dancing_moon: Text: Resistance is ohm (resistance is ohm)
Yesterday I went to see Das kunstseidene Mädchen (The Girl made of Artificial-Silk) in the Aufbau Theatre. This is one of Berlin's many small private theatre companies, and it just so happens that it lies about one block from my apartment.
Which, I'm sad to say, totally proves that they need a better PR-responsible, because I pass the building where the theatre is every morning on my way to school, and we're currently studying the book (written 1932 by Irmgard Keun, quite worth a read) and I knew neither of the theatre nor this play. Luckily enough, one of my fellow students has stronger Google-fu and informed the class about the play last week.

The play: Girls shouldn't be made of fake silk, because it wrinkles so easily )

The day before Das Kunstseidene Mädchen I also did things, I barely know how to keep my head straight with all this sudden social life ^_^;;;

Anyway, two other exchange students had, inspired by the fact that it was Australia Day called together an event called Australia, which turned out to be a very nice gathering of Australians, Germans and exchange students from other countries to learn about post/colonilism from an Australian perspective.
We gathered in the cellar of a pub and there followed an evening with poetry readings (Oodgeroo Noonuccal, some others and new poems by one of the organisers), historical information (the dictation test and the ethnic cleansing of the Tasmanian peninsula, both completely new things to me) and looked at the works of a photographer whom is involved in the struggle for indigineous rights and whose name I have utterly forgotten. There was supposed to be a film showing too, but considering we discussed until a bit after midnight, that didn't really work out. Still, a lively discussion is both something less solid and more engaging than even a really good movie, so I think it all worked out quite well.

Otherwise, I've spent most of the week thinking of a poem by the East German poet Karl Mickel, which I'm supposed to present on Monday. With a few clear and well-formulated interpretation theses. orz

...and apparantly while I'm sitting in a library writing this post, there's a load of police cars and whatnot outside of work in Stockholm, in the aftermath of a robbery on a nearby goldsmith o.0
dancing_moon: Wao Youka as Dracula (Creepy)
Last week I was busy with university stuff, but today I went out to Karlshorst to visit the German-Russian museum which hosts exhibitons about the Eastern Front and relationships between the two countries during the Cold War era.


The house where WWII ended - today museum


Karlshorst, for those that don't know, would be a serious contender to Most Boring-Looking Suburb Ever except I've lived for a year in Erkner and know that this ain't nothing when it comes to potential mind-bendingly boringness of east-Berlinish suburbs. I mean, they have an actual town center even if it's tiny and (at least on the side of the tracks where I was) mostly consist of drugstores.

Anyway - the reason the museum is out here, beyond Ostkreuz (and when you get east of Ostkreuz you're basically leaving all civilization behind... it's like passing Skogås in Stockholm; Suddenly COUNTRYSIDE!) is because it's housed in the historical building where Germany signed the capitulation regarding the Eastern Front in 1945. This is also, apparantly, the only co-managed German-Russian museum or cultural institution in the world.

It's an old school, with some really typical examples of Soviet-era victory and memorial monuments inside, like the huge Worker With Child and Sword In Hand stained glass window (which I think was either made of plastic, plexiglas or just really weird glass, yo) above the staircase and some red marble relief of... someone.

The exhibits were mostly photos, posters, letters or facsimiles thereof, with lots of text (in German and Russian, non-speakers of those countries must buy a guide) on glass signs on the walls. That last, by the by, seems to be the latest high fashion in how to build a museum in Berlin. Mostly, it looks nice, but not when you have black text in front of a dark grey wall -_-
Otherwise there were some uniforms, weapons, a few documentary films and bits and bobs of soldier stuff. The propaganda posters were interesting, as well as some of the the transcribed letters. Photos not so much.

They had a really creepy recording too, of a speech Himmler had held to some upper-level military people of some kind. It was just - holy crap, what he was saying, the complete dehumanization of the non-combattant enemy and the very frank realization that, yep, people listened to guys like these and then went out and murdered millions.

