 50th anniversary, so I could watch the (undubbed) live broadcast of that special episode in a big local cinema in November 2013.

*Tadaa* the Doctor regenerated again and Clara is clearly not happy with this new one in the beginning. The ways in which the grumpy 12th Doctor is making fun of pretty Clara are hilarious. “Her face is so wide, she needs three mirrors!” But the new episodes are also pretty creepy again – I especially liked “Listen”

And it is just fabulous that they finally did something that sort of happened before in a spoof for Red-Nose-Day in which Rowan Atkinson appears as the Doctor who in the end turns into Joanna “AbFab” Lumley and “rides into the sunset” with the Master😉

But in season 8 it is revealed, that the mysterious “Missy” is in fact the Master regenerated in female form – and she gives the Doctor a really warm greeting (with tongues):

So I’m eagerly awaiting saturday and the next episode “The Witch’s Familiar” right now🙂

• moving pictures SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Sunday songs from my favorite German voice: Max Raabe

Anyone who says that German sounds just awful hasn’t listened to Max Raabe’s velvety voice! He is in fact a legitimate opera singer (bariton), but chose to sing slightly different songs (and often in head voice)😉
Some may know the 20s orchestra “Comedian Harmonists” – Max founded the Berlin “Palast Orchester” in 1986 and they’re mostly performing in their fashion – i.e. (not always very serious) chansons and songs in the style of the 20s and 30s (and he also covered a lot of “Comedian Harmonists” songs) – perfect for a lazy sunday morning and a big cup of coffee!

I’ve tried to translate the text, so there’s no excuse to skip these songs😉

Küssen kann man nicht alleine You cannot kiss alone

Alles krieg’ ich alleine hin I’m managing everything on my own
Ihr staunt wozu ich fähig bin you’d be amazed of what I’m capable of
und weil mich keiner besser kennt and because no one knows me better than I
bin ich selbst mein Assistent. I’m my own assistant.

Halt meine eignen Pokerrund’n Playing Poker with myself
Psychoanalysestund’n being my own shrink
trag’ mir selbst Gedichte vor reading poems to myself
sing mit mir im Doppelchor singing a duet with me
besiege mich bei Schachpartien beating myself at chess
hab’ mir das meiste selbst verzieh’n have pardoned myself for most mishaps
kann für mich eine Lanze brechen strike a blow for myself
mich im Zweifel auch bestechen and when in doubt I’ll bribe myself

reich mir selbst den Staffel-Stab pass myself the baton
und nehm’ mir auch die Beichte ab and hear my own confession
doch gibts nen Punkt an dem ich scheiter’ but there’s a point at which I fail
da kämen auch andere nicht weiter and others would fail there too

Küssen, kann man nicht alleine you cannot kiss alone
und ich sag Dir auch den Grund: and I’ll tell you why
Küssen das geht auf keinen Fall alleine you just can’t kiss on your own
Denn dazu brauch ich einen anderen Mund because you’ll need a second pair of lips

Allein ist das unmöglich Alone this is impossible
ich weiß genau das geht nicht I know I won’t manage that
Versuche enden kläglich attempts are just pathetic
das ist nur vertane Zeit this is wasted time
ich müsste mal agieren I should get myself together
und endlich kapieren and finally realise
da hilft kein meditieren meditating about it won’t help
küssen kann man nur zu zweit you can only kiss two by two
ich wär’ dazu bereit I’m ready for it

Ich habe mich sehr gut im Griff I’m in control of myself
bin mein Kapitän und mein Schiff I’m my own captain and my own ship
gerat’ ich auch mal in die Miesen even if I get into debts
führ’ ich mich aus allen Krisen I’ll conquer any crisis
spionier’ mich selber aus I’ll spy on myself
stell mich ein und schmeiß mich raus engage and dismiss myself
ich fahr mir hinten rein I’m crashing into my own bumper
hau mir danach aufs Nasenbein and hit myself on the nose for it afterwards

Ich les’ mir aus der Hand I’m reading my own palm
und klatsch mich an die Wand and ram my head against the wall
ich lach’ mich aus und lüg’ mich an I’m laughing at and deceive myself
das ist es was ich sehr gut kann that’s what I’m truly excelling at

