dancing_moon: Luffy with stars in his eyes (so-damn-cool)
So, after a week of utter bumming around and hardly lifting a finger except when in the pool (yes, I have started to swim a bit again) I decided that my break from the world was over and that I'd better start doing stuff again. Among those stuffs, alas, I count my two 12-page essays.

Still, as Sunday evening rolled around, I realized that I was not going to get any studying done in the remaining hours before next week. No disaster, I did allow myself seven days of leisure... but I also realized that I hadn't left my block during the entire week (and my room only about half the days) and that was a bit embarrassing. So I hauled ass off to Potsdamer Platz and plonked myself into a cinema seat. When in doubt, watch a movie - it's almost Doing Something With Your Life.

Saw 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' )

They also showed the trailer for MiB^3. It looks awesome!!!

Monday I finally got around to visit the Berlin Guggenheim. I've been thinking of going there ever since I learned that it was free on Mondays - because I am both a cheapass and utterly ignorant about modern art, so it's not like I expected to get that much out of a visit.

My fail at comprehending very modern art )

Tuesday was spent writing stuff for work (still no essay, but at least I'm writing something beyond blog posts!) and going on a language tandem with a girl who wants to freshen up her Swedish before she does a project for her Masters. By the by, if someone has a room/bed/sofa to let to a nice student who is going to Stockholm for about 3 weeks in April, do gimme a shout.

Still, I don't want to slack off now that I'm not busy as hell in school. It's my goal to experience as much as possible of Berlin outside of both the university halls and my room. So, step one! Buy a Tip magazine and see what's on offer for the coming two weeks.

It's already paid iteself off, too ^_^ Because tonight they held a open discussion about the human/machine interaction in advanced experimental implants entitled "Werden wir Cyborgs?" (Are we becoming cyborgs?) at the Max Planck Science Gallery.

Since the two debate guests were an engineer working in brain-research and a philosopher/biologist working in ethics and medicine history, I figured I would probably not grasp every detail but also not be utterly lost.

Really glad I went there, it was very interesting both in what was said and how they had built the discussion. The audience were allowed to pick themes, by choosing among three short movie clips that where shown on a screen (Choose with laser pointers!!1! Empirical evidence I just gathered shows that if you give a bunch of adults, several of whom appear to hold at least doctorates, a laser pointer each they will turn into gleeful kids for the first five minutes). We also decided who was to "get the word" though I think both guests got to talk every time they signaled that they wanted. further questions could be asked either normally or sent in by SMS, which I appreciated very much. Mostly due to the "omfg a bunch of professors so not opening my mouth to speak German in here!!!" factor.

I learned interesting tidbits about the frontline of medical research, that we shall (alas) probably never be able to download an entire foreign language into the brain and heard many other interesting things. Some of it tied back quite nicely into the Body/Machine seminar I've had.

Then I got to visit the showroom of the Max Planck Institute and OMFG! SO COOL! Touch screens that wouldn't look amiss in the latest Star Trek movie, some kind of curved screen thing where it looks as if a molecule is hovering, amazingly beatiful photographs of cells and molecules in a room that I could best describe as iArchitecture. I'm going back during daytime to have a closer look, felt a bit tired right now. But that was seriously a room from the future, looking even better since it was in a classical old building by the Gendarmenmarkt.

How I love this city!
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
There are so many amazing shows, plays, concerts and events in Berlin. If I had the money and the time, I could go out every night and enjoy something, and I think I could spend more than a year doing that without ever having to repeat myself.

Now, I have neither the time nor wallet to be able to do quite so much, but I told myself that I would try to catch at least some of what this city has to offer and I'm working on it. Even when I have exams....

Okay, I hadn't exactly planned to do so much during my exams, but when two friends (one of whom I hadn't seen for at least half a year) turn up during the weekend right between two exams, what are you to do? Well, I made sure to study extra much the week before and spent time with them, walking through an icy Berlin the first day, and then hiding in various museums the second day. I absolutely need to go back to the Neue Museum btw, we just had time to rush in, admire the Nefertiti Bust and peek at the Egyptian department - I think I could spend an entire day in there though, so much cool ancient things!