I'd say that I'm pretty much normally informed about WWII for a Swede of my generation, with more knowledge in some areas and less in others - a lot due to the first-hand account from my grandmother of course, and otherwise through a load of informative YA books which my library had at some time invested a lot of shelspace in. As such, I learned a lot of new numbers and some new facts regarding the Eastern Front from this museum.

Well worth the roughly three hours it took to read my way through it, especially since it's free of charge.

They also had the most hideous communist memorial trophy ever =D It was in several types of marble and gold and - guh, the worst of bombastic eastern design. Horribly wonderful.
dancing_moon: Text: Resistance is ohm (resistance is ohm)
So I'm a geek. Nobody is surprised about that, right? Thus, now that professor Nosferatu has returned to America (this is not a joke, but it is a bit of a long story) my Tuesdays are free from twelve o'clock. Since I know myself and know that I'll just bum around if I go home that early, I have decided to dedicate the day to Culturally Improve Myself. Or, in other words, geek out at some of Berlin's many museums.

Berlin Charité University Hospital
Charité


Because I was extremely exhausted today, I thought I'd visit one of the smaller ones, and thus headed for the - as it turned out - very well-hidden Medizinhistorisches Museum. The reason the museum is so well-hidden is that it's located on the Charité grounds; the old university hospital of Berlin. That Google maps tells you to go to an entrance to the Charité area itself, which has less than no signs about a museum, doesn't exactly ease the navigation.
Since I'd already tried to find it once before (and then ended up at the museum for Natural History, so no big loss), I looked very carefully at the map this time. And still got lost once, but I could round back with no huge loss of time...

Anyway! I did find it, finally, and also got to look at the quite nice old buildings that form the old Charité (where they ttly have the best-looking university eatery, it could almost belong to a hotel from the outside. And we have a tent, bah).
These aren't the first buildings, but they've still got a good two hundred years on them. As I learned today, the entire thing was built in preparation for a non-occuring plague epidemic right at the beginning of the eighteenth century, after which it became an army hospital and a place where the army surgeons could hone their skills on poor people - who, in turn, got the dubious honor of receiving the best free healthcare of the time. Which, as anyone who knows anything about medical history knows, was a mixed blessing at best... At least the surgeons were truly among the very best when it came to operating, setting bones to right and other such more concretely "try and repair the broken bit" medicin.

There are so many lovely old buildings in Berlin. Cool new ones too, one of the things I truly love about the architecture here is how mixed it is!

Cut for discussion of medical exhibiton )

Only worth a visit for those with an interest in the theme and not too easily squicked by human remains, but I'd recommend a walk through the hospital area to anyone. It's not that big (unless you're trying to find the museum without a map), there are lots of nice brick buildings and once you've passed through it and reach the river, you get a very nice view of the main station. Following the river, I also got a good view of the parliament buildings, among those the Kansleramt. It was great weather for a walk, cool but sunny, with ~dramatic~ cloud formations and a fresh wind.

Hauptbahnhof, Berlin
Berlin Hauptbahnhof


This was a field of gravel, some half-finished tracks and a lot of cranes the first time I visited Berlin. Now it's a quite fancy central station, though they're still building all around it. One of the things I love about the city is how it changes every time I return.

After a spot of lunch in the train station, I decided to walk along the river. This walk turned out sliiighlty longer than planned; the first bridge I passed was right next to the station and I continued on, but the second bridge turned out not to be open to the public and the third one was all the way down by the Victory Column. Still, it was nice and I saw a lady playing with her dog, which was full of that special doggy enthusiasm that they get when you throw fake-bones (hot pink fake bones, even =) for them to fetch and it ran until the feet almost blurred. Aww

Walked back through a very gray Tiergarten and then pretty much stumbled home and into bed. Dinner was oranges, a yoghurt and a donut today.