Nur: Küssen, kann ich nicht alleine Only: you cannot kiss alone
und ich sag Dir auch den Grund: and I’ll tell you why
Küssen das geht auf keinen Fall alleine you just can’t kiss on your own
Denn dazu brauch ich einen anderen Mund because you’ll need a second pair of lips

Du bist gerade hier You are here with me right now
wie wär’s wenn ich mir Dir how about we two
die Sache mal probier’ try to check this out
küssen kann man nur zu zweit you can only kiss two by two
ich glaub das du Bescheid weißt I think you’ll know about it
Die Lösung klappt zu zweit meist as a pair we might succeed
wenn man sich auf die Couch schmeißt let’s crash on that couch
ist der Weg zum Kuss nicht weit then kissing might follow easily
ich wär’ dazu bereit I’m ready for it

Du passt auf mich auf You’re taking care of me

Ich will nicht bleiben und dann bleib ich doch I don’t want to stay, but then I do
nicht übertreiben, übertreibe doch! don’t want to exaggerate, but then I do!
ich will nichts trinken und dann trink’ ich doch I don’t want to drink, but then I do
und noch, und noch, und noch and more, and more, and more
ich will nicht lügen und dann lüg’ ich doch I don’t want to lie, but then I do
mich nicht verlieben und verlieb’ mich doch don’t want to fall in love, but then I do
will keine Krisen und ich krieg’ sie doch don’t want any crisis, but here it comes
und noch, und noch, und noch and more, and more, and more

und du passt auf mich auf and you’re taking care of me
du passt auf, dass ich nicht noch im gulli lande!
you’re making sure that I won’t end up in the gutter!

ich soll mehr schlafen, doch ich schlafe nicht! I should sleep more, but I don’t!
ich soll mehr schaffen, doch ich schaff’ das nicht! I should be more productive, but I can’t!
so richtig brav war ich schon wieder nicht! Been a bad boy again!
ich nicht, ich nicht, ich nicht! not me, not me, not me!
schlechte laune macht das leben schwer! a bad mood makes life worse!
ich tanz’ nach vorn und nicht hinterher! I’m dancing forward, not backwards
und fragt mich einer, ruf ich, ich will mehr and if someone’s asking, I’ll shout out: I want more!
und noch, und noch, und noch and more, and more, and more

und du passt auf mich auf and you’re taking care of me
du passt auf, dass ich nicht noch im gulli lande!
you’re making sure that I won’t end up in the gutter!

ohne dich wär’ mein konto längst schon leer without you my bank account would be blank
und die polizei hinter mir her and the cops would be after me
ich hätt’ mich überall blamiert I would have made a fool out of myself
lass’ mich lieber nicht allein! don’t leave me!
ich zieh am besten bei dir ein! I’ll better move in with you
damit mir nichts passiert! so I’ll be safe!

denn du passt auf mich auf for you’re taking care of me
du passt auf, dass ich mich nicht im wald verlauf’!
you’re making sure that I won’t get lost in the forest!

Ich bin nur wegen Dir hier I’m only here because of you

Ich bin nicht hier wegen Mama I’m not here for mum
nicht hier wegen Papa nor for dad
und nicht wegen Onkel Udo bin ich hier. and not for uncle Udo.

Der Bürgermeister von Berlin, Nor the mayor of Berlin,
Prinzessin Carolin sind nicht der Grund warum ich heute hier erschien.
or princess Caroline are the reason why I’m here today.

Sieh da der Jauch Well look, it’s Jauch
den kenn’ ich auch I know him too
und Jörg und Schmidt, Brad Pitt und Karl und Armin Müller-Stahl.
and Jörg, and Schmidt, Brad Pitt and Karl and Armin-Müller-Stahl.
Alle wollen mich begrüßen und kommen auf mich zu.
They’re all coming up to greet me
Heut liegt mir die Welt zu Füßen, doch da stehst du
today the world’s my oyster, but then there is you.

Ich bin nur wegen dir hier. I’m only here because of you.
Wegen dir bin ich hier. Because of you, I’m here.
Nur wegen dir hier. Only because of you.
Wegen dir bin ich hier. Because of you, I’m here.