Anyway, while B-san and T-san had tickets to B2ST, I as it happened had booked (something like three days before they told me they were coming) tickets to Brecht's Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) and, well, ain't missing that for no exams!

It was A-MAZING. I managed to fuddle up things with the tickets just before we split up, so I had a load of stress getting there, but once I was inside, it took only a short time before I got into the flow of things.

This was a very cool, distanced rendering of the play, with mime-like make-up on the actors and extremely few props. Now, this is a style of theatre that is quite popular in Stockholm (in my, admittedly, limited experience) and for many plays and operas *cough*Wagner*cough*DonJuan*cough* it just doesn't work very well. It all tips over into uncomfortable sillyness and, depending on what kind of plot it has, sometimes it also gets too confusing to follow.

Mackie Messer & JennyIt's a bit different with Brecht, of course. This is what Dramaten seems to aim at and don't always hit.

Fluorescent tubes in front of a sometimes completely black stage, white faces in velvet jackets and and a androgynous Mack the Knife, with hints of both Marlene Dietrich and the Joker, against the wonderfully grotesque-clownish Peachums don't hinder the Threepenny Opera, but make the absurdity into a rather elegant joke. I've read several reviews of the play in German magazines, and some feel that this too cool, too stylish version has lost the political edge, but I dunno... It was all so peeled off, so bare, that the actors had to carry it almost entirely on their own, and they did so with a captivating and sometimes biting disdain for the issues of poverty, justice and fairness.

So that's what I did when I should've been studying. Don't regret a second :P

Tonight (which is actually after the exams, so go my planning skillz) I went with my landlady to see Philippe Jaroussky, a countertenor who was singing French pieces in the Chamber Music Hall by Potsdamer Platz.

Lovely. The songs were often very delicate and elegant, though some of them - especially at the end, he really relaxed during the extra numbers - were also very lively.
In the first half we unfortunately realized that our places weren't very good, since we were high up and just behind him, so the acoustics got a bit murky. The small size of the room and the amphitheatre shape, did however make it feel quite intimate.
After the break, we moved down (snagging the places left when two ladies moved even further down, heh) and then things really took off! I've got next to no knowledge about classical music, but there was something quite otherworldly about how his thrilled above the accompanying piano.

When we walked out, it felt as if I left several kilos of pure stress behind ^_^ Absolutely a treat that I received just at the right time

Afterwards, we walked round Potsdamer Platz and Eva showed me how the Berlinale works. Might go there tomorrow after school and see if I can catch something...
dancing_moon: PANIC!!!! (Sinfest image) (Panic!)
So Berlin's got a cold snap. Fine, I'm Swedish, I should be used to it right? Apparantly nobody told my skin that. Despite careful usage of moisturiyer on face and hands, I've gotten weird "scaly" spots next to my eyes. Not very visible )yet *sob* but they are dry, itchy and just feel weirsd. I am not supposed to have scales, yo. And my skin, which is finicky in the best of weathers, is not supposed to go weird on my face dammit!!

If anyone has suggestions, do feel free to share...

That I spent yesterday taking a three hour walk through Berlin, to show B-san and T-san the city since they had come visit me (and see Beast, the korean pop-band), probably didn't improve things...

Due to freezing-our-noses-off yesterday - especially when we went to an Asian Restaurant in the evening, it was so bloody cold omg, we decided to give the touring Berlin thing a bit of a break. Thus, today was mostly spent indoors: first at a nice big Sunday breakfast. Then, stuffed full with bread, ham and fruit, we went to the Musikinstrumenten Musem. B-san is interested in classical music, T-san recently did a bit of studies in the area and I'm a curius-about-everything music!n00b, so it was quite a pleasant visit. I feel that they could have put up some more signs talking about the history and make of the instruments, but the collection looked nice and in the audio guide, we could hear many samples of the exhibition pieces. Very nice, the latter really lifted the visit to something else!

