Posts Tagged ‘germany’



thanks to a friend of a friend who now has a new travel blog, I have rediscovered my wordpress blog! it has been almost 2 years since I’ve updated. lets see…what has happened? Well. I didn’t get into law school (over it), BUT I did apply and get into graduate school for social work! Last August I moved to the city of brotherly love and I am attending Bryn Mawr. I’ve met some great peeps here and I adore this city. I also find it funny that the last time I updated this mess, it was the world cup! and right now i’m following the euro cup 2012. tomorrow i’m taking the megabus up to the big apple to see some friends and I will be watching the QF Germany vs. Greece game up there. We got this.


my favorite players 2.0


what a world cup this has been so far!!! today, my boys performed amazingly, as expected, killing ENGLAND 4-1. (too bad I fell asleep during the second half and missed 2 of the goals, shh don’t tell) Now we just have to beat Argentina on Saturday, which should be a really great game. I am kind of a fan of the Argentine (or is it Argentinian? dunno) team, but Germany always comes first. And can someone please explain to me why Messi is the greatest player in the world? Maybe I just don’t know enough about his history and stats, but he hasn’t scored once in this cup so far. Perhaps he will on Saturday, we will see. Alls I know is that it was great having Klose back today.

Back to what this post was originally supposed to be about. My fave football players 2.0.

U S of A. #22 Benny Feilhaber

i mean just look at those eyes. yes.

and I know you all expect me to put Ronaldo on this list. but he’s kind of too good looking, if such a thing exists. It’s like he was a model first who decided to pay football, like Cameron Diaz and “acting”.

Well, that is the only hot player that I am going to post about right now. I kind of post them as I see them playing…so if I notice any others in the next 2 weeks, i will post them.

now back to watching the BET awards….

what a game


game over. 4-0. nuff said. my boys never seem to disappoint me! Australia never had a chance. Though Ballack will always be my first love, I think I may be starting to crunch real hard on Podolski. I know, I know, he is Polish born, so he’s not 100% German, but I’ll let it slide this time.

In other news, the vuvuzelas may be banned in upcoming games b/c you can’t hear shit during the game. its even hard to hear the crowd because of those annoying horns.  oh man, what i would give to either be in Germany right now, or even better in South Africa!! For now all I can do is enjoy the games from my little air-conditioned studio in my PJs.

my Berlinale 2009 experience


where do i start?

why did I go to Berlin for a week for the 59th Berlinale International Film Festival?

basically because i had a dream one night that i went to Germany. So the next day I looked online to see how much tickets cost, just for the fun of it, and the were extremely cheap. Less than half of what I paid to fly to Berlin in the summer of 2006 (true it was the summer and the world cup was in Germany that year..). I knew that some big event was going on in Berlin in February, but I could not remember what. Then i found out that the Berlinale was happening, and I looked up hostel rates, and decided I would go.

I was fortunate enough to have a family member with a large number of saved up airline miles that I did not have to pay for my airline ticket. Which meant I only had to pay for food, hostel, and film screening tickets.

The programme for the festival came out on January 27th (I think…I can’t remember), and I set up a schedule with what films I would see on what days. Unfortunately, I would be missing the first 3 days of the festival because I did not want to take more than 5 days off of work. The tickets went on sale beginning February 2nd, for most films the tickets were on sale 3-4 days at 10 am German time before the actual screening. Which meant the week before I left, I was waking up at 3:50 am to purchase my tickets at 4:00 am EST. I was able to purchase a good number of tickets before I arrived in Germany.

I had planned on seeing 3 screenings the same day I arrived in Germany. Big mistake. Because of the jet lag, I slept through all of the screenings. It was ok. Only 3 films wasted.

Monday, February 9th

I missed the first film I had planned to see that day, because I did not estimate how much time it would take to pick up my internet purchased tickets. There was a bit of a line at the pick-up counter, so I unfortunately missed the screening of Mammoth, which is am American film, so I will be able to see it here in the U.S. soon.

The first film of the festival I watched was Gigante, a film by director Adrián Biniez.  This was a very cute movie. I’m not a huge fan of categorizing films into drama, thriller, etc. This film was simple, about a man who was a overnight security guard at a grocery store.