Maybe next week I'll finally go to the Technical Museum, sooner or later I'll make it!
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
I liked it. Not just the episode in itself, though I was pleasantly surprised by "A Scandal in Belgravia" after some internet reactions I'd peeked at, but also the entire social thing we made out of it ^_^

I, being the most tech-geeky of the interested parties, provided the episode and Lackaclaisical provided the couch and a brand new flatscreen TV (ohhh~). Then we ordered nummy Indian take-out and sat down to Sherlock.

Not going to talk much about the ep here, need to sleep (and re-watch), but I found it interesting that Mycroft showed so many different moods, Mrs. Hudson rocks and I am decidedly undecedid on the end. As I said, need rewatch.

Also, John's jumpers are getting truly hideous - though I do like sheet as a fashion statement, heh.

There were some minor computer hickups (my laptop had little battery left and kinda died just before the end and the other laptop lagged so the last 15 minutes were a weird experiences), but all in all, I think it worked out well enough that we'll do this again next week ^.^

Oh, and we of course all made approving noises when they mentioned Berlin. Temporary patriotic pride, or sumethin'
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
Gosh, so tired. Just gotta get this off my chest, then I need a nap!

Today began horribly but ended with a partial triumph!

Yesterday, I discovered two very AUGH-worthy things re my university classes.
My mistake and their rescheduling equals panic )

The third yay is not really related to my university stay here, but is about my bachelor and general geekery
While listening to a rather boring lecture (not from the topic, but we had a guest lecturer who spoke at a super-rapid, low monotone in a rather echoing classroom and my brain just couldn't handle the effort of trying to listen) I began thinking of my bachelor essay, which I will begin to work on here in Germany. My last essay was for Sailor Moon and the role of the female hero. While the topic I worked with there was one I wouldn't mind returning to, I didn't really feel like doing it for the bachelor essay. Two reasons Firstly, I'd rather wait until the new English edition is out, because it was tricky to switch editions like I had to do. Second, all the literature regarding female heroes is apparantly crap (or I just fail at searching for it) and if I'm going to do some kind of meta-critical analysis of my theory books too I should either split it into two essays or I'll nead a heck of lot more pages than a bachelor essay gives me. Also, variety is good for you, or something, and since I already knew I want to write about something with a gender focus I might as well switch canons.

Anyway. In class, half dozing and doodling names of mahou shoujo manga in some vague notion that I could always compare the female portraits in general (Sailor Moon kicks Tokyo MewMew's ass might not be an approved thesis, but it's one I fully stand behind) or go the safe old route of body-shape analysis, I am suddenly hit with a lightningbolt of inspiration. CLAMP. I like them. A lot. They have a large enough body of work, which can be grouped in various ways, that it makes sense to compare their different series with each other along a given cross-section. Question is just which aspect to poke at...

Their female portraits are varied but I have a hunch - and this really is just a hunch, not to mention I've slept like five hours tonight! - that there portrayal of women complicated. CLAMP's got a very unique moral view, not just compared to Western media, but also to many other manga and there's bound to be something worth poking at there. So I'm writing down interesting points of attack; narratological analysis of female agency, image analysis of male vs. female protagonists, eye-poking-and-sacrificial-death-!

That's when it hit me.

Suicide.

Unless there turns out to already exist a fantastic essay about the theme, I'll ask my teachers (once they're back from the holidays) if I might write an essay analyzing the motif of chosen suicide* in chosen manga from CLAMP. Probably along the lines of gendered differences (are there any and what) and narrative outcome of the suicide (what happens in the story because of this?); though the latter perhaps only for one or two examples.

There's literature on the theme, I know that much, and since the topic is more narrow than "function of the heroine in a superhero story. which btw has nine superheroines", I can also juggle more canons without getting completely swamped in plot retelling.

CLAMP manga with Meaningful Voluntary Suicide that I remember from the top of my head is, uhm, worryingly long. And, also from memory, I can already group them in four categories 0.o
Death-spoilers for RG Veda, Tokyo Babylon, X, Magic Knight Rayearth, Clover )

I think this could be really interesting to do ^_^ If someone has meta-thoughts on my rambling little rant, please share! I need to go through all my CLAMP canons carefully looking for more cases, as well as check up on the ones that I only remember vaguely. I also have no idea what outcome I'll get, so that is interesting too.