Since a student ticket is a measly 2 euro and the café was also cheap, I can absolutely recommend everyone with a bit of an interest in music, instruments and historical items a visit. The museum is right next to the Berliner Philharmonie at Potsdamer Platz, and the building in itself is worth a look too.
dancing_moon: To Victory! Daleks can win the war (victory!)
So I just had my first ever verbal examination.* I also had the lovely experience of something like my second ever pre-exam nausea. Didn't sick up or anything, but a bit of dizzyness, general omfg-this-is-bad-feelings from the tummy and so on. Yeaaah, I could've skipped that part. Luckily enough (?) it appeared about an hour before the actual exam, so I had time to drink a bottle of water, wash off, dose myself with coffee and sugar and do some therapuethic fandom meta reading. Coping skills, I haz them!

But it all payed off in the end, because I can now carry home a sweet little 1.0 in my "German literature for Erasmus-students" module ^____^ It's almost so I stop hating the one teacher (not the poetry lady, she was the sweetest thing ever and one of the best teachers I've ever had), but considering I didn't actually learn anything in his class - eh, no, will keep hating.

But still. That's my first 1 since English class in Gymnasium here and that was ages ago. I can do this even when I can't pronounce psychology due to nerves, mwahahahahaaa!

(also, looking at this post, I realize that my brain can no longer spell. Wellp, screw that, I don't need to be able to write in English today anyway)


* not counting speech proficiency tests in German/Spanish class, that's something entirely different
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: 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: Kitty: *hugs* (*hugs*)
Today I:

- Had a interesting two hour seminar about marginalized identities (bonus: discovered that I might just be able to get some kind of points for it too!)
- Bought a pair of sport pants, because I always do everything in the last minute
- Had my first fencing class. I'm woefully out of shape, but it was fun!
- Am about to go sing karaoke ^^

All in all, I feel no guilt that my dinner was a döner.
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
I've increased my social life with, like, 245% since I got to Berlin. The downside is that when I'm not doing anything, I'm utterly exhausted. I think the evening stuff go down a bit now that university is starting, although I'll certainly try to be active and do something at least once a week. However, I can also feel a marked improvement in my mood compared to how it usually is in October- Winter depression talk cut )

ERASMUS-party
On Friday, the evening started in Steffi's new apartment, where I made the happy discovery that if you mix the sparkling whine from Lidl with peach juice, it is not only tolerably but actuallly good. Considering that the sparkling wine costs ten cents less than the peach juice, I had some serious doubts about the drinkability of the stuff...

After that, we made our way to Kino International, where they had a party evening for ERASMUS students. Since I'd messed up my schedule on Friday and thought I had more classes than I did, I failed to buy tickets before and so had to pay a horrible 6 € at the door.

Entering this club, btw, was a very "German" experience. First we had to show ID. Then they checked the bags. Then a girl took our money/pre-booked tickets, checked that we were students, stamped us and gave us a little ticket. Three steps behind her a man took that little ticket back and finally, once you got up the stairs, you could stand in line for the wardrobe. Despite that, it was pretty efficient (except for the wardrobe, but that is an international problem afaik)

Unfortunately, the music turned out to be less than great. I'm no expert on club music, but I found the beat hard to dance to and the clubbing expert in our group agreed. Hopefully next party will be better, though I think we've agreed to skip the ERASMUS events as they often seem to suffer from dreadful DJ's.

E.G.A.L.
Tonight, I visited an amateur show wherein a friend took part: The theatre troop Stageink's "Eine Gala aus Liedern (und mit allem, was dazugehört)".

It was quite entertaining and the advanced level of tech was a positive surprise! They even had a full live band with drums, guitar, bass, cello & piano. The cello in particular lifted some pieces miles above a playback experience.