Der Präsident, der mich schon länger kennt The president who knows me for a while now,
auch wegen Grass und Lars von Trier bin ich nicht hier. and I’m also not here for Grass or Lars von Trier.
Zoodirektor mit Knut, die Queen mit Hut. The zoo director with Knut, the queen with a hat.
Wie ich seh’ steht der Papst mit dem Dalai-Lama am Buffet.
And at the buffet I spot the pope and the Dalai-Lama having a chat.

Alle Damen wollen tanzen, die Herrn prosten mir zu.
All of the ladies want to dance, the gents are raising their glasses to me.
Das ist schon sehr schön im Ganzen, doch da stehst du
That’s pretty neat all in all, but then there’s you.

Ich bin nur wegen dir hier. I’m only here because of you.
Wegen dir bin ich hier. Because of you, I’m here.
Nur wegen dir hier. Only because of you.
Mhmmmhmhmhmhmm Mhmmmhmhmhmhmm

Ich hab für Mitternacht ein Feuerwerk bestellt I’ve ordered fireworks for midnight
dann sind die draußen wir sind drin then we’ll be inside on our own.
Denn ich weiß genau was dir und mir gefällt For I know for sure what we like best
kriegen wir alleine hin. we’ll manage on our own.

Ich bin nur wegen dir hier. I’m only here because of you.
Wegen dir bin ich hier. Because of you, I’m here.
Nur wegen dir hier. Only because of you.
Mhmmmhmhmhmhmm Mhmmmhmhmhmhmm

• play it again Sam SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Berlin … Remembrance of Things Past

When I saw Olen Steinhauer’s tweet with a pic from a Berlin café a couple of days ago, something in me snapped.

It’s been about 15 years now, since I’ve last visited “the capital” but there were times in the 30 years before, when I was there almost every month. As much as I love my “gingerbread” hometown of Nuremberg, in my heart “Ich bin ein Berliner”. So this blog today will be a little walk on “Memory Lane” and contain some memorable films and music related to Berlin …

Passing this iconic tower meant that you had only about one more hour to drive before reaching Berlin. My most memorable adventure on the “Transitstrecke” was, when the old car we were driving, broke with burning motor, while we were stuck in a traffic jam, still on the eastern side. A truck driver rushed to our aid with an extinguisher, but then we were stranded. This was in the 80s, so no cell-phones and wandering around on eastern territory was out of the question, if you wanted to stay alive and not be mistaken for a fugitive. But it seemed that all in all it was our lucky day, because after a while a diplomat’s car stopped and towed us across the border at Drewitz *phew*. This was the smoothest crossing ever😉

For those not so familiar with Berlin’s situation back then, some historical information. West Berlin really was an island in the German Democratic Republic (= the soviet zone). You could fly there, drive there by car straight on the “Transitstrecke” or go by train. You got stamps in your passport when entering (and leaving) the GDR and you could only stop at assignated points, because you weren’t to contact locals while transiting. The trains would stop for hours in the middle of the night, at a non-public station near the border and then they were thoroughly searched inside and outside (with dogs) to prevent East Germans from fleeing.

David Bowie’s very emotional trip on “Memory Lane” through Berlin with lots of old footage.

I’ve travelled really a lot of times between Nuremberg and Berlin – and my passport was full to the brim with those ridiculous stamps:


So, my father is from Berlin and also my mother’s father. As a kid I went there regularly to visit my grandparents in West Berlin and delighted in driving around in the yellow double-deck busses. When I got older, I read the biography of “Christiane F.” a young heroin addict who had to prostitute herself. That made me see “Bahnhof Zoo” in a slightly different light …

These are my Berlin grandparents and my great-grandmother (the kid is one of my uncles) in the mid 50s, roughly 5 years before the wall was built. Now everyone would guess, that they gathered proudly around their “Volkswagen” to have that pic taken. LOL … very wrong! This is the so called Berlin humour: they actually never had a car, but I’ve inherited my granddad’s grin😉