Hopefully my teachers agree...a

*chosen suicide here is my own, made-up-just-now, term for a narratively active suicidal act. It basically has no counterpoint in the real world, because there a Hero/in sacrificing themselves won't save the world from blowing up.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Gott Nytt År!

Hope the coming year will be filled with friends and pleasant times for you all

o.0

Dec. 27th, 2011 22:28
dancing_moon: Gilbert goes "Wat??" (wat)
A comment on a Vampire Chronicles comm. Which was not written by me:

"I read Merrick about 11 years ago and it is, to this day, the only book I have ever thrown across the room."

But +/- two years, it is EXACTLY what happened to me.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Oh, really, the fictional perfect reader of this blog (or blargh, as I prefer to call it) must surely say by now; that whole writing blargh thing is long abandoned, isn't it?
To which I, smugly, reply: Nyeer~

Because really, the reason there are so few writings about books read here, lately, is that there have been terribly few books read lately. Mostly school reading and that does not always count.

But! Christmas (and birthdays) means square packages, and this year I got a bunch of good manga. Here's the rapid-review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, vol 1-2 (new edition). OH SO PRETTY. I have only skimmed them, checked a few key phrases, but mostly it looks good. Love the new covers too, even if the paper is slightly less fancy than in the Japanese edition.

Codename: Sailor V, vol 1-2 (first English edition evah) ALSO VERY PRETTY. AND ABOUT BLOODY TIME. Read more carefully, and whoa, it makes a loooot more sense than the old German (from French) translation did. Which does not keep the plot from being utter crack, but at least the lines are understandable.
Also, Danburite, you're like the epitome of "Nice Guy Syndrome", at least (anime) Jadeite had the decency to openly be a chauvinistic ass.

Chi's Sweet Home, vol 7. Aw, kitty. Which I'm not allergic too. Yay. (if I'd ever organize a bookshop like I'd organize a fanfic archive, Chi would be the very first title on the Fluff shelf)

The Drops of God vol 1. SOMMELIER MANGA!
After having gotten my theoretical grounding in ballet, Go, american football, bûche de noël-preparation, no holds barred martial art bread baking, French history and more japanese mythology than you can shake a stick at, it's about time that I learn a bit about the exclusive world of fine wines. Through a comic. An intense comic.
Manga, let me count the ways I love thee...

Valhall - Den samlade sagan 1. Collection of the first three Valhalla comic books, a very good Danish comic with the Old Norse gods as main characters.
The first story is truly fugly compared to the later comics, but by the third story it's already looking much better.
Here we get The Wolf is Loose (the re-chaining of Fenrir), Thor's Bridal Journey (Thor & Loki crossdress to marry the former off, in a bid to get his hammer back) and Odin's Bet (connects a bunch of shorter hero tales). I think I'll buy part two tomorrow on my big Christmas shopping trip ^_^ Valhall may just be my favorite non-manga comic

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. Not a gift, a review book, but I thought I'd list it her for completeness sake. Got me interested in the main Mistborn series, disappointed me with the portrayal of female characters.

Rans magiska värld by Aki Irie, vol 1 (Ran's Magical World). A new manga in Swedish! Which has not previously been translated to a language I know! And which is really, really good and looks VERY nice. Whoa, that was much better than I had expected. Irie has a quirky drawing style that I find absolutely lovely; kind of hybrid-retro which nevertheless manages to feel fresh and modern.
It's a mahou shojo story of the oldest vintage - little girl has magical items that make her older and gives her power - but with a more modern look at what a sudden age-boost and a hot bod' would actually do to you. The family also appears more involved than the usual cardboard cutout kind parents, with a witchy mother and a shapeshifting father and brother. Funny, interesting and did I mention the drawings are gorgeous?