My favorite pieces were the (German) Scrubs song, that is, J.D & Turks "Guy Love Duet", or whatever it's called, it was unfortunately not introduced. Several of the Elizabeth pieces were also very good (the singer in top hat had a good voice and an impressive stage presence), of which the only ones title I remember was "Milch". Good song and Oscar, the girl in the uniform did a spiffing job. To my great surprise, I got to hear a very nice performance of the wolf song, from Ronia the Robber's Daughter!! I totally didn't connect the title with that song when they introduced it, but from the first tones all the memories came back (and most of the lyrics too). Impressive, considering I haven't seen the films since I was like twelve. Otoh, I watched it maaaaany times before that ^_^

They also performed the Time Warp, which was alas a bit ruined by the microphones not working for everyone, including the male lead singer. Luckily, they did it again as the extra song at the end, and that time everything technical co-operated much better. (is there an English word for "zugabe"? Or do they use encore, perhaps?)
Which reminds me of the only really negative thing about the evening (except the lack of a program I could buy; Matt, plz improve to the next show? Some of us have a scrapbook to fill ;) - a loudspeaker or something made a really annoying buzzing sound. Sounded like my old speakers, actually, before I manage to ground them. Luckily, while annoying the sound wasn't too loud and during most songs I could forget about it

All in all, the show was varied, entertaining and the singing provess of, well, everyone impressed me mightily. With a glass of champagne, it was quite a nice way to spend a Sunday evening and I look forward to the spring show.

Oh, and from a pure geek bias, I of course approve of opening any gala with two Harry Potter choirs ;)
dancing_moon: Mana looks angsty (Mana)
Yesterday, our language class had organized an evening out for us and the class visited the Blue Man Group performance in Berlin. If one has been to Berlin any time the last years, it's been nigh impossible to miss the ads for this show. However, since it's a) pretty expensive and b) I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, I've never gone. Good thinking, since I could now go for free!

It was a very loud (sometimes a bit too loud) and colorful show. There were skits I greatly enjoyed, especially the awkward dinner scene, when they began climbing into the audience and the animation/cyber-café parts - the visual trick with the stick-figure that "becomes 3D" was excellent! The late-comers-song made me lulz, and in the skit where one Blue Man has caught a lot of paper tissues (I first thought it was marshmallows!) with his mouth and then puts them on a tray in a, ahem, suggestive shape, I looked to my classmate next to me and with one voice, we declared it Dirrrty! (or rather, Snusk, a Swedish word we are slowly spreading throughout the ERASMUS students in town.

The incessant drumming bored me a bit, and I wish our school could have informed us about just how much strobe-lightning would be used. I guess if you buy a ticket for a show like this, it's on you to be reformed, but when you don't speak the language and are handed a free ticket, it might pass you by. There were warning signs in the theatre, but I'd be quite bummed off if I had come so far and then had to go home again. They might also have suggested earplugs - the show if quite child-friendly, but loud!

Anyway, a very enjoyable experience, absolutely the best excursion arranged by the school and I'm glad I've seen it!

The evening ended at Que Pasa! by Görlitzer Bhf, since it's cheap and decent and we were all starving (nothing by Potsdamer Platz is cheap, btw, though many restaurants are decent. Except McDonald's, which is neither, considering what you get for your money). After a good meal and an excellent cocktail, we turned to the matter of dividing the bill @_@ Oh dear, I think we advanced straight up to advanced levels of Bistromatic maths...
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
...and then she went Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! because the tribute night to Die Ärzte, a multi-band cover concert, turned out friggin awesome! out of 8 bands, I only really felt one were bad )and they could play, but they totally lacked energy and/or stage presence), it ended with all the bands + some audience + plenty of beer *cough* on the stage of Kulturbrauerei singing Zu Spät and Westerland after a pretty fantastic 4 HOURS of music & jokes by/about/related to my favorites favorite band in the world.

