Suburbia and the Highway to Hell

(Trigger Warning: This might be an extremely snarky post, if you are unhappy with your body, I advise to not read any further.)

I’m not one of the party crowd. More like hiding in a corner, watching people, than dancing up s storm. Or better, that used to be the case. I went to a party at the fire station – yes, this town is so cool, we party where they keep the big red engines – which was billed as an “Eighties Party”. I loooove the music from the 80s, so I was game. I’m usually not when it comes to events by the fire brigade, because, uhm, I don’t exactly “klick” with these people. The evening will reveal why.

First I had to decide what in the world I would wear. Thank the fashion gods that I opted for a nice pair of jeans, a white tank-top and my beloved faux leather jacket, and NOT something true Eighties, or worse, my ususal Sparkle Pony / Rainbow Worrier style, because… this is Suburbia. Even in that simple attire I was close to being overdressed. The Pear seems to be the average body type around here (Sir Mix-a-Lot would have been very happy). Pears with the tendency to dress in too tight pants and tops, too.

We felt like being transported back to on one of our school parties – everybody was standing along the wall, holding tight to his drink, and nobody was dancing. Of course not, you don’t go to a party to dance, do you? I felt sorry for the DJ, because the whole event was his idea, and he really is a nice guy with an excellent taste in music. I figured that somebody has to sacrifice their dignity and deflower the empty dance floor, so that others would feel encouraged to follow. I feared that I had to be this person.

My chance came in the form of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – a song so right up my alley it’s not even funny anymore. Taking a cue from the Jimmy Fellon lip snyc battles I recently watched on Youtube, I decided, what the heck, let’s do it. I did it. Because I came to party and not to stand around. The man and I had fun being silly on the dance floor, I assume the others stared like we were mad, and the DJ took the cue to play all my favourite rock songs for the next three hours. I admit, rock music is not really dance music. But it’s the only form of music I can shake my tush to. Gimme guitars, gimme drums, and I’m happy.

A few followed our lead, but we had the floor still more or less to ourselves. And I’m not complaining, I mean, how often do you have a nice sound system, the lights, the right music – and the space to rock it out? I had fun!!! I could have danced through the night until four in the morning. Buuuuuut – okay, what now follows is extremly snarky. I usually don’t snark, but I’m still kind of shocked.

Apparently the Pears go to an Eighties Party and then are shocked to discover that they don’t play what I call contemporary German Aprés Ski Bullshit. Songs with texts bordering on nonsense, the same stomping rhythm everytime and the worst thing is, the songs stick to your brain like overly sweet pink chewing gum. So – they poked the DJ relentlessly, until he finally gave in. And BOOM – the dance floor was full. I was shocked. I mean, I have some very, very questionable music in my collection. Really. Bill Ramsey, Dschingis Kahn, even some swiss yodel group, more Meat Loaf than is healthy plus probably every cheesy Eighties Power Ballad under the sun. But. But. People ten years younger than me demanding Helene Fischer? That’s music my mother in law listens to!

Is that what living here does to you? Will I turn into a pearshaped, badly dressed shadow of myself, listening to bad german pop songs? Baking cake and gossiping about the neighbours? Watching ZDF?? *eyes the Kärcher warily*

Only over my dead body… Rock ‘n Roll forever!!!


An Ode to Yellow, or: Welcome to Suburbia.

Sooner or later the suburbian paradise will get you. Doesn’t matter how much you have laughed before about your neighbours with their range of suspiciously yellow tools, vacuuming their cars, steam cleaning their windows, or water blasting their garden paths… being industrious on a sunny Saturday morning while you sit on your balcony in your robe, drinking tea. You’re not one of them, the “two kids, big SUV, sparkly shiny house” world is not your cup of tea. Let them have their yellow tools, you are different. Not so…. German.

Then the day arrives when you encounter the need for a tool of that yellow brand yourself. You will try to talk yourself out of it, but you put it on your wishlist anyway – for reference. Then, after another frustrating round with your old vacuum cleaner, which just hasn’t enough power to deal with your beloved shaggy carpet and your long hair entangled in it, you give up. You order it.