To be read:
The Cold Remains by Richard Morgan. Alas, I might not have time to read it before I'm going back to Berlin and I ain't bringing any hardcovers to Germany. But it looks interesting

Phew. Now I just have to finish Amerika before 2/1 and I'm done with the Christmas reading :)
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Going home soon. I haven't missed home much at all, but as Christmas grows closer, I find that I am getting very excited about seeing my family and friends again. I'm also very much looking forward to some special food things.

For one, Swedish water. It's not that the water here in Berlin tastes exceptionally bad (though it's super-duper-mega hard, my goodness. We've had to de-calcify the electric water boiler twice since I got here; I've never de-calcified a water boiler in my life).
But tapwater at home tastes, well, tasty! It's not just acceptable, it's fresh and good straight from the tap. I much prefer it to most bottled waters on offer, although, for instance, the fresh spring-water from Nacka is markedly more tasty.

I'm gonna drink a bucket as soon as I get off the airplane, I'm telling you. I'm also going to order tap water in every restaurant I have a chance to visit, just to enjoy the privilege of actually getting free tapwater (they're dreadfully reluctant about giving you a glass of tap-water here).

I'm also missing some food my grandmother makes; not that I couldn't make Hungarian beef stew myself, but it's grandma food. It tastes better at her place. Otherwise, since I cook a lot for myself, and the food from the university cantina tastes almost scarily like the stuff served in my highschool (with certain Very German exceptions, like Spätzle and whatnot), I haven't really been hit by any amazing food cravings.

Except perhaps lussebullar, since our oven is Teh Suck, and I'm not going trough the hassle of trying to bake my saffron-buns only to have them turn into pale, dry things in our non-hot oven.

But water. Nnngh, I didn't know I could miss tasty water so much
dancing_moon: Mana looks angsty (Mana)
Today we had a guest lecturer talking about the visibility of Muslim communities in Western Europe. Interesting, if a bit too much show-and-tell and too little theoretical focus.

Afterwards, I was planning to visit Berlin's LGBT museum, Schwules Museum, although I got somewhat delayed by a truly spiffing grilled tuna with teriyaki sauce. As I have come to realize, the building where the Marginalized Identities seminars take place, are located in a really swank area. Hugo Boss stores, small galleries and hip (?) Asian restaurants. Luckily, a Friday lunch isn't anywhere near my wallet-death level, and since I'd heard internetly rumours about one of Berlin's better ramen restaurants in the area, I decided to investigate. The ramen part, alas, is only open in the evenings, but judging from how tasty (and packed) their lunch room was, I will have to visit.

Anyway, after that it was off to Meringhdamm and the museum. I did not have all too grand expectations, having read a review (ten years ago, gawd how time flies) that stated that while the exhibited material was interesting, the presentation was somewhat lacking. Aaaand that's still true. It's a smallish museum - though with an entrance fee of 3€ for students, one definitely gets value for the money - with mostly paintings, photographs and copies of various documents hanging on the walls next to little informative signs. Unfortunately, in several cases, the "little" takes precedence over "informative". One of the current exhibitions is called Zuschauer und Akteure. Akteurinnen und Zuschauerinnen and shows portraits from four hundred years of gay* history. While that is nice, I was not quite certain what to take from many of the portraits, which often only contained the barest biographic dates (subject, year, geographic origin, artist when known) and did not make greater attemps to put in a context. That is not to say that there weren't thought-provoking or beautiful pieces. The ones I specially noticed were a daguerreotype of older gay men and soldiers in a park in Berlin, the landscape portrait of a man in a suit entitled "gay Nazi" (which was accompanied by informational text), a friendship painting of two handsome men and a pencil drawing of two naughtily smiling young women. But for many of the portraits, I don't quite feel as if I have any context and, unfortunately, I'm not really artistic enough to be able to pull that much from them on my own.

Oh well. The permanent exhibition, 200 years of LGBT history in Germany and Berlin, was more interesting to me, since I tend to prefer history over art.
Interesting if one can read German, that is; don't think I saw one single sign in English in the entire museum.