My mother’s sister (my godaunt) moved to Berlin in the beginning of the 80s and when we visited her in Berlin-Kreuzberg for a week in 1984 I really fell consciously in love with the city. When I got 16, I was allowed to visit my aunt together with my best friend(s) and we spent some interesting rather “nocturnal” weeks – as Berlin had no “closing time” like the rest of Germany. I particularly liked the “Bhagwan” disco “FarOut” on Kurfürstendamm next to “Schaubühne” – unlike other discos I knew, this one was not dark, sticky and labyrinth-ish, but just one really big room with a high ceiling, warm lighting and bars in every corner and they played great music too😉

This is still my (inofficial) hymn to Berlin – from early 80s new german wave band “Ideal”. When this – their first – record came out, my father listened to it literally non-stop during a full 14-day-family-holiday in Bavaria – you’d think, we’d freaked, but I still love every song😉

Other unforgettable experiences included driving through Berlin in the early morning hours, with someone we just met and who turned out to be a) obviously pretty wasted because he was b) ignoring EVERY red light he came by while going at c) about 70 km/h … yeah well … when you’re 17 it’s really all a bit YOLO😉

Also when you’re 17 and in Berlin, sleep is clearly overrated … so once we went on a daytrip (trip as in TRIP … as this was still more surreal as just driving on the “Transitstrecke” and not only because we had a hangover!) to East Berlin. We crossed the border at Friedrichstraße and had to walk over a mirrored floor there – so if we had skirts on they could have checked, if we were smuggling whatever under them … please?!. Then we each had to change 50 german Mark (about 25 Euro now) in (ahem, worthless) GDR cash. We’d set up a date with east German relatives of my friend, who met us outside. They had a full sightseeing schedule prepared: visiting the Brandenburg Gate to finally see the Quadriga’s horses heads and not only their butts like from the western side, walked “Unter den Linden” past the Berlin Dome to “Palast der Republik” and then they invited us for lunch at the restaurant on top of the East Berlin TV tower. When we entered we were seated (although almost no seats were taken) and were told that we had one hour to order and eat. This would be the time that the restaurant (who was slowly spinning) would take to make a full turn, so you could watch over the roofs of Berlin in every direction. Yeah well, almost every … because when you were able to look in the direction of the western part of the city, the hour was almost up and exactly THEN your meal arrived. I realised that our “seating” hadn’t been random, but calculated – you really had to watch your plate, eat up and then leave during that last quarter hour – no looks at the “fiends in the West” allowed. In review, this was the most ridiculous experience I’ve had in my whole life so far.

When they walked us back, they motioned us to follow them behind the pillars of “Neue Wache” and gave us german Mark in exchange for the east cash we’d been forced to change earlier (wherever they’ve got the west cash, as this was obviously forbidden!). They were a bit panic-ish and constantly looking over their shoulders (but telling us not to). You really felt like in some sort of bad spy-movie…

“The lives of others” won an Oscar and is really worth seeing – it shows exactly why my friend’s relatives felt uneasy in their own country – just everyone could be an informant and working for the “Stasi” (state security, well more to secure that everyone was staying WITHIN this state).

This is an excerpt from Billy Wilder’s hilarious movie “One Two Three” shot in Berlin in 1961 just before the wall was built. The film was a total flop when it came out, because after the wall was built, obviously no one found it funny anymore. But it really is and you can see (as well as in Wilder’s “A foreign Affair’ with Marlene Dietrich) a lot of Berlin and how much was still destroyed and in ruins.

After the fall of the wall in 1989 I was mainly in Berlin for business reasons (setting up software-systems and training staff at arthouse-cinemas and indie-distributors) or to attend the Berlinale filmfestival. Northern parts of Germany are really not famous for their food, but Berlin was an exception: apart from “Currywurst” and the first “Döner Kebap” who was invented in 1972 not in Turkey, but in Berlin (in a small snackbar between “Zoo station” and famous cinema “Zoopalast”), you could get pretty amazing Falafel, all sorts of really good asian food and my favorite restaurant always was “Cafe Einstein” in Kurfürstenstraße – I’m sure that they still serve the best “Wiener Schnitzel” outside of Vienna.

So finally a last movie-tip:

“Lola rennt” (Run Lola Run) one of the first movies – and also a pretty amazing one – from a re-united “new” Berlin.

• moving pictures • play it again Sam BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE THINGS FROM DINGS