The things that enter your guestroom once you are approaching middle age and realise how catastrophically out of shape you have become …
Btw.,selenak , I think this acquisition can be blamed on you, at least partly. When we were in Bamberg, there was a crosstrainer in our hotel. Cavendish and I both tried it and decided we liked it so much that we had to get one of these things of our own. ;-)
The view from my study at sunset, during a thunderstorm. Thunder from afar, the sky heavy and oppressive, the air glistening with rain. Only a tiny stretch of blue at the horizon. On a clearer day you would see a large iron bridge leading across the Rhine and also some industrial buildings on the other side of the river.
Completely out of focus, but this picture gives a much better impression of how it looked like when I went outside.
Oh, and speaking of my study, in case you are curious…
The desk where I type all my posts. Both the keyboard and the desk are antique. I purchased the keyboard in 1998, the desk is roughly one hundred fifty years older.
I'm currently in the process of planning our summer holiday in the Scottish Highlands. Starting from Inverness, mostly by rail. Sometimes it's just weird which remote places you can discover simply by checking out every single stop along the train line (not that there are that many stops to begin with *g*).
Altnabreac (from Scottish Gaelic Allt nam Breac) is a tiny settlement within the former county of Caithness, in the north of Scotland, and now within the Highlandcouncil area. The settlement, notable for its remoteness, consists of Altnabreac railway station, the former Altnabreac School (converted into a house in 1986), and a couple of scattered dwellings. It can only be approached by train, or along unsurfaced roads from the nearest village, Westerdale, about 12 miles away.
A happy Easter to everybody out there! :-)
( Easterly pictures ahead... )
In case you are wondering about the not quite so brightly coloured eggs: I was naive enough to believe that if you set out to buy egg dye the Saturday before Easter, the supermarket would actually still have some in stock. Surprise, surprise, everything sold out. So I had to resort to curcuma and beetroot...
If you live in an area as densely populated as I do, where one city seamlessly blends into the next and even the greener agricultural fringes with their fields and small patches of woodland just seem a little less tightly knitted, you are used to a certain level of business. Cars on the road. People running their errands. Supermarket customers queuing at understaffed checkout desks.
So the following observation took me by complete surprise, though I certainly should have expected it. After all it is mid-January; for days temperatures have been below zero, even here in north-western Rhineland. No snow, though, just frozen soil and puddles turned into ice.
Under these conditions there seem to be few places so perfectly quiet, so perfectly at peace with themselves as a garden centre at 9.15 am on a Wednesday morning.
Plants in deep slumber, their leaves rolled up or lost. In a heated glass house some eager azaleas, pink crimson and white. Not a soul in sight except for an employee quietly unpacking some bird seed.
(Before you ask what on Earth I was doing there: Cavendish had asked me to get some bark mulch for his Dahlias.)
On a less winterly note: Yesterday evening we finished rewatching Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, which has aged surprisingly well. A clear victory of writing and acting over relatively low production values. Even in this day and age of near perfect CGI worlds the show manages to be every bit as atmospheric as it used to be. Also, it’s fun to see a young Peter Capaldi play Islington.
This month's purchases (so far):
- Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
- Damien Keown, Charles Prebish, Introducing Buddhism
I'm curious. Tell me, what are the books that you've bought in 2015 so far ?
Watching an interview from the Leipzip book fair where you can see the interviewee (looking uncomfortable and somewhat distanced right from the start) getting increasingly uncooperative with each ensueing question. Not good? Right? Even worse if the interviewer happens to be a professional journalist possessing an academic degree in German literature. (For a few years she even occupied a teaching position at the University of Milan.) So one should expect a certain amount of interesting actual discussion going on there, thoughtful questions, perhaps even honest curiosity. Right?
Among the questions asked in front of rather large audience were the following treasures:
"Did you take drugs when you wrote that?"
"Your protagonist reminds me of Parsifal. You are familiar with Parsifal, aren't you?" (Interviewee was looking puzzled, due to the Parsifal connection being somewhat far-fetched. I would have been puzzled as well. Also one should not forget to mention that both the interviewee's parents are high profile stage actors, a small biographical detail adding even more to the insult.)
Last but not least:
"What did your parents say to your book? Do they like it?"
What I'm currently reading:
- Hans Fallada: Ein Mann will nach oben
- Heirich Geiselberger, Tobias Moorstedt (Red.): Big Data, Das Neue Versprechen der Allwissenheit, Suhrkamp 2013 (a collection of academic and non-academic essays dealing with the consequences and possibilities of Big Data as a cultural, economical and political phenomenon)
What I'm currently watching on DVD:
- Quantum Leap, selected episodes, re-watch ;)
- The Undersea World of Jaques Cousteau I (which, btw. has an incredibly Star Trek-like flair to it)
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Only Lovers Left Alive
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- Alexander Calder at the Kunstsammlung NRW, two days before closing
- the ever amazing Käptn Peng in Oberhausen (Yes, I'm too old for this, but still so much fun. )
Looks like I've missed my own anniversary by almost a month, as the day I finally succumbed to this strange new thing called journaling was September 29th. Do I feel like a dinosaur now? Well, sometimes...My hair is certainly grayer today than it was the day I uploaded my first user icon. I fell in love (and sometimes out of love) with many a tv show, shared my impressions about books, movies, art and quite a few other things. Also, I fear I must have written hundreds of more or less sensemaking comments. *g*
Over the past decade, LJ has made my online life a lot richer, more interesting. Thanks to LJ I had the privilege to meet some truly wonderful people. So here's to ten more years and to everybody who is still out there and actively posting!