* it's not a coincidence that the German name translates to "Gay Museum". While there are exhibition pieces relating to lesbians and trans* persons, they are in minority
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I just finished ×××Holic by CLAMP. Spoilers ahoy! )

In short: CLAMP. You keep breaking my heart, you bastards. Now draw faster and finish X!!!! so I can have it broken all over again.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
So one of the classes I found myself greatly enjoying - to my almost even greater surprise - was the one about modern German poetry. It helps that the teacher is very good and methodical, but we've also been workind with a (so far) quite nice selection of poetry.

One of my favorite poems that we've looked at, is Himbeerranken (Raspberry Tendrils) by Günter Eich. Can't find a good English translation online, alas, and I'm not really feeling up to translating poetry at this time of night...

Himbeerranken

Der Wald hinter den Gedanken,
die Regentropfen an ihnen
und der Herbst, der sie vergilben läßt –

ach, Himbeerranken aussprechen,
dir Beeren ins Ohr flüstern,
die roten, die ins Moos fielen.

Dein Ohr versteht sie nicht,
mein Mund spricht sie nicht aus,
Worte halten ihren Verfall nicht auf.

Hand in Hand zwischen undenkbaren Gedanken.
Im Dickicht verliert sich die Spur.
Der Mond schlägt sein Auge auf,
gelb und für immer.


Unfortunately, to next week we're reading another set of poems for the "Photography and Literature" class which I had a look at yesterday. And, alas, my newly sharpened skill at poetry interpretation fell apart more or less the moment I looked at the lines. Oh well, maybe once someone else has said something smart in class, I'll get an idea or two myself
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
So that with the literature day didn't happen, I slept too badly due to ear-ache everytime I turned around on my right side.

But instead, I had the time to buy a ticket for the L'arc~en~Ciel live in Paris next year! April 2012 I and - hopefully - Miko-chan will be back at Le Zénith to see the guys ^_^


Still lookin' mighty stylish~

I've also seen that Kaya and someone called Satsuki are having a European tour together, so I'll try to see them sometime during February or March. Not sure where, though, because they play in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Poznan (in Poland) and I'll have to go to the cheapest city. If anyone has tips of how to travel to either location from Berlin, please do let me know =) No tickets released for this tour yet, as far as I can see, so I'll have to keep an eye on the venues and on the tour organizer website until further notice. Still, after not having seen anything even halfway interesting on the Jame website for a month, these were all nice additions to the calender ^^
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
Yesterday I spontaneously visited the cinema round the corner with my roommate/landlady. Since we were both a bit bored, we decided to see what ran in the nearby cinemas*. Lucky for us, a movie that E. had heard good things about ran in the Babylon-cinema which is two streets behind our flat. It has a nice big screen too, although it must've been severely full of dust or something, because I kept coughing throughout the movie (but not loudly enough to disturb, I think, since E. said she didn't notice).

We saw This Must Be The Place To Be, a quite brilliant movie which I have not heard a peep about from, uh, anyone before E. mentioned it. An understated, touching movie with excellent acting from pretty much all corners. Throw in an interesting plot, told in a captivating, not too on-the-nose-writey manner and some excellent cinematography and it had me from about three minutes into the film. I highly recommend it - though try not to read too many previews, I went into the film completely blind and somehow, I think it made it even better?
The very barest bones of the story: An aging rock-star is bored and disillusioned with life. Change happens, truths are revealed and people open up.

Then today the international club at the university offered us discounted tickets for a concert with the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra. It was their 65th Anniversary concert, being played in the Berliner Philharmonie - quite the impressive building by the way! - which I had somehow missed so I was a bit underdressed. Whoops.

I also almost missed the entire thing, because the bloody bus didn't run on time! There was supposed to go a bus seven minutes past the hour, then another one at sixteen minutes past. When it was twenty past and no bus in sight, I hailed a cab... Still got there last of everyone in my group, but not too late. On the way back, at least the subway co-operated nicely.