It arrives, in a wonderful big box, and the minute you hold it in your hand, you know that you deal with quality “Made in Germany” – in other words: It’s sturdy. It’s heavy. It is huuuuge. And very yellow. Its powerful roar makes the dustbunnies shiver with fear, and rightly so: Vacuuming that shaggy carpet suddenly turns into an all-body workout. That thing has suction! Its wonderful water filter system shows you in a glorious gross way how much dirt was hiding in that shaggy carpet.

You are a convert. You love your big, yellow KÄRCHER, and there’s no way denying it.

Welcome to Suburbia. Resistance is futile.

the year in review

It’s Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Eve with lots of yummy food and shiny presents. The end of the year is just right around the corner – time to do my annual wrap-up then.

It was a very good year. I got a promotion at work, our big symposium was a thorough success, and the man and I went on our first real holiday together. Without killing each other, I must add. It was also the year in which I revived two long neglected hobbies of mine, writing and photography. I got myself a shiny new camera for my birthday, which I already love to bits. Gadget love is the best. ;-) I also managed to ditch my hermit mode and get out more, doing stuff with friends. The flesh and blood sort of friends, not the online version.

Getting back into writing was a very very exciting journey, and I met some interesting people on the way. I hope those brand new, ocean-spanning friendships last. Writers are a delightful bunch and I kick myself for not seeking out writer friends earlier. Having people to bounce off ideas, brainstorm with and get opinions from is awesome.

Not so awesome was the toll that this writing endeavour took on my household… it pretty much imploded. The most important lesson I learned about myself this year is, that I have an obsessive brain. I can’t do anything in moderation, it seems. The plan for 2014 is in consequence, to get the derailed household train back on the tracks and find a way to do everything I like doing without letting anything else going downhill. Like, seeing friends, spending time with the man, writing, running around taking pictures and not turning this house of mine into a hellhole. Let’s see how this goes.

the year of reviving old hobbies

2013 seems to be the year in which I revive long neglected hobbies. First writing, and right now, I feel a growing pull towards photography. No, not only taking pictures with the new camera, but also re-learning composition, technique and training my eye again. Scrolling through my flickr-Stream, I found some pictures from a time when a camera was always with me… and I thought: Did I take this picture? Wow.

This is one of my all-time favourites, I just love the red tag in the midst of the blue fabrics.

innsbruck bei nacht
I can’t remember how I shot this one, as I’m sure as hell wasn’t lugging around a tripod through Innsbruck.

The one and only wedding picture I ever took that I actually like. I photographed countless weddings for my friends, but I’m no people photographer, and my inner perfectionist was never happy.

chain II
I used to find motives in the most mundane settings…

… and apparently went to great lengths to get my shot. I also can’t remember how I managed to photograph soapbubbles. Alone. Without an assistant.




missing summer

Needless to ask where my photographic passion lies though… I will always love taking pictures of flowers. And their insect friends. The old Nikon was a great companion, and I might drag her around as long as her battery life allows for milking that macro lens.

I also realised that I became a hermit in recent years. Pretty much since finishing Uni, to be exact. As if that drama around writing the thesis (don’t want to get reminded about that, huh) and finding a job stiffled all my creative energy and the will to venture out into the wild world. Happy to feel it coming back. And happy to have a new camera to use all that creativity with. *dives into her photography books*

the week in pictures, 08.09.2013

Haworthia reinwardtii

Soooo… I got myself a very very early birthday present. A brand spanking new camera. And oh my god, I’m in love. It’s my very first, not-compact-all-in-one-camera, and it is awesome. As a die hard Nikon girl, it is, surprise surprise, a Nikon. A Nikon 1 V2 to be specific, one of those pretty small system cameras. Because I’m not somebody who lugs around huge camera bodies with a gazillion of lenses, no matter how great these cameras are. Big DSLRs are just not made for me. But still, with this one I can switch lenses! Eeeeeeh!

The new baby and her lens kit

It came with two lenses, a 10-30mm and a 30-100mm and I’m stoked. Haven’t figured out yet which one I like more. Of course, I’m now trying to take as many pictures as possible, and here is a selection.

Unidentified Semper Vivum

Of course, first stop were my plants, as I needed some patient models to get to know the camera. Love. it. Missing a dedicated macro lens though.

september sky

The beautiful blue september sky. We had a really nice week weather wise.

fluffy and wet

I even took the camera to work, to take some pictures of the pretty dew drops in the morning.

And for the grand finale, here is the Kaiserstuhl at sunset:

Sunset and the volcano