I first saw The Pains Of Bering Pure At Heart in Amsterdam about five years ago when they were still touring with their first – and pretty great – self-titled album. Their third album “Days Of Abandon” is released April 22 and while the video for the first single “Simple And Sure” isn’t exactly a masterpiece, I really like the happy and upbeat feel of the song. Perfect for long bike rides through the sunny and dirty streets of the city.
I started my week by drinking beer and cleaning our flat beyond recognition. On Tuesday, W. celebrated his 5-year “Berliniversary” at Barbie Deinhoffs and I had my first experience with police profiling as we were walking past Kotti to get on the U-Bahn. It was the day of the Oranienplatz eviction and a demonstration had been announced so the police had blocked the entire area and stopped us on our way. The conversation went something like this: “Are you going to the demonstration?” – “Err… no.” – “According to our profile, you look like you could, though. So we have to search you.” Oh well, it was pretty harmless in the end, I have been searched more thoroughly at most music festivals or the door of Berghain. The rest of the week was pretty calm, apart from some film festival celebrations. I made amazing food for friends (and for no reason, I don’t know what’s wrong with me – and it was pretty good!), drank coffee, read books and almost slept for an entire day on Saturday. Hello exciting life.
I have a weird sense of humour. I can’t put it in words. I love anti-jokes, bad jokes, the more random the better. My favourite TV show ever is The Mighty Boosh which produced gems like this one or that one (only some of my favourite scenes, I could go on forever), and yes, I do believe that there are serious issues and certain historical events that can be overcome using humour. Not all of them, but some. Schadenfreezers is the project of Jason Kreher and Matt Moore who work for an ad agency in Portland and it is what it is. Bad jokes on popsicle sticks. The idea of Schadenfreude, making fun of the misfortune of others, is only roughly the concept – it’s mainly just bad jokes. In a very visually appealing format.
I don’t date. I never really understood the concept and sometimes I am convinced that I am better off alone. Not out of bitterness, just out of pure preference. I seem to dislike everything people like about being romantically involved with someone and I’ve never felt the need to purposely meet new people for the sake of meeting them. I started meeting people from the internet at the age of thirteen but it always just… happened. I never understood the concept of websites that were specifically designed for meeting people.
It all changed when I became more and more jealous of my friends for spending hours on Gay Romeo and Grindr, feeling like I’m missing out on something cool. I’m not even into guys sending me dick pics every day. I don’t want to meet new people. I don’t want to hook up with them or “date” them or whatever. I’d much rather be on my own. So I don’t even know what made me sign up to OkCupid a while ago. “It’s more like a game!” my friend said to me the other day. You’re keen on completing your profile so you have to upload a photo, answer questions write messages and rate people until you’ve probably already had five dates and have found a potential hook-up, even though all you wanted was to complete that fucking profile.
I spent a boring afternoon answering around 500 questions until I felt like I was ready. So I did my first match search. It’s not a secret Berlin is pretty much the biggest village on the planet and people all know eachother without exception, but when I looked at the results I was shocked. Five guys that were suggested to me with a match of 90 percent or higher were guys I already knew. Not super well, more in a friends-of-friends kinda way, but still. Awkward. I was convinced that they would instantly recognise me and think I’m on there to look for a date. Awkward. Not that online dating is wrong in any way but … me? Maybe I should put at little note on my profile that I’m not actually there for dating? Like back in the last days of MySpace when we would all create fancy profiles and put a big “I don’t actually use MySpace.” disclaimer on there? After all, social dating apps and networks have become so mainstream these days that literally everybody is swiping through Tinder and networking on OkCupid without the intention of even finding a match.
I feel like I have to constantly justify myself for not wanting all those things and it’s probably just happening in my head. But when does “You’re so young, just wait!” eventually turn into “Oh well, I guess that’s just the way you are”?
About four or five years ago I was hooked on self-help blogs. I spent a lot of time scrolling through positive, “inspirational” quotes, I tried my best to write cutesy journals, treat myself, “love myself” and so on. I mean, the intention itself wasn’t bad and it taught me that it’s possible to be whoever I want to be and do whatever I want to do – I’d just have to go and do it. But apart from that, I now know that there are a lot of things you can’t simply cure by “thinking positive” and putting a bird on it. However, reading all those things eventually encouraged me to start my first job at Lush, though, which turned out to have a tremendous influcence on my life and is part of the reason I later ended up in sales, marketing and advertising.
Advertising is also the topic of this book or rather a metaphor that “advertising guru” Paul Arden uses for his business-style and often funny life advice. It’s not very deep but quite entertaining. It won’t change your life but it’s a nice read when you feel down and need some encouragement. And it looks quite pretty.