The pieces were:
Olivier Messiaen - Les offrandes oubliées
Frédéric Chopin - Klavierkonzert Nr. 2 f-Moll
César Franck - Symphonie d-Moll

Because I am a classical music dunce, I can't say more than that I enjoyed it, had a good time, and recognized bits of Chopin from movies and the radio.

Tomorrow, there's a literature day which I wish to visit. Which means I should really try to get some sleep if I want to be awake enough to enjoy it.... Double-hopefully, I'll actually be able to sleep with my ear feeling this tender. At least the friggin seven o'clock in the morning roof-repair men don't work weekends.


*Berlin utterly pwns Sweden when it comes to cinemas; At home, there's one chain + like 2 "arty" cinemas if you're lucky enough to live in a large city a.k.a. Sthlm. Here? There's like fifteen, at least, and they all show different movies. Colour me impressed
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
You wanna know what I did today? I hope you do, because I'm totally gonna tell you ^___^

I paid someone a heap o'moniez to punch four holes in my ears!

Ear-piercing talk (but no pics) )

For further distraction the international club at the university has arranged a concert at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which whill play some chosen pieces. I'm off to see them in about an hour, looking forward to it quite a lot =)

How it looks? Really cool, if I may say so myself, but also a bit swollen and whatnot, so I'll hold off the pics for a few days
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I'm back in the same mood as I was last term, where mental exhaustion makes it difficult to sit down and read books. I do read, of course, but it ends up being almost exclusively school reading, online/fandom material and manga. Just too brain-tired to sit down and grab a novel "for fun"

Regarding the manga, I bought a haul at Thalia recently. This was to celebrate that they finally managed to pay out my Erasmus-grant. Thanks, I guess, even if I'm a bit miffed that person taking care of it couldn't be arsed to send a mail when I wrote and complained (twice) since it was months overdue, hmpf. After mailing back and forth to her and my exchange student department at SH, the money just arrived on my account. Well, thankee, but a "pardon the lateness!" wouldn't have been entirely remiss either.

Okay, tangent done with...

The haul was:
X volume 12-18 (I'm preeetty sure I only own to vol 11)
Teatime Lovin vol 4, finally someone who actually had it in stock!
xxxHolic vol 15. It's tightening up as we're reaching the end, and I do think CLAMP managed quite well to portay the relationship between Watanuki and Yuuko. And pull the angst-screws tight, will ya? (I predict weeping in my future, once I've bought the rest)

I also introduced a classmate to the gayer side of girl's manga... Come over to the yaoi-side, it's got better porn ;)
dancing_moon: Gilbert goes "Wat??" (wat)
Oh dear, I am running more than a bit behind on blogging... Anyway, here's to a good attempt to catch up in my free-period in school; not like I'll have time to read the heavy 26-pages article I need to have read tomorrow anyway before I'm off to class.

We went to the cinema last Friday, to watch Michael Bully Herbig's new movie, Hotel Lux. It's a dark comedy about a non-political German variety artist, who has to flee the country due to the Nazis. The latter influenced by the fact that the skit he has together with a (Jewish) partner, is poking fun at Hitler and Stalin. Due to various things, his dream of going to Hollywood fails, and instead he ends up in Moscow, at Hotel Lux, where all the up-and-coming German socialists are living in exile.
Oh, and because the fake passport he had was meant for someone else, Stalin now thinks that he's a close confidant of Hitler. It is also the period of the great anti-Trotsky "cleansing" of the Communist part.

Sooo... when it says black humor? It's what's on the tin, for sure. People are (rather graphically) murdered and shot here, and several characters see-saw wildly between being buffoonish villains in a slapstick/Disney-esque way, and being honest-to-god scary fuckers. Which, on the one hand, when compared to many of the Ostalgie-influenced German comedies I've seen, is good. You can make fun of Stalin, but forgetting that he had loads and loads of people killed or deported leaves a weird taste behind. Otoh, compared to something like Hot Fuzz, where people die right and left without the movie ever really loosing it's comedic grounding, Hotel Lux is something of a failure.