Horacio Camandule as Jara

Horacio Camandule as Jara

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Ok, before I start reviewing, I have to say that I am beyond exhausted right now. I walked in a circle in Potsdamer Platz today, but its ok b/c I got to see the Philharmonie and the Staatsbibliothek. Why am I walking around Berlin taking pictures of things that I could tag people I know on Facebook? So so sad. So I finally made it to Urania [the theater in which Gigante played]. After wandering around Charolttenburg b/c I got on the wrong U-Bahn to visit Savignyplatz. I went to the store where I bought my wallet [in Summer of 2006]. And I did not like anything they had! Which was very dissapointing.l So I got back on the train and went to the screening of Gigante. The young woman sitting next to me was writing something in english, so I asked her in deutsch, if she speaks english and she said yes. She works for a Publisher in Munich and they are publishing a bunch of books. My hand is starting to hurt from writing. NOT GOOD! Anyway, she was very nice. The movie was cute-funny. I slept through a good portion of it. Hey, I’m still jetlagging. And off to see another film. AND the subtitles were in German. But I pretty much understood everything. I really liked the heavy metal theme. We don’t see that anymore. Heavy metal is very 80s – early 90s.

The second film I saw on Monday was Berlin is in Germany, which was shown as a part of the  10 Years of Panorama Audience Award section of the festival. In 2001, this film won the Panorama Audience Award. I really really enjoyed this film. It was based on a true story, of a man who was arrested and imprisoned 4 months before the Berlin wall came down, and was released in the year 2001.  The Berlin that he once knew was gone, and there were many things that he was not accustomed to (people texting and calling on cell phones, the beaurocracy of Germany today, etc.).  Also, when he was arrested, his wife was pregnant with their son, so he had not yet met his now 11 year old son. The movie of course took place all in Berlin, and it kind of reminded me of the theme in Goodbye, Lenin. Except he was thrown into the new Berlin at the beginning of the film, whereas the mother in Goodbye, Lenin only discovered the new Berlin at the end of the film.


Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Ok, so I’m sitting at Alexanderplatz waiting for the U-Bahn. I have a serious headache, I have to pee, I’m starving, and oh yeah extremely sleep deprived. But I just saw an amazing film. It won the 1st prize of public viewers choice in the Panorama section of the 2001 Berlinale. It is about a man who just got out of jail in 2001, and he went in in July 1989. Basically he knew nothing of  ‘Nach der Wende’. Such a great film. The director and one of the actors spoke with the audience after the screening, which was a huge treat. I pretty much ❤ all movies made in Berlin. I will always feel a connection to this city, altough I am an American who has lived in Berlin for a mere 6 wochen, I really do love this city. It’s fresh history, culture, population, everything. Could I live here? I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do to make al iving. But I do love this city. I feel like the director made the audience really feel for the main character. Not feel sorry for him or pity him, but feel what he was felling when first returning to the new berlin and the fact that his son never met his father. Or that he almost got locked up again b/c of his prior “murder” charges. I feel like some of the East German police tactics were similar to some of the tactics the U.S. government has (and probably still does) use against its citizens and also against perceived terrorists.

Tuesday, February 10th

The first film of Tuesday was Alle Anderen, a Competition section film, and the first of many that I saw at Friedrichstadtpalast. I was a little late to this screening (I had to get there by 9:30 am). This was a great film. The actress who played Gitti, Birgit Minichmayr, I had also seen play a small role in Der Untergang. The one thing that bugged me about this film was the complicated relationship dynamics that it brought to light, that I am sure many people go through in their intimate relationships. It did remind me of some of the bad parts about my most previous relationship, so for this reason only it left a bad taste in my mouth.


Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

I am writing this late tuesday night. I am pretty tired, so I’ll make it short and sweet. First, I arrived late. Friedrichstadtpalast is indeed a beautiful theater. I did not see the inside when it was lit, though. But that’s ok because i have many more films to see there. The main actress was also in the film Der Untergang, though she had a smaller role in that film. I guess why I found the film to be disturbing is because it hit too close to home. The disfuntionality of the relationship, the way the male character put down his girlfriend, really reminded me of some of the men i nmy life. It was a very intimate film, though. Something I find german filmmakers to excel in. Kind of reminded me of Sie Haben Knut, with Cat Stevens, instead of Nick Drake.