I guess, if there were such a thing as a special heaven for the artistically inclined, the fathers and mothers of Dadaism would sit on their own nonsensical little cloud and smile gently down.
Here's a link to a Youtube video of said installation. Please be warned, though: Very intense, stroboscopic light effects, extremly quickly changing black and white patterns, powerful sound effects. You might want to stay away from this video in case you are epileptic.
And then there's this one movie that I'm personally looking forward to, Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of The Great Gatsby. Being acquainted with Luhrman's movies (and somewhat of a fan) ever since Stricly Ballroom, I'd predict that Gatsby will either fail magnificently or be sparkingly brilliant. Of course I'm hoping for the latter.
Just see for yourselves, good grief, what a trailer..
Books I bought but have yet to read:
- Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall
- Sven Regener: Herr Lehman
Recent cultural events that I went to:
- A rather intriguing and audience friendly staging of Wagner's Parsifal in Cologne, additional fun for Star Wars fans included
- Kaeptn Peng und die Tentakel von Delphi in Cologne which was quite extraordinary, literally and figuratively breathtaking.
But now for something more cheerful. I've been meaning to post these pictures ever since they were taken.
( Look what I got from Cavendish as a birthday present )
1. Christmas Phobics Anonymous. Not that I dislike Christmas per se. Also, I actually look forward to many of the things that usually come with the event. Card writing, buying and giving presents, Christmas fairs, watching Christmas-y movies on TV, making my annual donation to Doctors without Borders. But all the social obligations and general business preceding Christmas Eve? Tend to make me rather anxious every time.
2. Anonymous Fans of Käptn Peng und die Tentakel von Delphi Older Than 30 (Vereinigung Anonymer Käptn Peng Anhänger Ü30) .Cavendish and I went to their concert in Bochum last Monday. A simply wonderful experience, which I enjoyed so much I would like to draw sparkling hearts around it. But being able to clearly identify Cavendish and me on a picture taken during the concert and posted at the band's facebook site? More than just slightly weird, though a great virtual souvenir to remember a fantastic evening.
As for somewhat more age-appropriate cultural pursuits *g*:
Bernard Schultze: Gegenwelten at the Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg, 19th October 2012 until 20th January 2013. I hadn't heard of the artist before we went there on Sunday, though Schultze apparently is being regarded as one of Germany's most important post WW II avantgardists. Very impressive exhibition, especially the sculptures, sometimes standing, sometimes dangling and mostly amorphous objects which Schultze named "migofs" and which possess an undeniably suggestive and nightmarish quality. Some of them reminded me of Hieronymus Bosch.
Finished watching Boston Legal about a week ago. Back in spring when we started, I had no idea how much I would come to like this high-strung (even by D.E.K. standards), continuously over the top show with all its various insanities.
Celebrated the end of this glorious five season marathon by renting Sex, Lies and Videotape from LoveFilm. (Yes, I've finally succumbed. Originally I tried to kid myself into believing I'd just max out the free of charge thirty day trial period, but so far I'm enjoying renting stuff so much I'm not sure anymore I actually want to unsubscribe from the service.)
So far, so good.
Tomorrow we are going to head off to Düsseldorf to see the El Greco and Modernism exhibition currently housed at the Museum Kunstpalast.
BimoDad: Oh, Boston Legal! Daughter, please don't tell me you actually bought this?
Bimo: Well, I didn't. Cavendish did.
BimoDad (frowning): Well...
Bimo: We've just watched the first bunch of episodes and to tell the truth, we rather like it so far. You think it's rubbish?
BimoDad: Not at all. Shatner's brilliant. And that guy who was Daniel Jackson in the original [Stargate] movie is great, too. [A small pause, more frowning, though BimoDad appears rather amused] You two really should have learned by now.
BimoDad: To come to me first. I've got all seasons on DVD. This is just like the Farscape incident...
During the minutes that followed I had trouble stopping my father, in his enthusiasm, from giving away some important S1 plot developments and thus spoiling me, as we really are just a bunch of episodes into the show.
Oh, and on matters completely unrelated to this: I just got a reply from the ZDF broadcasting station regarding my inquiry about the brief Robert Gwisdek feature I was interested in but cannot watch/record myself for technical reasons:
Sehr geehrte Frau Bimo RealName,
vielen Dank für Ihr Schreiben.
"Abgeschminkt - Robert Gwisdek" 22.03.2012
Leider können wir ihnen erst dann ein Angebot machen, wenn die Sendung ausgestrahlt wurde.
Wir bitten sie deshalb ihre Anfrage erst dann zu starten.
Thank you for that non-answer folks. (They basically said, they can't get back to me/make any offer before the feature's been broadcast.) All I wanted was to know in advance if I can simply obtain a copy via the ZDF of if I have to try finding someone in my circle of friends/relatives who can record the feature for me.
ETA: The ZDF people just got back to me. Yup, apparently it's possible to obtain a copy from them. Yeah! :-)