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!!!

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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.

behavioural pattern

It just dawned on me, that I’m fighting with a recurring enemy, a behavioural pattern ingrained in me, which is pretty annoying. Let’s say I decide I want to do something, like drawing a picture. Or something out of my comfort zone, as biking to work was. First step is to amass knowledge about the decided project. Cue me vanishing in the darkest depths of the internet, not emerging for days if I can1. Ordering books about it, if possible. Hey, another excuse to fill the ever growing library of mine! Then I process everything I learned, only to immediately fall into some state of shock when I actually want to do it. The internal dialogue goes something like this:

“Waddya mean, I should take that pencil-thing and DRAW? On paper?! You know that trees are an endagered species, right?”

“What, a bike is for riding it, you don’t put it into your living room as some sort of unsual decoration prop?! But there are freakin’ CARS out there!!!”

I think I’m sort of weird in wanting to do everything “right” – as it is supposed to be done2, not in a perfect way – as if the heavens would open and swallow me, if I won’t. As if there’s some sort of internal rule book that tells me how I have to do stuff. It really is strange. Some of it acts as a security blankett, I get that much, but it’s not like drawing will put me into any kind of danger… Sigh.

work in progress

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My sketching and painting skills are still very very rusty, but I think my first piece of ” artwork” is coming along nicely. Layers and the undo function help a lot. I think I botched up the eyes and the brown ones were better. And I am so so proud of the hair. The nose is a candidate for further trouble…

Oh, and to be honest – I traced the face from a random picture, because anatomy is a party pooper.

sluggish

Boy, did that switching back to “normal time” last weekend put me into a funk. I felt sluggish all week – still feel like that actually. And the holiday wasn’t helping either. Home time usually means nesting under my comfy blanket on the sofa, playing Fantasy Town on the iPad until I was hearing that background music in my dreams.1

The only productive thing I did: Copying my picture archive onto the Mac mini, after I finally found it. Yes – my biggest data treasure, my beloved photographs, the only thing I would really really mourn if I lose it – was hiding. I thought I had it on a hard drive, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t on the old Mac mini, nor on the iBook. I eventually fired up the ancient – really ancient – Power Book to find it “buried” under all my Scooby Doo movies. Good dog. There wasn’t a scratch on them. Old slow computer meant that the copy process took a long time to finish, but during waiting I did some research about cloud backups. The rest of the weekend was spent with reading Let’s go ride a bike.

Look what pretty pictures I found!