The actors were, overall, quite good (though the love-story felt extremely shoehorned) and while the plot isn't the deepest, it acts well to showcase all the personalities. The claustrophobia and tired "yeah, it's a terror regime but you can't be scared shitless ALL the time, get on with it" athmosphere of the hotel is well captured... most of the time.

An uneven movie, with a thread-thin plot, but charming/terrifying characters and a couple of really well-done jokes. And! Since I'm more used to US/British comedy tropes, it feels more unpredictable

Not Bully's best work, but worth to see. Be prepared for violence though
dancing_moon: Kitty: *hugs* (*hugs*)
This weekend I managed to be both productive and relaxed at once, quite pleasant for a change. Laundry has been washed, in massive amounts. New curtain fabric have been bought (old curtains laundered) and are awaiting Monday and stores opening, before I drop them off by the tailor to have them turned into actual curtains. Shoes were shined, my room re-arranged a bit, leftovers eaten up, desk cleaned and whatnot.

All this, and I also got in a good night of sleep and watched a bit of Jeeves and Wooster. I feel quite ready for the coming week now!

I also got my hair cut the other day )

Short, rather punkish, and I like it! The hairdresser suggested the style when I asked her to chop it all off - sometimes, it is rewarding to give the stylist people free hands ^_^
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
So I'm sitting around, reading nothing in particularly important on the comp with the radio set to Fritz (mostly because I was too lazy to change the channel) in the background. I must have been humming along to the song playing for a few seconds, but I only noticed when the song veered off in the wrong direction.
Now, those who know me and have been unfortunate enough to join me for karaoke, know that I am rather tone-deaf. But even I have learned to recognize the main tune in the beginning of Hotel California and I just knew that was what had just been playing.

It's incredibly annoying to listen to a song where the words are wrong and the melody is almost, but not quite, what one expects. And it's even more annoying to hear a song which sticks in your head, without ever finding out what it's called or who made it, which radio stations have become increasingly bad at informing me about. And, since the words were almost unintelligeble, since they were mostly rapped in some kind of slow way, I could hardly google the lyrics either.

So, internet research time ahoy! First the Fritz site - annoying and too much Flash, btw - where it took several clickarounds until I found the playlist. Compared to the website of Klassik Radio, where I only had to get to the main site to see the three most recent songs played, it's pretty badly designed. Anyway, there I found the name of the song: Frank Ocean's American Wedding. 'kay, that tells me absolutely nothing, but - ah-HA! One Google later and I know that my poor ears aren't playing tricks on me. This Frank Ocean is sampling (hefty) parts of Hotel California in his song. Unfortunately, they're also pretty much the only tolerable bits of the song

What in the world did we do, before the internet had all the information one could require only a few letters away?
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
So, a few people asked if I wanted to write a bit about my studies in Germany. All comparsions will be to the Swedish university system, which I shall simply except you to know. If for some reason someone who isn't a Swedish student has questions, do ask and I shall do my best to answer

Since I currently possess the IQ of a mashed potatoe (Tuesday is the Long Lecture Day) you'll get it in chronological order, because everything else would be too complicated.

I should perhaps also point out, that this term, I have mostly taken classes in literature history; that is, thematic studies. They looked more interesting and since it's still not 100% certain that I can remain next term, I'd rather do these here and the pure literary analysis classes (which I'll need for my bachelor) in Sweden.

Overall impressions )

The names of my modules, btw, are "(German) Literature History III (1800-today)", "ERASMUS Module Literary History I, II, III" (though all my seminars are modern-ish, ehehehe) and "Text- and Media Analysis". I've also got an extra class that falls under Kulturwissenschaft (Cultural Studies?), but I'll get to that later.

Monday: German-language lyric / Crime and Literature / Franz Kafka )

Tuesday: Literature & Photography / Lost Illusions )

Aaaand because this post is already massive, I think I'll cut there. Wednesdas to Fridays aren't that heavy anyway, but I'll try to scribble them down later in the week :) Have got some interesting classes there too!

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May 2012

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