Aside from the two days that I spent in bed sick, this week wasn’t so bad after all and I’m slowly adjusting to the nice weather. Unlike most people, I hate the summer so as soon as it gets warmer towards the end of Spring, it instantly brings back all my horrible, sweaty and nightmareish summer memories and I get depressed. But I had my first outdoor dinner of the year at Mercosy with Walter, followed by cocktails and beers in Kreuzberg. Tonight D. and I went to Kochu Karu again (which has become one of my favourite Korean restaurants) for bibimbap (which has become one of my favourite dishes). I like it so much that I’m even thinking about attempting to make it myself at home which means a lot. You might think I’ve turned into a “foodie” or something equally ridiculous but the truth is, I’ve just become incredibly boring and all I care about at the moment is food (lots of food), YouTube documentaries and the internet. After our dinner we ended up at a pool place in Prenzlauer Berg – you know, one of those big halls where people play pool and take it very seriously. I’m alright at playing it on the computer but I’m such a physically clumsy person that I just suck at everything that requires being in control of my body. I was making an absolute idiot of myself and it will remain a mystery to me how I managed to almost win the second round…
A while ago I went to the electronics store to buy a vaccum cleaner – and I came back the next day to buy a smoothie blender. It’s incredibly powerful and easy to clean and I actually managed to stick to making myself a fresh smoothie every morning. It’s been weeks and I’m still using it – I never thought this was possible! That whole juicing and smoothie making thing has become almost like a cult, I’ve seen countless articles, blogs and books about it and everyone is debating how to do it right. 60% veggies, 40% fruit? Or even 70/30 or more? To be honest, I don’t care. The reason I’m doing it is to sneak enough fresh stuff into my body without too much effort. Because let’s face it, I’m terrible at eating enough fruit or veggies. This mix is one of my favourites because it’s very green and healthy but also pretty fruity and tasty.
1 apple, 1/2 banana, a handful of fresh spinach, 2 stalks of celery, 1/3 cucumber, 2-3 fresh mint leaves, juice of half a lemon, 200ml water, 1 tbsp. plain yoghurt, honey or agave syrup
Cut the fruit and veggies into pieces and put them in the blender, add the mint, lemon juice, water, yoghurt and and sweeten with honey or agave syrup to taste. Blend until smooth.
Do you prefer it creamy? Add coconut milk instead of the water. Of course you can also exchange the fruit for something else, just make sure to use enough juicy fruits and veggies or add enough water. Smoothies are tastier when they’re cold so put the banana slices in the freezer over night or add some crushed ice. The longer you blend it, the smoother it gets!
I spent ages waiting for an official video to be released for this song, only to then completely miss it, discover it a few days later and watch it over and over until it finally grew on me. What looks like a pastel-pink blur of teenager trends turned out to be a pretty entertaining music video after all. Cloud Nothings are one of the few young rock bands with a very unique and raw energy that reminds me of my teenage years and all those small bands I was into, sweaty gigs in small clubs, drinking cheap beer and dancing to the latest indie rock hits. This stuff will always have a special place in my heart.
This is a never-ending story. Last month I decided I don’t want my blog of ten years go to waste just because of my laziness and lack of motivation. It keeps me balanced and even though it’s something I enjoy, it doesn’t mean I’m always motivated to keep it up. A while ago I started working on my best friend’s blog (my Christmas present for him) and we had beers, made plans for the design and concept and I tried to share some tips that will hopefully help me in the future…
- Love the design – Whenever I get frustrated with the way my blog looks, I instantly lose all motivation to update it. I try to make sure I’m 100% happy with how it looks and tweak all the little things that I know will annoy me one day. I personally love doing everything myself – from designing in Photoshop to coding the WordPress theme, but if that’s not your thing, websites like Themeforest offer lots of amazing premium themes for a good price.
- Think in stories – I work together with a bunch of journalists and after three years I have completely adopted their mindset. Whenever I hear, see or read something, I think “How could this be a story?” Most of the things obviously don’t work for my blog since it’s very random and personal and I don’t have a specific niche topic I blog about. But it just comes naturally for me to think “Hey, this is cool, I’d love to share that!”. I’m trying not to overdo it, though – because whenever something amazing happens, I’m usually far too busy to enjoy it and don’t really think about documenting it. Which is a good thing!
- Pre-produce content – I don’t always have enough time and motivation to write as much as I want to. After all, this is my hobby and not my job. So whenever I’m struck with a sudden inspiration, I go ahead and do as much as I can at once. I always have a bunch of drafts sitting around that I can post to keep my blog alive whenever I feel uninspired.
- Read and follow what the others do - Good blogs and online magazines inspire me a lot in my everday life and going through the blogs section of my feed reader is part of my daily routine just like reading the news. It’s impossible to grasp and follow everything that’s going on so to me, a good blog is a filter that filters the world for me. To see and read what others are up to is very refreshing whenever I’m stuck whenever I’m stuck and all I wanna post on my blog are the same endless teenage angsty ramblings about life.
- Don’t overanalyse (the lack of) feedback – Studies have shown that the response to things we share online (and the lack thereof) can significantly affect our feelings of self worth and can even lead to an addiction to social media feedback. It’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly checking your social media profiles and blogs for any likes and comments, obsessively refresh your stats and feel down if nobody seems to care about what you’ve just posted. While I am very open for contructive criticism and feedback, I am also trying to make sure to not measure my self worth by by the amount of people who comment on my blog or like my photos on Instagram.
If you know me or follow this blog you’ve probably seen the painting above: It’s a design I commissioned from my favourite tattoo flash artist and got tattoed as an early birthday present to myself (and weirdly enough it’s the first image that shows up when you google her name). I love the effortlessly gorgeous looking flappers, the beautiful nautic designs with a twist and her little flash sets, like the monster series including Frankenstein and Dracula or a traditional version of Star Wars.