This after a Friday evening spent playing Settlers of Catan and Munchkin until laaate (got home at four-ish. AM.) and a Saturday day which began with a spontaneous visit to IKEA because we totally needed a spagetthi strainer and a lkfmnhj-thingy, which you turn pancackes etc with, for the non-stick pan followed by a equally spontaneous stanidng around watching the inline skating marathon as it passed by our subway station (but we ran home and dumped the IKEA stuff. Since when do they not have paper bags, the bastids?) and that was really nice, sunny, happy people, swoooosh and they'd inlined past.
Alright, the accident we saw because some dumb fuck just couldn't wait or go around so that a poor marathonist rolled into her bike which she saw fit to drag over the marked street just before a new big heap of inliners were coming in - that was less fun, more ohshit!! But the inline person seemed fine and rolled away after someone helped hir up & the stupid woman with a bike got booed out, a soda can thrown after her and an angry lecture from someonein an Official Jacket, so all was well.

AND THEN I went off to spend something like five hours dancing and getting to know some people whom I will meet again at the Abwärts concert and now my feet are falling off, but I am so happy =D

♥ YAY BERLIN ♥ YAY DIE ÄRZTE ♥

Last but not least: YAY ♥ I ♥ WILL ♥ SLEEEEEEEP ♥ UNTIL ♥ SUNDAY AFTERNOON
dancing_moon: Kitty: *hugs* (*hugs*)
Today was so hot!! Feeling like I wanted to escape the heath, yet do something fun the day before school starts I decided to visit the aquarium by Berlin Zoo.

It partly failed, because the aquarium was also very hot and humid, but on the other hand it was very exciting.

Many beautiful tropical fish and some species I haven't seen in aquariums before. I was especially impressed by their selection of amphibians and the insectarium! They had red weaver ants - those critters make one VERY impressive nest - that were not behind glass. I think they were kept in captivity by the pool of water that surrounded them, since it was smoking from (I assume) frozen oxygen = too cold for ants to "swim" over. A few adventurous ants had escaped anyway and were climbing the wall ~to freedom~ or something... Or maybe they were lost?

They also had several salamanders (the Chinese Giant Salamander isn't about to win any beauty contests, is it?) and jelly-fish, which I rarely see in aquariums. Especially liked the little white-and-purple bellshaped jelly fish, they looked like adorable aliens bobbing up and down in the water ^^

I filmed quite a lot, but since the light (and noise, oh children -_-) levels were as they were, I think I'd better cut away some stuff before I youtube it. This little clip of an arapaima, the world's largest sweetwater fish, hailing from the Amazon, was decent enough on its own :)

Click for a very big fish )

I absolutely recommend it to aquarium fans, I spent about four hours there today. Er, but do avoid the uppermost floor if you find bugs unpleasant, there was a bit of a crawling sensation down my back from time to time ^^;
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
I was gonna buy a ticket to some little multi-band "Tribute to Die Ärzte" event her in Berlin, sounded fun. And so I check out the Badeimster page to see if there's anything official about it, they list DÄ parties and whatnot sometimes

And what do I see? DIE ÄRZTE HAVE ANNOUNCED A NEW TOUR FOR 2012!!! With ticket sales starting in 2 days

*makes whimpering noises at the thought of almost having missed this*

For those readers now confused, Die Ärzte (die beste band der welt ♥) are a German punk-rock band that I've been a great fan of for ten years now* and they always have GREAT concerts. And the Berlin concerts in particular tend to sell out in 0.2 seconds or something like that.

Well. We can't have that, so at midnight on the appropriate date I'll be F5-ing my computer like mad.