The next film I saw this day was a Forum film, All Fall Down, an experimental documentary by Canadian director Philip Hoffman. I didn’t really understand much of the film. It was the only film that I did not reallyl ike, and that I walked out of. Mostly because I was just napping throughout the entire film, and I could have spent my time somewhere else. I guess that I do not know enough about film (I only took 2 film courses in college) to entirely appreciate this film.

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

I don’t have much to say about these films. Maybe I didn’t give them enough of a chance. They were in the Forum expanded category. I don’t feel like getting into them. Too boring/confusing. I was napping during the whole thing, so I left early. Also because the guy sitting next to me left. I thought it would be interesting because the description said it was something about exploring Canadian land rights, and Native Americans trying to reclaim their land. But I had a hard time piecing the different parts of the movie together.

The last film I saw this day, Chan di chummi (Kiss the Moon) by Khalid Gill, was a fantastic documentary about the Khusra communities in large cities in Pakistan. Kushras are what we in the west would identify has transgender women, although the subjects in the film would say that they were girl/boy, or  in between genders. This was the premiere of the film, and director Khalid Gill was there to answer questions after the show. My review pretty much explains everything i loved about this film.

a picture i took of the film poster

a picture i took of the film poster

Here is what I wrote in my notebook about this film:

Now THIS was an amazing documentary. It was the premiere, a documentary on the Khusras, or the transgender community in Lahore, Pakistan (although in most large cities in Pakistan, Khusra communities exist; the larger the city, the larger the khusra community). It took the director over a year to build close relationships with the women to let him interview them with a camera and film them. There were a group of them that were interviewed, all were muslim except for one. When they are children almost all of them knew they were Khusra. For money, they dance at weddings and celebrations for newborns, and on the streets. What I found very fascinating was there there is a very long history of Khusras. It reminded me of some of the hisory of gay, lesbian, and trans (or in-between or both gendered) people that I learned about in my Gay & Lesbian history course ( I don’t think that was the name of the course, but oh well). The christian Khusra interviewed a Khusra that was 110 years old, which was very cool. She said that Khusras were treated with more respect back then and now because of television, people discriminate, judge, and call them names on the street. The community that was formed very much reminded me of the drag queens in Paris is Burning. These women created their own families, with mothers and fathers and daughters. The elder Khusra also spoke of how the Khusras now are not very skilled and dancing, and that they just dance a little and already want money. Also, the main subject of the film (the Christian Khusra) had a man that she was involved with, whome she only found out was married when she saw his daughter. He brings his daughter over to her house and she takes care of her, call herself “mom” to the child. During the Q & A session with the director, a women in the audience asked if there were women who dressed as men. Which i knew the answer to already be a no. It seems many more traditional cultures are more accepting of men to women as women to men, most likely because women have more power if they dress/act as men. And the Khusras also had a direct connection with Allah, as if God put them there on earth for a purpose. Some of them would adopt children. Many had breasts and the director said most Khusras are unaware that sex reassingment surgery even exists. And the hormones that they do take are given to them by quacks (people pretending to be doctors) as experiments. The director hopes to take the film all around the world, and one day hopefully to Pakistan.

That is all for now. I have 8 more film reviews to post…but this is a work in progress. More to come soon!!

p.s. feel free to check out my shutterfly page to see all of the pictures from my trip

schnelle Update


hallo!! i am at the frankfurt airport, heading back to Newark, NJ. The Berlinale was great. I saw some awesome films. I missed some too…and didn’t party at all, but hey i’m an old lady and i was tired. I will be doing a post with my own little reviews of each film i saw (all 13 of them). So fear not! And i know i promised I would post earlier, and I lied. Sorry. Shit happens? ok, bis dann. Tschau!

saturday night lights


ah…blogging away on a saturday night while watching the Law & Order: SVU marathon. lame? perhaps. do I care what you think*? hell no.

as I was tag surfing earlier, I found a fellow wordpresser’s blog, fine filter. from this blog, i found easily one of the coolest sites on the interweb:The Breaks, an online database of samples used in Hip-Hop. I searched through some Kanye songs to see where he got some of his samples. from there…i started searching youtube for the original songs, and stumbled upon DJ Funktuall and his “Top 10 Samples in Hip-Hop” series- here is Part 1 :

guy cracks me up. i’ve thought about it before…what would it be like learning how to scratch, dj..this makes me want to learn

THEN i found this reaaallly interesting video from DW (Deutsche Welle) about how the English language is taking over German business’ advertising, and the consequences it could have on the German language.