But! There is a cloud on the sky - my debit card was refused when I tried to buy the "tribute to DÄ" ticket, for unclear reasons. There's money in the account and my login works spiffily... but I think that because the German website isn't equipped for our fucking Swedish credit card e-security measures, the bank refused the transfer. Can't have that >_> If worst comes to worst, I'll ask my sister or someone to buy the tickets from Sweden and just fork over the money, but first I'll try to solve it here. Deutsche Bank apparantly has offices in Sweden too, so after my visit to Burgeramt, off I go to see if I can get a EC-card. Hopefully, those work online. Or I'll just have to pay for a credit card too, I need to be able to order online tickets and stuff!

But still...

OMG DIE ÄRZTE ARE TOURING WHILE I'M IN GERMANY YAY YAY YAY!!!!

*It was slightly odd to realize that, since it is now exactly ten years since 9/11 and I sat in a living room in Erkner watching what happened on the screens, that means it's been ten years since my first time living in Germany
dancing_moon: Farin Urlaub is shot by Lara Croft. No, really (Farin U)
Phew, tired & happy! I've walked around above Alexanderplats today, looking for the comic shop Grober Unfug which I thought was somewhere by the subway station Weinmeisterstrasse. Turns out they'd moved up a stop (I suspected as much when I began to see the very fancy stores that are all over the area now, not the kind of neighbours comic stores can usually afford. Alas). But! They'd left a sign behind and with some luck and a few helpful locals, I found them again. Larger store, but quite small manga department. There was many more titles in the Thalia bookshop in that big shopping senter at Alex.

I also had to stop at restaurant Transit for a somewhat too expensive, but amazingly tasty lunch. I honestly only gave them a second look because the waitresses were standing and giggling in the open window, they looked a bit too preppy for me. But, happy waitresses? And Asian food, of some kind of izakaya/tapas variety?
Weeell, I took the chance and don't regret it a bit. 3 small dishes, a bubble tea and a bowl of rice came to about 12 euro and it was among the best modern Asian I've had. Ever.
It was also plenty filling - each small dish cost 3 euro and I could honestly have skipped the rice, except as mouth soothener after the spicy beef salad. I warmly recommend it, and you can get every dish vegetarian too.

Today I also got myself a Tip magazine, which contains info about events in Berlin. (On a side-note, I'm always positively surprised by how much actual written content German magazines have. Even Tip carries several editorials and a couple of readable articles)

Anyway, tonight there was apparantly a free Shakespeare play in a nearby park. Probably one of the more unusual Shakespeare versions I've seen, but a damn good one )

The play was entertaining, more engaging than I would've thought and the only downside was that it was a bit hard to hear what happened sometime, especially when prince Harry spoke, but otherwise I count is as a most successful experience.

There's another show tomorrow, same time and place, if anyone thinks it sounds like fun. And is in Berlin, ehe ;)
dancing_moon: Text: Resistance is ohm (resistance is ohm)
We'll finally get Mononoke in cinemas! Typical, when one of my favorite movies from Studio Ghibli finally shows up, I'm not in the country ^^; Oh well, at least I caught Porco Rosso.

Nevertheless, if you are in the country, take the chance to see Prinsessan Mononoke (Mononoke Hime) on the big screen without having to visit your local anime con.
If it's like most other Ghibli movies, it will turn up both in dub and sub, although probably not in too many cinemas :/

Later on, we're likely to get a cheap DVD too, but the quality of both subs and overall production has varied wildly there. Good enough for kids mebbe, but if one is an anime collector they can be a bit iffy... Still, some Ghibli movies have had a tolerable quality considering the price (which makes them a rarity among Swedish anime DVD:s, lemme tell you!

dancing_moon: PANIC!!!! (Sinfest image) (Panic!)
Åhherreminskapare så mycket vi har att göra! Men - helt fantastiskt så mycket vi har GJORT ♥

I dag hade först en brandgenomgång på skolan, jättebra. Då fick också ett gäng till av personalstyrkan möjlighet att kolla in lokalen. Alla var mycket imponerade :3

Sen var det stora biljettklippardagen & goodie-bag fyllningen på Södertörns bibliotek! Vi invaderade det nästan sommartomma stället och pillade med kassar, t-shirts, biljetter och biljettband. Resultatet? Väldigt proffsigt om jag får säga det själv ^_^

Sen var det att bära hem en massa saker (jag har allvarligt något i stil med 3 gigantiska BLYG-högar här i lägenheten. Och en växande hög med disk >_> Ahem, kanske ska försöka bli av med den innan mina göteborgare kommer tillbaks

Så, vad ska göras i morgon?
- Hämta ännu mer saker hos mamma, på landet och hos vänner.
- Hämta ut grejer från Posten
- Diska *host*
- Prata med butlern & fixa för picknick

Men inga problem, det hinner jag ju lätt :D Var det nåt mer...
- ...texta resten av Prussia's Blog Hetalia-grejen.

ah, right. DEN lilla biten också. men det ska nog gå bra. Hoppas jag ^_^;;

Summary: In 2 days it's time for my con. TIME TO PANIC! Although, we're doing kinda good
dancing_moon: Text: Resistance is ohm (resistance is ohm)
Today everyone else were all UPPCON! AHMAGAWD IT'S UPPCON AGAIN!!!

This is the orange elephant in Swedish anime fandom. You plan your cons around it, heck, I'm pretty sure a lot of the anime kids plan their yearly budgets around it... And for the first time in approximately five years, I'm not responsible for anything karaoke-related! Or anything else for that matter, I'm just going there to work at the Nerdy Bookstore's table and have fun in my free time ^_^

But despite being so busy for The Big Con (or moving), several people took the time to fix things for Our Cute Lil' Con recently, which I have just collected and sent to our webmaster.

For instance, my little pet-project at BLYG:
Discussions, lectures and workshops: Ho-Yay, queerness in shojo-manga, homoromanticism in EGL & much more! )

Gotta tell you, I'm pretty psyched and proud. It's gonna be so much fun!

& now off to bed and tomorrow off to Uppsala and the eleventh (my tenth!) UPPCON!!!
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
Why am I even awake at the ridiculous hour of 09:43 (and I got up at 08:27 what is wrong with my life). Especially considering that I've slept an average of five hours a night these last days? Right, because stress makes you distracted and you managed to lock yourself out of your apartment and had to go from [personal profile] lanjelin's to the parents. Preferably before they leave for the airport and you can't get in there either...

Moving on!

First I shall have to cut for incoherent and Doctor Who spoilerish squee )

Then Eurovision, which we just caught the tail-end of. Third place, go us!* Victory for Azerbadjan, most heartfelt congratulations <3 I really know nothing of that country, so I hope I'll learn a bit (even if it's bound to be very fluffy) when the media spotlight goes to them next year. And the winning artists looked so damn happy that was very sweet.
But I thought the male commenter for SVT made a rather grumpy comment just at the end (can't recall the exact wording now). "Ogin" is the word in Swedish I think of which I just felt was uncalled for. They won, look at them being all teary with joy, and at least little ego-boy Sade brought us a third place (so please stop sending pale blond slips of women without scene presence it won't work. And, as good as our opera singer could sing, a Eurovision winner needs a refrain you can hum along with which her song did not contain)

* In Sweden, Eurovision is very srz bznz

We also had an epic planning, scheduling and brainstorming session for BLYG yesterday, that might deserve a post of its own. We've got a pretty packed con, if I may say so myself and there's like 2 areas which we haven't added any info on yet *_*

Oh, right, and I fixed stuff for the apartment with my future tenants. And also got some much-needed cleaning done, yayness

In conclusion: The intense and lovely SPX weekend was followed by a most dismal and week I wish wouldn't have existed - on all levels, really. Fails heaping up with organizing stuff, lack of time and energy to study, family drama and even work sucked in more ways than one. And now, spiffy weekend again. Since it's a bit more low-key than last week, that makes me hope that if the pattern holds, any potential suck of the comming work week will also be less intense. Please?

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May 2012

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