I love Germany. and Germans. and the German language.

haribo macht kinder froh

haribo macht kinder froh

and Gummibaeren, of course.

and why do white people whisper the word “black”? Macon D (from stuff white people do) guest wrote a post on racialicious:

What interested me, of course, was that whispering by a white person of
the word “black.” I’ve heard white people do that many times, and I’m
not fully sure why they do it. Not that all of those who do it
necessarily do it for the same reason. Or reasons.

One probable
reason that a lot of white people whisper the word “black” is that they
think it’s impolite to mention race. America is supposed to be
“colorblind” now, and so, the common white thinking goes, “we” are not
supposed to notice race, let alone point it out. Or even name it. So,
when we do point it out, we we should do that . . . discreetly.”

i have to admit, I have done this before. Why? I don’t find using the term “black” instead of “African-American” to be wrong, or hateful, or racist. I feel like the term is an identifier….and there are many people of color, who may or may not be assumed as “black”, who would not identify themselves as “African-American”. I do know that the word can be used as a racist term…maybe I am digging myself into a ditch here. I do know that I am oftentimes afraid of others misunderstanding my passion about anti-racism, me always talking about race…so when they (whomever “they” is) hear me say the word black, I guess I don’t want them to get the wrong impression…

*so perhaps i DO care what others think of me

german hip hop


the first time i visited germany, in the summer of 2002, I went to one of the department stores in Hamburg to their music section. it’s odd: in germany they have a music section called “black music”. I’m almost positive that if that happened here in the states it would be seen as extremely racist. anyhoo…i purchase a samy deluxe album. that was my first exposure to german rap. I really liked his stuff (still do, even though I only own that one album). The second time I visited Germany I purchased a mix-tape album of Absolut Beginner, another german rapper. He actually has a track with the “diamonds are forever” sample that Kanye use on his track of the same name. I just was just on wikipedia and I’ve been reading on the history of German hip hop. It really goes along with American hip hop, starting in around 1983. I found this little reference to John Clarke’s theory of recontextualization, which i found interesting:

In a recent study performed by John Clarke on sub-culture styles, he coined the term ‘recontextualization’ which specifically refers to the process by which cultural products are borrowed or relocate from one contextual setting to another. In the context of German Hip hop, the cultural objects that compose American hip hop arerecontextualizedfrom the American urban setting to similarly multi-ethnic immigrant communities within Germany. Furthermore, he explicates that these cultural transfers rarely impose exact replication. Instead, cultural exchange implies cultural adaptation or what some sociologists call ‘localization.’ This process has deployed intriguing cultural transformations in the case of cities like Brunswick, Dortmund, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Kiel, Cologne, and West Berlin, especially amongst a youth immigrant population.”

There is also a lot of information on Turkish-German hiphop, as an expression of young Turkish immigrant youth’s feelings of mixed-identity and differentiation from “pure” German society.

The contribution of Turkish youth in the so called German hip hop is enormous, since it was one of the ways in which the segregated Turkish community in Germany express themselves. To express the discontent of being called foreigners, even when they are German citizens. What really attracted Turkish youth living in Germany to hip hop was the necessity of presenting themselves as Turks, but also as Germans. That is something that is reflected in almost every song produce by Turkish youth “for male Turkish youngsters, who grew up in a traditional strongly emphasized honor” (Dietmar Elflein). In other words even when the Turkish community in Germany has been discriminated against, just like African Americans and Latinos youth in New York invthe 60s and 70s, they have found their way to success through hip hop and are not ashamed of representing the melting pot in which they live.

This really sparked my interest, ever since my research paper on the space of young turkish queers creating a space in Berlin.  damn i want to move to berlin! I really miss it there….I swear if McCan’t gets elected, I’m fleeing to Germany.

Like most wikipedia articles, I find that I don’t have the patience to read the entire thing. But I did go to the refefrences at the bottom and found that the authors referenced an essay in a book that I would love to have:  The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip-hop and the Globalisation of Black Popular Culture by Robin D. G. Kelley.

So if anyone wants to buy that for me, it would be awesome.

Alright, enough VMA watching. MTV gets worse every year, I swear.

but what about the new kanye?

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